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Israel retaliates after rocket launches from Gaza

Sept. 30….(CNN) Israeli warplanes took to the air overnight Thursday, striking back after rockets were fired into territory from Gaza, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. Hamas security sources said that two Palestinian rockets were fired into Israel on Thursday night. The Israel Defense Forces said in a news release that one such rocket caused damage to an abandoned building. In response, an Israeli military aircraft targeted what the IDF described as a "terror activity site" in the central Gaza Strip overnight. "A direct hit was confirmed," the statement added. Around 1 a.m. Friday, an Israeli missile hit a Hamas military base located east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp, said Hamas security sources. They added that Israeli warplanes remained in the skies at least 40 minutes later. There were no related injuries, local medical sources said.



Obama’s Jew-free Policy

Sept. 30….(ynetnews)  By seeking to force Israel to cease building houses in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, Barack Obama is legitimizing the Islamist zeal for the eviction of 300,000 Jews who live in parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967. Obama’s administration just blasted Israel for the new homes to be built in Gilo, a Jerusalem neighborhood where 40,000 Israelis live. For 19 horrible years, Jordanians and Palestinians controlled the neighborhoods now under Obama’s attack. Jews were summarily expelled. Property was seized. The historic synagogues of the walled enclave were gutted, trashed, some turned into makeshift barns. Obama’s de-legitimization of Jerusalem’s post-1967 neighborhoods is nothing less than a renewed “Judenrein” (empty of Jews) policy. To decide, as a matter of policy, not to endorse the building of Jewish homes within existing Israeli areas is the abrogation of the right of Jews to live wherever they wish in Israel. If Israel cannot build in Gilo without US approval, then it cannot build in Neveh Yaakov, Ramot Eshkol, French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and East Talpiot. Gilo is also a special symbol of the Israeli resistance during the Second Intifada, when Arab snipers fired at Jews from the village of Beit Jala. Gilo was turned into another Ireland. The Jewish residents began to evacuate. Fear, rage and worry dominated their minds. Belatedly, the Israeli government provided cement barriers and bullet-proof glass to protect the neighborhood’s residents. Today, Gilo is a strategic neighborhood for the security of the entire State of Israel: Not building there means accepting a Palestinian belt around the capital of Israel, which could be in a state of siege. Gilo was the laboratory where Palestinian terrorists sought to discover whether they could force Jews into abandoning their homes. They failed. Now the US president is reviving this goal by “peaceful” means.


Return to Jewish ghettos?

Obama has also blasted Israel for new homes in Har Homa, another Jewish neighborhood on Jerusalem’s southern flanks, where in 1940 a group of Jews purchased 130 dunams of land. In 1948, the hill was rendered “Judenrein” by the Jordanians (Jews are still not permitted to live in Jordan). Har Homa is a strategic impediment to Arab attempts to link up northern Bethlehem with Jerusalem. Har Homa is about a kilometer from the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Bethlehem and the Old City of Jerusalem lies just 5.5 kilometers beyond. No wonder Palestinians are launching an attack on the new apartments. Yet more surprising is Obama’s attack on any inch of land in Jewish neighborhoods built after 1967. In stark contrast to cities like Belfast, Beirut and Sarajevo, Jerusalem under Israeli control is a model of freedom and guaranteed rights for all. Moreover, these neighborhoods, which house about one-third of Jerusalem’s population, also serve to protect the city. The neighborhood of Ramot serves as a buffer to the north; Mount Scopus, French Hill, Ramat Eshkol, and Sanhedria protect Jerusalem’s east. In the 16th century, many Polish towns obtained the so called “privilegia de non tolerandis Judaeis”, cities in which the Jews were forbidden to live. Europe had the Jewish ghettos during the Middle Ages and the “zoning restrictions” for Jews in the Czarist Russia. Now, it’s Obama’s turn



Rosh Hashana Greetings

(Good wishes for all our readers and friends for a good and sweet Jewish New Year!)

Sept. 29…. As Israel marks the holiday of Rosh Hashana, also known as the Jewish New Year on the biblical or Hebrew calendar, Jews worldwide take stock of their lives and prepare for entering the coming year with a clean slate before God.



US Condemns Israeli Settlement Construction Beyond Green Line

(EU, Palestinians also denounce Israel's plan for 1,100 new homes in Jerusalem's contested Gilo neighborhood)

Sept. 28….(Ha Aretz) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Israel's decision to build 1,100 homes in Jerusalem's contested Gilo neighborhood, which lies beyond the Green Line, is counter-productive to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians. "We believe that this morning's announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of (1,100) housing units in East Jerusalem is counter-productive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties," Clinton told reporters at a news conference. "As you know, we have long urged both sides to avoid any kind of action which could undermine trust, including, and perhaps most particularly, in Jerusalem, any action that could be viewed as provocative by either side," she added.

    The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also expressed disappointment with Israel's new plan to build homes in Gilo, saying they "should be reversed" since it undermines peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Ashton told the EU parliament that she heard "with deep regret" that Israeli plans to build homes beyond the Green Line were continuing. Speaking in Strasbourg, France, Ashton said the expansion of settlements "threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution" between the two sides, as backed by the EU, the United States, Russia and the United Nations. The Palestinians also condemned Israel's construction plans in Gilo. "The Israeli Prime Minister claims to have no preconditions, but with this decision is putting concrete preconditions on the ground," the Palestinian Prime Minister's Office said in a statement. "Netanyahu says there should be no unilateral steps, but there could be nothing more unilateral than a huge new round of settlement building on Palestinian land. The Israeli Prime Minister told the UN that he had come to tell the truth, but it is this decision which tells the truth.” In New York on Monday, a divided UN Security Council met behind closed doors for its first discussion of last week's Palestinian application for full UN membership as a state. The move seems certain to fail due to Israeli and US opposition, despite substantial support by other governments. A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it was up to the Security Council to put a stop to Israel's settlement policy "which is destroying the two-state solution and putting more obstacles in front of any effort to bring about a resumption of negotiations".



Israeli’s: Palestinians Don’t Want Peace

Sept. 28….(Israel Today) For Israelis, the unilateral motion by the Palestinian Authority to gain admittance to the UN as a sovereign nation epitomized the Palestinian approach to the peace process over the entirety of the past 15 years. In short, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it in numerous interviews while visiting the US this week, "the Palestinians want a state, but don't want to give us peace." On top of seeking to achieve their political goals in the absence of an agreement with Israel, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the UN was, in most Israelis' eyes, an act of incitement.

    Abbas' speech, during which he all but labeled Israel as illegitimate, "distorted the historical record and showed open hatred and hostility for the Jewish state," Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin told Japanese Ambassador Haruhisa Takeuchi on Monday. Prior to his speech, Abbas' delegation handed out maps of "Palestine" to UN members. The maps erased Israel completely and replaced the entire Jewish state with a Palestinian one.

Rivlin concluded that Abbas' actions "leave little hope for peace." Nevertheless, Netanyahu and Western leaders continue to urge Abbas to return to the negotiating table.

    At the weekend, the Middle East Quartet - the US, EU, Russia and the UN, submitted a proposal for the immediate resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The proposal calls on both sides to set aside their differences and return to the negotiating table without preconditions. The Quartet plan envisions a rapid series of meetings, including a summit in Moscow, concluding with a final status peace deal to be signed no later than December 2012. Israeli officials responded favorably to the proposal, while the Palestinians rejected it outright. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki called the Quartet proposal "incomplete" because it failed to incorporate the Palestinians' preconditions - that Israel immediately halt all Jewish building in Judea and Samaria and agree to the pre-1967 armistice lines as the future border even before negotiations have begun. The Palestinian side's intransigence was clear for all to see.

    US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Army Radio on Tuesday that the Palestinian insistence on preconditions is not consistent with the terms of the peace process or American policy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said she spoke to Abbas by telephone "insisting" that he reopen peace talks with Israel based on the Quartet's proposal. Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres on Monday urged Abbas to "not waste time."

    Netanyahu expressed in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press his concern that Abbas and the Palestinians are trying to "detour negotiations" in such a way as to make a genuine peace impossible to achieve. "They're trying to get a state to continue the conflict with Israel rather than to end it," stated Netanyahu. The UN Security Council is expected to vote on the Palestinian motion for statehood in the coming weeks, but there are rumors it may purposefully delay the issue. If it does come to a vote, the US has vowed to veto the motion.



Netanyahu:‘If Palestinians Want to Live in Peace, It Can be Achieved'

Sept. 28….(Jerusalem Post) To be sure, nothing is moving ahead with the Palestinians, but that, Netanyahu says, and sincerely believes, is a result of their decision, not his own. And as the Palestinians dally, and even as the Middle East undergoes transformative turmoil, Israel continues to build, grow, develop and fortify itself, not at all a bad place to be, he says, as 5771 turns into 5772. We should go into direct negotiations, that was always the idea. To have the parties negotiate directly with each other without preconditions. Israel has always wanted that, and I have announced that as our intention from day one. The Palestinians have avoided it. They have avoided it because they don’t want to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people, to give up the ghost on the refugees, and to give us the security conditions necessary to the defense of Israel. These are the things I will insist on when the negotiations are resumed, and they are the right things to insist on if we are to have a realistic and enduring peace rather than a fictitious and ephemeral one.

    It is hard for me to tell you what the Palestinians will do. They have consistently been true to Abba Eban’s immortal phrase of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. I hope they will prove Eban wrong. the issue of settlements is one of the issues that would be discussed in the negotiations. But what the Palestinians have done is cherry-pick one of the final core issues and put it up front as a pre-condition. I could do the same. I could do it with rehabilitating a refugee camp, I could do it with demanding recognition of the Jewish state. So far I haven’t done that because I want to get into direct negotiations and not create obstructions to entering them. The Palestinians, by coming back to the issue of the settlement freeze, indicate that they don’t really want to negotiate. And remember, in an unprecedented action, which wasn’t easy, I gave them nearly a year of a freeze on new construction in the settlements. It didn’t help any, did it? So it’s a pretext. I mean, they use it again and again, but I think a lot of people see it as a ruse to avoid direct negotiations.



The Bible and a Palestinian State

Sept. 27….(Israel Today) The Palestinian statehood bid provided a platform for many views and positions regarding the Middle East, including those of Evangelical Christians who no longer believe in the validity of the promises contained in the Bible. In the run-up to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas officially requesting UN membership for the "State of Palestine," Carl Medearis, a recognized expert on Middle East Christians, suggested on CNN's Belief Blog that Jesus would support the Palestinian statehood motion. "So how would Jesus vote this week if he had a seat at the UN?" Medearis asked. "Surely love, compassion, justice and peace-making would top his lists of concerns for all involved. Maybe he would give a new parable, the Parable of the Good Palestinian, offending all who would hear." Medearis continued by deriding the Christian Zionist movement and its insistence on a literal reading of the Bible: "In their minds, the modern Israeli state is not only a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. In a bizarre twist that leaves most outsiders dumbfounded, Christian Zionists say the Bible predicts that Jews and Palestinians will forever be at war until Jesus returns." Medearis' remarks were hotly debated in various publications, but it is not his personal view of the situation that is troubling. Medearis was merely the mouthpiece of a post-modern, humanist-infected strand of Christianity that no longer believes the Bible carries any literal meaning beyond the commandments regarding basic gestures of goodwill and proper moral behavior.

    In other words, while it is still important to love one's neighbor and not to steal, passages like Jeremiah 31:36-38 or Ezekiel 36:24-28 that confirm the eternal nature of Israel's divine right to the land are, in Medearis' words, "obscure Old Testament promises." In order to cement their position as the "sane Christians," Medearis and others like him will highlight the often-unsympathetic positions of those perceived "lunatics" who do hold fast to the Bible's every promise. It is true that in their zealousness a good many Christian Zionists often spout rhetoric that is hateful toward the Palestinian Arabs. It is also true, as Medearis pointed out, that Yeshua told us to love our enemies, even those seeking Israel's demise. But this point of supporting Israel (uncritically, Medearis wrongly claims) and opposing Palestinian statehood is not what Christian Zionism is really about, not at its core.

    Christian Zionism is the recognition that long-awaited biblical promises and prophecies are being fulfilled in our time. It is about getting behind that fulfillment, and opposing efforts to reverse it. And though God may not actually need our help in preventing that attempted reversal, one day we will be held accountable for the stand we took (or didn't take). Ultimately it is a question of whether or not God keeps His word and has the sovereignty in our lives to do so. "Christian Zionists believe the scriptures are true, active and alive today. They believe that by acknowledging the truth that God has given the Land of Israel to the Jewish People as an everlasting inheritance we are acknowledging God's sovereignty," wrote local Messianic leader Eliyahu Ben-Chaim in his book Setting the Record Straight. If God can renege on a promise to Israel that He repeatedly labeled as "everlasting," surely we should all be concerned that other promises can be annulled or rewritten, like that promise of eternal life for the members of an equally sinful Church. The truth is that God does not go back on or alter His promises. He made abundantly clear that the most important factor is the glory of His name. The biblical record has shown, even up to the present day with the rebirth of Israel, that when God makes a promise, He keeps it, not for our sake, but for the sake of His good name. To suggest otherwise is to attack not only God's credibility, but, more detrimentally, the glory of His name.


Is Peace With Israel Unholy?

Sept. 27….(Israel Today) “The peace between Israel and Egypt is no longer holy!” declared the Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi. “It cannot be considered equal to the holy Koran and the holy New Testament.” In effect, the Old Testament of the Jewish people is unholy in the eyes of the 75-year-old jurist. The Muslim East and Christian West are sacrosanct; but the State of Israel is illegitimate, both politically and religiously. And that has repercussions on the 32-year-old peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. “The peace agreement with Egypt is truly in danger,” said top Middle East expert Ehud Ya’ari on Israel’s Channel 2 television. About two weeks after al-Arabi’s comments, thousands of Egyptians ransacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. And things could get worse. “The likelihood of an all-out war is growing,” said Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, the head of Israel’s Home Front Command, adding that Israel could be attacked with weapons of mass destruction. “After the Arab Spring, we predict that a winter of radical Islam will arrive.”



Palestinian Moves Reshapes Attitudes

Sept. 27….(In The Days) The Palestinian bid for United Nations statehood, whatever its outcome, is already helping reshape Palestinian attitudes to expect less of negotiations, which most feel have failed to deliver after nearly two decades, and embrace a more confrontational stance toward Israel. That could mean challenging Israel using boycotts, demonstrations and international diplomatic forums more aggressively, ideas that are gaining currency among young Palestinians. In a year when peaceful demonstrations have radically altered the political landscape of the Arab world, they increasingly embrace notions of nonviolent resistance. Still, many observers say that tensions are building in the Palestinian areas, especially in the West Bank, where Jewish settlements continue to grow and chafe against Palestinian communities. Even peaceful confrontations, they worry, could escalate and set off another round of violence.

    Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, has stressed that the UN bid won’t substitute for negotiations or replace the existing framework for working toward a two-state solution laid out in the Oslo agreement that has guided Israeli-Palestinian relations for two decades. But many Palestinians, especially youths who make up the majority of the population, see the UN bid as something else: a sharp break with a peace process and the beginning of a new era. They want their leadership to actively challenge Israel for sovereignty over the West Bank, though not necessarily through an armed struggle. “We’re hoping to have a state. Checkpoints should be dismantled. Palestinians will patrol where Israelis do now,” said Ahmed Aqtish, a 24-year-old mechanic. Those sorts of soaring expectations almost certainly won’t be met in the coming months, though, and could cause problems for Abbas and the Palestinian leadership now that they have returned home from New York.

    Young Palestinians, long the foot soldiers of the Palestinian cause, have become disenchanted with their aging leadership. That has grown as the protests across the Arab world have played out. Abbas’s Fatah movement, as well as the militant group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip, are both losing support, according to Khalil Shikaki, head of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Quarterly polling that the center has conducted since March shows that young adults are “essentially abandoning Fatah and Hamas,” he said. Young people have gotten behind Abbas’s statehood push, elevating his popularity for now. Abbas returned to cheering crowds in the West Bank on Sunday, and the Palestinian Authority called a public holiday and released children from schools to welcome him back.

    Abbas and the Palestinian leadership began planning for, and talking up, the statehood bid months ago. On Friday he formally submitted a request for the UN’s security council to take up the issue. It could take weeks to come up for a vote at the council, where it has almost no chance of success. That’s because the US has promised to veto the measure, saying the Palestinians should negotiate directly with Israel and not involve the UN. Abbas also could choose to ask the UN’s General Assembly to elevate the status of the Palestinians to that of an observers state, recognition that has a much better chance of being granted but that would have almost no immediate impact on the lives of Palestinians. Abbas sees the bid as a way to pressure the Israelis in negotiations within the Oslo framework, a process that the current leadership started and has a huge stake in continuing. But for much of the younger generation, it has come to represent a defining moment, marking a sort of logical conclusion of the Oslo process. “They want him to put an end to Oslo,” said Mr. Shikaki. “The last thing Abbas wants to do is throw out Oslo.”

    Yet even Abbas’s supporters say the UN move is born of a sense that time and support could be running out for the two-decade-old framework for negotiations and the Palestinian Authority that was created as part of that framework. “Our international situation is not sustainable,” said Ghassan Katib, a spokesman for the authority. “We’ve staked our reputations on a peace process that is going nowhere.” Abbas may come under pressure to try a new direction that young Palestinians increasingly favor, nonviolent resistance, and advocate the sort of boycotts that were aimed at South Africa’s former apartheid government. Abbas mentioned nonviolent resistance in his speech to the UN on Friday.

    Palestinian activists such as Mustafa Barghouti, a politician, have been working for years to rally support for a sustained campaign of nonviolent resistance. He believes support for nonviolence has also been bolstered by efforts to break the blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza and a series of rallies in one Palestinian area that persuaded Israel to change the course of a security wall it constructed. “We must make the cost of the occupation higher than the benefits,” for the Israelis, he said. Increasingly, Shikaki’s polling shows that young Palestinians are more impressed with what the Tahrir Square protests accomplished in Egypt and less enamored of the sort of violent struggle the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has championed. “Tahrir seems to be winning out, and Hezbollah is out of favor,” said Mr. Shikaki. Still, Mr. Shikaki worries that without meaningful negotiations, a sustained campaign of nonviolent confrontation could easily slip into another spasm of violence, given the underlying tensions in the West Bank. That could happen because of violence by Israeli or Palestinian extremists, undisciplined protesters or a miscalculation by Israeli soldiers confronting the sort of nonviolent tactics they aren’t used to handling.



UN Security Council to begin informal debate on Palestinian statehood

Security Council's five permanent members split over PA's request, so consultations are not expected to lead to a formal vote anytime in the near future, UN sources say.

Sept. 27….(Ha Aretz) UN Security Council members will convene on Monday for informal consultations on the Palestinian Authority's application for admission to the United Nations as a full member state. Under UN rules, a new member state can be admitted only on the Security Council's recommendation. If the council recommends acceptance, the General Assembly must then vote on whether to ratify the decision. Currently, the council's five permanent members are split over the PA's request, so the consultations are not expected to lead to a formal vote anytime in the near future, UN sources said. "It's highly likely that the consultations will continue for some weeks," said the deputy head of one Western mission to the United Nations. "The Palestinian application is considered an extremely sensitive issue, and in particular, it's a source of controversy between the council's two leading powers, the United States and Russia. Therefore, no quick decision that would produce an official debate and vote is expected."

    However, the diplomat added, the rules allow an unofficial consultation to be declared official on the spot and without warning, albeit this happens only rarely. The pace of the informal consultations and the timing of the meetings is generally dictated by the council's five permanent members. Because these five have veto power over resolutions, the council would usually prefer to find a formula they can all live with, if that is possible, rather than proceeding immediately to a vote in which one of the five is certain to cast a veto.

    However, this process can result in substantial delays. As an example, officials in New York cited the fate of a draft resolution proposing sanctions on Syria that France submitted six weeks ago. Due to Russia's opposition, the council has yet to hold a single official debate on the matter, a situation French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe recently described as scandalous. Informal consultations are always held behind closed doors, and no one except the council members' official representatives are allowed to attend. Nothing said in such a consultation is binding.



AQ Khan Documents Suggest Pakistan Spread Nuclear Weapon Technology

Sept. 26….(Fox News) Documents obtained by Fox News suggest that for decades Pakistan spread nuclear weapon technology around the globe in exchange for cash, political influence and help with its own atomic bomb program. Among those on the other side of the deals: China, Iran, North Korea and Libya. The charges are contained in two documents written by AQ Khan, the Pakistani nuclear arms trafficker long thought to be the mastermind behind an elaborate global supply and procurement network: a thirteen-page confession to government authorities and a dramatic letter hastily written to his wife as an international manhunt tightened around him.

    In a Fox News exclusive, never-before-seen Khan photographs and documents will be featured in an upcoming special: "Fox News Reporting: Iran's Nuclear Secrets," airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET and Sunday at 1 a.m. ET. The documents include the thirteen-page confession, the letter to his wife, and a Pakistani intelligence service report on Khan. The exclusive photographs show the Khans in a variety of intimate settings, including under house arrest. Fox News is also releasing the documents and photographs over the Internet today. The extent of official Pakistan government involvement with Khan is a matter of intense and at times acrimonious debate among counter-proliferation experts. Was Khan a master criminal operating outside the system, or was he part of the system?

    The documents obtained by Fox News are AQ Khan’s version of events. They should be carefully weighed against other available evidence. But with US-Pakistan relations severely strained by the killing of Usama bin Laden and the imminent draw-down of US troops in neighboring Afghanistan, the question of nuclear-armed Islamabad spreading weapons of mass destruction takes on a new urgency. At one time, Khan feared his own government might kill him. “Darling,” he writes to his wife in December 2003, “if the government plays any mischief with me take a tough stand.” He warns her, “they might try to get rid of me to cover up all the things (dirty) they got done by me in connection with Iran, Libya & N. Korea.” A scientist and strong-willed bureaucrat known as “the father of the Islamic bomb,” Khan was a popular figure in Pakistan. But prodded by the United States over mounting evidence of smuggled nuclear shipments to Libya, Pakistan began tightening the noose around Khan in 2003.  In early 2004, the ISI, Pakistan’s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, brought Khan in for questioning. Khan’s written confession is a result of those sessions. In February 2004, Khan appeared on Pakistan television and offered a brief confession. The next day, President Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan and sentenced him to house arrest. In recent years, the terms of Khan’s house arrest have been modified, but he remains under tight government control.



Putin to Return as Russian President


Sept. 25….(Financial Times)  Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will return to his post as president next year, after he and President Dmitry Medvedev announced they were switching jobs. The announcement was made on Saturday at the annual conference of United Russia, the party that controls two-thirds of Russia’s parliament. It put to rest intrigue over Putin’s next move. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Putin is now likely to win two consecutive 6 year terms, giving him a total of quarter century in power from the time he took over the Kremlin in 2000. He remains Russia's strongest political figure despite stepping aside for four years. The announcement confirms the long-held impression that Medvedev was only ever a place holder for Putin, who was constitutionally prohibited from a third term after serving as president from 2000-2008. Putin started proceedings, telling delegates that Medvedev would succeed him in heading the United Russia party’s election list in December 4 parliamentary elections. He also announced Medvedev’s candidacy for prime minister, which Medvedev accepted. Medvedev in turn said: “Taking into account my agreement to lead the party’s election list, I consider it correct to support the candidacy of Putin for the post of president of the country.” He suggested the arrangement had been made as early as 2007, when Putin had all but appointed Medvedev as his temporary successor. “What we have suggested to the congress, is a deeply thought out decision. Even more, we actually discussed this variant of events while we were first forming our comradely alliance” he said. Putin said that the agreement “on who should do what” had been reached long ago. Putin aimed the rest of his speech at state workers, promising to raise their wages and give them federal land. United Russia is nicknamed “the party of bureaucrats” for its reliance on federal workers. At one point the former KGB colonel raised his voice to be heard through a failing microphone. “I have not lost my commander’s voice!” he said. The job switch surprises few in Moscow, where Putin was the favorite to return to the presidency. However, the two men had remained coy on the subject, spinning out the intrigue for the previous three and a half years. Putin’s return is likely to complicate Russia’s thawing relations with the West, particularly the US-Russia “reset” begun in 2009. The reset was driven largely by a good personal relationship between Medvedev and US President Barack Obama, and produced a new arms control treaty and US-Russia diplomatic co-operation in troubled areas of the Middle East. “If Putin returns then I guess we will need another reset” joked a former high ranking Kremlin official earlier this month.

    The news could turn Medvedev into a lame duck who will struggle to be heard during his remaining 6 months in power. Throughout Medvedev’s four year term, Putin was seen as the country’s power broker and had veto over most of Medvedev’s decisions. The two publicly disagreed only a handful of times, last spring, for example, Medvedev slapped Putin down over his opposition to NATO’s operation in Libya. However, they agree on most issues. Putin is believed to want to continue the liberal economic reforms begun under Medvedev, including privatization. Medvedev’s switch to prime minister will give him the chance to continue modernizing Russia’s economy. “I expect Putin will establish a very pro-business and pro-reform cabinet,” said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Troika Dialog, the Moscow investment bank. But opposition politicians have long criticized the prospect of Putin’s return to presidency, saying it amounts to the old Soviet practice of staying in power for decades. Putin’s return makes it clear that Russia revolves around a dominant cult of personality, and is moving farther than ever from a society based on democratic institutions.



Middle East Peace Quartet Comes to Blows

(Ynet learns that international foursome's efforts to reignite stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process nearly brought about forum's end)

Sept. 26….(YNET) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict which was the focal point of the 66th UN General Assembly in New York saw more than just the historic bid for Palestinian statehood and impassioned speeches, but also the near-disassembling of the Mideast Quartet, Ynet learned on Saturday. The Quartet of Middle East mediators, which is made up of the he United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN, worked frantically throughout Thursday and Friday to put together a blueprint which would facilitate the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but their efforts nearly brought about the forum's end, with Russia facing off against the United States over the Quartet's draft.

     The Quartet's draft proposed that Israel and the Palestinians should meet within one month to agree an agenda for new peace talks with a goal of a deal by the end of 2012. According to Western diplomats, the Quartet's integrity was compromised when deliberations on the draft became heated, mainly due to Russia's rigid demands. The Russians vetoed Israel's demand for a Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state as a prerequisite for the talks, which led to the dismissal of the Palestinian prerequisite demand for the negotiations to be based on the 1967 lines. After what was described as "harsh, discordant tones" exchanged between the Russians and their Quartet colleagues, which were accompanied by concerns that the former would be excluded from the final Quartet statement, a draft was finally achieved. The blueprint, however, did not specify the exact guidelines for the negotiations, and de facto fails to address both Israel and the Palestinian's cardinal demands. "The proposal contains the most important thing, resuming negotiations," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's associates told Ynet. "We have to study it, but it looks satisfactory." The Palestinians however, rejected the draft as "favorable to Israel" and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed it, saying he would not entertain any proposal which disregard the PA's conditions for peace talks.



HS Freshman Suspended for Speaking Out Against Homosexuality

Sept. 26….(By Amanda Winkler/ Christian Post Reporter) A freshman at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, was suspended Tuesday for making a statement about his religious beliefs. The suspended student, Dakota Ary, commented to his friend in their German class that his Christian beliefs say homosexuality is wrong. "I said, 'I'm Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,'" Ary recounted to NBC. "And then he (the teacher) got mad, wrote me an infraction and sent me to the office." The teacher was reportedly telling students how to say religion and Christianity in German. Ary asked a question about Bibles in different countries and what language they are in. According to the family’s attorney, Matt Krause with Liberty Counsel, religious discussions had come up in the classroom before.

    After Ary commented to his friend about his Christian beliefs, the teacher reportedly began yelling at him and took him to the front office. His mother was contacted while at work to be informed that her son would have a referral and two-day suspension because of his “inappropriate” comments. “When I got the phone call saying Dakota disrupted the class by making an inappropriate comment, I knew that just wasn’t right,” his mother, Holly Pope, told The Christian Post. “Dakota doesn’t do that. It’s out of his character.” Pope believes there was a problem with the classroom. According to reports, just one week earlier the German teacher posted a picture of two men kissing, on the chalkboard in front of the classroom. “He told the students that this was homosexuality and that they needed to accept it,” Krause said. Some students protested and when the teacher left the classroom, one student tore down the poster. Commenting on the poster, Pope said, “He’s (Dakota) been in church his whole life. Just being a Christian doesn’t mean you surround yourself with just Christians. He goes to a public school, so he will be faced with things he doesn’t believe in or feel is right. That’s fine. For a picture, I didn’t feel it was necessary to raise alarm. ”With this new incident, however, red flags may need to be raised. “The whole idea of a student being suspended for stating their religious beliefs in a factual manner is extremely concerning,” Candi Cushman, education analyst at Focus on the Family, said. “Have we gotten to the point where students have to check their religious beliefs at the door before entering school?”

   After hearing Ary’s version of the events, the principal reduced the in-school suspension to one day. However, for Ary and Pope, even one day of suspension is wrong. “It can’t be one day, it needs to be no days. He didn’t do anything wrong. It was a class discussion about religion,” Pope said.







Abbas Accuses Israel of Ethnic Cleansing

(Mahmoud Abbas delivers fiery anti-Israel speech at UN, accuses Jewish state of ethnically cleansing east Jerusalem; FM Lieberman walks out during address, blasts Palestinian leader’s ‘speech of incitement)


(FOJ) Abbas started his UN speech by referring to Israel as “an occupying power who has committed ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, pushing them away from their ancestral homeland.” Abbas, who does not recognize the “holocaust” urged the UN to declare the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” Abbas said, adding that many Arabs were forced to leave their homes by Israeli ‘occupiers’ in 1948. Holding up a copy of the application, he said it we request full nation status in the UN based on the  1967 borders with East Jerusalem as our capital.

Sept. 23….(YNET) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asked the United Nations on Friday to recognize a state for his people, accusing Israel of engaging in ethnic cleansing in his United Nations speech. Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Abbas accused Israel of employing an “ethnic cleansing policy” in Jerusalem. “Israel issues building permits to settlers so they can build in occupied Jerusalem, while it keeps confiscating lands in eastern Jerusalem and driving away Palestinians from their ancestral lands,” he said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly. “Now, after the Arab springs emphasized their desire for liberty, it’s time for a Palestinian spring, the moment of independence,” he said. “Sixty-three years after the Nakba, I say enough, enough, enough,” the Palestinian leader declared. “It’s time for the Palestinian people to get their liberty, and for the suffering of millions of Palestinian refugees to end.”

    Earlier he was more positive, saying: "We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peacemaking. Shortly before his speech, the PA leader handed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter requesting full UN. membership, which the Security Council must consider, although this may take some time. Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, walked out during Abbas’ address. He later told Ynet the Palestinian leader delivered “speech of incitement” that included “harsh threats.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not present during Abbas’ speech to begin with. Abbas also ranted that  he is adamant about not recognizing Israel as the Jewish state. "They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state!"

    Meanwhile, Hamas said Friday Palestinians should liberate their land, not beg for recognition at the United Nations, firmly rejecting President Abbas' quest for statehood. Speaking hours before Abbas was due to ask formally that the UN recognize a Palestinian state, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said this would not bring independence. "Our Palestinian people do not beg for a state. ...States are not built upon UN resolutions. States liberate their land and establish their entities," Haniyeh said.



Palestinians Submit UN Statehood Bid

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Sept. 23….(AP) Defying US and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the United Nations on Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of failed negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would reenergize their quest for an independent homeland. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by sustained applause and appreciative whistles as he approached the dais in the General Assembly hall to deliver a speech outlining his people's hopes and dreams of becoming a full member of the United Nations. Some members of the Israeli delegation, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann, left the hall as Abbas approached the podium. Negotiations with Israel "will be meaningless" as long as it continues building on lands the Palestinians claim for that state, he declared, warning that his government could collapse if the construction persists. That would put 150,000 people out of work. "This policy is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process," said Abbas, who has refused to negotiate until the construction stops. "This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence." To another round of applause, he held up a copy of the formal membership application and said he had asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon to expedite deliberation of his request to have the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Ban has to examine the application before referring it to the Security Council. Action on the membership request could take weeks, if not months.

    The statehood strategy has put the Palestinians in direct confrontation with the US, which has threatened to veto their membership bid in the Council, reasoning, like Israel, that statehood can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties to end the long and bloody conflict. Yet by seeking approval at a world forum overwhelmingly sympathetic to their quest, Palestinians hope to make it harder for Israel to resist already heavy global pressure to negotiate the borders of a future Palestine based on lines Israel held before capturing the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967.

    Palestinians say they turned to the UN in desperation over 18 failed years of peace talks. They say they decided to reinvigorate their flagging statehood campaign by bringing it to the broadest possible international forum, the United Nations in the hope an enhanced world status would pressure Israel to act more boldly. Netanyahu insists his commitment to peacemaking is genuine and accuses the Palestinians of going to the UN specifically to avoid negotiations. The resumption of talks seems an elusive goal, with both sides digging in to positions that have tripped up negotiations for years. Israel insists that negotiations go ahead without any preconditions. But Palestinians say they will not return to the bargaining table without assurances that Israel would halt settlement building and drop its opposition to basing negotiations on the borders it held before capturing the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza in 1967. Israel has warned that the Palestinian appeal to the UN will have a disastrous effect on negotiations, which have been the cornerstone of international Mideast policy for the past two decades. Netanyahu opposes negotiations based on 1967 lines, saying a return to those frontiers would expose Israel's heartland to rocket fire from the West Bank.

