The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reprimanded the head of the Lebanese Olympic team after Lebanese athletes refused to share a bus with their Israeli opponents on the journey to the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games.
Miri Regev, the Israeli Culture and Sport Minister, labelled the decision the "worst kind of racism".
The confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran took a turn for the worse this week when the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a six-member group of Sunni states on the Persian Gulf, announced that it was labelling Lebanese paramilitary group Hizbollah a terrorist organisation.
Several weeks ago, I found myself on a coach hurtling towards the heart of Beirut, a city once described as a ''paradise on Earth'', thanks to its stunning coastline (still very much in evidence), and as the ''Paris of the Middle East'', due to its French influences and vibrant cultural and intellectual life.
for the past four years, report after report has emerged attributing air strikes on Syrian military targets to Israel. The Israeli government has not acknowledged a single one - not even when the remnants of bombs with labels in Hebrew were found on the scene. However, Israeli officials have developed a way of taking indirect responsibility that - theoretically - serves the country's interests.