You are browsing the archive for Dennis Ross.

by CTuttle

Wilkerson: Chemical weapon use in Syria ‘could have been an Israeli false flag operation’

6:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(H/T wigwam)

Here’s the extended Cenk interview… Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Chemical weapon use in Syria ‘could have been an Israeli false flag operation’

…“I think the president’s statement was very circumspect, very prudent,” Wilkerson says. “We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria, … or it could’ve been an actual use by [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey…. “This could have been an Israeli false flag operation,” he said. “You’ve got basically a geo-strategically, geo-political — if you will — inept regime in Tel Aviv right now.”

Now, to add fuel to that wild conspiracy theory, why would the AIPAC funded and staffed, WINEP, at their upcoming 2013 Soref Symposium, scheduled for May 9, host members of the Free Syrian Army…?

Schedule:

— Noon: Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni delivers remarks on “Israel’s New Government and the Challenge of Peacemaking with the Palestinians”

— 2:30 p.m.: Anwar Esmat El Sadat, founder and chairman of the El Sadat Association for Social Development and Welfare; and Dennis Ross, former senior Middle East adviser to four presidents and counselor at WINEP, participate in a discussion on “Egypt’s Revolution, Two Years On: Transition in Distress?”

— 4 p.m.: Col. Abdul Hamid Zakaria, commander and spokesman for the Free Syrian Army; and Col. Abdul Jabbar Akidi, Free Syrian Army commander and head of the Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo, participate in a breakout discussion on “Inside Syria: The Battle Against Assad’s Regime.” (The session is off the record)

— 7 p.m.: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel deliver remarks on “U.S. Defense Policy in the Middle East”

LOCATION: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street NW, Washington, D.C.CONTACT: Brittany Parker, 202-452-0650 ext. 244; press@washingtoninstitute.org [Note: Speeches by Tzipi Livni, Anwwar El Sadat and Chuck Hagel will be available via live-stream at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org. RSVP to Brittany Parker at press@washingtoninstitute.org for media credentials]

Btw, ya just gotta love Chuck’s recent remarks… Hagel to Israel: Attacking Iran Will Be Considered After June Vote – Nations Will Conduct ‘Joint Assessment’ After Iran’s ElectionWtf…?

What’s fascinating to me is that hot on the heels of yesterday’s Israeli air strike in Syria…

…Israeli aircraft bombed a warehouse in Syria Friday that reportedly held Iran-made Fateh-110 missiles bound for Hezbollah. It’s the second time in four months that Israeli aircraft have hit targets in Syria.

Again today in Damascus…

That awkward moment when Israel launches Air Strikes in Syria…! Ya think…?

Hmmm, a very interesting wrinkle… Israeli jet shot down over Damascus: Hezbollah TV…

Anyways, in other news and views, Marc Lynch, also at FP, wrote a great article…

How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring

Hopes for peaceful change have been replaced by sectarian animosity and unending bloodshed.

… Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey had a variety of motives for supporting the opposition, and worked through different networks to accomplish their goals. They have often worked at cross-purposes, funneling weapons and cash to competing local forces in ways that undermined hopes for opposition unity and disproportionately empowered not only Islamists, but armed groups over peaceful ones.

Syria also radically changed the media narrative in both the Arab world and the West. During the early days of the so-called Arab Spring, the international media rushed to cover half a dozen rapidly moving storylines — Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen — while anxiously checking in on almost every other Arab country to see if it might be joining the wave. These days, the international media’s coverage of the region is almost completely dominated by Syria, broken only by episodic coverage of Egypt during moments of crisis.

Coverage from inside Syria is dominated by war correspondents, for obvious reasons, while much of the outside coverage relies dangerously on video footage and information found on the Internet provided by activist networks. In Egypt, an army of freelance journalists could rush to check claims about clashes or protests, but that luxury isn’t available to the media covering Syria’s endless claims and counter-claims…

Al Jazeera’s one-sided coverage of Syria and perceived support of Qatari foreign policy has cost it that central position. It is increasingly seen as just another partisan media outlet — and nothing has replaced it. As a result, the Arab media is increasingly fragmented, with regional and national media alike divided along sectarian and political lines and much less of a unifying, common media space. Social media doesn’t really replace that shared broadcast public sphere — instead, it encourages the formation of polarized bubbles as the like-minded seek each other out and reinforce their prejudices…

Ex-CIA Desk Chief, Philip Giraldi, wrote recently…

Drones for “Regime Protection”

The CIA’s insurance plan for Karzai and Maliki—and what it means for Syria

Media reports of CIA preparations to use drones to target al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria, should the post-Assad situation warrant such an intervention, are only partly correct. The plan to use drones under certain circumstances is in reality part of the much larger CIA program in Iraq that parallels the program being set up in Afghanistan. CIA initiatives in both countries are related to what is being mandated by the National Security Council as a policy of “regime survival” to help keep in place governments that are at least nominally friendly to Washington and that will be dependent on American technology and intelligence resources for the foreseeable future to maintain their own security. The CIA will bear the brunt of the two operations, as it can do so without a highly visible military footprint. In Iraq it includes, among other elements, the continued training of something akin to an elite counter-terrorism Praetorian Guard to protect senior officials while also advancing efforts against a growing Salafist presence in the country, linked to resurgent Sunni terrorism that is attempting to weaken the government of Nouri al-Maliki. The Obama administration is hoping to develop a level of cooperation with the Iraqi government that will enable the identification of extremist elements, some of which are taking the opportunity to transit into Syria. They are a threat to what are perceived to be the long-term interests of America and Iraq’s Shia government. Those who are identified as al-Qaeda-linked militants could become drone targets in Syria, if the situation in that country deteriorates

Dronez away, Bitchez…! *gah*

by CTuttle

Bibi: There’s No Solution to The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

8:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Stick a fork in the two-state solution, much less the Peace Farce…!

From Haaretz…

Netanyahu says there’s no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

…The only person who treats the whole thing with patience and seriously is Netanyahu. “This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory,” he says. “It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place. Until Abu Mazen recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, there will be no way to reach an agreement.”

Netanyahu made similar comments at a press conference a few hours earlier, but then it sounded like lusterless, recycled spin. Now that he was sitting across from me, looking me in the eye and explaining the same thing with endless patience, it suddenly sounded like the truth. Well, not my truth, but his truth.

I continued to nudge him, saying that even if all that was right, I still didn’t understand what pragmatic plan would come out of that conclusion. Netanyahu told me right away that the practical plan for advancing the peace process is to reiterate this at every opportunity.

“You have to see the effect it has on people,” he said, smiling. “You say it and they just remain slack-jawed.”

However, Jordan’s King Abdullah was more succinct…

Jordan’s Abdullah: Israel is not interested in peace

In interview with Washington Post, Jordan King Abdullah laments Israeli public’s gravitation toward the right, rejection of 1967 borders, saying prospects for Middle East peace are grim.

More from the WaPoo…Palestinians stick to call for Israeli settlement freeze before talks, complicating US efforts…

As reality does set in to most… No resumption of Israel-Palestinian talks in sight

…Two senior United States diplomats are visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in a bid to re-start peace negotiations.

Dennis Ross and David Hale arrived in the region on Wednesday and held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. [...]

Dr. Samir Awwad, of Birzeit University, told Xinhua that Ross and Hale would return home empty-handed.

“The Americans don’t have any innovative or creative solution for the Palestinian question that will enable them to meet, at the same time, Palestinian legitimate demands and Israeli security concerns,” Awwad said.

“The Americans want to prevent the Palestinians (from going) to the United Nations is very obvious,” Awwad said, arguing that the reason why Washington wants to stop the vote is clear, “the answer is because the U.S. will lose in the U.N.”

If the Palestinians want a U.N. resolution that is binding for Israel, then the vote needs to be taken in the U.N. Security Council where the U.S. has veto power and where Washington has clearly intended to use it.

However, if the resolution wins that backing of the U.N General Assembly, its result won’t be compulsory. However, the Palestinians believe they have enough votes for the bid to pass.

Either way, Awwad argued, it would be a defeat for the U.S. as “it can’t stop this, and it will show a serious challenge to U.S. hegemony over world affairs, and in particular over Middle East issues.”

Ironically, Bibi is still totally clueless as to his fate…

Israeli PM’s office denies “Third Intifada” concerns

…Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fears that the declaration of a Palestinian state in September might lead to a “Third Intifada (Arabic for “uprising”), ” according to the local Yediot Aharonoth newspaper.

However, “Netanyahu has never said that he fears there will be a Third Intifada,” an official at the Prime Minister’s Office told Xinhua on Thursday.

The prime minister, according to the report, is concerned that he will not be able to stop a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations in September. If riots will follow the declaration of a Palestinian state, he hopes the international community would not hold him responsible, the newspaper quoted unnamed government source as saying. [...]

“There is one scenario in which many thousands, or possibly tens of thousands, begin a march that becomes riots and serious conflicts with the IDF,” the Jerusalem official source told Yediot.

Don’t you suppose that if the Palestinian bid for Statehood is denied by a US veto in the UN SC, that there just might be a few pissed off Palestinians…? Just a thought…

Meanwhile… Don’t Look Away — The Siege of Gaza Must End…

God Speed to the Freedom Flotilla…! *g*

by CTuttle

Israel Declares ‘War on Arab Lies’, Why Mitchell Resigned, And, More Details of ‘Cairo 2′ Leak Out

3:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Arutz Sheva…

War Declared on Arab Lies and Incitement

The Knesset’s Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs discussed on Tuesday the influence of the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda on the safety and security of Jews living in the Diaspora.

“The most important thing to learn about Palestinian ideology is that there are two different messages,” said PMW Director Itamar Marcus. “There’s an English language message that they want the English language world to hear and there’s the Arabic language message. When we talk about recognition of the State of Israel, when you look at the internal Arabic world, the Palestinian Authority Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas, does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

During the meeting, committee chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that Jews in the United States and France are afraid to walk around university campuses because of Arab propaganda. Danon called on the Foreign and Public Relations Ministries to move to the defensive and launch an Israeli satellite channel which would broadcast in Arabic and in English. [...]

…“We saw today in the committee that the Palestinian incitement crosses all borders. They’re using aggressive lies in order to fight Israel. We have to fight back and we’ve called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start fighting.”

…“[I]t is sometimes more important to invest in Israeli PR than to invest in the Israeli army. We have to be very clear with the messages, and we’ve decided that we will start to fight back and the issues of Nakba and all the other lies should be answered immediately.

Ummm, what exactly is AIPAC then…? Chopped liver…?

More Israeli paranoia…

Netanyahu is preparing for battle

Netanyahu’s remarks are good for fans of nuance and iteration, but are meaningless on the ground.

…In the pivotal portion of his speech, Netanyahu referred to the Palestinian girl at the Nakba Day demonstration in Bil’in who held a large key. “Every Palestinian understands what key this is. It is not the key to their homes in Bil’in or Nablus or Ramallah, it is the key to our homes in Jaffa, Acre, Haifa and Ramle.” The message is clear: We are fighting for our homes. “They” want to get rid of us and establish Palestine on the ruins of Israel. Now is the time to dig in and and fight them…

Talking about an immediate Israeli response… Monday, the Grey Lady published an op-ed from Mahmoud Abbas, an opening salvo, if you will…

The Long Overdue Palestinian State

…Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.

Our quest for recognition as a state should not be seen as a stunt; too many of our men and women have been lost for us to engage in such political theater. We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own. We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem. Neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel’s settlement program.

Negotiations remain our first option, but due to their failure we are now compelled to turn to the international community to assist us in preserving the opportunity for a peaceful and just end to the conflict. Palestinian national unity is a key step in this regard. Contrary to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asserts, and can be expected to repeat this week during his visit to Washington, the choice is not between Palestinian unity or peace with Israel; it is between a two-state solution or settlement-colonies.

Bibi quickly thundered back, Abbas is “blatantly distorting known historical facts”…

But, I digress…

Now, two very interesting pieces on Mitchell’s resignation caught my eye today…

The first from The Japan Times, gives some great background…

U.S. envoy gives up

…It is a dispiriting end to a remarkable political career, and a signal of just how intractable the problems of the Middle East. The violence that erupted Sunday at Israel’s borders is the counterpoint to Mr. Mitchell’s resignation: a reminder that failure to make progress means that more lives will be forfeit.

Mr. Mitchell was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama in January 2009 on the second day of his administration, a signal of the priority afforded resolution of the Israel-Palestine problem, an assignment that Mr. Obama called “the toughest job imaginable.” Few negotiators were better suited to the task. [...]

Yet even that skill set and list of accomplishments were not enough to break the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians. There was hope that Mr. Obama’s election would transform Middle East dynamics and that his administration would commit more resources to that intractable conflict. Neither proved true. Israelis looked at the new president with suspicion, and the promised diplomatic push never materialized.

Instead, whatever promise might have existed foundered on the intransigence that has blocked progress. By all accounts, the breaking point occurred last year when the United States could not persuade the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze the construction of settlements on territories claimed by Palestine. Negotiations broke down and Mr. Mitchell lost patience. He has not visited the region since December.

