After a quiet run following some minor post midterm election activity, US President Donald Trump is making an end of the year push. On foreign policy Trump has managed to push out Defense Secretary Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis by comitting to two policies the ineffective appointee had been desperately blocking, withdrawl of troops in Syria and a plan for disengagement in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile at home Trump and the GOP controlled House of Representatives are threatening the GOP controlled Senate with a government shutdown if a spending measure which passed the House including ~5.7 billion USD for contruction of a physical barrier along the US-Mexico border fails.
Russian President Putin and Jewish Leader Bibi Netanyahu are offering measured, concilliatory words after Israeli planes conducting air strikes in Syria used a Russian Il-20 observation plane as radar cover leading to its destruction by Syrian air defenses (archived). Soon after the plane went down Russia was swift to condemn Israel for their role in the destruction of the planeand loss of the crew.
Israel has been intervening in this Syrian civil war through airstrikes and other means with the apparent goal of escalating and prolonging the conflict.
In one of his first acts as President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez has ordered Paraguay's embassy moved from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv undoing his predecessor's move of the embassy in the opposite direction (archived). In a completely disproportionate response Israel has decided to shutter their embassy in Paraguay and enlisted Mike Pence in an effort to shame Paraguay. Meanwhile Turkey has decided to open an embassy in Paraguay. Previously Turkey's ambassador to Paraguay worked out of Buenos Aires though Turkey maintains two consulates in Paraguay.
German interior minister Horst Seehofer said he would have joined anti-Merkel protests in Chemnitz which followed a German man's stabbing by two "asylum seekers" and further offered immigration as the "Mother of all political problems" (archived). The asylum seekers appear to be facing charges of Totschlag in the stabbing rather than the more severe charge of Mord.
Members of the House of Saud are floating a plan to separate Qatar from Arabia by constructing a canal near Qatar's border and then converting the space between the water and Qatar's border into a nuclear waste dump (archived). The United Arab Emirates has similarly whispered about the possibility of making a nuclear waste dump along their border with Qatar as well.
The United Colours Antifa Street Soccer Cup in Zwickau, Germany was cancelled after racist violence broke out between a primarily Arab and a primarily African team. The event's organizers are self declared Antifa terrorists and describe the competition as a demonstration that Zwickau is not for "racism and every type of discrimination", a mission statement the involved players must have failed to comprehend before the game broke down into a cacophony of racist violence.
Israel has begun evacuating members of the anti-Assad "White Helmets" organization from Syria to Jordan for further evacuation to Britain, Canada, and Germany (archived). Self described as "observers" members of the White Helmets have been conspicuously and conveniently situated for each of the alleged chemical weapons incidents during the proxy war in Syria.
Israel has once again bombed their concentration camp in Gaza (archived). The camp at 365 square kilometers, inclusive of the permimeter "no-go" zones where Israeli guards shoot to kill, is the largest of its kind dwarfing historical examples while holding an estimated 2 million prisoners. Since 2005 Israel has maintained land, sea, and air blockades while only making infrequent ingresses into the camp, usually in the form of mortar and missile fire.
Last week a bill in the Israeli Knesset that proposed treating Jewish and Arab citizens equally under the law was quietly disqualified from consideration without drawing any mainstream international attention (archived). Justifications from various officials of the Jewish state on why they can't be inclusive included:
We would be seeing here a kind of creeping conquest from Africa.
I think that ‘Judaizing the Galilee’ is not an offensive term. We used to talk like that. In recent years we’ve stopped talking like that. I think it’s legitimate without violating the full rights of the Arab residents of Israel.
There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights.
Israel is a Jewish state. It isn’t a state of all its nations. That is, equal rights to all citizens but not equal national rights.
Everyone has his own Judaism. In the nation-state bill, when it talks about a Jew, it means the nationality. (archived)
The roughly 2 million prisoners of the 365 square kilometer concentration camp operated by Israel in the Gaza Strip would have been unaffacted by the limited human rights bill.
Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands a militia that violently opposed the US occupation of Iraq is set to have candidates on his ticket see a dominating election win. Candidates in al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition have won in 10 of Iraq's 18 provinces and the city of Baghdad which allocates a majority of parliament's 329 seats.
Incumbent Prime Minister Abadi’s coalition, favored by the United States and forecasted to win, is third place overall and fifth place in the capital. As the proxy war in Syria continues to rage, this Iraqi power shift towards alignment with Iran is not favorable to Israel and the United States.