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Israeli defense chief offers warnings on Iran and Lebanon

TEL AVIV — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is due to arrive in Washington on Monday bearing two warnings for American policymakers: Sanctions won’t thwart Iran’s push for nuclear weapons, and Israel will strike directly at Lebanese government institutions if Hezbollah launches rockets at Israeli towns. In a wide-ranging interview, Barak — who has become one of Israel’s most frequent ...

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Palestinians accuse Israel of trying to impose settlement it wants before peace negotiations | CP

The Palestinian U.N. envoy accused Israel on Wednesday of talking peace while carrying out “illegal schemes” to impose the settlement it wants before negotiations start on a peace agreement. Riyad Mansour told the U.N. Security Council the actions — including settlement construction and demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, more than 900 military incursions in the West Bank and ...

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Rabbi Sid Schwarz: Embracing Israel, Justice and Peace

Jews are people of history. It is not possible to make any progress towards peace without fully recognizing why Israel exists and what the state means to Jews. Each of us owns a piece of this narrative. Here is Rabbi Sid Schwarz’. Schwarz is the author of ‘Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World.’ A version of ...

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Will House Democrats Oppose a Jobless War Supplemental? | truthout

The war supplemental for Afghanistan is expected to come back from the Senate to the House this week – without any kind of timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and without money to save teachers’ jobs attached. The AP reports: In a take-it-or-leave-it gesture, the Senate voted Thursday night to reject more than $20 billion in domestic spending the House ...

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Pakistan at heart of regional peace effort: Richard Holbrooke

Pakistan is “at the heart” of the search for peace and stability in southern Asia and the US is building up a much closer relationship with the country, Richard Holbrooke, the American special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said today. In contrast to the Bush years, the Obama administration was developing what he called a strategic dialogue with Pakistan, working ...

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Ban urges Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take ‘bold steps’ towards peace

With the coming weeks critical in moving towards direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the leaders of both sides to surmount domestic political pressures and take “bold steps” to achieve peace in the region. With proximity talks under way, “it is vital for the parties to refrain from provocations and seize this opportunity,” Mr. Ban said in ...

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Abbas: Direct Peace Talks Depend on Israeli Concessions

U.S. efforts to push Middle East peace talks into a new phase are facing obstacles. The Palestinians are making demands that Israel is unlikely to accept. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is resisting pressure from the United States and Israel to move from indirect peace talks to face-to-face negotiations. He told leaders of his Fatah movement that Israel has one week ...

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Abbas signals will resist U.S. pressure for talks | Reuters AlertNet

RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 22 (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has indicated he will resist U.S. pressure for face-to-face peace talks with Israel for now, saying indirect negotiations must make progress first. Abbas has said he wants the indirect negotiations to produce results on the issues of the security and borders of a future Palestinian state to be founded ...

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Afghan plan to disarm militants threatens development – aid groups

NEW DELHI (AlertNet) – As international donors discuss the future of insurgency-wracked Afghanistan in Kabul, aid workers warn that a government plan to entice Taliban fighters to put down their arms threatens one of the impoverished nation's most successful development initiatives. The National Solidarity Programme (NSP), which has been running since 2002, provides grants of around $30,000 directly to village ...

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No quick exit for troops in Afghanistan, Nato head says

There will be no quick exit for international forces from Afghanistan, the secretary general of Nato warned this morning at a high-level conference in Kabul. Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the meeting of foreign ministers that coalition troops would stay in the country even after Afghan troops had taken complete control of security. He said that when the full transition finally ...

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