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Should Abbas jump on Indyks galloping horse?

To understand how thoughtless the US latest peace process drive has been, one only needs to consider some of the characters involved in this political theater. One particular character who stands out as a testament to the inherently futile exercise is Martin Indyk. Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel, was selected by Secretary of State John Kerry for the role of special envoy for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Under normal circumstances, Kerrys selection may appear somewhat rational. Former ambassadors oftentimes possess the needed expertise to navigate challenging political landscapes in countries where they previously served. But these are not normal circumstances and Indyk is hardly a diplomat in the strict use of the term. As the US-sponsored peace process began to falter, Kerry made a peculiar move by dispatching his envoy Indyk to Jerusalem. On April 18, Indyk took on the task of speaking to both sides separately. International media depicted the event as a last ditch effort to revive the talks and to help bridge the gap between the PAs Mahmoud Abbas and Israels Benjamin Netanyahu. The envoys visit took place a day after intense and difficult talks were reported to have taken place between Israeli and PA negotiators. No breakthrough was made, an official Palestinian source told AFP of the Thursday meeting. It was not that any progress was expected. Both sides are not talking about resolving the conflict per se, but the deliberations were mostly concerned with deferring Kerrys deadline for a framework agreement, slated for April 29. The Americans want to maintain the charade for reasons other than peace. Without a peace process the US will be denied an important political platform in the Middle East. US administrations have bestowed upon themselves the title honest broker. Of course, it takes no particular genius to realize that the Americans were hardly honest in their dealings with both parties. In fact, the US was not a third party at all, but was and remains steadfast in the Israeli camp. It used its political and financial leverage as a platform that allowed it to advance Israeli interests first and their own interests second. Indyk is an example. Martin Indyk, the prospective harbinger of peace, worked for the pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC in 1982. AIPAC is a rightwing outlet that has invested unlimited funds and energy to impede any just and peaceful resolution to the conflict. It has such a strong grip over US Congress that some have suggested that Capitol Hill has become, in a sense, an occupied territory by Israel and its allies. Indyks most important contribution to Israel, however, was the founding of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) in 1985, another Israeli lobby outlet that has done tremendous damage to the credibility of US foreign policy in the Middle East by using intellectuals and experts as mediums. Writing in Mondoweiss last year, Max Blumenthal recalled some interesting statements made by Indyk at J Streets first annual convention in Washington, D.C. in 2009. J Street is another Israeli lobby group that has cleverly distinguished itself as pro-peace, thus deceiving many into believing that AIPACs dominance in Washington is being seriously challenged. However, its cleverly worded statements and the colorful past of its honored guests and speakers indicate otherwise. Indyk, the rightwing Israel lobbyist, was indeed among friends. I remembered stumbling into a huge auditorium to hear Indyk describe how he made aliyah to Washington during the 1980s to ensure that US policy remained slanted in Israels favor and go on to blame Yasser Arafat for the failure of Camp David, Blumenthal recalled. He quoted Indyk. I came to that conclusion 35 years ago when I was a student in Jerusalem and the Yom Kippur war broke out, said Indyk. I worked as a volunteer there in those terrible days when Israels survival seemed to hang in the balance and I witnessed the misery of war and the critical role that the United States in the form of Henry Kissinger played through activist diplomacy in forging a peace out of that horrendous war. These were not passing comments made by Indyk, but a reflection of the mans undying commitment, not to peace, but to Israel, or, more accurately, to peace as envisioned by Israel, which is the core of the ongoing crisis. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu never ceases to talk about peace, as does his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Even Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett who is leader of the extremist party, The Jewish Home, who is known for his bellicose rhetoric, is an ardent advocate of peace. But it is not peace that is predicated on justice or that envisaged by international and humanitarian laws. It is specifically tailored peace that would allow Israel to maintain an unmistakably racist agenda, and a colonial policy of land grabbing. Unsurprisingly, this is the same kind of peace that the Americans envision as well. Kerrys new peace agenda is not entirely a rehash of old agendas. Yes, it is that too, but it almost completely embraces the once far-fetched ideas of Lieberman and rightwing groups, that of annexations the Jordan Valley and land swaps in exchange of main settlement blocs. When Lieberman floated these ideas a few years ago, he sounded like a deranged politician. Thanks to Kerry, it is now part of mainstream thinking. So Indyk, who dedicated a lifetime to securing an Israeli style peace, is now magically branded as the one attempting to revive talks and exert pressure on both sides like any good honest broker would do in these situations. But Indyk is not the only lobbyist-turned advocate for peace. He is one of many. Dennis Ross, one of Washingtons essential political hawks for many years and a strong supporter of the disastrous Iraq war, served as a special Middle East coordinator under Bill Clinton, and was handpicked by President Barack Obama very early on to continue to the play the same role in the new administration. Aside from the diplomats strong links to neoconservatives, especially those involved in the now defunct pro-war group, the Project for the New American Century; he also served as a consultant to the same lobby club founded by Indyk, WINEP. It was no coincident of course. WINEP, as other hawkish pro-Israeli groups, has served as an advocacy platform for Israel, and also fashioned Israeli-styled peacemakers. Interestingly, both Dennis and Indyk blamed Palestinians for the failure of previous peace talks. Blumenthal astutely highlighted Indyks J Street tirade blaming late PLO leader Arafat for the failings of the so-called Clinton peace parameters, despite the fact that Arafat had indeed accepted them. Indyk reminisced: I remember Shimon Peres saying to me at the time when Arafat had to decide whether to accept the Clinton Parameters, he said, history is a horse that gallops past your window and the true act of a statesman is to jump from the window on to a galloping horse. But of course Arafat let the galloping horse pass by leaving the Israelis and Palestinians mired in misery. Now, its Indyk, the die-hard Israel lobbyist, being sent along with another galloping horse outside Abbas window. We all know well how this is going to end, and we can imagine Indyk giving another speech at an AIPAC or J Street conference deriding Abbas for failing to jump.

– Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com Email: [emailprotected]

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Should Abbas jump on Indyks galloping horse?

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13 questions with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

All eyes will be on Boston on Monday as the city hosts its first marathon after last year’s bombings. The marathon marks a major milestone for Mayor Marty Walsh, who was sworn in earlier this year — the first person not named Tom Menino to run Boston in more than two decades. We caught up with Walsh over the weekend to ask him about the marathon, the anniversary of the attacks, his first 100 days in office, whether Elizabeth Warren should run for president, and if Vice President Biden has figured out his phone number yet: AP Photo FIX: So the race is almost here.

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13 questions with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

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NYPD's Twitter Outreach Backfires in Most Predictable Way Possible

S Twitter has been around for 8 years, and it still hasn’t quite sunken in that it’s a terrible place to promote your brand. Especially if your brand is police brutality, unnecessary roughness, and racial profiling. The NYPD took a stab at some Twitter outreach Tuesday afternoon with this call for photos of citizens and their friendly neighborhood cops: S They got exactly what they asked for, courtesy of Occupy Wall Street supporters and others whose experiences with New York’s Finest haven’t exactly been hashtag awesome.

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NYPD's Twitter Outreach Backfires in Most Predictable Way Possible

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On the morning of the marathon: 13 questions with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

All eyes will be on Boston on Monday as the city hosts its first marathon after last year’s bombings. The marathon marks a major milestone for Mayor Marty Walsh, who was sworn in earlier this year — the first person not named Tom Menino to run Boston in more than two decades. We caught up with Walsh over the weekend to ask him about the marathon, the anniversary of the attacks, his first 100 days in office, whether Elizabeth Warren should run for president, and if Vice President Biden has figured out his phone number yet: AP Photo FIX: So the race is almost here.

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On the morning of the marathon: 13 questions with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

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Speaking French with a Jewish accent

The French media is wild for Vincent Elbaz, and it’s easy to see why. The Jewish actor, who bears no relation to Alber Elbaz of Lanvin fame, is tall and has a hearty shock of brown hair. He is oddly handsome, with small, dark eyes, an aquiline nose and high, wide cheekbones

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Speaking French with a Jewish accent

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What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News

In the fall of 2013, I gave a TED talk on what I learned as a progressive, on-air talking head at Fox News, where I worked for two years before leaving and joining my current home, CNN. After all, one of the most frequent questions I was asked during my time at Fox was how I did it, how I was a fox in the henhouse or a hen in the Fox house, if you will. The questions came mostly from fellow …

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What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News

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The Conspiracy makes paranoia fun again

Christopher MacBride's faux-documentary uses found footage to spin its tale of the shadowy Tarsus Group Faux-documentary The Conspiracy pulls off two tricks that alone warrant 82 crisply compelling minutes of your time: it makes conspiracy theories fun again (or perhaps it just makes them funny, as well as quite scary); and it finds new life in the increasingly threadbare found-footage genre …

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The Conspiracy makes paranoia fun again

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A Conversation With German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schuble

Home EU A Conversation With German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schuble Follow Us On

Speaker: Dr. Wolfgang Schuble, Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Germany Presider: Robert M. Kimmitt, Chairman, American Council on Germany April 14, 2014

KIMMITT: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Bob Kimmitt, and on behalf of the Council on Foreign Relations, I would like to welcome you to this conversation with Dr. Wolfgang Schuble, the finance minister of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Herr Bundesminister, willkommen in Washington. Mr. Minister, welcome back to Washington and to the Council on Foreign Relations. Today’s exceptionally large turnout is a real compliment to you.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schuble has given a lifetime of service to his country, half — half to West Germany and half to united Germany. He was a central member of the historic group that — under the leadership of Helmut Kohl and supported strongly by the United States — moved Germany from division to unity in fewer than 11 months in 1989 and ’90.

