Archive | February 9th, 2014

Saudi man executed for ‘witchcraft and sorcery’

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A Saudi man has been beheaded on charges of sorcery and witchcraft, the state news agency SPA says.

The man, Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri, was found in possession of books and talismans, SPA said. He had also admitted adultery with two women, it said.

The execution took place in the southern Najran province, SPA reported.

Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned executions for witchcraft in Saudi Arabia.

Last year, there were reports of at least two people being executed for sorcery.

Mr Asiri was beheaded after his sentence was upheld by the country’s highest courts, the Saudi news agency website said.

No details were given of what he was found guilty of beyond the charges of witchcraft and sorcery.

Amnesty International says the country does not formally classify sorcery as a capital offence.

But the BBC’s Arab Affairs Editor, Sebastian Usher, says there is a very strong prohibition of some practices from the country’s powerful conservative religious leaders.

Some, he explains, have repeatedly called for the strongest possible punishments against anyone suspected of sorcery – whether they are fortune tellers or faith healers.

In 2010, a Lebanese television presenter of a popular fortune-telling programme was arrested while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Though sentenced to death, after pressure from his government and human rights groups, he was freed by the Saudi Supreme Court, which found that he had not harmed anyone.

More recent cases of death on charges of sorcery include that of a Saudi woman, executed for committing sorcery and witchcraft in December, in the northern province of Jawf, and that of a Sudanese man executed in September, despite calls led by Amnesty International for his release.

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Gay Saudi diplomat seeking asylum says ‘they will kill me openly’

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Consular official says he would be in ‘great danger’ if forced to return to Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is outlawed. His friendship with a Jewish woman may also make him a target, experts say.

By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times

In a public plea for help, a Los Angeles-based Saudi diplomat said he is seeking asylum because he believes his life will be in danger if he is forced to return to his country.

The diplomat, who gave his name as Ali Ahmad Asseri, sent an e-mail to news organizations saying that Saudi officials had refused to renew his passport, revoked his health benefits and effectively terminated his position as first secretary at the consulate in Los Angeles after learning that he is gay and friends with a Jewish woman.

“My life is in a great danger here, and if I go back to Saudi Arabia they will kill me openly in broad daylight,” Asseri wrote in the message, a copy of which was provided to The Times on Tuesday.

Asseri, who has been in the U.S. for five years, has fled his West Hollywood apartment and is in hiding, according to supporters.

“I am severely angry that I have been forced to be in this situation because of my personal life,” Asseri said in the e-mail. “It’s not fair and I will not let it go.”

Asseri’s lawyer, Ally Bolour, told NBC News — which first reported the story Saturday — that his client applied for asylum on the grounds that he is a member of a “particular social group” that would subject him to persecution if he returns home. Bolour said his client was questioned Aug. 30 by a Department of Homeland Security official in Los Angeles. He declined further comment until the case has been decided.

In the Middle East, where some Internet commentators have accused him of betraying his country, Asseri’s account has been received with some skepticism. But human rights activists say he has reason to be afraid.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia. An Amnesty International report cited a 2002 case in which three Saudi men were executed after being convicted of homosexual acts. The most recent U.S. State Department report on human rights in the country cites a 2007 newspaper report that said two men had been flogged 7,000 times after being found guilty of sodomy.

Ali Ahmed, a Saudi dissident who heads the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, D.C., said Saudi officials would probably be more concerned about Asseri’s friendship with a Jewish woman because they would presume that she was spying for Israel.

Ahmed, who spoke recently with Asseri, said it was an “innocent friendship” between two people who met while they were both being treated for painful back injuries.

Asseri’s religious views could also put him at risk in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed said. Asseri acknowledged in the e-mail that he is not a practicing Muslim, although he said he believes in God.

Asseri told Ahmed that he believed employees at the Saudi Consulate had grown suspicious about his sexual orientation and followed him to gay bars. His fears mounted when he was told that authorities would not pay for further treatment in the U.S. and that he must return to Saudi Arabia to get his passport and diplomatic credentials renewed.

