Saddam's Death, 97 (july-august 2017)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 96: july 2017 and Page 98: august 2017
Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple

Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003
Trump & the Two Messiah's - 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"
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)

"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

"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

"That is the issue that will continue in this country... It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle.
The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings." Abraham Lincoln (October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois)

"Happy day, when, all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matter subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!" Abraham Lincoln (February 22, 1842 Temperance Address)

"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)

All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon

“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)

Page Index

"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)

Mahatma Gandhi stated that the most important battle to fight was overcoming his own demons, fears, and insecurities. Gandhi summarised his beliefs first when he said "God is Truth". He would later change this statement to "Truth is God". (Wikipedia)

Haaretz editor declares war on Zionism
David Rosenberg, Arutz Sheva, 18/07/2017

An editor of the left-wing Haaretz daily chastised French President Emmanuel Macron for calling anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism, praising anti-Zionism as “resistance” against racism and apartheid.
Asaf Ronel, the world news editor for Haaretz, criticized Macron’s recent statement that anti-Zionism was a ‘reinvention’ of anti-Semitism.
“We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,” said Macron on Sunday.
Responding to Macron’s comments via Twitter, Ronel rejected the comparison, and denounced Zionism as being ‘inherently racist’. Ronel praised anti-Zionism for ‘resisting’ the evils of modern Zionism.
“Dear president Emmanuel Macron, you are wrong – anti-Zionism is resisting the racism inherent in today’s Zionism. It’s not antisemitism.”
In a back and forth with French-Israeli foreign policy expert Emmanuel Navon, Ronel later accused Zionism of apartheid. But unlike many radical left-wing critics of Israel, Ronel did not cite Israel’s 1967 liberation of Judea and Samaria as an example of the alleged ‘apartheid’, instead denouncing the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948: “...the apartheid refers to 48, not 67.”

On Monday, Ronel took to Twitter again to complain about criticism of his comments after Honest Reporting documented his aforementioned tweets.
Pro-Israel activists attack my newspaper for something I wrote. Explains a lot about their understanding of free media & freedom of speech.”

Definition of Semite
1: a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia
including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
2: a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language (Merriam-Webster)

Please note that Israel is NOT a Semitic country!
When Israel really was a SEMITIC country (fighting against all forms of anti-Semitism),
all citizens (Arabs and Hebrews) would be equals.

Race, Religion or Political Ideology?

In 2013 the U.S.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center released a list of public figures known to their anti-Semitic stances. ... Brazilian caricaturist Carlos Latuf came third for a caricature that showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu crushing a Palestinian woman during the latest aggression on Gaza. The caricature, the report noted, constituted an insult to Israel and its prime minister and presented a flagrant expression of anti-Semitism. (Nayed Zidani,1-1-2013)

Anti-Semitism broadly defined is simply the opposition to jews on the basis that they are a biological group ('an antisemite is a racist).
Now there are two other forms of what we may term anti-jewishness.
That is anti-Judaism, which broadly defined is opposition to Judaism as a religion and anti-Zionism, which similarly defined is the opposition to the state of Israel and Zionism as a political and intellectual ideology more broadly.
This then gives the lie to the popular misconception that anti-Zionism is synonymous with anti-Semitism precisely because there are three kinds of opposition to jews which can be held individually or in varying combinations.
None of these broad categories are mutually exclusive to each other either as there have been anti-Semites who were all for Zionism and critics of Judaism who thoroughly supported Israel and Zionism while roundly condemning anti-Semitism. (More on page 29)

Netanyahu & Ideological Blindness
By Juan Cole | Mar. 5, 2014

Netanyahu and most Israelis on the Right just cannot see the future. They cannot see what they are doing to the Palestinians (Netanyahu thinks the latter would be satisfied with statelessness and indignity if only their economy improved). They cannot see how unacceptable is their economic siege of the Palestinians in Gaza, illegally targeting non-combatants, and warping children’s lives. They think people who complain about these policies just don’t like Jews, using their grievances about anti-Semitism in old Christian Europe to hide from themselves that they have themselves now become a colonial power, that they are dominant, and that pretending to be downtrodden victims of prejudice under these circumstances is absurd.

The Zionist Right, living in its fantasy land, responds to criticisms of Israeli policy with Nixon-style ‘enemies lists’ intended to promote aggressive harassment of critics on US campuses. I’m proud to say that I am among those so targeted. These essentially fascist tactics have helped cow the mainstream US media into pussy-footing around subjects like Netanyahu and the Likud Party’s Iron Wall policies....
Netanyahu and his right wing political coalition are in denial. They are addicted to occupation.

Israel, the psychopathic nation
by Laurent Guyenot, Veterans Today, 3-2-2015

The State of Israel is now in the international scene what the psychopath is in a human community.
With regard to the Palestinians, “Israeli Jews’ consciousness is characterized by a sense of victimization, a siege mentality, blind patriotism, belligerence, self-righteousness, dehumanization of the Palestinians, and insensitivity to their suffering,” in the words of journalist Akiva Eldar (“Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in 2008-2009″).
As noted by the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence Yehoshafat Harkabi: “Dazzled by its self-righteousness, Israel cannot see the case of the other side.
Self-righteousness encourages nations no less than individuals to absolve themselves of every failing and shake off the guilt of every mishap.
When everyone is guilty except them, the very possibility of self-criticism and self-improvement vanishes…

Benjamin Netanyahu is a member of Likud, the direct ideological descendant of Revisionist Zionism, a movement of people who had split from their mainstream Zionist counterparts, believing those in the mainstream were too conciliatory to the British authorities governing Palestine, and espousing a militant, right-wing version of Jewish nationalism.

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil - Interview with Gerard Menuhin
By Jonas E. Alexis, Veterans Today, on April 14, 2016

Menuhin: ‘Semitism’, at best, describes a language. So ‘anti-Semitism’ would denote opposition to Semitic languages – an absurd stance.
To deduce from the expression an opposition to Semitic peoples would be stretching the point. And are Jews Semitic?
Ashkenazi Jews (90% of modern Jewry) are commonly agreed to descend from 8th century Khazars. Their assumed forefather, Ashkenaz, was the son of Gomer, grandson of Noah through Japheth, not of Shem, the father of the Semitic races. They are not Semitic...
Anti-Semitism is a suppressive weapon which only survives because it is linked to the guilt people feel — or are intended to feel — when confronted with ‘The Holocaust’. Anti-Semitism would be an impotent pseudo-expression, were it not coupled with ‘The Holocaust’.

*** Holocaust Day – The Time Is Ripe For A Jewish Apology
by Gilad Atzmon, Veterans Today, 28-1-2014
*** Back to Ezra, the father of political judaism (i.e. theocracy)
The Book of Ezra, Chapter 10
*** Ilan Pappe: Zionism is the root cause of the conflict
by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 11-5-2015
*** Judith Butler: Zionism Is Opposed to Jewish Values
Carlo Strenger, Huffington Post, 16-3-2013
*** Jonathan Sacks: Anti-Zionists are the failures and the losers in society
Gilad Atzmon, 30-9-2016
*** Hoenlein: "Pandemic of anti-Semitism taking shape worldwide"
Gilad Atzmon, March 02, 2017
*** Is fighting for equal rights 'anti-semitism'?
Ramzy Baroud, 22-12-2016
*** "The occupier is the victim"
By Gideon Levy, Haaretz, June 2, 2017

China supports sovereign Palestinian state, Xi Jinping says
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 19-7-2017

Building Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories should be stopped immediately, President Xi Jinping said Tuesday.
"China supports Palestine in building an independent, full sovereignty state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," Xi said after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing.
Xi also emphasized that UN Security Council Resolution 2334 should be effectively implemented.
The resolution that was adopted last December demands Israel halt its "flagrant violation" of international law that has "no legal validity", and said the government needs to live up to its responsibilities as an occupying power as dictated by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Xi said China is willing to support all efforts that may help solve the Palestinian issue.

Abbas is on a four-day visit to China that will end Thursday.
Israeli and Palestinian peace talks under U.S. mediation collapsed in April 2014 because of Israel's refusal to release Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so. All attempts to revive negotiations have since failed, due mainly to Israel's insistence on continuing settlement construction on occupied Arab land.

Senior Shas rabbi: We don't hate Reform Jews - we pity them
David Rosenberg, Arutz Sheva, 18/07/2017

1. Jewish men who have sexual relations with Jewish women
2. Jewish bastards
3. Jewish women who have sexual relations with Jewish men or with the Holy One Blessed Be He
4. Jewish men who have sexual relations with non – Jewish women
5. Jewish homosexual men who have sexual relations with Jewish men
6. Jewish lesbians who have sexual relations with Jewish women
7. Jewish homosexual men who have sexual relations with non – Jewish men
8. Jewish lesbians who have sexual relations with non – Jewish women
9. Male Goyim (gentiles or non-Jewish persons)
10. Female Goyim.

A senior haredi rabbi and member of the Shas party’s rabbinical council declared that haredi Jews do not feel hatred towards Reform Jews, but are repulsed by “the path” of the Reform movement. This is the view espoused by Religious Zionist Rabbis as well, as expressed by the late Torah giant Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.
Rabbi David Yosef, brother of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and son of the former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, made the comments at his weekly Torah lecture at the Yehaveh Daat synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

While less than one percent of Israeli Jews are affiliated with Reform congregations in Israel, Reform and Conservative leaders in the US and Canada have sought formal recognition from the State of Israel for decades, lobbying successive Israeli coalition governments and pursuing lawsuits to win recognition for non-traditional conversions and government funding of Reform institutions.
All the [Israeli] religious parties, on the other hand, have pushed to maintain the status quo on religion and state, established prior to the founding of Israel in 1948.
The Reform movement and its ideology, however, is a legitimate object of hatred, said Rabbi Yosef, due to its efforts to uproot traditional Judaism.
“We hate – and I mean really hate – their approach. They all mock Judaism – the Reform are making a mockery of Judaism.
Their ‘Judaism’ includes desecration of the Sabbath. They erase all that is dear and holy to us. They are erasing the commandments of the Torah. So we hate their approach, but we don’t hate the people. We pity them.”
With that, Rabbi Yosef said that challenging the Reform movement’s agenda in Israel was crucial, even if it creates political divisions.

John Hagee, Christian Zionist: "We are going to punish you"
By Benjamin Glatt, Jerusalem Post, 17-7-2017

Hagee is the founder and National Chairman of the Christian-Zionist organization Christians United for Israel

John Hagee writes for his number one reason to support Jews and Israel, “Genesis 12:3 ‘And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee...'

For almost 70 years, the State of Israel has seen its enemies attempt numerous wars and many different methods of attack. But for all that they try, they will never have the advantage, Pastor John Hagee said.
“Israel’s enemies may continue to adapt but they will never be able to outmaneuver the hand of almighty God,” he said at the 12th annual Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington on Monday to thundering applause.
Mentioning the newest front – the boycott, divest and sanctions movement – Hagee said that the threats will continue.
“BDS is a manifesto void of any ideology, other than hatred with the sole mission of total and complete destruction of the economy of the State Israel,” he said.
“BDS is economic antisemitism, and it must be stopped in every state of the United States of America.”
Hagee said that 22 states already passed legislation to sanction companies that sanction Israeli companies, “shutting them off at the gate,” and he previously mentioned that by the end of the year, CUFI expects more than half the states in the Union to have advanced anti-BDS measures.
“If you think you are going to punish Israel, we are going to punish you,” he said. “Victory is going to be ours.” ...
Mentioning how “God provided friends” like US President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence who are determined to help Israel, the audience gave a standing ovation.

Read also: The Religious/Political Poisoning of America
by Bob Johnson, Veterans Today, May 16, 2015

and: Christian Zionism & the tribal Jewish version of God
By Yoginder Sikand,, 14-12-2005

International Law Is The Devil
U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for BDS campaign
Glenn Greenwald | Ryan Grim, The Intercept, 19-7-2017

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. BDS website

The criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West.
In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal.

“Every inch of territory in Israel,” including “the lands taken in the Six-Day War,” must be held by the use of Jewish military force, regardless of international law.." (The Rebbe)

But now, a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.
The proposed measure, called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), was introduced by Cardin on March 23. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

Last night (july 18), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) posted a letter it sent to all members of the Senate urging them to oppose this bill.
Warning that “proponents of the bill are seeking additional co-sponsors,” the civil liberties group explained that this law “would punish individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs.” The letter detailed what makes this bill so particularly threatening to basic civic freedoms:
While appropriately pointing out that the ACLU “takes no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country,” the group categorically denounces this AIPAC-sponsored proposal for what it is: a bill that “seeks only to punish the exercise of constitutional rights.”
Thus far, not a single member of Congress has joined the ACLU in denouncing this bill...

Read also:
Israel is above international law. Rami Hamdallah, 3-2-2017
Israeli Minister: The Bible gives Israel moral right to land. Jerusalem Post, 28-3-2017

Rival Libyan leaders Haftar, Seraj to meet in Paris
Reuters, 21-7-2017

PARIS (Reuters) - Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar, a powerful figurehead in the east of Libya, and Fayez Seraj, head of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on July 25, al-Hayat newspaper reported.
The two held talks in Abu Dhabi in May, their first in more than a year and a half, about a U.N.-mediated deal that Western powers hope will end the factional fighting that has dominated Libya since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
Citing unidentified sources, Saudi-owned al-Hayat said the meeting sought to build on diplomatic efforts by the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations and neighboring Egypt.

Flashback 2011: Levy (Zionist) and Sarkozy - prominent initiators of the islamist rebellion in Libya

Bernard-Henri Levy, a writer and philosopher, took on the role of amateur diplomat in early 2011 when he claims to have convinced former President Nicolas Sarkozy it was in France's interest to recognize Libya's rebels. Days after Levy called Sarkozy during a trip to the rebel-held Libyan city of Bengazhi, the French president sought a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning former dictator Muammar Gaddafi's government.

Macron wants France to play a bigger role in coaxing Libya's factions to end the turmoil that has allowed Islamist militants to gain a foothold and migrant smugglers to flourish in the absence of a strong central government.
The meeting comes at a time when Haftar has gained ground militarily with Egyptian and United Arab Emirates support, and Western states say Haftar must be part of any solution to the conflict in the oil-producing North African state.
Libya's neighbors and regional powers have often differed on how to help.
Egypt and the UAE are closer to Haftar and his anti-Islamist militant campaign while Seraj is loosely supported by militias in the west of the vast country that include Islamist groups backed by Turkey and Qatar.
Paris sees its close ties with the leaders of the UAE and Egypt as giving it some leeway in getting all sides on board, especially with the United States showing little interest in getting involved.
Diplomats said a rough plan could see Paris working to refine the U.N. accord by setting up a presidential council that would include Haftar, Seraj and a third actor from the east with Haftar heading up the Libyan National Army.
This would then be rubber-stamped by the U.N. Security Council and pave the way for national elections.

End of CIA Program for Syrian Rebels
Sputnik News, 21.07.2017

US Special Operations Command has confirmed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will stop arming and training Islamist rebel factions opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Washington Post published a story on Wednesday, July 19, where they claimed that anonymous US government officials had told them that Trump intended to put a stop to the program. At the time, Washington officials refused to comment.
The CIA's covert program to arm and train rebels to fight Assad's government was the primary means by which the United States opposed the Syrian president. As such, many have labeled the rumored end to the program an admission by the Trump White House that regime change in Syria is no longer feasible.
This contradicts statements from American leaders such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, both of whom have laid out the removal of Assad as a key US objective in Syria. Tillerson said that the US saw "no long-term role for the Assad family or the Assad regime" earlier in July.
Trump's reasoning behind the decision, which has sparked a furor in mainstream outlets, is only something that can be speculated about as he has not yet made a statement on the decision.
Anti-Russian outlets such as the Post have claimed that the cessation, a "huge strategic blunder", is a capitulation of Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who backs Assad.
However, the decision allegedly was made before Trump's much-discussed meetings with Putin at the G-20 Summit. This lays credence to the other theory: Trump ended the program because it wasn't working, and that US money was better suited to be spent elsewhere.

Al-Qaeda consolidates power in Idlib after three more rebel groups join its ranks
By Chris Tomson, Al-Masdar News, 22/07/2017

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:30 P.M.) – Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) is becoming stronger than ever before, expanding its control over Idlib and browbeating all rival groups into submission.
One day after signing a new peace treaty with Ahrar Al-Sham, forcing it to leave the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing after capturing a dozen towns in rural Idlib, HTS has now managed to beef up its manpower.

On Saturday, three rebel groups agreed to merge with HTS and swear allegiance to its military chief, the Al-Qaeda associate Abu Mohammad al-Julani.
The factions in mention are Usud Al-Islam, Khalid Ibn Walid and Usud Bani Umayya. The deal was signed in Zardana, a town which has now been brought under HTS control.

Egypt’s President Sisi praises Arab unity
Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Jul 2017

Gamel Abdel Nasser (socialist) & the exploitation of religion by 'men with beards'

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated Saturday the newly constructed Mohamed Naguib Military Base located in Al-Hammam area, west of Alexandria, attending the graduation ceremony of military students from a number of colleges.
During the graduation ceremony, El-Sisi hosted Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad, Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, Khaled bin Faisal, Kuwaiti Defence Minister Mohammed bin Khaled Al Sabah, and Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, among others.
El-Sisi stated that the attendance of Arab leaders at the graduation ceremony of military students is “proof of unity between Arab countries.”
El-Sisi welcomed the Arab leaders on behalf of the Egyptian people. The leaders presented medals to top of their class military students.

El-Sisi also directed a message to "Egypt's enemies," saying “you will not be able to defeat Egypt or its brothers in the region,” stressing the rejection of "interfering in the domestic affairs of other states."
“[There are] billions spent to destroy countries, including Egypt,” El-Sisi said.
The military base is named after Mohamed Naguib, a leader of the Egyptian revolution in 1952 and the first president of the Republic of Egypt after its establishment on 18 June 1953.
Sunday will mark the 65th anniversary of the 23 July 1952 revolution.

Asma Assad: Syria Our Fidelity, Its Development Our Responsibility
Syria Times, Sunday, 23 July 2017

Excerpts from Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, the First Lady of Syria's speech at the celebration of the 16th Anniversary of the foundation of the Syrian Trust for Development

"Development is not only infrastructure and projects by the State, not a unilateral effort by one side. Development is a combination between the State and Man, the project and the citizen."
"There is always the need for creative thought for development projects and with every initiative there should be a generalized humane and morale value and with participation, invention and openness, we can develop all of Syria as far as construction and humans."
"During the war on Syria, the development of the mind was absent; where the alternative was ignorance with its extremism and terrorism.
Once the development of manners was absent, the alternative was chaos and destruction; once the development of morals was absent, the alternative was opportunism and perversion. Once the national spirit was absent, unfortunately, the alternative was treason.

"Fidelity is something great and difficult and our fidelity is more difficult and sacred hence it was baptized with the blood and the soil liberated with the souls of our martyrs and the bodies of our wounded. Before the war our fidelity was dear and is more dear today, as it lies in every martyr's mother, who lost her son and remained strong and firm."
" Our Fidelity is every wounded who sacrificed his body for Syria. Our fidelity is every Syrian child who goes to school though of fear and whose friend was martyred before his eyes and continued and excelled. Our fidelity is every employee, student or teacher who stood firm and went to his work, school or university. Our fidelity is every person going to his workshop, factory or shop, and is every Syrian besieged by terrorism or deported by terrorism. Our fidelity is every grain of Syria's soil, whether over or under earth. Our fidelity is the whole people who stood firm, sacrificed and withstood. Our fidelity is Syria, the dearest more than anything."

"Freedom is not to destroy your homeland, and not to burn buildings, not to set explosives wherever you want, not to terrorize the innocents, freedom is responsibility, is the freedom of thinking, the freedom of creativity. Freedom is to have an opinion and a voice represented on you, your society and your country."

"Democracy is participation, respect for diversity, acceptance for the other.
They tried to distort the principle of nationalism. They, however, failed as we remained united and committed to our principles, culture, identity and to our diversity. We are the mythical Phoenix as to be resurrected to build our country, and we will remain sacrificing everything for our country.
"Syria is the light shining over all of us. This light is only when it joins multi-colors within as the basic light of Syria through the diversity of its colors, and richness of its cultures, though of the bids by many as to make every color isolated as not to keep Syria of the same light. They failed and were not able to isolate the Syrian light of diversity.
7 years now, and these colors glitter more and all are aware that the diversity of the rooted in the Syrians colors is the source of richness, power, and light.
All are sure by now that the strength of the individual is with his surroundings and all are for one and one is based on all."

