You are browsing the archive for Mahmoud Abbas.

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: The I/P, Egypt, Libya, and Turkey

8:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Col. Pat Lang penned an excellent retort to Oren’s brazen attempt to whitewash the IDF…

IDF marksman caught on tape in teenagers deaths

They do this kind of thing. The IDF can usually simply deny the event because it is not recorded and they feel free to lie to the world. After all, these are just Palestinians.

I witnessed a similar event in Bethlehem about 15 years ago. Three Palestinian teenagers were killed that day when Israeli troops opened fire with ball ammunition from a sandbagged position at Rachel’s tomb. (It is now permanently fortified) Having tried to administer CPR to one of the boys I can certify that he was shot through the thorax with a rifle. I happened to be on the scene shopping. The boys had been throwing rocks at the soldiers. There were about 15 wounded. They had been hit with super-caliber riot control munitions and had broken bones.

They got caught this time because CNN had a camera crew in this town for Naqba Day “festivities” outside Ofer Prison. The CNN camera man caught an Israeli soldier on the wall of the prison firing what looks like an M-4 carbine at the demonstrators. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador in Washington claimed yesterday on “Wolf” that no ball (live fire) ammunition was used but the father of the boy hit from in front had a bullet that he said went through his son’s chest, through his backpack and a book inside and was found in the pack. It looked like 5.56 mm. to me. It was not noticeably deformed. That would be the case with steel jacketed military ammunition.

Oren suggested that the Palestinians staged all this to make Israel look bad. pl

Meanwhile, Abu Mazen, continues to undermine the Palestinians… The repercussions of forfeiting international recognition

An interesting development… New unity government to review Hamas laws in Gaza

Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity – A Long History of Corruption

Israel-Palestine: Europe should atone for its sins

Moving along to Egypt and Al-Sisi… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

The I/P Peace Farce

4:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(Pls watch from the 40 min mark, at least!)

From today’s Ma’an News…

PA: Israel settlements led to peace talks impasse

US-sponsored peace talks with Israel have reached an impasse because of Jewish settlement activity, a Palestinian spokesman said, as plans for over 2,000 West Bank units were moved forward.

The latest crisis comes as Washington scrambles for a formula to allow the Palestinians and Israelis to carry on the peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline.

“Israel’s settlement activity caused the negotiations to fail and led them to an impasse,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, told AFP.

Abu Rudeina was reacting to the decision of an Israeli defense ministry committee, revealed earlier on Thursday, to push forward with plans to build 2,269 new West Bank homes.

A ministry spokesman said last month the committee had approved the building of 1,015 units in Leshem, Beit El and Almog, leaving Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s approval as the final step.

The same committee approved 1,254 units in Ariel, Shvut Rachel and Shavei Shomron. Those projects will be published in the media for public comment before returning to the committee for further discussion.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are teetering on the brink of collapse, with Washington fighting an uphill battle to get the two sides to agree to a framework proposal to extend the negotiations to the year’s end.

To be sure…

From hocus pocus to open sesame to recognition as Jewish state: It’s a kind of magic

Forget refugees, settlements, Jerusalem or security: Everyone is waiting for Abbas to say the magic words that will launch a whole new world, presto-change-o.

To the long list of such enchanted incantations as open sesame, hocus pocus, and bibbedy-bobbedy-boo, we can now add “recognition as a Jewish state.” If Mahmoud Abbas would only say the magic words, then presto-change-o, the walls will come tumbling down, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will end and we’ll have a whole new world, shining, shimmering and splendid.

This, at least, the impression one gets from the focus of the discussion in recent weeks about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s struggling peace initiative. Forget once-burning but now-boring issues such as settlements, security, refugees, borders, Jerusalem or Temple Mount: recognition as Jewish state is the only game in town. Once the words are said, it’s going to be wham-bam-alakazaam, welcome to the magic kingdom.

It’s not for nothing that Benjamin Netanyahu was once widely known in Israel as hakosem, the magician. His mastery of the media, his meteoric rise in the Likud, his utterly fantastic victory over Shimon Peres in the 1996 elections – all of these endowed Bibi with a supernatural mystique. And while the magic didn’t last forever and Netanyahu was subsequently subjected to a barrage of obligatory clichés – his spell is broken, no more tricks up his sleeve, King Midas in reverse etc – once an illusionist, always an illusionist. He’s still got plenty of wizardry left up his sleeves.

Standing up to AIPAC means supporting Israeli dissidents

The voice of ‘pro-Israel’ militarism has been ringing through the halls of Washington D.C. since the 1970s. Now, to end the occupation, American citizens must couple their opposition to AIPAC with support for anti-occupation groups in Israel.

BDS works…! Boycott movement has empowered Palestinians, says co-founder

However, it seems the PA is not the solution either, from Haaretz…

The Palestinian Authority is on the brink of collapse, study says

Only achieving statehood could save the West Bank from an impending wave of violence, crime, chaos, disease, says major Palestinian report

The breakdown of the Palestinian Authority would turn the West Bank into a violent, criminal, chaotic, disease-ridden place. But even though most Palestinians want the PA to survive, either for the sake of basic social order or personal interest, and although Israel dreads having to resume responsibility for 3 million West Bankers, President Mahmoud Abbas’ regime will collapse before too long if Israel continues to thwart Palestinian aspirations for independence.

This is the conclusion of a massive six-month study by the highly-regarded Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, directed by Dr. Khalil Shikaki.

A great many Palestinians have a deeply vested interest in the PA’s continued existence, Shikaki notes. Connections with the PA bring “financial well being, social and political status in society, and there are circles that depend on their relation to PA. Anything that happens to the PA will take all of that away from them. These could be organizations, business interests or individuals who have positions of power that allow them to reward sympathizers.

“If they could call the shots, they would do their best to prevent [the PA’s collapse],” Shikaki said, “But even those who have a vested interest in satisfying Israel, for the sake of preserving the PA, cannot do it for too long.”

If ordinary Palestinians still support the existence of the PA, it’s because they have a need for some kind of order, he adds. “People do not want to see themselves without a central authority that prevents chaos and anarchy in the streets, even if they have a lot of criticism of the PA and its functioning. But the Palestinians are willing to risk it collapsing completely, if it happens in the midst of a struggle for a change in the status quo. If there is a good reason for it to collapse, then [the attitude is] let it be.”

The PA is 20 years old, but voices questioning its efficacy were already being heard at the start of the second intifada in 2000. They’ve returned and intensified over the past two or three years, as it has become clear that the PA is not delivering on either of the two goals it was established to achieve: statehood and the provision of public services. Add to this the increasing economic difficulties and the rupture with the Gaza Strip, and the picture of failure is complete.

And, I have to agree with Abbas’ son… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Tunisia

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Kerry hadn’t even cleared Israeli airspace when Bibi announced those new ‘settlements’…!

One of Kerry’s (misguided) demands on Abbas was to concede on Likud’s Jewish State stance, Juan Cole served up an excellent diatribe…

Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is adding a fifth demand to his negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas: That the Palestinians recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state.

For Netanyahu’s demand to make any sense, he first has to define ‘Jewish.’ ‘Jewish’ has a number of possible meanings. It can mean ‘those recognized by Talmudic law as members of the Jewish “race” via maternal descent.’ The latter is the legal definition of Jewishness in Israeli law itself, and for this reason we must presume that it is what Netanyahu has in mind. It can also mean ‘adherents of the Judaic religion,’ and we can explore those implications, as well.

Needless to say no real ‘Framework’ was realized, except to agree to talk some more…

Kerry on Sunday wrapped up a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Before leaving for Jordan, Kerry was quoted by Israel Radio as saying that the United States and President Barack Obama are committed to presenting a ‘fair and balanced’ peace plan for the Middle East and improving security for all nations in the region.

During the press conference after his meeting with Abbas on Saturday, Kerry also said some progress were made in the peace talks, without mentioning any details.

However, the Palestinian source said on condition of anonymity that Kerry hasn’t officially presented to the Palestinian side any written document or a plan for a framework agreement, except for discussing issues such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Nabil Abu Rdineh, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a press statement that ‘President Abbas rejects all transitional, partial and temporary solutions.’

He added that Abbas and Kerry agreed to continue their meetings in the coming weeks.

To be sure… Like lambs to the slaughter, the Palestinians are sleep-walking to disaster, again…!

And, US-Israeli agenda is to fragment Mideast.

Stay tuned… Snowden has more US-Israel secrets to expose…!

Moving along…

From the Grey Lady, recently… Saudis’ Grant to Lebanon Is Seen as Message to U.S.

Experts: Lebanese army “likely” to be attacked by Al Qaeda-linked brigade in coming days…!

Interestingly, it’s not just the Saudis’ fault… Lebanon complains to UN on Israel border espionage

So with all the Saudi perfidy in Anbar province and Syria, et al… Jordan on “alert” as tension rises on borders with Iraq, Syria

Meanwhile, Abbas met with King Playstation today… Abbas discusses peace process with Jordanian king While they both categorically rejected Israel’s demands on the Jordan Valley, they did craft a unified response to Kerry Israel, flatly, repudiated Kerry’s pathetic proposals… Israel rejects US proposals on Jordan Valley

Looking at our Libyan Fiasco…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Kerry’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

So, SoS Kerry is having a horrible, no good, very bad week…

Abbas: Negotiations made zero progress so far

Peace negotiations with Israel haven’t made any progress so far despite all the meetings between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday…

“Israel is saying that after prisoners have been released, settlement expansion should continue,” Abbas said.

This connection, he added, and this parity might blow up the situation while negotiations have achieved nothing yet.

Abbas also asserted that he turned down a request by the US administration to freeze any legal procedures through international organizations during the nine months of negotiations.

“It is the Palestinians who can decide on this step and nobody can force them to take it,” he said.

Alex Kane, at Mondoweiss, further elaborates… Netanyahu’s sweet deal: 104 prisoners for thousands of settlements.

Ironically, in an Ike like moment of clarity, as he’s headed out the door…


Chief security adviser: If talks fail, Israel risks isolation

Yaakov Amidror warns pressure and boycotts may increase if no progress with Palestinians, says ‘everything must be done’ to stop Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outgoing national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, said Sunday that should the current US-brokered peace talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel’s position in the world could worsen, and international pressure would mount.

