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
"No petit bourgeois politics"
Saddam Hussein and his ideologists sought to fuse a connection between the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations in Iraq to Arab nationalism by claiming that the Babylonians and ancient Assyrians are the ancestors of the Arabs. Thus, Saddam Hussein and his supporters claim that there is no conflict between Mesopotamian heritage and Arab nationalism. Saddam Hussein based his political views and ideology upon the views of Michel Aflaq, Ba'athism's key founder. Saddam was also an avid reader of topics on moral and material forces in international politics. His government was critical of orthodox Marxism, opposing the orthodox Marxist concepts of class conflict, the dictatorship of the proletariat and atheism; it opposed Marxism–Leninism's claim that non-Marxist–Leninist parties are automatically bourgeois in nature, claiming that the Ba'ath Party was a popular revolutionary movement and the people rejected petit bourgeois politics. (Wikipedia info)
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.
"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
Israel needs to stop being an ideology and start being a nation. A nation of all of its citizens, all with equal national, civil and religious rights.
After 70 years, only partial justice and restoration is possible for the Palestinian people. Whatever constitutional arrangements are arrived at, equality should be the guiding principle at work.
As for Zionism let’s ditch it and move on. 'It’s time to place it in a glass cabinet and put it in a museum in a room marked: ‘Dead Ends & False Messiahs’.
There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.”
"The practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud and elsewhere.
The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.
(Kerry R Bolton, Foreign Policy Journal, May 29, 2018)
Choseness is what binds Zionists together.
To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy. Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy....
I know well that Zionism was born to emancipate Diaspora Jews from their exceptionalist cultural traits and to make them ‘people like all other people.’
Like an early Zionist, I would have liked to see Jews liberate themselves from the choseness prison, but I accept that such a shift can not occur in the form of a collective or political movement. The escape from choseness to the ordinary must be an individual struggle, a surrender to self-contempt that eventually matures into a genuine search for peace and harmony with the universe, with the soil and with one’s neighbours. (Gilad Atzmon, 24-6-2019)
"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)
BANGKOK, Nov. 3: China will continue to firmly uphold multilateralism in the context of complex international situations, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in his meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres here on Sunday.
China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will resolutely safeguard multilateralism, uphold the international system with the UN at its core, and support the international order based on international laws, Li said. China is ready to deepen cooperation with the UN, and work with all parties to strive for progress in meeting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said.
In dealing with climate change, China will undertake its responsibilities and obligations as a developing country, follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and implement the Paris Agreement with the international community in a comprehensive and efficient manner, so as to promote green, low-carbon, and sustainable growth, Li said.
For his part, Guterres said the international community must avoid any situation that separates the world and creates two systems and sets of rules.
The UN highly commends contributions China has made to support multilateralism, safeguard the international order based on international laws, implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and tackle climate change, Guterres said, adding the UN Secretariat is supportive of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, received on Monday Wang Yang, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and an accompanying delegation during their visit to Cairo.
The grand imam of Al-Azhar said the Islamic world alone cannot be blamed for the spread of extremist thoughts, as there are international agendas and policies that use the extremist ideas to fuel the conflicts in the region to impose its hegemony.
Muslims are the number one victims of terrorism which some associate Islam with, El-Tayyeb added, noting that states are responsible for maintaining peace and social security and at the same time shoulder the responsibility to allow the freedom to practise religious rites at the same time.
The grand imam stressed that the wrong education and misinterpretation of some religious texts were the source of extremist thoughts in some countries.
The only way to confront extremism was to spread the moderate Al-Azhar curriculum through sending students to study in Al-Azhar or training imams in a programme dedicated by Al-Azhar to the incoming imams to train them on pluralism and coexistence, he added.
"I will work on clarifying the image of Islam I knew from the grand Imam," Wang Yang said, pointing out that he will be keen on sending Chinese imams to Al-Azhar to confront extremism.
Turning to education, Dr Hassoun said, "Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator".
If we want peace, starting for example with Palestine and Israel, he suggested that rather than building walls, "let us build bridges of peace".
He also argued that "we must create states on a civil basis, not a religious basis", adding "I don't impose my religion on you, nor do you impose your religion on me".
Hassoun was born in 1949 in the city of Aleppo. The son of cleric Mohammad Adeeb Hassoun, he was educated at the renowned al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and graduated with a PhD in Shafi’i jurisprudence. Shafi’i is one of the remaining five major schools of Sunni Islam.
China and Russia plan to strengthen their alliance to uphold international law in a geopolitical world characterized by unilateralism by other main actors, Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced.
In a meeting on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS summit in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, on Wednesday, President Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the strength and potential of the ties between their countries and called for maintaining the momentum of the development of relations at a high level. Xi urged the need to establish closer strategic coordination to uphold the basic norms governing international relations, oppose unilateralism, bullying, and interference in other countries’ affairs, safeguard their respective sovereignty and security, and jointly create a fair and just international environment.
“In particular, we jointly announced the development of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, pushing bilateral relations to a new historical height,” President Xi said.
China and Russia should work together to promote solidarity and deepen strategic partnership among all BRICS member states in order to adhere to multilateralism and uphold the multilateral trading system, Xi said.
He also pledged full support for Russia to host the BRICS summit and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit next year.
Putin, for his part, said the Russo-Chinese relations were solid and unaffected by any external factors.
He said the two countries’ relations were based on profound friendship and mutual trust, close political coordination, mutually beneficial economic cooperation, and close coordination on the international stage. The development comes as both Russia and China are under economic pressure from the United States in the form of unilateral sanctions and aggressive protectionist trade policies.
Oil is the reason the Americans are staying in Syria.
The American decision is strange because the oilfields in eastern Syria are relatively small and the oil’s high sulfur earns only a low international price. The American justification is that they want to protect the oilfields from ISIS.
However, there are armored units in the American forces that we never saw in Syria before. There are also artillery units. Normally, armored units and artillery are not the best weapons to use against guerrilla fighters like ISIS. Instead, armored units and artillery are used against another army.
And, in fact, American Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on October 28 that the American mission is not only to protect the oilfields from ISIS but also to protect them from the Syrian army and its Russian allies.
This is not completely new. In February 2018 the American air force destroyed a Syrian government convoy with Syrian soldiers and Russian mercenaries that tried to take the Conoco gas factory near Deir Ezzor.
It is worth mentioning that Russian company Wagner, whose owner is an ally of the Kremlin, has a contract with the Syrian government for the reconstruction of oilfields. Wagner is supposed to receive a 25 percent share of the production.
The Americans are determined to win political concessions from the Syrian government by blocking Syrian government control of the oil revenues. American officials and many experts think that this pressure will compel Assad to make big political concessions..
At the same time, American control of the oilfields also will give the Syrian Democratic Forces monies to pay its soldiers and to pay for the detention centers where thousands of ISIS prisoners and their families are being held. The oil revenues are not for Washington. They are for Mazloum Abdi and his SDF fighters led by the Syrian Kurdish YPG.
Who gave the Americans the right to make this decision about Syrian oil?
According to international law, the Syrian state’s sovereignty extends over the country’s natural resources. Damascus, not Washington, is the legal authority.
At the same time, the Trump administration’s legal justification under American law is also debatable. American forces entered Syria under a Congressional decision after the 9/11 attacks that permits military action against al-Qaeda, and Obama said that al-Qaeda gave birth to ISIS.
It will be difficult for the Trump administration to use a Congressional decision about al-Qaeda to justify protecting oilfields from Syrian and Russian forces.
Robert Ford is a former US ambassador to Syria and Algeria and a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute for Near East Policy in Washington.
Senior clerics across the Arab world have issued fatwas stating that jihad against the Syrian regime is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim, and even permitting to kill Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Some of the clerics also called to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is fighting Assad's regime.
* Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, told Al-Jazeera that clerics across the Muslim world agree that Assad must be fought against and even killed...
* Preacher Safwat Hijazi said [..] that killing Assad is a fard 'ain (a duty incumbent upon every individual Muslim), and that whoever carries out this task will attain Paradise. ... He claimed that over 400 scholars had signed fatwas permitting Assad's killing. (In 2012, Safwat Hijazi launched MB Candidate Muhammad Mursi's Campaign)
* The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Himam Sa'id, likewise ruled that fighting the Assad regime is "a religious duty," and that "the Muslims must assist the FSA..." He called the FSA fighters "mujahideen" and said that their dead count as "martyrs."
Bernhard Levy argues that NATO intervention to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi has set a “precedent” in the 21st century for developing a new doctrine for toppling regimes... Levy goes on to affirm that the Syrian regime will be toppled along the lines of the Libyan scenario, adding that all that is left in Syria is “the final scene which has not been completely written yet.” (Al-Akhbar, 23-11-2011)
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Amos Gilad, strategic adviser to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, said President Bashar al-Assad controlled just a fifth of Syria and may end up in charge of a rump state dominated by his minority Alawite sect.
"Syria is gone. Syria is dying. The funeral will be declared in due time. This Bashar Assad, he will be remembered in history textbooks as the one who lost Syria," Gilad told an intelligence conference organized by the Israel Defense journal on Monday.
"Until now he has lost 75 percent of Syria ... He is, practically, governor of 20 percent of Syria. And his future, if I may predict it, is shrinking all of the time. And maybe we will have him as the president of 'Alawistan'," Gilad added.
Israel has largely sought to keep out of the insurgency next door... However, Israel has provided humanitarian relief to rebels fighting Assad's forces.
In August 2015 Abu Firas al Suri, a senior al Qaeda operative in Syria, defended the jihadists’ relationship with Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated groups that should be counted as an ally in the fight against the Assad regime.
“The Free Syrian Army groups said they were ready for anything according to the Islamic sharia and that we are delegated to apply the rulings of the sharia on them,” Suri explained...
“The FSA is a very wide sector, it is not an organized group. The FSA is composed of many groups.”
He then listed FSA member organizations that were acceptable allies, including “Al-Zinky,” meaning the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Movement.
“The FSA doesn’t have an ideology that can be applied on its followers,” Suri surmised. “The important thing is they fight the regime.”
In an interview given to RUSSIA 24 and ROSSIYA SEVODNYA, President Bashar al-Assad clarified that most of the Kurds are patriots who support their state and the Syrian people...
He said: “ After nine years of war, I think that most people understand the importance of embracing the state regardless of political differences.”
President al-Assad emphasized that every war will result in a lot of changes in society but it doesn’t mean dividing the country, moving towards separation; throwing out the constitution or weakening the state, confirming that the war should be an experience from which we come out with a stronger, not weaker homeland.
- Question: Why is Russia helping Syria, in general?
President Assad: We cannot answer this question without talking about the Russian role; Russia is a superpower and has international duties and responsibilities.
These responsibilities serve the world and also, Russia and the Russian people. Russia has the choice of either playing the role of a superpower, or withdrawing into itself and becoming a very ordinary state, which would not be good for the world.
In this context, the military presence in Syria is part of the framework of the global balance of power, because the world today is not governed by legal criteria, but rather by the criteria of power. Therefore, the Russian power, from a military perspective, is necessary for balance in the world...
Russia, through the role it’s playing, has the exact opposite vision of the West, which believes that international law is at odds with its interests; Russia believes that international law serves its own interests and also its joint interests with other countries.
- Question: The Sochi agreement contributed to normalizing the situation in northeastern Syria and prepared the ground for the return of the legitimate control of the Syrian government east of Euphrates and some areas in the northeast of the country. What are the steps you intend to take in order to engage the local authorities of the Kurdish autonomous administration?
- President Assad: With regards to the Kurdish forces, we need to correct certain concepts. The term is being misused and it is being promoted by the West to give the impression that the forces operating there are Kurdish and that the region is Kurdish. First, I would like to make it clear that this region in the north and northeast of Syria is an Arab-majority region; over 70% of its population are Arabs, not the other way around.
The groups fighting there are a mixture of Kurds and others; the Americans support the Kurdish groups and installed them in a leadership role in order to give the impression that it is a Kurdish region and to create a conflict between the Kurds and the other groups in Syria.
This does not mean that the Kurds are not patriots; I stress that most of the Kurds are patriots who support their state and the Syrian people like any other segment of Syrian society.
Since the return of the Syrian Army to these areas, there is currently a dialogue to convince them that stability is achieved when all of us are committed to the Syrian constitution, because this constitution reflects the will of the people.
- Question: Where are the YPG units now? Where are they located? The equally important question is: how would these units be integrated with the Syrian Armed Forces, particularly since there was an announcement and a proposal in this regard?
- President Assad: As I said previously, they are a mixture of Kurds and Arabs, but their leadership is Kurdish. They need to withdraw because they provided the Turks with the pretext to implement their plan, which they have been dreaming of since the beginning of the war; they need to withdraw 30 kilometers.
As for integrating these groups into the Syrian Army, we have followed a principle since the beginning of reconciliations in 2013 that all those who hand in their weapons get full amnesty and return to normal civilian life like any other citizen, and they may join the Syrian Arab Army.
This has happened in many places; some of those who had fought with the terrorists later joined the Syrian Arab Army and fought within its ranks and were even martyred.
The title you read is correct, it was during a TV interview with a Wahhabi cleric who warned the people of Damascus to leave their jobs, their homes immediately and head to the desert where it’ll be more secure for them.
When his interviewer asks him where the people should go he replies: ‘Go to Ragga, Aleppo, Turkey or go to the desert’ to ‘clear the way for the mujahideen to reclaim the injustice they suffer from the Syrian regime’.
- Question: Going back to the question of the political solution, militants continue to hand in their weapons; and we know that the Syrian government, and you personally, are doing a lot in order to reintegrate these people in society. What are your next plans in terms of providing assistance to the militants and their families whose legal status have been settled?
- President Assad: This is an important point, and a critical challenge. There are various aspects that need to be addressed.
- First, we have children, because you correctly referred to families and not just militants in the abstract case. These militants have a family and they are part of a community, albeit small, but an extremist community. Their children have lived for a long period, sometimes their formative years, outside of the law and away from national curricula, as such they have learned wrong concepts.
We announced a few weeks ago that schools would integrate these pupils within their programs and according to their age, so that they could adjust into the national curriculum within a few years and assimilate to patriotic concepts.
- A second aspect is the religious extremism which has been promoted for years, and has become entrenched in the minds of entire communities in the areas governed by Al Qaeda and Wahabi ideology under the names of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Tahrir al-Cham, Jaish al-Islam, and others, it doesn’t matter who, because they all belong to one ideology and one doctrine.
In Syria, the religious establishment plays a very important role in this regard; you cannot talk to those extremists in the beginning about national and humanitarian issues. They must first understand that the religious concepts they have learned are wrong and distorted, and in contradiction with religion. We are working extensively in order to flush out these wrong concepts.
- The third aspect is that these communities have lived outside the law; they don’t know the meaning of the state, of laws, courts of law, traffic police, and other instruments used by society to organize itself.
This is the more difficult aspect. The challenge here is how to reintroduce the state in the best possible way to these towns and villages, in order to restore concepts of law and order.
These are the areas we are constantly working on, through various institutions, in order to reintegrate this community into Syrian society and ensuring they have a strong sense of patriotism.
- Question: Would Syria lodge a complaint at the United Nations about the United States looting Syrian oil? And does Damascus have specific plans to demand compensation for the looted oil from Washington?
- President Assad: Of course, this is to be expected. However, you and I, and many others in the world know that there is no United Nations because there is no international law; and so, all complaints lodged at the United Nations remain in drawers.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a quasi-state, governed by gangs and based on the principle of power. These gangs are thieves and the conflict between them is over profits, gains, and losses. It is not a conflict over ideologies or political parties; the conflicts between Trump and others in America are conflicts over spoils and gains.
That’s why today we live in a world similar to a jungle, closer to the period before World War II, rather than after it. We will send a complaint, but it will remain in the drawers.
- Question: Mr. President, the constitutional committee has started its work in Geneva. Do you think that its work will be useful? And does Damascus have red lines if crossed by proposals of this committee that would be unacceptable?
- President Assad: There is an attempt to portray that the solution to the war in Syria will come about as a result of the constitutional committee. The war did not start because of a disagreement or a division over the constitution. The war in Syria started because there were acts of terrorism which killed members of the military, the police, and civilians and also destroyed public and other properties. So, the war ends when terrorism ends.
- Question: Mr. President, during the war, and a result of the sanctions, the Syrian economy has been greatly affected. And now there is a lot of talk about corruption. What are the reforms and changes to the economy which you intend to make in the near future? And are there mechanisms in place to support the national currency?
- President Assad: Strengthening the economy first needs modern and developed investment laws. I referred to this aspect earlier and mentioned that we are in the process of upgrading these laws.
You touched on fighting corruption in your question and this is an important aspect, whether it is to strengthen the economy, to enforce the law or to support the Syrian Pound; these are all interrelated. We started fighting corruption many years ago and this is ongoing and at an accelerated pace, especially with the discovery of a number of corruption cases. This is expected, because war creates chaos, and chaos is a very good environment for terrorism, on the one hand, and corruption, on the other. We are moving forward in enforcing the law.
Almost a year ago, we created a committee of legal experts tasked with developing the laws in order to close the gaps which allow for corruption. This in itself supports the Syrian Pound while at the same time encouraging investment, because they are both interrelated. Our policy is not one of speculation; it is a policy which aims to create a strong economy, which in itself would support the national currency.
Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said today that the international rules-based order founded on the principles and values of international law is under real threat by the rise of unilateralism, isolationism, and racism.
"This irresponsible trend threatens to disrupt and undermine stability, trade, and human rights worldwide. Indeed, this agenda of hostility and warmongering is an existential threat for the Palestinian people," she said in a statement on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of Palestine's Declaration of Independence.
"These dangers must compel the international community to positive and collective action in defense of our shared values. This includes states that remain negatively passive in relation to Palestine realigning their position with international law," the PLO official remarked.
"It is time to proactively and constructively defend international law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people by standing up for peace and recognizing Palestine."
Thirty one years ago (15-11-1988), the Palestinian National Council announced the PLO's endorsement of the two state formula as a path forward towards peace.
She continued, "The painful compromise of accepting to establish the Palestinian state over 22% of historic Palestine, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, reflected our commitment to the universal values and principles of international law, our determination to achieve peace, freedom, and dignity for our people and our commitment to reflect these principles in our system of governance."
Ashrawi said the unprecedented gesture of generosity and sacrifice was welcomed by the majority of states around the world..
"The post-September 11 era in the US has heralded in a new age of ideology whose discourse and world views have served not only to accommodate such extremist views as those held by Sharon, but also to provide him with a platform and an influence that were unthinkable only a year ago.
Thus while the American President is busy devising a new Manichean universe of absolute good and absolute evil, pronouncing policy on the basis of a simplistic polarization of the world, and unilaterally defining the terms while categorizing state and non-state actors accordingly, Sharon’s Israel has maneuvered itself into a position of even greater power on the world stage provided explicitly by the US."
"President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” speech played directly into Sharon’s hand, simultaneously legitimizing “unilateralism” and the undermining of international law while claiming exclusivity of values and the right to use unbridled (and accountable) force to achieve immediate ends.
Those, precisely, have been the hallmarks of Israeli policy all along. Add to that the perpetuation of the most brutal (and last remaining) military occupation in history “enjoying” the cover of impunity provided by its strategic alliance with the US, and you have a most alarming formula for lawlessness, radicalization, violence, and destabilization.
With the facile handing out of convenient labels, the dehumanization of the “other” is thereby rendered official, contributing to the subversion of the principle of equality before the law and to the suspension of communication (dialogue, negotiations) as a means of conflict resolution."
A senior leader of the Islamic State group has been arrested in Ukraine after an operation conducted with the help of Georgian police and the CIA, the Ukrainian security services said Friday.
The Georgian national, known as Al Bara Shishani, was previously deputy to top IS commander Omar al-Shishani ("Omar the Chechen"), Ukraine's SBU security services said in a statement. Omar al-Shishani was the nom de guerre of a Georgian Chechen jihadist who was killed in a US-coalition led strike in Syria in 2016. Al Bara Shishani left Syria in 2016 for Turkey, where he "continued to coordinate" Islamic State activities, the SBU said. He arrived illegally in Ukraine last year, using a false passport, and was arrested near his house in a Kiev suburb.
Following a trend among coalescing opposition brigades in Syria, a new Islamic muhajireen formation has been declared named Jamaat Ahadun Ahad (Group of The One and Only, in reference to the strict monotheism in Islam).
What is know, is that Jamaat Ahadun Ahad is a smaller jihadist group consisting of several anonymous and independent muhajireen (foreign fighter) brigades. A number of Ansar (local Syrian) brigades have also joined the formation. Most of the constituent groups are unknown and not affiliated with either Jabhat al-Nusra or the Islamic State, or even the recently formed Jabhat Ansar al-Din. They do share the ideological goal of these groups, which includes “making the word of Allah the highest” (instituting Islamic governance). Jamaat Ahadun Ahad is active mostly in the Latakia countryside, and its constituent brigades were involved in the 2014 Al-Anfal Offensive in Northern Latakia. The overall commander of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad is a man named Al Bara Shishani, further highlighting the prominent role Chechen foreign fighters have played in this conflict.
As a mostly foreign fighter brigade, Jamaat Ahadun Ahad boasts many Chechens, Turks, Arabs, Europeans, and even several former members of the Taliban
Based on social media activity on Twitter, many of the group’s supporters are Turkish.
MK Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu party, on Saturday night gave Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz the green light for the formation of a minority government supported from the outside by the Joint Arab List. The purpose of the agreement is to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to come to the table without the 55-MK right-religious bloc which stands behind him.
If Netanyahu does not abandon his bloc, the parties on the center-left will sign the agreement and take control of the government next week.
Such a minority government would have 47 MKs from the Blue and White, Labor-Gesher, and Yisrael Beytenu parties.
The Blue and White party demands Liberman actively support such a government and take part in it, in order to increase its legitimacy in the eyes of the Israeli public. In such a case, the left-wing Meretz party, which Liberman is not willing to sit in a government with, would support the government from outside, together with four of the Joint Arab List's MKs.
Netanyahu's Father, his Wife and the Holy Book
Earlier on Saturday, Benjamin Netanyahu said he knew with "certainty" that Blue and White would try to form such a minority government, which he warned would be a "disaster" and a "historical danger to Israel's security."
"Leaders of religious and right-wing parties finished a meeting” called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, committing themselves once again to keeping the 55-seat bloc together.
The party leaders also said they would continue to work on convincing Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman to join a coalition with them. Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid “want me to separate from the bloc,” Netanyahu said, “so that they can take parts of it.”
Netanyahu called the meeting in light of what he said was an emergency – that Blue and White may form a minority coalition with the Joint List’s votes. It came after a weekend in which the prime minister and Gantz argued over social media and press releases over who is trying to bring about a third election.
Who’s that guy telling the Democratic Party to be conservative about what they wish for from their next president?
Wait, isn’t that Barack - ‘Yes, we can’ - Obama, the media darling that led the country before Trump ‘ruined it all?’
The cold shower poured on Friday by the former US president in front of a room full of wealthy donors in Washington was obviously directed at Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the progressive contenders in the Democratic primary race.
The two senators have proposed a number of policies to radically change the way America functions economically and politically – for the benefit of the common people.
But according to Obama, Democratic voters don’t really want a candidate that would “completely tear down the system and remake it.”
"There are a lot of persuadable voters and there are a lot of Democrats out there who just want to see things make sense. They just don’t want to see crazy stuff. They want to see things a little more fair, they want to see things a little more just. And how we approach that I think will be important."
Yep, the guy who got elected on a message of hope that America could achieve its dreams is now telling it to be rooted in reality...
Of course, the hope for change that Obama evoked on the campaign trail was in contrast to his actual policies... The president himself admitted that in the 1980s he would be considered a moderate Republican.
MK Miki Zohar (Likud) took part on Sunday evening in the Likud “emergency conference” which was called to protest the possible establishment of a left-wing government supported by the predominantly Arab Joint List party.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Zohar called the haredim to compromise in order to prevent a third election in one year and he urged Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman to return to the right-wing bloc.
“We are in a state of emergency. There is a real danger that a left-wing minority government will be established. I truly hope that Liberman will come to his senses, will not lend a hand to this, and will prevent this because, ultimately, it’s in his hands. He can prevent this disaster and I hope that he does so,” said Zohar.
“[Benny] Gantz and [Yair] Lapid have decided. Yair Lapid concocted this scheme. He can eliminate three political rivals in one move. Netanyahu will exit, that’s the first rival, and of course Gantz, who will be remembered as the one who is going with the Joint List, will also lose his political career and the same with Liberman. Therefore, Lapid is concocting a scheme in order to eliminate three political rivals and we have to take notice,” he continued.
The right-wing bloc, said Zohar, “preserves right-wing principles and we do not intend to give up on our right-wing principles. And therefore, with all due respect, I suggest to everyone not to disqualify others.
The haredim have to compromise, unequivocally. Without compromises from the haredim, we will go to the opposition...
“We will do everything possible to create a right-wing with Liberman... A right-wing government with Liberman is the only option and in order to do that, we will need to compromise,” said Zohar.
“Zohar: In my opinion, a Palestinian doesn’t have the right to national identity, because he does not own the land of this country. I want him as a resident by virtue of my own sense of fairness – because he was born here and lives here, I will not tell him to leave. I’m sorry to say this, but they have one conspicuous liability: They weren’t born Jews.”
Q: So what about the Palestinian Arabs living in Israel? Why, according to your way of thinking, do they deserve the right to vote, as opposed to their brethren in the territories?
A: “They will have to choose if they are loyal to the state, and there are three conditions: doing national service; recognition of the Israeli flag, which would fly above every public institution; and recognizing Israel as a Jewish [..] state. And this would not be the decision of an individual, but of a public authority. If they can’t meet these criteria, they would no longer be able to vote for the Knesset.” [..]
Zohar: “The Haredi public loves me, because my political positions promote Judaism in the country. I say: ‘This country is ours because we are Jews, let’s act as Jews do..."
A Likud party lawmaker on Monday told an Arab MK that the Jewish people are a “special race” and that the latter could not “preach morals” to him because he was opposed to Jewish statehood.
The exchange between Likud MK Miki Zohar and Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi came during a Knesset Regulatory Committee meeting..
Zohar, who chaired the committee, told Tibi: “The Jewish race is a special race and I am glad to be part of it. If you don’t like it, deal with it.”
“You can’t preach morals to us because you are anti-Zionists, against the principle of the Jewish state,” he said to Tibi, who had apparently challenged Zohar over similar remarks he made last year about the supremacy of the “Jewish race.”
Zohar subsequently told Channel 12 his comments had been misrepresented and stressed that he had not said anything about “the superiority of the Jewish race.” But, he said, “Unequivocally what flows in the DNA of the Jewish people is something special.”
He went on: “What I said, and I still stand by my words, is that the Jewish people are special — they have an unparalleled uniqueness. They are a smart, successful people that demonstrated how in 60 years it is possible to take a country from nothing and turn it into an empire.”...
His assertions led to a spat with [Ahmad] Tibi, who noted Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews as a race...
The United States no longer considers Israeli settlements to be "inconsistent with international law," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, in a shift in American foreign policy.
"After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees... (the) establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law," Pompeo said.
Until now, US policy was based, at least in theory, on a legal opinion issued by the State Department in 1978, which said that establishing of settlements in the Palestinian territories went against international law.
"Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn't worked. It hasn't advanced the cause of peace," Pompeo said.
The statement - the latest pro-Israel shift by Washington - puts the United States at odds with virtually all countries and UN Security Council resolutions.
The Fourth Geneva Convention on the laws of war explicitly forbids moving civilians into occupied territories.
While the United States has generally vetoed Security Council measures critical of Israel, previous president Barack Obama, in his final weeks in office, allowed the passage of Resolution 2334 that called Israel's settlements a "flagrant violation" of international law. Pompeo said that the United States was rejecting the Obama administration's approach, although he denied that the move was giving a green light to Israel to build more settlements.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said a US statement deeming Israeli settlement not to be illegal "rights a historical wrong". "The Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in Judea and Samaria..."
"We applaud the Trump administration for revealing the truth about the standing of Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley," the Yesha settlements council wrote in a Hebrew language statement.
Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz joined the congratulations. "The right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is indisputable," he said.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the US decision "contradicts totally with international law". Washington has no right to grant legality to any Israeli settlement," Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in a statement. Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said on Twitter before Pompeo's statement, that the move represented another blow to "international law, justice & peace":
"Another blow to international law, justice & peace by a Biblical absolutist waiting for the 'rapture'." (Hanan Ashrawa, 19-11-2019)
Huwaida Arraf, a Palestinian American lawyer and rights activist, said the announcement was "not surprising".
"Trump administration once again shows its complete disdain for the law."
As they prepared finally to exit the national scene, Obama and John Kerry thought they were sticking it to Israel one last time when they supported the despicable U.N. Security Council resolution 2234 that declared all “Jewish settlements” in the Golan Heights, in East Jerusalem, and in the rest of the so-called “West Bank” illegal.
It never was a surprise that China and Russia would vote that way, and the fickle West Europeans, epitomized in the Security Council by France and the United Kingdom, now all have such a heavy Arab Muslim swing-vote demographic influencing their respective domestic elections that they also are led by the nose, and by their dependency on Arab oil, to toe the OPEC line...
The nations who ganged up on Israel actually rose to cheer in the Security Council chamber, as they proclaimed that Jews and Israel have no right to live even in East Jerusalem. This not only comprised a final mold spore attached to Obama’s legacy, but the Simon Wiesenthal Center ranked Obama’s decision the most anti-Semitic incident of year 2016.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the UN: "Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and we will not abide by its terms....
Meanwhile, President-elect Trump tweeted ominously: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.” Promise made. Promise kept.
Obama and John Kerry — and Obama’s prior Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton — refused to recognize Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem and would not even move America’s Israel embassy to West Jerusalem, which Israel always held from its inception. Obama and John Kerry no longer matter. Hillary does not either.
In recent days, the European Union, with no other problems to address, voted to prohibit Jewish products manufactured in Judea and Samaria from being labeled as “Made in Israel.”
In the UK, the Labour Party is now led by such a debased anti-Semite, Jeremy Corbyn, that even non-Jews there who are leftists are recoiling and ashamed at what their party has become.
There has never been a coherent consistent American policy towards Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria until now...
America, unlike the West Europeans, is great enough today not to fear any other country on earth. Arab Muslim petrodollars do not control America, and we no longer are dependent on their oil, as when they knocked us down during their 1973 oil embargo.
Now we are energy independent, a net exporter of energy with even more oil and natural gas on the way as new technologies have unlocked so much more of America’s energy potential. China, Russia, the European Union, and Arab oil will not dictate foreign policy to America, and Israel can ignore them as it has learned that it must blow off the anti-Semitic United Nations and the murderers who comprise the UN Human Rights Council...
With Secretary Pompeo’s announcement [..] yet another Obama travesty now disappears, dust in the wind.
And another Trump promise has been kept.
About David Fisch, alias Dov Fischer Arutz Sheva info: The writer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations.
Hat-Tief Info: "In the 1970s, he was the executive director of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), at which time he went by the name David Fisch, which later became Dov Fisch, still later became Dov Aharoni (or Dov Aharoni-Fisch) and is now Rabbi Dov Fischer. (Fisch was named executive director after Rabbi Kahane settled in Israel).
Although Rabbi Fischer does not acknowledge his past explicitly, he does not do a particularly great job of hiding it, hawking on his personal website the following book he wrote when he went by Dov Aharoni Fisch.
"Jews for Nothing" is mentioned on a website of the Jewish Task Force, a Kahanist organization, as having been written by David Fisch, former JDL head.
[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday pledged to immediately pass a decision to annex the Jordan Valley — about a quarter of the West Bank — after a potential unity government is formed.
“The historic decision by the American administration from yesterday hands us a unique opportunity to set Israel’s eastern border and annex the Jordan Valley,” Netanyahu said in a Hebrew-language video posted on Twitter, referring a major policy shift Monday by the United States, saying that it no longer views West Bank settlements as “inconsistent with international law.”
“I call on Benny Gantz to come together with me and with [Yisrael Beytenu leader] Avigdor Liberman to form a unity government, whose first item on the agenda on its first day will be the annexation of the Jordan Valley,” Netanyahu declared. “The nation and history will not forgive whoever misses this historic opportunity.”
“You cannot [annex the Jordan Valley] in a minority government that depends on Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh,” he added...
Iran’s government has defended its decision to ration fuel and increase gasoline prices, saying the measure is aimed at supporting low-income households and establishing social justice. Ali Rabiei, spokesman for the Iranian administration, said at a press conference in Tehran on Monday that the plan to raise gasoline fees was part of efforts to support the low- and middle-income people in the country at the time of economic sanctions.
“Under the current circumstances that the country is facing the most unprecedented sanctions and pressures, the main reason for adjusting prices is to promote social justice or to move toward that [goal]. The lower deciles of the society are under [financial and economic] pressure and the government feels obliged to support them,” Rabiei said.
The Iranian official added that the resources allocated to supporting the people’s livelihood would be available through adjusting fuel prices, adding that the best approach to help low-income households is to stem subsidies for the affluent and allocate them to the less endowed.
Stressing that the rich have enjoyed the lion's share of subsidies for gasoline, Rabiei said well-off families used to have 23 times more benefits from gasoline-related subsidies compared to lower income families and therefore, the most logical way possible was to raise the price of gasoline.
On Friday, Iran began rationing gasoline and substantially increased the price of fuel, saying the revenue would be used to assist the needy. The decision sparked rallies in a number of Iranian cities, some of which were marred by violence as opportunist elements tried to exploit the situation and ride the wave of peaceful protests against hiking fuel prices.
Consequently, the demonstrations turned violent in some cities, with reports of clashes between security forces and certain elements vandalizing public property.
A report by an Iranian intelligence organization says “trained saboteurs” exploited people’s protests to set public buildings on fire and attack police officers in various Iranian cities.
Rabiei stressed that protesters are different from rioters. “Those hooligans who cause destruction with weapons and set property on fire are definitely different from those who voice their grievances in a peaceful manner,” Rabiei added. The Iranian official further pointed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s support for rioters and said the support came as no surprise as the US official had already and brazenly supported the maximum sanctions on Tehran.
Russia has lambasted "hypocritical” support by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for Iranian protesters during recent riots triggered mostly by economic problems created by US sanctions on Tehran.
Pompeo posted a tweet in which he claimed that the “US is with” Iranians, echoing a statement by White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham who said Washington “supports the Iranian people.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday Pompeo’s remarks had “left us puzzled since most of the things that sparked the discontent and other processes that are taking place in Iran were actually brought upon the Islamic Republic by the US’ own actions.”
She said Tehran’s decision to raise fuel prices was the result of the “illegal and massive sanctions pressure” that the White House is exerting on the Islamic Republic, adding that Iranians’ rights to receive food, medication, and other necessities have been violated due to Washington’s so-called punitive measures.
“The way we see it – this was the US' goal all along, when they decided to initiate the policy of sanctions pressure against Iran.
It turns out that, on the one hand, Washington supports the aspirations of the Iranian people, at least verbally, and on the other hand, they are doing anything possible to make the population of this country suffer," Zakharova said.
Israelis may be headed to the polls for the third time in a year, after Blue & White leader Benny Gantz said he was unable to form a coalition government with either Arab parties or its main rival, PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.
Gantz was entrusted with the mandate to form a coalition government by President Reuven Rivlin a month ago, after Netanyahu got a chance and failed.
It was the first time in Israel’s 71-year history that two elections were held in a single year, and this latest development means there is another historical precedent in the making. Once again, it all came down to Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) leader Avigdor Lieberman, who reportedly ruled out backing any kind of minority government...
“There is only one person to blame, and it's Lieberman. With great talent, he did everything in his power to prevent Netanyahu and Ganzt from giving each other some slack,” said the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party Aryeh Deri.
Lieberman, who heads a small secular, ultranationalist party, triggered the September election after refusing to join Netanyahu’s traditional allies of hard-line and religious parties following earlier elections in April.
Lieberman, who hails from the former Soviet Union, has objected to the outsize influence of ultra-Orthodox religious parties and has urged Netanyahu and Gantz to join him in a unity government as a way out of the stalemate. Lieberman said he objected to Netanyahu’s alliance with “messianic” religious parties, while he also accused Gantz of reaching out to religious parties and not negotiating in good faith.
“Who is to blame in this situation? Both parties together” he said. (Voice of America, 20-11-2019)
Benny Gantz, the Blue and White chair, blamed the failure on Netanyahu, saying that while he had “turned over every stone” to form a government, the prime minister had blocked his way at every step on the graveled path.
“I asked of the prime minister, who lost in the election, to hold direct negotiations. And in response I received insults, slander and childish videos,” said Gantz with his first shot to the bow suggesting that Netanyahu lacked legitimacy to stand in his way.
“Faced with the stones that I have overturned to achieve unity and reconciliation, a ‘bloc’ was created that insisted on seeing the personal good of one person before the good of the patients lying in the corridors.
Faced with the grains of sand that I have sifted, a ‘wall of losers’ has insisted on preventing the citizens of Israel from forming a government led by those who won and move forward into an era of sanity and political stability,” Gantz said of the bloc of 55 right-wing and religious lawmakers who have insisted on backing Netanyahu and only negotiating as a unit.
“This is a dangerous move, the first of its kind in the history of the country..”, he said.
“Netanyahu! The state is not yours,” he insisted. “The country is not mine either. The state belongs to its citizens..."
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman may have failed in his efforts to push for a unity government, but on Wednesday he managed to unite lawmakers from right to left — in condemning him.
Liberman was attacked from all across the political spectrum following a fiery speech in which he blamed both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz for the failure to reach a unity government and ruled out joining a government with either the “anti-Zionist” ultra-Orthodox parties or the “fifth column” Arab lawmakers...
He said the ultra-Orthodox parties were “increasingly anti-Zionist,” and linked them in this regard with the largely Arab Joint List. And he implied that a prominent ultra-Orthodox sage was engaged in money laundering...
While Liberman has called Arabs “a fifth column” before, and drawn criticism for it, his attack on the ultra-Orthodox as “anti-Zionist” [..] was new.
His comments were carried live by most major Hebrew media outlets, including television channels which cut into their normal programming to broadcast the speech.
“Unfortunately the Haredi parties are also becoming more and more anti-Zionist,” he charged. “It’s not just at the margins,” he said. Noting the arrival in Israel on Tuesday of the Satmar Rebbe, he said the sage “gave out millions of dollars” in an act of apparent “money laundering” that should be investigated by the tax authorities.
Responding to the speech, Haredi lawmakers referred to the Yisrael Beytenu leader as “anti-Semitic” and a “czar,” and to his speech as a “war crime” and a “horror show.”
“A disgraceful ugly horror show… full of lies, ignorance and hatred. Unfortunately we can say that anti-Semitism has been rediscovered today,” said UTJ leader Yaakov Litzman at a faction meeting.
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman has issued another broadside against the conservative wing of the religious-Zionist community, branding it “idol worship,” which has been taken over by “Messianics.”
Last week, Liberman stirred up a storm after he said that religious pre-military academies that prepare young religious men for life in the army were generating “religious private militias,” and branded the right-wing religious-Zionist parties “extremist.”
“What has happened with religious-Zionism is that a group of Messianics with National Union chairman and Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich [..] dictates everything that happens,” said Liberman.
“On the one hand you have [dean of the religious pre-military academy in Eli Bnei David] Rabbi [Yigal] Levenstein and on the other [dean of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva] Rabbi [Shlomo] Aviner, and on the other you have all types of Babot [mystic Sephardi rabbis], it’s all idolatry, it’s not Judaism, it is truly idol worship...”
ultra right wing west bank settlers
The conservative or hardline wing of the religious-Zionist community is characterized by a more stringent attitude to religion and state issues, a strong aversion to progressive Jewish groups, and strong, ideological support for maintaining Israeli control, and annexing, the Judea and Samaria regions and their settlements.
The leaders of both Bayit Yehudi and National Union, Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Smotrich, both hail from this sector.
The representatives of the far-right Otzmah Yehudit, following the ideology of Rabbi Meir Kahana and equally as stringent on religion and state, and are generally even more extreme in their approach to Judea and Samaria and its Palestinian inhabitants.
Israel’s theocracy is not quite what Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl, had in mind.
In fact, Herzl had minimal interest in religious Judaism. Instead of a Bar Mitzvah, Herzl’s 13th birthday was advertised as a “confirmation.” According to Amos Élon, Herzl considered himself an atheist. Herzl did not envision the inhabitants of his future Jewish state as being religious, but had respect for religion in the public sphere.
In his novel Altneuland, all non-Jews have equal rights and an attempt by a fanatical rabbi to disenfranchise the non-Jewish citizens of their rights fails in the election, the center of the book’s main political plot.
Outlining his vision for a new Jewish state, Herzl summed up his vision of an open society: “It is founded on the ideas which are a common product of all civilized nations…
For we stand on the shoulders of other civilized peoples... Therefore, we have to repay our debt. There is only one way to do it, the highest degree of tolerance. Our motto must therefore be, now and forever, ‘Man, you are my brother.’”
Satmar is a Hasidic group originating from the city of Szatmárnémeti, Hungary (now Satu Mare, Romania), where it was founded in 1905 by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum.
Following World War II, it was re-established in New York, becoming one of the largest Hasidic movements in the world. It is characterized by strict religious adherence, rejection of modern culture, and anti-Zionism.
Like other Haredi Jews, Satmar Hasidic Jews live in insular communities, separating themselves from contemporary secular society. Like the Neturei Katra sect, Satmar Hasidim oppose all forms of Zionism.
Below is a statement made by the late Rabbi Teitelbaum many years ago with reference to the Zionist Independence Day, and the prohibition against celebrating the day of rebellion against G-d and Judaism:
"We must not minimize the seriousness of the grave sin of rejoicing or appearing to rejoice and making a festival on the terrible Day of Blasphemy that they call Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day). The day that the members of the conspiracy against G-d and his Messiah established their State of atheism over the Jewish People, uprooting the Holy Torah and the our faith, ushering in a period of bloodshed and suffering for myriads upon myriads of Jews.
This is much worse than accepting idolatry because they not only accept it but they celebrate and rejoice in the terrible rebellion against G-d and His Holy Torah.
UNITED NATIONS — In a sharp rebuke to the Trump administration, the 14 other UN Security Council members on Wednesday strongly opposed the US announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements to be a violation of international law.
They warned that the new American policy undermines a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Only Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, who is not a council member, spoke in support of the US action, saying it “rights a historical wrong.” He also called the criticism an “obstacle to peace” that is “preventing direct negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians.
“When Palestinians see that their battles are being fought for them, why would they agree to come to the negotiating table where they would have to compromise?”
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, opened the meeting expressing “regret” at the US action and reiterating the UN position that settlements under a December 2016 council resolution “are a flagrant violation under international law.”
He also warned that the situation in Gaza remains “highly volatile” after “the most serious recent escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants” that followed Israel’s targeted killing of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador, said he was grateful to the 14 council nations and their commitment to international law, saying that all 193 UN member nations are required to implement all Security Council resolutions, including on the illegality of all settlements.
“If we abandon international law, including Security Council resolutions, it will be the law of the jungle,” he warned.
The European Union should recognise a Palestinian state after the United States expressed support for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said on Wednesday.
Monday’s announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abandoned the position that settlements in Israeli-occupied territory were “inconsistent with international law”, reversing a stand taken under President Jimmy Carter in 1978.
“Recognising Palestine as a state would be neither a favour nor a carte blanche but rather a mere recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to its own state,” Asselborn told Reuters.
“It would not be meant against Israel,” he said, but a measure intended to pave the way for a two-state solution.
The EU said after the U.S. announcement that it continued to believe that Israeli settlement building in occupied Palestinian territory was illegal under international law. The European Parliament adopted a resolution in 2014 supporting Palestinian statehood in principle.
The motion was a compromise reached after lawmakers on the left sought to urge the EU’s 28 member states to recognise Palestine unconditionally. More than 135 countries already recognise a Palestinian state, including several east European countries that did so before they joined the EU.
House Democrats say they are now preparing to move toward a vote on impeachment after concluding public hearings with witnesses as part of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. CNN News, 21-11-2019
Orthodox rabbi, Torah scholar, and international speaker Rabbi Mendel Kessin has been helping his students understand the spiritual significance of President Donald Trump since Trump was a presidential candidate. In a Torah lecture given this past week, Rabbi Kessin connected the Trump impeachment hearings to an episode from the Book of Genesis.
In Genesis, chapter 25, a pregnant Rivka (Rebecca) goes to inquire of God why there is so much turmoil within her. She is told that she is carrying two nations and that one will always be stronger than the other.
And Hashem answered her, “Two nations are in your womb, Two separate peoples shall issue from your body..."
The Bible says, “One people shall be mightier than the other.” Jewish history is a chronicle of the rivalry between Rivka’s twin sons Yaakov (Jacob) and Aisav (Esau) and the nations they represent. Yaakov represents the Jewish nation and Aisav represents Rome which became Christianity which became Western Civilization in general and the United States in particular.
Rabbi Kessin emphasized that “We’re not talking about people. We are talking about kingdoms – one kingdom versus the other kingdom and it is always a rivalry.”
In other words, Aisav’s spiritual job is to overthrow Yaakov, the Jewish nation.
But President Trump, as the spiritual descendant of Aisav, is doing exactly the opposite.
Instead of harming the Jewish nation, he is helping it, particularly through actions such as moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and confirming the legality of the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
These actions are, according to Rabbi Kessin, making the angel of Aisav fume with anger. Why? Because President Trump is helping the Jews instead of trying to dethrone them.
So the angel of Aisav, operating on a spiritual level, is trying to take Trump down through the impeachment hearings.
“It’s not just a case of trying to destroy him because his job is to dethrone the Jews and instead [he’s] restoring the throne [to the Jewish nation].”
Rabbi Kessin also mentioned the amount of personal suffering President Trump is experiencing with constant court cases being issued against him. “It’s very hard to imagine his suffering, but it must be enormous.
“Why does God allow this? Because Aisav has to suffer for what he did to the Jews for 2000 years and the way, the form of the punishment, is the exact same thing that they were doing to the Jews.
You want to overcome and dethrone the Jews? Guess what? The one who is going to help them, he himself has to be under threat of being dethroned.”
Gog u’Magog: It is critical to understand that the U.N. is the present-day Gog u’Magog that is prophesied by Ezekial, chapter 38. The numerical value of Gog u’Magog is “70,” which is the total number of roots of the nations of the world. It is America’s repentance and its mission to defend the Jewish nation against its enemies. We see now that the continual attacks on Israel are being blocked by Trump. We now have a formidable advocate powerful enough to temper their vicious and outrageous claims.
T’hara Purification of Ishmael: In the last days, Ishmael, like Esau, has a t’hara...
The Saudis/Sunnis and their allies (Ishmaelites) have woken up to the fact that unless it allies itself with America and Israel, they’re defenseless against Iran and its allies. The Palestinian Authority is becoming “neutered ” and rendered irrelevant. Deals disadvantageous to Israel are fading and there is a chance for Israel’s stunted growth to regenerate.
The Downfall of the “Erev Rav”: This term refers to those forces that seek to destroy the authority of the Torah which is the unique bond between G-d and the Jews.
It would seem that the current manifestation of the Erev Rav is the media, the Supreme Court, the Knesset, the military establishment, and those prominent Jews who seek to sever or weaken the bond between the Jews and the Torah. They will fall as suddenly as Haman, and as surprisingly as Trump’s popular movement took hold.
Preparation for Moshiach: The Jews require preparation for Moshiach’s arrival.This can be brought about by restoring a true Torah curriculum in the elementary and high schools in Israel and by funding kiruv organizations.
Rabbi Mendel Kessin received semicha from Rav Moshe Feinstein. He was also very close with Rav Chaim Friedlande and helped with the publication of his Sifrei HaRamchal. Rabbi Kessin has a PhD in Psychology from Fordham University and runs a private practice in Brooklyn and Lakewood. The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation was started as a result of being inspired by one of R’ Mendel’s Loshon Horah Shiurim.
- Answer: In a nutshell, as I understand it, the Chabad position on the State of Israel is as follows. The State was the embodiment of all the aspirations of nationalist Zionism, which was a secular and even antireligious philosophy designed to replace true Torah-based Judaism with a secular nationalist ideal, G–d forbid. This agenda is false and evil, and delays the true redemption. Chabad thus opposes any identification with the government of the sort that would give the impression that one accepts the evil philosophy behind it.
However, the idea of saving and protecting Jews from danger is legitimate and worthy, and in fact a Torah imperative (" pikuach nefesh").
Yet this does not mitigate the fact that they committed an evil deed by associating this endeavor with promoting their anti-religious, anti-Torah philosophy.
The country's attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, announced on Thursday that the charges against Netanyahu included breach of trust, fraud and bribery. It is the first time a sitting Israeli premier has been accused of bribery.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected his indictment on three charges of corruption, calling it an "attempted coup". He rejected what he called "false accusations" that were "politically motivated".
In a televised address late Thursday, he said: "Tonight we are witnessing an attempted government coup against the prime minister through blood libels and a biased investigation process,"
Netanyahu said. "I am a prime minister who believes in a strong Israel, and not in a weak and small country that bows down to others." "I will not allow lies to win," he said. "I will continue to lead this country, according to the letter of the law."
Earlier in the day, Mandelblit said that it was not a matter of politics but about enforcing the law.
"The investigations are based on broad-based evidence and testimony, which were professionally reviewed. No stone was left unturned," he said.
The attorney general also said that "while conducting a professional hearing process, we've witnessed repeated attempts to delegitimise the people who were involved [in the investigations]..."
US Senator and Democratic Party 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren commented on the Netanyahu indictment, saying "blatant corruption has no place in any democracy".
"Netanyahu is accused of accepting bribes, trading government favours, and manipulating a free press. Like his pal Donald Trump, he'll stop at nothing to enrich himself and stay in power. This blatant corruption has no place in any democracy..", she tweeted on Thursday, adding that Netanyahu was similar to Trump. James Zogby, director of the Arab American Institute in Washington DC, took issue with the limited charges being brought against Netanyahu, saying the Israeli prime minister had repeatedly violated international law in regards to Palestinian human rights, yet no such case has been made against him.
"Netanyahu has made a career being a malignant dissembler. He's been a lying, thieving, serial violator of international law & Palestinian human rights," Zogby tweeted. "None of that mattered in Israel. But corruption w/ state funds & bribery - too much to take."
The Blue and White party on Thursday called for Benjamin Netanyahu to resign shortly after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his decision to indict the prime minister for corruption in three investigations.
Blue and White released a video of the prime minister calling on predecessor Ehud Olmert to step down when he faced his own criminal charges. The video of Netanyahu shows him saying of Olmert: "A prime minister who is bogged down in investigations has no moral and public mandate to decide such fateful events for the State of Israel."
The call for Netanyahu to resign was echoed by Labor-Gesher leader MK Amir Peretz.
"Netanyahu's indictments are the reason why a new government hasn’t been formed,” said Peretz.
Democratic Union leader Nitzan Horowitz reiterated the sentiments, urging the prime minister to resign. "The Netanyahu era is over,” he said. The leader of the Arab-dominated Joint List, Ayman Odeh, welcomed the indictment.
“The day Netanyahu pays for his crimes will be the day we will begin repairing the damage he’s done to us,” Odeh said. “The racism and hatred he spread will not go away with him, and it is up to us - Arabs and Jews - to build a peaceful society together and democracy based on equality that will serve all citizens of the country."
Members of the prime minister's bloc of right-wing and religious parties were quick to come to his defense.
The ultra-Orthodox Shas party said: "We support and strengthen the hand of Netanyahu, a man of tremendous accomplishment in the defense and building of the State of Israel.
"Mr. Prime Minister, we believe and trust that your innocence will be proven and justice will be seen, be strong..."
In a special interview with Ynet, Olmert dismissed the question of whether he considered a return to public life, saying "it's not on the agenda."
In a veiled criticism of his successor Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Olmert claimed that "I've never waged a battle against law enforcement authorities as part of my job, and I never preached about morals. I bore my punishment not with love, but with respect."
The difference between him and Netanyahu, he claimed, was that "I didn't do such a thing as prime minister. As prime minister, I never attacked anyone… I say what I'm saying today as a private citizen, who is not in office."
"The person you're talking about is taking advantage of his status as prime minister to threaten people that he could fire them and that he could disrupt their work. And he's doing that to people he appointed, apparently in some cases while rolling his eyes when talking about the jobs they're expected to have in the future. I did not conduct a public campaign against any of the people who worked against me and investigated me," Olmert insisted. His advice to Netanyahu is "Bibi, go home fast and in an elegant manner," he said, referring to the prime minister by his nickname...
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation is by no means to seek hegemony.
Saying he has full confidence in China's prospects for development, Xi noted China does not intend to replace any power, rather, its aim is to "regain the dignity and status it deserves."
The president made the remarks when meeting with foreign delegates attending the 2019 New Economy Forum held in Beijing.
China, with a 5,000-year-old history of civilization, is home to the four great inventions that had contributed tremendously to the progress of human civilization. The country had become a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society since the Opium Wars... The humiliating history of China as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country will never be repeated, he said.
"The fundamental reason is that we have found a correct path that suits China's national conditions, conforms to the trends of the times and enjoys the support of the people. The path is socialism with Chinese characteristics," Xi said. Xi noted that innovation is a major theme of the current times, as the world is undergoing changes rarely seen in a century, featuring a new round of technological revolution and rapid industrial transformation.
The common challenges facing humanity call for concerted efforts of all countries. No country can become an independent innovation center or enjoy fruits of innovation alone, Xi said. "Innovation should benefit the world rather than being encaved."
The 2019 New Economy Forum, which focused on development trends and social impacts of innovation, gathered more than 500 delegates from more than 60 countries around the world.
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Saturday warned regional countries of unspecified dire consequences if it is proven that they meddled to stoke unrest in Iran, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.
"Some countries in the region should know that they will not have an easy life in the region if clues are found that show they intervened to create unrest in Iran," said Jahangiri, quoted by Fars. Iran has blamed "thugs" linked to exiles and foreign foes - the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia - for stirring up unrest following hikes in gasoline prices which led to the detention of about 1,000 demonstrators and some of the worst violence in a decade.
Iranian troops and members of the elite Revolutionary Guards helped police quell violent unrest in Kermanshah province this week, Iranian officials said on Saturday, accusing "U.S. agents" of being among the armed protesters.
Bahman Reyhani, the Revolutionary Guards' commander in Kermanshah, said "the rioters belonged to anti-revolutionary (exiled opposition) groups and America's intelligence services," the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
Guards spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the protests had been initiated by royalists seeking the return of the Pahlavi dynasty toppled by the 1979 revolution, and the exiled Mujahideen Khalq armed opposition group, Tasnim reported.
He said "secessionist" groups were also involved, apparently referring to ethnic Arab and the Kurdish militants. Protests began in several areas on Nov. 15 after the government announced gasoline price hikes of at least 50% and imposed rationing.
Contrary to what anti- Islamic iranian nationalists say, the old standard of Iran, the Lion and Sun, does actually have an Islamic background. The Lion stands for Ali, the sword it is holding is the zulfiqar, and the sun represents the light of God.
Also contrary to what the Islamic republic sais, the emblem is not a symbol of Pahlavi regime , secularism, corruption, or foreign influence. The standard was in use in Iran way before the Pahlavis even came to power... It was first used as far back as the Safavids and became the flag of the Qajar dynasty. It was also used by the Mughals in India and some of the Turkic states.
So should Iran bring back this emblem as its coat of arms? if not the actual flag itself. It has alot of historical value and is a matter of national pride , and in my opinion, is a very powerful and unique symbol of Iran. (ShiaChat.com)
The Mahdi - horoscope based on Sjia-birth-data
The lion and sun symbol is based largely on astronomical and astrological configurations: the ancient sign of the sun in the house of Leo, which itself is traced backed to Babylonian astrology and Near Eastern traditions.
The motif has many historical meanings. First, it was only an astrological and zodiacal symbol. Under Safavid and the first Qajar kings, it became more associated with Shia Islam.
Imam Mahdi (AS), savior of humanity, is the only son of Imam Hassan Askari (AS) the 11th Imam, who was born on the dawn of 15th of Shaaban 255 A.H. (869 C.E.) in Samarra, Iraq. He became the God-appointed Imam when his father was martyred in 260/874. Imam Mahdi (AS) went into occultation (disappearance) at the same time.He will reappear when Allah wills. (Shia-Info)
Horoscope info: Ascendant Leo. Sun, Uranus in House 1.
7th house (House of Partnership) dominated by Aquarius (Uranus, the freethinker) and Cancer (Moon, motherly love)
Mohammed refers to him as "Master of the World," "Master of Time," "God's President," and "God speaking and advising."
He says that he can be recognized by these signs: "His hair will be profuse. His forehead will be large and concave. His nose will be small, with a slight bump at the bridge. His front teeth will be spaced apart. He will have a mole on his cheek. He will not have a beard but will be clean shaven. His clothing will be like a flame. He will wear two robes, one an under robe.
The color of his face will be sometimes yellow like gold, sometimes very dark and sometimes shining like the moon. His body will be small. His legs will be like those of a young girl.
All the teachings of all the religions of the world will be in his heart from birth. All the science and knowledge of the world from the beginning of time will be in his heart. All things which you ask from God, the Master of the World will give you...
From the Bihar Al Anwar (Ocean of Light) a compilation of discourses by the Prophet Mohammed and some of the Shia Islam Imam's. It was compiled in the 17th century by Mohammed Baqir Majlisi, a famous early Shia scholar.
Tel Aviv is expelling a top Human Rights Watch official because of allegations he supports the boycott of Israel, a movement activists use to protest the treatment of the Palestinians.
Israel's Supreme Court upheld the government's order that Omar Shakir, the HRW's director of Israel and Palestine, has to leave the country Monday.
Right-Wing Israel: International Law is anti-Semitism
Israel has denied entry to others who it says support the boycott, including United Nations diplomats. But this is the first time someone inside the country has been ordered to leave.
"The court has now put the veneer of legality on the Netanyahu government's assault on human rights advocacy and that's a dangerous precedent that will affect many other people," Shakir said.
"Not just human rights advocates, but ordinary students that study at Israeli universities, spouses of Israelis who engage in mainstream criticism and advocacy."
