Lebanon and the Avaricious Superpower

Many years ago, I read a book called The Quiet American by Graham Greene. Its central character is a high-minded, naive young American operative in Vietnam. He has no idea about the complexities of that country but is determined to right its wrongs and create order. The results are disastrous. I have the feeling that … Continue reading “Lebanon and the Avaricious Superpower”

The Wreath Blair Didn’t Lay

“The curious incident is the barking of the dog,” Sherlock Holmes remarked. “But the dog did not bark!” exclaimed Dr. Watson. “That is the curious incident!” This week’s curious incident concerns the wreath of Tony Blair. The wreath that he did not lay on the grave of Yasser Arafat. Elementary, dear Watson. Blair did go … Continue reading “The Wreath Blair Didn’t Lay”

Sharon’s One-Dimensional Worldview

What really is important is not what he said or why he said it, but the worldview that animates him. By now, everybody has had a go at analyzing the interview with Dov (“Dubby”) Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s most intimate confidant. But there is precious little to analyze. His statement is crystal clear: the “redeployment plan” … Continue reading “Sharon’s One-Dimensional Worldview”

The New Cult of the Temple

The Security Service is haunted by a terrible fear: that another Israeli prime minister will be assassinated. The extreme right wing, which does not hide its admiration for Yigal Amir and his deed, harbors some who dream of a similar action. After all, if Amir succeeded in murdering the Oslo process, why shouldn’t another Amir … Continue reading “The New Cult of the Temple”

Israel Must Rethink Prisoner Policy

"For all I care, they can starve to death!" announced Tzahi Hanegbi, after Palestinian prisoners declared an open-ended hunger strike against prison conditions. Thus the Minister for Internal Security added another memorable phrase to the lexicon of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hanegbi became famous (or infamous) for the first time when, as a student activist, he … Continue reading “Israel Must Rethink Prisoner Policy”

Sharon’s Disengagement Not What It Seems

A disengagement divorced from peace negotiations can be very dangerous. Sharon’s people say that they don’t give a damn what will happen in the Gaza Strip after the Israeli withdrawal. They are pretending. Behind the scenes, the military and political leadership is planning the installation of a local warlord, who would rule the Strip under … Continue reading “Sharon’s Disengagement Not What It Seems”