Sunday, May 30, 2021


Kevin de Bruyne etait deja immensement apprecie. Sa blessure ne doit pas en faire  un martyre. Le Football est un sport magnifique mais les pieges sont nombreux. Trop de joueurs derappent, psychologiquement, moralement et physiquement. KDB allie la virtuosite a une forme d'immaterielite. La Belgique a son Patrocle.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021


Rechts Vlaanderen heeft nu in de persoon van Jurgen Conings zijn Robin Hood. De Vlaamse regering zwijgt. Jan Jambon en Co. blijven geborgen  zitten in hun Vlaams epos van gulden sporen dorpsfolklore. 

Moderne Vlaamse schrijvers en kunstenaars trekken terecht hun neus op wanneer ze geconfronteerd worden met de minder "verlichte" aspekten van deze politieke sub-kultuur.

De Belgische federale regering doet het anders niet zo slecht. Zij kan weliwaar niet rekenen op de fair play van een melange van racime, homofibie en "conspiraties". De Covid crisis heeft er nog toe bijgedragen om enkele heimelijke agendapunten van extreem, vooral Vlaams, rechts  bloot te leggen.

Ondertussen blijft de kloplacht naar de nieuwe Vlaamse Ted Kaczynski "Unabomber" duren en stijgt diens populariteit met de dag. Het wordt nog voer voor een nieuw Hugo Claus verdriet !

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


The partitions of Poland are part of a sad tale in the history books.

Today Poland is inventing its own divisions, proudly creating LGBT-free zones. An Atlas of Hate shows the no-go zones for gays. They had better stay away from Rzesow and other towns that follow the former Nazi reference.

The question is if such a state (Hungary might follow ) still belongs in the EU. If Brussels retains some self-respect, it should intervene and, if needed, freeze and expell. 

Even the most paranoid societies wordwide refrain openly from such excess. Europe is already paying a price for its luke performances everywhere. Poland might just be what the EU deserves now, a poisonous cherry on a stale cake.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


L'epouse de l'Ambassadeur de Belgique a Seoul semble avoir perdu son self control en assommant une gifle a une vendeuse... pour des raisons demeurees "off limits"..... Comme la femme de son Excellence serait d'origine chinoise, l'incident devient d'autant plus embarassant, eu egard aux susceptibilites qui existent entre les deux voisins asiatiques.

De toute maniere, le communique de l'Ambassade est "pathetique" et le silence du Ministere Belge des Affaires Etrangeres est inexcusable. Il n'appartient a personne de se substituer a la Ministre, mais elle pouvait s'attendre a ce que des personnes "du metier" s'etonnent de son silence.

Au demeurant les milieux d'affaires doivent se poser des questions. L'anniversaire de 150 annees de relations diplomatiques entre Seoul et Bruxelles risque d'etre triste. Le mal est fait. Encore faudrait-il y remedier, ce qui n'est toujours pas le cas. Pendant ce temps,  la presse internationale fait le fete a la xeme histoire belge.

Saturday, May 15, 2021


On this Saturday, Bloody Saturday some hundred, often spoiled,  some selfish individuals are protesting in Brussels against the Corona safety measures that "infringe" on their freedoms (sic). This Belgian version of Red Brigades has not even an excuse or moral outrage to stand on.

At the same time, far away, Israel intensifies its intervention against the Palestinians. Gaza has become the figleaf for what is becoming a hybrid of war against Hamas and of a "mopping up" of street unrest in the occupied territories. 

It is a tale of two worlds, of the spolied, weepy attitude of a few in Brussels (and elsewhere) versus the outrageous tragedy in Palestine and Israel. No doubt Netanjahu uses his macho profile for the sole benefit of rescuing his future. The moderates in Israel and Palestine are sent packing, yet again. Someone will probably come up with a cease-fire of sorts, which will cause yet another delay in an unavoidable debacle.

In this May 15, "Nakba day", the Palestinians remember the hundred thousands who were expelled after the creation of Israel in 1948. I wish the sad lot of Brussels protesters could reflect on a cause like this, rather than dwell in the sordid narcissic frustration over imaginary "loss of freedoms". 

Freedom is not a monoply of some, it is the right for all. Many in Israel share intelligence, culture and generosity. Let them be heard. Many in the Palestinians are forward looking, let them be seen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


The current events in East Jerusalem are spreading. They show yet again the desperate state of Israeli-Palestinian affairs.

The earlier, tentative efforts towards a form of modus vivendi became victim of four years of theTrump administrations's ignorance of precedent. The brutal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was both a slap in the face to the Palestinians and a return to the mindset of the discredited Bernard Lewis, considered the grave digger of a two-state solution.

Years have been lost in phantom performance wherein hubris overruled reason. All efforts had only one purpose:  isolating Iran. Tehran doesn't deserve any sympathy, obviously. Nevertheless, Obama made a smart move by putting the Iranian nuclear threat on a slow burner, while making sure that this was not done on the back of other issues in the region.