     The UN recognition bid has won Abbas broad popular support at home and help him gain political ground against his main political rival, the Islamic militant Hamas movement, which violently wrested control of Gaza in 2007 and opposes the UN move. Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, accused Abbas on Friday of relinquishing Palestinian rights by seeking recognition for a state in the pre-1967 borders. Hamas' founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and a state in all of the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. "The Palestinian people do not beg the world for a state, and the state can't be created through decisions and initiatives," Haniyeh said. "States liberate their land first and then the political body can be established."



Netanyahu: Palestinians Want State Without Peace

(Responding to Abbas’ fiery anti-Israel speech, PM Netanyahu tells UN General Assembly Palestinians want state without peace; ‘Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established')


(FOJ) Former US President Bill Clinton, who was only too willing to trade all of Israel to the Arabs for a Nobel Peace Prize is now blaming the failure of the Oslo peace process with the Palestinians on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back in 2000. I guess Mr. Clinton had no problem with Yasser Arafat walking out of Camp David when Israel offered him a state on 97% of the West Bank.

Sept. 23….(YNET) The Palestinians should recognize Israel as the Jewish state and make peace with it, before seeking a state of their own, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly Friday. “Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established,” offering Israel’s response to a fiery anti-Israel speech delivered by the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas earlier. Netanyahu said that he extended his hand to the Arab nations of the Middle East “on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people,” and mostly to the Palestinian people, “with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.” “I came here to speak the truth. The truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians, but they want a state without peace, and the truth is you shouldn’t let that happen,” he said. “The Palestinian should first make peace with Israel and then get their state. After peace is signed, Israel won’t be the last country to accept a Palestinian state – we will be the first.”

    Declaring that Israel is a Jewish state, Netanyahu said: “We don’t want the Palestinian to change the Jewish character of the state. We want them to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians. “  The prime minister added that settlements were not the main obstacle to peace, saying: “The core of the conflict is not the settlement, the settlements is a result of the conflict. The core of the conflict is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state in any border.”



Mistakes That Led to the Palestinian Statehood Bid, and How to Fix Them

Sept. 23….(By Mitt Romney & Norman Coleman) This Friday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas will appeal to the General Assembly for United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood. We need to be completely clear about what is transpiring. This is not a step forward in the quest for peace and, legally, will not create a Palestinian state. Rather, it is a step forward in the vicious campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. The Palestinian action in the United Nations does not conform to the process for arriving at a two-state solution laid out in the Oslo Accords. Indeed, it is taking place in naked defiance of an agreement to which the Palestinians are signatory. Its effect will be to once again dash the hopes of all who seek lasting peace in the Middle East. This is an especially dangerous moment for the state of Israel. It has deteriorating relationships with Turkey and Egypt. It faces longstanding dangers from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, a violent and highly unstable Syria, and a nuclear-aspiring Iran. United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state at this juncture will serve only to further isolate the Jewish State, sap its confidence in the peace process, and exacerbate regional tensions. Worse, because it will not change the facts on the ground, it will raise and then dash Palestinian and Arab expectations. This increases the likelihood of violence, particularly at a moment when despots like Bashar al Assad want nothing more than to divert attention from their internal crises by scape-goating Israel. Without question, a blow is being struck against peace. How did we arrive at this point?

    Unfortunately, the road was paved largely by a series of mistakes and miscalculations by President Obama. He and his administration have badly misunderstood the dynamics of the region. Instead of fostering stability and security, they have diminished US authority and painted our ally Israel into a corner. To begin with, President Obama for too long has been in the grip of several illusions. One is that the Palestinian–Israeli dispute is the central problem in the region. This has been disproved repeatedly by events, most recently and most dramatically by the eruption of the Arab Spring. But it nonetheless led the administration to believe that distancing the United States from Israel was a smart move that would earn us credits in the Arab world and somehow bring peace closer. The record proves otherwise. But the administration’s errors extend in other directions as well. President Obama has repeatedly and unilaterally created new preconditions for restarting peace talks. The result has been to encourage Palestinians simply to hold out and wait for Washington to deliver more Israeli concessions on a silver platter. Why, after all, should the Palestinians even negotiate with Israel if the White House is pressuring Israel without extracting any price from the Palestinians in return?

    First, President Obama has picked fights with Israel over policies that were properly the subject of negotiations between the parties themselves. Then, when he summarily announced in May that the indefensible 1967 lines should be the starting point for resumed negotiations, he threw Israel under the bus and emboldened the Palestinians to raise the ante even more. Naively or otherwise, when Obama last year identified September 2011 as a target date for the formation of a Palestinian state and named the United Nations General Assembly as the location to declare it, he effectively wrote the script for the showdown we now have on our hands.

    Where should the United States go from here? Although the Obama administration has demonstrated a congenital inability to get things right, a proper US policy would be to launch an all-out diplomatic campaign to discourage the vote. We must leave no doubt that the United States will react firmly if the General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state. The United States should put the world on notice that it will begin by taking a long hard look at American support for UN programs and that it will re-evaluate its relationship with any state that votes in favor of recognition. The United States also should communicate that we are prepared to cut foreign assistance to the Palestinians so long as they continue to pursue statehood apart from the negotiating table. But beyond the diplomacy, we need to draw some lessons from the past three years of Obama’s presidency. A first lesson is that the United States needs a president who will not be a fair-weather friend of Israel. President Obama has shamefully broken with longstanding American traditions in distancing the United States from Israel, a fellow democracy and a beacon of freedom in the Middle East. Second, we must work as individuals and as a country to resist the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. We must fight against that campaign in every forum, call it for what it is, and make clear that Israel’s existence is not up for debate.



Pakistan Chastens US Over Taliban Charges

Sept. 23….(MSN) Pakistan's foreign minister warned the United States in remarks broadcast Friday that it risks losing an ally if it continued to accuse Islamabad of playing a double game in the war against militancy, escalating the crisis in relations between the two countries. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was responding to comments by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, who said Pakistan's top spy agency was closely tied to the Haqqani network, the most violent and effective faction among Islamic Taliban militants in Afghanistan. It is the most serious allegation leveled by the United States against nuclear-armed and Muslim-majority Pakistan since they began an alliance a decade ago. "You will lose an ally," Khar told Geo TV in New York, where she is attending a UN General Assembly meeting. "You cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani people. If you are choosing to do so and if they are choosing to do so it will be at their (the United States') own cost," she said. "Anything which is said about an ally, about a partner publicly to recriminate it, to humiliate it is not acceptable," Khar added. US military officials told NBC News that the Pakistani government, through its intelligence service, is "actively involved" in directing the militant Haqqani network to launch terrorist attacks against US and Afghan government targets in Kabul.

    The officials told NBC News the ISI, Pakistan's powerful spy agency, directed the attacks by Haqqani militants on the US Embassy on Sept. 13 and on the Inter-Continental Hotel on June 28. It is suspected the ISI also had a role in the massive truck bombing targeting an American base in eastern Afghanistan on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the officials said. In a congressional hearing Thursday, Mullen called the Haqqani network a "veritable arm" of the ISI. Testifying alongside Mullen, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States has warned Pakistani authorities it will not tolerate a continuation of the group's cross-border attacks



Israel Readies For Violence as Palestinians Work the UN

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(FOJ) President Obama met with both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas in New York as the “statehood issue” looms for Friday.

Sept. 23….(DEBKA) Israeli police have mobilized 22,000 officers and border police alongside thousands of soldiers as the country's forces go on the highest level of preparedness ahead of Palestinian prayers and demonstrations Friday, Sept. 23, in support of their application for UN approval of statehood. Beefed up police and troops are preparing for the rallies to turn violent and surge out of the Palestinian towns. They are also deployed at mixed population centers of Jews and Arabs up and down the country to avert clashes and concentrated on the Green Line enclosing the West Bank and the approaches to Jerusalem. In defiance of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' directive for rallies to stay within the limits of Palestinian towns and remain orderly, the PA's Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Habbash secretly instructed the imams Thursday to turn up the volume of their loudspeakers at Friday prayers and keep on shouting Allah is Great! This call will be coming from Al Aqsa on Temple Mount and aims at reaching every Muslim in the West Bank and Israel. At UN headquarters in New York, meanwhile, Debkafile's exclusive sources disclose that the Palestinian delegation and its leader Mahmoud Abbas, under extreme pressure to back away from their application for UN recognition, have informed Lebanese President Michel Suleiman who presides over the UN Security Council session Friday that their application will be filed on that day as planned. However, they will not insist on having it debated at once or put to vote. Our sources report that this is the first crack in the Palestinian determination to go through with their UN initiative against all odds. A western source in New York says that the Palestinians have begun to finally wake up to the virtual impossibility of their motion being carried by the Security Council. Straight after the Obama speech, US diplomacy threw all its resources into persuading every Security Council member to oppose or at least abstain from endorsing the Palestinian motion. As of now, Nigeria, Gabon, India and Bosnia have agreed to consider withholding their support.



Russia Warns US About Veto of PA Statehood

(Russian foreign minister says that while negotiations are preferred, 'No one should deny Palestinians' right to ask for recognition of state')


Sept. 22….(YNET) Moscow authorities on Wednesday called on Washington not to veto a Security Council vote on Palestinian membership at the United Nations. "We think it's better for the two parties to sit to the negotiations table, but they are not willing to do so because they do not agree between themselves," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The foreign minister added that "no one should deny the Palestinians the right to ask the Security Council to consider recognizing them as a state."



'Obama to Blame for Palestinian UN Bid'

(Israeli experts claim Israeli-Palestinian discordance cannot be separated from America's waning regional influence, which served as catalyst for Abbas' refusal to resume talks)


(FOJ) Obama's failed Mideast foreign policy has led to the Palestinian UN statehood bid, and to avoid any agreements with Israel. Obama’s Middle East policy has also greatly reduced American power and influence in the Middle East, and allowed Russia  and China to gain more influence with the Arabs.


Sept. 22….(YNET) Ahead of the Palestinian statehood vote at the United Nations, Israeli experts believe the United States played a major part in the hardening of the Palestinian stance and the failure to bring the parties back to the negotiations table. "To a large extent, the American caused the Palestinians to develop high expectations," political science Professor and Director of the Begin-Saadat Center for Strategic Studies Efraim Inbar told Ynet. "Obama demanded that Israel freeze the construction in the settlements, a demand that has not been voiced by any American administration prior to Obama. The Palestinians hoped that Obama will continue with this line, but when they were urged to sit down to the negotiations table without receiving any guarantees on the right of return or the division of Jerusalem, they refused to compromise." Professor Inbar stressed that the Israeli-Palestinian discordance cannot be separated from the waning American influence in the region, which he says "gave a basis to the Palestinian refusal. "It's a new strategy, by which they are trying to receive things without negotiations. They decided to turn to international organizations, where they enjoy majority support," he added.

    Professor Eytan Gilboa Director of the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University, also points to Washington as a main catalyst in the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis. "Because Obama asked Israel to freeze settlements, the Palestinians couldn’t ask for anything less than that," he noted, while stressing the big differences between the sides: "The Americans regarded the 10-month moratorium as a great achievement, while the Palestinians demanded a full moratorium, including Jerusalem, and without a time limit."

     Former Ambassador to the United States Zalman Shoval, believes that it was the Palestinians' stance that led to the collapse of negotiations. "Undoubtedly, the Palestinians, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, made a strategic decision not to return to talks with Israel, because they realized that negotiations will require both sides to make compromises. According to Shoval, Abbas is unable and unwilling to make any concessions vis-à-vis the core issues, and therefore is planning a way to circumvent the United Nations and Europe. "The Palestinians are thinking, if we don’t get a state, at least we'll get a symbolic declaration from the United Nations; maybe we'll be declared as a non-member state, and then we can put it in the headlines and omit the rest," Shoval explained. At the end of the day, he noted, even of the American weakness has strengthened the Palestinians' hard-line stance, "The Americans are the only ones who can move things, and disregarding them might carry a high cost for all of us."



Poll: 70% of Israelis say Israel Should Accept UN Decision

Sept. 22….(Jerusalem Post) Israel should accept the decision if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, about  70 percent of Israelis answered in a recent Hebrew University poll. The poll, which was conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, also found that over 80% of the Palestinians support turning to the UN to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state. The survey was supported by the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem. In response to questions about the Palestinian appeal at the UN, 83% of the Palestinians surveyed supported the move to obtain recognition for their state. Majorities on both sides, 77% of the Palestinians and 79% of the Israelis, believed that the US would use its veto power in the UN Security Council in order to prevent the UN from admitting the state of Palestine as a UN member. In the face of UN recognition of a Palestinian state, 69% of Israelis thought that Israel should accept the decision and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation (34%) or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians (35%); 16% believed Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 7% think that Israel should annex the PA territory to Israel; and 4% think Israel should invade the PA territories and use force to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    Faced with the same scenario, Palestinian participants of the survey answered on how they thought Israel might  be made to withdraw from PA territory:  26% of Palestinians supported a return to armed attacks on army and settlers; 37% thought peaceful non-violent resistance could be successful; and 30% supported negotiations with Israel. 54% of Palestinians in the West Bank said they would join large peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank and Jerusalem if they were to take place after the recognition of the Palestinian State.



No Big UN Showdown on Palestinian State, Not This Week

 (Anti-US feeling runs high among Palestinians)


Sept. 22….(DEBKA) Accounts of the big diplomatic showdown facing the United Nations when the Palestinian bid for statehood is filed Friday, Sept. 23 have been blown up and overdramatized . Neither the Security Council nor the UN General Assembly will be making any immediate decisions this week and US President Barack Obama will not be called on as yet to veto the Palestinian application. Therefore the dispute over which side can muster the magic majority of nine members is premature. Indeed, Debkafile's diplomatic sources are assured that UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and the United States, which holds the key to the tussle, have arranged to put the Palestinian application on hold, or more diplomatically, under consideration, a process which could consume weeks if not months before it is referred to the Security Council. In the volatile Middle East, a couple of months are a long time; the Arab uprisings have demonstrated how much can happen in a short period.

    After the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu deliver their speeches on Friday, the General Assembly is not expected to get right down to debating the Palestinian request. It will most likely be held in abeyance for the next session. A special session might be summoned in the interim, but that is the UN Secretary General's prerogative and he normally makes these decisions in consultation with the White House. Therefore, the real diplomatic battle over the Palestinian drive for UN acceptance will not take place this week in the GA chamber where the speeches are made, but in Washington. The Obama administration has absurdly been maneuvered, or maneuvered itself, into the lead role for defeating the Palestinian claim for an independent state within the 1967 borders. The high point of Obama's May 19 address on the Middle East was a call for Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. He even refrained from a demand to demilitarize the prospective state. Five months later, he is bending every ounce of diplomatic leverage to prevent the Security Council from approving a Palestinian state's acceptance by the world body. Obama's path to this quandary was littered with missteps. His ultimatum to the Netanyahu government to halt settlement construction on the West Bank was later abandoned but meanwhile it was hijacked by Abbas as his main pretext for rejecting direct talks with Israel and turning to the UN.

    Further US weakness was displayed in the Middle East Quartet's inability to reach a decision this week on how to deal with the diplomatic crisis posed by the Palestinian bid. Composed of representatives from the US, Russia, the European Union and the UN, the Quartet used to be the supreme body for shaping international consensus on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. This time, Washington's lead was not strong enough to pull the parties together and, moreover, the US and Europe are discovering they are beginning to pay for their involvement through NATO in the Libyan conflict. Russia is playing hard to get and deliberately slowing the momentum of Middle East diplomacy in protest against what Moscow sees as US and European participation in the conquest of Libya, which has gone well beyond their UN Security Council mandate. The Russians were also obstructive on the Syrian issue. They torpedoed every Security Council resolution penalizing and condemning Bashar Assad for his barbaric methods in suppressing dissent, maintaining they would not allow the West to repeat its Libya scenario in Syria.

   Now, Moscow is trying to trap the United States into exercising its Security Council veto power against the Palestinian application for UN membership, in order to support its claim that Washington maintains a double standard on the Middle East, defeating Palestinian independence on the one hand and preaching the Arab peoples' rights to oust their rulers in the name of independence, on the other. Moscow, partnered actively by Mahmoud Abbas, would thus aim to strip the United States of its last vestiges of credibility in the Arab world. With no exit from this predicament, Washington and Jerusalem are resorting to the language of threats.

