Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority

How to turn the lemon into lemonade
by Ira Straus
The decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is not the first time countries have pre-empted the negotiations for peace. It follows in the footsteps of many another country undermining the peace process in the opposite direction. It could claim to be a corrective step as well as a simple recognition of reality.
However, if so, it needs to correct itself also. The way to do this is to announce a U.S. consulate explicitly assigned to the Palestianians.
This can be done easily enough, by upgrading the U.S. Consulate-General that is already in Jerusalem.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Dual Motion of the Spirit that World Federalism Requires

by Ira Straus

Lord Lothian
British Ambassador to the US
In a 1935 Oxford lecture that is often regarded as the ablest exposition ever of world federalism, a renowned British diplomat, Lord Lothian, outlined the complex motions of the human spirit that are needed for arriving at a viable world federation. His very title -- “Pacifism is not enough, nor patriotism either” -- indicated the two opposite motions of commitment that every spirit needs to go through, in order to arrive at the foundations for a viable world federalism. And he indicated above all a third motion of the spirit, for reconciling the first two.

The first motion of the spirit was: to imbibe the virtues of national citizenship. 

The second: to rise above national loyalties with a sense of global citizenship.

The third motion: to return to the actuality of national citizenship and all its responsibilities, realizing that global citizenship is as yet only aspirational as there is no global government of which to be a citizen, but modifying the national citizenship with the aspiration to creating a global citizenship.  

Believing in Peace

by Galen D. Kirkland

If humankind is to survive, we need to believe that peace is possible. We need to believe that we can prevent organized violence by nation states or non-state aggressors that inflict violence upon populations. While most people would assert that they want peace, they also do not think that it is attainable. We must identify the impediments to peace and decide how they can be overcome.  Violent conflicts between nations, religious groups, and different ethnic groups dominate world history because of repeated failures to accept differences in race, ideology, and faith. Very significant obstacles to achieving peace include conflicts related to nationalism, land claims and natural resources; the arms industry; historical grievances; and aggression stemming from the will to dominate. Most people are observers to the ravages of war that are visited upon other people. Because our world remains vulnerable to nuclear annihilation, we must act as if our lives and the lives of those we love are also at stake.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


by Galen D. Kirkland

The most important question facing us today is how we can make the transition to a greater global civilization before we destroy the planet and ourselves. At this critical juncture in history, we need to take our responsibility for world governance more seriously than ever. International systems for managing global problems and resolving conflicts have broken down. The United Nations failed to address the conflict in Syria while over 400,000 people were killed by the Syrian government and millions became migrants; Russia is conducting a cyberwar against the United States, France, the Ukraine and other nations in an attempt to undermine democracies; China is aggressively claiming islands in the South China Sea despite the ruling by arbitrators under international law that such actions are illegal; the NATO Treaty is being undermined by the Trump administration of the United States; the Venezuelan people are being denied food and medical care by a repressive government; millions of people are threatened by drought in Sub-Saharan Africa;  North Korea threatens other nations with nuclear war, and the destruction of the Islamic Caliphate established by ISIS is leading that organization to increase terrorist attacks in various nations.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Preventing Further Erosion to the EU: A United Schengen

by Andreas B. Olsson

First came the suspension of open borders within the Schengen area as the European Commission agreed to keep suspending free movement in the zone. Now, even worse, a major EU member nation has decided to exit the union completely. The dire state and threat to European unity cannot be overstated. The possibility of over half a century of peaceful integration risks unraveling. Now is the time to for the rest of the EU to not retreat from its promise to form a more perfect, peaceful union by letting nationalism spread like wildfire across the continent. The Marine le Pen’s and Alternative must not dominate the narrative of the next chapter in EU history. Letting them dominate the public space could cause the collapse of 21’st century European peace.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Brexit: Why We're Against It in the Wider English-Speaking World

The Euro-Atlantic union is our own. Our Greatness lies In it, not Out

by Ira Straus

Americans and Britons have a common interest in avoiding a Brexit. I hope it will not be taken amiss if, as an overseas citizen of the Anglo-American world, I discuss why Americans see it that way. I wish to do so from the vantage point of our common history and the vast inheritance we have jointly build over the centuries, not merely from the standpoint of our immediate practical interests.

The Legitimacy, indeed Necessity, of American Comment

It is easy, to be sure, to take offense when a foreigner comments on an upcoming national vote. I sometimes see Americans responding that way, too. People around the world always comment on how we ought to vote. But we mostly take it for granted, much as Britons did in the days of the Empire. The others have fair cause to comment. They have an interest in how we vote -- usually, a constructive interest in our getting things right. It is obvious in retrospect that sometimes we should have listened to them more carefully.