The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 11/07/2017

The New York Times—I. Kershner / Israeli Labor Party tries a new leader: Gabbay, self-made millionaire

  • Avi Gabbay, a relative novice in Israeli politics, became the chairman of Israel’s center-left Labor Party, beating Amir Peretz in a runoff.
  • Gabbay’s victory is not likely to pose an imminent threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Labor Party has not won a general election in 18 years, and is currently polling third after Likud and the centrist Yesh Atid.
  • But the extraordinary rise of Gabbay, 50, is expected to breathe new life into the Labor movement. A former CEO of Bezeq, Israel’s telecommunications monopoly, Gabbay was the minister of environmental protection in the Netanyahu cabinet, but disagreements led him to quit and then to join Labor about 6 months ago.
  • Gabbay is a Mizrahi, or Sephardic Jew, which make up about half of Israel’s Jewish population. Many Sephardic Jews have traditionally voted for Likud or other right-wing or religious parties.
  • The next elections are scheduled for late 2019, though many Israeli governments do not last their full four-year terms.

The Guardian—P. Wintour / Saudi demands for restoring relations with Qatar not viable, says US

  • Rex Tillerson’s communications adviser, RC Hammond, said the complete set of Saudi demands to Qatar were not viable even though constituent elements were worth discussing.
  • RC Hammond added that the international community was losing patience with the Gulf’s funding of extremist groups. “This is a two-way street,” he said. “There are no clean hands.”
  • In his first foray into shuttle diplomacy since his appointment, Tillerson is planning to spend most of the week in the Gulf in a bid to mediate in the dispute.
  • Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy on Syria warned that the Gulf dispute has the potential to complicate efforts to secure a peace deal in Syria.
  • De Mistura welcomed the ceasefire agreement, but there were reports that Assad’s Syrian army, aligned with Iranian militias, breached it yesterday.

South China Morning Post—M. Lau / Merkel appeals to China for ‘humanity’ for ailing Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

  • Germany stepped up its public support for ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo on Monday, with Berlin saying Chancellor ­Angela Merkel hoped Beijing would show “a signal of humanity” towards the dissident.
  • Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the latest report of Liu’s worsening health “is depressing”.
  • A German foreign ministry source said that Germany “had several high-level discussions with the Chinese side on Liu’s wish to exit China for medical treatment”, and “[continues] to stand ready to accept Liu Xiaobo for medical treatment.”
  • Berlin-based Chinese dissident and writer Liao Yiwu said that according to a mutual friend, Merkel had “tried her best to raise the issue of Liu Xiaobo every day” during Xi Jinping’s stay in Hamburg.
  • The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman reportedly said that “China hopes relevant countries will respect China’s sovereignty and will not use individual cases to interfere with China’s internal affairs.”

Foreign Affairs—O. Rosenboim / Globalism and nationalism

  • The idea that globalism is fundamentally at odds with national sovereignty is a false and misleading narrative. The recognition of the world’s “oneness” did not mean that political or cultural homogeneity was inevitable or desirable.
  • In its post-war definition, globalism meant an awareness of the political implications of the interconnected globe. In its essence, globalism is democratic, anti-imperialistic and pluralistic.
  • Globalism challenges the idea that national, regional, or international political decisions can be detached from global implications and causes.
  • Only a political strategy grounded in a global understanding of political relations can effectively advance national interests.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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