Tensions soared this month when Lebanon's Saudi-allied Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in a television broadcast from Riyadh, citing the influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and risks to his life. Hezbollah called the move an act of war engineered by Saudi authorities, an accusation they denied. Hariri has since suspended his resignation.
Saudi Arabia has launched thousands of air strikes in a 2-1/2-year-old war in neighbouring Yemen to defeat the Houthi movement that seized broad swaths of the country. Salman told the Times that the war was going in its favor and that its allies controlled 85 percent of Yemen's territory.
Shoura Council speaker: Saudi Arabia’s ‘unshakeable
start of the 'arab' spring: muslim brotherhood, salafists,
The legal system of Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia, Islamic law derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the traditions) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The sources of Sharia also include Islamic scholarly consensus developed after Muhammad's death. Its interpretation by judges in Saudi Arabia is influenced by the texts of the literalist Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence.
Hanbali school is a strict traditionalist school. It's considered the most conservative school of thought. Ibn Hanbal taught that the Qur'an is uncreated due to Muslim belief that it is the word of God (the absolute truth) , and the word of God is not created (so it cannot be changed by men).
Uniquely in the Muslim world, Sharia has been adopted by Saudi Arabia in an uncodified form. This, and the lack of judicial precedent, has resulted in considerable uncertainty in the scope and content of the country's laws.
The government therefore announced its intention to codify Sharia in 2010, but this is yet to be implemented. Sharia has also been supplemented by regulations issued by royal decree covering modern issues such as intellectual property and corporate law.
Nevertheless, Sharia remains the primary source of law, especially in areas such as criminal, family, commercial and contract law, and the Qur'an and the Sunnah are declared to be the country's constitution.
In the areas of land and energy law the extensive proprietorial rights of the Saudi state (in effect, the Saudi royal family) constitute a significant feature.
Trials in Saudi Arabia are bench trials. Courts in Saudi Arabia observe few formalities and the country's first criminal procedure code, issued in 2001, has been largely ignored. King Abdullah, in 2007, introduced a number of significant judicial reforms, although they are yet to be fully implemented.
Criminal law punishments in Saudi Arabia include public beheading, hanging, stoning, amputation and lashing.
Serious criminal offences include not only internationally recognized crimes such as murder, rape, theft and robbery, but also apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery.
In addition to the regular police force, Saudi Arabia has a secret police, the Mabahith, and "religious police", the Mutawa. The latter enforces Islamic social and moral norms.
Paul (New Testament) versus Legalism
John Piper (Bethlehem Baptist Church Minnesota)
When PAUL says in a NEW TESTAMENT verse that "all who rely on works of the law are under a curse," it reminds us of 1:7, 8, where he says, "There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ."
Evidently, Paul believed that there was a teaching among the churches of Galatia which was so destructive to people and so dishonoring to God that it merited a divine curse.
It was a teaching propagated not by secular humanists from Athens but by God-fearing Jewish "Christian" church members from Jerusalem.
The reason the book of Galatians has such a radical, life-changing message is that it pronounces a curse from God not on atheistic or agnostic outsiders but on professing Christians who try to serve God in a way that diminishes his grace and cultivates their own pride.
When verse 10 says that "those who rely on works of the law are under a curse," it means that they are without the Holy Spirit (Reason, Gnosis, Wisdom).
There is no Greek word for legalism. When Paul wanted to refer to the legalistic misuse of Moses' teaching, he either had to use the term "law" and trust that the context would clarify the meaning, "misuse of law"; or he had to use a phrase like "works of law" which for him always had a negative, legalistic meaning.
We know from the context of 2:18 that Paul distinguished what Moses really taught from what the Judaizers did with his teachings.
An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that the Syrian government welcomes the National Dialogue Congress, affirming that the government will attend it.
In a statement to SANA on Sunday, the source said that after the consecutive victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies which paved the way for the political track and intra-Syrian dialogue, the Syrian Arab Republic government welcomes the National Dialogue Congress which will be held in Sochi, Russia, with the participation of many segments of Syrian society, affirming that the government has agreed to attend the Congress.
The source added that the government also welcomes the results of the Congress which include a committee for discussing the current constitution and holding legislative elections afterwards with the involvement of the United Nations and based on the UN Charter which stipulates for respecting the sovereignty of states and peoples’ right to self-determination.
"Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world
Israel has considered Iran to be Israel’s major enemy since the end of the Gulf War of 1991. But why, it might be asked, did the neocons promote war with Iraq, rather than Iran, in 2003?
The neocons were in accord with Israeli thinking but planned to begin with Saddam’s Iraq, the elimination of which, they believed, would pave the way for regime change elsewhere in the Middle East. This especially included Iran, which bordered Iraq.
Despite all-out efforts by the neocons to have the U.S. attack Iran after occupying Iraq, this failed to materialize, and later President Obama moved in the opposite direction, overriding strong opposition from Israel and its American supporters, and made a deal with Iran.
Now with the Islamic State’s significant loss of territory, which the U.S. helped to bring about, Israel and its American supporters are expressing deep concern that the void left by its defeat is being filled by Iran, which supposedly threatens to attain regional hegemony.
President Trump, who takes a very negative view of the nuclear deal and describes Iran as a terrorist state, is promoting a tougher line toward Iran.
However, Israel and its American myrmidons see Trump’s hard-line position as insufficient, contending that much more must be done to effectively counter the Iranian threat.
Nonetheless, the Trump administration has designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. This puts it on the same level as al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
And Trump followed up this action by calling for stiffer sanctions against Iran. All this implies that the American goal is not only to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability but also to prevent it from developing a productive economy, which might enable it to establish a stronger conventional military force and be more effective in arming its allies.
As Joshua Landis, a professor and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, contends:
“The renewed US offensive against Iran is not so much about its nuclear capability or even its missile program; it is about Iran rollback and hobbling its economy.
Neocons nightmare: What if Israel's minority might is no longer right?
What bothers Israel is not that Iran has the military might to overwhelm it, but that Iran has the capability to defend itself to the extent that Israel could not bully it without serious consequences.
Moreover, Iran is a major financial supporter of Hamas at the present time, this support being completely restored recently after a rupture caused by significant sections of Hamas backing Sunni jihadi groups against Assad. Such outside aid helps to perpetuate the Palestinian resistance.
Without outside aid, both moral and financial, the Palestinians would be more apt to give up hope and acquiesce to whatever solution the Israeli government might offer.
The basic view of Israel’s supporters is that the U.S. must keep Iran militarily and economically weak, so that it cannot challenge, in any way, Israeli regional dominance.
But is maintaining Israel’s current degree of regional dominance—dominance that Israel is not able or willing to maintain by itself in the absence of American forceful actions—beneficial to the United States? That is, do the benefits derived from this policy outweigh its negative effects?
Most likely it is a burden to the United States, requiring it to be involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East, which alienates potential friends and makes Israel’s enemies the enemies of the U.S.
And this is a burden that the U.S. can ill afford given its extensive global military commitments and its ever- growing expenditures on social welfare matters as its population ages.
Zionism & the decadence of Judaism
Jeremy Salt, Palestine Chronicle, 17-10-2015
According to Reuters, Hariri told French broadcaster CNews that he was ready to stay on as prime minister if Hezbollah accepted to stick by the state policy of staying out of regional conflicts.
The premier, however, said he would resign if Hezbollah did not keep to that, although consultations so far had been positive.
“I think in the interest of Lebanon, Hezbollah is carrying out a positive dialogue. They know we have to remain neutral in the region,” he added in the interview recorded on Monday.
“Lebanon must distance itself from external conflicts while respecting the Charter of the League of Arab States, especially Article 8, and adopting an independent foreign policy based on Lebanon’s supreme interest and its respect for international law in order to protect its peace, stability and unity.”
Mohammed Raad, who chairs Hezbollah’s political wing Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc in the Lebanese Parliament, avoided discussing the self-distancing policy.
“We discussed protecting Lebanon, guaranteeing the independence of its decisions, and restoring political life back to normal, and all opinions were identical,” he said. “We hope to start putting them into action.”
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said: “Self-distancing means actually walking out of the region’s crises, but we will continue to say that the regime in Syria cannot stay..."
On september 12, 2017 Samir Geagea slammed Hezbollah's militias and attempts by some Lebanese political forces to normalize relations with the Assad regime. He said that the Assad regime is as bad as the ISIS extremist group.
Flashback 2011 - Violation of the AL Charter
The Arab League voted Saturday, 12 nov 2011, to suspend Syria and warned the regime could face sanctions if it does not end its crackdown against anti-government protesters.
“Article 8 of the charter of the Arab League prohibits any member country from interfering in the internal affairs [of other member states] especially with respect to regime change or form of government change.” (ChamPress 13-11-2011)
Alastair Crooke: "This summer a senior Saudi official told John Hannah, Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, that from the outset of the upheaval in Syria, the Saudi king has believed that regime change would be highly beneficial to Saudi interests.
"The king knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria."
This is today's "great game" – losing Syria...
Today Europe looks the other way, refusing to consider who Syria's combat-experienced insurgents taking such a toll of Syrian security forces truly are... Europe and the US think it is OK to "use" Islamists (including al-Qaida) to bring it about. (The Guardian 2011)
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have no problem joining the Syrian army if a federal state is awarded to the Kurds in northern Syria, a senior Rojava official said on Sunday.
Rezan Gilo, the joint chief of defense in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), told Kurdistan 24 the SDF, which is led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), would consider joining the Syrian army.
“There is no problem for our forces to join the Syrian army if a new Syrian constitution is drafted on a federal basis and the rights of all the Syrian components are reserved,” Gilo stated.
In an earlier interview, the joint president of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riad Derar, said that when a political settlement is achieved in Syria, the SDF would join the Syrian army.
“If our plans to form a federal state [in northern Syria] are accepted, then our forces will join the Syrian national army,” Derar told the media.
Recent events indicate that the Syrian Kurds are beginning to realize the hopelessness of cooperation with the American side.
Apparently, 'the Kurdish card' of Washington is bursting at the seams. Despite the fact that the U.S. plans to extend its presence in the region, the White House's intention will not clearly be directed to help the Kurds and the latter are clearly aware of this.
As a matter of fact, the unification of the Kurdish forces with the government troops of Bashar Assad will probably be the best way to solve the Kurdish problem.
The federalization will not only legitimize the rights of the Kurds, but it can also push the people of Syria to unite under the banners of government forces, whose reputation and rating are only gaining momentum day by day.
For your information:
The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS), most commonly known as Rojava, is a de facto autonomous region originating in and consisting of three self-governing cantons in northern Syria, namely Afrin Canton, Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton, as well as adjacent areas of northern Syria like Shahba region.
The region gained its de facto autonomy in 2012 as part of the ongoing Rojava conflict and the wider Civil War in Syria establishing and gradually expanding an officially secular policy based on the contemporary Western democratic confederalist principles of democratic socialism, gender equality, and ecological sustainability.
Northern Syria is polyethnic and home to sizeable ethnic Kurdish, Arab, Syriac-Assyrian and Turkmen populations, with smaller communities of ethnic Armenians, Circassians, and Chechens.
This diversity is mirrored in its constitution, society, and politics. Despite such diversity, Rojava is regarded by Kurdish nationalists as Western Kurdistan, one of the four parts of Great Kurdistan. It is also considered by Assyrians as Gozarto (meaning Upper Mesopotamia), part of the historical Syriac-Assyrian homeland.
While entertaining some foreign relations, the cantons within Rojava are not officially recognized as autonomous by the government of Syria or any international state or organization.
For their part, supporters of its constitution consider their system a model for a federalized Syria as a whole, rather than independence.
Former Mossad Chief Gad Shimron has said that Israel is a developed country, while Saudi Arabia is a country “lagging behind” in terms of development, Shehab news agency reported on Monday.
“Foreigners control the Saudi economy,” Shimron told a TV audience.
“Saudi damaged many of the files it was involved in: the Syrian file as it supported the opposition; the Yemeni file; and the economic domination of the Lebanese file. The Kingdom is a big story of failure.”
The ex-spymaster pointed out that today “nobody” speaks about the Palestinian cause in Saudi Arabia.
“Today, there is a common Satan.
It makes a common interest between Israel and Saudi. When the enemy is common, we put our hands together and work together.”
He added: “For the first time, the borders with 'the Islamic countries' are clear against Iran and the Shia.
When Israel stands with the Sunni countries, it is ready to form an alliance with them based on the proverb saying: ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’.”
However, he noted that the current alliance between Israel and the Arab states is limited to words alone.
Flashback - Saudi Arabia & The Palestinian Homeland
Russia has called on partners in Geneva to bring the Syrian opposition down to earth as its demand that President Bashar Al-Assad must go does not contribute to a constructive dialogue, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Geneva office and other Geneva-based International Organizations Alexei Borodavkin said.
“All this is very alarming and will hardly contribute to a constructive dialogue in Geneva,” Borodavkin said. “During the meeting (of representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) Russia turned to its partners at the UN and Western delegations, which have influence on the opposition, so that they try to bring the opposition down to earth as their position is not in line with the real situation,” he said.
“The document that opposition adopted in Riyadh, cited by the opposition delegation which has arrived in Geneva, is very contradictory,” Borodavkin said.
“On the one hand, the document says that the opposition is not setting any preconditions, but on the other hand, there is a demand for Bashar al-Assad’s resignation in the very beginning of the transition period.
What is that if not a precondition?” the Russian envoy said.
“They also demand that Iranian militia units lave Syria, which is also unrealistic,” Borodavkin pointed out.
“It is unclear how the opposition members plan to hold talks with representatives of the Syrian government if the delegation coming from Riyadh views them almost as criminals with whom it is impossible to talk,” he added.
A few days ago, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar Hamad Bin Jassim in an interview with the BBC announced that his country had been providing all sorts of assistance to the armed opposition groups in Syria through Turkey for years.
At the same time, Doha wasn’t alone to show its supports to anti-Assad forces, as it was joined by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE and Turkey itself.
All this began back in 2007 after Israel suffered a humiliating defeat in South Lebanon, while being unable to overcome Hezbollah’s resistance in 2006.
According to the former Qatari Prime Minister, Qatar was in charge of the so-called “Syrian Dossier” on behalf of the US and Saudi Arabia, adding that he had access to both American and Saudi paperwork on the staging of a so-called “Syrian civil war.”
Hamad Bin Jassim announced that weapons and equipment was distributed to all sorts of opposition groups via Turkey.
The former Prime Minister of Qatar announced that a total of 137 billion dollars was wasted on the attempts to topple Assad’s government since the beginning of the war, while some of these funds were stolen by various field commanders that became millionaires overnight.
In addition, considerable resources were wasted on the attempts to bribe Syria’s military brass, in attempt to persuade them in betraying their country or desert their positions. On average, a Syrian officer would receive from 15 to 30 thousand dollars for betraying his country.
The former Qatari official would announce that the ex-Prime Minister of Syria Riyad Farid Hijab was persuaded in fleeing Syria by his cousin, who had been a Jordanian resident for a long while.
For this betrayal, Riyadh would pay Hijab a handsome sum of 50 million dollars.
In addition, the former commander of the Republican Guard Manaf Tlass would trade his home state for a chance to seek support of the UAR due to his sister’s successful attempts to persuade him into leaving.
According to Hamad Bin Jassim, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri played a major role in fomenting the Syrian conflict with an extensive support of a number of pro-Saudi Lebanese officials.
In addition, the former Qatari Prime Minister mentioned the role that Iraqi Kurds played in the formenting of the so-called Syrian “civil war”, especially Massoud Barzani.
At the conclusion of the interview, he announced that his government played a big role in the destruction of Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen, while acting on Washington’s behalf.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri charged that the Syrian regime wants him killed, in an interview published Thursday in French magazine Paris Match.
"I have a lot of enemies, extremists and the Syrian regime. The latter has issued a death sentence against me. They accuse me of interference in their country," said Hariri, who was interviewed at his Beirut residence.
At Lebanese President Michel Aoun's request, Hariri has suspended his shock resignation announced from Riyadh on November 4 and returned to Beirut after a three-week absence.
He cited Iran's "grip" on his country through Lebanon's powerful Shia movement Hezbollah and threats to his life as causes of his resignation which he has suspended pending political negotiations in Beirut.
On the military victories of Bashar's regime, Hariri told Paris Match: "He has not won. It's president Putin and Rouhani who have won" with the military forces they had committed to the conflict in Syria.
The premier, who has called for Hezbollah to "disassociate" itself from conflicts such as Syria where it has fought alongside Assad's forces, said: "It is in Lebanon's interest that these (Hezbollah's) arms not be used elsewhere."
“Dialogue today has become an urgent necessity and the path of salvation,” deemed the Lebanese President Michel Aoun in his inaugural speech at the “Mediterranean Dialogue 2017” Conference, which convened in the Italian city of Rome.
“This Conference is held under the headline, ‘Dialogue of the Mediterranean’, in acknowledgement and recognition that dialogue has become an urgent necessity and a way of salvation from all that our world is floundering over today, especially terrorism which knows no limits or boundaries. For this reason, I chose to speak about terrorism, its real causes and remedies,” Aoun said in his opening speech.
“Terrorism, in terms of being a systematic violence by armed groups to change reality or to impose new equations that are often worse than existing ones, is not innovative and has been recognized by the world in various epochs and in many ways. Perhaps the terrorism that strikes our world today is the most dangerous because it is the most widespread and using the most recent weapons..."
“It is based on poverty, need and ignorance, then on an extremist and fanatic ideology that drives instincts, kills reason, paralyzes logic and provides false solutions that facilitate adaptation.
Then a state exploits all of this and finances and supports it, generating a new terrorism under a new name, which it uses to achieve its interests by striking other countries, their economy, security and stability, not minding the sufferings that may be inflicted on their peoples.
This is the typical equation for terrorist organizations,” Aoun explained.
“But, the equation says that these machines of destruction could get out of hand, and this is exactly what happened with the current terrorism.
Interview with Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun
Flashback 2012: "A suitcase full of cash"
PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron said he would draw up a list of extremist organisations to convey to Saudi Arabia after its crown prince pledged to cut their funding.
Saudi Arabia finances groups overseen by the Mecca-based Muslim World League, which for decades was charged with spreading the strict Wahhabi school of Islam around the world.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to modernise the kingdom and cleave to a more open and tolerant interpretation of Islam.
"He never did it publicly, but when I went to Riyadh (this month), he made a commitment, such that we could give him a list and he would cut the financing," Macron said during an interview with France 24 television. "I believe him, but I will follow up. Trust is built on results," Macron added.
The crown prince has already taken some steps to loosen Saudi Arabia's ultra-strict social restrictions, scaling back the role of religious morality police, permitting public concerts and announcing plans to allow women to drive next year.
The head of the Muslim World League told Reuters last week that his focus now was aimed at annihilating extremist ideology.
Flashback - Qaradawi calls for Jihad in Syria
European Union lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the bloc to slap an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military campaign against Yemen.
The non-binding resolution, which was adopted in a nearly unanimous 539-13 vote, condemned attacks against Yemeni civilians as “war crimes,” and slammed EU members for authorizing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in breach of EU laws on arms export control.
The parliament “condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing violence in Yemen and all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, which constitute war crimes,” the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said in their statement.
Referring to a similar resolution from February last year, the lawmakers called on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to launch an initiative to impose an EU arms embargo against the Riyadh regime “given the serious allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.”
The UK, France, Germany and Greece are known to have struck major arms deals with Saudi Arabia in the course of the war, which began in 2015.
Last year, France authorized arms licenses worth $18 billion to Saudi Arabia, according to reports. The United States was the second largest weapons provider to Riyadh with $5.9 billion followed by Britain at over $4 billion. German weapons sales to Saudis have also risen over the past two years, jumping from $321 million in 2015 to over $630 million in 2016, according to Deutsche Welle. Meanwhile, Greece has come under pressure over a $77 million arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
The MEPs expressed “grave concern at the alarming deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen,” referring to civilian deaths resulting from the years-long Saudi war and an outbreak of deadly diseases such as cholera and diphtheria.
Donald Trump & The gift of God’s love for all of humanity..
"The Christmas Story begins 2,000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son and the most extraordinary gift of all — the gift of God’s love for all of humanity..."
