Archive | December 16th, 2015

Syria: Imperialism on the back foot

NOVANEWS

 

Russia’s fraternal aid to Syria continues to expose the false narrative of western politicians and media regarding the fight against fundamentalist terrorism.
War has now been raging in Syria for nearly five years. It is, as a matter of fact, a war of intervention fought by imperialism through its proxies, which include a handful of local Syrian crazed fundamentalists alongside nearly 100,000 foreign – including European – jihadis.

These fighters have been unleashed by imperialism with the aim of overthrowing the legitimate, sovereign and independent government of the Syrian Arab Republic. So far, more than a quarter of a million Syrians, including nearly 100,000 soldiers, have died in this conflict.

Product of imperialism

The conflict in Syria is not, as some bourgeois liberals and social democrats will have us believe, the result of ‘mistaken’ policies by the western governments. It is a product of imperialism’s relentless drive for world domination – a product of monopoly capitalism’s insatiable thirst for the maximum of profit through monopolising raw materials, markets and avenues for profitable investment.

Any government that pursues an economic or foreign policy that stands in the way of imperialism’s drive for domination makes itself a candidate for overthrow in the eyes of the free-market fundamentalists in Washington, London, Paris and elsewhere.

Syria has been a thorn in the side of imperialism for decades, and the latter has long sought an opportunity to oust its government. US imperialism has invested huge resources and efforts into creating the conditions that might enable it to achieve this end. According to a report published by the US Congressional Research Service, that country has sent in excess of $7.7bn worth of ‘military aid’ to the jihadis in Syria since 2011. (See The nations that sent the most arms to Syria have accepted the fewest refugees by C Robert Gibson, US Uncut, 4 September 2015)

The US got the opportunity it had been seeking to initiate the process for overthrowing the Syrian government in the first half of 2011, when several countries in the Middle East, principally Tunisia and Egypt, witnessed mass anti-government protests, which led to the ousting of the heads of state in these two countries.

Syria, too, experienced some protests, which were manipulated by various gangs with links to external powers and used to launch armed attacks on Syrian soldiers and civilians. According to reliable reports, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have all joined the US in providing generous funding and training to the jihadi forces in Syria. Israel is also providing logistical support.

US nurtures jihadis

Former head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), retired Lieutenant General Michael T Flynn, is on record saying that the US government took a “wilful decision” to create and nurture terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS).

A classified report of the DIA, which he had submitted on 12 August 2012, clearly states: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are major forces driving the insurgency in Syria, supported by the West, Gulf countries and Turkey”. (Rise of Islamic State was ‘a wilful decision’: Former DIA chief Michael Flynn by Brad Hoff,Foreign Policy Journal, 7 August 2015)

The road to Tehran runs through Damascus

Ruling circles in the US had been preparing the ground for the destruction of the Syrian state well in advance of 2011. Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, had emphasised the need to “deconstruct” Syria to serve US interests, for only through such ‘deconstruction’ could the US gain the ultimate prize in the region – namely, regime change in Tehran.

In 2009, O’Hanlon co-authored a report that laid down in detail the steps the US should take to attain this goal. Before attacking Iran, he said, both Hizbollah and Syria would need to be eliminated from the equation. (See Which Path to Persia? Options For a New American Strategy Towards Iran)

This report cannot be dismissed as merely an academic exercise by an independent think-tank, for the Brookings Institute is financed by, and has close connections with, giant monopolies in the fields of finance, armaments, oil, telecommunications and the media. Among its sponsors are: giant financial institutions JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs; armament companies like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Electric; oil conglomerates like Exxon, British Petroleum, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips; telecoms behemoths like Comcast, Google, Facebook, Verizon and AT&T; and the world-renowned drinks manufacturers Pepsi and Coca Cola.

It is these monopoly corporations that have a stranglehold on the imperialist administrations and legislatures, which are the driving force behind the conflict in Syria (not to speak of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and elsewhere) and the entire region stretching from the Middle East through Central Asia to the borders of the Russian Federation – with the sole aim of grabbing mineral resources, markets and opportunities for the profitable export of capital.

In the pursuit of domination, there is no crime that imperialism will not commit; no cruelty it will not stoop to; no mean method to which it will not resort. Confining ourselves to Syria, imperialism, through its jihadi proxies, who are supplied with funds, logistical support and huge quantities of armaments by the medieval autocracies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Turkey, has been responsible for the loss of at least a quarter of a million lives and the displacement of 11 million Syrians, five million of whom have been compelled to flee the country.

Several hundred thousand of these unfortunate victims of imperialism are now turning up in Europe as refugees, there to be met with suspicion and hostility. In their desperate attempts to reach the safety of Europe, upwards of 3,000 people have lost their lives through drowning in the Mediterranean while undertaking the perilous journey in unsafe rickety boats carrying passengers far in excess of their capacity.

Russia’s intervention and the Paris bombing

Two events have had a dramatic and transformational effect on the war in Syria. The first has been the Russian intervention on the side of the Syrian government. At the latter’s invitation, the Russian air force started bombing jihadi targets on 30 September – with devastating effects on the terrorists’ infrastructure, bases and hideouts, ammunition dumps and training facilities.

Closely coordinating with the Russian aerial bombardment, the Syrian army has advanced successfully into many areas that had been occupied by jihadi outfits such as IS and Jabhat al-Nusra. This coordinated effort has in two months inflicted more defeats on the jihadis than did the imperialist coalition in over a year.

The reason for the Russian/Syrian successes and the imperialist coalition’s failure is simple: while the Russian/Syrian side is genuinely engaged in the fight to destroy the jihadis, the imperialist coalition, while pretending to fight against the terrorists, has actually been pursuing its decades-old policy of regime change in Syria.

These two aims are contradictory and mutually exclusive, for only the terrorist groups (albeit with the support of imperialism and its stooge Gulf regimes) are potentially capable of overthrowing the Syrian government. The destruction of the jihadi organisations would therefore undermine completely the policy of regime change.

On the other hand, the only forces on the ground capable of defeating the terrorists are those of the Syrian army under the command of the sovereign and legitimate government of Syria, headed by President Bashar al-Assad. And this is precisely what the Syrian army is doing, in close cooperation with Russian aerial operations. These Russian sorties have rattled imperialism and exposed its ‘anti-terrorist’ operations for what they really are – namely, a public-relations exercise and a cover for a policy of regime change through the enlistment of the jihadis and the bombing of Syrian civilian infrastructure.

After a year of the US’s bombing missions in Syria, which were supposed to be targeting terrorists, the jihadis had, in fact, grown stronger – for the simple reason that, being imperialism’s tools for regime change, imperialism was by no means desirous of knocking them out.

The second of these events was the coordinated jihadi onslaught in Paris on 13 November, which killed 129 innocent men and women and wounded another 350. This caused such an outrage in France and many other countries that imperialist powers were, willy nilly, dragged into effecting (no matter how insincerely) a change of front. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, was no longer the outcast that he had been portrayed as; suddenly the leaders of the US, Germany, Britain and France were queuing to meet him and seek his advice.

Further, Russian intervention and the Paris carnage have caused a deep split in the imperialist camp between those who still give primacy to regime change in Syria and those who consider terrorism to be the greater danger. The latter camp, through the force of events and the public pressure demanding a serious fight against terrorism, is gaining ascendancy.

Last September, during his speech to the UN General Assembly, the Russian president proposed an international coalition to fight against jihadi terrorism, but his proposal was dismissed with contempt by the political and ideological representatives of the principal imperialist countries. Now, however, they are tripping each other up in the rush to endorse it.

“There must be a union of all those who truly want to fight this terrorist army as part of the big coalition,” said French President Hollande, adding: “It is with this goal in mind that I will meet in the coming days President Obama and President Putin to join forces and achieve a result that has been postponed [who by?] for too long.” (Putin orders Russian forces to work with French ‘allies’ in Syria, Financial Times, 17 November 2015)

Similarly, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We have differences with the Russians. But the conversation I want to have with Vladimir Putin is to say ‘Look, there’s one thing we agree about, which is we’d be safer in Russia, we’d be safer in Britain, if we destroy Isil.’ That’s what we should be focusing on.” (UK’s Cameron to urge Putin to focus fight in Syria on Islamic State by Kylie Maclellan, Reuters, 15 November 2015)

Yet only the other day these two gentlemen were declaring in shrill tones that the removal of President Assad was a necessary prelude to a successful fight against jihadi terror. What a difference a mere two months can make!

Even the Washington Post was obliged to report, apropos the Russian intervention, in the following rueful terms under the heading ‘Amid Russian air strikes, a Putin craze takes hold in the Middle East’: “Posters of Putin are popping up on cars and billboards elsewhere in parts of Syria and Iraq, praising the Russian military intervention in Syria as one that will redress the balance of power in the region.

“The Russian leader is winning accolades from many in Iraq and Syria who see Russian air strikes in Syria as a turning point after more than a year of largely ineffectual efforts by the US-led coalition to dislodge Islamic State militants who have occupied significant parts of the two countries.” The article was later removed from the paper’s website. (Why US fears Putin success in Syria by Finian Cunningham, RT, 16 October 2015)

Consequent upon the Russian intervention and the Paris massacre, imperialism is on the back foot, while the Russian government and parliament (duma) are setting the agenda. On 17 November, the duma approved a resolution calling for solidarity with all nations that have suffered attacks, and for the creation of an international anti-terror coalition, modelled on the anti-Nazi coalition created during the second world war.

This resolution, drafted by the state duma committee for international relations, listed IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other such organisations as terrorist groups and called for the elimination of sources of financial support for them, including funding through stolen and smuggled oil and antiquities.

The duma’s legislators reminded “their foreign colleagues that Russia had repeatedly warned the international community about the dangers that came with destabilising the Middle East by nations that seek global dominance, first of all the United States”. (Duma calls for foreign parliaments to launch worldwide anti-terror coalition, RT, 17 November 2015)

Thus it is clear that, far from being isolated, Russia is setting the agenda and forcing imperialist powers and their stooges to join the real international community in the war against terrorism, destabilisation and regime change. It would appear that the events of the last two months have put paid to the imperialist agenda for regime change in Syria. In the process, they are also accelerating the decline of US hegemony.

The events in Paris have shone a spotlight on the imperialist powers’ collusion with murderous jihadi gangs. Nearly all the jihadis involved in the Paris massacre were home-grown fundamentalists from France and Belgium, and were known to the security services of these two countries. For all that, they had no problem travelling backward and forward between Europe and Syria.

This is because they have been acting as mercenary stooges of imperialism in the fight to overthrow the Syrian government. In other words, they were, until yesterday, imperialism’s ‘good’ jihadis. They were radicalised through Saudi Arabia’s mediaeval, fundamentalist brand of Islam (wahhabism) in mosques built with Saudi money and facilitated by the governments of imperialist countries. It is therefore entirely hypocritical for the representatives of imperialism now to feign shock and horror over the actions and ‘values’ of the very terrorists they themselves brought into existence and nurtured with such tender, loving care.

The truth is that jihadi terrorism is a product of imperialism. In its quest for domination and maximum profit, imperialism is more than willing to use any and every dirty method, and all the dregs of society, jihadis included.

Whatever the outcome of the current Russian efforts to assemble an international coalition against terrorism, in the final analysis all war, including wars of the type waged by imperialism using fundamentalist and other reactionary proxies, can only be eliminated through the successful overthrow of imperialism – this bloody system that has for so long subjected humanity to the torments of war, hunger, exploitation and destitution.

The fight against war and for peace is inextricably linked to the struggle for the overthrow of imperialism. There is no other way out of imperialist wars that make way for the imperialist bandits’ ‘peace’, and which in turn merely prepares the ground for yet more imperialist wars.

Victory to the Syrian people; death to imperialism!

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Nazi Jewish Home MK: Fatal firebombing that killed Dawabshe family ‘not a terror attack’

NOVANEWS

By: TUT

judaism

Bezalel Smotrich says Shin Bet ‘crossed all red lines’ in interrogating Nazi Jewish suspects; implies government’s actions push settlers to carry out attacks

ed note–several ‘goodies’ found herein–

1) It is of ABSOLUTE necessity when studying/deconstructing criminal behavior on the part of Jews to understand first Judaic thinking. As we are told by Jews themselves over and over again, their worldview is not like ours.

And how right they are. There is no religious code in any creed within Gentiledom that says they are ‘God’s chosen people’ destined to rule the world with a ‘rod of iron’. There are no commandments for Gentiles to invade, steal, mass murder, lie, cheat, etc, if it results in something good coming their way.

With Judaism, however, this is clearly not the case, to wit–

‘When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are to possess and casts out the many peoples living there, you shall then slaughter them all and utterly destroy them…You shall save nothing alive that breathes…You shall make no agreements with them nor show them any mercy. You shall destroy their altars, break down their images, cut down their groves and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people unto the LORD thy God and He has chosen you to be a special people above all others upon the face of the earth…’–Book of Deuteronomy

Having said that, it is clear then why there is all this consternation over the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in relation to a Palestinian family that was SET ON FIRE WITH GASOLINE AND MURDERED by Judaic terrorists. Their ‘god’ told them to do this, and so in effect, just as someone indicted for some type of criminal activity can claim as a defense, ‘the devil made me do it’.

HAVING SAID THIS, what we see in this case then is a debate over ‘technicalities’ taking place. When Jews murder innocent Gentiles, it is not ‘terrorism’ per say, but rather them acting out the dictates of their Judaic religion. It’s not THEIR FAULT that GAAAAAWD commanded them to do this, after all, so if anyone has a problem with it, take it up with management.

As far as Bennett’s statement goes, no one should make the mistake of thinking that he sees the act of DOUSING INNOCENT PEOPLE WITH GASOLINE AND SETTING THEM ON FIRE is ‘terrorism’ either. Rather, he understands that for those who live their lives in the spotlight (as he does being a major player in Israeli politics) that what one says can come back to haunt them, and this is something he simply doesn’t want to deal with at the moment.

Times of Israel

Jewish Home lawmaker wrote in a column published Thursday that the deadly July firebombing attack in the West Bank village of Duma, in which three members of the Palestinian Dawabshe family were killed by presumably Jewish attackers, was not a terror attack.

Betzalel Smotrich’s comments were swiftly rejected by the leader of the Orthodox-nationalist Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, who wrote on Twitter: “Anyone who throws a firebomb at a house is a terrorist. Period.”

In an op-ed for the B’Sheva newspaper, which is closely linked to the settler movement, Smotrich maintained that the “price tag” attacks by Jewish youths are “serious crimes,” which may be nationalistically motivated, but should not be equated with terror attacks by Palestinians.

He also criticized the Shin Bet national security agency for implementing “draconian” anti-terror measures against Jewish suspects, including administrative detention.

“The murder in Duma, with all its severity, is not a terror attack. Period,” he wrote. “Those who call it terror are perverting the truth, unjustifiably inflicting great harm to human and civil rights, making themselves like UN officials, whose job it is to maintain order ‘on both sides,’ and cheapening the concept of terror, and as a result, at the end of the day undermining the effectiveness of the efforts to combat it.”

“Terror is exclusively violence by an enemy as part of a war against us, and only this justifies the harsh steps taken [by the security forces] that would not be used in a normal situation. All the rest are serious crimes, loathsome crimes, nationalistic crimes, but not terror,” he wrote.

The right-wing legislator further charged that the Shin Bet “crossed all red lines” in recent weeks, in an apparent reference to the Duma investigation. Smotrich appeared to break a gag order on the probe, referring to specific suspects that had been taken in for questioning.

Family photos lie in the remains of the Dawabsha home in the West Bank village of Duma, after it was firebombed by suspected Jewish extremists on July 31, 2015. The family’s 18-month-old baby was killed in the attack and his father died of his injuries eight days later, on August 8, 2015. (YouTube screen capture)

Last week, the police said they had arrested several suspects to investigate “concrete suspicions” that they were involved in the deadly July attack, which left three members of a Palestinian family dead.

APTOPIX MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

Palestinian Rawan Abu Taber, 4, wounded during the Israeli military operations, screams in pain as doctors change bandages to her severe burns, at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday Jan. 21, 2009. Doctors had to amputate her thumb because it kept on burning. A vast majority of over 4,000 Palestinians wounded in Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip are treated at Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

On Friday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan admitted investigators did not yet have sufficient evidence to press charges.

In the firebombing, Ali Dawabsha, the family’s 18-month-old son, was burned to death; his parents, Saad and Riham, succumbed to their injuries in Israeli hospitals in the aftermath of the attack. The sole survivor is 4-year-old Ahmed, who is still hospitalized.

The attack was widely condemned across the spectrum of Israeli society, with figures on the right and left decrying the attack and calling for swift justice.

Details of the investigation, including the identities of the suspects, remain under a gag order.

Smotrich lamented that settlers and others could be punished for association with suspects, with police measures used against Palestinians also being meted out against Jews.

ISRAELI ARMY

“If ‘price tag’ attacks are ‘terror,’ then the families of the suspects are ‘the families of terrorists’ and the residents of their settlements and officials there are ‘a terror-supporting population,’” Smotrich continued. Therefore, “you can hold youths in detention for over two weeks without letting them meet their lawyers, or even seeing a judge to extend their remand. You can prevent them from putting on their phylacteries, praying or lighting Hannukah candles.”

Smotrich accused the government of “demonizing” the population of Israeli settlers, maintained it was violating the rights of the suspects to exact a confession by force, and appeared to insinuate that the government was driving the perpetrators to commit anti-Arab attacks.

A government that “treats the most moral population in the State of Israel as a terror-supporting population loses its right to exist,” he wrote. “When you push an entire community up against the wall, treat its [members] like terrorists, demonize it, trample on its rights, it ultimately explodes. Let no one be surprised when this should happen, when more and more people will be pushed, against their will, to carry out actions that are forbidden.”

“A system that does not make this simple and especially moral distinction between enemy and and citizen — even if he is a criminal — raises questions about the justification to give it so much power and authority, with so little oversight and supervision, even if in most cases it uses its powers correctly against terror.”

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Prominent Evangelical Christians Are Worrying Christian Zionists Over I$raHell

NOVANEWS

Image result for Christian Zionists CARTOON

The turning away from Christian Zionists’ undying support for Israel is happening slowly before our eyes. This story from theWashington Post is another example of this awakening to the reality of the Israel occupation and the injustices heaped on the Palestinians. Also, the story reveals that some prominent Evangelical Christians are waking up to this reality and are working diligently to bring peace and justice to both Israelis and Palestinians. We Hold These Truths’ groundbreaking documentary,Christian Zionism: The Tragedy & The Turning, Part Iexposes the religious dogma harbored by Christian Zionists that blind them to the reality of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

How some evangelicals are challenging a decades-long stance of blanket support for I$raHell’s government

Washington Post

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

From left to right: Lynne Hybels, Todd Deatherage, Lisa Gungor and Shauna Niequist walk in Jerusalem in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson)

JERUSALEM — Lynne Hybels is revered for her work helping the impoverished around the world, but some people view her as dangerous.Hybels, cofounder with her husband of one of the nation’s largest churches, has been called a heretic and an anti-Semite for her efforts to build bridges between Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East.

Hybels is among a small number of influential evangelicals who are challenging a decades-long stance of blanket evangelical support for Israel’s government. They are taking trips to the Middle East, not only to visit biblical sites but to engage with modern-day Palestinians and Israelis in conversations centered more around modern politics than ancient texts. They are organizing conferences and writing publicly in an attempt to discern a new role for Christians in bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gradually, their ideas are taking hold, especially with young evangelicals.

Hybels believes that by promoting Jesus’s message of peace and reconciliation, American evangelicals can promote a solution to the conflict.

“American Christians know so little about the Middle East and yet we form very strong opinions about it,” said Hybels, who takes evangelicals from the Chicago-based Willow Creek Church on tours to both Israeli lands and Palestinian territories.

“It takes care to break out of the polarization to talk about the needs and responsibilities of both sides.”

Evangelicals tend to view Israel through a biblical lense: The place of Jesus’s birth and burial, the place to which God would call the Jews to gather before Jesus could return. Even those who didn’t embrace the theology embraced the conclusion: Support Israel.

A 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that 80 percent of evangelicals say they sympathize with Israel, while 61 percent have little or no sympathy for Palestinians.

And yet many evangelicals are not very knowledgeable about Middle Eastern politics, said Mark Amstutz, a political science professor at Wheaton College who studies evangelicals and foreign policy.

“There has been an oversimplified, causal explanation of the beliefs that evangelicals hold,” Amstutz said. “… A lot of evangelicals simply don’t know foreign policy and international politics.”

The focus of Hybels and others on educating evangelicals about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has begun to upend traditional evangelical attitudes about Israel, said Dale Hanson Bourke, who wrote a primer book for evangelicals on the conflict titled “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Tough Questions, Direct Answers.” Bourke’s research for her book began on a trip with Hybels in 2011.

“In the past, something would happen in Israel, Christians would jump on board and say Palestinians are wrong, Israelis have a right to defend themselves,” Bourke said. “Now you see evangelicals who are saying, wait a minute, why is this happening, what are both sides to this?”

A different kind of pilgrimage

Willow Creek cofounder Lynne Hybels sits by the Sea of Galilee in Israel in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson)
Willow Creek cofounder Lynne Hybels sits by the Sea of Galilee in Israel in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson).

In 1975, Hybels and her husband, Bill, co-founded Willow Creek, a 24,000-attendee, non-denominational church in the Chicago area which also oversees a network of 7,000 churches across the globe.

Bill Hybels, who has been called the CEO of evangelicalism due to his consumer-friendly preaching style, has largely shied away from public political involvement. But after focusing in the early 2000s on HIV/AIDS, poverty and other issues in Africa, Lynne Hybels found herself captivated by the struggles of Arab Christians in the Middle East, including those in Palestinian territories.

Criticism of Hybels as anti-Israel began after she spoke at a biennial conference called “Christ at the Checkpoint,” organized in 2010 by Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem. But Hybels insists she does not take sides and instead tries to understand all perspectives.

“I would like American Christians to be willing to educate themselves, to really care for both sides, for Arabs and Israelis, Christians, Muslims and Jews,” she said.

Thus far, Hybels has taken about 100 staff and key leaders from Willow Creek to Israel on tours organized by Telos, a group co-founded by an American evangelical and a Palestinian-American Christian who believe that a two-state solution is the most viable way to promote peace, freedom and security for Israelis and Palestinians.

Hybels’ influence especially seen most clearly among younger evangelicals. For instance, a clear generational divide has surfaced between influential evangelical publishers Steve Strang and his son Cameron. Steve Strang publishes Charisma, an evangelical magazine that regularly promotes Israel. His son Cameron publishes Relevant, a popular magazine among millennial evangelicals. Cameron Strang visited Israel with Hybels and published a cover story in 2014 titled “Is Peace Possible?” urging equal civil and political rights for Palestinians or the ability to create their own state. Just a decade ago, the same magazine published a piece on why evangelicals should wholeheartedly back Israel.

I joined Hybels as she co-led a recent Telos-organized trip of influential women, including bloggers, conference organizers and pastors, most of whom were evangelicals connected to Shauna Niequist, Hybels’ daughter who also went on the trip.

The group, which included the popular Canadian blogger Ann Voskamp, Hollywood Housewife blogger Laura Tremaine and Pentecostal Theological Seminary professor Cheryl Bridges, toured many of the same sites Christians might visit during a trip to the Holy Lands, including where Christians believe Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.

But they also heard stories from Israelis and Palestinians, many of whom were women who faced personal losses as a result of the conflict. The trip focused mostly on Israel as a modern state, rather than Israel as a biblical land.

Several of the evangelical women cried as they heard from women in the Parents Circle, a group of Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost children in the conflict.

Telos trip participants make jam with Israeli and Palestinian women. (Photo by Christine Anderson)
Telos trip participants make jam with Israeli and Palestinian women. (Photo by Christine Anderson).

One Israeli woman, Robi Damelin, noted the recent anniversary of the death of her 28-year-old son David, who was shot in 2002 by a sniper while serving in the Israeli Army. She noted the power of parents who would cook together as a starting point for peace and reconciliation.

“You can have remarkable people on the White House lawn, but that’s not going to bring peace,” Damelin said. “When you cook
together, it goes from advocacy to friendship. It doesn’t mean we agree on national narratives, but it gives us a bond.”

The women then headed to the kitchen, where they started chopping up ingredients to make jam and sent photos of their new
evangelical engagement on social media sites like Instagram to fans back home who may have never seen Palestinians interacting with Israelis.

But can making jam with your political enemies really bring peace?

Many pro-Israel evangelicals are skeptical of the vision promoted by Telos, which organizes a dozen trips each year for groups of influencers ranging from musicians and writers to church leaders like those at Willow Creek and students from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Evangelicals have long been influenced by dispensationalism, a theology that promotes a literal reading of biblical prophecy. Many dispensationalists believe Israelites’ return to the Holy Lands is a requirement for the Second Coming of Jesus. When Israeli troops captured the Old City of Jerusalem in June 1967, some saw it as a sign that Jesus was coming. However, dispensational teaching has been waning in mainstream evangelical circles, even as support for a state of Israel has remained strong.

While some evangelicals subscribe to Christian Zionism, others support Israel’s existence as a place where Jews can live in freedom and security. On the other end of the theological spectrum, several mainline Protestant churches have recently passed resolutions to divest money or boycott products made in Israel because of its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

By declining to take a theological stand at all on Israel, Telos is treated with suspicion by all sides, including evangelicals who interpret their stance as simply anti-Israel.

“This is not your parents’ anti-Israel group,” Christians United for Israel former director David Brog said in an interview on Glenn Beck’s show. “These guys are savvy, these guys are smart.”

Daniel Seideman, the founder of the nonprofit Terrestrial Jerusalem, explains the borders of Jerusalem to the Telos trip participants in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson)
Daniel Seideman, the founder of the nonprofit Terrestrial Jerusalem, explains the borders of Jerusalem to the Telos trip participants in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson).

Telos’s budget is just $1.3 million with four full-time employees, a relatively small amount compared to many of the large
organizations that rally support for Israel with pilgrimage tours to the region that are often politically and theologically
intertwined. Christians United for Israel, which, according to The Forward, has a budget that exceeded $7 million in 2014,
takes evangelicals on similar kinds of trips with a pro-Israel emphasis. And Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green announced earlier this year he will fund an evangelical version of Birthright Israel, a trip for young Jewish Americans to visit Israel.

Telos co-founder Todd Deatherage, who led the tour of women with Hybel, used to be immersed in Republican politics. When he was chief of staff to Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), Deatherage said Israel was an easy check-the-box issue.

But after he became chief of staff in the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Office of Policy Planning at the State Department and visited Israel for the first time in 2004, Deatherage said he began observing more of the region’s complexities.

“There was the absence of a strong Christian approach that would affirm mutual flourishing, the dignity of everyone there
and solutions that work for everyone, both national groups,” Deatherage said.

After his political appointment under President George W. Bush ended, Deatherage founded Telos in 2009 with Gregory Khalil,
a former Palestinian-American legal adviser for Palestinian negotiations, and has taken about 50 trips to Israel since.

As Deatherage explained it to the women on the bus, evangelicals tend to self-identify in one camp, as though they are receiving an assignment from Harry Potter’s sorting hat. Deatherage urges those on his trips to shun labels and become pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-American and pro-peace.

One of the main criticisms he receives is that his approach could embolden enemies of Israel or put all Middle Eastern leaders on equal footing.

“I’m not trying to argue power equivalence, that everybody’s equal, everyone’s the same,” Deatherage said. “We spend too much time fixated on people who are rejectionists. There are people on both sides who want to figure out a way out of this.”

The one-week trip of blogging women touched on everything from the history of Israel to the country’s borders to the region’s political leadership.

Popular Bible teacher Lysa TerKeurst asks a question on a trip with Telos in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson)
Popular Bible teacher Lysa TerKeurst asks a question on a trip with Telos in March 2015. (Photo by Christine Anderson).

Most evangelicals who go to Israel look for a pilgrimage experience, one where they see the sites where biblical figures walked. Few evangelicals talk to people on the ground from both the Palestinian and Israeli perspective, said Lysa TerKeurst, a popular Bible teacher based in North Carolina who was on the trip. Since the trip in March, TerKeurst has been back to Israel twice and is looking for ways to lead future trips that combine the two approaches.

“What I was most interested in was putting faces on the issues. I think there’s a lot of value in not just showing people the land and the sites,” she said. “The experiences I had with the people there adds a richness to my research that you can’t get just from reading black and white articles.”

A few of the women on the Telos trip had preconceived ideas about the region, some leaning towards Israelis while others seemed more sympathetic to Palestinians.

One of the trip’s bloggers, Tsh Oxenreider, said she wasn’t sure what to expect ahead of the trip. She grew up in a Bible church in Texas where church members would return from Holy Land trips with glowing stories.

“I pictured this beautifully-preserved region straight out of the maps from my Bible,” said Oxenreider, who lives in Austin. She said the lasting memories from her trip will include simply learning about Israeli-occupied settlements.

“I don’t yet feel equipped to write about the region,” she said. But when Israel would come up in conversation, she said, “before I’d nod silently, now I feel like I have more of an educated voice. But I’ve still got a lot to learn.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Prominent Evangelical Christians Are Worrying Christian Zionists Over I$raHell

Criminal Turkish provocation drags us nearer to WWIII

NOVANEWS

Proletarian issue 69 (December 2015)

Erdogan Gollum
At 9.30am on Tuesday 24 November, Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter, allegedly after it had veered into Turkish air space for 17 seconds.

Responding to this grave provocation, President Putin warned that the “tragic accident” would entail “serious consequences” for Turkey. Accusing Turkey of providing financial and military support to the jihadi terrorists, Mr Putin said: “Today’s loss is a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorism,” adding: “Do they want to put Nato at Isis’s service?”

US President Barack Obama defended the Turkish action, saying that Turkey has the right to defend its territory [although it is worth noting that the very same Obama does not subscribe to the same view in regard to Syria’s right to defend its territory] and air space, while hypocritically calling on both sides to de-escalate. He went on to say that the US was prepared to work more closely with Russia if it made a “strategic shift” and focused its efforts on Islamic State (IS), adding: “We may differ with Russian policy elsewhere, but we should be able to agree that we are all working to defeat Isis.”

Apart from the fact that the US is not serious about confronting IS, what the US continues to strive for is regime change in Syria and, to that end, it needs Russia to make a ‘strategic shift’ and stop its fight against all the various bands of terrorists operating in the country.

At a special meeting of the Atlantic Council, Nato expressed its solidarity with Turkey. Outrageously, Mark Toner, a US state department spokesman, went so far as to say that the Turkmen terrorists who shot dead Russian pilot Lt Col Oleg Peshkov as he parachuted to the ground – in complete violation of the Geneva Convention, which outlaws such actions – could have been acting in self defence.

While Turkey alleges that it shot down the Russian Sukhoi SU-24 after giving it 10 warnings to leave a Turkish-imposed exclusion zone that runs 15 miles into Syria (although no-one has yet explained what right Turkey has to impose such a zone), Constantin Murakhtin, the surviving pilot, has refuted this narrative, saying that (a) he was at all times flying over Syrian air space, and (b) there were no warnings whatsoever. Even if the Turkish assertion were to be correct, which seems unlikely, there would be no reason to shoot down the Russian plane.

What has happened is a deliberate provocation, primarily, it would seem, for the purpose of sabotaging the emerging cooperation between Russia and France in the fight against terrorism. The US and Turkey have been rattled by this development, for such cooperation and a successful fight against IS, would put a cross on the US drive to overthrow the Syrian government headed by Bashar al-Assad and thereby deal a hefty blow to US hegemony in the Middle East.

It seems to us highly unlikely that the Turkish state would have dared take such a serious action without prior consultation with the US regime. One possible reason that the Turkish government was willing to cooperate in this criminal provocation is that the Russian intervention in Syria has frustrated Turkish ambitions to influence developments in Syria through its Turkmen terrorist surrogates.

Russian fighter planes have been hitting these terrorists, as well as attacking (with devastating effect) the IS-operated oil-tanker trucks that provide finance for terrorism in Syria and lucrative business for Erdogan’s cronies in Turkey, including his son, Bilal.

The Turkish provocation took place just before President Hollande held meetings with Obama and Putin that were aimed at securing cooperation between the West and Russia. The UN Security Council had passed a French-sponsored resolution authorising “all necessary measures” to be used against IS, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria – effectively endorsing the Russian intervention.

These developments could not fail to alarm US imperialism, and its desperation may well have been the ultimate motivation behind the Turkish provocation.

But all the signs are that the provocation will not succeed. Russian fighter planes have destroyed 500 of the 1,000 oil-tanker trucks operated by IS during the last week, thus undermining the terrorists’ ability to finance their operations. The Russians, in coordination with Syria’s government, have also intensified their attacks on Turkish-backed terrorists in the region of Syria that borders on Turkey.

Furthermore, in the aftermath of the downing of its plane, Russia has announced that it will be deploying its most sophisticated defence missile, the s-400, in Syria to beef up security and send a message to Turkey that any Turkish fighter plane attempting a repeat of the 24 November criminal provocation may well be blown out of the sky.

Besides this, Turkey will now be made to suffer economically through the loss of Russian investment and tourism, with many planned projects either cancelled or put on hold, and a range of further sanctions being considered.

