Saturday, 2 June 2012

UN officials acknowledge armed gangs' role in Syria unrest

Via FLC

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Iranian VP: ‘Zionists control international drug trade’

Speaking at a UN-sponsored conference commemorating the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Tehran – Iran’s first vice-president Mohammad Reza Rahimi, said that Zionists control international narcotics business which they use to destroy human societies across the globe.

The Zionists play a key role in the production and distribution of narcotics across the globe, because destroying human societies and exploiting their virtues are among the objectives of the Zionists,” said Mohammad Reza Rahimi.
Rahimi’s statement, though based on historical facts, has angered Abraham Foxman, national director of powerful Zionist lobby group ADL. He has asked United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to immediately condemn the “incendiary anti-Semitic and conspiracy-laden speech by Iran’s vice-president blaming Jews for spreading drug addiction and controlling the international illegal drug trade“.
Abraham Foxman is a Zionist con-man who is known for voicing his guilty conscience everytime Jews are mentioned being involved in crimes (human organ harvesting, drugs, prostitution, pornography, human-trafficking, human-rights abuses, etc.) – or the Zionists’ control of the mainstream media, banking, US governments, DHS, Pentagon, Congress, Senate, etc.
French author of several books and blogger, Hervé Ryssen, in a September 2008 interview had claimed that all “big ecstasy traffickers who were arrested in France, Belgium, the United States, or Australia, all have Israeli passports. The business of ecstasy is 100% in the hands of Jewish gangsters, not all of whom come from Russia, since there are Sephardic traffickers as well. If you buy a pill of ecstasy, in every instance, you can be certain you are financing the Jewish mafia. Certain big ecstasy traffickers are also deeply involved in the heroin and cocaine trade“.
The Islamic Republic is the first defense against world’s 93% narcotics trade originating from US-NATO occupied Afghanistan, which was invaded as result of Taliban’s eradication of Poppy harvesting. In February 2012, Yuri Fedotov, executive director of UNODC, lauded Tehran’s anti-narcotic efforts by putting Iran among world’s leading countries in campaign against illicit drugs. He asked the European countries and the US to help Tehran in controlling this evil which is mostly destined for the western world.
The fight against illicit drugs costs Tehran one billion dollar annually. Since 1979 Islamic Revolution, 3,700 Iranian border security officials have lost their lives in saving millions of western lives from this Zionist-controlled ‘killing-machine’.
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Jordan's Syrian Refugees Inflame Recurrent Debates Over Identity




Syrian refugees who fled the violence in Syria wait for meals at their temporary home in the Jordanian city of Al Ramtha 24/04/2012. (photo by REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

By:Qusay Jaaroun posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My slogans have long been “The Country of Immigrants and Loyalists” and “Jordanians From All Backgrounds and Origins.” These words reflected the state of diversity on which modern Jordan was founded, and to some extent, they constituted the official position of the Jordanian regime, which strives to avoid conflicts of identity. Nowadays, other slogans can be heard emerging alongside a conflict which has long remained taboo in Jordanian society. Today, slogans such as “Jordan for Jordanians,” “Jordanian Identity” and “Political Naturalization” can be heard frequently.

About this Article

Summary:
The influx of Syrian refugees in Jordan is setting off debates over national identity, recurrent over the past six decades as successive waves of foreigners from Palestinians to Iraqis came to take refuge in Jordan. Consequently, writes Qusay Jaaroun, those in the northern regions fear the naturalization of Syrians and tend to defend the Syrian regime.
Publisher: As-Safir (Lebanon)
Original Title:
Jordanian Politics and the “Asylum” Demography: Debate Over “Identity” During the Time of Economic Recession
Author: Qusay Jaaroun
Published on: Monday, May 28, 2012
Translated On: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Translator: Naria Tanoukhi
Categories :Politics Analysis & Opinion Jordan
Those defending and preaching a Jordanian national identity find political, economic and social excuses to do so. They claim that Jordan has limited resources and cannot afford a considerable population increase. They come up with justifications for their fears of an imminent threat to Jordan’s social composition — allegedly emerging over a period of 64 years of asylum for Palestinians, followed by Syrian and Iraqi asylum.

However, defenders of the “Jordanian identity” are mostly incensed by the idea of ​​an “alternative homeland” for the Palestinians, and the growing fears expressed in Israeli and official Jordanian statements over the status of Palestinian refugees.

Jordan, which so far remains a safe island in a turbulent region, has always been a destination for refugees from neighboring countries, from the historic asylum of the Palestinians after the 1948 and 1967 wars to the Iraqis between 1991 and 2003 and the current influx of Syrian refugees. As a result, Jordan’s demography was rocked by radical changes over its short existence — the country will soon celebrate the 66th anniversary of its independence.
The refugees mostly ended up settling in Jordan, and became a contentious political issue given their size relative to the overall population, in essence making native Jordanians a minority, amid an absence of an official census that can end this conflict.

Fear over the "Jordanian identity” rises whenever refugees flow to Jordan, the “safe island,” as described by defenders of the country of “safety and security.” Today — with the influx of Syrian refugees, who are estimated at 150,000 by official figures and at a much higher number according to the statistics of relief organizations — there is emerging talk about national identity. This plays a role in political decision-making with regard to the crisis.

