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Welcome to Fry'd Daze - What is it.... Well, it is a long running series dedicated to dialogue in the Middle East. Anyhow, this is week 3.05. This isn't intended to be a flame forum, but rather something we can exchange ideas about I/P and/or issues about the Middle East.

What Fry'd Daze is, is a way to get people to talk about whatever comes into their heads regarding this subject... an open forum where people can meet and talk.

BTW... hopefully people will actually read the stories, they are relevant. However, this is an Open Thread so speak on what you like.

Before our first story I go to Shalom Achshav for this important message regarding the Knesset investigations of NGO's and how democracy needs to be maintained.

We can still prevent this decree as next week this decision comes to a final vote in the Knesset Plenum!

Together all the Peace and Human Rights groups are now cooperating for one purpose – to create massive public pressure on Knesset members.

It is time for those who believe in freedom and democracy to pressure and demand that the MKs from  Kadima, Labour and Meretz oppose the inquiry and vote against it. And to pressure those Likud MK’s that are wavering in their support.

Please see the list of people involved and let them know that Americans are concerned for democracy as well. Help support freedom!

Ok, now on to our first story...

From MeretzUSA comes this article in the Jerusalem Post Encountering Peace: Encountering revolutions

Here is an interesting take on the Egyptian Revolution from Gershon Baskin talking about the challenges of the political situation in Egypt. Ifound this a fascinating read particularly given the discussions we have here on Daily Kos. Please take a read on this.

Ynet is reporting: 50,000 protest in Egyptian Rafah

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network reported Friday that a mass protest was being held near Gaza, on the Egyptian side of Rafah. According to reports, at least 50,000 people have gathered at the border city.....

Related to that: Gazans fear unrest threatens vital supply line

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – The ongoing unrest in Egypt affected prices in the blockaded Gaza Strip, where most of the commodities have been flooding to the coastal enclave through smuggling tunnels.

Locals say items like cigarettes and basic food went up by almost a third. Gas stations have closed because owners are worried they could fail to get enough fuel due to the deteriorating situation in Egypt, namely in the Sinai.

Onlookers noticed that owners of grocery stores and supermarkets were trying their best to stock up on as many goods as they could fearing supply through smuggling tunnels might stop at any moment.

One side note to this story... The Hamas government is trying to calm fears by telling people that food and fuel are abundant in Gaza. Interesting.

Also related: Gaza feeds hungry Egyptian troops in role reversal

Egyptian soldiers isolated on the Gaza border by 10 days of internal upheaval are getting bread, canned goods and other food supplies from the enclave, which is usually on the receiving end of food aid.

A source in the border town of Rafah said security forces of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, had been providing the troops with supplies for the past three days.

Israel has blockaded Gaza for over three years with the assistance of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government, and half the population depends on handouts of staples from the United Nations.

With the rise of democratic and reform demands the Quartet has stepped up it's efforts to try to stabilize the Israeli Palestinian question. As a result Haaretz is reporting: Netanyahu commits to promoting Arab construction in East Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the international community's Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, announced Friday a series of gestures that Israel will make to the Palestinians, including a promise to support Arab construction in East Jerusalem.  

"In respect of East Jerusalem, the Government of Israel has agreed to encourage the implementation of all projects that abide by municipal regulations that will improve infrastructure there for Palestinians, including in particular housing, starting with two projects in East Jerusalem," Blair announced.

The E.U. is expected to make a harsh statement regarding perceived Israeli intransigence over this issue and the Prime Minister seems to be trying to mitigate that. The U.S. has indicated support for this statement particularly with European backing. As Tony Blair said:

"I am pleased at the package of measures agreed today with the Government of Israel," Blair said in response to Netanyahu's offer, but later added, "Obviously, agreement to all this is not the same as implementation." (vb1 emphasis)

For our next story: Of course in these harsh times... Iran is talking and taking credit for the Egyptian revolution: Riots sign of Islamic awakening

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says recent anti-government riots in Tunisia and Egypt are "a sign of the awakening of Islam inspired by the Islamic Revolution's victory in Iran."

In a sermon delivered Friday morning at a Tehran mosque, Khamenei said that "the Americans and Zionists are more concerned than anyone else about the situation in Egypt, but they are helpless and will not succeed in finding a remedy for the situation."

However in contradiction to Khamenei's claims... the Muslim Brotherhood is saying:

Despite Khamenei's remarks, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Mohammed al-Beltagi, told Al-Jazeera on Friday that the group had no ambitions to run for the Egyptian presidency after the end of President Hosni Mubarak's term.

In another area related to Egypt and the Palestinians: Rights group: PA banning freedom of expression

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian rights group on Thursday warned of deteriorating freedom of expression in the West Bank, as the PA banned "unlicensed assembly" in response to rallies in solidarity with Egyptians.

In a statement, the Palestinian Commission for Human Rights condemned the PA's closure of the demonstrations.

