Lieberman accepts post as minister of military affairs
I have received a lot of curses in my lifetime, and here and there some compliments, too. But I have never received a compliment like this one: an important party, represented in the Knesset, has mentioned my name in its official election platform.
I don't know whether to be proud, laugh or be angry. To be proud, because my name is used to symbolize the whole peace camp... To laugh, considering the abysmal Chutzpa of this sentence.
Spinoza: Cursed be he by day; and cursed be he by night
Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party will separate it religious activities from political ones, its chief said in statements published Thursday ahead of a weekend congress to formalise the change.
Rached Ghannouchi, an intellectual who once advocated a strict application of Islamic sharia law, told French daily Le Monde there was no room left in post-Arab Spring Tunisia for “political Islam”.
“Tunisia is now a democracy. The 2014 constitution has imposed limits on extreme secularism and extreme religion,” he was quoted as saying. “We want religious activity to be completely independent from political activity.
“This is good for politicians because they would no longer be accused of manipulating religion for political means and good for religion because it would not be held hostage to politics.”
Ghannouchi, who is expected to be re-elected as party head barring any last-minute surprise, said: “We are going towards a party which specialises in political activities.
“We are leaving political Islam and entering democratic Islam. We are Muslim democrats who are no longer claim to represent political Islam,” he added.
He described Ennahda as a “political, democratic and civil party” but said its point of reference remain rooted in the values of ancient and modern Islam.
Ghannouchi and other intellectuals inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in 1981 founded the Islamic Tendency Movement, which became Ennahda in 1989.
President al-Assad: "What is built on a wrong principle will definitely fall"
Morsi role at Syria rally seen as tipping point for Egypt army|
The Irish Times, Jul 4, 2013
Army concern about the way President Mohamed Morsi was governing Egypt reached tipping point when the head of state attended a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria, military sources have said.
Senior officials from 52 Muslim nations are to meet in Abu Dhabi later this year in a bid by Muslim states to get their own houses in order, demonstrate to the non-Muslim world the moderates’ condemnation of groups such as ISIL and to show that peaceful co-existence can be achieved.
The Marrakesh Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in Predominantly Muslim Majority Communities was established during the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies’ latest session earlier this year.
And now the UAE’s leaders are keen on implementing it not only through religious and legal measures but also by integrating it within the education system...
The goal of the forthcoming Abu Dhabi meeting is to include religious leaders from other faiths and religious minorities that live in the Muslim world, such as Yazidis and Ahmadiyyas.
“We will show them that we are doing this for your people, so how can you help us?" forum’s executive director Zeshan Zafar said. “Muslim society should not be doing this alone, so we should be standing, giving them hope we can do something to clean up our mess. What can you do to help with this?"
“In Arab countries we all suffer from categorising this as Sunni and this as Shiite", said Dr Hessa Lootah, a politics professor at UAE University, "so we should understand that Islam is the religion of all humans ... we do not decide who is accepted by Allah and who is not."
The Marrakesh Declaration is a statement made in January 2016 by more than 250 Muslim religious leaders, heads of state, and scholars. The conference, in which the Marrakesh Declaration was signed, was called in response to the persecution of religious minorities, such as Christians and Yazidis, by ISIS. The Marrakesh Declaration builds on historical Islamic sources such as the Charter of Medina.
After intensifying speculation that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would strengthen his coalition by bringing in Isaac Herzog and the Zionist Camp, the Likud leader turned around and announced a deal with hard-right former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
That deal saw Lieberman offered the position of defence minister, whose incumbent, Moshe Ya'alon, resigned both his post and place in the Knesset. In parting shots, Ya'alon declared he had lost trust in Netanyahu, and warned that "extremist and dangerous elements" had "taken over Israel and the Likud Party".
In a television interview on Friday, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak echoed Ya'alon's concerns, claiming that Israel has been "infected by the seeds of fascism".
Fascism: Italy - Messianic leadership: the Duce (Mussolini) - Nationalism - Liberalism|corporatism
Nazism: Germany - Messianic leadership: the Führer (Hitler) - Nationalism ('Blut und Boden') - Socialism
For Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport, the "deeper meaning" of Ya'alon's departure is "a change of elites" within Israeli politics, symbolised by Ya'alon's replacement in the Knesset, Yehuda Glick. Glick, a notorious radical activist within the 'Temple Mount' movement, is "representative of this new, religious and messianic elite".
The appointment of Ya'alon's successor, meanwhile, has prompted concern in many quarters. Lieberman's views are well-known: He has advocated a full takeover of the Gaza Strip, lives in a West Bank settlement near Bethlehem, and frequently questions the 'loyalty' of Palestinian citizens...
While observers assess prospects for change in Israeli policy, one man - Netanyahu - is driven by a determination to solidify a status quo - that of his own power.
Misunderstandings About Jerusalem's Temple Mount
Syrian Kurds, who in March unilaterally proclaimed the creation of a federal region in northern Syria, on Monday opened a representative office in central Paris with several celebrities attending the launch.
The office is not officially recognised by the French foreign ministry which views the opposition Syrian National Council as the "legitimate" representative of the Syrian people".
The launch of the Rojava office -- the name of the self-proclaimed federal region -- was attended by former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner (in 2010, the Jerusalem Post considered Bernard Kouchner the 15th most influential Jew in the world) and (Zionist) philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.
The move follows the opening of similar representative offices in Moscow, Berlin and Stockholm.
The Damascus government and the Syrian opposition do not recognise the region. Washington has said it will not recognise any autonomous regions the Syrian Kurds set up under their planned federation but it has also said that it will continue to work closely with the Kurds.
National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, commonly named the Syrian National Coalition, is a coalition of opposition groups in the Syrian Civil War that was founded in Doha, Qatar, in November 2012. The coalition had a council of about 63 members, including 22 members from the Syrian National Council.
Members of the al-Nusra Front and 13 other armed groups stated in a YouTube video on 19 November 2012 that they "unanimously reject the conspiratorial project called the National Coalition and announce[s] [its] consensus to establish an Islamic state [in Syria]".
By March 2013, at least twenty states had recognized the SNC as ‘the (sole) legitimate representative of the Syrian people’:
The United States issued a press statement on 11 November 2012 congratulating representatives of the Syrians for forming the coalition. The press statement stated that "We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of Assad's rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve..." The United States regards the coalition as "a legitimate representative" of the Syrian people...
