Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In the news

Israel's plans to build on their sovereign land aren't going over very well in the "international community":

EU: Reverse Jerusalem building plan

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday joined the global condemnations of Israel's decision to build new housing units in West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.

"This plan contradicts the efforts by the international community to resume direct negotiations and the decision should be reversed," Ashton said in a statement. "Settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."

Actually, as has been pointed out so many times on this forum, quoting scholars much more knowledgeable than this author, her comments are simply not true. But when it comes to Israel, most people don't let facts get in the way. Additionally, it is always interesting to see the EU's position on Israel. There is more:

Part of the new building plans include a gradual construction of 650 housing units in the city of Ariel. Alongside that project, 190 housing units are being built for residents evacuated from the settlement of Netzarim in 2005.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern over the new construction plan during his meeting with Netanyahu in New York on Monday night.

The Palestinian Authority expressed its anger over the new building plans as well.

Erekat accused Netanyahu of "making it clear that his policy is building in the settlements, setting up the fence and deepening the occupation." He said that in light of the recent developments he expected the US to "make a clear announcement on which side is responsible for the talks' failure."

Of course, the UN also weighs in:

UN chief 'concerned' over Jerusalem building

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday voiced his concern over the Israeli plan to build dozens of new housing unit in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood in Jerusalem and about 1,000 additional units in Har Homa. He spoke during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York.

He also expressed his concern over "plans for further settlements and plans to build more Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem".

Netanyahu fires back:

Netanyahu presented the Israeli offer to withdraw from the northern village of Ghajar, located on the Israel-Lebanon border, saying that he planned to convene his cabinet upon his return to Jerusalem and approve the plan.

The prime minister also addressed the failure to implement Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1701 which was aimed at disarming the militias, including Hezbollah.

During the meeting, Netanyahu condemned United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's decision to refer to Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs as mosques.

"For close to 4,000 years, the Jewish people have had a special connection with the Cave of the Patriarchs. More than one billion people are familiar with this connection, which is documented in the book of books – the Bible.

Historic facts must not be distorted for political purposes. This will only harm the UN's status and the way it is seen by serious people across the world," the prime minister said.

One has to love seeing a world leader quoting the Bible. It is rarely seen during this age.

In other news:

Netanyahu: We tried and failed to stop Russian missile sale to Syria

Russian plans to go ahead with the delivery of P-800 anti-ship missiles to Syria is “problematic” for Israel, PM tells cabinet.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted on Sunday that despite intensive diplomacy, Israel had failed to dissuade Russia from selling advanced missiles to Syria.

Speaking at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu told ministers that Russian plans to go ahead with the delivery of P-800 anti-ship missiles to Syria was “problematic” for Israel.

“To our regret, the deal is now proceeding in stages and that is problematic for us,” Netanyahu said, adding that the Syrian missiles were part of the reason behind Israel’s recent decision to upgrade its air force with new American F-35 warplanes.
“We are dealing with a new arsenal of missiles and rockets and there has to be a military response to that,” he said.

The build-up to war in the Middle East continues by the day. Its just a matter of time now. It seems that the entire region is armed and ready for war.

With that in mind, we see yet another article pointing to the war preparations in the region:

North Korea may have sold nuke technology to Iran, Syria

A UN report suggesting that North Korea might have supplied Iran, Syria and Myanmar with banned nuclear technology could be published on the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee website on Tuesday prior to being reviewed by the Council, Reuters reported.

The Security Council will now be able to review the seventy-five page document and consider any action deemed necessary against North Korea as a result of its findings.

According to Reuters, the report states there is reason to believe North Korea is supplying the banned technology. The six-month delay in getting the potentially damning report to the council for a ruling, they say, is "emblematic of China's increasingly self-confident approach to international diplomacy as it seeks to protect states like North Korea to which it has close ties."

The panel reportedly felt cause for concern in North Korea's "continuing involvement in nuclear and ballistic missile related activities in certain countries including Iran, Syria and Myanmar."

Wars and rumors of war indeed.

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