There is much speculation on a warming of relations, and even collaboration, between Saudi Arabia and Israel in the aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal. Both countries perceive a nuclear Iran to be a great threat. However, given its history and concern for the legitimacy of its rule, the Saudi royal family is more likely to draw closer to Iran than to Israel.
Iranian declarations calling for Israel’s destruction are being voiced by a broad spectrum of the Iranian leadership, including different senior officers in the Revolutionary Guard. Just this week (May 20, 2012), Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi stated: “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.” These spokesmen are not talking about a long historical process regarding Israel’s elimination, but rather a development that is to take place in the near term. These calls for the destruction of Israel for the most part are not made in the context of an Iranian retaliatory strike, and are not contingent upon what actions Israel will take.Thus the problem is not just President Ahmadinejad, who will be out of office when his term ends in 2013, but rather with the entire present-day Iranian leadership. In this study, Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum and IDF LTC (ret.) Michael Segall detail Iranian statements on the destruction of Israel from the last few years.
The Arab awakenings and assertive international role of Russia and China at the expense of the United States have created a new strategic situation for the rulers of Riyadh. Seen from Saudi Arabia, the US stood idly by at the ignominious toppling of its erstwhile allies, the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt. Its rival across the Gulf, Iran, is on its way to having a nuclear weapon and has attempted to assassinate its ambassador to Washington.
While the world was busy nit-picking the translation of those words, particularly Israel’s “good friend” Jonathan Steele of The Guardian, arguing Iran’s leader was just referring to a regime change of the evil expansionist Zionists now in power in Jerusalem, not physical annihilation of a sovereign state, Joshua Teitelbaum pointed out in his important rebuttal of these foolish semantics that Michael Axworthy, Britain’s consular officer in Tehran, testified that slogans draped over missiles in Iran’s military parades stated: “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
Interesting women’s demo in Abha, KSA
Originally posted on Saudi Rural Boy:
On Tuesday afternoon 6th of march a few female students were gathered in the females’ campus at the King Khaled University (KKU) in Abha, Criticizing the deterioration of basic Facilities on campus like proper class rooms, Benches, tables, waste management; when they were verbally assaulted by the Female security guards calling them “Filthy Animals”& “Barking Dogs”. The girls responded to that by throwing empty water bottles & soda cans which was stacked all over the hallways. That was it for Tuesday .
On Wednesday Morning , My sister says that they were banned from bringing in or buying any water bottles or Any other refreshment; the dean instructions they said to punish them for throwing it at the guards. Around 10:45 AM the Guards grabbed one of the girls accusing her of hitting the guards and breaking the law, they were pulling her hair and dragging here on the stairs in the most…
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In a symbolic gesture of defiance, militia and tribal chiefs from eastern Libya gathered here on Tuesday to demand a return to the loose federation that prevailed before Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi took power four decades ago.
And now another tribal chink in the armor of the Syrian state.
London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, head of the prominent Baqara tribe in Syria, revealed that the Syrian authorities forced him to conduct an interview with a Syrian satellite television channel “with a gun to his head”, before releasing him 20 days later. The Baqara tribe is one of the largest tribes in Syria, and estimates indicate that the tribe’s membership stands at 1.2 million Syrian nationals.
In light of my piece last week on the failing of the Arab core states, check out this report on rumblings of a tribal rebellion in the Sinai. Stay tuned!
The democratic promise of the poorly named “Arab Spring” is now widely recognized to be a disappointment. Viewed from early 2012, democratic “transitions” seem a pipe dream. Instead of democracy we are witnessing a re-emergence of pre-state loyalty frameworks that call into question the viability of the modern state in today’s Middle East. With the notable exception of the oil monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where the state can still provide for its citizens, the phenomenon we see today is not democratization, but rather a process of state failure.