Saddam's Death, 130 (november 2018)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 129: october 2018 and Page 131: nov-december 2018

Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple
Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003
Trump & the Pisces Messiah - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel
"I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations
Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel
Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center
Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine - Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes
The Balfour Declaration - Trump's move on Jerusalem (2017)
Abbas & Trump's "slap of the century"
John Bolton, prominent war hawk, National Security Adviser to President Trump
Lies & Provocations: France, UK and USA show their dark face
Trump, the 'deal-breaker' - Explaining America’s economic might
Netanyahu & The Survival of the Fittest
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.”

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

Jews must ditch Zionism, now
Middle East Robert Cohen, Mondoweis, April 8, 2018

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)

Index Page

"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)

Syrian Museum Reopening Hailed As 'Return to Normal Life'
FARS News, 30-10-2018

Syria’s National Museum was reopened in the heart of Damascus on Sunday, more than six years after it was shut down and emptied as the country’s war encroached on the capital.

PLO council votes to suspend recognition of state of Israel
Middle East Eye, Monday 29 October 2018

The Palestine Liberation Organization's central council has announced that it is suspending its recognition of the state of Israel.
In the decision, announced after a meeting late Monday, the PLO said it will halt all its commitments to the "occupation authorities" until Israel recognises a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
That includes security cooperations and trade agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
While the central council's decisions are not binding, it advises the PA on future policy decisions. PA President Mahmoud Abbas was present at the meeting.
The council has tasked Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee with following up on Monday's decisions.
The council also explicitly rebuked the Donald Trump-led peace process and his "Deal of the Century" plan to end the conflict.
"The committee lauded the efforts of the president (Abbas) ... in continuing to reject the so-called Deal of the Century and confronting it in all available means to defeat it, as well as deeming the US administration a partner of the Israeli occupation government and a part of the problem, not the solution," official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The council also hit out at Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, accusing the Islamist group of failing to live up to its commitment and the unity agreement that was signed in October of last year.
Abbas appeared to endorse Monday's decisions, saying the time has come to put into actions previous measures approved by the central council.
According to a statement published by WAFA, Abbas called on Palestinians to unite behind the PLO as the "sole legitimate representatives" of the Palestinian people.
Amid mounting pressure from Washington to end Palestinian Authority's public assistance to the families of prisoners and people killed by Israeli forces, Abbas said: "The allocations for our families and martyrs and the wounded are a red line; we cannot negotiate over their rights.

PLO Withdraws From Oslo Accord
Jason Ditz,, October 29, 2018

The Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has moved to fully withdraw from the Oslo Accord on Monday, announcing that they are ending their commitment to the deal, and halting all security coordination with Israel.
The 1993 Oslo Accord was intended to increase cooperation during a brief transition period leading to Palestinian statehood.
With Israel’s far-right leadership having long insisted that the Palestinians will never have an independent state, many in the PLO have argued that security cooperation was just making the permanent Israeli occupation cheaper and giving them legal cover to do things in violation of international law in the occupied territories.
The collapse of the Oslo Accord could greatly increase the cost of the occupation for Israel, because under international law they are obliged to provide certain specific services to the Palestinians, and if the PLO is no longer voluntarily providing them with foreign donated funds, they’ll be on the hook to do it themselves.

UN Secretary General appoints Geir Pedersen
as his special envoy on Syria
TASS Russian News Agency, October 31, 2018

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a letter to UN Security Council members that he had decided to appoint Norwegian diplomat Geir Pedersen as his new special envoy for Syria, diplomatic sources told TASS. According to the sources, the secretary general delivered the news in a letter to UN Security Council members.
"In taking this decision, I have consulted broadly, including with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic," reads the letter, a copy of which was obtained by TASS.
According to Guterres, the new envoy would "support the Syrian parties by facilitating an inclusive and credible political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people."
A diplomatic source earlier told TASS that Pedersen’s candidacy was earlier approved by all members of the UN Security Council. At the same time, the secretary general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told TASS that all appointments are unofficial unless they are announced by the UN Secretariat.
Pedersen currently serves as Norway’s ambassador to China. Earlier, he held the post of the country’s permanent UN envoy.
On October 17, UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura announced his resignation from the post at the end of November. He held this position for more than four years.

Geir O. Pedersen was appointed Ambassador of Norway to China on 9 June 2017. He was previously Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in New York from 2012 to 2017 and Director General in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department for the United Nations, Peace and Humanitarian Affairs.
Mr. Pedersen served as the Special Coordinator for Lebanon at the level of Under-Secretary-General from 2005 to 2008. He has also served as Director of Asia and Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs. Between 1998 and 2003, Mr. Pedersen served as the Norwegian Representative to the Palestinian Authority.
In 1993 he was a member of the Norwegian team to the secret Oslo negotiations that led to the signing of the Declaration of Principles.

Pompeo, Mattis call for Yemen cease-fire
Reuters|Daily Sabah, 31-10-2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for a cessation of hostilities in Yemen and said U.N.-led negotiations to end the civil war should begin next month.
In a statement, Pompeo said missile and drone strikes by Iran-allied Houthi rebels against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should stop, and the Saudi-led coalition must cease air strikes in all populated areas of Yemen.
The United States helps the coalition by refueling its jets and providing training in targeting. Pompeo said last month that he had certified to the U.S. Congress that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were working to reduce civilian casualties in Yemen.
Three-quarters of Yemen's population, or 22 million people, require aid and 8.4 million people are on the brink of starvation.
A cessation of hostilities and resumption of a political track would help ease the humanitarian crisis, Pompeo said.

U.N. special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said earlier this month that the United Nations hoped to resume consultations between the warring sides by November. Both Pompeo and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis voiced support for the U.N. effort.
Jim Mattis, addressing a forum in Washington on Tuesday, defended U.S. efforts to help reduce casualties by the Saudi-led coalition and said all sides needed to take meaningful steps toward a cease-fire and negotiations in the next 30 days.
"We've got to move toward a peace effort here. And we can't say we're going to do it sometime in the future. We need to be doing this in the next 30 days," Mattis said.

Social or anti-social media?
By Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, Jordan Times, Oct 31,2018

Writing this article is a way for me to address all dear Jordanians and encourage a constructive discussion on our priorities and multiple key national issues... In this article, I have decided to focus on a crucial issue — that of disturbing trends on social media platforms.
Our current era may be witnessing the most profound change in the history of media and communications, and in the way information is consumed, produced, spread and interacted with...
Today, social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter enable us to make our voices heard. They provide us with unprecedented opportunities to connect with each other, to express our opinions and exchange views, to come together around key and humanitarian causes, and to highlight and discuss critical issues while building on them through constructive dialogue.
These tools and technologies have become vital for us all, myself included. They are means for me to listen to citizens’ thoughts and opinions, as much as possible, unfiltered, without mediators, barriers or restrictions.
Although times and tools may change, the high values of compassion and solidarity will remain at the heart of the Jordanian ethos. This is what distinguishes us. It is the anchor that enables us to stand firm in the face of all storms...
These deep-rooted values we have inherited and strive to instil in our children are the protective, sturdy shield we maintain and are proud of.
However, seeing recent attempts to shake this anchor on social media platforms has pushed me to write this today.
When navigating social media platforms, we often face an overwhelming volume of hostility, libel and hatred.
These platforms have almost become a place for slander and defamation; they are rife with hurtful comments and misinformation, and they almost lack any sense of moral or social responsibility, or adherence to the laws in place to deter and hold all offenders to account...
It is evident to all observers of online discussions that rumours and fabricated news are used by certain individuals to mislead their followers, fuelling their own agendas and polarising public opinion, or settling personal and political scores.
Amongst lies, empty slogans and false heroisms, negativity and frustration thrive. Readers are often left confused between truth and rumour.
An air of suspicion, confusion and pessimism lingers in society because of a rumour that bases its credibility solely on its ability to go viral. Thus, the virtual world no longer reflects the real image of our deep-rooted values, our society and our everyday reality.
It has been said that a lie can travel halfway around the world, before the truth can get its boots on. An MIT study supports this, reporting that fabricated news is 70 per cent more likely to spread on a social media platform such as Twitter than a factual report.

To put the phenomenon of misinformation in context, we must remember that it is not unique to Jordan.
It is a global phenomenon and challenge...
Today, there is an urgent need to develop our laws to ensure the protection of freedom of expression, protect citizens’ right to privacy, combat rumours and misinformation, and counter hate speech, especially since several senior executives of the world’s largest social media platforms have openly recognised that their platforms could be abused for negative and destructive purposes...
More important, however, is our responsibility as individuals and societies not to be a passive audience, but to be active and critical of what we read, what we believe and what we share with others.
We must apply reason and common sense to weigh news and information.
Let us reflect and ask ourselves: Where would we end up if we were not responsible and cautious when interacting on social media? What would our future look like if we abandoned rationality and reason; if we chose rumours over truth; if our discourse were based on lies and hearsay; if character assassination became the norm?

Al-Jaafari: Economic siege imposed on many states
hinders economic and social development
Syrian Arab News Agency, 1 November 2018

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari on Wednesday stressed that the Syrian Arab Republic will continue to support the steadfastness of the Cuban state and people in the face of the unjust embargo imposed on them by the US since 1962.
In a statement at the UN General Assembly on the provision no. /43/ titled “Necessity to End Economic, Trade and Financial Embargo Imposed by US on Cuba,” al-Jaafari noted that the economic siege imposed by some governments on many of the world’s states directly hinders the achievement of economic and social development of these states’ peoples.
He wondered how the representatives of some states call for speeding up the implementation of the goals and purposes of 2030 agenda for sustainable development while at the same time their states impose unilateral coercive economic measures on Cuba, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Democratic Republic of Korea “DPRK”, Palestine, Federal Russia and other states.
He affirmed that the economic siege imposed by some governments on many of the world’s states directly hinders the achievement of the economic and social development of these states’ peoples, and therefore, the credibility of the UN is at stake, particularly after 191 member states last year granted an absolute and unconditional mandate to the UN to end the embargo imposed on the Cuban people from 56 years ago.
Al-Jaafari said that those who impose the unilateral sanctions are the states which enjoy an economic, political and military influence which makes them think that they can punish the states which oppose their policies of imposing hegemony on the world under the pretexts of defending human rights or combating terrorism...
He added that Syria calls upon the General Assembly to set active mechanisms for putting an end to these hostile practices and to the policies of siege and the unilateral economic measures which violate international law...

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The Sustainable Development Agenda

This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom.
We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan.
We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind...
The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet..

- We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people...
- We envisage a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity. A world which invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation....

Flashback: Syria & Western backed Jihadists

Trump to reinstate all US sanctions on Iran,
RT Russia, 2-11-2018

All sanctions on Iran lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal will be back in force on November 5, the US administration has announced.
The sweeping sanctions will see 700 people blacklisted, the US Treasury has announced. These include persons that were granted relief under the 2015 deal, as well as over 300 new names, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters.
Sanctions will also target payments through the special mechanism that the EU has been creating specifically to avoid Washington’s penalties and to keep buying Iranian oil.
Mnuchin has also threatened sanctions against the transaction service SWIFT:
“SWIFT is no different than any other entity,” Mnuchin told reporters. “We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institutions that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed earlier reports that eight nations will receive exemptions from the reimposed penalties, but refused to name them and said the EU as a singular entity was not among them. Earlier reports suggested that the list of exemptions would include Japan, India and South Korea.
Pompeo has released a list of 12 demands for Iran to comply with if it wants the sanctions lifted. These include halting all nuclear and ballistic missile development, as well as ending what Washington calls Tehran’s “support for terrorism,” and withdrawing from the Syrian conflict.
Tehran is dismissing the sanctions, saying it is fully capable of managing its economy despite the resultant pressure.
“The new US sanctions will mostly have psychological effects,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on state TV. The US will not attain its political goals through such sanctions, he added.

This is the second batch of sanctions to be re-imposed after US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the landmark deal, which was signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015. They cover Iran’s shipping, finance and energy sectors; and penalize other countries that don’t stop dealing with Tehran.
Since its withdrawal, the US has been pursuing the policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, much to the chagrin of the European signatories, who have long praised the Obama-era agreement and attested to its effectiveness. The EU has been working on creating special payment channels to continue importing Iranian oil legally.

Chronology of Mossad program to kill JCPOA
Tehran Times, November 2, 2018

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has outlined what he calls the chronology of a Mossad program to kill the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

4/30: Netanyahu claims MOSSAD “Iran nuke file discovery”;
5/08: Trump withdraws from the JCPOA.
6/03: President Rouhani begins state visits to Switzerland and Austria;
6/03: MOSSAD assists in “foiling Iranian bomb plot” in France.
9/26: Trump chairs disastrous anti-Iran show at UN Security Council.
9/27: Netanyahu claims MOSSAD “Iran nuclear site discovery.”
10/29: Planned EU announcement on Special Purpose Vehicle;
10/29: MOSSAD assists in “foiling Iranian assassination plot” in Denmark,” the Iranian foreign minister posted his chronology on Twitter on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zarif referred in another tweet to Mossad’s role in a diplomatic standoff between Tehran and Copenhagen over claims that Iran had tried to carry out an assassination plot on Danish soil, an allegation Tehran has sharply rejected.
Mossad’s perverse & stubborn planting of false flags (more on this later) only strengthens our resolve to engage constructively with the world.
Denmark recalled its ambassador from Tehran and said that it was consulting with other European countries about how to respond. Tehran also summoned the Danish ambassador to Tehran to voice its protest.
Israeli media later revealed that Mossad had provided Denmark with “intelligence” concerning the alleged plot by Tehran.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also quick to “congratulate” the Danish government on the arrest.
Tehran has dismissed Denmark’s claims as “rash, politicized,” with Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi saying Wednesday that “invisible hands” were at work to damage Iran’s ties with Europe at the time when the two sides are closely cooperating to save the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal following the US’s pullout.

Russia says US sanctions 'illegal', will help Iran trade oil
Al-Jazeera News, 3-11-2018

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said Moscow will support Iran to counter US oil sanctions.
Washington on Friday restored sanctions on Tehran, which had previously been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.
In an interview with the British Financial Times newspaper, Novak said that Russia is looking to continue trading Iranian crude oil beyond the Monday cut-off.
"We believe we should look for mechanisms that would allow us to continue developing cooperation with our partners, with Iran," Novak told the FT.
Under a 2014 oil-for-goods deal, Moscow sells Iranian oil to third parties while Tehran uses the revenues from those sales to pay for Russian goods and services.
The Russian energy ministry told the FT that the trade would continue next week, while Novak said that Moscow considered the US sanctions to be "illegal".
"We already live in the condition of sanctions," he said. "We do not recognise the sanctions introduced unilaterally without the United Nations, we consider those methods illegal per se." [..]
Britain, Germany, France and the EU have announced plans to establish a "special purpose" financial vehicle that would allow trade between Europe and Iran to continue, although it will not be ready by Monday.
The Europeans said on Friday they "deeply regret" the re-imposition of sanctions and would work to ensure legitimate trade with Iran could continue. "Our collective resolve to complete this work is unwavering," they said in a joint statement.

Trump’s Game of Thrones Tweet
Juan Cole 11/03/2018

With his seemingly infinite capacity for tone deafness, Trump tweeted on Friday an HBO-style movie poster of himself with the phrase “Sanctions are coming,” referring to the Game of Thrones tagline that “winter is coming,” and thereby menacing Iran.
HBO issued a formal complaint against use of its material for political purposes. It also sent out a lighter tweet,
For anyone who doesn’t watch “Game of Thrones,” it depicts an epic struggle among seven kingdoms for power, which is kaleidoscopic over time since different ruling houses get the upper hand.
But hanging over them all is a cyclical deep winter during which zombies (“white walkers”) who live in the far north pierce the wall and come south, threatening human civilization.
Aside from copyright infringement, there are many, many things wrong with Trump’s message.

1. It casts the United States as a menacing white walker coming for a country in the global South. That’s completely the wrong message. The US is supposed to represent itself as the good guys, not relentless zombies.
2. It underlines that the United States is the aggressor here. Trump pulled out of the UN Security Council-negotiated treaty with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even though Iran had done everything the treaty asked it to do.
3. The tweet makes light of a very serious issue. Trump is now imposing severe sanctions on Iran despite the latter’s compliance. Those sanctions have the prospect of driving more people into poverty...
4. The tweet allows the Iranian regime to portray itself as Jon Snow, standing up to an irrational and bloodthirsty horde...

Iran: National Day of Fight against Global Arrogance
Mehr News, 3 November 2018

[Iranian spiritual leader] Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei said Saturday that the United States has always been on the losing side of the 40-year-long war it has waged against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
He made the remarks in a meeting with a number of university and high school students on Saturday ahead of the National Day of Fight against Global Arrogance.
The 13th day of the Iranian calendar month of Aban, which falls on November 4 this year, also known as the Student Day in Iran, marks the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the US embassy by Iranian students in Tehran.
Speaking at the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei noted the forty years of conflict between the US and Iran, which encompasses all types of aggression launched from the enemy side, from military and economic war to a media war.
He said the US objective was to regain its control over Iran, which it lost after the Islamic Revolution and never managed to get it back.
“The important fact here is that in this 40-year-old conflict, the US has been on the losing side and the Islamic Republic of Iran on the winning side. The reason for the US defeat is that it was them who started the attack, but they failed to achieve their objectives,” the Leader said.

Iran sanctions may end dollar's domination of world economy
Sadık Ünay, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 3-11-2018

Historical experience in international politics confirms that economic sanctions rarely produce the specific policy outcomes intended by the imposing actors.
The new set of economic sanctions to be imposed by the Donald Trump administration against Iran as of Nov. 4 will probably not constitute an exception to this general rule; however, there is a serious possibility they might produce totally unintended outcomes by triggering the formation of a new international banking architecture, thanks to the initiatives of the EU, Britain, Russia and China, searching for innovative ways of averting the sanctions via a prospective system called the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

It seems likely that the SPV model will reflect an updated and more sophisticated version of the Soviet barter system, which was extensively used during the Cold War to avert U.S. trade sanctions.
The European Union, Iran, China and Russia will be the initial stakeholders to allow the trade of Iranian oil in exchange for goods without any financial transactions with Iranian banks or conventional banking institutions. Emerging powers such as India and Turkey have also expressed their willingness to join the pact in future stages.
To this end, a multinational European state-funded financial institution would be set up for intermediate deals with private companies interested in handling transactions with Iran and related counter-parties.
There is no doubt that the SPV initiative represents an extraordinary collective response to the aggressive unilateralism and unambiguous adoption of trade wars by the Trump administration.
While Washington has called for a policy of all-out financial war against Iran and threatened to sanction even European central banks and the Brussels-based SWIFT interbank payments network if they maintained transactions with Tehran, the EU responded by asserting its policy autonomy and triggered the formation of an alternative banking architecture.
How far the EU is willing to go to defy Washington's restrictions on trade with Iran remains to be seen....

Washington's hasty decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal and impose comprehensive sanctions on companies trading Iranian crude as of Nov. 4 seems to have created new venues for international cooperation among the rest of the global and emerging powers.
The EU's latest SPV and similar initiatives designed to legally avoid the use of U.S. dollars in the oil trade and avert unilateral U.S. sanctions might just spell the beginning of a new era in the dollar-dominated global economic system.

Wounded Syrian soldiers learn to live with war disabilities
By Associated Press|Rudaw, 3-11-2018

Photos: Hassan Ammar | AP

In a Damascus hospital, Haidar Hussein lifts himself up, his hands holding on to a set of bars as he cautiously steps forward, showing off his new skills walking on artificial legs as his therapists cheer him on.
The 30-year-old soldier is inching toward the end of his 10-week physical therapy stint. With two weeks to go, he is looking forward to returning to his previous life as a grocery store owner.
Four years ago, at the height of the Syrian civil war, he was on a military mission in the central Hama province when his group was hit by two roadside bombs made from gas cylinders, known as “hell cannons.” Twenty-three of his comrades died. Hussein, whose legs were blown off, survived.
Now, after an arduous journey during which he went from hospital to hospital, battling infections and complications from the injuries, he is learning to walk with prosthetic legs. Wearing a sleeveless khaki T-shirt imprinted with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face and the words “Expendables,” he takes small steps in the large exercise hall, sometimes stumbling but picking himself up again.
“My injury gave me strength,” he said. “I realized how strong I am. I had no idea I could be this strong.”

Hussein is one of Syria’s many soldiers who, after years of intense fighting, now face a new reality of living with disabilities.
Many are being treated at the Ahmad Hamish Martyr Hospital in Damascus, which has a center for prosthetics and orthotics and offers physical therapy for members of the armed forces disabled as a result of war injuries. The center uses advanced technology to manufacture around 60 prosthetic limbs a day, reflecting the high demand in a nation wracked by conflict for the past seven years.
The government provides no official statistics for the number of Syrian soldiers who have been killed or wounded in the war, although the number of casualties is believed to be in the tens of thousands.

The Ahmad Hamish Hospital is one of the largest facilities in Syria offering support for members of the military, which has been exhausted by the conflict. Troops have fought armed opposition groups on multiple fronts, as well as Islamic State and al-Qaida extremists.
Hospital officials say patients at the military hospital receive rehabilitation services and free prosthetics, along with support to help them adjust to living with a disability. Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife, Asma, have visited the hospital on numerous occasions over the past few years, offering support, according to staff.
Roa Taleb, a social assistant, said many patients have difficulties dealing with inactivity, and some get depressed. The hospital staff tries to foster a sense of community among the patients, many of whom live there for round-the-clock treatment.
A common thread among the patients is pride in their country’s military and its leader, Assad. The Syrian army has made a series of gains over the past year, possibly bringing the war closer to an end...
Hussein, like others, says he would return to the front line tomorrow if he could.
“My country is very important to me. A person without a country isn’t worth anything,” he says. “The country is the mother, it’s my mother, before even my real mother.”

