Historical

Why Can’t I Criticize My Religion?

When I received a letter from a Shiite religious preacher from the United Kingdom, it did not surprise me. Majid Rafizadeh Gatestone Institute I receive many similar letters from extremist Muslims all over the world, as well as Western liberals, socialists, and others. Each time, opening these letters, I prepare for criticism of my careful scrutiny of my religion. As expected, the letter began with a familiar suggestion: “Stop criticizing your own religion.” The letter went on to support this ... Read More »

Armenian Cypriots Ask Israel to Condemn Turkey Genocide

NICOSIA, Cyprus — As Jews in Cyprus laid the cornerstone last week for a museum here that will chronicle the post-Holocaust internment of survivors in detention camps after World War II, leaders of… Larry Luxner The Times of Israel Cyprus is home to some 3,500 Armenians — about the same as the number of Jews who inhabit this predominantly Greek Orthodox country of 1.2 million. “We go back to 578 A.D., during the Byzantine Era, when the first Armenians settled ... Read More »

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. Anne Applebaum The Atlantic On December 31, 1999, we threw a party. It was the end of one millennium and the start of a new one; people very much wanted to celebrate, preferably somewhere exotic. Our party fulfilled that criterion. We held it at Chobielin, the manor house in northwest Poland that my husband ... Read More »

British Jacobins on the march in Brexit revolution

You’re either with or against us, say both sides. By TOM MCTAGUE Politico LONDON — Britain has been radicalized by Brexit. As the clock ticks down to D (as in EU departure) Day on March 29, 2019, both sides are digging in for the coming battle over whatever deal Theresa May is able to bring back from Brussels later this year. For the Brexiteers, the battle cry is “chuck Chequers,” deal or no deal. For the arch Remainers, it’s chuck ... Read More »

Is Democracy Dying?

The Atlantic Democracy Reader For 161 years, magazine contributors have written about the gravest dangers and darkest hours for America’s political institutions. Annika Neklason The Atlantic “Democracy in America … is suffering from unforeseen evils, as well as enjoying unforeseen blessings. It will probably be worse before it is better,” wrote The Nation’s founder E. L. Godkin in a July 1896 article for The Atlantic, expressing a sentiment that resonates across eras in the magazine’s pages. “Democracy in the United States is at greater ... Read More »

Germany’s heated asylum debate has dark parallels to events 30 years ago

It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter… Constantin Eckner The Conversation Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a… Since then, German politics has been largely dominated by that one controversial matter – asylum policy. In early September 2018, xenophobic riots rocked ... Read More »

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Julian Burnside Oration: Fear is the great threat to multiculturalism in Australia

Last night, the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC gave the annual Walter Lipmann Oration at the Melbourne Town Hall presented by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Julian Burnside Daily Review His speech is reproduced in its entirety below. In it, Burnside charts Australia’s inconsistent, if not volatile, approach to multiculturalism and how the John Howard Tampa affair has shaped the last 17 sorry years of our treatment of refugees. He argues that the Tampa episode, coupled with the terror attack of ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Prevent a Russia-China Axis

Here’s how the U.S. can avoid driving the two countries together. Anja Manuel The Atlantic Chinese tanks splashed through the mud, while a few dozen helicopters flew in formation overhead in eastern Russia, and a young Chinese military recruit explained, “I have never experienced an overseas deployment of this scale.” The scene neatly summed up the much-written-about, enormous Russian military exercises that took place this week. Participants included 300,000 Russian and 3,200 Chinese soldiers. They deeply rattled the… It’s Not ... Read More »

‘Boat person’ Frank Lowy calls for more migrants

Billionaire Sir Frank Lowy has warned Australia would be “moving in the wrong direction” if calls for a lower migrant intake are heeded. Richard Wood 9news The Central European-born businessman last night gave the 15th annual address of the think tank he founded, the Lowy Institute. Mr Lowy, 87, told a gathering of business and political figures he backed a “big Australia”, but noted his views on expanding the country puts him at odds with many. The Wesfield co-founder was ... Read More »

Dangerous Democracy: The Problem With ‘The Will Of The People’

Westerners don’t really live in democracies, at least not ones where the true majority prevails, writes Stuart Rees. New Matilda Characters in Australia who advocate government by plebiscite think that such a voter mechanism would represent the will of the people and would therefore be truly democratic. A quick look at the political impasse in the ol’ mother country shows the absurdity of such thinking. To justify exiting Europe, Britain’s Brexit politicians keep repeating that they are following ‘the will ... Read More »

Macron to admit French torture during Algerian War

French president will recognize that the French military tortured and ultimately killed Maurice Audin. Zachary Young Politico PARIS — France was responsible for the disappearance of a pro-Algerian activist in 1957, Emmanuel Macron is set to acknowledge Thursday. Maurice Audin, a mathematician and member of the Algerian Communist Party (ACP), disappeared in Algiers in June 1957 after having been arrested in his home by French military. French intelligence suspected him of sheltering soldiers from the ACP’s guerrilla wing during the… ... Read More »

SNP activists to hold ‘day of action’ on independence referendum

The SNP is to hold a national “day of action” on Scottish independence later this month, taking the temperature of the nation as it continues its preparations for a second referendum. Chris Green The Scotsman The party’s depute leader Keith Brown said MPs, MSPs and activists would be given a target of speaking to 50,000 people across the country on 29… Revealing the plans in an interview with The Scotsman’s sister title inews.co.uk, he said the party would be “making ... Read More »

UN Secretary-General: American Power Is in Decline, the World Is ‘in Pieces’

Is Democracy Dying? António Guterres confronts the “reemergence of irrationality” in global politics. Uri Friedman The Atlantic For the past two years, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has watched as President Donald Trump upends American foreign policy, engaging in trade wars while simultaneously disengaging from international agreements and… And now Guterres has reached a verdict: The United States, once the guarantor of global stability, is losing its ability to influence world events. “I think that the soft ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

National anthem protest: 9yo refuses to stand because anthem is for ‘white people of Australia’

Teachers at a Brisbane primary school have disciplined a nine-year-old girl for refusing to stand for the national anthem during assembly. By Talissa Siganto and staff ABC Primary school student Harper Nielsen was given a lunch time detention on Friday for peacefully protesting against the song she said is “wrong”. “When it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us for over 50,000 years,” she said. “When it was originally written, Advance Australia ... Read More »