Obama sends US forces to protect Jordan, bypasses Congress to fund Iraq

October 11, 2012

by creeping
U.S. borders, U.S. embassies and consulates – fugettaboutit. Protecting the ummah, from itself, done. via Panetta: US sends forces to Jordan – Yahoo! News.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to bolster that country’s military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.
Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. The troops are also building a headquarters for themselves.

But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.
It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria’s borders and become a regional conflict.
“We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what’s happening in Syria,” Panetta said.
The development comes with the U.S. presidential election less than a month away, and at a time when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has been criticizing President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, accusing the administration of embracing too passive a stance in the convulsive Mideast region.

Congress? What Congress. via Pentagon finds funding to continue Iraq training – KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says it will be able to fund the training of Iraqi security forces for the next 90 days, even though Congress did not include money for the program in its temporary budget resolution that took effect Monday.
Pentagon press secretary George Little says $1.7 million will be used from a special combatant commanders initiative fund to continue the training. Officials say there are roughly 160 military personnel doing the training in Iraq.
The money will also allow the U.S. to continue a separate program that trains Iraq’s counterterrorism forces.
The funding is a temporary solution while officials seek a longer term fix in the 2013 budget bill.
Congress has left Washington until after the election. Lawmakers were only able to pass a six-month stopgap spending measure.

What’s that? You didn’t hear anything in the U.S. media about Obama sending troops to yet another country nor the bi-partisan budget resolution – an absolute gift by so-called “conservatives” including Paul Ryan to a failed president during the most critical point in the election.

creepy. I’m reminded of the threats of the Samantha Power to occupy Israel if her royal feminist doesn’t get what she wants.


EU "Upgrades" Relations with Israel, Strangling Strings Attached

August 3, 2012

(gatestoneinstitute.org)The upgrade, which comes amid a barrage of unending criticism of Israel’s policies, in fact appears aimed at increasing Israel’s economic dependence on the European Union, with the objective of enhancing the bloc’s leverage over the State of Israel. Authored by EU delegations to the Palestinian Authority, the document includes severe recommendations meant to strengthen Palestinian control over East Jerusalem and coerce Israel to change its policy in the West Bank. The document is unprecedented in that it deals with internal Israeli issues.

The European Union has upgraded trade and diplomatic relations with Israel in more than 60 activities and fields, including agriculture, energy and immigration.
But the wide-ranging boost to bilateral relations, which was announced at the annual EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels on July 24, is unlikely to end the deep-seated hostility European officialdom harbors towards the Jewish state.
The move, which comes amid an unending barrage of European criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank, Gaza and within Israel itself, in fact appears aimed at increasing Israel’s economic dependence upon the European Union, with the objective of enhancing the bloc’s leverage over the State of Israel.
As a whole, the package stops short of the full upgrade in relations that was frozen after Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in January 2009, but is highly significant nonetheless.
Among other measures, the European Union will remove obstacles impeding Israel’s access to European government-controlled markets and enhance Israel’s co-operation with nine key EU agencies, including the European Police Office (Europol), the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Notably absent from the package is the Agreement on Conformity, Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA), a trade agreement that seeks to eliminate technical barriers to trade in industrial products, with the objective of increasing European access to Israeli markets, and vice-versa.
Although the European Commission and the European Council approved the ACAA in March 2010, ratification of the agreement has been held up in the European Parliament due to lobbying by pro-Palestinian activist groups, who argue that the agreement will benefit Israeli companies that do business in the disputed, so-called Occupied Territories.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament (AFET) on June 7 recommended that the ACAA be ratified, but its fate will be determined by the Committee on International Trade (INTA), which is scheduled to vote on the measure on September 18, 2012.
In any event, the official EU statement announcing the upgrade in bilateral relations is also replete with condescending criticism of Israel, which the EU accuses of perpetrating a wide range of human rights abuses in the “occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)” and within Israel itself.
Among other items, the statement refers to Israel’s obligation to protect the rights of the Arab-Palestinian minority, stressing the “importance to address it as a core problem in its own right.” The document also condemns the “excessive recourse by Israel to administrative detention.”
The EU urges Israel “to refrain from actions which may…curtail the freedom of association and freedom of speech (of civil society)” and it calls on Israel to prosecute “settler extremists” for their “continuous violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians.”
The statement “stresses Israel’s obligations regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian population” and condemns “developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible, such as, inter alia, the marked acceleration of settlement construction, ongoing evictions of Palestinians and the demolition of their housing and infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including East Jerusalem, the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population and serious limitations for the Palestinian Authority to promote the economic development of Palestinian communities, in particular in Area C.”
The EU is also “concerned about reports on a possible resumption of construction of the separation barrier because the EU considers that the separation barrier where built on occupied land is illegal under international law, constitutes an obstacle to peace and threatens to make a two-state solution impossible.”
The statement comes amid a wave of official EU criticism of Israel that is often one-sided, disproportionate and bordering on obsessive.
In July, for example, the European Parliament passed a highly biased resolution accusing Israel of literally dozens of offenses against the Palestinian population, Palestinian institutions and even Arab Bedouins. The statement criticizes Israel for “expansion of settlements and settler violence, planning restrictions and the consequent acute house shortage, house demolitions, evictions and displacements, confiscation of land, difficult access to natural resources, and the lack of basic social services and assistance…” The resolution even accuses Israel of “creating an institutional and leadership vacuum in the local Palestinian population.”
In June, EU “Foreign Minister” Catherine Ashton, who has a well-earned reputation for making statements that seek to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state, criticized Israeli policies that “are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.” Since assuming her post in December 2009, Ashton has never criticized Palestinian obstructionism and their setting impossible preconditions for entering genuine peace talks with Israel. (In March, Ashton famously equated the killing of three children at a Jewish school in France with “what is happening in Gaza.”)
In May, the EU’s 27 foreign ministers unanimously condemned “the ongoing evictions and house demolitions in East Jerusalem, changes to the residency status of Palestinians…the prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities…the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population…of jeopardizing the major achievements of the Palestinian Authority in state-building…the continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians…” But nowhere does the document call on the Palestinian Authority to recognize the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, a move that arguably more than any other would advance Palestinian aspirations for statehood.
In January 2012, the EU published a document called “The EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem” which makes an urgent plea for the EU to adopt a more “active and visible” implementation of its policy towards Israel and the peace process.
Authored by EU delegations to the Palestinian Authority, the document includes severe recommendations meant to strengthen Palestinian control over East Jerusalem and coerce Israel to change its policy in the West Bank.
The document recommends that the European Union fund Palestinian construction projects in Area C of the West Bank without Israel’s cooperation, undermining Israeli control. But under the Oslo Accords, Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control; it contains all of Israel’s West Bank settlements and a small Palestinian population. The EU document also states that Israel’s policies are undermining the prospect of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, and calls on Israel to support Palestinian construction across Area C and in East Jerusalem.
The report includes a radical proposal for “appropriate EU legislation to prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity.” Under the proposal, the European Commission would use legislation to force European companies to stop doing business with companies involved in settlement construction and commercial activities.
Recommendations include the preparation of a “blacklist” of settlers considered violent in order to consider later the option of banning them from entering the European Union. The document also seeks to encourage more PA activity and representation in East Jerusalem.
The report advises senior EU figures visiting East Jerusalem to refrain from being escorted by official Israeli representatives or security personnel. In addition, the document encourages officials to instruct European tourism firms to refrain from supporting Israeli businesses located in East Jerusalem and to raise EU public awareness of Israeli products originating from the settlements or from East Jerusalem.
In December 2011, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz obtained a classified working paper produced by European embassies in Israel, which recommended that the European Union should consider Israel’s treatment of its Arab population a “core issue, not second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The document is unprecedented in that it deals with internal Israeli issues. According to European diplomats and senior Foreign Ministry officials quoted by Haaretz, the document was written and sent to EU headquarters in Brussels behind the back of the Israeli government.
Other issues the document deals with include “the lack of progress in the peace process, the continued occupation of the territories, Israel’s definition of itself as Jewish and democratic, and the influence of the Israeli Arab population.”
The original document also included suggestions for action the EU should take, but these were removed from the final version at the insistence of several countries. Among these were the suggestion that the EU file an official protest every time a bill discriminating against Arabs passes a second reading in the Knesset, and that the EU ensure that all Arab towns have completed urban plans, “with each member state potentially ‘adopting’ a municipality to this end.”
Haaretz reported that, according to a European diplomat involved in drafting the report, work on it began in 2010 at the initiative of Britain. The idea was to write a report that could be debated by a forum of EU foreign ministers. At some point, however, several countries, among them the Czech Republic, Poland and the Netherlands, expressed objections to its contents and the document was watered down.
Also in December, four EU members of the UN Security Council issued an angry joint statement branding Israeli “settlements” in Palestinian occupied territories and East Jerusalem as “illegal under international law.” The statement said: “We call on the Israeli government to reverse these steps. The viability of the Palestinian state that we want to see and the two-state solution that is essential for Israel’s long-term security are threatened by the systematic and deliberate expansion of settlements.”
While the EU continues to exert pressure on Israel, Jerusalem has been unable to extract meaningful concessions from Brussels. For example, the EU has once again rejected an Israeli request that the bloc designate the Lebanon-based Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently launched a new diplomatic push to convince the EU to outlaw Hezbollah following the murders of five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver on July 18. Israel blames Hezbollah for the suicide bombing at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently heads the EU presidency, said there is “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list of the organization,” and claimed that there is “no tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism.”
Lieberman has also failed to persuade Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, to “intervene” on Israel’s behalf in a controversy regarding Tunisia’s desire to include a clause in its new constitution making normalized relations with Israel a criminal offense.
As these examples and many others indicate, Israel should be under no illusion that the recent “upgrading” of bilateral relations with the European Union will end European hostility toward the Jewish state. Quite to the contrary; Israel should be expecting an increase in European meddling in its internal affairs.

Soeren Kern is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.


Ambassador Gutman to Jews: it’s your own fault!

December 4, 2011

Ambassador Howard Gutman explains
Obama policy to stunned Smurfs

(calev ben yefuneh) Fresnozionism.org
04 December ’11
http://fresnozionism.org/2011/12/ambassador-gutman-to-jews-its-your-own-fault/
Last week a conference was held in Brussels to develop a legal strategy to fight antisemitism :

Almost 100 people from 16 countries gathered in the capital of Europe to discuss means to confront growing anti-Semitism and its new forms, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel, particularly in some European countries where the issue of Jew-hatred appears to be more acute and where legal weapons do not yet exist.

One of the speakers was Howard Gutman, the (Jewish) Ambassador of the US to to Belgium. His remarks reportedly ‘stunned’ attendees, who heard him blame the Jews and Israel for antisemitism:

He said “there is and has long been some amount of anti-Semitism, of hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating.” “Those anti-Semites are people who hate not only Jews, but Muslims, gays, gypsies, and likely any who can be described as minorities or different. That hatred is of course pernicious and it must be combated…” 

He sees growing intimidation and violence directed at Jews as a result of the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories and other Arab neighbors in the Middle East. 

Peace in the Middle East, he said would significantly reduce this form of anti-Semitism in Europe. “The solution for this second type of problem – too often lumped under a general banner of anti-Semitism – is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East,” the ambassador declared.

In Gutman’s world, there are only two kinds of antisemites: those that also hate Muslims, gays, etc. — neo-Nazi xenophobes — and those who hate Jews and Israel because of the conflict with the Palestinians.
Note that this is in keeping with the Obama Administration’s rule book: it is forbidden to say anything bad about Islam or Muslim culture. You cannot say that it is imbued with antisemitism, which it is, and which in fact makes antisemites out of many Muslims. So Muslim antisemitism must be in some way justified.
Gutman seems to think that Muslim antisemitism sprang full-grown from the head of the Israeli-Arab conflict, in 1967 or perhaps as as early as 1948. If this conflict could be solved, he suggests, then suddenly Muslim and left-wing antisemitism would vanish, leaving us only the neo-Nazis to worry about.

He ignores Muslim Jew-hatred which goes back to the Quran and other teachings of Mohammad, and which, like the Christian variety, was often expressed quite brutally, long before there was an Israel, and indeed before Zionism was a gleam in the eye of Theodore Herzl.
Yes, there were times and places where Jews could accept a second-class dhimmi status and live alongside Muslims relatively unmolested. But the antisemitic teachings were always there, ready to explode in violence if the Sultan owed money to Jewish merchants or simply decided that there were too many of them.
Pogroms were not rare in the land of Israel, even before Zionist immigration. For example, in 1834 — the First Aliyah began in 1881 — there was a murderous pogrom in Tzfat, which went on for 33 days:

The forgotten pogrom in Tzfat was a regular pogrom, a dreadful yet familiar experience to Jews in both the Islamic world and in Christian Europe. Like all pogroms it was an act of senseless brutality, where the victims were totally helpless. It had no political agenda or motive behind it. There was no ‘Zionist entity’ whose existence served as an excuse to murder civilians; it was motivated by pure greed. The Palestinian Arabs of the Eastern Galilee took advantage of a regional crisis, the war between Egypt and Turkey, to attack their Jewish neighbors and strip them of everything they had, clothes, property, houses, and the like. In the process people were beaten in the streets, many times to death, synagogues destroyed and holy books desecrated.
– Dvar Dea, The Forgotten Pogrom of Tzfat

Later, Arab hate made it impossible for them to live together peacefully with the Jewish immigrants. Despite the fact that Zionist development of the land made it capable of supporting more and more inhabitants — and more Arabs came to enjoy the benefits of it — the Arab world fought diplomatically, and the Palestinian Arabs violently, in anti-Jewish riots in the 1920′s and 1930′s, to keep Jews out.
The WWII period was particularly fruitful for cross-fertilization of the Muslim and European streams of hate, with the Palestinian Arab leader al-Husseini visiting Hitler and laying plans for his own hoped-for Holocaust in the Middle East.
After the war, many Nazis found refuge in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. where their ideology was congenial.
Today a good example of contemporary Muslim antisemitism can be found in the Hamas Covenant, which quotes the sayings of Mohammad as well as ideas from the European “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
If you read the Hamas Covenant, or pay attention to the statements of the PLO leadership (whose ideology comes from al-Husseini via Yasser Arafat), you can see that no possible withdrawals or other concessions could possibly mollify them.They will have no Jewish state of any size in what they consider “Arab (or Muslim) land.”
Gutman has it backwards. Antisemitism is not a result of the Israeli-Arab conflict. It is its cause.
The view that the Jews cause antisemitism by their actions is an old one. A 1942 article in Der Stürmer by one Ernst Hiemer begins thus:

Anti-Semitism is as old as Jewry itself. The Jew was a liar, a swindler, an exploiter, a troublemaker, a poisoner of the blood, and a murderer from the beginning. The non-Jewish peoples thus responded to this people of criminals throughout history with contempt and rejection.

Although Gutman suggests that the solution “is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East,” the position of the Obama Administration that he represents is that the conflict continues because Israel refuses to meet Arab demands. For example, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta expressed this view last week.
Gutman, a Washington lawyer, raised at least $500,000 for the Obama campaign in 2008. He was appointed Ambassador in 2009 .


Belgian Jews in Shock over Beating of 13-Year-old Girl

November 24, 2011

Anti-Semitic graffiti in Europe(Vlad Tepes) Five Muslim Moroccan girls in Belgium beat a 13-year-old classmate, called her a “dirty Jew” and told her to “return to your country.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/23/2011, 12:08 PM
Anti-Semitic graffiti in Europe

Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons

Five Muslim Moroccan girls in Belgium beat a 13-year-old classmate, called her a “dirty Jew” and told her to “return to your country.”
The girl, Oceane Sluijzer, has filed a complaint with police after the anti-Semitic attack at a sports training center. The attackers were identified and questioned by police.
Jewish legislator Viviane Teitelbaum of Brussels denounced the “silence” of political leaders and most of media after this attack.
Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations of Belgium (CCOJB), the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in Belgium, expressed “shock” at the attack and asked that the investigation be conducted without delay. The Jewish group added it is considering filing a civil suit and said the Jewish community is “exasperated” by repeated attacks on Jews in Belgium, whose Jewish population is 40,000.
It also told the Belgian French community’s Education Minister he should “introduce appropriate educational programs in schools to prevent unjustified tensions between communities,” the European Jewish Press reported.
The Jewish Consistory, the representative body of Jewish religious congregations in the country, also appealed to authorities to take action.

Soeren: Europeans Threaten to Recognize Palestinian State Unless Israel Negotiates With Terrorist Group

May 14, 2011

Several European countries are threatening to recognize an independent Palestinian state — on the basis of the pre-1967 boundaries to include the West Bank, Gaza, and with East Jerusalem as its capital — if Israel refuses to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority by September. Given the new “reconciliation deal” between the rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, Europeans are effectively demanding that Israel negotiate with Hamas, an Islamist terrorist group unambiguously committed to Israel’s destruction.
The Palestinians say they are on track to unilaterally declare statehood at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly when it opens in New York in September. More than 110 countries — more than half of all UN members — have already recognized Palestine diplomatically. These includes European Union members Hungary, Poland and Romania. In recent weeks, however, the momentum to recognize a Palestinian state has been building in larger, more influential European countries.
In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an interview with the L’Express newsmagazine on May 5, said: “If the peace process is still dead in September, France will face up to its responsibilities on the central question of the recognition of a Palestinian state. The idea that there is still plenty of time is dangerous. Things have to be brought to a conclusion” before September. Sarkozy also said that during the next few months, European countries would try “to relaunch the peace process along with the Americans, because Europe cannot be the main one paying for Palestine and yet remain a minor figure politically in the matter.”
On April 21, Sarkozy hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Élysée Palace in Paris to discuss Palestinian statehood. Ahead of that meeting, the French Foreign Ministry said the Palestinians are “more than ever ready to establish a state and run it in a credible and peaceful way.” On April 22, French Ambassador to the United Nations Gérard Araud said: “The recognition of a Palestinian state is an option that we are currently thinking about, with our European partners.” On March 22, French Prime Minister François Francois Fillon said that “2011 must be the year of the creation of a Palestinian state.” On March 15, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said the recognition of a Palestinian state by the European Union is a “possibility that should be kept in mind.”
In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 3 that Britain is prepared to formally recognize an independent Palestinian state in September unless Israel opens peace talks with the Palestinians. That warning came after Netanyahu told Cameron that the so-called unity pact between rival Palestinian factions Fatah, which rules the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that rules Gaza, is a “tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism.” Palestinian leaders say the deal is a major step towards an independent state, but Israel fears the reconciliation will open the door to Hamas militants being deployed in the West Bank.
British diplomats described Cameron’s threat to recognize a Palestinian state as one of Britain’s few “levers” to press Israel to join talks with Palestinian officials. “The best way for the Israelis to avoid a unilateral declaration is to engage in peace talks,” a British official told the Guardian newspaper.
Despite promises to the contrary, the British government still has not amended a universal jurisdiction law that permits pro-Palestinian activist groups to bring lawsuits against Israeli politicians and military personnel for purported war crimes. On May 3, Israeli Major General Yohanan Locker was locked out of Britain. An integral member of Netanyahu’s circle of advisers and deputy head of the Israeli Air Force during Operation Cast Lead, Locker was forced to remain in Israel rather than risk arrest in London on charges of “war crimes.”
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has moved closer to other European countries in adopting an increasingly tough stance toward Israel. In February, Merkel chided Netanyahu for failing to make “a single step to advance peace.” On February 18, Germany (along with Britain and France) voted in favour of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement-building in disputed territory as illegal.
Nevertheless, Germany remains one of the only major European countries explicitly to say that it will not recognize a Palestinian state without Israel’s acceptance. Ahead of a visit to Berlin by Mahmoud Abbas on May 5, a German government spokesman said: “The policy of the German government remains what Chancellor [Angela] Merkel said after talks with Israel’s Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in April: that in her view a unilateral recognition would not contribute to the goal” of a two-state solution. Merkel had said after her talks with Netanyahu on April 7 that any German recognition of a Palestinian state would be within the context of mutual Israeli-Palestinian recognition.
In Norway, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, in an interview with Haaretz newspaper on March 3, said that his country would consider recognizing a Palestinian state if no progress is made in the peace process by September 2011. He said Israel runs the risk of being seen internationally as a “permanent occupier” if the stalemate in the peace process continues. “Europe,” he said, “is watching for results and initiatives toward a settlement of this conflict. The major challenge for Israel in this century is that it stands out as an occupier in breach of international law. This to me is a big challenge to the quality of Israel — which is to be a democracy and a player in the first division in the world. I think that in key European capitals the hope to see that change is thinner than it used to be.”
In Spain, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez said on February 9 that 2011 would be a “crucial year” for Palestinian statehood: “Spain is firmly committed to the creation of a Palestinian state. We are going to put all of our efforts and capacities to achieve it.” Spain and neighbouring France have been laying the political groundwork for the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state for more than a year.
Former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos and former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in February 2010 penned an influential article entitled, “A Palestinian State: When?” which laid out their vision for Europe’s role in creating a Palestinian state.
The article reminded readers that the European Union is the biggest single provider of financial aid to the Palestinians. Often described as a “payer but not a player” in the Middle East, the authors argued that the European Union must work more aggressively in bringing about Palestinian statehood. They also argued that time is of the essence and that the European Union “must not confine itself to the … outlines of the final settlement” and “should collectively recognize the Palestinian State.… There is no more time to lose. Europe must pave the way.” The authors say the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the Madrid peace conference, which was convened in October 1991, would be a good moment to recognize Palestinian independence.
In a separate interview with the Paris-based Journal du Dimanche, Kouchner said: “The issue currently before us is the building of a reality. France is training Palestinian police and businesses are being created in the West Bank…. It follows that one can envision the proclamation soon of a Palestinian state, and its immediate recognition by the international community, even before negotiating its borders.” He added: “If by mid-2011, the political process has not ended the [Israeli] occupation, I would bet that the developed state of Palestinian infrastructure and institutions will be such that the pressure will force Israel to give up its occupation.”
In Brussels, the European Union adopted a resolution in December 2009 that for the first time explicitly calls for Jerusalem to become the future capital of a Palestinian state. The EU declared: “If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.” Israel has always maintained that Jerusalem will remain its undivided capital, regardless of any future peace settlement with the Palestinians. This has been the declared policy of all Israeli governments, both left and right.
Meanwhile, several European countries have already upgraded their diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority. On March 9, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that Denmark would upgrade the status of the Palestinian delegation in Copenhagen to a mission. On March 8, British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced London’s decision to upgrade its presence in Jerusalem from a delegation to a mission. On January 25, Ireland decided to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Dublin to the status of an official embassy. Cyprus, France, Portugal and Spain have also in recent months upgraded their diplomatic relations with the Palestinians.
In an interview with France 24 television, Abbas said “a certain number of European countries have recently sent additional delegations and official representatives to the Palestinian territories. From our side, we are already treating them like ambassadors.”
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Leave a Comment » | Abbas, Abu Mazen, Alain Juppe, Brussels, David Cameron, Fatah, Fillon, Hamas, Hamas Fatah Marriage, Jiménez, Kouchner, L. L. Rasmussen, Merkel, Sarkozy, Soeren Kern, Støre, William Hague, Y. Locker | Permalink
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Minuscule Luxembourg wants to punish Israel

December 17, 2010

“There is growing frustration with Israel after its refusal to commit to a new settlements freeze,” (European diplomat)
See also by Melanie Phillips The Europeans move in for the kill
Europe being Europe, even tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with a population of  barely half a million wants to punish Israel.
BRUSSELS (AFP-EJP)—The European Union on Monday reaffirmed its readiness to recognize a Palestinian state at an “appropriate” time but stopped short of outright recognition despite mounting pressure to break the Middle East impasse.

Pressure has built on the European Union to flex muscle after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on construction in the West Bank, with 26 former European leaders last week demanding sanctions, and Argentina and Uruguay joining Brazil in recognizing an independent Palestinian state. […]

“There is growing frustration with Israel after its refusal to commit to a new settlements freeze,” a European diplomat told AFP as negotiators quibbled and clashed over a joint EU stand.
But after long and prickly negotiations, Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels adopted a statement that “notes with regret that Israel has not extended the moratorium as requested by the EU, the US and the Quartet,” describing settlements as “illegal” and “an obstacle to peace.”
In the letter to Ashton released last week, 26 former EU leaders, including her predecessor Javier Solana, urged her to threaten Israel with sanctions for failing to respect the freeze.  But the idea was apparently rejected by a majority at the ministerial meeting although some among them, like Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, were in favour of a “tougher” stance against Israel.


Going into the talks, Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said the recognition of a Palestinian state had “always been on the table. But at this stage it’s too early.”  German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said it was vital to avoid action that could compromise Israeli-Palestinian talks, “including unilateral moves”. […]”
Luxembourg boys school: physics or incitement to hatred?

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