IMRA Middle East News Updates https://www.imra.org.il Middle East News & Analysis en-US 1675212467 1675212467 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Capalon Internet 2.0 imra@netvision.net.il (Aaron Lerner) News & Analysis IMRA Middle East News Updates https://www.imra.org.il https://www.imra.org.il/imra_sm.png 144 97 Observation: Secretary Blinken's 3 Monkeys Salute to Abbas https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73925 <p>Content preview: Observation: Secretary Blinken's 3 Monkeys Salute to Abbas<br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 31 January 2023 Excerpts from REMARKS ANTONY J. BLINKEN,<br /> SECRETARY OF STATE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE RAMALLAH JANUARY 31, 2023 https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-palestinian-authority-president-mahmoud-<br /> [...] <br /> <br /> Content analysis details: (0.0 points, 5.0 required)<br /> <br /> pts rule name description<br /> ---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------<br /> 0.0 RCVD_IN_MSPIKE_H3 RBL: Good reputation (+3)<br /> [194.90.9.27 listed in wl.mailspike.net]<br /> -0.0 SPF_PASS SPF: sender matches SPF record<br /> 0.0 SPF_HELO_NONE SPF: HELO does not publish an SPF Record<br /> 0.0 RCVD_IN_MSPIKE_WL Mailspike good senders<br /> SpamTally: Final spam score: -10<br /> X-Antivirus-Scanner: Clean mail though you should still use an Antivirus</p> <p>Observation: Secretary Blinken's 3 Monkeys Salute to Abbas<br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 31 January 2023</p> <p>Excerpts from<br /> REMARKS ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE<br /> PRESIDENT’S OFFICE<br /> RAMALLAH<br /> JANUARY 31, 2023<br /> https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-palestinian-authority-president-mahmoud-abbas-after-their-meeting-2/</p> <p>SECRETARY BLINKEN: ...I also appreciate, Mr. President, your consistent and<br /> resolute stance against terrorism.<br /> [AL: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil: not a word about the<br /> "consistent and resolute stance" of Mr. Abbas to PAY terrorists and their<br /> families in accordance with how successful they are in their attacks. And<br /> this is regardless of the target or circumstances.</p> <p>Meanwhile, we oppose any action by either side that makes that goal more<br /> difficult to achieve, more distant. And we’ve been clear that this includes<br /> things like:</p> <p>{AL Israel side]</p> <p>- settlement expansion<br /> - the legalization of outposts<br /> - demolitions and evictions [AL: not a word AGAINST illegal Palestinian<br /> construction in Area C - apparently Mr. Blinken thinks they cannot be<br /> demolished]<br /> - disruptions to the historic status quo of the holy sites</p> <p>[AL: amorphous list]</p> <p>- and of course incitement and acquiescence to violence.</p> <p>- We look to both sides to unequivocally condemn any acts of violence<br /> regardless of the victim or the perpetrator. [AL: Press releases? What<br /> about acting AGAINST violence?]</p> <p>So we discussed all of these vitally important and urgent matters. In<br /> addition, we talked about the importance of the Palestinian Authority itself<br /> continuing to improve its governance and accountability, strengthening the<br /> institutions of the PA. That too will improve the lives of the Palestinian<br /> people and also lay the groundwork for a democratic Palestinian state. [AL:<br /> Again not a word about acting AGAINST violence]<br /> ...<br /> This is a challenging time. I appreciate the president’s determination to<br /> try to work through it in a responsible way that looks out for the lives of<br /> everyone, of Palestinians and Israelis alike. [AL: A three monkey solute to<br /> Mr. Abbas]</p> <p>AL: In contrast this is the only positive thing Mr. Blinken can say about<br /> Mr. Netanyahu:</p> <p>Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu<br /> After Their Meeting<br /> REMARKS<br /> ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE<br /> BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER<br /> PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE<br /> JERUSALEM<br /> JANUARY 30, 2023<br /> https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-after-their-meeting/</p> <p>SECRETARY BLINKEN: ... We continue to support upholding the historic status<br /> quo at Jerusalem’s holy places, including the Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif.<br /> We’re grateful to the prime minister for his repeated expressions of support<br /> for that position....<br /> ________________________________________<br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis</p> <p>Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations</p> <p>Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Tue, 31 Jan 2023 19:47:47 -0500 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73925 Weekly Commentary: Dear Pres. Herzog - Handling of Ben-Gvir Law Shows Knesset The Venue For Resolving Disputes Democratically https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73924 <p>Weekly Commentary: Dear Pres. Herzog - Handling of Ben-Gvir Law Shows <br /> Knesset The Venue For Resolving Disputes Democratically <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 25 June 2023 <br /> <br /> Dear President Herzog, <br /> <br /> Your initiative to reach a national consensus via a conference under your <br /> auspices is well meaning but impractical. <br /> <br /> At this stage of the game, neither Binyamin Netanyahu's "base" nor the MKs <br /> in his coalition would support a move they would see as a device to derail <br /> reform efforts. <br /> <br /> And after Knesset legal adviser Sagit Afik's recommendation today that three <br /> key bills in the reform package can be fast tracked as committee bills the <br /> "legislative train" has most certainly pulled out of the station. <br /> <br /> But all is not lost. The give-and-take demonstrated inside the Knesset <br /> committee which handled what turned out to be the first half of the <br /> "Ben-Gvir Law" is proof positive that when the political and legal <br /> participants in the legislative process act in good faith that it is <br /> possible to hammer out good laws. <br /> <br /> Before serving as president you had a long career in the Knesset, including <br /> as a member of the 18th Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee. <br /> <br /> You can make a truly historic contribution to this process by finding a way <br /> to "encourage" all sides to turn the democratic process about to unfold into <br /> something which we can all be proud of. <br /> <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Wed, 25 Jan 2023 12:59:34 -0500 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73924 Observation: Under International Law Israel Can Kill Hezbollah Forces Trying To Blind People In Metullah With Lasers https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73923 <p>Observation: Under International Law Israel Can Kill Hezbollah Forces Trying <br /> To Blind People In Metullah With Lasers <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 23 January 2023 <br /> <br /> Kan 11 TV news reported this evening that the IDF is clueless how to prevent <br /> Hezbollah terrorists from continuing their efforts to blind the residents of <br /> Metula with strong laser beams which Hezbollah aims from a hill around 180 <br /> meter across the border. <br /> <br /> Let's consider international law: <br /> <br /> "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of <br /> individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a <br /> Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures <br /> necessary to maintain international peace and security." <br /> Article 51 of the UN Charter <br /> <br /> So what is an "armed attack"? Do blinding lasers qualify? <br /> <br /> "An armed attack requires the use of significant force that causes or <br /> threatens to cause death or injury to persons" <br /> International Committee of the Red Cross - Interpretive Guidance on the <br /> Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities <br /> <br /> "An armed attack is a use of force that is both significant and direct, and <br /> that causes or threatens to cause death or injury to people" <br /> Dr. Jens David Ohlin, Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Cornell Law School - <br /> "Defending Humanity: When Force is Justified and Why" <br /> <br /> Those lasers, which can permanently blind people, most certainly qualify as <br /> a use of force threatening to cause "injury". <br /> <br /> So while Kan 11 reports the IDF is clueless how to stop attacks originating <br /> 180 meters across the border, international law allows the IDF to kill the <br /> attackers if that's what it takes. <br /> <br /> Have we returned to the approach that we need to wait for a very photogenic <br /> Israeli to first be seriously wounded before defending ourselves out of PR <br /> considerations? <br /> <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Mon, 23 Jan 2023 17:09:23 -0500 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73923 [I told you so] PM and DM statement after instructions of Min. Smotrich Ignored and New Outpost Evacuated https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73922 <p>[I told you so] PM and DM statement after instructions of Min. Smotrich <br /> Ignored and New Outpost Evacuated <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 20 January 2022 <br /> <br /> Further to my 29 December 2022 Commentary: Coalition Agreements Give <br /> Netanyahu Veto Power in Judea and Samaria (below) <br /> <br /> Today an outpost was evacuated in contravention of explicit written <br /> instructions issued by Min. Smotrich <br /> <br /> Prime Minister's Office Statement <br /> The Government supports settlement but only when it is done legally and is <br /> coordinated in advance with the Prime Minister and security officials, which <br /> was not done in this case. The Prime Minister will convene a discussion on <br /> the issue early next week. <br /> <br /> Defense Ministry Statement <br /> Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently spoke with IDF Chief-of-Staff <br /> Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, and reaffirmed his full support for the IDF and <br /> security forces. <br /> <br /> Every action on the ground must be conducted in accordance with the law. It <br /> must also be fully coordinated and must be taken in accordance with the <br /> relevant security situation assessment. <br /> <br /> ====================== <br /> Commentary: Coalition Agreements Give Netanyahu Veto Power in Judea and <br /> Samaria <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 29 December 2022 <br /> <br /> Copies of the coalition agreements are available on the Knesset website: <br /> https://main.knesset.gov.il/mk/government/pages/coalitionagreements.aspx <br /> <br /> The phrase which probably appears in the agreements with the greatest <br /> frequency in sections dealing with Judea and Samaria is "in coordination and <br /> subject to the consent of the prime minister". <br /> <br /> Paragraph 21 of the appendix to the coalition agreement between the Likud <br /> and Religious Zionists dated December 1st essentially strips Smotrich of any <br /> power: "The minister in the Ministry of Defense as per subparagraph 6.4 <br /> (hereinafter the minister) (AL: Smotrich) will receive receive full <br /> responsibility for areas of activity of Coordination of Government <br /> Activities in the Territories and the Civil Authority. The activity of the <br /> minister will be in coordination with and subject to the consent of the <br /> prime minister. <br /> <br /> So when Binyamin Netanyahu reassured America in various interviews in <br /> English that he was in charge in Judea and Samaria he knew he already had <br /> this appendix signed. <br /> <br /> As for applying sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, Paragraph 118 of the <br /> coalition agreement between the Likud and Religious Zionists dated December <br /> 28th states "...the prime minister will lead the development and advancement <br /> of policies within whose framework sovereignty will apply to Judea and <br /> Samaria, while choosing the timing and weighing all of the national and <br /> international interests of the State of Israel." <br /> <br /> In other words: Binyamin Netanyahu can opt to freeze Jewish construction in <br /> Judea and Samaria while ignoring illegal Arab construction and indefinitely <br /> postpone any application of sovereignty to any areas of Judea and Samaria. <br /> <br /> The "explanation of the month" for such a policy is the opportunity to <br /> establish diplomatic relations with the Saudis. <br /> <br /> The idea is that the Saudis would excuse the move as a measure to prevent <br /> Israel from annexing Judea and Samaria. But right now the "annexation <br /> threat" is a gun with dud bullets. <br /> <br /> I daresay that if the Netanyahu coalition were to do a snap annexation of <br /> the Jordan Valley and perhaps other strategic areas that this would give the <br /> Saudis a substantially stronger justification to establish diplomatic <br /> relations with the Jewish State to prevent additional annexations. <br /> <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Fri, 20 Jan 2023 09:21:27 -0500 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73922 Weekly Commentary: Chutzpadik Questions For Saudis, Americans, Deeri, Israel https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73921 <p>Weekly Commentary: Chutzpadik Questions For Saudis, Americans, Deeri, Israel <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner 20 January, 2023 <br /> <br /> Here are some of my chutzpadik and not so chutzpadik questions: <br /> <br /> 1. "Pikuach mamon doche...": Is Aryeh Deri willing to forfeit the many <br /> hundreds of millions of shekels his Shas party is slated to receive WITHOUT <br /> OVERSIGHT if he pulls out of the coalition government? <br /> <br /> 2. If Israel annexed the Jordan Valley this morning and then offered the <br /> Saudis not to continue with additional annexations in exchange for <br /> diplomatic recognition, wouldn't this be "the mother of all