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)
Eva Illouz, 53, was born in Morocco and grew up in Sarcelles, near Paris. She is a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She researches the relationship between emotions, economy and communication and has written several books including "Why Love Hurts:
Illouz: Where you see human beings, Israelis see enemies. In front of enemies, you close ranks, you unite in fear for your life, and you do not ponder about the fragility of the other. It is difficult to have compassion for a population seen as as threatening the heart of your society.
Israel has a split, schizophrenic self-awareness: It cultivates its strength and yet cannot stop seeing itself as weak and threatened.
Illouz: I think Israelis have lost what we can call a "humanitarian sensibility," the capacity to identify with the suffering of a distant other. In Israel, there has been a change in perception of the "Palestinian other." The Palestinian has become a true enemy in the perception of Israelis, in the sense that "they are there" and "we are here." They ceased having a face and even a name.
Illouz: Israel is a colonial military power, a militarized society and a democracy all folded into one. The army, for example, controls the Palestinians through a wide network of colonial tools, such as checkpoints, military courts (governed by a legal system different from the Israeli system), the arbitrary granting of work permits, house demolitions and economic sanctions.
It is a militarized civil society because almost every family has a father, son or brother in the army and because the military plays an enormous role in the ordinary mentality of ordinary Israelis and is crucial in both political decisions and in the public sphere.
Illouz: The nature of Israeli leadership has changed. The messianic right has progressively gained power in Israel. It used to be marginal and illegitimate; it is now increasingly mainstream. This radical right sits in Parliament, controls budgets and has changed the nature of discourse. Many Israelis do not understand the radical nature of the right in Israel. It successfully disguises itself as "patriotic" or "Jewish."
Illouz: Entire generations have been raised with the territories, with Israel being a colonial power. They do not know anything else. You have the settlements which are highly ideological. They expanded and entered Israeli mainstream political life. Settlements were strengthened by systematic government policies... There are entire segments of the population that have never met a secular person and have been educated religiously...
The reality we are faced with in Israel is that we must choose between liberalism and Jewishness, and if we choose Jewishness, we are condemned to become a religious Sparta which will not be sustainable.
Illouz: Israel started as a modern nation. It derived its legitimacy from the fact that it had democratic institutions. But it was also building highly anti-modern institutions in wanting to create a Jewish democracy by giving power to rabbis, in creating deep ethnic inequalities between different ethnic groups such Jews of Arab countries vs. Jews of European descent; Arabs vs. Jews; Jews vs. non-Jews. It thus blocked universalist thinking... We are at the point where it has become clear that Jewishness has hijacked democracy and its contents.
Illouz: The right-left divide is no longer important. There is something more urgent right now: the defense of democracy. The voice of the extreme right is much louder and clearer than it was before. That's what's new: a racist right that is not ashamed of itself, that persecutes dissenters and even people who dare express compassion for the other side. The real danger to Israel and its sustainability comes from within.
Illouz: We don't know how it feels to live in a peaceful society, devoted exclusively to culture, education and improving the living conditions of everyone. People don't make a connection between the bad living conditions they have and the amount of resources invested in the settlements and in the army. In psychology, they call it dissociation. Israeli society has become very insensitive. Not only to the suffering of others, but also to its own suffering.
"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)
An Irish Catholic educated by nuns in parochial schools, Biden is quick to invoke the church’s social teaching on the stump.
But where Catholic morality rubs up against welfare or justice issues such as abortion and gay rights, Biden's understanding of his duty as a politician and a Catholic is clear: Decisions are to be informed by the faith he learned from nuns of his youth, not dictated by it.
“I’m as much a cultural Catholic as I am a theological Catholic,” Biden wrote in his book Promises to Keep: On Life in Politics.
“My idea of self, of family, of community, of the wider world comes straight from my religion. It’s not so much the Bible, the beatitudes, the Ten Commandments, the sacraments, or the prayers I learned. It’s the culture.”
Joe Biden’s faith is more likely to be influenced by the quiet counsel of women in habits or one’s own conscience than the edicts of men in miters.
It’s a form of faith that experts describe as profoundly Catholic in ways that resonate with millions of American believers: It offers solace in moments of anxiety or grief, can be rocked by long periods of spiritual wrestling and is more likely to be influenced by the quiet counsel of women in habits or one’s own conscience than the edicts of men in miters.
Biden’s complicated relationship with the Catholic hierarchy is a slight reimagining of the Catholicism modeled by John F. Kennedy, the United States' first and only Catholic president..
Kennedy’s faith became a point of contention when, as a presidential candidate in 1960, he faced resistance and outright anti-Catholic bigotry from Protestant pastors concerned that a Kennedy administration could be manipulated from Rome.
During the campaign, the Rev. Billy Graham and the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale met with others in Switzerland to discuss how “Protestants in America must be aroused in some way, or the solid block Catholic voting, plus money, will take this election.”
A month after their meeting, Kennedy traveled to Houston to deliver a speech to a group of pastors in which he declared: “I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope.”
Biden’s personal connection to the faith remains a highly visible part of his political persona. He carries a rosary at all times, fingering it during moments of anxiety or crisis. When facing brain surgery after his short-lived presidential campaign in 1988, he reportedly asked his doctors if he could keep the beads under his pillow.
Earlier this year, rival Pete Buttigieg noticed Biden holding a rosary backstage before a primary debate.
These days, Biden’s rosary is also a symbol of the role faith plays in grief: He carries one that once belonged to his son Beau, who died of a brain tumor in 2015.
Biden and his campaign appear to be betting that his emotive, localized faith will prove more durable among American churchgoers.
In a recent video released by the Democratic National Committee showcasing Biden’s 2016 meeting with Francis, the editors didn’t focus on the grandeur of mingling with the bishop of Rome. Instead, they focused on a group of habited nuns that Biden bumped into when exiting St. Peter’s Basilica. "Being raised Catholic and being educated by the nuns — that’s what those lovely women I’m talking to symbolize to me,” he said.
Russia says the United States’ attempt to force the return of all United Nations (UN) sanctions against Iran will fail, but may undermine the world body in the process.
“It will produce no result anyway, but it might eventually lead to a very serious scandal and a rift within the UN Security Council, and, in the final analysis, undermine its authority,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on Sunday.
He called the bid “reckless,” and said, “We understand that the vast majority of nations realize the incorrectness and counter-productivity of this attempt.”
The United States is trying to invoke a “snapback” mechanism in a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran — from which Washington has withdrawn — to force the return of the UN sanctions.
The parties to the deal that the United States withdrew from in 2018 are Iran, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany. They have all said they oppose the US’s gimmick.
Lavorv said what the US was trying to do had no legal basis and its argument was merely “legalistic, quasi-juridicial.”
Lavrov pointed to how Washington faced a similar defeat when it recently tried to have an arms embargo on Iran extended beyond its expiry date of October as per the JCPOA. Only the Dominican Republic backed the United States in that bid... Washington’s attempts, he said, shows it is trying to do away with the notion of “international law” and replace it with a “rule-based order.”
“There have been many examples of this, and they are becoming more and more frequent.
Donald Trump's older sister described the U.S. president as cruel and a liar whose lack of principles meant he could not be trusted, according to secretly made recordings.
It was the latest unflattering insider account to target the president, only instead of a jilted aide or business associate, it was from one of his closest relatives. Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge, slammed her brother over his immigration policy that saw children separated from their parents at the border and sent to detention centers. "All he wants to do is appeal to his base," she said in recordings obtained by the Washington Post. "He has no principles. None."
"His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God."
The recordings were secretly made by the president's niece Mary Trump, who published last month a bombshell memoir of the "toxic family" that produced him.
At one point in the recordings, Barry said to her niece: "It's the phoniness of it all. It's the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel." [..]
In response, the White House released a statement to U.S. media from Trump that said: "Every day it's something else, who cares... I'll continue to work hard for the American people." "The results are obvious. Our country will soon be stronger than ever before!"
Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy predicted Sunday morning that Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett will be Israel's next prime minister after Binyamin Netanyahu leaves office.
shaked's hero ayn rand, bennett, shas party leaders
In 2010, Shas-leader Ovadia Yosef cursed the Palestinians as "evil, bitter enemies of Israel", and said that, "Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague." (Wikipeda)
Bennett "would be much more destructive" than Netanyahu, Levy claimed. "Apart from the rotten culture of governance that Netanyahu has led, the only advantage would be the end of deception. With Bennett at the helm, Israel would be officially declared a capitalist, colonialist apartheid state."
"A settler leader as prime minister, even if he lives within the Green Line in Ra’anana, would symbolize a new chapter in Zionist history. A man who wears a skullcap [kippah], small as it might be, would represent a new image of another Israel," he said.
"What began as a pressure group of rabbis and politicos with rifles and Torah scrolls crazily dancing and shouting on stolen rocky hilltops would enter the prime minister’s residence as respectable and accepted leadership. A descendant of Gush Emunim and a representative of religious-nationalist Zionism would head the Israeli government. It’s hard to imagine a more extreme turn of events." Levy warned that "Bennett is the Yamina party and the Yamina party is uncompromising nationalism and racism that will never view the Palestinians as a people with any kind of national rights in their country. In other words, explicit and proud apartheid."
"That’s preferable to covert, embarrassed apartheid. Bennett in the prime minister’s residence would ensure that Israel is portrayed as it is. That’s an advantage.
But Bennett also means war in Gaza and Lebanon, and Bennett is Bezalel Smotrich, whose statements are reminiscent of patently fascist remarks.
Bennett is also Ayelet Shaked, who has wanted to destroy the judicial system and hasn’t yet succeeded."
As the budget crisis threatens to bring the State of Israel to yet another national election, several recent polls have indicated that such a vote could significantly change the country’s political map.
Using one poll conducted this week by Panels Politics for Maariv as an example, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party would receive 29 Knesset mandates, down seven from its current strength of 36.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s party would fall from 14 to 9 seats.
Like all recent polls, this one doesn’t bode well for the classic Liberal Zionist parties, with Meretz receiving 5 seats and Labor – the State of Israel’s ruling party from 1948-1977 – not making it into Knesset at all for the first time in the nation’s history.
But another Liberal Zionist faction, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid-Telem, polled at 20 seats, projecting the highest number of mandates after Likud.
Although this might appear to position Lapid as Netanyahu’s main political rival for the premiership, the larger threat might actually come from Naftali Bennett, whose Yamina faction climbed from its current 5 mandates to 19 seats in the poll.
Several recent polls have actually been giving Yamina close to 20 seats and when respondents are asked the best candidate for prime minister, Bennett has frequently been listed second or third after Netanyahu.
Despite still polling slightly lower than Lapid, Bennett likely sees himself as having more room to maneuver in forming a coalition. The ḥaredi parties see him as a legitimate partner and even Gantz and Lieberman could potentially work with him if it meant ousting Netanyahu. Yamina currently unites two Knesset factions, Bennett’s HaYamin HeḤadash and Betzalel Smotrich’s National Union.
While the former is essentially a westernized conservative party, the latter is comprised of ideological Jewish nationalists.
Despite his shallow nationalist rhetoric, Bennett has shown on several occasions that he lacks a deep Jewish national consciousness where it counts. On the issues that matter most, he might actually be no better than Netanyahu.
Now that he’s experiencing a meteoric rise in the polls, Bennett knowns he can’t afford splitting Yamina.
For Israel, Turkey is a much bigger threat than Iran is.
According to an article in The Times by Roger Boyes, the head of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, said that Iranian power is fragile and that the real threat is from Turkey. Yossi Cohen of Mossad made these comments when talking with his Egyptian, Emirati and Saudi counterparts.
According to Boyes, Cohen’s point “was not that Iran had ceased to be an existential menace but rather that it could be contained: through sanctions, embargoes, intelligence sharing and clandestine raids. Turkey’s coercive diplomacy, its sloppily calculated risk-taking across the Middle East, posed a different kind of challenge to strategic stability in the eastern Mediterranean.”
Highlighted in the article was that NATO was no longer a force that could keep Greek and Turkish relations stable and that it “has lots its healing magic.”
Boyd highlights that Turkey under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “flirts with war” and that “the constant search for enemies and scapegoats exhausts even his supporters, and has left him almost friendless in the region.” In Erdoğan’s mad drive to control the East Mediterranean and Middle East, he has picked up enemies in every corner, receiving only firm support for his aggression from Qatar, Azerbaijan and the expired Government of National Accords based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and whose mandate to rule from the United Nations expired in December 2017.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Hamas leadership in Istanbul on Aug. 22; days before U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Israel and the UAE this week.
The group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh and its number two figure Saleh al-Arouri (the military wing founder designated as a terrorist by the U.S), attended the meeting.
Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) head Hakan Fidan, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın were also present.
The meeting was held amid escalated cross-border tensions between Israel and Hamas.
According to media reports, Hamas briefed Erdogan on the “Palestinian cause” while complaining about Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, which has been put on ice as part of the normalization agreement with the UAE. Turkey, Iran and Hamas have all expressed opposition to the Israel-UAE deal announced earlier this month.
Ankara not only provides material backing to Hamas, but it has also granted citizenship to some of its members.
Egyptian authorities have arrested Mahmoud Ezzat, the acting supreme guide of the terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood, at a hideout in eastern Cairo...
In a statement on Friday, Egypt’s interior ministry said the fugitive group leader, who is also the head of the Brotherhood's International Organization, was arrested following intelligence that he was hiding at a flat in New Cairo’s Fifth Settlement neighbourhood. According to the statement, Ezzat was in charge of forming the Brotherhood’s “armed wing” and the supervisor of major terrorist operations since 30 June 2013 until his arrest.
“Operations supervised by Ezzat include the assassination of former general prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015, policeman Wael Tahoun in 2015, top-ranked army officer Adel Ragei in 2016, and the attempted assassination of the general prosecutor’s former aide Zakaria Abdel-Azim in 2016,” the statement said. It also charged him with supervising a deadly car blast outside the capital’s main cancer hospital in August 2019 which killed 20 people. Ezzat, 76, has been in the Brotherhood ranks since the 1960s and was named a member of the group's Guidance Bureau, or its executive board, in 1981.
He was named the group’s acting leader in August 2013, after the arrest of Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie...
He has been given several sentences in absentia, including life imprisonment terms and the death penalty...
The “Tripoli Protection Force” militia of the Libyan Government of National Accord has accused Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and the Muslim Brotherhood of ” seeking power by any means.”
“The Tripoli Protection Force has remained silent over the past days, during which the capital, Tripoli, witnessed a wave of popular protests demanding reform and fighting corruption,” the militia said in a statement.
“We would like to emphasize that we have always been pioneers in fighting corruption and the corrupt, exposing them and standing in front of them, and you can review our statements and our previous positions since the establishment of the force...”
The force stressed that it operates “under the legitimacy of the Presidential Council,” and “supports the demands of the Libyan people and asks the government and officials to take these demands seriously and firmly.”
Flashback: Tripoli Protection Force says
Muslim Brotherhood is a “tumor” harming Libya 218tv.net, 7-8-2020
The Tripoli Protection Force attacked Muslim Brotherhood in Libya through a statement describing them as “the tumor that is eating away at the body of the country,” denouncing the group’s “corrupting actions on the ground”.
And the “force” warned whoever is tempted to harm the country and its citizens, saying it will be on the lookout for anyone especially the “corrupt” Brotherhood. Since its seizure of power of the state to the present day their corruption has become beyond description.
The statement stressed that the Tripoli Protection Force is the safety valve for the capital and its people against “the invaders, the greedy and the corrupt from within and without,”
On 18 December 2018, four of the key militias in Tripoli announced that they had merged into a new group dubbed the “Tripoli Protection Force” (TPF).
This new militia force is composed of: The Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade (TRB), Abu Salim Deterrence and Rapid Intervention Force, the Nawasi militia (8th Force), and the Bab Tajura Brigade.
In the statement, the TPF stated that they had formed in response to military movements in the western region and rejected the use of power for political gains.
The statement also supported efforts by UNSMIL and its envoy Ghassan Salame, adding that it endorsed the Libyan National Conference in January.
The creation of the TPF appears to be an effort by the Tripoli-based militias to rebrand and insert themselves into the new security arrangements of the GNA, thwarting the attempts by the Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha (born on August 20, 1962 in the city of Misrata) to increase the involvement and influence of Misratan and Zintan forces.
As Libya’s war winds down to an uneasy truce, a city on the frontlines has become the epicenter of a movement to restore the regime of former leader Moammar Al Qaddafi.
Starting with an Aug. 20 demonstration in Sirte, where Qaddafi was born and then killed 69 years later during a 2011 NATO-backed revolt, hundreds of supporters have taken to the streets waving their favored green flags.
The turnout shows how nine years of upheaval that left the country in tatters, its oil fields shuttered and cities struck by power cuts, have pushed some Libyans to yearn for the restoration of a relatively stable era.
Waiting in the wings is Qaddafi’s second-eldest surviving son and once heir-apparent, Saif al-Islam, who’s in hiding in the north African nation..
Aides say he’s been active in preparing a comeback. Priorities include pushing for the release of his jailed siblings and Qaddafi-era officials, said Ashraf Abdelfattah, who leads the lobbying efforts.
The Qaddafis can count on support in Sirte and several other cities where their tribe members are numerous. They will have to overcome those who oppose giving them any future role, but the disarray and consecutive civil wars have led to growing longing for the old regime, said Mohammed Eljarh, an analyst with Libya Outlook, a consultancy focused on Libya. “We are so disillusioned, and this is leading to nostalgia,” he said..
Some Western diplomats have come around to viewing the former regime leaders as future players. One said it was a mistake to exclude them in the past from international attempts to bring all sides together. They are the silent majority, said another.
Hundreds of people waving green flags and chanting pro-regime slogans gathered at airports and other strategic sites thought to be on the target list drawn up by British, French and American military planners.
Demonstrators, some as young as five, gathered around Tripoli to vow to defend Colonel Gaddafi, who took power in 1969 and is the only leader most of the population have ever known. They said the attacks from outside in support of rebels were bound to pitch Libya's tribes and regions into bloody conflict
State television showed tribal chiefs, with shaking hands but loud voices, declaring their loyalty to the "state of the masses" in which Col Gaddafi plays only the role of "Brother Leader".
Marching across Tripoli demonstrators were quick to warn that military action would plunge Libya into a cycle of confrontation, repeating events of Iraq, where air strikes upheld a UN-backed no-fly zone from 1991 until the Iraq war in 2003.
"Libya will never accept the division of its people like Iraq. The foreign powers want to divide us and weaken us to turn brother against brother, son against son and tribe against tribe," said Mustafa Younis, a Tripoli businessman who was on the fringes of demonstration near Col Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizia compound. "Its all so they can seize our oil."
A policewoman stepped forward to launch into her own diatribe, denouncing the "crazy gangs" that had brought chaos to the country. "We want Muammar Gaddafi, he is our leader," she said. "No one has the right to take him from us." Salma el-Said, a graduate of the University of London's Kings College, said the role of Islamic fundamentalists in the Eastern uprising threatened progressive Libyans like her. She said: "The West must realise that they are not clever enough to see what is really going on in the east of Libya. These are dangerous extremists but Libya is not Afghanistan. "The Libyan people are not extremists in religion. They will not follow these people. Libya will go through a tribal war."
The irony of recent events is that Col Gaddafi had launched a reform programme that was supposed to transform Libya into a modern state that would be both prosperous and well-governed.
Oil revenues were being poured into education programmes, infrastructure building and administrative improvements that would transform Libyan society.
"In Britain you have social clubs and friendships while in Libya our means of relating to each other are through tribal links," said Mrs Said. "We want to change the system but only through the right form of change so that we move forward not backward."
The head of Libya's Tripoli-based government suspended his powerful interior minister from his duties on Friday, saying his handling of street protests and a violent crackdown against them would be investigated.
The move coincides with reports of growing friction between Fayez al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), and Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, an influential figure from the port city and military power base of Misrata.
Bashagha, who was nominated in 2018, played a central role during a 14-month offensive on Tripoli by eastern-based forces that the GNA repelled in June with military support from Turkey.
A decree issued by Sarraj said Bashagha would be investigated by the GNA leadership within 72 hours, and his duties would be assumed by a deputy minister, Khalid Ahmad Mazen... There have long been tensions between armed groups from Tripoli and Misrata. Those from Misrata dominated the capital for several years after Libya split into rival factions based in the west and east of the country in 2014.
Faiez Serraj, Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister backed down yesterday from sacking Fathi Bashagha, his powerful Misratan Interior Minister. The humiliating climbdown came in the form of an official decree (584) yesterday by Serraj, lifting Bashagha’s ‘‘temporary suspension’’.
In turn, Bashagha read a prepared and clearly compromise statement in a video clip posted on both his Interior Ministry and Serraj’s government Facebook page. When Bashagha arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office, his loyal Interior Ministry forces surrounded the location as if to impose a siege.
The message was later reaffirmed when his Ministry posted 18 photos of Bashagha ‘‘being welcomed’’ by his forces, some of which were in full combat gear.
The episode manifests the new post-Qaddafi and the new Skhirat / Libyan Political Agreement Libya. It is a Libya of militias with token civilian rulers all under the auspices of the international community. The Bashagha incident highlighted the fact that Serraj is a token leader and that he has no power to sack his Interior Minister.
The photographs of Bashagha with his forces, in one of which he was clearly smirking with joy, show who runs western Libya.
Serraj has made Bashagha a new populist hero in Tripoli and Misrata. Bashagha may have been reinstated as Interior Minister, but he might as well have been anointed as Libya’s real Prime Minister.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured on the eve of Ashura that the tools of confrontation in the battle we are facing today are honesty, religious, political and moral commitment and wise presence in media.
Nasrallah assured that this battle is unprecedented since the last 50 years.
“Due to the big role that media plays today, they follow a strategy in which they wage huge attacks through different media outlets all at once. The battle today is one of the most critical ones after they have failed on the security, military and political levels.”
“For example if an accident occurs in some place like Lebanon, Iran, or Iraq, statements are released, and if you trace the source of these statements you will find that 80% of them are from Saudi Arabia or Emirates or other countries. So these sentences are not from the people of the country in which the accident took place, this is rather an electronic army that is trying to impose a public opinion on the people of this country..."
Exhibition of Iranian cartoons, 19-10-2017
“I call for checking the credibility of all the news and avoiding the spread of rumors whether they are true or false. There is also no need to show any interest in any report that does not help. This is just a waste of time. It is better if you help yourself by following programs of benefit for you like documentaries…”
“It is our duty to confront them by developing our media capacities and presence.... We must hold on to our honesty, clean hands, virtuousness, our moral, religious, and political commitment, and our loyalty, etc… This frustrates all the attacks..."
"We were offered huge amounts of money in order to abandon our cause but we haven’t and wouldn’t accept. We are not position- or money-seekers..."
Netanyahu: Palestinians can’t ‘veto’ Israel-Arab peace
Jared Kushner: Trump is ‘writing a script for a new Middle East’ The Times of Israel, 30-8-2020
Israel’s normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates will pave the way for treaties with more Arab countries since it has removed the “Palestinian veto” on peace between the Jewish state and the Arab world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday...
Netanyahu spoke Sunday during a press conference alongside US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien...
The August 13 Israel-UAE diplomatic breakthrough “will pave the way for other countries to normalize their ties with Israel,” Netanyahu said. “I think for too long the Palestinians have had a veto on peace. Not only between Israel and the Palestinians but between Israel and the Arab world.” “If we have to wait for the Palestinians, we would have to wait forever. No longer,” he said. The Palestinians, when they realize that their veto has dissipated, “will be hard pressed to remain outside the community of peace,” he added.
O’Brien said Israel’s security remains a White House “highest priority”..
He said the future for Israel and Arab countries “has never been brighter” and that the partnership between Israel’s high-tech industry and the UAE’s economic clout will be “truly incredible for the Middle East.”
By contrast, Iran, he said, “is facing an unprecedented financial crisis” due to the US “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to renegotiate the nuclear deal with world powers and agree to tighter restrictions. “That means that they cannot fund their proxies,” O’Brien said.
Speaking after O’Brien, Kushner said it had been “a long and winding road” to reach the Israel-UAE deal... Kushner said that the US peace proposal includes a “gracious offer” to the Palestinians and showed the world that “Israel is ready to make peace.”
He said the release of Trump’s peace proposal was the “breakthrough” that led to the agreement between Israel and the UAE. “There’ll be a lot more to come.” The president has been “writing a script for a new Middle East,” starting from his first presidential trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome, Kushner said. “
“I have never been more hopeful about peace...”
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on Sunday said that Saudi envoys may arrive in Abu Dhabi on Monday as the senior adviser to US President Donald Trump tries to persuade Saudi Arabia to join the White House signing ceremony of the normalisation agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, scheduled for October...
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, said Kushner and his team were "scrambling to convince as many Arab and Muslim leaders as possible" to attend a White House signing event and give Trump a boost ahead of the US presidential election on 3 November.
"They will be a prop at the backdrop of a meaningless spectacle for a ridiculous agreement that will not bring peace to the region," Ashrawi said.
“A hadith from the Prophet Muhammad instructs, ‘Whomever among you sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand. If he is not able, then with his tongue. If he is not able, then with his heart.” (Joe Biden, 21-7-2020)
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has issued a comprehensive “Plan for Partnership” with Arab Americans as part of his presidential campaign.
Biden, who issued a YouTube video in which he cites an Islamic Hadith last month and appealed to Muslim US voters to “do the right thing” when they “see a wrong,” is pursuing support from Arab and Muslim Americans who have been ostracized by US President Donald Trump.
In his historic statement, never before promised by any presidential candidate, the former vice president called Arab Americans “essential to the fabric of our nation,” adding that he will not only fight “anti-Arab bigotry,” but will include Arab Americans in his administration, something Trump has failed to do while in office.
“Anti-Arab bigotry has been used in attempts to exclude, silence and marginalize an entire community, and Biden believes it must be rejected whenever it surfaces, including when it emanates from elected officials or those seeking public office,” the partnership said.
The nine-page partnership statement has been welcomed by Arab American leaders and activists who previously expressed concern about several of Biden’s remarks, including a TV interview in August 2008 in which he declares himself a “Zionist” and one of Israel’s strongest supporters.
Arab Americans have also raised concerns about his running mate Kamala Harris’ close ties with the Israeli right. Harris, elected to the US Senate representing California in 2016, has addressed Israel’s AIPAC lobby twice and co-sponsored a resolution rebuking fellow Democrat and former president Barack Obama for not being tougher in defending Israeli settlements.
As part of his pledge to Arab Americans, Biden vowed to immediately rescind Trump’s controversial “Muslim ban” upon being sworn-in as president, and to support immigrants and refugees by reversing other policies.
“On day one, Joe Biden will rescind the un-American Muslim travel and refugee bans and will cease the immoral family separation policy,” the statement said. The Biden pledge also promised to protect the free speech of all Americans. But the statement added that he will not compromise on his support for Israel or his rejection of the BDS movement.
President of the Arab American Institute Jim Zogby welcomed the partnership pledge.
“A historic first. Biden’s agenda for Arab Americans rejects excluding or silencing us, closes profiling loopholes, rejects racist policies and protects our first amendment right to advocate for Palestine,” he said on Twitter.
Senior Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, California, revealed in a Friday interview that he had told President Donald Trump "any real, true believer" of Christianity would only vote for him in the November elections, reports Fox News.
Trump had reportedly called Pastor John MacArthur after the latter released a statement entitled “Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church”, vowing to continue indoor services, despite LA County moving to hold him in contempt of court for persisting with the gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
MacArthur claimed Donald Trump had thanked him for “taking a stand” against local officials seeking to prevent him from holding such services.
Underscoring the “conflicting ideologies” between the platform of the Democratic Party and their candidate, former vice-president Joe Biden, and a true belief in Jesus Christ, the pastor of the evangelical megachurch told the Falkirk Center at Liberty University that he had conversed with Trump about the upcoming November elections.
"We love God, we desire to honour him, and upholding righteousness in a society is what a church is supposed to do… So I said, any real, true believer is going to be on your side in this election..."
MacArthur claimed he explained to Trump that it was unacceptable for Christians to vote for Joe Biden or any other Democratic candidate, as it would be “in conflict” with Biblical scripture....
"There's no way that a Christian can affirm the slaughter of babies, homosexual marriage, or any gross immorality. No way we could stand behind a candidate who's affirming transgender behaviour... these things aren't even political for us... these things are Biblical,” said the pastor in the interview.
US-Israeli relations will be significantly weakened if Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump this November, says veteran American-Israeli journalist Caroline Glick [member of the Israeli New Right party].
In an interview with Arutz Sheva Tuesday, Glick warned that a Biden victory in this year’s presidential election would have serious consequences for American Jews and the State of Israel.