Ma’an named names…

Arafat adviser: Mitchell resigned over deputy’s ‘bias’

…US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell resigned because of the “extreme bias” of his deputy Dennis Ross.

Bassam Abu Shareef said Ross obstructed all US initiatives aiming to achieve progress in the peace process, and blamed the deputy’s bias for Mitchell’s resignation Saturday.

Abu Shareef said senior American officials informed him that Mitchell viewed the appointment of Ross a step to obstruct the peace process. He added that Mitchell believed Ross was working against US interests.

The official paraphrased comments he said were made by Mitchell during a meeting, where he asked: “How can Dennis Ross assist in the peace process when he refuses to meet with the Palestinians, when he despises their leadership and hates their president?”

Abu Shareef also said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “rejects peace,” and would have no part of a Palestinian state with Hamas in its leadership.

Now, moving on to tomorrow’s Cairo 2 speech…

From Xinhua…

Israeli media reveals U.S. president’s forthcoming Mideast speech

…According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Obama will call on Israel to withdraw to the 1967 cease-fire lines with territorial adjustments that will be agreed on in the negotiations with the Palestinian National Authority. The president will label the West Bank settlements as “illegal” and emphasize that Israel must halt their construction.

Obama’s position on the settlement blocs, which Israel slates to remain under its sovereignty in any peace deal, is yet unclear.

The president is also expected to announce his solution regarding the status of Jerusalem and call for its division. The U. S. envisions the city as the shared capital of the two states, Israel and Palestine, side by side in peace.

Such a stand would essentially echo the so-called “Clinton Parameters” offered by then-president Bill Clinton in 2000, which called predominantly Arab neighborhoods to come under the Palestinian sovereignty while Jewish neighborhoods remaining within the Israeli territories.

Yediot

…The issue of Jerusalem is also expected to be addressed in the speech, where Obama will declare that the US considers the city to be the capital of both states — Israel and Palestine — which live side by side in peace. It appears that Obama will endorse in his speech President Clinton’s statement that the division of Jerusalem will be according to the following criterion: the neighborhoods that are populated by Palestinians will be included in the Palestinian state, and those with a majority of Jews will be under Israeli sovereignty.

According to one source exposed to talks among Netanyahu’s advisors ahead of the premier’s Friday meeting with the US president, Obama will define as illegal the settlements built in the territories after 1967. It is as yet unknown what will be Obama’s policy on the settlement blocs; in his speech on Monday Netanyahu noted he would demand that they remain under Israeli sovereignty.

Amidror and Arad tried to convince their interlocutors, headed by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, to change some of the planned formulations in the speech. The Israeli side claimed that Obama’s outline will not enable true negotiations, and is in essence an endorsement of the Arab approach. A senior US administration official told the Israelis that they have no reason to act like a “surprised virgin.” “You know the US administration’s position; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already elaborated on the details of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement last October,” the senior official said. In addition, Obama’s advisors believe that no dramatic change will befall the special relations between Israel and the US, following the speech…

I’d be a ‘surprised virgin’ if Obama dared to tell the AIPAC attendees that those Settlements were ‘illegal’…! I’ll guarantee ya that they’ll ignore the memo then… AIPAC: Don’t boo Obama

I thought Col. Lang best summed it up…

Victory for the Ross/Natanyahu team.

…Mitchell never had a chance. Israeli tribalism condemned him from the start on the basis of his alien Lebanese blood. Obama’s political debts decided the rest of the story.

Dennis Ross negotiating with Bibi Natanyahu! LOL “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all.” pl

US hails Bahrain as model of reform!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Amb. Rice’s Remarks at The UN Security Council Debate on The Middle East ‘Peace Process’

9:40 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Here is the full transcript of Amb. Rice’s prepared remarks for the Security Council Debate on the Middle East yesterday…

Oo-wee, There is so much hot air, and, packed to the brim with so many hasbara talking points, that it needs to be fully unpacked, and, exposed as the blatant half-truths, and, even outright lies, that they’re based upon!

Now, where shall I begin…?

I do suppose the opening would be the best place…

We continue to consult with the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as to work with the Quartet and our partners in the region, toward our shared goal of a two-state solution.

That would be a half-truth, I’m sure we’re talking to the Israelis daily, probably even with Abbas, but, about the Quartet…

Quartet meeting on Mideast delayed following pressure from US

US blocks Britain, France, Germany initiative to restart stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks. ‘It wasn’t right time,‘ says US official

Huh…?

