January 5, 2010 The Sorry State of Yemen, "Israel A Nation Like All Others?"

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

January 5, 2010 The Sorry State of Yemen, "Israel A Nation Like All Others?"

The attempted bombing of a US aircraft on Christmas has focused attention at Yemen, the country that sent the bomber. It seems the situation in Yemen is even worse and more complicated than what has been reported in the media to date. Beyond its unsuccessful civil war with the Shite in the North, the government does not seem to have control over vast parts of the country. Three of the major Sunni tribes who control large areas have pledged their allegiance to Al Qaeda. As opposed to Afghanistan where there is no language or real culture other then Islam in common between Al Qaeda and the Pushtans, in Yemen there is a shared language and culture, with large number of Yemeni believes in the Wahabbi strain of Islam. Saudi Arabia exiled the most radical amongst its citizens to Yemen, where they have successfully merged with their Yemini brothers. There are reports today of Yemen sending three division to fight Al Qaeda. I would not hold my breath as to their potential success.

I could write about the potential of renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but while there is a great deal of speculation there is no real news. The same can be said for the attempts of Netanyahu to break up Kadima - efforts continue.

Most of the news in Israel in the last few days would in its own way make Herzl happy- terrible news of the murder of two children, one by pedophiles and one by her father. I guess Israel has truly become a country like any other. The fact that 250,000 Israelis have paid 45 shekels over the last three weeks to see Avatar reinforces Herzlā€™s dream.

On the other hand, the decision by the cabinet today to spend 2 billion shekels to distribute new gas masks to the whole population reminds us that Israel is clearly not like all other countries.

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