Saddam's Death, 195 [februar 2023]
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 194: jan 2023

Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple
Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003 - Trump & the Pisces Messiah - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel - "I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations - Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel - Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center - Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine - Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes - The Balfour Declaration - Trump's move on Jerusalem (2017) - Abbas & Trump's "slap of the century" - John Bolton, prominent war hawk, National Security Adviser to President Trump - Lies & Provocations: France, UK and USA show their dark face - Trump, the 'deal-breaker' - Explaining America’s economic might - Netanyahu & The Survival of the Fittest - Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ Is Now Pence’s ‘Wolf Pack of Rogue States’ - Mike Pence & antisemitism - Amnesia of the US Foreign Policy Establishment - Israeli Elections 2019 - Was Jesus a Palestinian? - Labor disappears from Knesset - Settlers from the White House - NO to International Law - Israel & The Three Central Dilemmas - Netanyahu & Neo-Zionism - Secularism & 'Jewish' identity - Pompeo & Christian leadership - Jeremy Corbyn & Jewish Witch Hunt - Trump's Deal of the Century - Netanyahu & the Moongod Abraham - Gantz' betrayal - Trump's sanctions against ICC officials - The Ceasar Act - The Turkey-Armenia conflict - Joe Biden's Running Mate - The UAE-Israel-deal - The Sudan-US-Israel-deal - Robert Fisk Articles" - Joe Biden elected president - The return of Victoria Nuland - Putin 2014: New Rules or a Game without Rules - Alexander Dugin & The Great Awakening - Bennett is an 'evil' and 'wicked' Reform Jew, say haredi MKs - The Taliban enter Kabul - UAE leaders receive Syrian President Assad - Lapid & the Palestinian state - Yusuf al-Qaradawi died in Qatar - Israel heading toward a fascist theocracy - Ukraine is now a failed state:

Index Page - Start

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)

How the National Security State Manipulates the News Media
Ted Galen Carpenter,, March 09, 2021

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.”

Saadi Shirazi
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)

Flashback- Hanan Ashrawi 2002:
The New Age of Ideology

"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.

Alexander Dugin & The Great Awakening

Index Page

"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)

Iran Calls for Removal of
US-Led Sanctions on Quake-Hit Syria
FARS News [Iran], 7-2-2023

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani urged the international community to put pressure on the US in order to lift its harsh sanctions on Syria to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in the wake of a powerful earthquake that killed at least 1,500 people in the war-torn country.
Kana’ani said on Tuesday nine years of war have led to a special situation in Syria, which was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Monday.
“The important point is that different countries must exert pressure on the US government to lift the cruel siege of Syria so that international humanitarian aid can be delivered to the quake-stricken people of Syria without any obstacles in the shortest possible time,” the diplomat stated.

US forces were first sent to Syria in 2014, beginning with a contingent of special operators followed by more conventional ground troops the next year, most embedded with Kurdish fighters in the country’s oil-rich Northeast.
Though then-President Barack Obama maintained the deployment was focused only on combating Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorists, Washington had long intervened in Syria’s war against terror groups, sending and overseeing countless arms shipments to militants seeking to overthrow the government in Damascus beginning as early as 2013.
Though American involvement in the conflict slowed under the next administration, in 2019 President Donald Trump noted some US troops would remain in Syria “for the oil”, openly suggesting Washington would simply “keep” the energy resources.
The US government has also imposed sweeping economic sanctions against Syria amid the Arab nation’s uphill battle for reconstruction and recovery.

WHO: Turkiye, Syria quake
could affect up to 23 million people
Arab News, February 07, 2023

GENEVA: Up to 23 million people could be affected by the massive earthquake that has killed thousands in Turkiye and Syria, the WHO warned on Tuesday, promising long-term assistance.
“Event overview maps show that potentially 23 million people are exposed, including around five million vulnerable populations,” the World Health Organization’s senior emergencies officer Adelheid Marschang said.
“Civilian infrastructure and potentially health infrastructure have been damaged across the affected region, mainly in Turkiye and northwest Syria,” she said.
The WHO “considers that the main unmet needs may be in Syria in the immediate and mid-term,” Marschang told the WHO’s executive committee in Geneva.

A “crisis in the crisis"
CNN, 7-2-2023

For many of the Syrian victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, this is just the latest in a decade-long series of tragedies.
The magnitude 7.8 quake struck in the early hours, killing more than 5,000 people in the two countries and leaving thousands more injured. It was the strongest earthquake recorded in Turkey in 84 years.
In Syria, most of the casualties were in the northwest of the country, predominantly in the cities of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus, according to the state news agency, SANA.
This region was already struggling to rebuild vital infrastructure heavily damaged by continual aerial bombardment during the country’s civil war.
It’s a “crisis in the crisis,” El-Mostafa Benlamlih, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria, told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane on Monday.
“The infrastructure has been crippled by the situation, the war and so on,” he said. “Those cities are ghost cities… Many people are very scared. They don’t want to go back to their houses. If we can call them houses in these cases. They are ruins sometimes...

Russia, Iraq discuss impact
of US sanctions on economic ties
The Arab Weekly, Tuesday 07/02/2023

Talks in Baghdad by visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on the obstacles posed by US sanctions for the development of Russian-Iraqi economic cooperation.
During his visit, on Monday Lavrov met Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani and President Abdul Latif Rashid, as well as his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein.
Discussions are said to have focused on ways to develop economic relations despite the US sanctions.
The Iraqi foreign minister said he will consult with US officials this week on how to pay dues owed to Russian oil companies, considering US sanctions currently in place.
"We will discuss this problem with the American side. There are sanctions in place that should not be imposed on the Iraqi side because the cooperation with Russian companies is ongoing and there are active Russian companies in Iraq," Hussein said during a news conference with Lavrov in Baghdad.
Lavrov said that "in light of the current conditions created by the illegal restrictions imposed by the Americans and their satellites, it is very important to protect legal economic relations from illegal pressures from the West."

Russian investments in Iraq are believed to be worth more than $10 billion, mostly in the oil industry. Hussein said that one of the main issues he and Lavrov talked about was how to pay bills owed to Russian energy companies such as Lukoil and Gazprom which do business in Iraq even though Russia is under international sanctions.
The goal is to "protect Iraqi banks and central banks from sanctions".
Hussein admitted there are “due payments” from Iraq to Russian oil and gas companies operating in the country, without disclosing their total amount.
Speaking alongside Lavrov, he added, "We discussed how to deal with these financial dues in light of the sanctions imposed on Russia and in light of the protective measures of Iraqi banks and the Central Bank."
The United States has imposed strict restrictions on dollar transfers to Iraqi banks, with the aim of preventing such transfers to countries under US sanctions such as Iran, Syria and Russia.
The restrictions have led to a financial crisis in Iraq..

Syria earthquake: EU signals it is ready
to work with Assad government on aid
By MEE staff, 8 February 2023

The European Union is asking member states to “respond favourably” to an official plea from the Syrian government, following an earthquake that left more than 11,000 people dead across Syria and Turkey.
Damascus made an official plea to the European Union for help on Wednesday.
“Earlier today, this morning, we have received a request from the government of Syria for assistance through the civil protection mechanism," Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for crisis management, told reporters.
The European Union was swift to dispatch rescue teams to Turkey after the massive earthquakes struck the country on Monday, close to the border with Syria. But it initially offered only minimal assistance to Syria through existing humanitarian programmes because of EU sanctions imposed since 2011 on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The US has ruled out working with Syria and has not indicated a change in its sanctions policy.
Comments from senior EU officials on Wednesday, however, indicated the potential for a substantial shift in the bloc's dealings with Damascus as the scale of the catastrophe grows.
"We are now racing against the clock to save lives together. Soon we will provide relief aid, together. Turkiye and Syria can count on the EU," Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, wrote on Twitter.
"No one should be left alone when a tragedy like this hits a people," von der Leyen said in a statement.

The quake struck the last bastions of rebel-controlled northwest Syria, but also government-controlled areas like Aleppo.
On Wednesday, the UN's resident Syria coordinator, El-Mostafa Benlamlih, said the damage in government-held areas of Syria is "huge".
"We need the support of all interested parties to facilitate access, be it to the northwest of Syria or to the rest of Syria, because there also, they are suffering,” he said.

Syria - Bouthaina Shaaban:
"We accept assistance from the West"
SANA, 9 February، 2023

Damascus, SANA- Syria welcomes any initiative presented by countries and international organizations to help confront the catastrophic effects of the earthquake, provided that this is done without politicization, Special Adviser to the Presidency of the Republic, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban has affirmed.
Shaaban’s remarks came in an interview with British Sky News T.V Channel on Wednesday.
“Hours after the earthquake occurred, Syria appealed to the UN member states, the agencies of the international organization and its specialized funds, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian action partners from international governmental and non-governmental organizations to support its efforts in confronting the disaster in accordance with the standards of humanitarian action approved by the UN , and in coordination and cooperation with the Syrian government...,” Shaaban said.
She added “We accept assistance from the West, and if the United States and the European Union offer to provide it, we accept it, but they did not offer any assistance despite the appeal of the President of the International Red Cross to all countries of the world to contribute to that.”

Earthquake devastates Syria's war-ravaged Aleppo
Middle East Online, 9-2-2023

Libyan Army [LNA] Sends Relief Shipment to Syria
By Hasanain Mohamed, Libya Review, February 9, 2023

Another Libyan aid shipment has arrived in Syria, carrying more than 40 tons of relief, medical, and food supplies provided by the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The Syrian News Agency (Sana) quoted the Director of the LNA’s Media Office, Malik Bahodha as saying, “The Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar offers his sympathy and solidarity with the Syrian people. As a result of the earthquake, and based on his instructions, an air bridge was opened to deliver and provide aid.”
The shipment, which arrived at Latakia International Airport on Wednesday, is loaded with foodstuffs and medicines, in addition to three ambulances.Haftar confirmed that they are open to transporting more shipments of aid to the affected areas.
On Tuesday, the LNA operated an air bridge to transport relief shipments and various aid to Syria, in order to help the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck the northwestern regions of the country.
Meanwhile, the Libyan Parliament-designated government, headed by Fathi Bashagha, expressed its “sincere condolences and sympathy to the peoples and governments of Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon for the victims of the catastrophic earthquake that struck the Mediterranean region.”

Wikipedia Info:
The Libyan National Army (LNA] is a component of Libya's military forces which were nominally a unified national force under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar when he was nominated to the role on 2 March 2015 by the House of Representatives, consisting at the time of a ground force, an air force and a navy.
In 2014, LNA launched Operation Dignity, a military campaign against the General National Congress and armed militias and Islamist militant organizations.
When the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) was established in Tripoli, part of the Libyan military forces were named the Libyan Army to contrast with the other part that retained the LNA identity.
Haftar and the LNA is de facto backed by the governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. France has also provided tacit backing for Haftars forces. Russia is Haftar's most committed ally. In May 2020 the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) stated that Russia had deployed at least 14 MiG Planes to the country.

Barcelona suspends ties with Israel,
cites 'violation of human rights of Palestinians'
Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva [Israel], 9-2-2023

Ada Colau Ballano (born 3 March 1974) is a Spanish activist and politician who is the current Mayor of Barcelona. On 13 June 2015 she was elected Mayor of Barcelona, the first woman to hold the office.
The Mayor of the Spanish city of Barcelona, Ada Colau, on Wednesday announced that she is suspending all of the city’s ties with Israel, JNS reported.
“At the request of more than 100 entities and thousands of Barcelona neighbors, I have just communicated to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that we suspend institutional relations with the State of Israel due to the repeated violations of human rights of the Palestinian population and non-compliance with United Nations resolutions,” she wrote on Facebook in Spanish, and on Instagram, according to the report.
Colau added that Barcelona will maintain relations with “Israeli and Palestinian entities that continue to work for peace and against apartheid.”

The Palestinian Arab BDS National Committee hailed the decision, writing on Twitter, “We call on institutions worldwide to follow suit and end ties with apartheid Israel!”
“With the current Israeli government, the most far-right, racist, sexist and homophobic ever, accountability is more needed than ever to end its impunity and #DismantleApartheid,” the group posted on its website. “We call on institutions worldwide to follow in Barcelona’s footsteps and end their own involvement in sustaining Israeli crimes against humanity.”
Lior Haiat, spokesman for the [Israeli] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called the decision “an unfortunate decision that stands in complete contrast to the position of the majority of the residents of Barcelona and their representatives in the city council.”

Barcelona’s announcement is the latest in a series of anti-Israeli motions that have been adopted on the regional and municipal levels in Spain in recent years.
In June of last year, Catalonia's parliament passed a resolution recognizing Israel as committing “the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people”, and calling on both Catalonian and Spanish governments to not render “aid or assistance” to Israel.
In 2018, the City Council of the Spanish town of Sagunto voted in favor of joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, declaring itself an “Israeli apartheid-free space.”
A week earlier, councilors in the city of Pamplona, the capital of the Navarre province, called on the Spanish government to stop its arms trade with Israel and on their municipality to declare Israeli officials as "persona non grata" until Israel stops its "oppressive policy against the Palestinian people".

Israel News - Ayman Odeh: We are against
both the coalition and the opposition
Dalit Halevi, Arutz Sheva, Feb 9, 2023

MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash party) does not see himself as part of the opposition's fight against the Netanyahu government, but wishes to take advantage of the circumstances to promote issues that benefit the Arab society.
In an interview with Hala TV on Wednesday, Odeh said, "We are against the fascist government and at the same time we see the protesters as wanting to have a dialogue about the court, the state attorney’s office, the police and the freedom of the press and want a racist Israel, so we must ask ourselves: Is our campaign meant to transform Israel from fascist to racist or shall we use the opportunity to strengthen our issues?"
"I criticize the opposition, not because it is strong, but because it is racist and it does not raise the main problems, namely the continuation of the occupation and the racist discrimination against the Arab citizens," continued Odeh.
He also said, "We are in the opposition, but we have our advantages and we are not part of the battle between Yair Lapid and Netanyahu. We are against the fascist government, which we currently see as the greatest threat. The opposition wants us to be a reservist force in its campaign against the government, but we are not and will not be reservist soldiers. We are against the government and its racism as well as against Lapid's racism."

Tunisia and Syria will be strengthening
their diplomatic ties
Middle East Eye, 9-2-2023

At a meeting in Carthage Palace on Thursday the new minister of foreign affairs, Nabil Ammar, decided to raise the level of Tunisian diplomatic representation in Damascus.
President Kais Saied dismissed Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi on Tuesday, replacing him with Ammar, the former ambassador to the European Union and Belgium.
At the meeting on Thursday, President Saied also reaffirmed support from Tunisians to the Syrian people:
“The issue of the Syrian regime is an internal matter that concerns Syrians alone..” the president said in a statement. He also said that 'the ambassador relied on the state and not on the regime'.

Syria quake aid held up by hardline group, U.N. says
By Timour Azhari and Maya Gebeily, Reuters, 12-2-2023

Earthquake aid from government-held parts of Syria into opposition-controlled territory has been held up by "approval issues" with one hardline group, a United Nations spokesperson said on Sunday.
The hostilities that criss-cross Syria, shattered by nearly 12 years of conflict, are an added challenge for aid workers trying to reach the northern regions affected by Monday's earthquake, which killed at least 29,000 people in Turkey and Syria and flatted swathes of towns and cities.
Of the 3,500 deaths so far reported in Syria the bulk occurred in the northwest, in territory largely held by Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

HTS info 2017

Info: HTS is the political spawn of the former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. HTS has adopted a plan to expand and consolidate its power in northern Syria. According to an article on the news site Al-Modon, besides its growing control over Idlib governorate, HTS extended its territorial control in the southern, western and northern regions of Aleppo at the end of July 2017. (SD: Page 98)

The area has received little assistance as front lines with the government are sealed off and only a single border crossing links it to Turkey to the north. The Syrian government last week said it was willing to send aid to the northern zone.
An HTS source who was not authorised to talk to the media told Reuters the group would not allow shipments from government-held parts of Syria and that aid would be coming in from Turkey.
"We won't allow the regime to take advantage of the situation to show they are helping," the source said.

A spokesperson for the U.N.'s humanitarian aid office told Reuters there were "issues with approval" by the group, which the U.N. and the United States classify as a terrorist organisation, without giving further information.
A U.N. spokesperson in Damascus declined to comment beyond saying the organisation "continues to work with relevant parties to have access to the area."
Arriving in Damascus on Sunday, U.N. envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen said: "We need all the access we can have, crossline, cross-border, and we need more resources.
Earlier on Sunday U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths said the people of north-east Syria had been failed and "rightly feel abandoned".
The HTS media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment...

Syria News - Saudi plane carrying aid
lands in Assad-controlled Aleppo
By MEE staff, 14 February 2023

A Saudi Arabian plane carrying aid to quake-hit Syria landed in Aleppo on Tuesday, the first such shipment by the kingdom to Bashar al-Assad-controlled territory since the Syrian war erupted over a decade ago.
In the aftermath of two deadly quakes last week, Riyadh has pledged aid to both opposition-held and government-controlled areas of Syria.
Planeloads of foreign aid have landed in Syria since two quakes struck the war-torn country and neighbouring Turkey, which have killed more than 35,000 people, with the numbers increasing daily.
The Saudi plane landed at Aleppo International Airport carrying 35 tonnes of food aid, Syrian state news agency Sana reported.
"The directives given to us from the leadership in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to help the brotherly Syrian people affected (by the earthquake) across Syria," a member of the Saudi delegation told Syrian television.
Two more Saudi planes are scheduled to land Wednesday and Thursday, transport ministry official Suleiman Khalil told AFP.

There have been no official flights between Saudi Arabia and Syria since February 2012. Along with other Gulf states, Riyadh backed a slew of rebel groups trying to remove President Assad from power.
But in recent years, many Arab countries, most prominently the UAE, have resumed ties with Damascus. Assad made a historic trip to the UAE in March 2022, his first to an Arab country since the outbreak of Syria’s war.

Other countries in the region have started to accept Assad as the war’s victor and have made moves towards reconciliation.
Jordan's King Abdullah II held a phone call with Assad in October 2021 and Algeria has voiced support for Syria rejoining the Arab League.
Egypt’s president called Assad last week to offer support following the earthquake, in the first official exchange between the two leaders. And later in the week, Tunisian President Kais Saied announced that he will be strengthening diplomatic ties with Damascus.

Flashback 2013 - Aleppo’s Sharia Authority:
Tyranny in the Guise of Religion
Al-Akhbar, 31-12-2013

On 10 November 2012, al-Qaeda-affiliate al-Nusra Front founded a body it dubbed the Sharia Authority in Aleppo. Its stated goal: to act as a “purely judicial” tribunal to tackle the theft and looting that spread in the city after the arrival of the “revolution.”
The Sharia Authority was subsequently joined by Liwaa al-Tawhid, the Ahrar al-Sham Brigade, Liwaa al-Fath, and the Dawn of Islam Movement. Sheikh Hassan Kirari was chosen to lead the Sharia Authority, which decided to use a hospital in the Qadi Askar district as its headquarters. The hospital was built by the Syrian Ministry of Health, and had cost hundreds of millions of Syrian pounds to serve the low-income residents of the Aleppo governorates...

Syria appreciates popular and official stance of Jordan
SANA, 15 February 2023

President Bashar al-Assad received Wednesday, Ayman Safadi, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates...
“Jordan will continue, under recommendations of the King, to provide everything possible to help Syria to overcome this ordeal and support the Syrian government’s efforts to provide relief to those affected,” safadi said.
He considered that the world’s states should deal with this catastrophe in accordance with humanitarian principles, so that the required aid and relief materials are delivered to all the areas affected by the quake without discrimination or politicizing the humanitarian situation experienced by the Syrians.
President al-Assad, voiced Syria’s appreciation for the official and popular stance of brotherly Jordan, noting that the Syrians welcome and act positively with any good stance towards them, particularly from the Arab brothers.
President al-Assad underscored the importance of bilateral cooperation between Syria and Jordan, adding “owing to the geographical and popular extension between the two countries, the two peoples live with similar challenges and circumstances at many levels, and at the same time this provides opportunities for joint action in many domains that benefit the two brotherly peoples”.

Mike Pompeo: 'Israel has a
Biblical claim on Judea and Samaria'
Arutz Sheva [Israel] Feb 16, 2023

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes Israel has a Biblical claim on Judea and Samaria and is, therefore, not an occupying force.
“[Israel] is not an occupying nation. As an evangelical Christian, I am convinced by my reading of the Bible that 3,000 years on now, in spite of the denial of so many, [this land] is the rightful homeland of the Jewish people,” the former official told the One Decision podcast.

Wikipedia info: Mike Pompeo (born December 30, 1963) is an American politician, former lawyer, and businessman who served under President Donald Trump as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2017 to 2018 and as the 70th United States secretary of state from 2018 to 2021.

The former Secretary of State also discussed the Abraham Accords and the benefit they bring to the American public. "I'm happy about the Abraham Accords because the chance that a US Marine will have to fight and die is substantially lower now that peace and prosperity are on the march in the region. We fundamentally took down the risk for the United States of America as a result of the Abraham Accords," he stated.
"What’s in America’s best interest? Is it to sit and wait for Abu Mazen [PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas], a known terrorist who’s killed lots and lots of people, including Americans … to draw a line on a map? That’s what the State Department would do. The previous Secretary of State ran back and forth from Tel Aviv to Ramallah and tried to draw lines on a map. We said: ‘That’s not in America’s best interest. Let’s go create peace,’ and we did.” he said.
Throughout the interview, Pompeo refused to voice support for a two-state solution...

94% of Jordanians oppose recognition of Israel
Middle East Monitor, February 15, 2023

A staggering 94 per cent of Jordanians refuse to accept recognition of Israel and ties with the Occupation state, according to a new survey.
In the Doha-based Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies 'Arab Opinion Index 2022' last month, it was revealed that 94 per cent of Jordanian respondents were against any recognition of and ties with Israel, along with 99 per cent in Algeria and Mauritania, 96 per cent in Libya, 95 per cent in Palestine, 92 per cent in Iraq and 90 per cent in Tunisia.

In a seminar at Jordan University's Centre for Strategic Studies on Monday, the results of the survey were further outlined by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies' deputy Director, Mohammad Al Masri.
The Jordanian public's refusal to recognise Israel, he said, is rooted in the fact that it is considered a "colonial", "racist" and "expansionist" state, which Jordanians view as the greatest security threat to the region.
Masri also shed light on the fact that after Israel, 87 per cent of Jordanians consider the United States as also the greatest threat to the region, with 78 per cent even acknowledging Iran as posing a security threat to the Arab world.
A significant number of Jordanian respondents also expressed their belief that Russian and French policies towards the region and on Palestine in particular are "negative".
The survey is the latest of many on the issue of public opinion in the Arab world which maintain that the vast majority of the population are in strong opposition to ties with Israel, and that they are far from aligned with some of their governments which recognise the apartheid state and have ties with it.

UN News: Williams Denounces
Foreign Interference in Libya
By Ahmad El-Assasy, Libya Review, 17-2-2023

The former UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said: “All those who succeeded late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have failed in making security reforms and have made grave mistakes in running the country.”
In press statements on Thursday, Williams stated that Libyans “do not like their ruling classes after 2011, and consider them a failure and incapable of passing the transitional periods and establishing democratic and constitutional principles.”
Williams added that the Libyan capital, Tripoli, “has become a target for those who want to control Libyan resources, as most of the ruling class in Libya is very eager to stay in power and never wants to leave it.”
She pointed out that the “smuggling of oil, narcotics, and foodstuffs has become rampant across Libya as if this country is not governed by law, amid a prevailing state of impunity.”
She also said that “both Libyan parties and foreigners must admit their responsibility for the conflicts and that it is not a matter of fate....”
She stressed that many foreign powers remain present inside Libyan military bases, despite military agreements that prevent this. In addition, she emphasised the need to “recognise that external interference is one of the most important causes of the Libyan crisis.”
Williams claimed that Egypt and Turkey “should reach an agreement on the future of Libya,” saying that Libya has “very strategic importance for many regional powers who are only serving their own interests in the country, without giving any due regard to Libya’s stability.”
She indicated that most of these powers are “acting behind the scenes, and dealing with the Libyan crisis as a poorly produced intelligence story,” as she put it.

Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December, and the refusal of Dbaiba, who is leading the transitional government, to step down. In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed a rival Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.

Iran News - FM: Efforts to Link Al-Qaeda to Iran Futile
FARS news agency, 18-2-2023

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian categorically dismissed the claims made by the US administration about the presence of a leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group in Iran as baseless, saying that attempts to link the terrorist group to his country are in vain.
Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a post on his Twitter account on Thursday after US State Department spokesman Ned Price claimed that Seif al-Adel, the new leader of al-Qaeda, was based in Iran, without providing any evidence to substantiate the allegation.
“I advise White House to stop the failed Iranophobia game. Linking Al-Qaeda to Iran is patently absurd and baseless.

Flashback 2011-12: Libyans show portraits of Al-Aroor (Salafism) & Bin Laden (Al-Qaeda). Adnan Mohammed al-Aroor is a Saudi-based salafi cleric from Hama, Syria. He was seen by some as the non-official face of the anti-government movement in Syria. He favors arming the opposition and a foreign military intervention. (Back in the Middle Ages, 2014)

Those who created Al-Qaeda and DAESH must be held accountable for spreading terrorism worldwide. Don't give false address!” the top Iranian diplomat noted.
Price accused Iran at a press briefing on Wednesday of “offering safe haven to al-Qaeda,” and providing “support for terrorism".
Asked by a reporter what the United States would do if Adel was in Iran, the US State Department spokesman said Washington was determined not to allow threats to emerge and would closely coordinate with its European allies to confront “all the challenges Iran poses.”
The US claim comes as Iran, which is one of the biggest victims of terrorism, has been lauded as one of the pioneers in the fight against terrorism in the West Asia region.
Washington, as the main supporter of anti-Iran terrorism, has in numerous reports been proved to have created, trained and supported Daesh and other terror outfits to wreak havoc across the oil-rich region to plunder its resources.

Africa - Israeli Delegate Expelled
from African Union Summit
Juan Cole 02/19/2023

On Saturday at the opening of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Israeli delegate was asked to leave.
Sharon Bar-Li, the deputy director of the African desk at the Israeli foreign ministry, was escorted out of the opening session by security guards, according to the Al Jazeera correspondent at the summit, who saw it happen.
It may be that the African Union incident is the first response by the global South to the formation of a new Israeli government in late December that includes extremists, fascists and convicted terrorists.

The organization maintains that Ms. Bar-Li was asked to leave because she did not have a valid invitation. The invitation had only been issued to the Israeli ambassador to the African Union, Aleli Admasu, and was not, the AU officials said, transferable.
AFP quotes Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for the head of the African Union Commission, as saying, “It is regrettable that the individual in question would abuse such a courtesy.”
Israel disputes this account, insisting that Bar-Li had had permission to be there.
The Israelis angrily blamed South Africa and Algeria for, they alleged, coordinating with Iran to get Israel kicked out of the hall.
The office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa retorted, “They must substantiate their claim.”
The Israeli attempt to drag Iran into the discussion is typical of the propaganda ploys of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has nuclear weapons, but paints Iran as a nuclear threat even though Tehran has none. It is a form of what stage magicians call “misdirection.”

Israel: "a serious diplomatic incident"
Jerusalem Post, 18-2-2023

Foreign Minister spokesperson Lior Hair responded to the incident, saying: “Israel takes the incident in which the Deputy Director for Africa Ambassador Sharon Bar-li was removed from the African Union Hall despite her status as an accredited observer with access badges very seriously.
“It is sad to see that the African Union has been taken hostage by a small number of extremist countries such as Algeria and South Africa, driven by hatred and controlled by Iran. We call on African countries to stand against these actions that harm the organization of the African Union itself and the entire continent.”
Israel was granted observer status in the African Union in July 2021, after losing its status in 2002 following pressure from Muammar Gaddafi...

Iraq - Kurdistan Region News
President Barzani meets world leaders
Rudaw News, 18-2-2023

President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday discussed regional security in his meetings with several world leaders and officials on the sidelines of the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany, including the US Secretary of State, British Foreign Secretary, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, and a delegation from the US Congress.
During his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Barzani emphasized the importance of America’s continued support for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, read a statement from his office.
“Secretary Blinken reaffirmed his country’s commitment to their relationship with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region,” the statement added.
Barzani also met with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who “reiterated his country's continued support for Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and the resolution of Erbil-Baghdad issues,” read a Kurdish presidency statement....
In a meeting with a US Congressional delegation led by Senator Lindsey Graham, both sides “discussed the political and economic situation in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region and the issue of peace and stability in the Middle East....

Ukraine is now a failed state:
James W. Carden, The American Conservative, Feb 24, 2023

The one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion today, and President Joe Biden’s surprise five hour trip to Kiev on Monday, should be occasion to raise some uncomfortable, indeed, unpopular questions, as to what exactly Ukraine—a beneficiary of, among many other things, over $100 billion in U.S. aid—has been seeking to achieve in the nine years since the Maidan revolution.

From the time Ukraine declared independence on August 24, 1991, until the Maidan coup of February 2014, Ukraine was essentially a binational kleptocracy that used its position as a buffer state, particularly in its role as a transit hub for Russian natural gas to Europe, to the advantage of its kleptocratic elite—a coterie of deeply compromised politicians and former Soviet-era functionaries-turned-oligarchs.
The tension between the Russian East and Galician West came to a head during the Maidan protests when then-president Viktor Yanukovych, a politician from eastern Ukraine, sought to leverage Ukraine’s unique geographic position during the country’s E.U. accession bid—a bid against which Russia, with long and deep economic ties to Ukraine, furiously objected.
Yanukovych squeezed both sides, and in the end, the economic deal offered by the E.U. paled in comparison to the one offered by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. And so, Yanukovych, avaricious, yes, but also wary of upsetting his restive neighbor to the East, went with the deal, worth some $15 billion, offered by the Russians.

In this, Yanukovych was playing an old game. The game had never been played for the benefit the Ukrainian people, but for its rotten elite.
Not once in the years between 1991 and now has Ukraine been able to produce a governing elite capable of recognizing that while its geographic position is its Achilles heel, it is also its greatest strength, that they could leverage their geographic position in a way that would advance the common good.
But having refused to do so, the population at large, looted to its last hryvnia, sunk deeper and deeper into poverty: By 2015, Iraq, Mongolia, and Albania had higher rates of personal income than Ukraine.
For 30 years, Ukraine’s leaders also squandered a chance to consolidate a viable multiethnic nation state. But instead, beginning in 2014, they opted to pursue a Banderite vision of a mono-ethnic state, a “Ukraine for Ukrainians.”

The results have been catastrophic. The civil war that erupted in April 2014 has now, thanks to the Russian invasion of a year ago, brought us to the brink of a wider European war.
Ukraine’s governing elites, which have time and again rejected peace talks, must understand that Ukraine is now a failed state: Over 12 million of its citizens have fled and its economy has collapsed by at least one-third since the invasion....

As we pass the first anniversary of the Russian invasion and the ninth anniversary of the Maidan coup, those who so eagerly took to the streets to overthrow the democratically-elected Ukrainian president (and those Americans who so lustily cheered them) on the night of February 21, 2014, might take a moment to ask themselves: What exactly did we gain?

James W. Carden served as advisor on U.S.-Russian affairs at the State Department during the Obama administration


Stephen F. Cohen 2014: "The US media are simply not telling the truth about the failure of our post–Cold War policy. They demonize the opponent and never acknowledge the rational alternatives that exist. But how would we know this, if no one in authority will discuss it?
America needs an antiwar movement of truth tellers to confront and shame the propagandists."

Ajamu Baraka, human rights activist, 4-6-2014: "Questions of democratic legitimacy have never determined U.S. relationships with any state where the U.S. had strategic and economic interests.
If a commitment to democracy and democratic governance was the determining factor for U.S. support, the Obama Administration would not be in alliance with the dictatorship of the royalists in the Gulf states, it would have condemned the coups in Honduras and Egypt, not given diplomatic or economic support to the coup in Ukraine, and would not be supporting right-wing elements in Venezuela attempting to destabilize the democratically-elected government in that country."

Vladimir Putin, 27-7-2013: "The Baptism of Rus was a great event that defined Russia’s and Ukraine’s spiritual and cultural development for the centuries to come. We must remember this brotherhood and preserve our ancestors’ traditions. Together, they built a unique system of Orthodox values and strengthened themselves in their faith."

** Leaked phone call on Ukraine
lays bare Washington’s gangsterism
Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Website, 10-2-2014
** Russia, the West, and ‘Moral Equivalence’
Miguel Nunes Silva, American Conservative, March 26, 2014
** Refuting President Obama’s Lies, Omissions and Distortions
An Open Letter to the Graduates of West Point
Prof. James Petras, Global Research, June 07, 2014
** Putin Warns Against Attempts to Use
Boeing Crash in Ukraine for Political Goals
RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, 21/07/2014
** Putin blasts US in speech,
FoxNews, 24-10-2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the U.S. in a speech Friday, blaming the West for the conflict in Ukraine and weakening global and regional security. Putin argued that the U.S. has made the world a more dangerous place by imposing a “unilateral diktat” in international diplomacy.
** Vladimir Putin & Russian Spirituality
Sebastian Willnow, NPR, March 29, 2014
** Obama & The Neocon Warmongers
By Patrick J. Buchanan, 2-1-2015
** The Neocon Moment
Doug Bandow, Cato Institute 3-11-2014
"We are living in The Neocon Moment, a testament to the foolishness and arrogance of those who believe themselves to be engineers of peoples, societies, and nations."
** Sanctions & the 'Prove a Negative' trap
Finian Cunningham, Sputnik News, 10-6-2015
The prove-a-negative trap works like this: allegations are simply levelled, then amplified and repeated ad nauseam by Western mass media and an array of "experts" and pundits. It's the Big Lie technique of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels. There is no substance to the allegations and there is no obligation to present evidence to verify, thanks to the dutiful and unquestioning nature of Western corporate "journalism".
** Kerry doesn't view Russia as existential threat
By David Brunnstrom, Reuters|Yahoo, 11-7-2015
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not agree with Joseph Dunford that Russia poses an existential threat to the United States... Marine General Joseph Dunford told lawmakers weighing his nomination to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Russia presented the greatest threat to U.S. national security.
** The Danger of Demonization
By Robert Parry, Consortium News, 17-5-2016
"Does any intelligent person look at a New York Times article about Russia or Vladimir Putin these days and expect to read an objective, balanced account? Or will it be laced with a predictable blend of contempt and ridicule?" [..] "The proper role of the press corps is to treat all evidence objectively and all sides fairly. Just because you might not like someone doesn’t mean your feelings should show through or the facts should be forced through a prism of bias."

Egypt’s FM arrives in Damascus
Ahram Online [Egypt], Monday 27 Feb 2023

In the first visit by an Egyptian foreign minister since 2011, Sameh Shoukry arrived in Damascus on Monday morning to extend a message of solidarity to the Syrian people after the devastating earthquake earlier this month...
Upon his arrival, the Egyptian foreign minister met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who thanked Egypt and its great people for hosting Syrian refugees and for treating them like brothers in Egypt. Shoukry also met with his Syrian counterpart at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the spokesperson reported
The Egyptian minister conveyed a message of solidarity and support from the government and people of Egypt with their brothers in Syria as a result of the devastating earthquake, Abu Zeid added.
The foreign minister is also set to visit Turkey as well to further offer his condolences and express solidarity with the similarly affected country.
Shoukry’s visit happens to coincide with Speaker of Egypt's House of Representatives Hanafy El-Gebaly’s visit to Damascus upon the resolution of the 34th conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union (APU) which was held in Baghdad, Iraq, on Saturday...

The devastating 7.8 magnitude quake, which rocked both Turkey and Syria, has left more than 50,000 dead and displaced millions of others in both countries.

Libyan Parliament Speaker Calls
for Lifting Sanctions on Syria
By Mohamed Emad, Libya Review, 27-2-2023

The Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh, called for lifting the sanctions on Syria, after the deadly earthquake hit the country.
During his visit to the Syrian capital of Damascus, as a part of Arab parliamentarian delegations, the Libyan Parliament Speaker said his country supports the Syrian people and its leadership.
“We came to confirm our solidarity and stand with Syria. We are in the frontline along with Syria’s supporters,” Saleh said during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Saleh noted that the Libyan Parliament supports the return of Syria to what he called as the “Arab family.”
He noted that he is proud of the leadership of Bashar Al-Assad. “I am proud to meet with Al-Assad, despite the conspiracies against him,” Saleh said during the meeting.
The Libyan Parliament Speaker wished the safety and stability for the Syrian people and leadership. The Libyan parliamentarian delegation visits Syria as part of the delegation of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union.
According to the Libyan Parliament’s statement, on Sunday, Saleh’s visit comes to confirm the Arab support for the Syrian people after the catastrophe of the devastating earthquake.

White House Believed ‘Economic Nuclear Weapon’
Would End Russian War in Ukraine
by Kyle Anzalone,, 24-2-2023

In the days after the invasion of Ukraine, the White House assessed President Vladimir Putin would end the attack if the US froze over $300 billion owned by the Russian central bank.
However, the Washington-led economic war on Moscow has failed to have a major impact on the Russian economy. According to Bloomberg, in the immediate reaction to Russian forces invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the White House began to develop the "economic equivalent of a nuclear weapon" to use against Moscow.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan led the team that designed the sanctions on Moscow’s economy and froze $300 billion in assets of the Russian central bank.
The Joe Biden administration believed the economic war inflicted "shock and awe" on the Russian economy. Bloomberg reported some American officials worried the actions would do too much damage to Russia.
So far, the Western economic war on Russia has failed to have its designed impact on Moscow’s economy. Despite predictions of a double-digit GDP contraction in 2022, the Russian economy held firm, with the rouble one of the top-performing currencies against the dollar.

In recent years sanctions have become a favorite tool for policymakers in Washington. As foreign policy analyst Richard Hanania explains, "sanctions are used mostly because they give the impression that the American government is doing something between war and nothing."
The US has maintained extensive sanctions on North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria for decades. The embargoes have failed to change the governments of those countries, but international organizations point out that sanctions have caused citizens of those countries to suffer.

As the US has sanctioned an increasing number of countries – Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Zimbabwe, China and Russia – institutions such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have grown to facilitate trade between blacklisted countries.
"The relationship between countries that are sanctioned by the US, such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can overcome many problems and issues and make them stronger," Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said...

Israeli Squatter Terrorists Fire Guns,
Set dozens of Fires in Palestinian Town
Juan Cole, 02/27/2023

Israeli squatters on land owned by Palestinian families went berserk on Sunday, after two squatters were shot by a Palestinian guerrilla in Huwwara, a small town of several thousand residents in the Nablus district.
The shooter appears to have been from Nablus and was a member of the “Lion’s Den” resistance movement.
The squatters set fire to at least 20 homes in the Palestinian hamlet, sometimes with the family still inside, and burned 30 automobiles and many trees. They threw rocks at people and shot at them and at houses. One Palestinian died, another is in critical condition and nearly 100 other people were wounded. So reports Josh Breiner at Haaretz and WAFA. The terrorist mob was from the “illegal” squatter-settlement of Evyatar
All squatting by Israelis on Palestinian land is illegal by the 4th Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute. Under international law, it is a war crime for Israel to usurp the land of the Palestinians it occupies. The US State Department spokesman deplored the terrorist attack that killed two Israelis and the “violence of the settlers.”
Commenters on social media pointed to the difference in language. Surely what the squatters did is terrorism, which the 1990s US federal code defined as violence undertaken by non-state actors against civilians in order to effect a change in political policy.

Israeli News: Saudi Arabia blasts Smotrich:
"We completely reject these racist statements"
Arutz Sheva [Israel] Mar 3, 2023

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday weighed in on comments made this week by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who called for the Arab village of Huwara to be “wiped out”.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's strong condemnation of the extremist statements made by an Israeli occupation official by demanding an (erase) of the Palestinian village of Huwara,” said the statement, posted to the Twitter account of the Saud Foreign Ministry.
“The Ministry affirms the Kingdom's complete rejection of these racist and irresponsible statements, which reflect the amount of violence and extremism practiced by the occupying Israeli entity towards the brotherly Palestinian people, stressing its demand for the international community to assume its responsibilities to deter these shameful practices, stop escalation, and provide the necessary protection to civilians,” it added.

Smotrich’s comments came during a financial conference hosted by The Marker business daily. He was asked why he had liked “liked” a tweet by Samaria Regional Council deputy mayor Davidi Ben Zion calling “to wipe out the village of Huwara today.” Smotrich replied, "Because I think the village of Huwara needs to be wiped out. I think the State of Israel should do it."
"God forbid, the job shouldn’t be done by private citizens," he added, condemning the riots by Jews in Huwara. He later published a clarification in which he said, "Huwara is a hostile village that has become a terrorist outpost from which terrorist operations are launched every day, of rock throwing and shooting against Jews, but it is forbidden in any way to take the law into one's own hands."
"I support a disproportionate response by the IDF and the security forces to every act of terrorism.
For every rock - the closing of shops at the scene, for every firebomb - the arrests and deportation of the families of the terrorists, for every nest of terror - a closure and the collection of a painful price until the terrorists and their supporters realize that the blood of our children is not cheap and that terrorism is not profitable. This is the way to deal with terrorism.."

Despite the clarification, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price called Smotrich's comments "irresponsible, repugnant. and disgusting."
On Thursday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, called Smotrich's comments “irresponsible” and “unacceptable.”

Huwwara riots: Israel's leaders stoke flames
by lauding settler attacks
Middle East Eye, 27-2-2023

Hours before Israeli settlers set the occupied West Bank town of Huwwara ablaze on Sunday, several Israeli politicians called for the Palestinian village to be wiped out.
In a since deleted tweet, David Ben Zion, the deputy head of the Samaria Council that governs illegal settlements in the northern West Bank, called for Israeli politicians to show no mercy and that the “village of Huwwara should be erased today”. The tweet was liked by the country’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich...
Ben Zion, who represents more than a dozen Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank including where the attack occurred, later said that he had written the comments in the “heat of the moment”.

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