Saturday, November 17, 2012

Al-Jazeera Video: Blistering bombardment of Gaza continues

"The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues with another 15 Palestinians killed on Saturday and the Hamas Government headquarters destroyed.

Meanwhile Israel has deployed more tanks to the border and called up thousands more reservists as fears of a ground offensive increase.
At least forty-five Gazans have been killed and more than 390 wounded since Israel launched its aerial campaign on Wednesday.
As the toll rises sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv for a third day as Israel says it shot down a rocket fired at the city while another fell in an open area.

And Arab League foreign ministers have been attending an emergency session in Cairo where they're expected to demand that Israel immediately halt its campaign.
Jacky Rowland has been following events in Gaza."

Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza

The Obama administration's unstinting financial, military and diplomatic support for Israel is a key enabling force in the conflict
Cartoon by Carlos Latuff

A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza - beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably "defending itself" - is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. This self-flattering depiction of the US as uninvolved, neutral party is the worst media fiction since TV news personalities covered the Arab Spring by pretending that the US is and long has been on the side of the heroic democratic protesters, rather than the key force that spent decades propping up the tyrannies they were fighting.

Literally each day since the latest attacks began, the Obama administration has expressed its unqualified support for Israel's behavior. Just two days before the latest Israeli air attacks began, Obama told Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas "that his administration opposes a Palestinian bid for non-state membership of the UN". Both the US Senate and House have already passed resolutions unequivocally supporting Israel, thus earning the ultimate DC reward: the head-pat from Aipac, which "praised the extraordinary show of support by the Senate for Israel's struggle against terrorist attacks on its citizens". More bipartisan Congressional cheerleading is certain to come as the attacks continue, no matter how much more brutal they become......

By rather stark contrast, Obama continues to defend Israel's free hand in Gaza, causing commentators like Jeffrey Goldberg to gloat, not inaccurately: "Barack Obama hasn't turned against Israel. This is a big surprise to everyone who has not paid attention for the last four years" (indeed, there are few more compelling signs of how dumb and misleading US elections are than the fact that the only criticism of Obama on Israel heard over the last year in the two-party debate was the grievance that Obama evinces insufficient fealty - rather than excessive fealty - to the Israeli government). That the Netanyahu government knows that any attempt to condemn Israel at the UN would be instantly blocked by the US is a major factor enabling them to continue however they wish. And, of course, the bombs, planes and tanks they are using are subsidized, in substantial part, by the US taxpayer......


According to Haaretz, Israel's Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, said this about Israel's attacks on Gaza: "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages." Let me know if any of the US Sunday talk shows mention that tomorrow during their discussions of this "operation"."

Al-Jazeera Video: Latest updates on the Gaza crisis

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - A sign of shifting Egypt-Israel relations?

Al-Jazeera Video: Israeli air strikes hit Palestinian PM's office

"In an interview with Al Jazeera, Palestinian journalist and Columbia Journalism School fellow Mohammed Omer said that Israeli air strikes have hit the Palestinian Prime Minister's office and Interior Minister's residence.

Mohamed Morsi's approach to Gaza air strikes falls short for many Egyptians

Egypt's president is taking a diplomatic route over Israeli assault, but response is unlikely to placate anger at home

in Cairo,

".....Hamas is an offshoot of the Brotherhood, and it was believed that the Egyptian reaction to an Israeli assault on them would be markedly different with the ascension of the Brotherhood to power in Egypt and the longstanding ties between the two groups. However, many who have been following the Brotherhood over the years believe otherwise.

"They are a reformist, not revolutionary, group. They have shown on many occasions that they are more than happy to keep the [1979] Camp David peace treaty with Israel and not radically alter Egyptian foreign policy. The excuses are ready, let's build Egypt first and so on," said Hossam Hamalawy, journalist and member of the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists movement.

Morsi's measured response may not be enough to placate Egyptians, who have already begun protesting against the latest Israeli offensive, with more demonstrations scheduled for the next few days. The government response so far falls short of demands articulated by Hamalawy, which include the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing and not just for humanitarian reasons, but also to provide relief to the besieged territory, and the abolishment of the Camp David accords or, at the very least, a referendum on whether to keep the treaty....

This seeming disconnect between Brotherhood members and its leadership, as well as secular opposition forces – whose commitment to the Palestinian cause is no less unerring than Islamist forces – could potentially prove troublesome for Morsi.

"The young base cadres of the Brotherhood are sincere about the Palestinian cause," Hamalawy said, "what concerns me is the hypocritical and opportunistic leadership that mobilised mass protests when they were in opposition – with Morsi himself once calling for an end to Camp David – but now that they are in power they will not act upon it.""

صواريخ فجر 5 وام 75 التي ضربت تل أبيب والقدس مفاجأة المواجهة الحالية

عرب48 /وكالات

"استخدمت الفصائل الفلسطينية أنواعا عدة من الصواريخ والقذائف المحلية الصنع، واذا كانت صواريخ «القسّام» و«قدس» قد أقلقت راحة المستوطنات الاسرائيلية على حدود قطاع غزّة، فإن تطوّر الأسلحة الفلسطينية ونوعيتها في الرد على عدوان «عمود السحاب»، أو «السماء الزرقاء» بحسب «الجهاد الاسلامي»، وضع القيادة الاسرائيلية في مأزق.

فما هي أبرز الصواريخ التي استخدمتها المقاومة حتى الآن؟

÷ «فجر - 5» الايراني: شكّل مفاجأة حقيقية بالنسبة الى الحكومة الاسرائيلية، اذ تبلغ وزن الحشوة الشديدة الانفجار منه 90 كيلوغراماً، ويصل طول الصاروخ الى 6.485 أمتار، والأهم أن معدّل مداه يتراوح بين 68 و75 كيلومترا، ما قد يجعل القدس المحتلة وتل أبيب تحت مرماه. استخدم «حزب الله» صواريخ «فجر - 5» أثناء حرب تموز 2006. ويمتلك كل من حركة «حماس»، حركة «الجهاد الاسلامي»، سوريا، ليبيا، بالاضافة الى «حزب الله»، هذا النوع من الصواريخ.

