Last year, Israel topped the list of arms suppliers to India—just as India officially became the globe’s largest arms importer. And it’s not just missiles and drones: India has increasingly leaned on Tel Aviv for high-tech warfare, scooping up the Phalcon airborne radar and advanced electronic surveillance systems along with equipment to retrofit now-rickety Soviet-era weaponry.
Imagine a future meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, where the agenda is set not by Iran or Saudi Arabia, but by the United States. Oh, and the meeting takes place in Tel Aviv — because the other big power in OPEC is Israel.
That’s where the world is headed, thanks to the miraculous new technology known as fracking.
EVEN before the firing between Israel and Hamas had fully died away in the wake of the ceasefire announced on the night of November 21st, two new/old battle-fronts had opened up for Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers. The first is over public and governmental opinion in the region; the second over the support of the Israeli voter, with elections looming on January 22nd. The issue is the same on both of them: Who won?
Mr Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, the defence minister, and Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, quickly convened a press conference in Tel Aviv to proclaim victory and fulsomely congratulate the nation, themselves and each other for achieving it. No sooner were they off the region’s TV screens than Khalid Meshal, the Hamas leader, came on in Cairo, suggesting to assembled newsmen there that the three Israeli leaders looked glum, which proved, he said, that they knew they’d lost.
When it fired rockets at Jerusalem today from the Gaza Strip — the first time Jerusalem has been targeted — Hamas hoped to hit Jewish residents. The rockets, however, might just as easily have damaged Islamic holy sites or killed Palestinian residents. Even the late Iraqi leaderSaddam Hussein, who hit Tel Aviv with missiles during the 1991 Gulf War, refrained from attacking Jerusalem because of its sacred status and large Palestinian population.
What was most significant about the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit that was held in Tehran recently was that almost all of its 120 members gathered there in the face of U.S., allied western nations and Israeli attempts to pressure and isolate Iran to abandon parts of its nuclear programme. Great pressure was even brought on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by Washington and Tel Aviv not to attend, but the mild and generally pliant Ban could not bring himself to abandon the precedent set by his predecessors and skip the event.