Tag Archives: European Union

New Northern Ireland Protocol

Both the EU and Britain agreed that keeping the Northern Ireland/Ireland border open was essential to preserving the 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of sectarian violence, but argued over how to do this after Brexit.

The special arrangement, set out in a protocol, left British-ruled Northern Ireland inside the EU single market for goods, meaning it follows the rules of the bloc in this area, in particular for animal products such as meat and dairy.

As a consequence, paperwork and checks are required for certain goods entering Northern Ireland from mainland Britain, to prevent it becoming a backdoor for British goods such as sausages getting into the EU without checks.

The Northern Irish Assembly can vote after four years on whether to retain the protocol. If a simple majority votes against, it would cease to apply after a further two years.

Pro-British unionists say the protocol undermines peace by dividing them from the rest of the UK with an effective border in the Irish Sea. The discontent helped fuel the worst violence in the region for years in March and April, though there has been little such turmoil since.

At the continent, consumers in the European Union can only hope that this time the leaders of European law will stand their ground and do everything in their power to preserve and fulfil the agreements they have previously obtained.

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Please find also to read: Going the extra mile with proposal over Northern Ireland protocol standoff

EUROPE DIPLOMATIC

Brussels 13.10.2021 The UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost has proposed plans for an entirely new protocol to replace the existing Northern Ireland Protocol. In a speech to diplomats in Portugal on Tuesday, October 12, he described his new legal text as “a better way forward”.

The protocol is the special Brexit deal agreed for Northern Ireland to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland. Unionists argue it undermines Northern Ireland’s constitutional position in the UK and creates a trade barrier.

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Iran’s days of setting Middle East on fire are over

Israel will no longer allow Iran to continue its aggression with impunity, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on a visit to the IDF Northern Command on Tuesday.

“Iran already knows the price that we exact when someone threatens our security,”

he said.

“The Iranians need to understand that it is impossible to sit peacefully in Tehran and from there ignite the entire Middle East. That is over.”

The prime minister spoke of Israeli efforts to bring the international community to its side against Iran, including sharing the intelligence information showing Iran was the perpetrator, but said that

“we also know how to act alone.”

Bennett also criticized the European Union for sending Enrique Mora, the EU coordinator for the Iran nuclear talks and deputy secretary-general of the EU’s foreign ministry, to attend the inauguration this week of Iran’s incoming-President Ebrahim Raisi.

Israel is extremely concerned about what Iran might do next as the new hardline president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, takes control and is sworn in this week.

“Raisi is the most extreme Iranian president of them all, and the competition is tough,”

Israel’s prime minister Bennett said.

“I call on the EU: One cannot talk about human rights and simultaneously honour a murderer, a hangman, who has eliminated hundreds of opponents of the regime.”

The new Iranian president has been nicknamed “the Butcher of Tehran” because of the former judge’s role in the execution of thousands of Iranian dissidents.

The Bible says that although Israel’s immediate enemies (backed by Iran) will be destroyed in the initial inner ring war – Iran itself survives to join with Russia in the outer ring war that invades Israel. That army is destroyed by God with hail and fire.

I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ (Ezekiel 38:22-23)

> Read more in the  Andy Walton’s Weekly World Watch

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Having a problem with wonkiness…

In the European Union there are so many rules and regulations that certain things become a little bit ridiculous or do more damage than good.

When looking at the food stands, is there something you notice?

We have been trained to look for “beauty” and became accustomed that vegetables have to look a certain way to be good.

Beauty standards for food? Sounds crazy right? The function of food is to nourish and fuel our bodies, and yet every day, without our input or knowledge, perfectly edible food is being discarded around the world because it does not fulfil an arbitrary standard.

And to be clear, this is not a standard of whether it is edible, it could be that it’s been classified too small, too big, too pitted, blemished… wonky. Sounds familiar right? A standard on aesthetics that is being imposed by invisible faces. We treat our food like we treat out bodies – as items that need to be perfect, blemish free, symmetrical and picture-perfect. This is utter lunacy – and hugely damaging.

Whilst millions struggle to ‘achieve’ a certain beauty standard promoted through fashion and social media, farmers and producers around the world are struggling in a similar way – trying to produce food, yet control nature to fit the box of what others have deemed acceptable.
But what happens when nature does not play ball?
Whilst food is the most essential element we need to survive and hugely energy (and water) intensive to produce… often it goes to waste. Ploughed back into field, left to rot, fed to animals. All because it doesn’t tick a box somewhere.

Read further: Beauty standards for food? We have a problem with wonkiness…

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France, Germany Propose EU Summit With Russia’s Putin, Diplomats Say

Brussels (Reuters) – France and Germany proposed on Wednesday a European Union summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to improve relations, two diplomats said, potentially paving the way for the first such meeting since 2014.

Such an event would follow U.S. President Joe Biden’s summit in Geneva with Putin earlier this month and reflects concern in Paris and Berlin that the EU’s approach to Russia in recent years has mainly been focused on sanctions on Moscow.

“Germany and France have given some ideas for the EU-summit-debate on Russia. Merkel has mentioned before that not only the U.S. should talk with Russia (and China) on the highest level. Russia is a neighbour. Such a format existed already in 2007 in Finland,”

a person dealing with the preparation of the summit told Reuters.

“The entire post-war history of Greater Europe confirms that prosperity and security of our common continent is only possible through the joint efforts of all countries, including Russia,”

the Russian President pointed

A strategy paper by the European Commission and the EU’s diplomatic service said earlier this month that despite years of tensions,

“the EU and Russia have a fundamental common responsibility for peace and security on the European continent.”

It can well be that Russia is open to honest and constructive cooperation with Europe. It calls for the recovery of a comprehensive partnership with it, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article “Being Open, Despite the Past” timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).

“I reiterate that Russia is in favour of restoring a comprehensive partnership with Europe. We have many topics of mutual interest. These include security and strategic stability, healthcare and education, digitalization, energy, culture, science and technology, resolution of climate and environmental issues,”

the Russian leader said in an article published on the Kremlin website.

“We are open to honest and constructive interaction. This is confirmed by our idea of creating a common space of cooperation and security from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, which would comprise various integration formats, including the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union,”

he noted.

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Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

Area of action: Society

Grounds of discrimination: Racism

In December 2018 Unia pressed in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation asked Minister Kris Peeters, at that time responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism. Anti-Semitism remains a persistent problem. The calls being made by Unia in 2018 were in response to a large-scale survey of 16,000 Jews in twelve EU countries by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a human rights agency of the EU.

The findings of the report make for a sobering read. They underscore that antisemitism remains pervasive across the EU – and has, in many ways, become disturbingly normalised. Already in 2018 an overwhelming majority of survey participants felt that antisemitism was getting worse. They also feared for their own safety, and that of their loved ones. Though we also could notice not only the monotheist Hebrews or Jehudi were targeted. Jeshuaists and Muslims, worshipping the same God were not loved either and felt the pressure. Jeshuaists and Jews belonging to different Judaic denominations protect themselves by not coming out to much in the open and by leaving their kippa at home, only discreetly displaying mezuzas, avoiding certain areas in their cities or skipping Jewish events.

The many graphs contained in the report reveal a sobering picture of Belgium. Except for France, Jews do not experience anywhere in the EU as much hostility on the streets as they do in Belgium. Among those surveyed, 81 percent mentioned public spaces as the place with the most hatred of Jews. The European average is about 70 percent.

“These are figures that require a structural approach in the form of a vigilance unit and a plan that overarches policy areas,’

stressed Unia director at that time, Els Keytsman.

Already in 2018, a shocking statistic sended a clear message:

in the past five years, across twelve EU Member States where Jews have been living for centuries, more than one third say that they consider emigrating because they no longer feel safe as Jews.

In the meantime, we know about many Jews and Jeshuaists who left Belgium.

Vlag van het Vlaams BelangMuch too many people seem to forget how antisemitic acts can have a profound impact not only on individuals and those close to them, but also on the Jewish community as a whole. Several manifestations may bring forward all sorts of the types of antisemitic acts which we see increasing since a decade and by the growing popularity of two Flemish National parties, the right-wing populist Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang, with a strong anti-immigrant message that succeeded the right-wing Vlaams Block, and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA – New Flemish Alliance), a movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism, which strives for the secession of Flanders from Belgium.

The last few years in Belgium and France we have seen an increase in desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, expressions of hostility towards Jews and Jeshuaists in the street and other public places, but also an enormous antisemitism in the media. It is incredible what we can find on the internet, including social media, where nobody seems to be willing or able to silence the hate-speech.
In 2018 antisemitism online was already seen as a particularly widespread problem: a large majority of all respondents in the 12 survey countries (89 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big’ problem, and as many (88 %) believed that it had increased over the past five years. The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism on the internet is problematic is especially high (at least 90 %) in Belgium, France, Italy, and Poland. In Belgium and France, a majority of respondents rated almost all antisemitic manifestations that the survey asked about as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big’ problem. These are also the countries with the highest proportion of respondents indicating antisemitism in general as a problem.