- «غراد» الروسي: لا تستعمله المقاومة للمرة الأولى، لكنها تستخدمه بكثرة، بعد التعديلات المحلية التي طرأت عليه. ووصل مدى صاروخ «غراد» بعد مراحل تطويرية متعددة الى أكثر من 20 كيلومترا، كما أُجريت تحسينات على فعالية قدرته التدميرية على الرغم من حجم عياره الصغير. يُقلق صاروخ «غراد» مستوطنات نيتيفوت وسديروت وعسقلان.

- «أم - 75» الفلسطيني الصنع: الصاروخ - اللغز، الذي فاجأ الجيش الاسرائيلي، واستخدمته «حماس» بكثرة في الحرب، والذي وصل مداه الى تل أبيب والقدس المحتلة. ويقول المتحدث باسم «حماس» أبو عبيدة إن «صاروخ «أم - 75»، الذي أصاب مستوطنة غوش حتسيون، خارج القدس، كان سلاحاً جديداً، وأوصلنا رسالة عبره تفيد بأنه لم يعد هناك أي صهيوني على أي شبر من فلسطين في مأمن». ويرمز الرقم «75» الى المدى الجغرافي بالكيلومترات، أي الى المدى الذي يُمكن أن يصل اليه الصاروخ.

- «ناصر - 5» الفلسطيني الصنع: الجيل الجديد من سلسلة صواريخ «ناصر»، والتي تتميّز بطولها القصير (2.50 متر)، وقدرتها التفجيرية عند ملامستها أي شيء.
- «107» الفلسطيني الصنع: وصل مداه الى 40 كيلومتراً، ويطال مستوطنة بئر السبع، التي باتت أسيرة هذا النوع من الصواريخ.

- «الهاون» البريطاني الأصل: من أقدم أنواع الصواريخ وتمّ تطويره على مرّ السنوات، يُستعمل بكثرة في حروب الشوارع لفعاليته، يتراوح مداه بين 7 و10 كيلومترات، وفي هذه الحالة، فإن كل المستوطنات الاسرائيلية على تخوم قطاع غزة تُعتبر أهدافاً له."

A Pillar Built on Sand


".....Nevertheless, Pillar of Defence will not achieve its ultimate goal of getting the Palestinians to abandon their pursuit of self-determination and accept living under the heel of the Israelis. That is simply not achievable; the Palestinians are never going to accept being consigned to a handful of enclaves in an apartheid state. Regrettably, that means Pillar of Defence is unlikely to be the last time Israel bombards Gaza.

Over the long term, however, the bombing campaigns may come to an end, because it is not clear that Israel will be able to maintain itself as an apartheid state. As well as resistance from the Palestinians, Israel has to face the problem that world opinion is unlikely to back an apartheid state. Ehud Olmert said in November 2007, when he was prime minister, that if ‘the two-state solution collapses’ Israel will ‘face a South-African-style struggle’, and ‘as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.’ One would think Israel’s leaders would appreciate where they are headed and allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own. But there is no sign that is happening; instead, Israel foolishly continues to rely on military campaigns like Pillar of Defence to break the Palestinians."

Fireworks in Gaza

Israel must re-think its strategy in a post-Arab Spring Middle East if it wants to achieve real peace.


"......Israel looks increasingly desperate. It is left with an anachronistic means of self-defence: War-making in an age where war is becoming redundant.

Israel will never conduct a war the same way it did in the pre-Arab Spring era. Arab public opinion would not allow it, nor will the emerging democracies being secured in countries such as Egypt. Morsi's Egypt, committed still to international agreements with Israel, give the Palestinians the kind of moral and psychological depth Mubarak denied them. At least, they are no longer alone and there is humanitarian and material aid at their disposal.

If the war partly is intended to test this new dynamic, Israel should re-think: Millions and millions of Arab youth would not hesitate the call of Palestine. Neither the Arabs nor the Israelis want this scenario of belligerence. That is why Israel should not test the resolve of newly empowered Arab masses for whom Israel is an occupier, usurper of Palestinian land, and a killer of children. Nor should it test Morsi, who will beg to differ with Western administrations, including the Americans, on the root causes of the current conflict.

Through solidarity, these masses form a moral equaliser that give Palestinians some parity in a war of narratives in which Israel, at official and public levels, has often enjoyed largely unfettered and uncritical Western support."

Mideast redux: End the cycle of retaliation

Israel must end its provocations and cycles of retaliations if it ever wants to achieve peace.

By Marwan Bishara

"Watching the escalation in Israel/Palestine and the preparations for a possible all-out assault on the Gaza Strip, one hears many insightful and original commentary. Alas, when it's original it's usually inaccurate, and when it's right it's hardly new. Netanyahu, like his predecessors, is using the assassination of Hamas's leader Ahmad Jabari and subsequent escalation to undermine the Palestinian leadership's (Hamas and Fatah's) political standing and improve his own political chances, by underlining Israel's national security over economic security as the core issue preoccupying the nation, ahead of the elections.

To make the point, here's a piece I published six years ago titled, "Mideast: End the cycle of retaliation", with minor changes of dates, names etc. As they continue to repeat themselves tirelessly and recycle the same claims, I shall repeat my analysis......"

Syrian Karzai Waiting for Charity From "Friends of Syria."

Syrian Karzai Waiting for Charity From "Friends of Syria."

(فيديو) رعب وبكاء مجندات الاحتلال من صواريخ المقاومة

عرب48 /وكالات

"اجتذبت تسجيلات الفيديو المتعلقة بالهجوم على غزة متابعة مئات الآلاف على الموقع، من بينها تسجيل يظهر مجندات في الجيش الإسرائيلي وهن "يبكين ويصرخن هلعا بسبب دوي صفارات الإنذار وسقوط الصواريخ."

