Israel/Palestine: The Politics of a Two-State Solution

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  • When Peace Fails: Lessons from Belfast for the Middle East

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Predictions

When I was younger I used to love watching the pundits on ABC'S Nightline have their predictions read to them from the previous year with the obligatory buzzer sound signalling that the prediction had failed to pan out. It confirmed my opinion of the punditocracy as being composed of a bunch of pompose windbags who did not really know very much. So now I'll risk the buzzer by going public with my predictions in the world of international politics for 2013.

1) The Syrian civil war will continue for several months until Assad is finally driven from power. Then fighting will break out among the contending factions over who will inherit power. This will take several months to sort out.

2) Benjamin Netanyahu will be reelected as prime minister in Israel later this month. His third term will be as vacuous as his second term. He will not attack Iran.  His coalition will be another coalition of the Right consisting of Likud Beitenu, Jewish Home, Shas, and possibly Yesh Atid to balance off the religious parties.

3) Obama will reach an agreement with Iran limiting the level of refinement of uranium and opening up Iranian nuclear facilities for international inspection. Iran will attempt to cheat on the agreement in 2014, but will be caught.

4) The UUP and SDLP will continue to stumble in Northern Ireland as they continue to lose public support to the DUP and Sinn Fein. 

5) Alliance will come out of the flag protests marginally stronger as middle class unionists and nationalists give it votes for having stood up to the loyalists.

6) Muhammad Morsi will continue to grab for power when he can and retreat when he is faced with a strong backlash from liberals. Morsi will attempt to mobilize anti-Copt sentiment to increase his power.

7) Obama will continue with his plan to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. Ultimately little will come out of all of the blood, treasure, and prestige invested by the United States in Afghanistan.

8) The Benghazi hearings will reveal little of substance--no smoking gun. But the GOP will continue to criticize the Obama administration as weak and vacillating. Americans will continue to ignore the GOP attacks on foreign policy and foreign policy in general.

9) Bahrain will be the next crisis of the Arab Spring. The U.S. will be faced with a decision to either back the regime, thereby losing credibility in the rest of the Arab world and risking our future if the Sunni majority comes to power or backing the Sunni opposition and risking that it will betray the U.S. when it comes to power. I don't know how Obama will come down on this.

10) The ANC will begin to lose some support in South Africa as Jacob Zuma is exposed as incompetent and corrupt.  

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