Tag Archives: Israel

In Netanyahu vs Obama: the winner is likely to be #Palestine

29 Oct A youth holds-up a big Palestinian flag during a protest against the controversial separation wall in Ramallah

Make no mistake, after the US midterm elections, Netanyahu is going to take the gloves off. He is going to try to make life hell for Obama in any way he can in order to settle scores with him.

One area where Netanyahu is likely to try to make life difficult for Obama is Iran. If there is a deal between Iran and the P5+1, Netanyahu is likely to try to encourage the Congress to vote against the lifting of the sanctions. Or to slow down the implementation of America’s commitment, in any way possible, so that Obama looks like a lame duck.

And this is where the Palestinians enter the picture and are likely to be the biggest winner.

First scenario: Obama tries to settle scores with Netanyahu by not vetoing a very harsh resolution against Israeli settlements at the UNSC. Likely winner = Palestine as such a resolution is going to make it easier to isolate Israel and impose sanctions against the settlements in the international community.

Second scenario: AIPAC finds itself being pushed by both sides (Obama and Netanyahu), so it decides not to get involved or to reduce its involvement in such a scenario. Likely winner = Palestine. As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the less AIPAC is involved in anything to do with Israel, the better.

Whatever you think of AIPAC, it is an American organization. Despite its excellent relations with Israeli governments, its unlikely that it would want to be seen as standing against the President of the US in a long drawn out battle with the Prime Minister of Israel.  Such fights are the stuff of nightmares for AIPAC as its main goal is to strengthen relations between Israel and US governments. Publicly taking sides in a fight between the leaders of the two countries would be the last thing it wants.

Third scenario (and the less likely one): Obama does not VETO UNSC resolution which recognizes Palestine. Winner = Palestine.

Whatever happens, one of the aforementioned scenarios is likely to be realized and no matter which one is realized, Palestine is likely to be the winner.

Iranians, Israelis could live with ‘bad’ nuclear deal

14 Oct kham-netan

The Israeli and Iranian publics can live with what their leaders each consider a “bad” nuclear deal.

My latest article explains:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/10/iran-israel-nuclear-talks-public.html

Top ten reasons why an independent Palestinian state would be good for #Israel

13 Oct palestine-israel

It takes two sides to make peace. Both Israel and Palestinians have to sacrifice, have to compromise.

However there are some in Israel who are opposed to the creation of an independent state. I am not. I am for it, once negotiations have been completed by both sides. I think it would be good for Israelis too. I have explained the reasons why below.

  1. It will save Israel from the real possibility of becoming a binational apartheid state. This is because demographically speaking, if Israel continues to occupy Palestinian lands in the next 20 years there will be more Palestinians than Israelis living under Israeli rule. Unless there is a state of Palestine, we either have to: – give the Palestinians living under our rule the vote = end of Israel as a Jewish state, or we deprive the majority Palestinians of the right to vote = making Israel an apartheid state.
  2. It will enable Israel to establish diplomatic relations with 57 Arab and Muslim countries, as per the Arab Peace Initiative (API).
  3. Peace with Palestine and the establishment of a Palestinian state will mean more trade with Arab countries =  more jobs and revenue for the Israeli economy.
  4. A Palestinian state, with set borders will enable the economy of Palestine to grow. Less poverty and more jobs + an end to the occupation of their land = less reason for the people of Palestine to support Palestinian extremists who only want war against Israel.
  5. The end of occupation will mean more legitimacy for Israel to strike back at terrorists inside Palestinian territory, if they decide to launch attacks from internationally recognized Palestinian borders. The end of occupation of Lebanon in 2000 and return to Israel’s borders has made it infinitely more difficult for Hezbollah to justify new attacks against Israel and more justifiable for Israel to strike back when under attack. Just compare how many attacks there were by Hezbollah against Israeli army and civilian targets during the occupation of Lebanon and how many were after the end of occupation.  The difference is not just big, its huge
  6. The occupation is corrupting Israeli society. Trauma of aggression taught to soldiers to use against Palestinians is brought home by soldiers and at times used against their own family / other members of society
  7. It would be a huge setback for those in the Iranian regime who abuse the Palestinian issue to divert attention from corruption and problems at home.
  8. A major setback for extremist groups such as Al Qaida and ISIS. Not to mention Hezbollah.
  9. The occupation is allowing extremists in the Israeli society to grow and prosper. Inside the West Bank, when a Palestinian commits a crime, any crime, he is arrested and investigated by the army and the SHABAK intelligence services. When an Israeli in the West Bank commits a crime, its the job of the poorer and the less organized police to investigate. This makes it much more difficult to arrest extremists in the West Bank. Case in point: look at how many attacks there have been by extremists against Mosques and Palestinians farmers and citizens in the West Bank.
  10. Many of the illegal settlements (according to Israeli law) are a major economic and military burden for Israel, while interrupting the lives of ordinary Palestinians.

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

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