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MENA Mashup: The I/P, Egypt, ISIL, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey

Columbia Prof. Rashid Khalidi is dead-on with his assertion that we’re the biggest enablers to Israel’s illegal occupation…!

BDS is on the rise… Solidarity with Palestine Soaring on US Campuses

Jerusalem on edge after deadly attacks and a summer of war

Today, from Ma’an News…

Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian protests across West Bank

Israeli forces opened fire and injured dozens of Palestinians across the West Bank on Friday, as hundreds marched in a number of cities and villages in protest against the Israeli occupation and recent Israeli violence in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli soldiers opened fire on rallies in Nabi Saleh, central Hebron, at Qalandia checkpoint and in al-Bireh near Ramallah, in Kafr Qaddum, al-Masara, Jalazun refugee camp, Aida refugee camp, and in other villages across the West Bank, injuring dozens.

Two Israeli soldiers were also reported injured in clashes that erupted following the protests.

The protests came after a night of violence in Jerusalem, where two different hate attacks were reported against Palestinians on the basis of their ethnicity, in addition to two other such incidents inside Israel.

On Friday afternoon, meanwhile, a Palestinian woman was run over by a Jewish settler near Shufat in East Jerusalem, and later in the evening a brawl erupted as a group of Jewish settlers passed through the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Tur, resulting in the stabbing and light injuring of two Jews.

The violence follows escalating tensions in the holy city, where the long-term dispossession and discrimination by Israeli authorities who have occupied the city since 1967 has combined in recent months with a series of heavy-handed security operations and right-wing politicians’ religious provocations to form a combustible mix.

Nightly protests in Jerusalem by Palestinians have been met by heavy police force, while a series of attacks with cars or by stabbing undertaken by individual Palestinians against random Israelis has been countered by right-wing Jewish mob violence across the city.

Despite this, protesters across the West Bank held more than a dozen marches condemning the violence of Israeli authorities and calling for end to the occupation.

Now, here’s a textbook example of the US Neo/Ziocon Thinktank response to Obama and our failed I/P relations, from FP… White House Diplomacy With Israel Isn’t Just Short-Sighted – It’s Self-Defeating

Meanwhile, more fuel is poured on the fires…

From the Times of Israel… Jerusalem mayor likens Ashkelon’s anti-Arab move to 1930s Germany

Sadly… Majority of Jews in Israel support Ashkelon mayor’s decision to ban Arab workers

Now, I’m sure this is a brilliant idea… Israel to probe allowing Israelis greater access to firearms

Edit: From Gideon Levy… In Israel, only Jewish blood shocks anyone

Moving along to Egypt and Al-Sisi’s actions in the Sinai…

Egypt closes schools in Sinai towns as area inches toward open war

One wonders how tenuous a grip Al-Sisi has… Al-Sisi’s government: A regime desperate to survive

El Baradei opined recently…

El-Baradei: Egypt is no longer a democracy and needs political rapprochement

Former Vice President of Egypt Mohamed El-Baradei, previously the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and an initial supporter of the July 2013 military coup, has admitted that he cannot call Egypt a democratic state, Alamat Online reported on Friday.

El-Baradei also reportedly said, in a lecture titled “A New Global Security System Towards a World Free From Nuclear Weapons” at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University, that “Democracy is not like a cough or instant coffee; we cannot become a democratic state overnight.”

He also suggested: “What is most important for us in Egypt is learning from our mistakes and looking to the future,” adding that all Egypt needs is transitional justice and a complete rapprochement amongst all the country’s political parties.

Although Egypt has drafted a new constitution since the coup, the parliamentary elections proposed in the military’s “roadmap to democracy” have yet to take place.

Moving along to Iraq and ISIL…

From today’s WaPo…

A breakdown of all the weapons the U.S. wants to give Iraq to fight militants

Top U.S. officials said earlier this month that they would ask Congress to spend $1.6 billion in fiscal 2015 to help equip security forces across Iraq, as the country continues to grapple with how to expel Islamic State militants from cities and towns in controls. A new Defense Department document outlines what that money will go toward — and underscores just how much firepower Washington wants to send Baghdad in its bid to help.

The details are in a 16-page justification for an amendment to the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget sent to Congress. It calls for $1.24 billion to be spent on weapons for the Iraqi military, $354.8 million to be spent on arms for Kurdish peshmerga troops, and $24.1 million for an arsenal sent to tribal security forces in western Anbar province. Bloomberg News reported on the document Friday.

“The focus of [Defense Department] efforts is to work with, by and through the [government of Iraq]to build the necessary military capability to counter ISIL,” the budget document said, using one of the acronyms for the militant group. “The program addresses the immediate equipping issues brought on by the rapid expansion of ISIL into Iraq and the requirements for counter-offensive operations.”

From ABC news… US Military Conducts 30 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

From b at Moon of Alabama today… How The U.S. And Israel Support Al-Qaeda in South Syria

Moving along to Iran and the P5+1 talks…

U.S., Iran discussing new ideas to break nuclear impasse – sources

Emptywheel’s Jim White wrote a great article on the f*ckery afoot…

Amano, Sanger Still Trying to Disrupt P5+1 Deal With Iran

…Missing from Sanger’s list of forces lined up against a deal with Iran are those working behind the scenes in the US intelligence and “diplomatic” communities. Those forces gave state secrets to United Against Nuclear Iran to be used in false allegations against a Greek shipping firm providing goods to Iran that were not subject to sanctions. We still don’t know what that information was nor how UANI came into its possession because the Justice Department has intervened to quash disclosure in the lawsuit resulting from the false allegations.

As we enter what is slated to be the final weekend of the negotiations, the stakes are clear. Barack Obama has gladly jumped on board with most neocon dreams of open war in many of their target nations. Iran remains a huge prize for them, but so far Obama has shown remarkable resolve in pushing for an agreement that could avert a catastrophic war that would make the current ones look only like small skirmishes. I’m hoping for the best this weekend, but I also worry about what opponents of the negotiations may have in store for their final move.

From Consortiumnews… Will the Iran Deal-Wreckers Prevail?

Moving along to Turkey…

Turkey and US play down differences as leaders meet in Istanbul

From Xinhua…

US vice president in Turkey for IS, Syrian crisis

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Turkey on Friday to push the NATO ally to step up its role in the international coalition of fighting the Islamic State (IS) group.

Biden’s meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would focus on “cooperation in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Sham in Syria and Iraq; and coping with the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflicts on the other side of Turkey’s southern border,” a statement from the White House said on Tuesday.

While playing down their differences on the Syrian crisis, Biden said at a joint press conference with Davutoglu that the United States and Turkey have been “always direct with one another ” and “tackled a number of very contentious issues, regionally and internationally, and we’ve always eventually come out on the same side.”

Davutoglu said that to establish permanent stability in Syria, the international community should develop a comprehensive strategy, and that Turkey and the U.S.’ approaches have been playing an important role in solving the disputes.

“We are working together in solving the crisis mainly in Middle East and in many international issues,” he said.

The two also highlighted the close cooperation between Ankara and Washington in fighting the IS, especially in Syria and Iraq, saying that intelligent units, diplomacy and military officials of the two countries have been long in close contact and had intense meetings both in Washington and Ankara.

However, more disagreement still exists over whether Turkey decided to let the United States use its Incirlik base for operations against extremists in Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan insists that if the United States wants his help, it must focus less on fighting the IS and more on toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Turkish president wants the U.S.- led coalition to set up a security zone in northern Syria to give moderate fighters a place to recoup and launch attacks.

The United States, however, has no appetite to go to war against the Syrian government and has said that a no-fly zone against Syria’s air force is a no-go.

In wrapping up, what a foreign concept, eh…?

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