concessions" for <br /> the Saudis to justify recognizing the Jewish State? <br /> <br /> 3. Why do American officials express concern about the number of Arabs who <br /> died while trying to murder Israeli? <br /> <br /> 4. How can America insist Israel turn a blind eye to security concerns <br /> regarding Palestinians who happen to hold American passports when many <br /> Israelis who were born in Iran, including former Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, <br /> experienced difficulties in receiving visas at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, <br /> and even those who were granted visas faced the risk of finding themselves <br /> barred from entry upon arrival in the U.S.? <br /> <br /> 5. The War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel (WRSA-I) is a strategic <br /> reserve of ammunition and other military equipment stored by the United <br /> States in Israel for the use of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in case of <br /> war or other emergency situations. Israel has drawn from this stockpile on <br /> numerous occasions. When, months ago, the United States pulled the <br /> ammunition out of WRSA-I to send to the Ukrainians, did the Israeli Ministry <br /> of Defense immediately place an order for made in Israel ammunition of a <br /> similar quantity so that the Jewish State wouldn't find itself empty handed <br /> in an emergency? <br /> <br /> 6. Will some components or subcomponents of the Iron Beam units serving <br /> Israel's own needs be manufactured in the United States as a result of <br /> Rafael's collaboration with Lockheed Martin? <br /> <br /> 7. Regardless of Rafael's collaboration with Lockheed Martin, will the Iron <br /> Beam units serving Israel's own needs rely on components or subcomponents <br /> made in the United States? <br /> <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Fri, 20 Jan 2023 01:14:55 -0500 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73921 Observation: Will Shas Cause Formation of Coalition Without Haredis? https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73920 <p>Observation: Will Shas Cause Formation of Coalition Without Haredis? <br /> Dr. Aaron Lerner January 18, 2023 <br /> <br /> If the Council of Sages of Shas instructs the 11 Shas MKs to walk out of the <br /> government in the wake of the Supreme Court decision against Deeri serving <br /> as a minister Binyamin Netanyahu will face a critical decision, <br /> <br /> Option #1: He can try to replace the 11 with Yisrael Beiteinu (6) and New <br /> Hope (4). But it is highly unlikely that these parties will agree to join a <br /> coalition with Netanyahu as prime minister. <br /> <br /> Option #2: He can go for snap elections only to find himself with the same <br /> problem since Deeri still cannot serve as a minister. <br /> <br /> Option #3: He can go for snap legislation with a 100% chance the the Supreme <br /> Court voids the legislation so that we ultimately end up back at Option #2 <br /> if Shas continues to insist that they cannot remain in the coalition if <br /> Deeri is not a minister. <br /> <br /> Option #4: He can reform the government with Deeri appointed the <br /> "replacement prime minister" and while this technically is not subject to <br /> the legal limitations of a regular minister there are excellent chances that <br /> the Supreme Court will find a way to void that appointment as well so that <br /> we ultimately end up back at Option #2 if Shas continues to insist that they <br /> cannot remain in the coalition if Deeri is not a minister. <br /> <br /> Option #5: He can hold a snap meeting of the Likud Central Committee to <br /> approve a change in the rules so that someone else from the Likud can serve <br /> as prime minister. The odds are close to 100% that Yisrael Beiteinu (6) and <br /> New Hope (4) would join a Likud coalition as long as Netanyahu is not the <br /> prime minister. <br /> <br /> If the Ashkenazi haredi party, UJT (7 seats) were to somehow decided to <br /> join Shas in walking out then there are close to 100% odds that Lapid's <br /> Yesh Atid (24 sets) would join the coalition headed by a Likudnik other <br /> than Netanyahu. This would result in a coalition of 87 (!) MKs. <br /> <br /> Since Binyamin Netanyahu apparently genuinely believes that only he is <br /> equipped to lead the country, it would appear that Options #2, #3 and #4 are <br /> the most likely. <br /> ________________________________________ <br /> IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis <br /> <br /> Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on <br /> Arab-Israeli relations <br /> <br /> Website: www.imra.org.il</p> Wed, 18 Jan 2023 11:02:32 -0500 https://www.imra.org.il/story.php?id=73920