He said Israel can apply the same logic of criticizing the boycott to those who call the West Bank an occupied territory and believe Jewish settlements are illegal, including the International Criminal Court, Shakir said.
"I think it demonstrates the increasingly constrained nature of Israeli democracy," Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth said, noting that the only other countries that have expelled HRW staffers include Iran, North Korea and Venezuela.
Shakir said Human Rights Watch does not have an official position on the boycott and he has never spoken out in favor of it as an HRW representative. But he said HRW believes in the right to free speech, including the right to speak in favor of a boycott. Israel passed a law in 2017 subjecting anyone who speaks out for the boycott to deportation.
Palestinians in the West Bank declared Tuesday “a day of rage” in protest over the United States decision to soften its position on Israeli settlements in the area.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repudiated last week a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”
The demonstrations will be held under the leadership of veteran Fatah leader Mahmoud al-Aloul, with the knowledge and consent of Palestinian President of Mahmoud Abbas. The protests are part of the “popular resistance” doctrine, characterized by riots which include the throwing of stones and burning of tires.
The biggest demonstrations are expected to take place at Huwara checkpoint (an IDF checkpoint at one of the four main exits of Nablus), at several locations in the city of Hebron and the Focus checkpoint at the entrance to Ramallah...
The Trump administration’s move was heavily criticized by many countries, prompting the U.N. human rights office to issue a statement rejecting the U.S. position.
"A change in the policy position of one state does not modify existing international law nor its interpretation by the International Court of Justice and the Security Council," UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in an interview that he told President Donald Trump that he was God's "chosen one" to lead the United States, just as he chose the kings to lead Israel in the Old Testament.
Perry, who will reportedly soon be leaving the Cabinet, explained that nothing in the universe is accidental and that God "is still very active in the details of the day-to-day lives of government."
"Barack Obama didn't get to be the president of the United States without being ordained by God. Neither did Donald Trump," he said in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday, adding that God has used "individuals who aren't perfect all through history."
"King David wasn't perfect. Saul wasn't perfect. Solomon wasn't perfect. And I actually gave the president a little one-pager on those Old Testament kings about a month ago," Perry said.
"Donald Trump's not perfect," he said. But Perry believes the Christians in the president's Cabinet, such as himself, have "been able to make a difference in his life."
"And I hope I've been a bit of a minister, if you will, a person who's been able to share my faith with the president," Perry said.
The former Texas governor said he told Trump that some people "said you were the chosen one." "And I said, 'You were.'"
"'You didn't get here without God's blessing,'" he said he told Trump, telling him to read the pamphlet on the Old Testament kings. "And I said, 'I just need you. I want you to look at this. I want you to read it. I want you to, you know, absorb that you are here at this chosen time because God ordained it.'" [..]
Perry echoed the sentiments of many Evangelical leaders who have embraced Trump despite his alleged ethical lapses... Franklin Graham, the son of the legendary preacher Billy Graham, has been one of Trump's most ardent Evangelical defenders. Last week, Franklin Graham compared Trump's political foes to "demonic forces."
Jay Willis at GQ reports that Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said on Fox and Friends that Trump is God’s Chosen One. He said he told Trump, “‘If you’re a believing Christian, you understand God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet and our government,’ ”
According to Gitlin and Leibovitz, the idea of 'choseness' has been misconstrued by Americans and Israelis alike as “an invitation to superiority.”
What it should be, they write, is a calling to pursue justice and peace, a “slow and harrowing process of self-discovery and social repair.”
The idea of a providential God who bothers himself with appointing [political leaders] is common in the world religions. The Iranian government, for instance, also holds that God put the ayatollahs in power and that they rule with his divine approval.
Most evangelicals would not agree with this theory, even if they are sweet on Trump, but it is hard to see why not. If God decides who rules America, why would his power stop at the Red Sea? Wouldn’t all the governments be ordained by him?
Shi’ite Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad (c. 567-632 A.D.) should have been succeeded as prophet-ruler by a blood relative, in a sort of dynastic principle.
The Twelver Shiites, who predominate in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon, believe that Muhammad was succeeded by his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, who was married to the Prophet’s daughter Fatima. They had eleven descendants who Shiites hold should have come to power both temporally and spiritually. They mostly didn’t.
The Twelfth such leader or Imam is held to have disappeared supernaturally as a small child and will one day return to restore the world to justice. (This is sort of like the Christian belief that Jesus ascended into heaven from which he will one day return). In the late 1960s the Iranian cleric Ruhollah Khomeini put forth a theory that until the Imam comes back the seminary-trained Shiite clergy should be in power.
That theory came to underpin the Iranian state after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and the deposing of the last king, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.
So the official ideology of Iran’s ayatollahs is exactly the same as that of Rick Perry. God’s will puts leaders into office.
The US is one of the last highly religious societies in the modern world, and Iran (whatever the people think) has one of the few theocratic forms of government.
Iranian Shiites believe that at the end of times, the 12th Imam, Mahdi, a 9th century prophet, will reappear with Jesus Christ at his side..
In the picture the Chief of Staff ofIslam Republic of Iran, Major General Sayyid Hassan Firouzabadi is seen while kissing the book called "The Prophet Jesus and Hazrat Mahdi Will Come This Century" as an expression of his appreciation.
The Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Major General Sayyid Hassan Firouzabadi, who is known with his closeness to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khmenei, noted "Today’s world is enthusiastic for a justice-dispersing Saviour [Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh)] and the emergence of the rule of justice..."
In a message to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iranian Armed Forces' Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said the 1979 Islamic Revolution's progressive movement is continuing “strongly and successfully” (Press TV, 5-4-2015)
Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi warned that the UN Security Council is facing a legitimacy and credibility crisis that has to be addressed through reforms.
Speaking before a UNSC meeting in New York on Monday, Takht-Ravanchi criticized the structure of the Council, stressing that it needs to be expanded in a balanced way.
The Iranian envoy noted that geopolitically, the 15-member Council is mostly dominated by western countries, three of which have veto power.
This is while, geographically, the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) is over-represented and the main regions are poorly represented in terms of number and have fewer rights and privileges in terms of veto power or permanent membership, he added.
"To date, one-third of UN members have never found a chance to become a Council member while there have been 20 countries that have each served between 10-22 years in this body." Takht-Ravanchi called for addressing and rectifying this "disproportionality and injustice” by measures such as limiting chances for those who have served more and, instead, providing more advantages to those who have never served in the Council or served fewer times...
The ambassador said the Council’s reforms should ensure that its members decide based not on their own national interests but based on the common interests of the entire UN membership.
A Jerusalem court on Tuesday charged Benzi Gopstein, head of the racist anti-assimilation group Lehava and barred Knesset candidate for Otzma Yehudit, with incitement to violence, racism and terror, and for expressing support for the 1994 massacre at Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs by Baruch Goldstein.
His indictment culminates an eight-year campaign by the Israel Reform Action Center (IRAC), Reform Judaism’s legal arm in Israel, to bring Gopstein and Lehava to account.
Gopstein’s indictment cited, among other things, video clips in which he justified the use of violence against Palestinians in relationships with Jewish women; called the “enemies among us” (i.e. Palestinians) a “cancer” and proposed that the solution was to remove the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque; and claimed that any Palestinian he saw at a Jewish wedding would end up “in the nearest hospital.”
Like Kahane before him, Gopstein has sought to recruit disaffected, socioeconomically disadvantaged youth to his cause, bringing Mizrahim (Jews with roots in Arab or Muslim countries) from Israel’s social and physical periphery into the organization....
It’s worth looking at the timing of Gopstein’s indictment: five days after the indictment of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu’s indictment has been heralded as the ultimate proof of an Israeli democracy in rude health — a system so secure it is able to put its own prime minister on trial. Such assessments have mysteriously overlooked the fact that Netanyahu has not, so far, faced any consequences for his repeated breaking of campaign and election law, nor his racist voter suppression efforts...
Let us not forget, too, that Netanyahu bestowed unprecedented legitimacy on Gopstein and his Otzma Yehudit colleagues by personally intervening on their behalf ahead of the April 2019 elections.
The Israeli Religious Action Center should be commended for a nearly decade-long battle to hold Gopstein accountable. But we should also not make of this turn of events any more than what it is: a fig leaf that, by making an example of two easy targets, strengthens rather than weakens the systems that produced them.
Natasha Roth-Rowland is a History PhD student at the University of Virginia, where she researches and writes about the Jewish far-right in Israel-Palestine and the U.S.
Kiryat Arba is an urban Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron, in the Judean Mountains region of the West Bank. Founded in 1968, in 2018 it had a population of 7,323. The international community considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.
Ben-Zion Gopstein (born 10 September 1969) is a political activist affiliated with the radical right in Israel, and founder and director of Lehava, an Israeli Jewish anti-assimilation organization. He was a member of the Council of Kiryat Arba, 2010-2013.
Gopstein is a student of Meir Kahane and an adherent of Kahanism, the ideology named for and developed by him and promoted by his banned Kach party in Israel. Kach incited to racism and advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and Gopstein praised the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre committed by fellow Kach member Baruch Goldstein. He has participated in memorials to Kahane.
In 1994, Gopstein was assigned to administrative detention as a result of his involvement with Kahane's then-banned organization.
In 2015, in a tape-recorded talk, Gopstein justified burning down churches based on the religious teachings against idolatry by 12th-century Jewish philosopher and scholar Maimonides.
Later that year, he advocated expelling Christians from Israel and banning celebration of Christmas there.
In 2016, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sent a letter to the Israeli government encouraging action to be taken to curb Gopstein.
In the letter to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, the ADL said that Gopstein has referred to Christians as "bloodsucking vampires", condoned burning Christian churches, and that his Facebook page includes anti-LGBT posts, as well as ones the ADL calls "extremely abusive, racist, inflammatory, and violent". (Wikipedia info)
Thousands of Palestinians marched throughout the West Bank on Tuesday in what they call "a day of rage" over the recent change in U.S. policy regarding Jewish settlements.
