Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Stealth Visit for Talks About Gaza Future

by Oui Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 08:30:10 AM EST

Jerusalem in the Late Nineteenth Century, the Ottoman Empire

The Mosque of Omar from the Governor's House [Mosque of the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem] 6 Apr 1862

In 1862, only a few photographers had been granted permission to photograph the Dome of the Rock and the area immediately surrounding the shrine, known as the Haram al-Sharif. Bedford took every opportunity to photograph the site, knowing that images like these would be novel and exciting for audiences back in Britain. The photograph is signed, captioned and dated in the negative, 'F Bedford Jerusalem'.

Acquired by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), 1862

Few reasons for optimism after Antony Blinken's diplomatic dash | BBC News |

For three days, the US's top diplomat, Antony Blinken, has been dashing around the Middle East, trying to contain a situation that threatens to spin out of control.

Israel on Friday. Jordan on Saturday. The West Bank, Iraq and Turkey on Sunday.

Every stop posed its own challenges and gave reason to be pessimistic that much progress is being made. The central challenge facing the US secretary of state is that he is trying to find a middle ground where none, at the moment, exists.

On Friday, Mr Blinken encouraged Israeli leaders to make temporary pauses in hostilities in order to ease humanitarian aid and encourage hostage releases - a move the Israeli prime minister BiBi Netanyahu quickly rejected.

The next day, he met representatives of Israel's Arab neighbours. They all called for an immediate ceasefire. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Israel was committing war crimes.

At roughly the same time back in the US, President Joe Biden was asked whether progress was being made toward securing those humanitarian pauses. He gave a thumbs up and replied "good".

Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide In Gaza

Wasteland Called Gaza

Cutting Gaza in Two: North Gaza and South Gaza

Israel's military claims it has cut Gaza in half, surrounded Gaza City

With Gaza under a total communications outage, it is difficult to confirm the Israeli army's announcement.

We're aiming for north Gaza to be free of civilians - IDF

Hundreds of thousands of Gazans moved to the south of the Strip after Israel told them to evacuate there. But as BBC Verify has established, the south has continued to come under Israeli bombing, leading aid workers to say nowhere is safe in Gaza.    

Minister urges the Nuclear Option to obliterate Gaza and its people

'Nuking Gaza a possibility': Israeli minister

Minister reprimanded from off-script remarks ...

Blinken meets Arab leaders to talk about "future" of Gaza ... w/o Gazans??

Blinken talking in Baghdad to prevent spread of conflict and protection US troops

As if to underscore the tension in the region, Mr Blinken's Sunday stops were done under cover of secrecy. He travelled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a convoy of armoured SUVs and vans, speeding through streets cordoned off by soldiers from the Palestinian Palace Guard.

He arrived in Iraq under cover of darkness. The secretary and his diplomatic entourage donned body armour and helmets for the short helicopter ride from the Baghdad airport to the US embassy, where he then motorcaded to a meeting with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani.

... the secretary of state's attempts to encourage his Arab counterparts to start thinking about the long-term future for the Palestinians, and a means to ensure a "durable" peace in the region, were less successful.

"How can we even entertain what will happen in Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left after this war is done?" Jordan's Mr Safadi asked. "Are we going to be talking about a wasteland? Are we going to be talking about a whole population reduced to refugees?"

In a meeting with Jewish community leaders at the White House on 12 October, Joe Biden said he thought that the end result of the tragedy and bloodshed in Israel and Gaza would be a Middle East that was changed for the better.

President Joe Biden stressed that no coffins with American dead bodies have arrived at Reagan airport in Washington DC.

My earlier analysis about "diplomacy" and Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken Offered Palestinians Nakba II | 18 Oct 2023 |

Never ending wars ...

America's Trail of Blood In the Middle East ...

  • John McCane visit, waking the streets of Baghdad
  • BiBi Netanyahu torpedoes the Oslo Accords after incitement of hate leading to death Yitzak Rabin
  • Syria an associate member of the EU
  • Pope Paul travel in Syria visits a calm Damascus
  • John McCane and lobbyist Scheunemann visit Georgia
  • Netanyahu fails to close deal Syria and Golan Heights in 2010
  • John McCane with terrorists in Northern Syria
  • UK and French President victory lap in Tripoli
  • John McCane and Lindsey Graham visit Kyiv
  • Germany knows all about genocide in the Second World War ...

    Courageous post by Richard Silverstein from Seattle ...


    Posted earlier @TikunOlam

    November 5, 2023 at 5:56 AM

    Thank you for great courage Richard ... past few years I personally tried to write about this perversion of history and escape of responsibility by today's leading politicians in the European Union.

    Particularly, the history of Polish Galicia and Western Ukrainian territory the role of collaboration of OUN and Stepan Bandera.

    Ethnic Cleansing, horror of 20th Century Europe continuous today.

    Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing 1943

    See also earlier diaries ...


    Minister reprimanded from off-script remarks ...

    'Nuking Gaza a possibility': Israeli minister

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 08:33:31 AM EST
    Israeli heritage minister makes official visit to UAE | JNS - 7 Sept 2023 |

    Amichai Eliyahu is the second Israeli minister to visit the UAE since the country's current government was sworn in.

    Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu visited Abu Dhabi last week at the invitation of senior Emirati officials, the Otzma Yehudit politician revealed in a Hebrew-language Facebook post on Wednesday.

    Eliyahu is the second minister to visit the UAE since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was sworn in on Dec. 29, 2022. Last month, Energy Minister Israel Katz traveled to Abu Dhabi to discuss a UAE-brokered water-for-solar energy deal between Israel and Jordan.

    Eliyahu flew to the Emirates last week to gain a deeper understanding of the "trajectory of the Abraham Accords," he explained on Facebook.

    "The Abraham Accords created a tremendous infrastructure for heritage. Our first father, Abraham, is also their father and is the real evidence of the verse in the Torah that says Abraham, our father, will be a source of blessing for all nations," said Eliyahu.

    He added: "If you look closely, you understand how great the potential is for creating healthy relationships between nations."

    The minister, who is also a rabbi, was surprised by Emiratis' genuine respect for Judaism, he said. "Ordinary diplomacy is based on building relationships based on common interests. Alongside this, there must be deep diplomacy based on identity and faith. The ancient Jewish heritage is received with great respect and goodwill."

    Eliyahu concluded his post by calling on the Israeli government to "deepen its relations with the countries of the Abraham Accords" on a "people to people" basis. "Shared values will create a deeper understanding and relationships that will allow us to truly work towards a common goal," he wrote.

    The UAE in 2020 became the first Gulf state along with Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 08:34:23 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Israeli Minister's Threat to Nuke Gaza displays Genocidal Mood: "There are no Civilians in Gaza"| Informed Comment - Juan Cole |

    For his part, Eliahu insisted that the spirit of the Palestinians must be broken so that they would be afraid to look Israeli soldiers in the eye. He objected to the rules of engagement under which the Israeli military operates, saying "We are breaking the deterrence of the Israeli army with false morals."

    His attitude reminds me of the US right-wingers who alleged that the Vietnam War was lost because "we made our army fight with one hand behind its back." The US is estimated to have killed 2 million people in the course of that war.

    Opposition politician Yair Lapid said that this sort of talk is what you get when you let extremists into the government, as Netanyahu had done. He also stressed how offensive it was to the families of the hostages.

    Again, Lapid did not so much as mention the tens of thousands of Palestinians who would perish in such a strike.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 at 09:18:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    First plane with 'advanced' US ammo lands at airbase; Blinken to visit Israel | TOI - 10 Oct. 2023 |

    USAF C-17s Fly In and Out of Israel, Fighter Jets En Route to Middle East | Air and Space Forces |

    Not behind the pay-wall ...

    Arms Airlift to Israel, Bombers in Jordan, Two Carriers: U.S. Deploying More Forces to Mideast | Haaretz |

    Open source flight tracking and satellite imagery show advanced armaments, aerial defenses, and dozens of fighter-bombers, intelligence gathering platforms and heavy cargolifters are deployed to the region - to try to deter Iran and Hezbollah from opening up a second front in Israel's north.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:44:16 AM EST
    Pakistan, Indonesia condemn Israel police raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque | MEMO - 5 April 2023 |

    Pakistani Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, in a statement blamed "impunity granted to Israel", which has "emboldened Tel Aviv to violate basic human rights with abandon."
    "I strongly condemn the Israeli police attack on Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Brutal attack is violative of sanctity of (the) holy month of Ramadan," Sharif said in a tweet.

    Earlier, on Wednesday, Israeli police said they detained 350 Palestinians from the complex, with witnesses saying they used excessive force, including tear gas.

    Strongly condemning the violence committed by Israeli security forces, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "This act has really hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world, was a real violation of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, and will further escalate conflict and violence."

