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Arab League condemns crackdowns on protesters

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26 Apr 2011
Arab League condemns crackdowns on protesters

The Arab League on Tuesday condemned the use of force against pro-democracy protesters in several Arab countries. "The people's demands for freedom and democracy are demands that require support ... not bullets in the chests of demonstrators," the Arab League said in the statement. "We call on Arab regimes and governments to commit to and speed up reforms, immediately stop using force against demonstrators and spare their citizens bloodshed." The 22-member league rarely issues such statements and it is even more rare for it to express criticism of Arab countries, spending most of its time and resources bashing Israel.

Obama Administration in bid to avert Palestinian UN action
The Obama Administration has launched a new diplomatic initiative with Israel and the Palestinian Authority aimed at avoiding a PA threat to take its case for statehood to the UN in September, but PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo declared on Monday that the PA was determined to go ahead with the plan regardless of what Israel or the US does.
Assad orders brutal crackdown in Syria
Syrian infantry backed by tanks and artillery were deployed in Daraa and several other cities over the weekend as the regime of President Bashar Assad attempted to crush protests, the latest flare up of violence in the so-called "Arab Spring."

Iran hit by another cyberattack
Military officials in Iran confirmed on Monday that the Islamic Republic's renegade nuclear program has been hit by a new computer virus attack. The virus, named "Stars" comes even as Teheran's nuclear facilities are still grappling with problems caused by the "Stuxnet" worm, an attack widely accredited to the US and Israel. Analysts have warned that the attacks could lead to Iranian retaliation against Western websites and networks, even as the number of industrial 'accidents' in Iran being blamed on sabotage, both cyber and the old fashioned kind, continues to rise. Nearly a dozen natural gas pipeline explosions have occurred in Iran in the last 18 months. In related news, Kuwaiti newspaper al Kabas reported on Sunday that GCC countries are growing increasingly alarmed at the apparent warming of relations between Iran and the transitional government in Egypt.

Netanyahu to give regular YouTube interviews
The Prime Minister's office recently announced that Benjamin Netanyahu will be regularly publishing YouTube interviews in order to please the many web surfers worldwide who are interested in Israel, following the success of a recent experimental broadcast. "Direct links with the Facebook generation around the world, but especially from the Arab world, are very important for becoming directly familiar with the true Israel," Netanyahu declared. Over 1 million viewers watched Netanyahu's interview which was aired on the YouTube's World View channel in the end of March, in which he answered questions sent to him via email and social media from all over the world.

Israeli designed electric cars to be marketed in the US
After launching their project in both Israel and Denmark, Better Place, the Israeli electric car company, will soon open up shop in Hawaii. 10 charging stations have already been set up across the island of Oahu and seven cars are expected to shortly arrive to the island. Hawaii is currently importing 90% of its oil and has set as an objective of reaching 70 percent renewable power before 2030. "Better Place's electric vehicle network is an innovative approach to integrating electric vehicles into our island grids," said US Sen. Daniel Inouye. Better Place, which already got over 1000 charging docks all over Israel are next expected to launch an electric taxi project in California.

Australian local councils abandon BDS campaign
The Marrickville Council of Australia made headlines earlier this year when they decided to boycott Israeli products including cultural and academic ties. Last week the local Council ended their Israeli boycott project after the federal government criticized the council for handling political areas outside their local jurisdiction. "The backlash has been quite strong and unanimous from the wider populace and from the Australian federal government and the New South Wales government," said Yair Miller president of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.

Poll: Majority of Egyptians want to end peace with Israel
The Pew Research Center recently published a report about Egyptian attitudes towards Jews and Israel. 56% of respondents were in favor of annulling the 1979 Israeli Egyptian peace treaty. The current leader of Egypt's interim government Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi were the most popular of the Egyptian leaders shortly followed by the chief of the Arab League Amr Moussa. Only 41% of the respondents believed that the upcoming election would be free and fair, while 75% were positive towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

Oren essay sets off academic debate
An essay written by Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren entitled "The Ultimate Ally" and published on Monday on the website of Foreign Policy has set off a firestorm of debate, with several rebuttals being published by other regular contributors to the website. So far, Oren's article has received over 1,300 'likes' on Facebook while the rebuttal arguments have received substantially less. Highlights from the essay include Oren's assertion that "On an ideological level, an ally is a country that shares America's values, reflects its founding spirit, and resonates with its people's beliefs. Tactically, an ally stands with the U.S. through multiple conflicts and promotes its global vision. An ally enhances American intelligence and defense capabilities, and provides ports and training for U.S. forces. An ally assists in saving American lives on and off the battlefield. And an ally stimulates the U.S. economy through trade, technological innovation, and job creation. Israel is certainly one of the few countries that fit this description."


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