Saddam's Death, 102 (october 2017)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 101: september 2017 and Page 103: oct 2017 (part 2)
Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple

Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003
Trump & the Two Messiah's - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel
"I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations
Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel
Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center
Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

"That is the issue that will continue in this country... It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle.
The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings." Abraham Lincoln (October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois)

"Happy day, when, all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matter subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!" Abraham Lincoln (February 22, 1842 Temperance Address)

"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)

All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon

“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”

Saadi Shirazi
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)










"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...."
"For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."

About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent.
Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy.
Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)


Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu

"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)

Israel celebrates 50 years of occupation
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 27-9-2017

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

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government considers the commemoration a state occasion, with the premier expected to attend an evening ceremony in the West Bank.
Supreme court president Miriam Naor said that an official invitation to send a representative contained the wording "to celebrate the jubilee of the liberation of Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights". On her instructions, the court declined the invitation.
The biblical term Judea and Samaria is used by the Israeli government to refer to the West Bank, of which the Jordan Valley is also part.
The territories were occupied by the Israeli army in the 1967 Six-Day War, along with Syria's Golan Heights, which were later annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.
The gala event is to take place in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, where the leftist Israeli government at the time encouraged the establishment of the first settlement in the occupied West Bank in September 1967.
Gush Etzion has now grown into a large bloc of settlements located outside Jerusalem, and officials expect it will be part of Israel under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.
The event is to be attended by settler leaders, Netanyahu and ministers from his coalition government, seen as the most right-wing in Israel's history.
Leftist and centrist politicians have said they will not attend the event, which Labor MP Eitan Cabel wrote on Facebook is "totally meant to glorify Bibi and his group of extremists who lead us to the abyss..."
"The settler celebrations on our occupied lands are unacceptable and make the atmosphere very tense," Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP. "We ask the American administration to urgently intervene to stop these provocations."
About 430,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank among 2.6 million Palestinians.

PM says at jubilee celebration of liberation of Judea and Samaria
that Jews returned to their ancestral homeland, and none will be expelled.
Arutz Sheva Staff, 27/09/2017

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."


UN warns to blacklist firms working in lands occupied by Israel: Report
Press TV, Thu Sep 28, 2017

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'
Arutz Sheva Staff, 24/12/2016

During a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the UN Security Council's Resolution 2334 was distorted and shameful.
Citizens of Israel," he said, "I want to calm you down. The decision reached yesterday in the UN is distorted and shameful, but we shall overcome it.
"This is a failed attempt to force the conditions of a final agreement on Israel.
Their last attempt to accomplish this was led by President Carter, who was totally hostile to Israel..". "Carter passed anti-Israel resolutions in the UN, similar to these resolutions, but he did not succeed. We opposed his resolutions and nothing happened.
"All the American presidents after Carter have stood by the US promise not to allow the UN to force Israel to do anything. Yesterday, US President Barack Obama violated this promise..." "It is an affront to justice, to truth...."

UN Resolution 2334 states that all building in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem is completely illegal, violates international law, and harms potential for a two-state solution.
The resolution requires Israel to immediately cease all building in all areas outside of the pre-1967 borders, and states that the UN will not recognize anything outside the pre-1967 borders unless it has been formally agreed upon by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Fighting For The Right Wing War Messiah


Ashrawi: Netanyahu committed to enhancing the extremist settler population
Palestine Chronicle, Sep 28 2017

"Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority." Albert Einstein, 4-12-1948

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), released a statement on Thursday condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being “more committed to settlement expansion than to peace.”
The statement came following a speech by Netanyahu at an event “50 Years of Settlement in Judea and Samaria,” using the Israeli term for the occupied West Bank.
“Netanyahu’s speech in which he declared that the illegal settlements will not be removed attests to his intransigence and willful refusal to abide by international law and conventions, standing UN resolutions, and global consensus,” Ashrawi said, calling Netanyahu arrogant and accusing him “turning international norms into a mockery.”
“Israel is more committed to enhancing the extremist Jewish settler population at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians than to abiding by the basic requirements for peace and justice, Ashrawi said.
The Israeli government is working to impose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine, by annexing all of Jerusalem, erasing the history, narrative and physical presence of the Palestinian people, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem),” Ashrawi said.

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
By Moshe Menuhin - Monoweiss review, 29-9-2017

Moshe Menuhin’s “Not by Might, nor by Power”: The Zionist betrayal of Judaism is a riveting, thorough, courageous and ruthless indictment of the Zionist project, written from an alternative Jewish perspective.
In fact, much of this book is rooted in the experiences and observations garnered by Menuhin during his own Aliyah (i.e. immigration) and time in Palestine from 1904-1913.
Menuhin’s account of the birth and rise of Zionism offers much information about its successes, trials and tribulations.
It is conveyed via a thinly disguised anger at Zionists and “the military junta of Israel” (most notably Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion) for coopting and manipulating the ethical tenets of Judaism for the purposes of justifying a redemption of a contrived Jewish “nation” at the expense of other peoples.

Accordingly, his presentation is unabashedly sympathetic to the Arab natives who are cast as victims of the megalomaniacal ambitions of a people driven by an exclusivist and exploitive settler-colonialist ideology.

Menuhin portrays Zionist leaders as obsessed with their goal – Jewish colonization of Palestine – while committing acts of aggression that resulted in tragic consequences for Jewish communities outside Palestine.
By demonstrating that Zionist crimes target Jewish communities as well as Arab ones, Menuhin avoids the trap of critique for the purpose of reform, i.e. transforming Zionism into a friendlier system of oppression, and indicts it as an un-Jewish aberration that should be wholly opposed.

Moshe Menuhiun: "Prophetic Judaism is my religion.
The essence of Prophetic Judaism – universal and ethical Judaism – is: Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not covet … Love thy fellow-man as thyself … What thou dost not like to be done to thee, do not do to thy fellow-man … Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit … In the place where the repentant stands, even the completely righteous man cannot stand."


Prophetic Judaism, Susan Silverman, Jerusalem Post, 18-2-2016

Compassion Is Weakness
Zionism & the decadence of Judaism
Jeremy Salt, Palestine Chronicle, 17-10-2015

The ultimate source of the rage and hatred on full display in Israel is ideology.
Any ideology based on marginalization or discrimination must lead to where Zionism has led. The obverse of ‘this land is ours’ is that ‘this land is not theirs.’
The arguments are built up generation after generation.
‘God gave us this land. It was empty when we came. We made it bloom. We did not drive the Arabs out. They ran away. We did not start the wars. They did. Their infiltrators and terrorists just want to kill us because we are Jews. The problem is not occupation. Anyway, what are they talking about when they speak of ‘occupation’? This is our land. God gave it us …..’
It does not matter to many if not most Jewish Israelis that the rest of the world regards the territories seized in 1967 as occupied and believes that the occupation is the cause of violence...
They endlessly repeat the claim that ‘the Arabs’ want to kill them just because they are Jews...

Zionism remains a state-building ideology. Compassion is a weakness and there can be no possibility of pity for the Palestinians until they have been comprehensively and absolutely defeated.
What Moshe Menuhin, the father of Yehudi, called ‘the decadence of Judaism in our time’ more than half a century ago, continues unabated.

Jeremy Salt is an associate professor of Middle Eastern history and politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

Moshe Menuhin & Jewish Nationalism

Moshe 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...
Hitler showed that history does not go the way of the spirit but the way of power, and if a people is powerful enough, it can kill with impunity...
This is the situation that we had to fight..."

I have always hoped that one day a miraculous reawakening of the Jew in Israel will take place...
Somehow I dream and hope of compunction seizing the hearts of the Jewish people, and that the Jews will become again just Jews, not "Jewish" nationalists.
I still dream to this day of a regenerated Jewish spiritual and moral renaissance and a return to the true God of the people of Israel, away from the ideas of the modern Joshuas: Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Menachem Begin, Golda Meir and company..."

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

Palestinian Authority PM, officials visit Gaza to end division
Press TV, Mon Oct 2, 2017

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?"

Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel will not accept 'bogus' Palestinian reconciliation deal
DW (Made for minds) News, 3-10-2017

waiting for the right-wing messiah
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that his government would only accept a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah if the former agreed to recognize Israel, give up its armed force, and cut ties with Iran.
"We are not prepared to accept bogus reconciliations in which the Palestinian side apparently reconciles at the expense of our existence," Netanyahu said during a meeting with his Likud party.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since Hamas ousted Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank territories, from Gaza in 2007. Israel has blockaded Gaza since then and continues to view Hamas as a terrorist organization with close ties to Israel's rival, Iran.
"Whoever wants to make such a reconciliation, our understanding is very clear: recognize the State of Israel, disband the Hamas military arm, sever the connection with Iran — which calls for our destruction," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also announced Tuesday that his government would build thousands of new settler homes on Palestinian land in the West Bank and absorb the territory into Israel.
During a visit to Maaleh Adumim, one of the largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank, he said, "we will build thousands of housing units here," which "will be part of the state of Israel."

