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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Rand Paul, the Peace Farce, and, Egypt

4:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Well, that was certainly quick…

Christie slams Paul as “dangerous”

Paul’s war with the neoconservative wing of the GOP explodes in the first volley of the 2016 campaign

…Speaking at a panel of GOP governors in Aspen, Colorado, Christie said the “strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought.

Asked if he was specifically alluding to Paul, Christie responded, “You can name any number of people and he’s one of them.” He continued: “These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans [of the 9/11 attacks] and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”

Team Paul heard fighting words, and Doug Stafford, one of Paul’s closest advisers, told the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin, “If Governor Christie believes the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans is ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary, or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent years.” Stafford even invoked the lyrics of Christie’s beloved Bruce Springsteen in firing back.

It’s one of the first volleys of the 2016 GOP primary from two candidates who are widely expected to lead the pack, but it also underscores an apparent effort by some Republicans and conservatives with more muscular foreign policy views to disqualify Paul from the race before he even enters…

It is that singular ‘strain of Libertarianism’ that I subscribe to within either party…! However, on the Libertarian domestic policies, outside of the National Security apparatchik, I flatly reject their basic tenets…!

Now, ironically, at that very same Aspen confab that Christie had lashed out at Rand Paul…

Ex-US general: We pay a price for backing Israel

Slamming settlements, James Mattis, former commander of CentCom, tells crowd in Aspen that moderate Arabs are forced to hide support for America…

“I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CentCom because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel, and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians,” he said Saturday at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado in response to a question about the peace process. {…}

He called the current situation in Israel “unsustainable” and blamed the settlements for harming prospects for peace. The chances for an accord between Israel and the Palestinians, said Mattis, “are starting to ebb because the settlements and where they’re at are going to make it impossible to maintain the two state solution.”

Mattis then described a hypothetical in which 500 Jewish settlers live among 10,000 Arabs, and the implications of where Israel draws the border. He called it a choice between giving up the idea of a Jewish state or becoming an apartheid state.

He then returned to the idea of the cost of lack of progress in peace talks, arguing that it “shortstops a lot of support for us because all politics are local… And I would just tell you that they can’t come out in support of us if we don’t see some progress where Secretary [of State John] Kerry is wisely focused like a laser beam right now.”

As the former CIA MENA bureau chief, Philip Giraldi wrote recently… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

‘Over a quarter million, and Israel STILL isn’t a story’

3:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

+972′s Ami Kaufman really nailed it…

Over a quarter million, and Israel STILL isn’t a story

Last week I posted a piece about how mainstream media websites did not update their sites with news items about the huge demo taking place on Saturday evening. There were 150,000 protesters on that Saturday.

It’s now 4 hours after this Saturday’s protest. This time it was 350,000 people across Israel. 5% of the population. That would be the equivalent of 15 million Americans marching in D.C.

And yet, before I go to bed, I’m checking the major sites again. Not the TV – I don’t have cable (can’t afford it). So, I don’t know how the TV news sites are dealing with it. But I checked over a few hours how the New York Times, Guardian, BBC News and Huffington Post sites covered the demo.

Or shall I say, didn’t cover it… [...]

If there were 350,000 people (or 15 million) in D.C. as we speak, right now – would you see it mentioned on the homepage of major news sites? I think so.

Again, to be clear – my critique is not against the ongoing coverage of this revolution. There are more important stories out there today. And there were last week.

But as a breaking story, especially in the days of Twitter, Facebook, and technology of easy-updating and confirming of facts, I find it astounding that these sites did not mention this demo on their homepages…

As Haaretz reports…

Netanyahu downplays reports of 300,000 protesters across Israel

Police estimate that over 300,000 people took part in third consecutive week of mass rallies across Israel on Saturday; protesters chant ‘The people demand social justice.’

Over 300,000 people marched together in the mass protest that took place across Israel on Saturday, according to police estimates.

Approximatley 300,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv, 20,000 participated in Jerusalem, 3,000 in Kiryat Shmona, 5,000 in Modi’in,1,000 in Hod Hasharon and 1,000 in Eilat. However, those close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the media had inflated the numbers of participants in the protests. [...]

Protesters chanted “The people demand social justice” and “An entire generation demands a future.”

A number of signs that were hung on Kaplan Street read “Resign, Egypt is here.”

“Young people of Israel, our time has come,” said National Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli at the Tel Aviv rally…

Outstanding Job, Israel…!

You’ve got your work cut out for ya…!

God Speed and God Bless…!

by CTuttle

More On The ‘July 14′ Protestors Call For ‘Social Justice’

8:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As +972′s Mairav Zonszein reported yesterday, from Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Blvd…

Jewish supremacists visit social justice protests

How long can the social justice protests go on without defining what “social justice” means? While there was no official rejection of the Kahanists’ visit by protest leaders, some activists confronted them and skirmishes broke out…

…Yesterday’s spectacle of far rightists at the tent protest visiting from their illegal settlements in the West Bank was significant because they were scuffling with fellow citizens, rather than their disenfranchised and discriminated Palestinian neighbors who they usually scuffle with. They brought their extremist politics to a turf filled with secular Jews, activists, anarchists, gays and transgenders, making them appear the odd ones out.

This should be a clear sign to those in the movement that there is a need to formalize and sharpen definitions of “social justice,” even at the expense of alienating fellow citizens and calling attention to the deep cracks that divide Jewish society here. Today a Facebook event was started calling for a protest on Saturday in reaction to the visit, which will specifically assert that Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a multi-cultural city and calling for unity and tolerance, not fascism, homophobia and racism. This is a step in the right direction.

Indeed it is shared values that should connect the people in this movement, not shared citizenship.

From today’s Haaretz…

Livni: Netanyahu trying to quash Israel protests, not solve problems

Kadima chairman and MK Mofaz strongly criticize government’s response to cost-of-living protesters, who are expected to hold large demonstrations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv Saturday night.

Opposition Leader MK Tzipi Livni criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting of the Kadima Party on Friday morning for not responding to the substance of the cost of living protests that have engulfed the country over the last three weeks.

“Benjamin Netanyahu does not concern himself with changing national priorities, but with how to reduce the scope of protests, that is all he cares about,” said Livni at the Friday morning meeting. “We suggested the prime minister reopens the 2012 budget in order to create a new budget, but Netanyahu refuses to do so.”

Livni also said it is mandatory to change the way that governments get replaced in office. “Governments who are led by a person that does not work for the good of the majority, but spends all their money on small segments of society – they generate complete distrust for the system,” she said.

Aah, So that’s how it supposed to work, Mz Livni…?

Well, Bibi doesn’t quite see it that way…

As Israel’s social protests continue, Netanyahu sees a big political opportunity

The prime minister sounds truly committed to tackling the issues brought up by the protesters, writes Yossi Verter, but that doesn’t mean he likes the protest leaders themselves, whom he thinks wish him ill…

“This could be our big opportunity. Are they saying that after this protest the country will be different? Definitely. Very different. You can’t complain about the economy. The economy works. Education, communications and transportation work. There are complaints, justified complaints, about the cost of living. My political strategy for the coming year is simply to address all these problems seriously.” [...]

The prime minister knows that as long as he has Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, his government will last forever. He believes the opposition striving to topple him faces two main obstacles: his coalition’s political stability and the time remaining until elections. He has at least a year and a half to revise and improve. Today’s agenda is not the agenda of late 2012. He is hearing politicians calling Habima Square his Tahrir Square. He is not amused, as he watches his friend, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, caged in a Cairo court. “Tahrir Square? Have I sent an army to shoot demonstrators?” he asks…

My, how comforting, Bibi…!

Btw, maybe it was because they were busy beavers, elsewhere… Many treated for the Effects of Tear Gas Inhalation as troops attack the weekly West Bank Protests.

Getting back to Bibi, the Knesset, and Kadima…

Some Kadima MKs Withdraw Support for Bill Eliminating Arabic and English as Official Languages

After initially supporting a bill in the Israeli parliament that would change Israel’s definition as a “Jewish and democratic state” to “the national home of the Jewish people,” several MKs from the opposition Kadima party withdrew their signatures from the bill.

The bill would also eliminate Arabic and English as official languages of Israel, making Hebrew the only official language.

Knesset sources said the bill has broad support and will most likely pass in the Knesset’s winter session.

Can ya just feel the Love from that bunch of Rightwingers…?

All the while, there goes another slice of the Palestinian Pizza Pie…

EU slams Israel’s decision to build new East Jerusalem housing project

Catherine Ashton said the timing of the decision was particularly regrettable, since it undermines the international community’s recent attempts to reestablish trust between the sides.

*gah*