A triptych of bothers:
«With bombs once again exploding all over Israel, and the Palestinian territories under seemingly permanent curfew, the woes of Palestinian homosexuals haven't exactly grabbed international attention. But after spending two days with gay Palestinian refugees in Israel, I began to wonder why the liberal world has never taken interest in their plight.
Perhaps it's because that might mean acknowledging that the pathology of the nascent Palestinian polity extends well beyond Yasir Arafat and won't be uprooted by one free election. Indeed, the torment of gays is very nearly official Palestinian policy.»
«The concept of identity, when not employed on an exclusively individual scale, is inherently reductionist and dehumanizing, a collectivist and ideological abstraction of all that is original and creative in the human being, of all that has not been imposed by inheritance, geography, or social pressure. Rather, true identity springs from the capacity of human beings to resist these influences and counter them with free acts of their own invention.
The notion of "collective identity" is an ideological fiction and the foundation of nationalism.»
«Turkey applied to join the EEC in 1963, but did not become a formal candidate until 1999. Many EU governments - and commissioners - still doubt whether the largely Muslim country of 68 million people can ever join.[...]
Next week's report is expected to praise its reforms, including the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime and more cultural rights for the Kurdish minority.
Another factor governments must bear in mind is that upsetting Ankara could reduce the likelihood of a peace settlement in Cyprus before [Cyprus] is admitted to the EU. And as a member of Nato it can block the slow-moving EU effort to establish its 60,000-strong rapid reaction force using assets and equipment borrowed from Nato.»