Another Tack: Thanks for the revelations

Kerry & Indyk - a succession of foreign emissaries and politicos came and went but israel consistently recoiled from the notion of shuttle diplomacy, go-betweens or overseers such as Indyk.With the Syrian thriller and its spin-off machinations keeping us at the edge of our seats, who had time to at all notice much less care about the volubility of Ramallah’s honchos?

Too much distracting din made it difficult to pay much mind to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies. But this didn’t keep them from babbling and what they revealed deserved our attention – even if the utterances in question weren’t the sort that the more politically correct in our midst prefer we dwell on.

The Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadida daily quoted Abbas as bluntly issuing the following ultimatum when addressing a visiting Arab athletic delegation: “We told the present Israeli negotiators that if you want to go back on what was agreed with [former Israeli premier Ehud] Olmert, we will go back on our agreement for a land swap and so we will ask for all of the 1967 land as is.”

Elaborating further, Abbas claimed that Olmert at the time asked for territorial exchanges amounting to 6% of Judea and Samaria while the Palestinians wouldn’t go beyond 1.9%. Continue reading

Another Tack: Heed the broken mirror

An IDF illustration showing the dangers that Hezbollah poses for Israel, after it has presumably been disarmed via Resolution 1701What’s the likely outcome of the US-Russia accord on Syria’s chemical arsenal? Look no further than what happened to UN Resolution 1701 of seven years ago. That resolution, which ended the Second Lebanon War and which purportedly eliminated Hezbollah’s missile armories, is a mirror image of the non-disarmament-to-come.

It is also Tzipi Livni’s self-proclaimed crowning achievement during her stint as then-PM Ehud Olmert’s foreign minister. To any visitor from Mars who may be uninformed, self-same Livni is currently in charge of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Resolution 1701 is a sad object lesson about the immoral malfunction of high-minded international agreements to destroy dangerous weapons stockpiles. The Syrian counterpart may not evolve in identical patterns but its inevitable bottom line will be no different than that of the dismal gag that Resolution 1701 turned out to be. Continue reading

Another Tack: Flat Earth – 20 years on

An antique wood engraving by an unknown artist showing a man peeing out beyond the earth’s edgeTime was when sensible folks truly believed that if you venture too far, you’ll fall off Earth’s jagged edge into the endless void below. That was the majority view, the widely-accepted and fundamentally unquestioned conventional wisdom.

By today, though, one would assume that nobody swallows that any more, certainly not in the erudite parts of what we’ve for centuries recognized as our globe.

Welcome to the International Flat Earth Society, now largely California-based (where else?). You think IFES-members are crazy? You’d be surprised to learn that they’ve diagnosed the rest of us as profoundly insane for not grasping reality as they know we should.

They reject as counterfeits all compelling scientific data. These, they insist, are elaborate deceptions cynically perpetrated on humanity – for inexplicable purposes – by successive US administrations via their principal charlatan agency, NASA.

This isn’t a joke. The flat-Earthers are real and they are dead-earnest. No amount of proof will sway them – like no amount of proof sways our inveterate Osloites.  Continue reading