“It will have very negative consequences for US-Israeli relations,” said Glick, adding that over the past four years, the Democratic Party has undergone a process of radicalization, noting the victories by far-left candidates in recent years, such as congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who defeated more mainstream Democrats in safe Democratic districts.
“Over the last few months we’ve seen pro-Israel Democrats being defeated in primary elections and replaced by anti-Israel progressive-left Democrats, so that if there were four women from the progressive bloc [The Squad] before, now there are seven, and it looks like more will get in the primaries. They’ve taken over the field offices.” Glick went on to accuse former President Barack Obama of being anti-Israel and anti-Jewish, but added that unlike the former president, the new generation of progressive Democrats don’t conceal their hostility towards the Jewish state.
“The point is that while Obama was anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, he needed to hide his hostility because the center of the party wasn’t anti-Semitic.
But today, it is tough for Jewish or pro-Israel candidates to get elected in the Democratic Party. Half of the Jewish politicians won’t be returning to Congress, or will barely make it in this time.
This trend reflects how the party has turned its back on Jews and Israel, and even reflects the hostility that a significant portion of the Democratic Party has now that the progressives, who are anti-Semitic, have become the dominant force in the party.”
According to a survey by the Istanbul based research firm Areda, carried out with the participation of 1,047 people in Egypt from Aug. 20-27, 31.4% of Egyptians said they consider Turkey a leading country in the Muslim world alongside Egypt, while 10.4% said Saudi Arabia, 6.2% chose the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 1.6% said Qatar, 1% said Pakistan and 0.5% said Iran. Another 9.7% said “other” and 39.2% said “none.”
In response to a question about if they would fight for Turkey in times of war, 15.3% of the participants said "yes."
The respondents also expressed dissatisfaction about the administration of the country, as 41.6% said they are not pleased with it and 18.4% said they were undecided.
A whopping 48.5% said they would not vote for el-Sissi if elections were held in the country, while 35% said they would vote for him and 16.5% said they were undecided.
muslim brotherhood egypt
The relations between Turkey and Egypt deteriorated after el-Sissi toppled the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, in a coup after only a year in office.
The military then crushed the Muslim Brotherhood movement in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many of the group's leaders, who have been in prison undergoing multiple trials ever since the coup.
Egypt under el-Sissi has been carrying out an anti-Turkey campaign... Egypt has also sided with the UAE in Libya and with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean crisis against Turkey.
The Western press highlights Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as the winner of the Belarusian presidential election and accuses outgoing President Alexander Lukashenko of violence, nepotism and election rigging.
However, an analysis of this country shows that the policies of its president correspond to the wishes of its citizens. Behind this fabricated quarrel lies the spectre of Ukrainian Euromaidan and a provoked rupture with Russia.
One of the objectives of the Euromaidan coup (Ukraine, 2013-14) was to cut the Silk Road in Europe. China reacted by changing its route and passing it through Belarus.
From then on, Minsk tried to protect itself from the same destabilization by pursuing a more balanced policy towards the West, participating in military manoeuvres with Moscow and agreeing to supply arms to Daesh, which Moscow was fighting in Syria.
However, despite Minsk’s prevarication, the CIA intervened on the occasion of the presidential election of 2020.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya defied the outgoing president, Alexander Lukashenko, who was running for a sixth term. She obtained only 10 per cent of the vote, cried fraud and fled to Lithuania, where Frenchman Bernard-Henri Lévy rushed to welcome her.
Unanimously, the Western press denounced the "dictator" and hinted that Madame Tikhanovskaya had been victorious in the election....
If there was any doubt about the role of the US secret services in this affair, the emergence of Bernard-Henri Lévy should remove it.
He supported the "freedom fighters", i.e. the Arab mercenaries of the Muslim Brotherhood in Afghanistan against the Soviets, including their leader Osama Bin Laden.
He sided with the Contras in Nicaragua, i.e. the South American mercenaries of John Negroponte armed by Hashem Rafsanjani’s Iran.
He gave his noisy support to the Chechen Muslim Brotherhood, which formed the Islamic Emirate of Itchkeria on Russian territory.
According to a report from the Jamahiriya’s foreign services, he participated in the meeting organized by Republican Senator John McCain in Cairo in February 2011 to settle the details of the overthrow of the "Gaddafi regime" which was then cited as an example by the United States.
The French were surprised to see him announce in the courtyard of the Elysée Palace, in the place of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, his country’s commitment against the "dictator".
Of course, he was on Kiev’s Maidan Square during the "color revolution" led there by authentic Nazis....
Since the beginning of the crisis, President Lukashenko has been claiming that the opposition of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and her allies is a West-East geopolitical problem and not a national political quarrel...
In any case, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has just set up a reserve force, capable of intervening in Belarus to support the institutions and President Lukashenko...
Head of the Jerusalem Center for Political Studies Orieb al-Rintawi: "The UAE-Israel deal heralds the end of all forms and institutions representing pan-Arab cooperation including the Arab League." (Al-Monitor, 31-8-2020)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been so enamoured with Israel that even before formalising their new bilateral agreement, they had started normalising relations on many levels, including communications, transportation, and security among others.
What appeared to be a "marriage of convenience" has been in fact a full-fledged love affair. Unlike traditional marriages, the two fell in love and secretly consummated their relationship well before officially announcing the wedding date.
The Emirati attempt to spin its appeasement as a strategic calculation to stop Israel's illegal annexation of Palestinian lands and promote Middle East peace was laughed at in Palestine and throughout the region.
As I wrote the morning after the announcement, the record shows the UAE has harboured more hostility than sympathy towards the Palestinians. If anything, the deal will further empower Israel and weaken the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
Moreover, the UAE was never at war, let alone a religious war, with Israel, to have to conclude a "peace agreement" dubbed rather dubiously the "Abraham Agreement".
If anything, this is more of an alliance than an agreement - an alliance directed at the regional powers, Iran and Turkey; an alliance that threatens to further destabilise the region if US President Donald Trump is re-elected for four more years...
Since its birth out of sin - colonial sin - Israel has been all too eager for recognition and acceptance by its Arab and Muslim hinterland. To break out of its regional isolation, it is happy to normalise relations with any nation, regardless of size, rule, or geography.
And when a rich country like the UAE volunteers to normalise relations without any real conditions, it is normal that Israel would jump at the opportunity and try to speed up the process as much as possible...
Israel and the UAE may be two different countries, the former a "colonial ethnocracy" and the latter a repressive autocracy, but their close alliance with the West in general, and the US in particular, has allowed them to successfully liberalise, privatise and globalise their economies, albeit to different degrees.
Both have successfully transformed into security states and market states, becoming models for neoliberal development in the developing world.
Both created efficient bureaucracies dictated by business and commercial needs and effective security apparatuses dictated by unstable regional conditions. Their cooperation in security and intelligence-gathering has solidified their clientelism as bedrocks of American influence in the region, regardless of who resides at the White House.
Both are exploiting their status as American strategic assets in order to advance their national interests, regardless of the consequences to their neighbours.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United Arab Emirates of betraying the Muslim world with its decision to normalise relations with Israel.
Khamenei said in a televised speech on Tuesday that the deal, which Palestinians referred to as a "stab in the back", would disgrace the UAE "forever".
"Of course, the UAE's betrayal will not last long, but this stigma will always be remembered," he said. "They allowed the Zionist regime to enter the region and forgot Palestine. The Emiratis will be disgraced forever... I hope they wake up and compensate for what they did."
Immediately after the deal's announcement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it was a "big mistake" and warned against allowing Israel a "foothold in the region".
Meanwhile, UAE foreign ministry official Jamal al-Musharakh dismissed Khamenei's comments, saying the "path to peace and prosperity is not through incitement and hate speech". "That kind of rhetoric is counterproductive to peace in the region," Musharakh said. Palestinians were dismayed by the UAE's move, worried it would weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position that only an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and acceptance of Palestinian statehood would allow for normal relations with the Arab countries.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the UAE was still committed to "establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital".
The US has imposed sanctions on the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court, Fatou Bensouda, in the latest of a series of unilateral and radical foreign policy moves.
Announcing the sanctions, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, did not give any specific reasons for the move other than to say the ICC “continues to target Americans” and that Bensouda was “materially assisting” that alleged effort.
He also announced sanctions against Phakiso Mochochoko, the ICC’s director of jurisdiction, complementary and cooperation division.
The US Treasury issued a statement saying Bensouda and Mochochoko had been deemed “specially designated nationals”, grouping them alongside terrorists and narcotics traffickers, blocking their assets and prohibited US citizens from having any dealings with them.
In June, Donald Trump issued an executive order imposing sanctions on ICC officials involved in investigating Americans, in response to the court’s decision to open an inquiry into war crimes committed by all sides in Afghanistan.
The US also opposes ICC scrutiny of potential Israeli crimes against Palestinians as part of an investigation that also looks at abuses carried out by Palestinian security forces. The US was roundly condemned for its anti-ICC campaign, which was not supported by any other western democracy or US ally apart from Israel.
In a statement in response to the sanctions on Wednesday, the ICC said: “These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the Court…and the rule of law more generally.”
The decision to escalate its campaign against the ICC is one of a series of radical steps the Trump administration has taken on foreign policy that have left it isolated on the world stage.
Iran raps US ‘unceasing insanity’
over blacklisting of ICC prosecutor
Press TV [Iran]. Wednesday, 02 September 2020
In reaction to the fresh ban, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US policy of imposing unilateral sanctions “began with individuals, escalated to small, medium and major powers; and NOW international personalities.”
“The only way to stop this unceasing insanity is to stop complacency,” the Iranian top diplomat added in a Wednesday tweet.
He also urged the international community not to submit "for fear of the US wrath", as it will only “increase its appetite”.
The US African Command (AFRICOM) released a report on the situation in Libya, stating that it has not had a physical presence in Libya since April 2019. This is due to the unpredictable security environment caused by the civil war between the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA).
It added that fighters with previous ties to violent extremist organisations, have been taking part in the conflict. It is possible they are fighting for financial and personal reasons rather than for ideological motivations. Additionally, it reported that there were increasing reports of theft, sexual assault, and misconduct by Syrian mercenaries. This is likely to compound an already dangerous security environment, and result in backlash from the public.
Turkey’s Support For GNA
Turkey’s support of the GNA, includes the deployment of Syrian mercenaries, and Turkish troops. This contributed to the GNA military gains in northwest Libya during the summer. Militias’ support to Syrian mercenaries fighting on the front lines, also contributed to the GNA’s territorial gains. Turkey maintains regular flights between Istanbul and Tripoli to conduct material resupply.
AFRICOM estimated that several dozen personnel from the Turkish private military company, Sadat, have been deployed to Tripoli. They are to train both GNA-aligned militias and Syrian fighters. These individuals included trainers, advisors, ordnance disposal personnel, and Turkish air defence systems operators.
AFRICOM described the Syrians fighting in Libya as “inexperienced, uneducated, and motivated by promises of considerable salary.” While the Syrian mercenaries have bolstered GNA operations, their continued presence will continue to negatively affect the overall security situation in Libya.
Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu met Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar in Moscow on Wednesday 7 november 2018. Yevgeny Prigozhin (sanctioned by the US Treasury Department) is said to be the leader of 'the Wagner group". Prigozhin denies any communication with Wagner.
The U.S. military has grown increasingly concerned about Russia’s growing influence in Libya, where at least 3,000 Russian mercenaries and 2,000 Russia-sponsored Syrian mercenaries backing Hifter’s army,the U.S. Defense Department’s inspector general said in a new report.
A private Kremlin-linked military company known as the Wagner Group has since its initial deployment to Libya in 2019, provided trained snipers armed drones, resulting in “significant casualties” to Tripoli-allied militias, the report said.
In May, the U.S. military accused Russia of sending at least 14 warplanes to a central Libyan airbase, claiming they were repainted in Syria to hide their Russian origin. Moscow dismissed the U.S. military’s accusations, insisting “the Russian military is not involved in any processes in Libya in any way.”
The claims that members of the Wagner Group private military company are present in Libya are based on fabricated data, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in an interview with Egypt’s Al-Ahram daily.
"Information spread by some foreign sources, including the US State Department, that the Wagner Group’s members are present in Libya and participate in combat actions on the side of the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar, largely relies on fabricated data and is aimed at discrediting Russia’s policy on Libya," Bogdanov said.
"Such claims are often based on doubtful sources, which have direct interest in supporting Haftar’s opponents. It’s impossible to prove the credibility of a whole number of facts," Bogdanov said.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday called on the international community to reject U.S. sanctions imposed on officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said in an emailed press statement that international justice and legitimacy are under "a U.S. retaliatory attack."
"President Donald Trump's administration is trying to keep the international system under its control by using the logic of power and arrogance and crush the principle of accountability and anything legal or humanitarian," she said.
Ashrawi made her remarks in response to the declaration of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Washington would impose sanctions on ICC officials. Ashrawi said that the world is obligated now and more than ever "to protect its laws, principles, human values, and the foundations based on justice."
She stressed "punishing, harassing or persecuting officials of the International Criminal Court for carrying out their duties to investigate war crimes and other grave violations are unlawful and unacceptable."
"The world is still paying for the mistakes of the post WW II and the cold war era with all its “-isms” and “the end justifies the means” approach. Instead of the promise of an inclusive, interactive, and integrated global approach to human development and conflict resolution, the new ideology is threatening to impose an artificial construct of exclusivity and polarization, not only as a parallel to the past paradigm, but also as a source of tremendous injustice and conflict." (Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Palestine Chronicle 12-2-2002)
Turkey Friday welcomed an intra-Palestinian meeting held under the chairmanship of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The intra-Palestinian meeting late Thursday was held via videoconference among heads of the Palestinian groups in Ramallah and Beirut. The meeting addressed ways to prevent Israeli annexation plans in the occupied West Bank.
The meeting came at a time when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel announced on Aug. 13 a US-brokered deal to normalize relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry communique stated the significance and priority of reconciliation process has grown more amid recent incidents aiming to "purge the Palestinian cause and undermine the vision of a two-state solution."
"Turkey will continue to encourage the efforts towards achieving unity and solidarity among Palestinian parties and entities from now on..., and will continue to provide all means of support to ensure a fair and permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," added the statement.
The Palestinian Authority and resistance factions have denounced the UAE-Israel deal, saying it does not serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.
Senior members of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) yesterday condemned Senior Adviser to US President Donald Trump Jared Kushner’s statement calling for Palestinians to appoint new leadership.
In separate statements to the Anadolu Agency, the leaders said Kushner’s statement “is incitement against the Palestinian leadership and an indicator for more exertion of pressure on it.”
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Kushner said the Palestinian people need a leadership “that can provide a better life.” “There is a security plan for Palestinians and Israelis, and there is an offer on the table for the Palestinians. We hope they would reach out and accept it,” Kushner said... Bassem Al-Salihi, secretary-general of the Palestinian People’s Party and member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, said Kushner’s declaration is an attempt to carry on with the American-Israeli plot to end “the Palestinian people’s right and the PLO as their political representative”.
He pointed out that these declarations indicate Washington’s intention to exert more “pressure and incitement against the Palestinian leadership.”
Palestinian factions on Thursday staged a rare show of unity to underline their rejection of the US-backed normalisation deal between Israel and the UAE.
"We cannot accept anyone speaking in our name. We have never allowed it, and we will not allow it, ever," said president Mahmud Abbas at a meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah beamed live by videoconference to a parallel meeting held at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut.
"We will never accept the United States as the sole mediator for negotiations (with Israel), and we will not accept its plan" for a peace settlement, said Abbas, calling for Palestinian "unity" in the face of Washington's strategy.
A senior Palestinian official on Friday slammed Serbia’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying it makes “Palestine a victim” of US President Donald Trump’s re-election hopes.
“Palestine has become a victim of the electoral ambitions of President Trump, whose team would take any action, no matter how destructive for peace... to achieve his re-election” in November, tweeted Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
“This, just like the UAE-Israel agreement (to normalize diplomatic ties), isn’t about Middle East Peace,” he added.
Donald Trump announced Friday that Serbia and Kosovo have normalized economic ties as part of U.S.-brokered talks that include Belgrade moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, and Israel and Kosovo agreeing to mutual recognition.
After two days of meetings with Trump administration officials, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti agreed to cooperate on a range of economic fronts to attract investment and create jobs. The announcement provided Trump with a diplomatic win ahead of the November presidential election and furthers his administration’s push to improve Israel’s international standing.
Member of the Tobruk based Parliament ('The Tobruk Government'), Ali Al-Takbali, said that the return of the Interior Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, after his suspension, will not affect the demonstrations taking place in Tripoli.
In press statements on Thursday, Al-Takbali confirmed that he had expected from the beginning that Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj could not do anything to Bashagha. He pointed out that both of them needed each other, and that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the point of consultation and “Godfather” for both of them.
Al-Takbali considered this “the return of water to its stream.” He pointed out that the demonstrations will continue...
On August 28, the GNA’s Presidential Council suspended Bashagha from his duties. It ordered an investigation over his handling of demonstrations and failure to protect protesters from a violent crackdown.
The transitional government of officers and civilian revolutionaries in Sudan has separated religion and state. In an agreement signed Thursday in Addis Ababa with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North (SPLM–N), Sudan’s prime minister Abdullah Hamdok agreed that Sudan would not establish any particular religion.
Sudan's defence minister Awad Mohamed Auf announces President Omar al Bashir's arrest on state TV. Sky News, 11-4-2019
The agreement included the language, “The state shall not establish an official religion. No citizen shall be discriminated against based on their religion.”
It added, “Sudan is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. Full recognition and accommodation of these diversities must be affirmed.” Revolutionary Sudan had already repealed its apostasy and blasphemy legislation, and had bolstered women’s rights.
Sudan has been one of the world’s experiments with a Muslim fundamentalist state. Organizations rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood, along with the Sudanese branch of the MB itself, backed the military coup of Omar al-Bashir in 1989.
The mixture of military dictatorship and religious fundamentalism powerfully shaped Sudan’s society in the past thirty years. Women’s rights were constrained under laws mandating male guardianship. The Communist Party and other Left parties were driven underground and peasants and workers were increasingly poorly paid... The Sudanese Revolution of 2018-19 overthrew Bashir, forcing the other officers to remove him.
The new transitional government, with the backing of the people, wants to undo all three of Bashir’s main attributes. They want a gradual transition to democracy, an end to corruption, and, now, an end to fundamentalist laws... If Sudan had had a healthy separation of religion and state it might not have lost South Sudan (where most of the oil is situated). For a diverse country like Sudan, it was always the soundest policy, which the Muslim Brotherhood types just could not see. They made an unholy mess of the country, and now the people are insisting on setting it aright.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a new batch of around 450 mercenaries returned from Libya to Istanbul, after their contracts ended. They were sent earlier by Ankara to fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA) against the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Sources reported that the mercenaries were flown from Tripoli to Istanbul and are due to be transferred to Aleppo’s countryside in Syria.
According to SOHR statistics, the number of foreign recruits gone to Libya has risen to approximately 17,420, including 350 minors under the age of 18.
Approximately 6,700 mercenaries have returned to Syria after the end of their contracts and after obtaining their financial dues. Turkey continues to set up and train more fighters in its territory. The sources reported that the number of jihadists arriving in Libya reached ten thousand, of whom 2,500 were of Tunisian nationality.
Ankara continues to escalate its involvement in the Libyan conflict by supporting the GNA, despite Turkey participating in and agreeing to the results of the Berlin Conference, where foreign states active in Libya agreed to uphold the UN arms embargo.
The spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Major General Ahmed Al-Mesmari, said that the battle in Libya began to shift from the ground to the negotiation table.
In media remarks on Monday, Al-Mesmari reiterated LNA’s commitment to a ceasefire in accordance with the Cairo initiative.
“The Libyan army always seeks peace and security to achieve the dream of the Libyans in a country free of terrorism,” he said.
Al-Mesmari added that Turkey “continues to transfer mercenaries to Libya” and is “trying to strengthen its presence by controlling more ports and airports”, indicating that “the mercenaries who are transferred to Libya are dangerous and trained elements.”
Libya's Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and Turkey have signed an economy, technology cooperation protocol.
Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank and Libyan Central Bank Governor Al-Siddiq Al-Kabir and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) Chairman Ali Mahmoud signed in a meeting in Istanbul the protocol as Varank said that both countries face many threats in economic, political and military fields.
"We are fighting beside Libya against some of these common threats. It is possible to place our efforts on a more solid basis by further increasing cooperation in every field." Varank said.
"So far a higher level of cooperation has been achieved in political and military cooperation but now it is time to boost economic cooperation as well." Varank added, saying they have a goal to move forward with concrete projects in economy, technology, and entrepreneurship.
Both countries will undertake joint projects in the fields of investments, entrepreneurship and technology development, as per the new protocol..
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
arrives in Damascus for talks with Assad, Muallem
Sputnik News [Russia], 7-9-2020
Sergei Lavrov arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, the aircraft that he was travelling in landed in the city's international airport. Lavrov is set to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during his stay in Damascus. This is Lavrov's first visit to Syria since February 2012.
On Sunday, Syrian media reported that a Russian governmental delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, had arrived in Damascus. Russia continues to provide humanitarian aid and medical assistance to the Syrian people as the long-running conflict in the Middle Eastern country continues.
In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed on a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib and on conducting joint patrols of the strategically important M4 highway.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov says Moscow is trying to help Damascus break through an economic blockade created by Washington's new sanctions under the so-called Caesar Act, which deters any foreign companies and individuals from taking part in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country. The sanctions aren't allowing “investment to be absorbed into the Syrian economy. This is, in fact, a blockade and a destructive position by the United States and Western countries.
We are making joint efforts to break through the situation,” Borisov told reporters in Damascus on Monday as he took part in a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem.
Borisov noted that Russia and Syria are working to restore around 40 energy facilities in Syria, including offshore oil fields, emphasizing that the Damascus government cannot boost production and restore crude output as main oil fields are out of its control.
Syria reportedly produced around 380,000 barrels of oil per day before the war, but production subsided drastically after foreign-sponsored militancy plagued the oil-rich east. Oil fields have largely been in the hands of US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“If the international forces seek a solution in Syria, they should support Kurds and their representatives to attend these meetings,” SDF general commander Mazloum Abdi said in an interview published Saturday by Medya News, an outlet affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Geneva talks are attended by representatives of the United Nations-appointed civil society, the Syrian government, and the Syrian opposition. Members of these three groups make up the Syrian Constitutional Committee.
There are two bodies within the committees – one of 150 members, and another, smaller body of 50 of the large groups' members. Though there are a few ethnic Kurds on both committees, none represent the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, which governs an area otherwise known by Kurds as Rojava.
Committee talks began in October 2019... The latest round of talks were held a week ago,
In the interview, Abdi accused Turkey of "insistence" in blocking Rojava representatives from attending the talks. Turkey considers the SDF and its backbone, the People's Protection Units (YPG), as the Syrian extensions of the PKK – a Kurdish armed group fighting for greater rights of Kurds in Turkey.
“The Turkish state is not in favor of a political solution in Syria, because if a solution is realized it will have to leave.
The Turkish state has insisted on a veto to prevent the representatives of Kurds and northeast Syria from attending meetings in Geneva,” said Abdi.
The U.S. war against global terrorism has displaced as many as 59 million people since 2001, according to a new report released Tuesday by Brown University.
The study, published by the Rhode Island-based university’s “Costs of War Project,” says between 37 million and 59 million people in eight countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East “fled their homes in the eight most violent wars the U.S. military has launched or participated in since 2001,” when the al-Qaida terror group attacked the United States.
The figures in the report, titled “Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States Post-9/11 Wars,” show that displacements have risen sharply from 21 million in 2019. The majority of those displaced were from Iraq, with at least 9.2 million. Syria saw the second-highest number of displacements, with at least 7.1 million, and Afghanistan was third with at least 5.3 million people displaced.
The study’s authors say the estimate was derived by counting refugees, asylum seekers pursuing protection as refugees, and internally displaced people or persons (IDPs) in the eight countries that the United States has most targeted in the post-9/11 wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria.
The report said 37 million displaced people is “almost as large as the population of Canada” and “more than those displaced by any other war or disaster since at least the start of the 20th century with the sole exception of World War II.”
“We are not suggesting the U.S. government or the United States as a country is solely responsible for the displacement. Causation is never so simple.
Causation always involves a multiplicity of combatants and other powerful actors, centuries of history, and large-scale political, economic, and social forces,” the study’s authors noted.
The study does not include “the millions more who have been displaced by other post-9/11 conflicts where U.S. forces have been involved in 'counterterror' activities in more limited yet significant ways, including in: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.”
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday that strengthening joint Arab action "has become more urgent" in light of the continuing conflicts and multiple challenges that ravage the Arab world, "which is witnessing unprecedented destructive foreign interventions that negatively affect the stability of the Arab region..."
Shoukry made the remarks while addressing the 154th session of the Arab League (AL) Council...
Shoukry tackled in his speech various crucial issues among which is the Palestinian cause, Libya, Turkish interference in domestic Arab affairs, Syria, and the Lebanon crisis.
The Egyptian foreign minister said that the Palestinian cause "is still the central issue of the Arabs… [but] it is still far from the desired settlement."
"In order for the brotherly Palestinian people to fully obtain their legitimate rights and overcome the vestiges of the past, a sustainable and just solution to the Palestinian cause must be achieved in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, the principle of the two-state solution, and the Arab Peace Initiative," Shoukry told the Arab foreign ministers.
So, to achieve this, Shoukry says, any unilateral steps that would undermine the chances of establishing a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, should be stopped. Such steps include any efforts to annex Palestinian lands, he stated.
In this context, Shoukry adds, the recent announcement of the suspension of annexation is a temporary step that "must be permanent"... .
On Libya, Shoukry said that the crisis continues in the neighbouring country..
"We have seen and monitored, as has everyone, the destabilising Turkish interventions in Libya, which involve practices that prolong the conflict, not only in Libya, but in the entire region," Shoukry said.
The FM said that these Turkish actions include its "documented involvement in transporting mercenaries and terrorist elements from the Syrian territories in an effort to reproduce in Libya the conditions brought about by Turkish intervention in Syria...
In Syria, Shoukry said that foreign interference "continues to play a destructive role" that aims to harm Arab national security.
"The blatant Turkish interventions – which can be described as a state of occupation – are continuing in Syria," the foreign minister said.
Flashback: Authorities in northwest Syria are taking steps to substitute the plummeting Syrian pound with the Turkish lira to shield their opposition-held region from an economic crisis ahead of new US sanctions, an official said. The Salvation Government -- a civilian body affiliated to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadist group which dominates the Idlib region -- had already started paying wages and salaries in Turkish lira last month. (Awanthi Vardaraj, 16/06/2020)
Shoukry also reaffirmed Egypt's full support for Iraq in the face of the continuing Turkish aggressions on its borders, declaring Egypt’s full solidarity with the Iraqi government in any measures it takes in the face of these blatant interventions. He hailed the tripartite summit between Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, describing it as an opportunity to work to strengthen joint Arab action once again in the face of the increasing challenges that Arabs face from inside and out.
The tripartite summit, which was held in Amman on 25 August, addressed enhancing cooperation in all fields, especially in energy, power linkages, infrastructure, and food.
We invite the Arab League once again to play a positive role in providing stability and security in the region instead of acting at the guidance of some members that adopt a hostile stance toward Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated Thursday. The ministry condemned the Arab League’s decisions against Turkey made on Sept. 9 and stated that the League pursues these “baseless accusations” in order to cover its own destructive agenda and activities.
Stating that these decisions need not be taken seriously, the ministry added that it is known that Turkey attached great importance to the territorial and political integrity of Arab states as well as to the region’s stability and acted to preserve these contrary to some regimes that are behind these decisions.
“Despite all the efforts of certain regimes that try to divide Syria and support terrorists that harm the sovereignty of Iraq..., Turkey will continue its constructive stance decisively for the stability and peace of the region,” the ministry continued.
“It is followed by the Arab people how these regimes ignore the Palestinian cause and how they prevent the Arab League from adopting decisions on initiatives of a two-state solution in Palestine,” it said.
Flashback, September 2, 2020: President Donald Trump’s bid to get Gulf countries to normalise relations with Israel without ending the Zionist state’s brutal occupation and guaranteeing statehood for Palestinians, has been dealt a severe blow. Bahrain has refused to follow in the footsteps of the UAE and insisted that it would only normalise ties with Israel when regional power-house, Saudi Arabia, strikes a deal with Tel Aviv.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned in the strongest terms a U.S.-brokered deal between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel, saying the Palestinian people and Muslims around the world “will never accept” the normalization of ties with Israel.
