Tuesday, February 18, 2014

From Ian:

Mahmoud Abbas' duplicity
According to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, are Israeli students peace partners or are murderers of Israeli students heroes? The answer, it seems, depends on who Abbas is talking to.
Although Abbas told Israeli students yesterday that he wants to live with them in peace - he himself, the PA, and the Fatah movement, both of which he heads, have been telling the Palestinian population that murdering Israeli students is glorious and heroic.
Last week, Israel released the bodies of two Palestinian terrorists to the PA. One, Habash Hanani, murdered three high school students and the other, Ahmad Al-Faqih, participated in murdering four religious studies students. Both murderers were given official military funerals and
both were called heroes by the PA and Fatah.
A poster from Abbas' Fatah movement was placed on the casket of murderer Habash Hanani, praising his killing of three high school students as a "heroic operation," during which he "saturated the soil... with his blood":
Canaanites Deny Being Forebears Of Palestinians (satire)
Amirapu added that he felt personally slighted by the idea that Palestinians might in any way carry his genes. “My mighty kingdom sat astride the crossroads of Assyria and Egypt,” he pronounced. “I resent even the insinuation that these desert people from distant Arabia, whose combined armies could not defeat a ragtag group of Second World War refugees, represent my progeny.”
Erekat was unavailable for comment, said a spokesman, as he was busy writing an article claiming that the Palestinians were already in the Levant when Homo Sapiens moved out of Africa.
Kerry-mocking site now jeers in English
John Kerry Solutions Ltd., which was launched last month by the organization My Israel with the backing of the Yesha Council — the umbrella council of West Bank settlements — is a composite of slapstick animated videos, bad-wig YouTube spots and a handful of semi-biting sections and articles, all designed to mock the secretary of state and his frequent-flier mile-heavy attempts at creating an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
The website for “John Kerry Solutions Ltd.,” at en.johnkerry.co.il, paints the secretary of state as a huckster peddling solutions — ranging from the merely half-baked to the downright ridiculous — to a plethora of problems.
We've got a peace partner

Abbas and the False Hope of Peace
So what is Abbas doing?
It’s not much of a mystery. The Palestinian leader is orchestrating a campaign aimed at diverting Western attention from a negotiating stance based on intransigence rather than moderation. Just as Arafat’s occasional statements about peace distracted both the Western media and the government of the United States from the actual policies he was pursuing as well as the rejectionist culture he had further entrenched via his media and the schools run by the PA, Abbas is trying to do the same thing. In this case, it is part of a game of chicken he’s been playing with Israel’s government to avoid blame for Kerry’s inevitable failure.
Israel should remain open to the possibility that someday the Palestinians will undergo the sort of sea change that will enable their leaders to embrace peace with Israel. But until that actually happens, both the Jewish state and its American ally should ignore Abbas’s deceptions.(h/t Norman F)
Dangers of the Palestinian state
We recently learned that shortly before he was deposed, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi contacted al-Qaida and promised to help the terror group set up a base of operations in Sinai. Had Morsi remained in power, the Israel-Egypt border would have become an extension of the Gaza Strip and our peace treaty with Egypt would have gone up in smoke.
What was about to transpire in Egypt, what is taking place in Syria and Lebanon, and what the Arab nations seem to be going through in general, must be used as a cautionary tale when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The Palestinian Authority assumes that any agreement or treaty will have a dubious future, even if it is backed by American and international assurances -- the value of which we are already familiar with.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Keep Religion on ID Cards
A-Nunu claimed that the move may be linked to talk about allowing Jewish settlers to stay in the West Bank and hold dual citizenship in a future Palestinian state.
"No Palestinian can agree to the presence of settlements on our land," he said.
Other Hamas officials said that Abbas's decision may be in preparation for the possibility that he would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, as demanded by the Israeli government. The officials also attacked the decision as being in violation of Islamic teachings.
