Israel Resource Review 14th November, 2006


Commentary: The BLair Plan to Engage Syria and Iran and more . . .
Arlene Kushner

Tony Blair today urged the world to engage Iran and Syria to advance the peace process in the Middle East. I am not making this up, though you might be temped to think so. Iran and its proxy Syria, which are promoting and funding terrorism, Iran and Syria, which are re-arming Hezbollah as I write this and supporting Hamas in Gaza. Engage them to advance the peace process?? My goodness, one call from the international community and they are going to stop all that nasty stuff and come on board for peace, right? Probably they'll be so thrilled to be included that this will make all the difference.

And it seems Bush was on board with this brave new concept as well, indicating he would sit with Iran to discuss such matters if this is what the Baker commission ended up recommending. Not to discuss the nuclear matter, you understand, but peace in the region.


Of course, Blair then backtracked -- insisting, according to the BBC, that he had not "softened" with regard to Iran. I see . . .

And this is where we get to the key issue. Says Blair, the "core" of stability in the Middle East is "the Israel-Palestinian conflict."

Why should I be surprised?


Blair's statement with regard to this was right in line with what Israel's good and dear friend Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, had to say. Annan called a press conference to announce completion of a report from "high level experts" regarding reducing tensions between the Muslim world and the West. Among the "experts" were former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and South African activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (I remember when Tutu gave a talk before a Jewish group and addressed his audience, "You people . . . ")

You know what the experts say the central cause of the rift and misunderstanding is? You guessed it! The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Said Annan, "As long as the Palestinians live under occupation . . . and as long as Israelis are blown up . . . so long will passions everywhere be inflamed."

Passions everywhere will be inflamed? I am feeling sick to my stomach.

For the record: the Jihadists are after the West, with America and all that it represents seen as the key enemy. The goal of these radicals is the establishment of a Caliphate. Israel is viewed as no more than a side diversion to this larger war, a proxy for the US. Anyone who follows the statements made by Muslim radicals knows this: It is stated clearly and openly. If (G-d forbid a thousand times over) there were no Israel, the radicals would still come after the West. They're on the verge of taking Europe already now.

What is more, anyone who watches the situation closely knows that the Arab Muslim world cares not a bit about the fate of the Palestinians. The Palestinians are supported primarily by donations from the EU and the US, not fellow Arab states. In fact, there is great antipathy towards the Palestinians in several quarters; they simply serve as a tool for fomenting unrest.

However, the recommendation of the report is that there be established "two fully sovereign and independent states co-existing side by side in peace and security." How this can be achieved they don't say, but they suggest that there should be an international conference. Goody goody. An international conference means pressure on Israel to make concessions.


Seems the PA is making progress in establishing a unity government. Reportedly one Professor Muhammad Shabir is being recruited to serve as prime minister. (Shabir's father was a leader of the radical Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza some years ago.)

Just to set the record straight: Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, said tonight that the planned Palestinian unity government would not recognize Israel.

Hey, but that shouldn't be an obstacle to peace, should it? Already the EU has expressed pleasure with the anticipated unity government and called for a resumption of peace negotiations. The Palestinians will (cleverly) make one cosmetic change in their position, not a change of substance, and the world will eat it up. The international community is eager for a semblance of peace, and damn the realities.


And who will pay the price first? We here in Israel, of course.

But the important thing is that Tony Blair, and Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu and Mohammad Khatami will be happy.

As I said, I'm feeling sick to my stomach.

There was no reason for me to expect better of the world than what we're seeing, but, eternal optimist that I've been, I did. I had the notion that with the behavior of Iran and Syria, and Hamas and Hezbollah, the bad guys, the guys who are truly evil, had been exposed for what they are.

But those who do not wish to see, will not see. The West will pay a price here too.


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Egypt: Another Step Closer to Nuclear Capacity
Middle East News Line

Egypt has taken another step toward becoming a nuclear power, drafting a strategy for energy and other projects.

Officials said Egypt has submitted a plan to develop civilian nuclear facilities in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. They said the plan would facilitate the procurement of the first nuclear reactors.

"The government completed setting its strategy for executing the project at the end of last month in accordance with international agreements to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons," Egypt's International Cooperation Minister Fayeza Abu Al Naga said.

The minister's statement came in wake of a tour by President Hosni Mubarak to former East Bloc states. Officials said Mubarak discussed assistance for Egypt's nuclear program from China, Kazhakstan and Russia.

The countries were said to have offered Cairo help in nuclear and missile development. Russia was said to have discussed anti-aircraft cooperation with Egypt.

On November 12, Abu Al Naga told parliament that Egypt required eight nuclear power plants to cover its electricity needs. She said that in the first stage four facilities would be constructed in cooperation with the IAEA.

"Egypt signed agreements with a number of countries regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Abu Al Naga said. "But it has been over 25 years since then, and the agreements need updating, although they are still valid."

Parliamentarians were said to have questioned Egypt's nuclear program. They said Cairo might have not the technical expertise to administer a large-scale nuclear energy project.

However, Abu Al Naga, asserting that the nation would run out of energy reserves by 2040, said Egypt could administer a safe nuclear program. She said the country was experienced in nuclear research and could ensure the protection of the environment.

The Mubarak regime has been garnering support for a nuclear Egypt. The plan has been promoted by Mubarak's son, Gamal, as well as Egyptian scientists.

Abu Al Naga said Egypt was also seeking nanotechnology. She said an agreement for cooperation would be soon signed with Japan. =

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