Archive | August 15th, 2016

Land Grabs Continue to Destroy Uganda’s Forests

NOVANEWS

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Uganda is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the African continent because of its diverse ecosystems that include natural forests, savanna woodlands, wetlands, lakes and rivers. Early European explorers branded it the “Pearl of Africa.” Much of Uganda lies on the African plateau between 900-1,500 meters above sea level. Its tropical highland forests are divided in three distinct geographical zones, characterized by rainfall regimes — the eastern rim of the Western Rift Valley in the west, the broad belt around the northwestern shores of Lake Victoria, and the spectacular mountains in the east.

Given its location in a zone between the drier East African savannas and the more moist West African rain forests, as well as its high altitude ranges, the country is home to some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in Africa. It reportedly has more species of primates than any other country in the world. According to the Convention of Biological Diversity, the country’s forests harbor at least 7.5 percent of the world’s known mammal species, 10.2 percent of our bird species, and 6.8 percent of the world’s birds.

But now the country’s rich natural heritage is under severe threat due to a massive loss in forest cover, a loss that’s increased at a very high rate in recent years.

In the past century, Uganda’s forests have been under severe pressure mainly from the expansion of agricultural land as a result of a growing population, increasing demand for charcoal and fuel, unchecked logging and weak legal protections and even weaker enforcement of the forest protection laws. According to the country’s 2012 National State of the Environment report, Uganda’s forest area is being lost at a rate of 1.8 percent per year. In total, between 1990 and 2010, this east African country lost 31 percent of its forest cover — a decline from 5 million hectares to 3.6 million hectares between 1990 and 2010. Some parts of the country — such as Mayuge, Wakiso, Mubende, Mitayana, Kibaale, and Buikwe — are losing their forest cover at higher rates than others.

Apart from the usual causes of deforestation cited above, there has been growing evidence that forest land grabbing by both individuals as well as a powerful alliance of international corporations and government officials is one of the major factors currently driving this loss of forest cover.

Take 29,000 hectare Mabira Central Forest Reserve, one of Uganda’s largest surviving natural rainforest, for instance. For nearly a decade this forest in eastern Uganda that is home to many endangered species, including a species of Old World monkey called Uganda mangabey, has been targeted for exploitation by the Ugandan government that is eager to attract foreign investment.

Back in 2007, the Ugandan government announced plans to de-list one-third of Mariba Forest from its protected status and give it away to a private corporation for sugarcane plantations and biofuel processing. The plan was opposed by environmentalists concerned about its impact on endangered species and local water resources among other things, as well as by human rights activists concerned about the damage of livelihoods of local people. Opposition to the project led to riots and the death of three people and the project has since been suspended.

But though this official planned giveaway seemed to have failed, the forest is still suffering from individuals who are cutting trees and grabbing the forestland.  According to Uganda National forestry Authority, about 100 hectares of Mabira is currently under intense illegal land grabbing and tree cutting.

Meanwhile Namanve forest reserve, which lies a mere 15 kilometers from the capital city of Kampala, center and part of which was de-gazetted for the establishment of an industrial park, is subject to a tussle between the government, which wants to run a power transmission line through an extensive swamp in the forest, and squatters who have settled in the forest. Another example is in Kalangala where global palm oil giant Wilmar International was allocated forestland to grow palm oil plantations.

According to a 2012 Friends of the Earth report, in the past two decades, more than 3,600 hectares of the forestland in Uganda has been cleared to make way for palm oil plantations owned by international corporations. Many of these plantations also pushed out local farmers who grow crops on forestland, leading to protracted land disputes. A 2011 Oxfam report found that at least 2,000 farmers had been evicted from a government-owned forest in Mubende and Kiboga districts to make way for the British forestry company, New Forests Company (NFC).

Government officials too, aren’t above exploiting the country’s forests for their own profit. Recently, a the Joint Chief Of Staff of the Ugandan army, Major General Samuel Mbadi was involved in grabbing a large chunk of land within the Mujuzi Forest Reserve in southwestern Uganda.

Fred Kalanz, a researcher with the National Forestry Resources, Research Institute says, the country’s leaders often hide the truth about deforestation and its causes, instead disguising the destruction of forest as necessary for poverty alleviation and agricultural modernization. Kalanz says there is a tendency to regard forestland as free fertile land that could be easily allocated to investors.