“Melania and I are full of joy at the start of this very blessed season, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Thus Speaketh the Lord
To be in the world but not of it
Palestinians to US: Don't Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital
Hanan Ashraw & the language of power and diktat
Hanan Ashrawi, member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a provocation that will destroy the chances for peace and inflame the whole region.
Russia and the United States have managed to reach bigger understanding on anti-terror efforts in Syria thanks to regular contacts between the military, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at the Mediterranean Dialogues international conference.
He admitted that in the past three years the United States had been fighting against Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia), however, "not as intensively as we would like them to do....." "Nusra was spared."
"It looked "they were keeping Nusra just in case when plan B will be required so that it could be used against the regime," he said.
"It is not this way now and I hope that our regular contacts with the American military were useful to promote a common understanding of what is the right counter-terrorist strategy in Syria," Lavrov stressed.
"In September 2015, we managed to compile a common document which basically was not about de-conflicting but it was about coordination, including coordination of the efforts of the US and Russia against terrorist targets. In other words, no one strikes until the other side agrees that this is a legitimate and the right target," he noted, adding that the administration of the US former President Barack Obama had demonstrated its inability to implement its commitments.
A report by the Institute for the Study of War last week claimed that the al-Qaida-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra has exploited the international community’s focus on annihilating the Islamic State to significantly increase its influence in southern Syria, consolidating control over most of the northwestern province of Idlib.
In August, Michael Ratney, the top U.S. State Department official in charge of Syria policy, said Nusra and its leaders would be targets for Washington, even if they rebranded and adopted new names in an effort to escape U.S. and other countries’ military campaign against terrorism in the region. (Voice of America, 1-12-2017)
SANAA - The rebel alliance controlling Yemen's capital appeared to be crumbling.
The rift within rebel ranks has raised fears of a new front in an already devastating three-year war that has claimed thousands of lives and triggered a major humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
The overture by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh follows a wave of deadly clashes between his supporters and Huthi rebels that has left dozens dead or wounded in Sanaa.
Saleh said Saturday that he was ready to talk to the Saudi-led coalition if it lifts a crippling blockade imposed on the impoverished country last month after a rebel missile was shot down near Riyadh.
The Huthis quickly hit back, accusing Saleh of staging a "coup against our alliance". His speech had "exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression," a Huthi spokesman said in a statement carried by the rebels' Al Masirah TV.
Saleh loyalists and rebel fighters continued to clash on Saturday afternoon in Sanaa.
Saleh has accused the Huthis of seeking to monopolise power and the rebels have accused the former president of treason over his suspected contacts with Saudi Arabia.
The war on Yemen has finally taken a turn towards an end. Former President Saleh is back in his leading position. The Saudis accepted their defeat. The Houthis will be thrown out of the capital Sanaa. Yemen is devastated and will need to rebuild. Everyone who participated in this war has lost.
During the "Arab spring" (U.S.) induced Yemeni revolution President Ali Abdullah Saleh was kicked out after ruling the country for 34 years.
In 2012 the former Vice-President Hadi was "elected" as the new president on a one choice ballot. With U.S. support the system prevailed.
Hadi was a Saudi puppet unable to rule the country. He tried to form a unity government under the National Dialogue Conference sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council.
But two major constituencies were left out of the effort: the northern Yemeni Houthis of Zaidi belief, who for years had fought against Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrination in Yemen, and the followers of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Houthis and Saleh had fought each other for over a decade. Now they had a common enemy and united their efforts.
In 2015 the Houthi and Yemeni army troops loyal to Saleh took over the capital Sanaa. Hadi fled to Aden in the south and later onto Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis were afraid to lose influence over their neighbor. They falsely alleged that the Houthis were supported by their perceived arch-enemy Iran. They declared war on the country and tried to invade it. The U.S. and the UK supported and still support the Saudi war with intelligence, refueling flights for Saudi bombers and massive weapon supplies.
The Saudis sent their troops to invade the country, their neighboring United Arab Emirates sent its forces and additional mercenaries were hired from Sudan, south America and where ever they could be found. All to no avail.
The Saudi were stuck in a stalemate that cost them over $800 million per month. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State were flourishing in the south which the Saudis and their allies nominally controlled.
The Saudis finally send out peace feelers to former president Saleh.
The Russians, who had kept their embassy in Sanaa open throughout the war, acted as the middleman... The Saudis agreed to Saleh's conditions. Saleh publicly announced that a deal had been made..
On saturday, december 2, 2017, Saleh said he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.
"I call upon the brothers in neighboring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness," Saleh said in a televised speech.
The Saudis likewise publicly announced their agreement.
The coalition said that it recognizes the noble members of the the Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC), the GPC’s leadership and the Yemeni people.
The Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC) is Saleh's party. He is still the GPC chairperson. Saleh is now again the Saudi accepted ruler of Yemen.
Saleh called on all his followers to oust the Houthi from their positions. His nephew and potential successor Colonel Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh will lead a new military council and run that side of the business.
The General People's Congress is a political party in Yemen. The party is dominated by a nationalist line, and its official ideology is Arab nationalism, seeking Arab unity.|
The party was established on 24 August 1982 in Sana'a, North Yemen, by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, becoming an umbrella organisation that sought to represent all political interests.
The values and stands of the GPC are often difficult to determine, given the diverse nature of its makeup and its erstwhile status as arm of the former president, but a good indication of its earlier ideological status can be found in the contents of the National Charter, which saw the establishment of the party before unification.
The Charter portrays the GPC as a product of its Arab nationalist context, devoted to Arabism in belonging and unity, necessarily striving for complete Arab unity, and loyal to God, the nation, the revolution, and unity.
Houthi rhetoric is dominated by opposition to outside incursions into their affairs, either interpreted as Sunni/Salafi oppression of Zaydi religion or international influence on internal Yemeni affairs.
The negative portrayal of non-Sunni Muslims in government textbooks formed a part of the original Houthi grievances and among the Houthi demands upon the National Dialogue is an end to provocative sectarian speeches. (Islamopedia online)
The command of the General People's Congress in support of legitimacy in Yemen said it supports the "popular uprising against Houthi militias and called on everyone to unite to deter the Iranian project in the country."
A statement issued by the party’s command welcomed a “new page” and voiced the importance of fighting until they achieve victory and resume the political process.
Clashes between Houthi militias and Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists have been on since Wednesday and they escalated when Saleh called for a popular uprising against the Houthis.
The Saudi-led coalition in support of legitimacy in Yemen had voiced its support of the General People's Congress’ revolt against the Houthis in Sanaa and called on the legitimate government to open a new page with all political parties to form a national alliance to confront the Houthis...
Chairman of Conservative Arab Network, Wafik Moustafa, believes that all Yemeni factions must know that any division or internal conflict, be it a Saudi plot or not, would only aggravate the suffering of the country’s population.
“Saudi Arabia no doubt plays the biggest role in what is happening. There is division within Yemen,” Moustafa told Press TV, adding that Saudi efforts to take advantage of the divide between Saleh and the Houthis would be useless and there is no winner in that situation.
Meanwhile, director of Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine Shakdam, opined that Ali Abdullah Saleh is well aware of the problems that Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman are facing in their own country in terms of cementing their power.
Therefore, she said, Saleh has decided to grab the chance and bring them to the negotiating table and end the war as soon as possible.
Also talking to Press TV, Shakdam said, “It is a very complicated [situation]. But you have to understand that Saleh is looking after his own political standing.”
“Saudi [Arabia] has said no to the resistance movement and the resistance movement has said no to negotiation with the Saudis. Therefore, they are looking for someone to come and be this knight in shining armor to kind of save the day and Saleh is trying to be that,” the analyst noted.
Yemen: Ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed
The leader of Yemen's Houthi rebels has praised the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country's overthrown president, as a victory against a Saudi-led military coalition that Yemen has been battling.
Saleh's party has confirmed reports that he was killed in a roadside ambush on Monday outside the capital, Sanaa, after switching sides in the civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favour of the Saudi-led coalition.
In a lengthy televised speech aired on the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV network, Abdul Malik al-Houthi said his fighters killed Saleh for his "treason" and congratulated Yemenis "on this historic, exceptional and great day in which the conspiracy of betrayal and treason failed, this black day for the forces of the aggression".
He said the uprising of Saleh's loyalists against the Houthi group was the greatest threat the Arabian Peninsula country had faced, but that it was defeated in three days.
He said the Houthi group - officially called Ansar Allah (Partisans of God) - would maintain the country's republican system and would not seek vengeance against Saleh's party.
"The problem is not with the General People's Congress (GPC) as a party or with its members," Houthi said.
Without mentioning Saleh by name, Houthi said that he knew about Saleh's communication with the coalition and his efforts to turn against the Houthi group.
Houthi also said he had sent several warnings to Saleh. "We have notified the leader of the traitor and criminal militias to retract, be wise, to stop his militias from continuing committing crimes," he said.
"Today is the day of the fall of the conspiracy of betrayal and treason. It's a dark day for the forces of the coalition."
Kurdish militia announced it cleared IS from key territory
Homs, SANA- 27 cities, villages and towns in the southern and eastern countryside of Homs joined on Monday the cessation of hostilities agreement according to local reconciliation agreement.
The agreement included the city of Tadmur (Palmyra) and the villages and towns of al-Amriya, Jandar, Jib al-Sada, Deibe, al-Maamoura, Shamsin, Jandar Resort, al-Buwaida al-Gharibah, Kmam, al-Dumainah al-Gharibah, al-Salihiya, USh al-Warwar, Um al-Sakhr, al-Dumainah al-Sharkiah, Kokran, al-Hamraa, Dyabiah, Dhayrij, Dabaa, al-Safa, al-Zohour, Smeykeh, Tebet Hanna, Adleen and Maarabo.
The local reconciliation deal was held at the building of Homs governorate with the participation of local representatives, and the Representative of the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimem.
The local representatives thanked Russia for its effective role in supporting the efforts of the Syrian government to boost the national reconciliation in various areas aiming at ensuring the return of people to their homes and reinforcing security and stability.
They also asserted that the local reconciliation is the best solution to boost the unity of the Syrian people in different areas
US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital alarming
For decades most American Jews have claimed an “Israel exemption”: resolutely progressive on domestic issues, they are hawks on their cherished cause. Racism they would vigorously oppose if applied in the United States is welcomed in Israel.
Reports at the weekend suggested that Donald Trump is about to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, throwing a wrench in any peace plan.
If true, the US president will have decisively prioritised support for Israel – and pro-Israel lobbies at home – over justified outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world.
But paradoxically, just as American Jews look close to winning the battle domestically on behalf of Israel, many feel more alienated from a Jewish state than ever before.
Until now their support for Israel itself has been unwavering, despite its institutionalised racism towards the one in five of the Israeli population who are Palestinian.
Most Jews have justified to themselves these and many other affronts on the grounds that, after the European holocaust, they deserved a strong state... But it is becoming ever harder for them to ignore their hypocrisy.
The rift has grown into a chasm as Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government widens its assault on civil rights. It targets not just Palestinians but the remnants of liberal Jewish society in Israel – in open contempt for the values of most American Jews...
Now a close ally of Netanyahu’s has stoked the fires.
In a TV interview last month, Tzipi Hotovely, the deputy foreign minister, all but accused American Jews of being freeloaders. She condemned their failure to fight in the US or Israeli militaries, saying they preferred “convenient lives”.
Her comments caused uproar. They echo those of leading Orthodox rabbis, who argue that Reform Jews are not real Jews – and are possibly even an enemy.
According to a report in the Israeli far-right newspaper Makor Rishon, which is owned by Sheldon Adelson, a US casino billionaire and Netanyahu’s patron, the Israeli prime minister set out his rationale for sacrificing the support of liberal Jews overseas at a recent closed-door meeting with officials.
He reportedly told them that non-Orthodox Jews would disappear in “one or two generations” through low birth rates, intermarriage and more general assimilation. Liberal Jews were a “lost cause” in his view, and wedded to a worldview that was incompatible with Israel’s future.
Both on demographic and ideological grounds, he added, Israel should invest in cultivating stronger ties to Orthodox Jews and Christian evangelicals.
The Netanyahu government, it seems, prefers as allies Christian evangelicals and the US alt-right...
Israel is plotting a future in which liberal American Jews will have to make hard choices. Can they continue to identify with a state that openly turns its back on them?
Comparisons between Jews in Israel and the U.S.
US President Donald Trump recognized Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the Zionist entity’s capital on Wednesday and announced plans to relocate the US embassy there.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said from White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room. ‘”After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
“This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.”
“Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it,” said the US leader, who declared that “the United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.”
“This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace,” Trump said, as he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would travel to the region in the coming days.
“So today we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate,” Trump claimed.
By identifying with Christian Zionism while in office, Mike Pence risks the Trump administration’s ongoing search for an “ultimate deal” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and erodes the U.S. claim that it can be an “honest broker” in the Middle East.
Christian Zionism is an ideology of political and material support for Israel based on Christian appeals to the Bible.
Today, Christian Zionists believe that Israel’s establishment in 1948, its military victory in 1967, and its ongoing conflict with Palestinians and surrounding Arab nations are prophesied in the Bible and intimately linked to God’s covenant with the Jewish people.
Unlike other evangelical Christians, who do not see the modern the state of Israel as prophetically significant, Christian Zionists argue that the fate of the United States hinges on how fervently it supports Israel.
Perhaps the most cited Christian Zionist verse is Genesis 12:3, when God tells Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”
In his response, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Trump "destroyed any possibility of peace" and was "pushing this region towards chaos [and] violence".
"He is destroying all moderates in the region and giving power to extremists," Erekat told Al Jazeera. "This is the most dangerous decision that any US president has ever taken."
Erekat said Trump had "disqualified his country from any possible role in the peace process". "How can he talk about peace when he dictates the future of Jerusalem before negotiations begin, in total violation of international law?"
Erekat said it is "meaningless" to have a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital. The only option remaining for Palestinians, he said, "is to fight for equal rights" between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the area of historic Palestine.
The immediate grounds for Trump's announcement was the expiration of the latest six-month waiver delaying relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act requires the US government to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, but allows the president to delay doing so by signing a waiver every six months. The waiver spares the state department financial penalties for failing to comply with the law.
Presidents Bush and Obama signed the waiver twice per year with little fanfare. However, Trump has long hinted he would deviate from his predecessors.
Mustafa Barghouti, an independent Palestinian politician, told Al Jazeera: "This is a reckless act from the side of the American president ... . This is a very dangerous act. "Accepting to move the embassy to Jerusalem means that the US is participating with Israel in imposing facts on the ground."
This is an administration that obviously is, to a large extent, taking its decision according to the will and pressure of the Israeli Zionist lobby.
"The Palestinian people will react, with a public, popular non-violent uprising. That's what you will see tomorrow, after tomorrow and the days after.
"America stands with Israel because her cause is our cause,
her values are our values and her fight is our fight."
Mike Pence (Christian Zionist), 28-11-2017
Finally, US President Donald Trump pulled the plug.
The so-called peace process, two-state solution, “land-for-peace formula” and all the other tired clichés have been long dead and decomposing.
But Trump’s announcement yesterday to officially recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel has also laid to rest the illusion that the US was ever keen on achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbours.
