Once again, much maligned Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaketh the truth.
During a phone conversation with British counterpart William Hague over the weekend, Lieberman said, “The Palestinians wasted nine months, and even on the tenth month they didn’t join the talks out of a genuine intent to reach an agreement, but because they were coerced.”
The foreign minister claimed the West Bank construction freeze was merely an “excuse” for the Palestinians to thwart the talks, adding that it was now the Palestinian Authority’s turn to prove its seriousness with regards to the peace talks.
“Those who look for excuses will find them even if the freeze is extended,” said Lieberman.
“Israel has made numerous gestures over the past year, and now it’s the Palestinians’ turn. Israel will gladly continue negotiating without preconditions, including those related to the moratorium.
Lieberman told Hague that the international community must support the negotiations by giving Israel incentives and refrain from increasing pressure on the Jewish state to make concessions.
Indeed. The international community needs to put pressure on the palestinians to implement a permanent terrorism and incitement freeze, not to mention recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
9:55PM: Hamas has approved a law permitting the death sentence for drug dealers and up to seven years behind bars for drug users.
9:50PM: Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has claimed the Bush administration was willing to immediately absorb 100,000 palestinian “refugees” as US citizens if a peace deal was reached between Israel and the palestinians.
The former premier told a Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv that during negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 he had offered a solution to the refugee problem that would have been in line with the Arab League peace plan and promised that any measures would be the result of a coordinated agreement.
The Bush administration had offered this American contribution to the refugee problem as part of what would be a framework of international compensation, he said.
“I think that if the refugees – many of whom are already second or third generation [Palestinians] living outside of the territories – were given a choice between returning to Israel or the United States, we could guess what they would choose,” he said.
Olmert emphasized that during his address to the Annapolis summit in 2007, he had become the first Israeli prime minister to publicly empathize with the suffering the Palestinians had endured over the years as a result of Israel’s operations.
The former prime minister said that every ruling Israeli government must accept the fact that peace negotiations would be based on the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and would include a land exchange. Still, he stressed that both sides must realize that neither Palestinians or Israel would ever have full sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Boy am I glad this clown is no longer our Prime Minister.
3:56PM: Some worrying news:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted on Sunday that despite intensive diplomacy, Israel had failed to dissuade Russia from selling advanced missiles to Syria.
Speaking at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu told ministers that Russian plans to go ahead with the delivery of P-800 anti-ship missiles to Syria was “problematic” for Israel.
“We have been aware of this deal for some time and there were discussions with the Russians at every level,” Netanyahu said.
Syria signed a deal to buy the P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles from Russia in 2007. Israel says the weapons pose significant danger to its naval vessels in the Mediterranean and could upset the strategic balance in the region.
“To our regret, the deal is now proceeding in stages and that is problematic for us,” Netanyahu said, adding that the Syrian missiles were part of the reason behind Israel’s recent decision to upgrade its air force with new American F-35 warplanes.
“We are dealing with a new arsenal of missiles and rockets and there has to be a military response to that,” he said.
Incidentally, the Hebrew word for ‘bad person’ is rasha (which sounds a lot like Russia).
2:42PM: Honest Reporting with an important find:
Remember the wrangling over the Gaza war’s casualty count, as Hamas and Israel argued over the definition of civilians?
Now, Hamas confirmed that there’s really no distinction between civilian police and “the resistance” groups who attack Israel. Time writes:
Referring to both the uniformed police and the plainclothes Internal Security, one civilian says, “They’re all Qassam.” The government does little to deny it. “Many of the Qassam operate within both the Qassam brigades and the Internal Security,” Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghossain tells TIME. “In our laws, we do not prevent any resistance fighter from joining the police or a security service, provided that he is committed to the rules and regulations of the department he belongs to . . . We make sure that their activities, outside of their official jobs, remain separate.”
12:54PM: Last time we checked on the Crazy Water Park in Gaza, Hamas had ordered it to close down “due to men and women mixing at parties held in the park.”
Things have now gone from bad to worse.
I am still awaiting condemnation from Free Gaza, the Gaza flotillards, Lauren Booth and the other usual suspects.
11:46AM: And to think I supported Holland in the recent World Cup.
9:05AM: Anti-Israel “pro-Muslim” group CAIR is honoring antisemitic old hag Helen Thomas…for being an antisemitic old hag.
The longtime White House correspondent who resigned from Hearst newspapers in June in the wake of comments she made about Israel will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
CAIR is honoring Helen Thomas, who is of Lebanese descent and now 90 years old, at its Leadership Conference and 16th Annual Fundraising Banquet on Oct. 9 in Arlington, Va.
Speakers will also include Oxford Islamic studies scholar Tariq Ramadan.
Thomas started at the White House as a reporter during the Kennedy administration. In a video interview captured at a White House Jewish heritage event for RabbiLIVE.com that spread quickly across the Internet, Thomas advised Israeli Jews to get the hell out of Palestine and go home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else.
The White House Correspondents Association and the White House rebuked Thomas, and President Obama said she made the right call in stepping down for the offensive remarks.
Thomas later apologized, saying: I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heartfelt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”
That’s one ugly woman – inside and out.
6:00AM: Breaking news: PA President Mahmoud Abbas threatens to quit..again.
Despite Abbas’s latest threats, the PLO and Fatah have yet to start searching for a replacement, the official said.
During a recent meeting of the Fatah Central Committee, Abbas declared: “I have made a decision, and I will announce it at the appropriate time.”
The official told the London- based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that members of the committee understood Abbas’s declaration as a new threat to resign.
Abbas has over the past few years repeatedly threatened to resign, each time for a different reason.
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