At the onset of the crisis, the Syrian refugees were formally described by the Jordanian regime as “guests.” After six months of a continuous inflow of Syrians fleeing the turmoil brought on by the year-and-a-half-old revolution, the regime labeled them “refugees.” This reflects an unwillingness by the Jordanian regime to embarrass the Syrian regime over the issue of the refugees, and its continuous refusal to recognize a refugee camp set up by the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the village of Raba al-Sarhan in the al-Mafraq governorate at the Syrian border. This was apparently decided to preserve Jordan’s national security, which some politicians believe the Syrian side will not hesitate to undermine.

According to certain economists, Jordan’s conservative stance toward the Syrian revolution is due to Syria being the main lifeline for Jordanian trade, 80% of which passes through Syrian territory.
The economic and political factors, as important as they are, are overshadowed by the factor of national identity and fears that the Syrian refugees will settle in Jordan as the Syrian crisis continues. There are fears that they will enter a “competitive” stage against the former refugees over the country’s resources.

It is noteworthy that the majority of Jordanians residing in the northern governorates lean toward defending the Syrian regime. This was reflected in the petition that was signed by Jordanian deputies of the northern governorates warning the Jordanian regime against being dragged into “the Syrian conspiracy.” The “threat to the Jordanian identity” embodied by the Syrian refugees goes back to the 80s, when the Jordanian regime naturalized the Syrians who fled after the events in Hama. Those Syrians were skilled traders and gained control over part of the country’s capital.

Naturalization later entered a conflicting stage, particularly after it was revealed that former intelligence chief Mohammad al-Dhahabi naturalized many Iraqis who had fled to Jordan.

In a reassuring gesture by the regime toward the defenders of “the Jordanian identity,” the ministry of the interior prohibited the sponsorship of Syrian Palestinians who have taken refuge in Jordan.
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Bloody Revolutions

by Daniel Mabsout
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

 

Syria again and again and not only Syria but almost every country in the Arab world has been lately more than exposed .

Still some foreigners are really hot about revolutions , especially about revolutions in the Arab world , one would wonder why some foreigners are so much cheering regarding these revolutions , and what is it that is so cheering , one would wonder .

There is great instability and great chaos everywhere , people are dying by dozens in Syria , in Libya , in Yemen , in Gaza everyday ,Gaza is plunged in darkness and great instability has taken Egypt , the society is divided concerning every issue, the unemployment has reached 10% and also Tunisia , the economic crisis has increased drastically , poverty is threatening a big portion of the population , the tourists did not come this year and will not come . Libya is threatened with partition , so is Yemen between north and south , both are threatened with inflation, Bahrain is threatened in its existence itself, it is to become affiliated to KSA in what would be called the Gulf Union; there goes, Bahrain the only revolution that has not been manipulated.

shaheed ahmedfarhan
Shaheed Ahmed Farhan in Bahrain
Still some westerners find the way to rejoice over all this . Still they want to worship the idols of freedom and democracy and liberty at our own expense , they want to celebrate all this crap over our dead bodies , over our security and safety and that of our parents and children , may they be damned , may those people be damned who celebrate the revolutions of the prince of Qatar , the revolutions of Soros , of NGO and Google , the revolutions of the internet backed by al Jazeera . May they be damned . May you be damned you fake activists and whoever –like you- supports the kind of instability and chaotic situation that has taken the Arab world .

These people like these fake activists and company and so many others journalists and intellectuals -among them Arabs also- are not well wishers of our people and societies . They feed on the ailments of Arab countries and will feed these ailments in return in whatever possible way . They are the enemies of these countries.

What are they celebrating, in their articles and reports , what are they celebrating ? The armed thugs of Libya ? The 60000 victims of NATO bombardments ? Or the slaughters of thousands of black Africans slaughtered by the racist thugs led by Henry Levy ? Or the killing of Kaddhafi ? Are they celebrating the killing of Kaddhafi or the sacking of Libya? What are they these blood thirsty people hiding under the garb of a peace activists celebrating ?

These activists along with the others who are like them , the activists of the world Establishment , what are they celebrating in Syria , and whom are they saluting ? The people who take Gulf money in order to destroy their country , who get paid few dollars everyday from some Saudi or Qatari prince to go scream in the streets at sunset? Or are they saluting the convicts who were set free from Iraqi prisons and smuggled by hundreds into Syria to create havoc ? What is it that delights them ? The 4000 Syrian soldiers killed and sometimes butchered by the armed thugs or the civilians killed by those same thugs?

What is it that delights them more , the instability of Yemen or that of Tunisia? The armed thugs of Libya or those of Syria , or both in addition to Al Qa’ida ? And why do they prefer to publish articles that lie and distort truth ? Why do they have these kinds of preferences for lying and distorting facts over anything else , is that a special taste they have developed or some sort of training they underwent or both ?

Do they really love Palestine, and for whom do they love it ? For the Palestinians or for the Zionists or for both ? Do they know where is Palestine or what is Palestine? , have they met a Palestinian that is not an NGO, a Palestinian who is a refugee? a homeless refugee? Do they know that half the things they say or publish are full of misinformation , for whose sake do they do this ? To serve whom ? The NATO ? The world order? Their friends the Zionists , or the BDS? Are they sure they want freedom for Arabs , ? why don’t they let the Arabs decide what is good for them instead , or they think that with their head of NGO they know better , or is it that they are not fully satiated yet ?


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Free Syrian Army declares resumption of attacks

Members of the Free Syrian Army's "Commandos Brigade" go for a patrol near Qusayr, 15kms from the flashpoint city of Homs, on 10 May 2012. (Photo: AFP - STR)
The rebel Free Syrian Army on Friday announced it was resuming militant operations after the expiry of its ultimatum for the regime to respect international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan.
"We will now resume defensive operations," FSA spokesman Kassem Saadeddine told AFP via Skype. "We will not go on the offensive because we do not want to be singled out as the ones responsible for breaking the peace initiative."

