You are browsing the archive for Ehud Barak.

by CTuttle

AIPAC, Barak, Hagel, Kerry, and Mattis

4:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Mahalo to Medea Benjamin, for that RT interview and all of Code Pink’s efforts, along with these brave souls…!

Americans protest against AIPAC

Now, lest you thought the US Military was averse to starting a war with Iran…

Top US commander: Iran sanctions not working

Head of US Central Command says diplomatic efforts against Islamic Republic are useless, but it’s not too late to bring Iran ‘to its senses’

Top US commander in the Middle East, General James Mattis, said the current sanctions and diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities are not working. He said Tehran has a history of denial and deceit and is enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose…

That’s absolute Bullsh*t…! But wait, there’s more BS Mattis…

U.S. efforts on Iran not working, Syria planning underway: Mattis

…A top U.S. general said on Tuesday that American efforts aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon were not working, even as he voiced support for crippling sanctions and diplomatic efforts aimed at isolating the Islamic state.

“I still support the direction we’re taking. I’m just paid to take a rather dim view of the Iranians, frankly,” General James Mattis, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing…

A Freudian slip, perhaps…? To be sure… “Iran remains the single-most significant regional threat to stability and prosperity.”

Anyways, if you’re not pissed off enough… In Qatar today, SoS Kerry confirmed the blatantly obvious… ‘US now openly supports Syria militants’

Now, getting back to the Pentagon, I was truly flabbergasted by this Lovefest…

Chuck Hagel meets Ehud Barak (and wants to make sure the Israel lobby knows it)

New U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosted Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Pentagon on Tuesday, making a special effort to express warmth and friendliness toward his Israeli counterpart during their first meeting together since the prior assumed office.

Hagel assured Barak during their meeting that he was committed to the security of Israel and of preserving the Israel Defense Forces’ qualitative advantage over the armies of the Arab world. He also said that he would work to ensure that U.S. funding toward Israel, particularly with regard to its defense systems, would continue “despite fiscal uncertainty.”

Where’s all that “I’m not Israel’s Tool Senator” rhetoric now…? *sigh*

Now, in closing on a humorous note, Phil and Annie, at Mondoweiss, wrote a great post on Stephen Colbert and the real Israeli tool, Michael Oren… Did Oren’s iron dome of affability stop Colbert’s brilliant strikes?

by CTuttle

A MENA Roundup: Bye-Bye, Barak, And Morsi?

7:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

McClatchy expands on the new Tahrir Square protests…

Egyptians fill Tahrir Square in largest protest of President Mohammed Morsi

Tens of thousands of protesters poured into Tahrir Square on Tuesday night to contest what they believe is Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s illegal declaration that his decisions are exempt from judicial oversight, marking the largest protests ever against the newly elected president.

It was not clear Tuesday night whether the chants of thousands calling for a second revolution would lead Morsi to rescind, modify or wait out opponents to his 5-day-old constitutional declaration. Instead, it appeared the crowds, notably absent of the Islamists who are Morsi’s base, simply reflected an increasingly polarized electorate. Indeed, many who were protesting Tuesday said they boycotted the election that led to Morsi’s presidency or voted for his rival.

If Morsi sticks to his declaration, the feud over who has the final say over the nation’s judicial matters will come to a head Sunday when the courts are expected to make three key rulings. The courts will determine whether Morsi acted legally when he changed the temporary constitution in July to end military rule – leading to the firing of Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council – and giving Morsi final say over military matters, the first time a civilian has had such power in Egypt’s modern history; whether the assembly charged with crafting a permanent constitution is legal, since it was elected by the now-defunct Parliament, which the courts earlier ruled was illegally constituted; and whether the Shura Council, the upper house of Parliament, should be dissolved.

If the courts rule against Morsi, it remains unclear whether Morsi’s decree or the judicial rulings would prevail – or who will decide that. In the meantime, several judges have suspended their work in protest…

Meanwhile… 150 Egyptians injured in nationwide clashes…

Moving along to Ehud Barack’s announced ‘Retirement,’ ex-AIPAC employee, MJ Rosenberg says good riddance…

He, more than anyone else, destroyed the peace process. He was elected in 1999 on a Labor Party peace platform, arguing that the incumbent prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had destroyed chances for peace. He promised to reach a deal with the Palestinians who welcomed his election along with an ecstatic Israeli peace camp.

But following the election he immediately set out to humiliate the Palestinians, ignoring Yasir Arafat’s pleas to start talking and instead pretended to focus on reaching a deal with Syria so he could end run the Palestinians. He kept them waiting for six months, a strategy designed to strengthen his hand against them…

In 2000, he decided to push for an all-or-nothing agreement. Arafat said no, that it was too soon, especially given the good will that Barak had frittered away. Clinton agreed with Arafat that first Barak needed to lived up to the agreements Israel had already signed. (Clinton has publicly regretted being duped by Barak)

But Barak insisted on a summit. Israelis, Palestinians and Americans commenced negotiations at Camp David in July where Barak refused even to talk to Arafat directly. He famously treated Arafat as some indigenous local chief while he was a head of state.

Barak put some ideas on the table, all in the spirit of take-it-or-leave-it. Barak and the Dennis Ross-led American “peace team” coordinated every step of negotiations which were essentially a gang-up. Arafat, who had said from the get-go that he could not reach a deal until Israel lived up to its previous agreements, refused to accept Barak’s offers which, in any case, never came close to meeting Arafat’s demand for a state in 22% of historic Palestine.

Following negotiations, Barak announced that he had “torn the mask” off the face of the Palestinians. Although negotiations continued, Barak was now in the business of demonizing them. By the time he made the Palestinians a decent offer, it was too late. Trust had been destroyed…

While Barak’s policies were no worse than Sharon or Netanyahu, he is the only one who was elected to achieve peace on the Labor ticket. In my view, he is then worse than either of them.

Now he leaves, bodies strewn everywhere…

Expanding further, Peter MacKay’s “atrocities across the Middle East”

Israel as a colonial settler state.

The current state of Israel, supported unequivocally by Canada and the U.S. is a similar colonial settler state, representing the ‘empire’ of the west – mostly the EU, the U.S., and Canada… {…}

With the false promise of the UN Partition Plan in 1947, objected to by the Palestinians as it gave away most of their land to the much smaller Jewish population, the Israeli forces set in motion their military actions of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Well before their declaration of independence, they began destroying and moving Palestinian residents from their villages in 1947. When the British mandate ended in 1948, the Israelis declared their independence and began a second wave of military actions, this time compounded by the ineffective intervention of much weaker Arab army units.