Netanyahu: "Iranian sanctions a great day for Israel"
By Tovah Lazaroff, Reuters|Jerusalem Post, 5-11-2018

The Trump Administration reinstatement and expansion of sanctions against Iran is an “historic” moment for Israel and the world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
He spoke as the US restored and strengthened sanctions it had lifted under a 2015 international agreement on Iran's nuclear program from which Washington withdrew in May at US President Donald Trump's behest.
Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said in an interview with Fox Business Network that more sanctions would be coming, but he gave no details.

This is a great day for the State of Israel. This is a great day for the people of Israel. This is a great day for the future of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Likud faction in the Knesset.
“You know that for many years I have devoted my time and energy to the war against the Iranian threat. In this matter I went almost against the whole world. Today we see the results of this long and continuous struggle,” Netanyahu said. “I would like to thank President Donald Trump again for a courageous, determined and important decision. I think that this contributes to stability, security and peace...” Netanyahu said.
The sanctions target Iran's oil, banking and industrial sectors. They are designed, in part, to force Iran's major customers to stop buying its oil.
The sanctions also cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, Tehran's national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, the Treasury said.

In Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the results of initial US sanctions were already evident and the ones imposed Monday would be even more effective.
The second wave of sanctions, especially the sanctions imposed on the SWIFT, the banking clearing system used by the Iranian regime, will add a very severe blow to Iran's terrorist regime.
“I believed that sanctions must include this element of credit clearance. I raised this several times, even during my last meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and I am pleased that the US has decided to include this component, the credit component,” Netanyahu said.
The US government has told SWIFT that it is expected to comply with US sanctions and it could face US sanctions if it fails to do so.

Swift to comply with US sanctions on Iran in blow to EU
Financial Times, 5-11-2018

Swift, the international financial messaging system, has said it will comply with restored US sanctions on Iran, in a blow to EU efforts to defy Washington’s action.
The Belgian-based company said Monday it would suspend “certain Iranian banks’” access to its cross border-payment network — a signal that it will fall into line with a US list of targeted financial institutions due to be published imminently.
Swift’s decision undermines EU efforts to maintain trade with Iran and save a landmark international deal with Tehran, after President Donald Trump pulled out in May.
Swift now faces the threat of punitive action under new EU rules that forbid companies from complying with the US Iran sanctions.
Swift said: “In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, Swift is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system. This step, while regrettable, has been taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system.”

Wikipedia info: SWIFT is a cooperative society under Belgian law owned by its member financial institutions with offices around the world. SWIFT headquarters, designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura are in La Hulpe, Belgium, near Brussels. The chairman of SWIFT is Yawar Shah, originally from Pakistan, and its CEO is Gottfried Leibbrandt, originally from the Netherlands. SWIFT hosts an annual conference, called Sibos, specifically aimed at the financial services industry.

Egypt's president says Arab Spring uprising was ill-advised
Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press, November 5, 2018

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's president has said his country's 2011 Arab Spring revolt was an ill-advised attempt at change whose chaotic aftermath posed an existential threat to the nation.
Addressing an international youth conference late Sunday, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said those behind the revolt had good intentions but had inadvertently "opened the gates of hell."
El-Sissi had until recently only hinted at his disapproval of the uprising that ended the 29-year rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. In his first outright criticism of the uprising, he said last month it was the "wrong remedy that followed a wrong diagnosis."
The 2011 uprising was led by young, pro-democracy activists, and paved the way for Egypt's first free and fair elections, which were won by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group whose stalwart Mohammed Morsi was elected president in 2012. His rule proved divisive, and in 2013 el-Sissi, as defense minister, led the military overthrow of Morsi amid mass protests.
Since then, the government has waged an unprecedented crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists along with some of the most prominent activists behind the 2011 uprising....

yusuf qaradawi 2012, 'arab spring' leader

El-Sissi has defended his actions by saying they spared Egypt the fate of Syria, Yemen and Libya, where Arab Spring uprisings led to civil war.
On Sunday, he said the uprising created a "massive vacuum that only the evil people can fill" and warned against a repeat. He said Egyptians and others in the region would be better off under "not so good" rulers than living through chaos.
"Work, be patient, endure and suffer under the reality that you disapprove of, but don't ruin your countries because they will never return to what they once were," he warned.

Çavuşoğlu: ‘Isolating Iran is dangerous, unwise’
Associated Press|Daily Sabah, 6-11-2018

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Tuesday criticized the U.S. resumption of sanctions on Iran as unilateral, not wise and dangerous, calling for a dialogue and engagement instead.
Çavuşoğlu, in Tokyo for talks with Japanese leaders, told reporters that Turkey opposes sanctions because they don't achieve results.
"As a principle Turkey is against sanctions and we don't believe that any result can be achieved through sanctions," he said. "Cornering is not wise, isolating Iran is dangerous and punishing the Iranian people is not fair."
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration's resumption of sanctions on Iran took effect Monday. Turkey is one of eight major importers of Iranian oil spared temporarily from immediate penalties.
Still, Turkey has to be frank with its ally the U.S. about its opposition. The U.S. "unilateral" measure affects the world, including Turkey, one-third of whose gas imports come from Iran, Çavuşoğlu said, and urged Washington to find other reasonable solutions.
"I think instead of sanctions, meaningful dialogue and engagement is much useful and this is our principle," he said.

Çavuşoğlu also urged Saudi Arabia to fully cooperate in the investigation of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month, demanding the country locate his missing body and hand over suspected collaborators.
Turkey is determined to get to the bottom of the case and Saudi Arabia hasn't answered the key questions, he said. "We have to find out how it happened, who did it and who gave the instructions, and we also have to find the body of the journalist Khashoggi."

The Most Disheartening Survey of Voters
By Wes Granberg-Michaelson,, 6 november 2018

Of all the various surveys and polls I’ve seen leading up to today’s election, one was the most disheartening and depressing: The 2018 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.
While examining voters’ attitudes on a wide range of issues facing the electorate, most revealing are the views of white evangelicals. This constitutes nothing short of moral and ethical indictment, documenting with irrefutable evidence the failure of this group to embody many values of the gospel they confess.
Here is a summary of these findings:

- White evangelicals are the only religious group with more than half (54 percent) believing that the U.S. becoming a “majority of minorities” in racial diversity by 2045 is a negative thing.
- White evangelicals are the only religious group with a majority (51 percent) favoring a law preventing refugees from entering the country. Only 37 percent of the country supports this.
- White evangelicals are the only religious group with a majority (57 percent) saying immigrants threaten American customs and values.
- White evangelicals display the strongest support, 70 percent, for a travel ban of those from some Muslim countries while the country is evenly divided.
- White evangelicals are the least likely (26 percent) to think that President Trump’s words and actions have encouraged white supremacist groups..
- Less than half of white evangelicals think that Trump has damaged the dignity of the presidency, compared to two-thirds of other religious groups and 70 percent of the country at large.

The Republican Party, because of President Trump, has become the party of white identity.
Echoing the president of the United States, many GOP candidates decided that demonizing others — liberals, immigrants, the media, and others — is their best strategy for winning, and they have done so without a moral blink of the eye.
But Trump’s strategy of exploiting racial fears and lies while demonizing immigrants as key to projecting a nativist, white nationalism would be politically impotent without the support of white evangelicals. The facts in this survey make this clear.
The white evangelical world has failed catastrophically to teach and nurture discipleship that meaningfully engages the issues of our society around race, immigration, and national identity with the values of the gospel.
I share this all with a measure of deep grief. White evangelicalism is the tribe I was born into, and nurtured me. While I've become more ecumenical, I've valued fellowship with these brothers and sisters. But the truth must be faced by us all...
Like in the era when Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived and was executed, the integrity of Christian faith in the public square is at stake. With him, Christians must ask, “Who is Jesus Christ for us today?”

George W Bush Will Receive Liberty Medal on Armistice Day
Sputnik News, 9 november 2018

Former US President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will receive the Liberty Medal on Sunday in Philadelphia. With the award typically going to leaders "who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe,” more than a few people are baffled at the National Constitution Center’s choice. The Bushes will receive the award on November 11, Veterans Day, which in Europe is known as Armistice Day. This year's Armistice Day is a very special anniversary, because it will have been exactly 100 years since the armistice that ended the First World War on the Western Front on November 11, 1918.

It's especially ironic, then, that Bush should be given a medal that typically goes to people who end conflicts or who fight for peace, such as Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, or overcome prejudice, such as Sandra Day O'Connor, John Lewis and Thurgood Marshall, on a day commemorating the end of what was once called "The War to End All Wars," when Bush's most notorious legacies are two colossal wars in the Middle East and the enormous expansion of the surveillance state in the US.
​Lest it be forgotten, Bush presided over the creation of the US Department of Homeland Security following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as the massive expansion of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to house suspected terrorists indefinitely under conditions of torture.
It was Bush who started the US War in Afghanistan, which just entered its 18th year last month, and who started the US War in Iraq, each of which is estimated to have killed half a million people. Those wars also paved the way for the catastrophic wars in Syria and Libya, the former of which is now in its eighth year.

​In perhaps one of the strangest ironies, former Vice President Joe Biden, who served under Democratic President Barack Obama — who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize only months after taking office basically as a reward for not being Bush — will be delivering to the Bushes their medals on Sunday.

Syria invites tourists to visit ancient city 2 years after liberation
RT Russia, 9 Nov, 2018

Video offering panoramic and aerial views of Aleppo has been released by the Syrian Ministry of Tourism in an apparent attempt to say that the country’s historic pearl is finally ready to receive visitors.
The pitch comes almost two years after the Syrian army defeated jihadist rebel groups besieging the city in a series of fierce battles. The fighting damaged many of Aleppo’s historical buildings and much of its industrial infrastructure.

Militants seeking to overthrow the Syrian government seized parts of Aleppo in 2012.
Syrian government forces held on to the old city despite the blockade. The fortunes of war changed in late 2015, when Russia sent an expeditionary force into Syria at the request of Damascus. Syrian government forces and allied militias finally ousted the rebels from Aleppo in December 2016.

Libyan players set for Italy summit in fresh bid to solve crisis
The National, UAE, Saturday 10 November 2018

Libya's key political players are set to meet global leaders in Italy next week, in the latest bid by major powers to kickstart a long-stalled political process and trigger elections.
A summit in Paris in May had seen the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and eastern Libya strongman Khalifa Haftar agree to hold national polls on December 10. But acknowledging the chaotic political situation since Moamer Kadhafi was deposed in 2011, the UN on Thursday conceded elections will not be viable before at least the spring of 2019.
Analysts say next week's summit in the Sicilian city of Palermo risks being compromised not only by tensions between Libyan factions, but also the competing agendas of foreign powers.
According to diplomats and analysts, Russia, France, Egypt and the UAE support Mr Haftar, while Turkey and Qatar have thrown their weight behind rivals to the eastern strongman, especially Islamist groups.

Just as in May, the key Libyan invitees are Mr Haftar, the eastern parliament's speaker Aguila Salah, GNA head Fayez Al Sarraj and Khaled Al Mechri, speaker of a Tripoli-based upper chamber.
Mr Al Sarraj, in an interview with AFP, urged the international community on Thursday to find a "common vision" for the future of his chaos-hit North African nation.
The GNA says it will use the Palermo talks to lobby for security reforms that unify the army, a constitutionally-rooted electoral process, economic reform and an end to "parallel institutions".
The US, Arab countries and European nations will all send representatives to the talks set to take place on Monday and Tuesday.

