Domingo, 29 de octubre de 2023

Considerando en frío

Alguien dijo que escribir en periódicos es llevar cada día flores a nuestra propia tumba. Como los hombres que fuimos, como las mujeres que amamos, los artículos de prensa están por naturaleza excluidos de toda participación en el mañana. Y ahora que nace noviembre parece más difícil creer en la inmortalidad de un oficio que tanto tiene de oficio de difuntos. Pero no porque las flores se marchiten dejamos de regalarlas, y no porque las frases caduquen al paso frenético de la actualidad renunciaremos a extraerlas del cerebro o a bombearlas desde el corazón en la esperanza de que el lector unte nuestra idea en la tostada y trasiegue una metáfora con el café.…  Seguir leyendo »

La sombra del burro

"Hoy, con la mirada puesta en el horizonte, es un día de esperanza". El socialista Gregorio Peces-Barba concluyó con esta incontinencia emocional y retórica su discurso como presidente del Congreso con motivo de la jura de la Constitución del entonces Príncipe Felipe cuando alcanzó la mayoría de edad en 1986. La pieza completa es todo un tratado sobre el fundamento racional y la capacidad integradora de la Monarquía parlamentaria, pero sobre todo expresa de manera clara e inteligente lo que representa la continuidad dinástica en términos de estabilidad nacional y seguridad sobre el futuro para un proyecto compartido de España. Así lo sentía entonces la joven democracia española: de todos y para todos al servicio de la libre convivencia y el interés general.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Qué jura Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz?

Las enormes convulsiones que experimentaron todos los países europeos al hilo de la Revolución Francesa y de las guerras napoleónicas hicieron presagiar a muchos que el fin del absolutismo iba a ser el fin definitivo de la monarquía. Sin embargo, a diferencia de lo que ocurriría en América, la monarquía se mantuvo en Europa como una institución central en el proceso de consolidación del liberalismo y en la construcción de los nuevos Estado-nación a lo largo del siglo XIX. Las breves experiencias republicanas que salpicaron el siglo no consiguieron que dejara de ser la forma de gobierno mayoritaria en toda Europa hasta, al menos, la I Guerra Mundial.…  Seguir leyendo »

El espacio de lo público se va reduciendo, desmoronando, encogiendo cada día delante de nuestros ojos, sin que prestemos demasiada atención, aturdidos y atomizados cada uno en la privacidad incesante de nuestras pantallas, abismados sobre ellas, hipnotizados, lo mismo en un vagón del metro que junto al ventanal superfluo del autobús, o la ventanilla del tren por la que discurre un paisaje que no mira nadie. Alzas los ojos de la pantalla, como el que se incorpora un momento y no llega a despertar, y lo que tienes delante es otra pantalla en la que muy probablemente hay un mensaje que se dirige a ti, en exclusiva, a ti porque eres especial, te asegura.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un mundo sin misericordia

Tras dos años de barbarie en Ucrania, tras las atrocidades cometidas contra civiles en Bucha y tras la matanza de Hamás, seguida de la pulverización de Gaza, hemos sido catapultados hacia atrás, a un mundo sin piedad, un mundo tan antiguo como las páginas más oscuras de Shakespeare y los cuadros más terribles de Goya. Estamos siendo testigos de cómo es un mundo sin misericordia.

Cuando las normas jurídicas y éticas sancionadas internacionalmente se derrumban, las reglas que estructuran nuestros juicios ordinarios como individuos empiezan a tambalearse. Los espectadores se apresuran a juzgar en aras de su propia identidad y de sus certezas políticas precocinadas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yolanda, la socia lista

Si Sánchez cruzó este sábado el Rubicón es porque ya tiene todas las llaves de Roma en el bolsillo.

La investidura no está servida, pero sí emplatada. A menos que alguien tropiece en el trayecto entre la cocina y el comedor, el presidente en funciones obtendrá su nuevo mandato en el Congreso en tiempo y forma.

Queda la duda de si los cocineros levantarán las cloches de su guiso la semana próxima, la siguiente o al filo ya de ese lunes 27 en que concluye el plazo. Recuérdese, como curiosidad o antecedente, que Puigdemont logró su propia investidura un domingo por la tarde —el 10 de enero de 2016— tras las agónicas vueltas y revueltas de la CUP.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman in Tel Aviv looks at a wall filled with posters of hostages being held in Gaza on Oct. 21. (Heidi Levine for The Washington Post).

Seventy-nine-year-old Chaim Peri epitomizes secular, progressive Israel. He was born in British-ruled Palestine to Zionist parents from Poland who left Europe in the early 1930s but whose extended family remained behind and was mostly wiped out in the Holocaust.

