To judge from the wide-ranging speculation, United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood—planned by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for this September—will be either a watershed moment or a largely symbolic piece of diplomatic theater. Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak has referred to this development as a “diplomatic tsunami.” But others have argued that since UN General Assembly resolutions are nonbinding, recognition of Palestinian statehood will have little practical effect.
Barring a diplomatic breakthrough, Palestinian leaders plan to pursue a statehood resolution at the United
Nations in September. Yet, the most striking feature of the debate surrounding this development is how little attention is being paid to the context of this initiative and what may happen the day after the UN vote. The UN move is as much a symptom as it is a cause, and unless understood in this way, the policy response is likely to be inadequate.
Regardless of the outcome in New York, the downward spiral away from peacemaking seems to be intensifying at an alarming pace. In this Policy Note, former Israeli peace negotiator Tal Becker examines the scenarios most likely to unfold at the UN, the regional and domestic factors that have led the Palestinian leadership to pursue this course, and the various implications of potential UN recognition. The study examines different policy options available to the United States as it seeks a response that best balances conflicting interests and priorities, and best preserves the option of a negotiated solution in a volatile and changing regional environment.
Read full text here: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/pubPDFs/PolicyNote06.pdf
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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In his remark he added that the situation which exists in the region today is sustainable. “Of course, the conflict [between Israel and the Palestinian Authority] hasn’t been solved,” he said, “and I don’t think we should talk about solutions. We should talk about how to enhance our interests in the right way.”
Addressing the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, Ya’alon said that more sanctions are needed against the Islamic Republic, including what he termed “political isolation.”
“How come President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who calls to wipe Israel off the map, is welcomed in the General Assembly or in Columbia University?” he asked. “This is not political isolation. It hasn’t been implemented yet as a tool.”
He expressed hope that the economic sanctions against Iran also intensify, as they are “a very effective tool in a dilemma [of having to choose between] a nuclear bomb or survivability.
“We call for the intensification of the economic sanctions on Iran and to deal with those who help Iran to bypass these sanctions,” he said. “This tool hasn’t been exercised in the way that we believe it should be exercised.”
A military option against Iran, said Ya’alon, should be the last resort, but added that “in order to convince the Iranian regime that we are determined to deal with it, we should demonstrate a credible military option.”
He emphasized that by “we” he means the West and not just Israel. “It is not just Israel versus Iran,” he stressed. “It’s Iran versus the western world. They say that we’re only the minor Satan and that the great Satan is America. America is not just the United States.”
Ya’alon also addressed the Palestinian Authority’s plan to seek recognition of a state at the UN General Assembly, and said this idea will not serve the interests of Israel, the PA, and even the United States.
The reason for this, he explained, is that achieving recognition of a state would not give the PA any incentive to return to the negotiating table. He added that ultimately, establishing a Palestinian state unilaterally will result in the formation of a “failed and hostile entity” and noted that such a state is destined for failure since, as he explained, “you can’t talk about a viable Palestinian state without any strong economic connections to the State of Israel. Their economy is based on us.”
Dlad Beari & Hezki Ezra
6, 29, 2011
Israel National News
Related Link: http://tinyurl.com/3n88np7
New York, NY 10017
blessing and that of the United Nations.
and ends tomorrow. The opening message by Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei
attacked “the United States, Britain and some Western governments, with a
black record in terrorist behaviors,” “satanic world powers,” and “terrorist
organizations such as the Zionism International Agency.”
creation and growth of the wild and blind terrorism is basically the result
of the wicked policy of America and England,” and that “it is a duty for all
Muslims to confront and fight this inauspicious offspring which is the clear
example of corruption on earth and fighting with God.”
