The Middle East
by James Petras Ph.D.
NORFOLK, Va. — Sarah Palin on Sunday painted President Barack Obama's administration as a cowering giant intent on surrendering the nation's mantle as a superpower and willing to sell out its allies. The former John McCain running mate addressed a paying audience of several hundred people in Norfolk and accused Obama of selling out ally Israel in over its naval blockade of Gaza and treating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shabbily. On May 31, Israeli naval commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists in clashes aboard a Turkish ship headed for Gaza, setting off a world outcry and forcing Israel to ease its three-year-old blockade.
Amnesty International complained in its annual report released Thursday that the U.S. and members of the European Union had obstructed international justice by using their positions on the UN Security Council to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes allegedly committed during last year’s Gaza war.
Hamas advisor Yousef Rezka said Monday that worsening brown-outs in the Gaza Strip are being caused by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority , which wants to “to punish the residents of Gaza for their support for Hamas.” Hamas took control of the seaside enclave three years ago after forcing out Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ forces. Until late last year, the European Union footed the bill for the industrial fuel Gaza’s privately owned Palestine Electricity Company used to buy from Israel to run its turbines.
An alleged Israeli spy arrested by Lebanese Army Intelligence last week had access to the "most significant segment" of one of the only two mobile networks in Lebanon, an industry expert told Babylon & Beyond.
Rep. Barbara Lee , D-Oakland, joined other House members in calling for President Obama to provide Congress with "a clear commitment and plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan" before a vote expected later this week that would provide $58 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The call for a firm stance on a drawdown date in a letter to the president was echoed by the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday during Gen. David Petraeus ' confirmation hearing to become the top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman openly blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today , following reports that a top Netanyahu aide was dispatched on a secret diplomatic mission to Turkey without consulting with him.
Turkey shuts its airspace to Israeli military flights BBC Arabic, UK
Secret Turkey talks spark top-level row in Israel By Hazel Ward (AFP) – Jul 1, 2010 JERUSALEM — Secret talks between Israel and Turkey to resolve a diplomatic crisis has provoked a major row between the Israeli foreign ministry and the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Turkey held first high-level meeting with Israel since it curtailed diplomatic relations over the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian mission that killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists.
We have periodically taken stock of Turkey’s rising importance as a player in Middle East politics and “The Race For Iran”. Charlie Rose has continued his series of interviews with important Middle Eastern leaders (including Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Hamas political chief Khalid Mishal) with a new interview of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Long before he'd ever heard of Rolling Stone magazine, Abdul Baqi harbored deep doubts about the U.S.
Reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan, and Kabul, — Prospects for an effort by Pakistan to broker a reconciliation between the government of neighboring Afghanistan and a violent wing of the Afghan Taliban depend on overcoming a major obstacle: severing long-standing relations between the militant group and Al Qaeda. U.S. officials acknowledge that Pakistan has begun trying to seed a rapprochement between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Haqqani network, a branch of the Afghan Taliban that uses Pakistan to launch attacks on U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.
WASHINGTON — U.S.
President Barack Obama’s new Afghanistan commander was confirmed on a 99 to 0 vote Wednesday, a rare moment of bipartisan unanimity in the Senate — and a reminder of what a formidable partner Obama has brought into his most sensitive area of foreign policy.