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.
"...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.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
Israel needs to stop being an ideology and start being a nation. A nation of all of its citizens, all with equal national, civil and religious rights.
After 70 years, only partial justice and restoration is possible for the Palestinian people. Whatever constitutional arrangements are arrived at, equality should be the guiding principle at work.
As for Zionism let’s ditch it and move on. 'It’s time to place it in a glass cabinet and put it in a museum in a room marked: ‘Dead Ends & False Messiahs’.
There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.”
"The practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud and elsewhere.
The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.
(Kerry R Bolton, Foreign Policy Journal, May 29, 2018)
"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)
US President Donald Trump described his much anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “off to a good start,” after meeting one-on-one with Putin for over two hours on Monday.
Trump made his remarks to reporters before the start of a ‘working lunch’ with Putin and his aides, which followed the two leader’s private session.
Before meeting with Putin, Trump said that the US and Russia will end up having an “extraordinary relationship,” despite current difficulties, adding “I think the world wants to see us get along.”
Before his private discussion with Putin, Trump told reporters that he intended to discuss “everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China.”
The meeting took place amid opposition from both Democrats and Republicans at home.
Before the summit, Trump blamed previous administrations for the deterioration in relations between the US and Russia, tweeting:
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” - a reference to the ongoing and thus far unsuccessful Mueller investigation.
U.S. political figures reacted with shock Monday after President Donald Trump failed to side with the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and said Russian President Vladimir Putin had given him a "very powerful" denial of Moscow's involvement.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, generally a Trump supporter, said on Twitter, "Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections. This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves." John McCain, also a senior Republican senator, said, "Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump's naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate." Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, said, "There is no question Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world." He added, "There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals." James Clapper, the director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, told CNN, "The president of the United States essentially capitulated and seemed intimidated by Vladimir Putin. It was amazing and very disturbing."
Democratic lawmakers were equally incensed by Trump's remarks.
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said, "For the President to side with Putin over his own intelligence officials and blame the United States for Russia's attack on our democracy is a complete disgrace."
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a potential 2020 presidential opponent of Trump, tweeted that Trump had taken "to the international stage to embarrass America, undermine our institutions, weaken our alliances, & embrace a dictator. Russia interfered in our elections & attacked our democracy. Putin must be held accountable — not rewarded. Disgraceful."
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, Clinton's vice presidential running mate two years ago, said, "This is a sad, shameful moment for our great nation."
Much of the US’ motivations for radicalizing Sunni Muslims are linked to its unwavering support for Israel. But it also greatly serves the US’ own hegemonic interests, not least its efforts to undermine the Soviet Union in the past and Russia presently. With US President-elect Donald Trump seemingly intent on a detente with Russia the tide could turn. If Trump does indeed plan to improve US-Russia relations, and given Russia’s increasing status and global importance, 2017 could mark the beginning of the long transition to a saner and potentially more multi-polar world... (Ghada Chehade, January 03, 2017)
Beginning his joint press conference with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump declared that U.S. relations with Russia have "never been worse." He then added pointedly, that just changed "about four hours ago."
It certainly did. With his remarks in Helsinki and at the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump has signaled a historic shift in U.S. foreign policy that may determine the future of this nation and the fate of his presidency.
He has rejected the fundamental premises of American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and blamed our wretched relations with Russia, not on Vladimir Putin, but squarely on the U.S. establishment.
In a tweet prior to the meeting, Trump indicted the elites of both parties: "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" Trump thereby repudiated the records and agendas of the neocons and their liberal interventionist allies, as well as the archipelago of War Party think tanks beavering away inside the Beltway...
Helsinki showed that Trump meant what he said when he declared repeatedly, "Peace with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing."
There will be no Cold War II... We are going to negotiate arms treaties and talk out our differences as Ronald Reagan did with Mikhail Gorbachev.
When Trump spoke of the "foolishness and stupidity" of the U.S. foreign policy establishment that contributed to this era of animosity in U.S.-Russia relations, what might he have had in mind?
Was it the U.S. provocatively moving NATO into Russia’s front yard after the collapse of the USSR?
Was it the U.S. invasion of Iraq to strip Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction he did not have that plunged us into endless wars of the Middle East?
Was it U.S. support of Syrian rebels determined to oust Bashar Assad, leading to ISIS intervention and a seven-year civil war with half a million dead, a war which Putin eventually entered to save his Syrian ally?
Was it U.S. complicity in the Kiev coup that ousted the elected pro-Russian regime that caused Putin to seize Crimea to hold onto Russia’s Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol? Many Putin actions we condemn were reactions to what we did.
Former CIA Director John Brennan rages that Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki was treasonous. "He is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you?"
Well, as Patrick Henry said long ago, "If this be treason, make the most of it!"
"There is absolute truth in anarchism and it is to be seen in its attitude to the sovereignty of the state and to every form of state absolutism. [...] The religious truth of anarchism consists in this, that power over man is bound up with sin and evil, that a state of perfection is a state where there is no power of man over man, that is to say, anarchy. The Kingdom of God is freedom and the absence of such power... the Kingdom of God is anarchy." Nikolai Berdyaev
"Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny." Patrick Henry
During a press conference on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated that President Trump’s “eagerness to sell out America” shows that Russia “must have something” on the president.
Pelosi said, “Instead of standing up for our democracy and democratic principles, President Trump cowered in the presence of Putin, and the entire world watched and saw that. Trump’s eagerness to sell out America proves the Russians must have something personally, politically, or financially on President Trump.” She added that Trump “gave a green light” for Russia to continue its attacks on US democracy. (ABC News, 17-7-2018)
Iran filed a lawsuit against the United States on Monday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Washington’s reimposition of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“In order to make up for the United States’ re-imposition of illegal sanctions against our country, to reclaim the rights of the Iranian nation and to internationally sue the US for its violations, the Foreign Ministry, in coordination with the Presidential Office’s Centre for International Law Affairs and other relevant authorities, put on its agenda the filing of a complaint with the International Court of Justice against the US for breaching its international obligations, especially with regards to the Treaty of Amity, economic relations and consular rights in 1955,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, according to Iran’s state-run Tasnim News agency.
“After receiving the viewpoints of Iranian and foreign international attorneys and legal advisors, the final lawsuit containing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s complaint over the (US’s) violation of the Treaty of Amity was registered on July 16, 2018,” Qassemi said.
He added, “In this complaint, it is explained with evidence that the United States’ decision on May 8, 2018, to re-impose nuclear sanctions runs counter to the United States’ international obligations, especially articles 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, and the Treaty of Amity. … The United States is obliged to stop these international breaches and compensate for all the damage inflicted.”
On Monday, the third anniversary of the JCPOA, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the United States will be held “accountable for its unlawful reimposition of unilateral sanctions” and said, “The US can’t be trusted to keep its word”:
"Today Iran filed a complaint @CIJ_ICJ to hold US accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions. Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy & legal obligations. It's imperative to counter its habit of violating int'l law." Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 16, 2018
The 1955 US-Iran Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights was signed during the terms of US president Dwight Eisenhower and Iranian Prime Minister Hossein Ala.
According to Nationalinterest website, the treaty consists of an introduction and twenty-three articles. It emphasizes friendly relations while encouraging mutual trade and investments and regulating consular relations. The treaty was signed by Mostafa Samiy (the Iranian deputy of the ministry of foreign affairs) and Selden Chapin (the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the United States).
The treaty came into force in June 1957, one month after the day of exchange of the instruments of ratification at Tehran. Ever since, it has provided the legal framework for bilateral relations between Iran and the United States.
Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, Members of the Majlis:
The honor you do me with this reception in your handsome new Senate building is a clear indication of the high mutual regard which the Iranian and American peoples have for each other. The message I bring from America is this: "We want to work with you for peace and friendship, in freedom." I emphasize freedom-because without it there can be neither true peace nor lasting friendship among peoples.
Consequently, Americans are dedicated to the improvement of the international climate in which we live. Though militarily we in America devote huge sums to make certain of the security of ourselves and to assist our allies, we do not forget that--in the long term--military strength alone will not bring about peace with justice. The spiritual and economic health of the free world must be likewise strengthened.
All of us realize that while we must, at whatever cost, make freedom secure from any aggression, we could still lose freedom should we fail to cooperate in progress toward achieving the basic aspirations of humanity. The world struggle in which we are engaged is many sided. In one aspect it is ideological, political, and military; in others it is both spiritual and economic. By true cooperation we can proceed together toward success in the struggle for peace and prosperity. Through trust in one another, we can trust in the fruitful outcome of our efforts together to build a brighter future.
On the long and difficult climb on the road to true peace, the whole world must some day agree that suspicion and hate should be laid aside in the common interest.
Here, I think, is our central problem. I know that you, too, and all men of good will, are devoting thought and energy to the practical and realistic steps to this great objective.
One such step is, of course, an enforceable agreement on disarmament, or, to be more exact, arms reduction. To achieve this, the governments of the world have chosen a primary instrument, the United Nations. Justice--the rule of law--among nations has not yet been effectively established. But in almost every nation in the world there is a great awakening to the need for such a development.
Because there is such an awakening, the act of any government contrary to the rights of mankind is quickly resented and keenly sensed by people everywhere. The impulse toward justice, toward the recognition of the worth and dignity of each and every human being, will not be denied. This is the mainspring of the movement toward freedom and peace.
Israel’s parliament (Knesset) has adopted a controversial bill that declares the occupying entity [Israel] “the nation-state of the Jewish people,” in what is widely criticized as an apartheid measure that could lead to discrimination against its own Arab population. The law was passed by a vote of 62-55 after a long and stormy debate early on Thursday. The law prioritizes “Jewish” values over democratic ones in the occupied territories, declares Jerusalem al-Quds the “capital” of Israel, allows Jewish-only communities, sets Hebrew as the official language of Israel and relegates Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.”
Speaking moments after the bill passed into law, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the vote as a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism.”
Immediately after the bill passed, Arab lawmakers tore it in protest, calling it an instance of “apartheid.” Arab members of the Knesset Ahmed Tibi and Ayeda Touma-Souliman yelled at Netanyahu, “You passed an apartheid law, a racist law.” “Why are you afraid of the Arabic language?” Tibi lashed out at Netanyahu. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, described the law as a bid to advance “ethnic superiority by promoting racist policies.”
As part of the protest campaign against the bill, activists from Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group that monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, waved a black flag in the Knesset balcony during the debate on Wednesday and early Thursday.
The ruling Likud party, under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and the Jewish Home, under Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, have agreed not to attack each other in the upcoming election campaign.
Instead, the parties will focus on Yisrael Beytenu and Moshe Kahlon's as-yet-unnamed party, for their apparent enthusiasm to trade land for a peace treaty.
1. Jewish men who have sexual relations with Jewish women; 2. Jewish bastards; 3. Jewish women who have sexual relations with Jewish men....
9. Male Goyim (gentiles or non-Jewish persons) 10. Female Goyim.
The agreement between Netanyahu and Bennett reflects developments in their personal and political history. Before the 2013 elections, newspapers were rife with reports about the bad blood between Bennett and Netanyahu...
It is a well known fact that Likud's election campaign in 2012-13 focused on tearing apart the Jewish Home.
Likud poured its multi-million-shekel campaign budget into an advertising drive that centered on the slogan, “the Jewish Home versus the women.”
In an attempt to convince the public that the Jewish Home's religious identity meant that it espoused a dark, misogynistic ideology, the campaign pointed at Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, number 4 on the religious Zionist party's list... Ben Dahan – whose large white beard gives him a hareidi look, and who served as Director of the Rabbinical Courts for 20 years – could be portrayed as menacing symbol of religious-patriarchal tyranny, who wanted to rob Israel women's of their “advancement” and its children of their “rights”.
The campaign, which parroted the ideology of liberal-feminist opponents of the traditional Jewish family, demoralized the younger nationalist electorate, much of which wound up voting for Yair Lapid.
Now elections appear near again. This time around, Likud will not repeat its mistake.
This means that Netanyahu and Bennett have buried the hatchet, and that Likud and the Jewish Home are allies - but it also means something deeper than that... This time around, Jewish tradition is not in the line of fire, and hareidi-bashing will not be the order of the day, at least not in Likud's campaign.
Instead, it appears that the campaigns of both Likud and the Jewish Home will be directed against other parties' plans to relinquish land for promises of peace.
Eliyahu Michael "Eli" Ben-Dahan (born 11 February 1954) is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi and politician. He was Deputy Minister of Religious Services from 2013 to 2015. He currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Jewish Home, and is the Deputy Minister of Defense. In that position, he is responsible for "pre-military training academies, hesder program which combine military service and yeshiva study, military conversion programs, legislation between Israeli law and the military rule in Judea-Samaria, and to deal with public infrastructure in Judea-Samaria" [occupied West-Bank]. (Wikipedia info)
The theft and distortion of Nelson Mandela’s legacy by champions of Western liberalism has and continues to be both sickening and obscene to behold.
Just how obscene is reflected in the sight of former US President Barack Obama delivering the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesburg on July 17, the 100th anniversary of the giant of the anti-apartheid struggle’s birth.
This event has been held annually in South Africa since 2003, organized by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. According to the foundation’s website “global leaders have used the lecture to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.”
Instantly arriving on the back of these words, however, given Obama’s participation as the event’s star act this year, comes anger and a crippling sense of irony – cruel irony – as ‘Libya’ hovers into sharp relief.
Not only was the former US president key in turning Libya from a functioning state with a ‘high human development rank’, according to the UN, into a manifestation of hell on earth, but Libya’s murdered leader, Muammar Gaddafi, provided significant material aid to Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa when at its most intense.
This was way before it achieved the status of cause celebre in the West, when Washington and its allies were doing their utmost to lend legitimacy to the country’s brutal apartheid government and state institutions.
Nelson Mandela, to his credit, never forgot Gaddafi’s support and solidarity, taking the opportunity of a public appearance alongside then US President Bill Clinton in 1998 to declare that in reference to Gaddafi’s Libya “moral authority dictates that we should not abandon those who helped us in the darkest hour." The unvarnished truth when it comes to Obama’s connection to Mandela is that the only thing they ever had in common – apart, that is, from the Nobel Prize they both received – was the color of his skin....
The sight of Barack Obama delivering a lecture named after Nelson Mandela is an unalloyed travesty, proof that while the ANC may have won the war it lost the peace.
Obama is not and has never been a friend to Africa. On the contrary, a man who undoubtedly was a friend to Africa, Muammar Gaddafi, was butchered with Obama’s complicity in 2011. As the saying goes: "Politics have no relation to morals.”
"My little African son, Obama wants to kill me"
Gaddafi's Last Formal Speech
I did all I could to help people understand the concept of real democracy, where people’s committees ran our country. But that was never enough, as some told me, even people who had 10 room homes, new suits and furniture, were never satisfied, as selfish as they were they wanted more. They told Americans and other visitors, that they needed "democracy" and "freedom" never realizing it was a cut throat system, where the biggest dog eats the rest, but they were enchanted with those words, never realizing that in America, there was no free medicine, no free hospitals, no free housing, no free education and no free food, except when people had to beg or go to long lines to get soup.
No matter what I did, it was never enough for some, but for others, they knew I was the son of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the only true Arab and Muslim leader we’ve had since Salah-al-Deen, when he claimed the Suez Canal for his people, as I claimed Libya, for my people, it was his footsteps I tried to follow, to keep my people free from colonial domination – from thieves who would steal from us.
Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called "capitalism", but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer.
Let this testament be my voice to the world, that I stood up to crusader attacks of NATO, stood up to cruelty, stoop up to betrayal, stood up to the West and its colonialist ambitions, and that I stood with my African brothers, my true Arab and Muslim brothers, as a beacon of light. (
Mu'ummar Qaddafi, Pravda 2011/05/04)
Saudi Arabia rejects and disapproves Israeli Knesset's approval of the "National State of the Jewish People Law", an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) announced here Friday, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The source added that the law contradicts the provisions of the international law, principles of the international legitimacy, noble principles of human rights, and will also obstruct international efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The source called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and confront such a law and or other Israeli attempts, aimed at perpetuating racial discrimination against the Palestinian people, distorting its national identity and compromising its legitimate rights. Earlier, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the Israeli Knesset's ratification of the so-called "National Israeli Law”, which was a blatant challenge to the will of the international community, its laws and its legitimate resolutions.
OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen stressed that this law is racist and illegitimate. It ignores the historical rights of the Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians and represents an extension of Israeli settlements.
He called on the international community to reject and condemn this racist law and to confront all Israeli racist laws and policies aimed at undermining the vision of a two-state solution. In Cairo, the Arab Parliament confirmed its absolute and firm rejection of Israeli Knesset's law announcing Israel as the state-nation for the Jewish people.
Speaker of the Parliament Dr. Mishaal Al-Salami said, “Today's law is totally unacceptable, as it publicly consolidates a system of segregation and apartheid against Palestinians, who are the historical owners of the land and, instead, deprives them from living on their land and their minimum rights stated by the international laws, principles of human rights, UN resolutions and denies them the right of self-determination.”
What some Western media outlets called "Israel's controversial nation-state bill" [..] must be rejected by everyone who believes in justice and peace.
The bill stipulates: "Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people, and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it."
This sends a terrifying message to the Palestinian minority of Israel and to millions of displaced and occupied Palestinians that they have no official place in the Jewish state. The Palestinian citizens of Israel are already treated as second-class citizens. The bill will make their status even worse.
It designates Jerusalem as the "complete and united... capital of Israel." This is another slap in the face of the international community and countless U.N. resolutions that have rejected the illegal occupation of Jerusalem and Palestinian lands.
Let's remember that on Dec. 21, 2017, the U.N. General assembly resoundingly rejected by 128 to 9 votes the U.S. decision to accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. With this new legislation, Israel once again showed that it sees itself above international law.
There are other troubling clauses in the new bill. It refers to the importance of "development of Jewish settlement as a national value." This is nothing but a declaration of the continuation of Israel's "settlement," i.e., occupation policy.
It shows once again that the settlement movement has taken over the State of Israel, undermining any notion of democracy, equality and civil rights. Seeking to expand and legalize occupation as a national policy in the 21st century shows the degree to which the current international order is based on might rather than right. This approach entails that any political settlement in the occupied Palestinian lands will be on Israel's terms only. This is a recipe for disaster and a total failure because no peace can be sustainable without justice....
American politicians are making a huge mistake by giving unconditional support to Israel's unlawful and racist policies. Those who keep silent in the face of the never-ending Israeli occupation and oppression are also guilty of condoning the policies of an apartheid state. Palestinians and Israelis deserve better than this.
Jabotinsky Day, Celebrating the life and vision of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
Begins Tammuz 29 (Hebrew calendar) 2018 date: July 12
Jabotinsky Day was created by the Israeli Knesset as part of the Jabotinsky Law. According to the law, Jabotinsky Day shall be held once a year, on the 29th of Tammuz, the day of Ze'ev Jabotinsky's death.
On this day; a state memorial service shall be held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem; IDF camps and in schools, time shall be devoted to learning about the achievements and Zionist vision of Ze'ev Jabotinsky; a symposium shall be held in Jerusalem in memory of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, which shall be organized by the Public Council where issues from the world of Zionism and in the spirit of the vision of Ze'ev Jabotinsky shall be discussed.
“the organizational underpinnings of the White Helmets can be sourced to a March 2013 meeting in Istanbul between a retired British military officer, James Le Mesurier, and representatives of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Qatari Red Crescent Society. Earlier that month, the SNC was given Syria’s seat in the Arab League at a meeting of the league held in Qatar.”
"The White Helmets function as an effective propaganda arm of the anti-Assad movement..." Scott Ritter
Israel has evacuated 800 White Helmets rescuers and their families from Syria to Jordan overnight at the request of the United States and European countries.
On Twitter, the Israeli military said it had "recently completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of the Syrian civil organisation and their families" after a "request of the United States and additional European countries". The Israeli military also tweeted that the "civilians were subsequently transferred to a neighbouring country". Jordan foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Kayed said the kingdom had accepted the members of the Syrian Civil Defence rescue organisation for "purely humanitarian reasons".
The request came as the White Helmets volunteers and their families were threatened by advancing forces of the Syrian government in the south of the war-ravaged country. Syrian forces, backed by a Russian air campaign, have been pushing into the edges of Quneitra province...
Last week, a deal was reached between the opposition in Quneitra and Russian negotiators acting on behalf of the Syrian government. It provides for the safe passage of residents who do not wish to live under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. Thousands of rebels and their families had started to arrive in the rebel-controlled northwest on Saturday.
On Saturday, Canada said it was working with the UK and Germany to "ensure the safety of the White Helmets and their families".
PARIS (Reuters) - France sent 50 tonnes of medical aid to government-controlled eastern Ghouta in Syria on Friday after Russia agreed to facilitate its delivery, raising hopes for future aid efforts, French officials said.
The aid, which will arrive on a Russian plane to a Russian military base in northwestern Syria from France on Saturday, comes after an agreement between President Emmanuel Macron and Russian leader Vladimir Putin following talks since May.
“This operation is very significant because it shows a willingness from the Russians to work with us on a matter of priority,” said the French diplomatic source. “This area is crying out for help.” Pro-government forces retook the eastern Ghouta region from rebels in April... Little aid has entered eastern Ghouta, where about 500,000 people live, since April, although United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) was able to deliver food and nutritional aid for some 25,000 people in early July. Once in Syria the cargo will be distributed by OCHA in co-ordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
France has received assurances from Russia that all necessary approvals from Assad’s government had been given for the convoy to make the journey from the north to eastern Ghouta... It would be first time a Western country has delivered aid to government-controlled areas with the help of Russia, the source said. France cut off diplomatic ties with Damascus in 2011.
The aid worth about 400,000 euros (357,197.3 pounds) is part of a 50 million euro commitment by Paris that has so far predominantly been used in the Raqqa region of northeastern Syria, where France has a military presence along with the United States.
The seven fundamental Principles
Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the seven Fundamental Principles bond together the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and guarantee the continuity of the Movement’s humanitarian work. Humanity: Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples. Impartiality: It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. Neutrality: The Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature. Independence: The Movement is independent.
Unity: There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory. (SARC website)
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government on Monday condemned the evacuation of hundreds of Syrian White Helmet rescue workers and their families with the help of Israeli soldiers, calling it a “criminal operation” undertaken by “Israel and its tools”.
The rescue workers and their families crossed out of Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights before arriving in Jordan over the weekend, fleeing an offensive by Syria and its Russian ally to take control of southwest Syria from rebels. Israel said it had helped with the evacuation at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump and other Western leaders.
The Syrian government has accused the White Helmets, also known as Syria Civil Defence, of being a Western-sponsored terrorist organisation. President Bashar al-Assad has called the White Helmets part of al Qaeda in Syria. Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a foreign ministry official, said the evacuation “exposed the true nature of the organisation known as the White Helmets”, calling it a risk to stability and security “because of its terrorist nature”.
In a statement on Monday the group said during the southwest campaign four of its volunteers were killed and dozens injured, four White Helmet centres were hit and rescue vehicles were destroyed by Syrian government bombardment.
The White Helmets said 98 male and female volunteers and 324 family members were now in Jordan, having travelled through the occupied Golan Heights.
As Assad has won back areas such as eastern Aleppo and Ghouta, the rescue workers have left on buses to rebel-held areas of the north as part of agreed surrender deals, along with fighters and civilians who fear a return of government rule.
In the southwestern campaign, however, the White Helmets said the deals agreed “did not include any guarantees of safe passage for displaced humanitarian workers to other areas of Syria”, making the international evacuation necessary. A Jordanian government source said the evacuees will be kept in a “closed” location in Jordan and resettled in Britain, Germany and Canada within three months.
The pullout of the White Helmets from Syria, carried out by Israel on the US' and Canada’s request, reveals “true colors and hypocrisy” of the controversial group, showing who actually controls it, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
The rescue operation, which emerged Sunday, “speaks for itself” and clearly shows who exactly the group serves, the ministry said in a statement on Monday, calling its members “pseudo-humanitarians”.
“It’s well known, that the White Helmets had their hand in the most notorious false flag operations during the Syrian conflict. They acted exclusively on territories under the control of Islamic radicals, staged blatant falsifications, which were used then as a pretext to raise accusations against the Syrian authorities,” the ministry stated.
“It’s symbolic that the White Helmets preferred to flee Syria with foreign assistance, showing their true colors and hypocrisy to the world,” the ministry said, adding that the “evacuation” of the White Helmets “clearly showed whose orders they were carrying out, and who pay-rolled them.”
13 years after the success of July 23 revolution, which abolished the monarchy, late President Nasser, one of the revolution’s top leaders, described Muslim Brotherhood in one of his speech as people who exploit religion to obtain people’s support and seize power.
“The parties were dissolved, and we clashed with the Muslim Brotherhood party, during the four years, in 1953 and in 1954 … We were embroiled in dispute, they declared war against us, and they shot on me October, 26, 1954 in Alexandria … Terrorist members in the Muslim Brotherhood party were arrested, and they were judged,” Nasser said during the statement.
“In 1954, we were negotiating with the British [forces occupying Egypt at the time] for the evacuation [deal]. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood members were holding secret meetings with the members of the British Embassy. They were telling them: we will be able to seize power,” Nasser said.
The late President said that the Muslim Brotherhood party has never held the patriotic feelings which Egyptians have held. "All of [their] speech is full of deception and [exploitation of] religion,” Nasser stated.
Similar to what happened following 2011 revolution when people decided to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood (perhaps because the youth who led the January revolution were not familiar with the MB policies..) Abdel Nasser said he reconciled with the MB members, explaining that the reconciliation however, failed to turn them into good citizens.
“In 1953, we actually and honestly wanted to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood supposing that [this will make its members] take the right path. I met with the General guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. He issued [some] demands,” Nasser said.
The late President said that the MB guide asked him to force Egyptian women to wear Islamic veil and to shut cinemas and theaters....“Then, [he told me] that women must not [go to] work..."
"I think that when a woman works, we are protecting her [this way]. Work is a protection for women, while preventing women from work [works] against her. We actually liberate women by [allowing] them to work and cooperate with the man,” Nasser added.
“Last year, in 1964, before the constitution, I released them all from the prison, and we issued a law to return every one of them to his work with the same salary and promotion prospects. In 1965, we seized a new conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood; secret system, and assassination and destruction plans,” the late President said.
Concerning the MB, “they are neither Muslims, nor brothers. They are malevolent … Their leaders outside [the country] cooperated with the Baghdad Pact, colonial countries, all our enemies, and Arab reactionary, and proved with clear evidence that the MB party or movement is only a movement that works for the benefit of colonialism and reactionary, by which it is funded.
BAGHDAD PACT: popular name for the 1955 pro-Western defense alliance between Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
The Baghdad Pact is also know under the more correct term of Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), which was the term used after Iraq left in 1959. It is also referred to as Middle East Treaty Organization. The treaty was initiated by USA and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization, consisting of most West European countries, Turkey, USA and Canada) as part of the intent to create a worldwide chain of anti-Soviet alliances.
The Pact’s purpose was the “maintenance of peace and security in the Middle East region”... It appealed to its members for very different reasons although the rising influence of the Soviet Union and that of Arab nationalism were widely shared.
It was designed to be open for new members, principally coming from the Arab League. Western countries even tried to force Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to join, but without success. Gamal ʿAbd-al-Nāṣer, who hoped for a neutral Arab bloc between the West and the USSR, opposed the Pact because he perceived it as a threat to his foreign policy objectives and as a tool geared to serve Western political and economic interests. (Source)
Aleppo, SANA – Al-Qaterji industrial cluster in Aleppo has been totally recovered and resumed production after elimination of terrorism.
The industrial cluster includes firms specialized in engineering, food, chemical and textile industries. Before the crisis, the cluster contained more than 900 craft workshops and industrial facilities. And now as life has started up there again, 600 factories begin production while 100 others are still under construction.
Member of the Executive Office of Aleppo Governorate’s Council for trade, industry, banking and financial affairs, Beirqdar Rashid, highlighted the efforts exerted to rehabilitate the area, remove debris, open main streets and provide industrialists with fuel in order to re-run the wheel of production after long suspension due to terrorists’ attacks which targeted the area and destroyed its factories and facilities, in addition to stealing their contents.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had sent Washington a proposal for drawing up a joint action plan to bring Syrian refugees back to the places they lived before the war broke out in 2011.
“The active advancement in this direction has been helped by the agreements reached by the presidents of Russia and the United States during the summit in Helsinki ...,” Mikhail Mizintsev, a ministry official, was quoted as saying by TASS.
The United States and Russia’s militaries have a communications link in Syria to avoid accidental clashes and joint work on refugees would represent greater cooperation.
“The proposals presented by Russia are currently being worked out by the U.S. side,” the ministry said.
It said the proposals include setting up a Russian-U.S.-Jordanian monitoring group in Amman and a similar group in Lebanon. It said over 1.7 million Syrian refugees would be able to return to Syria in the near future.
Mizintsev said preliminary assessments indicated 890,000 refugees could return to Syria from Lebanon in the near future, 300,000 from Turkey and 200,000 from European Union countries.
An official Russian delegation will reportedly arrive in Lebanon to propose a Russian plan regarding the repatriation of Syrian refugees back to their homeland, media reports said.
A presidential envoy and a delegation from the Russian foreign and defense ministries are expected in Beirut for talks with senior Lebanese officials, the reports said.
Russia, Syria’s ally has put forward plans to the United States to cooperate for the safe return of refugees to Syria.
Moscow has proposed the establishment of working groups in Lebanon and Jordan, to where many refugees have fled, a Russian defence ministry official said last week. An adviser to Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has met Russia's deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov to find out more about the initiative, the premier's office said earlier.
BREAKING: Britain's leading Jewish newspapers all carry the same front page on the community’s anger and anxiety over Labour UK rejection of international anti-Semitism definition — Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) July 25, 2018
Britain’s three Jewish newspapers, usually vigorous competitors, united in publishing identical front-page editorials warning of the “existential” threat to British Jewry that a government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose.
“We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel,” the editorials posted Wednesday said, referring to the Labour Party. “The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.”
The three newspapers are The Jewish Chronicle, long the community’s flagship newspaper; the Jewish News, a relative newcomer and a Times of Israel partner; and the Jewish Telegraph, which has editions in many of Britain’s northern cities.
The editorials outlined a series of scandals and controversies that have beset Labour relating to anti-Semitism, culminating in a policy on anti-Semitism that omits Israel-related definitions that have become standard elsewhere.
The newspapers noted the political disarray in the country following the 2016 Brexit referendum mandating the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.
“There is a clear and present danger that a man with a default blindness to the Jewish community’s fears, a man who has a problem seeing that hateful rhetoric aimed at Israel can easily step into anti-Semitism, could be our next prime minister,” the editorials said.
An Israeli cartoonist for the Jerusalem Post was fired Tuesday by the news agency over his cartoon portraying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Likud lawmakers as pigs from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” Cartoonist Avi Katz, who worked for the Jerusalem Post for nearly three decades, recently drew a cartoon of Netanyahu and members of his Likud party taking a selfie after the Israeli Parliament passed a constitutional law last Thursday declaring Israel a "nation-state of the Jewish people".
The cartoon, which was published Tuesday in the Jerusalem Report, a biweekly magazine published by the Jerusalem Post, was met with indignation by some and praise by others.
It portrays Netanyahu and his party members with the heads of pigs and includes the quote, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others," a direct quote from Orwell's "Animal Farm."
The book, about how animals on a farm revolt against their human owners, is an allegory that reflects the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Following criticism of the cartoon by readers, the Jerusalem Post announced that it would no longer collaborate with Katz.
Following Katz's firing, Israel's Animix Festival, which organizes an annual festival showcasing animation, comics and caricature, set up a fundraiser for him, stating that "no one will silence art and satire in the State of Israel." So far, more than $10,610 has been raised by almost 400 people.
More than 100 rabbis from the religious Zionist movement on Thursday wrote a letter criticizing what they called the "terror" of the pro-Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender campaign.
In the letter sent to Walla News, the rabbis accuse the LGBT organizations of "aggressive terrorism" and "brainwashing the media as if there is some kind of family concept" in order to "turn the perverts into heroes."
The rabbis, including Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, and Rabbi Dov Lior and other senior officials, claim that the children who will be born to gay couples "will be miserable if they are not adopted in normative families."
The letter was published by the Rabbis, at the initiative of the Rabbis of Emunah, the trustees of the Chief Rabbinate and the LIBA Center in support of Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern.
Earlier this week, Rabbi Stern gave an interview with Kan Radio in which he opposed same-gender couples raising children as if they were a normative family.
"No one talks about the fact that children are raised here into a very strange and unnatural life, without a father or a mother, and it is very possible that the children are ultimately miserable," said Rabbi Stern.
In their letter, the rabbis expressed their support for Rabbi Stern's remarks and wrote that he "spoke with force and simplicity of the eternal truth of our holy Torah and the human normality with which the healthy majority of the State of Israel is shocked by the provocations and path of these abominable organizations, to take bold steps in the cities of Israel, and even moreso to carry out and carry out these abominable marches on Tisha B'Av, a national day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, with a sword for sexual deviancy and baseless hatred."
The rabbis accused the LGBTQ organizations of attempting "to destroy the concept of family and turn the devils into heroes.
At the end of the letter, the rabbis said that their words were intended to shout "the cry of the children who have no place here, to prevent them from having a miserable life, and to give them the basic right to live in a normative natural family in order to raise normal, healthy people." The letter was signed by senior rabbis in the religious Zionist community, among them Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Yisrael Tzvi Tau, and Rabbi Elyakim Levanon.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A senior Syrian Kurdish official is in Damascus this week for talks with Syrian government officials at the head of a delegation including members of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an official said, their first declared visit to the capital.
The visit points to moves by the Kurdish-led authorities who control roughly one quarter of Syria to open channels to President Bashar al-Assad’s administration as they seek to negotiate a political deal that preserves their autonomy. The delegation in Damascus is headed by Ilham Ahmed, executive head of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), said Riad Darar, SDC co-chair, speaking by phone from Vienna. The delegation arrived two days ago.
The meetings were expected to primarily discuss matters of service provision in the areas controlled by the Kurdish-led authorities, but Darar said that there was no set agenda and the talks might widen to political and security matters. While the meetings did not mark the start of negotiations, Darar signaled that this was the aim, saying it was time to “solve our problems ourselves”. “We have a basis for negotiations,” he added.
The outcome of the Damascus meetings was not yet clear, Darar said, adding that he did not know which officials the delegation would meet. It was not clear how long they would stay.
Talks recently began over a return of state employees and repairs to one of Syria’s most important pieces of infrastructure: the Tabqa dam, Syria’s largest, which the SDF took from Islamic State last year.
Darar said those talks had been held with delegations that had come from Damascus. Referring to the Damascus visit, he said: “This is certainly the first visit that happened.”
Any negotiations between Damascus and the SDF would raise new questions for U.S. policy in Syria, where the U.S. military has deployed into SDF-held territory during the campaign against Islamic State.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) held a flag raising ceremony in the recently liberated city of Quneitra, today, following the withdrawal of all militant groups from the provincial capital.
The SAA raised their national flag in Quneitra city’s Tahrir Square, which is the famous location where former President Hafez Al-Assad was pictured greeting Syrians after the 1973 October War (var. Yom Kippur War/Ramadan War).
While the Syrian Army was raising their flag over Tahrir Square, the Israeli military could be seen looking down on the ceremony from their observation post to the west of Quneitra city.
Quneitra city is located directly east of the occupied Golan Heights; it was an important front-line area during the 1967 and 1973 wars.
Since the withdrawal of the militant groups from Quneitra city, the Syrian Arab Army has managed to impose control over several other towns around the provincial capital.
The Syrian Arab Army is now working to clear the Yarmouk Basin region, which is partially under the occupation of the Islamic State affiliated Jaysh Khaled bin Walid forces.
RIYADH - The Syrian opposition's chief negotiator, Nasr al-Hariri, has called for a renewal of UN-brokered peace talks while acknowledging "significant military losses" by rebel forces.
The rebels have "not lost the war", the head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission insisted Thursday, playing down the likelihood of an all-out regime assault on the last major rebel bastion of Idlib in northwestern Syria. Hariri took aim at the international community for having allowed regime ally Russia to determine the course of the war since its 2015 military intervention.
"By international consensus, military and non-military support for the opposition has been stopped, as well as political support to a great extent," he said in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Moscow, meanwhile, has been allowed "to intervene as it wants".
"Militarily, the opposition has lost considerable ground. All we have left is the political process, on the basis of the Geneva declaration and (UN) Resolution 2254," he said, referring to calls for the formation of a transitional government and free elections.
The government has since Russia's military intervention in September 2015 notched up a string of battlefield victories. Hariri said Turkish "guarantees" over Idlib would likely bar a regime assault on the northwest province. "It will be difficult for the regime, Iran and Russia to launch any operation unless Turkish troops withdraw..."
2013-2014: friends of fsa, al-qaeda and isis rebels
Hariri voiced bitterness at Western and Arab supporters of the opposition that in 2012 formed a Friends of Syria group which has faded since Russia's intervention. "May it rest in peace," he said, while also lambasting international efforts.
He pointed to a reluctant acceptance that Moscow would play a key role in any settlement.
"We are not counting on the regime... Our wager is on Russia, even if it continues to battle alongside it and to commit crimes with it..
MOSCOW (AP) – Vladimir Putin says the adoption of Christianity more than 1,000 years ago in territory that later became Russia marked the starting point for forming the Russian nation itself.
President Putin’s comments came Saturday in a ceremony marking the 1,030th anniversary of the adoption by Christianity by Prince Vladimir, the leader of Kievan Rus, a loose federation of Slavic tribes that preceded the Russian state.
Speaking to thousands of clergy and believers at a huge statue of the prince outside the Kremlin, Putin said adopting Christianity was “the starting point for the formation and development of Russian statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity, the flowering of national culture and education.”
On 31 October 2014, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church warmly greeted the high guest and reminded him of their last meeting in Damascus in 2011...
He underscored and continued to state that the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Federation on the crisis in Syria has not changed. ‘Peaceful life in Syria has been interrupted through the intervention of the external forces which supported all who wanted to wage struggle against the government, including the most radical force, which has become very dangerous and is now known as the ISIL. It is ruining people’s life in Syria and Iraq and poses a real threat to peace in the region.
The position of Syria as a state and the position of the Syrian people who still fight for their independence are very important. We support your people.’
Sheikh Hassoun said that Muslims and Christians were citizens who enjoy full rights in Syria and called the actions of those using religious and national problems for spreading division and tension in the country destructive.
Patriarch Kirill: "The church is a community open to the whole world
It cannot be together with one nationality against another." RT Russia News, 16-10-2016
The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, has delivered a speech in London’s Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God and All Saints in a four-day visit to the UK to mark the 300th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church’s presence there:
The Church has a special significance for the spiritual life of people. It brings people together regardless of national, social, material, cultural or political borders.
By its nature the church cannot be together with the right or the left, or with the centrists. It cannot be together with the rich against the poor or together with the poor against the rich. The church cannot be together with one nationality against another.
The church is a community open to the whole world. And within this community all human differences are erased...
To commemorate this joyous occasion I would like to present you with an icon of Our Blessed Mother of God.
Iran's currency hit a new record low on Sunday, dropping past 100,000 rials to the US dollar as Iranians brace for 7 August, when Washington is due to reimpose a first lot of economic sanctions.
In May, the United States pulled out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Washington decided to reimpose sanctions upon its withdrawal, accusing Iran of posing a security threat. It has told countries they must halt imports of Iranian oil from 4 November or face US financial measures.
iran: 'a security threath'
The rial has lost about half of its value since April amid a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and a heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the effects of sanctions.
With the collapse of the rial’s value against the US dollar, Iran’s implied annual inflation rate has surged to 203 percent, Forbes reported. That is almost twenty times higher than the official inflation rate of 10.2 percent.
Since Trump pulled the US from the nuclear accord in May, Iran’s currency has hit record lows and foreign companies including Peugeot parent PSA Group and Total SA have been scaling back operations, Bloomberg reported.
What remains are structural weaknesses in Iran’s economy compounded by embargoes, corruption and cronyism over the decades. Banks are crippled by bad loans amid years of poor regulation. The central bank blamed "enemies" for the fall of the currency and a rapid rise in the prices of gold coins...
"The recent developments in the foreign exchange and gold markets are largely due to a conspiracy by enemies with the aim of exacerbating economic problems and causing public anxiety," the central bank said in a statement read on state television.
On 7 August, Washington will reimpose sanctions on Iran's purchase of US dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.
Sanctions also will be reapplied to US imports of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs and on certain related financial transactions. Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by this year because of the sanctions, straining oil markets amid supply outages elsewhere.
Washington has been bullish in its backing for Israel, recognising Jerusalem as the nation's capital in December and failing to condemn Israel’s use of fatal force against Palestinian protesters in Gaza during the Great March of Return. But far less publicity has been given to the number of approvals awarded to Israeli settlements during the same period.
Each plan for a housing unit - defined as a single house - has to pass four stages within the Israeli government. Only then is it put out to tender, allowing prospective contractors to bid on the settlement’s construction.
During the past two years, the increase in settlement growth has been steep. This is regardless of what stage the settlement is at, be it a set of architect's drawings in a planning office or handing over the front-door keys to a settler family.
In the 22 months before Trump was elected in November 2016, 4,476 housing units were approved, according to the Israeli organisation Peace Now. But in the 21 months since, that figure has more than tripled to 13,987 housing units.
The building of settlements in the West Bank is illegal under international law.
The Fourth Geneva Convention states that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”, as has happened with Israel and the West Bank. And yet the numbers continue to grow: that figure for the past 19 months excludes the Israeli government approval on 3 July this year of 1,000 housing units, intended to expand the settlement of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem.
The expansion of settlements, along with the pressure placed on Palestinian villages by Israeli authorities, is political and in line with the vision to extend Israeli sovereignty across the occupied West Bank to the Jordan River.
US presidents, be they Democrat or Republican, have traditionally been critical of Israeli settlements. Walid Assaf, the Palestinian Authority's chairman of the Commission Against the Wall and Settlements, says: “Obama couldn’t do anything for peace in the area but Trump is not dealing with it as a president.
“He’s not applying international law and he’s giving all the protection to the Israeli occupation. Trump actually is one of the worst presidents of the US of all time.”
Hagit Ofran, a member of the Settlement Watch team at the Israeli organisation Peace Now, says: “What we see on the ground since Trump was elected is [support] for the Israelis to expand settlements. We see it in what is being officially said by the US administration and on the ground with what Israel is doing.”
“Plans to build a new settlement of 31 units in the heart of Hebron is something we didn’t have since the 1980s,” Ofran says. "It’s not only the quantity, it’s the quality of what they’re doing.”
“I absolutely feel the Trump administration is for Netanyahu. Trump’s helping him do what he wants to do.”
The West Bank is now home to more than 200 Israeli settlements, of which at least 125 settlements are officially recognised by the Israeli government; and another 100 of which were built without official authorisation but with government support, known as “outposts”. Between them, they now house close to 600,000 Israelis. The Yesha Council is the umbrella body for the municipal authorities of the settlements in the territory.
The Yesha Council ("Judea Samaria and Gaza Council") is an umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (and formerly in the Gaza Strip), known by the Hebrew acronym Yesha.
The Chairman of the Yesha Council is Dani Dayan, elected in July 2007. Dayan is a secular businessman, resident of Maale Shomron.
The Council was founded in the 1970s as the successor to Gush Emunim ("Bloc of the Faithful"), an organization formed to promote Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which they regarded as the return of Jews to their Biblical homeland.
Its mandate is to assist Jewish settlements in every possible way. The Council works to improve security by (for instance) arranging the acquisition of bullet-proof ambulances and buses. The Council works with the Israeli government to provide roads, electricity, and water to the settlements. (Wikipedia info)
Dani Dayan: "A failure to visit, a failure to know, [and a failure] to buy from Judea and Samaria is support for BDS." Minister Gilad Erdan: "The BDS movement is simply an “anti-Semitic hate campaign” whose “real goal [is] the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.” (6 march 2018)
Israel may never have been paradise for the some 20% of its citizens who are non-Jewish and Arabic-speaking. They did face de facto and sometimes even legal discrimination. But at least in the eyes of the law, they were full citizens. After the passage last week of the “nationality” law, Israel is no longer multicultural. It is a country where national sovereignty solely lies in the hands of its Jewish citizens.
Among the Palestinian-Israelis with Israeli citizenship, only about 130,000 are Druze. Alone among the Palestinian-Israelis, the Druze serve in the military. And therein lies the rub. Two Druze officers have resigned over the nationality law.
It is one thing to labor under a discriminatory government, as most Palestinian-Israelis do. But to serve in its armed forces and to risk one’s life, and that of one’s sons, is a different matter. And to take that risk for the sake of an unequal state that discriminates against you?
Hence, some of the more poignant protests have come from parents who lost family members in wars. They say they were fighting for their ‘nationality’ but that now it isn’t theirs anymore.
They don’t belong to the sovereign nationality. They say they will do whatever they can to ensure that their grandchildren don’t serve in the Israeli army.
Israel benefited from being a multicultural country with a strong Jewish majority. There was always a tension between democracy and a tyranny of the majority, but it wasn’t unique and there was at least a little wriggle room for dissent in politics, the parliament, and the courts. It is now not even clear that Palestinian-Israelis have access to the Supreme Court for certain purposes that affect national sovereignty.
Israel is no longer a multi-cultural country, since sovereignty is explicitly vested solely in its Jewish citizens. And with that change, to what amounts to an apartheid state, Israel is losing the loyalty of the more conservative communities among the Palestinian-Israelis.
Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has turned them into Palestinians, without the hyphen. They are not stateless the way the latter are, but they aren’t full citizens either.
The statelessness of the refugees and the Occupied has finally rubbed off on them.
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