There can be no talk about a “two-state solution”, a “Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital”, and all the other platitudes that defined the US political discourse in the region for decades.
Worse, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 have served as the trademark of US approach regarding what has been termed the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict” since 1967. The resolutions call for Israeli withdrawal from the territories it occupied since the war of 1967.
Since then, East Jerusalem has been recognised by international law and even by every country that extended diplomatic ties with Israel as an integral part of the Occupied Territories.
By accepting Israel’s illegal annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem, Trump ends an American political gambit that lasted decades; supporting Israel unconditionally, while posing as a neutral, honest party.
Although his move is aimed at appeasing Israel, its US allies in government, and his base of fundamentalists and conservatives, he is also shedding a mask that every US president has worn for decades.
However, Trump’s decision, while it will upset the delicate political equilibrium in the Middle East, will neither cancel nor reverse international law. It simply means that the US has decided to drop the act, and walk wholly into the Israeli camp, further isolating itself from the rest of the world by openly defying international law...
"Take a truism - a mere fragment of the whole truth
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley sees Friday’s emergency meeting on President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration as vindication of decades of US claims that the UN is inherently biased against Israel.
Yet while Israel was the topic, at least tangentially, the real focus of the meeting was on Trump himself, and what pretty much everyone else in the Security Council agreed was a reckless unilateral declaration that Jerusalem, a contested city under partial military occupation, is the capital of Israel.
Trump’s declaration has been roundly criticized worldwide, with Israel seemingly the only nation to endorse it. Even there, the declaration sparked massive protests among the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation, who see Trump’s move as effectively ending the peace process and certainly ending the pretense that the United States can be an impartial arbiter.
The UN members broadly agreed that the US move undermines the peace process, with Egypt warning the move would ignite anger across the Muslim and Arab world, and Jordan adding that there needs to be an assurance that freedom of religious practice is upheld within Jerusalem.
Haley insisted Trump’s declaration was just “common sense,” because Israel sees Jerusalem as their own capital and has all their government buildings there.
It’s clearly not so “common,” however, since literally nobody in the world recognizes Jerusalem in that way, and while a number of nations have consulates in Jerusalem, embassies are exclusively in Tel Aviv.
Al-Azhar's Grand Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb, on Friday cancelled a scheduled meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in protest against President Donald Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, AFP reports.
In a statement, Al-Azhar, which is Egypt's highest Sunni institution, said Tayeb had reversed his previous decision to meet Pence, who is due to travel to Egypt and Israel in the second half of December.
Tayeb announced "his categorical rejection of a formal request from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to meet with him on December 20", Al-Azhar said.
The U.S. embassy in Cairo had submitted an official request a week ago, "and the grand imam had agreed to this, but after the unjust and unfair American decision on Jerusalem, Al-Azhar's grand imam announces his strong and decisive rejection of this meeting".
marten luther king - jesse jackson - donald trump
"Al-Azhar cannot sit with those who falsify history and steal the rights of people," the statement said.
"How can I sit with those who gave what they do not own to those who are undeserving? the statement quoted Tayeb as asking. "The U.S. president must immediately reverse this decision," the statement continued.
With the announcement, al-Tayeb follows in the footsteps of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which declared on Thursday that Pence was "not welcome in Palestine" during his upcoming visit and that “[PA chairman Mahmoud] Abbas will not welcome him because of the statements he made" about Jerusalem.
A White House official later stressed that Pence still planned to meet with Abbas and warned that canceling the meeting would be "counterproductive."
Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has cancelled a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence over last week's decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital to Israel, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Saturday.
"Considering the decision taken by the US administration concerning the city of Jerusalem at this inappropriate time with no consideration to the feelings of millions of Arabs, the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church declines to meet with Mr Mike Pence," said the Coptic Orthodox Church in a short statement.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) on Saturday released a statement denouncing US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The NSHR called the move “a blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people [..] and of international conventions and resolutions related to the Palestinian cause.”
The statement said: “This decision is illegal and contravenes the resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly Security Council resolutions and the UN General Assembly, which affirm the illegality of Israeli laws on Jerusalem, and call on countries with diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to close them.”
The society stressed that the rights of the Palestinian people have been recognized and supported by the international community..
The NSHR added that Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories which have been occupied since 1967.
It demanded that Israel comply with UN resolutions, which affirmed the nullity of all its legislative and administrative procedures and the confiscation of land and property aimed at changing the legal status of Jerusalem.
The statement also demanded that Israel comply with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and with UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980.
The statement also affirmed that East Jerusalem should be the capital of the State of Palestine and called on the international community to provide the necessary support to the Palestinian people to enable them to face the measures aimed at the confiscation of their rights.
CAIRO – Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir lauded the international consensus rejecting US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In his speech at the emergency session of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday night to discuss the status of Al-Quds, Al-Jubeir called on the US Administration to reverse its decision on Jerusalem (Al-Quds).
Al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom had warned that any announcement before reaching a final settlement is a provocation for Muslims and jeopardizes the peace process.
Al-Jubeir deemed “the Arab Peace Initiative” a roadmap for settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
He also called on the international community to “intensify efforts to reach a just and comprehensive solution” to this conflict.