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Israel vs Iran: threat to oil prices and the world economy

An Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would pose a ‘fairly grave threat' to the global economy, warns chief economist at UBS.

 
Israel vs Iran: threat to oil prices and the world economy

An Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would likely trigger a surge in oil prices and endanger the faltering world economy, UBS chief economist Larry Hatheway has warned.

The comments came amid mounting speculation that Israel is preparing to launch such an attack, after a UN report last week said that Iran appears to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and that secret research may still be going on.

Brent crude oil futures hit a two-month high of $116.48 per barrel on the day of the report, and have remained above $110 since then, despite concerns that the eurozone debt crisis will derail the global economic recovery and sap demand.

Attributing the recent gains in oil prices to a ‘degree of risk, particularly around the situation in Iran’, Hatheway said a ‘spike’ in oil prices induced by a supply disruption would ‘jeopardise a lot of the things fundamentally that are improving’.

‘[It] certainly would make some of those cases, for example in Europe, much, much worse,’ he continued, speaking in a panel discussion at a conference held by UBS in central London today.

The economist, who is also chief strategist at the Swiss banking giant, pointed out that in the event of an Israeli assault, markets would have to expect some disruption of oil supplies. He cited the risks to production by Iran, the world’s fourth biggest oil producer, and to shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important waterway off the coast of the Islamic Republic.

In 2008, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ali Mohammed Jafari, threatened that Iran would seal off the strait – through which about 15.5 million barrels of oil pass every day – in the event of an Israeli or US assault.

Speculation over a possible attack by Israel – which regards a nuclear-armed Iran as potentially an existential threat – has grown in recent years, in tandem with Western suspicions that Iran is covertly pursuing an atomic weapons programme. Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

During the discussion, Hatheway pointed out that even though Libya is a smaller oil producer, the revolt against the Gaddafi regime sent oil prices higher. Although this was partly due to the somewhat ‘precious’ quality of Libya’s light, sweet crude, Hatheway said it also reflected the fact that the oil market, despite a weak global economy, is still fairly tight and supply is inelastic.

It would not be surprising to see oil prices ‘overreact’ on concerns about a supply disruption, Hatheway said. ‘How high oil prices could go, I suppose is more a matter of guess than anything else,’ he added.

But he said that an Israeli strike against Iran, in addition to the accompanying political risk, would pose a ‘fairly grave threat to what is already a very weak global environment – both financially, as well as of course economically’.

40 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Franco

Nov 15, 2011 at 17:56

If Israel causes havoc to the world economy by attacking Iran, it must pay compensation to those who suffered losses.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Nov 15, 2011 at 18:01

Comments by some experts in this article seem correct, but do not cover the greater reality of the situation. This conflict has the potential of flaring up sooner or later. Iran could avoid it by being transparant.

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metin mentesh

Nov 15, 2011 at 18:11

I am not for Iran by any means dont get me wrong But Israel should get rid of its atom bomb too dont you think ?

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Parabolic

Nov 15, 2011 at 18:23

Hatheway seems to operate in an alternative reality. It obviously makes more sense to pave the way for recovery whilst living under the threat of a nuclear fallout. On the other hand Israel would be the ideal fall guy for when all the euro bailout strategies fail - it wont be about gross mismanagement but the prevailing price of oil .

I am however impressed that UBS risk analysts do not see a nuclear Iran as a risk to all of middle east's oil production. Let's live for today, tomorrow is someone else's problem - kind of defines the global finance industry.

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Striker

Nov 15, 2011 at 18:31

metin mentesh dares to compare Israel to the Nazis! What an ignorant fool for making such a comment.

If Iran were not headed by a nasty bast**rd who has Publicly stated his intention to "wipe Israel off the map", then Israel would not be planning to prevent this scum from doing so.

Make no mistake, Israel is not the problem here, and if the civilised world had half the balls it had when it took out Iraq (mistakenly or otherwise), then a concerted effort would already be underway by not just the USA, but Russia and China too, to silence the fool that threatens a mid-east conflict of considerable proportions. Iran's nastiness goes back decades and it is in the interests of virtually everyone, even other arabs, that it is prevented from gaining nuclear weapons.

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 15, 2011 at 18:45

How inconvenient that Israel should be looking to her own survival! Six Arab wars, two Intafadas, countless atrocities and of course no partner for peace. Get real Metin; if Israel didn't do what the rest of us should have done in 1981, there's a good chance you wouldn't be here to winge.

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fotk

Nov 15, 2011 at 19:13

metin mentesh only wants to express his hatred for Israel. Ignore what she says!

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fotk

Nov 15, 2011 at 19:39

Alternatively, an Iranian strike against Israel would also trigger a surge in oil prices and endanger the faltering world economy. Should Iran attack Israel either directly or via is proxies in the region, Israel would defend itself. An Iranian rocket, nuclear of not, landing in Israel would unleash a wide ranging retaliation and the the entire world economy would be in play. It is therefore vital that the world acts to contain Iran, the only country in the world that states it wishes to destroy another country. Iran is different to Israel simply because it is a genuine threat to us all.

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banjofred

Nov 15, 2011 at 19:46

An Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would likely trigger a surge in oil prices and endanger the faltering world economy, UBS chief economist Larry Hatheway has warned.

Thats the least of it. A strike would start WW3

To even contemplate attacking Iran is crazy. We are still fighting wars in Afghanistan, mopping up Libya,Iraq - constantly poking our nose in and bankrupting ourselves, not to mention wasting the lives of our brave armed forces.

Crazy people.

To me it is a logical for Iran to have a bomb, as for Israel... Neither should have it, but no-one stopped Israel when they built it, threatening sanctions and bombing the production sites?? No.

I have no time for any of them. The area was the cradle of civilizations, but that left long ago.

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Jeremy Bosk

Nov 15, 2011 at 20:53

Nuclear armed religious lunatics are a nightmare.

Nobody with religion should be allowed to own so much as a pea shooter.

Most of the infected are harmless most of the time: but the disease can flare up into homicidal mania at any time.

Spreading religion should be a hanging offence,

Peace on Earth and good will to all the harmless people.

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Striker

Nov 15, 2011 at 20:55

banjofred, interesting comments and certainly Israel should restrain herself. But there is no other Country on Earth that has faced consistent war in one form or another for so long.

No other Country that has faced such threats.

Israel has likely had the Bomb for 20 years or more, but like any civilised nation, her Bomb is a deterrent not a weapon of choice. That is why she has never deployed one, and that is why there was never a reason to threaten Israel with sanctions or worse.

The Barbarians at the Gate make no such distinction.

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Stefan

Nov 15, 2011 at 23:23

It's about as logical for Iran to have a nuclear bomb as it is for nuclear bombs to exist anywhere in the World other than those that should be held by the UN for protection of us all from asteroids and comets heading this way. Those are real and proven threats to all life on Earth, and are the only justification for nuclear weapons existing on this planet.

If you ignore the above premise, as most of the World does at present, and you want to get involved in an argument as to who (which country) is justified in owning nuclear weapons, then clearly nuclear weapons are best controlled, outside of the UN, by democracies. Unfortunately, as hateful as the president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, is, he is an elected head of state, (as George Bush, and Tony Blair were when they invaded Iraq under a false premise). It's a tough one. We have a situation where a democracy, or at least a more or less democratically elected leader, is in effect advocating the destruction of another (democratic) country, and is developing nuclear weapons that will enable that threat to be carried out.

We took out Iraq, the natural political and military counterbalance to Iran in the middle east. Well done Bush and Blair for that. Iran is now unbalanced, and arguably the largest power in the region to the east of Turkey and the west of Pakistan.

So how does the rest of the world react? How should it react? There is here the potential for a nuclear exchange that could destroy the world as we know it. Perhaps not destroy the world entirely, as an exchange between the old Soviet Union and the USA could have done, but certainly put our current economic problems entirely into the shade, literally into the shade of nuclear fallout over all of the northern hemisphere. The end of our world as we know it.

There are already too many countries, with nuclear weapons. Many are not democratic, or not truly democratic, and rely on a very small group of individuals to keep them in check. And every country, democratic or not, that joins the 'club' so increases the potential for a nuclear conflict somewhere in the world. You don't need to be an actuary to work that one out. Iran is clearly amongst the most potentially unstable emerging nuclear powers. In comparison to Israel, which has had nuclear weapons for 40 years and has not attacked its neighbours with those weapons in all of those years, Iran appears to be intent on doing so. Iran is an existential nuclear threat to peace in the region, and therefore a threat to us all.

How Iran's stated policy and it's development of nuclear weapons is dealt with is debatable. As others have said in the comments preceding this one, the West may be too over extended militarily elsewhere in the region to enable it to use the military option. However, an effective 'surgical' strike against Iran's nuclear weapons production facilities is probably within the West's capability, and possibly within Israel's capability but it is unlikely that Israel could deal with the resultant consequences, almost certainly an all out war with Iran, a well armed nation 10 times bigger than Israel, and without Israel resorting to nuclear strikes to defend itself. Therefore, if the military option is to be taken, it would best be taken by the West, with at least the acquiescence, if not the co-operation, of Russia and China.

So that's the military side of the equation. What are the other options? We can continue with trade and economic sanctions, cyber warfare even, and diplomacy involving other countries in the region with an interest in maintaining peace (of a sort) and whom might put pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. But none of that has worked to date, and there is no sign that it will work.

It is now clear that Iran is intent on developing nuclear weapons and also the ballistic missiles to carry them. Iran is threatening its neighbours in the region. It is promoting extremist movements that are threatening to destabilize the region. It is therefore arguable that this might actually be a case for a preemptive war under the banner of removing "weapons of mass destruction". It certainly was not the case in respect of Iraq. Let the debate continue, but I think time is running out.

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q

Nov 16, 2011 at 08:41

Israel civilized...?

There's a few hundred thousand Palestinines who would probably disagree with you on that point.

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Anthony Robson

Nov 16, 2011 at 09:20

Iran (Persia) has not fought a war other than to protect it's own borders for more than two hundred years. Israel is permanently at war and appears to decide alone when it wants to attack another country. Who put this illegally created country in charge of world affairs. When they start WW3, which seems ever more likely, who will bail them out?

As one of my friends regularly recalls, if the Israelite's where Gods chosen people why did he lead them to a land where you can only grow oranges, rather than a place that was full of oil ?

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Parabolic

Nov 16, 2011 at 09:42

Anthony - a strong oak grows on a windy slope not a sunny meadow; this should help your friend understand

Speaking of bailouts, I don't recall Israel making the news on that one

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 16, 2011 at 10:37

A reasonable debate regarding Israel's right to defend itself is difficult given the cant, hypocrisy and wilful ignorance of bigots who would seek the high ground. There are those that say Israel was God-given to the Jews, then again there are those that are blind to Jewish history, heritage and suffering and prefer to ignore all that "tosh"!

After millenia of persecution, the League of Nations in 1922 and the UN in 1947 voted for the return of the Jews to their homeland and the impudence of those that ignore this reality does nothing to foster peace. Yasser Arafat was awarded a Noble Peace prize in 1994 whence he declared he would "educate for peace", little wonder the Palestinians are still encouraging their children to blow themselves up.

The world didn't end with the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the Israeli attack on Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981 or even after another Israeli attack in 2007 on Syria's al-Kibar nuclear facility. The bullies of Iran, like all cowards, are full of bluster and will act accordingly.

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Anthony Robson

Nov 16, 2011 at 13:22

Cuba & Russia did not retaliate because the US did not attack. Iraq tried to Scud missile Israel but with only limited success. Syria does not have the capacity to reply. Iran now appears to be able to, North Korea certainly can. Is this the main reason why they have fallen off the 'LETS INVADE THEM FOR WORLD PEACE' promoted by the US and Israel, and presumable the Arms industry. Or is that the same thing?

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 16, 2011 at 17:45

From your "chosen" pithy comments Anthony I don't expect you to appreciate Israeli sensitivities. However, as it seems you choose to regard this "illegally created" country as some kind of patsy, the fact that Islamists have been stockpiling all kinds of goodies to ensure a Final Solution wouldn't concern you.

