An elderly couple reaching their 70s are about to get married, but before they say their vows, the woman wanted to talk.
She said: “I want to keep my house.”
He said: “That’s fine with me.”
She said: “I want to keep my Cadillac.”
He said: “That’s fine with me.”
She said: “And I want to have sex 6 times a week.”
He said: “Put me down for Fridays.”
My autumn trip to Myanmar coincided with the country’s general election, which resulted in Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy entering parliament with a majority for the first time, following decades of military rule. Everyone I spoke to about the election seemed to be cautiously optimistic – hopeful that the election would lead to real change, but wary about the ruling party’s willingness to make way. Aung San Suu Kyi herself appeared to be a genuinely unifying presence, calm, intelligent and dignified (a kind of anti-Trump), her image on posters, billboards and front pages throughout the country.
This collection of pictures is by no means a comprehensive account of the events of last November, just a few election-themed images that caught my eye.
It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.
Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.
At the time, perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exchange was that the German Chancellor — at the very moment that her country was going through one of the most significant events in its post-war history — should have been spending any time worrying about how to stop public dislike of her policies being vented on social media. But now it appears that the discussion yielded consequential results.
After Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas threatened yet again that he would end security coordination with Israel, not only has he not ended it, but — luckily for him, as it turned out — it is now stronger than ever. The Israelis, it seems, exposed two separate Hamas networks in the West Bank, both of them planning a mass-casualty attack on Israel and the destruction of the rule of Mahmoud Abbas.
Mahmoud Abbas’s other threat, that he will dissolve the Palestinian Authority (PA), and force Israel to fill the resulting vacuum and incorporate its residents and territories into Israel, also turned out to be cow plop.
Both the Israelis and the Palestinians know that if the Palestinian Authority falls, the best case scenario is that Hamas will take over the West Bank, and the worst case scenario is a welcome mat for ISIS. The West Bank will either turn into an Islamic emirate, like the Gaza Strip, or another ISIS province. In both cases, whatever “achievements” the Palestinian Authority has made will be gone forever. The entire Palestinian national consensus government, including Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies, will be executed before the day is out and all the property they have amassed over the years will be distributed as spoils to the victor.
Mahmoud Abbas is fully aware that the last thing the West wants is yet another Islamic emirate. Many inhabitants of the West Bank are also fearful of falling victim to the Islamic religious fanatics who will set them fourteen hundred years back.