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by CTuttle

Stick Another Fork In The I/P Peace Farce

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

So, while Abbas and Hamas truly seem to be getting their sh*t together, finally…!

Abbas, Hamas Leader Plan Quick Moves on Unity Implementation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in talks with Hamas Premier Ismail Haniyeh about the implementation of this week’s unity deal, with the talks centering on speeding up the process and getting things in place quickly.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has tendered his resignation today, reflecting the end to a Fatah-only government and setting the stage for a new unity government including Hamas ministers.

The unity government is likely to only be a temporary one, with the goal of holding new elections before year’s end. There have been no Palestinian elections since 2006, when Hamas won decisively.

The Hamas victory at the time led to US pressure for Abbas to refuse to recognize the elections, and eventually to the violence split between the two factions. The reconciliation sets the stage for returning Gaza to the Palestinian Authority’s territory.

+972 mag exposes the sorry state of affairs with the Israeli press…

On peace negotiations, Israeli pundits peddle government distortions

Ari Shavit has written another one of his fabulous treatises in his exemplary prose style that is, as his articles often are, completely detached from the facts. According to Shavit, Mahmoud Abbas is an intransigent negotiator who fails every time he is put to the test. The pièce de résistance of Shavit’s treatise comes at the point where he accuses Abbas of not having signed off on the Geneva Accord. Readers might recall that the Geneva Accord was a foreign affairs initiative between Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabo. But according to Shavit’s logic, the second most important person in the Palestinian Authority should have risked his own political credibility by signing off on concessions, in order to protect Yossi Beilin.

Yair Lapid gave a truly heartrending speech, in which he wondered aloud if Abbas had any desire to achieve statehood. Again and again, Lapid intoned, the president of the Palestinian Authority uses evasion tactics, refuses to sign agreements, avoids dealing with the end game. The peak of Lapid’s speech comes when he says:

Just about a year ago we agreed to join the governing coalition only after we received a commitment that we would return to the negotiating table on the basis of two states for two peoples.

It would be interesting to know who gave him that commitment. It’s not written anywhere in the guidelines of the government he joined. That commitment was intentionally (Naftali Bennett) excluded from the guidelines. Lapid did not insist upon it, which he probably does not even recall.

The veteran political analyst Nahum Barnea wrote in a column published on Friday [in the print edition of Yedioth Aharonoth] that the ink in Mahmoud Abbas’s pen has been dry since 1993 and the Palestinian leader won’t sign any further agreements.

You read these things and they can make you slowly lose your mind. People who are intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced simply do not know their facts. Or perhaps they have an interest in distorting them?

In a recent article in the Scoop, Uri Averny, spelt it out…

The language of the Israeli occupation

Semantics of the Israeli occupiers

Imagine a war breaking out between Israel and Jordan. Within two or three days the Israeli army occupies the entire territory of the Hashemite Kingdom. What will be the first act of the occupation authority?

Establish a settlement in Petra? Expropriate land near Aqaba?

No. The very first thing will be to decree that the territory will henceforth be known as “Gilead and Moab”.

All the media will be ordered to use the biblical name. All government and court documents will adopt it. Except for the radical left, nobody will mention Jordan anymore. All applications by the inhabitants will be addressed to the Military Government of Gilead and Moab.

Why? Because annexation starts with words.

Words convey ideas. Words implant concepts in the minds of their hearers and speakers. Once they are firmly established, everything else follows.

The writers of the Bible already knew this. They taught “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21). For how many years now have we been eating the fruit of “Judea and Samaria”?

When Vladimir Putin last week restored the old name of “New Russia” to the territory of eastern Ukraine, it was not just a semantic change. It was a claim for annexation, more powerful than a salvo of cannon shots.

“Peace” vs “political settlement”

Recently I listened to a speech by a left-wing politician, and was disturbed when she spoke at length about her struggle for a “political settlement” with the Palestinians.

When I remonstrated with her, she apologized. It was a slip of the tongue. She had not meant it that way.

In Israeli politics, the word “peace” has become poison. “Political settlement” is the vogue term. It is meant to say the same. But of course, it doesn’t.

“Peace” means much more than the formal end of warfare. It contains elements of reconciliation, of something spiritual. In Hebrew and Arabic, Shalom/Salaam include wellbeing, safety and serve as greetings. “Political settlement” means nothing but a document formulated by lawyers and signed by politicians.

The “Peace of Westphalia” put an end to 30 years of war and changed the life of Europe. One may wonder whether a “Political settlement of Westphalia” would have had the same effect

Let’s remember that the entire OPT is already referred to by the Biblical Judea-Samaria…!

As MEMO reported…

Israel halts contacts with Palestinians over Fatah-Hamas unity
Israeli cabinet decided on Friday to halt peace talks with the Palestinians because of Fatah-Hamas unity and agreement to form a technocrat government backed by Hamas.

