Key Players

Hashmonean breakdown of the key players in the ongoing Middle-East saga.. (aug 07 – this page will be updated pretty soon, pls don’t get your panties in a bunch ;)

Complete with the nicknames they’ve been assigned, their ‘Big Head’ profile icons, and key details.

Israel Key Players:

Ehud OlmertEhud ‘the Dude‘ Olmert

Prime Minister of Israel, Chairman of the Kadima Party.
Age: 60
Served as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993-2003
First elected to Knesset parliament in 1973
View: Center Right.

Ehud was and is a key ally of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as such he has committed himself to carrying on Ariel Sharon’s vision and course politically, in regards to the future of the State of Israel.

Most famously known as the Mayor of Jerusalem for approximately a decade, a position he managed to secure from the legendary then mayor Teddy Kollek, Olmert is known as somewhat of a bourgeois with ties to the wealthy upper crust in Israel. He’s of the right wing, though alone in these beliefs within his immediate family, something which has been used mercilessly against him. With Israel at such a profound crossroads, should he steer the country wrong history will not be kind to the heir of the Sharon throne.

With Hamas, a dead peace process, and an Iranian threat looming large, Olmert has his work cut out for him. Israel will need a strong leader to balance out a terribly fragmented Government, and an even stronger leader to cut through and implement the unilateral Kadima convergence plan envisioned.

Nicknamed: The Dude.

Edud was thrust into the top position in Israel by circumstances of Ariel Sharon’s stroke, as such he’s not the dude by choice, but has accepted the task nonetheless. His character does therefore exhibit a certain ‘the man’ type of quality, and a certain strong dudeness.. If only for rising to the challenge. He has cemented himself as Israel’s leader in the recent 2006 national elections, if only by a thin margin. Kadima winning 29 of 120 Knesset parliament seats, one of the thinnest electoral victories in Israel’s history.

Amir the Emeer PeretzAmir ‘The Emeer’ Peretz 

Chairman Labor Party
Age: 54, born notably in Morocco
Served as the leader of Israel’s largest powerful Trade Union Histadrut
First elected to the Knesset 1988
View: Left Wing, heavy.

Peretz ascended to the head of the Labor party last year, ousting famed politician Shimon Peres who moved on to Kadima, Ariel Sharon’s new center party as a result. Labor promoted their new Arabic born leader as a revolutionary, the man to restore Israel to the welfare state of the left, and a socialistic Messiah. Reality was a bit more sobering, Labor came in second in the recent elections with a weak 19 mandates.

A Union man through and through, Peretz bears somewhat of a passing resemblance to Joseph Stalin, and his politics lean in the same direction, however on defence and the Palestinians Peretz will not be decreeing any purges any time soon, he’s as dovish as they come. As head of the powerful Trade Union, Peretz earned his left wing labor stripes, initiating a sequence of strikes that paralysed the country. As leader of Labor he promised massive social benefits and the end of the free market economic reforms.

Nicknamed The Emeer

Seemingly slated to hold the position of Defense Minister (ludicrous) in the new Israeli coalition government, the Emeer is a suitable title. Amir or Emir in Arabic means chieftain, and Peretz hailing from Morocco fits the bill, his socialist policies are fairly intractable, though time will tell just how effective he will be as the head of Israel’s armed forces if the position is awarded. He has a lot of respect to gain of the fighting men as a legendary peacenik with Israel facing Hamas and Iran as serious threats.

Bibi Never Say Never NetanyahuBenjamin ‘Never Say Never..’ Netanyahu

Leader of the Likud party, former Prime Minister of Israel 1996-99.
Has served as Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Ambassador to the United Nations.
First elected to the Knesset in 1988.
Age: 56
View: Right, political will to morph as required.

Bibi is the very epitome of the classic 20th century definition of the term Western Politician. Controversial to some extent or not, there can be little doubt that Bibi is one of the most experienced Israelis serving today in Politics.

Born in Israel but having grown up as of the age of 14 in the United States, Netanyahu is a career defender of the State of Israel. A veritable judo master at the art of politics with skills honed by political studies at Harvard, and the much more important added weighty experience of having held the most key positions of Israeli Government. Nothing will stick to bibi for very long, he holds the distinction of being the most media savvy and by far the most eloquent Israeli speaker since the legendary Abba Eban himself.

Nicknamed: Never say never.

With Bibi you can never say never, the finely minted political shell covers a fiery advocate of Israel. He recently returned to political life staking his claim to comeback as Prime Minister, but falling well short. Equally, being the skilled politician he is no position is written in stone, but an issue to be deftly managed. He is notably opposed to disengagement as envisioned by Ariel Sharon and the recent Gaza withdrawal, while credited with somehow having pushed through much needed reform in Israel’s fiscal policies which while painful, have resulted in strong rebound and growth in Israel’s economy.

Tzipi LivniTzipi ‘Lady’ Livni

Acting Foreign Minister of Israel, Kadima Party.
Age: 48
Has served as Minister of Justice, Agriculture, Immigration among other roles.
First elected to Parliament in 1999.
View: Center, slight right tinge.

