WEEK OF JULY 26 THROUGH AUGUST 1
Top PA official: Arafat always supported terrorism
July 31….(Israel Today) Senior Palestinian Authority official Mohammed Dahlan told PA TV last week that deceased former leader Yasser Arafat had managed to fool the world with his public condemnations of anti-Israel terrorism. Dahlan said the international community demanded that Arafat condemn terrorism against Israel in order to win land concessions from the Jewish state, so he did just that. But behind the scenes, Dahlan said Arafat continued backing the use of terrorist violence against Israelis, a fact that Western leaders only acknowledged toward the end of Arafat's life. "Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things," said Dahlan, who today serves as top advisor to Arafat's successor, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Dahlan said the Abbas regime should learn from Arafat and begin to again employ calculated and carefully-tiimed terrorism as an official tactic. He said the only part of today's terrorism he doesn't like is that so many groups are running around attacking Israel on their own. In Dahaln's view, all terrorism against Israel should be directed by the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian Media Watch, which translated the Dahlan interview, noted that if he had his way, the forces that in the future would be managing the terror war against Israel would be the PA troops currently being trained by US envoy Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton.
Survey: 64% Israeli’s Want Temple Rebuilt
(Almost two thirds of Israelis, including half of seculars would like to see Temple rebuilt, believe
it is important to commemorate Tisha B'Av)
July 31….(YNET) About two thirds of the public want the Temple rebuilt, including about half of secular Israelis, a new survey conducted for Ynet and the Gesher organization revealed. The survey was held by the Panels Institute among 516 respondents that are a representative sample of the adult Jewish population. The margin of error was 4.3%. Initially, the respondents were asked what happened on Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av), and showed impressive knowledge. Ninety-seven percent responded that the Temple was destroyed, while only 2% said they did not know. The second question was whether respondents wanted to see the Temple rebuilt. Sixty-four percent responded favorably, while 36% said no. An analysis of the answers showed that not only the ultra-Orthodox and the religious look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple (100% and 97% respectively), but also the traditional public (91%) and many seculars, 47%. When asked whether it was at all justified to mark something that had happened 2,000 years ago, 80% said that it was, while 13% said only events related to the State of Israel should be commemorated. Another 7% categorically replied with a "no." Here too an analysis of the answers revealed that the positions on Tisha B'Av transcended religious divisions, 74% of seculars and 100% of ultra-Orthodox responded that dates like Tisha B'Av should be commemorated. Gesher Director General Rabbi Danny Tropper told Ynet in response to the survey results: "We are a nation with a remarkable historic affinity. The Temple was destroyed 1,942 years ago, and almost two thirds of the population want to see it rebuilt, including 47% of seculars. "I don't think this is a practical proposal, but it seems that Tisha B'Av really does constitute a day of meaningful memory to most of the people."
Obama Offers China US Military Technology for Debt Relief
July 30….(In The Days) Across the Pacific, China has been voicing concerns about the US deficit. As the large holder of US Treasury bonds, the Chinese government is currently one America’s biggest trading partners. It is understandable why Beijing is wary of the dipping value of the US dollar. The fact that China’s share of US treasuries not known, but is estimated to be over a trillion dollars has many economists worried. If the country were to seek the US guarantees on these bonds, there is very real possibility that an economic collapse would result that would be even more devastating than the Great Depression. Meanwhile the Chinese has made moves to expand its defense budget, even as it continues to grow economically. Interesting to note is that the Chinese military is attempting to develop its own version of the stealth bomber but lacks the necessary technology to do so. During the G20 Summit, President Obama spoke to Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. At this time, Hu suggested that if the US provided relevant military technology, that the Chinese government would forgive some US debt. According to insiders, there is much turmoil in the Department of the Defense over Obama’s suggestion that they sell the blueprints for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has openly opposed the President’s plan. As a result, Gates was asked to resign as Defense secretary if he does not wish to get the ball rolling. The military technology up for sale would include the designs for the B-@ bomber, as well as radar-absorbing paints and metals for about $50 billion in debt relief.
Bolton: Israeli Attack Best Option on Iran
July 30….(Newsmax) The US is seeking to dissuade Israeli from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, when such an act is likely the only way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, says former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently set off for Jerusalem to convince the Israelis to forego a military strike in favor of President Barack Obama's efforts to deal with the Iranian problem through diplomacy. But those diplomatic efforts are doomed to fail, according to Bolton, author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations." In an opinion piece appearing in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Bolton observes: "Obama has no new strategic thinking on Iran. He vaguely promises to offer the country the carrot of diplomacy, followed by an empty threat of sanctions down the road if Iran does not comply with the US's requests." But "there's no reason Iran would suddenly now bow to Obama's diplomatic efforts, especially after its embarrassing election in June." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent vow to extend the US "defense umbrella" to Israel is "wholly insufficient to deter Iran from obliterating Israel if it so decides," Bolton also states. "In fact, Mrs. Clinton's comment tacitly concedes that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons." In the meantime, Iran's continuing progress with its nuclear program and air defenses mean that "Israel's military option is declining over time. It will have to make a decision soon, and it will be no surprise if Israel strikes by year's end," according to Bolton. He concludes: "Absent Israeli action, prepare for a nuclear Iran."
Russia-Iran Naval Maneuvers Begin in Caspian Sea
July 30….(IsraelNN.com) Russia is joining up with Iran for joint naval exercises for the first time ever, according to the Iranian Mehr News Agency. The joint Russian-Iranian naval maneuvers, which were announced Wednesday, are taking place this week in the Caspian Sea. The joint maneuvers, involving some 30 vessels, is seen by some analysts as a way to join forces against the US, which the Asia Times referred to as "the intrusive Western superpower." Russia has been instrumental in protecting Iran from further sanctions by the United Nations Security Council due to its defiance of a UN mandate to end its nuclear development program. Iran has continued to add uranium enrichment centrifuges and improve its ability to produce nuclear weapons-grade uranium, to the dismay of those hoping to persuade the Islamic Republic through diplomacy to abandon the effort. Russia has been behind the construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, although Russian banks several months ago balked at funding any more of the project. Nevertheless, Russia has sent at least two shipments of nuclear fuel supplies to the facility, which is expected to come on line by the end of the year. Israel has warned repeatedly that it will not tolerate a nuclear Iran, whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has often threatened to annihilate the Jewish State.
FOJ Note: Russia has also opened a new naval base in Syria on the Mediterranean Sea. Syria and Iran make up the alliance of the Axis of Evil powerbase
Saudi Arabia: 'Israel Must Withdraw From Arab Land'
July 29….(Arab Gulf News) Saudi Arabia will not recognize Israel until it withdraws from occupied Arab land and makes committed steps toward a lasting two-state solution, a senior official said on Wednesday. Foreign ministry spokesman Osama Nugali also called Israeli policy “schizophrenic” and said it was jeopardizing attempts to revive Middle East peace talks aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state. “Our position is well known. It is Israel that has to move seriously towards the peace process,” Nugali said. “As we all know, Israel is continuing to take unilateral measures by changing the geographic and demographic facts on the ground, by building settlements and expanding the existing ones," he said. “The Arab peace initiative is very clear,” he said, referring to a 2002 Saudi-inspired Middle East peace blueprint. “That Israel should withdraw from the Arab lands and put an end to its occupation and resolve the major issues of the conflict,” he said, citing the future of Palestinian refugees, water-sharing issues, and the future status of Jerusalem as a capital for both states. Such issues must be resolved "in order to achieve a permanent, just and lasting peace which is based on the establishment of an independent contiguous and viable Palestinian state," Nugali said. "In the Arab peace process normalization comes after achieving these goals, not before it. So we should not put the cart before the horse." US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell on Tuesday called on Arab states to take "meaningful steps" towards Israel to help open talks on a comprehensive regional peace settlement, saying that eventually they should fully normalize relations with the Jewish state. In addition, several US legislators have drafted a letter to Saudi King Abdullah calling on him to make a "dramatic gesture" towards Israel similar to ground-breaking overtures that ultimately led to peace with Egypt and Jordan. But the Saudis maintain that those overtures have not brought progress toward creating a Palestinian state. Nugali said Israeli colony expansion in the occupied West Bank continues to prevent any progress, and the Palestinians have refused to restart negotiations until Israel freezes construction. But Israel has rejected calls by the US administration to halt colonizing activity, leading to the worst public rift between the two close allies in years. "We have been seeing a schizophrenic Israeli policy. On one hand you talk about peace and their interest to achieve peace," he said. "On the other hand they take actions against the peace process that complicate it and put it in jeopardy."
FOJ Note: Unfortunately, the Arab peoples have been blinded to the truth that God has deeded the land known today as Palestine to the children of Israel, and the land eastward from there to the princes of Arabia. Sadly the god of the Arabs (Allah) has incited the Arabs against Jehovah’s providential designs. (Genesis 25:1-8) Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. (Israel) But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. (Saudi Arabia—away from the Promised Land) And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.)
We’ve Figured Obama Out
July 29….(In The Days) Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths: The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith. They ignored his anti-white writings in his books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright. They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a “community organizer,” Illinois state legislator, and Senator. The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar. Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future. The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill, a great idea in theory, was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans. Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do. The American people already know that Mr. Obama’s plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be, a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away. These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to “protect us” from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man. Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America
Al-Qaeda: 'We Will Hit Israel From Lebanon
July 29….(IsraelNN.com) An al-Qaeda branch apparently active in Lebanon claims to have launched attacks on Israel. The group mocks the Iran-backed Hizbullah terrorist organization and calls for a unified front against Israel and the United Nations under the command of Osama Bin-Laden. The call to jihad was issued in a video recording released this past week by al-Qaeda of al-Sham, a region known as Greater Syria. Syria" encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and parts of Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The brief video, titled "Penetrating the Fortresses", includes statements by al-Qaeda senior leaders such as Osama Bin-Laden, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri relating to the jihadist front with Israel. The jihadists, they say, will not sit quietly and will even crawl to get to the front and "free Palestine". As an example, the video explains and visually demonstrates how a cell from al-Qaeda of al-Sham (AQASH) supposedly bypassed the Lebanese Army, Hizbullah and UNIFIL forces, launched missiles towards Israel, and then retreated undetected. These actions, the video claims, were carried out under the direct command of Bin-Laden, and it calls for more such attacks against the Jewish State. AQASH calls for the Fatah al-Islam jihadist group, which was once a Syrian front group, and other Islamist organizations in Lebanon to join them in their effforts: "Al-Qaeda is already active in Lebanon and elsewhere in Greater Syria and the father-leader, Bin-Laden, must be obeyed." The Lebanon-based al-Qaeda branch declared that "Hizbullah is using the Palestinian cause to fulfill Iran's orders." While an al-Qaeda-affiliated threat to Israel appears to be forming in southern Lebanon, Hizbullah logistical and material supply chains are receiving silent acceptance by the Lebanese authorities. The latter claim was part of a speech delivered to the United Nations Security Council on Monday by Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriella Shalev. The explosion that took place in a village in southern Lebanon two weeks ago, which revealed a Hizbullah cache under the noses of UNIFIL, was symptomatic of "a dangerous phenomenon that Israel has been warning about for years." Shalev blamed Lebanon for failing to halt the delivery of Iranian weapons into the hands of Hizbullah. The Lebanese-Syrian border is porous, she explained, which entailed a breach of UN resolutions on rearming Hizbullah. The behavior of Hizbullah in southern Lebanon, she said, is an example of "the danger posed to our region by Iran."
Obama Lifts Ban on Syrian Air Industry
(Middle East regime in open military alliance with Iran-member of old Axis of Evil)
July 29….(WND) The US will seek sanctions waivers to export aircraft and other equipment to Syria, US officials confirmed today. Syria is in an open military ally of Iran. It hosts the chiefs of several major Palestinian terrorist organizations. The country is accused of aiding the insurgency against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yesterday, Imad Mustafa, the Syrian envoy to the US, said the Obama administration had lifted a ban imposed in 2004 on exporting goods to the Syrian Aviation Industry. He said the message was delivered to Syrian President Bashar Assad by George Mitchell, Obama's envoy to the Middle East. Today, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed Sen. Mitchell "told President Assad that the US would process all eligible applications for export licenses as quickly as possible." Kelly cited, in particular, "requests to export products related to information technology and telecommunication equipment and parts and components related to the safety of civil aviation." White House spokesman Tommy Vietor also affirmed Mitchell informed Assad the US government would "process all eligible applications for export licenses to Syria as quickly as possible." Last month, in a major upgrading of relations with the Damascus regime, the White House announced it was sending an ambassador to Syria. The US withdrew its ambassador four years ago in protest of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, an attack widely blamed on Damascus. The Obama administration did not extract any concessions from Syria in exchange for a decision last month to send a US ambassador to Damascus, one official said. The official said Syria was in consultations with the State Department about the possibility of renewing an American ambassadorship to Damascus in a major upgrade of relations with the regime. The official said the White House announcement on the ambassador came without Syria first agreeing to preconditions for the move. The official claimed Syria would not have ended its relationships with Iran, Hezbollah or various Palestinian organizations in exchange for the sending of a US ambassador regardless of State Department negotiations.