وحمل أحد التسجيلات تلك عنوان"رعب وبكاء وهلع مجندات الاحتلال من صواريخ المقاومة،" واجتذب أكثر من 111 ألف مشاهدة، مع الكثير من التعليقات التي صبت في إطار "الشماتة بالعدو.""

Gaza rockets land near Jerusalem as fears of ground offensive grow

As tanks gather near border Israeli minister says invasion could come before end of weekend
Gaza is Now a Free Fire Zone, by Carlos Latuff.

in Gaza City, in Cairo, and agencies,

"The Israeli cabinet has authorised the call-up of 75,000 reserve troops as fears grow that the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will order a ground invasion after Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire did not make headway and Hamas fired a rocket at Jerusalem.

The US was scrambling to prevent a further escalation of what it described as a "very, very dangerous situation" in Gaza. Britain warned that a ground invasion could cost Israel international support.

But concerns that Netanyahu is preparing to escalate the assault were strengthened as he held a strategy session with senior ministers. Also, the size of the call up is on a scale comparable to Israel's invasion of Lebanon six years ago, and several times larger than the number of reservists drafted during the last major incursion into Gaza in 2008. Tanks were seen gathering near the Gaza border, and roads in the area were closed to Israeli civilians.

Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, told CNN that a ground invasion could come before the end of the weekend if the rocket attacks continue......"

Love Letter and Response

Egyptian President Morsi's Love Letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Shimon Peres' Response to Morsi.

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Are you satisfied with the level of solidarity of the countries of the Arab Spring with Gaza?

With over 600 responding so far, 74% said no.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Real News Video: Protests Erupt Worldwide Against Israel's Bombing Campaign in Gaza

Global demonstrations against Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud growing as death toll mounts. 

More at The Real News

Al-Jazeera Video: Israel and Gaza trade fire

"Air strikes from Israel have continued to take a devistating toll on Gaza as Hamas landed a rocket in an uninhabitated area of Jerusalem.

Among those killed on Friday was a two-year-old Palestinian boy.

Elsewhere in Gaza, continued Israeli air strikes destroyed a family-owned textile factory that employed at least 20 workers and a food store.

The Hamas Interior Ministry was also decimated, but the group continued to launch rockets into Israel despite Tel Aviv announcing it would hold its fire while Hesham Qandil, Egyptian prime minister, was in the enclave. 

Tel Aviv's statement came on the condition that Hamas fighters also halt any attacks on Israel.

Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from Gaza."

Al-Jazeera Video: Rockets from Gaza reach Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

"Despite the Israeli airstrikes, Hamas continue to fire rockets across the border from Gaza.

And as Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Jerusalem, the rockets are penetrating further into Israel than ever before."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Gaza strikes: Motives and consequences

"As Israel and Hamas fighters attack each other, fears are growing that their conflict could develop into a full-scale ground war in the Gaza Strip. Israel says all options are on the table. Hamas says dark days await Israel. It also says it has, for the first time, fired missiles at Tel Aviv. So, what are the motives and the consequences of this latest series of attacks on Gaza? And could these be the opening shots in Binjamin Netanyahu's election campaign?"

Al-Jazeera Video: 'Ceasefire' collapses as Egypt PM visit Gaza

"Explosions were reported after Israeli military offers conditional halt to strikes during Hesham Qandil's solidarity meeting in Gaza.

Al Jazeera brings you the latest from Nadim Baba in Gaza, Nisreen El-Shamyleh in Jerusalem, and Sherine Tadros in Cairo."

Al-Jazeera Video: Gaza hospitals struggle to cope

"Israel's campaign of air strikes on Gaza's continued for a second night. 
The number of casualties is rising and Hamas' retaliation is causing panic inside Israel.

For the first time, rockets fired from Gaza have reached the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens sounded there for the first time in more than 20 years.

Inside Gaza, the bombardment is causing so many injuries that hospital staff face being overwhelmed. And the return fire into Israel is also causing casualties.
Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from Gaza."

Al-Jazeera Video: ما وراء الخبر/ اغتيال أحمد الجعبري

Guests: Osama Hamdan, Jamal Zahalqa

Israel's "Iron Dome"

Courtesy of

Gaza is no longer alone

In the nations of the Arab spring, people are now rising up to demand Palestinian rights as well


The Guardian,
Since he won the presidency, Mohamed Morsi has tried to be a pragmatic politician. He pressed on with "security co-ordination" with Israel in Sinai; he started sealing up the tunnels that provide a lifeline to the besieged Gazans; he rejected the proposal of a free trade area on the borders between Egypt and Gaza; and he sent an ambassador to Tel Aviv with a fulsome letter to Shimon Peres. And so he found himself uncomfortably cosied up with remnants of the Mubarak regime and aficionados of the military government.
The rank and file of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Freedom and Justice party had a hard time justifying the actions of their man in the presidential palace to the rest of the country. Progressives and liberals mocked them for their big talk on Palestine all the years they were in opposition, and their resounding silence now they were in power. Skits about Morsi's "love letter" to Peres appeared online and parodies on Cairo walls.

Now, the Israelis have pushed him – pushed him perhaps into a position where he'll find himself more at ease in his presidency, and more in tune with the people. Large groups of young Egyptians have been heading for Gaza; my youngest niece is one of them. Like the efforts of the world's civil society to send ships to Gaza, young Egyptian civilians with a passion for freedom are going to support their friends. And on a more "official" level, medics and pharmacists have already arrived there. Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, a presidential candidate and doctor, has gone – as he did in 2008 during Israel's "Operation Cast Lead", long before he had political intentions. The Arab Doctors' Union has called for donations and volunteers.....

In every Arab country where the people rise up to demand their rights, they demand action on Palestinian rights as well. Tunis has just announced that its foreign minister is heading for Gaza. In Jordan today, hundreds of thousands were on the streets and, as well as demanding the fall of their own regime, they're also calling for justice for Palestine. Protesters are out in Libya. In Egypt, people are heading for Rafah. We are heading for true representation of the people's will in the region and, in the coming years, governments will need to follow the road shown to them by their people."

"Nowhere to Run": Israel Fires Over 500 Strikes in Gaza, Civilian Toll Grows in Humanitarian Crisis

Democracy Now!

