After noting that he usually tries “not to get worked up about reports of imminent war in the Middle East”, Iranian-born Israeli analyst Meir Javendanvar has just written, on the Real Clear World website, that “this time I really can’t shake the feeling that something ominous is about to happen, involving Hezbollah. It will either be a massive confrontation with Israel, or armed conflict inside Lebanon”.
Javendanfar says that “the recent [3 August] border skirmish” — when the IDF insisted on going ahead with a “routine maintenace” tree-trimming operation that left 3 Lebanese Army soldiers, one Lebanese journalist, and one IDF Captain dead, in a firefight that ensued — ” has actually made Hezbollah more popular inside Lebanon”.
It has made Hizballah more popular everywhere in the Arab world. And Hassan Nasrallah’s speech this past week — which many Western commentators thought offered little new — was regarded as an act of genius by many analysts here in the Palestinian West Bank [including East Jerusalem].
Continue reading Meir Javendanfar worries about war, now
It is a tremendous relief that Tzipi Livni was not trounced in this vote.
By the narrowest of leads — the Israeli election commission now gives Livni’s Kadima Party 28 seats while the next highest party has 27, and some votes are still not counted — she seems to have “won” the most votes in yesterday’s election.
Or, at least she did not lose — as had been widely predicted.
Yet, there is still a chance she may not get to form the next government. If the apparent runner-up in the election, Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu’s Likud Party, is able to demonstrate to Israel’s State President Shimon Peres that he can put together a coalition government of parties from the right, that would pose a real dilemma.
Would Peres give Livni a first shot, anyway?
But, then again, why should much of the world be so absorbed by these elections — and all the attendant exotic minutiae of the Israeli political scene?
The only reason is the real concern to know if there is any reasonable chance to see a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Livni’s placement in the polls suggest that Israel’s voters have not rejected continuing peace negotiations with the Palestinians, despite the heady anti-Arab/anti-Palestinian atmosphere that has only thickened with the national feelings of justification for the recent military attacks in Gaza, angrily oblivious of strong international criticism.
Her enormously unattractive behavior during Israel’s recent 22-day military invasion of Gaza — threatening more and worse — turned many potential supporters from Israel’s “left” against her, even as most pre-election predictions indicated a victorious Israeli “right”.
Continue reading At least, Livni did not lose