Fighting continued Monday in southern Yemen, in the area around Aden, which is considered to be the last outpost of what remains of the country’s pro-US government. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has fled to Egypt. According to numerous reports, the Houthi rebels have managed to infiltrate the regions north and east of Aden.
Hitting back, Saudi planes struck various targets overnight, dealing blows to the Houthis, who are being provided with constant military aid by the Iranian regime. The targets bombed included weapons stores belonging to Abdul Malik al-Houthi’s men, as well as anti-aircraft missiles.
Amid talk of Obama backing pro-Palestine motions, bipartisan group says it opposes ‘efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel’
WASHINGTON — As reports proliferate that the US administration is considering stripping Israel of the protective diplomatic umbrella with which it has historically provided the Jewish state in the international arena — including its vetoing of UN resolutions damaging to Jerusalem — a bipartisan group of US senators urged President Barack Obama in a letter Monday to avoid threatening Israel with such punitive measures and to reassert Washington’s support for the state.
The letter obtained by the Times of Israel was signed by two Democrats and two Republicans who did not directly criticize the president’s policies, but did warn that “using the United Nations to push Israel and the Palestinians to accept terms defined by others will only ensure that the parties themselves are not committed to observing these provisions.”
Four days after Israel announced it would stop withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid tax funds to the Palestinian Authority, the payment remained held up over a dispute regarding the size of the PA’s unpaid electric bill.
A Palestinian source said that the Israeli demand for electricity costs is far too high for the PA, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday. Multiple sources said the two sides are still NIS 400 million ($100 million) apart on their demands over the amount to be transferred.
PA and Israeli officials met Monday to discuss the details of the transfer, but were unable to come to an agreement.
Shurat Hadin on Monday filed a war crimes complaint with the US Department of Justice against a range of Hamas commanders for indiscriminate rocket fire against Ben-Gurion Airport during the summer Gaza war.
The complaints by 26 Americans on flights which were redirected or cancelled or were present at the airport on July 22 when most American and international airlines cancelled their flights due to rocket fire which struck close by, were filed with the DOJ as Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki is set to meet with International Criminal Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday to formally finalize the Palestinians ratification of the ICC’s Rome Statute.
The NGO’s goal is for DOJ to criminally prosecute the Hamas commanders and rocket crew members involved, including: Khaled Mashaal, Hamdan Awad Sami Abu Zuhri, Hudheifa Samir Abdullah Allachlot, Ahmad Ghandour, Raed Saad, Marwan Abd al-Karim Issa and Salah Amar Dalul, in the US court system.
In the coming days Israel will begin a process to get African migrants to leave Israel for two unnamed third-party countries, the Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority said Tuesday.
In a statement on Tuesday, PIBA said that Interior Minister Gilad Erdan “has formulated a process that will begin in the coming days to expand the voluntary return of infiltrators to a third country”.
There are currently around 2,000 migrants being held at the Holot detention facility in the Negev, out of a population of around 42,000 Eritrean and Sudanese citizens in Israel. According to PIBA, migrants who are selected for “voluntary deportation” will be given 30 days to get ready to leave Israel, and those who refuse will face a hearing on whether to imprison them.
‘I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president,” vented Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on Boston Herald Radio last week.
It was a small controversy in the grand scheme of things, easily overlooked during a week when: a German pilot turned a routine flight into a murder-suicide mission, Ted Cruz drove the media batty by announcing he will run for president as Ted Cruz, an Army sergeant and Taliban captive the White House touted as a hero was charged with desertion and America joined forces with Iran in Iraq to kill Sunni jihadists while allying with Saudi Arabia in Yemen to kill Shiite jihadists (who are backed by Iran).
By Ted Belman
Obama is insisting on the creation of Palestine with a border separating it from Israel based on the ’67 lines plus swaps. In doing so he is ignoring UNSC resolution 242 which grants Israel the right to secure and recognized borders and does not demand a full retreat to the ’67 lines. He is also threatening to allow the UNSC to impose such borders on Israel thereby circumventing his oft stated insistence that all matters are to be negotiated between the parties.
Ben-Dror Yemini, writing in YNET, which is left of center and Netanyahu’s arch enemy, makes the case, “Given the upheaval in the Arab world, Obama needs to ask himself why he thinks a Palestinian state is viable right now; meanwhile, Israel’s right needs to understand that its actions are leading to a bi-national state.”
According to Hamas’ official television station, “Christians, Communists and Jews must be eliminated down to the very last man.” Hamas has the support of 61 percent of the Palestinians. Even if we assume that support for Hamas will fall, Hamas will take a violent stand against its opponents. Some of the Hamas leaders are talking about “the conquest of Rome and Andalusia.”
Every survivor of child sexual abuse has a story. Most are untold.
On 3/22/15, in front of a large Los Angeles crowd, Sima Yarmush publicly told her story. For the first time.
The U.S. president appears to be giving Iran some slack at the expense of Israel and Saudi Arabia, but his influence will wane as the U.S. election cycle heats up.
By Moshe Arens, HAARETZ | Mar. 30, 2015
There is no doubt that U.S. President Barack Obama is disappointed with the results of the Israeli election. Rather than being pleased to see a fair and open democratic election in the only democracy in the Middle East, the outcome seems to have made him angry and even vindictive.
He had set in sights on the establishment of a Palestinian state, and evidently was hoping that if Isaac Herzog was elected Israel’s next prime minster, that objective would be obtained. But he must have noticed that the “two-state solution” was not even raised as a major issue in the election campaign. It obviously was not viewed as realistic by either of the two leading candidates.
Councilman King warns plan up for debate to whitewash 3,000 illegal Arab housing units, build 7,000 new Arab units threatening city balance.
King, who has long warned against Barkat’s policies that he says constitute a de facto divide of Jerusalem, noted Barkat on Monday morning is “trying to put another nail in the coffin of Jerusalem as a unified city under Israeli sovereignty.”
“It risks turning supporters of a moderate, non-violent organisation that campaigns for democracy into radicals.”
What has happened to the British government’s “review” into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK?
The “review” (officials have been careful not to refer to it as an ‘”inquiry”) into the Muslim Brotherhood’s “philosophy and values and alleged connections with extremism and violence” was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron almost a year ago. At a press conference, he said that Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir John Jenkins, would lead the review. Explaining the need for such a process, Mr. Cameron said:
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2015,
President Barack Obama and John Kerry promised that the nuclear deal to be signed with Iran in Switzerland this week will give the world powers a year’s warning after the Islamic Republic’s breakout up to an operational weapon. DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources disclose that, to clinch the framework deal in Lausanne, even this concession, which imperils Israel, the Gulf and the Middle East at large, was not enough. In a further surrender, the president authorized the US delegation to fall back again on the space granted the world powers for reacting to breakthrough, dropping it from a year to six or seven months:
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said late Sunday he believed a nuclear deal with Iran could be reached, but insisted it must place an atomic bomb “beyond reach” for the Islamic Republic, reported AFP.
“We are here because we believe a deal can be done,” Hammond told reporters outside a Lausanne hotel as he became the last of the foreign ministers to arrive for talks with world powers.
The Middle Eastern Metternichs of Riyadh
by David P. Goldman, Asia Times Online March 29, 2015
Gaming the demise of the Saudi monarchy has been a flourishing industry on the think-tank circuit for the past dozen years. Not long ago I sat in private conclaves of US national security officials with a sprinkling of invited experts where the head-shaking, chin-pulling consensus held that the Saudi royal family would be gone in ten years. A premise of the “realist” view that American policy in the region should shift towards Iran was that the Saudi monarchy would collapse and Sunni power along with it. All of us misunderestimated the Saudis.
My article Time for a Reevaluation was posted on American Thinker and received this comment:
There is a myth hanging over all discussion of the Palestinian problem: the myth that this land was “Arab” land taken from its native inhabitants by invading Jews. Whatever may be the correct solution to the problems of the Middle East, let’s get a few things straight:
* As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn’t take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, who exercised sovereign authority in Palestine under a League of Nations mandate for thirty years prior to Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. And the British don’t want it back.
* If you consider the British illegitimate usurpers, fine. In that case, this territory is not Arab land but Turkish land, a province of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years until the British wrested it from them during the Great War in 1917. And the Turks don’t want it back.
For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent years and billions of dollars to amass.
“The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend sending them abroad,” the official, Abbas Araqchi, told the Iranian media, according to Agence France-Presse. “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”
T. Belman. This is a good thing, not a bad thing as this article suggests. The Supreme Court in Israel is a tool that the left uses to suppress the will of the people as represented by the Knesset.
America requires judges and Attorneys General to be elected. Why not in Israel? At the moment many of the Court’s decisions overruling the Knesset are based on the Court’s interpretation of the the word “dignity” in *Israel’s Basic Law. What the reformers want to do is pass another basic law which enshrines Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The Court would have to give equal weight to both basic laws. I think that making them equal is not enough. The Court’s bias will still come out. What needs to be done is to legislate that when the issue is dignity v a Jewish state, the latter should trump the former and the same for when the issue is democracy or a Jewish state.
Just as the left characterizes things as being racist when they aren’t, they are forever claiming that they are protecting democracy when in reality they are thwarting democracy. The limitation of the Court will make Israel more democratic.
The judicial system worries a contrarian justice minister would not only fail to protect it from initiatives seeking to limit the court’s power, but actually lead the charge, with potential coalition partners already preparing several bill proposals in that vein, including the nationality bill.
Coalition talks are still in their early stages, but the judicial system is already concerned at the possibility of the formation of an unbalanced right-wing government that could lead legislation against the law enforcement system, with no one to protect it.
This concern is not unfounded. Throughout Israel’s short history, right-wing elements have been trying to hurt the judicial system’s independence, change the judicial selection process and restrain the Supreme Court, among other things.
Putin also spoke on the importance of synchronizing the efforts of the Arab League with those of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia.
Girls walk past a banner with a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin along a bridge, in central Cairo. (photo credit:REUTERS)
Moscow will support the Palestinians in their efforts to build an independent state with a capital in east Jerusalem, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday according to Israel Radio.
Speaking at the 26th annual Arab League Summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik over the weekend, Putin said that “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in east Jerusalem.”
T. Belman. In my recent post, Bibi and Obama apparently cut a deal I saw this coming.
Israel pledges to release frozen funds accrued, but whether it releases upcoming revenues dependent on PA actions.
The Palestinian Authority will formally join the International Criminal Court on April 1, but – following Israel’s decision on Friday to release frozen tax revenues – is not expected at this time to take steps against Israel in the ICC regarding settlement construction.
In addition, The Jerusalem Post has learned that while the ICC prosecutor has – at the PA’s request – opened a preliminary examination on alleged Israeli war crimes during Operation Protective Edge over the summer, the PA is not expected at this time to take additional legal steps in the ICC regarding the Gaza operation.
As a result of Israel’s decision to free up the funds, the PA also does not intend now to stop its security cooperation with Israel, the Post also learned.
“In recent days, negotiations have been underway, we presented our demands and mind you – nothing has changed. We want one thing – to succeed where others have failed,” he said at a meeting of Kulanu party activists.
“Kulanu is the hope of hundreds of thousands of people in the country who hope that we succeed where others either did not want to succeed or failed. Solutions must be produced and Kulaunu will produce these solutions,” Kahlon continued.