As the survival of the whole also encompasses the individual, any breaking with Zionism is considered a kind of societal treachery, which endangers the strength and even survival of the ‘whole’.
Narratives challenging the factual veracity of the ‘survival’ notion, like pointing out the thriving Jewish existence elsewhere, is rather meaningless for Zionists.
Zionism renders the supposed values of ‘liberalism’ meaningless
So when a break occurs, it is a break that will inevitably lead one to reconsider the totality of the indoctrination and set of values one was brought up with.
Read also: Why are Israeli children brainwashed to hate? (Monoweiss, 7-5-2017)
Mahmoud Abbas slams Trump over 'slap in the face of the century'
Oded Revivi, Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA Council, the official representative organization for the 450,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria, released the following response to Abbas' speech:
Flashback: The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas
"Jerusalem, Capital of Palestine," is an idea created after the Six Day War and further developed after the Oslo Accords were signed in September 1993. Arafat turned it into a mantra, while official Israel – Shmon Peres, Yossi Beilin, Alon Liel and their cohorts – did nothing to stop him. They told us that the expression is meant for a Palestinian Arab audience, i.e. for "internal use" only.
"Millions of shahids are on the march to Jerusalem!!" Arafat shouted day and night, but they told us to ignore it, that these were empty words, merely a pipe dream.
The world, led by Europe, went along with this Palestinian house of cards, financing it with billions of dollars over the years in the hopes of turning it into a real concrete structure, simply ignoring reality.
The world did not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and allowed Jerusalem to turn into another major bargaining chip in the "Peace talks".
The world perpetuated the "Palestinian refugee problem" despite the fact that not one refugee remains of all the others who existed in the 1940s. Even Germany, which absorbed and rehabilitated the Sudetenland residents expelled from Czechoslovakia, did not demand that the Arab world do the same and absorb the "Palestinian refugees".
That double standard is what perpetuated the Palestinian Arab refugee problem, turning it into a central bargaining chip in negotiations between Israel and its neighbors...
" the Palestinian problem is now seen by them as nothing more than a nuisance"
Donald Trump understood that the Palestinian structure is made of cards, left standing only because of the world's going along with European leadership, American liberal circles, the Arab states and a few Israelis suffering from burn-out.
Trump understood that the Palestinian ideological structure is full of holes and decided to pull two foundational cards out of the ephemeral structure: the Jerusalem card and the refugee card...
Trump pulled the refugee card from the house of cards by announcing that he would cease to fund, support and perpetuate it. That act is a thousand times worse than recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, because the refugee issue has been capitalized on for seventy years, with billions of dollars poured into it, all going to waste.
Without adequate funding, the "refugees" are liable to spread out and be absorbed in the areas to which they move on, within the Arab world and outside it. The "refugee problem" and its threat to Israel might even disappear.
Abbas understands that his house of cards, lacking Jerusalem and refugees, is about to collapse and disappear... The feeling that he has lost his compass is what made him lose his temper and abandon the discretion that has always characterized his behavior, leading him to return to the depths of Arabic culture with an imprecation aimed at Trump –"May your house be destroyed."
Abbas does not have the Arab world standing behind him. Quite the contrary, the Iranian issue has pushed many Arab states closer to Israel and since the Arab nations are mired in a plethora of their own internal problems, the Palestinian problem is now seen by them as nothing more than a nuisance.
Abbas' speech this week, one in which he dug his own grave, symbolized the collapse, death and burial of the "Palestinian issue"..
Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has hailed the accomplishments of late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser on the occasion of his 100th birthday, saying that he exerted his utmost efforts to ensure Egypt's well-deserved regional and international status.
In a televised speech on Monday, El-Sisi said Nasser - who was born on 15 January,1918 - the Egyptian nation’s ability to carry out independent economic development and to defeat poverty and ignorance.
“Egypt today celebrates the birth of Gamal Abdel-Nasser whose life-journey embodied the people's hopes for independence and dignity," said El-Sisi.
"He expressed those hopes with devotion and pride. That's why the Egyptian people have continued to hold him in high regard, even after his death, and his name remains a symbol of the people's hopes for controlling their destiny."
El-Sisi added that the late president worked hard during his period in office, operating within the limitations and requirements of his era.
“Abdel-Nasser’s influence extended to inspiring the revolutions of national liberation, not only in the Arab region, but globally, because the struggle of the Egyptian people under his leadership was inspirational and motivational to liberation movements in Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” El-Sisi said.
Egypt became a symbol of principles of national dignity, independence, and non-alignment in political foreign policy, El-Sisi added.
The late president believed in the Egyptian people’s ability to accomplish national self-development, said El-Sisi, as well as fighting poverty, ignorance and disease, which were the result of centuries of foreign occupation and the exploitation of the resources and riches of Egypt, and of other nations.
“He gave special importance to achieving social justice, to provide the vast majority of the nation with opportunities for a decent life,” El-Sisi said.
Born in Alexandria to a family which hailed from Upper Egypt's Assuit, Nasser remains a symbol of dignity, pan-Arabism, and social justice for millions around the Arab world.
The Philosophy of the Revolution
David Michael Satterfield (born December 18, 1954) is an American diplomat and U.S. Ambassador, who has served extensively in the Middle East, He served as a Senior Advisor on Iraq for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice... He has served since September 2017 as Assistant Secretary of State (Acting) for Near Eastern Affairs.
“The regime and the regime’s supporters cannot declare a victory solely based on a map and colors of positions on the ground.” (Washington Post, Trump's Plan to Stop Iran, 27-9-2017
This time the US surprised everyone by showing that it could come up with new ideas, building a project from scratch and keeping it secret. Under the guise of fighting Daesh in eastern and southern Syria, the US gradually increased its forces and experts to about 5,000, more than half of them in the east of the Syrian Euphrates. Moreover, it has been training a large force of about 30,000 Syrians.
The first opposing reaction did not come from the Syrian or Iranian regimes, as was expected, but from Turkey. Ankara announced that it would not accept the American project and that it would fight the armed Syrian Kurds, who it views as an extension of the “terrorist and separatist” Turkish Kurds. Everyone is expecting military action by Turkish ground forces in Afrin in the next few days.
The skeptical Turkish position toward any Kurdish armed force on its border is justified and understandable, but Turkey’s refusal to confront Iran in Syria created a vacuum that necessitated the creation of an alternative force for this task.
The new [US-controlled] force could be the best option to achieve peace in Syria, not the Russian and Iranian peace of Sochi, which is planned to impose a solution by force. Iran wants a peace that allows it to occupy Syria and dominate Lebanon and Iraq...
Turkey is entitled to complain about America’s new project on its southern border, but such action was necessary to thwart Iran’s malign attempts to manipulate the Syrian conflict to its own advantage.
There is an important American message to the Iranian regime — that Syria would be Iran’s Vietnam.
Yasser Al-Farhan, a member of the opposition delegation [National Coalition], has spoken about the agreement that was violated by the Iranians. “Maps were clearly drawn showing that areas should stay out of the control of the regime, and that they should be under the administration of local councils..."
As we have seen, the Iranian militias did not respect the agreement, Russia did not force them to respect it, nor did the Turkish forces interfere. These Iranian activities prove that the Sochi agreements are not credible, which makes the existence of a parallel force a necessity in the context of the regional race for the control of Syria.
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is a veteran columnist. He is the former general manager of Al Arabiya news channel, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat.
A delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, headed by Nasr Hariri, on Monday met with the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and with Head of the Middle East Unit in the European Commission Michael Miller.
The meetings came as part of a visit by the Commission to the European Union. The two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria, especially with regards to the humanitarian aspect.
Both sides stressed that the Assad regime should not be allowed to take on the distribution of EU aid deliveries inside Syria and the need to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need and in besieged areas.
Hariri urged the European Union representative to convey the details of the suffering of Syrian civilians as a result of bombing and siege by the Assad regime, Russia and the Iranian militias to the EU member states.
He urged the EU to take the necessary measures to put an end to the atrocities being committed by the Assad regime and its allies against the Syrian people.
Mogherini stressed that the EU sanctions on the Assad regime will not be lifted before political transition in Syria is achieved and UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 are fully implemented.
Read also: Nasr al-Hariri: "The life of the Iranian regime is over"
National Council of resistance of Iran, Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Over the last year critics have warned of the returning neoconservative influence on the executive branch’s national security apparatus, each day a little less confident that President Donald Trump will keep to the seeming anti-interventionist impulses he demonstrated during the 2016 campaign.
Of course the most garish of the pro-war set—Sebastian Gorka, K.T. McFarland, John Bolton—are easy to identify in or on the periphery of Trump’s orbit. Meanwhile, elite neoconservative voices like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have become darlings of the “Never Trump” cadre, finding new life as conservative tokens on “Resistance” media like MSNBC.
What has been less obvious, but has become much clearer in these last few months, is these neocons are quietly filling the vacuum left by Obama’s cadre of liberal interventionists.
Take Nadia Schadlow, for instance. She has been at the National Security Council since last winter, and is set to replace Dina Powell as deputy national security advisor, at the right hand of NSC chief H.R. McMaster. She was also the lead on the White House National Security Strategy, released last month.
This was Schadlow’s first position in government. Her résumé includes doctoral degrees from Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) under the tutelage of Iraq war promoter Eliot Cohen, who runs the largely neoconservative Strategic Studies program there...
What is significant about Schadlow’s role in the White House is not her bibliography, but her vast connections to Washington’s foreign policy and national security clique, especially its neoconservative elite...
In an article published prior to her entry into the administration, Dr. Nadia Schadlow, observed that with respect to Russia, China, Iran and other hostile nations, “these adversaries are governed by repressive systems that are fundamentally designed to counter the very qualities that allow the best attributes of human nature to flourish.”
The document she helped write makes a strong case that defending American sovereignty means competing with those who would constrain or undermine American values, influence, and institutions... (realcleardefense, 21-12-2017)
Let the soldiers govern
Why then has the U.S. military failed to translate battlefield success into victory Afghanistan and Iraq despite having perhaps the best army it has ever fielded?
To explain this, Ms. Schadlow cites what she calls the “American Denial Syndrome.” Simply stated, it is that Americans (civilians and soldiers alike) have a traditional antipathy for using soldiers to govern even on foreign soil, though only the army has the capacity to govern in the wake of the collapse of an enemy’s army and government. (Nadia Schadlow; War and the art of government)
The Trump administration policy in Syria is finally coming into daylight. It has decided to permanently separate north-east of Syria from the rest of Syria with the rather comical idea that this will keep Iranian influence out of Syria and give the U.S. a voice in a final Syrian settlement.
The Turks were not consulted before the U.S. move and are of course not amused that a "terrorist gang", trained and armed by the U.S., will control a long stretch of their southern border. Any Turkish government would have to take harsh measures to prevent such a strategic threat to the country.
Joshua Landis believes that the U.S. has given up on Turkey as an ally and is solely committed to do Israel's and Saudi Arabia's bidding. It is completely concentrated on countering Iran.
But there are few if any Iranian troops in Syria and the supply line from Tehran to Damascus is via air and sea and can not be influenced from an enclosed Kurdish enclave. Moreover, the U.S. presence in the north-east is not sustainable.
The north-eastern U.S. held area of Syria is surrounded by forces hostile to it. Turkey in the north, Syria in the west and south, Iraq, with a pro-Iranian government, in the east. It has no ports and all its air-supplies have to cross hostile air space.
Internally the area consists of a Kurdish core but has nearly as many Arab inhabitants as Kurds. The Kurds are not united, there are many who are against the PKK/YPG and support the Syrian government. Probably half of the Arabs in the area were earlier Islamic State fighters and the other half favors the rule by Damascus.
What all Arabs there have in common is hatred for their new Kurdish overlords. This all is fertile ground for an insurgency against the U.S. occupation and its Kurdish YPG proxy forces. It will need only little inducement and support from Damascus, Ankara or elsewhere to draw the U.S. presence into a chaotic fight for survival.
The US is increasingly falling back on support for Israel and Saudi Arabia. Trump has clearly set his course and reversed Obama’s effort to balance Iran and the KSA.
Trump has thrown in Washington’s future in the Middle East with its traditional allies; it is moving to hurt Iran and Assad. It's main instrument in gaining leverage in the region seems to be Northern Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Washington is promoting Kurdish nationalism in Syria. Turkey had hoped that when the Islamic Caliphate was destroyed, Washington would withdraw from North Syria. This has not turned out to be the case.
By keeping Damascus weak and divided, the US hopes to deny Iran and Russia the fruits of their victory. Washington believes this pro-Kurdish policy will increase US leverage in the region and help to roll back Iran.
Turkey is collateral damage. Washington recognizes that its pro-Kurdish policy is forcing Turkey into Russia’s arms but it is willing to risk this loss. Washington is willing to hurt Turkey in order to help Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Saudi rulers on Tuesday of committing “treason” against Muslims by aligning themselves with the United States and Israel.
Addressing parliamentary representatives from Islamic countries gathered in Tehran, Khamenei said the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “a big mistake” and “doomed to failure”.
“Regional governments that are cooperating with the United States and the Zionist regime to fight against Muslims are certainly committing treason. That is what Saudi Arabia is doing,” Khamenei said, according to his official website.
Iran, the leading Shi’ite Muslim power, and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, a key US ally, are rivals for influence in the Middle East where they support opposing sides in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
US President Donald Trump said on a visit to Jerusalem last year that a shared concern about Iran was driving many Arab states closer to Israel.
Egypt's Al-Azhar – the world's foremost institution of Sunni Islamic learning – is holding an international conference on Wednesday that will be attended by officials from 86 countries to discuss the issue of Jerusalem.
The conference, which will be held on 17 and 18 January at Al-Azhar Conference Centre in Cairo, will highlight a number of issues including “raising awareness about the issue of Jerusalem and emphasising its Arab and Islamic identity,” according to a statement by Al-Azhar.
The event, which comes under the auspices of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, will be held nearly one month after a decision by US President Donald Trump decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The conference will be attended by the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as the heads of Arab Islamic and Christian organisations.
The conference will tackle three main themes; affirming Jerusalem’s Arab status, raising awareness about the Jerusalem issue, and highlighting the international community's responsibility regarding the holy city.
The event, which will be led by Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, is expected to conclude with several recommendations that support the Palestinian cause and stress the rights of Palestinians to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Following Trump's decision on Jerusalem, which sparked protests in several Arab countries, Egypt presented a draft resolution to the Security Council on behalf of Arab countries that would have required the US to reverse its decision. The resolution was vetoed by the US, though it gained support from all 14 other members of the Security Council, including key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine.
A total of 128 countries later voted in the UN General Assembly in favour of a resolution condemning Trump's decision and calling on the US to reverse the move.
Egypt has consistently maintained its full support for a two-state solution along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.
International NGOs have condemned the US government's decision to cut more than half of its planned funding to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a Twitter post late on Tuesday that Washington was "holding Palestinian kids' humanitarian needs hostage to political agendas".
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, urged the US government to reverse its decision announced on Tuesday to withhold $65m out of $125m aid package earmarked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
"The move will have devastating consequences for vulnerable Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, including hundreds of thousands of refugee children in the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria who depend on the agency for their education," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
"It will also deny their parents a social safety net that helps them to survive, and undermine the UN agency's ability to respond in the event of another flare up in the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict."