    The Palestinians are warned by White House sources that unless they withdraw their application for UN recognition, they will face severe measures. They were given to understand that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah stood to lose all or part of the half-billion dollars of its annual aid allocation. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also warned Tuesday, Sept. 20, that Israel would consider halting the transfer of customs revenues to the PA. Abbas and his party are putting a brave face on these threats. They say loss of income will not deter them from their drive for UN acceptance. The Palestinians say their Arab allies have pledged to make up any shortfall sustained in consequence of their UN initiative. But they know as well as anyone that no Arab government aside from Saudi Arabia and some of the Arab Gulf emirates will make good on those pledges because they are all wholly preoccupied with the unrest sweeping their streets and have no time or cash to spare for the Palestinians. Once the Abbas initiative is seen to be hanging fire, the situation on Palestinian home ground could turn nasty. Ramallah, Wednesday, Sept. 21, saw the first large Palestinian gathering of several marches and rallies scheduled for the coming days to celebrate their approaching independence. These demonstrations of joy, financed by Abbas and his associates out of the PA's half-empty coffers, are scheduled to climax with his speech Friday and roll on into Saturday. However, once the penny drops and the Palestinian request is seen to be held up, these rallies may turn to violence against the security forces fielded both by Abbas and Israel to keep them within bounds and out of Israeli locations. It is more than likely that Hamas, which rules the separate Palestinian Gaza Strip, the Islamic Jihad and Hizballah, both Iranian proxies, will turn the crowded streets into stages for mounting terrorist activity, without even waiting for instructions from Tehran and Damascus. They would aim not just to punish Israel but to torpedo the Palestinian UN initiative which the rejectionists and extremists regard as a forbidden compromise on their claim to every inch of Palestinian soil and Israel's removal. They would also seek to challenge the credibility and potency of the Palestinian leader and his US-trained security legions. This outlook will be further exacerbated when the Palestinian Authority, deprived of aid funds, cannot pay wages to civil and security personnel. Without pay, they may well vent their frustrations on the Palestinian Authority heads, especially Abbas, and Israel. No one can tell whether Syria, where Assad is in the last stages of suppressing the uprising against his regime, and Iran, through Hizballah, Hamas and Jihad Islami will intervene.



Partition Rejected by Arabs in 1947 to be Basis for Future State?

(Palestinians rejected compromise, launched war, now want 63-year old plan back)

Sept. 22….(WND) he Palestinian Authority is considering changing the language of its United Nations statehood request so the official document does not ask for a state in what is known as the pre-1967 borders, according to PA officials speaking to WND. While the move comes in response to US and Israeli diplomatic efforts, the PA justifies the possible language change by believing that in the future it can request an even larger percentage of the land of Israel based on a nonbinding UN resolution long ago rejected by the Arabs.

    Resolution 181, passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947, one year before Israel was founded, stipulated that all territories should be divided into two states, giving Jews and Arabs nearly equal space, with Jerusalem administered by an international body. The Jewish leadership immediately accepted the partition plan without reservation. Representatives for the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab League, however, firmly opposed the UN resolution and even rejected the international body's authority to involve itself in the matter. Following the passage of the resolution, the Arabs launched a series of terror assaults against the Jewish communities throughout Israel, including a blockade of Jerusalem. After the Arabs rejected the resolution, and following several months of Arab attacks, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. The next day, armies of several Arab states launched war with the stated goal of destroying the Jewish State.

    Now, 63 years later, the resolution rejected by the Arabs could come into play in the future as PA President Mahmoud Abbas debates the requested language for the UN unilateral recognition of a state. Why do the Arabs accept it now? PA officials told WND that instead of asking for the pre-1967 borders, Abbas is considering a more general request for which territory should be declared a state. The officials said Abbas could use Resolution 181 in the future when defining which specific territory should become part of a Palestinian state. Pre-1967 refers to all of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank; as well as the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, theoretically including the Temple Mount. Many historic Jewish communities are located in these areas. Any UN declaration regarding these territories would have international legal consequences for Israel's communities there. Meanwhile, Palestinian officials reportedly enlisted the support of at least six or seven members of the 15-member Security Council ahead of Friday's expected vote on creating as Palestinian State. For any decision to pass in the 15-member Council, nine affirmative votes are needed, as well as no veto by any of the permanent Security Council members. The US holds a veto and has promised to use it, if necessary.



The Palestinian "Statehood Issue" in Prophecy

   This week, (September 20-23, 2011) Palestinian Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to lobby the United Nations to accept the PA as the 194th member state of the UN. Previous to this week, the PA claims that 125-140 countries have promised to back the Palestinian statehood bid this week in New York City. The push at the world body is the first step to statehood for Palestinians who have for decades complained of being "occupied" by an oppressive foreign power. (Israel)  Should the PA win the vote at the UN, and survive any veto action in the Security Council, the PA says it would work toward establishing a national unity government with Hamas and hold presidential and parliamentary elections.
    UN protocol calls for Secretary General Ban (who favors PA statehood) to receive a letter from Abbas and then to give it approval before moving it forward in the arduous and complicated process for a new member state. Ban has"reiterated his support for the "two-state solution" and stressed his desire to ensure that the international community and the two parties can find a way forward for resuming negotiations within a legitimate and balanced framework. Any state-candidate for UN membership must submit a letter to the secretary-general stating it is a "peace-loving" (repudiates terrorism) state and accepts the UN Charter. Ban is expected to examine the Palestinian letter and then send it to the 15-member UN Security Council which must give its approval before a vote in the larger General Assembly. In the General Assembly, the PA enjoys overwhelming support.
    Israel has lobbied dozens of UN members to oppose the effort, but it is widely held that the PA is in a position to get the two-thirds support from the UN General Assembly for the upgrade from its current status as “entity.” Russia, China, Spain and much of the EU, the 22 member Arab League, the IMF and the World Bank all support Palestinian statehood. Meanwhile, the USA, Canada, Britain and Israel oppose the statehood bid. The "Quartet of Mideast" mediators, the US, the UN, the EU and Russia,  have been unable to resolve key issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
    Ironically, Hamas and Hezbollah, with Iranian support also oppose the statehood appeal to the UN by the PA. They oppose the Palestinian statehood request because they are emphatic in their zeal to simply deny Israel's right to exist.
    World diplomacy surrounding Palestinian statehood will be a key component in the geo-political strategy of the Last Days Antichrist. As many prophecy enthusiasts realize, the Antichrist will coerce Israel into a "covenant of peace" with "many" (22 Arab/Muslim nations and the 10 king power-brokers) at the outset of the tribulation era. A key component of that "covenant of peace" will be the political dividing of the promised land," as evidenced by the following verse from Daniel. (Daniel 11:39 Thus shall he (AC) do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he (AC) shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.)
    Eleven years ago at Camp David, then Fatah terrorist and PA leader Yasser Arafat refused to accept a negotiated political state for Palestine. Arafat refused statehood because Israel required the Palestinians to accept an "end of conflict" clause in the negotiated peace process. Arafat refused statehood for the Palestinians because he knew it would mean either, assassination for him, or it was not compatible with the strategy of the Trojan Horse mission to destroy Israel from within the territories around Jerusalem.
    In the final analysis, God is causing all nations to be burdened down with the heavy weight of impending judgment that comes with the controversy over Jerusalem. The Palestinians desire Jerusalem as their state capital, as does Israel. The Vatican also desires to have Jerusalem reserved as an international religious city. 
(Jeremiah 25:31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.)

(Isaiah 34:8 For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.)
    The nations of this world are willingly ignorant of the fact that the God of Israel has promised a kingdom to Israel, with Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Albeit, the gods of Islam and modern corrupt Christianity, and many other religions are working in league with the conspiracy of Satan to steal the heritage of God's only Son. Sadly, even Israel is blinded to this reality, and will be drawn into the quagmire of compromising the land.
   The mere fact that the Palestinians are today in search of an international stage for the legal sanction for "dividing the land" is evidence that the Antichrist can quickly emerge, for he will be the one to sustain the "dividing of the land."
Darrell G. Young



Israel Atomic Chief says Iran Designing Nuclear Weapons

(IAEC chief also warns of nuclear terrorism from Libyan and Syrian fallout as both countries become more unstable.)

Sept. 21….(Jerusalem Post) Iran is directly involved in activities related to the design and testing of nuclear weapons, head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) Dr. Shaul Chorev warned on Tuesday in a speech at the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. Chorev addressed the meeting ahead of a vote expected later this week on a resolution submitted by Arab states to single out Israel for condemnation over its nuclear activities. The IAEC and the Foreign Ministry have spent the past few months recruiting states to vote down the resolution titled “Israeli Nuclear Capabilities.”  “Not only is Iran continuing its enrichment-related activities in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, but it is also engaged in activities directly related to the design and testing of nuclear weapons,” Chorev said. “Absent an effective response by the international community, Iran may become the first country to acquire nuclear weapons while being a member of the Non Proliferation Treaty.”

    Chorev said that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons under the cover of its membership in the NPT and that its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent served no real civilian purpose. “Against this backdrop, some still prefer to find refuge in carefully worded diplomatic phrases, which are obscuring ominous realities, and obstructing effective concerted response,” he said. Chorev also called on international community to take steps to prevent the proliferation of nuclear components by Libya and Syria which are both facing growing instability to terrorist organizations. “With the collapse of Gaddafi's regime, and the volatile situation in Syria, efforts by the international community should be directed towards urgent counter proliferation issues in these two countries,” he said. “This worrisome situation in Libya and Syria is a fresh reminder of the need to work together to secure nuclear materials and to prevent illicit nuclear trafficking and terrorism.”



Obama Has Thrown Israel Under The Bus

(The battlefield: UN Security Council)

(FOJ) Seven of the fifteen UN Security Council states have made definitive statements on how they are going to vote. Joining the US against are Germany and Colombia, although reports in Bogota said that the best Colombia could do would be to abstain. Definitely yes for the PA bid include China, India, Lebanon, Russia, and South Africa. The PA also claims that Brazil and Portugal will approve the bid, giving them seven votes so far.

   Of the others, France, Serbia, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina still have not decided.

Sept. 21….(Newsmax) Wading into a tense foreign policy dispute, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry on Tuesday criticized the Palestinian Authority's effort to seek a formal recognition of statehood by the UN General Assembly and assailed the Obama administration's broader policies in the Middle East. In a 10-minute speech in New York, Perry pledged strong support for Israel and criticized President Barack Obama for demanding concessions from the Jewish state that Perry says emboldened the Palestinians to seek recognition by the UN. "We would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn't naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous," Perry said. "The Obama policy of moral equivalency which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult."

    Perry also criticized the administration's belief that any negotiations should be based on the borders Israel had before a 1967 war that expanded the Jewish state. Perry called that stance "insulting and naïve." In a statement before Perry spoke, GOP rival Mitt Romney called the jockeying at the United Nations this week an "unmitigated diplomatic disaster." The former Massachusetts governor accused Obama's administration of "repeated efforts over three years to throw Israel under the bus and undermine its negotiating position." "That policy must stop now," Romney said, calling on Obama to unequivocally reaffirm the US commitment to Israel's security and a promise to cut foreign assistance to the Palestinians if they succeed in getting UN recognition. Both Perry and Romney said the US should reconsider funding for the UN itself if the global body recognizes a Palestinian state. These and other Republican candidates are intent on showing they stand strongly behind Israel, an effort to appeal to Jewish voters and donors who play a pivotal role in presidential elections. Thus, Perry and Romney are seeking part of the spotlight as the Palestinians push for statehood this week at the UN.

    The US has promised a veto in the Security Council, but the Palestinians can press for a more limited recognition of statehood before the full, and much more supportive General Assembly. The Obama administration has pushed hard for countries around the world to block the Palestinian bid, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday there was still time to avert a divisive showdown. Obama has been criticized by Republicans and many pro-Israel activists for seeming to push the Jewish state harder than the Palestinians to make compromises to achieve peace. Among other things, Obama has called on Israel to cease building housing settlements in the West Bank and to negotiate the scope of the Palestinian state using 1967 borders as a starting point, a diplomatic position the US has long maintained but one that has never before been explicitly embraced by a US president. Complaints about Obama's Israel policy helped a Republican, Bob Turner, win a special election in a heavily Jewish and Democratic New York congressional district last week. "It's vitally important for America to preserve alliances with leaders who seek to preserve peace and stability in the region," Perry said. "But today, neither adversaries nor allies know where America stands. Our muddle of a foreign policy has created great uncertainty in the midst of the Arab Spring." Obama is also in New York on Tuesday for meetings on the sidelines of the General Assembly. He planned to meet later in the week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.



UN Vote: Diplomatic Blitz in New York


Sept. 21….(YNET) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to the US early Wednesday, as an Israeli diplomatic blitz was underway in New York in the aims of thwarting a Palestinian statehood win at the Security Council. The Israeli campaign is meant to prevent a two-thirds majority from endorsing a Palestinian state in the vote, thereby avoiding a US veto against the decision. PM Netanyahu will be meeting with President Barack Obama Wednesday to discuss the latest developments. The Israeli effort is already bearing fruit, with Nigeria, previously slated to support the Palestinian bid, now saying it will abstain in the vote. The Nigerian announcement was made following a meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, who visited Israel back in 2007. Barak also met with Nigeria's oil minister.

    At this time, five Security Council members are certain not to endorse the Palestinian statehood bid: The US, Germany, France, Britain and Columbia. The Palestinians need a majority of nine out of the Security Council's 15 members to win the vote and force the US to impose a veto. Meanwhile, Britain's Catherine Ashton and Tony Blair were joining forces with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a bid to formulate an International Quartet statement that would prompt the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

    Before heading to New York, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Likud ministers and Knesset members, vowing to safeguard Israel's interests at the UN. "It is important for us to go to the UN and present our truth, that of a nation attacked time after time by those who object to its existence," the prime minister said. "We are extending our hand in peace. I said that the way to peace is through direct negotiations and not through unilateral declarations in the UN.



Palestinian Catholic Clerics Bless Palestinian UN Bid

Sept. 20….(Breitbart) Priests in the Holy Land used their sermons on Sunday to give their blessing to the Palestinians' bid for United Nations membership. The retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, the first Palestinian to hold the post since the Crusades, was to preach in the Roman Catholic church in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. A joint statement by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran priests pledged their "support for the diplomatic efforts being deployed to win international recognition for the State of Palestine... on the June 1967 borders with Jerusalem as our capital." The priests went further than their bishops, who in a statement this week confined themselves to a call for intensified prayer and diplomatic efforts ahead of the Palestinian membership request, to be sent to the UN Security Council on Friday. "Palestinians and Israelis should exercise restraint, whatever the outcome of the vote at the United Nations," the bishops said. "We call upon decision-makers and people of good will to do their utmost to achieve the long-awaited justice, peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians."



No to the Palestinian ‘State’

Sept. 20….(National Review) There is no such thing as a Palestinian state, and the United Nations can’t conjure one into existence. That apparently won’t stop the Palestinians from seeking recognition as a state in the Security Council this week. We should veto the Palestinian effort without hesitation. On top of its legal nullity, the push for recognition at the UN trashes the spirit of the Oslo Accords, which commit both the Israelis and the Palestinians to addressing their differences through negotiations. Thwarted at the Security Council, the Palestinians will likely go to the rabble in the General Assembly, where we don’t have a veto and they will presumably succeed in putting a fig leaf on a fraud.

    The General Assembly can change the status of the PLO from an observer “entity,” as it is now, to a “non-member state” observer, like the Vatican, and thereby recognize it indirectly as a state. But this won’t create a real state, either in law or in fact. Under international law, the Montevideo Convention of 1933 explicitly provides that the existence of a sovereign state is independent of recognition by other states, and further provides that a state must have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. The Palestinians arguably have none of those things. By their own admission, they don’t have a defined territory. Their government, meanwhile, is riven: Terrorists control one half of the territories and the other half is controlled by a former terrorist whose term of office expired two years ago.

    Nobody would like to see the Palestinians under a functioning state of laws more than the Israelis. But a state must have a monopoly of violence, and Hamas has always rejected the monopoly of violence in favor of the inherent individual right of resistance to occupation. The Palestinians have barely managed to maintain political institutions of any kind, and a declaration of statehood will do nothing to solve that problem.

Any action in the cause of Palestinian statehood at the UN will serve to isolate Israel further, and could make its government subject to international legal proceedings. But the main danger is the effect it could have in the Muslim world, including the occupied territories. Another intifada would force Israel to resort to military measures, giving Egypt and Turkey another excuse to express their growing hostility to the Jewish State.

    The Middle East has come to this pass despite President Obama’s blithe belief at the inception of his administration that he could forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace. From the start, Obama cast his role in the Middle East as one of impartial mediator, not realizing that America’s influence among the Palestinians requires Israel’s confidence that we will protect the Jewish state come what may. Anyone can play the role of mediator, but only America can underwrite the risks of a negotiated settlement for both sides. The strategic prerequisites for Israeli-Palestinian peace are the same as they were for peace between Israel and Egypt in the 1970s: We must convince the Arabs that they can get what they want from the Israelis only by going through us, and we can deliver Israeli concessions only if we can guarantee Israel’s security. Yet the Obama Administration has reprised the Clinton administration’s childish schoolyard spats with Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu. By embracing the Palestinian insistence on a halt to settlement construction as a precondition for talks, Obama encouraged the Palestinians to dig in their heels. Now the Palestinians think they can get what they want by forcing the issue at the UN and encouraging Egyptian and Turkish belligerence.

