It looks very pleasant that the peace god smiles to the besieged Palestinians with increasing good will emanating from Israel. That is indeed a positive sign of justice, albeit very late, for the long oppressed people of Palestine.
In a surprise move, the Israel’s right-wing foreign minister and a pro-settler leader who opposes an independent Palestine tooth and nail thus far, Avigdor Lieberman defended US Secretary of State John Kerry whose Middle East peace drive has seen mounting criticism from within the Israeli government. “I want to make clear – Kerry is a true friend of Israel,” Lieberman told business leaders in Tel Aviv. “What is the point of turning friend into foe?”
Israeli ultra-nationalists and their representatives in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government have come out against the prospect – however remote – of removing Jewish settlers, citing historical claims on biblical lands sought by the Palestinians for an independent state.
The conciliatory remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has previously been a vocal critic of international efforts to set up a Palestinian state on Israeli-occupied territory, is indeed the most unexpected moment of Mideast politics, and could help Kerry cobble together consensus for pursuing the peace negotiations.
Lieberman has now taken a more circumspect tack since resuming the role of foreign minister after he was cleared of graft charges last year. He praised Kerry for handling the negotiations “in the proper manner”.
Lieberman’s outfit “Israel is Our Home” party formed a joint list with Netanyahu’s Likud ahead of the last election. Their coalition government includes the ultranationalist Jewish Home party, which opposes Palestinian statehood and has chafed at Israel’s cooperation with Kerry. Lieberman said fellow rightists were “competing to show off rhetorical ability – who can be more crass, more vociferous” against Kerry, adding: “This fulmination does not help. We should relax a little.”
Kerry has been criticized from within the Israeli government in recent weeks. Israeli media quoted Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon as ridiculing Kerry as “messianic” over U.S. proposals that could increase Palestinian security controls in the West Bank were Israel to withdraw.
Lieberman played down the risk of a Jewish Home walkout and said that a Palestinian peace deal was unlikely to break up the government, ,: “There’s no option of changing the coalition. “When there is a dispute between the wholeness of the nation and the wholeness of the land, the wholeness of the nation is more important,” Lieberman said, signaling his support for potential future territorial handovers.
Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador in Israel, predicted the parties would agree on a peacemaking “framework” by April. “There is a discussion of the caveats that the two sides might have regarding this framework, that is possible too, but the objective is that this will be a framework affirming that the negotiations will continue,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.
Israeli censure of Kerry was “absurd and hurtful”, he said. “This negotiation, this process, is not about Secretary of State John Kerry. It is a process about the future of the people of Israel and the Palestinian people and their chances of achieving peace, security and prosperity,” Shapiro said.
After Kerry warned last week that Israel’s international isolation could deepen along with the diplomatic deadlock, another senior Israeli minister said the Netanyahu government would not negotiate “with a gun to its head”.
Kerry launched the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace push last July and has visited the region more than 10 times in the past year. He hopes to complete a “framework” accord by an April deadline and will then try to negotiate a final peace deal by the end of 2014, a U.S. official has said. However, both sides are standing firm on their demands in decades-old disputes.
With the support of the settler party of Lieberman “Israel is Our Home” party that has been a major critic and embarrassment for the Netanyahu regime in formulating a peace deal with Palestine, Obama-Kerry would find it fairly easy to proceed further in the task of making Mideast conflict free and peaceful.
There is now no need to suspect the real intentions of Israeli leaders, except for promoting peace and friendship in the region.
Positive speculation is good for the humanity, it is said.
Humanity expects more hopes in Middle East on Palestine!
Our Love-Hate Relationship with Gimmicks
When Jennifer Egan’s novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won the Pulitzer Prize, in 2011, much fuss was made over its penultimate chapter, which presents the diary of a twelve-year-old girl in the form of a seventy-six-page PowerPoint presentation. Despite the nearly universal acclaim that the novel had received, critics had trouble deciding whether the PowerPoint was a dazzling, avant-garde innovation or, as one reviewer described it, “a wacky literary gimmick,” a cheap trick that diminished the over-all value of the novel. In an interview with Egan, the novelist Heidi Julavits confessed to dreading the chapter before she read it, and then experiencing a happy relief once she had. “I live in fear of the gimmicky story that fails to rise above its gimmick,” she said. “But within a few pages I totally forgot about the PowerPoint presentation, that’s how ungimmicky your gimmick was.”
The word “gimmick” is believed to come from “gimac,” an anagram of “magic.” The word was likely first used by magicians, gamblers, and swindlers in the nineteen-twenties to refer to the props they wielded to attract, and to misdirect, attention—and sometimes, according to “The Wise-Crack Dictionary,” from 1926, to turn “a fair game crooked.” From such duplicitous beginnings, the idea of gimmickry soon spread. In Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Invitation to a Beheading,” from 1935, a mother distracts her imprisoned son from counting the hours to his execution by describing the “marvelous gimmicks” of her childhood. The most shocking, she explains, was a trick mirror. When “shapeless, mottled, pockmarked, knobby things” were placed in front of the mirror, it would reflect perfectly sensible forms: flowers, fields, ships, people. When confronted with a human face or hand, the mirror would reflect a jumble of broken images. As the son listens to his mother describe her gimmick, he sees her eyes spark with terror and pity, “as if something real, unquestionable (in this world, where everything was subject to question), had passed through, as if a corner of this horrible life had curled up, and there was a glimpse of the lining.” Behind the mirror lurks something monstrous—an idea of art as device, an object whose representational powers can distort and devalue just as easily as they can estrange and enchant.
Stakeholder vs. Shareholder Capitalism: What Is Ideal Today?
At Morningstar, we’re proud that our research teams not only operate
independently but that our analysts are encouraged to explore ideas and
raise contrarian viewpoints. The enemy of any research organization is
groupthink. A research organization needs to hire people who aren’t
afraid of challenging the status quo and who are always thinking about
how to foster a culture where people feel comfortable speaking up and
encouraging us all to think harder and sharper.
And we debate just about everything. Is the market overvalued? Should private equity be allowed into retirement plans? What categories are most suited to active investors? How much should an annuity cost? And I’d say one of the hottest areas of debate these days is ESG. Does ESG help or hurt investing performance? What ESG risks are truly material to cash flows? What should be included in a “globe rating,” and on and on.
Within the field of sustainable investing and with it evolving so rapidly, there is really no facet that we don’t debate. And today, we’ve asked a group of researchers from across Morningstar to represent opposing sides of a particular ESG argument. But we didn’t have to look far for one that’s taken centerstage in 2020.
HILL: The Great Reset
If you haven’t heard about The Great Reset yet, you will.
Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” slogan, of which no one knew the meaning or purpose, is a direct lift from The Great Reset Manifesto, let’s call it, concocted by the dreamy-eyed elites of the world who attend annual ritzy, star-studded winter retreats in Davos, Switzerland under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.
“In short” the wealthy elites of the world proclaim to the rest of the world, “we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”
To save the world, these elites demand “the world must act … to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions; …every country… must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed”.
In other words, these elites demand that the entire world embrace socialism; impose much higher wealth taxes, which they will avoid paying, that’s a given; promulgate onerous regulations on banking and industry; and pass massive Green New Deals, which would “only” cost U.S. taxpayers and consumers $93 trillion to implement.
Liberal socialists never say anything about cutting government spending, lowering government regulatory burdens on business and people, getting rid of archaic government programs that have been proven ineffective, or removing legal barriers for people who want to start a business and provide a better life for their family.
Liberal socialists simply believe a lot more government is good. Conservatives don’t. It is pretty much that simple.
Every command issued by Great Reset/One World Government proponents strikes at the core of American individualism. American individualism and self-initiative led to the creation of such ground-breaking innovations as the IPhone, Amazon and Google, nothing close to which has ever been invented under socialist or communist regimes. Wait until the Great Reset dries up American innovation; Millennials and liberals will then see the adverse side of too much governmental control of our economy, then they will be ready for more free market capitalism.
Americans should understandably feel a little queasy when they hear Prince Charles or Canadian PM Justin Trudeau gush about how the COVID pandemic provides the “perfect opportunity” to change everything. Only totalitarians at heart think a pandemic or crisis is “a great time to impose their will on the world.” Hitler took power during the post-WWI economic depression in Germany to “restore the Fatherland,” to name perhaps the worst case in recent history.