On Twitter, Egeland said: "Cutting aid to innocent refugee children due to political disagreements among well-fed grown men and women is a really bad politisation of humanitarian aid...."
The Turkish ministry of foreign affairs said cuts to UNRWA would "hamper the efforts towards a two-state political solution and regional stability". It also said that Ankara would increase its contributions to the agency.
Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's delegation to the US, said in a statement on Wednesday that Palestinian refugees and children's access to basic humanitarian services was "not a bargaining chip but a US and international obligation". "Taking away food and education from vulnerable refugees does not bring a lasting and comprehensive peace," the statement said.
In a series of tweets, Trump had said: "... We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect.
"... With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, has stressed that the decision indicated that Washington is complicit with the "Israeli occupation" and is "creating conditions that will generate further instability throughout the region and will demonstrate that it has no compunction in targeting the innocent."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed his concern regarding the US decision, adding that he hoped that Washington would "maintain the funding" of UN Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Damon welcomed the cut in aid, saying that UNRWA is engaged in anti-Israel propaganda. (Sputnik News, 17-1-2018)
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Michael Oren (Kulanu) said, "I congratulate US President Donald Trump on his decision to drastically cut funding to UNRWA.
This is a false and corrupt organization, which fabricates millions of refugees in order to receive world funding. UNRWA perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by teaching Palestinian youth to hate the State of Israel and to work to erase it.
The President's decision is a crucial and vital step to putting an end to one of the greatest frauds in history. UNRWA's fraud has caused great damage to Israel...
Kulana partyfounder and chairman Moshe Kahlon, traditionally known for a hard line on security matters, has in more recent times suggested support for territorial compromise for a two-state solution. He has said he is "a product of the Likud" but that his "worldview is center, slightly leaning to the right". Within the Likud, he was known to be socially liberal. Kahlon has said his party represents the Likud of Begin...
The party headed by Menachem Begin first came to power in 1977, in what would eventually be referred to as “the Upheaval”.
“The Messiah’s donkey”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserted Wednesday that "Jerusalem would be a gate for peace only when it's the capital of Palestine."
"But it is also a gate for war, insecurity and instability if it isn't the capital of Palestine. US President Donald Trump has to choose," Abbas stressed during a speech at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Despite this militaristic and belligerent tone, Abbas stressed the Palestinians will not turn to terrorism to achieve their goals, but rather take diplomatic measures.
"We are sticking to peace as a choice for our people, but not peace at any cost—one that is based on international decisions that ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders," the Palestinian leader said.
Abbas insisted the Palestinians demand "only 22 percent of historical Palestine" —in the form of the 1967 borders—and despite that Trump has declared united Jerusalem to be Israel's capital. Trump, Abbas continued, is not trustworthy.
The Palestinian leader reiterated his claims there is a conspiracy meant to bring foreign elements into Palestine. "There hasn't been and there won't be a Palestinian, Arab or Christian who will bargain over Jerusalem and Palestine and give up one grain of sand from our land," Abbas insisted.
He also claimed that "We've been here for 5,000 years, from the days of the Canaanites who built Jerusalem. We are the Canaanites."
Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, who also spoke at the same event, said Muslims "are interested in peace that knows no surrender, and that doesn't hurt the homeland and the holy sites. Peace established with the power of knowledge, education and economics."
He called on the Muslim world to return its attention to the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem. He also proposed 2018 "to be the year of Jerusalem."
Who does Jerusalem belong To?
The name of the city Jerusalem was originally “Yerushalem”. “Shalem” comes from the name of the Canaan God worshipped in the city.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that US troops will remain in Syria not just to fight jihadists but also to counter the power of Bashar al-Assad and his ally Iran.
In a speech on the US strategy to help end Syria's seven-year civil war, Tillerson stressed that the mission of the US military is to destroy the Islamic State group and prevent its return. But he also made it clear that the open-ended deployment is intended to help create enough stability for Syrians to be able to remove Assad from office and reject Iranian influence.
"A total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad to continue his brutal treatment against his own people," Tillerson told an audience at Stanford University.
"A murderer of his own people cannot generate the trust required for long-term stability," he said. "A stable, unified, and independent Syria ultimately requires post-Assad leadership in order to be successful."
Tillerson: "A murderer of his own people"
The US works with the Syrian Democratic Forces, a militia dominated by Kurdish fighters which Washington sees as a basis for a 30,000-strong border force to hold eastern Syria. Assad's Damascus regime has condemned this force as traitors, and US ally Turkey, wary of the presence of the YPG Kurdish militia in its ranks, is highly suspicious of its role.
Tillerson insisted that Washington is not being dragged into the Syrian civil war as a combatant seeking violent regime change, nor into a long-term nation-building mission.
Instead, he argued that the US role will provide stability to allow a UN-led peace process to resume and find a Syrian-led alternative to Assad's rule and the Iranian presence.
"US disengagement from Syria would provide Iran with the opportunity to further strengthen its own position in Syria.
"As we have seen from Iran's proxy wars and public announcements, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East and the destruction of our ally Israel," he said.
