Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From Ian:

Obama Treats Ally Israel Worse Than Enemy Dictatorships
Israel is expected to do things neither the U.S. nor its other allies would do. This month, the Obama Administration was critical of Afghanistan’s Karzai releasing of scores of Islamist “dangerous criminals against whom there is strong evidence linking them to terror-related crimes.” But last year, the Administration pressured Israel into releasing scores of convicted Palestinian killers of Israeli civilians – although it did express concern when one of those released, Al Haj Othman Amar Mustafa, turned out have also murdered an American. Actions unacceptable elsewhere were positively demanded of Israel.
The Obama pattern is clear. The respect for sovereign decisions and deference to security concerns that apply to other U.S. allies are absent when it comes to Israel. Israel is expected to bow to the Administration’s policy without demur, run security risks the U.S. itself would not abide, and ignore the extremism, non-acceptance, and bad faith of its Palestinian partner, just as the Obama Administration does. This is just the unseemly underside of the disconnect between the Administration’s public words of support for Israel and the reality of its coolness and indifference to the realities it faces.
The 'Kerry Plan': Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, recognition of Jewish state
The "Kerry Plan" is likely to be unveiled soon, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times wrote on Tuesday in a column titled "Why Kerry is Scary."
The “Kerry Plan,” writes Friedman, is expected to "call for an end to the conflict and all claims, following a phased Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank (based on the 1967 lines)."
Friedman also said that there will be "unprecedented security arrangements in the strategic Jordan Valley."
According to Friedman, some settlements will remain under Israeli control and Israel will "compensate" Palestinians for the land.
Obama Refers to ‘Jewish State’ of Israel Hours After Netanyahu Calls for PA to do Same
Stating America’s objectives in the ongoing U.S. sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Obama called for “an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel—a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side.”
At a security conference earlier on Tuesday, Israel’s Netanyahu said that of two basic principles required of the PA, “The first is recognition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people.”
“This is the root of the conflict. The conflict is not about the settlements, its not about the settlers, and it’s not about a Palestinian state. The Zionist movement agreed to recognize a Palestinian state. The conflict is over the Jewish state… We are asked to recognize a national Palestinian state, so can we not also demand [that they] recognize a national Jewish state?” the Premier said.

