A new World: United States and Israel irrelevant at the UN

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 30, 2012

We are entering into a new world order and amazingly the US and Israel are becoming more irrelevant. The latest example is the voting that took place yesterday at the United Nations where the General Assembly approved the inclusion of Palestine as an observer member. Despite the strong opposition from the United States and Israel, a large majority of member nations supported the Palestinian Authority’s request to be accepted as an Observer State member.

The Palestinian president said at the UN that the recent vote is a “birth certificate to the reality of the state of Palestine ” Now, Palestine enjoys the same status of the Vatican.

The vote showed that the world is in favor of the recognition of Palestine as an independent state. A total of 138 countries, including Spain, voted in favor, for only 9 against, with the U.S. and Israel at the head of the opposition. Meanwhile 41 other member states abstained.

Hours earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke out against the vote. He described the initiative as an error from Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority. “Nothing can replace direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine.” Obama forgot to say that direct talks were already held and Israel rejected every single option on the table that would allow the existence of two sovereign states that could live side by side in peace.

Obama and his team have worked hard diplomatically during these last days to try to convince the Palestinians to back off. Obama himself, shortly after his re-election on November 6, called on Abbas to reconsider the situation. He asked for a margin of time to promote a new round of negotiations, since the previous one has been frozen for two years.

Abbas rejected the proposal and went ahead with his project. “We are here because we believe in peace,” he said from the podium of the General Assembly. “In the last days (referring to the conflict in Gaza last week) we’ve seen the desperate need for peace. We did not come to add more complications, but we seek to bring this new life into the negotiations,” he said.

But the Israeli ambassador, Ron Prosor, said that it is the Palestinians that interfere with conversations. “They prefer to come to New York than to travel to Jerusalem,” he said. “There is no UN resolution that can break the bonds of the Israeli people to the land of Israel.”

At the conclusion of the vote, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, described the resolution as unfortunate and counterproductive, “that is why we voted against.” And she insisted on Obama’s call to direct negotiation. “Do not fall into further provocations,” she said. Despite Rice’s  descriptions, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said that the resolution of the Assembly was very useful. “This is a call for negotiations,” he said. “I think the Palestinians have the right to live in their independent state. I think the Israelis have the right to live in peace and security with its neighbors. ”

For its part, the Spanish delegation said that “if there had been progress in the negotiations, the outcome of this vote would have been different.”

“Palestine comes today to the General Assembly because it believes in peace for its people, which as proven in recent days, it is desperately needed,” Abbas said in his speech before the voting in favor of the proposed resolution was carried out.

“Your support for our efforts today will give you a reason to hope for a nation besieged by a racist and colonialist occupation,” he added. The president said that the Palestinian people will not accept anything less than “an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the territory occupied in 1967 to live in peace and security with Israel.”

In the meantime, the Israeli ambassador to the UN said that the vote “will not advance peace and will not change the situation on the ground because the Palestinian Authority does not control Gaza, 40 percent of the territory you want to control, and which is now in the hands of Hamas, a group listed in terrorist organizations,” the ambassador added. He forgot to mention, however, that it was Israel itself the one that strongly contributed to the creation of Hamas, just as the United States did with al-Qaeda in the 1970’s.

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U.N. will vote for Palestinian, Israeli States based on 1967 Borders

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 29, 2012

The resolution that, in all likelihood, will be approved Thursday by the United Nations General Assembly, includes a recognition of the right of Palestinians to a state on the 1967 borders. According to the draft that was circulated in the hours before the vote, it would be the same territory that was suggested in previous peace negotiations with Israel that found no support from the Jewish representatives. This time however, the nation led by Benjamin Netanyahu may not have many options to pick from. Despite the fact the country is in a delicate diplomatic situation while its people await the next election, its government seems less receptive than ever to talk.

The UN vote will certainly be a moral victory for the Palestinian Authority. His representative in this international organization, Riyad Mansour, has predicted that the resolution to be introduced Thursday and that is sponsored by about 60 countries, will get overwhelming support. “I think most of the nations vote with us because there is an international consensus on the two-state solution,” said.

The Palestinians believe that they have at least 150 votes of the 193 member countries of the General Assembly, which would raise immediately the level of its representation of observant entity to “non-member State observer”, the same status awarded to the Vatican. “Without prejudice”, as stated in the draft resolution, “acquired rights, privileges and role of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the representative of the Palestinian people.”

Unlike the Security Council no one has the right to veto in the General Assembly, so that whatever is decided, will be adopted immediately. The resolution also “reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967” and expressed “the urgent need to revive and accelerate the peace process in the Middle East” in order to “reach a lasting peace agreement, fair and balanced between Palestinians and Israelis to resolve major issues such as Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security and water.”

In addition, a strengthening of the Palestinian position should also serve to foster the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, weakened in recent months by the resurgence of radical competitor, Hamas. The problem is to know how far this success, with all the resonance that will have today, can make a difference starting tomorrow. The United States, the indispensable partner of any negotiation process, has shown its opposition to the recognition of Palestine as an Observer State.

Obama will certainly not remain quiet as Israeli – Palestinian relations deteriorate after the resolution is approved — if it’s approved — The same situation will take place within the U.S., where Congress seems to be ready to freeze financial aid to the Palestinians.

From the perspective of the U.S. administration, this vote is an exercise in exhibitionism where Palestinians indulge to demonstrate the wide international support available to them, whilst the Europeans are satisfied with their open support for Palestine. Last week, the European Parliament publicly expressed its support for a State of Palestine, with Spain and France being the most outspoken nations in favor of a two-state solution. Only Germany has shown its opposition to the negotiation that includes the conditions as they were in 1967.

The absolute best thing that can come out of this day is a new sense of urgency to help expedite Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the only way in which the Palestinians may have a state. Nothing indicates, for now, that such negotiation will happen, but today’s vote, if it favors the Palestinian cause, will be the starting point to draw the conditions for a territorial framework during future negotiations. In a sense, the vote will help clarify the most difficult points that previous meetings haven’t been able to clear up. For the first time since its creation, the U.N. may actually do something that favors, at least at first, the peace process in the Middle East, after pretty much originating and promoting the conflict that has existed in modern times. A good question to ask, though is, Chi Bono? Who benefits?

It is likely that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will use the vote for a Palestinian State based on the conditions of 1967 as a tool to cheat his people. Most likely he will use it as an example of Arab radicalism and will try to turn it into a threat for the Israeli people. The fact that there is a vacuum in world leadership at this moment, could cause two different outcomes. First, the vote in the U.N. could become more relevant than expected, and for the first time a significant group of nations may exercise their will to end a conflict that is thousands of years old. The Israeli leadership may decide to isolate itself from any negotiations despite the growing support for a two-state solution. Second, there may be hope to resolve the conflict if Israel is shaken up by the upcoming elections, if the people of Israel send a clear message to Benjamin Netanyahu, if they make it clear that everyone is sick and tired of having to run underground whenever terrorist leaders on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides decide to bomb each other just to show their muscle.

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No Truce in the Middle East: Israel launches 100 different attacks on Gaza

Did Hamas respond by bombing a bus in Tel Aviv?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 21, 2012

The Israeli army announced earlier Wednesday it has launched more than one hundred attacks on the Gaza Strip overnight, hitting a total of one hundred points of terrorist activity, of which approximately 50, the army said, were underground rocket launchers.

The Armed Forces spokesman pointed out that a senior member of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in charge of the air offensive operations was hit in one of the attacks. The same happened to other alleged terrorist operatives, but he did not clarify if they are dead, injured or have walked away.

The objectives included the Department of Homeland Security in Gaza, considered as the main control center for Hamas, several tunnels allegedly used to smuggle, communication centers, a police station, three arsenals and a place used for the manufacture of armaments. These outcomes were confirmed by the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian news agency Maan reported on the impact of Israeli missiles in various parts of the Strip and indicated that some of them have reached civilian homes and government buildings.

Among the buildings affected are several international media houses as well as Palestinian ones, including the French news agency AFP, the U.S. agency AP
and the Qatari television network Al Jazeera. During the same attacks, Israeli bombs injured an Iranian correspondent for Press TV identified as Akram al Sattari.

According to the report provided by Maan, at least 137 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have died since the Israeli offensive began, while
the number of injured amounted rose to 1,050. On the Israeli side, five people were killed, four civilians and military, due to the impact of projectiles against Israeli territory.

In addition, about a hundred people have been treated in their homes by emergency services, mostly for anxiety attacks.

Did Hamas respond by Bombing a Bus?

According to international media, a bus exploded Wednesday morning in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv because of a “terrorist attack”, reported Israeli police. The report was later corroborated by a government spokesman, but it has not been confirmed by other sources as a de facto terrorist attack.

It is unknown how many people were inside bus at the time of the explosion but medical emergency services that moved to the area reported that there have been 10 people injured, three of them seriously.

Israel Radio said the attack was committed by a suicide bomber, perhaps someone put a bomb and fled the vehicle, but no confirmation of this has been issued yet. “A bomb exploded on a bus in the center of Tel Aviv. It was a terrorist attack. Most of the injured suffered only minor injuries,” said Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gendelman gave no proof of his statement, though.

Several ambulances headed to King Saul Boulevard, while the area was encircled police.

Television showed pictures of a bus full of smoke and with broken windows. The attack came on the eighth day of an offensive against the Gaza Strip, which the Israeli regime launched in a supposed attempt to prevent rocket attacks from Hamas.

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Israeli bombings over Gaza kill 22 Palestinians

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 16, 2012

The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli operation Defensive Pillar rose to 22 last night. Eleven of the victims were civilians, which included an eight year old boy.

The last three fatalities occurred in an air raid in the town of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, said Ashraf Al Qedra, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Government of Hamas in Gaza.

The number of people wounded as a result of the attacks surpassed 150. The latest bombing on Beit Hanoun added six more people to the list. Previous air attacks over the Gaza Strip left more innocent victims dead.

Hours before, another Israeli attack had killed three Palestinian civilians, including an eleven year old girl and an eighteen-month-old child who died in the hospital as a result of the wounds he had after a bombing in the southern city of Khan Younis.

Rescue teams also found the body of a 52 year old man who was buried under the rubble of a building previously bombed by Israeli warplanes in the area of ​​Al-Amudi, in northern Gaza.

Five other Palestinians were killed: three militants in an Israeli attack on the town of Khan Yunis and two civilians in the town of Jabalia, in the north.

In Israel, three civilians (two females and one male) died due to the explosion of a rocket sent from Gaza, which landed near their home in Kiryat Malachi. The city is located 30 kilometers from Tel Aviv, whose suburbs have been attacked in 270 different times.

A total of 55 Israeli civilians and soldiers were wounded by shells, “two of them seriously, and three of whose prognosis is not very good,” reported Channel 1.

The new wave of violence began after Israel murdered the leader of an armed wing of Hamas during a cirurgically conducted aerial attack. The leader known as Ahmad Jabari, was the first victim of Israel’s  Operation Defensive Pillar. The Israeli leadership threatened other Hamas leaders afterwards and confirmed it is crafting plans to carry out a full ground invasion and attack over the Gaza Strip.

Since then, the Israeli Air Force attacked 300 targets in Gaza, the military said in a statement. Israel aggressive moves and speech prompted the Egyptian president to condemned the attacks and warn Israel about future aggression over the Palestinians. Mohamed Morsi said that Egypt stands next to Palestine and against any and all aggression coming from Israel. Morsi was elected president of Egypt after the demise of Hosni Mubarak.

The Egyptian Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, who visited Gaza hours ago, also threw his support behind the Gazan militants saying that the Arab World saying they stand behind Palestine. “This tragedy cannot pass in silence and the world should take responsibility in stopping this aggression,” Qandil said. Israel halted its attacks over Gaza for the time the Prime Minister remained in the Strip, but the attacks continued immediately after the Egyptian delegation left the territory..

Aerial military attacks from Israel have intensified after a rocket launched from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv. Israel conducted over 70 bombings in just an hour against supposed rocket launcher sights in Gaza.

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Israel’s terrorist speech results in vocal and physical aggression

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 15, 2012

Israel’s intention to decapitate the government of Palestine should the United Nations accept the Palestinians as an observer member rendered consequences even before the announcement was made. While the Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel threatened Palestine with attacking his political leaders, terrorist organizations in the region began to launch bombs across the south border between Gaza and Israel.

But the reaction from Israel’s foes did not stop there. Egypt requested immediately that Israel toned down its speech of aggression and decided to pull its ambassador from the Jewish capital. Additionally, the Palestinian government has now asked the United Nations’ Security Council to stop Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

On Wednesday night, U.N. observer Riyad Mansour confirmed that Israel had publicly threatened Palestinian leaders and that the Israeli government was boasting about killing Palestinians after blowing up Hamas mastermind Ahmed Jabari.

Mansour said that “war crimes are being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people.” The U.N. observer than said that “the international community must act to bring an end to Israel’s illegal policies and practices against the Palestinian people”.

From Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, an ally of the United States in Libya and other countries in the region, said that it “will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past.” In a statement, the now turned political party said that “swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres committed by Israel must take into account the changes in the Arab region and especially Egypt.”

The Muslim Brotherhood, known historical for its own movement of social and military aggression against anyone who disagreed with its precepts, founded the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt, and now, it is a strong player in Middle Eastern politics. In mid 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood arrived to power in Egypt after winning the general election, which brought to power party leader Mohamed Morsi, the new  president-elect.

The statement issued by the Freedom and Justice Party included a warning emphasing that all options are now on the table to resolve the latest round of Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza, and the consequent response of Hamas, a terrorist organization that is charged with launching attacks from across the border in the south of the Strip.

It seems that Israel’s speech of aggression against Palestine and its elected government has caused a flare of unrest around the Jewish enclave in the region. No Arab nations seems to agree with letting Israel kill Arabs under any circumstance, especially after the country’s leaders have been adamant about their intention to kill Arab leaders. With Israel now announcing that their fight across the Gaza border may turn into a full ground attack against Hamas and the Palestinian people, the conditions are established for this confrontation to developed into a full blown war.

With Mohamed Morsi’s political party announcing that it will not let Israel oppress Palestinians or any other Arab population, it is expected that the 1979 peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel will come to an end, and with that, war will be given a green light.

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