Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler
Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Monday, November 5.
1) The New York Times on the Middle East, again
In Palestinians at the U.N. again, the editors of the New York Times write:
It is not a move that will do anyone any good. It will not change
facts on the ground, and it will come at a cost. After last year’s
initiative, Israel withheld millions of dollars in tax transfers to the
Palestinian Authority; the United States halted funding for Unesco, and
Congress is withholding $495 million in assistance for the Palestinians,
the State Department says. Both countries are likely to react the same
way again, although there is a danger in bankrupting the Palestinian
Authority, which has begun to build the institutions of a state,
including a police force, that also contribute to Israel’s security.
What's wrong here? Just about everything.
Israel and the United States say unilateral moves like these by the
Palestinians violate the 1993 Oslo accords, which were intended to pave
the way to a “final status agreement” within five years. And it is clear
that a negotiated deal is the only way to ensure the creation of a
viable Palestinian state and guarantee Israel’s security.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has refused to make any
serious compromises, and the two-state solution seems to have a
diminishing chance of ever happening. Mr. Netanyahu’s recent decision to
jointly field a slate of candidates with the ultranationalist Yisrael
Beiteinu Party in parliamentary elections in January suggests his
approach could become even more hard-line.
Khaled Abu Toameh recently wrote West Bank: What the West is funding:
- If the only way to achieve peace is through negotiations, then why
is the attempt to get a statehood vote only wrong because of the Israeli
and American reactions to it?
- After 19 years, why is aid from the United States and Israel
necessary to make the Palestinian Authority viable? Where is the private
- Hamas has recently stepped up its terror offensive against southern
Israel. Even if the PA were acting in good faith, peace would not
possible because of Hamas's strength. (This is something that the New
York Times hasn't commented on.)
- Prime Minister Netanyahu did freeze settlements for ten months and Abbas refused to negotiate in good faith during that time.
- Yisrael Beiteinu, as opposed to Hamas (and possibly Fatah), believes in territorial compromise.
Harb, a Palestinian writer and political analyst, was summoned this
week for interrogation by the Palestinian security forces in Ramallah
and charged, on the basis of the Jordanian law, with "belittling the
dignity of the state."
Is this the nation that New York Times is promoting?
Harb was told that the director of Abbas's office had lodged a complaint
against him for libel and slander because of an article criticizing
Abbas's policy of promoting public employees.
Entitled "Presidential Decisions Are Made In A Coffee Shop," Harb's
article criticized Abbas's decision to promote more than 500 civil
servants over the past five years -- noting that many of them were unfit
to serve in their jobs.
2) The price of sanctions
In Iran: Sanctions Biting, Nuclear Program Progressing, Lt. Col. Michael Segall concludes:
In sum, as the Iranian leadership admits, the sanctions are affecting
Iran’s economy and presenting challenges of a kind unknown in the past.
At the moment the leadership is following a policy of concealment from
the public. Yet since the effects of the sanctions are evident, in the
West there are those who will exploit this fact to defer military action
against Iran in order to give the sanctions another chance to work.
Iran will continue to promote the different components of its nuclear
program and is prepared to pay the price of sanctions, believing it will
be able to contain any popular protests as it has done in the past and
to rely on the West’s eagerness to avoid any military action.
This is the reason that Netanyahu rebuked the Obama administration last
month. Secretary of State Clinton had just said that sanctions needed
more time. But causing hardship for the Iranian regime and deterring its
nuclear program are two separate issues.
Labels: Iran sanctions regime, Middle East Media Sampler, Palestinian state RIGHT NOW syndrome, Soccer Dad