Interestingly, even the U.N. urges bold new steps to relaunch the Mideast peace process…

But, moving along…

We will continue to work with the Palestinian people as they lay the foundations for a future Palestinian state. At the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in Brussels on April 13, the United States welcomed the progress the Palestinian Authority has made on the crucial task of building public institutions, capacities, and improving conditions for economic growth. We also underscored the importance of moving forward on the other track: political negotiations that will result in a future Palestinian state. Palestinians deserve the dignity and justice of a state of their own and the freedom to chart their own destiny

Their own destiny, eh…? Isn’t it sad that Israel felt the need to seal off the West Bank for the duration of Passover…? All ten days…! However, it’s all kosher good: “Closure is in keeping with the Israeli practice of securing West Bank ahead of Jewish festivals.”

However, I will call even more Bull shit…! Obama Aide: US ‘Consistent’ in Opposing Palestinian Statehood…

Says Palestinian Statehood Only Possible If Israel Agrees

…President Obama’s top Mideast aide Dennis Ross insisted that the Obama Administration has been “consistent” in its opposition to recognizing Palestinian statehood.

Ross insisted that a Palestinian state could never be created by a UN resolution, but only through agreement by the Israeli forces to tolerate its creation. The Palestinian Authority has been pushing for international recognition.

But this effort is coming not as a way of undercutting direct talks with Israel, but as a consequence of those talks breaking down in September when Israel restarted the settlement construction. Israeli officials have repeatedly insisted since them that peace is entirely impossible, and many in the government have ruled out ever allowing Palestinian statehood.

Next up on the chopping block…

Mr. President, we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, recent attacks on innocent civilians. We are deeply concerned by the escalation of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza into southern Israel. We are particularly disturbed by reports indicating the increased use of advanced weaponry, including rockets, in attacks against Israeli civilians. After enduring dozens of rocket attacks on civilian targets in southern Israel—including the deeply disturbing use of an advanced anti-tank missile in a fatal attack on a yellow school bus—Israel responded by exercising its inalienable right to self-defense.

We must work together to stop Hamas and other violent extremists from launching terrorist attacks and bringing increased misery to the people of Gaza. Let there be no doubt: there is no justification for targeting innocent civilians, and those responsible for these terrorist acts must be held accountable…

The Israelis always had an ‘inalienable right of self-defense’, however, the Palestinians aren’t afforded that very same ‘inalienable right’…? I’m an ardent advocate of Nonviolence, but, the concept of a ‘Disproportionate Response’ needs to be addressed fully…! But, I do digress…

The United States remains concerned about conditions in Gaza. We note that the humanitarian situation has improved over the last year, including increases in the range and scope of goods and materials moving in, an increase in international reconstruction activity, and a gradual expansion of exports. We will continue to work with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and others to do more to ensure that the people of Gaza’s needs are being met…

Bull Shit, again…! Even her own State Dept. just recently reported that said conditions in Gaza have only gotten worse, over the past year alone… (They’d even went so far as to state that the HR condition: “Israel’s “Principal Human Rights Problems Were Institutional, Legal, And Societal Discrimination”… i.e. ‘Apartheid’)

Principal human rights problems related to Israeli authorities in the West Bank were reports of excessive use of force against civilians, including killings, torture of Palestinian detainees, improper use of security detention procedures, austere and overcrowded detention facilities, demolition and confiscation of Palestinian properties, limits on freedom of expression and assembly, and severe restrictions on Palestinians’ internal and external freedom of movement. Additionally the IDF, in some cases, failed to pursue investigations and disciplinary actions related to violations. Violence by Israeli settlers was also reported. The IDF imposed serious restrictions on the importation of goods into the Gaza Strip and general prohibition on external travel for Gazans.

Moving along with Ms. Rice’s bullshit remarks…

Mr. President, we strongly condemn Iran’s recent attempts to export advanced weapons and munitions in violation of several Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1747. The interception of Iranian weapons in Turkey, along the Egyptian-Sudanese border, and aboard the M/V Victoria, which was carrying sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles and other munitions, all clearly demonstrate that Iran is trying to flout this Council’s will—dramatically increasing the risks of conflict and instability in the region. We urge all member states to make clear to Iran the consequences for regional security of its reckless behavior. All countries have obligations under Security Council resolutions to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.

Funny how Iran gets all that overheated rhetoric about ‘illegal’ arms trafficking, yet, not realizing the fact the US is No. 1, and, Israel is No. 4, legal or otherwise, in the World…!

Now, moving along… This utter BS has me ‘up-in-arms’…

We are also deeply concerned about reports that groups are organizing another flotilla that will attempt to sail to Gaza, ostensibly to deliver humanitarian assistance. The recent seizures of advanced weaponry underscore that Israel has clear security interests regarding cargo bound for Gaza. There are existing mechanisms to deliver goods to Gaza, and there is no justification for attempts to sail directly to Gaza. We therefore urge strongly all those who wish to deliver goods and assistance to Gaza to do so through existing mechanisms and avoid any provocative actions.

Notwithstanding the fact that the last ‘flotilla’ had had it’s cargo thoroughly inspected at every port they’d docked at, or had set sail from, and, even their own ‘investigation’ of the Mavi Marmarra incident, had concluded no real weapons, nor, illicit material was found anywhere on board…! Who are we to denounce such efforts…?

Anyways, isn’t it fascinating to see that even Fatah is endorsing the latest Gaza Flotilla…?

Sha’ath: Fatah to Take Part in Next Gaza Flottila

Nabil Sha’ath, a member of the Fatah central committee, announced on Thursday that the movement headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will take part in the next flotilla aimed at breaking Israel’s naval blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza. Interviewed by Nazareth-based Al-Shams radio, Sha’ath said Fatah supports every grass-roots or international activity whose goal is to break the blockade.

Sha’ath said that Abbas has granted Palestinian Authority citizenship to everyone who has taken part in a flotilla. Asked if he would participate himself, Sha’ath said he would be honored to, although it was not on the agenda right now.

This has Bibi’s knickers all in a knot…

Israel: New Gaza flotilla has ties to Hamas, terrorist organizations

Israel’s ambassador to UN warns the organization not to allow new flotilla, planned for May, to launch; U.S., Germany also call on flotilla organizers to find other ways to deliver aid to Gaza.

Now, moving along to the last of Amb. Rice’s specific remarks on the I/P…

Mr. President, as colleagues know, the Goldstone Report is back in the news. We have long said the issues it raised should be resolved through credible domestic investigations and follow-up. Israel has the democratic institutions and ability to carry out serious investigations—and is doing so. Justice Goldstone recently concluded that Israel has undertaken an appropriate review process and made changes in its combat doctrine. As we made clear when the Goldstone Report was first presented, we did not see evidence that the Israeli government intentionally targeted civilians. Justice Goldstone has now reached the same conclusion. He also concluded that Hamas has “done nothing” to investigate the “allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.” The United States urges the United Nations to end, once and for all, its actions in relation to the Goldstone Report…

Again, that is utter BS on the Goldstone Report… As I’d noted in my last diary…

Wikileaks: Exposed The United States’ Heavy-Handed Efforts to Help Israel at The UN And The UN’s Complicity…

…The new documents, though consistent with public U.S. statements at the time opposing a U.N. investigation into Israeli military operations, reveal in extraordinary detail how America wields its power behind closed doors at the United Nations. They also demonstrate how the United States and Israel were granted privileged access to highly sensitive internal U.N. deliberations on an “independent” U.N. board of inquiry into the Gaza war, raising questions about the independence of the process… [...]

…We also continue to fight for fair and normal treatment everyday for Israel throughout the United Nations system. The tough issues between Israelis and Palestinians can be resolved only by direct negotiations between the parties, not in New York. That’s why the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution in February that risked hardening both sides’ positions. We consistently oppose anti-Israel resolutions in the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly, and wherever they may arise.

But, this is also the very country that there’s “no daylight” between it and the U.S., according to our very own Vice-President Joe Biden…

‘US support for Israel must continue forever,’ says Biden…

US Vice President Joe Biden delivered an impassioned speech in support of Israel at the Jewish Federations of North American’s General Assembly in New Orleans on Sunday, saying whatever differences have recently existed between the White House and Jerusalem these were tactical rather than fundamental.

He reiterated what he said was the Obama administration’s deep commitment to Israel’s security and to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons… …“When it comes to Israel’s security there can be no daylight – no daylight – between Israel and the US,” he said…

Ironically, I’m truly perplexed as to what ‘points’ Bibi is truly set to score by his appearance before a joint session of Congress… Netanyahu address a bid to ‘score points’… What’s the difference between our AIPAC-bought and paid for-Congress, and the Knesset…?

