13
Jan

Israeli Embassy

 

On January 9th, the International Relations Club hosted Hamutal Rogel-Fuchs, spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Madrid. Ms. Rogel-Fuchs introduced her role as spokesperson and discussed the current dynamics in the Middle East with a special emphasis on Israel.  Ms.  Rogel-Fuchs began with a short introduction of her daily tasks as spokesperson and then gave a brief overview of geographical, geopolitical and economic data about Israel. Her presentation was followed by an hour of Q&A.

10
Jan

Europe’s Supernova Moment

Written on January 10, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in Europe, News, Op Ed

eu

HAMBURG, Germany — More or less since its birth, the European Union has been a subject of apocalyptic talk — a permanent crisis mode that has worked beautifully to enhance ever-closer integration.

Today, though, the situation is different, and it is serious. Never before have Europeans been more tired and disillusioned with the promises of the Brussels mandarins. In the run-up to the European parliamentary elections in May, the gap between what’s economically necessary and what’s politically justifiable is growing dangerously wide.

Europe has come through the last years of crisis with a new momentum, and yet the situation is reminiscent of how a star reaches its greatest density just before it explodes. If that is so, is there a remedy for what the analyst Roderick Parkes has called the “supernova moment”?

There is. But it would require Germany, the union’s largest and most powerful driver, to support an idea that the country has always fiercely rejected: to activate the thrust reverser for certain parts of the unification project as a way to reduce the Continent’s political stress. It would mean, more specifically, listening to the ideas being laid out by the British prime minister, David Cameron.

Integration, Mr. Cameron argues, should be cut back in a variety of policy-making realms — social and employment laws, for example, or environmental legislation — and shifted back to the individual countries. That would allow Brussels to focus on other areas more central to its vision, like monetary unification, energy security and enlargement.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been ignoring these ideas with a mixture of anxiety, denial and lack of vision. For the sake of Europe, she should think again. Read more…

Jochen Bittner is a political editor for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit. As published in the International New York Times on Jan. 9, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com

9
Jan

Bienvenidos a la Edad de Oro del conflicto

Written on January 9, 2014 by Waya Quiviger in News, Op Ed

José Zorrilla

 

Cuando el ganador de la II Guerra Mundial, el general George C. Marshall, pasó a ejercer como Secretario de Estado (Exteriores), los periodistas le preguntaron cómo se sentía ante un cambio tan radical. Su respuesta es legendaria. “En ambos cargos hago lo mismo: administro los límites del poder”. Estas palabras pertenecen a un general que había recibido un Ejército de 50.000 hombres, todos en suelo americano, y lo había transformado en otro integrado por diez millones de efectivos desplegados por los cinco continentes. En aquellos días, EEUU venía a representar el 50% del Producto Nacional Bruto del mundo.

Pero, así como los espectadores de Esquilo olvidaban la catarsis de la tragedia en cuanto llegaban a su casa en Atenas o nosotros hemos olvidado el horror de la Guerra Civil, Estados Unidos también olvidó los límites del poder durante los años de la ‘Pax Americana‘. Washington llegó incluso a hablar de “guerras de elección” y “guerras necesarias”, abandonando la tradicional división entre guerra justa e injusta. La realidad, sin embargo, ha terminado por imponerse. El ascenso de China ha hecho entender a EEUU que, para contener al coloso, no tiene más remedio que concentrarse en el Pacífico y dejarse pelos en la gatera en otros grandes escenarios estratégicos.

Hagamos un breve repaso de los acontecimientos más destacados en la agenda internacional del año que termina para perfilar los escenarios que se convertirán en los puntos candentes de 2014. Leer más…

 

Publicado en El Confidencia el 30 de diciembre de 2013, http://www.elconfidencial.com

8
Jan

The IE  IR Club is pleased to invite you to attend a discussion conducted by Hamutal Rogel Fuchsm, the Spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Spain on

The Dynamics in the Middle East and the Role of a spokesperson.

The session will take place on Thursday 9 January at 17pm in Maria de Molina 2, F-001.

 

7
Jan

by Graham Allison

Precisely a hundred years ago today, the richest man in the world sent New Year’s greetings to a thousand of the most influential leaders in the U.S. and Europe announcing: mission accomplished. “International Peace,” he proclaimed, “is to prevail through the Great Powers agreeing to settle their disputes by International Law, the pen thus proving mightier than the sword.”

Having immigrated to the US penniless, created the steel industry as a pillar of America’s rise to preeminence, and become fabulously wealthy in the process, Andrew Carnegie had the confidence of a man who had achieved the impossible. When he turned from making money to spending it for public purposes, his goals were universal literacy at home (funding public libraries in cities and towns across America), and perpetual peace abroad, starting with the great powers of Europe and the US.

Events in the year that had just ended convinced Carnegie that 1914 would be the decisive turning point towards peace. Just six months earlier, his decade-long campaign culminated in the inauguration of the Peace Palace at the Hague, which he believed would become the Supreme Court of nations. The Palace was built to house the new International Court of Arbitration that would now arbitrate disputes among nations that had historically been settled by war. As theEconomist noted, “the Palace of Peace embodies the great idea that gradually law will take the place of war.”

Carnegie’s Peace Palace captured the zeitgeist of the era. The most celebrated book of the decade, The Great Illusion, published in 1910, sold over two million copies. In it, Norman Angell exposed the long-held belief that nations could advance their interests by war as an “illusion.” His analysis showed that conquest was “futile” because “the war-like do not inherit the earth.”

However inspiring his hopes, Carnegie’s vision proved the illusion. Six months after his New Year’s greeting, a Serbian terrorist assassinated the Austro-Hungarian Archduke. Nine months on, the guns of August began a slaughter on a scale that demanded a new category: “World War.” By 1918, Europe lay devastated, and a millennium in which it had been the creative center of the world was over. Read more…

Graham Allison is Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  Published on Jan. 1,  2014

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