Friday, February 20, 2009

Coincidences

It is interesting how little news Middle Eastern newspapers really provide us with. As they feed us misinformations in the service of shady policies, one has often to read between the lines. In Lebanon, they more often serve us tired tirades disguised as real analysis. So we have to read “outside” the lines … Here’s a couple of little tidbits that we do not read about;

1- the February 12th kidnapping of Joseph Sader, the Middle East Airlines (MEA) director of information technology operations. Coincidence: he may have been related to the fact that he processed and prepared files related to the Hariri assassination case.

2- The February 18th assassination of Ghassan Miqdad, the MEA pilot, found dead in his own car in Beirut’s Ouzai district. Coincidence: he had transported the Hariri files to The Hague on Feb. 9. Coincidence: 2 months ago, his brother, Mohammed, was similarly assassinated, in the same area. Coincidence: 2 weeks before that, his house was burglarized.

And the biggest Coincidence of all; both the Airport and Ouzai district are under the control of Hezb’O. So as they hide their head up their own gluteus maximus;

Lebanon's great and good say it’s all personal.

I say its just business as usual

Bring on the Salami...



...Paranoid, eh?

Update: No. My source(s) are not Al-Siyassa, which I do not read anyway. And that's all I have to to say about that... For now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kahane's own Yvette

Regardless who prevails to become the next Israeli Prime-Minister, he/she will have a heavy burden to bear. And no, it’s not “Palestinian Terrorism”; it’s Avigdor “Yvette” Lieberman. His rise to kingmaker has two main implications for the region, both of which are far reaching.

In the Immediate...

Whatever his merits(?), the home-made brew that this guy’s spewing is far more toxic than Kahane’s. Yes, the language is milder, but the undertones are the same, and worse, the whole venom is now accepted discourse in Israeli politics.

Such venom has a uniquely corrosive effect; ever since its establishment, Israel claimed some form or moral right. Whatever the merits of the Zionist cause, this gave Israel a boost, especially considering the dismal record of the regimes surrounding it. Today, this may well be all unravelling; by welcoming their own Ahmadi-nut-job within mainstream politics, Israelis are losing whatever moral high ground was left.

Even the stupid Gaza campaign does not carry the same cost. As Lieberman’s stature and influence grows, expect more comparisons to be made with Le Pen or Haider. And expect some unwelcome reactions.

Externally, the rise of such right-wing racists will only feed western anti-Semites. But those nut-jobs hardly need an excuse anyway. The larger danger is Internal. Those being constantly accused of being a fifth column may finally decide to become one, especially as the Settler movement continues to act with impunity. And then Israel will find that a home-grown Intifada is a far harder challenge to face, an inconvenient “fact on the ground” that no “security fence” can hide away.

On the Long run

An additional effect of Lieberman’s rise would be on the regional “peace process”, whatever that still means.

The current Israeli leadership will have to contend and growing dissent among Diaspora Jews, most of whom are not really too far from Hannah Arendt. In addition, the current Obama administration is far less Likudnik than the previous one.

However, that does not mean that the current Obama administration will be much less tone-deaf than the previous one. As a result, the new Israeli government will be pressured to show some progress on the “peace track”. And rather than choosing the Palestinian track, it will buy time and "keep Obama busy" on the simpler "Syrian track", where it finds a far more accommodating partner.

...And so, for Lebanon...

Interesting times, Ahoy!

Update/Modification: It seems I'm not the only one feeling uneasy about Ol'Yvette, as there appears to be a similar mood south of the Mason-Dixon line.  The video is therefore more fitting than the one I had previously selected...


Excerpt from Yvette's speech (H/T Lisa Goldman):

Good Morning, Israel, Citizens, second-class citizens, third-class citizens - and Arabs. I declare the founding of a Jewish state called Yisrael Beiteinu. 

Applause.

The elections were a marvelous experience and they were also a final experience. There will be no more elections. Mina [a famous pollster], your next poll will be called, ‘What do you think of the leader?’ And the answers will be: 

(a) He is excellent; 

(b) He is great; 

(c) He’s totally hot, I’d leave him nothing but his socks and do him right here and now;

(d) All answers are correct with the addition of coconut oil. 

Applause plus whistles.

Regarding the rest of the choices, I decide as follows. 

On planes, regarding chicken or beef - beef. 

For weddings, garden or indoor event space -  indoor event space. 

On Galgalatz (army radio), Madonna or Shakira - Madonna. 

Regarding leftists: If you voted Hadash, you will receive a new (hadash) passport [the leftwing party’s name is an acronym for the Democratic Party for Peace and Equality, but it also means ‘new]

Applause. 

Now lower the volume of the applause. Raise it again. Now applaud according to a jazz rhythm

...May the farce end here...

אף פעם לא