Friday, October 31, 2014

Putin To Western Elites: Play-Time Is Over

This represents a very interesting development in world affairs:

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.
The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles. But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.

2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.

3. The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle.Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.

4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.

5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding “empire of chaos,” and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.

6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.

7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war—nor does she fear it.

8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order - until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain.

9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war.This new world order must of necessity include the United States—but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

To sum it all up:

play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

[This article contains Putin's entire speech]

Two Eurofighter Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to meet a pair of Tupolev Tu-95 which are icons from the Cold War.

It happened as the strategic bombers flew south over the North Sea and they were later tracked by Portuguese F-16s in the Atlantic before they flew home.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "The RAF Typhoon pilots visually identified the Russian aircraft and escorted them through the UK flight information region."

The planes are Russia's equivalent to the B-52s used by the US Air Force.

The eight plane group from Russia eventually broke up with six heading back home and two flying close to Britain where RAF Typhoons met them.

It was part of four groups of Kremlin aircrafts NATO had intercepted in around 24 hours since Tuesday.

In a statement the alliance said: "These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace."

Some 3,000 police are deployed throughout the city ahead of expected protests and violence as Jewish-Arab tensions spiral in the capital.

Police were on high alert and access to the Temple Mount was opened Friday to Muslim worshipers, though men under 50 would be barred from the site.

Two residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, both aged 22, were arrested after police observed them preparing to throw stones at the Jerusalem Light Rail as it passed through their neighborhood.

Police approached the two, who were holding a slingshot and rocks, but they fled. After a brief pursuit, they were arrested and will be brought for a remand hearing Friday at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

At 5 a.m., a bus headed from Jerusalem to the Ben Gurion International Airport on Road 443, which passes through the West Bank, was struck by rocks thrown by Palestinians standing at the side of the road.
The front and side-door windows were damaged in the attack.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Thursday called on Palestinians to step up their “resistance” against Israel following theassassination attempt on the life of Yehuda Glick and the temporary closure of the Temple Mount.

Islamic Jihad announced that the assailant, Mu’taz Hijazi, who was killed by Israeli security forces hours after the assassination attempt, was one of its members.

The group said that the “Jerusalem intifada” will continue and praised Hijazi for carrying out his “sacred duty to defend the Aqsa Mosque.”

The group said that Israeli measures in Jerusalem would not dissuade the Palestinians from “pursuing the “path of resistance and jihad.”

Ziad al-Nakhaleh, deputy head of Islamic Jihad, said that attempt on the life of Glick “affirms the correctness of the option of resistance.”

He said that the assassination attempt in Jerusalem proves that the “resistance is the most effective and strongest option to restore the land and preserve Palestinian rights.”

Hamas, for its part, called for a “day of mobilization” on Friday in protest against the closure of the Temple Mount. It also called on Palestinians to avenge the killing of Hijazi and other Palestinians killed by the IDF and police.

Arabs shot off firecrackers today (Friday) from a rooftop near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in addition to trying to force their way past police barrier at the site.
Police and Border police forces prevented their entry using anti-riot crowd dispersal means.

Also see:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fatah Calls For 'Day Of Rage' On Friday In Jerusalem

The Palestinian government has called on its “fighters” to launch a “day of rage” against Israel on Friday that will include armed attacks in Jerusalem, a move that has sparked fears that widespread riots could wreak havoc on the holy city.
Israeli authorities shut down access to Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque late Wednesday following the shooting of a Jewish citizen by Palestinian terrorists.
Israel’s call to block access to the Temple Mount area of Jerusalem’s Old City—the first such closure since 1967—led the Palestinian government to call for armed resistance and accuse Israel of declaring war.
“Fatah calls to its fighters and to the masses of the Palestinian people to aid the Al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied Jerusalem,” the Palestinians’ main political party said in a statement publishedThursday and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

“The movement called to set tomorrow as a day of rage throughout the homeland and in countries which are home to refugees, to express the Palestinian people’s opposition to any attack on the holy places and foremost among them the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the statement said. “Consider desecration of Al-Aqsa as a declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also escalated tensions on Thursday by accusing Israel of declaring war on the Palestinian people.

“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted the leader as saying in comments made to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.

“We hold the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque this morning,” Abbas reportedly said.

Middle East analysts expressed great concern about the situation and said that Abbas’s rhetoric could spark renewed violence in Jerusalem, a city that has experienced relative calm for quite some time.
“There is a very unique phenomenon we’re observing right now, unlike anything we’ve seen before,” said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
Abbas’ comments accusing Israel of declaring war via its closure of the Temple Mount could make an already volatile situation even worse.
“Abbas is taking a potentially combustible situation and pouring gasoline on it,” Schanzer said.

PM Netanyahu Blames Abbas For Inciting Shooting, Abbas: Closure Of Al-Aqsa Site A 'Declaration Of War'

PM Blames Abbas For Inciting Shooting Of Jewish Activist

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that incitement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was to blame for the shooting of a Temple Mount activist a night earlier

Netanyahu convened a meeting of top security officials Thursday morning, a day after Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a prominent activist for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, was shot in an apparent assassination attempt.

“I said only days ago that we are facing a wave of incitement by radical Islamic elements and by Palestinian Authority head Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], who said that the ascent of Jews to the Temple Mount needs to be prevented by every means,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu held the meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Shin Bet security service head Yoram Cohen, Israel Police commissioner Yohanan Danino, Jerusalem Police commissioner Moshe Edri, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and representatives of the IDF and Justice Ministry, according to statement from the PMO.

“I still have not heard one word of condemnation from the international community against this incitement. The international community needs to stop its hypocrisy and act against the inciters, those who are trying to change the status quo,” Netanyahu said.
Police on Thursday said they killed the suspected shooter in a raid in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor.

The shooting came amid an uptick in violence in Jerusalem and a bolstered police effort to crack down on near daily incidents of rock throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks.
Netanyahu said that he ordered a further reinforcement of security forces in Jerusalem, and that the effort would take significant time.

Israel’s closure of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following an assassination attempt Wednesday, is tantamount to a “declaration of war,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday morning.

Abbas’s remarks came after a suspect in the shooting of a prominent right-wing Jewish activist was killed in a gunfight with the police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. Police closed the compound early Thursday out of fear of clashes in the wake of the shooting of Yehuda Glick, who campaigned for Jewish rights on the site, and as Israeli right-wing groups vowed to march on the site.

“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.

The director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque called the site’s closure unacceptable.
“It is unacceptable that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is paying a toll for the events in Jerusalem,” he said.

Wednesday night, in a cowardly and vicious attack, Rabbi Yehudah Glick, an activist for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount was shot at close range by an assailant on a motorcycle.

Arab neighborhoods were reportedly awash in celebration.

Yehudah argued that Jews should be able to pray on the Temple Mount — just like Muslims and Christians do. The current situation is such that while Muslims are allowed on the Mount at any time, Jews have restricted hours.

Not only are the hours restricted, but so are our movements and rights. We can only go with escort of both Israel police and the Waqf (the Muslim authority of the Mount). This is not for our protection, but to ensure that we do not pray during our escorted walk.
Jews may not pray on the Temple Mount.
Rabbi Yehudah Glick has advocated for peaceful coexistence with Arabs and called on them to preach the same.
In this video, he speaks of the Dome of the Rock sitting adjacent to the Third Temple and the Muslims and Jews worshipping God in harmony.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called late Wednesday for the anonymous US “senior administration official” who called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickenshit” to be “held to account” for his comments.

Robert G. Sugarman, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, wrote that they were “deeply concerned by a number of recent public and private criticisms, personal insults and inappropriate characterizations emanating from official sources.”

The two welcomed statements from the administration distancing the White House fromcomments cited in a Tuesday column by Jeffrey Goldberg,published in The Atlantic, but believe that the administration’s characterization of the comments as “inappropriate” and “counterproductive” was insufficient.

A Conference statement called for “the person responsible be held to account and the appropriate steps be taken by the administration.”
Speaking with The Times of Israel, Hoenlein said that he would not specify what constituted “appropriate steps,” saying that such a decision was “for the administration to determine.” No apology has been issued, he noted, and while the administration criticized the comments, it did not call for any apology – an action that would presumably “out” the anonymous source of the comments.

“It is less important that we know who said it than that appropriate action is taken,” said Hoenlein, who characterized the views expressed by the official in Goldberg’s article as “very extreme.”
The organization led by Sugarman and Hoenlein represents 55 Jewish organizations in the United States, including all three major streams of Judaism and political groups on both the right and left.
Hoenlein said that he was concerned with “putting an end to the divisiveness, the name-calling and the sniping,” and added that “addressing this issue seriously will help put this issue behind us.”

Mideast experts are dismayed, GOP and Jewish leaders are enraged and the White House is conducting damage control while not actually apologizing, after a pair of senior Obama administration officials used an obscenity to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as cowardly.
This latest foreign policy crisis for the Obama administration was sparked when one White House aide anonymously told the Atlantic, using the prime minister’s nickname, “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickensh-t,” and another aide concurred.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the remarks “pitiful” and tweeted, “The president should find out who said this, and fire them immediately. Anything else would be … well, the unnamed official put it best.”
Middle East expert and Iran specialist Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy told WND, “Such personal attacks on the leader of one of America’s closest allies are petty and very much beneath the dignity of America’s senior leadership.”
“It is foolish of the Obama administration to so alienate an ally like Israel. The vicious personal attacks on Netanyahu are beyond the pale and frankly unseemly, if coming from an administration official as reported,” she added.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was livid, releasing a lengthy and blistering statement that read, in part: “When the president discusses Israel and Iran, it is sometimes hard to tell who he thinks is America’s friend and who he thinks is America’s enemy … Over the last several months, I have watched the administration insult ally after ally. I am tired of the administration’s apology tour. The president sets the tone for his administration. He either condones the profanity and disrespect used by the most senior members of his administration, or he does not. ”

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