Friday, September 7, 2012

Book review: The Arab Revolutions

I saw this German collective volume shortly after it was published and was tempted to buy it immediately, interested to read the ideas about the new situation in the Middle East from a German perspective. The Germans were always very interested in the area and they have a lot of well trained specialists that travel often in the area, for academic and economic purposes.

However, I did not expect too much to find so many data and only few evaluations, if any, of the current situation. The overall tone of the book - analysing the 'revolutions' (a term whose opportunity is not discussed at all) in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, Libya - is naively optimistic, as most cases are seen as a fight of 'good' vs. 'evil'. I did not identified any critical perspective of the situation and even less the seeds of the current Islamist debacle in almost the entire area.

For someone with a fresh mind, the book will offer a lot of details and historical information about the 'revolutionary' moment and thus, could be easily used as a basic source for documenting the situation in the Middle East. 

Jerusalem is not for trade

Without being too close to the way in which the Democratic Party sees the world, but curious about politics and especially the US electoral campaign, I was a bit surprised when I've heard about their intention to include in their electoral platform the reference to Jerusalem, as the capital city of the Jewish state.

I was not always online and not always careful about what's going on in Washington DC, but as far as I know, in the last four years, it was a President representing the Democratic Party who selected the head of the State Department. Some things are hard to understand sometimes, but the representatives of the Obama administrations had the occasion to travel quite often to Israel and to understand where the capital city is located. In addition, a representative of the the same State Department under Obama administration outlined that no way to do any change of strategy and no plans to change the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Jokes put aside, I don't think that the history of the city of Jerusalem should be a matter of playing games at the political gatherings. This is another example of bubbling politics but also of desperation from the part of Obama team, trying to get on their side many Israelis with American passport, some who made aliyah recently. However, any smart kid in the primary school in Jerusalem will know that this is not a political business and with or without the official recognition of the Democrats, Jerusalem will always be the capital city of the state of Israel. They better try to focus on economy and the social failures, they have a lot of things to do in this respect.