The idea of ethnic-religious supremacism, which history suggests is latent in many ethnic nationalisms, quickly came to the fore in Zionism. Today, Israel believes in:
* segregation at all levels – made concrete in the separation wall across the West Bank;
All of this was predictable if one looked at the trajectory of ethnic nationalisms in Europe. Instead, we in the West see all this as a reaction to Islamism. The reality is we have everything back to front: Zionism, an aggressive ethnic nationalism, fed reactionary forces in the region like political Islam.
In terms of Israel’s greater economic success, there are several factors to take into account. It receives massive subsidies from the US taxpayer – billions of dollars in military aid and other benefits. ... It also benefits from the financial connections it enjoys with worldwide Jewry. Just think of the property market in Israel, which is artificially boosted by wealthy US and European Jews who inject money into the economy by buying an Israeli condo.
But equally importantly – as a just-published report from the World Bank concludes – it has prospered by plundering and exploiting Palestinian resources. The World Bank argues that Israel’s de facto annexation of 62 per cent of the West Bank, known as Area C in the Oslo Accords, has stripped any nascent Palestinian state of almost all its resources: land for development, water for agriculture, quarries for stone, the Dead Sea for minerals and tourism, etc. Instead these resources are being stolen by more than 200 settlements Israel has been sowing over the West Bank.
Israel needed to ethnically cleanse Palestinians in 1948 to create a Jewish state. It needs separate citizenship and nationality laws, which distinguish between Jews and non-Jews, to sustain a Jewish state.
Ending that ethnocentrism would alter relations with its neighbours dramatically.
Hamas appoints 1st female English spokesperson
The outsider with a mission
Maliki sends a formal invitation
Frustrated Kerry’s peace critique a heavy slap in Netanyahu’s face
"Adolf Hitler raised race, the eternal foundation of the German, from the unconscious to consciousness. Adolf Hitler recognized race as that which is eternal." Hans Schemm, Gauleiter.
Stav's remarks were made during a meeting of the Knesset Lobby for US-Israel Relations headed by Knesset Member Nachman Shai (Labor).
David Stav [..] found himself as the most conservative representative at the meeting, saying that "the law in the State of Israel requires us to guarantee the continuity of the Israeli society, and I must maintain the existing framework. The Torah is paying the heaviest price for the marriage and divorce law." ...
Stav's attack followed the findings of a survey commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation among Israeli citizens on issues of religion. According to the survey, conducted by the Teleseker company, 68% of Israel's Jews are concerned about the dramatic increase in mixed marriages in the United States.
The rise in mixed marriages was documented recently in a comprehensive study conducted by the Pew Research Center, which revealed that more than half of US Jews (58%) have a non-Jewish spouse.
Rick Jacobs said during the meeting that "the members, donors, and leaders of AIPAC and Federations are Reform and Conservative Jews...
He argued that the State of Israel "alienates Jews and puzzles many Americans, eroding Israel’s image as a home to democracy and religious freedom… We believe that there is more than one authentic way to be Jewish."
MK Merav Michaeli (Labor), who was present at the meeting, said that "the problem with the Orthodox Rabbinate in Israel is that it thinks in terms of the purity of the Jewish race. That wasn't the intention of Halacha, and it's a very bad way to preserve the Jewish people today.
"The Knesset's job is to separate religion from the State so that each and every person can be Jewish in their own way," Michaeli added.
Quran 9:30: The Jews say, 'Ezra is the Son of God'; the Christians say, 'The Messiah is the Son of God.' That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted!
They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from God, and the Messiah, Mary's son -- and they were commanded to serve but One God; there is no god but He; glory be to Him, above what they associate with Him... Mendy Hecht: What is idol worship?
Idol worship begins in the mind—it starts with an incorrect perception of G-d. It says you can turn an abstract (G-d) into a concrete object.. Idol worship doesn’t just mean singing and dancing and bowing in front of funny-looking little statues—it means believing in any force, object or item outside of the infinite G-d Himself: an angel, a constellation, a force of nature, a living creature—or a funny-looking little statue.
Everything is created by G-d, and to designate any piece of physical matter as “G-d” or a “Higher Power” is idol worship.
A source close to the Syrian President Bashar Assad has told al-Rai newspaper that that Hezbollah forces in Syria “are at the request of the Syrian state and will withdraw immediately and without any delay, after the elimination of foreign and Arab fighters in Syria.”
In what appeared to be a response to the description Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, who described Hezbollah as an “occupying force” at a press conference alongside his American counterpart John Kerry in Riyadh on Wednesday, the Syrian source said that "in Syria, there are groups from 80 nationalities and no one asked them to come to kill Syrian people, destroy their institutions and waste their wealth.”
The source spoke about "the presence of more than 4,800 Saudis in Syrian territory”, as well as “3,000 Palestinians, 2,700 Tunisians, 2,000 Algerians, 800 Chechens and 350 Kuwaitis” in addition to “1,300 Europeans and Americans and 1,100 Indonesians, 400 Afghans and 4,500 Iraqis from Anbar and other regions."
The question is, he said: “If Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and all other countries that have groups fighting in Syria, led by Europe and the United States, requested the withdrawal of these groups, will they do so?”
The source said that "90 percent of ISIS consists of foreign forces, along with the Nusra Front, belongs to Al-Qaeda and occupies more than 30 percent of Syrian territory”.
If we went to Geneva 2 and we decided an immediate ceasefire, does the Coalition, which al-Faisal claims that it represents all the opposition,have the power of commitment to the cease - fire and of imposing it on ISIS and al-Nusra?
We will wait to see and laugh a little at the novice in politics,hoping that they may remove the mist from their eyes and practice realistic diplomacy..".
The source added "We agree that half-solutions are unacceptable and we are working to remove all the terrorists from Syria and the war will not stop until we remove them all. On the other hand, we are ready to share all Syrian opposition categories that are willing to sit with us at the negotiating table to get out of the war and to rebuild the country and eliminate terrorism, and to prepare for the parliamentary and presidential elections without restrictions or conditions".
The Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood will announce the formation of a political party on Nov. 12. ... The new party will be named 'the National Constitution and Freedom Party' and will be known by the Arabic name Waad (the Promise), Syrian Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni told Asharq al-Awsat.
Bayanouni said a third of the membership will go for Muslim Brothers, a third for other Islamists, and the finalhird for liberal and nationalist figures.
The party will seek to achieve “equality, justice, dignity and freedom” for the Syrian people and strive to establish democratic mechanisms and promote Islamic scholarship.
“The party leaders have agreed to adhere to the principles of democracy and freedom for our people and not to exclude anyone,” Bayanouni was quoted by Asharq al-Awsat as saying.
Waad will “support the oppressed and realize righteousness, stand by the weak, [and] return all rights to all Syrian people, regardless of their background or ethnicity and without discrimination,” he added.
Baghdad, (SANA) – Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said that his country affirms that the solution to the crisis in Syria should be political and carried out by all Syrian sides engaging in negotiations without foreign interference.
In an interview given to al-Mayadin TV on Saturday, al-Shahristani said that there are Arab countries which send weapons to terrorists Syria, and that these weapons also find their way to Iraq where they are used in terrorist attacks, noting that his country warned Saudi Arabia that they weapons they send to Syria are also being used to murder Iraqis.
