Moral Relativism vs Israeli Clarification

Beyond the Cusp

Moral relativism dies a death of a clarifying reality where there truly are absolutes which obliterate the fuzzy thinking which equates all views into some squishy warm fuzzy amalgam which is presumably harmless. In Israel one lives the inequalities between different cultures and political battles over the land and the different peoples, religious beliefs, virtues and the way all of these interact producing a state where reality becomes one’s teacher. This reality comes home every time on waits for a bus or is in any decent sized crowd as your eyes will peer outward scanning the immediate area for vehicles speeding towards the group. Even when one is walking alone there is the need for situational awareness where one knows all that is occurring within an area of relative proximity looking for someone acting at all different, possibly hands in their pockets appearing to be hiding what they are holding…

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Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

David Cameron is off to the Swiss resort of Davos after PMQs today. But the Prime Minister won’t get much time to enjoy the alpine slopes, as he is planning to use this week’s World Economic Forum to work on winning around EU leaders in the hope of securing a deal next month, which he can then swiftly put to the British people in a June referendum.

The Prime Minister’s team is nervous about letting the referendum renegotiation drag on, fearing that the “optics” of a further migration crisis this summer – with scenes of bodies being washed ashore or fences being torn down – on television news could boost the ‘out’ campaign. And their fears are already coming to pass, with a major migration battle brewing that may leave Nigel Farage feeling like he has just been given a late Christmas present.

Brussels is now trying to force more new arrivals on the UK, with Jean Claude-Juncker preparing to end its ability to deport thousands of failed asylum seekers by tearing up the “Dublin” rules that dictate asylum seekers must stay in the first European country they step foot in. Europe’s border controls are already under severe strain, as thousands of migrants arriving every week, leading European Council head Donald Tusk to warn that the Schengen zone could collapse within weeks. “We have no more than two months to get things under control,” he warned. In order to ease the pressure, Cameron is expected to call on EU leaders to relax trade rules with Jordan to spark economic growth and help “hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees across the region to work”.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Eurosceptics are on the march, with the “Labour Leave” campaign launched today. Six MPs – including Kate Hoey and Roger Godsliff – have written to the Telegraph today urging Britons to back Brexit, and called on Jeremy Corbyn to “challenge” the renegotiation. Might he be tempted to do so at PMQs today? The Labour leader has previously surprised with what he chooses to tackle the Prime Minister on across the despatch box, last week choosing to grill him on housing, rather than the junior doctors’ strike. Major party donor John Mills has also piled on the pressure, calling on Corbyn to allow his MPs to campaign for Out. He said shadow ministers were among those who wanted to exit the union, and that they should be given the freedom to speak out publicly. In campaigners have fired a shot across Labour Leave’s bows, with former TUC chief Brendan Barber saying: “Working people – the people the Labour Party represents – are stronger and better off in Europe.”

The Prime Minister isn’t just relying on Davos in his final push to secure support for renegotiation, with talks set to be held at a conference on the Syria conflict in London early next month. Eurosceptics are waiting to see what he secures, with Chris Grayling – the Leader of the House who is poised to play a leading role in the Out campaign – telling reporters: “It will be for everybody in Cabinet to judge and for the country as a whole to judge because ultimately we are only one vote – it is for the country as a whole to judge.” The Prime Minister’s work won’t be over when he gets a deal, of course, as he’ll have to spend months persuading voters to back it.

Russian Imperialism Meets Illusions of Ottoman Grandeur

In a 2012 speech, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, then foreign minister, predicted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days in power were numbered and that he would depart “within months or weeks.” Almost three and a half years have passed, with Assad still in power, and Davutoglu keeps on making one passionate speech after another about the fate of Syria.

Turkey’s failure to devise a credible policy on Syria has made the country’s leaders nervous. Both Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have lately resorted to more aggressive, but less convincing, rhetoric on Syria. The new rhetoric features many aspects of a Sunni Islamist thinking blended with illusions of Ottoman grandeur.

On December 22, Davutoglu said, “Syrian soil is not, and will not be, part of Russia’s imperialistic goals.” That was a relief to know! All the same, Davutoglu could have been more direct and honest if he said that: “Syrian soil will not be part of Russia’s imperialistic goals because we want it to be part of Turkey’s pro-Sunni, neo-Ottoman imperialistic goals.”


Obama’s Make-Believe Peace With Iran Ushers in a Wild 2016 in the Middle East

It’s hardly surprising that during his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama made no mention of American sailors detained by the naval command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Sure, the president didn’t want a major speech about his achievements at home and abroad overshadowed by some episode the White House believed would be soon resolved by diplomacy. But there’s another reason—no matter what the occasion, the Obama White House systematically looks the other way whenever Iran does something intended to provoke the United States.

In the last several months alone, Iran has at least twice tested ballistic missiles, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Its military also fired rockets within 1,500 yards of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Straits of Hormuz. It sentenced, in a secret trial, American journalist Jason Rezaian and imprisoned another Iranian-American national. A few days into the new year, the regime directed Iranian mobs to set fire to two diplomatic missions belonging to longtime U.S. regional partner Saudi Arabia. That was before they ritually humiliated America by taking its sailors into custody, photographing them kneeling on deck with their hands on their heads, and then broadcasting those images throughout the Middle East.