Trump’s Neoconservative ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley,
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.
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.”
In the current atmosphere behaving normal will be perceived as being a witch.
The meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump expected to be held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg should clarify bilateral relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Primakov Readings conference
"Relations between Russia and the United States are particularly important in today’s world, as achieving many tasks at the global level, from ensuring strategic stability to resolving regional crises, depends on the two countries," the Russian top diplomat said.
"We see that most countries are concerned over these abnormal relations [between Russia and the United States - TASS] that have become hostage to the domestic political struggle in the US," Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister expressed hope that a "pragmatic approach, aimed at ensuring national interests through most effective methods will prevail."
According to Lavrov, a "witch hunt" is underway in the United States.
"They have frightened people in many ways but I believe that this will cease. And this absolute abnormality that is taking place in the US political life, when not a single proven fact is presented and there are attempts to replay the election results, this cannot last for long," the Russian foreign minister said.
"There is such an atmosphere there now, such a witch hunt is underway that no one wants to do something that is completely normal in a different atmosphere....
In the current atmosphere behaving normal will be perceived as being a witch. People have been frightened in many ways," the Russian foreign minister said.
"But I believe that this will cease. This absolute abnormality that is taking place in the US political life, when not a single proven fact is presented, this cannot last for long," the Russian foreign minister said.
'Witch' Bashar al-Assad, 2011: 'A crusade against independent policies'
"We were told to terminate all agreements with Russia."
It’s very difficult to accuse Iran of being in violation of the P5+1 nuclear deal, because they are plainly not.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is responsible for policing the deal, confirms on a monthly basis that this remains the case, and that Iran has not been in violation of the pact.
That’s an inconvenience for the Trump Administration, which has repeatedly condemned the deal and insisted Iran would violate it.
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley appears to have decided that the path of least resistance is overt lying, today claiming at the UN Security Council that Iran had “repeated violations” of the deal.
The claim was made literally during a meeting at which all the other permanent members of the Security Council were talking up how great it is that the deal is in place, and that Iran is showing such a deep commitment to its continued participation.
This sort of undercut Haley, who tried to elaborate on the “violations,” but really just accused Iran of supporting the governments of Syria and Iraq in the war against ISIS. Naturally, this was never a condition of the nuclear deal, and nor was Iran’s development of conventional missiles.
Most of the other Security Council members just sort of politely smiled throughout and ignored the ravings of Haley, who vowed that the US wouldn’t turn a blind eye to the imagined violations.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian admitted that as far as France was concerned Libya had no effective government or state to deal with. France has ‘‘no Libyan State interlocutors’’ to deal with. Adding that France could not ‘‘be satisfied by this situation’’.
‘‘Libya is a totally failed State where all structures now need to be rebuilt’’, he stated.
With regards to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed by the contending Libyan parties in Skhirat in December 2016, Le Drian said that while it must remain as the mechanism for seeking Libyan accord, the ‘‘architecture needs to be adjusted’’. Adding that ‘‘General Hafter is part of the solution’’, but without elaborating exactly how. ‘‘In any case, France cannot remain silent and Libya is a priority of our President’’, he added.
Foreign Minister Le Drian was responding to the questions: ”What needs to be done to stabilize Libya? Should Field Marshal Hafter be included?” (put to him in an interview with La Matinale du Monde).
‘‘In my view, this is now a major issue: the security risk is growing in Libya, in the context of trafficking of all sorts, and even of people. The Central Mediterranean migration route is once again the largest one, and we have no Libyan State interlocutors. We cannot be satisfied by this situation.
Libya is a totally failed State where all structures now need to be rebuilt.
UN: Ending occupation sole way to resolve Israel-Palestine conflict
qatar supported lawlessness in syria
Sheikh Mohammed spoke less than 48 hours before the deadline for the demands issued last week was due to pass.
The list of demands include downgrading ties with Iran, shutting down Al Jazeera media network and Turkish military base in Doha.
The ultimatum came more than two weeks after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed sanctions, accusing it of supporting "terrorism".
Sheikh Mohammed said on Saturday that "those parties brand any party of state who opposes their designs as terrorists".
"The state of Qatar has been subjected to unlawful measures on the basis of false allegations without the submission of evidence," he said.
Turki Al-Faisal: "Fighting ISIS is fighting Assad" (16-3-2015)
Several figures who participated in the Iranian opposition conference in Paris called for supporting the struggle of the Iranian people calling for change by overthrowing Tehran’s regime.
Among the attendees of the conference were parliamentary delegations from Britain, Italy, Albania, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria – as well as various other European countries.
Flashback: Saudi Writer Zuhair Kutbi: "Most Saudi intellectuals are cowards"
Horace Jeffery Hodges, 15-7-2015
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced Iran's regret that the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) has been given the permission to carry out its activities in France.
The MKO, founded in the 1960s, participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic.
Iranian FM Criticizes France For Allowing MKO's Activities
FARS News Agency (Iran), 2-7-2017
Zarif reiterated that the MKO’s terrorist nature is not hidden to anybody, and said that all regional and European countries are aware of the group's acts of terror.
The Iranian foreign minister said that Iran is aware that Saudi Arabia has been colluding with the MKO and providing the terrorist group with financial support since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980s.
"The Al Saud regime has decided to publicize its cooperation with the terrorist group since last year by attending its meetings," Zarif added.
On Saturday, the MKO terrorist group held a meeting in Paris, which was attended by some of the former US, European and Saudi officials, including former Saudi spy chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who also delivered a speech.
On July 9, 2016, Paris hosted another annual meeting organized by the MKO terrorist group, which was also attended by Faisal.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in September 2012.
The MKO has assassinated over 12,000 Iranians in the last 4 decades.
Bolton: America’s interests should predominate
ARA News, July 2, 2017
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced Iran's regret that the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) has been given the permission to carry out its activities in France.
The MKO, founded in the 1960s, participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic.
