The Global Villagehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/topic/2fraAngela Merkel and the German electionhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1672http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1672Angela Merkel’s re-election as Germany’s chancellor for the fourth time on September 24 is important for Germans, Europeans and many democratic nations around the world, partly because of regional and other international misfeasance by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton’s leading adviser on Russia, observes, “Chancellor Merkel is the most steadfast custodian of the concept of the liberal West going back 70 years ... that makes her Putin’s No. 1 target.”Merkel is the widely-recognized leader of Europe and defender of besieged universal values and democracy internationally. Putin is a contemporary would-be Russian czar, who wants to fracture Europe and democratic governance wherever possible. The Hon. David KilgourMon, 18 Sep 2017 09:20:00 -0400À la recherche de la Ménora du Temple de Jérusalemhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1671http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1671L’un des monuments les plus visités au forum à Rome est l’arc de triomphe de l’empereur Titus consacré par son frère Domitien pour marquer la prise de Jérusalem en l’an 70. On y trouve l’inscription : « Dédié par le Sénat et le peuple de Rome à Titus Vespasien Auguste, fils de Vespasien. »  Le butin pris au Temple de Jérusalem dont la Menora ou candélabre à sept branches y figure sur un bas-relief. Tout comme l’Arche de la loi contenant les tablettes des Dix commandements, la Ménora était conservée dans le Saint des Saints dans le Temple de Salomon.David BensoussanSun, 10 Sep 2017 11:51:00 -0400Statuary rapehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1670http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1670Washington, DC ~ The current  search for “feet of clay” throughout the United States is curious almost beyond puzzlement. We are self axle-wrapping over what statue should be permitted to commemorate whom and what. And not just statues and memorials associated with the Civil War Confederacy “losers” but other historical figures who don’t fit 2017 parameters for veneration.  These range from George Washington (slave holder); Thomas Jefferson (slave holder; alleged sexual relations with a slave); Benjamin Franklin (owned slaves); Teddy Roosevelt (violent expansionist); Woodrow Wilson (ignored racism and promoted segregation—and didn’t “keep us out of war” as he promised).David T. JonesSun, 10 Sep 2017 11:46:00 -0400Puzzling over hackinghttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1667http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1667Washington, DC ~ For an extended period now, Washington and President Trump’s administration have been wrapped around the axle over Russian “hacking” of Democrat-associated e-mails and Moscow’s alleged concurrent effort to assist the Trump campaign win the election.The effort to “get to the bottom of it” does not seem anywhere near to reaching any bottom.  Indeed, it has metastasized into investigations by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that appear to be casting their investigatory nets in ever-widening directions, ensnaring President Trump’s son and son-in-law as well as assorted odds-and-ends deal-makers/fixers/lawyers of one nationality or another.David T. JonesWed, 02 Aug 2017 16:19:00 -0400"BREXIT" after the British electionhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1664http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1664Emmanuel Macron, president of France, is correct about Britain’s post-election Brexit realities. At a joint news conference with Prime MinisterTheresa May in Paris last week, he said the UK decision to leave the EU could be reversed: “As the negotiations go on, it will be more and more difficult to go backwards...”May knows she must respect the positions on Brexit of other parties, given her failure to secure a majority and the loss of 13 MPs. She is also under pressure from Brexiters on her own backbenches who could topple her as prime minister if she fails to deliver on their expectations.  The world, however, knows that she and David Cameron - with good reasons -supported "Remain" in last year’s national referendum.The Hon. David KilgourMon, 26 Jun 2017 19:54:00 -0400NATO and the Transatlantic Relationshiphttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1662http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1662When 12 democratic governments seeking to check Soviet expansion formed NATO by treaty in 1949, it seems unlikely that any of their political leaders thought they would today number 28 and become the most successful defensive military alliance in history. Post-1952 American President Dwight D. Eisenhower noted at the time, “We are engaged in a war of great ideologies. This is not just a casual argument between slightly different philosophies. This is light against dark, freedom against slavery…”.The initiative represented a major turning point for the United States. Unprecedented in peacetime, Washington was entering a permanent alliance linking it to Western Europe in both a military and political sense.The Hon. David KilgourSun, 11 Jun 2017 23:40:00 -0400THE SIX DAY WAR—ICONIC MILESTONEhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1661http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1661Washington, DC ~ Four times in the 75 years of my life, Israel has had to fight its Arab neighbors:  1948, for the creation of the country; 1956, to restore freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran and the Suez Canal; 1967, in pre-emptive strikes against Arabs on the verge of their own attacks; and 1973, beating back a surprise Egyptian attack across the Suez Canal that was initially successful.Each time there was the basic appreciation that Israel could not afford to lose a single war or “never again” would be implemented to catastrophic effect.It is the 1967 “Six Day War,” now in its 50-year commemoration starting on 5 June, that has proved the most enduring and consequential.David T. JonesWed, 07 Jun 2017 17:47:00 -0400"Masada shall not fall again! Metzadah shuv lo tipol!" The legacy of the bold and the bravehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1660http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1660This week we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Israel's victory in 1967's Six Day War. A war pre-meditatively planned and instigated by frontline Arab states whose leaders promised to "drive the Jews into the sea!" It was a victory for the frontline nation in the family of the free, a precursor of the time of terror we live in today, but more than all that, it affirmed President John F. Kennedy's creed that with, "Resolve and courage, the bold and the brave can assure the survival and success of liberty."In the weeks leading up to the War - a war that took place just 22 years after the liberation of the death camps of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews - Arab states flaunted international law and the international community responded with submission and impotent silence.Beryl WajsmanSun, 04 Jun 2017 12:50:00 -0400Le négationnisme de Marine le Pen et la responsabilité de la Francehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1657http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1657Jerusalem - Le président Rivlin a eu raison de condamner le négationnisme de Marine le Pen au moment même où les Français s’apprêtent à voter au deuxième tour de la présidentielle. C’était son devoir d’alerter et de remettre les pendules de l’Histoire à l’heure de la vérité.Certes, rares sont les déclarations prononcées par un dirigeant officiel israélien contre un candidat à une élection dans un pays étranger, mais comment ne pas sursauter et se révolter contre les tentations de blanchir le gouvernement de Vichy dirigé par Pétain.Ce maréchal, vainqueur de Verdun, l’homme providentiel de l’époque, et ses collaborateurs,ont agi volontairement et ont offert aux Allemands une aide importante, la plus considérable et la plus précieuse de tous les pays de l’Europe occupée.Amb. Freddy EytanFri, 28 Apr 2017 13:00:00 -0400Two Minutes to Midnighthttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1655http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1655Since 1947, The Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has maintained a Doomsday Clock indicating how close they feel the world is to a global nuclear war.  Now the clock is set to two and a half minutes to midnight, to which it has been creeping closer over the past 26 years since a recent low of 17 minutes, recorded following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  I think that the clock does not reflect the current danger represented by the twin threats of the Syrian civil war and persistent belligerence from North Korea.  There are more dangerous factors involved than at any other time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the atomic scientists need to get together and tick the clock 30 seconds closer than their most recent setting of January 26th, 2017.Robert PresserSun, 23 Apr 2017 12:30:00 -0400RUSSIA: SET/RESET/RESET AGAINhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1654http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1654Washington, DC - The United States has a “Russia problem.”  (And to be sure, Russia has a “United States problem.”)This is not “Cold War II”—much as media always in search of a conflict to which they can attach a tag line might prefer.  The “Soviet Red Army” of the 1980s that we feared for a generation would crash through the Fulda Gap headed to the Rhine—where we would have to fight outnumbered and win for the West’s survival—hasn’t existed since 1989.To be sure, Russia remains the only country whose nuclear strikes could comprehensively destroy the United States--at the cost of its own annihilation.  But despite this disconcerting reality, we “trust the Russians” to continue to act in sane self-control over their forces.David T. JonesSun, 23 Apr 2017 12:27:00 -0400From Russia with Lovehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1651http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1651Did Russian President Vladimir Putin seek to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election?  More seriously, was there collusion between elements of the Trump organization and Russian insiders to shape the campaign, and did those interventions lead to the disclosure of damaging information on Hillary Clinton at critical moments in the closing months?  