A Village Without Cousins Will Find It Harder to Raise Children

As a generation of Americans and Europeans with fewer siblings than their predecessors in turn has fewer children than previous generations, the result is that today’s children often have no cousins, or very few. Timothy Carney comments on the results:

Historically, in the West and elsewhere, cousins, along with aunts and uncles, have played crucial roles in family life. . . . “It takes a village,” as a wise woman once said, “to raise a child.” That’s an old African proverb. Historically, the “village” was extended family, capacious both vertically (spanning generations) and horizontally. In other words, the village is largely cousins.

Ask a modern parent which days involve the least supervision of his or her children, and it’s those holidays when little Bobby and Sue are too busy playing with their cousins to ask for anything. If we want happier children and less anxious parents, we need to save the cousin.

The decline of the cousin connects to another phenomenon Carney remarked upon a few weeks earlier: “a rising tide” of claims in advice columns, magazine articles, and so forth that “being expected to care for other people is traumatic or even harmful.” In particular, the argument has been made that it’s “vaguely sexist” to ask an older daughter to care for a younger sibling.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: American family, Children, Family

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas