Tag Archives: Israel

At the UN, Netanyahu was at his weakest

29 Sep

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the UN tonight.

What was different this time was that his position at home is more precarious compared to recent years. Naftali Benet is gaining on him and his popularity has fallen after the recent war in Gaza. And it could get worst if there is renewed rocket fire against Israel’s southern cities.

So this is why this year he sounded even more despondent than other years regarding the prospects of peace between Israel and Palestine.

But he did not disappoint. I mean who on earth believes him when every year he says he is ready for peace and every year he builds more settlements. This is something which hurts the credibility of Israel’s case abroad, and the peace process. This is not to say the other side is blameless, but nevertheless, the continuous settlement building isolates Israel and makes it hard for its friend to defend its case abroad.

And to try to equate Iran with ISIS? Not many people seem to have accepted his narrative on this topic.

I repeat what I said last year after his UN speech, because it’s still valid:

Israel has a very legitimate case against the Iranian regime’s current nuclear program, it’s just unfortunate that Benjamin Netanyahu has to present it.

What is wrong with some #Iran – #Israel schools of thought

28 Sep

If you want to fit in with the anti – Israel gang , then you must remember this golden rule:

Do not ever take a statement by an Iranian politician, especially Rouhani at face value. Always analyze the reasons of what he said and why he said it. Always try to observe the domestic political atmosphere in Iran and see how it impacts the speeches made by various officials. See who their domestic audience is. What are their internal and external interests and how this impacted their statements, towards the West, Israel or whoever.

Thats great. There is nothing with that. Thats the proper way to work as an analyst.

But its the next part which I have observed over the last years which bothers me.

Do take everything Israeli politicians say, especially regarding Iran at face value. Don’t for a second try to see if politician X just made this statement because of his own domestic audience. Or because he is trying to get prepared for elections. No. Israel controls AIPAC. Israel controls the U.S foreign policy. Its Israel and AIPAC which are the biggest reasons why Iran and the U.S don’t have friendly relations. If it weren’t for Israel and AIPAC, Iran and the U.S would have normal, fully functioning diplomatic relations.

I am of course paraphrasing what I have heard many times over the years.

I am not a Netanyahu fan. In fact the opposite. I hope he is voted out of office tomorrow. But just you watch when he makes his U.N speech.

Those who bent over backwards to try and convince us that we should not take what Rouhani said at the U.N at face value, will take everything Netanyahu says at face value. As if there is no domestic politics here in Israel. As if as bad as Netanyahu is, he does not have rivals. And believe me, even if there was another leader in Israel, you are very likely to see the same behaviour. I saw it when Olmert and Ariel Sharon were prime ministers as well.

Now if you want to belong to the anti- Iran gang then do the exact opposite. And I have seen that too, and keep seeing it.

Washington is not short of people or advocacy groups who think along these lines.

Funny video: Former #Israel President Shimon Peres Goes Job hunting

22 Sep

Shimon Peres has finished his term as the president of the state of Israel, and is now looking for a new job.

Does he have the skills? Does he have the experience?

This funny video starring none other than Shimon Peres himself asks the questions, and pokes fun.

Not many Nobel Peace prize winners have a sense of humour or more importantly, can laugh at themselves.

As an #Iran vs #Israel arena, #Gaza is losing its importance

1 Sep

Numerous things were learned from the recent Israel – Hamas war in Gaza.

One of them was that when it comes to being an arena where Iran and Israel faced each other off, Gaza is losing its importance.

Hamas has got a new Qatari patron and its not clear whether Iran will be able to woo it back.

My latest article explains.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/iran-qatar-israel-hamas-gaza.html

Saying HAMAS is not = ISIS does not mean I support Hamas

26 Aug

Two days ago I wrote a blog in which I said there are some similarities between Hamas and ISIS, but there are greater number of differences between them. I

Not my idea of Hamas!

then listed the major differences to back my argument which concluded by saying that saying Hamas = ISIS is inaccurate.

