Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
An especially dangerous threat to liberty occurs when members of the press collude with government agencies instead of monitoring and exposing the abuses of those agencies. Unfortunately, collusion is an all-too-common pattern in press coverage of the national security state’s activities. The American people then receive official propaganda disguised as honest reporting and analysis.
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
Joe Biden & Truth - 2009
US Vice President Joe Biden said that the new administration would seek the
unvarnished truth from its spies, whether or not their information supported
the goals of the government.
The Vice President's address was greeted with loud cheers by the several hundred CIA employees who gathered for the swearing in ceremony in the foyer of the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Standing before the wall of 89 stars representing the CIA staff who have died in the line of duty, Mr Biden said:
"We expect you to provide independent analysis, not to engage in group think. We
expect you to tell us the facts as you know them wherever they may lead, not
what you think we want to hear." (Tim Shipman. 20-2-2009)
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign
ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid
to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation
that is afraid of its people …
The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. …
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." John F.Kennedy
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
"The post-September 11 era in the US has heralded in a new age of ideology whose discourse and world views have served not only to accommodate such extremist views as those held by Sharon, but also to provide him with a platform and an influence that were unthinkable only a year ago.
Thus while the American President is busy devising a new Manichean universe of absolute good and absolute evil, pronouncing policy on the basis of a simplistic polarization of the world, and unilaterally defining the terms while categorizing state and non-state actors accordingly, Sharon’s Israel has maneuvered itself into a position of even greater power on the world stage provided explicitly by the US."
"The globalists wants to make the world unipolar in order to move towards a globalist non-polarity, where the elites will become fully international and their residence will be dispersed throughout the entire space of the planet.
Accordingly, for the salvation of people, peoples, and societies, the Great Awakening must begin with multipolarity.
This is not just the salvation of the West itself, and not even the salvation of everyone else from the West, but the salvation of humanity, both Western and non-Western, from the totalitarian dictatorship of the liberal capitalist elites.
And this cannot be done by the people of the West or the people of the East alone. Here it is necessary to act together. The Great Awakening necessitates an internationalization of the peoples’ struggle against the internationalization of the elites. Multipolarity becomes the most important reference point and the key to the strategy of the Great Awakening.
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance. At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)
Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu
"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)
Israeli far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir's Religious Zionism party had gained 14 seats by Wednesday morning with 84 percent of the votes counted following Tuesday's election, likely giving Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing bloc a majority in parliament. Results so far showed the former prime minister, who is on trial for corruption he denies, leading a bloc of four parties taking 65 of the Knesset's 120 seats.
The Palestinian nationalist Balad party and left-wing Meretz party were so far both short of the 3.25 percent, four-seat threshold, needed to enter the Knesset.
Israel Election: Netanyahu Set to Secure Slender Majority,
Shock. Triumph for Far Right. Haaretz, 2-11-2022
With liberal and Arab strongholds yet to be fully counted, PM Lapid banking on the distant prospect that smaller parties make it into the Knesset and block a far-right government helmed by Netanyahu.
"We have won a huge vote of confidence from the people of Israel," a smiling Netanyahu told cheering supporters at his Likud party election headquarters. "We are on the brink of a very big victory."
During last year’s election cycle, Netanyahu said Ben-Gvir - who used to keep a picture of Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians in a mosque in 1994, in his home - was not fit to be a minister. However, as Ben-Gvir's popularity has grown, Netanyahu has changed tack, and conceded that he could serve in any potential cabinet. Bezalel Smotrich, a leader of Religious Zionism, tweeted that the party had made history and "this is a victory for the religious-Zionist camp".
If Netanyahu and his allies form a working coalition, the extremist views of his allies are likely to gain even more attention in the international arena.
According to Walla, an Israeli website, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog during a visit to the US last week was forced to allay fears put to him by officials in the Biden administration that members of far-right parties could be appointed to any new coalition government.
ISunday's report said Washington fears that if leaders of the far-right parties receive senior positions, it could damage relations between the US and Israel.
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed is reported to have warned Netanyahu in private that any cooperation with extreme right-wing parties could damage nascent relations between the countries.