Syrian Army Intensifies Its Grip on Daesh
Sputnik News, 23-7-2017

The Syrian Army has regained control over the settlement of al-Dakhilah and the As-Sabhavi gas field located about 18 miles south of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Daesh terrorist group, a Syrian military source told Sputnik.
Speaking to Sputnik, a Syrian military source said that militants from the Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS) terrorist group were driven out of the settlement of al-Dakhilah and the As-Sabhavi gas field located about 18 miles south of the city of Raqqa in northern Syria.
"The units of the Syrian Arab army regained control over the settlement of al-Dakhilah, the well of as-Sabhavi and the gas field of the same name in the southern vicinity of Raqqa. A large number of members of the IS terrorist group were eliminated," the source said.
The retaken territories are expected to allow government troops to quickly reach the bank of the Euphrates River and continue the offensive in the direction of Raqqa, the so-called "ISIL capital."
Syrian forces, including combat units under the command of Gen. Suheil al-Hassan, have already managed to regain control over about 20 oil wells as well as a number of gas and oil fields located both in the province of Raqqa and in the western part of Deir ez-Zor province.

On Thursday, US special presidential envoy Brett McGurk said that the Daesh terrorists that remain in the Syrian city of Raqqa have been surrounded and that about one third of the city has already been cleared.
He added that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-led coalition partners on the ground, were advancing on Daesh militants from four directions.
Last week, US Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel said the operation to liberate Raqqa is likely to take months to complete, as the terrorists had years to prepare for the battle and will fight aggressively.
"We would expect they are going to fight harder and more aggressively than they are, and a large part of that is going to be exploited again. So, I think it is going to be a challenging fight and it will take months."
The CENTCOM commander also noted that the US-backed forces fighting in Syria are not supported by the government there, while the US partners in Iraq are.

Former Qaeda affiliate takes control of Syria’s Idlib
Al-Arabya|AFP, Monday, 24 July 2017

A former al-Qaeda affiliate took control of the northern Syrian city of Idlib on Sunday two days after agreeing to end fighting with a rebel group, a monitor said.
Ahrar al-Sham withdrew from the city of Idlib, which is now under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham,” Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.
This week saw fierce clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham across much of Idlib province, including at the key Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, before a truce was announced late Friday.
“Hundreds of rebels left the city aboard dozens of vehicles heading towards southern Idlib province,” Abdel Rahman said. He said Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) set up checkpoints across the northwestern city.

nusra-rebels, syria 2012

HTS and Ahrar al-Sham were once allies and fought alongside each other to capture most of Idlib province from the Syrian government in 2015.
But analysts say growing tensions over the past two months have been exacerbated by HTS fears of a plan to expel the internationally designated “terror” group from the province.
Idlib is one of the last Syrian provinces still beyond regime control.
The fall of the city and provincial capital to the militants is symbolic and comes after the Observatory said they captured “more than 31 towns and villages” across the province over the past two days.
The HTS is dominated by the Fateh al-Sham faction, which was previously known as Al-Nusra Front before renouncing its ties to al-Qaeda.

"We have been dealing with murderous terrorism for 100 years"
Netanyahu addresses stabbing attack during memorial for Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
Arutz Sheva Staff, 23/07/2017

President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the memorial ceremony for Revisionist Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky on the 77th anniversary of his death Sunday evening. The ceremony took place on Mt. Herzl, where Jabotinsky is buried.

In his opening remarks, President Rivlin spoke about the deadly attack in Halamish on Friday night and said:
The acts of terror, the violence on and off the mountain so holy to Jews and Arabs, must be condemned and must be stopped."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the terrorist attack in Samaria.
"On Friday night we witnessed a heart-rending drama of vicious terrorism, the fruit of deep and unbridled Jew-hatred. We have been dealing with murderous terrorism for 100 years – and we will defeat it.

Irgun: Jabotinsky's Terror Organization
Wikipedia Info

The Irgun was a Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the older and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah (Defence). When the group broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet ("Second Defense").
The Irgun policy was based on what was then called Revisionist Zionism founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
According to Howard Sachar, "The policy of the new organization was based squarely on Jabotinsky's teachings: every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state".
Two of the operations for which the Irgun is best known are the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre, carried out together with Lehi on 9 April 1948.

The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts.
Specifically the organization "committed acts of terrorism and assassination against the British, whom it regarded as illegal occupiers, and it was also violently anti-Arab" according to the Encyclopædia Britannica.
In particular the Irgun was described as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, British, and United States governments; in media such as The New York Times newspaper; as well as by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, the 1946 Zionist Congress and the Jewish Agency.
Irgun's tactics appealed to many Jews who believed that any action taken in the cause of the creation of a Jewish state was justified, including terrorism.

The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel's right-wing Herut (or "Freedom") party, which led to today's Likud party. Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977.

Israel & the Aqsa Mosque Tensions
By Juan Cole | Jul. 24, 2017

On Sunday in Amman, the capital of Jordan, two workers arrived at the Israeli Embassy in the tony Rabiyeh neighborhood. One of them attacked the Israeli security guard with a screwdriver, lightly injuring him.
The attack at the Israeli Embassy came after a week of building tension in the region over the Aqsa Mosque on the temple mount. First, three Palestinian-Israeli gunmen staged an attack at the mosque on July 14, killing two Druze guards. Then the Israeli government announced that they would put metal detectors at the Aqsa Mosque.
That move, seen as a form of desecration of the holy site, provoked big demonstrations and late last week several Palestinians at rallies were shot dead by Israeli police. 8 people are dead over the weekend.
Cooler heads are urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reconsider the metal detectors, which are causing more deaths than they might prevent.

The second intifada started in September 2000, when Ariel Sharon made a visit to the Temple Mount, seen by Palestinians as highly provocative.

Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank in 1967 and has pursued an aggressive colonization policy that has aimed at emptying East Jerusalem of Palestinians and surrounding the remaining families and cutting them off from the West Bank.
The Palestinians are under martial law and ruled by the Israeli military in one of the world’s last truly colonial enclaves, deprived of most basic human rights (including to their own property)...
If you try to steal everything over decades from 2.5 million people while subjecting them to foreign military occupation, there is likely to be trouble over it.

Muslims ruled Jerusalem for most of the succeeding 1,281 years, with a hiatus during the Crusades.
For Jews and Christians, it is natural to associate Jerusalem with Jews, and sure it has been intimately intertwined with Jewish spirituality. But the city existed for millennia before there were any Jews, having been a Canaanite settlement dedicated to the god Shalem. And it wasn’t actually ruled by Jews for all that long (Egypt, Iran, Rome and the Muslims also ruled it).
Jerusalem is the third holiest city in Islam and Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad spiritually journeyed there and ascended into heaven from the temple mount. Muslims have for centuries been stopping off in Jerusalem for a pilgrimage (ziyarah) before or after the Hajj or major pilgrimage.

Elaborate, skillful ideological constructs produced by priestly circles

Almost everything about King David and Solomon and their empire is exaggerated to such as extent that it is best to consider the entire edifice to be legend and myth, except that for a while, King David did rule a sparsely populated disparate Judah.

David and Solomon are two of the towering figures of the Hebrew texts. The central characters in these nationalistic stories had to be both commanders of armies and builders of great nations, so that the present generation could follow their example, and work for the good of the fledging state. With this aim in mind, the stories written about David and Solomon did not disappoint - well, not until archaeologists went in search of the evidence of their great empires.

jews never were in control of 'the upper-city'.
the upper-city always was a roman (byzantine) city,
until it was transformed into a muslim (arab) city, around 637

Prof. Victor J. Stenger (2007): “There is no mention of either king in Egyptian or Mesopotamian texts.
No physical evidence has been found for David's conquests or his empire. Archaeological support for Solomon's great temple in Jerusalem or other building projects there and in other locales is nonexistent.
At a recent meeting in Rome, archaeologist Niels Peter Lemche declared, "Archaeological data have now definitely confirmed that the empire of David and Solomon never existed. [...]
Almost certainly, the Jewish kingdom was far more modest than described in the Bible..."

Shlomo Sand (in: "The Invention of the Jewish People", 2009): “Excavations in Jerusalem [...] undermined the fantasies about the glorious past [and] failed to find any traces of an important tenth-century kingdom, the presumed time of David and Solomon. No vestige was ever found of monumental structures, walls or grand palaces, and the pottery found there was scanty and quite simple...
The Bible describes Solomon's rebuilding of the northern cities of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. [...] Unfortunately, the building style of these gates was found to be later than the tenth century BCE. [... and] the carbon-14 test confirmed that the colossal structures in the area dated not from Solomon's reign but from the time of the northern kingdom of Israel.
Indeed, no trace has been found of the existence of that legendary king, whose wealth is described in the Bible as almost matching that of the imperial rulers of Babylonia or Persia. [...]

Finkelstein & Silberman (in: "The Bible Unearthed", 2002): “Many of the archaeological props that once bolstered the historical basis of the David and Solomon narratives have recently been called into question.
The actual extent of the Davidic empire is hotly debated. Digging in Jerusalem has failed to produce evidence that it was a great city in David or Solomon's time. And the monuments ascribed to Solomon are now most plausibly connected with other kings. [...]

Biblical historians such as Thomas Thompson and Niels Peter Lemche of the University of Copenhagen and Philip Davies of the University of Sheffield, dubbed biblical minimalists by their detractors, have argued that David and Solomon, the united monarchy of Israel, and indeed the entire biblical description of the history of Israel are no more than elaborate, skillful ideological constructs produced by priestly circles in Jerusalem in post-exilic or even Hellenistic times.” (Source)

The Messianic Awake Call

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life." John 8:12

EL is known as the Father of the gods in Canaan religion: 'the father of mankind', the 'Bull', and 'the creator of creatures'. He is gray haired and bearded and lives at Mt. Lel.
He is a heavy drinker and has gotten extremely drunk at his banquets. As a young god, he went out to the sea and, spying two ladies, one of whom is presumably Athirat, becomes aroused, roasts a bird and asks the two to choose between being his daughters or his wives. They become his wives and in due course they give birth to Shachar and Shalim.
William F. Albright identified Shalim as the god of dusk (darkness), and Shahar as god of the dawn (light). In the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Shalim is also identified as the deity representing Venus or the "Evening Star," and Shahar, the "Morning Star".
Jerusalem is widely believed to have been originally established as a city for Shalim. The name of the city, when analyzed from a Semitic standpoint, is literally translated as ‘the settlement of Shalim.’

Read more at Saddam's Death, Page 73

Russia Military Police monitors Syria safe zone
By AFP|Jordan Times, Jul 25,2017

MOSCOW — Russia has deployed military police to monitor two safe zones being established in Syria, it was announced on Monday, with officials touting it as a new era of US cooperation.
Senior commander Sergei Rudskoi said Russian forces had set up checkpoints and observation posts around a zone in the south-west and in another covering Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.
The two areas are part of a broader Moscow-backed plan to create four "de-escalation zones" in rebel-held parts of Syria.
The defence ministry's announcement marks the first deployment of foreign troops to bolster the safe zones as Moscow seeks to pacify Syria after its military intervention swung the six-year conflict in favour of President Bashar Assad.
Moscow has informed Israel of its deployment and that the nearest Russian position is 13 kilometres from the demarcation line between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights, Rudskoi said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday praised the creation of the safe zones, saying it showed Russia can work with the United States under President Donald Trump.
He was giving an interview on Monday to Kurdish Rudaw television whose transcript was posted on the ministry site
Russia's top diplomat said the fact that President Vladimir Putin and Trump agreed on creating de-escalation zones in southern Syria at their first meeting at the G-20 in Hamburg was "a concrete example that we can work together".
Lavrov contrasted the negotiations with Barack Obama's administration, which he said "turned out to be incapable of separating terrorists from the normal opposition" in Syria.
"Only now through the concept of safe zones are we getting results in this area," Lavrov said.

Leaflets dropped on areas in Idlib province call to
“lay down weapons and return to the homeland”
Observatory for Human Rights, 24/07/2017

Syrian Aircraft dropped baskets on Kafriya and Al- Fu’ah inhabited by citizens of the Shiite sect in the north-eastern countryside of Idlib, while Helicopters dropped leaflets on the outskirts of Ariha Town.
These leaflets said “The appeal of the homeland to its people:
To all young people involved in carrying weapons. The crisis is about to solve and the successes of the Syrian Arab army confirm that the crises is about to end.
Young people do not injustice yourselves. The future is in front of you. The opportunity is still available to come back to the homeland.
So take advantage of this opportunity before it is too late, and start to leave the weapons as others did. The state looks after you and welcomes your return”

Flashback: The Baath Message
Baath Arab Socialist Party Website, 28-12-2016

The year 2017 is about to come holding events and developments that we do not know anything about.
However, in our minds and hearts, we hold all hopes that 2017 would be a year in which the crises of the Arab world end, the wars and disputes stop and the wounds heal.
\ The year 2017 is approaching, while the Arab nation is living a bitter reality and unprecedented conditions on the level of the Zionist occupation of Palestine and Jerusalem and the level of wars, crises and conflicts that are faced by more than one Arab country...
Let the New Year 2017 be an occasion to mobilize a patriotic and national spirit; unify our internal front and strengthen its ties that pass any differences or narrow judgments...
Let the new year be an occasion to unite the ranks and confront the nation‘s problems by brotherhood and a solidarity spirit...

Trump: Syrian rebel aid program was ‘dangerous and wasteful’
AFP|Al-Arabya, Tuesday, 25 July 2017

US President Donald Trump on Monday announced he had ended a program to support rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because it was “massive, dangerous, and wasteful.”
The comments came days after General Tony Thomas, the head of US special operations confirmed that the four-year-old operation was brought to a close but denied the decision was motivated by a desire to placate Russia, which backs the Assad regime.
“The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts ....” Trump tweeted.
The missive appeared to be a response to an article by the newspaper published hours earlier and titled “Cooperation with Russia becomes central to Trump strategy in Syria.”
The United States and Russia agreed on creating de-escalation zones in southern Syria at their first meeting at the G20 in Hamburg earlier this month.

nusra rebels - aleppo 2014

Former president Barack Obama approved the rebel aid program in 2013 as various insurgent groups sought external support in a general uprising against the Assad regime. Thousands of Syrian anti-government fighters were trained and armed.
But the US commitment remained ambiguous amid doubts in some quarters that the rebels could actually manage to depose Assad and as attention turned to the rising power of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Support for the program further eroded last year after the rebels lost the areas they held in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Aleppo Residents Slowly Rebuild War-Ravaged City - FARS news agency 2017

Are America’s Wars Just and Moral?
By Patrick J. Buchanan, 25-7-2017

“One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies,” writes columnist David Ignatius. Given that Syria’s prewar population was not 10 percent of ours, this is the equivalent of a million dead and wounded Americans.
What justifies America’s participation in this slaughter? Columnist Eric Margolis summarizes the successes of the six-year civil war to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
“The result of the western-engendered carnage in Syria was horrendous: 5 million Syrian refugees driven into exile in neighboring states (Turkey alone hosts three million), and another 6 million internally displaced. … 11 million Syrians … driven from their homes into wretched living conditions and near famine. “Jihadist massacres and Russian and American air strikes have ravaged once beautiful, relatively prosperous Syria. Its ancient Christian peoples are fleeing for their lives before US and Saudi takfiri religious fanatics.”

What injury did the Assad regime, in power for half a century and having never attacked us, inflict to justify what we have helped to do to that country?
Is this war moral by our own standards?
We overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Moammar Gadhafi in 2012. Yet, the fighting, killing and dying in both countries have not ceased. Estimates of the Iraq civilian and military dead run into the hundreds of thousands.
Still, the worst humanitarian disaster may be unfolding in Yemen. After the Houthis overthrew the Saudi-backed regime and took over the country, the Saudis in 2015 persuaded the United States to support its air strikes, invasion and blockade.
By January 2016, the U.N. estimated a Yemeni civilian death toll of 10,000, with 40,000 wounded. However, the blockade of Yemen, which imports 90 percent of its food, has caused a crisis of malnutrition and impending famine that threatens millions of the poorest people in the Arab world with starvation...
“They make a desert and call it peace,” Calgacus said of the Romans he fought in the first century. Will that be our epitaph?

The end of the ‘Arab world’
Israel, USA & The Useful (Arab) Idiots
Mohamed Salmawy, Al-Ahram Weekly Opinion, 26-7-2017

What is the game the US is playing in the Arab world?
To answer this question and attempt to explain the role of the US in the region, I recall an extensive feature in The New York Times Magazine about the Arab world 13 years after the US invasion of Iraq. In an unusual and rare practice in journalism, the magazine dedicated an entire special issue to the subject.
Setting aside the political bias of this newspaper which is controlled by the American Jewish lobby, this remarkable coverage titled “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart” was relatively impartial. It clearly showed that splintering, rivalry and fighting in the Arab world today began with the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which ushered in chaos and destruction in most of the Arab nation.
The newspaper stated that the US invasion of Iraq that aimed to “achieve democracy” destroyed the state of Iraq state and its institutions, creating conditions ideal for the birth of terrorist religious groups and spreading chaos. This has transformed the Arab world into a war-torn region, which was the starting gun for an era of terrorism around the world.

Ironically, we are the ones creating it with our own hands.

arab 'spring' 2011-2012: al-arour (salafist), bin laden (al-qaeda), qaradawi (muslim brotherhood)

Since the start of this century, US think tanks and political circles have talked about a “New Middle East” that divides the region, whereby large countries such as Iraq, Syria and Egypt are erased and replaced by small rival statelets. The only remaining regional power would be Israel.
And here we are, watching the birth of the “New Middle East”, which was often mocked as impossible to achieve. Ironically, we are the ones creating it with our own hands.

Those fighting in Syria are Syrians, those fighting in Iraq are Iraqis, and the same is true in Yemen and Libya. As for terrorist groups, which the US was the first to support and fund directly or indirectly, they have also killed many.
Even though they wage war in the name of Islam, some 70 per cent of their victims are Muslim. They also further decimate Arab societies and spread chaos across the nation.
The most dangerous threat facing the Arab world currently is that the concept of the Arab nation itself has dissipated, although in the 1950s and 1960s it was the power base for Arab action in the international domain.
There was a specific entity known to the globe as the Arab world, with its own cultural and social characteristics that distinguished it from other geographic locations in the world.
If the units of this Arab world are the countries that consist within, today we are seeing these countries teetering and collapsing, with the notion of a national state waning as each country divides into social entities not based on loyalty to the homeland, but instead to religion, faction, doctrine or ethnicity.

Israel & Jews have no legit claim to Temple Mount
By Ian Greenhalgh, Veterans Today, July 26, 2017

This week, due to the ongoing violence surrounding the Temple Mount, Israeli newspaper Haaretz published the article: Were There Jewish Temples on Temple Mount? Yes.
Well, I’m afraid, like so much about Israel and the modern Jews, that is nothing but a lie...
Wherever this temple was really located, we can be damn sure it was not on the Temple Mount.
But what about the Wailing Wall, isn’t that physical evidence of the temple?
Nope, it’s the western wall of the Roman Fort Antonia and no-one tried to claim otherwise until a little less than 500 years ago.
For the purposes of this article, we will restrict ourselves to thoroughly rebutting the Haaretz claim that there was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount by publishing the excellent academic paper by Ernest Martin which uses hard historical facts to utterly dismantle the entire Jewish myth.

The Strange Story of the False Wailing Wall
By Ernest L. Martin, PH. D., July 2000

There is absolute proof that the present site of the Jewish "Wailing Wall" in Jerusalem is NOT any part of the Temple that existed in the time of Herod and Jesus. In fact, that particular location that the Jewish authorities have accepted represents the Western Wall of an early Roman fortress (finally built and enlarged by Herod the Great). King Herod called it Fort Antonia, after the famous Mark Anthony who lived at the end of the first century before Christ.

Herod the Great (a "Roman King') & the Antonia Citadel

Herod was born 73 BCE as the son of a man from Idumea named Antipater and a woman named Cyprus, the daughter of an Arabian sheik.
Antipater was an adherent of Hyrcanus, one of two princes who struggling to become king of Judaea. In this conflict, the Roman general Pompey intervened in Hyrcanus' favor. Having favored the winning side in the conflict, Antipater's star rose, especially since he cooperated with the Romans as much as possible. In 47 (bc), he was appointed epitropos ("regent") and received the Roman citizenship.
Mark Anthony (Roman leader) awarded Herod in 42 with the title of tetrarch of Galilee, a title that was commonly used for the leaders of parts of vassal kingdoms. (Herod's brother Phasael was to be tetrarch of Jerusalem).
This appointment caused a lot of resentment among the Jews. After all, Herod was not a Jew. He was the son of a man from Idumea; and worse, Herod had an Arabian mother, and it was commonly held that one could only be a Jew when one was born from a Jewish mother.

When war broke out between the Romans and the Parthians (in Iran and Mesopotamia), the Jewish populace joined the latter.
Herod managed to escape and went to Rome, where he persuaded Octavian and the Senate to order Mark Antony to restore him. And so it happened.
After Mark Antony and his lieutenants had driven away the Parthians, Herod was brought back to Jerusalem by two legions, VI Ferrata (whose men had already fought in Gaul and the civil wars) and another legion, perhaps III Gallica (37 BCE). Antigonus was defeated and after he had besieged and captured Jerusalem, and had defeated the last opposition (more), Herod could start his reign as sole ruler of Judaea.

The new king started an extensive building program: Jews could take pride in the new walls of Jerusalem and the citadel which guarded its Temple. This fortress was called Antonia, in order to please Herod's patron Mark Antony.

The temple: A center of Jewish power?

The Antonia-citadel, a Roman armycamp
declared as Israel's most holy place.

Fort Antonia was described by Josephus as being like a city with large areas for troop parades etc. A legion of troops (5000 fighting and 5000 support) was housed there.
Only the Haram fits the description and the small area now designated the site of the Fort would have been impossibly small. (The Temple Revolution)

citadels: erbil (iraq), halifax, carcassone

A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a fortress, castle, or fortified center. The term is a diminutive of "city" and thus means "little city", so called because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core.
In a fortification with bastions, the citadel is the strongest part of the system, sometimes well inside the outer walls and bastions, but often forming part of the outer wall for the sake of economy. It is positioned to be the last line of defense, should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. A citadel is also a term of the third part of a medieval castle, with higher walls than the rest. (Wikipedia info)

Although Herod was a dependent client-king, he had a foreign policy of his own. With building projects, the expansion of his territories, the establishment of a sound bureaucracy, and the development of economic resources, he did much for his country, at least on a material level.
However, many of his projects won him the bitter hatred of the orthodox Jews, who disliked Herod's Greek taste - a taste he showed not only in his building projects, but also in several transgressions of the Mosaic Law.
The orthodox were not to only ones who came to hate the new king. The Sadducees hated him because he had terminated the rule of the old royal house to which many of them were related; their own influence in the Sanhedrin was curtailed.
The Pharisees despised any ruler who despised the Law. And probably all his subjects resented his excessive taxation. It was clear to anyone that Herod was not a Jewish but a Roman king.

After his death in 4 BCE, the kingdom was divided among his sons. Herod Antipas was to rule Galilee and the east bank of the Jordan as a tetrarch; Philip was to be tetrarch of the Golan heights in the north-east; and Archelaus became the ethnarch ("national leader") of Samaria and Judaea.

Disproving the biblical account?
The Canaanites weren’t annihilated.
By Amanda Borschel-Dan, The Times of Israel, 28-7-2017

A new study suggests the biblical account of the annihilation of the ancient Canaanite people at the hands of the invading Israelites was a bit premature, claiming their descendants are still living just up the road, across the Lebanese border.
New genetic research from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has found that far from being destroyed, the Canaanites morphed into the inhabitants of modern Lebanon.
Scientists in the United Kingdom-based genetic research center sequenced the genomes of five 4,000-year-old Canaanite individuals and compared them to other ancient and present-day populations, including a sample of 99 modern Lebanese.
The results, published July 27 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, show that 93 percent of the ancestry of modern Lebanese ancestry comes from the Canaanites.
Had they been destroyed by the Israelites, who were commanded by God to annihilate them, it would have been a form of patricide.
According to the study, the Canaanites were the common ancestor for several ancient peoples who inhabited the Levant during the Bronze Age, such as the Ammonites, Moabites, and Israelites.
“Each achieved their own cultural identities but all shared a common genetic and ethnic root with Canaanites,” according to the authors of the new study.

In Deuteronomy 20:16, the ancient Israelites are commanded by God to completely wipe out the several Canaanite peoples after the death of the Hebrew leader Joshua.
“But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded.”
However, according to the report, archaeological evidence does not support widespread destruction of Canaanite cities between the Bronze and Iron Ages.
For example, coastal cities such as Sidon and Tyre “show continuity of occupation until the present day.”
The analysis of the DNA from five Canaanite skeletons found in Sidon who lived 4,000 years ago, and comparison with modern day Lebanese, paint a picture much different than the annihilation recorded in the Bible.

"Only when we are ready to replace a religion of faith with a religion of knowledge shall humanity achieve the resurrection of religion.
Then, and only then, shall the prophetic call for justice, peace, and love replace a faith of fear and doom and hopelessness. Then, and only then, will people be able to live their religion, for it will be a religion that can be understood, a religion that can be known, a religion that can be felt, a religion worthy of belief and a religion worthy of living." Robert Edward Green, religious humanist

Archeology Shows Bible written Late, Full of Errors
By Juan Cole | Feb. 6, 2014

David and Solomon didn’t have a huge palace in Jerusalem in the 1000s and 900s BC. The Assyrians, the gossips of the ancient world, wrote down everything on their clay tablets. They knew events in the whole Middle East. They did not know anything about a glorious kingdom of David and Solomon at Jerusalem.
Indeed, in the 1000s when David is alleged to have lived, Jerusalem seems to have been largely uninhabited, according to the digs that have been done.
Jerusalem was not in any case founded by Jews, but by Canaanites in honor of the god Shalem, thousands of years ago.
There is no reason to think anyone but Canaanites lived in the area of Jerusalem in the 1000s or 900s BC. Likely some Canaanites became devoted to Y*H*W*H in a monotheistic way during the Babylonian exile when they began inventing Judaism and becoming “Jews” and projecting it back into the distant past.

In Canaan, like elsewhere in the region, the people went on to develop an advanced civilization. They lived in large cities with magnificent palaces and temples. They had writing, mathematics and a calendar, they also became great artisans, creating beautiful works of art.
The main cities of Canaan were Jericho, Ugarit, Tyre, Sidon, Ebla, Biblos, Lachish, Hazor, Megiddo, Jerusalem (Shalem) and later, the North-African Phoenician settlement of Carthage.
Like all the other ancient societies, the Canaanite's had many gods, but their main gods were "EL" and his son "Baal" with EL being the supreme god. (

Genesis: 'And Jacob came to Shalem' - a Canaanite City

Many Biblical characters, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and others, lived a nomadic lifestyle. A nomad didn't build houses or temples. He lived in tents and traveled from location to location in search of water and pastures for their livestock. (The ancient Hebrews)

Genesis 33:18: And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-aram (an early Aramean kingdom in Mesopotamia); and pitched his tent before the city.
Genesis 33:19: And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
Genesis 33:20: And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel...

Genesis 34:27: The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
Genesis 34:28: They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
Genesis 34:29: And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
Genesis 34:30: And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house....

Israel shifted to a more orthodox and messianic strand of Judaism
Netanyahu risks rift with Jewish Diaspora
Yossi Mekelberg, Arab News, Friday 28 July 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu, between his revisionist father and his bible-oriented wife
From its earliest days, relations between the nascent state of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora were complex. Both sides had declared their eternal support while trying to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. There has always been an expectation on the Israeli side that the diaspora would support Israeli policies come rain or shine. In the early days of the country, it also provided the financial support that ensured the country’s survival.
While Israel was absorbed in nation and state building, especially in the face of adversity, differences of opinion between the diaspora and the state were kept to a minimum.
But this has changed, gradually, since 1967, when a military victory turned into an occupation of other people’s land.
At the same time, and for reasons not unrelated to this event, the country shifted to a more orthodox and messianic strand of Judaism, one to which most Jews living around the world do not subscribe.
This has been exacerbated further following the weakening of the more progressive, secular-minded Labor party and the strengthening of the Likud and other religious parties.
Moreover, the fragmentation of the Israeli political system has given disproportionate power to small parties, especially the ultra-orthodox ones, which have extracted concessions that altered the character of the State of Israel very rapidly. This trend is almost irreversible, considering the demographic changes in Israeli society in favor of the orthodox communities.

netanyahu, shas & the rebbe

In public, Netanyahu consistently stresses the importance of good relations between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, and the mutual benefits of these close relations. So it is astonishing that he seems ready to jeopardize these relations for the sake of keeping his coalition together.
It would, at least, be understandable if one could believe that his decisions are based on deep convictions, but in the case of Netanyahu, opportunism rules supreme.
After close to seven decades of Israeli independence, it may be time to reassess the relations between Israel [..] and those Jews who live outside Israel.
It might be the case — especially considering the current small-minded, right-wing coalition government in Israel — that Jews around the world should develop a more independent approach, one which serves their views on their religion, heritage and culture, rather than the one that has evolved inside Israel.

• Yossi Mekelberg is professor of international relations at Regent’s University London

NO to Palestine. YES to Kurdistan
Israel's obligation to support Kurdish statehood
By Jerusalem Post Editorial, July 30, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week, echoing his incitement for Muslims worldwide to “defend al-Aksa.”
Just repeating this calumny was not enough for the Turkish dictator, who added fuel to the fire by calling Israel’s removal of metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount “not enough” and saying that IDF soldiers were “dirtying” the site with their boots.
We agree with the assessment of Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon that the Turkish president’s words were “delusional” and “distorted.”
Calling Erdogan “the last person” who can preach to Israel,” Nahshon pointed to Turkey’s ongoing war against its Kurdish minority. “It would be interesting what Erdogan would say to the Kurds and residents of northern Cyprus,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office read.

It follows from the Foreign Ministry’s apparently new approach to Turkish relations that we should all agree with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, that Israel should support the creation of a Kurdish state. We should also finally go public and recognize the Ottoman Armenian genocide.
“The time has come to stop ingratiating ourselves to the Turks, who every time come and kick us harder,” Lapid told journalists during a briefing in Tel Aviv.
“We need to say, ‘Okay, we understand, now we have to run our own policy: From now on we support the establishment of an independent Kurdish state, we need to recognize the Armenian genocide, we need to do all the things that we didn’t do when we had good relations with Turkey, because we don’t, and we will not have in the future,” he said.
Turkey’s 15 million Kurds represent nearly 18% of the country’s population. Like most of their fellow Muslim citizens, they are Sunnis, but it is their cultural distinction, their ethnic identity, that they are fighting to preserve.

The Kurdish narrative is strikingly similar to our own. Both peoples are ethnically unique, have rich cultures, and support democracy and human rights – and until 1948 both lacked a state of their own. As Jews, and as Zionist supporters of Israel as a Jewish state, we are morally obligated to support the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination.

Flashback 2011: The Kurdish connection
Guy Bechor, YNet News, 3-8-2011

Rather than securing Mideastern hegemony, Turkey itself may fall apart. This is the case after the Kurdish leadership in the country declared on July 15 the establishment of a democratic Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey, with its capital in Diyarbakir. When Erdogan heard about the declaration he was furious, as the possible future implication of this is Turkey’s collapse.

In Syria, that very same day, we saw another important development. For the first time, a Kurdish liaison committee was established that brings together all the new Kurdish parties in Syria on the basis of the “Kurdish people’s unity.” They demand Kurdish autonomy in the wake of the Assad regime or at least a federation within Syria.
The Syrian Kurds enjoy a particularly sympathetic home front in the Kurdish autonomy in Iraq.
Slowly, the pieces of the Turkish puzzle in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran are connecting into a giant state that will be home to 18 million people. At this time already, the Kurdish region of Iraq is in fact a state with its own flag, leadership and sovereignty.