He is an activist for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the sort of person who, in recent years, volunteered to drive chronically ill patients from Gaza to specialized care in Israeli hospitals. In March, he wrote a blog post praising Jewish and Arab Israeli students who, together, shipped earthquake relief to Turkey.

And Peri was an esteemed leader of his community, Kibbutz Nir Oz — Hebrew for “meadow of strength” — when, on Oct.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why Smart Leaders Do Stupid Things

To many observers, Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine was, obviously, irrational. Ukraine is Europe’s largest country, and Russian President Vladimir Putin was short on both good troops and quality weapons. No other state (aside from Belarus) was sympathetic to the idea that Moscow should control Kyiv, and the United States had uncovered Putin’s invasion plans and then released them to the entire planet. Most of the world’s biggest economies threatened to hit Russia with sanctions if it went ahead with its attack, and NATO countries made it clear that they would arm Kyiv.

But to the political scientists John Mearsheimer and Sebastian Rosato, Putin’s decision still makes sense.…  Seguir leyendo »

Law accepts the reality that war is a feature of human relations. Hence, law in war is meant to strike a balance between the need to use force in extreme circumstances and the wish to reduce the prospect of war and keep the associated human suffering to a minimum. This balancing act takes two forms. The UN Charter limits the right of states to make war. Humanitarian law limits the means of warfare.

The UN Charter permits necessary and proportionate self-defence. But it is not always easy to determine how much force is proportionate to an armed attack and necessary to prevent the next one.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Pride parade in Messina, Italy, 23 July 2022. Photograph: Gabriele Maricchiolo/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

The family may be the cultural bedrock of Italian society, but an entirely conservative and patriarchal idea of family is what our current leaders and the country’s most powerful institutions want to promote. Giorgia Meloni’s words are always carefully chosen: “a child needs a mum and a dad”, “there is only one type of family – the one formed by a man and a woman”. Italy’s first female prime minister, who leads a hard-right coalition, likes to invoke the slogan “God, country and family”; she campaigned against what she calls “the LGBT lobby”, describes herself as “a woman, a mother, a Christian” and opposes same-sex marriage.…  Seguir leyendo »

I Fought for the I.D.F. in Gaza. It Made Me Fight for Peace.

When my Israeli infantry unit arrived at the first village in Gaza, in July 2014, we cleared houses by sending grenades through windows, blowing doors open and firing bullets into rooms to avoid ambush and booby traps. We were told Palestinian civilians had fled.

I realized this wasn’t true as I stood over the corpse of an elderly Palestinian woman whose face had been mutilated by shrapnel. She had been lying on the sand floor of a shack, in a pool of blood.

That was my experience the last time Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip in a large-scale way, when my special forces unit, attached to the 993rd Nahal Brigade, was one of the first to go in.…  Seguir leyendo »

There Is Another Paris

Tourists visiting the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, the magnificent snow-white cathedral towering over northern Paris, tend to descend the Butte Montmartre the way they came up. After visiting the church, they might make a stop at the Place du Tertre, the historic square of Montmartre encircled by restaurants promising authentic French cuisine at unauthentically French prices. They might admire the dozens of street artists churning out quick sketches of passers-by and peddling hastily made watercolors. They might even jostle to the edge of the square to sneak a final glance at the city from one of its highest points. But once they’ve had enough, they’ll most likely make their way down the south side of the hill, following the path of the funicular toward the recognizable sights of central Paris.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on AI at Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace on October 26, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)

On 1–2 November, the UK will host its AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, bringing AI powerhouses like the US and China together with industry leaders, civil society and experts, in an attempt to lead on managing AI risks on an international level.

Today, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previewed the summit by announcing a new UK AI Safety Institute, which would monitor AI development and risks and share its findings worldwide.

When the UK first announced the summit in June 2023, there was some criticism that it added another process to an already crowded landscape.

While there is a need to coordinate across these efforts, especially the existing Global Partnership on AI, the summit will have a distinct focus on ‘frontier’ AI risks – that is the concern that the most powerful AI models could either be used for dangerous purposes or act in unanticipated ways.…  Seguir leyendo »

USNS Comfort, naval hospital ship, pictured leaving Hampton, Virginia in 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The recent explosion at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip emphasizes the risks to the delivery of safe emergency medical care in Gaza.

In other conflicts of recent decades, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Ethiopia, there has been ample space to deploy aid, but this is not the case in Gaza today.

Israel’s civilians have been caught up in the conflict, as hostages and victims of Hamas’s attacks. However, it is anticipated that Israel’s health service has the capacity to manage its own casualties from this conflict. The country has one of the most technologically advanced healthcare systems in the world.…  Seguir leyendo »