Ed: 43: March/2018
Weisman is at his best when describing the origins of the alt-right and their infiltration of more well-read outlets. But he can't stop there. Instead, he seeks to impute the alt-right to the entire conservative movement...
Columnist Rowan Dean attacked visiting rock legend Roger Waters for his high profile support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Dean denounced BDS as "insidious", noting that where it has "claimed victory such as with the 2015 closing of a SodaStream factory in the West Bank, it's the Palestinian workers and their families who have suffered serious economic deprivation, not the Israeli economy."
American and British officials have revealed that Israel has been actively assisting Egypt in its prolonged war against jihadists and ISIS terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. The collaboration over more than two years has seen a variety of unmarked Israeli aircraft such as drones, helicopters and jets carry out more than 100 airstrikes in the northern Sinai, helping turn the tide of battle there.
The Good Neighbour Directorate serves 250,000 Syrians living within a strip of the Golan Heights along the Israeli border held by rebel groups, nine miles wide and 50 miles long. The southern segment of the Syrian Golan, currently held by ISIS, is not served.
A small contingent of Israeli officials attended a conference in Malaysia, which has long retained a stiff anti-Israel posture. Post-visit, the Israelis spoke positively of the experience, with hopes for a thaw in relations; the Malaysians, not so much.
After announcing that she would be performing a concert in Israel as part of her upcoming world tour, Lorde ran smack bang into a BDS-driven backlash. She immediately attracted harsh criticism and protest, largely driven by the New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network.
The US-Russian relationship in Syria has been a frosty one with its share of risks. Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian civil war began with strikes on anti-Assad militias covertly supported by the West and on the CIA-provided weapons depots that supplied them. Those strikes exposed to the world what had previously been a black program. Russian fighters have routinely harassed US jets and unmanned aerial vehicles and invaded NATO airspace - a pattern that culminated in the downing of a Russian warplane over Turkish soil in mid-2015. Meanwhile, Syrian insurgents have been filmed destroying Russian armour and helicopters using sophisticated US weaponry.
On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defence Strategy for the US. The second paragraph of the 14-page declassified summary painted a dire picture. "We are facing increased global disorder, characterised by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order - creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."
An escalation of violence on the Gaza border came on Feb. 17, precisely one week after the IDF intercepted an Iranian drone over Israel, subsequently carried out broad-scale airstrikes in Syria, and an air force F-16 was downed by the Syrian military. Purportedly, the events in Gaza and the north have nothing to do with one another. What has become clear, however, is that every single footprint from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza leads straight to Teheran.
Gaza is broke. As a front-page New York Times feature on Feb. 11 explained at length, the conflict between the Gaza Strip's Hamas overlords and the Fatah party that runs the West Bank has resulted in a cash crunch that has left many of the area's two million people without money. Along with Gaza's inadequate infrastructure, the resulting poverty from this crisis contributes to a general picture of despair for many Palestinians.