Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday links

From Ian:

Missing Peace: Report: Arab countries withheld donor money because of PA refusal to negotiate with Israel
"According to Palestinian media, several ‘heavyweight’ Arab countries have been pressuring PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to step down because of his firm stances towards negotiations with Israel.
Abbas and other PA officials have criticized Arab countries who pledged to donate $ 100.000.000 a month to alleviate the severe financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority. Until now that money has not arrived.
Palestinian sources now reveal that the refusal to transfer these funds to the PA is connected to Abbas’ refusal to enter negotiations with Israel."

US may up Iran pressure in return for progress with Palestinians
White House said open to deal being worked out by Netanyahu aides ahead of Obama visit next month, Sunday Times reports
US President Barack Obama will reportedly offer to up pressure on Iran in exchange for Israeli concessions toward the Palestinians when he visits Israel next month.

Hamas blames Abbas after unity talks falter By Khaled Abu Toameh
Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas member, holds Abbas responsible for the failure of the Egyptian-sponsored Cairo reconciliation talks.
"Hanna Amireh, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that differences erupted between Hamas and Fatah as soon as they started talking about the details regarding the formation of a unity government and holding new presidential and legislative elections. He said the two sides also failed to reach agreement on holding new elections for the PLO’s parliamentin- exile, the Palestine National Council."

Ayalon: J'lem should recognize Palestine at UN
Outgoing deputy FM: Israel should give Palestinians sovereignty, for recognition of Israel as Jewish home, security arrangements.
"Israel will give the Palestinians sovereignty and independence and in return, they will recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and will guarantee security arrangements," he said.
Ayalon called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to say to the Palestinians: "I am prepared to recognize you, but you have to recognize me."
Ayalon also said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must state in Arabic - rather than in Hebrew or English - that he recognizes Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. He opined that such a statement would have a huge impact on generations to come.

Liberman says peace with Palestinians impossible
Ahead of Obama's visit, former foreign minister says "tsunami" shaking Arab world makes solving conflict "impossible."
"Liberman ticked off in a Channel 2 interview the assassination last week of the opposition leader in Tunisia, the terrorist murder last week of dozens of people in Iraq, and the killing of 117 people in Syria on Friday, and said it was not realistic to think it possible in this environment to reach a comprehensive peace accord with the Palestinians.
“Anyone who thinks that in the center of the diplomatic, political and social tsunami that is shaking the Arab world it is possible to get a magical solution of comprehensive peace with the Palestinians does not understand,” he said."

Preachers of hate who spread their violent word on British TV channels
Muslim fundamentalists have used British television channels to preach in favour of violent crime and killing “apostates”.
"The communications watchdog, Ofcom, has made a series of rulings against channels which allowed “inflammatory” material to be broadcast in breach of rules which forbid extreme opinions gaining a platform on British television.
The cases, disclosed today, include examples of an imam telling viewers that those who disrespect the prophet Mohammed should be killed, and another broadcaster saying homosexuals should be beaten and tortured."

"Message from Saddam" shoes hurled at US diplomat in UK Parliament
US diplomat Paul Bremer was pelted with shoes at a meeting in the British Parliament this week - exclusive footage
"As the shoe-thrower was bundled out of the room, Mr. Bremer insisted, "If he had done that while Saddam Hussein was alive, he would be a dead man by now," a statement which was met by a large round of applause."

BBC Watch: ‘Hardtalk’ presenter gets reality check from Khaled Masha’al
On February 7th and 8th 2013, BBC Two and BBC News broadcast an edition of the flagship interview show ‘Hardtalk‘ from Doha with Khaled Masha’al as its guest.
At 04:31 Sackur interjects:
“But I just want to nail down what your current position is on the question of a two state solution to provide a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Saudi newspaper Al Sharq reported just the other day that you are now prepared to accept a two state solution. You have told this, according to the newspaper, to King Abdullah and you’ve asked King Abdullah to…of Jordan…to relay this message to President Obama. Is that true?”Masha’al replies unequivocally:
“This is not true.”

Karnei Shomron Residents Demonstrate Against Arab Attacks
Dozens of residents of the Samaria community of Karnei Shomron protest against ongoing rock-throwing and firebomb attacks.
"Dozens of residents of the Shomron (Samaria) community of Karnei Shomron protested at the entrance to their community on Saturday night.
The residents were demonstrating against the ongoing rock-throwing and firebomb attacks on nearby Highway 55."

Cairo court orders YouTube banned for a month
Egypt blocks video-sharing website for 30 days for showing parts of controversial amateur film denigrating Muhammad
"Judge Hassouna Tawfiq ordered YouTube blocked for carrying the film, which he described as “offensive to Islam and the Prophet (Muhammad).” He made the ruling in the Egyptian capital where the first protests against the film erupted last September before spreading to more than 20 countries, killing more than 50 people.
The ruling, however, can be appealed and, based on precedent, might not be enforced."

Yemen's interior minister says seized weapons were exported from Iran, headed to insurgents
"Yemen's interior minister said Saturday that his country was disappointed to find that a large and diverse cache of weapons seized on a ship last month had been exported from Iran, a finding Washington said underscores Tehran's ongoing evasion of U.N. resolutions.
Speaking in a press conference in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, Interior Minister Abdel-Qader Kahtan said a Yemeni investigation found that the weapons were destined for armed insurgents. He did not elaborate, saying only that an investigation is ongoing."

Rockets Kill 5 Iranian Dissidents in Iraq
A report whose credibility is unclear says Iranian forces will enter Iraq to suppress rebellion, take over U.S. embassy.
“There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the transit camp, a former American military base known as Camp Liberty, adjacent to Baghdad's international airport.
"At 5:30am around 18 Katyusha rockets landed in the camp, west of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 42," an Iraqi policeman at the base said, speaking to AL Jazeera on condition of anonymity. A spokesman for the interior ministry, however, said only one person had been killed.
Meanwhile, a story that appears on an Iraqi web portal titled "Voice of Iraq" claims that Iraqi and Iranian leaders have agreed that Iranian Basij forces will enter Iran and suppress riots there. The plan reportedly includes the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Iran says its English channel dropped by satellite
Galaxy 19, which serves US and Canadian audiences, accused of dumping news station Press TV as part of sanctions imposed on Iran

Iran reportedly to recall ambassador to Bulgaria
Tehran mulling downgrade of ties in wake of report on Burgas bombing that fingered Hezbollah

Waldorf in Israel Shows Hotel Investors Defying Security Threats
"In downtown Jerusalem, a new hotel managed by Hilton International under its premiere Waldorf Astoria brand is finishing construction just months after air raid sirens warned residents of rocket attacks from Gaza."

Let them eat hummus, with a Hebrew U breakthrough
More lutein, less need for irrigation makes for a chickpea that may help feed millions better
"Now, a breakthrough in chickpea breeding by Hebrew University Professor Shahal Abbo and his team promises to raise chickpea crop yields, lengthen their growing season, make more land available to farmers for crops, and even produce a more nutritious pea.
And unlike many crops improvements today, the Hebrew U breakthrough did not use genetic manipulation to create a better chickpea."