Yemenis take part in a demonstration calling for the Saudi-led coalition's blockade to be lifted, on November 13, 2017, in the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

Tensions in the Middle East continue to mount as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri remains in Saudi Arabia, sparking suspicion that he’s being held against his will. Hariri disappeared into Saudi Arabia just as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman orchestrated a purge of dozens of Saudi ministers and businessmen. At the same time, Saudi Arabia continues to blockade Yemen, after Yemeni rebels launched a missile attack on Riyadh. Meanwhile, the death toll continues to rise from an earthquake along the Iran-Iraq border Sunday night. In this hour, we discuss the latest developments in the Middle East.

Guests:

Hanin Ghaddar, Friedmann visiting fellow, Washington Institute
Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives and distinguished fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; author, “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President”
Donna Farvard, national field manager, National Iranian American Council
Janine Zacharia, visiting lecturer, Stanford University; former Jerusalem Bureau Chief and Middle East correspondent, Washington Post.

Tensions in Middle East Rise as Lebanese Prime Minister Still Missing in Saudi Arabia 14 November,2017Michael Krasny

  • EIDALM

    Saudi Arabia, take your bloody hand out of the jewel of the Middle East, the great country of Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is uncivilized mid-evil country owned by a single family, the so called the royal family who rules it’s people cruelly with the sword, and exploit them and steal their assets, enforces their regime by using fear and bloody public violence by beheading people, and viciously wiping others with hundred lashes which often lead to the cruel death of their victims. Saudi Arabia practice and export their distorted version of Islam which played a major role in the creation of the bloody terrorists, Alqaeda, Daesh, and others, Saudi Arabia, murderous acts and war against the people of Yemen have caused the death and starvation of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians including, babies, children, and women, by using bombs, missiles, and economic blockade. The Saudi government in cooperation with some evil forces in the Middle East and the West played a major role to instigate violence and finance the bloody terrorists in Syria and Iraq which results in the total destruction and bloody mess across the whole region, ,,,,,,Saudi Arabia ruling sheikhdom and Saudi men treat their women like, chattel,property, inferior being only good to please their men, and make babies,,,,,,,In the past in many occasions Saudi Arabia, betrayed the right cause of people of the Middle East, specially during Nasser era in Egypt.

  • EIDALM

    It is the duty of all civilized countries of the World to demand that Lebanon prime minister Saad Hariri be released, and set free to go back to Lebanon immediately

  • EIDALM

    The U S and all other nations should offer help and emergency supply to the earthquake victims in Iraq, and Iran,,,,,,,With so many recent earthquakes across the World and several others here in California including the 4.7 magnitude in Salinas Monday morning, I am reminded and afraid to death of the up and comming big one which may happen here in the Bay Area any minute,

  • Peter

    Interesting that Janine Zacharia is one of your panelists. You mention that she was former Jerusalem Bureau Chief and Middle East correspondent for the Washington Post, but according to her LinkedIn page, that job lasted only 17 months. Before that, she worked in Washington for Bloomberg for over 4 years and the Jerusalem Post for over 5 years, and the Jerusalem Report, in Israel, for over 2 years. From what I’ve heard from her, she’s good at reporting on Israeli and American perspectives, not so much on Arab perspectives, even on the same issues. But surprisingly, your summary of what this episode of Forum will be about doesn’t mention Israel.

    • Peter

      True to form, Janine Zacharia says her biggest concern in the region is that Israel will be “dragged into a war with Hezbollah.” And then when Israel’s blockade of Gaza is brought up, she says that it’s Hamas that’s going to decide when Israel will lift it.

    • Peter

      Asked to recommend media sources from the Middle East, Janine Zacharia names only Haaretz and 972, both Israeli, and then “maybe” al-Hayat. If Forum had mentioned that she had written for the Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report, each a lot longer than for the much-mentioned Washington Post, then listeners would have been in a better position to judge the fact that she doesn’t recommend them.

    • De Blo

      Many Israeli’s (about 20%) are Arabs, as are some Americans. So, your implication that Arab perspectives are not Israeli perspectives does not hold.

      • Peter

        I guess I didn’t make that clear enough, but Janine Zacharia is not good at reporting on Arab perspectives, even Arab-American or Arab-Israeli ones. Most Arab Israelis do consider themselves to be Palestinians, and she is especially bad at reporting on Palestinian perspectives.

  • Peter

    On December 3, 2009, your guest, Aaron David Miller, spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and made the following prediction:
    “Over the next four to eight years, the two-state solution will either come to fruition or it will join what the previous administration on another issue called the dustbin of history. It’s got a perishable date on it.”*

    Now, almost exactly eight years later, would your guest comment on whether his “fruition or dustbin” prediction has turned out to be accurate?

    * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ycv8SXGH9Ws#t=47m22s

    • c_woof

      It would seem to have joined the dustbin, wouldn’t you say? At least, the dustbin of the current admin in Israel.

  • EIDALM

    The true fact is that neither the ruling class in Israel, nor their cohorts elites, AIPAC, ZOE, and others,in the U S have no interest in two state or peace in Palestine what so ever, in fact they are far more interested into occupying more, and more land in Palestine and beyond, as they have been illegally occupying the West Bank, as well as the Golan Height in Syria for the last 50 years, while commuting ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians with several massive bloody invasions that destroyed near hundred thousands home and murdered tens of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, but the fact is the time is not on the side of Israel, as near all nations of the World with the exception of the U S are totally against Israel expansionist genocidal policies, but as soon as the U S unqualified support ends only then Israel will have no choice but to accept peace, and become good neighbor to the Palestinians and all……It is the same old story of the man, the Devil, and the land.

  • Ben Rawner

    Where does Iraq stand in this situation when it comes to Iran? It seems Iraq has been relying on Iranian militias to hold their country together against ISIS and Kurdish separatists, but at the same time allies itself with the US, which is distinctly anti-Iran.

  • Noelle

    Finally, someone explained the real Yemen situation, the reason why the US is letting Saudi Arabia do whatever it wants. I’m sure the US is making lots of money selling arms as well.

  • Another Mike

    I just tuned in — Yemenis were starving long before the war, because of drought-induced famine, which induced them to move to the cities. The famine caused the war as much as the war caused the famine. Being able to irrigate their fields would have helped stave off the war.

  • Another Mike

    The last Israeli PM who supported a two-state solution was assassinated — Rabin.

  • Another Mike

    To me, Trump is very much in the Netanyahu mold as national leader — not terribly intellectual, not terribly diplomatic, a blunt man who tries to get done what he thinks he needs to. Any comments?

  • De Blo

    Praying for the Lebanese, especially the vulnerable Christian population.

  • De Blo

    It seems the best solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be for the Palestinians to migrate into their former countries of Jordan and Egypt, along with potentially other Arab nations, and turn over the West Bank and Gaza land to Israel. There are 22 Arab countries, many quite large, and only one tiny and vulnerable Jewish nation. It would not be negative in any way to give the entire West Bank and Gaza strip to become a full and integrated part of Israel.

    • Another Mike

      Or, the surviving exiled Palestinians and their descendants could return from exile to the former Mandatory Palestine, and Jews could live in Israel as a minority people as they had for thousands of years.
      As a citizen of a country that has thrived for hundreds of years without a preferred religion I recommend it.

    • EIDALM

      Total garbage, you are not too different from the other side idiots who call for Israeli Jews to go back to their home origin in Germany, Poland, Russia, etc…..Palestinians lived in Palestine for thousands of years, most Israeli lived their for less than 70 years.

    • Peter

      De Bio, you do realize that your call for ethnic cleansing of 4 or 5 million more gentiles in order to make way for Jews promotes anti-Semitism, because readers assume that you must either be a Jew or be doing the bidding of Jews? And that voting for your own post only compounds it?

  • jakeleone

    Religious genocide caused all of this. During WWII, millions of innocent people, murdered, by the Europeans because they were Jewish. The Jewish people do need a safe place, as do many minority ethnic and religious groups. Most people can understand the need for the Jewish people to have a sovereign state, and many Muslim leaders also understand this need. And we would all do much better if we make sure that teaching religious tolerance is mandatory. And that those who teach religious intolerance should be shunned and if they advocate violence, jailed.

    Unfortunately Israel is expanding all the time, and taking away land from its former occupants, often Palestinians, who themselves are a minority that may not be getting the same representation as the majority in Israel. Israel itself doesn’t have a constitution, and that is (probably) because they would have a hard time justifying such a Constitution where the first line would (likely) be, Israel shall always have a super-majority of people of the Jewish faith. We all understand why they would have this, but it would be a throw back, a capitulation to the genocidal mentality, not something we want to see in our future.

    Why should we ever give up on a future where pluralism is universally accepted? We don’t have the right to commit such suicide as a civilization. We don’t have the right to give up on that quest.

    It could well be that in the future, when we get over our religious and ethnic bigotry, we might have the land currently occupied by a majority of Jewish people, instead having a pluralistic state that decides that it will always be haven for all religious groups without any junk-thinking that we need a homogenous population that is of one religion (the one that won the last holy-war of course).

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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