News and Analysis (3/21/13)

The children, some as young as eight or ten, were “on their way to school in the West Bank city of Hebron” when seized by the Israelis for interrogating in connection with allegations that stones were thrown against the illegal occupation forces during a recent anti-apartheid demonstration:

“Owners of Egyptian bakeries have protested in Cairo following the government’s decision to implement a new plan to ration bread”:

Under attack on the streets and in the courts, the Muslim Brothertthood has obtained legal status as an NGO:

The UN will look into whether chemical weapons were used and, if so, who used them. “Both the Assad regime and Syrian rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons in an attack on Tuesday that the government says killed 31 and wounded more than 100.”  It’s only a red line if Assad crosses it …

  • Syria: Obama skeptical of a chemical weapon attack by rebels  (Christian Science Monitor)

… so here’s a historical reminder to those who think they can install a friendly puppet in Syria, “Ahmed Chalabi poured sweet words into the ears of powerful Washington insiders for years. For some reason, they thought it was a good idea to believe him”:

“The statement I am preparing will be a historical call…. We want to rapidly solve the arms problem without losing time or another life” – Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK):

The Serb Nationalist was silent about his Muslim heritage Israel awarded “his great-grandparents the Righteous Among the Nations medal, Israel’s highest award honoring non-Jews” for risking “their lives to shelter Balkan Jews destined for near-certain extermination during World War II”:

Attempting to recast its image as part of civil society, the former militant group Gamaa Islamiyya is careful to distinguish its efforts to assist police from the rising tide of vigilantism in Egypt, but some are not convinced:

“[T]alks for the American officials do not mean for us to sit down and reach a logical solution … What they mean by talks is that we sit down and talk until Iran accepts their viewpoint” — Ayatollah Khamenei:

“Speaking in Ramallah today, President Obama reversed US insistence on an Israeli settlement freeze before peace talks could begin. The reversal highlights Palestinian frustrations” …

… and “Haaretz notes that a senior Hamas official earlier this week ‘threatened retaliation against Israel for what he called frequent violations of the ceasefire agreement, by Israel.’ Haaretz says he referred to “a number of incidents where IDF forces opened fire at Palestinians approaching the Gaza security fence'”:

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