The decision came 48 hours after the FSA's military council from inside Syria gave the regime until Friday 0900 GMT to observe the Annan plan which calls for the withdrawal of government forces and heavy armor from towns and cities.

"We have tried to remain committed to the plan but it is our military and ethical duty to defend civilians," Saadeddine said.

"The Annan plan has failed," he said. "The ball has been in the regime and international community's court from the start, and the initiative was a failure from the day it was signed."

But confusion still remains as to which faction of the FSA announced the ultimatum after Turkish-based Colonel Riyadh Asaad dismissed the deadline on Al Jazeera on Thursday.

Militant attacks have also continued unabated despite a UN ceasefire, despite an official FSA commitment to the truce, highlighting the chaotic division among Syrian armed groups.

The decision, however, is still a setback to Annan's efforts to revive his peace plan, which has failed to take hold.

The FSA call heightens the chance for all-out civil war, raising fears among world powers that the situation could spiral out of control and endanger regional stability.
(Al-Akhbar, AFP)
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The Prejudice Of The West Is The Log In The Eye That Should Be Removed

 
Tehran (Iran) Azadi Monument (built 1971).jpg
Basic misunderstanding describes best the position that some leftist western intellectuals have taken against Iran. There is no doubt that most of the western leftist intellectuals are against Iran, some of them are of good intentions but lacking true insight in the matter, some others have deviated from the original purpose of supporting the people against the establishment and all of them are biased against Islam.

There is definitely a challenge here facing these intellectuals in as much as they had to deal with a revolution that is neither secular nor communist nor anything that they are familiar with, a revolution originating in eastern thought that the west had learned to discard, inspired by a great spiritual leader called Imam al Khomeini, in his turn inspired by the heroic stand of Al Imam Al Hussein – the Holy Prophet’s progeny- who stood alone with his kin and a handful of loyal friends to face the utmost injustice on behalf of the usurpers of Islamic rule and- by his great sacrifice- achieved victory over the usurper. A revolution that was successful by all standards, made by the people to the people, almost with no blood shed and that put term to one of the most brutal regimes of the area, that of the Shahinshah, vassal to USA, friend of Israel, installed by a military coup designed by US in a conspiracy against elected Iranian reformist Mossadek.

All this the Islamic revolution achieved led by a spotless spiritual leader who suffered for long years the injustices of the regime. Due to this revolution, the Shah was evicted, the country liberated from US hegemony, the Israeli embassy closed and, in its place , the embassy of Palestine was opened for the first time in history.

Never the less – in the narrow conditioned minds of the leftist western intellectuals- it was not forgiven that the revolution was not a secular or communist revolution: something a western intellectual conditioned mind can identify with. The contempt in which Islam- as a religion- is held in these minds is really unacceptable, given the fact that- according to the distorted minds of those leftists – if people draw inspiration from their culture and religion and heritage in their uprising, they are to be shunned. Only the western thought should be considered as a valid ground in what could be labeled as pure racism on behalf of the leftist intelligentsia; for- unfortunately for them- this time, the real revolution that made history did not come from Lenin or Trotsky, not even from Guevara, it was not triggered by Sartre or any other philosopher, it was triggered by a bearded authentic Muslim Imam, trusted fully and deservingly by his people, the Imam who led Iran and the faithful Iranians to the much desired fruit of freedom and liberation.

Prejudice and lack of insight deprived the western leftist intellectuals from partaking in the victory of the Iranians over the oppressor and it is too bad for them that they had to take this difficult test that checked their ability to support another whose thought is not an intrinsic part of theirs’, most of them failed the test. Most of them –let alone Gunter Grass – are siding now with the world order against Iran, against one of the very few Asian countries that are challenging the world establishment, the only country in the area that is achieving real autonomy and independence.

In the deviated vision of those intellectuals, Iran, the peaceful country that is neither attacking nor assaulting anyone, has become a great threat for humanity, and this is not all, they have turned themselves into real enemies of the revolution asking the Islamic state to grant the Iranians all the liberties the west is enjoying and has been enjoying for some time due to a leisured secured life granted itself by the colonization of poor countries on behalf of the powerful ones.

It is forbidden that Iran acquires- by peaceful means -the power that western countries have acquired through wars, colonization, and bloodshed, it is Iran that is repressing women, sentencing people to death, repressing freedom of expression and imprisoning people as if those things were not happening in the USA or in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. It is Iran that is singled out.

In all this, no one really knows what Iran is, no one seems to care that Iran presents a real alternative and a real model for countries striving for autonomy and independence. The reason that freedom is not flourishing and that- sometimes -drastic but appropriate measures are taken is due to the great threat that the country is undergoing, war threats, civil war threats, from USA from KSA, from Pakistan and, above all, from Israel, in addition to false flag revolutions, terrorist attacks, sectarian and ethnical manipulations, assassinations, electronic warfare, anti Iranian campaigns, sanctions of all kinds, the whole world is mobilized for a country that has not attacked any other, that is practicing its own right of developing nuclear energy and whose government has not transgressed any international law.
Compared the atrocities committed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine ,where international laws and human rights are being transgressed and violated every second, the measures taken by Iran to protect its right to exist amounts to nothing. Iran is living in great austerity, because of the immanent danger that is threatening it, in times of great austerities, when your basic right to exist is jeopardized, there is no room for frivolities nor for marginal liberties , nor for excess of freedom, these are times of sacrifice and hard work and giant efforts to protect one self and to build one’s own immunity.

Intellectuals living the leisurely life provided for them by the western system at the expense of poor colonized countries do not have the mental tool to understand the hardships undergone by poor countries in order to achieve a sort of autonomy and live somehow in dignity.

If those people of the west and east as well, if those leftist intellectuals were earnest, they would divert all their efforts into pressuring their governments and foreign governments to keep their hands off Iran and off the whole world and not cater to the greed and ambitions of these governments. To relieve the Iranian people from this constant threat, to stop targeting Iran in its right to exist and its right to grow strong and independent, to stop exposing Islam as breeding terrorism and terror states, is the only way to have Iranian people enjoy a more encompassing freedom and a wider margin of liberties, that is the only way western intellectuals can help Iranians, otherwise catering to the needs of extra freedoms- in these difficult times- would be fulfilling the wishes of the world establishment to see Iran grow week and dependent.

The western leftist intellectuals are invited to review their position and to rethink their choices and overcome their prejudices if they want to be fair. They are invited as well to study closely the Iranian model that presents a real alternative to the world’s present condition.
by Daniel Mabsout
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

It Is Time for Turkey to Take the Lead on Syria

Local Editor

In its leading article of Saturday, The Independent British daily stated that the most surprising aspect of the impasse is Turkey's failure to act effectively during the Syrian crisis.

The Independent“It is a country which shares a long land border with Syria and had previously been on exceptionally good terms with President Bashar al-Assad, helped by its exporters' domination of the Syrian market before 2011 and the Turkish goods that fill shops throughout the country,” the daily read.

“Here was Ankara's first serious test as a regional power: it is a test that it has so far failed. But any future resolution of the crisis must involve Turkey, as the only one of Syria's immediate neighbors capable of exerting influence.”

“But for all the talk of establishing a "safe haven" for refugees on the Syrian side of the Turkish border,” the daily added, “it never happened, most likely thanks to the combination of threats from Iran and a desire to avoid the risk of war with Syria. Ankara would also be conscious that, until 2000, Syria was the main supporter and base for the Turkish Kurd guerrillas – the PKK – and Damascus could unleash these once again.”

The British daily believed, however, that it would have been preferable if Turkey had not broken so wholly with the Syrian regime.

“As a result of Mr Erdogan's mis-playing of his cards, it is not the Turks but the Russians who have ended up as the one country with pivotal influence in Damascus.”

“But there is still time to take back the initiative. And if there is to be regional action, it would be better led by Turkey than Saudi Arabia and Qatar – not least to avoid the absurd hypocrisy of pretending that two of the last absolute monarchies on earth are trying to overthrow Mr Assad because of their concern for the democratic and civil rights of the Syrian people,” the article read.

“It is up to Ankara to take a lead,” the daily concluded.

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Al-Assad to Annan: No New Concessions, Ready for Military Options, We’ll Shake World

Local Editor

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed to the UN envoy to Damascus Kofi Annan that "he isn't ready to offer new concessions to the international community."

High-level political sources that attended the meeting between the two men, last Thursday, informed "al-Binaa" Lebanese newspaper that "President al-Assad told Annan that he had militarily clenched on the ground from the beginning of the last month i.e. before UN observers arrived to Syria."

"I am ready to military decisiveness again within 24 hours if things require that required to do so," confident al-Assad told Annan.

He further confirmed that "the World states must acknowledge that they have no ability to confront Syria, because the international community is fully aware of what Damascus could do just a few hours after the first bullet is shelled on the Syrian capital."
The sources pointed out that President al-Assad cut more than once Annan's statements during the meeting, and he asked the Syrian personalities who attended the meeting to give Annan a pen and a paper so that the UN envoy would write al-Assad's messages to the international community.

"Syria is ready to face all the military options, and Damascus will shake the world as no conspirator political system will survive from the Middle East's earthquake," the Syrian President warned.

He further asked Annan to advise the Qatari and Saudi leaders not to tamper politically and via media with Syria.

"Till the moment, I proposals to send intelligence cells as part of a long attrition war of with Riyadh and Doha," sources told "al-Binaa".

In response to predictions that Annan might inform the UN Security Council of the failure of his mission, al-Assad said: "it is better that Annan does so, so that the UNSC would withdraw the observers."

"In this case, the Syrian military forces will return back to their old positions to resolve the conflict militarily and expel the so-called Free Syrian Army to Lebanon," the Syrian President confirmed.


Source:al-Binaa Lebanese daily, Translated and Edited by moqawama.org
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Tehran: ‘Ottawa has become Israel’s ‘lap poodle’

Recently, the Stephen Harper’s government in Ottawa has put another ‘crippling sanction’ on country’s 400,000-strong Iranian-Canadian community to show its surveillance to the Zionist regime – whose president Shimon Peres on his visit to Ottawa last month lauded Harper’s support for Israel “never indifferent, never neutral“.

Canada has just stopped issuing visa to Iranian tourists or relatives planning to visit Canada. Now they must go to Canadian embassy in Turkey to get visa. Ottawa and Tehran have not exchanged ambassadors for decades. Each country is represented by lower-level diplomatic staff. Ottawa’s last ambassador in Tehran, Kenneth Taylor (1977-80) admitted himself in 2010 that he was a CIA Station Chief in Iran. The annual trade between the two countries have dropped down to $200 million.