Condi Rice & Hillary Clinton: AIPAC-sisters at heart
Jerry Dandridge, Syria News, 24-4-2012
It has to be clearly stated that the external opponents of the Syrian government and the Syrian President al-Assad have no real interest in the ceasefire and never cared about the Syrian population.
These dubious people and questionable sides are better of if the peace plan by Kofi Annan will fail in Syria, because then they get further massive support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and also by the West, of course. ...
After AIPAC-Darling Hillary Clinton has made her demand that she wants to reach the implementation of actions by force against the Syrian government if the current Resolutions against Syria are not really implemented, Condoleezza Rice follows Hillary Clinton in no uncertain terms now.
Both are AIPAC-Sisters at heart, of course. ... Condi Rice is just another war voice of the known warmongering governments and organizations. ...
Since the West is still not convinced about a military intervention in Syria, at least not officially, they try to achieve their dubious intentions with ever more sanctions against Syria. The more Syria gets destabilized, the easier is a regime change.
Tillerson illustrated how the U.S. would continue trying to isolate Assad’s government even as the U.S. objective is “stabilization.”
Washington won’t allow international reconstruction aid to flow to any part of Syria under Assad’s control, he said. It will discourage countries from trading with his government.
“Instead, we will encourage international assistance to rebuild areas the global coalition and its local partners have liberated,” Tillerson said, suggesting such an approach might pressure Assad to resign.
“Once Assad is gone from power, the United States will gladly encourage the normalization of economic relationships between Syria and other nations.”
"The U.S. has used starvation and disease against Indigenous nations since its founding."
"Sanctions are war. They are the most brutal form of war because they punish an entire population, targeting children, the future, most of all. Sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction." Sara Flounders
Syria: Sanctions Harming Children, Sick People
by Jason Ditz, antiwar.com 22-10-2012
A lesson often learned but rarely remember is that sanctions end up harming the most vulnerable civilians in a nation far more than the government. This was seen in Iraq, where international sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of children.
It is being seen in Iran, where hospitals are seeing major shortages in medicine and equipment. Now it is also being seen in Syria.
That’s the report from the Syrian government today, which noted that the health care sector and child care have been the hardest hit segments of the Syrian economy as a result of US and EU sanctions imposed during the ongoing civil war.
In Syria the issue was somewhat different, as initially Syria manufactured the vast majority of their own medication. The sanctions have made raw materials harder to acquire, and Syria’s manufacturing center, Aleppo, has been virtually shut down because of the war. This has made Syria struggle to find new sources for medicine, and with the sanctions in place, many nations simply won’t deal with them.
Middle East expert Dr. David Bukay of the University of Haifa on Thursday analyzed the speech by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week, in which he said that Israel “is a colonialist project that has no connection to Jews" and also cursed Trump following his threat to cut funding to the PA.
"Netanyahu said in India that following the speech the mask was ripped off Abu Mazen's face, but I have been warning about Abbas for 13 years and he did not take off any mask [with this speech]. He was always the most violent, even more than Arafat. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing,” Bukay told Arutz Sheva.
For years, Bukay continued, Abbas has been able to deceive Israel into thinking he is the only one who can be a partner for negotiations.
"The army and the Civil Administration see him as a partner for negotiations and defend him. That’s the tragic part. He is the most dangerous, even more than the Islamic State caliphate and more than Al-Qaeda, precisely because he is accepted by the West as a moderate, as a partner with whom one can do business, but the truth is that he wants nothing less than everything and therefore he is dangerous,” he warned.
"Abu Mazen declares that he is against terror because he knows that terrorism will not win, but that what will defeat us is political isolation and that is his weapon. He works to isolate Israel and we help and protect him because we mistakenly believe he is the best alternative. Abu Mazen is the worst alternative. An anti-Semite who denies the Holocaust..
David Bukay is a Professor of Middle East Studies at the University of Haifa.|
Bukay is a supporter of the controversial Huntington thesis of the Clash of Civilisations. He argues that there is a wide gap between what he categorises as "Western political culture" and "the Arab-Islamic political culture".
He claims that "Islam and democracy are totally incompatible, and are mutually inconclusive. The same applies to Modernity, which is perceived as a threat to Islamic civilization", and that "Leaders and policy-makers in the West refuse to grasp that the Islamic and Palestinian terrorism embodies the SARS decease: Suicide and Ruin Syndrome of democratic society.
Until it is understood that this struggle is the war between the Sons of Light [Israel] against the Sons of Darkness, that they represent the invasion of the Huns, in order to destroy modern culture - the world will continue to face an existential more growing threat".
In his book Arab-Islamic Political Culture, Bukay writes: "This is a culture where rumors are an integral part of social activity, and they quickly become absolute truth that cannot be challenged. It has to do with exaggerations, flights of fancy, and especially, in a society that believes in conspiracies, a society wherein every date is important, that remembers everything and forgives nothing.
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami introduced the idea of Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.
'Dialogue among Civilizations' means equality between peoples and nations. In other words, one conducts a dialogue only when one respects the other party and considers the other party as equal to oneself.
Al Qaeda-linked rebels in northern Syria are using “re-radicalisation” programmes to lure fighters from rival extremist group ISIL, creating new recruits to mount jihadist attacks.
In Idlib province, the rebel coalition Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), dominated by the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fatah Al Sham, has put “between 100 and 150” ISIL militants through the scheme so far, security sources told The National. The programmes run by HTS last up to two weeks, and are based on a “Shura and Sharia bureau approved curriculum of Jihad".
Indoctrination has taken place in the desert region of Abu Dhahur, east of Idlib, the scene of recent fighting between HTS and the Syrian regime.
“This is one of the clearest examples of how Daesh [ISIL] members can blend into other violent extremist organisations," said a security source of the effort to lure ISIL fighters into Al Qaeda's ranks.
Graeme Wood, author of The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State, said the "re-education" effort would likely evolve around "who is a Muslim, and who is beyond the fold of Islam".
"There is a great deal of overlap between the official ideologies of HTS and ISIL," he added.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed not to invite Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef to IDF events and ceremonies over his support of comments against the army made by religious-Zionist Rabbi Shlomo Aviner and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, he said Saturday.
Eliyahu and Aviner have been banned from army events as well until they take back their comments, the defense minister added.
Rabbi Aviner instructed religious-Zionist men not to enlist in the IDF if they're placed in a unit that includes women, while Rabbi Eliyahu called for the dismissal of IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot over what he calls a crisis in the army concerning the integration of women in more roles.
"I've instructed the army that Israel's chief rabbi (Yosef), Rabbi Aviner or Rabbi Eliyahu cannot take part in any event in the IDF," Lieberman said during a visit to Ashdod to support businesses open on Shabbat. "It's unreasonable to attack the IDF, to speak against service, and then still participate in military events."
"This radicalization now is completely unreasonable, it has no place. Both the Chief Rabbi of Israel and the Rabbi of Safed, who are state employees, must represent the state's positions and not go against them," he added.
During his visit to the Big shopping center in Ashdod, Lieberman also came out against new legislation that allows the interior minister to close stores on Saturday, the Jewish day of rest.
"Those who say the Supermarkets Law has no meaning are mistaken and misleading. The Supermarkets Law unfortunately has far-reaching consequences, as we're seeing in Ashdod. Until recently, there was harmony in Ashdod, and now the city is divided. I hope it doesn't happen in other cities," the defense minister said.
"This division undermines our national resilience. This entire thing is creating unnecessary tension and friction. The last thing we want is to see a divided Israeli society. I hope both the heads of the religious-Zionist public, and those of the Haredi public, will calm down," he added.
Turkey launches airstrikes in Syria against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters
The PYD and the PKK have been quite coy about their links, but in Afrin the connections were pretty evident. Pictures of Abdullah Ocalan decorated every government office I visited. In the martyrs’ memorial centre, the majority of the dead had lost their lives not in Syria, but in Turkey, fighting with the PKK. Also, the teachers I met who were giving local people courses in written Kurdish were both Turkish Kurds. (Kurdish 'freedom' in Afrin, 22-10-2012)
Earlier this month, the US said it was supporting the establishment of a 30,000-strong border-force which in practice would be dominated by the YPG. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed that his offer was misunderstood by Turkey, but the Turks were dismayed by what they regard as the pro-Kurdish direction of US policy.
But just as Mr Tillerson was trying to cool the confrontation in US relations with Turkey, he provoked a deeper crisis by saying in a speech last week that the US would keep its 2,000 military advisers and logistics troops in Syria for the foreseeable future. This was to prevent the resurgence of Isis, but was, above all, intended to weaken the position of President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.
Whatever Mr Tillerson intended, the consequence of his words was to give a long-term military guarantee to the Syrian Kurdish enclave. This pledge of a permanent US military presence in Syria infuriated Mr Erdogan and alienated Russia, Syria and Iran – countries that believed that the new US policy in Syria was a sign that Syrian Kurdish leaders had plumped wholeheartedly for an alliance with the US.
Previously, the Kurds had tried to balance between Russia and the US and to avoid being seen as a permanent enemy of Mr Assad in his bid to reunify Syria under his rule...
The Syrian Kurds have gone along with US policy priorities by taking economically important areas like the oilfields in eastern Deir Ezzor province which Mr Assad wants back. He will not like Turkish military units entering Syrian territory, but there are advantages for him if the Turkish offensive shows the Kurds that they cannot rely on the US to protect them.
The West ignores the presence of Jabhat al-Nusra-connected militants in East Ghouta, whose fire attacks have affect the Russian embassy, too, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday (22-1)
"For quite some time our Western partners have been trying to fan a scandal over East Ghouta and Idlib while ignoring the fact that the concentration of militants close to Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization) remains high there and that these militants mount fire attacks on Damascus, including the Russian embassy," Lavrov said.
"Also, they ignore the fact that just recently the Syrian government and Russian military personnel began an evacuation of children, including those requiring medical assistance, from East Ghouta."
"Emotionally drawing attention of the global community to humanitarian problems of Idlib, Western colleagues are ignoring the evident fact, that it was exactly in eastern Idlib that the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra has been running things up until recently," he said.
"An offensive of the Syrian army with our support began quite recently, which has resulted in the encirclement of the main part of al-Nusra. Apparently this is what arouses such concern in some Western countries," he added.
"The US and the coalition it heads strive to spare Jabhat al-Nusra, keeping the group to implement the plan on a regime change - the so-called Plan B," the minister pointed out. "It is totally unacceptable to us, and we will vehemently oppose such attempts."
Kurdish representatives are on the invitation list for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due in Russia’s Sochi, he went on.
"Kurdish representatives were put on the list of Syrians invited to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi," Lavrov said.
Kurds must be involved in the process of a political settlement in Syria, the senior diplomat stressed. "As for the role of Kurds in the further political settlement, of course this role must be ensured," he said.
Russia will continue dialogue with the Houthis, the Saudi-led collation, as well as with other Yemeni groups and interested countries capable of influencing the situation in Yemen, Lavrov said following his meeting with Yemeni top diplomat Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi on Monday.
"At the same time, we will continue our dialogue with the Houthis, other Yemeni political groups and all the interested states, including members of the Saudi-led coalition, who can influence future developments in the country and the entire region, encouraging those who are capable of influencing the situation to facilitate the transition from the use of force to a political dialogue as soon as possible," Lavrov said.
The power of soft culture
Palestinian Christians say US Vice President Mike Pence's brand of evangelical Christianity, with its fervent embrace of modern-day Israel as fulfilment of biblical prophecy, lacks their faith's compassion and justice.
Mike Pence was in Jerusalem on Monday, expressing his support for Israel in a speech to the Knesset filled with biblical references.
The vice president —by his own definition "a Christian, a conservative, a Republican, in that order"— has cited his religious beliefs as the source of his unwavering support of Israel.
He has been embraced by so-called Christian Zionists who believe the establishment of the state of Israel is proof of God keeping his promises and a step toward the second coming of Christ.
In a 2017 speech to Christians United for Israel, or CUFI, an influential organization run by Texas pastor John Hagee, Pence signaled similar views, saying that "though Israel was built by human hands, it is impossible not to sense that just beneath its history lies the hand of heaven."
In his CUFI speech, Pence stuck to what the vice president portrayed as biblically mandated support for Israel.
To be in the world but not of it - İbrahim Kalın, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 1-8-2017
Palestinian Christians slam the Christian Zionist views as a negation of the teachings of Jesus.
Christians make up a small minority of the overwhelmingly Muslim Palestinian population in the West Bank, but relations between the two religious groups are typically cordial and tolerant.
"For me, it's a sick ideology," said Munib Younan, the recently retired bishop of the small Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and former president of the Lutheran World Federation, an umbrella for churches with millions of believers.
"When I say Jesus is love, they want my Jesus to be a political Jesus," Younan, 67, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian, said in a recent interview at his church.
Rebecca Littlejohn, a Disciples of Christ pastor from La Mesa, California, said her denomination works with Palestinian Christians and that she belongs to a grass-roots group engaged in peace efforts. She said that while Disciples of Christ emphasizes Christian unity, "I find very little, from what I know of it, in Mike Pence's religion that looks like Christianity to me."
The Palestinians on Monday harshly criticized US Vice President Mike Pence’s speech to the Knesset on Monday for its emphasis on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which the PLO’s longtime negotiator said was a “gift to extremists.”
“The messianic discourse of Mike Pence is a gift to extremists & has proven that the US Administration is part of the problem rather than the solution.
His message to the rest of the world is clear: violate international law & resolutions and the US will reward you,” tweeted Saeb Erekat.
Earlier Monday, Palestinian Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi said it was “ludicrous” that Pence’s visit would help boost peace efforts.
“The Americans cannot talk about the peace process after they have undermined it following [Trump’s] recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” she said...
Since US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ties between the US and the Palestinians have sharply declined, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying shortly after the US was no longer an honest broker in peace talks.
The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as the capital of their future state. Israel claims the entire city as its “united” capital.
The Cult of the Zionists - An Historical Enigma
Top 10 Negative Characteristics Of The Zodiac Sign Leo
Patriarch Kirill: "The church is a community open to the whole world
Mary has been one of the strongest symbols across the Middle East for unity, across religions, tribes and nations.
In 1982, the year that saw the so-called Hama massacre, when the Syrian regime put down with particular thoroughness a Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the city that became one of the first opposition centres in the current war, Mary appeared in an ordinary house in the old city of Damascus.
Myrna Nazzour's story hinges on a tiny, cheap reproduction of a Russian icon of the Virgin and Child in a white plastic frame.
Mary to Myrna Nazzour: "Love one another.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem Tuesday afternoon, capping off the Vice President’s first state visit to Israel. Pence, a long-time backer of the Jewish state, arrived in Israel for his fourth trip on Sunday (jan 21), which was originally scheduled for mid-December.
Donning a yarmulke for the visit, Pence was escorted to the Western Wall by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich (Rabinowitz), Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall and Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation Mordechai ‘Soli’ Eliav.
“Here, right above us, on the Temple Mount, King Solomon built the Temple,” Rabbi Rabinovich said as he escorted the Vice President. “We draw our strength from our deep connection to the land of the Bible and our commitment to [fulfill] the words of the Prophets.”
The Vice President placed a note in the Western Wall, then said a brief prayer. Karen Pence prayed separately at the women’s section of the Wall. At the end of his visit, Pence signed the Western Wall guest book. "It is my great honor to pray here at this sacred place,” the Vice President wrote.
