Tomorrow, over cocktails in Foggy Bottom, you can regale your friends and befuddle your enemies with the following information:
- The Iranian rial in reality (not according to government fixed rates) is hitting new lows against the US dollar (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/search/label/rial).
- The Egyptian pound is being pounded and is also being traded at record lows against the US dollar (see: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Middle-East/2013/Feb-04/205016-egypt-central-bank-moves-to-curb-pounds-decline.ashx#axzz2Jy4m1enk).
- Turkey has been at violent odds with the Assad regime in Syria; however, Turkey's foreign minister is asking "Why didn't [Bashar] al-Assad even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace and playing with the dignity of his country?" (see: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/why-didnt-al-assad-even-throw-a-pebble-at-israel-turkish-fm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=40360&NewsCatID=352).
- Saudi Arabia, which has also been sending arms to the rebels fighting to overthrow Assad, is also furious that Israel, last Wednesday, destroyed a convoy conveying advanced surface-to-air missiles to Hezbollah and a military complex outside of Damascus housing chemical weapons agents (see: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Feb-04/205003-saudi-arabia-slams-israel-air-strike-against-syria.ashx#axzz2Jy4m1enk). Those confounded Jews!
- Syria's Kurdish minority is seeking autonomy, much akin to what their brothers and sisters achieved in northern Iraq, and is engaged in an armed struggle with Syrian rebels (see: http://www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=301735). Do the Middle East's 30 million Kurds in Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq deserve a state of their own? You're darned right they do!
- Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat has declared that the Palestinians will not “repeat the lunacy of returning to the negotiations while Israel is not fulfilling its obligations” (see: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=302019). This is a bit peculiar: Even when Israel halted West Bank construction at Obama's request, the Palestinians refused to negotiate. Or in other words, the Palestinians also will not "repeat the lunacy of returning to the negotiations while Israel is fulfilling its obligations.”
"Yes, dear. Coming, dear."