Yunis al-Astal, a senior Hamas representative in the Gaza Strip, explained that the teachings of Islam require that there be "differentiation" between the followers of various religions.
Netanyahu's Party Ties His Hands on Concessions to Palestinians
Members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party have won a crucial court battle over the party's internal rules that allow the leader of the central committee, in this case Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon, to require party approval of any concessions made to the Palestinians in negotiations.
In effect, this would give the party veto power over territorial compromises that the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority demand, but which the Likud opposes. Danon and others are eager to prevent a repeat of the Gaza disengagement, which went ahead in 2005 despite being defeated by a party referendum the year before.
US said ready to compile list of Palestinian refugees to return in deal
The Palestinian source quoted by Israel Radio indicated that it is thought that very few Palestinians would choose to live in Israel even if that was an option, because they would have to sing the national anthem, Hatikvah, send their children to schools run by the Israeli educational system, and perhaps in the future have to perform some form of national or army service.
Any final list of Palestinians for resettlement would have to be approved by Israel, the report said.
The Peace Process and Tony Blair’s Forgotten Speech
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it best in a timeless, but long forgotten, speech to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles in August 2006.
“It is almost incredible to me that so much of Western opinion appears to buy the idea that the emergence of this global terrorism is somehow our fault,”
Blair said. “For a start, it is indeed global.
No-one who ever half bothers to look at the spread and range of activity related to this terrorism can fail to see its presence in virtually every major nation in the world. It is directed at the United States and its allies, of course. But it is also directed at nations who could not conceivably be said to be allies of the West.”
“It is also rubbish to suggest that it is the product of poverty. It is true it will use the cause of poverty,” he added. “But its fanatics are hardly the champions of economic development. It is based on religious extremism. That is the fact. And not any religious extremism, but a specifically Muslim version.”
Hamas head sent message to Netanyahu asking for restraint
Haniyeh’s message requested Israeli military restraint, after a series of rockets from Gaza hit the Negev and Israeli planes struck back at sites in the Strip in late January and earlier this month.
The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the letter.
In private conversations last week, senior Palestinian officials claimed Israel is in communication with Hamas leadership, if not with Haniyeh himself.
Palestinian-Arab Handed Jail Sentence for Poisoning Ra’anana Family
The incident occurred in 2011 when the Lerner family hired Nas’ara to renovate the exterior of their Ra’anana home. One day in October, upon returning to his apartment, the family’s patriarch realized that it had been broken in to. A short while later, his wife and two young sons also arrived and the Lerners called the police to report the burglary.
Soon thereafter, police officers arrived on the scene. At some point Mr. Lerner, a police volunteer, two children, and their visiting grandmother drank from various bottles of juice in the apartment.
Shortly after drinking from the assorted beverages, family members and the volunteer policeman fell ill. They were immediately evacuated by Magen David Adom to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where they were diagnosed with food poisoning.
Jihadist group claims Taba bombing as part of ‘economic war’
“One of the heroes of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis carried out the attack on a tourist bus heading towards the Zionist entity (Israel),” said a statement attributed to the group and posted on jihadist forums.
The group said in the statement that one of its “heroes” carried out Sunday’s bombing on the Egyptian side of the Taba border crossing into Israel as part of an “economic war” against Egypt’s army-backed government.
Morsi on trial for conspiring with Hamas, Hezbollah to commit terror acts in Egypt
Deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi appeared in court on Sunday on charges of conspiring with foreign groups to commit terrorist acts in Egypt, in a further escalation of the crackdown against his Muslim Brotherhood.
Declaring it "the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt", prosecutors have detailed a "terrorist plan" dating back to 2005 and implicating Palestinian group Hamas and the Shi'ite Islamist government of Iran as well as its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
Morsi's wife 'friends' with Hillary Clinton
Naglaa Mahmoud, the wife of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has claimed that she has been a close friend of Hillary Clinton since the 1980s.