At a ceremony marking the end of his tenure at the Prime Minister’s Office, Amidror said “it [is] clear to everyone that handling international pressure depends on the progress of the negotiations, and if the talks fail, it will give everyone interested in boycotting us every reason to do so.”

The outgoing adviser called the EU’s decision in July to issue directives imposing bans on funding to Israeli entities with links to the settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, a “conscious decision.” He warned that Israel must take what he described as a “type of an economic boycott” very seriously…

As RT put it…

US peace effort wavers as Israel issues tenders for new settlement homes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the ministers of his Likud party on Sunday that he never promised to freeze settlement construction during talks, according to a source cited by AFP.

“The Palestinians knew very well that Israel would be building during the negotiations,” Netanyahu told them. “Israel did not take upon itself any limitations in this regard.”

But, that’s only one of Kerry’s severe migraines this week…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Bibi as Wile E. Coyote and Obama at the UN

6:34 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Richard Silverstein wrote today about Bibi’s buffoonery at the UN…

Bibi as Wile E. Coyote

You didn’t think you were gonna get away without seeing Bibi Netanyahu’s Wile E. Coyote moment during his UN speech today, did you? Look at the picture, Bibi’s even glaring a bit like the coyote after he’s been outsmarted by his cartoon nemesis. Someone (Bibi himself?) in the day and age of Powerpoint presentations, thought of the great idea of sending their boss up to the lectern of the world’s most respected international body with a sharpie and a cartoon version of a nuclear bomb. I suppose they thought the simplicity of the gesture might impress. Instead it’s backfired as any simpleton could’ve told them it would.

Further, Bibi made a critical error in drawing his “red line” at the 90% enrichment level. He meant to draw it BELOW that line since presumably Israel would want to attack Iran BEFORE it achieved weapons grade uranium fuel. If Israel attacked Iran AFTER it secured enough fuel to make a bomb it would defeat the purpose, no?

Even the Huffpoo mocked Bibi… Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu Draws Cartoon Bomb At UN General Assembly To Illustrate Iran Nuclear Threat

Now, If it Quacks like a Duck

Yesterday, Obama delivered his remarks to the UN…

You can read the text of his speech here or watch the full half hour speech here…!

Here’s the UN’s official Press Release about Oily Bomber’s appearance at the 67th General Assembly…

At UN debate, US President urges dealing honestly with tensions between Arabs and West

Warning that the world faces “a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes we hold in common,” United States President Barack Obama said today the deadly violence sparked by an anti-Islam video is an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded.

“The events of the last two weeks speak to the need for all of us to address honestly the tensions between the West and an Arab World moving to democracy,” he told scores of heads of State and Government attending the 67th General Assembly’s General Debate on its opening day, calling on world leaders to espouse the peaceful settlement of disputes.

However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism.

Cities in North Africa and the Middle East recently experienced violent protests in response to an anti-Islamic video produced in the state of California by a US citizen. In the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, the US ambassador to the country, Christopher Stevens, and three other diplomats were killed, and others injured or killed, when suspected Libyan religious extremists stormed the US Consulate there.

The film has drawn widespread condemnation around the world, including from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“On this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence,” President Obama said, calling the video “crude and disgusting,” but explaining how such hateful comment is allowed by the freedom of speech clause in the US constitution.

“There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan,” he added, referring to the attacks that killed Ambassador Stevens and caused deaths elsewhere.

“Burning an American flag will do nothing to educate a child. Smashing apart a restaurant will not fill an empty stomach. Attacking an Embassy won’t create a single job,” he noted.

President Obama said the US has supported the forces of change that have toppled dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and he called for an end to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where more than 18,000 people have been killed in an uprising against his rule over the past 18 months.

“However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism,” he declared, stressing that the recent violence or hateful speech by some individuals does not represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims any more than the views of the video producers behind the anti-Islam film represent those of Americans.

“It is time to marginalize those who, even when not resorting to violence, use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel as a central principle of politics,” the US President said. “For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes excuses, for those who resort to violence.”

President Obama pledged that the US will never retreat from the world and will bring to justice those who harm its citizens and friends, while standing with its allies and partnering with countries to deepen ties of trade and investment, science and technology, energy and development.

“It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past,” he declared.

“The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted ‘Muslims, Christians, we are one.’ The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons…

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims.”

Turning to specific crises, President Obama said the future for Israelis and Palestinians must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace and thrive on conflict, and those who reject Israel’s right to exist, but to those who pursue the hard but clear goal of a secure, Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine.

On Iran, he said the US wants to resolve nuclear issue through diplomacy and believes there is still time and space to do so.

“But that time is not unlimited,” he warned. “We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace. Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained.

“It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unravelling of the non-proliferation treaty. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Scores of the world’s heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.

The US President also met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today. In their meeting, the two men discussed the importance of combating hate speech and incitement to violence while protecting free speech, and agreed on the importance of the UN’s work to promote tolerance.

Other topics they discussed included the situation in Syria and its impact on the region, the needs of the Palestinian people and the growing challenges in West Africa’s Sahel region, in addition to the global challenges on food and nutrition, women’s and children’s health, and education, and the need for UN reform.

