The Palestinians cannot bring themselves to end the conflict, Netanyahu believes, because they cannot bring themselves to compromise with an enemy they view as completely evil.
They have not yet shifted from perceiving their enemy as absolutely evil to perceiving him as possessing some justice on his side, however limited... Even Palestinian moderates share this basic view of Israel: it is an evil, but an evil too well entrenched to remove. Israel does not have even a modicum of justice on its side, only brute force, they believe.
This analysis has become a key plank of Netanyahu’s policy toward the Palestinians.... It is the reason he never fails to discuss the millennia-old Jewish attachment to the land of Israel in his speeches before a United Nations General Assembly that could care less.
During the 1948 Palestine War, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated and destroyed.
Some 10% of Israel's population attended
The choice of being a collaborator or not.
Libyan ex-rebel group says it 'arrested' PM Zeidan
U.S.-backed Syria rebels urged
The report also singles out Turkey, calling on it to do more to stop foreign Islamist fighters from crossing into Syria.
“Given that most foreign fighters in these groups reportedly gain access to Syria via Turkey,” it says, “Turkey should increase border patrols (and) restrict entry of fighters and arm flows to groups credibly found to be implicated in systematic human rights violations.” It says Turkey should “investigate and prosecute those in Turkey suspected of committing, being complicit in or having command responsibility for international crimes”...
Dan Layman, a spokesman for the U.S.-based Syrian Support Group [..] said it wouldn’t make sense for U.S.-backed local rebel commanders to cease all joint operations with Islamist hard-liners when they were on the same side of a brutal civil war and needed all the help they could get, especially since aid from the United States and other Western nations had been slow to arrive.
“You don’t get something for nothing,” Layman said. “You can’t kill people with your transitional justice, and you can’t eat your Human Rights Watch report.” ...
Experts on radical Islamist movements said the report was unlikely to hurt the groups with their supporters.
“They view Alawites as not Muslims, and therefore they are legitimate targets to kill,” said Aaron Zelin, a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Whereas when it comes to Sunnis, they are a lot more careful with target selection, only focusing on those that have collaborated with the Assad regime or broken the law in areas that are liberated based on their strict interpretation” of Islamic law.
This episode investigates al-Qaeda’s recent attempts to consolidate power along the Syrian-Iraqi border. Will the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant succeed in their plan to exert control in Iraq and Syria? Al-Arabiya, 11-10-2013
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, abbreviated as ISIS and ISIL, was established as an umbrella organization of Iraqi insurgent groups on October 15, 2006 under the name of Islamic State of Iraq. The group was composed of and supported by a variety of insurgent groups, including its predecessor organisation, the Mujahideen Shura Council, Al-Qaeda, Jeish al-Fatiheen, Jund al-Sahaba, Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah, Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura, etc., and other clans whose population is of Sunni faith. It aimed to establish a caliphate in the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq.
The Islamic State is thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians as well as members of the Iraqi government and its international allies.
As the chances of American “boots on the ground” in Syria disappear, burying the secrets that Syria has exposed is critical, but to whom?
Never has a single conflict exposed so much weakness, duplicity and criminality. These things have always been there but never so plain for all to see.
Chemical weapon inspectors overseeing the destruction, well underway, of Syria’s stockpiles can’t help but note clear indications that those stockpiles have not been touched for years. The silence of this revelation is “deafening.”
Moreover, as it becomes increasingly obvious that Assad’s forces weren’t involved in chemical attacks, inspectors are now asking for Assad’s forces to gain access to stockpiles of chemical weapons held by rebel forces.... through military action...
News stories are reporting this but are trying very hard to hide this story “in plain sight.” If inspectors are demanding access to rebel areas to assess chemical weapon stockpiles two things are obvious.
1. They believe rebels control chemical weapons.
2. They feel that only military action by Assad led forces can secure Syria from further attacks
The prospect of Geneva-2 peace negotiations is overshadowed by the latest split in the Syrian opposition, with the Syrian National Council (SNC) announcing it will not take part in the talks.
The Istanbul-based group has 22 of the 60 seats of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, commonly referred to as the Syrian National Coalition.
“The Syrian National Council has taken the firm decision… not to go to Geneva, under the present circumstances [on the ground],” the group’s president George Sabra told AFP.
Sabra then threatened the SNC “will not stay in the Coalition,” if it decides to go to Geneva.
Although the exact date of the proposed Geneva-2 conference is yet to be announced by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, both Moscow and Washington have mentioned mid-November as a possibility for the talks.
The UN chief last month praised the Syrian National Coalition president Ahmed Jarba’s “commitment to send a delegation to the Geneva Conference,” and urged him “to reach out to other opposition groups and agree on a representative and united delegation.”
West unable to force Syrian opposition to attend Geneva-2
Voice of Russia 14-10-2013
The unpreparedness to take part in the Geneva-2 international peace conference for Syria declared by Syrian National Council leader George Sabra demonstrates the inability of the West to compel the Syrian opposition to negotiate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"The statement of Mr. Sabra, the head of the Syrian National Council, which is affiliated in some way with the National Coalition of the Syrian opposition, is another confirmation of the need to hold this conference as soon as possible," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.
"The main obstacle to this endeavor is still the inability of our partners to force the Syrian opposition, whom they are supporting, to come to Geneva and sit down at the negotiating table with the government in order to find ways out of this crisis by general consent," the minister remarked.
"Our partners, primarily the Americans, have assured us they will gather everyone for this conference "under the umbrella" of the National Coalition," Lavrov said.
Western intelligence agencies estimate that more than 6,000 foreign fighters are now fighting with jihadist groups in Syria. Arab intelligence services believe there may be more than 15,000 foreign fighters in the country. The jihadists themselves, meanwhile, say their forces number 30,000.
McClatchy reports that al Qaeda in Iraq and its local allies took over the Syrian military’s Mannagh Air Base, working alongside units from the Free Syrian Army. After the victory, the senior Aleppo officer appeared in a video alongside Abu Jandal, a leader of the al Qaeda affiliate known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, has issued a fatwa saying that female teachers in schools and colleges must cover their faces if they are teaching males who have reached puberty.
He made the ruling following a request for advice from the Ministry of Education on the issue. It had said that some female teachers were veiling their faces while giving lessons but it felt that this was having a negative impact on students’ understanding because, by not seeing the teacher’s face, they were not able to interact and properly lean. It asked for a fatwa telling female teachers to remove their veil inside the classroom while teaching.
The best solution, the Grand Mufti said, was to segregate male and females altogether in schools and colleges and universities “because those in charge are duty-bound in Islam to do so, if they able to”. If that is not possible, they must at least be segregated during break times, in halls and corridors and have separate entrances for boys and girls.
In addition, students must be made to dress “respectfully and to abide by the Islamic dress code and not to allow girls to wear make-up and perfumes to avoid temptation”, the fatwa said. Schools should have male teachers to teach boys and female teachers to teach girls, it added.
Libya’s Grand Mufti Calls For Strict Sex-segregation
Libya’s Grand Mufti is calling for strict sex-segregation in all workplaces, classrooms, and government offices. In an open letter to the country’s leaders, the grand mufti, Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani, has warned that if gender segregation were not imposed, Libya risks incurring the wrath for Allah.
The Grand Mufti said that his call stemmed from complaints that the Dar Al-Ifta (Fatwa office) had received from ordinary Libyans who, he said, were calling for the application of Sharia Law and the preservation of Islamic moral values and the nation’s Islamic identity. They had complained about “the deterioration of morals” and about the free mixing between the sexes in all state institutions. He warned that unless the authorities stopped the mixing of the sexes, which he considered immoral, there would be a spread of “immoral havens”.
Hero of the revolution
Al-Gharyani is considered by some a hero of the revolution, since early on in the uprising against Gadhafi he issued a fatwa or religious edict permitting war against his regime.
Under Gadhafi's 42-year rule, women had a mixed bag. Gadhafi often presented himself as a defender of women rights and at times made a point of defying strict interpretations of Shariah, since Islamists were among his main enemies. (7-3-2013)
Gaddafi’s odd love affair with women
The Observer, 27-10-2011 (Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi )
‘I promised my mother to improve the situation of women in Libya…’
The world might remember him as a despot, dictator and murderer, but at least one virtue will stick out: that the slain Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, took good care of women. Not only did he support them, he also believed in their abilities and emancipation, moreover in a society where being a woman is normally associated with getting the back seat.