Since then the settler-colonialist mentality has been in full force. The Palestinians live under different rules of law, in both the West Bank and the pre 1967 Israeli boundaries. In the West Bank, the Palestinians live under military law, subject to change at moments notice and a soldier’s whim. After 1967, with the success of the pre-emptive war against Egyptian forces that expanded into assaults on Jordanian held West Bank and the Golan Heights of Syria, the military rule and settler colonialization of the West Bank and Gaza came into full force.

Land annexations and expropriations using antiquated laws and newly created military zone laws slowly crept over the West Bank and Gaza. The settler-colonialist elements were and are aided by many supportive grants from the government of Israel, which in turn is supported by many western countries, notably the U.S. and Canada, with both military and economic aid. Combinations of land take-overs, military rules, imprisonment, torture, and assassination of Palestinians are used to control the population… {…}

The “peace negotiations”, the “road maps to peace” have all been subterfuges under which the Israeli government has simply stalled for time while the settlements have continued building unabated. The “Palestine Papers” as revealed by al-Jazeera demonstrate that the Palestinians bent over back ward, much too far according to most, in order to secure a land settlement for two states.

Using the same tactics as the empires of the ‘new’ world, the Israelis are creating their own zone of control over the resources and people of the region. With their military strength (but not necessarily military prowess) they dominate the region acting both as puppets of U.S. interests and even more so as manipulators of U.S. interests…

Just to be sure, lets revisit one of my old posts; US State Dept: Israel’s “Principal Human Rights Problems Were Institutional, Legal, And Societal Discrimination.” To Wit:

2010 Human Rights Report: Israel and the occupied territories

…Principal human rights problems were institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against Arab citizens, Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (see annex), non-Orthodox Jews, and other religious groups; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; and societal discrimination and domestic violence against women, particularly in Bedouin society. While trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution decreased in recent years, trafficking for the purpose of labor remained a serious problem, as did abuse of foreign workers and societal discrimination and incitement against asylum seekers.

Now, moving along to Syria…

Syria ‘names 142 foreign jihadists who fought with rebels’

The Syrian government has named 142 foreign jihadists that it reportedly says were killed fighting alongside rebels in the country’s civil war…

Damascus-based newspaper Al-Watan on Tuesday published a list that it said the Syrian government had sent to the United Nations Security Council last month giving the names and the dates and locations where the “terrorists” were killed.

“Most are jihadists (radical Islamists) who belong to al-Qaeda’s network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria,” the paper said, adding that they entered Syria via Turkey and Lebanon.

Among the 142 it named 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 11 Afghans, 10 Tunisians, nine Egyptians, six Qataris and five Lebanese.

The government is thought to have asked for the list be registered as an official document on the UN’s agenda of “measures to combat international terrorism”.

Meanwhile, the UN has been busy…

UN condemns Syria, Iran for rampant rights abuses

A UN General Assembly committee has condemned Syria and Iran for widespread human rights abuses, but both Damascus and Tehran dismissed the separate votes as politically motivated.

The draft resolution on Syria, which was co-sponsored by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain, France and other Arab and Western states, received 132 votes in favour – 10 more than a similar resolution last year received – along with 12 against and 35 abstentions.

The resolution on Iran, which was drafted by Canada and co-sponsored by other Western countries, received 83 votes in favour, 31 against and 68 abstentions.

The increased number of yes votes for both resolutions shows waning support for Tehran and Damascus in New York, envoys said.

Both resolutions were passed by the 193-nation assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, and will be put to formal votes next month at plenary sessions of the General Assembly. They are both expected to pass with similar margins.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari dismissed the resolution against his country as an attempt by “Western states to interfere, and we condemn this.”

He also accused Qatar, which has supported the rebels seeking to toppled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the 20-month-old insurgency, of aiding and abetting Israel against the Palestinians.

Ja’afari repeated Syria’s oft-stated accusation that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and Turkey have been arming and financially supporting the rebels, an allegation all have denied.

Western diplomats in New York, however, say privately that the Saudis and Qataris are almost certainly aiding the rebels, and possibly other countries as well.

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee dismissed the resolution against Tehran as based on unconfirmed allegations and an attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of Iran.

Speaking of Iran, as Marcy had quipped on Jim White’s excellent post; ‘How considerate of the Iranians to label their secret nefarious nuke graph in English!’ Graph suggests Iran working on bomb… Funny how that was a similar gripe that Gareth Porter had raised about the Iranian Nuke Laptop…

Anyways, needless to say… Senate works on new package of Iran sanctions…

As the dynamic duo, Hillary and Flynt Leverett wrote recently…

Obama’s New National Security Team Should Be Asked Serious Questions About U.S. Foreign Policy (But Probably Won’t Be)

President Obama’s pending reshuffle of his national security team is an occasion to ask hard questions about American foreign policy. Most immediately, as Hillary told Al Jazeera’s Inside Story last week, click on video above or to link here, Obama’s nomination of his next Secretary of State—whether that is Susan Rice or someone else—provides an opening to ask pressing questions about the Obama administration’s increasing proclivity for proxy warfare against problematic Middle Eastern governments. Above all, “Did the United States arm, fund, train, and support—either directly or through our so-called ‘allies’—the very people who killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and the other Americans who did with him?” But Obama’s most outspoken GOP critics on the issue—e.g., Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham—can’t ask those questions, “because [they’re] complicit in this policy.” (To see Hillary’s segment, go 7:38 into the video above.)

Of course, it remains to be seen whether McCain, Graham, and their Republican colleagues stick to their guns regarding Rice’s acceptability as a nominee for Secretary of State. But the significance of Obama’s apparent interest in nominating her goes beyond the “who’s up/who’s down” of Washington politics or Obama’s proclivity to declare consequential policy positions without having thought through how to implement them. It raises more fundamental questions about the direction of American foreign policy and grand strategy in Obama’s second term. As Hillary explains,

“Whether you are a conservative or a neoliberal interventionist—I would put Susan Rice in that category—each of these camps supports armed, military intervention by the United States in the internal affairs of other countries. They do it for slightly different reasons, but the main strategic purpose is for the United States to pursue dominance…

As to what to expect from Obama on foreign policy in his second term, Hillary says that “the evidence, so far, is for more of the same.” Certainly there is no reason to anticipate much change in Washington’s approach to the Middle East…

Same-oh, same-oh, just ain’t cutting it, Folks…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’: Cast Lead 2

3:34 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Reuters is reporting…

Israel hammers Hamas in Gaza offensive

* Israel says major operation may last days

…Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would “open the gates of hell”.

The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets.

Operation “Pillar of Defence” began with a surgical strike on a car carrying the commander of the military wing of Hamas, the Iranian-armed Islamist movement which controls Gaza and dominates a score of smaller armed groups.

Within minutes of the death of Ahmed Al-Jaabari, big explosions shook Gaza as the Israeli air force struck at selected targets just before sundown, blasting plumes of smoke and debris high above the crowded city.

