Coward Old Universe…

by Jeremy G.

Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Nuclear Iran: Plan B?

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on February 18, 2009

The Telegraph ran an interesting story today, indicating that Israel is targeting key Iranian scientists involved in the country’s quest for the nuclear bomb.  Granted, those who have followed this issue and those who know the existential fears that Iran’s nuclear program is causing in Israel will not find this surprising.

That said, Israeli efforts to disrupt the program hint at how difficult plans to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities are to implement.  Such plans are also likely to be highly inefficient.  Contrary to Osirak, Saddam’s single nuclear reactor whose location was not a big secret, it is highly probable that the Israelis and the West have very little information regarding the location of the Iranian facilities.  Launching an air strike against those involve two major and inter-related risks: 1) Failing to destroy all of the facilities and 2) allowing Iran to mobilize the “Arab Street” – if that actually still means anything – further.  The combination of those two factors would have far more disastrous consequences than the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.   Israel’s failure to clearly win the conflict allowed Hezbollah to claim full victory.  But Hezbollah is only a group, not a country with Iran’s resources.

So there is an alternative.  However, in the long run, efforts for a rapprochement with Iran – and not its regime – which shares far more with the West than any other country in the region, will be essential to establishing a solid peace and to addressing the major issues in the Gulf.


Posted in Israel, Nuclear Iran | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Fuis moi, je te suis…

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on July 21, 2008

Il n’y aura donc pas eu de poignée de mains entre Olmert et Assad.  On croirait observer deux adolescents à une boom qui cherchent à conclure, mais tellement anxieux qu’ils ne savent pas comment s’y prendre.  Vexée, la Syrie s’amuse à féliciter Kuntar, le tueur d’enfants et l’un des terroristes les plus cruels que l’on ait connu dans l’histoire du Proche Orient, libéré en échange de deux dépouilles de soldats israéliens. 



L’ancienne jurisprudence israélienne ne tient plus: le sort de ceux avec du sang sur les mains redevient négociable.  L’enthousiasme d’hier tient toujours, mais pas sans incertitude ni doute. 



Posted in Israel, Politique étrangère française, Proche Orient, Syrie | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

War in Gaza

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on June 19, 2007



Two schools of thoughts compete to explain Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip last week. On the one hand, many commentators and militants of the Palestinian cause indicate that the recent events were inevitable, given the state of the asphixiation – the recurrent “Gaza is an open-sky prison” argument. On the other, many more commentators in the West point out that given the nature of terrorist movement Hamas, it’s almost surprising that this military coup did not occur earlier.

Beyond this – yet again – classic split, there are two observations that must be made. 

Fouad Ajami sums up best the first observations:

The political maxim that people get the leaders they deserve must be reckoned too cruel to apply to the Palestinians. Before Hamas, for four decades, the vainglorious Yasir Arafat refused to tell his people the basic truths of their political life. Amid the debacles, he remained eerily joyous; he circled the globe, offering his people the false sense that they could be spared the consequences of terrible decisions.

In fact, there is a disturbing gap with regards to the way the Palestinian élite has been treated by the international community and the effective benefits the Palestinian population has drawn from international support.  The outbreak of violence between Fatah and Hamas last week was the result of a decade-long practice of corruption and disregard for fellow citizens on the part of the Palestinian Authority.  As resentment grew stronger, it became increasingly harder for the Palestinian authority to check the discontent.  The longer one prevents an abscess from bursting, the more painful it is when this actually occurs.  Hamas‘ victory in the January 2006 elections was just a first step.

The second lesson is fairly obvious one, but seems to be systematically forgotten throughout the Middle East and in Europe: Violent groups are a threat to everyone in the long run, even to those who harbor them.  Like Lebanon with Hezbollah, Palestine is paying the hard price for composing with Hamas and following the oldest – yet faulty – maxim in the book that the “enemy of my enemy is my friend”.  Leaving such groups as Hezbollah and Hamas develop just weakened the states that habored them, as well as the neighboring countries that allowed for this to happen – Egypt being first in line. 

By the way, from this perspective, the  “Gaza is an open-sky prison” argument is a fairly interesting one: Doesn’t it entail an equal responsability for both Israel and Egypt?  Such a reality has been poorly relayed recently, as no emphasis has been put on the very low level of help provided in general by Arab states to the Palestinians.  It is really hard in this context to believe that the Palestinian people has what it deserves.

Posted in Israel, Palestine, World Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »