Blame the Jews

99999According to the Huffington Post:

‘Middle East Peace Process?’ High Time for a New Name.

There are those in the international community who have long claimed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root cause of the Middle East’s problems.

Among the more prominent voices articulating this notion has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has asserted that the absence of a Palestinian state is the crux of all problems in the Middle East.

And former British Prime Minister Tony Blair once wrote: “How can we bring peace to the Middle East unless we resolve the question of Israel and Palestine?” Achieving peace, he continued, “would not only silence reactionary Islam’s most effective rallying call, but fatally undermine its basic ideology.”

The widespread use of the words “Middle East Peace Process” (MEPP) has served to reinforce this view that if the heart of the region’s problems is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then, ipso facto, solving it could usher in a Kantian era of “perpetual peace.”

Consider, for instance, the job titles of these officials dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian agenda: Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; Fernando Gentilini, the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process; and Tony Blair, until recently the Representative of the Quartet to the Middle East Peace Process. (For the record, the American counterpart position is named U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.)

Or this statement from the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Ireland has a long record of support for a lasting peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution.”

But, of course, there’s one fundamental flaw in this reasoning — it defies the facts on the ground.”

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In his defense…

99999The Latest According to the Times of Israel:

Israel angrily warns powers caving to Iran in nuke talks.

Jerusalem reacted furiously over reports Saturday that world powers were closing in on a long-sought pact that would see the lifting of sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program. Concessions growing, will allow Tehran to build nuclear arsenal even if it does keep to deal, officials in Jerusalem say.

Officials in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office accused the six world powers negotiating with Iran of caving to the Islamic Republic’s demands, breaking even their own publicly stated “red-line” demands.

“With each passing day, the concessions from the powers to Iran are growing and growing,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office read. “Concessions over the inspections regime, concessions on how sanctions will be lifted, concessions on the amount of centrifuges, research and development of advanced centrifuges and more.”

The officials said the concessions would lead to a situation which would “pave the way for Iran for an arsenal of atomic weapons within a decade if it keeps to the deal,” and a bomb in a shorter time if Iran breaks its commitments.

The comments came hours after the Associated Press reported that powers and Iran had drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations. The development indicated the sides were moving closer to a comprehensive accord that would set a decade of restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in economic benefits for the Iranians, as they race to complete a deal after extending a June 30 deadline to July 7.

Israel has loudly lobbied against the emerging deal, arguing it will let Iran continue to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapons program while lifting sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.

The US and much of the world fears Iran’s enrichment of uranium and other activity could be designed to make nuclear weapons; Iran says its program is meant only to generate power and for other peaceful purposes. “As soon as sanctions are lifted, tens and hundreds of billions of dollars will flow into the Iranian economy. There will be no turning back,” the PMO officials said in the statement.

Officials from the US and other power have argued that sanctions will be able to be “snapped back” into place should Iran not comply with the deal. Saying Iran was more dangerous that the Islamic State, the officials warned against the threat that would be posed if Tehran were allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, which Netanyahu has described as an existential threat. The Iranian terror machine that operates worldwide will only be strengthened,” the officials said. “We must not let Iran acquire the most dangerous weapon in the world and fill its terror coffers with hundreds of billions of dollars.” Western officials have described sanctions relief as one of the thorniest disagreements between Iran and the United States, which has led the campaign of international pressure against Iran’s economy.

Written by technical experts, the sanctions document revealed Saturday document still must be approved by senior officials of the seven nations at the table, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the foreign ministers of Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, expected to join Kerry and Zarif in Vienna this weekend for a push to meet the July 7 deadline.

Diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on this past week’s confidential negotiations, said the sanctions annex was completed this week by experts from Iran and the six world powers in the negotiations. They did not provide details of the agreement.

A senior US official did not dispute the diplomats’ account but said work remained to be done on “Annex II” before the issue could be described as finalized. And beyond a political agreement that was still in the draft stage, details also needed to be finalized on tough issues contained in four other appendices. They include inspection guidelines, rules governing Iran’s research and development of advanced nuclear technology and the nuts and bolts of reducing the size and output of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

As part of a deal, the Obama administration also wants Iran to fully cooperate with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation of allegations that Tehran worked secretly on nuclear arms — something Iran vehemently denies. But chances of progress on that issue appear to be dimming.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told reporters on Saturday that “more work will be needed” to advance the probe, in a statement similar to previous ones from his agency, which has struggled for nearly a decade to resolve its concerns.

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Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973

Changing Times

99999Latest AP Dispatches:

CAIRO (AP) — The latest on the aftermath of a coordinated militant assault on Egyptian security forces in the restive northern Sinai that killed dozens of troops and set off the bloodiest fighting in the peninsula in decades. The Israeli prime minister has warned of the growing threat to the region from Islamic State militants and has expressed condolences to Egypt over the deadly IS-linked attacks in Sinai the day before.

Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that “we see in front of our eyes IS acting with extraordinary cruelty both in our northern border and at our southern border.”He says: “Our hearts are with the Egyptian people, we send our condolences to the Egyptian government and the families of those who were killed in battle with the cruel terror.”

Egypt and Israel share a border in the Sinai and have cooperated in the past on cross-border militant threats.

Egyptian security officials say the military has killed 23 Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula in dawn air raids south of the north Sinai border town of Rafah.They say the army was seeking out militants house to house on Thursday in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, and demining roads in and around the town that extremists had booby trapped with mines and improvised explosives devices.

An Associated Press reporter across the border in the Gaza Strip heard explosions and saw smoke rising in the area as airstrikes continued in the afternoon and warplanes roared overhead.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.The raids came a day after militants hit military positions in northern Sinai. The army said 17 troops and 90 militants were killed, but security officials and media reports said dozens of soldiers and some 100 militants died in the fighting.

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Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973

Cruelty in America

99999I originally did this cartoon back in 1993!

For info about the U.S. constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishement: The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution (ratified in 1791) specifically prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the ban applies not only to punishments that are inherently cruel, but also to punishments that are “grossly disproportionate” to the offense in question.

To understand how “grossly disproportionate” is Pollard’s sentence, click on http://www.jonathanpollard.org/sentences.htm

Story Time

99999According to the Daily Caller:

Michael Oren Slams New York Times’ Anti-Israel ‘Lunacy’ In New Book
Israel’s former ambassador to the United States says there wasn’t enough time in the day to debunk all the anti-Israel “lunacy” published in The New York Times — so he just stopped trying.

Michael Oren, the widely respected historian who served as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2012, blasts The New York Times in his soon-to-be released book, “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.”

“Most malicious was the op-ed page of The New York Times, once revered as an interface of ideas, now sadly reduced to a sounding board for only one, which often excluded Israel’s legitimacy,” he writes. “The page’s contributors accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, brutal militarism, racism of several stripes, and even ‘pinkwashing’ — exploiting its liberal policy toward lesbians and gays to cover up its oppression of Palestinians.”

“After a while, I simply gave up trying to debunk such lunacy,” he added.

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Demonic Possession

99999The flood of bloodletting, terror attacks, kidnapping, and beheadings is beyond belief.

We continue to search for rational explanations. Perhaps it’s time to consider that humankind is in the grip of demonic posession? Are we too “scientific” to consider the existence of evil as a force? Has the behavior of “the nations” opened the door to demonic forces? Is the world possessed?

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Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973