Donald Trump is wrong on everything most of every day... But this a point on which he is correct. The US cannot be an honest broker in the Mideast conflict if it is more Israeli than the Israelis, which it typically is...
For Clinton to imply that Trump, by saying he wanted to be neutral in negotiations, was indicating that he would compromise on Israeli security is just dishonest.
I’m not sure what conventional security threats Israel has. Lebanon is weak and a mess. Syria is in complete disarray. Jordan and Egypt have peace treaties with Israel. Those are the immediate neighbors. Libya has fallen apart. Tunisia doesn’t care and anyway is also small and weak. Turkey and Israel have their tensions, but do a great deal of business, including military business, with each other. Iraq is in disarray. Iran is so distant as to pose no conventional threat, and does not have nuclear weapons, which Israel does. So what is the threat to Israeli security Clinton is talking about?
Clinton perpetuates the Israeli propaganda talking point that they are the ones who are being oppressed, and that even-handed moves toward peace threaten their security, which is alleged to be precarious. This propaganda is so successful that most Americans probably do not know that Israel, a country of 8 million, is occupying 4.5 million stateless Palestinians...
Another plank of her platform was combating people’s right to decline to buy Israeli-made goods, to decline to have their stocks in companies that enable the Occupation, and to seek sanctions on Israel for breaking the Geneva Conventions by illegally flooding its own citizens onto Palestinian lands.
Among the most deadly extremists are the Israeli squatters on Palestinian land in the Palestinian West Bank.
Donald Trump's 'Neutrality'
Trump no longer 'neutral' on Israel
Flashback: Ted Cruz & The United States of Israel
|In 1988, Ted Cruz spoke of his ideals in life : "Take over the world. World domination, rule everything, be rich and powerful, that sort of stuff".|
- Iowan conservatives awarded the victory to Ted Cruz. Cruz has pledged to carpet-bomb eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq to get at Daesh (ISIS, ISIL), leveling e.g. Mosul (a city, in 2013, of 2 million, i.e. the size of Houston). Cruz also hinted that he might drop a nuclear bomb on eastern Syria (he wondered if the desert sands would glow thereafter)....
A nuclear bomb would kill everyone in al-Raqqa and the radioactive fallout will likely land on Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey– American allies. So Iowans chose the Mad Bomber over everyone else.
The pro-Israeli lobbying group in the US has tacitly censured GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for attacking President Barack Obama at the 2016 AIPAC policy conference earlier. The president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said on the final day of the annual conference on Tuesday that the group cannot be used as a podium to attack the US president.
The billionaire real estate mogul told the regime’s supporters a day earlier that Obama “may be the worst thing that ever happened to Israel,” adding that his administration has treated Tel Aviv “very, very badly.”
In remarks apparently directed towards Trump, AIPAC chief Lillian Pinkus claimed that “Last evening, something occurred which has the potential to drive us apart, to divide us.”
“We say, unequivocally, that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense against those that are levied against the president of the United States of America from our stage,” she said. “We are disappointed that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with or condone.”
Ties between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been in tatters over the White House’s support for a nuclear deal with Iran, also involving five other major powers, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, and France.
Geneva, SANA-Head of the Syrian Arab Republic’s delegation to the Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva Dr. Bashar al- Jaafari discussed Wednesday with Feredica Mogherini, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs and Security policy Chief the political process to solve the crisis in Syria.
“We held an objective meeting with Mogherini at the residence of the Syrian Arab Republic’s delegation in Geneva and I can say it was a promising and constructive meeting to a certain degree,” al-Jaafari said following the meeting.
He added that Mogherini conveyed a message that the EU supports the Syrian-Syrian indirect dialogue in Geneva in a way that helps push the peaceful solution forwards, which means she came to encourage “our delegation, other sides including the UN Special Envoy for Syria de Mistura to get involved positively in the indirect talks.”
On the terrorist explosions of Brussels, al-Jaafari said what has happened in Brussels “opened the eyes of the Europeans on the need for reading the map more accurately and give priority to combat terrorism.”
He affirmed that the EU is not a sponsor for the Syrian-Syrian dialogue, and no one can be so because it is supposed to be a Syrian-Syrian dialogue without any foreign intervention or preconditions.
Al-Jaafari clarified that he asked Mogherini to convey to the Europeans the need for working to lift the economic, coercive and unilateral sanctions imposed on the Syrian people and reopen the embassies.
Geneva, SANA-UN Special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura affirmed on Wednesday that priority is to defeat terrorism and find a political solution to the crisis in Syria, saying “all countries have a joint interest in achieving these goals.”
“What has happened in Brussels and Istanbul and in everywhere affirms the need for speeding up efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria,” de Mistura said at a press conference with Feredica Mogherini, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Chief. He added that the attendance of Mogherini in Geneva before the end of this round of Syrian-Syrian dialogue came in response to his invitation “to assert Europe’s commitment to make this dialogue a success.”
Mogherini, for her part, expressed European Union’s support to the Syrian-Syrian talks in Geneva, affirming that solution to the crisis in Syria is an interest for the Syrians and Europe as well as for the whole world, adding that she discussed with the Syrian sides today issues of dialogue and the support offered by EU to make it a success.
"It is important not only for the Syrians, but for the Europeans that this process starts, works and delivers," Mogherini told journalists. "We need... to accelerate and consolidate our common work to put an end to the war in Syria, and concentrate our forces on (IS)," she said.
She clarified that the threats that encounter Europe and other regions in the world are linked to the presence of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, adding that confronting this threat in an active way requires a collective work among all states to end the crisis in Syria.
Buried within Hillary Clinton’s private server is an email which proves that the former US Secretary of State wanted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power for the sake of Israel, assuring her partners that Russia would not get involved.
As Clinton moves closer to victory in the Democratic primary, WikiLeaks compiled emails from her controversial private server into a convenient search engine. One of those emails demonstrates the former Secretary of State’s interest in Syrian regime change.
"The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad," reads an email concerning Iran’s nuclear program.
According to the email, Clinton views the "strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad" as a threat to Israel’s security. "The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance..." the email reads.
"Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly."
By toppling Syria, the email argues, the United States may be able to soothe Israel’s fears regarding Tehran’s nuclear program.
"With Assad gone, and Iran no longer able to threaten Israel through its proxies, it is possible that the United States and Israel can agree on red lines for when Iran’s program has crossed an unacceptable threshold," it reads.
"In short, the White House can ease the tension that developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria."
