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Entries in Aluf Benn (9)


Israel and Egypt: Does Stability Follow the Uprising?

Following the departure of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Supreme Military Council released a statement  that Cairo will be loyal to its international agreements, including the peace treaty signed with Israel in 1979. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that the "longstanding peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has greatly contributed to both countries and is the cornerstone for peace and stability in the entire Middle East".

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Israel Snapshot: How West Jerusalem Can Benefit from Change in Cairo 

On Sunday, speaking to his Cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underlined the importance of "stability and security" in the region:

We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and [elsewhere] in our region. Last night, I spoke with US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. I also held consultations with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and with Israeli intelligence officials.

Our efforts are designed to continue and maintain stability and security in our region. I remind you that the peace between Israel and Egypt has endured for over three decades and our goal is to ensure that these relations continue. Of course, at this time, we must show maximum responsibility, restraint and sagacity and, to this end, I have instructed my fellow ministers to refrain from commenting on this issue. Naturally, we are also holding consultations in the appropriate government forums.

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The Palestine Papers: The Palestinian Authority Tries to Hit Back

Last night Al Jazeera completed three days of special broadcasts on the "Palestine Papers", the more than 1600 internal documents about the Palestinian negotiations with Israel from 1999 to 2010. The documents themselves carry on, posted not only by Al Jazeera but also by The Guardian of London.

On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, tried to strike back, calling the documents "fake". He told the crowd denouncing the Qatari regime, which owns Al Jazeera:

The Palestinian principles ... have not and will not change and the first of them is that East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine. No one in the world can make us give up on a centimeter of our land, the issue of the refugees or the issue of Jerusalem.

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Wikileaks 2008: Palestinian Leaders on Israeli Settlements and Gaza "Gone Forever"

Saeb Erekat (left) and Salam FayyadA leaked US cable summarises a July 2008 discussion between the Prime Minister of the West Bank, Salam Fayyad, and chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Fayyad pointed to the dilemma for Gaza. On the one hand, Fayyad argues that "its crossings must be controlled or it will be gone forever", but on the other, he warns Americans and Israelis not to give Hamas the 'vulnerability' excuse to exploit the Gazans. The West Bank Prime Minister wanted to talk to Hamas and bring it to the legitimate political arena. This, however, could not come true at the expense of Israel's "security".

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Israel-Iran Analysis: Assessing Israeli Government's Latest Moves Towards Tehran

There are "moderates" who are against a military strike on Iran and "aggressors" who, at least, want the option on the table. Despite President Shimon Peres's efforts, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whom the premier wants to keep as close as possible, insist Iran should be presented as an "existential threat". However, Mossad, including its new head Tamir Pardo), Shin Bet, and military intelligence are maintaining distance from a war scenario, since it will be their heads off first if objectives cannot be achieved quickly. The Obama Administration is also on the side of the moderates.

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Israel Opinion: It's Over for Benjamin Netanyahu (Benn)

Benjamin Netanyahu has in effect concluded his term as prime minister. It's all downhill until the next elections, without any achievements and without an agenda, passing the time buying political calm and deflecting diplomatic pressure. Instead of initiating and leading, Netanyahu will engage in fruitless holding actions until he falls from power.

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Wikileaks: Today's Guide to EA's Coverage


Aluf Benn says "The Fiasco Doesn't Embarrass Israel One Bit".

Features and Documents

1. US officials have "No Confidence in Pakistani Leader Zardari, No Alternative to Afghan Leader Karzai".

2. A year before the 2008 Russian-Georgian war, the US Embassy in Tbilisi documents "The Russian Campaign Against Georgia".

3. In 2009, the US Embassy in Rome intervenes in Italian politics: "Pushing Back Against Silvio Berlusconi, 'The Mouthpiece of Vladimir Putin'."


Wikileaks Commentary: "Fiasco Doesn't Embarrass Israel One Bit" (Benn)

WikiLeaks did not succeed in penetrating the most sensitive channels of U.S.-Israel relations.

Even after yesterday's revelations, we still do not know what was really said in the meetings between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, or between former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon during their talks with former U.S. President George W. Bush, or between Dagan and his counterparts at U.S. intelligence agencies.

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Israel Analysis: What Does Obama Expect from Netanyahu? (Benn)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from his journey to the United States with an American dictate: Freeze settlements for three months, during which time speedy negotiations will be held to determine the future border between Israel and Palestine. To soften the impression that this would be seen as giving in to U.S. pressure and to make it easier to gain cabinet approval for the freeze, the dictate was padded with political and security goodies, which can be summed up as such: stealth military aircraft in exchange for an end to Netanyahu's evasive tactics.

The prime minister rejected the offer when it was made before the U.S. midterm elections, but now he understands that the game is up and he has to fall in line.

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