Syria wants US to facilitate 'billions' in business
The Syrian information ministry official who spoke to WND hinted his country would be willing to discuss scaling back alliances with Iran, Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups, only if the Obama administration helps facilitate billions of dollars in business for Syria and builds up Damascus as the primary American ally in the Arab world in place of Saudi Arabia. The official said Syria also demanded as a key condition for considering altering its alliances that the US cease opposing Syrian influence in Lebanon. "Syria is the key to the Arab world," said the official, who spoke by phone from Damascus on condition his name be withheld. "We have influence with Hezbollah and Lebanon and hold many cards in the Palestinian and Iraqi arenas. The US needs to rethink the value of the investment it places in Saudi Arabia." He said in exchange Damascus would discuss severing "many ties" with Iran, but he would not specify which ties and whether or not Syria is willing to cut off all coordination with the Iranians. "We are ready to significantly and deeply reduce relations with our Iranian brothers if conditions are met," the official said. He said Syria is willing to sign a treaty with Israel and come to some sort of accommodation regarding the strategic Golan Heights, mountainous territory looking down on Israeli population centers from which Syria has twice launched ground invasions into the Jewish state. The official claimed the Golan was not "the biggest obstacle" in preventing a Syrian-American-Israeli agreement. He claimed Syria would "not categorically reject the idea of leasing some sections of the Golan to Israel for up to 99 years."
Iran Vows to Hit Israel's Atomic Sites if Attacked
(Revolutionary Guard Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari tells Islamic Republic's al-Alam television that Tehran will not hesitate to use its ballistic capabilities to strike Israel's nuclear facilities if Jerusalem strikes first)
July 27….(YNET) The Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that Iran will strike Israel's nuclear facilities if it attacks the Islamic state, state television reported. "If the Zionist Regime (Israel) attacks Iran, we will surely strike its nuclear facilities with our missile capabilities," Mohammad Ali Jafari, Guards commander-in-chief, told Iran's Arabic language al-Alam television. The Revolutionary Guards are the ideologically driven wing of Iran's military with air, sea and land capabilities, and a separate command structure to regular units. Jafari said Israel was entirely within the reach of Iran: "Our missile capability puts all of the Zionist regime (Israel) within Iran's reach to attack." "Iran is not scared of Israel's military capabilities. It is part of the psychological war that the West has launched against Iran," he added. Military experts agree that Iran rarely reveals enough detail about its new military equipment to determine its true military capabilities, and that Iranian missiles often draw on technology from China, North Korea and other countries. Iranian leaders often dismiss talk of a possible strike by Israel, saying it is not in a position to threaten Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter; saying Iran would respond to any attack by targeting US Interests and Israel. The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear bombs, a charge Tehran denies, and have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row. Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, has repeatedly described Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its existence. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in May Iran had tested a missile that defence analysts say could hit Israel and US bases in the Gulf, a test that Washington said was a "step in the wrong direction" to remove concerns over its nuclear work. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, conduit for about 40% of globally traded oil, if it is attacked. The US military says it will prevent any such action.
Obama Takes a Tough Line on Israel
(Yet he doesn’t want to be seen as ‘meddling’ in Iran)
July 27….(Wall Street Journal) In foreign policy, President Barack Obama has demonstrated a disturbing propensity to curry favor with our adversaries at the expense of our friends. The Czechs and Poles are rightly concerned that they will be sacrificed on the altar of better US relations with Russia. And the Israelis fear that the Obama administration’s desired opening to the Muslim world will be achieved at their expense. Mr. Obama’s attempted bullying of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a case in point. Mr. Netanyahu was sworn in as Israel’s prime minister on March 31. Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration confronted Israel’s new leader in a very public way regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank, an area partially controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. This was an extremely unusual way for an American president to greet the new leader of a liberal democracy that’s a close ally of the US. The Obama administration was not satisfied with a series of understandings crafted by the Bush administration that, while not freezing settlements, had nonetheless achieved a significant reduction in settlement construction. During a May press conference with the Egyptian foreign minister, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements, not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.” Subsequently, Obama demanded that Israel freeze construction in east Jerusalem. Of course, Mr. Netanyahu rejected Obama’s demand. He declared that Jerusalem is an open, undivided city “that has no separation according to religion or national affiliation.” Netanyahu added that “we cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live and purchase in all parts of Jerusalem.” If Jews were prohibited from buying property in New York, London, Paris or Rome, there would be an international outcry. Why, Netanyahu wondered, should the standard be different for Jerusalem? Obama is woefully wrong if he believes that his confrontational style will provide an incentive for the Palestinians and the members of the Arab League to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute. It will simply reinforce the long-standing Arab belief that the US can “deliver” Israel if it only has the will to do so, thereby reducing Arab incentives to make concessions in direct negotiations with Israel. As if on cue, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian National Authority, announced that he would not negotiate on any issue with the new Israeli government until Mr. Obama’s settlement conditions are met. In addition to the building freeze in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Mr. Abbas insisted on four other unilateral, non-negotiable concessions: First, an independent Palestinian state; second, that Israel pulls back to its pre-June 1967 borders, minus a Palestinian land bridge between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; third, a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel; and fourth, resolution of all permanent status issues on the basis of the 2002 Abdullah plan calling on Arabs to normalize relations with Israel in return for Israel’s withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders. The “right of return,” in particular, is a non-starter. If Obama seeks a Palestinian Arab state, he is going about it the wrong way. The fact is that Mr. Netanyahu has endorsed a two-state solution and an end to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, as long as the Palestinians accept Israel as a legitimate Jewish state and cannot militarily threaten it. Israel has been willing to accept a two-state solution since the United Nations partition resolution for Palestine in 1947, but the Arabs have refused. They are not interested in creating a separate Palestinian Arab state but in destroying Israel as a Jewish state. The Obama approach in the Middle East is predicated on what might be called the Arab “grievance narrative,” which holds that Israel was created as a result of Western guilt about the Holocaust. It is also based on the idea that, as the president suggested in his Cairo speech, there is moral equivalence between the Holocaust and Palestinian “dislocation.” Such language illustrates an inability to make distinctions. Arabs launched a war against Jewish self-determination and the state of Israel long before any Israeli “occupation” of their lands. When Israel seized land in a defensive war, it was the Arabs, not the Israelis, who kept Palestinian “refugees” in limbo for three generations to await Israel’s destruction. As Netanyahu reminded Obama after the latter’s Cairo speech, the Arab claim that Israel was a land grab by the great powers to salve the collective conscience of the West after the Holocaust is a slander. On the contrary, he observed, Israel’s right to its homeland rests on the longstanding historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. This right was ratified by the unanimous and legitimizing votes of the League of Nations and the UN Security Council’s permanent members, and validated by over 60 years of Israel’s successful, democratic statehood. Israel’s “right to exist” was expressed best by Israeli diplomat Abba Eban in 1981. He wrote, “Israel’s right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel’s legitimacy is not suspended in midair, awaiting acknowledgment. There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its ‘right to exist’ a favor, or a negotiable concession.” Mr. Netanyahu might also have added that Israel’s control of the West Bank (territory that should properly be called “disputed” rather than “occupied”) was the result of defeating the Arab powers who initiated the Six Day War of 1967. The status of aggressors and defenders is not interchangeable. Neither is the status of victorious powers and defeated ones. Nonetheless, Israel has taken unilateral steps toward peace, steps not reciprocated by the Palestinians. When Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, dismantling 21 settlements and displacing over 9,000 residents, it conducted the most comprehensive test of the “land for peace” concept in the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Yet Israel was rewarded with the creation of a terrorist enclave governed by Hamas, rather than the peaceful, responsible neighbor Israel would need in order to accept a Palestinian Arab state. Unlike Hamas, the corrupt Palestinian National Authority that holds sway in the West Bank has nominally accepted Israel’s right to exist but has never given up the “right of return” for Palestinian “refugees.” That right, if implemented, would mean the end of Israel’s existence. Peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians requires compromises on both sides. US pressure on Israel, without any on the Palestinians, will not achieve the desired outcome. Earlier this summer, the president justified his decision to downplay even rhetorical support for the Iranian protesters who rose up against their government and its fraudulent election. He did not wish the US to appear to be “meddling” in Iranian affairs. He apparently feels no similar constraint when it comes to Israel
WEEK OF JULY 19 THROUGH JULY 25
Temple Mount Faithful Planning Another Temple Mount Ascent
July 24….(Jerusalem Post) The Temple Mount Faithful is planning to conduct its annual march to the Temple Mount next week to protest the US demand to cease construction in east Jerusalem, its leader announced Thursday. Gershon Salomon said that he hoped that this year hundreds would turn out for the Tisha Be'av event to protest US pressure to stop settlement activity, as well as building in eastern Jerusalem. In the past, the gatherings have attracted only a dozen or so participants. The march by the fringe group, which is pending police approval, has been thwarted by police in years past, when Judaism's holiest site was closed off to non-Muslims on the fast day due to concerns of possible violence at the holy site. "We're concerned that in the end, the Temple Mount will be part of a Palestinian state, with US backing," Salomon said. "We will say to US President Barack Obama, 'Get your hands off Jerusalem and the land of Israel!" The planned event includes a morning protest outside the Temple Mount, as well as group ascent to the holy site. Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said Thursday that police will review any request for a demonstration next week. The 25-hour fast day, the darkest day on the Jewish calendar, marks the destruction of the two ancient temples at the site. The Islamic group which administers the ancient compound is vehemently opposed to the entry of nationalist Jews to the site.
Netanyahu: Israel Will Not Dismantle Security Fence
(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel has no intention of dismantling the West Bank separation fence, which he called “a critical component of Israel’s security)
July 24….(In The Days) “The separation fence will remain in place and will not be dismantled,” Netanyahu told Knesset members. Media reports in Israel on Wednesday indicated that the Palestinian Authority had relayed to US President Barack Obama a demand that the fence be removed since the security situation in the West Bank had improved. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters he had approached the United States on the issue. “The Israelis know that the wall adds to the complexities. It’s part of the problem and not part of the solution,” he said. Netanyahu told lawmakers in the Knesset that the fence should be credited with restoring security and preventing the entry of Palestinian suicide bombers into Israeli towns. As a result, the fence should remain in place, the premier told MKs. “I hear they are saying today that because it’s quiet, it’s possible to take down the fence. My friends, the opposite is true, it’s quiet because a fence exists.” In his speech, Netanyahu said Israel welcomed “a certain improvement in the functioning of Palestinian security forces” in the West Bank. But he added: “The fence is important.” The prime minister was summoned to the Knesset after 40 MKs from the opposition parties signed a query requiring him to provide explanations for his diplomatic and economic policies. Netanyahu also told the lawmakers that his government’s defense policy had successfully deterred Palestinian Hamas gunmen in Gaza from launching Qassam rockets. Israel’s threat of responding to every rocket fired from Gaza was an effective change of policy that the prior regime did not implement, Netanyahu said. “We are not ready to accept rocket and missile fire on the territory of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “From the moment I entered the prime minister’s post there has been a response against every instance of shooting.” “This is the correct policy,” Netanyahu said. “We cannot accept missile fire on Israeli cities as a fait accompli.” The prime minister added that Israel would insist on “effective demilitarization” of a future Palestinian state, and that an end to the conflict could only be reached in exchange for an end to all claims against Israel. Netanyahu said Iran remains Israel’s most pressing threat. The Tehran regime has not wavered from its intention to build a nuclear weapon, the prime minister said. Israel is working to enlist wide swaths of the international community in forming a “united front” against Iran, which features “a brutal regime that oppresses its people,” Netanyahu said.Dramatic drop in West Bank suicide attacks since fence built
Work on the security barrier began in 2002, the height of a Palestinian terror uprising. Israel said the project was necessary to stop suicide bombers from reaching its cities. Palestinians called it a land grab that could deny them a viable state. There has been a dramatic drop in the number of attacks in Israel over the past several years, a decrease security experts attribute to the barrier, Israeli and Palestinian Authority security steps and a change of tactics by some militant groups. No suicide bombers have struck this year. In 2008, one person was killed in Israel by a bomber whom authorities said infiltrated from the West Bank through an area where the barrier had not been completed. The International Court of Justice, in a non-binding decision in 2004, said the barrier was illegal and should be taken down because it crossed occupied territory. The barrier, mainly razor-wired tipped fences but also comprises towering concrete walls, snakes through land Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.Five conditions for peace
In his speech to Knesset, Netanyahu reaffirmed his government’s five foundations for peacemaking with the Palestinians. The following are Israel’s demands, first voiced by Netanyahu last month, and the Palestinian position on each issue.
1. Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinians say such recognition could be perceived as abjuring a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to land now in Israel. They say they are also mindful of the rights of Arab citizens of Israel.
2. Palestinian refugees must be resettled outside Israel. Palestinians have long demanded that refugees who fled or were forced to leave in the war of Israel’s creation in 1948 should be allowed to return, along with millions of their descendants. Yet Palestinian negotiators have signaled they would accept “a just and agreed-upon” solution for refugees as laid out in a UN resolution that mentions compensation for those who settle elsewhere.
3. The final peace agreement will end the conflict, and Palestinians can make no further demands on issues such as borders and refugees. The Palestinians seek a final, lasting agreement that would meet all their national aspirations.
4. The Palestinian state must be demilitarized so as not to threaten Israel.
The Palestinians do not object to this demand, but say it should be discussed in negotiations with Israel.
5. Foreign backing, in the form of explicit international guarantees, for these security arrangements. Again, the Palestinians say the issue can be sorted out in peace talks, as it was agreed upon in previous internationally backed agreements like the 2003 “road map”.
Fatah: No Recognition of Israel – Ever
July 24….(IsraelNN.com) Senior members of Fatah have announced that their group will never recognize Israel, and will continue to call for war against Israel. “Fatah does not recognize Israel's right to exist, nor have we ever asked others to do so,” said senior Fatah member Rafik Natsheh, a close associate of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Media reports, according to which Fatah has recognized Israel and has called on Hamas to do the same, are false, Natsheh said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “It's all media nonsense. We don't ask other factions to recognize Israel; we ourselves do not recognize Israel,” he said. Fatah controls the PA in Judea and Samaria, and is the party of Abbas. Unlike the rival breakaway PA led by Hamas in Gaza, the Fatah-led PA has agreed to recognize Israel, although it will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The PA recognizes Israel because if it did not, it would not be able to “serve the Palestinian people,” Natsheh explained. However, Fatah does not have such constraints. Not only will Fatah never recognize Israel, but it will never end its call for armed struggle against Israel, he said. “Let those who are deluding themselves hear: this will never happen,” he said. A second senior Fatah member, Azzam el-Ahmed, agreed that Fatah would not drop its call to wage war on Israel. Natsheh and Ahmed gave interviews in advance of the Fatah general assembly in early August, in which the organization will meet to discuss its goals and to hold elections. The meeting will be the first in approximately 20 years.
Brad Pitt Epitomises Foolishness
July 24….(FOJ) Brad Pitt the actor is held up by popular culture as an icon of class and sophistication, but in an interview with the German magazine BILD, Mr. Pitt reveals a Biblical truth about himself. (Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God)
BILD: Have you found happiness in life?
Brad Pitt (nodding): Hm – yes. I am on the path I want to be on.
BILD: Do you believe in God? Brad Pitt (smiling): No, no, no!
BILD: Is your soul spiritual? Brad Pitt: No, no, no! I’m probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it.
Mr. Pitt is the epitome of a fool. Yes, someday we will all find out if there is a God, and if there is a Heaven and a literal Hell. But the truth is that when one dies, it would be too late to begin to think about the matter. If there is a God, then being an atheist is a foolish gamble, but on the otherhand, if there be no God (as Pitt believes) he would gain nothing for being right. Even Las Vegas gamblers would advise believing in God because unbelief is a no win type of thinking!
Did Radical Muslims Help Send Obama to Harvard?
(White House refuses to release president's law school records)
July 24….(By Jerome R. Corsi/WND) President Obama's unwillingness to allow the American public to see his records at Harvard Law School prevents resolution of a continuing controversy over whether radical Islamic influences promoted his admission and financed his legal education there. In an appearance on the New York-produced "Inside City Hall" television show, octogenarian Harlem lawyer Percy Sutton, whose clients included Malcolm X, explained that Islamic radical Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, "one of the world's wealthiest men," asked him to write a letter of recommendation to Harvard Law School for then relatively unknown Barack Obama. In the video, Sutton says he was introduced to Obama by al-Mansour, a Saudi citizen, who "was then raising money" for Obama. Sutton described al-Mansour as being from Texas, saying al-Mansour was the "principal adviser to one of the world's richest men," most likely Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Sutton says al-Mansour told him about Obama, saying in a letter, "There's a young man that has applied to Harvard. I know that you have a few friends left there because you used to go up there to speak. Would you please write a letter in support of him?" On air, Sutton confirmed he did write the letter, telling his friends at Harvard, "I thought there was going to be a genius that was going to be available and I certainly hoped they would treat him kindly." During the 2008 presidential campaign, Ben Smith of Politico reported the Obama’s campaign’s flat denial of the story. Smith was not able to get in touch with Sutton, whose advanced age had raised questions whether his memory of writing a letter of recommendation for Obama was confused. Smith did reach al-Mansour, who confirmed Sutton was "a dear friend, his health is not good" and said he's sure Sutton wrote a letter for someone else, "and he got it confused." Yesterday, WND e-mailed a request to Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor, asking that the White House release Obama's law school records to resolve the issue. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Vietor was a frequent spokesman for the Obama campaign's "Fight the Smears" website, which has been removed from the Internet. WND received no response from Vietor or from the White House press office, which was copied on the e-mail. Investigator Jack Cashill reports that al-Mansour serves on the board of, among others, Saudi African Bank and was responsible for the Africa investment activities of Kingdom Holdings, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal's investment company. Cashill also noted that al-Mansour is a frequent lecturer at Harvard. Before he abandoned his "slave name," al-Mansour was known as Don Warden, an African-American radical who founded the Afro-American Association in the Bay Area and was instrumental in creating the Black Panthers. The University of California Berkeley Socialist Activism Project identified Warden as being the "mentor" of Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton. The back cover of al-Mansour's 1982 book “The Destruction of Western Civilization by Islam,” specifies al-Mansour received a degree from Howard University, where he majored in philosophy and logic, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. In a picture caption in the book, al-Mansour supports a key thesis of Black Liberation Theology, that the historical Jesus Christ was not Caucasian. "When one looks at the descendents of the original Hebrews, it is impossible to believe that Jesus, Mary, Moses, Abraham, Solomon were white, with blue eyes and blond hair," he writes. James H. Cone, one of the chief proponents of Black Liberation Theology, wrote in his essay "Black Theology as Liberation Theology" that, "In the place of white Jesus, we insist that 'Jesus Christ is black, baby!'" For 20 years, Obama was a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which openly professed Black Liberation Theology.
Israel: America Needs to Keep its Word on Settlements
July 23….(JNEWSWIRE/Stan Goodenough) Israel will not be able to trust American "guarantees" in future if the Obama administration does not keep to the agreements made by its predecessors. This was the message conveyed to foreign journalists Tuesday by Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor. According to The Jerusalem Post, Meridor insisted that Israel and the United States had a clear agreement dating back six years permitting Israel to build within the construction lines of existing settlements. "It is of great importance to us that what the American administration agreed to is not overlooked, not because of the contents of that agreement, but because of contents of agreements in the future," Meridor said. "We never had an agreement with the previous administration," he clarified. "We had an agreement with America. "The agreement we had with the Americans is binding on us and them. They should keep to the agreement." Meridor's statement was the latest in an intensifying war of words between Israel and the nation that insists it is Israel's strongest friend and ally even as it continues to undermine Israeli interests, interfere in Israeli politics and work to weaken Israel in the face of the relentless and increasing threat to its existence. The State Department at the weekend summoned Israel's new ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, to demand that a Jewish millionaire stop construction on his own property in part of Jerusalem coveted by the Palestinian Arabs as capital of a state they have never had but are resolved to get at Israel's expense. "Israeli building in eastern Jerusalem is no different than building at West Bank settlements and must stop," Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley then told journalists. On Tuesday Russia, France and Germany demanded the same thing. "The settlement [sic] should be stopped immediately," AFP quoted Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko as saying, while French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner summoned the Israeli ambassador in Paris to demand the building be stopped. A political ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Israel it was committing "political suicide." The European Union's Swedish presidency said Israel should refrain from what it called "provocative actions" which "are illegal under international law." But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fired back at Washington, saying Sunday that "United Jerusalem is Israel's unassailable capital and Jews have the right to live and buy in all its neighborhoods." According to Israel National News, Netanyahu implied that the US request was racist. “Imagine what would happen if Jews were forbidden to live or to buy apartments in certain parts of London, New York, Paris or Rome. There would be an international outcry. All the more, we cannot to a decree like this regarding Jerusalem.” Jerusalem "is not up for debate," he said. Other Israeli officials have voiced their rejection of the world's demands: Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel has the "indisputable" right to build anywhere in Jerusalem. Shas Chairman Eli Yishai declared that "Israel's government is not a subsidiary of any other world government and is free to build anywhere in Israel, certainly after having obtained all the relevant permits by law."
Clinton Promises 'Nuclear Defense Umbrella' against Iran
(US secretary of state outlines how her country may cope with nuclear threat - by working to upgrade defense of allies in region)
July 23….(YNET) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on Wednesday to sketch out how the United States might cope with a nuclear Iran, by arming its neighbors and extending a "defense umbrella" over the region. She said crossing the nuclear threshold would not make Iran, which Washington believes is pursuing nuclear weapons, safer or more secure. We will still hold the door open (for talks with Iran) but we also have made it clear that we'll take actions, as I've said time and time again, crippling action, working to upgrade the defense of our partners in the region," she said in a program taped for Thai television during a visit to Bangkok. "We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment, that if the US extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it's unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer because they won't be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have a nuclear weapon." Last week Clinton said Iran's intentions were unclear following June's election there and that Washington's offer of talks with Tehran over its nuclear program was not open-ended. The former Bush administration refused to engage Iran directly until it had met certain preconditions, including suspending uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear power plants or atomic weapons. But President Barack Obama, who took over in January, says that approach failed and Clinton has also said it was a mistake. Despite the policy shift, Iran has not responded to Obama's overtures and those from other countries seeking to persuade Tehran to give up sensitive nuclear work the West believes is aimed at building a bomb and Iran says is to generate power.
Russia Builds Naval HQ in Syria: Missile Presence Worries Israel
July 22….(DEBKAfile Special Report) A high-ranking Russian navy source reported July 21 that the Soviet-era naval maintenance base near Tartus in Syria is to be expanded and modernized to become "fully operational." DEBKAfile's military sources report that Russian is building the facility up as its main sea base for operations in four seas: The Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The upgrade of Russian port facilities at Tartus, its only foothold in the Mediterranean, will automatically enhance Moscow's strategic interests in Syria and Bashar Assad's regime. The Russian source said that the 50 naval personnel and three berthing floats currently deployed at Tartus with accommodation for up a dozen warships will be beefed up with a new berthing float delivered by two tugboats from the Black Sea Fleet. DEBKAfile's sources disclose that those warships will include large vessels such as the nuclear-armed guided missile cruiser Peter the Great and the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which called in at Tartus in January. In September 2008, DEBKAfile first disclosed that the Russian Navy commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky and his Syrian counterpart Gen. Taleb al-Barri, had signed contracts for converting Tartus into one of Russia's most highly-developed naval infrastructures outside its territory. Its warships based there will capable of reaching the Red Sea through the Suez Canal and the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar in a matter of days. Israel is deeply concerned, according to our military sources, by the sophisticated air-defense S-300PMU-2 and Iskander-E missile systems the Russians propose to hand Syria on the pretext of installing a shield to defend the facility against air or missile attack. Moscow claims they will remain under the control of Russian crews but, according to information reaching Israel, they will be quietly and gradually handed over to the Syrian army; the Russian teams are in fact instructors. Russia justifies this, according to DEBKAfile's Moscow sources, by the deployment of the highly sophisticated American FBX-T missile-interception radar systems at the Israeli Negev base of Nevatim. Furthermore, Moscow will have its rejoinder for the disputed US deployment of missile interceptors in Eastern Europe. As we reported last September, the Russian Black Sea fleet and new Mediterranean-based warships will coordinate their operations under a single command. They are designed as counter-deployments to the post-Georgian-war US and NATO naval presence in the Black Sea as well as its fleets in other parts of the Mediterranean including Israel's shores.
Obama Health Plan to Cover 12 Million Illegals
July 21….(Newsmax) On Friday, Democrats moved one step closer to giving free health insurance to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens when they successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized health care under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Barack Obama. The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines, and followed this action by passing the 1,018-page bill early Friday morning by a 23-to-18 margin, with three Democrats voting against the plan. The Democratic plan will embrace Obama’s vision of bringing free government medical care to more than 45 million uninsured people in America, a significant portion of whom are illegal aliens. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, costs under the Obama plan being proposed by the House will saddle citizens with $1.04 trillion in new federal outlays over the next decade. Congressional Democrats and Obama have argued that their health plan is necessary to contain rising health care costs. But, last Thursday, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Budget Committee and warned lawmakers that the proposed “legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs." A key factor increasing costs is that Democratic plan provides for blanket coverage to as much as 15 percent of the US population not currently insured, including illegals. Democrats had insisted throughout the health-care reform debate that illegals would be ineligible for the so-called public option plan that is to be subsidized by taxpayers. "We're not going to cover undocumented aliens, undocumented workers," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters in May. "That's too politically explosive." Republicans, however, point out that the Democrats, by refusing to accept the Heller amendment, would deny health agencies from conducting simple database checks to verify citizenship. Many states give illegals driver licenses, which will be sufficient to get free health care under the plan. Critics also contend that millions of illegals who already have counterfeit Social Security cards or other fraudulent documents. There is no enforcement mechanism in the legislation, experts say, to prevent illegals who use fake IDs to obtain jobs from also obtaining taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. GOP representatives introduced the amendment to provide a way to weed out non-citizens from the program. A description of the amendment on Heller's Web site state it would "better screen applicants for subsidized health care to ensure they are actually citizens or otherwise entitled to it." The Web post added, "The underlying bill is insufficient for the purpose of preventing illegal aliens from accessing the bill’s proposed benefits, as it does not provide mechanisms allowing those administering the program to ensure illegal aliens cannot access taxpayer-funded subsidies and benefits." The Heller amendment would have required that individuals applying for the public health care option would be subject to two systems used to verify immigration status already in use by the government: The Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. The two systems cross-reference Social Security numbers and employment information to establish whether an individual is a U.S. citizen.
Critics: Free Health Care Means More Illegals
A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found that an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans oppose covering illegals in any public health care bill. Anti-immigration activists say the availability of low-cost benefits, including health insurance and in-state tuition, will only lure more immigrants to come to the United States. Political analyst Dick Morris, in his recently released best-selling book “Catastrophe”, warns that giving illegal free health care will lead to a flood of new illegals who can take advantage of such a benefit not offered in their home countries. William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, agrees with that sentiment, writing, "Each state and federal elected official must know that illegal aliens should not be given licenses, in-state tuition, mortgages, bank accounts, welfare, or any other benefit short of emergency medical care and law enforcement accommodations before they are deported." But a small fraction of illegals end up deported, as many make widespread use of fake IDs to easily gain access to government benefits programs. "Experts suggest that approximately 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens use fraudulent Social Security cards to obtain employment," wrote Ronald W. Mortensen in a recent Center for Immigration Studies research paper. Mortensen says one of the big misconceptions about illegals is that they are undocumented. James R. Edwards Jr., co-author of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, recently wrote on National Review Online that "it's hard to envision how health reform can avoid tripping the immigration booby trap." Edwards says none of the legislation under consideration actually requires any state, federal, or local agency to check the immigration status of those who apply for the program. The assumption is that companies have vetted their employees to ensure they are eligibility for legal employment, a difficult task for employers given the active market in fraudulent documents. Thus Edwards maintains "some of the money distributed inevitably would go to illegal aliens." The estimates of illegal aliens in the United States without health insurance vary. The most commonly cited statistic, attributed to the Center for Immigration Statistics and the US Census Bureau, holds that 15 percent to 22 percent of the nation's 46 million uninsured are illegal aliens. That would be between 6.9 million and 10.1 million people. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama claimed the nation United States has 12 million or more undocumented aliens. John Sheils of the Lewin Group, a health care consulting firm owned by UnitedHealth Group, recently told National Public Radio that about 6.1 million illegals, about half of all illegals in the United States, lack documentation and therefore would not be legally eligible for benefits under the current health care reforms. Sheils says the other half of the nation's illegals, 5 million to 6 million use false documents to obtain on-the-books employment. Many of them are already insured under their employers' plans, he added. "A lot of those people are getting employer health benefits as part of their compensation," Sheils told NPR. Certainly, some contend that undocumented workers who are gainfully employed and receiving benefits such as health insurance are contributing to society. But the fact remains that, once equipped with a fake ID, a person in the United States illegally can obtain both a job and the benefits that go with it. Estimates of the cost of providing illegals with medical care vary. Most uninsured illegals who need medical attention obtain it from hospital emergency rooms. And several states are already straining under the huge burden of paying for the health costs of illegal aliens. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in 2004 California's estimated cost of unreimbursed medical care was $1.4 billion. Texas estimated its cost at $850 million annually, and Arizona at $400 million. Non-border states shoulder heavy burdens as well. Virginia's annual cost of providing health care for undocumented workers is approximately $100 million per year, FAIR reports, while Florida's health care cost is about $300 million annually. One of the ironies of the proposed legislation is that it would fine American citizens who opt not to purchase insurance coverage, but would exempt illegals from such fines. This is presumably due to the fact that they are not supposed to participate in the program anyway. Even if no illegals were likely to benefit from health care reform, Democrats have made it clear that amnesty is the next item on their ambitious legislative agenda. "I've got to do health care, I've got to do energy, and then I'm looking very closely at doing immigration," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declared in June. Reid explained the urgent need for amnesty in terms very similar to those that Democrats have used to press for health care reform. "We have an immigration system that's broken and needs repair," Reid said. Immigration expert Edwards, for one, says health-care reform may itself need serious medical attention before it is healthy enough pass through Congress. "The American people may soon realize how much health reform will benefit immigrants and cost the native-born," he writes. "When that happens, the volatile politics of immigration could derail universal health care."
*FOJ Note: I firmly believe that the current usurper president fully intends to bankrupt the United States. And this fact lends itself to God’s permissive will to bring our nation under judgment through it economics.
An Economic Reminder From Rick Michelena
(Rick is a teacher at First Baptists Church in McAllen, Texas, and provides this economic lesson to America from Genesis )
July 21….(Rick Michelena) Genesis 47:13-27 Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. And Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone." Then Joseph said, "Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone." So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. And when that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord's. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands. "Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate." So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt's border to the other. Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land. Then Joseph said to the people, "Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land. "And at the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones." So they said, "You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's slaves." And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh's. Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.
What do we learn from this passage?
We have learned that hard, economic times fell upon Egypt. As a result, the people turned to the government of Pharaoh to deal with their problems. Pharaoh then nationalized the grain harvest and placed it under his complete control. The people now brought their money to Pharaoh, and much like a great tax increase, gave it to him willingly. They did this in return for grain. Do you remember that this process continued until their money ran out and they were hungry again?
So, the people had to go back to Pharaoh. This time they brought their livestock, their cattle, their horses, their sheep, and even their donkey to barter for grain. Please remember that verse 17 says these supplies only took them through the end of the year. However, the famine wasn't over yet, was it? Therefore, the very next year, the people came before Pharaoh and admitted they had nothing left, that is, except for their land and their own lives. Starting in verse 18 we read, "There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh."
Now, here is the problem.
Desperate people often commit desperate acts. Therefore, they surrendered their homes and their real estate to Pharaoh's government. As a result, they sold themselves into slavery. What was the price for their bondage? They simply wanted to feed themselves!
What can we learn?
Have you heard that history has a funny way of repeating itself? This is because mankind never learns from past mistakes. I wish more people understood that turning to the government instead of toward God in difficult times, to be our provider, only leads to slavery?
Yes! You heard me! This is why the OBAMA government wants to be our provider. It is so he will become our master? But let's consider how that passage ends. Starting in verse 27, Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.
What just happened here?
The truth is that God provided for His people as He always has! They didn't end up giving all their possessions to the government, no, the Bible says they actually gained possessions!
So here is the great truth of today, and it is an ominous one!
We now see the very same thing happening again. Our current
government wants to "share the wealth." It wants to take it from each of us and
then redistribute it back to the population. Big government wants to take
control of healthcare, as it has taken control of education. My wife is a
retired teacher. She can tell you what a success our public school systems have
Senate Vote For Hate Crimes Bill: A Warning Shot Against Christianity
(“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ”Isaiah 5:20)
July 20….(In The Days) A key Senate vote during the wee hours when most Americans were asleep has added the so-called “hate crimes” plan, which creates federal protections and privileges homosexuals and others who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles, to a defense spending bill. While there are procedural hurdles yet, opponents say they expect the proposal that essentially makes homosexuals a protected class of citizens in the United States soon will reach the desk of President Obama, who has lobbied for it. But the vote prompted both a warning about what a law linking criminal behavior to thought would do to free speech and a promise that the nation won’t give up its citizens’ basic rights easily. “In six months President Obama and the Democratic-led Congress have forced on the American people the most radical and and immoral agenda,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The administration and the Democratic-led Congress are out of touch with the mainstream. They represent the most fringe extreme elements of America. They will not be able to continue their efforts to undermine moral values, socialize the economy and trash American pride and heritage. “The people will not remain silent forever,” he said. The House approved its version, H.R. 1913, or the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, April 29. But the Senate plan remained in the Judiciary Committee until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced its consideration this week. Then in a middle-of-the-night vote, senators approved 63-28 a plan to add it as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill pending, despite opposition from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “This is a complete abdication of the responsibilities of the Judiciary Committee,” McCain said. As WND reported, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted a homosexual activist who is attacked following a Christian minister’s sermon about homosexuality would be protected by the proposed federal law, but a minister attacked by a homosexual wouldn’t be. The revelations came from Holder’s June testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was taking comments on the proposal. The measure also was the subject of discussion on talk radio host Rush Limbaugh’s July 3 show. “This is the question,” Limbaugh said. “(Sen.) Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) presents a hypothetical where a minister gives a sermon, quotes the Bible about homosexuality and is thereafter attacked … by a gay activist because of what the minister said about his religious beliefs and what Scripture says about homosexuality. Is the minister protected?” No, said Holder. “Well, the statute would not – would not necessarily cover that,” Holder stated. “We’re talking about crimes that have a historic basis. Groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, that is what this statute tends – is designed to cover. We don’t have the indication that the attack was motivated by a person’s desire to strike at somebody who was in one of these protected groups. That would not be covered by the statute.” Continued Limbaugh, “In other words: ministers and whites are not covered by the hate crime statute because we’re talking about crimes that have a historic basis, groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of their skin color, sexual orientation. So hate crimes are reserved exclusively for blacks and homosexuals. Everybody else can get to the back of the bus on this one.” WND has reported the plan would give special protections to homosexuals, essentially designating them as a “protected class.” However, it could leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person. The bill earned its nickname, “The Pedophile Protection Act,” when Rep. Steve King proposed an amendment during its trek through the U.S. House that would specify pedophiles could not use the law to protect their activities. Majority Democrats flatly refused. Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, told WND the move is alarming because “this would be the very first governmental and societal disapproval of a sincerely held religious belief, held by a majority of Americans, namely that homosexual behavior is immoral. “It’s the first time the federal government is writing into law a disapproval of that belief,” he said. While he said he doesn’t believe there will be “immediate” prosecutions of pastors and churches for teaching the biblical injunction that homosexual is sin, “I think the effect on speech and religious speech is nonetheless real.” He said he does expect that pastors soon will begin being called to testify in “hate crime” cases in court “as to what that pastor preaches, what the church teaches, what the Bible teaches.” “When this happens, there will be a shock wave through pastorates in America,” he said. Ultimately, he warned that the homosexual advocates who have pushed the “hate crimes” plan consider this law just the first step “toward silencing Christians.” That’s already documented not only with the development and application of “hate crimes” laws in other nations, but in the “hate crime” related speech codes already existing on many university campuses within the United States, Stanley said. Staver noted the procedural hurdle still to be overcome: the fact that the “hate crimes” plan is attached to the $680 billion Defense Authorization bill that also includes funding for the F-22 jet program, which Obama opposes. Staver also noted an amendment to the “hate crimes” measure from Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., that apparently strengthens protections for free speech and religious exercise. It was adopted 78-13 and states “hate crime” laws shall not be “applied … in a manner that infringes” the First Amendment. “Language designed to protect speech and religion notwithstanding, the hate crimes amendment discriminates against some classes of crime victims and gives special rights based on ’sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ including sexual fetishes and philias,” Liberty Counsel explained. “The name of the bill itself (It’s also known as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill) is telling. Matthew Shepard is touted by homosexual advocates as a hate crime victim, but the evidence now shows he was not targeted because he was homosexual but was killed because of a drug deal,” Liberty Counsel said. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has said such a law, by definition requires judges to determine what those accused of crimes were thinking. “This could create a chilling effect on religious speech, connecting innocent expression of religious belief to acts of violence against individuals afforded special protections,” he wrote. “The criminalization of religious speech, such as speech against the practice of homosexuality, has already been seen in other countries with similar hate crimes legislation in place.” President Obama, supported strongly during his campaign by homosexual advocates, has indicated he would like to see the legislation become law
'The Jewish Temple Will Never be Rebuilt', Islamist Movement Says
July 20….(IsraelNN.com) The deputy chief of the Islamist movement in Israel Kimal Al-Khatib told thousands of children in a Saturday Islamist protest on the Temple Mount that the Jewish Temple will never be rebuilt. His speech was published in the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper Monday morning. “If the Jews think that their mourning will end and they will rejoice by destroying the Al-Aqsa mosque and building their Temple, we say to them that their dream will not be fulfilled and they will continue to mourn. Al-Aqsa is for Muslims only,” he said. Al-Khatib was referring to the traditional period of mourning Jews commemorate every summer for the destruction of the Holy Temples on Tisha B'Av (The ninth of the Hebrew month of Av). The Second Temple was destroyed in 70AD by the Romans, while the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque were erected in 691 and 705AD. The Head of the Islamist movement in Jerusalem, Icharma Savri, also spoke to the assembled children. He previously served as the Chief Mufti of the Palestinian Authority. “I tell this gathering, swearing by Allah, and in defiance of our enemies. We pass this safekeeping from generation to generation. Al-Aqsa is the safekeeping of the future generations, one after the other, and the children are dedicated to Al-Aqsa. They are the generation which will free it from our enemies,” he said.