With Nato, led by the USA, declaring its full support for Turkey’s provocative act, the people of the world are being given daily more graphic evidence of the fact that imperialist aggression, unless checked, is dragging us ever closer to a catastrophic World War III.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Criminal Turkish provocation drags us nearer to WWIII

Indian Role behind East Pakistan’s Separation

NOVANEWS

Image result for INDIA PAKISTAN FLAG

By Sajjad Shaukat

16th December is the day of tragic memory when Pakistan was dismembered and a new state of

Bangladesh was created in 1971 as part of Indian conspiracy which still continues against the

India has a long-gone history of many centuries, based upon religious prejudice against the

Muslims. In this respect, Indian intelligence agency, RAW which was founded in 1968, has

assumed a significant status as invisible actor in formulation of India’s domestic, regional and

global policies, particularly directed against Pakistan.

Hindus give credit to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave RAW a new role to suit her

‘Indira Doctrine’ specifically asking it to undertake covert operations in neighboring countries,

especially Pakistan which comprises majority of Muslims. RAW was given a green signal to

mobilize all its resources by exploiting political turmoil in East Pakistan in 1971 which this

agency had created through its agents who provided Bengalis with arms and ammunition for

conducting guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defense forces.

Regarding the separation of East Pakistan, Indian RAW had unleashed a well-organized plan of

psychological warfare, creation of polarization among the armed forces, propaganda by false

allegations against West Pakistan, creation of differences between the political parties and

religious sects of East and West Pakistan, control of media, manipulating linguistic, political and

economic disputes in order to malign the Bengalis against Islamabad.

There is no doubt that one can note political, economic and social disparities almost in every

Third World country. India, itself, contains these disparities on larger scale. In seven states of

India, separatist movements are at work. But, New Delhi which has not recognized the existence

of Pakistan since partition, left no stone unturned in planting and exploiting differences between

the people of East and West Pakistan.

RAW has a long history of sinister activities in the East Pakistan, backing secular areas of Hindu

minority who had played an important role in motivating Bengali Muslims against West

Pakistan. RAW’s well-paid agents had activated themselves in East Pakistan in the 1960’s so as

to dismember Pakistan. For this aim, it took the responsibility of funding Sheikh Mujibur

Rahmans’ general elections in 1970 and the members of his party, Awami League. It colluded

with the pro-Indian persons and had paid full attention in training and arming the Mukti Bahnis

(Terrorists). RAW, playing with the bloodshed of Muslims, succeeded in initiating a civil war in

East Pakistan. However, huge quantity of arms started entering East Pakistan. Meanwhile, India

welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan, providing them with every facility to provocate them

Majib was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. In this connection,

Asoka Raina in his book, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service’, discloses, “Indian

intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan…its operatives were in touch with

Sheikh Mujib as the possible ‘Father’ of a new nation-Bangladesh, who went to Agartala in

1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising

RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. Indian army officers and RAW

officials used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian

military sneaked deep into East Pakistan…the story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its

creation and training is now well-known.”

Asoka further explained, “Indian sources including journalists have put on record how much

RAW had established the network of a separatist movement through ‘cells’ within East Pakistan

and military training camps in Indian territory adjoining East Pakistan…carrying out acts of

sabotage against communication lines so that Indian forces simply marched in at the ‘right’ time.

RAW agents provided valuable information as well as acting as an advance guard for conducting

unconventional guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defense forces.”

It is mentionable that before the 1971 war, Mujibur Rahman, had announced a separate national

flag for East Pakistan in his six points which also included that currency of East Pakistan should

be different along with a separate military.

His six points created prejudice among Bengali people especially against West Pakistan. The

famous slogan, during his addresses and rallies was, “Punjabi dogs go back.” It was due to

Mujib’s instigation that besides Punjabis, Bengalis had also tortured and killed Biharis,

Pashtoons and Balochis, while their women were raped.

Now, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid and her ruling party Awami League

have continuously been pursuing Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign.

In connivance with New Delhi, Bangladesh government and Awami League have launched a

massive media campaign in order to spread venom against Pakistan and its armed forces and

against all those Bangladeshi nationals who were loyal to the state during 1971 crisis.

Since Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajid came into power; India has been

employing various tactics to entrap Bangladesh by exploiting her pro-Indian tilt to fulfill its

strategic interests. In this context, Prime Minister Hasina Wajid has continuously been pursuing

Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign. Therefore, after passing of 42 years to

the events of 1971, which resulted into the separation of East Pakistan, Abdul Qadir, the leader

of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) was hanged because of his loyalty to Pakistan. Recent executions of

Mujadid and Chaudry of JI were also part of the same scheme. Regarding all these executions,

international community raised doubts and noted flawed proceedings.

People of Pakistan have shared moments of happiness and sorrows with the people of

Bangladesh. The tragedy of dismemberment of East Pakistan was aimed at creating a compliant

country through Indian trained and financed terrorists (Mukti Bahini) who had killed thousands

of Pakistanis in cold blooded activities. In this connection, while addressing a ceremony during

his Bangladesh tour, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi openly stated on June 7, 2015 that

Indian forces helped Mukti Bahini to turn East Pakistan into Bangladesh. He elaborated that

former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had played an active role in separating Bangladesh

from Pakistan, and he had also come to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the Satyagraha Movement,

launched by Jana Sangh as a volunteer to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.

It is notable that Indian leadership by exploiting the concerns of Bangladesh Army over the

raising of “Jatiyo Rakhi Bahini” (National vanguards) in 1972 once again created volatility in

Bangladesh by patronizing the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. The supplementary purpose of

the incident was to make 1974 tripartite agreement dormant, as by the agreement Sheikh Mujib,

the father of Bangladesh had wished cordial relations among Pakistan, India and Bangladesh,

declaring “Bangladesh knows how to forgive and forget.”

To further keep the people of Bangladesh in desolation, fueling the hatred and creating

extremism in the society, Sheikh Hassina Wajid was incorporated into the Bangladesh Politics.

Since then through devious judicial trials, she has been executing elderly opposing politicians

and as an extension of her personal and political vindictive posture by manipulating the fateful

1971 event to further the Indian interests. Turmoil, so shaped continues to haunt people of

Bangladesh, as she is refusing olive branch offered by people of Pakistan.

Ironically, Awami League’s purported nationalism is based on fabricated figures about the

killing of three million Bengali people in 1971. Sheikh Mujib uttered this figure during an

interview with the British broadcaster, David Frost. It was not authenticated by independent

researchers or international institutions. During the conflict, only two division of Pakistan’s

Army with limited small weapons was deployed in East Pakistan and it has no motivation to kill

so many people in such a short conflict being fought in unfavorable operational situation.

However, genocide committed by Indian trained terrorists in East Pakistan cannot be ruled out.

Awami League’s delusions, under Sheikh Hasina’s are expected to create grave problems for

Bangladesh. The growing discontent in the country over authoritarian and vindictive rule of

Awami League vis-à-vis antagonistic approach towards Pakistan is causing a division in

A regards the so-called genocide of the Bengali people, a famous Bengali journalist Sarmila

Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough

investigation. She terms the number, a gigantic rumor, while Hamoodur Rahman Commission

Report considers even 26,000 as an exaggerated figure. Richard Sisson and Leo E. Rose in book

titled “War and Secession: Pakistan, India and the Creation of Bangladesh” and Gary Bass in his

book “The Blood Telegram” clearly admit that figures about so-called genocide were Indian

At present, the situation is turning bleak as foreign investments are evaporating and

unemployment is multiplying. The growing socio-economic degeneration is causing discontent

suiting the terrorist outfits like ISIS (Daesh). Their financers are taking full advantage to recruit

the combat terrorists and train them in contiguous Indian area for further insertion in various

regions. Its fallouts in Bangladesh are evident. Western media has reported about presence of

ISIS in Bangladesh. In the recent past, two foreigners were shot, while a Shia gathering was

targeted in the country. Extremist groups like Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) and Jamaat-ul-

Mujahideen Bangladesh have established affinities with ISIS and are very active these days.

Some of the Western countries even advised their citizen not to travel to the country.

It is optimistically suggested to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other leaders of Awami

League that without indulging into a blame game, creation of Bangladesh may be acknowledged

as one of the most tragic chapters in the history of Pakistan—tragedies test the resilience of the

nations to survive and progress. Living in past sends the message of hopelessness, leadership

must rise to the occasion and guide the nation towards integration and prosperity.

Pakistan’s eagerness in fostering good relations with Bangladesh can be gauged from huge

investments in Bangladesh by Pakistani traders.

Bengalis must know that in the backdrop of Modi’s statement, role of India in dismemberment of

Pakistan through state sponsored terrorism (Insertion of Mukti Bahni) and Indian support to

separatist elements in Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan have already been exposed, as

Islamabad has recently presented solid evidence to the UN and the US in this respect.

Besides, world must take notice of Indian interventionist and hegemonic policies vis-à-vis her

neighbors. India occupied Sikkim, subdued Bhutan, sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka and is now

Nevertheless, while rectifying the historical record regarding the events of 1971, government of

Bangladesh must mention that two Divisions of army (20000, which latter grew to 34000)

operating in adverse environment has no motivation to go on civilian killing spree. It must know

that if total number of troops was 34000, then how come the much publicized figure of 93,000

People of Bangladesh may identify their real enemies which are India and Awami League which

are creating conditions for break up of Pakistan and has made Pakistanis and Bengalis to fight

with each other.  Now, they are again active to promote pro-Indian feelings through Awami

League and Sheikh Hasina’s government and gag the opposition, so that it can be turned into a

Nonetheless, as part of old anti-Pakistan campaign, Awami League conceals facts about the

separation of Pakistan.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Posted in India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Indian Role behind East Pakistan’s Separation

What Would Prophet Mohammad Do To Trump?

NOVANEWS
December 9, 2015
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
 
Leading GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump calling for “Total and Complete Ban on Muslims Entering US” is the worst public insult directed against Muslims I have ever heard in 40 years living in America.
He has even suggested that  American Muslims be required to register in a database and having their mosques be put under surveillance or completely shut down. The proposal will affect US citizens visiting abroad and US Muslim soldiers returning back home from tours of duty and risking their lives. If Trump gets his way, Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) will not be allowed to enter the US as he was born in Palestine and recent forensic science revealed that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not white, blond and blue eyed.
Donald Trump is a fascist man who insulted Mexicans, attacked refugees, disparaged Muslims, maligned Arabs, defamed women, called a former POW a traitor, and yes he even mocked a disabled reporter. No any other public office seeker in recent history would have been able to get away with it.
This man’s views and remarks add insult, subtract pleasure, divide attention  and multiply ignorance. His outrageous remarks have been condemned universally and he has become an embarrassment not just to his party but also the whole United States. As long as the media caters to him and his fans by giving unlimited airtime and newspaper space he will continue to act and bark as a junkyard dog.
It was a slap in the face for this veteran writer to endure such insult coming from a US presidential candidate. I am an American citizen who also wore the uniform with pride and served for 20 years with honor in our armed forces. While Mr. Trump dodged the draft 5 times during the Vietnam War, yours truly was willing and ready to die for America if need be. When America called Trump, he did not answer the call of duty. Then he had the nerves to question the loyalty and patriotism of Muslim Americans like me. I find it quite preposterous.
 I was reflecting and pondering over the last few days about what to do and say about Trump’s vicious attack and how best to respond to it. First thing that went through my mind was to dare him a duel at Weehawken, New Jersey, the same place where the former secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton and the sitting vice president have their famous duel 111 years ago. Then I dismissed the idea as illegal.
Finally I asked myself the question, ” what would prophet Mohammad do to Trump?” Two stories kept popping through my head which took place during the life of Prophet (peace be upon him). Base on the Prophet’s response to the woman and man in those stories, I feel the Prophet will not treat Trump any differently. Americans and especially Muslims can take heed from those two stories. First:
 
The Bedouin who urinated in the mosque
Anas Bin Maalik narrated:
While we were in the “masjid” mosque with the Messenger of “Allah” God, a Bedouin came; he then urinated in the masjid. The Companions of the Messenger of God were furious and severely scolded the Bedouin. The prophet said, “Do not put a halt to his urinating, but instead leave him.” They left him alone until he finished urinating.
The prophet then called him over and said to him, “Any kind of urine or filth is not suitable for these masjids. Instead they are only [appropriate] for the remembrance of “Allah” God, the Prayer, and the recitation of the Qur’aan,” or this is near to what the Messenger of Allah said.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) issued an order to a man from the people, who then came with a bucket of water, which he poured over the [effected] area [of the masjid]. Secondly,
The woman who threw trash at the Prophet
This story of this woman is very similar to Donald Trump’s treatments of America’s Muslims.
The woman always picked up a basket full of trash, stood up on the roof of her house and waited till the Prophet (pbuh) passed by her house and threw all the garbage on him as he passed by. Much to the woman’s disappointment, he did not say anything and continued on his way. She did the same the following day thinking, “Maybe this time I will be able to annoy him.”
But he was too gentle to shout at a woman. She misinterpreted his attitude as fear and decided to repeat the same mischief everyday in order to keep him frightened, so that he might stop preaching the Oneness of God.
The Prophet did not want to disappoint the woman and so he continued to walk down the street everyday, instead of picking an alternate route, and prayed for the woman to recognise the Truth. One day, the Prophet (pbuh) did not see the woman to be on the roof of her house.This worried him, because he thought something must have happened to her for not being over there. So he knocked at the door to inquire if she was ill. When she opened the door, she was pleased by the affectionate tone of the Prophet’s (pbuh) voice and his kind attitude inspired her into recognition of the truth, and his prayers were answered in the form of her embracing Islam.

Posted in USAComments Off on What Would Prophet Mohammad Do To Trump?

Why my books are not published in I$raHell

NOVANEWS
Susan Abulhawa (Photo: Dorthe Karlsen)

Over a year ago, in June 2014, I was offered a contract by an Israeli publishing house for both Mornings in Jenin and The Blue Between Sky and Water.  As a firm supporter of both the economic and cultural boycotts of Israel, I refused.  I did not make my decision public at the time, but had planned to write about it eventually.  Then time passed too quickly, as time tends to do.  So rather than write an essay, I’ll just share the full correspondence here.  My decision and reasons for it are evident.  I decided to redact names, because they’re not really relevant.

The offer came to me via my agent.  The following is the relevant portion of my response to her:

As for Israeli publishers, that is not an option. When we Palestinians are free to live in [our] own homeland as equal citizens of the state, I’ll be happy to sign a contract for Hebrew translation. But until this Apartheid system falls, I will not have business dealings with Israelis.

My agent must have shared that letter with the Israeli publisher because the following was then forwarded to me:

Please be so kind as to convey my words to Susan Abulhawa:

We at [company name redacted] Publishers share your hope for the fall of the Apartheid system. Our greatest joy would be to live to see the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. Since our profession concerns books, our way to help realize this dream is by trying to widen the horizon of our readers. We are constantly looking for interesting voices from the Arab and Muslim world. I personally initiated the publication of [name of author and book redacted] a few years ago  and have edited Iranian author [name of author and book redacted], that we published last year to wide public interest. I thought your voice might be of importance to our readers. Dialogue still seems to me the only way.

In the hope for future days of dialogue and peace.

My very best wishes,

[name redacted]

I responded to her directly:

Dear [redacted],

I hope you don’t mind that I’m writing to you directly.  It seems easier this way.

I respect what you’re trying to do.  While I believe that efforts should be made to engage the Israeli public in the indigenous non-Jewish Palestinian life being crushed by the state, I do not believe that is the task of Palestinians.  I further do not believe that dialogue is something that can happen when there is such gross imbalance of power.  There may be other words for such an exchange, but “dialogue” is not the right one.

It is not an easy decision to refuse to have my work translated into Hebrew, principally because Hebrew, like Arabic, is a language that is native to Palestine, spoken there by Palestinian Jews long before the establishment of Israel.  But the existence now of a supremacist state, which subverts the rights of millions of non-Jewish natives, both there and in exile, is the reason I cannot in good conscience participate in any capacity (except where I have no choice, like border crossing etc.) that might normalize exclusion and ethno-religious privilege.

There may come a time when I might see things differently, perhaps more like my friend [redacted name of author], whom I love, respect and admire, regardless of whether we agree or disagree.  But until then, I must respectfully decline your kind offer and hope that you understand.

Warm Regards,

susan

And here, her response was the last in that correspondence:

Dear Susan,

Thank you very much for writing. The imbalance of power requires an asymmetry in the speech act. I feel that my task is to listen. “I fully understand” would be a cliche,.To be more precise –  I can tell you that I feel completely ok about your refusal.

My very very best,

[name redacted]

I believe that engaging with Israeli institutions or companies lends legitimacy to an ethnocratic state whose founding principles are those of ethno-religious entitlement, privilege, and supremacy.  Celebrity names, of course, have a greater impact.  But the only real legitimacy Israel can ever truly have, must come from the indigenous population.  That’s the reason they are constantly demanding that Palestinians recognize their right to exist as an exclusively Jewish nation.  It is only when recognition by the legal, historic, and cultural heirs who have belonged to that land for centuries (at least), can Israel claim the legitimacy chase.  Their claim of Palestine, of our homes and history and heritage, of our culture and food, native songs and stories, was laid by the force of arms and terror, as all settler colonial enterprises do.

How could I sell my novel rights to a people who have been destroying our society?  To a people who have barred me from so much as visiting my country?  To those who speak so confidently of a right to possess a land that has been nurtured by the bodies of our ancestors?

 

*       *      *

* About Susan Abulhawa Susan Abulhawa is the author of the international bestselling novel, Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury, 2010) – www.morningsinjenin.com – and founder of Playgrounds for Palestine – www.playgroundsforpalestine.org.
 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, LiteratureComments Off on Why my books are not published in I$raHell

Paris terror attacks: further proof that we need to overthrow imperialism

NOVANEWS

Jihadi terrorism is the bastard child of the union between blind religious fanaticism and imperialist market fundamentalism.

Issued by: CPGB-ML

Issued on: 25 November 2015

On the evening of Friday 13 November, a group of terrorists armed with kalashnikovs and wearing suicide belts launched coordinated assaults on six targets in Paris, killing 129 innocent people and injuring 350 others, 100 of them critically. According to eye-witness accounts, these attacks were professionally coordinated, meticulously planned and executed with cold-blooded disregard for human life. Eight of the terrorists were also killed.

The targets included the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 young people attending a performance by an American metal band were cut down in the prime of their lives; Stade de France, where a friendly football match between Germany and France was underway; Le Comptoir Voltaire restaurant and other bars and cafés.

The Islamic State (IS), also known as Isis, Isil or Daesh, has taken responsibility for the carnage in Paris, claiming: “This is only the start of the storm.” (IS claims responsibility, calling Paris attacks ‘start of the storm’ by Frank Camp,Independent Journal, 14 November 2015)

Progressive people will resolutely condemn the Paris tragedy. It is clear that there is no reason for anyone, except the crazed jihadis, to gloat over such a senseless massacre, for the action of its perpetrators, far from being an expression of anti-imperialist defiance, merely serves to strengthen the imperialist agenda of repression at home and war abroad.

Our own government, for example, having failed to win approval for all-out war against Syria in 2013, is bent upon using the attacks in Paris as a justification for resuscitating the debate and trying once more to gain parliamentary approval for the full-scale bombing of Syria.

Meanwhile, preparations for the repression of all dissent and opposition to government policies are well advanced, and the latest bombings will certainly be used to further justify this assault on what remain of our civil liberties. The Investigatory Powers Bill (also known as the Snoopers’ Charter) is currently being piloted through parliament by the home secretary, Theresa May, under which even more powers will be bestowed on the police and on the intelligence and border agencies. (See Guardian, 4 November 2015)

There will doubtless be further demonisation of minorities and asylum seekers and yet more stoking of islamophobia by bourgeois politicians and media in the wake of the Paris attacks, with the inevitable increase in discord between muslim and non-muslim, foreign-born and local workers – all in an attempt to weaken the working-class movement by diverting our attention away from our real enemy (the imperialist ruling class) to imaginary enemies (workers from ethnic minorities and refugees).

Selective empathy

The bourgeois media have expressed their outrage at the Paris bombings in hysterically hyperbolic terms. The Financial Times of 16 November described the attacks as “civilisation’s worst nightmare”, while another paper characterised Islamic State as “the most ruthless death cult”. The masses of workers across the imperialist world have been encouraged, to put it mildly, to wave the French flag in a show of sympathy – both with the victims as individuals and with France as the victim nation.

But this sympathy and fellow feeling are by no means applied consistently to the victims of terror attacks around the world. Recent events bring into stark relief just how our collective emotions are manipulated by media and politicians, who have become expert at either drawing out or suppressing the ‘human angle’ of an event to suit the British ruling class’s political agenda.

Just two weeks before the Paris attacks, on 31 October, a Russian holiday flight crashed 23 minutes after take-off from the Egyptian holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. At the time of the crash, it was not known what had brought the plane down, but, far from expressing their deep sympathies and fellow-feeling with the 224 innocent victims of that disaster, 25 of whom were children, the commentators of the bourgeois presstitute fraternity were practically rubbing their hands with glee – hoping against hope that the crash would turn out to have been caused by a terrorist bomb, and that such an attack would turn public opinion in Russia against the country’s continued involvement in the war in Syria.

The media’s only other concern was for the effects of disruption on the British tourist industry and the inconvenience to British holidaymakers stranded at the resort as routine flights were cancelled. (See live updates on Telegraph website, 7 November 2015)

When it did, indeed, turn out that the plane had been brought down in a brutal terrorist attack by IS (an attack that claimed nearly a hundred more victims than the events in Paris), the bourgeois media did not feel the need to describe the tragedy as “civilisation’s worst nightmare”. Nobody condemned IS as “the most ruthless death cult” or rushed to tell the stories of the victims and describe the trauma of their families. There was no mass waving of the Russian flag, no chants of “We are all Russians” on the football terraces, no mass circulation of sympathy posts on Facebook or Twitter.

Instead, political analysts gave the impression that the tragedy was no more than what Russia deserved, and speculated enthusiastically about whether the Russian masses would blame their own government for the terrorist attack as blowback for the country’s air operations in Syria – clearly implying that they should and hoping that they would. (See Vladimir Putin’s showmanship has left him without a strategy by Edward Lucas, Telegraph, 7 November 2015)

Amidst this barely-suppressed frenzy of excitement that Russia’s ability to maintain its devastatingly effective role in Syria’s anti-terrorist struggle may have been seriously undermined, the fates of the crash victims were entirely sidelined. (See Putin’s crash test: Downed Russian jetliner could signal the president’s next big strike by Owen Matthews,Newsweek, 10 November 2015)

This selective application of the concepts of shared humanity and fellow feeling are further highlighted by the reporting of another brutal IS bombing, this time in Lebanon. On 12 November, IS bombed a district in Beirut, killing 43 innocent people who were out shopping at the local marketplace and going about the business of their daily lives.

The imperialist media, instead of galvanising us to feel sympathy with the victims of yet another senseless and brutal massacre, gave no names of victims and no details of their deaths, merely stating the number of dead and describing the ordinary neighbourhood that had been targeted as a “Hizbollah stronghold”.

The clear implication in the reporting (what there was of it) was that by fighting side by side with the Syrian Arab Army in its struggle against imperialism’s jihadis, the Lebanese people had somehow asked for (and deserved) this savage assault. Needless to say, no waving of the Lebanese flag was in evidence on Britain’s streets, football terraces or social media pages. (See Just as innocent – comparing Beirut and Paris by Habib Battah, Al Jazeera, 15 November 2015)

In his message of condolence to the French, David Cameron said: “Your pain is our pain, your fight is our fight.” No such words were uttered and no such sentiments expressed in the aftermath of the Russian air crash tragedy or the Beirut bombing – as if the massacre of 224 innocent Russian holidaymakers and 43 innocent Lebanese civilians meant nothing at all.

But, as the saying goes: be careful what you wish for. The very organisation created by imperialism to terrorise the peoples of the Middle East and to serve as an instrument for regime change across the region went on from these atrocities to strike back and bite the hand that feeds it. It did so just one day after the Beirut massacre that had drawn so little outrage from corporate media hacks and career politicians.

But how could this happen? What accounts for such a turn of events?

Russian intervention: a game changer

The answer must be found in the Russian intervention in the war to save Syria – at the Syrian government’s invitation. The aerial support given by Russia to the Syrian ground forces has proved to be a game changer, and has levelled the playing field for the first time in more than four years of an imperialist-inspired war that has claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million Syrians, including close to 100,000 Syrian army personnel.

Closely coordinated Russian aerial bombardments of terrorist headquarters, hideouts, ammunition depots, infrastructure and strongholds, and the Syrian Arab Army’s advance into areas held by IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terror gangs, has inflicted more damage on the jihadis in six weeks than has been managed by the imperialist coalition’s phony ‘war on IS’ in more than a year.

The reason for the imperialists’ lack of success is becoming all-too embarrassingly obvious: while claiming to be waging war against terrorism, imperialism has in reality been pursuing its old policy of regime change, waging a vicious and destructive war against the Syrian people. Although they talk about ‘stopping IS’, the imperialist invaders of Syria have in fact continued to facilitate their terrorist proxies in Syria and beyond and have targeted their destructive power not at terrorist bases and supply lines but at Syria’s oil industry and civilian infrastructure. (See US airstrikes on Syria are not about IS – Syrians reject violation of sovereignty, Syriangirlpartisan on YouTube, 24 September 2014)

It is clear that the fight against terrorism and the fight for regime change cannot but be mutually exclusive objectives, for the only groups that are potentially capable of bringing down the popular government of Syria (and then only with the full backing of imperialism and its puppet Gulf medieval autocracies, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, not to speak of Turkey) are all terrorist outfits – whether they be IS, al-Nusra or the mythical ‘moderate’ opposition.

On the other hand, the only forces on the ground really capable of defeating terrorism are those of the Syrian people – the regular army and the national defence forces under the command of the legitimate government of Syria, headed by President Bashar al-Assad.

Recently, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond admitted as much, saying: “We all agree we want to target terrorists, but we do not agree what a terrorist is.” He added: “The Russians, in particular, have a rather broad-based definition of a terrorist as anyone who is fighting the [Syrian] regime.” (Friend or foe: Syria summit faces tough choices by Geoff Dyer and Kathrin Hille, Financial Times, 12 November 2015)

Mr Hammond ‘forgot’ to add that, in the eyes of the imperialist powers, no one is a terrorist who is fighting to destroy Syria’s progressive government, however terroristic their methods and however anti-popular they may be.

Be that as it may, the successes of the Russian air force and the Syrian army have exposed imperialism’s alleged fight against terrorism for the sham it is, forcing the imperialist countries most reluctantly to attack a few IS targets themselves – if only to gain some credibility in the eyes of the world’s people and to secure a few bargaining chips in advance of the next round of negotiations.

Up until the start of the Russian intervention, imperialist forces routinely turned a blind eye to long convoys of trucks and tankers carrying huge shipments of oil to be sold illegally in Turkey and elsewhere. These sales were well known to be providing IS and their fellow jihadis with hundreds of millions of dollars with which to buy weapons and pay mercenaries. (See Russian bomb – video shows IS oil sector undamaged by Obama’s ‘air war’ by Neil Munro, Breitbart, 19 November 2015)

Somehow, the US air force, which boasts an ability to see any and every movement on the ground, failed in broad daylight to detect or hamper these convoys. Moreover, the jihadis must have had help in laundering the money from the sale of such large quantities of oil, for it is nigh-on impossible to sell oil and keep the resulting funds secret. (See UK, US turn blind eye to Islamic State oil sales by Nafeez Ahmed, Middle East Eye, 31 July 2015)

In recent weeks, however, belated actions against IS by the imperialists have put some pressure on Raqqa, the terrorists’ headquarters in northeast Syria. On 12 November, a US drone strike claimed to have killed a British jihadi, Mohammed Emwazi (‘Jihadi John’), above the city.

The increasing attacks on IS infrastructure have caused rage in the jihadi camp and driven them to launching the deadly attack on Paris – the capital of one of their imperialist masters. It could have been any other member of the imperialist coalition, but it turned out to be France – presumably for logistical reasons.

One purpose of this sudden burst of activity on the part of the imperialist powers after a year of their fake ‘battle against terrorism’ has been to boost their position in the high-profile diplomatic tussle over Syria, with the resumption of foreign ministers’ talks in Vienna and the convening of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey – both of which took place on the weekend of 14-15 November.

In his speech on 12 November, US secretary of state John Kerry acknowledged as much: “The chance for successful diplomacy depends, in part, on the ability to exert leverage, on control of territory, on perceptions about who is gaining or has the upper hand,” he said, adding: “That is why it matters that there is increasing evidence that Daesh can be defeated – even routed – when faced by the combination of coalition [he had in mind the imperialist coalition] air strikes and effective partners on the ground.” (US builds momentum in IS campaign by Geoff Dyer and Jane Arraf, Financial Times, 13 November 2015)

By ‘effective partners on the ground’, Mr Kerry could only have been referring to other sections of imperialism’s anti-Assad jihadis or to the various Kurdish forces. On the same day as the Paris events (13 November), a combination of US war planes and Kurdish fighters recaptured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar from IS. In the same week, Kurdish forces captured territory from IS around the town of al-Hawl in eastern Syria – as part of a plan to cut off supply routes between Raqqa and Mosul in Iraq.

Dramatic change in fortunes

The Russian intervention in Syria, and the successes that have accompanied it, have brought a dramatic change in the situation of the main players in the Middle East. While the star of the imperialist powers is waning, that of Mr Putin’s Russia is on the rise.

At the last year’s G20 summit in Brisbane, imperialist leaders attempted to isolate Mr Putin and their media portrayed him as an outcast for Russia’s alleged intervention in Ukraine. “Twelve months on, an audience with the Russian president was one of the hottest tickets in the town [of Antalya], as western leaders were forced to recognise the road to peace in Syria inevitably runs through Moscow.

“Few at annual summits of world leaders have seen such transformation in their fortunes, nor appeared to enjoy it as much, as Mr Putin moved from a scolded outcast to a … problem solver the West cannot ignore …

“Mr Putin felt he held all the cards as the West came to him for answers.”

At his closing press conference, President Putin observed stoically: “There were no problems at all, not then and not now,” adding: “Of course, though, relations were more tense than today. But life goes on, everything changes: there are new problems, new challenges, which would be difficult to solve for anyone alone. It is necessary to join forces.”

He went on to capture the distrust in the fight against terrorism thus: “It is difficult to criticise us when they [ie, the US and its allies] tell us: ‘You are not hitting [IS],’ and we say: ‘Tell us where, name the targets,’ but they don’t!” (Putin transformed from outcast to problem solver at G20 by Alex Barker, George Barker and Kathrin Hille, Financial Times, 16 November 2015)

Split in the imperialist camp

The results of Russia’s successful intervention in Syria, compounded by the terrorist attacks in Paris, have brought about a deep split in the imperialist camp between those who still give primacy to regime change in Syria, and those who now regard IS as the greater danger.

Even after all that has happened, the incurably reactionary dimwit who wrote the Times editorial of 16 November asserted: “Assad is the author [not even merely the approximate cause] of the mayhem and destruction [in Syria] that threatens to spread still further across the region.” (Nous sommes tous Français)

As opposed to such demented ramblings, John R Bradley, writing in the Daily Mail of the same day, brought to bear a decidedly sane observation, castigating “our leaders”, who “continue to insist, against all reason and logic, on the removal of … Bashar al-Assad, despite the fact that he is the last secular Arab leader left, who, whether we like it or not, enjoys huge popularity in the … country.”

Continued Mr Bradley: “And then consider the breath-taking hypocrisy of our continued support for that atrocious human rights abuser Saudi Arabia, which continues to funnel money and arms to preposterously called ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria in the name of bringing about democracy.”

He ended his article with the following warning: “In the meantime, we should form an international coalition to fight Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria – a suggestion proposed by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. A refusal to do this would suggest a belief among western governments that Putin poses a greater threat to Europe’s stability than Islamic State.

“That would be an utterly irresponsible and wrong-headed assessment that could risk countless more innocent people’s lives.” (The most ruthless death cult in history)

On the same day, an editorial in the Telegraph called for a political settlement in Syria, observing that such a settlement “is impossible to achieve while the West insists that it cannot involve Bashar al-Assad. Yet his enemy and that of his principal ally, Russia (another recent victim of terror), is the same as ours, namely IS.” (Europe must have stronger borders, 15 November 2015)

Likewise, the Daily Mail of 16 November called upon “Nato allies” to involve themselves in negotiations, no matter how unpalatable they may regard them, “with Iran, Russia and even the Assad regime in Damascus – which until recently Mr Cameron intended to bomb”, adding that in the interests of eliminating the deadly threat of IS, “old enmities must be set aside”. (A fight the civilised world must not lose)

This turn of circumstances forced both US president Barack Obama and British prime minister David Cameron to hold meetings with the Russian president. An unscheduled meeting between Obama and President Putin at the G20 summit produced a noticeable change in tone on the part of the US. Previously, Washington had poured scorn and derision on the Russian bombing campaign in Syria. After meeting the Russian president, however, Obama “welcomed efforts by all nations to confront the terrorist group IS and noted the importance of Russia’s military efforts in Syria focusing on the group”. (Who’s in control: Obama or the generals?, Russia Today, 16 November 2015)

Following Obama’s climb-down, David Cameron, the would-be destroyer of the Syrian regime, was compelled to likewise recognise reality and wimpishly state: “We have our differences with the Russians … The conversation I want to have with Vladimir Putin is to say: ‘Look, there is one thing we agree about, which is we’d be safer in Russia, we’d be safer in Britain, if we destroy Isil. That’s what we should be focusing on.’” (UK’s Cameron to urge Putin to focus fight in Syria on Islamic State by Kylie Maclellan, Reuters, 15 November 2015)

In France, senior politicians from the main opposition party have broken ranks with Hollande and called for a new approach to the Syrian conflict. Former French prime minister Alain Juppé has advocated the abandonment of the policy of removing Bashar al-Assad from power, even if such an abandonment were to be considered humiliating.

Nicolas Sarkozy, M Hollande’s predecessor, called for a “new policy” on Syria that put aside differences, saying: “There cannot be two coalitions [against IS] in Syria.” He went on: “The risk of such events [of the type that took place in Paris] happening is real. We need changes in our foreign policy. We must draw conclusions from the situation in Syria. We need everyone to help fight Islamic State, notably the Russians.” (Hollande pressed to amend foreign policy after Paris attacks, Channel News Asia, 16 November 2015)

In adopting their present stance, prominent leaders from the leading imperialist countries are doing no more than expressing agreement, however painful they may find having to do so, with the observation of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov at the Vienna talks: “It doesn’t matter if you are for Assad or against him … IS is your enemy, so it is not about Assad.” (Who benefits most from Paris attacks? Assad, Bloomberg, 15 November 2015)

Seeing the way the wind was blowing, even M Hollande was forced to change his tune and say: “There must be a union of all those who truly want to fight against this terrorist army as part of one big coalition. It is with this goal in mind that I will meet in the coming days President Obama and President Putin to join forces and achieve a result that has been postponed [by whom?] for too long.”

This is precisely what Mr Putin has been calling for since September. He has now ordered Russia’s armed forces to coordinate with the French military as allies on a joint action plan in Syria. (Putin orders Russian forces to work with French ‘allies’ in Syria, Financial Times, 17 November 2015)

IS can be beaten, and beaten decisively. However, it can only be fully beaten on the ground, not from the air alone – as the Russian intervention’s careful coordination with Syrian ground forces has clearly demonstrated. Even Murdoch’sodious Sun has been obliged to admit this truth in its own loathsome manner.

In what passes for an editorial, the Sun wrote: “we believe noses must be held [yes, but whose noses?] and a deal struck with Russia for a multinational force of ground troops and aircraft to eradicate IS in Syria and Iraq. It is in all our countries’ interests and bombing alone won’t work.” (It is time for Britain to take the fight to IS, 16 November 2015)

No nation can be free if it oppresses others

Two more facts must be highlighted. First, we should understand that the tragedy suffered by the citizens of Paris is no different to the many massacres that have been visited by imperialism for years on the citizens of Baghdad, Basra, Ramadi, Fallujah, Damascus, Aleppo, Palmyra, Raqqa, Kabul, Tripoli, Benghazi and many other places. Indeed, Paris has experienced for just one day what the people of Syria have been enduring daily for nearly five years.

Just as we react with anger to the outrage in Paris, workers in the centres of imperialism have an equal duty to express our outrage at the barbarous cruelties perpetrated by our rulers on the peoples of the oppressed countries that have become targets for regime change.

More than that: we have a duty to use our power to disrupt and sabotage the waging of these unjust wars for domination by refusing to cooperate in any way. We must organise ourselves en masse to refuse to fight, refuse to provide or transport supplies, and refuse to create or broadcast war propaganda – and we must actively obstruct those who do. (See Act together to stop war, CPGB-ML, 16 February 2013)

As long as we fail in this duty, what happened in Paris is sure to occur again in London or New York or in some other imperialist city, for no nation can be free if it oppresses other nations.

Imperialist wars make imperialist cities unsafe

Second, the ruling classes in the imperialist countries, in an effort to deceive and hoodwink the masses at home, are forever asserting that their wars abroad – from Afghanistan, through Iraq to Libya and Syria – are necessary to make the streets of Washington, New York, London and Paris safe. The experience of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington, Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, and Paris in January and November 2015 proves quite the opposite.

The sooner imperialism is stopped from waging wars against other peoples, the sooner will the streets of the cities in imperialist countries be safe.

Further, as is shown by the latest attacks in Paris, the terrorists are not ‘foreign’. They are home-grown, and many of them have been nurtured and trained by imperialist agencies, which have facilitated their passage to countries like Syria to wage jihad against governments that imperialism wishes to overthrow.

From time to time, contradictions arise between imperialism and its mercenary stooges; the stooges go off message and commit the kind of heinous acts as have taken place in Paris. That being the case, it is hypocritical in the extreme for the imperialist ruling classes to put on such a show of outrage over the activities of the very terrorists that they themselves have conjured into being.

Fight to overthrow imperialism

Jihadi terrorism is the bastard child of the union between blind religious fanaticism and imperialist market fundamentalism.

In its quest for domination and maximisation of profit; in its drive for grabbing raw materials, markets and avenues for investment, imperialism brooks no obstacles, and there is no crime it will not commit in pursuit of these aims; no mean method it will not stoop to.

Present-day jihadi fundamentalism was spirited into existence by imperialism during the proxy war it waged to overthrow the progressive government of Afghanistan and to force that government’s Soviet allies out of the country. Since then, imperialism has used jihadi nutcases for the overthrow of the anti-imperialist Libyan government and as its proxies elsewhere in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

These same forces are today being used in Syria, with nearly 100,000 foreign jihadis unleashed on the country to perpetrate the most dreadful atrocities on the civilian population. It is a credit to the Syrian people and their government that they have successfully resisted this assault – with a heroism and self-sacrifice that are entirely undocumented by western corporate media.

Now, with the Russian intervention and the events in Paris, this barbarous assault on the Syrian people has run aground and is on the verge of sinking altogether.

In the final analysis, all war, including that waged through fundamentalist proxies, will only be completely put an end to through the successful overthrow of imperialism – this bloody system that has tormented humankind for too long.

The fight against war and for peace is inextricably linked with the struggle to overthrow imperialism: there is no other way forward for humanity.

Posted in FranceComments Off on Paris terror attacks: further proof that we need to overthrow imperialism

Dreadful Memory of the Peshawar School Attack

NOVANEWS

Image result for peshawar school attack photos

By Sajjad Shaukat

In one of the bloodiest-ever terror attacks in Pakistan, six Taliban militants mercilessly killed at

least 141 people, including 132 children and nine staff members of the Army Public School and

College in Peshawar, on December 16, 2014. They also burnt a lady teacher alive. After eight

hours operation, Pak Army’s commandos cleared the school area, and six militants were killed.

On the same day, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the ghastly act at

The tragic loss of the lives of innocent children moved the entire world deeply. Every Pakistani

said that shame on these terrorists who considered innocent children as their enemies, and

martyred them through brutal tactics.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif including

leaders of various political and religious parties strongly condemned the heinous attack at the

Peshawar school. PTI Chief Imran Khan called off the December 18 (2014) countrywide

shutdown, and also decided to cooperate with the government against terrorism.

However, after that inhuman gruesome tragedy, question arose as to what measures required to

eliminate terrorism from the country.

In this context, Army Chief Gen. Raheel accompanied by DG ISI rushed to Kabul on December

17, 2014. Resources suggested that during his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Afghan

President Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented evidence of the Peshawar

massacre’s linkage with TTP sanctuaries in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. He also

asked the extradition of the TTP chief of Mullah Fazlluah, and handing over to Pakistan.

In fact, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where external secret

agencies, especially Indian RAW are sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements and

TTP insurgents in Pakistan. In the recent years, especially TTP’s militants and its affiliated

banned groups conducted many terror-activities in various regions of the country as part of the

scheme to create chaotic situation in the country. Hence, RAW also used TTP terrorists in

relation to the attack at the Peshawar School.

There arose the need of immediate execution of outstanding cases of death penalty to terrorists.

In this respect, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif revoked the ban on capital punishment in terrorism

cases. The nation also expected that politicians should show no politics on the blood of innocent

children. For the purpose, leaders of all the top political parties including PTI Chief Imran Khan

attended a meeting of the parliamentary parties convened by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after

the deadly attack at a school in Peshawar. Setting aside his differences, Imran Khan ended PTI’s

126-day sit-in at Islamabad to give a clear message that the whole nation stands united against

terrorism. However, all the leaders unanimously decided to form a parliamentary committee to

chalk out a “Plan of Action” in seven days which would be approved by the political and military

In this connection, on January 2, 2015, besides the chiefs of almost all the political parties and

military top officials agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for

establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points

(National Action Plan) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December

24, 2014 is being acted upon—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment was enforced soon

after its approval from the parliament. Now, special military courts have been established and the

ruthless terrorists facing death penalty are being hanged.

In this context, the role of the Armed Forces is appreciating in uprooting the terrorists from their

so-called safe havens. But inability and evident reluctance on the part of political leadership

remains a major contributing factor affecting the implementation of NAP in its true spirit.

It may be informed that in January 2015, apex committees were formed to expedite the

implementation of the National Action Plan. 15 committees and sub-committees were set up;

however, no plausible developments were witnessed. Ironically, the inability on the part of

government was covered with false projection about serious civil-military trust deficit on many

issue related to NAP implementation. Some political quarters even made foul cries in fear of

their imminent dethroning.

Unfortunately, a full-scaled activation of National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA)

remains in limbo even after six years of its creation. Lack of allocation of resources for NACTA

in the last annual budget, non framing of service rules for the authority etc. make NACTA a real

midsummer night dream. Interestingly, NACTA’s budget stands at Rs. 92 million a year of

which Rs.63 million goes into the salaries of the staff. What kind of an effective role will be

registered by the authority and who may be blamed for such state of affairs?

Debate may be generated over all twenty points of NAP to highlight the progress and

performance of the government with respect to its implementation.

Focusing on Madrassa reforms, it may be projected that government has yet to come out with an

authentic and final figure about the number of Madrassas, existing in the country. Reforming

their syllabus and controlling their finances seems a wishful thinking.

On the performance of judiciary, it may be highlighted that over the past four years, 14,115

persons in terrorism-related cases were acquitted and 10,387 were granted bail, only one hundred

Since ill-gotten money provides oxygen to the terrorist networks and other mafias working

against the interest of the state, it appears that the civilian leaders lack political will to block the

supply of illicit money to the terrorist networks, despite the fact that no government can defeat

terrorism without plugging the illicit money to the terror networks. In all the provinces, there are

strong politicians, government cronies who have become ‘untouchables’ for anti-graft drive. It

would be a challenge for the prime minister to allow the state institutions to bring all corrupt to

book whether they belong to the ruling party or to the opposition.

It may be highlighted that some federal ministries are taking steps in the right direction, but the

pace is quite slow. Interior ministry’s prepared rules and regulations for International Non-

governmental Organizations (INGOs), local NGOs, policy draft over arms licenses etc. can be

quoted in the same regard.

Civil society is raising concerns over the slow pace of implementation and narrow scope of the

Plan’s progress. Reportedly, members of NAP-Watch Pakistan, an alliance of over one hundred

noted citizens and experts is likely to grill the government in their first annual report to be made

public on 24 Dec 2015 report.

Lamentably, the fateful day is approaching, but the task remains half done, as extremist

organizations, their sympathizers and supporters are still finding time and opportunities to

mischievously target Law Enforcing Agencies and people of Pakistan. Ironically, after TTP, a

newer and more formidable menace in shape of ISIS is raising its head in the region.

The risks and the price for political sluggishness in implementation of NAP will be huge. The

nation must press the political leadership to realize the task and fully implement the NAP.

Political leadership may be urged to become non-traditionalist in their approach in

implementation of NAP. To supplement the gains of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb, there is a

need to declare 2015-16 as the year of the complete implementation of NAP. Government should

be encouraged to end its nap on NAP.

The focus should be on NAP and its implementation. Nation decided to move on it a year ago. It

should be a stock taking time now where we are and where should we decide to go.

It is regrettable that still some political entities are creating controversy about the National

Action Plan (NAP) which is essential part of Pakistan’s war against terrorism, as it has co-

relationship with the military operation Zarb-i-Azb which has broken the backbone of the

militants. In order to conceal their corruption, they are criticizing the NAT.

These hostile entities should know that corruption is the essence of terrorism. Therefore, people

want that this menace must be eliminated from the country as part of overall war against

terrorism. In this regard, on June 10, 2015, while showing the progress of the Zarb-e-Azb, Army

Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said, “Terrorists have been cleared from their strongholds in North

Waziristan and Khyber Agency and fight now is moving into last few pockets close to Afghan

border.” He laid emphasis on “continuation of the operations till elimination of the last expected

and probable terrorists groups and sanctuaries.” While addressing a ceremony of the golden

jubilee celebrations the 1965 war regarding Pakistan’s victory and defeat of India, Gen. Raheel

again stated on September 6, this year that the operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched at a time when

terrorist networks had solidified in the country, and the Armed Forces had been fighting an

untraditional war for the past many years, elaborating, “our success is the result of our martyrs

and ghazis—in Karachi and Balochistan, peace has returned, where militants have been

surrendering their arms.” He reiterated his resolve to eliminate “abettors, financiers,

sympathizers, and facilitators” of terrorists at all costs.

Notably, while heading a meeting of high level apex committee, (Of civil-military high officials)

on September 10, 2015 regarding overall progress on implementation of NAP against terrorism,

Prime Minister Sharif said that provincial governments were following its several provisions

accordingly, however, attention should be paid to other points as well.

Nevertheless, in order to dismantle the terror-financing networks, elimination of corruption is an

important part of Pakistan’s National Action Plan, devised to counter extremism in the country

following the Peshawar school massacre of children. Similarly, reforming the religious

seminaries is also its key part.

Nonetheless, dreadful memory of the Peshawar School Attack will remain fresh in the minds of

people, as mass murder of children is a manifestation of the most barbaric face of the Taliban

insurgency led by TTP. While taking solid measures, counter-terrorism strategy or the Action

Plan must be enacted and implemented completely, without losing more time. And, this different

war needs unified front of all the segments of society, which is essential to defeat the ruthless

enemy of Pakistan including their external agents.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Dreadful Memory of the Peshawar School Attack

The shocking list of anti-Muslim hate crimes and bigotry continues

NOVANEWS
Roqayah Chamseddine


Islamophobia is on the rise—here’s the proof.

I’ve been updating a thread which documents attacks on Muslims, mosques, and people of color perceived to be Muslim, since the attacks on Paris. The thread has been growing at an alarming rate and I’ve decided that while I will continue to publish updates on Twitter that it would be easier to share and parse through if I created a one-page entry on my website. If there are any I missed, or if you would like to add your own, please contact me

Paris Attacks
November 13, 2015

Connecticut mosque shot up hours after Paris attacks
November 13, 2015 

Pregnant Muslim woman in Mission Valley attacked on same night as Paris attacks
November 13, 2015 

Muslim takeaway workers in Fife, Scotland are attacked by group of men shouting about ISIS 24 hours after Paris terror attacks
November 14, 2015

Man in Oklahoma threatens to “start shooting anything that looks like a Muslim after what they did to France.”
November 14, 2015 

Uber driver threatened with death and viciously beaten and choked by passenger who believed he was a Muslim
November 15, 2015 

Muslim family living in Orlando believes their home was shot at several times on Saturday because of their faith
November 15, 2015 

Mosque in Ontario, Canada deliberately set on fire, building rendered unusable
November 15, 2015 

Two ‘Middle Eastern looking’ passengers in Boston removed from flight, later rebooked
November 15, 2015 

Movie-goer racially profiled by man who attempts to search his person due to “what happened in Paris”
November 15, 2015 

Two Pinellas county (Florida) mosques threatened. Voicemail says that attendees would be firebombed and massacred
November 16, 2015 

Toronto couple posted a sign asking Muslims in their community if they were “sorry for the slaughter” in France
November 16, 2015 

Two Muslim tourists attacked by man who verbally assaulted them, spat on them and sexually assaulted one
November 16, 2016 

Driver attempts to run Muslim student over near campus
November 16, 2015 

Muslim woman viciously beaten and verbally abused by group of men while out picking up her children from school
November 16, 2015 

Montreal man arrested after threatening, on video, to kill one Arab per week
November 16, 2015 

Texas mosque vandalized, tearing up a Qur’an and covering it in feces
November 17, 2015 

A petrol bomb was thrown into the home of a Muslim family in Ballymena, northern Ireland
November 17, 2015 

Teacher in California presents lesson on Islam to 7th graders that includes rewritten song with lyrics that talks about “making an explosion”
November 17, 2015 

Man enters mosque in Texas and intentionally wipes shoes on interior carpet, curses at worshipers and refuses to leave
November 17, 2015 

Racist passenger in Baltimore has 4 ‘Middle Eastern looking’ passengers removed from flight
November 17, 2015 

Texas man arrested after threatening to shoot up mosque
November 17, 2015 

Florida man threatens to bomb mosque, shoot children
November 18, 2015 

Dorval mosque receives threat: “We’re going to hurt you. We don’t want Muslims in Quebec, and we’re going to do something”
November 18, 2015 

Two Muslim woman accosted on the subway on Toronto
November 18, 2015 

Two Arab men denied entry aboard their flight for speaking Arabic
November 18, 2015 

Muslim woman attacked in southern France. She was punched in the neck and her chest was cut with what was believed to have been a box cutter
November 19, 2015 

Man leaves explosive outside mosque, throws Molotov cocktails
November 19, 2015 

Muslim student in Toronto verbally assaulted, spat on
November 19, 2015 

Florida man threatens to bomb mosque, shoot children
November 18, 2015 

Dorval mosque receives threat: “We’re going to hurt you. We don’t want Muslims in Quebec, and we’re going to do something”
November 18, 2015 

Two Muslim woman accosted on the subway on Toronto
November 18, 2015 

Two Arab men denied entry aboard their flight for speaking Arabic
November 18, 2015 

Muslim woman attacked in southern France. She was punched in the neck and her chest was cut with what was believed to have been a box cutter
November 19, 2015 

Man leaves explosive outside mosque, throws Molotov cocktails
November 19, 2015 

Muslim student in Toronto verbally assaulted, spat on
November 19, 2015 

Armed protesters stand outside Texas mosque
November 21, 2015 

Muslim student punched in the face in broad daylight for wearing the hijab
November 23, 2015 

Muslim taxi driver shot in the back by passenger on Thanksgiving night
November 24, 2015 

Muslim student removed from flight in front of passengers
November 24, 2015 

Student mosque in Houston, Texas vandalized
November 24, 2015 

Anti-Islam group with armed members posts Muslims’ names, addresses to Facebook
November 25, 2015 

Sikh man verbally abused, spat on, called a terrorist and punched in the face in Poland
November 28, 2015 

Cold Lake mosque in Canada vandalized with ‘Go home’ graffiti f0r second time
November 28, 2015

New Jersey police officer suspended with pay after posting anti-Muslim screed calling for mosques to be demolished
December 1, 2015 

Hateful graffiti spree targets Muslims and Syrian refugees in Calgary, Canada
December 2, 2015 

Mosque in Manassas gets threatening phone call, person says “you will all be killed”
December 3, 2015 

Muslim woman in Thorncliffe, Canada verbally attacked while riding bus, told that she should get raped and go back to her country
December 3, 2015 

The windows of a Palm Beach Islamic center were smashed and the prayer room was spattered in blood
December 5, 2015 

U. of Texas student, friend leave popular Austin cafe amid anti-Muslim backlash from other customers
December 6, 2015

Pig’s head left inside University of Western Australia mosque
December 7, 2015 

Muslim sixth grader allegedly attacked by schoolmates who called her ISIS, tore at her hijab
December 7, 2015 

Somali restaurant set on fire, vandalized. graffiti included what appears to be an “SS” in the style of a symbol from Nazi Germany above the painted words “go home.”
December 8, 2015 

A woman hurled anti-Islam slurs and then hot coffee at a group of Muslims after she saw them praying in a California park
December 9, 2015 

Muslim forced off Tube after commuter complained he used iPad ‘suspiciously’
December 9, 2015 

Muslim family that just moved into a new neighborhood in Plano, Texas and have already been vandalized twice
December 9, 2015 

Customer slaps worker, destroys property after asking if they were Muslim
December 10, 2015 

A Sikh temple had to order a banner that read “we are American Sikhs” due to hate crimes
December 10, 2015 

Georgia school says teacher had no ‘ill intent’ asking Muslim student if she had a bomb in her backpack
December 10, 2015 

Muslim woman told she wasn’t trusted, stalked & knife was pulled out on her at car wash in Chino Hills, CA
December 10, 2015 

CAIR office received envelope with note that read “Die a painful death, Muslims,”and white powder (later deemed harmless)
December 10, 2015 

Seattle Police Department investigating possible hate crime against driver after passenger called him a terrorist and punched him in the head
December 10, 2015 

A Sikh temple in Orange County has been vandalized by someone who thought it was a Muslim house of worship
December 10, 2015 

A security firm hired by a mosque in northern Virginia quit, saying that they can no longer protect them

Comment: From that story:

The situation seems so dire that officials at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in northern Virginia said the security firm they hired to protect the mosque quit this week. “They said, ‘We don’t know what’s going to happen, we can’t protect you,'” said Imam Mohamed Magid, the mosque’s leader. ADAMS has been vandalized twice in past years, according to members, but not recently.

Magid’s comments on Monday came minutes after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, at a press conference at ADAMS, pleaded with Americans not to “throw a net of suspicion over Muslims.” Asked if Homeland Security will provide extra protection for mosques, a spokesman referred CNN to state and local law enforcement agencies.

Which means no.

The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (where the armed hate-protest took place) had multiple windows smashed
December 11, 2015 

2 women in Tampa report hate crimes. One incident involves one of the women allegedly being shot at after leaving her mosque
December 11, 2015 

FBI investigating blaze at Coachella mosque reportedly hit with fire-bomb
December 11, 2015 

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on The shocking list of anti-Muslim hate crimes and bigotry continues

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