Waiting for the Messiah
By Rabbi Jacob Staub, Reconstructionist Judaism, 10-1-2014

The Jewish messianic belief plays a central role in the lives of Jewish people, but it is very different than Christians’ belief in Jesus as Christ.
The redemption that Christ brought is internal transformation — being saved from one’s sinfulness, achieving the inner peace that comes from receiving God’s love.
As a Jew I do not believe that the world has yet been redeemed. In a redeemed world, swords will be turned into ploughshares, nobody will go hungry, the powerless will not be oppressed, and justice will prevail everywhere.
There is no single authoritative Jewish belief about redemption, but the one that speaks most powerfully to me is from the medieval teacher Maimonides (known to Jews as the Rambam).
He envisions a world governed by a King Messiah. There will be no servitude to foreign powers and there will be peace. All people will be free to devote themselves to the study of the Torah...
Maimonides lived in a time when monarchy was common—but I don’t believe that the messianic era will be ushered in by a king. I do agree, however, that the messianic era is within our reach, without any suspension of the laws of nature.
The more that we work collectively to end poverty and injustice and hate and war, the closer we get to ushering in the messianic era...

Our awareness of the unredeemed state of the world moves us to work to make things better. I believe that this is a major reason why so many Jewish people become social, political, and economic activists...
Our interest in helping the less fortunate derives from a vision of what the world redeemed looks like.


Turkey seeks to isolate Idlib jihadists
Middle East Online, 3-10-2017

ANKARA - Turkey is luring militants away from the jihadist alliance that controls Syria's northwestern Idlib province as a step towards implementing a deal to reduce violence there, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
Idlib is one of four "de-escalation" zones which foreign powers agreed to establish in opposition territory in western Syria after years of civil war. But the former al Qaeda branch which controls the province has pledged to keep fighting Syrian government forces and their allies.
The ex-Nusra Front's stance has raised doubt about how Turkey, one of three parties to the agreement, can proceed with plans to deploy observers inside Idlib. Russia and Iran, the other two countries involved, are due to police its edges.
Cavusoglu said the first stage, already under way, was to separate "moderate rebels" from "terror organisations" - a reference to Nusra, which cut ties with al Qaeda last year, rebranded itself and now spearheads the Tahrir al-Sham jihadist alliance that dominates Idlib.
His comments endorsed remarks by a rebel source who said that efforts by foreign states were under way to encourage defections from the alliance, to break it up, isolate it and reduce its capacity to oppose any Turkish military deployment.
"With regards to Nusra, they are working to weaken it through intelligence operations," the source told Reuters. Those could include assassinations and campaigns to undercut the group's popular support, the source said.
The aim was to encourage jihadist fighters who are not members of al Qaeda to "melt into society".

At least two million people live in Idlib, the largest populated Syrian area held by rebels - including some nationalist Free Syrian Army factions who sometimes fought alongside jihadists.
The rebel source said up to 2,000 FSA fighters being trained by Turkish forces could deploy to Idlib, where many people have close ties to Turkey and could welcome a Turkish presence.
Turkey has called for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad and supported several rebel factions, but has recently worked with Iran and Russia, both strong supporters of Assad, to stem the violence in Syria's six-year conflict.


Emir of Qatar meets Iranian foreign minister
Middle East Online, 3-10-2017

TEHRAN - Iran's foreign minister held talks with the emir of Qatar Tuesday aimed at strengthening "co-operation," nearly four months into a Saudi-led blockade against the Gulf emirate.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif met at a time of heightened Gulf tensions, with Qatari officials warning the ongoing Arab blockade would only drive Doha towards regional powerhouse Iran.
Qatar's state news agency said the pair discussed the impasse in the region, which has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Doha over its ties with Iran and accusations that it supports extremists.
"During the meeting, they reviewed relations of cooperation between the two countries in various fields as well as exchanged views on the current situation in the region," read the statement from Qatar News Agency.
Tuesday's visit was notable as it was Zarif's first since Qatar's political isolation began on June 5..
Qatar's relationship with Shiite-dominated Iran, seen as the major rival to Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, is one of the major factors underpinning the crisis between Qatar and its former allies.
Doha in January 2016 had pulled its ambassador from Tehran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia over attacks on its diplomatic mission there... But in August, Qatar announced it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Iran by returning its ambassador.
Zarif and Al Thani focused on the need to increase long-term economic cooperation. Iran and Qatar share the world's largest offshore gas fields, located in the Persian Gulf and spreading over the two nations' territorial waters.


Israel: Lieberman sees Assad winning Syria war, urges more US involvement
YNET News|Reuters, 03.10.2017

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday President Bashar al-Assad was winning Syria's civil war and urged the United States to weigh in as Damascus's Iranian and Hezbollah allies gain ground.
Lieberman's comments marked a reversal for Israel, where top officials had from the outset of fighting in 2011 until mid-2015 regularly predicted Assad would lose control of his country and be toppled.
"I see a long international queue lining up to woo Assad, include Western nations, including moderate Sunnis.
Suddenly everyone wants to get close to Assad," Lieberman told Israeli media in an interview.
In late 2015, Russia helped Assad turn the tide with a military intervention that put Moscow's forces in the field alongside Israel's most potent foes—Iran and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah—opposite Syrian rebels.
The United States has focused its Syria operations on fighting rebel jihadis like Islamic State — dismaying Israel, which has tried to persuade both Washington and Moscow that Iran's expanding clout is the greater threat.
While largely keeping out of the Syrian civil war, Israel has tried to sway the world powers involved in the conflict and cautioned it could strike militarily to prevent Iran and Hezbollah entrenching further on its northern front.
"We hope the United States will be more active in the Syrian arena and the Middle East in general," Lieberman said.
"We are faced with Russians, Iranians, and also the Turks and Hezbollah, and this is no simple matter to deal with, on a daily basis."
Lieberman did not elaborate on what actions he sought from the Donald Trump administration...

Flashback: Iran is much more dangerous than ISIS
Shoula Romano Horing |YNET News opninion, 21.09.2014

US President Barack Obama must be careful not to "degrade and destroy" ISIS in Iraq and Syria to the point of helping Iran and its axis of evil step into the vacuum that would be created and establish its own Islamic Shiite caliphate spreading from Lebanon through Syria and Iraq to Iran itself.
This would be a serious threat to the moderate Sunni countries like Jordan, and the Persian Gulf states, and eventually to Israel and the West.
Iran and its axis of evil, which includes the Syrian regime and Hezbollah militias, are as brutal as ISIS.
Both are Islamic totalitarian regimes which sponsor terrorism and wish to dominate the region. They both state their intention to defeat those they perceive as infidels, starting with other Muslim states and eventually moving on to Israel and the West.
If one looks objectively at their military capacity and capability, Iran constitutes a much bigger existential threat to the Middle East and West, while ISIS is just another terrorist organization, like al-Qaeda, with a lot of money, territories and imitators across the world.
ISIS must be contained through US air attacks and not be allowed to expand its territorial boundaries to Jordan and Lebanon. But Iran must be contained too by adding crippling economic sanctions to suffocate it economically till they dismantle their nuclear weapons program and curtail their military presence in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq...
There is a chance now for the world to create a balance of terror in which both the Iranians and ISIS will degrade each other’s military power, influence, and ability to spread terror.

Should America and Israel Let Their Enemies Kill Each Other Off?
By Jonathan Schanzer, Politico, July 06, 2015

As some see it, what’s happening now in the Mideast provides the best excuse the Israelis have had in a long time to just sit back and let their worst enemies rub each other out...
This was the Western calculus during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). As Henry Kissinger reportedly quipped, “It’s a pity they both can’t lose.”

America & its Useful Idiots

In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

It has become clear that the US’s main objectives in Syria is not their expressed goal of ‘fighting ISIS’, but regime change, isolating Russian influence, the Balkanization and the creation of failed states.
US presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself stated that ‘removing Assad is the top priority”...
The US sees the Syrian state as one of the last spheres of Russian influence beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union, and a threat to its Israeli ally in the region. The presence of ISIS and other terrorists groups serves these interests. (Syrian Girl, Global Research, Feb 23, 2016)

"I think the Western powers - the US, especially followed by Britain and France - are using Islamic extremism as their foot soldiers in conquering various countries.
They are quite confident that once they’ve used these fanatics to get rid of regimes they don’t like, then they will be able to take over what they want – the pieces that are left of that country for themselves...
They will keep using Islamic extremism here and they're feeling that these are the useful idiots that they can control eventually." (Diana Johnstone, Russia Today, 17-2-2016)



Mary, symbolizing most important values in Islam: Compassion & Mercy
Salafist rebel Omar Gharba 2012 & Syrian Arab Army)


Erdoğan meets Iran's Rouhani to discuss regional, bilateral issues
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 4-10-2017

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met Wednesday with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in the Iranian capital [Tehran] to discuss regional and bilateral issues amid an ongoing debate on the controversial independence referendum by Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is opposed by both countries.
"During the visit, expansion of economic and trade ties will be discussed. Regional issues, including Syria, Iraq and the referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan will be discussed as well," Iranian State TV reported.

Erdogan is accompanied by his Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybekci, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak, Minister of Customs and Trade Bülent Tüfenkci, Minster of the Interior Süleyman Soylu, Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmuş, and Foreign Affairs Deputy Chairman of Justice and Development Party Mehmet Mehdi Eker on the official trip.


Tehran appears to be a Modern City

Lavrov: "All actors must abandon their geopolitical ambitions"
Ghassan Charbel, Al-Awsat, 4-10-2017

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov underlined the importance of Saudi King Salman’s visit to Russia, which will kick off on Thursday, describing it as a “real turning point in the relations between the two countries” to achieve fruitful contribution to stability in the Middle East.
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in Moscow, Lavrov said his country shared Riyadh’s conviction of the need to “further develop bilateral relations at various levels”, and to work towards the establishment of regional and global stability. He noted that Riyadh and Moscow have maintained a high-level dialogue, which has translated into tangible results.
“We are intensifying efforts to strengthen trade ties and humanitarian relations with the Kingdom. Our common goal is to increase the volume of trade and expand the range of commodities, which both sides see as incompatible with the great potential of the two countries,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov stressed that King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin would discuss the need to find sustainable and permanent solutions to the ongoing crises in the region, adding that the visit would represent “a true turning point in our relations and would take cooperation between us to a new level, achieving a fruitful contribution to stability in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Asked whether a political solution to the Syrian crisis would be reached soon, Lavrov said:
“Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Russia has insisted on a solution through peaceful means by holding an extensive dialogue between the various parties. We also called on the international community to extend a helping hand to the Syrian people to end the violence and bloodshed and to prevent the support of criminals and terrorists inside the country.”
The Russian official criticized the international community for exerting pressure to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The Arab League and many regional and international parties have taken a decision to strip Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of his legitimacy for a variety of reasons. In doing so, they have effectively attacked the right of the Syrian people to decide who will rule Syria and in what way. We strongly disagree with this approach,” he firmly stated.
Lavrov underlined the importance of the Astana meetings on Syria, during which he said the concerned parties have agreed that there was no alternative to a political and diplomatic settlement under the auspices of the United Nations and expressed their commitment to the ceasefire.
“Today, all actors must abandon their own geopolitical ambitions and contribute fully to the restoration of stability and security in Syria and throughout the Middle East and North Africa,” the Russian foreign minister said.


Female Singers Return to Saudi TV After a 30 Year Ban
AlBawaba News, 5-10-2017


Oum Kalsoum Hologram

Female singers returned to state-run television in Saudi Arabia after a ban that lasted over 30 years, in the country's latest step towards projecting a more progressive image.
Al-Thaqafiya, Riyadh's channel dedicated to cultural programmes, aired a lengthy concert of iconic Egyptian diva Umm Kulthum on Tuesday, days after it announced the end of its ban on women drivers.
A source at the channel told popular daily Okaz that the broadcast marked the return of the "sound of the female singing voice" to official Saudi media and future concerts will include other classic women artists.
Umm Kulthum was one of the most influential Arab singers of the last century, she enjoys legendary status across the Middle East, where she is known as "The Lady".
Women singers were banned from state television in the wake of the 1979 takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by extremist insurgents, who were inspired in part by what they saw as the liberalisation of Saudi culture. The strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam bans certain types of music.
Saudi Arabia has cautiously begun introducing entertainment, including music concerts, despite opposition from hardliners in the kingdom, where public cinemas and theatre are banned.

Umm Kulthum (live): Baeed Anak

"Baeed Anak" (Away From You) at the Olympia Théâtre in Paris, November 1967.

The Black Day of Egypt
Um Kalthoum Funeral 1975

The national public farewell and funeral of Um Kalthoum;
Cairo, Egypt, 4 February 1975

Iraq forces retake center of ISIS bastion Hawija
Al-Jazeera News, 5-10-2017

Iraqi forces have captured the town of Hawija and the surrounding area from ISIL, one of their last strongholds in Iraq.
With the capture of Hawija, the only area that remains under control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in Iraq is a stretch alongside the western border with Syria.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in Paris on Thursday that "I want to announce the liberation of the city of Hawija today," calling it a "victory not just of Iraq but of the whole world". He said that the fight against ISIL is now focused on the border zone with Syria.
The offensive was carried out by US-backed Iraqi government troops and Iranian-trained and armed Shia paramilitary groups known as Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF).
"The army's 9th armoured division, the Federal Police, the Emergency Response division and (…) Popular Mobilisation Forces(PMF) liberated Hawija," said a statement from the joint operations commander, Lieutenant-General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah, on Thursday.

Hawija lies between two main routes north of Baghdad; one leading to Kirkuk and the autonomous Kurdish region, the other to Mosul and further on to the Iraqi border with Syria and Turkey.
Its geographical location in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and its proximity to Mosul and the Iraqi Kurdish region has made it a centre of conflict between rival powers ever since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Hawija is also one of the most important agricultural areas and the second largest source of vegetables in Iraq.
The area's mainly Sunni Arab population of 450,000 is deeply hostile to both the Shia-led government in Baghdad and to the Kurds who form the historic majority in adjacent areas, which - in part - was what buoyed ISIL's control of the area.
US-led coalition troops nicknamed Hawija the "Kandahar in Iraq" after it put up fierce resistance to the 2003 US invasion.

Flashback - Iraq at the Brink, A Decade after the Invasion
by Ramzy Baroud, Foreign Policy Journal 14-2-2013

The sectarian strife in Iraq [..] is making a comeback.
Massive protests and ongoing strikes have been organized with a unified and clear political message.
However, numerous other parties are exploiting the polarization in every way imaginable: to settle old scores, to push the country back to the brink of civil war, to amplify the mayhem underway in various Arab countries, most notably Syria, and in some instances to adjust sectarian boundaries in ways that could create good business opportunities. ...
The future of Iraq is currently being determined by various forces and almost none of them are composed of Iraqi nationals with a uniting vision.
Caught between bitter sectarianism, extremism, the power-hungry, wealth amassing elites, regional power players, western interests and a very violent war legacy, the Iraqi people are suffering beyond the ability of sheer political analyses or statistics to capture their anguish.

"None of them are composed of Iraqi nationals with a uniting vision"

Vladimir Putin: "We are one people". Manifestations of separatism
must be completely removed from the political agenda (12-12-2012)

For centuries, Russia developed as a multi-ethnic nation (from the very beginning), a civilisation-state bonded by the Russian people, Russian language and Russian culture native for all of us, uniting us and preventing us from dissolving in this diverse world.
To the rest of the planet, regardless of our ethnicity, we have been and continue to be one people...
We must regard attempts to provoke ethnic tensions and religious intolerance as a challenge to the unity of the Russian state and as a threat to all of us.
We will not allow the emergence of closed ethnic enclaves in Russia with their informal jurisdiction, existing outside the country’s common legal and cultural norms, and disdainfully disregarding the accepted standards, laws and regulations....


Putin: Saudi King’s Visit to Russia a Landmark Event
RT Russia, 5-10-2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
It is the first state visit to Russia by a reigning Saudi monarch and marks a new level of relations between the countries.
According to the Kremlin, “the leaders will consider joint steps to further develop bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian areas.”
Relations between the two countries have reached a “fundamentally new level recently,” according to the Russian Energy Minister and Co-Chairman of the Russian-Saudi Intergovernmental Commission Aleksandr Novak. “Parliamentary contacts show good dynamics and the two countries business circles maintain intensive dialogue," he said, adding that that significant progress has been made.

The two leaders have talked on the situation in the Middle East. Putin said that his talks were detailed, with the sides discussing the situation in the region.
"Just now, we held very detailed talks in a narrow format. We discussed bilateral relations and the situation in the region. This discussion was very substantive, informative and very trusting," Putin said.
The Saudi King has specifically touched upon the Syrian issue, saying Riyadh intends to achieve the resolution of the crisis in the war-ravaged country in accordance with Geneva decisions and UN Security Council resolutions.


The Fight Ahead: Questions About the Origins, Objectives, and War on BDS
by Ramzy Baroud, antiwar.com, October 6, 2017

BDS stands for "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions".
The BDS Movement was the outcome of several events that shaped the Palestinian national struggle and international solidarity with the Palestinian people following the Second Uprising (Intifada) in 2000.

In the absence of any international mechanism to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and the lack of international law being enforced, as expressed in dozens of un-implemented United Nations resolutions, BDS has grown to become a major platform to facilitate solidarity with the Palestinian people, apply pressure on and demand accountability from Israel and those who are funding, or in any way enabling, Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

The BDS movement has three main demands. They are:
• Ending Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Apartheid Wall.
• Recognizing the fundamental rights, including that of full equality, of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.
• Respecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

Why are so many joining BDS?
BDS is growing because it is both a moral and legal obligation to support oppressed people and pressure those who violate international law to end their unwarranted practices.

What is the main Israeli argument against BDS?
By equating any criticism of Israel and its right-wing government with anti-Semitism, Israeli supporters readily accuse BDS of being an anti-Semitic movement.
For example, the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) bases such an accusation on the premise that “many individuals involved in BDS campaigns are driven by opposition to Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state.”
The Israeli government has sponsored several conferences aimed at developing a strategy to discredit BDS and to slow down its growth. It has also worked with its supporters across North America and Europe to lobby governments to condemn and to outlaw BDS activities and the boycott of Israel in general.
These efforts culminated on March 23, 2017 with Senate bill S720 which, if passed in its current form, will make the boycott of Israel an illegal act punishable by imprisonment and a heavy fine.
Meanwhile, Israel has already enacted laws that ban foreign BDS supporters from entering the country. This also applies to Jewish BDS supporters.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle.
Visit his website: ramzybaroud.net

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Jackson was different. No one like him had ever served as president. He made executive decisions based on his personal beliefs and did what he could to protect the common man. He feared that monied and business interests would corrupt republican values.


Trump Threatens Iran
A show of bad faith from the Americans
Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, October 6, 2017

US-president Donald Trump is stepping up threats against Iran, promising a “broad strategy” to punish Iran for all of its bad behavior.
Decertification of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran (on the grounds it is “not in America’s interests”) would lead to a vote in Congress, which Trump appears to believe will lead to the US withdrawing from the P5+1.
This isn’t going to take place until next week, however,which has fueled speculation Iran might be coerced into making new concessions to placate him. Iran, however, says that this is not the case.
Noting that they’re complying with the nuclear deal as it is, Iran has denied reports they’d be willing to negotiate on their conventional missile program, saying they believe demands for more concessions are a violation of the UN Security Council resolution on the nuclear deal.
It would be odd for Iran to try to make a second deal, having complied with the first one and still faced constant threats and condemnations from the Trump Administration.
Rather, Iran’s strategy appears to be to try to salvage the P5+1 deal, even if it’s without US participation. Which could well happen.
The other P4+1 nations all seem happy with the deal as is, and don’t act furious every time the UN admits Iran is complying. They may well decide that the US pullout is just a show of bad faith from the Americans, and not a reason to revise the deal for the remaining participants.
That concern is actually one of the main arguments officials have made to Trump against withdrawing from the deal, warning that it would both hurt America’s reputation and remove them from the deal for no real benefit.

Good cop, bad cop policy at White House
Kılıç Buğra Kanat, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 7-1-2017

"Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal would be the height of folly and “disastrous." John Brennan, NYT, 30-11-2016

For the last one year, we have heard contradictory messages from the different branches and actors of the U.S. government. During the crisis in the Gulf, while President Donald Trump blasted Qatar with tweets and supported the Saudi-led coalition, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis contradicted with president and used a different rhetoric concerning the crisis.
Later, during the crisis in North Korea, we saw similar chaos. While Tillerson mentioned talks with the regime in Pyongyang, Trump one more time tweet him out, telling him not to waste his time with dialogue.
Some may consider these forms of inconsistencies part of a purposeful strategy of good cop and bad cop. If so, it is not well-implemented. With rumors about the possible developments concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) and U.S. position on it, we started to see another wave of contradictory voices from different members of the administration.

The JCPOA, when it was signed, was already a controversial agreement. The major disagreement between the White House and Congress on this deal and Republican skepticism about the agreement made the issue a significant foreign policy problem for Republican candidates during the presidential primaries. During his campaign, Trump made multiple statements about the deal.
Although there were discrepancies among these statements – for instance at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) summit, he said that his number one priority will be "to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran", whereas in a piece in USA Today he said he will "renegotiate with Iran," constantly calling the deal very bad for the U.S.
He was also very reactive to Iran's role in different conflicts of the region. His foreign policy and security team members more or less agree that Iran constituted a major problem for the region.

Since his inauguration, one of the critical and often-asked questions about his foreign policy has been the issue of Iran... Every 90 days since the inauguration there were questions whether Trump would certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA or not.


"Can a blind man lead a blind man?" Luke, 6:39

In the last few days, as the Oct. 15 deadline for the next certification approaches, there are more rumors about Trump's unwillingness to certify the compliance.
Trump's unwillingness to certify Iran's nuclear deal compliance is not present among other officials.
In a hearing last week, Mattis said that the deal is still in the U.S. national interest. He said: "I believe at this point in time absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford also backed this claim and said the deal makes U.S. safer.
Although Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster avoided directly contradicting the president, they have followed a more cautious approach for U.S. policy on Iran. This situation is generating different statements competing against one another...
Many members of Congress do not seem to be interested in taking up the issue again.
Even those who opposed the deal before are in favor of keeping the JCPOA now. Furthermore, Congress does not seem to be adopting sanctions because of the concern of alienating the U.S. allies that backed the deal.


"The Divine Presence has never departed from the Western Wall"
By Yuli Yoel Edelstein, Speaker of the Knesset, 7-10-2017

Our history and religion have accorded a special primacy and sanctity to the Temple Mount; nonetheless, there is something special about the Kotel.
In the words of the Midrash (Exodus Rabbah 2:2), “The Divine Presence has never departed from the Western Wall.”
Throughout the generations and everywhere in the Diaspora, the Kotel has occupied a special place in the Jewish national and religious consciousness as the ultimate symbol of the return to Zion and of our aspirations for renewed sovereignty in the land of Israel.

Today, few sites and symbols have retained their status as pilgrimage destinations, formative elements of our identity, and a matter of broad national consensus. The Wall always has been and still remains such a site. God willing, it will continue to be for all eternity.

The Strange Story of the False Wailing Wall
By Ernest L. Martin, PH. D., July 2000

There is absolute proof that the present site of the Jewish "Wailing Wall" in Jerusalem is NOT any part of the Temple that existed in the time of Herod and Jesus.
In fact, that particular location that the Jewish authorities have accepted represents the Western Wall of an early Roman fortress (finally built and enlarged by Herod the Great). King Herod called it Fort Antonia, after the famous Mark Anthony who lived at the end of the first century before Christ.
It was formerly called the Baris in the proceeding hundred years and it finally became known as the Praetorium in the New Testament period (the central military edifice in Jerusalem where the commanding general of a Legion of troops had his headquarters).
This rectangular type of building clearly resembles most permanent military camps that the Romans constructed throughout the Empire to house their Legions.


judea was just a tiny part of the roman empire

How did the present "Wailing Wall" get erroneously selected by the Jewish authorities as a holy place for the Jews?
The Jewish authorities in and around Jerusalem from 70 C.E. until 1077 C.E. (for over a thousand years) only showed their religious interest for the location of the Temple at the area positioned over and around the Gihon Spring.
This was at least 1000 feet south of what later became known as the Dome of the Rock. This is the exact area that the Genizah documents from Egypt show the Jewish authorities wished to live (to be near their Temple) in the time of Omar, the Second Caliph (638 C.E.).

However, with the period of the Crusades, things begin to change. After a period of 50 years (from 1099 to 1154 C.E.) during which no Jewish person was allowed into the City of Jerusalem, we then have records that a few Jews began to return to Jerusalem.
It was only at this time (around 1054 C.E.) that some Jewish people started to imagine that the Christian and Muslim identification of the Dome of the Rock for the site of the former Temples might have relevance.
This was first mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela. It was this Jewish traveler in about 1169 C.E., who first suggested that the region of the Dome of the Rock should be considered the site of the former Temples.
This was a great error, but within a hundred years after Benjamin Jews came to believe it...

The Jews from the time of Benjamin of Tudela (1069 C.E.) until the rise of the Ottoman Empire (1517 C.E.) showed not the slightest attention to the Western Wall as a place holy and sanctified to them.
It was a Christian holy spot for many years. Then it was cleaned up by the Muslims to become a holy site to them. And eventually, the Jewish authorities felt it was also proper for them to recognize it – but they were the last to do so in Jerusalem.
Up to the time of Rabbi Isaac Luria the Jewish custom (for almost the previous 400 years) was to assemble at the Eastern Wall at the Gate of Mercy (or, on the Mount of Olives) and pray westward toward the Dome of the Rock. They adored a balustrade they thought was the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies.
But Rabbi Isaac Luria (born in Jerusalem in A.D. 1534.) changed this.

The ordinary Jewish people in the sixteenth century had no idea how wrong his geographical identifications were. They accepted his teachings altogether because he was to them a holy man of the first rank.
And in his endeavor to select former unmarked graves of early Rabbis of the past, and also to show holy places long forgotten by the Jews, he had a hand in determining the Wailing Wall as being a holy place for the Jews.
It appears that Luria was the first person in Jewish history (450 years ago) to point out the present "Western Wall" (the "Wailing Wall") as the place to assemble for the Jewish people and where they ought to worship God.


Read also: Unesco & the Temple


Iran to Host Int'l Association of Science Parks in 2018
FARS News, 7-10-2017

Iran will host the International Association of Science Parks World Conference (IASP) in 2018, an official said on Saturday.
"Last Year, a delegation from Iran, including Deputy Science Minister Dr. Ahmad Vahidi and presidents of 20 science and technology parks, participated in the IASP conference and it was unanimously decided that the next meeting of the Association be held in Iran in 2018," Director-General of the Science Ministry for Planning of Technical Affairs Khosro Piri said.
He added that the event will be held at Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT) in Central Iran.
IASP is a worldwide network of innovation which connects the professionals managing science, technology and research parks (STPs) and other areas of innovation and provides services that further promote the growth and effectiveness for all members.
IASP is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The IASP World Conference is held annually.

International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP):
IASP mission is to be the global network for science parks and areas of innovation, and to drive growth, internationalisation and effectiveness for its members.

Since the initiation of science parks and technology business incubators in the Islamic Republic of Iran, science parks and technology incubators have played an important role in Iranian National Development Plans.
Isfahan Science & Technology Town (ISTT) is the pioneering science town and one of the most successful in the country.
ISTT is pleased to host 35th IASP world conference on Science Parks and Areas of Innovation for the first time in Iran from 2-5 September 2018. ISTT land is adjacent to Isfahan University of Technology.

Jesus & The Age of Aquarius

As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.
Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house,
‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’
He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover..
New Testament - Luke 22 (The Last Supper).

If we are moving into the Aquarian Age it is often associated with the “New Age” as Aquarius rules all things non-traditional, non-conforming, rebellious, questioning, technological and scientific. Aquarius rules electricity, computers, airplanes, flight, democracy, humanitarian efforts and astrology.

‘Iran, Turkey to stop new Israeli scenario’
Tehran Times, October 5, 2017

TEHRAN – Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said on Tuesday that Iran and Turkey, as two influential countries in the Mideast region, will stop new scenario of 'the Zionist regime of Israel'.
“The U.S. and Israel have put a strategy of disintegrating the regional countries on their agenda after the failure of the Daesh scenario, but Iran and Turkey, as two important and influential regional countries, will not let them enact the new scenario,” he said during a meeting with Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar in Tehran.
Hatami noted, “Developments in the region during the past years have served the interests of the Zionist regime and harmed the world of Islam and have marginalized the issue of Palestine.”
He also said that protecting the regional countries’ territorial integrity is Iran’s principled policy.
“Cooperation among Iran, Turkey and Iraq can be effective and helpful in establishing stability and security in the region and countering division seeking actions,” he added.
Elsewhere, Hatami said that Iran attaches great importance to Turkey in its foreign policy.
Akar said that Iran-Turkey cooperation helps the regional peace and stability. He also said that Turkey supports territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria and is against any move to change borders.


Turkey conducting landmark anti-terror operation in Syria's Idlib, Erdoğan says
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 7-10-2017

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that Turkey was conducting a "landmark" counterterror operation in Syria's Idlib.
Speaking at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party)'s consultative meeting in western Turkey's Afyonkarahisar, the president said: "Today a landmark operation is underway in Idlib, and this will continue. We will never allow a terror corridor along our Syrian border."
Erdoğan said that Turkey aimed to provide security for Idlib by extending the area cleared from terrorists in Operation Euphrates Shield, and added that operations in the region would continue.
The president also underlined that Turkey would not allow separatist operations in Iraq and Syria, just as "we haven't allowed such operations within our borders."
After addressing the audience at AK Party's consultative meeting, Erdoğan told press representatives that Turkish soldiers had not yet entered Syria's Idlib and were not yet involved in the operation, adding that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was currently conducting the operation in the region.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is currently supporting the FSA from within Turkey's borders, while Russian forces are providing air support to the operation, Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan last month said that Turkey would deploy troops in Syria's northwest Idlib province as part of a de-escalation agreement brokered by Russia in August.


Adel al-Jubeir: "Saudi Arabia will not let anyone finance
terrorism and spread the ideology of hatred"
TASS Russian News Agency, October 08, 2017

Saudi Arabia will not let anyone finance terrorism and spread the ideology of hatred, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at a news conference for Russian media.

“I can see a new bin Laden being created. He’s also Saudi, and he’s now being treated as a rebel: Abdullah al-Muhaysini. It’s really strange how history repeats itself.” Iranian official, april 2015

"We will not let anyone spread the ideology of hatred, to finance those kind of ideology or terrorism," he said. "Our approach to this problem has been very strict: we have dismissed several thousand of imams from mosques for extremism, we modernize our educational system in order to rule out the possibility of misinterpretation of texts."
He said that Riyadh was set to cooperate with Moscow in the fight against terrorism.

"Lots of militants from both Russia and Saudi Arabia are fighting for the Islamic State," the Saudi top diplomat said.
"They pose a threat for our countries and for other states, from where they came from. So, we have strong interest in cooperation."
At the same time, al-Jubeir accused Qatar of financing terrorism in various countries in a bid to intervene into domestic affairs of those states.

"We are convinced that there are certain principles that all countries must stick to: [they must] say "no" to terrorism, the financing of terrorism, extremism and propaganda of hatred, [as well as] attempts to interfere into domestic affairs of other states," he said .
"We expect those demands to be met by Qatar.".

Flashback - Bashar al-Assad: "Real revolutions
are led by intellectual and ideological elites"
By The Syrian Observer, 5-7-2013

President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview o the local newspaper al-Thawra, in which he claimed that his opponents have “used up all their tools” and failed to overthrow the government.

power to the street, or: the western backed anti-intellectual revolution

Interviewer: Mr President. You first stated that what is happening in Syria is not a revolution... What made you say that it was not a revolution from the inception?

President Assad: From a historical perspective, any genuine revolution is purely internal and cannot be linked externally by any means, as manifested by the Russian, French and even the Iranian revolutions.
Real revolutions are intrinsic, spontaneous, and are led by intellectual and ideological elites. What occurred in Syria since the outset of the crisis was flagrant external interference.
There were attempts to hide this, but it has become absolutely clear.
Secondly, the real revolution of 1963 was a revolution that empowered the country, society and human values.
It promoted science and knowledge by building thousands of schools, it brought light to the Urban and rural areas of Syria by building electricity lines and networks, it strengthened the economy by providing job opportunities according to competencies. It supported the wider foundations of society including farmers, labourers and skilled-workers. ...
Revolutions are about building countries and societies, not about destroying them; so how can we call what is happening in Syria a revolution?
Attempts to package the events on the ground as a part of a revolution have been futile from the beginning. ....


"Anyone who thinks that the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are campaigning against Syria for the cause of reform is living in a dream world.
Every wild accusation made by activists and dutifully reported by the media is grist to their mill. They don't want the violence to end. They want it continue until the Syrian government is destroyed.... In their grey suits and pastel ties, these people are as crazy as any fascist in a brown uniform." Jeremy Salt, 16-1-2012

Iranian FM Javad Zarif to Donald Trump:
"Negotiating international agreements is no fun like real estate deals"
Syria Times, 7-10-2017

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reiterated that "it is none the business of anybody other than the Syrian people to decide the future of Syria, pointing out that from the very beginning, Tehran's political plan has been based on "supporting ceasefire, inclusive government, inclusive national unity government, constitutional reform and elections in Syria."

During an interview published by News Week Zarif stressed that Iran has presence in Syria at the request of the Syrian government to support the country in its war on terrorist organizations like Daesh, asserting that Tehran has had a consistent policy of opposing extremism regardless of where it occurs.
"We will not stay in Syria any longer than we are welcome. We have this policy of not going anywhere uninvited, unlike others," he said, with reference to America and a few other countries.

On Iranian support for Hizbollah, Zarif said "we never supported extremists. We never supported Daesh, Nusra, Al-Qaeda, Taliban. You’re talking about Hezbollah? Do you condone Israel’s occupation of Lebanon?
It was the first time in Lebanese and Arab history that Israel had to withdraw, was pushed back from Arab and Islamic territory.
So let’s see whether resisting occupation, resisting foreign aggression, would be tantamount to (being) an instrument of instability; or whether occupation, aggression, usurping other people’s lands — that is their definition of instability."
He affirmed that "Iran is not a threat to anybody. I believe Israel’s threat comes from its own actions.
I believe Israel has used Iran as a smokescreen to continue its expansion, its policies, its violations of the rights of Palestinians..
Iran is not the problem. Iran is not an impediment to the resolution of these problems. Iran has never threatened to take military action against anybody except in self-defense. If anybody dares to attack us, they will receive a huge response."

He stressed that Iran is not putting itself on a collision course with anybody, noting that "others may be putting themselves on that course. I believe they are putting themselves on a collision course with the international community."
Iran has lived with pressure and sanctions in the past. It has not broken Iran’s determination to pursue its interests, which are in line with international norms and international obligations.
We will never pursue a nuclear weapons option, but we have options within international law that are available in the agreement; options that are available if Iran decides to walk away from the agreement in response to a US violation.
The Iranian top diplomat pointed out that Iran doesn't expect the United States to interfere in its internal affairs, and it, at the same time, doesn't not interfere in the US internal affairs.
He said he hopes President Trump realizes that negotiating international agreements is no fun like real estate deals.


Murat Arslan awarded Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017
NEWS.am, 09.10.2017

Former Rapporteur of the Turkish Constitutional Court Murat Arslan has been awarded the 'Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017'. The winner was named during the first day of the PACE autumn session.
Murat Arslan is in detention in Turkey and could not get the award himself.
The nominee, in detention since 2016 is a former well-known and reputed Rapporteur of the Turkish Constitutional Court and President of the now dissolved Association for the Union of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV). He has always been a supporter of the independence of the judiciary.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry slammed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for awarding a senior Gülenist with a human rights prize Monday.
A statement released by the ministry said offering the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize to Murat Arslan, the former president of the now dissolved Association for the Union of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV), was "wrong and unacceptable."
Arslan has been detained as the result of evidence that reveals his strong ties and membership to the Gulen movement.
The ministry accused PACE of "aiding the circles that support terrorism" and betraying "the ideals of democracy and human rights" by presenting Arslan, a terrorism suspect, as a human rights defender. (Daily Saba, 9-10-2017)

Murat Arslan, President of the Association of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV), was arrested on October 26, 2016, on charge of “being a member of an armed terrorist organization in accordance with Article 314/2 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK).
The Progressive Lawyers Association Ankara Office said: Arslan had been an honorable judge who stood against injustice his entire life - “The witch hunt against leftists, intellectuals and opponents has started.”
The union in its statement pointed out that associating Murat Arslan and YARSAV with the Gülen Community would be wrong. (Bianet, 27-10-2016)

The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly, in partnership with the Vaclav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, "to reward outstanding civil society action in defense of human rights in Europe and beyond," according to the PACE website.

Flashback: Havel denounces 'atheist civilisation'
Andrew Brown, The Guardian, 13 October 2010

Václav Havel made a perfectly extraordinary speech yesterday, condemning ours as "the first atheist civilisation", which "has lost its connection with the infinite and with eternity".
"Havel was speaking at a conference which focusses on architecture; but he sees exurban sprawl as the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual disgrace:

"...not only a globally spreading short-sightedness, but also the swollen self-consciousness of this civilisation, whose basic attributes include the supercilious idea that we know everything and what we don't yet know we'll soon find out, because we know how to go about it.
We are convinced that this supposed omniscience of ours which proclaims the staggering progress of science and technology and rational knowledge in general, permits us to serve anything that is demonstrably useful, or that is simply a source of measurable profit, anything that induces growth and more growth and still more growth, including the growth of agglomerations.
But with the cult of measurable profit, proven progress and visible usefulness there disappears respect for mystery and along with it humble reverence for everything we shall never measure and know, not to mention the vexed question of the infinite and eternal, which were until recently the most important horizons of our actions.

We have totally forgotten what all previous civilisations knew: that nothing is self-evident."
"Strangeness, unnaturalness, mystery, inconceivability have been shifted out of the world of serious thought into the dubious closets of suspicious people. Until they are released and allowed to return to our minds things will not go well."

Erdogan, Gulen & the revival of Islam
Umar Farooq, Boston Review, 20-1-2016

Once, it was democracy that brought Gülen and Erdoğan together.
The two religious men wanted to change the Turkish Republic through the ballot box, and, in 2002, they did just that.
Gülen wanted to practice Islam his own way, inspired by Said Nursî, a Kurdish military commander who fought, like Ataturk, to create a Turkish state.
But Nursî later turned against Ataturk’s secular project.
A passionate exponent of Nursî’s views, Gülen helped attract millions of educated, conservative Muslims from the countryside to sometimes-underground study circles, where they pored over the Kurdish leader’s arguments against atheism.

Said Nursî was a Kurdish Sunni Muslim theologian. He wrote the Risale-i Nur Collection, a body of Qur'anic commentary exceeding six thousand pages. Believing that modern science and logic was the way of the future, he advocated teaching religious sciences in secular schools and modern sciences in religious schools.
Nursi inspired a religious movement that has played a vital role in the revival of Islam in Turkey and now numbers several millions of followers worldwide.

Gülen’s movement, Hizmet, didn’t seek to confront the secular state.
Instead of fighting the White Turks, Hizmet wanted to replace them. The movement thus founded some 4,000 tutoring centers, which prepared 1.2 million students for the exams they would need to pass in order to enter the police and judiciary.
Many Hizmet members formed their own news outlets, opening papers such as Zaman, to counter a traditionally secular media landscape.
That strategy paid off in 2002, as the AKP won a historic election with widespread support.
Hizmet backed the AKP directly, and its influence —through thousands of schools and some of the country’s biggest banks, TV stations, newspapers, and trade associations— was felt in the party’s appeal across ethnic and political lines.
The AKP captured not only religious conservatives but also leftists, secularists fed up with the previous government’s illiberal methods, and Kurdish and Alevi minority groups.
The AKP relied on Gülen’s extensive network of media outlets, prosecutors, and judges to expose opponents in the armed forces and bring cases against them.
But the AKP-Gülen alliance didn’t last. Confident that it had most of the population’s support, the AKP at once set about realizing its dream of political Islam.
Gülen, meanwhile, advocated smaller, more incremental reforms—hesitation that AKP supporters construed as betrayal.

One area of discord was the always-contentious place of the headscarf, which, under secular rule, had been banned in schools. After the AKP came to power, religious Muslims campaigned to eliminate the restriction, but female Gülen followers opted to remove the headscarf in schools rather than challenge the law.
The enmity between the two groups mounted further in 2011, when electronic bugs, apparently planted by Gülen’s supporters, were discovered in the offices of Erdoğan and other AKP leaders.
In June 2013 the conflict came to a head. When police killed three protesters critical of the AKP and arrested thousands more during sit-ins at Istanbul’s Gezi Park and elsewhere in the country, Gülen issued a statement of support for the demonstrators and berated the ruling party for the crackdown.
Erdoğan hit back, threatening to use the AKP’s parliamentary majority to push through a law that would close Gülen’s tutoring centers. ...
Gülen’s current trial stems from that episode. Along with fellow defendants, the elder cleric is accused of membership in a terrorist organization that sought to bring down the government...

“Some of the Gülen sympathizers who have been charged have engaged in criminal activity,” Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based researcher with the Silk Road Studies Program, said of the recent prosecutions of Gülen supporters. “But I think a lot of those who are being targeted are innocent both legally and morally. They are being prosecuted because they follow Gülen rather than because they have done anything wrong.”
Celil Sağır (Zaman editor) finds the conflict with Gülen ironic, given that Erdoğan himself rose to popularity after he was jailed in 1997 for reciting a poem that secularist authorities said was aimed at toppling the government.
“Now he is doing the same to Hizmet,” Sağır said.
It is “unfair and un-Islamic to call Hizmet a terrorist organization.... And, you know, it hurts to see this being done by people who call themselves Muslims.”

Palestinian unity closer now than at any time in last decade
Yossi Mekelberg | Arab News, 10 October 2017

In 1987, during the First Intifada, Ahmed Yassin (1937-2004) co-founded Hamas with Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, originally calling it the "paramilitary wing" of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, and becoming its spiritual leader.

Yassin was killed in an Israeli attack on 22 March 2004. Abdel Aziz Rantisi was announced as the new head of Hamas. On 17 April 2004, Rantisi was killed by the Israeli Air Force.

The ongoing disunity among the Palestinians is a major obstacle to their ability to politically resist the Israeli occupation and gain international credibility.
Understandably, and healthily, the forces who have struggled for Palestinian self-determination have never been monolithic. Throughout the years they have reflected the diversity within Palestinian society in terms of views, values and also geographical dispersion.
However, until the appearance in the 1980s of the religious fundamentalist elements, Palestinian society and its representative organs have been in essence secular and more coherent in term of their objectives.
The emergence of Hamas, and to a lesser extent Islamic terrorism, were watersheds on the Palestinian political scene and dramatically changed it:
Since then it has developed independently of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which for decades was regarded as the sole representative of the Palestinian people and their cause...
In 2007, there emerged dual governments, one in the West Bank led by Fatah, and the other in Gaza led by Hamas. Since then no elections have been held in Palestine, leaving both leaderships suffering from a severe legitimacy deficit.
This abnormal situation has ended up serving some vested interests among the Palestinians and those in Israel who are using it as a pretext for not reaching a comprehensive and just peace.

The most recent Egyptian diplomatic effort to reach this elusive reconciliation stands a better chance than previous attempts, as it takes place at a point in time when the interests of Fatah and Hamas, as well as a number of regional powers, are in alignment...
Reconciliation in the fullest meaning of the word might be still a remote aspiration. Yet, restarting a political process which results in a single political system for both Gaza and the West Bank is of vital importance for both parts of Palestine.


Former ISIS-linked FSA commander establishes
military academy to train fighters to defeat Assad
By Leith Fadel, Al-Masdar News, 10/10/2017

The former Islamic State linked Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander, ‘Abdel-Jabbar ‘Okeidi, announced on Tuesday the opening of a military academy to train new militants to ‘liberate’ Syria from the Assad government.
‘Okeidi stated in a video released, today, that the academy will be named in honor of the deceased Islamist leader, ‘Abdel-Qader Saleh – he was militant commander of Liwaa Al-Tawheed from the northern Aleppo town of Mar’e.
The former Syrian Army officer, ‘Okeidi, first became famous for his defection and then joining forces with the Islamic State during the siege of the Mennagh Military Airport in the northern country of Aleppo in early 2013.
Following the capture of the Mennagh Airport, ‘Okeidi called the Islamic State terrorists his brothers and a key ally in the battle against the Syrian government.

Flashback: ISIS, The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army
September 18, 2015 by Brad Hoff

Benjamin Hall, journalist and author of 'Inside ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army', was embedded in Northern Syria during part of the 2012-2013 siege of Menagh, even staying in FSA camps outside the base as attacks were underway.
At that time the Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo was the US/UK officially sanctioned command structure in the region headed by FSA Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi, described in international press at the time as “a main recipient” of Western aid....


syria 2013: Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi (FSA) & 'brother Jandal' (ISIL/S)


Russian aircraft destroyed IS economic infrastructure in Syria
"Actions of the Pentagon and the coalition require clarification"
TASS Russian News Agency, October 10, 2017

Militants of the Islamic State no longer have sources of financing in Syria for purchasing weapons and ammunition and recruiting mercenaries, the group’s economic infrastructure in that country has been destroyed, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Tuesday.
"The Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed the economic infrastructure of ISIL in Syria and foil any attempts by terrorists to resume the production and illegal sale of hydrocarbons in Syria.
ISIL no longer has the sources of financing for purchasing weapons and ammunition and recruiting mercenaries in Syria," he said.

"The ongoing supply of terrorists from Iraq triggers serious questions concerning the objectives of operations against terrorists conducted in the region by US aircraft and the so-called international coalition," Konashenkov stressed.
Militants of the Islamic State group control a larger territory in the western part of Iraq and this area continues growing, he went on.
"In the western part of Iraq, from where the terrorist forces are arriving to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River (where the Russian Aerospace Forces are not operating), the IS-controlled territory continues growing, and it is manifold larger than in Syria," Konashenkov said.
The United States and the coalition led by it have substantially reduced the intensity of strikes on the Islamic State in Iraq with the beginning of the Syrian army’s operation to liberate the Deir ez-Zor province, he added.
"Strangely enough, this decrease in the intensity of strikes in Iraq has coincided with the redeployment of large terrorist forces from Iraq’s border areas to Deir ez-Zor that are now trying to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
Konashenkov added that "the actions of the Pentagon and the coalition require clarification.

Flirtation with terrorists is always dangerous
Moscow urged the US side to explain selective blindness
Sputnik News, 11-10-2017

The Russian Defense Ministry has urged "the US side to explain its selective blindness regarding militants" operating near US forces in Syria.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that truce in the southern de-escalation zone in Syria could be undermined after the relocation of 600 militants and two convoys with medical aid into the area.
According to the spokesman, on October 2-3 a group of 600 militants, previously based in the Rukban refugee camp, located in the American-controlled al-Tanf zone, headed westward in SUVs, and after covering some 300 kilometers entered the southern zone of de-escalation through a former border control point at the Syria-Jordan border in Daraa.
The spokesman underscored the US would solely bear all the responsibility for sabotaging the peace process in Syria.
In his turn, Director of the North America Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Georgiy Borisenko told Sputnik that US actions near the al-Tanf base in Syria are reminiscent of an attempt to divide the war-torn state:
"Of course, we have a lot of questions about what the Americans are doing in Syria... " "They even establish certain zones, for example, in the al-Tanf area, where they refuse to allow the forces of the legitimate government..."
He recalled that the Russian Defense Ministry, "on the basis of available objective data, draws attention to the fact that in fact, the Americans and the opposition units oriented toward them are actually not fighting Daesh militants.
"We are surprised about it. We will further monitor the situation, but we proceed from the assumption that any flirtation with terrorists is always dangerous and will turn against those who play such games," Borisenko pointed out.


Nasrallah: US Not in a Hurry to Eliminate Daesh
Syria Times, Sunday, 08 October 2017

BEIRUT, (ST) - Hizbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has stressed that the United States is not in a hurry to eliminate Daesh...
In a speech during the commemoration ceremony of two Hezbollah martyrs, Nasrallah said the battle against Daesh won't end until the terror group is completely destroyed and has no existence, pointing out that the United States is the party which prevents and delays the battle with Daesh because the terror group's mission in exhausting the region's countries and destroying its armies has not finished yet for the Americans.
Nasrallah went on to say that the United States wanted the battle against Daesh in Iraq to last for 10 or 20 years in order to blackmail the Iraqis, establish military bases and sell arms, but the Iraqis' determination to get rid of terrorism helped defeat terrorists there.
He added that the US has done the same with Lebanon by putting pressure on the Lebanese state and army as to prevent them from launching the battle against the terror group.

Nasrallah reiterated that the new American sanctions on Hizbollah won't change the party's stance on confronting the American hegemony in the region.
Saudi minister Thamer al-Sabhan's call for an international coalition against Hizbollah is a clear acknowledgment on the strength of Hizbollah... He affirmed that the resistance axis is much stronger nowadays.
Nasrallah made it clear that the problem of the US with Iran was not its nuclear file, but Iran's essential role in bringing down the Saudi-US scheme in the region.
Nasrallah unleashed a new scheme against Iran and Hezbollah.
We are before a new scheme in the region, the Saudi-US scheme, and at the forefront of those who they want to get rid of is Iran: There’s a new talk on a new policy in battling Hezbollah, even Russia won’t be excluded...

US offers rewards for Hezbollah officials
Al-Jazeera, 10-10-2017

The US is offering multimillion-dollar rewards for two high-level officials of the Lebanese group Hezbollah as the US administration prepares to unveil a strategy to counter Iran's perceived regional influence.
The US will pay up to $7m for information leading to the arrest of Talal Hamiyah, head of Hezbollah's foreign operations, and up to $5m for Fuad Shukr, a senior Hezbollah military officer, the US state department said on Tuesday.
The rewards are the first offered by the US for Hezbollah officials in a decade, Nathan Sales, the US counterterrorism coordinator, said.
"Today's rewards are another step to increase the pressure on them and their organisation," said Sales.
Sales indicated that as part of President Donald Trump's soon-to-be-unveiled Iran strategy, the US would press countries to designate Hezbollah as an international terrorist group.
"Additionally, some countries have chosen to designate only Hezbollah's military wing... ; but that is a false distinction.
Make no mistake. Hezbollah has no political wing. It is a single organisation, a terrorist organisation, and it is rotten to its core."

Winning support for an intensified campaign against Hezbollah could prove difficult for the administration. Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's fragile coalition government and commands enormous support for the social services it provides.


US officials: Hezbollah, Threat to US Homeland



"The Iranian regime has built and bankrolled Hezbollah to foment instability
throughout the region and across the world." Nathan Sales, CNN News, 11-10-2017


Hizbullah Says New U.S. Measures Attempt to 'Demonize' Group
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 11-10-2017

A multimillion dollar reward offered by the Trump administration in return for information leading to the arrest of two senior operatives of Hizbullah is part of ongoing U.S. efforts to "demonize" the group, a Hizbullah official said Wednesday. The new U.S. measures, including recent sanctions, will not affect Hizbullah's operational activities, the official told The Associated Press.
The rewards are the first offered by the United States for Hizbullah leaders in a decade, and come against the backdrop of heightened U.S.-Iran tensions resulting from President Donald Trump's threats to scuttle the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
An avowed critic of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, Trump has called it one of America's "worst and most one-sided transactions" ever. U.S. officials have said he is looking for ways to pressure Tehran.
Under the new policy, the White House is focusing on the Revolutionary Guard and Hizbullah.

The Hizbullah official dismissed the accusations, saying the United States is "the last state" to designate people on terror lists, accusing it of supporting terrorist organizations and sponsoring states and regimes "that have a long history in financing and supporting terrorism."
"It is part of the continuous efforts to demonize Hizbullah. They are false accusations that will not have any effect on the operational activities of Hizbullah," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with party regulations.
Hizbullah has sent thousands of its fighters to Syria to shore up President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria's ongoing civil war and also has been fighting the Islamic State group both inside Syria and along the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Flashback: Eighty-two percent of Syrians and 85 percent of Iraqis
said that IS is a US-made group, Al-Araby al-Jadeed, 16-9-2015

ORB International's survey of 1,365 Syrians across the whole country, even in parts under IS control, has shown that the majority of people prefer a political solution to the ongoing civil war, while 22 percent think IS is a positive influence on the country.
Seventy percent of Syrians said they were opposed to splitting up the country and wanted a political solution to the crisis, with a majority thinking a diplomatic solution was possible to end the war.
They thought that Syrians could set aside their differences and live side by side again, while 74 percent of Iraqis said their country should not be divided into autonomous regions.

In Syria, the majority of people interviewed said they believe that the situation is worsening with 21 percent saying they prefer life now to what life was like under the full control of Bashar al-Assad - 40 percent preferred life four years ago and 35 percent said life is essentially the same.

Eighty-two percent of Syrians and 85 percent of Iraqis said that IS is a US-made group, with 75 percent of Iraqis also believing that former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been another driving force in the creation of the terrorist group.
Nearly 80 percent of Syrians said that the war has become worse with the influx of foreign fighters.


We are now in the 21st century.
On the US's current political mind
Cemil Ertem, Daily Sabah Colums, 11-10-2017

“The US-led Western alliance, while acting as an advocate of democracy, rule of law and human rights in individual countries, is acting in the international arena from the opposite position, rejecting the democratic principle of the sovereign right of states enshrined in the UN Charter and trying to decide for others what is good and what is bad." Sergei Lavrov, UN, 27-9-2014

Does the U.S. have a coherent foreign policy on the Pacific region, Eurasia or even Europe that takes the new era into consideration?
I do not think so. The U.S. is making decisions on all of these hot and important regions with old Cold War reflexes without understanding the new era or its power and situation relating to itself, its allies and the future.
Why is this so?
Can the political mind of a state, which has been the superpower of the world since World War II, regress to such an extent?
It can only regress under one condition. If the U.S. thinks that it still lives in the world of the 20th century and determines its allies and enemies accordingly, its political mind has become a thing of the past and the decisions based on the reflexes of this mind will harm the U.S. itself first, then the whole system.

The U.S. was the absolute winner of World War II.
All of the institutions in the new world order established under the leadership of the U.S. after World War II are based on the idea that the U.S.'s interests reflect all those of developed countries.
From 1947 onward, developing countries, including Turkey, were confined to the stereotypical economic prescriptions of the IMF...
After successive crises in the 1990s and 2000s, these countries found that the stereotypical IMF prescriptions did not work and were the cause of the crises and they began to implement relatively unique economic policies.
As a result of all of this, we are faced with a global systemic crisis today that is deeper than the 1929 crisis.
The 1929 crisis was overcome with a world war and U.S. hegemony.
The current crisis is precisely the crisis of the old system, which was built upon the economic and political hegemony of the U.S., and is unlikely to end without overthrowing the old system.
As long as the U.S. continues to behave in line with post-World War II conditions, the crisis will continue to deepen.
Unlike before, there is no one-dimensional detente based on only two countries, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. There is now an opportunity for multilateral partnerships, regional economic unions and relevant high-level technology exchanges on all levels.

Every step taken by the U.S. now is based on the old rationality and is not rational, feasible and sustainable today.
In other words, the political "mind" of the U.S. has remained in the previous century. According to Henry Kissinger, the 20th century was the U.S.' century, but we are now in the 21st century.


US to lose trust of nations if walks away from Iran deal
Press TV, Thu Oct 12, 2017

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says Washington’s possible withdrawal from the Iran deal will send a message to the international community that the US is not trustworthy when it comes to deal making.
In a Wednesday interview with PBS channel, Federica Mogherini highlighted Iran’s full compliance with the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and said, “We have the international community strongly behind the full implementation of the deal.”
Once that we have an agreement that is functioning, that is working, that is delivering, the worst thing you can do is trying to dismantle it, also because you would show the way to others that making deals actually is not worth it, because the message that America would send to the rest of the world is that America cannot be trusted upon,” she said.
The US, Mogherini added, would lose global trust “because a deal that America voted for just two years ago in the UN Security Council with a resolution unanimously adopted, a deal that America helped to shape enormously, enormously, would be rejected by the same country.”
“If we pass the message that with every change of administration in Washington or elsewhere deals are thrown away and renegotiated, no one would negotiate with any administration ever and any deal would be exposed to be renegotiated every term.
This is not the way of making deals, not in foreign policy, not in private businesses and I think [US] President [Donald] Trump understands that perfectly well,” she said.


U.S. Withdraws From UNESCO, Saying It’s Biased Against Israel
By Nick Wadhams, Bloomberg News, 12-10-2017

The Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the United Nations cultural organization, saying it’s biased against Israel and citing its decision to admit the Palestinian territories as a member state.
The decision to quit the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which the U.S. co-founded in 1945, “was not taken lightly,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Thursday. She cited the need for “fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”
The U.S. hasn’t been paying dues to UNESCO since 2011, when President Barack Obama’s administration stopped providing about $72 million a year after the Paris-based organization accepted Palestine as a full member.

At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. “This is why I regret the withdrawal of the United States.”

The organization's decision to designate Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian heritage site this year, as well as resolutions that seemed to minimize Jewish ties to Jerusalem, prompted accusations of anti-Israel bias, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing the organization of promoting “fake history.”
Netanyahu on Thursday welcomed what he called the “brave and moral” U.S. decision. He has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare for Israel’s own departure from the group..
The U.S. will remain a non-member observer state “in order to contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise,” Nauert said. Withdrawal from the organization won’t take effect until Dec. 31, 2018.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

Palestine Foreign Ministry to Sputnik:
US Pullout From UNESCO 'Highly Political'
Sputnik News, 13-10-2017

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has told Sputnik it laments that Washington has decided to quit UNESCO over "anti-Israel bias," but noted that the organization will keep operating.
"We lament the move, that intends to limit its scope of operation," the foreign ministry spokesperson stated. "We are confident that the organization can survive such behavior, in the same way, it survived previous similar intimidations in the past, and will maintain protecting the total independence and professionalism of the organization."
The spokesperson slammed Washington for using its membership in the organization as a tool to push through the interests of Israel that has occupied Palestinian territories in flagrant violation of international law.
"The US government decides to stand by the occupiers, the violators of the same principles and laws that the UNESCO as a UN organization was entrusted to protect."

The Palestinians have been in a state of conflict with the Israelis since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. In recent years, the conflict has been exacerbated by Israel's construction activities in East Jerusalem, considered by many countries as the territory of Palestine. Earlier this year UNESCO adopted a resolution that called Israel an “occupant power.” After that Tel Aviv slashed its donations to the UN.

The time has come to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law
Palestine’s UN representative says Israel should comply with international law
Mohammed Baderon, MFA Palestine, October 12, 2017

NEW YORK, October 12, 2017 (WAFA) – Palestine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour Wednesday urged the United Nations to demand from Israel to comply with international law and resolutions and stop building illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Mansour sent three identical letters to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the Security Council (France) and the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Israel’s continued provocative statements and its plans to build and expand settlements throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, in direct and serious violation of international law and Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016)...
Mansour said the international community should demand Israel’s compliance with international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as all relevant UN resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and be ready to hold it accountable for its acts if these violations continue...
“The time has come to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law, where there is no state above the law, including Israel,” Mansour concluded his letter.

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