And then it started. I was accused of all sorts of things, such as suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”, “looking at the nice part of the enemy (I.e Hamas), or that I want “Hamas to be treated differently”.

Seriously?

Have you guys read anything I have written in the past? To me Hamas has always been a terrorist organization. Saying it is not the same as ISIS does not mean that I have decided to think of Hamas as a bunch of tree hugging hippies.

Would you be happier if I just switched my brain off and agreed with everything that the government of Israel tells me?

Then whats the point of studying? Whats the point of thinking for yourself? Isn’t democracy meant to create a market place of ideas?

​I said it before and I will say it again: Netanyahu’s comparison is wrong.

Such inaccurate comparisons also hurt Israel.

When the leader of a country makes inaccurate comparisons, it hurts the credibility of the country and its legitimate concerns, in this case the fight against Hamas. Its important that our leaders don’t play fast and loose with the facts. Netanyahu has done this on other occasions as well, like when he said that in Iran they say “Death to Jews” and that Iran is the new Nazi regime.If we lose our credibility, our enemies win. And this is just one more reason why we have to be honest and exact in our comparisons.

So calm down, and please don’t accuse me of things I did not mean or say.

The mystery over the alleged downed UAV in #Iran deepens

25 Aug

The IRGC says the UAV which was shot down was HERMES UAV which Israel operates

Yesterday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) of Iran announced that it had shot down an Israeli UAV.

Today it released photos of what it says are the remains of the alleged Israeli UAV. However it did not show any proof that the UAV belonged to Israel.

There was additional news today from Iran where the IRGC stated that the UAV was not launched directly from Israel.

What is interesting is that the government of Israel has refused to comment on this issue.

Why?

We can assume that this could be due to (at least) three reasons:

  1. The UAV was in fact Israeli, or
  2. The UAV had nothing to do with Israel. But by staying silent the government of Israel wants to create the perception in Iran that Israel is closely watching the Iranian nuclear program. As senior Haaretz correspondent Amir Oren stated on the i24 news channel last night, “as long as the Iranians believe they are being watched and whatever they do is transparent, this is good for Israel”. This theory is helped by the fact that the UAV news was headlines news in numerous Iranian news outlets today.
  3. The UAV belonged to another country and its not Israel’s place or business to comment on the military activities of other countries.

Lets see if any new evidence or news emerges over the next few days.

Just attended the rally against racism in Jerusalem

2 Jul
herzog

Head of Israel Labour party and opposition leader Isaac Herzog

Just returned from the rally against racism and violence in Jerusalem.

It was wonderful to be there. With so many people who in less than 24 hours after the news regarding a suspected racist attack against a young Palestinian broke out got together to say no to racism.

We are not even sure yet that this was a racist attack. Never mind, our message had to be heard. This is our country and we won’t let the racists win.

I was especially pleased to see the crowd at the anti racism rally after having passed a small gathering by racists chanting “Death to Arabs”.

In total they were about 15 people. Majority of them teenagers. I thought of getting into an argument with them, but please believe me when I tell you that it was not worth it. They looked like such a bunch of boneheads that it would have been a waste of time. Would you argue with someone who was shouting to another woman “do you know what they would do to you in Europe if they find out you are Jewish? They would kill you in Europe.”

The most moving moment at the rally for me was when the head of the Israeli opposition Isaac Herzog came and took pictures among the crowd. He also spoke.

Don’t ask me exactly what he said. By that time I was in a deep conversation in Persian with my Iranian friend Ashkan Safaei who had also attended the rally. He lives in Jerusalem. The conversation lasted 1.5 hours and extended over coffee.

Then I got on the Jerusalem light rail to go to the Central Bus station, and before the doors closed, in walked an elderly gentleman with his daughter.

He started speaking to her in a loud voice, not only in Persian, but in a thick Esfahani accent. He had left Iran only a couple of years ago. Suddenly I found myself listening to him talking about the beauties of Esfahan, and of course, how he knows my entire family, right up to my late grandfather Meir, and my relatives in Israel.

My past and present, in full circle, completed over a single trip to Jerusalem.

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