Mission Statement: All political opposition factions have come together in unity with the goal of overthrowing the Assad regime and bring victory to the revolution both inside and outside of Syria.
Syrian Coalition Calls on EU to Salvage Political Process
SC website, Monday, 23 May 2016
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah called upon the European Union to salvage the political process through reviving the cessation of hostilities agreement and playing a more active role in Syria.
The US is thwarting any possible alliance between Russia, Turkey and Iran to fight the terrorist groups in Syria, Hassan Hanizadeh, former editor-in-chief of the Iranian news agency Mehr-News told Sputnik.
Meanwhile, Washington is using the terrorist groups operating on the ground in Syria as a tool to divide the countries of the region. Thus, the political editor added, the US is interested in keeping relations between Turkey and Russia strained and in stirring tensions between Iran and Turkey. Washington, he explained, is interested in extending its sphere of influence in the Middle East.
His comments come in reference to the recent remarks of Turkish Armed Forces’ former Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug, who called for cooperation between Russia, Iran and Turkey on Syria:
”We need to work together with other countries on the Syrian issue; alone we cannot cope. We need to act together with Iran and Russia, because they want to protect the territorial integrity of Syria… Turkey urgently needs to review its policy on Syria. It is necessary that Turkish relations with Russia get back to normal”, Ilker Basbug recently said in Frankfurt at a Symposium organized by Turkish public organizations.
“The call for cooperation between Turkey, Iran and Russia from such a high-ranking official apparently means that Turkey is gradually changing the course of its foreign policy on Syria and other issues in the Middle East,” Hanizadeh said.
If the current leadership adheres to the words of the former top officer, the political analyst added, the whole region will make a step towards stability, after the five years of the brutal war which has brought political, economic and humanitarian disasters throughout the Middle East.. Iran, Russia and Turkey have all the potential – diplomatic and military – to neutralize the terrorists. However the difference in positions on Syria between the major military circles in Turkey and the country’s leading government remains the stumbling block for the possible alliance.
After 2010, Turkey became a country which interferes with domestic internal affairs of neighboring countries and its property of being a county trusted by everyone was eroded.
Turkey’s Syria and Egypt policies were total disasters in particular. Turkey directly interfered with internal conflicts of these countries and caused problems in these countries to become even more complex due to these interventions, let alone providing a solution.
As of 2016, Turkey’s relations with almost each and every country worsened...
The change in Turkish foreign policy is undoubtedly related to the change in domestic politics. As Erdogan increased its impact on the Justice and Development Party, the Erdogan-Davutoglu Islamist romance grew in foreign policy.
The Justice and Development Party, which followed a foreign policy similar to that of former Prime Minister and President Turgut Ozal between 2002 and 2010, was influenced by Erdogan’s Islamism after 2010.
According to the new approach, Turkey was supposed to be the leader of the world of Islam and play the role of the leader in their relations with the West. Undoubtedly, at the end of the day, Mr. Erdogan was supposed to be the natural leader of the World of Islam as the Caliph or with a similar title.
We can say that Turkey showed a great shift from goals and principles of the classical Turkish foreign policy during the period after 2010. Turkey’s new foreign policy failed within a short amount of time...
The need for Turkey’s role as a mediator, facilitator and problem-solver is increasing for the balance of the region with each passing day. Turkey is the best candidate. Because Turkey needs the region to be secure and stable. If the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus cease to be secure and stable, security and stability in Turkey cannot be imagined. If the region is good, Turkey is good as well. If the region is getting worse, Turkey has a difficult task in its hands.
The US will not recognize any form of sovereignty for Syria's Kurds, while they work with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to take Raqqa from ISIS militants, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark C. Toner said.
"We've also made it clear to these Kurdish forces as well that they should not seek to create autonomous, semi-autonomous zones..., they should not seek to retain the territory that they liberate," Toner said on Monday.
"(...) rather that they should make sure it's returned to whatever civilian authorities there are and able to -- so that all displaced people can return there...
"With regard to the Kurdish forces in northern Syria, we've worked with a variety of groups and we've talked a lot about the YPG and the other -- and the Kurdish forces on the ground, and they've been effective partners in going after and, frankly, dislodging Daesh from many parts of northern Syria," the spokesman said.
"That cooperation continues... We provide the same assistance to other groups, Syrian Turkmen and Syrian Arabs who are also on the ground fighting Daesh in parts of northern Syria," he added. Moreover, the US official said they remain in close dialogue with Turkey and understand their 'concerns regarding Kurdish forces in northern Syria'.
The US State Department made clear that the previous visit of US Envoy Brett McGurk and the US CENTCOM commander Gen Joseph Votel to Syria's Kurdish region [Rojava] is not recognition of the local administrations set up by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.
"It's a recognition that we want to cooperate with these forces.., but it's not to imply any kind of recognition of their sovereignty or whatever," he stated.
"The US is not interested in involving itself in Syria's future and the Kurds' place in it. This is too politically and strategically messy. They are just interested in the Kurds' military utility against ISIS."
WASHINGTON (JTA) — In a rare and sharp split with Israel’s government policy, a group of Jewish community leaders want to get a proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the next president’s desk.
Two complementary US and Israeli working papers (to be launched next week) propose immediate actions Israel can take to prepare the ground for two states and a longer-term security structure that aims to satisfy Palestinian ambitions for sovereignty and Israeli security needs.
Elements of the proposals, including dismantling some settlements now and preparing for Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem, are radical departures from the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current government, perhaps the most right wing in Israeli history.
Tactically, getting the next president to kick-start new talks is also anathema to Netanyahu, who regards outside pressure as counterproductive.
The organization behind the push, the Israel Policy Forum, is not new to such initiatives. It was established in the early 1990s at the behest of late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin...|
In the last 18 months or so, the Israel Policy Forum has signed to its board Alan Solow and Robert Sugarman, past chairmen of the Presidents Conference, the Jewish community’s foreign policy umbrella group. Sugarman also is a past president of the ADL.
On board, too, are Robert Elman and Robert Goodkind, past presidents of the American Jewish Committee, and Susie Gelman, a past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and an early major funder of The Israel Project. Solow, Sugarman and Gelman, with Israel Policy Forum staff, met last week with JTA.
Mainstream Jewish groups have long been resistant to openly challenging Israel on security issues,
|Last speech of prime minister and minister of defense Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli radical on November 4th 1995 in Tel Aviv.|
The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin took place on 4 November 1995 (at 21:30), at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv. The assassin, an Israeli ultranationalist named Yigal Amir, radically opposed Rabin's peace initiative and particularly the signing of the Oslo Accords.|
The assassination was the culmination of an anti-violence rally in support of the Oslo peace process. Rabin, despite his extensive service in the Israeli military, was disparaged personally by right-wing conservatives and Likud leaders who perceived the Oslo peace process as an attempt to forfeit the occupied territories.
National religious conservatives and Likud party leaders believed that withdrawing from any "Jewish" land was heresy. Rallies, organized partially by Likud, became increasingly extreme in tone.
Likud leader (and future Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu accused Rabin's government of being "removed from Jewish tradition ... and Jewish values."
Netanyahu addressed protesters of the Oslo movement at rallies where posters portrayed Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform or being the target in the cross-hairs of a sniper.
"It seems that anyone who has eyes in his head realizes that the option of a Palestinian state no longer exists..." (25-5-2016)
US voices concern over new Israeli coalition
Sharon & the Palestinian pastrami sandwich
“What is to become of the Palestinians?”
Winston S. Churchill III (journalist) at the National Press Club, October 10, 2001, recalling his conversation with then-General (res.) Ariel Sharon in 1973
See also Saddam's Death, page 48
Political Zionism & the Wailing Wall - a never ending story
The Gulf Arab states have come out in favor of coordinated action of Russia and the US-led coalition on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday after a session of the Russia-Gulf Cooperation Council strategic dialog.
"We’re unanimous that the threat of terrorism and extremism requires uncompromising counteraction to prevent the triumph of the plans nurtured by the IS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and similar groupings," the Russian foreign minister said.
"We reaffirmed our full commitment to the decisions that were made regarding the Syrian settlement within the framework of the ISSG and the UN Security Council." "Under the Security Council auspices we supported the continuing process of the search for a settlement in Yemen, Libya and a number of other countries of the Middle East and northern Africa and discussed the situation in Iraq."
syria - aleppo - 2014
According to the minister, the US has pledged to achieve separation of the Syrian opposition and Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist group but this has not yet happened.
"The effectiveness of the anti-terrorist operation in Syria is hampered by the situation when many groups of the so-called patriotic opposition are territorially mixed with terrorist groups, first of all Jebhat al-Nusra," Lavrov said at the session in the format of strategic dialogue between Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
"Back in February this year, US colleagues promised us in the framework of ISSG (International Syria Support Group) and via other channels that they will soon achieve through their representatives the separation on the ground between patriotic opposition and Jebhat al-Nusra," he added.
A new Syrian constitution, drafted by lawmakers in Damascus, was presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last March, who in turn gave a draft to his US counterpart John Kerry.
It was debated during the months of April-May by presidential envoys from Moscow and Washington DC, and is expected to see the light, at least in draft, by August 1, as mandated by UN Security Coundil Resolution 2254. If accepted, it would replace the current charter, penned 11 months after the outbreak of the current crisis, back in February 2012.
The new constitution builds upon previous Syrian charters, and notably changes the name of the country from “Syrian Arab Republic” to the “Syrian Republic”, as it had been during 1932-1958.
Removing the word “Arab” has been a pressing demand by non-Arabs who are part of the country’s ethnic diversity, like Syrian Kurds, Armenians, and Turkmen. The Baathists, who are ideologically committed on paper to achieving Arab unity, remain strongly opposed to changing the name of the republic.
Another notable change in the new constitution is omitting Article 3 which says that “Islam is the religion of the President of the Republic.”
This article, in-place since 1920, has always been criticised by Syrian Christians, who claim that it treats them as second-class citizens and bars them from the Syrian Presidency. Removing it now fits in nicely with the Syrian government’s self-proclaimed image of being a secular bulwark against fanaticism and radical Islam, and a protector of minority rights.
The new charter also gives Syrian Kurds (estimated at 12-15 per cent of the population) the constitutional right to use the Kurdish language in their towns and villages, providing it is placed “on equal footing with the Arabic language.”
The new charter also empowers Syrian districts with a strong decentralised system of government, greatly reducing the authority of Damascus. In theory, this means that in addition to choosing their own language, these districts can now elect their own governor, rather than have him or her appointed by Damascus officialdom.
Additionally, local parliaments are now on the table, with full legislative powers, and the right to elect their deputies to serve on a central Syrian Parliament in Damascus. The two parliaments, central and local, would take the same oath of office, and rule side-by-side with the Syrian presidency and premiership.
The post of deputy prime minister, previously in the hands of the Syrian Presidency, is now subject to appointment based on equal representation of all ethnicities and sects in Syria. Meaning, just like in Iraq and Lebanon, if the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, his deputies would have to be Christians or Alawites, Shiites, and Druze.
The cabinet of ministers is empowered to sign treaties on behalf of the Syrian State, like giving foreign companies economic rights in Syria, and to hire and fire state employees, and soldiers.
The word “socialism” has been completely omitted from mention, oath, or economic orientation. The word “Arabise” has also been removed, which was central to the presidential oath in the previous two constitutions of 1973 and 2012.
Constitutionally, the president’s legislative powers have been abolished in the new constitution, and his duty is now to serve as “liaison between state and society.” He nevertheless keeps his authority as commander-in-chief of the Syrian Army...
Finally, according to the new constitutional draft, the armed forces are barred from any political conduct and paramilitary forces and militias are banned.
No draft of a new constitution has been proposed|
Damascus, SANA, 27-5-2016
The official Facebook page for the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic dismissed as untrue the talks and news on drafts of a new constitution proposed to Syria. The official page said that during the past two days, it received many questions regarding what has been circulated by some media outlets on drafts of a new constitution...
”In this context and to avoid any confusion, we are concerned to affirm that no draft of a new constitution has been proposed to the Syrian Arab Republic and all what has been circulated by media outlets on this issue is completely untrue,” the page said.
It added that any new constitution to Syria in the future will not be proposed by outside the country, but rather it will be absolutely a Syrian, with only the Syrian people discussing and agreeing on it...”
2012 Constitution for the Syrian Arab Republic - Preamble
Arab civilization, which is part of human heritage, has faced through its long history great challenges aimed at breaking its will and subjecting it to colonial domination, but it has always rose through its own creative abilities to exercise its role in building human civilization.
... All of this is attainable through a system of fundamental principles that enshrines independence, sovereignty and the rule of the people based on election, political and party pluralism and the protection of national unity, cultural diversity, public freedoms, human rights, social justice, equality, equal opportunities, citizenship and the rule of law, where the society and the citizen are the objective and purpose for which every national effort is dedicated.
