The Middle East’s hot September

Avi Benlolo: President Kennedy, in his first meeting with Soviet premier Khrushchev during a period of high tension between the superpowers, remarked wryly that the countries faced a cold winter ahead. Between the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the UN-sponsored Durban III hate conference and the Palestinian Authority’s planned unilateral declaration of an independent state, this coming September is looking like the start of a very hot fall.

In that month, New York City will unwillingly play host to a convergence of assemblies and events that have not only soured the advancement of civilization over the last decade, but furthered the regression in humanity’s effort to promote tolerance, justice and human rights immediately following the Second World War.

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 will undoubtedly bring back many deep-seated emotions. Last month’s impromptu celebration at Ground Zero over Osama bin Laden’s death revealed the simmering and not-yet-absorbed animosity toward both the 9/11 mastermind and al-Qaeda, while last year’s controversy over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” left bitterly polarizing feelings between those who believe it is inappropriate to have a mosque near Ground Zero and others who argued that building it would showcase American values of freedom and tolerance.

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