Israeli academia outraged at new ethical code
Iran more dangerous than ISIS?
International Quds Day is an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism, as well as Israel's control of Eastern Jerusalem.
The Pentagon issued a statement saying its presence in Syria is necessary because the Syrian government is not strong enough to defeat ISIS on its own.
Even if true that the Syrian military is weakened, its weakness is due to six years of US-sponsored rebels fighting to overthrow it!
What is this really all about? Why does the US military occupy this base inside Syria? It’s partly about preventing the Syrians and Iraqis from working together to fight ISIS, but I think it’s mostly about Iran. If the Syrians and Iraqis join up to fight ISIS with the help of Iranian-allied Shia militia, the US believes it will strengthen Iran’s hand in the region.
But is this policy really in our interest, or are we just doing the bidding of our Middle East “allies,” who seem desperate for war with Iran?
Iran is not perfect, but does it make any sense to jump into the Sunni/Shia conflict on either side? The Syrians, along with their Russian and Iranian allies, are defeating ISIS and al-Qaeda. As candidate Trump said, what’s so bad about that?
We were told that if the Syrian government was allowed to liberate Aleppo from al-Qaeda, Assad would kill thousands who were trapped there. But the opposite has happened: life is returning to normal in Aleppo.
The Christian minority there celebrated Easter for the first time in several years. They are rebuilding. Can’t we finally just leave the Syrians alone?
liberated aleppo 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he would seek to push forward ever more stringent regulations of foreign funding of Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations) , a move that has been denounced as the latest attempt to stifle human rights organizations in Israel.
Israel’s leading newspaper is a freebie to its readers, funded by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson and faithfully parroting the Likud line. Forward 2015
Netanyahu’s announcement on Sunday came on the same day as he called for the dismantlement of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) -- the UN agency responsible for providing services to more than five million Palestinian refugees across the occupied Palestinian territory and the Middle East.
A look at the financial statements of right-wing groups shows that what they raise from private donors, mainly Jews living overseas, far exceeds what left-groups manage to raise from foreign governments. At the same time, right-wing groups are far less transparent than their left-wing rivals.
In 2008, for instance, Elad, which is apparently the wealthiest of the right-wing groups, received NIS 47 million in donations and had a budget of NIS 57 million.
By comparison, the budgets of the seven largest left-wing organizations - Peace Now, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Ir Amim, B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din and Physicians for Human Rights - came to NIS 37 million combined. Most of the left-wing groups' money came from foreign governments. Elad, in addition to donations, also earns revenues from its franchise to run the City of David national park, which is one of its two main occupations. The other is settling Jews in East Jerusalem.
But the names of Elad's donors are unknown to the public because the group obtained a special permit from the Registrar of Associations to refrain from publishing them. Elad argued that publishing the names would hurt both the donors and the organization...
One factor contributing to right-wing groups' lack of transparency is that organizations engaged in Jewish settlement all have various subsidiaries and affiliates, often registered in tax shelters such as the Marshall Islands or even Liberia. They say this is necessary to protect the identity of the Palestinians who sell land to them.... Nevertheless, it makes their financing much harder to monitor.
Naftali Bennett, Bayit Yehudi leader, explained the essence of the peace that he and the rightists are hoping for: Peace, the education minister clarified, is the absence of war. That is, of course, true.
“Peace of the rightists,” he added, “is peace that stems from strength.” There is no doubt about that either.
However, when the side signing an agreement is powerless, the agreement is a surrender agreement, not a peace agreement.
In Bennett’s world the other side has no power, it even doesn’t exist.
We will determine the outlines of the coexistence according to our demographic, security and cultural need. We will determine the borders of the Palestinians' autonomy and, of course, the borders of the state and, as a result, the borders of the Palestinian “entity.”
If we are strong enough, the other side will be forced to accept this dictation. Peace, in other words, is not a move in which we recognize the other and try to get the other to agree, but peace is a one-sided move which exclusively reflects our needs.
There is something very appealing in this narcissist perception of coexistence. If I can set out the rules myself, why should I consider your needs?
Throughout the course of history, world powers have always tried to treat weak forces that way. They dictated conditions, and the weak side signed. Peace of the rightists.
On the other hand, if there is anything history teaches us, it’s that the discussed arrangement (I’ll dictate and you’ll sign) is full of problems. Even large empires have discovered, unfortunately, that humiliated and irritated signatories, signatories who accept a win-lose agreement with gnashing of teeth, turn to unpleasant measures to express their dissatisfaction.
Aviad Kleinberg is Professor of History at Tel Aviv University and the author of Prophets in Their Own Country: Living Saints and the Making of Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages.
On June 9, a group of PKK terrorists in the eastern Turkish city of Kozluk-Batman loaded a stolen vehicle with explosives, fired shots at mayor Veysi Işık's automobile and detonated the car bomb near a gendarmerie checkpoint.
The PKK's latest terror attack was hardly covered by the international media.
With the exception of Daily Sabah and a handful of Turkey-based English-language news outlets, the world ignored the tragic death of a young girl because it didn't fit the narrative about the PKK or its Syrian franchise, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
Nor did we see any statements of condemnation or expressions of sympathy from those who miss no opportunity to whitewash the PKK and preach to Turkey about the virtues of dialogue and negotiation in the fight against terrorism...
This is another reminder of the fact that we live in an age of terrorism and hypocrisy with double standards we have hardly seen anywhere else in recent history.
Flashback 2012: Diplomats Fault Syrian Govt for Getting Itself Bombed
A massive bombing tears through the capital city of a major nation, destroying a massive government building and killing scores of innocent civilians nearby. Hundreds of others are wounded, some gravely.
The announcement that Saif Al Islam, the second son of Muammar Qaddafi, is out of jail came as no surprise to those who have been following the political twists in chaotic Libya.
In fact, he was released, however partially, in April 2016 when his lawyer Karim Khan confirmed that he had been freed from jail but would be staying in Zintan with little restriction on his movements.
Neither the battalion nor the lawyer revealed where the free young Qaddafi is now...
Regardless of where he will stay, the important question is what role he is likely to play in the war-ravaged country.
He still commands respect and support among large groups of Libyans, particularly those who supported his father in the civil war in 2011, most notably among people in Bani Walid, Sebha, Tarhouna and many other places.
This explains the celebrations that erupted right after news of his release spread. His own tribe is a long time ally of Warfalla, Libya’s largest.
In terms of tribal structure, he is positioned to be the most preferred representative of the victims of those who have been killed, displaced and imprisoned since 2011.
In the cultural tribal setting this is known as "next of kin", whereby the person representing such people has the consent of all tribes represented to forgive crimes and to help national reconciliation.
Given the fact that the UN-brokered Government of National Accord has failed to make any tangible progress in terms of security, stability and economic well-being, Saif Al Islam becomes something of a credible alternative.
Whatever the shifting political sands of Libya will reveal, there is no doubt that this new player has entered the scene with significant public support.
However hard it is to reconcile this statement, some Libyans, who have suffered for the last six years now, see him as the future.
ICC chief prosecutor demands handover of Saif Al-Islam
A tool of global power politics
Syria’s new military-political realties create conditions for the final defeat of the terrorist groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, outlawed in Russia, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing.
"Syria’s armed forces have completed the first phase of a large-scale operation in the Syrian desert," she said. "Government forces have approached the Iraqi border."
"There is the certainty the new realities create conditions for the ultimate defeat of the Islamic State and Nusra," she added.
"Apparently, government forces might have achieved far more impressive results on this track, but the US air raids intervened," Zakharova stated.
Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General Othman Al-Ghanimi discussed with a high-level delegation from the Syrian Ministry of Defense coordination and security cooperation between the two brotherly countries.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Defense said that "Al-Ghanimi received, yesterday evening, the head of the operations department in the Syrian Ministry of Defense and his accompanying delegation, and discussed with them a number of vital issues:
[Both countries have] a common enemy, which is represented by Daesh, and its elimination requires more cooperation and coordination and the exchange of intelligence information.
Border control by the forces of the Iraqi and Syrian armies is needed to maintain continued pressure on the terrorist enemy and a joint operations center has to be established."
The meeting discussed the latest military developments in Mosul and also on the Syrian side.
For his part, the head of the Syrian operations authority praised the victories of the Iraqi army in Mosul and he stressed the strength of the relationship between the two brotherly countries.
Abu Dhabi mosque renamed ‘Mary, mother of Jesus’ in harmony bid
Quran 5:110: O Jesus the son of Mary!
''THE BOOK', as mentioned in the Quran, is NOT the Quran, but a term that refers to the religious scriptures of the Jews, the Roman Christians (after the 325 Nicea council) and the Gnostic Christians (before 325).
The Quran was created by followers of Muhammad after his death (8 june 632 CE).
Calling the Quran 'the Book of God' is a form of blasphemy. The Quran is a product of human beings, based on Mohammed's 'conversations' with the angel Gabriel, who visited him during dreams and visions.
Angels - like humans - are created by a creator. You cannot call them 'Gods'...
The Quran is utterly clear in that matter:
Don't call anyone or anything 'God'. Don't be a divider, but defend (like the prophets did) divine values, like compassion, mercy, freedom, equality and brotherhood...
The Quran is not written down by Muhammad. It is the revealed spoken word, that was preserved by memorization.
At different times in Muhammed's life the recitations would come to him; he would then repeat what he had heard and these would be memorized by certain people trained in remembering verses; some of these verses were written down on whatever was at hand. All these writings were collected in the caliphate of 'Uthman and the canonical text was established around 650 A.D.
Read also: The Curse of the Law
Syria 2012: Salafist rebels, enemies of divine values, and Syrian soldiers
Saudi cleric, ‘Abdullah Al-Muhaysini, was the target of an assassination attempt in the Idlib Governorate, opposition channels claimed this afternoon.
According to local accounts, a suicide attack targeted Muhaysni’s personal vehicle in front of the Abi Zar Mosque following Friday’s prayers.
While Muhaysni escaped the assassination attempt, his bodyguard was killed in the explosion.
Friday’s assassination attempt on Muhaysni’s life marks the second time in two weeks that he has been targeted by unknown assailants in the Idlib Governorate.
Flashback 2013: Saudi cleric endorses Islamic Front,
Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked about whether or not the Trump Administration’s policy is one of trying to impose regime change on Iran.
While Tillerson insisted that the specifics of administration policy on Iran are still under development, he did confirm that the goal remains regime change.
Exactly how they expect to pull that off remains to be seen, but Tillerson said the US policy as it stands is to rely on “elements inside of Iran” who can be supported toward the end goal of regime change, with the hope it would be a “peaceful transition of that government.”
That’s unlikely, as to the extent US officials have shown interest in supporting “elements” in Iran at all, it’s groups with long-standing links to terrorism like the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK).
The actual reformists within Iran’s political system tend to be vilified by the US, and even when they do take power, as they have now, US hostility tends to undermine their ability to normalize ties with the West.
Catherine Shakdam: Axis of Resistance
Bashar al-Assad 2010: "Terrorist might belong to different countries and the national framework differs. In Syria it's a Syrian framework, and in Turkey it's a Turkish framework but the principles are identical, so the coordination between us and Turkey in this issue is of great importance to define one framework or similar framework." presidentassad.net, 11-10-2010
In late 2016, Russia, Iran and Turkey brokered a ceasefire in Syria using political and military means.
In January 2017 Russia initiated the first meeting between representatives of the Syrian authorities and opposition members, which took place in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana. After that, Astana hosted intra-Syrian talks in February, March and May.
On May 4, the guarantor countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey) signed a memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones in Syria.
Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim, co-president of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said that since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution the PYD has supported the people, but did not back the Syrian government nor the Syrian opposition.
“We have no relations with Iran, and Iran’s policy is no different from that of the Syrian regime on the Kurdish issue, which is hostile to the Kurds’ fundamental rights,” he told the Saudi Riyadh news site.
“They fear that the Kurds will gain their rights in Syria, and the Iranian and Syrian regime have the same position [on the Kurds],” he said.
Moreover, the official said there is an Iranian-Qatari-Turkish alliance to undermine the Kurds. ...
The PYD official said that while Turkey is the executer, Qatar is the financier of the policy to undermine the Kurds in Syria.
“This alliance with it’s tools is dangerous for all the people of the Middle East, and for all the humanity,” he said.
Since as long as anyone can remember, policymakers in Washington avoided supporting the Kurds’ political aspirations for independence. In many cases Washington refused to even support Kurdish demands for substantive autonomy in Turkey, Iraq, Iran or Syria...
American policy continued, until very recently, to keep its distance from the Kurds.
Regarding Iraq, the “One Iraq Policy” mantra was repeated by American officials so often that everyone tired of the broken record. In Iran, the Americans avoided supporting Kurdish rebels as well.. In Syria, the Americans seemed blind to the Kurds’ presence – at least until events of the last few years forced their eyes open...
Iraq and Syria are failed states, Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in numerous proxy wars, Islamist radicals are popping up everywhere, Lebanon is perpetually on the brink of collapse, and Turkey is fighting a 33 year old insurgency by razing Kurdish cities to the ground...
A pro-Western, independent South Kurdistan might actually inject a bit of sanity into the whole fiasco of a region, especially if clear American backing prevented any military attempts to squash it at birth.
The point is simple – the Kurds can make good allies for America rather than the kind of ‘frenemy” that seems to characterize every American relationship in the region save that with Israel.
What’s more, the Kurds can hold their own militarily with just a fraction of the support given to actors such as the Iraqi army.
Flashback: Sisi against Iraqi Kurd secession
Netanyahu: God is a Right Wing Nationalist
Einstein: "I call it cosmic religious feeling"
When ideology is sufficiently strong, moral and convincing, it needs no academic ethical code or cultural commissars. It is capable of defending itself.
But as a government loses ethical and ideological legitimacy, its ideological infrastructure turns into a house of cards: Every critical gust of wind threatens to bring it down, which is why it must defend itself through radical measures like censorship and persecution. Because only when you can no longer defend your actions with words, you are forced to take action to silence the words.
Albert Einstein's Paradigm Shift:
"Cosmic religious feeling...is very difficult to explain...to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it..."
"The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it.
Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints.."
(Lecture on "Religion and Science" in The World as I See It, p. 27)
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:20 P.M.) – Information emerged on the network claiming that one of the largest Syrian islamist groups, Ahrar Al-Sham, signed ceasefire agreements with Syrian government with the help of Russian mediators in 4 different regions of the country.
Ahrar Al-Sham, being a Syrian offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood movement, has been under direct influence of Qatar since the beginning of the Syrian war.
Therefore, some analysts believe this recent development echoes what is currently happening in the Persian Gulf region where Qatar has ended up in partial diplomatic and isolation after Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other former allies broke relations with the tiny Gulf nation on the charges of sponsoring terrorist organizations.
In the meantime, Ahrar Al-Sham has published a statement that strongly denies information about any agreement settled with Syrian authorities.
However, several pro-Syrian opposition sources believe that Ahrar Al-Sham leadership merely wants to keep this kind of information confidential, and that the group has already stopped fighting against Syrian Army in a number of areas.
Flashback: The Call for Jihad
DAMASCUS, SYRIA – Russia is halting cooperation with the US forces regarding the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria after the US shot down a Syrian fighter jet west of Raqqa yesterday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the US side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria and demands that the US command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken,” the statement released by the MoD reads.
The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria’s airspace is a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty.
The US’ repeated combat operations under the guise of ‘combating terrorism’ against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-state are a flagrant violation of international law, in addition to being actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic," the ministry said.
According to the ministry, at the moment the Syrian warplane was hit by the US fighter, Russia’s Aerospace Forces were carrying out missions in Syria’s airspace;
"However, the coalition command did not use the existing communication line between the air commands of Al Udeid Air Base (Qatar) and Khmeimim Air Base to prevent incidents in Syria’s airspace."
Russia will regard any flights within the area of its air force group's operation in Syria as legitimate targets, the ministry stressed.
In two letters sent to the UN Secretary General and the President of Security Council on Monday, the Ministry said that the US and its illegal alliance have revealed their real face and the underhanded goal they seek to achieve in Syria when they committed a new crime on June 18th 2017 by intentionally shooting down a Syrian Air Force aircraft while it was carrying out a combatant mission against ISIS terrorist organization on Syrian territory.
The letters stressed that it is shameful that the United States justified its terrible act by promoting open lies through official statements that are far from the truth, particularly since the Syrian fighter plane fell in an area close to al-Rasafa area which is controlled by ISIS, contrary to what the American side claimed, as the pilot was seen parachuting in areas controlled by ISIS terrorists.
The letters went on to say that as Syria condemns this aggression, it calls on the Security Council to break its silence and condemn these cowardly and reckless military actions, particularly as they are carried out by an illegal coalition, adding that this blatant US aggression can only be seen as a violation of Security Council resolutions on combating terrorism, the sovereignty and independence of the Syrian Arab Republic, international law, and the UN Charter.
Might is Right
It perhaps should go without saying that under international law the Syrian government has the right to operate inside Syrian airspace and that the U.S. military has no legal right to have personnel inside Syria (since they lack the Syrian government’s permission) let alone to attack the Syrian military or its allied forces.
Another curious feature about this situation is that the U.S. mainstream media sees nothing illegal or unusual about the U.S. military operating inside another country uninvited and shooting down government aircraft.
That assumption that the U.S. military has the right to intervene in any conflict of its choosing was reflected in the decision by the Times and Post to minimize coverage of the shoot-down of the Syrian bomber and accept uncritically the Pentagon’s explanation that the shoot-down was in response to Syrian government attacks on U.S.-backed forces. (Consortium News, 19-6-2017)
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, is governed by an apocalyptic radical Islamic regime and is expanding its presence and influence across the Middle East by the use of intimidation, aggression and terrorism.
Still, many in the West have been eager to re-engage with Iran in terms of trade and sanctions relief.
Fortunately, thanks to a new administration in the White House and a renewed sense of urgency among the Sunni Arab states, the Iranian threat is back at the top of the international agenda.
The regime that controls Iran with an iron fist, led by Ayatollah Khamenei, is guided by the Shi’ite version of Islamism. Islamism is a political ideology with roots in Muslim scriptures that calls for the destruction of Western society and the establishment of Sharia law (Islamic law) worldwide.
Many within Shi’ite Islam believe that when the world is on the verge of destruction the Twelfth Imam, the Shi’ite messiah, will suddenly return to rule the world through a worldwide Islamic caliphate...
For Ayatollah Khamenei and many other leaders in Iran, this religious prophecy is not just about faith but rather their main guide when it comes to implementing policy... This prophecy is so deep-rooted in Iranian culture that their leaders have stated publicly that they are willing to let millions of their own people die in order to fulfill it...
Aside from downplaying the Iranian regime’s ideology, most Western countries have yet to realize the severity of the threat that Iran poses and instead focus on the much less significant threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS).
While their ideologies are very similar, the capabilities of ISIS pale in comparison to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Those in the West who believe that engagement with Iran will lead to moderation fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the regime...
Moreover, the West is not sufficiently alarmed by Iran’s repeated threats to wipe Israel off the map...
Just like many in the West believe that Israel is a target of terrorism because of “the occupation,” they are equally in denial that Iran’s threat against Israel is also a threat against the West.
The time is ripe to get the EU and other countries on board to at last treat Iran as the devastating threat to the world it truly is.
The author is a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps, a flagship program of the World Jewish Congress, and a board member of the Zionist Federation of Sweden.
Ahmadinejad & The 12th Imam
"He (Imam Mahdi) will not have a beard but will be clean shaven.. His body will be small. His legs will be like those of a young girl.." (Page 92)
-- Curry: You’ve said that you believe that his arrival, the apocalypse, would happen in your own lifetime. What do you believe that you should do to hasten his arrival?
-- Ahmadinejad: I have never said such a thing. I was talking about peace.
What is being said about an apocalyptic war and – global war, things of that nature. This is what the Zionists are claiming.
Imam Mahdi will come with logic, with culture, with science. He will come so that there is no more war. No more enmity, hatred. No more conflict.
He will call on everyone to enter a brotherly love. Of course, he will return with Jesus Christ. The two will come back together. And working together, they would fill this world with love.
The stories that have been disseminated around the world about extensive war, apocalyptic wars, so on and so forth, these are false.
The Imam of our time, the Savior (May God hasten his return) is the manifestation of divine justice.
We know that the most significant characteristic of Imam Mahdi (God’s greetings and peace be upon him), which has been described in supplications and narrations is justice. “Through him, God will fill the earth with justice and fairness.”
At present, we should create a society that encompasses justice. In the establishment of a society, justice is the most important matter.
Justice includes indiscrimination in applied rights, boundaries and laws. Justice consists of helping the poor and the weak. Justice calls for a country’s plans and their general movements to be aimed at provision for the poor.
Justice means, those who have been deprived of their rights, beneath the heavy shadow of tyranny while under oppressive rule, be given their privileges.
Justice signifies that a particular faction does not consider privileges for only themselves. Justice denotes that human, public and social rights, as well as divine restrictions be equally applied to all people.
The realization of justice is that the establishment and its different sections must progress towards helping the poor and the underprivileged.
If we direct our life toward this and live such a life, the Almighty God will certainly assist us.
The materialistically powerful cannot discourage our nation – through deception and treachery- in pursuing a prideful path by taking resistance away from us.
By the will of God, the people’s resistance will grow stronger day by day. (statements made at a meeting with officialls, 13/03/1990)
"Diplomacy depends above all on trust. Trump, however, has shown that his greatest loyalty is to opportunism. Leaders who side with him on Monday risk being traduced on Tuesday. Until that impression is erased, the US has little hope of projecting greater influence." George Eaton
Nostalgia seems to be very popular in Washington. While the neocons and Democratic Party hard-liners have succeeded in bringing back the Cold War with Russia, [..] president Donald Trump announced in Miami on Friday that he was slamming the door on one of President Obama’s few foreign policy successes: easing 50 years of US sanctions on Cuba.
Trump said that his new policy would be nothing short of “regime change” for Cuba. No easing of US sanctions on Cuba, he said, “until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.”
Yes, this is the same Donald Trump who declared as president-elect in December that his incoming Administration would “pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past.
We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments.” Now, in another flip-flop toward the neocons, President Trump is pursuing regime change in Cuba on the pretext of human rights violations.
While the Cuban government may not have a spotless record when it comes to human rights, this is the same President Trump who just weeks ago heaped praise on perhaps the world’s worst human rights abuser, Saudi Arabia.
The neocons increasingly have President Trump’s ear, even though he was elected on promises to ignore their constant calls for war and conflict.
How many more flip-flops before his supporters no longer recognize him....?
Science: the natural enemy of orthodoxy and authoritarianism
Flashback 2012: Start fighting, seculars....
Flashback: British Chief Rabbi Sacks asks to stop printing of his controversial book|
by DOUGLAS DAVIS, Jerusalem Post, 13-11-2002
British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has asked his publisher, Continuum, to stop promoting and printing The Dignity of Difference until he has completed revisions for a second edition.
British chief rabbi revises controversial book
In the second edition of “The Dignity of Difference,” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks removed statements suggesting that Christianity and Islam are as valid as Judaism.
A group of award-winning authors launched a book highlighting Israel's 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, raising money for an NGO hated by the Israeli government.
Featuring chapters penned by more than two dozen writers, "Kingdom of Olives and Ash" was edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.
Chabon, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay", said the aim was to start a conversation about the impact of the occupation on both Israelis and Palestinians. ...
By using famous authors, including the winners of three Pulitzers and a Nobel, they were aiming to "sort of trick" people "into paying attention to the occupation by baiting the trap, in a way, with the work of a really amazing writer".
Proceeds from the book will go to 'Breaking the Silence', an NGO that documents alleged abuses by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories and publishes testimonies of soldiers, much to the chagrin of Israeli officials.
In 2016 the then defence minister accused the NGO of treason and the current government -- the most right-wing in Israel's history -- has sought to curtail their work and ban them from speaking in schools.
The book takes the form of individual chapters by the authors, most of which centre around their trips to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in the past two years.
Chabon's chapter touches heavily on the "arbitrary" nature of the occupation in the West Bank, with Palestinians often caught up in bureaucracy and subject to the whims of individual soldiers and commanders.
Author Dave Eggers, who visited Gaza in his chapter, details life in the Palestinian enclave and how residents try to survive in the territory often labelled the world's largest prison...
Eggers details peoples' frustrations with their lives, including with the Islamists Hamas who run the strip and restrict cultural freedoms.
Both Waldman and Chabon said there was a growing gap between young American progressive Jews and Israel.
"Jews of my parents' generation, even of my generation, had a much easier time being progressive on all issues except Israel," said Waldman.
"Jews of my children's generation [..] are not willing to make an exception for Israel in their world view. "They are not willing to engage in the same kind of hypocrisy that my generation and generations before us have."
France's Macron Sees No Clear Successor for Assad
The desperation of the US regime is that Assad was supposed to be brought down in July, I think July 18th. Terror attacks to decapitate the Syrian armed forces, the shipping in of thousands and thousands of new death squad members from many other countries, an attack on the currency, the television warfare in its entire campaign.
The US, the British, the French and indeed the Israelis are now apoplectic. That’s what you see with [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius.
"My little African son, Obama wants to kill me"
Flashback 2011: US media in praise of lynching
Mohammed bin Salman has been elevated to the position of crown prince, replacing his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef - a move that had been widely expected and could shape the direction of the country for decades.
Mohammed bin Salman was born on 31 August 1985, the eldest son of then-Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud's third wife, Fahdah bint Falah bin Sultan.
Born 31-8-1985: Sun in Virgo, Moon in Pisces
Read also: Donald Trump and his Alter-Ego
After gaining a bachelor's degree in law at King Saud University in the capital Riyadh, he worked for several state bodies. In 2009, he was appointed special adviser to his father, who was serving as governor of Riyadh at the time.
Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power began in 2013, when he was named head of the Crown Prince's Court, with the rank of minister.
One of Mohammed bin Salman's first acts as defence minister was to launch a military campaign in Yemen in March 2015, along with other Arab states after President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced into exile by the Houthi rebel movement.
The campaign has made limited progress over the past two years, seen Saudi Arabia and its allies being accused of human rights violations, and triggered a humanitarian crisis in the Arab world's poorest country.
He has unveiled a wide-ranging plan to bring social and economic change in the oil-dependent kingdom: Vision 2030.
He has also overseen the reduction of the country's lavish subsidies and proposed the partial privatisation of the state oil company, Saudi Aramco.
"It is my pleasure to present Saudi Arabia’s Vision for the future.
It is an ambitious yet achievable blueprint, which expresses our long-term goals and expectations and reflects our country’s strengths and capabilities.
All success stories start with a vision, and successful visions are based on strong pillars.
The first pillar of our vision is our status as the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Our Kingdom is the Land of the Two Holy Mosques, the most sacred sites on earth...
The second pillar of our vision is our determination to become a global investment powerhouse. Our nation holds strong investment capabilities, which we will harness to stimulate our economy and diversify our revenues.
The third pillar is transforming our unique strategic location into a global hub connecting three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa. Our geographic position between key global waterways, makes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an epicenter of trade and the gateway to the world.
Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs
Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
The U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group is building a database of foreign fighters to track jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria at home, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.
Brett McGurk, the White House envoy to the anti-IS coalition, told an Israeli security conference the effort aimed to help prevent attacks like those recently carried out in Europe.
"Our coalition is building a global database of foreign fighters, through information-sharing networks and Interpol, to ensure that anyone who fought with ISIS in Syria and Iraq can be identified in either routine traffic stops, border entry points or in the course of routine police work," McGurk said.
Speaking at the annual Herzliya security conference near Tel Aviv, McGurk said the coalition was also having success in preventing more foreign fighters from joining IS, also known as ISIS or Daesh, in Syria.
"On foreign fighters we've largely halted the flow into Syria from Turkey; from hundreds a week to now a handful at most a month," he said.
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:20 A.M.) – On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) increased its sorties over the embattled city of Daraa, targeting the southern and eastern neighborhoods that remain under opposition control.
Earlier in the day, rebel forces and a government delegation tried in vain to negotiate a large-scale truce deal for the provincial capital; however, these attempts proved fruitless as Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) commanders failed to comply.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Republican Guard source told Al-Masdar News: “Battles are still ongoing; we have not yet received any orders to implement a ceasefire. But we do know that Russia is attempting to conclude a reconciliation deal in Daraa”.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – spearheaded by Colonel Ghayath Galla and his seasoned 4th Mechanized Division – resumed their counter-insurgency operations in the Daraa Camp refugee area and Al-Manshiyah district.
With the SAA now enjoying superior weaponry and manpower, government forces hope to bring Daraa city under full government control before the end of the year.
Daraa carries huge symbolism for the Syrian Opposition as it was the first city in the country to witness anti-government protests back in 2011.
Flashback 2011: Assad's Secular Democracy
Washington holds secret talks with Muslim "Brotherhood"
MB Syria: "We will bring back
The Reform Party in Syria (RPS) has protested the US administration's meetings with the "Brotherhood".
RPS, regarded as one of the most pro-Western elements in the Syrian opposition, said Washington was signaling its endorsement of the "Brotherhood's" goal to make Syria into an Islamic state rather than a democracy that would foster its large minority communities.
The decision to blacklist al-Nusra [al-Qaeda in Syria] has triggered criticism from the powerful Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
A senior Brotherhood official said it was wrong and hasty. "They are seen as (a group that) can be relied on to defend the country and the civilians against the regular army and Assad's gangs," Brotherhood deputy leader Farouq Tayfour told Reuters on Tuesday.
Alkhatib said it was "no shame" if Syrian rebels were driven by religious motives to topple Assad...
"The fact that the military movement is Islamic in its colour is generally positive. Jihad in the path of God has long been a fundamental motivator for human rights."
The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria understands the international plot being orchestrated and carried out against the Syrian people and its future generations... Facing up to revelations of this international conspiracy to impose a Russian – Iranian military on our people, the group announces the following:
* 1. The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria will not be a conduit for the crime of terminating the revolution, nor a bridge through which evil plots of the Russians and the Iranians and their accomplices are passed.
* 2. The group declares it will always endeavor to make the positions of these institutions harmonious with the goals of the revolution...
* 3. Despite the siege imposed on it, in many forms, by various international and regional powers, the group will continue to put all its resources in the service of Syria and the revolution...
Russia and China have vetoed the UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria pointing to the existence of armed groups involved in terrorist acts including the killing of civilians.
These armed groups have been involved since the outset of the "protest movement" in Daraa, southern Syria, in March 2011.
The statement of Russia's envoy to the UN Viktor Churkin remains within the realm of international diplomacy. It does not mention who is behind these armed groups and the fact that NATO is supporting an armed insurrection.
"Churkin said that resolution's Western co-sponsors had not included key proposals such as isolating the Syrian opposition from violent extremist groups or a call to arms for other states to use their influence to prevent such alliances".
Ironically, Russia's decision to veto the resolution is consistent with the report of the Arab League's Observer Mission to Syria, which confirms the existence of an "Armed Entity".
Unexpectedly, however, neither Washington nor the Arab League, which commissioned the Observer Mission to Syria in the first place, have accepted the interim report presented by the AL Mission.
Why? Because the Mission --integrated by independent observers from Arab League countries-- provides a balanced and objective assessment of what is happening on the ground inside Syria. It does not serve as a mouthpiece for Washington and the governments of Arab states.
It points to the existence of an "Armed Entity"; it acknowledges that "armed opposition groups" including the Syria Free Army are involved in criminal and terrorist acts.
Qatar has never supported Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Syrian group formerly known as al-Nusra Front, or any other "terrorist group", its foreign minister says.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in an interview with France 24 Arabic on Thursday that Qatar had always "abided by international laws" and played a key role in the international coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.
"Qatar does not support the Nusra Front in Syria ... and it does not support any terrorist organisation," he told France 24.
The foreign minister added that he expects to receive a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the next two days, but stressed Qatar would not accept any "foreign dictations" and "rejected discussing any matter related to the Al Jazeera channel as it considered it an internal affair".
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and cut off sea and air links with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism" - a charge Doha strongly denies.
As a result, Qatar's only land border has been closed, it has been stopped from using the airspace of neighbouring nations and its citizens were ordered to leave the Gulf Arab countries.
The UAE said this week the measures could last for years unless Doha accepted demands that the Arab powers plan to reveal in the coming days.
Walid Muallem : ‘60 per cent of the country's
Read also: How America Armed Terrorists in Syria
By Gareth Porter, The American Conservative, June 22, 2017
"By helping its Sunni allies provide weapons to al Nusra Front and its allies and by funneling into the war zone sophisticated weapons that were bound to fall into al Nusra hands or strengthen their overall military position, U.S. policy has been largely responsible for having extended al Qaeda’s power across a significant part of Syrian territory.
The CIA and the Pentagon appear to be ready to tolerate such a betrayal of America’s stated counter-terrorism mission. Unless either Congress or the White House confronts that betrayal explicitly, U.S. policy will continue to be complicit in the consolidation of power by al Qaeda in Syria, even if the Islamic State is defeated there."
"U.S. strategists should explain this paradox, namely if the United States is fighting Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, why are they again establishing Al-Qaeda on coasts near Europe?” Hassan Firouzabadi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, 12-6-2012
2015: Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jafari said that Al-Jazeera's interview with the leader of Al-Nusra Front terrorist group Mohamad al-Golani violated UN counterterrorism resolutions and was aimed at encouraging terrorism.
"It is interfering with Qatar's international affairs one way or another. It is against the main principles of international laws. These demands definitely cannot be accepted as a sovereign state."
The 13 demands also include calls to shut down the Turkish military base in Qatar.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık said in a live interview with the NTV private broadcaster that they have no intention of reassessing the status of the Turkish military base in Qatar, and it would be interference in bilateral ties.
Apart from calls to close the Turkish base in the country, the four Gulf Arab states demanded the shuttering of Al-Jazeera TV and cutting ties with Iran. They also demanded that Qatar make a declaration against terrorist groups, including Daesh and al-Qaeda, halt funding to those organizations and hand over any individuals from those organizations in the country.
Roger Waters 2013: "I deplore the policies of the Israeli government in the occupied territories and Gaza. They are immoral, inhuman and illegal. I will continue my non-violent protests as long as the government of Israel continues with these policies." (The Guardian, 14-12-2013)
The Zionist Organization of America on Friday turned the tables on founding Pink Floyd member Roger Waters.
The organization’s Greater Philadelphia chapter criticized performance arenas and concert facilities throughout North America for giving Waters a platform. The ZOA also criticized radio stations across the nation who are promoting Waters’ concerts and giving away tickets to them.
Waters has in the past compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying in an interview, “The situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable>.”
If that is not enough, Waters has frequently blasted other musicians for choosing to perform in Israel and has pressured them to cancel their performances.
Waters is currently on a 46-city tour, playing 61 concerts throughout the United States and Canada.
[The show features songs from Pink Floyd’s greatest albums (The Dark Side of The Moon, The Wall, Animals, Wish You Were Here) plus some songs from his new album 'Is This the Life We Really Want?']
Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Steve Feldman, Executive Director of ZOA’s Greater Philadelphia chapter, urged the venues hosting Waters, the corporations that the venues are named for, and the radio stations that are promoting his concerts, to speak out and condemn Waters...
“Roger Waters is an unapologetic Jew hater and hater of the Jewish State of Israel. He is using the platforms he is being given to promote his lies and encourage hatred of Jews and Israel,” they said.
Roger Waters: "We are all human"
The Trump model for human existence and politics and civilization and the way we organize society is not a model that we aspire to, notwithstanding the election that just happened. We want to follow a different model that is more humane, where we're not in desperate competition with one another and our nation is not in desperate competition with other nations in the world, that we have come to the conclusion that we need to cooperate with each other and other nations in the world in order to resolve conflicts and make life more bearable for all our brothers and sisters." After all, we are all human. Even the Donald.
Even the Donald?
Even the Donald is a human being.
We are all part of the family and have responsibilities to one another. So I see the resistance growing in strength.
And the more that he does to implement his policies of diversion and the more he tries to set us all against each other, hopefully we will resist more and say, "No, this is not what we want."
"Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised." Vincent Peale
"Vincent Peale thought I was his greatest student of all time", quoted in: Donald Trump, a man of faith
US President Donald Trump
"On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr…
Bernie Sanders:& The Golden Rule
What can Democrats do to bridge the divide between young, secular party activists and the rest of voters?
Oddly, last year’s presidential run by Senator Bernie Sanders, a secular Jew, may suggest a way forward.
Mr. Sanders’s non-Christian background may have hurt him in the South; he did poorly among African-American voters, despite his consistent civil rights record. But he did what few other secular candidates have done: He won a sympathetic hearing from conservative evangelicals with a speech that gave a religious grounding for his economic views, complete with biblical citations.
When Mr. Sanders spoke at Liberty University, he did not pretend to share evangelical Christians’ faith, but he showed respect for his audience’s religious tradition.
To do the same, secular Democrats need to study the religious language of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They need to take the time to learn the religious values of their audience. They need to be honest about their own secularity, but acknowledge their debt to the religious traditions that have shaped their progressive ideology.
Only through a willingness to ground their policy proposals in the religious values of prospective voters will they be able to convince people of faith that they are not a threat to their values but are instead an ally in a common cause.
A festive atmosphere could be witnessed in the Al-Klaseh neighborhood, in Eastern Aleppo, as children celebrated Eid al-Fitr for the first time since the war-torn city was liberated from the terrorist groups. [FARS video, 26-6-2017]
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military coalition fighting the Islamic State would welcome a concerted effort by the Syrian government or its Iranian-backed partner forces to defeat IS in its remaining strongholds in eastern Syria, a U.S. spokesman said Friday.
Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, told reporters at the Pentagon that the U.S. goal is to defeat IS wherever it exists.
If others, including the Syrian government and its Iranian and Russian allies, want to fight the extremists as well, then "we absolutely have no problem with that," he said, speaking from Baghdad.
"If it looks like they are making a concerted effort to move into ISIS-held areas, and if they show that they can do that, that is not a bad sign," Dillon said, referring to forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Washington severed diplomatic relations with Syria during the Obama administration, which insisted that Assad "must go."
More recently, Assad has strengthened his position, regaining key territory from weakened opposition forces.
Syrian government troops, for example, have reached the Iraqi border in an area where IS leaders have been gathering. The area is far from the main battle lines of Syria's civil war. The U.S. so far has shunned any cooperation with Assad..
Dillon said that as Syrian government forces move toward Abu Kamal, "if they want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then that would be welcomed.
We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We are in the killing-ISIS business.
That is what we want to do, and if the Syrian regime wants to do that and they're going to put forth a concerted effort and show that they are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir el-Zour or elsewhere, that means that we don't have to do that in those places."
Syrian settlement, including issues of strengthening the ceasefire in that country, was in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.|
"The two top diplomats discussed problems related to the settlement of the Syrian crisis, including the necessity to strengthen the ceasefire, in particular via the Astana process, to step up efforts in the fight against terrorist groups and preventing attempts to use chemical poisonous agents," the ministry said.
"Lavrov called on Washington to take measures to prevent provocations against Syrian government troops fighting against terrorists," the ministry said.The two top diplomats agreed to continue contacts, "including on issues of the bilateral agenda," the ministry added.
The Trump administration is making noise about striking Syria, on the grounds that Damascus is planning to use poison gas again.
The statement is said to be from “the White House” but is otherwise not characterized. Why does the White House think this? Why did Trump himself not tweet about it if it is coming from him?
The odd thing about the breathless announcement late Monday was that earlier that day Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned his Russian opposite number, Sergei Lavrov to discuss tamping down the violence in Syria.
They want to extend the current ceasefire in some areas, which did in fact lead to less violence in the “deconfliction zones...
It is almost as if there were a faction of hawks around Trump who wanted to derail any Tillerson-Lavrov cooperation and maintain a condition of undeclared war with Russia and Iran.
Nikki Haley: The Friend of Right-Wing Israel
Trump Appoints Friend of Israel as Ambassador to Anti-Zionist United Nations
US blocks appointment of former Palestinian PM as UN envoy to Libya
The United States on Friday blocked the appointment of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to be the new UN envoy to Libya.
Nikki Haley champions Israel's anti-BDS policy
“Know that the United States has Israel’s back, and know that you now have a fighter and a friend in the UN to help you,” Haley told the audience of more than 2,000 pro-Israel activists, students and representatives of Jewish organizations.
Haley’s presence at a nakedly pro-Israel forum underscored how the Trump administration has strengthened the already close US-Israeli relations. And it was a signal that, as Israel pursues a crackdown on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the US will follow suit.
U.S. envoy to U.N: We hate Assad
The United States does not believe that the Syrian people want President Bashar al-Assad as their leader any longer, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, claimed on Monday that the Syrian people do not want President Bashar al-Assad as their leader any longer.
President al-Assad and his family visit injured army personnel in Hama countryside
syrian arab news agency, 26-6-2017
Russia has slammed as “unacceptable” the US threats against the legitimate leadership in Syria following a recent White House statement alleging that this leadership is planning 'another chemical attack'.
“We heard about this statement. We don’t know what it’s based on. And, of course, we strongly disagree with the wording ‘another attack,’ The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Novosti agency on Tuesday.
“The Syrian government cannot be held accountable for the April 4 chemical attack in Idleb province “because, as you know, despite all Russia’s demands, an unbiased international investigation of the previous tragedy has not been carried out,” he added. ”We do not believe it is possible to rest the responsibility on the Syrian armed forces.”
However, he noted that a potential danger of repeated provocations with chemical weapons use in Syria still exists as there is evidence that terrorists possess such arms.
“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love and create, and those who hate and destroy.” There is no doubt that the U.S. has proven itself to be of the latter kind; indeed, the very nature of U.S. foreign policy is destruction." Daniel Kovalik, CounterPunch, 7-10-2016
A book called “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Conspired to Vilify Putin” has been recently released in the US.
The author of the book, Daniel Kovalik, is a human rights attorney and a professor at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law.
In an interview with Sputnik Kovalik discussed the on-going anti-Russia hysteria in the west and its possible consequences... He spoke about how Americans are programmed to be weary of Russia for decades, since the Cold War days.
Looking at how people inside the US who try to voice their opinion and speak against the anti-Russia hysteria are ridiculed and silenced, Kovalik said that just looking at what happened to Oliver Stone after his documentary Interviews with Putin was released.
“He [Oliver Stone] goes on these talk shows and he is barely allowed to speak. Then there are the articles that have been published about him afterwards, it’s just terrible,” Kovalik said.
Earlier in the month, the US Showtime TV channel aired the four-episode documentary. Stone received a number of comments about the documentary and the role of Putin within its context.
Stone warned that politically motivated statements depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as "a villain without a soul" will do nothing to contribute to the easing of international tensions. He added that it’s important to be vigilant and to speak out against the “anti-Russia hysteria.”
BAGHDAD — Iraqi military leaders expect victory this week against the Islamic State (IS) in the battle for Mosul, and the government has unveiled a $100 billion, 10-year reconstruction plan for the country, that is slated to begin next year.
Mosul will be particularly important to rebuild because of the number of citizens who were forced from their homes, the extent of the damage there and the symbolic significance of the city, which IS considered its Iraqi capital.
In addition to repairing the infrastructure, Iraqi officials acknowledge the importance of overcoming the influence IS established on the population, especially young people, during its three-year reign of terror there.
Hossam al-Ayyar, a member of the Ninevah Provincial Council, told Al-Monitor the plan will aim to eliminate “ideological extremism from the culture of the people of Mosul, who have been living for three years with IS' inflammatory rhetoric, and [prevent] the emergence of a new generation, inspired by a culture of hate.”
Ayyar added, “The plan includes cultural and religious programs adopted by mosques, schools and churches to consolidate the values of coexistence and moderation, promote shared living and the culture of peace and freedom of belief and the respect of the rights of others."
“The biggest challenge facing the strategic plan is funding,” Jamila al-Obeidi, a parliamentarian for Ninevah province,i told Al-Monitor.
“Foreign reconstruction companies will enter Iraq right after the exit of IS." She expressed hope that “this investment will contribute to the benefit of the citizens and not be only profitable to some parties.” She warned against “corruption in such projects.”
The solution to the funding problem appears to be through borrowing. The World Bank will be the main option.
"The proliferation of weapons in Libya and the different militias negate the existence of politically legitimate institutions that could run the country." "The militias in Libya, even though they each belong to a different arm of government, only fight for their own agenda at the end of the day." Al-Jazeera, 30-5-2017
Hundreds of fighters from Chad and Sudan's Darfur region are feeding off instability in Libya, battling for rival factions, seeking to build rebel movements and engaging in banditry and arms trafficking, Geneva-based researchers said on Tuesday.
Failure to secure peace deals and reintegrate rebels in Chad and Sudan has led to a "market for cross-border combatants" linking those two countries and Libya, said a report by the Small Arms Survey group.
With desert regions already crisscrossed by Islamist militants, people smugglers and arms traffickers, there is a growing risk of destabilization unless long marginalized communities can be integrated, it says.
The 179-page report largely focuses on the Teda, or Tebu, people inhabiting the Tibesti mountains in northern Chad that fringe the borders of Libya and Niger. They have played a central role in rebellions in all three countries.
Their most recent insurrection in Chad ended in 2011, but the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi the same year drew them in, providing easy access to weapons.
"This chaos attracts fighters - including armed opposition forces - from northern Chad and Darfur, and is already having repercussions in Chad and Sudan," the report said.
"The Chad–Sudan–Libya triangle has once again become the center of a regional system of conflicts. A notable consequence of these conflicts has been the re-emergence since 2011 of a regional market for cross-border combatants."
Chad and Sudan support opposing armed factions in Libya, where loose and shifting rival alliances have been battling for power since 2014, creating rival governments in Tripoli and the east of sprawling Libya.
Rebels from both countries have mostly aligned with their respective government's enemies. Competing Libyan armed factions frequently accuse each other of deploying mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa.
A U.N.-backed government that arrived in the Libyan capital last year was meant to unify warring factions, but has largely failed to exert its authority.
Israel is building in Ariel, and it will always remain a part of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged in the settlement during the cornerstone-laying ceremony for a new medical center at Ariel University.
Netanyahu said the center, named after the donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, will attract the “best teachers and researchers, and will train generations of students who will add to Israel’s prestige in the world.”
Netanyahu praised Adelson for his numerous contributions to Jewish education around the world...
Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were questioned earlier this week by police regarding the ongoing investigation into Netanyahu’s contacts with Arnon Mozes, the publisher Yediot Aharonot.
The cornerstone-laying event took place amid reports that the relationship between Netanyahu and Adelson is not as close as it once was, and that the American billionaire is getting closer to Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, who also attended the ceremony.
2-10-2010: Binyamin Netanyahu declared the Jewish city of Ariel “the capital of Samaria.”
He planted a symbolic tree in the city, as he did earlier in the week in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, and Maaleh Adumin, located west of the capital and overlooking the Dead Sea. Netanyahu added that he was planting not only a tree but also "three principles: Growing strength, Jewish settlement and culture in the heart of our land of our forefathers and where we will remain and build.” (source)
Naftali Bennett said that the medical school will “heal the open wounds in Israeli society, and between us and our neighbors...."
Like Netanyahu, Bennett praised Adelson. “Sheldon and Miri Adelson, you are investing in our present, but you are also investing in the future of the Jewish people, and the future of our education,” he said. “Thank you very much.”