Wednesday Night #2170

Written by  //  October 18, 2023  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2170

The Israel-Hamas War
The world is consumed by news, information, rumors, disinformation in every media form.Never have we witnessed a more all-ecompassing illustration of the fog of war.
Wednesday’s debate was concentrated on who is/was to blame for the Gaza hospital blast that has killed hundreds, wrecking Biden’s summit with Arabs. Protesters staged anti-Israeli demonstrations around the Middle East – Europe and North America over the fireball that engulfed the Gaza Strip’s Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital late on Tuesday, which Palestinian officials said killed 471 people. They blamed what they said was an Israeli air strike, while Israel said that the lack of an impact crater at site shows it is not to blame, and charges that it was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied responsibility.
New Delhi TV reports Israel Army Puts Out Before-After Footage Of Gaza Hospital Bombing – The Israel military claimed that their weapons, especially their rockets, were high-impact and create craters at the site they hit. While Al Jazeera posts  Denials of responsibility and deleted social media posts arouse suspicion around Israel’s view of the attack.
And so it goes, with individual positions entrenched with or without factual information.
See Long reads How to talk about Israel
There is even a war of maps on social media and citations of long pieces on the History of ancient Israel and Judah to support arguments of historical relationships with the land.
We have seen tragic accounts of the wonderful people whose lives were taken in the Hamas massacre, and photos of the most vulnerable hostages. Mourners, body bags, crippled civilians of all ages …
We still don’t know who is really holding up emergency relief for the Gazans.
And we are no nearer knowing the truth about what happened, let alone of being in a position to forecast the eventual outcome.

Whatever unfolds in the Gaza war, judgment day looms for Netanyahu
The shock Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas gunmen has rallied Israelis to one another. But there is little love shown for a government being widely accused of dropping the country’s guard and engulfing it in a Gaza war that is rattling the region.

Québec Bill 96/Education
While we fret and lose sleep over events in Israel, Palestine and the Middle East, the government of Quebec has chosen to disrupt the English-language academic institutions. This time, maybe they have gone too far?
Quebec to double tuition fees for out-of-province students attending English universities
‘They’re sending out signals… that effectively students from the rest of Canada who are not francophone are not particularly welcome’
Brilliant slicing and dicing by Paul Wells
This Quebec university tuition thing
Welcome, out-of-province students! Don’t come! Pay more money!
McGill is Canada’s top university: Maclean’s Magazine
Annual university rankings highlight McGill’s continued commitment to students
‘Montreal will lose its place as a leader’ under tuition plan, McGill and business group warn
“Prospective students from outside Quebec may hear the message that they are not welcome,” McGill principal Deep Saini writes in a message to the university’s community.
Denis Hamel,vice-president for workforce development policy of the Conseil du patronat, which represents 70,000 Quebec employers, stated that the organization is “worried, disappointed and surprised” by Quebec’s new tuition strategy, saying it fears the tuition measures will exacerbate the province’s labour shortage and damage Montreal’s status as a university hub.
How will McGill’s donors react to the CAQ move? No more announcements grants like this?
$165-million for McGill University’s world-leading inclusive genomics and RNA research program
The Government of Canada awards McGill the largest research grant in the University’s history to create an international hub for “next generation” medicines
No wonder Francois Philippe Champagne is cited in this article Quebec’s planned tuition hike for out-of-province students draws criticism in Ottawa

Need something else to worry about?
Vladimir Putin feted at Xi Jinping’s global Belt and Road summit
Russian leader Vladimir Putin was given the red carpet treatment at a global summit in Beijing, as China and Russia deepen their solidarity.
Hosted by China’s President Xi Jinping, the meeting celebrated 10 years of his signature foreign and economic policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Mr Putin was the guest of honour among leaders and officials from more than 130 countries.
China to host Belt and Road forum in Beijing Oct 17-18

Some positive developments
Elections in Poland and Ecuador
Poland’s Back Just as Europe Needs Leaders
A record turnout in yesterday’s election looks to have helped the pro-European opposition defeat the nationalist Law & Justice party that has ruled for eight years with a Poland First mentality.
Ecuador’s youngest elected president faces a practically impossible task
Ecuador ‘s youngest elected president on Monday faced the practically impossible task of reducing a terrifying, drug-driven crime wave within a greatly shortened 1 1/2 years in office.
His voters were, among other things, frightened by the escalation of drug violence over the past three years. Killings, kidnappings, robberies and other criminal activities have become part of everyday life, leaving Ecuadorians wondering when, not if, they will be victims.
Banana empire heir holds lead with more than half the votes counted in Ecuador presidential race

Kosovo and Serbia to restart talks
The talks will aim to revive an EU-brokered peace framework that envisions de facto recognition of Kosovo in exchange for Kosovo giving broad autonomy to Serbs in the north.
There is a strong incentive to make progress: The EU will soon begin meetings on enlarging the union. Serbia and Kosovo both want in, but Brussels has been clear that it can’t happen until they make peace.

