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UN chief: End occupation, divide Jerusalem

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Psalm 51:17
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« Reply #330 on: March 22, 2013, 04:20:27 pm »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-applauds-call-between-israeli-turkish-prime-ministers/
3/22/13
Israel, Turkey to normalize ties, after PM apologizes for flotilla deaths

In dramatic phone call, Erdogan accepts Netanyahu’s apology over loss of life in the Mavi Marmara raid; Obama brokers reconciliation minutes before leaving Israel


In a dramatic reconciliation urged and brokered by President Barack Obama shortly before he left Israel on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone and agreed to end three years of frozen relations.

In the call, Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people “for any errors that could have led to loss of life” in the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, “and agreed to complete the agreement on compensation,” his office later said in a statement. Erdogan reportedly said he accepted the Israeli apology.

In the first conversation between the leaders since 2009, Netanyahu made it clear that the tragic consequences of the Mavi Marmara flotilla interception — in which nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli naval commandos who had come under attack as they sought to commandeer the Gaza-bound vessel — were unintentional.

The leaders agreed to return their respective ambassadors and pledged to overcome differences.

Erdogan also “withdrew” recent comments calling Zionism a crime against humanity, though he did not apologize for them, an informed source said.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two men agreed to restore normalization between Israel and Turkey, including the dispatch of ambassadors and the cancellation of legal steps against IDF soldiers,” Netanyahu’s office said in the statement.

Netanyahu told Erdogan that he had “good talks” with Obama “on the issue of regional cooperation and the importance of Israeli-Turkish relations. The prime minister expressed regret over the deterioration in bilateral relations [with Turkey] and noted his commitment to working out the disagreements in order to advance peace and regional stability,” the statement added.

“The prime minister made it clear that the tragic results regarding the Mavi Marmara were unintentional and that Israel expresses regret over injuries and loss of life. In light of the Israeli investigation into the incident, which pointed out several operational errors, Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people for any errors that could have led to loss of life and agreed to complete the agreement on compensation,” the statement continued.

Netanyahu “also noted that Israel has already lifted several restrictions on the movement of civilians and goods to all of the Palestinian territories, including Gaza, and added that this will continue as long as the quiet is maintained. The two leaders agreed to continue to work on improving the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories,” the statement concluded.

Turkey and Israel were once close allies, but relations unraveled in recent years, exacerbated in 2010 by the Israeli interception of the Mavi Marmara as it sought to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Turkey had conditioned warmer ties on an Israeli apology and compensation.

The reconciliation took place shortly before Obama completed his three-day visit to Israel, in a call from Ben-Gurion Airport. Initially Obama spoke to Erdogan, reports said, and then he handed the phone to Netanyahu. The US had indicated for some time that it saw an imperative for Israel and Turkey to heal the rift between them, especially given the regional challenges posed by Iran’s nuclear drive and the raging civil war in Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry had laid the groundwork for the call earlier, and Netanyahu had told IDF Chief of the General Staff Benny Gantz and his Cabinet colleagues that the move was imminent.


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« Reply #331 on: March 22, 2013, 04:24:03 pm »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/liberman-calls-turkey-apology-a-serious-error/

Liberman calls Turkey apology a ‘serious mistake’

Former FM says Netanyahu’s Obama-brokered reconciliation with Erdogan hurts Israel’s public image, bolsters radicals


By Adiv Sterman March 22, 2013

Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday for his decision to apologize to his Turkish counterpart for the “operational errors” made by Israel during the 2010 raid that led to Turkish fatalities on the Turkish-registered, Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara.

“Israel’s apology for the soldiers activity against a terrorist organization is a serious mistake,” said Liberman, who served as Israel’s top diplomat during the height of the crisis with Turkey, and who is also Netanyahu’s No. 2 in their joint Knesset Likud-Beytenu faction.

“Anyone who watched the photos taken on the ship Mavi Marmara understands beyond any doubt that the IDF soldiers acted in self-defense against the activists of the IHH organization, recognized in European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, as a terrorist organization,” stated Liberman.

Nine Turkish citizens were killed by IDF naval commandos who had come under attack as they sought to commandeer the vessel that was attempting to bypass Israel’s blockade of Gaza. The May 2010 incident led to the freezing of ties between the two former allies, a relationship said to be on the path to normalization following a phone call between the countries’ prime ministers on Friday.

The dramatic reconciliation was brokered by US President Barack Obama shortly before he left Israel on Friday. Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone and agreed to end three years of dire relations.

In the call, Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people “for any operational errors that could have led to loss of life” in the Mavi Marmara incident, “and agreed to complete the agreement on compensation,” his office later said in a statement. Erdogan reportedly said he accepted the Israeli apology and said his government would end legal prosecution of Israeli officers and officials involved in the incident.

“Such an apology harms the motivation of soldiers and their willingness to go out on missions in the future and bolsters the radical elements in the region,” Liberman said. As foreign minister until resigning to battle a breach of trust charge in December, Liberman was publicly opposed to any talk of an Israeli apology.

Erdogan has become an increasingly bitter critic of Israel in recent years, repeatedly denouncing its policies on the Palestinians, and expressing support for the Gaza-based terror organization Hamas.

On Wednesday, Erdogan clarified a statement he made in February in which he called Zionism a “crime against humanity” on par with anti-Semitism and fascism,” saying he was misunderstood and signaling that a reconciliation might be near.

Speaking to a Danish newspaper, Erdogan said that he knew his remarks caused “some debate” but that “no one should misunderstand what I said.” He said “everyone should know” that his comments were directed at “Israeli policies,” especially as regards to “Gaza and the settlements.”

Liberman, unmoved by the phone call and by Obama’s apparent pressure for a headling of ties, said that “Erdogan’s tirades against Israel at every opportunity, from the attack on the President [Peres] in 2009 at [a public panel at the World Economic Forum's] Davos conference, up to his words few weeks ago — that Zionism is racism and crime against humanity — and his refusal to apologize for this statement explicitly while simultaneously accepting an apology from Israel, harms the dignity and status of Israel in the region and in the world.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, on the other hand, welcomed the attempt at mending ties.

“Reconciliation is a very important step and correct at this time, especially with what is happening in Syria,” Livni said, adding that “Israel, Turkey and the United States have shared security interests.”

The defense establishment also welcomed news of the agreement, though military sources likened Israel’s apology to a half-sincere one given to an aunt when apologizing for not attending the Passover Seder.

IDF chief of General Staff Benny Gantz was reportedly fully briefed on Netanyahu’s plan to apologize to Erdogan. Channel 10 said Netanyahu had also informed his senior Cabinet ministers on his plan ahead of the phone call.

Labor Party Chairman Yachimovich said that the prime minister made the right choice by reconciling with Erdogan.

“Turkey is a regional power and relations with the country are very important to Israel,” Yachimovich said. “Even if the apology to the Turks was done with a heavy heart, it is good that it has been done.”

The Labor party leader went on to explain that “it is better to forgive and do what is wise and beneficial for the state,” rather than focus on Israel’s honor.

“We hope that reconciliation with the Turks after three years of disconnect is the first step towards a new political re-entrenchment that will strengthen our diplomatic and strategic position,” she said.

The reconciliation took place shortly before Obama completed his three-day visit to Israel, in a call from Ben-Gurion Airport. Initially Obama spoke to Erdogan, reports said, and then he handed the phone to Netanyahu.

The move was planned and coordinated by US Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of Obama’s visit, Channel 2 reported.

The US had indicated for some time that it saw an imperative for Israel and Turkey to heal the rift between them, especially given the regional challenges posed by Iran’s nuclear drive and the raging civil war in Syria.

“The timing was good for that conversation to take place,” Obama said later Friday in a speech in Jordan.
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« Reply #332 on: March 22, 2013, 11:08:07 pm »

"In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." (Genesis 15:18)

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« Reply #333 on: March 23, 2013, 01:33:10 am »

Very interesting - FWIW, I don't think Obama or anyone else will draw up some "peace treaty" for the AC to "confirm" b/c IMHO it may be a previous one like the Oslo Accord(sp). But at the same time, from what I've read, Obama quietly played both sides of the aisles and may have planted some seeds during his trip in Israel this week.
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« Reply #334 on: March 23, 2013, 02:26:43 pm »

Weather plays havoc with final hours of Obama visit
3/22/13
http://www.timesofisrael.com/weather-plays-havoc-with-final-hours-of-obama-visit/



Winds, dust clouds ground presidential choppers, lead to cancellation of formal airport farewell ceremony

The arrival of inclement Middle East weather Friday disrupted the final hours of the visit to Israel and the West Bank by US President Barack Obama.

The air was filled with dust Friday morning and early afternoon, blown by strong winds. Visibility was minimal in and around Jerusalem, in the nearby West Bank area, and at Ben-Gurion Airport.

The president was supposed to be in Bethlehem at 12:30 p.m., for a visit to the Church of the Nativity, but only left Jerusalem shortly before 2 pm. This was partly because of the weather, reports indicated, but also partly because his one-on-one meeting at the King David Hotel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on for longer than expected, focusing on security arrangements for Israel if and when it moves forward in negotiations with the Palestinians.

Obama had planned to fly by helicopter from Bethlehem, his final stop, to the airport, but that proved impossible.

The Bethlehem visit was the Christian component of his Holy Land trip, and an element he was reluctant to cancel but in the end had to keep short.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced that the planned farewell ceremony at the airport would be canceled because of winds whipping the tarmac, and that a smaller ceremony would be held without the press.

From the airport, Obama was flying to Amman.
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« Reply #335 on: March 24, 2013, 04:51:20 am »

Quote
The Bethlehem visit was the Christian component of his Holy Land trip, and an element he was reluctant to cancel but in the end had to keep short.

I'm sure he was just tore up over having to leave early and miss the "Christian component" of his trip. Got his other business done, but failed on the Christian part, the part that involves what is suppose to be his religion.

They think they were blinded by the dust, but it's their unbelief that has blinded them.
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« Reply #336 on: March 24, 2013, 02:48:04 pm »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-applauds-call-between-israeli-turkish-prime-ministers/
3/22/13
Israel, Turkey to normalize ties, after PM apologizes for flotilla deaths

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Erdogan-confirms-intention-to-visit-Gaza-W-Bank-in-April-307492
3/23/13
Erdogan: Too soon to drop case against IDF officers
Turkish PM says it is still too early to fully restore diplomatic ties with Israel, appoint new ambassadors.


Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that despite Israel's apology over the IDF raid of the 2010 Gaza-bound flotilla, it is still too early to drop the case against IDF generals accused by Ankara of being responsible for the death of nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported.

Erdogan said Netanyahu's apology satisfied Turkish expectations when he used the word "apology" instead of "regret," but that it was still too soon to fully restore diplomatic ties and appoint new ambassadors, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

“We will see what will be put into practice during the process. If they [Israel] move forward in a promising way, we will make our contribution. Then, there would be an exchange of ambassadors,” he said.

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« Reply #337 on: March 24, 2013, 10:56:46 pm »



Obama's helicopter grounded



Ben Gurion olive tree uprooted by wind



Obama farewell tent blown over

I would be willing to make an educated guess here that God is not pleased with the message that Obama brought to Netanyhu, and He is not pleased with the message that Obama brought to the people of Israel.

http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/march2013/carlw323.htm
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« Reply #338 on: March 26, 2013, 04:01:33 pm »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-turkey-begin-talks-on-compensating-raid-victims/
Israel, Turkey begin talks on compensation for Marmara victims

Ankara’s Deputy PM calls start of negotiations ‘a big success of Turkish foreign policy’


3/26/13

Israeli and Turkish officials met on Monday to discuss the terms of Israel’s compensation to victims of the 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara.

“Officials delegated by the two sides will work on the compensation issue. We gave the kickstart for it today,” Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

Arinc called the talks “a big success of Turkish foreign policy.”

The negotiations began three days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and apologized for “operational errors” made during the raid on the Marmara, a vessel seeking to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, in which nine Turkish activists were killed by naval commandos who were attacked when they boarded.

