To date, the Republican presidential primary race has been the only place to have generated any useful contributions to America’s collective understanding of current events in the Middle East. Last month, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich became the first major political figure in more than a generation to pour cold water over the Palestinian myth of indigenous peoplehood by stating the truth, that the Palestinians are an “invented people.” (Read more…)
Washington – The White House estimated Monday that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is on the verge of collapse and called on the United Nations to adopt a resolution that would facilitate a political transition in Syria.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Assad’s fall in inevitable, noting that the Damascus regime has lost control over the country.
Opposition groups reported that some 100 people were killed at the hand of the security forces on Monday, primarily in Homs and on the outskirts of Damascus, where the Assad’s troops clashed with rebels’ army. (Read more…)
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Bureau announced the members of the panel, which “will examine real estate issues in the West Bank”: former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, chairman; retired Judge Tchia Shapira, the daughter of former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren; and attorney Alan Baker, who formerly served both as legal advisor to the Foreign Ministry and as Israeli ambassador to Canada. Today, Baker – himself a resident of the settlement of Har Adar – runs a small law firm specializing in international law. (Read more…)
The New York Times Magazine – Feature article- January 29, 2012
By RONEN BERGMAN
As the Sabbath evening approached on Jan. 13, Ehud Barak paced the wide living-room floor of his home high above a street in north Tel Aviv, its walls lined with thousands of books on subjects ranging from philosophy and poetry to military strategy. Barak, the Israeli defense minister, is the most decorated soldier in the country’s history and one of its most experienced and controversial politicians. He has served as chief of the general staff for the Israel Defense Forces, interior minister, foreign minister and prime minister. He now faces, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and 12 other members of Israel’s inner security cabinet, the most important decision of his life — whether to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran. We met in the late afternoon, and our conversation — the first of several over the next week — lasted for two and a half hours, long past nightfall. “This is not about some abstract concept,” Barak said as he gazed out at the lights of Tel Aviv, “but a genuine concern. The Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map.” (Read more…)
When all the wild, desperate, improbable solutions to a problem have been exhausted, there is nothing left to turn to but the obvious.
In respect to the Arab-Israel conflict, the “obvious” has been staring us in face for over 40 years. Encapsulated in the mantra “Two States for Two Peoples on Two Banks of the Jordan River,“ it has the distinction of being the most ignored testament to rationality and common sense in the history of international diplomacy.
An “invented ”nation the so-called Palestinians surely are, but given the world’s acceptance of their claim to sovereignty, it is on the shoulders of the world, not on Israel’s, that the realization of that aspiration rests. (Read more…)
Do not speak of it in public. Do not expect any Israeli official to admit it. But Israel is facing an issue unlike anything it has had to deal with during the past 50 years: It cannot depend on the United States.
True, the relationship in terms of weapons’ supply remains good. Old programs continue to provide advanced arms to Israel. Nor is the problem the one most people think of first: on Israel-Palestinian, “peace process” issues. (Read more…)
“This is a battlefield that we must stand upon. And we need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and my dear friend, chairman of the Democrat National Committee, we need to let them know that Florida ain’t on the table,”
The audience was booing by the time West got to Pelosi’s name.
“Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else,” he continued. “You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.”
MESHAAL THROWS DOWN THE GUANTLET. He is clearly targetting the work of Mudar Zahran and me. Abdullah and he are running scared. His comments confirm what Mudar has been writing about, namely that they are both dedicated to prevent Jordan becoming Palestine. This is good news. Meshaal has now placed the issue front and center. Everyone will be talking about it.Ted Belman
Hamas chief Khaled Meshal on Sunday made his first official visit to Jordan since the kingdom expelled him more than a decade ago and after talks with King Abdullah insisted that Jordan will not be a substitute homeland for the Palestinians.
“We are happy with this new good start … We are keen on building strong ties with Jordan and on its security, stability and interests,” AFP quotes Meshal as saying in a statement after the meeting.
Meshal also blasted Israel for trying to make Jordan the substitute Palestinian state. (Read more…)
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A blurb on a book jacket would seem an unlikely vehicle for the introduction of a new and sinister tactic in the promotion of an ancient prejudice. But in September 2011, a word of appreciation on the cover of The Wandering Who launched a fresh chapter in the modern history of anti-Semitism. And when the dust had settled—what little dust there was—on the events surrounding the blurb, it had become horrifyingly clear that the role of defining the meaning of the term anti-Semitism did not belong to the Jews. It may, in fact, belong to anti-Semites. (Read more…)
Jordan: Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who celebrates his 50th birthday on Monday, begins the 14th year of his reign facing urgent popular calls to fight corruption and carry out genuine reforms.
It has not been easy for Abdullah since ascending the throne on February 7, 1999 after his father King Hussein died — due to the 9/11 attacks, the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the turbulent Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
But amid the difficulties, Jordan has long enjoyed a reputation for stability and security, as well as a relative openness compared to other Arab countries.
But now the Arab Spring poses a major challenge for the king.
