Rioters Destroyed a Local Symbol of Arab-Jewish Coexistence, but Not the Good Feeling behind It

A few years ago, Evan Fallenberg, a writer and professor at Tel Aviv University, bought a run-down historic home in the coast city of Acre, fixed it up, and turned it into a small hotel he named the Arabesque:

[When buying the property], I did not think much about the fact that I am Jewish and my neighbors are Arab Muslims and Christians; I assumed that if I were a good neighbor, I would receive good neighborliness in return. And so I did, after some initial and fully understandable suspicions. Arabesque blossomed. . . . We became part of the community in the town’s Old City, attending weddings and funerals and iftar after-the-fast meals during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Two weeks ago, Arab rioters ransacked the hotel. Fallenberg continues:

Other than my neighbors, I was the first to see the damage the next morning. Every piece of glass, ceramic, or porcelain that could be broken was smashed, furniture was dismantled, mirrors shattered, televisions and air conditioners ripped to pieces. . . . That next morning, neighbors stopped in or passed by, shaking their heads in disbelief. A few cried, some told stories of their own, and everyone lamented the violence of the youths who had perpetrated such a crime, with fingers pointed in a variety of directions.

During my days of mourning, I did not see how it would be possible to revive Arabesque under the shadow of such anger and hatred. And why bother, if this could happen again? But also during those days, I was buoyed by the extraordinary outpouring of support and love and encouragement from around the world and—most notably—from my Arab friends and neighbors.

From everywhere, my son and I hear the same messages: we will clean up with you. We will donate. We will stay in the hotel when you reopen. For so many people, the death of Arabesque means admitting Jews and Arabs cannot live together. For so many people, including us, that is not a possibility.

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Read more at NBC News

More about: Israeli Arabs, Israeli society, Ramadan

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy