Hope is deeply ingrained in the Israeli consciousness, along with resilience, creativity, progress, democracy, self-criticism, and decency. There is sometimes unavoidable friction among them, but cumulatively they make Israel a unique modern miracle among nations. May 8, the 60th anniversary, offers the lesson of Israel's experience to the world.
Israel's Left and Right argue and re-argue about how to relieve Israel of the burdens and threats from Gaza and the West Bank, and Iran. These arguments, however, are largely subsumed by hope, hope without much evidence to support it. There's quite a difference between constructive optimism and potentially lethal leaps. Still, the strengths of Israel's other national characteristics are what makes hope possible. For example, Colette Avital, a Labor Party Knesset member, argues:
At the end of the decade, the traditional disagreements between left and right have lost much of their relevance, as a majority of Israelis support the end of occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state. Moreover, the debate on the path to follow seems to be over, too. Unilateralism is largely discredited as an option. Our negotiating partner is our partner, however imperfect. Israelis may be less hopeful than they were, but they are more realistic in their demands. They know the limits of military power. What's more, they know that time is running out. It may just be that sense of urgency that will make an agreement possible at the end of 2008.
One may be excused for dismissing this hopefulness. But, it must be realized it is deeply felt by a broad range of the public in Israel and the US, and comes more from strength than from weakness of spirit. Hope is what Israel is, ultimately, about. Israel's national anthem is Hope, Hatikvah. That Hope is based upon the diaspora's return to Israel to live in peace and progress.
Brookes News Update
Bernanke gets it wrong: Bernanke is said to be an expert on the Great Depression and that it has shaped his thinking about the role of the Fed. Be that as it may, Bernanke's actions suggest that far from absorbing the lessons of the 1930s he has in fact hammered them into a Keynesian mould. And this is why we just got another rates cut
Emissions trading - a weapon of mass taxation: Although consumers in many countries will bear the oppressive costs of a carbon tax, there may be no reduction whatsoever in CO2 emissions, and no beneficial effect on the world's climate. But parasitic companies formed to exploit carbon tax will reap billions from ripping off the public and savaging its living standards
Debt and monetary policy - is there a link?: It is a pretty sorry state of affairs when economic commentators can write of consumer spending and debt driving the economy without once referring to monetary policy. It is even worse when the same commentators write about monetary policy without even alluding to the money supply
Body of South American youth mutilated near Guantanamo: Has Cuba's Stasi-trained secret police been murder South American students for their organs? The mutilated body Beatriz Porco of a 22-year-old Bolivian student found near Guantanamo suggest that this is the case. But this should not surprise us considering that Castro ordered political prisoners to be drained of their blood
Wages and risk: another leftwing fallacy: Leftists argue that labour flexibility and productivity schemes are attempts to shift the risks of doing business from the firm to its employees. This is pure baloney
Feed the World: Though he is already being belaboured by the self-haters in the left-wing commentariat, the Western consumer did not choose to implement costly and economically nonsensical biofuel policies; he had such ill-thought out intervention foisted upon him by ignorant politicians and greenie fanatics
The silent jihad against the west: Active jihad, the holy war, is terrorism. But there is also another form of jihad that is part of the deliberate effort to have Islam replace all concepts of morality and the values held dear by the rest of us. The name of this silent fifth column effort is Sharia Banking
Osprey exceeds expectations in Iraq test : "Textron Inc and Boeing Co's MV22 Osprey, the world's first operational half-helicopter half-airplane, performed far better in its Iraq combat debut than had been predicted by critics, the general in charge of Marine Corps aircraft said Friday. The hybrid aircraft is "just going to become more and more valuable across the board," including for Air Force special operations, said Marine Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation. "Most of the critics are just plain wrong in many of the things they say," Trautman told a Pentagon briefing marking the return from Iraq last week of the first Marine Corps operational Osprey squadron. He said Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 did "every single mission that they were asked to do" during a seven month deployment. The Marines were just starting to exploit the tilt-rotor aircraft's "new and revolutionary technology," he added"
CNN Declares Itself a "Wright Free Zone," Explaining That "Our Viewers Want Us to MoveOn.org (TM)": "Funny how the networks are quick to accede to the political desires of liberals, without worrying too much about "pandering" or subcontracting their own highly-trained sense of news-value to the lay public, so long as that lay public can be used as a pretext to do what what the liberals in the newsroom want to do anyway. Imagine if FoxNews announced "We're going to have Wright updates every half hour, because that's what our viewers want." I imagine they'd be castigated for deferring to their bitter, gun-clinging audiences' wishes. Because CNN has a better audience, of course. It's liberal, and, as such, can be trusted to help make the big news-judgment decisions. Because ultimately it's not a J-school credential that empowers one to decide what should and should not be in the national debate -- it's an adherence to the liberal political philosophy."
Bratton for Britain: "The man who cleaned up the streets of New York is to help mastermind Boris Johnson's crime crackdown in London. U.S. police chief Bill Bratton will advise the new Tory mayor on how 'zero tolerance' of graffiti, fare-dodging and other minor crimes can prevent more serious offending. The move underlines Mr Johnson's determination to wage war on youth violence and anti-social behaviour. It chimes with David Cameron's promise to fight back against social breakdown and is further evidence that the capital will be a test-bed for a future Tory government. Yesterday Mr Johnson proposed the creation of up to 100 weekend clubs, involving 'competition, discipline and punishment', to help troubled teenagers. The 'respect schools' will offer youngsters activities such as football and boxing alongside academic subjects to help them perform the 'handbrake turn' needed to put them on the path to educational achievement. Mr Johnson will today flesh out his manifesto pledge to tackle crime on public transport, with patrols on buses and Tubes and a ban on drinking alcohol on the Underground."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)