VTJP Palestine-Israel Newslinks 10 August 2013: Fear of isolation gets Israel talking

10 August 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Britain Denounces New Israeli Settlement Plan
IMEMC – Britain’s Foreign Office Minister, Alastair Burt, denounced the recent Israeli government decision to construct 1096 units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied East Jerusalem. The Minister said that the focus should be on peace talks. …

Ma’an News

Bilin rallies for Palestinian prisoners
8/10/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Protesters rallied in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners at the weekly demonstration in Bilin near Ramallah on Friday. Israeli forces fired plastic-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs toward the demonstrators, activists said. The tear gas canisters set fire to olive trees in the Abu Laimoun reserve, they added. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans for national unity, and….

Jihadists: Israel airstrike killed Sinai militants
8/10/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — An Egyptian militant group said on Saturday that a strike that killed four of its members in the Sinai peninsula was Israeli. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis said four of its members belonging to Sinai Bedouin tribes had been killed by Israeli drones on Friday. Egypt’s military denied on Friday that there had been any Israeli strikes inside Egyptian territory.”How can the…. Related: Victims of strike in Sinai identified

Report: Zimbabwe agrees to sell uranium to Iran
8/10/2013 – LONDON (AFP) — Zimbabwe has signed a secret deal to supply Iran with the raw materials needed to develop a nuclear weapon, in breach of international sanctions, The Times reported on Saturday.”I have seen [a memorandum of understanding] to export uranium to the Iranians,” Zimbabwean Deputy Mining Minister Gift Chimanikire told the British newspaper. The agreement, which was reportedly signed last year, is likely to….

Turkey to withdraw troops from UN force in Lebanon
8/10/2013 – ANKARA (AFP) — Turkey plans to pull out troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon UNIFIL, Turkish and UN sources said Saturday, while denying that the decision was linked to the kidnapping of two pilots.”An approximately 250-person engineering construction force will not be actively involved in UNIFIL in the coming period,” a Turkish diplomatic source told AFP on condition of anonymity. The decision…. Related: Lebanon pledges to free kidnapped Turkish pilots

Lebanon pledges to free kidnapped Turkish pilots
8/10/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel pledged on Saturday that his government would make “exceptional efforts” to ensure the release of two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Beirut a day earlier, state media said. Speaking after a meeting with Turkey’s ambassador to Beirut, Inan Ozyildiz, he also promised that Lebanon would make every effort to protect Turkish citizens in the country.”The Lebanese…. Related: Turkey to withdraw troops from UN force in Lebanon

Assala Nasri to perform in Bethlehem
8/10/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The revered Syrian singer Assala Nasri will perform in Bethlehem on Saturday as part of an arts festival in the West Bank city. Nasri will perform at the Convention Palace for the first Solomon Pools’ Ramadan Nights Festival, which also featured a concert by the Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf on Aug. 1. Since arriving in Bethlehem, Nasri has toured….

Victims of strike in Sinai identified
8/10/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Egyptian military sources said Saturday that four of the five victims of an airstrike in Sinai a day earlier had been identified. Senior military sources told Ma’an that one body was too badly burned to identify. They named the others as Ibrahim H. A, Mohmmad M. H. A, Saeed A amd Hussam A. D. The victims were traveling in…. Related: Jihadists: Israel airstrike killed Sinai militants

5 hurt in Gaza City car accident
8/10/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Five people were moderately hurt in a car accident in Gaza City on Friday evening, medics said. They were injured when two cars collided on Salah al-Din Street east of Gaza City. The five victims were taken to Shifa Hospital and the road was closed for over an hour. [END]

Boy drowns off Tel Aviv coast
8/10/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An 8-year-old boy drowned on Friday off the coast of Tel Aviv, Israeli police said Saturday. The body of Nassar Ahmad Abu Mdaighem, from Rahat in Israel’s Negev, was taken to the Sourasky Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Israeli police spokewoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement. [END]

Lavrov: Russia, US want Syria talks ‘as soon as possible’
8/10/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — Moscow and Washington are in agreement about the need to stage a fresh round of Syria peace talks “as soon as possible”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.”Our opinions are very much the same. Come what may, we need to convene the Geneva 2 meeting as soon as possible,” Lavrov told reporters in Washington. Lavrov added that US and Russian officials….

