2/20 update: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at this weekly Cabinet meeting: “Over the weekend, US President Barack Obama decided to veto a draft UN Security Council decision condemning Israel. Israel deeply appreciates this decision and we remain committed to advancing peace both with our neighbors in the region and with the Palestinians. I believe that the US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is direct negotiations and not through the actions of international bodies, which are designed to bypass direct negotiations. The most important thing in any negotiations that we conduct is the security component. The security component is critical to any peace agreement and I think that today, we can see what an unstable region we live in, a region in which Iran tries to exploit the situation that has been created in order to expand its influence by passing warships through the Suez Canal. Israel views this Iranian move with utmost gravity and this step, like other steps and developments, underscores what I have reiterated in recent years – Israel’s security needs will grow and the defense budget must grow accordingly.”
2/18 update: Hillary Clinton: Israeli Settlements ‘Illegitimate’; Secretary of State Calls Working Toward Mideast Peace Her ‘Highest Priority’
2/17 update: Mahmoud Abbas is trying to force a U.N. vote to condemn Israel for building “settlements” on territory the Palestinians claim is theirs but refuse to sign a peace treaty to get. The good news: the Obama administration is threatening to veto the resolution if it comes before the Security Council. The bad news: the U.S. is proposing to condemn Israel in a different manner to appease Abbas and the Islamic world.
>> Abbas rejects U.S. request to withdraw UN settlement resolution — Washington has made it clear that it will veto the resolution should it come to a vote, and has implored the Palestinian Authority and other Arab nations to withdraw the proposal, but to no avail.
“The U.S. informed Arab governments Tuesday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body ‘does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,’ a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal,” reports Foreign Policy magazine in a story posted on its website.
“But the Palestinians rejected the American offer following a meeting late Wednesday of Arab representatives and said it is planning to press for a vote on its resolution Friday, according officials familar with the issue. The decision to reject the American offer raised the prospects that the Obama adminstration may cast its first ever veto in the U.N. Security Council. Still, the U.S. offer signaled a renewed willingness to seek a way out of the current impasse, even if it requires breaking with its key ally and joining others in the council in sending a strong message to Israel to stop its construction of new settlements. The Palestinian delegation, along with the council’s Arab member Lebanon, have asked the council’s president this evening to schedule a meeting on Friday. But it remained unclear whether the Palestinian move today is simply a negotiating tactic aimed at extracting a better deal from the United States….”
Unbelievable. What a way to treat Israel, our only true democratic and stable ally in the Mideast.
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
- FYI: I taped an interview this morning on “The Twelfth Imam” that is scheduled to be air on the Glenn Beck show on the Fox News Channel tonight…may be used as “soundbites,” not a full interview…we’ll see….FYI: last Wednesday, Glenn invited me to NYC to tape a full one-hour interview to be aired last Friday…however, with the fall of Mubarak, events overtook the show and it was never aired….such is media during fast-moving events.
- Iran Says It’s Sending Two Warships to Canal, TV Says (despite previous report of cancellation)
- Heritage Foundation report: Refocus on Iran: More Sanctions Needed –“Iran’s hostile regime has been one of the chief beneficiaries of the political turmoil that has convulsed Egypt and Tunisia, which distracted the United States and other countries from the ongoing standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. The dramatic events diverted international attention from Tehran’s stubborn refusal to negotiate an acceptable resolution of the nuclear issue at the failed Istanbul talks last month.”
- Israel’s economy grows 7.8% in fourth qtr of 2010
- Inside The Revolution: How The Followers of Jihad, Jefferson and Jesus are Battling To Dominate The Middle East and Transform the World
- Sign up for Joel’s free email updates, “Flash Traffic”
- Join the “Epicenter Team” on Facebook
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