"Transcript |
Israel is continuing to pound the Gaza Strip with air strikes amidst fears that Israel could soon launch a ground invasion into Gaza. Israeli troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are now massing near the Palestinian territory. Earlier today, 85 missiles exploded within 45 minutes in Gaza City, sending black pillars of smoke. At least 21 Palestinians have died in the most recent round of violence, while three Israelis died on Thursday. Israel said it launched 150 air strikes overnight, while Palestinians fired a dozen rockets into Israel. Israel has started to draft 30,000 reserve troops in a sign the assault may soon widen. Among the casualties of Israeli violence was the 11-month-old son of a BBC Arabic journalist, Jihad Misharawi. Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil traveled to Gaza today to condemn the Israeli attack. For more, we get a report from Rafah by Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer, who says, "One thing that we ought to talk about here is the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. This is a situation of targeting a population of civilians, exactly like Israel is shooting in a fishbowl. And there is no shelter, and there is nowhere to run for the general population. Gaza is living in a very dire situation." We also speak with Gershon Baskin, the founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, who was the initiator of the secret talks between Israel and Hamas for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit...."

Israeli Negotiator: Hamas Commander Was Assassinated Hours After Receiving Truce Deal from Israel

Democracy Now!

"Transcript |
Israel broke an informal ceasefire on Wednesday by assassinating Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in an air strike. The Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate talks between Israel and Hamas in the deal to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, has revealed Jabari was assassinated just hours after he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire. Baskin, the founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, joins us from Jerusalem. We also speak with Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer based in Gaza...."

In photos: Israel attacks Gaza

The Electronic Intifada

Thirteen-year-old Ahmad Abu Daqqa is mourned during his funeral in Abbassan al-Kabira, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, 9 November. The boy was shot in his stomach by an Israeli soldier while playing football outside his home.
(Anne Paq / ActiveStills)

(20 photos)

Images disprove Israeli official’s denial that Palestinians shot down drone over Gaza

By Ali Abunimah

"Video posted on YouTube from Al-Aqsa TV shows a drone that Palestinian resistance fighters say they shot down over Gaza.
Israeli government spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted, “The drone that Hamas showed on TV is not Israeli and is not in service in the IDF. This is another failed Hamas PR prop.”

 However examination of images of the drone suggest it is Gendelman who is lying. In the TV clip, the anchor identifies the downed drone as a “Skylite B,” an unmanned aerial vehicle made by the Israeli weapons firm Rafael.

Compare the screenshots below from the Al-Aqsa TV clip with the image of the Skylite B from the Rafael website and marketing brochure and decide for yourself who is telling the truth....."

A Present to Foreign Secretary Hague: 11-month-old son of BBC picture editor is killed in Gaza air strike

The Independent

"Sobbing and shaking with unbearable grief, Jihad Masharawi is pictured cradling the body of his murdered 11-month-old son Omar yesterday....."

Gaza - Live Updates

The Guardian


Hamas interior ministry hit

Early on Friday, 85 missiles exploded within 45 minutes in Gaza City.
One missile hit the interior ministry and another hit an empty house belonging to a senior Hamas commander.
Those strikes, together with an attack on a generator building near the home of Gaza's Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, signaled that Israel is expanding its offensive beyond military targets.
Palestinian firefighter tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli air strike on the building of Hamas ministry of interior in Gaza City  
A Palestinian firefighter tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli air strike on the building of the Hamas ministry of interior in Gaza City. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

The BBC's Middle East bureau chief, Paul Danahar, says the interior ministry was where people used to get passports, ID cards & permission for journalists to go into Gaza. He says the ministry is still on fire......"

Guardian Video: Egyptian prime minister arrives in Gaza


"Egypt's prime minister, Hisham Kandil, arrives in Gaza on Friday as the Israeli military and Palestinian militants continue to exchange fire. Shortly after Kandil arrived, rockets fired from Gaza hit several sites in southern Israel. The Israeli air force responded with an attack on the house of Hamas's commander for southern Gaza."

Guardian Video: The Cheerleader for Israeli Attacks on Gaza Vows Support for the Syrian Karzai

Syria opposition to receive more support from UK, says William Hague



Bomb Iran? No. Bomb Gaza? Yes!

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Frustrated with Obama's re-election and his pledges to pursue diplomacy with Iran, Netanyahu engineered an offensive on the last place Israeli Defense Forces can wreak havoc with total impunity. Don't expect condemnation of the Gazan assault from Gulf Arabs or Western "Friends of Syria", but Egypt could draw new battlelines...."

Here is the reaction of the Saudi king:

No support for Gaza and no condemnation of Israel! His "majesty" says that we should be rational and calm down!

العاهل السعودي يدعو إلى تحكيم العقل في أحداث غزة

"الرياض- (د ب أ): دعا العاهل السعودي الملك عبدالله بن عبد العزيز خلال اتصال هاتفي مع الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي إلى ضرورة "تحكيم العقل" في الأحداث التي تدور في غزة بين الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين.
وذكرت وكالة الأنباء السعودية الرسمية (واس) الخميس أن الملك عبد الله تلقى اتصالا هاتفيا الليلة من الرئيس مرسي تطرق الحديث خلاله إلى العلاقات بين البلدين الشقيقين والأوضاع في المنطقة وتطور الأحداث في الأراضي الفلسطينية.

وأضافت (واس) أن العاهل السعودي أجاب على الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي "بأنه لا بد من تهدئة الأمور وإحكام العقل وألا يغلب الانفعال على الحكمة والتدبر".
وأدان الرئيس مرسي الذي تعهد مرارا باحترام اتفاقية السلام التي أبرمت عام 1979 مع إسرائيل الغارات ووصفها بأنها تهديد للأمن الإقليمي وسحب السفير المصري من إسرائيل.

واستدعى أيضا السفير الإسرائيلي بالقاهرة لتسليمه مذكرة احتجاج ودعا إلى عقد اجتماع طارئ لمجلس الأمن.

