By Charles Jacobs
On July 9, a new African nation – the Republic of South Sudan – was born and days later admitted to the United Nations as its 193rd member. This is an extraordinary development in the history of nation states, replete with marvels, contradictions and ironies: The partition of Africa’s largest country was the result of a halfcentury of armed struggle, yet it culminated peacefully via the ballot box. Courageous Muslim individuals contributed to freeing a Christian and traditionalist South from Islamic rulers. But most wondrous of all: It may well have been South Sudan’s black slaves who set their nation free.
by Arutz Sheva Staff
A Syrian Major-General has deserted Assad’s army along with a group of other officers and joined the rebels.
In an Arabic video clip posted on Youtube on July 29, 2011, the officer, Major-General Riad El As’ad is seen in the company of other officers, announcing the establishment of the “Free Syrian Army whose main goal will be to fight the army of oppression headed by President Bashar Assad”.
As’ad accused the Assad regime of crimes against the Syrian people and called on the officers and soldiers in the Syrian army not to aim their weapons at the people. He further called on them to join the Free Syrian Army.
Recommended by Barry Rubin
The Arab revolutionary wave of 2011 was slow to arrive in Syria. Public disobedience did not show its face until mid-March, a full month after the fall of Hosni Mubarak. When demonstrations did finally emerge, they focused on the grievances of Daraa, a middling-sized town near Syria’s Yarmuk River border with Jordan. The citizens of Daraa were outraged over state security service atrocities so heinous as to be out of character even for Syria. In early March, a group of 15 boys, aged ten to 15, imitated crowds in Tunisia and Egypt by spraying anti-regime graffiti on the walls of public buildings. Agents of the secret police working for General Atef Najeeb, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad, detained the boys and tortured them by pulling out their fingernails. Angry citizens of Daraa took to the streets in protest. The regime reacted to the demonstration with lethal force. The Arab Spring had acquired “Syrian characteristics.”
Compliments of Anglo Saxon Ra’anana Real Estate
Quote for the Week
“It´s not how much or how little you have that makes you great or small, but how much or how little you are with what you have.”
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (The eminent Rabbi, writing in the 19th Century, might well have had the modern State of Israel in mind. Slightly larger than New Jersey we are in the forefront of virtually every human endeavor. [Read on])
You don’t usually associate a downward spiral with GN but unemployment is one of the truly notable exceptions and it gives us great pleasure to report that the number of people out of work has been decreasing since the beginning of the year when it registered 6.1% of the work force, falling to an all time low of 5.7% in May this year compared to 6.7% in the same month last year. One of those clever chaps who sit all day juggling statistics at Excellence Nessuah Investment House had this to say, amongst a lot of other nice things we might add, “Employers feel comfortable and sufficiently confident to continue hiring”
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought”
1. Time is running in Israel’s favor, as evidenced by the “global economic walk” and irrespective of the “global political talk.”
In 1948, Israel had no significant export. In 2010, Bank of Israel documented a $6.7BN current account (mostly trade balance) surplus, featuring the US, Europe, India and Turkey as the chief trading partners. The NY-based “Trading Economics” reported a $1BN Israeli current account surplus in the 1st quarter of 2011. Israel is a global leader in medical, telecommunications, software and defense industries.
Yitzhak Benhorin, YNET
WASHINGTON – Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday, following meetings with US administration officials, that Israel must reach a compromise with Turkey – even if this meant the Jewish state would have to apologize for the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last year.
The reason for the generals’ resignations was not immediately clear, but tensions between the secularist military and the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have run high in recent years.
However, CNN Turk also quoted the prime minister’s office as saying the generals were not resigning but going into retirement. State-run Anatolian news agency reported Kosaner as resigning “as he saw it as necessary.”
Syrians in their thousands take to streets nationwide to demand an end to President Bashar Assad’s rule; protesters killed in Latakia, Hama, Homs, Daraa, Kiswa, Deir al-Zor, in and around the capital Damascus
“The security forces are continuing violent repression against peaceful demonstrations demanding freedom and the downfall of the regime, firing live ammunition at most protests all over Syria Friday,” Sawasiah said in a statement sent to Reuters.
By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz
President Shimon Peres has been holding intensive talks with Ramallah in an effort to resume negotiations and head off a unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the UN in September.
The meetings are being held in complete coordination with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Haaretz has learned that on Tuesday night, Peres held a long meeting with the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat. The two went over maps of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in an effort to find a formula that would bypass the dispute over establishing the June 4, 1967 border as a basis for negotiations toward a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
A great hue and cry has erupted recently in the wake of a number of parliamentary initiatives undertaken by what is usually characterized – pejoratively – as the “right-wing.”
The purpose of these initiatives was to place mildly onerous constraints on the hitherto unrestricted operational freedom of organizations usually characterized – favorably – as “left-wing.”
by Anne Bayefsky appears today on Fox News.
Member states of the U.N. General Assembly are busy hammering out how to slam Israel and restrict human rights like free speech at “Durban III” – the racist “anti-racism” event to be held in New York on Sept. 22.
With the recent pull-outs by the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands added to the previously declared boycotts by the United States, Canada and Israel, negotiations at U.N. Headquarters continued Thursday over how offensive the final declaration of Durban III can become without more countries following suit.
Alex Fishman, YNET
The Defense Ministry has invested more than NIS 75 million (roughly $22 million) in purchasing non-lethal weapons to disperse mass protests in preparation for possible September riots.
The Ministry is gearing up for possible riots in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and inside Israel following the Palestinian plan to seek UN membership. Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani ordered the allocation of funds from the ministry’s budget as well as from foreign aid for the purchase of sophisticated crowd dispersal means.
Ever since Oslo, Israel has been encouraging the US to financially support the PA and UNWRA for fear of their collapse. The main reason she does so is to make sure Oslo doesn’t fail. The Left has too much invested in it.
Glick describes the ecellent Bill Just passed by Congress. But Clinton Slams House Foreign Aid Bill, Threatens Veto Ted Belman
Squandering Israel’s limited influence
THE PALESTINIAN protests against UNRWA demonstrate very clearly that from the Palestinians’ perspective, UNRWA’s job is to give them cash handouts in order to enable them to continue waging their war for Israel’s destruction. And as UNRWA’s quick capitulation to their protests against its name change, and its bid to blame their purported suffering on Israel make clear, UNRWA shares their perspective on what its role is in Palestinian society.
The following report documents the Palestinian Authority’s use of American funding to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons and glorification of terrorists by the PA. It was presented yesterday by PMW director Itamar Marcus to members of Congress at a meeting in the Republican Israel Caucus.
PMW Special Report, July 26, 2011
Palestinian Authority glorification of terrorists and paying salaries to terrorists with US money
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Authority funding and glorification of terrorists
– The Palestinian Authority pays monthly salaries to 5,500 prisoners in Israeli prisons, including terrorists
– The PA honors terrorists who have killed civilians, presenting them as heroes and role models
– The PA glorifies terror attacks as heroic, including suicide bombings
– The PA funds these salaries and activities from its general budget
By Ted Belman
Israel is not serious about abrogating Oslo. In reality she clings to it. The PA has been in fundamental breach many times since the inaugaration of the Oslo Accords. It has always incited Palestinians to hate and to commit acts of violence, both of which should have been deal breakers. It failed to have the Charter of Fatah amended as agreed. And now it threatens to go to the UNGA fo recognition as a state with ’67 borders.
If Israel was really serious about demanding compliance with the terms of Oslo, she would not be saying she might abrogate Oslo if the PA gets the UN vote it seeks. She would put the PA on notice that simply requesting recognition of statehood at the UN will result in Israel abrogating Oslo. This she won’t do.
For years now, I have been begging Israel to demand our rights rather than our security. Ted Belman
For far too long, Israeli diplomats have spent much of their time trying to avoid the basic arguments about the Middle East conflict. Rather than take every possible opportunity to hammer home the facts about why Israel is in the West Bank and the right of Jews to live there, the country’s foreign ministry has instead often concentrated its energies on smoothing over differences. It has also sought to avoid the arguments entirely with well-intentioned but largely pointless efforts to “brand” Israel in such a way as to make people think about pretty girls, beaches and scientific innovations.
It is the PA that is in violation of Oslo, Not Israel. But they are right in one thing, Israel is not going to abrogate Oslo. Israel has had many opportunities to do so. The refusal to negotiate is the lastest breach and Israel didn’t call them on it. Ted Belman
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, JPOST
Erekat said Israel had “relinquished its political and security obligations under the terms of the Oslo Accords.”
Had Israel abided by these agreements, the Palestinian state would have been established in 1999, Erekat said.
Samaria Head: Homes ‘R Us!
If political hamstringing ceases, Samaria can provide 35,000 units this year alone, says Regional Authority head.
by Gil Ronen, INN
Thirty-five thousand new housing units can be built in Samaria this year alone, according to research conducted by the Strategic Department of the Samaria Regional Authority.
Officials in the authority say homes not built in three years of a housing shortage in the coastal plain can be built in one year in Samaria alone.
The construction of 100,000 units in Samaria over three years “will cause many young people to prefer to move out of the crowded Tel Aviv / central area and rent an apartment 20-30 minutes away for 1,000-2,000 shekels,” they explained.
“Netanyahu is opposed to actions such as annexing settlements to Israel in response to a Palestinian move at the UN,” WHY?
bY Barak Ravid, HAARETZ
A team headed by National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror is looking into calling off the Oslo Accords in response to the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral plan to gain United Nations recognition for an independent state.
The Prime Minister’s Bureau confirmed yesterday only that the NSC was discussing many alternatives ahead of September, and would be presenting them to the political echelon for a decision when it was done.