FOJ Note: Obviously the Muslim cleric and the Koran are not in agreement with Jehovah God’s word concerning the fallen Temple and the regathering of Israel. (Amos 9:11-15: In that day will I (GOD) raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I (GOD) will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.)
Netanyahu: Jerusalem is Ours, Not Up for Debate
July 20….(IsraelNN.com) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a sharp response Sunday to United States pressure to stop Jews from building in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority. Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem is “not up for debate,” Netanyahu said, and Jews are permitted to build in any part of the capital city, as are Arabs. Netanyahu implied that the US request was racist, saying before the weekly Cabinet meeting, “Imagine what would happen if Jews were forbidden to live or to buy apartments in certain parts of London, New York, Paris or Rome. There would be an international outcry." Over the weekend, the US State Department summoned Israeli envoy Michael Oren and demanded that Israel halt construction of Jewish homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, near the ancient grave of Shimon HaTzaddik (Simon the Just). The property on which the homes are to be built has been owned by Jewish activist Dr. Irving Moskowitz for more than 20 years. Oren told US officials that Israel would not agree to stop building in the area. Israel annexed Sheikh Jarrah and other Jerusalem neighborhoods following the Six Day War, in which the city was reunified after 19 years of Jordanian rule in the eastern half of the city. While Israel has maintained sovereignty in the capital city for more than 40 years, the Palestinian Authority continues to demand all areas controlled by Jordan in the 1950s. The United States, along with most of the world, has refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem in deference to the PA. The American embassy is located in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, and American citizens born in Jerusalem may not list “Israel” as their country of birth on their American documents.
Oren reportedly took a tough stand against the American “orders,” but at the same time implied that the Americans do have a say in Judea and Samaria. “Jerusalem is not the same as Judea and Samaria,” Oren told the Americans, “and Israel builds in eastern Jerusalem just as it has been building in the Aravah [northern Negev] for the last 40 years. Israel does not agree to stop this construction.” Oren explained that Arabs live in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including 70 Arab families in French Hill, very close to Sheikh Jarrah.
Iran Puts Finishing Touches on a Desert A-test Site East of Tehran
July 20….(DEBKAfile Special Report) DEBKAfile's military sources reveal that Iran is in the last stages of construction of a nuclear test site in the Kavir Lut desert between Tehran and its eastern border with Afghanistan. The work is managed by the Iranian experts invited to attend North Korea's nuclear test this year. (DEBKAfile reported June 27 that Iran has opened the way for a nuclear test.) Two of the diplomats attached to the UN nuclear watchdog agency in Vienna confirmed to the Associated Press Saturday July 18 that Iran now has the means to test a weapon within six months. One said more specifically: "Iran has the capacity, if not the intention, to set off a test explosion in six months." Speaking on condition of anonymity, the two diplomats emphasized there were no indications of plans for a nuclear test and in their opinion Iran is unlikely to risk heightened confrontation with the West and chances of an Israeli attack with such a course. For the last six months, DEBKAfile's intelligence sources have all stressed that this supposition is wishful thinking having confirmed that Iran is squarely on the fast track for an N-test. Once preparations are complete, its leaders will not hesitate to conduct one, following the North Korean model. And indeed the two diplomats in Vienna admitted the Iranians were blocking UN nuclear agency attempts to upgrade monitoring resources. As recently as July 9, DEBKAfile's military sources reported: "The US, Europe, and even the Binyamin Netanyahu government, appear to have adopted the same strategy for North Korea and Iran. It is a combination of harsh oral rebukes coupled with a refusal to address North Korea's violations and Iran's race for a nuclear bomb in any practical way, even though sanctions are clearly of no effect at all. A blind eye is equally turned to the close collaboration between Pyongyang and Tehran on their missile and nuclear development programs. The two rogue states are also clearly in tune on their nuclear diplomacy and timetables. According to DEBKAfile's intelligence sources, North Korea shared the results of its latest missile launches with Iran, exactly as it did after its nuclear and ballistic tests. But neither Washington nor Jerusalem has raised a hand. Both nuclear transgressors are getting away with the gross, ongoing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and making a mockery of international law and UN resolutions." Therefore, the diplomat's estimate Saturday that the Iranians will not risk confrontation with the West or chance an Israeli attack is completely unfounded, as are the theories that the Iranian leadership is in too shaky a position at home to go forward with a nuclear test. As soon as the test site is ready, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be deterred from taking the nuclear plunge by the unrest at home, any more than grave illness has stopped Kim Jong-II flouting international prohibitions. Still, the US and Europe will not fall out of their chairs because they have given the ayatollahs all the time they needed to attain a nuclear weapon.
WEEK OF JULY 12 THROUGH JULY 18
Syria: Israel Must Surrender Entire Golan
(Syrian foreign minister tells US official Damascus wants Israel to withdraw to 1967 border)
July 17….(YNET) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told visiting US official Frederic Hoff on Thursday that Damascus wants the Golan Heights back as part of any Middle East peace deal. Muallem stressed Syria's wish to "recover Golan as far as the border of June 4, 1967," before Israel occupied the upland region in that year's six-day war, Sana official news agency reported. The Syrian minister reaffirmed "his country's support for achieving a fair and global peace (deal) in the region in line with the principle of exchanging land for peace," the news agency said. Hoff, deputy to American special Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, reiterated the desire of the United States to work for a peace deal in the Middle East, Sana added. The US wants to play an active and balanced role to re-launch peace talks on all Syrian and Palestinian issues with Israel, the report quoted him as saying. Relations between the United States and Syria have begun to improve since Barack Obama became US president. Washington announced on June 24 its decision to send an ambassador back to Damascus, the latest of a series of cautious signals from the Obama administration. The United States recalled its ambassador to Syria in 2005 after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, which many blamed on Syria though it denies involvement. The embassy remained open directed by a charge d'affaires. Washington, prior to the Obama Administration has accused Damascus of supporting "terrorist" groups, seeking to destabilize Lebanon and allowing transit through Syria of weapons for fighters in Iraq.
Netanyahu Mum on Attacking Iran
(Israeli warships cross Red Sea in apparent signal to Tehran)
July 17….(WND) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office refused to respond to a report today purporting to quote an Israeli defense official stating the recent deployment of warships across the Red Sea should be seen as serious preparation for an attack on Iran. "It is not our policy to comment on such reports," Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman, told WND. Earlier this week, two Israel Navy gunboats openly sailed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea with permission from Egypt. "This is preparation that should be taken seriously. Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran. These maneuvers are a message to Iran that Israel will follow up on its threats," the Times of London today quoted what it said was an Israeli defense official as saying. The Times today quoted an Israeli diplomat explaining the Jewish state has been bolstering its ties with certain Arab nations that are also threatened by Iran. The diplomat cited a "shared mutual distrust of Iran" between Israel and Egypt. In a report denied by Netanyahu's office, the Times of London two weeks ago claimed Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli warplanes flying over the kingdom in any raid on Iran's nuclear sites sites.
World May Back Iran Operation by Israel as Part of Deal
July 16….(Jerusalem Post) A deal taking shape between Israel and Western leaders will facilitate international support for an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities in exchange for concessions in peace negotiations with the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, The Times reported Thursday. According to one British official quoted by the paper, such an understanding could allow an Israeli attack "within the year." The report in the UK paper quoted unnamed diplomats as saying Israel was prepared to offer concessions on the formation of a Palestinian state as well as on its settlement policy and "issues" with Arab neighbors, in exchange for international backing for an Israeli operation in Iran. "Israel has chosen to place the Iranian threat over its settlements," one senior European diplomat said. According to the Times report, the passage of two Sa'ar 5-class Israeli Navy ships through the Suez Canal on Tuesday was a message to Iran and part of preparations being made by Israel for the possibility of a strike. This is preparation that should be taken seriously. Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran. These maneuvers are a message to Iran that Israel will follow up on its threats," an unnamed Israeli defense official was quoted by the paper as saying. "It is not by chance that Israel is drilling long-range maneuvers in a public way. This is not a secret operation. This is something that has been published and which will showcase Israel's abilities," another defense official said. The passage of the ships comes several weeks after a Dolphin-class submarine passed through the international waterway for the first time. One of the ships, the INS Hanit, already crossed the canal in June, in what an Egyptian source said was the first time a large missile ship used the strategic waterway, which is the fastest route to get Israeli Navy vessels from the Mediterranean Sea, where they are based, to the Red Sea and beyond.
IDF Warships Cross Suez to Red Sea
July 15….(Jerusalem Post) In a new signal to Iran, two Sa'ar 5-class Israeli Navy ships crossed through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea on Tuesday to beef up Israel's naval presence near Eilat. The passage of the ships comes several weeks after a Dolphin-class submarine passed through the international waterway for the first time. One of the ships, the INS Hanit, already crossed the canal in June, in what an Egyptian source said was the first time a large missile ship used the strategic waterway, which is the fastest route to get Israeli Navy vessels from the Mediterranean, where they are based, to the Red Sea and beyond. The other ship to cross was the INS Eilat. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that under a long-standing treaty, Israeli warships can freely sail through Suez as long as they have no hostile intentions against the state that owns the canal. He declined to say whether the maneuver was aimed at sending a message, saying, "I don't want to analyze an issue that I am not fully aware of." The significance of the move is debatable, but could be interpreted as a message to Iran and a demonstration of a strengthening of ties between Egypt and Israel. Iran has recently deployed several of its navy ships in the Gulf of Aden and near Eritrea. In the event of a conflict with Iran, and if Israel decided to involve its three Dolphin-class submarines, which according to foreign reports can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and serve as a second-strike platform, the quickest route would be to sail them through the Suez Canal. Going through the canal would also be the only way to get to the Gulf of Oman without refueling.
Palestinians: 'Peace' Process Just a Means to Destroy Israel
July 14….(Israel Today) Those who believe the land-for-peace process will bring an end to the bloodshed between Arabs and Israelis are deluding themselves, explained a leading member of the ruling Palestinian faction in a televised interview last week. It seems some Palestinians were becoming worried that increasingly active American involvement would bring the war against Israel to an end before they had a chance to destroy the Jewish state. Speaking on Palestinian Authority TV, Kifah Radaydeh, deputy head of the Jerusalem chapter of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, sought to reassure them: "It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine." Radaydeh made clear that by "Palestine" she meant all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea by admitting that when the time is right, Fatah will fully rejoin the campaign of violence against Israel. Radaydeh's is by no means an isolated sentiment. In March, Mohammed Dahlan, a top advisor to Abbas and the former Fatah strongman in charge of Gaza, said on Palestinian Authority TV: "I want to say for the thousandth time, in my own name and in the name of all of my fellow members of the Fatah movement: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today." Dahlan went on to explain that the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority only pays lip service to recognizing Israel in order to obtain assistance from the international community, both in the form of financial aid and political pressure on Israel. Despite these very public acknowledgements that Fatah, like Hamas, still seeks Israel's ultimate destruction, the international community continues to insist on painting Abbas and his party as "moderates" and the antithesis of the Islamic radicals that fill Hamas' ranks.