واستشهد 16 فلسطينيا بينهم أحمد الجعبري قائد العمليات العسكرية في كتائب عز الدين القسام كما أصيب ما لا يقل عن 150 أخرين بجروح منذ بداية العدوان العسكري الإسرائيلي الجديد على غزة مساء الأربعاء.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Al-Jazeera Video:تواصل الغارات الإسرائيلية على غزة

"في غزة أعلنت حركة حماس أنها لن تنجر وراء ما وصفتها بخديعة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي من أجل هدنة جديدة. وأشار المتحدث باسم الحركة سامي أبو زهري إلى أن الاحتلال هو الذي خرق الهدنة باغتياله الجعبري. وقد أعلنت كتائب القسام التابعة للحركة إسقاطها طائرة استطلاع إسرائيلية فوق سماء غزة فيما تواصلت الغارات الإسرائيلية ليلا على مناطق متفرقة من القطاع.

(فيديو) اطلاق القسام صاروخ فجر5 على تل أبيب

عرب48 /وكالات

"أعلنت كتائب الشهيد عز الدين القسام مسؤوليتها عن قصف مدينة (تل ابيب) بصاروخين من طراز فجر خمسة للمرة الاولى في تاريخ المقاومة الفلسطينية بالاضافة الى العديد من صواريخ الجراد ومحلية الصنع.

Steve Bell on Tony Blair and William Hague's role in Israel-Gaza clash – cartoon


The Egyptian Tartour at the Service of the Empire: Obama presses Egypt to help rein in Hamas as Gaza conflict escalates

The Guardian

"Barack Obama is pressing the Egyptian leadership to help de-escalate the bloody conflict in Gaza amid concern that a further ratcheting up of violence, such as a major Israeli ground assault, could damage the peace accords between Cairo and Jerusalem.

The Egyptian prime minister, Hisham Kandil, is expected to lead a delegation to Gaza on Friday for talks with Hamas leaders on quelling the fighting [Not support of the Palestinians as Egypt claims!] which has escalated with the Israeli assassination of the Hamas military leader, Ahmed Jabari, and the firing of hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel. The fighting has now claimed civilian lives on both sides.

On Thursday, the conflict threatened to escalate further as the Israelis stepped up their intense bombardment of Gaza and Hamas continued its barrage of rocket fire into Israel....."

قوات الأمن التونسية تستخدم القوة لتفريق مئات المتضامنين مع غزة

قوات الأمن التونسية تستخدم القوة لتفريق مئات المتضامنين مع غزة "

"تونس ـ (يو بي اي) تظاهر مئات التونسيين، الخميس، للتنديد بالهجوم الإسرائيلي على قطاع غزة، وتعبيراً عن تضامنهم مع الشعب الفلسطيني، غير أن قوات الأمن تصدّت لهم بالهراوات وفرّقتهم بالقوة.
وتجمّع نحو 500 شخص في ساحة محمد علي أمام مقر الإتحاد العام التونسي للشغل (أحد أكبر ثلاث منظمات نقابية تونسية) تلبية لدعوة من الأحزاب القومية واليسارية، في مسيرة للتعبير عن تضامنهم مع الشعب الفلسطيني.

ورفع المتظاهرون علم فلسطين، ورددوا شعارات منها "الشعب يريد تحرير فلسطين"، و"الشعب يريد تجريم التطبيع"، كما استهدفوا الحكومة التونسية الحالية التي تقودها حركة النهضة الإسلامية بعدة شعارات منها "يا حكومة عار عار، غزة تحت النار"، و"يا حكومة عار عليكم، فلسطين تناديكم".

وحاول المتظاهرون الوصول إلى شارع الحبيب بورقيبة وسط تونس العاصمة، غير أن قوات الأمن التي حاصرت المتظاهرين بتعزيزات أمنية كبيرة، عمدت إلى تفريقهم بالقوة مستعملة الهراوات والعصي.

وتفرّق المتظاهرون في الأحياء المحاذية لشارع الحبيب بورقيبة وسط ترديد شعارات مناهضة لوزارة الداخلية التونسية التي يدير شؤونها علي لعريض القيادي في حركة النهضة الإسلامية، منها" وزارة الداخلية، وزارة إرهابية"، و"شركاء في العدوان، الأمريكان والإخوان"، وذلك في إشارة إلى الإخوان المسلمين.

إلى ذلك، قال شاهد في اتصال هاتفي ليونايتد برس إنترناشونال، إن مدينة صفاقس الواقعة على بعد نحو 275 كيلومتراً جنوب تونس العاصمة، شهدت هي الأخرى مظاهرة حاشدة للتنديد بـ"العدوان الإسرائيلي".

كما خرج العشرات من التونسيين في مظاهرة مماثلة في مدينة بنقردان الواقعة في أقصى الجنوب التونسي غير بعيد عن الحدود مع ليبيا.

وتأتي هذه التحركات الشعبية، فيما تواصلت ردود الفعل المنددة بالهجوم الإسرائيلي المتواصل على قطاع غزة، حيث استنكر الإتحاد العام التونسي للشغل ما وصغ بـ"العدوان الإسرائيلي الغادر".

وأعرب في بيان حمل توقيع أمينه العام حسين العباسي، تلقت يونايتد برس إنترناشونال نسخة منه مساء اليوم، عن تنديده بـ"مساندة أميركا لهذا العدوان"، وبـ"صمت القوى الامبريالية إزاء الجرائم التي ترتكب ضدّ الأطفال والنساء والشيوخ بأبشع وسائل الدمار الحربي".

كما ندد أيضا في بيانه بالأنظمة العربية التي "تصمت أمام العدوان الصهيوني وتهرول إلى إرضائه في حين تغدق المال الوفير لإشعال الحروب والفتن وتغذية الإرهاب في بعض البلدان العربية ومنها سوريا".

