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An emergency service member stands next to the body of a Palestinian in Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem on Sunday before being shot dead by security forces, police said. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Telling a distorted story

The Israeli-Palestinian confrontation is complicated, and would be even without the bad faith that is the region’s chief export. Many elements in the conflict go back to the 1930s, and are layered one atop the other, making peace impossible and even cease-fire difficult.

Anne Frank, the Holocaust victim who kept a diary of her time hiding from the Nazis during World War II, lived in Amsterdam for much of her life. ** FILE **  (Associated Press)

Courage in a dark place

The Diary of Anne Frank was one of the most moving, and most heartbreaking, stories to come out of World War II. Anne, then 12, and her mother, father and sister, took refuge in a tiny, cramped attic with four others in Amsterdam when the Nazis overran the Netherlands. The next year she began keeping a diary, writing her secret thoughts about life and collecting favorite fragments from writers she admired.

U.S. President Barack Obama, second left, and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, right, pose with world leaders for a group photo at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacky Naegelen, Pool)

Paris dreaming

“Saving the world” is the stuff of comic books, and some famous egos are firmly rooted in fantasy. Even the pope. The “global warming” fad has turned a global spotlight on the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, and presidents and prime ministers are primed there to demonstrate their kryptonic super powers by rescuing the world from the depredations of human industry.

France's President Francois Hollande, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin enter a hall for their news conference following the talks in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)

No place for timid men

The soldiers of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have been on a roll, mostly against junior varsities, but now they have challenged the A-team. They may soon get a chance to see how tough they really are. Blowing up a Russian passenger plane infuriated Vladimir Putin and the Paris attacks enraged Francois Hollande.

A cordon of police stand before a barrier near Ecuador's embassy, as they watch fellow Cubans express discontent with a new visa rule that now requires Cubans have a visa to visit the South American country, in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. The lack of a visa requirement for Cubans made Ecuador a favored destination for those seeking to leave the island and make the overland route to the United States, where they can receive automatic legal residency. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

More bad news from Cuba

The continuing crisis in the Middle East has pushed the continuing crisis in Cuba off the front pages, but it’s nevertheless a disaster, and getting worse. Not since the Mariel Boatlift of 1994 has the hemisphere seen anything like it. Thousands of Cubans are abandoning the island, often selling their last belongings to put together the $15,000 needed to reach some part of Central America.

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Mr. Obama's Cuban legacy

The French, as they usually do, have a word for it: the tendency of a man to judge problems solely on the basis of his professional skills. The French call this "deformation professionelle."

President Barack Obama speaks about his Clean Power Plan, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in the East Room at the White House in Washington. The president is mandating even steeper greenhouse gas cuts from U.S. power plants than previously expected, while granting states more time and broader options to comply. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The president's other war

If Barack Obama could summon the will to make war on America's enemies abroad with the enthusiasm he makes war on Americans at home, joy all sublime would descend on the mountains, dells and every fruited plain. But the Environmental Protection Agency released the final version Monday of a new scheme to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants in 49 states, and it's a shocker. The fruit on the plain is likely to shrivel.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (Associated Press/File)

The Democratic dilemma

For any candidate to have an authentic chance to be the presidential nominee of either party, the voters have to envision him (or her) as sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. If they can't do that, John Sears, who managed Ronald Reagan's 1976 campaign, observed, the hopeful candidate will never make it. Mr. Sears called this the candidate's first test.

Republican presidential candidate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a forum Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Questions for the debate

The debate, such as it is, over illegal immigration gets curiouser and curiouser, and more confusing. Donald Trump provided the gotcha! moment, with a statement off the top of his head damning the quality of Mexican immigrants.

In this image taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's wildlife minister says extradition is being sought for Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed Cecil. On Saturday, poachers killed Jericho, Cecil's brother. (Paula French via AP)

The lion in summer

Reverence for life is a good thing, but some people who revere lion life have got their priorities on crooked. Human life is important, too. The Media Research Center observes that the television networks have devoted far more time to the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe than to revelations that Planned Parenthood has been dissecting aborted human babies and auctioning the baby parts to the highest bidders here in the United States.

In this Jan. 24, 2015, file photo, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Speak softly of evil

Political rhetoric is dangerous in the hands of careless writers and speakers. Reaching for Hitler as an analogy for contemporary villainy is particularly misleading. Hitler has been sui generis, one of a kind, since Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, rivaled in modern times only by Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. Mullahs, evil as some of them may be, don't count. They're bush leaguers.

A man is comforted by others as he mourns over Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/File)

Mobilizing the Christians

The mainline Protestant churches in the United States, joined by Pope Francis, have shown great concern for many fashionable secular causes, such as eliminating poverty, promoting peace and promoting fear of global warming, but for Christians around the world under threat of persecution and annihilation, not so much.