Iran women attend Asian football final in rare 'victory'
AFP|Ahram online, Sunday 11 Nov 2018

Hundreds of Iranian women attended a crunch football match in Tehran, in a rare step seen Sunday as a "victory" by local newspapers and hailed by FIFA as an "historic and festive day" for the sport.
About a thousand women were allowed into Azadi Stadium late Saturday to watch Iranian giant Persepolis FC battle it out in the Asian Champions League with Japan's Kashima Antlers, an AFP reporter said.
The Japanese side triumphed 2-0 on aggregate, after a goalless draw in Tehran, but for the reformist Etemad newspaper the clear winners were Iranian women.
"Women were the winners of Azadi ("Freedom" in Farsi) match," it said in a bold headline on its front page. A picture on the front page of another reformist daily, Sazandegi, showed women cheering at the stadium with a headline reading: "Iranian women's victory in Asian finals."
The Asian Football Confederation and FIFA presidents praised the attendance of women at the match, in a joint statement.
"I thank the authorities in Iran for making it possible for a diverse and socially representative crowd to witness an extraordinary occasion," said AFC president Salman al-Khalifa. "Tonight, was historic in so many ways," he said.
Women were barred from attending matches after the 1979 Islamic revolution, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men. They have also worried about the crush of men and women when leaving stadiums.

Messages from Egypt
Gamal Essam El-Din, Al-Ahram Weekly, 11-11-2018

After months of preparation the second World Youth Forum took place this week...
The event brought together 5,000 young people from 165 countries. The Sharm El-Sheikh Conference Hall was a beehive of positive energy as the young delegates moved between sessions discussing topics that ranged from terrorism to cinema and social media.
President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi seized the event to comment on a roster of controversial and pressing issues, including the fall-out from the Arab Spring, rotation of power in Egypt, the terrorist attacks against Copts and religious reform.
“In Egypt the state does not discriminate. The killing of any Egyptian citizen in a terrorist attack hurts us all and all Egyptians condemn any attempt to target a place of worship, whether it is a mosque or a church,” said Al-Sisi.
He noted that parliament has recently passed a long-awaited law regulating the building of churches.
“This law came after 150 years to finally settle the critical issue of building churches. Before the law the state was involved only in the building of mosques but now it is responsible for building both churches and mosques, particularly in new cities and communities,” said Al-Sisi.
“Every citizen has the right to worship or not to worship what he or she likes. Religious beliefs are a personal matter and every citizen is free. The state should not interfere in this.”
Al-Sisi highlighted the importance of “reforming religious discourse”, arguing that “it is one of the most essential tasks facing Egypt, the region and the Islamic world.”
“It is no longer viable for people to adhere to interpretations and thoughts that were correct 1,000 years ago.”
Al-Sisi argued that religious reform is central to achieving social peace. “This is an essential issue in Egypt because it will save society from internal conflicts,” he said.

Al-Sisi defended Egypt’s position on the crisis in Yemen, saying that the conflict in the war-ravaged country is much more complex than a struggle between the government and the Houthis.
Egypt chose not to interfere in the Yemeni crisis because the war in Yemen is a proxy war in which other countries are involved. Egypt is very much aware of its limits and its strengths and its position towards Yemen is based on the knowledge that it cannot influence some of the parties involved in the conflict.”
The same applies to other regional hotspots, including Syria, Libya and Afghanistan, where the conflicts threaten to spill beyond borders and form a fertile breeding ground for terror.
“I hope that there will be an end to all these conflicts so that the people of these countries are able to live in security and peace,” he said.

The forum afforded an opportunity for Al-Sisi to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time in almost a year and attempt to push forward talks on Palestinian reconciliation, agreement over a ceasefire with Israel and the possible commencement of comprehensive peace talks.
Al-Sisi stated that the Egyptian position remained constant — a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital alongside an Israeli state in a framework that preserves the security of the two countries — and insisted Arab states were in no position to impose any solution on the Palestinians.

Trump to award Sheldon Adelson’s wife Miriam highest civilian honor
The Times of Israel, 10 November 2018

The White House on Saturday announced upcoming recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor awarded in the US, and among the recipients is Miriam Adelson, wife of business magnate and Trump backer Sheldon Adelson.
With her husband, Sheldon, she established the Adelson Medical Research Foundation, which supports research to prevent, reduce, or eliminate disabling and life-threatening illness.”
In addition, “As a committed member of the American Jewish community, she has supported Jewish schools, Holocaust memorial organizations, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and Birthright Israel, among other causes.”
The Adelsons have made numerous and significant contributions to Trump and to Republicans.
CNN noted that in the recent midterm elections the couple donated at least $112 million to Republican candidates. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

The Yeshiva University & the needs of the Israelis
Philip Weiss, Monoweiss October 23, 2013

Last night in New York, Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire supporter of Israel, said that the U.S. should fire a nuclear weapon at Iran rather than negotiate.
Adelson, an 80-year-old casino mogul and major supporter of Mitt Romney and other Republican political candidates, made the comments in a dialogue with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach during a conversation called “Will Jews Exist? Iran, Assimilation and the Threat to Israel and Jewish Survival.”

Andelson: What are we going to negotiate about? I would say ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ ou pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’
And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.
Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development...
Boreach: A tremendous demonstration of American strength?
Andelson: The only thing they understand.
Boteach: So you see the current negotiations as a demonstration of weakness?
Andelson: Absolutely.

The recommendations were met with applause by a Yeshiva University audience.

Patrick Buchanan: Did We Vote for War? - November 18, 2014

On Nov. 13, the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.
Two involve continued or tougher sanctions. The other two are a preemptive war featuring U.S. air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, or a U.S. attack to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime.
“Taking Mr. Assad down would let Tehran know that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East and President Obama’s dreams of an entente with Iran are over.”...
Which raises a question: What is this FDD?
Answer: A War Party think tank that in 2011, according to Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website and Eli Clifton of Salon, took in $19 million from five rabidly pro-Israel givers.
Home Depot’s Bernard Marcus gave $10.7 million, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer $3.6 million. Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino kingpin, chipped in $1.5 million.

Last week, Adelson and media mogul Haim Saban spoke of plans to dump hundreds of millions into the presidential campaigns of 2016.
What does the pair want from our next president? According to the Washington Post’s Phil Rucker and Tom Hamburger, action on Iran:
“Saban said that fundamentalist Iranians represent a real threat. If necessary to defend Israel, and as a last resort, he added, ‘I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.'”...
This billionaires boys club wants to buy U.S. foreign policy and a U.S. war on Iran.

Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
by Uri Avnery, CounterPunch, July 24, 2015

Casino king Sheldon Adelson (Real Time Net Worth As of 7/25/15 $29 Billion) spent $100 million trying to put a Republican in the White House in 2012 and is already shaping up to be a power player in 2016. In February 2015, he signed on to support the candidacy of Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina. (

The emperor of the gambling world, the king of Las Vegas, the prince of Macao: Sheldon Adelson does not hide his support for Netanyahu the man, the family and the party. He spends huge sums of money on a Hebrew daily newspaper that is distributed gratis to Israelis, whether they want it or not. It is now the largest-circulation paper in Israel, and devoted personally to Netanyahu and his wife. It has no other purpose.
What is he getting in return?
Adelson has bought Netanyahu for one single purpose: to place a stooge of his in the White House... He has to select its candidate for the presidency, derail Hillary Clinton and win the elections. To succeed in all these tasks, he has to mobilize the immense power of the pro-Israel lobby over the US Congress and destroy President Obama...
It is the classical anti-Semitic picture: the ugly finance-Jew striving for world mastery....

'Trump could never have won without Sheldon Adelson,'
says former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon
Hezki Baruch, Arutz Sheva, 13/11/2017

Former White House chief strategist and chief of Breitbart News Steve Bannon lauded President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel credentials, calling him the staunchest supporter of Israel in the White House since Ronald Reagan.
Speaking at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual gala in New York City, Bannon highlighted President Trump’s commitment to confronting Islamic terrorism, his decision to decertify the Iranian nuclear deal, and his pledge to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Bannon argued that were it not for the support of a prominently American Jewish billionaire and Republican donor, Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump would not have succeeded in his presidential bid.
"That victory would not have come without one other person besides Donald Trump - Sheldon Adelson. It is not about resources. It is about counsel, guidance, and wisdom. You've gotta remember, folks, that we were down by double digits almost the entire time."
"And you know what most of the establishment Republicans do when things get tough - they cut and they run. Sheldon Adelson didn't cut and run...

Report: Saudi officials planned to assassinate Iranian rivals
Ben Ariel, Arutz Sheva, 12/11/2018

Officials close to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, discussed plans in 2017 with businessmen to potentially use private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies, The New York Times reported on Sunday. Three sources familiar with the talks told the newspaper that aides to Saudi Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri brought up possibly assassinating Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Soleimani is one of several Iranian officials targeted by a 2007 United Nations travel ban because of their links to Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs, but the sanctions against him were due to be lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The talks reportedly came in March 2017, more than a year before journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a killing that the Crown Prince is suspected of ordering.
Khashoggi’s has strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the West. US President Donald Trump derided the killing as "one of the worst cover-ups" in history, and Washington has revoked the visas of 21 Saudi nationals implicated in the crime.
Saudi Arabia admitted several weeks ago that Khashoggi was killed after entering the consulate in Istanbul, but claimed he was killed in a “rogue operation” and denied that Saudi officials were involved.
According to the Times, Assiri's aides also asked the businessmen whether they "conducted kinetics," and said they were looking to kill top officials in Iran.
The report also claimed that the businessmen at the meeting included Lebanese-American businessman George Nader and Israeli businessman Joel Zamel.
The proposal from the aides to Assiri came during a series of meetings between Saudi Arabia and the businessmen, according to the Times. A spokesman for Saudi Arabia and lawyers for Nader and Zamel declined to comment.

Soleimani: Iran’s interests in Iraq, Syria not materialistic
Press TV, Mon Aug 21, 2017

Major General Qassem Soleimani of Iran says the Islamic Republic does not seek materialistic interests in supporting Iraq and Syria — where it has advisory military presence — and the Palestinian cause.
“When we entered Iraq, we didn’t differentiate between our interests and those of Iraq; and we were not after [taking control of] oil wells or seizing cities like Mosul or Kirkuk. We did not and do not have monetary demands, either,” Major General Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said on Sunday.
He also said that Iran did not support the Palestinian people because of “Shia interests.” Almost all Palestinians are Sunnis, he said, and yet “we defend them.”
The senior commander also said that in spite of the violent capacities of the Daesh terrorist group and the creation of such other militant outfits as Jaish al-Islam in Syria, Iran had been able to bring stability to Syria...
Daesh launched a terrorist offensive inside Iraq in 2014. It swiftly took over territory in the Arab country and posed a threat to seize the capital, Baghdad, too.
Iran then offered advisory military assistance to both the central government in Baghdad and the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan, helping them both maintain ground and win back territory lost to the terrorist group. In Syria, too, Iran has been offering advisory support to the government...
Major General Soleimani said the Iranian government had succeeded in transcending matters of language and race, thus bringing about stability.

