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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Qatar’

Hamas-PLO Qatar Reconciliation Talks End Early on ‘Negative’ Note

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

If you were concerned that Hamas and the PLO would be uniting to present an even bigger threat to Israel’s security, you can breathe easy this weekend, as reconciliation talks between the two groups in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday ended on a sour note, with Hamas blaming the PLO for the failure, Ma’an reported.

Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that PLO officials did not complete the day’s scheduled meetings and withdrew during the second session. He blamed the PLO leadership entirely for “failing” Saturday’s meeting, because they had no “political will to achieve reconciliation.”

PLO Spokesman Usama al-Qawasmi said his delegation had headed to Doha resolved to end division and forge partnership and democracy on the way to forming a national unity government.

A previous national unity government had collapsed recently, having proven to be one only in name.

Al-Qawasmi insisted the Doha meetings have shown that Hamas is “not ready yet for national unity and political partnership.” He stressed that the PLO would continue its efforts to end division between the two groups, and continue “calling upon Hamas to head towards real national unity.”

The current round of talks between the PLO and Hamas — third so far — began on Wednesday in the Qatari capital with a focus on strategies for implementing a reconciliation agreement. In March, the two groups also held reconciliation talks in Doha, with both delegations also discussing implementations of a reconciliation agreement.

The two groups have been on the outs with each other since their violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas’s 2006 victory in the general elections in the Gaza Strip. Since then the two groups have repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation, and neither side has held democratic elections.

Both sides enjoy visiting Qatar, though.

JNi.Media

16 International NGOs Condemn Israel’s Refusal to Support BDS Founder’s World Travels

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Earlier this month, Israeli authorities refused to renew the travel documents of Omar Barghouti, a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Barghouti was born in Qatar, grew up in Egypt and later moved to Jaffa and then to Acre in Israel as an adult, but he insists on counting himself as part of the indigenous people, as when he told the AP back in 2007, that the “Palestinians cannot possibly observe the same boycott guidelines as asked of internationals” and that the “indigenous population” is entitled to all services they can get from the system.

After marrying his wife, an Israeli Arab, Barghouti, was granted permanent residency in Israel, which he has enjoyed for the past 23 years. He holds a master’s degree in ethics from Tel Aviv University, and is pursuing a PhD. A petition drew more than 184,000 signatures asked the university to expel him, but he was never expelled.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) has threatened to revoke Barghouti’s residency on the grounds that “he is using his resident status to travel all over the world in order to operate against Israel in the most serious manner.”

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called for a campaign of “targeted civil elimination” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence.

Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Gilad Erdan (Likud), who is in charge of the fight against the BDS, said that activists including Barghouti should “pay the price” for their work.

Well, the Israeli system this month decided to deny the BDS leader one vital service: they will not renew his travel papers. Barghouti told the Arab press in response: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace.”

They could take away his Internet connection, of course.

Sixteen organizations from American, Asian, and European countries are demanding that Israel make it possible for Barghouti to travel around the world to sabotage Israeli commercial and national interests. But rather than addressing Israel’s foreign ministry (which is currently headed by PM Benjamin Netanyahu), these NGOs sent their protest to the foreign ministers of 14 countries and international organizations, including, naturally, John Kerry of the USA, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for the European Union, Margot Wallström of Sweden, and Charles Flanagan of Ireland.

After relating Israel’s repressive attitude against its enemy within, the NGOs demanded that the foreign ministers “use the power and influence that resides in your office to impress on the Israeli government the absolute necessity of ceasing its repressive measures against Palestine’s civil leaders, and in particular to permit Omar Barghouti to play his full role, both inside Israel and without, in representing the aspirations of the Palestinian people.”

Incidentally, any one of the 14 countries addressed by those NGOs could offer Omar Barghouti residency or citizenship and travel papers galore. There must be a reason why they haven’t so far.

David Israel

Brother of Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas Hospitalized in Tel Aviv

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

The brother of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is hospitalized in serious condition at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Abu Loua’i, 76, is the younger brother of Abu Mazen (the nom de guerre of Abbas). He arrived and was admitted in secret on Monday for follow-up treatment after a recent diagnosis of cancer.

His presence in Israel for treatment has not been made public in the Palestinian Authority.

Loua’i lives in Qatar. He chose to be treated in Israel, which is known for its advanced research in the field. After a prior initial treatment at Assuta requiring his presence for several days he returned to Qatar.

He returned Monday via Jordan for his next treatment to the flagship medical center in Tel Aviv. Assuta has a nationwide network of upscale private medical centers.

Several relatives of the Palestinian Authority leader have received treatment in Israel, including his own wife, Amina Abbas, who was admitted to Assuta for surgery in 2014.

Amina’s brother was also hospitalized at Assuta six months ago for life-saving heart surgery – just before the Palestinian Authority launched its current wave of terror attacks on Israeli citizens.

Hana Levi Julian

US Deploys B-52 Bombers to Attack ISIS in Syria, Iraq

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

For the first time in 25 years, America has sent B-52 bombers to the Middle East to fight the war on terror: this time, against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. Air Force based the massive, deadly aircraft at Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Saturday.

It appears the U.S. is finally serious about deploying a heavy military effort into fighting Da’esh (ISIS) forces in Iraq and Syria just as President Barack Obama reaches the last stretch in his final term, with him facing few political risks. But his Democratic party faces an uphill race to win his place in the White House for another four-year term, and the Republican party is equally challenged as it faces a possible split at its upcoming nominating convention.

The U.S.-led coalition’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) which is responsible for running the air campaign against the terror group also based there.

The American B-52 bombers were last seen in the Middle East when they were deployed against Iraq from Saudi Arabia, in Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 Gulf War.

B-52 bombers are long-range aircraft. They were last used operationally in a U.S.-led military drill with Jordan in May 2015.

Prior to that, they were used in May 2006 during the war in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

“The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on Da’esh (ISIS) and defend the region in any future contingency,” said Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

The bombers will enable U.S. forces to drop precision weapons, according to Brown. In addition, it will enable a range of other missions, including strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, and maritime operations.

The B-52 will also allow the U.S. forces to avoid carpet bombing, which spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Chris Karns told Reuters would not be “effective” because “Da’esh doesn’t mass as large groups. Often, they blend into population centers. We always look to minimize civilian casualties.”

Brown added the B-52 bombers could be ready to bomb “elsewhere” in the region, if needed.

The B-52s, although older, also have more stamina on the battlefield than the B-1 bombers they are replacing. The B-1 bombers are supersonic and can hang over a battlefield for up to 10 hours at a time – those aircraft dropped nearly 40 percent of all the bombs in the strike missions against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria, according to Fox News.

The B-1 Lancer “swing-wing” bombers left the Middle East in January for maintenance and a series of upgrades, according to the U.S. Army’s Stars and Stripes.

But the B-52 bombers can hang over a battlefield for nearly 12 hours and can carry more than a dozen satellite precision-guided bombs – or up to 50 500-pound bombs.

More to the point, if necessary, the B-52 bomber can carry nuclear weapons. It was a B-52 bomber that dropped one of the first hydrogen bombs in the South Pacific in 1956.

It’s been more than 60 years since the first B-52 bombers were built during the Eisenhower administration but they still comprise the bulk of the U.S. Air Force long-range bomber fleet.

Hana Levi Julian

Likud MK Demanding Expulsion of BDS Founder

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

In advance of a pro-BDS conference that was held on Friday in Nazareth, MK Nava Boker (Likud) called on the Interior Minister to revoke the permanent residence of Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the BDS movement who was the keynote speaker at the conference.

According to author and journalist Naomi Ragen, Barghouti is not “Palestinian”, having been born in Qatar and grown up in Egypt. He says he’s “Palestinian” because of his parents who supposedly fled their village in Judea and Samaria and today live in Jordan. He arrived in “Palestine” for the first time in 1993, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and his Israeli-Arab wife. He claims to be a Ph.D candidate in philosophy (ethics, actually) at Tel Aviv University. Yes, the occupation is hell.

Despite the fact that Israeli academia has accepted him with open arms, Barghouti became a leading proponent of an academic boycott against Israel, as he told a conference at London University entitled Resisting Israeli Apartheid: “The most urgent type of support the international community can provide to the Palestinian academy is to adopt various forms of boycott against Israel’s academic institutions. … Those who imagine they can wish away the conflict by suggesting some forums for rapprochement, détente, or ‘dialogue’ — which they hope can lead to authentic processes of reconciliation and eventually peace — are either clinically delusional or dangerously deceptive.”

After Barghouti published an opinion piece supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the New York Daily News in 2013, the newspaper responded with an editorial saying that Barghouti is “skilled as a propagandist” and “piles falsehood upon falsehood to present Israel as relentlessly oppressing the Palestinians in violation of human decency, and to hold Israel exclusively responsible for the ills afflicting them.” The Daily News suggested that Barghouti wants a “secular, democratic state built on an influx of Arabs who come to dominate the population and vote an end to Israel as a Jewish nation. That, ultimately, is the nefarious truth behind his libels.”

Barghouti has an Israeli residency, by virtue of being married to an Israeli. MK Boker has urged Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, based on Barghouti’s relentless anti-Israeli activity, to “use your authority according to the Entry into Israel Law to revoke the permanent residence of Mr. Barghouti.”

Alon Schwarzer, CEO of the rightwing Im Tirtzu movement, also joined the demand, saying, “While the planted Israeli organizations are providing him with the raw material, Dr. Barghouti is the conceptual and executive arm of the crusade to destroy the State of Israel and to boycott it. The State of Israel must behave like a sovereign state, as do all the Western democracies, and not allow someone seeking its destruction to enter its territory and preach against it here as well.”

The Interior Minister’s office issued a statement saying the Minister “will consult with his professional staff and Consider the allegations seriously.”

JNi.Media

Al Jazeera Shuts Down American Cable Network

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network announced Wednesday it will shut down its Al Jazeera America cable network effective April 30.

The decision comes after a run of two and a half years on the air. But at the bottom line, the network was not a big sell to Americans.

“While Al Jazeera America built a loyal audience across the US and increasingly was recognized as an important new voice in television news, the economic landscape of the media environment has driven its strategic decision to wind down its operations and conclude its service,” the company said in a statement.

Al Jazeera America CEO Al Anstey further explained, “Our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.”

The government of Qatar had originally purchased the Current TV cable news channel co-founded by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore for some $500 million in 2013, and it was from that base the network was launched.

As many as 700 staff members may lose their jobs, according to an unnamed source quoted by CNN. The NewsGuild of New York is the union representing 46 of the digital journalists at Al Jazeera America; NGNY was told by the network that it employs 291 staff members, according to a report by USA Today. The newspaper cited low ratings, operational problems and a lack of advertisers as the main reasons for the network’s failure to thrive.

Network executives said in a statement on the website from Doha that the company plans to “expand its existing international digital services to broaden its multi-platform presence” in the U.S.

Al Jazeera is hoping for better success on the Internet, where “U.S. and non U.S. consumers alike” can access its programming via “mobile devices for news and information…. journalism and content, wherever and whenever they want.”

Al Jazeera already has a considerable presence on the Internet, together with its Middle Eastern satellite television network. It is not clear whether the network would send its current Doha programming to the U.S., or continue the American cable network programming, via the Internet.

Hana Levi Julian

Prince Charles Visited Saudi Arabia but Snubbed Invitation to Israel

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu invited Prince Charles to visit Israel when they met at the Paris conference last month, but the British nobility continues 67 years of a Royal snub to Israel, even before the “occupation”

The London Telegraph noted that Prince Charles last February visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The newspaper quoted one Israeli official as saying:

We’re the only democracy in the Middle East and so you ask why do the Royals go to the Arab dictatorships around us but they don’t come here?

British royalty, including Prince Charles have paid personal visits to Israel but never on an official basis since the re-establishment of the country.

Israel has recognized Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of the Duke of Edinburgh and who is buried in the Mount of Olives, as one of the Righteous Among Nations” for saving a Greek Jewish family from the Nazis. Prince Phillip visited her grave 19 years ago in what the royalty took pains to term a private visit.

Queen Elizabeth told the Israeli ambassador to London 18 years she would be happy to come to Israel, but no action followed the words.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace told the Telegraph, “All overseas visits by members of the Royal family are undertaken on the advice of the British Government.”

One source explained:

Until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Royal family can’t really go there.

That does not explain why the British monarchy never visited Israel between 1949 and 1967.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/prince-charles-visited-saudi-arabia-but-snubbed-invitation-to-israel/2015/12/06/

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