Wednesday, October 02, 2013

10/02 Links Part 1: Reactions to Netanyahu's UN Speech, What Abbas Missed in His UN Speech

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: What Abbas Missed in His UN Speech
Abbas does not seem to have time to talk about the suffering of his people at the hands of Arab governments and terror groups.
As he was speaking, thousands of Palestinians were stranded on both sides of the Gaza Strip-Egypt border due to the closure of the terminal by the Egyptian authorities. Abbas saw no need to refer in his speech to the Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is hurting not only Hamas, but also the entire population.
As his speech has shown, he is more concerned about Jews visiting the Temple Mount than thousands of Palestinians who are being butchered and expelled from their homes in Arab countries. That hundreds of mosques and churches have been destroyed in Syria and Egypt is of no concern to Abbas, who sees evil only in the actions of Israel and Jewish settlers.
The speech the world needed to hear
It was not the speech the world wanted to hear, but it was the speech it needed to hear. Netanyahu was not looking to make friends in his speech Tuesday. He was looking to give the world the truth -- and the truth sometimes hurts. Clearly, the world would rather live in the Iranian bubble, which Netanyahu came to burst Tuesday.
The world decided to give Iran a chance. It has nothing to do with Israel's foreign policy, but with other nations' internal affairs. As in 1938, today as well the citizens of the world prefer to hear a tune that is not war, threats and conflict, and it does not matter if today, as on Tuesday, there are good guys and bad guys. And frankly, that is understandable, we too, would prefer that.
Iran Learns the Language of the West
To be sure, Rouhani’s performance at the United Nations was stellar, although he did not have much to live up to. Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood on the podium at the General Assembly denying the Holocaust and promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories before claiming that he’d felt “bathed in light” during his speech. Certainly not conducive to winning any PR points.
Rouhani’s UN appearance reminds me of one of the UN’s more infamous moments (of which there are too many) when, in 1974, PLO leader Yasser Arafat addressed the General Assembly stating: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”
Rouhani entered the UN with the equivalent of an atomic bomb poking out of his clothing. Yet, like Arafat before him, the crowd focused on the “olive branch” while ignoring the gun. In the subsequent years, Arafat’s gun was responsible for murdering and wounding thousands of innocents. Will Rouhani also follow suit albeit with more horrific weapons?
White House 'Understand's Israeli Skepticism on Iran'
Following the speech made by Binyamin Netanyahu to the United Nations General Assembly, White House Spokesman Jay Carney has said in a press briefing, that the US administration understands Israeli fears as it attempts a rapprochement with the Islamic regime.
“We’ve said all along, as the president has said, we understand, and it is entirely justifiable, that Israel is skeptical about Iran and Iran’s intentions,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "after all, this is a country whose leadership, until recently[?], was pledging to annihilate Israel.”
J Street, Israeli Left blast Netanyahu speech
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faced criticism for his UN General Assembly address Tuesday from Labor and Meretz MKs in Israel and from the pro- Israel, pro-peace lobby J Street in Washington.
J Street released a statement expressing disappointment that Netanyahu did not spend more time addressing “the promise of a better future with the Palestinians,” especially in light of the ongoing peace process.
Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister: Jewish State Will Know if Rouhani is Serious Within ‘Weeks’ (INTERVIEW)
Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister, Danny Danon, said that it won’t take Israel long to determine whether Western talks with Iranian President Rouhani will yield a breakthrough in the international standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. His remarks were made in an interview with The Algemeiner hours after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly.
Ya’alon: Diplomacy with Iran based on ‘wishful thinking’
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday acknowledged there were differences between Israel and the US on Iran, and expressed concerns over Western attempts to engage in diplomacy with Tehran, warning against “wishful thinking” in the face of duplicitous Iranian “sweet talk.”
‘If diplomacy with Iran won’t work, we’ll do the job alone,’ says deputy FM
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said Tuesday that Israel believes the Iranian nuclear dispute could be solved diplomatically, but asserted Jerusalem would not hesitate to strike if it felt the international community’s efforts to curb the regime’s reach for an atomic bomb failed to deliver results.
“The government of Israel believes that there is the possibility to solve the problem through diplomatic means. However — it won’t be done through smiles and easing the pressure. Rather, the only way that works is a tightening of sanctions in addition to a real military threat,” Elkin (Likud) told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dramatic speech at the United Nations on Tuesday.
Steinitz: Iran wants to both keep nuclear program and salvage its economy
International Relations Minister says Israel is not opposed to a diplomatic solution, but it must follow the Libyan track, rather than the North Korean.
Europe and the United States both understand that Iran is using negotiations with the international community to both rescue its economy, currently crumbling under the weight of heavy sanctions, and its military nuclear program, the cause of those sanctions, International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said Wednesday.
JPost Editorial: Bibi and Obama dovetail – for now
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama are no strangers to dissent. And the remarkable developments in recent days in US-Iranian relations that included a phone call by Obama to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – the first leader-to-leader contact between the United States and Iran in 34 years – seemed to provide the fodder for yet another feud.
The US leader seems more than willing to give the Iranians a chance. In contrast, Netanyahu has expressed his conviction that Rouhani is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who is using diplomatic overtures to stall for time.
Rouhani: We'll Hold Referendum on US Relations
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced Wednesday that he intends to hold a referendum among Iranians, to gauge the public's attitude on the thawing of relations with the US.
Speaking after his government's session, he appeared to be referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech in the UN Tuesday when he said that "Israel sees its sword breaking and Iran getting stronger from day to day, and this upsets it."
Iran Dismisses as ‘Baseless’ Reports Israel Captured Revolutionary Guard Corps Spy
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Tuesday categorically denied Tel Aviv’s claims about Iran’s involvement in alleged spying activities in Israel, according to state news agency Fars.
The Security Council Resolution on Syria: Farce and Fait Accompli
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has come up with a resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons, but it’s hard to see what the point is.
While Syrian noncompliance seems inevitable, the current resolution doesn’t allow for military action under chapter 7 of the UN charter. Instead, if Syria fails to comply with this resolution, the Security Council would need to pass another resolution in order to respond to the Assad regime.
What is the point of passing a toothless resolution at this stage? Does anybody really believe that in the wake of Syrian noncompliance, Russia would support military intervention?
McCain Hires Discredited Syria Advocate
That’s not the case for Elisabeth O’Bagy, hired last week by U.S. Sen. John McCain as a legislative assistant. O’Bagy, 26, became an influential analyst on policy toward Syria after publishing a column in the Wall Street Journal that advocated arming Syrian rebels fighting dictator Bashar al-Assad despite concerns about radical jihadists in their ranks.
It turns out O’Bagy lied about having a PhD. and worked as the Syrian Emergency Task Force‘s political director when the group helped arrange a secret trip to Syria for McCain to meet rebel leaders last May. Several task force officials have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and reports indicate that the Arizona Republican inadvertently met with terrorists on his trip.
Turkish Parliament Introduces Motion to Engage Syria Militarily
The motion asked for authorization to send troops to, or to engage in a military operation in, Syria, citing the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as an immediate threat to the security of Turkey. The motion referred explicitly to an attack Aug. 21 in the suburbs of Damascus by regime forces that killed more than 1,000 Syrian civilians.
Al-Qaeda Battles for Control on Israel’s Border
The group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (“The Army of Islam in the Beit Al-Makdas Region”), has announced its loyalty to Al-Qaeda, and particularly, to the Al-Qaeda leadership in Iraq.
The group in question has carried out many attacks targeting Egyptian soldiers in Sinai. It has also attempted to attack Israel by infiltrating the border, shooting over the border, and firing rockets on Israeli towns.
Sinai Terrorists: Egyptian Army is 'the Enemy of Allah'
In the video, the group calls the Egyptian army “The Camp David Army", a reference to the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, adding that the army “has not fired one shot at the Zionist enemy for forty years, yet in one day killed thousands of Muslims in Cairo."
The group also accused the Egyptian army of “collaboration" with Israel, of “heresy" and of “waging a war on Allah's religion.” In light of this, says the organization, the conclusion is that "jihad" must be carried out against the Egyptian army.
Egyptian Terrorist Sympathizer To Receive Human Rights Award?
Seif was nominated largely because of her Twitter account, which includes 220,000 followers. She uses this, and other social media platforms, to express her "tweets of terror" and her hatred for Israel.
In March 2012, Seif wrote, "I am ready to shed my blood in the West Bank and Jerusalem to become a martyr." She also repeatedly declared that, "the day will come when I fight to the death in Gaza." Seif consistently supports Palestinian Authority terrorism against the State of Israel, including firing missiles at Israeli civilians.
Morsi Supporters Demonstrate in Tahrir Square
Anti-military protesters demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday, for the first time since Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office in July following mass protests against his leadership.
Al Jazeera reported that around 100 protesters gathered in the square, chanting, "Down with military rule!"
Jordan Arrests 3 for Supporting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
Three Jordanian men have been arrested for carrying posters supporting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, a judicial official told AFP on Tuesday.
“The three men were arrested last week. They were carrying posters with the slogan of Rabaa,” he said.