    The new government of Egypt is seeking legitimacy by embracing the worst anti-Israeli sentiments of its populace. The army recently stood by as a Cairo mob ransacked the Israeli embassy. The Camp David Accords of 1979 are starting to crumble. Because no combination of Arab states could afford to go to war with Israel without Egypt’s help, Henry Kissinger realized that peace between Israel and Egypt would end the era of Arab-Israeli wars. The fraying of the Camp David Accords, which preserved a tenuous peace for more than three decades, is ominous. So is the reemergence of Turkey as a regional power. Turkey has pledged a military escort for the next “humanitarian flotilla” aimed at forcibly breaching the Gaza blockade, a fully legal blockade even according to the United Nations. The Middle East is again on the cusp of crisis, with the UN about to stoke the flames and the Obama Administration caught in a self-imposed impotence.



This Week’s UN Disaster is Obama's Fault


Sept. 20….(JWR) For many liberal pundits, the blame for the circus that will unfold this week at the UN with the start of a debate over Palestinian statehood is to be assigned to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu whom they wrongly claim has obstructed peace talks. Others are inclined, with more justice, to put the onus for the problem on Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas whose pursuit of UN recognition of statehood without first making peace with Israel is seen as both futile and counter-productive to the end that he claims to seek. But the lion's share of the blame ought to fall on President Obama. Though peace talks were stalled when he took office in January 2009, the deterioration of a relatively stable standoff into the volatile situation that exists today is due in no small measure to the blunders that the president's team has committed over the past 32 months. Though friends of Israel will rightly give Obama credit for sticking to his word and vetoing the Palestinian resolution, a stand that will be undertaken as much if not more in defense of US interests than those of the Jewish state, the diplomatic disaster that is about to be played out is the fruit of his own misjudgments.

    It was just three years ago in the fall of 2008 when then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Abbas a Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem. Though the Palestinians had spent much of the previous months dickering with the Israelis over the terms of a peace agreement, in the end Abbas refused to sign much in the same way his predecessor Yasir Arafat had also declined to make peace after he had received such offers in 2000 and 2001. By the end of that year with a new American president about to take office, it was clear that the state of Palestinian politics was such that no PA leader could afford to make peace with Israel, no matter what the terms or where its borders would be drawn. Even if they were inclined to make peace, with Gaza in the hands of Hamas, Fatah leaders like Abbas couldn't survive an accord.

    That should have signaled the new American president that prioritizing the Middle East peace process would do more harm than good. But Obama was convinced the problem had more to do with his predecessor's closeness with Israel than the realities of Palestinian politics. So instead of watching and waiting for the Palestinians to come to their senses, Obama plunged ahead with a new strategy that distanced the United States from Israel in a futile effort to entice its foes to come back to the negotiations that they had abandoned months earlier.

    The result of this tactical switch was the opposite of what Obama intended. The president's decision to ask Israel to make unilateral concessions to bribe Abbas to talk as well as his inexplicable decision to pick fights with the newly elected Netanyahu over the status of Jerusalem only persuaded the Palestinians that they need only sit back and watch while America battered its Jewish ally. Rather than working on the Palestinians to take yes for an answer and accept a state that would recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state next door and conclusively end the conflict, Obama's actions encouraged Abbas to believe that he did not have to make concessions. Every demand from Obama on Israel was taken up by the Palestinians and put forward as a non-negotiable condition for the resumption of talks. Yet even when the Israelis gave in on some points and accepted a settlement freeze, the Palestinians still refused to negotiate.

    Previously the Palestinians understood that any progress toward their stated goal of a state must come through the aid of the United States. Yet ironically it was Obama's ham-handed efforts to signal that America was demanding such an outcome without forcing the Palestinians to compromise that convinced Abbas that he could only profit by abandoning the US-sponsored peace process. Obama's determination to distance himself from Israel upset the precarious balance that made an accord at least a theoretical possibility. Though the Palestinians claim they are going to the UN because the peace process failed the truth is what they are doing is an effort to evade negotiations. Obama's weakening of Israel had the effect of undermining America's own diplomatic standing leaving the Palestinians thinking they could ignore Washington's interests. Their UN gambit is a crude maneuver aimed at clipping America's influence in the region. The debate in the UN this fall is just one more chapter in the ongoing war against Israel. The Palestinians will not get a state from this show and it may well be that Abbas and the PA will lose more from the resulting tumult than anyone else including Netanyahu. But it must also be understood as a profound defeat for American diplomacy that was only made possible by the hubris of Barack Obama.



Many Palestinians Ready to Flee new Palestinian State

Sept. 20….(Israel Today) It is no secret that most Israelis oppose the Palestinians' unilateral statehood bid scheduled to take place at the UN this week. What is less known is that a very sizable portion of Palestinians aren't too keen on the idea, either. The latest poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 83 percent of Palestinians verbally support the UN stunt. However, and this is an important discrepancy, 38.5 percent demonstrated how they really feel by symbolically voting with their feet: they want to emigrate from the new Palestinian state they hope to see established.

    In Gaza, where the Palestinians have had a chance to see exactly what will happen in an independent Palestinian-controlled territory, a full 49 percent want to leave. By comparison, while 28 percent of them still want out, a 39 percent plurality of the residents of the Israeli-controlled "West Bank" say it isn't such a bad place to live. Why the discrepancy? Why do nearly one-third of West Bank residents want to leave if nearly half of the locals think living conditions are "good or very good"? Again, the answer likely lies in Gaza, which was given full independence from Israel and Jews in general, and quickly fell under the sway of terrorist thugs. Further demonstrating that many Palestinians have no desire to participate in the nation they purportedly want to see established, only 60 percent of respondents said they will vote in the next presidential election.



What Would Arab State # 23 Muslim State # 58 Palestine be Like?

Sept. 20….(INN) Global leaders are so busy speaking of how essential it is for a “State of Palestine” to be founded that none of them seems to have noticed that it already exists in practice in the Palestinian Authority. Since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, the contours of the “State of Palestine” that they wish have taken form in front of our eyes. So what will this famous “State of Palestine” be like?  It will be a racist state ethnically cleansed of Jews, as the PLO representatives proclaimed the last week. It will be a state led by Holocaust enablers like Hamas or by a Holocaust-denier like Mahmoud Abbas, who in a book downgraded the number of Jewish victims and denied that the gas chambers were used to murder Jews.

    In any case, it will be a state committed to the destruction of the nearby Jews’ homeland. A state that will banish freedom of conscience for artists, journalists and writers. A state that will drive away Christians from the land, while proclaiming Jesus “the first fedayeen. A state that will torture Arab inmates in prisons and that will throw political dissidents from the roofs of public buildings. A state where the Iranian clergy will preach the Khomeinist ideology. A state that will accept checks and support from the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood in the name of “the caliphate or death,” as the Islamists who assassinated Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in 1981 decorated their holding cages. A state where the sharia, the Islamic code will be the only rule of law. A state that will be put to death human beings simply because guilty of apostasy (conversion to Christianity). A state where the women will be obliged to wear headscarves. A state where “honor killings” will terrorize the female population. A state that will commemorate terrorists, human bombs and baby killers in public squares, streets and monuments. A state that will not hold democratic elections, but that will be a combination of corruption, dictatorship, Islamic theology and “binladenism.” A state that would be a heavily armed union of rejectionists all dedicated to destroying the shards of Western values. A state that will declare war on Judaism, depicting Jewish history in the Middle East as no more than an insignificant, brief sojourn by arrogant colonizers.

    Who would live in such a state? So why the world is dribbling at the mouth about the creation of a “State of Palestine”? Is it because Arab State number 23 and Muslim state number 58 will be the perfect tool for the evaporization of the lone Jewish state in the world? Building the small Palestinian caliphate on Israel’s shoulders is the first step of throwing the Jews in the sea.



Palestinians Warn Obama not to Stand in Way of Statehood

Sept. 19….(Israel Today) The Palestinian Authority knows all the right buttons to push with Washington. The Palestinian leadership is fully aware of the value US President Barack Obama (like his predecessors) puts on overseeing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and has regularly wielding that weakness like a diplomatic bludgeon against the White House. On Saturday, the Palestinians were at it again, warning the Obama Administration that vetoing their UN Security Council bid for statehood would "destroy" the two-state solution to the conflict. "Anyone who supports the two-state solution should back the Palestinian effort at the UN," insisted chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Senior PLO official Zakariya al-Agha followed up by reminding Obama that in September of 2010 he promised that a Palestinian state would be established in one year. The warnings came just hours after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas confirmed in a speech in Ramallah that on Friday, September 23 he will address the UN General Assembly, after which he will submit to the Security Council an official application for UN membership for "Palestine."

    The Obama White House has repeatedly stated that it will veto the motion, with Obama himself going so far as to call the Palestinian stunt a "distraction." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn't agree more, and continues to call on Abbas to return to the negotiating table. "Peace is not achieved by taking unilateral steps at the UN and not by linking up with the Hamas terror organization. Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel," said Netanyahu in a statement released by his office. The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has consistently evaded peace negotiations with Israel," continued Netanyahu, recalling the fact that ever since he took office in 2009, Abbas has refused to talk peace, constantly introducing new preconditions he knew Israel could not accept. Abbas chose to paint the situation differently, telling reporters that he had tried everything, but that despite his "extensive and sincere" efforts he simply was not able to achieve a Palestinian state through peaceful negotiations.



Netanyahu at UN Will Present 4000 Year Jewish History in Land

Sept. 19….(Algemeiner) At the last weekly Cabinet meeting before his scheduled trip to meet with President Barak Obama and address the United Nations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized his General Assembly speech as “important … to represent both the State of Israel and the truth.” He recalled the multiple offers to the Palestinian Authority to negotiate towards peace, while the PA remained “unwilling to come and negotiate” reiterating that “peace will be achieved only through direct negotiations.” “Their attempt to be accepted as a member of the UN will fail,” declared the PM, noting that the United States will veto the attempt in the Security Council, and noted that Israel was “coordinating our efforts with those of the US and with other important countries, in Europe and beyond.”

    Netanyahu said “we are not foreigners in this country, that we have rights in this country that go ‘only’ 4,000 years.”  He acknowledged the upheavals in the Middle East saying “we do not know what will happen from day to day and how things will go,” and stressed Israel’s continuing readiness to “return to the table in order to achieve peace and security both for us and our neighbors.” In Geneva, announcement has been made of Israel’s enhanced status at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, where the Jewish State has gained Associate Membership, a preliminary step towards full membership. Israel has been an Observer at the CERN Council since 1991. CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said “I am very pleased that CERN’s relationship with Israel is moving to a higher level.” The status change symbolizes the increasing recognition of the Israeli contributions, both scientific and technological to CERN over the years. “The Israeli scientific community is looking forward to the continuation of this joint venture,” said Eliezer Rabinovici, Professor and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Israel’s scientific observer to Council. He noted that “Israel has also supported Palestinian students at CERN, notably sending mixed Israeli-Palestinian contingents to CERN’s summer student program.”



Analyst: Islamic Awakening to Push Israel out of Region

Sept. 19…..(FNA) The growing power and impacts of Islamic awakening and popular uprisings in the Muslim countries will entail dire consequences for the Zionist regime of Israel, including its further isolation in the region, a prominent Middle-East and African affairs analyst underlined. Speaking to FNA on the sidelines of the First International Islamic Awakening Conference here in Tehran on Sunday, Binghamton State University Professor Akbar Mohammad noted the anti-Israeli nature of the current popular uprisings in the region, and said people in Egypt and Jordan have very openly and repeatedly voiced their strong opposition to the existence of Israel embassy in their countries. "The Israeli authorities know that continuation of Islamic awakening will result in their expulsion from Muslim countries," Mohammad stated, and added, "Thus, Israelis are trying to have a stronger presence in the African countries." Egyptians raided the Israeli embassy in Cairo earlier this month and forced the Israeli ambassador to leave their country. Less than a week later, Jordanians staged a similar demonstration and intimidated the Israeli diplomats in their country so deeply that the Zionist regime's diplomatic corps in Amman ran away even before the start of the rally in anticipation of the raid. Tehran is hosting a two-day international conference on Islamic Awakening these days. The high-profile meeting kicked off work here in Tehran on Saturday in the presence of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.







Abbas Says He Will Press UN For Statehood to Highlight Occupation

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Sept. 17….(CNN) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he will pursue a full United Nations membership bid during a speech Friday that was likely meant to both make the case for membership and manage domestic expectations. "We are going to the United Nations to attain full membership" from the UN Security Council, Abbas told an audience in Ramallah, tempering his rhetoric by adding that "we are not going to bring independence. Let's not exaggerate. "We will continue to negotiate," he said. Abbas says he wants the Palestinian territories "to be represented in its natural borders," calling disputed territories inhabited by Israeli settlers "illegal." "We want a seat at the United Nations, and we don't want anything more," Abbas said. He says Palestinian leadership does not seek to "isolate the state of Israel, but rather isolate the policies of Israel," saying he will head to the United Nations headquarters in New York "carrying an olive branch with us." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also expected to speak next Friday at the United Nations, has said the move could complicate the peace process and further destabilize the region. "We have been calling all along for the Palestinians to return to negotiations," said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.

    Regev called the issue of settlements "a red herring" that he says Palestinian leaders have used to avoid talks with Israel, deciding to grandstand on the international stage instead of re-engaging in peace negotiations. Hamas, the Palestinian organization that holds sway in Gaza, also was critical of Abbas on Friday, saying he is showing a willingness to negotiate and acknowledgement of Israel, which would "deprive the Palestinian people from their right to come back to their homeland." "We are warning him not to go," said senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar. "This is going to make more division inside the Palestinian people." As regional pressure mounts over the prospective bid next week, US diplomats have been scrambling to head off the burgeoning controversy, though some analysts suggest the decision to take the vote to the Security Council could reflect a political posturing by the Palestinian leader. Abbas concluded his speech Friday by acknowledging "other options," presumably referring to his government's ability to weigh a host of decisions at the UN General Assembly next week, which may or may not include the full membership bid. "As for the other options, we have not taken a decision," he said.

     While the United States has vowed to veto a full membership application, should it actually come before the UN Security Council next Friday, the Palestinian government could also go to the General Assembly, where only a majority vote would be needed to gain a lesser status, that of a permanent observer state, similar to the position that the Vatican currently holds. A vote in its favor would be all but assured. The Palestinians currently hold the status of a permanent observer entity. As an observer, the delegation can speak in the General Assembly but not vote. A successful vote in either body will not lead to an established "state" with defined borders, but would afford the Palestinian government an upgraded international status allowing them to pursue legal actions against Israel. Abbas is expected to personally submit the request for full membership.



Is The Oslo Peace Agreement Dead?

(Will Israeli-Palestinian accords be annulled in wake of Abbas' UN bid?)

Sept. 17….(YNET) Diplomatic earthquake in store? The upcoming Palestinian statehood bid constitutes a "new game" that will allow Israel to respond without being constrained by past agreements, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is "not only changing the rules of the game, but the game itself," Ayalon told Ynet Friday. "Israel knows how to respond and from now on would be able to realize its interests without any limitations or concessions stemming from previous agreements, including the Oslo Accords." The implicit threat was voiced by Ayalon after Abbas delivered a dramatic speech in Ramallah earlier Friday, declaring that the Palestinians will be seeking full UN membership and approaching the Security Council later this month.

    The deputy FM's words may indicate that should the Palestinian go ahead with their UN bid, Israel would view itself as absolved of the obligations of the Oslo Accords, which call for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to bridge their differences through negotiations, rather than unilaterally. Such move would fundamentally change the current relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

     Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office also slammed Abbas' speech Friday, stressing that peace can only be achieved through talks. "Peace is not achieved by unilaterally going to the United Nations and not by joining forces with terror group Hamas," Netanyahu's statement said: "Peace shall only be achieved via direct negotiations with Israel." Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman already hinted at the potentially grave consequences of the Palestinian UN bid earlier this week, warning that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood would have "dire consequences" and also referring to the Oslo deals. "It's been 18 years since the Oslo Accords and we've tried everything… I accept that I'm the 'bad guy' but what have the others done? Barak, in Camp David, agreed to all (Palestinian) demands. What did we get in return? Another intifada and more bloodshed," he said.



