September was a very eventful month for Saudi Arabia. The main news was the Justice Against Sponsor of Terrorism Act (JASTA) bill approved overwhelmingly by both the US Senate and the Congress, following the override of President Barack Obama’s veto.
One can only wonder what Shimon Peres, who passed away last week, would have thought had he known his funeral would present Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas with the opportunity to shake hands. The handshake did after all take place only a week after both exchanged verbal punches from the United Nations General Assembly’s podium.
The latest sequence of siege, death, and destruction in Aleppo is just another example of an international community that has gone irrelevant, incapable and indolent.
A considerable amount of analysis has been dedicated to Iran’s geopolitical, strategic, and military relationships with the Syrian government apparatuses. Nevertheless, the shifting economic nexus between Tehran and Damascus has been subjected less to scholarly work, policy analysis, or media attention.
Today Israel and many others in the world are saying goodbye to the last of its political giants, who was the link between the founders of the State of Israel and the present. It is hard to write about Shimon Peres in the past tense. If there has been someone ever-present in Israeli political life, since its inception, it was him. For nearly seven decades there were symbiotic relations between the man and his country.
For me it is hard to see how anyone can explain in any rational way any form of bigotry. It seems to me that this is quite clear – it is illogical to have any disliking for an entire group of people, claiming that they all have some trait that causes a person to hate them all.
As America’s presidential campaign heats up on the heels of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s first debate, US lawmakers opened up a Pandora’s Box surrounding the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). The House and Senate buried their partisan politics and overrode US President Barack Obama’s veto of JASTA, which allows families killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia’s government for the kingdom’s alleged involvement. The implications for the MENA region and the GCC in particular are paramount.
Regarding the comparison between the Saudi presence in all aspects of American life and that of Iran, two news stories should be considered. The first is the US Senate paving the way for a $1.15 billion deal to sell tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. The Senate voted 71 to 27 to oppose legislation aimed at obstructing the deal.
The Syrian conflict has taken another turn for the worse with major belligerent parties indicating a military solution in the only way to end the fighting. For its part, the Syrian opposition has lost faith in the political process and in the promises of international negotiators.