In this issue:

Afghanistan's Neighbors Hold Security Summit in Istanbul

A Tree Grows from Brooklyn: Netanyahu Gives Mitchell the Bird

Ten Detained in West Bank Settlement Over Mosque Arson

From Volume 37, Issue 4 of EIR Online, Published Jan. 29, 2010
Southwest Asia News Digest

Afghanistan's Neighbors Hold Security Summit in Istanbul

Jan. 25 (EIRNS)—On Jan. 26, two days before British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will host the Afghanistan/Yemen conference to lure President Obama into new British concoctions, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hosting a summit on Afghanistan, together with the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and unnamed officials from Iran, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are invited too, as "observers." The secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, is also attending. The emphasis is on finding a "regional/Islamic" vision for the stabilization of Afghanistan, instead of the failed approach of the United States and NATO.

That Russia is not invited to the summit is a disadvantage. Russia has been working with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to establish a regional strategy for Afghanistan to reduce the impact of British geopolitics, the drug trade, and the export of Wahhabi terrorism to China, Central Asia, Iran, and other regions. Russia organized a conference in March 2009, in the context of the SCO, on Afghanistan. Ihasnoglu was invited too, and met with President Dmitri Medvedev to give his approval of the Russian approach for a "regional solution" to the Afghanistan crisis, which is in conformity with proposals made by Lyndon LaRouche.

The British government is inviting Iran to the Jan. 28 London conference on Afghanistan, but in order to sabotage any serious solution to defeat the British Empire, the source of the problem.

The Iranian government said last week it was studying Britain's invitation. However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters that if Iran's views are not going to be considered at the conference, there is no need to attend. That means that the Iranians should be shown the text of the final resolution beforehand. "However, if Iran's views are considered and the conference takes an approach in conformity with a policy adopted by regional nations," Tehran will attend the meeting, he noted.

Mehmanparast announced today that the Iranian first vice president is scheduled to attend the Istanbul conference.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki expressed hard feelings toward the British hosts of the London conference, in an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Jan. 20. On Jan. 24, Tehran Times wrote about that interview: "After eight years of occupation, Britain's record in Afghanistan is indefensible, the foreign minister said. 'The British government has no convincing answer to the world for its actions in Afghanistan, and its policies have been totally wrong,' he noted. He said even 'schoolchildren' know that the occupiers have not been successful in Afghanistan, and that the occupiers have not been sincere in their approach to resolving the crisis. Either these countries did not have the capability to resolve the crisis in the first place, or they have lost the ability to lead the world, he added. Despite eight years of occupation, extremism and insecurity have increased, opium production has skyrocketed, and even parts of Pakistan are also being dragged into the conflict, Mottaki said."

A Tree Grows from Brooklyn: Netanyahu Gives Mitchell the Bird

Jan. 24 (EIRNS)—One day after meeting with U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday made his first trip to the West Bank since becoming Prime Minister almost a year ago, to plant two trees at an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Netanyahu said, "The message is clear and the Jewish people are here and will remain, today and forever." He added that he will be attending more tree-planting ceremonies in other West Bank settlements. The Israeli right-wing press, such as Arutz Shiva and Yeshiva World News, are gloating that the ceremony followed a lengthy meeting with Mitchell, "who continues seeking to pressure Israel and the PA [Palestinian Authority] to return to the negotiating table," and that Mitchell will return to the U.S. with no commitments from either side to return to negotiations.

Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly warned that there will be no hope for a peace settlement until the United States destroys the British Empire's Sykes-Picot control over Southwest Asia.

Mitchell reportedly left for this mission with a plan to reach final status agreements between Israel and Palestine within two years, and to base the creation of the Palestinian state on a plan that goes back to the 2002 Beirut Agreement of the League of Arab Nations for a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world.

As EIR has documented, the Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories are supported and financed by Jewish extremists and gangsters from Brooklyn, New York, and by California multi-millionaire Irving Moskowitz, who operates in the Los Angeles area. Both areas are strongholds for the political followers of the 1940s Zionist fascist, Vladimir Jabotinsky. Brooklyn was the longtime headquarters of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane (real name Michael King), founder of the Jewish Defense League, and of the terrorist Kach Party which is outlawed in Israel. The settlements also receive large contributions from the United States from Christian fundamentalist churches and organizations that backed the Bush-Cheney war party.

Ten Detained in West Bank Settlement Over Mosque Arson

Jan. 18 (EIRNS)—More than 100 members of Israeli security forces deployed into the radical Jewish settlement of Yitzhar in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, and arrested ten people, including minors, on suspicion of setting fire to a Muslim house of prayer in Palestinian village of Yasuf last month.

Among those arrested was a relative of Kach founder Rabbi Meir Kahane. The suspect was released after police verified his alibi. During the arrest, the police searched a yeshiva in the settlement and found instruments that have been used in violent incidents, including spikes.

Five other suspects, four of them minors, were arrested on suspicion of rioting in the Samaria area. The fifth is also suspected of demonstrating outside the home of a Civil Administration inspector. The inspectors are Israeli government officials.

Violence against Palestinians and their buildings, such as mosques, emanating from Jewish settlements, has been escalating in the last six months, as a protest against the U.S. demand that the Israeli government freeze the expansion of settlements.

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