Archive | October 23rd, 2012

Urgent Appeal: Support the demands of the Kurdish Hunger Strikers in Turkey!

NOVANEWS
Turkish prison

Press Release:

“The hunger strikes constitute an indication that the Kurdish issue has reached an intolerable level!” – Metin Bakkalci, head of the Human Rights Foundation in Turkey

Demonstrate outside 10 Downing St, London: 12 noon Wed 24th Oct 2012.

Hundreds of Kurdish political internees, incarcerated for campaigning for Kurdish rights in Turkey are on day 43 of possibly the biggest political hunger strike in history to pressurise the Turkish government to begin political negotiations to resolve the Kurdish Question in Turkey.

For nearly 80 years the Kurds in Turkey have suffered the most intolerable oppression. Forcibly assimilated to be Turks they had their language banned and culture eradicated. The hunger strike represents a long and painful struggle for justice and identity by the Kurds in Turkey reaching its zenith.

In 2009 the Turkish state engaged in talks with the PKK to attempt to resolve the Kurdish issue. Unfortunately, these talks were abruptly brought to an end by the Turkish government and stalled.

The two central demands of the hunger strikers are as follows:

  1. The release of Abdullah Ocalan to negotiate a political settlement to the Kurdish Question in Turkey!
  2. Kurdish language rights in the public sphere.
Please add your voice to these demands and show your solidarity with the interned Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkey. We urgently request that you do everything in your power to apply political pressure on the Turkish government to solve the Kurdish Question, release these political prisoners so Turkey can finally begin to solve it’s longest standing political problem. Tomorrow may be too late!
Demonstrate outside 10 Downing St, Whitehall.

 12 noon Wed 24th Oct 2012.

Organised by Kurdish Federation UK, Kurdish Community Centre, Halkevi, Roj-Women and Gik-Der For more info contact: Kurdish Federation UK. 07865 079415 or 07506 702697 or email Fedbir@gmail.com

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Urgent Appeal: Support the demands of the Kurdish Hunger Strikers in Turkey!

Protest in London to mark anniversary of Kurdish leader Ocalan’s kidnapping

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Jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the only prisoner for a decade on the Imrali Island in the Turkish Sea of Marmara.

October 9, 2012

Press release on anniversary of Ocalan’s kidnapping!
8th Oct 2012 Kurdish Federation UK
Contact: Fedbir@gmail.com

Kurdish Federation UK Protest
The venue: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
date and time: 9th October 2012 at 12 o’clock

Abdullah Ocalan lived amongst the Kurds in Syria for many years having made the political decision to direct the struggle for Kurdish rights from outside of Turkey!

His presence there left a lasting legacy amongst the Kurds in Rojava Kurdistan that is evident for all to see as, today, the Kurds in Rojava liberate themselves from many years of brutal Baathist rule!

The Kurds in Rojava loved to have Abdullah Ocalan amongst them and the majority have kept their loyalty to him since he was forced to leave his base in Damascus by threats from Turkey, similar to the threats we hear today towards Syria.

On 9 October 1998, the Kurdish leader was expelled from Syria, where he had been living for many years.

From there he went to Greece, Russia, Italy and then again Russia and Greece before going to Kenya, where, on the evening of 15 February 1999. he was taken on board an aircraft at Nairobi airport and arrested by Turkish military intelligence.

He was then flown to Turkey, being kept blindfolded for most of the flight. On arrival in Turkey, a hood was placed over his head while he was taken to İmralı Prison, on the island of Imrali, where he was held in police custody from 16 to 23 February 1999.

The leader of the Kurdish Freedom Struggle had been kidnapped by an international conspiracy!

Kurdish people all over the world exploded in a outcry of anger and frustration as their leader was captured with the Turkish state declaring victory over the PKK.

Little did the Turkish state know that 13 years later the Kurdish struggle would be at it’s highest intensity with Turkish soldiers dying every day in the middle range intensity war that rages in Turkish occupied Kurdistan today!

A war imposed on the Kurdish freedom movement who seeks a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish Question!

A war that has no military solution!

Abdullah Ocalan remains the one figure that can resolve the conflict in an instant! A towering figure and leader who stands above all with the respect and love of the Kurdish people evident for all to see!

A political and peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question in Turkey is more urgent now as it has ever been in the history of this conflict.

The prime minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan mistakenly thought he could solve the Kurdish Question by military means. He thought he could apply the Sri Lanka model of total military onslaught and annihilation against the Kurdish freedom movement!

Erdogan, in the last 18 months alone has jailed nearly 10,000 Kurdish political activists from all walks of Kurdish life, MPs, Mayors, Councillors, solicitors,www.ekurd.net lawyers, barristers, journalists and rank and file activists from the Kurdish legal party BDP!

He has bombed the Qandil mountains where the PKK is based 24 hours around the clock 7 days a week!

Abdullah Ocalan himself has been kept in isolation for over a year in conditions that are a fragrant breech of international laws of the rights of prisoners! His whole team of lawyers were themselves arrested and charged with ‘terrorist’ related crimes, a charge common to all Kurds who struggle for Kurdish rights in Turkey!

As a result, the Kurdish freedom movement is stronger now than it has ever been!

A political solution is evidently and urgently needed!

For that, we demand that Abdullah Ocalan be released from his isolation and be afforded the rooms and living conditions needed to consult with his lawyers and political comrades in the leadership of the Kurdish movement to present the Kurdish demands to be negotiated with the Turkish government.

The Kurds in Rojava Kurdistan are liberating their country! Instead of pursuing a continued racist and old style Kemalist military approach to the demands of the Kurds, the Turkish state should make peace with the Kurds in Western Kurdistan (N.Syria) and NW Kurdistan (Turkish occupied).

For a prosperous and peaceful coexistence of Turkish, Kurdish, Arab and other people’s of the Middle East it is imperative that Abdullah Ocalan is freed and political negotiations begin for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question!

The time is now! Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan! Freedom for all political prisoners in Turkey! Freedom for the the Kurds!

– Peace in Kurdistan, Campaign for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Protest in London to mark anniversary of Kurdish leader Ocalan’s kidnapping

TURKEYS PRESIDENT ”QUEEN ELIZABETHS PUPPET” GUL AND GOVT PRESENTS U.K.’s WAR CRIMINAL JACK STRAW WITH AWARD, CLAIMS HE’S FRIEND TO MUSLIMS!!!

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IRAQ WAR CRMINAL STRAW AWARDED BY
TURKEYS PRESIDENT GUL
Jack Straw has been given one of Turkey’s highest awards for being ‘a politician who approaches the Islamic world and Muslim societies with sincerity and friendship’.He flew to Turkish capital Ankara to receive the country’s highest order available to individuals who are not heads of state.
The citation for the Order of the Republic or Turkey made by President Abdullah Gul highlights the Blackburn MP and former Foreign Secretary’s commitment to multi-culturalism.He praised Mr Straw for his role in issues such as the British military’s position in Iraq and Afghanistan, highly controversial issues in the Islamic world.
President Gul said he hoped the award would be a ‘strong symbol of the longstanding friendship’ between Britain and Turkey and its peoples.Mr Straw said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award. Turkey is a vital country to Europe and the modern world.”Giving Mr Straw the award, President Gul said: “I am especially honoured to present to my very close friend Jack, the Order of the Republic which is the highest order presented to persons other than heads of state.“In our generation, Jack Straw is one of those few politicians who embodies the qualities of a statesman.
“He has valued multi-culturalism throughout his political career and is a politicians who approaches the Islamic world and Muslim societies with sincerity and friendship.“The key to his popularity in his constituency of Blackburn lies in these very qualities.“Jack is a democrat with a conscience of the kind greatly and collectively needed in Europe in order to fight against racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”President Gul praised Mr Straw as being a ‘friend to Turkey and the Turkish people’ and highlighted his efforts to bring Turkey into the European Union and supporting the case of the Turkish Cypriots.
[ed notes:jack straw of cours eis no friend of turkish people,nor muslims,he is a war criminal whos role in illegal imperial occupation of Iraq,and Afghanistan is well known… 
also see… 

War Criminal Jack Straw Sued Over Illegal Rendition of Abdel …  £1m hush money to hide Tony Blair and Jack Straw’s collusion in yet …  The Abominable Lies of War Criminals Tony Blair & Jack Straw  War Criminal Calls For More Prisons The UK riots and the criminality …  UK Indymedia – Jack Straw war criminal cornered and covered in …  Jack Straw Faces Legal Action for Playing Bit … – War Is A Crime .org UK riots and the Criminality of Jack Straw | Veterans Today John Pilger – Fake Faith And Epic Crimes thats who turkey and brittish puppet gul is awarding!of course puppet gul is athe queens dog..  GUL AWARDED CHATAM HOUSE PRIZE BY … – THENAKEDFACTS

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on TURKEYS PRESIDENT ”QUEEN ELIZABETHS PUPPET” GUL AND GOVT PRESENTS U.K.’s WAR CRIMINAL JACK STRAW WITH AWARD, CLAIMS HE’S FRIEND TO MUSLIMS!!!

LEBANON-WATCH-MARCH 14 MP’s EXPOSE THEMSELVES FURTHER AND LEBANESE ARMY CONDUCTS RAIDS AND ARREST 100 (34 SYRIAN REBELS INCLUDED)

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The Lebanese Army pursued on Tuesday its raids and arrests in the regions freshly irked by tension, namely in Beirut and Tripoli.”Army units deployed in the tension zones pursued Tuesday the implementation of a security plan set to repress gunmen and arrest saboteurs,” a communique by the Lebanese Army Command said.”These units are still storming into places where gunmen are hiding in Beirut and Tripoli, in order to restore calm in these two cities,” the communique added.
It also indicated that 100 persons, among whom 34 Syrians and four Palestinians, were thus far apprehended and that quantities of weapons were confiscated.“15 soldiers, among whom two officers, were slightly injured during these operations,” the communique concluded.
[ed notes;i think its safe to say these syrians are opposition rebels..and here is more details on fridays bombing in Lebanon proving it wasnt Syria behind it…Hariri opposition allies make absurd claim…by texting themselves threats..
A Lebanese opposition MP has said he and four colleagues were texted death threats from a Syrian telephone number before and after a top security official was killed last week.”On the eve of the (Friday) attack, we received an SMS from a Syrian number that read, ‘Sons of bitches, we will get you one by one,'” Ammar Houry said Monday night.
He named the other MPs as Ahmad Fatfat, Hadi Hbeish, Khaled al-Daher and Nuhad al-Mashnuk.”At the time, we didn’t pay any attention to it, until the assassination of General Wissam al-Hassan,” the intelligence chief killed in a Beirut bombing that was widely blamed on Damascus and left two others dead.”After the assassination, we received a second SMS that read: ‘Congratulations, the countdown has begun. One of 10 eliminated.'”
[ED NOTES:CAN YOU IMAGINE?THESE ARE THE PEOPLE BLAMING SYRIA FOR THE BOMBING THAT KILLED WISSAM…CAN YOU IMAGINE SYRIAN GOVT 
SENDING DEATH THREAT TEXTS TO MARCH14 MPS,TELLING THEM ON THAT SAME DAY WE ARE GOING TO GET YOU AND AFTER BOMBING, THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN ONE OF 10 ELIMINATED? LOLLLL THESE ARE INDEED THE ONES BEHIND THE BOMBING NOT SYRIAN GOVT…AS IF ASSAD WOULD BE DUMB ENOUGH TO IMPLICATE HIMSELF RIGTH BEFORE AND AFTER, TO OUT OF ALL PEOPLE,THE  MARCH 14TH COALITION MPS WICH ARE ZIONIST AND PRO WESTERN SHILLS …LOLLLL ALSO SEE… Wissam His Last Call to Hariri: I’m in Beirut  

Posted in LebanonComments Off on LEBANON-WATCH-MARCH 14 MP’s EXPOSE THEMSELVES FURTHER AND LEBANESE ARMY CONDUCTS RAIDS AND ARREST 100 (34 SYRIAN REBELS INCLUDED)

One Year of the Arab Spring: Global and Regional Implications – INSS

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What is happening in Syria entails risks and opportunities for Israel. If a future Syria removes itself from the radical axis, that will spell a very positive change for Israel. For many years, the Israeli defense establishment recommended reaching an agreement with Syria, even at a steep territorial cost, in order to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran and end Syria’s support for Hizbullah and Hamas. Now, if the regime falls, this positive process could occur without Israel’s involvement and without the need to make difficult territorial concessions 
Finally, Lebanon has also been suffering economically from the Syrian crisis and the sanctions imposed on the Assad regime, as roughly one-third of Lebanon’s foreign trade is conducted either with Syria or through Syria. In other words, contrary to the common perception of Lebanese“immunity” to the ongoing regional change, the Arab spring has been very much felt within Lebanon, mostly because of the historically tight economic,political, and geostrategic relations with Syria.
And Lebanon’s political future will continue to be strongly affected by developments within Syria. In the short term, the most likely scenario with respect to Syria is a continuation of the internal violence. In the absence of forceful internationalintervention, neither Assad’s coercive apparatus nor an increasingly popular but still fragmented opposition seems capable of delivering a decisive blow to the other side. From a Lebanese perspective, this “quagmire” scenario means that the country should expect to continue suffering in terms of its own security, economy, and internal cohesion.In the longer term, the demise of the Assad government in Syria would have an even more profound effect on Lebanon.
The departure of Assad and his entourage could lead to a real realignment of political forces within Lebanon, giving new power and credibility to those who led the “Cedar Revolution.” By the same token, Hizbullah, deprived of its ally in Damascus, could well lose political capital, power, and popularity. Still, Hizbullah would probably be able to withstand this political crisis thanks to its superior military apparatus, its strategic partnership with Iran, and its ability to reinterpret itself and adapt to changing circumstances.
The potential ramifications for Lebanon of  regime change in Syria should not be underestimated. The fall of Assad could truly be the key to transforming Lebanese politics and fulfilling the promises of the “Cedar Revolution.”
[ed note:israhell and cedar revolutions advocates…  Israel helps us. Israel is like our mother.” Years before its role in the so-called ” Cedar Revolution

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on One Year of the Arab Spring: Global and Regional Implications – INSS

Al-Hassan Probably Monitored in Paris, Berlin… His Last Call to Hariri: I’m in Beirut

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Well-informed security source revealed Tuesday that that the Internal Security Forces [ISF] Information Branch put its hand on the communications data pertaining to the phone calls of late Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, hours before his assassination.
In an interview with “as-Safir” Lebanese newspaper, the source unveiled that the data ranges specifically from the moment of al-Hassan’s arrival at Beirut International airport Thursday evening to the moment of the explosion around 3 p.m. on Friday.”Directly after the blast, ISF Director General Major General Ashraf Rifi ordered to be briefed on any possibility that the blast might have targeted any political figure,” the source added.He further mentioned that “the information denied that any politician had been targeted,”Meanwhile, Rifi tried to call al-Hassan, who was supposed to be with his family in Paris after coming from Berlin. According to the source,
Rifi discovered that the head of ISF Information Branch was out of service. “Thus, Rifi concluded that al-Hassan was in a location where he could not be reached,” he added.At around 4 pm, Rifi got a phone call from former Prime Minister Saad Hariri who asked: “Did you ask about Wissam?” Rifi replied “al-Hassan is abroad, PM.””Wissam called me this morning and assured me that he had arrived Beirut,” Harri interrupted.Immediately, Rifi sent al-Hassan’s security escort team to the location of the blast. Around 5 p.m. the team returned with their official’s wristwatch. “Then, everyone realized that al-Hassan was the target,” the source added.Quickly,
Rifi informed PM Najib Mikati and Hariri that Wissam was missing and that he had quite likely been the target of the Achrafieh blast.Moreover, the source uncovered that al-Hassan was probably being monitored not only in Beirut, but also probably in Berlin and then in Paris.Permanently, efforts on the few people, whose number doesn’t exceed the one hand fingers, whom he communicated by phone following his return to Beirut.It is likely that al-Hassan was planning to meet with one of them at his secret office, near the ISF headquarters, in the Hotel Dieu area.
[ED NOTES;ALSO SEE… 

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ISRAHELLS PROTECTOR” TURKEYS ERDOGAN WAR ON CRITICS AND JOURNALISTS.

NOVANEWS
 1 day ago
New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report released Monday that 76 journalists are in prison in Turkey… 
PM’s cases against journalists stanching criticism, lawyer says
TODAY Lawsuits opened on behalf of the prime minister against people who have “insulted” him in the press have created a strong deterrent factor preventing other reporters from deploying similar rhetoric, according to a lawyer for the Turkish leader.”We have to underline that cases we’ve opened against press have been quite a deterrent; the wording of columnists has noticeably changed especially since the year 2003. Reporters and columnists do not exceed the dose when making criticisms anymore; insulting comments or columns have been reduced to minimum,”
Ali Özkaya, a lawyer for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was quoted as saying by daily Akşam today.The lawyer said they mostly sued Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and that they had won the most compensation from cases involving the main opposition head.Özkaya also warned youth about use of social media. “Young people are using social media as if they’re talking to a friend and they insult the prime minister and other ministers. They think nobody sees their messages, but social media is a public area. According to the law, cases are automatically being opened against these [people] even if the prime minister doesn’t make a complaint,” he said.
[ED NOTES:ERDOGAN IS A FASCIST..HE CANNOT ALLOW CRITICISM,HIS GOV’T IS OUTRIGTH DRACONIAN,AGAINST FREE SPEECH AND AN ABSOLUTE THREAT TO REGION,MUCH LIKE ISRAHELL WHOM HE PROTECTS. ALSO SEE Turks’ Anger at EU AKP Torture Report Is New Reaction to Old Problem (2 DAYS AGO) 

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FLASHBACK- Syria’s Regional Relationships:Past and Present

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HANDS OFF SYRIA
November 19, 1998”  Syria vs. Israel, Turkey, and Jordan: Syria has been the Arab state most ardent in its opposition to peace with Israel.Today Syria is beleaguered, surrounded by hostile countries, and locked in territorial disputes with two of them — Turkey and Israel. Asad’s abiding concern is that both Israel and Turkey, with the connivance of Jordan, are intent on driving his regime back to the negotiating table with Israel.
In the recent crisis with Turkey over the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Syria took the position that Turkey and Israel were trying to ensnare it in a situation in which it would have to make even greater concessions than those needed to defuse the border crisis with Turkey. In this respect, Syria has been credited by Arab observers with outmaneuvering Israel and Turkey by not giving them the conflict they “desired.” 
Yet, Syria will also be perceived as weaker as a result of the crisis. The close relationship between Israel, Jordan, and Turkey is still a very real pressure point for Syria [ED NOTES:WINEP 2012 IN TURKEY HANGING OUT WITH FSA REBELS Older Post – THENAKEDFACTS ISRAHELLI SOLDIER POSING AS JOURNALIST GETS INTO SYRIA THRU TURKEY Older Post – THENAKEDFACTS

Posted in SyriaComments Off on FLASHBACK- Syria’s Regional Relationships:Past and Present

Jordanian Soldier Killed in Syrian Border Clash

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nytimes.com

Islamic extremists attacked Jordanian soldiers on the border with Syria on Sunday night, killing a corporal, hours after the government announced that it had foiled a major terrorist plot against foreign diplomats and tourists here, officials said on Monday.

Samih Maayta, the Jordanian minister for media and communication, said that eight militants — extremist Salafis, he said, a group banned in Jordan — attacked a military position “with heavy arms” at 10:30 p.m. In the ensuing gunfight, Cpl. Mohamad Abdulla Manaseer Abbadi became the first member of Jordan’s military to be killed in action related to Syria’s civil war.

The Associated Press reported that the militants, whose nationalities Mr. Maayta did not provide, were trying to enter Syria illegally to join the rebel forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Two hours later, Mr. Maayta said in an interview that an additional five men suspected of ties to Al Qaeda tried to penetrate the border and clashed with soldiers. One was severely injured, but there were no Jordanian casualties. All 13 involved in both episodes were arrested.

On Sunday, the government said it had arrested a group of 11 Jordanians who had obtained explosives and other weapons from Syria that they intended to use in simultaneous assaults on civilian and government targets, including malls and the American Embassy.

Together, the episodes are the latest signs of how the chaos in Syria is destabilizing its neighbors. Jordan, an important American ally, has increasingly aligned itself with Syrian rebel forces, delivering humanitarian aid to rebel-held cities and hosting about 200,000 Syrian refugees.

Mr. Maayta, the government spokesman, said on Sunday that the foiled attack had been planned since June by a group of Jordanians calling themselves 11-9 the Second, a reference to a string of hotel bombings in Amman that killed 60 people on Nov. 9, 2005. He said the group had been staking out targets for months and planned to use car bombs, machine guns, mortars and other heavy weapons in an attack that could have killed hundreds.

Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate “had all their activities under surveillance,” Mr. Maayta said. “The group’s experiments concentrated on creating explosives that would do the maximum damage and cause the highest losses.”

Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, is considered an important island of relative stability in a volatile region. A spokesman for the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel declined to comment on Sunday evening about whether the Israeli intelligence services had assisted the Jordanian authorities in the case.

Mr. Maayta said that the group had traveled to Syria and was planning to take advantage of the chaos there to obtain weapons, including dynamite, that they planned to add to existing explosives to increase their power. He said the group had taken “counsel from Al Qaeda in Iraq via the terrorist sites on the Internet,” and had posted its plans online “to enable others to be able to create the same explosives.”

Al Qaeda in Iraq is a Sunni insurgent group that American intelligence officials have described as mostly homegrown, with some foreign leadership.

Most of the targets of the plot were said to be in the affluent Abdoun neighborhood in the southern part of Amman, home to several upscale nightclubs that are popular with young Jordanians and tourists. The plans apparently included suicide bombers, exploding cars, machine-gun fire and tossed grenades.

“They were targeting foreign diplomats in hotels and in public places,” Mr. Maayta said. “They were starting to target two main malls.”

He said the intelligence service seized weapons, computers, cameras and forged documents in connection with the arrests.

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NJ Democrat faces ‘America’s Rabbi’

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by crescentandcross

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, reality show star and author of books including ‘Kosher Sex’, is running for Congress in New Jersey’s ninth District

ed note–just to put things in perspective here–

Boteach wants to ‘inject Jewish values’ into the American political system, as if it weren’t already ‘injected’ to the gills. Despite what some deluded Christians claim, AMERICA IS A JEWISH COUNTRY, TOP TO BOTTOM, politically, culturally, morally, financially, and in every other way imaginable.

Another thing that must be mentioned here is that the pic off to the right of Boteach is that of Rabbi Menachim Schneerson. The pic appeared on an op-ed penned by Boteach that appeared on Crownheights.info, an orthodox website.

For those who do not know it, Schneerson is an uber-racist par excellence, having uttered (amongst other things) that–

“The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: ‘Let us differentiate.’ Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of ‘let us differentiate’ between totally different species. This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world … A non-Jew’s entire reality is only vanity. It is written, ‘And the strangers shall guard and feed your flocks’ (Isaiah 61:5). The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews”

as well as  

‘”Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.”

So here we have an individual wanting to inject ‘Jewish values’ into the American political system, pretending all along that he is holy, wholesome, devoted to ‘family values’ and the rest, and all the while, he is a follower of a Jewish supremacist mindset that posits the notion that Gentiles are anaimals created by God for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to serve the Jews???

Beam me up Scotty.

ynet 

The barista asked the name of the short, bearded man who ordered the pumpkin spice latte.

“Shmuley, Shmuley,” he said. “The people of the ninth district have to know.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author of books including “Kosher Sex” and “Kosher Adultery,” star of the reality television show “Shalom in the Home” and spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson, is running for Congress in New Jersey’s 9th District.

Boteach, whose website touts him as “America’s Rabbi,” is campaigning on a platform of what he calls Jewish values. They focus on strengthening the family through tax-deductible marriage counseling and tax credits for businesses that close on their religious day of rest.

