by Jane Young

The banning of Palestine's only Olympian from running in the Palestinian Marathon is very revealing about Israel's disingenuous attitude towards any peaceful relationship with the people it keeps under illegal occupation.    

The second Palestinian Marathon went ahead on Friday as planned.

What was not planned was the depth of Israel’s fear of people running in a race themed “Right to Movement”, based on Article 13 of the UN Human Rights Charter.

This week's Quebec election has dashed the dreams of the sovereigntists and unceremoniously routed the incumbent party for its disingenuous attempts to attack immigrants under the guise of equality through a strange interpretation of secularism. 

This week’s Quebec election which delivered a historic routing of the incumbent  sovereigntists with their ugly identity politics and secret plans to hold a third referendum to secede from Canada, is likely to be studied in political science classes for decades to come. 

While the crisis in the Crimea has somewhat overshadowed him, Israel's Prime Minister has again this week goaded the Palestinians to do something he knows they can't - recognise not just Israel's right to exist which they did years ago, but now refer to Israel as the Jewish state.  

I opened a newspaper today to see a ‘cartoon’ by Jewish political cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen who goes by the name of ‘Dry Bones’.

It's a week since the world was watching Putin's "new Russia" on display at the Winter Olympics. Ukrainians might say the new Russia looks a hell of a lot like that of old, and they'd be right.

So this is the new Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was telling the world about during the extravaganza that was the most recent, and most expensive winter olympics. 

The athletes and dignitaries have all be gone for a week - and apparently we all know how long a week is in politics.

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu has been knocked back into his place by the world's most powerful countries.... including his key friend the US, so what does he do? He takes out his anger on the Palestinians of course

When Netanyahu was humiliated by the deal between the UNSC permanent members plus Germany (P5+1), and Iran he could not hide his anger. He came out spitting, even at his best friend, the US.

Toronto's Rob Ford takes the cake - well in his case the rock - in current mayoral scandals following his blubbering confession that while he has smoked crack cocaine while hammered, he's still by far the best person to run the city. Really?

How absolutely un-Canadian is a crack-smoking, lying drunk for a mayor who, by the way, just happens to hang around with drug dealers to the degree that he has been under secret police surveillance for months?

How ironical for the 2013 UNGA which showcased the first thaw between Iran and the US in 34 years, to wind up in New York today with a full on excoriation from Israel. All it did was reveal Israel's anger that diplomacy may yet solve the Iranian nuclear stand-off.   

And so the UN General Assembly drew to a close with the desperate efforts of Israel’s Prime Minister to scare the world away from its cautious but discernible wish to explore a thaw with Iran rather than blowing it up.

Quebec's minority separatist government is dividing the province with its proposal to regulate religious symbols worn by public servants - a so-called Charter of Quebec Values. Like almost everything it has done in one year in office, this too is a shambles.  

When a government goes all out to fix something that is not broken, it is a sure bet the ‘solution‘ is to mask a real problem.

In Canada - specifically Quebec - the issue the minority separatist Parti Quebecois has rolled out to deflect attention from its appalling first year at the helm is what it so misleadingly refers to as a Charter of Quebec Values.

President Obama has clutched at the straw of diplomacy in order to postpone deeply unpopular military intervention in Syria. However the Russian-Syrian so-called diplomatic option for dealing with chemical weapons has a definite whiff of implausibility about it.  

Is the art of negotiation really in play over the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons?

Really?

Britain's intimidation of the Guardian newspaper, and its detention of a Brazilian national under a terrorism provision serve as warning for what governments with dirty secrets are prepared to do. Complacency will enable them.

While New Zealand grapples with the fiasco that is the GCSB legislation, those who believe that the innocent have nothing to fear from the state should look closely at the case of Brazilian national David Miranda, and British government intimidation and harassment of the Guardian newspaper.