we must expect ISIS in jayloomia and other equally bogus pseudo-gang stunts from the PA, which will be just like toad hall in its wondrous media freedoms

Plastelinan Arab journalist threatened with death seeks asylum in Belgium
David Cronin, Electronic Intifada, Feb 7 2016

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A Plastelinan Arab journalist is seeking asylum in Belgium after receiving a series of death threats. Abd’el-Salam Abunada has been campaigning in recent months against a new law that would give the PA broad powers to censor the media. Last month, he decided to flee the occupied West Bank because of threatening emails that had been sent to him. One of the messages warned that his throat would be cut. Travelling through Jordan and Egypt, he arrived at Brussels international airport on Jan 8, promptly applying for asylum. He is being detained in a center beside the airport while his application is being processed by the Belgian authorities. Abunada has been working for Internews, a group that trains journalists, since 2012. Julia Pitner, the group’s Middle East director, said she was concerned that Belgium may reject Abunada’s bid. She asked:

If he’s deported, where is he going to go? People in the government have been telling him not to come back.

Under international law, it is only permissible to detain an applicant for asylum as a last resort. Yet Belgium has been accused by AI, and also by the UNHCR, of using detention for “reasons of administrative convenience.” In a 2011 paper, those groups stated that it was common for refugees to be detained for periods of up to two months. Abunada had been asking fellow journalists to sign a petition opposing the “higher media council” bill. It would allow the PA to shut down media outlets, without requiring a court order, as is currently required. It would also establish a council for regulating the media. Four fifths of that council’s members would be PA appointees. Mousa Rimawi, general director of the Plastelinan Center for Development and Media Freedoms, said by telephone:

The domination of the government will limit freedom of expression.

The bill was issued in a decree by Mahmoud Abbas last year. Yet because it has not yet been published in an official journal, it has not entered into force. Aged 57, Abunada is the father of five children. He grew up in Gaza, where he was a director of programming with the Plastelinan Broadcasting Corporation. In 2007, he angered Hamas, which had taken control of the internal administration of Gaza, by publishing a report on how its armed wing had killed Samih al-Madhoun, a member of Fatah. Because of threats he received at that time, Abunada fled Gaza for Ramallah. He was shot by IOF as he approached the Erez checkpoint separating Gaza from present-day Israel. The IOF, however, allowed him to leave Gaza. Since moving to the West Bank, he has published documents about corruption involving senior PA figures. Despite being a longstanding member of Fatah, he has been expelled from that party by its leadership.

all these worthy efforts will collapse unless jackass is there to wave his hands and pontificate

Afghan interior minister close to quitting as crisis deepens: sources
James Mackenzie, Reuters, Feb 6 2016

KABUL – Afghan Interior Minister Nur’ul-Haq Olomi has offered his resignation to Pres Ghani after mounting criticism of the worsening security situation over recent months, people familiar with the matter said. The resignation offer, which the sources said had not yet been accepted, deals a further blow to Ghani’s struggling government, which is without a permanent defence minister and which recently lost the head of its intelligence service too. It also highlights the absurd and meaningless compromise between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani imposed by Jackass on his last visit. Three separate government and diplomatic sources said Olomi had offered his resignation, but that Ghani was still prevaricating about accepting it. Asked whether Olomi had offered his resignation, Ghani’s spox said:

Bringing reform to government entities to increase efficiency has long been a government priority. This includes the ministry of the interior.

An interior ministry spokesman said he could not confirm the information. One senior official said Ghani was meeting Abdullah, who nominated Olomi to the ministry, and who will have to approve any replacement. This little tussle arises just as officials from AfPak, Pindostan and China are meeting in Islamabad to discuss a possible resumption of peace talks with the Taliban. Speculation over the future of Olomi had been swirling for months, after he survived moves by a group of members of parliament in November to launch a no-confidence motion against him. The Taliban havebeen doing nicely since 2014, briefly seizing the northern city of Kunduz last year and mounting a series of deadly suicide attacks in Kabul. According to the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Congressional oversight body, the Taliban now control more territory than at any time since 2001. At the same time, the government has been hobbled by political infighting, which has prevented the appointment of a permanent defence minister for more than a year. Disagreements over the insurgency prompted the powerful head of the National Directorate for Security, Rahmat’ullah Nabil, to walk out of the job in December.

