Friday, February 10, 2012

Israel will not bomb Iran this year

Increasingly, talking about Iran as a nuclear threat is becoming an exclusive hobby for politicians. Although some of the Arab regimes feel equally threatened by a nuclear Iran, only Israel seems to emerge as the subject of this threat. Israeli leaders have made it clear that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat and that they will do whatever is necessary to eliminate that threat, including a preemptive military attack. Unexpectedly, some U.S. officials, including Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, went as far as setting a time for such an Israeli military strike: this spring. Nonetheless, here are several reasons why, in my opinion, Israel will not attack Iran this year.


Israel isn't likely to strike Iran - this time
Israel's belligerent talk is likely to be just that - talk. But that doesn't mean the regional upheaval couldn't make the nuclear threats facing us much, much worse.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Reasoned Comments: Saudis depraved indifference

Reasoned Comments: Saudis depraved indifference: The manufacturing and toleration of supremacism by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Even before 9-11, before the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Middle East run by Islamists: Should Western Powers Freak Out?

In 39 days, three Arab countries held critical elections, Tunisia (October 23), Morocco (November 25), and Egypt (November 28-9). Although the elections in these countries have different contexts and implications, the three events have several things in common. First, the elections were made possible directly or indirectly by the Arab Awakening of early 2011. Second, before the Awakening, Western powers had labeled these three countries as “moderate,” a euphemism for undemocratic regimes run by a westernized elite. Last, these elections brought to power Islamist parties and groups that the west has labeled “extremists.” So should western governments now freak out?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reasoned Comments: The “very scary” Iranian Terror plot

Reasoned Comments: The “very scary” Iranian Terror plot: BY GLENN GREENWALD The most difficult challenge in writing about the Iranian Terror Plot unveiled yesterday is to take it seriously eno...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Israel's political tsunami has arrived

by Barak Ravid
Half an hour before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went up to the podium at the UN General Assembly, Salva Kiir, president of the world's youngest country, South Sudan, was giving his own speech. As he went on, a slow buzz began to spread throughout the hall.
World leaders, foreign ministers and ambassadors came in one after the other and filled the empty spots in the auditorium. The seats reserved for guests and journalists were also quickly taken. When Kiir finished his speech, everyone expected Abbas to speak next, but due to a change in the schedule the president of Armenia ascended the stage. The large crowd of people impatiently anticipating the day's main event heaved a communal grunt of dissatisfaction over the unexpected warm-up show.
Had a stranger stumbled into the General Assembly on Friday, they might have thought Lady Gaga – or at least Madonna – was about to perform, and not the somber Abbas. Dozens of people who couldn't find a seat stood along the walls of the hall, while others sat down on the stairs. When Abbas' name was announced, the crowd rose to its feet and received him with applause befitting nothing less than a rock star.
Abbas' speech was unrelenting. A few of the things he said would even make Yossi Beilin or Shimon Peres cringe. When he talked about Palestine as a land holy to several religions, he mentioned Muslims and Christians, but failed to mention the Jews. He spoke of Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and said that the IDF and settlers abuse farmers and sick people on their way to the hospital.
Yet all of this did not prevent the majority of the representatives in the hall to applaud Abbas, and even give him a standing ovation when he waved a copy of the letter he submitted earlier to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requesting membership to the UN. When Abbas yelled over the podium "enough, enough, enough," the representatives of the world's nations believed him.
Israel's handling of the Palestinian bid reached an especially embarrassing peak during Abbas' speech. Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who entered the hall a few minutes before the speech began, decided once again to use an international diplomatic event for a little bit of internal politics.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Erdoğan: Mavi Marmara raid was ‘cause for war'

Israel's 2010 raid on a Turkish-owned aid ship in international waters, which resulted in the deaths of eight Turks and a Turkish-American, was a “cause for war,” but Turkey acted with patience, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“The May 31, 2010 Mavi Marmara event and the attack that took place in international waters did not comply with any international law. In fact, it was a cause for war. However, befitting Turkey's grandness, we decided to act with patience,” Erdoğan said, according to excerpts taken from an interview the prime minister gave to Al Jazeera and published by the Anatolia news agency late on Sunday.

Erdoğan reiterated that Turkey's warships will be seen more often in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the 2010 raid took place. He said last week that Turkish warships will escort aid ships headed to the Gaza Strip, currently blockaded by Israel.

Turkey has imposed sanctions on Israel after it refused to apologize for the killings, expelling the Israeli ambassador and suspending military agreements with the Jewish state. It has also said it would take measures to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We will see Turkish ships, I mean military ships, more often in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in the exclusive economic zone [of Turkey],” Erdoğan told Al Jazeera.

He also said Israel “condemns itself to isolation” by refusing to offer Turkey an apology and not lifting the blockade of Gaza.

Erdoğan, who begins a tour of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya on Monday, had earlier made it clear that he wants to proceed to Gaza from Egypt's Rafah border crossing, but Egypt is reportedly reluctant to let the Gaza trip happen. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Sunday that Erdoğan's itinerary will be limited to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

“I know my brothers in Gaza are waiting for us. I am in yearning for Gaza as well. … Sooner or later, God willing, I will go to Gaza,” Erdoğan said. But he added that he did not want “unnecessary tensions” to break out over his desire to visit Gaza. “We are discussing this with our Egyptian brothers,” he said.

‘Assad losing legitimacy'

During the interview, Erdoğan also reiterated his criticism of the Syrian regime for its bloody crackdown on anti-regime protests and said President Bashar al-Assad's administration is about to lose its legitimacy. “The administration is unfortunately acting oppressively. The blood of the oppressed is being spilled and thousands of people are in jail as political prisoners,” Erdoğan said.

“Political leaders ought to establish their future on the basis of justice, not on atrocity and blood. We advise all Middle Eastern countries to strengthen democracy, human rights and freedoms,” he said. When asked whether he still speaks with Assad by phone, Erdoğan said: “I am not calling him anymore. But if he calls me, I'll talk to him.”