A European Union boycott of financial dealings with Jews in the biblical West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem was fully coordinated with the Obama administration, a senior Palestinian negotiator told WND.“Without the U.S. support, the EU wouldn’t have taken such measures,” the negotiator said.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat will not depart for preliminary peace talks in Washington until his government receives assurances regarding Israel’s readiness to negotiate a deal based on the 1967 lines and a commitment to release prisoners who have been serving sentences handed down before the signing of the Oslo Accords, the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday.
Erekat, the veteran negotiator, is due to meet with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s envoy Yitzhak Molho early next week in the American capital to discuss the terms for renewing talks.
Israeli officials are also lowering expectations in the run-up to next week. Likud Beytenu MK Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio that it remains uncertain as to whether peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will indeed be renewed.
Liberman, the former foreign minister who currently chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said on Tuesday that the negotiating teams that are due in Washington early next week will seek to reach agreement on an agenda for the talks.
In the interview with Israel Radio, Liberman repeated his view that the preferred route for Israel would be to strive for a long-term interim agreement with the Palestinian Authority rather than a final-status deal.
The Knesset's Land of Israel caucus, a predominantly right-wing lobby of 35 MKs and public figures, threatened on Tuesday to halt support for the government during Knesset votes if there is a freeze on settlement construction.
With the slogan, "No building=No voting," the members are also split over opposition to to negotiations with the Palestinians in scheduled renewed talks led by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The caucus held an emergency summit over Kerry's announcement Friday of new negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a meeting attended by MKs and mayors from West Bank settlements. The mayors accused Netanyahu of merely paying "lip-service" to building new settlement units.
Caucus chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) told the meeting on Tuesday that the decision to release Palestinian prisoners was incompatible with the Israeli demand for negotiations without preconditions.
He said that there was no reason for the world to think that the release of murderers advances peace, while building kindergartens harms it.
He said that the caucus was not against negotiations in principle, but that the process had to have set goals, namely, keeping all of the land of Israel and its settlements under Israeli sovereignty while maintaining security.
"Rebel" Likud MK Moshe Feiglin stood entirely opposed to any form of peace talks with the Palestinians, saying that the Knesset boycott should have been introduced a long time ago.
“Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount as the heart of Jerusalem and the nation is more important to me than any job,” Feiglin was quoted as saying in May, after he wasremoved from the Knesset Education Committee.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to rush through the Knesset a new law that would make any peace deal with the Palestinians contingent on the Israeli public’s approval in a national referendum, Jerusalem sources said Sunday.
According to sources in the Prime Minister’s Office who spoke to Hebrew Daily Israel Hayom, the move aims to advance the diplomatic process, and shows how serious Netanyahu is about resuming talks.
Netanyahu addressed the referendum in Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, characterizing the resumption of talks, which have been on hold since 2010, as a strategic interest.
Realpolitik notwithstanding, Israel, by its daring raid, has sent a clear message to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas, that it will not sit idly by while its interests are threatened. The four known raids that Israel has carried out this year against Syria as well as the 2007 strike near Deir el-Zorand multiple strikes executed against Sudan, the latest of which occurred in October 2012, should serve as an ominous warning to Iran that its WMD facilities are potentially on Israel’s “to do” list.
The pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroitis just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core. Right now, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are hitting the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen every single day until the year 2030. As a society, we have made trillions of dollars of financial promises to these Baby Boomers, and there is no way that we are going to be able to keep those promises. The money simply is not there. Yes, I suppose that we could eventually see a "super devaluation" of the U.S. dollar and keep our promises to the Baby Boomers using currency that is not worth much more than Monopoly money, but as it stands right now we simply do not have the resources to do what we said that we were going to do. The number of senior citizens in the United States is projected to more than double by the middle of the century, and it would have been nearly impossible to support them all even if we weren't in the midst of a long-term economic decline. Tens of millions of Americans that are eagerly looking forward to retirement are going to be in for a very rude awakening in the years ahead. There is going to be a lot of heartache and a lot of broken promises.
What is going on in Detroit right now is a perfect example of what will soon be happening all over the nation. Many city workers stuck with their jobs for decades because of the promise of a nice pension at the end of the rainbow. But now those promises are going up in smoke. There has even been talk that retirees will only end up getting about 10 cents for every dollar that they were promised.
On top of everything else, the federal government has been recklessly irresponsible as far as planning for the retirement of the Baby Boomers is concerned.
As I noted yesterday, the U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.
At this point, the number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.
The number of Americans collecting Social Security benefits is projected to grow from about 56 million today to 91 million in 2035.
How is a society with a steadily declining economy going to care for them all adequately?
Yes, we truly are careening toward disaster.
If you are not convinced yet, here are some more numbers. The following stats are from one of my previous articles entitled "Do You Want To Scare A Baby Boomer?"...
You can view the rest of the statistics right here.
Sadly, most Americans are not aware of these things.
The mainstream media keeps most of the population entertained with distractions. This week it is the birth of the royal baby, and next week it will be something else.
Meanwhile, our problems just continue to get worse and worse.
There is no way in the world that we are going to be able to keep all of the financial promises that we have made to the Baby Boomers. A lot of them are going to end up bitterly disappointed.
All of this could have been avoided if we would have planned ahead as a society.
But that did not happen, and now we are all going to pay the price for it.
Just days after it concluded the biggest military exercise since the cold war, Russia has ordered its missile forces to conduct a snap drill in order to ascertain the readiness of putting intercontinental ballistic missiles on “high-alert” within a short time frame.
“The headquarters and two missile divisions of the Orenburg Missile Army in Russia’s Urals region have been put on high-alert as part of snap combat readiness drills,” reports RIA Novosti.
The drills, which will run until Saturday, involve the redeployment of missile units which include those armed with nuclear-capable Topol (SS-25 Sickle) intercontinental ballistic missiles and RS-20V Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) ballistic missile systems.
“The goal of this snap check is to assess the ability of missile units to go on high-alert in required time and to evaluate their readiness to perform the designated tasks,” said Col. Igor Yegorov, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
The missile drills follow in the footsteps of a similar “snap order” given by Vladimir Putin which tasked the Russian military to achieve full “combat readiness” as quickly as possible. Last week’s exercise involved 130 combat aircraft, 70 ships, 5,000 tanks, 160,000 troops and 320 tons of equipment, making it the biggest such drill since the Soviet era.
According to Konstantin Sivkov, a retired officer of the Russian military’s General Staff, last week’s exercise “was intended to simulate a response to a hypothetical attack by Japanese and US forces,” although the drill received little attention from the US media.