On Wednesday, PA security forces shut down a rally in Ramallah, using batons to push demonstrators back and detaining at least two protesters.

This goes along with Hamas has also restricted demonstrations in support of the Protestors claiming that they are "unapproved demonstrations".

There is a lot of news going on now so please comment, add, and enjoy this installment of this long running diary series.  

Originally posted to volleyboy1 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 10:42 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let me just say that the comments (9+ / 0-)

    coming out of the Israeli government this past week regarding what is happening in Egypt were not only self-centered, but highly unhelpful -- either to the situation in Egypt or to the Israeli cause.   They showed a total lack of understanding and a tone deafness that is simply incredible.

    God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon Oct. 9, 1940 - Dec. 8 1980

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 10:48:40 AM PST

  •  T&R'd for the news (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, thebluecrayon, volleyboy1, Mets102

    There is so much happening and it's hard to keep up with it all. And relying on the US media for it? Pfft!

    This was never my sig line

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 10:51:46 AM PST

  •  Shrewd move by Hamas providing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul in Berkeley, volleyboy1

    provisions to Egyptian soldiers.  

    •  Curiously, Hamas is more scared of (5+ / 0-)

      a popular uprising in Gaza, inspired by the Egyptian uprising, than it is hopeful that the Egyptian uprising will result in an Egyptian government that will stop helping to enforce Israel's blockade.  

      It's not terribly surprising that Hamas is currying favor with every Egyptian with a gun it can find.  Hamas aren't exactly the nicest folks around.

    •  It could be a shrewd move or it could really (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, InAntalya

      just be an act of basic human decency. Or are we only willing to accept base motivations for such acts?

      This was never my sig line

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 10:59:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In politics, assuming base motivations (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paul in Berkeley, angel d

        is more likely to yield the truth.

        Besides, soldiers tend to be the last folks who need provisions.  It's your average Egyptian, and especially those Egyptians without connections to the military, security, and political apparatus, who are most likely to run out of food first.  The Egyptian civilian infrastructure has been almost entirely shut down for more than a week, and nobody told Egyptians to stock up on provisions in advance of a revolution.

        •  Well, I think the soldiers are the ones (3+ / 0-)

          stuck with no provisions. That is not the first reports I have heard about this. BUT... I agree in this case, I do believe Hamas is currying favor.

          However, that said what gets me is that given reports of what is happening in the strip they are giving away food? Huh?

          I'm not a little giant... I'm a freakin' leprechaun

          by volleyboy1 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 11:06:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It may soon become an isue, in an odd way. (0+ / 0-)

            I live in WA, the state, and today the papers were abuzz about WA farmers, whose planting season is coming very soon, we were west of the Great White Out, who are very concerned as to whether there will be a market for their wheat crop, because it seems that usually it goes to the Egyptian and Yemeni markets specifically, and they are concerned that such markets will not be available to them because of the current political business may make some part of the transaction not possible at this time.

            It may seem almost OT or worse, but this is the time just before planting the said wheat crop, when decisions with longer term effects have to be made, by frightened R farmers in the eastern part of my state. And any shortage of wheat, especially after the Australian typhoon and flooding, could have a terrible effect nobody here is thinking about, nad won't until it happens, if it happens. I am sure the MSM news panicking everybody about the alleged chaos in Egypt did not think their words would have this effect.

      •  Basic human decency? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, volleyboy1

        You think Palestinians have a genuine concern for the very soldiers that have helped to oppress them over the years?  Well, maybe they could just set that little fact aside and worry about their welfare.

        Or, as corvo and I noted, it is a shrewd move to curry favor with the Egyptian military because it is in their best (and not necessarily base) interest to do so.

        •  Maybe I spent too much time in last night's (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul in Berkeley, Euroliberal, corvo

          diary on altruism. But then again maybe you didn't spend enough.

          This was never my sig line

          by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 11:17:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you misunderstand me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            I don't think Hamas is incapable of basic human decency and other considerations aside, it was decent of them to give Egyptian soldiers provisions.  But is it so far-fetched to think that Hamas had another motive as well?  And as I said, currying favor or acting out of self-interest are not necessary "base" either.  

            I'm not sure why you are so intent on framing these acts of Hamas as being somehow saintly.

        •  It isn't as though they're feeding . . . (0+ / 0-)

          You think Palestinians have a genuine concern for the very soldiers that have helped to oppress them over the years?

          It isn't as though they're feeding the IDF, angel d.

          You can be certain that alot of these Egyptian soldiers have been kind enough to "look the other way" when food and fuel and medical supplies have slipped by them and into the tunnels.  Even Hamas isn't stupid.  Radical crazies, yes, but not stupid.  The soldiers were generous in the past, so you return that gesture you have the chance.

