World roundup: November 29 2023
Stories from Israel-Palestine, India, the Netherlands, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
November 29, 903: The Battle of Hama
November 29, 1890: Japan’s Meiji Constitution goes into effect, codifying a semi-constitutional monarchy modeled along the lines of Prussia and the United Kingdom. In principle the charter vested substantial powers in the person of the emperor, though in practice most executive function was meant to rest with a prime minister and civilian government, while the elected Diet was to hold legislative power. Ambiguities over the power dynamics among these institutions may have facilitated the country’s slide into totalitarianism prior to World War II. After Japan lost that war its US occupiers drafted a new constitution, which explicitly limited the emperor to a symbolic role.
Wednesday in theory marks the final day of the extended Israel-Hamas detainee exchange and ceasefire agreement, so at time of writing there was a great deal of focus on what Al Jazeera characterized as “intensive talks” on another extension. The initial four-turned-six day deal has seen the staged release of 81 hostages previously held by Hamas and other Gazan militant groups, most of them Israeli but some foreign nationals whose release was negotiated separately from the main accord. The Israeli government has freed 180 Palestinians it was holding, and while it’s also arrested nearly that many Palestinians since the deal went into effect on Friday I suppose there’s no point getting hung up on details, right?