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Tag: Israel

Israel’s Right-Wing Government Takes Shape

Benjamin Netanyahu has taken a step closer to the prime minister’s office by signing a deal with ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman, who will become Israel’s foreign minister if Netanyahu is able to put the finishing touches on a governing coalition. The ascendancy of both men is a major blow to the peace process.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


Iran nuclear program

Will Iran Come Out of the Nuclear Closet?

A U.S. official believes that Iran has obtained enough nuclear material to make a bomb. Israel is believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, though it has never acknowledged this. Why does Iran pursue a nuclear bomb? And will Iran come out of the nuclear closet?

Posted on Mar 14, 2009 READ MORE


Bush

Will Bush Ever Face World Court?

The International Criminal Court recently issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a move Sudanese officials denounced as politically motivated. Will it ever be the case that the ICC takes former U.S. President George W. Bush to task?

Posted on Mar 7, 2009 READ MORE


Wanton Destruction
churchtimes.co.uk

Israel’s ‘Wanton Destruction’

Human rights investigators are adding yet another alleged war crime to existing accusations of Israel’s war-time exuberance, as Amnesty International officials believe Israel’s military forces engaged in “wanton destruction” of civilian homes during the bloody assault on Gaza.

Posted on Mar 6, 2009 READ MORE


Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

Justice Department documents that demonstrate the Bush administration’s view of the president’s constitutional power in a “state of war” tell us things we suspected but didn’t want to know.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Jerusalem
state.gov

That’s Why They Call It Diplomacy

The chances of peace in the Middle East over the next four to eight years have something to do with what Hillary Clinton is able to achieve there. We’re getting a first glimpse this week, as Clinton makes overtures to Syria, Iran and the Palestinians while trying not to threaten Israel’s BFF status.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Hungry Hungry Hillary

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Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE    


The Sports Nut

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Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE    



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Net and Peres
guardian.co.uk

And the Israeli PM Goes to ...

In a political blast from the past, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been chosen to form Israel’s next government, ending a nine-day struggle between the candidates and paving the way for a coalition arrangement with a strong right-wing bent.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / illuminating9_11

Gaza’s Baby Boom

According to a Palestinian census, the population of Gaza jumped by 40 percent between 1997 and 2007. West Bank officials expect the Gaza population, which they estimate at 1.4 million, to double over the next 21 years.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE


Sachsenhausen
AP photo / Sven Kaestner

Rules of War Weren’t Made for Only One People

The organized persecution of a group is despicable whether the victims are the Jews of World War II or today’s Gazans.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Flowers
European Pressphoto Agency / Abed Rahim Khatib

Israel Opens Gaza Border ... for Flowers

In probably the least appropriate metaphor for relations between Israel and Palestine, Israel has allowed, for the first time in a year, Gazan flower companies to export 25,000 carnations to Europe in time for Valentine’s Day, though the volume pales in comparison to previous annual exports of 60 million flowers.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Israel’s Lose-Lose Election

Of the possible political combinations that have emerged from the Israeli parliamentary election, none will bring the region closer to peace. Israel will continue to persecute the Palestinians, whose hatred will only grow.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE



State Dept. / Michael Gross, cropped

Israel’s Kingmaker in Legal Limbo

With his party holding 15 seats in the Knesset, Avigdor Lieberman of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu is poised to pick Israel’s next government. Lieberman would like a choice cabinet post in exchange for anointing the next premier, but he’s under investigation for allegedly laundering millions of overseas dollars.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Palestinians Push for War Crimes Inquiry

On the heels of Israel’s election and its bloody three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority is pressing the International Criminal Court to investigate the possibility of war crimes committed by Israeli commanders.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / david55king

Israel Votes in a Bubble

With world opinion soured by the recent events in Gaza, Israelis are headed to the polls to elect a new government that is widely expected to move further to the right. Pre-election polls put the conservative Likud in the lead. Labor was a distant fourth, behind even the ultraconservative Yisrael Beitenu, despite taking a hawkish turn.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Israel elections

A Hard Look at the Israeli Election: No Good Choices

Will Israel become a “country of fear or a country of hope,” as Tzipi Livni, a candidate for Israeli prime minister and the current foreign minister, recently asked? This week’s Mosaic Intelligence Report serves up an analysis of the coming election. (Hint: It doesn’t look good for the whole hope thing.)

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE


UN Aid
Maan Images / Hatem Omar

Halt! Who Goes There? Well, Not Aid

Be it a political gamble or a mix-up of epic proportions, Hamas is being accused of stealing humanitarian aid from U.N. trucks in the Gaza Strip. Due to the thefts, officials say, aid has stopped flowing into the battle-torn territory, where half the population depends on the U.N. shipments for food.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Davos Walk-Off
AP photo / Alessandro Della Bella

Erdogan, Peres and the Soufflés of Davos

Dear Mr. Prime Minister: I write with grave concern over your impertinent remarks to the president of Israel at the World Economic Forum last week, which threatened to delay dinner for hundreds of extremely important global thinkers.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


What Cease-Fire?

Both Israel and Hamas vowed to stop fighting two weeks ago, but since then attacks have continued. Before his country launched airstrikes on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had warned Hamas of a “disproportionate Israeli response” to Hamas rocket and mortar attacks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, is headed to Cairo, though his influence is surely weakened by the recent fighting.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza rubble
AP photo / Fadi Adwan

When Did We Stop Caring About Civilian Deaths During Wartime?

I wonder if we are “normalizing” war. It’s not just that Israel has yet again gotten away with the killing of hundreds of children in Gaza.

Posted on Jan 31, 2009 READ MORE


Aid-in-waiting
The New York Times / Shawn Baldwin

Israel Blocks Aid Supplies

A crossing point on the Egypt-Israel border has turned into a parking lot for supplies since Israel virtually halted the transport of aid and equipment for Gaza. Medical items are being allowed to pass, but well-drilling equipment, blankets and food are being blocked.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, file photo

Israel Sends Tanks Back to Gaza

Israel launched an airstrike and ground assault into Gaza after a bomb on the Israeli side of the border killed a soldier. The troops pulled back into Israel soon afterward, according to the BBC. The raid was of a smaller scale than the fighting that ended just 10 days ago, but shows the difficult work ahead for George Mitchell, the new U.S. envoy, who is headed to the region.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



NARA / White House

Carter: Israel Will Face ‘Catastrophe’ Without a Palestinian State

Former President Jimmy Carter tells the Associated Press, “If we look toward a one-state solution, which seems to be the trend—I hope not inexorable—it would be a catastrophe for Israel. ...”

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



Gaza Ad Stirs Controversy Across the Pond

Two of Britain’s biggest networks, Sky and the BBC, have refused to air a two-minute fundraising appeal on behalf of Gaza. The decision not to broadcast the spot, produced by a committee made up of Britain’s biggest aid agencies, has triggered public outcry, condemnation from politicians and a formal investigation by the BBC Trust.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Sebastian Scheiner

With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Ehud Olmert
Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

Israeli PM Promises to Shield Troops From War Crime Trials

The BBC reports: “Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country’s PM has said.” At issue is Israel’s use of white phosphorous, a chemical agent that is not permitted in densely populated areas because it sticks to and severely burns human tissue.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and the Middle East

‘Mosaic’: The Inauguration, as Seen From the Middle East

How did the changing of the U.S. presidential guard register throughout the Middle East? Will Barack Obama deliver on his inaugural promise to usher in a new era of respect and consideration for mutual interests of the U.S. and the Mideast? This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” offers some answers.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


George Mitchell
senate.gov

Pursuing Peace in the Middle East, Obama Style

President Obama didn’t wait long to tackle one of the most intractable items in his in box: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On a whirlwind Thursday, Obama spoke to leaders in the region (minus Hamas), called for an end to the Gaza blockade and appointed George Mitchell (above), the man who brokered a truce in Northern Ireland, as Mideast envoy.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Rubble
Maan Images / Mohamed Al-Zanon

Israeli Troops Finally Out?

About 1,300 Palestinians dead, $2 billion in damage and thousands of devastated families later, Israel claims it has officially pulled its troops from the Gaza Strip after its three-week assault—with no formal deal between Israel and Hamas and thus no real change in relations between the two sides.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Israel Admits It ‘May Have Used’ Chemical Weapon

Following accusations by human rights groups last week, Israel has finally admitted that its troops “may have used” white phosphorus shells—a chemical agent that wreaks havoc on the skin—in contravention of international law.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Ban Ki-Moon in Gaza
AP photo / Ben Curtis

Ban Ki-Moon Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ of Gaza Bombing

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon toured several decimated sites in Gaza on Tuesday, including the remains of the U.N. compound in Gaza City destroyed last Thursday in an attack. The Israeli shelling of the compound has drawn strong international criticism—not the least of which came from Ban himself both before and during Tuesday’s visit.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Ki-Moon
AP photo / Hussein Malla, Pool

Time for a War Crimes Tribunal?

It’s a wrap, a doddle, an Israeli cease-fire just in time for Barack Obama to have a squeaky-clean inauguration with all the world looking at the streets of Washington rather than the rubble of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


woman with plant
AP photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

Sizing Up the Damage in Gaza

Now that the war in Gaza has ground to a halt, local and international groups are assessing the needs of tens of thousands of embattled and displaced Palestinians, some of whom have gone for many days without water or power, and are preparing to send aid as soon as possible.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Eyad Baba

To Each His Own Cease-Fire

Shortly after Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza, Hamas followed suit with its own separate announcement. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would withdraw troops “as soon as possible,” and Hamas said it would give Israel a week to do just that.

Posted on Jan 18, 2009 READ MORE


UN school
AP photo / Khalil Hamra)

Israel Under Fire for Gaza Killings

As Israel’s Security Cabinet prepared to vote Saturday on a possible cease-fire in Gaza, the Israeli army drew criticism for the killing of two boys who were taking cover at a United Nations school in northern Gaza, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 READ MORE


Livni and Rice
AP photo / Luis M. Alvarez

Israel Considering Gaza Cease-Fire

Israel’s Security Cabinet will hold a vote Saturday that could halt Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, at least temporarily stopping the assault after three weeks of punishing violence.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


White Phosphorus
guardian.co.uk

Israel’s Chemical Warfare?

Following previous accusations by aid agencies, a video has surfaced amid Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip that shows images “consistent with the use of white phosphorus shells”—i.e. chemical weaponry. The Israeli military has denied use of the chemical agent, which can burn skin to the bone.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge—Obama, the Pentagon or Israel?

The military is far too accustomed to getting its way, so it was refreshing to see Barack Obama reject the Pentagon’s sluggish withdrawal plan. But will he stand up to Israel, whose Prime Minister Olmert recently bragged about pulling the American president’s puppet strings?

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza UN fire
AP photo / Ashraf Amra

Hamas Official Killed, U.N. Compound Hit in Gaza

Another high-ranking Hamas official, Interior Minister Said Siyam, was killed on Thursday near Gaza City, according to Israeli and Hamas sources. Israeli leaders faced international criticism after their forces also struck both the United Nations compound and a high-rise in Gaza City where several media organizations are based.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Buildings Destroyed in Gaza
Maan Images / Wissam Nassar

Next Stop: Tensiontown, Israel

As the death toll of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip moves past 1,000, tensions between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis are growing. Some of the country’s Arab population is increasingly vocal in denouncing the bombings, while some Israeli politicians are trying to ban the re-election of Arabs to parliament on the grounds of alleged national disloyalty.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Drama of Reciprocal Self-Destruction

The people of Gaza and Israel suffer at the hands of leaders whose bewildering and savage decisions have no rationally achievable purpose.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza City
AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Israeli Troops Push Into Gaza City

The war in Gaza has taken on another deadly dimension, as Israeli troops have moved into several districts of Gaza City, the BBC reported Tuesday, sparking street fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Abdel Kareem Hana

The Language of Death

Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Targeting Hamas

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


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