Unimaginable Beauty and the Barbed Wire
1 day ago
For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
"The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston, Massachusetts, and president of the “Commission for the Message,” said at Saturday’s Vatican press conference."Many commenters squirmed a bit when hearing this, saying that the denial of Israel's right to the Land of Israel were coming from "extremists" and not the mainstream Catholic church. Unfortunately, the Vatican is where the press conference took place, and no one at the Vatican seemed to have had a problem with the above statement.
I don’t think it (Gaza) is a paradise, or remotely normal………..There are dispiriting slums that should have been cleared decades ago, people living on the edge of subsistence. There is danger. And most of the people cannot get out. But it is a lot more complicated, and a lot more interesting, than that………
But if you think Israel is the only problem, or that Israelis are the only oppressors hereabouts, think again. Realise, for a start, that Israel no longer rules Gaza. Its (former) settlements are ruins.
Even when, as in Gaza, there is no way out, morality patrols sweep through restaurants in search of illicit beer and women smoking in public, affronting the 14th Century values of Hamas.
The creation of the Zionist movement radically changed the Western understanding of the Muslim-Jewish conflict — sweeping up generations of campus intellectuals who have projected upon it all their own obsessions with colonialism and class struggle. But in the Muslim world, Gilbert’s narrative shows us, Israel’s creation actually didn’t change the Muslim-Jewish dynamic as much as is commonly imagined. The rhetoric and barbarism hurled against Israeli Jews after the Zionist project began were not new but simply the old, more diffuse rhetoric and barbarism being redirected, as by a lens, toward a particular pinprick on a map. This is tied up with the reason that many Muslims refuse even to say the word “Israel,” preferring terms such as “the Zionist entity”: Deep down, they regard Israel not as a country in the proper sense but rather as a sort of soil-and-concrete stand-in for the stubborn, maddeningly ineradicable Jewish presence in Middle Eastern life since the age of Muhammad.
…the Jerusalem municipality has been bending to the will of fanatic Jewish settlers, and producing -based on archaic documents from the Ottoman period and manufactured Israeli law- eviction notices to a number of Palestinian families, and in some cases -such as with three families in Sheikh Jarrah- acting on those eviction notices by force and removing those Palestinian families from their homes.
Finally, if any news stories critical of Israeli policy do surface there are hosts of media watch dog groups that monitor and pressure journalists and media outlets, and most important of which is HonestReporting. There are active pro-Israeli organizations that very effectively monitor (read harass) journalist and their editors and try to make sure that the coverage is objective, by which they mean is pro-Israel. There are even pressure groups to write campaigns and letters to editors and news outlets asking to boycott certain news agencies, demanding the stories to be changed or the reporter to be fired. This becomes so twisted, that the dearth of reporting, the absence of images, lack of analysis, the void of voices of describing the experience of Palestinians under occupation is so vast that the people has no idea that a military occupation is going on.
Nigeria's secret service said on Tuesday it had intercepted 13 containers of weapons from Iran in what Israeli defense sources believe may be part of a new smuggling route from Iran to Hamas in Gaza. Rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives camouflaged as building material were seized in the Nigerian port of Lagos after being unloaded from an Iranian ship.
Obama extends Jerusalem embassy waiver
June 3, 2010
President Obama has extended a waiver for an additional six months delaying moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Obama's waiver, issued Wednesday, follows in the footsteps of predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who also extended the waiver every six months since the law was adopted in 1995 calling for the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Presidents are permitted to delay the move on national security grounds.
Some Jewish groups have pushed for the United States to move the embassy as a way to bolster Israeli claims to the city. Those favoring the use of the waiver say that such a step would anger the Arab world and put the United States in the position of taking sides on an issue that should be settled in peace talks.
Another Washington Middle East hand who consults closely with the administration said he too has started to hear growing rumors in recent days of a possible official administration role on the Middle East peace process for Indyk. Under the arrangement that was described to that Middle East hand, the NSC's Dennis Ross would capitalize on his decent ties with Israel's Bibi Netanyahu to be a main administration point of contact with the Israelis, Indyk would capitalize on his good ties with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (universally referred to as Abu Mazen) to be a channel to the Palestinians, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be in charge.
Indyk, who has served in a consulting role to the team of Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, professed Tuesday in response to a query that it was the first he had heard of any such plan.
Meantime, the New America Foundation's Steve Clemons said he is convinced that the man who can help Obama bring peace to the Middle East is former President Bill Clinton. That is the spouse of Obama's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.