FBI Director James Comey was summoned before Congress to testify and present evidence, or confirm the lack thereof so that these questions can be settled, at least on an official level.The only bombshell of information he has provided so far was that the FBI has been investigating since July 2016 into contacts between the Russians and certain Trump campaign officials –clearly this cloud over the Trump presidency will endure for some time.Robert PresserWed, 22 Mar 2017 21:53:00 -0400Secretary Tillerson and he State of Statehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1649http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1649Washington, DC - In recent media stories, there are floods of tears (some of the crocodile nature) regarding the degree to which the U.S. Department of State and Secretary Tillerson have (not) controlled U.S. foreign policy.To an extent, this observation is accurate.  Secretary Tillerson stands alone atop a bureaucratic pyramid of senior State Department officials of the deputy secretary, under secretary, and assistant secretary ilk that are empty.  Or at least empty of specific designees selected by Tillerson and/or President Trump.  They are filled by “acting” officials, essentially long-term civilian government employees and career Foreign Service Officers.  Their political predecessors were defenestrated or made to feel sufficiently unwelcome that with their backs up against the wall, they read the writing thereon.  David T. JonesSat, 18 Mar 2017 12:37:00 -0400HUMAN DIGNITY, PUTIN AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATIONhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1648http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1648Ottawa - Across the world, in many nations with differing models of governance, it appears that human dignity is under siege.In Asia, for example, medical agents of the party-state in China are beyond any reasonable doubt removing for commercial purposes an average of 250 organs daily, mostly from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the Falun Gong, Uyghur Muslim, Tibetan Buddhist and house Christian communities.Among the 54 nations of Africa, we find some of the world’s best-governed states, such as Botswana and Ghana, but also some, such as Zimbabwe and Angola, which are both mismanaged and corrupt and treat their citizens with thinly-veiled contempt.The Hon. David KilgourFri, 03 Mar 2017 23:19:00 -0500Le nouveau tandem Trump-Netanyahouhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1645http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1645Jerusalem- La rencontre chaleureuse de Netanyahou avec le président Trump à Washington est à la fois symbolique et significative après huit années de tensions et de relations tumultueuses inutiles avec la précédente administration américaine.C’est ainsi que le président des Etats-Unis devrait toujours accueillir un chef d’Etat ami et un allié fidèle.  Sur ce point, Netanyahou peut en effet se réjouir et être soulagé. Enfin, il est entré à la Maison Blanche décontracté, la tête haute, et avec le sourire. Il est reçu sans contrainte, sans animosité, et obtient naturellement tous les égards.Amb. Freddy EytanThu, 23 Feb 2017 19:22:00 -0500Trump to America: "Did you love my huge, huge, first week?"http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1642http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1642Dear Americans, I am doing Fantastic, I know you think so.  I feel it, feel it clearly, no matter what the dishonest media is reporting. Spicer did an amazing job, totally amazing, Spicer was, standing up to the White House reporters, telling them that I had the biggest inauguration crowd ever, ever!  Period!  Way to tell’em!  Spicer and I are going to get along great, great guy, Spicer is.Obamacare is history, I made it so on day one, everyone saw me do it.  I love executive orders, it’s just like running a business, sign the papers and make it so, but Reince tells me it is more complicated than that.  Robert PresserSun, 05 Feb 2017 12:55:00 -0500The Holocaust: On memory and witnesshttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1641http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1641Today, January 27th, is the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. Perhaps for this reason, this date was chosen as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Curiously, and sadly, it took the UN sixty years to give recognition to this most seminal and apocalyptic event in human history. The organization at whose entrance are carved the words of the prophet Isaiah that, “Swords shall be beaten into plowshares and nation shall not make war against nation anymore,” got around to commemorating Holocaust remembrance only in 2005. We are not only still waiting for Isaiah’s prophecy to be realized but also for that day when those other prophetic words “Justice shall roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream…” have life breathed into them.Beryl WajsmanFri, 27 Jan 2017 14:38:00 -0500THE U.N., ISRAEL, OBAMA, AND KERRYhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1637http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1637Washington, DC -The Thesis: The Second Coming will arrive before peace in the Middle East. The Corollary:  Nobody ever lost money betting against peace.For close to a generation, ever since the historic Begin-Sadat agreements leading to peace with Egypt and the Rabin-Hussein accords and the peace with Jordan, the peace process has been frozen.  It has not been for lack of trying and, indeed, following the 1994 Oslo peace accord, the ‘90s saw enormous efforts by the most skilled diplomatic professionals to bridge differences between Israelis-Palestinians-Syrians and other Middle East actors.  At times President Clinton almost assumed the role of State Department’s Middle East action officer and seemed to meet the principal players more often than any other foreign officials. David T. JonesMon, 02 Jan 2017 19:54:00 -0500Lessons from the American electionhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1633http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1633I write this barely 17 hours after Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the New York Hilton, so emotions are still raw all around.  Protesters are in the streets in seven American cities, urban voters expressing their frustration at his unexpected victory.  America’s progressives should not be so surprised – the African American and Latino vote participated less than in 2008 and 2012, and working-class white men and women voted more for Trump than they did in those previous elections.  Trump won the White House with fewer votes than John McCain and Mitt Romney received, but the overall participation rate was down, which favours Republicans.  Therein lies the first lesson of national campaigns – energize your base and make sure they turn out.  Robert PresserSat, 12 Nov 2016 19:33:00 -0500The Strangest Electionhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1632http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1632Washington,DC-It took me considerable time to appreciate just how strange this presidential election has been. Being enough of a historian to recognize that finding something new under the sun is unlikely, I recalled the seriously dirty elections of the past and the ad hominem commentary that characterized them.Thomas Jefferson accused of having sexual intercourse with his slaves.Andrew Jackson characterized as a wild man from out of the West who would militarize the United States.  Jefferson denounced him as “one of the most unfit men I know for such a place.  He has had very little respect for laws or constitutions.  He is a dangerous man. "David T. JonesFri, 04 Nov 2016 22:14:00 -0400Mosul will fall. Who’s in charge then?http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1628http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1628After months of threatening to move against ISIL in Mosul, 25,000 Iraqi army and Kurd militia fighters are slowly closing in, supported by US and coalition airpower and advisors.  Two years ago, Mosul collapsed as Iraqi forces fled the city when faced with a confident and insurgent ISIL force that had seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria and established Raqqa and the capital of the “Greater Syria” originally promised to the Arab armies by Lawrence of Arabia.  Two years later, Mosul is the last major Iraqi city in ISIL control and their expulsion will leave only Raqqa as their urban stronghold.  It will be a long, tough battle, brutal for the remaining 1 million civilians in the city, half of its pre-conflict population.  It may take longer and produce more casualties than expected for the Iraqis and Kurds, but after the victory who’s going to get the spoils? Robert PresserMon, 24 Oct 2016 11:12:00 -0400Shimon Pérès- Combattant pour la paix et éternel optimistehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1626http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1626L’ancien Premier ministre et Prix Nobel de la Paix est incontestablement l’homme politique qui a marqué de son empreinte l’Histoire de l’Etat Juif depuis sa proclamation par David Ben Gourion jusqu’à nos jours.Toujours dans le peloton de tête et au carrefour du destin de son peuple, il est le dernier leader israélien né avant la Shoah.J’ai suivi durant cinq décennies la carrière de Shimon Pérès. J’ai eu le privilège de l’accompagner dans ses voyages et de pénétrer avec lui dans les arcanes du pouvoir et des chancelleries. Personne n’en doute, Shimon Pérès est un animal politique.Amb. Freddy EytanSun, 02 Oct 2016 19:58:00 -0400Dangers In Demonizationhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1625http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1625Washington,DC - Donald Trump (Republican candidate for president) will debate Hillary Clinton (Democratic candidate for president) on Monday, 26 October.  It may be the most watched TV show in history (100 million projected viewers) rivaling Super Bowl figures.And most eyes will be on Trump, perhaps the most reviled major U.S. political figure in modern history.And we all know Trump.  Bullying, bombastic, bigoted, racist, male chauvinist.  He sneers at cripples; mocks menstruating females; endorses torture; believes that “blue lives” (police) matter more than black; is hostile to immigrants of all variety, but particularly illegal immigrant Hispanics described as replete with rapists—as well as taking jobs from honest U.S. citizens.David T. JonesMon, 26 Sep 2016 11:04:00 -0400A Republican Secretary of State – Whoever Winshttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1624http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1624Washington,DC ~ The current focus in the United States is on the day-to-day campaign vagaries of the candidates in the presidential election and in particular the upcoming debates (one in late September and three times in October). Foreign policy will feature in the debates and the campaign, although for the moment it seems to have boiled down to loving or hating Putin and hating ISIS (but unsure how to kill it off).  There is much more in play, notably the fate of trade agreements now in effect (NAFTA) or prospective (TPP); the North Korean nuclear threat; containing/relating to China in every particular, notably Beijing’s effort to make the South China Sea a personal lake; our relationship with NATO and other allies; and if/when/where to put “boots on the ground.” Any one of these problems could become incendiary crises before election day.David T. JonesTue, 20 Sep 2016 21:42:00 -0400Munich Massacre commemoration at Rio Games may be too little, too latehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1617http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1617Forty-four years after the Munich massacre, the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics were finally commemorated in an official International Olympic Committee ceremony last Thursday at the Rio Games. The ceremony was held at a memorial site in the Olympic Village. Called the Place of Mourning, the site honors the memory of the Israelis as well as four other people who were killed at Olympic Games. The others are the German policeman who was killed in a failed rescue attempt in Munich; two victims of a bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and a Georgian athlete who died in an accident at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.Beryl WajsmanMon, 15 Aug 2016 15:18:00 -0400NATO: Myths and realitieshttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1613http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1613Washington, DC ~ Sometimes it is useful to review the realities underlying myths, And this is an opportune time to clarify some of the accepted mythology around NATO. I have spent eight plus years of my diplomatic career either at the US Mission at NATO, on the "NATO Desk" at State, or addressing arms control negotiations with the then Soviets regarding intermediate nuclear force (INF) missiles in Europe.  So I think that I have sufficient background to make these observations. Particularly in light of the current debate in the Presidential campaign on whether NATO allies are shouldering enough of their financial and military responsibilities or depending too much on the United States. And the discussion with regard to Article 5 of the Treaty needs some perspective.David T. JonesSun, 31 Jul 2016 17:48:00 -0400After Nice, a new freedom.. Now we dare!http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1611http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1611It has always been a matter of some frustration that after every Jihadist slaughter too many western leaders and opinion makers bent over backwards to avoid calling the enemy by its name, drawing comparisons with other brutal dogmas and stating - with open candour - that we are in a war. A new type of war certainly. But a war nonetheless. In the aftermath of the horror in Nice, something new is becoming evident. The "none dare call it.." mentality is being replaced by a "now they dare..." resolve.Beryl WajsmanFri, 15 Jul 2016 14:42:00 -0400BREXIT? EVERYBODY TAKE A VALIUMhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1608http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1608Washington,DC - Following the frenzy over his Parti Quebecois victory in the 1976 Quebec provincial election, Rene Levesque was portrayed in a famous Aislin cartoon as saying, “Okay, everybody. Take a valium.”  In other words, relax.  The PQ victory was not world’s end.Nor is “Brexit’s” victory by those Brits who want to divest themselves of links to the EU.Essentially, the entire issue was a campaign over national philosophy disguised as an economic debate.  The existential question was whether British wanted to remain Great Britain or whether they be content to become “Britain;” a homogenized element of a 27-member European Union taking direction from a non-British majority of states.David T. JonesSun, 26 Jun 2016 17:11:00 -0400Judge may be wrong, but Trump's attack is inadmissablehttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1606http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1606Washington,DC - Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a single category for controversy into which Donald Trump, putative Republican nominee for president, doesn’t plunge.  Or that he epitomizes the sobriquet that he opens his mouth only to change feet.Although Trump is now engaged with critics/opponents over his comments regarding the mass killing in Orlando, Florida, other slanging matches remain unresolved albeit not (entirely) forgotten.  The penultimate high-profile contretemps was a nasty barrage of vituperation from Trump against Gonzalo P. Curiel, the federal judge trying a class action suit against Trump brought by individuals formerly enrolled in Trump University.David T. JonesSun, 19 Jun 2016 19:46:00 -0400La barbarie palestinienne frappe Tel-Aviv au cœurhttp://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1605http://themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/1605Le massacre perpétré dans un restaurant de Tel-Aviv par deux terroristes  de la région d'Hébron aura des conséquences graves sur l’avenir des relations avec les Palestiniens. Ces terroristes vêtus de costumes cravates ont lâchement assassiné et blessé des innocents venus tranquillement diner avec des copains et des membres de leurs familles. La fusillade a été commise par deux cousins, juste après qu’ils avaient savouré le repas de la fin du jeune du Ramadan. Au moment où à Tel-Aviv on apportait des soins aux victimes dans la douleur et l’angoisse, et les sirènes des ambulances hurlaient vers les hôpitaux, à Gaza et à Hébron,ce sont des cris de joie et d’allégresse qui scandaient dans les rues, tandis que les dirigeants du Hamas criaient victoire et menaçaient, durant ce mois du Ramadan, de perpétrer des nouveaux attentats plus spectaculaires. Amb. Freddy EytanSun, 19 Jun 2016 19:43:00 -0400