Palestinian Authority demands two-state commitment from US

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority expects the Trump administration to commit to a peace deal endgame before the close of this month and prefers it would be the two-state solution.

“We need them to tell us where the hell they are going,” Husam Zomlot, the Palestine Liberation Organization envoy to Washington, said Thursday at a meeting in his office with reporters. “It’s about time we hear it.”

Zomlot said a high-level US delegation comprising Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and his top adviser charged with Middle East peace; Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s top international negotiator; and Dina Powell, a deputy national security adviser, would meet August 24 in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian negotiating team.

The meeting will come toward the end of a tour in which the US officials also will meet with Israeli and other regional leaders, including from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (second left) and US President Donald Trump's special envoys Jared Kushner (left) and Jason Greenblatt (second right) meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, June 21, 2017. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv)

Zomlot said that for the Palestinian Authority, the preferred outcome remained a recommitment to the two-state solution. Trump retreated soon after assuming the presidency in January from a two-state outcome, which has been US policy since 2002. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had committed to a two-state solution in 2009, also has been silent since then about his commitment. A majority of Netanyahu’s Cabinet opposes having two states.

“A two-state solution has international equilibrium, it has regional backing and it has a global consensus,” Zomlot said. “We are saying to them, we have a starting point, and letting go of this starting point is the worst thing they can do.”

US President Donald Trump, left, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during a joint press conference at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (AFP/MANDEL NGAN)

Zomlot said the Palestinian Authority wanted two states based on the 1967 borders, and wanted to hear from the Trump administration how best to deal with factors that would endanger a peaceful outcome, including Jewish settlements, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and religious tensions at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which both Jews and Muslims claim as holy.

“The how is crucial,” he said.

He said that in the wake of serious negotiations, “the Palestinian consensus government will be tasked with two things: the ending of the situation in Gaza — the unprecedented situation in Gaza — and as soon as possible the convening of Palestinian national elections.”

A major obstruction to advancing peace talks has been the absence of Palestinian Authority control in the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas terrorist group is the authority. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, along with Israel, have been squeezing Gaza by reducing basic supplies to its Hamas rulers, including electricity.

Zomlot would not say what the Palestinian Authority would do if the US delegation did not lay out an endgame, but said uncertainty could lead the PA to return to seeking international recognition for statehood — a posture that Israel and the United States adamantly oppose — or to further Palestinian resistance against Israel. He said the resistance would be “peaceful.”

Zomlot conveyed an overall positive impression of Trump and his negotiators, saying they had carefully considered Palestinian positions, and that Trump’s commitment to an endgame rather than simply perpetuating the process was positive.

“The character of President Trump himself — we believe this is a person who could actually take the leap, who could exert pressure on all sides,” he said.

Zomlot and the Palestinian Authority appear to be relying on pressure by Trump as a means of delivering Israel on the two-state solution. Zomlot made clear that he did not believe Netanyahu had the wherewithal to advance to final status negotiations on his own.

“Netanyahu is behaving like a politician, not a statesman,” he said of the prime minister’s coalition maneuvering, in which he must deal with partners who oppose concessions. “Israel deserves better leadership.”

Zomlot expressed anger with Congress and the welter of proposed bills that would cut US assistance to the Palestinian Authority and otherwise penalize it. Chief among the measures is the Taylor Force Act, named for an American stabbed to death in a 2016 terrorist attack, which would link funding to the Palestinian areas to the cessation of PA payments to the families of Palestinians killed in or jailed for attacks on Israelis.

He said the Palestinian Authority was ready to “revise and negotiate” its payment system, but would not submit to pressure.

“Don’t use financial pressure with us,” he said. “It does not work.”


Netanyahu demands al-Jazeera offices in Israel be shut down

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would look for ways to shutter the presence of satellite news station al-Jazeera in Israel, accusing the Qatar-based channel of inciting violence.

In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Netanyahu said he had asked law enforcement authorities to shut down the station’s Israel offices a number of times.

“Al-Jazeera has not stopped fomenting violence around the Temple Mount,” he said, referring to escalating tensions surrounding Muslim protests against Israeli security measures at the holy site. There were put in place following a July 14 terror attack in which three terrorists shot two Israeli policemen to death with weapons they had smuggled onto the compound. Israel shut the site for two days and re-opened it with new security arrangements including metal detectors and cameras.

Netanyahu said that he would turn to lawmakers to have al-Jazeera’s Jerusalem office shut down if it was not closed “because of legal interpretation.”

“I will act to legislate the needed laws to remove al-Jazeera from Israel,” he wrote.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu items found in a weapons factory discovered in the West Bank city of Hebron, during a visit to the IDF West Bank Division, near the Israeli settlement of Beit El, January 10, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

There was no immediate reaction from al-Jazeera to Netanyahu’s post, which came a day after a survey found 77% of Israelis said he had capitulated with his decision to remove metal detectors that had been set up at entrances to the Temple Mount in the wake of the shooting attack nearly two weeks ago.

A number of Arab countries have recently shut down their local al-Jazeera offices amid an ongoing spat with Qatar but Israel, which often touts its press freedoms, has allowed the station to continue operating.

After Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other states announced they were imposing sanctions on Doha and the station in June, Netanyahu reportedly met with Israeli officials to explore the possibility of shutting down the station in Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the time that the diplomatic isolation of Qatar had provided Israel with an “opportunity” to get rid of al-Jazeera and win points with potential Gulf allies.

“Some [Arab countries’] interests overlap with Israeli interests, including the issue with al-Jazeera,” Liberman said last month.

“Al-Jazeera is not media, it’s not journalism. It’s an incitement machine. It’s pure propaganda, of the worst variety, in the style of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia,” he added.

Tensions high in Himalayas as China demands India withdrawal

BEIJING — China is insisting that India withdraw its troops from a disputed plateau in the Himalaya mountains before talks can take place to settle the most protracted standoff in recent years between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that India must pull back its troops as a precondition to demonstrate “sincerity.” The comments came after weeks of saber-rattling in New Delhi and Beijing, as officials from both sides have talked up a potential clash even bloodier than their 1962 border war that left thousands dead.

The dispute flared up in June after Chinese teams began building a road on territory also claimed by Bhutan. The tiny Himalayan kingdom sought help from its longtime ally, India, which sent border guards onto the plateau to obstruct Chinese workers.

Qatar: Demands made by Saudi-led allies not ‘reasonable’

Qatar on Saturday reportedly said the 13-point list of demands presented by Saudi-led allies was not reasonable or actionable, in a major escalation of the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

The list — which includes a call for Qatar to close down broadcaster al-Jazeera and cut ties to the Muslim Brotherhood — are the demands that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want met to end a diplomatic and trade “blockade” of Qatar, lasting almost three weeks.

“We are reviewing these demands out of respect for … regional security and there will be an official response from our ministry of foreign affairs,” Sheikh Saif al-Thani, the director of Qatar’s government communications office told Reuters in a statement.

It said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently called on Saudi Arabia and its allies to present a list of demands that was “reasonable and actionable.”

“This list does not satisfy that criteria,” al-Thani said.

On Friday, Qatar insisted it could indefinitely survive the economic and diplomatic steps its neighbors have taken to try to pressure it into compliance, even as a top Emirati official warned the tiny country to brace for a long-term economic squeeze.

“I can assure you that our situation today is very comfortable,” Qatari Ambassador to the US Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani told The Associated Press. “Qatar could continue forever like that with no problems.”

Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, poses for a photo during an interview with the Associated Press in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)

Asked whether Qatar felt pressure to resolve the crisis quickly, he said: “Not at all.”

As the United States stepped back from any central mediating role, all sides seemed to be settling in for a potentially protracted crisis. Qatar’s neighbors insisted their 13-point list of demands was their bottom line, not a starting point for negotiations.

If Qatar refuses to comply by the deadline, the Arab countries signaled, they’ll continue to restrict its access to land, sea and air routes indefinitely, as economic pressure mounts on Qatar.

“The measures that have been taken are there to stay until there is a long-term solution to the issue,” Emirati Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba said in an interview. Suggesting the penalties would only be economic and diplomatic, he said “there is no military element to this whatsoever.”

Having urged Qatar’s neighbors to come up with “reasonable and actionable” demands, the US sought to distance itself from the crisis the day after the Arab countries issued a list that included several provisions Qatar had already declared it could not or would not accept. But the ultimatum was quickly rejected by Qatar’s ally, Turkey, and blasted as an assault on free speech by Al-Jazeera, the Qatari broadcaster that the gas-rich country’s neighbors are demanding be shut down.

The demands from the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Egyptians and the Bahrainis amount to a call for a sweeping overhaul of Qatar’s foreign policy and natural gas-funded influence peddling in the region. Complying would force Qatar to bring its policies in line with the regional vision of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest economy and gatekeeper of Qatar’s only land border.

“This reflects basically an attempt from these countries to suppress free media and also undermine our sovereignty,” said Al Thani, the Qatari envoy. “They are trying to impose their views on how the issues need to be dealt with in the Middle East.”