ودعا الإتحاد العام التونسي للشغل الفصائل الوطنية الفلسطينية إلى التوحّد في مقاومة العدو الصهيوني ونبذ الإنقسامات، مشدداً في نفس الوقت على ضرورة تجريم التطبيع في الدستور التونسي الجديد كأحد مداخل "خنق الكيان الصهيوني ومنع العلاقات معه" ودعماً لخيار المقاومة الذي أثبت جدواه في الإطاحة بالأنظمة الدكتاتورية في عدد من البلدان العربية.

وكان 15 فلسطينياً قتلوا في عملية عسكرية إسرائيلية متدحرجة على قطاع غزة سمّتها إسرائيل "عامود السحاب"، بدأتها باغتيال القائد في كتائب عز الدين القسّام الجناح العسكري لحركة المقاومة الإسلامية (حماس)، أحمد الجعبري ومرافقه، وأدّت أيضاً إلى إصابة 130 آخرين غالبيتهم من المدنيين، بينهم 26 طفلاً.

Guardian Video: Jordanian police clash with fuel protesters


"Protesters in the Jordanian capital, Amman, clash with riot police on Wednesday, after two days of demonstrations against a hike in fuel prices. More than 1,000 people spilled into the streets of Amman and smaller protests erupted in several provincial towns on Tuesday after Islamist and tribal opposition groups said they would demonstrate."

The end of the two-state illusion: Gaza's silver lining?

Everything we see today in Israel/Palestine is a result of the "inability to put the Oslo zombie out of its misery".

By Mark LeVine

"....Once the fighting dies down, Israel will threaten to end its support for Oslo and even topple the PA if it goes ahead with its fight for greater international recognition. But there's little chance it would follow through on such a threat, since the alternative to the Oslo process would be direct rule over the Occupied Territories, thus making the one-state choice for Palestinians.

Sadly, if the Arab Spring was in good measure inspired by the two Palestinian intifadas, there seems to be no scenario in which a robust Palestinian civil society can lead the kind of intifada that brought an end to the rule of Tunisia's Ben Ali or Egypt's Mubarak. Neither Israel nor the international community, nor the contending poles of the Palestinian leadership will allow such a movement to emerge.

"The People want the downfall of the regime!" is clearly a sentiment most Palestinians would agree with. But unlike Egyptians, Tunisians, or even Libyans and Syrians, Palestinians must simultaneously fight multiple occupations - against their own leadership as much as against Israel.

At the same time, like an abuser whose actions are celebrated by his friends rather than condemned, Israel has little if any incentive begins treating Palestinians like full human beings. But if this latest round of bloody violence can help finally destroy the Oslo illusion, it might just force the two sides to look across the so-called Green Line and begin the long, arduous but absolutely necessary project of imagining a common and equal future in which the full humanities and rights of both sides is finally respected."

Breaking Truce, Israeli Strikes Kill "Moderate" Hamas Military Chief, Palestinian Civilians in Gaza

"Israel is threatening to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip after breaking an informal ceasefire with an ongoing series of deadly attacks. At least 13 Palestinian civilians have been killed, including a baby and a mother pregnant with twins, in addition to more than 100 wounded. Israel says it has launched the strikes to prevent Palestinian rocket fire, but the latest round of violence began last week when Israeli troops killed a young boy in Gaza. The situation has escalated since Saturday, when Palestinian militants fired at an Israeli military vehicle near the Israel-Gaza border. After Palestinian militant groups agreed to an informal truce on Monday, Israel broke two days of quiet with Wednesday’s attack. Israel’s attack on Gaza marks its largest since the U.S.-backed operation that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians nearly four years ago. We go to Gaza City to speak with Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer......."

Al-Jazeera Video: World reacts to latest violence in Gaza

Real News Video: Israel Escalates Assault On Gaza Strip after Assassination Of Top Hamas Commander

Jihan Hafiz reports on the continued military action in Gaza

More at The Real News

A Great Cartoon by Khalil Bendib: Assad and Bibi

How Israel shattered Gaza truce leading to escalating death and tragedy: a timeline

By Ali Abunimah

"Today, 3 Israelis were killed as a result of rocket fire from Gaza.
This came after Israel had killed 13 Palestinians, including 3 children and a woman, and injured 115, including 26 children and 25 women since yesterday, 14 November.

This will be presented by Israel – and sympathetic or careless world media – as another justification for Israel’s attacks on Gaza to stop rocket fire. But this narrative is false.

Where there was calm and an effective truce, Israel chose to shatter it, bringing about the current deadly escalation.

In general, Palestinians fired rockets, or attacked the Israeli army, as a response to Israeli attacks, seeking to avoid escalation and publicly embracing a truce. Take a look at the sequence:......."

Israel’s Real Agenda

by , November 15, 2012 

"......Understanding that Israel’s real agenda is not to fight Iran or do anything to help stabilize Syria and accepting instead that Benjamin Netanyahu intends to expand and solidify a Greater Israel provides some clarity to developments in the Middle East. Palestinians living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River in Israel, Gaza, and on the West Bank will in twelve years constitute a majority of the indigenous population, but they will be a majority forced into ever contracting enclaves and hemmed in by Israeli force majeure on all sides. It is not a pleasant prospect, being somewhat akin to the sputtering bomb cartoon that Netanyahu produced in the United Nations. Unfortunately, only the United States can influence the Israelis to rethink their destructive policies, which will ultimately also do grave damage to the American people, but there is no sign that any US politician has the courage to face the facts and do what is right."

Gaza - Live Updates

The Guardian


Baby of BBC Arabic cameraman killed

The baby of a BBC Arabic cameraman was killed by the Israeli air strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, the corporation says.
BBC Arabic employee Jihad al-Masharawi with dead son Gaza Jihad al-Masharawi, a Palestinian employee of BBC Arabic in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month-old son Omar, who according to hospital officials was killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City 15 November, 2012. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters.......

Muslim Brotherhood calls for Egypt to cut ties with Israel

Has no one told them that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power in Egypt?......

Audio: Muslim Brotherhood facing criticism over Gaza response

A lot of eyes are on the response by the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, especially given its historic ties to Hamas, but Abdel Rahman- Hussein, in Cairo, says now that the group is in power it seems to be adopting a pragmatic approach taking "pretty much the same measures that Hosni Mubarak took during Operation Cast Lead" in 2008-09. He said:
The Brotherhood are facing criticism already that they are not doing anything that is too different from a regime that was overthrown by the Egyptian people and was deemed complicit in the siege of the people of Gaza ...The Muslim Brotherhood has always criticised the Mubarak regime basically for letting things happen on its border because Gaza's on the border with Egypt and the Sinai border and I think a stronger Egyptian position would have made Israel think twice about carrying out such an operation, not knowing what would happen on the other side of the border ...
There will be demonstrations [in Cairo] today and tomorrow but that's what happened in 2008. The Muslim Brotherhood along with a lot of secular opposition forces held a series of protests against the Israeli offensive during that time but they weren't in power back then. They're in power now and it seems that, basically, they're pretty much going down the same route [as the Mubarak regime]......"

Jordan police stations attacked by gunmen during protest

One gunman killed and 13 police seriously injured as demonstrators denounce the King over rising price of fuel,
Gunmen have attacked two police stations in Jordan as demonstrators threw rocks and denounced their king over price hikes in a rare spike of violence.

One attacker was killed in the assaults, the first fatality in demonstrations in the kingdom this year. Thirteen police officers were among 17 seriously wounded in the attack in Jordan's north, police said. A police corporal was critically wounded in the second.

Two days of angry protests have threatened to push the US-allied kingdom into a wave of unrest.
King Abdullah II has so far steered his nation clear of the Arab Spring that has swept across the region, toppling the rulers of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen along the way. But Jordan's massive budget deficit and other economic woes could increasingly push the population into the opposition camp......"

"هآرتس": إسرائيل سعت إلى طمأنة حماس والأخيرة وقعت في فخ التضليل


"قالت صحيفة "هآرتس" في موقعها على الشبكة، صباح اليوم الخميس، إن قرار الاحتلال الإسرائيلي بشن عملية عسكرية في القطاع اتخذ منذ يوم الثلاثاء في الجلسة الخاصة للجنة التساعية، دون عقد جلسة للمجلس الوزاري الأمني قبل إطلاق العدوان على القطاع، وأن المجلس عقد بعد بدء تحديد أهداف العدوان حيث طلب منه المصادقة عليها.

وقال تقرير ل"هآرتس" إن العدوان الإسرائيلي الذي بدأ الأربعاء، جاء في ختام عملية تضليل واسعة قامت بها إسرائيل وسعت من خلالها إلى طمأنة حركة حماس بأن الرد الإسرائيلي لن يكون قريبا ، ولم تقتصر عملية التضليل هذه المرة على قيادات الجيش الإسرائيلي  وأجهزة الأمن بل شملت أيضا هذه المرة وزراء في الحكومة الإسرائيلية  وكان الهدف من مناورة التضليل "طمأنة" حركة حماس  لدفعها إلى خفض درجة استنفارها وجاهزيتها لحالة وقوع هجوم إسرائيلي، حتى تقوم الحركة باستئناف عمليات إطلاق الصواريخ ضد إسرائيل وبالتالي تعقب مكان القائد العسكري لكتائب عز الدين القسام ، أحمد الجعبري واغتياله.

وقال موقع "هآرتس" إن نتنياهو عقد الاثنين لقاء مع السفراء الأجانب المعتمدين في إسرائيل في مدينة أشكلون، للتأكيد على أن إسرائيل ستسعى لوقف إطلاق الصواريخ من القطاع ، لكنه أوهم الدبلوماسيين أن الحديث لا يدور عن عملية قريبة، وترك نتنياهو نفس الانطباع عند رؤساء البلديات الإسرائيلية في الجنوب خلال لقائه بهم يوم الثلاثاء. وفي هذا السياق أعلن نتنياهو وبراك سوية أن إسرائيل ستحدد الموعد المناسب للرد على النيران القادمة من غزة.

إلى ذلك ولإكمال مناورة التضليل، فقد أرسل الوزير بني بيغن للحديث مع وسائل الإعلام من الجلسة الخاصة للجنة التسعة الوزارية ، ظهر الأربعاء، قبل ساعات معدودة من عملية اغتيال الجعبري وأعطى مقابلات صحافية قال فيها إن جولة التصعيد في القطاع قد انتهت وأن إسرائيل سترد في المستقبل مع أي تصعيد قادم.

وبحسب "هآرتس"، فإن المركب التالي في عملية التضليل تمثل بجولة نتنياهو وبراك سوية في مقر قيادة قوات الاحتلال في الجولان، بحجة الاطلاع على الأوضاع في هضبة الجولان ومتابعة التطورات في سوريا، وشارك الرئيس الإسرائيلي بيرس هو الآخر في عملية التضليل عندما قام بجولة في بلدة سديروت.

وأوضح الموقع أن متابعة ورصد تحركات الجعبري بدأت منذ الثلاثاء لكن الأحوال الجوية العاصفة حالت دون شن الهجوم وتنفيذه الثلاثاء، واستأنفت إسرائيل رصد تحركاته صباح أمس الأربعاء وعند تعقبه تم إبلاغ نتنياهو وبراك اللذان صادقا على تنفيذ الاغتيال وإطلاق العدوان الجديد تحت اسم "عامود السحاب"."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Al-Jazeera Video: Interview: Ali Abunimah on the situation in Gaza

"Israeli air strikes have continued into the night in Gaza, after a missile killed the military commander of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari.

Dozens of rockets have been fired back into southern Israel following the strike. One has hit a shopping centre in a major Israeli city.

At least eight people have been reported killed in Gaza so far - including three civilians. Residential buildings are among those destroyed.

Al Jazeera's Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian American journalist, and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, an online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Al-Jazeera Video: Interview with Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan

"Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan speaks to Al Jazeera about the latest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, following the killing of Hamas's Ahmad Jabari.

"Now they have started not only an attack, but it's a long operation against Gaza. They are working to target the local leaders and also some political leaders; because of that we are expecting some days of violence," he said.