Last month, Iranian deputy foreign minister and Tehran’s representative at the EU, Ali Asghar Khaji, gave a rare interview to Washington-based reporter, Paul Koring, for Canada’s second largest daily, The Globe And Mail. In the interview, Khaji voiced Tehran’s opinion about the regime in Ottawa, whom Netanyahu had called “the most trusted ally of Israel”.
The United States remains the Great Satan. Israel, rarely mentioned by name, is dubbed the “Zionist entity.” And in the view of Tehran – where Canada was once regarded as an independent voice, perhaps even an honest broker – the new Conservative government in Ottawa is seen as a toadying, out-of-step, Bush-era belligerent,” wrote Koring.
The strident, official Canadian rhetoric and accusations about Iran are ill-founded, unproductive and probably not shared by most Canadians. And now, Ottawa has imposed petty inconvenience to its hostile policy, forcing Iranians to travel to Turkey to get visas to Canada,” says Khaji.
It seems your government has completely failed to understand the passage of time, it’s still living in the Bush era. Canada is still following in the Bush footsteps and remains under the influence of the Zionist regime,” said Khaji.

Ali Asghar Khaji is right in his opinion of Harper government. Ottawa’s blind support for the Zionist regime have been challenged by Jewish, Christian and Muslim Canadian intellectuals. This immoral support has tarnished Canada’s image in the Muslim world, at United Nations and the UN Human Right Commission.

Stephen Harper believes that criticism of Israel is “an old-fashioned anti-Semitism” while his junior foreign minister, Peter Kent, claimed in 2010 that an attack on Israel is attack on Canada. In February 2012, while visiting Israel, Ottawa’s foreign minister, John Baird, told the Jerusalem Post that “there was indisputable evidence Iran was developing a nuclear arm program”. The hoax has been dismissed by both the US and Israeli intelligence agencies. In February 2012, Baird had compared Ayatullah Khamenie’s remarks against the Zionist regime (cancer) to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and invoked images of Holocaust to support Israel’s right to attack Iran.

Canada’s top Holocaust scholar, Professor Deborah Lipstadt, has this advice to Israeli ‘lap poodle’ like Harper and Mitt Romney: “It was unbelievable. It made me cringe. Israel doesn’t do everything right“.

Ottawa has criticized Iran for human right violation while ignoring huge human right violations against Canada’s Native Indians or lifting finger at human right violation against Jewish women in Israel. For example, Israel has no civil marriage. Rabbis rule on weddings and divorces and control the personal status of every Israeli citizen. Ultra-orthodox males have been involved in a spate of attacks on women, who have been punched, sexually harassed and ordered to the back of public buses.

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Mubarak Sentenced to Life in Prison, Charged against Sons Dropped

Local Editor

Mubarak in courtAn Egyptian court sentenced former president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison on Saturday after convicting him of involvement in the murder of protesters during the 25th January revolution that ousted him last year.

Also given a life term for the killings was Mubarak's former interior minister Habib al-Adly, while six former police commanders were acquitted.

Corruption charges against Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, were dropped due to the expiry of a statute of limitations.

Chaos inside the courtroomMubarak was acquitted in one of the corruption cases.

Scuffles broke out soon after the verdicts were delivered, and chants of "Void, void" and "The people want the judiciary purged" could be heard.

Lawyers inside the courtroom were furious over the acquittals, expressing fears that Mubarak and Adly would be found innocent on appeal.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak in behind the barsThe former strongman, wearing dark classes and a beige tracksuit, showed no emotion as Judge Ahmed Refaat read out the sentence. While his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, appeared close to tears on hearing the verdict.

Clashes erupted outside the court following the sentencing, as police used stun grenades to control the crowds.

Mubarak, the only autocrat toppled in the Arab Spring to be put in the dock, former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six others were on trial over their involvement in the deaths of some of the estimated 850 people killed during the revolution last year.

Mubarak, his sons Alaa and Gamal and business associate Hussein Salem, who fled to Spain, were also on trial over an alleged bribe.
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Is Israel being set-up for destruction?

Two days ago, I read Ali Larijani’s warning to Israeli lap-dogs that a military action to bring a regime change in Damascus will engulf the Zionist entity.

The US military officials probably have a poor understanding of themselves and regional issues because Syria is in no way similar to Libya, and (the effects of) creating another Benghazi in Syria would spread to Palestine, and ash rising from the flames would definitely envelop the Zionist regime,” said Ali Larijani, acting Speaker of Majlis (parliament).

The US military establishment is known for not learning lessons from its military humiliations in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the US generals do know that Israel’s myth of ‘invincibility’ was shattered in 2006 Lebanon War.

This bring me to a recent post by Janet C. Phelan (Jewish of mother side), an investigating journalist, author and poet, entitled Is 2013 the Real 2012?, in which she claims that Israel is being set-up for its destruction by attacking Iran.

Israel was very likely set up to be destroyed. The government of Israel is just itching to get into this war with Iran, a war for which Israel is poorly prepared, defensively speaking. The much toutedIron dome”, Israel’s primary missile defense system, only works for incoming projectiles that are launched from nearby, like Gaza (or Lebanon or Syria). Israel is largely unprotected from a fly-over. Factor in the state-of-the-art S-300 defense system possessed by Iran, and the odds that Israel will survive this war appears to be almost non-existent.
Israel wiped off the map due to all the trouble formented by the United States in the Middle East, culminating with a manufactured war with Iran and then a fatal bug, released through a selective mechanism such as the double line water system or the imposter pharmaceuticals – and there you have another Holocaust in making“. 
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The BDS Cultural Boycott and Integrity

DateFriday, June 1, 2012 at 7:26AM AuthorGilad Atzmon

By Sarah Gillespie

If we are ‘humanists’ we cannot be lured into suppressing or vandalizing art or ideas.
Collaborators
Last week I went to see an excellent play at the National Theatre called The Collaborators by John Hodge.

