As America moves its embassy to Jerusalem it deals a deathly blow to 70 years of neutrality in Israel. 82 women march up the red carpet at Cannes to protest gender inequality at the festival. Iraq battles it out at the ballot box this time.
Nail in the coffin of peace
Both the Palestinians and Israeli’s had long believed that America would assist the feuding communities in brokering everlasting peace and stability in the volatile country.
However, Trump’s repeated promises of a grand peace plan without much delivery have only lent itself more to maximalist Israeli strategy, editorialises the New York Times.
His announcement that recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, dealt a further blow to 70 years of American neutrality in the war-torn nation.
“The ceremony on Monday marking the embassy opening could hardly have been more dismissive of Palestinians. It was timed to make the American bias clear, coming on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence in 1948 — and the day before Palestinians observe Nakba, or Catastrophe, the expulsion of their ancestors from the newly formed Jewish state.”
82 women strong
82 women, including Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett and Director Ava DuVernay marched up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday to protest gender inequality at the festival and in the wider film industry, writes Hilary Hanson in the Huffington Post.
The festival has shown films by a meager 82 women directors compared to 1,688 men in all its years of running.
Cate Blanchett, who was the festival’s jury president this year led the group of women and read out a statement explaining the significance of the number 82 from the steps of the Palais des Festivals while French film director Agnes Varda read out the same in French.
“On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946… In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival there have been 12 female heads of its juries,” Blanchett said.
The protest was arranged in conjunction with 5050×2020, a French film industry movement addressing gender equality in film.
Battle at the ballot box
As Iraq prepared itself to go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new President and Prime Minister, the fear of ISIS no longer loomed large over the citizens in the country, CNN editorialises.
Only four years ago, the country that seemed on the brink of collapse was given a new lease on life due to efforts on the part of an Iraq and US coalition army to drive out ISIS from Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
As a result, civilian deaths have fallen sharply in recent months and nightlife has even returned to Baghdad. What is more, civilians no longer despise their army— which has actually become one of the most admired institutions in the state.
This halo effect has also extended to Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. “When Abadi became prime minister four years ago, he was seen as a colorless technocrat with scant chance of successfully governing Iraq’s fractious ethnic and sectarian groups — but there’s nothing quite like being invaded by ISIS to bring a nation together!”
It is against this background of hope and vanquishing of evil forces that Abadi went to polls on Saturday. However, he is quite unlikely to win the outright majority that would enable him to become prime minister again, as there are a host of other parties competing in the election.
But none of these various parties ran on overtly sectarian lines as the Sunni party or the Shia party. “That Iraqi politics is being settled at the ballot box rather than by the barrel of a gun is a great sign of hope for the country.”