US to reopen embassies except Yemen on Sunday
8/10/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States is to reopen all of the embassies it shut this week except the one in Yemen, after re-assessing the Al-Qaeda threat. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington would also keep its consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore closed, after pulling out staff on Thursday. The United States had closed some two dozen embassies and consulates since August 4….

Mursi backers defiant as Egypt crackdown looms
8/10/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Defiant supporters of deposed president Mohamed Mursi rallied in their thousands across Egypt Friday sparking clashes that left dozens injured, as the interim premier suggested a crackdown on their protest camps was imminent. Mursi’s Islamist supporters flooded streets in central Cairo and in the second city Alexandria, carrying pictures of the deposed leader and chanting against the military coup that ousted….

Guantanamo inmates fear Yemen scare will delay release
8/10/2013 – US NAVAL BASE AT GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (AFP) — Shock-waves from the threat of new attacks by Al-Qaeda’s Yemen wing have reached the cells of Guantanamo Bay, where dozens of Yemeni detainees are waiting to be sent home. Of the 166 detainees remaining at the US naval base at Guantanamo — where a prison camp holds detainees from the “war on terror” — 84 are from….

Analysts: Resurgent Al-Qaeda far from defeated
8/10/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — A resurgence of bombings in Iraq. A new generation of jihadists floc
king to the chaotic crucible of the Syrian conflict. Terror alerts in Yemen that prompted embassies to be shuttered. US President Barack Obama may be correct in asserting that Al-Qaeda’s leadership has been “hammered” but recent events have proved the terror network remains a deadly threat, analysts say. Addressing an….

NGO: 20 dead in air raids in Syria’s Latakia province
8/10/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Air strikes by the Syrian military killed at least 20 people in the northwestern province of Latakia overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.”The toll in several air strikes on the town of Salma in Jabal Akrad rose to at least 20 people,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. Abdel Rahman said 10 of those killed were believed….

Israeli army kills Palestinian on Gaza border
AlJazeera 10 Aug 2013 – Troops shoot dead unarmed man who climbed over border between Gaza Strip and Israel, saying he was a security threat.

Netanyahu undergoes hernia operation
AlJazeera 10 Aug 2013 – Israeli prime minister hospitalised in Jerusalem to undergo emergency surgery after suffering from stomach pains.

International Solidarity Movement

Israel shifts Oslo accord borders to continue to prevent Palestinians from using their land and building homes
8/10/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 10th August 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team, Huwwara, Occupied Palestine – Maher from the village of Huwwara close to Nablus, is one of many Palestinians who has been tricked into thinking that Palestinians have the power to issue building permits in areas labelled as ‘B’ under the Oslo accords. Maher owns land designated as ‘B’ and so applied to the Palestinian….

Journal- Welcome to Palestine: tear gas and coffee
8/10/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 10th August 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Anna, Nablus Team, Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – I came to Palestine last Tuesday and joined the weekly protest held on Friday the 8th of August in Kafr Qaddum. The demonstration represented non-violent resistance against the land grab and for the freedom of movement in the village. Kafr Qaddum was my first demonstration in Palestine in solidarity with the Palestinian….

Photo essay: Israeli army incursion through Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin
8/10/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 10th August 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team, Ni’lin, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday at around 1pm, Palestinians together with Israeli and international activists marched through the olive groves towards the annexation wall on Ni’lin’s land. Demonstrators approached the area of the wall chanting slogans against Israel’s apartheid policies and the annexation of land for the illegal Israeli settlements….

The National

Wave of bombings in Iraq kills at least 69 during Eid celebrations
The National 10 Aug 2013 – Ramadan this year was the most violent since 2007, with 671 people killed.

Obama’s assurances miss core concerns over NSA surveillance programme
The National 10 Aug 2013 – None of the moves laid out by the US president included reforming the aspects that critics say violate the US constitution’s guarantees of privacy. Taimur Khan reports from New York 

Six killed in Sharjah car-crash fireball
The National 10 Aug 2013 – Vehicle overturns and burst into flames in holiday tragedy.

Smugglers drag Turkey into Syria’s civil war
The National 10 Aug 2013 – The Turkish military says 18 soldiers were wounded when border troops intercept a group of 2,500 to 3,000 smugglers bringing diesel fuel into Turkey.

Binod Chaudhary uses his noodle to become Nepal’s first billionaire
The National 10 Aug 2013 – More than 30 years ago Binod Chaudhary was looking for a fast, tasty and affordable snack to sell in Nepal. The result made him his country¿s wealthiest man. Suryatapa Bhattacharya reports 

UK tax dodgers’ Dubai link
The National 10 Aug 2013 – The men have been convicted in UK courts in their absence of crimes ranging from tax fraud to smuggling.

Gender an issue for a woman and her doctor in the UAE
The National 10 Aug 2013 – Women should seek out the best medical practitioners regardless of the gender of doctors, say Islamic experts.

New Sharjah hospital to get keyhole surgery centre for children
The National 10 Aug 2013 – The 200-bed Sharjah Gynaecologist, Obstetrics and Paediatrics clinic will form part of Al Qassimi hospital due to open next year.

Ha’aretz

Prime Minister Netanyahu hospitalized, to undergo emergency hernia surgery
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

Police suspect murder after woman’s body found near Magd Al-Krum
Ha’aretz – 9 Aug 2013

Uruknet

Inside America’s Second Guantanamo: Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan’s “Black Jail”
Uruknet

Is America playing its last card? Pissing Off Friends is a Doomed Strategy
Uruknet

Palestinian boy paralyzed by Israeli bullet expects no justice
Uruknet

Anxious Eid for family of prisoner in Hebron
Uruknet

In Israel’s “democracy,” protests by Palestinian citizens face police brutality
Uruknet

Israelis push settlement plans despite peace talks
Uruknet

Syria News – August 7, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet

The US view of Yemen as an al-Qaida hotbed is a travesty of the truth
Uruknet

You Are, In Fact, Being Watched
Uruknet

Daily Star

Kidnap of Turks will harm Lebanon tourism: Abboud
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 The abduction of two Turkish Airlines pilots will deal a blow to Lebanon’s tourism sector, warns caretaker Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud, who lamented the poor response to the spate of abductions that have plagued the country…

Bomb near park in central Iraq kills four
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 Iraqi authorities say a bomb near a park south of Baghdad has killed four people, including two children, who were celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Tunisia opposition to propose cabinet of independents
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 A coalition of Tunisian opposition parties intends to propose next week a cabinet of independents to end the political crisis shaking the country, one of their number says.

18-year-old Lebanese killed by Israeli cluster bomb
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 An 18-year-old is killed when an Israeli cluster bomb explodes in Hasbaya, south Lebanon.

Iraqi Kurd president says ready to defend Kurds in Syria
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 Iraqi Kurdistan is ready to defend Kurds living in Syria if it is found that they are being threatened by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters involved in the Syrian civil war, the president of the well-armed autonomous region says.

Saudi Arabia lifted oil output to 10M bpd in July: source
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 Saudi Arabia produces around 10.0 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in July, up from 9.6 million bpd in June, an industry source says.

UNHCR says helping 677,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Daily Star 10 Aug 2013 Ten thousand additional Syrians have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, bringing the total number of Syrians receiving aid from the agency to 677,000, the U.N. organization says.

YNet News

5 people drown over weekend across Israel
YNet News, 10 Aug 2013 – ….

Father, baby hit by car in Ashdod; moderately to seriously injured
YNet News, 10 Aug 2013 – ….

Netanyahu to undergo surgery due to umbilical hernia
YNet News, 10 Aug 2013 – ….

Putin: Russia grateful to hold world championships
YNet News, 10 Aug 2013 – ….

IDF forces kill suspect Palestinian near Gaza border
YNet News, 10 Aug 2013 – ….

Peace and forgotten refugees 
YNet News, 10 Aug 2013 – Op-ed: Institutionalized favoritism at UN has enabled Palestinians to monopolize refugee issue ….

Palestinian Information Center

IOF kidnap young ex-detainee near Al-Khalil
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped on Saturday morning ex-detainee Othman Abu Arram, a 23-year old young man from Yatta town, south of Al-Khalil city.

Sheikh Abu al-Hija spends the Eid with his son in custody
PIC – Sheikh Jamal Abdel Salam Abu Hija, 54, has spent for the first time the Eid with one of his family members where he was prevented to meet any of them since his detention ten years ago.

Rasd condemns banning Palestinian refugees’ entry to Lebanon
PIC – A Palestinian human rights organization condemned the Lebanese authorities’ decision to ban the Palestinian refugees’ entry from Syria to Lebanon.

IOF quell anti-settlement marches in Masarah and Kafr Qaddum villages
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces violently attacked the weekly marches against settlement that were organized on the second day of Eid Al-Fitr (lesser Bairam) in the villages of Masarah and Kafr Qaddum.

Meretz holds Netanyahu gov’t responsible for EU boycott
PIC – The Israeli Meretz party held Netanyahu government responsible for the European decision to boycott settlements, saying that it came as a result of the Israeli policy towards the European Union.

PA to resume talks with Israelis next Wednesday despite settlement plans
PIC – Despite all Israel’s declared settlement plans in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is still intent on sitting at the negotiating table once again with the Israelis next Wednesday.

Misc

Egypt’s Shiite Muslims saw the Sunni hatred grow under Morsi
LA Times 10 Aug 2013 – Few groups view the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi with as much relief as Shiite Muslims. CAIRO — When Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt, Ahmed Helal was locked up four times in Tora prison, officials’ favorite detention facility for perceived enemies of the state. Each…

U.S. diplomatic posts to reopen except in Yemen and Pakistan
LA Times 9 Aug 2013 – Most of the U.S. embassies and consulates closed this week because of a worldwide terrorism alert will reopen Sunday, though tension remains high and fear of an attack persists, the U.S. State Department said Friday.

U.S. Drone Kills 2, Yemen Officials Say
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – An American drone strike killed two people believed to be militants in southern Yemen on Saturday, making it the ninth such strike in two weeks. 

For Iraqis, Some Relief Amid Violence: It’s Only 108°
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – Amid deadly explosions, Iraqis see cooler weather — average highs fell to 109 degrees in July compared with 115 last year — as a small gesture from God. 

Birth of a Palestinian City Is Punctuated by Struggles
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – The apartments are said to be selling well in Rawabi, a Palestinian city being constructed from the ground up in the West Bank, but paying for the city itself has not been easy. 

Car Bombings Kill Scores Across Iraq
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – As Iraqis on Saturday celebrated Id al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, a string of car bombs struck in mostly Shiite neighborhoods, killing more than 60 people, officials said. 

Lawless Sinai Shows Risks Rising in Fractured Egypt
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – In the five weeks since Egypt’s military ousted the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, the endemic violence here has spiraled into something like an insurgency. 

Within Cairo, Impromptu Cities of Dissent
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – Camps of protesters in Cairo are the front lines in Egypt’s stalemate between a military-installed government and supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi. 

In Cairo Camps, Protesters Dig in and Live On
New York Times 9 Aug 2013 – Two camps in Cairo set up by supporters of the ousted Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, have become the front lines in a dangerous stalemate with the military-installed government. 

Journalists in Syria Face Dangers of War and Rising Risk of Abduction
New York Times 9 Aug 2013 – The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported at least 14 journalists who are missing or have been abducted, but the total number of kidnappings is believed to be much higher. 

Jodi Rudoren intentionally obscured reality in her recent piece on Beit Ommar
Mondoweiss – This is video taken when Jodi Rudoren came to watch a funeral in Beit Ommar. Rudoren spent several weeks following the Abu Hashem family , a family I know quite well. Yet it has become clear that she had no intention of reporting facts on the ground,…

Israeli liberals call for federation of two equal peoples
Mondoweiss – Once again demonstrating that the discourse about the conflict in Israel is far ahead of the discourse in the United States, Uri Avnery’s latest column advocates a “federation” in historic Palestine, based on human rights, and involving, initially, two states drawn strictly on the ’67 lines…

Bored with the Jews
Mondoweiss – The other night at dinner I made the mistake of telling a relative of my wife that I am sick of repeating myself and so I’m thinking of moving on to other lost causes, global warming and overpopulation. This was great news in her view. She…

Oh those peaceful settlers ‘tending trees’
Mondoweiss – The New York Times piece on the Palestinian “rite of passage” of throwing stones in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar has gotten a lot of criticism, but one thing the critics have missed is the piece’s misrepresentation of Jewish settlers who were targeted by Palestinian boys throwing stones….

Bank of Israel Candidate Mario Blejer Had Side Role in DSK Scandal 
The Foward Breaking News 10 Aug 2013 – Mario Blejer, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new candidate to become Bank of Israel governor, found himself in a media storm in 2008 after it emerged his wife had had an affair with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then head of the International Monetary Fund. Click here for the rest…

Benjamin Netanyahu Will Undergo Emergency Hernia Operation 
The Foward Breaking News 10 Aug 2013 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will undergo a hernia operation, his office said late on Saturday, a procedure that appeared unlikely to disrupt plans to advance peace talks with the Palestinians next week. Click here for the rest of the article…

Benjamin Netanyahu Complains to John Kerry of Palestinian ‘Incitement’ 
The Foward Breaking News 10 Aug 2013 – Israel has complained to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about statements by the Palestinians which it said undermined nascent peace talks, an Israeli official said on Saturday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Jewish Zanzibar Acid-Attack Girl Says She’s OK 
The Foward Breaking News 10 Aug 2013 – One of the Jewish women who was attacked with acid on the African island of Zanzibar has thanked supporters after returning to Britain for treatment. Click here for the rest of the article…

Sudan: Sudan FM Weighs in On Closure of Saudi Airspace to Bashir’s Aircraft 
allAfrica.com 10 Aug 2013 – [Sudan Tribune]Khartoum -The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti has criticized Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) over its explanation of why it denied permission to a plane carrying president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on his way to Iran last Sunday.

Early Morning Raid 
Palestine Solidarity Project 10 Aug 2013 – On Wednesday, August 7th, Beit Ommar was stormed at 2:00 am by around 70 IOF soldiers in three groups. Beit Ommar residents reported tear gas, rubber bullets, and sound grenades were used in at least three location. In one instance, Beit Ommar residents were attacked with…

Golani vs. Baghdadi: Al-Qaeda’s Internal War in Syria 
Al-Akhbar News 10 Aug 2013 – Syrian rebels head to the town of Bsankol in the northwestern province of Idlib to join comrades fighting regime forces for the control of the highway that connects Idlib with Latakia on 11 July 2013. (Photo: AFP – Daniel Leal-Olivas) Syrian rebels head to the town…

The Poor Get Poorer in Syria 
Al-Akhbar News 10 Aug 2013 – A Syrian woman cooks an Iftar meal for poor people during the second day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the Bustan al-Qasr district of Aleppo on 11 July 2013. (Photo: JM Lopez) A Syrian woman cooks an Iftar meal for poor people during…

Lebanon interior minister condemns kidnapping of Turkish pilots 
Al-Akhbar News 10 Aug 2013 – Lebanese troops patrol the airport highway on the southern outskirts of Beirut on 9 August 2013 following the abduction by gunmen early in the morning of two pilots working for Turkish Airlines. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro) Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said on Saturday that…

Four killed across Iraq 
Al-Akhbar News 10 Aug 2013 – Attacks killed four people in Iraq on Friday, officials said, as Muslims marked the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan which has been one the bloodiest in years in the country. More than 800 people were killed in attacks during Ramadan, which began in…

Four militants killed in Egypt’s Sinai by Israeli drone: security sources 
Al-Akhbar News 10 Aug 2013 – Four Islamist militants were killed by a missile strike in Egypt’s North Sinai region on Friday, Egyptian security sources said. Five security sources told Reuters the attack was carried out by Israeli forces. But the Egyptian armed forces officially denied that was the case and an…

US embassies to reopen in Middle East, Yemen offices remain closed 
Al-Akhbar News 10 Aug 2013 – Eighteen of the 19 American embassies and consulates closed this month due to worries about potential terrorist attacks will reopen on Sunday, the US State Department said on Friday. “Our embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, will remain closed because of ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating…

Articles


Tweets reveal US hypocrisy 
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 8/8/2013
One of the reasons for the success of social media’s Twitter platform is its ability to summarize a major issue in a few characters, while at the same time providing a link to give more details and credibility to the few words.
This week a political activist used some clever research to reveal the hypocrisy and double standards of a politician. Twitter user @bungdan juxtaposed two quotes of maverick US Senator John McCain regarding the situation in Egypt. In a tweet this week he quoted McCain as calling on the Egyptian army and the new powers-to-be to include members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the post-June 30 regime. At the same time, he dug up a quote given by McCain to the German magazine, Der Spiegel, in which the Republican senator states that he is “unalterably opposed” to the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s transition.
It is not clear if McCain was speaking his mind then or now, and if his most recent statement is aimed at his party’s political opponent who is now in the White House.
This double standard is clearly not restricted to senators or to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. It can easily be seen in more basic American values enshrined so eloquently in the US constitution’s bill of rights.
One of these areas that make one scratch his or her head is how the US government is willing to concede values so unique to America such as the freedom of expression, which is so amazingly protected in the US constitution’s first amendment.
As I was scrolling my tweeter feed I came across a BBC tweet regarding Vietnam. It appears that the Vietnamese are trying to curtail the Internet and Washington has decided to take a strong position against this breach of such a fundamental right. more.. e-mail

Fear of isolation gets Israel talking 
Pierre Klochendler, Asia Times 8/7/2013
JERUSALEM – A fresh Palestinian-Israeli peace drive stems from a realization by all parties involved in the process that diplomatic isolation constitutes a strategic threat to Israel. This isolation whip will be held above Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s back for as long as it takes for him to agree to the pre-1967 lines as basis for the end of the 46-year occupation.
In the absence of such commitment from Netanyahu, what has paved the way for a resumption of peace talks after a five-year hiatus is the Israeli cabinet’s approval of the release of 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for more than 20 years, plus an unofficial and partial settlement freeze.
The Israeli media reported that Netanyahu committed to US Secretary of State John Kerry to limit the issuing of building tenders to 1,000 housing units in the settlement blocs during the nine-month period allocated to the peace talks. But no tender has been issued.
His defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, referred in the Israeli media to “many strategic considerations, which may be revealed in the future” as catalyst for Israel’s tactical decisions.
What are those hidden strategic considerations?
On one hand, Netanyahu fears that in absence of progress on the peace front, the US will be reluctant to provide diplomatic or military support to Israeli aerial strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites, if he decides to order such strikes.
Even if he refrains from doing so but, at the same time, refrains from negotiating seriously with the Palestinians, Israel might not have a say in the international management of the Iran nuclear crisis. more.. e-mail

The Politics of AIPAC’s Anti-Iran-Diplomacy Letters 
Marsha B. Cohen, 8/8/2013
Mitch McConnell did it, Harry Reid didn’t. Elizabeth Warren did it, Bernie Sanders didn’t. Al Franken did it, Tom Coburn didn’t.
I’m referring to the signing of the latest letter, crafted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and proffered by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), urging President Barak Obama to turn a cold shoulder to newly elected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani while pursuing a more confrontational and aggressive Iran policy. The Arms Control Association’s Greg Thielmann has already penned an important discussion of why this measure complicates efforts to reach a peaceful solution with Iran, which I highly recommend.
It is worth recalling that another Iranian president-elect, Mohammad Khatami — a reformist whose surprise election shocked the Iranian political establishment — was also greeted by sanctions pushed through Congress. On August 19, 1997, weeks after Khatami took office, President Bill Clinton confirmed that virtually all trade and investment activities by US persons with Iran were prohibited. Those sanctions not only boosted Iranian hardliners who oppose a detente with the US, they also helped ensure that Khatami and his supporters would be unsuccessful in making many of the economic improvements and political changes needed to improve the lives of the Iranian people. His crippled victory was followed by the election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. Since then, dozens of letters, resolutions and sancti
ons bills have emanated from Congress, which of late seems incapable of accomplishing anything else.

According to the “76 senators” who signed the letter:
“We believe there are four strategic elements necessary to achieve resolution of this issue: an explicit and continuing message that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability….” more.. e-mail

The Brotherhood’s change of strategy could be the best yet 
Dr. Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/6/2013
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is not just defending its own national interest but the Islamic renaissance project in all its manifestations in the Middle East.
To many observers, the crisis in Egypt today bears a striking resemblance to that of 1954. The main actors are the same, as are the issues.
Back then, there was also a vicious political struggle between a coup leader, Major-General Muhammad Naguib, and his comrade in the Revolution Command Council (RCC), Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser. The rift came to a head on 25 February 1954 with an announcement from the RCC that Naguib had resigned. That brought tens of thousands on to the streets of Cairo, the likes of which the city had never seen. Just as it is today, the people’s demand was for the unconditional return of the president and parliamentary rule.
Once the floodgates of protest were opened they were almost impossible to close. Not even the reinstatement of Naguib and his personal appeal from the balcony of Abdin Palace was enough to persuade the angry protesters to return to their homes. In the end, it took an appeal by a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdul Qadir Audah, to get them to clear the streets. His apparent power and popularity unnerved the coup leadership and that cost him his life; he was executed soon thereafter. The late Farid Abdul Khaliq, who lived through those tumultuous days, wrote that even as he walked to the gallows Audah never believed that he would actually be killed.
Today, no-one seems able or willing to bring an end to the protest and sit-ins that have spread like wildfire across Egypt since the military coup of 3 July. more.. e-mail


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