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12 Dec 2011 09:59


Politics: Romney heavily attacks Newt Gingrich over Palestine comments

  • [Gingrich] shows a level of erratic outspokenness which may be great in a campaign but not great for someone running for president.
  • Mitt Romney • Getting in a solid blow at Newt Gingrich on Fox News this morning, in reaction to the whole Palestine “invented people” thing that became an issue during Saturday’s debate — and which Gingrich defended under heavy pressure. Romney’s trying to lob whatever bombs he has at Gingrich, who is suddenly ahead of him in a number of important polls. source

31 Oct 2011 14:58


World: United Nations agency admits Palestine as member; US cuts funding in response

  • A step forward for Palestine? Today, the United Nations agency UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) admitted Palestine as a full member. In response, the United States is cutting off all funding to the agency. This will effectively gut one-fourth of UNESCO’s budget. The move is in accordance with US law, which prohibits the government from funding any organization that includes Palestine as a member, prior to the reaching of an Israeli-Palestine peace agreement. Nevertheless, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas hailed the decision. source

18 Oct 2011 10:15


World: Israel: Gilad Shalit freed, along with hundreds of Palestinians

  • I thought that I would find myself in this situation many more years. If they wanted to secure my freedom, they had to pay a price for this.
  • Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit • Discussing his situation on Egyptian television this morning after getting freed from captivity in the Gaza Strip. Freedom for Shalit, who was there for five years, did cost Israel immensely — they had to release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to allow for his freedom. Nearly 500 were freed today. In Palestine, those prisoners were welcomed with cheers by Hamas — while Shalit’s own return was much more subdued, with Israeli officials concerned that freeing so many prisoners at once could cause security issues. source

17 Oct 2011 11:45


World: Israel’s prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit draws heavy controversy

  • 1,000 number of Palestinian prisoners expected to be freed in an exchange with Israel; as you might guess, this is controversial for some
  • one number of Israeli prisoners expected to be freed in exchange; this one, however, is Gilad Shalit, whose plight is fairly well-known source
  • » The fight goes to court: While Shalit’s parents fight for his freedom, families of the victims of militants in Israel aren’t exactly quite happy with this situation, and are trying to fight it in court. It’s unlikely the court is willing to fix this, but Israeli leaders are trying to soft-pedal this nonetheless. “I understand the difficulty in accepting that the vile people who committed the heinous crimes against your loved ones will not pay the full price they deserve,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a letter to families affected by the exchange.

27 Sep 2011 16:59


World: Israeli officials approve new settlements in principle

  • 1,100 new Israeli settlements may be constructed source
  • » A tenuous situation: An Israeli planning committee has approved the expansion of the Gilo settlement of East Jerusalem, which has prompted much international concern that the peace process will suffer as a result. “Today’s decision … ignores the Quartet’s [the US, UN, EU and Russia] appeal of last Friday to the parties to refrain from provocative actions,” said a spokesman for UN special coordinator for Mid-East peace Robert Serry. The settlement expansion is still subject to public consultation before final approval.

25 Sep 2011 10:14


World: Mahmoud Abbas: “The Palestinian Spring has been born”

  • We have told the world that there is the Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring has been born. A popular spring, a populist spring, a spring of peaceful struggle that will reach its goal.
  • Palestinians President Mahmoud Abbas • Drawing a comparison between his push for a Palestinian role in the United Nations and the Arab Spring movement. Abbas’ popularity has leaped in his home country after he boldly submitted an application to the United Nations for membership, despite loud protests by the U.S. and Israel. The U.S. has promised to veto any opportunity for Palestine to gain full UN membership, but Palestine would be willing to settle for lesser observer status in the general assembly, which would still give them a way to continue to push for their agenda in the United Nations. source

11 Sep 2011 21:51


World: Al Jazeera sister network raided by Egyptian officials; network defiant

  • If broadcasting the truth is considered endangering stability, then it is an honor for any media outlet to be endangering stability.
  • Ahmed Zein, manager of Al Jazeera Live Egypt • Sounding defiant amidst a raid that took the network off the air on Sunday. The raid was not without warning — a couple of weeks before, the country’s minister of media, Osama Heikal, said that it would take actions against media outlets that “endanger the stability and security” of the country — which one could argue the happened with last week’s attack on the Israeli embassy. Al Jazeera Live Egypt is a fairly new sister network that cropped up in reaction to the Egyptian revolution, seen in the West as a coming out party for the Qatar-based network. The affiliate focuses on street protests. source

10 Sep 2011 13:15


World: Egypt enacts security measures after violence around Israeli embassy

  • three people killed in the attack on the Israeli Embassy in the Cairo suburb of Giza
  • 1,000+ people injured in the incident — a level so high it made us do a double-take
  • 19 people arrested for their alleged roles in the attack, which hurt Egypt-Israeli relations source
  • » Emergency measures in place: In the wake of the attack, Egypt has enacted measures to speed up the response to the incident — including pushing those arrested through an emergency state security court. The country seems to be doing everything it can to prevent an international crisis over this. “About 95 percent of the Egyptians are disgusted at the attack on the embassy and any other violence that took place,” noted Hisham Kassem, a veteran editor and publisher in the region. “Even commentators who appeared on channels like Jazeera … who normally have a very anti-Israeli position, were saying, ‘This is wrong. We can’t attack an embassy.'”

05 Jun 2011 12:34


World: Golan Heights: 44 years after Six-Day War, violence erupts anew

  • “Anyone who tries to cross the border will be killed.” That was the message Israeli soldiers had today, the anniversary of the day when Golan Heights fell from Syrian hands to Israeli ones. Today, dozens of protesters, mostly Palestinian, went up to the border of the strategically-important piece of land — and were fired upon by Israeli soldiers. At least 14 died, and hundreds were injured during the protests. Prior to the violence, Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli soldiers to act with restraint but determination while protecting the border. “To my regret, today there are extremists around us trying to breach our borders, and threaten our towns and citizens,” he said to his cabinet. “We will not allow this.” source

29 May 2011 13:33


World: Amid divisions, Israel investing lots of money to improve Jerusalem

  • $100 million to keep Jerusalem an “undivided capital” source
  • » Israel’s long-term plan: While Obama continues to push Israel to return to their 1967 borders, Prime Minister Benjamain Netanyahu has plans for the capital, now a single piece thanks to the Six-Day War, which changed those borders. “The city was united 44 years ago,” he noted, “and we returned to our ancestral lands. Since then Jerusalem has flourished.” The multi-year package would increase funding for tourism, education grants and also give bio-technology companies incentives to work in the long-divided city.