In a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah, US President Barack Obama has vowed to boldly go where no man has gone before everyone has tried to go before and failed.
Obama said their meeting at the White House ranged over a number of strategic issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as “the importance of moving forward in a swift and bold way in securing a Palestinian homeland that can live side by side with a secure and prosperous Israeli state.”
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
11:00PM: More amateur hour shenanigans from the State of Israel:
Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben-Eliezer is Israel’s “secret mediator” with Turkey, Channel 2 news reported on Wednesday. Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was aware of the meeting, the Foreign Ministry was not notified.
In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, Lieberman said he sees the incident as “very severe. This is a blow to all of the administrative norms. This is a blow to the trust between the foreign minister and the prime minister.”
Channel 2 reporter Amnon Aharonovitch described a conversation, in which he called Ben-Eliezer and asked him where he is. At first, Ben-Eliezer said “Israel,” but then changed his answer to “Zurich.” When asked how his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu went, Ben-Eliezer first told Aharonovitch “it never happened,” and then asked “who told you?” Ben-Eliezer then reportedly cursed at the Channel 2 correspondent.
8:30PM: Great news.
The son of a Hamas strongman, who had provided Israel’s security establishment with valuable inside information for almost a decade, will not be deported from the United States, a California court ruled on Wednesday.
Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas founder who says he spied for Israel, speaking in New York in March 2010.
The U.S. Department of Homeland of Security ruled more than a year ago that Mosab Hassan Yousef should be denied asylum because he has “engaged in terrorist activity” and is a “danger to the security of the United States.”
However, on Wednesday Homeland Security officials indicated they were prepared to grant Yousef asylum, thus retracting their original intention, after claiming to have received new information which shed new light on the case.
The pro-Israel think-tank EMET, who had aided Yusef in his attempts to be granted asylum, said in a statement following Wednesday’s ruling that they were “enormously grateful to all those who played a part in standing with Mosab during this time, and helping the Department of Homeland Security come to understand what a grave error deporting Mosab would have been.”
8:10PM: The poison monkey-midget is at it again.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed Wednesday a new amendment to a law in the Islamic Republic that forbids the airing of advertisements for “Zionist companies.” The blacklist of prohibited companies is comprised mainly of international companies, mainly American, owned by Jews or that operate branches in Israel.
Among those on the list are Coca Cola, Nestle, Intel, and IBM.
The boycott is rooted in Iran’s “Palestinian support law,” which acts as a response to assertions that Israel prevented goods from entering the Gaza Strip during its raid on the flotilla.
The amendment obligates a number of government ministries to establish a committee to identify and locate products from “Zionist” companies being sold in Iran. In addition, this committee will be charged with finding the names of leading figures in the blacklisted companies so that they may be boycotted as well.
This move is another link in the chain of efforts made by Iran to isolate Israel in the world in accordance with a decision passed in Iranian parliament on the matter. Iran also plans on bringing forth a resolution to boycott Israel in the UN and in other international forums, including the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League.
The amendment also obligates the Iranian foreign ministry to present annual reports on the progress made in the Israeli boycott.
Beyond wanting to bring harm to Israel, the amendment may also be an indirect response to the new round of sanctions recently imposed on Iran by the West over its nuclear program. The move is intended mainly for internal purposes, in order to increase civilian support of the Palestinians.
I think it’s a great idea. Perhaps Ahmadinejad can also boycott the polio vaccine, radiation, chemotherapy, artificial kidney dialysis machines, defibrillators, pacemakers, and…nuclear energy.
5:54PM: A career IDF soldier is suspected of spying for Hizbullah.
5:38PM: An Israeli court has thrown the book at a guy who threw a shoe at Israel’s chief justice, sentencing him to three years in jail.
(I suggest he now throws the soap at Bubba, instead of handing it to him)*
* Bubba jokes never get old
4:22PM: As if our diplomats’ performance wasn’t bad enough already..
[warning: story may contain an advertisement depicting someone who has really dressed down]
The increasingly public dispute has compounded Israel’s diplomatic woes at a time when it is struggling to contain the backlash from a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid fleet last month that frayed relations with Turkey.
“For several days now, Foreign Ministry employees have come to work in jeans and sandals, without wearing ties, to protest their treatment,” an official said.
“They are following orders from the employees’ committee, which has accused the Treasury of dragging its feet in six months of salary negotiations.”
1:38PM: How the palestinian Ma’an News reported this morning’s Qassam rocket attack on Israel:
A projectile launched from the Gaza Strip nearly hit a building in Southern Israel Wednesday, Israeli press reported.
The rocket landed near a packing-house in the Sdot Negev Regional Council early Wednesday morning, Israeli news site Ynet said, which was confirmed by the Israeli army.
No injuries were reported.
No Palestinian faction has claimed the launch of projectiles.
Notice the use of word “projectile” instead of “rocket” (except in one place, where I expect the editor got sloppy), as well as no mention of the damage to the packing house.
9:15AM: While “peace activists” are supporting Hamas and the palestinians of Gaza, they are still firing rockets into Israel.
This time, “only” a packing plant was destroyed. It is only a matter of time before more people lose their lives (G-d forbid).
6:24AM: A little over a day ago, masked gunmen in Gaza set fire to a UN-run summer camp.
Even though it was clearly motivated by religious fundamentalism, the UN still found a way to blame Israel.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees condemned the attack, which appeared to be the work of Muslim extremists who view the camps as a symbol of Western corruption because boys and girls mingle freely.
“This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the circumstances on the ground,” UNRWA Gaza director John Ging said.
See also the UNRWA representative in this Al Jazeera report (see from 1:35).