After service over decades in the Bundestag, the federal chancellery, and the interior ministry, he became federal minister of finance in October 2009, just as the financial crisis was moving from the United States to Europe. In these last five years, Wolfgang Schuble has become the most consequential finance minister in Europe and a leading figure in the G-7 and the G-20. Throughout, he’s been a superb representative of Germany, a strong supporter of a more unified and effective European Union, and a committed transatlanticist.

It’s my pleasure and honor to introduce Wolfgang Schuble, the minister of finance of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Minister, the floor is yours.

(APPLAUSE)

SCHUBLE: Thank you, Ambassador Kimmitt.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great honor and pleasure for me to be here again. And I will not waste my time, but I will start immediately in saying, above and beyond all of the irritations, that the three letters in Germany, NSA stand for, this fact remains true: Like no two other actors on the global stage, the United States and Europe — what we call the Western world — share common values, common strengths, and common interests when it comes to shaping the global order of the 21st century.

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A Conversation With German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schuble

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Neutral Finland debates NATO membership option

Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said that his country, which is not a member of any military pact, should consider NATO membership along with Sweden, when the time is right. He added that there was no acute security risk for Finland due to the Ukraine crisis.

“My personal opinion is that Finland should belong to NATO. It would strengthen Finlands position. But Im in the minority,” he said on Saturday (12 April), in an interview to the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle.

Katainen said that there is no acute security risk facing Finland because of the situation in Ukraine. But he also pointed out that Russia has said that its ready to defend its citizens outside of its own borders.

“This is a serious issue that should be discussed openly,” said Katainen, who especially thanked Yle for its Russian-language news service, Novosti, which allows Russian-speakers in Finland to follow the news in their own mother-tongue.

Katainen also said that the Finnish state was doing fine, rejecting accusations that he was leaving a sinking ship. On 5 April, Katainen said he was stepping down from his job of Prime Minister this summer, and that he was available for a EU top job [read more].

In light of Ukraine developments, Katainen is not the only one in his country to call for NATO membership. Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari (1994-2000), who won the Nobel peace prize in 2008 over his role in the Kosovo process negotiations, strongly advocated that his country should join NATO.

Id hope that at some point wed be able to make that kind of decision and I hope that it would happen jointly with Sweden. I dont see any reason why the Swedes wouldnt also make a decision to join, Ahtisaari said in a recent interview.

But Finnish foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja responded by saying Finland does not require NATO membership because it is already a member of the European Union and a NATO partner. Opposition Centre Party Chair Juha Sipil says now is not the appropriate time to be considering the NATO question.

NATO would bring no added benefit to Finnish security. It is not a solution, it would simply bring more problems of its own, Tuomioja added.

Tuomioja estimates that Katainen is now speaking more freely as his term as Prime Minister draws to an end, more boldly representing his centre-right National Coalition Party views. The NCP party line has traditionally supported NATO membership, while Tuomiojas Social Democratic Party has opposed it.

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Neutral Finland debates NATO membership option

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Abortion Conservative vs. Liberal View

Liberal Abortion Activist

If you are a Liberal, you believe that a woman has the right to decide what happens with her body. A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights.

If you are a Liberal, you also want to tell people how and what to eat. Michelle Obamas mission since her husband took office is to ban the use of certain foods that people love. Such as trans fats and limit the use of sugar, and much more. This doesnt make sense, because if a Liberal womans argument in support of Abortion is that no one gets to tell her what to do with her body, then why then do they want to ban foods, regulate school lunches and force restaurants to serve certain kinds of foods?

The answer to that question is simple: Liberals LIE about the reason they support Abortion staying legal, because the real reason they want an abortion, 99.999% of the time, is that having a baby is inconvenient. Yet somehow Liberals get away with the bogus argument that they have the right to do what they want with their bodies all the while telling everyone else what to do with THEIR bodies! They are out to ban football next because of concussions. Many people think Liberalism should be banned because it seems they all have experienced some type of brain impairment.

In any case

Liberals believe that the government should provide taxpayer funded abortions for women who cannot afford them. They believe, as we pointed out above, that the decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government must protect this right.

Liberals believe women have the right to affordable, safe and legal abortions, including partial birth abortion. Somehow, the government will provide for this and pay for it and even FORCE religious institutions to pay for it and provide it despite their absolute moral position that it is murder. So Obama and Liberals today are forcing Religious institutions to go completely against their teachings and beliefs.

This is OK for Liberals and Democrats

In other words, what is this instinctive reaction that come from ANY human, Liberal or Conservative? We think we know the answer to this question. We know that abortion has little to do with some kind of right, and EVERYTHING to do with convenience and selfishness on the part of the one who got pregnant and or the one who got that person pregnant. .

On the other hand, if you are a Conservative, you believe human life begins at conception. Abortion is the murder of a human life. An unborn baby, as a living human being, has separate, individual rights from that of the mother.

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Abortion Conservative vs. Liberal View

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