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Entries in Danny Ayalon (10)


Gaza Live Coverage: A Ceasefire is Declared --- Now What?

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Pressure Builds On Assad
Wednesday's Gaza Live Coverage: Israel Rejects Ceasefire and Maintains Assault

1605 GMT: The Israeli Prime Minister's spokesman summarises Benjamin Netanyahu's statement of victory/defiance/warning this afternoon:

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: The Conflict Escalates from Gaza to Tel Aviv

See also EA Video Analysis: Gaza --- The Top 4 Reasons For Israel's Attack (and Hamas Rockets are Not on the List)
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: International Meeting in London Discusses Support for "New" Opposition
Thursday's Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Day 2 of Operation Pillar of Cloud

2056 GMT: The Israeli government has approved the activation of up to 75,000 reservists, according to Al-Jazeera English, citing local Israeli media reports.

2049 GMT: Global Post journalist Noga Tarnopolsky reports that Israeli media has confirmed the deaths of senior Hamas commanders Ahmed Abu Jalal and Khaled Sha'er earlier today. Abu Jalal was reportedly killed in an air strike on the in al-Maghazi refugee camp, whilst Sha'er was killed on his motorbike in Deir Al Balah.

2005 GMT: Several sources report that an extremist group with links to Al Qaeda has taken responsibility for a rocket attack from the Sinai peninsula that targeted Israel on Wednesday. This could signal a disturbing escalation in the violence.

Interestingly, Egypt's new government has been actively engaged in fighting these extremist groups in Sinai for well over a year.

1948 GMT: War is often good for arms companies. Reuters reports that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak "will seek cabinet approval for funds that could provide Israel with three new Iron Dome rocket interceptors". Israel currently has four Iron Dome interceptors and will soon receive a fifth, manufactured by state-owned company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

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Remember Iran Flashback: "The Obama Administration Fails to React" (14 June 2009)

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Vice President Joe Biden, 14 June 2009: "Our interests are the same before the election as after the election"

In contrast to the drama unfolding on the streets of Iran, the key non-event outside the country is the lack of reaction from the Obama administration. Contrary to the position taken by the Bush administration in cases from the Ukraine to Georgia and Lebanon, there will be no welcoming or encouraging of a velvet revolution in Iran. The Obama administration is, instead, preparing itself to deal with whoever emerges as president. Despite the protestations of Mir-Hossein Mousavi's supporters, this will almost certainly be the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While the United States would have strongly preferred to be dealing with a Mousavi administration, the basic strategic and political rationale for US-Iranian rapprochement remains unchanged.

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Turkey-Israel Feature: Why There is a Downward Spiral in Relations

On Friday, the relationship between Israel and Turkey deteriorated further: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would provide an armed escort for a new flotilla to break the blockade on Gaza, while Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed measures from a warning against travel to or through Turkey to support of the Kurdish insurgency PKK.

So what does the tension demonstrate? For all the differences between Israel and Turkey: it shows the two powers can agree on one thing --- playing to domestic audiences with declaration of their foreign policy interests. 

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Israel Interview: Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon's Messages for Palestine, the US, and His Own Side

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, appeared on Rusty Mike Radio on Tuesday. Excerpts from the chat:

Settlements and Deadlock: Ayalon said that Palestinians were doing everything except sitting with Israelis for negotiations. He said that Palestinians were doing three things: making excuses and pre-conditions, threatening to use unilateral action, and exerting political power on the international level. 

As for the issue of settlements, Ayalon had a message for the US: they have never been an obstacle to peace and it was a mistake to single out this issue.

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Israel-Palestine Analysis: US Declares "Fresh Start" Despite Failure over Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Recogntion

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, said discussions over another moratorium on expansion of West Bank settlements had been suspended in the wake of the WikiLeaks crisis and the tensions between North and South Korea. 

A senior Israeli official went further, declaring said that the talks over the settlements had reached a dead end, and West Jerusalem and Washington would find new ways to advance the peace process. A senior US official confirmed, "After consultation with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming direct negotiations."

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Israel Analysis: Netanyahu Puts His Plan To His Party

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked to lawmakers of his Likud Party on Sunday. He summarised the "incentives" he expects from Washington: no future freeze after the 90-day moratorium on settlement expansion in the West Bank, a guarantee that any unilateral proposal against Israel's national security will be vetoed, and, more importantly, no pressure on Israel to reach a deal on any core subject during the next three months. Netanyahu said:

There is absolutely no agreement that within 90 days we would reach an agreement on the issue of borders. No request of the sort has been made and neither any commitment. We will not hold separate conversations regarding the borders, but will rather discuss all the significant issues. We plan to begin serious debate on all matters.

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Israel Analysis: A 90-Day Agreement on Settlements with the US?

According to officials, the draft of the agreement with Washington commits Israel to halting all building in the West Bank and coordinating any plans for East Jerusalem construction with the US over the three months. This likley means that construction will continue only in the Jewish quarter of the Old City, as Israel agrees to discussing the status of borders with the Palestinians.

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Israel: Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon Explains "Loyalty Oath" for Non-Jews

Those non-Jews who become citizens need to fully appreciate that the State of Israel is the national expression of the self-determination of the Jewish people.

Those who object to the new formula are doing untold damage to the sincerity of the Zionist mission, and make our case harder to explain.

Only by adhering to and proudly reinforcing our national character, not only to those who wish to join our people, but also to the nations of the world, will we validate our presence. Many nations actively promote their national mission, whether it is “American exceptionalism” or France’s “liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

Every nation has its national ethos, and Israel’s “light unto the nations” can only be expressed through its Jewish character, which we must state clearly and unequivocally.

Those who disparage clearly describing Israel as the eternal aspiration of the Jewish people provide ample ammunition to those who seek the end of our national existence.

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Dissecting Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman: His Latest Speech on the Palestine Question

A classic and unsurprising statement from Lieberman, which displays without apology his flawed, wishful thinking.

Let me ask a simple question: how can this "emotional problem" be overcome, bringing mutual trust, if the land on which illegal settlements are onstructed is claimed as the birthright of every Israeli Jew, if the West Bank is called Judea and Samaria, if the solution is for your "vital interests" but not for theirs?

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