Perhaps your "friend" will eventually question why these "lucky" Arabs are not more generous with their "place full of oil". Meanwhile the "Orange growers" continue to contribute to the welfare of mankind, perhaps that's why they were "chosen". What have the Arabs done for the last thousand years?

By the way, if you think "Syria does not have the capacity to reply", please tell that to Hezbollah! I do, however, see your point Anthony; the world was quite right to stand by when China raped Tibet and again when so many perished in Rwanda and Chechyna, in other words let the Mad Mullahs and tyrants froth-up and they'll soon go away! In your dreams Anthony.

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Stew

Nov 16, 2011 at 19:23

If Israel hadn't developed nuclear weapons I wonder how many more times the Arabs would have tried to exterminate them? They are our friends and allies and a proper democracy. Those of us in Europe owe them big time.

No chance of an Arab Spring in Iran, they shrewdly created the Revolutionary Guard to massacre any number of hundreds or thousands of protesters.

Israel will only strike Iran if they absolutely must. I trust them to do it properly and only hope they leave Iran, the Theocratic dictatorship, unable to impede anything anywhere, anytime.

Can it be so hard to pump oil through SA and Oman towards the Gulf of Aden and permanently away from the Gulf of Oman and Iranian threats? It's only been a problem for 25 years after all!

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Striker

Nov 16, 2011 at 22:34

Jeff, it is refreshing to read your educated comments - you seem to understand World politics far more than the likes of the bigotted, anti-semite Robson who, typical of his kind, seeks to invent the truth that best suits his agenda!

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Anthony Robson

Nov 16, 2011 at 22:38

Resolving the decimation of Zimbabwe would be a good thing to!

I do not condone ANY violence and would not swap a place in the UK for a life in Israel. The constant threat of suicide bombers etc must make life there almost intolerable. My point was the West went on an oil grab in Iraq (strangely after the US realized it was running out) on a weapons of mass destruction argument. It then decided to have the conversation with North Korea, who said that they would use any necessary action to prevent an invasion of their country. So North Korea seemed to tough a target so the weapons industry still needing a war someone to promote good business an profit so has now settled on Iran. Stew I agree that Israel has probably been saved by the ultimate deterrent. This seems like a perfect argument for Iran to wish to do the same. I do not think we can have the argument that one super power has nuclear weapons only for good whilst another has it only for bad. Iran has not attacked another nation in over 200 years. Which other country can say the same

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Anthony Robson

Nov 16, 2011 at 22:51

Dear Striker, please enlighten me on my invention. I am always only seeking to know the truth.

Thank you also for your comment regarding anti-Semitism. If you were aware of my family history, which of course you are not, you would not only withdraw your words, regret them but wish eat them. If you ever visit Poland, take a trip to Treblinka. I will then send you a copy of my family diaries. So you can see which part of the family tree disappeared as if by magic some time in late 1942

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Stew

Nov 17, 2011 at 02:31

Anthony the simple differentiation is between democratic countries which subscribe to reasonable standards of secular rights and law and Theocratic dictatorship. It is no different to Europe and the USA destroying Nazi Germany then facing down the USSR. The Iranian regime should be faced down and destroyed. It should never be allowed to develop the means to prolong its existence and those Iranian citizens who have retained their sanity should be rescued from oppression.

I'd also say it is facile to attribute the destruction of Saddam's regime to an oil grab. The world is not short of oil. America was not and is not short of oil. It was confronted in light of the war it waged on its own citizens, on Iran, the invasion of Kuwait, the attacks on Israel and the threat presented to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. Remember the attack was swift, surgical and successful. The war was not an error. The terrible mistake was forgetting the lessons of recent history, of German and Japanese conquest. That administration, security and social infrastructure must be kept intact, though held vassal to the occupying powers, and the entire citizenry cannot be held liable and punished.

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Jeremy Bosk

Nov 17, 2011 at 03:53

Stew

Israel is not a theocracy?

The people of the occupied territories have any real say in their own government while under military occupation?

Israel does not impose collective punishment on the Palestinians?

What planet are you living on?

That the Israelis are less vicious and less undemocratic than most of their neighbours is about the best you can honestly say.

