Monthly Archives: August 2014

NYT Op-Ed by Haleh Esfandiary: Jailing a Journalist to Shame Rouhani

Today’s New York Times has an opinion piece by Haleh Esfandiary, Director of the Middle East Program, Wilson Center in Washington DC.  She correctly observes the links between Iranian government’s rapprochement with the United States and attempts by hardliners in security / intelligence units to embarrass the current President Hassan Rouhani.   The arrest of the Washington Post report Jason Rezaian is is an example of this attempt.  The arrests of kind have happened so many times in the past decades Iran, that it is clear where and why these happen.  If  President Rouhani and his Foreign Minister Zarif do not take a strong position on this issue,  they will undermine their own efforts and policies..


Israel’s “Dahiya doctrine”

According this secret cable written on October 15, 2008,  Israel has a doctrine called the “Dahiya Doctrine.”  The refers to bombing of  “Dahiya quarter in Beirut during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.”According to an Israeli military official  “Israel will use disproportionate force upon any village that fires upon Israel, “causing great damage and destruction. Eisenkot made very clear: this is not a recommendation, but an already approved plan — from the Israeli perspective, these are “not civilian villages, they are military bases.”

Another secret report written in 2009,  found that Israel deliberately targeted UN buildings and offices,and that “the Israeli Defense Forces breached the inviolability and immunity of UN premises, that such inviolability and immunity cannot be overridden by demands of military expediency, and that the IDF did not take sufficient precautions to fulfill its responsibilities to protect UN property and personnel and civilians taking shelter therein.”

Disproportionate use of force,  targeting civilian villages and cities,  and disregard of international norms and conventions,  only hurts Israel’s international image and position.