Responding to questions by reporters, the Vice President said the visit to the holy site was “very inspiring”.
Jesus & Fort Antonia
"When Romans took control, they built a huge fortress, which is now mistakenly called the temple mount, north of the city of David, which enclosed 35 acres — about three times as much as the entire City of David. This was the Antonia citadel. This fortress follows the same pattern as Roman fortresses and camps in other places in the world." George Wesley Buchanan
Josephus, a Jew who was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70AD and the author of "The antiquities of the Jews" and "The Jewish wars"(available online) said the Temple of Herod was built high up on a platform that had four walls around it forming a precise square of 600 feet on each side. Josephus said the wall of its southeast corner had its foundations directly in the deepest part of the Kidron Valley (in the streambed itself) and that its height was 300 cubits (450 feet, or about the height of a modern 40 story building). This description in no way fits the dimensions of the Haram.
Near the northwest corner Josephus said this external Temple wall was connected to Fort Antonia by two side-by-side colonnade roadways (each 600 feet long).
Josephus then said that Fort Antonia itself was built around a notable "Rock" that was viewed as the centerpiece feature of the interior of the Fort - which was also known as the Praetorium.
This well-recognized "Rock" in the Praetorium around which Fort Antonia was built was called the lithostrotos in the Gospel of John (19:13) and Christ stood on it when judged by Pilate.
Josephus said that Antonias size was much larger than the Temple (he described Fort Antonia as the size of a city and it contained a full legion of Roman troops with many open spaces for military exercises and training).
Fort Antonia was so large that Josephus said it obscured the whole of the Temple square from the north. (temple Update)
jerusalem: dome of the rock (according to early christans 'the preatorium')
Personal Integrity: Rex Tillerson issues a challenge. Scouting Magazine, August 6, 2015
At the National Order of the Arrow Conference’s Gathering of Eagles, Rex Tillerson issued a challenge to every Eagle Scout...
He said that Eagle Scouts are expected to continue to act with personal integrity.
At the National Order of the Arrow Conference’s Gathering of Eagles, Rex Tillerson issued a challenge to every Eagle Scout...
He said that Eagle Scouts are expected to continue to act with personal integrity.
“The American government is first and foremost a political machine, and it will do anything it can to discredit anyone or anything that it deems adversarial.
So, of course, peace talks that might bring relief from suffering and violence to the Syrian people will be discounted and unattended,” Matthew Hoh, a former US Marine and now a leader of Veterans For Peace told RT. The Americans are not serious at all, they just want to score points in the arm-wrestling, the big power game with Russia...”
The accusations made by Washington should be taken with a pinch of salt, Dr Wakeem warns, as “we’ve seen before cases of distortion, of manipulation of facts.” The US’ eagerness to rely on such shady sources “like the White Helmets or Al-Nusra or other ‘activists’ who shift from one side to another according to the situation” further makes any accusations levelled “void and discredited,” he added.
Russia's UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya stressed that by immediately rejecting Moscow’s proposal on setting up a new investigative mechanism to probe chemical incidents in Syria, the United States has shown its true colors.
"The fact that our resolution was immediately rejected, speaks for itself. It once again gives away the truth, which we already know. The United States has no need of an independent professional mechanism," he said, TASS reported.
Nebenzya told the UN Security Council meeting that Russia suggested setting up "a new international investigative body be set up to establish facts on the basis of scrupulous and incontestable evidence received by means of transparent and reliable methods so that the Security Council could identify those responsible for the use of poisonous agents as weapons."
In his words, it should be a "professional and de-politicized" mechanism.
Washington rejected a Moscow-drafted Security Council resolution seeking to establish an objective investigative mechanism to probe all allegations of chemical attacks in Syria “based on impeccable and irrefutable data”.
Hundreds of school children in Gaza gathered with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, to launch the global fundraising campaign #DignityIsPriceless. The campaign follows the dramatic reduction of funding announced by the United States last week. It aims to raise US$ 500 million.
“We are launching this campaign because UNRWA stands with you as witnesses to your historic plight,” stated Krähenbühl during a press conference at an UNRWA school in Gaza.
“I wish to confirm to all Palestine refugees that UNRWA schools, proud schools like the one we are standing in, will remain open. Health care, and other services will be provided. It is a huge challenge, but it is absolutely imperative.”
The reduction in funding could have a significant impact on the daily lives of millions of vulnerable Palestine refugees... At stake is access to basic education for 525,000 boys and girls at over 700 UNRWA schools; emergency food and cash assistance to 1.7 million extremely vulnerable Palestine refugees; access to primary health care for 3 million refugees, including pre-natal care,; dignity and human security for 5.3 million refugees who endured 70 years of injustice and uncertainty.
The Commissioner-General reassured refugees that UNRWA’s mandate is firmly protected in the UN General Assembly. “It is not for sale and was just extended by 167 countries,” he said.
For details on the #DignityIsPriceless campaign, please visit www.unrwa.org/donate.
Erykah Badu: 'I'm not antisemitic' but 'I saw something good in Hitler'
In Judaism Satan is an agent of God