8:01 AM, Apr 24, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Despite issuing statements commemorating the National Days or Independence Days of nearly 170 countries in the past twelve months, Secretary of State John Kerry allowed the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the nation of Israel to pass without comment. This is the third year in a row Kerry has failed to officially recognize Israel's Independence Day. Kerry's predecessor, Hillary Clinton, issued statements noting the occasion during the last two years of her tenure, 2011 and 2012.
At the White House, President Obama this year missed marking the day with a statement for only the second time in his presidency. Vice President Biden, however, did attend an Israeli Independence Day Celebration at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington Thursday night. (President Obama was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel to deliver remarks and answers questions at an Organizing for Action dinner.)
Earlier this month, THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported that during Kerry's tenure, the State Department has tended to overlook Christian and Jewish occasions in favor of Islamic holidays and those of other faiths. (In the meantime, Kerry did recognize Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, this year on April 16.) For that story, a senior State Department official commented that the "State Department and White House work together to address national days and religious holidays to share the sentiments and best wishes of the American people." It is unclear why neither the State Department nor the White House marked Israel's 67th anniversary with official statements.
In the past twelve months, Kerry has released official remarks on the National Days of countries such as Uganda, Somalia, Burkina Faso and even China's 65th year as the Communist Peoples Republic of China. Last July, Kerry congratulated Venezuela on the 203rd anniversary of that country's independence.
Notably, shortly before Israel's Independence Day in 2014, Kerry issued a sharply worded statement excoriating those who questioned his support for Israel, saying that he "walked the walk when it came time to vote and ... fight" for Israel. Kerry had been quoted in a Daily Beast report as saying Israel was at risk of becoming "an apartheid state" if Middle East peace talks failed. Although Kerry said he should have "chosen a different word", he declared, "I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes[.]"
About a week later on May 6, 2014, the White House released a statement commemorating Israel's Independence Day. Kerry, who met with European Union High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton, had no words on Israel in his only public remarks on that day.
On this year's anniversary, Kerry made a statement on Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day; made remarks on Take Your Child to Work Day at the State Department; spoke on Renewing U.S. Leadership Through Economic Strength, and recorded a video greeting for Climate Partners. The 67th anniversary of the independence of the state of Israel, however, passed unnoticed.
12:00 AM, Oct 11, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Anyone who doubts that the deployment of the technologies we have come to call fracking constitutes a revolution should consider this. U.S. oil production has soared by 70 percent in the past six years. American refineries have cut in half their imports from the OPEC cartel, setting off a scramble by those countries to find new markets.
9:16 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
In the late 17th century, times were tough in Scotland. The Stuarts, the Scots’ royal family, had been tossed off the throne of England for a second time, and the country had been excluded from the burgeoning English system of international trade regulated by the Navigation Acts. Even the climate was more miserable than usual: these were the worst years of northern Europe’s “little ice age.”
6:15 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
This week’s referendum on Scottish independence may seem like an obscure, perhaps even Ruritanian quarrel to many Americans, but it has profound implications not just for the U.K. and Europe but also for the United States.
Scots debate independence Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By SARA LODGE
If at first you don’t secede, try, try again. This might be the motto of Alex Salmond’s Scottish National party, which since 1934 has been advocating the proposition that Scotland should be an independent country, governed not from London but from Edinburgh and able to make its own policy decisions about defense, immigration, taxation, and spending. On September 18, Scots will finally face a referendum about their future.
11:11 AM, Jul 4, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The hot dog is in decline in America, writes Paul Lukas at Bloomberg, and one thinks, "What isn't?" What institution, anyway. If everything were not in decline, then what would there be for journalists to write about (see Andrew Ferguson on George Packer and Haynes Johnson) and what would politicians have to campaign about?
10:50 AM, Jul 4, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On this 4th of July, I presume that TWS readers are soberly re-reading their Jefferson and carefully studying their Lincoln. But this shouldn't be a day of too much solemnity. So here's a stirring cinematic moment to revisit, from the 1996 hit Independence Day, and enjoy:
12:00 AM, Jul 2, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress declared independence. George Washington declared that day that “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves....The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.” A useful reminder for us, in a week when we rightly celebrate a Declaration, a document embodying a great idea, that speech needs to be backed up by arms, and that all still depends on the "courage and conduct" of our armed forces.
Fourth of July reflections on the Queen’s Jubilee. Jul 16, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 41 • By GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB
It was perhaps inevitable that our Fourth of July celebrations last week might have seemed anti-climactic after the four-day festivities a month ago accompanying the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Fireworks, however spectacular, cannot compare with the thousand-boat flotilla on the Thames cheered on by masses of river-side spectators (shivering and soaking in torrential rain) or the horse-drawn carriage procession (again, the streets lined with people) from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace, the Queen regally bedecked and costumed.
12:00 AM, Jul 4, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
If you're in the mood for reading a bit this July 4th, there are many fine Independence Day speeches and orations to choose from. Here are three that I find particularly moving:
6:30 AM, Jul 4, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Two months ago, I wrote about the plight of a private, Tocquevillian-style civil association in the small town of Orcutt, California. That group, the Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association (OTORA), has raised $60,000 in private donations to build a flagpole — from which the American flag would fly — encircled by a memorial to the U.S. armed forces. The flagpole and monument would be located between a highway exit and an adjacent park-and-ride lot, at the entrance to the community’s Old Town section. But the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) refused to grant approval for the project. Finally, citing a 9th Circuit Court ruling, CalTrans declared that hanging an American flag on public land constitutes an impermissible act of “public expression.”
In the new issue of National Affairs.5:15 AM, Jul 3, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
You've reread the Declaration of Independence. You've once again enjoyed Jefferson's extraordinary 50th anniversary letter of June 24, 1826, addressed to Roger Weightman. But you're up for still more reading this weekend, and you think you wouldn't mind something that deals seriously—but also in a lively way—with the current problems of the nation founded by the Declaration 235 years ago. After all, the Declaration itself, by submitting facts to a candid world in order to justify the claim of independence, implies that self-government depends on argument and reflection, not just willful or arbitrary choice.
‹‹ More Recent