It should come as no surprise that Israeli Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak threw down a wild card and announced the end of his career in politics.
Although the decision countered a spike in his popularity after Israel’s recent operation against terror infrastructure in Gaza, it is only fitting that Barak, Israel’s most decorated soldier, would succeed at fooling election pundits, the media and the broader public sphere. After all, this is the man who, throughout his time as a public servant, was viewed as both the savior and a complete failure to the Israeli peace camp, while being a frequent punching bag for both the dovish left and the more hardline right-wing parties.
It’s 8AM on Sunday morning, and another week in the congested streets and overflowing cafes of Tel Aviv has begun.
By midday, the beaches will be full of tourists, students and independently employed Tel Avivim who relish in the flexibility of being able to self-manage their own lives while taking in the hot Mediterranean sun and the sea’s glistening afternoon waters.
The city of Tel Aviv has come a long way since 1909 when the 66 founding families decided to push up north from Jaffa and replace the expansive sand dune-dominated topography with what would eventually become the fundamental trial of Jewish self-governance and contemporary Hebrew culture.
06:00 Thursday the 12th of April 2012 will forever be remembered as Bashar al- Assad’s finest hour.
No matter what happens in the coming years or even the coming months, this early morning hour will represent the Syrian ruler’s gold medal for survival, deceit and victory.
For all the arguing about whether or not Assad will ultimately adopt former United Nations chief Kofi Annan’s cease-fire plan and its eventual protocol to foster reforms in Syria, Assad will be able to thumb his nose at the international community, proving to everyone that he can match and even supersede the ruthlessness of his father Hafez in quelling decent without ever having to worry about the slightest bit of foreign military intervention.
This past Saturday night, Israeli and Palestinian representatives met in Amman, Jordan to begin the third round of exploratory talks in an attempt to reignite the crippled negotiations that have come to define the Middle East Peace Process.
Unfortunately, however, this diplomatic disguise will produce just another set of pessimistic headlines and banter of blame with each side accusing the other of an unwillingness to take the necessary measures that would lead to serious negotiations.
Palestinian officials will grumble about Israel’s failure to freeze construction in the settlements and East Jerusalem, while Israeli representatives will accuse the Palestinians of making haughty preconditions that will hurt Israel’s bargaining position during official talks.
The deligitimization of Israel is being perpetuated by the Jewish state’s lack of a concrete plan to counter a new generation of anti-Israeli attitudes amongst both the American Jewish community and on college campuses.
With regards to college campuses, this is not an issue of bigoted anti-Semitism; rather, it is a combination of educated and intelligent young adults who have been easily and convincingly swayed by an overwhelmingly powerful Palestinian narrative.
When people used to refer to the Israeli-controlled West Bank as the Wild West Bank, there was only one connotation: Palestinian terrorism. Now, the term has taken on a completely different meaning.
Israel’s troubling double standard of law enforcement and the maintaining of democratic justice in the disputed West Bank Palestinian territories cannot be more grotesquely apparent as the aftermath of this past month’s violent anarchy by Jewish zealots continues to unfold.
Jordan Op-Ed: Abdullah’s Vindication
This past February, as revolutions were gaining fervor across the Arab world, Jordan’s King Abdullah II released his memoirs – something usually reserved for the latter part of one’s life.
It seemed eerily ironic and blindly premature for an Arab leader, especially one still a year shy of his fiftieth birthday, to be publishing such a body of work at a time when gusting political winds were beginning to rewrite history and create even more unpredictability in a region where a single day’s events are enough to fill headlines for an entire year.