Religion rots the brain.

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Anthony Robson

Nov 17, 2011 at 07:57

Thank you Stew. Do the peoples of Iraq now have a better life? I hope so but doubt it.

So the US & UK forces invaded Iraq to protect Israel, that is more than happy to protect itself and to protect Iran that they now want to flatten. I get it, it's perfectly clear now.

Yes Jeremy I concur that Israel is not a theocracy.

Its about time the Druids in the UK stood up and demanded their spiritual home of Anglesey be returned to them, of course removing the non -druids that have settled there in the last 1000 years or so, demolishing their buildings and towns, maybe the British government will poke their nose in, sorry assist again. Somehow I doubt it though.

Anymore thought on a visit to Poland Striker?

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Jeremy Bosk

Nov 17, 2011 at 08:28

Druids? 2,000 years ago. 1,000 years ago the Crusaders were attempting to take back the Holy Land from the Muslim invaders. In between times it was the Muslims conquering most of Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and half of Europe. Religion provides an excuse for evil throughout the ages.

Let's just say that in Israel the religious extremists have too much influence. Any influence being too much.

Relying on ancient history or religious works of fiction (a very large part of all of them) to justify modern politics is insane.

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Striker

Nov 17, 2011 at 08:48

Anthony, I hear what you say. But your comment about Israel being "illegal" is a comment banded about by those seeking to delegitimise and discredit her, and there is something more than a little fundamentally wrong with that!

I have visited Israel, I have the utmost respect for that country and Judaism in general. Perhaps more people should go there and see what a fascinating, vibrant and young country she is. It would certainly help to dispel the propaganda and lies that abound these days!

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Stefan

Nov 17, 2011 at 09:51

Hey guys! Can we return to reality! I.e. The effect of a conflict between Israel and Iran and the consequences for all of us.

Debating the morals of the Israeli Arab conflict is an argument that I don't think can ever be settled. There is no entirely just solution for all. But I do feel I must say something further in respect of the moral arguments.

Firstly. There are very few countries on this Earth that have not come about without displacing existing populations. It is a sad fact of the evolution of mankind. We live in those countries. Are they all illegitimate? Whatever the answer they are nonetheless a reality.

Israel has now existed since 1948. It is also a reality which cannot be undone however much most of the Arabs would sadly wish it so. Israel was created as a homeland for the Jews whom the rest of the world have treated pretty badly over the last couple of thousand years. We did owe them. They needed a homeland, just as all distinctive cultures have a similar basic human need for a homeland and should be helped to obtain and /or keep one. Whether the creation of Israel as it is, and where it is, was right or wrong, the reality is that it does exist, de facto, and for a good reason.

The Palestinian Arabs need a homeland too. That has to be resolved. Even the Israelis concede that. The question is how it is done. Personally I think the Arabs could be a little more generous. Shift in their seats a little, and donate some land, perhaps to give both Israel and the Palestinians a little more territory to set up home. It seems to me that one of the biggest issues is that the territory itself, Israel and Palestine, is so tiny that it just can't be subdivided further given the (increasing) size of the competing populations. On the other hand the surrounding Arabs have vast territories. I don't think it would kill them to give up some of these. Or perhaps, as Alaska was bought from Russia, we could purchase more land for them from their Arab neighbours? It is not without precedent? Any thoughts? Am I mad, naive, or just radical? Tell me.

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Jeremy Bosk

Nov 17, 2011 at 10:15

The difference between the Romans kicking the druids out of Anglesey and the Israelis kicking most of the Palestinians out of Palestine is that there are Palestinians around who remember it. It is personal. Just as the (obviously far worse) Final Solution is still personal to Jews.

The League of Nations had no legal right to award a state to the Jews and nor did the UN. It was done for dubious motives. Some Western politicians were fundamentalist Christians who believed God wanted it. Odd that I have never heard of a fundamentalist Muslim believing it. They all claim to believe in what is essentially the Old Testament. Other politicians really believed that Jews ran the world economy and would help the Allied cause in World War I (hence the Balfour Declaration). The rest felt guilty about the crimes of the Third Reich and didn't care about the actual inhabitants of Palestine.

