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Global Pulse: Israel cannot afford to damage its standing in the international arena

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Recent violence in the Gaza strip has led to widespread condemnation of the Benjamin Netanyahu government. Trump upsets the Europeans again and Marxism has mainly lent itself to fanaticism worldwide.

More bloodshed in Gaza

Hamas, which has already fought three wars in the Gaza Strip over the past decade has recently begun to fight its fourth one. But this time, the Palestinian Sunni-Islamist fundamentalist organization is using a new tactic. One that has resulted in a moral and political defeat for Israel, editoralises The Washington Post.

“Having tried and failed to defeat Israel with rockets and armed cross-border attacks, Hamas deployed a new strategy: assembling thousands of nominal civilians to march on and attempt to breach the border fence, in the calculation that many would be killed.”

With at least 60 Palestinians being killed, it seems like this cruel and cynical tactic paid off for the organisation as almost immediately, condemnation for the Benjamin Netanyahu government began pouring in. It is probably support from the Trump organisation that eventually saved it from a Security Council condemnation.

But Israel can ill afford further damage to its standing. “Sympathy for it is dangerously eroding on U.S. campuses and among other Western countries,” and unbothered by the death toll, Hamas leaders say the marches will continue — which means Israel needs to find a way to stop them without being defeated by them.”

The Europeans are ‘pissed off’

Trump’s volatility has long been a bone of contention for many countries in the international arena and his latest stunt of pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal has caused European countries to react ‘swiftly and with great fury,’ writes Jeremy Shapiro for the Foreign Affairs Magazine.

But the real question still remains — will Trump’s act of undermining one of the signature achievements of European foreign policy, garner anything more than laments and indignation from Europeans? “The answer is most likely no.”

U.S- European relations have soured on more than one occasion, starting with the Suez invasion in 1956, and each time officials have heard the same refrain—”the alliance could never be the same. A few months later it was the same.”

As a result, U.S officials seem to be of the view that Europeans say all manner of things but never do anything in response, so it is not necessary for Washington to pay much attention.

The reality of the matter is that Europe needs the transatlantic alliance much more than the U.S — as Trump has pointed out many times.

The European side therefore, must recognise that “on issues such as Iran, Europeans have interests that are distinct from those of the Americans and that they can protect them only by sticking together and driving a hard bargain with Washington.”

‘Marx is rolling in his grave’

China recently gifted Germany a statue of Karl Marx, in order to celebrate the bicentennial of the philosopher’s birth. While unveiling this statue, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker remarked that the prophet of communism has been misjudged.

However, detaching Marx from the consequences of his ideas— an ever popular endevour— would be a mistake, writes Clive Crook for Bloomberg.

The fact that communism led to the deaths of millions in Soviet Union, China and Cambodia and turned entire countries into prisons are overshadowed by the fact of Marx’s discovery of certain tensions within capitalism.

“It’s true that Marx was a great intellect, saw things in capitalism that others did not. Nonetheless, let’s be clear: From the outset, violence and totalitarianism were hard-wired into Marxism as a political project,” Crook writes.

He adds that Marx’s texts unlike Junckers contention served communism’s men of action not as a blueprint but as revelatory, quasi-religious texts. It also provided two other essential aspects of fanaticism— a goal worthy of self-surrender and a justification of violence.

“The political power of Marxism didn’t reside in the meaning and merits of the labor theory of value. Its force resided in the warrant it gave to fanaticism. From the start, Marxism was radically illiberal and lusting after violence,” writes Cook.

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