Preserving the dignity of the society and the citizen is an indicator of the civilization of the country and the prestige of the state.
See also: Saddam's Death, page 13 (2012)
The European Union (EU) has extended the economic sanctions against the Syrian government for another year, the European council announced on Friday.
“On 27 May 2016, the Council extended EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime until 1 June 2017. This decision is in line with the Council conclusions of December 2014 which affirmed that the EU would continue imposing and enforcing sanctions targeting the regime and its supporters as long as repression continues,” the Council said in a statement.
The sanctions include an oil embargo, asset freezes, export restrictions and travel bans.
Extending the EU sanctions on Syria hampers efforts for finding a political solution to the crisis in the country and worsens the suffering of the Syrian people, head of the Baath Arab Socialist Party’s Culture and Information Department Khalaf al-Muftah told Sputnik Arabic on Friday.
Commenting on the European Union's new decision to extend its sanctions against the Syrian government until June 2017, Muftah said the EU sanctions on Syria are illegal and they contradict UN charter and international law, because economic sanctions on any country must be issued by the Security Council only...
He added: The economic issue should be present in Geneva talks and in any solution attempt, because the continuity of economic sanctions has been one of the main causes of prolonging the crisis in Syria and of the flow of refugees and immigrants towards Europe.
Muftah criticized Europe's hypocrisy and claims that it supports political solution in Syria while at the same time it toughens and extends the sanctions on the Syrians. (Syria Times, 29 May 2016)
KOBANE – The Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-chair Salih Muslim hosted ARA News in his house in Kobane to discuss the recent developments in northern Raqqa and in the rest of Syria. The PYD co-head dismissed criticism of those who suggest the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) should not lead operations to take northern Raqqa.
Muslim said that the Kurdish-led SDF forces are currently not fighting to liberate Raqqa the city, the operation is only for the countryside of Raqqa, since no administration has been created yet to run the city in the post-ISIS phase.
“We should prepare the administration to run Raqqa after the liberation, consisting of all components living in Raqqa: Kurds, Arabs and Christians. But the council should be mostly Arabs,” he said.
The Kurdish leader blamed the critics of the SDF as supporters of Turkey.
“Most likely Turkey is behind them [those who critic SDF] and they are located in Ankara,” he said... “They [Turkey and its supporters] don’t want any advances for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and they don’t want to have any gains for the Kurdish people inside this federal system and to liberate Raqqa,” Muslim said.
“Federalism is not for only Rojava or the Kurdish people, it’s a project for all the Syrian people, while Turkey and its affiliates are afraid of democracy to be implemented in Syria,” he added.
The PYD co-head said they are willing to work with secular Free Syrian Army groups, like the New Syrian Army. “The measurement for us to coordinate with any group politically and even armed forces if they are secular. If the rebel groups [being trained] in Jordan or any other groups accept secularism, we can work with them, but not if they call for the Islamic State, Islamic emirates, or Islamic law,” he added. “Syria can only be secular,” he told ARA News...
One of the big problems for the PYD is that both the Syrian opposition and the Syrian regime reject their participation in the Geneva negotiations. “If Russia and US want it, we could be part of it,” he said. “But Turkey is pushing the Kurds and doesn’t want a political solution in Syria.”
“If we are on the table of negotiations, we will push for a political solution,” Muslim told ARA News. “If we fail, we will look for other alternatives. In the end, we are ready to discuss with anyone who is willing to accept this project for federalism for all of Syria,” he said.
However, the Kurdish leader added that the Syrian regime is not ready.
“They still have a Baathist mentality and don’t accept others, and want one Syria as a dictatorship ruled by one party as part of the Arab nation,” he said. Also, the Turkey-backed opposition completely rejects any form of federalism in Syria.
Bashar al-Assad 10-1-2012
'The strength of Arabism lies in its diversity'
The social structure of the Arab world, with its large diversity, is based on two strong and integrated pillars: Arabism and Islam. Both of them are great, rich and vital. Consequently, we cannot blame them for the wrong human practices. Furthermore, the Muslim and Christian diversity in our country is a major pillar of our Arabism and a foundation of our strength. ...
We should always know that Arabism is an identity not a membership. Arabism is an identity given by history not a certificate given by an organization. Arabism is an honor that characterizes Arab peoples not a stigma carried by some pseudo-Arabs on the Arab or world political stage. ...
The last thing in Arabism is race. Arabism is a question of civilization, a question of common interests, common will and common religions. It is about the things which bring about all the different nationalities which live in this place. The strength of this Arabism lies in its diversity not in its isolation and not in its one colordness.
Arabism hasn’t been built by the Arabs. Arabism has been built by all those non-Arabs who contributed to building it and those who belong to this rich society in which we live.
Its strength lies in its diversity. ... The strength of our Arabism lies in openness, diversity and in showing this diversity not integrating it to look like one component.
Arabism has been accused for decades of chauvinism. This is not true. If there are chauvinistic individuals, this doesn’t mean that Arabism is chauvinistic. It is a condition of civilization.
TRIPOLI - Two months after his dramatic arrival in Libya's capital, Fayez al-Sarraj's unity government has won international support but had little impact inside a divided country plagued by jihadists, analysts say.
The head of the Government of National Accord sailed into Tripoli under naval escort on March 30... His arrival sparked hopes of a way out of the political, security and economic crises that have gripped Libya since the [NATO supported] 2011 revolution...
But confined to the naval base where it receives visiting foreign ministers, the UN-backed GNA has yet to draw up any clear roadmap for ending Libya's anarchy and expelling jihadists from their strongholds.
Muammar Gaddafi, leader of the 1969 revolution
On the military front, the GNA controls several airports and has militias and army units based in the western region of Misrata, equipped with tanks and warplanes, under its command. But the east-west divide rules out any unified control of Libya's porous borders through which hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans pour in in search of a better life across the Mediterranean in Europe.
And although Libya holds Africa's richest oil reserves, the economy poses a huge challenge for the GNA faced with spiralling food, transportation and medical costs since the start of 2016.
Internationally, the GNA secured a Western pledge at a May 16 meeting in Vienna to ease the arms embargo in place since Libya's revolution to battle the Islamic State jihadist group.
But for Kader Abderrahim, a specialist on Islamism at the Paris-based Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, "Libyans are fed up with Western interference in their affairs and the fact that they have literally imposed Fayez al-Sarraj can only be damaging for him."
