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BBC Podcast: The Rise and Fall of Arab Nationalism

17 Apr

The Arab world fascinates me, especially its rich history, culture, as well as the challenges and the opportunities which it faces.

Its also important as part of my job to follow events in the Arab world. What happens there impacts both Iran and Israel.

This morning, I listened to a podcast called “The Rise and Fall of Arab Nationalism”.

In the podcast Egyptian author Tarek Osmant:

 uncovers the history of the modern Arab world by tracing some of the great political dreams that have shaped it, from the 19th Century to the Arab Spring. Throughout the series, he focuses on two countries that are currently high on the news agenda – Egypt and Syria

You can find out the rest by listening to the podcast here

I highly recommend it.

President Abbas: what are you waiting for?

16 Apr

Two nights ago, off duty Israel Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi was killed in his car.

According to the JTA:

Mizrahi, 47, a father of five, was shot and killed while driving with his family to a Passover seder in the Jewish community in Hebron. His wife, who was in the car with him, and their 9-year-old son, who was in another car, also were wounded.

It’s not yet clear who was responsible. The security forces have not yet managed to find any suspects.

Despite that, what we can all agree on, is that this is terrorism, in its ugliest form. Shooting people who are travelling in cars packed full of women and children is horrendous and reprehensible. Such an act must be condemned immediately by all sides.

But Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has decided to wait until a full investigation of the incident was completed, and only then to condemn the killing.

What does he need to wait for? Why doesn’t Abbas condemn the killing by calling it a crime, no matter who was responsible? What exactly does he hope to gain from his “patience”? Who is he trying to please, the Palestinian extremists?

As a long time supporter of the establishment of a viable Palestinian state next to the state of Israel as part of a fair and just deal, I must say that I find Mahmoud Abbas’s behaviour regarding this matter disturbing and objectionable.

Mr Abbas, think about what you are doing, and the very negative message which you are sending to Israelis who want to live in peace with you.

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