Palestine marks 14 years since Arafat's death
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 12-11-2018

Palestinians on Sunday marked 14 years since the death of iconic leader Yasser Arafat, with their campaign for statehood still deadlocked and beset by internal divisions. Arafat, who for decades embodied the struggle for independence, died aged 75 in a French hospital on Nov. 11, 2004...
Arafat's successor, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, laid a wreath at his tomb in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Sunday, flanked by senior officials of his Palestinian Authority.
After paying tribute to "the leader of the nation and the leader of the martyrs," Abbas went on to accuse Israel and the United States of seeking to sabotage Palestinian statehood through a nascent peace plan that President Donald Trump calls "the ultimate deal."
"There is an American conspiracy through the ultimate agreement and the Israelis are conspiring to implement it," he said.
Abbas suspended diplomatic contact with Washington following Trump's 2017 recognition of the disputed city of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Palestinians claim the Israeli-annexed eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.

Abbas added that the Hamas movement, his bitter rival which rules the Gaza Strip, was also hindering the cause.
"Another plot, by Hamas, aims to disrupt the establishment of an independent Palestinian state," he said.
Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas's Palestinian Authority in a 2007 near-civil war. Multiple reconciliation attempts aimed at restoring the PA to power in Gaza have failed.

Israel bombs Al-Aqsa TV station in Gaza
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 12-11-2018

The Israeli military bombed the studios of Hamas's television station in the Gaza Strip on Monday after launching at least five non-exploding missiles nearby as warnings to evacuate, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.
There was no immediate word of any casualties in the air strike on Al-Aqsa Television, which followed a surge in cross-border fighting between members of Hamas, the Palestinian resistance group, and Israel.
Seven Palestinians were killed Sunday night, including a senior Hamas commander, when an Israeli military force staged an incursion into the southern Gaza Strip.
One Israeli soldier was reportedly killed and another injured in the raid. Hamas said the Israeli actions dealt a blow to Egyptian, Qatari and U.N. efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire and ease an Israeli blockade that has deepened economic hardship in Gaza.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars, the latest in 2014, since the group seized the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.
Violence has flared regularly along the Israel-Gaza border since Palestinians began protests on March 30 to demand rights to land lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its creation.
Israeli gunfire has killed more than 220 Palestinians since the start of the demonstrations, which have included breaches of Israel's border fence.

Hamas warns Israel it will extend range of rocket fire
Al-Jazeera News, 13-11-2018

The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – has condemned Israel’s destruction of Al Aqsa TV station in the Gaza Strip. A spokesman for the movement, Fawzi Barhoum, described the targeting of the TV Channel and demolishing of its headquarters as a blatant act of aggression against journalism and all free voices dedicated to communicating the truth.
Hamas says it will fire rockets at Israeli towns of Beersheba, Ashdod if raids on civilian buildings in Gaza don't stop.
Hamas' warning that it would extend the range of its rocket fire was issued on Tuesday, hours after a rocket from Gaza killed an Israeli man in a direct hit on a residential building in the coastal town of Ashkelon.
The spokesperson for the Hamas military wing said in a statement that Ashkelon "has entered the range of fire as a response to the bombing of civilian buildings in Gaza".
"Occupied al-Majdal (Ashkelon) is now in our cross hairs in response to the shelling that targeted civilian buildings in Gaza … Ashdod and Beersheba are the next targets if the enemy continues to bombard civilian buildings," Abu Ubaidah said on Twitter. Of the three cities, Ashkelon is closest to Gaza.

gaza november 2018

UN and Egypt race to pull Israel, Hamas ‘back from brink’ of war
The National, November 13, 2018

Renewed violence in Gaza left four Palestinians and one Israeli dead on Monday in what was the worst trading of fire between Israel and fighters in the enclave since the 2014 war, threatening to put an end to Egyptian and United Nations truce efforts.
Israeli strikes pummelled Gaza, striking more than 100 sites linked to the territory’s rulers Hamas, the military said. They came in response to up to 370 rockets which were fired into Israeli territory in less than 24 hours.
On Tuesday, Hamas said it would fire rockets at the Israeli towns of Beersheba and Ashdod if Israeli strikes continued, a significant threat from the group that has tried to disavow rocket launches emanating from the Strip this year.
The fierce clashes came after a botched undercover Israeli raid that left one Hamas commander, six fellow fighters and an Israeli officer dead, after the group’s fighters discovered Israeli special forces in a civilian car near the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis. Israel said it was an intelligence-gathering mission but Hamas vowed revenge for the operation.
A Hamas leader, Ismael Radwan, said the Israeli operation “let the mediators know that the real murder is the Israeli occupation who keep attacking our people". He added that Israel “does not care about the Egyptian efforts”.

The UN and Egypt raced on Tuesday to halt the escalation between the two sides.
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov called the escalation "extremely dangerous" and said on Twitter that "restraint must be shown by all". He said the UN was working with Egypt to broker an end to the renewed fighting.
The EU’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, called for a halt in “indiscriminate” rocket fire toward civilians. “Everyone must step back from the brink,” he said.

Palestinian groups to respect Gaza truce 'as long as Israel does'
Al-Jazeera News, 14-11-2018

Palestinian groups in the besieged Gaza Strip say they have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel to end the worst violence between the two sides in years. Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from Nahal-Oz near the Gaza-Israel fence, said Hamas-led factions on Tuesday accepted the truce "to restart the situation that prevailed up until this latest military escalation".
Fawcett added: "The Israelis do not confirm or deny such things, but Israeli media are reporting, citing an unnamed official, that Palestinian factions tried through four separate mediators to request a ceasefire."
A statement by Palestinian groups in Gaza said: "Egypt's efforts have been able to achieve a ceasefire between the resistance and the Zionist enemy. "The resistance will respect this declaration as long as the Zionist enemy respects it."

'Israel provoked the Palestinians'

The latest escalation erupted late on Sunday when Israel launched a botched raid in Gaza that killed seven other Palestinians and one of its commanders.
Hamas and other armed factions on Monday fired over 400 rockets or mortar bombs at Israel, with Israel responding with dozens of air raids.
Turkey criticised Israel's response to the rocket fire, with Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling the strikes "brutal" and illegal, state news agency Anadolu said.
The German Foreign Office also condemned Israel's air strikes, saying: "There can be no justification for this violence against innocent civilians."
Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organisation said Israel was solely responsible for the surge in fighting. In a statement, it called on the international community to protect citizens in Gaza.
Mohammad Oweis, a Palestinian-American political analyst, told Al Jazeera that the ceasefire would only hold "as long as the Israelis do not provoke the Palestinians".
"The Israelis provoked the Palestinians into this latest round of fighting. They are the ones who need to stop.
"They seem to have learnt from Donald Trump that by provoking people, attacking them verbally and physically, [they can] change facts and the reality on the ground."

Israel: Defence Minister Lieberman resigns over Gaza ceasefire
Al-Jazeera News, 14-11-2018

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced on Wednesday that he was resigning from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in protest against a Gaza truce.
Announcing his decision, which takes effect 48 hours after he puts it in writing, Lieberman deemed Tuesday's Egyptian-mediated deal with the Hamas movement in Gaza "a capitulation to terror".
"Despite the difference in opinion, I tried to stay a faithful member of the government for as long as possible … but it has failed," Lieberman said.
"From my point of view there were critical points that made it impossible for me to carry," he added, referring to $15m that Qatar send to the Gaza Strip to pay out salaries to Palestinians, many of whom had not been paid for months.
"The $15m dollar that went into the Gaza Strip taken in suitcases from Qatar … what would happen with the money after it has gone across the border, it's not clear at all. ... It went to the families of the terrorists who fought on the border with Israeli soldiers throwing grenades.
"These families are the first who are going to receive part of this $15m – in other words we are … giving terrorists money," Lieberman said.

Avigdor Lieberman, born Evet Lvovich Liberman, 5 July 1958, is a Soviet-born Israeli politician. He is the founder and leader of the secular-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose electoral base are overwhelmingly Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
The party describes itself as "a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the bold path of Zev Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism (Wikipedia info)

US envoy: Fight against ISIS in Syria may end soon,
US sanctions against Iran will encourage Tehran to leave Syria
Al-Arabya|Reuters, 15 November 2018

The Trump administration hopes that the US-backed fight against ISIS in its last foothold in northeastern Syria will end within months but American forces will remain to ensure the “enduring defeat” of the militant group, a top US diplomat said on Wednesday.
Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US special representative for Syria engagement, said the United States believes the way forward in Syria includes defeating ISIS, reinvigorating the political process and winding down the long-running war.
Toward that end, he said, the United States hopes to see the formation of a committee before the end of the year to work on a new constitution for Syria as agreed by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Turkey during their meeting in Istanbul in October.

He said US forces would remain in place after the coalition forces prevail over ISIS military units to ensure the group does not “regenerate itself.”...
Washington also wants the withdrawal of Iranian military forces from Syria once the underlying causes of the conflict have been resolved, he said, noting that Iran's continued military presence would represent a threat to US partners in the region.
Jeffrey said getting Iranian forces out of Syria, where they back Assad's rule, was not a US military goal but should be an outcome of the process to end the civil war and the only way to achieve lasting peace.
He said newly reinstated US sanctions against Iran would encourage Tehran to scale back its presence in Syria.

'US Bullying SWIFT Shows How Dysfunctional Financial System Is'
Sputnik News [Russia], 15-11-2018

According to US Deputy Treasury Secretary Sigal Mandelker, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has cut off Iranian financial institutions targeted by US sanctions.
The US Treasury official also said that Washington would be strictly enforcing its sanctions regime against Tehran and announced that there would be "a lot more from the US on Iran."
Sputnik discussed this with UK-based economics professor Steve Keen.

-Sputnik: What's your take on the latest measures taken by the US against Iran?
-Steve Keen: I think they're quite extreme, because one thing that we expect is a financial system that works for everyone in the system; even criminals use the financial system.
To remove the access of an entire country to international payments is something that no single country should have the power to do.
And the fact that the US is bullying the SWIFT system to have them do this is a sign of how dysfunctional an international financial system is.

-Sputnik: What kind of impact is it going to have on Iran?
-Steve Keen: Quite severe, because Iran's exports are roughly $45 billion per year which is about 10% of their GDP; and 60% of that is actually oil-based exports. Of course, they got to use the SWIFT system to sell that oil if they're going to get paid back in American dollars. That could potentially knock out something on the order of 60% or more of their exports, which would be a drastic hit to the economy and push it deeper into recession.

-Sputnik: But it was anticipated, wasn't it?
-Steve Keen: It was. And that's one of the reasons that Iran has been dealing with a number of other countries that are basically getting fed up with 60 or 70 years of a generally dysfunctional system anyway.
The US dollar should never have been used as a reserve currency, there should have been, as Keynes intended, a supranational currency he called the bankor.
This, I think, is probably motivating a number of countries to think that 'It's about time we stop complaining about it; it's about time we produced an alternative.'

-Sputnik: What kind of event could actually serve as a trigger to, perhaps, hurry the process on?
-Steve Keen: I think it's already happened. The fact that Trump has bullied SWIFT into not letting Iran use the system, it is enough of a signal to the rest of the world that "if this could be done to Iran by America, it can be done to us by America, and we have to get an alternative."

-Sputnik: Do you have any forecast for the immediate future? What else can we anticipate happening regarding this whole situation?
-Steve Keen: I think that we're already seeing a lot of volatility in the oil price, which is hitting international trade quite dramatically; and trying to cut Iran out has initially driven prices up, which is one of the reasons that Trump allowed eight countries not to have to live up to the ban on trading with Iran.
That in itself is one of the short-term effects. At the same time, of course, the oil price is affected by the capacity of the shale oil miners in America to export once the price exceeds $50 a barrel; that is now driving the price down.
I think that things will get worse rather than better because if Trump realizes the prices aren't going to rise because of the embargo on Iran, then he's going to push the embargo even more..

Iraqi president in Iran to boost ties amid US sanctions
Press TV, Sat Nov 17, 2018

Iraq’s President Barham Salih has arrived in Tehran for a two-day visit during which he is expected to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as important regional issues with Iranian officials.
This is Salih’s fourth regional trip and the first one to Iran since taking office on October 2. He has so far visited Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan in his capacity as president.
Tehran and Baghdad have shared a unique alliance since the end of the reign of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The alliance has featured joint regional counter-terrorism efforts, including intelligence sharing and presence of Iranian military advisors on Iraq's soil in support of the Arab country’s operations against terrorist outfits.
Iraq heavily depends on imports of natural gas from Iran to produce electricity.
Most recently, Iraq rejected a US deadline to stop importing natural gas from Iran, warning that any halt to the supplies would create a real power crisis. Iraq has rejected a US deadline to stop importing Iranian gas, warning that any halt to the supplies would create a real power crisis.
Earlier in the year, Baghdad also successfully requested and earned a waiver from Washington’s sanctions targeting Iran’s oil imports.

Netanyahu & The Survival of the Fittest
Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss, November 12, 2018

Extensively documented, relying mostly on Zionist, British, and Israeli sources, 'Might over Right' makes a crucial contribution to the growing effort to challenge the simplistic and reductive accounts in media and scholarship in the West, one of the principal causes of the perpetuation of the conflict.

A week ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud officials that “occupation is nonsense”.
This is a continuation of a right-wing spinning of history that says that Israel is not an occupying power. Then Netanyahu went further, to speak with clear fascist eliminationist undertones: “Occupation is nonsense. Empires have conquered and replaced entire populations and no one is talking about it”.
This line was reported by the Israeli Yediot Aharonot, yet didn’t make too many headlines otherwise. One might have thought that Israel apologists would ignore this line as too overtly fascist, but here is the Israel apologia site United with Israel openly quoting it.
Middle East Monitor rightly observed that “[t]he comments appear to support the claim made repeatedly by Israel’s critics who insist that Israel’s policies in Palestine have more in common with the past when settler colonialism and empire building was the norm and racist attitudes towards native population was used to justify the denial of their basic human rights.”
MEMO also reminded us of another chilling statement by Netanyahu from 2-1/2 months ago, which echoed Hitler:
The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end, peace is made with the strong.”
While those Hitleresque statements were made in the context of his September visit to Dimona and the nuclear center, the recent ones were made in the general context of relations with Arab countries:
Power is key. Power changes everything in our policy with Arab countries,” he said. “Aligning [Arab] interests with Israel, based on Israel being a technological superpower must lead the way”.
This view of power politics is consistent with Israel’s intensifying campaign to create a strong alliance with Arab countries aligned with Saudi Arabia.
Last week Netanyahu spoke openly about how the Saudi Prince should get a pass for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in order that Saudi Arabia relations remain strong:
“What happened in the Istanbul consulate was horrendous and it should be duly dealt with. Yet at the same time I say it, it is very important for the stability of the world, for the region and for the world, that Saudi Arabia remain stable”.

Netanyahu is basically mainstreaming a fascistic rhetoric, the maintenance of a supposed ‘necessary evil’ against the supposed ultimate evil, Iran.
But it is important to note that this kind of fascist thinking is actually quite compatible with Zionism to begin with. And this pertains not only to Netanyahu, or Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, it comes also from the left when it is being honest about its intentions.
Thus the self-declared ‘leftist’ Israeli historian Benny Morris, who says that “there are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing”, also celebrates the American genocide (which supposedly made America great): “Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians.” [..]

All of this is a kind of Darwinist-racist “survival of the fittest”, which is more precisely “survival of the fascists”.
Opposition to such ideologies is always discouraged and dismissed by these people; they see themselves as “respected” because they are “strong”, as Netanyahu says; and anyone who opposes their chauvinism is destined to “crumble, [be] slaughtered and [be] erased from history.” Because the “strong” are the only ones worthy of survival...

Read also: Shlomo Sand: The Twisted Logic of the Jewish
‘Historic Right’ to Israel, Haaretz, 14-11-2018

"What remains for me, is to go on being a-Zionist or post-Zionist while doing what I can to help rescue the place I live in from an ever-intensifying racism, due, among other reasons, to the teaching of a false historical past, fear of assimilation with the Other, revulsion of the indigenous culture and so on.
For, as the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet wrote, “If I don’t burn / if you don’t burn / ... if we don’t burn / how will the light / ... vanquish the darkness?” "

Palestinians join international bodies
By Adam Rasgon, Times of Israel, 18-11-2018

Palestinian efforts to join international bodies are “premature” and “counterproductive,” a US State Department official said over the weekend, after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas moved to join a UN agency and several international conventions.
On Thursday, Abbas signed documents to join the Universal Postal Union, a UN agency that coordinates international postage, and 10 international protocols and conventions.
The Palestinians are currently members of dozens of international organizations, protocols and conventions, part of a campaign to gain unilateral recognition of their nascent state as peace talks with Israel have grown moribund.

In addition to the Universal Postal Union, Abbas signed forms to join the Convention on the Nationality of Married Woman; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; Basel Protocol on Liability and Compensation for Damage Resulting from Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal; the Vienna Convention of Road Traffic; Protocol concerning countries or territories at present occupied; the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages; Agreement Establishing the Common Fund for Commodities; and the International Convention on the Arrest of Ships.
The Palestinians maintain that their moves to join international organizations advance their goal of achieving statehood and strengthen their international standing.
However, Israel holds that Palestinian efforts to gain membership in international bodies constitute one-sided measures aimed at achieving statehood while bypassing peace negotiations and undermining the Jewish state’s status in the international community.

Abbas has said recently that a Palestinian agreement with the US not to join international bodies was conditioned on the US embassy not moving to Jerusalem, not changing the status of the PLO mission in Washington, DC, and not cutting aid payments.
In the past year, Trump’s administration has moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, closed the PLO representative office in the American capital and ended almost all of its aid payments for Palestinians.
The PA president has said if the US does not uphold its end of the the agreement, the Palestinians will not maintain their part of it.

Israel aims to ignite ‘religious war’: Palestinian Authority
Press TV, Mon Nov 19, 2018

The Palestinian Authority says Israel seeks to ignite a religious war after an Israeli minister forced his way into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds with a group of extremists Sunday.
“The aggression on al-Aqsa Mosque by storming it is a hellish crime perpetrated by and initiated by an extremist terror ideology,” Palestinian Authority spokesman Yusef al-Mahmoud said.
His remarks came after Uri Ariel, Israel’s minister of agriculture and rural development, and dozens of extremist settlers barged into the highly sensitive site in a provocative act.
Mahmoud said the move was carried out on instructions from the Israeli regime to “storm the Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis”. He said anyone who participates in storming mosques and churches in Jerusalem al-Quds “represents this bloody ideology”. [..]
The number of Israeli lawmakers who storm the sacred compound has increased in the past few months.
The rise comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided in July to allow Israeli lawmakers to visit the compound once every three months after lifting a restriction of access that had been in place since October 2015.
Most of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists, who support the demolition of the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead.

Uri Ariel: There is no hope coalition will sign
peace treaty with Palestinians
By Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post 6-2-2014

The current talks with the Palestinians are unlikely to go anywhere because of both sides’ terms, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel predicted Wednesday.

“Everyone in the coalition agrees, including [Justice Minister Tzipi] Livni and [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid, that the major settlement blocs will remain intact, the Jordan Valley will remain part of Israel, there cannot be a right of return and Jerusalem will remain united.

The other side wants the right of return, won’t recognize Israel as Jewish and doesn’t want any Jews on their land,” Ariel pointed out. “If you ask me if we can reach an agreement with those terms, I say no,” he added.
Ariel called the continuing talks “déjà vu,” saying there’s no way for a breakthrough as US Secretary of State John Kerry has no room to maneuver.

The Temple revolution
Jewish Extremists & the Noble Sanctuary
IMEU, 30-10-2014

In February 2014, Naftali Bennett, leader of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home party and Minister of Religious Services and of the Economy, told a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations that Israel was attempting to exercise greater control over the Noble Sanctuary, stating that he had already taken measures that would "ultimately influence the eastern side of Jerusalem, and that will include the Temple Mount.”
Housing Minister and settler Uri Ariel, from the Jewish Home, regularly visits the Noble Sanctuary and has publicly called for the construction of a Jewish temple in its place.
In November 2013, during a parliamentary debate on a bill that would allow Jews to pray in the Noble Sanctuary, Knesset member Orit Strock from the Jewish Home party called Palestinians “savages,” stating: “When King David bought the Temple Mount you were savages in the desert. You have no rights on the Temple Mount, that’s a historical fact. Nothing will help you. Even now you are savages.”

On March 30, 2014, the Temple Institute, which is part of the Temple Mount Faithful coalition, held its fifth annual "International Temple Mount Awareness Day" with an Internet broadcast featuring Deputy Knesset Speaker Feiglin and others.
In an interview prior to the broadcast, the institute's "International Director," Rabbi Chaim Richman, told settler media: "Today we are witness to a tremendous increase... record numbers of Jews ascending the Temple Mount in purity... BR> More than anything, International Temple Mount Awareness Day is an indicator of the tremendous change that's going on in this generation. It's the beginning of the Temple revolution."

Leftist Professor Says Jewish Home MKs 'Worse than Le Pen'
By Yaakov Levi, Israel national News, 7-8-2014

Professor Ze'ev Sternhell, long known for his sharp criticism – bordering on incitement, many on the right say – said that he was frightened by the gang” of Economics Minister Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (both of Jewish Home).
Sternhell made the comment in what appeared to be a leading question by a reporter from the radical-left Haaretz newspaper, who asked “is there something that frightens you in the political system?”
They are the most dangerous people,” he said. “[Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman is a little less frightening, because he does not have the religious fervor the other two have.”
Bennett and Ariel, he said, “along with the right wing of the Likud are truly dangerous people because they do not understand what democracy is. They do not understand what human rights are. They truly hate the Arabs, and there is no way for them to coexist with them.
They have things in common with Marie Le Pen,” the right-wing French leader accused of racism, xenophobia, and fascism. “In some ways Le Pen is to the left of them.