In a statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office after a six-hour meeting for the Israeli reduced cabinet, Israel announced it would stop peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) government.

“The cabinet today unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction,” the statement said.

An Israeli official was quoted by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth as saying: “Negotiations became impossible. Abbas [PA President] has gone a step too far. There will be no political contacts with the Palestinians.”

Israel Hayom said that the resolution was supported by all members of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet: Netanyahu, Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and others.

However, Israel would not completely close the door with the Palestinians and said it would not cause the collapse of the PA. Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni said: “Sanctions will be measured. We will not cause the Palestinian Authority to collapse.”

Israeli officials Surprised

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the Israeli diplomatic and military officials were surprised by the announcement of the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

“We were busy with the warning by Mahmoud Abbas to dismantle the Palestinian Authority,” a source told the newspaper. “The intelligence had not updated the political echelon about developments in talks between Hamas and the PA.”

The source added: “It was quite simply a foul-up – we did not know what was going on.”

Military officials also voiced their surprise about the agreement. They said they were tracking the incidents, but that they “did not know on which day this would happen. We did not even know for sure that there would be an announcement.”

God Bless, and, God Speed to the Palestinians…!

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Folie à deux!

4:00 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Isn’t it strange that Al Qaeda has never struck inside of Israel, nor the House of Saud for that matter…

Folie à deux! – Madness shared by two

Pardon my French, but it is sometimes the right language in which to express things. Folie à deux!

Yes, folie à deux which is a madness or psychosis shared by two people. Think of two people believing themselves to be omnipotent (perhaps as a King and Queen who act capriciously and despise their subjects) and you will have some understanding of the madness. Needless to say, the madness invariably ends in some form of destruction.

In this case, however, the folie is not that shared by two individuals but by two regimes. Or rather, two entities both of which have no true legitimacy, but only an existence which comes from force instead of widespread consent. In both cases, the crux of the matter is the lack of legitimacy.

One of them is Israel, a racist, arrogant entity, embarked on a creeping genocide of the Palestinians, intent on expansion into the lands of others and which wants to attack Iran.

The other is Saudi Arabia, a gruesome, totalitarian, sectarian entity which thinks that it has something (Takfiri Wahhabism) that is welcomed in the lands of others (which, in reality, is nothing but a foul smell) and which also wants to attack Iran.

Both entities think that they are God’s gift to the human race and are in the last stages of hubris…

‘The folie à deux is then compounded by their belief that the USA will come in on their side because, at the moment, there is no doubt that there is a partnership, indeed, an Axis of Evil, consisting of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the USA.’

In the case of Israel, the Zionists have absolute control of the American political process with the politicians, even after the recent international agreement with Iran, determined to impose more and more sanctions. On top of that are the fifty to sixty million demented Christian Zionists who actually want a full-scale war in the Middle East – they want this because they think that such a war is the prelude to their being wafted up to Heaven.

Please ‘Rapture’ them already…!

Anyways… I must say that I was surprised by this completely empty gesture from Bibi…

Netanyahu puts settlement construction plans on hold until after Kerry visit

A senior official in Jerusalem says the prime minister asked the housing minister to delay publication of tenders for new West Bank homes; ‘nobody wants to stick a finger in Kerry’s eye,’ he says.

Kerry will arrive in Israel on Thursday for a series of meetings with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in order to continue efforts at drafting the ‘framework agreement’ for peace talks, which the U.S. hopes to present by the end of the month.

The secretary of state will stay in the region until Sunday, at least, and is likely to extend his visit by a few extra days.

Netanyahu announced last week that he planned to publish the new tenders after the third stage of the Palestinian prisoner release, which was carried out on Monday night. Tenders for construction were published after each of the first two stages of the prisoner release.

Although the number of units and location of construction were leaked unofficially to the public, the actual contracting tenders have not yet been published on the Housing Ministry website or in the media.

A senior official in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu and Ariel have an understanding that the tenders will be published after Kerry’s visit: ‘Nobody has an intention of sticking a finger in Kerry’s eye,’ said the official. ‘On this matter, there is full coordination between the prime minister and the housing minister.’

Hmm, it’s never seemed to bother Bibi before…!

Naturally… Israel lawmakers appeal to Obama for spy’s release.

So, let’s look at what else is on Bibi’s plate… Israel Ready to Invade Gaza. Planned Attack Would “Exact a Heavy Toll”

Could another Cast Lead be used as a distraction…?

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

The Israel/Palestine Peace Farce Drags On and On

3:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I’ve been covering the Israel/Palestine situation for well over a decade now, and one would think I’d be inured to the farcical actions by now…! But, once again, my jaw hit the desk with this bit of news…

Kerry, Abbas Knew of Building Plans in Advance

In a press conference in Brazil, US Secretary of State says Netanyahu had been “completely up front” about building from the start

US Secretary of State John Kerry revealed Tuesday that he and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas were fully aware that the Israeli government intended to continue building in parts of Judea and Samaria which “will not affect the peace map” when the decision was made to restart talks.

