BLOG 546

December 27, 2021


Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. Wise has journeyed through the region, giving him insights from behind the scenes. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon. Each week he attempts to present an objective view of current events.


Except for tourists, most of the Middle East doesn’t even slow down for Christmas. The Orthodox celebrate on a different date from December 25. Life usually goes on like every other day. However, here’s several unexpected situations to ponder as we look toward the coming new year.

The head of the first major Islamic Arab party to enter a government coalition said Tuesday that Israel’s status as a Jewish state could not be changed. He was advising the Arab community to follow his pragmatic approach rather than trying to challenge the country’s identity.

Mansour Abbas’s comments were made during a conference held by the Globes news magazine in Tel Aviv. He was attempting to raise his community’s profile by working from within the government, a strategy that some fellow Arab politicians have criticized as selling out the Palestinian national cause.

“Israel was born as a Jewish state,” said Abbas, the head of the Islamist Ra’am party. “And that was the decision of the Jewish people, to establish a Jewish state. The question is not ‘what is the identity of the state?’ That’s how the state was born, and so it will remain.”

Abbas told the audience, “This is the reality. The question is not the about the state’s identity — but what the status of Arab citizens will be in it.” During the March election campaign, Abbas pledged tangible results for his voters, saying that his party offered a “realistic” approach to solving everyday problems in Arab communities, from rising crime to a severe housing shortage.

Interesting. Here’s a couple more items for you to think about.

The Israeli military has revised its open-fire policies for the West Bank, officially allowing troops to shoot at Palestinians who had thrown rocks or firebombs at cars, even if the assailants no longer present an immediate threat.

The policy change was first reported by Israel’s Kan broadcaster on Sunday night, and was later confirmed to The Times of Israel by a military spokesperson. He said it had been in effect for the past month or so. While the spokesperson described the change as a corrective to a situation that allowed suspects to evade justice, experts raised questions over the legality of using lethal force against a person who no longer poses a threat.

Here’s a final thought as you look toward a new year.

51% of Israelis would support a strike on Iran, even without US approval.

I have a new book coming out.

MAN ON FIRE can be ordered on Amazon or at your local book store. 

I hope you’ll avail yourself of this inspiring story!

Also these fine books are available now:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable

Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Gaza, Iran, Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East

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