Tuesday, September 24, 2013

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: A New Intifada?
Although Abbas and some of his aides have been telling Israelis, Americans and Europeans that they are opposed to violence and terror attacks against Israel, they continue to incite Palestinians against Israel on a daily basis.
The Palestinian Authority openly supports an escalation of "popular resistance" against Israel, one where unarmed Palestinian civilians are encouraged to initiate confrontations with the IDF and settlers in the West Bank.
Some Palestinians have obviously interpreted the call for a "popular resistance" as a green light to launch terror attacks against Israelis.
For now, the Palestinian Authority leadership is doing nothing to calm the situation, even as Hamas is calling on its supporters in the West Bank to launch a new intifada against Israel. Some leaders in Ramallah are convinced that a popular uprising would serve their interests and persuade the Israeli public to support any deal with the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas in New York condemns soldiers’ killings
Answering a question posed by former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright at a dinner hosted by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, Abbas condemned the murders of Sgts. Gal Gabriel Kobi and Tomer Hazan in separate incidents in the West Bank, as well as all instances of violence against citizens.
He added that he expected Israel to condemn the deaths of four young Palestinians at the hands of the IDF in recent weeks. “Two weeks ago, four young people were killed by the Israeli army near Jerusalem,” he said. “No one said anything.” It was not clear to what Abbas was referring, but on Sept. 17, Israeli forces, believing their lives to be in danger, killed one man and wounded at least one during a raid on a refugee camp near Jerusalem to arrest a fugitive, the IDF said.
Earlier Monday, Fatah central committee member Abbas Zaki claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government were the ones responsible for Kobi’s death, in Hebron. The Israeli soldier was shot in the neck by a Palestinian sniper while on patrol on Sunday.
What if Abbas Condemns the Murders and No One in the PA Hears It?
In any event, even that miserly, self righteous, immoral statement has gotten no mention in Palestinian reports today. WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, only mentioned the two murders with a quote from Foreign Minister Riyad Malki:
"Malki expressed concern that Israel may use the killing of an Israeli soldier in Hebron on Sunday and another off duty soldier in Qalqilya two days earlier in order to discredit the Palestinian Authority.”
30 MKs lobby Netanyahu to cancel Palestinian prisoner release
"In light of the horrific murders in recent days, we ask you to cancel the release of terrorists, planned as part of negotiations with the Palestinians," the letter, initiated by Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked and Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Robert Ilatov, reads.
Lawmakers from Likud Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism signed the message to Netanyahu.
Terror Victim Families Demand End to Terrorist Releases
Several dozen people on Monday protested outside Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tel Aviv, demanding that the government promise to stop freeing terrorists in swap deals or as part of “gestures” to the Palestinian Authority. The protest included many members of families who have lost loved ones in terror attacks. It was organized by the Almagor terror victims' group and the Israel Sheli (My Israel) organization.
Riot in PA University Over School's Financial Woes
Fistfights and clashes broke out at Bir Zeit University on Ramallah Monday, as staff were prevented from entering the university building by students who are striking in protest of poor management by the university's administration.
Students locked the gates of the school's buildings and formed a human chain to prevent anyone from entering. Several staff tried anyway, and were roughed up by students. Among them was the head of the university's science faculty, who was badly injured when he tried to enter the building and students closed a door on his legs.
MEMRI: Pakistani Vice Chancellor At Launch Of His Book On 9/11:
'U.S. And British Governments Are Controlled By A High Cabal Of Banking Families Who… Manipulate Each Of Us By Putting Microchips In Our Brains'
"The vice chancellor, who heads one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in Pakistan, said this here [in Lahore] on Wednesday [September 11, 2013] at the launch of his book – titled 9/11 and the New World Order – at the Al Razi Hall of the Undergraduate Study Centre.
On Syria, 4 new worries for Israel
This state of affairs has been transformed by the chemical weapons crisis, the American threat to stage a punitive raid against Assad’s regime and the rather surprising Russian American agreement to eliminate Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons leading to the practical removal of the US threat to act militarily against Assad’s regime. The repercussions for Israel’s national security are far reaching. If implemented, the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons would be welcomed by Israel. Whether in the hands of Assad’s army or in those of some terrorist group, they represent a serious threat to Israel and their removal would be a net gain. But other aspects of the recent turn of events are far less attractive from an Israeli perspective:
Egyptian court bans Muslim Brotherhood
The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years of existence. But after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly and formed a political party, which and rose to power in elections.
The ruling, which can be appealed, opens door for authorities to track down the group’s elaborate network of social services, dealing a deadly blow to its pillars of grassroots support.
Since Morsi’s fall in July, the Egyptian military has moved with purpose to weaken the Brotherhood. Last week, English-language spokesman Gehad el-Haddad was arrested with other senior members of the group and charged with inciting violence.
The burden of proof is on Iran
Iran has concealed, lied and acted in contravention of its obligations.
Moreover, while the pressure of sanctions is pushing Iran to talk to the US, there is no indication this has been enough for Iran to consider backing down from its nuclear goal.
It is not enough for Rohani to act according to Lewis Carroll’s immortal lines: “I have said it twice: That alone should encourage the crew… I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.”
In this case, words are not enough – it is the deeds that will count. And the deeds must come quickly enough, or the world will know that Iran has been using the time-buying tactic all over again.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Warn Rouhani About Negotiating With Obama
While the U.S. expresses a continued willingness for direct negotiations over the Iran nuclear program, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite military force whose role is to protect Iran’s Islamic system of governance, issued a cautionary note about diplomacy with America.
“Historical experiences make it necessary for the diplomatic apparatus of our country to carefully and skeptically monitor the behavior of White House officials so that the righteous demands of our nation are recognized and respected by those who favor interaction,” the IRGC said in a statement.
At UN, Israel likely to stand alone against Iran
As diplomacy takes center stage in New York, the US and Great Britain appear willing to thaw ties with the Islamist regime following a charm offensive by Rouhani, who in recent days has been keen to show his regime’s ostensible readiness to compromise in the nuclear standoff with the West.
Israel stands alone in its rejection of Rouhani’s overtures, arguing that Rouhani merely put a friendlier face on a rogue regime still bent on acquiring nuclear weapons.
“Iran’s negotiation strategy is entirely consistent with Rouhani’s policy of ‘smile and enrich,’” stated an internal Israeli government document which surfaced Tuesday.
Netanyahu to compare Iran to North Korea at UN
The speech is Netanyahu’s bid to emphasize Israeli reservations about any rapprochement with Iran by the United Nations.
“Iran must not be allowed to repeat North Korea’s ploy to get nuclear weapons,” an Israeli official told The New York Times in a story posted online Sunday describing Netanyahu’s planned Oct. 1 speech to the General Assembly.
“Just like North Korea before it, Iran professes to seemingly peaceful intentions,” the Times quoted the official as saying. “It talks the talk of nonproliferation while seeking to ease sanctions and buy more time for its nuclear program.”
UK: Iran’s words must be matched by concrete steps
“There’s a chance, I think, for improved relations with Iran,” Hague told reporters after the meeting. “Because if the statements of President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif really mean something, if they really mean what they are saying, then certainly there’s a chance for us to improve relations and to work together across a whole range of subjects. But it will be important, as I have stressed before, for those statements to be matched by concrete steps and action.”
John Kerry to meet Iranian FM at UN
The Thursday meeting is to include US Secretary of State John Kerry, and will be the highest level meeting between US and Iranian officials since 1979, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, told reporters after meeting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that she saw “energy and determination” for talks with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to move forward. Foreign ministers of the six nations are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

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