The "Friends of Syria" group met in New York on Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly at a time when the conflict in Syria, now in its seventh year, appears to be less urgent with attention focused on the North Korean nuclear threat and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.
"We believe that the only way forward is to get a political process going and to make it clear to the Iranians, Russians and Assad regime that we will not support the reconstruction of Syria until there is a transition away from Assad," Johnson said.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Satterfield, said all those at the meeting agreed that "there has got to be a political process if there is to be any international participation in the reconstruction of Syria."
President al-Assad: Some Western governments
In New York for General Assembly, Rouhani says
"Religion without wisdom and thought is like a pest to human life."
"I must admit that in the current century religion and religious motivations are the main cause of violence."
Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Mostafa Mohaghegh-Damad (UN & WAVE seminar)
At a September 2005 speech in the United States he gave as his opinion that there are no irreconcilable differences between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islamic jurisprudence, that no compulsion is permissible in religion, that apostasy should be punished only if it involves undertaking actions to destabilize the social order, and that "nothing should be forced on the people by the government, not even daily prayers."
Rouhani: "To settle regional problems we should use political means" IRNA, 19-9-2017
In a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday,
In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve Rouhani’s initiative known as WAVE, which called on all nations across the globe to denounce violence and extremism.
Touching upon the Syria crisis, Rouhani said that Iran is cooperating with Turkey and Russia in the Astana Process to promote peace in Syria.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani gave a speech during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in which he harshly criticized the blockade against the insular Arab state.
"Countries who have imposed an unjust blockade on Qatar are seeking to destabilize a sovereign state, isn't that the definition of terrorism?," he asked.
Speaking from the podium of the 193-member General Assembly, Sheikh Tamim renewed the call "for an unconditional dialogue based on mutual respect for sovereignty" to end the political crisis pitting his country against four Arab states.
He asserted that Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt were inflicting damage on the "war on terror" with this blockade.
The three-month rift in the region began on June 5 when the Gulf countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and severed diplomatic and transport ties. The Gulf countries imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar and presented a list of demands to Doha, which included the closure of the Al Jazeera television network and the Turkish base in Doha.
Qatar announced that it would not adhere to the list and added that in order to find a common ground, the states imposing embargo need to leave their hardline policy.
|President Bashar al-Assad: "Let’s be honest: had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different." (Syrian TV, 4-12-2014)|
Ladies and gentlemen, here at the UN, we must speak the truth about Iran, as President Trump did so powerfully this morning.
President Trump rightly called the nuclear deal with Iran - he called it "an embarrassment." Well, I couldn't agree with him more. And here's why: Iran vows to destroy my country. Iran is conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East, and Iran is developing ballistic missiles to threaten the entire world.
Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb, but actually paves it. Because the restrictions placed on Iran's nuclear program have what's called "a sunset clause."
Now let me explain what that term means. It means that in a few years, those restrictions will be automatically removed, not by a change in Iran's behavior, not by a lessening of its terror or its aggression: they'll just be removed by a mere change in the calendar.
And I warned that when that sunset comes, a dark shadow will be cast over the entire Middle East and the world, because Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons.
That's why I said two years ago that the greater danger is not that Iran will rush to a single bomb by breaking the deal, but that Iran will be able to build many bombs by keeping the deal...
Imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the hands of a vast Iranian-Islamist empire with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth.
I know there are those who still defend the dangerous deal with Iran, arguing that it will block Iran's path to the bomb. Ladies and gentlemen, that's exactly what they said about the nuclear deal with North Korea, and we all know how that turned out.
Unfortunately, if nothing changes, this deal will turn out exactly the same way. That's why Israel's policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it. Fix it or nix it.
Nixing the deal means restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability.
Fixing the deal requires many things, among them inspecting military and any other site that is a suspect, and penalizing Iran for every violation.
And beyond fixing this bad deal, we must also stop Iran's development of ballistic missiles and roll back its growing aggression in the region.
From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East.
Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, and it pledges to extinguish the light of Israel.
Today, I have a simple message to Ayatollah Khamenei, the dictator of Iran: The light of Israel will never be extinguished.
Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril.
We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us. And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border.
As long as Iran's regime seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran will face no fiercer enemy than Israel.
But I also have a message today for the people of Iran: One day, my Iranian friends, you will be free from the evil regime that terrorizes you, hangs gays, jails journalists, tortures political prisoners and shoots innocent women... When your day of liberation finally comes, the friendship between our two ancient peoples will surely flourish once again.
There is a great irony in the fact that Israel is seeking a seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Since its establishment atop the ruins of Palestinian cities and villages in 1948, Israel has had the most precarious relationship with the world’s largest international body. It has desperately sought to be legitimized by the UN, while it has done its utmost to delegitimize the UN.
