Greatest Negotiations in History: The Israeli Armistice Agreement
Author of Great Negotiations: Agreements that Changed the Modern World, Fredrik Stanton is the former president and publisher of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the seventh largest English-speaking daily newspaper in New York City. He has also written for the Boston Herald and the United Nations Association's A Global Agenda. Stanton has served as an election monitor in Armenia, Republic of Georgia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Azerbaijan.
He received a BA in Political Science from Columbia University.
Fredrik Stanton: After Israel declared independence in 1948, it was immediately invaded by all of its neighbors led by Egypt. Israel had great battlefield successes, but needed to secure its position through diplomacy and to consolidate its battlefield gains with a negotiated settlement. And it also wanted and needed peace.
The negotiation, which was a formative event for the U.N., was led by a young man named Ralph Bunch, who was a Black American who had grown up under segregation. He was able to talk to both the Israelis and the Egyptians by saying, "Look, everyone in this room can talk about prejudice, but let’s put that aside and focus on the matter at hand.” And it was a very effective approach.
It was a very difficult negotiation. It was possibly as hard as they come. In the beginning neither side would look at, shake hands with, or speak to each other. And over the period of several months, he broke down the complications of settlement into very small bite sized pieces so that they were manageable and could be worked on individually. He started with the easier parts so that they could build momentum, develop trust and get accustomed to reaching agreement with each other; even if it was an inconsequential point. He would have them sign to it if they came to an agreement so that they got in the habit of signing things with each other. So that by the time they got to the really hairy, sticky issues, they were on better terms with each other, they had developed momentum, they had built trust and they were able to bridge the last gap together.
For his efforts, Ralph Bunch, in 1950, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; he was the youngest person ever and the first Black American to win the award.
During difficult negotiations, it is often important to start small and build up to the more intractable sticking points, as evidenced by the successful 1949 armistice agreements between Israel and its neighbors.
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If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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