U.S. Warns Jordan's king: Arab Revolt is on your doorstep
Jordan's King Abdullah II was warned in Washington this week that he had better start introducing political reforms without delay because a revolt against his throne was knocking at his door from neighboring Syria, DEBKAfile's Washington sources report.
The king was handed intelligence updates at the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council, informing him that the threat to destabilize the kingdom did not emanate from a deliberate plot by the Assad regime or the Syrian opposition. It came from the potential spillover of the tumult rocking Syria and two sources in particular:.
One: Many Syrian opposition factions had tribal and familial connections in Jordan from which they have been drawing much of their funding and arms. The Jordanian branches of these tribes are asking themselves if an uprising can be organized against Bashar Assad in Syria, why not against the Jordanian king?
US officials warned Abdullah that the Jordanian groups helping their brethren rise up in Syria are getting organized for armed revolt against him too and have begun collecting arms and explosives.
Two: The Muslim Brotherhood is on the ascendant in the Arab world after partially hijacking the revolts in Syria and Egypt. The Brotherhood has worldwide Islamic religious and political pretensions. The Syrian chapter senses it is on the brink of success, thanks partly to assistance from the Jordanian branch. So, they say, why not help our Jordanian brothers just as they helped us?
And to conclude:
DEBKAfile's sources say that Washington officials who spoke with King Abdullah were worried by the slowness of his responses and actions: One senior American official remarked: "By the time King Abdullah moves, the Arab Revolt will be upon him in the cities, and it will be too late to institute political reforms."
This evolving situation is worth watching very closely.
Iran blames US, Israel for killing of scientist
A senior Iranian official on Sunday blamed the United States and Israel for the assassination of an Iranian scientist, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer with a physics doctorate, was shot dead by a motorcyclist in Tehran on Saturday. The student news agency ISNA quoted an unnamed police official as saying Rezaie was a nuclear scientist but Deputy Interior Minister Safarali Baratlou said this was not certain.
There has been no claim of responsibility for Rezaie's killing. Several nuclear scientists have been assassinated in Iran in the last few years. One scientist was killed and another wounded in Tehran in November.
Mainstream media admits 'Palestine' is not impoverished
Over the past few years evidence has been trickling out that perhaps the Palestinians are not really all that impoverished, and only continue to receive so much foreign aid in order to paint Israel as an oppressor.
The evidence has built to the point that the mainstream media - the vehicle through which Israel is so often criticized - can no longer ignore it.
In a blog post titled "Palestine - 'Occupation Incorporated,'" Sky News correspondent Tim Marshall reveals that the Palestinian-controlled territories are "awash with money."
Marshall writes of the "smart restaurants, sparkling new hotels, and the scale of building work" that regularly greets him when he visits Ramallah or Jericho
And we also see two excellent commentaries provided by American Thinker:
The Palestinians Are Bluffing
The Palestinian Authority has been agitating to become a U.N. member-state for two years. It appears they have secured the support of a majority of other member-states in the General Assembly to achieve U.N. recognition as a state. But they will not become members of the organization because the U.S. intends to veto their request in the UNSC
Personally, I'm not so confident that the U.S. will veto this request, and the U.S. vote would be huge - in either direction.
First of all, Abbas has made it perfectly clear that it isn't an independent sovereign state per se that interests the Palestinians. Instead, they intend to use their U.N. statehood status as an instrument to gore Israel internationally:
Palestine's admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.
Meanwhile, here's Pinhas Inbari's thesis:
What the Palestinians really envisage after September is to exploit a UN endorsement of statehood to legitimize an escalation of the conflict... After the Palestinians have the 1967 borders recognized so as to negate the results of the Six Day War, they intend to seek recognition of the 1947 partition lines.
This article is definitely worth reading. Below may be the most significant point - one that must always be remembered:
Benny Morris sums up all of the above, and then he continues:
Arafat and Abbas rejected the offered compromises because they do not want a two-state solution, they want all of Palestine.
Once the Palestinians get their West Bank-Gaza state, they will use it as a springboard for their second-stage assault, political and military, on Israel-and they will no doubt lodge claims "at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies, and the International Court of Justice" as part of that assault.
But the major basis of political and moral assault on Israel will be the Palestinian demand for a "Right of Return"-and its international acceptance and implementation-of the 1948 refugees, who now number, them and their descendants, 5-6 million souls.
Israel's War of the Words
Almost everyone agrees about Israel's military superiority over its adversaries. After all, it has won all the conventional wars, as well as the non-conventional ones -- Hamas's fantastic victory declarations in 2009, amidst the ruins of Gaza City, notwithstanding. But there is another war, an ongoing war, in which Israel suffers nothing but defeat after defeat. And in the long term this war might be even more important than the military wars, the economic wars, and the political wars.
That is the War of the Words.
This is another article that is really worth reading. I'll cut to the bottom line:
These points show Israel's willingness to make major concessions for peace with its neighbors.
They also show something else.
Had Israel been the aggressor in 1967 then its control of the West Bank and Gaza would indeed have been against international law. But as the victim of aggression its position is quite different, for according to the Charters of the League of Nations and subsequently of the United Nations -- which govern such situations -- the legal status of territories captured in self-defense can only be determined by peace treaties between the warring parties. When the Arabs uttered their three Nos, therefore, Israel would have been perfectly justified, legally, in annexing those territories.
So not only has there never been a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, but to date the Palestinians have rejected every proposed treaty which would create such a state.
In the absence of such a treaty, again, there quite literally is nothing to "occupy."