Do You Wish Everyone Was Sincere All the Time?

Eric Linus Kaplan

Sometimes we find it wearisome that everybody is so ironic. We feel like saying — stop saying everything in quotes. Don’t say ” ” Doctor Who is such a great show” “. Just say it was a great show, or don’t. We wish, on other words, for a world in which all communication was sincere.

Be careful what you wish for. Tigers eating you are perfectly sincere. So are tapeworms eating you from the inside. So, in a certain way of thinking about it, are liars. A tiger pretending to be a bunch of grass in order to pounce and eat you is sincere. He is just tricking you. In a sense even the internal voices within us that stifle our lives through repeating various half-truths that others would like us to believe are sincere. Coca Cola sincerely wants you to think its product “adds life” even though, in reality…

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Hezbollah places forces on high-alert after reported Israeli airstrike in Syria kills commanders

EASTERN CONFLICTS

Israeli tank on the Golan Heights Photo:thetimes.co.uk Israeli tank on the Golan Heights Photo:thetimes.co.uk

During the early evening hours, reports indicated that an Israeli army helicopter gunship targeted a Hezbollah force on Syria’s Golan Heights in the town of Mazraat al-Amal. A short time later, Hezbollah confirmed that a number of its members were killed. Reports indicate that those killed included the following commanders: Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah’s former military commander assassinated in Damascus in 2008, and Hajj Mohammed Issa. Additional reports are indicating that Iranian military officers were also killed in the strikes. These are unconfirmed, but it would not be surprising, given the presence of Hezbollah commanders. Israel has officially refused to comment.

In the hours after the attack, Hezbollah has placed its forces in southern Lebanon and on the Israeli border on high-alert. Israel likely did the same even before the strikes, to deter a Hezbollah response. Meanwhile, reports now show that Israeli…

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Montreal Canadiens play French national anthem before game at Bell Centre

canada.com

MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens honoured the victims of this week’s terrorist shootings in Paris by playing the French national anthem prior to their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Two shooters killed 12 people Wednesday at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The attack was followed by Friday’s deadly terrorist assault on a supermarket.

In all, 20 people died during the three days of violence, including three gunmen.

The French flag was shown waving on the scoreboard at Bell Centre as the Canadiens played La Marseillaise before the American and Canadian national anthems.

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US negotiator blames Palestinians for missing peace chances

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You’ve read here how the Palestinians rejected or ignored Israeli peace offers in 2000 and 2008. That last one was the one the AP banned me from writing about. Now retired US diplomat Dennis Ross is making the same case in this groundbreaking article in the New York Times. It’s the first time a diplomat that close to the “peace process” has admitted that the failures are not Israel’s fault. He adds to the wall of shame the Palestinian “pocket veto” of the latest US proposal, just last year.

Dennis Ross Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross spent much of his State Department career trying to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. I talked to him often in those days. Once we were about to board the same plane to the US from Israel, and I saw him at  the airport. As I came up to him, he audibly groaned. It had been a…

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Global Eyes

eye on europe

On Friday I was in Vienna to pick up an Erasmus EuroMedia Award for an e-magazine I edit on EU communications issues. It’s called Opinion Corner and is published by Mostra, a Brussels-based communications agency.

The latest edition of the magazine focuses on how the rest of the world views the EU and features interviews with Balkan musician Goran Bregovic, branding guru Simon Anholt and journalists, politicians and analysts in Moscow, Istanbul, Ankara, Washington DC, Brussels and London. We also carried out street interviews in Burkina Faso, Mexico, China and Egypt to find out what ordinary people make of the EU.

It may come as a surprise to Europeans – many of whom are lukewarm about the EU project and gloomy about its future prospects – to learn that the European Union is viewed in an overwhelmingly positive light across the globe.

In a poll carried out by Globescan for…

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More Gaza casualties identified: BBC still mum

BBC Watch

Last week the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre published a report (at present only in Hebrew) identifying fifty additional Palestinian casualties from Operation Protective Edge, all of whom belonged to terrorist organisations (mainly Hamas) and none of which appeared on the lists of names supplied by the Hamas health ministry and other Palestinian sources.BBC

The Jerusalem Post reports:

“A report released on Thursday said the newly identified combatant casualties belonged one of the following categories: some were terrorists left behind in Israel after being killed in fire fights with IDF units during the summer war; others were terrorists buried in tunnels or the ruins of buildings bombed by the IDF; and others were terrorists who died of their wounds in hospital and were not identified during hostilities.

“We believe that the 50 names identified by us represent a partial list and that there were many other…

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