21 May 2015   2 comments

One of the most interesting undercurrents of contemporary world politics is the growing belief that “Western” values are not universal.  These values grew out of the Enlightenment and underpinned the period of European domination of world politics.  Whether it be the debate on Asian values, the Chinese government’s explicit rejection of the idea of democracy, Hungary’s President Viktor Orban’s desire to build an illiberal state, or the Islamic State’s repudiation of the separation of church and state, many Enlightenment values are challenged.  Jacob Soll has an excellent review of the idea of the Enlightenment that places these challenges in context.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, gave a speech on Thursday in which she asserted that Israel has a right to all of the territory in the Biblical land of Israel.  Hotovely does not support the two-state solution and believes that Israel has the right to annex all of Palestine.   She used Biblical references to that right leading one diplomat present at the speech to remark that “..it’s the first time anyone has asked us to use verses from the Torah for public diplomacy abroad.”  As of now, the speech has yet to be reported in the US media.

The Islamic State took control of the  Syrian city of Palmyra, further tightening its grip on central Syria and Iraq.  The city is renowned for its ancient Roman ruins, but the takeover is rattling those who believe that the Islamic State is much stronger than has been believed.  The advance comes after the takeover of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, which is not far from the capital of Baghdad.   It does not appear as if the strategy of using just airpower to contain the Islamic State and President Obama has come under harsh criticism from hawks in the US.

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Posted May 22, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “21 May 2015

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  1. Jacob Soll writes about another writer, Vincenzo Ferrone. At first I thought this was a play on Vinne Ferraro’s name, but I guess Vincenzo Ferrone is real? Please confirm!

  2. It is another author. I’ve ordered the book and can’t wait to read it!

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