The majority of respondents of that survey are aware of legislation that forbids discrimination based on ethnic origin or religion – some 64 %–87 %, depending on the area, indicated knowing about it. They are most aware of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and least aware of protection related to housing. Most respondents (71 %) also say they are aware of an organisation in the country that offers advice or support for people who are discriminated against, but we should be aware that out of self-protection most Jews and Jeshuaists do not dare to react or bring the problem into the public. Respondents most often referred to Jewish organisations specialising in the safety and security of the Jewish community and/or antisemitism, and national equal-ity or human rights bodies. Lots of Jews and Jeshuaists lost their trust in the Belgian State and in Belgian politicians.

Fortunatelyserious incidents are today punishable by law. For example, in 2018 Unia was a civil party in the case against the vandal who caused serious damage in the Jewish quarter of Antwerp.

“Unia was also a civil party in the case concerning the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.”

Last November Unia was calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as the pre-Lent merrymaking and festivity carnival. Unia said local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in the municipality Aalst, on the Dender River, 24 km (15 miles) northwest of Brussels.

Unia feels that dialogue and awareness must be a priority.

“What is offensive to one person is apparently folklore for another. Showing consideration for other people’s sensitivities can never be simply imposed by law. Only through dialogue can we take into account the feelings of others and learn to see things from their point of view. “

That is why Unia organised meetings between Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations and a group of Aalst carnivalists.

“Their float – depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes – was unintentionally reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. We understand that many people were shocked by this connotation, and it led to a highly polarised conflict. We have seen that both parties now have an understanding of each other’s position and context. Talking to each other does not guarantee that stereotypes will never crop up again, but it is a start.”

It could have gone the right way, but this year, it uncovered the hidden agenda more clearly. From what was presented at the cortège was more than just laughing with something that bothered them. It was showing their disgust for another culture and other religion than theirs.

Much too often we hear the excuse

“For carnivalists, freedom of expression means the freedom to make fun of anything and anyone.”

Though, one should question how far one can go with mockery. Unia says

“Conversely, that freedom also means that you are bound to provoke controversy now and then, and you have to be able to deal with criticism.”

People from Aalst seem to have lots of difficulty with the criticism they received over the last twelve months.

Lots of events happening in Aalst real lovers of God would never come to know if they were not shown on television and brought into social media.
Thanks to social media, images of parades and festivities are reaching the general public on an unprecedented scale and are thus amplified and sometimes, or more than once, may be taken out of context. Moreover, while in the past, traditions were not called into question, this questioning has now become appropriate, Unia notes.

“As such, that is a positive thing. Folkloristic events can evolve according to changing attitudes and new insights, allowing them to become celebrations in which no one is left out”,

according to Keytsman.

We do find politicians and organisations for protecting civilians, should recognise historical similarities and see the dangers behind certain events, which, in the beginning may look harmless and childish, but have a very deep and dangerous undertone. Puerile actions may develop into actions out of frustration and dissatisfaction which generates aggression against certain population groups.

This year out of frustration, how they were treated by Unesco, everal people in the parade mocked the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), using Jewish caricatures as well.

But, from what we came to see and hear in the media, it went much further.

Unia promises to collect all the information and will investigate whether criminal offences were committed. For this, they are in contact with the prosecutor’s office and the police.

We wonder how Unia is going to act or take juridical prosecution against the group who had their float a sign labelled

“regulations for the Jewish party committee,”

and it included a not to misunderstand sarcastic:

“Do not mock Jews”

and a shocking

“Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew.”

which clearly indicates they have formed an idea about Jews in general and do want others to believe that Jews have something to hide or do not want to have the truth about them told. This means those carnavalists understand the truth about the Jews is not or may not be told!?!

Rudi Roth, a journalist for the Antwerp-based Joods Actueel Jewish paper, said the expressions of anti-Semitism in Aalst this year were more numerous and prominent than last year. He called it a

“backlash effect.”

Coming closer to the event celebrities gave notice not having free time to come to the parade. Several politicians backed out of appearances with Aalst’s mayor, who has defended the parade displays.

According to Christophe D’Haese of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance, carnival is not an anti-Semitic event and should be seen in its context of

“everything is allowed”.

He said the event

“certainly has anti-Semitic elements,”

the likes of which he said had not been on display since the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945.

With good reason Rubinfeld said

“Aalst’s name is now associated with anti-Semitism,and that’s partly because of the mayor’s inaction.”

With questioning eyes, we are very curious to see whether Unia this year will make a real effort to go to court and make it clear that what has been shown this year in Aalst has been far out of proportion in our society and cannot be admitted.