Regardless of the dubious legality of its founding, Israel exists and cannot be wished away. Nor should it be warred away. Ditto Palestine.

My solution is for financial rewards to any resident of Palestine / Israel that converts to atheism and brings up its children the same way. In the long run it would save the rest of us a lot of money. Money talks: if not to the nutters then to their friends and relatives.

When the nutters are reduced to, say, five per cent of the overall population we should send in the men in white coats.

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 17, 2011 at 10:46

The "fiction", Jeremy, of the Arab world is that the "Children of Israel" have no connection to their land, the sad reality is that the Jews discovered / invented God and lots of people want to erase that fact.

It is true to say that religion has kept the Jews safe through millenia of religious persecution, so it's not surprising the voice of God is still heard inside Israel today. However, unlike so much of the Arab PR that is bandied around as the truth, Israel is in fact one of the great democracies of the world, all the more so given the corruption and provocation she is subjected to.

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Stefan

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:15

Jeremy, thanks for joining me in the 'radical solution camp'. I am, I admit, an old dippy hippy, and so see things from a slightly alternative perspective. Clearly a radical solution is needed on the Arab Israeli issue, as nothing else has worked to date. And maybe money is the solution if used in a creative and positive way?! I still think buying more land for the Palestinians could be part of the solution.

Meanwhile, I think that Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is really terrifying. Even if by some miracle the weapons are never used, this will lead to the gloom of another 'cold' war in the region with no obvious end in sight and possibly an apocalyptic ending if one side or the other miscalculates. We came so close to Armageddon so many times in the last cold war. We must move on.

Iran is a revolutionary country and an aggressive theocracy. It maintains an unelected 'Supreme Ruler' who can veto it's democracy at any time supported by its Revolutionary Guard. All of which means that it is not a democracy by any proper definition. It is also fighting aggressive wars by proxy. It is disingenuous to say that Iran has been at peace for 200 years.

How this situation is dealt with is what this debate should be about. If resolving the Arab Israeli conflict reduces the tension and helps calm Iran, then that can be part of the solution. But I think that Iran would continue arming itself with nuclear weapons for its own aggressive reasons regardless. It follows the old conquering tenets of Islam (as the West admittedly once did with the crusades and later imperialist expansion). It will use it's increased power to upset emerging democracies in the region and turn them into facsimiles of itself and client states. It is an emerging imperialist power of the worst kind, bigoted and fanatical. Do we really need another?

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:21

Come on Jeremy, just read your latest comments! You have obviously never spoken to any Israelis or read a few impartial history books?

So, in your humble opinion the League of Nations and the UN " had no legal right to award a State to the Jews", sounds like something straight out of an Arab text book. It was in fact The League of Nations that remade the Arab world after centuries of Ottoman rule and by the way there were no Palestinians at that time. This "ancient" culture was invented by Arafat post 64.

Sounds like the only books you've read are "The protocols of Zion" and "The Blood Libel", which, by the way, are still available in all good Arab book shops.

Your "solution" is interesting, it would indeed be "Final"!

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Anthony Robson

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:31

What is most sad is that the different religions that are now so at odds, appear to have the same beginning and many current crossovers. Someone long ago told me that a religious war was like two children arguing over who had the best imaginary friend. I now think that they were correct.

More land for both Palestine and Israel sounds like a great idea to me. How do you ever share out Jerusalem though?

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Anthony Robson

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:34

Jeremy, if the world became atheists what would we fight over?

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Stefan

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:03

Simple: Make Jerusalem an International City and base the UN there! It could be the start of a whole new world! Good for local business too! Israel and Palestine can have there governments based there. Jerusalem is going to have to be expanded a bit to accommodate it all, and that's another reason why others are going to have got to donate land to compensate the locals.

Oh and Anthony, there are an awful lot of other reasons to fight wars over. Religious belief is just one of many. You need to look further than that. Culture, resources and so on. You name it, we can fight a war over it. That's human nature.

And the Iranian bomb is still a pressing issue amongst many! We have an awful long way to go.

