Saturday, 10 August 2013


Israel as a Gulf State  

    In Europe, Israel is vilified in parts of the press, the trades unions and the churches, but government and industry are often better informed and more concerned for national interests in working with Israel. The discovery of Israeli gas and oil shifts the balance toward the latter. The horrendous behavior of the existing Gulf states allows us to imagine the extremes to which Israel could now indulge itself, although one hopes it will not.
It is a longstanding complaint that Israel is unfairly harassed in those international forums that deal with human rights. On the other hand, countries that are too big to harass, such as Russian and China, or that are oil rich, such as the Gulf states, get away with anything. Well, here’s news: Now that Israel has discovered vast offshore deposits of natural gas and even some oil, it can aspire to the status of aGulf state. Not quite geographically, but in terms of the scruples that others can brush aside in their eagerness to do business. (Read more…)

Iran Enters the Peace Process  

Hamas’s apparent rapprochement with Iran paves the way for Iran to play a major role in the Palestinian arena. Iranian military experts could soon be arriving in the Gaza Strip to train members of Hamas and other terrorist groups. This does not bode well for the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. (Read more…)

Israel, Greece, Cyprus sign energy and water deal  

Israel on Thursday signed an agreement with Greece and Cyprus that promises to link the three countries’ electricity grids via an underwater cable.
The underwater, 2,000-mega-watt EuroAsia Interconnector “will lift Cyprus out of energy isolation, with cheaper electricity which will help our economy become more competitive,” Lakotrypis said.
Shalom said the “historic” agreement “demonstrates the strong and tightening relations between the countries.” He added that the “electric conduit can easily become a cable that will supply and export electricity to the European energy market, and provide us with energy security.”
The agreement also dealt with natural gas and water issues.
(Read more…)

Deputy FM: ‘Netanyahu wrong to back Palestinian state, and it’s hurting him in Likud’  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu errs in his support of a Palestinian state, and that misguided support is badly weakening his position within the Likud, Netanyahu’s own deputy foreign minister and Likud colleague Ze’ev Elkin told The Times of Israel.
In an interview at his office in the Foreign Ministry, where he serves as the deputy to acting foreign minister Netanyahu, Elkin said Netanyahu “is going against the flow of his own party. He’s paying a political price day after day, hour after hour, for his belief in a Palestinian state… It’s very hard for him in his party.”
(Read more…)

Kerry threatens Israel with isolation  

Kerry tells US Jewish leaders he fears for Israel’s future if no peace deal. At White House meet, secretary highlights Israel’s growing diplomatic isolation, demographic challenges;
Secretary of State John Kerry and an elite US diplomatic team met with a small group of American Jewish leaders at the White House Thursday night to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that resumed last month.
An optimistic-sounding Kerry asked the Jewish leaders for their help in supporting the newly restarted talks, The Times of Israel learned, saying that he feared for Israel’s future if a peace deal is not reached.
Kerry told the fewer than two-dozen representatives of Jewish organizations that he really believes that both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas realize that there is a strategic imperative to act now. He noted that Israel faces the threat of diplomatic isolation and a demographic clock.
(Read more…)

The Return of Al Qaeda and Jihad  

by Raymond Ibrahim,
With the ousting of Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, al-Qaeda has been vindicated and the terror-jihad exonerated, in the opinion of many Islamists, that is.
According to the Associated Press, in a new video, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri “said the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi provides proof that Islamic rule cannot be established through democracy and urged the Islamist leader’s followers to abandon the ballot box in favor of armed resistance [i.e., jihad].”
In fact, in the Arabic video, Zawahiri gloats over two points that he has championed for decades despite widespread opposition: that the Brotherhood was foolish to engage in democracy and elections in the first place, and that the triumph of Islam can only be achieved through jihad.
(Read more…)

Will U.S./Iran detente be at Israel’s expense?  

Detente can go beyond letting then build a bomb. There are many issues that may be subsumed in detente including the future of Syia and Iran’s hegemonic ambitions. Will Obama throw Israel under the bus? Will Obama throw Saudi Arabia under the bus. Stayed tuned. Ted Belman
Barring the IDF, Netanyahu’s last resort against possible Obama détente with Iran is US Congress
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at his first news conference Tuesday, Aug. 6, said his government would not discuss his country’s nuclear program with the world powers under pressure. No sooner had he spoken than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shot back: The only thing that worked in the past was pressure, so the answer now is increased pressure.
It is an open secret that what Rouhani is after is the lifting of US and European sanctions which are crippling Iran’s economy. He is not altogether unrealistic: Only last February, the Six World Powers made Tehran an offer to gradually ease sanctions if Iran stopped enriching uranium – even temporarily.
(Read more…)

Its Kerry that’s not acting in good faith  

By Ted Belman
The US was quick to react to yesterday’s announcement that the Civil Administration had approved the construction of 878 units outside the settlement blocs east of the green line.
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said when talking to reporters:
    “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and opposes any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts.”

    “The secretary has made clear that he believes both of the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to working together to make progress.”

PM: Israel will not sign additional agreements with EU  

In response to new EU guidelines to boycott settlements, Israel will not sign further agreements with Union. Israel to demand clarifications regarding expected limitations
At a cabinet meeting Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided that Israel will not sign additional agreements with the European Union, such as a scientific cooperation agreement, due to the expected EU limitations on the settlements.
At the end of the meeting, State officials said that the EU’s decision significantly harms the process of renewing negotiations with the Palestinians.
(Read more…)

Obama’s impressive record of firsts  

Quit trashing Obama’s accomplishments. He has been the first in more areas than any other President before him.  Here is a list of his impressive accomplishments:
First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.
(Read more…)

Ted Belman
Jerusalem, Israel