Netanyahu: Israel not obligated by US peace plan
“The Americans are working to solidify American positions,” he said at the Institute for National Security Studies conference. “Israel does not have to accept every American position.” He said the American proposal would be presented soon.
Netanyahu also reiterated his position that he does not “want a bi-national state and… this reflects the desires of most Israelis.” However, he qualified, neither does he want another “state sponsored by Iran” next door to Israel — a reference to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Lebanon — so “the Palestinian state must be demilitarized, and therefore some symbols of [its] sovereignty must be limited.”
Abbas: Transition period after deal can’t pass 3 years
The comments, taped in December and screened at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) annual conference in Tel Aviv, stand in contrast to Israel’s stated position, which is that a withdrawal will be staged over a long period of time, anywhere from 10 to even 50 years.
“Whoever proposes 10-15 years for a transition period does not want to withdraw,” Abbas said. “We said that a transitional period cannot exceed three years, during which Israel can withdraw gradually. We are willing to allow a third party take Israel’s place during and after withdrawal to soothe our concerns and Israel’s, and ensure both sides that things will continue as normal.”
PLO Official: Israelis welcome to apply for immigration to 'Palestine'
Israeli officials use these statements as proof that the Palestinians have not really accepted the idea of peace with Israel.
"Nothing shows the Palestinian Authority's unwillingness to reach an accord with Israel more than their extreme and reckless reaction to an unofficial report,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. “(A peace accord) will only be reached when the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and when the essential interests of the security of Israeli citizens are guaranteed.” (h/t Bob Knot)
Bennett: Jews in ‘Palestine’ would be killed
“Do you know why? Why Jews cannot live under Palestinian rule? Do you know why? Why Palestinians can’t rule over Jews?” Bennett said in an address at the Institute for National Security Studies Conference, reiterating a point he’d made on Facebook earlier in the day. “Because they will kill them. And do you know how I know this? Because it has already happened.”
Bennett went on to recount in gory detail some of the events of the 1929 massacre in Hebron, in which 67 Jews were killed during Arab riots, and of the year 2000 lynching in Ramallah of two off-duty IDF soldiers who had sought refuge in a Palestinian police station.
Three arrested attempting to enter Temple Mount
Police said the suspects were attempting to smuggle Israeli flags onto the Mount with the intention of displaying them, an act prohibited at the sensitive site.
The three suspects were arrested at the Mughrabi Gate, next to the Western Wall Plaza, Walla News reported.
The Mughrabi Gate is the only entrance through which non-Muslims are allowed to enter the site under Israel’s agreement with the Wakf, the Jordanian Islamic religious authority responsible for operations on the Temple Mount.
Palestinian said killed after opening fire on troops
A Palestinian man opened fire on an IDF post near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah, on Wednesday.
One soldier returned fire and confirmed that the shooter was hit, the IDF said. According to Palestinian sources, the shooter was killed.
The soldiers “acted swiftly and professionally to prevent casualties. We will continue to stand guard and protect Israeli civilians from terror acts such as this one,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
Shin Bet: Hamas seeks to boost presence in Jerusalem
Over the past several weeks the Shin Bet security service has arrested 16 men on suspicion of running a Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem, the internal security organization said Tuesday.
Shin Bet said the Hamas members, who sought to increase the organization’s influence in and around the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount, represented both a potential security threat and part of an ongoing Hamas effort to expand its sphere of influence beyond the Gaza Strip.
Muslim group threatens Canada PM with libel suit
A Muslim organization said Tuesday it will sue Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his spokesman for libel unless they retract and apologize for a statement linking the group to Hamas.
Canada lists Hamas as a banned terrorist organization.
Fatah: Hamas yet to reply to reconciliation proposal
The head of Fatah's reconciliation team Azzam al-Ahmad said earlier this month that he would visit the Gaza Strip and meet with Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
However, spokesman Hassan Ahmad told Ma’an that “al-Ahmad’s visit to Gaza is linked to Hamas’ approval to hold elections and form a unity government. But Hamas has yet to reply to the proposal given by al-Ahmad to Haniyeh in the latest phone call.” (h/t Bob Knot)
‘Refugees’ Suffer, PA Still Cozy with Iran
Reports continue to come in of mass starvation in the Yarmouk neighborhood in Damascus, which has been under siege for months as fighting continues in Syria.
The neighborhood is populated by descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel, who identify as “Palestinian Arab refugees” and are recognized as such by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
However, despite that connection, the PA continues to side with Iran, which is backing Bashar Assad’s army – the same army imposing the siege on Yarmouk. Senior PA official Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Central Committee of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, recently made a trip to Tehran, where he voiced support for the position shared by Iran and Assad.
IDF chief: No matter who wins in Syria, Israel loses
“Heads or tails,” Gantz said, describing the almost three-year war in terms of a coin toss, “the result is negative either way.”
“If [Syrian President Bashar] Assad survives he is beholden to the radical axis, to Iran and Hezbollah which bolster him,” he elaborated. “If Assad falls, he will be replaced by global jihadists or other organizations.”
Even if Assad does emerge from the conflict on top, Gantz asserted, he will not regain full control of Syria, leaving the door open for other extremist elements.
Syria Jihadists Say Liberation of ‘Palestine,’ Golan Will Follow Fall of Assad (VIDEO)
In recent footage from a Syrian Jihadist training camp in Aleppo, Mohammed Hussein, founder of Bin Laden Front, told a camera crew from VICE News that the militants’s goal was to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, then its “aim is to liberate greater Syria.”
Hassan Abu Ali, a 15-year old fighter profiled in the report, told VICE, “Once Syria is liberated, our next mission is to liberate Palestine and Golan and continue our conquests. Thanks be to Allah.”
Australian jihad recruits fighting in Syria may bring their terror skills home
UP to 120 Australians fighting in the Syrian civil war and learning deadly skills which could be used on their return are being funded by Muslim communities here collecting money for humanitarian aid.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis also warned yesterday that some fighters could commit terrorist acts in Australia.
"These individuals not only potentially breach Australian laws and commit offences offshore, but upon their return to Australia pose a significant national security risk," he said.
Returning Terrorists 'a Serious Threat' to Canada
If these traveling Canadians "participate in a foreign conflict or train with a terrorist group, they might return with certain operational skills that can be deployed themselves or taught to fellow Canadian extremists. Either way, this is a serious security threat to Canada," notes the report.
Michel Coulombe, Director of CSIS, reported that in the recent years the intelligence agency has dealt with a rising number of attempts by foreign intelligence agents to obtain sensitive information concerning fields such as aviation, biotechnology, chemicals, communications, nuclear energy and oil.
Jennifer Rubin: Ex-Obama adviser: Interim deal is a sham
Contrary to the administration’s representations, it does not alter Iran’s timeline, the authors report, because Western negotiators “needed to secure a final settlement with a clear short-term timeframe for Iran to uphold its commitments. Instead, the JPA is a longer-term, multi-stage agreement with moveable deadlines and ultimately no permanent limits on Iran’s ability to pursue nuclear weapons. By doing nothing to prevent a nuclear Iran, this lax timeline could encourage further regional instability, including a stronger Israeli sense of urgency to launch a preventive military strike.”
Iran’s nuclear bid ‘only a matter of time,’ says PM’s former top adviser
“From Israel’s perspective, the result [of the interim nuclear deal] is disappointing compared to what we had hoped for,” Arad told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of a first annual lecture series in memory his former history teacher, Tel Aviv University founder professor Zvi Yavetz, who passed away last year.
“Most experts doubt whether a [final] deal can be reached, so we should treat the current situation as one which will continue. They [the Iranians] will continue enriching [uranium] to a level they regard as permissible, until the opportunity arises when they decide to catch up easily. It’s only a matter of time. Meanwhile, they achieve sanctions relief and the sense of [Western] laxness. The threat of military intervention is dissipating in the air,” he said.
Ex-CIA head: US would use force to stop Iran
Israelis should have faith that the United States is willing to use force to stop the Iranian nuclear program, former Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus said Tuesday.
“Take yes for an answer. This is not an off the cuff comment. He [US President Barack Obama] has articulated his approach on the Iranian nuclear program many times,” Patraeus said at the Institute for National Security Studies’ (INSS) annual conference in Tel Aviv.
Iran President Promises “Prudent, Moderate” Annihilation of Israel (Satire)
Similarly, what he called “improved relations with all the world” can only be achieved by continuing to arm and train Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant organization whose involvement in Syria’s internal conflict has spilled over violently into Lebanon.
Rouhani insisted on Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses such as electricity production, medical isotope manufacture, and Jew immolation. “The Iranian people are not willing to give up their peaceful technology,” he stated. (h/t Mightier than the Pen)

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