The statement called the normalization deal between Tel Aviv and Manama a “disgraceful and humiliating act” that sacrifices the Palestinian cause and the sufferings of the Palestinian people on the altar of the U.S. presidential election. On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he brokered what he called “a historic deal” between Israel and Bahrain.
Under the deal, Israel and Bahrain have committed to begin the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, start direct flights, and launch cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors, according to a White House statement issued on September 11.
The deal comes on the heels of another normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which was also announced by President Trump on August 13.
The normalization deals were met with strong opposition from regional countries as well as Arab public opinions... Palestinian officials have condemned the Israel-Bahrain normalisation deal announced by US President Donald Trump as another "stab in the back" by an Arab state.
“From now on, the rulers of Bahrain will be complicit in the Zionist regime’s crimes as a perpetual source of threat to security in the region...,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s statement said. “Certainly, the result of this act of the Bahraini government will be only the growing anger and lasting hatred of the oppressed people of Palestine, the Muslims, and the free nations of the world.”
Turkey on Friday strongly condemned the normalization agreement to establish diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel, saying the deal contradicts the commitments made under the Arab Peace Initiative and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
"It will further encourage Israel to continue illegitimate practices toward Palestine and its efforts to make the occupation of Palestinian lands permanent," the foreign ministry statement said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented U.S. President Donald Trump with a doctored video which showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calling for the murder of children, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage".
The incident occurred on May 22, 2017, at a time when Trump was beginning to have doubts about Netanyahu and wondering aloud if the Israeli prime minister might be the real obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, Woodward wrote, according to excerpts from the book published by U.S. media....
As described by the Jewish Insider, which obtained an advance copy of the book, Woodward portrays a strained relationship between Tillerson and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was tasked with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tillerson believed Netanyahu's relationship with Kushner, whose family he had known for many years, was "nauseating to watch."
After Kushner had shown Tillerson several versions of the Middle East Peace Plan, Tillerson told Kushner that Palestinians "are not going to care about your money … That's not going to buy you peace.”
Tillerson was sacked in March 2018 and was replaced by then CIA director Mike Pompeo.
At the National Order of the Arrow Conference’s Gathering of Eagles, Rex Tillerson said that Eagle Scouts are expected to continue to act with personal integrity. (6-8-2015)
During one of his visits to Washington early in Mr Trump’s first year in office, the president reportedly told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he believed his government, not the Palestinians, might be the real problem holding back the peace process.
But, as Mr Woodward reveals, Mr Trump’s tone shifted markedly after his first visit to Israel as president in May 2017.
During a meeting with Mr Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, White House senior advisor Jared Kushner pulled then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson into a meeting because Mr Trump was upset at a video Mr Netanyahu had showed him.
“Watch this! This is unbelievable! You’ve got to see this,” Mr Trump said to Mr Tillerson, before ordering staff to play what Mr Tillerson believed to be a crudely fabricated video of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas making inflammatory statements.
The video, which Mr Tillerson believed was either faked or manipulated (according to Mr Woodward), showed Abbas supposedly ordering the murder of children by stringing together out-of-context words and sentences.
“And that’s the guy you want to help?” Mr Netanyahu asked Mr Trump.
When the Israeli leader (now being tried on corruption charges) had left the room, Mr Tillerson said to Mr Trump: “Mr President, you realise that the whole thing was fabricated?”
“Well it's not fabricated,” Mr Trump replied. “They got the guy on tape saying it.”
The next day, he privately berated Mr Abbas when the two met in Bethlehem, calling him a “liar” and a “murderer” who had “tricked [him]” into believing that the longtime Palestinian leader could be trusted.
The next year, he canceled nearly all US aid to the Palestinian territories and ordered the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington DC to be shuttered.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh launched an unprecedented attack against the Arab League on Monday, describing the organization as a symbol of Arab ineptitude.
“The cabinet was considering recommending that President Mahmoud Abbas revise Palestine’s relations with the Arab League, which remains tight-lipped on the blatant violation of its own resolutions, none of which has anyway been implemented,” the PM said during the cabinet weekly session in Ramallah.
He urged the Arab countries to boycott the signing ceremony of the UAE-Israeli and Bahraini-Israeli normalization agreements...
“We consider the signing ceremony as a black day in the history of the Arab nation and as a defeat to the Arab League, which has become an institution of division, driving a wedge in Arab solidarity,” Shtayyeh said, adding that this day will be added to the Palestinian calendar of pain and Arab calendar of defeats, as it deals the death blow to the Arab Peace Initiative and Arab solidarity.
The PM urged Arabs to stand united in the face of the agreements.
Meanwhile, Shtayyeh emphasized that the cabinet was sparing no effort to end the intra-Palestinian division and bring about comprehensive national reconciliation through several steps, first and foremost, through holding elections.
The Middle Eastern parties to the “Abraham Accords”, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel, did not make peace by signing them. The small Arab Gulf principalities have long had behind-the-scenes relations with Israel and Israeli firms.
They weren’t at war with the Israelis. As members of the Arab League, they did in public observe some elements of that organization’s embargo, such that they did not have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv (that is where their embassies will be). But Egypt is a member of the Arab League (after having been expelled for a few years from 1979) despite having a peace treaty with Israel, and so is Jordan. So adherence to the embargo is not anyway universal or a requirement for membership.
The accords are in fact a war agreement among three heavily armed Middle East states... The Israeli government is militarily Occupying five million stateless and rights-less Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The government of PM Binyamin Netanyahu is determined forever to keep them stateless, and every day encroaches further on their land, property and human rights. The Emirates is a tiny country of about a million citizens and 8 million guest workers with no political rights. It is run as seven absolute monarchies with oil-rich Abu Dhabi primus inter pares, with its crown prince Mohammed Bin Zayed al-Nahayan in charge... Bahrain is also a small country, a set of islands, with a population of about 1.5 million. Roughly two-thirds are Shiites. The Sunni monarchy of Bahrain thusly rules over a Shiite majority that is systematically discriminated against and deprived of basic human rights. The government crushed the democracy movement of 2011 ruthlessly, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sent in small troop contingents to help.
In a televised address, Khalifa Haftar announced yesterday that he was now permitting the resumption of Libya’s oil production and exports “on condition that it is not used to finance terrorism.” Haftar bemoaned the various and recent Libya talks he was not invited to taking part in (Morocco, Montreux and Cairo) which he categorized as failures.
“All the initiatives announced from here and there, under the slogans of a comprehensive settlement, and addressing the crisis, all ended in utter failure.”, he claimed.
Continuing, he said “The citizen no longer has the capacity to trust more of them, because they (the initiatives) only work to prolong the crisis and complicate it. They do not recognize the right of the people in deciding their destiny through their own free will, and only care about the sharing of power between its contenders, and its contents are devoid of the slightest concern for the rights of the citizen and needs”.
“We did not see after all these embellished initiatives [..] the slightest progress towards a better reality, except the Libyan citizen sleeping and waking up to homelessness, unhappiness and misery’’
This he added was ‘‘after crystallizing the (Libyan) crisis in its entirety, and confining it to a foolish political conflict, waged by a group of those aspiring to power at all costs.."
The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has rejected a bill presented by Yousef Jabareen on behalf of the Arab Joint List intended to ensure full equality for all of Israel’s citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religious affiliation.
Jabareen presented his bill in advance of the 20th anniversary of the Aqsa Intifada, which has became a cornerstone in the collective consciousness of Israel’s Arab citizens, who make up 20 per cent of the population.
Despite the bill highlighting the need for human rights and democracy to be available to all in the Zionist state, it was rejected by a majority of the ruling coalition and opposition parties.
“What I am proposing to you is first and foremost a peace treaty between the state and its Arab citizens, before addressing what is beyond its borders,” Jabareen told the right-wing MKs who attacked his proposed legislation. “Peace with Arab citizens is realised when the state secures their equal status in their home.”
The text of the bill emphasised that democratic principles should be applied to all citizens in the state:
“Israel is a democratic state that guarantees equal rights, based on the principles of human dignity, freedom and equality, in the spirit of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights” while providing that “the state ensures equal and legal protection for all citizens, and fully guarantees national, cultural, linguistic and religious specificity to both Arabs and Jews.” It stressed that Arabic and Hebrew are the official languages of the state, and both have equal status in all posts and workplaces of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities.” The majority of the parliamentarians rejected the bill...
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said that America is considering replacing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with Fatah’s dismissed leader, Mohammed Dahlan.
Friedman made the comments yesterday in an interview with Israel Today, which is known to be close to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
When asked whether the US administration is considering nominating Dahlan, who currently lives in the UAE, as the new Palestinian leader, Friedman replied: “We are thinking about it, but we have no desire to engineer the Palestinian leadership.”
Friedman attacked the Palestinian leadership, while referring to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria. “The Palestinian leadership is not serving the people properly,” he said.
The US official added, in reference to the West Bank, “I believe that people in Judea and Samaria want a better life. The Palestinian people need to understand that it is possible to achieve such a goal.” “Their leadership is still attached to long-standing complaints and irrelevant issues. They have to join the 21st century, because they are on the wrong side of history right now.” Friedman stressed that the lands of the West Bank belonged to Israel and that Jews had the right to settle there...
Fifty-seven-year-old Mohammed Dahlan was expelled from Fatah’s ruling body in 2011 on allegations of plotting to overthrow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and has been living in exile in the UAE since 2012. He was the former head of the Fatah-dominated Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip.
Other Palestinians have criticized Dahlan. Jibril Rajoub, with whom he cultivated a deep and personal rivalry, claimed in 2003 that everybody knew Dahlan was an Israeli agent.
