World watch

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WorldWatch

Post news or views on anything happening of interest around the world.

84 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  May 25, 2017

    Well, as to be expected, the media here are still focussing on the terrorist attack from Monday night.

    A quick summary of developments today. Apologies if I have posted any o this previously.

    * three more people were arrested today in Manchester
    * it is understood that the bomber’s younger brother was the person arrested on Tuesday, and that his older brother was among those arrested today.
    * the bomber’s father has said that he is not the bomber, and that they don’t believe in killing innocents. There are also reports that the bomber’s father has been arrested in Tripoli while doing TV interviews. The report said he was arrested by masked men carrying guns.

    * Amber Rudd (Home Secretary) has criticised the US for leaking information about the attacker, saying that it was irritating. She has said that the UK police have been clear they want to control the flow of information to protect operational integrity, and she has made it clear to the US that it must not happen again.

    * soldiers have been deployed to take over some of the guard duties of the armed police in order to free up the police to go to more operational roles in other parts of the country.

    • Missy

       /  May 25, 2017

      Just to add to the above:

      * election campaigning will resume on Friday
      * the editor of the Jewish Chronicle said that the election suspension is unfair on Jeremy Corbyn as Theresa May is getting more air time due to the attack.

      * the police have confirmed they are hunting an active terror network in the wake of the attack in Manchester
      * police believe the bomb maker is still on the loose as they have so far found no trace of explosives in the properties raided – including that of the bombers.

      * 20 people remain in critical condition in hospitals around Manchester
      * 6 people remain missing / unaccounted for after the attack.

    • Missy

       /  May 25, 2017

      A few more developments in the last 10mins or so.

      * a fifth man has been arrested in Wigan carrying a package. Police are currently analysing the package he was carrying
      * reports say that the bomber’s father was arrested by counter terrorism police in Tripoli while conducting tv interviews.
      * the same reports are saying the bomber’s brother has also been arrested in Tripoli, and that he knew all about the attack.

    • Missy

       /  May 25, 2017

      That would make the earlier reports that he was the one arrested on Tuesday incorrect. However, a lot of this is rumour not official. The police have not confirmed identities of those arrested.

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        “* Amber Rudd (Home Secretary) has criticised the US for leaking information about the attacker, saying that it was irritating. She has said that the UK police have been clear they want to control the flow of information to protect operational integrity, and she has made it clear to the US that it must not happen again.”

        I think it can pretty much be taken as read that any juicy intelligence supplied to US intelligence these days is highly likely to end up being quoted by anonymous sources within the IC within hours by CNN or Fox News & other msm or right wing media. #leakslikeasieve

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 25, 2017

          US intelligence agencies leaking like a sieve is a major, major issue for Trump. I don’t see how he can accomplish anything until the culprits are ejected, preferably jailed.

          That’s whether or not they were his appointments.

  2. Trumpenreich

     /  May 25, 2017

    Watergate investigator acknowledges smugness of the Media Party and their hit job on Trump and that his supporters recognise this. I’m seeing more responses online too of people who aren’t big on Trump expressing dismay at the talking heads blatant anti-Trump hysteria. The Media Party’s antics have backfired on them ( again ):

    Watergate’s Woodward Warns “Smug” Media Against Trump “Hyperventilation”:

    ” I think there’s so many people treating the Trump presidency as if it’s a try-out, as if it’s provisional… odds are, he’s probably going to be president for a full term, four years, maybe even more… there’s hyperventilation, too many people writing things. When’s the impeachment coming, how long’s he gonna last, will he make it through the summer, and so forth…
    I worry, I worry for the business, for the perception of the business, not just Trump supporters, they see that smugness… I think you can ride both horses, intensive inquiry, investigation, not letting up… at the same time, realize that it’s not our job to do an editorial on this.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-24/watergates-woodward-warns-smug-media-against-trump-hyperventilation

  3. Missy

     /  May 25, 2017

    And a more lighthearted story in the category of ‘britain’s stupidest criminals’ two men decided to try and steal a car amidst the largest counter terrorism operation in recent times in a street crawling with journalists and armed police. Not sure what made them think that would be a good idea.

  4. Missy

     /  May 25, 2017

    Security at a number of upcoming events is being reviewed. Noting we are entering summer and events are ramping up, June through August are very busy months.

    Chelsea have cancelled a parade on Sunday to celebrate their Premier League win

    There will be increased security at the FA Cup final on Saturday, and expected increased security at Wimbledon. The security for the Champions Trophy starting next week is being reviewed, as is the security for the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

    Ariana Grande has cancelled the rest of her European tour, including dates in London tomorrow night. At this stage no other concerts have been cancelled, but security is being reviewed and tightened.

    Barack Obama’s trip to Scotland at the end of this week is being reviewed, and may be cancelled.

  5. Trumpenreich

     /  May 25, 2017

    Brave Twitter accounts have started a viral hashtag to combat ISIS in the wake of the last terrorist attack – #ThumbsDown To Terrorism, and it is BEAUTIFUL:

    > If we get #ThumbsDownToTerrorism trending worldwide, ISIS simply cannot ignore it. Be the change you want to see in the world.

    > Hey, people on the Right who say we never actually do anything to prevent terrorism… Well you just got SERVED. #ThumbsDownToTerrorism

    > This hashtag is so powerful it reminds me of this one time in Harry Potter when everyone stood up to Voldemort #ThumbsDownToTerrorism #PrayForManchester #IslamIsPeace #JeSuisManchester #PeaceNotWar #IllRideWithYou

    • I guess they mean well but I very much doubt that ISIS will care or take any notice.

      • Corky

         /  May 25, 2017

        Tears would roll down their cheeks…..weak, liberal, indulgent infidels who would fold if they were yanked out of their cyber world and into the cold hard real world.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 25, 2017

      Yes, well meaning, but right up there with ‘holding a candlelight vigil’ as a weapon against terrorism.

  6. Missy

     /  May 25, 2017

    In good British tradition, people on twitter have been taking the piss in light of the increase in the threat level today. Using the hashtag #Britishthreatlevels they have been at their mocking best as they come up with what really threatens their way of life.

    • Trumpenreich

       /  May 25, 2017

      After #ManchesterArena it’s no longer possible to ignore the real cause: we must address WHITE PATRIARCHAL CAPITALIST CLIMATE CHANGE NOW!

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 25, 2017

      Humour is an excellent weapon for both defence and attack.

  7. Gezza

     /  May 25, 2017

    Clashes as Israelis celebrate anniversary of East Jerusalem occupation
    Tens of thousands of Israeli settlers, right-wing activists and high-school students marched through Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday evening. 
    The flag march marked 48 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem and the Old City by the Israeli army during the 1967 war.

    The march passed through the Muslim quarter of the old city, and Israeli police officers forced Palestinian shop owners to close up, while Palestinian residents could not walk freely in the streets for hours.

    Before the march, which started in Jerusalem’s city centre and went toward the Damascus gate entrance to the Old City, some 100 Palestinians held a protest against the event.

    A big police force pushed the protesters out of the area near the Old City. At least 10 protesters were arrested.

    In West Jerusalem, a small group of left-wing activists held a vigil near the path of the march.

    As the march entered the Old City, many Israeli youth taking part shouted “Death to all Arabs!”, “Demolish the mosque, build the temple!” and ״Take revenge on the Palestinians!”

    Some 500 Israeli protesters attacked Palestinian journalists and photographers covering the event, throwing sticks and trying to break their equipment. There were no reports that Israeli protesters were detained by police.
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/clashes-israelis-celebrate-anniversary-east-jerusalem-occupation-1291997595
    ……

    Tens of thousands dance at Western Wall for Jerusalem Day
    Arab and Jewish teens clash at Old City march; Muslim shopkeepers close stores as annual parade of revelers passes through

    Thousands of revelers danced at Jerusalem’s Western Wall Sunday evening amid celebrations throughout the capital, marking Israel’s conquest of the city in the 1967 Six Day War.

    The day was celebrated with official ceremonies, special tours and events, and a march which for years has raised tensions over its route through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

    While some 2,000 police were deployed in an effort to preserve the peace and separate Israelis and Palestinians along the route of the march, Jewish teens chanted nationalistic slogans and threw cardboard boxes at the Palestinians, while Arab teens threw stones at marchers and police. Altercations also broke out between the groups at the Old City’s Damascus Gate Sunday evening.

    It was the latest of multiple rounds of clashes. In the afternoon, one soldier was lightly injured when he was hit in the head with a rock. He was treated on the spot. Police dispersed the rioters, arresting one Palestinian. Two cops were injured in a subsequent clash at Damascus gate, police said. Two more Palestinian protesters were arrested.

    Onlookers quoted by AFP said at least two Palestinians were wounded in the fighting, and video footage showed a man being taken away on a stretcher by Red Crescent ambulance staff.

    Sporadic incidents of violence continued into the evening, according to police, including rock-throwing, occasional fights between marchers and protesters and the setting off of fireworks by Palestinians.
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/arab-jewish-clashes-as-jerusalem-day-march-enters-old-city/

    • Trumpenreich

       /  May 25, 2017

      #Open Borders For Israel

      “Only six Eritrean nationals and one Sudanese have been granted asylum since Africans started coming to Israel in large numbers in the mid-2000s.”

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2017/04/11/africans-leaving-israel-under-secret-deals-arrive-on-europes-shores

      Israeli government to refugees: Go back to Africa or go to prison:

      HOLOT, Israel — As Europe struggles to stem a spring flood of migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to cross a deadly Mediterranean Sea, Israel has begun to toughen its stance toward refugees, telling unwanted Africans here they must leave now or face an indefinite stay in prison.

      Israeli authorities are sending letters to the first of 45,000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees, informing them they have 30 days to accept Israel’s offer of $3,500 in cash and a one-way ticket home or to an unnamed third country in Africa, or face incarceration at Saharonim prison.

      • Corky

         /  May 25, 2017

        This is exactly what I want for the West. Why don’t we have the balls to do this?

        • Conspiratoor

           /  May 25, 2017

          Why dont we have balls brother corks? Possibly because we are not surrounded on all sides by folks who share a nihilistic ideology and want to kill us. Why would the israelis want to open their borders and import them? The last virtue of a decadent society is tolerance – aristotle

          • Corky

             /  May 25, 2017

            Quite true. They live amongst us. Some are us.

    • Corky

       /  May 25, 2017

      Two telling pieces.

      1-A big police force pushed the protesters out of the area near the Old City. At least 10 protesters were arrested.

      2-In West Jerusalem, a small group of left-wing activists held a vigil near the path of the march.

      1-Constraint.

      2- Self reflection, and a large secular population that are allowed to be secular.

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        @ H. Well, the Israeli Army are pretty good at policing order.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 25, 2017

      Seems like a relatively peaceful day considering the march is attended by “extremists”.

      Well handled and policed in a volatile area.

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        I guess. These sorts of things can get out of hand if the troublemakers go down the right streets.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          Marches like this happen all over the world and offend residents.
          There is even violence.
          Israel is no more immune than other nations.

          • Gezza

             /  May 25, 2017

            Yeah, I know. The guys above love to make a point of taking those banners into the Catholic areas.

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        Some more excellent Israeli Army policing for you, H.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          We could do a big cherry picking exercise of Police misconduct around the world.
          No police force is perfect adn there are always times they cross lines.

          Few police forces have to deal with the dangers and uncertainty the Israeli’s do though, so I would give them more leeway than most.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          This video shows a soldier doing his job – keeping the peace and not getting involved. Not sure it really shows anything other than Israeli settlors pushing boundaries – although there is no context given to the situation so no judgement can be made on any party.

        • Gezza

           /  May 25, 2017

          Another Israeli soldier doing his job, H.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  May 25, 2017

            Israeli snipers G, or staged by Hamas to fuel the propanda machine? To be swallowed hook, line and sinker by gullible western media and earnest bloggers

            • Gezza

               /  May 25, 2017

              Israeli snipers I think c. There was quite a bit of that but no doubt there are plenty of palestinian-hating Israelis who can find gullible Israeli occupation-terrorist-loving & Amerophiles who will buy the stories about how palestinians hate & even eat their children.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  May 25, 2017

              Interested to view evidence of amerophiles swallowing baby eating stories G. Hyperbole?

            • Gezza

               /  May 25, 2017

              Oh, so you’re not gullible? Why do you think people who film &/or report on Israeli atrocties & indignities & apartheid citizenship provisons & ghettoising & continued land theft & massive reprisals against any fightback & the associated Israeli murders of innocents are gullible c? Haven’t you got any Palestinian rellies or something?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  May 25, 2017

              No Arab or Jewish DNA G, just a keen nose for bs. In the absence of proof I’ll put you in the propaganda camp. Cheers,c

            • Gezza

               /  May 25, 2017

              Fairy nuff, c. Didn’t you say you had Neanderthal DNA. They were European I think, & tbh I parked you in that camp several comments back. It’s all good 👍

        • Conspiratoor

           /  May 25, 2017

          Sure G, let’s strap our infants onto our chests and saunter into a conflict zone. Use em as shields. Bring the kids along as well. Taunt the Israelis. Cameras roll…

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        Israeli Police must be having a tea break H?

        • Conspiratoor

           /  May 25, 2017

          Get a few of the boys together. Throw rocks at a wall. Add a voice over in hushed tones. Jew bastards. The propaganda machine rolls on

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        More tolerant Israelis wanting peace for all & to share the land fairly, H

        • Gezza

           /  May 25, 2017
        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          Not sure the point of these vids you’re posting. I can come back with:

          According to Amnesty International, “Palestinian armed groups have repeatedly shown total disregard for the most fundamental human rights, notably the right to life, by deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and by using Palestinian children in armed attacks. Children are susceptible to recruitment by manipulation or may be driven to join armed groups for a variety of reasons, including a desire to avenge relatives or friends killed by the Israeli army.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_suicide_bombers_in_the_Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_conflict

          &

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_suicide_attacks

          You can then come back with more…it really gets us no-where.

          There is violence, lack of trust and animosity.

          This leads to exactly what you have posted and what i have posted.

          The issue is that you can only solve the problem if both sides want peace. When one of the sides refuses concede the other sides right to exist at all, and has as a written part of it’s charter the destruction of Israel and all Jews as a necessity negotiation becomes a touch difficult.

          Cut things any way you want Gez. Yep war sucks. Bad things happen. But negotiation requires a will to resolve things, and it is the Palestinians that don’t have that.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 25, 2017

      Interesting article from a Palestinian perspective of what daily life is like getting in and out of Israel, but with at least a little context as to events that have shaped the current situation.

      There is obviously little work in the Palestinian territories and it is lower paid.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11862827

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        How the Israeli exchanging land for peace deal works, H – explained at the end of the clip.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          But it is tit-for-tat on the ‘terrible actions’ front. When people fire rockets into your country you tend to want to push them back – a lot.

          I understand it is a two way thing, but from what I have seen the Palestinians simply do not WANT peace. They want to remain victims until the international community take action against Israel.

          Here’s a good run-down on both side’s atrocities in the last year:

          https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/israel/palestine

          Peace offers have been made and spurned several times in the past.

          As Abba Eban said (regarding the six day war):

          “I think that this is the first war in history that on the morrow the victors sued for peace and the vanquished called for unconditional surrender.”

          • Gezza

             /  May 25, 2017

            Why do you want to pick 2017 H? Why not pick 2014? Israeli peace offers never address the Palestinian right of return or giving back land stolen for settlements.
            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/27/israel-kills-more-palestinians-2014-than-any-other-year-since-1967

          • Gezza

             /  May 25, 2017

            You don’t see many of these sorts of scenes above on NZ tv, H. You mostly just see the US / Israeli perspectives & versions of events. A people fight back against their occupiers & constant harrassers & land thieves & get slammed with a massive military machine & then it’s all their fault because they’re Palestinians? Something’s not right with that picture. Maybe we’re looking at it from an angle. How does it look from another angle? Have you ever watched the documentary Al Naqba H?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 25, 2017

              I haven’t seen it but if I get the time i will.

