Bruce - "The recent rocket fire brings to more than 35 the number of Qassam rockets, mortars and Grad missiles that have been fired at Israel since Israel and Hamas agreed to separate cease-fires on January 21"
Though the article opens with 'palestinian militants' the above line tends to give the impression, by naming no other group, that Hamas were responsible for the latest barrage. Israeli intelligence have actually been blaming Islamic Jihad and another group whose name escapes me at present. This is significant in that it demonstrates that even were Hamas to modify their line and 'come in from the cold' there are other groups not so inclined and probably there always will be unless certain injustices on the ground are sorted out as best as possible. Therefore we can expect the cycle of violence to continue ad nauseum.
John - thanks for the quote, I rather like it. I did mention that I wouldn't be in any rush to hear Irving, personally. Just he should feel free to speak without fear of jail, as is presently the case in some countries. I dislike that kind of 'thought totalitarianism'. I should emphasize that i would not take that freedom to speak to include actual outright racism obviously - I don't think anyone should be free to stand up and shout 'let's heng all dem dar n****rs' for example.
Thanks also for the list - I learn something new everyday. I was sorry to see my own country was not included. I will have to start doing something about that - I doubt if our politicians are even aware of it. But that'll have to change!
You say though that it's unfair to hold Israel up to a higher standard than 90% of the UN. I don't know about that. I expect ALL those countries to recognize the genocide. I would expect Israel to be especially sensitive to it, given its own history, just as in Ireland we are more empathetic (usually) with colonized countries, having had that experience ourselves. I'd find it rather annoying if ireland was to so quickly forget its past that it applauded colonization elsewhere. I would just expect Israel to recognize the Armenian genocide in the same way as those countries that already have, no less no more. It is bizarre to find they don't and makes me think that genocide-recognition might be more of a political expedient than an ideal.
I have to say that not only worries me but makes me feel sick, not to put too fine a point on it. If recognition of genocide becomes the slave of political expediency rather than an absolute ideal, then we quickly descend into the realm where this or that genocide can be justified or forgotten about for this or that special reason. In other words, there then becomes no such thing as genocide as such, rather a case-by-case basis where it can be justified if it suits current needs. History teaches us that fashions change, borders change and if there are no absolute abhorrence of these things, we can be sure they will happen again and again.
You also pointed out many African countries don't recognize it as a genocide. I don't know why that is, but here's a few possibilities:
Some of these countries may have genocides of their own to deal with (e.g Rwanda) so they might be ignoring the subject so as to avoid questions being asked in their own quarter. Some of these countries seem to be still headed by tin pot dictators or armed fighting factions who have no problem with genocide as a means to an end and so are hardly likely to care about one that happened far away years ago. Some of these countries body politic might not have even heard of the genocide in Armenia. I know that sounds hard to imagine but I (who am interested enough in world affairs to read and follow the news) didn't know anything about it until a few years ago.