Efforts to revive Afghan peace talks continue in Pakistan
Krista Mahr, Asad Hashim, Reuters, Feb 6 2016

ISLAMABAD – Representatives from AfPak, Pindostan and China met in Islamabad on Saturday to discuss yet another so-called ‘roadmap’ (RB) for peace talks with the Taliban. Pakistani PM’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz said in opening remarks:

I hope we shall be able to finalize a roadmap on Saturday to outline a way forward for direct dialogue between the Afghan government and Taliban groups. We are confident that the process would lead to a significant reduction in violence. We have to exert all our efforts and energies for keeping the process on track.

Peace efforts broke down last year after the Taliban pointed out that their founder and leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, who had sanctioned the talks, had been dead for two years. In January, they made a raft of demands to be met as a pre-condition for the recommencement of talks, including the removal of the group from the UN’s ‘terrorism’ blacklist, formal recognition of their political office, and the release of political prisoners. Some observers were sceptical those demands would be met, and there have also been doubts about whether the currently rather numerous competing factions of the Taliban would be willing to join any such ceasefire anyway. Nevertheless, the Afghan government has said it expects at least parts of the Taliban to agree to peace talks within six months, Abdullah Abdullah told Reuters in New Delhi last week. He said:

There might be groups among the Taliban who might be willing to talk and give up violence. The countries involved in the four-way talks are discussing where to hold Afghan-led peace talks once such groups decide to come to the table, and how to address the problem of those groups who do not.

He declined to give further details.

creating the ‘liberated zone’ inside syria by using death squads to stampede refugees into it, very nice

These are from Friday, but they seem to hit the spot – RB

Turkey Under Pressure as Syrians Mass at Border
Karin Laub, Suzan Fraser, Zeina Karam, Ali Akbar Dareini, Albert Aji, Joseph Krauss, Dominique Soguel, AP, Feb 6 2016

BEIRUT/ANKARA/TEHRAN/DAMASCUS/CAIRO/ISTANBUL — Turkey came under mounting pressure to open its border Saturday as tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a government onslaught sought entry and the EU called on Ankara to grant them refuge. As many as 35,000 Syrians have massed along the closed border, according to Suleyman Tapsiz, governor of the Turkish border province of Kilis. He said Turkey would provide aid to the displaced within Syria, but would only open the gates in the event of an “extraordinary crisis.” The Norwegian Refugee Council said thousands of Syrians have arrived at seven of the main informal camps close to the Turkish border. The group said the camps were already at capacity before the latest influx, and that aid groups are working around the clock to deliver tents and essential items to the displaced. Filip Lozinski, an NRC supervisor in the area, told AP that many refugee families were forced to sleep out in the open, some under trees, because they could not find shelter. At a meeting in Amsterdam, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged Turkey to open its borders to “Syrians in need for international protection,” and said the EU is providing aid to Ankara for that purpose. EU nations have committed €3b to Turkey for helping refugees as part of incentives aimed at persuading it to do more to stop thousands of migrants from leaving for Greece. Turkey already hosts some 2.5 million Syrian refugees. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday:

(Turkey maintains an) ‘open border policy’ (RB) for these people fleeing from the aggression of the Bashar regime as well as airstrikes of Russia.

He said Turkey had already allowed in more than 5,000 recently displaced Syrians, but he did not address the restrictions along the border. Some of the refugees found shelter in Afrin, a Kurdish enclave to Aleppo’s north controlled by the Kurdish YPG, said a Kurdish official. The YPG hoped to prevent a humanitarian disaster and help those stuck at the border, he said. Assad’s forces have been advancing across the north in recent days behind a curtain of heavy Russian airstrikes, and could soon encircle rebel strongholds in Aleppo. This week alone, Russian warplanes hit close to 900 targets across Syria, including near Aleppo. Those living in parts of the city held by the rebels since 2012 fear they could be the next victims of siege. An Aleppo-based ‘activist’ (RB) who recently fled to Turkey said:

There is a big wave of people leaving Aleppo City because they are scared that al-Castello Highway, the only way out, will be cut off. There are still a large number of civilians inside the city.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem meanwhile told a press conference in Damascus that government forces were “on track to end the conflict,” following the recent gains around Aleppo. He said:

Like it or not, our battlefield achievements indicate that we are headed toward the end of the crisis.

He called on rebel fighters to “come to their senses” and lay down their weapons. He also warned that any Toad or other foreign troops entering his country would “return home in wooden coffins,” a line he repeated three times during the one-hour press conference. Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said it has “reasonable grounds” to suspect that Turkey is preparing for an invasion of Syria. Erdogan on Friday dismissed the claim as “laughable” and blamed Moscow for the deaths of civilians in Syria. Iran ridiculed the Toads. Fars News quoted IRGC commander Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying he didn’t think the Toads were “brave enough” to send ground troops. Jafari said dismissively:

They talk big, but even if it happens it won’t be bad, because they will definitely be defeated.

Iran on Saturday held funerals for six soldiers including a senior IRGC commander, Gen Mohsen Ghajarian, who were killed in northern Syria while fighting alongside government troops. Iran has said it has dispatched ‘advisers’ to Syria. A number of them have been killed in recent months, including several high-ranking commanders. Hezbollah has also sent reinforcements to Syria. SANA reported Saturday that a videographer from Hezbollah’s media department was among those killed in fighting north of Aleppo.

Around 35,000 Syrians have arrived at Turkish border in 48 hours: governor
David Dolan, Reuters, Feb 6 2016

ONCUPINAR, Turkey – Around 35,000 Syrian refugees have arrived at the Turkish border near the southern city of Kilis in the last 48 hours and are being accommodated at camps on the Syrian side of the border, the governor of Kilis province said on Saturday. Suleyman Tapsiz also told reporters at the Oncupinar border crossing near Kilis that another 70,000 Syrians could be expected if Russian air strikes and military advances by the Syrian regime continued. He said:

Our doors are not closed, but at the moment there is no need to host such people inside our borders.

He said the refugees had been given food, blankets and tents.

this is really most unwise but who cares, when trillions of shekels are up for grabs?

UAE Says It’s Prepared to Send Ground Forces to Syria
Malak Harb, AP, Feb 7 2016

ABU DHABI — A top fucking pig in the UAE said Sunday that his country is prepared to send ground troops to Syria, to ‘fight ISIS’ (RB) as part of an international coalition. Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash made the comments in Abu Dhabi, days after the Toads said they were ready to deploy ground forces if leaders of the Pindo-led international coalition supposedly ‘fighting ISIS’ call for it. Gargash said:

We’ve always maintained that the campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq has to include ground elements. We have been frustrated at the slow pace of confronting them. We’re not talking about thousands of troops. We are talking about troops on the ground that will lead the way, that will train, that will support, and so forth. And I think our position remains the same, and we will have to see how this progresses. Of course, Pindosi ‘leadership’ (RB) in this effort is a prerequisite also.

The Toad mil spox said late Thursday that the Toads are determined to defeat ISIS, and could provide ground troops if coalition members agree to such a deployment when defense ministers meet in Brussels later this month. The Toads and the UAE have the two largest Arab economies and some of the region’s most powerful militaries. They are close allies and are the driving force behind the Toad-led coalition currently engaged in the annihilation of Yemen.

west very happy to undermine putin when his covert ops cause fatalities and widows complain of non-recognition

Three British SOF injured in covert op in Iraq – Mirror
Estelle Shirbon, Reuters, Feb 6 2016

LONDON – Three British SOF were injured in fighting ISIS in Iraq, the London Daily Mirror reported on Saturday, without giving any details about its sources. The Ministry of Defence said it did not comment on SOF operations. The Mirror said the injured men were from the SAS and SBS units and were taking part in a 25-strong allied SOF patrol in northern Iraq when they came under fire by 30 ISIS in armoured Humvees stolen from the Iraqi army donated by the Pindosis. It said the covert patrol by British, German and Pindo SOF aimed to identify ISIS positions outside Mosul and spot weak areas in their defences (the missing word is ‘probe’, which involves deliberately provoking fire from the defensive side – RB). The report said the ISIS involved in the incident were all killed, after the SOF called in an air strike. The three men hit by shrapnel were treated on the ground before being airlifted out by helicopter, it said. Britain is taking part in air strikes on ISIS-held areas in Iraq and Syria, and says it has troops present in Iraq providing ‘training’ (RB) to Iraqi security forces.

the current king of all the toads, a man most probably not destined to live out his natural term, imho

Toad King-for-a-day calls upon non-Toads to cease croaking against him
Angus McDowall, Reuters, Feb 7 2016

RIYADH – Toad King Salman on Sunday called on other countries not to interfere in Toad Hall’s internal processes of mass torture and murder of citizens, saying at one his regular Islamo-fascist public religious rallies in Riyadh:

It is our right to defend ourselves, without interfering in the affairs of others. We call on others to not interfere in our affairs. We cooperate with our Arab and Muslim brothers in all areas in defending our lands and ensuring their independence and guarding their government systems as sanctioned by their peoples.

The Toad did not elaborate, but his remarks seemed aimed at Iran.

remember gurdjieff: normal humans, or at least westerners, are actually asleep and dreaming, all the time, even when they imagine that they are awake

My dear friends at AP, up to and including the mighty Matthew Lee, co-star with Jen Psaki in the funniest show ever to come out of Foggy Bottom: when a mighty, earth-shaking, WW3-threatening bombshell of a story like this comes up, one has to question your motives in adding remarks such as “This story has been corrected to show that Erdogan is president, not prime minister” – RB

Erdogan: Pindostan Must Choose Between Turks & Kurds
AP, Feb 8 2016

ANKARA — Turkey’s president lashed out at Pindostan, a week after Obama’s envoy visited a northern Syrian town that is under the control of Syrian Kurdish forces which Ankara considers terrorists. In comments published Sunday, Erdogan said that Faschingstein must choose between Turkey and the KDP/PYD (fuck the fine distinctions – RB) as its partner. That came after envoy Brett McGurk’s visit to Kobani, where the KDP/PYD, aided by Pindo-led airstrikes, drove back ISIS a year ago. Turkey considers the KDP/PYD a terrorist group because of its affiliation with the PKK. Erdogan said:

How can we trust you? Is it me that is your partner, or is it the terrorists in Kobani? (“Do you, do you, do you really love me? Or is this the only thing you want me for?” – Linda McCartney)

In Washington, a foggy bot spox reiterated that ol’ massa considers the PKK “to be a terrorist organization.” The spox said:

We continue to call on the PKK to immediately cease its campaign of violence. (We continue to believe that) a resumed political process offers the best hope for greater civil rights, security, serenity, joy and lasting happiness for all the citizens of Turkey, not to mention prosperity. We respectfully suggest Pres Erdogan get hold of some fortune cookies and confirm this for himself.

in a really sick, ugly and cruel way, we are constantly invited to smile at the ineptitude of these poor miserable puppets, all of whom live in the most intense possible jewish-created hell

Iraq says planned Baghdad wall not change demographics
AP, Feb 7 2016

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi PM’s spox said Sunday that a security wall is being built around Baghdad but that it is “not politically motivated” or aimed at “achieving demographic change.” An earlier statement from the PMO seemed to dismiss the idea entirely (rubbish, this is just malicious misquotation – RB). The earlier statement said:

Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis, and it’s not possible for a wall or a fence to isolate the city.

The plan for the wall was originally drafted by the Interior Ministry as an effort to curb near-daily attacks carried out by ISIS and cut down on checkpoints inside the city that snarl traffic. The Interior Ministry spox told AP that the “wall” would be comprised of an increased number of checkpoints around the city cutting off routes that IS uses to smuggle car bombs in. But he said:

It’s not a wall, exactly. We have reduced the number of attacks inside Baghdad, but we are working to prevent them completely.

Baghdad has seen near-daily bombings since the 2003 Pindo-led invasion. Security officials say most of the bombs are built outside the city and smuggled in despite a labyrinth of roadblocks and checkpoints.

Iraqi PM rejects idea of building security wall around Baghdad
Stephen Kalin (another of the dead Baron’s Jews – RB), Reuters, Feb 6 2016

BAGHDAD – Iraqi PM Abadi on Saturday dismissed plans announced by the military this week to build a concrete wall around Baghdad in a bid to prevent attacks by ISIS. He said in a statement:

Baghdad is the capital of all Iraqis. There can be no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it.

But the military’s Baghdad Operations Command said on Wednesday that preparatory work for a security barrier was underway. It provided few details. ISIS has claimed several attacks in recent months in the city. The last one, on Jan 11, targeted a shopping mall and killed at least 18 people, according to police sources. Abadi’s statement said Baghdad would be secured by reorganizing checkpoints and closing gaps in the security perimeter while easing transit in and out of the city. Many districts in the capital are currently surrounded by concrete fences dating back around a decade.

Iraq building moat, wall around Baghdad to keep out ISIS
World Tribune.com, Feb 7 2016

Iraq has begun construction on fortifications in Baghdad that include a moat and a 10 ft wall. Interior Ministry spox said the military’s Engineering Corps has started work on a 100 km stretch of the wall and trench on the northern and north-western approaches of the capital, according to an AP report. Baghdad has been hit by near-daily bombings in early 2016, most carried out by ISIS. On Feb 3, bombings in various parts of the city and a drive-by shooting killed eight people and wounded 28. The UN reported that 490 civilians were killed and 1,157 were wounded in all of Iraq last month. That figure includes casualties for federal police, civil defense forces and personal security details. In Baghdad, 299 civilians were killed and 785 wounded in January. The spox said the security wall and trench will better deter terrorists than the massive number of blast walls that have been in place since 2003. Another reason for the new fortifications is to reduce the number of checkpoints inside Baghdad by at least 50%, the spox said. He said eliminating the checkpoints would free up thousands of troops and police and would ease traffic congestion.

it’s really a waste of time trying to parse the nonsense that comes out of jackass’ mouth, but the jews enjoy it, that’s why they made their horse consul appointed him

Foggy Bottom: Jackass never said any of that, or if he did, he didn’t mean it
Times of Israel, Feb 7 2016

The State Dept on Saturday evening flatly dismissed an Israeli television report that claimed Jackass Kerry will come to Israel in the next few weeks in a new effort to restart (how very pleasing that they do not say ‘kickstart’ – RB) a diplomatic process with the Plastelinans Arabs. The Channel 2 TV report Saturday evening predicted that Jackass would seek to revive some kind of “limited political process,” even though the White House announced last year that it did not believe a permanent accord could be attained in the remaining period of the Obama presidency. The report also suggested that in the absence of significant progress, the Obama administration might seek “to impose” some kind of accord in the final months of the Obama presidency, after a new president had been elected but before Obama steps down (I see what this is: it is a preemptive media mini-psyop aimed to cut off Obama’s chance of doing such a thing – RB). Foggy Bottom’s borrowed Pentagon spox, the liar and bully John Kirby, tweeted in response:

The Channel 2 report appeared to be based at least in part on an interview earlier Saturday with opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who said the Obama administration “hasn’t given up on the peace process,” and that he believes Jackass “may come here soon” to try again to move things forward. Herzog met with Kerry in Rome on Tuesday. Herzog said many ‘world leaders’ (RB) were discussing the deadlocked process and considering ideas, some of which “could be to Israel’s detriment.” Israel could face “decisions from all directions,” he said, noting that last week’s threat by France to recognize a Plastelinan state “didn’t come out of nowhere.” If Israel doesn’t take the initiative, Herzog said, “we’ll have an accord imposed upon us.” He noted that, in the final year of the Obama presidency, the president “can do what he wants.” Herzog said he wasn’t sure that the Pindos had yet decided what they want to attempt. But “when you hear that world leaders want to take unilateral decisions,” he said, it underlined the imperative for Israel to “initiate moves that will boost its own security.” Castigating Netanyahu and Abbas as leaders with whom no progress is possible, Herzog warned:

If we don’t separate from the Plastelinans… we’ll keep bleeding and we’ll end up with a Jewish-Arab state. (I told Jackass to) forget about the delusion that tomorrow you can bring the two sides to a deal.

In Rome on Tuesday, Herzog presented Jackass with a plan for an Israeli pullout from the West Bank, telling him that separation is the only way forward with the Plastelinans. Herzog also suggested that Jackass convene a regional security conference in cooperation with Arab nations before the end of Obama’s term next year. Herzog said, according to a statement from his office:

Israelis Jews are killed in the streets, and the world advances surreal initiatives and boycotts. Disengagement is the only path to advance a two-state solution.

Jackass apparently expressed interest in the plan, and said it contained elements similar to his own, according to the statement. There was no official statement after the meeting from liar & bully Kirby at Foggy Bottom.

the pro-likud jpost minimizes this, while haaretz maximizes it with two ‘premium’ stories

PM: Pindo Military aid package inadequate
Herb Keinon, JPost, Feb 7 2016

Just weeks after saying in Davos that USrael may conclude a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding “in the coming months,” Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday that these negotiations may not be concluded during Obama’s remaining months in power. Netanyahu told the cabinet that he would like to conclude the MoU as soon as possible, but that these issues are complex, detailed, and take time. USraeli teams have already been working for months on a new MoU that will replace the 10-year framework that expires in 2017, and which provided Israel with about $3b/yr. A high-level Pindo team is currently in the country holding talks with their Israeli counterparts. In light of the recently signed nuclear agreement with Iran and the new strategic threats this presents for Israel and the region, Israel is asking for an increase in the annual package, with reports putting that number at some $5b/yr. At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, Netanyahu was asked whether he felt that Obama was responsive to providing Israel with “even more security guarantees and cooperation” than in the past. He replied:

In terms of protecting Israel, and by extension protecting our part of the region, the Pindosi assistance to Israel is about $3.1b/yr. We’re talking about a bigger package. We have to compare the billions of dollars Iran will have at its disposal for its destructive purposes in the region as a result of sanctions relief (this sentence is not verbatim cos Herb chose to paraphrase it – RB). I think we’ll probably reach a successful conclusion, I hope, in the coming months. It’s a sign of how strong the USraeli alliance is, you know? We can have our disagreements, (and) we do, (and) they’re always publicized. They’re very dramatic. But the alliance between USrael is so strong and so powerful that the only thing that’s collapsed is the talk of the imminent USraeli collapse (This is Bibi’s attempt at the “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” rhetorical construct – RB). It’s very clear that’s not going to happen, and that this partnership is rock solid and will remain so.

Government sources said Netanyahu made similar comments about the strength of the USrael relations, despite all the talk to the contrary, during a briefing in the cabinet on Israel’s strategic situation given by acting National Security Council head Ya’akov Nagel (regarding) the threats and opportunities facing Israel. In recent weeks, these challenges and opportunities have been discussed at several senior governmental forums. The challenges are broadly defined as an emboldened Iran following the nuclear deal, dysfunction in the PA, and massive munitions and developed weaponry in the hands of Jihadis (pseudo-gangs) on both Israel’s northern and southern borders. Regarding the opportunities, these are defined as new diplomatic possibilities with countries like Greece and Cyprus; improved relations with rising powers in Asia; a new openness to cooperation on the part of some regional Sunni countries; the “special relationship” with Russia (what this means is that Putin must surrender or die – RB); and the international axis ‘against ISIS’ (which is a gigantic criminal fraud in its very essence – RB).

Netanyahu: If Necessary, We’ll “Wait for Next President”
Barak Ravid, Haaretz, Feb 8 2016

If Israel’s security needs are not sufficiently addressed as part of negotiations with Pindostan on a new Memorandum of Understanding, Israel will defer signing it until a new president takes office next year, in an effort to obtain better terms, Netanyahu told Sunday’s cabinet meeting. Netanyahu told the cabinet in the course of a briefing by acting national security adviser Jacob Nagel, who also heads the Israeli negotiating team:

It’s not yet clear that we will come to an agreement. (We) need to see if (we) can achieve a result that will address Israel’s security needs, or perhaps we will not manage to come to an agreement with this administration, and will need to come to an agreement with the next administration.