As such, despite the “outcry” by the Palestinian Authority, Abbas is still committed to talks with Israel over the next nine months, he said.

At a press conference in Brazil, Kerry declared that “the policy of the United States with respect to all settlements, is that they are illegitimate.”

“But, that said, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was completely up front with me and with president Abbas that he would be announcing some additional building in places that will not affect the peace map, that will not have any impact on the capacity to have a peace agreement,”he continued.

Kerry also stressed the “urgency to get into the discussion of borders and security”

Seriously… What Borders…?

To be sure of Israeli intentions… Israel approves another 942 settlement units…

…The units are in addition to the more than 1,000 settlement homes approved by Israel on Sunday, in a move that has angered the Palestinians and drawn fire from the international community.

“The Jerusalem municipality has approved a construction plan for 942 homes in Gilo,” an existing settlement in East Jerusalem, deputy mayor Yosef Pepe Alalu told AFP. {…}

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who convinced the two sides to return to the negotiating table after a three-year hiatus, urged the Palestinians “not to react adversely” to Israel’s approval on Sunday for new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank…

Well, indeedy… Palestinians committed to peace with Israel through talks: Abbas

Now, I hold the unelected, excreable Abu Mazen(Abbas) in the same esteem as Bibi…! As I’d noted, two years ago, when the Palestine Papers first came out…

The Palestinian leadership will surely face criticism for what The Palestine Papers reveal. Some will be merited; some not. The overwhelming conclusion one draws from this record is that the process for a two-state solution is essentially over, that the history of the peace process is one of abject failure for all concerned. The Palestinian participants, having lost the most, will likely suffer most. But I can only come away with the passionately-held belief that these people deserved better.

The ensuing thread to that old post is well worth the perusal too…!

Here’s some of the Guardian’s coverage of the Papers…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Hezbollah, The I/P Peace Charade, and Syria

5:10 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Der Spiegel

EU Terror List: Hezbollah Unlikely to Feel Sanctions

EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to put the military wing of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on the bloc’s list of terrorist groups. But sanctions will have little impact on the “Party of God,” which has long since become Lebanon’s most powerful political force. {…}

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to put this armed wing of Hezbollah on the bloc’s list of terrorist groups. The move marks a striking about-face in European policy regarding the Shiite militants. Previously, European leaders had argued that Lebanon, already in a vulnerable state, would be further destabilized if the influential group were declared outcasts.

Sanctions Won’t Be Felt

But Britain, the Netherlands and France have pushed just such a measure through, arguing that by interfering in the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah is now threatening the fragile peace inside Lebanon as well. European restraint on the matter no longer makes sense, they argue. {…}

Civil and Military Division Unclear

The fact that outsiders are unable to discern where Hezbollah’s civilian wing ends and the militant one begins is likely to mean that the organization will escape the EU’s measures unscathed, say Western diplomats in Beirut. The decision in Brussels was purely symbolic, serving only to appease the United States, which declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 1995 after two devastating attacks against the Israeli embassy and a Jewish organization in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires. Since then, the US has been pressuring its allies to follow suit…

Now, in looking at the latest I/P Peace Farce being peddled by SoS Kerry, as I’ve written before: Talk is Cheap and The Freeze Farce Is Over, I’d adopted the same ‘wait and see’ attitude as longtime I/P blogger, Richard Silverstein…

Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talk Charade

I’ve held off writing about John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy attempting to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, because I thought there was “no there, there” and figured it might collapse of its own weight. But developments in the past 24 hours indicate that while this is still likely, all parties have already been guilty of bad judgments which should be pointed out. {…}

They’ll supposedly be getting 100 freed Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for decades. The Israel Broadcasting Authority says the prisoner release would happen in four stages and the first one would only happen during the second month of negotiations. A lot can happen in that time. And I’d say a guarantee of this happening is pretty thin. Furhter, the Palestinians seem willing to overlook that Israel, after past prisoner exchanges, promptly rearrested whoever it still wants behind bars.

Another issue the Palestinians would apparently give up is their efforts to win international recognition in bodies like the United Nations. That’s giving up a whole lot in return for very little. {…}

But today’s worst outrage, which sent me into a paroxysm of righteous indignation, was the report by Laura Rozen that John Kerry may plan to appoint Martin Indyk his “peace envoy.” You’ll recall that the estimable George Mitchell had that role towards the beginning of Obama’s first term. But Mitchell failed because Obama wasn’t willing to use the power of his office to pressure the Israelis to deal. Despite such a failure, at least one might say that Mitchell was truly an honest broker. He had no strong affiliation with either side nor any hostility against either side.

