The logic behind the current Israeli-Palestinian "cease-fire" is that it is possibly better than nothing, and that in any case, Israeli military activities in Gaza were not accomplishing any positive goals. True, Palestinians violated the cease fire yesterday by firing three Qassam rockets and again today by firing two more, but they were firing more rockets before. True too that the smuggling of arms into Gaza and the manufacture of rockets will not stop, but it was not stopping anyhow, and nothing that the IDF or Israel could do within reason seemed to make much difference.
Ami Isseroff on 11.27.06 @ 10:23 PM CST [link]
Despite the tensions with the growing Dutch Muslim community in recent years, which culminated in the murder of cineaste Theo van Gogh in November 2004, this was not a hot topic in last week's elections. Most major parties have agreed on a more rigorous approach on the issue of immigration and integration, and after years of debate and polarization, most of the public had gotten weary of the subject.
Last week's elections dealt with 'classic' issues like job opportunities, social security and health care. This is caused by the painful cuts and reforms in social security by the center-right government of the last 4 years, and the growing number of people who are dependant on health care. But there is also a tendency to turn inwards and to fence ourselves off from the outside world, as exemplified by the Dutch rejection of the European Constitution in 2005.
Ratna Pelle on 11.27.06 @ 08:03 PM CST [link]