              I take it from the perspective that England and France had basically conquered the whole land (Arabs supported the wrong side in the war…).

              The Ottoman Empire crumbled and it was the Europeans who divvied everything up after WW1.

              Every indigenous group was to get it’s own state. The Jews got, Israel – a relatively small piece of pretty rough land but was the one place the Arabs wouldn’t accept.

              Had they accepted it none of this would have happened. Instead they have chosen ongoing conflict and war on every occasion.

              Israel has managed to deal successfully with Egypt and Jordan. Egypt won’t deal with the Palestinians any more either.

              To get what they want, Palestinians are relying on international pressure. Israel is relying on building relationships (mainly trade) with the other nations in the ME.

              I’m not going to argue about what Israel has done. I will suggest it has been brought on themselves by the Palestinians though.

            • Gezza

               /  May 25, 2017

              Let’s talk about it after you’ve seen it. It’s probably best you watch it rather than write your own script for it or read an Israeli one for it?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 25, 2017

              Not either actually – historical source about the fall of the Ottoman empire and the end of WW1

            • Gezza

               /  May 25, 2017

              That’s good. I like hisory too, especially from 1815 onwards. Good to look at different histories. Al Nakba history covers those events well, up to present day. Am doing some reading up on Olmert’s peace offer by different writers – can see a few potential problems with the map you posted. Sounds like return of palestinian refugees & their kids wasn’t on the table as usual. Wonder if Trumpy could propose some immigration restriction limits for both of them. That could be interesting.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 25, 2017

              I understand history can be picked and chosen – and the majority has been Jewish then Christian then Muslim.

              But there were only around 700,000 people in the whole of Palestine in 1920 when the British stepped in:

              “There are now in the whole of Palestine hardly 700,000 people, a population much less than that of the province of Gallilee alone in the time of Christ. Of these 235,000 live in the larger towns, 465,000 in the smaller towns and villages. Four-fifths of the whole population are Moslems. A small proportion of these are Bedouin Arabs; the remainder, although they speak Arabic and are termed Arabs, are largely of mixed race. Some 77,000 of the population are Christians, in large majority belonging to the Orthodox Church, and speaking Arabic. The minority are members of the Latin or of the Uniate Greek Catholic Church, or—a small number—are Protestants. The Jewish element of the population numbers 76,000.”

              “By 1948, the population had risen to 1,900,000, of whom 68% were Arabs, and 32% were Jews”

              Much of the increase was migration from Egypt.

              So weren’t talking the mass removal of a huge indigenous population.

              I don’t think anyone could seriously ask for the return of “millions” to the new Israel state.

              It would defeat the purpose of the Israeli state.

            • Gezza

               /  May 25, 2017

              Source please, H.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 25, 2017

              This is a fairly down the middle source re population.
              There is at least an argument that the land was mostly empty and the Arabs only started pipistrelle the area when they saw what was happening.

              As this source says it is hard to be definitive bit it is certainly clear the Arab population was small to begin with.

              http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm

          • Gezza

             /  May 25, 2017

            *Al Nakba

      • Gezza

         /  May 25, 2017

        Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has shined new light on the breakdown of a potentially history-altering round of 2008 peace talks, saying that he rejected an offer from Israel’s Ehud Olmert — which included placing Jerusalem’s Old City under international control — because he was not allowed to study the map.

        Interviewed separately by Israel’s Channel 10 TV, both men described the negotiations as serious and said a peace deal was achievable, underscoring just how much the region has changed in only a few years. Israel and the Palestinians are enmeshed in a new round of violence, and Abbas and Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have barely spoken.
        The talks occurred at a turbulent time. Olmert, then prime minister, was enveloped in a corruption scandal and had announced his intention to step down. In the interview, Olmert described a meeting on Sept. 16, with elections a few months away, in which he presented an offer seeking to address all major Palestinian concerns.

        “I told him, ‘Remember my words, it will be 50 years before there will be another Israeli prime minister that will offer you what I am offering you now. Don’t miss this opportunity,’” Olmert said in the interview, aired late Tuesday.
        The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank as part of an independent state, with east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.

        Olmert said he had offered a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank — proposing that Israel retain 6.3 percent of the territory in order to keep control of major Jewish settlements. He said he offered to compensate the Palestinians with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8 percent of the West Bank, along with a link to the Gaza Strip — another territory meant to be part of Palestine.

        He also said he offered to withdraw from Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem and place the Old City — home to Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy sites — under international control. He described the offer to give up Israeli control of the Old City as the hardest day of his life.

        Abbas said he supported the idea of territorial swaps, but that Olmert pressed him into agreeing to the plan without allowing him to study the proposed map. “He showed me a map. He didn’t give me a map,” Abbas said. “He told me, ‘This is the map’ and took it away. I respected his point of view, but how can I sign on something that I didn’t receive?” Olmert confirmed that he pressed Abbas to initial the offer that day.

        Abbas said he also felt Olmert’s offer to accept a symbolic number of Palestinian refugees into Israel did not resolve the issue — because descendants of Palestinian refugees now number in the millions, many scattered across the region.

