The Little Party that could….

Last week Israelis went to the polls in the highest numbers since the 1999 elections. The eventual results surprised everyone – especially the media who in the run up to the elections had put Israel on trial, predicting that the Jewish State would take a radical jump to the right.

We Israelis are passionate and unpredictable and just when the the world media thinks it has us all figured out, we take another sidestep in our never ending tango with the press and public opinion, defying predictions. While Bibi and his Likud faction won by a much more narrow margin than expected, the real winners on the day were democracy and Israel’s new Prince, Yesh Atid (There is a Future) leader, Yair Lapid. Dubbed “The Kingmaker” this former journalist now holds all the cards when it comes to forming the new coalition.

So what prompted Israelis to move more to the centre than the right as predicted?

Read the complete article as it appears in The Jewish Thinker:

 

http://jewishthinker.org/2013/01/28/the-little-party-that-could/

A Modern Day Scramble for Africa?

The African continent is becoming the latest battlefield in the existential war between Iran and Israel. It would appear that both countries are engaged in a modern day scramble for a piece of Africa. This has nothing to do with the colonial aspirations of times past but rather it is a battle for the hearts and minds of the people and in the case of Iran, gaining a foothold on the African continent. The methodologies adopted by the two countries are somewhat different.

After the Yom Kippur War in 1973, relations between Israel and most African countries soured, and it was only in the 1980′s and 1990′s that Israel returned to Africa. There are strategic interests – countries situated in the horn of Africa have geographical significance not just for airspace but for their close proximity to Arab countries. Israel understands that Africa is a new frontier ripe for cooperation and has embarked on targeted diplomatic missions and has made great strides through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ MASHAV programme which has brought much needed agricultural and medical assistance to impoverished communities and countries across the continent. Examples of this include water purification projects, assisting in circumcision rituals in countries such as Swaziland which has significantly reduced HIV infection rates, as well as numerous agricultural projects. It was part of Zionism’s founding father, Theodore Herzl’s dream to help the oppressed in Africa.

Read the complete blog as it appears in The Algemeiner:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/01/22/a-modern-day-scramble-for-africa/