↪︎The Bush administration is again committing a blunder in the Middle East by supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognise a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas. This precludes any progress towards a peace settlement at a time when such progress could help avert conflagration in the greater Middle East.
The US and Israel seek to deal only with Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president. They hope new elections would deny Hamas the majority it has in the Palestinian legislative council. This is a hopeless strategy, because Hamas would boycott early elections and, even if their outcome resulted in Hamas’s exclusion from the government, no peace agreement would hold without Hamas support.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is pursing a different path. In a February summit in Mecca between Mr Abbas and the Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, the Saudi government worked out an agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which have been clashing violently, to form a national unity government. Hamas agreed “to respect international resolutions and the agreements [with Israel] signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation”, including the Oslo accords. The Saudis view this accord as the prelude to the offer of a peace settlement with Israel, to be guaranteed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. But no progress is possible as long as the Bush administration and Ehud Olmert’s Israeli government refuse to recognise a unity government that includes Hamas.
Many causes of the current impasse go back to the decision by Ariel Sharon, former Israeli prime minister, to withdraw from the Gaza Strip unilaterally, without negotiating with the then Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. This contributed to Hamas’s electoral victory. Then Israel, with strong US backing, refused to recognise the democratically elected Hamas government and withheld payment of the millions in taxes collected by the Israelis on its behalf. This caused economic hardship and undermined the government’s ability to function. But it did not reduce support for Hamas among Palestinians and it reinforced the position of Islamic and other extremists who oppose negotiations with Israel. The situation deteriorated to the point where Palestine no longer had an authority with which Israel could negotiate.
This is a blunder, because Hamas is not monolithic. Its inner structure is little known to outsiders but, according to some reports, it has a military wing, largely directed from Damascus and beholden to its Syrian and Iranian sponsors, and a political wing that is more responsive to the needs of the Palestinian population that elected it. If Israel had accepted the results of the election, that might have strengthened the more moderate political wing. Unfortunately, the ideology of the “war on terror” does not permit such subtle distinctions. Nevertheless, subsequent events provided some grounds for believing that Hamas has been divided between its different tendencies.
No sooner had Hamas agreed to enter into a government of national unity than the military wing engineered the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, which prevented such a government from being formed by provoking a heavy-handed Israeli military response. Hizbollah used the opportunity to stage an incursion from Lebanon, kidnapping more Israeli soldiers. Despite a disproportionate response by Israel, Hizbollah stood its ground, gaining the admiration of the Arab masses, whether Sunni or Shia. It was this dangerous state of affairs – including the breakdown of government in Palestine and fighting between Fatah and Hamas – that prompted the Saudi initiative.
Defenders of the current policy argue that Israel cannot afford to negotiate from a position of weakness. But Israel’s position is unlikely to improve as long as it pursues its current course. Military escalation – not just an eye for an eye but roughly 10 Palestinian lives for every Israeli one – has reached its limit. After the Israeli Defence Force’s retaliation against Lebanon’s road system, airport and other infrastructure one must wonder what could be the next step. Iran poses a more potent danger to Israel than either Hamas or Hizbollah, which are Iran’s clients. There is growing danger of a regional conflagration in which Israel and the US could be on the losing side. With Hizbollah’s ability to withstand the Israeli onslaught and the rise of Iran as a prospective nuclear power, Israel’s existence is more seriously endangered than at any time since its birth.
Both Israel and the US seem frozen in their unwillingness to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas. The sticking-point is Hamas’s unwillingness to recognise the existence of Israel, but that could be made a condition for an eventual settlement rather than a precondition for negotiations. Demonstrating military superiority is not sufficient as a policy for dealing with the Palestinian problem. There is now the chance of a political solution with Hamas brought on board by Saudi Arabia. It would be tragic to miss out on that prospect because the Bush administration is mired in the ideology of the war on terror.
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The sun sank behind the horizon, casting the Japanese countryside in a warm, golden glow. In the courtyard of Nobunaga's castle knelt Yasuke, a tall, muscular African man with skin as dark as midnight. His journey to this moment had been long and treacherous, but it was only the beginning.
Chapter 1: A World Away
Yasuke lived an ordinary life in a small village on the Mozambique coast, unaware of the extraordinary destiny that awaited him. Captured by slave traders and torn from his homeland, he endured a grueling voyage across the Indian Ocean, finally arriving in the bustling port of Goa, India.
It was there that Yasuke's fate took an unexpected turn when he was purchased by Jesuit missionaries. In their service, he learned about Christianity, new languages, and the ways of the Western world. But his journey was far from over.
As a loyal servant to the missionaries, Yasuke accompanied them on their journey to Japan, a land of mystique and intrigue. The beauty of the land, the complexity of its customs, and the elegance of its people captivated him. As the first African to set foot in Japan, he attracted attention and curiosity from all those who encountered him.
Chapter 3: The Encounter
In Kyoto, the capital of feudal Japan, Yasuke's life changed forever when he met Oda Nobunaga, one of the most powerful and influential daimyos of the time. Nobunaga was captivated by the African's physical prowess, intelligence, and unique background. Seeing potential in Yasuke, Nobunaga decided to take him into his service as a samurai.
Yasuke's transformation from a slave to a samurai was fraught with challenges. He had to adapt to the rigorous training, strict code of honor, and the intricacies of Japanese society. But Yasuke's strength, resilience, and determination allowed him to excel, earning the respect of his fellow samurai and the trust of Nobunaga.
Chapter 5: The Unfolding War
As Nobunaga sought to unify Japan under his rule, Yasuke fought by his side in numerous battles. The African samurai's legend grew with each victory, as did his bond with Nobunaga. Together, they faced both triumph and tragedy, navigating the treacherous landscape of alliances and betrayals that defined the era.
Chapter 6: The Turning Tide
Yasuke's reputation as a skilled and loyal samurai grew, as did his bond with Lord Nobunaga. But in the shadows, the tides of change were brewing. Mitsuhide Akechi, once a loyal ally, had grown disillusioned with Nobunaga's rule. The resentment smoldered within him, fueled by a series of perceived slights and political maneuverings. Mitsuhide's ambition and desire for power began to cloud his judgment.
Yasuke sensed the shift in Mitsuhide's demeanor and grew increasingly wary of the samurai lord. However, loyalty to Nobunaga prevented him from openly voicing his concerns. He instead focused on his duties, ever vigilant and ready to protect his lord at a moment's notice.
As the sun rose, the first cries of battle rang out. Mitsuhide's forces had launched a surprise attack on Nobunaga's residence at the Honno-ji Temple. Yasuke fought his way to Nobunaga's side, his sword cutting through the trait "
The sun dipped below the horizon, bathing the Japanese countryside in a warm, amber embrace. Yasuke, a towering, powerfully built African man with skin as dark as midnight, knelt in the courtyard of Nobunaga's castle, his heart thundering with anticipation. A perilous journey had brought him to this moment, and yet, it was only the beginning of a story that would span continents and rewrite history.
Chapter 1: A World Away
In a small village on the Mozambique coast, Yasuke led a simple life, blissfully unaware of the extraordinary destiny that lay before him. His world shattered when slave traders captured him, ripping him from his homeland and thrusting him into a brutal odyssey across the Indian Ocean. Fate, however, had other plans when he reached the bustling port of Goa, India.
In Goa, Jesuit missionaries purchased Yasuke, altering the course of his life. Under their guidance, he embraced Christianity, mastered new languages, and absorbed the ways of the Western world. But the wind had not finished carrying him to his ultimate destination.
Chapter 3: The Enchanted Isles
Loyal to the missionaries, Yasuke accompanied them to Japan, a land shrouded in mystery and allure. He was captivated by its breathtaking landscapes, intricate customs, and refined people. As the first African in Japan, he sparked fascination and intrigue wherever he went.
Chapter 4: Fateful Encounters
Kyoto, the heart of feudal Japan, bore witness to the meeting that would forever change Yasuke's life. Oda Nobunaga, a formidable and influential daimyo, was entranced by Yasuke's physical prowess, intellect, and exotic origins. Recognizing Yasuke's potential, Nobunaga welcomed him into his service as a samurai.
Chapter 5: A Warrior Forged
Yasuke's metamorphosis from slave to samurai was laden with trials. He navigated the grueling training, a rigid code of honor, and the complexities of Japanese society. Undaunted, he flourished, earning the admiration of his fellow samurai and the unwavering trust of Nobunaga.
Chapter 6: A Land Divided
As Nobunaga pursued his vision of a united Japan, Yasuke fought valiantly by his side in countless battles. The legend of the African samurai swelled with each victory, and their unbreakable bond deepened. Together, they braved the treacherous world of shifting alliances and betrayals that shaped the era.
Chapter 7: Whispers of Betrayal
Yasuke's renown as a skilled and devoted samurai expanded, as did his connection with Lord Nobunaga. But beneath the surface, a storm was brewing. Mitsuhide Akechi, once a staunch ally, had grown disillusioned with Nobunaga's leadership. His bitterness festered, fed by perceived slights and political machinations. Consumed by ambition and lust for power, Mitsuhide's judgment faltered.
Chapter 8: The Price of Loyalty
Yasuke detected the change in Mitsuhide's spirit and grew increasingly apprehensive. But his unwavering loyalty to Nobunaga held him back from voicing his suspicions. Instead, he redoubled his efforts, ever watchful and prepared to defend his lord at any cost.
Chapter 9: A Night of Shadows
Chapter 9: A Night of Shadows
As dawn broke, the piercing cries of battle shattered the night's tranquility. Mitsuhide's forces had launched a devastating surprise attack on Nobunaga's residence at the Honno-ji Temple. Yasuke fought relentlessly, his sword cleaving through the treacherous warriors as he made his way to Nobunaga's side.
Chapter 10: Flames of Betrayal
The Honno-ji Temple, once a sanctuary of peace, was now engulfed in flames and chaos. Yasuke and Nobunaga fought back to back, their swords a blur of steel, as Mitsuhide's forces closed in. Despite their valiant efforts, they were outnumbered, and Yasuke could sense the battle was lost. With a heavy heart, he whispered a prayer for Nobunaga's soul, knowing that his lord would never surrender.
As the temple crumbled around them, Yasuke was captured by Mitsuhide's soldiers. Imprisoned and stripped of his samurai status, he reflected on the path that had led him to this moment. Amidst the darkness, he found solace in the memories of his life with Nobunaga and his time as a missionary. A fire kindled within him, reigniting a long-forgotten purpose.
In the chaos following Mitsuhide's coup, Yasuke seized an opportunity to escape. He journeyed across war-torn Japan, seeking refuge and a chance to reclaim his former life. His determination and faith guided him, as did the memory of the missionaries who had once saved him from a life of slavery.
Yasuke found solace and purpose among a group of missionaries in a remote village. Embracing his past, he became an instrumental figure in their community, sharing his knowledge of Christianity, languages, and the Western world. As he nurtured their faith, Yasuke felt the shadows of his life as a samurai slowly fade, replaced by the warm embrace of spiritual fulfillment.
Chapter 14: A Legacy Unforgotten
Though Yasuke had left the life of a warrior behind, the legend of the African samurai continued to grow. His story inspired generations, a testament to the power of resilience, courage, and the human spirit. It was a tale that transcended borders and time, a reminder that even in the darkest moments, hope and redemption could be found.
As twilight draped the Japanese countryside, Yasuke stood atop a hill, gazing at the village he now called home. His journey had been one of unimaginable hardship, transformation, and ultimately, redemption. And as the sun dipped below the horizon, Yasuke knew that his story, like the sun's eternal cycle, would continue to inspire and illuminate the hearts of those who heard it.
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🇺🇸 🇯🇵Blah🐰follow the bunny🥕
🇺🇸 🇯🇵Blah🐰follow the bunny🥕
"The plates are shifting," she shared. "In some ways, it's pulled ridiculously too far. Part of it is that I'm the mother of three young white males, so I'm looking at things that they're experiencing, and things that my girlfriends of all different backgrounds are experiencing [and] it hasn't quite found its steady point yet where there's room for everybody."
All these so called “movements” have gone too far. It’s no secret that women go after rich men for there money and if someone wants to meet you at a hotel...then you should know what your getting into.