Panicking civilians ran for cover and the death toll mounted quickly. Ten people including three children were killed, the health ministry said, and about 40 were wounded. Also among the dead were an 11-month-old baby and a woman pregnant with twins.

Army tanks shelled border areas of Gaza in south and the Israeli navy shelled a Hamas security position from the sea… {…}

OBAMA BRIEFED

Israeli President Shimon Peres briefed U.S. President Barack Obama on the operation, Peres’s office said. He told Obama that Jaabari was a “mass-murderer” and his killing was Israel’s response to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.

“Israel is not interested in stoking the flames, but for the past five days there has been constant missile fire at Israel and mothers and children cannot sleep quietly at night,” said Peres, who visited the border town of Sderot earlier…

You can cut the rank hypocrisy of Peres’ words with a butter knife…!

As Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein posits…

…It is, of course, no accident that Israeli elections will be held in two months. Israeli prime ministers routinely use wars to bolster their popularity. Menachem Begin attacked the Osirak reactor shortly before elections, which he subsequently won. Aluf Benn offers (Hebrew) a long list of such political opportunism including Operation Grapes of Wrath (1996) and Operation Cast Lead just before the 2009 elections. Bibi, being a master of political tactics (but not strategy, since he has none) wanted to leave no stone unturned in his march to victory in January.

As happened numerous times in the past, including after the Eilat terror attack, when Israel lied in ascribing blame for the attack on Gaza and murdered 30 in revenge strikes, terror in Gaza is not the issue. Gaza is a useful tool or canvas on which Israeli generals and politicians embellish their careers. It’s the utmost in cynicism, but alas all too common in the debased society Israel has become… {…}

It must be said clearly, Jabari’s assassination is not an act of defense or even a response to past terror attacks against it. It is a blatant act of provocation and an act of terror in itself. It is akin to the 2003 assassination of Saleh Shehadeh and will, in the end, cause the deaths of more Israelis and Gazans than that ghastly massacre. These are war crimes and must eventually be held accountable as such.

Israel knows that by murdering Jabari they’ve not dented Hamas’ military capability. Another Jabari will arise who will out-Jabari Jabari just as Nasrallah outdid Abbas Musawi, who Israel assassinated. Bibi needs Hamas. He needs an eternal enemy. It’s what makes him strong. He and the Likud are the political equivalent of Dracula. Just as Jefferson said the Tree of Liberty needed to be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants, the ultranationalists cynically need to drink the blood of dead Palestinians (or Iranians or Lebanese) in order to guarantee their political reign. This is ghoulish. It is insane. Israeli policy is insane.

Not satisfied with pursuing war as a political objective to dominate the Palestinians, the IDF has invoked the Torah in calling this operation Pillar of Cloud (as in “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way”). No, I’m sorry. God doesn’t walk with killers. My God doesn’t want blood, either Jewish or Palestinian. My God is not an anti-jihadi. He doesn’t hate Muslims or Arabs. Bibi, do not debase my holy texts. Do not exploit them in your attempt to provoke religious wars. I’d prefer calling this new campaign Pillar of White Phosphorus, myself

Amen, Richard…!

Now, +972 Mag’s Dimi Reider, differs from Richard, in that Ehud Barak is pushing the illegal invasion…

Politicians line up behind Israeli assault on Gaza

…My own hunch, and that of several Israeli observers, is that Barak is the prime mover behind this recent escalation. His has been a consistent voice for stronger Israeli military action in previous rounds of escalation in Gaza, and he stands more to gain from a large-scale military operation. Netanyahu is winning the elections with one hand tied behind his back; Barak and his splinter Independence Party, by contrast, have barely been scratching the electoral barrier. Appearing as a decisive, wily and sophisticated military mind next to a wallowing Netanyahu can only do Barak that much good, and Israeli Twitterati have already replaced “Pillar of Defense” the cringe-inducing, Freud-evoking codename for the operation with “Independence War.”

Be that as it may, Netanyahu has signed up for this offensive and it now bears his name as surely as Cast Lead bears those of Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. In the short term, his gamble might well conclude without political damage (the damage to the lives of Israeli and Gazan residents is clearly of comparatively little consequence to either him or his defense minister, otherwise the deescalation would have been allowed to take its course, as it has throughout Netanyahu’s tenure). In the optimal scenario, Hamas will not escalate the conflagration further, and will not fire the long-range missiles in its arsenal to Tel Aviv and its suburbs, both because an Israeli strike took out much of said arsenal immediately after Jabari was slain, and because this would blow the violence dials sky-high and require an Israeli response at least as forceful as the 2008-2009 Cast Lead operation. After a few exchanges, Egyptians will oblige once again with a ceasefire and Netanyahu and Barak will have brought their electoral chances up a notch…

Now, just when you thought the rank hypocrisy couldn’t get any ranker…

US welcomes reelection to Human Rights Council

Hillary Clinton pledges US support to combat panel’s anti-Israel activity; UN ambassador says HRC delivered “real results.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed America’s reelection to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday and pledged that the country would continue to combat the panel’s anti-Israel activity.

“Much hard work remains to be done,” Clinton said in a statement, “especially ending the council’s disproportionate and biased focus on Israel.”

The US has come under criticism from some in the Jewish community for participating in a group that routinely censures Israel while ignoring many of the most pressing human rights problems in the world, some being committed by countries with representatives on the council.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice welcomed Washington’s reelection, saying that the Human Rights Council “has delivered real results” since the US first joined it in 2010 after running for a seat on it a year before. She cited council action on Syria as a positive example of its work.

However, she also criticized the council’s “excessive and unbalanced focus on Israel.” Advocates of America’s participation, however, say the situation would be worse without a US presence, and that the US has been behind important initiatives challenging Iran’s human rights record and other initiatives

God help us all…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Bibi: Iran Threat Dwarfs All Others

3:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

On Sunday, the Iran rhetoric continued to be ramped up by Bibi and Barak, from the AP… Israeli premier: Iran threat dwarfs all others

As Reuters reported it… Iran steps up nuclear warhead work, Israel media report.

Laura Rozen hints at where Barak possibly received his ‘intel’ from…

US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is from 2010, experts say

However, “carrying on scattered research activities does not amount to a full-fledged restart of an integrated weapons program,” Greg Thielmann, a former US intelligence analyst and senior fellow at the Arms Control Association, wrote in an ACA Iran Nuclear Threat Assessment brief (.pdf).

“As open source reporting indicates, the last NIE confirmed the 2007 finding that 1. the structured weaponization work stopped in 2003 (although some relevant activities continued, and 2. Khamenei had not yet made the final political decision to go for a bomb,” a former U.S. official told Al-Monitor Friday.

“We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government,” a National Security Council spokesman told Reuters’ Mark Hosenball Thursday. “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon.

As many are noting, it is primarily Bibi and Barak pushing the Iran rhetoric…

Olmert: Netanyahu ‘Irresponsible’ on Iran

Former prime minister: “No reason to get uptight” over Iran; blames government for causing panic…

“There is no reason to get uptight,” he said in a panel at the Ono Academic College, “certainly not in the immediate range. Iran has still not drawn near to that threshold that would force us to reassess the situation. I think it is not right and not responsible to act in a way that blatantly ignores the interests of additional bodies, among them those of the greatest friend that Israel has.”

Olmert was referring, of course to the United States, which opposes an Israeli strike.

He blamed senior members of the government and Knesset of “blabbing” too much about a planned strike and named Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as people causing “fear and discomfort” in the Israeli populace by talking too much.

Ironically, Bibi and Barak are paying the price for their war-mongering…

Majority of Israelis oppose strike on Iran

46% say that Israel should not attack Tehran’s nuclear plants; support for prime minister drops to 34% from 46% three months ago…

The survey results were published amid heightened debate among senior policy officials about the necessity of a military strike to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have made increasingly vociferous statements about the urgent imperative to stop Iran.

The poll also showed that Israeli support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has waned in the past three months. According to the poll, only 34% expressed satisfaction with the prime minister, as opposed to 58% who said that they are dissatisfied. The remaining 8% responded that they did not know. A similar survey conducted in May found that 46% were satisfied with the prime minister’s performance.

The same survey found Israelis prefer Mitt Romney to Barack Obama as the next US president, by 34% to 31%…

Once again, the intrepid, Richard Silverstein, uncovers some recent disturbing machinations by Bibi and Barak…

Ehud Barak: Most Dangerous Man in Middle East

…All of this means that it’s very likely that Barak is trying to establish a narrative as a prelude to an Israeli attack. What he’s doing in the media is the equivalent to the “softening up” that military forces do before they launch their main assault on enemy positions. Barak is laying the groundwork for an attack, making his best sales pitch to the Israeli public and the rest of the world. He’s hoping that when the signal comes and the attack begins, all this work will result in a populace that willingly rallies to the cause, or at least acquiesces in the decisions made by the political leadership.

All of this makes Ehud Barak one of the most dangerous men in the Middle East right about now. He doesn’t care how he does it, whether he has to lie or cheat. He wants a war and by God he’s going to get one.

The only other individual who rivals him in this regard is Bibi Netanyahu. Ynet reports today that the prime minister has demanded changes in the coalition agreement that would grant him unprecedented powers in the course of a war against Iran. He would be able to overrule the opposition of reluctant ministers, delay decisions he disagrees with even though passed by a cabinet majority, and schedule additional deliberations on such matters until his he gets his way.

I find it interesting that the JPost in an editorial, today, openly challenged Bibi and Barak…

Striking Iran

… In the meantime, the cabinet has expanded the prime minister’s powers to push through important ministerial decisions.

The Prime Minister’s Office said this would improve governance, but opposition leaders described the move as undemocratic, saying that critical decisions – such as ordering a strike on Iran – should be taken only after a meaningful debate in the cabinet. {…}

Where, then, does that leave us? The prime minister said at the cabinet meeting on Sunday: “The threat to the home front is dwarfed by another threat – Iranian nuclear power.”

This comment reinforced his statement during a tour of the southern border last week that Israel cannot put its fate in anyone else’s hands.

“Israel must and can rely only on itself,” he declared. “No one can perform this role except the IDF and various Israeli security forces, and we will continue to conduct ourselves in this way.”

One can only hope saner minds prevail…!

One final note, Here’s a recent example of some Israeli Justice…

“A soldier accused of killing two women who waved a white flag during the “Cast Lead” operation in Gaza reached a plea bargain with the military advocate general and will be jailed for 45 days.”

*gah*

 

myFDL Editor’s Note: Some excerpts have been trimmed due to length or use of AP sources. Please review our guidelines for information.

by CTuttle

Ex-Shin Bet Head Diskin: Bibi, Barak ‘not fit to lead Israel’ And Wrong on Iran

6:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Hot on the heels of Benny Gantz’s recent statements, former Shin Bet head, Yuval Diskin, took it a step further today…

Israel’s former Shin Bet chief: I have no confidence in Netanyahu, Barak

Yuval Diskin accuses Israel’s leaders of misleading the public on Iran, says they are making decisions ‘based on messianic feelings.

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin expressed harsh criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday in a meeting with residents of the city of Kfar Sava, saying the pair is not worthy of leading the country.

My major problem is that I have no faith in the current leadership, which must lead us in an event on the scale of war with Iran or a regional war,” Diskin told the “Majdi Forum,” a group of local residents that meets to discuss political issues.

I don’t believe in either the prime minister or the defense minister. I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,” he added.

Diskin deemed Barak and Netanyahu “two messianics – the one from Akirov or the Assuta project and the other from Gaza Street or Caesarea,” he said, referring to the two politicians’ places of residence.

Believe me, I have observed them from up close… They are not people who I, on a personal level, trust to lead Israel to an event on that scale and carry it off. These are not people who I would want to have holding the wheel in such an event,” Diskin said.

They are misleading the public on the Iran issue. They tell the public that if Israel acts, Iran won’t have a nuclear bomb. This is misleading. Actually, many experts say that an Israeli attack would accelerate the Iranian nuclear race,” said the former security chief…

*ouch* That had to have left a mark…!

To bring ya’ll up to date, the ever intrepid, Richard Silverstein, had wrote yesterday…

IDF Chief Calls Iran “Rational,” Barak Disagrees

Israel continued its self-portrait as a government in disarray as its military chief, Benny Gantz called Iran “rational” and said he believed that nation would not build a nuclear weapon (a position fully in accord with U.S. views). The next day, Ehud Barak took pains to divorce himself from his subordinate by saying of Iran:

[Barak] did not see Iran as “rational in the Western sense of the word, meaning people seeking a status quo and the outlines of a solution to problems in a peaceful manner.

This of course is a delicious bit of irony because most observers of the Israeli-Arab conflict believe precisely this about Israel’s approach. It seeks, not a sustainable status quo, but a status quo that offers it supreme advantage and dominance over its neighbors. Nor does Israel seek solution to these problems in a peaceful manner. It’s saber-rattling toward Iran itself is but one example.

In truth, what Barak is complaining about is that Iran refuses to accede to a dictat set before it by the western powers. If you’re the majority, a resistant minority is always going to appear as ungrateful, even irrational. Because what other reasonable solution is there than the one you maintain? The problem with Israeli policymakers is that they’re beset by a grave case of narcissism, and a profound inability to view matters as their enemy might see them. This is a fatal combination in a region so prone to cataclysm as the Middle East.

