Britain and France on Wednesday played right into the hands of Israel's enemies by threatening to recognize a Palestinian Arab state on ancient Jewish lands if Israel fails to advance the peace process with the Palestinian Authority in the coming months.
That's right, both Britain and France are now saying that the stagnation of the Middle East peace process is the fault of Israel, not the Palestinian Authority that for well over a year has refused to hold direct negotiations.
When US President Barack Obama tried to get Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiating table in September of last year, Israel agreed and the Palestinians refused. At the time, Obama and his counterparts in London and Paris slammed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as the obstacle to peace.
But it is a tried and tested Palestinian strategy to just keep hanging on, making demands Israel cannot possibly meet, until the international community shifts course and starts blaming Israel.
The Guardian reported that Cameron directly threatened to back a Palestinian bid to unilaterally secure sovereignty over Judea and Samaria this coming September at the UN General Assembly.
Sarkozy to seek recognition of Palestinian state if peace talks don't restart by September
France’s president says he will advocate a Palestinian state if peace talks with Israel don’t get restarted by September.
Nicholas Sarkzoy is quoted by the weekly magazine L’Express as saying that if talks between Israel and the Palestinians don’t resume over the summer, France will help promote international recognition of a Palestinian state.
Palestine has been recognized as an independent state by scores of nations, but not by the United States and most European countries. Palestinian diplomats have said they plan to ask the U.N. General Assembly for recognition in September.
Netanyahu, Obama to discuss Palestinian statehood
The White House announced Thursday that US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in Washington on May 20, several days before Netanyahu's scheduled speech in Congress.
The two will meet on a Friday, an unusual day for meetings with the president, which may suggest Obama made an effort to schedule the meeting on what appears to be a busy week. Netanyahu is scheduled to appear before Congress on Monday, May 23 and the following day, while the president is due to leave the States on May 22 for a visit in Europe.
President Obama is hoping that Netanyahu will be ready with possible gestures to the Palestinians and will discuss ways to reignite the peace talks.
US congressional report: Iran offering support to al-Qaida
Iran's Revolutionary Guard is offering support to al-Qaida and is increasing its links to the terrorist group, AFP quoted a US congressional panel as saying in a report released on Wednesday.
"Iran has quietly forged a strong working relationship with core al-Qaida leaders," said the report's author Michael S. Smith II of the strategic advisory firm Kronos. "This relationship has been established to counter American influence in the Middle East and South Asia," he added.
"Through it, Iran will likely also help al-Qaida mobilize terrorists to carry out attacks against the US and our allies, providing the support required to extend al-Qaida's operational reach," the report stated.
Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas unity a blow to peace process
The signing of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal in Cairo is a setback for peace – and an advancement for terrorism – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters in London on Wednesday.
“What happened today in Cairo is a tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism,” he said. “Three days ago, terrorism was dealt a resounding defeat with the elimination of Osama bin Laden. Today, in Cairo, it had a victory.”
In signing this deal, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had “embraced” an organization that had condemned the American operation against the al-Qaida leader and called him a “great martyr,” the prime minister said.
“When he embraces this organization, which is committed to Israel’s destruction and fires rockets on our cities, this is a tremendous setback for peace and a great advancement for terror,” Netanyahu said.
Large asteroid to pass close by Earth
Astronomers say they're readying their instruments to observe an aircraft carrier-sized asteroid that will come closer to Earth than our own moon does.
It will be a spectacular research opportunity, they say, but won't pose any threat to Earth, SPACE.com reported Tuesday.