He also said that a small country like Qatar has no right to interfere in other countries' affairs, calling on Qatar to review its policies and realize its actual scale and political weight.
Al-Shahristani said that the disagreement between Iraq and Turkey regarding the Syrian crisis is one of the causes of the tension between them, as Iraq favors a political solution while Turkey sends weapons to armed groups.
He pointed out that Al Qaeda and its affiliates like Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reject those who disagree with them and mark them for death, noting that ISIS has expanded its activities, carrying out over 1,000 terrorist attacks in Iraq and more than 100 terrorist attacks in Syria.
Dr. Shahristani is currently the Iraqi deputy prime minister and was (under Saddam Hussein) one of the most prominent rebels, and languished in Sadam’s prisons for many years...
Wathiq al-Battat, secretary-general of Hezbollah in Iraq, said that: “Dr. Shahristani established jihadist militias with Iran’s backing opposed to the Baathist regime of Saddam. A group of my peers and I joined despite the fact that these groups did not have any official name at the time. We carried out missions against the former regime, sometimes entering western Iraq from Dehloran in Iran. I adopted the nom de guerre Sayed Ali Sayed Taher al-Battat. Our group was 300 strong however the authorities were able to arrest of 270 of us, and I was among the captives.” His nom de guerre allowed him to escape identification, and from there on he was tied to Iranian cells. ...
As a member of the Badr Brigades, Mr. Battat was assigned the most difficult mission of his life in 1998: the assassination of Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as “Chemical Ali.” “We were ordered by the Badr Brigades, which at that time operated under the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, to assassinate Ali Hassan al-Majid. However we were arrested en route...
Wathiq Battat was born in 1973 to a Shiite family. During the 1990s he moved with his family to Baghdad where he completed his secondary school education and one of his brothers worked in a military factory. After secretly joining jihadist groups opposed to Saddam’s regime, he moved to the marsh regions of Iran in 1993. These groups fell under the leadership of Hezbollah in Iraq, led by Hassan Al-Sari, now a leading figure in the ruling Dawa Party in Iraq. (Asharq Al-Awsat, 2-3-2013)
“Iraq has been ranked 21 out of 22 Arab countries about women’s situation and their rights , according to a report released by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Egypt came in the last 22 order and Saudi Arabia ranked 20.
The report, prepared by more than 300 experts from gender studies in the 21 member states of the Arab League and Syria classified countries according to the number of issues as policy , procreation rights and violence against women.
The report also pointed to the prevalence of sexual violence with low parliamentary representation of women in parliament and the growth of radical Islamist views .
The chairwoman of Women and Children Committee in the Iraqi parliament, Intesar al-Jubouri, told “Shafaq News" , that the decline in women’s social and economic situation is due to the spread of social traditions that incite for violence“. She said that women were the first victim of what the society has exposed to violence and displacement.
She pointed out that many cases of rape or domestic violence are met with silence by the woman for fear of attacks by the tribal community that prevails in Iraq.
Flashback: Women’s Freedom in Iraq, 20-12-2011
"The U.S. administration came into Iraq: it divided the Iraqi people according to religion, according to their sect, according to their ethnicity. It’s divide and conquer. And now the women are the biggest loser in all of this..."
"Now, by the constitution, there are articles that refer us to the Islamic sharia, when this was not in action in the times of the previous regime.
Under Islamic sharia, women are worth half a man legally and one-quarter of a man socially in a marriage. And we still suffer under this.... (Yanar Mohammed)
Yanar Mohammed, whilst not being anti-religion, is a strong believer in secular government. Indeed, Yanar claims that women's equality ‘can only be achieved through secular government because an Islamic government would hurt women’s rights’. WIKIPEDIA
The Revolution and Women in Iraq
by Saddam Hussein, 1981
Education of women is not restricted in our country to the primary stages, nor has women's employment been restricted to minor responsibilities. Iraq's five universities include a large proportion of female students and a number of women have acquired high qualifications in medicine and engineering. Some women are now teaching in the universities. Women in Iraq have also reached high positions in the government and become ministers and directors general. ...
The complete emancipation of women from the ties which held them back in the past, during the ages of despotism and ignorance, is a basic aim of the Party and the Revolution. Women make up one half of society.
Our society will remain backward and in chains unless its women are liberated, enlightened and educated. (Chapter 1)
Strengthening the economic status of women through both legal rights and social conventions is part of the liberation process.
Strengthening and expanding the conditions which prohibit polygamy is also part of that process. The same can be said about limiting divorce with additional restrictions and wider and stricter conditions.
The expansion of education and the provision of equal opportunities for men and women is another move in that direction. More important than anything is the liberation of women through active work and sincere participation in the reconstruction of society...
Antifeminist acts and ideas should be extensively condemned by men as well as by women in every section of our people. (Chapter 4).
The Revolution and Women in Iraq was published in 1981 by the Translation and Foreign Languages Publishing House-Baghdad.
"For the people who havn't read `Zabiba and the king` It might come as a surprise, but Saddam always believed in feminism and emancipation of the women." Rusty Shackleford
To Nadia: By Adil Zainal
Roll me down a tear on which I float
And prepare my bandages for me
For my silence is my bleeding
My trembling is my ammunition
O woman! I feel lost glory in her steps
As I innovate the sea for you So be a sail for me
Translated By Kadhim Sa'deddin
Iraq Daily: Local literature, 27-11-2002
Al-Halqi discussed with the Ministers the economic situation in the country.. He reaffirmed that there are big quantities of oil products that boost the strategic reserve and cover the need of citizens during winter, pointing out to the rich stockpiles of wheat.
Al-Halqi referred to the efforts exerted to restore electricity to Aleppo and countryside after the terrorists targeted the power generating stations, saying that electricity is gradually returning to the city.
The Prime Minister said that the national vaccination campaign will include 1.300 million child under 5-year, stressing that polio has vanished completely since 1999, but with the coming of the armed terrorist groups from 83 states, 13 cases occurred in Dir Ezzor infected by those terrorists.
Since the rise of the Islamist resistance, parts of Syria have become off-limits to journalists – 30 of us are now missing. Today my helmet is a veil, and my flak jacket a hijab...
Locals here don't refer any more to "liberated areas", but to east and west Aleppo – they don't show you pictures of their children, or of siblings killed by the regime, but simply the pictures of beautiful Aleppo before the war.
Because nobody is fighting the regime any more; rebels now fight against each other. And for many of them, the priority is not ousting Bashar al-Assad's regime, but enforcing sharia law.
Aleppo is nothing but hunger and Islam. Dozens of threadbare children, disfigured by leishmaniasis, walk barefoot in the steps of mothers, covered in black from head to toe – all bowl in hand, seeking a mosque for bread, their skin yellowed by typhus. In the narrowest alleys, to dodge mortar fire, boys are on the right with their toy Kalashnikovs, while the left is for girls, already veiled. Jihadi fathers push with their beards, djellabas and suicide belts.
The head of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmed Jarba struck the Free Syrian Army spokesman Louay Mokdad during the issue of results of the meetings of the Syrian National Coalition in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Tensions were high between the two men after the Sunday-Monday midnight meeting, following two days of negotiations about sensitive files, including the interim government and Kurdish participation in the Coalition and Geneva Conference II.
Jarba struck Mokdad on the face in a slap so strong the sound echoed in the room because of the microphones present in the great hall of the hotel near Istanbul's international airport.
Following the blow, members of the Presidency separated the two men. Mokdad was then surrounded by men to prevent him from asking for Turkish police to intervene, as he was threatening to do. A team of Coalition members continued, despite their differing motivations, to try to calm the situation.
The members of the Coalition confirmed that Kurdish National Council members joining the Coalition, was the climax of tensions between the two men, after an accumulation of hostilities.
The issue had a direct impact on several military and political files, most importantly Jarba's insistence that 11 additional Kurdish members should join the Coalition before the vote on the issue of participation in Geneva Conference.
It is well-known that these members are supporters of participation in Geneva, while the representatives of the Free Syrian Army strongly oppose it.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for stating that Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem are “illegitimate” – blaming Israel for the difficulty of Israeli/Palestinian peace-making; and even preemptively blaming Israel for any Palestinian violence and terrorism that might follow if Israel does not agree to further talks. ...
In an interview with Udi Segal of Israel’s Channel 2 and Maher Shalabi of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, Secretary Kerry explicitly adopted the Palestinian position opposing Jewish residence and construction in the these territories, saying, “They disagree with it … We, the United States, say the same thing. We do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate. And we believe that the entire peace process would, in fact, be easier if these settlements were not taking place …"
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We are appalled at Secretary Kerry’s words and strongly criticize him for them.
“To assert that Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem is a false, flat-earth statement based on a willful distortion of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As Israel Foreign Ministry’s former legal adviser, Ambassador Professor Alan Baker, has written, Secretary Kerry is ‘unequivocally … mistaken and ill advised, both in law and in fact.’
“Article 49 prohibits (1) ‘Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not …
'The Occupying Power (2) shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.’...
Israelis are neither being deported or forcibly transferred to the West Bank, so... article 49 has no bearing on the situation.
“The territory of the West Bank was earmarked for Jewish settlement in 1920 at the San Remo Conference that drafted the League of Nations Charter.
Comment: The San Remo Conference (april 1920) was an international meeting held following the conclusion of World War I that determined the precise boundaries for territories captured by the Allies...
At San Remo, the Allies confirmed the pledge contained in the Balfour Declaration concerning the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine...
The French expressed many reservations about the inclusion of the Balfour Declaration in the peace treaty, and it was only after the exertion of British pressure that they were gradually persuaded to agree to it.
The article concerning Palestine was debated on April 24 and the next day it was finally resolved to incorporate the Balfour Declaration in Britain's mandate in Palestine.
Balfour declaration, November 2nd, 1917:
Dear Lord Rothschild, I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine...
Arthur James Balfour.
The Oslo agreements do not prohibit Israeli residence and construction in these territories; to the contrary, they provide for Israeli and Palestinian building in zones under their respective control. They also list this as a final status issue, to be negotiated by the parties. .. Israel is entitled to assert its right for its citizens to live and build in these territories.
Avi Shlaim Comment, The Guardian 12-9-2013:
Building civilian settlements beyond the Green Line does not violate the letter of the Oslo accords but it most decidedly violates its spirit.
As a result of settlement expansion the area available for a Palestinian state has been steadily shrinking to the point where a two-state solution is barely conceivable...
Oslo faltered and eventually broke down because Likud-led governments negotiated in bad faith. This turned the much-vaunted peace process into a charade.
In fact, it was worse than a charade: it provided Israel with just the cover it was looking for to continue to pursue with impunity its illegal and aggressive colonial project on the West Bank.
"Likud-led governments negotiated in bad faith.
This turned the much-vaunted peace process into a charade." Avi Shlaim.
The General Assembly would demand that Israel stop exploiting, depleting and endangering the natural resources in the occupied Arab lands, by the terms of one of five draft resolutions approved today by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial).
It took that action by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras, Jamaica, Malawi, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Tonga).
By other terms of the text — entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” — the Assembly would call upon Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
It would call upon Israel to halt all actions, including those perpetrated by Israeli settlers, harming the environment, including the dumping of waste materials, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.
By other terms, it would stress that the wall and settlements being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, were contrary to international law and were depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources.
Israel’s representative said the Committee was engaged in a meaningless exercise, rather than addressing sustainable development and poverty issues. The resolution did nothing to improve the situation between Israel and Palestine and was motivated by anti-Israeli sentiment, designed to ferment division and unilateralism at a time when such issues could only be resolved through negotiation. He said that Israel’s hand remained outstretched.
The observer for the State of Palestine said the Committee’s approval of the draft resolution was a testament to the importance attached by States to development and prosperity. The overwhelming majority had voted in favour of it, which reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty over their natural resources, which were vital for progress. The international community had clearly spoken against Israel’s occupation.(Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. The Federated States of Micronesia is a sovereign state in free association with the United States, which is wholly responsible for its defense. The Compact of Free Association allows FSM citizens to join the U.S. military without having to obtain U.S. permanent residency or citizenship.).
For more than a year, Turkey turned a blind eye as thousands of foreign volunteers from across the Muslim world streamed through the country en route to fight alongside Syria’s rebels, perhaps calculating that the fighters would help accelerate President Bashar al-Assad’s demise.
Now the extremists whose ranks the foreigners swelled are gaining ascendancy across northern Syria, putting al-Qaeda on NATO’s borders for the first time, raising fears of cross-border attacks and exposing how terribly Turkey’s efforts to bring about Assad’s removal have gone awry.
Meanwhile, in Damascus, Assad is showing every sign that he will ride out the revolt and perhaps remain in power for years, sustained in part by Western alarm at the rise of the extremists. The United States has served notice that it has no intention of intervening militarily, and Turkey, once the most vocal proponent of action to oust Assad, has been left to confront the consequences of what appears to have been a grave policy miscalculation.
“This was not the outcome Turkey wanted,” acknowledged a Turkish official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the subject of Syria is so sensitive.
Critics say Turkey has only itself to blame for a state of affairs that Turkish authorities appear, at least indirectly, to have encouraged. President Obama rebuked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when they met at the White House in May for not doing more to restrict the flow of foreign fighters...
Almost all of the foreign fighters contributing to al-Qaeda’s strength in northern Syria traveled there via Turkey, flying into Istanbul and transferring to domestic commercial flights for the trip to the border. With their untrimmed beards and their backpacks, the foreigners are often conspicuous in the sedate, Western-oriented towns of southern Turkey....
Some opposition politicians have accused the Turkish government of going further than simply tolerating the traffic, saying that it also has helped transport, train and arm the foreign fighters.
President Obama and the White House have been engaged in a battle in the Senate to block the chamber from passing new sanctions that could derail ongoing negotiations with Iran. The White House has been clear: new sanctions could kill the talks and put the U.S. on a "path to war."
Groups including NIAC, FCNL, Peace Action, Americans for Peace Now, J Street, and International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran have all come out against new Senate sanctions.
Groups including AIPAC and Foundation for Defense of Democracies are, as usual, advocating more sanctions. AIPAC even says they will explicitly try to kill a deal.
But it looks like the pro-diplomacy side is winning. Senators Carl Levin, Christopher Murphy, and Dianne Feinstein have all now come out in opposition to new Iran sanctions, saying they will instead support the ongoing negotiations with Iran. And today, even Senator John McCain told the BBC he will not support new sanctions for now, saying, "I am skeptical of talks with Iran but willing to give the Obama administration a couple months."
In the spring of 2012, when I wrote "The Last Israelis" (an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East), I thought that the pessimistic premise of my cautionary tale on Iranian nukes was grounded in realism. I had imagined a US president who passively and impotently reacted to Iran's nuclear ambitions, leaving it to tiny Israel to deal with the threat.
But something far worse is happening: The Obama administration is actively making it harder for Israel to neutralize Iran's nukes, and more likely that Iran will develop a nuclear arsenal....
Obama's desperately eager posture towards the smiling Mullahs has doomed any negotiation to failure by signaling that the US fears confrontation more than anything else. Obama's pathetic approach to the world's most pressing national security threat also makes US military action virtually impossible.., because it promotes the naive idea that more diplomacy will resolve what a decade of talking hasn't.
And as long as the Iranians are "talking," world opinion will also oppose an Israeli military strike, so naturally Iran will find ways to keep talking until it's too late for Israel to act...
Despite his repeated reassurances, Obama rejected Israel's estimates for how much more time Iran needs to develop its nuclear capability, and accepted overly optimistic timetables that assumed at least a year for more talking...
Only epic ineptitude or anti-Israel hostility no longer checked by reelection considerations can explain Obama's moves on Iran. And the stakes couldn't be higher for the rest of the world. After all, if Iran is the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism without nuclear weapons, what will terrorism look like once Iran goes nuclear?
Exacerbating an existential threat against Israel is bad enough, but Obama has been an abysmal ally in other respects.... Obama's administration has repeatedly leaked sensitive Israeli information that could have easily provoked a Syrian-Israeli war. Obama summarily dumped a decades-long alliance with Egypt (that is also key to Israeli security)...
Add to that list Kerry's increasing hostility to Israel and reports that the US plans to impose its undoubtedly risky vision of peace on Israel in a few months, and you have Israel's worst nightmare in the White House....
As if Israel didn't face enough threats and challenges, it must now survive the Obama nightmare until he's out of office in 38 months. Isolated like never before thanks to Obama, the stark choices facing Israel's leadership are unimaginably difficult...
So, what does David (Israel) do now that Obama's perfidy has been exposed? If the neighborhood bully is bigger than you, has threatened you, and is reaching for a bat, do you preemptively attack him before he gets the bat and becomes even more dangerous?
Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis , an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East
Israel has failed in its diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, senior state officials in Jerusalem admitted...
The nuclear talks are expected to resume in Geneva on Wednesday, and Israeli officials estimate that unless an unexpected crisis takes place, an interim agreement will be signed in this round or shortly afterwards.
Meanwhile, sources in Jerusalem have also criticized the recent conflict with the United State. "It's causing damage. (US Secretary of State) John Kerry is not Israel's enemy," one of the officials said....
In the past two weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his ministers have been trying to influence the content of the agreement set to be signed soon.... Following these efforts, sources in Jerusalem said Monday night that there was a chance that some of the clauses would be amended in order to make things difficult for the Iranians....
Netanyahu has been trying in the past two days to convince French President Francois Hollande to oppose the agreement, which he defines as "very bad."
Meanwhile, the dispute between Netanyahu and Kerry continues. On Monday, the US secretary of state commented on the Israeli prime minister's criticism over the upcoming deal with Iran, saying that he believed Netanyahu was wrong when he said that such a deal would harm Israel's security.
"I have great respect for his concerns about his country," Kerry said in Washington, but maintained that instead of making Israel less safe, an accord with Iran would actually reduce the country's risk.
AMMAN — Islamist leaders and politicians on Sunday said political Islamic movements in the region need to provide assurances to all powers and segments in society about their acceptance of others and openness to successfully take part in the political process.
They made the remarks at the opening of the “Political Islam Movements” conference on Sunday, noting that Islamist parties in the Arab world need to address internal differences and settle issues with other parties to rule successfully while guaranteeing the participation of all.
“I call on Islamist movements to revise their approach and ideology. For them to be able to promote their vision for politics, they need to win the confidence of all other segments and sects in society and even the external world and powers,” Taher Masri, former prime minister and Senate president, said at the opening.
“It is important not to reject the other and to resort to dialogue to address differences, which will play a key role in ending conflicts in the region between Islamist movements and ruling regimes,” he said. “There is no alternative to dialogue in settling differences,” Masri added.
Addressing the participants, Hamzah Mansour, secretary general of the Islamic Action Front —the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan — said Islamist movements need to thoroughly understand the challenges and obstacles facing them in order to be able to overcome them...:
“Amid the confusion and accusations levelled at Islamist movements, they need to give assurances that they respect innovation, protect all faiths and view non-Muslims in the Arab world as brothers and partners in the administration of state affairs.”
“The Islamic state is a state of citizenship, and political Islam movements need to give assurances that they agree with the peaceful transition of power and are keen on addressing differences and strengthening relations with all powers in society.”
CitizenshipThe term citizenship is both a formal status - belonging of someone to a state on the basis of a set of rights and duties - and, more importantly, it is a state of mind. Citizenship is not only about attaining rights, but more about participation - in the political and civic process. To talk of citizenship then, is to discuss rights, duties, participation and identity.
The Prophet Muhammad established a city-state in Madina and enacted a charter that laid down the basic rights and duties of its citizens. This form of 'social contract' in Islam is very similar to the idea of social contract that appeared in later European thought. Indeed, to obey the law of the land is seen as a fulfilment of one's 'social contract' with the State, and the Quran emphasises the obligation to fulfil contracts.
Some Muslims have debated whether one can vote in a non-Muslim society, or take up elected positions in a non-Islamic country. These are old debates, that have been addressed and resolved by credible Muslim scholars, and are largely irrelevant today, especially to Muslim citizens who now feel a strong sense of belonging to their country.
Islam is not a religion of isolation and its basic purpose is to promote justice and peace between people. A good Muslim (indeed a good human being) should be of service to all the people around, as Muhammad taught: "The best of people is the one who is most useful to them..." (www.plainislam.com)
"What is dignity, what is respect?
Are they negotiable?
Imagine you are being told that you cannot do what everyone else is doing,
what everyone else is allowed to do...
Will you backdown, will you relent....?"
"The choice is not submission or confrontation...
Last summer our people choose constructive engagement.
They gave the world a historic opportunity to change course.
To achieve this unique opportunity we need to accept equal footing
and choose a path based on
mutual respect and recognition of the dignity of all people."
Following the phone call, a Downing Street spokesperson said:
The Prime Minister became the first British Prime Minister to call the Iranian President in more than a decade today when he spoke to President Rouhani this afternoon, ahead of this week’s nuclear negotiations in Geneva.
The two leaders discussed the bilateral relationship between Britain and Iran welcoming the steps taken since President Rouhani took office, including the appointment of non-resident Charges d’Affaires last week. They agreed to continue efforts to improve the relationship on a step by step and reciprocal basis.