Following a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) condemning Israel’s human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in March 2014, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, then accused the UN of being ‘absurd’. He vowed to “continue to denounce and expose” the UN “procession of hypocrisy.”
For many years, Israeli leaders and government officials have made it a habit of undermining the UN and its various bodies and, with unconditional support from Washington, habitually ignored numerous UN resolutions regarding the illegal occupation of Palestine.
To a certain extent, the Israeli strategy – of using and abusing the UN – has worked. With US vetoes, blocking every UN attempt at pressuring Israel to end its military occupation and human rights violations, Israel was in no rush to comply with international law...
Tel Aviv’s aim is to undercut the support of Palestinians at the UN General Assembly, and sabotage the work of UN bodies that exist outside the realm of US power.
Meanwhile, it also wants to secure a seat for itself at the UN Security Council. The assumption is that, with the support of Haley at the UN, such a possibility is not far-fetched.
In addition to the five-permeant veto-wielding UN Security Council members, ten-member countries are elected on a two-year term basis. Israel’s charm offensive in Latin America, Africa and Asia is meant to ensure the needed vote to grant it a seat in the 2019-2020 term. The vote will take place next year, and Israel will stand against Germany and Belgium.
If Israel wins that seat, it is likely to use the new position to strengthen its occupation of Palestine, as opposed to adhering to international law.
Adam Garrie: The Dangers of Kurdish Separatism in Syria, 30-3-2017
Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces approaching Deir ez-Zor from the north are easily joining IS terrorists, and Russian drones and reconnaissance recorded no clash between the IS and the SDF over the past week, he explained.
However, massive fire from mortars and rocket artillery was opened twice on the Syrian troops from the areas on the eastern shore of Euphrates where the SDF fighters and servicemen of US special forces are based, Konashenkov said.
The spokesman noted that amid the Syrian troops’ success, the US-led international coalition and the SDF have halted the operation on liberating Raqqa
"Central areas of the former IS capital, which amount to around 25% of the city’s territory, remain under full control of terrorists." "SDF militants have been dispatched from Raqqa’s province to the northern areas of the Deir ez-Zor province," Konashenkov said.
Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to consider counter-measures against Kurdish northern Iraq over a planned independence referendum, Turkey's foreign ministry said on Thursday [21-9].
In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the three countries voiced concerns that the referendum would endanger the gains Iraq has made against Islamic State (IS) militants, and reiterated their fears over the potential for new conflicts in the region.
"In the meeting, the three ministers emphasised that the referendum will not be beneficial for the Kurds and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and agreed, in this regard, to consider taking counter-measures in coordination," the statement said.
The central government in Baghdad, Iraq's neighbours and Western powers fear the vote could divide the country and spark a wider regional conflict, after Arabs and Kurds cooperated to dislodge IS from its stronghold in Mosul.
But the Kurds say they are determined to go ahead with the vote, which could trigger the process of separation in a country already divided along sectarian and ethnic lines.
Flashback: People Are Seeking A Separate Existence
In 1973, Gaddafi organized the Arab Socialist Union (ACC), which became the sole legal political organization in the country.
In 1977 the General People's Congress, representing numerous national committees, adopted a decree (the "Sabha Declaration") on the establishment of a "regime of people's power" (the so-called 'direct popular democracy') in Libya, and the country was renamed the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
The Revolutionary Command Council was also renamed and transformed into the General Secretariat of the Congress. The people elected into the General Secretariat of the General People's Congress were Gaddafi (General Secretary) and four of his closest associates - Major Abdessalam Jalloud, and generals Abu Bakr Younes Jaber, Mustafa al-Harrubi, and Huveyldi al Hmeydi.
UNITED NATIONS - Russia on Thursday clashed with the European Union over Syria, accusing the bloc of politicizing aid by linking reconstruction funds to a political transition that would end the war.
At an EU-organized conference held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Russia's deputy foreign minister said aid was being used as a political tool to build pressure on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
"The politicization of issues related to aid and the statements on the need to wait for the end of the political process are unacceptable," said Gennady Gatilov.
European officials insist that aid will not flow to Syria until a credible political transition is agreed during UN-led negotiations to end the war.
But Gatilov said aid was needed now "to rebuild schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure."
Britain argued that the Assad regime should not be rewarded with aid...
Flashback 2014: France Urges Anti-IS Coalition to Help Aleppo Rebels
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Tuesday for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group to help rebels in Syria's second city Aleppo hold out against the Damascus regime. Fabius said that the coalition should not battle IS to the exclusion of supporting rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's regime, "After Kobane, we must save Aleppo," Fabius said... (Page 46-2014)
The United Nations is planning to convene a new round of peace talks next month between Syria's government and the opposition even though past negotiations have failed to yield progress.
With the rebel fighting position weakened, experts say the regime faces no pressure to make concessions at the negotiating table, and especially not over the question of Assad's future.
The war in Syria has dropped off the top of the diplomatic agenda during this year's annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, which instead has focused heavily on the nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:45 P.M.) – In its ongoing bombardment campaign against militant forces in northern Hama and southern Idlib Governorates, The Russian Aerospace Forces have targeted a command base belonging to Turkish-backed rebels, killing and wounding nearly 100 fighters as a result.
Today, Russian airpower engaged a Faylaq al-Sham headquarters base in the area of Tal Mardiqh in southern Idlib with a number of precision strikes.
In addition to completely destroying the command base, the airstrike also killed fourteen fighters belonging to the militant group and wounded another 50.
With the knowledge that the Russian Aersopace Forces are now also attacking non-Al-Qaeda affiliated militant groups throughout northern Hama and southern Idlib, it can be said that Russian airpower is expanding the parameters of its bombing campaign to completely suppress the offensive capabilities of all rebel factions in northwest Syria.
Flashback: Faylaq al-Sham group descends into
Internal conflict is raging inside divisions of the Faylaq al-Sham terrorist group in Idlib’s countryside.
Moscow believes partition of Syria must not be allowed as a chain reaction will hit the whole Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Friday.
"First of all, fight against terrorism must be ended, but it is also necessary to start thinking how to restore Syria’s unity," the minister said.
"No division must be allowed, a chain reaction will sweep the Middle East. This is what some would seek to achieve, those for whom it is advantageous to maintain constant chaos, a mess there," he said at the news conference after a week of high-level meetings at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.
"The concept of de-escalation zones was initially declared as temporary," he went on.
"Even within the framework of the six-month period in which the concept will be in effect, it was stated that in parallel with de-escalation zones we want to motivate the process of national reconciliation and creation of mechanisms that will help start nation-wide dialog and prepare ground for a political process in addition to what is being done in Geneva," he added.
Starting from May, four de-escalation zones are being set up in Syria. Military activities in the de-escalation zones are banned.
The Syrian Government has spared no effort to put an end to the war that has besieged the country for the past six years, but the bloodshed continues owing to the “aggressive policies” by some States, Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Moualem told the United Nations General Assembly today.
“No people has suffered at the hands of terrorism more than the Syrian people, who, for six years now, has fought against terrorists pouring from all over the world, supported by parties from the region and beyond,” said Mr. Al-Moualem, who is also the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Since March 2011, Syria has been in the throes of a conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians to leave their homes. An estimated 5 million Syrians have fled the country and more than 6 million are internally displaced.
The crisis, described as the worst humanitarian disaster of our time with more than 13 million people in need of assistance, has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.
Mr. Al-Moualem stated that since day one, the Syrian Government has positively considered all initiatives to put an end to the war. “However, these initiatives eventually failed after States that supported and fueled terrorism decided to persist in their aggressive policies against Syria and its people.”
Certain countries, the Prime Minister said, have boasted about fighting terrorism in Syria and having the interests of Syrians at heart. “They have established ‘coalitions’ and held dozens of conferences under deceiving titles, such as ‘friends of the Syrian people’.
Thierry Meyssan: Armed groups in Syria do not defend democracy
salafists, backed by 'the friends of syria'
I OWE many thanks to Bezalel Smotrich Yes, to Smotrich of the extreme right...
Recently Smotrich gave a speech to his followers, which he intended to be a national event, the turning of a page in Jewish history. He was gracious enough to mention me in this monumental message.
He said that after the 1948 war, in which the State of Israel was founded, Uri Avnery and a small band of followers created the ideology of "two states for two peoples", and by patient work over many years succeeded in turning this idea into a national consensus, indeed into an axiom.
Smotrich told his devotees that they, too, had to formulate their ideology, work patiently for many years until it became the national consensus instead of Avnery's.
Smotrich's plan for the future of Israel is based on the demand that Arabs living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea choose between three alternatives:
* First, they can accept a monetary payment and leave the country.
* Second, they can become subjects of the Jewish State without becoming citizens and without attaining the right to vote [the 'autonomy'-solution].
* Third, they can make war and be defeated.
Let's look into the plan...
* Can an entire people be induced peacefully to leave their motherland for money? I don't think that it has ever happened. Indeed, the very idea shows an abysmal contempt for the Palestinians.
* The second choice would be easier. The Arabs, who already constitute even now a slight majority between the river and the sea, will become a pariah people and serve their Israeli masters. The Arab majority will grow rapidly, owing to the much higher Palestinian birthrate. We would deliberately recreate the South African apartheid situation. History, old and new, shows that such a situation invariably leads to rebellion and eventual liberation.
* So there remains the third solution. It suits the Israeli temperament much better:
War. Not the interminable wars that we have been engaged in since the beginning of Zionism, but a big, decisive war that puts an end to the whole mess. Inevitably, the Arabs will be vanquished and obliterated. End of story.
Smotrich should be taken seriously, not because he is a political genius but because he expresses openly and honestly what many Israelis think secretly. He is 37 years old, good-looking, with a cultivated beard. He was born in the occupied Golan heights, grew up in a West Bank settlement and now lives in a settlement in a house that was built illegally on Arab land. His father was a rabbi, he himself was educated in elite religious yeshivas and is a lawyer. Now he is also a Member of the Knesset.
Betzalel Yoel Smotrich (born 27 February 1980) is an Israeli politician.
A member of the Tkuma, he currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Jewish Home [a religious-zionist party]. Smotrich is an Orthodox Jew and lives in the Kedumim settlement in the [occupied] West Bank.
The international community considers Israeli settlements a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to these territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them. This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
According to B'Tselem, portions of Kedumim were built on privately owned Palestinian land. There are additionally two Israeli outposts adjacent to Kedumim, one of which is also built on privately owned Palestinian land.
Qatar has opened its doors to extremist Indian preacher Sulaiman al-Nadawi who was pictured at prominent Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusef al-Qaradawi’s office on Sunday.
Doha still welcomed Nadawi after Oman expelled him for provocative remarks against Gulf states.. During his speech, Nadawi called for an attack on Saudi Arabia and some other Islamic countries, while questioning the Arab quartet’s decision on boycotting Qatar saying: “The State of Qatar has been turned against on, just because it is home to Hamas, Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Omani Foreign Ministry immediately took action to clear itself from Nadawi’s claims: “The speech was delivered on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. It strayed from the lecture’s context in a manner inconsistent with the principles, approaches, and policies of the Sultanate,” continued the ministry. “As such, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms that the concerned authorities in the Sultanate of Oman have taken action on the matter and asked him to leave the country,” the ministry added.
The hosting college had a different view to the ministry. In a Twitter post, the college said: “The College of Sharia Sciences wishes to note that it has become used to welcoming preachers, scholars, thinkers and researchers from different backgrounds, like any academic institution.”
“Thus, the college asserts that the views and opinions expressed by those guests are their own, and not necessarily the views of the college,” they added.
Flashback 2014: Syed Salman Hussaini Nadvi & Global Jihad
Letter of Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
Daft and dangerous: plan for a militia to fight global jihad
On Sunday, june 29, 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released a 34-minute audio recording of a speech by its official spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who said that the insurgency’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was now the world’s caliph and as such had declared all other jihadi organizations void and under his direct control, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremists’ online presence. The audio speech was released on an ISIS-linked Twitter feed, the group said.
The founder of the Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad, has come forth on social media stating that militants need to start conducting guerrilla warfare in order to regain the strategic initiative in the war against the Syrian Arab Army.
According to Riad al-Asaad, the conventional warfare strategy used by the Free Syrian Army and allied militias for many years is no longer effective in defeating pro-government forces and only a reversion to grass-roots insurgency can assure that rebel groups regain and maintain the military edge.
The Free Syrian Army is the original armed insurgent group to have commenced battles against the Syrian Arab Army in 2011. During his time as the operational commander of the Free Syrian Army from 2011 to 2014, Riad al-Asaad made an open alliance with the Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, defending it in the face of accusations of genocide and terrorism by war observer groups.
Riad al-Asaad retired from his role as active commander of the Free Syrian Army at some point in 2014.
FSA, Muslim Brotherhood &
The Syrian government is ready to discuss autonomy for the country's Kurds, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has said, the first time Damascus has openly accepted such a possibility.
Muallem renewed his opposition however to an independence referendum held by Kurds in neighboring Iraq on Monday. "We support the unity of Iraq," he said.
State news agency SANA quoted Muallem telling Russia Today on Monday night that Syria's Kurds "want a form of autonomy within the framework of the borders of the state."
"This is negotiable and can be the subject of dialogue," he said. "As soon as we have defeated Daesh (IS), we can sit down with our Syrian brothers and agree on a formula for the future," he added,.
Syria's Kurds are a leading force against IS, and are supported in their campaign by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the jihadists.
Syria's Kurds, who made up 10-15 percent of the country's pre-war population, largely stayed out of the uprising that started the conflict in March 2011. Instead they focused on building local government and security forces in Kurdish-majority areas in the north and northeast.
Russian army engineers have constructed a military-grade assault bridge across the the Euphrates River “in record time” to facilitate the movement of Syrian Arab Army troops, heavy equipment and logistics.
According to Russian reports, the bridge is 210 meters long, having been built several kilometers from Deir Ezzor city, and can handle the crossing of 8,000 vehicles per day.
Russian military sources have placed great emphasis on the fact that the bridge was built in just two days and with no losses to engineering personnel despite coming under constant attack by ISIS armed drones and artillery.
The new bridge is strong enough to facilitate the movement of main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled artillery assets to the eastern bank of the Euphrates to maintain Syrian Army operations against ISIS.
Lebanon: political bloc lashes out at FM for meeting with Syrian counterpart
Ahmad Jarba (born in the city of Qamishli in 1969, is a public opponent of Bashar al-Assad and between 6 July 2013 and 11 July 2014 he was President of the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of opposition groups in the Syrian Civil War that was founded in Doha, Qatar, in November 2012.|
The main aims of the National Coalition were replacing the Bashar al-Assad government and "its symbols and pillars of support", "dismantling the security services", unifying and supporting the Free Syrian Army and refusing dialogue and negotiation with the al-Assad government.
Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri ( born 18 April 1970) is a Saudi-Lebanese billionaire who served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 until 2011. He is the second son of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in 2005.
2012: Hariri calls Assad ‘monster,’ rejects warrants
Bashar al-Assad: "Why did not the Arabs stand with Syria"
President Bashar al-Assad: "Their scheme was to undermine the constitution
Israel's government hosted a celebration of 50 years of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights, angering the Palestinians and triggering a row with the supreme court.
Chairman of the Etzion Bloc regional council Moshe Saville hangs an American flag at the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank, ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of incoming US President Donald Trump, on January 19, 2017
The ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, The Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights took place in Gush Etzion Wednesday evening. The event was attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Cabinet ministers, Knesset members, council heads, rabbis, and other public figures.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "In the miraculous defensive war, 50 years ago, we returned to Gush Etzion, to the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.
Which meant that we had returned home to our ancestral inheritance, and that we had renewed the historical continuity of our people. Here lies the story of our nation and our history, as well as the promise that that history will never be cut off."
Netanyahu promised in his speech, "There will be no more uprooting of homes in the Land of Israel...."
"Tonight I say - the Etzion Bloc will always be part of the State of Israel."
The United Nations human rights office has reportedly threatened to blacklist nearly 150 Israeli and international companies for operating in the Israeli occupied territories, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and Golan Heights.
Israeli daily Haaretz cited anonymous Israeli officials as saying on Wednesday that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein notified the companies through letters two weeks ago. In response, several of the companies assured Hussein that they do not plan to renew their current contracts or to enter into new ones.
The letter said that due to the companies’ activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, they may be added to the blacklist being compiled by the UN of companies “that operate in opposition to international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.”
In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council voted, with 32 nations in favor and 15 abstentions, to a proposal by the Palestinian Authority and Arab states to compile a database of all businesses enabling or profiting from development of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The proposal also condemned Israeli settlement construction and urged companies not to do business with Israeli settlements.
In June, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the blacklist as “the latest in this long line of shameful actions” adopted by the UNHRC, warning that the US may withdraw from the 47-member UN body unless it is reformed, end condemnation of Israel and cancel the membership of what she called notorious human rights violators from the council.
Since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January, the regime in Tel Aviv has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.
Less than a month before Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council had adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
Flashback: Netanyahu calls UN resolution 'an affront to justice, to truth'
The Iraqi parliament on Wednesday passed a resolution demanding that the Iraqi army take control of the province of Kirkuk and reclaim the Kirkuk oil fields as a national patrimony. The parliament also demanded that the government arrest and try Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani for treason.
Benjamin Netanyahu: "A breakaway Kurdistan could prove valuable to Israel against Iran" (New York Times 22-9-2017)
In an apparent clash against the international community's support of a united Iraq, the Israeli leader has called to back the de-facto independence of Kurds.
Netanyahu’s words followed similar statements by senior Israeli officials. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told US Secretary of State John Kerry that he believes “the creation of an independent Kurdish state is a foregone conclusion,” citing Iraq’s “breaking up.”
Meanwhile, the Baghdad government is using its international recognition to impose an air flight ban on Iraqi Kurdistan in the wake of this week’s referendum, in which 92% of the 8 million Iraqi Kurds are said to have voted for independence.
Iraqi prime minister Haydar al-Abadi has given the KRG authorities an ultimatum that they must withdraw their Peshmerga paramilitary from all international airports (i.e. those in Erbil and Sulaymaniya) and must turn over all border checkpoints to the Iraqi army rather than manning them themselves. Iraq is contacting international air carriers and instructing them not to fly to Erbil or Sulaymaniya in the KRG.
Since by international law Iraq is recognized as sovereign over all its territory, airlines have been complying with al-Abadi’s request already. Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran and Turkey have all ceased flying to Iraqi Kurdistan.
As isolating as the Iraqi moves are, Turkey can hurt the KRG even more badly. President Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to cut off oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan through the Cayhan pipeline. Turkey is also ceasing food exports to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Iraqi Kurdistan is landlocked and surrounded by hostile governments who do not want it to secede from Iraq. In going ahead with the referendum, Barzani put his country on a collision course with the whole world.
Iraq's Kurds faced the threat of growing isolation Thursday after a massive "yes" vote for independence in a referendum that has incensed Baghdad and sparked international concern.
While Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani said the vote would not lead to an immediate declaration of independence but should instead open the door to negotiations, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi rejected the approach.
"The referendum must be annulled and dialogue initiated in the framework of the constitution. We will never hold talks based on the results of the referendum," Abadi told lawmakers on Wednesday.
"We will impose Iraqi law in the entire region of Kurdistan under the constitution," he said.
In a televised address late on Tuesday, Barzani had urged Abadi "not to close the door to dialogue because it is dialogue that will solve problems".
"We assure the international community of our willingness to engage in dialogue with Baghdad," he said, insisting the referendum was not meant "to delimit the border (between Kurdistan and Iraq), nor to impose it de facto."
Iraqi Constitution - Preambule
We the people of Iraq, who have just risen from our stumble, and who are looking with confidence to the future through a republican, federal, democratic, pluralistic system, have resolved with the determination of our men, women, the elderly and youth, to respect the rules of law, to establish justice and equality to cast aside the politics of aggression, and to tend to the concerns of women and their rights, and to the elderly and their concerns, and to children and their affairs and to spread a culture of diversity and defusing terrorism.
We the people of Iraq of all components and shades have taken upon ourselves to decide freely and with our choice to unite our future and to take lessons from yesterday for tomorrow, to draft, through the values and ideals of the heavenly messages and the findings of science and man's civilization, this lasting constitution.
The adherence to this constitution preserves for Iraq its free union, its people, its land and its sovereignty.
Turkey and Russia are on the same page regarding the territorial integrity of both Iraq and Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday in a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The two leaders hold a meeting at the presidential complex in capital Ankara, which lasted for about three hours.
Speaking to press representatives after the bilateral meeting, Erdoğan said that regional issues, including latest developments in Syria and the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) controversial independence referendum were discussed.
"We need to protect the Iraqi central government in order to assist them in safeguarding the country's sovereignty," Erdoğan said.
The president also said that Turkey and Russia agreed on the joint will and close cooperation to solve the Syrian crisis through diplomacy, adding that he was happy with the progress made in the Astana process, sponsored by Turkey, Russia and Iran.
Erdoğan stressed that Ankara and Moscow were "committed to the political solution of the Syrian crisis."
Meanwhile, Russian President Putin praised Erdoğan for his efforts and initiative to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, saying they "have de-facto created the necessary conditions for the end of the fratricidal war in Syria and the final defeat of terrorists as well as for the Syrian people's return to normal life."
“I became a patriotic Kurd,” says Mr. Sagi, now 83 and a retired brigadier general, who worked as an Israeli military adviser to Kurdish fighters. (NYT, 22-9-2017)
The Barzani's are part of a major Kurdish tribe and a leading clan in the Kurdish region of Iraq. (The other major clan are the Talabani, currently with much less power.)
In 2005 Masoud Barzani was elected President of the Kurdish region in Iraq. His eight year term ended in 2013. The regional parliament extended his presidency by two years. But since 2015 he has ruled without any legal basis. He prevented the parliament from convening and formally ousting him.
Masoud Barzani's son Mazrour Barzani is chancellor of the region's security council. He controls all military and civilian intelligence. Nechirvan Barzani, a nephew of Masoud Barzani, is prime minister of the Kurdish region...
The Iraqi Kurds, under Masoud Barzani, were complicit in the mid 2014 Islamic State takeover of Mosul and the Sinjar region inhabited by Kurdish speaking Yezidis. They saw it as an opportunity to take more oil and declare their own independence from Baghdad.
Only after the Islamic State marched towards the Kurdish "capital" Erbil, where U.S. and Israeli intelligence as well as western oil companies have their regional headquarters, did the Barzani Kurds start to oppose the Islamic State. They then used the fight against the Islamic State to widen the area they controlled by 40%.
In 2014 the Kurds snatched Kirkuk, while the Islamic State marched onto Baghdad. The move on Kirkuk was, allegedly, coordinated with the Islamic State. They now want to annex it. The Iraqi state is naturally vehemently against this and is now sending its army. The Turkish government, which sees itself as defender of all Turkmen, also threatens to intervene.