UK foreign minister arrives in Tehran for nuclear talks
By Rudaw News (Kurdistan Region), 19-11-2018

The United Kingdom’s foreign secretary arrived in Tehran Monday morning on a visit to discuss the nuclear deal.
“The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearized Iran,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement before he left London.
“It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive. We will stick to our side of the bargain as long as Iran does. “But we also need to see an end to destabilising activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces,” he said.
This is his first trip to Iran and the first visit by any European foreign minister since the United States opted out of the nuclear deal.
The UK is part of European efforts to keep the nuclear deal alive. The European Union is trying to devise a mechanism, called the Special Purpose Vehicle, to allow continued economic relations with Iran, bypassing US sanctions. The mechanism has so far failed to get off the ground, however.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi told reporters on Monday morning that Iran expects European nations to get the mechanism operational “as soon as possible.”
“Due to different reasons, the process is slow. We expect the three European signatories of the deal that are committed to it, to accelerate the process,” he said, referring to the UK, France, and Germany.
Hunt is also expected to discuss conflicts in Syria and Yemen and raise the issue of British-Iranian nationals jailed in Iran.

Erdoğan, Putin attend TurkStream sea section completion ceremony
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 19-11-2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday attended the completion ceremony of the sea section work for the TurkStream natural gas project in Istanbul.
Speaking in the ceremony, Erdoğan underlined the strengthening ties between Turkey and Russia. "We increased our trade volume with Russia by 30 percent last year and we aim to reach a volume of $100 billion," Erdoğan said.
Turkey is becoming an important international energy hub as the TurkStream pipeline project becomes a reality and this will strengthen Turkey's geopolitical position, Putin said.
Construction of the TurkStream will have a positive impact on the development of the whole Black Sea region and will be an important safeguard for European energy security, he added.
"I am sure that the TurkStream, as well as our other joint project -- the Akkuyu nuclear power plant -- will become a bright symbol of the development of a multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership, and a symbol of friendship between our peoples," he said.

TurkStream is a transit-free gas export pipeline that will stretch across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further extend to Turkey's borders with neighboring European countries.
The first line is intended for gas supplies to Turkish consumers, while the second will supply gas to south and southeastern Europe. Russian energy giant Gazprom is planning to start the construction of the overland section of the TurkStream's second gas pipeline in 2019.
Natural gas transmission will take around 52 hours from Russia's Anapa to the destination in Turkey, at Kıyıköy located in the Kırklareli province in northwestern Turkey, according to the officials.
The control room where natural gas transmission will be monitored will be located at the headquarters of the TurkStream project company in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Electricity returns to al-Mayadeen
after four years of blackout due to terrorist acts
Syrian Arab News Agency, 19-11-2018

Al-Mayadeen, near the Iraqi border in Deir al Zor province, had become a major base for Islamic State militants as they were being driven out of their de facto Syrian capital in Raqqa city by a U.S.-backed offensive. On 14 october 2017 it was taken from Islamic State by the Syrian government and allied forces.

Army’s General Command announces
outhern region completely free of terrorism
Syrian Arab News Agency, 19 November 2018

The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces announced that the entire southern region is now free of terrorism following the elimination of the last terrorist gatherings of ISIS terrorist organization in Tuloul al-Safa area deep inside Sweida eastern Badiya (Desert).
“Following a string of accurate and focused military operations, our valiant armed forces have established complete control over Tuloul al-Safa area which is of a complex volcanic nature, eliminating ISIS terrorists positioned there, and confiscated large amounts of light and medium weapons,” the Command said in a statement of which SANA received a copy on Monday.
The Command hailed the liberation as an achievement which is particularly significant given that an area of 380 square kilometers in the Syrian Badiya has been cleared of terrorism, which served as the last stronghold for ISIS in the southern region.

Trump: US will remain steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia
Washington cannot cancel lucrative business deals
Press TV, Tue Nov 20, 2018

President Donald Trump has said Washington intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure interests of the United States, Israel and regional partners.
Trump said that “King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.
Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
“That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the US president insisted. "They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran."
“The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!” he added.
He mentioned that Saudi Arabia had “agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States.”
“Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!” he pointed out.
He acknowledged that the “crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone,” but implied that due to the murder of a journalist Washington cannot cancel such lucrative business deals with the kingdom.

Read also: Saddam's Death, Page 129

Trump: "The world should be held accountable,
because the world is a very, very vicious place"
By Times of Israel staff and Agencies, 22 November 2018

US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that Israel would face major regional difficulties in the Middle East if it were not for the stabilizing presence of Saudi Arabia.
The US president was asked to comment on reports that the CIA had concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman ordered the brutal murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
"If you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “So what does that mean, Israel is going to leave? You want Israel to leave? We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia.”
“The fact is that Saudi Arabia is tremendously helpful in the Middle East, if we didn’t have Saudi Arabia we wouldn’t have a big base, we wouldn’t have any reason probably…” Trump said, without finishing the sentence.
Citing vehement denials by the Saudi crown prince and king that they were involved in Khashoggi’s killing, which he termed “an atrocity,” Trump said, “maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place. The world is a very, very vicious place.”

Leftist Knesset members: Evacuate Hevron Jews First
Mordechai Sones, Arutz Sheva, 21/11/12018

The Knesset will hold a special convention of leftist Knesset Members and organization operatives under the title "Hevron First", the purpose of which is to call to evacuate the Jewish community from the city...
"For 50 years now, a handful of settlers in the very heart of the Palestinian population in Hevron have been leading the government to impose a cruel, physical, and legal separation regime on the Palestinian population," Yediot Ahronot quoted the invitation to the conference.

hebron 2014-2015

"Hundreds of soldiers are sent by the government to carry out the separation. In fact, huge budgets are invested in favor of the same handful at the expense of the public, and the friction between the populations leads to a destructive reality of violence, extreme incidents such as the Baruch Goldstein massacre, the Elor Azaria affair, and the loss of human life - among both Jews and Palestinians."
The conference is being held at the initiative of MKs Ayman Odeh and Dov Khenin from the 'Joint Arab List' and MK Michal Rozin ('Meretz').
Members of Breaking the Silence, Peace Now, Yesh Din, and B'Tselem were invited to the event, led by the organization's director.
According to the three organizers, "the settlement in Hevron is an expression of an extreme government policy that pours huge budgets and endangers human life in order to strengthen and preserve a handful of extremist settlers."
To prevent the possibility of the Knesset Speaker canceling the conference, its definition was changed from a "conference" to a "meeting", as while a conference must be approved by the Chairman, a meeting does not and can be held without approval.

Russia's Foreign Ministry slams new US sanctions as clumsy
TASS Russian News Agency, November 21, 2018

The United States’ attempts to accuse Russia of facilitating oil supplies to Syria show a desire to prevent the reconstruction of Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, commenting on Washington’s move to expand sanctions on Russia.
"At the same time, the main reasons for sanctions are rooted in the domestic political struggle in the United States, where each of the parties seeks to score points by whatever means, particularly by taking steps at the international level. As a result, these steps turn out to be clumsy," the statement reads.

"Accusations concerning oil supplies to Syria - a country whose armed forces have been fighting terrorist aggression for over seven years - look like a statement of support for terrorists and also show a desire to prevent the reconstruction of the war-torn country, where many people live without electricity and heating. Is it what the United States really wants?" the Russian ministry added.
"US politicians should start getting rid of illusions about the United States’ omnipotence that they convinced themselves of. Self-deception is a dangerous thing," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

On Tuesday, the United States sanctioned two Russian companies - Global Vision Group and Promsyrioimport - on suspicion of supplying Iranian oil to Syria. Promsyrioimport Director General Andrei Dogayev was blacklisted.
According to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the move is aimed "against a complex scheme Iran and Russia have used to bolster the Assad regime and generate funds for Iranian malign activity."
In addition, the United States also blacklisted two Iranian nationals, one Lebanese citizen, one Syrian and one Iraqi, as well as the Iran-based Tadbir Kish Medical and Pharmaceutical Company.

The Prophet’s birthday celebrations indicate
a return to traditions at expense of Salafism
By Jamal Adel, Libyan Herald, 20-11-2018

With overt enthusiasm, Libyans openly celebrated Prophet Mohamed’s birthday (the Mawlid al-Nabawi or Miloud) this year, reinvigorating life into an old traditional practice recently prosecuted, silenced and perceived as un-Islamic by some Islamic interpretations.
The Sufi turuqs (orders) have been an integral part and in the forefront of mainstream Islamic traditions in Libya for centuries. Indeed, long before they were labled as Sufis or traditional Malikies, the Islamic Sufi school has taken pride in overtly celebrating the Prophet’s birthday.
As for the Sufi turuqs and Shaykhs, we are ready to celebrate the Mawlid. In addition to civil societies who insist on taking part in the event”, head of the Supreme Council of Sufi turuqs in Libya, Ezzideen Al-Shaikhi, told the Libya Herald earlier this week. “We have coordinated with the security authorities to protect the celebrators and the marching” adds Al-Shaikhi.
This comes on the back of an anti Maulid movement after the 2011 Libyan revolution by militias and religious movements.
Starting in early 2012 Sufi shrines, tombs and libraries were constantly attacked and demolished, and Shaykhs were assassinated and hounded.

On 8 November, the predominantly Salafists Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowment) and Islamic Affairs in the Beida-based government of Abdullah Thinni issued a statement urging mosque Imams to speak up against the Mawlid celebrations, projecting it as a sheer “Beda” or heresy.
However, this attracted much criticism and ridicule by Libyans on social media.
“We are sorry to hear these accusations of Shirk and heresy from the Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. We demand the Interim Government put a stop to them speaking of such dangerous accusations”, said Al-Shaikhi. It will be recalled that the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff Abdulrazig Alnaduri gave his permission for the reopening of the Sufi Zawias and schools in April this year... The Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Authority opposed the decision... “They came with heavily armed vehicles to prevent the reopening and threatened to use violence." [..]
Yesterday, the internationally-recognized Libyan government put its official stamp on the Maulid celebrations when Faiez Serraj took part in the event.

Cairo is hoping 2019 will be the year when
political and economic deals come to fruition
Dina Ezzat, Al-Ahram online, 21 November 2018

Senior Hamas and Fatah sources, speaking from Gaza and Ramallah, say their latest meetings with the mediation team sent by Cairo have raised the possibility of a deal being signed before the end of the year.
The basis of the deal Hamas and Fatah have tentatively agreed is built on the reconciliation paper Cairo first proposed in October 2017. Delegations from both groups are expected to arrive soon in Cairo for follow-up talks with Egyptian officials.

Egypt’s effort to promote peace on the Palestinian-Israeli front is part of a wider diplomatic drive by Cairo that includes the promotion of a possible “basic deal” for Libya.
In the course of talks UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé held with Egyptian officials during his visit to Egypt two weeks ago Cairo promised to intensify its efforts to assemble a unified Libyan army, under the direct supervision of Khalifa Haftar, as Salamé attempts to set the stage for possible elections in Libya in May 2019.

