Archive for the ‘Ban Ki-moon’ Category

U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

March 27, 2009

Here is why you might think more about a president of the United States that favors a stronger UN and even a world government along with new “climate change” rules, regulations and spending….  We pay: they play….

Don’t forget this is the same UN whose leader called the U.S. a “deadbeat” nation a few short weeks ago:

From March 12: “

Speaking at a monthly briefing with reporters this morning, United Nations Secretary-General (SG) Ban Ki-Moon acknowledged that he referred to the United States as a “deadbeat” donor during a meeting yesterday with members of Congress. A Republican on the House Foreign Relations Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was clearly irked telling reporters later that the United States contributes “a whole lot of taxpaper dollars to the UN and doesn’t deserve to be called a deadbeat.”

“My point was simply that the United Nations needs the full support of the United States, ” Ban Ki-moon responded at the press conference today. “The United States is our largest contributor, and it is hard to follow up with few funds for growing peacekeeping missions and other activities.”


 A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

By George Russell
Fox News

Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discretely worded United Nations “information note” on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009. The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if, in the words of a U.S. State Department spokesman, it can come up with an “effective framework” for dealing with global warming.

The 16-page note, obtained by FOX News, will be distributed to participants at a mammoth negotiating session that starts on March 29 in Bonn, Germany, the first of three sessions intended to hammer out the actual commitments involved in the new deal.

In the stultifying language that is normal for important U.N. conclaves, the negotiators are known as the “Ad Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol.” Yet the consequences of their negotiations, if enacted, would be nothing short of world-changing.

Read the rest:

China’s Economic Might, Arrogance Should Cause Caution in the West

March 13, 2009

China has so much cash in reserve that they are funding their own economic stimulus — and with their own money; not borrowed cash.

China is also funding the American economic stimulus by buying American Treasury bills and other debt.

Cinese leaders are gloating to some extent about the stupidity of American leaders who do not have the cash reserves so carefully put aside by China.  Many Chinese leaders also scoff at the tom foolery of most Americans who have such debt ridden lives, with mortgages, credit card debt, a loan for the car and a college loan still outstanding.

But what the Chinese leaders don’t talk about is that few Chinese have cars, nice homes and college degrees….

So Chinese arrogance about American debt is sometimes confused by envy for many things American….

And China has expressed some concern about the spend-crazy Americans.

Premier Wen Jiabao “We have loaned a huge amount of money to the United States,” Wen said at a news conference in Beijing. “Of course, we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. I would like for you [a Western reporter] to call on the United States to honor its word and stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”

This came at about the same time that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the U.S. a “deadbeat” nation.

Expect China to exert more influence over U.S. economic and foreign policy, just as Barack Obama is claiming the right to dictate policy to banks who took his bailout money.

China holds about $1 trillion in U.S. debt and will likely “buy” about $1 trillion more — especially if Obama and Nancy Pelosi demand another stimulus package.

Chinese arrogance and wealth is unmistakable, pervasive and in some ways very troubling for the West.

China is using its vast wealth and the current global recession as an opportunity to buy up natural resources at bargain prices.  China is building a world-class military complete with a global navy and an aircraft carrier.  And China is not afraid to confront the likes of the U.S. just as it did on the high seas last weekend….

We can expect China to continue to grow and dominate Asia, the Pacific and wherever they choose to go.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

Myanmar Humanitarian Trouble Continues: Now More Hunger, Refugees

January 29, 2009

Myanmar is facing a food shortage largely due to last year’s deadly Cyclone Nargis, which destroyed nearly all the rice crops in the fertile Ayeyarwaddy delta, the United Nations said Wednesday.

After the cyclone last year, there were several signs of impending trouble.  The military junta of Myanmar turned away tons of supplies that arrived off shore with the U.S. Navy and made the jobs of relief workers, suppliers and aid groups difficult.

The ruling government even apparently lied lied to the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon when he arrived to help speed relief efforts.

Myanmar has been quiet and unnoticed most of the time since, largely because the government controls the media, keeps unwanted eyes out, and makes money with its oil wealth, lately with new deals with China.

Rice production in the cyclone-affected areas of Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon, the largest city and former capital of Myanmar, is expected to be 50 percent of last year’s, according to the report issued by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).

Rat infestation in western’s Myanmar’s Chin State has also contributed to the food shortage, the report says.

“Access to food remains the critical challenge for the poorest people and for vulnerable populations in remote areas of Myanmar,” Chris Kaye of the WFP.

Now reguees are fleeing Myanmar to eat — and some recently arrived in Thailand only to end up in jail.  These are victims of bad government — they only want to eat.

Myanmar, like Darfur, is a humanitarian disaster that has kept going without relief because of bad government.


U.N. Chief in Gaza, Rebuilding ‘Will Cost Billions’

January 20, 2009

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon entered the war-battered Gaza Strip on Tuesday to assess the damage following Israel’s three-week long bombardment.

Rebuilding the thousands of homes and buildings damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip during the three-week conflict will cost billions, the UN has said.

Ban met with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert earlier today.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday said that Hamas was fully responsible for the damage caused during Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza and must not be allowed to lead reconstruction efforts.

“Hamas bears full responsibility for the destruction in the Gaza Strip and the harm to innocents, therefore, Hamas must not be allowed to lead the reconstruction process in the Strip and receive any kind of legitimacy from this,” Olmert told visiting Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.



Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) meets U.N. Secretary-General ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Jerusalem in this January 20, 2009 picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO). Confronted by stark scenes of destruction, Ban visited the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, and Israel was poised to withdraw its troops before the U.S. presidential inauguration later in the day. REUTERS/Avi Ohayon



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is appalled by Israeli attacks on a UN compound in Gaza after seeing the destruction for himself.

Mr Ban said that those responsible should be held accountable and demanded a “full investigation” through proper judiciary systems.

He was speaking in front of the smouldering remains of the UN food warehouse destroyed by Israeli shells.

He said he would do all he could to help the population of Gaza.

Appearing stern and at times angry, Mr Ban called the attacks “outrageous” and demanded guarantees that it would never happen again.

Read the rest:


Telegraph (UK)
Residents of the Gaza Strip have taken their first close look at the large-scale destruction across their crowded territory.

First estimates by independent surveyors said Gaza lost nearly $2 billion in assets during Israel’s three-week war on Hamas, including 4,100 homes, about 1,500 factories and workshops, 20 mosques, 31 security compounds and 10 water or sewage lines.

Most Palestinians are furious at Israel over damage like that in Rafah, in Gaza’s south, but there are signs that Gazans feel such pain that they will rein in Hamas.  Photo: Eyad Baba/Associated Press

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been left homeless and 400,000 people still have no running water, a UN report said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit Gaza on Tuesday to inspect the damage.

A fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants is holding, allowing many Palestinians to return home to assess the damage.

Many Gazans seemed overwhelmed, saying they didn’t even know where to start with the cleanup.

The return of civilians comes as Hamas declared victory over Israel but the Islamic group vowed to replenish its arms stockpiles in the wake of the 22-day onslaught on Gaza.

Ismail Haniya, the deposed Palestinian prime minister and political leader in Gaza, said the “armed resistance” had triumphed by surviving the Israeli operation.

Israel Expected To Begin “Unilateral Gaza Cease Fire,” End Fighting Saturday

January 16, 2009

Israel is saying its cabinet will vote on a unilateral cease fire in Gaza tomorrow, Saturday.

Alalysts say the decision may mean that Israel has decided to end the operation in Gaza, “Cast Lead,” without an agreement with Hamas, relying instead on the support of the United States and Egypt.

Most insiders in Israel say Israel will end the fighting unilaterally on Saturday evening, and respond with “certain force” to any Hamas provocation.

Haaretz reported that “A government source emphasized that there has been great progress with Egypt in reaching an agreement on fighting arms smuggling. The deal would require the combined use of technological measures to fight smuggling on the border between Gaza and Egypt, operations against smugglers in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, and the use of international experts to identify smuggling tunnels on the border. ”

Israel also believed that the U.S. offer to prevent the rearming of Hamas merited a trip by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to the U.S. State Department for a meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  The two inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the prevention of the rearming of Hamas.

U.S., Israel Sign Agreement Aimed At Preventing Rearmed Gaza, Hamas

“We have what we need not.  Hamas has agreed not to shoot rockets.  And the United States and Egypt have agreed to not allow the rearming of Hamas.  It is not perfect but it is a good outcome,” one senior Israeli told us.

Israel’s decision is being welcomed by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, and others who have been urging an end to the fighting.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (L) shakes hands with ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (L) shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting in Tel Aviv January 15, 2009, in this picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO).

The decision to start a cease fire unilaterally would avoid a prolonged and difficult negotiation with Hamas, an organization that has vowed to destroy Israel.

The Jerusalem Post said, “A unilateral decision is likely after Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal rejected Israel’s conditions for a truce and called on all Arab countries to cut ties with the Jewish state during a summit of Arab leaders in Doha, Qatar. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad gave Mashaal their full backing, but significantly, both Egypt and Saudi Arabia boycotted the summit.”

Turkey said today that Israel should not be allowed to return to the U.N., adding another nation to the anti-Israeli faction.
“How is such a country, which totally ignores and does not implement resolutions of the U.N. Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN (headquarters)?” Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan said during a meeting at the ruling AK Party’s headquarters in Ankara Friday.

According to Israeli radio, Cairo will host a truce summit on Sunday with Israeli officials and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expected to attend. Israeli television said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would attend.

The Israeli “unilateral” vote was set hours after the U.S. agreed to provide assurances on ending weapons smuggling into Gaza as part of a cease-fire, the Associated Press noted.

AFP reported that Russia has called on Iran and Syria to persuade Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to accept a plan pushed by Egypt to end the fighting in Gaza, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

“We are sending the appropriate signals to Hamas representatives and to those states that have influence on Hamas, meaning above all Iran and Syria,” of the need to accept the Egyptian plan, Lavrov said at a news conference.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Associated Press:

Gaza Cease Fire: Now What?


Israel: Gaza Offensive “In the Final Act”

January 16, 2009

Israel said its Gaza offensive could be “in the final act” on Friday as both Israel and Hamas discussed cease fire plans and started the way ahead.

Fighting slowed in Gaza Friday as both sides seemed to be making ready for the cease fire.

Hamas is prepared to accept a conditional cease-fire with Israel in the Gaza-Strip starting on Saturday, the al-Sharq al-Awset daily reported on Friday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “It is time now to even think about a unilateral ceasefire.”

Israel rejected portions of the Hamas cease fire plan but said it was moving ahead to stop hostilities while details are worked out.

“Hopefully we’re in the final act,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert‘s spokesman Mark Regev said, adding that briefings by the envoys working in Washington and Cairo on Friday could be followed by swift decisions by the security cabinet.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is in the U.S. at the State department Friday to work out a plan to ensure Hamas does not re-arm during any cease fire or follow-on time frame.

Such decisions could come by Saturday, Israeli officials said, allowing the cease fire to start then.

“The conditions have not come to fruition yet,” security cabinet member Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said. “But this could well happen late on Saturday and we can put this story behind us.”

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Filed just before 1300 GMT Friday


0900 GMT Friday, January 16, 2009

Israel has overpowered Hamas.  Tanks and trained troops have out musled and out battled  the Palestinian fighters who were lobbing a few rockets a day into Israel.

Most of those Hamas rockets landed without killing anyone.

Yet Israel has inflicted a staggering toll, over 1,000 dead, among the civilian population of Gaza, severely damaged its own Israeli national reputation, and hardened many anti-Israel minds further to pray for the destruction of Isreal.

“Are we are winning the fighting, but losing what we wanted?” one Israeli wondered aloud  to us.

Witnesses to the destruction of Gaza couldn’t say what Hamas has gained, exactly. 

Gaza is in ruins.

Haaretz said Friday, “Israel still has some reservations regarding an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, despite Cairo’s apparent promise to crack down on arms smuggling to Gaza – one of Israel’s key demands – and Hamas’ willingness to accept the offer.”
Day 21, in Gaza;  Israel unleashed some 50 airstrikes in what seems like the final act in the battle — but not the war.

As cease fire deatails were worked out to Israel’s satisfaction Friday

Yesterday both Israel and Hamas seemd to agree in principle to an Egyptian brokered cease fire.

And Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni departed for the U.S. in an effort to find technical means to assure that Gaza and Hamas are not re-armed in the future.

Israel wants from the U.S. an agreement which would intensify intelligence cooperation to block smuggling routes before the weapons make it to tunnels linking the Sinai Peninsula to the Strip, the Jerusalem Post said.

Coupled with Egyptian commitments to step up their own efforts along the border together with international assistance, the agreement would be part of a mechanism Israel has demanded as part of a cease-fire.

High-level Israeli envoy Amos Gilad discussed that cease-fire plan in Cairo Thursday with Egyptian officials. After he consulted with Israeli leaders on returning to Jerusalem, they ordered him back to Cairo Friday for further talks, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said.

