Wednesday, July 24, 2013

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: U.S. Paving The Way For Third Intifada
The last time Israel was blamed for the failure of the peace process was in the summer of 2000, when Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat rejected former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer at the botched Camp David summit.
Arafat returned to Ramallah to tell Palestinians that Israel does not want peace. A few weeks later the second intifada erupted, claiming the lives of thousands of Israeli and Palestinians.
The same scenario is likely to be repeated when and if Abbas walks out of the Kerry-sponsored peace talks -- an action meaning a third intifada might be on its way.
U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton's attempt at the time to force Arafat to make peace with Israel was what paved the way for the second intifada. Kerry, by forcing Abbas to agree to something that most Palestinians are not willing to accept, appears to be moving in the same direction.
Barry Rubin: Foreign Policy Farce: U.S. Conduct of Israel-Palestinian Peace Process
Has this happened before? Yes, in late 2010 when President Obama announced at the UN that the talks would soon restart at Camp David. Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed; the Palestinians refused. Is there a pattern here?
Does anyone notice that the Palestinians keep demanding more preconditions, Israeli concessions but never come to the table?
Why, if Palestinians are so eager and desperate to get a state do they not try to get one? Has anyone considered the non-logic of that claim?
Will more freed murderers bring peace?
This was a particularly cruel, gruesome and shocking act. Its iconic status is not surprising. Sbarro acquired fresh notoriety in 2011 when Tamimi, who had confessed to all charges and was convicted and sentenced to 16 life terms, walked free. Israel’s prime minister released her under pressure from Hamas to win the return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. She was repatriated to her family in Jordan where she has lived since. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu inexplicably calls this gift an “exile.”
Majority of Israelis would back a peace deal, poll finds
A full 55 percent of Israelis are likely to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to submit a peace agreement with the Palestinians to a public referendum, according to a poll whose results were released Wednesday.
The Haaretz survey found that while 20% of Israelis were sure that they would vote against a peace deal, and 5% said they probably would vote against it, 39% said they would support in a referendum put forward by Netanyahu and a further 16% said they would probably support it. Another 20% said they were undecided on the issue.
Mortars Slam into Southern Israel
What at first seemed to be two rockets were later discovered to be two mortar shells that slammed into Israel’s southern region Wednesday morning, surprising residents who had no warning of the attack.
Top IDF Official Warns: Global Jihad is at Our Doorstep
"Syria, which is the most disturbing example, attracts thousands of global jihad activists and Muslim extremists from the region and around the world, who base themselves in the country, not only to bring down Assad, but to promote the vision of a state based on Islamic law," he added.
"Before our very eyes, at our doorstep, a large-scale center of the global jihad is developing, which may affect not only Syria and not just the borders of Israel, but Lebanon, Jordan, Sinai, and can radiate onto the entire region," warned Kochavi.
PMW: PA cleric: Eating during Ramadan is a capital crime
To back up his ruling, he cited a Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad) that presents eating in public during the fast of Ramadan as a capital crime: "His blood becomes permitted [to be shed]." He called on PA police to "strike with an iron fist" and give "the heaviest punishments" to those who eat in public.
PMW: Song calls for attacking Israel, "the snake's head" - in PA TV documentary
Disgraced PA Official to Sue Abbas Over Alleged Corruption
Two years ago former senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Mohammed Dahlan made explosive accusations against Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, accusing him of having stolen $700 million from PA coffers.
Now, Dahlan is suing the PA Chairman for allegedly persecuting him following his exposure of PA corruption.
Qardawi reappears on Al Jazeera to incite Egyptians against their army
Qaradawi avoided mentioning names, but his words sounded like an explicit fatwa calling for the assassination of those who decided and carried out “the military coup” on ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
In his comments, Qaradawi referred to Quranic verses and sayings of the prophet (PBUH) that take on the question of obedience to the legitimate ruler.
Egypt: Military Leader Calls for Mass Rally as Violence Worsens
Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattahal al-Sisi has urged supporters to hold nationwide demonstrations on Friday, to grant him the mandate to confront "terrorism" in the country. Egypt has seen steadily increasing levels of violence following to ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi by the secular military leadership.
"Next Friday, all honourable Egyptians must take to the street to give me a mandate and command to end terrorism and violence," he declared wednesday, at a military graduation ceremony , according to Al Arabiya.
Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Freedom and Justice Party’ Qalyub HQ Attacked With Molotov Cocktails, 6 Die in Clashes
In Cairo, Al-Ahram said Muslim Brotherhood supporters climbed the Giza bridge, cut off the road to Cairo University, blocking traffic in multiple directions, and set fire to a traffic kiosk, after clashes with police at the university left six dead and 33 injured. Nine people have been killed in political violence in the past two days.
Egypt Security Forces Ignored Slaying of Coptic Christians, Human Rights Group Says
A report by the human rights group Amnesty International blames Egyptian security forces for standing by idly and failing to intervene during an 18-hour-long attack on Coptic Christians on July 5 that left four dead and one man hospitalized.
Western-backed Syrian Rebels: E.U.’s partial blacklisting of Hezbollah A “Step in the Right Direction”
The SNC’s stance, which rejects the E.U.’s distinction between political and military Hezbollah officials, echos statements made by Hezbollah leaders and assessments issued by the American intelligence community.
Iran and Hezbollah both blasted the partial designation, with Hezbollah going so far as to threaten European interests.
Russian Terrorists Fight in Syria, Giving Moscow Olympics Headache
“Dagestan has become the epicenter of the Caucasus insurgency, with rebels mounting nearly daily attacks on police and other officials,” the AP reports. Calming this region before the Olympics is very important to President Putin, and it provides a rationale for his staunch support for the Assad regime in Syria. The Kremlin fears creeping Sunni radicalism; it fears terrorists from the Caucasus getting training, weapons, money, and support down south and then returning home to attack the Olympic Games. With UN officials warning that the Syria war could drag on for years, Moscow will have to hope the Russian jihadists stay there and don’t return.
NYT: Khamenei Speech Rejecting Comprehensive Talks “Threw Some Cold Water” on Hopes For Talks
The Times story outlining Iranian intransigence comes two days after the outlet published an editorial encouraging engagement with Iran and criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for skepticism regarding Iranian intentions:
Saudi but stateless: born on the margins of society
Born of tribal origin in Saudi Arabia, stateless people known as bidoons live on society's margins, unable even to register marriages or open a bank account because they lack identification cards.
"Our life is frozen, suspended. We don't have access to services or medical care," complained Abu Ibrahim, 50, as he sat on a floor covered with a modest carpet, an old air conditioner humming in the background.
"There is discrimination in this country," he said, pointing to the privileges available to Saudi citizens that the bidoons cannot enjoy.
Saudi court orders severing of defendant’s leg
A Saudi court has ordered the severing of a local man’s leg after he caused the amputation of the leg of another Saudi, when he shot him during an argument.
The court left the door open for a reversal of the verdict in case the defendant pays diya (blood money) to the victim, who is demanding SR1.5 million.

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