I seriously think Abbas should ‘hand back the keys’… Which way – Palestinian statehood, or “returning the keys?”

After all, Obama is now refusing to honor one of the fundamental issues of the Peace Process…

Obama peace plan ‘rules out right of return’

…If US President Barack Obama puts forward an American plan in the coming days, it will likely include four principles, or terms of reference, built around the final status issues, The New York Times reported.

According to the report, the terms of reference could call for Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. For their part, the Palestinians would have to accept that they would not get the right of return, to land in Israel from which they fled or were forced to flee. Jerusalem would be the capital of both states, and Israeli security would have to be protected, according to officials who spoke to the daily.

Also Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks immediately, Israel Radio reported. Washington believes the only way to reach a two-state solution is by means of negotiations, and a return to the negotiating table is in both sides’ interest, she said…

So, what exactly should Bibi and Abbas talk about at the ‘table’, Madame Hillary…? The weather…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

More On Goldstone, Ehud Barak Approves More Settlements, And, WH Opposes UN Statehood For Palestine

5:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Despite all the hype swirling about Goldstone’s recent op-ed in the WaPoo, and, how he seems to be recanting his investigation’s results, of which, Israel was quick to pounce… Israel asks for Goldstone Report to be repealed… The UN, to its credit didn’t bite…

UN council: Goldstone regret not enough to rescind Gaza war report

‘UN reports are not canceled on the basis of an op-ed in a newspaper,’ UN Human Rights Council spokesman says, adding Goldstone has not submitted official request to withdraw the report.

Now, in another de ja vu moment…

White House Condemns New Israeli Settlements Announced on Eve of Israeli President’s Visit

“The United States is deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to settlement construction,” said White House National Security Staff spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Not exactly a “Welcome Shimon Peres” card.

But then again — for not the first time of the Obama presidency — a US-Israel meeting featured the overture of an announcement of new Israeli settlement permits, despite continued US opposition to new Israeli settlement activity on disputed territories.

Israeli President Shimon Peres is due to have a working lunch at the White House Tuesday, but as Mr. Vietor notes, the Obama administration is “concerned” about the recent announcement by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee of approval of 942 housing units on the Southern Slopes of Gilo, in addition to the Israeli government’s approval over the weekend of hundreds of apartments in West Bank settlements Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, and Kiryat Sefer, as reported by Ha’aretz.

“Not only are continued Israeli settlements illegitimate, Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations,” Vietor said.

As Ha’aretz had reported today…

Barak to approve development plans for 4 West Bank settlements

Plans would enable legal construction in these settlements; approval joins 2 plans the Defense Minister has already indicated he is inclined to sign off on.

‘Legal construction’…? Huh…? What is legal about any of the West Bank settlements…?

Moving along, Raw Story had this interesting report today…

…According to the New York Times, support for a UN resolution to recognize an independent Palestinian state has steadily been growing.

The declaration of Palestine state would put Israel in a bind. If the UN were to pass such a resolution, Israel would be occupying land belonging to a fellow UN member. Israel has been building settlements in the West Bank and Gaza for decades. [...]

“We want to generate pressure on Israel to make it feel isolated and help it understand that there can be no talks without a stop to settlements,” Nabil Shaath, leader of the foreign affairs department of Fatah, the main party of the Palestinian Authority, said. “Without that, our goal is membership in the United Nations General Assembly in September.”

White House Middle East advisor Dennis Ross said Monday that the United States was opposed to the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN statehood declaration.

We have consistently made it clear that the way to produce a Palestinian state is through negotiations, not through unilateral declarations, not through going to the UN,” Dennis Ross told the Anti-Defamation League’s annual leadership conference. “Our position on that has been consistent in opposition.”

I just love that stereotypical, AIPAC-endorsed response from our co-opted WH…

*gah*

Btw, this is truly a tragedy… Arab-Israeli actor gunned down in West Bank town…

RIP Juliano Mer Khamis…!

by CTuttle

Obama Humiliated And State Lied

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Today’s Haaretz presented us an account of what was really happening behind those closed doors at the ‘Direct Talks’…

Diplomats: Mitchell misrepresented initial success of peace talks

Netanyahu refused to hold a serious discussion on any of the core issues apart from security, Abbas reportedly told diplomats.

The three meetings held so far between Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the current round of peace talks have addressed nothing of substance, diplomatic sources say. [...]

"I heard nothing from Netanyahu but niceties," Abbas reportedly told foreign diplomats. [...]