If the two million Palestinians in Judea and Samaria deserve a state, why shouldn’t there be a state for the 18 million Kurds? We can now understand the kind of dilemma faced by the four above-mentioned states – Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey – with the notion of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
They realize that if today the Palestinians do it, the clear implication is that tomorrow the Kurds may have a UN majority. Suddenly these states understand: If they screw Israel, they screw themselves too.
And another thing: The Kurdish state will be a close ally of Israel, just like South Sudan. The Kurds are close to Israel and view it as a twin sister with a difficult history and non-Arabic identity.
What we see are four states hostile to Israel in one way or another that will have to fall apart in order to give rise to an ally of Israel.

A gift for Israel
Times of Israel, 10-8-2013

While Turkey, Iraq, and other countries balk at indications of increased Kurdish self-rule, an independent Kurdish state in the Middle East would be a gift for Israel, many Kurdish and Israeli experts believe.
“Kurds are deeply sympathetic to Israel and an independent Kurdistan will be beneficial to Israel,” argued Kurdish journalist Ayub Nuri in July. “It will create a balance of power.
Right now, Israel is one country against many. But with an independent Kurdish state, first of all Israel will have a genuine friend in the region for the first time, and second, Kurdistan will be like a buffer zone in the face of the Turkey, Iran and Iraq.”
The Kurds are the world’s largest stateless nation, numbering well over 30 million spread across Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq, according to figures in the CIA Factbook, though exact population numbers are hard to pin down...
America, after investing so much blood and treasure into keeping the Iraqi state together after Saddam’s downfall, is not interested in seeing it fracture along ethnic lines.
The Americans “want to keep the political map of the region as it is,” noted Saadi. On this issue, Israeli interests run counter to the current American position.

Photo Gili Yaari: Israelis show their support for the Kurdish people in a Tel Aviv demonstration. September 2013

When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?
John Wight, Sputnik News, 27-7-2017

Only when we are living in a world in which sanctions are imposed 'on' the United States
rather than 'by' the United States will we know justice reigns.

The decision taken by the US Congress to "punish Russia" for alleged meddling in the US elections with the maintenance of existing sanctions has been followed by a bill to weaken the ability of President Trump to "weaken sanctions on Russia," thus presenting a direct challenge to the President's authority.
The bill was passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority and at time of writing awaits a hearing in the Senate, which along with the House makes up the US Congress.
The legislation also includes new sanctions against not only Russia but also Iran and North Korea, thus maintaining the pattern of waging economic war against states which refuse to accept that Washington's writ should run wherever it decides whenever it decides.

"Sanity is a handicap and liability if you're living in a mad world." Anthony Burgess

Economic sanctions are not the benign instrument that some might assume. On the contrary, they are tantamount to an act of war, a means by which economic might is wielded as club to bludgeon 'recalcitrant' nations and states into submission.
And though sanctions may not evoke the same sense of potency of cruise missiles, they kill just the same. The experience of the Iraqi people leaves no doubt of it.
Between 1990 and 2003 sanctions on Iraq, imposed by the UN, are estimated to have been directly responsible for the deaths of 2 million people, half a million of them children according to Unicef.
Multilateral sanctions were imposed on the country in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Under UN Security Council Resolution 661 it was mandated that UN-member states should prevent all imports originating in Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, business activity between nationals of member states and Iraq, and should undertake an embargo of funds or "economic resources" to Iraq or Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, except for medical or humanitarian purposes...
The sanctions imposed on Iraq were so draconian and sustained that two UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest.
Yet even with the evidence of the role of the sanctions in killing half a million Iraqi children, Washington remained unrepentant. The by now infamous words of former UN Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1996, when in response to a question during an interview about the infanticide that was taking place as a result of the sanctions she said "the price is worth it," exposed the barbarity that lies behind the mask of Western civilization.

FLASHBACK: Madeleine Albright: "The price is worth it"
by Sheldon Richman, November 7, 2003

In 1996 then-UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright was asked by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, in reference to years of U.S.-led economic sanctions against Iraq, “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” To which Ambassador Albright responded, “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”

That remark caused no public outcry. In fact, in January the following year Albright was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Clinton’s secretary of state. ...
Apparently no member of the committee asked her about her statement on 60 Minutes. Albright was confirmed.
Why bring this up now? Albright has just published her memoirs, Madam Secretary, in which she clarifies her statement. Here’s what she writes:

I must have been crazy; I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations.... As soon as I had spoken, I wished for the power to freeze time and take back those words. My reply had been a terrible mistake, hasty, clumsy and wrong. Nothing matters more than the lives of innocent people. I had fallen into the trap and said something I simply did not mean. That was no one’s fault but my own. (p. 275)

When one reviews the facts, it is clear that Albright’s explanation is woefully inadequate. First, it contains an apparent contradiction. She says food and medicine were not embargoed, but then she says Saddam Hussein could have avoided the suffering “simply by meeting his obligations.” Does that mean more food would have been available had Hussein done what the U.S. government wanted? If so, weren’t American officials at least partly responsible for the harm done to the Iraqi people? ...

Two UN humanitarian coordinators quit over the sanctions. As one of them, Denis Halliday, said when he left in 1998, “I’ve been using the word ‘genocide’ because this is a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq. I’m afraid I have no other view.”

Sheldon Richman, author of “‘Ancient History’: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East since World War II and the Folly of Intervention.”.

Flashback 2002:
Interview with Denis Halliday

The former head of the U.N.'s humanitarian program in Iraq says an American invasion would be an international crime -- and would make the U.S. even less safe...

- Question: Saddam is a ruthless despot and remains a fundamental problem for the Iraqi people. In its condemnation of Saddam, the Bush administration certainly has a claim to the moral higher ground, doesn't it?

- DH: I don't think so. I mean, Saddam Hussein may not be a nice man, but neither was George Bush Sr. Anybody who oversaw the Gulf War is well aware of crimes against humanity and is responsible thereof.
We don't have to like the president of Iraq. Did we like the president of Indonesia? Or the Congo? Or Chile -- Mr. Pinochet? I don't think so.
We have no justification to punish the innocent civilians of any country simply because we don't like their leader, in this case, a man who was [once] a friend and ally to the United States. For example, Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq in 1983 -- spoke with Saddam Hussein, asked for an exchange of ambassadors. They know each other! Why can't Rumsfeld go back and reopen this dialogue... (Hadani Ditmars, 20-3-2002)

"There is no justification for killing the young people of Iraq,
not the aged, not the sick, not the rich, not the poor."

Denis J. Halliday was the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq from 1 September 1997 until 1998.
After a 34-year career at the United Nations, where he had reached Assistant Secretary-General level, Halliday resigned in 1998 over the Iraq sanctions, characterizing them as "genocide". He subsequently gave the following explanation of his decision to resign:
"I was driven to resignation because I refused to continue to take Security Council orders, the same Security Council that had imposed and sustained genocidal sanctions on the innocent of Iraq. I did not want to be complicit. I wanted to be free to speak out publicly about this crime.
And above all, my innate sense of justice was and still is outraged by the violence that UN sanctions have brought upon, and continues to bring upon, the lives of children, families – the extended families, the loved ones of Iraq.
There is no justification for killing the young people of Iraq, not the aged, not the sick, not the rich, not the poor.

Some will tell you that the leadership is punishing the Iraqi people. That is not my perception, or experience from living in Baghdad. And were that to be the case – how can that possibly justify further punishment, in fact collective punishment, by the United Nations? I don’t think so."

President al-Assad: Syrian Arab Army personnel are drawing an epic of glory
Syrian Arab News Agency, 1-8-2017

In a speech on the 72nd anniversary of the foundation of the Syrian Arab Army delivered through “Jaish al-Sha’ab” (People’s Army) magazine, President Bashar al-Assad said that Syria has been able to remain steadfast and made many successive achievements thanks to the heroic actions of the army, the unity of our dignified people, and the sacrifices of the martyrs.

"You men of honor and heroism, I salute you with pride and appreciation on the 72nd anniversary of the foundation of the Syrian Arab Army, the school of dignity and heroism and of blessed men. I encourage you to continue along the path followed by the courageous men of this distinguished army who, for many long years, have set an example to follow in making sacrifices to preserve the dignity, freedom, and independence of the homeland.
Personnel of our bravery army, we are still facing a Takfiri terrorist enemy the likes of which have never been seen throughout history in terms of treachery, malevolence, and hatred, an enemy backed by several regional and international parties which have been seeking for years to impose their dominance over the whole area through the gate of Syria which is the heart of the area and its main axis.
“However, we have been able to remain steadfast and we have made a lot of the successive achievements thanks to your heroic actions and sacrifices, to the solidarity of our dignified people who stand side by side with their courageous army in the same trench of defending the homeland, and to the martyrs who purified with their blood the Syrian lands from abomination of the aggressors.
Defenders of the homeland and makers of victory makers, today you are writing an epic of glory and you are drawing with your steadfastness and determination the features of the near victory. You are consolidating security and stability across our beloved homeland, so that it may return as we have always known it; safe and sound.
So, always maintain your oath, you protectors of the land and its honor. Be the guardians of the sun which will never set on the homeland of civilization and alphabet....
A salute to you honorable men on your day, and a salute to your gracious families which have been as patient as you have been, and they have been a role model in nationalism and patriotism.
A salute to the valiant wounded personnel who have taught the world how to give for the sake of the homeland, may the souls of our martyrs be at peace, and may their memories live on forever. Happy Army Day.

Libya Report: New Wrinkle in US Plan For Gaddafi-Free Libya
Richard Galustian, Ron Paul Institute, July 27, 2017

Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, has stated that former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif Islam, "is free and in a safe place." Haftar further said he welcomed the idea of the younger Gaddafi playing some sort of political role in Libya's future.
In an interview (Arabic) with Al-Hayat newspaper, Haftar also stressed that he had no problems with moderate Muslim Brotherhood members but could never deal with the extremist elements.
The recent talks in Paris between Haftar and UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj were little more than a "show," an attempt to stage manage an impression of a Libyan unity government. It failed!
The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood's Executive's rejected all communiques from Paris despite the olive branch extended to it by Haftar.
The United States, UK, and the UN are egging on their regional and international allies including France to finish the job in Libya to totally discount any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya..
To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West's past duplicity.
Additionally, Saif al-Islam is wrongfully being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically his father was not involved in, to being part of the alleged plot of his father with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.
The West has become skeptical of Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, however both Haftar and Saif Gaddafi are popular with the Libyan people.
It is likely the West would prefer Haftar out of the picture, but his recent battlefield successes make that look unlikely...for now.

To be in the world but not of it
Spirituality ('I am') or Political Islam ('I have')
İbrahim Kalın, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 1-8-2017

In 1945 a batch of ancient documents was discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
Contained was a manuscript called “The Gospel of Thomas,” a collection of several books of sayings attributed to Jesus. While this gospel is not widely accepted as authentic, it contains some interesting sayings of Jesus that ring true with what we read in the accepted gospels.
One of these is a two-word admonishment from Jesus that can change our perspective on life. It is a command from Jesus to “become passersby.” (Logion 42) Passers by…a visitor, a tourist, a temporary resident.
This powerful phrase calls to mind the many warnings of Jesus to not hold too tightly to earthly treasures, to not cling to the temporary at the expense of the eternal. “Become passersby.”
In two simple words, Jesus lays out a worldview that is diametrically opposed to our modern, selfish, consumer-driven culture. “

The intellectual and moral challenge before us is to be in the world but not of the world.
It is to live in the world in a way that gives its due without either denying its existence or surrendering ourselves to it. It is to fully enjoy life while never losing sight of our ultimate goal in the world
One of the criticisms directed at Islam in the Western religious and Orientalist circles is that Islam is too worldly a religion compared to Christianity. Christian polemicists see Prophet Muhammad, in contrast to Jesus Christ, as too involved in the social and political affairs of the world.
Hence the charge that Islam is not a religion but an ideology.
These assertions are based on erroneous notions and false comparisons. Islam takes an attitude of non-attachment toward the world without denying its existence. The delicate balance is to live in the world in a meaningful way without becoming subservient to it.
We should be asking ourselves all the time: How are we to live in the world in a serious and meaningful manner without surrendering ourselves to it?

One is expected to give this world its due in a proper and joyful way but always remember what Prophet Muhammad said:
Be a stranger (gharib) in this world and never attach yourself to it.

Walk upon this path and enjoy its beauty but know that the ultimate end is not here.

This dual attitude of non-attachment and giving the world its due is an extension of Islam's insistence on following the middle path in all things and avoiding all extremisms.
It was against this background that Islam built one of the most enduring civilizations in human history. Muslims scientists, scholars, artists, rulers, peasants and others sought to cultivate the world in harmony with the order and beauty of the universe. Their great material and scientific achievements never led them to materialism and a worshipping of the world. But they never rejected its reality in a monastic manner either....
The intellectual and moral challenge before us is to be in the world but not of the world.

Read also: I Have, I Rule and I Will Destroy
The Astrological Interpretation of Ahrimanic Evil Forces

Gilad Atzmon: Berufsverbot
August 01, 2017 - Gilad Atzmon Writings

Back in the day, my detractors at least attempted to encounter my arguments and debate me. They didn’t get too far.
Since the publication of my new book Being in Time: a Post-Political Manifesto, they have changed their tactics: they insist on obliterating my international jazz career.
Earlier today, a book shop in Oxford that regularly hosts my concerts posted the attached letter (see below) to my Facebook page.
The Oxford venue received the letter from the ultra-Zionist Campaign Against Antisemitsm (CAA). The CAA letter is blatantly and intentionally defamatory and duplicitous...
It is noticeable that the CAA’s letter doesn’t provide links to my words. This is not a coincidence. My work is careful and measured.
I never refer critically to Jews as a people, race, biology or a collective. I instead scrutinise the meaning of Jewish identity politics and ideology. I do believe that in a free society every ideology and politics must be subject to criticism.

Racists (anti-humanists) tell people: Once a Jew always a Jew
Gilad Atzmon (humanist) tells people: Stop being a Jew, be a 'Mensch'!

Malaysia ban on 'moderate Islam book' sparks criticism
AFP|Ahram online, Wednesday 2 Aug 2017

Activists and authors in Muslim-majority Malaysia reacted with outrage after authorities banned a book aimed at promoting moderate Islam, as concerns mount about growing conservatism.
The book, "Breaking The Silence: Voices Of Moderation", is a collection of essays whose publication was organised by a group of prominent Muslim Malaysians pushing a more tolerant form of Islam.
The ban, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said that printing or possessing the book was "likely to be prejudicial to public order" and "likely to alarm public opinion".
Anyone breaching the ban on the book -- which was published in neighbouring Singapore -- can be jailed for up to three years.

How can a book promoting moderation be a threat to public order?
By A. Ruban, MalayMail Online, July 27, 2017

The prohibition of the book, titled Breaking the Silence: Voices of a Moderation Islam in a Constitutional Democracy was made under the Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) (No 12) Order 2017 and dated July 27, according to a notice on the Federal Government Gazette.
G25 spokesman Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin was baffled by the book ban.
“How can a book containing articles written by respected academics, progressive Islamic scholars and social activists, promoting a moderate approach to Islam and discussing the place of Islam in our Federal Constitution, be considered a threat to public order?” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.
The retired judge and a former diplomat pointed out that the book was first published and launched in December 2015. She said the government should instead support the book because it promotes moderation.
She said the group would most likely ask for an explanation from the Home Ministry and to be shown the offending passage in the book. “We are discussing our options but rest assured we will not allow this ban to go unchallenged,” she added.

US says ‘grave’ consequences if Syria’s Al-Qaeda dominates Idlib province
Reuters | Arab News, Thursday 3 August 2017

Flashback 2012: "Why are they establishing
Al-Qaeda on coasts near Europe?"

TEHRAN -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, says that the United States’ efforts to establish Al-Qaeda branches in Syria and Lebanon will create a greater threat for Europe than nuclear weapons.
Firouzabadi warned that a great strategic threat is taking shape in the southeast Mediterranean.
“The global arrogance (forces of imperialism) which created Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and then received serious blows from them and today claims it is at war with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic country of Pakistan has closed its eyes to” its previous mistakes, “and now it is establishing Al-Qaeda in Syria and Lebanon,” he opined.

It is necessary that the United Nations, the Security Council, the secretary general of the United Nations, and the (UN) Human Rights Council prevent this new disaster (from occurring) in the world.” ... (Read more here)

AMMAN: The United States warned a takeover of rebel-held northwestern Idlib province by Syrian jihadists linked to a former Al-Qaeda affiliate would have grave consequences and make it difficult to dissuade Russia from renewing bombing that recently stopped.
In an online letter posted late on Wednesday, the top State Department official in charge of Syria policy, Michael Ratney, said the recent offensive by Hayat Tahrir al Sham, spearheaded by former Al-Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front, had cemented its grip on the province and put “the future of northern Syria in big danger.”

“The north of Syria witnessed one of its biggest tragedies,” said Ratney who was behind secret talks in Amman with Moscow over the cease-fire in southwest Syria announced by US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in July. It was the first such US-Russian effort under the Trump administration to end Syria’s civil war.
“In the event of the hegemony of Nusra Front on Idlib, it would be difficult for the United States to convince the international parties not to take the necessary military measures,” the top State Department diplomat said.
Idlib province, the only Syrian province that is entirely under rebel control, has been a major target of Russian and Syrian aerial strikes..The agricultural region had a respite since a Russian-Turkish brokered accord reached last May approved four de-escalation zones across Syria, among them one in Idlib province.

“Everyone should know that Jolani and his gang are the ones who bear responsibility for the grave consequences that will befall Idlib,” said Ratney, referring to former Nusra head Abu Mohammad al Jolani who effectively leads Hayat Tahrir al Sham.
In less than three days Jolani’s fighters overran their powerful rival, the more mainstream Ahrar al Sham group, seizing control of a strategic border strip with Turkey in some of the heaviest inter-rebel fighting since the start of the conflict.
An emboldened Hayat Tahrir al Sham has sought to allay fears it did not seek to dominate the whole province but suspicions run high among many in the region about their ultimate goals to monopolize power.
The jihadists have linked up with Western-backed Free Syria Army (FSA) groups who continue to maintain a foothold in several towns in the province.
Ratney told rebel groups, who have been forced to work with the jihadists out of expediency or for self preservation, to steer away from the group before it was “too late.”

The Oneness of God
Alawites believe in the mystical interpretation of the Quran

The Alawites are an offshoot of Shia Islam who revere Ali, the Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law. However, they have added to their religion aspects of other faiths, including Christianity, and have a Holy Trinity of their own, comprising Mohammed, Ali, and Salman the Persian, a Companion of the Prophet.
Their practices are socially liberal, with women not covering their hair and alcohol consumed.

The Alawites believe in the transcendence of God in his entirety and manifestations.
Ahmad Adeeb Ahmad, a Syrian Alawite religious scholar, said Alawites see God expressed in the Quranic al-Noor verse: “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a brightly shining star.”
Ahmad added that Alawites' view about Tawhid, the oneness of God, is expressed in the Quranic Ikhlas verse: “He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is nothing at all like Him.”
Alawites believe in the mystical interpretation of the Quran. Ahmad explained that the Alawites say, “The Quran has visible and invisible faces. We consider all of them.”

The Fast of the 9th of Av & The destruction of the Temple
Rabbi Baruch Efrati, Arutz Sheva, 31/07/2017

Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av (Jul. 31 - Aug. 1, 2017), is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we fast, deprive ourselves and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

The fast of the 9th of Av is meant to cause us to feel the pain of the Temple's destruction and to alert us to the pressing importance of building our land and nation, while strengthening our longing for rebuilding the Temple and our sorrow that it is still in ruins.
When we mourn the Temple, we include our personal pain, asking Hashem to take us out of darkness to light, as in the verse "a new light shines on Zion."

More info: The Temple Revolution

Rabbi David Kimchi: "Zion shall be ploughed as a field"

The fast of the 5th month happens on the 9ih day of the month. The reason why the Jews fast on this day are thus given by Maimonides : " On the ninth of Av, five things happened.
1st. The decree went forth in the wilderness that the people should not enter the land. 2d. The first and second temple were both destroyed on this day. 3d. The great city Bither was taken, in which were thousands and myriads of Israel ; and they had a great king, whom all Israel and the greatest of the wise men thought was the King Messiah : but, 4th, he fell into the hands of the Gentiles, and they were all put to death, and the affliction was great, even like the desolation of the house of the sanctuary.

5th. On that day, devoted to punishment, the wicked Turnus Rufus [Quintus Tineius Rufus, Roman governor posted in Judea during first half of the second century C.E] ploughed up the sanctuary and the parts about, to fulfil that which was said, Zion shall be ploughed as a field.'" (Mich. iii. 12.) (Jad Ilachasakah. Hilchoth Taanith., c. 5.)

zion - " ploughed as a field"

Hanan Ashrawi: Kushner cannot broker peace with Israel
By Ben Lynfield, Jerusalem Post, August 3, 2017

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, mourning the destruction of the Second Temple at the Chabad synagogue in Washington D.C. (Arutz Sheva, 2-8-2017)

President Donald Trump’s adviser Jared Kushner has “disqualified himself” from overseeing US Middle East peace efforts because he has adopted Israel’s positions in the dispute, PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said on Thursday.
She also castigated Kushner for voicing doubts about whether the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved.
“Of course he’s not qualified because he disqualifies himself,” Ashrawi told The Jerusalem Post two days after a private talk Kushner gave in Washington was leaked.
In the talk, Kushner agreed with the Israeli view that the recent Temple Mount crisis was a result of Palestinian incitement. He said the history of the conflict should not be focused on and mused that “there may be no solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
His talk was really problematic. It betrays not just deep bias but a lack of knowledge of the history itself and therefore of the needs and requirements for a solution,” Ashrawi said.
“If you don’t know the significance of the holy places and the fact that Israel is changing not just the status quo but religious responsibility there, and you don’t know the impact of offending people’s spiritual commitments and feelings, then you don’t know anything about the solution itself,” Ashrawi said.
“There are two things you cannot do if you want to have a real solution,” she added.
“Firstly, you cannot approach things with a negative attitude that maybe it can’t be done. You need a very positive and determined attitude.
Secondly, you can’t approach this having wholeheartedly adopted the position of one party, in violation of international law and the rights of the other party.

Asked whether Kushner is qualified to be the American point man on Middle East peace, Ashrawi said: “The facts speak for themselves. Look at his statements, attitude, long-standing friendship with Netanyahu and his family, and his ideological language when it comes to Israel-Palestine. He demonstrates clearly where he stands. Of course he’s not qualified because he disqualifies himself.”

Flavius Josephus:
"Tyrants among the Jews brought the Roman power upon us"
"Titus Caesar pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious"

"We must do our best to raise the public awareness of the past in all its richness and complexity. We must contest the one-sided, even false, histories that are out there in the public domain. If we do not, we allow our leaders and opinion makers to use history to bolster false claims and justify bad and foolish policies.” Margaret MacMillan (in Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History)

"I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy.
Yet shall I suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentations upon the miseries undergone by my own country.
For that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple.
Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, during the entire war, pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authors have opportunity for repentance."

As Emperor TITUS tried to be magnanimous and always heard petitions with an open mind. And after going through a day having not granted any favors he commented that "I have wasted a day." His reign was tainted by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, a great fire in Rome, and one of the worst plagues "that had ever been known." These catastrophes did not destroy him. Rather, as Suetonius remarks, he rose up like a father caring for his children. And although he was deified, his reign was short. He died from poison (possibly by his brother, Domitian), having only reigned for "two years, two months and twenty days."

Sayyed Nasrallah: "ISIL will face a battle backed by
national consensus for the first time, which is a miracle"
A-Manar News, 4-8-2017

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned ISIL from a decisive defeat in the new offensive that would be launched by the Lebanese army in northeast Lebanon, announcing that Hezbollah will participate in the battle alongside the Syrian army in the Syrian side of the borders.
In a televised speech Sayyed Nasrallah pointed that the Lebanese army will liberate areas occupied by ISIL in northeast Lebanon and said Hezbollah was ready to aid the Lebanese army in its battle on the Lebanese front.
“It’s clear now that the Lebanese army is the one who will liberate the areas of Ras Baalbek and Al-Qaa,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that Hezbollah would be in the service of the Lebanese army and will help in this battle.
“ISIL controls a large area, some of it from Lebanese and other from Syria. The total area is approximately 296 square kilometers, 141 square kilometers in Lebanon and 155 square kilometers in Syria. The borders are drawn, and there is no problem with demarcation. The geography is similar to that of Arsal and Flita.”
“Before we started the Arsal offensive, we coordinated with the Syrian leadership to end the armed presence of ISIL and Nusra this summer. Lebanon took a decision that the army would do this task, and this was good.
The Lebanese army is able to accomplish this mission and any call for an American assistance is an insult to the military institution,” Sayyed Nasrallah indicated, adding that the problem was not with the Lebanese army but with the political decision...
“If this decision is taken, it means that we are going to the battle, and according to this battle the army will fight in the Lebanese territory.
I declare tonight that we, in Hezbollah, are at the service of the Lebanese army. ISIL will gather all its forces to fight the Lebanese army, and we must be aware that it may use suicide bombers. The front will be one and the timing is in the hands of the Lebanese army,” Hezbollah S.G. said.
“ISIL shall know that this battle is imminent and soon, maybe few days from now,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, warning that ISIL will face a battle backed by national consensus for the first time, which is a “miracle”.
“I tell you that the Lebanese and Syrians will engulf you from all sides and you won’t steadfast. You’ll definitely lose this battle, so think thoroughly unlike what Nusra did. The door of negotiations is still open.”
“The field is ready and the outcome is crucial. Lebanon and Syria are before a new victory...”

Goethe University Frankfurt & the BDS movement
The Jerusalem Post, August 05 2017

The student parliament at the Goethe University in the city of Frankfurt on Thursday condemned the BDS campaign for encouraging Nazi-style boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses.
The Left List (LiLi) and the Democratic List (DL) introduced the anti-BDS resolution at the university named after the German poet and dramatist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the state of Hesse.
The student groups wrote that BDS demands to tear down protective barriers to bar terrorist acts from Gaza and West Bank, and "to require the return of 'Palestinian refugees would factually mean the end of the Jewish state..."

What is BDS?
BDS-movement website

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law.
Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the Palestinian BDS call urges nonviolent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law by meeting three demands:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

Isn’t a boycott of Israel anti-Semitic?

The BDS movement stands for freedom, justice and equality.
Anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the BDS movement, led by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, is inclusive and categorically opposes as a matter of principle all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-semitism.
BDS campaigns target the Israeli state because of its responsibility for serious violations of international law and the companies and institutions that participate in and are complicit in these Israeli violations. The BDS movement does not boycott or campaign against any individual or group simply because they are Israeli.
The world is growing increasingly weary of Israel's attempts to conflate criticism of its violations of international law with anti-Semitism and to conflate Zionism with Judaism.
Israel is a state, not a person. Everyone has the right to criticize the unjust actions of a state.

Lili & DL: "Für ein selbstbestimmtes und kritisches Studieren!"

LiLi - Linke Liste Frankfurt, 4-7-2016
Pro-Palestine and Pro-Israel

[…] Grundsätzlich gilt: Wer bei linken Aktionen meint, gegenüber der Forderung nach Solidarität mit und Anerkennung von Palästina die Israelische Nationalflagge hochhalten zu müssen, sollte wissen, dass er oder sie damit auch eine bald 50-jährige Israelische Besatzungspolitik und damit die Verweigerung elementarer Bürgerrechte für die Palästinensische Bevölkerung auf der Westbank und im Gazastreifen legitimiert.
Wer aber meint auf unseren Demos die Israelische Fahne bekämpfen zu müssen, sollte wissen, dass sie oder er damit auch das nationale Zeichen der Heimstatt der Überlebenden und Nachkommen derer, die im Nazifaschismus ermordet wurden, angreift.“

DL - Demokratische linke Liste
Für ein selbstbestimmtes und kritisches Studieren!

Wir wenden uns in politischen Stellungnahmen und Protestaktionen gegen Anwesenheitslisten, Modularisierung, Pflichtveranstaltungen und Regelstudienzeiten, die repressiv durch die Drohung von BAföG-Entzug durchgesetzt werden.
Wir positionieren uns eindeutig gegen jede Form von Elitenbildung und Wettbewerbsideologie: Fur uns muss die Uni etwas anderes sein als eine Institution zu Renditemaximierung und Humankapitalbildung.
Die Wissenschaft soll im Dienste einer besseren Gesellschaft stehen, verbindliche, interdisziplinäre Kritik äußern an Institutionen und Entwicklungen, die einem menschenwürdigen Leben im Wege stehen.
Selbstverständlich sind wir also für den Erhalt kleiner Fachbereiche und Institute wie der Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft (AVL) und der Judaistik und für ein größeres Angebot an explizit Kritischen Veranstaltungen.
Da wir in dieser Hinsicht vom wissenschaftlichen Tagesgeschäft wenig bis nichts erwarten können, liegt es auch hier an uns, zu handeln. Lesekreise, Buchvorstellungen, Veranstaltungsreihen, Autonomen Tutorien und Lesungen, die in diesem Sinne arbeiten, sollen mit Geldern und Räumen unterstützt werden.

Info: Asta: Politische Hochschulgruppen Frankfurt

Russia & Iran to boost military cooperation as both get hit by US sanctions
RT Russia, 5 Aug, 2017

Moscow and Tehran have agreed to strengthen military and technological cooperation as the Russian Deputy PM visited Iran following the latest round of US sanctions.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has met Iranian government officials during his visit to the country on Saturday. Rogozin leads the Russian delegation invited to the inauguration ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was reelected in May.
Rogozin held talks with Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan. The officials reportedly discussed new supplies of Russian arms to Iran. They agreed upon the implementation of deals boosting military and technological cooperation, according to Fars news agency.

The move comes just three days after the US decision to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia and Iran, along with North Korea.
The ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ was overwhelmingly approved by American lawmakers at the end of July and signed by Trump on Wednesday.
The US leader himself said that the “legislation is significantly flawed” and warned that it puts “US-Russia relations at all-time & dangerous low.”
Moscow considers the bill “a full-fledged economic war on Russia,” according to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He also called the legislation a “humiliating defeat” for Trump, which leaves no room for improving bilateral ties.
Several European government officials said the US law would harm their national interests, as the restrictive measures would target European companies taking part in Russian-EU energy projects, including the Nordstream II pipeline.

Medvedev: Trump punished for being a non-systemic player
Sputnik News, 5-8-2017

Washington misreads Russia and makes flawed prognoses regarding Moscow's potential reaction to this or that US move, Ivan Danilov, a Russian economist and author of the popular blog Crimson Alter, writes in his recent op-ed for RIA Novosti.
According to the economist, it appears that the Trump administration makes concessions to US hawks because it has deluded itself into believing that either Russian President Vladimir Putin or the Russian elite will finally "get scared" and "bend" to Washington's will.
However, as a rule, the Kremlin's reaction to the US's assertive political gestures doesn't meet the expectations of US policymakers: the economist referred to the latest US sanctions bill and the April escalation of the Syrian crisis.
The Russian leadership has demonstrated to Washington that it perceived the US president's tough moves not as a sign of strength, but as a sign of weakness.

He quoted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's Facebook statement:
"The US establishment has fully outwitted Trump; the president is not happy about the new sanctions, yet he could not but sign the bill. The issue of new sanctions came about, primarily, as another way to knock Trump down a peg.
New steps are to come, and they will ultimately aim to remove him from power. A non-systemic player has to be removed," Medvedev wrote.