        Abbas said negotiations continued, but broke down as Olmert’s legal problems worsened. Olmert has since been convicted on bribery and corruption charges and sentenced to more than six years in prison. He is currently free while he appeals.

        Nonetheless, the Palestinian leader described the talks as the most serious negotiations since an interim peace accord was reached in 1993 under then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Two years later, Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish ultranationalist opposed to his peace moves.
        “I feel he [Olmert] was assassinated politically as Rabin was assassinated materially. I feel if we had continued four to five months, we could have concluded the issues,” he said.

        Olmert has discussed the details of his peace plan before. Yet the interview revealed some new personal details.

        Olmert said he began his transformation from an outspoken hard-liner to political dove years earlier while he was mayor of Jerusalem and concluded that the continued control over Palestinian neighborhoods of the city was unworkable.

        He also said that his first meeting with Abbas in December 2006 came about thanks to some home cooking by his wife and a guilt trip. When Abbas tried to cancel the meeting at the last minute, he warned him that wife Aliza was already cooking and would be insulted, Olmert recalled. “What shall I tell her now?” Olmert said he told Abbas. After 15 seconds of silence Abbas consented, Olmert said. [Even Abbas obviously wasn’t a cruel enough man to inflict “What do you mean he’s not coming? I’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day! What the hell have you said to him!” on poor old Ehud, eh? G.]

        Olmert’s peace vision was driven by the belief that Israel’s continued control of the Palestinians is leading the country to disaster. Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, the thinking goes, Israel’s settlements in the West Bank will reach such dimensions that separation will become impossible. The choice then will be annexing the land and creating a truly “binational” state, half its citizens Arabs, or becoming an apartheid-like entity where millions of Arabs do not have full rights.

        Netanyahu says he opposes a binational state and endorsed Palestinian statehood — but his terms seem very far from Olmert’s. Peace talks are frozen and the settlements continue to grow.

        In a review of the program, Rogel Alpher of the liberal Haaretz daily said that Israel would have been better off if Olmert had not been prosecuted.
        “Olmert, as it turns out, was the last chance for a two-state solution,” he wrote. “When weighing the option to prosecute Olmert against the option of ending the occupation … the latter would have raised the level of morality in the world infinitely more.”

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          Reconcile the above wit hthe below article from the time…

          http://www.haaretz.com/news/pa-rejects-olmert-s-offer-to-withdraw-from-93-of-west-bank-1.251578

          Abbas rep.: Proposal a ‘waste of time’

          Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday rejected an Israeli peace proposal, which included withdrawal from 93 percent of the West Bank, because it does not provide for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
          Nabil Abu Rdainah, Abbas’s spokesman, told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan showed a “lack of seriousness.”
          Under the proposal, Israel would return to the Palestinians 93 percent of the West Bank, plus all of the Gaza Strip, when the Palestinian Authority regains control over the Gaza Strip, which the militant group Hamas seized from forces loyal to Abbas in June 2006.
          Olmert presented Abbas with the proposal as part of an agreement in principle on borders, refugees and security arrangements between Israel and a future Palestinian state.
          In exchange for West Bank land that Israel would keep, Olmert proposed a 5.5 percent land swap giving the Palestinians a desert territory adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
          Olmert’s proposal first emerged several months ago and was published in detail on Tuesday by Haaretz, prompting Abu Rdainah’s response.
          “The Israeli proposal is not acceptable,” Abbas’s spokesman said. “The Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity, with holy Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on the June 4, 1967 boundaries.”
          He called the Israeli proposal a “waste of time.”

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 25, 2017

          And this one…

          http://www.thetower.org/2580-breaking-abbas-admits-for-the-first-time-that-he-turned-down-peace-offer-in-2008/

          Abbas Admits For the First Time That He Turned Down Peace Offer in 2008

          Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly confirmed for the first time that he turned down a peace offer in 2008 that would have provided for an independent Palestinian state containing all of the Gaza Strip, much of the West Bank (with land swaps), and a tunnel connecting the two areas.

          Abbas made his comments in an interview on Israel’s Channel 10, which has been broadcasting a three-part series on the peace talks of 2000 and 2008. According to both Abbas and Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister in 2008, Olmert presented Abbas in September of that year with a map that delineated the borders of the future State of Palestine. Abbas said that he “rejected it out of hand” because he claimed not to be an expert on maps, and because Olmert’s domestic scandals meant that he would shortly leave office (Olmert was later convicted of corruption). While both Olmert and other Palestinian leaders have previously said that Abbas turned down a peace proposal, this is the first time that the Palestinian Authority president has admitted as such.

        • Gezza

           /  May 25, 2017

          Some more tit for tat. There were a lot of clips of the Israeli tanks & artillery levelling of Gaza for days in 2014 but most of them it seems to have now disappeared from Youtube.

        • Gezza

           /  May 25, 2017

          Well, mine was from the Times of Israel in 2015, & both of them are stating what others said without full context. The Israeli PR operation is as slick as an eel, remember. Has been for decades.

          “The security proposal includes a demand that the Palestinian state be demilitarized and without an army. The Palestinians, in contrast, are demanding that their security forces be capable of defending against “outside threats,” an Israeli official said.

          On the refugee issue, Olmert’s proposal rejects a Palestinian “right of return” and states that the refugees may only return to the Palestinian state, other than exceptional cases in which refugees would be allowed into Israel for family reunification. Nevertheless, the proposal includes a detailed and complex formula for solving the refugee problem.”