Wearing heavy make-up and military fatigues, Gaddafi’s female bodyguards, better known as the Amazonian Guard, were synonymous with his presence. He paraded them as a symbol of his belief in women’s emancipation and their role in the defence of their country. He also had a team of female nurses led by his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska.
Central to Gaddafi’s 1969 revolution was the empowerment of women. His new regime made efforts to advance female emancipation. The new government encouraged women to participate in Libya’s political life and several cabinet posts were allocated to them. Women were also able to form associations.
The Libya Herald reported that the “Fatwa Office”, presided by Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ghariani, has asked the Ministry of Education in Libya to remove passages related to democracy and freedom of religion from school textbooks.
The article also reports that the religious official asked for “clarification” as to why extracts of the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah had been deleted. The Sunnah is the second book for Islam jurisprudence after the Quran, according to scholars.
The information in the textbooks about Greek democracy might be “too detailed” for students to comprehend. References to freedom of belief and religion should be removed because “it suggests to younger students that they could choose any religion they wanted”. The Fatwa office warned that because of the public’s religious values the textbooks “could spark public anger.”
Gaddafi: The Green Book
Part Three, Chapter Eight: EDUCATION
Education, or learning, is not necessarily that methodized curriculum and those classified subjects in text books which youth are forced to learn during specified hours while sitting on rows of desks. This type of education, nowprevailing all over the world, is against human freedom.
Compulsory education, of which countries of the world boast whenever they are able to force it on their youth, is one of the methods which suppresses freedom. It is a compulsory obliteration of a human being's talents as well as a forcible direction of a human being's choices. It is an act of dictatorship damaging to freedom because it deprives man of free choice,creativity and brilliance.
To force a human being to learn according to a set curriculum is a dictatorial act.
To impose certain subjects upon people is a dictatorial act.
All countries which set courses of education in terms of formal curricula and force pupils to learn them, coerce their citizens.
All methods of education prevailing in the world should be done away with through a worldwide cultural revolution to emancipate man's mind from curricula of fanaticism and from the process of deliberate adaptation of man's taste, his ability to form concepts and his mentality.
This does not mean that schools are to be closed and that people should turn their backs on education, as it may seem to superficial readers. On the contrary, it means that society should provide all types of education, giving people the chance to choose freely any subjects they wish to learn...
Knowledge is a natural right of every human being which nobody has the right to deprive him of under any pretext except in a case where a person himself does something which deprives him of that right.
Ignorance will come to an end when everything is presented as it actually is and when knowledge about everything is available to each person in the manner that suits him.
A very special salute and greetings from us and from the legitimate President of Egypt, who has been abducted by those who betrayed the people and repressed freedoms, on the occasion of a glorious Eid that comes to Egyptians as they stand steadfast like mighty mountains in the face of the failed military coup’s suppression, which is certainly coming to an inevitable defeat, with the will of the people and the power and Grace of God.
Although coup commanders and collaborators think they can reinstate the repressive dictatorial Mubarak regime, their plots are falling apart like the frailest of all houses – the spider's web (as described by God in Quran 29:41), and the will of the people will prevail.
Special greetings from the legitimate President of Egypt to each and every grieving family, under the dark shadow of this treasonous coup...
Every day, people of conscience discover the falsity and the evil of the bloody coup and its heinous plots against Egypt, its people and its democratic transformation. The junta’s acting, pretense and false promises no longer deceive the people, who stand steadfast against the coup and its brutal practices.
The President, too, stands steadfast to the last breathe. He will not back down on the fair demands of reinstating constitutional and democratic legitimacy. He will not be defeated by illegitimate abduction and detention or by invalid farcical trials that blatantly violate the Constitution and the law....
No-one can break the will of your legitimate President, because it is of your popular will, and it derives from your own steadfastness, courage and noble character.
Osama Mohamed Morsi
Official spokesman for the family of the legitimate President.
Turkey continues to deny that it is lenient with radical groups fighting to establish an Islamic regime in Syria, let alone actively supporting them, and the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now much more open in its criticism of these groups than was initially the case.
The Erdogan government also announced measures in the Official Gazette on Oct. 10 freezing the financial assets of 349 people and 67 legal entities said by the UN Security Council to be linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Despite these steps, however, Ankara continues to be accused of turning a blind eye as members of these groups use Turkish territory for various purposes in their fight not just against the Assad regime, but also the moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Syrian Kurds.
Meanwhile, the spin being developed in the pro-government Islamist Turkish media is that the presence of these al-Qaeda-affiliated Sunni groups in Syria is actually a ploy on the part of Shiite Iran to undermine Ankara’s Syrian policy in order to support President Bashar al-Assad and his regime.
It is of course no secret that the Erdogan government initially supported the group known as Jabhat al-Nusra in the belief that it was the most effective fighting force against Assad. Ankara was also unhappy when the United States listed Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organization in December 2012, believing this to be a premature step which would strengthen Assad’s hand. Today, however, the Erdogan government argues vehemently that it never supported Jabhat al-Nusra or any other radical group in Syria, saying it is opposed to terrorism wherever it comes from. ...
Whatever the case may be, these al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, which have no democratic agenda for Syria, are becoming a political and security liability for the Erdogan government.
As Syria’s civil war continues on, it has taken on an increasingly sectarian nature, and the rebellion is now dominated by factions affiliated either directly or ideologically with al-Qaeda, including the assorted al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Jabhat al-Nusra factions.
Though there are surely Syrian Islamists fighting in these groups, large numbers of the jihadist fighters are foreigners, and their motivations don’t begin or end at the Syrian border.
Far from seeing Syria as a special case, these rebels see Syria as the beginning of a region-wide religious war, with the goal of installing ultra-conservative theocracies across the Muslim world.
The imposition of Taliban-style Sharia law in parts of northern Syria has been a major culture shock for Syrians, who have for centuries had relatively secular governments.
Most of the non-Sunnis in those towns are simply fleeing, since the foreign fighters are eager to call any religious minorities, from Alawites to Christians, pro-Assad infiltrators. Those who are staying behind are seeing very awkward attempts by al-Qaeda to do “outreach” to sell the locals on their style of rule.
The United States is trying to persuade a key Syrian opposition group to drop its refusal to join planned peace talks, saying its participation is essential, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The Syrian National Council, which is the biggest bloc within the Syrian opposition coalition, said at the weekend it would not attend the talks planned for next month and would quit the umbrella group if it does.
"There have been many ups and downs in this process. And that's not unexpected given how challenging the situation is on the ground," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "But we continue to press for the opposition to have a representative body at the Geneva conference, " she told reporters.
The so-called Geneva II peace conference was first talked of in May but has been postponed several times due to internal wrangling among the opposition and a dispute on which countries should have a place at the negotiating table.
U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford had been working closely with the opposition "to make sure they know from our team that it's essential and important that they attend a conference," Psaki said.
"The situation is scary to a degree that I am afraid to mention my name or talk freely about this topic," said a 35-year-old navy lieutenant colonel who asked to be identified as "S.B.A."
"Radicals are ruling and wander without fear of anyone, not even the law. Anyone who opposes them is labelled an apostate and a heretic, and his head is placed on a stake by any means, slaughter, bombing or assassination," the naval officer added.
K.A.Z., a math teacher from Marj, said, "Unfortunately, they claim to be Muslims... These people are mentally retarded and must be punished." Anouer Abd Karim, owner of an event hall in Tripoli, called for Libyan authorities to arrest Boukhtala. "This man has become a threat to the lives of Libyans and the future of Libya...," he said. "He is a ruthless man looking to fuel strife in the country and insisting on imposing a creed based on terrorism, discrimination and division. These actions can only expose the country to danger," Abd Karim added.
For his part, Mabrouk Ahmed Hafiane commented, "This hard-line leader seeks to impose criminal behaviour on Libyans through incitement to murder and terrorism. He aspires along with his group to rule Libya with radical Islam and at gunpoint."
