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.
"...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.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
Israel needs to stop being an ideology and start being a nation. A nation of all of its citizens, all with equal national, civil and religious rights.
After 70 years, only partial justice and restoration is possible for the Palestinian people. Whatever constitutional arrangements are arrived at, equality should be the guiding principle at work.
As for Zionism let’s ditch it and move on. 'It’s time to place it in a glass cabinet and put it in a museum in a room marked: ‘Dead Ends & False Messiahs’.
There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.”
"The practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud and elsewhere.
The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.
(Kerry R Bolton, Foreign Policy Journal, May 29, 2018)
Choseness is what binds Zionists together.
To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy. Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy....
I know well that Zionism was born to emancipate Diaspora Jews from their exceptionalist cultural traits and to make them ‘people like all other people.’
Like an early Zionist, I would have liked to see Jews liberate themselves from the choseness prison, but I accept that such a shift can not occur in the form of a collective or political movement. The escape from choseness to the ordinary must be an individual struggle, a surrender to self-contempt that eventually matures into a genuine search for peace and harmony with the universe, with the soil and with one’s neighbours. (Gilad Atzmon, 24-6-2019)
"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)
Israel has carried out an airstrike on a weapons depot in Iraq that officials said was being used by Iran to move weapons to Syria, an attack that could destabilize Iraq and thrust it deeper into the conflict between the United States and Iran.
The attack, believed to be the first Israeli bombing in Iraq in nearly four decades, represents an expansion of the military campaign Israel has carried out against Iranian targets in Syria.
The Israeli attack last month was one of several recent attacks on weapons storage facilities controlled by Iraqi militias with ties to Iran.
It was not clear who carried out the other attacks, which have set Iraq on edge as it struggles to recover from nearly 40 years of war and instability.
Responding to the attacks on Thursday, Iraq’s national security adviser, Falih al-Fayadh, said that Iraq wanted to avoid taking sides in any struggle between Iran and other countries and being “pushed into a war.”
“The Iraqi government and especially its security agencies and armed forces will take all measures necessary to protect Iraq and its people and to deter any attempts at destabilization,” he said.
Two senior American officials said that Israel had carried out several strikes in recent days on munitions storehouses for Iranian-backed groups in Iraq.
The Israeli military refused to comment on the attacks but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asked about them on a visit to Kiev, Ukraine on Monday, said “Iran doesn’t have immunity anywhere.” Israel has carried hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian assets in Syria during that country’s eight-year civil war.
The militias, also known as Hasht al Shabi, are officially an arm of the Iraqi Security Forces but a handful operate semi-independently and several have strong ties to Iran.
Israeli officials say they have become a conduit for Iran’s transit of weapons to its militias in Syria and to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah.... The last known Israeli attack in Iraq was in 1981, when an airstrike destroyed a nuclear reactor under construction near Baghdad. Israeli officials contended that the reactor was intended to produce nuclear weapons.
Operation Opera, also known as Operation Babylon, was a surprise Israeli air strike carried out on 7 June 1981, which destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction 17 kilometers southeast of Baghdad.
Ultra-Right-Wing leaders: Sharon, Begin, Shamir" (In 2005 Sharon formed the centrist party Kadima)
Operation Opera, and related Israeli government statements following it, established the Begin Doctrine, which explicitly stated the strike was not an anomaly, but instead “a precedent for every future government in Israel.”
The doctrine itself was enunciated by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in June 1981, following Israel's attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor.
The initial government statement on the incident stated: "On no account shall we permit an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against the people of Israel."
Begin referred to the strike as an act of "anticipatory self-defense at its best." He ended his press conference with these words:
"We chose this moment: now, not later, because later may be too late, perhaps forever. And if we stood by idly, two, three years, at the most four years, and Saddam Hussein would have produced his three, four, five bombs. ... Another Holocaust would have happened in the history of the Jewish people...." (Wikipedia info)
Flashback 10-8-2017: The Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee approved a bill titled “Countering America’s Adventurous and Terrorist Actions”. The bill requires relevant authorities to take actions against America’s “imperialistic, terrorist and divisive policies”.
The [Iranian] Foreign Ministry denounced the US think-tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, for involvement in Washington’s economic terrorism against the Iranian nation, and announced that Tehran will impose sanctions against the hawkish entity according to the "Law on Countering Violation of Human Rights and Adventurous and Terrorist Activities of the US in the Region".
The Foreign Ministry referred to the FDD as “the American institution acting under deceitful name ‘The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’”, and added that the think tank and its CEO Mark Dubowitz have been playing a key role in the anti-Iran policies of the administration of US President Donald Trump with spreading disinformation and fabricating false claims against Tehran...
The announcement cited the "Law on Countering Violation of Human Rights and Adventurous and Terrorist Activities of the United States in the Region" passed on August 13, 2017, as the legal base for imposing sanctions on the FDD and its CEO whose ideas are believed to underlie many of Trump's policies.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a policy institute (or think tank) based in Washington, D.C., focusing on national security and foreign policy. Its political leanings have been described variously as nonpartisan, hawkish and neoconservative.
Led by Mark Dubowitz, FDD's Iran Program seeks to "address the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran to America and its allies..."
In 2008, FDD founded the Iran Energy Project which "conducts extensive research on ways to deny the Iranian regime the profits of its energy sector".
FDD's efforts to target the Iranian regime's finances has gone beyond energy sanctions. The organization pushed for sanctions against the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its use of Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to perform transactions. For years, Syria has been a focus of FDD's research because of its alignment with Iran and support for organizations such as Hezbollah.
In 2012, as the Arab Spring spread to Syria, FDD launched "The Syria Project" to support dissident efforts in removing the Assad regime.
syria - rebels - 2012
The International Relations Center features a report on the foundation on its "Right Web" website. The report states that "although the FDD is an ardent critic of terrorism, it has not criticized actions taken by Israel against Palestinians that arguably fall into this category". It terms the FDD a "prominent member of the web of neoconservative-aligned think tanks", including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute.
FDD’s chief executive is Mark Dubowitz, a former financier who was once, according to the Israeli news site Ynet, a director of international business development for DoubleClick, which later was acquired by Google. He is said to have turned to policy advocacy after 9/11. Dubowitz is widely seen as “the architect of many of the sanctions that we have against Iran right now. But, oddly, upon achieving his long-sought goal, Dubowitz began to furiously back-pedal, claiming he now felt “ambivalent” about Trump’s decision. Indeed, he now claims he wanted to “fix not nix” the deal all along. (The National, 12-7-2018)
Trump prepared to meet Iran's President Rouhani
Merkel: "A big step forward. Now there is an
atmosphere in which talks are welcomed." Arab News, August 26, 2019
US president Donald Trump said Monday at the G7 summit that he is prepared to meet his Iranian counterpart within weeks in what would amount to a stunning change of direction in the two countries’ smoldering standoff.
The potential breakthrough was announced by Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he would facilitate the first face-to-face meeting between the US president and the Iranians.
The surprise news came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a dramatic, unscheduled appearance on the sidelines of the summit held in Biarritz on Sunday at the invitation of Macron.
The 41-year-old French leader said the “conditions for a meeting” between Trump and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani “in the next few weeks” had been created through intensive diplomacy and consultations.
“If the circumstances were correct, I would certainly agree to that,” Trump said at a press conference with Macron at the end of three days of G7 talks. Asked if he thought the timeline proposed by his French counterpart was realistic, Trump replied: “It does.”
Trump was equally confident that Rouhani would be in favor. “I think he’s going to want to meet. I think Iran wants to get this situation straightened out,” he added.
Both men will be in New York for the UN General Assembly at the end of September which could provide the stage for the talks.
Trump has put in place a policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran over its disputed nuclear program via crippling sanctions that critics see as raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East between the United States and Iran. Rouhani appeared to accept the idea of opening to talks with Washington.
“I believe that for our country’s national interests we must use any tool,” Rouhani said of Zarif’s Biarritz visit in a speech aired live on state television on Monday.
Macron has urged the US administration to offer some sort of relief to Iran, such as lifting sanctions on oil sales to China and India, and has raised the possibility of a new credit line to enable exports.
In return, Iran would return to complying with the 2015 deal.
Commenting on the talks about Iran at the G7, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “It’s a big step forward. < Now there is an atmosphere in which talks are welcomed.”
Trump said Macron had done a “fantastic job” at the G7. Just a few weeks ago, Trump lambasted Macron for sending “mixed signals” on Iran, and at the end of July the US administration imposed sanctions on Zarif.
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran has kept the road to diplomacy open to resolve the differences with the West, but meantime, reiterated that national resistance is still top on his agenda, an indication that no charming result should be expected from Foreign Minister Zarif's surprise visit to France on Sunday.
"We resist against sanctions, and meantime we take reciprocal moves as well; yet we also see an opportunity for negotiations and diplomacy too and leave open the path for resolving problems by 2-month intervals between the phases of modifying our (nuclear deal) undertakings," Rouhani said, addressing a forum in Tehran on Monday...
Rouhani's emphasis on resistance and Tehran's insistence on an honorable practice of foreign policy came a day after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew to the French seaside resort of Biarritz that hosts the G-7 summit meeting in an unannounced trip ahead of his Southeast Asian tour on Sunday.
The Iranian foreign minister told reporters, after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, that he had constructive talks with the French head of state, but meantime reiterated that Tehran will never re-negotiate the nuclear deal of 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Rejection of international law on the rise,
Iran's foreign minister says Reuters, 27-8-2019
The rejection of international law is on the rise, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday, during a meeting in Beijing with the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi.
“Rejection of international law, not just lack of respect for international law, but, in fact, contempt for international law, is on the rise and we need to work together,” Zarif told Wang, in comments in front of reporters.
Zarif said he was in Beijing to brief the Chinese official on his recent meetings in France on the Iran nuclear deal, but he gave no details... China has close energy and diplomatic ties with Iran, and is one of the signatories to the nuclear deal, which it says must be upheld.
“We are comprehensive strategic partners,” Wang said. “That speaks to the high level of our relationship and our close strategic cooperation.” China supported all efforts beneficial to safeguarding the nuclear agreement, Wang added, in comments carried later on the foreign ministry website. It also “understands the reasonable demands put forward by Iran”, he said, adding that China would continue to play a constructive role in easing tension in the Gulf region. Zarif said he was particularly excited by the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to recreate the old Silk Road with massive infrastructure spending connecting China with the rest of Asia and beyond.
Iran considers the Belt and Road “to be the future of our region and our global interactions”, he added.
Iranian Vice-President and Head of Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO) Ali Asqar Mounesan said that the country’s tourism industry is booming despite all pressures from the US, citing statistics that the number of foreign tourists visiting the country in the last local calendar year witnessed a 40% rise.
“Some 7.8 million foreign tourists arrived in the country last year,” said Mounesan, adding that the figure shows a 40-percent increase compared to the previous year.
The official said the boom in tourism arrivals and revenues have come despite sanctions imposed by the United States in the past year, adding that major accommodation places across the country have been booked up for months to come.
Mounesan said the decision to turn the ICHTO to a ministry would also allow the government to have a better policy for protection of historic monuments and artifacts existing across the country, saying that would further boos arrivals of the tourists who are mainly interested in visiting Iran’s cultural heritage. Iran is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a 2500-year-old civilization, a country that is the destination of millions of foreign tourists each year.
Tourist attractions, legendary towns, recreational centers and a delicious cuisine are only a small part portion of the great features of this country. The most visited cities of Iran include Kish Island, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and northern cities.
Many tourists from different countries have admitted in many sites and books that Iranian cuisine surprises them and are ready to come back to Iran only to repeat the pleasure of eating.
The most delicious Iranian dishes include: Ghormeh Sabzi, Dizi, Zereshk Polo Morgh, Kabab, Pottage and Gheimeh.
Lebanon, Iraq, Iran call out Israel's 'declaration of war'
after it bombs 3 COUNTRIES in one weekend
RT Russia, 27-8-2019
Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have declared recent Israeli aggression as an act of war after attacks on Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq over the weekend, promising devastating retaliation if the violence continues.
A pair of kamikaze drone attacks on Beirut’s southern suburbs on Sunday and a drone strike on Palestinian militia in the Bekaa Valley early on Monday morning were akin to “a declaration of war,” Lebanese President Michel Aoun told the United Nations Special Coordinator on Monday, adding that the aggression “allows us to resort to our right to defending our sovereignty.”
The international community must reject Israel’s “blatant violation” of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, PM Saad al-Hariri implored ambassadors from the UN Security Council’s permanent members. A powerful bloc in Iraq’s parliament has demanded US troops leave the country after a series of Israeli airstrikes targeting Iran-allied Shiite militias known as Popular Mobilization Units over the past week.
The Fatah Coalition holds the US “fully responsible” for the Israeli attacks, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,” it said in a statement on Monday after yet another drone strike killed a PMU commander in the western town of al-Qaim. US troops, the coalition insists, are “no longer needed” in Iraq. In Syria, Israeli missiles attacked several targets outside Damascus over the weekend, killing at least two in what the IDF claimed was a pre-emptive strike against a “large-scale attack of multiple killer drones on Israel” by Iran – ironically, a larger version of what they themselves were preparing to inflict on Lebanon.
Netanyahu has warned that retaliation by Hezbollah will be met with attacks on the Lebanese state as a whole, and boasted last week that he had given the IDF “a free hand” to “thwart Iran’s plans” – which has so far equated to bombing its allies in three countries.
Israel has no consideration for any borders or sovereignty but its own.
Under the pretext of “protecting its national security” from any present or future threats Israel takes the initiative to strike first.
Israel identifies what it considers to be threats, localises the target (s) and tries to eliminate the threat before it grows. This is the Israeli ideology of permanent war; Israel thinks in term of its military capabilities with little or no consideration for international law and boundaries.
Israel considers itself located amongst hostile countries even though the last Arab-Israeli war dates back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Since then, Israel has taken the initiative to attack the Lebanon (three wars), Syria and Iraq. Israel counts on its main “ally” (the USA) to ensure its superior status, threatening and intimidating surrounding countries directly or indirectly.
In the case of a war initiative, Israel uses US intelligence capability to support its target killing and wars, and relies on Washington’s diplomatic weight to allow Israel to accomplish its military goal, or to draft a ceasefire if the course of the war is no longer to Tel Aviv’s advantage.
The most advanced military, electronic and military industrial production and competence give Israel the upper hand in the Middle East, over all neighbouring countries.
Moreover, Israel can rely on absolute cover from western media and an international umbrella for its acts, always under the pretext of its “right to defend itself”.
However, is the US ready to pay the price of Netanyahu’s adventures in Iran’s backyard in Iraq?
In Syria, the US forces are operating in a non-hostile Kurdish environment. In Iraq, behind every single corner or in any military camp where US forces offer training, there are potential elements ready to kill US soldiers.
Destroying warehouses in Iraq may cost the US its relationship with Baghdad, leading in coming years to the withdrawal of US forces from the entire country. Diversification of military equipment purchases from China and Russia rather than exclusively from the US is becoming a must for the Iraqi leaders.
The Pentagon has issued a new statement this week disavowing any involvement in recent Israeli attacks against Iraqi territory, saying that statements claiming US involvement were “false, misleading, and inflammatory.”
The US revealed Israel was behind the attacks last week, and as attacks hit again over the weekend, Iraqi forces started saying they suspected US involvement.
The Pentagon statement, however, suggests this is not one of those times, referring to Israel as “external actors inciting violence in Iraq,” and expressing support for Iraq to exercise self defense “and protect their democracy.”
The democracy comment is likely to particularly rile Israel, because the Israel narrative has long been that they are the “only democracy” in the entire Middle East.
Talking of Iraq’s self defense is also going to be an issue for Israel, though Iraq has limited air defense systems to defend itself.
Russia might be able to do something about that though, with Iraq’s parliament saying that Russia had promised assistance for Iraqi Air Forces. It’s not clear what that will entail yet, but Iraq’s neighbors are all buying Russian air defense systems, so that’s likely to be a focus.
B’Tselem is one of the most controversial and exposed NGOs in Israel. It was founded in 1989, in the middle of the first Palestinian Intifada, with the mission of documenting human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied territories and creating a human rights culture in the state. In telling the reality about the occupation, B’Tselem is regularly accused of treason and disloyalty by the Israeli authorities and public.
B’Tselem’s investigations spare no institution: the army, the government, even the Israeli legal system. The organisation has also outlined the military-judicial infrastructure put in place to manage the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
While the NGO denounces the occupation, it refuses to advocate a specific political solution. “Our focus is, of course, human rights. For those committed to human rights, the question is not ‘how many states’, but whether all people enjoy full rights.”
The hope, says Hagai El-Ad, is for a future that will bring a political solution that enshrines full human rights, regardless of the number of states. In December last year, B’Tselem and the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq were jointly awarded the 2018 French Republic Human Rights Prize at the Ministry of Justice in Paris.
The prize is awarded to “organisations harassed or subjected to pressure for defending and promoting human rights.” B’Tselem seeks to expose the contradiction of Israel oppressing and disenfranchising millions of people while still being considered a “democracy” by the West.
As El-Ad points out: “There is no democratic occupation. This cannot be an internal matter.” He believes that the international community must question the moral blank cheque given to Israel in the treatment of an entire people. In its reports and monitoring role, the NGO also contradicts the myths or self-narratives of a society that claims to be innocent.
“Maintaining this illusion of innocence is important,” says El-Ad. “It helps maintain the impunity of the country as well. All parts of the legal system — legal advisers, the Supreme Court, attorneys general — help to build this illusion. To pretend that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is legal. They insist on this point, but it’s a lie. It’s propaganda in legalese.”
B’Tselem also draws on Jewish philosophy. The name of the association literally means “in the image of”. This is an allusion to Genesis 1:27: “And God created mankind in his image. In the image of God, He created them.”
“The name expresses the Jewish and universal moral edict of respect for and defence of human rights,” concludes El-Ad. “So the very idea of B’Tselem is the universality of human rights. It is not something that was invented in 1948 with the Declaration of Human Rights. It’s also a Jewish principle.
However, we are living in a reality where Israel violates this principle every day.”
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has floated the idea of establishing a buffer zone along Turkey’s border with Syria’s Idlib, ostensibly as a safe haven for tens of thousands of Syrian civilians whose lives are at risk from an ongoing Russian-backed offensive to retake the rebel-held province.
The proposal, revealed after Putin’s talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow today, is apparently being cast as a solution to Turkish worries over a fresh wave of internally displaced Syrians seeking sanctuary in Turkey as regime forces close in.
It may also be intended as a future dumping ground for the millions of increasingly unwelcome Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Turkey shelters approximately 3.6 million Syrian refugees, making it the world’s largest refugee hosting country. A small number of the refugees reside in state-run camps but most live in big cities. More than 500,000 Syrians live in Istanbul.
Critics said Turkey’s legislative restrictions and Ankara’s failure to implement a coherent and transparent refugee policy have made it difficult for Syrians to make a living in Turkey and increased anti-refugee sentiment.
Voters across the political spectrum said the large Syrian population in Turkey was a problem that has not been handled well by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. A report published August 10 at the behest of the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party stated that almost 90% of Turks polled said they wanted Syrians to return to Syria. (The Arab Weekly)
Speaking at a joint news conference Putin said, “We know that Turkey is under tremendous pressure from refugees and we fully understand Turkey’s sensitivities. It needs to secure its southern borders. We think that creation of a buffer zone on Turkey’s southern border is a good idea in terms of securing Syria’s territorial integrity and we will continue working together to reduce tensions there.” [..]
Putin said he and Erdogan has discussed “additional joint steps” to “eliminate” the “terrorists’ nests.” He repeatedly referred to the Astana process, which multiple commentators say is now dead. The common goal remained to establish a constitutional committee bringing together Syrian government and opposition representatives ahead of future UN-facilitated talks in Geneva, Putin said.
Erdogan focused on the threats posed by Assad’s forces instead, saying, “The regime’s provocations have reached the level of putting the lives of our soldiers in the region at risk.”
Erdogan added that he had briefed Putin on Turkey’s ongoing talks with the United States to establish a safe zone in northeastern Syria, assuring Putin that none of it would compromise Syria’s territorial integrity.
Mohsen Rezaee, secretary of the [Iranian] Expediency Council, has warned of the notion of talks with the United States, saying holding dialogue with Satan is poison.
U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton says that Iran cannot hope for sanctions relief without a "comprehensive deal". RFE/RL, August 27
“The executive branch and basically all the bodies in Iran are obligated to act under the framework of the establishment’s general policies,” Rezaee tweeted on Wednesday. He added, “The establishment’s general policy regarding the U.S. is clear: Dialogue with Satan is poison.”
Earlier on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani expressed readiness to negotiate with anyone if that would help resolve Iran’s problems. However, on Tuesday he stressed that the Islamic Republic will not engage in any negotiations for the mere sake of photo ops.
“We seek to resolve issues and problems in a rational way but we are not after photo ops. For anyone wanting to take a picture with Hassan Rouhani, this is not possible” unless that party chooses to set aside all the oppressive sanctions and respect the Iranian nation’s rights, the president said.
Addressing Tuesday’s session of the parliament, Mostafa Kavakebian, a reform-minded lawmaker, reiterated that no talks will take place as long as the U.S. refuses to return to the JCPOA and “our money transfer has not been facilitated.”
“Some of our colleagues in the parliament are behaving as if President Rouhani is going to hold talks with Trump today,” said Kavakebian. “This is not true. Our condition is that no talks will take place as long as the Americans have not returned to the JCPOA.”
[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeded in persuading former MK Moshe Feiglin to remove his Zehut party from the September 17 election in return for a series of promises, they announced at a joint event with speeches in Tel Aviv on Thursday. Feiglin will become a minister if Netanyahu forms the next government.
"I see you as a minister in my government and a partner and I really, really mean it," Netanyahu told Feiglin. "This is for before the election and after the election."
Both Labor and the Democratic Union asked Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to check whether the agreement constitutes "election bribery."
"All week, Netanyahu has been working to renew the incitement alliance that led to Rabin's murder - Netanyahu, Feiglin and Ben-Gvir," Labor head Amir Peretz said. "Netanyahu is once again on the balcony with Feiglin and Ben-Gvir. This time Netanyahu incited against democracy, the police and the court. It will be an alliance of immunity and racism."
Blue and White also slammed the deal, saying that the prime minister "is trying to establish his extremist government of immunity" that "will advance a radical agenda of the religious coercion, conversion, and a Halachic."
Netanyahu, Rabin and the Assassination That Shook History
Feiglin & Netanyahu
Yitzhak Herzog, november 2014: "Members of Knesset, make no mistake, Netanyahu is Feiglin and Feiglin is Netanyahu." "Blind fanaticism, which is dangerous even if it is painted over with something else, is still the same blind fanaticism - and [still] dangerous..."
Moshe Zalman Feiglin (born 31 July 1962) is an Israeli politician and columnist. Feiglin won a seat in the Israeli Knesset for the first time in elections held January 22, 2013.
Feiglin advocates full Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem, revoking the Oslo Accords, affording the Arabs of Judea and Samaria permanent residency status and encouraging non-Jews to emigrate. Feiglin opposes equal citizenship for Israel's Arab minority. He opposes a two-state solution and advocates that Israel annex the West Bank and Gaza.
In July 2014, during the 2014 Gaza Conflict, Feiglin outlined steps toward "achieving quiet in Gaza." His plan included attacking all of Gaza, its infrastructure and military sites, without regard to civilian 'human shields'. After again becoming part of Israel, Gaza would be repopulated by Jews... (Wikipedia info)
Jewish Leadership, 30-7-2014: Feiglin is the key
To understand what is happening in Israel today, it may be instructive to review the rise in influence of Knesset member Moshe Feiglin. He may be considered “the key” — the native folk figure who speaks to and inspires the Jewish heart, the folkloric warrior who calls Israel to its destiny. The Feiglin spirit subliminally inspires much of Israel today and appears to have inspired the passions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Website Jewish Leadership, 30-7-2014)
In Zehut, Feiglin combines libertarian, extreme free-market sentiments with a religious settler ethos: A vision you could call “a biblical Wild West in the Middle East,”
He aspires to strip government down to its barest bones and calls for a flat tax, in classic libertarian style. But while he doesn’t like big government, Feiglin does believe in one fearless leader: God.
The recently launched Zehut platform opens with the declaration that “It is not possible to repair the seemingly simple and practical problems of the State of Israel without leadership that believes in the G-d of Israel and turns to Him.”
His party advocates moving the entire Israeli government complex from the western part of the city to the east, placing the Knesset and Supreme Court inside “the Old City in the areas adjacent to the Temple Mount,” which the party calls “the beating heart of the entire nation.”
When it comes to foreign policy, Zehut says Israel “must use technological means to eliminate the enemy’s leaders and thereby create real deterrence. This is according to the Jewish principle: ‘He who comes to kill you, kill him first.’”
Ayelet Shaked, the head of the Yamina (New Right) party, and 14 of the party’s candidates for Knesset seats sent a letter to leading rabbis from the Chabad Hasidic movement declaring their intention to adhere to the ideology of the now-deceased spiritual head of the movement, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who advocated protecting the sanctity of Israel’s borders.
Rabbi Schneerson, known to his followers simply as “the Rebbe”, was one of the most influential spiritual leaders until he passed away in 1994.
Under his direction, the Lubavitch Chabad movement established thousands of institutions worldwide for Bible education and charity. Unlike many other Orthodox Jewish leaders, the Rebbe emphasized an active belief in the imminent arrival of the Messiah.
The Rebbe was close to many Israeli leaders including Benjamin Netanyahu who befriended when he was still the Israeli Ambassador to the UN in 1984.
netanyahu - kushner (chabadnik) - Trump
The Rebbe was a strong supporter of the IDF, maintaining that serving in the Israeli army was a Mitzvah (Torah commandment).
Though he never visited Israel, the Rebbe was especially passionate about the country. While then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin negotiated with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for the return of the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace, the Rebbe preached against the move.
In a J-Post article, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote that the Rebbe predicted that such an agreement would inevitably result in three things:
The world would develop an insatiable appetite for Jewish land. (2) Terrorism would increase rather than decrease. and (3) Israel would be demonized. Rather than receiving a windfall of positive publicity and international goodwill for making peace, surrendering land would be used as a PR baseball bat to bludgeon Israel with deligitimization and international boycotts.
Though Shaked is not known to be religiously observant, under her direction the New Right party is learning from the Rebbe.
“We, the undersigned, are declaring that we will work in the Knesset and in every other framework towards a complete Israel as per the holy opinion of the revered Rebbe of Lubavitch. We will be resolutely opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state or the establishment of Palestinian autonomy of any kind, the delivery of land, or the evacuation of any [Jewish] communities.
We will also firmly oppose the above-mentioned topics in negotiations or in any other framework. For this is indeed a matter of life or death. We will work towards establishing more Jewish communities in all areas of Judea and Samaria as well as every other part of Israel. “
Though many of those who signed were not religious, they ended the letter with the declaration: “In anticipation of the true redemption and its complete and immediate fulfillment. “
Among traditional Jews, the belief in a personal messiah seems to have grown more central in recent years.
Today one large movement within Orthodoxy, Lubavitch, has placed increasing emphasis on the imminence of the Messiah's arrival. At gatherings of their youth organizations, children chant, "We want Ma-shiakh now."
At the same time, the subject of the Messiah has become increasingly central to many religious Zionists in Israel, particularly to many disciples of the late Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. The event that helped set the stage for a revived interest in the Messiah was the SixDay War of 1967, in which Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem and, for the first time in over two thousand years, achieved Jewish rule over the biblically ordained borders of Israel. (Jewish virtual library)
Chabad Messianism & The Battles of God:
During the Messianic Era, the Moshiach will serve a dual role. He will be a monarch, ruling over all of humanity and upholding the law of the Torah — 613 commandments for the Jews, and seven for the non-Jews. He will also be the ultimate teacher, the conduit for the deepest and most profound dimensions of the Torah which will then be revealed by G‑d. [..] If he rebuilds the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and facilitates the ingathering of the Jews to the Land of Israel — then we are certain that he is the Moshiach.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he intends to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, but again gave no timeframe in repeating an election promise he made five months ago.
“With God’s help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the settlements as part of the Land of Israel, as part of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a speech in the West Bank settlement of Elkana, where he attended a ceremony opening the school year.
Settlements are one of the most heated issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians have voiced fears that Netanyahu could defy international consensus and move ahead with annexation with possible backing from U.S. President Donald Trump, a close ally.
Netanyahu had pledged in July not to dismantle even the remotest Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The Israeli elections will be held on September 17. If Netanyahu is successful in the elections, he will try to form a coalition again.
Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli settlements are viewed as illegal under international law and major obstacles to peace since they are located on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.
The settlers are a major plank of support for Netanyahu’s right-wing government and his bid for re-election.
Elkana or Elqana is an Israeli settlement and local council in the north-western Samarian hills in the [occipied] West Bank, located 3.1 km to the east of the Green Line. It was founded in 1977 by a group from Gush Emunim, an Israeli Orthodox Jewish right-wing activist movement committed to establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. (Wikipedia)
The Blue and White party will not join a government led by Binyamin Netanyahu, MK Yair Lapid said Sunday night, adding that Netanyahu’s pledge to annex Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank] is impractical and cannot be carried out.
Speaking to Kan Reshet Bet, Lapid mocked Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pledge Sunday morning that he would annex Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria if reelected.
“You can’t apply Jewish sovereignty just to the towns,” said Lapid. “What Netanyahu’s comments mean is sovereignty over 2.9 million Palestinians, and giving them National Insurance payments.”
Lapid added that even a more limited annexation of just the major settlement blocs and towns near the pre-1967 border would have to be part of a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority, and not undertaken unilaterally.
“Sovereignty is something that happens on the ground. Other than [Transportation Minister Bezalel] Smotrich, there is absolutely no one who thinks it is a good idea.
As Israeli Jews, we will have to choose whether we want to be part of a democracy or of a Jewish state.
If we opt to be a Jewish, non-democratic state, the term “apartheid” will apply in its broadest definition.
If we choose a democracy, a bi-national state for all its citizens will be established peacefully.
If democracy is established in this post-apartheid state, it will have a Palestinian majority and will likely be called Palestine. In this future Palestine, I will be part of a national minority.
What would the transition from being an Israeli to a Palestinian citizen entail for me and for other Israeli Jews?
Around the world, being Jewish encompasses both ethnicity and religion, but the situation in Israel is different. In Israel, Jewish ethnicity functions only internally – that is, as a marker between Ashkenazi, Mizrahi and Russian Jews, for example. Secular Israelis experience their Jewishness primarily through their connection to a tradition grounded in a specific geographical space.
The life cycle and daily rhythms of secular Israelis are governed by Jewish traditions, but do not include the observing of all, or any, of the religious laws.
Orthodox Jews, by contrast, practice their religion as a daily manifestation of their Jewishness. Assuming that future Palestine does not become a theocracy, there is every reason to believe that both secular and Orthodox Jews will be able to practice their Judaism in much the same way we do today.
The achilles heel for most of us will be the place of Zionism in our identity. Zionism, as a national movement geared toward creating a homeland for the Jewish people, is by definition ethnocentric, and thus exclusionary of non-Jews.
In the political climate of Europe in the late 19th century, the logic and necessity of focusing on establishing a state where Ashkenazi Jews could live freely was abundantly clear. But as soon as Israel was established and stabilized itself, Zionism achieved its goal and should have been dismantled in favor of a “state of all its citizens.”
Instead, Zionism was entrenched in the Israeli education system, as well as in state institutions. An ethnocentric education system in a multi-ethnic state could only lead to racism toward other ethnic, national and religious minorities.
Perhaps it wasn’t the original goal, but today, as long as we keep Zionism as a core value of the Israeli system, we are actively practicing racism.
Zionism has shaped me throughout my childhood and adolescence. But in my academic, creative, and activism, I have come up, time and again, against its severe blindness and ethical flaws. In the past few years, I stopped describing myself as a Zionist...
While on sabbatical, I live in the Katamon neighborhood in Jerusalem, where I am excavating the buried histories of the area. As I walk in “flower garden of Jerusalem” (the neighborhood’s Arabic nickname), I imagine the Iraqi, Lebanese and Egyptian embassies populated once again.
I imagine myself walking down from Duar Abdin, today Reha Friar Square, to the Philosopher’s Square, without losing my identity. I think it is possible. I hope it is. The other options are theocracy, apartheid and civil war. So in the meantime I am practicing: I am a Jewish-Israeli and a Palestinian citizen. One day it won’t sound weird at all.
US forces attacked leaders of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria on Saturday, the Pentagon said.
The strike north of Idlib targeted leaders of the group the Pentagon calls al-Qaeda in Syria (AQ-S) whom it blamed for “attacks threatening US citizens, our partners and innocent civilians,” Lieutenant Colonel Earl Brown, a spokesman for the US Central Command said in a statement.
The spokesman added: “Northwest Syria remains a safe haven where AQ-S leaders actively coordinate terrorist activities throughout the region and in the West. With our allies and partners, we will continue to target violent extremists to prevent them from using Syria as a safe haven.”
The statement did not say what kind of weapons were used.
Earlier on Saturday, a war monitor group said that a missile attack on a gathering of al-Qaeda-linked extremist group in Syria’s Idlib province killed at least 40 militants, hours after a Russian-backed ceasefire took hold
According to Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman, the US attack "targeted a meeting held by the leaders of Hurras al-Deen, Ansar al-Tawhid and other allied groups inside a training camp".
rebel training camp, idlib syria, 31-8-2019
RT (Russia): A ceasefire came into force in Idlib at six in the morning.
The Syrian army’s command warned on Saturday that having agreed to a ceasefire, they retained the right to retaliate to any ceasefire violation by terrorists. The republic’s Armed Forces stopped fighting unilaterally in Idlib on August 2. However, after the militants had breached the ceasefire, the troops resumed hostilities on August 5. Idlib is the only large Syrian region that is still controlled by illegal armed groups. A northern de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants and their families who are reluctant to surrender arms voluntarily. The zone covers the Idlib governorate and adjacent areas of Aleppo and Hama governorates.
The Russian Defence Ministry's Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria said in a statement on Saturday that the US launched an air strike in the northwestern province of Idlib without notifying Russia or Turkey.
Hurras al-Din ("Guardians of the Religion") is a jihadi group based in the northwest of Syria and ideologically loyal to al-Qa'ida and its leader Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Hurras al-Din originated as a break-off from Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, which declares that it has broken its ties with al-Qa'ida.
To learn more about Hurras al-Din and its current situation, I interviewed a muhajir originally from the Maghreb and a member of Hurras al-Din.
Q: When did you first come to Bilad al-Sham?
A: I came 5 years ago. I came to support the people of Syria.
Q: And you first joined Jabhat al-Nusra?
A: Correct. We were first in Aleppo, before our disagreement with Hay'at Tahrir al-Sam, and after Aleppo was handed over by some of the factions we came to Idlib, and we separated from the Hay'a and we came Hurras al-Din.
Q: And in which battles have you participated in addition to Aleppo?
A: In all of them more or less.
Q: I see, so Latakia, Hama etc.
Q: What is the dispute between Hurras and the Hay'a in the present time?
A: It is not a dispute for the group, but rather they [Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham] have left the amirship of the learned hafiz sheikh al-Zawahiri (may God protect him). They broke their allegiance to the organization. And we did not come to Syria to be independent or break a pact and covenant.
Q: So you were a supporter of al-Qa'ida and al-Zawahiri before you came to al-Sham?
Hama, SANA – The bodies of a number of military personnel who had been martyred years ago while fighting terrorists and buried in Khan Sheikhoun in Idleb’s southern countryside were recovered on Saturday.
A source on the ground told SANA’s reporter said that under the supervision of a number of officers, the bodies of military personnel have been uncovered near al-Salam checkpoint at the entrance of Khan Sheikhoun, and the bodies were transported to the military hospital in preparation for turning them over to their families and giving them a proper burial.
The source said the bodies belong to a number of army personnel who were martyred during the battles in 2015 and were buried by their colleagues because the bodies couldn’t be transported back then.
FARS News Agency: The Syrian Army soldiers observed a ceasefire in the town of al-Tamanah, in Idlib province, after several days of fighting.
In 1959 high schooler Yitzhak Gronold send a letter to the secretary of the Herut momvement - the predecessor of today's Likud party.
The Herut movement had not abandoned its aspirations for a Greater Israel, or even of occupation of the territories beyond the Jordan River.
And herein lay Gronold's problem: "The territories we want to occupy are home to people we can't hope to make Israeli citizens… Or can we?
I want to know, what will we do with the couple of millions who inhabit these territories?"
Gronold asked for a comprehensive answer, but all the response he got was from a Herut spokesman who sent him a pre-printed speech by Begin, the man who would go on to become Israel's first Likud prime minister...
If one reads the document closely, Begin does hint at the possibility of peace with the entire Arab world and granting citizenship to those living on the land...
In another part of the speech, Begin also claims that a government under his rule would strive for a better relationship with Israel's Arab population than Labor forerunner Mapai ever had... The idea of equality and citizenship for all people under its sovereignty was a guiding principle. Today [however] every vision the right wing has, from taking over Area C to "encouraging immigration" more or less leaves the Palestinians with two options - live as subjects or as refugees.
As such it's not surprising, given these two choices, the majority of Palestinians prefer resistance.
The liberal-democratic views of the pre-1967 Begin:
We have to elect a founding assembly whose
chief function is to provide the people with a constitution The Israel Democracy Institute
Menachem Begin had a liberal-democratic worldview. For him, democracy was both deep and rich. It was deep because he believed people are born with intrinsic rights, rather than given rights by the state. In his view, individuals come before the state, rather than the other way around:
"We do not accept the semi-official view expressed during the Third Knesset’s term, wherein the state grants rights and is entitled to rescind them. We believe that there are human rights that precede the human form of life called a state." (Menachem Begin, December 16, 1959)
Begin's view of democracy was also rich, meaning that it extended well beyond the basic principle of majority rule. For instance, he considered a vital opposition to be essential to sound democratic procedure:
"We are convinced—as we have witnessed throughout the world—that without an opposition, there can be no democracy; without it, the essence of human liberty is in danger." (M. Begin, "Fundamental Problems.")
Begin well understood the pitfalls of majority rule, which can be tyrannical, repressive, and discriminating toward minorities (especially permanent minorities). This led him to formulate the principle of the rule of the people, which is constrained by the power of self-limitation:
"We have learned that an elected parliamentary majority can be an instrument in the hands of a group of rulers and act as camouflage for their tyranny." (M. Begin, 1952).
The above beliefs led Begin to the conclusion that a constitution is necessary to guarantee human rights.
His fervent appeal to enact a constitution is as relevant today as when it was first issued, and perhaps even more so:
"The day will come when a government elected by our people will fulfill the first promise made to the people on the establishment of the state, namely: To elect a founding assembly whose chief function—in any country on earth—is to provide the people with a constitution and issue legislative guarantees of civil liberties and national liberty...
For the nation will then be free—above all, free of fear, free of hunger, free of the fear of starvation. That day will come. I can sense that it is coming soon." (M. Begin, July 9, 1956)
"Since we have closely observed the ways a government machine can operate, also that of non-totalitarian regimes and even a multi-party one, we have certainly learned to distinguish between the form and the content. We have learned that an elected parliamentary majority can be an instrument in the hands of a group of rulers and act as camouflage for their tyranny.
Therefore, the nation must, if it chooses freedom, determine its rights also with regard to the House of Representatives in order that the majority thereof, that serves the regime more than it oversees it, should not negate these rights.
It is possible to achieve this only through “the supremacy of law,” which is to say fixing the civil freedoms as “the fundamental law” or “supreme law” and permitting the panel of judges to cancel the validity of law if, in opposition to the fundamental law, it contradicts civil freedoms. (M. Begin 1952).
Begin knew that without powerful, virtually absolute protection of freedom of expression, there can be no true democracy:
"Allowing people to voice criticism and express their views, no matter how unpopular or unpleasant those views may be, is what differentiates a democracy from a totalitarian regime."
This is why Begin proposed that freedom of expression be protected at a constitutional, meta-legislative level, in the spirit of the First Amendment to the US Constitution:
"We would propose that the Knesset enact a law of its own free will, limiting its authority and stipulating that it will not tolerate any legislation that limits oral or written freedom of expression or association or other basic civil and human rights rights to be enumerated before the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee." (M. Begin, in a Knesset address, July 9, 1956)
Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz on Tuesday appeared to rule out forming a coalition with ultra-Orthodox political parties...
The announcement signaled a shift for Gantz, who has been making efforts to keep in good terms with potential future political partners from the Haredi parties.
Litzman & Gafni: "Lacking morals - like Lapid"
The new strategy aligned Gantz with Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid, who has been pushing a tougher stance against the ultra-Orthodox parties, accusing them of “extorting” money out of the government and refusing to have members of their community serve in the military.
Later in the day, Gantz at an event in Beersheba appeared to also rule out joining forces with other religious right-wing parties.
“I promise that immediately after the elections we’ll establish a liberal unity government that will be based on the majority, not extremists and extortion,” he said.
The ultra-Orthodox Shas and UTJ parties have been outspoken in their backing for Netanyahu, which they have committed to giving him after elections. UTJ leaders Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni both lashed out at Gantz late Tuesday and accused him of “lacking morals and a backbone.”
“The truth is out. After trying to conceal his opinions for a long time and doing everything to separate himself from his partner Lapid, today it is revealed that there is no difference between them,” they said in a statement.
In 2013 Spiritual leader of the haredi world Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman described Yair Lapid as “an evil [man], who grew up with an evil father,” referring to the Yesh Atid leader’s secularist father, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid.
Yair Lapid has long been known as an enemy of the haredi public, but now, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, a prominent leader in the haredi world, says that Lapid is Amalek, the archetypical enemy of Israel from biblical times.
Shteinman instructed his disciples to have Lapid on their minds as they utter the words telling of the great enemy of the Israelites. Twice a year, synagogues read the three verses that command to remember Amalek and destroy his descendants...
Sources close to Shteinman also said that he tells pupils to think of Lapid and of Education Minister Shai Piron when saying Birkat haMinim, which is said three times every day other than Shabat, and that is read with the purpose of destroying the enemies of Israel:
"And let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the noẓerim and the minim be destroyed in a moment. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the righteous."
Rami Khouri, senior public policy fellow, professor and columnist at The New Arab, says that much of the instability in the Middle East stems from the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
AMY GOODMAN:. On Sunday, the State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Israeli airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. Pompeo reportedly expressed, quote, “support for Israel’s right to defend itself from the threat posed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.” Your response?
RAMI KHOURI: The relationship with Israel is one that goes back decades and decades and decades. There’s no doubt about the American ironclad support for Israel’s strength and security. And, in fact, the U.S. is committed officially to maintain Israel’s military superiority over all the combined forces of its adversaries in the region.
And, of course, Israel, just a few years ago, got a commitment of $33 billion of aid over the next 10 years from the U.S. So there’s no doubt about what the U.S. will do to support Israel and maintain its security.
The statements by the American State Department about Arab-Israeli issues or Israel’s relations in the Arab world should be taken with a grain of salt, because the United States State Department, in its policies toward, say, Palestinians today — in fact, they just — the State Department just took the Palestinian territories off of their map on their website.
And they stopped funding UNRWA, the agency, the U.N. agency that provides health and medical and educational services to Palestinians. They stopped giving scholarships to Palestinian students. They’ve stopped supporting any Palestinian development efforts.
So the United States is trying to erase the Palestinian national reality from our world. I mean, this is like — it’s a kind of a patricide. The United States is basically telling the Palestinians, “You don’t exist. You don’t have rights. The Israelis have rights in Israel and Palestine. Their rights are superior to yours.”
This is a sign of the impact or the consequence of not only decades of American bias towards Israel, but of the recent Trumpian strong tilt to full Israeli support and massive pressure against the Palestinians, to the point almost of trying to strangle the Palestinians and to starve them into submission.
And, of course, it won’t work... It has nothing to do with being a Palestinian or being Jewish or being Israeli or being anything. Any minority that’s mistreated like that is going to fight back with its humanity. And the first thing you do is you assert your humanity. You just say, “I’m not an invisible person.”
This is not Harlem in 1945, where black people were invisible. This is a reality of Palestinian people, 12 million of us, who believe we have rights, and we’re struggling peacefully to achieve them. And this is the situation where the U.S. comes in and says, “Well, we don’t think Palestinians have any rights. We only see the rights of the Israelis to their security, and the Israelis can do anything they want to support, defend themselves, support their security.” [...]
And this is what brought us to the situation last weekend, where Israel attacked four different Arab countries simultaneously and was at war with one or two — one or two others who were attacking it, like Hamas and others.
So, the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is guaranteed. And its expansion and its exacerbation, with greater military destruction all across the region, as we’ve seen now, is guaranteed, as long as the Israelis demand greater rights than the Palestinians and the other Arab countries...
Reading, writing and the second-class citizenship of Palestinians in Israel: that’s what students will be taught in Israeli classrooms this school year as the controversial Nation-State Law becomes part of the state curriculum.
In August, the Ministry of Education announced that the law, passed in 2018, which codifies Jewish supremacy in the country, would be a mandatory topic starting in September. Education Minister Rafi Peretz [Orthodox rabbi and politician]) said that it is important to teach the law “that demonstrates our historical right as a sovereign people and constitutes a legal basis for the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people”.
But educators, psychologists and parents of Palestinian students in Israel have decried the changes, which will force children to learn that they are “less than Jewish citizens”.
“They want to teach our children that Jews are the rightful owners of this land, and that we are here as guests, that as Arabs we don't have the right to live in equality with Jews,” said Jihad Abu Rayya, a lawyer and political activist in Haifa, whose children will have to study the law. “Imagine how humiliating that is? This is what they aim to do with this law: humiliate us.”
Israel passed the nation-state law in July 2018. The bill constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy by stating that the “fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”.
It also claims the state “views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development”.
Other clauses include the downgrading of Arabic from an official language to having “special status”, reiterating that only Jews can immigrate and receive automatic citizenship, and that “greater and united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel”.
Now starting with this school year, the law will be taught to all high school students as part of civics studies and will also be a compulsory topic on the Israeli matriculation exams that all graduating seniors must take to study at university....
“In normal circumstances, the subject of civics is meant to teach democratic values such as human rights and the right to equality in citizenship,” Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli parliament, told MEE.
“Israel, however, is teaching the student that a Jew has national supremacy over the other minorities. Arab students will learn that this land is for the Jews, and that they must accept inferiority and second-class citizenship.”
“The decision to incorporate the nation-state law into the curriculum is telling of this increasing trend to deepen and internalise this narrative. It is the first time that such racist, supremacist definitions become part of Israel’s basic laws.”
In light of the current situation, a group of civics teachers have launched an initiative to introduce alternative material that incorporates Palestinian history, identity and values, something many see as their moral responsibility.
Ilan Pappe is an Israeli historian and political activist. Much of Pappe's academic work has focused on the 1948 expulsion of 700,000-800,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became the State of Israel. Ma'an recently conducted an interview with him...
- What is the state of the publishing industry with regards to opinions critical of Zionism, in your opinion? How is it similar or different to the climates in academic institutions? Can you tell us a little bit about the obstacles you faced while working in an Israeli university?
- In academia and the publishing world, and other cultural media like this, there are certain invisible red lines that you know there are there only when you cross them...
Critique of Zionism as a pastime or political activity (provided you are a Jewish citizen of course) is somehow tolerated. But if you claim that Zionism as an ideology is morally corrupt and that its policies are war crimes on the basis of your professional credentials, for instance as a historian trained in the history of Israel and Palestine, you have crossed a red line...
Similarly, if you accuse your own reference group as being part of the oppression you have crossed a red line, and of course it is worse if you believe it should be boycotted for its complacency.
Finally, if you critique not the state policies, but its very nature and doubt publicly its moral justification and basis your out of the "legitimate" boundaries and if you dare drawing comparisons with the darkest moments in Jewish and European history to the current realities you will not be tolerated.
I have crossed all these red lines and the result was that I could not work any more in an Israeli academic institution, which instead of being bastions of freedom of expression are bastions of censoring expression.
In my case, what it meant was being excluded from the right to participate in academic conferences, let alone organize them, inciting the student community against me, and finally calling publicly for my resignation...
What was amazing that the harassment continued to Britain where I began working in 2007. For years the Israeli ambassador in London exerted pressure on my university to fire me! Even in the worst days of Apartheid, the South African ambassador would not call upon British universities to fire anti-apartheid staff....
Freedom of academic expression in Israel is a bit like the idea of a Israel being a Jewish democracy. You take a universal concept -- everyone has the right to their opinion and everyone has the right to be part of a democracy -- only with one condition: that the universality does not include critique on Zionism and that the democracy would always ensure Jewish majority whatever the demographic and geographical realities are.
Former [Israeli] Minister Naftali Bennett, No. 4 on the Yamina list for the Knesset elections, made it clear that the New Right members in the list will under no circumstances join a government headed by Benny Gantz. Yamina is an Israeli political alliance of right-wing to far-right parties, containing the New Right and the Union of the Right-Wing Parties (a union of The Jewish Home and Tkuma).
In an interview at the B’Sheva conference in the community of Kedem in collaboration with Arutz Sheva, Bennett estimated that Gantz will not be prime minister, and made it clear that "we will not sit in a government led by the Lapid-Gantz duo".
Bennett responded to Gantz's statement this morning, Thursday, whereby he would not be ready to include Smotrich in a government led by himself, but that regarding Bennett and Shaked "there is what to talk about."
"Who wants to be in your government at all?" Bennett asked rhetorically. "He says, 'The messianics, Rabbi Peretz and Smotrich, we won’t accept,' so I say there is no scenario in which we would sit in a government like that.”
For Litzman, “justice” means wiping out everything considered an achievement by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which was Likud’s senior coalition in the last government. Haaretz, 2-5-2015
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on Thursday charged that Benny Gantz has been “infected” by the “contagious disease” that is his party’s No. 2, Yair Lapid, who has long been a bane of ultra-Orthodox politicians. “Criticism is legitimate, it is permissible. But whoever has a hatred of religion I believe is anti-Semitic,” Litzman clarified in an interview.
Asked if he thought his statements went too far, Litzman responded: “I think what Lapid is doing is also far-reaching.”
Gantz, who leads the centrist Blue and White alliance, on Tuesday vowed to form a “liberal” unity government if he is tasked with putting together a coalition after the upcoming elections, appearing to rule out joining forces with ultra-Orthodox and national religious parties.
In his Tuesday comments, the Blue and White leader appeared to also rule out joining forces with other religious right-wing parties.
“I promise that immediately after the elections we’ll establish a liberal unity government that will be based on the majority, not extremists and extortion,” he said. “Prime ministers have surrendered to the blackmail of sectoral parties instead of worrying about what the majority needs.”
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy for Middle East so-called ‘peace’, is stepping down from his post — throwing even more doubt on whether the plan he architected between the Zionist entity and the Palestinians, dubbed “deal of the century”, that Trump has been teasing for months will actually work.
In a statement released by the White House, Greenblatt said he was “grateful to have been part of the team that drafted a realistic vision for ‘peace’,” which he claimed has the potential to improve the lives of millions of ‘Israelis’, Palestinians and others in the region.
But what that vision looks like or whether the White House will actually release it has been an open question since the administration took power. Greenblatt has spent nearly three years working on it with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and a few others in the administration, and we’ve yet to see their results. Now, with Greenblatt’s sudden departure, the prospects for a comprehensive plan seem even dimmer.
Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official said Greenblatt’s resignation is an "admission of failure" for the White House's much-delayed plan.
Relatively, a spokesperson for Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians were "not shedding a tear" over Greenblatt's retirement announcement. "I think it is a final admission of failure," senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said when asked about Greenblatt stepping down. "They tried to bash the Palestinians into submission, to blackmail us to accept whatever their plan was. From the beginning it was doomed to failure," she told AFP. "I think the Palestinians as a whole are going to say 'good riddance'."
Relatively, Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said Greenblatt's resignation was "good news" and a sign of the Kushner team's "failure."
opefully this will push the current administration to review its position and vision of conflict resolution here, for the sake of stability and security in the region," said Hamas spokesman Bassem Naim.
The United States is in talks with Yemen's Houthi rebels, a top US official has said, in what appears to be a bid to end the five-year war in the Arab world's most impoverished country.
"We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen," US assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, David Schenker, told reporters on Thursday during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
"We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually accepted negotiated solution to the conflict," he said, according to the AFP news agency.
Senior Houthi official Hamid Assem told AFP he could neither confirm nor deny whether the rebels were in talks with Washington. "That the United States says they are talking to us is a great victory for us and proves that we are right," he said. While no further details were released, the talks mark the first contact between the US and the Houthis in over four years.
In June 2015, officials from the former US President Barack Obama's administration held brief talks with Houthi leaders to convince them to attend United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.
But the Geneva conference and further rounds of negotiations have failed to bring an end to the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people and brought millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine, forcing the UN to call it the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Last week, the US-based Wall Street Journal reported that Washington was trying to convince Saudi Arabia to take part in secret talks with Houthi leaders in Oman in hopes of brokering a peace deal.
The war in Yemen broke out in 2014, when the Houthis launched an offensive against the Yemeni government and seized capital Sanaa and much of the country's north. The offensive sparked a Saudi-led military intervention the following March, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the exiled Yemeni government as Riyadh's allies.
In 2017, a southern separatist movement started with the creation of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which calls for autonomy or secession for south Yemen.
Some 40 representatives from the United Arab Emirates attended the 61st Damascus International Trade Fair last week despite pressure from the United States to stay away.
Even with participation by Abu Dhabi and other Arab countries, U.S. influence in the region remains strong, as demonstrated by the fact that Syria is still unable to rejoin the Arab League. These factors highlight the complexity of the war-torn nation’s role in the international community.
Dr. Hassan Marhig, a lecturer on Syria at the Galilee College in Nazareth, contends that Syria’s inability to rejoin the Arab League is largely due to the U.S..
“The League of Arab States is still subject to the American position and desires, and this is what Syria (is) fighting,” Marhig said. “(Syria’s removal in 2011) from the Arab League came at the request of the United States.” He believes that the larger-than-usual participation at this year’s trade fair was significant for Assad.
“Strategically, this is a great victory for the Syrian state, and even Washington is aware of this,” Marhig said, adding: “The reality is completely different (than the rhetoric).”
The trade fair started in 1954 and is widely considered the oldest of its kind in the region. At its peak, it drew thousands who clamored to connect with titans of business or just rub shoulders with celebrities. It was halted for six years during Syria’s civil war, resuming in 2017 as a way, experts believe, to signal that life under President Bashar al-Assad was getting back to normal.
U.S. threats of sanctions against any entity that does business with Assad did not seem to deter the Emiratis’ presence at the fair. Their attendance came against the backdrop of Abu Dhabi reopening its diplomatic mission in Damascus, much to the chagrin of Washington.
A Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leading figures to life in prison in the retrial of the commonly dubbed "the jailbreak and infiltrating eastern borders" case.
These included Mohamed Badie [MB's Supreme Guide], Mohamed Saad El-Katatni and Essam El-Erian. Eight other Brotherhood members were handed 15-year prison sentences.
The court announced the abatement of criminal proceedings for ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who died in June after suffering a heart attack during a trial session in an espionage case.
The retrial comes after the Court of Cassation revoked in 2016 death sentences for Morsi and other defendants after a criminal court sentenced the defendant to death in 2015 on charges of damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots and releasing prisoners while escaping from the Wadi El-Natroun prison.
Prosecution charged the defendants with collaborating with Palestinian Hamas movement to infiltrate the Egypt-Gaza border through tunnels after the outbreak of the January revolution to storm jails and free imprisoned Brotherhood members.
It is not an exaggeration or act of slander to say that the Muslim Brotherhood has always been the fascist alternative to what has been a reactionary regime. Fascism in all its forms is characterised by discrimination and a culture of repression - however who gets targeted by the regime depends on the ideological leanings of those in power.
In the beginning of the 20th century, it entered into alliances with Egypt’s minor parties against the Wafd, who ruled the country and represented the people’s desire for independence and the drafting of a Constitution.
During that time, the Muslim Brotherhood for the most part remained on the sidelines, only to be called onto the playing field when the country’s opposition parties could no longer bear to live under the rule of the Wafd, and found themselves unable to seize power by themselves.
In this context, the Free Officer’s Movement led by Gamal Abdel Nasser called on the Muslim Brotherhood to support them in their quest to liquidate their political opposition and dissolve the country’s judiciary. However as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood decided to betray the latter’s ‘revolution’, the two sides broke ranks, and the Muslim Brotherhood was sidelined once again.
Anwar Sadat later made use of the Brotherhood in the same way, calling on them to aid him in his struggle against leftists and resurgent Nasserists. However no sooner had the two succeeded before they were once again at each other’s throats; the Brotherhood initially being successful in assassinating Sadat, being thwarted shortly after by Hosni Mubarak’s vicious campaign of repression.
The scenario was repeated a third time after the 25 January revolution, which saw the rise of political Islam as the inevitable alternative to what had become 'a corrupt regime'...
"Jihad Against Assad Is A Duty"
Senior clerics across the Arab world have issued fatwas stating that jihad against the Syrian regime is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim, and even permitting to kill Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Some of the clerics also called to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is fighting Assad's regime.
* Muslim Brotherhood spriritual leader Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, told Al-Jazeera that clerics across the Muslim world agree that Assad must be fought against and even killed...
* Muslim Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hijazi said [..] that killing Assad is a fard 'ain (a duty incumbent upon every individual Muslim), and that whoever carries out this task will attain Paradise. ... He claimed that over 400 scholars had signed fatwas permitting Assad's killing. (In 2012, Safwat Hijazi launched MB Candidate Muhammad Mursi's Campaign)
* Hashem Islam, member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, said at a March 15, 2012 conference in Cairo that Assad must be assassinated to stop the killing of Syrians, and that the FSA, which is fighting Assad's gangs, must be assisted with money and arms. .
* The imam of the Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas mosque, the largest in Syria's Idlib province, said in his March 2, 2012 Friday sermon: "O Muslims, Allah ordered you to fight [every] tyrant until he obeys the word of Allah... [The members of Assad's regime openly] publicize their hostility towards God..."
* Saudi preacher 'Aidh Al-Qarni said to Al-Arabiya TV that it is a duty to fight and kill Assad, because he is an infidel and his regime is an enemy of Islam. He added that "the Muslim religious scholars must assist the Syrian people against this treacherous regime..."
* The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Himam Sa'id, likewise ruled that fighting the Assad regime is "a religious duty," and that "the Muslims must assist the FSA..." He called the FSA fighters "mujahideen" and said that their dead count as "martyrs."
* Saudi Mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sheikh said in a meeting with Kuwaiti clerics that supporting the FSA with money counts as jihad for the sake of Allah.
Saudi writer Ahmad Al-Saloum wrote, in an article posted on an oppositionist Syrian website, that the FSA must be supported in every way...
"Jihad against the Nusayris [i.e., 'Alawis] is one of the most important religious duties in the eyes of Allah... Jihad against them is more important than jihad against the Jews or Christians..."
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu is one of the world players who pushed Donald Trump to breach the 2015 treaty with Iran. Trump then slapped the severest economic sanctions on Iran ever imposed on any country in the absence of war. Trump went around the world menacing other countries into ceasing to buy Iranian petroleum and threatening billions in fines against any company anywhere in the world that invested in or traded with Iran. The economic and financial blockade was supposed to bring Iran to its knees, push it out of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and perhaps (it was hoped by some in Trump’s circles) even pave the way to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran in favor of the Marxist-Islamic People’s Jihadis (Mohahedin-e Khalq or MEK, which is alleged to have ties to Israeli intelligence).
Instead, Netanyahu and Trump have pushed Iran straight into the arms of China which is investing $400 billion in the country and which is now taking most of Iran’s oil exports...
In foreign policy, China supports the al-Assad government in Syria and so is a silent partner with Iran and Russia in this regard. Hawks in Washington had hoped to see al-Assad overthrown in favor of Sunni fundamentalists who might join a US-Saudi-Israel axis (this was always a pipe dream and some of the actual Sunni fundamentalists affiliated to al-Qaeda).
China has investments in Iraqi petroleum and was extremely alarmed by so-called Islamic State group or ISIL, which it was afraid would infect the 20 million Chinese Muslims with radicalism. It is therefore happy enough to have a strong Shiite anti-ISIL government in Baghdad allied with equally anti-ISIL Shiite Iran.
China’s close embrace of Iran requires no significant change in Iranian foreign policy, and indeed, promises to strengthen Iran in such a way as to enable it to continue its present policies in the Middle East.
Let’s just imagine what might have happened if the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 Iran deal, had remained in place and the US had upheld its treaty obligations.
France, Germany and Italy were chomping at the bit to get into Iran. Some 100 French CEOs went to Tehran seeking markets. Iran was on the verge of being inundated with Western consumer goods. Iran was being normalized in diplomacy. It was planning to buy Boeing planes and Airbuses. Closer integration of Iran into the European and American economy would have added to the country’s prosperity, and would have undercut regime hard liners.
Such a dense network of economic ties has political and diplomatic implications. Iran would have had to moderate some of its policies in order to maintain good relations with its new trading partners. European leaders would have pressured it on human rights and democracy, and its hostility to Israel... This scenario would have had substantial benefits for Israel, even if it deprived the Israeli leadership of a pretext for or piece of misdirection for their brutal colonization of Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza)...
To the extent that Netanyahu played a role here, his plot has backfired monumentally...
Netanyahu could have had an Iran under the JCPOA that integrated increasingly with the West and became open to Western pressure. He blew it.
The Arab world looks for another superpower. Is it China?
China and Arab states are pledging to expand their practical cooperation to more countries along the Belt and Road as the fourth China-Arab States Expo opened Thursday in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
To mark the event, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the participants. He wrote that he hopes to promote all-round, future-oriented cooperation with Arab countries as well as high-quality development within the Belt and Road Initiative. (5-9-2019)
Opened on Thursday under the auspices of KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, the Middle East Education, Technology, Students Congress Exhibition in Erbil is hosting 25 universities and institutions from across the Middle East. The fair aims to improve the quality of higher education across Iraq.
"I hope this fair will become a good opportunity to resolve issues gripping the higher education system across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region," Dr. Aram Mohammed, KRG Higher Education Minister said at the opening speech of the fair on Thursday. "If we want to have an advanced economy, a prosperous society and a stable political and social system, we have to invest more in developing [the education system]," Mohammed said.
“We have to pay more attention to technical and vocational studies and connect our studying programs to the labor market, sectors of society, business and industries,” he added.
Jason Greenblatt’s announcement of his resignation from the Trump administration on Thursday left an opening for a Mideast peace envoy in Washington. Avi Berkowitz, a longtime ally of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and one of his top assistants, will assume Greenblatt’s role.
Berkowitz, 30, has participated in a number of sensitive meetings on the administration’s Israel policy, including talks on the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Despite his quick rise in US President Donald Trump’s White House, he is relatively new to politics.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Berkowitz, who is an orthodox Jew, was not known for holding strong political views until Kushner brought him onto the Trump campaign in 2016. They both grew up in Orthodox Jewish homes in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City. Berkowitz was raised in the town of Lawrence and attended the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway for high school. After graduating, he spent time in Israel, studying at the Kol Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
He continued his Judaic studies in Baltimore’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College, then transferred to Queens College to finish his degree, and later went to Harvard for his law degree.
Ever since, Berkowitz has been something of a Kushner protégé, working at his private real estate company, his newspaper, the Trump campaign, and in the West Wing.
In the ultra-Orthodox community today, not only do men and women not sit together at celebrations, there are even separate entrances to the places where the events are held. The trend of separation and exclusion is growing: The battle against coed military service; the prohibition on men being able to hear women sing; separate seating areas on buses, and even separate sidewalks in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.
The apex of absurdity came when women were excluded from a conference on issues related to women’s fertility. This trend, which until recently was the province only of extremist Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox, has intensified and now also been adopted by the spiritual and political leaders of the Sephardi community...
(114) Simon Peter said to them, "Mary should leave us, for females are not worthy of life."
Jesus said, "See, I am going to attract her to make her male so that she too might become a living spirit that resembles you males.
For every female (element) that makes itself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a message to North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, voiced hope that the two countries’ officials will show determination to tap into capacities for stronger ties between Tehran and Pyongyang.
In a message cabled on Sunday on the advent of North Korea’s Foundation Day, President Rouhani expressed hope that through the resolve of the two countries' senior officials and with the use of existing capacities, the relations between Tehran and Pyongyang would continue to expand and strengthen in all areas.
He congratulated Kim, as well as the Korean nation as they celebrate the 71st anniversary of North Korea’s foundation on September 9. Last month, Vice President of Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea Pak Chol-min visited Tehran where he praised the Iranian government and people for their steadfast standing against the US cruel sanctions.
During Park’s visit to Tehran, Iran and North Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the Iranian parliament and the Supreme People's Assembly.
Based on the agreement, both sides agreed to promote cooperation in various fields including health, education, energy and agriculture.
'axis of evil' or 'axis of resistance'?
North Korea has been the target of American and international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.
In June 2018, US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader held a historic meeting in Singapore. A second summit in Hanoi in February broke up amid disagreement on sanctions relief.
A senior Iranian maritime official says a plan to privatize small ports north and south of the country would be implemented in the upcoming months as the government seeks to spur more shipping activity to offset the impacts of the American sanctions on trade. Mohammad Ali Hassanzadeh, a Deputy Director of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMOI), said on Sunday that transfer of ownership of small ports would begin once a current study phase to evaluate economic and infrastructure capacities of the ports is concluded.
“We have 48 small ports in Iran and handing them over to the private sector would begin in two months-time,” said Hassanzadeh, adding that most of the ports that are planned for privatization are located south of Iran on the Persian Gulf and on the Sea of Oman.
The PMOI is preparing tenders for the sale of the small ports to the private owners, said a report by the ILNA, adding that potential winners of the bids should prove they have the sufficient economic and financial capacity to start operations at the ports.
According to the report, the PMOI defines small ports as those capable of accommodating ships carrying 500 to 1,000 tons of cargo and equipped with structures like breakwater, warehouses and offices to host administrative officials. According to a government report in 2015, small ports had been involved in 7.5 percent of volume and over nine percent of the value of Iran’s total yearly trade.
Egypt's Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar inaugurated on Monday the Egyptian-Chinese Joint Laboratory for Renewable Energy at the Regional Development Research Center of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in Sohag.
State Minister of Military Production Mohamed El-Assar, president of the academy Mahmoud Sakr and Sohag Governor Ahmed El-Ansari attended the opening ceremony along with several officials from other state ministries, chiefs of universities and research centres, as well as a host of Chinese officials. The first-of-its-kind lab specialises in developing solar or photovoltaic cells and improving solar energy production and efficiency at the regional level, Sakr said.
The academy plans to transform the Karaman Island, where the newly opened lab is located, into a regional hub for innovation and clean energy development, Sakr added, noting that it is the first Egyptian research station in the Silk Road initiative.
The Egyptian Chinese University represents an integrated project that copes with the knowledge era of the third millennium and it is adapted to the socioeconomic and cultural context of Egypt.The University introduces higher quality educational services in modern and advanced scientific fields, satisfies internationalization strategies and supports scientific research, experimental development and innovation, as well as applying life – long - learning (LLL) plans. (ECU website)
The ECU is not a traditional university with specific textbooks, but it teaches students to get their knowledge from the lectures and the reference materials available in the digital library as an international standard for education, preparing them for post-graduate self-learning that is necessary for the labor market.
"The university deepens the Egypt-China cooperation and enhances learning from the Chinese experience in the fields of education and scientific research," Ashraf el-Shihy, the ECU president and Egypt's former higher education minister, told Xinhua at his office in the ECU.
He stressed that the university also seeks to serve as "a center for promoting the Chinese culture in Egypt." (Xinhua Net, 10-9-2019)
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 Likud party lawmaker on Monday told an Arab MK that the Jewish people are a “special race” and that the latter could not “preach morals” to him because he was opposed to Jewish statehood.
The exchange between Likud MK Miki Zohar and Joint [Arab] List MK Ahmad Tibi came during a Knesset Regulatory Committee meeting to debate bringing before Knesset a controversial bill that would allow representatives from political parties to film activities inside polling stations on election day.
Zohar, who chaired the committee, told Tibi: “The Jewish race is a special race and I am glad to be part of it. If you don’t like it, deal with it.”
“You can’t preach morals to us because you are anti-Zionists, against the principle of the Jewish state,” he said to Tibi, who had apparently challenged Zohar over similar remarks he made last year about the supremacy of the “Jewish race.”
Zohar subsequently told Channel 12 his comments had been misrepresented and stressed that he had not said anything about “the superiority of the Jewish race.” But, he said, “Unequivocally what flows in the DNA of the Jewish people is something special.”
He went on: “What I said, and I still stand by my words, is that the Jewish people are special — they have an unparalleled uniqueness. They are a smart, successful people that demonstrated how in 60 years it is possible to take a country from nothing and turn it into an empire.”
In a separate incident last June, Zohar said that the “Jewish race” is the smartest in the world and possessing of the “highest human capital.”
“You can’t fool the Jews, no matter what is the media writes. The public in Israel is a public that belongs to the Jewish race, and the entire Jewish race is the highest human capital, the smartest, the most comprehending,” Zohar said at the time, prompting Ahmad Tibi to tweet a picture of Zohar with the message: “An elected official in ‘the Jewish state’ presents: race theory.”
Haaretz journalist Nehemia Shtrasler on Tuesday morning attacked the haredi sector, expressing support for Blue and White's proposal for a unity government without the haredi and religious parties.
In an opinion article, titled "Without the haredim and the crazies," Shtrasler claimed that haredim are "extortionists" who "extort enormous sums from the leading parties in order to fund their yeshivas. They turn their children into parasites who live off the public." Shtrasler admitted that Blue and White's campaign was copied from Yisrael Beytenu's, but expressed his support for Blue and White.
"This is the appropriate model," he wrote. "The deathly illness of Israel's government is that the minority rules the majority."
Attacking Yamina, he wrote: "Every time that Labor or Likud won the majority of the votes, the ones running the government were the extremist minorities. The settlers (once upon a time Mafdal, then the Jewish Home, and now Yamina) decided the priorities. It started with Gush Emunim, which forced the government to recognize settlements in Samaria, in order to prevent a political agreement which would require a retreat. It continued with the pressures placed on the government to annex all of the settlements and to turn Israel into an apartheid state which lives by its sword...."
Regarding the haredim, Shtrasler wrote: "They extort enormous sums from the leading party in order to fund their yeshivas... The haredim are not willing to allow their children to learn the core curriculum or serve in the army, and so they turn them into parasites which live off the public purse and are unable to support themselves." [...]
Calling to completely upend the status quo, Shtrasler added that the haredim "even use their power to force their lifestyle on the majority, not allowing public transportation on Shabbat (Sabbath) and not allowing supermarkets to open on Shabbat, not allowing civil marriage, and discriminating against women."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention on Tuesday to annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank, if he wins a closely contested election just a week away.
“Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea,” Netanyahu said in a speech broadcast live on Israeli TV channels, calling the area “Israel’s eastern border”.
That step, he said, could be taken “immediately after the election if I receive a clear mandate to do so from you, the citizens of Israel”.
Around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The main Palestinian city is Jericho, with around 28 villages and smaller Bedouin communities. Netanyahu also reaffirmed a pledge to annex all of the settlements Israel has established in the territory. But he said that broader step could take longer...
“It’s an election stunt and not a very impressive one because it’s so transparent,” Yair Lapid, co-leader of the centrist Blue and White Party, said in a statement about Netanyahu’s plan.
Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat called the planned move a war crime under international law governing occupied territory. Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Twitter that the Israeli leader was out to impose a “greater Israel on all of historical Palestine...”.”Dangerous aggression. Perpetual conflict,” she wrote.
The Jordan Valley stretches from the Dead Sea in the south to the Israeli city of Beit Shean in the north. The 2,400 square kilometre (926.65 square mile) valley accounts for nearly 30 percent of the territory in the West Bank.
"Netanyahu may simply have defaulted to
the neo-Zionist passion play popular with
his national-orthodox political allies."
Bernard Avishai, Washington Post, 2015
Neo-Zionism is a right-wing, nationalistic and religious ideology that appeared in Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967 and the capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Neo-Zionists consider these lands part of Israel and advocate their settlement by Israeli Jews. Some advocate the transfer of Arabs not only from these areas but also from within the Green Line. Neo-Zionists consider "secular Zionism", particularly the labor version, as too weak on nationalism and that it never understood the impossibility of Arabs and Jews living together in peace...
From their point of view, the only solution for achieving peace is through "deterrence and retaliation" or preferably "transfer by agreement" of the Israeli Arabs and the Palestinian population of the occupied Palestinian Territories to neighboring Arab states.
For Neo-Zionism, "the weakness of Israeli Nationalism derives from his alienation of Jewish sources and culture (...). Only a new national-religious and orthodox coalition [could] cure Zionism of this moral bankruptcy".
Neo-Zionists consider all areas under Israeli military control to be part of "the biblical Land of Israel".
Ilan Pappé sees four currents which have contributed to Neo-Zionism’s rise: The conversion of the Haredim to Zionism; the settler movement combined with the state funding of Yeshivas; the culturally insular and economically deprived Mizrahi community; and finally the integration of Israel into the global capitalist system.
In the media Neo-Zionism is associated with Arutz Sheva.
According to Yishai Fleisher, Arutz Sheva director of programming and founder of the Kumah neo-Zionist lobby, "Zionism is the yearning of the Jewish people to come back to the land of Israel with the creation of the Jewish commonwealth and the era of the third Temple. It's a renewal of lost values, and an answer to post-Zionism...." Post-Zionists have argued that Israel must choose between a Post-Zionist future and a Neo-Zionist future.
Today, Israeli centrists have come to view both "Post-Zionism" and "Neo-Zionism" positions as threats to their position. (Wikipedia info)
Turkey's foreign minister slammed Israel's prime minister over his "illegal, unlawful and aggressive" messages in election pledges...
"The election promise of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who is giving all kind of illegal, unlawful and aggressive messages before the election, is a racist apartheid state," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted in English.
"[Turkey] Will defend rights and interests of our Palestinian brothers & sisters till the end," Çavuşoğlu added. (Daily Sabah, 11-9-2019)
US president Donald Trump has fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, in a pair of tweets in which he laid bare searing internal divisions within his inner circle, saying he had “disagreed strongly” with his top aide. The departure of such a resolute hawk raises the possibility that Trump’s foreign policy could now make a dovish turn in the run up to next year’s elections, in particular with respect to Iran.
The president’s firing of his third national security adviser in as many years appears to have caught even the White House by surprise.
The explosive tweets were posted barely an hour after it was announced that Bolton would be appearing at a press conference alongside the secretaries of state and treasury.
Bolton himself sent out a battery of texts including to Fox News presenters on air as well as the Washington Post, protesting: “I resigned, having offered to do so last night.”
Bolton-pro-MEK (regime change) - imperialist
The sacking-cum-resignation of Bolton, an ultra-hawk on foreign policy who under George Bush was a key architect of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, brings to a head mounting tensions within Trump’s top team of national security and foreign policy strategists.
