Ed: 43: May/2018
Two centuries ago, the great German poet Goethe said: "The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes."
It's as true today as it was then.
The difference between Hamas and Israel couldn't be greater - yet you wouldn't know it when listening to some observers.
Following the "March of Return" events led by Hamas on four turbulent Fridays, March 30 and April 6-13-20, at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, both sides declared victory.
Israel consistently ranks as the 11th happiest country in the UN's annual "World Happiness Report," and why on overall assessments of the country - like whether society is broken or whether people feel like strangers in their own land - Israelis were far more upbeat than respondents in most other countries Ipsos Mori surveyed.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has long warned of the danger posed to Israel, not many years hence, by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. As of April 13, Israelis are contemplating the danger posed right now by a non-nuclear Iran that is working to entrench itself in Syria.
So what does Sen. Whish-Wilson think should be done about the "abominable" gassing of Syrians by the regime in violation of a 2013 international deal brokered by Russia? Australia should be "using our diplomatic reach and provide support for a broad United Nations response", he said.
Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales, former Foreign Minister, formerly trusted by more than a few ex-colleagues who now question his integrity and decency, is now subject to ridicule as he strains credulity with his responses...
Seven decades after its founding, Israel - one of the world's most enduring and stable democracies - has also matured into one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic countries.
Its success story must also be considered among the most unlikely. By any measure, Israel's humble beginnings as a war-torn haven for a ragtag collection of ethnically diverse refugees hardly seemed the recipe for future prosperity, political cohesiveness and longevity.
The balance of power between Israel and its neighbours is the critical variable in Israel's quest for survival in a bad neighbourhood. As long as the power differential between the Jewish State and its foes is growing, then Israel's capacity to overcome regional security challenges is assured.
Let's give credit where credit is due. First, US President Donald Trump set a red line and enforced it. He warned that the large-scale use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would trigger a US attack.