The play explored Josef Stalin’s unlikely admiration for dissident playwright Mikhail Bulgakov and the complex bond between art and ‘the State’. The play was a reminder that historically, even when culture has been puppeteered by an authority, unapproved and unintended meanings have a way of leaking out. Had the horror of Stalin’s Holodomor been contemporaneous today, we may well have been called upon to boycott the works of Bulgakov. This would do a great disservice, not only to the cannon of great literature, but also to the counter-revolutionary spirit evoked by Bulgakov’s work. I don’t claim that all art originating from criminal or repressive states, is loaded with subversive messages, but that art has the capacity to transcend the binary world of ‘placard politics’ (‘for’ this or ‘against’ that) and deliver the transforming might of pathos, spirit, sadness and beauty.

Reflecting on this reinforced my reluctant opposition to the cultural and academic boycott of Israel and, in particular to the call by the BDS to sabotage or ban any mode of expression delivered by state-enforced Israeli artists, musicians and thinkers. While the motives of many activists speaking out against Israeli artists and intellectuals are well intended and heart-felt, any action that seeks to abolish freedom of expression or thought is not winning any prizes for tolerance.

Jews had their books burnt by Nazis & Israelis continue this dubious tradition by banning writer Gunter Grass, composer Daniel Barenboim and academic Norman Finkelstein. Surely, if we are ‘humanists’ we cannot be lured into suppressing or vandalizing art or ideas. If we do, we enter the supremacist domain of those we claim to oppose.

Furthermore, while the BDS sanctioning of goods is a logical, pragmatic tactic that I whole-heartedly support, I fail to understand the rationality of banning certain Zionist artists and not others.

Last weekend Gilad Atzmon’s devoted nemesis, Tony Greenstein, took it upon himself to publish an inordinately long piece about some comments I wrote on this issue on the Facebook page of Ben White, an activist and writer who argues that Israel is essentially identical to South African Apartheid. I don’t agree with White’s prognosis. In the thread I wrote the following:-
(Culturally) ‘boycotting a nation state’ is premised on the notion that the country functions autonomously & can be ideologically quarantined. I’m not an expert on South African politics, but I certainly don’t recall the Apartheid regime enjoying the most powerful lobby group in the United States, I don’t recall the Apartheid Friends of Labor Org in the UK – nor do I recall British lawyers abandoning Universal Jurisdiction to allow SA leaders to travel freely. In short, Israel is unique in that it is maintained by Zionists across the globe on the Left & the Right. Boycotting academics & artists who happen to be born within the perimeters of Israeli sovereignty is futile. Who cares if some art-house Israeli movie gets refused from European film festivals when you’ve got Steven Spielberg’s ‘Munich’ grossing $130,358,911 worldwide?
Predictably, Ben White did not address my questions. Nor did Tony Greenstein when he recycled my words, along with an impressive gallery of photos lifted from my personal Facebook account, on his amusingly foul-mouthed blog.

Supporters of the cultural boycott state that they don’t boycott individual Israelis if those individuals are anti-Zionist (like academic Shlomo Sands). This is very kind of them. However, if it is a person’s political persuasion, not the arbitrary lottery of their Nationality, that determines whether they are spared prohibition, why is it only Israeli-born Zionists get banned? Why not picket the lectures of Zionist ‘University of London’ professor David Hirsh?

Why interrupt a work of a genius like William Shakespeare (not commonly known to have been a massive Netanyahu supporter) while in cinemas across London, Sasha Baron Cohen’s Zionist propaganda film, The Dictator is delivered on a loop? I really don’t get it.

Last year Wikileeks revealed that the Arab League boycotted Steven Spielberg, not for beaming Islamphobic global blockbusters like Munich onto our screens, but for donating $1 million to Israel during their 2006 war with Lebanon. This is coherent. Indeed, too many Lefties in the West refuel their self-love by waving placards without ever asking themselves why.

Given the war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan committed by my democratically elected government in the UK, shouldn’t Tony Greenstein et al also boycott British Artists who receive money from the Arts Counsel of Britain? Add to this the recent revelation that BDS hero Omar Barghouti is a student in Tel Aviv University, the very institution he encourages us to ban, and the ‘movement’ begins to resemble a tangled web of hypocrisy and redundant gestures.

Barghouti’s attendance at TA University doesn’t exactly make Israel resemble the Apartheid State he tells us it is. The Apartheid 1959 ‘Extension of University Education Act’ bared non-whites from entering white Universities. This has not happened to Barghouti. His presence there reinforces TA Universities’ reputation as a tolerant and multicultural institution.

Interfering with freedom of thought and expression, academic exchange and artistic liberty is a sensitive Issue. Tolerance and pluralism are core and precious values within western discourse. We should boycott Israeli products, not art, spirit and ideas. Recently I read an article from Ben white in which he admits that the ”boycott is a strategy not a principle’.

