Caroline Glick’s Tribal Update Goes English! Response from Malmora Crew

Here is the latest offering from Caroline Glick’s Latma satire site:

First we have the tale of a heroic peace activist facing mind-numbing odds…


And here is the full Latma Episode.

 And now!!!! The lastest vid from Latma The Three Terrors… Enjoy!

Finally we have the full tribal Update which included The Three Terrors

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Hillary Clinton in the Middle East

From The Economist print edition

AS THE emissary of a new president ostensibly still in “listening mode”, Hillary Clinton was politesse personified during her first swing as secretary of state through the Middle East this week. Inevitably, however, the locals also listened attentively to their visitor, hoping for clues about the direction of American policy under Barack Obama not only towards Israel and the Palestinians but also towards Syria and Iran. In the event, she gave hints of both change and continuity—reassuring, disappointing or worrying, depending on the point of view of her various audiences.

For Israelis and Palestinians, the message was more continuity than change. Mrs Clinton wants to help Gaza recover from the battering it received during the recent war between Israel and Hamas. She attended an international meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which promised some $4.5 billion in aid. But, for now, she seems determined to deal only with Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and not with Hamas, even though, despite Israel’s recent onslaught, the Islamists still control Gaza. If Hamas wants to talk, America continues to say, it must recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept previous deals signed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation—the conditions set down not only by America but also by the UN.

Worse from the point of view of Mr Netanyahu may be the new administration’s firm intention to reach out to Syria and Iran, two countries consigned by George Bush to an “axis of evil” but now targets for diplomatic “engagement” if they are willing to unclench their fists. The American State Department announced during Mrs Clinton’s tour that she was sending the most senior American delegation for several years to Syria. This portends trouble in American-Israeli relations. Although many Israelis, including much of the defence establishment, support the idea of peace with Syria, Mr Netanyahu has set his face against paying the inevitable price, namely the return of the Golan Heights, captured in the 1967 war.

America’s approach to Iran so far is warier. Mrs Clinton joined a chorus of local leaders warning Iran to stay out of Arab affairs. Mr Obama, it transpired this week, has written to the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, noting that any reduction in the nuclear threat from Iran would reduce the need for America to deploy a missile-defence system that Russia loathes in eastern Europe. This appears to be an attempt to entice Russia into accepting tougher economic sanctions on Iran—part of the stick Mr Obama intends to brandish if the Iranians fail to grasp his dangled carrot of talks. Israel grumbles that if Iran talks to America at all it will do so just to play for time while perfecting its plans for nuclear weapons.

Mrs Clinton was careful to keep out of Israel’s internal politics. She pledged to work closely with whatever government emerged at the end of Mr Netanyahu’s still fraught coalition-building. But she did reiterate strongly America’s commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, an idea that Mr Netanyahu stolidly refuses to endorse, even though his obstinacy may prevent him from building the broad-based coalition he seeks.

Having encountered a second rebuff from Tzipi Livni in his efforts to form a broad government including her centrist Kadima party, Mr Netanyahu is now wooing Ehud Barak, the Labour leader, who does not conceal his desire to stay on at the defence ministry. But many in Kadima and Labour want nothing to do with Mr Netanyahu unless he accepts the need for a Palestinian state, not just the “economic peace” that he is offering. Mrs Clinton said nothing on her tour to undermine the idea that Israel remains a special friend. But on Gaza, settlements and engagement with Syria and Iran, a pricklier American relationship may now lie ahead.

Next Step After Middle East Talks: A Major War?

By CLAUDE SALHANI (Editor, Middle East Times)Published: March 02, 2009

A senior high-ranking foreign diplomat who is well acquainted with the Middle East said Friday in Washington that “a major regional war is not inconceivable.”

Although war in the Middle East is not imminent, the risk of a generalized regional conflagration nevertheless persists. Among the fuses that could ignite the next fire is the continued lack of progress with the all-but-dead peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis, and what many Arab leaders consider to be Iran’s interference in Arab affairs.

As one Lebanese official who asked not to be named pointed out, Iran is like an octopus with its tentacles touching every aspect of the multitude of problems plaguing the Middle East today.

Indeed, if U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is unable to revive the Middle East peace talks and to convince the parties concerned to move toward a settlement of the crisis, the ‘natural’ reaction could be another large-scale regional war. A war that could be precipitated by an attack on Iran by Israel, or an attack by Hezbollah on Israel.

Speaking off the record at a conference in Washington last week the diplomat said he feared that stagnation in the peace talks brought about by mounting extremism in the Middle East risks taking the entire region down a rather perilous road. An extremism that is equally visible on the Arab as well as on the Israeli side.

(HH here: other than the lip service above to the concept of Israel as an aggressor this article is pretty well balanced and actually seems to seek solutions instead of total victory for Arabs.)

It is clear that while the question of Palestine remains at the core of the Middle East’s problems, other sub-conflicts now command equal attention.

Far more worrisome is that the real estate dispute has turned into a conflict driven by religious fervor propelled by the Iranian Islamic revolution. For the first time since its inception 30 years ago the Iranians are finally starting to see some success in their efforts to bridge the Sunni-Shiite schism.

Close cooperation has been established between Iran and Sunni jihadist groups now settled in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, turning Lebanon into a microcosm of the many problems affecting the region today, and which have become inseparable.

That is easier said than done. Iran’s meddling in the Arab-Israeli dispute further complicates an already complex series of conflicts. There used to be one conflict in Palestine, there are now two: one involving Hamas and the other the Palestinian Authority. There used to be one conflict between the Arabs and Israel, there are now several: there is an Israeli-Syrian dispute, an Israeli-Lebanese dispute and an Israeli-Hezbollah dispute. There is now also an Israeli-Iranian dispute.

Can each of these conflicts be solved independently of the others? There are two schools of thought. A number of observers think it would be impossible to try and solve any one of these issues independently. Other observers say, all these different issues need to be addressed simultaneously.

Rendering negotiations even more tedious is that most of the groups in conflict with Israel today refuse to hold direct talks with the Jewish state. Hamas, Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Hezbollah refuse to engage Israel in direct talks, insisting instead on having negotiations with Israel conducted through third parties.

The bottom line here is that the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East has changed – and it would be safe to add, not for the better.

There was quasi unanimity among a number of senior diplomats, current and former U.S. State Department officials and leading experts on Lebanese affairs attending a conference in Washington last week that the new danger posed to the region is now clearly emanating from the Islamic Republic.

What makes this situation so much more volatile today is that all these problems have become intricately interwoven and in many instances, with Lebanon caught in its middle much as a fly in a spider’s web.

What happens in Lebanon in the upcoming June 7 parliamentary elections will in fact be a good litmus test for the rest of the region. At stake in these elections is the very essence of democracy taking hold in the Middle East. Lebanon’s June 7 elections are going to be a major test of Lebanon’s stability and its ability to demonstrate that it can hold on to its democracy, tattered as it might be.