In 2002 John Bolton, Undersecretary of State under George W. Bush, came up with a project to simultaneously break up Libya and Syria. He called the two states along with Cuba “The Axis Of Evil”. Amongst Syria’s crimes have been their close relations with Iran, Hezbollah (in Lebanon), the Palestinian resistance, and Russia, and their failure to conclude a peace treaty with Israel, unlike Jordan and Egypt. (dissidentvoice.org 2012)
“The Trump administration should recraft the U.S.-led coalition to ensure that America’s interests, rather than Russia’s or Iran’s, predominate once ISIS is defeated,” said the former American Ambassador to the UN.
Salim Hudaifah was an officer in the Syrian regime's army and 27 years ago defected to the West. Assad and ISIS, he is sure, are cooperating behind the scenes.
"We have intelligence information that Assad is behind ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. Assad deceives everyone on this issue, including the Russians. He's the one who gives them orders.
Israel must be very concerned that our assessment is that once Assad is cornered and feels distressed, he will order ISIS to attack Israel. That will be his last-ditch effort, to try to drag Israel into this war, as a desperate measure."
So said Salim Hudaifah, political representative of the Free Syrian Army opposition organization, in the Eurasian Media Forum.
The following was said in a panel on the subject "The Syrian crisis, is the end in sight?" which was attended by Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov, former Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Hudaifah as a representative of the Free Syrian Army, Alaa Ebrahim - a journalist affiliated with the Assad regime - and ex-PM Chief of Staff and Chief Negotiator Gilead Sher from Israel.
"The Assad regime is playing with the blood of the citizens of Syria, and to my great sorrow, so are the superpowers. No Syrian citizen will agree to accept Assad as the future leader of Syria. Assad must leave the country."
The opposition leader said that as an intelligence officer in Assad's army, his main enemy was Israel.
In 1990 he deserted the Syrian army and fled to the West. He found asylum in Denmark, where he met Israelis for the first time in his life and connected with them.
He was later head of the program for training the Free Syrian Army forces by the Pentagon.
After a year of training in Jordan, the Americans decided to stop the program and went to cooperate with the Kurds.
syria 2013: fsa & isis
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that a propaganda campaign to blame Syria’s government for alleged use of chemical weapons has begun, adding that the effort is expected to be massive and include “many fakes.”
“As we warned a few days ago, a media propaganda campaign on the ‘use of chemical weapons by Damascus’ has begun,”Zakharova wrote on Facebook.
Donald Trump 2016: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none."
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Moscow perceives allegations made by the White House that Syria could be preparing a chemical attack as an "invitation" for terrorists to launch a provocation using chemical weapons.
"We consider these new insinuations on the issue of weapons of mass destruction — in the worst traditions of 2003 NATO intervention in Iraq — to be nothing less than an invitation for terrorists, extremists and armed opposition in Syria to fabricate another mass provocation using chemical weapons," the statement, published on the Ministry's website, said.
"After (the provocation), the 'inevitable punishment' for the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should follow, as envisioned by Washington," it added.
The Syrian government has fiercely denied using or even possessing chemical weapons since the country’s compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention was certified by international observers in 2013.
"In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls,
"Men should be either treated generously or destroyed,
France's Former Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, has stated in a televised program on LCP that UK government officials had told him about preparations for war in Syria two years prior to the start of the 2011 protests and conflict.
Vincent Fisher 2015: "The real problem is us, the American people. We do not read books, prefer game shows and sports over politics.. The wars in Vietnam and Iraq would never had happened if most of us simply paid attention to what our "leaders" are really attempting... Slowly a lot of people are becoming more aware to the lies being fed to us, but too many of us don't care due to apathy or just ignorance.
The municipalities of Tel Aviv and neighboring Givatayim are taking on organizations working to promote Jewish identity among Israeli youngsters, accusing the groups of imposing traditional Judaism and infringing on the rights of two cities’ secular populations.
In an interview with the Hebrew daily Haaretz, Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Assaf Zamir said that the municipality would protect the city’s secular character, warning that organizations spreading traditional Jewish views would be barred from local schools.
“We will secure the secularness of the city’s schools,” said Zamir.
“We are looking for ways to limit the entry of organizations which spread Orthodoxy and do not respect the rules of pluralism. The city will work to prevent the infiltration of religious content into the secular public education system.”
According to the Haaretz report, the Tel Aviv municipality has ordered principals to report all organizations operating in their schools and to describe the nature of the content those organizations teach to students.
The City of Tel Aviv has expressed concern regarding religious women working in local schools via the National Service, and has asked school administrators to report on the nature of their activities.
|Jesus, Jews & Neighborship|
Jesus, the man from Galilee
When Hillel [the Elder] died in 10 A.D., the Shammites took over the Pharisee role within the Sanhedrin and became the primary religious influence in Judea, whereas in the Galilee region, where Jesus lived and was raised, the teachings of Hillel held sway.
Karrar Noshi, an aspiring young actor and a visual arts student, was recently stabbed to death in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, apparently because his style was very flamboyant and he wore “tight clothes.”
This kind of violence – perpetrated to suppress a human being’s choice of wardrobe – is not new. They have happened way before the rise of the malicious and immoral ISIS and its so-called Caliphate in 2014.
Way back in March 2012, I remember reporting about the stoning to death of dozens of Iraqi teenagers with “emo appearance.” They were reportedly killed by some form of moral police in a violent crackdown soon after the Iraqi interior ministry at the time declared them as “devil worshippers.”
And even before the brutal killing of those “emo” teenagers in Iraq, the Iraqi Ministry of Education in 2010 tried to ban theater and music classes in Baghdad’s Fine Arts Institute, and ordered the removal of statues showcased at the entrance of the institute.
emo (or feminine) look - are feminine boys devils?
Several reasons could be attributed to the rise of extremism in Iraq – be it Shiite or Sunni – following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. It began with the intention to localize the global “war on terror” in Iraq.
