UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Wednesday, March 19 2014:
**Major fighting has taken place on the Israel’s border with Syria over the last 24 hours. Following an IED attack on an Israeli armored vehicle which resulted in four critically to moderately wounded IDF soldiers, the IAF launched strikes on Syrian army positions near Quneitra last night. At least one Syrian soldier was killed and another 7 reportedly wounded.
This morning, we have Syrian officials surrealistically accusing Israel of trying “to destabilize the Middle East.”
**The lovefest between Mahmoud Abbas and President Obama went as predicted on this blog the other day.
Obama did not offer one word of criticism concerning the Palestinians, and ranted this lavish praise of the Chairman of the PLO: “He has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side in peace and security – a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”
What a pathetic joke.
For his part, Abbas repeated there would be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; the 1949 Armistice lines have to be the basis of a new Palestinian state, and eastern Jerusalem must be the new Palestine’s capital.
**Tzipi Livni was at it again yesterday. In a speech in which she tried to play “the tough guy” she warned the Palestinians that there would be no more releases of Palestinian murderers unless the Palestinians agree to a framework agreement.
But then she absurdly added: “The prison keys are in the hands of Mahmoud Abbas.”
What an Orwellian juncture we have come to when the head of the PLO controls what happens to Palestinian terrorist murderers in Israeli prisons.
You will undoubtedly remember, dear reader, the way in which the Obama White House and U.S. State Department excoriated Israel last month over the fact that Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic.”
Which Kerry is.
Ironically though, the main point seemed to be not so much that Ya’alon was wrong in his character assessment of Kerry, but that Ya’alon had the audacity to criticize the Secretary of State of the United States. How, the Americans wailed, could Ya’alon take Kerry to task–especially since the United States and Israel are so closely allied.
Specifically, a spokesman for the U.S. had this to say: “We are shocked by Moshe Ya’alon’s comments, which seriously call into question his commitment to Israel’s relationship with the United States. Moreover, this is part of a disturbing pattern in which the defense minister disparages the US administration, and insults its most senior officials.”
A few days ago, an undaunted Ya’alon made a speech in which he again criticized the “peace process” and doubted that he would see peace in his lifetime.
And what has been the immediate American reaction to this comment that by the way did not mention Kerry or Obama? This morning, we have American officials calling Ya’alon an “extremist” and saying that he is “determined to undermine US-Israel relations.”
Say what? When did it ever become the case that the Defense Minister of Israel cannot express his opinion about security issues facing Israel–especially ones of such great importance as are being bandied about in the current “peace negotiations.”
It seems that the more the Americans see their “peace” effort crashing down around them, the more thin-skinned and ridiculous they become.