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Thursday, July 04, 2013

7/04 Links Part 1: A ‘P’alestinian Inconvenient Truth, Egypt Roundup and Assad's Hypocrisy

From Ian:

A ‘P’alestinian Inconvenient Truth
In the ongoing “battle of the narratives” between Israel and the Palestinians, one minor, but telling, detail rarely gets mentioned: the Arabic alphabet, the abjad, lacks the letter “P.” Until the “P”alestinians, no people in history had ever adopted a name for themselves, or for their country, that cannot be written in their own language. By itself, this detail establishes that the “P”alestinian national narrative is a wholly modern invention.
In Arabic, the “P”alestinians call their country “Filastin” and themselves “Filastiniyun,” but this doesn’t validate their narrative; in fact, it underscores the simple truth about “P”alestine that the world ignores.
PM: Palestinian leaders think its possible to destroy Israel
Speaking at a memorial session marking the 73rd anniversary of Jabotinsky’s death, Netanyahu said the Irgun and Betar founder’s realism should be kept in mind today.
“The obstacle to peace between us and the Palestinians is not just fundamentalist terrorist organizations, but the belief that it is possible to destroy the State of Israel,” the prime minister explained.
“These organizations, states and leaders plant hopes in their nations that we can be beaten by sword, gun and bomb. We cannot be defeated by any those means or any others.”
Analysis: Hamas grows stronger in Gaza, again
Eight months after the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, events in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon have turned the Strip into an arena of secondary importance for many observers.
Despite the relative quiet in the Gazan arena, much is taking place there. Hamas is entrenching itself further as the sovereign, and rearming itself with rockets. It once again has thousands of short-range rockets – around 5,000 of them – and possesses medium-range rockets which can strike greater Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Hamas’s rocket arsenal places 70 percent of Israelis within range.
UN calls for end to Israeli restrictions on Gaza
Israel’s Foreign Ministry brushed aside the criticism and laid the blame at the doorstep of the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
“As soon as Hamas reaches out to Israel and asks to sit with us to coordinate lifting the restrictions, we will be able to say what is possible and what is not,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “As long as Hamas continues to speak about Israel only as the target of rockets, speaking of lifting restrictions sounds particularly hollow.”
Israelly Cool: Hamas Would Rather Their People Suffer Than Benefit From Israeli-Produced Goods
Hamas has closed a gas canister factory in Gaza.
The crime? Selling canisters of the same color as Israeli-produced canisters.
4 Hamas operatives arrested in Cairo
Four Hamas operatives were arrested at their home in a Cairo suburb on suspicion of planning a terror attack, Egypt’s Al-Ahram reported early Wednesday.
Security forces found explosives in the apartment, as well as military and police uniforms.
Barry Rubin: Obama Administration Middle East Policy: See What I've Been Trying to Tell You?
A self-interview
First, I want to apologize that I have often used intemperate language to describe U.S. policy and the people making it in the last 4.5 years. Perhaps I have put off some of you who would otherwise have been persuaded that something is very wrong. Therefore, I have tried to do another version of this approach. Remember, I'm not responsible for the way the questions are phrased here.
A victory for young revolutionaries, but not for democracy
But for Hamas, the news out of Cairo Wednesday night was especially grim. The Palestinian organization is losing its most substantial ally, one that gave it vital political support. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent organization and in many ways its “Godfather,” lost its power to a military establishment that is hostile to the Palestinian group’s goals.
Hamas, which has clashed with Syria and Iran over the course of the last year, now finds itself nearly isolated in the Arab sphere. Perhaps the new reality in which it finds itself will lead the weakened Hamas to conclude its reunification with Fatah.
Morsi’s fall is a blow to Mideast Islamists
Egypt was the centerpiece of the Islamist movement’s vault to power in the Arab world’s sweeping wave of uprisings. Winning election after election here, the Islamists vowed to prove they could govern effectively and implement their vision of political Islam, all while embracing the rules of democracy.
Police raid Brotherhood as new leader calls for inclusion of Islamists
Adly Mansour sworn in as president; Police seeking Muslim Brotherhood head, have already arrested Morsi and 300 other senior party members; ElBaradei heads list to lead interim government
Morsi role at Syria rally seen as tipping point for Egypt army
Mr Morsi himself called for foreign intervention in Syria against Mr Assad, leading to a veiled rebuke from the army, which issued an apparently bland but sharp-edged statement the next day stressing that its only role was guarding Egypt’s borders.
At Pro-Morsi Rally, Supporters Chant Anti-Jewish Slogans Threatening Massacres
Pro-Morsi protesters at Cairo University – which was the scene of bloody clashes overnight – were heard chanting an anti-Semitic slogan threatening massacres against Jews:
“Pro-Morsy protesters at Cairo University chant the anti-Jewish slogan: "Khaybar, Khayber, O Jews, the army of Mohamed will return."
The chant is a reference to the 7th century events around the oasis of Khaybar in modern-day Saudi Arabia, in which Muslims massacred and expelled the town’s Jewish population.
Revenge: Coptic Church Set Aflame for Morsi
True to their vows, pro-Morsi Muslims are attacking Egypt’s Christians for participating in the anti-Morsi protests. The St. George Coptic Christian Church in a village in al-Minya, Egypt, has just been set on fire by “pro-Morsi” forces. Copts are reported to be in a state of “fear and panic.”
Days earlier, a letter was circulated in al-Minya, which has a very large Coptic population, calling on Copts not to join the protests, otherwise their “businesses, cars, homes, schools, and churches” might “catch fire.”
American Islamists Rally Behind MB Amid Egypt Protests
Millions of Egyptians are in the streets demanding the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt for their totalitarian theocratic policies. But many of America's leading Islamists are sticking by Morsi and condemning the protesters on social media.
Syria's Assad says political Islam being defeated in Egypt
Relishing the possible downfall of one of Assad's most vocal critics, Syrian television carried live coverage of the huge street demonstrations in Egypt demanding the departure of President Mohamed Mursi.
Turkey’s Ruling Party, Opposition Unite to Condemn Egypt Coup
In a rare show of unity, both Turkey’s ruling AK Party and its opposition Republican People's Party have condemned Wednesday's overthrow of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi following protests by millions that led to a military coup d'etat.
AKP spokesperson Huseyin Celik told reporters that the coup was a sign of "backwardness," and accused some Western nations of having supported the overthrow.
Saudi Arabia Congratulates New Egyptian Ruler, West ‘Concerned’
Saudi Arabia’s king has already congratulated Egypt’s new transitional head of state, while Western leaders express concern and call for “dialogue.”
Saudi King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations to Supreme Constitutional Court chief justice Adly el-Mansour on Wednesday immediately following his appointment as the new head of Egypt’s transitional government by Egyptian Army Commander General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the hours after the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi.
Catholic priest NOT among three beheaded on video by Syrian rebels, says head friar
A Catholic priest was not among three men graphically filmed being beheaded in Syria last week a friar overseeing the Franciscans in the Middle East has told CNN.
Father Francois Mourad, a Syrian originally named as victim of a merciless mob, was instead shot eight times on June 23 when a group of rebels stormed his monastery, said Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa, head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. He was buried that same day.
Hanging Out With Hezbollah
The intervention—Hezbollah’s first full-scale battle to reinforce Assad in Syria—suggests a new direction in the war and has seemingly prompted the U.S. to rush supplies to the rebels. It has also fanned fears that Hezbollah’s involvement will drag Lebanon deeper into the Syrian quagmire and possibly ignite a sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shiites within Lebanon itself.
But the idea that this may be treacherous territory isn’t foremost in the mind of the Hezbollah commander. To him this is opportune training ground. “What we are doing in Syria in some ways is a dress rehearsal for Israel,” he says.
Gulf States Slam Hezbollah for Syria Fighting Conducted “Under The Banner” of Iran
Gulf states are again slamming Hezbollah over the Iran-backed terror group’s role in bolstering the regime of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad:
Chechen terror leader calls for attacks on Winter Olympics
A Chechen Islamist leader, described in Russia's media as the country's most wanted man, has issued a dramatic video broadcast threatening "maximum force" to disrupt the Winter Olympic games next year in the Russian resort town of Sochi.
Doku Umarov, leader of the so-called Caucasus Emirate group which has killed dozens in high profile bomb attacks at airports and metro stations, sought to rally his supporters and allies, saying: