“Given the frustration in the international community, Israel must reverse an undertow of isolation,” he said. Whereas once Israel could feel at ease by keeping good relations with Arab autocrats, the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa have made broader outreach, especially on the Palestinian issue, an imperative, he added.
“The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized,” Obama said in a speech punctuated by waves of applause and standing ovations. “Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day. It is not just when ‘settler’ violence against Palestinians goes unpunished.”
After a visit to Israel’s national museum – where he inspected the Dead Sea Scrolls, which highlight the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the land that is now Israel – Obama headed to the West Bank to tell the Palestinians that the creation of a Palestinian state remains a priority for his administration.
He is not bringing a new plan to relaunch peace talks, but in meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and a speech to Israeli students later in the day, he will appeal to both sides to halt unilateral actions that make negotiations more difficult. (AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Barack Obama arrives in Israel for first trip as president President Barack Obama is declaring common cause with Israel, highlighting the bonds between the United States and its Mideast ally. He says he has made Israel the first stop of the first trip of his second term to restate his commitment to Israel’s security.
Obama arrived Wednesday in Tel Aviv, joking to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was “getting away from Congress.”
Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama, declaring that “A world without America’s leadership, without her moral voice, would be a darker world. A world without your friendship, would invite aggression against Israel.”
Obama called the U.S. Israel’s “strongest ally and your greatest friend.” (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Radicals on social media networks called on the government to strip Habiba Ghribi, the first Tunisian woman to win an Olympic medal, of her nationality because her running gear was too revealing. She won the silver in the 3,000-metre steeplechase.
Shadid, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of the Iraq war and its aftermath, died while reporting in Syria on Thursday after an apparent asthma attack, the newspaper said. He was 43. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/ED OU FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)
In the short term at least, that might serve the interests of both Abbas and Netanyahu. It could equally open the door to Hamas dominance over Palestinian politics, as fellow Islamists rise to power elsewhere in elections following the Arab Spring.
With slightly lower hems and largely altered advertisements, Canadian lingerie retailer La Vie en Rose has made a splash in Arab countries.
About 10% of the Montreal-based company’s annual revenue comes from its stores in Arab countries, and the company plans to expand to meet growing demands there, said Luc Poirier, the CFO and vice-president of international business.
“It was a bit surprising to see the growth compared to the Canadian market,” Poirier said. “Still, we feel that women, whether Muslim or whatever the religion, like to be fashionable. So if there’s a demand there, we thought we should try to serve it as well as we do here in Canada.” (Photo: Patrick Smith for National Post)
Hamas set to reject violence: report In the Middle East what happens in the shadows is frequently more important than what occurs in bright daylight and Wednesday’s 24th anniversary celebrations in Gaza of the founding of Hamas were no exception.
The dusty Palestinian enclave by the sea was an ocean of green flags as more than 300,000 people attended a Hamas rally in the centre of Gaza City.
Masked men, armed with AK-47s, formed a ceremonial guard for Gaza’s de facto prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who mounted a stage shaped like a ship and decorated with a model of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, as a 10-man vocal group led the crowd in chanting, “We will not recognize Israel.”
Beneath the surface, however, something else may be going on.
The same day as Hamas’s Gaza celebration, IHS Jane’s, the well-respected defence and security intelligence analysis agency, published an exclusive report claiming Hamas was on the brink of renouncing armed resistance and moving to a policy of non-violent resistance to Israel. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
Squeezed between the rebellions of a bloody Arab Spring and growing fears of a possible military response to Iran’s growing nuclear threat, the region is becoming increasingly unstable.
“I would be very surprised if it turned into a Russian-American war, but this could be a Mid-East war: Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, Israel all having at each other,” said Jack Granatstein, military historian and senior research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.
Photo of the day Anti-government protesters perform weekly Friday prayers during a rally to demand the trial of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, November 25, 2011. (Photo: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters)
Graphic: How Israel could strike Iran’s nuclear program An International Atomic Energy Agency report, due out Tuesday, is expected to push the Middle East to the brink of crisis, if it raises additional doubts over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. With that in mind, the National Post’s graphics team takes a look at what we know about Iran’s nuclear program, and what a strike against it might look like.