          You shouldn't be so surprised that Hamas would feed these soldiers.  Given the same conditions, who among us wouldn't do the same?  Even American POWs came to the defense of the very rare humanitarian Japanese camp guard who smuggled food to them or pretended not to see Philippinos passing medicine through the fences.  I don't believe that it is Human Nature - absent an ulterior agenda - to shit upon the hand that feeds and/or pays to defend you.

          Israel could learn something here and be more cooperative with the requests of the generous USA - like when we request that the colony-building cease in order to help the peace process along.  Since we generously blast $3 billion+ US Taxpayer dollars a year into that nation, one would think that so simple a request from the financial sponsor would be agreed to most graciously instead of ignored or (in the case of Joe Biden) stuffed undiplomatically in our face.

          What Hamas is doing for those Egyptian soldiers may or may not be an act of basic Human decency - neither you nor I know - but is certainly is a good business practice nomatter what may be their motivations.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cellphone to make pancakes. Please leave a message at the tone.

          by Celtic Merlin on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 03:54:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A Chinese curse says, "May you live in (4+ / 0-)

    interesting times". These are certainly interesting times but I think they have more promise than curse.

    Arab peoples who have been repressed for centuries now see an opportunity for political freedom and a step into the modern world. I submit that this is the motivation for the hundreds of thousands of Egyptians protesting in the streets of Egyptian cities. May these seekers of freedom acheive their goal. May freedom-loving Americans support them in their effort.

  •  With so much happening (11+ / 0-)

    couldn't Israel do everyone a favor and dump Bibi and Lieberman?

    If we ask nicely and buy them drinks?

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 10:54:39 AM PST

    •  You never know... (6+ / 0-)

      But... once Egypt settles out (if it does) or if that revolution is resolved peacefully AND Camp David stays intact, I am not sure how long Lieberman can hold out given Police recommendations for criminal charges and if he goes, I can't see the coalition holding on.

      Right now there is severe infighting over the IDF debacle AND the investigations of the left. Even Likud is bailing on this.

      I'm not a little giant... I'm a freakin' leprechaun

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 11:00:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'd... (6+ / 0-)

    but I was hoping to see the story about the Egyptian woman claiming that the Mossad used her to help overthrow Mubarak. I see it as kind of being a "This week is comedic conspiracy theory" after we had the Zionist shark and the Zionist vulture a few weeks back.

    Congress shall make no law...

    by Mets102 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 11:28:39 AM PST

  •  I'd stick around, but (6+ / 0-)

    they are doing jackhammer work upstairs, and I'm about 5 minutes away from digging my eyeballs out with a fork.  I'm going to have to escape to the park or the coffee shop for the afternoon!

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 12:03:05 PM PST

  •  In my rare moments of idealism (6+ / 0-)

    Jerusalem looks at the assured loss of a de facto ally in Mubarak and recognizes that its window to make a palatable peace deal with the Palestinians is shrinking and is motivated to act.

    These are the demands and sayings of Lee!

    by Red Sox on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 02:22:50 PM PST

  •  Would have liked to see... (0+ / 0-)

    The Palestine Papers:  Analysis or Agenda?

    It examines the most prominent distortions.

    In addition, there were 1600 documents, but how many have been released so people can see the entire contents?  To my understanding, at the Guardian web site, only 26 documents are available.  In this age of Wikileaks, why shouldn't all the documents be produced so people can decide for themselves, rather than be told by a publication that is allegedly imbalanced in its coverage?  

    •  You just posted it... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JNEREBEL, MBNYC, Mets102

      It would be interesting to see all the documents. Didn't Al-Jazeera leak the "Palestine Papers", I thought they were posted there.

      Anyway, that is what Fry'd Daze are about, I just post a few stories and invite people to bring in their stories as well.

      I'm not a little giant... I'm a freakin' leprechaun

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 03:52:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was in conjunction with the Guardian... (0+ / 0-)

        so far as I know.

        It's sad that a lie often gets half way around the world before the truth is discovered.

        The reason I posited my comment as I did is because I generally do not participate, owing to several issues pertaining to the site and the predictable discussion between sides that seems to go nowhere.

        I still believe that I/P is a misnomer, and that it's more accurate to view these matters in the wider context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as the events of recent days makes clear.

        For example:

        On Wednesday night, the Egyptian satellite TV station al-Mehwar broadcast a live interview with Shaimaa, a former journalist, who claimed to be trained by Jews in the US to destabilize the political regime in Egypt. Shaimaa said on air that many of the anti-Mubarak protesters at Tahrir Square have received similar training and have been applying it over the past week through organized demonstrations.

        Rumors about Israel being the mastermind behind the Egyptian uprising spread on al-Qasr al-Aini Street. This morning, a pharmacist on the street claimed to have seen Egyptian troops arresting two Israelis at Tahrir demonstrations.

        When it is all said and done, I would not be surprised to see the MB campaign on this supposition that it was Israel's (the Jews) fault.

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