Hundreds of Israelis, including large numbers of settlers, converged on religious sites across the occupied West Bank this morning ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in visits Palestinians condemned as "provocative", Ma’an reported.
Locals told Ma'an that during the celebrations, which began late yesterday, the settlers "provocatively" used the mosque's loudspeakers "to sing racist songs that call for the expulsion of Arabs from Hebron."
The settlers were under the heavy protection of Israeli forces, who closed off the premises, preventing Palestinians from entering the mosque, and restricted access to the surrounding area.
Some Israeli media sites reported that as many as 7,000 Israelis celebrated at the holy site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
Clashes broke out near the Balata camp, east of Nablus, when hundreds of Israelis, including settlers, visited Joseph's Tomb under military escort, Palestinian security sources said.
As many as 500 Israelis arrived in 10 buses at dawn, sources said. Local youths from the camp hurled stones at the occupation’s military jeeps, while soldiers fired tear gas at them. A number of protesters reportedly suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, although no other injuries were reported.
A senior UN rights official says the continued development of illegal Israeli settlements is the root cause of a broad spectrum of human rights abuses across the occupied Palestinian territories.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein made the remarks in a statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). He noted that settlements only prolong the occupation and undermine the future of Palestinians.
Al-Hussein called on UN member states to end their businesses in illegal Israeli settlements and not to facilitate Israel’s violations of international law.
He urged all states “to ensure that they are not taking actions that either recognize or assist the expansion of settlements or construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds).”
Since August 2015, the occupied Palestinian lands have been the scene of tensions after Israel’s imposition of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds. At least 206 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 1, 2015.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Ibrahim Khraishi, said those who purchase settlement products from Israel are an accomplice to its acts of war.
“The Israeli occupation has lasted almost 50 years. This has only generated violence and instability in the region. It must be ended if we are going to have human rights prevail in the region,” he said.
More than half a million Israelis live in 237 settlements throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Convention, which forbids construction on occupied lands.
A religion with a universal message became a tribal cult
Islamist anarchy: brigades that are creating their own 'allah'.
They don't serve God. They want to be God.
An informed source told TASS earlier on Thursday that the 12-point document prepared by de Mistura after the round of inter-Syrian talks in Geneva was based on proposals of delegations of the Syrian government and opposition’s "Riyadh group" and "Moscow-Cairo group," adding that the document will lay the basis for future negotiations.
The draft document says that Syria should remain a secular state and that all sides in the conflict should respect the country’s unity and sovereignty.
The participants in the talks will also be proposed to make a statement on inadmissibility of foreign mercenaries in Syria, to call on all countries to refrain from supporting terrorists and to agree that the Syrian government holds an exclusive right to use arms.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels confirm the need for effective work by the United States and Russia in Syria, aimed at the cessation of hostilities in that country, US State Secretary John Kerry said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television during his visit to Moscow.
Two suicide blasts hit the departures hall of Brussels international airport on Tuesday and an explosion shook a subway carriage in Maelbeek station, close to the EU institutions, killing at least 31 people and injuring 300. Daesh, outlawed in many countries including Russia and the United States, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
"Really nothing could do more to affect what happened in Brussels than to get the United States and Russia effectively on the same page regarding Syria and end the fighting in Syria.
If we end the war in Syria, we will end the pressure on all of the region with the refugees, with people, with violent extremists who are using the chaos as a means of enhancing their goals. The sooner we end the chaos, the sooner we isolate the terrorists, the sooner we restore stability and peace."
"That’s why this meeting with President Putin is so important. Because if we can move together more effectively, we could be far more efficient in our ability to find the terrorists, to eliminate the threats and the plots that exist today," he stressed.
Moscow needs to take a number of important decisions on cooperation with Washington in the fight against Daesh to restore stability in the Middle East, Kerry said.
"We’re actually very pleased that Russia is concerned about that extremism and wants to fight against Daesh and other extremists, so the key here is to find clarity in our definitions, make sure we’re really working effectively together without a hidden agenda in a way that can rapidly destroy Daesh, push back against violent extremism, restore peace and stability in the region." Kerry said.
Russia is ready for constructive relations with the United States on the basis of equality, the Russian foreign minister stated at a press conference with Kerry.
Truth about Syria: All they can do is keep killing and causing chaos
Salafis in Syria Are Taught False Ideologies
April 2013: Othman Battikh blasted Salafis in a press conference where he made it clear that fighting in Syria is not Jihad. He also stated that the ideologies that are being taught to young Tunisians who follow Salafism and are now fighting in Syria are very dangerous to the entire Tunisian society, who - in his view - must stand together to confront this foreign ideology that is funded mainly by Gulf nations.
Othman Battikh (born April 17, 1941) is a Tunisian Islamic scholar, former grand Mufti of Tunisia. In July 2013, President Moncef Marzouki replaced him as Mufti with Saied Hamda. On February 2, 2015, he was appointed Minister of Religious Affairs in the government of Prime Minister Habib Essid. Battikh is seen as a moderate and has been critical of Salafi and Wahabi doctrines.
An official at the General Union for Religious Affairs Abdul Salam Atawi raised concerns over the many imams and preachers working without a formal mandate from the authorities during a press conference on Tuesday, which he believes is over 50 percent in many provinces. According to the Tunisian Ministry of Religious Affairs, some 50 to 60 mosques operate outside its control.
Tunisia has been heavily criticized for the absence of state control over the country’s mosques.
The head of Tunisia's main Islamist party Rached Ghannouchi said Tuesday that military force and security measures alone are not enough to fight violent extremism.
"The fight against terrorism must not be limited to the military and security approach, which could even complicate the problem in the short and long run," the 74-year-old Ghannouchi told an audience at the Al-Jazeera Forum in Doha.
Combating extremism must also have "a political dimension by strengthening democracy, the economy, and development" to stem unemployment, especially among young people, he said. Ghannouchi rejected any link between extremism and religion, saying Islam is "unrelated to terrorism".
Ghannouchi's Ennahda party was the dominant political force in Tunisia following the revolution but its influence has since waned.
Tunisia on Tuesday extended by three months a state of emergency...
President Beji Caid Essebsi "has decided after consultations... to extend the state of emergency for a period of three months from March 23," his office said in a statement that came two weeks after another attack blamed on jihadists near the border with Libya.