As the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq presses on, the head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told The New Arab of his concern for the future of Christians in the country torn apart by militias, IS and government corruption.
Yet despite a US proposed project to arm Christians in Iraq, the Patriarch refused the idea that Christians should be singled out - militarily or otherwise - from a diverse Iraqi community.
"We refused and continue to reject this idea," he said. "Our loyalty is always to the nation and the state."
The Patriarch stressed that young Christians should instead support and help to rehabilitate the regular Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to liberate lands from IS
The Patriarch stresses that although theft within Islam is forbidden, in Baghdad, Basra and some Northern towns theft of Christian property became common, along with the "mad and ignorant" idea that taking property from non-Muslims is permissible.
"Militias, mafias and individuals seized Christian homes and property publicly under threat and intimidation while the government watched," he said, describing the trend as "terrifying" for Christians.
"Daesh is a cancer...a sin against God and religion, and a crime against human rights and civilization," the Patriarch concluded. Yet he traced back many of the problems faced by Christians in Iraq to the US.
"The American role in the region has been negative, not only in Iraq," he said. "Washington came with slogans of democracy, freedom and economic prosperity. Americans dismantled the Iraqi state, demobilised the army, and destroyed the country’s infrastructure," he added.
"They created...sectarianism and chaos in Iraq, and are responsible for what is happening how...Daesh and al-Qaeda are natural products of what they did in Iraq."
Although the Patriarch rejects the division of Iraq into "unrealistic and unatural" autonomous regions, he accepts the idea of some self-determination for various peoples.
"It is the right of all people to think of self-determination," he said... "I suggest that Iraq adopts a de-facto federal system in a civilised manner - on a purely regulatory basis, away from partisanship and sectarian and religious blocs...so Iraq can maintain unity" he said.
Although Raphael said the role of authorities is "important and essential" to lead to peace and coexistence Iraq, the political classes in the country “failed” to build a new country. "We need a change and a new generation... people who believe in the homeland and citizenship," he said.
The independent nationalist Syrian government, now being targeted by Western foreign policy, was born in the struggle against colonialism.
It took decades of great sacrifice from the people of Syria to break the country free from foreign domination — first by the French empire and later from puppet leaders. For the last several decades, Syria has been a strong, self-reliant country in the oil-rich Middle East region. It has also been relatively peaceful.
The name of the main political party in Syria is the “Baath Arab Socialist Party.” The Arabic word “Baath” literally translates to “Rebirth” or “Resurrection.” In terms of living standards, the Baathist Party has lived up to its name, forging an entirely new country with an independent, tightly planned and regulated economy.
Syria is not a “client state” like the Gulf state autocracies surrounding it, and it has often functioned in defiance of the U.S. and Israel. It is this, not altruistic concerns about human rights, that motivate Western attacks on the country.
One thing that distinguishes Syria from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and various other U.S.-aligned regimes throughout the region is religious freedom. In Syria, Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Jews, and other religious groups are permitted to practice their religious faith freely. The government is secular, and respects the rights of the Sunni Muslim majority as well as religious minorities.
In addition to religious freedom, Syria openly tolerates the existence of two strong Marxist-Leninist parties. The Syrian Communist Party and the Syrian Communist Party (Bakdash) openly operate as part of the anti-imperialist coalition supporting the Baath Arab Socialist Party. Communists lead trade unions and community organizations in Damascus and other parts of the country.
Shortly after fighting began in 2011, the Syrian government granted autonomy to Kurdish regions and transferred political authority to leftist Kurdish nationalist organizations...
Syria’s political system is certainly in need of reform and modernization, and representatives of the Syrian government such as U.N. Ambassador Bashar Al-Jaafari readily admit this. However, the civil war which has raged across Syria for the last five years, is not about reform, democratization or modernization.
US Key Man in Syria Worked Closely
Al-Okaidi: "My relationship with
The BBC published a “guide to Syrian rebels” in 2013. Among them are not only the infamous “Islamic State” organization, which now horrifies the world, but also the Nusra Front, previously known as Al-Qaida in Syria. Other organizations with names like the “Islamic Front,” the “Islamic Liberation Front,” and the “Ahfad al-Rasoul Brigades” are also listed.
While Western media presents the Syrian civil war as a “battle for democracy” led by “revolutionaries,” the primary goal of almost every insurgent organization is creating a Sunni caliphate — one that does not actually suit Sunnis though, but rather a perverted politicized version of Sunnism...
The Syrian government rallies a coalition of Christians, Communists, Islamic Revolutionaries, and other forces who are fighting to maintain stability and defeat Takfiri terrorism. (The term “Takfiri” refers to groups of Sunni Muslims who refer to other Muslims as apostates and seek to establish a caliphate by means of violence.)
As U.S. media bemoans the humanitarian crisis, somehow blaming on the Syrian government and its president, and the U.S. directly sends its military forces into the country, the people of the world should ask Western leaders and their allies: Why are you prolonging this war? Why can’t you just leave Syria alone?
Isn’t five years of civil war enough? Is overthrowing the Syrian government really worth so much suffering and death?
A group of Israelis and Palestinians has teamed up in a movement calling for a European-style confederation between Israel and a future state of Palestine, that would allow citizens from both sides of the conflict to live in either country but retain their original nationality.
The movement rejects the idea of separating the two peoples, claiming that reality has proven that such an effort, started 23 years ago with the Oslo Accords, has failed.
One Israeli activist in the movement, journalist Meron Rapoport, said its final goal was to ensure that Jews could live “everywhere they want in the Land of Israel, and Palestinians can live anywhere they want in the land they call Palestine.” Most settlements, in such a scenario, would not be evacuated by force. Rapoport said he dreams of “two independent, sovereign states, belonging to a super-structure, a confederation, a union — the label is less important — that have strong bilateral relations, such as open borders, shared security forces, maybe a shared court of human rights.”
Muhammad Beiruti from Ramallah told Channel 2 that as a member of the PLO he would accept a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines..
Asked by Channel 2 about Efrat, a community of 10,000 Jews south of Jerusalem located inside the territory Palestinians claim for a future state, Beiruti said: “Israelis who want to live in Palestine, in the Palestinian state, they can live anywhere they want — but these will be Arab villages, under complete Arab sovereignty and control, and they will be populated not only by Jews — whoever wants to live here, will be able to. Every Israeli that wants to live in Ramallah and Bethlehem — let them.
“Efrat was established on the land of the village of El Hader. I’m not saying we will expel 10,000 people — let them stay. But they will cease to be settlers. They will be Israeli citizens living in the Palestinian state, or holders of Palestinian citizenship, that’s also OK.”
Beiruti was born in Jordan after the establishment of Israel in 1948, but later moved to the West Bank. After helping establish terror cells and traveling as far as Syria, Lebanon and Tunis, he served a decade in an Israeli prison. Beiruti became Jenin governor following the Oslo Accords.
Two States One Homeland Website::
"Our vision is based on the belief that Jews and Palestinians have in common aspects of culture and identity; a reconciliation between the two peoples will require openness and connection to the greater space. On this basis we have arrived at a set of agreed principles, which can be summed up as “Together and Separate”, or “One land, two states”.
"Palestine / Israel constitutes a historical and geographical unity from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, which should consist of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine. In these states, the two nations will realize their right to self-determination, and the border between them will be based on the 4 June, 1967 lines and a total cessation of the occupation."
"The Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel would enjoy the rights of a national minority, civil equality, proper representation in government bodies, fair distribution of the state resources and proper representation in the joint Israeli-Palestinian institutions... To the extent that there exists a Jewish minority inside Palestine, it will enjoy identical rights."
BEIRUT - The Syrian opposition's chief negotiator in UN-brokered peace talks has announced his resignation, branding the stalled Geneva negotiations a failure on both the security and humanitarian fronts.
"The three rounds of talks were unsuccessful because of the stubbornness of the regime...," Mohammed Alloush, a member of the Saudi-backed rebel group Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), said.
"The endless negotiations are harming the fate of the Syrian people," Alloush added. "I therefore announce my withdrawal from the delegation and my resignation" from the main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC).
With little high-level negotiations experience, Alloush was a controversial choice as the HNC's chief negotiator. Opposition members have also criticised Jaish al-Islam for its alleged involvement in kidnapping prominent rights activists in the town of Douma.
Syria analyst Charles Lister said Alloush's resignation had been "discussed for some time" and may trigger additional defections, including HNC delegation head Asaad al-Zoabi. Zoabi defected from the Syrian air force in August 2012 and began advising rebel groups in Syria's south from Jordan.
The walkout of Jaysh al-Islam’s representative Mohammed Alloush from the High Negotiations Committee will have a positive impact on intra-Syrian talks, Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov, has said.
"It will have a positive influence on progress in the intra-Syrian talks," he said. "Those people were taking an absolutely unconstructive approach and apparently they had no intention of negotiating anything good for their country and their people. Those professing such extremist approaches should stay away from the negotiating process."
"In the UN Security Council we officially suggested including Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam in the list of terrorist organizations. The Alloush brothers represent Jaysh al-Islam, which repeatedly shelled the Russian embassy in Damascus and the city’s residential areas, which killed innocent people," Bogdanov said. "Naturally, the members of such organization must be branded as outright terrorists and as people unable to conduct any constructive political negotiations."
Asked by TASS whether Russia regarded Ahrar Al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam as legitimate targets for its air and space group, Bogdanov replied: "Moscow considers as legitimate only the targets that were agreed on within the Syria Support Group and with our US partners.
Jaysh al-Islam (meaning Army of Islam), formerly known as Liwa al-Islam or the Brigade of Islam, is a coalition of Islamist and Salafist units. Its primary base of operations has been the Damascus area, particularly the neighbourhoods of Douma and Eastern Ghouta. Jaysh al-Islam is the largest rebel faction in the area. The group along with Ahrar al-Sham are the main rebel groups supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Syria, Russia, Iran, and Egypt have designated Jaysh al-Islam as a terrorist organization. (Wikipedia)
ALEPPO – Kurdish organisations called on the United Nations agencies to deliver humanitarian aid to the Sheikh Maqsoud district in Aleppo, which has been for months under siege by Syrian Islamist rebels.
At least 150 civilians were killed and 1100 others were wounded in the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo under bombardment by Islamist rebels, led by the Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham.
“We are in urgent need for humanitarian aid, people are facing the danger of starvation. We suffer sharp shortage of basic supplies like food and medicines,” rights activist Ali al-Ahmed told ARA News in Aleppo...
Al-Qaeda branch in Syria of Nusra Front, Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and other Islamist factions have been constantly shelling the Kurdish district since February. Sheikh Maqsoud has been besieged for months, while the Kurdish YPG forces have been trying to push Islamists back.
“The United Nations must take action and save those civilians who have suffered the most under the barbaric military campaign by radical Islamists,” rights activist Ali al-Ahmed told ARA News in Aleppo.
Speaking to ARA News, Luqman Ismail, one of the stranded citizens in Sheikh Maqsoud, said that electricity outage continues for nearly three years because of the barbaric bombardment led by Islamist rebels on the main network of power outside the district.
“These groups are apparently punishing the people of Sheikh Maqsoud for their support to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are engaged in fighting with Islamist rebels around the city of Aleppo,” he said.
French, Iranian artists top at Holocaust cartoon contest
2015: Je Suis Zeon: French Freedom of Speech is a Myth, Says Cartoonist
Holocaust cartoon contest 2016
In first place in the “Cartoon” division was a French cartoonist calling himself Zeon.
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, by Norman G. Finkelstein
This study was one of the most widely debated books of 2000. Finkelstein indicts with both vigor and honesty those who exploit the tragedy of the Holocaust for their own personal political and financial gain.
Israel does not need to apologize for or justify its presence in the Jewish people’s historic capital of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday during a Knesset meeting in honor of Jerusalem Day.
Netanyahu inveighed against the UNESCO decision last month ignoring Israel’s ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall. “It’s so absurd, so ridiculous; I can’t get over it,” he said. The prime minister detailed Israel’s ties to the ancient city since the time of King David and through the First and Second Temple eras.
The temple: A center of power?
Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), however, said that the idea of a united Jerusalem is an “illusion,” and the city is part Palestinian, part Israeli.
“Jerusalem will not remain Jewish, moral, whole and safe if there is not a dramatic diplomatic change,” he argued. “If we don’t urgently – without delay and without excuses – make an agreement between two nations, or at least move toward it and create peace, both nations will continue to be gripped by death and live at each other’s throats.”
It is time to put an end to this political slouching and for Israel to reassert its dominion and control over the city we waited 1,900 years to return to.
The first step toward truly liberating Jerusalem is to free ourselves of fear. , every time a Jewish building project is approved in our capital city, and we should begin to restore order in areas where Palestinian Arabs have been consistently breaking the law and doing as they please. And let’s stop discriminating against Jews on the Temple Mount, where they are treated as second-class citizens and harassed for wishing to commune with their Creator.
Winning the Six Day War was a miraculous first step in liberating eastern Jerusalem and restoring it to Jewish control. It was a gift from God to the Jewish people.
Religious Zionist doctrine holds that Jewish redemption – the arrival of the king messiah – will be achieved through conquering and settling Eretz Yisrael. Territorial withdrawal is perceived by Religious Zionists to be a reversal of the unfolding of messianic events they believe to be happening before their eyes. (Mondoweiss, 31-5-2016)
The Wailing Wall, a never ending story
"English archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon discovered in 1962
that the entire City of David in the past had been only that little rock ridge
on the western bank of the Kidron Valley..."
Jerusalem & the city of David
God can have many homes - The Temple as idolatry
Israel Is Fighting Your War
Last week, communication and strategy consultant Roni Rimon attended a conference focused on fighting BDS, which was organized by Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. While there, he guided groups of students in how to oppose the phenomenon.
"We need to actively go after members of BDS," he told Arutz Sheva, adding: "We need to fight against them and any group, university or company that boycotts Israel. We need to denounce them, expose them and shame them." He explained that anyone who gives in to BDS should be revealed as someone who wants to destroy Jews around the world.
Rimon also supports taking extreme steps in the fight. "I think that the comparison between BDS and Nazism doesn't need to be limited to lectures. I think that we -- the State of Israel and Jews around the world -- should simply label anyone who supports BDS as modern Nazis. "We simply need to compare these people to Nazis - because they have effectively revived the theory of race, which calls for destroying the Jews only because they are Jews."
More than 2,000 people attended a conference at the UN General Assembly aimed at combating the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement...
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the opening session via video.
In his opening speech, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that the BDS phenomenon amounted to “modern-day anti-Semitism,” and that those who wanted to fight it “must unite to reveal its true face and put an end to its ideology of hatred and lies.”
“Here, from the parliament of Nations, we commit to fighting BDS on campuses, in the courts and in the halls of the UN. We will not allow the forces of hate to demonize Israel. Together, we will defeat BDS,” Danon said.
Ron Lauder, president of the WJC, said the World Jewish Congress would “commit all of our resources, and all of our abilities, to help fight BDS.” “These activists are calling for the destruction of the State of Israel. Make no mistake.”
During the session on BDS activity on campuses, students listened to suggestions on how to counter Israel Apartheid week, an annual spring event, which includes “Apartheid” walls and checkpoints. Ideas included holding an Israel Week on their campus, an Israel Education Day, and building relationships with groups across campus.
On Thursday, the World Zionist Organization and American Zionist Movement will host “BDS – The New anti-Semitism? Confronting a Global Campaign.”
Flashback: Likud Jockeying: Danny Danon
Flashback: Revisionists are an obstacle to peace
Addressing the an international peace initiaitve which was held in Paris on Friday, Bayit Jehudi chairman Naftali Bennett said: “There are those, in Israel and abroad, who attach themselves to different Arab initiatives, according to which we would have to divide the land, divide Jerusalem and return to the 1967 lines. The world pressures and we think there is a need to appease them. On this evening, I say to those people: That will never happen. We all stand as a (bulwark) to ensure that our country is complete. We won’t stutter, we won’t be confused and we won’t zigzag.”
“The time has come to state unequivocally that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people: in Hebrew, English, Russian, French, in the summer, in the winter, when there are elections or when there are not elections. Why? Because the world is listening to us, to every word. The world recognizes weakness just as it recognizes strength. The world recognizes and smells when we are unsure of our rights to the land and attacks us with a series of boycotts,” he declared.
'Apartheid' Only Solution: Speaking to Channel 2, Bennett said believes in “Palestinian autonomy” which would be achieved by Israel imposing full sovereignty over Area C which constitutes 61 per cent of the occupied West Bank. According to his “Stability Plan” plan, Palestinian can rule over Area A without any Israeli interference, but without real independence. He suggested that those living in Area C, which includes mostly illegal settlements, are given the choice to have Israeli citizenship. (Middle East Monitor, 6-6-2016)
Following Bennett’s attacks against Netanyahu, which have been launched over the past few weeks, new Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman sent a message to Bennett, advising him to "relax":
“I take this opportunity to call upon my friends – first and foremost to my good friend Minister Naftali Bennett – to calm down. We have less need for declarations right now. We need coordinated, combined and quiet efforts."
Leftist Professor Says Jewish Home MKs 'Worse than Le Pen'
Flashback 2005: Ariel Sharon resigns as leader of the Likud
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian fighter jets carried out several combat flights over ISIL's positions in Southwestern Raqqa and targeted them heavily.
The Russian warplanes targeted the ISIL positions along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway, which ended in the killing or wounding of tens of the militants. The Syrian Army troops advanced towards East Raqqa under very good coverage of the Syrian air fleet.
In relevant developments in the province on Thursday, the Syrian army, backed by the Desert Hawks brigade, started full-scale military operations to drive back the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group from its de-facto capital of Raqqa.
According to field sources, the Syrian forces started the operations from Ithriya region which links Aleppo to Hama, a strategic area which separates the Syrian army and the ISIL's positions.
The army and its allies began the offensive by artillery attacks, supported by airstrikes, against the Eastern parts of Raqqa.
Field sources said that the operations were aimed at taking full control of Raqqa province concurrently with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)'s advance in the Northern borders of the province.
Raqqa: An Icon of 'The Revolution'
The Syrian army has launched a new major offensive to liberate the northeastern city of Raqqah from the clutches of the Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
The Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said in a report on Friday that the new operation, backed by Russian airstrikes, does not expect to reach the Daesh-held Raqqah city “in the coming weeks,” but the aim is at least to reach Tabqa, some 50 km (30 miles) west of Raqqah.
On Thursday, the Syrian army announced that it had started a new operation against the terrorists in the Athriya area of eastern Hama province, some 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Tabqa and 50 km (30 miles) from the provincial frontier with Raqqah. Syrian troops are focusing on eastern and northern areas of both Homs and Hama provinces “in the direction of Daesh gatherings.”
Russian-backed Syrian troops pushed into the Islamic State group's bastion province Raqa, threatening to catch the jihadists in a pincer movement as US-backed Kurdish-led fighters advance from the north. The lightning advance from the southwest with Russian air support brought the army to within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the Euphrates Valley town of Tabqa, site of the country's biggest dam...