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Preceding

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

A Jew and Muslim walking together side by side down USA city streets

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting

Aalst Carnaval: Unia analyseert meldingen

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Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

image from BloggingHeads.tv podcast

American political scientist, political economist, and author Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama in 2015

The American writer and political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote

“Human beings never existed in a pre-­social state. The idea that human beings at one time existed as isolated individuals is not correct.”

In his seminal 1989 essay ‘The End of History?’ he also wrote

‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Fukuyama trying to convey silent messages through stories about the evolution of democratic societies he continued

‘With the fall of the Soviet Union the struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.’

The End of History and the Last Man.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest.

Fukuyama did not suggest that the end of history meant the end of wars or conflicts, but rather that capitalism and Western-style liberal democracy were the culmination of human political development and would not, and could not, be transcended. He beliefs that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War marked the last ideological stage in the progression of human history. The initial political challenge having to escape beyond tribalism and the “tyranny of cousins”.

For Fukuyama, tribal organisation responds to structural imperatives in social evolution but also blocks the path to further development. The early account of the origins of state-like forms relies heavily on Lawrence Keeley’s military-focused argument in War Before Civilisation (1996) and does not consider the evidence assembled by Keith Otterbein in How War Began (2004): that warfare greatly declined in importance following the hunting to extinction of the larger mammals. Keeley himself grants that early settlement cultures, such as the Natufian,

“furnish no indication of warfare at all”. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

We can see that in the West the majority prefers a capitalist system and in several industrialised countries people are a lot afraid of what smells social or communist. Fukuyama thinks that all states are going to adopt a form of capitalist liberal democracy. It was an argument contested from almost the moment he finished writing his essay.
The rise of Islamism, the unleashing of ethnic conflicts, the challenge posed by China – a myriad developments, his critics suggested, questioned the presumption of an end of history.

Donald Trump’s Presidential victory was one of the signs how politicians would easily be able to lure people in false ideas, by their words. The last few years we have seen a seemingly unstoppable rise of populist forces throughout Europe.

Many will probably see how in the quarter of a century since Fukuyama wrote his essay, politics, particularly in the West, has indeed shifted away from ‘ideological struggle’ towards

‘the endless solving of technical problems’.

The broad ideological divides that characterized politics for much of the past two hundred years have been eroded. Politics has become less about competing visions of the kinds of society people want than a debate about how best to manage the existing political system, a question more of technocratic management rather than of social transformation.

What might more come to an end is the believe of people in political systems and in politicians. Lots of people are convinced that politicians are not listening to them and are mostly just working for themselves and trying to get the best paid job.
The majority of politicians have lost connection with the ordinary people who want to feel as if they are justly recognised and that their voice can be heard. The last few years they feel more they are mocked at, nobody taking their voice seriously. Politicians should come to know that this desire to experience both personal and collective recognition is inescapable to the modern human condition.

Liberal democratic states that Fukuyama so vigorously defended in “The End of History” have not responded well to the challenges of pluralism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, few believed in an alternative to capitalism, not seeing that the Soviet Union was not really the best representative of communism, because it had more dictators than real communist leaders. Communist parties crumbled, while social democratic parties remade themselves, cutting ties to their traditional working class constituencies while reorienting themselves as technocratic parties. Trade unions weakened and social justice campaigns eroded.

It seemed that not only in Europe social movements and political organizations eroded,  and the far-right movements gained space. Local people wanted to become recognised and wanted to look upon social change through the lens of their own cultures, identities, goals and ideals.

Many sections of the working class have found themselves politically voiceless at the very time their lives have become more precarious, as jobs have declined, public services savaged, austerity imposed, and inequality risen. Many also came to see all those immigrants as a danger for their own position, their jobs and income as well as being afraid of loosing their culture.

Having their world coming to an end.

Lots of people in charge of the working of society did not see the discontent many their votes expressed.

Prominent alt-rightists were instrumental in organising the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Here, rally participants carry Confederate battle flags, Gadsden flags and a Nazi flag.

In Europe and America, people have become disaffected with the old order and felt more attraction for those who promised heaven on earth and for them “a great nation” again. Many of the opposition movements that give voice to that disaffection of the labourers, are shaped not by progressive ideals but by sectarian politics, and rooted in religious or ethnic identity. The Islamist AKP in Turkey or the Hindu nationalist BJP in India are the equivalents of the Front National in France or the alt right, far-right, white supremacist, white nationalist, white separatist, anti-immigration and antisemitic movement in America and Europe.

