The not so ‘invisible war’ In Ukraine

They are calling the fighting in Eastern Ukraine “the invisible war.” Some even talk of that clash as part of the “third world war.” Not long ago, there was a “cold war” but at least in that war there was no fighting and there was a sharp confrontation between two worlds: the West, led by…

Kerry Pays Price For Trying to Stop Slaughter

There is an old saying that applies to beleaguered Secretary of State John Kerry: no good deed goes unpunished. To listen to his most rabid critics, the majority of them in Israel but quite a few in the U.S. as well, the head of American diplomacy committed the unpardonable sin of trying to arrange a…

‘Forcing’ the truce: a cruel illusion

At long last, a spokesman of the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Assistance said what his boss, U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, found so difficult to utter: “There is literally no safe place for civilians (in Gaza)”. More than 600 have been killed by the relentless Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea. Five hundred…

In Europe, time to agree on course of solidarity

Surprise, surprise. Italy, the European nation that looked the sickest turned in the most balanced pro European result in the European parliamentary elections while France propelled a party, the way out rightist National Front. It spread an anti-European populist message and garnered an exceptional victory with 24.85 per cent of the votes. Its leader, Marine…

Kicking The Empty Can of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

Secretary of State Kerry has touched the third rail in the seemingly impossible task of American diplomacy to bring peace to the Middle East. He used the word “apartheid” in an off the record meeting of the Trilateral Commission in trying to warn that without a two state solution Israel risked becoming an “apartheid state”.…

Diplomacy, Not Troops, Needed in Ukraine

In the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, one thing is certain and Americans will have to live with it: no military solution is possible and the best way forward for the United States and its allies – meaning those in both the European Union and NATO – is to try and stabilize the situation by diplomatic…

Waving the European Flag in Kiev is no solution

The young Ukrainians who overthrew the pro-Russian President Yanukovich and waived the flags of the European Union deserve better than the illusion of European help in lieu of concrete support. But the illusion is still there that tomorrow Ukraine will be admitted to the European Union and that this will solve all the problems of…

Kerry between the possible and the impossible

Secretary of State John Kerry returned to the Middle East for another round of talks about what is improperly called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hoping to push forward meaningful negotiations. His trip was promptly labeled “mission impossible.” What is most disheartening is that both the Israelis and Palestinians dispute any notion that they are closer to…

Snowden: Neither traitor nor hero

There are good reason to believe that if the amnesty proposal for Edward Snowden were submitted to a national referendum, a large number of Americans — albeit not the majority — would vote in favor of amnesty. On the other hand, as President Obama was quick to point out, Snowden has been indicted and it…

Unpredictable

Written September 2013 What happens next in the Middle East is anyone’s guess. Making predictions is difficult, especially for the future, say the Chinese. And yet things happen that leave even diplomats befuddled. A short time ago, no one could predict that among all possible people, two of America’s adversaries, Russian President Putin and the…