Archive | February 9th, 2016

Palestine: Condemns Nazi Supreme Court’s Decision

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Condemns Nazi Supreme Court’s Decision to Suspend Administrative Detention of Journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the decision issued by the Nazi Supreme Court on 04 February 2016 to suspend the administrative detention against journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq on condition that he stays at the Zionist hospitals receiving medical treatment and family visits.

Al-Qeeq rejected the Nazi Supreme Court’s decision, considering it as circumvention of his right to resist the illegal, inhuman and immoral decision of administrative detention.  He added that the decision overrides the local and international public opinion, which obviously rejected al-Qeeq being subject to this systemic killing policy and emphasized his right to the freedom of opinion and expression that is guaranteed by all international laws and conventions.

Lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, said that the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend al-Qeeq’s administrative detention is an attempt to break his 74-day hunger strike, giving the security services the green light then to reactivate his detention.  Sourani explained that reflects conspiracy between the Nazi Supreme Court and security services, emphasizing the role of the Nazi courts in offering a legal cover-up for Nazi crimes committed against Palestinian civilians and arbitrarily arresting them through the policy of administrative detention.

 

It should be mentioned that journalist Mohammed Usamah al-Qeeq (33) has been on an open hunger strike since 25 November 2015 in protest against placing him under 6-month administrative detention. Al-Qeeq’s health deteriorated, so he was taken to al-Afoulah Hospital in Israel and is still there. It is also noteworthy that on 12 January 2016, Israeli forces force-fed al-Qeeq after he was handcuffed and then forcibly administrated intravenous fluids.[1]

 

In light of the above, PCHR:

1.      Reiterates its condemnation of the Israeli Supreme Court’s Decision, considering it as a legal cover for the actions of the Israeli security services;

2.      Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammed al-Qeeq; and

Calls upon the international community to move immediately to stop the Israeli policy of administrative detention against Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli prisons.

——————–

MOHAMMAD AL-QEIQ – 6-month administrative detention order – Reporter and Journalist -Administrative Detainees – – Name: Mohammad Adib Sulaiman Al Qeiq Date of birth: 21/4/1982 Date of arrest: 21/11/2015 Residence: Ramallah Place of detention: Afula Hospital Marital status: Married and a father of two children field_type_of_prisoner
Read the article on addameer.org >

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Afzal Guru: The Hero of Kashmir Movement

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Image result for afzal guru photos

By Sajjad Shaukat

The 9th of February 9 is being celebrated as the martyrdom anniversary of Muhammad Afzal

Guru whom India secretly hanged and buried inside the Tihar jail complex on February 9, 2013.

It triggered protests in Kashmir and widespread condemnations from various political and human

rights organisations. Afzal Guru was convicted in 2001 Parliament attack case and awarded

death sentence. Afzal had always denied plotting the attack, which left 14 dead, including five

Last year, during his martyrdom anniversary, a complete shutdown was observed in the Indian

occupied Kashmir and protest demonstrations were held to demand the return of mortal remains

Call for the strike had been given by pro-freedom leaders and organizations to mark the

anniversary of Muhammad Afzal. Indian authorities had arrested Kashmiri leaders, Yasin Malik,

Shoukat Bakhshi, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza along with several

other Hurriyet activists and lodged them in different police stations and jails. The authorities also

placed Hurriyet leaders, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Nayeem Ahmad Khan

and Ayaz Akbar under house arrest.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, in a statement had denounced

the arrests and vowed that the Kashmiris were struggling for their basic right and would succeed

in their mission at the end of the day.

In their statements and meetings, all the leaders of the freedom movement of Kashmir paid

glowing tributes to the martyr Muhammad Afzal Guru who sacrificed his live for the Kashmir

Even, the Sikh organization, Dal Khalsa President H S Dhami, while paying tributes to

Muhammad Afzal Guru on the eve of his second martyrdom anniversary, in a statement in

Amritsar criticized India for failing to hand over his mortal remains to his wife.

In fact, the very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine

right of self-determination. They organized themselves against the injustices of India and

launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to crush through various forms of brutalities.

It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its

repressive regime in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) through various machinations.

However, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian

army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been

manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted

killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation

of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989,

there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests,

1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children

orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue

As a matter of fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and

Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act

and Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any

individual for an indefinite period.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out

grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim

majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security

In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of

the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The

report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered

Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected

militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been

tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in

turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000

disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by

Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages

across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups

reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August, 2011,

Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its

report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves

include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake

encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

And, as part of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan approach, leader of the BJP and Prime Minister of

India Narendra Modi who is giving impetus to Hindu chauvinism not only accelerated

unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot, but

also suspended the Secretary level talks with Islamabad. Now, he has been raising baseless issue

like Pathonkot terror attack, (which was orchestrated by India), Mumbai mayhem and terrorism

as pre-conditions to advance the Pak-Indian dialogue. But, he ignored the fact that on July 19,

2013, the Indian ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in

November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the

Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

It is noteworthy that Modi regime hurriedly decided to forcibly annex disputed territory of the

State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), uncovering its intentions to wrap up the article 370 of the

Indian constitution which ensures a special status to J&K. Therefore, United Nations Military

Observer Group India and Pakistan in New Delhi was asked to vacate official accommodation.