RAMALLAH: The prospect of Benjamin Netanyahu returning to power as head of one of the most right-wing coalitions in Israeli history has prompted concern among Palestinians who fear it could be a prelude to an escalation of their conflict with Israel.
More than 100 Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces this year.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the rise of right-wing parties was “a natural result of the growing extremism and racism in Israeli society, which the Palestinians have been suffering from for years.”
But Palestinians “would not stop their legitimate struggle to end the occupation, gain freedom and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital regardless of the identity of the winners in the Israeli elections.”
He added: “The difference between the Israeli parties is the same as the difference between Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola."
“We had no illusions that the ballot boxes in the Israeli elections would produce a partner for peace in light of the aggressive policies and practices that our people suffer from, which do not give weight to international decisions and laws.
“The results of the Israeli elections confirmed that we have no partner in Israel for peace and that the international community must assume its responsibility to implement international resolutions and protect our people after the rise of racist parties to power in Israel.”
Left-wing politicians were reacting with horror and dismay on Wednesday to the decisive electoral victory of the right-wing, religious bloc in the general election, expressing extreme concern in particular over the strong influence the far-right Religious Zionism party will likely wield in the next government.
And recriminations among left-wing parties for their poor showing in the election had also begun, with Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej of the Meretz party blaming the leader of the Labor party, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, for the loss, citing her refusal to unite the two parties.
Michaeli staunchly refused to unite her party with Meretz on a joint electoral slate ahead of the election, insisting that both parties would be able to pass the electoral threshold by themselves.
With some 86 percent of the votes counted, Labor looked set to win just four seats, compared to the seven seats it won in the last election, while Meretz [the left-most Zionist party] failed to cross the electoral threshold, thereby losing all representation in the Knesset altogether.
“A mistake was made; the ego played a role and you pay a price for ego,” continued Frej, who is Israel’s second-ever Muslim cabinet minister in the outgoing government.
I last visited Israel in 2018 just before it passed the constitutional law declaring the country the nation state of the Jews, and in those four years it has become a narrower place.
The signs of religious nationalism are everywhere today, even near Tel Aviv. The settlers have now taken over the army (Yossi Gurvitz tells me), and when activists visit hotspots in the South Hebron Hills settlers smash their car windows with rocks as soldiers do nothing.
The ugliness of Israel is inescapable. The guns everywhere. The hatred of Palestinians. The complete acceptance of apartheid.
The importance of Tom Friedman’s article saying the Israel we knew is gone is not about Palestinians. No, the Israel Palestinians know is the same. It is about American Jews. They are finally catching a clue.
That is the importance of last week’s election, the Itamar Ben-Gvir election, in which his fascistic Religious Zionism party took 14 seats, and hard right wing parties took 74 (per Dahlia Scheindlin). The new ugly Israel will alienate American Jews, as Israel lobbyists Dennis Ross and David Makovsky openly fretted in an Op-Ed.
Tom Friedman is following in the footsteps of Peter Beinart and Jeffrey Goldberg: Zionist journalists who stood up for Israel again and again in the public square then had enough.
Beinart is the bravest, he has come out for one state. Goldberg completely disappeared when he saw that the occupation was devouring Israel five years ago. Now Friedman is pivoting, and liberal Zionists are in complete meltdown... The disarray is a good thing. Zionism—the ideology Ben-Gvir and Netanyahu embody, one of Jewish supremacy in the Jewish land– is at last becoming problematic for American Jews.
They are up to their chins in a discriminatory ideology, and so we begin a war over Zionism that will bring down the Israel lobby in the next ten years. Because Zionism destroys everything in its path.
Zionism has caused nightmares and heartache and misery for Palestinians for decades, but as the media consultant, and Mondoweiss contributor, Ghousoon Bisharat said to me in Haifa, Ben-Gvir is not our problem, he is the Jews’ problem.
And now he is the American Jews’ problem. Finally American Jews will see what Zionism has done to us, corrupted almost every Jewish institution with racism, turned Jewish leaders into apologists for persecution and massacres.
“You must explain to me how the most accomplished most highly educated most liberal group in America has embraced apartheid,” John Mearsheimer said to me years ago.
Iran and Russia signed four cooperation documents, including a Strategic Roadmap for the Development of Bilateral Relations, as part of efforts to deepen energy and economic ties between Tehran and Moscow.
During the 16th meeting of the Joint Economic Commission of Iran and Russia in Moscow, officials from the two countries signed four documents on cooperation. The Strategic Roadmap for the Development of Bilateral Relations was signed by Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak..
Iranian and Russian officials had finalized three other agreements during meetings in Moscow, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a Russian loan to Iran for electrification of a key rail link in Northern Iran.
The two countries also signed a MoU to expand cooperation in the field of health while another document was finalized to allow the construction of a pipeline for transfer of oil products between Iran and Russia. Iran and Russia have grown increasingly closer ties under Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi’s administration.
Owji told a joint press conference that relations between the two countries have never been so close to each other, so this "golden opportunity" should be used to the fullest. "There is now a strong will in the public and private sectors of both countries to neutralize the sanctions," he added.
Novak, for his part, called the relations between Iran and Russia trustworthy and at a high political level, and said, “The amount of Russian investment in Iran's oil fields will increase.”
The Russian official told reporters after meeting Owji that Tehran and Moscow will continue to expand their ties in the fields of energy, manufacturing and trade.
Novak noted that the two countries have been working on technical details of a major gas swap agreement that could be signed by the end of this year.
Algeria has officially applied to join the BRICS economic group, Anadolu News Agency reports.
The bloc of emerging economies includes Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa.
Foreign Ministry official, la Zarrukiid the North African country has requested membership of the economic bloc, the State radio reported. Zarruki said Algeria has finalised all necessary measures for membership, without any further details.
In July, Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboun signalled willingness to join the bloc, saying BRICS "attracts Algeria's attention". "Joining this group will take Algeria, the pioneer of the Non-Alignment principle, away from the attraction of the two poles," he said.
The economies of the five BRICS members, which have more than 40 per cent of the world's population, account for about a quarter of the world's gross domestic product.
Russia welcomes Algeria's desire to join BRICS
Middle East Monitor, November 9, 2022
Russia has welcomed Algeria's intention to joining the BRICS group, special envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, said yesterday.
Algerian officials on Monday filed a formal application to join the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – an association that aims to promote peace, security, development and cooperation between the countries in the alliance.
"We enjoy good relations with Algeria and maintain a trust-based dialogue," Bogdanov told Russia Today (RT), noting that the issue wss being mulled "within the framework of the collective work in BRICS."
He added that Moscow welcomed what he described as the "aspiration of our friends, partners and like-minded parties to join the work within such formats as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as well as other formats, where we actively work."
The Arab League summit which has just ended in Algiers was hailed by Algerian officials, pro government media and commentators as a success despite all of its shortcomings manifested in the absence of leaders of key countries such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco who were represented by their respective foreign ministers.
Those who claimed that it was successful argued that the fact that the summit convened at all was a success. They also point out that the summit's final communique is in line with the overall theme of the meeting, which called for Arab solidarity and the promotion of the Palestinian issue as the league's top priority....
But the summit was hardly a success even in terms of supporting the Palestinian cause as the league's central issue and main summit objective.
Clause two of the summit decisions, for example, says that Israel must end "its occupation of the Palestinian and Arab lands" as a condition for peace.
However, the Algiers Declaration dashed that completely by not openly reminding countries like the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco that they should not be normalising relations with Israel for the simple reason that to do so is a blatant violation of their obligations under previous Arab League summits.
Israel now knows that, despite all Arab League decisions, it can still enjoy warm ties with some Arab states. Moreover, the occupation state knows that the league is not at all serious about what its leaders decide....
The most damaging single act done to the Palestinian cause between the 2019 Arab League summit and the one that has just ended is the policy adopted by one third of the organisation's major members to welcome apartheid Israel with open arms.
All members, the leaders of normalising countries especially, know that such a policy contradicts all publically stated league positions, including the so called Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the Beirut summit in 2002.
It is ironic that on the same day that the Algiers Declaration was adopted by Arab League leaders, the main enemy of peace, Benjamin Netanyahu, was effectively returned to power in the latest Israeli General Election.
Netanyahu completely rejects not only the league's offers of peace, but also won't even discuss any such offer made by a third party such as the UN.
The only way that the Palestinian cause was promoted in this latest Arab League summit was with Algeria's pledge to lead efforts to have the State of Palestine admitted as a full member of the UN.
Algerians will certainly try to deliver on their promise, supported by league members, but it is unlikely to bear fruit given the US veto in the Security Council ready and waiting to kill such an attempt...
A UN special rapporteur on Thursday called for the removal of US and other Western sanctions on Syria as they are having a devastating impact on the civilian population and preventing the country from rebuilding after 11 years of war. Alena Douhan, a special rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, made the comments after a 12-day visit to Syria.
There she found that sanctions are harming civilians in many ways, including by causing a shortage of medicine and medical equipment.
“In the current dramatic and still-deteriorating humanitarian situation, as 12 million Syrians grapple with food insecurity, I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding, and reconstruction,” Douhan told the UN Security Council.
Douhan said that the “catastrophic effects of unilateral sanctions” are impacting people “across all walks of life in the country.” She said that 90% of Syria’s civilian population is living in poverty and have limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, fuel, healthcare, and transportation.
US officials have been candid about the fact that the sanctions campaign against Syria is specifically designed to prevent the country from rebuilding. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last year that it is US policy to “oppose the reconstruction of Syria” until there is regime change in Damascus.
On top of the sanctions campaign, the US also maintains an occupation force of about 1,000 troops in eastern Syria and backs Kurdish groups in the region, allowing Washington to maintain control of about one-third of the country. The area that the US occupies is where most of Syria’s oil and wheat fields are located, and the US is keeping the vital resources from Damascus.
The US also tacitly backs Israeli airstrikes in Syria and occasionally launches some of its own.
The White House said at the end of October that it has “no plans” to lift the sanctions or end its military occupation in Syria.
Professor Alena Dohan said during a press conference in Damascus “the unilateral measures have greatly and badly affected the Syrian pharmaceutical sector, caused a severe shortage, especially with regard to chronic diseases and medical equipment, and also affected the availability of equipment and spare parts needed for the rehabilitation and development of drinking water and irrigation networks, which may cause serious challenges to public health and food security”.
“Talking about good will and intentions of the unilateral coercive measures does not justify violation of basic human rights, and the international community must stand together in solidarity and to provide aid to the Syrian people” Douhan added. Dohan called for “the immediate lifting of these measures” as they “amount to war crimes committed against the Syrian people”.
Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says both Democrats and Republicans in the United States have always supported the Israeli regime’s crimes and killing of Palestinians.
He made the remarks on Friday while addressing a ceremony to mark Martyr’s Day in Lebanon.
Making a reference to the US midterm elections, Nasrallah said “Both Republican and Democratic governments have launched wars and invasions.”
“US Democrats and Republicans have always supported the Israeli crimes and massacres against the Palestinian people,” he said.
“Objectives of all US administrations are similar, only their tactics differ,” he said, adding that the first party responsible for the survival of the Zionist regime in the region is successive US administrations.
He reiterated that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, therefore, “we should rely on our own power and on our friends instead of pinning hope on Americans.”
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Shia group, Hassan Nasrallah, said Friday he wants the next Lebanese president to be a politician who won’t “betray” the Iran-backed faction and assailed the United States for what he described as an undeclared “siege” on his country.
“We want a president that does not stab the resistance in the back,” Nasrallah said, using a term that has become synonymous with Hezbollah. “We want a president who will reassure the resistance.”
The public perception is that Nasrallah’s Hezbollah widely backs politician Sleiman Frangieh, a close ally, for the post. Lebanon’s Western-backed coalition supports Michel Moawad, a harsh critic of Hezbollah and its stockpile of weapons. Michel Moawad is the president of 'The independence movement', a secular center-right political party, that is a part of the anti-Syrian Qornet Shehwan Gathering and the March 14 Alliance.
In the last round in parliament, Moawad got 44 votes in his favor, far short of a the two-third majority needed in the 128-member legislature.
Under Lebanon’s power-sharing system in place since after the country’s independence from French mandate in 1943, a president has to come from the Maronite Catholic sect; the prime minister is a Sunni and the parliament speaker a Shiite.
