• Biden-Putin Summit and Swiss Hotel Diplomacy

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    International Geneva is abuzz with the announcement of a Biden-Putin summit during Joe Biden’s first trip outside the United States as president. After meetings of the G-7 in Cornwall, and NATO and the European Union in Brussels, Biden will come to the City of Calvin in mid- June to meet with the Russian president. The Geneva excitement harkens to memories of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in 1985, which is considered a major step in the end of the Cold War. (Hopefully, it will not harken to the Hillary Clinton-Lavrov reset button failure in Geneva in 2009.) It also is a major victory for Geneva’s reputation as the Rome of multilateralism and Switzerland’s historic neutrality.

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  • Israel-Palestine and the Limits of Strategic Ambiguity

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    The United States has blocked a United Nations Security Council statement on the continuing violence. According to The Times of Israel, “the draft statement urged Israel to prevent the looming evictions of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and called for ‘restraint’ and respect for ‘the historic status quo at the holy sites,’ diplomats involved in the meeting confirmed. The original statement also urged both sides to act in order to de-escalate the situation, they said." The United States was the only member of the Security Council to block the statement. Any hope of a radical change from the Trumpian all-in backing of Israel is disappearing. 

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  • Is Joe Biden Schizophrenic?

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    Fully cognizant of the unofficial Goldwater Rule in the U.S. that “it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements,” I do find Joe Biden’s early administration to be schizophrenic.

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  • No Cure for Pandemic Fatigue

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    Spring is in the air. Bars and restaurants are open for business on terraces throughout Switzerland. Near the local university, students are casually sipping beers outside, no longer cloistered in their small dormitory rooms. Statistically, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 have gone down in Switzerland but people continue to wear masks in designated areas. So the euphoria of warmer weather and approaching summer vacations have not totally allowed us to forget the pandemic. But for how long? 

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