The call came in the final minutes of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel last week, having been brokered by the Americans. Erdogan accepted Netanyahu’s apology and the two agreed to return their respective ambassadors and pledged to overcome differences.

In an apparent backtrack, however, the Turkish premier said Sunday that normalized relations with Jerusalem would only happen if Israel implemented its side of an ostensible new bargain with Turkey that he said included Israel lifting its blockade on Gaza — something which Netanyahu did not agree to do in the phone conversation.

On Sunday, President Shimon Peres urged Turkey to restore normalized relations with Israel, citing mutual interest and common history as two of several factors that require the mending of ties between the former allies.

“I can think of a thousand reasons why Turkey and Israel should be friends,” Peres said in a special interview at the President’s Residence with CNN Turk. “I cannot find one reason why they shouldn’t be friends.”

“Both countries wanted to put an end to this misunderstanding and return to the good relations that existed between Turkey and ourselves for many good years,” the president said, adding that he hoped to travel to Ankara and shake hands with the Turkish leader soon.
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« Reply #339 on: March 27, 2013, 07:32:44 pm »

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/23756/Default.aspx?hp=readmore
10 misconceptions behind Obama's speech in Israel
3/25/13

US President Barack Obama's visit to Israel was widely seen as a success, given that the primary goal was to win over the hearts of an Israeli public that had been, at best, suspicious of the American leader.

But behind all the praise and admiration Obama heaped upon Israel, there was a gentle chiding that showed he still views the lack of peace in the region as primarily the fault of the Jewish state.

Zionism is great and is the unprecedented culmination of a millennia-old dream, but Israel must surrender part of the vision for the sake of peace and justice. That was the thrust of Obama's overall message to Israelis.

Obama's approach revealed three important truths:
1.
It demonstrated that despite being a "Christian" nation, the government of the US doesn't see the biblical significance of Israel's rebirth.

2.
It showed a clear lack on Obama's part to take even recent history into account. The Jews have in fact surrendered part of the Zionist vision, numerous times. The Jews did not protest when in 1922 the British lopped off two-thirds of their promised homeland to create Jordan, or in 1947 when the UN partitioned what was left of that homeland. In 1993, the Jews agreed to again relinquish those lands, and in 2005, tired of waiting for an agreement to be signed, Israel unilaterally surrendered Gaza.

3.
Lastly, Obama showed that 10 serious misconceptions continue to undergird the international community's approach to the peace process.


But brighter minds have elaborated on these 10 misconceptions better than I could. The following video produced by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) doesn't mention Obama by name, but it was no accident the clip was published while Obama was in the Land.

Video:
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« Reply #340 on: April 02, 2013, 09:35:06 pm »

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/israel-launches-air-strike-gaza-first-since-truce-213212290.html
4/2/13
Israel launches air strikes on Gaza; first since truce

GAZA (Reuters) - Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the first such attacks since an eight-day war in November, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls the territory, and Israel's military said.

"Occupation planes bombarded an open area in northern Gaza, there were no wounded," a statement from the Hamas Interior Ministry said.

The strikes threatened to end an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a truce that has kept the frontier relatively quiet since November, when some 170 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed in a brief cross-border war.

A statement from Israel's military said Israeli aircraft targeted "two extensive terror sites in the Northern Gaza Strip," in response to rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave at Israel.

Earlier on Tuesday, the military said Palestinians launched three rockets at Israel. Two landed in Gaza and one hit an open area in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries.

An al Qaeda-linked group, called Magles Shoura al-Mujahedeen, claimed responsibility for the rocket salvo.

Israel launched its November 2012 offensive with the declared aim of ending Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.

Tuesday was the third time since the November truce that rockets from Gaza have hit Israel. There have been no casualties in the attacks.

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« Reply #341 on: April 04, 2013, 11:23:14 am »

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Israels-truce-with-Hamas-hangs-in-the-balance-308583
Israel's truce with Hamas hangs in the balance
By YAAKOV LAPPIN, HERB KEINON
04/03/2013

Rocket fire from Gaza and subsequent IAF airstrikes threaten five-months of quiet; Hamas's determination and ability to keep small jihadi groups in check, will be what determines the extent of the IDF's response. The five-month truce between Israel and Hamas hung delicately in the balance on Wednesday, after a small global jihadi group in Gaza again targeted the town of Sderot with rocket fire, just as parents were bringing their children to schools and kindergartens. Two rockets exploded in open areas near Sderot on Wednesday, triggering alerts and sending frightened families fleeing for shelter, in scenes the IDF and senior defense officials vowed would not be tolerated. The IDF believes that Hamas does not seek a return to hostilities, and that it is still licking its wounds from November’s bruising eight day conflict with Israel. But Hamas’s determination and ability to keep small jihadi groups in Gaza, bent on firing at Israeli civilians, in check, will be what determines the extent of the IDF’s response.

more


http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Rocket-fire-from-Gaza-Code-Red-siren-wakes-South-308630
South wakes to rockets from Gaza, Code Red siren
4/4/13

Amid rising tensions following death of prisoner Abu Hamdiyeh, rocket hits open area in south; no injuries or damage reported. A rocket hit an open area in southern Israel on Thursday, marking a third straight day of projectile fire after several months of calm. No Gaza militant group claimed responsibility for the latest launch. IDF Spokesperson Avital Leibovich tweeted: "Not such a good morning to residents of southern Israel where another rocket was fired from Gaza." No casualties or damage were reported. Tensions have risen rapidly in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip following the death from cancer on Tuesday of Maissara Abu Hamdiyeh, 64, who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail.

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« Reply #342 on: April 04, 2013, 04:53:31 pm »

See, typical eye for an eye mentality. Some prisoner dies, so instead of going through"normal channels" in dealing with a death investigation, they start lobbing rockets into Israel. Then no doubt now that Israel has retaliated under the "eye for an eye" of the law mentality, they'll most likely be blamed for it all, accused of unprovoked attacks on poor defenseless Palestinians, again, of killing babies or something. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #343 on: April 07, 2013, 08:42:05 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/decade-old-mideast-peace-plan-emerges-192334734.html
Decade-old Mideast peace plan re-emerges
4/7/13

JERUSALEM (AP) — A dormant, decade-old Mideast peace plan has suddenly emerged as a possible key to breaking years of deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians.

A top Palestinian official said Sunday that the visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed interest in reviving the so-called Arab Peace Initiative, a 2002 plan in which the Arab world offered comprehensive peace with Israel in exchange for a full pullout from all territories it captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Arab officials confirmed the Arab League was set to discuss the matter on Monday.

The initiative was revolutionary when it was introduced by Saudi Arabia's then crown prince, King Abdullah, and later endorsed by the 22-member Arab League at a summit in Beirut. However, the plan was overshadowed by fierce Israeli-Palestinian fighting at the time and greeted with skepticism by Israel. The Arab League re-endorsed the plan in 2007, and technically, the offer remains in effect.

Key obstacles remain. Israel has not softened its objections to the plan, and the Palestinians turned down a request from Kerry for changes in it.

In the 1967 war, Israel took control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Sinai and Golan Heights. Israeli returned the Sinai to Egypt in 1982 in the framework of a peace treaty and pulled out of Gaza unilaterally in 2005. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, and peace talks with Syria over the territory have repeatedly failed.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been deadlocked since late 2008, in large part over the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians refuse to talk while Israel settles its population on the occupied territories where they want to establish their state. They have demanded that Israel accept the 1967 lines as the basis for a future Palestine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects a return to the 1967 lines and calls for talks with no preconditions.

The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation has also endorsed the 2002 Arab peace initiative.

The plan, if adopted, considers the Arab-Israeli conflict "ended," offers "normal relations" with Israel and calls for providing "security for all the states of the region."

Israel has rejected a return to the 1967 lines for both security and spiritual reasons. Israeli leaders have long argued that the 1967 frontiers are indefensible. In addition, a return to those boundaries would mean a withdrawal from east Jerusalem, home to the city's holiest Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites.

Israel has annexed east Jerusalem, and Netanyahu has vowed never to share control of the sensitive area. The Palestinians say there can be no peace without establishing their capital in east Jerusalem. These conflicting claims to east Jerusalem are perhaps the most emotional and explosive issue in the conflict.

Kerry on Sunday kicked off what is expected to be several months of shuttle diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians with a stop in the West Bank for talks with President Mahmoud Abbas.

It was not immediately clear whether the Arab initiative came up in Sunday night's talks. A senior State Department official said the meeting "included a discussion on how to create a positive climate for negotiations," but that Kerry had asked all participants to keep the details confidential. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of Kerry's orders not to brief reporters.

Abbas spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said Abbas urged Israel to release Palestinian prisoners it is holding, called on Israel to halt settlement construction and urged Israel to commit to a solution based on the 1967 lines. He did not say whether the Arab peace initiative was discussed but confirmed Abbas was leaving Monday for talks on the plan at an Arab League meeting in Qatar.

Mohammed Subeih, the Arab League's undersecretary for Palestinian affairs, confirmed a special committee on the peace initiative would hold "an urgent meeting" in Doha on Monday.

He said the prime minister of Qatar would chair the meeting, and foreign ministers of key countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinians, would attend. The Arab League's chief Nabil El-Araby is also expected, he said.

Subeih said the committee would form a delegation, chaired by El-Araby and the Qatari prime minister, to travel to Washington in the coming weeks. In Washington, the delegation will try together with the American side draw a road map to "end Israeli occupation," he said.

Earlier Sunday, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said Kerry has been floating the Arab initiative as a possible way out of the deadlock.

Officials say Kerry has proposed two small changes to make it more palatable to Israel, saying the 1967 lines could be modified through mutual agreement and pressing for stronger security guarantees. Security-obsessed Israel has grown increasingly jittery during the upheaval that has swept through the Middle East over the past two years.

Speaking to the Voice of Palestine radio station, Erekat said the plan could not be changed. "Kerry asked us to change few words in the Arab Peace Initiative but we refused," he said.

Israeli officials refused to comment on the matter. An Israeli official said the Israelis were planning to offer "a wide spectrum of ideas" to Kerry when they meet with him in the current days. The official declined to elaborate. He spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing has been formally presented yet.

In the past, Netanyahu has described the Arab peace initiative as a welcome sign of acceptance from the Arab world but refused to accept it in its current form. Netanyahu has said that presenting the plan as an ultimatum would undermine negotiations.

But after years of deadlock, and growing international isolation over continued Israeli settlement construction, Netanyahu could find himself in a difficult position if the offer is again extended
.
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« Reply #344 on: April 12, 2013, 11:39:25 am »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/11/us-israel-syria-idUSBRE93A0MJ20130411
4/11/13
Israel on guard as Golan goes from bloom to bloodshed

Reuters) - The slopes of the Golan Heights, with springtime wild flowers now in full bloom, are dotted with discarded rusty tanks that are remnants of a 1973 war. For decades, the Israel-Syria front has been quiet - but not anymore.

Small Israeli military lookout posts abandoned for years have been put into action and regular military and special forces have replaced reservists at many points.

Israel is worried that the Golan, which it captured from Syria in 1967, will become a springboard for attacks on Israelis by jihadi fighters, who are taking part in the armed struggle against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In recent months, battles between Assad loyalists and rebels have raged in some villages on the Syrian foothills of the Golan, with mortar shells and machinegun fire spilling across into Israeli-occupied territory.

Israel, which returned fire in some of those incidents, believes that around one in 10 of the rebels are Sunni Muslim radicals.

"Tension in the Golan Heights is the highest it has been since 1974," a senior Israeli military officer in the area told Reuters this week. "We simply do not know who will control the territory next to the border."

While the fall of Assad, an ally of Israel's enemy Iran, could be in the Jewish state's interest, a descent into chaos on the Golan Heights would pose a new security challenge.

Some 20,000 Israeli settlers live on the Golan and the strategic plateau overlooks Israeli towns and villages along the Sea of Galilee.

On its southern borders, Israel has long faced rocket attacks from armed Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip and has watched with concern the rise of Islamist militancy in Egypt's Sinai desert.

One Israeli general, the commander of forces in the north, raised the possibility in an Israeli newspaper interview last month of creating a buffer zone in Syria, in cooperation with local forces wary of jihadist fighters, should Assad be toppled.

"Some very key decision-makers are opposed," an Israeli official said. "(Army chief) Benny Gantz, for example, was the Israeli commander who literally closed the door on south Lebanon when we withdrew from the security zone there in 2000, and he has shown little interest in seeing a repeat on the Golan."

Alon Liel, a former diplomat who led secret peace talks with Damascus, said Israel had limited room for maneuver over Syria. "Israel is paralyzed from a diplomatic perspective," he said. "We may be strong militarily but any intervention in a neighboring country would draw deep objection from both sides in Syria because Israel is so weak in the region diplomatically."

SYRIA STRATEGY

World powers trying to craft a Syria strategy, and weighing whether to arm the rebels, have been struggling to distinguish between mainstream fighters who might stabilize the country should Assad fall, and jihadi insurgents.

"There's no unified position on that yet," a senior Israeli official said. "No one really knows what post-Assad Syria would look like. No one really knows who the rebels are as a collective."

Israel has been wary of being seen to take sides in the Syrian conflict and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has avoided echoing calls from Israel's main ally, the United States, for Assad to step down.

One senior Western diplomat in Israel told Reuters Syria has been moving up a list of Israeli security concerns topped by Iran's nuclear program.

"Syria is starting to edge ahead of Iran as far as the (Israeli) military is concerned, but also among politicians, partly because of U.S. reassurances over Iran but also because the situation in Syria is getting so alarming," he said.

One Israeli official said the fluid situation in Syria meant that Israel had to assess events there almost daily.

"That makes for a far more intensive examination (by Israeli decision-makers)," the official said. "Add to that the fact there is a new (Israeli) government, with new ministers who have little time to get up to speed on these things."

One of Israel's main worries is the possibility of Syria's chemical weapons falling into the hands of Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, with which it fought a 2006 war, or ending up in the hands of jihadis.

Israel has cautioned it will not allow that to happen. In an attack it has not formally confirmed, Israeli planes bombed an arms convoy in Syria in February, according to Western sources, destroying anti-aircraft weapons destined for Hezbollah.

END OF UNDOF?

The green expanses and snow-capped mountains of the Golan are a major attraction for Israeli tourists who flock to the plateau. On a sunny spring day, a group of hikers admired the view as an elderly farmer slowly drove through his apple orchard.

A few miles away, Israeli troops on patrol stopped their armored vehicles near an old abandoned tank for a break. Asked if it was quiet that day, one soldier made a "so-so" hand gesture. "When it's quiet, that's when it's scariest," he said.

In another sign Israel was keeping a close eye on the area, two drones, visible from the road, were parked in a fenced-in facility.

Among those battling against Assad's forces are fighters from the Nusra Front, an Islamist militant group linked to al Qaeda and blacklisted by the United States as a "terrorist group".

Nusra Front forces, which include foreign fighters, have come to prominence in the revolt and last month fought in battles near the Israel-Syria ceasefire line

Last month, Assad's forces appeared to push back the rebels in the area. "There is a still a visible (Syrian army) troop presence there, though it is unclear whether they have significant control or even a unified central command," an Israeli official said.

Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel's chief military spokesman, told Army Radio last week that global jihad groups were fighting under the rebels, and "exploiting the anarchy", some of them have moved into the Golan Heights.

"In the future we will have to deal with terrorism from the Golan Heights, after 40 years of impressive and exemplary quiet," Mordechai said.

An Israeli military officer said new Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon had ordered "that no fire from Syria into Israel, be it deliberate or stray, is left without response."

Israel is building a new, 5-metre tall fence on the Golan beside the older, partly rundown barrier that runs along the 70 km (45 mile) front.

The ceasefire line has been monitored since 1974 by a 1,000-strong U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). Arming the Syrian rebels could have implications for the peacekeepers, posing another potential headache for Israel.

Austria has cautioned that lifting the embargo to arm rebels would make the European Union a party to the conflict and make it difficult to keep the 375 Austrian peacekeepers on site.

UNDOF has faced increasing difficulties in the Golan and U.N. diplomats have expressed concern over its future. Last month, rebels held 21 Filipino UNDOF observers for three days, prompting the force to scale back on patrols.

Israeli military sources said they fear the peacekeeping force will not hold up under the insurgency in the Golan.

In the past three months, Japan and Croatia said they were withdrawing their troops. Should the Austrians leave, it could spell the end for the UNDOF mission because they are the biggest contingent and it is unclear who would want to replace them.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger met Netanyahu on Thursday and is due to visit U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan Heights Friday.

"We have some of the world's most dangerous weapons and we cannot allow them to fall into the world's most dangerous hands: Hezbollah, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups," Netanyahu told reporters as he and Spindelegger met.

"That is one of the great concerns for us and a great concern for you as well and I want to discuss with you how to prevent that from happening," the Israeli leader said.

Spindelegger said Austria would try to stay as long as it could but that would not be possible without security guarantees from both rebel and government forces in Syria.

(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer and Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Michael Shields in Vienna; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Giles Elgood)
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« Reply #345 on: April 12, 2013, 03:52:03 pm »

It makes sense that Israel would watch that area closer. Kind of militarily obvious. There is a full blown war taking place across that border! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #346 on: April 13, 2013, 04:42:56 pm »

Abbas accepts Palestinian prime minister's resignation
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/13/17736080-abbas-accepts-palestinian-prime-ministers-resignation?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=3
4/13/13
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday, a Palestinian official and the Palestinian news agency said.

"Abbas agreed to accept Fayyad's resignation," the Palestinian official said. News agency Wafa said Abbas had asked Fayyad to stay on as caretaker until a new government was formed.

Sources told Reuters on Fayyad had offered his resignation to Abbas on Wednesday following a rift between the two men over government policy.
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« Reply #347 on: April 27, 2013, 01:02:17 pm »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-us-have-enormous-stake-in-mideast-peace-obama-says/
Jordan, US have ‘enormous stake’ in Mideast peace, Obama says

US president praises visiting King Abdullah for pro-democratic reforms, says countries see eye to eye on Syrian crisis and Israeli-Palestinian peace


US President Barack Obama welcomed King Abdullah II of Jordan to the White House Friday where the two leaders discussed “urgent matters,” namely the Middle East peace process and reports by Washington officials that Syria used chemical weapons against its own population.

Obama called the Jordanian monarch “a great partner” and a “great friend” of the US, and praised him for enacting a series of pro-democratic, entrepreneurial reforms.

“We think Jordan can be an extraordinary model for effective governance in the region,” Obama said to reporters before beginning his private meeting with Abdullah.

Obama said the two would also discuss the Middle East peace process. He noted that the last time he met with Abdullah was after his trip to Israel and the West Bank in March, during which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“Jordan, like the US, has an enormous stake in this,” the president said, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He said that the US and Jordan see eye to eye on there being a “window of opportunity” during which a peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians can take place — an agreement that would make Israel secure and enable it to normalize its relations with its neighbors, and also establish a sovereign Palestinian state.

The president then touched on recent reports and assessments by officials in Washington that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons. He said the matter was of grave importance, and that he and the king would discuss the regional implications of the Syrian crisis as well as the influx of several hundred thousand Syrian refugees into Jordan during their meeting.

Abdullah echoed Obama’s sentiments by stating that Jordan would continue to work closely with both the Israelis and Palestinians to try to secure a peace deal.

He then said that the Syrian crisis has become a vexing crisis for Jordan and the entire region. ”One of our major concerns right now is the challenge of Syria,” he said. Jordan is tied to the Syrian humanitarian crisis, Abdullah explained, referencing the half a million refugees who fled across the border or were displaced to the Hashemite kingdom.

He also said that a political solution to the Syrian crisis is paramount.

“I think, sir, we are both working hard to find a political solution to the problem in Syria, one that is inclusive,” he said to Obama, adding that preventing the “surge of militant terrorist organizations in Syria” is  a major goal. “But I’m confident that with your leadership… and through our meetings, that we will find a solution.”
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« Reply #348 on: April 27, 2013, 02:08:02 pm »

Quote
King Abdullah II of Jordan

Abdullah means "servant of allah" in Arabic.

Go figure, seeing that Jordan manages the Temple Mount.
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« Reply #349 on: May 02, 2013, 12:12:49 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/israels-netanyahu-says-put-peace-deal-referendum-143455709.html
Israel's Netanyahu says would put peace deal to referendum
5/2/13

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he would put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum, raising expectations that direct negotiations might soon resume following a two-year stalemate.

It was the second time in just three days that Netanyahu has publicly mentioned the possibility of holding a nationwide vote on an eventual accord and came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli politicians in Washington to discuss talks.

"If we get to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, I'd like to bring it to a referendum, and I'd like to talk to you about your experiences with that," Netanyahu said as he met Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

Switzerland regularly holds referendum on a broad range of issues. Israel, by contrast, has never held a referendum in its 65-year history, and previous peace treaties with Arab neighbors Egypt and Jordan were approved by parliament.

Netanyahu leads a center-right coalition that includes supporters of the settlement movement, many of whom are fiercely opposed to the idea of allowing the Palestinians an independent state on land seized by Israel in the 1967 war.

By pledging to put any deal to a referendum, Netanyahu could be hoping to avert any immediate far-right backlash to a decision to talk land-for-peace with the Palestinians, promising that the Israeli people would have the final word.

"There is a very serious effort under way to get talks to resume," said a senior Israeli official who declined to be named. "People are devoting a lot of time and effort to this. It is possible and it is doable."

OBSTACLES

U.S. President Barack Obama came to Jerusalem in March and his secretary of state has visited the region three times in little over six weeks. Kerry was due to see Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni later on Thursday in Washington.

Livni has been designated by Netanyahu to be his chief peace negotiator. She was traveling with one of the prime minister's top officials and confidants, Yitzhak Molcho.

Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2010 over the issue of continued Jewish settlement building on 1967 land. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not return to the table until there is a construction freeze. Israel says there should be no pre-conditions.

Unexpectedly highlighting the issue of referendum has fueled hopes that the impasse might soon be overcome. However, there was little sign that the core questions dividing the two sides, including the status of Jerusalem, were any nearer resolution.

"No one thinks we are near a historic agreement. But any historic agreement will need national legitimacy," the Israeli official said.

The Palestinians have also said that they would hold a referendum on an eventual accord, with no guarantees that their diverse electorate, including the far-flung refugee population, would accept the likely compromises needed to seal a deal.

Israel passed a law in 2010 for a referendum to approve any handover of East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, territory captured in the 1967 war and which it has annexed.

Moves are under way in parliament to expand that law to include the West Bank, which has not been annexed and is under Israeli military occupation
.
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« Reply #350 on: May 03, 2013, 07:45:32 pm »

Church of Scotland Denies Jewish Claim to Land of Israel
Report Attacks Scriptural and Political Claims
5/2/13

A report by the Church of Scotland, published this week, denies any special privilege for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. The church, which in recent years has jettisoned its once philosemitic character, opened a wide rift with the Scottish Jewish community with the report. Among other controversial statements, the report argues that, “Christians should not be supporting any claims by Jews, or any other people, to an exclusive or even privileged divine right to possess particular territory.”

The report, titled “The inheritance of Abraham? A report on the ‘promised land’”, was prepared for the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, to be held in two weeks. It is the latest in a series of documents published over the last decade criticizing Zionism and the Christians that support it.

The report acknowledges the fact that the Church of Scotland was once a believer in the right of the Jews to the ancient land of Israel and a Scottish minister, Alexander Keith, may even have coined the famous phrase: “A land without a people, for a people without a land.”

