In recent weeks tensions along Israel’s northern front have erupted on several locations – steeply exacerbating the prospects for wider escalation.
Are we on the brink of war despite widespread domestic unrest in all the member-states involved? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Brigadier General (Res.) Yossi Kuperwasser – Project Director on Middle East Developments, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. – Dr. Nir Boms, Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Iran in recent weeks, after the government announced a tripling of the price of gasoline. Credit: Belga
Faced with crippling international sanctions, revenue shortfalls and budget deficits, the Islamic regime in Iran seems to have made a fatal miscalculation by suddenly tripling the price of gasoline, a move which appears to put an entire region in flames.
Frustrated by worsening economic conditions, soaring prices and devastating national currency devaluation, Iranians from across the country immediately took the streets to demand a reversal of the decision. But what seemed to have started as a peaceful civil demonstration – in where drivers turned off their vehicles in the middle roads and highways – quickly escalated to a full-fledged uprising in nearly 100 cities. But not just in Iran. In Iraq, protesters burned the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf and in Lebanon hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets, demanding the resignation of a government dominated by pro-Iran factions.
Almost nine months after Lebanon has elected its Parliament, outgoing Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri has managed to form a new cabinet over which he will continue to preside, despite the fact that he has lost almost a third of his supporters among Beirut’s Legislators.
-Jonathan Hessen, host.
-Amir Oren, analyst.
-Prof. Hillel Frisch, Senior Researcher Begin Sadat Center.
-Dr. Nir Boms – Research fellow, Moshe Dayan center at Tel Aviv University.
The Dilemma of Sponsorship, from Southern Lebanon to Daraa and Quneitra
Israel may soon face a dilemma. The “arrangement” with Russia as to the future of Syria may stave-off an Iranian presence but will pose an existential danger to the groups of rebels near the border – groups which have worked closely with the IDF to prevent direct friction with hostile elements on the line of contact. It is vital that the solutions to this challenge demonstrate to future partners that Israel does not turn its back on those who have assisted it facing a common threat.
Colonel (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman and Dr. Nir Boms
Defense Minister Lieberman’s latest meeting with his Russian counterpart Shoygu and the Prime Minister’s latest conversation with President Putin have turned an additional spotlight to the issue of the “Arrangement” addressing the withdrawal of foreign forces – Iranian and otherwise – out of Syria, including out of the region of southern Syria and near Israel’s border. As is known, the southern Syrian region has in recent years been characterized as a “strip of influence” where the IDF has been active mainly on the humanitarian level and in coordination with rebel groups on the other side of the border. Alongside the security and strategic considerations guiding Israel toward the anticipated regularization (of the Assad regime’s presence in the southern-Syrian area), it is important to also consider the ethical dimension and Israel’s long-term interest of not appearing to forsake those who have relied on its aid in recent years.