          There’s a bit of a problem here perhaps. I’d certainly be a bit concerned. Also, that map you posted, why do they want to still have all those settlements dotted about in Palestinian territory as Israeli territory?

  8. American voters disagree with President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, think the dismissal was for self-serving reasons, and approve of a
    special counsel being appointed to investigate Russian government efforts to influence the election and the Trump campaign. In addition, a majority opposes the Republican plan to replace Obamacare.

    That’s according to a new Fox News Poll of registered voters nationwide.

    The last month took a toll on the president’s ratings. The poll finds 40 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing, down from 45 percent last month. Disapproval is up 5 points to 53 percent.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 25, 2017

      Uncertainty will always make people cling to the system they’ve got,
      Until the alternative / replacement is clearly articulated these poll results will be the norm.

  9. Gezza

     /  May 25, 2017

    @ HFD

    “Amnesty International Annual Report
    ISRAEL AND OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES 2016/2017

    Israeli forces unlawfully killed Palestinian civilians, including children, in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), and detained thousands of Palestinians from the OPT who opposed Israel’s continuing military occupation, holding hundreds in administrative detention. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained rife and was committed with impunity. The authorities continued to promote illegal settlements in the West Bank, including by attempting to retroactively “legalize” settlements built on private Palestinian land, and severely restricted Palestinians’ freedom of movement, closing some areas after attacks by Palestinians on Israelis. Israeli forces continued to blockade the Gaza Strip, subjecting its population of 1.9 million to collective punishment, and to demolish homes of Palestinians in the West Bank and of Bedouin villagers in Israel’s Negev/Naqab region, forcibly evicting residents. The authorities imprisoned conscientious objectors to military service and detained and deported thousands of asylum-seekers from Africa.

    Background
    Israeli-Palestinian relations remained tense. International efforts to revive negotiations failed, with Israel continuing to develop illegal settlements on territory it occupied. In December the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the West Bank.
    In June the government announced a reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey which saw the two countries restore diplomatic relations. Israel agreed to pay compensation to the families of Turkish citizens killed by Israeli forces when they intercepted the humanitarian aid ship Mavi Marmara in 2010.

    In September the government of the USA agreed to increase its military aid to Israel to $3.8 billion annually for 10 years from 2019.

    The year saw stabbing, car-ramming, shooting and other attacks by Palestinians on Israelis in the West Bank and in Israel. The attacks, mostly carried out by Palestinians unaffiliated to armed groups, killed 16 Israelis and one foreign national, mostly civilians. Israeli forces killed 110 Palestinians and two foreign nationals during the year. Some were killed unlawfully while posing no threat to life.

    Palestinian armed groups in Gaza periodically fired indiscriminate rockets and mortars into Israel, without causing deaths or serious injuries. Israeli forces responded with air strikes and artillery fire, killing three Palestinian civilians, including two children, in Gaza.

    Freedom of movement – Gaza blockade and West Bank restrictions
    Israel’s military blockade of the Gaza Strip entered its 10th year, continuing the collective punishment of Gaza’s entire population. Israeli controls on the movement of people and goods into and from Gaza, combined with Egypt’s almost total closure of the Rafah border crossing and funding shortages, damaged Gaza’s economy and hindered post-conflict reconstruction. Some 51,000 people were still displaced from the 2014 war, and unexploded ordnance from that conflict continued to cause civilian deaths and injuries. The number of Palestinians leaving Gaza via the Erez Crossing declined during the year, as the Israeli authorities denied, delayed or revoked permits for businesspeople, staff of international organizations, and medical patients and their companions.

    Israeli forces maintained a “buffer zone” inside Gaza’s border with Israel and used live fire and other weapons against Palestinians who entered or approached it, killing four and wounding others. Israeli forces also fired at Palestinian fishermen in or near the “exclusion zone” that they maintained along Gaza’s coastline.

    In the West Bank, the Israeli authorities severely restricted the movement of Palestinians on a discriminatory basis, particularly around illegal Israeli settlements and near the fence/wall. In response to Palestinian attacks on Israelis, the military authorities imposed collective punishment, revoking permits of attackers’ family members to work in Israel and closing off entire areas and villages.

    Arbitrary arrests and detentions
    The authorities detained or continued to imprison thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding most of them in prisons in Israel, in violation of international law. Many prisoners’ families, particularly those in Gaza, were not permitted entry to Israel to visit their relatives in prison. The Israeli authorities continued to arrest hundreds of Palestinian children in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Many were subjected to abuse by Israeli forces including beatings and threats.

    The authorities held hundreds of Palestinians, including children, under renewable administrative detention orders based on information that they withheld from the detainees and their lawyers. The numbers held under such orders since October 2015 were the highest since 2007; more than 694 were held at the end of April 2016 (the last month for which reliable data was available). Some detainees undertook lengthy protest hunger strikes; Palestinian detainee Bilal Kayed remained on hunger strike for 71 days. He was released without charge in December. Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah ended their hunger strike on 22 December after 90 days without food.
    Three Israeli Jews held as administrative detainees were released.

    The authorities gave circus performer Mohammed Faisal Abu Sakha two additional six-month administrative detention orders in June and December, based on secret evidence. His first six-month detention order had been issued in December 2015.

    Palestinians from the West Bank who were charged with protest-related and other offences faced unfair military trials, while Israeli civilian courts trying Palestinians from the Gaza Strip issued harsh sentences, even for minor offences.

    Mohammed al-Halabi, a Gaza-based humanitarian worker, was denied access to his lawyer and interrogated intensively for three weeks after his arrest in June. He was charged in August with embezzling money from the charity World Vision and passing it to Hamas, the de facto administration in Gaza. World Vision said it had not seen any substantive evidence to support the charge.

    Torture and other ill-treatment
    Israeli soldiers, police and Israel Security Agency (ISA) officers subjected Palestinian detainees, including children, to torture and other ill-treatment with impunity, particularly on arrest and during interrogation. Reported methods included beatings, slapping, painful shackling, sleep deprivation, use of stress positions and threats. Although complaints alleging torture by ISA officers have been handled by the Ministry of Justice since 2014, and more than 1,000 had been filed since 2001, no criminal investigations were opened. Complaints that the Israeli police used torture or other ill-treatment against asylum-seekers and members of the Ethiopian community in Israel were also common.

    The UN Committee against Torture conducted its fifth periodic review of Israel, criticizing continued reports of torture and other ill-treatment, impunity, and the authorities’ failure to proscribe torture as a crime under the law. Israeli officials noted that legislation criminalizing torture was being drafted by the Ministry of Justice, but it was not put before the Knesset (parliament).

    In September the High Court upheld a 2015 law allowing the authorities to force-feed hunger-striking detainees; the law was not used in 2016.

    Unlawful killings
    Israeli soldiers, police and security guards killed at least 98 Palestinians from the OPT in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; eight in the Gaza Strip; and three in Israel. In addition, one Palestinian citizen of Israel, responsible for killing three Israelis in Tel Aviv on 1 January, was killed by Israeli police inside Israel. Most of those killed were shot while attacking Israelis or suspected of intending an attack. Some, including children, were shot when they were posing no immediate threat to others’ lives and appeared to be victims of unlawful killings.

    Extrajudicial executions
    Some of those killed appeared to have been victims of extrajudicial executions. They included 16-year-old Mahmoud Shaalan, shot dead by Israeli soldiers at a Ramallah checkpoint in February; Mohammed Abu Khalaf, killed in February by Israeli border police in East Jerusalem; and Maram Abu Ismail and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim, who were shot dead at Qalandia checkpoint in April by private contractors employed by the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

    Excessive use of force
    Israeli forces used excessive, sometimes lethal, force against Palestinian protesters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, killing 22 and injuring thousands with rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition. Many protesters threw rocks or other projectiles but were posing no threat to the lives of well-protected Israeli soldiers when they were shot.

    Freedoms of expression, association and assembly
    The authorities used a range of measures to target human rights defenders, in both Israel and the OPT, who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation of the Palestinian territories.

    On 11 July the Knesset passed the so-called Transparency Law, which imposed new reporting requirements on organizations that receive more than 50% of their funding from foreign governments, almost all of which were human rights groups or other NGOs critical of the Israeli government.
    Using military orders prohibiting unauthorized demonstrations in the West Bank, the authorities suppressed protests by Palestinians and arrested and prosecuted protesters and human rights defenders. Following the annual “Open Shuhada Street” protest in Hebron on 26 February, the authorities prosecuted Palestinian human rights defenders Issa Amro and Farid al-Atrash on charges that included participating in a march without a permit and entering a closed military zone. They were apparently prosecuted on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Issa Amro also faced charges arising from his peaceful activism in previous years.

    For months after he filmed the extrajudicial execution of Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif by an Israeli soldier on 24 March in Hebron, B’Tselem volunteer Imad Abu Shamsiyeh received death threats from Israelis in nearby illegal settlements. Police turned him away and threatened to arrest him when he sought to lodge a complaint in August.

    Palestinians and foreign nationals assisting human rights NGOs such as Al-Haq with their work in connection with the ICC received death threats.
    A number of prominent Israeli human rights organizations and their staff, including Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem and Amnesty International Israel, were targeted by a government campaign to undermine their work.
    In May the authorities charged former nuclear whistle-blower and prisoner of conscience Mordechai Vanunu with breaching the severe and arbitrary restrictions the authorities have imposed on his rights to freedom of movement and expression. The case was still pending at the end of the year.

    Housing rights – forced evictions and demolitions
    In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities demolished 1,089 homes and other structures built without Israeli permits, an unprecedentedly high number of demolitions, forcibly evicting more than 1,593 people. Permits remained virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain. Many of the demolitions were in Bedouin and herding communities which the Israeli authorities planned to transfer against the residents’ wishes. The authorities also collectively punished the families of Palestinians who carried out attacks on Israelis by demolishing or making uninhabitable 25 family homes, thereby forcibly evicting their inhabitants.
    The authorities also demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes and other structures inside Israel that they said were built without permits, mostly in Bedouin villages in the Negev/Naqab region. Many of the villages were officially “unrecognized”.

    Impunity
    More than two years after the end of the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, in which some 1,460 Palestinian civilians were killed, many in evidently unlawful attacks including war crimes, the Israeli authorities had indicted only three soldiers for looting and obstructing an investigation. In August the Military Advocate General announced the closure of investigations into 12 incidents, despite evidence that some should be investigated as war crimes. Israel’s military investigations were not independent or impartial, and failed to deliver justice.

