Friday, November 30, 2012

Israel's Expansion Extravaganza

Israel announced a settlement expansion extravaganza in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  This came in retaliation for a United Nations vote on a Palestinian state, where representatives overwhelmingly granted Palestine nonmember observer status. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "pressed the Palestinian Authority to return to direct negotiations, saying the process represents 'not just the best but the only path to the independent state they deserve.'"

Hillary Clinton dangled economic peace to Palestinians in the West Bank, while Israel took more land.  That effort resulted in no talks  for nearly the whole Obama administration.  A brief round of talks in 2010 quickly disintegrated. 

Back to the settlement expansion, which Hillary weighed in on: "These activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace."

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland criticized the Israeli (settlement expansion) announcement. "These actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution," she said.
The U.S. claims to have opposed settlement building for four decades.  That is patently laughable.  As for Palestine, it's third on Hillary's list of Middle East priorities.  Number 1 is preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  Number 2 is keeping the cease fire in Gaza.  Number 4 is US and Israel supporting movements for democratic change in the Arab world.

As for democracy, Israel's arc is questionable in Hillary's eyes.

Without peace, extremists will grow stronger and Israel will be forced to militarize even further, Clinton said. “And without peace, the inexorable math of demographics will one day force Israelis to choose between preserving their democracy and remaining a Jewish homeland.”  
Israelis, public opinion wise, choose peace regularly.  It seems governments are incapable of delivering.

The U.S. and Israel teamed up to deny Palestine "nonmember observer" UN status.  They joined seven other countries, while 193 voted to grant what appears to be a nonthreatening status.

Update 12-2-12:  Israel confiscated NIS 460 million ($120 million) in Palestinian Authority tax funds.  Divide, appropriate land and starve. 

Update 12-12-12:  Settlements are a requirement for keeping peace, says Tzipi Livni

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Razing Gaza: Obama's Second Round

The last time Israel razed Gaza, Barack Obama was President elect.  Israel wound up their operation prior to Obama's historic nomination.  America dangled "economic freedom" for Palestinians the last four years, but not much else.  The U.S. did give Israel over $10 billion in military aid during that time.  That military aid is now exploding in Gaza.

While Israeli military spokesman Mordechai said "every Israeli missile has an address," the media once again found themselves on the Israeli invitation list.  For the second time in four years, Gaza's innocent civilians are blockaded.  The question is how bad the beating will be?

Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai was quoted by Israel's Haaretz newspaper as saying that the goal of the operation was "to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for 40 years".
Obama is consistent in his support of Israel, despite his promise to work on Gaza immediately after his inauguration.  I expect the beating to be pretty bad and extremely sad...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nuclear Weapons to Prevent Nuclear Weapons?

A Sunday Times report suggests Israel may need to use nuclear weapons to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons: Jerusalem Post reported:

Defense experts claim Israel have two options, either deploy special forces on the ground, or use ballistic missiles with tactical nuclear warheads, the British paper reported.

Now that the U.S. Presidential election is over with, global tamperers know the players with certainty.   If there's one sole bright spot of U.S. bipartisanship on Capital Hill, it's against Iran.  Might a preventive tactical nuclear attack against Iran be in order?

Update 12-2-12:  The U.S. gave Iran until March to cooperate with the IAEA.  Then the U.S. will report Iran's noncooperation to the U.N. Security Council.