In fact, BJP government‘s long term strategy is to affect demographic changes in the Indian

occupied Kashmir by composition of the region—predominately with Hindu population.

During one year of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-BJP alliance government in the Indian

Occupied Kashmir, BJP in aid of RSS has furthered its agenda of complete integration of

Kashmir into India. Though legal experts of India and IOK High Court have clarified the

permanent status of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, BJP’s agenda of trifurcations is still on

table. In this regard, BJP is in hot pursuit of Mission 44+in IOK Assembly elections 2020.

However, short of that, BJP and RSS are busy in changing religious identity of the State. For

example, special concessions were given to expand the horizon of Amarnath Yatra to project that

Hindus have greater stakes in IOK than Muslims.

Special efforts are being made for demographic engineering in the State. For instance, West

Pakistan Refugees have been recruited in the Indian Armed Forces from IOK quota. Allocation

of lands for separate cities for repatriating Hindu Pundits and allocation of INR 2 million for

rehabilitation of each Pundit family in the Valley are aimed at creating Hindu constituencies in a

thorough Muslim region of Valley through delimitations.

On the other hand, the sectors of health, education, local infrastructure, social support and rural

development are being controlled by BJP MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly). Major

projects of the State are being announced and are implemented in Hindu dominant-BJP

constituencies to give a message that only BJP’s voters are entitled to a standard living. Through

these tactics, BJP is longing for Mission 44+ in next IOK Assembly elections.

Kashmiri Hurriyat leadership has been suppressed by the PDP-BJP government by not allowing

them to organize rallies for demanding freedom and expressing love for Pakistan. Their leaders

were detained in Police Stations or kept under house arrests during all important events.

Detention of Masarat Alam, even after acceptance of bail by IOK High Court, exhibits coercive

mechanics of Indian forces/police in the State.

Indian malicious intent is evident from the blame game against Pakistan for every internal

security issue, merely to avoid serious dialogue on bilateral issues as well as the humanitarian

crisis in Kashmir. Pakistan is committed to the just and democratic solution of the Kashmir issue,

which is plebiscite, however, India has never been serious in resolution of the dispute, neither

through bilateral dialogue nor involving third party mediation nor by abiding by the UN

In the wake of changing regional and global dynamics, resolution of the issue has become a top

most priority, but unsensitized international community is perhaps waiting for emergence of a

regional crises out of Kashmir dispute. As global players do not find any interest in resolution of

the dispute, it has become a humanitarian issue in the region.

Nevertheless, Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds.

New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris,

demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are

trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien

But, New Delhi is still showing its intransigence in order to resolve Kashmir dispute with

Pakistan by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the

neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s serious and sincere effort at the annual session of the United Nations in

December 2015—the speech of Pakistan’s prime minister and his meeting with the American

president, highlighting the Kashmir dispute and demanding its solution has infused a new spirit

among the Kashmiri people.

Nonetheless, the martyrdom of Muhammad Afzal Guru infused a new spirit into the movement

of Jammu Kashmir. His martyrdom anniversary provides an opportunity to ponder over the fact

that various countries of the world got independence by sacrificing their precious lives. On this

vary day, the best way to pay homage to the hero of Kashmir movement, Muhammad Afzal Guru

is that all the Kashmiris must renew their pledge to take the war of liberation to its logical end.

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Another Anti-Pakistan Agent Detected

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By Sajjad Shaukat

Because of its ideal strategic location, and being the lonely nuclear country in the Islamic World,

Pakistan has become special target of the US, India and Israel whose secret agencies have been

destabilizing it through various kinds of terror attacks. These hostile elements are also using

propaganda in maligning Pakistan. For the purpose, they have also hired the services of those

Pakistanis who are vulnerable and can work against the national interest of their own country. In

this regard, Mrs. Farahnaz Ispahani, the wife of the former ambassador to the United States,

Husain Haqqani has also proved herself as another anti-Pakistan agent like her husband.

On January 13, 2016, Farahnaz Ispahani, ex-Member of Pakistan’s Parliament was invited by

Observer Research Foundation (ORF)-Indian secret agency, RAW affiliated think tank in New

Delhi to launch her newly written book titled ‘Purifying the Land of the Pure – Pakistan’s

Religious Minorities’. The launch ceremony was moderated by Ashok Malik, senior fellow at

ORF/ journalist with leaning towards the ruling party BJP’s, Shankar Ayer ex-Minister/Indian

National Congress, Vevik Katju, ex-Ambassador/highly anti-Pakistan writer and Sushaini

Haider, leading Indian anchor, journalist of ‘The Hindu’. A good number of Indian foreign

analysts, diplomats, retired defence and intelligence officers attended the event. Ashok Malik

highlighted the plight of minorities in Pakistan, terming it against the concepts of Pakistan’s

founding father. Indian participants mainly focused on Pakistan’s identity and argued that most

suitable national identity for Pakistan was not Islam, but their being part of Indian civilization

was more realistic and sustainable.

