Historical

Polish Ambassador: Why the Antidefamation Law is Justified

“Holocaust denial is not only denial of German crimes, but also other ways of falsifying history.” Piotr Wilczek The National Interest Over the past several days there have been many voices around the world commenting on Poland’s recently passed antidefamation legislation. Some unfortunately misinterpreted the wording of the legislation, others expressed concern, but almost all who spoke did so out of care for the memory of the Holocaust. This at its core, is Poland’s principle concern as well. The memory ... Read More »

Be realistic – demand the impossible: the legacy of 1968

The events of May 1968 in Paris and then France more generally still resonate as a graphic illustration of the potential for relatively peaceful and wealthy societies to explode in spontaneous anger. Simon Tormey The Conversation May 1968 was not an uprising against tyranny or manifest injustice of a kind that animated the civil rights movement. Starting out as a set of demonstrations against university reform, the French uprisings quickly gathered momentum in a manner that almost defies explanation. Part ... Read More »

Guns and the British empire

Eighteenth-century Indian arms were as sophisticated as European. Then came the British Empire to drive industry backwards Priya Satia Aeon In the mid-18th century, advanced areas of northwest Europe and east and south Asia enjoyed roughly comparable life expectancy, rates of consumption, and potential for economic growth. But around 1800, in what scholars call the ‘great divergence’, the power and wealth of the West suddenly and dramatically eclipsed that of India, China and the Ottoman Empire. The British in particular ... Read More »

Israeli Knesset Rejects Bill Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

JERUSALEM (A.W.)—The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday, which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Weekly Sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, the bill was rejected in a preliminary vote. “There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying. “The Israeli leadership diminishes itself by so ... Read More »

Guide to the classics: Sappho, a poet in fragments

For those who have read the fragmented remains of the Greek poet, Sappho the loss of most of her poetic corpus is something to regret. Marguerite Johnson The Conversation With a mere two complete poems extant from nine books of verse, much is left to the imagination in the reconstruction of the output (and life) of this most mysterious of ancient poets. In a world dominated by male voices whose view of life, the universe and everything was the loudest and most ... Read More »

Archaeologists trace lost settlements of Glencoe destroyed after 1692 massacre

Archaeologists are to trace the lost settlements of the Glencoe Massacre for the first time and place the human story of the atrocity back into one of Scotland’s most visited landscapes. Alison Campsie The Scotsman National Trust for Scotland has carried out initial survey work at three former settlements which fall within its property at the glen with more detailed studies due to follow. Glencoe was the scene of one of Scotland’s most infamous murders of the clan era when ... Read More »

Trump’s ‘America First’ meets China’s ‘community of common destiny’

Just as President Donald Trump has reached back into U.S. history to draw inspiration for his “America First” policy from President Andrew Jackson’s mid-19th century populism, so too is Chinese President Xi Jinping reaching back to the Zhou dynasty 3,000 years ago — which lasted longer than the… Nathan Gardels The Washington Post Xi’s idea of a “new era” of global relations based on a “community of common destiny” is drawn from the concept of tianxia — or “all under heaven,” ... Read More »

Non-Violence Uses Love as Force

“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored…there is a type of of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth.…So the purpose of the direct action is to create a… Richard Moser CounterPunch The Civil Rights movements’ primary strategic approach was non-violent mass civil ... Read More »

The Quiet Diplomacy to Save the Olympics in a Nuclear Standoff

BEIJING — In late December, a group of teenagers from North Korea traveled to the Chinese city of Kunming to play in an obscure under-15 soccer tournament. By JANE PERLEZ, CHOE SANG-HUN and REBECCA R. RUIZ The New York Times On the field, under a wintry sun, they faced teams from China and South Korea. Off the field, there was an unusual spectator: Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the province in South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics. Mr. Choi had flown more than 1,000 ... Read More »

Portugal confronts its slave trade past

Planned monument in Lisbon sparks debate over race and history LISBON — Over five centuries after it launched the Atlantic slave trade, Portugal is preparing to build a memorial to the millions of Africans its ships carried into bondage. Paul Ames Politico Citizens of Lisbon voted in December for the monument to be built on a quayside where slave ships once unloaded. Yet although the memorial has broad support, a divisive debate has ignited over how Portugal faces up to ... Read More »

Brexit attacks on civil service ‘are worthy of 1930s Germany’

Ex-cabinet secretary attacks tactics of leading Brexiters who have accused Whitehall of sabotaging UK’s exit from EU Michael Savage The Guardian Leading Brexiters who accuse civil servants of sabotaging Britain’s exit from the EU are adopting dangerous tactics similar to those of rightwing German nationalists between the two world wars, a former head of the civil service has warned. In a stark assessment of the acute tensions developing over the issue, Andrew Turnbull, who led the civil service under Tony ... Read More »

Remembering the Holocaust in Ukraine

Some countries in Eastern Europe, like Ukraine, remain reluctant to fully confront the darker aspects of their nation’s World War II history. Josh Cohen The National Interest With Holocaust Remembrance Day dawning last Saturday, it’s important to remember that the Nazis could not have implemented the Shoah without widespread assistance from local collaborators. While Western European nations have largely come to grips with the fact that some of their citizens collaborated with the Nazis, some countries in Eastern Europe remain ... Read More »

The refugee crisis isn’t about refugees. It’s about us

I was a child refugee, writes the Chinese artist and activist. I know how it feels to live in a camp, robbed of my humanity. Refugees must be seen to be an essential part of our shared humanity Ai Weiwei The Guardisn I was born in 1957, the same year China purged more than 300,000 intellectuals, including writers, teachers, journalists and whoever dared to criticise the newly established communist government. As part of a series of campaigns led by what ... Read More »

Dunkirk and Darkest Hour fuel Brexit fantasies – even if they weren’t meant to

The glorious myths of Britain’s wartime role are gaining ground Ian Jack The Guardian Unfortunately for our understanding of Britain’s past and our estimate of its likely future, the Oscars have no category for the untrue: “for the movie”, as the host might put it as he or she fingers the envelope, “that most energetically disrespects the historical record”. If there were, two contenders high on this year’s fibbers’ list would be Dunkirk and Darkest Hour – films that between ... Read More »

Invasion Day Post

A line comes to mind in contemplating those who have come to our shores over the past two centuries ‘They came from the old world to the new, only to discover it was far more ancient than the old.’ Arnold Zable Twenty-two years ago, 1995. I am standing in front of a map of the State of Victoria as seen through Aboriginal eyes. Dated 1836 till 1853, titled The Massacre Map, it marks over sixty sites of known killings of ... Read More »

Inconvenient fact: Native title can only exist if Australia was settled, not invaded

January is here and the invasion versus settlement debate is back making news headlines The Prime Minister wants to keep Australia Day as it is while the Greens are calling for the date to be changed Sherry Sufi * WAtoday We’ve all heard the generic talking points. Team ‘Invasion Day’ says 26 January is offensive to some Australians. Team ‘Australia Day’ says 26 January is a day for all Australians regardless. Yet there is a fundamental point which goes to ... Read More »