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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech was a big hit with the Israeli public, with 71% approving of it, and Netanyahu’s own approval rating jumping up 16 percentage points to 44%.
And US President Barack Obama welcomed Netanyahu’s endorsement of palestinian independence as a way to restart peace talks.
Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu and senior officials in the PMO and Foreign Ministry expressed satisfaction that the speech had succeeded in throwing the diplomatic ball squarely back into the US, EU and palestinian court, with one official saying people will now be asking the palestinians why they are not willing to return immediately to the negotiating table with Israel and why they won’t recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
10:45PM: Cracking a Fatah: Introducing the palestinians’ latest weapon: Dead Sea Hamasturbators.TM7:52PM: Jimmy Carter talks so much sh*t, he needs a bag for it.
6:12PM: Slam dunk of an article on Jimmy Carter’s shameless tears.
During his visit to the Gaza Strip Tuesday, Jimmy Carter stated that he had to “hold back his tears” in the face of the destruction suffered by Palestinian residents. It is indeed an irony of fate that his comments coincides with the post-election unrest in Iran, as brave civilians in Tehran and elsewhere are being shot on the streets while protesting the vote debacle. Is Carter crying for them too?
After all, the Iranian revolution that brought the Ayatollahs to power occurred on Carter’s watch. Moreover, the Islamic revolt in Tehran, attributed at least in part to the former president’s actions and misdeeds, epitomizes the grave implications that policies adopted by leaders of Carter’s ilk may bring to the region.
It was then-President Carter, who in the name of “human rights” and similarly noble notions in essence encouraged the revolution, while forbidding Iran’s Shah from forcefully dispersing protests against his regime. Carter conveniently ignored the fact that these rallies were being orchestrated by radical clerics who were not quite human rights champions themselves.
For the past 30 years, not only Iranians have been paying the price for Carter’s folly, but rather, residents of the region and indeed of the entire world.
5:48PM: While Jimmy Carter accuses Israel of treating palestinians like “savages”, some continue to do everything in their power to prove they are just that.
Relatives of the 15-year-old Palestinian boy who was murdered by members of his family last week on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel have called on the Palestinian Authority to impose the death penalty on the culprits.
The boy, Raed Sawalha, from the village of Hijjah in the Kalkilya district, was brutally tortured before being hanged. His body was discovered on Wednesday in a warehouse belonging to his family.
His father, Wael, had locked him inside the warehouse after villagers claimed that they had seen the boy “chatting” with a Border Police soldier.
The father told police that he only sought to “discipline” his son and did not know that other members of the family, including his own brother, would assault him and kill him.
Sawalha’s grandfather, Mufid, strongly denied that the boy had any connection with the Israeli authorities, saying the whole affair was the result of a “misunderstanding.”
Mufid said that he and the boy’s father did not know that the case would result in the gruesome murder, which has shocked many Palestinians in the village and elsewhere.
“My grandson was a decent boy,” he said. “He did not have any connections with the Israelis.” The grandfather said that one of the boy’s uncles beat him to death before hanging him.
“He was a good boy, an innocent boy,” he said. “He used to help me and his father a lot in the fields. The same day he was murdered he had worked with me in the fields.”
The boy’s father has, meanwhile, been released from detention. Police sources said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that he was an accomplice.
The sources said that the uncle has confessed to the murder. He told police investigators that he “lost his temper” when some boys in the village told him that his nephew had waved to a Border Police soldier as he drove by.
The father, who works as a taxi driver, told reporters that his son’s alleged gesture triggered rumors in the village that his son was “working for Mishmar Hagvul [Border Police].
The father was quoted by the Maan News Agency as admitting that he had given his brother [the suspect] the key after locking his son inside the warehouse.
“I didn’t know that he was going to torture him and hang him,” he said. “My son was actually beaten to death by his uncle despite his innocence.” The father said that the rumors had been sparked by “ignorant” villagers.
Village residents expressed shock over the murder and said they believed that the motive was different than that given by the suspect.
“It’s hard to believe this story,” said Imad Sawalha, a distant relative. “We believe there’s another motive behind this murder. How can a 15-year-old boy be a ameel [collaborator] with Israel?” He and several villagers called on the PA to impose the death sentence on those responsible for the boy’s violent death.
“May God have mercy on us,” said Palestinian commentator Muwafa Matar. “He was just a boy. The hand that tied the rope around the innocent boy’s neck can’t be that of a human being. Have our morals and values descended to such a level?”
Only now they’re asking this?
5:36PM: Jimmy Carter almost cried today, and it had nothing to do with the reported attempt on his life by palestinian terrorists.
Former US president Jimmy Carter entered the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday, after urging Israel to lift a blockade on the Palestinian enclave and stop treating its residents like “savages.”
He denounced the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza and deplored the devastation caused by the Israeli offensive in December and January against the Palestinian territory.
He visited sites destroyed during Operation Cast Lead and a US school completely destroyed in an Israeli air raid.
“I am very affected. I must hold back my tears at seeing the destruction that was inflicted on your people,” he said.
“I came to the American School. It taught your children, it was funded by my country and I see that it was deliberately destroyed by bombs dropped by F-16 manufactured in my country. I feel partly responsible for what happened and all the Americans and the Israelis must have the same feeling,” he added.
“It’s not good to see such destruction, but either is it to see rockets falling on Sderot. All this violence must stop,” he added.
Notice how Carter emphasizes the damage incurred by Gaza and not the terrorism that necessitated Operation Cast Lead to begin with.
No, Jimmy, Israel does not treat the palestinians like savages, but the palestinian terrorists and their supporters sure as hell act like them.
3:48PM: Following on from my 1:50PM update, it seems as though the perpetrators were Al-Qaida affiliated terrorists (I did not initially read beyond the headine and first few sentences)
2:50PM: Introducing our latest weapon: Zionist Death Tweets.TM (Hat tip: Laura)
(I actually thought the blogger was joking until I read the disclaimer at the end of the post).
1:50PM: According to Ma’ariv, “radical elements” in Hamas (as if all of Hamas is not “radical”) have tried to assassinate Jimmy Carter (Hebrew link, but bad translation available here). Hamas police in Gaza have denied it.
This is surprising, considering Hamas hardly has a better friend in the West than Carter.
(hat tip: Elder of Ziyon)
6:02AM: Yet another staged palestinian prisoner protest.
Palestinian Loay Arrar, 7, reacts behind a framed photograph of his uncle Naji Arrar, 28, who is held in an Israeli jail, during a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, June 15, 2009.
Judging by the photo the boy’s holding, I think it’s safe to conclude that uncle Naji is not in jail for tax evasion.