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.
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.
Many Iraqi soldiers preffered to escape from ISIS, and in some cases for good reason.
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
You remember that French anti-semitic comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala who came up with the reverse Nazi salute? He is in Iran now, attending a conference. So are a number of other Holocaust deniers. This is in addition to other anti-war activists.
According to Buzzfeed, quoting Iran regime mouthpiece PressTV:
The gathering’s goal is to unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics.
So to analyze such an issue, the Iranian regime needs the help of fervent haters of the Jewish people? Why? If this is only against Zionism, why does the Iranian regime need antisemites such as Dieudonné M’bala M’bala? Why does it need Holocaust deniers at this conference at all?
We all the know the answer. Anti-Semitic ideas are alive and kicking at this event. The organizers try to cover their tracks by saying its against “Zionism”, but the beliefs and background of some of its participants show that there is more to this.
This is not the only case which shows that antisemitism is rearing its ugly head again in Iran.
The state TV, which is controlled by the regime, not by the government (same applies to this conference) has started propagating centuries old lies against the Jewish people, again. Its trying its best to make the people of Iran anti-semitic.
This is shameful racism, and it must stop now. The Iranian regime is taking Iran to the dark ages, again. And Rouhani must speak up against such behavior.
So what is likely to happen after the death of AyatollahKhamenei? Are we likely to see much change in Iran?
President Rouhani visiting Ayatollah Khamenei at the hospital after his recent prostate operation
My latest opinion piece for Aljazeera America tries to answer this important question.
General Yaacov Amidror was the chief of Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) under Netanyahu. He resigned last year from the post, due to conflict of interest.
According to Haaretz, ” he has been considered among the prime minister’s closest confidants”. This is why I always read his articles.
The fact that his latest article was published at the Bar Ilan University’s Begin Sadat Centre site gave it even more importance. In my opinion, the writings of this centre also reflect current thinking in the Netanyahu government .
I highly recommend his article “We have to be prepared“.
And the ticking sound you hear is that of the countdown timer until the next war. The reason? in the article you do not find any diplomatic or political recommendations. The same applies to Netanyahu and his way of dealing with the Israel – Palestine conflict.