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M i d e a s t Newsstand

Month: March, 2015

Does Israel Really Have a Thermonuclear Weapon? – Foreign Policy

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Does Israel Really Have a Thermonuclear Weapon?

We all know Israel has the bomb, but does it have the hydrogen bomb?

The idea that Israel’s nuclear arsenal might comprise thermonuclear weapons has long been a subject of discussion. It popped back in the popular conscience a few weeks ago when Grant Smith — who runs an organization called the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy that has some views about Israel that I find pretty awful — released a redacted version of a 1987 report published by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). Smith had sued to get the document, then posted it online claiming it was “confirmation of Israel’s advanced nuclear weapons” — with “advanced” meaning thermonuclear weapons.
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Arab Teens Punk Israeli Police – YouTube

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Heh heh  – thoroughly enjoyed that!!

▶ Arabs Joke with Israel Police / Арабы прикалываются над полицией)) – YouTube.

State Dept. provides over $1m for activism in Israel – San Diego Jewish World

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The controversial New Israel Fund and its social change and political lobbying organization known as SHATIL, have received more than $1 million from the State Department under a program designed to create political change, reform, and activism in the Middle East. The government program, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), has extended more than $600 million in grants to political and social activists and reformers in 18 Middle East countries, mainly with unstable or challenged political environments in need of democratic improvement. “MEPI supports organizations and individuals in their efforts to promote political, economic, and social reform in the Middle East and North Africa,” according to the agency’s official self-description.
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Land Day: Israel Now Controls More Than 85% of Historic Palestine – International Middle East Media Center

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Dozens of Palestinian citizens, this morning, were injured in Israeli attacks on a demonstration commemorating the 39th Land day, in Huwwarah town, south Nablus.

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Activist against the wall and settlements, Abdullah Abu Rahma told the PNN that dozens of citizens, including Palestinian Legislative Council member Walid Assaf, suffered teargas inhalation, in addition to being pepper sprayed.
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The Iran Nuke Deal Will Be Concluded Within 24 Hours. In Israel, Gas Masks And Zanix Deliveries Are On Standby

by Taxi

Waaah?!  You think I’m kidding?!

Israel’s Drive toward Self-Destruction – Dennis Ross and David Makovsky and Ghaith Al-Omari – POLITICO Magazine

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In the old game of chicken, two cars race toward each other and at the last second one veers away to avoid a collision. Today, the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a new game of chicken but as they accelerate toward each other, they have missed the reality that there is a gorge between them and they are each in danger of driving off the cliff. If there is a task for American diplomacy now, it is to try to get each off their self-destructive path.
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Experts caution reality check on joint Arab force – AFP

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Cairo (AFP) – Despite an agreement at a weekend Arab summit to establish a joint military force, serious doubts remain that it will become a reality on the ground, experts say.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the accord on Sunday at the end of the summit he hosted in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, setting a four-month timeframe for the 22-member Arab League to decide on the composition and rules of engagement of the joint force.
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ISIS Declares War on Mohammad’s Covenant – Huffington Post

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Back when ISIS was still expanding into the multi-ethnic and religiously diverse northern Iraq, not just Yazidis but also the country’s 1 million Christians were some of their main targets. They were asked to either convert or leave, otherwise they would be killed. All along, churches were being bombed or burnt to the ground.

Most of the Christians that used to inhabit those areas of the Levant where ISIS now rules have been displaced, in an act of religious/ethnic cleansing more thorough than any that Saddam had ever achieved. And ISIS is still working through the backlog of churches to be destroyed. Only recently they destroyed one that was described as equivalent to Canterbury Cathedral.
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Anti-Semitic incidents rise in Florida, across nation – Miami Herald

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Last summer, South Florida saw a spate of anti-Semitic incidents involving synagogues and cars spray-painted with swastikas, “Hamas” and hateful symbols, as well as protestors holding offensive signs at anti-Israel rallies.

The region was not alone. Operation Protective Edge — a military operation Israel launched in the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014 — fueled anti-Semitic activities across the country.
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Tomorrow Palestine Joins The ICC – YAAAAAAAY!!!! Bravo Palestine!

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Hellllllow Vietnam! Thank You For Visiting Plato’s!

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Saudi Arabia, Egypt show discord over Syria – AP

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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt and Saudi Arabia are cooperating militarily to thwart a power grab in Yemen by Shiite rebels, but the agreement on how to deal with the region’s complex and intertwined conflicts may stop there. The two countries’ diverging interests were evident at the Arab summit over the weekend, particularly over the crises in Syria and Libya.
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3 Saudi Weapons of War Yemen’s Houthis Should Fear – The National Interest

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Led by Saudi Arabia, a coalition of Arab states began an intervention in Yemen’s complex civil war. The speed, scope and decisiveness of Saudi Arabia’s action continue to outstand the world, including the United States, which only had a “brief warning that Saudi airpower was about to be unleashed.” The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who follow the Zaidi school of Shia Islam, the target of Saudi Arabia’s intervention, have strong reason to fear Saudi Arabia, a country with the logistical capability to assemble a large battlefield coalition and a fearsome arsenal. Saudi Arabia has currently massed over 150,000 troops on its border with Yemen, giving rise to fears of a massive conflagration in the Middle East soon. Here are three Saudi weapons of war that should make the Houthis quake in fear.
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The Congressional Black Caucus Could Derail Netanyahu’s Plans – Black America Web

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Everyone is familiar with the disaster that was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress earlier this month—which, coordinated with the Republican leadership and executed behind President Barack Obama’s back, strained relations between the United States and Israel.
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Hacker Group Anonymous Threatens Israel With ‘Electronic Holocaust’

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Cyber activist group Anonymous has released an internet video which threatens Israel with an “electronic Holocaust” on April 7, in a massive cyber attack planned to fall just over a week before Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 16, known in Israel as Yom HaShoah.

The video shows a masked figure in a suit and tie delivering a prepared statement, warning that the group will eradicate Israel from cyberspace “for…crimes in the Palestinian territories”.
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Warships shell Houthis outside Yemeni city of Aden – Reuters

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ADEN (Reuters) – Warships shelled a column of Houthi fighters and troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as they tried to advance on the southern port city of Aden on Monday, residents said, the first known report of naval forces taking part in the conflict.

They said the vessels were believed to be Egyptian warships that sailed last week through the Suez Canal towards the Gulf of Aden. Egypt is a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been targeting Houthi positions to stem their advance on Aden, a last foothold of fighters loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

No comment was immediately available from Egyptian officials.

via Warships shell Houthis outside Yemeni city of Aden – witnesses – Yahoo News.

Boehner, Israel and Race – Juan Williams/The Hill

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Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) trip to Israel this week is so blatantly political that even the avowedly impartial Associated Press describes it as looking “like a jab at the White House.”

It is worse than that. President Obama can jab back in any political fight.

The real issue here is the way Boehner is recklessly sowing division along party lines on Israel. He is also — intentionally or not — heightening the silent but simmering racial tensions that increasingly divide Americans on the subject.

The racial division is the most troubling of all to me, as a black American.
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 60 Minutes – CBS News

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Watch yesterday’s interview here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/syria-president-bashar-al-assad-60-minutes-charlie-rose/

Plus, here’s a full interview with Bashar from a couple of years ago regarding chemical weapons in Syria etc.  Notice how the fucker Charlie Rose tries again and again to trip up Bashar:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/exclusive-charlie-rose-interviews-syrias-president-bashar-assad-full-interview/

Spook, Terrorist or Criminal? America’s Mysterious Files on Netanyahu – WRMEA

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Image result for israeli american dual citizenship

Congress received him with great fanfare. President Clinton, who during the recent election campaign had backed his rival, Shimon Peres, appears to have had a change of heart. Yet who is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and why did the political elite in the U.S. accept him with such warmth? A few important facts about Netanyahu and his objectives—which the U.S. media have obstinately neglected to report help to clarify the enigma.
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White House to Benjamin Netanyahu: Your move – POLITICO

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A dozen Jewish House Democrats laid it out for deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes during a meeting in the Longworth House Office Building last week: Enough. They’re just as upset about what Benjamin Netanyahu said ruling out a two-state solution, but President Barack Obama didn’t need to keep reminding them and everyone else.
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Putin confirms support for Palestinian statehood

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Vladimir Putin pledged continued support for Palestinians’ legitimate right to establish an independent state.

“Russia has consistently advocated in favor of the earliest execution of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians for establishment of an independent, contiguous and viable state,” Putin said in a letter sent to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
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Billionaire Ronald Lauder Talks Hugo Chavez, Bomb Shelters in Israel and Anti-Semitism – Forbes

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After roughly a week of campaigning for a tougher U.S. response to rising global anti-Semitism, billionaire Ronald Lauder was preparing for his final public speech in D.C. on Wednesday — a lecture later that night at Georgetown University centered on how Jews and Christians should come together against radical Islamic groups.
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Putin letter to Arab summit triggers strong Saudi attack – Reuters

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of hypocrisy on Sunday, telling an Arab summit that he should not express support for the Middle East while fuelling instability by supporting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
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Another Sunday, Another Slow News-Cycle

by Taxi

Yeah.  Not much developments going on in the news headlines this Sunday, except for the usual multiple mideast wars of aggression rolling out – and all you guys know about that already so no point in repetition.  But, the good world should take heart to know that the relentless evil swarming the region is being blocked at every turn, though this evil remains strong and still capable of much destruction.

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When SWU met LEU: The Iran nuclear talks jargon A-to-Z – AFP

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US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) chat before a meeting at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel March 28, 2015 in Lausanne

Lausanne (AFP) – Drowning in a radioactive sea of nuclear jargon, mixing up Bushehr and breakout, plutonium and Parchin, centrifuges and code 3.1?

As Iran and six world powers negotiate in Switzerland on ending the crisis over Tehran’s nuclear programme, here is an A-to-Z glossary of the key technical terms:

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Israel Using Live Ammunition for Palestinian Crowd Control — Global Issues

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Mar 27 (IPS) – A Palestinian youth lost his fight for life this week after lying critically injured in Ramallah Hospital for days after Israeli soldiers used live ammunition as a method of crowd control against stone-throwing Palestinians near a Palestinian refugee camp.

“Mahmoud Safi had critical injuries to his kidneys, spinal cord, lungs and spleen,” Dr Sami Naghli, who runs Jelazon refugee camp’s medical relief services, told IPS.
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Yemen Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes – Reuters

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ADEN (Reuters) – Yemen’s Houthi rebels made broad gains in the country’s south and east on Friday despite a second day of Saudi-led airstrikes meant to check the Iranian-backed militia’s efforts to overthrow President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.Shi’ite Muslim Houthi fighters and allied army units gained their first foothold on Yemen’s Arabian Sea coast by seizing the port of Shaqra 100km (60 miles) east of Aden, residents told Reuters.
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Israel killed more Palestinians in 2014 than in any other year since 1967 / The Guardian

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Israel killed more Palestinian civilians in 2014 than in any other year since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in 1967, a UN report has said.

Israel’s activities in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem resulted in the deaths of 2,314 Palestinians and 17,125 injuries, compared with 39 deaths and 3,964 injuries in 2013, according to the annual report (pdf) by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
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Which is the Most Responsible Nuclear Nation – Iran, Israel or the United States? / CommonDreams.Org

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The U.S. and five other world powers – Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, known collectively as the P5+1 for the permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany – hope to soon conclude an agreement with Iran in order to address concerns over its nuclear program. With this agreement near (assuming the U.S. Congress doesn’t torpedo the deal with unhelpful interventions), and the every five years Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon in UN parlance) set to convene at the UN in New York City at the end of April, it seems a good time to ask questions about the nuclear weapons policies of many countries, but three stand out at this time – Iran, Israel and the United States.
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Nasrallah and the Yemen Crisis Speech

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Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech tonight addressing the Saudi war of aggression against the Yemen.

Briefly: Nasrallah went into a detailed rebuttal of all the excuses that Saudi Arabia is giving the world for attacking Yemen (ie Iran this and Iran that); then proceeded to give what he considers to be the “real reason” behind Saudi’s aggression against Yemen.

He basically said that Yemen, through the recent successes of the Houthi revolution (Yemen’s Arab Spring), the Yemeni people had finally arrived at a point of zero tolerance for any foreign interference in their internal affairs, especially interference from Saudi Arabia.  The Houthi revolution demanded political independence and were absolutely and adamantly refusing to take any orders from Saudi Arabia or their political agents inside Yemen’s political theater – the corrupt government fell in the face of such unflinching resolve and the president of Yemen fled office and country (a couple of times) – the Houthis therefore took over.   This meant that the ‘great’ kingdom of Saudi Arabia had lost control over its much poorer and weaker neighbor, the Yemen: friend of Iran – something the arrogant House of Saud could not symbolically or otherwise accept under any circumstances.

Simply put:  Yemen’s rebellion was glaring evidence of the waning regional influence of the House of Saud – and all this deflation happening at the dawn of a deal between Iran and the USA that would assuredly pin Iran to the top of the regional power chart.

Nasrallah then urged the Arab coalition soldiers, as well as Saudi soldiers, to realize that they’re being asked to go to Yemen to die just so some extremely rich Saudi prince (referring to the 37 year old Saudi minister of defense) can keep his expensive boot on the neck of one of the poorest Arab nations.  He also listed a litany of negative Saudi foreign policies that have directly led to rampant mass terrorism, death and refugeedom that’s now gripping the region.  He asked the viewers to ponder on why the House of Saud never sent its F-16’s to help out the suffering people of Gaza – or why Saudi is spending billions upon billions of dollars destroying other Arab countries instead of healing them, as per Saudi’s islamic guardianship obligations.

He called the House of Saud a cruel and selfish regime, a treasonous regime that colludes with isreal and the west, aiding them in their grand theft of Arab land and Arab resources.  Addressing the Saudi regime, Nasrallah said that Iran had expanded its influence in the region because “you are lazy, losers, and you don’t take responsibility.”

He predicted that the House of Saud will fail in its military objectives in Yemen, in the same way that israel failed to achieve its military objectives in the last 4 wars (2 in Gaza and 2 in Lebanon).  Nasrallah reminded his viewers, including Saudi viewers, that it is impossible to defeat a nation by using air power alone – and putting boots on the ground in Yemen will only keep Saudi borders extremely volatile and violent for  years to come, which in turn will endanger the kingdom’s heartland itself; and make the global oil markets  fluctuate with insecurity, destabilizing other parts of the region and the world.  And for a bunch of other reasons too (sorry no time to get into), Nasrallah concluded that the Saudis have just committed a huge strategic blunder that they may never recover from.  He also reminded viewers that Yemeni terrain is extremely inhospitable and structurally very similar to Afghani terrain; and that proud and patriotic Yemeni people have never been militarily occupied by a foreign army, be they western or otherwise.  He gave his best wishes to the Yemeni people and all other justice and peace seekers; encouraging a solution to this crisis through immediate peaceful negotiations.