Societies Must never get Immune to the Brutal Loss of Life

“ When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mournProverbs 29: 2 –King James Bible

 When those in power cease to become outrage and adopt a nonchalant attitude to the political assassinations of its elected officials, who had courageously taken a stand against the corruption within their community; one must question the motives as to what is the purpose of political life, and leadership? How is that leadership fighting for the safety and the security of their fellow brethren?

No doubt, the bravery of Mayor Gisela Mota must be remembered in Temixco, Mexico. But, the brazen murder, by those who feared her because of her vow to stamp out corruption, cannot be forgotten. Those like her and those who have gone before her, hundreds, if not, thousands of electoral candidates and officials-including the death of other Mayors- must be afforded greater protection by the government of Mexico.

It is indeed unacceptable, that death is the norm during an electoral process, and democratic elected officials are unsure whether they are going to return home after they arrived at work. For Mayor Mota, to be gunned down after 24 hours of being voted in by her constituents, constitutes the highest form of demagoguery against the will of the people.

This form of ‘criminal vigilantism’ should be condemned by the President of Mexico not only in words but in deeds. Nothing short of extreme actions is required for this dire predicament in order to return the state to a level of normalcy. The chronic, widespread violence facing such cities in Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras against the political establishment in the form of some sort of daily gun target practice- calls for the vehement crack-down of these gangs.

Denial of the truth and facts of circumstances will not cover-up a lie. The situation in Mexico for the most part is bordering on a broader national security issue which has to be urgently addressed for the elected officially, for those seeking office and for the citizens’ future in Mexico.

 

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Strong Diplomacy will end Wars: Weak Attempts for Peace will Continue Conflicts!

It is difficult for most to imagine the sheer hardship, devastation, suffering, the personal, physical, mental and emotional strain placed on populations; whether individually or as family as a direct result of the ravages of war.

Most individuals take for granted their access to basic humanitarian necessities of everyday life experiences: food, water, shelter, medical amenities, transportation, jobs and education-to just name a few. But for war torn states, the reality is, it is hard for persons to ignore the true extent of the death, discomfort, inconvenience, the lack of building infrastructure, hunger, disease, poverty, affliction and oppression.

Inexperience does not make a strong compelling case to continue wars, diplomacy and the drive to succeed in finding the solutions that work towards a feasible peace process does. The geo-political wars dominating the countries of Yemen, Libya and Syria respectively are the prime examples that war is not fought in the abstract. War is real; and so too should be cease-fires which set about the engines for the advancement of peace.

Genuine peace brings genuine peace. Peace sown in discord, mistrust, betrayal, un-forgiveness, resentment, bitterness, anger will bring only more war. Parties to the peace process must strive to find the real common ground of the heart to ‘truth and reconciliation’ in order to move towards the objective for a workable plan of peace.

There has to be a point where men honour the Agreements they have signed and put aside their differences in order to invoke the larger perspective. Agreements which do not respect the integrity of the process, makes a mockery of the system and the people who are looking to their leaders for practical solutions.

Finally, peace will always bring prosperity in one form or another. Let it be that 2016 marked the year where peace is not elusive, but accords are signed and honoured in the spirit of humanity; so as to move onward to the next phase-where the actual re-construction of the landscape for these nations begin.

 

 

 

God is a God of Justice

By David Bryan

 “And He spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always pray, and not faint;

2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

3 And there was a widow in that city: and she came to him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, less by her continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says.

7 And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night to Him, though He bear long with them?

8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?”

                                                                                                        Luke Chapter 18: 1-8

 

The New York newspaper; The Daily News headline screamed “God isn’t Fixing This” in direct response to yesterday’s mass shooting in California and that of the US politicians remarks. In another place “it is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God” “after the devil takes Jesus up into the holy city and sets  Him on a pinnacle of the temple and says to Him, if You be  the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning You; and in their hands they shall bear You up, less at any time You dash Your foot against a stone” (Matthew 4: 5, 6).

Both passages are instructive as well as persuasive in the arguments for Congressmen to implement and executed proper realistic gun legislation aimed at reducing gun violence and gun related mass shootings.