Israel said the discussions could go on “for a day or two” to work out details of the cease fire.  But U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon urged both sides to stop fighting immediately.

The fighting continued Friday with additional civilian casualties.

The Egyptian truce proposal, of which newspaper such as Haaretz have obtained, contains three clauses.

First, Israel and the Palestinians will agree to an immediate, time-limited cease-fire, during which the border crossings will be opened for humanitarian aid and Egypt will lead negotiations on a long-term truce.

Second, the long-term truce must include provisions on both border security and an end to the blockade of Gaza.

Third, Fatah and Hamas should resume reconciliation talks.

Egyptian officials told Haaretz they believe the initial, short-term truce should last a few months, to allow plenty of time for negotiations on the long-term cease-fire.

However, the proposal does not require Israel to withdraw from Gaza during the initial truce, and Hamas has said it will not accept the proposal unless that omission is corrected.

Israeli Foreign Ministe Tzipi Livni meets with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the U.S. State Department at 11 AM Friday.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Iran president says Israeli leaders face ‘doomed end’
War in Gaza: No one left in the ruins to hear the thunder of Israel’s guns
Israel, Hamas Both Agree “In Principle” To Cease Fire
Iran president says Israeli leaders face ‘doomed end’

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visits the southern ... 
Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visits the southern town of Sderot January 12, 2009. Livni headed to Washington late on Thursday to finalize an accord designed to prevent Hamas from rearming, a key Israeli condition for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun


Associated Press:



Washington Post:

Shelling Ignites UN Relief HQ and Controversy in Gaza

January 15, 2009

Israeli artillery shelling hit the United nations centre for humanitarian assistance in Gaza City today, setting the building ablaze.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon immediately protested.

Then Israel’s prime minister said the Israeli military fired artillery shells at a U.N. compound in Gaza after militants opened fire from the location.

Ehud Olmert says Israeli forces “were attacked from there and the response was harsh.”

Olmert was quoted by the Associated Press.

John Ging, the head of operations in Gaza for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency said, “It’s a very big fire, and we’re not able to get it under control at the moment.”

“[Israeli] Defense Minister Barak said to me it was a grave mistake and he took it very seriously,” the UN Ban Ki-moon said at a news conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

But Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said the matter is still under investigation. When asked about Ban’s comment, Regev said Defense Minister Ehud Barak actually told the U.N. chief that “if it was Israel’s fire, it was a grave mistake.”

Regev said it was “not clear whose shells, whose fire hit the U.N. facility.”

“It could have been ours, it could have been Hamas’,” Regev said. “This is being investigated.”

Regez was quoted by CNN.

With gun battles going on around the facility, “the emergency services are not able to get to us.”

By Peace and Freedom


Associated Press:


From The New York Times:

The military push may be aimed at stepping up pressure on Hamas as cease-fire talks in Egypt entered a pivotal stage.

Read the rest from the NYT:

A Unitet Nations worker is seen as smoke billows from Israeli ... 
A Unitet Nations worker is seen as smoke billows from Israeli bombardment at the United Nations headquarters in Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Witnesses and U.N. officials said that Israeli shells struck the United Nations headquarters in Gaza City.The U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has expressed ‘strong protest and outrage’ to Israel over the shelling of the compound.(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)


From Associated Press

The U.N. chief says he has expressed “strong protest and outrage” to Israel over the shelling of a United Nations compound in Gaza City.

Ban Ki-moon is demanding an investigation into Thursday’s shelling. He says Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has told him it was a “grave mistake.”

Israeli shells damaged the international organization’s headquarters in Gaza City, according to witnesses and U.N. officials. U.N. spokesman Chris Gunness says at least three people were wounded.

Israel launched an offensive against Hamas in Gaza on Dec. 27.




From Peace and Freedom:
Thousands of Gazans are fleeting their homes as the Israeli Army works to root out Hamas militants in Gaza City.

The military action set the United Nations office structure ablaze today in Gaza City

Fighting is now in the city’s residential neighborhoods on Day 20, Thurswday, January 15, 2009.

In Gaza, the dead now number over 1,000.

Israel Air Force planes struck some 70 targets overnight, including weapons positions, rocket squads and a mosque in southern Gaza that it said served as an arsenal, the military said.

President Assad of Syria asked both sides to agree immediately to a cease fire and then work out their cross border smuggling issues later.

Israel insist on a regime to prohibit the re-arming of Hamas through the Gazan borders.

But Syria is not trusted in Israel where it is often seen as an aid to Iran and militant anti-Israeli forces like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Yesterday, Hamas seemed on the verge of agreement of an international 10 day cease fire brokered in Cairo, Egypt.

Israel was to again consider the cease fire idea today.

In Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak is known to favor a cease fire while Prime Minister Olmert is resisting.

Haaretz reported that the disagreement is causing trouble in the Israeli war cabinet.
Following press reports Wednesday that Barak wanted to see a humanitarian cease-fire, sources close to Olmert were quoted as saying that Hamas saw and heard what was going on in Israel and “draws encouragement” from this, concluding that Israel was searching for a way out of the military operation.

“The irresponsibility of ministers – regardless of how senior they are – in leading private initiatives is unfortunate,” one of these officials said.

A United Nations worker surveys the damage from Israeli bombardment ... 
A United Nations worker surveys the damage from Israeli bombardment at the United Nations headquarters in Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Witnesses and U.N. officials said that Israeli shells struck the United Nations headquarters in Gaza City.The U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has expressed ‘strong protest and outrage’ to Israel over the shelling of the compound.(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The official said that the publication of these plans “gives encouragement to Hamas, gives a shot in the arm to their backers, and has an immediate effect of the fate of a million Israelis in the South and thousands of IDF soldiers carrying out operations inside Gaza.”

But Arab nations trying to assist in the cease fire process were in disagreement how how and when to hold an Arab summit.

 Hamas spokesman Mohammed Nizal said Wednesday, “Is it possible to get into the third week of this Zionist aggression against Gaza and the Arabs can’t hold a summit for Gaza and to stop this aggression?

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Smoke billows from Gaza on Thursday as fighting continued to rage.

Smoke billows from Gaza on Thursday as fighting continued to rage.


Jerusalem Post:


The Associated Press reported:

Witnesses say Israeli ground troops are advancing into crowded residential areas of Gaza City and thousands of terrified residents are fleeing their homes.

Israeli troops backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy guns thrust deeper into the city than ever before Thursday to seek Hamas fighters, they said.

It wasn’t clear whether this would be a brief foray or signal a new phase in Israel’s devastating offensive against Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers.

Israel has balked at launching all-out urban warfare in Gaza City, where Hamas militants are more familiar with the lay of the land and Israeli casualties would be liable to spiral.

Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 to stop militant rocket fire on southern Israel from Gaza.

Day 19: “End Hamas” Being Discussed in Isreal; But So Is Cease-Fire

January 14, 2009

Some leaders in Israel are now saying Hamas must be eliminated to assure peace for Israelis.

The call comes from Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Likud Party in Israel.

But senior Israeli defense  officials want a cease fire now.

 Gaza: Hamas Makes Cease-Fire Offer

Senior defense establishment officials believe that Israel should strive to reach an immediate cease-fire with Hamas, and not expand its offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group in Gaza.
At least three Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon landed near Kiryat Shmona, Israel, on Wednesday morning, the second rocket attack from Lebanon in less than a week.

Israeli sources have been unable to say who exatly has been responsible for these seemingly isolated and uncoordinated attacks but they indicate the intensity of the anger and protest all around Israel since the start of the operation in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops thrust deeper into Gaza City Wednesday, backed by tanks.  The soldiers seemed to be seeking our engagement with Hamas fighters in alleyways and cellars.
Residents spoke of heavy machine-gun fire as Israeli troops fought Hamas gunmen near Gaza City. Israel said it launched 60 air strikes overnight.

An Israeli soldier looks out from atop an armoured personnel carrier near the border with the northern Gaza Strip

Above: An Israeli soldier looks out from atop an armoured personnel carrier near the border with the northern Gaza Strip Photo: REUTERS

The Israeli army claimed 50 militants were killed in fighting over the last 24 hours but it was impossible to confirm the claim.
On the diplomatic front the Associated Press reported that  Israel sent its lead negotiator to Cairo for “decisive” talks on a cease-fire and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also headed to the region to join the diplomatic efforts.

“All the member states of the United Nations have an obligation to abide by UNSC resolutions,” he said during a press conference following a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. “[They] are binding in their nature, and I urge the Israeli leaders – as I have until now- to abide by this, to cease military operations, ensure a ceasefire, and engage in humanitarian assistance.”

Haaretz continues to report on an apparent disagreement within the Israeli government.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is promoting a week-long “humanitarian cease-fire” in the Gaza Strip. In contrast, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert believes the military operation still has not achieved its goals.