Those growing right-wing and far- or extreme-right-wing groups should make us aware of the severity of the present political situation. We are witnessing a globally disinformation movement which is creating more hatred and racism as well setting up people against others for wrong reasons.

The current tumult is the result of struggles for recognition that remain unshaped by progressive movements, of ideological struggles in a post-ideological world.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. In his new book: Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment Francis Fukuyama looks at the new layers of meaning of the voters or citizen’s identity.

Fukuyama believes that the focus on self separates people from their communities. The demand for identity cannot be transcended and therefore people must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.
When coming to know the self one can not ignore the connection with religious feelings. One aspect of wisdom is recognizing your need for The One Being outside man.

Christianity succeeds in diminishing family ties when the Church takes a strong stand against practices which enhanced the power of lineages such as cousin marriage, divorce, adoption and marriage to the widows of dead relatives. The looser family pattern favoured by the practices of Latin Christianity have the effect of channelling assets to the Church itself (eg through widows’ bequests). Fukuyama further urges that “contrary to Marx, capitalism was the consequence rather than the cause of a change in social relationships”. Yet he soon acknowledges that

“the most convincing argument for the shift has been given by the social anthropologist Jack Goody“,

an authority whose work could be seen as a distinctive fruit of Cambridge Marxism. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

Fukuyama has the idea that the individualistic sense of identity comes to the fore during periods of modernisation in which people fled from rural areas into the cities and were confronted with a mass of different dialects or languages, religions and cultures and were aware of a sense of the difference between where they were and where they are now. Today in some way many people seem to be lost or are so much afraid of such confrontation they do hope their politicians can solve that problem of difference between the inhabitants of their villages, cities and countries.

Fukuyama notes the ways in which questions of identity politics have come to be regarded as synonymous with the right. Donald Trump supporters are animated around the removal of Confederate statues and the president’s lack of defence to political correctness is a significant mobilising force on the right.

Intimidation and efforts to control people have become the present day norm for many politicians, who gain a lot of popularity because many fall for their lies. That virus threatening democracy has not only infected the United States but also the European Union. As such we may see that identity politics has become the political form of cultural fragmentation of these days, and is corrosive of some features of an effective democracy – social cohesion, talking with strangers and working across the aisle.

According to me the politicians do have to give an identity to the people again and have to show them that we all have more in common with each other than what divides us.

It is a “we” who are the same, and not a “we” who are strangers dwelling together despite our differences. {Jeff RichIdentity Crisis – some theses on identity politics}

The End of the End of History?

History shall continue and show how man tries to find different political solutions and ways to govern a country. Man shall have to find a way to make it that by the globalisation more and more people would be going to see the richness of a multicultural society, instead of fearing it.

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Read also

  1. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  2. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  3. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  4. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values
  9. Populism endangering democracy
  10. An European alliance or a populist alliance
  11. British Parliament hostage its citizens for even more months
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further related

  1. The Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama
  2. What Do We Mean When We Say Something Is Political? — Recommended Readings
  3. The Sisyphean Task at the Core of Identity Politics
  4. Fukuyama has a new book on identity
  5. Little Theories
  6. The Decline of Liberalism
  7. Identity
  8. Identity Crisis – some theses on identity politics
  9. We’re in This Together Now 
  10. Two Books by Francis Fukuyama
  11. What Fukuyama got right.
  12. From ‘End Of History’ To ‘End Of Democracy’ – Why Fukuyama Now Likes China
  13. “Echoing Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’ …
  14. Social Psychology and Religious Behavior
  15. Francis Fukuyama and technology
  16. Eurasianism: The Struggle For The Multi-Polar World

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Vote!

To safeguard democracy certain countries, like Belgium demand all people to come to vote when there are elections. In Belgium voting is compulsory and one is expected to bring in your thoughts on how the country or the European Union is run.

It is easy to complain that things are not going like you would love to see them going. But when giving your opinion the governement can take your voice into account and can have an idea what the people really want. Voting is the way to give your opinion and to give a signal to the ones governing if they are doing their job all-right or doing it wrongly.

It is up to each citizen to take his or her responsibility and to contribute to the working of the state- or political system. Not fulfilling your citizens duties is showing discontent for those in charge and not willing to take up a voice for those in need and for those who can’t speak for themselves (illiterate, poor, to young people but also plants and animals).

For years lots of people have fought to get a fair vote. Many have offered their life in name of democracy, freedom, equality and liberty, all matters we should protect and give highly esteem.

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To remember

Between 23th and 26th of May 2019 European Parliament newly elected.