The dam, 40 kilometers (25 miles) upstream from the jihadists' de facto Syrian capital Raqa city, is also the target of the Washington-backed offensive which Kurdish-led fighters launched late last month.
It was the first time that government troops had entered Raqa province since they were ousted by IS fighters in August 2014. When IS overran the area with its garrison and airbase in 2014, it summarily executed 160 captured regime troops.
Arab and Kurdish fighters backed by Washington have launched an assault on the strategic Manbij pocket further up the Euphrates on the Turkish border, regarded as a key entry point for foreign jihadists.
Washington has deployed more than 200 special forces troops in support of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which it regards as the most effective fighting force on the ground against IS in Syria.
The SDF controls a large swathe of northeastern Syria along the Turkish border and another border enclave in the northwest. The SDF's offensive against the Manbij pocket is aimed at seizing the last stretch of border still under IS control and denying the jihadists any opportunity to smuggle in recruits and funds.
The US military said the assault had captured more than 100 square kilometers (40 square miles) of territory from IS this week.
Washington's support for the SDF has strained relations with NATO ally Ankara (Turkey) as its largest component is the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Ankara regards the YPG as an arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has fought a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state. To allay Turkish concerns, Washington has sought to boost the Arab element in the SDF particularly as it advances into non-Kurdish areas.
Negotiations on joining ceasefire regime have been continued with field commanders of armed opposition detachments active in the Aleppo, Homs, and al-Quneitra provinces. The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 60.
The ceasefire has been observed in most provinces of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Jaysh al-Islam formations, which had claimed to belong to the opposition, have performed mortar shelling against positions of the Syrian Armed Forces in Arbil and Harasta, and twice in Jaubar sector of Damascus.
Groupings of Jabhat al-Nusra international terrorist organization continue performing provocative actions aimed at breaking the ceasefire down. Within last 24 hours, shelling with improvised artillery and mortars has been performed against Sheikh Maqsood, al-Muhafaza, al-Zagra sectors of Aleppo, al-Nairab airport, and Handrat village.
In the north-east of the Latakia province, terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra have shelled positions of the government troops near Iqqo, Ard al-Wata, Zaitunjik. They also attacked positions of the Syrian Armed Forces in direction to Saraf and Kinsibba for two times.
More than 200 terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra international terrorist organization have illegally passed Syrian-Turkey border near Beisun and attacked positions of the Syrian Armed Forces.
Near Binnish (Idlib province), significant concentration of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists (about 1,000 men) is observed. Terrorist formations are armed with automobiles with large-caliber machine guns and up to 25 air defence systems.
Today you start your legislative role at a critical juncture whose dangers go beyond all the dangers faced by Syria since the evacuation of the French occupation. This gives you an exceptional role in dealing with two forces going in opposite directions.
The first force pushes backward and tries to weaken Syria and violate its sovereignty and perpetrate acts of killing, sabotage, ignorance, backwardness and serve the interests of foreign powers.
The second force pushes forward and is fully determined to implement reforms which have materialized in a package of laws and a new constitution and which has broadened popular participation in managing the affairs of the homeland.
If standing in the face of the regional and global attack against our country is not an easy task, accommodating ourselves to the reforms and strengthening them is not easy either. Through these reforms we counter a significant part of this attack and build strong fortifications against regional and international ambitions in our country.
A lot has been said about the political solution since the beginning of the crisis... The political process is moving forward, but terrorism is growing and hasn't subsided. Terrorists are concerned neither with reform nor with dialogue. They are criminals who have set themselves a task; and they are not concerned with condemnation or denunciation. They will never stop until they complete their task regardless of anything. They will never stop unless we stop them. Not distinguishing between terrorism and the political process is a great error made by some people...
A lot has been said about dialogue. Some of those who do not like slogans say that they are mere empty slogans and some have unknowingly turned dialogue into an empty slogan.
Where are the plans or visions for such a dialogue, and who are the parties concerned with dialogue. Who conducts dialogue with whom? What are the issues that the parties discuss in this dialogue? Who are these parties and what is their relationship to the events? And how can we ensure that these parties represent the people or a certain segment of the people?
In principle, the only basis is the elections. But these forces have run away from elections claiming that they have boycotted them.
When you boycott the elections, you do not boycott the state, the government or the ruling party. You boycott the people because elections are the right of the people and because the voter is the citizen, not the state and not the party. Consequently, how can any person stand in front of people and say I represent the people yet I boycott the people. This is an impossible contradiction. It cannot happen even in an imaginary movie.
Ismail Tamer: Patriotic Song
The tasks ahead of us go beyond national borders. If some outside Syria have sent our people death and destruction, we will provide their people with a civilized model to use as an example in gaining their freedom and becoming partners in their countries instead of having rulers who own the land and the people. Then, we will receive messages of humanity from our brothers in free countries instead of receiving advice about democracy from countries of slavery...
Our guiding light is always Syria's sovereignty, independent decision, territorial integrity and the dignity of its people.
Always remember that individuals are ephemeral while the people is eternal; and that state positions come and go while the homeland is always there. I wish you every possible success in the tasks you are charged with in this first legislative course.
Hadiya Khalaf Abbas was elected as the Speaker of the People's Council of Syria, becoming the first woman to hold the post.
Syria held parliamentary elections on April 15 with over 3,500 candidates contesting the 250 seats in Syria's parliament. Ballot stations were set up in 12 of Syria's 14 provinces, as the northern province of Raqqa was still under the control of Daesh terrorist group and the northwestern Idlib province was controlled by al-Nusra Front. The newly-elected parliament held its first session on Monday.
Hadiyeh Khalaf Abbas was born in 1958 in Deir Ezzor. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from Aleppo University. She held positions at the National Union of Syrian Students (Deir Ezzor-Raqqa branch) and she was a member of the leadership of the Deir Ezzor branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party (1988-1998).
Abbas is the first woman to have held this position since 1919, when the first national parliament was formed, called the Syrian National Congress. The 1953 Syrian constitution was the first to give the right of suffrage to women. In the first legislative term of the People’s Assembly (1973-1977), there were only five women out of 186 members. This number rose to 31 women out of 250 members in the first legislative term of 2012-2016. (SANA, 6-6-2016)
The People’s Assembly elections for the second legislative term were held on April 13th. The eligible voters in Syria numbered 8,834,994 people, of which 5,085,444 voted in the elections, with a participation rate of 57.56%.