The first meeting dealt with setting a date for the next meeting and with formulating a "conduct code" for the talks, mainly to prevent leaks. They also discussed the construction freeze and what to discuss first – security or borders.

After the second meeting, Mitchell said the parties had discussed seriously and in detail core issues of the final status arrangement. But officials briefed about that meeting said it dealt with an attempt to define the "core issues" rather than presenting positions on them. [...]

Mitchell described the third meeting, held on September 15 in Jerusalem, as very positive and said it made considerable progress. Here too officials familiar with the talks said the opposite is true.

What the eff…?

No wonder Foggy Bottom was pushing so hard for secrecy throughout…!

As I had reported early on…

President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu continued to agree that these negotiations, whose goal is to resolve all core issues, can be completed within one year. As I said recently in Washington, the parties have agreed to begin first on working to achieve a framework agreement for permanent status. That work is now well underway. The parties agree that for these negotiations to succeed, they must be kept strictly confidential and treated with the utmost of sensitivity. So as in the past, today and as we proceed in the future, what I and they are able to disclose to you about the details of the meetings is and will be very limited.

Now, the fact that Bibi would only talk about security issues first, and, then talk about the ‘core issues’ is also no surprise as I’ve noted early on in this farce…

…Speaking behind closed doors, Netanyahu said the success of the talks will hinge on understandings between the leaders. "I will want to reach agreed principles with the Palestinian leadership and there will be no need for many teams [of negotiators] and hundreds of meetings …. If I get the security that will ensure that no missiles will fall on Tel Aviv, it will be possible to move quickly toward a comprehensive arrangement," he was quoted as saying.

Netanyahu said during his meetings he wants to discuss security issues with the Palestinians first; only then would the two sides focus on borders of a future Palestinian state.

However, we were constantly being spun like tops by Foggy Bottom…

As I reported after the first meeting…

Mitchell said Netanyahu and Abbas tackled the most sensitive issues.

"I will say that the two leaders are not leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions… …We take this as a strong indicator of their belief that peace is possible," he said. [...]

Mitchell stressed a number of times that the U.S. administration thought the talks were progressing much faster than expected.

Progressing rapidly right off the rails that is…! *gah*

Now, Al Jazeera’s MJ Rosenberg, discusses Bibi’s recent smackdown of ObamaRahma’s latest felation, err… offer…

Netanyahu humiliates Obama again

The Obama administration must understand that the Israeli prime minister is essentially a right-wing Republican.

The Obama administration’s attempts at seducing Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, are getting embarrassing. Netanyahu has made it very clear he is not interested.

According to Ha’aretz, the latest (and most cringe-worthy) moment in the saga came this week when Dennis Ross, the president’s top adviser on Israel-Palestinian issues, convinced Obama that Israel would only agree to an extension of the settlements freeze if Obama would "come off as friendlier" to Bibi.

So Ross and his aides (working with the Israelis) drafted a letter to Netanyahu in which the US would give Israel everything it could possibly want in exchange for a two-month freeze. [...]

It is hard to imagine anything Ross left out. For Bibi, the Ross offer was a dream come true. All that for a 60-day freeze.

But Bibi said "no".

And why? "Netanyahu said he appreciated the letter but could not accept the American proposal because it included a two-month extension of the construction moratorium, which he said would damage his public credibility."

But the "moratorium" was the whole point of the offer. Bibi seems not to believe that his dealings with the US have to be two-way streets. He will only consider deals where the US gives and he gets. (But then, that is the way it always is.)

Ross and the other administration figures are now "incensed," having been played yet again.

Played like fiddles again…!

Do you suppose Obama and Foggy Bottom might snap out of their collective lover’s daze, finally…?

Didn’t think so…

*gah*

Btw, the latest bit on the Danse Macabre…

Palestinian shot dead entering East Jerusalem

A Palestinian worker from Hebron was shot and killed by Israeli border guards on Sunday while he attempted to enter East Jerusalem near the village of Al-Isawiya.

The deceased was identified as 38-year-old Izz Ad-Din Al-Kawazba from the town of Sa’ir in Hebron. Al-Kawzaba’s cousin Salah told Ma’an that border guards shot the victim at close range, refuting police accounts that the shooting was accidental. [...]

Spokesman for Israel’s National Police Mickey Rosenfeld said Al-Kawazba was injured when a "shot was fired apparently accidentally" by a border guard officer after he "attempted to grab one of the border police’s gun."

What a travesty…!