Friday, January 31, 2014

From Ian:

Kerry, the Palestinians and the Vietnam model
After Yasser Arafat took over the PLO’s leadership in 1969, he went to North Vietnam to study the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare waged by Ho Chi Minh. This is also when the PLO started translating the writings of North Vietnam’s General Nguyen Giap into Arabic. Arafat was particularly impressed by Ho Chi Minh’s success in mobilizing sympathizers in Europe and in the United States. Giap explained to Arafat that in order to succeed, he, too, had to conceal his real goal and should use the right vocabulary: “Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights,” Giap told Arafat. “Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”
What Giap taught Arafat is that, in asymmetric struggles, the militarily weaker side can win thanks to what became an integral part of warfare in the 20th century: the media. Ultimately, Vietnam defeated both France and the United States because Giap knew how to brilliantly manipulate the media in order to convince the French and the Americans that they were sacrificing their sons for an unjust and hopeless war. This is how Giap summarized his strategy: “In 1968 I realized that I could not defeat 500,000 American troops who were deployed in Vietnam. I could not defeat the 7th Fleet, with its hundreds of aircraft, but I could bring pictures home to the Americans which would cause them to want to stop the war.” It worked.
Caoline Glick: Trying to scare Israel
Kerry is waiting for Netanyahu to agree to his framework. Until he does, Kerry, his allies and agents will escalate their threats and subversion.
So far, Netanyahu, Bennett and Ya’alon have competently exposed the lies behind the threats.
And they must continue on this course.
As we learned from Oslo and Gaza, nothing good comes from surrendering our rights and our land. And with Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem hanging in the balance, the stakes have never been higher.
American Framework 'A Step in the Right Direction'
Chairman of the Committee for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands, MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu), welcomed one issue addressed in the American framework presented by US envoy Martin Indyk. The framework includes a clause granting compensation for the refugees - something Ohayon and other advocates have been waiting for.
"The issue of Jews expelled from Arab lands was never brought to the table [until now] and has been neglected for many years," Ohayon explained to Arutz Sheva Friday. "This is a historical injustice that needs to be fixed."
"I don't know what the agreement says, but I welcome anything that pays attention to the Jewish refugee issue, of course," Ohayon added.