"Everyone knows that Ahmed Jabari was the leader of al-Qassam troops during the war on Gaza 2008-2009 and he was the man behind the [2006] kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. So [the Israeli military] has started with this man because they believe they have a long revenge for him."

"We will respond, that must happen. I have to say clearly we know that this road of retaliation is very long and we have to sacrifice. And we have sacrificed a lot."

[Update: Since this interview was carried out, Al Jazeera has confirmed that Ahmad Jabari's son was not killed in the Israeli attack as Osama Hamdan mentioned.]"

Déjà Vu All Over Again! Hamas Will Never Learn: Hamas military chief killed in Israeli attack

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Will the protests in Jordan lead to a popular Intifada?

With over 1200 responding, 66% said yes.

Noam Chomsky on Gaza, and the 2 Positives of Election 2012: The Worst Didn’t Happen — and It’s Over

"World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT professor Noam Chomsky joins us to discuss his recent trip to the Gaza Strip, where he publicly called on Israel to put an end to the blockade on the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave. "[Gaza] is a lesson for people from the West," Chomsky says. "If they can struggle on under really harsh and brutal conditions, it tells us we ought to be doing a lot more." Chomsky also comments on President Obama’s re-election, saying: "There are two good things: one, the worst did not happen, and it might have. The second is, it is over. We can put it behind us and get back to work."....."

Israel Assassinates the leader of Hammas Military Wing Ahmad AlJa'bari

Al-Jazeera Video: Aleppo's residents cope as fighting continues

"Months of fighting have reduced parts of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, to ruins.
Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons travelled to what was once the country's commercial hub to find out how people are coping."

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrian rebels plan battle for Damascus

"Rebel units of the Free Syrian Army are in control of some areas in the outlying suburbs of the capital Damascus. Al Jazeera followed one FSA unit in the capital as they tracked and captured a Palestinian man who they suspected of collaborating with the pro-Assad militia. Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra has the story."

Radical Clerics Seek to Legalise Child Brides

"CAIRO, Nov 14 2012 (IPS) - An ultraconservative Salafi cleric recently sparked outrage among Egypt’s liberal circles when he attempted to justify his opposition to a proposed constitutional article that would outlaw the trafficking of women for sex.

Speaking on privately-owned Al-Nas satellite channel, Sheikh Mohamed Saad El-Azhary said he feared the proposed article could conflict with the local practice of child marriage. He explained that in Egypt, particularly in rural areas, there is a culture of marrying off girls as soon as they hit puberty.

“The important thing is that the girl is ready and can tolerate marriage,” El-Azhary declared......"

Four more years of the same for US, Israel on Palestine

By Jonathan Cook
The National

"....Faced with a popular consensus in Israel and political backing in the US Congress for a hard line with the Palestinians, Mr Obama is an unlikely champion even of the Palestinians' ambition to win observer status at the United Nations. A vote on this matter is currently scheduled for November 29, with Mahmoud Abbas apparently hoping that the anniversary of the 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine will provide emotional resonance. Predictably, the US and Israel have threatened economic retaliation if the statehood bid proceeds.....

The reality is that the White House is stuck with an Israeli government, with or without Mr Netanyahu, that rejects an agreement with the Palestinians. As tensions flare again on the Israel-Gaza border, as they did in the run-up to the last Israeli election, it looks disturbingly like four more years of the same."

Syria Live Updates

The Guardian


The beginning of the video, which the news agency cannot verify, purports to show a car in Damascus crushed by a government tank, with the driver's body still inside......

Surface-to-air missiles

Syrian rebels may have more powerful shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles than previously thought, if photographs posted by Brown Moses (Eliot Higgins) on his blog are correct.

His photos show a man with what he identifies as an SA-16 (“reportedly captured by Ansar al-Islam from an air defence in East Ghouta, near Damascus”) and an SA-24 (“apparently looted from Babla Base air defence base by Ansar al-Islam”) - “the latest generation of Russian surface to air missiles”.
A photo purporting to show a Syrian rebel with an SA24 surface-to-air missile.

EU enables Israeli colonialism

By Ramzy Baroud
Asia Times

"The European Union's role as a major funder of the Palestinian Authority and advocate of the two-state solution is undermined by its status as a major market for the settlements that keeps them prosperous. While the United States' economic support of Israel is openly one-sided and "unconditional", it seems the EU's financial strategy deviously ensures the very occupation the grouping is supposedly trying to end....."

'Orientals' and Yankee presidents

American presidents come and go, but few, if any, seem to have the will to change the status quo in the Middle East.

 By Larbi Sadiki

 "..... Thus US foreign policy calls for readjustment. In the context of the Arab Spring it must not be driven by the imperative of introducing "order" into the lives of "Orientals". Security seems to be the constant that informs foreign policy-making before and after the Arab Spring; and this happens at the expense of development and a degree of self-determination such as in democratic reconstruction.

 Beyond security and oil 

 Moreover, Western leaders seem hell bent on repeating the same mistakes of manipulating "elites", recruiting them into their spheres of influence. In theory, many Western actors stand for institution-building and due process; in practice, it is largely business as usual seeking policy preferences and objectives through communication with elites, sometimes with limited legitimacy.

 Policy failure is obvious in Bahrain, where conflict resolution is managed through dialogue with elites in Manama and Riyadh. Similarly, the impasse in the Palestinian question can be put down to preference to deal with select politicians in the polarised polity. So instead of using existing legal UN frameworks as the basis for engaging with peace-making, reference is made to "client" leaders who speak and act, in the absence of legitimate mandate, on behalf of the occluded populace, the Arab "Orientals", often assumed to be silent, passive and in need of mentoring and guidance. 

 Obama's second term will not be a promenade in the White House given the onerous tasks awaiting him on the domestic front, especially in a Congress dominated by the Republicans. Even with a leaf from the books of Eisenhower, Carter and Clinton, the Middle East will prove more difficult to navigate if the moral compass of America is limited by the blind spots of security, oil and client-politicians."