Dahlan was the target of a bounty offered by the Turkish government in January 2020, offering 4 million lira (US$700,000) for information leading to his capture. The Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Dahlan of being an agent of Israeli intelligence and a financial backer of the Gülen movement. The Israel–United Arab Emirates peace agreement, which was denounced by the Palestinian National Authority, allegedly involved a major role of Mohammed Dahlan in 2020.
Acting Prime Minister of PNA, Nabil Shaath alleged that Dahlan played a crucial “role in shaping the deal” as adviser to Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Shaath accused him of neglecting the interests of his homeland. Dahlan was also branded as a “traitor” in the street protests of West Bank and Gaza Strip, where demonstrators trampled and torched the portraits of Donald Trump, MbZ, Benjamin Netanyahu and Dahlan.
Dismissed Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan, who resides in the United Arab Emirates and serves Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed, asserted on Friday that Palestinians need an elected leader.
Dahlan commented on remarks made by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman who announced that the US is considering replacing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with Dahlan.
“The leader who is not elected by his people cannot lead,” Dahlan posted on his Facebook page. “The one who is not elected by his people cannot lead or achieve national independence,” he added. He called for working to achieve unity among the Palestinians, to agree on national principles, and on the means to achieve them.
The United States unilaterally proclaimed late Saturday that UN sanctions against Iran are back in force and promised to punish those who violate them, in a move that risks increasing Washington's isolation but also international tensions.
Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry condemned the United States' unilateral declaration that UN sanctions on Iran are back in force, saying that Washington's statements lacked legal authority.
"The illegitimate initiatives and actions of the United States by definition cannot have international legal consequences for other countries," the foreign ministry said in statement.
flashback - george w. bush 2001: 'fuck the un'
"Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions" on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
According to him, the measures were "back in effect" from 8:00 pm Washington time (00:00 GMT Sunday).
The government of US President Donald Trump also promised to "impose consequences" on any UN member state which does not comply with the sanctions, even though it is one of the only countries in the world which believes they are in force.
"If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity," Pompeo stated. He promised that measures would be announced in coming days against "violators."
Washington is almost alone on the issue: all the other great powers -- China, Russia and also the US' own European allies -- have challenged the claim.
"Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing (the sanctions) would be incapable of legal effect," France, Britain and Germany said in a joint letter sent Friday to the Security Council...
The sanctions were lifted in 2015 when Iran signed on to an international agreement not to seek to build nuclear weapons. But Trump said that the landmark accord, negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, was insufficient and withdrew the US from the agreement in 2018, then renewed and even strengthened Washington's bilateral sanctions.
At the moment, the US is insisting it is still a participant in the agreement that it stormed out of, but only so that it can activate the "snapback" option...
States' claim that the UN sanctions on Iran were restored is misleading as the UN Security Council (UNSC) took no steps leading to the restoration of restrictions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
"The US continues to mislead the international community by speculating that the UN Security Council conducted some sort of procedures to restore the effect of UNSC resolutions on Iran sanctions, which were cancelled after the signing of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)", the official statement from Russia read. "The facts are that the UN Security Council did not take any action that would lead to the restoration of old sanctions against Iran.
All that Washington does is nothing more than a theatrical performance staged in order to subordinate the Security Council to its policy of 'maximum pressure' on Iran and turn this authoritative body into its handy tool," the statement continued. Moscow further urged Washington to "have enough courage to face the truth and stop speaking on behalf of the UN Security Council".
In the four decades since Iran and Iraq went to war, Tehran has turned enmity into influence, seeing its allies installed in Baghdad's halls of power and becoming its top trading partner.
It's a turn of events Aziz Jaber, a political science professor at Baghdad's Mustansariyah University and a survivor of the conflict, never thought possible.
"It would have been hard to imagine at the time that this would happen – that the parties linked to Iran would now hold the reins," Jaber told AFP. Saddam Hussein invaded Iran on September 22, 1980, fearing the threat to his rule if Tehran's new clerical rulers tried to replicate their 1979 Islamic Revolution in neighbouring Iraq.
Throughout the war, Iran offered safe haven to a range of anti-Saddam groups, from Kurdish figures to the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and its military wing, the Badr Corps – both founded in Iran in 1982.
saddam=hitler | iran [hakeem] as a friend | saddam: 'a theatre'
It nurtured those contacts up to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 – meaning it had closer, older ties than Washington did to Saddam's successors.
In the 17 years since, Iran's ancient allies have cycled through Iraq's corridors of power.
Of Iraq's six post-invasion prime ministers, three spent much of the 1980s in Tehran, including Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Nuri al-Maliki and Adel Abdel Mahdi, who resigned last year.
Badr Corps officials still hold top positions in the security forces. Masrour and Nechirvan Barzani, whose families sought refuge from Saddam in Iran, are now respectively the prime minister and president of Iraq's Kurdish region.
"Iran has cunning politicians," Jaber said. "It did not develop proxies solely for the purpose of war – it has benefitted from them since they came to power until today."
While there was no bilateral trade under Saddam, Iranian goods were smuggled into Iraq through the porous 1,600-kilometre border during the 1990s, when Baghdad faced crippling sanctions.
Following Saddam's toppling, normal trade could begin, said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj of Bourse & Bazaar, a news and analysis website supporting business diplomacy with Iran. Iraq is the top destination for Iran's non-hydrocarbon goods, worth $9 billion between March 2019 and March 2020, according to Iran's chamber of commerce. In July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to double that number.
With Iran's economy increasingly strained by US sanctions since 2018, Tehran is relying on Iraq more and more as its economic lung.
"Iraqis in government today allowed Iran in. They handed over our country – its economy, agriculture and security," said Mohammad Abdulamir, a 56-year-old veteran of the war.
His frustration is felt by many others and reached a head in October last year, when unprecedented protests broke out in Iraq's capital and south against a ruling class seen as corrupt, inept and subordinate to Tehran. In May, Iraq got a new premier. Mustafa al-Kadhemi and his advisers are seen as less Iran-leaning than their predecessors.
But Tehran isn't panicking, said Chatham House analyst Renad Mansour... "Iran cultivated allies in formal political networks but also informal ones – among militias, businesses, and so on – to ensure that today's Iraq is one which knows Tehran, and which Tehran knows," Mansour told AFP.
Libya (GNA government) and Turkey have started implementing a series of programs to reconstruct the military in the war-torn country, GNA-Defense Minister Salah Eddine al-Namrush said Sunday.
In a statement on Facebook, al-Namrush said they had started implementing the programs, which included the restructuring of the armed forces, air defenses, counterterrorism units, special operations units and the navy. The first training was expected to be carried out west of the capital Tripoli, the minister said. The program aims to establish a military in line with international standards. The Turkish military will provide assistance to restructuring the Libyan Army into a regular army based on the model that was used in training the Azerbaijani Army.
The GNA's Libyan Army is currently an informal amalgamation of militias, tribal soldiers and clansmen. In January, Turkey began deploying soldiers to Libya after Parliament approved a motion responding to Libya’s call for Turkish troops.
Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) made a formal request for support from the Turkish military to help fend off an offensive by Haftar's Libyan National Army.
Member of the advisory High Council of State, Abdul-Rahman al-Shater said that “non-negotiation with Haftar or his supporters” is a matter of principle that all must observe and not an empty slogan to be raised for political gains and propaganda.
In a tweet on his page he indicated that the recent understandings of the dialogue meetings in Bouznika and Switzerland were null by virtue of adherence to this principle. “This applies to the next dialogue forum as well. It is null and void in advance,” he wrote.
He argued that the loser in the war [Khalifa Haftar] should not be granted political victories or shown any surrender in exchange for the release of the sustenance and resources. of Libyans.
The Head of the High Council of State Khalid Al-Mishri rejected Sunday the deal made by the member of the Presidential Council Ahmed Mitig and Khalifa Haftar's son Khalid to resume oil production and exports, saying in a letter to the Presidential Council Head and members - two days after the deal was announced - that the deal violated Libyan Political Agreement laws.
"The deal was a violation of authorities of the Libyan Political Agreement entities: House of Representatives, Presidential Council and High Council of State as well as the legal authority of the Central Bank of Libya." He indicated. Haftar announced in a televised statement Friday the ending of oil blockade and resumption of oil production and exports, after over eight months of shutdown and almost 10 billion dollars in financial losses.
An open letter signed by over 20 British Palestinians, including academics, journalists, businessmen, philanthropists, musicians and lawyers, expressed concern over the shrinking space in the Labour Party to discuss the Palestinian struggle.
They voiced concern over the Labour leadership’s decision to adopt the controversial IHRA definition of anti-Semitism without reference to the concerns regarding the threat it poses to the right of Palestinians and of party members to advocate for justice for the Palestinian people.
Kenneth Stern, one of the drafters of the definition, has warned of the dangers of weaponizing the IHRA code which conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel in 11 of the 13 examples cited in it...
“We believe that an internationalist Labour Party has a special responsibility to redress the ongoing injustices against the Palestinian people,” said the open letter noting that the indigenous people of the territory were “denied their right to self-determination during the British Mandate because of the role Britain played as a colonial power leading up to the 1948 Nakba, when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes...
"Respect for Palestinian rights is not incompatible with the struggle against racism and antisemitism; in fact, it is integral to that struggle.”
Expressing their concerns over the conflation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the letter added: “Zionism is a political ideology and movement that has led to our dispossession and that sustains a state that discriminates against us and denies us our collective rights whether as victims of military occupation, unequal citizens of the Israeli state or living in exile as refugees denied the right of return to our homeland.”
The signatories said they were “alarmed” by the way in which IHRA is being used across Labour councils, noting how the controversial code had been used to “limit the rights of Palestinians, and of others advocating on their behalf”.
Zoek onderwerpen, thema's, woorden en begrippen op mijn webpagina's