French Minister Eric Besson promised his Tunisian fiancee's family he would convert to Islam, and then passed a law banning religious veils.
Zvi Bar'el is the Middle Eastern affairs analyst for Haaretz Newspaper. He is a columnist and a member of the editorial board. Previously he has been the managing editor of the newspaper, the correspondent in Washington and has also covered the Occupied Territories.
Bar'el has been with Haaretz since 1982, and has written extensively on the Arab and Islamic world. In 2009, he was awarded the Sokolov prize for lifetime achievement in print journalism.
Bar'el has a Ph.D in the History of the Middle East. He teaches at Sapir Academic College and is a research fellow at the Truman Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as at the Center for Iranian Studies.
In Israel and Washington, where some have begun to calculate how much time is left before his demise, they are behaving as if Hosni Mubarak is eternal.
Is Hosni Mubarak dying? Ill? The panic in Egypt surrounding the health of the president, in power for 29 years, is less about the fact that he will die at some point and more about his legacy and his successor - most likely his son Gamal.
Foreign Ministry instructs Israeli ambassadors to ask senior American, UN, EU and Egyptian officials to pressure Syria and Lebanon to stop latest planned flotilla from sailing from Lebanon to Gaza.
A new initiative in Saudi Arabia aims to root out extremist teachers and 'reeducate' them away from terror.
If the next generations fear that "enemies from within" (as MK Carmel Shama of Likud called those who want peace with Syria ) will bring about a withdrawal from the Golan Heights, the referendum law has removed the threat.
UNIFIL has tried to end a series of clashes in previous few weeks during which Lebanese civilians grabbed weapons from soldiers, threw stones at them and blocked their route.
Negotiations with Hamas would only bolster the bluff. If talks ever take place, they will be over cooling tempers and stopping rockets - not a lasting peace.
Hamas is leveling for influence, and Egypt is getting fed up. Amid the broader regional issues, this shaky relationship has a trajectory of its own.
Amman believes enriching local uranium for electricity could solve both power and water crises, but Washington and Jerusalem don't want another nuclear power in the region