Firstly, God is a God who “loves justice and hates robbery”. He will always answer His people, and never deter them from “praying without ceasing ” because He never “grows weary or faint”. But, we must not confuse the roles that He has chosen for those who have been elected to duly carry out their solemn duties. It is for the US Congressmen and women to actively pursue the statutory framework to minimize the gun incidents in America.

It is for the constituents to keep “continual coming” to the politicians to get “justice” for stricter laws to prevent mass murders. Whether; it is being the activist, lobbyist or ‘votist’ at the appropriate time. The politician does not have the vote. It is the voters.

Secondly, everyday delaying the vote on practical gun laws in America increases the likelihood of frequent mass shooting and denying the God given tools and resources available to protect the population.  The fact that some in Congress believes by some chance that somehow “angles” will intervene and save individuals from another mass shooting is a gross dereliction of civic duty that has been placed on the Congress of the Unites States of America.

The National Rifle Association cannot be the most powerful organization in America. That attribute has to go to the USA Congress. It is left to see who really is in charge. The days are coming when Senators and the House of Representatives will have to account for their actions or in action and discharge the burden place on them for saving the future lives of ordinary Americans by passing better gun laws.

It’s Time to Meet: Israel and Palestine

Diplomacy is the one idea which can abate the violence between the Israelis and Palestinians. All sincere efforts must be made for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Abbas to formally meet in order to discuss peace and the way forward for both parties as soon as practical.

It is extremely difficult to understand why the obstacles and challenges which seem to prevent the meeting between them cannot be overcome. Meeting for peace is not a sign of weakness. Any fight on the diplomatic front to save the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians is where the true strength lies.

If it’s a “Technicality” then the European Union is “Splitting Hairs” over Israel’s Technicalities

By David Bryan

The European Union must surely appreciate that a handshake may be the culture norm in the West, but on the flipside can also amount to a covert insult in the East; however insignificant one may think the gesture may be. In war and certainly within the rules of engagement “technicalities” mean everything and are significant to merit whole nations being partition along the lines of one of history’s oldest maxims: to the victor the spoils.

Why is Israel the only country in the world where it must ‘dance’ around the truth; for fear of offending? Yet, President Abbas can walk up and down the breath of the isle and incite words that Palestinians can use their feet to walk in the blood of Israelis and then is seemingly rewarded by a “technicality”. Why must Israel be not entitled to the same international reciprocal rights enjoyed by other sovereign nations but be continually subjected to detrimental unilateral actions? Reciprocity is a two way street. So too should be negotiation before escalation.

The maxim is the same maxim used in the philosophy which underscored the framing of the Treaty of Versailles after the Allies conquered Hitler and the other forces. It is the same philosophy which underpinned the dividing of Sudan into two nations after civil war broke out, giving rise to the youngest nation in the world; South Sudan. It is the same philosophy that gave rise to the former Soviet Union states that fought bitter wars for their right to self-determination. Was not their annexation from Russia recognized by International law under the United Nations Charter as independent nations with one vote?

It is that League of Nations which has now modified into the United Nations that carries the authority to validate and legitimized whether a nation and its borders are a country. This is a duty which does not fall to any other States.  The decision by the EU to label products from Israel within specific categories is not “anti-Semitic” but mis-guided. The decision is based on a false premise, which followed to its logical conclusion would be not only illogical but wrong. The fallacy of the argument that goods from the “Golan Heights”, “West Bank”, “Gaza” and “East Jerusalem” are not part of Israel must fail.

Since the starting point is and should be: Israel is recognizable as a Sovereign Contracting State as Israel under International law, Treatises and Conventions of the UN. The member States of the EU indeed have acknowledged Israel as a Sovereign Contracting State under the UN, not West Bank, not Golan Heights, not Gaza, not East Jerusalem and not Palestine which is not legally a State as per the requirements of the UN Charter. How then can the EU explain the rationale of denying products from  West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza are not in Israel but de facto recognize “product from the West Bank (Palestine product)?

To divorce the West bank, Golan Heights and settlement produce under a sort of ‘severability’ clause by the insistence of pre and post 1967 borders is incorrect and cannot withstand applicable international jurisprudence. If the intention and motive of the EU is to bring Israel and Palestine together to further the peace process it is understandable.  But one has to be rational and circumspect, especially as it relates to sensitive matters regarding the stability and fostering the balance in the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

The EU must avoid the optics of what appears to be picking the low hanging fruit of the good tree of Israel out of convenience and avoiding the fruits of the evil tree of incitement by some of the Palestinians. Since it may look as though the EU has tried to create basically the division of Israel and Palestine through delineation of product mapping based on the pre-1967 geographical locations from the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.

This presumption will of course be a serious overstep and should be addressed; given the fact that in all negotiations ; technicalities are just that “technicalities”; leaving space for genuine compromise in the world of un-technical language; for instance- what about this label: produce “Made in Israel originated from the Golan Heights; Settlement must be made in Euros”. Any other suggestions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel and the United States- A United Family

Divisions among brothers cannot separate strong and united families, whether in thought or in deed. Arguments come and go; but true friendship remains stable regardless of family disagreements. Sound leadership can draw only positively from divisions and resolve open disagreements.

The meeting between President Barak Obama of the United States and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is long overdue. Needless, to say, it presents an opportunity to solidify the relationship between the world’s two closet allies and re-affirm their countries commitment to American-Israeli relations for the immediate long term.

The valley of Us-Jewish skepticism will no doubt again prosper towards reaching the mountain of realism in the ever changing geo-political landscape in the Middle-East. It is for this reason Jerusalem has to lean on Washington for increase support in keeping apace with being the primary “military quantitative edge” in the region.

The strong position put forward, for an increase in maintain Israel’s military and security forces in technology, intelligence and surveillance forward capabilities, military weapons and cyber equipment is unanimously supported -against the backdrop, of the escalation of extreme insurgents and the likely re-emergence of Iran in the area.

President Obama has secured his diplomatic victory in signing the Iran deal with the P5 + 1 nations and history has recorded PM Netanyahu’s strong opposition to it, but one can both be on the same team and have opposing views. This is the hallmark of living in a true democracy.

The complex issues such as the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the two state solution will feature high on the agenda given the recent spate of violence and uprisings in Israel.

The continued support by the USA to Israel crosses the river of divide and it has been unwavering. Now is the time, for President Obama to cement his legacy between Israel with America’s commitment, trust and good-will towards the people of the Jewish nation.

 

 

 

 

Changing the Rules of the Aviation ‘Game’

If the bombing of the Russian airliner is a game changer, then the game has to be changed in favour to reduce the possible likelihood of such a dark tragedy to close to zero percent from being repeated in the near future across the world’s airports.

The rules of security for international travelers and airports have to be upgraded to encompass the threat of extreme terrorism; against civilian aircraft from the volatile regions of the Middle-East and African regions to the US, Europe and those coalition countries involved in the fight against terrorist.

There must be a “360 degree aircraft security circle” where anything and anyone coming into contact with the circle is properly vetted and sanitized, before the plane is cleared for departure. Everything and everyone from the “least” to the “highest” in the airline chain must now come under greater scrutiny, from baggage handlers, food caterers and their food trays, fuel delivery personnel, screening and background checks on companies and their employees who come into contact with the particular airline should be made mandatory.

Increase of ‘operational’ state-of-art security scanners and surveillance cameras at the airports. Exploring the possibility of having international security firms working with local authorities. Airports must have follow- up with international security airport experts or associations- randomly and frequently unannounced visits to airports to test security and their vulnerabilities. Since it was the lapses and weakness the terrorist exploited in order to gain access to having a ‘bomb’ on the plane.

Airports who do not meet specific international criteria; appropriate sanctions ensue such as downgrades, suspensions of international flights etc.

It is important, to remember, the victims of this flight, but also those who the world have loss under similar suspected circumstances and that the perpetrators of this heinous act must not be allowed to go unpunished. They must be brought to swift justice by the Egyptian, regional and international authorities. The world has to show it is not only more than capable of holding those responsible for this air disaster but it is more “intelligently” capable of seeking to prevent a re-occurrence