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Syria: Zionist Lies, Human Right

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 Iraq: 935 Lies, A Tyrant and Weapons of Mass Destruction

“The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy.”

(Former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, b 1927.)

On February 10th 2003, German Green MP Joschka Fischer, then Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor, stunned an international security conference, in Munich’s opulent 19th century Bayerischer Hof hotel discussing the proposed invasion of Iraq, by banging on the table, switching to English to guarantee Donald Rumsfeld understood and shouted of the US arguments for war: ” … I am not convinced.” As he spoke, he gazed at the then US Defence Secretary over his silver, half framed spectacles, concluding: “That is my problem, I cannot go to the public and say, ‘these are the reasons’, because I don’t believe in them.”

Felicity Arbuthnot

A stony faced Rumsfeld was described as:”gazing at Mr Fischer through a tropical plant … he looked like a tiger in the jungle, ready to pounce.”

The astute Herr Fischer recognized a pack of lies when he heard them and saved Germany from enjoining a war of aggression – Nuremberg’s “supreme international crime” – against a country which posed no threat and had no way of defending itself against the world’s most devastating and destructive weapons, whose poisonous residual pollution will continue to maim and kill generations to come for all time.

Both Tony “I’d do it again” Blair and George W. Bush face a citizen’s arrest whenever they appear in public, with Blair also reiterating with others responsible for bombing Iraq back to a pre-industrial age (again) that the country is a better place without Saddam, “a tyrant who killed his own people.” In fact the Western trumpeted mass graves found in Iraq were from the 1991 war and subsequent US encouraged uprising and its predictably violent suppression.

In Kurdistan, where the people in the Iran border are were terribly caught in the crossfire from the weapons used by both devastated sides (and sold to both sides by the US) Saddam Hussein was firmly in the firing line for the terrible deaths at Halabja. However a meticulous 1990 US War College Report threw doubt on the facts of even that horror, stating: “Iraq was blamed for the Halabja attack, even though it was subsequently brought out that Iran too had used chemicals in this operation, and it seemed likely that it was the Iranian bombardment that had actually killed the Kurds.” (i)

Further, according to a 2008 study (ii) George W. Bush: “and seven top officials – including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, made 935 false statements about Iraq” during the two years following 11th September 2001.

However, the US and UK are seemingly remarkably selective when it comes to tyrants who “kill their own people”, and not only have failed to censure their tyrannical Iraqi puppet, Nuri al-Maliki, but are arming him to the teeth with the same weapons which are linked to the horrific birth defects, and cancers throughout Iraq, which he is now using on “his own people.” Moreover, if allegations from very well informed sources that he holds an Iranian passport are correct, to say that US-UK’s despot of choice appears in a whole new political light would be to massively understate.

To facilitate Al-Maliki’s assault on Iraq’s citizens, the US “rushed” seventy five Hellfire missiles to Baghdad in mid-December. On 23rd January Iraq requested a further five hundred Hellfires, costing $82 million – small change compared to the $14 Billion in weapons provided by America since 2005.

The AGM-114R Hellfire II, nauseatingly named “Romeo”, clocked in at: $94,000 each – in 2012. Such spending on weaponry in a country where electricity, clean water, education and health services have all but collapsed since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Last week an “American cargo jet loaded with weapons” including 2,400 rockets to arm Iraqi attack helicopters also arrived in Baghdad.(iii)

This week a contract was agreed to sell a further twenty four AH-64E attack helicopters to Iraq “along with spare parts and maintenance, in a massive $6.2 Billion deal.” With them comes the reinvasion of Iraq, with: “hundreds of Americans” to be shipped out “to oversee the training and fielding of equipment”, some are “US government employees”, read military, plus a plethora of “contractors”, read mercenaries. (iv)

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, on November 15th 2013 Iraq also took delivery of: ” its first shipment of highly advanced Mi-35 attack helicopters as part of a $4.3 Billion arms purchase from Russia”, of an order of: “about 40 Mi-35 and 40 Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopters.”

The all to “attack his own people” in the guise of defeating “Al Qaida” in Anbar province and elsewhere where the people have been peacefully protesting a near one man regime of torture, sectarianism, kangaroo courts which sentence victims who have also had confessions extracted under torture.

The chilling death penalty regime, lead the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay to comment, with considerable understatement: “Weaknesses in the criminal justice system means that the death sentence is often handed down under questionable circumstances in Iraq.”

On 22nd January it was reported that thirty eight people had been executed in the previous four days.(v) In 2013 Iraq had the third highest executions in the world, according to Amnesty International.

So now Al-Maliki is to unleash weapons of mass destruction on any who oppose his reign of terror. Hellfire missiles, also used by the US forces in Fallujah are described as “Thermobaric Hellfire Missiles”(vi) “Their effective performance in Fallujah led to major production contracts in 2005.”

“Thermobaric weapons use high temperature/high pressure explosives as anti-personnel incendiary weapons. They char or vaporise victims in the immediate target location, or suffocate and collapse internal organs with their extended blast/vacuum effects.”

“These weapons use a new generation of reactive metal explosives, some of which are suspected of using Uranium for the high temperature and increased kinetic blast effects. If Uranium enhanced warheads were used in Fallujah these may have contained between ten and one hundred kgs of Uranium per warhead, depending on weapon type.” Ongoing.

They also contain a fuel air explosive (fae) of which: “The (blast) kill mechanism against living targets is unique and unpleasant … What kills is the pressure wave, and more importantly, the subsequent rarefaction (vacuum) which ruptures the lungs … If the fuel deflagrates but does not detonate, victims will be severely burned and will probably also inhale the burning fuel. Since the most common fae fuels, ethylene oxide and  propylene oxide are highly toxic, undetonated fae should prove as lethal to personnel caught within the cloud as most chemical agents”, according to the US Defence Intelligence Agency. Syria watchers please note. (Emphasis mine.

The temperature within the detonation can reach 4,500 to 5,400 °F (2,500 to 3,000 °C). Outside the cloud, the blast wave travels at over two miles per second (3.2 km/s) – 7200 mph.

There are also reports of white phosphorous or napalm having being used by Maliki’s forces in Falluja. Certainly if one two minute video is authentic, as it appears to be, a tell tale inflammatory weapon which cannot be extinquished is well apparent. (vii – in Arabic, but the visual speaks for itself.)

On 28th January World Bulletin recorded: “Some 650 people have been killed or injured and 140,000 displaced by indiscriminate army shelling in Iraq’s western city of Fallujah” according to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama Nujaifi.

The people of Samarra, whose eye wateringly beautiful, golden domed Al-Askari Mosque was blown up in 2006, offered their homes and hospitality to the people fleeing Fallujah and Anbar province, but Maliki’s security warned Samarra residents not to accept any displaced Fallujah and Anbar families. They were given twenty four hours to leave Samarra, writes a friend in Iraq, adding: “Can you believe such criminality?  Forcing the kicking out the refugees who left their houses due to heavy bombing by Maliki’s criminal forces?”

On Thursday 30th January a source with contacts in Fallujah gave the names behind the statistics of just a few of the injured arriving at Fallujah General Hospital:

Iman Mohammed Abdul Razzaq 40 years old (female)

Isaac Saleh Mohammed 4 years (Male)

Abeer Mohammed Saleh 18 years old (female)

Shorooq Borhan Ali 7 years (female)

Ashoaq Mohammed Jassim, 25 years old (female)

Sarah Mohammed Odeh, 13 years old (female)

Fatima Mohammed Odeh, 15 years old (female)

Saleh Mohammed Abdul Razzaq 45 years old (male)

Nobel Peace Laureate Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron’s regimes are as culpable for their continuing support and facilitating of Al-Maliki’s crimes against humanity as were Bush and Blair in the lies that delivered Iraq’s ongoing death and destruction.

But they would do well to note that the escalation of the unrest in Fallujah began on the 30th December, the anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s execution – by a man who was also called Al-Maliki.

