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IDF Intelligence: Iran Infiltrating Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - Moran Azulay (Ynet News)
Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday: "Iran is using unrest in the Middle East to deepen its infiltration in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Gaza and Iraq."
He added that Tehran is trying to influence the outcome of Egypt's elections by tightening relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Kochavi noted that "Iran acted directly in Lebanon in organizing Nakba Day and Naksa Day [demonstrations on Israel's border]," and that Iran and Hizbullah were supporting Syria's crackdown on protests.
Boat People - Christopher Hitchens (Slate)
It seems safe and fair to say that the Gaza flotilla and its leadership work in reasonably close harmony with Hamas, which constitutes the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Coordination of Hamas' military is run out of Damascus, where the regime of Bashar Assad is currently at war with increasingly large sections of the long-oppressed Syrian population.
In these circumstances, isn't it legitimate to ask the "activists" where they come out on the uprising in Syria?
A few weeks ago, the Hamas regime in Gaza became the only governing authority in the world - by my count - to express outrage and sympathy at the death of Osama Bin Laden.
There is something about this flotilla stunt that fails to pass a smell test.
See also On Israel, Greece Gets It Right - Editorial (National Post-Canada)
Only the terminally naive could still believe that the people taking part in this charade are pacifist do-gooders.
From its conception to its attempted execution, the flotilla has been a study in political theater and a coveted stage for self-serving celebrities to promenade their political correctness.
Israel's blockade is perfectly legal. And Gaza doesn't need humanitarian aid now, any more than it did during the previous flotilla disaster a year ago.
If flotilla participants really want to ease Gazans' isolation, they should encourage Hamas to acknowledge Israel's right to exist and to forswear terrorism.
See also Hamas Apologists Denounce Israel from Sunny Greece - Michael Ross (National Post-Canada)
The Flotilla: Solidarity with Genocidal Fanatics in Gaza - Melanie Phillips (Israel Hayom)
The Gaza flotilla is merely another act in the Palestinian theater of the surreal which plays Western audiences for suckers.
With whom are they expressing solidarity? With those whose aim is to exterminate Israel and every Jew in the world.
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- Greece Stops Another Gaza Flotilla Boat - Elena Becatoros
The Greek coast guard stopped a boat taking part in the Gaza flotilla after it set sail without permission from Crete, and towed it back into port, the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said.
David Heap, a Canadian passenger, said the Greek coast guard and "special forces" boarded the vessel after it had sailed several kilometers out to sea. Greece last week banned all boats participating in the Gaza flotilla from leaving port.
- Security Council to Discuss Syria's Refusal to Cooperate with Nuke Probe
The UN Security Council plans to meet next week to discuss what to do about Syria's refusal to cooperate with an investigation of its alleged secret nuclear activities, diplomats said Monday. The move comes just weeks after the International Atomic Energy Agency referred the matter to the council.
- Syria Sends Security Forces Back to Hama - Kristen Chick
Syrian security forces and tanks have returned to the city of Hama, storming houses and arresting activists after giving protesters nearly free reign in the city for a month. One witness said at least 30 buses full of soldiers drove into Hama on Monday and began firing randomly.
(Christian Science Monitor)
See also Hama Residents Mobilize to Keep Out Syrian Army (AFP)
- Israel Readies for Pro-Palestinian Airport Protest - Jack Guez
Israel was making intense preparations on Monday to foil plans by hundreds of activists to flood Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians. Flights landing on Friday from Europe would be taken to a separate terminal and all passengers carefully screened. (AFP)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Transfer of Palestinian Terrorist Bodies Delayed over Shalit Considerations - Yaakov Katz
The transfer of deceased Palestinian terrorists to the Palestinian Authority was delayed over considerations for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday. (Jerusalem Post)
- PA Cracks Down on Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamists - Khaled Abu Toameh
Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank on Saturday detained dozens of supporters of the radical Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) at rallies in major Palestinian cities marking the anniversary of the collapse of the Islamic Caliphate. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global pan-Islamic political group that seeks to unify all Muslim countries as an Islamic state, or Caliphate ruled by Islamic law. At least 100 activists were detained in Ramallah alone, while protests and confrontations also erupted in Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm and Kalkilya.
- There Is No Palestinian Right of Return - Ruth Gavison, Yaffa Zilbershats and Nimra Gore
International law does not obligate/recognize the legal right of Palestinian refugees to settle in Israeli territory. A close examination of General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) from 1948, as well as later ones, reveals that these resolutions do not grant Palestinian refugees the right of return to Israeli territory.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 also does not obligate Israel to allow the entrance of Palestinian refugees who were never Israeli citizens or residents. International citizenship law, refugee law, humanitarian law, and international criminal law do not place any obligation on Israel to admit Palestinian refugees, or grant them citizenship.
A new ruling by the European Court of Human Rights rejected claims of Greek refugees exiled from northern Cyprus in 1974 that they should be allowed to resettle in their homes. Ruth Gavison, an Israel Prize winner and law professor, is president of the Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought.
Yaffa Zilbershats, an authority on international and constitutional law, is deputy president of Bar-Ilan University. Nimra Goren-Amitai is a research scholar at Bar-Ilan.
- On Palestinians, Pledges, and Budgets - Elliott Abrams
A fair measure of the dedication to the Palestinian cause on the part of Arab governments is whether they put their money where their mouth is. In that context, a news story conveys an answer: "The Palestinian Authority will pay its employees only half their monthly salaries in July...because of what he said was 'the failure of donors, including our Arab brothers, to fulfill their pledges.'"
Only the UAE, Algeria, and Oman have met the pledges they made years ago via the Arab League. The rest, including the vastly wealthy Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, are delinquent.
Despite the roughly $100 billion in extra domestic spending this year of the Arab Spring to buy off its populace, Saudi Arabia will record a budget surplus of about $25 billion. So the failure to assist the Palestinians is the product of hostility, neglect, or uninterest. By comparison, the EU significantly increased its aid to the PA this year, from 100 million to 185 million euros - and this does not count the assistance coming from individual member states of the EU.
It is probably an exaggeration to say the Palestinians would be better off if instead of all those Arab pledges they got five dollars for every speech, TV or radio program, and newspaper article in Arabic that denounces Israel and swears eternal loyalty to the Palestinian cause. Or perhaps not.
(Council on Foreign Relations)
- Israel Should Be Beacon for Arab Spring - Einat Wilf
Not only is Israel not the problem in the Middle East, it is, if anything, the solution. If the appetite for freedom in the Arab world is to be satisfied and the dream of regional peace ultimately realized, Israel would be better viewed as a model to be emulated, not vilified. Throughout the 63 years of its existence, it has stood as lonely proof that the liberty, freedoms and openness demanded by waves of Arab demonstrators can become a reality in the Middle East. The writer is a member of the Knesset (Independence Party) and sits on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
What Are the Palestinians Planning after September? - Pinhas Inbari (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- What the Palestinians really envisage after September is to exploit a UN endorsement of statehood to legitimize an escalation of the conflict. After having the 1967 lines recognized so as to negate the results of the Six-Day War, they plan to seek recognition of the 1947 partition lines.
- There are signs that the long period of quiet since the Second Intifada is going to end after September or just before it, and that Abbas' Fatah organization is already preparing for the "Third Intifada." Ahmad Abu Ruteima, a Hamas activist in Gaza, describes the objective of the Third Intifada: "The struggle is about the very existence of Israel and not about the 1967 borders. The defense minister, Ehud Barak, confirmed that the [Israeli] army is incapable of confronting a human influx from all directions."
- The post-September scenarios discussed in the upper Fatah echelons involve a return to the struggle. A senior member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Hatem Abd al-Qader, noted that in case Israel obstructs the Palestinians' political plans, Abbas will step down, the PA will dissolve itself, and nothing will prevent the Palestinians from returning to the struggle. And even if elections are held, the new president will come from the younger generation, abolish the Oslo agreements, and lead the Palestinians back to the struggle.
- Why does the PLO so adamantly refuse any discussion of swaps between the Palestinian-populated areas in the Israeli Triangle region and the settlement blocs. The PLO, apparently, wants to leave the Palestinian-populated areas in Israel as an anchor for pushing Israel back to the 1947 borders or even further, as the territorial basis for exercising the right of return into Israel.
- In his New York Times article, Abbas was straightforward: "Palestine's admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice."
The writer, a veteran Palestinian affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper, is a senior policy analyst at the Jerusalem Center.
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