    Pakistan slams Israel's Al-Aqsa attack, urges world to protect Palestinians | Anadolu Agency - 8 May 2021 |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:45:36 AM EST

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:49:11 AM EST
    Children's Graveyard | Dawn News Pakistan Editorial |

    If this monstrous crime had taken place in any other geographical location, by any other actor, there would be worldwide calls for stringent accountability of the guilty party. Not so for Israel, shielded as it is by the US and several European states.

    Apparently to these staunch supporters of Tel Aviv, a few thousand dead Palestinian children are not too high a price to pay for the defence of Israel.

    As the overall Arab death toll has crossed 9,000, Washington has rejected multiple calls for a ceasefire, even though many governments, as well as ordinary people across East and West, are increasingly calling for a cessation of hostilities, and an end to Israel's genocidal campaign.

    Tel Aviv's stated aim is to obliterate Hamas, even if it means massacring every man, woman and child in Gaza. As a Unicef official put it, the beleaguered Strip has become "a graveyard for thousands of children". Yet these grim figures are not enough to move the callous individuals in world capitals who give their full support to Israel.

    It is difficult to expect any humanity from the Israeli leadership, as top decision-makers in the Jewish state have basically authorised the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Schools, hospitals, ambulances and refugee camps have all been hit in the name of targeting Hamas.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:50:16 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:51:39 AM EST
    Palestinians should 'go to Ireland or deserts' and using nuclear bomb on Gaza an option, says Israeli minister | Irish Times |

    Heritage minister Amichai Eliyahu of the Otzma Yehudit party is quoted by the Times of Israel as saying in an interview that the Palestinian people "can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves", adding that those who wave a Palestinian or Hamas flag "shouldn't continue living on the face of the earth".

    It quotes him saying that dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip "is one of the possibilities", and that humanitarian aid to the population should be restricted, saying "we wouldn't hand the Nazis humanitarian aid. There is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza."

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:53:02 AM EST
    Irish Aid for Palestine

    Our programme reflects Ireland's longstanding commitment to the development of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state, living in peace alongside the State of Israel. For over two decades, our programmes have helped to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Palestinian people while supporting the Palestinian Authority to build the institutions of a Palestinian state. Our engagement is managed by our Representative Office in Ramallah.

    Occupation and the impact of the ongoing conflict are amongst the primary obstacles to development in the occupied Palestinian territory. Restrictions on the movement of people and goods, the lack of access to land and water resources, the separation of the West Bank and Gaza, the Gaza blockade and the fragmentation of the West Bank continue to disrupt progress.

    It is the most vulnerable, including the refugee population, who are worst affected. With just under 70% of the population aged under 30 according to the latest census, Palestinian youth and children are particularly affected by the lack of any perspective of an end to the conflict and the shortage of opportunities.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:55:30 AM EST

    Ireland announces emergency aid package of $13.7M for people of Palestine

    'This is a crisis that simply cannot wait,' says foreign minister

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:56:53 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:57:49 AM EST
    Blinken did not get a meeting with President Erdoğan as he has been highly critical of Israel's PM Bibi Netanyahu and refused to visit Israel during the present hostilities in Gaza.

    Blinken wraps up frantic Middle East tour with tepid, if any, support for pauses in Gaza fighting | Arab News |

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was wrapping up a grueling Middle East diplomatic tour on Monday in Turkiye after only limited success in his furious efforts to forge a regional consensus on how best to ease civilian suffering in Gaza as Israel intensifies its war against Hamas.

    Blinken met in the Turkish capital of Ankara with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan after a frantic weekend of travel that took him from Israel to Jordan, the occupied West Bank, Cyprus and Iraq to build support for the Biden administration's proposal for "humanitarian pauses" to Israel's relentless military campaign in Gaza.

    The top US diplomat hopes that pauses in the war would allow for a surge of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of hostages captured by Hamas during the militants' deadly Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel that killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians -- while also preventing the conflict from spreading regionally.

    Neither Blinken nor Fidan spoke as they posed for photographers ahead of their formal talks in Ankara. The top US diplomat was not going to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan who has been highly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an outlier among NATO allies in not expressing full support for Israel's `right to defend itself'.

    Outside the Foreign Ministry, dozens of protesters from an Islamist group carried Turkish and Palestinian flags and held up anti-US and anti-Israel placards as the Blinken-Fidan meeting got underway. Earlier Monday, police dispersed a group of students marching toward the ministry chanting "murderer Blinken, get out of Turkiye!"

    It was the second day of protests denouncing Blinken's visit. On Sunday, pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with Turkish riot police outside the US-Turkish Incirlik military air base in the southern city of Adana. Police fired tear gas and water cannon as the demonstrators tried to cross fields to enter the base.

