Bolton out of the House

On Tuesday, following tension within the administration stemming from the failed Taliban summit at Camp David, National Security advisor John Bolton left his post at the White House. The strained relationship between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is almost certainly the cause of Bolton’s dismissal. Whether he was fired or resigned is still unclear, as staff changes usually are in the Trump White House. However, his time at the White House involved multiple clashes with the President on matters of foreign policy, and his ouster will no doubt affect the administration’s foreign policy going forward. Bolton, often viewed as a hawk, has been slow to engage powers like Iran or the Taliban in negotiations, and both are things Trump has attempted to do.

Self-immolation in protest of patriarchal government

On Sept. 2, an Iranian woman nicknamed “Blue Girl” set herself on fire after be- ing caught impersonating a man and charged with illegally entering a soccer match. 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari self-immolated in front of the courthouse in Tehran and died of her injuries on Sept. 9. Khodayari did this in the face of a potential six-month imprisonment for the alleged crime, following her release on bail for the same offense just months prior. The incident has led to global attention, primarily because Iran’s ban on female spectators has already been a point of contention between Iran and FIFA. Because of this, the timing of the incident is particularly important. FIFA wants the ban removed before Oct. 10, when Iran hosts the World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, the country’s first. It is unclear whether this deadline will be met or if the ban will be lifted by the qualifier.

Major Israeli election set for this week

On Sept. 17 Israeli citizens will go to the polls to elect another Knesset (the coun- try’s parliament) after just doing so in April. The reason for the sudden snap election is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inability to form a majority coalition of Israel’s right-wing parties. The Knesset is made up of 120 seats and it takes 61 seats to make a governmening majority. This new election could result in multiple different outcomes but an internal poll shows that Netanyahu’s Likud Party is not favored.

If Netanyahu were to lose it would be notable for a variety of reasons. First, he has been the PM since 2009 and has survived multiple scandals, so any outcome where he is not the PM would mean a brand new day for Israeli politics. Second, with Netanyahu out of power, multiple other world affairs would be affected. Whoever takes control after him (likely Benny Gantz) would have two major feats in front of them, cooling relationships with Iran and negotiations with Palestine. Both will likely define Middle East politics for the next decade or two, so this election has major implications.