What you need to know:
- Alongside them is Talib is Ilhan Omar, a vocal Somali American who have been very vocal against what they perceive as injustices meted out enmasse on the people living in the occupied territories.
- These speeches ignore the fact that Hamas conducted an unprovoked mass raid inside Israel and killed 1200 people.
In 2023, we saw many global trends. The continuation of the clash of identities, or in Samuel Huntington’s words, the Clash of Civilizations.
The epicenter of this conflict has returned to Israel and the Middle East where Israel is reasserting itself over the whole of Palestine. Remember, that Palestine gave birth to Israel as the home of the Jews.
Now the equation is in the reverse. A failure to reach a permanent two-state solution. The geographic and economic unviability of the remainder, the West Bank and Gaza give little hope to the military solution.
But there are other risks to global security apart from bloodshed, collective punishment in the words of UN Secretary General Anthony Guiterrez, nuclear powers are next door to each other.
Russia and the United States share some borders in the oil rich Pacific northwest, so do Britain and France over the English Channel.
China farther adrift shares some territorial boundaries with both French and British possessions. But in the Middle East, two undeclared nuclear powers Israel and Iran are in close proximity.
In fact, the current putsches in Gaza, where the PLO was long ago displaced by Hamas as the ruling regime is an Iran-Israel proxy war.
The world continues to watch these operations with anguish and horror, knowing that one misstep can quickly lead to another.
US President Joe Biden to his credit has de-escalated tensions with China, in talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in San Francisco, resuming direct military-military contacts. This was after a year of near misses by both air and naval assets belonging to the two powers in the Pacific.
In 2023, as predicted by the IMF, many countries began feeling the full effect of a slowing in economic activity. China is distracted by depressed local demand and a distorted housing market.
Higher interest rates everywhere are causing anguish. Turkey, now the world’s 19th largest economy in a record increased rates from 15 percent to a record 40 percent.
Inside the East African Community, there is disbelief at how rapidly Kenya has depreciated its shilling to finance its large domestic deficit. The Local unit is trading at KShs 150 to the Dollar punishing non-US dollar regional investors in its economy, the region’s largest.
The East African Community welcomed Somalia to its membership simultaneously forgiving South Sudan of their arrears.
President Ruto has spoken more forcefully in favour of political federation but small trade spats with her neighbors are yet to stop.
Uganda is moving away from overland transport of fuel products through Kenya completely and riding the fortunes of the national oil company on the erratic realpolitik of Vital Oil on of the big three Swiss trading houses.
The push-back against the ongoing hostilities in Gaza are being felt elsewhere. Political leaders everywhere, pro-Israel clashing with pro-Palestine crowds whether in Britain where speeches in the House of Commons have denounced the invasion of Gaza, or in the US Congress where the sole Palestinian Arab member of Congress Rashida Talib sits alongside Stephanie Bice an Iranian American in the House of Representatives.
Alongside them is Talib is Ilhan Omar, a vocal Somali American who have been very vocal against what they perceive as injustices meted out enmasse on the people living in the occupied territories. These speeches ignore the fact that Hamas conducted an unprovoked mass raid inside Israel and killed 1200 people.
A retired US State Department official in New York was recently arrested for taunting a Palestinian vendor vending hot-dogs. In chilly Vermont, three students wearing traditional shawls were shot on the way home by a lone gunman.
In the White House, hundreds of staffers frustrated with the Biden White House position on Israel signed a petition urging change of course. Things are not going to be easy in 2024, as war comes back to center front as the means to allocate resources globally.
Everyone is observing cautiously, a sad thing at a time when the world celebrates Christmas.
Mr Karoli Ssemogerere is an Attorney-At-Law and an Advocate. [email protected]