Binyamin Netanyahu’s Iran strategy erases the Palestinian problem

NBC’s Meet the Press interview showcased how effectively the Israeli PM has made Iran the sole focus of US Middle East policy

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu

The Israeli prime minister has the world focused on his nation’s growing tensions with Iran.

Binyamin Netanyahu‘s appearance on Meet the Press this weekend was telling.

Interviewer David Gregory called him the “leader of the Jewish people”. That’s certainly how the Israeli prime minister would like to see himself, and he wouldn’t be the first.

Israeli leaders have long claimed the mantle of voice of the Jewish people around the world and protector of the Diaspora. Part of that is rooted in the idea of Israel as a safe haven, and the desire of every Israeli government to draw in new citizens. A few years back, Ariel Sharon tried to tell Jews in France that they were so persecuted they needed to move to Israel for their own protection. This at a time when Hamas and Islamic Jihad were blowing innocents to pieces in Jerusalem restaurants and on Tel Aviv buses. There was no rush to the El Al flight from Paris.

But there is also the global aspect. Netanyahu stood before the United Nations last year and claimed to speak for hundreds of generations of Jews across the world. It was an attempt to elevate himself above a mere political leader to claim to represent the full weight of Jewish suffering in justifying his government’s stance towards the Palestinians.

Gregory’s slip – he later corrected himself by tweeting that it would be better to call Netanyahu the leader of Jewish state – was revealing of a mindset in certain sections of the American press that has a hard time dealing with the fact that Israel’s prime minister might not be the leader of an entire people, but just another politician less worried about the common good than shoring up his power.

That was where Meet the Press was revealing on a second point. It threw up evidence of just how successful Netanyahu has been at putting his political interests before those of Israel’s future, which should lie in keeping the ever-dimming prospect of a two-state solution alive.

There wasn’t a single mention of the Palestinians during the 15 minute interview. Gregory didn’t ask about them, and Netanyahu didn’t talk about them. Thus the fate of several million people living under varying degrees of an occupation that continues to plunder land, maintain discriminatory laws and administrative procedures – such as rationing water to Arab villages while their neighbors in the Jewish settlements have unlimited supplies – remains in limbo. Netanyahu’s government, meanwhile, pays lip service to the creation of a Palestinian state while pursuing policies intended to stave off the day of its birth.

Just last week, the prime minister moved to expand 40 West Bank settlements built on land confiscated illegally – Israel admits it was illegal – from Palestinians by military order. Hardly the actions of a man or a government that only wants peace, as is so often claimed.

As prime minister, Netanyahu’s great achievement, as he would see it, is to have made the Palestinians all but invisible – first at home, and then abroad.

Locked behind the land-grabbing West Bank barrier and caged in the Gaza strip, Palestinians have all but ceased to touch the lives of most Israelis. The occupation no longer demands an exacting price, so far as many Israelis are concerned. Yes, there is the inconvenience of military service; and there are unseen costs, such as financing the settlement project. But on the whole, Netanyahu has enabled Israelis to pretty much forget about the Palestinians if they choose to. And many do.

Now, the Israeli leader has made the Palestinians disappear from the international stage, too, with the “will he, won’t he” drama of threatening to bomb Iran.

Three years ago, Netanyahu was humiliated by Barack Obama with a public scolding to stop settlement expansion. Even a year ago, the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN at least put the issue on the agenda, even if Washington sided with Israel by strong-arming members of the security council into blocking it. In two weeks, the Palestinians return to the UN to try again on recognition, this time with the general assembly.

But, as Meet the Press showed, there’s not much talk of that while Netanyahu draws Washington’s energies into trying to prevent him from attacking Iran before the US election. Whether he ever meant to is open to debate.

But the effect has been clear. When the Israeli prime minister was last in Washington, there was barely a mention of the Palestinians after his meeting with Obama. And barely a word was breathed about the Palestinians at this year’s meeting of the most influential of the pro-Israel lobby groups in Washington, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac). The focus was firmly on Iran.

Netanyahu has everyone where he wants them. The Palestinians behind the wire and most of the rest of the world looking the other way.

( / 18.09.2012)

Morsi calls for unity among Islamic countries

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (R) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at the presidential palace in Cairo on September 18, 2012.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (R) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at the presidential palace in Cairo on September 18, 2012.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has called for unity among the Islamic countries saying that his country is ready for any kind of regional cooperation.

Speaking to Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on the sidelines of the meeting of the Quartet Committee on Syria on Tuesday, Morsi noted that when people who follow wrong goals are united for achieving their goals, why Muslims should not be united in facing global challenges.

The Egyptian president expressed his gratitude for Tehran’s successful hosting of the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit saying that Iran and Egypt are two great countries with historical civilizations and “there is no problem” between them.

Salehi, for his part, thanked Morsi for his presence at the NAM summit and congratulated the victory of the popular and democratic revolution of Egypt.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran respects the will of the Egyptian people to determine their destiny and the people of Egypt have proved that the time for engineering [developments of the] region … by hegemonic powers is over,” he said.

Iran’s foreign minister welcomed the establishment of the Quartet group which can play a constructive role in regional issues, especially in Syria.

( / 18.09.2012)

Gezondheidszorg / Miljoenennota 2013

Eigen risico en compensatie via de zorgtoeslag

In 2013 wordt het eigen risico verhoogd van 220 euro naar 350 euro
(15 euro verplichte indexatie en 115 euro extra verhoging). Dit betekent dat iedere verzekerde de eerste 350 euro zelf betaalt. Voor de extra verhoging van 115 euro worden de lage inkomens (inkomens tot het wettelijk minimumloon) volledig gecompenseerd door een verhoging van de zorgtoeslag. Inkomens boven het wettelijk minimumloon ontvangen minder of geen zorgtoeslag.

Eigen bijdrage

Ligdag medisch specialistische zorg
Patiënten in een instelling voor medisch specialistische zorg (ziekenhuis of zelfstandig behandelcentrum), betalen een eigen bijdrage voor het besparen van kosten die anders thuis zouden zijn gemaakt. Zoals bijvoorbeeld kosten voor eten en drinken; de zogenoemde niet-zorgkosten. De eigen bijdrage is 7,50 euro per dag.

Voor hoortoestellen wordt een eigen bijdrage gevraagd van 25 procent van de aanschafkosten van het hoortoestel. Hiermee vervalt de maximum vergoeding.

Stoppen met roken – programma

Het stoppen met roken programma komt in 2013 terug in het basispakket. Het programma bestaat uit een combinatie van gesprekken (in een groep of individueel) die gericht zijn op het veranderen van het gedrag en geneesmiddelen. Verzekerden kunnen dit programma maximaal één keer per kalenderjaar voor rekening van de zorgverzekering volgen.


Vanaf 2013 heeft iedereen aanspraak op vergoeding van maximaal drie uur dieetadvisering per kalenderjaar. Het maximum van drie uur geldt ook voor mensen die lijden aan een chronische obstructieve longziekte (COPD), diabetes of mensen die een risico op hart- en vaatziekten (vasculair risico) hebben en waarvan de dieetadvisering onderdeel is van gecoördineerde, multidisciplinaire zorg.

Eenvoudige loophulpmiddelen en rollator

Rollators en andere eenvoudige loophulpmiddelen verdwijnen uit het basispakket van de zorgverzekering en worden dus niet meer vergoed.


De minimum leeftijd van 6 jaar voor fluoridebehandelingen bij de jeugd is geschrapt. Fluoridebehandelingen voor kinderen onder de 6 jaar worden voortaan uit het basispakket vergoed vanaf het moment dat blijvende gebitselementen doorbreken.

Verzachten eigen bijdrage GGZ

Vanaf 2013 krijgen verzekerden met een inkomen van niet meer dan 110 procent van het sociaal minimum een tegemoetkoming voor de eigen bijdrage voor de behandeling in de tweedelijns GGZ (complexe psychische zorg). Dit betekent dat deze verzekerden hun eigen bijdrage van het Centraal Administratie Kantoor (CAK) automatisch terug krijgen.