Protesters set tires on fire and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
Demonstrators burned an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump dressed in Israeli flags and held up a banner declaring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a partner in war crimes. No serious injuries were reported...
Last week, the Trump administration abandoned a 40-year U.S. policy that declared Israeli Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank "inconsistent with international law."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Trump administration is righting a "historical wrong" by supporting "truth and justice."
Blue and White Party No. 2 Yair Lapid spoke on Wednesday about the rally of support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, writing on his Twitter account:
"People screamed at journalists yesterday who were doing their job: 'Leftists will die!'
They pushed, cursed, and they threatened with violence. They were only doing what they were asked to do, what Bibi asked of them."
Culture minister Miri Regev (ex-chairperson of the lobby for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria) told Army Radio that, "Thousands have come to strengthen Netanyahu, and even those who did not come, sent messages, were interviewed, expressing their position...
The Minister of Culture added, "Everyone is behind the prime minister and reinforcing him. Everyone understands that we need to be united to win elections... I got dozens of messages and calls yesterday from people asking me to come. I didn't come to talk to Likud ministers, I'm just saying that I see everyone behind the PM..."
The Chairwoman of the Knesset Lobby for the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judean and Samarian Communities, MK Miri Regev, promises to continue the ongoing parliamentary struggle to implement the Application of Sovereignty Bill over Judean and Samarian communities first, followed by the entire region. The Likud party’s Constitution necessitates the application of sovereignty over the Judean and Samarian communities.
This reminder is brought to us by MK Miri Regev (Likud), who founded the Lobby for the Application of Israeli Law over the Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, about two months ago.
“I founded the lobby as a beginning", she said... This move was meant to help the Prime Minister take the first step, and then do what the Likud party’s Constitution necessitates – the completion of Israeli sovereignty over all the communities of Judea and Samaria”.
ISTANBUL - Turkey signed a military deal late Wednesday with Libya's Government of National Accord following a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, his office said. Erdogan met with the head of the Tripoli-based Government (GNA), Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, to sign agreements on security and military cooperation, as well as maritime jurisdictions.
"We are confident that we will improve the security situation for the Libyan people together," Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, wrote on Twitter. He called on other countries to support the GNA. The deal comes despite calls from the Arab League - which includes Libya - to end cooperation with Turkey in protest at its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria last month.
Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE (anti-muslim brotherhood) back Khalifa Haftar, a military strongman in eastern Libya who launched an offensive in April in a bid to seize Tripoli from militant groups loyal to the GNA. Turkey and Qatar (pro-muslim brotherhood) openly support his rival Sarraj.
The Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e., the Brotherhood) is one of the largest Islamist parties in the country. The Brotherhood has maintained strong ties to Islamist militias that once backed the former Islamist General National Council (GNC).
Three of the Libya Dawn militias are directly allied with the Brotherhood: the 17 February Martyrs Brigade (17 Feb), the Misrata militias, and the Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR).
The Libyan branch of the Brotherhood was established in Benghazi in 1949 by members of the Egyptian Brotherhood fleeing a government crackdown in Cairo. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi criminalized the Brotherhood after he came to power in Libya in 1969.
Throughout the 1980s, the Gaddafi regime hunted down and executed Brotherhood leaders and operatives. Gaddafi warned that if Islamists wanted to practice dawa (proselytizing), they should do so outside of Libya. Many Brotherhood members fled the country as a result of the threat or else were arrested or forced underground.
During Gaddafi’s reign, some Brotherhood members who had fled Libya congregated in the United States to create a temporary Brotherhood group known as the “Islamic Group Libya”. Following the ousting of Gaddafi in 2011, the Brotherhood was quick to reestablish its presence in Libya.
In March 2012, Brotherhood activist Mohamed Sowan formed the Justice and Construction Party (JCP), a political party that sought to establish a Libyan Islamist caliphate and which was reportedly modeled after the Egyptian Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
Three months later, the JCP came in second in Libya’s first post-Gaddafi national parliamentary election, winning 34 out of 200 seats in July of 2012.
Once in parliament, the JCP reportedly formed strategic alliances with independent seat holders to increase its political influence over the country’s secular and nationalist coalition, the National Forces Alliance (NFA).
The JCP soon grew to become the most influential bloc in parliament. By May 2013, the JCP was able to push through the Political Isolation Law (PIL), which prevented Gaddafi-era officials from participation in Libya’s political system for the next 10 years.
Despite their political successes within parliament, the JCP lost nine seats during the 2014 elections.
According to reports, the JCP accused the new parliament of being overrun by Gaddafi supporters, and later splitoff from parliament with other Islamist groups to form the Islamist General National Congress (GNC) government in Tripoli.
The GNC declared its alliance with a coalition of Islamist Libyan militias called Libya Dawn.
In September 2014, the Libya Dawn alliance seized control of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. The former parliament in Tripoli, meanwhile, relocated to Tobruk and established the internationally recognized Libyan government.
In May 2014, the Tobruk-based government’s House of Representatives (HoR) tasked General Khalifa Haftar with countering the Libya Dawn in Tripoli. Haftar launched Operation Dignity in an effort to quash the Libya Dawn coalition and other armed Islamist groups.
In December 2015, the United Nations brokered the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), a power-sharing agreement between the internationally recognized government in Tobruk and the GNS government in Tripoli.
The LPA dissolved the now-defunct Libya Dawn and authorized the creation of the Government of National Accord (GNA), which took formal control of the Libyan government in Tripoli on March 30, 2016.
Under the LPA, the GNS formerly resigned and a large number of GNS members were transitioned into the GNA’s State Council, which serves as the consultative body of the GNA. Despite the LPA, other former GNS members and the HoR, backed by Haftar, have refused to recognize the GNA as Libya’s governing authority.
Since August 2014, the power struggle between the GNA, GNS, and Haftar’s forces has left thousands dead.
Anti-Islamist Haftar, backed by the HoR, has refused to work with the GNA, accusing it of aligning with Islamist militias. Haftar’s Libyan National Army has since taken control of much of eastern Libya and continues to fight against Islamist militias in Benghazi.
The GNS, constructed from the remnants of the Brotherhood-backed GNC, aims to overthrow the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and establish a unified Islamist government throughout Libya. Haftar has named the Muslim Brotherhood as the greatest threat to Libya.. The Tobruk government has also labeled Libyan Brotherhood members, including JCP leader Mohamed Souwan, as terrorists.
In January 2019, 20 members of Libya’s parliament called for the criminalization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
ISTANBUL - The New York-based Human Rights Watch claims it has "damming evidence" showing the Turkish-backed 'Syrian National Army' (former FSA) is engaged in summary executions, pillaging, seizing properties, and preventing the return of people to their homes.
"Turkey is turning a blind eye to the reprehensible behaviors displayed by the factions it arms," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "So long as Turkey is in control of these areas, it has a responsibility to investigate and end these violations."
ILast month Turkish forces and the SNA launched an offensive in northeast Syria against Syrian Democratic Forces, which are made up mainly of the Kurdish militia the YPG. Ankara considers the YPG terrorists, but the militia was a crucial ally of Washington's military effort against Islamic State.
HRW cites evidence that the SNA executed prisoners, seized the homes of local Kurds, and engaged in indiscriminate shelling of civilians.
Ankara has so far not responded to the HRW report. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has praised the SNA for its "sacrifices" in Syria. Turkey is facing growing international criticism for its use of militias, which critics claim have links to radical Islamic groups, a charge denied by Ankara.
"The problem is that those people are radicals in terms of their ideology, this is criticized by the western world," said international relations professor Huseyin Bagci of Ankara's Middle East Technical University.
"But Turkey has done it in the last eight years, so this is a choice by the president. He takes the risk. He lets them fight on the side of the Turkish army...." Bagci added.
Ankara's heavy use of SNA forces made up of mainly Syrian Arabs is also widely seen as a tactic to dispel allegations Turkish forces are invading another country... The Arab League has strongly condemned the Turkish operation.
Ankara insists it is committed to Syria's territorial integrity. "Our operations in northern Syria aim to clear terrorists from their strongholds, create safe conditions for the return of refugees robbed of their homes & lands," tweeted Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish president's communications head.
However, the latest findings by HRW can only add to questions over Turkey's plans for a safe zone and mass return of Syrians.
China: Xi offers congratulations on observance
of int'l day of solidarity with Palestinian people Xinhua News, 29-11-2019
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday extended congratulations on the United Nations' observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
In his congratulatory message, Xi said the issue of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue. It is in the interest of the international community to find a comprehensive and just resolution for the Palestinian issue, and to help Palestine and Israel achieve peaceful coexistence and common development, he said The international community should safeguard fairness and justice, and uphold relevant UN resolutions as well as the "land-for-peace" principle and the two-state solution, so as to create an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, Xi noted.
China, as a good friend, partner and brother of the Palestinian people, is a staunch supporter of Palestine-Israel peace, the president stressed. China supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights, and supports Palestine in building an independent and fully sovereign state on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, Xi said.
China is ready to work with the international community to push forward the Palestine-Israel peace talks and strive for an early realization of comprehensive, just and sustained peace in the Middle East, said the president.
Senior officials joined ambassadors and other representatives from the international community in New York on Wednesday to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, officially observed each year on 29 November. Established in 1977, it marks the day in 1947 when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning Palestine into an Arab State and a Jewish State.
Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains one of the most intractable challenges facing the international community, UN Secretary-General António Guterres observed in his message for the day.
As there is no viable alternative to the two-State solution, he called on both sides, and their supporters, to work towards restoring faith in the process.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his people have endured more than 70 years of tragedies and crises, yet remain steadfast.
“Despite decades of disappointment and setbacks, we remain committed to a multilateral order that respects and ensures respect for international law,” he said in a message read by Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour.
The roughly eight million Palestinians live primarily in territory occupied by Israel, but also across the Middle East in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
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