    Several hundreds also marched to the US Embassy in Ankara on Sunday, chanting "God is great."

    Blinken's mission, his second to the region since the war began, has found only tepid, if any, support for his efforts to contain the fallout from the conflict. Israel has rejected the idea of pauses while Arab and Muslim nations are instead demanding an immediate cease-fire as the casualty toll soars among Palestinian civilians- mostly children under Israeli bombardments of Gaza.

    US officials are seeking to convince Israel of the strategic importance of respecting the laws of war by protecting non-combatants and significantly boosting deliveries of humanitarian aid to Gaza's beleaguered civilian population.
    It remained unclear, however, if Netanyahu would agree to temporary, rolling pauses in the massive operation to eradicate Hamas -- or whether outrage among Palestinians and their supporters could be assuaged if he did.

    Already Jordan, {Bahrain] and Türkiye have recalled their ambassadors to Israel to protest its tactics and the tide of international opinion appears to be turning from sympathy toward Israel to revulsion as images of death and destruction in Gaza spread around the world.

    On Saturday in the Jordanian capital of Amman, both the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers appeared at a joint news conference with Blinken. The two said Israel's war had gone beyond self-defence and could no longer be justified as it now amounted to collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

    That sentiment was echoed by tens of thousands of demonstrators who marched in the streets of world capitals over the weekend to protest Israel and condemn US support for Israel.

    Clashes Outside Incirlik NATO Air Base Housing U.S. Troops During Palestine Protest - Video

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:50:15 PM EST

    ICC urged to issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials over Gaza carnage | TRT World |

    Palestine's Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh urges international action to halt the "killing machine" as the besieged Gaza faces a humanitarian catastrophe.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 10:50:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question: Closed Consultations on the Situation in Gaza | UNSC Report |

    At today's meeting, Griffiths is expected to provide an update about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. He may echo some key messages from a 5 November statement he issued together with the other principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, the highest-level humanitarian coordination forum of the UN system. The statement calls for:

    • the parties to the conflict to respect all their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law;
    • the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians held hostage;
    • the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, shelters, and schools;
    • more aid, including "food, water, medicine and of course fuel", to enter Gaza and reach people in need; and
    • an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

    At today's meeting, Council members are expected to underscore the importance of respecting international humanitarian law and protecting civilians. The briefers and Council members are likely to express concern at the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and stress the need to protect health facilities as well as medical and humanitarian personnel. Members may call for unhindered humanitarian access and for food, water, and fuel to reach all those in need in Gaza. While some members may say that they recognise Israel's right to defend itself, they are also likely to stress that Israel's response must adhere to the international humanitarian law principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality. Members are likely to reiterate their condemnation of the 7 October Hamas-led attacks and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all abducted persons held in Gaza.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 6th, 2023 at 11:01:39 PM EST
    End the carnage, end the occupation of Palestinian Land ... fu*k Abraham and his Biblical terror across the modern world today.

    A protest in central London calling for a ceasefire in Gaza | The Guardian - Opinion |

    There is a universal simplicity to the conflict that transcends political ideology - about the fundamental human right to full nationhood, to live in your home in safety and with dignity. As the journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates recently explained in an interview, after he visited the occupied territories, what he saw revealed to him "just how uncomplicated it actually is". "You don't need a PhD in Middle Eastern studies," he said, "to understand the basic morality of holding a people in a situation where they don't have basic rights."

    But these protests must also be understood as a legacy of the "war on terror", which was justified on the basis of morality and security - the fate of women in Afghanistan, or the threat of annihilation - yet was exposed as little but vengeful wrath and the blundering projection of power. The legacy of those two decades has been a bitter harvest - millions dead, terrorist organisations exploiting destabilisation in the Middle East, Islamophobia, the curtailing of civil liberties, and a lingering sense that we cannot trust our leaders or the political system that ensured they faced no consequences. It should be no surprise that when you try to convince people that on the issue of Palestine they should trust their government, you are met with a sceptical reception.

    Protest is a funny thing. It is a mixture of the rational, the emotional and the tribal. And far from it being a mark of aggression, it is often an expression of helplessness, frustration and a lack of influence in politics. You can try to identify outliers in order to tease out some nasty extremism or preening, ignorant vanity, but often what is at the heart of it all is a general feeling of something simply being not on, and that those telling you to go home and believe that they know best cannot be trusted. Perhaps there is another motivation, too - of comfort and reassurance in an atomised society, in finding others to walk with you and take your beliefs seriously, especially when they are not represented or taken seriously elsewhere.

