Wednesday Night #2185

Written by  //  January 31, 2024  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2185

As Nazi death camp survivors marked the 79th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation on Holocaust Remembrance Day -27 January, Ron Meisels pays tribute to Raoul Wallenberg.

Kyle Matthews draws attention to the NYT story What Might Happen Next in the Genocide Case Against Israel – Exploring the role of the International Court of Justice in human rights.
En première page du Devoir cette fin de semaine, his colleague Marie Lamensch décortique le jugement de la Cour internationale de justice sur Gaza et Israël. Le jugement de la Cour internationale de justice sur Gaza et Israël décortiqué en cinq questions

The UNRWA debate
Tony Deutsch forwarded the National Post’s decidedly pro-Israel and anti-UN Canada’s UNRWA funding pause was a long time coming, observers say.
‘The evidence was so stark that there was clearly documentation that shows members of UNRWA were actually moonlighting as terrorists’
Not everyone agrees with this view. Many note that Millions of Palestinians rely on UNRWA. Why is the US suspending funding based on Israeli accusations?
The NP rant was written prior to the reports that Israeli special forces disguised as doctors killed three militants at West Bank hospital – Counter-terrorism officers enter Jenin’s Ibn Sina hospital wearing doctors’ scrubs and women’s clothes. — The Economist asks: Did Israeli forces disguised as medics breach the laws of war?Disguising a soldier as a doctor can be an act of “perfidy”

Jaime Webb, President & CEO at United Nations Association in Canada
I welcome discussion on my decision. It was difficult but, in the end, I believe in the UN
“I extend my assurance to our Canadian supporters who generously contributed funds to aid Gaza. We will uphold our commitment to continue passing these resources to UNRWA. I am satisfied by the prompt and decisive measures UNRWA has implemented against those who took part in the terrorist attacks of October 7th. It is crucial to acknowledge that civilians in Gaza cannot ‘pause’ in their struggles to feed their families and access medical care.”
On Wednesday, it was reported that Donors Rally Behind UNRWA, as U.N. Seeks to Restore Confidence
The U.S. envoy to the United Nations urged it to “take quick and decisive action” over Israeli allegations that 12 employees of UNRWA, the main aid agency for Palestinians, had taken part in the Oct. 7 attack.

While debating the wisdom -or not- of withholding funds from UNRWA, this interview with War Child Canada founder Samantha Nutt, is a poignant reminder of the many refugees who feel forgotten by the wider world
What it’s like working with the world’s ‘forgotten’ refugees (CBC radio The Current)

Biden’s Options Range From Unsatisfying to Risky After American Deaths
President Biden is balancing political pressures, military calculations and regional fragility after a drone strike killed three service members.

Good news and bad news from Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine exchange hundreds of war prisoners
Russia and Ukraine exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war on Wednesday, just a week after Moscow said Kyiv had shot down a plane carrying dozens of captured Ukrainian soldiers.
Still no confirmation of news regarding the plane.
Bloomberg reports that Ukraine issued a stark warning to allies that it faces a “critical” shortage of artillery shells as Russia deploys three times as much firepower on the front lines. And the shortage is growing worse. However, according to Politico, the Pentagon has successfully tested a new long-range precision bomb for Ukraine that was expected to arrive on the battlefield as soon as Wednesday.
…some key Republican senators are signaling they could drop demands for harsher immigration restrictions as their price for helping Ukraine, and would back a stand-alone emergency aid package for the besieged country, along with funds for Israel and Taiwan.

C Uday Bhaskar forwarded “An article by my wife Ira ….may be of interest…..”
Today is Jan 30th….. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on this day in 1948
The Ram Rajya Being Imagined Is Certainly Not That of Gandhi’s
While in Pakistan, as the Guardian correspondent (rightly) sneers: Pakistani military use age-old tactics to keep Imran Khan away from election
and Reuters elaborates:
Analysts believe the party of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Khan’s main political opponent is the frontrunner to form the next government. Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, were convicted and jailed over graft allegations days before the last general election in 2018. Analysts say that that helped Khan win, while Khan’s sentence now helps Sharif. Both blame the military.
Khan’s sentencing just before the polls will “raise questions about the election’s credibility”, said Mazhar Abbas, a Karachi-based analyst.
Finally, some positive developments in Myanmar where anti-coup forces say they are moving closer to victory over the generals who seized power in a coup three years ago, energised by the successes of a major offensive that began at the end of October.
Speaking from an undisclosed location inside Myanmar at an online forum, NUG Acting President Duwa Lashi La said anti-coup forces had made “stunning gains” since the start of Operation 1027, which was launched late last year by an alliance of ethnic armed groups and resistance fighters.

Oh! Canada.
Parliament is again in session. So far, lots of talk, but no action on housing, inflation, immigration… Not altogether true, as the Federal government pledges more money to help with refugee housing crisis and ubiquitous Marc Miller announces $362 million to help provinces and cities.
Added to Mme Joly’s woes: Authorities investigating massive security breach at Global Affairs Canada
and The foreign interference inquiry begins in her opening remarks, Commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue declared “”We represent the public interest and our goal is to uncover the truth, whatever it may be.” Well, that’s a relief.
You will also be happy to learn that Hungry, hungry otters may help marshes with climate change
They eat a lot of crabs’

There is more -isn’t there always?- but we will save analyses and discussion as things are revealed, or unraveled, and we continue the debate on the use of the Emergencies Act

Prior to the state funeral held for Ed Broadbent on Sunday, Sauvé alumnus  and former policy director at the then-nascent Broadbent Institute, Jonathan Sas,  who was also a eulogist at the funeral, wrote this long, heartfelt tribute: For Ed Broadbent, socialism meant providing for average people — and fighting for the cause

Thursday, 1 February
The Atwater Library Lunchtime Series,
12:30 to 1:30 pm
renowned lawyer Julius Grey reviews the state of Anglophone rights in Quebec and discusses legal challenges to recent legislation.
In Person and By Zoom: To REGISTER and get the Zoom link

Thursday, 8 February
6-8 pm
Do Human Rights and Rules-Based Systems Still Matter?
Tom Nacos & Family Annual Lecture
lecture by award-winning lawyer, educator and author, Professor Pearl Eliadis
McGill University Faculty Club, 3452 Rue McTavish

Thursday, 29 February
Comment faire une carrière en affaires internationales?
Un ex-diplomate canadien et un ex-communicateur pour la Banque mondiale échangeront sur leur cheminement professionel.
You’d like to start a career in international affairs, but you’re not sure where to start? Come listen to two people from the Montreal area who have done it. One is an ex-World Bank communications manager, Christopher Neal, and the other is a former Canadian diplomat, Martial Pagé. They will discuss their respective career paths. An event co-sponsored by the Canadian International Council (Montreal branch), and the United Nations Association in Canada of Greater Montréal.

Chita Rivera, ‘West Side Story’ Broadway star, dead at 91
Chita Rivera, the musical theater legend and multiple Tony winner who created the role of Puerto Rican firebrand Anita on Broadway in “West Side Story” and other memorable characters, has died at the age of 91.
The petite, raven-haired dancer, singer and actress made history when she became the first Hispanic woman to receive a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2009.
Explorer may have found wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s plane in Pacific
A former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer says he believes he has found the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s plane, which disappeared nine decades ago, on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean using sonar data from a deep-sea drone.
Hoping to solve an 87-year-old mystery, explorer Tony Romeo plans to launch a mission later this year or next to find the long-lost plane, which a massive U.S. search failed to do in 1937.
Trump Risks Losing More Than Half of Swing-State Voters If Found Guilty
Even more voters say they won’t support him if he’s sent to prison.
2023 research round up
Ten top McGill research stories of 2023

Long reads
A Biden Doctrine for the Middle East Is Forming. And It’s Big.
Thomas Friedman
There are two things I believe about the widening crisis in the Middle East.
We are about to see a new Biden administration strategy unfold to address this multifront war involving Gaza, Iran, Israel and the region — what I hope will be a “Biden Doctrine” that meets the seriousness and complexity of this dangerous moment.
And if we don’t see such a big, bold doctrine, the crisis in the region is going to metastasize in ways that will strengthen Iran, isolate Israel and leave America’s ability to influence events there for the better in tatters.
The Middle East’s arc of conflict is spiraling
Analysis by Ishaan Tharoor
As much as the White House may be seeking restraint, events on the ground in the Middle East are accelerating in a worrying direction. Israel continues its onslaught in Gaza that has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians and provoked a ruinous humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, flash points are erupting elsewhere in the shadow of the ongoing war.
Thanks to Andrew Molson for drawing our attention to
Why business needs the humanities: Focusing on STEM degrees has its own economic cost
We value degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and sideline softer domains like the humanities
We have reposted on LinkedIn and highly recommend you check out the numerous thoughtful comments.

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