From Today's Israeli Press
IRANIANS IN DISGUISE: Writing in Israel Hayom, Amnon Lord says that the American response – or lack thereof – to the Iraq (or, actually, Iranian) capture of Kirkuk should be a major concern for Israel.
THE HISTORY OF HAMAS: Writing in Israel Hayom, Yossi Beilin looks back on 30 years of contacts with the Palestinians to explain why he believes that, unless Hamas agrees to disarm, Israel should oppose the Palestinian unity government that is due to be established in the coming days and weeks.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEARDS: Writing on the NRG website, Hillel Frisch explains the significance of facial hair in the conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and says that those differences mean that a genuine reconciliation deal between the two sides is almost impossible.
MIND-BOGGLING EUROPEAN UNION CHUTZPAH: Writing in The Jerusalem Post, David Weinberg says that the European Union is ramping up its confrontation with Israel, and has gone into the business of establishing ‘settlements’ for the Bedouin and Palestinians in the West Bank.
TRUMP IS RIGHT ABOUT THE IRAN DEAL: Writing in Haaretz, Nehemia Shtrasler says that, the moment Iran becomes a nuclear power, Israel will be in jeopardy; the mere threat of an atom bomb will keep us from taking action in Lebanon, Syria or the Gaza Strip and it will paralyze Israel’s economy.
From Today's Arab Press
NO SUPPORT: While Israel’s support for Trump’s policy towards Iran is understandable, the similar stance adopted by a few Arab states seems to be incomprehensible, maintains leading Palestinian commentator Mohammad Yaghi in Friday’s leading Palestinian daily al-Ayyam. If the wager is on a U.S. war on Iran to limit its influence, this can be ruled out due to the enormous cost, U.S. public opinion’s opposition, the lack of any major U.S allies in such a venture, and Iran’s ability to inflict regional damage and seriously harm the global economy.
FEW OPTIONS: The U.S. president has referred the decision to scrap the nuclear agreement to Congress, but it is unlikely to come to such a decision within the allocated sixty-days period, maintains Syrian commentator Hamidi al-‘Abdullah in Friday’s pro-Damascus Lebanese daily al-Bina’. This means that the agreement will remain in place, as once the decision is referred back to the White House it will be blocked by the president’s main military advisors.
THE MINISTER’S VISIT: Controversial Saudi Minister Thamer as-Sabhan’s unexpected visit to Raqqa in Syria after Kurdish forces captured the city from ISIS seems to be a message to Ankara and Tehran that Riyadh is ready to back the Kurds against them, maintains the editorial on today’s pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com. But the question is whether Riyadh can handle these two regional powers’ likely response in light of its other problems around the region.
NO ISOLATED ACT: Sabhan’s public visit to northern Syria aims to deliver messages to Turkey, the Astana meetings’ guarantors, and to all concerned that Saudi Arabia still has a presence in Syria and that it can cause trouble unless its interests are taken into consideration, maintains Lebanese commentator Nidal Hamadeh on the Hezbollah-affiliated news portal www.alahednews.com.lb. But the Kurds should be wary of his overtures in light of Saudi Arabia’s disastrous performance in the various arenas where it has intervened, primarily in Yemen.
WISDOM AFTER THE FACT: Former British PM and International Quartet envoy Tony Blair has admitted that it was a mistake to submit to Israeli pressure and boycott Hamas after it won the 2006 PLC elections, notes leading Jordanian commentator ‘Urayb ar-Rintawi in Friday’s Jordanian daily ad-Dustour. That is typical of former Western officials who seem to gain wisdom only after they leave office; nonetheless, Hamas can use his admission in a PR campaign to confront the current U.S. and Israeli preconditions that are being imposed on inter-Palestinian reconciliation.
EGYPT’S REGIONAL ROLE: Egypt aspires to regain its role as a major regional power by mediating in the inter-Palestinian split and in the ongoing confrontations in Syria, notes Jordanian commentator Mohammad Barhouma in Friday’s Jordanian daily al-Ghad. But it can only succeed in this mission if based on healthy domestic policies that uphold the nation’s freedoms and prosperity.