Nicknamed The Lady

Another key supporter of Ariel Sharon, Lady Livni is so named because she’s currently due to circumstance the Lady of the House. While not senior enough yet to merit the top role of PM or Kadima party leader, she is well respected from both sides of the aisle. Time will tell if she is tough enough to serve well as Israel’s Foreign Minister, a difficult position. She has large shoes to fill, as only the second female FM in Israel following Golda Meir, who was tough as Iron and also served as Israel’s Prime Minister.

Shaul MofazShaul ‘Magic’ Mofaz

Acting Defense Minister, Kadima Party *
Age: 58 – Notably born in Iran.
A career military man with a long distinguished record, Elite Special Forces, Major General, etc.
Has served under 3 Prime Ministers of varying parties.
View: Right Wing, slight center.

Nicknamed ‘Magic’ Mofaz

One of my personal favourites in the current political core, Mofaz is a Military man. Practical, pragmatic, realistic and fairly uncompromising – which is the way to go when dealing with threats to the State of Israel. Nicknamed ‘Magic’ due to his fantastic ability to simply make Terrorists and all manner of bad guys simply disappear! *poof*.

If you are a Terrorist while Mofaz is Defense Minister, you better run for you life if you know what’s good for you. Key operations include Sheik Yassin, Rantissi (both heads of Hamas), the Famous Entebbe Rescue, Sayeret Matkal (Elite special forces operating in Foreign Territory) etc etc.

* Mofaz seems likely to be the first Kadima man to suffer from the less than stellar election showings, with his high profile portfolio seemingly a victim of coalition needs. His forecasted replacement pales in his military prowess / shadow to my own distress, highlighting the at times ludicrous Israeli political system.

**More Israeli Key Player coming shortly..

Palestinians and Hamas key players:

Mahmoud Abbas / Abu mazenMahmoud Abbas / Abu Mazen

Age: 71
Elected President of the Palestinian Authority
Chairman of the PLO Executive
Chairman Fatah Party

Abu Mazen as he is known served briefly as the Palestinian Prime Minister at the behest of Washington under the intractable Terrorist Yasser Arafat, whom no one wanted to deal with, before resigning due to what he termed Palestinian incitement, which is a euphemism for endless corruption and stagnation and “my inability to accomplish anything.”

Hailed as a so called moderate compared to the deceased Yasser Arafat, the West placed high hopes in Abu Mazen as the man to finally move the Palestinians out of their corrupt ineptitude. After Arafat’s passing Mazen was elected Palestinian President, he embraced the peace process concept of two states for two peoples, was welcomed to the White House and held official sanctioned contacts with the Israeli Government in order to try and progress the Peace Process, to no avail.

His short term as leader of the Palestinians ended in a difficult defeat at the hands of the Hamas in the recent Palestinian legislative elections, he was ousted for not doing much of anything. His only tangible move, an Egyptian negotiated reduction in attacks termed “the hudna” or cease fire which was really due to Hamas reeling from the pressure of Israeli targeted attacks on its leadership, and has not resulted in much cease firing at all.

Nicknamed No can Du

A frequent protester of this or that, in reality Abu Mazen simply defines the word stagnation. He failed to meet any of his peace partner road map commitments, failed to tackle terrorism, lawlessness, and corruption within the PA. failed to reign in Hamas, failed to reform the squalid Palestinian leadership, and now serves as the President in opposition. Still, Europe and the West hold out for a glimmer of hope that Abu Mazen is the man, faced with the prospect of dealing with a Terrorist Palestinian Govt made up of Hamas. Other than the fact that he was a notorious Holocaust denier, and the fact that he is useless.. He seems like a nice guy, whatever that means.

Khaled Keep Moving MashalKhaled ‘Keep Moving’ Mashal

Age: 50
Leader of Hamas based in Damascus.
Wants to build a ‘Palestinian Army’ and destroy Israel, but is more likely to be found kaput by the side of the road one day frankly.

Nicknamed ‘Keep Moving’

He’s already been the target of the Israeli Defense Forces, and is forced to scurry and hide a lot lest he find himself on the wrong end of an Israeli Missile. This man is a dangerous Terrorist, despite what the BBC and other Arabists will tell you. He controls the ideology and funding of the Hamas movement in absentia while sheltered in Syria, a literal persona non grata in most of the World save the less savory spots.

** More Hamas / PA profiles coming

Arab World Key Players

Deranged President of IranMahmoud ‘Assmad’ Ahmadinejad

President of Iran, Radical Islamist

Served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, key Founder of a radical student movement with attributed responsibility in the Iran Hostage Crisis with the US, and a certifiable maniac who believes he is a second coming type of the prophet, destined to lead the World into an Islamic Caliphate which will subjugate the West.

Nicknamed Assmad

A rabid Anti Semite and hater of all things Western, Assmad believes himself a loyal servant of the Ayatollahs, sworn to radical and Fundamentalist Islamic ideals. He’s numerously threatened to ‘wipe Israel from the map’, has discounted the Holocaust as a mere ‘Myth’, and is actively pursuing access to the development of Nuclear Weapons.

He is without a doubt one of the most deranged and subsequently dangerous Muslim leaders the West has seen in a long time, his strings pulled directly by the Iranian Ruling Theocracy. If Assmad has his way - We’d all be Muslim, all Women would be covered 24/7, and Human Rights for those not strictly following Islamic dictates to the letter would be non existent, he has the profile of a sheer madman.

** More key Arab Leader profiles coming..