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Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Many Palestinians may hate Jews or Israelis and many Jews or Israelis may hate Arabs or Muslims, but the senseless murders of the Henkins in front of their four children are beyond comprehension. As is the case with the non-ending violence caused by the uncontrolled, widespread availability of guns in U.S. as was tragically seen again yesterday in Oregon where nine students were killed and 20 wounded, rampant murder of innocent citizens only underscores the deep seated hatred that still exists among human beings throughout the world. While there undoubtedly are many legitimate grievances which exist between and among various groups, murdering totally random citizens travelling with their family or attending a class defies any explanation or logic.


There is a serious question as to what Netanyahu and Abbas sought to accomplish in their defiant speeches over the past few days at the U.N.  One thing is clear, their respective addresses did nothing to move forward any initiative for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In a public arena such as the G.A. might it not have entered the mind of either of these leaders to make a genuine, dramatic gesture—not even a major move—toward reconciliation? Rather, what appears to have occurred is that both leaders chose this opportunity to solidify their domestic political bases and to secure political alliances. Neither leader had any interest in demonstrating challenging and creative statesmanship to move towards peace—despite knowing their respective political risks.


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy may indeed be the likely candidate to succeed John Boehner when the House Republican caucus meets next week to select the new speaker; but the spate of comments McCarthy has uttered, texted, and/or tweeted over the past few days alone about the forthcoming Benghazi hearings and his desire to see Hillary Clinton skewered suggests that those who predicted that life will get even uglier after Boehner leaves may sadly have underestimated the situation. McCarthy’s ugly attack on Hillary—which went viral–as she preps for the House Benghazi hearings may well only be a hint of what Capitol Hill will be like during the next 16 months. While McCarthy’s comments are not unexpected, the nastiness and defiant tone here is truly repugnant; regardless of the political exigencies which were driving him.

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