This is exactly my problem with the BDS Cultural and academic boycott. It is not principled, & it lacks integrity. By refusing to have the argument you have lost the argument.
The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon


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Nasrallah responds to kidnappers, calls for stronger state

A supporter of Lebanon's Hezbollah covers her head with the party's flag as she listens to a televised address by their leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (Photo: Reuters – Ali Hashisho)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday called for armed Syrian rebels to release 11 Lebanese pilgrims that were kidnapped last month.

The men were taken while traveling back from a religious pilgrimage to Iran and on Thursday a group called the Revolutionary Council in Aleppo claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Addressing the kidnappers – who released a video broadcast via Al Jazeera claiming that the abduction was not motivated by sectarianism – Nasrallah said the innocent should not be caught up in any political disagreements.

"You said yesterday that you have no problem with a religious sect so you must prove this – these people are pilgrims and they must return to their families," he said.

"If you have a problem with me there are many ways to solve this. If you want to solve it with war lets solve it with war, if you want to solve it with peace lets solve it with peace."

"Solve your problem with us but to take the innocent people hostages for this problem is a big injustice that you must put a stop to."

The kidnappers had demanded Nasrallah apologize for a previous speech in which he thanked Syrian President Bashar Assad for his efforts in trying to secure their release.

The abduction drew swift condemnation from Syrian authorities, as well as the Syrian opposition and Free Syrian Army, who initially could not identify the captors.

The act by the splinter group further highlights the chaotic disunity amongst armed Syrian groups, most of whom do not respond to a central command.

Nasrallah proposes national conference


Nasrallah urged all sides to work together to strengthen the Lebanese state and proposed a non-sectarian national conference to discuss ideas.

"Why don't we hold a national conference, let's elect a national conference not based along sectarian lines," he said.

In an apparent reference to the Future Movement, the Hezbollah leader expressed hope that no political side would boycott the upcoming national dialogue, stressing the need for unity.

"I want to make a proposal to the national dialogue – lets hope nobody boycotts it."

Nasrallah added that there would never have been a need for a resistance movement if the state was strong enough to defend its people.

"Lets make a real dialogue, lets address the reasons, lets speak about how you can make a real strong state in Lebanon," he said.

"If we want Lebanon to be unified in this country we must focus on civil peace and civil security. If we want Lebanon to be capable of dealing with crises we need the state and we need the state's institutions," he added.

The Future Movement earlier in the week imposed conditions before a national dialogue could take place, demanding a cabinet reshuffle.

Nasrallah sought to defuse tension in the country following a spate of incidents in Lebanon over the past month that threatens the country's fragile stability.

"Don't we as Lebanese need to sit together – before the bombing begins?"

"The future is a real national state, whereby you have the rule of law...This is the hope, the goal," he said, warning of future consequences if Lebanon's woes are not resolved.

"If we don't do this we will pass on our problems to our grandchildren."

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Rawabi: Israeli Model for “Neo-Palestinian” City

A Palestinian protester wears a gas mask as he looks through the slot of a hand-made shield during clashes with Israeli soldiers at a demonstration in the village of Kfar Qaddum against the nearby Jewish settlement of Qadomem, near the West Bank City of Nablus 25 May 2012. (Photo: Reuters - Mohamad Torokman)
 
Published Friday, June 1, 2012

Ramallah - Halfway between occupied Jerusalem and Nablus, in middle of the West Bank and 9km north of Ramallah, private Palestinian funds, generously supported by Qatar, and protected by the occupation army, are building a city for the “new Palestinians,” as US General Keith Dayton, US Security Coordinator for Israel-Palestinian Authority in Tel Aviv, calls them.

Rawabi is a “Palestinian settlement” currently under construction at a cost nearing US$1 billion. It is located on a 6,300-dunum (6.3 square kilometers) piece of land seized by the Palestinian Authority (PA) through a decree signed by president Mahmoud Abbas in November 2009.

After a failed attempt by landowners to reverse the decision or reduce its impact, the land was bought by businessman Bashar al-Masri. On several occasions, al-Masri called on Israelis to buy apartments and houses in his city and become neighbors with the “new Palestinians.”

In the nearby village of Attara, residents whisper about Israeli officers who visit the city to eat breakfast with its developers. The visits are frequent and include officers from the Israeli Civil Administration accompanied by army units and border guards.

Villagers speak about soldiers who man the Attara roadblock, allowing everyone related to the Rawabi project to pass through while barring the flow of regular Palestinians.

Things were made clear following friendly conversations al-Masri had with the Israeli press. He sent out statements to appease “the neighbors” and inform them that everything is under control and security prevails, due to solid collaboration with the occupation army.


This is a new phase of spatial engineering. Israel went to war against the old camps and towns that were immune to infiltration during the intifada. It sought to destroy spaces of resistance in Palestinian towns. It even rebuilt Jenin in an exposed and permeable manner, financed by the United Arab Emirates.

Now, the architecture of Rawabi will suit the needs of the colonialist invaders. It will stand before them completely exposed. Ironically, the money for it also came from the Gulf. Thus, the architectural style bears a close resemblance to Israeli settlements.

Architect Lynn Jabri analyzed the building style in Rawabi. She compares the style to the criteria used to build Israeli settlements in mountainous regions, according to a guide used by the Israeli Construction and Housing Ministry. The same criteria are all applied in the city (with the exception of painting the roofs red for the Israeli air force to identify).

Jabri believes that “the search for a modern Palestinian architectural style remains superficial and does not exceed some formal features, without the proper understanding of local architecture. Actually, Rawabi’s “Palestinian” architects are proposing an architecture that looks Israeli.”