I thought Steve Hynd best summed it with his quip; “do as I say, not as I do, or I’ll bomb you”

…Much of it is an interesting exhortation to Muslims across the globe who are currently involved in protesting a certain movie trailer to put away violence as a tactic. The bulk of the rest is the usual copperplate about America loving democracy so much that it sends its citizens to impose freedom at gunpoint in other countries, and promising to always be there to bomb dictators (and any male of military age who happens to be nearby and can therefore be labelled a “militant” once he is too dead to protest that label). Obama reels of US aide for the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya but the word “Bahrain” does not pass his lips, nor does any indication that the regime being propped up in Yemen is just as oppressive as any Islamist current seeking to replace it. iraq and Afghanistan are places the US is leaving – not places the US invaded, nosir. You won’t find a reference to the chain of sub-Saharan nations where the US is currently offering “military assistance” (training, special forces, arms, drone strikes) to often corrupt regimes either.

And then there’s Iran. {…}

Obama and his speechwriters must know that his UN listeners are spotting all the things unsaid and writing their own subtexts in their heads. They know there’s a healthy helping of hypocrisy, of “do as I say, not as I do, or I’ll bomb you” going on. Yet this is the stageshow that must be gone through every time a US President speaks at the UN. While Obama’s talking about changes in the way people resolve their problems internationally, perhaps he’d do well to contemplate the beam in his own nation’s eye.

Meanwhile, a lot of noteworthy speeches have been given from the UN Podium in the past several days…

From Egyptian President Morsi’s declaration… ‘Israel refusal to join NPT, inexcusable’…

Continuing with some newly minted Mossad/CIA Tools MENA leaders… Libya’s new leader apologizes at U.N. for Gaddafi crimes…

And, Speaking of tools, Abu Mazen… ‘Pares His Statehood Aspirations at UN’…

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for real humanitarian assistance and saner minds to prevail…

From General Assembly podium, Lebanon calls for international help for Syrian refugees

… “The security consequences of the Syrian crisis threaten peace and stability in the Middle East and specifically in Lebanon,” Prime Minister Mikati said. “The international community must exert more efforts in order to assure political consensus among Syrian parties to end violence that is claiming hundreds of innocent lives each day.”

The ongoing violence in neighbouring Syria has fuelled sectarian tensions across Lebanon and raised concerns that the country could plunge back into the internecine violence it endured during its 15 year civil war, which ended in 1990.

In his statement to the Assembly, the Lebanese leader urged the United Nations to further the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and achieve an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. He also denounced Israel for violations of the accord that ended its month-long war with Hizbollah in 2006, calling on it to end its continued occupation of land in southern Lebanon.

“Our region is still striving to cope with the dramatic consequences that followed the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and its on-going occupation of Arab territories and its continued violations of International Law and United Nations resolutions,” Prime Minister Mikati said.

He added, “Peace along with freedom and justice are the pillars for attaining both security and stability and will pave the way towards the eradication of oppression, extremism, and terrorism in our world. Stability cannot occur without a Palestinian spring through the full implementation of the Palestinians right to self-determination on their land.”

In summing up some of the other excellent debates at the UN, wendydavis, wrote a great post… Julian Assange to UN: “End Obama’s Regime of Secrecy”…

Along with Kevin’s excellent reporting… Assange Addresses UN Members, Lambasts Obama’s UN Address for Rewriting History…

I also totally agree with The CallUp’s… After The Iraq Debacle, It Would Be Negligent For Americans Not To Watch Ahmadinejad’s U.N. Speech, particularly since it was Ahmadinejad’s last appearance at the UN…!

Meanwhile, I do pity all those New Yorkers… Get Your Gridlock On: It’s UN General Assembly Time…

Stay tuned…

by CTuttle

Giving Thanks: A Cornucopia of Middle East Affairs

10:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From my Ohana to yours, I’d like to extend a hale Happy Holiday…!

I’ve been absorbed in my local Occupy Hilo and haven’t posted much about the I/P and the Middle East, my humble apologies…!

As you’re cooking and basting your turkey (I’m cooking two birds) I’d like to provide you a veritable cornucopia of Middle East news and intel…

As my first dish, I’d like to serve up some Seymour Hersch (mp3)…! Antiwar’s Scott Horton talks with Sy about his recent blog post: Iran and the I.A.E.A… It is certainly refreshing to hear Sy attesting to much of what I’ve already reported earlier, such as my; Wag The Dog: Green Salt is The New Yellowcake…

Staying with Antiwar radio, this Philip Giraldi interview is a must-hear too…! To wit; Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the CIA agents “rolled up” in Iran and Lebanon because of sloppy tradecraft (like regularly meeting at a Beirut Pizza Hut). Now, remind me again of how many Billion$ we are spending on these utter buffoons…?

Now, I do have a lot of links to provide… So continuing with the Lebanon meme… The intrepid Richard Silverstein unleashed another veritable ‘bombshell’…

Exclusive: Israeli Military Intelligence Caused Massive Explosion in Hezbollah South Lebanon Arms Cache

…Now comes an exclusive report from an authoritative Israeli source with considerable military experience, that IDF military intelligence (Aman) has out foxed Hezbollah by deliberately crash-landing a booby-trapped Trojan Horse drone in southern Lebanon…

…The moral being, in this dirty game called asymmetrical warfare, you and your enemy circle each other warily seeking to exploit any weakness. And you will make mistakes because you are only human. The fatal assumption is that your opponent is the only dumb one who will make them, and you never will…

Moving on, it was surprising to see Lt. Pike make an appearance in Tel Aviv…

Tel Aviv police pepper-spray democracy protesters

…Earlier, I read a few Twitter messages about tear gas being used by the police. This sounded strange – Israeli security forces never use it in Jewish neighborhoods. On King George, the mystery was solved – it was pepper spray, the current world-wide celebrity of the crowd control department. An activist I knew was still red-eyed when I met him – he said the police had lost control for a minute, and sprayed the protesters for no reason at all.

You can see it happen clearly in the video (min 0:18), take by Eran Vered. Later, you can also spot the district police commander (min 1:46, not in uniform but in blue clothes) kicking protesters that are on sitting on the road…

The accompanying YouTubes were just as damning as Lt. Pike’s viral heroics…

Now, continuing along with Israeli news… I did find it rather ironic to hear Tzipi Livni, belatedly, bemoaning the real facts on the ground…

Israel turning into dictatorship

Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni accused the government during a Knesset hearing of compromising Israel’s democratic system.

“We have always prided ourselves on being the only democracy in the Middle East. We were a democracy, and the others were dictatorships,” she said. “While Egypt is trying to become a democracy like us, we’re passing laws that will turn Israel into a dictatorship.”

Haaretz featured two articles to that effect…

MKs to debate bill that would limit freedom to petition Israel’s High Court

Former chief justice Aharon Barak: Democracy is not just majority rule.

And…

Israel’s investigative journalists facing increasing obstacles

Investigative journalism is hard enough in a country as small as Israel, and an intensifying onslaught against freedom of the press is endangering it even further.

Btw, Bibi had totally lost all his senses in the Knesset, yesterday…

Netanyahu: Arab world moving backward, not forward

…”In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we’re facing a new era of liberalism and progress…They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don’t see where things are heading,” he said.

But time has proved him right, Netanyahu said. His forecast that the Arab Spring would turn into an “Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli and anti-democratic wave” turned out to be true, he said.

Netanyahu also slammed Western leaders, and especially U.S. President Barak Obama, who had pushed Mubarak to resign from power. At the time this was happening Netanyahu said in closed talks that the American administration and many European leaders don’t understand reality. On Wednesday, he called them “naive.”

I ask today, who here didn’t understand reality? Who here didn’t understand history?” he called from the Knesset podium. “Israel is facing a period of instability and uncertainty in the region. This is certainly not the time to listen to those who say follow your heart.”
Netanyahu used the upheaval in the Arab world to justify his government’s inaction vis-a-vis the peace process with the Palestinians.

“I remember many of you urged me to take the opportunity to make hasty concessions, to rush to an agreement,” he said.

“But I will not establish Israel’s policy on illusions. There’s a huge upheaval here…whoever doesn’t see it is burying his head in the sand,” he said.

“That didn’t stop people from coming to me and suggesting we make all kinds of concessions. I said we insist on foundations of stability and security…all the more so now,” he said.

And it wasn’t just Bibi raving like the lunatic he his, Avi Lieberman, just had to chime in too…

Israel won’t give Fatah-Hamas unity government even one dime

FM says Israel will not recognize or negotiate with a Palestinian unity government if it does not accept the principles outlined by the Mideast Quartet.

Bibi, doubled down and told everyone to f*ck off… Netanyahu Rejects U.S., International Calls To Release Palestinian Money…

It’s already been 5-6 months worth of Palestinian tax revenues that have been collected by Israel, and subsequently withheld from Abu Mazen’s already cash starved PA bureaucracy…! Contrary to the Grey Lady’s pathetic reporting…! Is it any coinky-doink that Abbas is finally teaming up with Hamas…?

Hamas delegation arrives in Cairo for unity talks

A delegation from Hamas arrived in the Egyptian capital Wednesday in preparation for meetings with President Abbas in a bid to implement the reconciliation deal signed in May.

The delegation includes Khalid Mashaal, the head of the Hamas political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouq, Muhammad Naser, Izzat al-Rishq, Khalil al-Hayya, and Nizar Awad.

Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said “we hope the meeting will be fruitful,” and added that the Islamist movement expected to agree with Fatah on establishing a joint authority in the occupied territories.

He also expressed hopes they would adopt a single national strategy.

Abbas is already in Cairo for the unity talks and had even met with the soon-to-be supplanted Tantawi…!

In other ME news, Bahrain is slammed with a withering report… Probe says excessive force used in Bahrain crackdown… Much to the chagrin of the PNAC crew, No Iranian role found in Bahrain unrest… Sucks doesn’t it…?

God help us all…! We’re all the 99% trying to survive the games that are being played…!

As Ike had once famously said…

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

Amen…!

by CTuttle

Panetta: Israel ‘Increasingly Isolated’, And The Numbers Don’t Lie

5:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Ma’an reported earlier…

ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AFP) — US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Arab Spring has left Israel “increasingly isolated” in the Middle East and that its military might could not make up for a weakened diplomatic position.

Speaking to reporters aboard his plane bound for Israel as part of a Middle East tour, Panetta said it was crucial for Israel to shore up its relations with Egypt and other countries in the region that had proved valuable partners in the past.

“There’s not much question in my mind that they maintain that (military) edge. But the question you have to ask is it enough to maintain a military edge, if you’re isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena?” Panetta said.

“At this dramatic time in the Middle East, when there have been so many changes, it’s not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that’s what’s happening,” he said…

Now, Leon wasn’t quite done delivering broadsides at the various parties…

US defense secretary urges return to negotiations

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday called for “bold action” from Israeli and Palestinian leaders to achieve peace, but said freezing of US funds to Palestinians was a mistake…

“I want to emphasize that there is a need, and an opportunity, for bold action on both sides to move toward a negotiated two-state solution. There is no alternative to negotiations,” Panetta said at a news conference with Barak.

Panetta told reporters that the US Congress decision to block $200 million in aid did not come at the right time, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Both Israelis and Palestinians gain from US aid, Ynet quoted Panetta saying…

…Palestinian leaders say they cannot negotiate while Israel refuses to renew a partial moratorium on settlement building on Palestinian lands, which last expired in September 2010 bringing talks to a halt.

F*ck ya, It’s not just a ‘moratorium on settlement building’ that needs to be addressed…! Obama refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer…

… Israel on Sunday formally accepted an international proposal to return to peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but any immediate resumption of talks appeared unlikely as the Israelis and Palestinians differed sharply over the letter and spirit of the proposal

A senior Palestinian official said over the weekend that after three days of deliberations, the Palestinian leadership had decided not to return to talks unless Israel halted all settlement construction and agreed to clear terms of reference for the negotiations — requirements that were perhaps implied but not spelled out in the Sept. 23 statement of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers, which is made up of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

But facts never get in the way of the Obama administration. A State Department spokesman released a statement Sunday: “We welcome the Israeli government’s announcement today expressing readiness to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, as called for by the Quartet.The Palestinians expressed support for the Quartet approach on September 29. The U.S. once again calls on both parties to resume negotiations without preconditions, on the timetable proposed by the Quartet, as the best means to advance their interests, resolve their differences, and fulfill the President’s two-state vision.” Umm, but didn’t, you know, the Palestinians say just the opposite?

However, as the recently released UNOCHA report points out in plain english, it’s Israel clearly stepping up it’s ‘game’…

UN statistics show that Israel’s occupation is more aggressive

…The UNOCHA report said that the Israeli Occupation Authorities demolished 409 Palestinian structures in 2011 compared with 290 over the same period in 2010. Just over 800 Palestinians have been injured to-date in 2011; the figure for January to September 2010 was 374.

Attacks by illegal Jewish settlers accounted for 139 Palestinians being injured so far this year; in 2010 the figure was 74. Settler-related incidents resulting in Palestinian injuries or property damage, said UNOCHA, numbered 326 in 2011 compared with 202 in 2010.

The report also revealed that the number of Palestinians injured at the hands of Israeli forces has doubled in 2011 when compared to last year: 471 Palestinians were injured by the Occupation forces this year while there were 194 such cases in 2010. Israeli forces have killed 85 Palestinians this year; in 2010 the figure was 53…

Btw, some more classic Leon…

…Panetta, who met the country’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, strongly urged Egypt to provide better security in the Sinai Peninsula, after Israel said an attack on its south was mounted from there.

“I am concerned about the situation in the Sinai,” Panetta told reporters after the talks.

The Pentagon chief “strongly urged” Tantawi “to provide better security in the Sinai,” he said, adding that Egyptian leaders reassured him they were “confident” they could ensure security in the peninsula.

“Any friction in that area could create real problems for the region,” Panetta said…

I’m not very surprised at this little bit of news… Palestinians protest against US in Ramallah…

Meanwhile… Bracing for UN bid fallout in Gaza…

God Bless the Palestinians…!

by CTuttle

Jimmy Carter’s Interview With Rachel, And, Abbas Outlines The UN Bid

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Listen to what Jimmy has to say about the Camp David accords… The jist of it being that Sadat/Mubarak had consistently ignored the Israelis’ persistent violations of the Palestinians’ rights, in both Gaza and the West Bank…!

As Carter noted: ‘And the Palestinians have been deeply illusioned throughout’…

Sadly, Abbas in laying out his UN designs, is already downplaying his efforts…

…Abbas appeared to leave himself some wiggle room in his address to the Palestinian people before departing for the annual U.N. General Assembly session in New York next week, saying he did not rule out other, unspecified options. Those could include seeking a lesser, “nonmember state” observer status from the General Assembly, a more easily obtainable goal.

He also acknowledged that his U.N. move would not end the Israeli occupation and cautioned against outsize hopes.

We don’t want to raise expectations by saying we are going to come back with full independence,” Abbas said in an address to Palestinian leaders. He said he was going to the United Nations to “ask the world to shoulder its responsibilities” by backing the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

Even today’s Wapoo reported…

In West Bank, modest expectations from Palestinian statehood bid

…They express hope that the move could bring them more leverage in international diplomacy and legal forums, but acknowledge that it will do nothing to change their daily lives.

“Will this give us free borders, an airport, a currency? I don’t think so. The next morning it will still be the same story,” said Khalil Abddullah, heading home from the local market. “There will still be occupation, still checkpoints at the border, still the wall,” he added, referring to Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank.

Arranging produce at a nearby stand, Shaher Kanaan said that the U.N. bid is a “morale booster,” but no more than a symbolic step that could bring more “restrictions by the occupation,” a reference to possible Israeli retaliatory measures on the ground.

How very true…!

Btw, why is Bubba just as worthless as his significant other…? Bill Clinton: ‘Move Forward’ Past PA Statehood Bid

Here’s a glimpse at all the nefarious gambits…

Frantic moves to avoid Palestinian UN showdown

The United States and European powers stepped up a diplomatic scramble Sunday to avoid a UN showdown on the Palestinian plan to seek full UN membership, which the US administration has vowed to veto.

US, European Union, Russian and United Nations officials were all involved in the bid to seek a face-saving way out of the looming confrontation at this week’s UN General Assembly in New York.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to meet EU foreign affairs representative Catherine Ashton in New York, where the Middle East diplomatic Quartet’s envoy, Tony Blair, was to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Blair expressed confidence that a deal could be reached. “I think there is a way of avoiding a confrontation,” the former British prime minister told US broadcaster ABC.

Diplomats said that with so few details available of the demand to be made by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, frantic talks were likely to continue right up to the last minute.

Now, +972mag’s Dahlia Scheindlin, offered up the best analysis of Abbas’ speech on Friday…

Palestinian president outlines political identity of new Palestinian state

By presenting strategically calculated messages for all relevant audiences, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas used yesterday’s speech to outline the identity of the new Palestinian state he is to seek at the UN.

Bibi is as bombastic as always, and, it really does look grim for the Palestinians…

Netanyahu’s bold initiative: Another “historic” speech

Just like in his Washington visit last spring, the Prime Minister will not bring new political ideas to the UN, only rhetoric directed at the anxious public at home

The Israeli morning papers are reporting today (Sunday) that the United States has all but secured the 7 Security Council votes necessary to block the Palestinian request to become a member state of the UN, and therefore a veto won’t be necessary.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth Daily, Germany, Britain and France are likely to vote against the Palestinian bid, and so is Columbia. The paper quotes sources in Washington saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is “drunk from power,” and can’t be persuaded to abandon his initiative even though it is bound to fail.

That’s some serious Kabuki…!

Take ‘em straight to The Hague, Abu Mazen…! Carpe Diem…!

Stay tuned…!

God Bless the Palestinians…!

by CTuttle

Please Sign This Petition For Palestinian Statehood

2:30 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

On Facebook: 10 Million signatures for a Palestinian State on September…

Avaaz’s Palestinian Petition…

Palestine: the world’s next nation

To the leaders of France, Spain, Germany, the UK and the High Representative of the EU and all UN member states:

“We urge you to endorse the legitimate bid for recognition of the state of Palestine and the reaffirmation of the rights of the Palestinian people. It is time to turn the tide on decades of failed peace talks, end the occupation and move towards peace based on two states.”

Please take two minutes to sign them…!

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council heard testimony from the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, in which he warned the Security Council of “Dramatic” Deadlock in Peace Process, and called for a “Credible Political Path Forward” and Bold Actions on the Ground…

UN: Palestinians ready for statehood

The Palestinian Authority is ready to govern a nation but deadlock with Israel has made a two-state solution far from certain, the UN special envoy for the Middle East peace process said Tuesday. [...]

“The Palestinian Authority is ready to assume the responsibilities of statehood at any point in the near future,” Robert Serry said in a briefing to the UN Security Council.

But he warned that without a “credible political path forward,” the “viability of the Palestinian Authority and its statebuilding agenda — and, I fear, of the two-state solution itself — cannot be taken for granted.”

He called the deadlock between the two sides “profound and persistent.” [...]

Serry noted that settlements were illegal under international law and insisted “settlement activity must cease.”

He urged Israel “to do more to empower its moderate, committed and peaceful Palestinian partner.”

The Israeli Ambassador to the UN was quick to respond…

…Israeli officials on Wednesday said they were pleased with the outcome of the Mideast debate at the Security Council the day before, an event considered to be a dress rehearsal for the expected vote at the UN over recognition of Palestinian statehood slated for September.

“The foreign ministry and the Israeli mission to the UN is working tirelessly and preparing for all the possible outcomes [at the expected vote in September],” an official at the Israeli mission to the UN said. “We delivered the unilateral message that the only way to peace is through negotiations. There are no shortcuts.” [...]

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, speaking after Mansour, told the Security Council that security and recognition of Israel as a Jewish State are the two linchpin issues that must be acknowledged by Palestinians in order to reach a final agreement and two-state solution.

Prosor said that he supported a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state residing “alongside and not instead of the Jewish state.” That Palestinian state, the ambassador added, must be demilitarized and supported by a strong education system, halting teachings of hatred and anti- Israeli sentiment.

