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MENA Mashup: Bibi, ISIS, and our Coalition of the Willing

Once again Bibi is lying through his teeth, let’s delve into some of his asinine assertions…

Arabs in Jerusalem are free to purchase apartments in the western [part of the] city and no one is arguing against it. I have no intention of telling Jews they can’t buy apartments in East Jerusalem. This is private property and an individual right. There cannot be discrimination – not against Jews and not against Arabs. This goes against values that the United States also believes in.

So let’s break that down.

1. “Arabs in Jerusalem are free to purchase apartments” in West Jerusalem.

Wrong. As Haaretz described in 2009, after Netanyahu had made similar claims, “according to Israel Lands Administration rules, residents of East Jerusalem cannot take ownership of the vast majority of Jerusalem homes.” Why?

Under Israeli law, to qualify to purchase property on “state land” the purchaser must either be a citizen of Israel (Palestinian Jerusalemites are legal residents if the city, not citizens of Israel) or legally entitled to citizenship under the law of return (i.e. Jewish). This means an Israeli or a Jew from anywhere in the world can purchase such property in West Jerusalem, but not a Palestinian resident of the city.

2. “I have no intention of telling Jews they can’t buy apartments in East Jerusalem.”

The issue that the U.S. – and indeed, almost every other country in the world – has with these housing plans is that Israel is building in and expanding illegal settlements located in occupied territories (and in the case of East Jerusalem, in illegally annexed territory). It is not about ‘telling Jews’ what they can or can’t buy. It is possible Netanyahu is being deliberately disingenuous –but it is also true that he, like the rest of Israel’s political leadership – simply does not recognise international law and norms.

3. “There cannot be discrimination – not against Jews and not against Arabs.”

For Netanyahu to make it an issue of discrimination really takes the biscuit. Israel systematically discriminates against Palestinians, both in the Occupied Territories and inside the pre-1967 lines, through numerous policies and laws documented by Palestinian groups, UN agencies, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli NGOs (among others). In Jerusalem specifically, Palestinian residents in the Occupied East suffer from a host of discriminatory practices related to land, housing, municipal services, and political repression.

Netanyahu was on a roll however, and added the following. “Every person is entitled to private property”, he said. “No one stole those houses or confiscated the property.” This from the Prime Minister of a state literally built on demolished, stolen, and confiscated homes and lands – whose self-declared capital city expropriated Palestinian land for settlements, and where Jews live in the ethnically cleansed neighbourhoods of Palestinians who are forbidden from returning.

From +972 magazine… A couple of Netanyahu’s not-so-white lies to Americans

Interestingly, UK set to vote on recognition of Palestinian state:

When the British parliament returns on October 13th a vote will be held to recognise the state of Palestine. The debate has been called for by the chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East and MP for Easington, Grahame Morris and been supported by Crispin Blunt MP, Sir Bob Russell MP, Caroline Lucas MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP. The debate will hear from MPs calling on the British government to recognise Palestine as a state alongside the state of Israel. MPs will then vote on whether to support the motion or not.

In other I/P news… Unity govt to hold 1st meeting in Gaza as Israel issues permits

The first cabinet meeting of the Palestinian unity government will take place in Gaza on Thursday after Israel issued permits to allow Palestinian ministers to attend.

Officials told Ma’an that the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs made “great efforts” with Israel to obtain the necessary permits for ministers to cross into Gaza.

Officials were granted permission to cross through the Erez terminal in northern Gaza.

It will be the first time that ministers from the new unity government have convened together.

In April, Hamas agreed to work with its rivals in Abbas’ Fatah movement to form an interim consensus government of technocrats which would work towards long-delayed national elections.

The deal sought to end years of bitter and sometimes bloody rivalry between Hamas and Fatah, which dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

From Memo… Hamas leader vows to maintain resistance, reconciliation

Moving along to ISIS and the Iraqi/Syrian clusterf*ck…

From Xinhua… U.S. led anti-terror coalition means to create buffer zones in Syria, analysts warn

The features of such strikes have become more clear, analysts said.

“They want to create buffer zones coupled with no-fly zones that could serve as a launching pad for further attacks against the Syrian government… this is a strategic military plan,” Maher Murhej, the head of the Youth Party, told Xinhua.

“The Western powers’ plan is to restructure the war against President Bashar al-Assad administration, by focusing their strikes on certain positions in northern and southern Syria to destroy the infrastructure in such areas and create two armies from the rebels’ factions, one in the north and the other in the south,” Murhej said.

“The features of the international plan in Syria have become clear, where the border towns in northern and southern Syria are being attacked and the rebels are repositioning there. The rebels are actually been directed to the border areas and we are witnessing their withdrawal from parts of the Damascus countryside also,” Murhej said.

Turkey has showed an interest in creating a buffer zone to get rid of the large numbers of refugees and rebels commanders and training camps; Jordan also has an interest in the creation of such areas for the very same reason. And finally Israel, which wants to keep its terrain far from the chaos next door, Murhej said.

The biggest loser of such actions would be the Syrian people and the target is the Syrian government, he said.

The imposition of buffer zones in Syria is one of the fears coming along with the current foreign strikes against the IS, a political researcher and opposition figure Mahmoud Muri said, urging the Syrians to be extra wary of the Western “schemes.”

“The U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and destroyed its military and the country’s infrastructure and that should push us to be wary of the U.S. coalition,” he said.

Hmaidi Abdullah, a political researcher, said he did not think there were prospects for the imposition of a buffer zone by Turkey, noting that the Turks want to involve the U.S. in such an operation.

“If the Turks want to enter militarily into Syria, they will be facing a lot of forces on ground, and in order for imposing a no-fly zone, they need the support of the U.S. and NATO and I don’t think the U.S. is ready for this now,” he said.

Apparently, Nato is eager to enter the fracas…

Nato ‘will protect’ Turkey from IS spillover

The new head of Nato said yesterday it would protect member Turkey against attacks from the Islamic State (IS) group, which is fighting to capture territory in Iraq and Syria near the Turkish border.

“Turkey is a Nato ally and our main responsibility is to protect the integrity, the borders of Turkey,” Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.

“We have deployed Patriot missiles in Turkey, to enhance, to strengthen the air defence of Turkey. And Turkey should know that Nato will be there if there is any spillover, any attacks on Turkey as a consequence of the violence we see in Syria.”

Stoltenberg spoke after meeting with Poland’s defence and foreign ministers in Warsaw, his first foreign visit since taking office last week.

He will also visit Turkey, which is struggling to cope with the spillover from the Syrian and Iraq conflicts.

“I would also like to welcome the actions taken by the United States, of the Nato allies and regional partners to fight ISIL,” he said, referring to air strikes targeting IS in Syria and Iraq.

To be sure… NATO has emergency plan for Turkey – minister

Btw, if you thought the old Fog of War Nato Secretary was bad…

New NATO Chief: We Can Put Troops Wherever We Want

…Stollenberg insisted that NATO can put troops wherever it wants and no treaties would be used to limit its decisions on deployments, which hyping a planned “spearhead” force to be deployed along the Russian frontier.

He talked up the idea of sending more troops to Poland above and beyond the planned spearhead force, though he spurned pushes for permanent bases in the Baltic states, citing the enormous cost of such operations.

The cost of such operations is largely the appeal for the US and other top NATO spenders, which are pushing all NATO member nations to dramatically icnrease their military spending.

From The Hill… Clinton: US-ISIS fight a ‘long-term struggle’

Now, let’s look at our Coalition of the Willing…

From the Grey Lady… ISIS’ Ammunition Is Shown to Have Origins in U.S. and China

In its campaign across northern Syria and Iraq, the jihadist group Islamic State has been using ammunition from the United States and other countries that have been supporting the regional security forces fighting the group, according to new field data gathered by a private arms-tracking organization.

The data, part of a larger sample of captured arms and cartridges in Syria and Iraq, carries an implicit warning for policy makers and advocates of intervention.

It suggests that ammunition transferred into Syria and Iraq to help stabilize governments has instead passed from the governments to the jihadists, helping to fuel the Islamic State’s rise and persistent combat power. Rifle cartridges from the United States, the sample shows, have played a significant role.

“The lesson learned here is that the defense and security forces that have been supplied ammunition by external nations really don’t have the capacity to maintain custody of that ammunition,” said James Bevan, director of Conflict Armament Research, the organization that is gathering and analyzing weapons used by the Islamic State.

Fancy that, eh…?

From Albawaba… Australia sends fighter jets to battle Islamic State in Iraq

The Kiwis are mulling it over… Government alone to decide on Isis fight

The Canucks are pondering it too… With CF-18s poised for takeoff, Iraq debate leaves Canadians in a fog of war

In breaking news, Stateside…

US: Man wanted to join Islamic State

A 19-year-old American left a letter expressing disgust with Western society for his parents before trying to board a plane in Chicago, the first step in his plan to sneak into Syria to join the Islamic State group, according to federal court documents released Monday.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, a US citizen who lived with his parents in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, was arrested Saturday while trying to board a plane to Turkey, which borders Syria, at O’Hare International Airport. He is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group.

In wrapping up, talk about your potential spillover from the Syrian clusterf*ck… Hezbollah Says Nusra Front Attacks Position Near Syria-Lebanon Border


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Late Night: MENA Mashup: Bibi, ISIS, and Our Coalition of the Willing