Iraq’s borders were kept porous with no protection against the region’s radical and frustrated people who entered a country plagued by virtual absence of institutions such as the Iraqi Army. Special mention should be made about Paul Bremer, the head of Coalition Provisional Authority, who dismantled the army amid simmering anger against occupation.
This region definitely has some conservative hues but the constant instability it has experienced has heightened these tendencies. Iraq is a prime example of this phenomenon despite the efforts made by the US to bring democracy to the country.
As the Iraqi government is getting ready to announce officially the liberation of the country’s second largest city of Mosul from ISIS control, the plague of the conservative group’s ideology lurk in the background.
In a recent interview with the Turkish-owned TRT World, actual imam of the Great Al-Nuri Mosque – where ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced his Caliphate in 2014 – said he was initially “optimistic” when ISIS took over as he was looking forward for an Islamic rule.
During the interview the imam reiterated his support for Sharia’h rulings such as cutting fingers of thieves and stoning of adulterers.
Is it possible that following this war against ISIS, and the imminent liberation of Mosul, we witness killings of innocent person such as Noshi and find an imam still romanticizing about a “Caliphate”?
Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri is right when he said last week that “liberating minds from extremist ideology” is far more important than just freeing territories seized by ISIS.
We can always liberate a place but liberating minds isn’t as simple...
Kazakhstan’s capital has started hosting a fifth round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition, with Iran, Russia, and Turkey as mediators. The latest round started out in Astana on Tuesday with a trilateral discussion among the moderators. The three mediators helped bring about a nationwide ceasefire in Syria late last year.
Anuar Zhainakov, the press-secretary at Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, confirmed to AFP that delegates from the Syrian government and anti-Damascus militant groups had earlier arrived in Astana.
The talks will last two days and seek to build up on the results of the previous round in May, which saw the participants agreeing to create four de-escalation zones in the violence-battered Arab country.
More than 2.5 million people are believed to be living in the general area of the four zones.
The Syrian army unilaterally announced a halt to fighting until midnight July 6 in one of the zones that spans the southern provinces of Dara’a, Quneitra, and Sweida. The rest of the areas cover the northwestern province of Idlib, parts of the central province of Homs, and the militant-controlled Eastern Ghouta Province near Damascus.
Upon full realization, the plan is expected to see the warring sides halting hostilities against one another for six months.
At Damascus’ request, Iran has been providing military advisory support to the Syrian military in its counterterrorism operations. Russia has been carrying out an aerial campaign in Syria, similarly in coordination with Damascus, since September 2015 to further boost the military’s anti-terror fight.
Turkey has been siding with the militants over the course of the militancy in Syria, which began in 2011.
In Mosul Iraqi soldiers hold a celebration at the destroyed al-Nuri Mosque
“We’ve won, but look around you,” said Col. Saaed Badeer Katam, of the Special Forces Najaf Battalion. “Everything is destroyed.”
Even though some militants are still besieged by the Libyan National Army in a small Sabri area, armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter tonight went on television to announce victory.
In a brief address, Hafter, wearing a white uniform with gold braid, thanked the armed forces for their bravery and the people for their courage in the long battle to drive the militants out of the city.
Benghazinos were in the mood to celebrate. Convoys of cars drove through the streets with people waving Libyan flags from the windows. A lot of young people were giving military salutes.
It is just over three years ago that senior army officers including Hafter announced the start of the Dignity (Karama) operation.
It was a direct response to the rising orgy of violence in the city which had seen the assassination of more than 150 former and serving police and army officers, lawyers, journalists and civil society activists, including human rights lawyer Salwa Bugaighis and 18-year old blogger Tawfiq Ben Saud.
The militants included the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council and its UN-designated terrorist allies, IS and Ansar Al-Sharia.
“Yes to the army, yes to the police. No to militias."
Thousands rally in support of Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. By Agence France-Presse, May 23, 2014Ex-general Khalifa Haftar has garnered growing support amid frustration at the lawlessness in Libya three years after the overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi.
“Yes to dignity”, read banners carried by demonstrators at Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli.
Thousands more pro-Haftar demonstrators gathered outside Tibesti Hotel in the eastern city of Benghazi, a stronghold of the Islamists, and in Baida, further east.
“Yes to the army, yes to the police”, their banners read. “No to militias, Libya will not become another Afghanistan.”
Flashback 2014: Libyan Muslim Brotherhood condemns Haftar “coup”. Al-Awsat, 23-5-2014
The Muslim Brotherhood has strongly condemned statements made by the former army chief in a wide-ranging interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published earlier this week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump have held their first meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany, and reportedly exchanged viewpoints on a host of international problems and bilateral issues.
Sitting next to Putin on the sidelines of the economic summit in the northern German city of Hamburg on Friday, Trump voiced optimism that there would be “very positive things” in store for the relations between Washington and Moscow, and that it was “an honor” to be with Putin.
“We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia and the United States,” Trump said.
Russia and the United States have agreed on a ceasefire in the south of Syria from 12.00 Damascus time on July 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after the talks of Russian and US presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
"A ceasefire will come into force in that zone (Syria’s south - Daraa and Quneitra) at 12.00 Damascus time on July 9," he said. "The United States has made a commitment that all the groups present there will observe the ceasefire."
The security in the de-escalation zone in the south of Syria will be ensured by the Russian military police in coordination with the US and Jordan, he went on.
"At first, the security around this zone will be ensured with the use of the personnel and resources of the Russian military police," Lavrov said.
The closure of Al Jazeera as one of the 13 demands by the Anti-Terror Quartet (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt) was not carefully thought through. But this does not mean the Qatari-owned news network should be allowed to get away with inciting murder.
There are a few issues with the ongoing debate about the channel that must be clarified before dwelling further.
First, freedom-of-expression advocates must realize that Al Jazeera English (AJE), which many worldwide watch and enjoy, has nothing to do in terms of tone, editorial guidelines or media ethics with its older sister Al Jazeera Arabic (AJA). The latter can and should, at the very least, be described as a scar on the face of Middle Eastern journalism.
There is such a difference between the two channels that the longstanding joke in the Middle East when someone asks to put on Al Jazeera is: “Which one, the beauty or the beast?”
Luba Al Shibl was featured on Syrian state-controlled Television where
she accused 'Al Jazeera' of fabricating news about the events in Syria with the purpose of
overthrowing Al Assad's regime. arabia.msn, 1-5-2011
The Anti-Terror Quartet’s demand should have been carefully articulated to outline that the grievance with AJA is not that it criticizes neighboring countries, but that it has long served as a platform for hate-preachers and terrorists.
The channel was dubbed a “terror network” by the administration of former US President George W. Bush, and was criticized extensively, including in 2001 by the New York Times (NYT) for turning the late global terrorist Osama bin Laden into “a star.”
Only recently, Al Jazeera became the platform of choice for the notorious Al-Nusra Front leader Abu Mohammad Al-Julani — a US-designated terrorist, blacklisted worldwide, who has called Al-Qaeda’s stance “noble.” AJA was also the platform the Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Qaradawi used to bless suicide attacks..
So to all our colleagues in AJE I say the following: We all agree that “journalism is not a crime.” But what you AJE staffers should do, since you also “have demands,” is take them to your colleagues in your sister Arabic channel and ensure that journalism does not become a crime by giving a platform to those who bless the killing of innocents in both your home countries and mine.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protested Sunday (9-7) with scripture a UNESCO resolution declaring the Cave of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian World Heritage Site.
"And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant ... And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (Hebron) in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying-place by the children of Heth" (Genesis 23:16-19).
"The connection between the Jewish People and Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of purchase and of history which may be without parallel in the history of peoples," he said after reading the Biblical passage.
"Of course this did not prevent the UNESCO World Heritage Committee last Friday from passing yet another delusional resolution which determined that the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the same Cave of Machpelah, is a Palestinian heritage site."
In response to the resolution, Netanyahu decided to cut an additional $1 million from Israel's membership fees to the UN and allocate the funds instead to the construction of The Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Kiryat Arba and Hebron, as well as additional heritage projects in Hebron.
Did Abraham actually exist?
The origin of Religious Tribalism - religion centered around a Tribal God
The Sin of Tribalism
"This week Netanyahu did something bizarre: in the middle of a formal cabinet meeting he pulled a kippah from his pocket, put it on and started to read from the Bible (Genesis 25). He looked positively happy. He was showing the bloody Goyim up for what they are: anti-Semites all.
The infantilization of culture
"‘Grow up!’ We have all said it. We’ve all had it said to us. Sometimes it’s just gratuitous, but all too often it’s an accurate description of real behaviour. The psychological tendency to revert to childish impulses and reactions exists in us all.
Richard Swift (New Internationalist, 2007)
The eatery in Midan, Aleppo's main Armenian district, was shuttered for four years after violence reached the city in 2012. But it reopened in June, six months after the government recaptured all of the city. Relaxed laughter and giggling children have replaced the boom of explosions in the restaurant, nestled between the Armenian Society and the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic church.
"It's like a dream to be here," said Menassian, 50, looking around at the dozens of customers in the restaurant.
Menassian is a member of the Armenian Society, which kept its doors open although the affiliated eatery was boarded up.
"Every time I come in, I can't believe it," she told AFP, gazing in amazement at dozens of customers smoking water pipes and sipping arak, the Levant's popular aniseed spirit.
The cafe opened in 2007, and quickly became a favoured haunt for residents of Midan because of its family atmosphere and leafy terrace, where plastic chairs and tables are illuminated by hangin g lanterns. "We told ourselves that if this cafe reopened, the people would come back," said Menassian, whose red hair is cut into a bob.
"We're all one family here," she said emotionally.
Aleppo was home to the largest contingent of Syria's Armenian community: 150,000 out of 350,000 across the country, according to Syria specialist and geographer Fabrice Balanche. Now, no more than 10,000 are left in Aleppo, after thousands fled to Armenia, neighbouring Lebanon or even further afield to the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011 but struck Aleppo the following year, when rebels overran much of the eastern parts of city.
Army troops dropped bombs and launched air strikes across the front line on rebel groups, who fired rockets back in return. Midan was caught in the middle.
The neighbourhood remained in government hands but was regularly pummelled by missiles from the neighbouring opposition-held district of Bustan al-Basha.
"I still remember the day that about 40 rockets hit this very spot," Menassian recalled. "Midan was almost deserted. Many families left," she said, including her daughter, who fled to the Armenian capital Yerevan where her son-in-law worked as a jeweller.
Menassian's family home was also destroyed in the fighting, which halted in December, when Syria's army announced it was in full control of the city.
Now, Menassian's husband is re-opening his tyre shop in Midan, and their daughter and son-in-law are moving back to Syria, too.
"It's the return of the beautiful days," said Haroutioun Kahvedjian, a 57-year-old dentist. "I sent a picture of the cafe to my daughter to encourage her to come back," he said with teary eyes.
"The cafe is the symbol of our resistance in Aleppo."
Syria's six-year conflict has ravaged its infrastructure and caused losses to its economy of $226 billion, according to estimates published by the World Bank on Monday. The devastating war has killed over 320,000 people and displaced more than half the country's population since it began in March 2011.
The World Bank said the destruction ran much deeper than death tolls or infrastructure damage alone could capture.
"The war in Syria is tearing apart the social and economic fabric of the country," World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Hafez Ghanem said in a statement.
Muslim Brotherhood Syria: "We will bring back Islam to Syria"
the 'friends' of syria: us, uk, france, turkey, saudi arabia, defectors, collaborators,
isis, al-qaeda, fsa, islamist brigades, muslim brotherhood, kurdish separatists... etc...
"The number of casualties is devastating, but the war is also destroying the institutions and systems that societies need to function, and repairing them will be a greater challenge than rebuilding infrastructure -- a challenge that will only grow as the war continues," he said.
The World Bank report found that cumulative Gross Domestic Product losses since Syria's conflict erupted "have been estimated at $226 billion, about four times the Syrian GDP in 2010."
The body estimated that the conflict had damaged or destroyed 27 percent of Syria's housing stock and about half the country's medical and educational facilities. Those calculations were based on cross-checked satellite imagery of certain cities and areas and extrapolated based on a conflict intensity model.
The World Bank found an average of 538,000 jobs had been lost annually between 2010 and 2015. It said more than three in four Syrians of working age -- or about nine million people -- were neither employed nor enrolled in any form of school or training.
"The long-term consequences of this inactivity will be a collective loss of human capital leading to a shortage of skills in Syria," it said.
The damage to the health sector has also had devastating effects, with the World Bank saying more people were estimated to have died from deficiencies in the medical system than directly from fighting in the war.
"The breakdown of the systems that organise both the economy and society, along with the trust that binds people together, has had a greater economic impact than the destruction of physical infrastructure," the World Bank said.
The report estimated that if the conflict were to end this year, GDP could regain 41 percent of its pre-conflict level within four years.
Iraqis may be cheering the success of government forces to oust ISIS from Mosul, but Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top U.S. commander in the country, warned against too much optimism.
The Express reports Townsend saying that much work is needed to ensure “ISIS 2.0” doesn’t weasel its way back into Mosul, saying that the Shia government will have to take further steps to reach out to the Sunni population of the country to stop regional tensions causing further conflict.
He said: “If we’re to keep … ISIS 2.0 from emerging, the Iraqi government is going to have to do something pretty significantly different.
“They’re going to have to reach out and reconcile with the Sunni population, and make them feel like their government in Baghdad represents them.”
Iraq’s current Prime Minister is Haider al-Abadi, who represents the Shia State of Law coalition.
The country is one of the world’s few Shia governed states, while Iraq itself is divided between the 57 per cent Shia and 40 per cent Sunni population, as well as the majority Sunni Kurdish citizenry.
Mr Abadi formally declared victory over the ISIS regime in Iraq after a nearly nine-month battle against the Muslim group came to a close in Mosul.
In a speech shown on state television, he said: “I announce from here the end and the failure and the collapse of the terrorist state of falsehood and terrorism which the terrorist Daesh announced from Mosul.
“We have another mission ahead of us, to create stability, to build and clear Daesh cells, and that requires an intelligence and security effort, and the unity which enabled us to fight Daesh.”
Flashback - Simplistic polarization of the world
A Deadly Manichean Mindset
Manichaeism is a very simplistic idea that even early Christianity rejected as not appreciating the complexities of how the world actually is and the ambiguities, the moral ambiguities that characterize who most of us are in most situations. Glenn Greenwald
"President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” speech played directly into Sharon’s hand, simultaneously legitimizing “unilateralism” and the undermining of international law while claiming exclusivity of values and the right to use unbridled (and accountable) force to achieve immediate ends.
Those, precisely, have been the hallmarks of Israeli policy all along. Add to that the perpetuation of the most brutal (and last remaining) military occupation in history “enjoying” the cover of impunity provided by its strategic alliance with the US, and you have a most alarming formula for lawlessness, radicalization, violence, and destabilization.
With the facile handing out of convenient labels, the dehumanization of the “other” is thereby rendered official, contributing to the subversion of the principle of equality before the law and to the suspension of communication (dialogue, negotiations) as a means of conflict resolution."
“O brothers and great people, I call on you to preserve the ideals that made you worthy of being believers, of being the bright lamp of civilization, and of belonging to the land that gave birth to the father of prophets, Abraham, and also of other prophets.
These ideals have made you the bearer of the official and authentic greatness...
“You live under the umbrella of the greatness of the Creator, God Almighty, and His care for you.
You should remember that God has given you your qualities in order that you will be a model of love, forgiveness, tolerance, and coexistence among yourselves, and to build the great dignified structure using the abilities and resources the Merciful provides...
“Brothers and sisters, my sons and sons of Iraq, comrade strugglers, I call on you not to hate the peoples of the countries that have committed aggression on us. I call on you to distinguish between the decision-makers and the people.
Hate only the deed. Even if someone's deeds deserve to be fought and combated, do not hate him as a human being.
Do not hate the individuals who do evil, hate only the evil deed itself, and repel that evil as it deserves.
“Whoever repents and makes good, whether in or outside Iraq, forgive him, and turn a new leaf for him, because God is Forgiving, and likes whoever forgives when he is capable of doing so.
Firmness is a must whenever necessary. However, in order that firmness is acceptable to the people and the nation, it ought to be on the basis of the law, and to be fair and just, and not aggressive and based on malice or illegitimate ambitions.
Russia’s operation in Syria aims to prevent what has happened with Iraq rather than to support Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a forum of Germany’s Kurt Kerber’s Fund on Thursday.
"As for Assad, we do not support him, we simply categorically do not want to repeat what happened in Iraq when almost all in the West had the desire to liquidate [Saddam Hussein]," Lavrov said, noting that "Germany stayed aside and France stayed aside" during the campaign against Hussein.
"I’m afraid of a scenario where the country would be liquidated together with him as very uneasy processes are taking place there. In Libya, simply statehood was undermined and this was also because they wanted to liquidate Muammar Qaddafi," Russia’s top diplomat said.
president chirac, demonized by uk press media (2002/03)
The Russian foreign policy in Syria relies on the norms of international law and UN Security Council decisions, Lavrov stressed.
"We are committed to the UN Security Council resolutions and in the case of Syria it is clearly written there that only the Syrian people can decide Syria’s fate," the Russian foreign minister said.
"Everyone voted for that and this project was prepared within the framework of the International Syria Support Group where Germany is a full-fledged member. Then it was approved by the UN Security Council," Lavrov said.
Russia’s foreign minister noticed in the hall the presence of German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger who had called the Russian foreign policy a catastrophe...
"It is interesting to know how he will characterize the policy of those who were staging the Greater Middle East in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Are any triumphs there?" he asked rhetorically.
BEIRUT, LEBANON – French President Emmanuel Macron said Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s resignation was not a prerequisite for action in Syria at a press conference alongside US counterpart Donald Trump in Paris, Thursday.
“We have one main goal, which is to eradicate terrorism, no matter who they are. We want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution. Against that background, I do not require Assad’s departure. This is no longer a prerequisite for France to work on that,” he said.
Macron’s policy on Assad completely differs from his predecessor, Francois Hollande (socialist), as he calls for dialogue and a peaceful resolution in Syria.
the 'incredible shrinking socialist' hollande
President Bashar al-Assad, 'Le Figaro' interview 3-9-2013: "How can the parliamentarians convince the French public that their country is secular, yet at the same time it supports extremism and sectarianism in other parts of the world?
How can France advocate for democracy but yet one of its closest allies – Saudi Arabia – is still living in medieval times?"
"My message to the French Parliamentarians is: go back to the principles of the French Revolution that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality."
The diplomatic machinations that have enveloped Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar may seem like a membership feud in a Persian Gulf club for the wealthy. But their quarrel highlights battles that have been roiling the Middle East since the Arab Spring began nearly seven years ago...
The Saudis’ and Emiratis’ basic problem is that they find Qatar a meddlesome and untrustworthy neighbor... For Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Qatar feels like a thorn in the side, much as Cuba did for the United States for more than 50 years.
It’s the Muslim Brotherhood issue that has caused the most bitterness.
Qatar has argued that the Brotherhood’s involvement in politics will defuse extremism, rather than augment it.
The Obama administration took a similar view in its outreach to the Brotherhood in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and in its support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government in Turkey.
Both Obama policies are now widely judged to have been failures.
President Barack Obama’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood actions were poisonous to the Saudis and Emiratis and help explain the deep split that developed after Mubarak’s departure in 2011. Rage at Obama deepened as he negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran, another bitter enemy of the gulf Arabs.
The gulf Arabs responded by squeezing Qatar to protect their flanks. The secret November 2013 agreement came just five months after a coup ousting the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, and after Iran had signed a framework nuclear agreement.
Hoping to compel Qatar to cease its regional activism, the gulf states signed a second pact on Nov. 16, 2014, which was described as a “rescue of the first agreement,” Saudi sources said.
It was broadened to include the rulers of Bahrain and the UAE. And it added a joint commitment to protect Egypt’s stability, meaning: help suppress the Brotherhood...
The Qatar quarrel may seem like a tempest in an Arabian teapot. But at its heart is the question that has vexed the world for a decade: Is there a role for political Islam in the modern world? Qatar says yes...
Flashback 2015: The 'State or Revolution' Question
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Iran “has become an occupying force in Syria,” and that “it has already sent thousands of Quds Force fighters and Shiite militias, such as [members] of Hezbollah and other militias from the region, to support Assad’s regime.”
Flashback 1988: Khomeini vs. Hussein; Mideast's Contenders for Nasser's Mantle
Ali Khamenei: The Islamic Revolution in 1979 sparked a scientific revolution
The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:
-- 1. the One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah")...
-- 2. Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
-- 3. the return to God in the Hereafter;
-- 4. the justice of God in creation and legislation;
-- 5. continuous leadership (imamah) and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
-- 6. the exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before God; in which equity, justice, political, economic, social, and cultural independence, and national solidarity are secured by recourse to:
1. continuous ijtihad of the fuqaha' possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis off the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Ma'sumun..'
2. sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;
3. negation of all forms of oppression, both the infliction of and the submission to it, and of dominance, both its imposition and its acceptance.
In order to attain the objectives specified in Article 2, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty of directing all its resources to the following goals:
raising the level of public awareness in all areas, through the proper use of the press, mass media, and other means;
free education and physical training for everyone at all levels, and the facilitation and expansion of higher education;
strengthening the spirit of inquiry, investigation, and innovation in all areas of science, technology, and culture, as well as Islamic studies, by establishing research centers and encouraging researchers;
the complete elimination of imperialism and the prevention of foreign influence;
the elimination of all forms of despotism and autocracy and all attempts to monopolize power...
donald trump & emmanuel macron - melania & brigitte in the notre dame
U.S. President Donald Trump is the guest of honor at France’s Bastille Day celebrations, an elaborate display that includes military bands and flyovers by American jet fighters and a massive parade to mark the centennial of the U.S. entry into the First World War.
The U.S. and French flags have been flying on Paris’ famed Champs Élysées where U.S. troops were scheduled to lead a parade with thousands of French soldiers.
France on July 14 marks the 1789 storming by rebels of the Bastille prison in Paris, an event that signaled the start of the French Revolution.
The [Russian] State Duma ratified a protocol on the deployment of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ (AF) air group in Syria on Friday.
The protocol to the agreement between Russia and the Syrian Arab Republic to deploy the Russian AF air group in Syria was signed in Damascus in January. It handles the issues of deploying the Russian air group, along with its movable and immovable properties.
The documents stipulates that the Syrian side shall carry out the outside guard of the Russian military base and the shore borders of the logistics center, whereas the Russian side shall provide anti-aircraft defense and interior guard, as well as uphold public order in the deployment area.
The agreement and the protocol will be valid for 49 years since their signing with the possibility to further prolong them for 25 years
Chairman of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs Leonid Slutsky explained that the document finalized legal provisions regarding the presence of the Russian AF air group in Syria and set out "the land plot boundaries, social protection of the military and tax remissions for Russian contractors that will build facilities for the Russian airbase in Syria."
