Tag Archives: Israel

Israel and one US Presidential hopeful

Today I want to take a look at a few statements Mike Huckabee made over the weekend about his position on Israel. These statements are important because he is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, the most powerful office in the world. While he might not be the frontrunner, his positions on Israel and Palestine are a sign of how the Republicans are becoming steadily more one sided on this issue – one that will be a huge talking point in the upcoming candidate debates. Continue reading

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Republican dreams, harsh realities

I’ve got my midterm exam for Middle Eastern Politics tomorrow, so I figured I might as well combine study and writing! 

Strong words, little sense (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Recently 47 US Senators sent a letter to Iran ‘informing’ them that any deal with the US on their nuclear program would be worthless, because the Senate would refuse to cooperate, and a Republican President could scrap the deal in 2016. The letter caused outrage in the US, and it was seen as deliberately undermining Obama’s foreign policy. Iran itself responded by simply poking holes in the Senators’ logic and knowledge of law.

While the letter itself is ridiculous, it does show the way US Republicans are thinking. One of these Republicans is Marco Rubio – one of the expected front-runners for the presidential elections in 2016. Rubio took to Foreign Policy yesterday to defend his ideas on Iran. Let’s take a look at what a possible future president thinks. Continue reading

Why nobody likes Bibi (except the voters)

In a shock result, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu has won last night’s general election. His Likud party gained 6 more seats than his leftist rivals, who had been predicted to win. In the end though, Netanyahu’s appeal to the nationalist right seems to have swung the vote in his favour. He should now be able to form a ruling coalition with other rightist and centrist parties. It’s a result that will frustrate many – including the unlikely combination of the Palestinians and US government. So why is Netanyahu so disliked by his strongest ally? And more importantly, what will this victory mean for the conflict with Palestine?  Continue reading

Nuclear Iran – 2 steps forward, 1 step back?

The Nov. 24th deadline for a final deal on Iran’s nuclear programme is fast approaching, with talks between Iran and six world powers remaining difficult. While failure to reach a deal doesn’t mean there won’t be another temporary deal, it will damage relations and give both sides reasons to provoke the other. The talks come at a time when the US and Iran need each other more than ever, with both sides fiercely opposing the Islamic State. So what are the issues being discussed? What are the potential stumbling blocks? And just how complex of a political game is this? Continue reading

Is Israel really the worst country in the world?

Of course not. But for many people across the world and at my university, it seems to be. Recently my study association BASIS organised a trip to the Israeli Embassy for our members. This provoked an interesting response from students who felt that by visiting the embassy they would be promoting ties between the association and “a country that violates international law”. They felt that either a boycott or harsh questions were necessary to avoid this promotion. But BASIS has visited the US embassy before without complaint and is planning to visit the Russian one. I’m sure most of these people would visit the Chinese or Cuban embassy. So is what Israel does really that bad? How do they measure up compared to other countries? And why do we seem to be so obsessed with its actions? Continue reading

Israel and Palestine – 5 problems for peace

Yesterday Egypt announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed on a long-term ceasefire to end the weeks of conflict that have left over 2000 people dead. While there have been short lived ceasefires before, this one is open ended and seems more likely to last. Apart from both sides ceasing rockets and air strikes, the agreement also means that aid and construction materials will be allowed through the blockade into Gaza. The two parties will meet again in a month to try to work out trickier points such as the disarmament of Hamas. However, this is just an end to this particular war. Without a permanent peace to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hamas and the IDF will be at each other’s throats again. So why is that peace so hard to achieve? The following are some of the biggest issues blocking the path of peace. Continue reading

5 myths about the Arab-Israeli conflict

The most recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen the propaganda war flare up larger than ever before. Supporters of both sides have used all sorts of social media to promote their cause, whether it’s #FreeGaza or #BringBackOurBoys. So from the murky world of Facebook posts and official propaganda, here are 5 of the biggest myths about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Continue reading