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.
none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself.
And since then, those very same feet have destroyed many things inside Iran.
But, you can’t say Ahmadinejad is not a man of miracles. How can you not believe in miracles when according to the Iranian regime in 2009 he won the presidential elections with votes cast for him in the state of Israel itself. Oh yes, those non-existent ballot boxes in Jerusalem were full of Ahmadinejad votes, thus allowing him to win his non-existent “people’s” victory.
But don’t be sad because you share a birthday with the man . There are people worse off than you. Feel bad for me. I spent so much time researching his life for his biography which I coauthored in 2007 that on couple of occasions I dreamed that I was speaking with him. I distinctly remember that in one dream I was asking him why in 2005 he said he father had died in 1993 when in fact he was alive. His father died in 2006 and not 1993. I can tell you one thing about that experience: at least I will never suffer from narcolepsy.
And we are not the only lucky ones. Today, on his 58th birthday the people of Iran received a brand new newspaper called HOMA (Havadaran-e Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) or supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You can say what you want about the sanctions, from now on with this newspaper no one can complain about the lack of medication for insomnia in Iran.
So to all you birthday boys and birthday gals today, if you can’t beat the Mach-mood (Mahmoud in an Israeli accent) then join him. Put your dancing shoes on and start dancing to this funky video, made in honor of the man who put the MAD in AhMADinjead. Oh yeah…
The news about the recent acid attacks against a number of women in my ancestral city of Esfahan in Iran came as a shock, mainly because of its severity.
The regime does crackdown against women. There are arrests and some are even imprisoned. But this kind of violent attack by unknown assailants is foreign to many Iranians. Mention acid attacks against women and most Iranians are likely to tell you that this is far more likely to happen in other countries where extremism is more prevalent among the population. One reason why you are likely to hear such a response is because it is believed that the women were “targeted for not being properly veiled”.
This recent attack should start ringing alarm bells. Whether the government will crackdown hard against such extremism against women is unclear. One member of the Iranian parliament has pointed to Israel as well as other foreign countries as being behind these attacks!!
These attacks are not the only sign which show how life for women in Iran has gotten worst after the 1979 revolution. There are several government imposed discriminations against them, in society and at the work place. This is despite the fact that women form the majority of University graduates in Iran.
Iranian women also suffer because of poverty, much like the rest of society. But because there are fewer opportunities available to them, over the years increasing number have been forced into prostitution. This includes married women, and young girls.
The short documentary below which was made in Iran discusses this phenomenon and interviews a number of prostitutes. They discuss why they chose this profession and what life in Iran is like for women, especially those who do not belong to the upper class.
The Israeli and Iranian publics can live with what their leaders each consider a “bad” nuclear deal.
My latest article explains:
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.
- 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.
- It will enable Israel to establish diplomatic relations with 57 Arab and Muslim countries, as per the Arab Peace Initiative (API).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- A major setback for extremist groups such as Al Qaida and ISIS. Not to mention Hezbollah.
- 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.
- 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.
I tried not to come up with such an extreme statement, but quite frankly after listening to the podcast below, I couldn’t put it any other way.
All hope is lost. The Iraqi army does not have a chance in hell of beating ISIS. At least not in the short-term.
The Financial Times Middle East and North Africa correspondent Borzou Daragahi filed this podcast from Iraq. In it, you hear the reason why I think this way.
You hear about Iraqi army commanders punishing their own under-equipped soldiers who were lucky enough to escape ISIS attacks. How instead of debriefing these soldiers and helping them, they literally spat on them. About how Iraqi commanders ignored pleas for air support from their units because they believed they were “exaggerating”. The podcast also talks about how sectarianism plays a role in the Iraqi army and the performance of the soldiers.
In my opinion, you can never win a fight as a national army, when many of your soldiers put their sectarian affiliation before their national identity. As a fighting force, ISIS does not have such a problem. Everyone is Sunni. But the Iraqi army does. And its a serious handicap.
Podcast: Under fire: the Iraqi army vs Isis