Gantz also mysteriously suggested that other military forces than Israel were prepared to attack Iran. Most likely he was referring to the U.S. But he could’ve been making a sly reference to Iran’s regional enemies joining in the fight. This might mean an outright contribution of forces to an attack or it might mean a less visible role say, in offering Israel the right to overfly Saudi Arabian airspace in order to attack Iran.

Dore Gold laugably tried to square the “rationality” circle with this near non sequitur:

The Iranians have irrational goals, which they may try and advance in a rational way.

Makes perfect sense to me if you’re as out of touch with Iran and reality in general as Gold is…

Ehud Barak even doubled down on his messianic lunacy, today… Ehud Barak says Iran seeks ‘apocalyptic’ policies…

As Phyllis Bennis wrote at Antiwar.com today…

Iran: New war looming?

That threat isn’t over. The big difference this time around is that people in power – in the White House, in the Pentagon, in all of the U.S. intelligence agencies, even most of the security and intelligence people in Israel – all agree that

1) Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon;
2) Iran is not building a nuclear weapon;
3) Iran hasn’t even made the decision of whether or not to build a weapon in the future.

And yet. The risk of a war “against Iranian nuclear weapons” continues to rise.

This time, it’s all about Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to ratchet up the rhetoric and the threats against Iran – knowing that in an election year, the likelihood of a U.S. president or Congress refusing to back/support/participate in an Israeli military strike, regardless of how dangerous, is virtually non-existent. What does Israel get out of it? (Hint: it’s not safety from some “existential” threat). Israel gets to preserve its nuclear weapons monopoly in the Middle East – losing that monopoly is the real danger Israeli officials worry about. That’s why the call for a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East is so important – to make sure no one in the region has a nuclear weapon. That certainly includes Iran, which doesn’t have one and isn’t trying to build one. And it would include Israel, whose uninspected and unacknowledged arsenal of 200-400 high density nuclear bombs remains the biggest cause of arms racing in this arms-glutted part of the world.

It’s also true that Netanyahu desperately wants a different president in the White House next year. Despite Obama’s actual history of giving Israel more military aid, greater protection in the UN, tighter military ties, and fewer consequences for expanding settlements than almost any other president, Netanyahu knows that any Republican in the White House would represent an even greater gift to Tel Aviv. And only Israel and AIPAC, the most powerful part of the pro-Israel lobbies that now represent the most right-wing extremist elements of Israeli politics, stand to benefit.

And oh by the way. Does anyone really think that as long as Israel can play the “we face an existential danger” card, anyone in Washington is likely to even consider putting serious pressure on Tel Aviv to end its occupation and apartheid policies towards Palestinians? Let’s see hands…

Ironically, I have the very same sanity issues about our current Def. Sec., and, our own Prez…! In particular, by this recent nonsense, and then, with Leon(our ex-CIA Chief, too), serving up this NeoLib/AIPAC/Ziocon gobblety-gook, today…

Panetta: I hope that IDF chief is right on Iran nuclear program

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says he has no specific information on whether Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb…

Are you f*cking serious, Leon…!

Anyways, I still admire Christiane Amanpour’s efforts… Amanpour interviews former Iranian nuclear negotiation insider about weaponization plans…

Btw, Iran is bending over backwards to resolve the Nuke issues by agreeing to ‘snap’ IAEA inpections and even a full halt in reprocessing the heavy water to the IAEA’s acceptable level of 19.5%, by holding it at the 5% level…!

Now, just as an attack on Iran would embolden them to actually consider building a bomb, take a gander at what our current ‘Bipartisan’ Congress Critters are all up-in-arms about now…

U.S. Congress voices concern over Iran cyber-threat

The cyber-attack by the Stuxnet worm against Iran’s nuclear program, which the West suspects is designed to eventually produce nuclear weapons, was considered one of the most successful moves to date in the confrontation over the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions. This week, however, concerns were raised at the U.S. Congress that the cyber-attack may have been the “crossing of the Rubicon” for Iran, motivating it to engage in cyber-war against U.S. targets, including critical infrastructure.

“Stuxnet may be proof of Iran’s vulnerability and the effectiveness of other nation-states’ cyber-arsenals. However, it would also be possible for Iran to gain some knowledge for creating a Stuxnet-like virus from analyzing its effects,” Rep. Yvette Clarke (D) of New York said at the hearing of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee and the Cyber-security, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee, titled “Iranian Cyber Threat to the U.S. Homeland.”

Ain’t it ironic that Panetta scoffs at Iran’s ‘reverse-engineering’ of the downed stealth drone…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

Ehud Barak: “the difference between us and the U.S. is the perspective on timetables.”

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

The Defense Minister was in Berlin yesterday…

Israel, U.S. disagree on Iran timetable

…Barak said that 2012 is a “highly important” year for a possible strike and speculated that the timeframe for a “surgical intervention” — a precision hit on Iranian targets — is not a matter of weeks, but it is not a matter of years either.

Iran denies it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful uses such as generating electricity and producing medical isotopes.

Barak said Israel and the U.S. agree on preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons, but that “the difference between us and the U.S. is the perspective on timetables.”

“America has more abilities than Israel,” Barak said. “You can think of a time when Israel would be very limited in its ability to act.”

Why was he there ya might ask…?

…Ehud Barak’s office said the minister signed the contract Wednesday in Berlin at a ceremony held at the Israeli ambassador’s home.

Germany’s Parliament approved the purchase in November and agreed to pay some €135 million ($180 million) of the costs — about 1/3 of the submarine’s price.

Israel already has three Dolphin submarines from Germany — one half-funded and two entirely funded by Berlin — and two more are currently under construction.

Barack said in a statement the submarine will “substantially increase the capabilities and the strength of … Israel in the face of ever-increasing challenges.”

Here’s another Minister…‘If you want to shoot – shoot’: Israeli minister on Iran strike…

Ain’t this cool… ? Iran’s UN Mission complains of harassment by US…

Now, Richard Silverstein penned another must-read…

Terror and the Murder of the Good

…There can never be justification for killing children, whether those children are French Jews or Palestinian Muslims. If we want the world to believe in the justice of our cause, whether it be Israel or Palestine, we have to denounce the murder of both.

That’s why the pro-Israel supporters who are clucking about this latest round of Islamist terror are dead wrong. They are hypocrites because they only care about children with Jewish blood in their veins. You never heard any of them cry for the two Palestinian children killed in Israelis attacks against Gaza. Nor did they cry anything but crocodile tears, if that, for the 300 children killed during Cast Lead.

The EU’s foreign minister, Catherine Ashton Taylor unleashed “fury” in Israel with her apt analogy (though much less forcefully made than I have) between the child terror deaths in Gaza, Toulouse, Norway and elsewhere. She said:

…When we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world — we remember young people and children who lose their lives.”

Israelis of course refuse to concede that the children they kill in Gaza are killed in anything other than a pure and just cause. Listen to this rhetorical flatulence from Netanyahu:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier that he was “infuriated” by what he called “the comparison between a deliberate massacre of children and the defensive, surgical actions” of the Israeli military that he said were “intended to hit terrorists who use children as a human shield.”

Calling an attack that kills children “defensive” and “surgical” seems to absolve it or any of the moral considerations that enter into other acts of war and terror which kill children. The fact that the children killed in Gaza were NOT being used as human shields by any militants is also deliberately obfuscated by the pro-Israelists. Will no Israeli leader ever cry for any child he kills? Of course not. He’s too busy orchestrating the hasbara to mute the moral opprobrium of his next attack…

Speaking of Toulouse… Toolooz…?

Meanwhile, Bibi’s pissed at the UN, not just the EU… UN body to probe Israeli settlements…

So naturally… Netanyahu says UN rights council ‘hypocritical’…

…”This council has an automatic majority hostile to Israel and is hypocritical,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.

The Israeli premier added that the UN Human Rights Council “should be ashamed of itself.”

The 47-member council approved earlier a resolution ordering a first probe into how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of the Palestinian people.

Thirty-six members voted in favour while 10 abstained. Only the United States voted against it…

And hot off the press…

…A source in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Israel would not cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s probe of Israel’s West Bank settlement policies.

The source described that investigation as biased, adding that Israel did not want to give it legitimacy.

In summing up, Philip Giraldi, wrote a must read too…

The No-Fault March to War

…Under the current “progressive” administration in Washington, accountability has taken several steps backward. CIA torturers are not responsible for what they did, soldiers who massacre foreign civilians are protected or slapped on the wrist if they are punished at all, American citizens are assassinated, and drones kill suspects living in countries with which we are not at war. Recently, the president declared that he can take control of “all national resources” in case of an emergency, a sweeping dismissal of the right to property guaranteed by the Constitution. And if anyone challenges any of these abuses in court, the proceedings will be stopped by the government’s declaration of state-secrets privilege….

All the while… Today in Gaza…

*gah*

by CTuttle

More Persian Fantasies…

6:37 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Here’s some more Phil Giraldi at Antiwar today… Creating American Terrorists… Folks, it’s f*cking spooky what he points out about the NDAA…

…So let us accept that the government now has the power to send a team of military police to anyone’s home in any state in the Union and can demand that that person surrender without any recourse to a lawyer or judicial due process. The military can then detain the individual incommunicado for any length of time and can presumably send him to Guantanamo for special confinement, claiming that the reason for the detention is support of terrorism, which can be almost anything, including a letter to the editor of the local paper complaining about the goonery of the Transportation Security Administration. Once in detention, the suspect only has such options as are granted to him by the military. He cannot see a lawyer, cannot invoke habeas corpus or other constitutional privileges, cannot confront any witnesses against him, and cannot challenge any information prejudicial to him even if it is hearsay or fabricated. In other words, the accused can be arrested for no reason and held indefinitely without any protections that enable him to push back against being detained. Most people would consider a criminal justice system that permits such detention ipso facto a police state.

Now let us accept for a moment that the White House and Justice Department are well-intentioned and will not use their newfound authority to detain anyone in a questionable fashion. The expanded powers will only be used to detain foreign terrorists who are caught in flagrante, more or less. That would be fine, perhaps, but for one small problem. Because the definition of a terrorism supporter has become enormously elastic, it can be stretched to include anything. If the whole world has become a battlefield, speaking out or acting against powerful vested interests can be dangerous because those interests can turn around and exploit the system to label one a terrorist. And once you are labeled a terrorist, your constitutional rights vanish and you might as well sit around and wait for that knock on the door — or, rather, for the door to be kicked in…

Read the whole article…! And, today, Emptywheel revealed this particularly obnoxious provision in the NDAA… The OTHER Assault on the Fourth Amendment in the NDAA? Drones at Your Airport?

Now, onto Iran…

A point that I’ve raised a few times before was that most of the assassinated Iranian Nuclear Scientists had met earlier with IAEA officials, just prior to their subsequent demises…! So what could possibly motivate the Iranian Officials to participate in any future IAEA meet-ups…?

Interestingly…

Indignant

The attacks are making some in the West uncomfortable.

Hans Blix, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1981-97 and a former Swedish foreign minister, told Reuters: “When it comes to the murder … What is the effectiveness of it?”

“I think people will be indignant, and in fact not only in Iran. I think people everywhere are indignant.”

The result of more frequent and public attacks could be increased tension, analysts say, raising risks of a clash between U.S. and Iranian forces in the Gulf or of a unilateral Israeli air strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, either one of which might result in temporary closure of the strategic waterway…

{snip}

…Speculation has lingered about a possible divergence of views between the United States and Israel on tactics. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the Jan. 11 killing by saying the United States had nothing to do with any “violent acts inside Iran” and condemning such actions.

US Iran expert Sick wrote: “The US government had made no such intervention in previous assassination cases. If the perpetrator was, as widely suspected, Israel, this was a serious warning not to interfere in US diplomatic efforts.”

He wrote that while the Israeli government distrusted the diplomatic track, the Obama administration had looked hard at the potential effects of a war with Iran and “has decided that a return to the negotiating track is essential”.

Asked where the Iran standoff was heading, Blix replied: “For the moment the decibel level is fairly high. But it is clear to me that the Obama administration … does not want war and bombing. That is quite clear.”

“The American public is clearly somewhat war-fatigued.”

Anyways, some interesting questions abound… Who’s Running Covert OPS In Iran? Coupled with this little tidbit… New U.S. Commando Team Operating Near Iran…

Drawing Careful Conclusions from the Iran Assassination…

Here’s a great working timeline on Iran…

Here’s another great primer…

…Intensifying the drums of war with over-the-top statements that Iran, with an inferior set of missiles and a vastly inadequate Navy, represents “the greatest threat to world peace” and that “the actions and policies of Iran threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States” ignore the inconvenient reality that US intelligence has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons capacity in Iran…

The Iranian Navy might not be as inadequate as first thought…

…Amiri underlined that significance of submarines are not just indebted to their arms and equipment, “rather the tactical issues are very important”, given the geographical specifications of the waters surrounding the county.

“For example,” he stated, “if an ordinary submarines can sit in the Persian Gulf’s bed it would be the worst threat to the enemy.”

“That is one of the US concerns since Iranian submarines are noiseless and can easily evade detection as they are equipped with the sonar-evading technology” and can fire missiles and torpedoes simultaneously, he added.