“For the first time, the king faces internal challenges, and the margin to manoeuvre is narrow,” Mohammad Masri, a researcher at the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies, said. (Read more…)
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The Arab League suspended the Observers Mission to Syria because the violence intensified and killings have escalated on the ground. The League is currently negotiating with Russia before the UNSC meeting on Syria to gain its support.
Assad forces killed at least 30 civilians today as it still believes it can stop the revolution. Dozens of tanks, armoured units, and thousands of soldiers and militiamen were brought into the cities of Ain Tarma, Kafarbatna, Saqba, Hamouriya, and Jesrain in the Eastern Ghouta area of the suburbs of Damascus. The regime tried to break into those cities but was met with fierce resistance and was pushed back in most of them by the revolutionaries assisted by defected soldiers who defected during the attack. This comes while heavy artillery continued to shell the city under the circling and monitoring of combat helicopters. (Read more…)
There was a time when the lands now known as Israel, (including Judea and Samaria and Gaza), and most of Jordan were called “Palestine”. In fact, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 declared
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.
There followed considerable cooperation between the Jews, represented by Chaim Weizmann and the Arabs living in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, and Jordan, represented by Emir Feisal. As a result, the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement was signed in January 1919, in which it was agreed that the Jews would get the lands lying west of the Jordan River watershed to the Mediterranean and the Arabs would get the land east of it. (Read more…)
DEBKAfile Special Report January 26, 2012, 10:50 PM (GMT+02:00)
Military tensions in the Persian Gulf shot up again Thursday, Jan. 26, after Dubai police commander Gen. Dhahi Khalfan said on Al Arabiya television that an imminent Gulf war cannot be ruled out and first signs are already apparent. “The world will not let Iran block Hormuz but Tehran can narrow the strait to the maximum,” he said.
He echoed debkafile’s predictions that Iran will not shut down the Strait of Hormuz completely, but gradually cut down tanker traffic which carries 17 million barrels, or one-fifth of the world’s daily consumption, through the waterway. Our Iranian sources report that the rule of thumb Tehran has devised for confront sanctions is to respond to the tightening of an oil embargo by having the Revolutionary Guards gradually narrow the tankers’ shipping lanes through the strategic strait. This will progressively cut down the amount of oil reaching the markets. (Read more…)
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Secular Jewish leaders have been wringing their hands lately over the perceived threat to democracy from public expressions of Christianity, even as they turn a blind eye to the very real dangers posed by militant Islam and advancing Sharia. The sight of a football player on bent knee after scoring a touchdown causes great consternation among those who claim that superfluous displays of faith will somehow lead to violence. Their obsession reflects a wider effort to undercut support for political candidates who have better records on Israel than many liberal Democrats, but whose constituents happen to include fundamentalist Christians.
The apparent strategy is to suggest that politicians endorsed by the Christian faithful will somehow erode democratic institutions, and to confuse classical conservatism with divergent right-wing ideologies. However, the progressive mainstream’s focus on a single faith of fluctuating electoral significance in national elections is ironic given its ambivalence regarding the documented connection between Islamism and violence against Jews, Israel and the West, and its naive enabling of the Islamist agenda. (Read more…)
Salomon Benzimra knows his stuff. He is a very good friend of mine and an excellent scholar. He has been working with Goldie Steiner to promote Israel’s legal rights and to facilitate their efforts they formed the Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights.
The publication of this book marks a milestone in their efforts. It is a worthy effort.
If you don’t have a kindle you can download on your own computer by clicking HERE Ted Belman
The Arab-Israeli conflict dominates the daily headlines with buzzwords such as “land for peace”, “occupied Palestinian territories” and “illegal settlements.” These warped notions have taken root in the past two decades and now seem to be accepted as indisputable truths.
The crucial facts of this conflict have long been dormant. In the words of Minister Moshe Yaalon, Vice-Premier of Israel, “’The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel’ comes to fill this knowledge void” by expounding on the historical connection of the Jewish people to their ancestral land; the revival of their national aspirations in the modern Zionist movement; the recognition of their collective, national rights in international law; and the insidious violation of these rights during the British Mandate period, up to the proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948. (Read more…)
T. Belman. This was a comment made to the post on borders from yesterday. It was worth posting.
By Leila Paul
Borders? Very simple issue. What was initially promised to Israel by the Allied Powers – all of what is called historical Palestine.
By negotiating borders Israel is showing weakness and half acknowledging the terrorists have rights. They do not. It’s the weakness of soft, leftist Jews who have allowed this to go on so long that people no longer understand Israel’s legal rights and that successive Israeli governments have been weak in enforcing Israel’s rights to Judea, Samaria and – in my opinion – even into the ancient Abrahamic homeland of Mesopotamia. So at minimum, there must be zero – no compromise – discussions about Judea and Samaria.
I was born at a time when Palestine was a legitimate legal entity only from 1922 to 1948 under the British mandate. My ancestry goes back at least five generation of Bethlehem Palestinian Christians but I openly acknowledge the deceit and treachery of what happened in Judea and Samaria. (Read more…)
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