    See also previous diary ...

    Universal Protests Condemn Biden and Israel

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 at 08:44:34 AM EST
    Jewish-led peace activists protest at Statue of Liberty to demand Gaza ceasefire | Arab News |

    Activists from Jewish Voice for Peace occupy the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty on November 6, 2023 in New York City.

    Hundreds of protesters, many from the group Jewish Voice for Peace, staged a sit-in on Monday outside New York's Statue of Liberty, calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

    Video on social media, including footage posted by the group itself, showed throngs of activists sitting at the base of the statue chanting, "Never again for anyone, never again is now," echoing a Jewish rallying cry in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

    Others stood on the statue's pedestal, draping large banners over the side that read "Ceasefire Now!" and "The Whole World is Watching."

    The group, which has mounted similar demonstrations in recent weeks at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and at the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, said the demonstration drew 500 people.

    The Jewish-led organization opposes the Israeli government's policies toward Palestinians as a form of apartheid.

    "Just like Palestinians, so many of our ancestors yearned to breathe free," the group said on X, formerly Twitter, referring to a line from the sonnet composed by the 19th-century Jewish-activist poet Emma Lazarus that is inscribed in bronze on the pedestal of the statue.

    There was no word from organizers or the US Park Police, which patrols the island, about whether there were any arrests stemming from the demonstration.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 at 08:56:05 AM EST

    U.S. Aligns Key Partners Against Shared Threats in the Middle East

    On 15 January 2021, days before the Biden inauguration, the Pentagon reported a change in the Unified Command Plan shifting Israel from U.S. European Command (EUCOM) to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). In announcing the new areas of responsibility, the Defense Department pointed to the recent Abraham Accords between Israel and various Arab states as "a strategic opportunity...to align key U.S. partners against shared threats in the Middle East."

    Today with the atrocities in the Gaza war, interesting developments ...

    Bilateral agreement or one-sided decision: Abraham Accords a false peace | Shanghai Gov - 11 Oct 2023 |

    EC President VDL ...

    Gaza might become an international protectorate after the war, the EU has said, adding that neither Palestinian group [not "terror" group?] Hamas nor Israel should ever rule there again.

    IMO Joe Biden would like to task the Europeans for this conflict zone ... Afghanistan ... Iraq ... Taiwan ... although Israel-Lebanon-Syria falls under USCENTCOM and not USEUCOM.

    Who visited NATO HQ and Jens Stoltenberg ...

    King tells NATO everyone is paying price for absence of political solution to Palestinian-Israeli conflict \ Jordan Times |

    His Majesty: Dealing with the day after the war must begin with addressing the root cause of the conflict, on the basis of the two-state solution

    Antony Blinken travels to the Middle East got a dose of reality, Biden's proposals didn't fly ... Nakba 2.0 is DOA

    Israel will just demolish Gaza, but there will be no Nakba 2.0 pushing Palestinians into neighbouring states for a new refugee status in UNRWA camps. Unacceptable by the Arab States. Palestine needs to be established..

    Ceasefire now ... get humanitarian aid in and water, food, fuel and medical supplies. Stop the immoral slaughter of civilians.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 at 07:56:12 PM EST

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 04:15:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 at 08:36:50 PM EST
    Back to Days of Arab Peace Initiative 2002

    The West Bank and Gaza Strip: an international protectorate? | 6 May 2003 |

    An international initiative to bring the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to a belated but final conclusion is imperative, urgent and achievable. Moreover, it would almost certainly be welcomed, overtly or covertly, by the traumatised mass of Israelis and Palestinians for so long locked in a deadly embrace.

    It is unlikely that local political leaders, left to themselves, will ever be able to agree the terms of a solution. International involvement holds the key.

    In its way the current roadmap initiative of the US-EU-Russia-UN ‘Quartet’ (published on 1 May 2003) recognises this. It has several clear merits, as follows.

    • It keeps alive vital goals that should not be buried.
    • It foresees an end to “the occupation that began in 1967” and the termination of all forms of violence and terror.
    • It reaffirms the principle of “land for peace” in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
    • It looks forward to “the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.”
    • It upholds “agreements previously reached by the parties” and endorses the “Saudi Plan” – ratified by the Arab League Summit in Beirut that calls “for acceptance of Israel as a neighbour living in peace and security in the context of a comprehensive settlement.”  

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 at 09:07:21 PM EST

    G7 foreign ministers expected to issue joint call for 'humanitarian pauses' in Gaza | TOI |

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 04:28:01 AM EST
    Hamas is linked to Türkiye and Qatar primarily, the Muslim Brotherhood. For the same reason Mohamed Morsi was ousted July 2013 in a bloody coup. The Gulf states too have a major issue with the MB and banned the organization.

    The Sinai Islamist Insurgency | OWP |

    The trigger for the current landscape of the Sinai Peninsula can be handed to the 2011 Arab Spring uprising leading to the collapse of both the Mubarak regime in Egypt and the Gaddafi regime in Libya. These altered environments led Islamic extremists from the Gaza strip and the wider region to flock to the Sinai as well as allowing for huge quantities of weapons to be smuggled into the area. This coupled with the temporary withdrawal of police and military from the Sinai due to the uprising has led to the insurgency that we see today.

    In July 2013, the insurgency further deteriorated. With the increased protests against the Muslim Brotherhood, the military was pushed to oust Mubarak's successor, the democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi had promised to end discrimination against the Sinai Bedouin tribes and address their concerns. However, with his ousting followed a year-long interim until former Defence Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was elected President in May 2014 with the promise of continued crackdowns against the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.

    The challenges of Islamic extremism are far from over, November 2014, Wilayat Sinai (previously referred to as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis) declared its allegiance to the Islamic State. This group then became the biggest and most organised militant group in the region. This altered the campaign of terrorism, which moved away from soft targets e.g. hotels and restaurants, and instead focused the insurgency on structured low-to-mid level hard targets e.g. military camps and churches. As can be seen in the case of the Al-Rawda Mosque where the use of bombs along with militants who were equipped with small arms stormed the mosque, killing 312 and injuring 122.

    Furthermore, the group utilizes IS tactics such as beheading suspected informants as a way of emphasizing propaganda and demonstrative terror. However, over the years such tactics are proving to alienate the local Bedouin tribes.

    Terror in the Sinai

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 09:01:25 AM EST
    There is no balance between ugly one-sided massive bombing a civilian population and getting "humanitarian" aid into the Gaza refugee camps run by UNRWA ... IDF bombing has targeted UN shelters, hospitals and killed dozens of medical workers and UN employees. STOP THE WAR ... there is no future for Israel with its Arab neighbours if its extreme right wing leaders think they can use military force to occupy Palestinian Land for another 50 years. End Apartheid ... Free Palestine.

    Neither Europe as a whole, nor the G7 counties have a role in this fight. So long as the United States uses its veto in the UN Security Council, there will be no chance for peace in the Middle East.

    Biden, his administration and US Congress are complicit in the atrocities brought on the Palestinian people for so long.  Fifty plus years of foreign policy responsibility as Senator, Vice President and president, Joe Biden has established his legacy for war, hatred and abuse of human rights. The ICC in The Hague still has a vacancy in the "Orange Hotel" in Scheveningen, the waiting room for a trial for war crimes.

    G7 nations announce a unified stance on Israel-Hamas war after intensive meetings in Tokyo

    Top diplomats from the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies announced a unified stance on the Israel-Hamas war on Wednesday after intensive meetings in Tokyo, condemning Hamas, supporting Israel's right to self-defense and calling for "humanitarian pauses" to speed aid to desperate Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

    In a statement, the nations sought to balance criticism of Hamas' attacks against Israel and a push for "urgent action" to help civilians in the besieged Palestinian enclave in need of food, water, medical care and shelter.

    There was also condemnation of "the rise in extremist settler violence committed against Palestinians," which the ministers said is "unacceptable, undermines security in the West Bank, and threatens prospects for a lasting peace."

      US "diplomat" Blinken failed on his mission to bind the Arab States, Türkiye and Egypt to the White House narrative of Nakba 2.0. Blinken failed also on the JCPOA talks in Geneve to lift the sanctions imposed by the previous right wing administration of Trump-Pompeo. The Biden years will be another failure in US foreign policy and leaves states in utter chaos behind. Human suffering and forced migration as a result.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 11:13:12 AM EST
    Biden's foreign policy failure in the Middle East | The New Arab |

    Analysis: With Israel's war on Gaza, the administration's regional security strategy has crumbled. Will Biden continue down a path that risks the US' reputation and his own re-election?

    "The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades," asserted US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on 29 September.

    "Now challenges remain, but the amount of time that I have to spend on crisis and conflict in the Middle East today compared to any of my predecessors going back to 9/11 is significantly reduced."

    Sullivan's comments have aged horribly. Just eight days later, Hamas waged its incursion into southern Israel, triggering a brutal Israeli campaign of bombardment of Gaza. The fighting since 7 October has thus far killed more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza [40% children] and 1,400 Israelis.

    The violence has spilled into Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Egypt. At this point, the escalating crisis risks spreading to other parts of the Middle East, possibly entailing direct US and Iranian involvement.

    "Looking ahead, it will be increasingly difficult to
    imagine the Global South taking the Biden
    administration's rhetoric about human rights with
    anything more than a grain of salt. The hypocrisy
    from America is just too great"

    The timing of this crisis is also particularly horrible given that President Joe Biden, who is seeking re-election next year, doesn't want to appear to be giving Israel anything less than ironclad support.

    As the world witnesses Israel's war crimes in Gaza carried out with Washington's blessing, the US's capacity to be taken seriously when criticising Russia's rogue behaviour in Ukraine has been severely, and most likely permanently, damaged.

    "It's been an unseemly spectacle to see Washington and its European allies support Israel as it cuts off aid, water, and food to besieged civilians in Gaza," Aron Lund, a fellow at Century International and a Middle East analyst, told The New Arab.

    "It is exactly what these same nations denounced the Syrian regime for doing in Homs, Ghouta, Aleppo, and other places. They didn't mince words when Russia stepped up to support Damascus and vetoed UN condemnations. Now when their own ally blocked aid and food in the same way, they couldn't muster even mild criticism," added Lund.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 11:14:37 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Gaza: Are there any winners? | Arab News |

    In fact, Netanyahu -- who could be described as the Francis Underwood of Israeli politics -- has not only survived this far but has become his country's longest-serving prime minister by deploying one simple tactic: avoiding any serious engagement with resolving the Palestinian issue, and doing anything possible to undermine a solution for it.

    This has unbelievably included going as low as empowering his sworn enemy Hamas in Gaza, and undermining the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, where Hamas doesn't exist.

    But don't just take my word for it. "For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it's blown up in our faces," read a headline in The Times of Israel. Worse, as recently as 2019 Netanyahu reportedly said: "Those who want to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state should support the strengthening of Hamas."

    However, even a serial survivor like Francis Underwood eventually runs out of luck: everything collapses like a house of cards when you upset 80 percent of your voters, members of your own Cabinet, and the 121 countries who opposed Israel at the UN last month, albeit in a non-binding vote -- all that plus still outstanding corruption charges that mean when Netanyahu leaves office his next destination may well be a prison cell.

    Hamas, on the other hand, has a different equation. Even if Israel succeeds in its impossible mission of killing all the group's estimated 40,000 fighters, or expelling them and their leaders from Gaza (while completely disregarding legal, humanitarian and political consequences) they will have "killed only the combatants but not the cause" -- as Queen Rania of Jordan told Becky Anderson in her CNN interview.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 11:54:30 AM EST
    This story has really blossomed in the past month from '80s "militant" Hamas to [PICK A ISLAMIST] trrst soiling white-knight PLO. Even die-hard Soros haters are on board the train. It's almost as if no one alive remembers from where Netanyahu got the cash and the lumber to build a campaign platform of redemption for Hamas 2006.
    by Cat on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 04:12:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Analysis: This Isn't Just Hypocrisy; It Is Active, Fervent Dishonesty | TOI - 4 Mar 2019 |

    PM Netanyahu and ex-IDF chief Gantz together helped shape Israel's careful, arguably wise Gaza strategy, but it's hard to explain to a rocket-battered public, so they're blaming each other for it

    A Likud campaign video released last month warned ominously that election opponent Benny Gantz is a "weak leftist." Another cautioned that he associates with those who would "hand the Gaza periphery to Hamas," and would even sit with Arab lawmaker Ahmad Tibi in an electoral bloc if he wins the April 9 election.

    Gantz's campaign has responded with accusations no less startling in their vehemence -- and no less empty of substance. "Netanyahu," one Gantz campaign video said, "pays the Hamas murderers 15 million dollars. Every month. In cash. In exchange we got hundreds of rockets on the residents of the south, tens of thousands of dunams burned, hundreds of incendiary kites and balloons, tens of thousands of children in bomb shelters. We won't pay Hamas protection money."