During presentation Mrs. Farahnaz said that the basic ideology of Pakistan i.e. to make a nation

on the basis of religion is fundamentally wrong. Pakistan has most dangerous anti-blasphemy

laws in the world that has made the life of minorities in Pakistan extremely difficult. Since

minorities in Pakistan have gone down from 23% (on partition) to the present 3%, the main

target now is Shias and Ahmedies—recent acts by Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz

Sharif  and the political parties to show attention towards Hindus and Christians in merely

She elaborated that the former President of Pakistan, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq-the military dictator was

the main author of the plight of minorities in Pakistan. Pakistan Army also persecuted Bengalis

as a separate ethnic group which was considered more close to the Hindu Bengalis due to similar

language and culture. Pakistan created Al-Shams and Al-Badar groups to target Bengalis.

Farahnaz further said that use of jihadis for strategic objectives by Pak Army with Saudi and US

funding is the latest cause of growing persecution of minorities in Pakistan—Pakistani leadership

is responsible for hardening of public attitude towards minorities in Pakistan.

However, while following the foreign agenda against Pakistan, Farahnaz Ispahani has totally

ignored the plight of religious minorities in India. She did not pay attention to the fact that since

the leader of the ruling party BJP Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India, various

developments like unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism, persecution of minorities, forced

conversions of other religious minorities into Hindus, ban on beef and cow slaughter, inclusion

of Hindu religious books in curriculum etc. clearly show that encouraged by the fundamentalist

rulers, Hindu extremist outfits such as BJP, RSS VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena including

other similar parties have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India by

propagating ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). The extremist Hindus have particularly

accelerated assaults on Muslims and Christians, including their places of worship. In this context,

event western media have highlighted the plight of minorities in India.

She must realize that radicalization of India by Hindu fanatic groups could be judged from some

other developments. On May 28, 2014, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, a Mangalore-based Hindutva

outfit and activists from various right wing groups organized a protest in Mangalore in front of

the office of Deputy Commissioner by demanding the authorities to ban the morning Muslim call

to prayer (Azan) across the country. Besides, forcing the Muslim employee in a Parliament

Canteen by BJP leader to break his fast by stuffing piece of bread in his mouth, statement of

Deputy Chief of Goa, declaring India as a Hindu state and opposition to declaration of Sania

Mirza as Ambassador of Indian state by calling her daughter-in-law of Pakistan, including

previous events such as the planned destruction of the Babri Masjid (mosque) in 1992 and

genocide of the 2500 Muslims in 2002 in the then BJP-ruled Indian state of Gujarat where Modi

was Chief Minister—and participants of the Indian high officials in the events also need her

Although Farahnaz Ispahani is and educated lady, yet she also neglected facts in relation to

propaganda of India and Bagladesh regarding the events, leading to separation of East Pakistan.

In this respect, 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.

They exaggerate the figures of Bengalis’ deaths by Pak Army.

The dismemberment of 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 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.

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

Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman was already in collusion with India for separation of East Pakistan. In

this context, Farahnaz should also read the book of Asoka Raina, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of

India’s Secret Service’, which 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.”

It is notable that there is no difference between Farahnaz and her husband Hssain Haqqani who

also leaves no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan and it armed forces, while

showing the country a fundamentalist state in order to please their external masters. As regards

Husain Haqqani, while serving as Pakistani ambassador, he was protecting American interests.

He had issued visas to many CIA agents like Ramond Davis to weaken Pakistan. Besides,

working at various American institutes, Husain Haqqani developed secret liasons with Indo-

Israeli lobbies and became covert element of anti-Pakistan campaign. Particularly, this could be

judged from his book, titled, ‘Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.’ In this book, Husain

Haqqani targeted both military and Islamic ideology. While pointing out relationship of the Pak

Army and its primary intelligence agency, ISI with the Islamic militants, Haqqani allegedly

wrote, “since September 11, 2001, the selective cooperation of Pakistan’s military ruler, General

Pervez Musharraf—sharing intelligence with the United States and apprehending Al Qaeda

members—have led to the assumption that Pakistan might be ready to give up its long-standing

ties with radical Islam.” He advised America, “Washington should no longer condone the

Pakistani military’s support for Islamic militants.”

American famous writers and authors exaggeratedly praised the book of Husain Haqqani.as it

was in accordance with the hidden agenda and blame game of the US high officials and media

which still continue against Pakistan and its security agencies. Especially, Stephen P. Cohen,

author of the book, ‘The Idea of Pakistan and The Pakistan Army’ allegedly wrote, “We are in

Husain Haqqani’s debt for providing the authoritative account of the linkages between Pakistan’s

powerful Islamists and its professional army.”

Moreover, Hussain Haqqani also escaped to America to avoid judicial inquiry of the famous

memogate issue, which proved his disloyalty to Pakistan.

It is mentionable that during his briefing to the National Assembly, on January 19, this year,

while confirming anti-Pakistan lobbies in the US, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Defence

Khawaja Asif revealed, “Pakistan is trying to acquire eight F-16 fighter jets from the US on

lease, but Husain Haqqani, the former ambassador to the US is campaigning along with India to

malign Pakistan and to block delivery of F-16 fighter jets.”

Nevertheless, we can claim that like her husband, Farahnaz Ispahani is also anti-Pakistan agent.

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On Progressive Democrats: Sanders v. Clinton

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by Richard Falk

In past years, I tried to distance myself from ‘liberals’ by describing myself as ‘progressive.’ It was admittedly a middle ground between being a liberal, which I associated with being a comforter of the established order while opting for humane policies at the margins, and being a ‘radical’ or ‘leftist,’ which struck me as terms of self-exile outside domains of relevant discourse. My basic objection to liberals and their agenda was that they swallowed ‘the system’ whole while excusing themselves by claiming the mantle of realism and moral concern.

In my view, American structures of militarism and capitalism needed to be transformed in socialist directions if humanity was to have a positive future, and this is what the liberals I knew didn’t want to hear about, believing that such structural criticisms would hand the government over to Republicans by alienating the mainstream and thus be a prescription for the self-destruction of the Democratic Party, and political darkness.

In my lifetime there never was a progressive presidential candidate in my sense, although George McGovern came close, as did Gene McCarthy, and their political failures, were often cited as proof that the practical wisdom of the liberal position should be heeded. Whenever I acknowledged having voted for the third party candidate, Ralph Nader, in the 2000 elections, the best that I could hope for from my liberal friends was scorn, followed by the allegation of irresponsibility, pointing out that the Florida outcome would likely have gone Al Gore’s way if Nader’s name had not been on the ballot, and attracted the vote of some 90,000 wayward citizens. And so the misery of the George W. Bush years would have been avoided, and in its place the lesser misery of Gore would have been experienced.

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With these considerations in mind, I am startled by the amusing controversy between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as to whether Clinton is entitled to claim the mantle of ‘progressive.’ What seems odd and unexpected is that both candidates competing for support among Democrats, avoid any reference to being a ‘liberal’ and both proudly claim to be a ‘progressive.’ Actually, when challenged, Clinton does behave like a liberal, claiming realism is on her side, and dismissing Sanders transformative proposals (on health care, college tuition, wages, tax reform) as not achievable. In contrast, she bases her appeal on a commitment to finish what Obama started and a record of getting things done.

In other words, she shares the abstract language of Sanders, but when it comes down to it, her promised contributions will be limited to the margins, identifying her in ways characteristic of her long political career—as a liberal. In fairness I suppose both candidates and their minders have made linguistic calculations. In Sanders’ case it is to run away as far as possible from being called ‘a socialist’ and for Clinton it seems to be wanting to avoid the deadend boredom of being classified as ‘a liberal.’

If I had to associate the word liberal with a particular set of views, I would probably select Nicholas Kristof, a regular opinion page columnist for the New York Times, as exemplifying the liberal worldview. And sure enough, in a true liberal mode Kristof jumped to Clinton’s defense with a condescending pat on Barry Sander’s back along the way. Under the headline “2 Questions For Bernie Sanders” [NYT, February 4, 2016] Kristof puts forward the usual liberal ‘higher wisdom’: first, Sanders’ sweeping proposals would never get enacted in the real world of Washington politics, and secondly, nominating a self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ would alienate American voters to such an extent as virtually to assure the election of a dangerous Republican reactionary such as Ted Cruz. There is no doubt that the current makeup of Congress would block the policymaking ambitions of any Democrat who lands in the White House, whether Clinton or Sanders, but if this is the case then the election is almost as irrelevant as many young people have believed in the past, at least until Obama and now Sanders came along. This cynicism is itself dangerously simplistic as a Democrat as president at least can be counted on to do less harm.

No sensible person would doubt that these practical considerations are serious concerns, but they must be balanced against the deep structural deformation long associated with neoliberal capitalism and geopolitical militarism. For too long these deeper maladies of American politics have been swept under the rug in deference to the imperatives of practical politics, and Kristof never dares even entertains an assessment of why it might finally make sense to give up on the liberal option.

In my view, Bernie Sanders is a true progressive because he has the courage to confront structurally Wall Street America, although he can claim only the weak form of progressivism as he has yet to confront Pentagon America. Sanders contends that his movement is a call for ‘revolution’ but if that is the claim then to be fully credible it must also call into question the American Global Domination Project, involving the network of foreign bases, naval supremacy throughout the world’s oceans, nuclear modernization program, and the ambitious militarizing plans for the management of space. In the meantime, while impatient for the revolution needed in America, I greatly prefer a true progressive to a disguised liberal, and so did 84% of the young voters who backed Sanders over Clinton in Iowa.

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Hebrews 10: 1-10 (Lesson 18)

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In this 28 minute Bible examination, we offer this warning to any dispensational, Christian Zionists who happen to listen: “Warning! This program contains thought provoking ideas that may require a paradign shift for the thinking listener.” Mark Horton looks at the concept that it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Nothing in the Law of Moses could cleanse the conscience of a guilty sinner. Hebrews stresses the supremacy of unseen spiritual things over physical things. The children of Abraham are children by faith, not by blood lineage. The questions and comments by Chuck Carlson, Richard Edmondson, Craig Hanson and Glen Lesnick make this a great lesson worth a listen or two.

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Zionist Elizabeth Warren Defends Nazi Shelling of Gaza Schools, Hospitals

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Image result for elizabeth warren cartoons

Zach Carter

The Israeli military has the right to attack Palestinian hospitals and schools in self defense if Hamas has put rocket launchers next to them, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said last week at a local town hall, according to the Cape Cod Times.

Warren, in defending her vote to send funds to Israel in the middle of its war with Hamas, said she thinks civilian casualties are the “last thing Israel wants.”

“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” she said.

Israeli tanks shelled schools and hospitals during the most recent conflict in Gaza. The Israeli government claimed at the time that rockets and militants had been located nearby. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency condemned militants for hiding rockets in two schools, and also sharply criticized Israeli attacks on other schools as.

The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War prohibits attacks on hospitals, “unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy.” Even under those circumstances, civilian hospitals can only be attacked “after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded.”

Warren argued that Israel’s use of force was justified by the violence in the region. “America has a very special relationship with Israel,” she said. “Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

She also questioned whether to condition future U.S. funding for Israel on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. “I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far,” Warren said.

Israel is indeed a democracy. The nation’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a member of the Likud Party, whose founding charter calls for the destruction of any Palestinian state; Hamas’ founding document calls for the same for Israel, though it recently joined a unity government that says it will recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Warren has been on the receiving end of sporadic criticism over the years from progressives for a hawkish if hesitant approach to foreign policy, which she appears to prefer to avoid in favor of domestic economic policy.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), another favorite of progressives, has also come under fire from his base for his defense of Israel. A recent town hall got testy, with constituents and the senator exchanging harsh words, and Sanders ending on a note of resignation. “This is a very depressing and difficult issue. This has gone on for 60 bloody years,” he said. “If you’re asking me, do I have a magical solution? I don’t. And you know what, I doubt very much that you do.”

UPDATE: 8/29 — Shahar Azani, spokesman for the Consulate General of Israel In New York, responded in a statement:

Israel’s government and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu have repeatedly accepted the calls for a two state solution, saying in his “Bar Ilan Speech” that “We are ready to agree to a real peace agreement, a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state.” Needless to say this government is led by the Likud party, whose leader is Prime Minister Netanyahu. There have been countless recent reaffirmations of the Israeli government’s belief in “two states for two peoples” as the end result of a negotiated deal.

Hamas has not changed their ideology or practices since they were founded in 1987. They are still one of the region’s most dangerous Islamic terrorist organizations who celebrate the kidnapping and murder of innocent children, perpetrated numerous suicide bombing attacks on Israeli buses and only recently launched thousands of rockets indiscriminately with the goal to kill as many Israelis, Jews and non-Jews, as possible.

It is highly inappropriate to insinuate that Hamas now somehow recognizes Israel’s right to exist just days after a recent conflict ended with a senior Hamas spokesperson saying that “The time has come for us to say that the true war is not aimed at opening border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.” Hamas has never once claimed that it would live side by side with the State of Israel.

 

In July, Netanyahu told the Times of Israel, “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” a remark widely viewed as a rejection of a two-state solution.

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The trumpeter and his trumpet

NOVANEWS

Abdulrazaq Magaji

In a world where more people are busy buying and blowing their trumpets, Mr. Trump knows he is the appropriate person to blow his own trumpet. And boy, has he made a success of his new found vocation.

You do not need the statement of a run-of-the-mill prophet or parapsychologist on this: Donald Trump will fly the flag of the Republican Party in the November 4 presidential election in the United States. He will face Hilary Rodham Clinton, former first lady, former US secretary of state and sitting member of the senate of the United States’ of America who will fly the Democratic Party flag. On November 5, newspapers will carry screaming headlines to tell the story of how Trump was trumped! It really does not matter how anyone feels about it.

Before then, it is okay for Mr. Trump to turn himself into one jolly good trumpeter. Blow on, man! After all, the man has enough dough to buy more trumpets than he will ever need. And, trumpets are meant to be blown, anyway. In a world where more people are busy buying and blowing their trumpets, Mr. Trump knows he is the appropriate person to blow his own trumpet. And boy, has he made a success of his new found vocation.

Mr. Trump has blown himself into contention. As it is, he is leading the pack in the race for the presidential ticket of the Republican Party. Of course, the Democrats will be happy with the trend and many of them will be praying, may be, even working for the eventual emergence of Trump, another ‘soft’ opponent. The other time, another ‘soft’ opponent, John McCain got caned in the process of re-writing American history when he literally made Barack Obama the first person of colour to be elected US president. The stage is set for Trump to give America its first female president.

Trump must be a great American patriot. Aside this, he is rich, talks tough and cares no hoot that smiling could be therapeutic. His dour nature, the lack of mirth in his smile whenever he chooses to flash one and his gung-ho outlook makes him the spokesperson of the endangered American extreme far-right! Sadly, the man has proved to be a poor student of history. Like McCain before him, Trump does not even know that his compatriots are increasingly turning their back to stiff necked politicians.

It is even more intriguing that Mr. Trump does not even seem to know that beyond the challenge of global terrorism, the world is getting safer and more Americans believe the world is capable of taking more steps away from the precipice. It is sheer modesty that made critics to classify Mr. Trump as an elephant in the room. He is worse than that: place Mr. Trump in the Oval Office and the world would be a heartbeat away from a major conflagration. The mere fact that the man aspires to the presidency of the United States of America has turned all of us into emergency prayer warriors.

And, this is for good reason. Being the American patriot that he is, Mr. Trump has vowed to restore what he calls America’s lost glory if he gets elected in November. To that effect, he will, within hours of being inaugurated, throw Muslims out of America, banish Muslims from entering the United States of America and throw out African immigrants especially those from Nigeria because they have taken over jobs meant for Americans. For all Mr. Trump cares, it makes no difference that the African immigrants he accuses of taking jobs meant for Americans are products of the normally-high American spirit of competitiveness.

Of course, Mr. Trump will promote a hawkish foreign policy. For instance, Trump believes the two-state solution to resolve the Arab-Israeli crisis, a major fuel that drives global terrorism, has to be reviewed since it does not guarantee the safety of Israel. If he feels Palestinians are unformed people, as Senator McCain once suggested, Mr. Trump was modest not to voice it.

Mr. Trump has also served notice that he will put Iran where it rightly belongs. To do this, the Iran nuclear deal will be fed to the shredding machine because it treated Iran as an ally, instead of an implacable adversary, of the United States of America. Mr. Trump has also sent clear signals to the Russians and Iranians and their allies to the effect that their funny game of propping the shaky government of Syrian president, Bashir al-Assad, will come to grief if he wins the election. And, the man is dead serious.

As a mark of his seriousness, Mr. Trump has continued to talk tough and act tough. He believes, like many Americans, that so many things are wrong with America. Problem is, his idea of kicking every ass as a way of forcing America and the world to subscribe to his ideal America does not appear to sit with most of his compatriots. Even as a candidate, Mr. Trump does not shy away from wielding the big stick. If he is not calling the bluff of presidential debate organisers, Mr. Trump is busy throwing out demonstrators from his campaigns or sullying handicapped questioners at campaign venues.

There is the temptation to dismiss Mr. Trump as a disgruntled, bigmouthed American who has seized the opportunity of the campaigns to vent his bottled-up anger. Otherwise, no serious politician in today’s supposedly civilised and liberal America will glamourize hate speech and display unrestrained love for impunity. Aside the famed American system that has a way of fencing controversial individuals from the White House, it is about time psychiatry tests became a major requirement for the US presidency.

There is nothing to suggest that Mr. Trump is nutty. Just a controversial trumpeter, may be. Fear is, his courage thus far heightens the prospect of a loaded escapee from a nuthouse getting to talk and, may be, buy his way to the White House.

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Uganda: Oil and gas was tie breaker at presidential debate

NOVANEWS

Image result for Uganda ELECTION PHOTO

James Muhindo

Uganda’s oil and gas are at the heart of campaigns for presidential elections taking place this month. But the resources are shrouded in mystery, as no one, except the Museveni regime, knows the details of the contracts the government has signed with multi-national companies. Ugandans need to keep an eye on these resources and demand answers on how they will be used to better their lives.

President Yoweri Museveni’s disparaging reference to the inaugural presidential debate as nothing more than a speech competition is such an absurdity. I’m rather inclined to agree with the Retired Justice James Ogoola’s reference to the debate as “… the thing where viewers with sharp hawk eyes keenly scouring at the screen to judge the agile from the docile…to choose the winner from the losers…”

That said, one of the outstanding issues from the debate that has continued to trend both on social and mainstream media is the question on Uganda’s oil and gas. This question, to me, unearthed hundreds of reasons for every Ugandan out there to get concerned about the future of our oil and gas ten years after its discovery. However, I found it rather disheartening, absurd and archaic that none of the seven contenders for the presidency of this country has had access to the oil agreements (Production Sharing Agreements) that Uganda entered with the international oil companies operating in Uganda.

For clarity’s sake, Production Sharing Agreements are binding contracts signed between a government and oil companies, stating how much of the oil extracted shall be taken by government and how much the oil company will take. It is by these agreements that “our oil’s” fate was literally sealed. The million dollar questions then are: If none of these seven (men and woman) have seen the agreements, then who has? With such secrecy, can we surely have any transparency and accountability in the oil sector? Or on a lighter note, does the secrecy justify one of the candidate’s reference to “fortune Bhutto” when asked about oil? And the questions go on and on and on.

Having oil and gas as one of the critical issues at the debate was not surprising, given that Uganda is currently undergoing a dual transition; a political one of succession and an economic one, to move to an economy anchored on oil. It’s been argued by some analysts that the fact that commercial production of oil is ambitiously slated to start in the next term of office will intensify the race for State House. The predisposition to manage the oil sector can be read into the manifestos of some presidential candidates and political parties.

Some candidates have in their manifesto and on the campaign trail made some commitments to this effect. FDC‘s Kizza Besigye talks of optimizing returns from oil to rehabilitate Uganda’s failing economy. Go Forward and TDA’s Amama Mbabazi promises the local communities in the oil region to benefit from the revenues and to compensate persons affected by land acquisition; while NRM’s Museveni reiterates that government is consciously and strategically developing the oil and gas sector to ensure that the country gets the maximum possible benefit.

Despite of his shortcomings at the debate (that have since earned him fame on social media) Eng. Joseph Mabirizi’s position on oil is, not to abandon other sectors at the expense of oil. Professor Venansius Baryamureeba says his government would uphold transparency in the oil sector by making sure that oil companies publish what they pay to government and government also publishes all its revenues. He also promises to sign on to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), a position that Dr. Abed Bwanika also agrees with, for the sake of international oversight.

Without prejudice to the above, it’s apparent that if transparency and accountability are kept out of Uganda’s oil and gas sector, the “black gold” may turn into a curse rather than a blessing to the country, especially to the host communities of this resource. It is important that the discussion of having oil and gas shape the 2016 general elections is already ongoing, however I also strongly believe that citizens can never have a better time to extract promises and commitments from politicians, than during campaigns. I therefore implore every Uganda out there to not only focus on the looming political transition that is hovering over our country, but also pay attention to the eminent economic transition to an Oil economy, that will shape Uganda’s future for the next 20- 30 years.

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20 African countries still do not treat women as equal citizens

NOVANEWS

Flavia Mwangovya

National legislation should be revised so that women and men can equally extend citizenship to each other and to their children, whether their children are born in or out of marriage, at home or abroad.

Everyone has the right to be born with a nationality – safe, fearless and free – and secure in their human right to equally transfer, acquire, change or retain it. There is no reason why over 50 countries around the world – 20 of which are in Africa – should still have sexist nationality and citizenship laws, which largely discriminate against women, potentially putting them and their families in danger and denying them the rights, benefits and services that everyone should enjoy.

A new global report by Equality Now demands that these laws, which discriminate on the basis of sex, should be urgently revised in line with international legal obligations. Although commitments have been repeatedly made by governments around the world to work towards repealing such discriminatory laws, many have yet to translate their promises into action.

Despite the reluctance to do this by many countries, momentum is gathering at the global level to fix sexist nationality laws. This includes a target in the post-2015 sustainable agenda for eliminating discriminatory laws, adopted by the UN, and the setting up of the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, a coalition with a steering committee made up of UNHCR, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the Equal Rights Trust, the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and Equality Now.

At the regional level, we hope that the African Union Commission will facilitate the adoption of a Protocol to the African Charter, aimed at addressing matters linked to statelessness in particular and the equal right of all Africans to their nationality.

At the national level, a number of countries have either removed, or taken steps to address, discriminatory provisions within their nationality laws in recent years. On the African continent, Senegal and Niger reformed their laws in 2013 and 2014 respectively so that women can now pass their nationality to their foreign spouse and children on an equal basis with men. We hope that this will create a ripple effect for neighboring countries. Others such as Togo have indicated that change may happen soon, and we hope they, and all countries with remaining discriminatory laws, will pick up the pace of reform in 2016.

Sexist nationality laws reinforce harmful gender stereotypes. Once married, a woman loses her independent identity if she loses her nationality of origin; a child “belongs” to a father rather than a mother if only the father can give the child citizenship. Other negative outcomes for women and their families include lack of access to education, social and medical services and even increased risk of child marriage.

Losing her nationality of origin can leave a woman especially vulnerable, if her marriage ends due to divorce, or the death of her husband – particularly if her children have their father’s nationality. Even if a woman is able to subsequently claim back her nationality, delays and other hurdles in regaining citizenship can cause her considerable trauma, anxiety and other hardship.

Having committed to do so on many occasions, all governments should immediately turn words into deeds and finally prioritize the amendment of all sexist nationality laws. This will help them comply with both their international legal obligations, as well as their own national obligations to ensure equal access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

National legislation should be revised so that women and men can equally extend citizenship to each other and to their children, whether their children are born in or out of marriage, at home or abroad. It should also be revised so women and men can acquire, keep or change their own nationality in the same way.

This will send a clear signal that everyone is valued equally, in a fairer society, where everyone can reach their full potential. Getting these laws working for women and girls will mean a safer and more prosperous society. Nationality laws can be unnecessarily complex, but removing discrimination between men and women is not a complicated concept – and working together, this is something that can be achieved in a very short time, if governments truly care about girls and women.

Please take action to change all sexist citizenship laws at: www.equalitynow.org/HOME2

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Conference Report: African nationalism, history and development

NOVANEWS

Matthew Quest

At York University, in Northern Toronto, from Nov 5-6, 2015 an international gathering of scholars meditated on themes related to African nationalism, history and development.

The keynote presentations were given by Ama Biney, author of “The Political and Social Thought of Kwame Nkrumah”, Gillian Hart, author of “Rethinking the South African Crisis”, Pablo Idahosa, author of “The Populist Dimension in African Political Thought”, Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, author of “A People’s History of the Congo”, and John Saul, author of “A Flawed Freedom: Rethinking Southern African Liberation”.

Presenters hailed from, or researched in countries, including Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the United States, Canada, and Britain – many migrating across borders with more than one identity and affiliation. It was remarked, with regret, that any gathering of scholars of Africa always leaves behind sojourners who finally could not overcome the obstacles in their path toward arrival.

The conference had a spirit of fellowship that transcended the ordinary academic gathering. On the lower frequencies, but not always centered, there was a concern for opposing the empire of capital and even a commitment to socialist political thought. African nationalism was approached as a historical project – both the anti-colonial revolutions and post-independence crises. Nationalisms could be ethnically chauvinistic, repress African labor, abuse migrant Africans, and support unprincipled capitalist ambition. Nationalism can produce near utopian moments only to reveal shining governments of the damned and the possessive individualism found in ordinary countries. Nationalism was also seen as popular movements for a second liberation of Africa emphasizing economic justice and a basis for Pan African federation and unity. Nationalism could be a framework, if in our hearts and in formation, to defend the marginal and remind that all have a place in an inclusive anti-authoritarian community. For this to be so, not only must pessimism be overcome, but an awareness must be sustained. The nation-state boundaries were invented by the colonizers and sustained by post-independence politicians that founded the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) – many believed nationalism could be something more.

There was an awareness of insurgent populisms that suggest ordinary people have the wisdom to govern, if this essence is often captured by protean politicians who at one moment appear to be insurgent and at others function to contain discontent within ordinary party politics and the shadow of state power.

There were references, formally in presentations and informally in conversation, to the political thought of Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral and Walter Rodney. This suggests an affinity for a radical tradition. At the same time there were penetrating criticisms of “development” and “progressive” frameworks that appear to obscure a commitment by nationalists and socialists in various ways to capitalist development and retreating visions of social welfare. There were on occasion discussions of development with a historical materialist bent that was observing historical class formation, and the evolution of modes of production, more than an insurgent perspective that condemned states and ruling classes.

There were insightful discussions of the colonialist and elitist origins of women’s league activism (Kenya), Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa rejecting new fees for water and power, and the invention of Igbo identity and the Biafra War (Nigeria). Kiswahili’s role in debates about African languages and independent epistemologies, a profound oral history of post-genocide Rwanda critical of Paul Kagame’s government, and discussion of Islam and Christian politics in Egypt were very eye opening.

The Black Power movement of the USA was shown to have a major and little appreciated influence on consciousness raising in Southern Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. An analysis of the political economy of cattle in Zambia, the politics of redistribution in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, the repression of GLBTI peoples in contemporary Africa, a discussion of a little known mass purge within Angola’s MPLA that delivered thousands to their death, and reflection on the meaning of a general strike in Ghana that was repressed after Nkrumah came to power, illustrated how insights abounded.

There was a clear desire to discuss racism and economic injustice as a local phase of a world problem. Pan African historical and ideological frameworks were summarized, critiqued, and enhanced with new perspectives bubbling up. These included a challenge to European historical reason that assumed a pessimistic vision of projects of African unity (in light of the fact that the European Union and the United States are ravaged by their own “tribalism” and federal projects must always overcome hindrances and are never complete), and ambivalence and rejection of the nation-state itself as the best model for imagining popular self-government. Consistent with the critique of neo-liberalism, many wondered, in light of a consensus about the underdevelopment of Africa, whether the United States or Britain was still committed to a political economy of national sovereignty.

This can be a breakthrough for rethinking empire as an aristocracy of race and labor that assumed (falsely) that imperialists and the toilers below them, in Europe and North America, share a culture of contempt. Yet a political economy of national sovereignty is not anti-imperialism or international socialism. It suggests a search for an insurgent identity through jobs and justice (and a peculiar embrace of wage labor/capital relations and industry, if it enjoys thrashing finance capital for its indiscipline).

There was a youthful activist energy that inquired, consistent with radical traditions, what is the significance of academic life for the lives of ordinary people, what social class leads national liberation struggles, and where is the world going if we are caught between Western modernity and an Islamic politics of terror. The events in Paris France (and San Bernadino, California) unfortunately followed the conference by ten days.

There was a consensus that our explorations of African nationalism did not explore gender or labor enough, though critiques were raised in light of both frameworks. We must also keep in mind that women’s autonomy is not always expressed by a public discourse on patriarchy. Women led on matters of gender at this conference, but also in broad discussions of philosophy and political economy.

The conference seemed to be at a loss to forge a consensus or at least a dialogue on a topic that appeared to concern many. Where will the next Africa solidarity and anti-imperialist movements come from? Especially as the baton is passed, from elders to a generation born in the 1980s and 1990s, when the last phase of the African movements from classical colonialism, was flaming out. That the conference did not speak excessively of NGOs or a “Pan African” lobbying movement subordinate to imperial foreign policies, trade union hierarchies, and diversifying national security vistas was a good thing. It is despicable, as one recent history of Africa centered activism suggests, to work for years for the seizure and abolition of state power, only to say global activism is now to resist HIV/AIDS and to secure potable water. Are there no governments that need overturning today? Does popular self-government require the designing of a new society?

The fire next time will not come from bureaucratic or social work sectors. A coming dialogue about where to look for the next development in political thought, and how to bring it closer, will likely come out of new networks. The fellowship at this gathering was genuine, substantial, and may produce productive dialogues, publishing and linkages of resistance in the future.

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