Eyes Forward: Modi’s Visit to Israel

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Ever since Indian PM Narendra Modi’s ascent to power in May 2014, the possibility has been discussed that he might visit Israel. Three years later, on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of formal relations between the countries, Modi made the historic visit and received a warm welcome. The visit signifies an active Indian foreign policy that stands against the old order as well as a political victory for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, both on the geopolitical level and on the domestic front.

From the 1920s until the establishment of official bilateral relations in 1992, Indian-Israeli ties were dictated by the views of Indian Muslims and moves by Pakistan. Despite Israel’s military support for India during its wars, and the lack of support India received from both Arab and Muslim states, the Congress Party continued to keep its distance from the Jewish State. New Delhi was long preoccupied with the building of the nation, the flow of external aid, and the constant threat posed by its Western neighbor. Relations with Israel remained unfulfilled.

But the opposition party BJP (the Indian People’s Party) held a different view. It perceived India’s enemy not as the “colonial” West, of which Israel is a (supposed) offshoot, but as radical Islam and terrorism. Against that backdrop, the BJP saw Israel as a natural ally.

Public relations remained at a low level even after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, but Modi’s rise to power signaled a significant change. There has been a tightening of relations on many levels: economic, in the form of mega-deals; political, in the form of frequent meetings of senior officials; and cultural, in the form of a change in public rhetoric towards Israel on social media. There have also been attempts by India to redress the persistent imbalance against Israel in UN votes.

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Metal Detectors and Palestinian Lies

The controversy surrounding the Israeli authorities’ decision to place metal detectors at the gates of the Temple Mount calls to mind the famous Arab saying, “he beat me and cried then came to me to complain.” This inversion of reality is a common among perpetrators who pretend to be victims.

The decision to install the metal detectors came after Arab terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the Temple Mount on July 14. The three terrorists — Israeli Arab citizens from the city of Umm al-Fahm — used a submachine gun and knives to carry out their attack. The weapons were easily smuggled into the Temple Mount thanks to Muslim worshippers not having been required to pass through metal detectors or undergo body searches by policemen stationed at the gates.

Incredibly, the Palestinians have since been waging daily protests against the new Israeli security measures, demanding that the metal detectors be removed from the entrances to the Temple Mount. As part of the protests, Palestinian leaders have urged Muslim worshippers not to enter the Temple Mount through the metal detectors and instead to pray at the entrances to the holy site.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), Jordan and other Arab and Islamic countries are accusing Israel of violating the status quo at the Temple Mount by installing the metal detectors.

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A Filipino Nurse

Charliecountryboy's Blog

General Photos - Philippineshttps://www.adb.org                                                 Here’s a tale for you. This is Lucy, there’s no photo and Lucy isn’t her real name, because I don’t want her to get sacked. Lucy was born in the Philippines, having graduated from University in 1987 she then trained and worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore, eventually returning to Saudi Arabia she left in 2001. Working back in the Philippines as a private nurse she answered a job advert for nurses in the UK in 2003. There were over one thousand applicants and after stringent tests and exams twenty six were accepted, Lucy was one of them.

                                   http://singaporeexpo.com.sg/          …

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The Productivity Boom We’re Missing

Kristen Whirrett, a former Lutheran school teacher in Fort Wayne, Indiana, always planned to take a career break to focus on motherhood. “When we were still dating, Andy [her husband] and I decided that we wanted one of us to stay home with our children, at least until the youngest was in kindergarten,” she says. That’s what their mothers had done. The couple, both educators, made frugal housing and transportation choices so that, after their first child arrived a few years ago, and then another soon after, Whirrett could leave her position.

Yet for a woman who calls herself a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), Whirrett spends much time working. During her children’s nap-time and on Saturday mornings, when Andy takes the kids, she runs a blog, Joyfully Thriving, which documents her household-management strategies. It brings in revenue from affiliate sales and ads. She produces custom books for events, such as graduations, writing these at night, after the kids are asleep. She teaches piano two afternoons a week, six hours total, while her parents babysit. Then she spends another three hours per week on social-media work for various churches, fitting this work in wherever she can. All told, she estimates, she works 20 hours a week and earns one-quarter to one-third of her previous salary.

“Our budget works on my husband’s income, but it’s very tight,” she explains. “The money I earn allows us to save a bit more, travel in the summer to see our family across the country, and accomplish big house projects.” Recently, they made an extra mortgage payment and sent another check to their retirement fund—“things that we couldn’t do without my various moneymaking endeavors.” She sees similar industry among her circle of friends, several of whom have part-time gigs. “Up to this point, I think you had to choose one or the other. You either stayed home or worked,” she says, describing the dynamic that has long defined the so-called Mommy Wars.

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The wild man in the White House

The uproar over President Donald Trump’s continued existence in office has escalated even more in recent days over the sacking of chief of staff Reince Priebus, the foul-mouthed tirade by the new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, the defeat of the Obamacare repeal bill and the questioning of Jared Kushner by the Senate Intelligence Committee in the ongoing investigation over the suspected collusion by team Trump with the Russian government.

The sacking of the ineffective Reince Priebus was probably the right move – replacing him with the effective and focused Homeland Security head, retired General John Kelly. Trump’s public bullying of his Attorney-General Jeff Sesions as “weak” and “beleaguered” was appalling. The Scaramucci tirade was totally beyond the pale and besmirched both the office of president and the man who had appointed this verbal thug. The defeat of the Obamacare repeal bill was a serious setback. The questioning of Jared Kushner went precisely nowhere.

The media is engaged in a competition for the most hyperbolic imagery to convey the full horror of the Trumpian apocalypse.  According to the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd“The dark pandemonium of the Trump West Wing has become a wormy scene worthy of Hieronymus Bosch.”

But this horrified fascination with the wormy hell that is the Trump White House does not explain the indifference of the mainstream media towards a swamp from which it averts its gaze — because this points to the fact that, rather than Team Trump being involved in situations that undermine the security and constitution of the United States, it is the Democratic Party that is increasingly in the frame.

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