    A new kind of enemy

    On August 25, 2014, the penultimate day of the 50-day Operation Protective Edge, a poll by Channel 2 found that just 38 percent of Israelis said they "supported" Netanyahu's handling of the war in Gaza. That was an abysmal showing, down 44 points from a high of 82% on July 23, a month earlier, which was in the second week of the war and just after the start of Israel's ground incursion into the Strip. The August 25 figure marked the nadir of a long decline -- on August 5, Netanyahu's approval was 63%. On August 21, 55%.

    Force of resistance

    During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the influential Israeli analyst Ehud Yaari suggested calling the new strategy, advanced in that war by Hezbollah and subsequently by the Palestinian terror group Hamas, the "Muqawama Doctrine."

    "The literal translation of the Arabic word muqawama is `resistance,' but that does not reflect the full meaning of the term. A more correct translation would be 'the doctrine of constant combat,' or 'persistent warfare,'" he wrote in November 2006.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 07:16:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    CRS brief, however, confirms my doubts about Hamas programming. The invisible hands in "regime change" and "radicalization" is plain to see.
    by Cat on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 08:49:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Foreign Office accused of 'grotesque failure' as Dr Ahmed Sabra says he and other UK nationals have been sent back over border | The Guardian |

    A British consultant cardiologist based in Swansea has said he is being "handed a death sentence" after being forced to return to Gaza over the border from Egypt at the Rafah crossing on Wednesday.

    Dr Ahmed Sabra said: "I am making a desperate appeal to the public that hold British values to help us. We are being handed a death sentence. Gaza is the most dangerous place in the world.

    "The staff from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office that are supposed to help us at the Rafah crossing have vanished."

    Sending a series of emotional voice notes as he was being forced back over the border in a bus, he said he and another small group of British nationals were being forced back over the border even though they had been allowed to cross by Palestinians in Gaza along with the rest of his family. He had been visiting Gaza with his wife and three children.

    Palestinian officials in Gaza had permitted him to cross with his family even though, unlike his family, he was not the approved list, and after three days on the Egyptian side waiting for the process to be complete, he was ordered back.

    The approved list is drawn up by Egypt and Israel, and it is not clear why he and other British nationals had been excluded from travelling with the rest of their families.

    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 07:53:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Abstention and neutrality are no longer options when it comes to Russia's brutal slaughter of innocent civilians in Bucha and elsewhere.

    Just wonder how Rahm Emanuel responds to Gaza massacre and ethnic cleansing ...

    (Photo credit: Progress Pond)

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 02:07:33 PM EST
    are academic considering "sustainable" G7 cash flow and moral hazards. Nonetheless ...

    reuters | War with Hamas to cost Israel above $50 billion, Calcalist reports, 5 Nov

    srael's war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip will cost as much as 200 billion shekels ($51 billion), the Calcalist financial newspaper reported on Sunday, citing preliminary Finance Ministry figures. The daily said the estimate, equal to 10% of gross domestic product, was premised on the war lasting between eight to 12 months; on it being limited to Gaza, without full participation by Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iran or Yemen; and on some 350,000 Israelis drafted as military reservists returning to work soon.
    sample pages from Calcalist's book of business...
    War doesn't bother Israel's Cyber: Billion-dollar Purchases in a week, 6 Nov
    In the midst of a fierce war in the Gaza Strip and unrelenting fire in the north, the American cyber giant Palo Alto Networks in Israel acquired two cyber companies for more thanליארד 1 billion in cash. "We'll see more deals....
    opEd |  continue to endanger Israel even after the war, 7 Nov
    Sowing panic during fighting is a serious criminal offense as instructed by Article 103 of the Penal Code, but this risk must be taken and warned now: Netanyahu and his Kahanist allies do not intend to go anywhere after the war. On the contrary, their grip on power will only tighten....
    From Iron Dome to David's Sling: What does the U.S. aid package include?
    ...The aid package will benefit Rafael Advanced Combat Systems as well as U.S. defense giant RTX, which owns Raytheon, and Pratt & Whitney and will provide the components for the missiles. Israel and the U.S. signed a joint manufacturing agreement in 2014 that allows the components to be ...
    The Finance Committee approved the compensation plan for the business sector at a cost of NIS 15 billion
    ...As part of the program, businesses with sales turnover of up to NIS 400 million will receive compensation for declining revenues during the war period, if revenues were affected by at least 25%. The compensation will be based on the fixed expenses of the business, and will include compensation of up to 22% of these expenses. At the same time, self-employed people with incomes of up to NIS 300,000 will receive grants according to a formula based on the depth of the income impact. The program also includes relief in receiving unemployment benefits for wartime veterans...
    by Cat on Wed Nov 8th, 2023 at 09:09:37 PM EST

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