“The situation is aggravated by populist politics and weak enforcement of policy and legislative frameworks. In some cases, local people find it easy to encroach on these forests because they are facilitated and protected by political leaders,” he says.

“Mercenary veteran groups have been organized that are hired by elite individuals interested in grabbing forest land. Such organized groups mobilize people from far off areas to settle in the forest and use friendly politicians to resist evictions, eventually weakening the institutions meant to protect the forests,” he explains. “They pave the way for their masters to grab the land. This is followed by a wave of land wrangles eventually culminating in elite individuals taking over. Eventual land grabbers are certainly wealthy and elite individuals with strong political and economic ties.”

Rose Hakizimana was on such “far off” person who had been living on forestland in Kabale district in western Uganda. Forestry officials evicted her family last year.

“I was born in Katuna near the border with Rwanda, where our family settled on a small piece of land and we were told that there is cheap land near Kibaale forest,” says Hakizimana, who now lives in Masaka, a large town in central Uganda, west of Lake Victoria.  “We settled on that land about 15 years after my parents purchased it from locals who were selling a big chunk of land between Shilling 250,000 and 400,000 (US $74 to $118). My parents bought a piece of land not knowing that that was a government forest reserve,” she says. “Since then we have had run-ins with NFA [National Forest Authority over evictions. We can neither trace the people who sold the land to us nor is there anyone who can compensate us.”

Kalanzi says that “while efforts are being made to abate the obvious causes of deforestation in Uganda, more attention should be paid to land grabbing which is becoming a salient factor in the loss of forest cover in the country”.

Masaba Richard, a forest ranger at Mt. Elgon Forest National Park, told Earth Island Journal that politicians are to blame for the spike in land grabs across the country.  “Like in the past 2016 elections, I heard my area MP [member of parliament] promising land to the constituency if elected and today there are people trying to enter the forest. We fight with them every day here” Masaba says.

Uganda’s Minister of Water and Environment, Kamuntu Ephraim, agrees that there have been many cases of forestland grabbing in past years and said that the ministry was what’s required to protect the forests. “We shall work together with other ministries to make sure we save our forest cover,” he says.

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Independence Day Demands Practical Unity

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By Sajjad Shaukat

The 14th August which is celebrated every year as the Independence Day, has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature internally and externally, which are not only worrying all the citizens, and are creating divisions among the federal and provincial governments including political parties.

As the government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rejected the draft of the Terms of Reference (TORs), Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) has started anti-corruption campaign against the regime of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after the massive leak of the secret documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonsecai, which also include the names of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, prime minister’s three children–sons, Hassan and Hussain, and his daughter, Maryam—by alleging that they made millions of dollars of investments in the offshore companies and thus, were involved in tax evasion, fraud, and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has launched a countrywide campaign against the government in relation to the Model Town tragedy of August 6, 2014.

Earlier, PAT Chairman Tahirul Qadri also criticized the ruling party’s leaders in relation to corruption. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also decided to start a protest-campaign against the ruling party in connection with the Panama However, it was due to the selfless practical unity among the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-i- Azam that Pakistan became a tangible reality.

But that unity started declining after passing through various crises, and the result was separation of East Pakistan in 1971, as the India manipulated differences between East Pakistan and the West Pakistan.

While, Pakistan’s armed forces have broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operation Zarb-e- Azb, which has also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan. And Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province, peace has been restored in the Balochistan.

But, in connivance with the terrorist outfits like ISIS (Also known as Daesh, ISIL) and Tehreek- e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their affiliated factions, US-led India and Israel are destabilizing Pakistan, as it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Besides, due to its ideal strategic location and mineral resources, Balochistan has become focus of these foreign countries whose intelligence agencies, namely American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are in collaboration, and have again started destabilizing Balochistan. Now, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is special target of theses foreign agencies.

In this regard, a deadly suicide bomber in Quetta-the provincial capital of Pakistan killed at least 74 people and wounded more than 100 on August 8, 2016 in an attack at the government-run Civil Hospital. Earlier, on the same day, unknown armed men killed Balochistan Bar President Bilal Anwar Kasi at Mannu Jan Road of Quetta. The dead body of the prominent lawyer wa  transferred to the Civil Hospital. The bomber struck at a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists who were present into the emergency department of the hospital after killing of the Bar president. Similarly, externally-backed secret agencies have also begun targeted killings in Karachi as part of the double game of America.

