Ed: 40: August/2015
The response in the Arabic-speaking world to the conclusion of a deal between the P5+1 countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the latter's nuclear program has divided along familiar lines.
Fast forward to 2015, where the most vocal of those in the forefront of anti-Israel activity brand themselves as supporters of boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions on, Israel (BDS).
While there may well be some individuals misled into believing peace, justice or some other worthy aspiration is served through joining the anti-Israel bully chorus, it is not difficult to show how this is, to say the least, delusory.
A mid-July contrast: In a number of cities and towns across Australia, small gatherings rallied to a call to "Reclaim Australia", and were generally confronted by counter-protesters calling for bigots to, well, go back to where they came from. Meanwhile, at the Parramatta campus of the University of Western Sydney (UWS), hundreds of academics, researchers, bureaucrats, politicians and others conferred on Advancing Community Cohesion.
The Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), struck in mid-July by the P5+1, led by US President Barack Obama, poses a grave danger to peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond on two different levels. It not only fails to stop Iran's drive for nuclear weapons capability, it also actually strengthens Teheran in its efforts to destablise neighbouring states, its support for terrorism and its determination to achieve regional hegemony.
It has taken decades to build the structure of international sanctions against Iran, and now we are entirely abandoning it. To believe that these sanctions can or will "snap back" - 60 pages' worth of listed firms, entities, companies, ports, ships, banks, individuals, and on and on - if Iran engages in some violation is foolish.
By sheer coincidence, the deal to constrain Iran's nuclear program was signed during the three weeks in which Jews commemorate what began with the breaching of ancient Jerusalem's walls and ended with the torching of its Temple.
Though opinions in Israel vary concerning Iran's immediate threat to the Jewish state, the deal signed in Vienna in July left many Israelis feeling that diplomatic walls have been breached abroad. Yet political walls may soon be mended at home.
The metamorphosis of Iran, in elite American opinion, from terrorist state into US partner is a long-brewing triumph for a certain set of ideas about the Islamic Republic and its relation to the nation it has called the "Great Satan" since its birth... Its basic purpose has always been to sell the Iranian regime as moderate, amenable to reason, even decent and democratic, relative to its neighbours.