Olmert is delaying a meeting with senior ministers in an effort to allow the military operations in Gaza to continue, Haaretz said.

Asked if Israel’s war aims had been achieved, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said: “Most of them, probably not all of them.”

The Israeli air and ground offensive against the coastal territory’s Hamas rulers has killed more than 940 Palestinians, half of them civilians, according to Palestinian hospital officials.

There seems to be a stalemate of sorts in and around Gaza.  The combat elements are engaged but neither will relent.
For over ten days Egypt’s spy chief, Omar Suleiman, has sought in vain to win assurances from Hamas that it would stop militants firing rockets into Israel from Gaza.

Hamas has demanded a withdrawal of Israel forces and an end to Israeli airstrikes before it agrees to a ceasefire.

In Israel, the government is split at least to some degree and will not relent.

Hamas also is torn between those that want to end the bloodshed and those that are energized by support from Iran and fueld by images of anti-Israel protests around the world.

Even if a cease fire can be worked out here nothing will be solved on a long term basis, many say.

“Like Hezbollah, Hamas believes that God is opposed to a Jewish state in Palestine,” writes Jeffrey Goldberg in today’s New York Times.

And in Israel, there is a deep sense that the nation is fighting for its very life.
According to Israel’s Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, “there are two options [in Gaza]. The eradication of the Hamas regime – and there will be no escaping this in the long run – and putting an end to its armament.”

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

 Why Israel Can’t Make Peace With Hamas

Unable To Stop Hamas Arms, Some Israelis Say “End Hamas”



Jerusalem Post:

Israel Promises “Decisive” Week In Gaza

January 13, 2009

Israel promised “decisive” action on the Gaza issue this week, either militarily or in Egypt when Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad heads to Cairo for additional negotiations.

Egypt, France and Britain have been among the key mediators in attempts to forge a truce during Israel‘s 18-day offensive in Gaza.

Day 19: Israel, Hamas Continue To Battle; Seeming Diplomatic Stalemate

Israel promised that if cease-fire talks fail, the Israeli army will continue to move against Hamas.

Diplomatic pressure is building on Israel to end the fighting.

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak again reiterated what he has said before: the assault upon Gaza would continue, along side diplomtic efforts to secure a cease-fire.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, urged both Israel and Hamas to “just give up” the fighting.

Barak said, “We heard, and we respect the calls of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and, of course, we are also monitoring developments on the Egyptian initiative, but the fighting goes on and the IDF is continuing to apply force.”

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

 Day 18 in Gaza: “Fighting Along Side Diplomacy”
Israel weighs options in Gaza
Tuesday: Israel Crashes Into Gaza City
UN chief Ban Ki-moon implores Israel and Hamas to stop Gaza violence


Israel At Crossroads: Escalate or Cease  
Day 18 in Gaza: “Fighting Along Side Dip  
Gaza Heads Into Tuesday, “Hamas Disengag  
Day 18: Tuesday, Gaza City Battle Opens,  
Israel To Reoccupy Gaza? Weighing the Op

UN chief Ban Ki-moon implores Israel and Hamas to stop Gaza violence

January 13, 2009

Frustrated at the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Middle East to press for Israel and Hamas to immediately stop fighting and allow humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory.

By Damien McElroy in Jerusalem and Dina Kraft in Ashdod
The Telegraph (UK)

United Nations Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon, right, shakes ... 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Mr Ban said he plans to step up diplomatic efforts to get both sides to adhere to a UN cease-fire resolution calling for an end to Israel’s air and ground offensive in Gaza and Hamas’ rocketing of southern Israel.

“To both sides, I say: Just stop, now,” he said. “Too many people have died. There has been too much civilian suffering. Too many people, Israelis and Palestinians, live in daily fear of their lives.”

Since Israel launched its offensive on Dec. 27, Mr Ban said he has been on the phone constantly with top officials in the Middle East, Europe and the United States promoting a cease-fire. But he said phone calls aren’t a substitute for direct talks with leaders who have influence on the parties.

The secretary-general leaves New York on Tuesday and will meet senior officials in Egypt and Jordan Wednesday, then head to Israel, the Palestinian-controlled West Bank, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Kuwait where he said an Arab League summit may add an extra session to tackle the Gaza conflict. His itinerary does not include a stop in Gaza because of the ongoing conflict.

Read the rest: