As the Palestinian quest for statehood grinds on at the United Nations, those who really hold the Palestinians’ fate in their hands — the people of Israel — are more pessimistic than ever about the prospects for peace.
According to a survey published in late September, two thirds of Israelis hold no hope of ever achieving peace with the Palestinians. But the poll also revealed a striking contrast: 88 percent say that Israel is a good place to live. Israel may be more isolated diplomatically than at any time since the dark days of the 1970s, but with the Israeli economy booming and with terrorism largely under control, the vast majority of Israelis seem to believe that they can live indefinitely with the status quo.… Seguir leyendo »
Once more, the Nobel Peace Prize committee has elected to honor a long-suffering dissident in a regime that brooks no dissent. Once more, right-thinking people around the globe -- including President Obama, last year's Nobel peace laureate -- have hailed the committee for its inspiring choice. Once more, activists hope that the prize will make a difference to the dissident, to the democracy movement in his country and to the cause of human rights.
And once more, they'll be wrong.
This year the dissident of choice is Liu Xiaobo. Liu is, as the committee says, "the foremost symbol" of the struggle for human rights in China.… Seguir leyendo »
Barack Obama -- president and Nobel laureate. Not bad for a fellow just five years removed from the Illinois Senate. But caveat victor: The president may soon regret having won this honor, and the Nobel committee may regret having awarded it to him.
First, let's dispense with the usual criticisms. Yes, the award was politically motivated. But the Peace Prize has always sought to further a particular liberal vision in world affairs. (This wasn't even the first time the committee has implicitly criticized the Bush administration: Jimmy Carter's award in 2002, hailing the principles of "mediation and international cooperation," came just as the Bush White House was flexing its muscles toward Iraq.)… Seguir leyendo »