  • Every single vote contributes to the outcome.
  • Politics = enormous impact on our lives > influence every aspect of our life
  • co-determine + co-decide => co-choose the politicians > possibility to control future of politics

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Preceding

You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone

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Read also

A Voice to give in May 2019

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Related

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  3. Stolen Elections
  4. Time for Annie to Get her Gun: The Winds of Change Are Not Carrying Democracy
  5. Here Are the Alt-Right Figures Trump Thinks Are the Innocent Victims of Censorship
  6. Everything on Muskegon County’s ballot for next week’s Election Day
  7. Europeans 2019, in France, a poll on crisis background of yellow vests

My Creative Space

Between the
23th and the 26th of May 2019 the European Parliament will be newly elected.
But, like in every election, not each citizen who has a vote uses it. If you
need some motivation to go to the ballot box, keep on reading.

1. Every
single vote counts. Full stop. We live in a democracy. Every vote is counted
and contributes to the outcome.

2. Politics
is all around us. It has an enormous impact on our lives. Not only huge
decisions like taxes and pensions but also decisions as minor as the shape of
your banana are made by politics. They influence every aspect of your life as
they set the rules you then have to live by. With your vote you choose and influence
the politicians who make politics that influence your life. If you want to
co-determine how your life is influenced, you have to co-decide…

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You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone

There are several religious people who say Christians may not be involved in politics or even may not go to bring out their vote.

In Belgium voting is compulsory, and not going to the ballot station is a criminal offence, as such each Belgian is expected to have his say and foreign residents in Belgium, are welcome also to give their voice so that there can be worked at a democratic country, where everybody can have his say.

This month and especially on the 26th of May each resident of Belgium and those living in the European Union, should think about what they want to do and what position they want to take in this world.

Everybody should know that there are animals and plants plus enough people who have no voice and that it is important that people come up for them.

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To remember

What are you waiting for? ….  That ache inside you in sign enough.

  • We lean into “be still” + ignore call “to do”.
  • heartbeat of Love = action. Love = action. >Love cannot exist without action.
  • in the doing = change the world.

God already gave you mandates:

  • care for the poor and the orphaned and widow;
  • fight against injustice;
  • proclaim the gospel;
  • worship;
  • love others the way you want to be loved;
  • relentlessly throw all of who you are at the feet of Jesus.
  • Don’t make exceptions for yourself.
  • Don’t make excuses.

speak it out loud.

Speak up even if it means you are the only one left standing.

 

You want to change the world? = Go home + love you family. Be bold. Love the broken. Call out evil every single time.

Fight for the children who cannot fight for themselves.

Love risks everything to see truth + justice thrive.

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Read also

A Voice to give in May 2019

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Related

Vote

If God has called you to it. Do it.

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Many members of Jewish community wondering if they are still welcome in Poland

In the European Union we can find more groups which deny the atrocities that happened only a little bit more than half a century ago. In a few weeks’ time, Poland’s Jewish community will mark the 50th anniversary of the events of March 1968. They will do so in the wake of arguably the most serious crisis in Polish-Jewish relations since the fall of communism in 1989, after the passage of controversial legislation criminalising the attribution to the Polish state or Polish nation of complicity in the crimes committed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

About the Jewish Community” in Warsaw – Photo by Marysia Galbraith, cultural anthropologist, professor at New College and the Department of Anthropology at The University of Alabama, and Fulbright scholar in Poland for the 2014-2015 academic yea

Perhaps 10% of the of the pre-war Jewish population in Poland may have survived World War II and could see her Jewish culture to resurrect itself driven by the younger generation taking almost 50 years to face now again some danger. Also the relations between Poland and Israel may seem to come in their deepest crisis in memory in the wake of Poland’s move to criminalize criticism of Polish collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust.

To understand why this state of affairs is dangerous, regrettable and difficult to resolve, it is important to consider it against the backdrop of wider European-Israel and European-Jewish relations.

Speaking to the Observer, members of the Polish-Jewish community and activists involved in Polish-Jewish dialogue and reconciliation have expressed their shock and dismay at this deterioration in public discourse. While stressing that the present crisis is not comparable to that of March 1968, many said that, with their loyalties once again being called into question, the echoes of the rhetoric of the “anti-Zionist campaign” were too uncomfortable to ignore.

“We are receiving antisemitic, anti-Jewish statements on a daily basis,”

said Anna Chipczyńska, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw.

“Members of the community feel that their loyalty is being questioned, that people are expecting them to take a side. Some of them also indicate the silence of friends and work colleagues in the face of these attacks, and this really hurts them.”

Still today we must be very well aware that anti-semitism in Poland is so high that Poland is listed the second most anti-Jewish country in Europe (Spain is first) according to a 2008 Pew survey of European sentiments towards Jews. 36 percent of Poles express hostility towards Jews. we can also not undue the impression that Poland wants to whitewash the role of the Poles who killed or denounced Jews during the German occupation of Poland during World War II.

2018 February 6, Tuesday Polish President Andrzej Duda signed legislation that outlaws blaming Poland as a nation for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany, defying both criticism from Israel and a warning from the U.S.

For some long time we could hear Polish officials arguing that a Holocaust speech law was needed to fight the use of expressions like “Polish death camps” as shorthand for the German camps in Nazi-occupied Poland where Jews and others were exterminated. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the new law

“adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry.”

and found that the

“terms like ‘Polish death camps’ are painful and misleading,”

best countered through

“open debate, scholarship, and education.”

Though President Andrzej Duda said he would also ask Poland’s constitutional court to evaluate the bill said it would not prohibit Holocaust survivors and witnesses from talking about crimes committed by individual Poles.

“We do not deny that there were cases of huge wickedness,”

he said in a speech but made it clear not the whole Polish nation could attributed to be guilty for what happen in their heimat.

He said the point of the law is to prevent the Polish nation as a whole from being wrongly accused of institutionalized participation in the Holocaust. He recalled that the Polish government at the time had to go into exile and Polish officials were those who struggled to inform the world that the Germans were putting Jews to death on Polish soil.

“No, there was no systemic way in which Poles took part in it,”

Duda said.

The bill first was proposed about two years ago, soon after Law and Justice took power in 2015, but hadn’t been an issue of public debate recently. Many people were surprised when lawmakers suddenly approved it on Jan. 26, the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Jan Grabowski, a historian at the University of Ottawa in Canada who studies Polish violence against Jews during the war, called Duda’s signing of the law

“further proof that the nationalists now in power in Poland will do anything to cater to the hard, right-wing core of their electorate.”

“Unfortunately, it is not only the nationalists but also the whole Polish society which will have to pay the price,”

said Grabowski, who is also a member of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw.

Like in Germany we should know that not all people agreed with what was happening and that not all Poles behaved indecently during German occupation. The Polish people shall have to recognise that there may have been a small criminal underclass, who were especially visible in small towns, like we shall have to see that their guilt cannot be put on the nation as a whole and that there also have been several Polish people who fought valiantly against the Nazis.

Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, told CNN on Tuesday February 20, that the fallout from the new law has been so fierce it has left many members of the Jewish community wondering if they are still welcome in Poland.

Schudrich said the open letter was not a political move but more of an opportunity to show how the community is feeling.

“This is one of the most devastating effects of the past few weeks,”

Schudrich said.

‘It is devastating that such questions are asked and speaks to the fragility of the situation. It’s not just the new law but the tone of the discussion with almost no reaction from leadership to that tone. A deafening silence by the leadership.”

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Additional reading

Declaration of the Polish Associations for Jewish Studies and for Yiddish Studies concerning recent legislation on the Institute for National Remembrance

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Further related

  1. The Rightwing Polish
  2. Neo-Nazis in the Mainstream?
  3. Facebook like a Facistbook
  4. Anti-Semitism in Poland in part of a larger European problem
  5. Polish Jews stunned, scared by eruption of anti-Semitism
  6. Poland’s Problem
  7. Podgórze: Below the hill and through the ghetto
  8. Jewish Warsaw in the Shadow of Skyscrapers
  9. Crossing Boarders
  10. Holocaust Remembrance Day in Włocławek
  11. Polish Government Freezes Controversial Holocaust Law
  12. Poland’s Jewish groups say Jews feel unsafe since new Holocaust law
  13. Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland
  14. Poland’s Jews fear for future under new Holocaust law
  15. Israel pushes back against Polish proposal that rejects culpability for Holocaust
  16. Israel pushes back against Polish proposal that rejects culpability for Holocaust (2 – English News, LTEshare)
  17. Israel pushes back against Polish proposal that rejects culpability for Holocaust (3 – at Lonely blogging)

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A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

As the anniversary of the signature of the EU’s founding treaties is approaching, a group of over 300 European academics and personalities are endorsing this appeal to relaunch European integration and inviting civil society, academia, young people and citizens to participate to the March for Europe in Rome on March 25.

Alberto Alemanno for VoxEurop

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957. – AP Images – Treaty of Rome, originally (1957–93) Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, succeeded by (1993–2009) Treaty Establishing the European Community and (2009– ) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; also called, together with the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

25 March 2017 is the day of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties which have made the EU project the most successful experiment of peace and integration ever.

This date may go down history as yet another self-praising, boring, closed-door party of 27 EU leaders or as the germ of a first conscious, popular and patriotic European manifestation. A March for Europe – mimicking the one that took place in London in the aftermath of the Brexit vote – has been announced by the Union of European Federalists. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects – a few pro-European organisations – are behind this one-in-a-generation opportunity to show how many citizens of Europe support and share its ideals, values and lifestyles. Despite its high-potential in prompting a genuine, pan-European manifestation calling for a renewal of the EU project through an inclusive, constituent process, the risk that it may reveal a flop is dangerously high.

The appeal below intends to pierce the typical Brussels bubble currently surrounding the March for Europe, by broadening its audience to a much wider public. There has never been a better opportunity to federate – in a critical moment of its existence – the multitude of associations, movements and grassroots actors who believe in the European project. There has never been a better opportunity to make your voice heard and contribute to the emergent European public space. There has been never been a better opportunity to shape your history and that of the generations to come.

See you in Rome on 25 March. Help us spread the call below through the hashtag #MarchForEurope2017!

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

We ask national politicians and the media to stop depicting integration as a zero-sum game, thus pitting nations against one another. In an interdependent world no nation can satisfy all of its citizens’ basic needs and appeals for social justice. In this context, integration and supranational government is a positive-sum game. Our European social model based on liberal democracy and a social market economy can only survive in a multi-level framework of government, on the basis of the subsidiarity principle.

Dutch passportEstonian passportWe European citizens are aware that globalisation is transforming the world. We need a European government to foster our common values and contribute to the solution of the global problems threatening humanity. The world needs an outward-looking cosmopolitan Europe to help build a more effective and democratic global governance to cope with climate change, peace, global poverty, and the transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy.

Seat

The European Central Bank (ECB; French: Banque centrale européenne) = central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world.

Phrygian cap on pole.svgWe European citizens recognise the EU as an incomplete Res Publica. It has a ridiculous budget (0.9 percent of GDP) and no financial autonomy from Member states, while its current competences are out of date for what is necessary to successfully answer the challenges of the current crises. It has a federal like legislative, judiciary and central bank. But democracy is the possibility for citizens to choose the government and make it accountable. For the Union to work and be democratic its decisions, including budget, foreign and defence policy, and the reform of the Treaties, should primarily be taken by a qualified majority representing the majority will of European citizens and states. The Commission should evolve into a fully-fledged government, setting and promoting a political agenda legitimated through elections. European parties should present their candidates to the Presidency at the European election.

The alternative is a directly elected President of the EU merging the Presidencies of the Commission and the European Council.

On 14 February 1984 the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, the so-called Spinelli Project, pointing towards a political union, which Member states disregarded. On 14 February 2017 we call upon the European Parliament, the only directly elected body of the EU, to take a new initiative to kick-start the EU on strengthened democratic basis. Talking about banking, fiscal, economic, energy, security, defence and political unions makes sense only within a genuine democratic European Union, with all those policies under a European government.

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Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the Jerónimos Monastery of Lisbon, Portugal, 13 December 2007, which entered into force on 1 December 2009

On 25 March 2017 the Heads of state and government will celebrate the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1957. We call upon them to match the vision of the Founders. They should open the way to the re-foundation of the EU on the basis of the European Parliament proposal, and immediately exploit all the Lisbon Treaties’ instruments to strengthen EU institutions and policies, especially on foreign and security, economic and social policies.

We call upon the Europe’s youth, its civil society, workers, entrepreneurs, academia, local governments and European citizens to participate in the March for Europe in Rome on 25 March. Together we shall give the political leaders the strength and courage to push forward the EU to a new beginning. European unity is key to solve our common problems, safeguard our values and ensure our welfare, security and democracy.

This Appeal was drafted by Roberto Castaldi with Giuliano Amato, Yves Bertoncini, Stefan Collignon, Anthony Giddens, Ulrike Guérot, and Miguel Maduro. It is available in various languages for further adhesions at March for Europe with the list of signatures and the info on the March.

Marcus Ampe

March for Europe: in Rome on March 25

Flag of the European Union

English: Constituency for the European Parliam...

English: Constituency for the European Parliament election in 2009 Español: Mapa por el Elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2009 Français : Circonscriptions aux élections européennes en 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

F: Une véritable Union européenne pour garantir le bien-être, la sécurité et la démocratie

D.: Eine echte Europäische Union die Gemeinwohl, Sicherheit und Demokratie gewährleistet

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