Ed: 40: September/2015
In a televised speech delivered August 17, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commented on the P5+1 nuclear agreement in sceptical terms, noting that the decision about whether to approve the deal is still unclear in both Washington and Teheran. As he has done since July, the Supreme Leader also pointedly avoided approving the agreement, after a week of vigorous debate in Iran about his views on the document.
Four years after pan-Arab upheaval shook its political foundations, Egypt is treading new economic, political, and diplomatic paths while increasingly harmonising with the Jewish state next door. The 2011 fall of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year autocracy was followed by three successors within less than three years, yet the regime that emerged from that mayhem is today entering its third year seemingly increasingly comfortable at the helm.
There is a wonderful Indonesian celebration known as Hallal bi Hallal. Shortly after the end of Ramadan, Indonesian Muslims, and their guests, gather to strengthen interpersonal bonds and make peace with each other, just as during Ramadan they had been concentrating on their relationship to, and bonds with, G-d.
A resolution to disapprove the Iran agreement may have substantial political reverberations but limited practical impact. It would not override President Obama's authority to enter into the agreement. Nor would it restrict his authority to participate in most aspects of enforcing the agreement. Indeed, the sole practical implication would be to restrict his authority under law to waive nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.
As the civil war over the ruins of Syria grinds on into its fifth year, the fighting seems nowhere near an end. Indeed, there is no longer a single war taking place in the country. Rather, as Syria physically divides into separate entities, so the conflict, too, further subdivides, spawning new conflicts.
Israelis and friends of Israel alike have, appropriately, come together in expressing profound shame and disgust over the firebombing of two Palestinian homes in the West Bank village of Duma late last month, which claimed the life of a toddler and his father. This came on top of a stabbing attack at Jerusalem's Gay Pride parade that left a teenage girl dead, and five others injured.
At times such as these, it is essential to resist the impulse to go on the defensive and try to deflect or downplay the significance of the incidents.