The Phi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Three University of Virginia graduates and members of the fraternity profiled in a debunked account of a gang rape in a retracted Rolling Stone magazine story filed a lawsuit against the publication and the article's author Wednesday,July 29, 2015, court records show. . (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Trash on a Rolling Stone

Making up a story, if it's about a designated villain, is hip in certain quarters but it's never cool, as Rolling Stone magazine is learning in the sordid wake of its account of a gang rape at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia. It was a gang rape that by all recent accounts never happened.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks to the media during a news conference following a Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

Mr. McConnell's machinations

Congress is itching to get out of town, and Washington is itching to see them leave. The heat sometimes does strange things to congressional brains. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, spent most of a week persuading/forcing his colleagues to pass a six-year transportation bill that he knows will die in the House of Representatives.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (Associated Press)

Drifting toward crisis on Taiwan

Xi Jinping, the president of the People's Republic of China and the chairman of the ruling Communist Party, now says the delicate relationship between China and the Republic of China on Taiwan cannot continue, but refuses to meet President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan to talk about it. Therein lies a looming crisis for Washington.

Illustration Gun Free Zone by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

Gun-free zones that never are

In the land of the blind, as the saying goes, the one-eyed man is king, and in the land of the disarmed the man with a gun is king. America is once more observing what passes for national mourning over the grim work of a nut acting out some sort of bizarre theory about the collapse of society by randomly shooting people.

A woman walks past an electronic board of a local bank showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Global stocks sank under the weight of worries about the possible timing of a U.S. rate hike, economic weakness in China and an impending referendum on Scottish independence. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.9 percent to 24,705.36. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

China's shaky economy

Three weeks ago shares on the Shanghai stock market fell by nearly a third in value, wiping out $3 trillion in profits. When the cavalry arrived, the Communist Party leaders threw everything they had to stop the hemorrhaging. Capitalism is particularly precious to Communists.

Harry S. Truman

Where is a Democratic barn-burner?

If the Democrats want to be taken seriously, and something more than a party of self-righteous whiners, they must start acting like the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman and John F. Kennedy. All the fun shouldn't be left to the Republicans. Why should the nation be deprived of a contest for the Democratic nomination for president, the usual cat fight that always invigorated Democratic Party politics?

Tel Aviv has long sought the release of Jonathan Pollard, a former intelligence analyst convicted in 1987 of spying for Israel. He is serving a life sentence. (Associated Press)

Parole for Jonathan Pollard

Close relationships, whether human or nation-to-nation, are always complicated. Almost any Thanksgiving Day dinner table is a demonstration of that, with brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts stepping carefully to avoid spoiling the turkey and spilling the cranberries. So it is with nation-to-nation relationships, too. As close it is, no country-to-country relationship is more complicated than America's relationship with Israel.

Robot rights rule!

The season of the Theater of the Absurd continues. After the Supreme Court twisted the clear meaning of plain English words to save Obamacare and bless same-sex marriage, after Iran hoodwinked Barack Obama into preserving and expanding its nuclear program, after Bruce Jenner remade himself (herself? itself?) into a buxom synthetic female, no one should be surprised when R2D2 wakes up to demand his civil rights, too. This might not be what Mr. Obama had in mind, but a conscientious radical accepts everything new, bad or not.

Scaffolding continues to go up on the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 18, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

End run by the credit unions

George Stigler won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Economics for work that changed forever the way economists look at government regulation of business and industry. Before Mr. Stigler, a colleague of Milton Friedman in the Chicago school of economics, the economists and politicians accepted the argument that government regulatory agencies, established to protect the public from abuse, accomplished exactly that. After Mr. Stigler's groundbreaking work, that sentiment was shared not so much.

FILE - In this June 16, 2015, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, , R-Ky., speaks to members of the media following the weekly Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. McConnell said July 20 he hopes to announce soon that he and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California have reached an agreement on a transportation bill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Working on the railroad

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, whose rage at Democrats for the way they ran the Senate when they were the majority, is using some of their tactics to push a six-year highway bill through the Senate. Revisiting the highway funding debate must make senators believe they're caught in a remake of "Groundhog Day" because they've had to pass some 60 short-term extensions in recent years. Mr. McConnell wants to end that, pass a multiyear bill and move on.

Secretary of State John Kerry. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Facing the devil in the details

The details of President Obama's deal with Iran continue to leak, like muddy water from a bucket left to rust in the weeds. Several congressmen who lately called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna learned that there are secret "protocols" to the agreement Mr. Obama made with the mullahs of Tehran. Mr. Obama and the talking heads on television argue lamely that this is "always the way with such undertakings."

Illustration on the evils of Planned Parenthood by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Rotten to the core

The late Richard Pryor obviously wrote the defense used by the wonderful folks at Planned Parenthood, whose senior executives got caught on camera, twice, haggling over the price of the body parts -- lungs, livers, brains -- lifted from the bodies of unborn babies.

A voter can be seen in a voting booth Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 in Honolulu.  Despite the rains and winds from Tropical Storm Iselle that pounded the state Friday, Hawaii will hold primary elections today.  (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Keeping the ballot secure

"Your vote counts" is a snappy slogan just short enough to fit on a lapel button, but snappy is not the same as "secure." As the 2016 campaign unfolds, there's renewed interest in enabling voters to vote over the Internet. The notion that choosing a president could be as easy as using a smartphone to order a pizza is tempting to some, but until cybersecurity wizards prove that a vote cast is a vote counted, Internet balloting is unreliably risky.