Hamas Against PA Statehood Bid

Sept. 17….(Arutz) The Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip, was quick to condemn on Friday the speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in which he confirmed that he intends to turn to the United Nations and ask for recognition of a Palestinian state. In a statement it released on Friday and which was quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 News, Hamas said Abbas’ statehood plan is “full of doubts.” “We are against any step that will be giving up any inch of the land of Palestine or the rights of the Palestinians, including the right of return,” the organization’s statement said. The ‘right of return’ refers to the Arab leaders demand that as part of a future peace agreement Israel allow millions of Arabs descended from those who fled during the 1948 War of Independence to “return” to the cities in which their grandparents and great-grandparents once lived. Barhoum added, “Hamas movement will not give Abbas or the PLO any legal cover or permission to apply to the UN for full membership, because we believe that his act of heading to the UN is a preparation for resuming the negotiations with Israel.” Barhoum ended by saying: “Hamas will never recognize Israel.”



Abbas Claims 1947 Borders for Palestinian State

Sept. 17….(DEBKAfile Special Report) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced Friday, Sept. 16, in Ramallah that he would ask the UN Security Council next week for recognition of Palestinian statehood. Once they have a state and a flag and recognition by two-thirds of the world's nations, the Palestinians would leave all other issues open for negotiation with Israel, he said. While citing the 1967 borders for a future Palestinian state in reference to his UN application, Abbas stressed that Israel's "occupation" will not will not end the next day and much more remains to be done because the 1967 lines do not define the true borders, any more than the roadblocks and the settlements. The real Palestinian borders were laid down in 1947 down by the UN.  All other areas [meaning large parts of the state of Israel] are "occupied territory" which the Palestinians intend to claim. The Palestinian leader sought to imply that the 126 governments which have recognized the Palestinian right to a state had accepted this interpretation. His other points:

1. The Palestinian application to the UN Security Council is only one step on the road to full independence, after which "all options remain open." Its purpose is to obtain full UN membership and then return to the table for negotiation on this new basis.

2.  He emphasized the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem as state capital, pledged to work for the refugees' return and strive for national unity by healing the rift with Hamas.

3.  Abbas issued a strict caution against violence demonstrations and protests, because he said this would play into Israel's hands.

    A long passage was devoted to the obstacles he accused Israel of placing in the path of Palestinian independence, especially by building new settlements on the West Bank and set them against the strenuous efforts the Palestinians have made to establish the administration and institutions of the future state. "We promised Obama to have them ready by September," he said and "so they are." He accused Israel soldiers and settlers of letting dogs loose against Palestinians and even wild boars to destroy crops. At the same time, Abbas said he was turning to the UN not in order to isolate Israel or assail its legitimacy but only to delegitimize and terminate the occupation. In another part of his speech, Mahmoud Abbas boasted about the democracy prevailing in the Palestinian Authority (West Bank). We respect the will of the people, he said:  "They don't have to demonstrate in the squares (a dig at the Arab Revolt)." Debkafile: The last Palestinian elections took place in 2006. The president, the legislature and the municipal councils are no longer legally in office. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority which he heads are maintained by  the Palestinian armed security forces.



Palestinians Back off UN Security Council Statehood Bid


Sept. 15….(DEBKAfile Special Report) The tempest which Israel had tensely anticipated for September in the wake of a Palestinian bid for unilateral UN recognition of their state looks like it may be fizzling out before it begins as a result of a massive US campaign to avert it, backed by Saudi Arabia, Europe and Egypt. Early Wednesday, Sept. 14, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided crucially not to submit his application to the UN Security Council.  He also notified Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and European Union foreign executive Catherine Ashton in Cairo that he was considering watering down his application to the UN General Assembly, possibly by dropping the "state within 1967 borders" provision from the text. Abbas said he would make his final decision known in a public address from Ramallah Friday, Sept 16 before flying to New York to join world leaders at the UN General Assembly's 66th session which began Tuesday.

    But first, he meets Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair in Amman for a conversation which Debkafile's exclusive sources term critical, because Blair will hand him a document termed by senior Washington sources "an outline" of a new format designed to oil Palestinian wheels into unlocking the long-stalled Palestinian dialogue with Israel. This outline has been endorsed by Washington, the EU and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It is now subject to acceptance by Israel and the Palestinians. Moscow has not yet indicated whether it approves the document or wants changes. By Wednesday morning, the Israeli government had not yet received a copy. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no doubt that he will be called upon for concessions extreme enough to lure the Palestinian leader back to the table. Blair is expected to deliver the document to Netanyahu some time Thursday after Abbas has seen it. To tie up the ends, senior White House envoys, Dennis Ross and David Hale, are due back in Jerusalem and Ramallah Wednesday. During his visit to Cairo, Mahmoud Abbas was sternly warned by Saud al Faisal, Ashton and Egyptian leaders of the grave consequences awaiting the Palestinians if he forced the US to exercise its veto against their statehood at the UN Security Council. US President Barack Obama Tuesday made it crystal clear that he "objects very strongly" to the Palestinian statehood motion as "counterproductive" and "a distraction from solving problems that can only be addressed through negotiations."

    US sources report that the US President has refused to talk to Abbas for the past eight months owing to his refusal to join Israel for direct peace talks. He was advised by the Europeans, the Saudis and Egyptians this week that the US presidential boycott would almost certainly extend to fellow Palestinian leaders and US financial aid. The Palestinian Authority would thus be placed under American sanctions. However, if he withdrew his statehood bid from the Security Council and accepted the new position paper, Obama would consider restoring communications. Tuesday, Sept. 13, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "The path to creating an independent Palestinian state lies through direct talks between Ramallah and Jerusalem, not New York," she said. Early Wednesday, the General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar reported that the Palestinians had not yet submitted their request to the General Assembly. It would therefore not come up for debate before October. debkafile's sources report that while Mahmoud Abbas appears to have been hassled into a partial climb-down from his original plan to bypass talks with Israel by gaining UN approval of Palestinian statehood, he may not have caved in completely. Neither is it clear whether Netanyahu will swallow the new blueprint Tony Blair is about to dish up.



Western Plan for UN Action Against Syria Being Blocked by Russia


(FOJ) Russia has long used Syria as a client state in the Middle East to foment anti-Israel and anti-American policies. Syria represents Russia’s fate for supremacy in the Middle East, and holds a key to its prophetic destiny. Russia supports the Damascus axis of evil, and that city will one day compel Russia to lead its other allies against Israel.

(Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President of Syria Bashar al-Assad)

Sept. 14….(JWR) The United Nations said Monday that more than 2,600 Syrians have died in the Assad regime's repression of pro-democracy protests, but the grim report seemed unlikely to boost prospects for international sanctions against the Syrian government. The reason? Russia. That leaves Russia and Western powers including the United States poles apart on Syria, and suspicious of the other side's motivations. Russia sees the West's hardening stance towards the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and worries that tough Security Council action could open the door to the kind of armed intervention that NATO has undertaken in Libya. Western countries consider Russia's historic ties to Syria and wonder if it isn't trying to preserve a foothold in the Middle East, a suspicion bolstered by recent reports of a percolating Russia-Syria arms deal. Medvedev said that any new resolution "mustn't automatically involve sanctions," adding that, "There is absolutely no need now for any additional pressure." Later, in a meeting with British Prime Minster David Cameron, Medvedev said a resolution was possible but would have to be "balanced." With Russia one of five permanent Security Council members who wield a veto over council action, Medvedev's statements appeared to doom a resolution the US and European powers proposed last month. The resolution calls for an arms embargo and other sanctions aimed at stopping what the State Department has called Assad's "despicable violence" against his own people.



Israel-Turkey/Egypt Military Clash Becoming More Likely


(FOJ) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday night was greeted by a cheering crowd of thousands in Cairo, as he arrived to sign strategic and commercial agreements with Egypt’s interim government.

  Erdogan has accused Israel of atrocities against Turkey and the Palestinian people, and demanded apologies from Israel for its interception of a suspected terrorist shipment to Gaza.

Sept. 13….(Israel Yoday) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday significantly increased the likelihood of an Israeli-Turkish military clash when he dispatched a naval task force to the eastern Mediterranean with orders to confront Israeli warships. Erdogan has called Israel's May 2010 interception of a Turkish-led "humanitarian aid" flotilla to Gaza an act of piracy. He labeled as a "war crime" the killing of nine Turkish nationals who, along with other passengers, tried to lynch the Israeli boarding party. Last week, Erdogan ratcheted up his hostile rhetoric when he told an Al Jazeera interviewer that Israel's raid on the Mavi Marmara and its fellow vessels had been "grounds for war." War was only averted, said Erdogan, because "befitting Turkey's greatness, we decided to act with patience." That won't be the case next time around, Erdogan suggested in a thinly veiled threat. "Right now, without a doubt, the primary duty of Turkish navy ships is to protect its own ships," he said. And it seems Erdogan is determined to actually provoke a confrontation. He told Al Jazeera that Turkey has "humanitarian aid that we want to carry" to Gaza, under the protection of his warships, in violation of the Israeli blockade.

    Israel says it will not back down on its maritime blockade of Gaza, which the UN commissioned Palmer Committee certified as legal and legitimate just last month. While the Palmer Report criticized Israel for the level of violence used in subduing the Mavi Marmara crew, it approved of Israel's enforcement of the Gaza blockade, even in international waters. Erdogan's threat also completely ignores the fact that an enormous amount of humanitarian aid enters Gaza ever day via the coastal territory's land crossings with Israel. Prior to the Mavi Marmara incident, Israel and other nations urged the flotilla's organizers to transfer their aid via those land crossings. Readily admitting that their main goal was to break Israel's UN-certified blockade, the flotilla organizers refused. Now it appears Erdogan is prepared to do the same, but with far more serious consequences.



Israel Anticipates Fighting WMD in 'Multi-front War

(After the Arab Spring, we assess that a winter of radical Islam will arrive)

Sept. 13….(WND) The Israeli military, alarmed by the increasing hostility that is coming from Middle East and North African countries as a result of the "Arab Spring," is forecasting there is a "likelihood of an all-out war with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used against it”. In an address before the Institute for National Security Studies, Home Front Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg said that governments previously supported by the United States and Israel, particularly Egypt and Turkey, are turning against Israel. "After the Arab Spring, we assess that a winter of radical Islam will arrive and as a result the possibility for a multi-front war has increased including the potential use of weapons of mass destruction," Eisenberg said. In referring to WMDs, Eisenberg pointed to the prospect of Iran's development of a nuclear program and the prospect of a WMD attack on Israel. He also referred to Iran's assistance to Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah and to the Gaza Strip's Hamas. He claimed that Hezbollah is dominating the Lebanese army and has gained access to its weapons.

    "In Lebanon, Hezbollah is growing stronger within government arms, but it has not lost its desire to harm Israel," he said. For its part, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has stated that Hezbollah will attack Israel only if Israel attacks Lebanon. With Eisenberg's statement cleared prior to its presentation, his warning about Egypt and Turkey in particular was the first time they have been identified as potential belligerents against the Jewish state. Turkey and Egypt had maintained strategic relations with Israel until unrelated events drew the countries in separate directions. "In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations," the general said. "And this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity."Regarding Turkey, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged Turkey to reduce tensions in expressing concern over the poor relations between Israel and Turkey.



Was Iran Behind 9/11?

(US lawsuit charges that Iran, Hezbollah involved in facilitation of September 11 attacks. Ynet news presents special report about dramatic revelations that could change everything we knew about 9/11)


Sept. 12….(YNET) In July of 2004, members of the National Commission established to look into the September 11 attacks were facing immense pressure. The target date for submitting the report the whole of America was waiting for had passed, and commission members were given a 60-day extension that was also about to expire. However, eight days before the final submission date, some commission members received word of new information; a real intelligence time bomb. Commission members didn’t know what to do. On one hand, a whole new lead emerged; yet on the other hand, nobody could process this huge amount of information within days. At the end of the day, the commission chose a solution that turned out to be the worst of all: It crammed some of the information into three pages (pp. 240-242 in the report) written hectically, ignored most of the information, and in fact left the big question open. As it turned out, the prominent building housing the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade includes a particularly interesting room. In this room, the NSA accumulated tens of thousands of conversation records pertaining to one subject: The ties between Iran’s intelligence service and al-Qaeda from the 1990s to the eve of the 9/11 attacks. The piles of information included 75 intelligence documents characterized as critical to understanding the relationship between Tehran and al-Qaeda.

    At the end of the day, the commission noted in its report that the issue deserves further scrutiny by the US Administration. However, such examination was not undertaken and may have never materialized. Indeed, this entire affair may have remained buried in the three abovementioned pages, had it not been for one brave woman: Ellen Saracini. Saracini is not an intelligence analyst or counter-terrorism expert. She is the widow of pilot victor Saracini, the captain of the Boeing jet that took off from Boston aboard United flight 175, which was crashed into the southern tower. However, Ellen was unwilling to see the death of her husband and father of her two daughters end with yet another line in the commission’s report; she decided to seek justice on her own. Saracini approached attorney Thomas Mellon, who specializes in lawsuits against large corporations. Mellon’s team members launched an investigation. They met potential witnesses, interviewed intelligence officials, CIA agents, Iranian defectors, a French judge and others. They even reached Israel in their search (in the interest of full disclosure, the writer of this article was also summoned to testify in the trial, as one of nine expert witnesses.)

    The investigation kept progressing, diving deep into the dark corners of the global world of intelligence and terrorism. Ten years later, Mellon and his team are convinced that they possess the “smoking gun” that will tie Iran to the September 11 attacks. The legal team drafted a huge lawsuit, recently submitted to the Manhattan District Court. What hides inside it is far from being routine. The lawsuit is premised on a dramatic charge: The responsibility for the 9/11 attacks lies not only with al-Qaeda, but also with Iran and Hezbollah, based on what attorneys say is clear, unequivocal evidence. The case has far-reaching implications, which explain why the US government is not eager to look into the conversation records in the above mentioned NSA room. A ruling that Iran is linked to the attacks would pose a tough test to Administration officials: On the one hand, they would not be able to ignore such verdict. Yet on the other hand, what exactly will they do with it? Will they attack Iran, just as they invaded Afghanistan and Iraq?

    The huge amount of evidence included in the lawsuit comes together to form a fascinating charge: Starting in the 1990s, Iran and Hezbollah helped Osama Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri create a new terror organization from scratch, to be headed by Afghanistan veterans and members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Iran trained group members, equipped them with advanced technological means, enabled them to move freely and provided them with plenty of terror-related expertise and experience accumulated by Hezbollah in its operations against Israel and the United States. Later, according to the lawsuit, Iran assisted in the preparations ahead of September 11. Should Mellon and his team prove all of the above, everything we thought we knew about the terror offensive will change forever.

    According to the lawsuit, the relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda was initiated in the early 1990s in Sudan. At the time, Sudan turned into the world’s second state, after Iran, to be ruled by radical Islam. According to the testimonies of senior CIA officials, Iran’s President Rafsanjani, Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian and Revolutionary Guards Chief Mohsen Rezai visited Sudan. They were accompanied by a figure well-known to Israel’s intelligence services: Imad Mugniyah, the head of Hezbollah’s military wing (Mugniyah was assassinated in February of 2008 in an operation attributed to Israel.) All participants in the meeting pledged to assist the Sudanese regime and join forces with it in supporting other Jihadist movements in the Middle East. When it turned out that Sudan was emerging as a new terrorism theater, Israel’s intelligence agencies started to deploy human and electronic resources there. The file on developments in Sudan until 1996 is known in Israel as “Blue Smurfs” and contains a treasure trove of information about the seed that later became Global Jihad. When Saracini’s attorneys sought the Israeli government’s assistance in receiving the Blue Smurfs file, they were told the information was acquired in cooperation with a foreign party, and that this information can only be shared with this party’s approval. Such authorization has not been given to this day. What we are allowed to reveal here is that Israel’s intelligence officials identified at the time tight relations between radical Islamic terrorists in Egypt and Department 15 in Iran’s Intelligence Ministry. Notably, Department 15 was tasked with exporting the Islamic revolution to other Arab states.

    Israel was also able to identify a prominent terror leader in Sudan. His name was Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian jihadist who served a prison term for his role in President Anwar Sadat’s assassination. Year later, Zawahiri’s name became known worldwide; he turned into al-Qaeda’s chief strategist, Bin Laden’s deputy and successor, and a man with a $25 million price tag on his head, courtesy of the FBI. In April of 1991, Zawahiri secretly visited Iran and sought Iranian assistance for a Cairo revolution. The parties agreed on Iranian support for Zawahiri’s organization in the form of money and training. The terror leader sent many of his men to train in Iranian camps, mostly under the guidance of Lebanese Hezbollah members led by Imad Mugniyah. During his visit to Iran, al-Zawahiri was convinced of the immense power of a suicide attack as an effective modus operandi. Years later he realized that if a suicide bomber is effective, a terrorist who crashes a Boeing aircraft into a tower would be much more effective.

    Following further efforts, it turned out that an even bigger group of Muslim radicals was operating in Sudan alongside Zawahiri and his men. Some of them were veterans of the guerilla war initiated by America in Afghanistan against the Russian invasion in the 1980s. Yet who was the leader of these Afghanistan veterans? How did he operate? Where was he getting his funding? Israel’s intelligence effort continued, and the name of a Saudi contractor who was expelled from his country started to surface, with his real estate work being used as cover for secret terror activity. The contractor’s name started to appear in intelligence reports: Osama Bin Laden. One of his construction companies was known as al-Qaeda (“The Base” in Arabic.) Israel’s intelligence services discovered that Bin Laden joined forces with Zawahiri. During this period, the two grew much closer, with Zawahiri (a surgeon by training) also becoming Bin Laden’s personal physician. The new friendship prompted Bin Laden to send some of his senior aides for training in Tehran and in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon. The infrastructure for al-Qaeda’s establishment was now ready.

    In 1998, an Egyptian-born US Marine called Ali Mohammed was detained on suspicion of involvement in blowing up America’s embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. In his testimony he confessed that in 1989 he traveled to Afghanistan and joined Islamic Jihad and Bin Laden. Mohammed said he trained al-Qaeda terrorists on using explosives as well as on intelligence-gathering techniques to be used in attacks on US targets. Mohammed also testified that he personally handled security arrangements for a Sudan meeting between Hezbollah’s Mugniyah and Bin Laden. Following these meetings, Hezbollah provided al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad with explosives training. Iran also used Hezbollah in order to provide explosive materials designed to resemble rocks. Israeli veterans of the Lebanon wars are well familiar with these bombs.

    Mohammed testified that many of the training sessions were held in an Iranian camp run by the Intelligence Ministry. Based on information from the Blue Smurfs file, which was discovered in the NSA basement, the National Commission ruled that senior al-Qaeda members received training and advice from Hezbollah while in Sudan. These are important testimonies for Ellen Saracini. If Hezbollah equals Iran, and Bin Laden’s men were trained by Hezbollah, there is a basis to the charge about an Iran-al-Qaeda link. The jihadist group identified in Sudan maintained close ties with Afghanistan veterans worldwide and tirelessly worked to form global networks and connections. “We felt that something very big was brewing there; something very different than anything we’ve seen before,” an Israeli intelligence official said. “This was not about a state dispatching terrorists, but rather, about an organization that seemingly created itself.” A short while later, a special intelligence desk was formed in Israel to deal with the subject. Indeed, the IDF Intelligence Branch and Mossad were the first to recognize the danger.

    Early in the 9/11 commission’s work, it turned out that the issue of traveling and visas was a major component in the affair. According to the documents submitted to the court, an immense operation was managed prior to September 11 in order to facilitate the many trips required by the operation. The reason is clear: Only a well-oiled arrangement of flights and secret border crossings could have enabled the terrorists to enter and exit the US and go to Afghanistan. Anyone who ever tried to get a US visa knows this is no simple matter. A passport stamp of a state on America’s list of terror-sponsors immediately turns one into a suspect. So how did the 19 terrorists manage to enter the US after all? How could it be that US immigration officials in Germany and Saudi Arabia suspected nothing? The answer to these questions remained unknown, until the treasure trove was discovered at the NSA basement. As it turned out, many of the terrorists headed from Afghanistan to Iran, with Iranian officials ordering border control officers not to stamp these passports. The other terrorists passed through Beirut in their many trips, where Hezbollah officials similarly cared for them. Mellon’s team hopes that this is where the “smoking gun” can be found, proving a direct link between Iran and 9/11. If Iran did not know about the attacks and was not involved in them, why did it keep its stamps off the terrorists’ passports? Yet that’s not all. The intelligence information submitted to the court includes yet another “smoking gun”: In some of the flights, the terrorists were accompanied by figures whose names were identical to the aliases used by former Hezbollah “army chief” Imad Mugniyah and some of his close aides. This would be hard to dismiss as an “odd coincidence.”

The Iranian defectors

    The materials gathered for the trial include three rare testimonies by three Iranian intelligence establishment defectors. They have been marked as witnesses X, Y and Z. Their videotaped testimonies offer a profound peek into the depths of the kingdom of evil. For long hours they recount their childhood and adolescence in Tehran and how they were hired for the prestigious posts in Iran’s spy agencies. Then, they start talking about the ties between Iran, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda. Witness X testifies about Iran’s advance knowledge of the plan to crash passenger airliners into strategic targets in Washington and New York. He testifies that he was present at training facilities for Sunni terrorists in Iran and adds many details about the way Iran’s intelligence service utilizes legitimate Iranian organizations such as its airline and shipping company for terror aims. Witness Y testifies about Imad Mugniyah’s personal involvement in training the September 11 hijackers and the shelter granted by Iran to al-Qaeda’s men after the attacks. Meanwhile, witness Z says that he was present in a series of meetings in Tehran involving senior al-Qaeda men, local intelligence officials and Mugniyah’s men in the months before the 9/11 attacks. Following the attacks, many senior al-Qaeda men found shelter in Iran. Tehran denied their presence for some time and later admitted that hundreds of al-Qaeda members are in the country and are under “house arrest.”



Why the West cares about Israel-Turkey relations

Sept. 12….(Dore Gold) Under the surface, there have been growing concerns in the West about the general direction of Turkish foreign policy under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party. In an extremely important 2004 cable from the U.S. State Department revealed by WikiLeaks, which was described previously in this column, an American diplomat in Turkey wrote about his concerns over Ankara's "new, highly activist foreign policy." Like many other commentators he focused on what he called the "neo-Ottoman fantasies" of Ahmet Davutoglu, who was then only an adviser and today is Turkey's foreign minister. But the American diplomat went much further in his description. He attended a meeting at the main think tank of Turkey's ruling AKP party where he heard many in the AKP saying that it is Turkey's role to spread Islam in Europe. He added that there was "the widespread belief" among the participants in the think tank that Turkey should "avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683," when the Ottoman armies lost to the Hapsburg Empire.

    Even assuming that this American cable overstates the ideological orientation of the Turkish government by relying on impressions from a think tank of the AKP party, it nonetheless illustrates the concerns of a Western diplomat about the ideas making the rounds in ruling circles within Erdogan's Turkey. Can Turkey still be viewed as a reliable NATO ally or is it now adopting an approach toward the world based on an Islamist agenda? As a result, will it give preference to its partnerships with Middle Eastern countries, like Iran, despite its disagreements with Tehran? These trends are not just of concern for the US, but for other countries who are doubtlessly monitoring trends in Turkey. In late 2009, Davutoglu spoke in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and laid out his approach for Turkey's foreign policy. According to a State Department report on the speech, Davutoglu said that, "The Balkans, the Caucuses, and the Middle East were all better off when under Ottoman control or influence." For many states that were once part of the Ottoman Empire, especially in Europe, this statement undoubtedly raised eyebrows. Across Eastern Europe, from Hungary to Serbia, there are sites that are remembered as battlefields between Christian armies and the Ottoman Empire.

    Many commentators have missed another recent tendency in Turkey's approach to the Middle East, in particular. In a study by Steven Merley, an expert on the European Muslim Brotherhood networks, he points out that since 2006, when the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to convene a major international conference, it has not gone to Qatar or Saudi Arabia, which would not have granted permission for such a meeting. Instead, Muslim Brotherhood conferences have convened in Turkey, and on a regular basis.

    It was also in 2006 that Turkey hosted Hamas for the first time, and welcomed its Damascus-based Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal. More recently, in 2011, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, along with the rest of the Syrian opposition, has been meeting in the old favorite resort town of Israeli tourists, Anatalya. Even if the old regimes of the Middle East fall as a result of the Arab Spring, Turkey is well-placed for exerting influence among the parties that most are likely to replace them. What is happening to Turkey may not be just explained by Islamism, but also by geopolitics. Prior to the French invasion of Egypt in 1799, the Middle East was dominated by two powers, the Ottoman Empire and the Persian (or Safavid) Empire. The West was not yet in control of the region. During the next two centuries, the Middle East was under mostly Anglo-French hegemony that was replaced by American power. Professor Bernard Lewis has remarked on occasion that the Middle East could return to its earlier state in which Turkey and Iran once again become the dominant powers. Today, if the US is seen as losing influence in the region, Turkey may well be positioning itself to resume its earlier role.

    Davutoglu has many reasons to escalate his conflict with Israel. There are those who might conjecture that it is a personal conflict, since his grandfather was an Ottoman soldier who fought the British in the Gaza Strip. A few years ago the prestigious American quarterly, Foreign Affairs, published an article entitled "Is Turkey Leaving the West?" Turkey is aware of these concerns. It has sought to blunt criticism by agreeing to the deployment of a NATO early-warning radar and offering its services to the West for helping prepare the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria. Some Western politicians have been satisfied by these Turkish moves. But many others are still concerned by Turkey's overall direction. For them what Erdogan and Davutoglu do with Israel is seen as a warning sign regarding the future direction of Turkish policy. Will Turkey return to being a pragmatic ally of the West that serves as a bridge to the Middle East or will it pursue a new radical course that increasingly draws it into conflict with the countries around it?



Israel Remembers 9/11 Too

Sept. 12….(Israel Today) Israelis across the country on Sunday solemnly remembered the September 11, 2001 terrorist assault on the US, as Americans prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in history. Israeli Internet news sites and television news stations provided live broadcasts of memorial ceremonies being held in the US. Israeli President Shimon Peres phoned US President Barack Obama to tell him: "The Israeli nation has shared happy times with you, but has also shed tears with you a decade ago. Today Israel once again bows its head as America mourns the loss."

    Israel was the only nation in the Middle East to stand by America on that fateful day 10 years ago. The surrounding nations, and even the "Palestinian" half of Jerusalem, erupted in celebration as the Twin Towers burned and then fell. It was a critical reminder of who America's true friends are in the Middle East (speaking at the national level; there are many Arab individuals who equally detested what was done to America)



Israeli Embassy Break-in led by Jam'a al-Islamiya of NY 1993 Bombing


Sept. 11….(DEBKA file) In first new disclosures on the storming of Israel's Cairo embassy which started Friday night, Sept. 9, debkafile's counter-terror sources reveal that the mob was led by the terrorist Jama'a al-Islamiya, the Egyptian founding branch of Al Qaeda, and two other radical Egyptian Islamist groups. The February 1993 car bombing of the World Trade Center of New York, which was the forerunner of the Sept. 11, 2001 atrocities, was an early Jama'a operation under the al Qaeda label. Closely linked to Osama bin Laden's successor, Ayman al Zawahri, Jama'a al-Islamiya is now running for election in post-Mubarak Egypt. Its mentor is the "blind sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence for masterminding the first World Trade Center bombing. Jama'a adherents stormed the Israeli embassy Friday night along with activists of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian Students April 6 Movement. Debkafile's intelligence sources also reveal that Egyptian security forces delayed for eight hours before tackling the mob smashing into the embassy building and rampaging inside, even after US Ambassador Anne Patterson interceded on behalf of the six Israel security officers barricaded in the embassy's security room as the rabble battered on its steel door. She acted to save their lives on direct orders from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon and 80 members of staff and families had been collected from their homes and lifted out of Egypt by two Israeli military planes.

     The Egyptian authorities only tackled the mob when violent groups broke into police headquarters in the upscale Giza district, stripped the gunroom and shared the weapons among themselves before returning to the street. Before that, the local police stood by and watched them sacking and burning the embassy without moving. Scared of the rioters, the Egyptian commandos ordered to rescue the six Israelis under threat of lynch, discarded their uniforms and mingled with the crowd. When they reached the locked room, they were unable to open the steel door. The head of Egyptian unit had to find the Israeli Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen, who was in urgent conference with Israel's national leaders in the situation room, to obtain the code. They then dressed the six Israelis like typical Egyptians and hustled them to safety past a throng of 40,000 howling for Israeli blood. During the embassy attack until early Saturday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried unsuccessfully to raise Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi, head of the Supreme Military Council ruling Egypt, on the phone. Tantawi refused to take his calls. Defense Minister Ehud Barak kept open lines to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Washington and Egyptian intelligence chief Gen. Murad Muwafi in Cairo. At some point, Panetta was patched through to Muwafi through Jerusalem.



Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Mob Torches Israeli Embassy


(FOJ) The Obama Administration meets in emergency session to analyze the Turkey-Egypt uprising against Israel. President Obama is finding out about the “Biblical curse” that foes with coercing Israel into compromising its God-given heritage, the Land.


Sept. 11….(DEBKAfile Special Report) The Israeli embassy in Cairo stands empty Saturday, Sept. 10 after thousands of demonstrators using sledgehammers smashed through the wall enclosing the building broke in and dumped the flag and hundreds of documents through the windows. Egyptian security forces using tear gas and shooting in air failed to contain the howling mob led by Muslim Brotherhood adherents. Egyptian sources report that classified papers were seized by demonstrators. At least 5 Egyptian soldiers killed and more than 500 police and demonstrators were injured in the clashes. Ambassador Yizhak Levanon, his family and 80 embassy staff members were taken from their homes to Cairo airport and flown home aboard by two Israeli military planes. Six Israeli security officers remained on guard until early morning and were later rescued from a room with steel doors by Egyptian commandos who drove them to the airport in an armored car. The first secretary stayed in Cairo in a secure place.

    The Egyptian government after declaring a high alert sent armored vehicles to the burning building and cut off the power in the street. The demonstrators attacked police and other vehicles in the vicinity with Molotov cocktails. Some moved on to attack a police station. US President Barack Obama expressed concern at the attack and told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu he was taking steps to help resolve the situation without further violence. He called on the Egyptian government to honor its international obligations to safeguard the embassy. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for assistance for securing the building.

     Israel takes a grave view of this violation of every diplomatic norm, Netanyahu said later. The attack came two days before a scheduled visit by the Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan to Cairo amid an escalating Turkish diplomatic offensive against Israel which the US is seeking to contain. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood whipped up the Israeli embassy attack to show the military rulers in Cairo who calls the shots and pressure them into breaking off three decades of peace ties with the Jewish state. The Turkish leader set the scene for the rampage in Cairo by his spiraling anti-Israel hate campaign which is winning him popularity on the Arab Muslim street. Not only have Egyptian-Israeli ties entered a crisis phase, but so have US relations with the Arab world. Erdogan's campaign has derailed America's Middle East policy by placing its key allies Turkey and Israel on a course of military collision. Erdogan is putting Washington on notice that Turkey's friendship and support in the region is contingent on the US turning against Israel.

    Israel is taken back 32 years to the seventies when it stood out as the only pro-Western outpost of democracy in the Middle East beset by Arab enemies. The burning of the Israeli embassy in Cairo means that Ambassador Levanon will not return to his post in a hurry, the temperature of relations with Egypt will drop from cold to frigid and Israel can forget about the resupply of natural gas. Already, the military junta instead of battling the terrorists at large in Sinai, including al Qaeda, has forged deals with them and left them in control of the inflammable Israeli border area. The Egyptian rulers' policy of appeasement for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists has backfired against them too. The spreading extremist violence climaxing in the attack on the Israeli embassy augurs the further breakdown of their authority. As well as an outrage against Israel and setback for US influence, it confronts the generals with their moment of truth: Their failure to deal with the rioters, who quickly vented their fury on police vehicles and buildings, will pave the way for Muslim extremist control of Egypt. Israel stands in grave peril of the region's two top Muslim powers lining up at the head of its enemies.

    In Jerusalem, Netanyahu, Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spent long hours Friday night mulling Israel's reaction to the invasion of its Cairo embassy. A proposal to relocate it at the Sinai resort of Sharm al-Sheikh was abandoned because of the potential of its becoming a new Muslim Brotherhood target vulnerable also to al Qaeda and Palestinian terrorist networks at large in the Egyptian peninsula. Israeli official spokesmen tried explaining that the continued presence of the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv meant that diplomatic relations with Egypt were unchanged. Debkafile notes that this argument served to further illustrate the Netanyahu-Barak's ostrich-like attitude to adverse events. In the new circumstances, the Egyptian diplomat is certain to be recalled for "home leave" or some other pretext before long. Only this week, the defense minister's senior political adviser Amos Gilead claimed that Israel's security situation "had never been better" and Arab regimes were "stable," providing a vivid example of the wide gap between the government's situation evaluations and reality.








