There is a time for all things, and this is time for a brief respite.
Rather than posting a full The Weekly this time, I would encourage readers of Competing Hypotheses to look back upon each of The Weekly N&C posting (sort by The Weekly Item) and see where we have been (in the 5 months covered) this last year, and consider where things are going, as very few of the matters discussed have reached their resolution.
I have been asked about the ongoing Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza, but rather than attempt to address it in a historical sense I would offer the following news sources and then, an opinion.
Here are some English-language media sources of value in the region:
Ha'aretz Daily Newspaper, Israel, link to the main page.
The Jerusalem Post Newspaper, Israel, link to the main page.
Ya Libnan news source, Lebanon, link to the main page.
The MEMRI 'blog, a translation service for Arabic and other regional language media, link to the main page.
MEMRI also has video media resources from the region, although less current, at their main index page. As of right now, they are not covering current items on the fighting in Gaza.
I find Hamas to be a tool of Iranian-inspired radical Islam, and as such to be without merit or tolerable existence. I am sure that they would feel the same about me, were they to care.
I was also asked about my general sense of the Palestinian issue, in specific as to the huge "refugee" problem that has persisted for 60 years. In reply, I would say the entire handling of the Palestine Mandate since the end of WWI was an exercise in multiple double standards, and that the partition that created the Kingdom of Jordan was far short of what needed to be done. By the time of the 1920's, it was clear that *either* the Arab aspirations to a Greater Syria or the to-be-Israeli aspiration to constructing a national sovereignty would have to be sacrificed. The establishment of Israel should have put an end to that, but the Arab League formation to oppose Israel by force was neither recognized as legitimate under the post-1948 system (the U.N. and all), nor condemned by that system.
The failure to choose has put things where they are.
Furthermore, I suggest you look at this general historical summary of a different case, and then talk to me about "right of return", and how "fair" the Western Allies were about that sort of thing at the same time they were being involved in the establishment of the State of Israel. caveat: It is a wiki-p source, presented here only for convenience. Source all specifics, please.
Might 2009 bring us fewer matters terrible to present here, and may some small effect of these writings encourage something better.
To all of you who read this site, be well and safe, and may the New Year be a good one for you.