Iran wins, Israel loses in turmoil

The two regional powers most affected by the turmoil in the Middle East are going to be Iran and Israel. Life sometimes offers strange parallels. There is much in common between the two intractable adversaries. These two non-Arab countries appear curiously “stable” in a region caught in a maelstrom. No one points an accusing finger at either as the “hidden hand” behind the turmoil in their neighborhood – not even their worst detractors. In fact, both seem taken by surprise by the torrential flow of events and are figuring out how to assimilate the as-yet unfathomable meaning of what is unfolding. Both are astute enough to know that small things ignite volcanic eruptions – a sealed train running from Germany to Russia, a sermon given by an old imam in exile under an apple tree on the outskirts of Paris or a conscientious police officer refusing an order to fire on agitators on a Tirana street. And neither can quite divine what secrets the heaving streets of Cairo are still to yield. But there is also a fundamental difference. For Iran, it all boils down to how big a winner it is going to be. For Israel, though, it is about cutting losses. But then, it is also a see-saw where the winner cannot take it all. Iran rides the wave Tehran has been quick to speak out in support of the popular uprising in Egypt. I… >>>

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