Indyk is an entirely different story: there seems to be a notion among U.S. presidents that to secure Israeli-Palestinian peace they need a former Aipac analyst on their team. That’s how they got Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and a number of other similar figures. They both are or were affiliated with WINEP, Aipac’s foreign policy think tank. Neither Ross nor Indyk has any special affinity or interest in the Palestinians, except as a means to an end (a peace deal that responds to and guarantees Israeli interests). The latter was also U.S. ambassador to Israel under Pres. Clinton. The NY Times calls the Brookings think-tanker “a seasoned hand,” which as usual for the Times is beside the point and misses the key reasons for his appointment and his political affiliations. {…}

This iteration of the peace process is dead on arrival. The sooner John Kerry realizes this the less political face he will lose. What is being proposed shows that Obama has no real interest in settling the conflict. He wants to be seen to be doing something. And what he’s seen to be doing he hopes will last for the next three years so he can kick the can down the road for the next guy. Or, as Mitt Romney so inimitably put it: “to kick the football down the field.”

Once again, Bibi pushed the Pollard canard…

‘PM asked US to free Pollard as incentive for entering peace talks’

Netanyahu reportedly wanted to present ministers with symbolic victory to ease opposition to restarting peace talks

The US reportedly refused an Israeli request to free imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners, ahead of new peace talks with the Palestinians…

…The Cabinet, on Sunday, will vote on the release of Palestinian prisoners ahead of a scheduled first round of talks between Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Washington.

Israeli officials have indicated the prisoners will be freed in phases, beginning at 4-6 weeks into the negotiations, and continuing at 6-8 week intervals, depending on the progress of the talks. Under Israeli law, the prisoners’ names will be published 48 hours before their release to allow families of their victims to appeal the decision with the Supreme Court.

Israel has reportedly refused to release an additional 21 pre-Oslo prisoners, either because they are Israeli citizens or for other security reasons.

Kerry announced the resumption of peace talks, after a hiatus of almost three years, on Friday. “We have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming negotiations,” he said.

While Israeli leaders had confirmed the talks would be taking place and have even boasted that Israel had not been required to cave in to Palestinian preconditions to do so, Palestinian officials said that the path to resumed negotiations had not yet been cleared, and that the imminent meetings in Washington were aimed only at seeking to finalize the terms for the new negotiations.

Seriously, as I’ve noted before… Bibi: There’s No Solution to The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It is nothing but another stalling tactic as Israel continues to expand the Settlements and grow richer off the fruits of the Occupied Territories…!

Moving on to Syria…

U.S. plan to arm Syria rebels gains support in Congress

U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to provide vetted Syrian rebels with weapons and strategic military aid has gained traction in Congress, U.S. lawmakers said Tuesday…

Lawmakers have been split on the proposal, but on Monday House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers said a “consensus” had been reached among the panel’s members to accept Obama’s plan despite “very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success.”

On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner also weighed in in favor of the committee’s approach, saying “their effort to help the right set of rebels in Syria is in our nation’s best interest.”

While not legally required, intelligence committee approval of U.S. military assistance has traditionally been key to administrations moving ahead with such aid.

Like the House panel, the Senate Intelligence Committee has held several closed-door debates in recent weeks on the merits of increased military aid to rebels in Syria, where a conflict now in its 28th month has killed some 100,000 people.

Senate intelligence chair Dianne Feinstein has refused to divulge what progress if any has been made in committee on backing Obama’s push.

But on Tuesday Senator Richard Burr, who sits on the panel and who supports arming the rebels, strongly suggested a logjam had been broken.

“The White House has all the authority they need right now,” the Republican told AFP…

White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to comment on any Syria debates in Congress, “especially ones that are behind closed doors,” nor would he catalogue the assistance that is being provided.

But “the president, as he made clear not long ago, is committed to ramping up that assistance as necessary, because of the circumstances that we find and because of the need for the opposition to further strengthen and unify,” Carney said…

In summing up, the intrepid Pepe Escobar penned another must-read… War against Iran, Iraq AND Syria?

*gah*

by CTuttle

UN Bid Changes Nothing For The Palestinians

2:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah clearly points out in that Al Jazeera interview, it was truly a hollow victory for the Palestinians, just another cheap gesture by Abu Mazen…!

Indeed, when the Palestinians awoke this morning they were greeted with this bit of ‘cheer’…

Defiant Israel to boost settlements after U.N.’s Palestine vote

Israel plans to build thousands of new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli official said on Friday, defying a U.N. vote that implicitly recognised Palestinian statehood there.

The United States, one of Israel’s few allies in Thursday’s battle at the world forum, called “counterproductive” the construction blueprint, which included a stretch of land east of Jerusalem that Palestinians fear would bisect much of the West Bank and choke off their access to the holy city.

The Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government had authorised the construction of 3,000 housing units and ordered “preliminary zoning and planning work for thousands of units in Jerusalem and settlement blocs including Maale Adumim and E1″.

Israel froze much of its activities in E1 under pressure from former U.S. President George W. Bush and the area has been under the scrutiny of his successor, Barack Obama.

The official, who did not want to be named, would not elaborate on the plans. But Israeli media said the government saw the settlement expansion as hammering home its rejection of Thursday’s upgrade by the U.N. General Assembly of the Palestinians to “non-member observer state” from “entity”…

As Columbia Professor Joseph Massad wrote…

Bitter Irony: UN Vote to Recognize Palestine Legitimizes a Racist Status Quo

…Yesterday, the general assembly voted to admit Palestine as a state with observer status. Despite assurances to the contrary, the new state is likely to undermine the status of the PLO at the UN. Whereas the PLO represented all Palestinians, the PA only represents West Bankers. This recognition has diminished the Palestinian state geographically from 43% of historic Palestine granted by the partition plan to less than 18% of it (possibly 10%, if we factor annexations, settlements, military areas, etc), and has reduced Palestinians from 12 million people to 2.4 million West Bankers, 40% of whom are refugees.

The vote is essentially an update of the partition plan of 1947, whereby the UN now grants Jewish colonists and their descendants 80-90% of Palestine, leaving the rest to the native inhabitants, and it risks abrogating the refugees’ right of return.

A small minority native to the West Bank (about 1.3 million people), for whom the PA claims to speak, will gain UN status as a state under occupation, while the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank (1 million people), along with six million other refugees, risk losing their right of return.

By recognising a diminished Palestinian state, the vote effectively abandons the UN understanding of the “Jewish state” as one that has no right to discriminate against or ethnically cleanse non-Jews. The new arrangement confers the blessing of this international forum on the Israeli understanding of what a “Jewish state” entails– namely, the actually existing legal discrimination and ethnic cleansing practised by Israel –as acceptable. That this occurred on 29 November, the date of the partition plan, reiterates this date as one of continuing defeats for the Palestinians who continue to suffer from Israel’s colonial laws, and repeats UN guilt in denying Palestinians their rights not to suffer dispossession and racism. The Palestinians, however, whose majority is not represented by the PA, will no more heed this new partition plan than they did the last one and will continue to resist Israeli colonialism until it comes to an end and until Israel becomes a state for all its citizens with equal rights to all regardless of national, religious, or ethnic background…

Let’s remember that our own Foggy Bottom knows that Israel’s “Principal Human Rights Problems Were(Are) Institutional, Legal, And Societal Discrimination”…!

And, to pour more salt into the wound… Hatch seeks cutoff of U.N. funding over Palestine stance.

*gah*

P.S. Pls. see mfi’s excellent compilation of UN lawfare… The International Criminal Court, The Palestinians, The Israelis, The American Veto – Some Resources For The Perplexed

by CTuttle

Israel Could Send Iran ‘Back to the Stone Age’

6:20 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Get a load of this crapola… Israel could send Iran ‘back to the stone age’ with electromagnetic bomb…

Detonation would disrupt all the enemy’s technological devices, Sunday Times reports…

Israel could destroy Iran’s electric network with a specially designed electromagnetic bomb in the event of a military conflict between the countries, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

An electromagnetic bomb of this sort would be detonated above the ground, creating an electromagnetic pulse that would “disrupt all the technological devices working on the ground,” an American expert was quoted as saying to the London paper.

The use of the new technology by Israel was brought up in discussions regarding a possible attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities, the report claimed. Such a move would send Iran “back to the stone age,” the British paper said.

This kind of bomb would operate based on the nonlethal technology of gamma rays, the report explained. The outburst of energy would “fry” electric devices and currents around the source of the explosion.

First of all, the Electromagnetic Pulse necessary to ‘knock Iran into the stone age’ would require a nuclear device detonated hundreds of kilometers above Iran, considering that there are no other means of delivering such a blow…! So, in essence, Bibi will preemptively Nuke Iran, so Israel won’t be Nuked some time down the line…?

Now, I do like the fact that there is indeed some Western pushback surfacing…

In secret visit to Israel, U.K. officials warn Netanyahu against unilateral attack on Iran

A high-ranking visitor delivered a stern message from British PM David Cameron against an uncoordinated Israeli strike on Iran at this time.

Even Shrillary and her spokespuppet, Victoria Nuland, had rebuffed Bibi’s latest buffoonery…

Israel Presses U.S. Over Setting ‘Red Lines’ for Iran

The U.S. and Israel are disagreeing publicly over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to set “red lines” and deadlines for dealing with Iran’s nuclear activities.

An Israeli government official said yesterday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comment in an interview Sept. 9 with Bloomberg Radio that the U.S. is “not setting deadlines” for Iran won’t help deter its nuclear program, and may even put the Iranians at ease. {…}

…In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said yesterday that it’s “not useful” to be setting deadlines for negotiations or red lines. President Barack Obama previously has said that Iran won’t be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, she said, declining to elaborate.

Clinton said in the interview that economic sanctions are building pressure on Iran, and the U.S. still considers negotiations as “by far the best approach” to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.

Asked if the Obama administration will lay out sharper “red lines” for Iran or state explicitly the consequences of failing to negotiate a deal with world powers by a certain date, Clinton said, “We’re not setting deadlines.” {…}

…Clinton has said that Iran, which depends on oil for more than half of its government revenue, is losing billions of dollars from lost oil sales due to sanctions. {…}

The U.S., European allies and Israel accuse Iran of seeking an atomic bomb capability. In its report last month, the IAEA said it “is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” The IAEA said it hadn’t detected any material being diverted from Iran’s 16 declared nuclear facilities.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the IAEA can’t verify the diversion of nuclear material, the Neo/Ziocons must press on…

Analysts press IAEA after nuke talks stall with Iran

The United Nations nuclear watchdog needs to admit that it cannot determine whether Iran is building an atomic weapon and that the U.N. Security Council must take stronger action, analysts say. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) board of governors’ meeting could result in escalating the conflict with Iran, said David Albright, an arms-control expert at the Institute for Science and International Security.

“The IAEA has a job to do, and they need to worry about their credibility as an institution,” Albright said. “So they have to move this forward and that means escalate it. And unfortunately that increases the risk of military action.”

Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, expressed frustration with Iran on Monday, saying that months of delays have stymied inspectors’ efforts to visit the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran.

The IAEA believes Iran may have experimented there with blast tests used to trigger a nuclear charge. Meanwhile, Israel has said time is running out for diplomatic efforts to verify Iran’s nuclear intentions.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, such as energy production.

“We need to stop going around in circles,” Amano said of months-long fruitless talk between the IAEA and Iran. “This is frustrating.” {…}

…”The IAEA’s job is to warn the Security Council of threats to peace,” Jeffrey said. If the IAEA’s report “is strong and damning, the Security Council will be under pressure to implement actions or sanctions against Iran.”

“This is headed for another serious debate and another serious and agonizing negotiation in the Security Council about what further serious steps and sanctions to impose on Iran,” Jeffrey said.

Albright said there is little choice now but to move the matter to a higher level.

“The IAEA has done everything it can, and it should wash its hands of the whole thing,” Albright said.

Now, to say that Yukiya Amano and David Albright are acting in everybody’s best interests would be a stretch…!

All this bluster by Bibi is designed to distract from what’s really happening in the West Bank…

Palestinians Borrow Chant From Syria to Vent Rage at Their Leaders

During protests in the West Bank on Monday, Palestinians adapted a protest anthem made popular by their neighbors in Syria last year to call for their president and prime minister to step down.

The original song, “Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar,” or “Come on Bashar, Leave,” calling for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad, was written last year in Syria. At a protest in the West Bank on Monday, protesters changed the words of the tune, to focus on President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

As Yousef Munayyer, the director of The Palestine Center in Washington, observed on Twitter, the borrowing completed a circle in a way.

Palestinians have long taught other Arabs art of protest. W/ adaptation of #Syria protest chant, we’ve come full circle…

What’s funny is that Abu Mazen, who has long since been exposed as a corrupt Israeli tool, and most of Fatah for that matter, whom all are living on borrowed time, is starting to feel the sting…

Fatah officials angry at PA’s delay of statehood bid

Senior Fatah official says Abbas decision not to present UN membership request during GA “harmful” to PA credibility.

Why can’t Palestine be admitted as a ‘Nation-State’ at the UN…?

One final note on Iran, Flynt Leverett lays it out…

…If the United States insists on micromanaging Iran’s domestic politics to produce exactly the kind of interlocutor it wants to deal with, it will fail. In the process, Washington will continue to miss opportunities to do what it so manifestly needs to do, for America’s own interests—to come to terms with the Islamic Republic as it is, not as those radically disconnected from Iranian reality might wish it to be.

Amen, Flynt, Amen…!

Will Sanity ever prevail…?

*gah*



by CTuttle

Bibi: Settlement Expansion is ‘not punishment’ And Bombing Iran

7:04 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I kid you not, folks, Bibi actually fessed up the goods…

Netanyahu: Settlement build ‘not punishment’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that his government’s decision to accelerate settlement building was Israel’s fundamental right, not punishment for the Palestinians joining UNESCO.

The Israeli cabinet approved the building of some 2,000 homes in Maale Adummim, Efrat and East Jerusalem settlements on Tuesday after UNESCO voted to accept Palestine as a full member in the cultural agency.

We build in Jerusalem because it is our right and our obligation; not as punishment but as a basic right of our people to build its eternal capital,” Netanyahu told members of parliament on Wednesday.

Jerusalem will never return to the state it was in on the eve of the Six Day War,” Netanyahu said, denying that the settlement plan could be construed as punitive…

So that makes it all A-Okay, Bibi…?

Now, being an equal dispenser of scorn where appropriate… This truly pisses me off to no end…

Al-Malki says Palestine will not try to join other UN agencies

The PLO will not apply to join any more international organizations but will focus on full membership of the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority minister of foreign affairs said Thursday…

…If the bid fails, the PLO will keep applying for membership until Palestine is accepted in the UN, al-Malki said.

The PLO will not turn to the General Assembly, which can upgrade Palestinian representation to that of an observer state, the minister said.

We do not want, after all of these struggles, sacrifices, and efforts by the entire Palestinian people, to accept an observer state in the United Nations. We will not accept less than we deserve: a full member state.

Al-Malki said efforts to win votes in the Security Council were ongoing and that he would join a Palestinian delegation in New York for the council’s meeting on Nov. 11.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that Palestinian efforts to join other UN agencies were “not beneficial for Palestine and not beneficial for anybody.”

The UNESCO vote and even Observer Status puts your foot in the door for the ICC at The Hague…! Wtf, are ya talking about, Al-Maliki and Ban…? That is the real point of this whole exercise…!

Now, moving along to the more pressing issue at hand…

UK and U.S. ‘draw up joint plan to attack Iran’: Evidence of nuclear programme raises tension in Middle East… And even the Grey Lady woke up from it’s slumber… Israel Faces Questions About News Reports of Eyeing Iran Strike… Imagine that…!

Naturally, Bibi wants to know who spilled the beans…

PM seeking investigation into leaked Iran reports, says Kuwaiti newspaper

Former Mossad, Shin Bet chiefs considered two main suspects.

The ex-Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has already made his opinion well known on Bombing Iran… “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

No doubt…! *gah*

by CTuttle

Abbas Receives a Hero’s Welcome in Ramallah

6:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Ma’an reported today…

Abbas receives hero’s welcome in Ramallah

Thousands gather to welcome back president from New York after delivering UN bid as Abbas tells crowds no peace talks until “complete halt” on Israeli settlements.

I only wish I could share in that euphoria for Abu Mazen’s last gasp at some sort of redemption…!

As Abbas had recently stated… Abbas: No new PA cabinet until situation ‘stable’… Stable…? Wtf…? By mere executive fiat, he’s already extended his rule for two years, trying to ride out the Hamas tsunami…! The Palestine Papers still loom large in my memory…!

Actually, as I’ve mentioned a few times, Abu Mazen’s strongest trump card with Bibi is the dissolution of the P.A., and, I have to agree with much of what +972′s Roi Maor had to say today…

Quartet mum on Jewish state, set new negotiation deadline

The international mediators scrapped plans to endorse a Jewish state. That was probably a wise choice. Right now, the threat to dissolve the PA, if credible, could be much more significant than moves on Palestinian statehood…

Something of which I’d mentioned in my last, brief post…

Now, also remember that the ‘Jewish State’ requirement is the latest wrinkle that Bibi had introduced into the farcical ‘Negotiations’… Netanyahu: No peace without negotiations

Now would be the perfect time for Abu Mazen to bail, and, force Bibi to pony up for the cost of the entire Occupation…! After all, Abu Mazen is already hard pressed to pay all those P.A. employees’ salaries…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Abbas is Considering Dismantling The P.A., And, The ‘Scream’

8:05 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Aziz also had this to say, today…

Alquds: Abbas is considering dismantling the P.A.

According to Alquds newspaper, on September 14, President Mahmoud Abbas had a confrontational meeting with Tony Blair, the current Quartet envoy. During the meeting, which took place in Amman, Abbas presented Blair with a possible plan B should the Palestinian UN bid fails

Alquds quoted Abbas as saying, “I will return to the Palestinian leadership, which will make a decision on whether the time has come for Israel to re-assume its responsibility as an occupying authority.” He also said, “We will not keep the Palestinian Authority as a name.”

Yesterday, the Palestinian Authority president called upon the international community to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state.

Abbas’s speech at the UN hinted at this consideration when he said, “This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence.”

This is the reality that is absent from many Israelis minds. The two-state solution is not going to last forever. Abbas and the PLO leaders understand that they cannot continue sailing in a sinking ship. The two-state solution is a sinking ship and only a few are trying save it. We are at a historic moment that would define the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.

Alquds also reported that Tony Blair presented President Abbas with a draft proposal to end the peace process stalemate. However Abbas was quick to reject Blair’s proposal for its bias toward Israel.

The proposal demanded Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which is something the PLO has rejected. It also referred to the 1967 borders, but considered them unrealistic and should be finalized in an agreement between the two parties.

The proposal failed to mention the settlements in any form, but it did include a call for the Palestinian leadership to drop its quest for membership at the United Nations.

According to Alquds, President Abbas asked Blair if the proposal was written by one of Netanyahu’s aides.

‘President Abbas asked Blair if the proposal was written by’…

My very first YouToobz comment evah, was on the WH’s official channel’s UN speech, where I’d asked if ‘AIPAC had written that blather’…! My little contribution to the ’cause’….! ;-)

Any Hoots… What a ‘scream’, eh…?

‘The Scream’: Israel Blasts Protesters With Sonic Gun

Flashlights with puke rays. Mobile microwave pain beams. The world of less-than-lethal weapons is filled with exotic and just plain weird devices to annoy and thwart enemies. Now, Israel’s throwing its hat in the ring with another, called “the Scream.”

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli forces unleashed a new(ish) less-than-lethal weapon on stone throwers at a violent checkpoint demonstration on Thursday. The Scream is a vehicle-mounted sonic blaster that shoots repeated pulses of sound at targets, leaving them dizzy and nauseous.

The rollout of the Scream, according to the Post, is part of a new counter-demonstration effort led by the IDF’s Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi. Mizrahi is trying to use more less-than-lethal technology against Palestinian protesters to cut down the risk of an accidental death creating a rallying cry at a volatile time in the region…

…Israel less-lethal includes a few choice weapons. The “Thunder Generator” is a sonic blaster so loud you could actually die from it. The thunder machine uses liquefied petroleum gas to make loud explosions — up to 100 per minute — like a repeating flashbang grenade. It works up to 50 meters away, but stand within 10 meters and Thunder’s makers warn it can permanently injure or even kill you.

Other technologies at Israel’s disposal include the “skunk bomb,” effectively a large stink bomb that leaves the affected smelling like sewage. Targets who’ve been skunked have reported that the smell is hard to remove, even after a shower…

Short post tonite as I head out for the local festivities…

God Bless the Palestinians…!

by CTuttle

‘Summer Seeds’ And Other News…

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Despite Abu Mazen’s vow of “no retreat” from the Palestine U.N. bid, I’m concerned about his recent actions…

Israel okays PA’s acquisition of antiriot gear ahead of UN vote

Palestinian Authority approached Israeli companies to purchase equipment ahead of expected demonstrations in West Bank; IDF recommended approval a few months ago to help PA deal with unrest.

…The ministers involved gave their approval at the beginning of September.

Now, the PA is working furiously to buy the equipment, but seems to be having difficulty procuring the goods because time is so short. The IDF will finish its preparations this week for a possible escalation in the territories. The Central Command will receive reinforcements of a couple of regular infantry battalions tomorrow, as part of its preliminary preparations against violent demonstrations, in the IDF’s overall plan named “Summer Seeds.”

At this stage, an additional 20 percent of forces are being added on the West Bank. The battalions have trained to deal with possible scenarios, including violent marches toward settlements, IDF checkpoints and major roads serving the Israeli population.

Now, pardon the hasbara spin, but, Arutz Sheva has this disturbing news…

PA ‘Offers’ Israel: Accept Demands or Face the UN

Abbas tries to climb off a high diplomatic tree and “offers” Israel previously refused non-starters in return for halting its UN ploy.

…However, the Palestinian Authority may be getting cold feet. Italy warned Wednesday that a bid to the United Nations would be a ”mistake” and cause “an unpleasant” situation for Western countries.

Qatar, which serves as president of the upcoming General Assembly session, said Wednesday that no formal request for recognition has been made and that it is not usual for such a request to be filed just as the General Assembly begins its fall session next week.

Qatar said that any consideration of a request, if filed, is not likely to occur before October, which would put an end to the hullabaloo about riots and violence later this month because of the failure of the Palestinian Authority to win all of its territorial and political demands.

Staying with Arutz Sheva, it would be laughable at how much spin could be put on words, if those words weren’t so tragic…

Edelstein: PA Wants Apartheid

Public Diplomacy Minister reacts to PLO official’s statement that no Jews will be allowed in ‘Palestine’.

“After endless campaigns of delegitimization against Israel, and attempts to brand it as an apartheid state, it turns out that the Palestinians are the ones interested in apartheid,” accused Edelstein.

“I wonder if Areikat’s statement that the two nations need to live separately means that one million Israeli Arabs are not of his people.”

The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack reported that Areikat claimed the state of “Palestine” would tolerate minorities. “Asked by the Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein if, following the establishment of a Palestinian state, ‘there would be no Jews in the West Bank or Gaza,’ Areikat answered in the affirmative. ‘We have to be separated, we have to work on our own national identities,’ he said.”

Don’t ya just love a good RW Media Feeding Frenzy…?

One last Must Read link penned by Antiwar’s Alison Weir…

US Ambassador: Support for Israel Drives All US Mideast Policies

…Ambassador Daniel Shapiro clarified what drives US policies: “The test of every policy the Administration develops in the Middle East is whether it is consistent with the goal of ensuring Israel’s future as a secure, Jewish, democratic state. That is a commitment that runs as a common thread through our entire government.

*gah*