The North African country has suffered from a wave of jihadist attacks in recent years, as it has struggled to curb a rise in extremism since the 2011 revolution that ousted Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
In a move widely seen as toning down ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Tunisia's Ennahda Party says it will accept state authority over religion and focus on political activities
Fathi Al-Ayadi — speaking ahead of this summer's party conference — said that Ennahda will focus on its political activities within an Islamic frame of reference, in accordance with the Tunisian constitution. Al-Ayadi noted that religious affairs should be handled by state authorities and civil society, a statement that reflects Ennahda's refusal of partisan interference in such issues.
Al-Ayadi, head of Ennahda's Shura Council, said that preliminary meetings for the Ennahda conference resulted in a general consensus on amending the Islamist group's organisational affairs and charter. One of these amendments includes the suggestion of changing the name of the party's Shura Council to "National Shura Council."
The statements of Al-Ayadi are seen as part of the "Tunisisation" of Ennahda, ending its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and the combination of religion and politics.
Thousands of Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad in support of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who urged Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to come up with a "convincing" package for government reforms.
Sheik Asad al-Nasiri, Sadr's associate, delivered the cleric’s message during the Friday event, giving the Abadi administration 24 hours to implement reforms including installing technocrats in major political positions.
In case the prime minister does not provide the appropriate package, further protests, Sadr has said, would remain non-violent. “If he does not announce a reform package... we will adopt a different position, which we will announce on Saturday.”
The message also said the protesters will not limit themselves to sit-ins outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. “Our protests in front of the Green Zone will not be enough. All of this will use peaceful means.”
“I hope that on Saturday the prime minister comes up with reforms towards an independent government of technocrats that are convincing for the people,” Sadr stated in the message.
Iraq: The reinvention of Muqtada al-Sadr
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged Iraq's politicians to support embattled Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's reform drive.
Speaking in Baghdad on his eighth visit to Iraq as secretary general of the United Nations, Ban emphasized the need for national reconciliation.
"I call on all political leaders here today to continue your efforts towards a single, unified vision to advance national reconciliation in Iraq," Ban said in an address to parliament. He said such a vision should include the justice and accountability law, a controversial amnesty law and the establishment of a national guard.
"This spirit of compromise must extend to making sure that the executive and legislative branches, including the parliamentary blocs, work closely together to support the prime minister, as he implements the needed reforms to address the multiple crises you face," Ban told lawmakers.
Syrian troops backed by Russian forces recaptured the famed ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group on Sunday in a major victory over the jihadists.
Army sappers were defusing mines and bombs planted by IS in the city's ancient ruins, a UNESCO world heritage site where the jihadists sparked a global outcry with the systematic destruction of treasured monuments.
IS overran the Palmyra ruins and adjacent modern city in May 2015. It has since blown up two of the site's treasured temples, its triumphal arch and a dozen tower tombs, in a campaign of destruction that UNESCO described as a war crime punishable by the International Criminal Court.
The jihadists used Palmyra's ancient amphitheatre as a venue for public executions, including the beheading of the city's 82-year-old former antiquities chief.
The oasis city's recapture is a strategic as well as symbolic victory for President Bashar Assad, since it provides control of the surrounding desert extending all the way to the Iraqi border.
The recapture of Palmyra sets government forces up for a drive on the jihadists' de facto Syrian capital of Raqa in the Euphrates valley to the north.
"The army will have regained confidence and morale, and will have prepared itself for the next expected battle in Raqa," a military source said on Saturday. With the road linking Palmyra to Raqa now under army control, IS fighters in the ancient city can only retreat eastwards towards the Iraqi border....
Russian forces, which intervened in support of longtime ally Assad last September, have been heavily involved in the offensive to retake Palmyra despite a major drawdown last week. Russian warplanes conducted more than 40 combat sorties in just 24 hours from Friday to Saturday, targeting "158 terrorist" positions, according to the Russian defense ministry.
General Command of Army and Armed Forces said Sunday that Palmyra city and the
overlooking mountains and hills have been fully controlled after a series of
precise military operations carried out by army units, in cooperation with the
popular defense groups and backed by the Syrian and Russian Air Forces.
“Establishing complete control on Palmyra constitutes a severe blow to ISIS terrorist organization and the beginning of its collapse and defeat,” the General Command said in a statement.
” Our brave army, in cooperation with friends, is the only force capable of fighting terrorism and eradicating it,” the statement said.
The statement stressed that the army, in cooperation with the popular defense groups and Russian and Syrian air forces, will continue the military operations against ISIS and Jabhat al- Nusra and other terrorist organization.
The liberation of Palmyra is a decisive turning point in the war on Syria. While there were earlier military successes by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, the publicity value of securing the valued Roman ruins of Palmyra is much higher than any earlier victory. It will change some of the false narratives of the conflict.
The Syrian government is no longer "the Assad regime" and the Syrian Arab Army no longer the "Assad forces".
Ban Ki Moon, the head of the United Nations, congratulated the Syrian government to its success: In a news conference in Jordan, Ban said he was "encouraged" that the UNESCO world heritage site is out of extremist hands and that the Syrian government "is now able to preserve and protect this human common cultural asset".
Lost in the celebrations was a discussion of how Palmyra had fallen...
The Islamic State offensive that ended with its occupation of Palmyra took thirteen days from May 13 to May 26 2015. Heavy fighting and several Syrian army counter offensives took place during those days. After the Islamic State finally captured the city, the Syrian army immediately prepared for a larger operation to regain the city. This was launched successfully in July 2015 but for lack of air support the gains made were again lost a week later.
Throughout the 2015 fighting around Palmyra the U.S. air force, which claimed to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, did not intervene at all. ISIS was free to resupply through the open east-Syrian desert.
The sole reason that the Islamic State could successfully attack Palmyra was a very large ongoing attack by al-Qaeda Jihadists and CIA mercenary forces on the Syrian government forces in Idleb governate. The Syrian army moved troops from Palmyra to defend Idleb and Latakia and the forces left behind were no longer large enough to repel the Islamic State attack.
The attack on Idleb, for which the CIA allowed its proxy forces to directly cooperated with al-Qaeda, was supported by electronic warfare from Turkey which disrupted the Syrian military communication.
The attack and the obvious cooperation between the Jihadists and Turkish and U.S. secret services was the reason that Russia and Iran decided to intervene in the conflict with their own forces.
What followed was the roll up of all "rebels" that posed an immediate danger to the Syrian government. After Turkey ambushed a Russian jet all "rebel" forces supported by Turkey became priority targets.
When the success of large scale offensives in Latakia and around Aleppo was established, Russia imposed a cease fire on the U.S. supported forces and on the Syria government. This cease fire freed up the Syrian, Iranian and Russian forces needed to successfully take back Palmyra.
President al-Assad: Palmyra achievement proves army strategy
more effective than US-led coalition efforts
Baath Arab Socialist Party Website, 28-3-2016
TRIPOLI - Sitting outdoors at a quiet Tripoli cafe, Libyans wonder how a third government could possibly take up residence in a capital controlled by armed groups who reject it.
"The mood is tense and people are tired," says Abu Ehab, sipping a cup of green tea. "Having three governments is causing great problems."
Tripoli's capital has been relatively calm since a militia alliance including Islamists seized it in mid-2014, but the expected arrival of a disputed UN-backed unity government has raised fears of renewed violence.
Both of Libya's rival authorities -- the one in the capital and the other that in 2014 fled to the country's far east -- have refused to cede power to the new government under prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj.
Tripoli's unrecognised administration on Friday announced a "maximum state of emergency" after the Tunisia-based presidential council headed by Sarraj said the government would soon start working in the capital. UN special envoy Martin Kobler was on Wednesday prevented from travelling to Tripoli to work on installing the power-sharing administration.
In Tripoli, the prospect of a working unity government has at least raised hopes of a way out of a collapsing economy. Queues have formed in recent weeks from early morning outside Tripoli's cash-strapped banks and the cost of living has increased.
Begging is increasingly common in the capital, much to the shock of its residents. In one upper-class neighbourhood, Fathi hands money to a family who pulled up in a car outside his house asking for help.
"How did we get here?" he asks.
Most US Voters Don’t Want U.S. Promoting Democracy In Islamic World
Rasmussen Reports, Monday, March 28, 2016
Donald Trump has run afoul of the Republican establishment with his opposition to so-called "nation-building," but most voters think Trump's on the right track.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 28% of Likely U.S. Voters think the United States should do more to encourage the growth of democracy in the Islamic world.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) say the United States should leave things alone. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 22-23, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has voted on Thursday to establish a database of Israeli companies working in settlements in order to blacklist them. According to news reports, this measure was one of four Palestinian Authority (PA) proposals approved by the council.
Efforts to establish the database was fiercely opposed by Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the decision as a victory for the PA’s fight for Palestinian human rights.
Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Al-Barghouti also described the resolution as a “victory,” noting that it would strengthen the BDS movement and help impose sanctions on Israel.
Al-Barghouti said that the verbal attack of the Israeli Prime Minister against this resolution would never affect it or undermine the efforts of the BDS and the supporters of human rights. He also said that the BDS had internationalised the Palestinian issue and placed it on the tables of the international organisations and officials.
The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.
BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice. For decades, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonization, racial discrimination, and military occupation. Despite abundant condemnation of Israeli policies by the UN, other international bodies, and preeminent human rights organisations, the world community has failed to hold Israel accountable and enforce compliance with basic principles of law. Israel’s crimes have continued with impunity. In view of this continued failure, Palestinian civil society called for a global citizens’ response.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is based on the rejection of the existence of the State of Israel, President Reuven Rivlin said Monday morning at Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth's anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem.
"We must differentiate between criticism and de-legitimization," the president argued, adding that "Criticism is completely legitimate, and we are all focused on one goal; the wellbeing of our country despite the difference of opinion."
"We must show the world the claims of the BDS movement are based on hatred and enmity of the State of Israel," the president stressed.
World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder said he wished the conference wasn't necessary. "I wish there wasn't a worldwide effort to isolate Israel, to undermine Israel, to destroy Israel,” he added. "Our enemies have failed to destroy Israel militarily and economically," Lauder said. "Having failed, they are trying to destroy Israel politically."
BDS, he said, "tries to present itself as some sort of a democratic movement concerned with human rights - that's a lie. It's an international campaign to incite hostility against Israel and the Jewish people." The movement has no interest in peace or in improving the daily lives of the Palestinians, Lauder noted. "The world needs to see through these lies."
"The World Jewish Congress is advancing legislation to make economic boycotts illegal. Many countries have already made boycotts illegal, including in the US Congress.." the WJC president declared.
He expressed his concern about the BDS movement's presence on college campuses worldwide, targeting the young and impressionable minds of youths.
"From the moment they arrive at schools, colleges, and universities, our children face a barrage of anti-Semitic lies," he lamented. "College is their first exposure to the history and politics of the Middle East. They're especially vulnerable to BDS's harsh propaganda."
BDS is "a dangerous new strain of an age-old disease - anti-Semitism..."
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said Saturday night that many non-Jews should be forbidden from living in the Land of Israel according to Jewish law.
In a recording of Yosef’s weekly Saturday night lecture obtained by Channel 10, the rabbi can be heard saying, “According to Jewish law, it’s forbidden for a non-Jew to live in the Land of Israel – unless he has accepted the seven Noachide laws.”
The seven Noachide laws include prohibitions on idolatry, blasphemy, murder, illicit sexual relations, stealing and eating the limb of a living animal, plus a positive commandment to establish court systems.
“If our hands were strong, if we had governing power, then non-Jews shouldn’t live in the Land of Israel,” Yosef added. “But our hands aren’t strong. We’re awaiting our righteous (i.e. WAR) Messiah, who will be the true and complete redemption, and then they’ll do this.”
The reason some non-Jews are allowed to live in Israel, Yosef continued, is to serve the Jewish population. “Who will be the servers? Who will be our assistants? Therefore, we leave them here in the land,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Yosef sparked a storm when he used his weekly lecture to discuss the recent wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks.
“If someone is coming with a knife – it’s a commandment to kill him,” Yosef said. “If someone is coming to kill you, kill him first. Don’t start being afraid of all kinds of ... that they’ll make a court case against you afterward, or that some [Israel Defense Forces] chief of staff will come and say something different.”
In that lecture, Yosef was responding to remarks made by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot last month... Eisenkot said: “The IDF can’t speak in slogans, like ‘If someone is coming to kill you, kill him first.’ I don’t want a soldier to empty a clip into a girl with a pair of scissors.” Several Knesset members from the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi parties criticized Eisenkot for that statement.
Imploding the Myth of Israel
"IT IS MY CONSIDERED OPINION that the State of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term: In this state people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried out today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement."|
"Zionism is worse than the Apartheid regime of South Africa... Zionism wants to "save" as much land as it can without any limit at all, in all areas of the "Land of Israel," and it turns the land it "saves" into one big Apartheid area, in which human beings who were born from non-Jewish mothers have no right to live...
" The primary duty of all citizens of Israel, and also of all those Jews in the Diaspora who define themselves as the 'supporters of Israel' is to struggle against the racism and the discrimination which Zionism has established in the State of Israel, and which is directed against all the non-Jews who live in it.
Such a struggle, which necessarily begins with the explanation of the racist character of Zionism and the State of Israel and the condemnation of their racism is neither anti-Jewish nor anti-Semitic."
Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism
Orthodoxy is the only movement that is formally and legally recognized in Israel.
The word Pharisee means “pure,” or “separated,” and was an apt term for this group of ultra-Orthodox men who distanced themselves from the unrighteous while they established many extraneous commandments in connection with their pursuit of holiness. In the time of Jesus, there were several thousand Pharisees in Israel led by two main schools of philosophy:
The School of Shammai.
Most believed, among other things, that the Hebrew descendants of Abraham were the only people beloved of God, and that no other people were of value in His sight. Salvation was thus only available to Jews--and so, in their early days, the Shammaiites wouldn’t even welcome Gentile converts to Judaism.
Of lesser influence in Israel was The School of Hillel.
While Hillel’s followers acknowledged that the Jews were God’s special people, they willingly accepted Gentile converts to Judaism in the belief that the God of Abraham allowed all to worship Him who would turn from idolatry.
Four days before South Carolina’s Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton took questions from voters at a lively CNN Town Hall in the newly de-battle flagged state capital of Columbia.
Amid all the talk about Wall Street, racism, Donald Trump, and the GOP’s obstructionism, Bernie Sanders was asked about his “spirituality.”
That, of course, was meant to be a trap, a litmus test. Americans like their presidents Christian. In fact, we haven’t had a non-Christian president since Thomas Jefferson (Abraham Lincoln was raised Christian and kept quiet about his un-churched status), let alone a not-particularly religious Jew.
Here is Bernie Sanders’ reply:
“Every great religion in the world — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism — essentially comes down to: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ (The Golden Rule)
And that I have believed in my whole life — I believed it when I was a 22-year-old kid getting arrested in Chicago fighting segregation — I’ve believed it in my whole life.”
And then, Bernie Sanders even appeared to get a little choked up as he declared:
“That we are in this together — not just, not words. The truth is at some level when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt. And it’s very easy to turn our backs on kids who are hungry, or veterans who are sleeping out on the street, and we can develop a psyche, a psychology which is ‘I don’t have to worry about them; all I’m gonna worry about is myself; I need to make another 5 billion dollars.’
I believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can’t even understand. It’s beyond intellect. It’s a spiritual, emotional thing.
So I believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that child who is hungry is my child … I think we are more human when we do that, than when we say ‘hey, this whole world , I need more and more, I don’t care about anyone else.’
That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in. And I think most people around the world, whatever their religion, their color — share that belief. That we are in it together as human beings. And it becomes more and more practical. If we destroy the planet because we don’t deal with climate change … Trust me, we are all in it together, and … That is my spirituality.’
This is not the first time Bernie Sanders has talked about his more inclusive and secular take on spirituality. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Sanders also explained his deep sense of being interconnected.
“Well, you know, I am who I am. And what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe that, as human beings, we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people.”
Flashback: "That what is sacred in the world is man" General Mufti of the Syrian Arabic Republic, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun
Turning to education, Dr Hassoun said:
"Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." Chris Stedman, Huffington Post 22-6-2012
During an interview with i24News’ “FaceOff” program on Saturday, Dani Dayan, a former leader settler leader, said the following: “I prefer the attitude of AIPAC to that of J Street, that endorses all the anti-Israel candidates – the more anti-Israeli you are, the more you are endorsed by J Street. That’s un-Jewish.”
Dayan will replace outgoing Ambassador Ido Aharoni, who has served as Israel’s representative in New York since February 2011.
J Street expressed “deep concern” of the appointment of Dani Dayan as Israel’s Consul General in New York...
“Dayan is but the latest appointment to a senior diplomatic post of an adamant opponent of the two-state solution, whose posting will serve to inflame opponents of Israel’s policies,” J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of Dayan as Consul General of New York after he was initially tapped to become Israel’s Ambassador to Brazil, but rejected by the Brazilian government.
“Though the Prime Minister of Israel continues to express his concern that Israel does not become a binational state, he is sending as his envoy to New York a man who served for years as chairman of the settlers’ council and who revels in predicting the demise of the two-state solution,” J Street said in its statement.
Flashback: There will not be a Palestinian state here
Bernie Sanders hates discussing his Jewish roots... [He] likes his devoutly Socialist closet. He prefers to describe himself as the son of Polish immigrants. Asked about religion, he disavows Judaism and embraces Pope Francis.
Where Obama and Hillary ran on race and gender, Bernie Sanders avoids Jewishness as much as possible. He doesn’t practice Judaism, isn’t part of a Jewish community and avoids the “J” word.
In 1971, he told an audience, “no guns for Israel.” Two years later, the Yom Kippur War brought Israel to the brink of destruction and shipments of American arms made the difference. But Bernie Sanders did not care and in 1988 still insisted that, “It is wrong that the United States provides arms to Israel.” In 1990, he called for America to “put more pressure on Israel”...
When Bernie Sanders reached out for perspective on the Middle East during his campaign, he contacted James Zogby, who defended Hamas and Hezbollah, and Lawrence Wilkerson, who had accused Jewish officials of dual loyalty and suggested that Israel was behind Assad’s chemical weapons attacks.
The truth about Bernie Sanders is that he is not Jewish in any sense other than the genetic.
He is a left-wing radical who is uncomfortable with any mention of his Jewish background because he does not like Jews. Even his time on an Israeli Kibbutz, a staple with which his Jewish fans nurtured their fantasies of a Jewish Bernie, fell apart when it emerged that his Kibbutz had flown a red flag and admired Stalin and the Soviet Union as part of a radical leftist movement that had initially opposed the creation of Israel.
His first and foremost allegiance has always been to the left at the expense of the Jews.
Bernie Sanders invokes the Holocaust when asked about his Jewish identity, not because he has empathy for Jews, but in a classic leftist maneuver to distract attention from that lack of empathy. His conception of the Holocaust is detached from Jewish suffering. It is purely about his leftist politics...
Bernie Sanders does not want to be the first Jewish president. He wants to be the first Socialist president. There is nothing Jewish about Bernie Sanders except his vestigial accent.
He makes common cause with anti-Semites because Jews don’t matter to him, only the agenda of the left does.
In a final speech to the synod, Pope Francis endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States, while taking some clear swipes at conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, and use it to cast judgment on others.
“The synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulas but free availability of God’s love and forgiveness,” Pope Francis said.
“I see in Senator Bernard Sanders a man of great integrity and moral conviction, who understands these principles and genuinely wants what’s best for all people.” (National Report, 27-10-2015)
GENEVA, (ST) - Terrorism has led to the displacement of millions of people who fled the atrocities of the terrorist organizations, Syria's Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva Hussam Eddin Ala has said, stressing the importance of providing real and sincere support for the fight against terrorism.
"The crimes of the terrorist organizations in Syria have displaced the Syrians from their houses and forced them to move towards safer areas inside the country and under the protection of the Syrian state," Ala said in a statement on Wednesday during a high ranking meeting organized by the Higher Commission for Refugees to discuss international responsibility sharing in the refugee issue.
"The Syrian Army's liberation of many areas from the terrorists of Deash, Jabhet al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations in addition to the successful local reconciliation cases in different Syrian areas have contributed to the return of many displaced people to their original places," he added.
He pointed out that Syria was a leading country in hosting refugees from different Arab countries, but the foreign-backed wave of terrorism and extremism which has been hitting Syria has destroyed the achievements made by the Syrian people over decades of development and has caused serious damage to the infrastructure and the service sector valued at more than $200 billion.
"Today's meeting comes amid mounting international attention given to the immigrants and refugees' issues and in the light of the continuous increase of the number of immigrants and refugees in the world and the challenges resulted from the International community's unserious dealing with the main causes of displacement and immigration in many parts of the world," Ala said.
"The meeting sheds light on the Syrians' suffering over five years of terrorist war and discusses the possibility of ensuring an international contribution in the response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country," he added.
Ala urged the international community to act immediately as to help all the refugees, who were forced to leave Syria, return home and to work hard in order to provide suitable circumstances for the return of the displaced.
However, Ala warned against adopting alternative options like the resettlement of refugees in other countries and using this as a means to deprive Syria from creative minds and skills it needs.
As of February 2016, the United Nations (UN) has identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and over 4.8 million are refugees outside of Syria.|
More than 3.09 million of Iraqi citizens have left their homes since January 2014, when ISIS militants seized a part of Ramadi and took the town of Fallujah (c. 70 kilometers, or 43 miles, west of Baghdad) under their control.
Baghdad Burning: The voice of an Iraqi Refugee
Riverbend is the pseudonymous author of the blog Baghdad Burning, launched August 17, 2003. The weblog entries suggest that she is a young Iraqi woman from a mixed Shia and Sunni family, living with her parents and brother in Baghdad. Before the United States occupation of Iraq she was a computer programmer. The blog combines political statements with a large dose of Iraqi cultural information, such as the celebration of Ramadhan and examples of Iraqi cuisine.
April 9, 2013 marks ten years since the fall of Baghdad. Ten years since the invasion. Since the lives of millions of Iraqis changed forever. It’s difficult to believe. It feels like only yesterday I was sharing day to day activities with the world. I feel obliged today to put my thoughts down on the blog once again, probably for the last time.
Looking back at the last ten years, what have our occupiers and their Iraqi governments given us in ten years? What have our puppets achieved in this last decade? What have we learned?
We learned a lot.
We’re learning that the leaders don’t make history. Populations don’t make history. Historians don’t write history. News networks do. The Foxes, and CNNs, and BBCs, and Jazeeras of the world make history. They twist and turn things to fit their own private agendas.
The Syrian Opposition, represented by the Saudi and US-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC), has formally rejected Bashar al-Assad’s proposition of creating a transitional government that would include several leading opposition members.
Furthermore, the Pentagon and Mohammed Alloush, the main HNC representative, said they could in no way accept Bashar al-Assad staying in power in any shape or form, during a response to the media yesterday.
Assad, bolstered by the military victory at Palmyra, was quoted by Russia’s RIA news agency as saying a new constitution could be ready in weeks and a government that included opposition, independents and loyalists could be agreed. With the Geneva peace talks set to resume next month, Assad remarked that “these were not difficult questions”.
Opposition negotiators immediately dismissed his remarks, saying that a political settlement could be reached only by establishing a transitional body with full powers, not another government under Assad. But the Syrian President said the very idea of a transitional body was “illogical and unconstitutional”.
Mohammed Alloush is the political leader of the
|29 september 2013|
Muhammad Zahran Alloush, born in 1970 in Damascus. Prior to the revolution he was working as a Building contractor.
Zahran Alloush was involved with the neo-salafi/Wahhabi underground in Syria since the 1990s. He was imprisoned on three different occasions for Islamic activities. His most recent arrest was in 2009.
He was released on June/22, 2011, under pressure from protesters. Zahran Alloush immediately received funds and weapons from Saudi intelligence which enabled him to establish and run Liwaa al-Islam as a major jihadist force.
On July 18, 2012, Liwaa al-Islam conducted the major bombing of the headquarters of Syria’s national security council in Rawda Square, Damascus, assassinating, among others, Assaf Shawkat, Bashar’s brother-in-law and nominally the deputy Minister of Defense, Dawoud Rajiha, the Defense Minister, and Hassan Turkmani, former Defense Minister who was military adviser to then-Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa.
-- Question: There is talk that some people are calling for early presidential elections in Syria. Are you prepared to go to early presidential elections?
-- President Assad: This hasn’t been proposed as part of the current political process. What is proposed is that after the constitution, there will be parliamentary elections.
These parliamentary elections will show the size of political forces in the country, and consequently a new government will be formed according to the shares of political forces in the new parliament.
Presidential elections are a completely different issue. This is linked to the popular situation in Syria. Is there a popular will for early presidential elections? If such will exist, I have no problem. This is natural when it comes in response to popular will, and not in response to some opposition forces. This issue touches every Syrian citizen because every citizen will have a vote concerning this president.
So, in principle, I don’t have a problem, because a president cannot act without popular support. And if such a president has popular support, he should be always prepared for such a step. So, I can say that in principle I don’t have a problem, but in order to take this step, we need the popular opinion in Syria, not the opinion of the government or the president.
Ten Libyan cities controlled by a self-declared authority in Tripoli have pledged their support to the UN-backed unity government of the country, which has moved into the capital. The announcement was made in a statement published on Thursday on the official Facebook page of the municipality of the northwestern city of Sabratha. It came following a meeting between representatives from the 10 coastal cities located between Tripoli and the border with Tunisia.
The statement welcomed the arrival of the members of Libya’s UN-backed government to Tripoli and urged all Libyan citizens to “support the national unity government.” It further called on Libya’s internationally-recognized administration to “put an immediate end to all armed conflicts across Libya.”
Formed under a power-sharing deal signed on December 17, 2015 in Morocco, the unity government is tasked with taking over from rival groups running different parts of the North African state.
On Wednesday, Libya’s Prime Minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj along with several members of his cabinet arrived from Tunisia at Tripoli’s Abusita naval base by boat. However, the General National Congress (GNC), the non-recognized authority in charge of Tripoli, branded their entry into Tripoli illegal and demanded that Sarraj leave or surrender. In a televised address, the head of the Tripoli authorities Khalifa Ghweil said Sarraj’s government was “illegal”, asking him to leave the capital or to “hand himself in”.
After their landslide defeat in the 2014 elections, Islamist parties acting under the leadership of Nouri Abusahmain used two armed groups, the LROR and Central Shield, to take control of the capital Tripoli. In late August, Islamist militias abducted rivals (whose whereabouts is unknown) and attacked 280 homes. Having suppressed dissent, the Islamist groups declared that they were the General National Congress and that it was once again the national parliament.
France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called on the world powers to be ready to intervene in Libya to support the unity government there against the growing threat of Islamic State in the North African nation.
"Libya is a concern shared by all the countries of the region and beyond," he told a French newspaper. "The chaos which reigns there today aids the rapid development of terrorism. It is a direct threat to the region and Europe."
"We must [therefore] be prepared to respond if the national unity government of [Fayez] al-Sarraj asks for help, including on the military front," he went on to suggest.
However he was adamant to warn against repeating what he sees as the mistakes of 2011: the support of ragtag rebels in the Libyan Civil War against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
"That [intervention] upset the region and brought about extremism and Daesh [ISIS]," Ayrault claimed.
Flashback: The Philosophy of War
That the West can’t be trusted is the most important lesson Syria has learned during five years of civil war, Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president, said in an exclusive interview with Sputnik.
"The most important lesson we have learned, but I suppose we knew it all along, is that the West is not honest. Western countries are dishonest,” Assad stressed. The US, EU and their allies “are pursuing a policy far removed from the principles of international law and the United Nations” and because of that “it is impossible to rely upon the West to solve any issue,” he said.
“We live in a world where there is no international law or morality in politics at present. Anything can happen anywhere on our planet,” the Syrian president added. In such conditions, every leader “should be able to choose friendly states that will stand by him during crises," Assad said, hinting at the support his country received from Russia.
Muammar Gaddafi, lynched in 2011
He stressed that during the war Syria “endured inhumane suffering,” which he wouldn’t wish on any other state.
According to Assad, the country faced “terrorist aggression, which was accompanied by atrocities in their essence and form, unprecedented in recent decades, and maybe even in the past centuries.”
Syria’s president warned against fanaticism, saying that it should be avoided in building societies, for which not only the state, but all citizens must be responsible.
“What I want to say, based on our experience in Syria, is that, first of all, any manifestation of fanaticism, either religious, political, or obsession with any idea – is destructive for society,” he stressed.
The Syrian president said that in time of crisis every leader must realize that “the people are the country’s defenders.” “And when choosing a plan of action to resolve the crisis it is necessary that it meets the customs and traditions of the nation, its history and its essential aspirations. The solution cannot come from overseas,” he stated.
“Friends can come to you from abroad to help, as it has happened today: from Russia and Iran. However, if there is no internal will and good relations between the people and the state, it is impossible to find a solution," Assad added.
The Syrian president expressed confidence that after peace is achieved in the country Syrian will become “a key state in the region.”
“I think that if we are able to overcome this crisis, Syrian society will be improved from a social point of view. And Syria will be better able to play its historic role in this region.This role, open to the public, will influence other nations, because it is a single region, the same people with similar traditions. We influence each other as Arab states, as Islamic countries. In this regard, Syria should have a very important role [to play],” Assad said.
Western-backed SNC received blessing of Qaradawi
Setting the stage for a potential major new clash in western Libya, the UN-backed “unity government” is threatening the nation’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sadiq Ghariani, saying they will send his name to Interpol as an enemy of democracy for opposing them.
The Grand Mufti had issued a statement yesterday urging the unity government to leave the capital city of Tripoli, echoing calls for the municipal government. Ghariani warned they won’t recognize a government that arrived in a foreign ship backed by foreign troops.
The “unity government” formed itself earlier this year in Tunisia, and operated in exile until they managed to get a ship to take them to a naval base last week. They are operating out of that base, and have not been recognized by either existing parliament in Libya.
The group isn’t seen as having much domestic support, but is heavily backed by the UN, as well as several NATO members, which envision the group as finally giving them an imprimatur to send troops to Libya, should they obtain at least a modicum of credibility.
Flashback: Hero of the revolution
Al-Gharyani is considered by some a hero of the revolution, since early on in the uprising against Gadhafi he issued a fatwa or religious edict permitting war against his regime.
Remove References to Democracy
Syrian Investment Agency (SIA) launched Sunday its new electronic application “Invest from Your Mobile” to provide services via smart mobile phones in a first step of its kind among Syrian government establishments. Interested people can download the new service from the Syrian Investment Agency’s Website for the smart phones with Andriod platform (apk).
The new step of SIA includes eight electronic services which guarantee for the interested people to collect information about investment opportunities, their locations and data and to keep in contact with the SIA to be informed about investment news, request approval for investment projects, search for a partner and to follow up the project and the investment map.
Invest From Your Mobile is the first of its new applications while other services are being prepared to be launched later, Inas al-Amawi, the Deputy Director General of SIA told reporters, adding that SIA seeks to be a mini model of E- government in coordination with all ministries and public bodies as well as Banks to find out a mechanism for E-pay for investment projects.
Al-Amawi affirmed that SIA guarantees preserving the secrecy of the investors banking information and the investment requests will be presented through one-window system to be studied and replied to via the new application.
Invest from Your Mobile is considered an advanced step for investment promotion, facilitating administrative procedures and improving the quality of providing services for investors inside and outside the country, Al-Amawi said.
DAMASCUS - The spokesman for Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front, Abu Firas al-Suri, his son and 20 other jihadists were killed in air strikes Sunday in the northeast of the country, a monitor said.
Abu Firas al-Suri was meeting with other leading Islamist fighters in a Nusra stronghold in Kafar Jales when the raids struck. Two other targets belonging to Al-Nusra and allied jihadist group Jund al-Aqsa in the north of Idlib province were also attacked.
Syrian Suri, real name Radwan Nammous, fought against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan where he met Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his mentor Abdullah Azzam before returning to Syria in 2011.
A temporary ceasefire between government forces and rebels has largely held since February 27, but it does not cover Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group. The break has, in fact, allowed Russia and the US-led coalition that has been bombing IS in Syria to concentrate their fight against the jihadists.
In August 2015 Abu Firas al Suri, a senior al Qaeda operative in Syria, defended the jihadists’ relationship with Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated groups that should be counted as an ally in the fight against the Assad regime.
Al Nusrah, Ahrar al Sham, and Zanki have long been allied against the Kurds in Aleppo.
Al-Nusra & the FSA
Thomas Joscelyn, longwarjournal, 16-2-2016
In an interview with “On the Ground News,” Abu Firas al Suri discussed Al Nusrah’s rivalry with the Islamic State at length. Suri, a longtime al Qaeda member who sits on Al Nusrah’s elite shura council, explained that the so-called “caliphate” had criticized Al Nusrah for cooperating with the FSA.
Suri found the Islamic State’s complaints to be misguided, because the FSA factions allied with Al Nusrah had no ideological project of their own, were willing to adjudicate any disputes in common sharia courts, and were fighting Assad.
“The Free Syrian Army groups said they were ready for anything according to the Islamic sharia and that we are delegated to apply the rulings of the sharia on them,” Suri explained...
“The FSA is a very wide sector, it is not an organized group. The FSA is composed of many groups.” He then listed FSA member organizations that were acceptable allies, including “Al-Zinky,” meaning the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Movement.
“The FSA doesn’t have an ideology that can be applied on its followers,” Suri surmised. “The important thing is they fight the regime.”
The Nur al-Din al-Zanki Movement is an Islamist organization that has received American-made anti-tank TOW missiles. The TOW missiles it has received have been supplied via a Military Operational Center (MOC) in Turkey. The MOC is reportedly staffed with personnel from multiple countries, including CIA officials. In addition to Turkey and Qatar, Zanki has maintained relations with Saudi Arabia. Zanki sent representatives to a Saudi-hosted conference for anti-Assad rebels in December and praised Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January.
Even though Zanki has been described as a “CIA-vetted” rebel group and has received TOW missiles made in the USA, it has worked with Al Nusrah.
In August 2015 Abu Firas al Suri, a senior al Qaeda operative in Syria, defended the jihadists’ relationship with Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated groups that should be counted as an ally in the fight against the Assad regime.
Al Nusrah, Ahrar al Sham, and Zanki have long been allied against the Kurds in Aleppo.
Britain's former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has written a blistering oped slamming modern-day anti-Zionism as the "new anti-Semitism."
In his Newsweek article, published Sunday, Rabbi Sacks refers to figures showing how escalating anti-Semitism has left many Jews considering leaving Europe and noted that the phenomenon was quickly spreading to the US, specifically via university campuses.
"Much of the intimidation on campus is stirred by “Israel Apartheid” weeks and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel. These have become what Easter was in the Middle Ages, a time for attacks against Jews," he writes.
Judith Butler’s book, “Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism”, is symptomatic for a situation in which many liberal-leaning Jews feel they must salvage their Jewishness from Israel’s nationalism and occupation policies.
Judith Butler has been highly critical of Israel’s occupation policy, she describes herself as an anti-Zionist and endorses the BDS movement, which advocates boycotting and divesting from Israel and imposing sanctions against it.
“Parting Ways” is Butler’s latest book, and she states its goal right at the outset: She wants to make a case for a specifically Jewish critique of Israeli state violence.
In “Parting Ways,” Butler joins a large number of contemporary Jewish intellectuals who refuse to accept the notion that one’s relation to Israel determines one’s Jewishness and that being critical of Israel turns one into a self-hating Jew − or worse, an anti-Semite.
But she goes one step further: She argues that Zionism itself is profoundly un-Jewish.
Defending liberal versions of Zionism cannot salvage Jewish values as she understands them. Nothing less than a radical decoupling of Jewishness and Zionism will do for Butler, starting with the binary opposition between Israel and the Diaspora posited by classical Zionism, which valorizes the former and disparages the latter.
Contemporary political Zionism, in Butler’s view, has constructed a very slanted narrative of Jewish history − one that glorifies the kingdom of David, the Maccabees, Masada and Bar Kochba, all equated with the type of bellicose masculinity embraced by some early Zionist activists like Max Nordau, Arthur Ruppin and Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and pursued by Israeli leaders like Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Jewish Individualism (conscience) versus Zionist Collectivism (ignorance)
“Parting Ways” is Butler’s version of a non-Zionist counter-narrative, with her own pantheon of Jewish voices: French-Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas; Berlin-born Walter Benjamin, proponent of a non-violent form of historical messianism; German-American political thinker Hannah Arendt; and Italian writer Primo Levi.
She harnesses them for the project of a Nietzschean reevaluation of all Jewish values.
All her discussions are intended to lead the reader to the conclusion that in view of Jewish experience and history, the appropriate interpretation of Jewish identity is a diasporic interpretation that requires Jews to integrate the identities of those other groups that they live with within a given country into their own personality-identity (individualism).
'To be a Jew’, Butler argues, ‘is to be departing from oneself, cast out into a world of the non-Jew, bound to make one’s way ethically and politically precisely there within a world of irreversible heterogeneity’.
In Israel/Palestine they ought to support a political entity whose Jewish citizens have all integrated a Palestinian component into their identities while its Palestinian citizens do the corresponding thing. For Butler any ‘coming together’ must first be predicated on a transformation of the colonial relation between them.
Butler demands the dismantling of the political and ideological structures that maintain exclusive Jewish privilege, rights, and protection at the expense of the non-Jewish population.
Butler's theory of what constitutes the desirable Jewish identity is diametrically opposed to that of Zionism.
According to the Zionist theory, Jews ought to regard their identity as an ethno-national identity (the tribe, the collective), and take part in the realization of their right to national self-determination.
People cannot be reduced to ideas, social structures, or mystical oneness