Posts Tagged ‘shepherd hotel’

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Daily International News 01.10.11

January 10, 2011

Daily International News
January 10, 2011

Northeast Asia
China
US, China defense chiefs mend frayed military ties
[AP]
U.S. and China Defense Chiefs Agree to Keep Talking
[NYT]
Report: Chinese troops cross into Indian territory
[AP]
Missing China activist Gao Zhisheng ‘tortured’
[BBC]
Panda politics: China sending 2 pandas to Scotland
[AP]
China, Britain sign deals worth 4.7 billion USD
[Xinhua]
China trade growth slows as imports rise
[FT]
Koreas
North Korea offers talks to South Korea
[Reuters]
South Korea, Japan discuss military pact
[AP]
Hacker Attack Greets Kim Jong-un on His Birthday
[Chosun]
Kim Jong Eun Parties in Private
[WSJ]
Japan
Japan to hold naval drills involving U.S. warships in East China Sea on Monday
[Ria Novosti]

Southeast Asia
Burma’s new parliament to convene on 31 January
[BBC]
Thai government welcomes ‘peaceful’ red-shirt rally
[BBC]

South/Central Asia
India soon to fly first fighter jet built at home
[AP]
Pakistan blasphemy law ‘to stand’
[Al Jazeera]

Middle East
U.S. Says Sanctions Hurt Iran Nuclear Program
[NYT]
Clinton to Warn Gulf Countries Not to Ease Vigilance Against Iran Threat
[Bloomberg]
In slaying probe, Iran claims it penetrated Mossad
[AP]
Iran convicts prominent human rights lawyer
[AP]
Netanyahu defends settlement after U.S. criticism
[Reuters]
Palestinians say they’ll go to UN for recognition
[AP]
EU diplomats say East Jerusalem should be treated as Palestinian capital
[Haaretz]
Saudi woman jailed for abusing Indonesian maid Sumiati
[BBC]

Africa
Sudan border clashes kill 36 as south votes-officials
[Reuters]
South Sudan independence referendum: Second day
[BBC]
Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo rebuffs latest mediator
[AP]
Fourteen killed in Tunisia unemployment protests
[BBC]
French hostages killed during rescue mission, ministry says
[CNN]

Europe
Basque militants call permanent Spain cease-fire
[AP]
Iceland protests over US probe of lawmaker
[FT]
01.09 Belarus Signals It Could Seize Opponent’s Son [NYT]
01.09 Lisbon resists pressure for bail-out [FT]
01.09 Germany vows action after dioxin scare [Deutsche Welle]
German cities threatened by flooding after winter thaw
[BBC]

Americas
Trade war looming, warns Brazil
[FT]
From 01.09 Chavez condemns OAS ‘interference’ in Venezuela [BBC]

Domestic
US VP Biden arrives in Afghanistan for visit
[AP]
Giffords shooting unlikely to sway public opinion about gun control
[WaPo]
Doctor: Gabrielle Giffords ‘holding her own’ after shooting [WaPo]
Kyl Optimistic Republicans, Obama Can Compromise on U.S. Tax Code Overhaul
[Bloomberg]

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Culture of Mutual Validation: AIPAC Policy Convention 2010

March 25, 2010

This past week, DC’s otherwise morbidly silent Convention Center saw the influx of over 7500 conference attendees. The agenda included rousing speeches by pastors, multiple standing ovations, and much raising of hands in the praise of speakers. But no, this was not an assemblage of self-help or a burgeoning baptist conclave. It was the 2010 American Israel Public Affair Committee Policy Convention. Speakers at the event included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as well as Jewish and non-Jewish pro-Israel lobbyists.

Outside the Convention Center, it was business as usual for the annual AIPAC Conference. Code Pink, an outspoken, anti-war women’s group that grew out of a desire to oppose former President GW Bush’s invasion of Iraq, made a new name for itself as the most creative group of the pro-peace movement. Starting its Monday morning by issuing a fake AIPAC press release calling on the cessation of all settlement building in East Jerusalem, they continued by fashioning themselves as apartment buildings – in case we all forgot the recent contentious announcement by the Israeli government to build a spate of housing units on the current site of the Shepherd’s Hotel in a predominantly Arab neighborhood.

But inside the Center, recent tensions in the US-Israel relationship colored the Convention. Speakers rallied behind the indelible US-Israel relationship. Even Secretary Clinton stated that the U.S. “commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever.” But Clinton combined praise of the relationship with further condemnation of settlement construction, stating that she has always stood by “the longstanding American policy that does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlements.  As Israel’s friend, it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed.” And just a few hours later, Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t do himself any favors when he stayed intransigent on settlements, stating”the Jews have been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years,” adding, “Jerusalem is not a Jewish settlement.”

And in the press pit, where yours truly was stationed for much of the action, the confusion continued. Stalwart champions for journalistic impartiality were stunned to see other members of the Fourth Estate jumping to their feet in praise of speakers condemnations of Palestinian “agression” and even a few waiving US, Israeli, and yes, even British flags to correspond to different speakers national loyalties. At the end of the day (literally, as Bibi’s speech started late and went long), the display was enough to surprise and, more than anything, tire any seemingly unbiased journalist into submission.

Obviously, this was a Convention of pro-Israel lobbyists. So one might ask, why be surprised by the overt displays of partiality among press and crowd? Isn’t  a complacent and unquestioning support of all Israeli government actions part of parcel of being a pro-Israel lobby? But, if one takes newly formed and much less funded J-Street as a comparison point, I think that question answers itself.