Last Thursday, a Pindo delegation led by Yael Lempert of the National Security Council arrived in Israel to hold a third round of negotiations on the matter. Over the past three days, the team held discussions with the national security staff in the PMO, the Defense Ministry, the IOF and the Foreign Ministry. The main topic of discussion in the talks was the size of the aid that Pindostan would provide Israel and the conditions on its use. Netanyahu’s remarks at the cabinet meeting raise the possibility that this round of talks will not achieve substantial progress. The current MoU signed ten years ago is due to expire at the end of 2018. As a result of the MoU, Pindostan has provided $30b over a decade in security assistance to Israel. In the course of meetings between Netanyahu and Obama at the White House last November, the two announced the opening of new negotiations on the memorandum for the coming decade. At the beginning of the negotiations a few months ago, senior figures in the defense establishment expressed the position that Israel needs $5b/yr. Netanyahu himself has told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset that he is interested in coming to agreement with Obama on the sum of “$4b+”. In the course of his last visit and in interviews since then, Netanyahu has stressed that Israel needs a substantial increase in light of Iran’s nuclear agreement. Iran will be receiving $100b as a result of the lifting of sanctions, and can use these funds to acquire quantities of weapons and provide advanced weaponry to Israel’s enemies, which Netanyahu tediously listed: Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. At the same time, Netanyahu has made it clear in recent months that the Sunni Arab countries are acquiring large quantities of advanced weaponry from Pindostan and France to protect themselves from Iran, but the weapons could in the future be turned against Israel, and therefore an increase in Pindo assistance is necessary to maintain Israel’s QME (itself established only after extensive and very public, alternating bribery and blackmail of multiple Pindo congress critturs, mostly with a great deal to hide – RB).

Senior officials in the defense establishment are expressing serious concern over the prospect that it will not be possible to reach an agreement with the Obama administration on the size of security assistance, resulting in a deferral of the subject until a new president takes office in Jan 2017. Under such circumstances, there would be less than a year remaining to come to a new security agreement before the current one expires. That would present a very complicated situation, since any new president would need half a year at least to study the subject. In the course of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, acting national security adviser Nagel presented various scenarios regarding diplomatic initiatives on the Plastelinan issue that could arise in the coming year on the Pindo side. Netanyahu apparently commented that at the moment he was not worried about Pindosi action at the UNSC before the end of Obama’s term in January, but he stressed that things could change and it was not possible to ensure that the Obama administration wouldn’t later decide to attempt to advance such a process. On Sunday morning, Galei Tzahal (IOF Radio) reported that in an effort to head off action in the UNSC (which he just said he was not worried about – RB), Netanyahu is trying to convince the Beit Yehudi ministers in the security cabinet, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked,along with Ze’ev Elkin of the Likud, not to oppose a package of steps to stabilize the situation vis-à-vis the PA in the West Bank. That would also include gestures (sic: Ravid uses this word apparently unconsciously – RB) in Area C, the portion of the West Bank in which Israel has full civilian and military control.

Earth To Bibi: Don’t Hold Your Breath (RB)
Barak Ravid, Haaretz, Feb 8 2016

After three rounds of talks between USrael, negotiations on a new military aid package have become stuck as the two sides try to strong-arm one another. After Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that if Israel’s security needs would not be met, he would not sign a deal, but would instead wait for the next president to take office in Jan 2017, a senior Pindo official reacted angrily and warned that the budgetary situation would not improve, and that Israel would not get a better deal with the next president. The senior official assured Haaretz that Israel’s security is a top priority for the Obama administration, and that it expected to arrive at a new MoU that will further exemplify Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security:

This administration’s commitment to Israel’s security is such that we are prepared to sign an MoU with Israel that would constitute the largest single pledge of military assistance to any country in Pindosi history. Even as we grapple with a particularly challenging budget environment, which has necessitated difficult trade-offs amongst competing priorities, including not just foreign assistance and defense but also domestic spending, despite these limitations, based on extensive consultations with Israel on its threat environment and in-depth discussions within the Pindosi government regarding Israel’s defense needs, we are confident that a new MoU could meet Israel’s top security requirements and preserve its QME. Israel is of course free to wait for the next administration to finalize a new MoU, should it not be satisfied with such a pledge, but we would caution that the Pindosi budgetary environment is unlikely to improve in the next year or two, and Israel will certainly not find a president more committed to Israel’s security than is Steppin Fetchit. Israel currently receives over 50% of Pindostan’s entire total foreign military aid budget. From the $20.5b in Foreign Military Financing to the additional $3b in missile defense funding, no other Pindo administration in history has done more for Israel’s security.

Next month, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visits Ashtray Carter, again. Then two weeks later, Bibi will attend the annual AIPAC conference. (Doubtless he will demand that Hillary publicly accede to all of his demands, before the election in November, with the implication that if she does not, then Jeb Bush will. The MSM will do the rest – RB)

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