‘US framework deal puts 75-80% of settlers under Israeli rule’
Martin Indyk, the State Department’s lead envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, told the Jewish leaders on Thursday that under the framework agreement about 75-80 percent of settlers would remain in what would become Israeli sovereign territory through land swaps; he added that it was his impression that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was not averse to allowing settlers who want to remain as citizens of the Palestinian state.
Indyk said the framework would be presented to the sides within weeks, and that there will be “no surprises” for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, according to four people who were on the off the record call.
Khaled Abu Toameh: PLO official: Kerry's proposals offer 'general and vague' formulas about J'lem's future
Tawfik Tirawi, a top Fatah official and former PA security commander, said that Kerry’s proposals were completely unacceptable to the Palestinians.
“We don’t want framework agreements, but a final solution,” Tirawi told reporters in Ramallah. (h/t Serious Black)
PM in 1999: Jews living in Palestinian state is ‘absurd’
Makor Rishon’s Hagai Segal reported on a 1999 interview he did with the prime minister, then in his first term, in which Netanyahu called the idea of Jewish settlers living in a Palestinian state “absurd.”
“Do you know anyone who would support something like that?” Netanyahu asked. “Can you find an Israeli who agree to that? Who would agree to live under Palestinian rule? That’s absurd.”
“This is another way to say, We will wipe out these settlements by giving them over to the Palestinian Authority. It’s absurd.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah official: Palestinians interested in Iranian role in conflict with Israel
The Palestinians have an interest in Tehran playing an increased role in the region, Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, said on Thursday.
He announced that Fatah has not abandoned the option of “armed resistance” if the peace talks with Israel fail.
Quartet to meet in Munich over stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she would chair the meeting with Kerry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Quartet envoy Tony Blair, the former British prime minister.
"This meeting takes place in a moment when difficult and bold decisions need to be made. The dividends of peace for Israelis and Palestinians are enormous," Ashton said in a statement.
Reuters Headline Falsely Accuses Israel of Threatening Civilians
In fact, the article makes clear that Israel did not threaten any Lebanese civilians. Rather, Israel's Air Force chief, Major General Amir Eshel called out Hezbollah for establishing thousands of terrorist bases within residential buildings and warned that the Israeli army would not be deterred from retaliating for attacks launched from within these quarters.
UPDATE: CAMERA heard back from a Reuters editor who refuses to change the headline and suggests it is not "misleading" because the warning to Hezbollah does not "exclude" a threat against civilians, so no, this is not merely a sloppy oversight.
BBC Watch: In which BBC News abandons all pretence of fact checking
Obviously the BBC has not bothered to carry out any kind of fact checking before electing to repeat and promote unverified hearsay from unidentified passers-by. Over at the Israellycool blog is a photograph of Mubarak taken shortly after the incident and published by the Ma’an news agency in this article. As can clearly be seen, he is fully clothed and the weapon used lies beside him.
Later in the day, a Facebook posting from an advisor to the PA president described Mubarak as “a Martyr in the battlefield”:
IDF Blog: Dramatic Increase in Gaza Terror in January 2014
Since the beginning of 2014, over 28 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel by Gaza terrorists.
Fourteen of which landed in southern Israel, and five were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, as they were approaching Ashkelon built up areas.
In retaliation to these rocket attacks, IAF aircraft targeted numerous terror sites across the Gaza strip. In addition, at the beginning of January 2014, IAF aircrafts targeted a terror squad during final preparations to launch rockets at southern Israel.
IAF strikes Gaza after rocket fired at Israel
A video uploaded to YouTube claimed to show the Israeli airstrikes hitting the Gaza Strip early Friday morning.
Earlier in the evening, sirens wailed in the southern city of Netivot as a Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area outside town.
There were no injuries or damage reported in the incident. Security forces retrieved the remains of a projectile that landed outside the city, which is home to over 26,000.
Israeli Air Force Commander: ‘IAF is Operating Daily Across the Middle East’
Speaking at the Ninth International Space Conference in Herzliya on Wednesday, Israeli Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel said the IAF is initiating almost daily defensive or offensive actions across the Middle East, Israel’s Ma’ariv reported on Thursday.
Addressing the assembled delegates at the conference, which was organized by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, Eshel praised the IAF’s operational and intelligence gathering prowess, saying that, “Our offensive actions are both broader and more precise than at any other time [in Israel’s history].”
PMW: Fatah honors two suicide terrorists
Celebrating the anniversary of terrorist Ali Ja'ara's suicide bombing in 2004, in which he killed 11 and wounded dozens, the Fatah movement posted a text on its official Facebook page today, glorifying the killer as the "quiet hero" who "succeeded in breaking the Zionists' security barriers and breaching their fortresses." Photos of the terrorist and the blown up bus accompany the text.
Arab Terrorist 'Wanted to Hurt Jews'
A Palestinian Arab terrorist who broke through a barrier of the southern Hevron Hills community of Beit Haggai Thursday afternoon wanted “to hurt Jews.”
The Arab broke through the barrier with his car, causing an accident in which his was the only vehicle involved. He was apprehended by security forces and told them that his intention was to hurt Jews. No weapons were found in his possession, however.
Hezbollah expanding drone use to Syria and Lebanon
Lebanese security sources said that the organization had spotted the vehicle, and obtained information that it had entered the Bekaa
region via the country's eastern border with Syria. "The organization is monitoring and supervising the border using drones at night," the sources said.
Beyond its deployment of drones on the Syria-Lebanon border, it appears that Hezbollah has stepped up its use of them as a tool in its struggle against political foes inside Lebanon itself. Samir Geagea, a veteran Lebanese Christian politician and senior member of the country's anti-Hezbollah March 14 Alliance, said this week that an unmanned aerial vehicle had spent several hours flying above his home in the village of Maarab, an area with many Christian residents.
Syria peace talks end first round in deadlock
After a week of talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the opposing sides in Syria's civil war were still stuck on the question of how to proceed. Friday's closing session was expected to be largely ceremonial, with government and opposition delegates expected to meet again around Feb. 10.
Washington ‘deeply concerned’ about delay in Syria’s removal of chemical arms stockpile
In September, Syria agreed to forfeit its massive chemical weapons stockpile to be destroyed at sea under strict time constraints, under threat of military force from Washington.
But with a major deadline approaching, only 4 percent of those weapons have been delivered to Latakia, and only two cargo shipments have left the port, each carrying away roughly 15 tons of material. According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, tasked with facilitating the removal of Syria’s arms, the Syrian regime has stockpiled at least 1,300 tons of chemicals.
Analysts: Syria Retains 95% of Chemical Arsenal, Can Likely Produce Bio-Weapons
Syria retains the vast majority of its chemical arsenal, can likely weaponize biological agents, and has restored the pace of its missile production to pre-war levels, according to a stream of analysis and reporting published on Tuesday and Wednesday. A written statement by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, disclosed that U.S. intelligence analysts “judge that some elements of Syria’s biological warfare programme might have advanced beyond the research and development stage and might be capable of limited agent production.” Reporting on Clapper’s disclosure, The Telegraph noted that Syria’s program is sufficiently advanced that Syrian scientists may be able to create biological weapons even out of existing viruses, including out of strains of small pox.
Human Rights Watch: Assad Regime Destroyed Neighborhoods Suspected of Supporting Rebels
Over the past two years, the Syrian government has embarked on a systematic campaign to demolish large swaths of urban areas and raze entire neighborhoods in an effort to punish opposition supporters and drive suspected rebels out of strategic areas, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. The report details the destruction, by explosives and bulldozers, of thousands of residential buildings spread across seven neighborhoods in Damascus and Hama, two of Syria’s largest cities.
Former German FM Fischer in Tehran: West Give Up Support for Israel? ‘Forget it, Never’
The interaction was reported at the Iran – Israel Observer blog by Iranian-Israeli Meir Javedanfar, who attended Wednesday’s ‘Security Challenges of the 21st Century’ conference at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), where he heard the story.
“Joscha Fisher: ‘I was asked in #Iran (Tehran) by students when West will give up its support for #Israel. I told them: forget it. Never’,” he tweeted following the event.
Iran Accuses Obama of ‘Falsifying History’
Iran on Thursday dismissed as "unrealistic and unconstructive" comments by President Barack Obama that international sanctions linked to its nuclear program had forced Tehran to the negotiating table, AFP reported.
"The delusion of sanctions having an effect on Iran's motivation for nuclear negotiations is based on a false narration of history,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.
US will seek death penalty for Boston bomber
The United States will seek a rare federal death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving young student accused of the Boston Marathon bombings, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Three people were killed and about 260 wounded on April 15 last year when two bombs made of explosives-packed pressure cookers went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Several of the injured lost limbs.

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