    In a rare move, the Israeli military investigated, indicted and tried Elor Azaria, a soldier whose extrajudicial execution by shooting of a wounded Palestinian in Hebron was captured on film. The verdict in his case was expected to be delivered in January 2017. Most members of the Israeli forces who committed unlawful killings of Palestinians faced no repercussions. The Israeli army, Ministry of Justice and police also did not investigate, failed to investigate adequately, or closed investigations into cases of alleged unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces in both Israel and the OPT.

    The authorities prosecuted several Jewish settlers for carrying out lethal attacks on Palestinians. In January, they charged two Israelis with committing an arson attack in July 2015 that killed three members of the Dawabsheh family, including a child aged 18 months. In May, a Jerusalem court sentenced Yosef Ben David to life imprisonment plus 20 years after convicting him of the abduction and murder of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir in July 2014.

    The prosecutor of the ICC continued her preliminary examination of allegations of crimes under international law carried out by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups since 13 June 2014. The Israeli government allowed an ICC delegation to visit Israel and the West Bank in October.

    Violence against women and girls
    There were new reports of violence against women, particularly within Palestinian communities in Israel. Activists reported that at least 21 women were killed by partners or family members during the year. Some women were reportedly killed by abusive partners after police failed to afford them adequate protection.

    Refugees and asylum-seekers
    The authorities continued to deny asylum-seekers, more than 90% of whom were from Eritrea or Sudan, access to a fair and prompt refugee status determination process. More than 3,250 asylum-seekers were held at the Holot detention facility and at Saharonim Prison in the Negev/Naqab desert at the end of the year.

    According to figures provided by the Ministry of Interior, there were more than 37,000 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers in Israel as of October 2016. More than 18,900 asylum claims were still pending as of October 2016.
    In February the Knesset passed the fourth version of an amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law, allowing the authorities to detain asylum-seekers for up to one year without charge. Conditions in detention centres were reported to be severely deficient due to inadequate food and medical care, poor sanitation and overcrowding.

    In September, a custody appeals tribunal in Jerusalem declared the government’s policy of automatically rejecting the asylum requests of Eritrean army deserters invalid, although thousands had been rejected on that basis.

    The authorities granted asylum to a Sudanese national for the first time in June but continued to press thousands of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum-seekers, including those detained at Holot, to leave Israel “voluntarily”. More than 2,500 were reported to have agreed to depart “voluntarily” by the end of the year. The government refused to disclose details of its reported agreements with Rwandan and Ugandan authorities, as to whether they included guarantees that asylum-seekers who left Israel voluntarily would not be at real risk of serious human rights violations, thus violating the prohibition of refoulement.

    Conscientious objectors
    At least five conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned. They included Tair Kaminer, who was held for almost six months, longer than any woman conscientious objector previously.”

  10. Missy

     /  May 25, 2017

    UK has stopped sharing information on Manchester attack with US afternontelligence leaks. This comes after more leaks last night which have potentially compromised the investigation.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40040210

    Theresa May is going to raise the leaks with Trump today, and it has been raised at all levels of US law enforcement and Intelligence services.

    There are some who think that some US agencies are willing to put this investigation at risk – and maybe more British lives – in order to undermine Trump. Most likely not the reason for the leaking, but an interesting view.

    Releasing another country’s intelligence, especially during a large terrorism investigation, is very serious. The US are losing the trust of many in the U.K.

    • Blazer

       /  May 25, 2017

      what about…5 eyes?

      • Missy

         /  May 25, 2017

        What about it Blazer?

        • Blazer

           /  May 25, 2017

          Aust,U.K,NZ,USA,CAN….no trust anymore in sharing intel.

          • Missy

             /  May 25, 2017

            The intel on one incident has been stopped not all. Trust in the US law enforcement agencies has weakened, not between all five countries. I think it is a stretch to suggest trust between all countries is no longer there.

      • PDB

         /  May 25, 2017

        Out of those 5 Trump has been given a brown eye.

    • Gezza

       /  May 25, 2017

      The US Intelligence Community has lost the trust of most in the US as well by now I expect.
      I trust The Vladimir & The Jinping are not entirely displeased with this eventuality. #leakslikeasieve.

      • PDB

         /  May 25, 2017

        If for only one reason then Comey had to go with all the leaks occurring under his watch. The FBI and the like need a massive shake up.

        • Gezza

           /  May 25, 2017

          I think that’s only fair. A Trump appointee should be given a fair go at having leaks under his watch now.

          It’s going to be interesting to see how many people have been involved in leaks. With some of it you would think the nature of the info is such an org as big as the FBI should be able isolate the only few people it could have come from?

          But I think leaks *authorised* & unauthorised by *sources close to the the investigation but not authorised to speak* have been coming out of US Security, Police & Intelligence Agencies & straight to mainstream & right wing media for over a decade now. So good luck with that. There may have to be some summary executions.

          • Missy

             /  May 25, 2017

            I think it will be harder than you think to isolate who it may have been due to the size. If it was on a computer system that all had access to and a large number of people accessed the reporting then it could have been anyone.

            Leaks have been going on for a while unchecked, and this is apparently not the first time the US have leaked U.K. Intel to media, difference is this time it has reportedly compromised the investigation.

            • PDB

               /  May 25, 2017

              They have increased since Obama expanded NSA powers 17 days before leaving office which meant raw intelligence data was far more widely read & spread hence leakers are now harder to isolate.