The Palestine Authority roundly rejected on Monday the suggestion by Israeli Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu that an ‘interim agreement’ between Israel and the PA might be achievable even though the moment was not propitious for a comprehensive peace settlement. Three big issues appear to stand in the way of progress. The first is the Israeli […]
Archives for December 2010
Distribution of the Druze communities in the Levant.. For more on the Druze religion see this link.
10. “There has been significant progress in tamping down the insurgency in Afghanistan.” Fact: A recent National Intelligence Estimate by 16 intelligence agencies found no progress. It warned that large swathes of the country were at risk of falling to the Taliban and that they still had safe havens in Pakistan, with the Pakistani government […]
Brian Cloughley writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: I started thinking about the phrase after a recent, disturbing trip to Pakistan. ‘Collateral damage’ is a seemingly bland phrase, but it indicates stomach-churning contempt for human life. It was fashionable during the Vietnam war, when countless thousands of civilians were blown to bits, burned […]
On Saturday, a suicide bomber targeted a food aid center in Khar in Bajaur, one of Pakistan’s northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing 43 and wounding 100. The development has implications for US troops in Afghanistan, since Bajaur abuts the strategic and troubled Kunar Province in Afghanistan and Taliban based there and in Mohmand raid […]
The modern Turkish town of Demre is on the site of Myra, the birthplace of Saint Nicholas, whom the world now calls Santa Claus. If they are smart, they’ll build a huge amusement park and resort on the theme! A biography of the generous fourth-century saint is here. Here is a video on Saint Nicholas […]
Some 500,000 Christmas trees were sold this year in Egypt, an extremely mysterious statistic. The country’s Orthodox Coptic Church celebrates Christmas on January 7, considers the day distinctly less important than Easter, and does not have a tradition of Christmas trees or Santa Claus. The roughly 8 million Copts are the largest national community of […]