Culture wars Global conflict Israel 

How the virus exposes magical thinking and short-term greed

The coronavirus emergency has affected virtually the entire world. In the west, it has brutally exposed the effects of a cultural characteristic that is as amoral as it is self-destructive. There is a refusal to face reality and the difficult choices it often requires, taking refuge instead in magical thinking and short-term greed. It’s a characteristic that has made victims of Israel and the Jews, along with many other people. In the current crisis, the west is paying the price of pretending that China’s communist regime does not represent a…

Read More
Coronavirus Audio Global conflict USA Videos 

Moral responsibility in the time of pandemic

I was very struck by observations about the coronavirus pandemic made this week by the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, on both BBC Radio’s Moral Maze and BBC TV’s Newsnight. What was so arresting was his optimism about the long-term effects of this global emergency on people’s behaviour. He repeated more than once that the crisis was encouraging the best out of people, that it was bringing us together, that it was eliciting innumerable acts of kindness which would continue to multiply, and that when it was all over we…

Read More
huawei Britain Global conflict 

Will Boris fail his first big test over Huawei?

Is Boris Johnson about to fail his first big test?* Reports suggest that he is about to give the Chinese technology company Huawei the contract to install at least parts of the UK’s upcoming 5G network. This would be an appalling decision. Huawei is not so much a company as an arm of the Chinese state. Its purpose in embedding itself in the communications systems of other countries is to extend the power of the Chinese communist party into those countries for the purposes of surveillance and possibly even sabotage.…

Read More
peace in our time Global conflict 

Peace in our time cancelled?

So has peace in our time with North Korea been cancelled? When President Trump abruptly called off his prospective meeting with North Korea’s chairman Kim Jong-un yesterday, the media immediately crowed that his strategy had gone belly-up, that it showed how incoherent and altogether rubbish his foreign policy was and that we were now right back where we started. Once again, the media merely exposed its own shallowness. A few hours earlier a high-ranking North Korean foreign ministry official, Choe Son Hui, called US Vice-President Mike Pence a “political dummy”…

Read More
peace in our time Global conflict 

War, North Korea and the art of the deal

One of the many wonders of progressive folk is their, ah, flexibility. It’s an article of faith for the modern progressive that war must be avoided at all costs. War is uncivilised, barbaric, a throwback to a brutal past and never solves anything (yes yes, I know, presumably Nazi Germany wasn’t solved either…). Instead of war we must substitute conflict resolution, negotiation, soft power. That’s why the supremely civilised EU and the even more supremely civilised UK have downgraded their military capacity. So should an enemy (let’s pick as an…

Read More