Getting Caught Up

[tweetmeme] Just to quickly pass on some good and relevant articles.  I’ll comment more later.

Israel’s PM says to keep parts of West Bank forever – Al Arabiya: Netanyahu publicly proclaims that Israel will never leave parts of East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank.  This is not a surprise because no Israeli government would have been able to force around 100,000 Jews out of E. Jerusalem.  The surprising part is that Netanyahu said it publicly.  The disappointing part (or perhaps clarifying) is that he held the announcement immediately after his talks with George Mitchell. The timing symbolizes that Bibi is not going to be backing down to US pressure if it comes.  Palestinians have said that this destroys the hope of peace.

Time for George Mitchell to Resign – Stephen Walt:  I wrote about Obama’s inability to push Israel in 2009.  Walt agrees that Obama either lacks the will or the capacity to deliver any sort of peace.  The result is Mitchell running around the Middle East with his hands tied behind his back.  Walt calls for his resignation not because he is doing a poor job, but that he lacks the backing from Washington to actually do anything.  The Majlis comments further.

“Palestinian Journalists Can’t Work Freely of Safely” – The Electric Intifada:  A look at photographer Nayef Hashlamoun who has spent years photographing the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  The article talks about the difficulties of being a free reporter in Palestine.

Jordan will hear suit against MKs – Jerusalem Post: A while back I wrote about the Israeli idea to make Jordan a Palestinian state.  The idea was the Palestinians would move to Jordan – which was part of historic Palestine – and Israel would keep the West Bank and Gaza.  Turns out I was right about the reaction of Jordanians: they didn’t like it.  Two Israeli MKs to be tried.

Israel Poised to Challenge UN Report on Gaza – New York Times: In response to the Goldstone Report that accused both Hamas and Israel of war crimes during Cast Lead in 08/09.  Israel conducted its own investigations that unsurprisingly contradicted nearly everything in the original report.  Accusations of deliberate war crimes by Israel were justified by the Jewish state as accidents or collateral damage.  Hamas has yet to conduct an investigation of its accusations.

Al Qaeda’a Army of One – Foreign Policy: A very good article that gives a history of Al Qaeda and its attacks and actions.  It is interesting to read about the evolution of the group.

Russian Foreign Minister: Moscow in Contact with Hamas – Ma’an News:  Apparently Moscow is intensifying its relationship with Hamas as the west continues to push it away.  Connections with Hamas would be very helpful in the peace process if the west ever thought of engaging.

Yemeni Rebel Announce Truce with Saudi Arabia – Al Arabiya: The Houthi rebels, located in North Yemen and – until recently – South Saudi Arabia, have agreed to withdraw from Saudi land.  It will be interesting to see if the KSA remains involved at all or if it completely withdraws.  In a related note, look for Yemeni President Saleh to continue to try to convince westerners that the Houthis are somehow related to AQ (they aren’t) in order to gain support for the local government.

Israel Accuses Turkey of Encouraging anti-semitism – Haaretz: The diplomatic disagreement between Israel and Turkey – which almost ended – seems to be heating up again.  Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy FM Danny Ayalon lead an aggressive anti-Turkey movement within the Israeli government.  Turkey, Egypt and Jordan are the three Muslim countries with the best ties to Israel; the Israeli ambassador was almost assassinated in Jordan and now Israel seems to be giving Turkey the heave-ho as an ally.

Happy Reading…

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