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US President Barack Obama unexpectedly joined Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s meeting with US National Security Advisor James Jones.
This gesture could have been meant to bestow honor upon Ehud Barak, make it clear that Jone”s positions reflect those of Obama, or alternatively was an effort to show a balanced approach and give Israel a boost amid the US administration’s outreach to the Muslim world, which will include a visit to Riyadh on Wednesday and a major speech in Cairo on Thursday, but no stop in Israel.
Meanwhile, Obama intends to give Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 4-6 weeks to provide an “updated position” regarding construction in West Bank “settlements” and the two-state principle.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
11:58PM: After releasing the swine flu version of our Zionist Death Pigs TM you’d be forgiven for thinking we could not possibly make a deadlier model of this trusted weapon.
You’d also be wrong.
Now introducing our latest version, which do not just destroy crops, but also have the ability to break into houses.
Palestinians in the West Bank town of Salfit said that Israeli settlers sent wild boars to attack them on Wednesday afternoon.
Resident Nasser Khader Eshtayeh, of the Wadi An-Najjar neighborhood of the town, told Ma’an, “A flock of wild pigs attacked the neighborhood and searched in the baskets looking for food, adding that little kids in the roads were terrified when they saw the pigs and families were afraid that these animals could break into their houses.”
Think of it kind of like a reversal of the three little pigs story.
9:12PM: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he had asked the White House to “water down its remarks, briefings and leaks, so that we can talk about fundamental issues.”
Barak, of course, said this to the press.
8:15PM: The women’s “antiwar” group CODEPINK is openly colluding with Hamas.
An American group returning from Gaza says it will deliver a letter to from Hamas to US President Barack Obama who is to deliver a landmark address to the Muslim world in the Egyptian capital on Thursday.
At 9am on Thursday the delegation of journalists, social workers, professors and activists will carry the letter to the US Embassy in Cairo along with a petition signed by more than 10,000 Americans asking Obama to go to Gaza to witness the impact of the recent Israeli invasion there and its ongoing blockade..
“Obama should go to Gaza and see the devastation for himself, or send envoy George Mitchell,” said Medea Benjamin in a statement.
Benjamin is co-founder of the women’s antiwar group CODEPINK, which led the group through Gaza. “There will be no significant improvement in relations between the United States and the Arab world until the U.S. begins to deal directly with Hamas and shows its commitment to the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis.”
The delegation met with government officials, including the Ministers of Health and Education, members of Parliament, the Speaker of the Legislative Council and the Deputy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Delegates also met with visiting schools, hospitals, mental health workers, human rights lawyers, businessmen and women’s groups.
The group said in a statement that it was “shocked by the brutality of the Israeli invasion that killed more than 1,400, displaced more than 50,000 people and destroyed approximately 4,000 homes. They were also appalled by the effects of the 21-month siege that has virtually sealed the borders and constitutes a form of collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.”
It goes without saying that when they talk of 1,400 killed, this figures mostly consists of terrorists. But why not include them in your tally when you support them and consider them to be freedom fighters?
7:28PM: According to the Global Peace Index released today, Israel ranks fourth to last among the 144 countries included. According to the Index, only Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq are considered more dangerous, and places like Lebanon, Iran and Syria are considered less dangerous.
Index, shmindex. I can honestly say I feel safer in Israel than anywhere else.
5:12PM: Quote of the day is this one from Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev, responding to the latest drivel from former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters:
“We don’t need no education about suicide bombers coming into Israel and murdering innocent people, and how the security barrier has prevented that by more than 95 percent.”
He was responding to Water’s latest statements such as this:
“If that [stopping Israelis from being blown up in buses] was the sole reason [for the security fence], what’s it doing in the occupied territories, surrounding settlements and cutting [Palestinian] farmers off from their olive trees and so on and so forth?”
“When you stand in front of an edifice like this, whether it’s here or outside a township in South Africa, or in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War, or in Berlin in the 60s and 70s, it’s something you know instinctively that this is wrong. It’s a bad thing. “It cannot survive forever.”
“[Israel’s recent Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was] not an eye for an eye, but a hundred eyes for an eye.”
What is it about celebrities who are under the delusion that their fame qualifies them as experts in Middle East affairs?
3:08PM: There are a number of key points in this Washington Post article from Friday that could be easily missed.
1. “Moderate” Mahmoud Abbas’ demands are not so moderate or realistic.
In our meeting Wednesday, Abbas acknowledged that Olmert had shown him a map proposing a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank — though he complained that the Israeli leader refused to give him a copy of the plan. He confirmed that Olmert “accepted the principle” of the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees — something no previous Israeli prime minister had done — and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. In all, Olmert’s peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton; it’s almost impossible to imagine Obama, or any Israeli government, going further.
Abbas turned it down. “The gaps were wide,” he said.
2. Despite all the talk of “settlements” and other things making life hard for the palestinians in the “West Bank” (such as Zionist Death Pigs TM), Abbas has acknowledged their life is not so bad.
Instead, he says, he will remain passive. “I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements,” he said. “Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life.” In the Obama administration, so far, it’s easy being Palestinian.
A six-year-old girl helped deliver a knife-brandishing robber into arrest Tuesday night – after the man had already successfully stolen money from two grown men.
The Dan District Police station registered two complaints on Tuesday by apartment owners in Ramat Gan saying a man threatened them with a knife and took money from them.
The 51-year-old robber, also a Ramat Gan resident, then moved on to a third apartment. After he knocked on the door, a little girl opened it; when he demanded she leave the house, she refused and said she would call the police. He then threatened her with a knife, but the child got hold of a broom and hit him with it.
The man fled the scene, but after the girl described his appearance to the police, he was caught and arrested while still in possession of the knife he had used in the robberies.
The man, who has a criminal record, will be brought Wednesday to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court where police will ask for his remand.
Meanwhile, don’t you just love how the Jerusalem Post felt the need to include a photo of an unrelated 6-year-old for “illustrative” purposes?
As if we don’t know what a 6-year-old looks like.
10:20AM: Hizbullah number two (actually, they are all number two’s) Sheikh Naim Kassem has rejected accusations that a Hizbullah unity government would try to implement an Iranian-style Islamic state.
I guess that means they won’t try to implement one; they’ll just do it.
10:05AM: Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom has explained to UN Secretary-General “Banky” moon a bit about dancing.
Next he’ll explain how someone can be a Vice Prime Minister and a Regional Development Minister.
6:12AM: As many of you have likely already seen, Barack Obama said that Iran has legitimate energy concerns and some right to nuclear energy, provided it takes steps to prove its aspirations are peaceful.
5:55AM: Clip of a young Muslim man with a seemingly good head on his shoulders. Here’s hoping it’s still there.