German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were both asked what they thought about Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Italy’ “commitment to reform.”
Posts Tagged ‘Angela Merkel
Tags: Angela Merkel, Cameron, complete transparency, corruption, emails, expenses scandal, freedom of information, Julian Assange, memos, Russia, sec crimes, secrets, Silvio Berlusconi, stitch up, Swedish government, Wikileaks, wikileaks founder
So, Wikileaks has been in the news this week. The media would have us believe that Wikileaks are releasing thousands of massive secrets which will undermine security for the whole world. However, the drivel that has dribbled out so far is hardly Earth shattering. Russia is corrupt, Angela Merkel is risk averse, Berlusconi is on the take. Yawn yawn yawn. We know all this. The yanks think that Cameron is a lightweight. Ho hum.
What the media seem not to be taking into account is that these are just a lot of internal memos. U.S. Policy is not that Merkel is cautious and Berlusconi corrupt. These are just opinions expressed by diplomats and the opinions are very diplomatic. Prior to the details emerging the media would have had us believe that we were in for a deluge of state secrets. If the leaks show anything they show that the Americans are fairly straight and fairly astute in their judgement.
Normally I am in favour of complete transparency. Publish everything. Certainly the United Kingdom keeps too much information secret and the recent MPs expenses scandal shows that secrecy feeds corruption.
However, the information currently being leaked by Wikileaks is nothing specific. It is just a lot of emails. If the Emails released shed light on some government fraud or illegal activity then there would be some point in releasing it but just embarrassing diplomats because they expressed opinions that were critical provides no benefit to anyone and damages the cause of transparency and freedom of information.
Having said that, it seems odd that just as Wikileaks really hits the news the Swedish government issue an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for alleged “sex crimes”. Probably the real story is that the Swedish government, whether unwittingly or not, are colluding in a stitch up
The media are reporting that the Israel is insisting that the Palestinians recognise that Israel is a special state for Jews. In this latest round the Israeli’s opening gambit was that they were willing to engage in talks so long as there were no preconditions. They did not even want to stop expanding their expansion of settlement of fundamentalist Jews on Palestinians territory as to stop was seen as a precondition.
Of course there has to be one precondition for peace talks and that is the cessation of hostilities and stealing more Palestinian land and entrenching the possession of such settlements is obviously a hostile action.
So, after turning a blind eye to this behaviour for decades the United States is finally putting pressure on Israel to stop building. Israel is now insisting that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish” state and in return they will stop building for a limited period.
It strikes me that the Israelis are behaving shamefully. While continuing to kick the fallen Palestinians they have paused briefly to shout “Say the land is ours – Say it!”
Israel is also planning to introduce a law requiring all citizens to take a loyalty oath to Israel as a ”Jewish and democratic state”. Ask yourself, would you take such an oath for your own country? Would I take an oath recognising the UK as a Christian and democratic state? Would anyone in the U.S.? Angela Merkel is currently getting into hot water for straying into this debate.
In truth, it is probably not racist to consider a country has a specific character, whether German, Jewish or multicultural. Where it does stray into racism is when that country treats a minority as second class citizens and I believe this is the case with Israel. Certainly a recognition of Israel’s Jewish identity should not be conceded by Palestinians while they live like prisoners and Israel takes more and more of their land.
One cannot discuss Israel without taking the holocaust into account but Israel has played on this nightmare for fifty years while pushing racist policies against the Palestinians. I suggest that this “Get out of criticism free” card has now expired and Israel should be held to the same standards as other countries.
You can help by boycotting Israeli goods.