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Philip Giraldi, The Unz Reader 9/1/2015
They won't anyway and it will cost us much more
There are a lot of expressions about standing up to bullies being the best policy. Unfortunately the White House has difficulty in following that sound advice when it comes to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his governing coalition of racists and thugs. And one might also add that the reticence also applies to dealing with Israel’s many friends in Congress, some of whom have apparently extorted their pound of flesh in exchange for their votes on the Iran deal.
Israel is already the military colossus in the Middle East, with formidable high tech ground, sea and air forces backed up by a semi-secret nuclear arsenal with modern delivery systems and several defensive missile system referred to as Iron Dome, Arrow 4 and David Sling. The defense systems were developed and deployed using $3 billion of U.S. Treasury special “grants” while roughly 20% of Israel’s annual total defense budget comes directly from the American taxpayer. This is all justified on the basis of sustaining Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge,” an expression that has its own acronym QME and that is much loved by America’s national legislators, the White House and the media. In reality, Israel possesses an enormous military superiority relative to all its neighbors combined and has benefited from that capability for many years, all thanks to the United States of America.
But for some, too much is never enough. President Barack Obama is struggling to line up sufficient Democratic votes to block any congressional veto of his Iran agreement. At this point it looks like he will succeed, but the effort has brought with it the type of backstage politicking that most Americans have come to despise. Both Netanyahu and select Congressmen are being treated to a package of bribes for Israel that defies all reason, particularly given the fact that even the Israeli defense and intelligence establishments have split with Bibi’s government and sensibly declared the agreement with Iran to be better than any alternative. So even though defanging Iran is good for Israel, Washington nevertheless feels compelled to sweeten the pot, with actual American interests as usual ignored or not even considered. more.. e-mail 'Jewish extremists' are Israel’s own sons
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/30/2015
Earlier this month, a strange thing happened: a Jewish extremist was held in "administrative detention" by Israel. This practise, internment without charge or trial, dates back to the British occupation of Palestine, and Israel habitually uses it against Palestinians.
But for a Jewish citizen to be "administratively detained" is highly unusual. The internee is Meir Ettinger, a 24-year-old pro-settler fanatic who is the grandson of the notorious Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Kahane was the founder of the Jewish Defence League, a terrorist organization founded in New York in 1969. The group was responsible for a string of bombing and other violent attacks against Palestinian, Egyptian and Soviet civilian targets in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as against JDL members who quarrelled with the leadership in one way or another.
Kahane later left for Israel to establish the Kach party, although he always maintained his influence over the JDL in the US (he wrote once that he considered the Kach to be the Israeli branch of the JDL). He was eventually elected to the Knesset, before his faction was ejected and recognised as a terrorist organization. Kahane advocated that all Palestinians should be removed by force from the "Land of Israel" – which in his vision included the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Kahane was imprisoned by the Israeli authorities, who saw his agitation against the state as a threat. Kahane Chai, the modern-day incarnation of Kach, has been designated an overseas terrorist organization by the US State Department in its latest annual report on such groups.
Today, according to reports in the Israeli press, it seems his grandson has become his ideological heir. more.. e-mail PLO must be resuscitated one way or another
Daoud Kuttab, Al Jazeera 8/26/2015
Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to resign before, but this time he's serious.
Palestinian cartoonist Khalil Abu Arafeh's comic summarised the feelings of many. He drew an old man in a hospital bed in need of new blood and called the patient the Palestine National Council (PNC).
The nearly irrelevant Amman-based legislative body of the PLO was suddenly reanimated when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and 10 members of the executive committee handed in their resignations on Saturday, forcing an emergency meeting of the PLO's top officials.
As a result, the PNC is now obliged to meet within a month under Clause 14C of the PLO charter. The meeting, which will most likely take place in Ramallah, will be held without the need for quorum to elect a new - and hopefully much younger and more active - executive committee.
The action and suspense caused by the unexpected mass resignation follows years of Abbas threatening to exit the political scene. However, some, especially within Fatah, don't expect these to be the president's last threats.
Abbas' threats of resignation began as far back as 2009, but sources close to the 80-year-old Palestinian Authority president say this time, he is serious. Many suggest that this is the most democratic way for him to have an honourable exit after decades of service to the Palestinian cause.
But the move is unpredictable and risky. It comes on the heels of failures both on the local and international fronts and the inability to hold national elections.... more.. e-mail Color Revolution In Lebanon Designed To Weaken Hezbollah, Syria, Iran
Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post 8/27/2015
During the past week, demonstrations in Lebanon over uncollected garbage have descended into violent clashes between protesters and police. Masses of demonstrators have swelled in the streets of Beirut in a movement now being deemed the “You Stink!” movement.
With these developments suddenly taking place in Lebanon and, with taking the Syrian crisis into context and the Iranian nuclear deal in the background, it is reasonable to question whether or not these protests are a legitimate expression of discontent with an inefficient government or whether it is the product of a Western-backed color revolution aimed at destabilizing Lebanon – particularly Hezbollah – and further weakening the “Shiite Arch of Influence.”
When attempting to analyze events in Lebanon, like much of the Middle East, very little could be considered simple. Lebanon has been racked with economic depression, cultural tensions, color revolutions, civil war and civil war brinkmanship, and terrorism for decades. It has also been the target of outside forces for many years.
The issue of trash pickup – the issue around which the protests began – was entirely a legitimate issue. Squabbling within the Lebanese government has resulted in gridlock on issues such as the disposal of garbage and the economic crisis has brought funding of garbage disposal into question. Likewise, when the government brought up the idea of the privatization of trash disposal services, Lebanese erupted in anger understanding that privatization would mean higher prices, poorer service, and even less accountability. more.. e-mail
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