Here’s some great analysis on the actions being taken by all parties…

Interestingly, it seems Abbas is finally developing a spine…

Abbas tells Palestinians: Step up Arab Spring-style protests against Israel

For first time, Palestinian president openly urges popular activism in support of his initiative to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

That is an astonishing breakthrough, folks…! Abu Mazen has been extremely complicit in having his Fatah henchmen breaking up, and even arresting the leaders behind, the protests…! Often at the behest of the Shin Bet…!

by CTuttle

Slaying The Hamas-Fatah Unity Strawman

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Listen to our Elders…! The Unity deal should be embraced and celebrated as a significant step forward towards peace!

As Obama told AIPAC yesterday…

“No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction,” he told America’s powerful pro-Israel lobby as pointed to the recent Palestinian Fatah-Hamas unity agreement as “an enormous obstacle to peace.”

“We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace: recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements,” Obama said, to loud applause at the AIPAC Policy Conference.

First of all, as Abbas points out…

Abbas: No Hamas or Fatah figures in new govt

President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that Israel and the US had misinterpreted the unity deal as ushering in a government of Hamas and Fatah figures, as the new body would solely include non-partisan technocrats. [...]

…But the president also reacted to recent comments by the US premier focusing on Hamas’ position towards Israel, saying the May deal between the movement and its rival Fatah had been misunderstood by Israel and the US as paving the way for both movements to dominate a new government.

“The government will be built of nonpartisan figures, and will not include affiliates of any Palestinian faction,” Abbas said. [...]

Israeli officials had slammed the unity agreement, with Netanyahu warning that Abbas must choose between “peace with Israel or peace with Hamas.”

But Abbas said Monday, “this is neither Hamas, nor Fatah government. It is my government and will follow my strategies,” he added.

Palestinian unity arose from ruins of peace talks…

…Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top official with the Palestine Liberation Organization, on Monday insisted the new alliance would help rather than harm attempts to revive peace talks with Israel.

“We have repeatedly said that this agreement is completely the opposite of this. It represents a significant step that could push the political process forward,” he told Voice of Palestine radio.

Under terms of the deal, the two parties would work together to set up a caretaker government of independents not allied to either faction to work towards holding elections within the next year.

The interim government would have nothing to do with peace negotiations, which would remain the mandate of the PLO, the official representative of the Palestinian people and which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The United States and Israel do not need to deal with every Palestinian faction separately,” Abed Rabbo said.

“If we had to deal with each Israeli party that composes the current government coalition, we would not find any of them ready to talk with us.”

“The USA should deal with the PLO, which has not changed its stances and commitments,” he added. [...]

“To be honest, Hamas came over to our program,” said senior Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath, pointing to remarks by Mash’al after the deal was signed on May 3, in which he spoke of “a common national goal” of a state along the 1967 borders comprising the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. [...]

“I don’t think we need anything more from Hamas,”
Sha’ath said, arguing it would be “ridiculous” to ask Hamas to recognise the state of Israel at this stage.

“What for? Will that be reciprocated by Israel recognizing Hamas or recognising the Palestinian state? It won’t.”
he said.

Imagine if the Palestinians had to negotiate with the individual factions in the Knesset…

Take a gander at Bibi’s own Likud platform…

Self-Rule

The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.

The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs. [...]

The Jordan River as a Permanent Border

The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel. The Kingdom of Jordan is a desirable partner in the permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians in matters that will be agreed upon.

Security Areas

The government succeeded in significantly reducing the extent of territory that the Palestinians expected to receive in the interim arrangement. The government will insist that security areas essential to Israel’s defense, including the western security area and the Jewish settlements, shall remain under Israeli rule.

Where’s the ‘recognition’ for the Palestinians’ right to even ‘exist’…?

Look at FM Lieberman’s recent remarks and even the Rightwingers in the Israeli Cabinet…

Lieberman praises PM’s statements in U.S.

…Lieberman’s warm message, delivered in a statement to the press at the start of a meeting of his Yisrael Beiteinu faction, also contained an implied warning to Netanyahu not to move left in his speech to Congress today.

With regard to negotiations with the Palestinians, an issue Netanyahu is expected to address when he speaks to Congress, Lieberman said, “Israel is prepared to negotiate at any moment, but without preconditions.

“Whoever wants to negotiate with us, ahlan wasahlan,” he added, using the Arabic phrase for “welcome.”

However, the foreign minister stressed, Israel would remain adamant in its rejection of the Palestinians’ demand that the refugees be resettled in Israel. “Not even one refugee,” he said.

Netanyahu and his inner circle are reportedly pleased with the support the premier has garnered from his right flank following his response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech last Thursday. Yet the cabinet’s left flank, Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Atzmaut ), also sounded pleased yesterday, saying that Obama’s subsequent speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday “gave us a way out of the main disagreements, a way to solve those that remain and move forward.”

Oh wait, that is whom the Palestinians have to ‘negotiate’ with…!

Here’s another great example of the Israeli obsession with ‘Security’ at the expense of the Palestinians…

…Israeli forces began to install a barbed-wire fence on Monday around a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank, saying it was meant to prevent stone throwing.

Residents of Izbat At-Tabib, located east of Qalqiliya, awoke to the sounds of construction, and were told that lands made inaccessible by the construction were being confiscated for the construction of a buffer area between the village and the settler road that passes to its north.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the construction and said it was to deter stone throwers.

*gah*