Got to go and do some work or else I wont be able to donate to the land fund (and the Greek bailout for that matter)! :^ )

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:03

Your analysis is spot on Stefan, unfortunately there is a big problem.

As Mahmoud Abbas recently said "when we finally have our State there will not be one Jew in it"! Contrast that with the 22% of the Arab population now living in Israel with full citizenship.

Arab children are taught to hate Israelis from the cradle, they are filled with lies and distortions and until this stops there will be no peace in the Middle East or indeed anywhere else in the world such disputes exist.

The Israelis have not always got things right but by gosh they have tried. It seems to me that the Media has exacerbated the problems with their thirst for a "good story", yet how many times has the truth been distorted and increased the turmoil of this troubled region; the so called Jenin "massacre", the Mohammed al-Dura story, the Gaza beach bombs, the Mavi Mamamara lies, etc, etc.

However, therein lies the solution, a more balanced Media, reporting only what is verifiably true. Too often Israel is subject to unfair criticism. More than 75% of all Humanitarian decisions emerging from the United Nations have been made have been against Israel and just look at the tyrannical countries who have have been allowed to Chair this committee!

It is amazing to me, that the Palestinians, encouraged by their own leaders to flee their homes in 48, before "driving the Jews into the sea", are still festering. Whilst the million Jews kicked from Arab lands at the same time are now living in secure homes within the State of Israel.

Returning to the point of these comments, there will be no peace in this world until people respect one another, it's ironic that the Jews who brought morality to the world, are so often persecuted for having done so!

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Rose G

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:25

The end of the world is nigh, doom begets doom; gloom ditto!

As far as I am concerned we are need a reality check. We are none of us so free from blame that we can look down our noses at other countries & point the finger etc.

Human rights not so long ago hardly existed in the western world - racism was rife; wars aplenty. In fact, have we forgotten the reasons for WW1, followed by WW2 when the so called enlightened nations were sending their young men to early graves? Women were only allowed the vote in the 20th century in the UK. Other countries with historical roots & cultures going back centuries are not going to tolerate our hypocrisy of owing/using nuclear weapons!

Have we forgotten what perilous state our economies are in or are we so dumb we are actually contemplating yet another war to highlight the hypocrisy that still exists in our societies?

Who cares anymore which country has what - many of them are intent on keeping their poor in ignorance while the elite in our society are not whiter than white, are they. I recall tranny thatch's progeny being involved in an illegal coup somewhere in Africa.

If we do go to war with another country, I know for sure that I definitely need to go elsewhere sooner rather than later! I am a pacifist & detest the double standards I am facing nearly everyday of my life in a so called enlightened country!

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Anthony Robson

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:41

Ask an indigenous American Indian about civil rights etc etc

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JEFF BRACEY

Nov 17, 2011 at 14:24

Anthony. You could say that about the Jews 2000 years ago and as Stefan says above "There are very few countries on this Earth that have not come about without displacing existing populations". It just so happens the Israelis have a far greater historical claim than the marauders that came a thousand years or so from from the Arabian Peninsula.

When the Islamists give up on their Caliphate then maybe we could all turn our swords into ploughshares!

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Stew

Nov 17, 2011 at 15:02

Tell you all what. The Israelis have shown unbelievable restraint towards the Arabs in Gaza and Southern Lebanon, never mind anywhere else. 60 years of attacks and terrorism. If it was me personally I'd have killed everyone in the room long ago. There would be no Gaza strip or Hebron and Southern Lebanon would be a 50 mile deep wasteland of sintered glass and mines.

Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus... more glass.

Make no bones about the so called Palestinians, they have not been victims of Israeli aggression, they have been pawns of Arab politics. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of a Jewish homeland by the LoN/UN Mandates, the Arabs were granted enormous lands and enormous oil wealth. Every Arab who did not want to live in Israel could have a home/land in the Arab lands and a share of the oil wealth to be happy.

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Making the most out of Europe's potential means seeing things differently. Learn more about how BlackRock's focused approach to investing in Europe helps investors unlock the continent's vast potential.

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The Citywire Guide to Investment Trusts


In this guide to investment trusts, produced in association with Aberdeen Asset Management, we spoke to many of the leading experts in the field to find out more.

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