Egypt's Al-Wafd and Vetogate claimed that while speaking to Turkey's Anatolia Agency, Naglaa Mahmoud is was reported to have said that she met Hillary Clinton when she was living in the US with her husband.
Mrs. Morsi is said to be friends with Saleha Abedin, who is the mother of Huma Abedin, a Muslim Students Association board member at George Washington University who started working for Hillary Clinton as an adviser in 1996.
Amid scant hopes, final status Iran nuke talks kick off
Expectations were not high, however, for the scheduled three-day Vienna meeting between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, the first in a likely series of tricky encounters.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday he was “not optimistic” and that he expected the talks to “lead nowhere” — although he also said he was not against the negotiations.
Netanyahu: Iran engaged in 'subversive activities' in Latin America, world
Netanyahu told the Peruvian president that a different policy is required than what is currently in place.
“A policy [is needed] that requires Iran to stop its aggression, to stop its nuclear military program and to become a nation among the nations, not a rogue state that arms itself with nuclear weapons.” he said.
The prime minister continued: “I think it is important for Israel, I think it’s important for Peru and I think its important for world peace.”
Netanyahu Demands: 'Zero Centrifuges' for Iran
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu kept up the rhetorical pressure Monday on the six world powers – known as the P5+1 – that are about to resume talks with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, demanding as he has countless times that tougher measures be taken against the rogue Islamist theocracy.
In an address to the Conference of Presidents, Netanyahu demanded that Iran's nuclear enrichment prowess be brought down to "zero centrifuges." He said that the concessions Iran has made thus far in negotiations with the P5+1 have only set back its nuclear "breakout time" by one month.
WATCH: Iranian Film Shows 'Nuclear Attack' on Israel
The clip was posted together with messages decrying attempts to tighten sanctions on Iran due to its nuclear program, according to Israel Hayom, and begins with an airstrike by Israeli and American forces on Iran.
Iranian air defenses kick in and destroy the bombers, and subsequent scenes show Iranian aircraft flying over Jerusalem, and strikes on Israel's soil.
Chillingly, the film ends with what appears to be an Iranian-launched nuclear missile destroying the Jewish state.
Iran Insists Its Ballistic Missiles Are for ‘Peaceful Purposes’ (satire)
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani lashed out at the US in particular, citing American “hypocrisy” at allowing its ally Israel to develop defensive technology such as the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system and the Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor, while preventing countries such as Iran from developing weapons that might overwhelm those defenses and slaughter countless Israeli civilians. He insisted that his country’s missile program was intended only for peaceful purposes.
“Specifically, we envision the peace that will prevail in the world after we obliterate the Zionist regime with these weapons and establish an Islamic state across the region,” Rouhani said in an address to the country’s parliament.
Hezbollah Secretary General Nasrallah: ‘Israel Sending Suicide Bombers to Lebanon’
“The Israelis and Americans are using extremists as suicide bombers inside of Lebanon,” he said, in a speech honoring deceased terror operatives.
Nasrallah dismissed claims that recent suicide attacks against Hezbollah targets were a response to his group’s meddling in Syria’s civil war. “Such actions were already occurring prior [to the civil war],” he claimed.
Nasrallah: Israel Benefits from Lebanon Turmoil
Speaking during a televised speech, Nasrallah declared that Hezbollah would continue fighting in Syria despite the wave of car bombings targeting predominantly Shiite areas in Lebanon controlled by the group.
He accused Israel and the U.S. of benefitting from the plots of the takfiri (extremist Sunnis) in the region, reported the Daily Star.
Lebanese PM forms government after 10-month stalemate
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam formed a Cabinet from a wide range of groups across the political spectrum on Saturday, over 10 months after he became premier, after bridging serious divisions between rival political groups mostly over Syria’s civil war.
Salam’s 24-member national unity Cabinet was announced at the presidential palace and includes members of the Western-backed coalition as well as those of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its allies.
Misadventures in the Middle East


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