Wednesday, May 21, 2014

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Letting go of Abbas
The time has come for Israel to show Abbas the door. It would be best if we can do it quietly – offering him the opportunity to relocate to somewhere warm and retain all the loot he and his cronies have siphoned off for their personal use.
Once Abbas is gone, Israel will have to choose between applying its laws to parts of Judea and Samaria and offering the Palestinians outside those areas a limited form of autonomy, or applying its laws to the entire region, conferring permanent residency status on the Palestinians and offering them the right to apply for Israeli citizenship.
Alarmists argue that without Abbas, Israel will go broke having to finance the Palestinian budget. But this is ridiculous.
Once you subtract the hundreds of millions of dollars that go missing every year, and you take into account that Israel managed to govern the areas for 24 years, you realize that this is just one more empty threat – like the demographic threat – made by people who have no political existence without the façade of a peace process.
Abbas is not an asset. He is a liability. It is time to move past him. (h/t Bob Knot)
The Price of Oslo – 933 Billion Shekels and Counting
The failed attempt at regional peacemaking known as the Oslo Process has cost the state of Israel over 900 billion shekels – more than $250 billion – since 1993, and the costs keeps rising, according to a study by the Likud party's Jewish Leadership faction, which is headed by MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beytenu).
By comparison, the total state budget for 2014 has been set at about 400 billion shekels, or about $115 billion.
The numbers came as a shock to the researchers, who recently gave a much lower estimate of the total financial costs of the botched endeavor.
White House Puts New Lipstick on Old Pig a/k/a Unity Government
An anonymous senior White House official allegedly told the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the U.S. would cooperated with a Palestinian Unity Government, despite the participation of the terrorist group Hamas.
The way the Unity Government is being promoted, it will be run by “technocrats” and not by representatives of Hamas or Fatah. How anyone appointed by the two parties will not be members of those two parties is difficult to understand, but that is the confection being promoted by those involved, and it is eagerly being ingested by the Americans and others – including 28 European Union foreign ministers – interested in moving forward “peace talks” which also have little grounding in reality.
The Unity Government is allegedly going to be put in place next week.

US Pressures Israel Out Of $13B Contract For Missile Sales To Poland
Israel has been forced by U.S. pressure to bow out of a contract worth $13 billion to build a missile defense system for Poland.
The Poles were interested in utilizing David's Sling, manufactured at Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is an advanced system designed to shoot down heavy rockets and cruise missiles using interceptor missiles.
Since the missiles are produced by Raytheon, a U.S. company, the U.S. quietly exercised what's known as an 'export veto' where U.S. technology is concerned, to allow the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed Martin Corp, and the Patriot system, whose prime contractor is Raytheon an inside track on the lucrative contract. (h/t MtTB)
What Newsweek’s Story Proves About U.S. Intelligence
Questioning the loyalty or decency of Israel or those who back Israel is not unusual in the U.S. intelligence community.
Pillar has used a similarly smarmy tone in questioning the loyalty of American Jewish businessman Sheldon Adelson, who supports a strong Israel and a non-nuclear Iran, after Adelson, who was a U.S. soldier, made an off-hand remark wishing that he had also served as an Israeli soldier (which his children have). [here and see analysis here.
Using unnamed and tendentious “intelligence sources” for a wild story does indeed prove something.
- It proves that Newsweek’s U.S. ”intelligence sources” are not sources of information, but actually sources of easily disprovable propaganda.
- It shows that some senior people in U.S. intelligence are habitually wrong in their analysis and comments on Middle Eastern affairs.
- It supports the judgment of millions of American who no longer trust Newsweek as a source for news and analysis.
It also validates the view that top people in U.S. intelligence are not so intelligent. Indeed, “U.S. intelligence” may be a kind of oxymoron.
Ya’alon says troops in Nakba Day killings were in danger, acted as needed
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israeli troops who allegedly shot dead two Palestinian teenagers during Nakba Day protests in the West Bank last Thursday acted “as appropriate” given that “they were in a situation where their lives were in danger.”
A senior Palestinian official earlier Tuesday accused Israel of the “deliberate execution” of the two Palestinians, after an NGO released video footage which it said showed that the two were killed when unarmed and posing no threat.
Ya’alon said the troops were facing violent protests, and had petrol bombs thrown at them. He said that he had not yet viewed the footage, “but I’ve seen lots of films that were edited [to distort what had happened]. This film I’ve not yet seen, but I know the system.”
Liberman Rejects 'American Demands' for Nakba Day Shooting Probe
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday brushed off international criticism and demands for an investigation into the deaths of two Arab rioters killed by Israeli forces last week.
"I reject any demand" for an international investigation, he told reporters on a tour of the city of Ariel in Samaria.
"Such an incident will be investigated regardless of any demand," he remarked, denouncing world criticism of the incident as "hypocrisy".
ADL condemns int'l community's 'rush to judgment' on Nakba Day deaths
The Anti Defamation League criticized the "rush to judgment" by the United Nations and others in the international community calling for increased levels of investigation into the actions of the IDF regarding the deaths of two Palestinian youths during a riot on May 15.
“The international community must respect the IDF’s right and responsibility to fully investigate this incident, and should refrain from rashly calling for extraordinary action before all the facts have been examined,” ADL Director Abe Foxman said.
Foxman also called public comments on the incident by the UN and others "inappropriate and unwarranted."
Australian company pulls out of Israeli gas venture
Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said in a statement that negotiations between the parties, which started in late 2012, failed to reach an acceptable outcome on development and supply agreements.
“All parties have worked very hard to secure an outcome which would be commercially acceptable, but after many months of negotiations it is time to acknowledge we will not get there under the current proposal,” he said.
“While Woodside’s commitment to growth is strong, even stronger is our commitment to making disciplined investment decisions.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank the Leviathan Joint Venture participants and the Israeli government for working with us.”
Let's End the Rachel Corrie Circus: The Big Lies
On May 21st, Israel’s Supreme Court will hear an appeal of the lower court in Haifa that heard the wrongful death lawsuit by the parents of Rachel Corrie. Three of Israel’s highest judges, at taxpayer expense, will take their time to listen to an Arab lawyer named Hussein Abu Hssein who is a professional flack for the terrorist movements out to destroy Israel. The purpose is to accuse the IDF of murder and a cover up in a nonsensical trial over a little foolish American girl who was playing revolutionary in a combat zone and got herself killed in the process.
Rachel’s parents could have stepped up after their daughter’s death and urged other parents to not encourage their children to go to the Holy Land to act as human shields for terrorists like Rachel did. Instead, they chose to make a sinecure traveling the world and mythologizing their "useful idiot" child as a “human rights activist” who died protecting a Palestinian home with her body.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even after being kidnapped by Hamas operatives in Gaza, on their release they began the same lying campaign.
Abbas says he won’t join more international groups for now
Abbas said the Palestinians are instead currently waiting to see what diplomatic developments will ensue in the aftermath of last month’s collapse of peace negotiations.
The Times of Israel has established that Israel is aware of Abbas’s decision not to turn to international organizations as part of the Palestinian push to statehood in the near future.
Haaretz: Hamas Following “Hezbollah Model” in Forming Unity Government
Israel’s left-leaning Haaretz on Monday quoted a Hamas source describing the terrorist organization’s vision going forward under a possible unity government:
"A Hamas source has said the model being planned for the new Palestinian unity government is that of Hezbollah in Lebanon, in which the organization is a government party that has shed responsibility for routine matters but maintains an independent military. “If anyone expects Hamas to hand over its missile network to the PA, he’s making a big mistake,” the Hamas source said. “Hamas wants to avoid ministerial responsibility for civilian matters, but it wants to maintain its power as a popular-resistance group.”
Bomb explodes next to IDF troops near Gaza
The army said an Israeli Defense Forces vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device while performing a “routine mission” near the southern strip.
A number of mortars were also fired at IDF positions in the area, according to the Ynet news site.
There were no injuries in either incident.
Hamas may mellow on Israel, ex-Turkish FM predicts
Yaşar Yakış, a founding member of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party and his foreign minister between 2002 and 2003, said that Turkey had invited Hamas’s political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal to Ankara following the Islamic movement’s resounding victory in the Palestinian elections of 2006 in order to convince Hamas to forgo its armed struggle against Israel.
“Unfortunately, Mashaal didn’t take our advice,” Yakış said.
However, today Hamas has found itself squeezed by Egypt, and may agree to moderate its position in line with Quartet demands to keep together a nascent unity agreement with Fatah signed last month.
The three Quartet conditions, endorsed by Turkey, entail recognition of Israel; renouncing violence; and accepting previously signed agreements.
Palestinian boy recites poem: "Zion is Satan with a tail"

Hamas honors Sbarro suicide bomber: He "gave the Zionists a taste of humiliation"

Egypt's Mubarak convicted of embezzlement, sentenced to 3 years in jail
"He should have treated people close and far from him equally," said Judge Osama Shaheen, as Mubarak looked on from a cage flanked by his sons, who were sentenced to four years in jail on the same charges. "Instead of abiding by the constitution and laws, he gave himself and his sons the freedom to take from public funds whatever they wanted to without oversight and without regard."
Judicial sources told Reuters that the 23 months Mubarak had spent in jail since the 2011 uprising up to August, when he left prison for house arrest, would be applied against the sentence, meaning the former president will probably serve no more than a year as punishment for the corruption charges.
Questions About Syria for the Muslim World
Muslims need to ask themselves whether any of these groups actually represents what Allah wants of them. Since each of their ideologies includes an idea that is incompatible with the basic teachings of Islam, the answer must be “No!”
Syria is the first Muslim country to face this war of all against all, but it is unlikely to be the last.
The Syrian war has always threatened to overflow into Iraq and Lebanon, where the same groups would fight one another. Egypt is being rocked by a three-way conflict involving a “secularist” faction, the Brotherhood, and various Salafi groups. Something similar is in the works in Libya and Yemen, and possibly Saudi Arabia. Do the peoples of these countries want what is happening in Syria to happen to them? If not, they have to join arms against the ideas of all three jihadi factions. Fathers must forbid their sons (and the occasional daughter) from joining the fighting. Imams must rise to the occasion and recognize that Allah doesn’t want what is happening in Syria, so it is their obligation to help stop it.
Russia to Veto Another UN Resolution on Syria
The resolution calls for the ICC to be given a mandate over crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Syria.
The Security Council is expected to vote on Thursday. China is expected to follow Russia and use its veto. Britain, the United States and the other governments that back the referral say the resolution still has symbolic and moral value.
The 58 countries, led by Switzerland, appealed to all 193 UN member states to co-sponsor the resolution, under which the ICC would be authorized to investigate allegations of heinous crimes by the Syrian government, pro-government militias, and armed opposition groups.
Iran Insists Demands Must Be Met, Says No Rush to Conclude Nuke Agreement by July Deadline
The Iranian Foreign Ministry tried to manage expectations surrounding the ongoing negotiations with world powers over its nuclear program, with a spokeswoman warning the West not to demand too much.
“We have always announced that the western sides should stop raising excessive demands and insisting on their illogical requests and don’t pursue their past mistakes,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, as reported by semi-official state news agency Fars.
“In the Vienna negotiations, different issues which have been under negotiations since the first day were discussed and we have stated since the very first day that we don’t negotiate on defensive and missile issues, and the talks have been pursued based on this (principle) to the last round of negotiations,” she said.
Late Friday, Iran’s deputy chief negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi said Iran would not accept a discussion of its defense program and will only agree to a deal which respects its “rights,” Fars reported.
End of mandate for EU's Ashton raises questions over Iran talks
As Iran and international negotiators work towards a July deadline to complete an accord with Tehran on its nuclear programme, a practical issue may be on their minds: the looming changeover of the European Union's foreign policy chief.
Catherine Ashton, the British baroness who has held the EU's top foreign policy post for the past five years, may not be the critical decision-maker in the talks, but she has been the prime coordinator of the negotiations since 2010.
In Iran, You Can’t Be ‘Happy’
Six young Iranians attempting to spread joy and happiness by dancing in a video to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy” have been arrested.
Authorities in the Islamic Republic watched the video and deemed it to be “vulgar” and “obnoxious.” The women in the dancing group violated a mandate imposed by the Islamic Republic, which stipulates that women must were veils.
Williams sounded off on the absurdity of the arrest, tweeting Tuesday night “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread the happiness.”
State Dept. Blasts “Unprovoked Violence” Against Turkish Mourner-Protesters
State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki on Monday “reject[ed] the apparent use of unprovoked violence against [Turkish] demonstrators and protesters and urged accountability,” after a weekend in which the death toll of the Soma mining disaster in Turkey rose to over three hundred confirmed victims. CNN reported over the weekend that Erdogan and the AKP continue to be plagued by their violent response to the tragedy.
Turkey’s Erdogan Thanks Israel for Canceling Independence Day Party to Respect Mining Deaths
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday thanked Israel for cancelling a planned celebration last week as a gesture to the hundreds who died recently in an accident in a Turkish mine, Turkey’s Hurriyet reported.
In a speech to party members about the Soma, Manisa, coal mining disaster, which cost 301 Turkish lives, Erdogan thanked Israel and Norway for cancelling planned celebrations that had been scheduled for last week.
The thanks to the Jewish state came after Erdogan faced criticism last week for using an anti-Israel slur as he toured the accident locale, where he called a Turkish protester an “Israeli sperm.”
How does it feel to be ‘Israeli spawn’ in Turkey?
As you may have heard, Prime Minister Erdogan allegedly called a shopper in Soma after the mine disaster “the spawn of Israel.”
In case you are interested, I’ll try to explain what it is to be born as “Israeli spawn” in Turkey:
It means having a name and/or surname in Hebrew or Spanish and a middle name in Turkish.
It means being called by your first name at home and by your middle name in the street by the age of 3.

It means developing skills to quickly decide which name to use to introduce yourself by, as soon as you enter a new place.

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