UN Secretary General: Palestinian Statehood is 'Long Overdue'

(Ban Ki-moon says supports two-state solution for Middle East peace, adding that it was up to UN members whether or not to recognize an independent Palestinian state)


Sept. 10….(Ha Aretz) The Palestinian people are "long overdue" in their quest for an independent state, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday, ahead of a Palestinian push for statehood in the UN planned for later this month. Ban's comments came a day after Palestinian activists launched a campaign for the recognition of a Palestinian state in the United Nations. The move contradicts earlier reports that the Palestinian Authority was the one who issued the request. In a letter addressed to Ban's Ramallah office, Palestinian activists urged the leader of the international community to "exert all possible efforts toward the achievement of the Palestinian people's just demands." Speaking on Friday, the UN chief was quoted by the French news agency AFP as saying he fully supported Palestinian statehood: "The two state vision where Israel and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security, that is a still a valid vision and I fully support it." "And I support also the statehood of Palestinians; an independent, sovereign state of Palestine. It has been long overdue," Ban told reporters in Canberra, adding that a "recognition of a state is something to be determined by the member states." Ban stressed the point further, saying, according to AFP, that it was not a decision to be made "by the Secretary General so I leave it to the member states to decide to recognize or not to recognize."

    The UN chief's comments came following following an Haaretz report, according to which White House Middle East emissaries Dennis Ross and David Hale met Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and made it clear to him that a request to the United Nations for recognition in about two weeks of an independent Palestinian state could have serious implications. For his part, Abbas said the Palestinian request for recognition of statehood within the 1967 borders had reached a point of no return and he could not retract it. Ross and Hale also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the course of their visit to the region, but the trip was aimed at applying last-minute pressure on the Palestinian president. An Israeli source with knowledge of the details of the meeting between the visiting Americans and Abbas noted that this was the first time the Americans had spelled out the full negative implications of the Palestinian request to the UN.



Hamas May Move HQ from Damascus to Cairo

(Amid growing Syria tensions, Hamas leader says there are many options for where to move group's operation center, Egypt is one of them)

Sept. 10….(Jerusalem Post) Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced on Friday that he is considering the possibility of moving the group's headquarters from Damascus in Syria to Cairo in Egypt. "All the Palestinians in Syria are in distress, and it's not just Hamas," Zahar said. "When it comes down to where the headquarters of the organization are located, there are many options and Egypt is one of them," he continued. This is not the first time that reports have surfaced about Hamas moving its headquarters out of Syria.  In April, the group said it had no plans to move its headquarters from Damascus to Qatar because of the unrest in Syria. “Hamas is continuing to carry out its work in Damascus,” said Izat Risheq, a member of the Hamas political bureau. “There is no change on our status in Syria.” The London-based pan Arab daily Al-Hayat reported that Syria asked Hamas to leave the country and that Qatar only agreed to receive the movement’s political leadership The report claimed that Egypt and Jordan refused to receive the Hamas leadership. The paper said that the decision to ask Hamas to leave Syria came in response to the movement’s support for the popular uprising in that country.



Egyptians Storm Israeli Embassy in Act of War Reminiscent of Iran


(FOJ) In 1979, Islamic Iranian revolutionaries broke into the US embassy in Teheran and took hundreds of American diplomats hostage. Occupying an international embassy is tantamount to an act of war against the country.


Sept. 10….(DEBKA) The Egyptian government declared state of alert early Saturday, Sept. 10, after thousands of demonstrators using sledgehammers smashed through the wall outside the Israeli embassy, broke into the building, hauled down the Israeli flag and dumped hundreds of documents through the windows before setting the embassy on fire. Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, his family and staff were transported to Cairo to await a military plane to evacuate them. US President Barack Obama expressed concern at the attack and told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu he was taking steps to help resolve the situation without further violence. He called on the Egyptian government to honor its international obligations to safeguard the embassy.  The attack came two days before a scheduled visit by the Turkish prime minister to Cairo amid an escalating diplomatic offensive against Israel which the US is seeking to contain.

    US President Barack Obama called on Egypt to "honor its international obligations" and protect the Israeli mission after protesters, who had been demonstrating at Tahrir Square to push for a timetable for reforms and an end to military trials for civilians, smashed through a wall protecting the embassy building. The US president said he was concerned about the storming of the Israeli mission, and said the US was working to resolve the situation without an escalation in violence.



Can You Tell Which Leader is the American Ally?

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Sept. 8….(FOJ) Former US Secretary of Defense says Israel is an ungrateful ally. But when your enemies receive millions of dollars in foreign aid, and other Arab countries receive military hardware that endangers the survival of your country, how can Israel be pleased? And beyond that, the US has constantly coerced Israel to give up chunks of its land to appease the enemies, not only of Israel, but enemies also of Christianity and America. Zechariah 12:2-3 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. Alas, the US has forced Israel into compromising the “promised land,” in order to acquire cheap (humm!) oil prices from our Arab trading partners. The President should have a foreign policy advisor that is familiar with Genesis 12, then perhaps the US would find blessings in its economy and foreign endeavors. (Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.)

    Conversely, the leader of the Palestinian Authority has more reason to be all smiles while meeting with President Obama. He, like Yasser Arafat before him (both terrorists) continually acquire major concessions from America in return for absolutely nothing.



Robert Gates: Israel is an Ungrateful Ally

(Former US secretary of defense says Prime Minister Netanyahu's policies isolating Israel on a global level)

Sept. 7….(YNET) Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that his policies were ungrateful towards the US and were isolating Israel on a global level. Gates' harsh words were said during a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee, Bloomberg's Jeffrey Goldber reported Tuesday. Gates believes Netanyahu's government has offered the Obama administration "nothing in return" for its generous security aid, which includes access to top-quality weapons, assistance in developing missile-defense systems and high-level intelligence sharing. The former defense secretary said that not only is Netanyahu ungrateful, but his polices were "endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel’s growing isolation and with the demographic challenges it faces if it keeps control of the West Bank." Bloomberg added that Gates’s analysis met with no resistance from other committee members.

(Not friends. Netanyahu and Obama)

This was not the first time Gates had expressed his frustration with Netanyahu's government: In 2010, when Israel announced new building plans for east Jerusalem during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, Gates said that Netanyahu should "call Obama when he was serious about negotiations." The former defense chief was also irked by incessant squabbling with the prime minister over US arms sales to its Arab allies. According to both Israeli and American sources, Netanyahu and Gates met in March, when the latter was visiting Israel. The PM reportedly lectured Gates at length on the possible dangers Israel may face following such arms deals. According to the report, Gates resented Netanyahu’s tone and reminded him that the "sales were organized in consultation with Israel and pro-Israel members of Congress."

     Washington's frustration with Israel is growing, the report hedged, and such feelings are becoming more poignant as the US is once again gearing to go to the mat for Israel – this time to thwart the Palestinian Authority's nearing bid for recognition by the UN General Assembly. The US has voiced its objection to the PA's unilateral move, which Washington believes would undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and is likely to veto it in the Security Council. Bloomberg's analyst believes that the US vote in the UN will be in spite of Netanyahu, not to help him. Sources close to Netanyahu said Tuesday that Netanyahu's first concern is to look out for Israel's interests, adding he will continue to do so relentlessly. "The prime minister has been calling for direct negotiations since he took office, and he's sure such talks could lead to a solution. Netanyahu insisted upon Israel's security needs and the demand to recognize it as a Jewish state," a Jerusalem source said.



Obama demands Israel apologize for defending itself

Sept. 7….(WND) The Obama administration is applying intense pressure on Israel to issue an apology for the 2010 raid of a Hamas-supporting flotilla attempting to enter the Gaza Strip, according to informed Israeli officials. That flotilla, sponsored in part by a Turkish group, engaged in deadly clashes with Israeli special forces. Dozens of flotilla activists armed with knives, bats and metal pipes confronted the Israeli naval raid and immediately attacked the soldiers. Nine activists were killed, while 15 Israeli solders were wounded. Turkey has since been demanding that Israel issue an apology for the raid, a request scoffed at by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Informed Israeli officials told WND the US has sided with Turkey in its demand for an apology. The officials said that while the US does not blame Israel for the raid, the Obama administration sees Turkey as key to the transformation of the Middle East and North Africa. Obama wants to end the diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel. Israeli officials said the Obama administration does not believe it can persuade Turkey to drop its apology demand and so is instead pressuring Israel.



Jihad is Against the Bible

Sept. 7….(Diane West) Beyond the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks looms another signal date in the annals of global jihad. That date is Sept. 20, when the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas is expected to petition the United Nations for statehood. What would a UN-ordained Palestinian state have to do with global jihad? Practically everything, because such statehood would mark a major victory in the long war on Israel's existence. And, whether unadmitted or unimagined, it is Israel on which the axis of Islamic jihad turns. I've never been more convinced of this than after reading four, clarifying pages of Bat Ye'or's new book, "Europe, Globalization, and the Coming Universal Caliphate". In a first-chapter primer on the relationship between the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, much of which revolves around mutual animus toward Israel,

    Ye'or revisits the hateful perversion that passes for political normal: the relentless mission of the Islamic world, with EU encouragement, "to appropriate a tiny piece of land," Israel, as a political and religious cause despite the fact, as she reminds us, no town, village or hamlet of Israel is mentioned in the Koran or early biographies of Muhammad. Why Israel? Ye'or asks. "Given the immense territories conquered and Islamized over thirteen centuries of expansion and war," she writes, "why would Muslim countries keep plotting to destroy Israel?" And further: "Why does the immense oil wealth of Muslim nations nourish a flood of hatred that poisons the heart of humanity against such a small nation? Why is Israel considered so alarming?" What Israel possesses is the Bible. It is Israel on which the axis of Islamic jihad turns.

     The well-read global citizen might regurgitate something about land, modern Zionism and the post-1948 "plight of the Palestinians," but these are stock narratives overwriting the age-old reason. "What Israel possesses and makes her hated," Ye'or explains, "is the Bible." To appreciate the depth and breadth of this perhaps obvious but seldom pondered explanation, it's essential to realize that Jewish and Christian Bible characters, from Abraham to Moses to Jesus, pop up in the Koran as Muslim prophets who actually preach Islam, not Judaism or Christianity. This is the time-wrinkling, religion-morphing way in which Islam repudiates what it regards as falsifications in both the first (old) and second (new) testaments.

    Given that the Jewish and Christian religious books long predate the Islamic religious book, it's not surprising that in their Koranic guises the biblical characters "wander," as Bat Ye'or writes, "in uncertain space with no geographical or temporal references." Still, Muslims claim that these same "Muslim" characters lived in "Palestine," Bat Ye'or writes, on the basis of the "Jewish and Christian scriptures that they reject." It follows from this highly unstable construct that Islam sees the biblical past as Islamic history "usurped" by Jews and Christians. Thus, "the land in which it took place, though, never mentioned in the Koran, is considered a Muslim land, and Jewish and Christian holy sites are all considered Muslim," writes Ye'or, the pre-eminent modern historian of "dhimmitude," the diminished condition of non-Muslims under Islamic law (Shariah).

    The land of Israel itself, whose "every region, town and village is mentioned in the Bible with historical and chronological precision," is thus "sacrilegious" to Muslims, she explains. "They observe with destructive rage this unfolding return of history that they claim as their own. Any confirmation of the veracity of the Bible is seen as an attack on the Islamic authenticity of the Koranic figures taken from the Bible." So much for those slivers of real estate as being the driver of war on Israel. It is, in fact, a jihad, a religious war against Judaism and the land of the Bible, root of Christianity. As Ye'or puts it, "Israel, in the land of its history, towns and villages, resuscitates the Bible, the book the Koran must supplant."

    This back-to-basics interpretation allows us to see through the masks and deceptions to a war on Israel that is also a jihad against Christianity. Remember that the Koranic Jesus, Isa, has Muslim, not Jewish roots. As Ye'or writes, Muslims see Christians as having gone astray by "placing themselves in the lineage of the Hebrew Bible, because their real origin is Islam." The Islamic answer is to return Christianity to its supposedly Koranic origins. And then? Bat Ye'or believes "the destruction of Christianity's sustaining Jewish roots (would) facilitate its Islamization." And the world's.



IDF General: Likelihood of Regional War Growing

(Senior IDF officer warns of 'radical Islamic winter' that may lead to regional war, could prompt use of WMDs; new, more lethal weapons discovered in hands of terrorists during latest round of fighting in Gaza, Major General Eisenberg says)

Sept. 6….(YNET) Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East, IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday. "It looks like the Arab Spring, but it can also be a radical Islamic winter," he said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. "This leads us to the conclusion that through a long-term process, the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing," the IDF general said. "Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite it true; it continues full steam ahead," he said. "In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations, and this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity." "In Lebanon, Hezbollah is growing stronger within government arms, but it has not lost its desire to harm Israel, and the ties with Turkey aren't at their best," Major General Eisenberg added. Referring to what he characterized as the possibility of a "radical Islamic winter," Major-General Eisenberg said: "This raises the likelihood of an all-out, total war, with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used."



IAF Concerned About Syrian Military Upgrades in Lebanon

(Hezbollah building up air defense systems, moving weapons out of Syria as Bashar Assad loses his grip)

Sept. 6….(Jerusalem Post) Due to the ongoing instability in the Arab world, the Israel Air Force has instituted new guidelines for surveillance and reconnaissance flights in the region to minimize the risk that such flights will lead to a military escalation. Under the new guidelines, only experienced and advanced pilots can fly the reconnaissance flights, which are conducted regularly over Lebanon. In addition, the flights can only be conducted when a senior officer is present in the IAF control room in Tel Aviv. Such flights are usually approved by the IDF Chief of General Staff.  “We need to consider the effect such flights can have, considering the changes in the region,” a senior officer said this week. “We understand that there is a short distance between a tactical mistake and a larger crisis.”

    Israeli flights over Lebanon have been the source of continuous tension between Israel and Lebanon since the end of the Second Lebanon War five years ago. The flights are conducted by manned aircraft such as fighter jets as well as IAF unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition to Lebanon, Israeli aircraft also fly over the Red Sea where they track ships suspected of transferring weaponry to Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel claims it needs to continue flying over Lebanon to track Hezbollah’s military buildup and particularly the flow of arms from Syria to the Iranian-backed guerrilla group. On Monday, as an example, Lebanese media said six Israeli planes flew over the Bekaa Valley, a known Hezbollah stronghold. Israel’s concern is not just about the potential diplomatic fallout from such flights and how they could fuel already growing anti-Israel sentiment in the region, but also stems from concern that Hezbollah will receive advanced surface-to-air defense systems.

     Media reports recently revealed Hezbollah was transferring advanced high quality weaponry that it had been storing in Syria to Lebanon. The move was made out of concern for the weaponry’s fate in the face of the ongoing unrest in the country and the possibility that President Bashar Assad, the group’s close ally, will be overthrown. Hezbollah’s air defense systems are believed to have been recently boosted by the arrival last year of a sophisticated radar system to Syria. The radar is perceived as a significant challenge for Israel’s continued operational freedom and is reportedly believed to be capable of providing Syria with early warning of Israeli sorties.



At Least 140 Nations Expected to Vote for Palestinian Statehood Bid


Sept. 5….(Jerusalem Post) At least 140 countries are expected to vote in favor of a Palestinian state at the United Nations on September 23, Nabil Sha’ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said on Sunday. He said that Palestinian Authority officials were continuing their efforts to persuade more countries to support the statehood bid. At a press conference in Ramallah, Sha’ath, a former PA foreign minister, said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would soon brief Fatah and PLO leaders on the ongoing efforts to secure the support of as many countries as possible for the statehood plan. He said that Abbas would make it clear that the PA would seek full membership of a Palestinian state in the UN. Sha’ath pointed out that 125 countries have so far promised to back the statehood bid at the UN. “We want Palestine to become the 194th member of the UN,” he added. He also voiced hope that the EU countries would support the PA’s application for full membership in the UN.

    EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton is scheduled to return to the region in the coming days for additional talks on the Palestinian statehood plan, Sha’ath disclosed. He said that Ashton would inform the Palestinian leadership of the EU’s final stance regarding the statehood bid. Expressing fear that the US would foil the PA’s plan at the UN, Sha’ath said that the PA leadership was determined to go ahead with its initiative. “We won’t succumb to any pressure because our people are determined to achieve freedom and independence,” he stressed. Sha’ath also dismissed claims that the statehood bid would affect the status of the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians” and deprive the refugees of the “right of return” to their original villages inside Israel. The PLO, he said, would remain the legitimate and sole representative of our people. “Going to the UN won’t affect the status of the PLO,” he said.

    Sha’ath pointed out that the PLO had declared an independent Palestinian state in 1988 in Algiers. He also noted that the PA had been established by the PLO, which is now planning to go to the UN to seek full membership of a Palestinian state. According to Sha’ath, after the vote at the UN, the PA would work toward establishing a national unity government with Hamas and holding presidential and parliamentary elections. In a related development, PLO negoiator Saeb Erekat denied on Sunday that the Palestinians had received new US proposals to resume peace talks with Israel. He said that the PA was pursuing contacts with the US Administration on the issue of the statehood bid. The Quartet’s special envoy, Tony Blair, is also scheduled to meet with Abbas on Tuesday in Ramallah to discuss the issue, Erekat said.





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