As he put it, the importance of the protocol’s ratification "can hardly be overestimated."
"Given the situation with terrorist groups in Syria, we, unfortunately, realize that our military will be there for long time. We will always stay at the forefront of the fight against terrorism in Syria, preventing its expansion into Russia and Europe," Slutsky concluded.
BAGHDAD, Iraq—A number of Iraqi Sunni leaders gathered in the capital Baghdad on Friday and formed a new alliance. Some Sunni leaders who could not attend the meeting because they are wanted by Iraqi courts on charges of terrorism endorsed the alliance at a press conference in the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
According to Rudaw's correspondent in Baghdad Bahman Hassan, 300 major political and tribal figures now make up the alliance.
The leaders who gathered in the home of Iraq’s Sunni parliamentary speaker Salim al-Jabouri, said the aim of the alliance was to be involved in the post-ISIS era and become an authority and mouthpiece for the Sunni population.
“The importance of this is we have found a common view despite all the differences,” Jabouri told Rudaw following the announcement of the Alliance of Iraqi National Forces.
“We must pursue this common ground and put aside the disputes and let people look to a different future,” he added. “Unlike the past when the situation led to the occupation of their land and their own displacement.” “Our future is in being together with the other side,” the speaker of the parliament said.
The Friday meeting and alliance was the culmination of years of gatherings and diplomatic efforts in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan Region, and Jordan.
The Sunni leaders want to be able to run the affairs of Sunni areas that fell to ISIS in 2014 and have suffered politically, socially and economically as a result of the ISIS occupation and subsequent military offensives.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan & 'Kill Gaddafi' - 'Kill Assad' Brotherhood-cleric Qaradawi
Social Islam (Gülen) versus Political Islam (Erdogan)
Sufi-shrine, destroyed by Qatar-Qaradawi-supported Islamist rebels in Libya, 2012
-- Brian Knowlton: What are the fundamental values that bind together the followers of what is known as the Gülen movement? Are they specific beliefs, or more a way of looking at the world?
-- Fethullah Gülen: First of all, let me express one more time that I am disturbed by the term Gülen movement. Today, when you say movement, it refers to rather social movements, moreover political ones. In this regard, it is not possible to associate me with a movement.
For the sake of utility or practicality, to be able to describe its activities, it may be called a movement. However, I believe that calling this movement the Fethullah Gülen movement is not right, and doing so is disrespectful to many people dedicated to carrying out its activities. My role is very limited, and there is no leadership, no center, no loyalty to a center and no hierarchy.
-- Brian Knowlton: Turkey, whatever its problems, has been a democracy in modern times; it is a NATO member and Western ally. Could it be a model for other Islamic countries? What should we understand from the lack of democracy in other Islamic nations?
-- Fethullah Gülen: It's a pity that those who claim to speak in the name of Islam and those who claim to be pro-democracy are both making the same common mistake that democracy and religion are not compatible...
An ideal democracy - a democracy with a spiritual dimension - should promise to fulfill a human being's needs related to eternity as much as it promises to solve the issues of today and tomorrow. Only a democracy like that could develop into an ideal democracy, but unfortunately, humanity hasn't reached that horizon yet.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says those behind last year's failed coup in Turkey are "traitors" who should be beheaded.
"They showed no mercy when they pointed their guns at my people," Erdogan said, referring to the coup leaders. "What did my people have? They had their flags — just as they do today — and something much more important: They had their faith."
Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu made a statement Saturday, too. His recalled the changes in Turkey since the coup attempt that culminated in a referendum in April that awarded Erdogan sweeping executive powers.
"This parliament, which withstood bombs, has been rendered obsolete and its authority removed," Kilicdaroglu said. "In the past year, justice has been destroyed. Instead of rapid normalization, a permanent state of emergency has been implemented."
Erdogan had previously dismissed at least 100,000 civil servants he characterized as supporters of the aborted coup and arrested another 50,000 people. The scale of the purge has widened political divisions in Turkey, with government opponents denouncing it as an attempt to silence Erdogan's detractors.
The Turkish opposition says that Erdogan's government is moving toward authoritarianism, while the Turkish leader says that the crackdown on rights is necessary to thwart security threats to the ruling government.
Erdogan claims the coup was led by a cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for nearly two decades. Gulen denies any involvement.
In a statement released Saturday, Gulen said the Turkish government's "treatment of innocent citizens during the past year is dragging Turkey into the category of the countries with the worst record of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in the world." Gulen's statement also said the Turkish people "are being rallied en masse around hate messages."
In a speech late Saturday, Erdogan accused Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the CHP, of siding with Gulen and other terror groups.
Gulen was once an ally of the president but the two had a public falling out in 2013 and his movement was declared a terror organization. Erdogan said the country was doing everything to punish the "traitors".
Raging clashes between Takfiri terrorists in Idlib are raising fears of widespread violence in the northwestern Syrian province which is held by foreign-backed militants.
The fighting between Ahrar al-Sham - which is backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey - and al-Qaeda-linked Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham is the the first major escalation of infighting among Takfiri groups since they reached a truce in February.
Idlib has become the base for thousands of terrorists who fled Syria's largest city of Aleppo after facing a rout against government forces in December 2016.
Rival terrorist groups are now competing for clout in the territories they control after seeing their campaign to topple the Syrian government broadly in tatters.
On Saturday, Ahrar al-Sham said Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, also known as HTS, was sending reinforcements to the town of Saraqeb and the Jabal al-Zawiya region in preparation for an attack, accusing the group of acts of "tyranny".
The Ibaa News Agency of HTS, instead, accused Ahrar al-Sham of setting up checkpoints and detaining one of its commanders and his bodyguard. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitor which is sympathetic to militants, said the two groups had clashed near the village of Tel Touqan.
More clashes loom as the two sides are rushing their fighters to the frontlines... Further confrontation could also draw other terrorist groups into the infighting, especially after Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham reported the deaths of two more members near the Sarjeh village and blamed Suqour al-Sham, a strong Ahrar al-Sham ally.
Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham is part of a Takfiri coalition spearheaded by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front or al-Qaeda’s Syria offshoot.
Due to the barbarity of their actions, al-Nusra and Daesh (IS) are not subject to an all-Syria truce deal clinched late last year with the mediation of Russia, Iran and Turkey.
An editor of the left-wing Haaretz daily chastised French President Emmanuel Macron for calling anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism, praising anti-Zionism as “resistance” against racism and apartheid.
Asaf Ronel, the world news editor for Haaretz, criticized Macron’s recent statement that anti-Zionism was a ‘reinvention’ of anti-Semitism.
“We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,” said Macron on Sunday.
Responding to Macron’s comments via Twitter, Ronel rejected the comparison, and denounced Zionism as being ‘inherently racist’. Ronel praised anti-Zionism for ‘resisting’ the evils of modern Zionism.
“Dear president Emmanuel Macron, you are wrong – anti-Zionism is resisting the racism inherent in today’s Zionism. It’s not antisemitism.”
In a back and forth with French-Israeli foreign policy expert Emmanuel Navon, Ronel later accused Zionism of apartheid. But unlike many radical left-wing critics of Israel, Ronel did not cite Israel’s 1967 liberation of Judea and Samaria as an example of the alleged ‘apartheid’, instead denouncing the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948: “...the apartheid refers to 48, not 67.”
On Monday, Ronel took to Twitter again to complain about criticism of his comments after Honest Reporting documented his aforementioned tweets.
“Pro-Israel activists attack my newspaper for something I wrote. Explains a lot about their understanding of free media & freedom of speech.”
Definition of Semite
Please note that Israel is NOT a Semitic country!
When Israel really was a SEMITIC country (fighting against all forms of anti-Semitism),
all citizens (Arabs and Hebrews) would be equals.
Race, Religion or Political Ideology?
Now there are two other forms of what we may term anti-jewishness.
That is anti-Judaism, which broadly defined is opposition to Judaism as a religion and anti-Zionism, which similarly defined is the opposition to the state of Israel and Zionism as a political and intellectual ideology more broadly.
This then gives the lie to the popular misconception that anti-Zionism is synonymous with anti-Semitism precisely because there are three kinds of opposition to jews which can be held individually or in varying combinations.
None of these broad categories are mutually exclusive to each other either as there have been anti-Semites who were all for Zionism and critics of Judaism who thoroughly supported Israel and Zionism while roundly condemning anti-Semitism. (More on page 29)
Netanyahu & Ideological Blindness
*** Holocaust Day – The Time Is Ripe For A Jewish Apology
Building Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories should be stopped immediately, President Xi Jinping said Tuesday.
"China supports Palestine in building an independent, full sovereignty state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," Xi said after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing.
Xi also emphasized that UN Security Council Resolution 2334 should be effectively implemented.
The resolution that was adopted last December demands Israel halt its "flagrant violation" of international law that has "no legal validity", and said the government needs to live up to its responsibilities as an occupying power as dictated by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Xi said China is willing to support all efforts that may help solve the Palestinian issue.
Abbas is on a four-day visit to China that will end Thursday.
Israeli and Palestinian peace talks under U.S. mediation collapsed in April 2014 because of Israel's refusal to release Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so. All attempts to revive negotiations have since failed, due mainly to Israel's insistence on continuing settlement construction on occupied Arab land.
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:30 A.M.) – Clashes erupted throughout Idlib’s countryside again on Wednesday after a short-lived ceasefire between Ahrar Al-Sham (Turky-Saudi-backed) and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS/Al-Qaeda) fell apart the day before.
With the infighting suddenly reaching unprecedented levels, HTS retook Salqin town and the Sharia court building on its outskirts after dislodging Ahrar Al-Sham from the area. Furthermore, HTS fighters overran Al-Dana town in the afternoon hours.
In the southern countryside, HTS also recaptured the city of Saraqib after heavy clashes with Ahrar Al-Sham that saw three of their commanders arrested.
. On Wednesday evening however, huge protests broke out in several neighborhoods of Saraqib as thousands took to the streets to demand Al-Qaeda’s departure. HTS responded with brute force, shooting dead three non-combattants, including opposition journalist Mosaab Izzo.
On the other hand, two Ahrar Al-Sham branches, namely the Al-Hujra Brigade and Fajr Al-Islam Brigade, announced they had defected to HTS.
syria - idlib 2013 - bookburning
Flashback: Syria’s Rebels Prepare to Take a Province from Assad
World Time News, 7-2-2013
The offensive is overseen by a council of religious clerics, a Shari‘a court led by Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria), the militant group designated a terrorist organization by the U.S but widely respected by rebels for its disciplined fighting powers.
The court has knitted together dozens of groups from across Idlib province, extracting a sworn pledge from each brigade leader that he will work with the other groups under the direction of the court and will not compete with his counterparts for any ghanaim, or spoils of war, from the outposts if they fall.
Alawites & The Oneness of God
The Alawites are an offshoot of Shia Islam who revere Ali, the Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law. However, they have added to their religion aspects of other faiths, including Christianity, and have a Holy Trinity of their own, comprising Mohammed, Ali, and Salman the Persian, a Companion of the Prophet.
Their practices are socially liberal, with women not covering their hair and alcohol consumed.
The Alawites believe in the transcendence of God in his entirety and manifestations.
Ahmad Adeeb Ahmad, a Syrian Alawite religious scholar, said Alawites see God expressed in the Quranic al-Noor verse: “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a brightly shining star.”
Ahmad added that Alawites' view about Tawhid, the oneness of God, is expressed in the Quranic Ikhlas verse: “He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is nothing at all like Him.”
Alawites believe in the mystical interpretation of the Quran. Ahmad explained that the Alawites say, “The Quran has visible and invisible faces. We consider all of them.”