The puppet Iraqi Prime Minister further enraged a justifiably angry population last week with a speech on TV talking of the interference of other countries and their support for terrorist groups. The response was to point out his apparent amnesia over the fact that he entered Iraq on the back of the American tanks in an illegal invasion – and there is still the question of that alleged Iranian passport.

Given the Iraqi’s record of running out of patience with imposed despots, he should watch out. The last imposed Prime Minister called Nuri (al-Said) who ignored, as Wiki puts it:  “poverty and social injustice, became a symbol of a regime that failed to address these issues, choosing a course of repression, to protect the privileged”, met a very unpleasant end.

As mentioned before, Iraq’s history repeats in uncanny ways.

i. http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/helms.html

ii. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/23/bush.iraq/

iii. http://freebeacon.com/abc-american-cargo-jet-delivered-weapons-to-iraq/

iv. http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140128/NEWS08/301280009/Agreement-reached-Washington-Sell-Billions-Apache-Helicopters-Iraq

v. http://www.refworld.org/topic,50ffbce582,50ffbce59d,52e228fd4,0,,,.html

vi. http://www.conflictandhealth.com/content/5/1/15

vii.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sd9NsHgxHU 

 

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Dept of Justice official admits NSA ‘probably’ spying on members of Congress

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The Justice Department building is seen in Washington (Reuters / Gary Cameron)The Justice Department building is seen in Washington (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

The US National Security Agency likely collects intelligence on congressional lawmakers and members of their staff, a Justice Department official admitted at a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole of the US Department of Justice testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing which was examining proposals to reform the NSA surveillance policies that have been revealed in an ongoing series of disclosures since June. Among the most damning revelations leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was the realization that the NSA indiscriminately forces companies to provide phone records belonging to millions of Americans.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA.) pressed Cole Tuesday on whether the NSA dragnet includes the number codes that pertain to congressional offices.

Mr. Cole, do you collect 202-225 and four digits afterwards?” Issa asked, as quoted by the National Journal.

We probably do, Mr. Congressman,” Cole replied. “But we’re not allowed to look at any of those, however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat.”

This admission is not the first time members of Congress were given a clue that their activities might be being monitored. Earlier this month, Senator Bernie Sanders – an Independent who represents Vermont – sent a letter to the intelligence agency asking whether democratically elected legislators are being spied upon.

Sanders included in his definition of spying “gathering metadata on calls made from official or person phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business.”

The agency replied to Sanders the next day with a somewhat cryptic response.

NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such privacy protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons,” the NSA stated.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) used the same hearing to suggest that Glenn Greenwald – one of the few journalists who have published details on the Snowden leak – should be prosecuted. Rogers broached the issue multiple times, claiming that Greenwald is selling classified US intelligence secrets to news organizations.

For personal gain, he’s now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it…A thief selling stolen material is a thief,” Rogers said after an exchange with FBI director James Comey.

Greenwald has publicly asserted that he is in possession of a trove of documents leaked by Snowden, with stories based on those documents consistently appearing in international publications over the past six months.

If I’m a newspaper reporter for fill-in-the-blank and I sell stolen material is that legal because I’m a newspaper reporter?” Rogers asked.

If you’re a newspaper reporter and you’re hawking stolen jewelry, it’s still a crime,” Comey said reluctantly. He added that the issue of a journalist selling access to information was “a harder question” because of “First Amendment implications.”

The hearing comes just one day after a group of Silicon Valley heavyweights revealed the scope of national security requests they received from the government. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr have provided figures from 2012 and 2013 showing that tens of thousands of customer accounts were targeted over a six-month period.

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Rabbis to Kerry: Cease mediation or face ‘God’s wrath’

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yahweh

Rabbis calling themselves Committee to Save the Land and People of I$raHell write secre-tary of state warning that his actions were ‘a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe.’

Haaretz

A group of rabbis warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to cease his pursuit of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians or face divine retribution in a letter sent by them Sunday.

The group, calling itself “The Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel,” wrote that Kerry’s “incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe!”

The group claimed that the plan, by placing them in the line of missile fire, would imperil six million Jews, adding in brackets “remember that number from somewhere?”

The letter went on to warn that if Kerry went through with his plans he would win himself “everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people,” joining the likes of Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II and Roman emperor Titus.

The rabbis warned Kerry that like these monarchs and Haman, the villain of the Book of Esther, he will suffer divine retribution for his affront to God’s chosen people. The letter ends with a quote from Isaiah 9:5 “Conspire a plan and it will be frustrated; talk the talk and it will not be fulfilled, for God is with us.”

The signatories of the letter, emeritus head of Haifa Rabbinic Court Gedalya Axelrod, Temple Institute chairman Yisrael Ariel, Migdal Haemek rabbi Ben Tziyon Grossman, Institute for Complete Code of Maimonides dean Shalom Dov Wolpo and Yeshiva of Kiryat Shmuel dean Yigal Pizam, claim they represent other rabbis who are also members of the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel and “hundreds of other Rabbis in Israel and around the world.”

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Argentine pro-Zio-Nazi lobbies blast AMIA MoU

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Starving in Syria: Palestinian refugees die in rebel-held camp [VIDEO]

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An estimated 18 thousand people, including many women and children, remain trapped in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus. It’s been cut-off by Syrian rebels for more than a year now. Hundreds of relief parcels have managed to reach the camp for the first time in several months but that’s too late for at least 85 people who have died there since the middle of last year from illness and starvation. RT’s Maria Finoshina took a trip to this rebel enclave.

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Khamenei: US would bring down our regime immediately if it could

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (photo credit: AP/Office of the Supreme Leader)

Supreme leader say America ‘lying’ when it says it doesn’t seek regime change, tells his people sanctions relief won’t solve economic woes

ed note–at the risk of engaging in shameless self-promotion, nevertheless please refer to this article in considering what the Supreme Leader is stating here.

Times of Israel

Iran’s Supreme Leader said American officials are “lying” when they say they are not seeking regime change in Iran.

“American officials tell our authorities at talks that they are not after regime change in Iran. They are lying because they won’t hesitate a moment if they had the ability to do so,” said Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday.

Khamenei also urged officials not to pin hopes for economic recovery on the sanctions relief from a landmark deal reached with world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program.

He called on critics of the interim nuclear deal achieved on Nov. 24 in Geneva to be fair and give time to President Hassan Rouhani to pursue his policy of engagement with the outside world.

“The only solution to the country’s economic problems is to employ (Iran’s) infinite domestic capacities, not to pin hopes on the lifting of sanctions. No expectations from the enemy,” Khamenei told army officers in Tehran.

Khamenei has given his blessing to Rouhani’s outreach policies. But he also has held to the line that the United States is fundamentally Iran’s adversary.

The deal is the centerpiece of Rouhani’s policy. Iran on Jan. 20 stopped enriching uranium to 20 percent and started neutralizing its existing stockpile of that grade — just steps away from weapons material — in order to fulfil commitments reached under the interim deal.

The U.S. and the European Union also lifted some sanctions — blamed for a sharp devaluation of the Iranian rial over the last two years — in response to the Iranian moves. The currency has recovered somewhat since Rouhani took office last summer.

Under the historic deal, Iran agreed to halt its 20 percent enrichment program, but will continue enrichment up to 5 percent. It also will convert half of its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to oxide, and dilute the remaining half to 5 percent.

In return, the U.S. and the EU simultaneously announced the lifting of sanctions on petrochemical products, insurance, gold and other precious metals, auto industry, passenger plane parts and services.

They also plan to release $4.2 billion Iranian assets of oil revenues blocked overseas, in eight installments over a period of six months. The first installment of $550 million was provided to Iran on Feb. 1, according to Iranian officials.

The interim Geneva accord will last for six months as Iran and the six-nation group — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany — negotiate a final deal. Those talks are to start Feb. 18 in Vienna.

Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have a tough task selling the accord to skeptics. Iran’s hard-liners call the deal a “poisoned chalice,” saying Rouhani made too many concessions in return for too little.

Prominent hard-liner Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi earlier this week accused the president of selling Iran’s “dignity” under the Geneva deal.

But Khamenei defended Rouhani and urged critics to be patient and fair.

“No more than a few months have passed since the (Rouhani) government took office. Authorities should be given the opportunity to push forward strongly. Critics should show tolerance toward the government,” he said in comments posted on his website, leader.ir.

Khamenei’s support is crucial for Rouhani’s diplomatic success in negotiations with the six-nation group.

Khameini said “tactics and methods can be changed but principles must remain rock solid.”

Rouhani has said his countrymen elected him last June to change the country’s foreign policy and shift away from the bombastic style adopted under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he also asserts that the Islamic Republic’s core principles will remain unchanged.

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Zio-Nazi Yeshiva student admits to writing anti-Semitic graffiti

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18-year-old studying at Torah academy for at-risk teens charged over multiple vandalism incidents

Times of Israel

A Long Island yeshiva student was charged with repeatedly scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti inside a commuter train station.

Jonathan Schuster, 18, a senior at Priority-1: Torah Academy of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, in Cedarhurst, N.Y.,was charged with the crimes on Thursday

He admitted to using black marker to write anti-Semitic statements, often including expletives, on eight occasions since December 2012, police told Newsday.

The boy, who lives in Far Rockaway, Queens, has no previous criminal record. The vandalism, at the Cedarhurst Long Island Railroad Station, mostly occurred at night, with the graffiti consisting of obscenities directed at Orthodox Jews scrawled on train platform billboards or station signs. On one occasion, a swastika was etched into the wall of a platform shelter.

Priority-1: Torah Academy of Lawrence-Cedarhurst bills itself as “the pioneering leader in alternative yeshiva high schooling to service capable and gifted young men whose needs are not being met by the traditional yeshiva system.”

The school “has led countless at-risk teenage boys to abandon self-destructive behavior and become true bnei Torah and observant Jews,” the yeshiva’s website says.

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Binyamin Naziyahu’s pipe dream

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By Uri Avnery

What’s wrong with the demand that the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the “nation state of the Jewish people”?

Well, practically everything.

States recognize each other. They don’t have to recognize each other’s ideological character.

A state is a reality. Ideologies belong to the abstract realm.

When the United States recognized the Soviet Union in 1933, it recognized the state. It did not recognize its communist nature.

When the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized the state of Israel in the Oslo agreement, and in the exchange of letters preceding it, it was not asked to recognize its Zionist ideology. When Israel in return recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, it did not recognize any particular Palestinian ideology, secular or religious.

Some Israelis (including myself) would like to change the self-definition of Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”, omitting the word “Jewish”. Some other Israelis would like to omit or demote the word “democratic”. Neither of us believe that we need the confirmation of the Palestinians for this.

It’s just none of their business.

Sabotage or inferiority complex?

I don’t know what the real intention of Netanyahu is when he presents this demand as an ultimatum.

The most flattering explanation for his ego is that it is just another trick to sabotage the “peace process” before it reaches the demand to evacuate the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories. The less flattering explanation is that he really believes in it, that he is driven by some deeply rooted national inferiority complex that needs outside assurance of “legitimacy”. Recognizing the “national state of the Jewish people” means accepting the entire Zionist narrative, lock, stock and barrel, starting from the divine promise to Abraham to this very day.

When John Kerry considers whether to include this demand in his framework agreement, he should think about this twice.

Where would this leave his special emissary, Martin Indyk?

Indyk is a Jew, bearing a Yiddish name (Indyk means turkey). If Israel is the state of the entire Jewish nation and/or people, he is included willy-nilly. The state of Israel represents him, too. So, how can he function as an honest broker between the two warring sides?

And where does this leave the millions of American Jews, now that the conflict between the governments of the US and Israel is deepening? On what side are they? Are they all Jonathan Pollards?

The newly found independent American voice vis-à-vis Israel drives Israeli rightists to devise more and more weird solutions.

Joker in the pack

The latest example is Binyamin Netanyahu’s brilliant idea: why not leave the Israeli settlers where they are as Palestinian citizens?

This looks to many sensible people as eminently fair, in the best Anglo-Saxon tradition.

The state of Israel now has some 1.6 million Arab Palestinian citizens. Why should the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, not include some 0.6 million Jewish Israeli citizens?

The Arabs in Israel enjoy, at least in theory, full legal rights. They vote for the Knesset. They are subject to the law. Why should these Israelis not enjoy full legal rights in Palestine, vote for the Majlis and be subject to the law?

The settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories are mostly new immigrants… They do not sit on the land of their forefathers, but on Palestinian land expropriated by force…

People love symmetry. Symmetry makes life easier. It removes complexities…

This symmetry is false, too.

Israel’s Arab citizens live on their land. Their forefathers have been living there for at least 1,400 years, and perhaps for 5000 years. Palestinian negotiator Sa’eb Erekat exclaimed this week that his family has been living in Jericho for 10,000 years, while his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, is the daughter of an immigrant.

The settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories are mostly new immigrants, too. They do not sit on the land of their forefathers, but on Palestinian land expropriated by force – either “private” land or “government land”. This so-called “government land” was the communal land reserves of the villages that in Ottoman times was registered in the name of the Sultan, and later in the name of the British and Jordanian authorities. When Israel conquered the area, it took over these lands as if it owned them.

The settlers and their character

But the main point is something different. It concerns the character of the settlers themselves.

The core of the settlers, precisely those who live in the “isolated” small settlements in the areas that will in any case become part of the Palestinian state, are religious and nationalist fanatics.

The idea that these people would become law-abiding citizens of the… Palestinian state is preposterous. Most of them hate everything Arab, including the workers who work for them without the benefit of minimum wages or social rights, and say so openly at every opportunity.

The very purpose of their leaving comfortable homes in Israel and going to the desolate stony hills of “Judea and Samaria” was idealistic. It was to claim this area for Israel, fulfil their interpretation of God’s commandment and make a Palestinian state forever impossible.

The idea that these people would become law-abiding citizens of the very same Palestinian state is preposterous. Most of them hate everything Arab, including the workers who work for them without the benefit of minimum wages or social rights, and say so openly at every opportunity. They support the “Price Tag” thugs who terrorize their Arab neighbours, or at least don’t speak out against them. They obey their fanatical rabbis, who discuss among themselves whether it is right to kill non-Jewish children, who, when grown up, may kill Jews. They plan the building of the Third Temple, after blowing up the Muslim shrines.

To think about them as Palestinian citizens is ludicrous.

Of course, not all the settlers are like that. Some of them are quite different.

This week, an Israeli TV station aired a series about the economic situation of the settlers. It was an eye-opener.

Those ideological pioneers, living in tents and wooden huts, are long gone. Many settlements now consist of palatial buildings, each with its swimming pool, horses and orchards – something the Israeli 99 per cent cannot even dream of. Since almost all of them came to the “territories” without a shekel in their pocket, it is clear that all these palaces were built with our tax money – the huge sums transferred every year to this enterprise.

The clusters of urban settlements near the Green Line called “settlement blocs” are another matter. They are likely to be joined to Israel in the context of an “exchange of territories”. But at least two of them raise severe questions: Ariel, which lies some 25 kilometres inside the putative Palestinian state, and Maaleh Adumim, which practically cuts the West Bank into two.

Incorporating these two large towns with their inhabitants into the sovereign State of Palestine is a pipe-dream

When Netanhayu promised this week that he will not remove one single settler nor evacuate one single settlement, he may have been thinking of Charles de Gaulle, who also did not remove settlers or uproot settlements. He just fixed the date when the French army would leave Algeria.

That was enough.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Binyamin Naziyahu’s pipe dream

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