"We can say goodbye to Libya if people with his mind-set rule our country because no one will be spared their violence. They accept neither the constitution nor plurality," he added.
A new household survey of Iraqis has projected the civilian death toll from the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq at roughly 450,000.
Passive information-gathering techniques like logging deaths in the Western press have produced estimates closer to 150,000, but such techniques have been proven to miss a lot of people.
Of those extra deaths beyond those who would have died if the US had never invaded, some 270,000 died violently, with US troops responsible for about 90,000 civilian deaths and militias for another 90,000. Of those killed violently, 60 percent were shot, and 12 percent died from car bombs. Some 180,000 died because of the destruction of the public health infrastructure (lack of access to hospital treatment, e.g.). ...
The US/ UN sanctions on Iraq of the 1990s, which interdicted chlorine for much of that decade and so made water purification impossible, are estimated to have killed another 500,000 Iraqis, mainly children. (Infants and toddlers die easily from diarrhea caused by gastroenteritis, which causes fatal dehydration).
So the US polished off about a million Iraqis from 1991 through 2011, large numbers of them children. The Iraqi population in that period was roughly 25 million, so the US killed or created the conditions for the killing of 4% of the Iraqi population.
All this is horrible enough. Even more horrible is that the US occupation of Iraq sparked a Sunni Arab insurgency, which is still vigorous. Insurgencies typically take 10 to 15 years to subside. Some 5000 Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year by that insurgency. US occupation is the gift that goes on giving.
Despite the Bush administration’s violation of the UN charter and its war crimes in Iraq, none of its high officials has faced prosecution. Some of them even have the gall to come on television from time to time to urge more killing.
Were Sanctions Right?
By David Rieff, New York Times July 27, 2003
For many people, the sanctions on Iraq were one of the decade's great crimes... Anger at the United States and Britain, the two principal architects of the policy, often ran white hot.Many of the diplomats who constructed and administered the sanctions policy still defend them steadfastly. Richard Holbrooke, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton, says: ''The concept of sanctions is not just still valid; it's necessary.''
Denis J. Halliday, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq for part of the sanctions era, expressed a widely held belief when he said in 1998: ''We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that.''
Albright insists that sanctions cannot be ruled out in the future when formulating policy, whether in Washington or at the Security Council.. And James Rubin asks: ''What should we have done, just lift sanctions and hope for the best? I believed then and believe now that that was just too risky, given Saddam Hussein's past, his repeated attempts to invade his neighbors, his treatment of his own people and the weapons we knew he was developing.''
''What we were trying to do by putting sanctions in was to prevent Hussein from threatening the region,'' recalled Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser for the first President Bush.
These observations do not answer the question of whether any policy, no matter how strategically sound, is worth the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children -- a figure that originated in a Unicef report on infant mortality in sanctions-era Iraq and became the rallying cry of anti-sanctions campaigners.
And the argument against sanctions on Iraq went beyond even this single, horrifying statistic. Sanctions, their opponents insist, transformed a country that in the 1980's was the envy of the developing world in terms of investments in health, education and physical infrastructure into a place where everyone was dependent on United Nations food aid, where infant mortality rates had skyrocketed, educational outcomes had collapsed and diseases that had disappeared were reappearing, sometimes at epidemic levels.
The British bank HSBC released late last week a study estimating the economic cost of the Arab Spring for the past three years. According to HSBC, the uprisings in the Arab spring countries have generated a bill of $ 800 billion in economic loss between 2010 and 2012.
HSBC forecasts are little more euphoric for the coming months : the end of 2014 , the GDP ( Gross Domestic Product ) of seven countries considered by the bank as being the most affected (Egypt, Tunisia , Libya, Syria , Jordan, Lebanon and Bahrain) , should be 35 % below forecasts before the clashes in 2011, “before revolution “. ...
Destruction of infrastructure, disorders disrupting business activity, international sanctions and blockade, depletion of Western aid, flight of capital and skilled labor, tourism atrophied…Revolts, revolutions and civil wars in many countries of the Mediterranean cost and the Arabian Peninsula have had a major impact on the economy....
“The economic downturn has widened the wealth gap between the seven countries and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, where the manna after hydrocarbon exports helped boost growth and enabled Saudi Arabia, the UAE Arab Emirates and Qatar to increase aid to countries like Egypt and Tunisia...” , the report says .
The overthrow of an authoritarian regime is easier than growing the economy. While countries such Tunisia and Egypt toppled autocratic dictators in less than 2 months, their economic growth crippled in the last 3 years.
“Unemployment remains high in Tunisia and Egypt, a rather ironic when you consider that the high level of unemployment has been touted as one of the causes the revolution in both countries. In Egypt unemployment was around 9% from 2007 to 2010 and is 13 % in the first quarter of this year..."
Mousa al-Omar, a Syrian opposition newscaster for al-Ghad TV (Tomorrow TV) broadcasting from London, explains briefly how the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) became strong in Syria and shoots down idiotic conspiracy theories made by some in the Syrian opposition that ISIL is connected to Syrian or Iranian intelligence services. He also states that there's no such thing as the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) in Syria anymore. He confirms that all the fighting rebel forces on the ground are, in fact, Islamist brigades.
"Why did it become strong in our country, Syria? Because, in short, it buys weapons grom the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA). "You have a tank, PK machine gun, a DShk, or anything else, we [ISIIL] are ready to buy. Here you go!"
A tank for 10M, Dhsk for 2M, whatever it is, they [ISIL] can pay! They have plenty of dollars. You can get whatever you want. They have no problem.
The FSA is two types: one that sells because it needs to pay its members a living and another that likes war loot and things like that..., which means it's corrupt, so it sells weapons for financial gain...
Some say they are Syrian intelligence, that the are coordinating with Assad's secret services. I've never seen a Syrian secret agent becoming a suicide bomber or martyrdom seeker. In other words, one that loads half a ton in a car and goes to blow himself up in a checkpoint.
Some say they are Iranian secret agents. How can they, ISIL, be as such when they detonated 500 booby-trapped cars within 6 months in Shiite areas in Iraq? How is that possible? Why did people in Syria gather around them?
The truth of the FSA is a big lie, i.e. the word "Free Syrian Army". There's no such thing called FSA anymore. They're all Islamist brigades. (Source: al-Ghad TV)
According to the website of the Dr. Mohamed AL Shabk Global Investment Group Syria Al-Ghad TV was launched in the capital city of France, Paris, in the year 2011announcing the birth of a new era of impartially free media. Syria Al-Ghad is a satellite channel that is mainly concerned with the political, social, and humanitarian affairs of Syria in particular and the Arab affairs in general.
The title you read is correct, it was during a TV interview with a Wahhabi cleric who warned the people of Damascus to leave their jobs, their homes immediately and head to the desert where it’ll be more secure for them.
Dr. Moath Safwat, supposed to be a PHD graduate in Wahhabism, ordered the people of Damascus and its countryside (counting more than 6 million), to immediately leave their jobs, as working in government and public institutions is aiding the regime... When his interviewer asks him where the people should go he replies: ‘Go to Ragga, Aleppo, Turkey or go to the desert’ to ‘clear the way for the mujahideen to reclaim the injustice they suffer from the Syrian regime’.
Damascus, (SANA) – Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed that the scene of the events in Syria has been completely exposed, as its nature is no more secret to anyone.
In an article published in al-Thawra Newspaper on Saturday, al-Zoubi said that elements of the aggression on Syria, which has been fully uncovered, must be identified to check the extent and volume of contradictions among these elements whether in the military, international or regional fields.
"That scene is part of a bigger regional and Arab scene manifested through the tales of the 'Arab spring' and 'popular revolutions' which brought in most of its junctures extremists to power like what has happened in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya," the Minister added.
The regional scene, according to al-Zoubi, raised the level of suspicion among the secular, leftist and Pan-Arab powers as they see that the region is witnessing two kinds of forces; the radical extremist powers represented by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and the second one which is represented by international powers that boosted their view in the rejoin through the principle of preserving the security of Israel and controlling oil and gas wells.
Al-Zoubi stressed that the political route for the crisis in Syria has been the genuine choice since the beginning, and it needs politicians who believe in the state, the homeland and the people...
