Kuwaiti politics is at standstill, even though an opposition election boycott in December 2012 led to a pro-government Kuwaiti Parliament. The deadlock is set to continue outside parliament as support for Musallam Al Barrack, the leading opposition personality grows.
The regional elections in Iraq took place in January in a much hoped for atmosphere of peace and security. The results will begin to show whether Iraq remains a patchwork of conflicting groups, or whether progress is being made to draw the country together and develop a sense of national unity.
However disheartening the current war in Gaza has been, it can become the catalyst for such productive peace negotiations that will lead to the two-state solution. The latest conflict in Gaza has demonstrated to both sides that war can no longer improve their position over each other substantially enough to justify the cost involved.
Hamas has repeatedly stated that it has an army of 20,000 men that are willing to defeat their ‘Zionist enemy’ regardless of the cost, echoing the rhetoric of the second intifada (2000-2005). However, there is a crucial difference between the Hamas of the second intifada and the Hamas we see in Gaza today.