Trump’s Tel Aviv Campaign and Delhi’s New Driver: The Week in Global-Affairs Writing

The highlights from seven days of reading about the world

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Can Colombia Finally Fix Its Split Personality?
Nurith Aizenman | NPR
“The vast gulf between Colombia's dual identities has taken on new importance in light of a new peace deal aimed at finally ending the civil war. The agreement—which must be ratified in a referendum Oct. 2—calls for the largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the FARC, to completely disband. In exchange, the government would launch a major investment effort that's supposed to raise the income of the rural poor—essentially, to close the gap between the two Colombias.

The challenge has parallels with the one Germany faced after its West and East were reunified, says Peter Schechter, director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based research institution. Except that Colombia doesn't have anywhere near the wealth West Germany was able to draw on.”

* * *

At the Wheel With Delhi's Lone Woman Bus Driver
Sunaina Kumar | CityLab
“The 31-year-old is the lone woman bus driver in Delhi. She was recruited last year by the Delhi Transport Corporation, the state-owned public transport operator. Delhi is known for its fearsome and treacherous streets. The harassment of women is a pernicious malady in the fourth most dangerous city in the world for women on public transport (behind Bogota, Mexico City, and Lima, according to a Thompson Reuters Foundation survey). In 2012, a young woman was brutally gang raped in a privately operated bus. The incident led to nationwide protests and became an inflection point on the topic of women’s safety in India. One proposal to make Delhi safer and more equitable involved having more women work in public transit.”

* * *

Can ‘Dark Tourism’ Help Cambodia Heal?
Brent Crane | The New Republic
“Those involved with the project hope it will help Cambodia confront its violent history. To date, the country’s reconciliation process has been fragmented at best. For the most part, the government has followed a simple principle: Don’t look back. ‘We must dig a hole and bury the past, and look ahead into the twenty-first century,’ Prime Minister Hun Sen once proclaimed. Nearly two-thirds of Cambodians are younger than 30, and parents rarely talk to their children about what they endured during the ‘Pol Pot time.’ Khmer Rouge history was not taught in schools until 2007, and some youth doubt that the slaughter took place at all. ‘They simply don’t believe that Cambodians could kill other Cambodians,’ says Matthew Trew, a Canadian anthropologist who has studied tourism and post-conflict recovery in Cambodia. ‘I’ve talked to people who you show the bones to, and they say, “Oh, these are chicken bones.””

* * *

Trump's Israel Ground Game
Katie Glueck | Politico
“While the Trump campaign and its allies spent much of the summer waving off the importance of brick-and-mortar offices in the U.S., the Israeli team is expanding its physical footprint. So far, there are five offices open in areas around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. And the group has plans to open three more offices starting as soon as this week: In Gush Etzion, which is also in the West Bank, near Jerusalem; and two others around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”

* * *

A New Deal for Refugees
David Miliband | The New York Review of Books
“Ask most refugees what they want most and they will likely say: ‘To go home.’ The long-standing humanitarian aid system was designed for a world where wars between states displaced refugees for short periods of time into refugee camps before they did go home. Today none of these assumptions hold. Many refugees are victims of civil wars, not wars between states. They are displaced for long periods. They do not stay in refugee camps. They are unlikely to go home.

Fewer than one percent of the world’s refugees were able to return to their countries of origin last year. The peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts that have been recently successful in Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste and between Serbia and Kosovo are complex, expensive, risky, and time-consuming—and exceptional. Protracted conflict is the new norm. In these cases, there is every reason radically to change our approach to direct support for the victims. More of the most vulnerable refugees need to be relocated into richer countries. But most displaced people need far better help in the nearby poorer countries to which they flee. As in the 1940s, the longer the delay, the worse the reckoning.”

* * *

Signs of Panic and Rebellion in the Heart of Islamic State’s Self-Proclaimed Caliphate
Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim | The Washington Post
“The graffiti that appeared on a wall near the mosque in Mosul where the Islamic State leader declared his caliphate two years ago was a small but symbolic act of rebellion.

The spray-painted letter ‘m’—for the Arabic word ‘mukawama,’ meaning resistance—was part of a campaign by Kitaeb al-Mosul, an underground opposition group in the northern Iraqi city that released a video detailing their efforts this month.”