Jim Jordan is not giving up (Next Speaker vote set for Thursday as Jordan looks to win backers).
It appears no one can unite this GOP House caucus -at least for now- so, given the need to respond to the Israel crisis and to bargain with Democrats to avoid yet another threatened government shutdown next month, it is suggested that Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, now acting as the temporary speaker, be given the job for some set period (perhaps one to three months) while Republicans try again to work out their differences. Given the fates of ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California and failed wannabe replacement Steve Scalise of Louisiana, it appears no one can unite this GOP House caucus. At least for now. Senate Republicans offer support for McHenry to break House impasse

IMF/World Bank annual meetings
The world’s top finance chiefs just issued their first joint communique in almost two years. But it’s hardly a sign that the developed and emerging markets which make up the Group of 20 are on the same page, or that they’re ready to coordinate when it comes to economic and financial risks.
In fact, it’s a step backwards.
The statement on Friday won backing only by leaving out what many at the gathering in Marrakech, Morocco, said is the greatest risk: a new Israel-Hamas war. … The danger of focusing on such awkward (and arguably meaningless) communiques is that many members will question whether it’s worth attending these meetings at all. And that would be a shame, since a further fragmentation of the global economy would undermine the powerful forces of trade and financial integration that have lifted large swaths of humanity out of abject poverty.

The sixth annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum will return to Singapore November 8-10, mobilizing the world’s most influential leaders
This year’s theme, “Embracing Instability,” highlights the challenges confronting the global economy and underscores the opportunity to better understand and address underlying issues such as persistent inflation, geopolitical tensions, the rise of artificial intelligence and the precarious state of the world’s climate.

Singapore’s $20 Million Shophouses Are Blazing-Hot Properties
“Everything is new in Singapore except for shophouses, so in a way these are works of art”
In the island nation’s real estate market, the distinctive two- to three-story row buildings can fetch $4,000 a square foot.
30 years after a devastating earthquake, this school in India continues a legacy of support for survivors
Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana’s educational rehabilitation school in Pune, India, was founded to support the complex needs of students who have experienced natural disasters and other traumatic crises. The school hopes to be a model for disaster relief around the world.
A recent post on Facebook asked whether anyone knew the name of the huge bookstore -new and secondhand- on Craig Street. It was demolished along with everything in that block to make way for the Palais des congrès. The replies were both entertaining and highly informative. Best of all, they included the information that the descendants of founder Reg Russell operate the thriving Russell Books Ltd. in Victoria. George Kestevan, do you know it?

Long reads
Anne Applebaum Poland Shows That Autocracy Is Not Inevitable
(The Atlantic) Even if you don’t live in Poland, don’t care about Poland, and can’t find Poland on a map, take note: The victory of the Polish opposition proves that autocratic populism can be defeated, even after an unfair election. Nothing is inevitable about the rise of autocracy or the decline of democracy. Invest your time in political and civic organization if you want to create change, because sometimes it works.
Hamas, Israel and the ‘yes, but’ squad
Whenever there is a terrorist atrocity somewhere in the world, you can count on hearing from the “yes, but” squad.
They always insist they don’t mean to condone violence. No, no, no, no. They just want to help us understand the “root causes” of the atrocity; to explain it; to put it in the proper context; to remind us who is truly, ultimately at fault.
So it was after last week’s Hamas attack on Israel. The assaults were barely over before the “yes, but” squad was out there contextualizing.

Lest Darkness Fall
There’s still time to avert a new dark age.
Democracies overseas are under siege, and some Americans think the United States should stay out of those struggles. But supporting our friends and allies against barbarism is both in our national interest and part of our identity as a people.
Richard Haass: What Friends Owe Friends
Why Washington Should Restrain Israeli Military Action in Gaza—and Preserve a Path to Peace
An Invasion of Gaza Would Be a Disaster for Israel
America Must Prevail on Its Ally to Step Back From the Brink
How to talk about Israel
Evan Solomon
… How does one talk about all this without succumbing to both-sidesism, or simply just taking a side and forgetting the context? The danger of descending into an oversimplified binary view of good and evil diminishes understanding. That doesn’t help. In a war, just acknowledging victims in Israel and Gaza can be politically divisive. There are deeply divisive, historical, religious political views tied up in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and it is hard to disentangle them without offending one side or another.
Still, it is possible to condemn the horrifying, criminal carnage of Hamas – an annihilationist terror group whose very charter openly advocates for the destruction and erasure of Israel – while still maintaining critical views of Israeli policy on Gaza and the West Bank.

And finally, to conclude with a smile:

Meet Newton, Concordia’s first full-time therapy dog
If all of this news has depressed you, we suggest you head to Concordia to commune with Newton the five- months old Portuguese water puppy. At the very least, check out his pictures and smile!

Comments are closed.