Bashar al-Masri considers the project to be part of building the Palestinian state. But he said in a “very friendly” interview with Israeli TV Channel 10 that he visited the Modi’in luxury settlement west of Ramallah to learn from the building experience there and create a better model.

On the way to the largest investment project in Palestine and inside the city itself, countless cameras monitor everything in sight. Nobody knows exactly who sits behind the monitors and sees all that is displayed.

The exposed nature of Rawabi is manifold: Broad streets, buildings aligned according to a strict plan, and a service center looking more like a control tower above the city. Thus, controlling the city becomes no more difficult than taking a pleasant ride in a military Jeep, as a young man from Ajoul, a village being suffocated by the project, likes to put it.


This is the other similarity with early Zionist colonies which erected control towers at the highest point in the settlement as part of their absolute security regulations.

Speaking about the sustainability of the project, Rawabi’s website asks visitors to plant a tree in the city because “the natural beauty of the country has been damaged by war, development, neglect, and climate change.”

The text fails to mention who carried out the ethnic and spatial cleansing of Palestine, destroyed its environment, then brought trees to plant and cover their crimes. Rawabi wants to mimic the Jewish National Fund’s project of planting trees in villages whose residents were expelled during and after the Nakba.

The city’s planners, enamored by Ramallah’s opulent neighborhoods, did not forget to build a mosque and a church. They even brought religious crews to run them following the inauguration of the city in front of potential clients and residents.

Rawabi does not tire of delegations and visitors. It is now on the map for international travelers, politicians, economists, even athletes. Al-Masri speaks proudly about his city, whether to Palestinian security officers or the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.
 

The city is in harmony with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s rhetoric of building a state and its institutions. It is part of the hackneyed propaganda about “the Palestinians’ right and worthiness to live.”

In following the rhetoric of the PA and its supporters, the project owners attempt to create a fantasy completely detached from the bitter reality.

Al-Masri speaks of the city’s five gates, leading to Jerusalem, Yafa, Nablus, Gaza, and Qatar’s Capital, Doha. The latter is the location of Bayti Real Estate Investment Company, which is jointly owned by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and al-Masri’s Massar International.
The separation walls, the segregation, and the Green Line, along with a bitter history of 64 years of occupation, are nowhere to be seen in Rawabi’s advertising campaign. “It has a superb view of the Mediterranean,” they say.

From the onset, the PA wholeheartedly supported the project. In May 2008, it held the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem in total collaboration with the Israeli army and government to finance two projects, Rawabi and the Rihan suburbs.

Thus, Rawabi is promoted as a solution to the deteriorating economic situation in language full of numbers: 10,000 new jobs in the city and the commercial activity of at least 40,000 residents.
But there is a deliberate disregard for the role of the occupation in the economic situation of Palestinians. Palestinian groups of all persuasions are either silent or complicit. This complicity is prevalent among the majority of elites and intellectuals who are afraid to challenge this “national” project and its unprecedented media juggernaut.


City planners say that Palestinian expertise has returned from outside the country to work on this city. But they fail to mention that the economic return is based on the occupier’s criteria and the timeframe of the project.

Similarly, there is increased talk of the cultural and artistic life of Rawabi. We can now easily imagine the type of culture practiced in the city of “economic peace” so loved by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli press also like to talk about Rawabi. Israelis seem very interested in learning about this “new settlement.” Al-Masri was exclusively interviewed several times in the city by Channel 10, the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and others. The interviews were intended to put Israelis at ease and inform them that Rawabi is different from any other Palestinian city.

Israeli media is keen on comparing Rawabi, and some parts of Ramallah, with “Hariri’s Beirut.” There were open calls for Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak to participate in the inauguration. It is ultimately an outcome of Fayyad’s “silent revolution,” whose slogan is that Palestinians “are tired and weary of conflict and are looking for a new life.”

Al-Masri uses every occasion to insist that his company works under the regulations of the PA and its ministries, namely the Ministry of Local Government. It is expected to be transferred to a locally elected body following the delivery of apartments to the owners (the first batch will be delivered in 2013) and the markets to the investors.

The real estate firm, Bayti, will have an administrative and organizational function and will preserve the architectural style of the city and its neighborhoods. The exact scope of the private company’s authority is unknown. This will allow it to complete its spatial architecture with a social architecture consistent with neoliberalism, the socio-economic framework of General Dayton’s security plan.


One of the biggest ironies is that the only real opposition to the construction of the city came from Israelis living in nearby colonies. They started to attack the Palestinian workers until they were stopped through coordination with the Israeli army.

Israelis can enter the city as visitors, workers, and experts. Relationships with Israeli raw materials providers and experts are not even controversial. The Palestinian private sector, with all its factories and contractors, cannot provide even a third of what is required.

Knowing all of this, it seems that the settlement of Atiret, occupying the nearest hill, will be a friendly neighbor. Its residents could come to the more modern and opulent Rawabi for entertainment. The earlier misunderstanding will turn into mutual hospitality and neighborly relations.

Peacemongers on both sides now have a model consisting of a new kind of Palestinian who gladly embraces the language of consumerism, malls, and international brands!

A few months ago, Rawabi was but a mere idea of a city for refugees who will be brought back based on strict selection criteria. Their return and residence in the city is promoted as a partial solution to the refugee question.

But such talk disappears beneath the haughty buildings of a durable city that goes against the temporary and impatient architecture of refugee camps. In Rawabi, glass will prevail, signifying the brittle and exposed nature of the setting. Its stones, “expensive and rare,” will not be fit to throw at an occupying soldier.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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