Is this Bibi’s swan song?

On 17 Sep 2019 Israel held its 2nd election in a year after the dissolution of the Israeli Parliament in April. The election was cast as a contest between Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu, the latter having tried for a fifth term as PM. In reality, though, it was a vote on whether or not Bibi was still fit to hold office. Neither of the candidates’ parties scored enough seats to form government. The final count was Gantz at 33 seats to Netanyahu’s 31. Even then, Bibi had to cobble together his seats from a far-right coalition. Since then there have been calls for formation of a unity government between Likud (Bibi’s party) and Blue and White (Gantz), with Lieberman cast as the kingmaker. Gantz has refused, and now the Joint List (Arab) party has endorsed Gantz as their man to be PM. The question on everyone’s mind is now: Is this the end of Bibi Netanyahu? Continue reading “Is this Bibi’s swan song?”

Let’s Make a Deal!

Finally, we get to see it, after all the hype, and besides knowing basically what was in it anyway. On Saturday afternoon, DC time, the Trump/Kushner/Netanyahu ‘Deal of the Century’ for the Palestinians was revealed. The first PDF version was put online at 20:09 UT on the White House site. It is 40 pages long and resembles a brochure advertising for a housing estate. Other commentators have said as much. That will be significant a little later. That is not what is interesting about it, though. Continue reading “Let’s Make a Deal!”

A storm coming for Israel?

Israel is finding itself in an increasingly difficult position as the years pass. On 3 Mar 2019 Israel’s Attorney General decided to move forward with Netanyahu’s indictment on fraud charges. In election mode and under increasing pressure, his latest move is to talk of blocking Iranian oil shipments with the Israeli navy, not explaining how. Many people will no doubt cheer his indictment. But then, it becomes a case of being careful for what one wishes. Whoever takes his place if he is removed from office may well be worse, i.e. even more hawkish. Even that could take several years. But that is not the thing that is of interest so much. Rather more to the point, what do we see happening with Israel in general in the next years? This indictment (or moves toward it) may well signal the evolution of larger events. It will also have large effects, probably, on peace or moves toward war in the Middle East. Continue reading “A storm coming for Israel?”

The deal of the century and Gaza

Are you ready for the deal of the century? Well, it’s coming, reportedly on the 1st of December, and if recent events in Gaza are any indication it will not fly with Palestinians. The Palestinian leader Abbas has seen the deal and wants no part of it. The Palestinians want adherence to the terms of the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem. The US has said that like it or not, the deal is done. Such rhetoric will only serve to unite the Palestinians more strongly, further inflaming tensions. All of a sudden there seems to be a lot of interest in Gaza from the White House. If the deal is announced on December 1st as is purportedly planned, then it could be quite an explosive day. And in the midst of all this, Netanyahu is about to lose government due to his defense minister having just stepped down because of Netanyahu’s actions with regard to Gaza. Interesting times in old Palestine. Continue reading “The deal of the century and Gaza”

Khashoggi and what his death really means (a follow-up)

Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, it will be of use to us to begin to parse out what the event and its resulting outcry will mean for the world at large. It turns out that this was no small event, but rather a catalyst for long-term changes in the region and international relations. What has become apparent since that fateful day on October 2nd is that this was not an isolated incident, that it was premeditated, had been planned weeks in advance and that it is playing a significant role in the changing dynamics of international relations. Continue reading “Khashoggi and what his death really means (a follow-up)”

The wisdom of poking at bears…

Most of us would have heard now about the downing of the Russian IL-20 surveillance plane over Syria. The event took place on 17 Sep this year, and I covered the event briefly in the Libra letter. As it turns out, that event has marked a key turning point in the Syrian war, and one which may yet lead to a large escalation in the conflict, with possible disastrous consequences, not to scaremonger here. But the reality of the situation now is that the Russians have been backed into a corner in Syria now by the foolish actions of a few Israeli pilots and the hubris of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Russia has established an unofficial no-fly zone over the Syrian coast, has supplied Syria with with its S-300 missile system, which John Bolton of the US called a ‘major escalation’ (?) and blamed the Iranians (?) for the downing of the plane. For its part, the IDF has blamed the Syrians for the downed plane. Russia, on the other hand, has supplied pretty irrefutable evidence that the fault for the incident lies squarely with Israel. As a result, the Russians have stated that any unauthorized aircraft flying through their no-fly zone will be shot down. It would appear that the gloves are off now. If Putin backs down from the next provocation the consequences would be too much and Russia would be set back for years in its foreign policy. The Israelis, Saudis, Emiratis and neocons in Washington may soon have their escalated war, but at what cost? We await the next chemical weapons performance or for an Israeli plane to be shot down. Hopefully not. Continue reading “The wisdom of poking at bears…”

Is war with Iran on the horizon?

A continuation of the previous Iran post and Part II. The full article is linked below. For a preview:

“Following on from our discussion of Iran, its history, society and people, we can now get a clearer view of what is taking place currently between the US and that ancient culture. There are currently many methods being employed by the US and the Saudis to try to isolate and bring Iran to heel. The think tanks in Washington have been busy. Among those methods we see economic sanctions, cyber warfare, threats to other nations in an attempt to end trade with Iran and attempts to destabilize Iran from inside using proxy forces. None of these are likely to have the desired effects, and we will examine why in due course. In addition, those efforts are likely to produce blowback for the nations involved in trying to sabotage Iran. So, the question is, why would the US, the Saudis and Israel want to see Iran marginalized? There are three main reasons…” READ MORE

Topics: The reasons; The MEK; An overview of the Israelis and Saudis; Israel and the propaganda; What is the Saudi’s beef with Iran?; What war with Iran would mean; The emerging realities

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