“I really began to feel the arena that most required an infusion of Jewish values is politics,” Boteach said.

Boteach, a Republican, is running against incumbent Democrat Bill Pascrell. Pascrell survived a tough primary battle in June, defeating fellow Democrat Rep. Steve Rothman. The district was redrawn after the 2010 Census.
With Michael Jackson (Photo: Getty Images)

The district leans heavily Democratic, and political observers all but hand the race to Pascrell. But it is attracting national attention after a report in The Wall Street Journal that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife donated $500,000 to a super PAC that supports Boteach. Campaign finance records show the Adelsons each donated $10,000, the maximum amount allowed under law, to Boteach’s campaign in April.

If the primary was a street fight, the campaign is more of a low-budget Hollywood affair orchestrated by Boteach. He touted his marriage counseling proposal in a news conference with former reality television star Jon Gosselin. He gets most of his points across in published columns and YouTube videos. In one, he urges constituents to “vote for the man with the beard,” pointing out great figures in history who sported facial hair, including Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway and Jesus.

In video series called “Where’s Bill?” Boteach carries around a suit on a hanger that’s meant to be Pascrell and asks it questions. In another clip, Boteach asks random people and a fluffy white dog if they are one of Pascrell’s political consultants.

Pascrell refused to address Boteach’s videos during an interview at his campaign office in Rutherford.

‘I want to make things better’
The National Republican Campaign Committee named Boteach, 45, one of its Young Guns, a program that sets fundraising and other benchmarks for congressional candidates.

“People say this is a sacrificial lamb candidacy,” Boteach said. “What we have shown is we can garner consistent national attention, thank God. I’m one of the most focused-on challengers in the country.”

Pascrell, a member of the Ways and Means Committee and former mayor of Paterson, said he wants to continue his work in Congress and focus on issues including the foreclosure crisis, veteran’s affairs and shrinking of the middle class.

“Look, I’m 75 years of age. This is not a career move for me. I’ve been in the congress for 16 years. I want to make things better. You might not agree with my votes or you may not agree with where I stand on certain issues but you will have to accept, hopefully, that I did my best and I worked hard every day,” Pascrell said. “And if you can’t say that, get out of the way.”

Pascrell’s supporters are galvanized, said Brigid Harrison, a professor of political science at Montclair State University. Parties are putting money into redrawn districts that are longshots to see “if anything sticks,” Harrison said, and part of the Republican support in the 9th might be intended to woo more conservative Jewish voters.

Boteach said the idea of values undergirds his thoughts on the issues. He wants to reduce the payroll tax to support small businesses and opposes the federal health care law. He believes that government “should be out of the marriage business completely” and said he wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade. But he hedged when asked whether he is in favor of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

“That’s a good question and I don’t know if my answer will be as good, because that’s a direct question,” Boteach said.

Boteach is staunchly pro-Israel. One of his daughters is a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces. He has hammered Pascrell for his association with Mohammad Qatanani, imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. The government has sought to deport Qatanani, alleging he is a member of Hamas, and appealed an immigration judge’s ruling granting him legal permanent residence. Pascrell supports Qatanani’s bid to stay in the country.

Pascrell said Boteach is distracting from the issues.

“I have a job to do. And nobody, nobody is going to get in my way, even if they accuse me of hanging out with terrorists, even if they accuse me of hanging out with the wrong people, even if they accuse me of anything,” he said. “They don’t know what they’re up for. Case closed.”

Boteach said he was galvanized to run for office after renovations started on an estate owned by the Libyan government in anticipation for Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s visit to the United Nations in 2009. The property abuts Boteach’s.

Boteach was involved in a successful charge to keep Gaddafi out of Englewood and has since battled to fight the estate’s tax-exempt status.

Boteach said he believes one thing: He will win the race.

“Who would reject me? You know?” Boteach asked. “Because the people around here they’re wise and they have good judgment and good taste and they’re obviously going to vote for me.”

Posted in USAComments Off on NJ Democrat faces ‘America’s Rabbi’

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