On yet another parallel track, Egypt could soon play host to meetings of Syrian political figures as a precursor to forming a committee to draft a new constitution for the troubled country.
“It is still only an idea,” said an Egyptian source. “But we have hosted meetings before to bring together Syrian players who could work together and with the Syrian regime.”
Cairo is keen to help Syria return to the Arab League and is making no secret of its wish to consolidate Bashar Al-Assad’s regime as a possible ally.
Cairo’s objective is to ensure any new Syrian constitution does not open the door to a “sudden shift in the balance of political power in Syria” — a euphemism for keeping Islamists, especially groups allied with Qatar and Turkey, out.
The issue has been thoroughly discussed with Russia,” the same Egyptian source said, and “it is also being discussed with our friends in the Gulf.”

Syria - Back In The Arab Fold
By Moon of Alabama, ICH, Nov 21, 2018

Following Syria's military success against its enemies, Arab states which supported the war on Syria are again making nice with it.

President Bashar al-Assad received on Monday a Jordanian parliamentary delegation comprising a number of heads of committees at the Jordanian Parliament. (SANA, 19-11)

The United Arab Emirates will reopen its embassy in Damascus. Kuwait and Bahrain will follow. Today a delegation of parliamentarians from Jordan visited Damascus and met with President Assad.
The members of the delegation affirmed that the pulse of the Jordanian street has always been with the Syrian people and the victory in this war will be a victory for all the Arab countries in the face of Western projects aimed at destabilizing and fragmenting these countries in service of Israel’s security.
First signs that this was going to happen appeared a few month ago when a Kuwaiti TV personality spoke about the pleasure of visiting an again peaceful Damascus.
In June the Foreign Affairs Minister of UAE called the expulsion of Syria from the Arab league a "mistake". In an interview with a Kuwaiti paper Assad said that he had reached "major understanding" with Arab states.
The Saudis though are not yet welcome back in Damascus. They were one of the largest financiers of the Jihadis and will have to pay an equally large price to come back into good standing. Negotiations are ongoing. A formal reentry of Syria into the Arab League can not be far away.
Behind this change is a fear of renewed Turkish ambitions. Not only Saudi Arabia but all the Arab states do not want Turkey to expand and become more powerful.
They do not want to see Arab land in Syria under Turkish control. The sole exception so far is Qatar which is allied with Turkey and has Turkish troops on its land to protect it from Saudi imperialism.
For Syria the new Arab position is a very welcome change. While it will certainly not end its alliance with Iran, it will welcome any help against the Turkish ambitions.
It also needs investments to rebuild and the rich Gulf states will surely provide some. That will also sabotage U.S. and European plans to starve Syria of money unless it submits to their will.

Rouhani: Dispute between Muslims, US is over freedom, slavery
Tehran, 24 November 2018, IRNA

Disagreement between the World of Islam and the United States is on the issues of freedom and slavery, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday at an international Islamic conference in Tehran.
'They want the world to think American, respect American values, but we say all humans are free,' President Rouhani said, addressing the 32nd International Islamic Unity Conference underway in the Iranian capital.
Saying that today, the United States wants the countries in the region to be its slaves, he added, 'The dispute between us and the Western bullies, now the US, has been going on for centuries.'
'They say, their interests should always be met and we say, World bullies cannot determine our path,' President Rouhani added. 'Whoever has a more lethal weapon is the ruler and enjoys the veto right; that tends to be the base for charting the world since World War II,' he said.
The Iranian president went on to criticize the West, especially the US and Britain, for creating the veto right, then using it to create the 'Cancerous Gland' of the region, namely the fake regime of Israel.
He said that the Muslim nations do not accept the present situation in the region. 'The right path is that of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and standing firmly against oppression,' President Rouhani said.
'Islam is not just the religion respecting Muslims, it respects all mankind and all exalted human values.' Rouhani stressed.

Rouhani said that the Islamic World should unite and making reference to a certain regime in the region, he said, 'You gave a gift worth $450bn and bought $110bn of weapons to provide your security and the looter of your wealth said he was 'milking' a cow.'
'What for do you need the US that you are giving away your resources to them?' asked President Rouhani. 'Who is your enemy in the region? We are ready to defend Saudi Arabia against terrorism and the enemy of the region and superpowers as hard as we can, in the same way we helped Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.'
'We don't want a $450bn gift and won't insult you. We treat you as our brother, like other nations of the region.'

Sulaimani International Expo opens with big Iranian presence
Rudaw News (Kurdistan Region), 24-11-2018

“We couldn’t hold the exhibition last year. This year, we held it successfully. It is a lot better than the exhibitions held in Iraqi cities,” head of Sulaimani business chamber Sirwan Mohammed told Rudaw.<
More than 180 companies are participating, including many from Iran. Iran’s consul in Sulaimani said this fair is even more important now because of US sanctions.
“Iran is under an illegal economic embargo and this will directly affect the Kurdistan Region and Iraq because of our relations. The US wants to elevate its sanctions gradually through Iraq and Turkey. But we will not give up on these relations. We will continue these economic relations, don’t worry,” said Consul General Saadullah Masudyan.
Companies participating in the event come from a range of sectors, including construction, industry, and agriculture.
The expo is being held in Tasluja. The six-day event is open to the public.

Syria: "Militants bombarded Aleppo with chlorine-filled shells"
Sputnik News [Russia], 25-11-2018

Syrian media reported on Saturday that militants based north of Aleppo bombarded the city with chlorine-filled shells, causing over a hundred people to be delivered to hospitals with symptoms typical for poisoning such as suffocation.
Russia's Defence Ministry confirmed that Russian jets hit the targets of terorrists who had reportedly shelled Aleppo with deadly chlorine gas on Saturday.
According to the ministry, intelligence services identified in the Idlib de-escalation zone the fire weapons that were used in the Aleppo gas attack. They also found that the terrorists were preparing for another poisonous shelling. All the targets were destroyed; Turkey was warned about the strikes in advance via a hotline.
The statement further noted that terrorists from the al-Nusra group used hand-made mines with poisonous substances to shell Aleppo: "The primary analysis of fragments of the shells indicates that the terrorists used hand-made 120-mm mines, which were filled with poisonous substances in an improvised manner," the official told reporters.
Syria urged the UN to take "punitive measures" against the countries that were supporting the Aleppo attackers.
Russia's Foreign Ministry, in turn, described the Aleppo shelling as an "attempt to damage the Syrian normalisation process", adding that it should be "unconditionally condemned" by the entire international community.

Zarif castigates the Western silence on gas attack in Aleppo
Tehran News [Iran], November 26, 2018

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif castigated the West for being silent toward chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Aleppo by terrorists: “Where is the West in condemning the chemical attack in Aleppo by terrorists?” Zarif wrote on his Tweeter page.
On Saturday, Syria said militants had launched a chemical attack on the government-held city of Aleppo. Media showed images of Aleppo residents being treated in hospital as they struggled to breathe. The Syrian government and Russia said the terrorists used chlorine gas in the attack.
Zarif said the West condemns chemical attacks only if it is allegedly used by what they consider as an enemy.
“Chemical weapons only condemned if alleged to be used by an enemy; not an ally,” Zarif remarked.

Syrian opposition leader: Iranian militias behind chemical attack
Al Arabiya [Saudi-Arabia], 26 November 2018

Iran’s militias were behind the chemical attack targeting Aleppo, and they seek to abort the Sochi deal in Idlib, the head of the High Negotiations Committee, Naser al-Hariri, told al-Hadath news channel.
The High Negotiations Committee is an umbrella body which was created to represent the Syrian opposition in the planned Geneva peace talks in 2016.
"The Iranian presence in Syria and in the south in particular is unprecedented. Iran has recently established many military sites, headquarters, training centers and others," said Hariri, who was recently re-elected as head of the negotiations committee.
He added that Tehran is “part of the problem and not part of the solution to the Syrian cause, and any role, decision or attempt to trim or weaken Iran militarily, politically or economically, will have a positive impact on the Syrian file, but these actions alone are not enough.

Hariri & "The Evil Regime in Iran"

Nasr Al-Hariri, YouTube Vid, Paris, 1st July 2017

Flashback - Nasr al-Hariri: "The life of the Iranian regime is over"
National Council of resistance of Iran, Wednesday, 29 June 2016

“My message to the gathering of the Iranian Resistance, which is scheduled to be held on July 9th in Paris, is that this opportunity is a golden opportunity for a national uprising against the regime. Now that the regime has entered into a war of attrition in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and a number of other countries, it is a good time to activate coordinated efforts among the resistances of all of these countries to cooperate with the Iranian Resistance.

How bigoted ‘backsliding’ in Saudi textbooks
belies MBS’ reformist credentials
Al-Monitor Staff, November 26, 2018

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom criticized Saudi Arabia’s “backsliding” on religious tolerance in a new report on middle and high school textbooks today, further undermining the embattled kingdom’s reformist credentials.
The independent federal government commission contracted a study of 22 textbooks focusing mostly on religious studies published by the Saudi government for the 2017-2018 academic year.
It notably found that the books “caution students to avoid friendship with members of other religions […] encourage both violent and non-violent jihad against non-believers [and] espouse the death penalty for women who have an affair, and for gay men.”
“This review revealed an apparent reversal in the previous trend toward tolerance in Saudi textbooks,” the commission concludes. “They reflect core Wahhabi doctrines and not other trends of Islamic scholarship that are more accepting.”

Mohammed al-Arifi (R) with crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, 11-12-2017

The report comes as Saudi Arabia’s reputation is already reeling in the United States and around the world following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It is especially damaging to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the multimillion-dollar public relations campaign touting him as a progressive reformer championing a vision of a modern Saudi Arabia by 2030...
While the US commission does not provide a definitive conclusion for the reasons behind the alleged backsliding, speculation is rife that horse-trading between the royal family and traditional clerics over reforms such as lifting the ban on women driving may have played a role.
“What’s most troubling here is that we’re seeing some backtracking in the education system where they had made progress, which we had verified over the years, in terms of cleaning up some of the worst passages in the textbooks,” said Dwight Bashir, the commission’s director of research and policy.
“In the midst of other forward-leaning reforms in the past couple of years, to see some backsliding in an area that is tightly monitored … by the religious establishment, there might be an element there of some trading.”
The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

Flashback: Saudi preacher Mohamed al-Oraifi
delivers speech in Amr Ibn al-Ass Mosque
Egypt Independence, 11 January 2013

Sheikh Mohamed al-Arifi (on podium), a leading Saudi cleric, calls for jihad in Syria (Daily News, 15-6-2013)
Mohammed Al-Oraifi (Arifi) is known of his negative and provocative postures against Shia.
Some Shia organizations expressed unwelcoming notes and refusal to see Al-Oraifi in Bahrain after his breach about Shia, when he stigmatized them with abusive expressions.
The preacher, who follows Wahabi theology, was banned to enter Kuwait after their Shia citizens protested to his trip and considered his speeches a source of division between sects of Islam. (, 1-5-2010)

Saudi Sheikh banned from Kuwait, 21-1-2010

Kuwaiti authorities have banned the controversial Saudi Sheikh Mohammad Al Oraifi from entering the state. He caused outrage recently with comments describing the revered Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, Iraq’s and top religious leader, as “an atheist and a depraved man”.

Sheikh Mohammad Al Oraifi: It is as though I see it with my own eyes:
I see them as dead bodies. - YouTube videomessage 5-3-2012

".. dead bodies, or fleeing, or imprisoned..."

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