Why is Elizabeth Warren in Israel

Two posts on Warren today..
But if… she proves to be competent and productive on foreign policy and diplomacy.. things can very quickly change in the landscape..
Her reportedly strong support of Israel would most likely be clever politics and not her personal conviction..

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/elizabeth-warren-israel-113141.html

Elizabeth Warren’s trip to Israel and other Middle East countries is likely more an indication of the senator’s fast rise within the Democratic Party than a sign that she is rethinking her political future, longtime Democratic observers of the Massachusetts senator said Monday.

Warren is the lone lawmaker on the trip organized by the State Department and the Senate Banking Committee, of which she is a member. She will be meeting with officials from the Israeli and Jordanian governments, the Palestinian Authority, United Nations groups and USAID. Warren will also meet with troops from Massachusetts serving in the Middle East.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Warren met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

A Symbolic Vote in Britain Recognizes a Palestinian State

There seems to be a steady shift on this issue.. also in the western countries…
The settlement policies are not helpful for Bibi….

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/world/europe/british-parliament-palestinian-state.html

LONDON — Against a backdrop of growing impatience across Europe with Israeli policy, Britain’s Parliament overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution Monday night to give diplomatic recognition to a Palestinian state. The vote was a symbolic but potent indication of how public opinion has shifted since the breakdown of American-sponsored peace negotiations and the conflict in Gaza this summer.

Though the outcome of the 274-to-12 parliamentary vote was not binding on the British government, the debate was the latest evidence of how support for Israeli policies, even among staunch allies of Israel, is giving way to more calibrated positions and in some cases frustrated expressions of opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance toward the Palestinians. (..)

Richard Ottaway, a Conservative lawmaker and chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said that he had “stood by Israel through thick and thin, through the good years and the bad,” but now realized “in truth, looking back over the past 20 years, that Israel has been slowly drifting away from world public opinion.”

“Under normal circumstances,” he said, “I would oppose the motion tonight; but such is my anger over Israel’s behavior in recent months that I will not oppose the motion. I have to say to the government of Israel that if they are losing people like me, they will be losing a lot of people.”

BBC News – Israel widens Jewish settlement subsidies

So much for the enthusiasm from Sec State John Kerry… restart the talks… and then Bibi continues with the same old settlement policies and landgrabs…
Nothing’s changed so far..

A picture taken on April 24, 2012 shows the Jewish outpost of Bruchin, near the West Bank city of Nablus

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23569537

Israel has agreed to subsidise several Jewish settlements that were regarded as illegal until recently.

Three out of 91 settlements designated as priority areas for development were legalised within the past year, the Peace Now settlement watchdog said.

Israel said the subsidies were needed for security reasons.

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said the move would have a "destructive impact" on peace talks, which resumed last week after a three-year hiatus.

Israeli media laud Obama ‘bear hug’

Something have changed it seems, from the photos. And Obama might have a little renewed motivation and interest for this “impossible project” with Israel and the Middle East.

Israeli media laud Obama ‘bear hug’

by Katie Glueck
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If the coverage in the famously ferocious Israeli press are any indication, President Barack Obama’s first presidential trip to Israel was a smashing success.

“U.S. President Barack Obama may well define his Israel visit with ‘Veni Vidi Vici’: I came, I saw, I conquered,” declared Alon Pinkas, writing in the influential liberal newspaper Ha’aretz. “Mission: Accomplished. Goals: Achieved. Media coverage? Couldn’t be better. Expectations? Reasonable. Deliverables? Maybe down the road, maybe not.”

Israeli media laud Obama ‘bear hug’
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/israel-trip-obama-89237.html

Israel downs unidentified drone

Who knows what this was… but tensions seems to be rising again..

Israel downs unidentified drone – Middle East – Al Jazeera English:

Spokeswoman for the military says Israeli systems on ground alerted the air force to the drone as it flew over Gaza.


Israel has shot down drones entering its airspace in the past but such cases are rare [Reuters]

Israeli jets scrambled to intercept a drone that crossed into Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Sea, bringing it down without incident in the south of the country, a military spokeswoman said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich said Israeli systems on the ground alerted the air force to the drone Saturday morning. She said it flew over the Gaza Strip but did not originate from the Palestinian territory.

She said Israel did not know the drone’s starting point and an investigation was under way. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Leibovich did not give more details, but Israel media reported that the aircraft was not carrying explosives and could have been a surveillance drone.

Leibovich said the operation was successful and the military was in control throughout.

“We had monitoring contact from the ground and from the air,” she said. (…)

Read more...

Panic Rises In Iran As Currency Plunges To New Lows

Seems like the ground is shifting underneath the Iranian economy – with the currency losing 1/3 of its value vs. the dollar… and people are panicking…

Panic Rises In Iran As Currency Plunges To New Lows:

An Iranian man checks the rates of foreign currencies at a currency exchange bureau in central Tehran on Sept. 29. The Iranian currency lost nearly one-third of its value in a day over the weekend.

Maryam Rahmanian/UPI/Landov

An Iranian man checks the rates of foreign currencies at a currency exchange bureau in central Tehran on Sept. 29. The Iranian currency lost nearly one-third of its value in a day over the weekend.

Large crowds of anxious Iranians gathered in Tehran on Sunday and Monday at foreign exchange offices — some of which had shuttered their doors — as Iran’s currency continues its free fall.

From Sunday to Monday, the rial lost nearly one-third of its value against the dollar — and the decline appears to have continued Tuesday.

Most economists say it’s the very tough economic and banking sanctions against Iran, as well as an embargo on Iranian oil sales, that are responsible for the currency collapse. Iran’s government is blaming currency speculators and what it’s calling “defrauders.”

The currency exchanges closed because traders had run out of dollars, which caused more panic among ordinary Iranians, says Hossein Askari, an expert on the Iranian economy who teaches at George Washington University.

“Cab drivers in Tehran are turning in their rials for dollars, because they say to themselves, it’s better that we do it now than wait until tomorrow,” Askari says. “And if that mentality takes hold, it’s over.”

The panic and blame game are adding to the pressure that weakens the rial even more, says Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a professor of economics at Virginia Tech.

“When a situation like this happens, people who need dollars now will have to buy at a very high rate, because others are basically hoarding their dollars,” Salehi-Isfahani says.

It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, as well: The more people hoard their dollars — a natural impulse — the weaker the rial becomes, and the more panicked the people become.

(..)

(Via NPR….)

Showdown.

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This week could be a pivotal one for the Middle East, Israel, US, Palestine and the strategic setup for the whole region.

UN

Small chances for Palestinian State - but fallout is a minefield.

Things to look for:

And of course – the Vote. Nine votes needed, US veto mostly guaranteed.

Israeli Ambassador flees Jordan.

israeliflagburns.jpg

The Israeli Ambassador and his staff fled Jordan yesterday amid fears that large protests could turn violent near the Embassy.

With this Jordan chips in with Egypt and Turkey – and adds pressure before the showdown over Palestine in UN next week.

Israeliflagburns

Israeli flag burns.

This ball will probably just keep on rolling.

From PressTV:

Jordanian police deployed armored vehicles in the area for the fear that the public tries to take over the embassy — a development, which had followed anti-Israeli protests in the Egyptian capital, Cairo earlier in the week.

End the agreement!” the protesters also shouted, calling for the termination of Amman’s 1994 peace treaty with Tel Aviv, which normalized relations and allegedly resolved territorial disputes between the two sides.

The rallies also condemned the United States plans to veto any Palestinian statehood bid at the UN Security Council and voiced outrage at Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians in the Tel Aviv-occupied territories.

Full story.