“When the submarine sits on the seabed it can easily target and hit an aircraft carrier traversing in the nearby regions,” Amiri reiterated…

Funny that Ehud Barak is now saying… Israel says ‘very far’ from decision to attack Iran…

…Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday any decision about an attack on Iran was “very far off”. {snip}

…Asked if the United States has asked Israel to tell them before any assault against Iran, Barak said, “We haven’t made any decision to do this. This entire thing is very far off.”

Barak also hinted that Israel — presumed to have the only nuclear warheads in the region — was coordinating with Washington its plans to deal with Tehran’s nuclear project.

“I don’t think our ties with the United States are such that they have no idea what we are talking about,” he said.

When asked whether “very far off” meant weeks or months, Barak said, “I wouldn’t want to provide any estimates. It’s certainly not urgent.” The March leadership election in Israel’s main opposition Kadima party “will happen sooner,” he said…

Nothing to see here folks, move along…!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Beltway… House Foreign Affairs Chair: Iran Talks ‘A Foolish Waste of Time’ Opposes Any Theoretical Talks With Iran…

Wtf…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

Gilad Shalit ‘Happy’ if All Prisoners Were Freed

10:16 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Al Jazeera reported today…

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been released as part of a swap deal with Hamas, has said he would be “very happy” if all Palestinian prisoners still held by Israel could be freed and return home.

Speaking to Egypt’s Nile TV, Shalit, who had been held in captivity for five years, said “I hope this deal will help the conclusion of a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Israel and Hamas agreed to Tuesday’s swap through Egyptian mediation that secured Shalit’s release in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

Shalit, who told the interviewer he had been informed of his impending release one week ago, said: “I hope co-operation and links between the two sides will be consolidated.”

The 25-year-old soldier, who appeared overwhelmed and faint, said that he had been treated well by his Hamas captors during the years he was held hostage.

“I’m very emotional. I haven’t seen people in a long time. I missed my family. I missed seeing people, and talking to them,” he said…

Whoa Nelly…! Say what, SFC Shalit…? You do realize you’ve just set off a serious sh*t storm with your very first interview, on both sides of the Pond…?

From the WaPoo…

Israeli official ‘shocked’ at Schalit interview conducted minutes after he was freed

An Israeli official says he was shocked by a surprise interview soldier Gilad Schalit gave to Egyptian TV minutes after he was released from Hamas captivity.

A gaunt and weary Schalit awkwardly answered the questions from an Egyptian journalist before he was allowed to speak to his family or enter Israel.

Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip says the militant group has officially turned over captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to Egypt as part of a prisoner swap with Israel.

The Israeli official said Tuesday, “We are all shocked that a so-called interview was forced on (Schalit).”

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a sensitive diplomatic matter, but said the sentiment was widely shared in official Israeli ranks.

Ironically, I don’t think Bibi, Barak, and, Gantz had gotten that particular meme in quite enough time…

Anyways, Arutz Sheva was screaming its head off from the get go…

Israeli Media: Shalit Egyptian TV Interview ‘Borderline Torture’

Israel expressed its shock over the interview that Gilad Shalit ws apparently forced to give just minutes after he was handed over to Egypt.

On this side of the Pond, the Ziocons went nuts…

US awkwardly welcomes Israeli-Hamas prisoner swap

The U.S. is welcoming the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit after five years of captivity despite concerns over some of the Palestinians freed in return. And the U.S. isn’t saying whether the Israeli-Hamas prisoner swap is likely to affect hopes for Mideast peace talks.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that the U.S. was pleased that Schalit’s ordeal was over.

But she and other U.S. officials didn’t address Hamas’ part in the deal or the merit of Israel’s decision to free more than 1,000 Palestinians to secure Schalit’s release.

The U.S. response was muted for several reasons. With the U.S.-backed peace process foundering, the disproportional prisoner trade likely will strengthen the Hamas militant group and weaken Palestinian President Mahmoud Abba’s (mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’) American-backed government.

(mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’) Are they really that stoopid…? Rhetorical, mind ya…

Ever more stupidity from our Reichwingers, Stateside… Does Gilad Shalit deal reward terrorists?

Anyways, Ha’aretz to its credit, quickly debunked much of that ‘noise’…

Egyptian journalist rejects Israel’s criticism of Shalit interview

Shahira Amin tells Haaretz ‘I asked Gilad if he was willing to be interviewed and he said he was,’ says otherwise she wouldn’t have conducted the interview.

In your face, Babee…!

I personally applaud the freeing of Shalit, his promising remarks, and, the triumphant return of many Palestinian Prisoners…! It was truly a positive day in the Annals of I/P relations…!

The Earth is but one Nation, and Mankind it’s Citizens…! *g*

by CTuttle

Dubious Evidence And Illicit Munitions

5:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I’m always delighted when the Real News asks the very same questions and follows the very same sources as I do…!

As +972′s intrepid Yossi Gurvitz fleshes out the story…

Evidence undermines gov’t’s claim that terrorists were Gazans

The Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister claim the terrorist attack last week came from Gaza. They have yet to provide any proof – and the evidence looks dubious…

…However, Israel has never supplied any proof that the attack has indeed originated in the Gaza Strip. The PRC have denied involvement in the attack. An Israeli propaganda apparatus, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, also claimed (Hebrew) the PRC was behind the attacks, but had to tautologically write “no terror organizations has publicly claimed responsibility for the attack and the Popular Resistance Committee has denied any involvement. However, the Israeli prime minister and other Israeli officials have pointed to the Popular Resistance Committee as the organization who carried out the attack. So, according to the ITIC, the fact that Netanyahu said something is proof enough, even if the other side completely denies it…

To add insult to injury, it seems Bibi’s up to his same old tricks…!

Here are images from local Gaza TV, the night of 19 August 2011. It seems we’re seeing the continued use of illegal and/or experimental weapons, as he had used in Cast Lead(WP, DU, etc…) “I’ve never seen shrapnel wounds like this before.”

It should be heavily emphasized that Hamas and all the myriad Gaza organizations have agreed to a Ceasefire…

Hamas: Gaza Militants Agree to Ceasefire

Through a deal brokered by Egypt, Hamas agreed to Israel’s demands that Palestinians cease fire first.

Gaza militants agreed to a ceasefire with Israel, a Hamas official said Sunday, three days of violence from all sides. The Hamas official said militants in Gaza have agreed the truce would go into effect Sunday evening, in accordance with the deal brokered by Egypt.

Egyptian officials said Israel would agree to halt strikes only if the Palestinians stopped the rocket fire first. A spokesman for Israel’s government would not comment, and it was not clear if the cease-fire would take effect or hold…

Btw, the Egyptians are mighty pissed off at Bibi’s recent response to this tragic affair…

Egypt Says Israeli Response to Deaths Insufficient

Crowds of Egyptians protested at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo after Israel expressed regret over the killing of five Egyptian security personnel. Egypt condemned Israel in a statement after a second cabinet crisis meeting Saturday.

“Egyptian blood is not cheap and the government will not accept that Egyptian blood gets shed for nothing,” state news agency MENA quoted a cabinet statement as saying.The Israeli promise to work with Egypt to investigate the killings is “positive in appearance but does not fit with the weight of the incident and the state of Egyptians’ outrage from the Israeli actions’, MENA added.

I do think that Bibi might actually be getting a clue, after long last…

Israeli ministers vote for restraint as Gaza truce holds

‘Israel won’t be dragged into places it doesn’t want to be,’ says Benjamin Netanyahu’s aide.

The cabinet voted yesterday to refrain from any action that could lead to an escalation in the south and to cooperate indirectly with the truce Hamas declared on Sunday. So far, the truce has largely held, although three rockets did hit southern Israel from the Gaza Strip yesterday…

…What emerged most clearly from Netanyahu’s and Barak’s statements to the cabinet was that Israel lacks the international legitimacy needed for a large-scale operation in Gaza. The diplomatic crisis with Egypt further constrains Israel’s freedom of action.

“The prime minister thinks it would be wrong to race into a total war in Gaza right now,” one of Netanyahu’s advisors said. “We are preparing to respond if the fire continues, but Israel will not be dragged into places it doesn’t want to be.”

Several Netanyahu aides detailed the constraints on Israeli military action, most of which are diplomatic.

“There’s a sensitive situation in the Middle East, which is one big boiling pot; there’s the international arena; there’s the Palestinian move in the Untied Nations in September,” when the Palestinians hope to obtain UN recognition as a state, one advisor enumerated. “We have to pick our way carefully.”

No sh*t, Sherlock…!

Sadly… Barak: Enemies Will Be ‘Decapitated’… He won’t rule out a Gaza ground invasion…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Wingnuts Unite or Maybe Not…

4:06 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Ynet…

Glenn Beck’s Jerusalem rally program unveiled

TV star’s solidarity event is expected to draw thousands of Israelis, Americans with music, pyrotechnics. Sarah Palin, republican presidential candidates set to drop by

Tens of thousands of excited Israelis and Americans, music performances, appearances by local and international celebrities, senior politicians and a live broadcast that will reach millions of viewers – this is just some of what is in store for Glenn Beck’s upcoming rally “to restore courage,” which is set to take place on August 24 in Jerusalem. [...]

…This year, the Wailing Wall will replace Lincoln Memorial as the backdrop for the event, which will take place at Jerusalem’s Old City and the Teddy Stadium simultaneously.

The multi-million dollar production is expected to be attended by a convoy of American dignitaries, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. US Senator Joe Lieberman, a independent, and Republicans Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Congresswoman Michelle Bachman are to join Beck at the rally as well…

As +972′s Ami Kaufman wrote: Glenn Beck, do me a favor: Don’t come to Israel… Indeedy…!

Oopsies…

Glenn Beck’s Jerusalem Rally: GOP Presidential Candidates Not Planning To Attend, Despite Report

…Yet despite the report that Beck’s rally is set to draw a ‘who’s who’ among the Republican presidential field, those named don’t seem to have plans to attend.

Joe DeSantis, one of the few remaining Gingrich aides, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post that the former speaker “has not said he is coming.”

Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for Romney, said that “he is not planning to attend.”

Huckabee, in a tweet, said he was “not headed to Israel” for the rally but would “be there in February” for a separate group trip.

And a spokesperson for the rally told The Huffington Post that those candidates aren’t locked in for a simple reason: They haven’t been asked. [...]

Still, there could be at least one 2012 contender at the Jerusalem rally. Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza who is now running for president, said last week that he plans to attend.

A request for comment from Bachmann’s office was not immediately returned…

Wapoo’s Dana Milbank questions Holy Joe’s ‘participation’…

Joe Lieberman joining Glenn Beck: a shanda

…It turned out that much of the report was wrong. The three candidates quickly said they had no such plans – a sensible decision. Beck’s hateful shtick encouraged even Fox News to end his show later this month. But, incredibly, another piece of the report was true. “I’d love to participate,” Lieberman confirmed when The Post’s Felicia Sonmez found him in a Capitol hallway. “It’s just going to be a rally to support Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

This nearly caused me to plotz. [...]

…When I spoke to Lieberman, he sounded less definite. “Am I going to go? I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of other things going on.” I hope he finds something else to do on Aug. 24. As he approaches his Senate retirement, it would spare him a shameful end to a dignified career.

Lieberman, who knew Beck back when he was a morning DJ in New Haven, may have missed some of the broadcaster’s recent feats: hosting a guest on his show who describes as “accurate” the anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”; likening Reform rabbis to “radicalized Islam”; calling Holocaust survivor George Soros a “puppet master,” a bloodsucker and a Nazi collaborator; touting the work of a Nazi sympathizer who referred to Eisenhower as “Ike the Kike”; and claiming the Jews killed Jesus.

“Obviously,” Lieberman said after I presented some of this to him, “that’s troubling stuff.”

Since when has HoJo ever been ‘troubled’…? They’re both Putzes, too…!

Anyways, in other I/P news of real import…

Gaza flotilla organizers disappointed by Turkish group’s decision to cancel ship

Flotilla organizers hold urgent consultations following IHH announcement that Mavi Marmara won’t sail to Gaza; five to eight ships expected to take part in flotilla later this month.

We’re back to square one…

Report: US presents Israel, PA with plan for ‘proximity steps’

US special Middle East envoy David Hale presented Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with an American proposal to initiate “proximity steps” between Israel and the Palestinians, al-Jazeera reported on Saturday.

According to the report, during their meeting in Jordan on Friday, Hale said the United States was waiting for Israel’s answer on the matter…

You want an answer…?

FM: We will revoke Oslo deal if PA makes UN move

…Israel’s foreign minster told Ashton that a unilateral Palestinian move at the UN would violate all prior agreements between the two sides, and that Israel will no longer see itself committed to any of the agreements signed with the Palestinians in the past 18 years.

Lieberman went on to say that the position taken by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meant there was zero chance of restarting the talks. He accused the head of the Palestinian Authority of being interested not in an agreement but in a conflict with Israel, and said this was a personal interest of Abbas, contrary to the Palestinian national interest and the objections of many PA officials. He said Israel was prepared to return to negotiations at any moment, and that the ball was in the Palestinians’ court…

Meanwhile, the Occupation goes on and on…

But wait, there’s a bright side…

Barak: Palestinians shouldn’t mind WB construction

Defense minister says settlement construction cannot fully stop due to ‘reality, natural population growth,’ but states ‘Palestinians shouldn’t care – they’ll get any house built on lands they get in talks’

*gah*