PA: Eventually We Will Attack Israel
July 14….(In The Days) The PA will resume violence and terror against Israel when Fatah is “capable,” and “according to what seems right,” Fatah activist Kifah Radaydeh says in a PA TV interview. She states openly that peace is not a goal for Fatah: “It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine.” Radaydeh says that “armed struggle” has not been ruled out and will continue, depending on how “capable” the PA forces are. “Fatah is facing a challenge, because Fatah says that we perceive peace as one of the strategies, but we say that all forms of the struggle exist, and we do not rule out the possibility of the armed struggle or any other struggle. The struggle exists in all its forms, on the basis of what we are capable of at a given time, and according to what seems right…What exactly do we want? It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; and the goal is Palestine. I do not negotiate in order to achieve peace. I negotiate for Palestine, in order to achieve a state.” It should be noted that when Fatah refers to “Palestine”, it is routinely referring to all of Israel. Some examples:
1. The Fatah flag still shows the map of Israel under rifles. The same symbol appears on the Fatah website ( http://www.fateh.ps ) and other official Fatah publications.
2. Fatah MP Najat Abu-Bakr said in a PA TV interview last year that Fatah’s goal remains the destruction of Israel, but that their political plan is to focus on the West Bank and Gaza Strip: “It doesn’t mean that we don’t want the 1948 borders [all of Israel]…but our current political program is to say that we want the 1967 borders.”
3. A PA TV educational documentary broadcast monthly since 2007 includes the following words denying the existence of Israel: “Another section in Palestine which is the Palestinian coast that spreads along the Mediterranean sea, from Ashkelon in the south, until Haifa, in the Carmel Mountains. Haifa is a well-known Palestinian port. Haifa enjoyed a high status among Arabs and Palestinians especially before it fell to the ‘occupation’ Israel in 1948. To its north, we find Acre. East of Acre, we reach a city with history and importance, the city of Tiberias, near a famous lake, the lake of Tiberias [Kinneret- Sea of Galilee]. Jaffa, an ancient coastal city, is the bride of the sea, and Palestine’s gateway to the world.” [PA TV, August 2007-June 7, 2009, dozens of times] 4. Muhammad Dahlan, senior PA official, recently stressed that Fatah adamantly refuses to recognize Israel, and that even Palestinian Authority recognition is to have better standing internationally in order to receive foreign aid: “I want to say for the thousandth time, in my own name and in the name of all of my fellow members of the Fatah movement: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today, it’s required of the government but not of Hamas; it’s required of the government but not of the Fatah, so that this government will be able to offer the necessary assistance, to carry out the necessary reconstruction, to offer assistance to the sick, to bring relief to needy families. This can be dealt with only by a government that has relations with the international community, one that is acceptable to the international community, in order that we can work together and benefit from the international community
EU’s Solana: Let's Force the Birth of Palestine State
July 13….(JNEWSWIRE/Stan Goodenough) If Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are not prepared to compromise enough to bring about the creation of the State of Palestine in the Land of Israel, the international community should go ahead and recognize the existence of such a state, thereby making its birth a fait accompli. This recommendation to forcefully impose the will of the world upon Israel was made Saturday by European Union foreign policy czar Javier Solana. The Spaniard - who last month became the first senior European diplomat to meet publicly with a member of the Hizb'allah Iranian-sponsored Lebanese terror group, floated his proposal while delivering a lecture in London. According to Reuters, Solana said the United Nations Security Council should officially pass binding international law adopting the "two-state solution" as the universally-accepted and supported formula for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. The move should include resolutions regarding the borders of Israel and Palestine, the resolution of the "Palestinian" refugee problem, the question of Jerusalem's ownership, and security arrangements. Reuters quoted Solana as saying the resolution "would accept the Palestinian state as a full member of the UN, and set a calendar for implementation. "It would mandate the resolution of other remaining territorial disputes and legitimize the end of claims." Solana's radical recommendation comes after years of fruitless international efforts to coerce Israel into accepting the surrender of its national cradle and ancient historic lands for the creation of a Palestinian state. Unable to withstand the pressure, consecutive Israeli governments have made innumerable concessions to demonstrate their willingness to make peace. By vivid contrast, the Arab side has vehemently rejected any form of compromise, repeatedly resorting to violence and terror instead. Solana is believed to have come forward with his most recent recommendation in light of the Obama administration's more pro-Arab approach to Mideast peacemaking. While there has been no official Security Council response to Solana's idea, the proposal will be seen as a not-so-veiled threat that will serve to substantially ratchet up the already intense level of pressure being brought to bear on the Netanyahu government to "make a deal already."
Israel Rejects Solana's Call for
Deadline on Palestinian State
July 13….(YNET) Jerusalem dismissed Sunday evening European Union Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana's call for the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state by a certain deadline even if the Israelis and Palestinians have not reached agreement among themselves. The Foreign Ministry released a statement saying "Resolutions 242 and 338 of the United Nations, the roadmap (peace plan) and agreements between Israel and the Palestinians all cautiously determine that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be reached through negotiations by the sides. "Israel has declared its willingness for the immediate resumption of the peace talks with no preconditions. Any other approach, including one that calls for setting an artificial deadline for the negotiations, undermines the efforts to reach an agreement between (Israel and the Palestinian Authority)," the statement read. The Palestinians have said they will not revive peace talks unless there is a halt to Israel's settlement activities in the West Bank: "After a fixed deadline, a UN Security Council resolution should proclaim the adoption of the two-state solution," Solana said, adding this should include border parameters, refugees, control over the city of Jerusalem and security arrangements. "It would accept the Palestinian state as a full member of the UN, and set a calendar for implementation. It would mandate the resolution of other remaining territorial disputes and legitimize the end of claims," Solana went on. Advocating a return to Israel's borders before the 1967 war with Egypt, Syria and Jordan in which it took the West Bank, Solana said mediators should set a timetable for a peace agreement.
"If the parties are not able to stick to it (the timetable), then a solution backed by the international community should be put on the table," He said. The EU, along with the United States, Russia and the United Nations, is part of the Quartet of Middle East Negotiators.
WEEK OF JULY 5 THROUGH JULY 11
G8 Gives Iran Deadline for Nuclear Talks
(Leading world powers convene for annual summit in Italy, call on Tehran to agree to negotiation over nuclear ambitions or face harsher sanctions. 'If there is no progress by then we'll have to take action,' says French President Sarkozy)
July 10….(YNET) The Eight major powers making up the G8 decided to give Iran until September to accept negotiations over its nuclear ambitions or else face tougher sanctions, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday. Upping the stakes in the dispute with Tehran: Sarkozy said the powers would review the situation at a G20 meeting of developed and developing countries in Pittsburgh on September 24 and 25. "If there is no progress by then we will have to take action," said Sarkozy after discussions with G8 partners that wrapped up the first day of their annual summit in Italy. Western countries believe Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran says it wants to master nuclear technology to generate electricity and has rejected all overtures for talks. The United States and Canada said the world's main industrialized nations were growing increasingly impatient: "All G8 nations are united. There is a strong consensus that unless things change soon, there will be a need for further action," said Canadian spokesman Dimitri Soudas. However, Sarkozy made it clear that Russia was still dragging its feet over the issue and had pushed for more time before considering a fresh round of sanctions. "We made an effort to agree not to boost sanctions straightaway in order to bring everyone on board. The more reserved amongst us agreed that Pittsburgh was the time for decisions," said Sarkozy. In a separate statement, the G8 said it was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program: "We sincerely hope that Iran will seize this opportunity to give diplomacy a chance," the statement said. It deplored the violence in Iran following last month's disputed presidential election and said the arrests of journalists and foreigners were "unacceptable." Underscoring G8 concerns over nuclear proliferation, world powers' leaders urged a quick start to talks on a treaty banning production of nuclear bomb-making materials and called on all states to observe a moratorium on nuclear explosions. They confirmed Washington would host a nuclear security summit in March, White House officials said. "This is another important piece of the non-proliferation agenda that (President Barack Obama) has put forward," White House adviser Mark Lippert said. Obama has laid out a vision of a world without nuclear arms and this week agreed with Russia to cut respective stockpiles. Wednesday's G8 statement condemned missile tests in North Korea, saying they were a danger to peace and stability: "We urge North Korea to refrain from further violations of relevant Security Council resolutions and to engage in dialogue and cooperation," the statement said. Turning to the Middle East, the G8 reiterated calls for a swift resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the creation of two separate states.
Thousands Protest, Defy Crackdown in Iran
(Security forces wield batons as crowds chant ‘death to the dictator’)
July 10….(Fox News) Iranian police fired shots in the air and tear gas into crowds as hundreds of people gathered near Tehran University Thursday, in the latest clash between pro-reform demonstrators and Iranian authorities. "Police used tear gas twice to disperse the crowd. There was also many Basij militia on motorbikes patrolling the area," a witness told Reuters. Witnesses also said they saw police detaining several protesters. Hundreds of young men and women chanted "death to the dictator" and fled baton-wielding police in the capital as opposition activists sought to revive street protests despite authorities' vows to "smash" any new marches. For days, supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi have been calling for new protests in Tehran and other cities on Thursday, their first significant attempt to get back on the streets since security forces crushed massive demonstrations nearly two weeks ago in Iran's postelection turmoil. Thursday afternoon, a stepped-up number of uniformed policemen along with plainclothes Basiji militiamen stood at intersections all along Revolution Street and at nearby near Tehran University, some of the sites where protests were called. Still, a group of around 300 young people gathered in front of Tehran University and began to chant, "Death to the dictator," witnesses said. Many of them wore green surgical masks, the color of Mousavi's movement. Police charged at them, swinging batons, but the protesters fled, then regrouped at another corner and resumed chanting, the witnesses said. Police chased them repeatedly as the protesters continued to regroup, the witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared government retribution. It was the first such protests in 11 days, since the crackdown, though it did not compare to the hundreds of thousands who joined the marches that erupted after the June 12 presidential election, protesting what the opposition said were fraudulent results. The calls for a new march have been circulating for days on social networking Web sites and pro-opposition Web sites. Opposition supporters planned the marches to coincide with the anniversary Thursday of a 1999 attack by Basij on a Tehran University dorm to stop protests in which one student was killed. Mousavi and his pro-reform supporters say he won the election, which official results showed as a landslide victory for incumbent hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared the results valid after a partial recount and warned that unrest would not be tolerated.
Pope Calls for a "Global Authority" on Economy
July 8….(AP) Pope Benedict called on Tuesday for a "world political authority" to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat. The pope made his call for a re-think of the way the world economy was run in a new encyclical which touched on a number of social issues but whose main connecting thread was how the current crisis has affected both rich and poor nations. Parts of the encyclical, titled "Charity in Truth," seemed bound to upset free marketers because of its underlying rejection of unbridled capitalism and unregulated market forces, which he said had led to "thoroughly destructive" abuse of the system and "grave deviations and failures." An encyclical is the highest form of papal writing and gives the clearest indication to the world's 1.1 billion Catholics, and to non-Catholics, of what the pope and the Vatican think about specific social and moral issues. The pope said every economic decision had a moral consequence and called for "forms of redistribution" of wealth overseen by governments to help those most affected by crises. Benedict said "there is an urgent need of a true world political authority" whose task would be "to manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result." Such an authority would have to be "regulated by law" and "would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights." "Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums," he said. The United Nations, economic institutions and international finance all had to be reformed "even in the midst of a global recession," he said in the encyclical, a booklet of 141 pages. The pope's call for a supranational body to tackle global economic woes disturbed some Catholic capitalists. "There is a difference between coordination and mandate ... a reckless loan in the United States can and did impoverish people in Latvia. So obviously coordination is important as long as it is not mandates," said Frank Keating, CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers and former Governor of Oklahoma. The encyclical was addressed to all Catholics and "all people of good will" and was released on the eve of the start of the G8 summit in Italy and three days before the pope is due to discuss the global downturn with US President Barack Obama.
