Monday, July 22, 2013

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Great expectations
Why should Israelis who have already paid the ultimate price be forced to undergo such an indignity? Has Abbas done anything constructive, such as prepare his people for painful concessions necessary to reach an agreement with Israel, to deserve such a gesture? Previous prisoner releases have failed to soften Palestinian stands. Most likely they have achieved the opposite, since Palestinians have learned it is possible to exact concessions from Israel without reciprocating.
Despite the dangers ahead, a comprehensive agreement between the sides is the only way to prevent the creation of a bi-national state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and ensure that Israel remains both Jewish and democratic. It is also the only way for the Palestinians to achieve their national aspirations - one reached through dialogue, mutual concessions and goodwill, and not aggression and threats.
We offer full support to Kerry’s initiative and hope that a just agreement with the Palestinians will result in peace and security for both sides.
Both Abbas’s spokesmen say no deal yet to restart talks
Contradicting Secretary of State John Kerry, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement late Sunday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to send a delegate to Washington merely to continue lower-level preliminary talks with an Israeli counterpart about the terms for negotiations.
A second Abbas spokesman, Yasser Abed Rabbo, had made similar comments earlier Sunday. Abu Rudeineh and Abed Rabbo are the only Palestinian officials authorized to speak on the matter.
Israel, PA Accept Martin Indyk as Mediator in Negotiations
Indyk criticized President Barack Obama's Middle East policy in 2009. He said that Obama and U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell have failed in the Middle East.
“It’s clear that things are not going as he planned,” Indyk said at an Omaha, Nebraska forum. He explained that President Obama counted on the support of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who rebuffed the overtures for even a minor compromise regarding the 2002 Saudi initiative.
Indyk also failed the president and Mitchell for focusing on trying to freeze building for Jews in Judea and Samaria. The former ambassador said that they violated a basic rule in negotiations in the Middle East: don’t get bogged down in details.
“George Mitchell didn’t hear that sucking sound,” Indyk added.
Analysis: ‘Wanting it more than the parties themselves’
What if the type of Palestinian state that Netanyahu is willing to give is not the type of state Abbas can accept?
At 78-years-old, is he going to want to be the one to go down in Palestinian history as the leader to have closed the door on all the maximalist Palestinian aspirations, including the right of refugees and their descendants to return to pre-1967 Israel? And do his people – and Hamas is a big part of his people – want him to do so? Kerry is forcing the issue, dragging the sides back to the table kicking and screaming. For this he has already won many plaudits. But is what is good for Kerry and America’s standing in the region, necessarily good for Israel and the Palestinians?
Analysis: Arab world pessimistic on renewed peace talks
The Arab world – which is divided on almost any element including Shi’ites and Sunnis, radical and conservative Muslims, various states and tribes – appear to unite in their pessimistic outlook of the planned, US-moderated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet some Arab newspapers, instead of focusing on this issue, have focused their commentary on other conflicts in the region.
Arab League Blames Israel Before Talks Even Start
Sabih added that the Arab League was monitoring Israel's stance so the talks were not simply "negotiations for the sake of negotiations, going round in a vicious circle".
"This could be the last chance to revive the stalled peace process," he noted.
Keeping BBC audience’s eyes on the ‘settlements’ ball
Some might say that “further complicated” is a bit of an understatement. The fact that the PA is not in control of part of the territory it will be negotiating about, and upon which it hopes to establish a state, is clearly a huge issue, as is the fact that the PA president’s legitimate mandate to sign anything on behalf of the Palestinian people expired years ago. Another glaring problem is that the PA clearly cannot claim to be able to give security guarantees on behalf of the range of terrorist organisations including Hamas, the PFLP, the DFLP and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad which are openly hostile to negotiations.
Indy’s political editor misrepresents David Ward’s vile Holocaust remarks
As the quote clearly indicates, Ward was castigating Jews as Jews for, a mere few years after liberation from the death camps in 1945, evidently not learning the correct moral lessons and thus beginning immediately to inflict atrocities on Palestinians.
Jews, ‘of all people’, an exasperated Ward was in effect exclaiming, had visited upon the Palestinians a level of cruelty and violence which arguably evoke the crimes committed against their co-religionists in the death camps throughout Europe – a “they of all people” argument which Howard Jacobson aptly characterized as leaving the Jewish people doubly damned: to the Holocaust itself and to elevated moral scrutiny as a result of it.
EU agrees to place Hezbollah military wing on terror list
Britain has sought to persuade the EU to put the Shiite Muslim group's military wing on the bloc's terrorism list since May, citing evidence that it was behind a bus bombing in Bulgaria last year which killed five Israelis and their driver.
Israel's Justice Minister welcomed the decision, saying "after years of deliberations and going back and forth on the matter, the argument that Hezbollah was a political movement and their attempt to whitewash their terrorist activity has failed."
PA Children Call for 'Liberation' of Palestine'
The video, which was recently recorded at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is a good example of the radical Islamic education given to children in the PA.
The video shows a boy about 12 years of age, standing next to two children aged 8-9. The 12-year-old received the honor of giving the sermon to the thousands of Muslim worshipers who were in attendance that day. He is seen wearing a Hizb ut-Tahrir scarf, and huge banners praising the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate can be viewed in the background.
The PA child attacks in his sermon the idea of a democratic regime, calls on Islamic nations to stand up to their values, and urges Muslim armies not to be negligent in their duty to free the Al-Aqsa Mosque while ignoring the positions of the United States.
Netanyahu: Morsi ouster shows weakness of Islamist movements
In rare remarks on Egypt's government crisis, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has suggested that the fall of the president, Mohamed Morsi, demonstrates the weaknesses of political Islamist movements.
"I believe that over the long haul these radical Islamic regimes are going to fail because they don't offer the adequate enfranchisement that you need to develop a country economically, politically and culturally," Netanyahu told the German weekly Welt am Sonntag.
He said he thought radical Islamism was wholly unsuited to dealing with a global economic and information revolution, and "goes right back to medievalism against the whole thrust of modernity, so over time it's bound to fail."
Syria accused of gassing Palestinian refugee camp
The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces said Sunday that the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus had been gassed by regime forces amid heavy fighting.
According to Israel Radio, at least 22 people were killed in the Sunday attack, the majority from inhalation of toxic gases, according to Palestinian sources cited in the report.
Red Crescent to make ‘halal’ drugs with Turkish blood
Akar told daily Hurriyet that the move could both eliminate dependence on drugs imports, as well as providing Muslim Turks with assurances that their medicine complies with their religious codes.
"For instance, if we are buying medicine from Britain, it is made out of the blood and plasma of the blood of the people of that country. We have different dietary habits from those countries. Being a Muslim nation, we do not eat pork. We don’t eat some of problematic foods, but these exist in the medicine that we import,” he said.

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