Israel considers Hezbollah — designated a terrorist group by the US and Israel — its most serious immediate threat, estimating that the militant group has some 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at it.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Monday voiced support for the presidential bid of Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh (18-10-1965), who enjoys the backing of Hezbollah and some of its allies.
“I have a historic relation with Suleiman Franjieh and I hope he will become president,” Mikati said in an interview with Al-Jazeera television.
“A new president must be immediately elected for the sake of the regularity of political work,” the premier added.
He pointed out that the new president must be “acceptable by everyone” and must not be “a provocative president for anyone.”
NEW YORK — Former US president Donald Trump vowed to reverse Democratic party wins in the midterms and teased an imminent announcement of a 2024 presidential run in a speech to a right-wing Jewish group in New York on Sunday.
Trump also sniped at Jewish Americans who are against him despite his support for Israel, blasted progressive Democrats and US President Joe Biden, and promised to continue his commitment to the Jewish state in an address to the Zionist Organization of America.
“As you know the Democrats got 75 percent of the vote, which is hard to believe. We can’t let that continue,” Trump said, apparently referring to the Democratic party’s success in last week’s midterm elections.
“When you see all of the horrible things that have taken place with Biden and Barack Hussein Obama and then they get 75% of the vote. What the hell is going on here? But we’re going to get it changed,” Trump told an adoring audience.
The ZOA presented Trump with its Theodor Herzl Gold Medallion at the ceremony in recognition of his support for Israel and Jews, chairman David Schoen said. The gala was held to mark the organization’s 125th anniversary.
The organization cited the Trump administration brokering the Abraham Accords as a central reason for the honor. It also listed Trump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, extending legal protections to Zionist students on US campuses, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and cutting funding to the Palestinians.
ZOA chief Morton Klein said the organization rarely grants the award, reserving it for “world leaders and dignitaries” such as Lord Arthur Balfour, former British prime minister Winston Churchill, former US president Harry Truman, Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion and former prime minister Golda Meir.
In his acceptance speech at the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, Trump told the audience of several hundred that some US Jews were disloyal to Israel...
“The United States and Israel are not just allies on a military basis, but economically and politically. We’re allies morally, culturally and spiritually and we always will be, at least if I have anything to do about it,” Trump said Sunday. “But you do have people in this country that happen to be Jewish that are not doing the right thing for Israel...
In a statement posted to his social media platform Truth Social, Trump argued that “No President has done more for Israel,” and wondered why “our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the US.”
The Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and others lashed Trump for the comments.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered a leading candidate for the 2024 United States presidential election, defended the right of Jews to live in their Biblical homeland of Judea and Samaria and reiterated that he does not consider these territories to be "occupied" during a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) political conference Saturday night. “I don't care what the State Department said, they are not occupied territory; it is disputed territory,” DeSantis said about Judea and Samaria.
Governor DeSantis boasted that he had received the highest percentage of the Jewish vote of any Republican candidate in Florida history the recent US midterm elections. He emphasized his actions to improve security in Jewish schools and promote Holocaust education.
"If you look at our record on issues related to Israel and supporting the Jewish community, it is second to none," he said.
"When I first became governor, one of the first things we did was fight back against AIRBNB, which was discriminating against Israeli Jews, and we won that fight against AIRBNB.
"We signed legislation combatting antisemitism. We are not going to allow the universities in the State of Florida to become hotbeds of anti-Jewish sentiment ,like they have all across this country," he said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emphasized his pro-Israel bona fides at a campaign stop in a synagogue north of Miami Sunday night, ahead of the November 8th gubernatorial election.
Speaking at a Forward Action Fund event at a synagogue in Bal Harbour, DeSantis drew cheers from the audience as he referenced his policies against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, and rejected claims that Judea and Samaria is “occupied territory.”
“One of the things I said we would do, is that I would ensure that… the State of Florida would be the most pro-Israel state in the United States,” DeSantis said. “We have delivered on it.”
“Before I even took office, we had this issue of Airbnb going to discriminate against Israel and Jews living in Judea and Samaria. So I announced… ‘This will not stand, and we will take action very quickly.’” “And we did. Once I became governor, we activated our anti-BDS legislation, we identified Airbnb as falling under that, and a couple of weeks later, Airbnb reversed its policy.” DeSantis touted his support for Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, highlighting his visit to the area during his 2019 trade mission to Israel.
“The State Department would always say, ‘You can’t go to Judea and Samaria,’ because they say that it is ‘occupied territory.’
I know the history, it is disputed territory. They are among the most historic Jewish lands, and yes, there was a partition agreement on the table in 1948, but the Arabs rejected that agreement and decided to go to war.”
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and their son Yair won a defamation suit against former premier Ehud Olmert, who had called them mentally ill and refused to apologize.
The Netanyahus sued Olmert for 837,000 shekels ($246,590) after he called them mentally ill and refused to apologize thereafter on a number of occasions. In the defense brief submitted to the court, Olmert argued that the Netanyahu family had undergone psychological treatment and therefore the slander suit for calling them “mentally ill” should be thrown out. The former prime minister stated that he had “spoken the truth.”
The Magistrate's Court found that the evidence heard in court about the behavior of the plaintiffs does not help to provide an answer regarding their mental health. "Associating a certain behavior with this or that disease is a medical matter, and the court cannot determine this," said Judge Amit Yariv.
"Even if I assumed that the witnesses' statements are true, it is impossible to derive a diagnosis of mental illness from them," the judge continued.
In his decision, Judge Yariv added that "There is no doubt that even today, despite the efforts of professionals, mental illness holds a negative connotation in society, which imposes a stigma on the patients. Is it justified? There is no doubt that it is not."
Olmert, who served as Israel's prime minister from 2006 to 2009, was ordered to pay 62,000 shekels (approximately $18,000) in damages to the Netanyahu family.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has submitted a request to the Tel Aviv District Court asking that the Netanyahu family – former premier Benjamin, his wife Sara, and son Yair – be subjected to psychiatric evaluation.According to a report in the Haaretz newspaper, the chances of the judge granting Olmert’s request are low.
As part of his request, Olmert had a questionnaire sent to the various Netanyahu family members, asking them details related to their mental health. One question, posed to Yair Netanyahu, asked: “Is it true that in recent years – dating back to 2015 at least – you have not held a steady job due to reasons of mental health?” Another question asked: “Is it true that sometimes, when you are in a certain mental state, you get angry at your parents and stop eating as a form of fast?” [..]
Attorney Yossi Cohen, representing the Netanyahu family, said: “In any other country, Olmert would have been arrested,” to which the judge replied, “Thank G-d that we’re not in any other country.”
A summit meeting is being held between Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Doha, Qatar on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Egyptian News channel Al-Qahera News reported.
Neither side has issued any statement about the meeting, but a photo showing the two presidents shaking hands before the inauguration ceremony has gone viral.
The meeting between El-Sisi and Erdogan, both of whom have been invited by Qatar to attend the World Cup inauguration, comes nearly two weeks after the announcement by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that the dialogue between Egypt and Turkey to normalise ties had come to a stop, as Turkish practices in the conflict-torn Libya remain unchanged.
Cairo and Ankara held two rounds of exploratory talks last year – headed by the Egyptian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers – in a bid to mend their ruptured relations. The split between the two countries dates to the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by the government of Erdogan, Turkey’s then prime minister.
democracy of theocracy?
The crisis in Libya, which borders Egypt to west, has further strained relations between the two countries as Turkey has introduced thousands of paid Syrian fighters into the conflict as well as continued its support of the outgoing Government of National Unity (GNU), which is headed by Abdel-Hamid Dbeibah.
The situation heated up in early October after the Tripoli-based GNU government signed a series of preliminary economic agreements with Turkey that might include energy exploration in maritime areas. Egypt asserts that the GNU’s mandate has expired and that it is not authorised to sign such deals.
Despite the political split between Cairo and Ankara, the two countries still have ongoing economic relations.
One of the main banners that the right, especially the settlers, are now waving on every hill is “governance.”
The right wants governance. That’s so nice. An outstanding keeper of law and order, the right is appalled by the lawlessness prevailing in the north and south of the country. There’s no law and order and people don’t feel safe...
Their seemingly justified demand cannot be taken seriously, their good intentions cannot be believed and their hypocrisy cannot be ignored. Settlers lecturing about governance – does anyone know a better joke?
The right and the settlers aren’t preaching governance, they are preaching Jewish tyranny over Arabs. That’s the only thing that interests them. Had the hen houses and industrial plants that were set on fire in the Galilee been extorted for protection payments by Jewish crime organizations, the settlers wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested in them. But when Arabs are involved, we have to show them “who’s the boss.” That’s the right’s idea of governance and that’s the only thing the right is interested in...
How dare the pro-settler right talk about governance, when it is its greatest destroyer? How dare settlers talk about implementing law and order, when they are its greatest violators? No crime family breaks as many laws as the settlers do as a matter of routine. Most of the transgressions in the law books – from assault, theft, robbery and fraud to extortion, aggravated battery, manslaughter and sometimes murder, don’t seem to apply to the settlers..
The left-center must not join the tainted call to governance coming from the right. Every demand for governance may have fascist undertones, but for the right, governance is nothing but the use of greater force against the Arabs...
Otzma Yehudit ('Jewish Strength', or 'Jewish Power') is a far-right political party in Israel, which has been referred to as Kahanist and anti-Arab. Otzma Yehudit is the ideological descendant of the outlawed Kach party.
The Israeli newspaper Arab 48 reports that the Likud Party of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu signed a deal on Friday with what the paper calls the “fascist” Jewish Power party of Itamar Ben-Gvir giving the latter the post of minister of national security.
Jewish Power will also get the ministry of heritage, which oversees religious sites, including, potentially, Palestinian ones or those shared with Palestinians. It was also given the ministry of the Negev and Galilee, which, according to BBC Monitoring, “regulates settlement expansion” in the West Bank.
There had previously been a minister of public security overseeing the police, but the post will now be expanded. Arab 48 says that the agreement gives Ben-Gvir and his party centralized control of several law enforcement agencies that had previously been distributed among several ministries. It also creates a new “national guard” force with a wide mandate, which sounds pretty ominous. Ben-Gvir will have authority over Israeli border police, including those in the Palestinian West Bank.
He had earlier called for relaxed rules of engagement under which Israeli security forces could use lethal force against Palestinians without let or hindrance.
The paper quotes an Israeli official in law enforcement as saying in response, “This matter will turn the border patrol in the West Bank into Ben-Gvir’s private police force in the (Occupied) Territories.”
This step is surreal, since the antecedents of Jewish Power have at times been on the US State Department list of terrorist organizations. Ben-Gvir has been convicted of hate speech and incitement to violence. It is as though Trump had appointed a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan as the head of Homeland Security or of Customs and Border Protection.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken lobbied the new government intensively not to give the Israeli ultra-far right security ministries that would make US security cooperation with Israel more difficult.
NEW YORK — The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted to adopt a pro-Palestinian resolution to commemorate the “Nakba,” the Palestinian term for Israel’s establishment.
The UN resolution calls for a “commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Nakba, including by organizing a high-level event at the General Assembly Hall” in May 2023. It also urges the “dissemination of relevant archives and testimonies.”
The initiative was sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, Tunisia, Yemen and the Palestinians and passed by a vote of 90 in favor, 30 against and 47 abstentions. Israel, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the US were among the countries that voted against.
The Likud and Religious Zionist parties reached a coalition agreement on Thursday evening that clears the way for Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government backed by 64 members of Israel’s Knesset.
Under the accord, Religious Zionist Chairman Bezalel Smotrich will become finance minister for two years under a rotation deal with Shas Party head Aryeh Deri.
The Religious Zionist Party, which has seven members of Knesset, will also get a post in the Defense Ministry that will be responsible for District Coordination and Liaison Offices (DCL) and the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, as well as the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization, Sherut Leumi (National Service) and pre-military academies (mechinot). The official will act with the coordination and agreement of the prime minister.
Religious Zionist MK Ofir Sofer will be minister of aliyah and integration, and MK Orit Strook will head a new Ministry of National Mission whose areas of responsibility have yet to be determined. Religious Zionist MK Simcha Rothman, long a champion of the campaign to rein in the power of the Supreme Court, will chair the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
Shas, which has 11 lawmakers, will receive the Interior Ministry.
Likud has already reached coalition agreements with Otzma Yehudit (six MKs) and Noam (one MK). A preliminary agreement has also been reached with United Torah Judaism, which has seven MKs. Smotrich said after signing the deal, “Today we are taking another historic step to establish a Jewish, Zionist and national government that will restore security and governance, promote historic reform in the legal system, regulate and develop the settlement enterprise, strengthen the Jewish identity in the spirit of religious Zionism and proudly wave the flag of Zionism, the absorption of aliyah and Israeli society.”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Friday warned that Israel was heading toward becoming a fascist theocracy, as the incoming government moves to put extremists in charge of key education programs and neuter the Supreme Court.
“Israel is being transformed from a democracy to a theocracy,” Huldai told Channel 12 news in an interview. “The majority cannot [be allowed to] impose its views on the minority.”
Huldai spoke as he and several other mayors vowed to push back after Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to give Avi Maoz, a far-right Knesset member known for strident anti-LGBT and misogynistic views, authority over large swathes of content at Israeli schools.
“That’s the story of Israel being turned into a theocracy,” said Huldai, whose city is known as a bastion of secular, liberal Israelis. “We are going to be a Halachic state,” he added, referring to Jewish religious law.
Wikipedia info: "Avi Maoz became leader of the Noam party after its establishment in 2019. He and Noam campaign on Israel's "Jewish identity", which Maoz argues should be a far-right interpretation of Orthodox Judaism, and against Arabs, secularism, and Reform Judaism. He has campaigned heavily against LGBT rights, calling for a ban on Pride parades and the legalisation of conversion therapy. He is against women serving in the Israel Defense Forces, and has called for increased gender segregation in public events.
Netanyahu this week agreed to give Maoz, the sole lawmaker in the fringe Noam party, an annual budget of at least NIS 100 million ($29 million), as well as over a dozen staffers, as a deputy minister at the helm of a new “national Jewish identity” government agency within the Prime Minister’s Office.
According to the agreement, the Education Ministry unit responsible for external teaching and partnerships will be placed under Maoz’s control, giving him authority over non-official bodies enlisted to teach or lecture at schools. The move has faced widespread criticism, including from outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who urged local authorities to oppose extremist content pushed by Maoz.
In a missive to heads of local councils on Thursday, Lapid said that “the new government being formed in Israel has forsaken our children’s education and handed it over to the most extreme and backward figures in Israeli society.”
Asked in the interview if he thought Israel would no longer be a democracy, Ron Huldai replied: “Absolutely — the majority will impose everything it wants on the minority.”
“Democracy stems from a person having rights that nobody can take from them — not the majority, and not God. That’s democracy,” he elaborated. “Democracy is not the majority taking control of the minority and telling it what to think, how to eat and what to do.”
“Tel Aviv is democratic, tolerant, pluralistic, respectful of every minority… We’ll defend that… We’ll keep Tel Aviv free,” he vowed...
The United Torah Judaism party signed a coalition agreement with the Likud Monday morning, Israel Hayom reported, bringing Opposition Leader and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu closer to completing the formation of a new government.
With the new agreement, the Likud has secured the backing of four of its five right-wing allies, leaving only the haredi Shas party to sign an agreement.
Wikipedia info: United Torah Judaism is a Haredi, religious conservative political alliance in Israel. The alliance, consisting of Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah, was first formed in 1992, in order to maximize Ashkenazi Haredi representation in the Knesset.
Unlike similar religiously-oriented parties like Shas, The Jewish Home, Tkuma, and Noam, UTJ is a non-Zionist faction which does not endorse the creation of a secular Jewish state. It works to preserve the religious character of the State of Israel.
Regarding foreign policy and security, UTJ is a centrist party, which determines its positions based on religious concerns more than security or diplomatic considerations. UTJ has said that it is willing to join coalition governments that are dedicated to engaging the Palestinians in peace negotiations and was a member of the coalition government that carried out the disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
Zoek onderwerpen, thema's, woorden en begrippen op mijn webpagina's