Nuclear Reduction: What's at Stake
July 8….(JWR) As he proposes further, dramatic cuts in and otherwise weakens the United States' nuclear arsenal, it's your deterrent that is being compromised. That's right. You and those you love are the ultimate beneficiaries of a nuclear deterrent that helps keep us safe in a dangerous world. The arsenal we have fielded for the past 64 years has not only prevented nuclear attacks against this country and our allies. It has kept you, or someone you love, from having to fight and possibly die in the kind of global cataclysm using nonnuclear (or "conventional") weapons that engulfed our countrymen and untold millions of others twice in the last century, before the dawn of the nuclear age. Despite this centrality of nuclear deterrence to our individual security and the common defense, few of us feel any sense of ownership of the systems and required capabilities that make our deterrent credible, safe and effective. Indeed, for far too long, scarcely any Americans have addressed the contribution nuclear weapons make to their well -being, except perhaps to indulge in thoughtless, albeit, politically correct, nostrums about the desirability of abolishing such arms. We can no longer engage in such irresponsible behavior. For now, we have a president who is committed to pursuing that goal. In fact, as the New York Times fawningly reported on Page One on Sunday, for Obama the ambition to achieve a "nuclear free world" has been an idee fixe ever since he was a young radical at Columbia University. In the next few days, he is determined to advance that goal by reducing your strategic nuclear forces by fully one-third in an unverifiable treaty with Russians who have a record of cheating on such accords. To help each of us understand the implications of the Obama denuclearization agenda, an owner's manual for your nuclear arsenal has just been published by the New Deterrent Working Group, a team of renowned experts sponsored by the Center for Security Policy. Between them, they have hundreds of years of experience with nuclear weapons programs, policies and arms control. Titled "US Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century: Getting it Right," this book, which will be distributed to members of Congress during the Moscow summit, is an invaluable resource for every American who wants to ensure, if not his own safety at least that of his children and grandchildren. It draws upon a variety of official assessments, congressional testimony and the analyses of successive blue-;ribbon commissions to examine critically the underpinnings and predictable consequences of Team Obama's ominous plans for your deterrent. Even a casual examination of the list of do's and don't's enumerated in "Getting it Right" underscores one central reality: We are much farther down the road toward unilateral denuclearization than you probably can imagine, or should think desirable. For example, since 1992, we have chosen not to conduct any underground detonations, the only sort of test of our nuclear weapons certain to confirm that they work, and that any defects detected are successfully corrected. Now, Obama wants us to make this arrangement permanent by ratifying the unverifiable Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Never mind that a majority of the Senate rejected this accord a decade ago on the grounds it is not consistent with maintaining an effective deterrent on behalf of the American people. Disregard, too, that the Russians routinely conduct underground "hydrodynamic" tests Obama considers impermissible under the CTBT, and therefore eschews. Moreover, we alone among the world's nuclear powers have not modernized your arsenal in nearly two decades. The Russians, by contrast, are estimated to be on track to upgrading 80 percent of their strategic forces. Yet, Obama wants to foreclose even the replacement of your obsolescing weapons with one that promises to provide a safe and reliable deterrent in the absence of nuclear testing. Not least, "Getting it Right" warns that, in the sustained absence of testing and modernization, the industrial complex (both the technical experts and the physical plant) required to maintain your deterrent is atrophying at an alarming rate. Now only a handful of physicists are still working for the government who have had firsthand experience with the design and realistic testing of nuclear weapons, and they soon will retire from government service. Even if advanced computers and other sophisticated gizmos could offset the knowledge and infrastructure your deterrent must have, and they cannot, there is no reason to believe they will be acquired by a president who is determined to lead by example to a nuclear free world. That determination was on full display as the New York Times reported Sunday that Mr. Obama "insisted" in an interview on the eve of his trip to Moscow that "reducing arsenals, would be the first step toward giving the United States and a growing body of allies the power to remake the nuclear world." Let's be honest: The only remaking of the nuclear world this president can assuredly accomplish is by destroying America’s deterrent capabilities.
Obama, Medvedev Agree to Pursue Nuclear Reduction
July 7….(Yahoo) President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a preliminary agreement Monday to reduce the world's two largest nuclear stockpiles by as much as a third, down to the lowest levels of any US-Russia accord, and counter what Obama called "a sense of drift" in the countries' relations. "We must lead by example, and that's what we are doing here today," Obama declared in a Kremlin hall glittering in gold. "We resolve to reset US-Russian relations so that we can cooperate more effectively in areas of common interest." The document signed by the two leaders at a Moscow summit, Obama's first in Russia, is meant as a guide for negotiators as the nations work toward a replacement pact for the START arms control agreement that expires in December. The joint understanding also commits the countries to lower longer-range missiles for delivering nuclear bombs to between 500 and 1,100. The limit for warheads would be in a range of 1,500 to 1,675 each. However, there are disagreements on what to count. Medvedev called Monday's agreement a "reasonable compromise." A White House statement said the new treaty "will include effective verification measures" and Obama said it would be completed by the end of the year. He also held out hope to "move even beyond that in subsequent agreements and treaties" and said he wanted to host a summit on global nuclear security next year in the United States. More broadly, Obama needs Russia's help in pressuring Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions, and also in tackling terrorism, global warming and worldwide economic woes. But ties are frayed over Moscow's war in Georgia last year and the US plan for a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe, so Obama's desire to move forward is a huge test of his diplomatic skills. "The president and I agreed that the relationship between Russia and the United States has suffered from a sense of drift," he said at Medvedev's side. "President Medvedev and I are committed to leaving behind the suspicion and rivalry of the past." His host expressed similar good will. "This is the first but very important step in improving full-scale cooperation between our two countries, which would go to the benefit of both states," the Russian leader said. Injecting a note of caution, he said that discussions so far "cannot remove the burden of all the problems." The two leaders appeared together at a news conference where they and other officials from both countries signed and exchanged documents with great flourish and much handshaking. Among the side deals meant to sweeten Obama's two days of talks here and show progress toward improving badly damaged US-Russian relations was permission from Moscow for the United States to transport arms across its land and airspace into Afghanistan for the war there. Obama said the deal will save the US "both time and money," to the tune of $133 million a year, by waiving transit fees and shortening flying time. They outlined other areas in which they said their countries would work together to help stabilize Afghanistan, including increasing assistance to the Afghan army and police, and training counternarcotics personnel. Among other agreements was the resumption of military cooperation, suspended after Russia invaded neighboring Georgia last August and sent relations into a nosedive. They also promised fresh cooperation on public health issues and revived a joint commission to try to account for missing service members of both countries dating back to World War II. The commission was first created by the first President Bush and President Boris Yeltsin in the early 1990s, but the Russians later downgraded their participation. The US hope is that the Russians will now open some of their more sensitive archives to US researchers seeking details about missing American servicemen. Yet, the two sides remain stalemated over the U.S. pursuit of a missile-defense system in Europe, pushed aggressively by Bush and still under review by Obama's 7-month-old administration. Both sides hardened their positions ahead of the summit, and Obama gave a lengthy rationale for the system at Medvedev's side. Obama suggested the United States has a right to pursue defensive systems separate from the offensive weapons that are the subject of most arms control negotiations. Obama repeated the US position that the planned system is aimed at intercepting missiles from Iran and has nothing to do with countering" a mighty Russian arsenal," as many in Russia suspect. Medvedev called it "a difficult area for our discussion," but suggested that the new openness between the two countries could help. Obama said he trusts the Russian leader to follow through on the agreements they struck. And he refused to be drawn into a debate over who really holds the reins of power in Russia, widely believed to be Medvedev's predecessor and mentor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. "My understanding is, President Medvedev is the president and Prime Minister Putin is the prime minister," Obama simply said. Obama, who meets with Putin on Tuesday, caused a stir in Russia before his trip by telling The Associated Press that Putin has to learn that "the old Cold War approaches to US-Russian relations is outdated." The summit starts a weeklong trip for Obama that also features G-8 meetings and a visit with the pope in Italy, and a speech in Ghana. After Obama landed in Moscow under drizzly gray skies, he introduced his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters to Russian officials waiting to greet them. The entourage then headed to a wreath-laying ceremony at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Having enjoyed adoring crowds in other parts of Europe, Obama will face a far more skeptical Russian population. He will outline his vision for US-Russian relations at a speech Tuesday at the New Economic School. Just 15 percent of Russians say the US is playing a positive role in the world; most said the United States abuses it power and makes Russia do what the US wants. "I would like to see America meddle less in other countries," said Valentina Titova, a 60-year-old retired economist strolling not far from the Kremlin. Between them, the two countries possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, led each country to cut its nuclear warheads to about 6,000. The 2002 Treaty of Moscow called for further cuts to between 1,700 and 2,200 operationally deployed warheads by 2012. But Moscow and Washington have long argued over what weapons should be subject to cuts. Russia wants to limit missiles, bombers and submarines along with nuclear warheads, just as the original START treaty did. The 2002 agreement applied only to warheads. Also, the United States has been prepared to count only the warheads ready for launch, while Russia wants to count those in storage as well.
Saudi denies would let Israeli jets pass for Iran attack
(Riyadh rejects media reports it has agreed to allow IAF aircraft to use kingdom's airspace en route to attack on Iran's nuclear facilities)
July 7….(YNET) Saudi Arabia denied on Monday a report that it has agreed to allow Israeli planes to fly through the kingdom's airspace to attack Iran's nuclear sites. "Of course this is not true. We don't have any kind of relationship with the Israelis," Osama Nugali, spokesman for the Saudi foreign ministry, told AFP. Britain's Sunday Times reported that the head of the Mossad had held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility of Israeli jets flying over Saudi Arabia for such an attack. "The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia," the newspaper quoted a diplomatic source as saying. Nugali rejected the claim of any talks having taken place, stressing that the two countries have no diplomatic, commercial or other relations. He said occasional reports of a secret relationship are aimed at fraying Arab unity. "Our policy is very transparent and our position is very firm regarding any kind of relation with Israel," Nugali said. "Fortunately, these continuous allegations are not taken seriously." On Sunday, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also denied the report, calling it "fundamentally wrong and baseless."
Obama, Medvedev Spar Over US Missile Shield, Iran's Nuclear Drive, Middle East
July 7….(DEBKAfile Special Analysis) US president Barack Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev were of one mind in one key sphere, the need to continue the war on al Qaeda and the Taliban. This concurrence produced on Day One of Obama's first official visit to Moscow an accord allowing the United States to fly troops and weapons to Afghanistan through Russian skies. This opened an important supply corridor for US forces in Afghanistan, the first of its kind since World War II. Most other key issues were either left in dispute or as unfinished business for joint teams to fill in the gaps, such as the preliminary memorandum under which the US and Russia aim to cut their nuclear warhead arsenals by 1,500-1,675 items each over seven years. DEBKAfile's Moscow sources do not expect a breakthrough on any of the outstanding issues at the breakfast meeting Tuesday, July 7, between Obama and prime minister Vladimir Putin. The four issues on which the Washington and Moscow remain divided are:
1. The US missile interceptors and radar station for Poland and the Czech Republic. This remains a Russian sine qua non for cooperation in other fields. In answer to a question at his joint news conference Monday, July 6, with Medvedev, Obama said that "defensive as well as offensive systems were a priority for the United States," but offered to review alternatives and expected to reach an understanding with Moscow after "extensive negotiations."
2. As part of the Kremlin's opposition to NATO's expansion, Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are still obstacles to the relations "reset," which the US president promised to bring about in his two day summits in Moscow. The Russians view the declarations of independence by breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as an accomplished fact; since the Georgia war last summer, have been busy building big military bases in both disputed provinces. The United States views them as integral parts of sovereign Georgia. This gap was not bridged in Obama's meeting with Medvedev.
3. While Moscow is more concerned by Iran's nuclear plans than it was before, it still maintains that there is no proof that Iran is working on a military program and deserves to be deterred by stiffer sanctions.
While Russian president did not mention Tehran, the US president voiced deep concern about Iran developing nuclear weapons "because this will trigger a nuclear race in the most volatile part of the world, the Middle East." He added: "It is also possible that nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of non-state actors, extremists, posing a danger to both Russia and the US." According to our Moscow sources, before the US president arrived, the Kremlin had began to suspect that vice president Joseph Biden's assertion Sunday, July 5, that the US would not stand in Israel's way if it decided to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, was a device to extract Moscow's cooperation on harsh sanctions, otherwise Israel might well attack. Such a scenario would jeopardize the Russian-built atomic reactor in southern Iran, the pride of Russia's nuclear industry. But in the conversation between the two presidents, there was no sign that Russian side felt threatened on the Iran issue.
4. In Middle East peacemaking, Moscow wants parity with Washington, which the Obama administration is not willing to concede. All in all, there is still a long way to go and several arduous negotiating track to pursue before the United States and Russia can be said to be on the road to true détente. The Kremlin is unlikely to show much flexibility until Obama gives way on the missile shield in East Europe.
India Joins Russia, China in Questioning US Dollar Dominance
July 6….(Bloomberg) An economic adviser to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said he is urging the government to diversify its $264.6 billion foreign-exchange reserves and hold fewer dollars. “The major part of Indian reserves is in dollars, that is something that’s a problem for us,” Tendulkar, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said in an interview yesterday in Aix-en-Provence, France, where he was attending an economic conference. Singh is preparing to join leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations, the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia, at a summit in Italy next week which is due to tackle the global economy. China and Brazil will also send representatives to the summit. As the talks have neared, China and Russia have stepped up calls for a rethink of how global currency reserves are composed and managed, underlining a power shift to emerging markets from the developed nations that spawned the financial crisis. “There should be a system to maintain the stability of the major reserve currencies,” Former Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said in a speech in Beijing yesterday, highlighting China’s concerns about a global financial system dominated by the dollar. Fiscal and current-account deficits must be supervised as “your currency is likely to become my problem,” said Zeng, who is now the head of a research center under the government’s top economic planning agency. The People’s Bank of China said June 26 that the International Monetary Fund should manage more of members’ reserves.
Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has repeatedly called for creating a mix of regional reserve currencies as part of the drive to address the global financial crisis, while questioning the dollar’s future as a global reserve currency. Russia’s proposals for the Group of 20 major developed and developing nations summit in London in April included the creation of a supranational currency. “We will resume” talks on the supranational currency proposal at the G-8 summit in L’Aquila on July 8-10, Medvedev aide Sergio Prikhodko told reporters in Moscow yesterday. Singh adviser Tendulkar said that big dollar holders face a “prisoner’s dilemma” in terms of managing their holdings. “That’s why I’m telling them to do this,” he said. He also said that world currencies need to adjust to help unwind trade imbalances that have contributed to the global financial crisis. “The major imbalances which led to the current situation, the current account surpluses and deficits, have to be addressed,” he said. “Currency adjustment is one thing that suggests itself.” For all the complaints about the dollar, emerging markets such as India remain dependent on the currency of the US, the world’s largest economy and a $2.5 trillion export market. The IMF said June 30 that the share of dollars in global foreign- exchange reserves increased to 65 percent in the first three months of this year, the highest since 2007. Tendulkar said that the matter needs to be taken up in international talks, and that it emphasizes the need for those talks to go beyond the traditional G-8. “They can meet if they want to,” he said. “The G-20 has a wider role, has representation of the countries that are likely to lead the recovery process.”
Saudis to Support Israeli Strike on Iran
July 6….(Israel Today) Israel may no longer need a green light from Washington to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. According to a report in London's Sunday Times, Saudi Arabia has agreed to let Israeli aircraft circumvent US-controlled airspace in Iraq by flying over the oil-rich kingdom. The report claimed that the head of the Israeli Mossad, Meir Dagan, met with top Saudi officials last week and secured tacit approval for an Israeli over-flight. The source that leaked the information said the Saudis recognized that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms was for them, too, a top national security interest. An Israeli government official interviewed by Army Radio later in the day complained that if such an agreement did exist, clearly whoever leaked it to the media did not want Israel to be able to use Saudi airspace, since the publication of the deal would cause the Saudis to publicly deny any cooperation with the Jewish state. In related news, a diplomatic source in New York told Ha'aretz at the weekend that the Obama Administration is working hard behind the scenes to prevent the enactment of additional economic sanctions against Iran at the G8 summit next week. The official said Washington believes harsher sanctions will only backfire, and prefers to continue easing pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Saudis Give Nod to Israeli Raid on Iran
July 6….(Times On Line) The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites. Earlier this year Meir Dagan, Mossad’s director since 2002, held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility. The Israeli press has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The reports were denied by Saudi officials. “The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week. Although the countries have no formal diplomatic relations, an Israeli defence source confirmed that Mossad maintained “working relations” with the Saudis. John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who recently visited the Gulf, said it was “entirely logical” for the Israelis to use Saudi airspace. Bolton, who has talked to several Arab leaders, added: “None of them would say anything about it publicly but they would certainly acquiesce in an overflight if the Israelis didn’t trumpet it as a big success.” Arab states would condemn a raid when they spoke at the UN but would be privately relieved to see the threat of an Iranian bomb removed, he said. Referring to the Israeli attack on an alleged Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, Bolton added: “To this day, the Israelis haven’t admitted the specifics but there’s one less nuclear facility in Syria.” Recent developments have underscored concerns among moderate Sunni Arab states about the stability of the repressive Shi’ite regime in Tehran and have increased fears that it may emerge as a belligerent nuclear power. “The Saudis are very concerned about an Iranian nuclear bomb, even more than the Israelis,” said a former head of research in Israeli intelligence. The Israeli air force has been training for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear site at Natanz in the centre of the country and other locations for four years.
How Come the World has No Problem With Palestinian Apartheid?
July 6….(In The Days) Aharon Barak, Israeli Supreme Court president, in a speech on June 25 before a meeting of the New Israel Fund touched an exposed nerve regarding the identity and existence of Israel as a Jewish state and a democracy. He burned his candle at both ends when he unequivocally expressed his support for a democratic Jewish state on the one hand and complete fealty to the idea of a country for all its citizens on the other. His notions were amazing. If Israel is supposed to be a country for all its citizens, why discriminate against non-Jews and give Jews priority in immigration? If he were really faithful to the principle of equality, why did he find it necessary to insist that Israel was a Jewish state and not one determined democratically by “all its citizens?” In a situation of equality, why should the Law of Return not apply to Israel’s Arab population, since “the rights (of the Jews) must be equal those of the Arabs?” The State of Israel is undergoing a serious identity crisis. The schism between Jews and Arabs grows worse and the Arabs regard themselves as Palestinians rather than Israelis. It also grows worse between those who are faithful to the Zionist idea of a democratic Jewish state and the post-Zionists who want to eradicate the Jewish nature of the state and establish one for all the citizens living within the borders of the State of Israel as it is today, or within the land of Israel-Palestine. Both solutions are problematic. A democratic Jewish state can provide equality for all its citizens as long as it does not endanger its Jewish nature, and in effect it negates the right of groups which are not Jewish (or Jews who do not agree with its mindset) to change the face of the state in a democratic majority process. On the other hand, the implication of a state for all its citizens includes within it destroying the unique Jewishness of the state, which was founded as a sanctuary for the Jewish people returning to its historical homeland, as well as including the demand to deny the right of the Jewish people and the Jews living in Israel to their own land. There is an inherent imbalance in the proposed political arrangement. The Palestinians have won international recognition for their demand to establish a Palestinian state from which all Jews will be expelled. The basic law of the Palestinian Authority, which is the state in the making, expressly states that “Islam is the official religion of Palestine” and that “the principles of Islamic law (Sharia) are the primary source of lawmaking.” Palestinians demand ‘just agreement’ The international community has permitted the Palestinians what it tries to keep from Israel, that is, the Palestinians are within their rights to establish a country based on the religion of the majority of its citizens, and a Christian minority, even if it should become the majority, will not be entitled to change the nature of the state but at most to be allowed freedom of worship. Human rights champions in shining armor endlessly preach morality to Israel and demand a country for all its citizens while accepting the morality of establishing an apartheid, racist, Palestinian state which openly and proudly states its intention of being Judenrein. The foundations of the peace process of the Oslo Accords of 1993 (rapprochement between the sides through interim agreements) crumbled during the al-Aqsa intifada and the united Palestinian front, from Fatah to Hamas, which unequivocally rejects a compromise with Israel and demands a “just arrangement,” based on demands for the right to return of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendents to what is currently the State of Israel. Those ideas were mentioned again and again in speeches given by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. No one contests the right of the Palestinians to a national state even if it is based on racism and it is liable to be an extremist theocracy like Iran, a foretaste of which can be seen in the Gaza Strip since the Hamas takeover. Even the government of Israel headed by Benjamin Netanyahu recognizes that right and demands that the Palestinian state be demilitarized, among other things. The Palestinian problem, it is assumed, will be solved when the Palestinian state comes into being. The arrangement, lacking in political symmetry based on a genuine compromise, will leave the gates of conflict wide open and the demand for the “return” of millions of Palestinians, which would mean the expulsion of Jews to make room for the refugees, would raise again the wish for self determination of the Jews of Israel. International politics will no longer have to deal with the “Palestinian problem,” but rather, with the “Jewish problem” in Palestine
Show Trials, Possible Executions In Iran over Mousavi
July 6….(DEBKAfilele Exclusive report) Has the supreme leader turned against opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi?"Has the supreme leader turned against opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi? President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, driven by a thirst for revenge, is preparing a wave of show trials, public confessions and executions to crush the opposition which dared to refute the legitimacy of his election. The West, especially the Obama administration, hoping the bloody crackdown was over, can forget about re-engaging Tehran in talks on the nuclear controversy any time soon, when Mir Hossein Mousavi and the reformist ex-president Mohammed Khatami are denounced for "acting as America's fifth column." Hossein Shariatmadari, writing in the conservative Kayhan daily Saturday, July 4, said Mousavi must be put on trial as a "US agent" who committed "horrible crimes and treason." The writer is a close adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and must be presumed to represent his boss's views. Ahmadinejad is pointing the finger at "US and British instigators" in order to conceal the widespread popular disaffection which brought masses out to the streets to protest against the regime, and to trump up a pretext for sentencing accused ringleaders to death. His pressure on the supreme leader to support harsh punishment seems to be working. The announcement Friday, July 3, that some Iranian British embassy employees would be tried for acting against national security is part of this campaign. One was said to have confessed. Nine were originally detained and two remain in custody. The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly disclosed that last week, intelligence minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejee bluntly warned Mousavi that he and members of his family went in danger of their lives if they carried their opposition to the regime any further. He reminded him of the fate on Neda Agha-Soltan, the Iranian co-ed who was gunned down by the Basij militia. Mousavi is therefore under enormous pressure to back down and send his supporters home. So far he has refused to do so, but claims he does not know who organized the latest demonstrations. His home is under siege by security forces who say it is for his own protection. One of Mousavi's deepest fears is that Ahmadinejad will have him put on trial and executed on the charge of causing mass deaths, thereby making the opposition rather than the regime responsible for the bloodshed of recent weeks.The chief of Iran's security forces, Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, announced last Wednesday that 1,032 arrests had been made during the post-election street protests. Our Iranin sources put the number much higher, between 5,000 and 6,000. The first "confessions" have been broadcast by detainees who had obviously been tortured.
'Iran Nuke Could Wipe Israel off Map in Seconds'
Aretz) Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, on Friday
warned that an Iranian atomic bomb could "wipe Israel off the map in a matter of
seconds," and that the Iranians could "accomplish in a matter of seconds what
they denied Hitler did, and kill 6 million Jews, literally." Oren made his
comments in a conversation with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Ideas
Festival in Colorado. The newly appointed ambassador warned, "There are clocks
ticking all around," with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue. "One of those
clocks is the uranium enrichment clock, which will show that by a certain date
the Iranians will have sufficient, highly enriched uranium materials to create a
bomb that could literally wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds." Oren
said the world must remain vigilant about what happens in Iran during the
country's tumultuous post-election period. "It's very important that we watch
carefully what happens in Iran - the events in Iran have unmasked to the world
the true nature of this regime," said Oren. "This is a regime that's willing to
kill its own citizens; it will certainly have no compunctions killing other
people in the region, Jews and Sunni Arabs alike." Oren added that he would not
"second-guess" the Obama administration's next move in dealing with Tehran's
nuclear aspirations, and added that he was certain Obama had "the best interests
of the US and the interest of Israel at heart." Israel, he said, was concerned
mainly about the "timing and timeline" of dealing with Iran. Oren also addressed
the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have stoked tensions in
recent weeks between Israel and its close ally.
Obama Turns to Pope to Back Mideast Plan
July 6….(IsraelNN.com) US President Barack Obama is turning to the Pope to back his vision of a new Arab state on all of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The president told the Catholic Italian newspaper Avvenire, one week before a scheduled meeting with the Pope in Italy, “It [the Middle East] is a subject I am keen to discuss with the Pope. I think he will share my approach." President Obama has dug in his heels in insisting that Israel stop all building for Jews in Judea and Samaria, and the State Department has indicated that the ban should include all of Jerusalem that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. However, the president maintained that the United States should not impose on Israel and the Palestinian Authority a solution to the differences between them. "What the United States can do, without imposing a solution, is to hold a mirror up to both of the parties to show them the consequences of their actions," he told the newspaper. "On one hand, it is not just Israel's fault," President Obama added, pointing out that the Arab world needs to understand that “the Jewish state has security needs like any country.” His use of the term “Jewish State” and not “Israel" may have been a hint that the PA must accept Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand for the same recognition. Meanwhile, leaders of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria have demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu meet with them immediately over the issue of construction for Judea and Samaria, where they said “not even one construction plan has been approved in Judea and Samaria in several months.” Council chairman Danny Dayan pointed out in a letter to the Prime Minister, “The government under your leadership embarked on its term in office with the declared intention of returning Jewish settlement to a path of development." Dayan wants the meeting before Defense Minister Ehud Barak flies to London to talk with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Monday for the second time in a week. The Obama administration is asking Arab governments if they would agree to ease sanctions against Israel in return for a freeze on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria, according to Reuters. The Arab world so far has expressed no interest in taking up President Obama on his proposal in his speech in Cairo last June, when he urged Arab countries to allow Israel’s El Al Airlines to fly over their skies. Another idea to tempt Israel into freezing all building is to convince Arab governments to abandon their policy of blocking Israeli-registered cellular phones on Arab networks. However, President Obama faces stiff opposition from Arabs to make any concessions before Israel completely surrenders all of Judea and Samaria. "The Arabs are saying they don't want to pay for something twice," according to an unnamed diplomat quoted by Reuters. "It would be hard for them to give up something when building work was still continuing on existing settlement projects.”