Tuesday’s ceremony saw the start of a host of year-long programs and events to mark the centenary of the 1917 declaration issued by then-foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour, which enshrined British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Tuesday’s ceremony, hosted by a private organization, was being attended by a number of British lawmakers, Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev and former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold.
In a September address to the United Nations, PA President Mahmoud Abbas castigated what he called a “notorious” document, which he said Britain gave “without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the PA over the planned lawsuit, characterizing it as another example of Palestinians refusing to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
“That’s almost 100 years ago,” Netanyahu said at the UN in September. “Talk about being stuck in the past! The Palestinians might as well sue Iran for the Cyrus declarations, or file a class action suit against Abraham, for buying land in Hebron,” he added, referencing the Biblical patriarch and a Persian edict from 539 BCE allowing Jews to return to Judea.
“This conflict is not about the settlements, it never was,” he said. “It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state.”
The majority of MPs in Netherlands (132 out of 150) approved a bill seeking to impose a ban on covering faces in public places.
Islamic veils, such as the niqab and burqa, as well as ski-masks and helmets will not be allowed in Dutch schools, hospitals, government buildings and on public transport after the Senate approves the bill and makes it law.
According to Rutte, the legislation was introduced solely for security reasons and that it only applies in certain situations "where it is essential for people to be seen". It will still be allowed to wear burqas or other face-covering clothes items on the streets, he said.
Security reasons or not, the issue of freedom of religious expression remains, and this is what the bill's opponents rest upon.
The Dutch government said in a statement last year that it worked very carefully on keeping a balance between people's freedom to choose clothes for themselves and the significance of mutual and recognizable communication.
The bill now heads to the senate and if it goes into effect, everyone spotted wearing prohibited clothes in public areas will face being fined up to 405 euros.
The Netherlands is not the first country in Europe to introduce such a bill. Burqa has been banned in France since 2010, with breachers facing a 150 euros fine. Belgium and some parts of Switzerland have followed in the steps of France and similar legislations have been debated in other parts of the region.
The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly,, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.
This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing:. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.
So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.
And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.
We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.
You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.
Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological.
That the explainers and data journalists so frequently get things hilariously wrong never invites the soul-searching you’d think it would. Instead, it all just somehow leads us to more smugness, more meanness, more certainty from the reporters and pundits. Faced with defeat, we retreat further into our bubble, assumptions left unchecked. No, it’s the voters who are wrong.
As a direct result, . Out on the road, we forget to ask the right questions. We can’t even imagine the right question. We go into assignments too certain that what we find will serve to justify our biases. The public’s estimation of the press declines even further -- fewer than one-in-three Americans trust the press, per Gallup -- which starts the cycle anew.
What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.
We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process.