By Schmoel Yitzhak
For many years during the 1940s one of the most common novelties in
American stores was called a "ouija board."
Its promise was simple enough; by moving ones hands across the
lettered panel with a special device one could discern the future.
Like the magician's crystal ball and tea leaves read by a "reader,"
results from the "ouija" were debatable at best and having the
approximate prediction value of messages in Chinese fortune cookies.
With Yom Kippur upon us and the arrival of our New Year, predicting
the future of the Middle East is both fascinating and useless at the
Then, again there are certainties:
* VALUE OF A FENCE: Following the last intifada Israel's leaders came
to the conclusion that terrorist acts emanating from the Arab side
could be useful. A fence was erected and the results have been better
than Jerusalem could have dreamed. Now it appears that threats from
the Egyptian Sinai have inspired the Netanyahu government to erect a
protective fence there as well. As they say in Tel Aviv, "That's a
* A TWO-STATE SOLUTION: Every day in every way leaders of Hamas and
the Palestinian Authority can be guaranteed to deliver a direct or
oblique attack on Israel. It could be the Abbas' United Nations threat
or some blather from Hanan Ashwari. As for the vitriol from Gaza; it
assure that there never will be a two-state solution since the boys
from Gaza want only one -- Jew-free!
* AMERICAN ELECTION: Ever since he entered the White House, Barack
Obama has managed not to visit Israel. Do not for a minute overlook
the significance of that omission. Despite a succession of unfriendly
moves aimed at Benjamin Netanyahu the Democratic candidate has
retained a substantial bloc of Jewish voters. He also has a lead in
the polls. Mitt Romney clearly would do more favors for Israel if
elected but, somehow, the latter's campaign has done little to
stimulate confidence in a Republican victory.
* CONTAINING IRAN: Over the past view years, Israel's attitude toward
Tehran is reminiscent of a fighter "shadow boxing" in the ring while
delivering no substantive blows. Meanwhile the mullahs aim to
construct a nuclear arsenal moves full speed ahead despite sanction
after sanction. Unless I'm missing my guess, the shadow boxing will
continue, ad nauseum, with no Israeli-generated attack against the
nuclear facilities. The bottom-line is that Uncle Sam won't allow it.
Unless of course the next White House resident is named Romney!
* SYRIA: Here's where a sardonic laugh is in order, directed at
virtually every journalistic sage. For months now the so-called media
wise men and women have predicted the fall of Assad. The Damascus
defections notwithstanding, The Mad Dictator has managed at least to
preserve power and enough of the armed forces to maintain his
leadership. The failure of Washington, Paris, London, or the European
Union to facilitate a solution will remain status quo ante.
the bloodshed will continue into the thousands.
* EGYPT: The Muslim Brotherhood's annexation of Israel's onetime ally
is as ominous as I figured it would be when it happened. Have no
illusions, Egypt will stir the Palestinians to new levels of
That's just for starters but it's enough to digest -- and throw-up -- for now!