Tag Archives: disaster

The Trump-Netanyahu relationship is sowing disaster for both countries

The Trump-Netanyahu relationship is sowing disaster for both countriesBy catering to the right, the leaders are harming Palestinians, making Israel less safe and further damaging America’s reputation‘The Trump administration needs to realize that it is playing with fire in its approach to Israel.’ Photograph: Carlos Barría/ReutersIn the run-up to the Israeli elections, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu took a series of irresponsible steps to help the Israeli prime minister’s electoral prospects: Trump announced support for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said he would annex parts of the West Bank and claimed he had US support, and Trump designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, a move for which Netanyahu immediately took credit.Though Netanyahu may be the apparent winner of the Israeli election, Trump and Netanyahu should be careful what they wish for. While pleasing their rightwing supporters, the two leaders are doing severe damage to the interests of both countries.Trump and Netanyahu have forged an overtly political relationship. Even before the most recent election, Trump had taken unprecedented steps that support Netanyahu’s agenda, from moving the US embassy to Jerusalem to cutting all US funding for the United Nations agency that supports Palestinians to closing the Palestinian office in Washington DC.Netanyahu takes the blank check from Trump and cashes it in for more extreme policies. Marking a new level of recklessness in a pre-election gambit to get more rightwing votes, Netanyahu suggested that he would annex parts of the West Bank, an outrageous move that would destroy the progress Israelis and Palestinians have made over the decades, risk violence and garner widespread international condemnation.If in the past US policy has been criticized for being one-sided in favor of Israel, Trump has abandoned of any semblance of even-handedness. And if previous Israeli governments have preserved space to pursue peace with the Palestinians, Netanyahu is implementing policies that could make a two-state solution all but impossible.If these trends continue, everyone will suffer.The Palestinian people will bear the brunt of the pain. With the United States cutting off its funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) – which provides Palestinian refugees with healthcare, education, and food – countless Palestinians could be hurt.> The embrace between rightwing counterparts in the United States and Israel is driving the relationship into an unsustainable placeIsrael will be less safe. Pulling funding from the Palestinian Authority will disrupt counter-terrorism cooperation with Palestinian security services. That’s why many Israelis believe the move endangers Israeli security, as the retired Israel defense forces lieutenant colonel Peter Lerner made clear: “These abrupt steps will only empower the radicals … hardballing the Palestinian[s] is likely to blow up on Israel’s doorstep.”Israeli democracy will continue eroding. The Israeli government discriminates against Arab Israelis, evidenced by a new measure giving Jews special status under the law. Members of Netanyahu’s party took cameras into polling places in Arab neighborhoods to intimidate voters during this week’s elections. All of this is in addition to Israel’s repression of millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The undermining of Israel’s democratic norms will affect its moral stature and its relationships with countries that support the country not only as the homeland of the Jewish people and a strategic partner but also as a democracy.The US-Israel relationship will deteriorate. The embrace between rightwing counterparts in the United States and the rightwing Israeli government is driving the US-Israel relationship into an unsustainable place. The more the United States embraces extreme Israeli policies, the more Americans will refuse to back Israel as long as it denies rights to Palestinians, eschews diplomacy, and undermines the very nature of Israeli democracy.To the world, America will look more like a villain. Trump’s disregard for Palestinian interests is yet another reaffirmation for many that Trump’s America is racist; it will further alienate America from global partners and publics.Chances for a two-state solution will become even more remote. While the prospects for peace right now are very low – and the Palestinians’ lack of leadership and Hamas’s violence and repression in Gaza deserve significant blame – Trump and Netanyahu are creating more roadblocks to peace while ensuring the Palestinians stay away from the negotiating table. Jared Kushner might as well scrap whatever peace plan he’s working on.For America to play a constructive role in supporting peace, a reasonable discussion over US policy is necessary. But Trump is poisoning the debate in the United States by politicizing the relationship and stoking antisemitism. Out of one side of his mouth, Trump claims he is a champion of Israel – which he defines as supporting Netanyahu’s agenda and siding with Israel against its neighbors in disputes – while accusing Democrats of being “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish”. Out of the other side of his mouth, Trump gives license to white supremacists and fuels antisemitism.America’s debate over Israel needs a serious realignment. It is possible to be “pro-Israel” and not slavishly support everything Netanyahu wants. It is possible to be critical of Israeli policies without succumbing to demonization that spills over into outright antisemitism. And it is certainly possible to be both “pro-Israeli” and “pro-Palestinian”.Furthermore, US impartiality is not necessary for the US to support diplomacy. The special US relationship with Israel provides the United States with the unique ability to have difficult conversations about the need for Israel to compromise in pursuit of peace. Only this kind of friend can play a key brokering role in peace talks.Right now, Israel needs to hear sobering advice from its friends in America about the dangerous path the country is on. And the Trump administration needs to realize that it is playing with fire in its approach to Israel.



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Cruise ship reaches Norway port after near disaster, dramatic rescues

Cruise ship reaches Norway port after near disaster, dramatic rescuesThe Viking Sky sent out a mayday signal on Saturday as it drifted in rough waters in the Norwegian Sea to within 100 meters of land. A total of 1,373 people had started the voyage and about 900 people were still on board as the ship arrived at the port of Molde on Norway’s west coast. The ship drifted to within 100 meters of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines,” police chief Hans Vik, who heads the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told TV2.



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Entire Countries Are Grounding Boeing's 737 Max 8 Jets After Ethiopia Airlines Disaster

Entire Countries Are Grounding Boeing's 737 Max 8 Jets After Ethiopia Airlines DisasterAviation authorities the world over are urging caution after another Boeing jet crashed.



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Brazilian anger unabated by Vale vows after dam disaster

Brazilian anger unabated by Vale vows after dam disaster“Too Late” read newspaper Estado de Minas in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, after Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner, said it would take up to 10 percent of its production offline and spend 5 billion reais ($ 1.36 billion) to decommission 10 dams like the one that collapsed at its Corrego do Feijao mine last Friday. With 110 people confirmed dead and another 238 missing, according to firefighters’ count on Thursday evening, the tailings dam collapse in the town of Brumadinho may be Brazil’s deadliest-ever mine disaster. In recent days, Vale has vowed to keep paying taxes on the paralyzed mine and donate 100,000 reais to the family of each victim.



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Trump 'tried to cut off' disaster relief money for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Trump 'tried to cut off' disaster relief money for Puerto Rico after Hurricane MariaPresident Trump attempted to cut off federal disaster aid to Puerto Rico, it has been reported, which may have prompted deputy Housing and Urban Development secretary Pam Patenaude to resign. In October, the president inaccurately tweeted that the Puerto Rican government was planning on using the disaster relief money for Hurricane Maria to pay off old debts. Although untrue, Mr Trump then reportedly attempted to prevent disaster-relief money from going to Puerto Rico, and instead requested the funds be directed to Texas and Florida, according to a Washington Post article detailing Ms Patenaude’s exit from the White House.



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Indonesia's latest tsunami raises global questions over disaster preparedness

Indonesia's latest tsunami raises global questions over disaster preparednessThe Dec. 23 tsunami killed around 430 people along the coastlines of the Sunda Strait, capping a year of earthquakes and tsunamis in the vast archipelago, which straddles the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire. “Indonesia has demonstrated to the rest of the world the huge variety of sources that have the potential to cause tsunamis. More research is needed to understand those less-expected events,” said Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton.



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Death toll from Indonesia tsunami rises to 281: disaster agency

Death toll from Indonesia tsunami rises to 281: disaster agencyThe death toll from a volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to 281, with more than 1,000 people injured, the national disaster agency said Monday, as the desperate search for survivors ramped up. “The number of victims and damage will continue to rise,” said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. According to Indonesia’s geological agency, Anak Krakatoa had been showing signs of heightened activity for days, spewing plumes of ash thousands of metres into the air.



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A Tsunami Has Killed Hundreds in Indonesia. Here's What to Know About the Latest Deadly Natural Disaster to Hit the Country

A Tsunami Has Killed Hundreds in Indonesia. Here's What to Know About the Latest Deadly Natural Disaster to Hit the Country"We just don't know how unstable the volcano is," says one expert



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Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration For California As Deadly Wildfires Rage On

Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration For California As Deadly Wildfires Rage OnPresident Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for



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California wildfires: Satellite images reveal devastating scale of disaster across US state

California wildfires: Satellite images reveal devastating scale of disaster across US stateThe sheer scale of destruction caused by wildfires in California has been revealed in satellite images released by Nasa. More than 200 people were still missing on Monday in California’s deadliest and most destructive blaze on record, which is one of two fires raging in the state. A photo of the blaze, named Camp Fire by officials, was captured by the space agency’s Landsat 8 on Thursday 8 November, showing a huge plume of smoke rising from the fire hours after it first broke out.



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