On the final day of his reelection campaign, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that as long as his party stays in power, there will not be an independent Palestinian nation.
“I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, and to evacuate territory, is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the State of Israel,” in a video interview in a last minute bid to win over right-wing voters.
So… is he going to make Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza full citizens of Israel with all the civil rights that come with?
Nope. Instead, he pledged to build more settlements in the West Bank.
“We will continue to build in Jerusalem, we will add thousands of housing units, and in the face of all the [international] pressure, we will persist and continue to develop our eternal capital,” Netanyahu declared.
Millions of Israelisin what is expected to be a pretty close electoral race. The latest opinion polls showed Netanyahu and his Likud party are facing a surprisingly strong challenge by the centre-left Zionist Union electoral alliance, lead by Yitzhak Herzog and former peace negotiator Tzipi Livni.
The only thing standing in Netanyahu’s way (besides many voters’ aversion of his extreme right-wing views) is… ARABS! Netanyahu warned on election day that a large turnout by Arab voters could endanger the country体彩手机在线怎么下载’s political right.
“Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses,” Netanyahu said in a video message on his Facebook page.
Israeli citizens voting in an Israeli election? Damn those Arabs and their voting rights! What’s next? Demanding equal rights for all human beings in Israeli society!?
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has put forth a plan (via Twitter) to wipe Israel off the map, which he believes will be accepted by the international arena. Spoiler alert: I don’t think it will.
In a table posted on Khamenei’s official on Sunday, the Ayatollah revealed his 9-step plan to destroy the “fake Zionist regime”.
The Supreme Leader of Iran tweeted a set of answers to what are described as the “key questions”, saying that Israel is guilty of a host of “crimes”. He proposes a referendum to install a completely new government that will decide whether “Jewish immigrants who have been persuaded into emigration to Palestine” are allowed to remain in Israel or will be made to “return to their 体彩手机在线怎么下载 countries.”
The nuclear talks must be going great…
On the plus side, the Ayatollah plan does not appear to involve a violent massacre of Jews. Khamenei is n o monster. He draws the line at a “classical war by the army of Muslim countries” and throwing “migrated Jews at the sea.” However, he did tweet that until his plan can be implemented, there should be “powerful confrontation and resolute and armed resistance” against Israel. Just don’t throw them into the sea.
Palestinians declare a “day of rage” to coincide with the final Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. Israel responds with intensified attacks on Gaza. And there goes any hope for a ceasefire…
Last week, after 10,000 Palestinians protested on the West Bank, the Fatah political party called for Palestinians to have a in response to the shelling of a United Nations shelter that killed 16 people. Shells from Israeli tanks hit a UN school compound (where hundreds of Palestinians had come seeking shelter from the fighting) on Thursday in the Gaza Strip, leaving at least 15 dead and dozens more wounded.
Solution? Declare a day of rage and a fire a slew of rockets into Israel.
Isreali response? More air strikes!
After the so called day of rage, Israeland warned of a long conflict ahead. Sixty airstrikes were carried out Tuesday targeting sites associated with Hamas, including one that hit the Gaza Strip’s only power plant. The power facility was forced to shut down, leaving Gazans, many of whom have been living with just a few hours of electrical supplies for the last three weeks, in a tricky situation. Hamas’ Al-Aqsa satellite-TV station was also damaged in the air strikes, along with government buildings and the 体彩手机在线怎么下载 of a top Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh.
Palestinian officials now say 1,156 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the since the most recent fighting broke out on July 8 – and another 6,700 have been injured. Israel has lost 53 soldiers, three civilians, and shows no signs of stopping.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahau declared Monday: “We will continue to act aggressively and responsibly until the mission is completed to protect our citizens, soldiers, and children.”
The rest of Israel agrees. Recent polls say almost 90% of Israelis are in favour of the Gaza offensive.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry is desperately pushing for a ceasefire that both sides will agree on. Yeah, he’s going to be working on that one for a while…
Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners convicted of killing Israelis – but also announced plans to build 1,500 new housing settlements on land in East Jerusalem that had been marked by Palestine for a future state. So… they’re even?
An Israeli prison spokesperson announced on Tuesday that Israel has released 26 Palestinian prisoners, as part of a deal that spurred the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The release was the second part of an expected four rounds. A total of 104 prisoners (or terrorists, as the Israeli public calls them) are expected to be released as part of the deal.
The reaction in Palestine: Joy! Celebrations erupted in the Palestinian territories as the prisoners (or heroes who fought for independence, as the Palestinian public calls them) were freed.
The reaction in Israel: Anger! The decision to release the prisoners triggered a lot of rage in Israel, where many view the prisoners as terrorists who have committed horrible crimes against Israelis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a bit of a pickle. On the one hand, he had to release the prisoners as part of that stupid US-brokered peace deal John Kerry badgered him into. But on the other hand, everyone was pretty pissed at him for freeing the convicted killers – especially his right-wing coalition members.
So in a bid to appease the haters, Netanyahu announced on Wednesday plans to build hundreds of new settlement 体彩手机在线怎么下载s on land that the Palestinians want for a future state.
Naturally, the Palestinian Authority reacted angrily to Wednesday’s announcement, calling the move “destructive to peace efforts”.
To sum up: there are problems in the region that not even John Kerry can fix.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks kicked off with a working dinner at the US State Department on Monday night. Nothing like a working dinner to ease your way into an impossible task.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is credited with opening the first direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators in three years. In the last five months, John Kerry has made it his mission to get this thing going, making six official visits to the Middle East in an effort to restart the negotiations.
Mission accomplished! (In getting everyone in one room – not on negotiating any kind of peace deal). Top representatives of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and lead Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat) were at the White House meeting ready to get down to business. The new peace talks mark the first time the two sides will be holding face-to-face negotiations in nearly three years – even longer if you discount the last talks which failed after one day. This time the two sides have committed to at least nine months of talks – but neither is especially hopeful that they will get a good deal out of the other side.
Reaching “reasonable compromises” between Israelis and Palestinians will be difficult, Kerry told reporters earlier Monday, adding that “the consequences of not trying could be worse.”
“Many difficult choices lie ahead for the negotiators and for the leaders as we seek reasonable compromises on tough, complicated, emotional and symbolic issues,” Kerry said.“I think reasonable compromises has to be a keystone of all of this effort.”
Well if there’s one thing the Middle East in known for, it’s reasonable compromises. So good luck with that John Kerry.