Friday, July 19, 2013

From Ian:

Analysis: PA’s hesitance to jump at Kerry deal reveals Arab League’s loss of clout
The well-intentioned Kerry invested a lot of time and effort getting the Arab League on board and behind his initiative. He invited representatives of that body to Washington in April and made much of their willingness to adjust their 2002 peace initiative to include “moderate” land swaps.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry gambled, would only move if he had backing, and who better to give that backing than the 22-member Arab League.
But that was yesterday’s thinking, or rather thinking from the last decade.
The “Arab Spring,” and the convulsions shaking the Arab world, have stripped the Arab League of its power and influence.
‘Palestinians will resume talks if US specifies goal is state based on ’67 lines’
Channel 2 news said Thursday evening that the Palestinians were dismayed that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s current framework for talks did not specify negotiations on the basis of the pre-67 lines or require a settlement freeze. The report added, however, that a possible path of compromise could involve Kerry inviting the parties to talks on the basis of principles set out by the US but not necessarily accepted by the two sides.
Palestinian media: Most PLO factions oppose new talks
Most Palestinian factions oppose the resumption of negotiations with Israel under the conditions outlined by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Palestinian news sources reported Thursday evening.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas debriefed Palestinian factions belonging to the PLO in Ramallah, as well as Fatah’s Central Committee on the content of his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman Wednesday.
US bill threatens to cut PA funding if UN grants statehood
Moreover, US Secretary of State John Kerry can limit American funding if the PA doesn’t demonstrate “a firm commitment to peaceful co-existence with the State of Israel” or is not “taking appropriate measures to counter terrorism and terrorist financing in the West Bank and Gaza, including the dismantling of terrorist infrastructures, and is cooperating with appropriate Israeli and other appropriate security organizations.”
In addition, the bill puts new restrictions on aid if the Palestinians try to pursue actions against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
CAMERA: Teachers of Hate Obstruct Peace

The intoxicated anti-Zionist rants of Rachel Shabi
In addition to her dangerous flirtation with antisemitic narratives of so-called ‘Jewish Supremacism‘, the final passage represents the ultimate projection, and anti-Zionist leftist critics’ most pronounced deceit: their belief that they are uniquely equipped with the penetrating moral intelligence necessary to see through the racism which informs Israelis’ “belief” in their state’s moral advantages over reactionary Islamist extremists. Jewish anti-Zionist agitprop artists like Shabi, inebriated by post-colonial ideology, fancy themselves more sophisticated and politically enlightened than Israeli Jews, whose obtuse nationalism and ethnocentric loyalties, it is suggested, blind them to the dangerous folly of their path.
Misguided EU
Sites in Jerusalem’s Old City such as the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest place, would have to be recognized as territories not belonging to Israel.
The absurdity of the European position, and its complete failure to make distinctions based on demographics, religious significance – even Palestinian statements acknowledging that many Jewish neighborhoods built after 1967 in Jerusalem are here to stay – is made all the more untenable by the inclusion of the Golan Heights as territory illegally “occupied” by Israel.
EU restrictions will likely change nothing on the ground
“The European Union and its important members have been very careful not to invest or incentivize what they regard as Israeli settlements,” a senior Israel diplomat told JTA. “Territorial clauses exist in virtually all contracts between Israel and the union.”
The diplomat added, “This whole thing is much ado about nothing. I don’t know why they are making so much noise about it in Jerusalem.”
The Israeli outburst over the relatively marginal issue of grants is even more inexplicable considering the silence with which Netanyahu’s office has greeted similar and seemingly more consequential EU resolutions.
Gotta love that European Union
The EU is perfectly happy to continue lavishing funds on the most viciously anti-Israel “human rights” groups, including Al-Haq, LAW, Adallah, the Committee against House Demolitions, the Palestinian Jerusalem Media Communications Center (the PA’s main propaganda conduit to foreign journalists), and an outfit called the Middle East Center for Legal and Economic Research, which has received hundreds of thousands of euros “to identify and appraise Palestinian refugee real estate holdings in Israel.”
But don’t worry, the EU has crystal-clear ethical standards. It is determined not to indirectly fund any more scientific research or productive commercial activity by Israelis who live or work over the Green Line.
TIAA-CREF: Divestment from Israel Dismissed, Again
For the fourth year in a row, the TIAA-CREF Board refused to put divestment from Israel to a vote at its annual share holders’ meeting. TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization was supported by a recent ruling of the Securities and Exchange Commission in chosing not to plunge its four million investors into the controversial geopolitical issue of sovereignty of disputed areas in the West Bank/ Judea Samaria.
Gaza Terrorists Fire Two Rockets at Southern Israel
Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza fired two Qassam rockets at southern Israel on Thursday evening.
Shortly after 10:00 p.m., residents of the Eshkol Regional Council heard the “Red Alert” siren, before the rockets exploded in the region.
The two rockets exploded in open areas, causing no physical injuries or damages.
Iron Dome battery deployed in Eilat
As tensions continued to rise in the Sinai Peninsula, the IDF on Friday deployed an Iron Dome air defense battery in Eilat, boosting the southern city’s protection for fear of rocket attacks.
The last-minute deployment was spurred by developments in Egypt, where the military continued its offensive against terrorist activities in the porous Sinai area, which borders the Gaza Strip.
Angry Refugees Tell Kerry: Impose No-Fly Zone
Angry refugees confronted US Secretary of State John Kerry during his landmark visit to the Zaatari camp in Jordan on Thursday, AFP reported.
The refugees demanded that Washington do more to end the war in Syria, and urged a no-fly zone to protect areas along the border and those held by rebel forces. (h/t MTB)
Russia eyeing Cyprus bases
RUSSIA appears to be inching closer to gaining a long-coveted military foothold in Cyprus, as the future of their naval port in Syria looks increasingly shaky.
The past fortnight has seen a surge in diplomatic activity between Nicosia and Moscow over Russian requests for military use of the Andreas Papandreou airbase in Paphos and Limassol port.
Cyprus to buy Israeli warships, reports local daily
The paper reports that the warships will cost 100 million euros, payable over a 17-year period. The agreement regarding purchase was taken during the term of the last government the paper adds.

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