World View: Israeli Arabs and Ultra-Orthodox Jews No Longer Exempted from Draft

World View: Israeli Arabs and Ultra-Orthodox Jews No Longer Exempted from Draft

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Israeli Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews react in fury to new draft law
  • Computerized trading results in ‘Mini Flash Crash’ on Wall Street
  • Investors shed a tear as Fed fails to announce new quantitative easing
  • New report warns of deteriorating security for the Philippines
  • After a shouting match, Greece’s leaders agree to austerity measures
  • Greece’s far right Golden Dawn distributes food for Greeks only

Israeli Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews react in fury to new draft law

Wednesday was the expiration date of Israel’s “Tal Law,” exemptingIsraeli Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews from compulsory militaryservice, after the Supreme Court struck the law down asunconstitutional. Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the army toprepare a plan to draft tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews intothe military, starting in a month. The situation has caused a bittersplit in prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government coalition, andone ultra-Orthodox leader has said that drafting his people wouldunleash a “civil war.” Similarly thousands of Israel’s Arab citizenscould be drafted, and they’re refusing as well. According to oneactivist, “When the moment comes and we are asked to perform civilservice, we will resist. Israel wants us to do service to the state,but first of all this state has to treat us as equal citizens.”AP and CS Monitor

Computerized trading results in ‘Mini Flash Crash’ on Wall Street

Back in the 1970s, when I was programming IBM mainframes, I learnedthe saying, “To err is human; to really f–k things up takes acomputer.” And that’s what keeps happening on Wall Street as tradingbecomes increasingly dominated by computer algorithms or “highfrequency trading” (HFT). Any software engineer knows that there’s nosuch thing as software without bugs, something to think about if youhave an implanted heart device. May 6, 2010, was the date of what hasbecome known as the “Flash Crash,” when a bug in a computer programcaused stock prices to fall 10% within a few seconds, and then recovera few minutes later. Then there was the recent botched handling of Facebook’s IPO by Nasdaq, which has also been blamed on computers.On Wednesday, certain stocks, including Goodyear Tire & Rubber, ChinaCord Blood and CoreLogic, saw violent swings in the first hour oftrading, and some were actually halted for moving more than 10% withina five-minute period. This time, the blame is being assigned tosoftware bugs in the trading algorithms of Knight Capital Group who,ironically, has been claiming that they lost $30-35 million because ofthe botched Facebook IPO. Forbes

Investors shed a tear as Fed fails to announce new quantitative easing

Bankers and investors had been hoping that the Federal Reserve wouldannounce a new quantitative easing program on Wednesday, providing newliquidity to flow into their accounts and their 7-digit bonuspackages. But they were disappointed on Wednesday when the Fed failedto announce any such program. Theoretically, quantitative easing issupposed to boost the economy, but numerous bouts of fiscal andmonetary policy that has poured money into the economy have failed tohelp the economy, because of generational reasons. People arerefusing to borrow money and spend it because they’ve been badlyburned in the last ten years, and this is resulting in a deflationaryspiral that can’t be stopped by quantitative easing. That’s thereason that the Fed doesn’t want to try QE right now — becausethey’ve learned that it simply doesn’t work. QE doesn’t benefit anyof us poor slobs, but it does help enrich investors and banksters,which is why they’re pressuring the Fed for more of it. USA Today

New report warns of deteriorating security for the Philippines

A new research report says that the Philippines faces a “significantsecurity challenge” because of its deteriorating relationship withChina. According to the report: 

The report’s general conclusion is that tensions withChina caused by territorial disputes in the South China Sea willlead to some long-overdue investment in the Armed Forces of thePhilippines (AFP), Manila is increasing its own defence budget,while allies such as the US and Japan can be expected to provideexcess defence articles either freely or cheaply.

However, BMI regards Manila’s deteriorating relationship withBeijing as a significant security challenge. Investment in the AFPwill take years to come through, and the Philippines cannot becompletely confident that its Mutual Defence Treaty with the USwould protect it in the event of a conflict with China. For thePhilippines, much will depend on ASEAN’s ability to broker a dealwith China in the form of a new code of conduct governingbehaviour in the South China Sea.

The last sentence reflects a great deal of denial and wishfulthinking. China has repeatedly made it clear that it expects to annexthe entire South China Sea region and will use its vast militarypower to punish anyone who tries to stop them. The only “code ofconduct” that China will agree to is one where everyone harmoniouslydoes whatever China demands. Business Monitor International

After a shouting match, Greece’s leaders agree to austerity measures

Leaders of the three parties in Greece’s governing coalition agreed toa package of spending cuts totaling 11.5 billion euros, to comply withdemands by European officials and the IMF for further bailout loans.The agreement came when the two parties that had been demanding ago-slow approach to further austerity measures backed down, in theface of threat by the IMF to terminate all bailout measures. Greecehas agreed to austerity measures in the past in exchange for bailoutmoney, but once the bailout money was provided, the austerity measureswere not implemented. Kathimerini

Greece’s far right Golden Dawn distributes food for Greeks only

Members of Greece’s far right Golden Dawn party handed out free foodto hundreds of people in Athens’ Syntagma Square on Wednesday, butonly to people showing ID cards proving that they’re Greek citizens.The Golden Dawn party has demanded the expulsion of all immigrantsfrom Greece, and has been accused of being “neo-Nazi.” Kathimerini 

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