On Iran’s nuclear programme, both leaders agreed that significant progress had been made in the recent Geneva negotiations and that it was important to seize the opportunity presented by the further round of talks which get underway...
The Prime Minister underlined the necessity of Iran comprehensively addressing the concerns of the international community about their nuclear programme, including the need for greater transparency.
On Syria, there was agreement on the need for a political solution to end the bloodshed.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan protesters took to the streets of Tripoli, repeating their call for the country's recalcitrant militias to leave the capital...
Meanwhile, lawmakers of the country's interim parliament questioned embattled Prime Minister Ali Zidan over the violence and pressed the government to take action against the militias. Some called for dismissing him and his Cabinet with a no-confidence vote and forming a new, crisis government....
The army deployed troops to the capital on Monday... However, disgruntled militias accused the government of packing the force with former pro-Gadhafi fighters, describing the deployment as a "coup."
Residents have given the troops a warm reception, ululating, clapping and flashing V-for-victory signs in support. During the rally, protesters distributed sweets to policemen who arrived to protect the demonstration.
Tripoli University spokesman Mahmoud Fathallah told the official news agency that the university is on strike until Thursday in protest against the militias. The rest of the city has not fully ended a strike that began just after Friday's killings.
Adel al-Tarhouni, leader of a militia umbrella group, told The Associated Press that Gadhafi loyalists were trying to take over the capital: "These troops that were deployed are Gadhafi's brigades but under the independence flag," he said by telephone, referring to Libya's tricolor post-Gadhafi flag.
Tripoli-based lawyer and former government official al-Saghir al-Maghri described the accusations as "ridiculous." He said the Defense Ministry had made it clear that the troops moved into Tripoli worked for the government and had been trained inside and outside Libya over the past months.
Mahmoud Tekalli, an aeronautical engineer, told Libya Herald newspaper:
“We are calling for the activation of the police force and the army and the legitimate forces in the country.” “We support the people who have the right to be protected and the institutions which are there to protect them.”
What has been happening in Syria for the past three years? According to NATO and GCC media reports, the "regime" has shed blood to suppress a democratic revolution. However this version is contradicted by the current support for the government estimated at, according to sources, between 60 and 90 % of the population.
The truth is quite different: NATO and the GCC have successively lost a war of succession and a fourth generation Nicaraguan-type war. It is they, and they alone, who organized and financed the death of 120,000 Syrians.
One of the challenges of preparing for the Geneva conference is to write the history of Syria. The NATO powers and the Gulf Cooperation Council are trying to impose their version of events which would give them a clear advantage at the negotiating table. Hence a sudden avalanche of articles and summary reports in the Western and the Gulf press.
The West and the GCC assert that the Syrian crisis is in line with the "Arab Spring. According to this view, the "Bashar regime" would have bloodily suppressed the democratic aspirations of its people. NATO and the GCC would have then intervened to protect the civilian population.
The reality is quite different: the United States planned the destruction of Syria at a meeting on September 15, 2001, at Camp David. They began to prepare this by adopting the Syria Accountibility Act on December 12, 2003....
The signal for the commencement of operations was given by the United States from Cairo in early February 2011. From that date, and for 15 months, NATO and the GCC launched a fourth generation war, based entirely on their domination of the mass media. They convinced the world, including the Syrians, that the whole country had risen, though the most important events did not exceed 5,000 people....
During this period, the combatants were either Syrian Takfirist or foreign professionals, particularly the Libyan members of al- Qaeda controlled by Abdelhakim Belhaj. Together, they formed the Free Syrian Army, flanked by British and French officers, with the logistical support of Turkey.
François Hollande ’s election as French president and the appointment of Laurent Fabius as Zionist Ministry of Foreign Affairs relaunched the war.
Relying on CIA General David Petraeus and the expertise of Ambassador Robert S. Ford (former assistant to John Negroponte), France signalled a new war, this time Nicaragua style, by gathering the "Friends of Syria" in Paris on July 6th, 2012.
Two weeks later, a mega-attack decapitated the army by assasinating members of the National Security Council. Immediately, 40,000 foreign jihadists, supported by a few thousand Syrians and supervised by French and British officers, began the assault on Damascus.... There followed a year of cruel and bloody war that killed more than 100,000 martyrs.
During this period, the United States stood back, leaving their allies to do the work on site. At most, they tried to influence Qatar and Saudi Arabia to limit the weight of jihadists and promote secular mercenaries....
The Geneva 2 Conference, which will probably be held in late January, 2014, will put an end to three years of war. Depending on the version we retain of events, Syria will have experienced a civil war or will have been victorious against foreign aggression. (Thierry Meyssan 2013)
Flashback: "Assad doesn’t deserve
to be on this earth" (Laurent Fabius)
Webster Griffin Tarpley (Press TV 17-8-2012): Assad was supposed to be brought down in July, I think July 18th...: terror attacks to decapitate the Syrian armed forces, the shipping in of thousands and thousands of new death squad members from many other countries, an attack on the currency, the television warfare in its entire campaign... That has now failed. The death squads are losing and the Syrian government is still there...
The US, the British, the French and indeed the Israelis are now apoplectic. That’s what you see with [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius. I would call attention to the language he decided when he says ‘the Syrian regime should be smashed fast and that Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth’. This is a language we haven’t heard in Europe since the fascist era....
Interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Consulate General of France in New York
Bashar al-Assad is the murderer of his people. He must leave power – the sooner the better. Until now, the actions taken to that end have come up against two obstacles. The first derives from the lack of consensus at the UN Security Council, because of the Russians and Chinese. The second is military: the Syrian army is powerful. No state is ready today to contemplate a ground operation. The risks of regional contagion would be dreadful, particularly in Lebanon.
In this context, France is adopting a three-pronged approach. Firstly, toughening sanctions, if possible at Security Council level. Secondly, we must work with Russia, who plays a decisive role. .. Finally, we must encourage the Syrian opposition to come together.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday accused the Muslim Brotherhood of stealing Egypt's revolution, in some of his toughest comments yet about the party that took power in the nation's first democratic election.
In a speech to a forum on enhancing links between private sector businesses and diplomatic security agencies, Kerry said: "Those kids in Tahrir Square, they were not motivated by any religion or ideology." "They were motivated by what they saw through this interconnected world, and they wanted a piece of the opportunity and a chance to get an education and have a job and have a future..."
"They tweeted their ways and Facetimed their ways and talked to each other, and that's what drove that revolution. And then it got stolen by the one single-most organized entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood."
Syria’s first Lady, Asma al-Assad has met the Syrian Scientific Olympic team who won their certificates of appreciation in Asian Scientific Olympics and the world of mathematics and physics for 2012... Mrs. Asma al-Assad confirmed that the achieved results at the international level are presented by the upgrading of the scientific level of the Syrian Olympics scientific team.., taking advantage of Science in uprising a generation with analytical and logical concepts, who’s able to judge matters in a scientific advanced way via a sophisticated creative way of thought away from the traditionalism. (syria breaking news 12-9-2012)
Since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July a year after coming to power, the United States has repeatedly said that he had failed to live up to calls for an inclusive, transparent government. And Kerry in August defended the army's action to remove Morsi, saying it had moved as a bid at "restoring democracy."
But as the interim government has moved only slowly towards new elections, the US in October suspended a part of its $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt.
Damascus, (SANA): Syria Trust for Development-organisation inaugurated the 'Massar exploration adventure' as the first initiatives of project "Massar Flower" at the old Fairgrounds in Damascus.
The event comes in the framework of the project's efforts to ensure an environment that guarantees the education of children, providing them with skills and information to develop their personality, boost their growing-up as individuals and deepening their belonging to their homeland.
"The adventure uses distinguished technologies, multiple educational means which depend on vision, exploration and conclusion to make children active learners, capable of exploiting the concepts and knowledge to serve themselves and society," the project's director Danya Ashe said.
"The territories cannot be defined as "Palestinian territories" or, as you yourself frequently state, as "Palestine". No such entity exists, and the whole purpose of the permanent status negotiation is to determine, by agreement, the status of the territory, to which Israel has a legitimate claim, backed by international legal and historic rights." Alan Baker (Former ambassador of Israel to Canada)
The United States' status in the Middle East hasn't reached such a low in many years, so low that Secretary of State John Kerry has actually become a persona non grata in most of the region's countries.
It's not just President Barack Obama's failed policy, which has turned the friends of the US into its enemies or made them fear it; it's also Kerry's personality....
Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf see him as a concrete threat on the survival of the regimes and as the person who sold them to Iran.... The Turks are reluctant to talk to him after, as they believe, he sold them to Assad...
Kerry is a persona non grata among the Palestinians as well. Perhaps Kerry should go to the Gaza Strip, which he cares so much about...?
But the most amazing thing is that that same Kerry has become a persona non grata in Israel too. Who would have thought that such a thing could happen with the United States' closest friend in the Middle East. His selective generosity, the forced smiles, all those may have deceived some people in Israel, but no more.
His betrayal of Israel, when he essentially finalized a "deal" with the evil ayatollah regime and "forgot" to update Israel on the real details until the very last minute; his warning against a third intifada as if he were the Palestinian representative; his basic failure to understand Israel's existential needs; his arrogance and his habit to come here obsessively as some kind of landlord – all that led to the collapse of his reputation in Israel....
If at the moment of truth Kerry sold Israel, how can he be trusted in the future? Can such a person be a "loyal" mediator between Israel and the Palestinians? The Israeli government may have been taken captive by the US [...] but the Israeli public is still free and wise, and we understand very well who is good to us and who is dangerous.
"Speaking of the West bank, the final border will be very different from that in 1967. This is already clear for the Palestinians and the Arab League. There will be significant territorial changes [including land swaps]. And Israel will preserve most settlement blocs and some territories that are necessary for security." Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, 22-10-2013
At the Second Annual Conference on the Application of Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (2012) more than 500 people jammed in Chevron’s Machpelah Visitors’ Center to hear Knesset Members, legal experts and journalists explain the legal, economic, demographic and political aspects of finally including Judea and Samaria officially into the State of Israel.
After former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy and his committee reported their findings that Judea and Samaria were not occupied territory, and instead should have their settlements promoted, proponents of extending sovereignty over Judea and Samaria have felt their position strengthened and validated...
Judea, Samaria, Gaza were liberated during the Six Day War 45 years ago. Likud MK Tzippy Hotovely told the gathering that she hopes that sovereignty will soon be extended to Yosh (Yehuda and Shomron) so that by the “50th year, we will have a complete liberation of the Land.”
Among the speakers were HaBayit HaYehudi Minister Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin, Likud MK Miri Regev (chairperson of the lobby for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria), Adv. Yitzchak Bam of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Former Israeli Ambassador to Washington Yoram Ettinger, Adv. Dafna Netanyahu, Mekor Rishon’s Eran Bar Tal, B’Sheva’s Immanuel Shilo, Adv. And author Howard Grief and Israel Prize laureate Geula Cohen.
Of course, the basis of our claim to all of Israel rests in the Bible. Most everyone is familiar with the very first commentary by Rashi in Bereishit 1:1. In fact, both Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion (in 1937 when he spoke in front of the Peel Commission, as head of the Jewish Agency) and its current PM Binyamin Netanyahu (when he served as UN Ambassador in the 1980s) held up the Bible as the Jewish Nation’s deed to the land.
Tzipi Hotovely (born 2 December 1978) is an Israeli politician. She is a member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2009. On March 18, 2013 she joined the new government of Israel as Deputy Minister of Transportation.
Hotovely is a doctorate student at the Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv University. Hotovely practises Orthodox Judaism and is a self-described "religious rightwinger". She is described as the "ideological voice" of the Likud Party. (Wikipedia info)
The decade-long Neoconservative plot to take the United States to war against Iran appears to have been foiled.
In response for a loosening of sanctions, worth some $7 billion to Iran, President Hasan Rouhani undertook to freeze enrichment activities at their present level.
He also pledged to cast Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 19.75% for the production of medical isotopes in a form that makes it impossible to further enrich it. Nor will Iran produce more 19.5% low enriched uranium. (Uranium enriched to 95% is suitable for a bomb...). Iran also agreed to do no further work on its proposed heavy-water reactor at Arak. (Heavy-water reactors produce plutonium, with which bombs can easily be constructed).
Iran’s nuclear facilities have been being inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the inspectors have repeatedly certified that no uranium has been diverted to weapons purposes. This agreement will increase the frequency of the inspections and widen their scope somewhat.
The agreement did not recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, but Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the right was implicit in the agreement (which does not forbid enrichment to 3.5% for reactor fuel) and in the Non-Proliferation Treaty....
The agreement is actually an agreement to negotiate, and the hard bargaining is yet to come. The terms agreed upon are more confidence-building measures than anything else.
In 2003, the Neocon chickenhawks, most of whom had never worn a uniform or had a parent who did, joked that “everyone wants to go to Baghdad; real men want to go to Tehran.” ...
The “everyone” who wanted to go to Baghdad was actually just the Neocons and their fellow travelers. Most of the latter were hoodwinked by the Neocon/Cheney misinformation campaign blaming Saddam Hussein of Iraq for 9/11...
The Iraq War, trumped up on false pretenses and mainly to protect the militant right wing in Israel from having a credible military rival in the region and to put Iraqi petroleum on the market to weaken Saudi Arabia...
Binyamin Netanyahu was a cheerleader for the Iraq War. He is now deeply wounded that the US is making peace with Iran. He seems to see the US as his personal doberman pinscher, which he is used to siccing on his rivals in the region whenever they complain about his aggressive land thefts.
"There is a need to have … a deep meeting of minds.
This is my hope. But maybe I'm not capable of carrying it out."
Mohammad Khatami (2002)
The Neoconservatives threw the Iranian proposal in the trash heap and mobilized to make sure there was no rapprochement with Iran...
The Neoconservatives did not want a US-Iran alliance against al-Qaeda or against Saddam Hussein. Being diplomatic serial killers, they saw Iran rather as their next victim....
Now, the tides of war are ebbing. Assuming that the negotiations over the next six months are successful, a compromise will be reached whereby Iran’s “break-out capacity” or ability to construct a nuclear weapon will be constrained, and whereby the international blockade on Iranian commerce will be lifted.
Republican critics of the deal in the US Congress, who say no to everything, said no to this negotiation... They accused Iran of being the world’s primary backer of terrorism.
Really? The GOP backed the Mujahidin and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Contras in Nicaragua, the MEK in Iraq and Iran, and are backing the extremist Sunni rebels in Syria. They aren’t even skittish about allying with al-Qaeda affiliates, even today..!
The only important question here is whether the agreement is in American interests. It is...
If negotiations and UN inspections can indeed succeed in allowing Iran a civilian enrichment program while forestalling a weapons program, it is a breakthrough for the whole world and an important chapter in the ongoing attempts to limit proliferation.
Dialogue among Civilizations - Mohammed Khatami
United Nations, New York, 5 September 2000
“At my suggestion, 2001 was named the UN Year of Dialogue Among Civilisations. But despite reaching a global audience, the message of dialogue barely penetrated the most intractable political dilemmas, either at home or abroad.” Khatami, The Guardian, 23 September 2013
What we ought to consider in earnest today is the emergence of a global culture. Global culture cannot and ought not to overlook characteristics and requirements of native local cultures with the aim of imposing itself upon them.
Cultures and civilizations that have naturally evolved among various nations in the course of history are constituted from elements that have gradually adapted to collective souls and to historical and traditional characteristics. As such, these elements cohere with each other and consolidate within an appropriate network of relationships. In spite of all constitutive plurality and diversity, a unique and harmonious form can be abstracted from the collection.
In order to provide natural unity and harmony in form and content for global culture and to prevent anarchy and chaos, all concerned parties should engage in a dialogue in which they can exchange knowledge, experience and understanding in diverse areas of culture and civilization.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh expressed a new confidence in international diplomatic efforts in Israel-Palestine after world powers clinched a nuclear deal with Iran early Sunday.
Given "the success of the international efforts to solve the Iranian issue," Abu Rudeineh told Ma'an he called on the Middle East Quartet to intervene on the Israeli-Palestinian issue as well.
Meanwhile, Israeli politicians' reactions to Sunday's nuclear deal have been largely negative.
"What was achieved yesterday in Geneva is not a historic agreement but rather a historic mistake," an Israeli diplomat on his Twitter account quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying.
"This is the biggest diplomatic victory Iran has known in recent years," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said early Sunday, according to Israeli news agency Ynet. When asked if the deal contains any positive aspect, Lieberman replied "no, there is no such thing."
(SANA)- Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov said the core of the Iran-P5+1 group accord was based on an idea proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for his part, expressed welcome of Iran nuclear deal, saying in a statement that the agreement will contribute to preserving peace and stability in the Middle East in terms of maintaining the international system of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Commenting on the deal reached last night, Lavrov stressed his confidence that Iran will honestly cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, noting that the deal means agreement on the need to recognize Iran's right to possess nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including right to uranium enrichment. "At the end of the day, this is a gain for all of us," Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russia Today website...
The accord also received welcome by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany who considered it as an encouraging start to further build on this preliminary deal and very good for the whole world, including the Middle East. <
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for his part, expressed welcome of Iran nuclear deal, saying in a statement that the agreement will contribute to preserving peace and stability in the Middle East in terms of maintaining the international system of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has hailed the nuclear deal sealed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany... [He] said the achievement could serve as a “basis for future prudent measures.” Ayatollah Khamenei called on the Iranian negotiators to continue to resist any excessive demands in the future.
In a televised message to the Iranian people President Hassan Rouhani also hailed the interim nuclear deal between Iran and the Sextet, saying that a final comprehensive agreement will lead to the removal of all international and unilateral sanctions imposed against Iran.
WASHINGTON — For President Barack Obama [..] the preliminary nuclear deal reached with Iran on Sunday is more than a welcome change of subject. It is a seminal moment, one that thrusts foreign policy to the forefront in a White House preoccupied by domestic woes, and one that presents Mr. Obama with the chance to chart a new American course in the Middle East for the first time in more than three decades.
Much will depend, of course, on whether the United States and the other major powers ever reach a final agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions. Mr. Obama himself said Saturday night that it “won’t be easy, and huge challenges remain ahead.”
But the mere fact that after 34 years of estrangement, the United States and Iran have signed a diplomatic accord — even if it is a tactical, transitory one — opens the door to a range of geopolitical possibilities available to no American leader since Jimmy Carter.
“No matter what you think of it, this is a historic deal,” said Vali R. Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “It is a major seismic shift in the region. It rearranges the entire chess board.”
Mr. Obama has wanted to bring in Iran from the cold since he was a presidential candidate, declaring in 2007 that he would pursue “aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iranian leaders, and ruling out the concept of leadership change, which was popular at the time....
As Mr. Obama looks ahead [...] it is the big picture that is likely to dominate his attention. Among the decisions he faces is whether to treat Iran’s nuclear program as a discrete problem to be solved, freeing him up to focus more on Asia, or as the opening act in a more ambitious engagement with Iran that might give it a role in Syria, Afghanistan and other trouble spots.
Aides say that he is open to that, but that it will depend on factors that are out of America’s control, like moderates’ gaining ground in Iran...
Extensive fighting broke out in the centre of Benghazi overnight between between the army’s Special Forces Saiqa Brigade and Ansar Al-Sharia. The clashes continue this morning. It is not clear if any other military units or militias are involved.
The position on the ground is unclear. Some phone calls this morning from the Libya Herald to people in central Benghazi have been punctuated by the sound of heavy gunfire. ... All shops and schools are closed with teachers ringing round telling parents to keep their children away. The streets are entirely empty, apart from the combatants.
It is unclear if the clashes were spontaneous or a planned operation. The Libya Herald has been informed that on Friday evening, six members of the Saiqa Brigade were seized by Ansar Al-Sharia. They were said to have been beaten, forced to crawl on their hands and knees and generally humiliated. They were then sent back to their unit. The message would appear to have been that Ansar Al-Sharia could act with impunity and that Saiqa should not mess with them.
Speculation about Ansar al-Sharia's plan for Libya ended this week when the al-Qaeda proponents released a mission statement demanding the imposition of Islamic law. The agenda is clear: today, Derna, tomorrow, all of Libya.
"Stability and security are dependent on the application of Sharia," AFP quoted the Islamist organisation as saying on Tuesday (November 13th).
The group, which began as a brigade of revolutionary fighters, advocates Sharia as the sole source of legislation. At the same time, it refuses to recognise state institutions, including the security services.
The jihadist organisation accuses anyone working for the government of apostasy and of being "taghuts" (evil forces in the service of tyranny).
Ansar al-Sharia Libya members control neighbourhoods in Benghazi and Sirte, and most of Derna, with an arsenal of weapons looted from Kadhafi's stockpiles.
The Obama Administration’s plans to provide arms and other equipment to secular Syrian rebels took a lot of planning, but finally began in earnest in recent days, as massive amounts of goods bound for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) started crossing the border from Reyhanli, Turkey into a warehouse in Atmeh, in northern Syria.
The plan was controversial, with a lot of fear that the goods would eventually start falling into the hands of al-Qaeda and other Islamist factions, and that seems to have been putting it mildly, as the whole warehouse in Atmeh was almost immediately captured by al-Qaeda.
Thousands of US made tents and other equipment meant for the FSA never ended up in the hands of those rebel fighters, and instead is all under the control of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). To make matters worse, the FSA commanders who were overseeing the transfer at the warehouse were all captured by AQI and are now awaiting trial in AQI-run religious courts.
The commander of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) says it will not participate in the upcoming Geneva conference on the crisis in Syria.
General Salim Idriss made the remarks in an interview with Al-Jazeera news channel on Tuesday, a day after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the long-awaited talks would be held on January 22.
“Conditions are not suitable for running the Geneva 2 talks at the given date, and we, as a military and revolutionary force, will not participate in the conference,”
Idriss stated. Idriss added that the FSA would continue its battle against the Syrian government. “We will not stop combat at all during the Geneva conference or after it, and what concerns us is getting needed weapons for our fighters.”
UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahim has said that the upcoming conference would start “without any preconditions.”
Subordination of military forces to political authority"Among the oldest problems of human governance has been that of securing the subordination of military forces to political authority...
Whether -- and how -- a society controls those who possess the ultimate power of physical coercion, and ensures their loyalty both to the particular government in power and to the regime in general, is basic to democratic governance.
For democracy, civilian control -- that is, control of the military by civilian officials elected by the people -- is fundamental. Civilian control allows a nation to base its values, institutions, and practices on the popular will rather than on the choices of military leaders." (Richard H. Kohn, Journal of Democracy 1997)
The agreement with Iran opens the way to significant commercial, political and strategic benefits for the US... By comparison, Israel is a dead weight around America’s neck from any perspective. It bleeds the US Treasury of more than $3 billion in arms and economic aid every year. It spies on the US and regularly defies the US. It has killed US servicemen in pursuit of its own strategic ends. It opens no doors and is of no commercial or economic benefit to the US and the days when it might have served some purpose as an armory during US military actions in the Middle East have probably gone for good.
The American people have made it perfectly clear they do not want their government to be involved in any more wars in the Middle East and peace certainly offers the US far greater rewards than war.
The nuclear issue always was a distraction. The real issue for Israel is Iran’s growing influence across the region and its refusal to back away from its strategic alliance with Syria and Hizbullah despite economic sanctions and regular threats of war.
The ruins of Gaza are testimony to Israel’s determination to destroy anyone and any thing standing in its way.
Palestine is the wellspring but dig deep enough into the ruins of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and you will find Israel at the bottom.
It will see the whole Middle East flattened rather than retreat from the territory it has seized through its wars of aggression.
Since the war of conquest of 1948 it has launched six other wars against Egypt, Syria, Gaza and Lebanon, apart from shorter incursions, assassinations and aerial attacks such as those launched on Syria this year. By comparison the only war involving the Islamic republic of Iran is the one launched by Saddam Hussein in 1980....
This is an existential moment for Israel. It refuses to change, expecting its friends endlessly to accommodate its outrageous behavior.
The White House is sending signals that it has had enough and indeed the agreement with Iran may even mark the beginning of the setting of the sun on the US-Israel ‘special relationship.’
Jeremy Salt teaches in the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and is the author of Imperialism, Evangelism, and the Ottoman Armenians, 1878-1896.
In his latest book, The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (UC Press, June 2008), Salt examines the history and human cost of Western intervention in Arab lands. (University of California Press)
In a speech during the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (UNISPAL) at the UN, Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said that in light of the policy of fait accompli which Israel tires to impose, it's unacceptable that the UN and the member states deal with it in routine or solidarity without any productive act.
He reminded of the UN general Assembly resolution No. 273 for 1949 which specified the acceptance of Israel's membership at the UN, mainly on the condition that it would commit to resolutions relevant to the Palestinian issue...
Al-Jaafari said that Israel's escaping from punishment encouraged it to escalate its hostile practices and violation of human rights and international law.
"Part of the Syrian territories is still under occupation, since more than 45 years, despite the Security Council unanimous resolution No. 497 for 1981 which considered Israel's decision to annex the Syrian Golan in 1981 null and void and without legal basis, and based on this, the UN is required to shoulder its responsibilities to force Israel to apply to its resolutions," al-Jaafari said.
" It is unacceptable that the UN has failed in forcing Israel carry out the international resolutions, stop its flagrant, systemized violations of the Syrians' right under occupation in Golan, put an end to the apartheid, looting the natural Golan resources, including oil, gas and water ," al-Jaafari said.
Al-Jaafari affirmed that the choice of the just and comprehensive peace wouldn't not be achieved except by Israel's full withdrawal from the Arab territories into the line of June 4th, 1967, the establishment of the Palestinian independent state [...] and resolving the Palestinian refugees issue according to resolution No. 194 for 1948.
Israel was accepted into the United Nations on condition that it accept the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees. Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations (General Assembly Resolution 273 of May 11, 1949 ) requires Israel to comply with General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 and Israel stated it agreed to comply with this resolution.
Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,
Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it "unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations"
Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 and 11 December 1948 and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, The General Assembly [...] decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.
General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948
The General Assembly, having considered further the situation in Palestine,
8. Resolves that, in view of its association with three world religions, the Jerusalem area [...] should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control;
11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;
14. Calls upon all Governments and authorities concerned to co-operate with the Conciliation Commission and to take all possible steps to assist in the implementation of the present resolution... (source)
Syria will send a delegation to a January 22 Geneva peace conference under the orders of President Bashar al-Assad, a foreign ministry source said on Wednesday.
"Syria announces the participation of an official delegation under the orders of (Assad) and the demands of the Syrian people, with the top priority eliminating terrorism," the source was quoted as saying by the official SANA news agency.
"The official Syrian delegation will not go to Geneva to hand over power, but to take part (in talks) along with those who are committed to furthering the interests of the Syrian people and who support a political solution for Syria's future," the source said.
"Our people will not allow anyone to steal their right to choose their future and their leaders, and what is key about Geneva is to assert the Syrians' rights, and not of those who are spilling the people's blood."
The source criticised "the French, British and other foreign ministries as well as their agents in the Arab world who have insisted that there can be no place for President Assad in the transitional period. "The ministry reminds them that the age of colonialism is over, and they need to wake up... Otherwise it will be useless for them to attend Geneva-2."
The demand for Bashar Assad’s resignation is aimed at disrupting the Geneva-2 conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"Those who say that it is worth waiting for the military balance to be established, or for a date when Assad will step down to be named, or put forward other preconditions are doing so with the unseemly purpose of hindering or disrupting the conference altogether," Lavrov said.
Lavrov added that fight against extremism in the Middle East region will depend on success of the international conference. "We speak about unification of all sound forces in the fight against terrorism that tries to sprout in the region, using Syria’s crisis", he said.
The Incredible Shrinking President
Daryl Cagle Cartoon
"The policy of the [French] Socialist Party in general and that of
François Hollande in particular has its roots in nineteenth century
colonialism, of which Jules Ferry was a herald and Theodor Herzl a promoter."
Thierry Meyssan, 26-11-2013
"My message to the French Parliamentarians is:
go back to the principles of the French Revolution
that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality.
Bashar al-Assad, 3-9-2012