Saudi investments influence reactions to Khashoggi affair, Climate change brings security risks, Countries will have to choose a side in US-China trade war, Israel’s denial of entry to student was unwise, The United States should look to its own democracy

A roundup of global commentary for the Oct. 29, 2018 weekly magazine.

Hasan Jamali/AP
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 2015. He has been missing since mid-October 2018; according to Turkish investigators, circumstantial evidence indicates that he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney, Australia

Saudi investments influence CEO reactions to Khashoggi affair

“The new global economy is addicted to Saudi wealth,” writes John McDuling. “Uber is backed by it. So too is Slack.... But as the world comes to grips with the shock disappearance of [Jamal Khashoggi,] a Saudi journalist who had been critical of the country’s ruling regime, it has also suddenly woken up to this reality.... [The disappearance] has led Virgin founder Richard Branson to distance himself from the Saudi government. It has forced Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of giant American bank JPMorgan, to cancel an appearance at an upcoming event in the country.... Other key figures from Silicon Valley ... have remained silent. For a sector that talks a lot about making the world a better place, that is deeply disappointing.”

The Daily Star / Dhaka, Bangladesh

Climate change brings security risks

“A milestone report [from the United Nations] has warned the global community of the expository risks our planet faces...,” writes Mir Aftabuddin Ahmed. “But there remains a question of political commitment when it comes to addressing climate change.... Global superpowers and developing nations have collectively failed to put climate change at the forefront of their policies.... [T]he fight for resources, the battle for land and access to water, amongst other things, have historically paved the way for violence.... Whether it be protecting oceans or ditching fracking ... major industrial powers have an obligation to take a leading role when it comes to pushing sustainability and environmental protection....”

Nikkei Asian Review / Tokyo

Countries will have to choose a side in US-China trade war

“The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement ... includes a crucially important clause...,” writes Wu Junhua. “It gives Washington a veto on Mexico or Canada if either of them intends to reach a free trade agreement with a nonmarket economy without U.S. permission. While China is not named, the clause is squarely aimed at isolating Beijing. Likewise, Washington will certainly ask for a similar clause in its trade negotiations with Japan, the European Union or any other nations. They too will be likely forced to choose between the U.S. and China.... [T]he current impasse between Beijing and Washington will [not] last forever.... [T]he key elements to watch are politics in the U.S. and the economy in China.”

The Jerusalem Post / Jerusalem

Israel’s decision to deny entry to student was unwise

“Whether the detention and denial of entry [of American student Lara Alqasem to Israel], on the grounds that Alqasem allegedly supports the boycott of Israel, was justified is still an open legal question...,” writes Susan Hattis Rolef. “However, under the circumstances it was certainly an unwise and miserable decision.... It was unwise because of the damage it causes Israel’s eroding image abroad as a liberal, democratic state.... [A]s unpleasant as the current boycotts ... are, they do not really cause much financial damage.... Shouldn’t [the public security minister] be dealing with ... violence within the Israeli-Arab community, rather than badgering the hapless 22-year-old Lara Alqasem?”

The Standard / Nairobi, Kenya

The United States should look to its own democracy

“After decades of lectures, trainings and admonitions on democracy and its values by Americans, it is now clear that the US is in dire need of help in its democratisation...,” writes Maina Kiai. “This, because no country has touted as loudly its democratic credentials ... even when that democracy has not worked for millions of black, brown, poor and indigenous peoples.... [A] focus on the ‘software’ [of] democracy – getting decent and reasonable people in charge who will do the right thing – at the expense of the ‘hardware’ of democracy, which is creating strong, independent institutions and regulating the powerful rich, corporations and politicians, is hurting the US.... The result is that the rich have more power and voice than the rest, which is a mockery of democracy in any form or shape.”

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