- The Washington Times - Friday, October 7, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Sueddeutsche Zeitung

The Palestinian leadership

MUNICH — Is the Gaza Strip, evacuated by Israeli settlers, the seed of an independent Palestinian state or only a starting point for a bloody conflict between its political and military factions?

The latest events, which again saw Palestinians shooting at Palestinians, give no cause for optimism. …

People die, the government wobbles and the president stands there like a helpless political clown.

The reasons for the chaos are known. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad are leading an armed life of their own. … And Israel often enough deliberately pours fuel onto the Palestinian fire from outside. So far, Gaza is not a successful model. The chances that it will become one are shrinking.

Jordan Times

The EU and Turkey

AMMAN — After some 40 years of trying, Turkey has just about made it. The European Union decided in Brussels on Tuesday to go ahead with negotiations with Ankara for full EU membership.

This is a breakthrough for both Turkey and Europe. Some European quarters have been hesitant to give Ankara the green light on membership for fear that a large Muslim nation such as Turkey would threaten European resources, as well as culture and civilization. …

Mehmet Simsek, an emerging-market economist with Merrill Lynch, told BBC News that, at first, “Turkey will be a net recipient [of EU aid],” but in another 15 years or so “Turkey will actually be a net contributor to the EU budget, on the basis of the fact that Turkey is currently growing three to four times the EU trend growth.”

Asahi Shimbun

Korean forced labor

TOKYO — Japan must return the remains of Korean forced laborers.

Through the end of the war in 1945, Japanese companies conscripted a large number of individuals from the Korean Peninsula [to work in Japan] as forced laborers. Many of them eventually died in this country.

Now, for the first time, Tokyo has informed the government in Seoul that the remains of 868 such Koreans have been located in various regions throughout Japan. Naturally, this number comprises only a tiny fraction of the overall total of those ordered into labor.

But much of this sad page of history remains cloudy, with the question of how the remains of the many who died were laid to rest. Whether names were even properly recorded also goes unanswered.

The very nature of this matter means that Seoul’s request cannot be glossed over or left on the back burner. We believe that the very morality of postwar Japan is being put to an acid test by this appeal from South Korea. Many of the companies that took part … no longer exist. Also, there is no question that supporting documentation has become hopelessly scattered or lost forever. In that sense, this is truly a battle against time.

To help nurture more fruitful relations between the two countries from here on, Japan must strive to reflect humbly on its own past, and take every possible step now to do the right thing.


Immigration from Africa

OSLO — When hundreds of Africans stormed the border fences around the Spanish enclave in Morocco, and when live shots were fired with people killed, Europe’s border problem reached a new dimension.

The tragedy on Europe’s only border with Africa will force Europe to harmonize immigration policies. The United States can teach us about that. There, immigration steadily made the nation stronger [and] … helped form American society. It will be like that in Europe.

It is not easy to find a middle way between open borders and “Fortress Europe.” …

The only solution, in a very long-term perspective, is economic growth in Africa. It is young people’s — especially young men’s — lack of economic opportunity that drives emigration. …

Our hope is that the disturbing images from the border fences in Morocco will lead to more effective and comprehensive help, as well as tight cooperation among African, European and other governments.

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