A blast hits a suburb of Syria's capital Damascus, leaving an unspecified number of casualties, according to state media. The attack was carried out by terrorists at the entrance of the Christian-Druze neighborhood of Jaramana on Saturday, SANA news agency reported.
Manufacturing Dissent is a documentary posthumously dedicated to Syrian Palestinian actor Mohamad Rafea, who was kidnapped, tortured and finally brutally murdered on Sunday November 4th 2012 by terrorist groups...
Manufacturing Dissent is a feature about the psychological-warfare by the media and political establishment of the west and their allies aimed at facilitating the US, European and Israeli agenda of getting rid of the current Syrian government. It demonstrates how the media has directly contributed to the bloodshed in Syria. (Produced by journalists Lizzie Phelan and Mostafa Afzalzadeh)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with a German television station that he blamed Israel's "demands in East Jerusalem" for having "transformed the conflict's political nature into a religious conflict in a region already burdened with sensitivities."
Abbas said that he rejected any attempt to make the Palestinian-Israeli political conflict a religious issue "on the basis of our rejection of extremism and terrorism in all its forms."
Abbas stated his desire for a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict, but warned that Israeli attempts to annex East Jerusalem and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque had transformed what was an essentially political conflict into a religious struggle.
He said he "looks forward to achieving a just peace for the two peoples, Palestinian and Israeli" through the "establishment of an independent state of Palestine... on the entire Palestinian land occupied in 1967."
The fully sovereign Palestinian state would have East Jerusalem as its capital and would exist in "peace and security alongside the State of Israel," he said.
Abbas said that he envisioned a "comprehensive and lasting agreement" that would entail Jerusalem becoming the capital of both states, but that "Jerusalem should be open for worship for the followers of the three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism."
He also stressed the necessity of solving the Palestinian refugee issue "in a just way agreed upon in accordance with UN resolution 194, and as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative."
UN resolution 194 (art 11) states that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible....
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Jewish women have been banned from working night shifts as a part of their national service at hospitals in Israel in order to avoid "contact with Arabs".
Israeli National Service Administration Director Sar-Shalom Jerbi issued the directive two weeks ago banning any volunteer shifts past 9 p.m. for women fulfilling their national service duties.
The director explained that "we reached the decision based on concern for our volunteers, and Minister [Naftali] Bennett gave his blessing." Naftali Bennett is the leader of the far-right Israeli political party "Jewish Home," and is currently the minister of religious services.
The decision marks a victory for an intense campaign led by religious Zionist rabbis and other right-wing groups within Israel to prevent contact of any sort between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, especially between Jewish women and Palestinian men.
According to the Channel 10 report, these groups began a campaign against women's night-time service last year after reports surfaced of "intimate relations" between some Jewish volunteers and Palestinian doctors at hospitals. ...
In response to the decision, the director of the Lehava organization which was involved in the campaign issued a statement lamenting that the move did not go far enough. "Unfortunately, this is too narrow and too late a step. National service should be terminated anywhere there are non-Jews," he said.
Naftali Bennett is an Israeli politician and former software entrepreneur. He is the leader of the political party The Jewish Home as well as the extra-parliamentary movement My Israel. Bennett opposes the creation of a Palestinian state: "I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state." (Wikipedia info)
Intermarriage Forbidden, Punished, Prevented by SegregationDeuteronomy 7:1-3. “Neither shalt thou make marriage with them (Canaanites)…”
Joshua 23:12-13. “If ye…cleave unto…these nations…and make marriage…God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you.” (Only as long as Israel remained a separate people was there victory).
Ezra 10:2. “…We have trespassed against God, and have taken strange wives.” Ezra 6:21, chapters 9-10, Nehemiah 10:28,30; 13:23-30. Ezra and Nehemiah settled the race problem by segregation and severe punishment for mixing. (Source: Segregation and Gods word)
"Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach. That is our Arab policy; not what we should be, but what it actually is, whether we admit it or not. ..."
"We all demand that there should be an iron wall. Yet we keep spoiling our own case, by talking about "agreement" which means telling the Mandatory Government that the important thing is not the iron wall, but discussions. Empty rhetoric of this kind is dangerous...."
"What is impossible is a voluntary agreement. As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter..." Vladimir Jabotinsky, in The Iron Wall (1923)
Just as in 1939, evil has no one to fear. As in pre-World War II, evil is winning in the battle of wills with the democratic free world. Then and now, evil knows that the West lacks the will and stomach to confront it militarily and prefers instead to be deluded with worthless diplomatic negotiations and temporary agreements.
Then and now, the American public is choosing to absorb itself with its own internal and economic issues while Europe is led by weak leaders who lack the backbone or moral conviction to fight evil.
On July 6, 1939 the British Foreign Office heard from the British military attaché in Berlin that Hitler’s Finance Minister Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk, had advised a visiting British general: “Take Winston Churchill into the Cabinet. Churchill is the only Englishman Hitler is afraid of...."
In 2013, there is no Churchill anywhere except Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the lone prophet who is warning the world... There is no Roosevelt in the White House. Roosevelt did not try to meet, talk to, or negotiate with Hitler or one of his lieutenants.
Sadly, President Obama has tried repeatedly to meet and shake the hand of one of the lieutenants of the true dictator of Iran, Ali Khamenei.
In the Middle East, brutal dictators only respond to the fear of a credible threat of the use of physical force. The fact that Obama has been so desperate to get to the negotiating table [..] sends a dangerous signal to the Iranians that Obama does not have the mettle for the use of force against the regime.
Furthermore, no one in Obama’s present cabinet could convince Khamenei that they mean to stand up to him. His present second term national security cabinet and advisors consist of old time friends prior to his becoming president, who believe, like he does, in engaging and appeasing enemies and brutal dictators, sympathizing with the Palestinians, blaming Israel for lack of peace, and pressuring an ally for dangerous concessions.
* John Kerry, the secretary of state: "stated in July that the core issue of instability in the Middle East and in many other parts of the world is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."
* Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense: He opposed sanctions against Iran and called for direct negotiations with the Iranian regime.
* John Brennan, the CIA director: He has refused to link the words” Islamic” and “terrorism” and called Jerusalem by its Arab name” Al Quds”.
* Susan Rice: She failed to speak up when Iran was elected to the UN Women’s Commission but strongly condemned Israeli settlement activity as eroding hope for peace and stability in the region.
* Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN: "suggested that the US should send troops to invade Israel to impose a two-state solution."
With such circle of friends advising him, there is no chance that Obama will change his core beliefs and militarily stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability. The only one left to fear is Bibi Netanyahu....
"Knowing the enemy and its methods is [an] important factor. We should not forget about the existence of a spiteful enemy. .. We should not make a mistake in knowing the main enemy, who in the present time is global arrogance and the criminal Zionist network.
For decades, the oppressed Palestinian nation has been receiving strikes as a result of the crimes of the Zionist regime and its supporters. In the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, terrorism - which originates from the policies of global arrogance and its agents in the region - has ruined the lives of the people."
Syria has come under the attack of arrogant powers and their regional agents because of supporting anti-Zionist orientations and it has experienced a bloody civil war.
Clashes broke out between security forces and hundreds of Al-Azhar students on Sunday after the students tried to march on Rabaa al-Adaweya Square.
Hundreds of Al-Azhar University students had blocked Nasr Road calling for the return of ousted President Mohamed Morsy and the release of students who they say were arrested during the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in, Ramsis clashes and 6th October celebrations.
The protesting students chanted, "Morsy is my president" and "The Interior Ministry officers are thugs," waved the Rabaa al-Adaweya slogan and wore t-shirts featuring the same slogan. They also carried banners opposing the army, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib.
Meanwhile, dozens of Al-Azhar students at the Darrassa branch staged a protest to support Sisi and the 30 June revolution. They denounced the position taken by the students who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood and what they described as their call for violence. (Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm)
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib is the Grand Imam of al-Azhar. Tayyib belongs to al-Azhar’s more liberal and moderate wing... He was formerly rector of al-Azhar University in Cairo and received a doctorate in Islamic philosophy from the Sorbonne. During the Mubarak era, he was highly critical of the Muslim Brotherhood and its presence among students at al-Azhar.
After the uprising, Tayyib has been outspoken about the need for al-Azhar to remain independent of the government, especially in funding, and to renew its role as a major institution in the Islamic world.
He helped author the “Al-Azhar Document” attempting to resolve the controversy about supra-constitutional principles - the document called for a civil, democratic state preserving fundamental rights and liberties within an Islamic framework. He has also called for Egypt to support Hezbollah in Lebanon and establish strong relations with Iran and Turkey. (Source)
From (L-R front row) Foreign Ministers of France Laurent Fabius, Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal, Britain William Hague, US John Kerry and Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu, (Back L-R) Egyptian deputy foreign minister Egypt Hamdi Sanad Loza, German State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office Emily Haber, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Qatar's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah and Italy's deputy foreign minister Lapo Pistelli.
The 'Friends of Syria' group insist President Bashar Assad has no role in the country’s future government, pushing for his resignation as a pre-condition for their participation in the Geneva-2 peace talks. Assad “has no role in a democratic Syria,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after the meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group in London. ..The group pledged further support to the Syrian moderate opposition. They pushed the fractured opposition to take part in the peace conference, even though Assad has made clear he was not planning to step down and even sees no “obstacles to being nominated to run” in the next presidential poll.
For so long, the West boasted that it represented a free world, superior in terms of political and human rights principles and values – like democracy, which gives sovereignty to the people and recognizes their right to self-determination and their right to choose their own rulers through fair elections...
While the West showed commitment to these principles within its various states, its governments were removing regimes in third world countries whenever they felt their interests were not served, even if those regimes were legitimately elected in a perfectly democratic way, as happened in Chile, for example.
Indeed, the West did not hesitate to invade some countries under false pretenses, even in spite of United Nations decisions, as happened in Iraq, where more than a million people were killed, with several million more displaced, tearing the state apart and inciting a sectarian war.
As for human rights, the macabre inhuman practices in Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo prisons, and the kidnapping and torture of people in a number of countries contradict the West’s claim of respecting human rights.
Even worse, Western countries supported dictators and tyrants who crushed their people and plundered their wealth, and provided these rulers with weapons and instruments of torture, and perhaps even economic ‘aid’, for decades – so long as these rulers carried out their orders and executed their policies.
In Egypt, we set out on the path of democratic transformation. It became clear that the popular will – as expressed through all elections held in the country – tends to support Islamists and their approach, while "friends" of the West in Egypt failed in every election.
Evidently, the elected President of Egypt was endeavoring for freedom and independence for the county, for achieving self-sufficiency in food, medicine and weapons. He worked tirelessly to strengthen Egypt's relations with many countries around the world...
All these endeavors were perceived to be against the interests of the governments of the West, especially the US, and against their hegemony. Islam, freedom, independence and extended international relations are certainly hated by the West and America.
Ultimately, US President Barack Obama said that Egypt was no longer an ally of America. Then, Western governments went back to their old habits, trying to overthrow the regime....
No-one should think for one moment that we want the West to stand with or behind us. The truth is that we reject all foreign interference in the affairs of our country. We strive for freedom and independence from all foreign domination.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Cairo: October 20, 2013
Lattakia, (SANA)- A graduation ceremony for a new batch of the cadets of the Naval Academy was held Tuesday under the auspices of President Bashar al-Assad, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Armed Forces.
Representing President al-Assad, the Academy's Director stressed in a speech at the ceremony that the conspiracy hatched against the country will not undermine the will of the Syrian people thanks to their awareness and unity with the Armed Forces.
He called upon the graduates to do their best to enrich their knowledge and upgrade their experience and keep their pledge of defending the homeland and faithfully working for its security and dignity.
Last night in New York, Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire supporter of Israel, said that the U.S. should fire a nuclear weapon at Iran rather than negotiate.
Adelson, an 80-year-old casino mogul and major supporter of Mitt Romney and other Republican political candidates, made the comments in a dialogue with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach during a conversation called “Will Jews Exist? Iran, Assimilation and the Threat to Israel and Jewish Survival.”
Andelson: What are we going to negotiate about? I would say ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ ou pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’ And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. ...
Boreach: A tremendous demonstration of American strength?
Andelson: The only thing they understand.
Boteach: So you see the current negotiations as a demonstration of weakness?
Boteach: What are your feelings about “Obama speaking to Iran right now” and having diplomatic relations with Iran, given its threats against Israel? Not as a political person, but as a prominent American.
Adelson: The worst negotiating tactic I could ever imagine, my entire life.
Boteach: Why is that?
Adelson: Because you can’t get anything. He’s not saying to them, Roll back your entire program and show that you’re willing to be peaceful. So, roll it all back… and we’ll roll back the sanctions…. What is that, a game of chicken, who’s going to blink first?
“It’s the same thing with the Palestinians.” “Sixty-five years, they haven’t taken one millimeter step toward the Israelis, to accommodate the needs of the Israelis....”
The leaders of a movement for self-rule in oil-rich eastern Libyan unilaterally announced the formation of a shadow government, the latest challenge to the weakened central authority.
The announcement came several months after the movement, backed by some militias and local tribes, declared the eastern half of Libya to be an autonomous state, named Barqa, claiming broad self-rule powers and control over resources....
Barqa is the Islamic name for the historic region known as Cyrenaica, which was one of the three states of Libya that existed from 1934 to 1963. The other administrative divisions were Tripolitania, which included the Libyan capital, and Fezzan.
The tension between the central government and eastern militias and tribal leaders has already disrupted the exports of oil. Eastern militias earlier seized control of oil exporting terminals, robbing the country of its main revenue source.
Abd-Rabbo al-Barassi, the head of the newly declared Barqa government, said the aim is to improve distribution of resources and undermine the hold of the centralized system that has discriminated against their region.
It is not clear how much support the new autonomous government will have in the country’s east, though the movement’s leaders have seized control of important resources. Officials in the central government have threatened to use military action against any illegal or unauthorized shipment of oils.
Militias in eastern Libya have seized control of key oil infrastructure, launched their own government, and created their own army in a bid to improve their bargaining position as they demand semi-autonomy from the central government in Tripoli.
The groups (dubbed federalists) scorn the central government in Tripoli. They say it has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, and accuse it of funneling oil money to favored militias in the country and allies overseas. They also complain that Tripoli has failed to fairly distribute oil revenues and invest in infrastructure in the east.
“While politicians in Tripoli argue over the constitution and use militias to intimidate and kidnap one another, we have been working hard to improve our position,” says Osama Buera, a spokesperson for the armed groups in Libya’s eastern region, known as Cyrenaica.
“The international community must understand that when they (are) supporting [Prime Minister Ali Zeidan] and his government, they are actually supporting criminal Islamist groups – not a legitimate government,” he says. “As the chaos increases in Tripoli we are winning more support domestically and this needs to be recognized.”
The government's control is so weak that a militia with ties to the interior ministry kidnapped the Libyan prime minister earlier this month. One of the militiamen publicly claimed responsibility for the abduction, but he remains a free man.
The unilateral coercive economic measures against Syria have inflamed the crisis instead of extending a helping hand, left very bad impacts on the livelihood of the Syrians and increased their suffering, Syria 's permanent representative to the United Nations , Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said.
" These measures are a completion of backing terrorism and extremism approach," al-Jaafari on Thursday addressed the Economic and Financial Second Committee at the United Nations during discussing the item of issues related to macro-economic policies including international trade and development.
" Those countries and entities especially the so-called friends of Syria approved and implemented a series of unilateral economic, financial and commercial punitive and coercive measures without distinguishing between the government's establishments, private sector or ordinary citizens,"
He said: "despite knowing that the Syrian government and the private sector are responsible for the progress of the economic wheel and growth in Syria and for securing the livelihood and welfare of the Syrian people, they applied these unilateral coercive measures on a large number of establishments and governmental and private companies which invest in important civil vital sectors.
"Such measures violate the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter and resolutions and the rules of International Trade Law," he said.
Whilst the last decade has seen an unprecedented rise in wars waged openly by the US and NATO against various countries, governments and regimes, arguably another tool of war has been strengthened, that is equally devastating in its impact.
Economic sanctions are not new, however they have become a ‘peacetime’ weapon which has resulted and may possibly result in hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths and suffering on a larger scale.
The anomaly that economic sanctions raise is a startling one. Whilst illegal in war-time, and considered a violation of the Geneva Convention (e.g. the 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibit any wartime measure that has the effect of depriving a civilian population of objects indispensable to its survival..), in peace-time economic sanctions are perfectly valid, whether they result in huge loss of life or crippling economic loss...
Economic sanction can be defined as “coercive economic measures taken against one or more countries to force a change in policies, or at least to demonstrate a country’s opinion about the other’s policies”.
Economic sanctions help a state or group of states to further their foreign policy objectives by imposing harsh and punitive measures against an offending state.
Economic sanctions and human rights are essentially at odds, and it is extremely misguided to believe that sanctions will help improvements in human rights in the targeted countries. Instead, they are more likely to lead to deterioration in the lived experience of the vast majority of sanctioned peoples.
Economic sanctions run contrary to the spirit of human rights because they explicitly and implicitly expose the ordinary citizen of the sanctioned country to considerable suffering. The scale and gravity of the suffering amounts to collective punishment (the punishment of a group of people for the actions of one or more other individuals or groups).
Economic sanction imposed during peacetime may infringe following human rights: the right to life, health, an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing, housing and medical care, and freedom from hunger. There is a positive duty on all states to take these rights into consideration when developing a sanctions regime.
The IHRC feels that the prohibition to starve civilians, through the use of sanctions, during an armed conflict should also be prohibited in time of peace.
It makes no sense that something illegal during war is not only legal but a preferred tool to pursue aggressive foreign policy agendas in peace-time. It is time that international organizations addressed this issue
Former British Foreign Secretary and Labor MP Jack Straw made harsh statements during a British parliament debate last week, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. Listing the greatest obstacles to peace, Straw said that unlimited” funds available to Jewish organizations and AIPAC in the US are used to control and divert American policy in the region.
Straw, who served as foreign secretary in Tony Blair's government in 2001-2006, further claimed that Germany’s “obsession” with defending Israel was also a contributing factor to failure to achieve peace.
The former British official made the comments during the Round Table Global Diplomatic Forum in the British House of Commons. Also in attendance were former Israeli Knesset Member Einat Wilf and the Palestinian ambassador to London who accused Israel of "cultural genocide" and "ethnic cleansing."
"It was appalling to listen to Britain's former foreign secretary," Einat Wilf said .... "We're used to hearing groundless accusations from Palestinian envoys but I thought British diplomats, including former ones, were still capable of a measure of rational thought.
"Throughout the debate I reiterated that the origin of the conflict was the Arab and Palestinian unwillingness to accept the Jewish people's legitimate right to a state of their own, and that as long as that willingness is absent there will be no true solution."
A Jewish state or an Israeli democracy?
Shlomo Sand, Haaretz 26-9-2010
In the talks that appear to be taking place between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked his negotiating partner to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. One can understand the prime minister: A man so little observant of the Jewish religious tradition is unsure of his Jewish identity, hence his insecurity about the identity of his state - and the need to seek validation from our neighbors.
There's a wall-to-wall consensus, from Yisrael Beiteinu to Meretz, from enlightened journalists to learned professors, on Israel's definition as a Jewish state. But this definition strikingly resembles the definition of Iran as an Islamic republic or the United States as a Christian country.
True, some American evangelists believe that the United States' Christian character is at risk and seek to cement it in legislation. But the United States, like the rest of the enlightened world, still sees itself as belonging to all its citizens, regardless of religion and creed. ... The trouble is that the Zionist enterprise is far from satisfied with its creation and prefers to see it as a bastard. It prefers to cling to the idea of a Jewish people-race, profiting for now from its imaginary existence.
Israel’s choice: "Jewish only" or democratic?
Sonja Karkar, The Electronic Intifada, 25 April 2007
The time will have to come for Israel to declare its hand: is it “a state of the Jewish people throughout the world” as it defines itself, or a state of all its citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish?
So far Israel has managed to convince the Western world that it is the only democracy in the region, but neglects to add that this democracy works only for its Jewish citizens. This is the conundrum: Israel has been unable to reconcile what it says it is, with want it wants to be — democratic and exclusively Jewish.
All of Israel’s one million plus Palestinian residents — the survivors and descendants of the 1948 Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine — have long felt discriminated against, despite Israel paying lip-service to their democratic rights. ...
Israel’s Basic Law stops people from participating in elections if any party platform implies the “denial of the existence of the state of Israel as the state of Jewish people”.
Only recently, Israel’s Shin Bet (secret police) let it be known that it would “disrupt the activities of any groups that seek to change the Jewish or democratic character of Israel, even if they use legal means.” ...
The discourse has been taken up in the Palestinian public arena and now Israel is beginning to feel the same stirrings that finally exposed Apartheid South Africa for the racist state it was. It knows that sooner or later it will be forced to commit to being a “Jewish state only” or recognise the Palestinians as equal citizens and a national minority in their own land.
Already Palestinian intellectuals have drafted a document called The Democratic Constitution which envisages Israel as a multicultural democracy for the people living and born there....
He [Jack Straw] has been described before as ‘the decent man of politics’ and I ask why that should be seen as so unique in the world of elected politics.
He laughs: “I don’t know why people called me that because on the whole, people do get on and survive if they treat other people with respect and that doesn’t mean that I can’t be tough on people or get aerated, as they would say in Blackburn, but I do think you need to treat people with respect and also their arguments with respect."
"What is prejudice? The term literally means pre-judgment, or forming an opinion [..] without due examination...
A due examination is an honest and faithful endeavor, according to our ability, to know the truth as far as possible respecting all persons, doctrines, and subjects, into relation with which we may be brought.
A judgment formed after due examination, is a rational conclusion candidly deduced from the evidence before you.
Prejudice, then, being the contrary is the committing of the will to or against any given subject, at the bidding of mere constitutional impulse, or selfish consideration, regardless of the true weight of evidence.
Prejudice is an opinion assumed as true, not because the balance of evidence, honestly weighed, requires it, but because the mind wills to regard it in that particular light." (Samuel Cochran: "Truth in heart")
Renowned author Dr. Edward Herman spoke with the Voice of Russia's John Robles... Dr. Herman speaks about how the West, the CIA and NATO manipulate the media to demonize whoever they want to attack and how friends become evil enemies at the drop of a hat.
Herman: The standard procedure of the United States and the NATO powers is to demonize whoever they are going to go after.
So, Milosevic was made into a devil and the Serbs were made into an evil population. And of course the Bosnian Muslims loved that and latched onto that and they are still using it to achieve some of their aims. Countries finds it extremely difficult to throw off the burden of demonization and hatred by the West.
After we crushed Vietnam, we allegedly lost that war, but we damaged Vietnam horribly, we actually succeeded in maintaining an 18 year boycott of this victim to whom we ought to have been paying huge reparations. We actually should be paying gigantic reparations to Serbia for the illegal bombing war. But the West does this demonization and the demon charge hangs on.
When he was warring against Iran in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein was a friend of the United States and they actually provided him with weapons of mass destruction. And then he became worse than Hitler. But the media doesn’t stress this and avoid it, they ignore the fact that he was our ally and then the next day he is a demon....
The capability of the West and the media to manipulate facts, and the CIA to manipulate facts and demonize, and have an effective case against whomever we have demonized, it is amazing how the West does this.
* The very essence of the Gospel is the rejection of revenge. That was the great difference between the Church and the Synagogue, the two sisters born two thousand years ago. This built-in difference is the inherent feature of the schism between the two faiths: while Christians are called to pray for their enemies, Jews are supposed to dream of vengeance.
* Judeo-American discourse inherited the demonisation idea from its Jewish predecessor. Introduction of fury, hatred and vengefulness into a discussion of the adversary is a potent traditional Jewish ideological weapon. It is never turned on inside the community, but used outside of it.
In the struggle of ideas, there is a formidable weapon of mass destruction: demonisation of the opponent. Theologically it is called the ‘Manichean’ heresy. There is no better systemic weapon if you intend to destroy society. One should not divide people unto Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness.
Jews usually are quite tolerant of ideas produced within the community. The founder of Zionism Theodor Hertzl was anything but a pious Jew. Religious Jews greatly disliked him. Still, when a Rabbi was asked to say something good about him, he found good words: Theodor Hertzl never spoke on mundane subjects in a synagogue, never entered a toilet while wearing phylacteries, he never studied the Talmud on Christmas Eve. The truth is that Hertzl never visited a synagogue, never wore phylacteries, never studied the Talmud, full stop.
In a similar vein, Jews were quite tolerant of Leon Trotsky the Communist, and of Yair Stern the Nazi supporter, for they knew that every idea has its positive elements....
But to the outside world, Jews usually offered the idea of the eternally blessed vs. the eternally damned, of seething rage, of anger and vengeance. In order to restore the balance of mind, Jewish internal tolerance should be universalised, and Jewish external intolerance rejected.
Judeo-American thought keeps producing intolerance for external consumption. Ronald Reagan called Russia, ‘the Evil Empire’. Bush called Saddam Hussein, ‘Hitler’. Barbara Amiel, wife and guiding light of the media magnate Lord Black, remarked that now, Israel and the Jews are presented as an Evil Empire.
Wrong, Ms Amiel: there are no Evil Empires, only unchecked ones.
Soviet Russia was not an Evil Empire, nor was Communism embodied in Stalin and the Gulag. Sholokhov, Block, Pasternak, Esenin, Mayakovsky and Deineka embraced the Revolution and expressed its ideas in art. It was a land of the great and partly successful experiment in equality and brotherhood of Man, of a brave attempt to defeat the spirit of Greed. Communists and their supporters tried to liberate labour, [..] to remove poverty and free the human spirit. Communism brought forth the social democracy of Europe.
Germany was not an Evil Empire, nor was the spirit of organic traditionalism embodied in Hitler and Auschwitz. The Traditionalists tried to establish an alternative paradigm based on Wagner, Nietzsche and Hegel, to go to the roots and traditions of the folk. Not in vain, the best writers and thinkers of Europe from Knut Hamsun to Louis Ferdinand Celine to Ezra Pound to William Butler Yeats to Heidegger saw a positive element in the Traditionalist organic approach.
If Russia and Germany had not been demonised, it is quite possible we would not have seen them coming to such extremes.
We should not demonise their opponents, either. America is not an Evil Empire. It can and should be brought to its senses. The American spirit of entrepreneurship, invention, self-reliance, unbridled freedom and democracy should be kept as all-human valuable assets.
The Jewish People are not an Evil Empire. Good organisers and ambassadors, stubborn and devout, easily carried away, high-strung, first-class thinkers and brave soldiers; Jews are needed for the prosperity of mankind.
We have to restore the balance of mind and discourse lost in the aftermath of the World War Two, due to the too-complete victory of the bourgeois ‘Judeo-American’ thought. While condemning excesses and war crimes, we should regain the kingdom of the spirit from Mayakovsky to Pound. There are no evil men, we are created in the image of God, and all ideas are needed to produce new thought....
Thus, we should look for a synthesis of the four tendencies: the organic native love of nature, local roots and tradition, social communal justice for all mankind, love of life and entrepreneurship; and spirituality.
Presidential Political and Media Advisor, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban underlined the necessity of according care to the culture and science and shaping public opinion despite the circumstances triggered by the crisis in Syria.
Dr. Shaaban was speaking during al-Baath Forum for Dialogue organized by the Damascus branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party titled ''the Dilemma of the Syrian Intellectual amid Crisis".
''Difference is healthy and useful for analyzing problems, address shortcomings and initiate reconstruction after the crisis ends.''
Shaaban called for creating objective conditions that help the intellectual play his role, as the Arab world is witnessing '' a terrifying cultural decline''.
Dr. Shaaban saw that the crisis, in one of its dimensions, is one of culture, intellect, knowledge and opinion, pointing out that the Gulf States have played a negative role in the Arab culture in recent decades.
For his part, Dr. Khalaf al-Miftah, member of the Regional Leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party underlined the importance of the forum in implementing an awareness-raising, educational intellectual plan that influences shaping public opinion.
He also said the role of the intellectual is focused on effecting change in society, to face the cultures trying to return the Arab societies to the past.
Head of National Initiative for the Syrian Kurds Omar Osi pointed out that the intellectuals have failed to do what ought to be done during the crisis, indicating that some drama makers have gone against the will of the sweeping majority of the Syrian people..
The participants focused on the importance of building a cultural project that stands up to the scheme targeting the region... The coming phase requires building a culture of citizenship and national character, the participants pointed out, stressing that the scheme that has been concocted against the region started with the cultural invasion and the deconstruction of the cultural structures of societies.
A majority of the committee tasked with amending the suspended 2012 constitution has voted to revise article 47, which guarantees the free exercise of religion for all citizens, committee media spokesperson Mohamed Salmawy said.
Article 47, which was first drafted by a ten-member technical committee in August, now reads "Freedom of belief is guaranteed. The state guarantees freedom of religious practice, and facilitates the building of places of worship for the Abrahamic traditions, as regulated by law."
According to Salmawy, the 50-member committee proposed on Sunday evening to amend the article's text to state "the state guarantees absolute freedom of religious practice."
In addition, Salmawy added, changes may be made to clarify that "freedom of religious practice is guaranteed in an absolute way, even for those who do not follow the three Abrahamic religions, and that the state facilitates the construction of places of worship for all."
Salmawy noted that most committee members agree that Islam grants absolute freedom for all religions, citing the Prophet Mohamed who said "We are not entitled to open the hearts of others to know what their beliefs are." As such, the committee argues that the new constitution must give all citizens the right to practice religion in an absolute sense.
Salmawy vehemently denied that the constitutional committee has opened discussion on article 219, which was drafted in 2012 under an Islamist-dominated constituent assembly with the intention to limit the definition of Islamic Sharia.
According to Salmawy, the ten-member technical committee had already removed article 219 before submitting the draft constitution to the 50-member committee for amendment....
Mohamed Abul-Ghar, chairman of the liberal Egyptian Social Democratic Party, told correspondents that article 219 goes against religious freedom and aims to impose a strict code of Islam on the Egyptian society.
Committee chairman Amr Moussa told an Algerian newspaper on Sunday that "the final decision on article 219 will be left to a vote on the constitution at the end of November."
TEHRAN (FNA)- Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said that the US is "seriously thinking about opening channels with Damascus" following his meeting with UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus on Tuesday.
Haidar, however, added that "it is too early to talk about that, especially since the US has not ceased supporting the opposition politically and in the media," Russia Today quoted him as saying in a press conference.
Haidar’s comments came the same day Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sacked Deputy Premier Qadri Jameel for conducting unauthorized meetings abroad, an implicit reference to Jameel’s meeting with US point man for Syria Robert Ford on Saturday to discuss proposed Geneva peace talks.
The Syrian Minister rejected Brahimi's suggestion to unite the Syrian opposition's representatives in Geneva II because the internal opposing factions have radical differences with the coalition which has set preconditions to attend the conference.
TEHRAN (FNA)- It is no longer possible to conceal the obvious. The West, in its attempts to remove Bashar al-Asad from power during the years of the war in Syria, has nurtured a force so sinister that its tentacles are now reaching to the Western capitals themselves. Al-Qaeda is at the peak of its influence in the Middle East.
In Somalia, the group al-Shabaab has announced its complete merger with this organization. In Libya its members unceremoniously arrested the prime minister, and then let him go. In Yemen al-Qaeda essentially rules entire provinces. In Syria itself, no other serious forces remain which are fighting against the regime... At any moment the question ought to arise as to how all this could happen....
In this respect it is worth noting an article published recently in The Wall Street Journal, where Turkey, and more specifically the head of the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) Hakan Fidan, who is called the main acting force in organizing the rebellion against the Syrian regime, were “appointed” as the main culprits in the renaissance of al-Qaeda...
The article makes it clear that Washington considers Fidan the author of Turkey's national security policy, and is not pleased that it is “sometimes counter to [the interests] of the US”.
The Americans say that under Fidan's leadership the MIT acted like a “traffic cop” that let weapons and reinforcements through border checkpoints to the Syrian rebels. But the moderate opposition claims that from the first the main shipments went not to them, but to the Islamists. It was stated that in May during Erdogan's visit to Washington, at a meeting at which Fidan was also present, B. Obama criticized the Turks for sending arms “to the wrong rebels, including anti-Western jihadists”.
Turkish analysts believe that the article in the WSJ is aimed not only against Hakan Fidan, but indirectly against Erdogan himself; both are presented as the main culprits in the rise of al-Qaeda. ...
The policy Ankara has conducted in recent years with regard to Syria also has become a threat to Turkey itself. ... Turkey has no immunity from the spread of radicalism. According to some estimates, there are already over 500 young Turks fighting in Syria. Al-Qaeda cells on Turkish territory are actively recruiting young members. For them Ankara is but a temporary ally; Erdogan's regime is “too moderate” for them to acknowledge as legitimate. ... (Dmitry Minin - Strategic Culture Foundation, 19 Oct 2013).
President Obama and John Kerry met with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Turkish intelligence chief Fidan, second and third from left, in May. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Mr. Fidan is one of three spy chiefs jostling to help their countries fill a leadership vacuum created by the upheaval and by America's tentative approach to much of the region.
One of his counterparts is Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, who has joined forces with the Central Intelligence Agency in Syria but who has complicated U.S. policy in Egypt by supporting a military takeover there. The other is Iran's Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander-in-chief of the Quds Forces, the branch of the elite Revolutionary Guard Corps that operates outside of Iran and whose direct military support for Mr. Assad has helped keep him in power.
Mr. Fidan's anti-Assad campaign harks to August 2011, when Mr. Erdogan called for Mr. Assad to step down. Mr. Fidan later started directing a secret effort to bolster rebel capabilities by allowing arms, money and logistical support to funnel into northern Syria—including arms from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf allies—current and former U.S. officials say.
Mr. Erdogan wanted to remove Mr. Assad not only to replace a hostile regime on Turkey's borders but also to scuttle the prospect of a Kurdish state emerging from Syria's oil-rich northeast, political analysts say. ...
In meetings with American officials and Syrian opposition leaders, Turkish officials said the threat posed by Jabhat al Nusra, the anti-Assad group, could be dealt with later...
Putin: "a medieval crusade"
by Lidia Okorokova at 28/04/2011
Russia toughened its opposition to Western military intervention in Libya this week as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin deployed his strongest criticism yet of NATO airstrikes in the country.
On Tuesday, speaking during a news conference in Copenhagen, Putin said the North African country was being illegally destroyed by “so-called civilised societies” and that NATO was going beyond the UN mandate when it dropped guided bombs on embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli....
On Wednesday, this time in Swedish capital Stockholm, Putin kept up his barrage of criticism, saying that he was “dumbfounded” over how easily decisions were being made to use force against countries. Putin said “this happens despite human rights and humanity concerns which the civilised world is believed to advocate."
"Don’t you think that there is a serious controversy between words and practice of international relations?” he said, adding that this “imbalance” should be eliminated. (Moscow News 2011)
Kucinich: NATO Not Exempt From Law
John Glaser, August 23, 2011
NATO commanders who authorized the bombing of Libya should be “held accountable” to international law and hauled before the world court for civilian deaths, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Tuesday.
“NATO’s top commanders may have acted under color of international law, but they are not exempt from international law,” Kucinich said in a statement released by his office. “If members of the Qadhafi regime are to be held accountable, NATO’s top commanders must also be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from bombing. Otherwise, we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism.”
Kucinich argued that NATO’s failure to keep to the initial UN mandate of protecting civilians also warrants investigation. ... “Did the United States at the inception of the war against Libya align itself with elements of Al Qaeda, while elsewhere continuing to use the threat of Al Qaeda as a reason for U.S. military intervention, presence and occupation?” (antiwar.com 2011)
Saddam's Death 11
15-3-2013: Euronews spoke to Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary General of Human Rights Council in Iran, and top advisor to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.
Larijani lamented the fact that the United Nations has appointed a special rapporteur on human rights for Iran. He criticized Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, saying he is using terrorists as his sources of reports about human rights situation in Iran.
“The situation of human rights is such that the UN special rapporteur is mentioning notorious terrorists such as Rigi, Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, and PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan), who have Iranian people’s blood on their hands, as advocates of human rights.”
This approach has come as a blow to the UN and shows that the human rights issue has been distanced from its major goal, Larijani commented.
A senior Iranian Sunni cleric says foreign-backed Takfiri militants operating inside Syria are spreading Islamophobia across the world, Press TV reports.
In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi described the militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as “extremist deviants.”
"By resorting to violence and extremism, not only do Takfiri insurgents stir hatred within the Muslim world but they also turn non-Muslims against Muslims," he said.
The cleric said these groups seek to monopolize Islam by categorizing everyone else as non-believers. He further called on all Takfiri groups to accept rationalism and the true teachings of Islam, and renounce violence and extremism.
Almuslih (Arabic for 'The Reformer') aims to maximize the exposure and distribution of journalism and analyses promoting progressive thought in the Arab Middle East and the Muslim world.
There are many who have promoted the scourge of conformity as something that is socially advantageous, while it actually constitutes calcification, that is, a conformity even with natural, societal or political phenomena that are harmful to mankind.
It is philosophy alone that rescues mankind from this scourge. Religious institutions, on the other hand, consistently promote this conformity, for the believer of whatever religion sees his faith as absolutely true, whereas other faiths are absolutely false. Moreover, within one religion a plurality of denominations vie with each other, each faction raising the flag of its own rightness and the error of the others.
Thus the followers of religions and of their various denominations have brought about the phenomenon of ‘psychological ghettos’ – despite the fact that they live in a single society – since they refuse to adopt a philosophical mindset founded upon the rejection of fixed certainties, and the re-examination of inherited cultural values.
Nor do they consider to what extent their culture is in harmony with the concept of freedom whose pillars were set down by the philosophers on the basis of the separation between the religious belief of a person (that is, his individual freedom) and the imposition of his faith and denomination upon others.
Had this separation been achieved, we would now be avoiding the current disaster of religion being crammed into politics, economy, science and literature.
The true beginning of the emergence of philosophy was the human mind’s ability to employ the quality of wonder. For it was wonder that gave birth to the love of questioning and thus set the path towards demolishing conformity. .... While philosophy insists upon establishing the pillars of relativism, religions work towards the establishment of absolutes.
With respect to this absoluteness we find the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) adopting similar positions concerning womankind. In antiquity we have Genesis III,17: “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you”, and in the New Testament we have Peter I,3: “You married women, be submissive to your own husbands” and in the latest (Islamic) period (as the late Bayyumi Qandil termed it) we have: “men are a degree above them” [Qur’an II,228], with one man equal to two women in bearing witness and, in matters of inheritance, “to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females” [Qur’an IV,11]....
So we see that the Abrahamic faiths deal with women on the basis of an absolute position, rather than the relative position that philosophy calls for.
While the language used by the philosophers among themselves is one of objective criticism – something which led over generations to the development of philosophical schools – the language of takfir is the weapon of a writer who relies upon religious authority.
The Arabs have never produced a philosopher in the proper scientific meaning of the term, not even in the person of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) whom the Arabs class as a philosopher despite his attempts to harmonise faith with philosophy. Evidence of this is the way that the Muslim religious priesthood held all philosophers to be zindiqs while others, more charitably, wrote them off as ‘short sighted’.
"They have set up their religious leaders and scholars as lords, instead of GOD. Others deified the Messiah, son of Mary. They were all commanded to worship only one god. There is no god except He. Be He glorified, high above having any partners. Quran, Al-Tawba 31
Philosophical reflection differs greatly from religious reflection. In philosophical reflection you find nothing that is considered the subject of worship, or any area or any specific image that is sacralized. Philosophy alone sets us off from the barbarous, savage folk.
The civilisation and cultural level of a people is in direct proportion to how far sound philosophizing is distributed in it. A man who lives without engaging in philosophy is like one who keeps his eyes shut, making no attempt to open them.
I believe that this metaphorical shutting of the eyes inflicts a severe anaemia upon the ability to experience the wonder that the true philosopher enjoys, and from which questions on the nature of existence become generated. Aristotle was right when he wisely remarked:
It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize.