Sunday, November 25, 2012


The State of Palestine at the United Nations

In the coming days the United Nations General Assembly (GA) will vote on Palestine’s bid to become an observer state. This will circumvent a guaranteed US veto at the Security Council, which is the body that decides on full-fledged membership at the UN. While the US has already indicated that it would vote against a Palestinian state at the General Assembly it will be joined by only a minority of the 193 members. The latest tally I have seen (which may not be up to date) shows that only 27 countries plan to vote against, while 115 (more than half) plan to vote in favor. 51 are still undecided and are being lobbied heavily by both sides.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

They Say a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

If you are wondering how confused (and confusing) some Lebanese can be, then here is an illustration of the political battle lines in today's Lebanon...

And the New York State Supreme Court ruling is….

On August 4 this blog pointed to an interesting case before the New York State Supreme Court. Justice Ellen Coin who had been assigned the case has now ruled against the plaintiff (Mr. Adnan Abu-Ayash of the now defunct Al-Madina Bank) and in favor of the defendants (eight major international banks with branches in New York).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

 Lebanon’s Golden Triangle

A few days ago Mr. Walid Junblat and Mr. Nawwaf Moussawi made separate statements regarding the issue of Hizbollah’s idependent armed militia, a.k.a the Islamic Resistance. Both statements are quite remarkable and deserve a  comment.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Stalemate of Second-Bests

As the battles continue to rage across Syria, ordinary people and TV talking heads alike speculate whether and when it will all come to an end. Some believe that the unspeakable violence the world is witnessing simply cannot continue much longer; that the international community will also realize the dangers of a protracted armed conflict in such a sensitive spot as Syria, and will find a way to stop it. Others expect the US and other western and regional allies to step up their assistance to the FSA and enable the revolution to defeat Assad’s viscious military machine. Perhaps.

But the possibility of a drawn out armed conflict in Syria is also possible, even likely. Here is why.