World View: John Kerry Announces New Mideast Peace Talks

This morning's key headlines from

  • Al-Jazeera in chaos in Egypt, as it prepares for big U.S. debut
  • Secretary of State John Kerry announces new Mideast peace talks
  • Israel deploys 'Iron Dome' as Egypt launches Sinai operations

Al-Jazeera in chaos in Egypt, as it prepares for big U.S. debut

Al-Jazeera's Friday coverage of Egypt: Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood pray for the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsi (EPA)
Al-Jazeera's Friday coverage of Egypt: Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood pray for the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsi (EPA)

Last week, al-Jazeera reporters were thrown out of a press conference in Cairo, Egypt. However, they weren't thrown out by any government officials but by furious Egyptian reporters at the press conference, who were expressing their anger at al-Jazeera's Arabic network for pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias in its reporting. At around the same time, 22 members of al-Jazeera's staff in Egypt resigned, alleging biased coverage. And now, reports emerged on Friday that Al Jazeera Network channels, which include Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, and Al Jazeera Mubashr Misr, are intermittently being jammed by Egyptian authorities. 

Al-Jazeera (which means "the peninsula" in Arabic) is owned by the royal family in Qatar. As we recently reported, the ouster of Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi has brought about a collapse of Qatar's influence in the Mideast, which had strongly supported Morsi and the Brotherhood and provided $7 billion in aid to Egypt during Morsi's presidency. This has spilled over into al-Jazeera's coverage of Egypt, which has polarized the staff and the people.

This comes as Al-Jazeera America, an expanded replacement of Al Jazeera English, is to debut in August on cable television networks reaching approximately 50 million U.S. households, thanks to its $500 million dollar purchase of the defunct Current TV cable channel from climate change saint Al Gore in January. 

Al-Jazeera Arabic has been vitriolically anti-American since its founding in 1996, and it provided open support for Osama bin Laden following the 9/11/2001 attacks. Even in recent years, al-Jazeera Arabic has continued to promote "a jihad ideology." 

Is Al-Jazeera biased? Of course it is. But it's no more biased than the New York Times or NBC News. The BBC was vitriolically anti-American during the George Bush presidency, but now they're totally in the tank for President Obama. 

As I've written in the past, the interesting thing about al-Jazeera's biases is their attitudes towards the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Hamas is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, so al-Jazeera loves Hamas and hates the Palestinian Authority. In fact, my perception is that al-Jazeera hates the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas even more than it hates Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. 

So, over the past ten years of writing about Generational Dynamics, I've become pretty familiar with the biases of all the different news services, and I try to take them into account when I use them or reference them in order to give as balanced a picture as possible to my readers. But the bottom line is that professional journalism is pretty much a thing of the past, and each of the mainstream media outlets just uses its news reporting to promote its own ideological viewpoint. That's true of al-Jazeera, the BBC, the NY Times, and so forth. All you can do is what I try to do, which is to read as many viewpoints as possible until you figure out what's really going on. Camera and NPR and al-Jazeera

Secretary of State John Kerry announces new Mideast peace talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will meet in Washington within "the next week or so" to resume peace talks. According to Kerry: 

I'm pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. 
This is a significant and welcome step forward. The agreement is still in the process of being finalized so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now.

According to some reports, the Israelis have agreed to a partial freeze on West Bank settlements, and the Palestinians postponed their threat to push anti-Israeli measures through UN and other international institutions during the talks. 

It was in May 2010 that President Obama's last special envoy for the Mideast resigned, after two years on the job, accomplishing nothing ("15-May-11 News -- Mideast envoy George Mitchell resigns, ending one more grand peace process").

The previous Mideast envoy was Tony Blair, who was appointed by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union) on the day in 2007 when he resigned as prime minister of Britain. He accomplished nothing. 

In 2005, the Quartet appointed James Wolfensohn to be Mideast envoy. He actually accomplished quite a bit. He negotiated several agreements between the parties, and, as former President of the World Bank, he used his formidable list of contacts to get investors to purchase dozens of greenhouses left behind by Israeli settlers when they left Gaza so that Palestinians could use them right away to get hard currency by growing food for exports. Unfortunately, the greenhouses were destroyed by the Palestinians, for which Wolfensohn blamed both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and by the time he resigned in 2006, he'd accomplished nothing. 

And then of course there was President George Bush's "Mideast Roadmap to Peace," which was my first major Generational Dynamics analysis ("Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace?"). 

In that article, I pointed out that Generational Dynamics predicts that the Mideast was headed for a major new war between Jews and Arabs, refighting the genocidal war between Jews and Arabs that followed the 1948 partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. There have been four wars since then--the war between Israelis and Hezbollah, fought largely on Lebanon's soil in 2006; the war between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in Gaza in 2008 that led to Hamas control of Gaza; Operation Cast Lead, the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza early in 2009; and the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in November 2012. 

So let's look at the recent record of the U.S. administration and Secretary of State John Kerry: 

  • Early in June, Kerry was running around begging Russia to stop supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria and to return Edward Snowden to the United States.
  • Then he announced peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, but said that it would be OK for the Taliban to continue killing Afghans in Kabul with terrorist attacks, and they have. The peace talks fell apart within 24 hours after they were announced.
  • So now Kerry has somehow bribed or extorted Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to come to Washington and "talk" about peace, and he's calling it a "significant achievement," even though Hamas is opposed, Israeli settlers are opposed, and most Palestinians are opposed.

Isn't there some point where we're allowed to say, "Really, this joke isn't funny any more. Could you please stop?" AFP and USA Today

Israel deploys 'Iron Dome' as Egypt launches Sinai operations

As Egypt's army launches a large-scale operation in the Sinai near the border with Israel, Israel is deploying its "Iron Dome" anti-missile system in the southern city of Eilat, near the border with Sinai, for fear that Sinai militants would launch rockets into southern Israel. The system is being deployed at the height of the tourist season. The Iron Dome system was used successfully in November of last year during Israel's war with Gaza to intercept rockets coming from Gaza before they could reach populated areas. Ynet

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Al-Jazeera, Egypt, Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Current TV, Al Gore, John Kerry, Israel, George Mitchell, Tony Blair, James Wolfensohn, Mideast Roadmap to Peace, Afghanistan, Taliban, Iron Dome, Sinai 

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