United States Secretary of State Kerry has emphasized twice that the peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians will be held in complete secrecy from the Press and that both sides have been instructed not to release any information concerning any progress, problems, concessions, agreements, or probably even what the menu was for lunch. The clamping of such secrecy can only lead one to surmise that the negotiations are going to be controversial and that there will be positions resulting that would prove provocative and very possibly disheartening. Since Secretary Kerry has also pointed out that any information which may become public will not have any validity unless it comes from Secretary Kerry himself, and he added that he will not be speaking about the talks very much if at all, so anything that is stated by any media will be purely conjecture. Well, I almost feel like sending…
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My friend NEO published a piece which deals with a subject on which I had intended to write. Since he did so, I would refer you to his post as he did an excellent job as always of giving details on the subject of closing our embassies this Sunday because of “fear of al-Qaeda” malevolence”.
We are, through the month of August under a “high security watch”. Those of us who remember back to September 11, 2001 will recall how the threat level was indicated by a barometer of varying colors. We took those indications seriously after the events of that fateful day.
The warning coming from our government is that people who are travelling – especially to the Middle East should take extra precautions. I would imagine that anyone who had business in the Middle East, which is perhaps the world’s most volatile powder keg, probably already knew…
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An August 1 essayat ‘Comment is Free’, titled ‘The Middle East peace talks are back to disappoint‘, by Gaza based blogger (and Electronic Intifada contributor) Rana Baker didn’t include anything particularly surprising – at least by ‘CiF’ standards.
In her column, Baker, an activist from Gaza, demonizes Israelis as ‘colonisers’ who administer an “apartheid-like system in impoverished Bantustans”, dismisses the newly relaunched peace talks as an act of surrender and exercise in futility, and mocks as “irrelevant”, weak and spineless Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Baker’s views on the peace process are evidently considered especially worthy by the Guardian brass, as, in addition to her CiF commentary, Harriet Sherwood also featured the “Gaza blogger” – in a Aug. 3 story in The Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) – as one of the five “Voices from Palestine”, ‘Do Israelis and Palestinians…
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