Trump chose show over substance, exclamation over reasoning. His Chaplinesque playing with the globe, together with the Saudi king and the Egyptian president, said it all.  He found in Netanjahu the best actor to fill in the part of the accessory. Nobody disputes Israel's right to consider West Jerusalem as its capital. In a final agreement both the Israelis and Palestinians might find a way to live close, if not together, in Jerusalem as a shared capital.  To preempt a single outcome however is equal to sabotage the whole. To let the Jewish settlers have their way shows contempt for historical accuracy when it doesn't fit the official version or narrative.

The Sadat/Mubarak/(even Begin) days are over. The MENA euphoria is extinct. The Quartet is no longer. The EU is nowhere to be seen and it might be for the better, after the Ankara "farce". Everyone is looking at the US again. Biden will be very wary to get involved now.  Afghanistan will be a house on fire. Iran will prove to be a most reluctant suitor. Both the Arabs and the Isrealis will wait and see what President Biden might come up with. As usual, the Palestinians are on their own, second-class citizens in their own "territories". They have in Hamas or Hezbollah deceitful partners and among the Arabs more promise than deed.

The stalemate is absolute for now. What might happen in the UN doesn't count for much. Shuttle diplomacy ( Secretary Baker engaged in the last one) with partners as these is just another vanity trip. The patient needs shock therapy.

The Arab Gulf states huggers cannot hide the fact that they are often at loggerheads. Syria and Lebanon look like Covid patients. Egypt, Turkey and Tehran wield power. Jordan prefers to maintain a low profile. The Saudis with MBS now come to the realization that Trump gave them a crown in cardboard. Not to mention Sudan or Libya which are balast. Only the Maghreb fares better (for now).

A second Madrid summit (the first was cosponsered by the USA and Russia in 1991) might bring some form of minimal lowering of tensions between sworn enemies and dubious friends. Biden might be reluctant to initiate such an uphill battle. He must count on the diplomatic largesse of Russia and China. A Madrid outcome will require that all parties accept that they are in fact exhausted and often in need of a total overhaul, which can only happen if some creative forward looking mindset is still in the cards.

The Palestinians await a clear decision to halt corruption and any form of ambiguity towards Hamas. One might wish for a Swiss or other magic solution, but unrealistic goals are as deplorable as the continuance of the objectionable.

Thursday, May 6, 2021


Bruxelles a appris que l'idee d'un musee consacre a l'oeuvre de Philippe Geluck avait ete retenue. L'installation est prevue entre la Place Royale et BOZAR. Tout le monde aime le chat de Geluck et personne ne contesterait qu'il recoive un lieu adapte tant au personnage qu'a accueillir un public qui sera nombreux.

Il est dommage que ce chat qui eut pu faire l'unanimite divise maitenant l'opinion Il s'agit moins de contester la creation de Geluck  que de critiquer le choix du lieu retenu. On connait bien les paves "Paris-Roubaix"  qui piegent les amortisseurs de Tour et Taxis jusqu'a la Place des Palais,  Place Royale, Sablon . La Rue de la Regence est un cortege funeraire de facades non ravalees et de peintures non rafraichies, Musee triste, Palais de Justice sur bequilles confirment la tristesse d'une capitale mal aimee. Les fonds disponibles doivent remedier a cela. C'est sans compter avec "Charlot" Vervoordt.

Le Musee d'art ancien a ferme sa collection "historique", faute de gardiens.  (on croit rever). Il s'y tient la Xeme exposition Alechinsky, artiste estimable, prise par les notaires et medecins belges et par le Conservateur du Musee qui prise peu l'art contemporain (surtout americain).

L'etat federal et la region semblent avoir abdique. Il faut esperer qu'ils se reveillent car Bruxelles court deja a la catastrophe. Les immeubles de l'UE ne retrouveront jamais l'ensemble de leurs occupants. La monstruosite Fortis est une nouvelle barriere, non transparente, qui separe le haut du bas de la ville et qui apparait tel un monstre pret a devorer BOZAR.

Dans ce chaos en  mal d'ordonnance et de recuperation on decide maintenant de parachuter un chat dans ce qui a l'ambition d'etre le quartier des Arts. Ce ne sont pourtant pas les grands immeubles vides qui manquent. Ce choix malencontreux rejoint l'etat d'esprit qui est a l'origine de la transformation de la Bourse  en musee de la biere et du pietonnier lugubre,  genre tranchee de premiere guerre mondiale.  qui enlaidit le centre ville. Feu l'hotel Metropole pleure sur le Bruxelles perdu de Jacques Brel.

On paye le prix de l'accumulation de communes et de pouvoirs . Seul Kroll a l'audace et le genie de presenter aux Belges un miroir dans lequel la situation qui leur est faite apparait dans tout son aspect derisoire.

Le chat est un animal infiniment pragmatique. Il se trouvera tres bien ailleurs. Ce ne sont pas les alternatives qui manquent. C'est l'imagination qui fait defaut.