September 28, 2012

EDITOR: It affects us all, everywhere!

Like in 1973, and numerous other junctures, the Israeli actions (or inaction) affect us all. Israel intransigence and its leadership extreme positions lead to world-wide tensions, economic difficulties in times of crisis, and the general heightening of tensions that are likely to lead to a middle east war of frightening dimensions. The oil markets are quite savvy, so if this is their reaction to Netanyahu’s speech, you can bet on that. Those who are defending Israeli excesses, want us all to pay for them.

Oil prices spike after Netanyahu speech at UN: Haaretz

Crude oil futures jumped to $91.85 per barrel as Iran nuclear program rhetoric ratchets up.

By Nimrod Halperin | Sep.28, 2012 | 9:31 AM

oil - Bloomberg - December 27 2010

Oil prices had the highest jump in eight weeks after Netanyahu’s U.N. speech yesterday. Photo by Bloomberg

Crude oil prices rose 2.1 percent to $91.85 a barrel on Thursday, the sharpest jump in eight weeks, the day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations raised concerns over escalating tensions between Israel and Iran.

The Spanish government’s approval of budget cuts and the expectation that China’s central bank will inject greater liquidity into China’s financial system also helped alleviate floating anxieties in world markets, which pushed oil prices upwards.

During his speech yesterday before the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu called for a clear red line to halt the development of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb,” said the prime minister. “The relevant question is at what stage we can no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.

“I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down,” he continued. “This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.”

Netanyahu later added, “Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war. In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.”

Addressing the General Assembly, the prime minister emphasized the urgency for action.

“By next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, the [Iranians] will have finished the medium enrichment and moved on to the final stage,” he said. “From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.

“What I told you now is not based on secret information,” Netanyahu continued. “It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.”

“This ratcheting up of rhetoric brought the focus of the oil market back to oil supply concerns,” said Summit Energy analyst Matt Smith in an interview with the financial news site Marketwatch.

Crude futures for November delivery rose 2.1 percent yesterday to close at a price of $91.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Mahmoud Abbas to UN: Israeli policies leading to ‘new Nakba;’ recognize Palestine before it’s too late: Haaretz

Palestinian president says ‘settler terrorists’ have carried out 535 attacks against Palestinians since the beginning of the year; PA will seek UN recognition as ‘non-member state.’

By Barak Ravid, Chemi Shalev and Reuters | Sep.27, 2012 | 8:10 PM

Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the UN General Assembly

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012. Photo by AP

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday that his government would seek non-member status for Palestine, but he warned that Israel was “promising the Palestinian people a new Nakba” if it continues with its current settlement policies in the occupied West Bank.

Nakba is the term used by Palestinians to refer to the “catastrophe” of the 1948 war over Israel’s declaration of independence, during which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced or made refugees.

Over the past few months, Abbas said, “attacks by terrorist militias of Israeli settlers have become a daily reality, with at least 535 attacks perpetrated since the beginning of the year.” He added that Israel had demolished 510 Palestinian structures over the past 12 months, displacing some 770 Palestinians from their homes.

“We are facing relentless waves of attacks against our people, our mosques, churches and monasteries, and our homes and schools; they are unleashing their venom against our trees, fields, crops and properties, and our people have become fixed targets for acts of killing and abuse with the complete collusion of the occupying forces and the Israeli government,” he said.

He blamed the attacks on Israeli government policy, which he said supports settlements and occupation and creates a “racist climate” and a “culture of incitement.” He also accused Israel of committing war crimes, including “murder, torture and abuse of peaceful civilians.”

Israel’s actions, said Abbas, show that it rejects the two-state solution.

However, he said, the Palestinians remain committed to peace and non-violence. “We realize that progress towards making peace is through negotiations between the PLO and Israel,” he said.

“Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community there is still a chance – maybe the last – to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace,” Abbas said.

Noting the PA’s aborted attempt to gain UN Security Council recognition as an independent state last year, which he said was foiled by “a major and hostile uproar,” he said he would seek a General Assembly resolution declaring Palestine a non-member state during the current session.

At last year’s General Assembly, Abbas attempted to win full membership to the world body. However, that application failed to win enough support in the UN Security Council. The Palestinians did win membership last year to UNESCO, the Paris-based UN cultural agency, despite the objections of Israel and the U.S.

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