It is beginning to look like Bahrain’s ruling family has calculated correctly that its close allies in Washington, London, and Brussels do not care enough about al-Khawaja to risk challenging al-Khalifa hard-liners and their Saudi allies by publicly pushing for his release or by making clear that Bahrain’s continued stonewalling will have a price.
ANALYSIS: The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI), an organisation with the declared aim of overthrowing Iran’s Islamist regime, has hundreds of supporters in the ranks of the European Parliament and the United States Congress. Retired senior officials from administrations on both sides of the Atlantic have signed up to lobby on its behalf. Yet the PMOI was, until recently, listed as a terrorist organisation by both the European Union and the US government. So what explains the strength of its support?
It is difficult to imagine Israel’s leadership changing course at this stage, and it is probably too late for the administration of US President Barack Obama to escape from the domestic political vice in which it seems pinned on this issue. But being on the wrong side of history is never a comfortable position
Maintaining good relations with Israel had allowed Turkey to play a more influential role in the Middle East. Ankara was instrumental in setting up the peace talks between Syria and Israel in 2008. Now Turkey will be sidelined from all efforts linked to the Middle East peace process. That will surely be unwelcome in a country that likes to portray itself as a regional order setter. But it will also be an impediment to regional peace, as Turkey was among the few that used to enjoy a trust-based relationship with the two sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.