“They are bullies,” he added.

A Qatari employee of al-Jazeera TV walks past the logo of Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar, November 1, 2006 (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

The demands include shutting news outlets, including al-Jazeera and its affiliates, curbing diplomatic relations with Iran and severing all ties with Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates said the list was intended to be confidential. The AP obtained a copy from one of the countries involved in the dispute.

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this month over allegations that it funds terrorism — an accusation President Donald Trump has echoed. Qatar vehemently denies funding or supporting extremism but acknowledges that it allows members of some extremist groups such as Hamas to live in Qatar, arguing that fostering dialogue is key to resolving global conflicts.

The move by Qatar’s neighbors has left it under a de facto blockade. Although residents made a run on the supermarket in the days after the crisis erupted, the situation has since calmed as Qatar secured alternative sources of imported food from Turkey and elsewhere.

Qatar’s neighbors are demanding that it:

— Curb diplomatic ties with Iran, and limit trade and commerce.

— Stop funding other news outlets, including Arabi21, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

— Hand over “terrorist figures” and wanted individuals from the four countries.

— Stop all means of funding for groups or people designated by foreign countries as terrorists.

— Pay an unspecified sum in reparations.

— Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.



When President Donald Trump arrives in Israel next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have the opportunity to make specific requests from the administration.

These are the key issues Israel is expected to bring up with the US.

1) Keep the pressure on Iran
In the coming days, we will see if Trump waives sanctions on Iran and allows Tehran to keep funding its military assistance to Bashar Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.


While Israel does not want to see Iranian funds freed up to meddle more in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza (which would seriously endanger the country’s security), it also does not want the nuclear deal to fall apart prematurely (or if it does, only due to an Iranian violation, not a US failure to meet an obligation), lest Iran be free to dash to the bomb even sooner than Israel worries it will.

In general, Israel wants to ensure that it is on the same page with the administration regarding the continued pressure that must be applied on Iran to curb the latter’s development of ballistic missiles and support of terrorism.

During a press conference last month with visiting US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman urged the administration to “place more pressure and sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

2) Stabilizing Syria and recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights
Israel has two requests regarding Syria. Firstly, it wants to ensure that its security interests are accounted for in any deal that Trump would reach with Russia aimed at ending the civil war in the country.

Specifically, Israel wants to make sure that Iran and Hezbollah will not remain in Syria at the end of the war and will not be allowed to establish a presence on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Israel’s second demand has to do with its control over the Golan Heights. The premier is seeking recognition from Trump for Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, which was conquered 50 years ago during the Six Day War.

This came up during the two leaders’ meeting at the White House in February and was also reiterated last week by Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, who proposed that Jerusalem and Washington reach a five-pointed understanding on the issue of the Syrian civil war and the implications it has on Israel’s security.

3) Move the embassy to Jerusalem
This seems to be the most contentious issue in the dialogue between the two governments. On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doused flames on the eventuality of the embassy being moved to Jerusalem, telling a US interviewer that the decision “will be informed by the parties involved in those talks – and most certainly Israel’s view – and whether Israel views it as helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction.”

Netanyahu was quick to respond, saying that by moving the embassy, Trump would actually be advancing the peace process by smashing the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital.

The US president made the promise to move the embassy during his campaign and after he was elected, there were reports that an announcement would happen in the first days of his administration.

The premier is expected to use Trump’s visit next week to pressure him on the issue. The simplest way to advance would be for Trump at the end of May to not waive a Congress law from 1995 that mandates the embassy be in Jerusalem. US presidents have signed waivers to the law every six months since its passage.

4) Settlement construction and protection of Israel’s interests in potential peace talks with the Palestinians
Trump seems determined to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and while he will likely refrain from getting the leaders together during his trip next week, he will try to convince the sides to reengage with one another.

Israel will seek to impress upon Trump the difficulty in reaching a deal based on the Palestinian demands of 1967 lines, the right of return and Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Israel will also work to convince Trump of the need for a future Palestinian state to remain demilitarized.

Lastly, Netanyahu has been trying since his trip to the White House in February to reach understandings with the administration over Israeli settlement construction. Netanyahu reportedly postponed a meeting of a settlement planning committee last week until after Trump’s visit to not infuriate the president.

Netanyahu would like a green light from the president to be able to build in all of Jerusalem as well as in the settlement blocs. He fears having to agree to a new settlement freeze that could prompt Bayit Yehudi to pull out of his coalition.

5) Retain Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge in the region
Trump is expected to approve a massive sale of approximately $100 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia.

While Israel backs military support to the Saudis and other Gulf States, which are all aligned against Iran, it is in constant talks with the White House and the Pentagon about ways to ensure that it retains its QME in the region by always being the first to receive superior American weapons systems and munitions.

Israel is currently in talks with the Pentagon about how it plans to spend the $38 billion new military aid package signed at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Jewish state is expected to seek permission from its biggest ally to purchase new transport helicopters, smart bombs, bunker busters, more F-35 stealth fighter jets as well as an assortment of additional weapon and intelligence systems.

Fatah demands ‘softened’ Hamas apologize for treason accusations

A Palestinian official demanded Hamas apologize for accusing rival Fatah of treason, after the terror group released a platform Monday that put it more in line with positions taken by the Palestine Liberation Organization decades ago.

“Hamas’s new document is identical to that taken by Fatah in 1988. Hamas is required to make an apology to Fatah after 30 years of accusing us of treason for that policy,” Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasme said Monday, according to Reuters.

In the past, Hamas has sharply criticized Fatah’s political program, which rests on setting up a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War, but allows for the existence of an Israeli state.

The new Hamas document accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in territories captured by Israel in that war but dismisses the establishment of the State of Israel as “illegal” and calls for “the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.” It asserts a Palestinian claim to the entire land of Israel, and a right of return for all descendants of refugees.

The new platform was touted as a moderation of the group’s previous stance, which did not accept even the temporary idea of a Palestinian state only within the 1967 lines. The document also purged some language deemed anti-Semitic.

Israel dismissed the new document as an attempt to “fool the world.”

Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal (R) looks on during a news conference in the Qatari capital, Doha on May 1, 2017 (AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR)

The new platform, which was posted online in English, was presented Monday, amid high tensions between Hamas and Fatah.

The five-page program, a result of four years of internal deliberations, was presented at a news conference in Doha, Qatar, by Khaled Mashaal, the outgoing Hamas leader in exile. The group has said Mashaal’s replacement is to be named later this month, after the completion of secret leadership elections.

“Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” the document states. “However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.”

Hamas officials said the document, which reserves the right to wage “resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine,” in no way amounts to recognition of Israel.

In November 1988 the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Yasser Arafat, recognized “those UN resolutions which call for a two-state solution of Israel and Palestine.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses supporters during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, at the his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

The group, which at the time was considered a terror organization by the US, declared that it had “established the independent state of Palestine and accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region.”

This declaration was sufficient for it to be removed from the US list of terror organizations, allowing America, and later Israel, to enter into direct negotiations with the group.

The two groups have failed to come to terms since Hamas drove out forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in its 2007 takeover of Gaza, a year after defeating Fatah in Palestinian parliament elections. Reconciliation efforts have failed.

In recent weeks, Abbas has threatened to exert financial pressure, including cutting wage payments and aid to Gaza, as a way of forcing Hamas to cede some control of the Strip. Leaders of the group have vowed they will not budge.

The war of words with Hamas was seen as an attempt by Abbas to position himself as a leader of all Palestinians ahead of his first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

The US leader has said he would try to broker Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a peace deal, despite repeated failures over the past two decades.

Persian Man Demands Equal Rights for White People at Council Meeting in CA

‘I want to lead France, not Europe’: Le Pen demands removal of EU flag for TV interview
With France’s presidential election just days away, National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen symbolically demanded the removal of an EU flag from the studio for a TV interview. Earlier she promised a referendum on France’s EU membership if she wins the vote.

Political interviews in France often feature a combination of the national tricolor and the star-sprinkled blue-and-gold Flag of Europe – but not on Tuesday, when Le Pen visited the country’s TF1 channel.

“To agree to take part in this program, Madame Le Pen, you asked us to remove the European flag that should have been behind you,” said interviewer Gilles Bouleau by way of explanation.

“I want to be president of the French Republic, not of the European Commission, given that I believe the EU has done a lot of harm to our country, to our people, on an economic and social level, with the disappearance of borders,” replied Le Pen.

While Le Pen had on previous occasions appeared next to the EU flag, her attitude is not new. One of the 144 promises in her election manifesto is to remove the blue-and-gold flag from government buildings, as well as to ensure that a French flag is always present – a measure that has already been followed by FN-controlled local authorities.

The gesture sparked a debate online.

Fiers de notre , symbole d’unité, de solidarité et d’harmonie entre les peuples d’Europe. Ne le cachons pas. 

“Proud of our flag, symbol of unity, solidarity and harmony between the peoples of Europe. Let’s not hide it,” tweeted the office of the European Commission in France on Wednesday.

“You’ll see, we’ll soon stuff your oligarchic rag in the cupboard,” shot back Florian Philippot, the FN vice-president.

Si si, vous allez voir, on va bientôt ranger au placard votre torchon oligarchique 😉. Vive le drapeau 🇫🇷! 

While the focus on flags in a country beset by economic stagnation and living in a state of emergency due to a threat of terrorism may seem petty, it is indicative of the wider issues that have dominated what appears to be an unusually tight four-way race to make it into the run-off.

Le Pen, who, according to polls conducted in the past week is likely to move onto the second round, has argued that France must quit the euro, and has advocated a referendum on EU membership, similar to the one that led to Brexit last year. She has also argued for stronger border control as a way of limiting the impact of what she has called “twin globalizations” of wage-suppressing economic migration and Islamic terrorism.

Trump raises stakes on government shutdown, demands border wall funds in spending bill

The White House said Thursday that it wants to see money for President Trump’s border wall included in the spending bill Congress must pass next week — a demand Democrats said sours negotiations and makes a government shutdown more likely.

The demands mark a reversal for the administration, which had been saying it found enough money to build prototypes this year and wouldn’t need a major infusion of cash until next year.

But White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that the wall and the money for more immigration agents are priorities.

“We know there are a lot of people on the Hill, especially in the Democratic Party, who don’t like the wall, but they lost the election. And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

The White House issued its demand just days after Democrats insisted that the spending bill include billions of dollars to prop up Obamacare. Democratic aides signaled that they wouldn’t accept a bill without the cost-sharing payments intended to keep insurers invested in the health care law.

With Mr. Mulvaney’s demand, both sides now appear to be entrenching.

Following Syrian False Flag Israel Ramps Up Its New “Buffer Zone” Demands


By Thomas Müller of The New Nationalist

The Israelis quickly are licking their chops and revealing true intentions following the warmongering ramp up against Syria. They lead off with Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) who praised Friday’s air strike as “moral and logical” and said it serves as a warning to Hezbollah and Iranian leadership. He said Israel must show its determination to keep control of the Golan Heights by sending another 100,000 citizens to settle it more efficiently.

The Golan Heights has long been ethnically cleansed, so this is simply moving forward with a more formalized colonization. The Golan has good water supplies. Between 80,000 and 130,000 Syrians fled or were driven from the heights during the 1967 Six-Day War and around 7,000 remained in the Israeli-held territory in six villages. Israel demolished over one hundred Syrian villages and farms in the Golan Heights. After the demolitions, the lands were given to Israeli settlers.

But why stop with the consolidation of the Golan Heights? Per Haaretz, not content with the fiat accompli of Golan, yesterday Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the US and “international actors” to create yet more “buffer zones” on the border between Syria and Israeli occupied Golan Heights. Of note is that Israel wants to extend the “buffer zone” east along the border with Jordan.

If one peruses the map, you can see there already is a UN DMZ security zone buffer (in purple) extending well into the Syrian lands bordering Israeli occupied Golan Heights. The northern section is quite wide and serves to outflank Lebanon. It is also within short range of Damascus. We will find out in due course just how much additional Syrian war booty Israel is after now. The opening demands seems to be about expanding the “zone” further east. Whose boots will be on the ground?

Incredibly another issue discussed at the meeting, the senior minister said, was Israel’s growing “fear” (note shadow language) that its air force’s freedom of action in Syria is becoming more complicated. Both Syria and Russia have indicated that incursions over Syrian air space are a red line. Tests should come as no surprise.

Haaretz Israeli reader “Ezra” commenting in the we tense spells the situation out succinctly:

We already HAVE a buffer zone with Syria! It’s called the Golan Heights. We’ve bleated on for decades about how strategically important it was to keep that area for just such a reason. Whose fault is it that we then decided to populate this buffer zone with thousands upon thousands of civilians? We did EXACTLY the same thing in the West Bank! We captured it, occupied it and declared it of the utmost strategic importance to keep it as a buffer zone between poor defenseless Tel Aviv and the forces of the evil King of Jordan. We then promptly transferred and spent the next half century pouring 600,000 Israeli civilians into the EXACT same “buffer zone” right up to the banks of the Jordan River! So again I ask. Exactly whose fault is it that we have no buffer zones left?

Meanwhile back in DC, Zionist warmonger Sean Spicer spells out (at 0:40) the goal: “destabilize Syria”.

This article originally appeared on The New Nationalist and was republished here with permission.