MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
Monday, July 14, 2008
No attack on Iran in sight - yet
If you believe the usual pundits, either Israel or the United States, or both, are about to attack Iran to stop its nuclear development program. The reasons that are given are variously that president Bush doesn't want to leave the problem for his successor, or that Israel is alarmed over its intelligence data, that show that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons and will have the bomb real soon, contrary to US intelligence reports, or that Israel is afraid that a new US administration will be less sympathetic. Additional arguments are that a "red line" will be reached when Russia installs the fuel rods in the Bushehr reactor, or when and if Russia delivers the advanced S-300 air-defense system that Iran would like to acquire. [more]
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Will Iran Finally Blink?
In a bid to end its 5 year nuclear standoff with the international community, Iran's so-called "constructive and creative" response on July 4 has come on the back of hints and rumors suggesting that it might also be willing to honor a 'six week' moratorium on new centrifuge deployments and uranium enrichment in return for a moratorium on new sanctions. Although such suggestions fall clearly short of halting current centrifuge activities and enrichment, they are, nevertheless, being interpreted as a positive sign which might possibly lead to a process of conclusive discussions with the '5+1' countries.
Not Everything is conflict
The preoccupation with Jewish-Arab relations, whether in the framework of professional work or part of daily life, brings us directly or indirectly to confront the conflict and the politics of the conflict. In my many meetings with activists in the practical sphere and in Arab Jewish dialogue, it seems that always, consciously or unconsciously, we relate to every area of life only from the perspective of how they relate to the conflict and to relation between the majority and the minority. This attitude has become axiomatic. [more]
Friday, July 4, 2008
Gaza: how peace is lulled to eternal sleep
The good news is that there is quiet in Gaza and Sderot and the Western Negev. Everyone is glad that the Qassam rockets have more or less stopped falling in Israel, and Israeli incursions into Gaza have stopped as well.
The bad news is that Shimon Peres, who for over a decade symbolized the hope of peace for moderate Israelis, doesn't believe a peace agreement is possible, as he was reported to have said in a private conversation. When Peres of the peace prize and the peace foundation, Peres the eternal optimist, the proponent of the New Middle East, stops believing in peace, those who hope for peace must be truly worried. Just when things seem to be looking up, Peres turns gloomy. How can this be?
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