Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Middle East: Shades of Gray

With all due respect to CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and the network news teams, you guys should stick to Lohan, boo-gate, and Tom Brady's locks because you guys are missing the boat on the international landscape.  Here are some facts you may not be aware of:

1) A brand new Jewish school has opened in Azerbaijan, an Islamic country formed out of the break up of the Soviet Union.  Azerbaijan has more in common ethnically with Iran than any other country in the world, yet since it's inception in 1991 has had normal relations with Israel, as have all of the Muslim nations formed from the Soviet breakup.

2) Israel has been too heavy handed with the inhabitants of Gaza.  Security is one thing, but they have punished the citizens too harshly.  That being said, with the increased flow of materials and aid into Gaza, a burgeoning night life and social scene was developing.  Unfortunately, it was crushed, not by Israeli embargo, but by the al-Qassam Brigade, the Hamas militant wing.  Further evidence that the power behind Hamas wants perpetual strife and war to maintain power.

3) Most Israelis do not view Obama favorably because he is pushing a peace process that includes a two state solution which means compromise.  To most Israelis, compromise is unnecessary because they have security and economic vitality.  What do they gain by the peace process?  Is it fair to ask Israelis to look at a bigger picture where a Palestinian state can undermine the rhetoric and hate speech of the Bin Ladens and Ahmadinejads?

4) Moderate Sunni nations like Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are no longer worried, concerned or threatened by Israel.  They now realize their greater threat comes from the Shia minority being fueled by Iran.  The Sunnis are making matters even worse from themselves by cracking down excessively on the Shias in a manner that is worse than any Israeli/Palestinian condition.

I just thought I would sure what I have encountered in just a few short days.  In short, it's never as clear as we are led to believe.

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