Middle Easterners as the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Another
shows the Statue of Liberty, with Lady Liberty holding a stick of dynamite
in her hand. Still another shows an Israeli soldier as a devil with horns.
prominently hosting Sudanese President Al-Bashir, against whom there is an
arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court on the charge of
genocide against the people of Darfur.
sponsor of terrorism, arming and training terrorist proxies such as
Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Iran has been accused of sponsoring
terrorist attacks in Iraq, and of now aiding the Syrian regime in the bloody
repression of its own population. Iran has been condemned repeatedly by the
UN General Assembly for severely violating the human rights of its own
citizens, and is under UN sanctions for violating international law in its
covert pursuit of a nuclear bomb. Last September, you rightly condemned
Iranian President Ahmadinejad when he used the UN podium to accuse the US of
perpetrating the 9/11 terror attacks.
vehicle not only features the UN logo on the home page of its website,
implying UN sponsorship, but also appears to have received a special message
from you that was read out in person by a UN representative in Tehran. A
summary appears on the conference website under your photo
According to the Mehr News agency, “United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent a message to the conference, which was read out by UN representative Muhammad Rafiuddin
Shah.” The report goes on to say that “Ban thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for organizing the conference.”
contradicts the principles of the UN Charter, and aids and abets the
sponsors of terrorism in their global propaganda. We urge you to publicly
distance yourself and the UN from this shameful conference.
25 June 2011
UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.
A Big Shame on United Nation! [DID]
1) At the initiative of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the
International Conference on Global Fight against Terrorism was held from 25
to 26 June 2011 in Tehran, Iran. Heads of States and governments from
neighboring countries Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan as well as Sudan,
Tajikistan, Mauritania and the Vice-President of Cuba and Ministers and
other high-level delegates from 60 States, representatives of the United
Nations (Officer in Charge of CTITF), the OIC, and other regional
organizations as well as distinguished scholars and researchers and peace
activists from all around the world participated in the Conference;
2) The participants expressed their deep appreciation for the Government of
the Islamic Republic of Iran for its constructive and timely initiative in
organizing the International Conference on Global Fight against Terrorism,
and congratulated the Islamic Republic of Iran for its successful
organization of the event. The participants stressed the high importance of
such gatherings in further mobilizing political will and strengthening
international capacities in countering terrorism at national and
3) The participants reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of all acts of
terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism,
economic terrorism wherever, against whoever and by whoever they may be
committed. it was underlined that State terrorism has posed, for long, a
real threat to the peace and stability of many nations across the globe
through unlawful use or threat of force, aggression and occupation;
of which requires a globally approved approach under the United Nations’
auspices and through participation of all responsible members of the
international community. It also requires the use of all potentials of the
competent regional and international organizations in order to promote
cooperation and coordination in countering terrorism;
5) It was underscored that considering terrorism in a holistic and
comprehensive manner and in all its aspects is vital. In this context, the
importance of addressing the historical and the continuing root causes of
terrorism, including foreign aggression and occupation, poverty and
discrimination as well as interventionist policies by some States, was
6) The participants underlined, as also reiterated by Iran’s Supreme Leader,
the need for providing a consensual definition for terrorism without
prejudicing or affecting, in any manner, the recognized rules and principles
of international humanitarian law. It was emphasized that legitimate
struggles of peoples under colonial rule or foreign occupation for their
inalienable right of self-determination should not be labeled as terrorism;
7) The importance of countering terrorism in a transparent, rule of law
based, and non-discriminatory manner was emphasized. It was underlined that
counter-terrorism measures shall be adopted and carried out in accordance
with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including
international human rights and humanitarian law. The participants rejected
selective or double-standard approaches in dealing with terrorism and
terrorist groups and warned that such approaches could undermine
international trust and cooperation in countering terrorism globally;
8) The distinctive role of the United Nations, especially the General
Assembly, in building international consensus and promoting cooperation and
coordination against terrorism was highlighted. In this context, the
imperative of following the consensual approach in international
counter-terrorism norm-making processes was underlined. Also the important
status of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the need
for its balanced implementation as well as its further reviews with a view
to its strengthening was emphasized;
9) The participants underlined the need to extend cooperation and
interaction among all States in countering terrorism, in all its aspects, at
bilateral, regional and international levels. The participants reminded the
responsibility of all States in taking the necessary measures to bring
terrorists to justice, and requested all States to strengthen cooperation to
10) The participants highlighted the unequivocal denunciation by all divine
religions of acts of terrorism and indiscriminate violence against innocent
people and the high importance these religions attach to human life and
dignity as well as peaceful coexistence among nations. The participants
rejected any vicious attempt to associate or attribute terrorism to a
particular culture, religion or nationality and expressed their concern over
certain circles’ attempts to associate intolerance, extremism, terrorism and
violence to religions, particularly Islam, and condemned any offensive or
provoking act against Divine values and religious sanctities;
11) The participants expressed their sympathy with victims of terrorism,
including State terrorism. The participants expressed their deep concern
over excessive and/or disproportionate use of military force in the name of
countering terrorism which has claimed the lives of an increasing number of
innocent civilians, and stressed the importance of addressing the plight of
these victims. The participants applauded the initiative of the Conference
to commemorate the victims of acts of terrorism.
The participants welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s initiative to
establish a standing headquarters for the Conference as a follow-up to
further mobilize the international and regional political will and preserve
the momentum in promoting cooperation and coordination in countering
terrorism. In this context, the participants welcomed the offer made by the
Republic of Iraq to hold the next Conference in Iraq at a date to be
announced in due course.
The United States should see the political turmoil in Syria, not as a “confounding problem,” but as an opportunity to break at its weakest point the enduring and dangerous partnership between Syria and Iran, a Mideast expert told lawmakers on Thursday.
But he cited as the most crucial issue the chance to split the axis, describing Syria’s secular Allawite regime as “the weak link” in “an otherwise Shiite-led, radical Islamist coalition.”
Satloff dismissed the view that what succeeds the present government could be worse.
“No successor regime will be as committed as the Assad regime has shown itself to be to implementing a broad range of destabilizing and dangerous policies, from pursuing a clandestine and illegal nuclear weapons program, to arming and supporting radical Islamist militias in Lebanon and in the Palestinian arena, to facilitating attacks on U.S. troops via foreign fighters in Iraq.”
Even if what follows Assad falls short of the desired outcome – a pluralistic, representative, democratic and minority right-upholding government – it “will still constitute a substantial blow
to our strategic adversaries in the region and will therefore serve U.S. interests,” he said.
Characterizing Turkey’s rift with Syria  as even more significant than the Arab League’s decision to abandon Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi earlier this year, Satloff argued that the U.S. should capitalize on the situation and “take steps that hasten the demise of the Assad regime.”
He offered a range of recommendations to help achieve that end – none of them involving military action either alone or in concert with others. Among them:
— raise the level of consultations with key regional players on the Syrian issue;
— create an international contact group both to highlight the growing isolation of the regime and facilitate practical support for refugees and others;
— consider establishing “humanitarian relief zones” along Syria’s borders;
— find ways to support the Syrian opposition and help make it more effective;
— expand sanctions and targeting Syrian energy sector and supplies; and
— step up pressure at the U.N. on human rights and weapons of mass destruction issues.
Satloff said Obama should also “adopt a clearer position on the urgency of political change in Syria.”
“I believe we can state with certainty and clear conscience that the Syrian people have spoken with as much clarity and determination as is humanly possible in one of the world’s most controlled and repressive states,” he said. “It is time for the United States to speak – and act – with similar clarity and determination.”
Friday, June 24, 2011
Related Link: http://tinyurl.com/5tc57rc
Saeed Kamali Dehghan
June 24, 2011
Related Link: http://tinyurl.com/6597hvm
Hizballah can now strike targets throughout Israel. Its missiles and rockets are also accurate enough to hit military installations and other important facilities, and it can fire as many as 500–600 per day. Hizballah also has the ability to conduct terrorist or special operations against civilian, military and infrastructure targets outside the immediate theater of war. Sheikh Nasrallah has plausibly threatened to attack shipping in the eastern Mediterranean in the event of a conflict with Israel.12 If Hizballah were to gain access to Syria’s P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missile system—a distinct possibility—it could potentially strike targets as distant as 300 kilometers from the Lebanese coast.
Horizontal escalation involves the spread of hostilities from beyond the immediate area of conflict to additional geographic areas and political actors.13 Iran’s means and methods, as discussed above, give it the ability to escalate horizontally within the Middle East region and beyond to include Europe and the United States.
How well prepared is the United States for this kind of fight? This is at least in part a question of national or societal resilience. If all options are on the table, as both Bush and Obama Administration spokesmen have insisted, are preparations for employing all options being made ready? If not, then Iran may decide that some of the options on the table lack credibility.
The second conclusion we should take from this discussion is that, in attacking Iran, we would be trading one set of risks for another. Any option we choose, even choosing not to choose, will have political as well as military-strategic consequences. As hard as it is to know the consequences of war, it is just as hard to know the consequences of a decision to “learn to live” with a nuclear-armed Iran. Both courses are fraught and logically open-ended. Thus the fear of potentially negative consequences from a war should not necessarily rule one out. Winston Churchill, reflecting on British policy before World War II, wrote:
Angelina Jolie visits Syrian refugees in Turkey
Related Link: http://www.unhcr.org/4dfb90049.html
Monday June 20 2011
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Nancy Kennon – June 17, 2011
LAPD Dep. Chief Michael Downing admits that the police force works with the Muslim Brotherhood, and that the Brotherhood should not be “demonized.”
LAPD Dep. Chief Downing: ‘We should not demonize the Muslim Brotherhood’
Tomorrow the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons,” chaired by Rep. Peter King. One of those testifying is LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing, the commander of the LAPD’s Counterterrorism and Special Operations Bureau.
This is an odd choice for the committee in light of a video we are making exclusive here at the PJ Tatler of Chief Downing speaking at a town hall event co-sponsored by his department at the Islamic Center of Southern California on May 15th. Above is the video of Chief Downing’s comments.
Nancy Kennon – June 17, 2011
Family Security Matters
Still greater indifference greeted the first glimpses of the massive underground shelter constructed and outfitted to offer protection to thousands of Israelis in a variety of doomsday scenarios – nuclear, chemical and conventional.
In ordinary times the 3,740 square-meter shelter space would serve as a four-story underground parking facility, yet each of the four floors is also outfitted with such seemingly incongruous features as decontamination showers for use in the event of a chemical attack, filters against an assortment of unconventional WMDs and emergency medical clinics for triage and first aid to casualties. The very fact that such a complex is at all deemed necessary in the 21st century speaks volumes.
The same goes for the civil defense drill this week that is aimed at preparing us for the dangers of rocket onslaughts from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza – throughout the country and at all hours of the day and night. Air raid sirens will sound mid-morning on Wednesday to test preparedness in workplaces and schools. Another siren in the evening will gauge preparedness in the homes. In both cases, the public will be asked to locate the closest secure room and/or bomb shelter.
The very fact that such dry-run rehearsals are indispensable, to say nothing of their specificities and scope, attests all-too palpably to the fact that we live in a highrisk zone and must unfortunately prepare for circumstances far from the normalization to which we aspire.
Were Israel surrounded by sincere peace partners, of course, no such dire maneuvers would be required, while genuine compromises and coexistence would be eminently attainable.
This should be patently obvious to all truly objective observers overseas. Were the family of nations really as high-minded as it professes to be, it would direct its righteous indignation against the undisguised menacing of a geographically tiny democracy whose civilian population is vulnerable like no other.
Instead, too often, a blind eye is turned to the lethal stockpiles amassed against Israel, even as unconscionable efforts are intensified to tarnish Israel, ostracize it and turn it into a global pariah.
Within the Israeli consensus, we agonize as to whether there is more that our leadership could and should be doing to advance the goal of normalization.
But attaining that goal ultimately requires genuine partners, truly interested in reconciliation.
Bitterly, in the summer of 2011, daily developments in this region, where we had forged ties with Egypt and Jordan and anticipated widening the circle of normalization, suggest that the momentum has been shifting in the very opposite direction. Primarily blaming Israel for this reversal, though it might be convenient, simply does not square with an objective assessment of what is unfolding in today’s Middle East.