Syria, Iran and Turkey have all spoken out against Kurdish independence and threatened retribution. Officially the U.S. is also against an independent Kurdish state.
Israel was the only state that supported the referendum. That sympathy (or politically convenience) runs both ways: In Kurdistan's Erbil, the Polling Station Head Shouted Out: 'We Are the Second Israel!'
Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate leader and a reliable Zionist tool, called on the Trump administration to recognizing an independent Kurdistan. Trump can not do so because it would put the U.S. in opposition to its "allies" in the Turkish and the Iraqi government.
Should Masoud Barzani gain enough external support and prevail with his independence gimmick, the situation in Syria would also change.
The Kurds in Syria are currently led by the PKK/YPG.. Politically they are opposed to Barzani but they have similar interests and attitudes. Though only 8% of the population, they have now occupied some 20% of Syria's land and control 40% of its oil reserves.
Kurdish independence would be the start of another decade of war - either between the Kurdish entities and the nations around them, or within the ever disunited Kurdish tribes themselves.
“Israel is desperate for friends in the region, the Kurds generally want to be friends, and they don’t care about Palestine,” said Kenneth M. Pollack, a former C.I.A. analyst and National Security Council official who visits Kurdistan frequently. Moreover, Israel stands to gain a potentially valuable ally in its struggle with Iran, he said.
“Iraqi and Iranian Kurds have deep ties,” he said. “And to create trouble for Iran, one way is to encourage independence for Iranian Kurds.
The Iranians are terrified and furious about exactly that: that the Israelis are doing it, and that an independent Kurdistan will be a base for Israeli operations against Iran, via Iran’s Kurdish population.”
While United States policy is to try to preserve Iraq as one entity, the Israelis are more practical, said Peter W. Galbraith, a former diplomat with extensive experience in Kurdistan: “Why lose all of Iraq, when you could save part of it?”
Fighting For The Right Wing War Messiah
"Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority." Albert Einstein, 4-12-1948
There are some 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory, all considered illegal under international law, while hundreds of unauthorized Israeli settler outposts — considered illegal even under Israeli law — also dot the Palestinian landscape.
While Israel considers settler outposts to be illegal, earlier this year, Israel passed the outpost “Regularization law,” which paved the way for the retroactive legalization of dozens of Israeli settler outposts, while loosening restrictions on settlers erecting outposts on private Palestinian land.
Meanwhile, in June, Israeli authorities broke ground on the first official new Israeli settlement in 25 years amid fierce condemnation from the international community and rights groups.
“Not by Might, nor by Power”: The Zionist Betrayal of Judaism
Compassion Is Weakness
Moshe Menuhin & Jewish NationalismMoshe Menuhin was born in Russia in 1893 to a distinguished, religious Jewish family. When the family moved to Palestine, Moshe was sent to Orthodox Jewish schools, first to Yeshivas in Jerusalem, then to the nationalistic Hebrew Gymnasia Herzelia in Jaffa-Tel Aviv.
In 1913 (at age 20), he went to the United States to complete his higher education, attending New York University where he studied mathematics, political science, and education.
Moshe Menuhin: "When we returned to Palestine, the decisive question was, do we want to come there as an ally, as a friend, as a brother, as a member of the coming community of the peoples of the Near East, or as the representative of colonialism and imperialism?
The majority of the Jewish people preferred to learn from Hitler rather than from us...
I have always hoped that one day a miraculous reawakening of the Jew in Israel will take place...
As a conscientious Jew, I feel it necessary to set forth my views on Jewish history after studying and observing for many years the lofty and dignified Judaistic past of pure ethics, philosophy and religion, on the one hand, and the current decadent, tragic and revolting perversion of it into boisterous "Jewish" nationalism (Judaism turned into rampant Israelism) on the other..
I serve nobody's interests, and I am paid by no one... Yet, though I carefully and honestly stick to facts, I know that I am bound to antagonise the fanatical and professional idealists among the "Jewish" nationalists... "
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me..." Luke 13:34
WASHINGTON - Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Libyan militant accused of leading the September 11, 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi that left the US ambassador and three others dead goes on trial Monday.
nato-backed ultra-conservative islamists, libya 2011-2012
Ahmed Abu Khattala is charged with 18 counts of murder, supporting terrorists and related charges in the trial in the federal district court in Washington, three years after he was captured in a commando raid and sent by ship to the United States.
Khattala, about 46, was the commander of an Islamist militia in Benghazi, Ansar al-Sharia, which undertook the deadly raid on the US compound in the eastern port city.
According to the indictment, he led a group of about 20 militants storming the compound. They set buildings on fire, including one that contained ambassador Christopher Stevens and a foreign service officers, killing them. Shortly afterward they killed two US security contractors in an attack on a CIA outpost near the mission compound.
Ansar al-Sharia (Libya)
Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL, English: Supporters of Islamic Law) was a Salafist Islamist militia group that advocated the implementation of strict Sharia law across Libya.
Following prolonged tensions between Islamists and non-Islamists in Libya, on 16 May 2014 military forces loyal to General Khalifa Belqasim Haftar launched a large scale air and ground offensive codenamed Operation Dignity on Islamist militia groups in Benghazi including Ansar al-Sharia.
Sufism, a mystic flow in Islam,
The mysticism of Sufism is that its subject – the way to God – cannot be described in words and is understood by hints and spiritual intuition.
The further person moves in the way of Sufism, the more he leaves himself and his bad features, he overcomes dimness of the world and comes close to God who is the only Reality. ...
Sufis are not focused on “geopolitical” Islamic concepts which differs them from militant fundamentalists.
Benghazi port in east Libya reopened Sunday for the first time in three years after being forced to cease operations because of clashes in the cradle of the 2011 anti-Gadaffi rebellion.
Commercial operations at the port had ended in 2014 when armed movements, including the Islamic State group, occupied the North African country's second city.
They were expelled in July this year by the forces of Khalifa Haftar who backs a rival administration in the east to the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.
It was the eastern-based government of Abdullah al-Thani that inaugurated the port's reopening, and he arrived on board a cargo vessel accompanied by members of his cabinet.
"We thank God that justice has been victorious over injustice," Thani told AFP, referring to the ouster of the Islamist militias and "all those who claim that Benghazi is not secure".
"The docking of this cargo ship carrying medicines and food supplies... is a major challenge to the obscurantists who used it to bring weapons to the terrorists."
"Benghazi is a peaceful city, not a haven for terrorists from around the world as some people claim," Thani added.
Thani's government" has not been recognised internationally since the government of national unity (GNA) was formed under a UN-sponsored agreement signed in 2015.
After Moamer Kadhafi was ousted and killed in the 2011 revolution, the country descended into both political and military chaos.
A delegation from the Palestinian Authority, led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, is visiting Gaza Monday as part of reconciliation efforts to end a decade-long division between rival Fatah and Hamas groups.
Hamdallah and several other government ministers were to head to the coastal sliver on Monday morning and meet with Hamas officials as well as hold a cabinet meeting there on Tuesday.
“We are determined to undertake our role in supporting the reconciliation efforts and turning the page of the division so that the homeland becomes reunited,” the premier said during a ministerial meeting in Ramallah on Sunday.
Fatah and Hamas have been at odds ever since the latter scored a landslide victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006. Hamas governs the Gaza Strip, while Fatah has set up offices in the West Bank.
The two rival Palestinian factions finally agreed on a unity government in April 2014, but it fell apart months later.
Last month, Hamas announced that it had agreed to dissolve its administrative committee in Gaza. It also invited the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the territory and hold new elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Fatah has welcomed the announcement and expressed hope that the Palestinian Authority would start taking over Gaza this week.
The visit by the Palestinian Authority government will be monitored by senior Egyptian intelligence officials who arrived in Gaza on Sunday, with Intelligence Minister Khaled Fawzy expected to join them on Monday.
"If now is not the time to put an end to illegal settlements, when is the right time?"
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Al-Monitor, 11-4-2016
"Gaza is an integral part of Palestine, and nothing that the Israelis do will take away this important part of our homeland or succeed in dividing us."
"The Palestinian cause is the heart of the Middle East struggle, and finding a solution to the Palestinian cause is an integral part of any comprehensive solution for the region."
"The US always want us to wait. They have ready excuses and justifications. There are the primaries, then the general elections, then the midterms. They are always wanting us to wait for this or that reason.
We have been under occupation for 49 years, and it is 68 years since the Nakba.
The international community including the US keeps saying that the settlements are illegal and illegitimate. If now is not the time to put an end to illegal settlements, when is the right time?"
Industry Minister Ahmad al-Hamo has stressed that the friendly countries, which have been backing Syria in its war against terrorism including Russia, will have top priority in the post-war reconstruction stage.
The Minister, during his meeting with Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov and the accompanying delegation on Sunday evening, reviewed fields of cooperation between Syria and Russia in launching industrial and investment projects .
He called upon the Russian businessmen and investors to invest in Syria in all industrial and other sectors and establish their own or joint projects with their Syrian counterparts.
Minister al-Hamo expressed the government’s readiness to exert all efforts to create an appropriate climate for launching investment projects through ensuring the legislative administrational and legal frameworks for them.
For his part, Kalamanov expressed his country’s keenness on developing cooperation with Syria in the industrial domain, asserting that Russia will work on setting a plan for this cooperation.