By Ramzy Baroud
Suddenly, the idea put forth by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, late last year no longer seems so far-fetched or untenable after all. Following the hurried and chaotic US-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, European countries now find themselves forced to consider the once-unthinkable: a gradual disengagement from US dominance.
To understand how divisions have further deepened after Israel and the UAE agreed on Thursday to establish diplomatic relations in a United States-brokered deal, we have asked an expert on the matter, Matshidiso Motsoeneng, who is currently a researcher at the Afro-Middle East Centre, a research institute based in Johannesburg, South Africa to join. She's on Skype.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the US middle east plan as another apartheid. The US plan proposes to allow Israel to annex all its illegal settlements as well as the strategic Jordan Valley. Israel has imposed a ban on the export of Palestinian farm produce via Jordan. In an escalating trade war, this will make it impossible for farmers in the occupied West Bank to connect with markets around the world. The Palestinians have described the export ban as a dangerous action. Palestine said the Israeli move is part of a dispute that began in October when their authorities ordered a halt to the import of calves from ranches in Israel. They said at the time they wanted to decrease their dependency on the Israeli market. But Israel saw the move as a breach of a trade agreement. Matshidiso Motsoeneng is a researcher at the Afro-Middle East Centre, a think tank based in Johannesburg. She joins us via Skype for more on this.
US President Donald Trump has sought to downplay the significance of Iran's missile attack on two US bases in neighbouring Iraq. Trump tweeted that all was well and that the damage was being assessed. This after Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing US troops in retaliation for the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
The Globe speaks with Afro Middle-East Centre researcher Ebrahim Deen on escalating US- Iran tensions.