Category: Now there’s a surprise

We’re heading into yet another week of family celebrations (another niece’s wedding, plus a cousin’s) so I shall condense my blogging for the moment into a link dump of sorts.


Arab Spring Weather Report

Under the category “Now there’s a surprise” (sarcasm being my forte), I bring you the following:

Haniyeh (Hamas PM) promises difficult days ahead for Israel. I’m not sure why this is considered news. Now if he’d said “I promise sweetness and light ahead for Israel” – now that would indeed have been news.

The second part of this non-surprise is that Haniyeh was talking in Tunisia – yes, that Tunisia that is supposed to have become so tolerant after its revolution and now tolerates racist antisemitic speech from its terrorist guests.

Speaking of which, and another in the non-surprise category, Amnesty says state repression will continue in 2012 even in the face of the Arab “Spring”.  I admit we all had high hopes at the beginning, but very quickly it became evident that matters would either remain the same, or most likely become worse in post-revolution Middle Eastern countries.

Of course what Amnesty declares overtly now is what Israel was warning about from the beginning – and was roundly condemned for its pessimism. Are we allowed to say “I told you so”?

Non-surpise no. 3: Algerian Islamists back Turkey in their genocide row with France:

Bouguerra Soltani, head of the Social Movement for Peace (MSP) party, backed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he was criticized by Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia.

Turkey has accused France of hypocrisy for pushing a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to deny that the 1915-17 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks amounted to genocide.

The Iranians continue their search for international friends with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launching a tour of US foes in Latin America.

Ahmadinejad will meet fellow US foe and firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during a four-nation trip that coincides with rising global alarm over Tehran’s reputed attempts to build an atomic weapon –a charge Tehran denies.

Ahmadinejad’s talks with Chavez will be followed Tuesday with a trip to Nicaragua to attend the inauguration of its recently re-elected leader Daniel Ortega. Stops in Cuba and Ecuador will round off the tour.

All four countries have frosty ties with the United States, and their leaders have in the past four years made numerous Tehran visits to build up diplomatic and business links while relations with Washington have worsened.

And just in case your Monday morning blues were not all used up by the above news, we read that Iran’s underground nuclear site is almost operational. Again, this is something that Israel has been warning the world about for years but has been ignored until almost too late.

In order that you shouldn’t start the week on too down a note, here’s a non-surprise that is not all bad: Large-scale terrorist attack thwarted when 12 pipe bombs were found at a checkpoint. The unsurprising part is that there was yet another attempted terrorist attack.  The good part of course is that it was foiled in time.

Border Police Sunday morning foiled large-scale terrorist attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs who carried pipe bombs and an 8-inch commando knife when they were searched at a security fence checkpoint in Samaria.

The planned attack is one of the latest in a growing number of terrorist threats that have been attributed to the release of more than 1,000 terrorists in exchange for the return of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and to the Palestinian Authority bid for United Nations recognition instead of returning to direct talks with Israel.

When you read further details, the thwarted attack is even more chilling:

The four were last in line to enter the Samaria Military Court when one of the soldiers stationed at the crossing, from the Military Police, spotted wires protruding from under his jacket.

The officers shut down the crossing and ordered the Palestinian to undress and discovered three pipe bombs. Another eight were discovered in his bag together with a homemade pistol, several bullets and a commando knife.

“I don’t remember such a large cache of bombs caught on one person,” Lt.-Col. Erez, commander of the Haruv Battalion said.

Three other Palestinians who were in line with the man carrying the weapons were also detained. The IDF suspects that the attack was planned against the Samaria Military Court, since the line the Palestinians were standing in only goes into the court and back out.

We can but hope that future surprises will be of the pleasant kind – although I will not be holding my breath.

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