Saturday, October 17, 2015

The UN Fuels the Violence

From Algemeiner, 16 Oct 2015, by Eliezer Sherman:

[UN Watch] called on the top international funders of the U.N. Palestinian refugee relief agency to fire that agency’s employees who are “inciting murderous antisemitism” on social media platforms, amid the profusion of terrorist attacks against, and among, Israelis since the beginning of October.

...Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, released a statement, saying:
“The UN and top funders of UNRWA such as the United States government must act immediately to terminate employees who are inciting murderous anti-Semitism and fueling the deadly pandemic of Palestinian attacks against Israeli Jews that have claimed innocent men, women and children, aged 13 to 78.” 
Seven Israelis have been killed in these attacks since the outbreak of violence this month.

One Facebook page presented by the group showed that an UNRWA employee highlighted an image with the text: “Stab Zionist dogs.” The image showed a man in the Palestinian black and white kafiyyeh holding a knife in the colors of the Palestinian flag.

Another was a cartoon with the same type of figure playing a knife as a violin with an elongated key. “A masked Palestinian is shown playing music on a violin made of a giant knife — the kind used for stabbing,” the report said.

...UNRWA employs tens of thousands of people, from educators to teachers and medical professionals and it functions across the region, in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. The pages profiled by UN Watch listed jobs including UNRWA teachers, social workers and one project manager.
“UNRWA’s strategy of impunity, denial and deflection only enables more incitement and violence. It’s time to put an end to the pattern and practice of UNRWA school principals, teachers and staff members posting antisemitic and terror-inciting images, indicating a pathology of racism and violence within UNRWA that must be rooted out — and not buried, as UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has attempted to do by calling for boycotts of newspapers or NGOs that dare to report these incidents of hate...” ...
In addition to firing employees who incite to violence, UN Watch called for an investigation of “the culture of impunity for perpetrators of racism and incitement that pervades UNRWA.”

UN Watch, like the Israeli government, has accused many U.N. organizations of acting with a double standard for or even “obsessing” about Israel, often citing the fact that the U.N. Human Rights Council, in its nine years of history, has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world’s countries combined.

Follow this link to read the full UN Watch "Report on UNRWA Teachers  and Other Officials Inciting Violence & Antisemitism"

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Truth about the Psychotic "Palestinian" Arab Blood Lust

From the Wall Street Journal, 12 Oct 2015, by Bret Stephens:
Israeli security forces and emergency services next to the body of a Palestinian Arab who carried out a stabbing attack in the old city of Jerusalem on Oct. 3. 
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people.

As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.”

Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.”

As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline.

Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back.

Other Palestinian attacks include the stabbing of two elderly Israeli men and an assault with a vegetable peeler on a 14-year-old. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man ran over a 19-year-old female soldier at a bus stop, then got out of his car, stabbed her, and attacked two men and a 14-year-old girl. Several attacks have been carried out by women, including a failed suicide bombing.

Regarding the causes of this Palestinian blood fetish, Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void.

Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahu denies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site.

There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say.

As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month:
“Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”
 Then there is the goading of the Muslim clergy.
“Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews...”
one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute...
“...Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”
Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added:
“My brother in the West Bank: Stab!...”

[Follow the link to see the video]

Imagine if a white minister in, say, South Carolina preached this way about African-Americans, knife and all: Would the news media be supine in reporting it? Would we get “both sides” journalism of the kind that is pro forma when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, with lengthy pieces explaining—and implicitly justifying—the minister’s sundry grievances, his sense that his country has been stolen from him?

And would this be supplemented by the usual fake math of moral opprobrium, which is the stock-in-trade of reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In the Middle East version, a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability. (Perhaps Israeli paramedics should stop treating stabbing victims to help even the score.) In a U.S. version, should the higher incidence of black-on-white crime be cited to “balance” stories about white supremacists?
Didn’t think so.

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now.

The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Israeli Law Group to Sue Facebook for 'Promoting Terror'

From A7, 15/10/2015, by Moshe Cohen:

According to Israeli Law Center, Facebook is an accessory to terror by refusing to shut down incitement-filled pages.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Among the features of the latest wave of terror against Israel is the ongoing incitement by Arabs on social networks, centered on Facebook.
The social media site contains many pages that are authored by terrorists and their supporters, providing a support network for those who undertake attacks against Israel.
In addition, there are many pages that contain practical ideas and suggestions on how to carry out attacks, including the most effective methods of stabbing and how to prepare bombs from household materials. 
That makes Facebook an accessory to terror, according to the Israel Law Center (Shurat Hadin) organization, which is planning to sue Facebook for supporting terror in a US court, it announced Thursday.
The lawsuit will be a class-action suit, allowing families, friends, and other significant others of terror victims to make claims.
Among the evidence Shurat Hadin plans to present is a statement on the Facebook page of the terrorist who killed Aharaon Banita-Bennett and Rabbi Nechemia Lavie in Jerusalem last week.
The terrorist, 19-year old Mohanad Halaby, wrote on his Facebook page that he “wanted to be a martyr” and that “the third intifada has started.” Halaby received many “likes” and messages of support for his message, and the next day he committed his act of terror.
The lawsuit will demand that Facebook shut down all pages that encourage incitement and terrorism, and that it implement tougher standards to keep such content off its network.
The organization has asked anyone interested to send it examples of Facebook incitement so that it can be included in the lawsuit.
Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, chairperson of Shurat Hadin, said “this was an activity against terror that any Israeli could get involved in. Facebook has become a paradise for terrorists, where they can advertise their acts of terror, gain respect, friends, and support, and instructions on how best to kill Jews." 
"The company could easily stop this if it wanted to," she continued. "Facebook has said on occasion that it is willing to participate in the fight against terrorism, but these many pages advocating remain on the site. We must do everything possible to end this.”

Sermon Calls on Palestinian Arabs to Slaughter Jews

From MEMRI October 9, 2015 Clip No. 5098

Rafah Cleric Brandishes Knife in Friday Sermon, Calls upon Palestinians to Stab Jews


In an October 9 Friday sermon delivered at the Al-Abrar Mosque in Rafah, the Gaza Strip, Sheikh Muhammad Sallah "Abu Rajab" brandished a knife, calling upon his brothers in the West Bank: "Stab!" "Oh young men of the West Bank: Attack in threes and fours," he said, and "cut them into body parts."

Following are excerpts:

Muhammad Salah "Abu Rajab": Brothers, we must constantly remind the world, and everyone who has forgotten… The world must hear, via these cameras and via the Internet: This is Gaza! This is the place of trenches and guns! This is the West Bank! This is the place of bombs and daggers! This is Jerusalem… Jerusalem is the code word… This is Jerusalem… Much can be told about Jerusalem. This is where the soldiers of the Prophet Muhammad are. This is the grace of Allah. The soldiers of the Prophet Muhammad are here. Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews. We recall what He did to them in Khaybar.

...Today, we realize why the [Jews] build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles, but to prevent the slitting of their throats.

..."Abu Rajab" brandishes a dagger and makes stabbing motions

My brother in the West Bank: Stab! My brother is the West Bank: Stab the myths of the Talmud in their minds! My brother in the West Bank: Stab the myths about the temple in their hearts!

...Today, we have declared a curfew [in Israel]. Listen to what the Jews are saying to one another: Stay at home, or go outside to your death. They have no alternative. Oh men of the West Bank, the first phase of the operation requires stabbing in order to bring about a curfew.

...Now, we are imposing a curfew with daggers, and in the next phase, which is Allah willing, about to be realized… We shall not send you back to Russia, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, or Poland. We shall not send you back there. You have come here… The Islamic military court has ruled… This court, presided over by the Prophet's Companion Sad Ibn Mu'adh, has ruled… Sa'd Ibn Mu'adh has reappeared – in the West Bank. Sa'd Ibn Mu'adh is now in the streets of Jerusalem, Afula, Tel Aviv, and the Negev. The Islamic military court has made the divined ruling: You will get nothing in our land except for slaughtering or stabbing. Why? The world will say that we are terrorists, that we incite. Yes! "Oh Prophet, sufficient for you and for whoever follows you of the believers is Allah. Oh Prophet of Allah, incite the believers to fight." Why? Oh America, oh Crusader aggressors, oh Arab Zionists, oh Zionists from among the criminal Jews: Are we aggressors? You have come of your own volition to be slaughtered on our land.

..."When the promise of the Hereafter comes, We shall gather you from various nation." Allah has brought the Jews, His enemies and the enemies of humanity, who have destroyed our homes in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and everywhere.

...Oh people of Al-Abrar Mosque and the people of Rafah – from this mosque of yours, you have the honor of delivering these messages to the men of the West Bank:

Form stabbing quads. We don't want just a single stabber. Oh young men of the West Bank: Attack in threes and fours. Some should restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives.

...Do not fear what will be said about you. Oh men of the West Bank, next time, attack in a group of three, four, or five. Attack them in groups. Cut them into body parts....

Monday, October 12, 2015

Discard the Fiction of "Palestinian statehood"

From JPost, 8 Oct 2015, by Martin Sherman:
Al-Aksa [Mosque on the Temple Mount] is ours... they [the Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to
- Mahmoud Abbas, on official PA television, September 16, 2015

Palestinian flag
Onlookers take photographs as the Palestinian flag is being raised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) in a ceremony outside the United Nations during the 70th session of the U. N. General Assembly in New York, September 30, 2015. Even though Palestine is not a member of the United. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The 70th session of the UN General Assembly has come and gone. The problems it was supposed to address remain – undiminished....
...Even for die-hard adherents to political correctness it is becoming increasingly difficult to deny that crucial pillars of conventional wisdom are severely fractured and in imminent danger of disintegration.

The USA: a paper tiger
The first – and arguably most significant of these – is that the US is the only superpower in the world. For while it may possess the physical, economic and military resources to assume that role, it has, over the last half-decade, proven that it has nothing remotely approaching the political resolve to do so. Under the stewardship of Barack Obama it has shown itself time and time again to be a paper tiger, with a pronounced propensity for appeasing adversaries and alienating allies. Thus, humiliated by Iran, humbled in Ukraine, embarrassed in Syria, with its foreign policy unraveling across the globe from Kunduz, through Saana to Benghazi, the Obama administration has, whether by unintended debacle or intended design, shredded US stature across the globe, proving that friends cannot trust it and foes need not fear it.

The Fading Significance of "Palestinianism"

The next element (read “canard”) of conventional wisdom that has been definitively exposed as a fabrication is the centrality of the Palestinian issue for wider Mideast stability. An indication of emerging recognition of its irrelevance was the fact that, for the first time since taking office in 2009, President Obama failed to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his annual General Assembly address, an omission for which he was severely censured by a miffed PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat (Jerusalem Post, September 28 & 29).

Indeed, this sense of growing marginalization of the “Palestinian problem” appears to be increasingly apparent to the Palestinian-Arabs themselves. According to a poll conducted mid-September by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 80 percent of Palestinians polled stated that “the Arab world is too preoccupied with its own concerns, internal conflicts, and the conflict with Iran and that Palestine is no longer the Arab’s principal or primary issue or cause.”

What "peace partner"?
Another emerging irrelevancy, hitherto deemed by conventional wisdom as crucial to any successful political initiative, is Mahmoud Abbas.... True, it has often been pointed out by “heretical” dissenters from consensual conventional wisdom that Abbas, now in his 11th year of his four-year elected term as president, has neither the moral authority nor the political clout to enter into binding and durable agreements of any significance. But now irrefutable corroboration of this “inconvenient” prognosis is provided by the previously cited PSR survey, according to which almost 2/3 of the Palestinian public (65%) “want president Abbas to resign” while less than a third (31%) “want him to remain in office.” Significantly the figures do not differ greatly in Gaza, where 67% demand his resignation, and the “West Bank,” where the figure is 63%.

...For those who always understood how delusional and dangerous the notion of establishing a homophobic, misogynistic Muslim majority micro-mini tyranny was, this is no more than a welcome recognition of the inevitable.

... not only does the accumulating evidence show that Abbas is irrelevant as a peace partner, but his Judeophobic invective on the official Palestinian media makes him unacceptable as one. His undisguised enmity and unmasked abhorrence toward Jews, as Jews, clearly disqualify him as someone with whom fateful negotiations on the future of the Jewish state can be held.

One can only imagine the storm of outraged protest that would have erupted had, say, Netanyahu expressed anything remotely as derogatory of Arabs/Muslims as Abbas’s blatantly racist remark regarding the very presence of “dirty Jews” defiling Muslim sites. Indeed, one remembers the hullabaloo that followed Netanyahu’s call to his supporters to come to the polls to offset the monolithic vote against him by the Arab electorate – which related to their anti-Zionist political proclivities rather than any disparaging inference regarding their ethnic identity – see my “It’s Arab enmity – not Arab ethnicity,” March 26.

The “righteous” outcry then contrasts jarringly with the stony silence which Abbas’s scandalous rhetoric has elicited – not to mention the risibly transparent fabrications invoked by some (like Baskin) to explain it away, claiming that the allusion to Jews defiling with their filthy feet was actually referring to “the boots of the soldiers and police who entered the holy mosque without taking off their shoes, as required by Islam.”

Yeah, right.

With Abbas clearly no longer a viable interlocutor, Israel is left without the vaguest semblance of a peace partner.

Land ...for What??
...The Golan Heights provide a salutary lesson for anyone willing to heed it. Had the land-for-peace formula been implemented there, as many in Israel, including senior security experts, urged it to do, claiming that the Western- educated Bashar Assad was a reliable partner who could be trusted, the country would be in a dire – perhaps desperate – position indeed, with affiliates of al-Qaida and ISIS perched on the cliff tops overlooking the Kinneret and the city of Tiberias, and commanding much of the Galilee.

As the precedent of the Hamas take-over of Gaza, clearly shows, territory relinquished to one party does not guarantee that it would remain under his control for long.

More pointedly in the case of Gaza, territory was abandoned to none other than Abbas himself, who, without having to make a single concession, was given everything he could have demanded in negotiations: Full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, razing of settlements and removal of any vestige of Jewish existence, including Jewish graves.

Yet despite this, he was unable to hold onto any of it, being unceremoniously ousted within a matter of days by his brutal Islamist rivals.

Since it is virtually inconceivable that any Israeli government in any foreseeable configuration could offer Abbas more in Judea-Samaria, what possible reason is there to believe that, if he were given less that his full demands, he would be able to resist his rivals any more robustly? Clearly, apart from wishful thinking, obdurate disregard for facts and fanatical adherence to a failed concept, there are none.

Thus, just as if we had withdrawn from the Golan, the most brutal forces on the face of the planet would now be deployed on it, if Israel had given up the highlands of Judea-Samaria, there is no reason to believe similar forces would not be deployed there, overlooking the high-rises of Greater Tel Aviv, the runways of Ben-Gurion and all the vital infrastructure installations (military and civilian) in the Coastal Plain, where 80% of the civilian population reside and 80% of the nation’s commerce is conducted.

Maintain Control of Strategic Depth
It should be crystal clear to anyone genuinely concerned with the fate of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, and with the physical safety of the Jews who reside in it, that the only way to prevent radical Islamist extremists from seizing control of Judea-Samaria, as they have whenever Israel has evacuated land – in Gaza, south Lebanon and much of Sinai – is for Israel to maintain control over it.

This should also be clear to the allegedly “moderate” states in the region – the assorted array of nepotistic, despotic monarchies and military dictatorships – to which advocates of a “regional solution” now ascribe “shared interests” with Israel in confronting the radicals ascendant today. For surely the last thing such “moderates” would wish is to give their radical foes is a bastion from which to operate, destabilize regimes like Jordan and draw off resources Israel might have for helping them fight their “joint enemy” – which is precisely what a Palestinian state would do.

Accordingly, persisting with its declared willingness to establish a Palestinian state while being unable to make the perilous concessions such establishment calls for makes Israel look disingenuous and devious. It creates a situation in which a commitment to minimal security for the country, and minimal safety for its citizens, precludes genuine commitment to its declared policies on the Palestinian issue.

Over almost a quarter-century since Oslo, despite overwhelming international political endorsement and munificent international aid, the Palestinian-Arabs have shown themselves unable/unwilling to establish anything remotely resembling a stable, productive self-governing entity.

...the useless fiction of Palestinian statehood must be discarded and the detrimental charade of casting Abbas as an amenable partner, terminated.

...The next [imperative] would be to declare the Palestinian-Arabs what they themselves declare themselves to be – our enemy – and behave accordingly....

Europe's Obsession Fuels the violence

From Algemeiner, 6 Sept 2015, by Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar Ilan University and President of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute:

Much of the Middle East is burning, but official Europe remains fixated on Israel. In Brussels, Stockholm, the Hague, Copenhagen, and London, the mythologies of the 1970s remain unchallenged, perhaps because dealing with the real threats to Europe from the chaotic Middle East reality – ISIS, Syria, desperate refugees, Iran, etc. –  is overwhelming. So instead of focusing on critical issues, European Union officials are preparing to escalate their war on Israel through laws requiring the labeling of products produced in the non-existent “Palestinian Occupied Territories.”
This obsession is advanced by the activities of senior European officials, such as John Gatt-Rutter, who is finishing a four year term as the European Union’s Ambassador to the West Bank, Gaza, and UNRWA (the UN refugee agency that has perpetuated the Mideast conflict and anti-Israel hatred for more than 65 years). A veteran Arabist from Malta, Gatt-Rutter had previously headed the EU’s Mashraq/Maghreb (MaMa) policy group, and advised ex-EU foreign policy head Javier Solana on the Middle East Peace Process.
During his tenure, Gatt-Rutter reinforced the prevailing European mythologies while funds for anti-peace and anti-Israel NGOs continued to flow. His lengthy article published in the Palestine-Israel Journal (2015), optimistically entitled “The European Union’s Role in Facilitating a Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is a reflection of his policies, beliefs, and actions over the past four years.
This article, like his public statements and recent media interviews, repeats many standard catch-phrases – the obstacles to peace are again blamed on “the Israeli occupation” and “illegal settlements.” Not surprisingly, he fails to devote a single word to the chaos and violence throughout the Middle East – as if the brutality of ISIS, the Syrian civil war, Iran, and Hezbollah do not exist. His artificial map is restricted to the small area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
In this fictional world, Israel is all-powerful, and Palestinians are portrayed as victims incapable of taking responsibility. He patronizingly chides them for internal disputes and lack of unity, noting that they “would be well advised to restore their national and democratic project through holding elections.” But Gatt-Rutter skirts the abject failure of the EU’s efforts to promote democratic institution building in the West Bank, or the fact that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is in the tenth year of the four year term to which he was elected in 2005.
Furthermore, the departing EU ambassador to the Palestinians strikingly ignores the many brutal terror attacks that took place while he was in the Jerusalem office: not a word about the Har Nof Synagogue massacre or the murder of the Fogel family.
In contrast, and following the usual pattern, Gatt-Rutter devotes considerable attention to suffering in Gaza, and recounts the “destruction I saw driving through Shuja’iyya.” But he did not see or mention any hint of the thousands of Hamas “fighters,” terror tunnels, or the 4,563 rockets and mortar shells launched from Gaza houses, mosques, hospitals, and schools at Israeli civilians – every one a war crime.
Gatt-Rutter also makes no mention of the drum-beat of Palestinian incitement that legitimizes the violence, including videos of hate and ceremonies that honor terrorist “martyrs.” And although he has been the top European official responsible for overseeing the massive budget with which taxpayers subsidize UNRWA, including its notorious spokesman, Chris Gunness, this organization and its failures are absent from his overview.
Under Gatt-Rutter, the EU increasingly engaged in illegal building projects that created significant environmental damage. Avoiding any pretense of objectivity, he condemns Israel for the “demolitions of Palestinian property” that have, in his view, “poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed trust.” Responding to the Israeli efforts to enforce the law, he boasts that “the international community, with the European Union at the forefront has stepped in” to stop this illegal activity.
Similarly, he was a leading proponent of European promotion of boycotts and product labeling – the soft and socially acceptable part of the anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic BDS campaign, closely matching the activities of fringe NGOs. This policy has exacerbated Israeli-European tensions, adding to the distrust that many Israelis have of the EU.
In his parting shot, Gatt-Rutter launches his own threats against Israel. He calls for “taking further measures to strengthen respect for international law,” meaning expanded lawfare cases, which are largely funded by the EU through NGO allies. His call for expanded economic warfare (also promoted by NGOs) is expressed as “ensuring compliance with legislation covering preferential treatment in the area of trade; restrictions on the use of funding for the benefit of settlements; advice to businesses and investors working in settlements; and settlement product labeling.”
These measures, readers are told, “could make a meaningful contribution in favor of a peace agreement,” and help “to re-balance Israeli-Palestinian negotiating positions within the Middle East peace process.”
But Gatt-Rutter is wrong, as his four year record demonstrates. If the EU extends the confrontational measures he and others have advocated, there is no evidence to suggest that they will have a positive impact, but rather the opposite.
Indeed, the most important conclusion based on Gatt-Rutter term as the EU’s representative to the Palestinians is the need for a new approach. In appointing Gatt-Rutter’s successor, Frederica Mogherini – the EU’s current foreign policy czar – has an opportunity to move away from the myths, paternalism, and obsessive confrontations with Israel, and to launch a positive approach.

Obama: an impotent enemy and a dangerous friend.

From: The AustralianOctober 03, 2015, by: Greg Sheridan:

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin before a bilate

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin Source: AP

... Vladimir Putin comprehensively humiliated Barack Obama at the UN.
The contrast could not be starker. The US President spoke overtime, for more than 45 minutes, but did nothing. The Russian President spoke for 20 minutes and transformed the strategic environment in the Middle East.

Obama lectured Putin in public and in private, telling him not to intervene militarily in Syria.
Putin listened politely enough, then speedily launched bombing raids in Syria.

Putin said any Russian intervention in Syria would be directed against Islamic State forces. In fact, although Australian intelligence does not yet have this fully confirmed, it seems the strikes were mostly in locations where Islamic State is not a significant presence. They allegedly hit some rebel forces trained and approved by the Americans. US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said the Russian move was “throwing gasoline on the fire” in Syria.
Putin’s military move was accompanied by diplomatic gains. Russia, Iran, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and the government of Iraq, notionally allied to the US, have joined in an intelligence-sharing arrangement against Islamic State. The Baghdad government approved the use of Iraqi airspace by Russian planes and Russian personnel will be stationed at an intelligence facility in Baghdad.

The Russian moves transform strategic calculations in Syria and have left Washington completely flat-footed and almost irrelevant. The Russians now control the Syrian narrative. Nikolas Gvosdev in The National Interest draws an even more alarming contrast between the strategic credibility of Russia and the US in Syria: “While Russia is prepared to use deadly force to defend its interests and its clients, those who have accepted Western patronage will not enjoy such support”.

Obama has become that most grotesque of strategic players — an impotent enemy and a dangerous friend.

...Russia has no intention of trying to help Assad retake the territory he has conclusively lost. The Australian Defence Department prepared an analysis of Putin’s motives in his latest deployments. They involved three key purposes and overlapping scenarios.

One, Putin wants to maintain the rotation of his forces at Russia’s Tartus naval base.

Two, most critically, Putin wants to shore up Assad’s regime. This is much more important to Putin than combating Islamic State.

Three, Putin wants to maintain a Russian naval base in the Mediterranean. This complicates life for NATO, especially now that Putin has moved in highly sophisticated air defence capabilities, even though none of Syria’s rebel forces has an air force.

Putin has not moved a very big force into Syria but it is capable, and focused on air assets. Whereas the Western air campaign against Islamic State has been understandably so concerned to avoid civilian casualties that it has had limited military effectiveness, Putin can run devastating tactical air campaigns. They will be vastly more capable of providing close combat support to Assad’s troops in battle than Syria’s ageing and declining air force was.

Putin will be happy to attack Islamic State formations on behalf of Assad. But it is not that group which is most lethally attacking Assad’s core positions in western Syria and near the coast. He is being attacked there by other rebel groups. The fact that some of these forces received some help from the Americans adds to the confusion and danger. But here again is the catastrophic failure of Obama to have any effect at all in Syria.

It is difficult to work out who the US-trained forces are. As soon as they cross the border into Syria they seem either to disappear, get captured or defect to al-Qa’ida or one of the other militant groups. The original Obama idea of training rebel forces who would simultaneously fight both Assad and Islamic State turns out to have been strategic fantasy.

When the Americans engage in strategic fantasy they typically get people killed.

... The obvious political outcome is as much ceasefire as possible, with some sort of loose federal structure for Syria, with a separate Assad controlled area predominantly Alawite, de facto autonomy for the Kurds and a series of Sunni areas, perhaps under different leaderships with, hopefully, a broad anti-Islamic State alliance..

It’s a long shot, but it’s better than nothing. And for the last few years nothing has been all that Obama has offered.

Turkey is the next failed state in the Middle East

From Spengler
We do not know just who detonated the two bombs that killed 95 Kurdish and allied activists in Ankara Saturday, but the least likely conjecture is that President Erdogan’s government is guiltless in the matter.

As Turkish member of parliament, Lutfu Turkkan, tweeted after the bombing, the  attack “was either a failure by the intelligence service, or it was done by the intelligence service.”

Erdogan is cornered

Betrayed by both the United States and Russia, and faced with the emergence of a Kurdish state on its borders and the rise of Kurdish parties in the parliamentary opposition, Erdogan is cornered. 

At risk in the short-term is the ability of his AKP party to govern after the upcoming November elections. 

At risk in the medium term is the cohesion of the Turkish state itself.

...An existential crisis for Turkey has been in the making for years...During the past week, a perfect storm has overtaken Turkish policy, and threatens to provoke deep political instability. Turkey may become the region’s next failed state.

... Prior to the bombings, the worst terrorist incident in modern Turkish history, Erdogan suffered public humiliation by Washington as well as Moscow. As Laura Rozen reported Oct. 9 in Al-Monitor, Washington announced a 180-degree turn in its Syrian intervention, abandoning the Sunni opposition in favor of Syrian Kurds.

...Until last Friday, America and Turkey both supported the Sunni opposition to the Assad government with a view to eliminating Assad and installing a Sunni regime. That policy has been in shambles for months, but it allowed the Turks leeway to provide covert support to ISIS, the one Sunni force that shows effectiveness in the field. 

...Russian intervention exposed the fecklessness of America’s attempts to find a “moderate” Syrian opposition to back.

The Russians forced Washington to find something credible on the ground to support, and Washington turned to the Kurds, the only effective fighting force not linked to ISIS or al-Qaeda. That was precisely the result Turkey had wanted to avoid; the Kurdish military zone in northern Syria links up with Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Iraq, and the two zones form the core of a prospective Kurdish state.

Russia humiliated Turkey, meanwhile, by challenging Turkish fighters inside Turkish airspace, leaving NATO to protest loudly. Nonetheless the US and Germany have deactivated Patriot missile batteries–the only weapon system that represents a threat to Russian fighters–despite urgent Turkish requests to leave them in place. Russian fighters over Syria prevent the Turks from providing air cover for ISIS and other Islamist groups in Syria...M.K. Bhadrakumar observed in Asia Times Oct. 9, “Turkey’s scope for maneuvering vis-à-vis Russia is actually very limited and it has no option but to reach an understanding with Russia over Syria.”

Less obvious but no less ominous is the deterioration of Sino-Turkish relations due to Ankara’s covert support for the East Turkestan Independence Movement, a terrorist organization active among the Uyghurs of Western China. Despite official assurances, Turkey continues to provide safe passage to Turkey to thousands of Chinese Uyghurs via Southeast Asia, some of whom are fighting with ISIS in Syria. Thailand claims that Uyghur militants carried out the Aug. 17 bombing at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine after Thailand sent 109 Chinese Uyghurs back to China.

Erdogan has suffered not merely a collapse of his foreign policy, but a public humiliation by countries that backed his regime in the interests of regional stability–and this just before November’s parliamentary elections. After the Kurdish-backed HDP party took 13% of the national vote in last June’s elections and removed Erdogan’s majority in parliament, Erdogan called new elections rather than accept a coalition government. Erdogan also revived military operations against Turkish Kurds in order to elicit support from Turkish nationalists, a transparent maneuver widely reported in the major media.

As the New York Times reported Aug. 5, “Having already delayed the formation of a coalition government, analysts say, Mr. Erdogan is now buttressing his party’s chances of winning new elections by appealing to Turkish nationalists opposed to self-determination for the Kurdish minority. Parallel to the military operations against the Kurds has been an effort to undermine the political side of the Kurdish movement by associating it with the violence of the P.K.K., which has also seemed eager to return to fighting.”

Instead of responding to Erdogan’s provocation, the Kurds have shelved military operations in order to concentrate on winning votes in the November elections....

In short, Erdogan now contemplates American heavy weapons in the hands of Syrian Kurds; the end of Turkey’s ability to provide air support for Sunni rebels in Syria; a Russian campaign to roll up the Sunni opposition, including Turkey’s assets in the field; and a collapse of his parliamentary majority due to an expanding Kurdish vote at home.

Whether the AKP government itself ordered the Ankara bombing, or simply looked the other way while ISIS conducted the bombing, both Turkey and global opinion will assume that the ghastly events in Ankara on Saturday reflect the desperation of the Erdogan regime. Regimes that resort to this sort of atrocity do not last very long.

The best thing that Turkey could do under the circumstances would be to ask the United Nations to supervise a plebiscite to allow Kurdish-majority areas to secede if they so chose. The mountains of southeastern Turkey with the highest concentration of Kurds are a drain on the national budget and of no strategic importance. Neither Erdogan nor his nationalist opposition, though, will consider such action; that would undermine both Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanism as well as the old secular nationalism.

The pressures under the tectonic plates will only get worse. Saturday’s bombing may have demarcated the end of the Turkish state that arose out of the First World War.