Archive | April 27th, 2015

Jerusalem hosts gynecology conference – but no women allowed

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Rights group calls on Israel’s medical association to forbid doctors from attending gathering on ‘research and innovation’ in women’s health and Jewish law.
A pregnant woman in hospital.

A pregnant woman in hospital. Photo by Reuters
By Nili Philipp

A rights group in Israel is calling on the country’s medical association to forbid doctors from taking part in a Jerusalem women’s health event scheduled for Tuesday that is closed to women participants.

The event is co-sponsored by one of Israel’s leading – and publicly funded – HMOs, Meuhedet, and the ultra-Orthodox medical institute Yad HaRamah. It is meant to focus on research and innovation in women’s health, bringing together medical experts, rabbis, teachers, and experts in Jewish law for dialogue and discussion.

A spokesperson for the conference told the Ynet news website that not only were women absent from the roster of speakers and panelists at the event, but that they were barred from the audience as well.

Uri Regev, director-general of Hiddush, a nonprofit organization that promotes religious freedom and equality, declared that “the existence of this conference proves how crucial it is that the exclusion of women be declared a criminal act. The idea that the Meuhedet HMO and the Shaare Zedek hospital can hold an event in which exclusively male doctors and rabbis gather and discuss women’s medical issues without even one woman doctor is a surreal phenomenon that one hardly believes can exist in what claims to be a Western country.”

Charging the HMO with “sucking up” to the haredi public by agreeing to exclude women, Regev said that medical professionals should stay away from the gathering. The participation of senior doctors in such an event, he said, represents a “blatant violation” of a decision by the medical association’s ethics board forbidding discrimination against women and determined that “doctors will not participate in any medical or scientific event in which women are excluded.”

After the protest hit the headlines, Meuhedet issued a statement saying that the event was designed to serve its clientele in the Jerusalem area, which includes 250,000 ultra-Orthodox members and was part of its mission to serve all elements of the population and that “the conference was designed for the rabbis of Jerusalem neighborhoods with the goal of strengthening the connection with the communities rabbis and the HMO through open dialogue with doctors who practice gynecology. The goal of the conference is to encourage dialogue with tens of these neighborhood rabbis (with whom the hundreds of thousands of our clients consult) The nature of the event was designed to suit the target audience it is trying to serve.”

However, after learning of the men-only conference, other Jerusalem clients of the Meuhedet HMO said they were outraged and that they planned to file a complaint. One of them, Cheryl Birkner Mack told Haaretz that it was “incomprehensible that a conference on women’s health could take place without one woman present. Doctors, researchers and others have much to contribute to this discussion, women as much as, if not more, than men.”

The controversy echoed protest over a similar event that took place three years ago, when two prominent Israeli doctors canceled their participation in a conference on fertility and Jewish law organized by a religious medical advocacy group Pua, after learning that organizers informed female gynecological and fertility professionals that they would not be able to speak at the event nor participate in any of its panels.

The Pua event sparked a widespread public protest and Facebook campaign. At the time, one of the doctors who refused to attend, Prof Yuval Yaron from Ichilov Hospital’s Lis Maternity Hospital, wrote to the organizers that “the assertion that women cannot be invited as lecturers in a conference on women’s medicine is both professionally absurd and represents an exclusion of women in the full sense of the word.”

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Iranian general accuses US of masterminding 9/11 attacks

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America was acting against Iran, Islam, says ground forces chief Pourdastan; also suggests bombing attacks on Saudi cities to deter Riyadh in Yemen

The commander of Iran’s ground forces charged that the United States masterminded the 9/11 terror attacks on its soil in 2001.

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan made the statement during an interview on Iran’s state-owned Al-Alam television channel, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported Sunday.

“These wars [in the Middle East] and these threats stem from a comprehensive American strategy,” Pourdastan said on April 19. “After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Americans felt that a new force was beginning to materialize – namely, the union between Sunnis and Shiites. The basis of this force was the blessed Islamic Revolution in Iran. This force is Islam, or the Islamic world. In order to prevent this force from materializing, the Americans did many things. The first thing they did was to plan and carry out the events of 9/11 in order to justify their presence in western Asia, with the goal of ruling it.”

Pourdastan also mentioned the possibility of Islamic terror attacks on Saudi Arabian cities. “Personally, I feel that if Saudi cities were targeted by bombings and missiles, it would be difficult for the officials there to withstand this,” he said. “Seeing that in the past, Yemen bought a variety of weapons that are now in the hands of the [Houthi] Muslims, they are capable of dealing lethal blows to Saudi Arabia.”

He also warned Islamic State against attacking Iran. “If [Islamic State] tries to come within 40 kilometers of our borders, we shall confront them and make them witness the might and capabilities of the Muslim soldiers,” he said.

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FREE ”SYRIAN” ARMY SENDS I$RAHELL WARM WISHES ON ‘INDEPENDENCE’ DAY

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by Sabba

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Free “Syrian” Army hopes to celebrate 68th anniversary at ‘Israel’s embassy in Damascus’

TIME OF ISRAEL:

A long with warm words from world leaders on the occasion of its 67th year of independence, the Israeli government also received on Thursday a surprise letter of congratulations from an unexpected source.

The Free Syrian Army, a moderate Syrian opposition group sidelined in recent months by stronger Islamist rebels, sent Israel’s leadership a message expressing hope that next year’s independence celebrations will also take place in an Israeli embassy in Damascus.

“We congratulate the powerful state of Israel and its people on its anniversary of independence, and we hope that next year we can participate in the joy of the grand occasion in Israel’s embassy in Damascus,” the group’s foreign affairs official Mousa Ahmed Nabhan stated in the message.

Israel has never had diplomatic relations with Syria. However, the FSA has been vocal in asking for Israeli support for their campaign against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, with officials even traveling to Israel.

Nabhan said such celebrations would be possible “once liberated from the axis of evil led by Iran and its regional agents, and headed by the criminal Bashar al-Assad and his Nazi regime.”

The letter was received by Druze political activist Mendi Safadi, who served in the past as a parliamentary assistant to Likud’s MK Ayoub Kara, Maariv reported Thursday.

Nabhan thanked Israel for its humane and respectful attitude toward the Syrian unrest and the rebels, saying the Syrian people would never forget any nation that stood by its side.

“Warmest regards to the State of Israel and its leadership, and the best of health, happiness and prosperity to its people,” he concluded in his message.

The FSA is considered by the international community to be the armed wing of Syria’s moderate opposition, which has been fighting to oust Assad for over four years and enjoys support from the US.

However, the group has been mostly pushed aside by the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which have wrested large swathes of Syria previously captured by the FSA.

The FSA still controls parts of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, as well as areas in northern Syria, though analysts have pointed to signs the group may be imploding under pressure from Assad and Islamist groups.”

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The very strange saga of Adam Gadahn

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“For the first time, a former Orange County, Calif. teenage rock music fan has revealed his role as a top al Qaeda leader.

Adam Gadahn, who disappeared from California seven years ago, appeared unmasked on an al Qaeda tape made public on the internet today.

As previously reported by ABC News, the FBI had concluded that the masked man was Gadahn based on voice analysis of previous al Qaeda tapes. On today’s tape, Gadahn is bearded, wearing a turban.

He denounces U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their alleged murder and rapes of Iraqi citizens.”

Whatreallyhappened writes (I’ve removed links that are in the original):

“The FBI lists Gadahn’s aliases as Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb, Yihya Majadin Adams, Adam Pearlman, and Yayah.

But Adam Pearlmen is his REAL name! Adam is the grandson of the late Carl K. Pearlman; a prominent Jewish urologist in Orange County. Carl was also a member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League, which was caught spying on Americans for Israel in 1993, much as AIPAC has been caught up in the more recent spy scandal.”

I think this information came originally from David Irving, so we should look into it in detail.  The man now known as ‘Azzam the American’, and definitely associated with top al Qaeda leaders, was born Adam Pearlman, the son of semi-prominent hippie musician Phil Pearlman. Pearlman had converted to Christianity and changed the family name to Gadahn. Phil Pearlman’s father was in fact prominent urologist Carl Kenneth Pearlman. From Carl Pearlman’sobituary (scroll down):

“He devoted much time to YMCA in Santa Ana. In an effort to aid the plight of world Jewry in the post-war years, he became the first chairman in Orange County of the Bonds for Israel and served as chairman for the United Jewish Welfare Fund.

He served with the Jewish Family Service and the Nursing Home Advisory Committee. He was a member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League and was an honoree of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (now known as the National Conference for Community and Justice).”

The Los Angeles Times is characteristically coy (original story no longer available but it is reprinted here; coy word is in red):

“In 1995, at 17, Adam Gadahn moved out of the family’s Winchester home, his father said, because ‘he wanted out of the country and wanted to be in the city,’ where he lived with relatives in Garden Grove.”

Actually, the detail comes from the Washington Post:

“While living with his grandparents in suburban Santa Ana, he made his first trip to the nearby mosque in 1995. He introduced himself as Yahya – the Arabic name for John the Baptist, revered as a great prophet in Islam.”

It’s an old pattern. Teenaged son rebels from hippie parents, then flees the countryside – and the hippie lack of electricity or indoor plumbing – to live with grandparents.  Grandfather is on the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League, so he almost immediately decides to join a mosque. He then assaults the director of the mosque, and is seen hanging out with ‘radical’ Muslims (and note this extremely odd parallel story, stemming out of the same Garden Grove mosque). He also becomes a bit famous for an internet essay “Becoming Muslim”, which is itself rather odd:

“On the left, conspiracy theorists – no less energized than their right-wing counterparts – got busy, too. They thought it strange, they said, as if the government stitched the story together from scratch. Some kid who never before posted to the Internet drops a deeply personal revelation onto a USC website, a diatribe that is chock full of anti-government, anti-Christian sentiments, and then pretty much disappears from cyberspace. A person doesn’t just post his entire life story on the Web and never post again, they say. You’d think someone like that would have been on the Web all the time; at least you could find him on Islamic faith newsgroups, chatting about the Qur’an.

But Gadahn’s online presence is scant. Since stuff tends to hang around in cyberspace forever, it does raise questions that, other than “Becoming Muslim,” and a few news articles he’s appeared to have edited about jihad, why is Gadahn nowhere to be found?

There are other odd occurrences about “Becoming Muslim,” such as Gadahn’s statements that the U.S. government considered Muslims to be “bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists.” This is a mostly inaccurate conclusion to have drawn in 1995; though anti-Muslim sentiments in America rose after 9/11, the U.S. government had not previously taken such a hard-line position.”

Gadahn has become a cause célèbre for the American right, a made-to-order American traitor from central casting. What if he really was manufactured? His confused background, with a detour through heavy metal, his moving in with his grandparents (grandfather on the ADL board), his rare internet essay anachronistically written from a Zionist perspective and not the perspective of the American government in 1995 (as if the Zionists had already written the post-September 11 script), his immediate ‘conversion’ to Islam and association with ‘radical’ Muslims – it’s all just a bit too contrived. We have seen other examples of how Israel has infiltrated Islamist organizations (most recently in Lebanon). Have the Zionists infiltrated al Qaeda at its highest levels? Or is it more accurate to look at al Qaeda as a ‘false flag’ Zionist organization?

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The Relentless Jewish Campaign Against Islam

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These inflammatory ads on NYC buses are sponsored by a pro-Israel group.
In the run-up to World War Two, the Illuminati Jews vilified the Nazis. Now they pit the West against Islam in a third world war to kill more goyim and usher in the New World Order.

Below, Andrew counters this campaign by offering insight into the founder of Islam, Mohammed. 

by Andrew

For the last few months, I’ve reviewed accurate narratives about the life of Mohammed. The last great prophet died at the age of 63. On his deathbed, he attributed his premature death to his poisoning at the hands of an Arabian Jewess who successfully poisoned not only him but also other lieutenants who actually died immediately.

Mohammed died years later in 632 AD. The Jews of Arabia during Mohammed’s day were the primary merchants of spirits and wines which Mohammed forbade his followers, so they naturally worked indefatigably to nip their Islamic problem “in the bud” so to speak. This poisoning of the Islamic leadership was only one of numerous attempts to eliminate the Muslims from Arabia while the movement was still in its infancy.

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“American Freedom Defense Initiative” President, Racist Pamela Geller.)

Today, the attack is fiercer than ever except now it takes the form of THE BIG LIE in a relentless campaign of defamation against Islam. As Abdullah Ganji, the managing-director of an influential Iranian newspaper recently explained, the Jewish media continuously presents an ugly, violent, homicidal and false face of Islam to the world in order to prepare everyone for the gruesome Islamic genocide of World War III in a few years.

In order to counter the phony ISIS message of DEATH TO ALL INFIDELS, I thought it was time to tell the truth. What follows is a synopsis written in the 1930s of Essad Bey’s biography, Mohammed.

THE LAST GREAT PROPHET, Reviewed by Thomas Sugrue

“Mohammed was a prophet, but he never performed a miracle. He was not a mystic; he had no formal schooling; he did not begin his mission until he was forty. When he announced that he was the Messenger of God, bringing word of the true religion, he was ridiculed and labeled a lunatic. Children tripped him and women threw filth upon him. He was banished from his native city, Mecca, and his followers were stripped of their worldly goods and sent into the desert after him. When he had been preaching ten years he had nothing to show for it but banishment, poverty and ridicule. Yet before another ten years had passed, he was dictator of all Arabia, ruler of Mecca, and the head of a New World religion which was to sweep to the Danube and the Pyrenees before exhausting the impetus he gave it. That impetus was three-fold: the power of words, the efficacy of prayer and man’s kinship with God.

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“His career never made sense. Mohammed was born to impoverished members of a leading family of Mecca. Because Mecca, the crossroads of the world, home of the magic stone called the Caaba, great city of trade and the center of trade routes, was unsanitary, its children were sent to be raised in the desert by Bedouins. Mohammed was thus nurtured, drawing strength and health from the milk of nomad, vicarious mothers. He tended sheep and soon hired out to a rich widow as leader of her caravans.

He traveled to all parts of the Eastern World, talked with many men of diverse beliefs and observed the decline of Christianity into warring sects. When he was twenty-eight, Khadija, the widow, looked upon him with favor, and married him. Her father would have objected to such a marriage. For the next twelve years Mohammed lived as a rich and respected and very shrewd trader. Then he took to wandering in the desert, and one day he returned with the first verse of the Koran and told Khadija that the archangel Gabriel had appeared to him and said that he was to be the Messenger of God.

“The Koran, the revealed word of God, was the closest thing to a miracle in Mohammed’s life. He had not been a poet; he had no gift of words. Yet the verses of the Koran, as he received them and recited them to the faithful, were better than any verses which the professional poets of the tribes could produce. This, to the Arabs, was a miracle. To them the gift of words was the greatest gift, the poet was all-powerful. In addition the Koran said that all men were equal before God, that the world should be a democratic state Islam. It was this political heresy, plus Mohammed’s desire to destroy all the 360 idols in the courtyard of the Caaba, which brought about his banishment. The idols brought the desert tribes to Mecca, and that meant trade. So the business men of Mecca, the capitalists, of which he had been one, set upon Mohammed. Then he retreated to the desert and demanded sovereignty over the world.

“The rise of Islam began. Out of the desert came a flame which would not be extinguished–a democratic army fighting as a unit and prepared to die without wincing. Mohammed had invited the Jews and Christians to join him; for he was not building a new religion. He was calling all who believed in one God to join in a single faith. If the Jews and Christians had accepted his invitation Islam would have conquered the world. They didn’t. They would not even accept Mohammed’s innovation of humane warfare. When the armies of the prophet entered Jerusalem not a single person was killed because of his faith. When the crusaders entered the city, centuries later, not a Moslem man, woman, or child was spared. But the Christians did accept one Moslem idea–the place of learning, the university.”

 

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Facebook’s Internet.org, the Anti-Net Neutrality in Action

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By Steve Straehley 

The idea sounds great—provide Internet access for the millions of people in developing areas that don’t have it. But in the process of putting that knowledge at the fingertips of that under-served community, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org has drawn a bright line between the haves and have-nots.

Zuckerberg’s plan, developed with manufacturers such as Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Samsung, allows free access via mobile phones in developing areas only to certain parts of the Internet. Surprise—Facebook is one of the applications able to be reached by way of the Internet.org app. Wikipedia is also available as are weather and a few other sites. But if you want to go to a site not on the app, you must either pay a fee or you’re out of luck.

Latin American leaders, such as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, have applauded the Internet.org strategy, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). But others, including Carolina Botero, executive director of the Karisma Foundation in Bogotá, have reservations. Karisma supports the positive use of technology as it pertains to human rights. Botero said: “We have serious concerns that Internet.org is presented as a public policy strategy for universal access to the Internet. This initiative compromises everyone’s rights and blurs the government’s obligation to reduce the digital divide for its citizens for compromised access to certain applications. No matter how interesting they are, these services are associated with a commercial interest of a multinational which the state is directly supporting.”

Zuckerberg claims that because Internet.org doesn’t specifically block sites or charge sites more to run faster, the app conforms with net neutrality principles. But more businesses are starting to see it the other way and are opting out of the program, among them a group of Indian publishers.

“We support net neutrality because it creates a fair, level playing field for all companies—big and small—to produce the best service and offer it to consumers,” The Times Group, one of the publishers that withdrew from Internet.org, said in a statement. Other Indian companies to opt out of Internet.org are travel website Cleartrip and information site Newshunt. “What started off with providing a simple search service has us now concerned with influencing customer decision-making by forcing options on them, something that is against our core DNA,” Cleartrip said in a statement, according toThe Wall Street Journal.

“The problem runs deeper than simply which sites to which poor users should have subsidized access,” wrote EFF’s David Boagado and Katitza Rodriguez. “It lies in the very concept that Facebook and its corporate partners, or governments, should be able to privilege one service or site above another. Despite the good intentions of Facebook and the handful of allied companies, Internet.org effectively leaves its users without a real Internet in the [Latin American] region.”

The result is “having access to only a sliver of what is supposed to be the worldwide web,” wrote Issie Lapowsky at Wired. “As we’ve said before, this creates ‘an Internet for poor people.’”

Zuckerberg’s response, basically, is that half a loaf is better than none. “Arguments about net neutrality shouldn’t be used to prevent the most disadvantaged people in society from gaining access or to deprive people of opportunity,” he wrote April 17 in a Facebook post. “Eliminating programs that bring more people online won’t increase social inclusion or close the digital divide. It will only deprive all of us of the ideas and contributions of the two thirds of the world who are not connected.”

To Learn More:

Does Internet.org Leave Latin Americans Without A Real Internet? (by David Bogado and Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Mark Zuckerberg Can’t Have It Both Ways on Net Neutrality (by Issie Lapowsky, Wired )

Indian Companies Pull Out of Internet.org amid Battle over Net Neutrality (by Aditi Malhotra, Wall Street Journal )

Supreme Court Upholds Cyber Freedom in India (by Karan Singh, AllGov India )

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New York Times: Prosecute Cheney

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The New York Times editorial board has called upon President Barack Obama to prosecute former Vice President Dick Cheney for the torture of terrorism suspects.

The sharply worded editorial, published Monday, comes amid an effort by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch to launch an investigation into U.S. torture practices. The two groups will submit a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor.

“The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? That will depend on what an investigation finds, and as hard as it is to imagine Mr. Obama having the political courage to order a new investigation, it is harder to imagine a criminal probe of the actions of a former president,” the Times editorial board wrote.

“But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos,” the board continued. “There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.”

The calls from the Times and the ACLU and HRW come after the recent release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on U.S. torture practices, including a 524-page executive summary that detailed grotesque interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, hanging by the wrists, death threats, confinement in coffins and “rectal feeding.”

“Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments,” the Times editorial board wrote. “Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.”

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Fighting for bread and social justice in Egypt

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By Mai Shams El-Din 

Chants for bread and social justice didn’t emerge out of the January 25, 2011 revolution. Long before 2011, a strong protest movement existed against the economic policies of former President Mubarak and his regime, which gained momentum in 2006 through the protests and strikes of labor workers in Mahalla al-Kubra.

Nadeem Mansour, director of the  , speaks to Mada Masr about the challenges facing the labor movement in Egypt and the battle for bread and social justice.

Mada Masr: Why do you think demands for social justice were masked by an identity battle post-January 25, 2011?

Nadeem Mansour: My work is still about the struggle for bread, social justice and the minimum wage, but after January 25, political organizations — the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis and liberal groups — used the media to wage a very public battle over identity politics that masked this fight to some extent. Those who chanted for social rights in 2011 were not able to achieve their aims for numerous reasons — they didn’t have parties to speak for them, nor a media interested in propagating their ideals. Private media in Egypt is owned almost entirely by businessmen, who often have personal interests that are in conflict with labor movements.

At the ECESR, we have a monitor for economic and social protests. We’ve noticed that many protests over the last four years have had economic and social demands, and there have been a lot of them. In 2013, for example, the number of protests exceeded 5000. Our role is to support these demands. Social justice is the key to making any real change, and to all of the problems facing Egyptian society today. For example, terrorism will only be confronted and stability brought about by ensuring structural and social inequalities are addressed.

MM: How has the absence of political support for economic and social rights affected your work at the center?

NM: Support of the poor and marginalized has never received much genuine political interest. Such attention fluctuates according to the political climate. Part of our role as an entity that offers legal, research and media services, and supports syndicates and local communities, is to help people find solutions to their problems on a local level, and then ensuring attention is given to their problems more widely.

Take the case of the minimum wage, as an example. Before we started the campaign and filed the lawsuit, the issue was not even a matter of discussion. The last minimum wage was set in 1982, as far as I remember, and it was around LE34. The campaign — both research and online — was initiated in partnership with workers, as there were no independent trade unions or syndicates at the time. We succeeded in raising the minimum wage from LE34 to LE400, and then to LE700 after the revolution. Now the minimum wage stands at LE1200, and we are still demanding its increase. By setting the minimum wage as a revolutionary demand, it became a public issue, not just one concerning workers.

We are also interested in working more on specific cases, such as the issue of the Misr Shebin al-Kom Spinning and Weaving Company [the country’s largest textile company, based in Mahalla], which was sold to an Indian investor who already owned some of its competitors. He bought it illegally at a cheap price in order to destroy its equipment and decrease production and thus competition. This case prompted the government to issue a law protecting contracts, which we believe is unconstitutional and have challenged in court.

We partnered with a group of workers and farmers in 2012, when the constitution was being revised, to issue a document, “Workers and farmers write the constitution.” While the conflict over the civil or Islamic identity of the state continued, and there were many calls for workers and farmers to be educated about their rights, we decided to go and ask them about what they thought these rights should be. We went to 22 governorates and we talked with thousands of people. We put them together in a legal document and ended up with something similar to the international Covenant on Economic and Social Rights in its relation to health, work and water. This is part of our work, empowering local communities to make decisions that impact on their own lives.

MM: What about the syndicates and unions for workers?

NM: The syndicates and unions are weak because they are part of a nascent movement that is also facing attacks from many directions, and lacks organizational capacity. Additionally, the strength of these organizations is closely related to that of local communities and their capacity to mobilize and sustain action.

The question is, can these problems be solved by uniform state action, or do they require a decentralized approach?

The economic and social crisis in Egypt is partly due to corruption and government bureaucracy. Attempts at reform often happen in a very centralized manner, whereas capacity building has to be conducted locally.

There are between 1500 and 3000 syndicates, and the union’s [Federation of Independent Trade Unions] capacity for representation is limited. Also, there is no legal framework to structure their work, meaning the right to strike is not protected.

The syndicates are weak right now, and consequently so is the union. The ability to mobilize in the public domain is difficult in Egypt currently, and the attention of the public is focused on political parties and activists. But the attack on syndicates is much fiercer.

MM: How would you describe this attack?

NM: Workers face many problems, including: Dismissal, lack of financial rights, penalties against striking workers, threats, jail, physical assaults, torture and death — in extreme cases. The Protest Law also applies to workers, and is often enforced more vigorously. We have workers who are currently being tried for going on strike. Over the last 10 years, Egypt has developed a strong strike movement. The public mobilization on Jan 25 and June 30 were related to strikes over economic and social issues.

The entire movement is not often suppressed, as it is so vast, but smaller attacks are waged. During Morsi’s term in office, workers at the Portland Company in Alexandria were attacked by police dogs, and some were thrown from the second floor of the building, leading to severe injuries.

Just a few days ago, we were able to secure the release of a worker who criticized the administration of his employer on Facebook and is being investigated for it. Such attacks are often arbitrary, so we try to raise the profile of them in the media as much as we can.

Violence and the interference of the security services in the public domain have reached levels we haven’t witnessed in the last 10 years. The general climate is one of fear.

In one incident, a private company ended negotiations with its workers after military intelligence got involved. This is documented in the company’s official records.

MM: How do you deal with legislative obstacles to your work?

NM: We have strong objections to the current law regulating the work of civil society and against various drafts of the newly proposed law.  The state is attempting to restrict rights-based work without understanding this will hinder democratic reform.

The Center is registered according to the law. We are not an association, but a legal services company, providing consultancy on legal and economic matters. We are a legal office and as such pay the appropriate taxes and have the required documents. Our work is transparent and open.

We are, however, interested in the law governing non-governmental organizations, because we are interested in the ways people organize and in supporting this locally and nationally. We want a law that supports activities and solidarity work. If I’m a legal firm that wants to provide free services, I should be able to do so. Why am I being dealt with as an association in this case?

MM: When and why did you decide to work in human rights?

NM: I began work as a trainee researcher at the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in 2008. I then started the ECESR with Khalid Ali and two other colleagues in 2009.

My interest in rights stems from my study of political economies, which focused on the relationship between the state, local communities and the labor movement. In human rights centers, there are many opportunities for young researchers to expand and develop their ideas.

Many people benefit from our legal services that wouldn’t have access to them otherwise. This motivates me to continue. Our work builds on that of many other generations and organizations. The public domain expanded dramatically after the revolution, enabling rights work to gain ground and the number of organizations dedicated to it to increase. The scale of such work was much more limited in the 90s, for example.

MM: Do you think the current restrictions on civil society will deter young people from getting involved in rights-based work?

NM: I don’t think this will prevent new generations from joining. There have always been restrictions on rights-related work. Under Mubarak, and even before I started in the 90s and 2000s, we suffered consistent and fierce attacks. The intensity of the attack on the movement has also increased with its ability to make an impact.

As long as people’s rights are violated, there will be a need for such organizations to exist.

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Mohammad Javad Zarif: A Message From Iran

NOVANEWS

By MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF

TEHRAN — WE made important progress in Switzerland earlier this month. With the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, we agreed on parameters to remove any doubt about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and to lift international sanctions against Iran.

But to seal the anticipated nuclear deal, more political will is required. The Iranian people have shown their resolve by choosing to engage with dignity. It is time for the United States and its Western allies to make the choice between cooperation and confrontation, between negotiations and grandstanding, and between agreement and coercion.

With courageous leadership and the audacity to make the right decisions, we can and should put this manufactured crisis to rest and move on to much more important work. The wider Persian Gulf region is in turmoil. It is not a question of governments rising and falling: the social, cultural and religious fabrics of entire countries are being torn to shreds.

Mohammad Javad Zarif CreditAndrea Comas/Reuters

Endowed with a resilient population that has stood firm in the face of coercion while simultaneously showing the magnanimity to open new horizons of constructive engagement based on mutual respect, Iran has weathered the storms of instability caused by this mayhem. But we cannot be indifferent to the unfathomable destruction around us, because chaos does not recognize borders.

Iran has been clear: The purview of our constructive engagement extends far beyond nuclear negotiations. Good relations with Iran’s neighbors are our top priority. Our rationale is that the nuclear issue has been a symptom, not a cause, of mistrust and conflict. Considering recent advances in symptom prevention, it is time for Iran and other stakeholders to begin to address the causes of tension in the wider Persian Gulf region.

Iranian foreign policy is holistic in nature. This is not due to habit or preference, but because globalization has rendered all alternatives obsolete. Nothing in international politics functions in a vacuum. Security cannot be pursued at the expense of the insecurity of others. No nation can achieve its interests without considering the interests of others.

Nowhere are these dynamics more evident than in the wider Persian Gulf region. We need a sober assessment of the complex and intertwined realities here, and consistent policies to deal with them. The fight against terror is a case in point.

One cannot confront Al Qaeda and its ideological siblings, such as the so-called Islamic State, which is neither Islamic nor a state, in Iraq, while effectively enabling their growth in Yemen and Syria.

There are multiple arenas where the interests of Iran and other major stakeholders intersect. The establishment of a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region, to facilitate engagement, is long overdue.

If one were to begin serious discussion of the calamities the region faces, Yemen would be a good place to start. Iran has offered a reasonable and practical approach to address this painful and unnecessary crisis. Our plan calls for an immediate cease-fire, humanitarian assistance and facilitation of intra-Yemeni dialogue, leading to the formation of an inclusive, broad-based national unity government.

On a broader level, regional dialogue should be based on generally recognized principles and shared objectives, notably respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all states; inviolability of international boundaries; noninterference in internal affairs; peaceful settlement of disputes; impermissibility of threat or use of force; and promotion of peace, stability, progress and prosperity in the region.

A regional dialogue could help promote understanding and interaction at the levels of government, the private sector and civil society, and lead to agreement on a broad spectrum of issues, including confidence- and security-building measures; combating terrorism, extremism and sectarianism; ensuring freedom of navigation and the free flow of oil and other resources; and protection of the environment. A regional dialogue could eventually include more formal nonaggression and security cooperation arrangements.

While this cooperation must be kept to relevant regional stakeholders, existing institutional frameworks for dialogue, and especially the United Nations, must be utilized. The secretary general could furnish the necessary international umbrella. A regional role for the United Nations, already envisaged in the Security Council resolution that helped end the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, would help alleviate concerns and anxieties, particularly of smaller countries; provide the international community with assurances and mechanisms for safeguarding its legitimate interests; and link any regional dialogue with issues that inherently go beyond the boundaries of the region.

The world cannot afford to continue to avoid addressing the roots of the turmoil in the wider Persian Gulf region. This unique opportunity for engagement must not be squandered.

Posted in IranComments Off on Mohammad Javad Zarif: A Message From Iran

Indian Function in Afghanistan Exposed

NOVANEWS

Image result for Afghanistan INDIA FLAG

By Sajjad Shaukat

During his first visit to Pakistan, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani who was accompanied

by high security officials also met Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif. President

Ashraf lauded Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism. Besides mutual cooperation in other fields,

Islamabad’s proposal to offer security and defence cooperation to Afghanistan was received

Afghan President said, “His government and the people of Afghanistan desire to further

strengthen bilateral relations with Pakistan in all areas of mutual interest. He elaborated, “We

must overcome the past…we will not permit the past to destroy the future.”

It is notable that Gen. Raheel accompanied by the DG of Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI),

went to Kabul on December 17, 2014. During his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, President

Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented the evidence of linkage between the

massacre of children at Peshawar school and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) sanctuaries in

Afghanistan. He also asked about action against the TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah and his network

which is being assisted by India.

Similarly, Indian Prime Minister Modi was humbled by the US Secretary of State John Kerry

when he met him during a recent official visit to India. During the meeting, American team got

furious and showed some hard evidence of Mullah Fazalullah and RAW nexus in Afghanistan to

It is mentionable that New Delhi which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan,

also signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011. And, the

then President Karzai had also signed another agreement with India to obtain Indian arms and

weapons. However, under the cover of these agreements, India has further strengthened its grip

Besides, Indian secret agency RAW has well-established its network in Afghanistan, and with

the tactical assistance of anti-Pakistan secret agencies, it is fully backing cross-border incursions

including terror-activities in Balochistan province and other regions of Pakistan, and is also

destabilizing China and Iran.

As regards Balochistan, based in Afghanistan, particularly RAW has continuously been assisting

the Baloch separatist groups like BLA to create lawlessness there. In this regard, Indian former

Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army

unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) to sponsor acts of sabotage, especially in Balochistan.

In this context, after the recent visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan, who signed

51 agreements for cooperation in various fields, related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

(CPEC)—between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in

western regions-Xinjiang of China, the director of The Second Floor (T2F), a social activist

Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karachi on April 24, this

year—followed by a bomb blast in Sibi, which killed several persons on April 26. However, she

had left T2F after attending the session on Balochistan, when she was targeted. She was likely

conduct a seminar at LUMS in Lahore about Balochistan. No doubt, RAW is behind the

assassination of Sabeen Mahmud-a well thought-out plan not only to try to sabotage Pak-China

alliance, but also to accuse ISI.

While, the DG, ISPR Maj-GEN, Asim Bajwa strongly condemned the murder of Sabeen

Mahmud, adding that intelligence agencies have been tasked to assist in the investigation of the

However, taking note of Indian secret function, now, Afghan government and US has started

taking action against the TTP. A number of TTP militants have been captured in Afghanistan,

while Fazlullah survived in a drone attack.

Unlike the Karzai regime, Afghan leadership is visionary and desires to stay away from the

Indian proxy wars in the region. Afghan new rulers are no   more   interested   in carrying

forward the “Arms deal” with India and are only interested in socio-economic development,

peace and stability in the region.

During his visit to India from April 27 to 29, Afghan President Ashraf is reportedly, interested in

asking New Delhi to stop interference in Afghanistan and its neighbours. Due to exposed Indian

links with TTP and Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan (TTA), and her involvement in terrorist

activities in Pakistan, India which is finding it hard to entice the new Afghan government,

resultantly, feels   marginalized in the unfolding Afghan chessboard.

Indian leadership is desperate and impatient to woo the new afghan leadership and to revive the

bilateral relations to continue her evil designs towards Pakistan and China.

To overcome growing feelings of frustration, Indian rulers may expand engagements with

Afghan leadership, but Afghan Government which may fulfill the formality is not ready to

support Indian maneuvers towards Beijing and Islamabad.

Taking advantage of Afghanistan’s dwindling economy, during the visit of President Ghani,

Indian leadership is also expected to announce many incentives for Kabul by boasting about

investing $2 billion in infrastructural and humanitarian projects in Afghanistan.

Notably, India has not made any investment for the war torn country since   2012,   which

exposes   its   sham   sincerity and commitment for Afghanistan.

India has still been in thick contact with extremist terrorist outfits like TTP etc. A person namely

Asim Umar (an Indian citizen of Utter Pardesh who had migrated to Pakistan in 1990)

maneuvered to become Chief of Al Qaeda’s South Asia Chapter. He is a confirmed RAW agent

and his organization is involved in an attempt to hijack PNS Zulfikar. He has even created AQIS

women force under title of “Shaheen Force.”

Emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan (to counter-weight Taliban) has also connections with Indian

security agencies, as majority of the groups, announcing allegiance with it, enjoyed good

contacts with Indian RAW and were exploited as proxies against Pakistan. Recently, ISIS

claimed incident in Jalalabad (Suicide attack) has also traces of Indian linkage. In fact, India

through ISIS in Afghanistan is trying to counter Taliban.

Moreover, RAW and anti-China secret agencies may step up activities by strengthening East

Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) along Pak-China border to support terrorism in China.

Undoubtedly, Indian secret function in Afghanistan has been exposed.

Posted in Afghanistan, IndiaComments Off on Indian Function in Afghanistan Exposed

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