In-vitrofertilisatie (ivf)

Vanaf 2013 blijft het recht op drie ivf-pogingen voor rekening van de zorgverzekering gehandhaafd voor verzekerden tot 43 jaar. Wel geldt voor vrouwen tot 38 jaar dat bij de eerste twee ivf-pogingen nog maar één embryo wordt teruggeplaatst. In 2012 waren dat maximaal twee embryo’s. Een vrouw van 43 jaar en ouder heeft geen recht meer op vergoeding van vruchtbaarheidsgerelateerde zorg, inclusief ivf-pogingen.

( / 18.09.2012)

Saudi Arabia threatens to ban YouTube over anti-Islam film

Saudi Arabia latest in line to threaten blocking the website over the video.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has threatened to block YouTube in the kingdom if Google does not respond to a request to deny access to an anti-Islam film produced in the United States, the official SPA news agency reported Tuesday.

“Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission has ordered host companies in the kingdom to block this movie from internet users and has also requested Google to block all YouTube links carrying the film,” SPA reported.

“If this request is not met, the commission will block YouTube altogether,” SPA said, also quoting the Saudi telecoms as urging citizens to report any links through which the film can be viewed.

The low-budget film “Innocence of Muslims,” incited a wave of bloody anti-American violence in cities across the Muslim world which targeted symbols of US influence ranging from embassies and schools to fast food chains.

At least 30 people have died so far in unrest connected to the film in over 20 countries.

Among those killed were the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans in an attack last week on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest religious sites, on Thursday condemned the American film but also denounced the deadly attacks in reaction to it.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Bangladesh have blocked access to YouTube after the video-sharing website failed to take down the initially obscure film, believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians in the United States.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen have ordered blocking access to all websites carrying the video.

Google has denied access to the videos in Malaysia, Indonesia, Libya, Egypt and India.

The Russian communications minister on Tuesday warned that his country could follow suit.

“It sounds like a joke, but because of this video… all of YouTube could be blocked throughout Russia,” minister Nikolai Nikiforov wrote on Twitter, about the anti-Islam film.

“If there is a court decision and YouTube does not take off the video, then access will be limited.”

( / 18.09.2012)

Mitt Romney tells donors Palestinians ‘have no interest’ in peace in new video

In latest clip from remarks recorded at Florida fundraiser, Republican calls Obama’s foreign policy approach ‘naive’

Mitt Romney and Netanyahu

‘The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world,’ Romney says.

Mitt Romney told donors in a newly released video clip that Palestinians “have no interest” in peace with Israel and suggested that efforts at Middle East peace under his administration would languish.

Romney says that Palestinians are “committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel” and that the prospects for a two-state solution to Middle East peace were dim.

“You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it,” Romney said.

The remarks are contained in a clip posted Tuesday on the website of the magazine Mother Jones. The magazine said it had obtained the video of a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, on May 17.

In the latest clip, Romney is asked about the “Palestinian problem”. He gives a detailed, though somewhat rambling, response, and says “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” and “the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Mother Jones’s website quotes Romney as saying he was against applying any pressure on Israel to give up disputed territory for a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

“The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world,” Romney says, according to the magazine. Mother Jones did not provide video of that particular comment, however.

The new video is from the same event as the clip released Monday, in which Romney says almost half of Americans “‘believe that they are victims”. Late Monday, Romney did not dispute the clip but said his remarks were “not elegantly stated”. He also said they were spoken “off the cuff”.

Romney also criticised Barack Obama‘s foreign policy approach as “naive”.

“The president’s foreign policy, in my opinion, is formed in part by a perception he has that his magnetism, and his charm, and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like [Vladimir] Putin and [Hugo] Chávez and [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, and that they’ll find that we’re such wonderful people that they’ll go on with us, and they’ll stop doing bad things,” Romney says. “And it’s an extraordinarily naive perception.”

( / 18.09.2012)

#PalHunger | BREAKING NEWS | Palestinian Child started a Hunger Strike

Ahrar (Gaza)—Occupation forces in 1/9/2012 arrested Mahmoud Daoud Suliman Ahmad, 15 years old from Al-magazi refugee camp while he was sleeping in his grandfather’s land which is near borders between Gaza strip and Palestine 48.

His brother told Ahrar Center for Prisoners studies and human rights that Mahmoud was born in 19/2/1996, he has four brothers, his mother and according to the phosphoruswhich Israel sent it to Gaza had cancer and died.

His uncle and his son died when Israel bombed Gaza tunnels they were working inside tunnels because of the Israeli siege around Gaza.

( / 18.09.2012)

Israeli forces close Silwan entrances for Jewish holidays


OCCUPIED JERUSALEM,(PIC)– The Israeli forces closed the northern entrances to East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood on Monday to allow settlers celebrating the Jewish new year to access the area.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center denounced the Israeli measure that forced the Palestinian residents to take long detours to reach their homes.

Israeli forces were deployed in Silwan neighborhoods and closed its northern entrances preventing the children from reaching their schools and the residents from accessing their works.

“These routes were closed to Silwan residents to allow military vehicles and settler buses carrying settlers from the nearby outposts to freely tour the neighborhood,” the Center said.

In a related context, Elad Association started preparation for the construction of a pedestrian bridge linking the visitor center “City of David” to the tunnel of Buraq square, passing through Wadi Hilweh square “Givati station”, where workers brought the needed stones and materials for construction.

On the other hand, occupation forces raided and occupied Wadi Hilweh playground to turn it “to a military check point” during the celebration of “the Jewish New Year.”

Mada center confirmed that the occupation forces stormed suddenly Wadi Hilweh playground, sparking fear among the children who were playing inside.

Locals said that at Jewish New Year settlers come to the area to perform rituals at a local spring, adding that the IOF will use the playground as an Israeli military post during the Jewish New Year.

The Wadi Hilweh playground, built on a Palestinian family’s land 6 months ago, is threatened to be confiscated by the Israeli authorities to turn it to a car park.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center warned against exploiting the Jewish holidays to change the town of Silwan’s features preparing to build a pedestrian bridge.

( / 18.09.2012)

Abbas tells Egypt only 1 Palestinian representative

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged the Egyptians to deal only with one representative of the Palestinian people, either the PLO or the Palestinian Authority.

During a meeting in his office in Ramallah with the Egyptian ambassador, Yasser Othman, Abbas highlighted that “there have been attempts to mess with this decisive issue.”

Abbas’ remarks came a day after Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh and the party chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal arrived in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials.

Senior Fatah official Tayyib Abdul-Rahim attended the meeting in which Abbas pointed out to the Egyptian ambassador that any alteration to the representation issue would amount to “disagreement plans and suspicious solutions to the question of Palestine.”

The president updated Othman on the moves PA leaders are taking to obtain UN recognition of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, and the future plans after recognition.

The ambassador, for his part, asserted that Egypt would deal only with one representative of the Palestinian people, and would support the Palestinian national project leading to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Othman also told Abbas that Egypt would always comply with easing the suffering of the Palestinian people, especially in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Asked by Ma’an about Abbas’ request, Othman said, “I assert that Egypt who exerts efforts to end the state of disagreement will never do anything which harms the Palestinian national project.”

Othman also said there had not been tension in the relations between Egypt and the PA, and the relations are very solid as they are based on mutual respect.

“Protecting Palestinian unity is an unchangeable principle for the Egyptians. There are no crises, and the meeting with president Abu Mazen was part of regular consultations. I confirmed to the president that Egypt will never take any move that might harm Palestinian unity.”

( / 18.09.2012)

#Israel’s Settler Terror: Jewish settlers attack Palestinian famers south of Nablus

NABLUS, (PIC)– Three Palestinian farmers were wounded on Monday evening when they were attacked by Jewish settlers during their presence in their agricultural fields in Aqraba village south of Nablus city.

Eyewitness told a reporter for the Palestinian information center (PIC) a group of Jewish settlers physically attacked the farmers as they were preparing their olive fields for the harvest season.

They explained that six settlers pointed their guns at the farmers and embarked on beating them before one of the victims managed to escape and get help from the village, but the attackers fled the scene when they saw a crowd of villagers approaching.

( / 18.09.2012)