However, the latest report makes clear such affection is a thing of the past. It analyzes the various scriptural and theological claims of Jews to the land and rejects those verses in which the land is promised to the children of Abraham. Furthermore, it dismisses the “belief among some Jewish people that they have a right to the land of Israel as a compensation for the suffering of the Holocaust.”


Read more: http://forward.com/articles/175926/church-of-scotland-denies-jewish-claim-to-land-of/#ixzz2SHRB6iQm
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« Reply #351 on: May 03, 2013, 08:44:36 pm »

Google recognises Palestine on homepage

Google has recognised the Palestinians' upgraded UN status, placing the name "Palestine" on its search engine instead of "Palestinian Territories".

The domain name www.google.ps, Google's search engine for the territories, now brings up a homepage with "Palestine" written underneath the Google logo.

The change took effect on Wednesday, Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said in a statement.

"We're changing the name 'Palestinian Territories' to 'Palestine' across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. In this case, we are following the lead of the UN ... and other international organisations," he said.

The UN General Assembly in November upgraded Palestine to the status of non-member observer state by a vote of 138 votes in favour, nine against and 41 abstentions.

Palestinian authorities have since begun to use the "State of Palestine" in diplomatic correspondence and issued official stamps for the purpose.
Israel questioned Google's decision.

"This change raises questions about the reasons behind this surprising involvement of what is basically a private internet company in international politics - and on the controversial side," said foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/google-recognises-palestine-on-homepage-20130504-2iza7.html#ixzz2SHgEjDWh
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« Reply #352 on: May 06, 2013, 11:04:38 am »

Israel says Google's "Palestine" page harms peace hopes
http://news.yahoo.com/israel-says-googles-palestine-page-110627268.html
5/6/13

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A senior Israeli official accused Google (GOOG.O) on Monday of setting back Middle East peace hopes by putting the name "Palestine" under the banner of its search page for the Palestinian territories. (www.google.ps)

Palestinians hailed Google's move as a virtual victory on the long path to the state they seek in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, which Israel seized in the 1967 war.

With bilateral negotiations stalled for 2-1/2 years over Jewish settlement building, the Palestinians have campaigned for foreign recognition of statehood, and were upgraded to "non-member state" at the United Nations in November.

Following the U.N. lead, Google's Palestinian homepage and other products previously labelled "Palestinian Territories" were changed on May 1 to read "Palestine".

"I think that the Google decision from the last few days is very, very problematic," said Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"When a company like Google comes along and supports this line, it actually pushes peace further away, pushes away negotiations, and creates among the Palestinian leadership the illusion that in this manner they can achieve the result," he told Israel's Army Radio.

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« Reply #353 on: May 06, 2013, 02:09:26 pm »

Xi calls for Middle East talks

President Xi Jinping called for talks between Palestine and Israel on Monday amid an unusual diplomatic situation in which leaders of both countries made separate, overlapping visits to China.


Analysts said the simultaneous visits of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu show that China is in a unique position to help solve the Palestinian issue because it maintains good relations with both sides.

Xi made the call for talks when meeting Abbas at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, Xi said "negotiation should be taken as the only way to peace between Palestine and Israel. The two sides should follow the trend of the times, pursue peace talks, show mutual understanding and accommodation, and meet each other halfway".

Talks between Israel and Palestine have been deadlocked for four years and there was no indication that a meeting would take place.

The president also said that the right direction should be an independent Palestinian state and the peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel. "At the same time, Israel's right to exist and its legitimate security concerns should also be fully respected," Xi said.

The immediate priority is to stop settlement activities, end violence against innocent civilians, lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and properly handle the issue of Palestinian prisoners to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks, Xi said.

Objective stance

Abbas said his country highly appreciates China's objective stance on the Palestine issue and expects Beijing to continue playing an important role.

They later witnessed the signing of agreements on economic technical cooperation and cultural exchanges.

Abbas also met Premier Li Keqiang on Monday. Li said China will use "its own way and its own impact" to promote the peace talks.

Also on Monday, Netanyahu began a visit to the financial hub of Shanghai. He is due in Beijing on Wednesday following Abbas' departure on Tuesday.

This is the first trip by a top Israeli leader to China since former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert visited in 2007. It is reported Netanyahu is due to sign a number of deals and discuss the issue of Iran.

China has maintained close relations with the Palestinians for decades. In recent years, it has also developed good ties with Israel.

Speaking to Xinhua News Agency ahead of the visit, Abbas said "it is very good that Netanyahu will visit China too because it is a good opportunity that the Chinese listen to both of us".

The Foreign Ministry said last week it would be willing to help set up a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu if they want to, but the two leaders were not expected to be in the same city at the same time.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-05/07/content_16480677.htm

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« Reply #354 on: May 06, 2013, 04:15:56 pm »

"And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham [is] the father of Canaan." Genesis 9:18 (KJB)

Looks to me like that place is called Canaan, not Palestine, being settled after the flood by, dare I say, the forefathers of Israel.

Not sure Islam wants to talk about that part!
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« Reply #355 on: May 12, 2013, 11:26:27 pm »

Jordan wants to boot Israeli ambassador
5/9/13
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/23838/Default.aspx?hp=article_title

Jordan's parliament on Wednesday voted unanimously to eject Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo over this week's arrest of Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Jordan technically exercises religious control over the Temple Mount, though Palestinian Authority-appointed officials have been effectively been running the show for over a decade.

Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Mahalia summoned Nevo to express his country's severe condemnation of the mufti's detention.

Israel arrested the mufti on Tuesday for his role in inciting violence against Israeli police stationed at the holy site. The police officers were attacked because they had tried to quiet a Muslim youth who was loudly hurling insults at Jewish visitors.

Israeli President Shimon Peres sent a message to Jordan stressing Israel's commitment to the peace treaty between the two nations and to freedom of religion in Jerusalem.

The Jordanian outburst over what amounted to Israel slapping the mufti on the wrist is par for the course. At the same time, these self-declared defenders of religious freedom think it perfectly acceptable to deny Jews and Christians the right to pray at the Temple Mount, the most holy site in the world for Jews and many Christians.
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« Reply #356 on: May 15, 2013, 01:05:38 pm »

Partition plan for Jerusalem
 News of construction freeze in Jerusalem received with apathy by even the most hardline Likudniks


The prime minister gave Jerusalem an odd gift on its holiday: A construction freeze. On the 46th anniversary of the city's liberation by a Labor government, a Likud government is freezing it. Levi Eshkol liberated, Benjamin Netanyahu is freezing. He hardly built any homes in Jerusalem during his previous term, and now he is not building any at all. The new housing minister revealed this week that he is not being authorized to add even one apartment to the capital. The prime minister summoned him a few days ago and handed him a freezing order for all construction beyond the Green Line.

To his credit, Netanyahu did not attend the Jerusalem Day ceremonies this year, so we were spared the traditional dissonance between his tough talk and lack of action. Praising a united Jerusalem while dividing it is extremely hypocritical. Netanyahu is forbidding Jews from building in Pisgat Ze'ev but does nothing to prevent Arabs from building in Shufat, Beit Hanina and the Temple Mount.

Israel's capital can expand only to the east or the north, as the City has run out of land reserves in its western part long ago. It is no coincidence that the most talked about building project in Jerusalem over the past decade has been the Holyland apartment complex. Despite its immense size, the project did not solve the housing shortage in the city or thwart the threats of withdrawal it faces.

When Netanyahu froze Jerusalem during his last term, on the occasion of Biden's visit, it caused an uproar in the Right. This week, even the most hardline Likud members did not say a word. News of the construction freeze was received with shrugs or lip biting. The former Likud rebels have become deputy ministers, and the Likudniks have yet to realize that Netanyahu version 2013 is cruising toward the 1967 lines.

Today, Netanyahu is closer to Zahava Gal-On than to his old self. His diplomatic rhetoric is Tzipi Livni's rhetoric. On Independence Day he delivered a leftist speech to foreign diplomats in which he lauded the tenets of the 1947 Partition Plan (he said something along the lines of 'we said yes to it then, and we say yes to it now').

People still suspect, mistakenly, that he is not serious when he makes such statements, but he means what he says. If his party continues to devote itself to denial rather than protest, he may implement his plans as well.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4378765,00.html
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« Reply #357 on: May 15, 2013, 02:05:17 pm »

Israel Cozies Up to China

Will China Become the New Mideast Mediator?
5/7/13

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/05/07/isreal-cozies-up-to-china/

I suspect this relates to China recently surpassing Australia as our most important trade partner. It looks like World War III is about to break out any day now in Syria. Thus what I like most about CCTV-English is that they have a correspondent in Damascus (unlike US networks, the BBC or even Al Jazeera) with sources among rebel groups and the Syrian military. .

Two nights ago, I was really intrigued to learn that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in China at the time of the Israeli air strikes on Syria. So was Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. This was no accident, as China’s new president Xi Jinping was very hopeful the two leaders would take up his offer to mediate a meeting between them.

Israel’s Export Imperative

Netanyahu was in China hoping to increase exports to the world’s second largest economy. Given that 40% of Israel’s GDP is based on exports, Bibi is keen for trade with China(Israel’s number 3 trading partner) to reach $10 billion over the next three years. While also interested in increasing exports, Abbas is more interested in economic aid China has offered, as well the likelihood their intervention could shift the stalemated peace process.

China’s new president Xi Jinping has issued a four point proposal for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to a statement issued by Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying: “The immediate priority is to take credible steps to stop settlement activities, end violence against innocent civilians and lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks,”

She added that China is firmly opposed to Israel’s settlement construction in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel and that this places the primary obligation on Israel to remove the barriers for peace talks.

Bibi Gets the Message

Netanyahu seems to have got the message. Scarcely twelve hours later, Reuters was citing an Israeli Army Radio report that Netanyahu had frozen tenders for settlements in the West Bank. Given Netanyahu’s prior aggressive pro-settlement position, this is a historic concession. Reuter minimizes (in fact they omit it entirely) the role China played in prompting it. Typically the corporate media has buried the story with belligerent allegations about Chinese involvement in cyber espionage to steal US military and industrial secrets.

Abbas left China without agreeing to meet with Netanyahu. The Palestinian president stipulates Israel must accept 1967 Palestinian borders before he agrees to resume peace talks.
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« Reply #358 on: May 15, 2013, 03:39:04 pm »

China, the only country on the planet that can amass, and some say currently have, a 200 million man army.
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« Reply #359 on: May 25, 2013, 08:44:14 pm »

Jordan to host 18-nation drill

15,000 soldiers from Arab and ‘friendly’ countries to take part in two-week military exercise

5/26/13

http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-to-host-18-nation-drill/

Soldiers from 18 countries are set to participate in a large military exercise hosted by Jordan in the coming weeks, a source at the Jordan Armed Forces said Saturday.

According to the source, roughly 15,000 troops from Arab and other “friendly countries,” will take part in the drill, named Eager Lion 2013.

Other countries participating in the drill include: Britain, Bahrain, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

According to the US Central Command, the exercise promotes cooperation among participating forces, builds functional capacity, practices crisis management and enhances readiness.

Similar, though smaller, exercises took place in Jordan in 2011 and 2012.

Reports of the drill surfaced at a time of tension in Israeli-Jordanian relations, though security coordination between the two countries is good, Israeli military sources say.

Two weeks ago, the Jordanian Parliament voted unanimously in favor of petitioning the government to expel Israel’s ambassador in Amman and recall Jordan’s ambassador in Tel Aviv in protest of alleged Israeli desecration of holy sites in Jerusalem.

And last month, a majority of Jordan’s parliament petitioned the government to pardon the Jordanian soldier who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls during a school trip at the border in 1997. A source in the Jordanian parliament said King Abdullah did not intend to grant the request to free Ahmad Musa Mustafa Daqamseh, who is serving life imprisonment with hard labor for the murders.

Over the weekend, the king hosted a meeting of the World Economic Forum on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, attended by world and regional leaders, including a sizable Israeli delegation. President Shimon Peres was set to travel to Jordan on Sunday to participate in a panel at the conference, and may meet with the king, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, other Arab leaders, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
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