His removal had been a long time coming, with Trump making little effort to disguise his dissatisfaction over many months.
The two men agreed on some issues, like scrapping multilateral agreements such as the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and tearing up the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. But Trump’s maverick approach to dealing with tough men and adversaries, in which he has emphasized a willingness to deal directly with America’s traditional enemies, such as Vladimir Putin in Russia, Kim Jong-un in North Korea – and most recently the Taliban in Afghanistan – was increasingly at odds with Bolton’s hardline belief that US military might is right.
Trump was unusually candid about the rift within his own inner team. In the tweets he posted on Tuesday announcing Bolton’s departure he wrote:
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.”
Commentators interpreted the news as further evidence of chaos and confusion within Trump’s White House, but there were also loud sighs of relief from those who were delighted to see such a hawkish influence excised from the heart of government. Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, agreed, saying: “The American people are better off with John Bolton out of the White House.”
Her rival, Bernie Sanders tweeted: “A symptom of the problem is gone. The root cause of authoritarianism remains.”
The National Iranian American Council, the largest body of US-Iranians, heralded the decision as the best of Trump’s presidency, saying in a statement: “This single move dramatically reduces the chances of a new, catastrophic war in the Middle East.”
Israeli Transport Minister and senior Yamina party leader MK Bezalel Smotrich said on Wednesday that his party would serve as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “spine” and help him refuse any possible demand by US President Donald Trump to establish a Palestinian state.
Speaking at a conference Smotrich also said he was worried about changes in the Trump administration, especially the firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton and the resignation of Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.
Smotrich said that he was equally worried that Trump’s peace plan would include “very bad components to the vital interests of Israel.” He described Bolton as “a central axis in the security and diplomatic cooperation between the US and Israel on Iran,” and said that his “sudden firing” was “apparently due to the difference of opinions between him and the president on the Iranian issue, and the readiness of Trump to meet with Iranian leader Rouhani immediately and without preconditions.”
The minister said however that his great concern was that Netanyahu would not be able to refuse Trump’s demands given the largesse the US president has bestowed on Israel of later.
“Therefore we the Yamina party need to be strong alongside the prime minister to be there when there is a need to delineate a red line and to help him tell Trump ‘Mr. President, I can’t do it, I don’t have a coalition to establish a Palestinian state.
Australian mining tycoon and Chabad rabbi Joseph Gutnick, who is credited with helping Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu get elected the first time in 1996, endorsed Yamina over Likud on Sunday. Gutnick made a fortune from taking Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s advice to mine diamonds in Australia’s Northern Territory.
In a phone interview from Melbourne, Gutnick said he was worried that Netanyahu could form a national unity government, and said voting for Ayelet Shaked’s party was the best way to stop it.
“Yamina is a right-wing party, and if you want to ensure that there will be a right-wing government, Yamina needs 13 or 14 seats,” Gutnick said. Gutnick warned Netanyahu that forming a unity government would “destroy his right-wing legacy.”
In a correspondence with Schneerson in 1990, the rebbe appointed Gutnick as his emissary for ensuring that the Land of Israel remains whole.
He told Gutnick to stay in touch with Israeli politicians to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state, and Gutnick became close to prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Netanyahu.
Joseph Gutnick lives in Melbourne with his wife, a daughter of textile maker Max New, whom he married in 1974; they have 11 children. He studied for rabbinic ordination in Brooklyn, New York, and ran a religious girls' seminary in Melbourne. Gutnick is an Orthodox Jew, and a member of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement.
Speaking in front of thousands of Shas activists, supporters and devotees Wednesday night, ultra-orthodox Shas chairman Aryeh Deri declared that the Jewish character of the State of Israel was under unprecedented threat in what he described as the “fateful” election next week. Deri warned against what he said were attempts to trample on Jewish tradition by the non-religious parties, and argued that since the polls show no majority for the right wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will form a secular government without the ultra-Orthodox parties which would be “clean of Judaism.” Deri gave his speech at Shas’ main election rally, in the presence of the party’s Council of Torah Sages who also addressed the crowd, and warned of the supposed dangers to Judaism of a possible coalition excluding the ultra-Orthodox and religious parties. “The citizens of Israel will need to choose between a Jewish state and a secular state,” declared Deri.
lieberman, deri, netanyahu-shas
“We are having a referendum after all the masks have been removed, and for the first time the character and nature of the State of Israel stands before an a fateful decision the like of which has never been seen in Jewish history. If, God forbid, the anti-religious parties will win, and Shas and the rest of the religious parties will lose, it will be a tragedy for generations,” he averred. “It will be observers of religious tradition and Judaism out, eaters of pork and the tramplers of Shabbat in,” he pronounced.
Senior leaders of the Chabad movement in Israel have endorsed the United Torah Judaism party, just days ahead of the September 17th general election.
Rabbi Chaim Shalom Deitsch and Rabbi Zalman Goffin came out with a special call for Chabad-Lubavitch members to vote for the UTJ in the upcoming elections next week.
Rabbi Chaim Deitsch wrote: "In answering the question of who to choose, we have nothing but the words of the Rebbe who said we should vote for the most haredi list, and it is undoubtedly the list of Agudat Yisrael," referring to the Hasidic faction within the United Torah Judaism list.
Yahadut HaTorah [United Torah Judaism] is an ultra-Orthodox religious party representing mainly Ashkenazi Jews who maintain an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle. The party is made up of two smaller parties, Agudat Israel and Degel HaTorah. The party wants to maintain a status quo relationship in regard to religion-and-state issues whereby the rabbinate is controlled by the ultra-Orthodox.
secularism versus 'the rebbe'
The party is uncomfortable with the notion of secular Jewish state and those associated with the party have spoken out against the secular Jewish lifestyle that many Israelis live. As such, the party openly favors a government under the Likud as Blue White is seen as harboring anti-Orthodox views.
Chabad: For a Jew, the Land of Israel is more than a place. It is a body for the soul of a people. "The land upon which the eyes of G-d your G-d constantly gaze…" (Deuteronomy 11:12)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a ceremony with Chabad rabbis and representatives, prepares to pen a letter in a Sefer Torah honoring soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.
The prime minister took part in what he called an especially moving ceremony, and said of the upcoming press conference: “There, I will do again what the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory) told me to do decades ago — to light a small candle in the great darkness of lies that surrounds us.”
Netanyahu revealed that on Shabbat during the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza, “the only time that I have a few minutes with my family, we read the weekly Torah portion at the end of our Shabbat meal together, and this gives us a lot of strength.”
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, director of the Chabad Youth Organization in Israel, emphasized the importance of encouraging Jewish men everywhere to do tefillin, pointing to the “Tefillin Campaign” launched by the Rebbe before the Six-Day War in 1967, noting that:
“The nations of the world will see that the name of God is called upon you, and they will fear you.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)
"All the old gentile religions of the world will disappear"
The White House released a proclamation designating April 7, 2017, as Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A, in honor of the 115th anniversary of birth of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. The proclamation was signed by President Donald J. Trump.
Chabad.org, April 6, 2017
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (April 18, 1902 OS – June 12, 1994 ), known to many as the Rebbe, was a Russian Empire-born American Orthodox Jewish rabbi, and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Education and Sharing Day is a day established by the United States Congress in honor of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. It calls for increased focus on education, and recognizes the lifelong efforts of The Rebbe for education. Since 1978, Education & Sharing Day, USA has been proclaimed annually by the President on the Rebbe's birthday on the Jewish calendar (11 Nissan).
Chabad message: What is the true key to salvation?
Ivanka Trump and and her husband Jared Kushner joined 'The Shul' of the Nation's Capital, a synagogue run by international Jewish community organization Chabad; among the Shul's congregants are former senator Joe Lieberman and Jack Lew.. (YNet News, jan. 2017)
Those who return to the Jewish Law and who assist the Jewish people (Isaiah 60, 61, 66) will be saved and will participate in the miracles and revelations, including worshipping in the Third Temple, under the kingship of the Messiah.
As described in many places, including Jeremiah 16:19-21 and Zechariah 8:20-23, all the old gentile religions of the world will disappear, and their followers will turn to the Jews for spiritual leadership. Until then, Christians are spiritually blinded, and cannot yet understand G-d's wisdom in the Bible.
Ours is the last generation of the era of sin and evil and the first of the Messianic Era. Indeed, for the first time in history, there is a growing consensus of leading rabbis willing to name the man most suited to be the Messiah, and they are agreeing that he is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The man known today as "Jesus" is a false prophet. He became a "king" (over the Christian church) who changed the original Law, doing away with the Hebrew calendar and the Biblical holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos the Festival of Tabernacles, Passover, etc.). He disregarded the one, infinite G-d of the Hebrew Bible in favor of a new "trinity" that included himself. And he repeatedly broke the Law by committing terrible sins, while openly challenging the G-d-given authority of the rabbis of the Sanhedrin. (chabad.org)
During the Messianic Era, the Moshiach will serve a dual role. He will be a monarch, ruling over all of humanity and upholding the law of the Torah—613 commandments for the Jews, and seven for the non-Jews. He will also be the ultimate teacher.. (chabad.org)
Nations that have over 80% of the global population living within their borders share Moscow’s foreign policy line, Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Trud newspaper.
"The overwhelming majority of countries that make up over 80% of the worldwide population are receptive to [Russia’s] international political steps, support [Russia’s] approaches to the key problems of today’s world," he said, adding that Western countries, with whom Russia still has a difficult relationship, represent a small part of the global community.
The chief diplomat noted that Russia will continue to facilitate "the strengthening of fair, democratic initiatives in the international life" and for those purposes will "coordinate steps with its allies and adherents" further on.
"We expect [our] Western colleagues, chiefly the US, to understand that it is essential to give up on confrontation logic at some point. That will open up principally new possibilities for us in the fight against modern challenges and threats, the bulk of which are transnational and requires the joint efforts of absolutely all states," the diplomat emphasized.
I would appreciate hearing from readers whether they have come across a report in the print, TV, or NPR media of the highly professional four-year investigation of WTC Building 7’s demise.
A research team at the University of Alaska’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, led by Dr. Leroy Hulsey, Dr. Zhili Quan, and Professor Feng Xiao, released on September 3, 2019, for public comment their findings from a four-year study of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001.
The international team of civil engineers concluded that the official story of Building 7’s destruction is entirely false:
“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.” (Institute of Northern Engineering)
That Building 7 was a controlled demolition is no longer disputable.
I suspect that the expert report is already in the Memory Hole. Popular Mechanics, Wikipedia and CNN cannot label a distinguished team of experts “conspiracy theorists.” Therefore the presstitutes and assorted cover-up artists for the 9/11 false flag attack on the United States will simply act as if no such report exists. The vast majority of people in the world will never hear about the report.
This year was the 18th anniversary of 9/11. What have we learned in these 18 years? We have learned that thousands of experts with hard evidence cannot prevail over a transparent official lie.
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