G7 nations should increase coordination, Macron a 'worthy partner' for Merkel on Russian affairs, Netanyahu must listen to moderates on both sides, Death penalty isn't the answer, New Zealanders ready for a new approach to drug addiction

A roundup of global commentary for the June 12, 2017, weekly magazine.

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin (l.) at the Chateau de Versailles as they meet for talks before the opening of an exhibition marking 300 years of diplomatic ties between the two countyies in Versailles, France, on May 29, 2017.

The Japan News / Tokyo 

To maintain influence, G7 nations should increase coordination 

“Avoiding the isolation of the United States and solidifying unity is a way to maintain the influence of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries...,” states an editorial. “Since the inauguration of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, antiprotectionist wording has disappeared from joint statements at major international conferences attended by the United States. This is a reflection of the thinking of the U.S. administration, which is touting ‘America first’.... As emerging countries are rapidly gaining power, the G-7 nations are required to coordinate more than before in their policies. Japan and European countries must persistently explain to the United States the importance of international cooperation.” 

Deutsche Welle / Berlin

Macron a 'worthy partner' for Merkel on Russian affairs 

“There was no handshake duel this time as Emmanuel Macron of France met with Russia’s Vladimir Putin for the first time...,” writes Barbara Wesel. “Macron is well aware that his Russian counterpart would have preferred seeing someone else in the Elysee Palace. Now he is stolidly making the best of a tense relationship. Macron’s political approach to Moscow seems to reflect that of Angela Merkel: keep communication open, meet together and discuss problems. However, there need not be a wonderful friendship as a result.... Macron put an end to Putin’s arduous games, by clearly telling him what he wants from him.... In [Macron], Merkel will find a worthy partner on Russian affairs.” 

Haaretz / Tel Aviv 

Netanyahu must listen to moderates on both sides of Israeli-Palestinian conflict 

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed all along that he seeks an agreement with the Palestinians...,” states an editorial. “If this is really the case, Netanyahu ... must initiate a meeting with the Palestinian president and stop setting preconditions for negotiations that are meant to scuttle them.... Netanyahu knows that the moderates on both sides want peace and that they understand there is no solution other than the two-state solution. Given the latest remarks by [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas, every Israeli must ask himself why, rather than extending our hand in return to the moderate Palestinian in an effort to put an end to 50 years of controlling another people, Netanyahu and his government prefer to continue the policy of refusal, whose price continues to soar.” 

News24 / Cape Town, South Africa 

Death penalty isn't the answer to gender-based violence 

“Gender-based violence is once more in the spotlight...,” writes Zonke Majodina. “Amid much soul-searching, the public outcry to bring back the death penalty has also resurfaced.... Calls for bringing back the death penalty are made in the hope that it will solve our urgent social and moral problems by executing perpetrators who are found guilty.... Understandable as this logic may be, nowhere in the world has it been shown that the death penalty brings down high levels of crime.... In trying to address the huge problem of gender-based violence, let us not hide behind the death penalty. It diverts attention away from the more complex question of what needs to be done.” 

New Zealand Herald / Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealanders ready for a new approach to drug addiction

“The war on drugs is based on the idea that if you take addicts and punish them and make them suffer it will deter them; it will give them an incentive to stop,” writes Deborah Hill Cone. “It has taken 100 years but we can now definitively say that doesn’t work. We have a better understanding of the mechanism of addiction now and we know that current policy settings can actually work against helping people to become healthier.... What this Government might not realise is how many non-stoner type New Zealanders – seeing the scourge of [methamphetamine] and reading about meth lab busts – are starting to think the current approach does not work and are ready to say we should try something else.” 

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