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The Day In Israel: Tuesday June 29th, 2010

khaled meshaalHead Hamashole Khaled Meshaal has warned that Hamas plans to kidnap more IDF soldiers and the price for Gilad Shalit will increase if Israel doesn’t meet its demands for a prisoner swap.

“Gilad will not be the only one,” Mashaal said. “We will kidnap more soldiers, including officers. We will not free Schalit until [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu gives in to our just demands.

“Israel is responsible for the failure in negotiations,” Mashaal added, saying he had relayed a message to the German mediator: “If you come to the negotiations table again with Netanyahu’s demands – don’t come, stay where you are.”

Directing his remarks to the prime minister, Mashaal said: “We will not repeat our requests over and over. You know the list [of security prisoners demanded], and we will not change it.”

The Hamas leader added, “We will not be flexible in our demands. As time goes by, our demands will grow, and so will the price. Israel is America’s lackey, that wants to strengthen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas, and therefore is the real one to blame for the failure in negotiations.”

He’s just cruising for a bruising cruise missile.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

8:45PM: Appropriately named (dead) terrorist of the day: Bassam Badwan, who certainly was as his surname suggests.

8:40PM: Fat Gaza, the video.

5:16PM: Australian Member of Parliament Christopher Pyne speaking to the House of Representatives on the 4th anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit (hat tip: Advocating for Israel).

4:40PM: Australia’s new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (who I blogged about here), has been criticized for her pro-Israel views.

Australia’s new prime minister was forced to defend her political stand towards Israel  on Tuesday, saying that her partner’s work for a property group owned by a pro-Israel lobbyist would not influence her and that she would not hesitate to criticize Israel when required.

Julia Gillard was elected prime minister last Thursday following a campaign to discuss her predecessor, Kevin Rudd. The witty politician managed to convince her fellow members at the ruling Labor Party that Rudd would lead them to a defeat in the upcoming elections and should be replaced.

On Monday she was caught in her first political storm as prime minister following a letter written by Ross Burns, who served as Australia’s ambassador to Israel between 2001 and 2003.

In a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, Burns said Gillard has been ”remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions in the past two years”.

The former diplomat hinted that Gillard’s stand stemmed from her relations with Jewish Melbourne property developer Albert Dadon, who employs Gillard’s partner Tim Mathieson and has been active in advancing Australia’s ties with Israel.

According to the Herald, Gillard has been part of the Australian delegation to the last two meetings of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, founded by Dadon.

Burns slammed Gillard for refusing to condemn Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and criticizing Hamas for firing rockets into Israel, while former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd expressed unease at the blockade of Gaza by Israel.

”It looks a bit funny when you go on this tour to promote bilateral relations, but you don’t seem to have any reservations about the issue that was number one on the horizon,” Burns said.

Burns was joined by another former Australian ambassador to Tel Aviv, Peter Rodgers, who said that under successive governments, Australia’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had become increasingly unbalanced, and that this was unlikely to change under Gillard’s stewardship.

”There’s been a marked swing away from the old attempt to be even-handed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to a much more determined pro-Israeli position, and I think Gillard is part of that,” Rodgers said.

The new prime minister rejected the criticism, clarifying that her stand towards Israel was impartial. She noted that her public condemnation of Hamas in January 2009 was well before there had been any suggestion of Mathieson working for Dadon.

Gillard also defended her partner’s right to work for the Ubertas company, stressing that Mathieson’s work was his private business.

“Kevin (Rudd) was the first prime minister, as I understand it, to have a partner with her own career, and a formidable and successful career it is,” she said, adding that she hoped people would understand that her partner “has got a right to live his life too.”

1:14PM: I’ll smoke what he’s smoking.

Israel must apologize for its blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as compensate the people of Gaza, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview to American television Monday, adding that such an apology would be a condition to continued Turkish mediation in any future peace talks between Israel and Syria.

—-

“Israel should issue an apology because of what has happened with the more recent events and compensate for the people and Gaza, which is like an open-air prison, must not remain so, and the blockades must be lifted. As long as these happen, this takes place, then we are ready for any sort of responsibility that we are asked to take upon ourselves,” Erdogan said.

12:48PM: It’s official: palestinian terrorists like their soccer.

Of course, we knew that already.

Haniyeh soccer

10:30AM: Must see video: Watch Claire interview Gaza flotilla organizers and anti-Israel Jews to expose the anti-humanitarian agenda of the IHH.

Istanbul, the world capital of conspiracies, espionage, intrigue, and cliched journalism …

Claire, a novelist and freelance writer, and Okan, a documentary filmmaker, are independent journalists who live in Istanbul. We’ve had it with press coverage of this region that relies eternally on the same recycled handful of tired sources, uncritically repeats partisan propaganda, and sheds more heat than light. The coverage of the Mavi Marmara flotilla fiasco was the last straw: If this is a media war, we decided, someone needs to be shooting straight.

We’re on a mission to find out what’s really going on here. We’re going to speak to the people you never hear from, ask the questions that never seem to get asked, and try to figure out just what the hell is really going on in this corner of the Orient.

This will basically an experiment in independent journalism. We have biases—of course we do—but we’ll be forthright about them. We let our subjects speak for themselves (although we’re sometimes inclined to argue with them). We look for evidence, not propaganda. We will cover perspectives of all who were involved in the incident as well as of all who were not there but have directly or indirectly been affected by the incident, whether they are individuals, institutions or states.

Consequently, we will get to the bottom of it and expose how the incident relates to the American people and the West. We’ve started filming the project, but will need the funds to complete filming and post-production.

We have put together a video of the footage of the interviews already shot to give you a sense of what the project will entail. Hope you will enjoy it.

The video is available here. Please also consider supporting this great effort and donate funds to ensure the rest of the documentary is made.

6:04AM: Yet another indication that the idea of smart Jews may be an urban legend.

Israel has agreed to reconsider its decision to deport four Hamas lawmakers from Jerusalem if they declare that they do not represent the radical Islamist movement and sever their ties to it, an Israeli security official told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

The four men are Palestinian Legislative Council members Mahmoud Abu Tir, Ahmed Attoun, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafeh. Abu Arafeh is also a former Palestinian Authority cabinet member.

They have reportedly accepted the Israeli condition and are now willing to make a public statement in this regard so that they can stay in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Police confiscated their Israeli ID cards after the Interior Ministry revoked their status as permanent residents of the city, paving the way for their expulsion.

The Israeli security official explained that the decision to reconsider the deportations had largely been designed to boost the standing of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and undermine Hamas.

“The Hamas officials have apparently chosen to stay in Jerusalem with their families and enjoy all privileges as residents of Israel,” the official told the Post. “Their readiness to distance themselves from Hamas is an important step that could lead to the cancellation of the deportations.”

Deportation will be canceled once four sign statement

He added that the decision to deport the four men would be canceled once they sign a statement disowning Hamas.

“We want an unambiguous statement that leaves no room for double-talk,” he said. “We want to send a message to the Palestinians that if they renounce Hamas and terrorism, they stand to benefit.”

I think the message we are sending is “If you lie, you stand to benefit.”

I mean, look at Abu Tir. He can’t even be straight forward about his beard color.

5:50AM: CNN report on the whole “musicians boycotting Israel” thing.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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