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MEA Weekend: AIPAC vs J-Street

AIPAC has been the biggest and most powerful Pro-Israel Jewish lobby in Washington for at least two decades.

These days, its stance is being challenged by another new Pro – Israel lobby, called J-Street. The latter’s stance on the two states solution is far more clear and stronger.

If I lived in the U.S, I would support J-Street. I have met many AIPAC officials and they are great people who care deeply about Israel and her security. However I think the organization is stuck in the past. They still look at Israel as this beleaguered weak little country who could be destroyed any day. I also disagree with AIPAC’s Israel can do no wrong attitude.

I think the opposite. I think Israel is a very strong country. In fact, on a one to one basis we could take on every European country in war, and with the exception of Russia, France and the UK, we could probably beat them. Hamas and Hezbollah are not a mortal danger to Israel, because we are umpteen times stronger than them. It is them who are scared of us. Far more. Same for Iran. Those “great” Iranian leaders who get on the pulpit and call for Israel’s elimination have not dared fire a single bullet, let alone a missile against Israel in the 32 years history of the Islamic Republic. Why? because they know that the reality of life inside the boxing ring with your gloves on is far different than standing outside and shouting abuse.

Israel however does have weaknesses. They are not military. After 62 years, we have no border. We lack legitimacy. There is one law for the secular Jew, another for the Palestinian who lives with Israeli ID in East Jerusalem, another law for Palestinians in the West Bank, and yet another for religious Jews.

The biggest danger is the fact that the numbers are screaming at us. Not just screaming, they are hollering. Yet the conservatives in Israel and AIPAC seem to take little notice. In 20 – 25 years, there will be more Palestinians than Israelis in the West Bank. We either have to give them voting rights, or install apartheid.

There is another reality. According to a recent study in Tel Aviv University, by 2040, 78% of school children will be either Arab or Haredi in Israel’s schools, none of whom go to the army. If we don’t make peace, who is going to protect the settlements?

This is why the time for making peace is now. We are a strong country, and we can protect ourselves. More importantly, we have to use the centuries old Jewish skill of planning 50 – 100 years ahead. This is how we survived in diaspora. Israel’s current leaders have problem envisioning five months ahead. Never mind 50 years.

In my opinion, J-Street, far more than AIPAC is about that vision, and is about examining Israel’s future, and thinking long term. This is why I support them.

I enclose with this debate below between Jeremy Ben Ami, who is the head of J-Street and Professor Alan Dershowitz, who is one of the main supporters of AIPAC.


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Posted on : May 27 2010
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Congrats to Brazil and Turkey

Brazil and Turkey should be congratulated for their deal over Iran’s nuclear programme. However they just need one more important document to make the deal complete.


And here is my first ever TV interview in Portuguese. I hope to do better in my next ones. With much love and gratitude to my friends from the city of Salvador – my home in Brazil and Latin America.


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Posted on : May 18 2010
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Nuclear weapons = more stability for Iran?

I am about to embark on a full day simulation.

Its title is “Iran – The Day After”. It will basically try to asses the behavior of Iran after it will become armed with nuclear weapons.

I will be a member of the Iran team.


Here are my thoughts before the simulation begins.

The main question asked in this article is: will nuclear weapons and their ability to create deterrence being security and stability for the Islamic republic?


Lets see if the simulation proves otherwise.

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Posted on : May 16 2010
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Lula plays a risky diplomatic game in Iran

On Saturday 15th of May, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will arrive in Tehran.
Will he, much like professional football players from his country manage to score a goal from a very difficult angle?

Or is he risking too much by going to a country which is becoming increasingly isolated?


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Posted on : May 13 2010
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MEA Weekend: Is Iraq a satellite of Iran?

Iraq’s top two Shiite blocs seem to be merging to form a new government.

The influence of Iran is a controversial subject which is going to become more contentious in the future.

This heated discussion on Al Jazeera English led to the Iranian participant storming off. And later on the Lebanese participant likened Iran to dogs who are “tearing Iraq to bits”.

Iranians don’t take such accusations lightly.


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Posted on : May 05 2010
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Obama’s nuclear misstep in Iran

The Mahmoud Ahmadinejad show arrived at the UN for the sixth time, and much like its previous episodes, it did not disappoint. His speech contained its usual anti-Israel and anti-US diatribe but, surprisingly,
this year he also had some interesting and salient points.


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Posted on : May 04 2010
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