Nevertheless, Pakistan’s security forces have been facing a different war, while enemy is also different, which employs subversive activities of various kinds which also include internal and external challenges. In these terms, Pakistan is in the state of new war, being waged by the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists who are being supported by the anti-Pakistan elements.

At this juncture, Pakistan is facing multi-faceted crises and challenges such as corruption, soaring prices, energy-shortage, unemployment, crimes, lack of health facilities, and dependence upon the US-led developed countries, IMF and World Bank for financial aid.

Externally, from time to time, Pak Army and Rangers have boldly been responding to India’s unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and other sectors. While, the fundamentalist party BJP led by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda. In this context, BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a staunch promoter of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) stated on July 12, 2014 that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.

Unfortunately, it is because of lack of practical unity among our politicians, leaders and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by weakening the country. In the past few years, nefarious designs of RAW, Mossad and CIA can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings especially in Karachi.

In case of Pakistan’s war against terrorism, while emphasizing on national unity, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif has repeatedly stated, “We will continue to go after the inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination.”

In the recent past, Gen. Raheel Sharif said, “Terrorists have been cleared from their strongholds in North Waziristan Agency 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.”

Notably, present drastic situation cannot be comprehended by the general masses and even the political leaders who abruptly change their opinion. Therefore, they become unintentional victim of the external plotters who succeed in creating a rift particularly between the political groups, divided on ethnic and linguistic lines. These foreign enemies also seek to create a division between the political leaders and the armed forces of our country.

Nonetheless, today, Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external challenges and threats to the national security of the country.

At this critical moment, the Independence Day demands practical national unity, instead of verbal statements. This significant day emphasizes that our political leaders must pledge that they will not manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this respect, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other. They must avoid exploiting present thorny issues in order to increase their vote-bank at the cost of the integration of the country.

If any controversy arises, it can better be settled in consonance with the constitution or mutual understanding of the government and political parties. In this connection, in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, our political leaders, media and human rights groups must also stop manipulating any crisis against Pak Army and country’s primary secret agency, ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external plotters.

True and selfless unity against the external enemies requires that our rulers and leaders of other political parties and must create national cohesion among various segments of society. Particularly, our electronic media should give a matching response to malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are distorting the image of Pakistan, its army and ISI.

No doubt, at this crucial time, Pakistan’s survival lies in selfless practical unity and strong cohesion, as at present, even a layman can note that our country is in chaos and it seems as if there is a “war of all against all” in the sense of ‘Hobbesian state of nature.”

On the occasion, we must follow the essence of the Pakistan Resolution which explained the basic idea of an independent state (Pakistan) in real terms by displaying practical unity which is not possible unless the government, the opposition leaders, civil societies and media owners including all other segments of society pledge to sign a charter of integration which is very necessary to pull the country out of the ongoing serious crises and threats.

We may conclude in wake of our internal and external crises that the Independence Day emphasizes on practical national Unity.

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Quetta Blast: Sabotaging China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

NOVANEWS

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By Sajjad Shaukat

A deadly suicide bomber in Quetta-the provincial capital of Pakistan killed at least 74 people and wounded more than 100 on August 8, 2016 in an attack at the government-run Civil Hospital.

Earlier, on the same day, unknown armed men killed Balochistan Bar President Bilal Anwar Kasi at Mannu Jan Road of Quetta. The dead body of the prominent lawyer was transferred to the Civil Hospital. The bomber struck at a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists who were present into the emergency department of the hospital after killing of the Bar president.

Through its Amaq news agency, Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) claimed responsibility for the explosion at the Civil Hospital by saying, “The Middle East-based movement was behind the atrocity…a martyr from the Islamic State detonated his explosive belt at a gathering of justice ministry, employees and Pakistani policemen in the city of Quetta.”

Earlier, an affiliated faction of the ISIS and Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur- Ahrar (TTP-JA) took responsibility for this attack, and pledged to continue such assaults.”

However, it is part of ploy that two terrorist groups accepted responsibility for the terror attacks in Quetta to divert the attention from the US-led India and Israel, as like Syrian war, American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are playing double game with Pakistan to obtain the clandestine aims of their countries, particularly by sabotaging China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Balochistan’s Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri stated that the Indian intelligence agency RAW which was involved in subversive and terrorist activities in Balochistan was behind these latest terrorist attacks in Quetta city.

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif who visited the Civil Hospital and met with the victims of the deadly bombing said, “Having been defeated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, terrorists shifting focus to Balochistan…incident is an attempt to undermine improved peace in Balochistan, specially targeting CPEC.”

Addressing a seminar titled “Development of Balochistan and Economic Corridor” in Gwadar, Gen. Raheel Sharif had stated on April 13, 2016, “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the grand manifestation of the deep-rooted ties between China and Pakistan…indeed a corridor of peace and prosperity for the region and beyond, however Indian agency RAW is sabotaging the It is notable that when during the regime of the President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in Balochistan province in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, sirens went off in the capitals of some European countries, especially the US, India and Israel which took it as a threat to their global and regional plans.

Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location among South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Besides, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources irritate the eyes of the US, India and Israel which intend to destabilize Pakistan for their collective aims, as the latter is also the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. However, development in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan has shifted the gravity of the Great Game of Central Asia to Pakistan.

During the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Islamabad, on April 20, 2015, he and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements for cooperation in various fields, related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China will connect Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing would also build an international airport at Gwadar, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would link the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods.

When Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project will not only uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan by providing thousands of employment opportunities and is likely to develop whole the province by redressing their grievances.

The resulting prosperity in the province would trickle down to the Baloch people and damp the separatist sentiments, which the hostile elements, supported by the US, India and Israeli do not want.

The ink on China-Pakistan agreements—CPEC was barely dry when western media, especially RAW started playing up the Baloch insurgency. In this regard, the director of The Second Floor (T2F), a social activist Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karachi on April 24, 2015—followed by a bomb blast in Sibi, Balochistan, which killed several persons on April 26, 2015. On May 13, 2016, at least 45 people (Shias) were killed and several injured after the unknown gunmen brutally opened fire on a bus of the Ismaili community in Karachi.

Without any doubt, Karachi bus incident was a handy work of the US-backed RAW to sabotage the Pak-China CPEC project by showing that if Pakistan government is not able to provide security to its citizens, how it can protect CPEC. Ismailis (Shia community) belong to Hunza (Gilgit/Baltistan) have a spiritual linkage with this area, are Pakistanis. The CPEC would also originate from the same region.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said about the bus attack, “The enemies of Pakistan do not like the economic progress of the country. To put a stop to Pakistan’s economic progress is their agenda, some local elements and foreign forces are creating hurdles in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor programme which is vital for progress and development of Pakistan.”

In response to the $46-billion Pak-China project of CPEC, Washington broadly supported New Delhi and Kabul in signing a deal with Iran for a transport corridor, opening up a new route to Afghanistan via the Iranian port of Chabahar. In this context, during his visit to Tehran, on May 23, 2016, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed 12 agreements with Tehran, including a deal to develop Iran’s Chabahar port. India will spend $500 million on the project, with a plan to invest an additional $ 16 billion in the Chabahar free trade zone. Chabahar—located about 1,800 kilometres south of Tehran—is more than just a port with an adjoining free trade zone.

But, CPEC is much bigger and viable project than Chahbahar, if Pakistan develops the project with speed, efficiency and transparency, it needs not be worried about Chabahar.

In this respect, on June 13, 2016, a Chinese newspaper, Global Times has blamed India for damaging the prospects of Gwadar by investing in Chahbahar to isolate Pakistan; however, it will not succeed in its designs. The paper elaborated, “Pakistan’s Sindh Province saw a bomb attack against Chinese engineers and small-scale protests against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) recently. Meanwhile, the Pakistani government claimed that anti-CPEC activities by foreign forces have been busted in Baluch Province.

At the Beijing Forum held in Islamabad in late May, countries including the US and Japan have shown concerns over CPEC construction and even bluntly criticized the China-Pakistan friendship. CPEC is a significant part of the Belt and Road initiative, which is not only a domestic strategy of China to open up its central and western regions, but also Pakistan’s domestic development plan as well as regional.

The recent India-Iran- Afghanistan agreement to develop a trade route from Chabahar to Central Asia has been portrayed by Indian commentators as having changed the historical Great Game for control of the connection between South and Central Asia through Afghanistan. But, the project will remain a dream after the collapse of the inter-Afghan negotiations.

Notably, Islamabad considers that peace in Afghanistan is a guarantee of peace in Pakistan, therefore, has been striving for the same in utter sincerity. But, the US and India do not want to see peace and prosperity in the region. Sadly, Pakistan’s dominant role in Afghanistan’s peace process under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has, deliberately, been sabotaged by killing of the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur in CIA-operated drone attack in Balochistan, which badly derailed Afghan dialogue process, as Afghan Taliban leaders refused to participate in the US-sponsored talks with the Afghan government.

While, in the recent past, with the help of Pakistan, a series of meetings were held in Islamabad and Kabul among the representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US to develop an understanding for the earliest possible resumption of stalled talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban with view to ending nearly 15 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan.

It seems that a double game is on to pressurize Pakistan to bring Afghan Taliban either for the

dialogue or to take action against them. US, India and Israel have built a hostile nexus for the Great Game and are pressurizing Pakistan by limiting its choices. Afghanistan is witnessing a further escalation of conflict and chaos.

It is also due to unrest in Afghanistan that the US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline did not start. In 2009, Islamabad and Tehran had signed the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project without New Delhi, as the latter was reluctant in this connection owing to its pro-US tilt. Since then, it has been named as the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project. America had previously threatened Pakistan with sanctions, if it went ahead America and Israel are seeing the Chabahar project with suspicion. To bolster its strategic contest with China and Russia, the US is moving towards a military alliance with India.

America which is backing Indian hegemony in Asia, especially to counterbalance China is supplying New Delhi latest weapons, arms and aircraft. During President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, the US and India announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology, as agreed upon in 2008. During Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to America, President Obama strongly assured him to favour India’s membership in the meeting of the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG). Earlier, Washington also pressurized the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with New Delhi. America had already contacted the NSG to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on larger scale.

But, the US-Iran ties could again become hostile, if new sanctions are imposed by the US Congress or differences arise over Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah or Israel. Although Iran’s nuclear issue has been settled, yet Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called it American historical blunder, and is still acting upon a war-like diplomacy against Tehran. If the pro-Israeli Donald Trump becomes American president, he would thwart the US-Iran relationship to secure Israeli dominate in the Middle East.

Now, Islamabad which has ignored the duress of Washington is convincing Tehran to start the implementation of the IPI project. In the recent past, high officials of Iran and Pakistan have met Taking note of US anti-Pakistan schemes, besides China, Pakistan has also cultivated its relationship with the Russian Federation. In 2010, Russian President Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan’s bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which includes Russia, China and four Central Asian Republics as permanent members. Putin remarked that Pakistan was very important partner for Moscow in South Asia and the Muslim world.

In various summits, the SCO leaders displayed strength against the US rising dominance in the region and military presence of NATO in Afghanistan, near Central Asia, and are moving towards security cooperation. After participating in the Summit of the SCO in 2015, Pakistan and Iran got permanent membership of the SCO which is seen as anti-American club.

In fact, based in Afghanistan, operatives of CIA, Mossad and RAW which are well-penetrated in the ISIL, TTP and their affiliated Taliban groups are using their terrorists to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities. In this connection, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is their special target. As part of the double game these foreign agencies are also in connivance with the Afghan intelligence agency-Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) and have arranged various acts of terrorism inflicting harm to Pakistan, especially Baluchistan. With latest capture of six NDS supported terrorists in Balochistan, the number of NDS backed terrorists arrested and killed by Pakistani Intelligence agencies has crossed over 126. These external secret agencies are particularly supporting the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan.

Reportedly Mullah Fazlullah led TTP is being prepared to carry out a fresh wave of terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter has become center of the Great Game owing to the ideal location of Balochistan.

Notably, besides other similar attacks in Afghanistan, ISIS claimed responsibility for a joint suicide bombing of July 23, 2016 in Kabul, which targeted the peaceful rally of the Shiite minority of Hazaras who were protesting against the government’s decision of denying their region essential infrastructure through their plans of rerouting a power line. The twin suicide blasts killed more than 80 persons. In these terms, India and Israel which also want that NATO forces should remain entangled in Afghanistan are also using ISIS and TTP militants as part of Indo-Israeli collective interests.

Besides, the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is frequently used by human and drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists. Their easy access through unguarded porous border provides opportunity to the US-led miscreants to cause havoc inside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Islamabad has insisted upon effective counter terrorism measures at Pak-Afghan border. But, American puppet rulers of Afghanistan are using delaying tactics in this respect. As regards Balochistan, every Pakistani knows that separatist groups like the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), TTP and their affiliated outfits, including Jundollah (God’s soldiers), Lashkar-i- Janghvi which have been creating unrest in the Balochistan province, gets logistic support from RAW and Mossad with the tactical assistance of CIA. In the recent years, these terrorist outfits massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. In the recent past, these externally-supported insurgent groups kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan including Iranian diplomats.

They have claimed responsibility for a number of terror assaults, including those on Shias in Balochsitan and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this regard, Tehran has directly accused CIA of funding these types of terror attacks.

While hinting towards US, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has rightly disclosed, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”

Since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province, peace has been restored in the Balochistan.

It is of particular attention that the armed forces of Pakistan have broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operation Zarb-e- Azb, which has also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan. And Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts.

It is worth-mentioning that trust deficit has deepened between Pakistan and the America. Therefore, on June 10, 2016, a high-level delegation of the US visited Islamabad and met Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif and Adviser to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Adviser separately.

During the meeting, expressing his serious concern on the US drone strike in Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, Gen. Raheel Sharif highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and was counterproductive in consolidating the gains of Operation Zarb-e- Azb against terrorists. He elaborated, “All stakeholders need to understand Pakistan’s challenges-inter-tribal linkages and decades-old presence of over three million Afghan refugees—blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is unfortunate—target TTP and its chief Mullah Fazlullah in their bases in Afghanistan—Indian RAW and NDS are fomenting terrorism US ambivalent policy about Islamabad could also be judged from some other development.

In this context, another delegation of US Senators including Senator Lindsey Graham led by Senator John McCain, Chairman of US Senate Arms Services committee visited Islamabad and North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on July 3, 2016. The US Senators visited areas cleared of terrorists during Operation Zarb-e- Azb. American delegation appreciated the Pakistan Army’s accomplishment of cleansing the entire area of NWA right upto the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, after witnessing the terrorists’ hideouts and communication infrastructure dismantled by the Outwardly, American top officials have been appreciating the capabilities of Pakistan’s security agencies against terrorism, but inwardly, they are not pleased in relation to the successes, achieved by the armed forces of Pakistan against the militants, because the US is acting upon a dual strategy in relation to Islamabad.

Frustrated by their failures, these externally-backed terrorist outfits such as ISIS have again started coward acts of terrorism like the ghastly attacks in Quetta. Now, the main aim of these militant groups is to create chaos in Balochistan and to discourage Beijing for the development of Gwadar port, and to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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 Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Quetta Blast: Sabotaging China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Aftermath of Political Ruptures: Iran, Egypt, Turkey

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by Dr: Richard Falk

[Prefatory Note: This post offers a commentary of recent dramatic developments within Turkey and the largely critical international media and diplomatic responses. It compares international reactions to political ruptures in Iran (1979) and Egypt (2011, 2013), and encourages greater public attention to the importance attached by the Turkish citizenry to the defeat of the coup attempt and more sympathy with the kind of political leadership provided by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the coup attempt of July 15th.]

Aftermath of Political Ruptures: Iran, Egypt, Turkey 

 A political rupture is a sequence of events affecting essential relations between state and society, and its occurrence is neither widely anticipated nor properly interpreted after its occurrence. After a rupture there occurs a revisioning of political reality that involves a recalibration of state/society relations in ways that remain occasions of enduring historic remembrance. Often these occasions are negative happenings, as Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are for the United States, but sometimes they epitomize points of light in the past as with July 4th commemorating the issuance of the Declaration of Independence.

9/11 was the most recent American experience of a political rupture. It resecuritized state/society relations within the country and transformed foreign policy. It marginalized debates about economic globalization and enlarged the war paradigm beyond conflicts between and within sovereign states. In so doing it highlighted new features of intrastate conflict, treated the entire world as a counterterrorist battlefield, and rewrote the international law of self-defense. Instead of responding to attacks, national self-defense, understood as policy rather than right was dramatically extended to encompass remote perceived threats and even latent potential capabilities.

Another innovative feature of major conflicts in the present global setting is the preeminence of non-state actors as principal antagonists. This preeminence takes the dual form of the United States as ‘global state’ and ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other as non- or at most quasi-territorial political actors, but surely not Westphalian states as understood by the membership rules of the UN. The United States in many of its roles and activities operates as a Westphalian state that accepts limits on its sovereign rights based on internationally recognized borders and the territory thereby enclosed and respects the sovereignty of other states. What makes the United States a post-Westphalian or global state is its projection of military capabilities throughout the entire world reinforced by non-territorial patterns of security claims along with extensive global networks of diplomatic, economic, and cultural influence.

What this all mean is complex, evolving, and controversial. It does signify that war has again, as before Paris Peace Pact of 1928, become a largely discretionary domain of policy, at least for geopolitical actors. We are experiencing, in the arresting phrasing of Mary Kaldor, an era of ‘new wars.’ The rewriting of international law is being done by way of authoritative and largely uncontested state practice, mainly that of the United States. At the margins, there persists a subordinate interpretation of international law of war that clings to what is written on the books, inscribed in thepolitically unrevisable UN Charter, and shaped by quite divergentauthoritative practices that provides a useful summary of expectations with respect to uses of force. Jurists have yet to clarify, much less codify, these new realities in a reformulated jurisprudence that to be usefully descriptive must respond conceptually and normatively to the increasingly post-Westphalian character of world order.

There are also more contained political ruptures that have their primary focus on the internal nature of state/society relations, and seem to be territorial or regional occurrences that may have global repercussions, but do not challenge the preexisting frameworks of law and security that shape world order. I have a particular interest in, undoubtedly reflecting my experienced proximity to three political ruptures that have taken place in the Middle East: Iran, 1979; Egypt, 2011/2013; Turkey 2016. In each of these instances, the issues raised touched not only on the control and reform of state structures, but also on state/society balances pertaining to security and freedom, the relations of religion and politics, the contested agency of popular social forces, and the expansion or contraction of constitutional democracy. In each of these national settings, the controversial responsibility of the United States as influential actor introduces the often problematic role of a global state as a crucial actor in the interplay of contending national political forces.

Comparing these political ruptures is instructive with respect to grasping what works and what fails when it comes to transformative politics that are variously engineered from below, from above, from without, and from within to achieve or resist fundamental changes. In some instances, there are coalitions of forces that blur these distinctions, and the interaction is dialectic rather than collaborative or antagonistic. Especially, the imagined or demonstrated relevance of external involvement gives rise to conspiracy explanations, which are denied and hidden until the whistleblowing of Wikileaks and its various collaborators exposes more of the truth, although not necessarily a coherent or widely accepted counter-narrative. The formal diplomacy of world order is still largely premised on the autonomy and legitimacy of sovereign states, the major normative premise of the European invention of the state-centric Westphalian system, but this has always been qualified to varying degrees by geopolitical ambitions and realities, and despite the collapse of colonialism, this hierarchical ordering role remains a defining feature of the contemporary world, but it tends to have become more covert and difficult to establish on the basis of open sources. Unlike the imperial past when geopolitical hierarchies were overt and transparent, post-Westphalian patterns of intervention and extra-territorial governance are largely kept as hidden from public scrutiny as possible.

My intention is to mention very briefly the experiences of Iran and Egypt, and concentrate on the unfolding situation in Turkey after the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016. Because these developments in Turkey have yet to assume a definitive or final shape, the fluidity of the situation is illustrative of the forces in contention, and the outcome will for better and worse influence the future of Turkish democracy as well as exerting a major impact on regional and global alignments.

Iran 1979: From the perspective of 2016, it is difficult to appreciate the intensity of the political rupture brought about by the extraordinary popular uprising in Iran that brought an end to the dynastic rule of the Pahlevi Dynasty by the abdication of the Shah. What was extraordinary beyond the display of the transformative impact of a mobilized people, prepared to risk death by confronting the violent guardians of state power, to express their opposition to the established order, was the role of Ayatollah (or Imam) Ruhollah Khomeini in leading the anti-Shah movement. In its failure to perceive the threat to the Shah until it was far too late, the United States was blindsided by the emergence of political Islam as a source of resistance to its grand strategy in the Middle East that was constructed around the ideological suppositions of the Cold War, that is, being anti-Soviet with respect to international alignments and anti-Marxist, pro-capitalist with regard to internal political llfe. Islam was treated either as irrelevant or as an important ally.

Iran was a major theater of contestation throughout the Cold War. It should be remembered that the United States has somewhat admitted the CIA role in the 1953 coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mosaddegh. It was claimed that Mosaddegh was opening Iran to Soviet influence, but the moves against him seem mainly prompted by his strident form of economic nationalism, climaxing with the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. It is notable that after the Shah was put back on his throne, an early initiative was to re-privatize the oil industry, dividing ownership between European and American oil giants, thereby supplanting British corporate dominance of Iranian oil production.

The 1979 rupture was notable in several respects: the emergence of political Islam as a formidable challenge to Western interests throughout the post-colonial Middle East; the revolutionary transformation of the Iranian state, establishing an Islamic Republic governing a theocratically reformed constitutional framework and an accompanying state structure; the identification of the United States, as ‘the great dragon,’ the principal enemy of Iran and Islam, a situation further aggravated by the hostage crisis following the occupation of the American Embassy in Tehran that lasted more than a year; the inflammatory impact of the failed American-led effort to achieve counter-revolutionary goals by encouraging the Iraqi attack in 1980 and by way of various covert operations designed to destabilize the country from within.

In its enduring effects, the political rupture of 1979 produced an Islamic theocratic state establishing a limited form of democratic governance, a prolonged encounter with the West as well as with regional rivals, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel; an ebb and flow between military threats, sanctions, and challenges directed at the leadership in Iran and diplomatic initiatives seeking some degree of normalization, most notably the Iran Nuclear Agreement of 2015.

Egypt 2011 & 2013: Without any direct acknowledgement to Iran, what took place in Egypt, following a similar rupture in Tunisia, was a successful uprising that led Hosni Mubarak, whose dictatorial presence had dominated Egyptian politics for 30 years, to relinquish political power. The enduring importance of the popular uprising was to exhibit the political agency of a mobilized populace in the Arab world, as well as demonstrate that social media could serve as a potent weapon of political resistance if properly used. Yet, in retrospect, the movement associated with Tahrir Square in 2011 lacked a political understanding either of the politics of Egypt or of the extent to which the established order encompassed the armed forces and was determined to retain control of the state after sacrificing its long term leader. The lack of awareness about the true balance of political forces in Egypt soon manifested itself by way of an electoral success of Islamic political parties, especially the party associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, far beyond what had been anticipated. The failure of the Tahrir Square militants to appreciate the counter-revolutionary danger was expressed especially by their willingness to leave the former governmental bureaucracy in tact and to view the armed forces as trustworthy executors of the popular will rather than as beholden to their affiliations with the old established political and economic order as it operated in the Mubarak era and by benefitting from its close professional and political links to the United States.

For all these reasons, the political developments in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president help us grasp the strength of counter-revolutuonary response that culminated in the coup led by General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in 2013, with huge populist backing under the slogan ‘the armed forces and the people are one’ (or fingers of the same hand’). The result of the 2013 coup was the restoration of authoritarian rule, more bloody in its oppressive tactics than under Mubarak, a crackdown directed at peaceful demonstrators and extended to the elected Muslim Brotherhood leadership of the country, and significantly, an immediate smoothing of relations with the United States, European Union, and Israel, as well as being the recipient of a major infusion of economic assistance from several Gulf country governments.

What these Egyptian events disclose is the acute vulnerability of

an extra-legal challenge to the established order that fails to take control of key state institutions after succeeding in eliminating the dictatorial ruler. Further, that popular discontent can be turned against political reformism to turn back the clock of progress, especially if the armed forces remain responsive to relevant geopolitical priorities and the new leadership fails to deliver economic gains to the population, especially the urban poor. Perhaps, the most enduring effect of the combination of the 2011 and 2013 events is to overcome the earlier impression of the deeply entrenched passivity of the Arab masses, and the related insight that populism can work either for or against secularist or Islamic agendas depending on the domestic context, and its shifting balance of forces.

Turkey 2016: The coup attempt that came close to succeeding, but failed, on the night of July 15th, was immediately converted by the Turkish government into an instant holiday commemorating those who gave their lives to save the Turkish republic against its enemies. There is little doubt in Turkey, regardless of diverging views on other issues, that the Hizmet movement headed by Fetullah Gülen bears prime responsibility for the coup attempt. And there is again wide acceptance among Turks of the related perception that the United States Government aided and abetted both the coup attempt and had been deeply involved for many years in lending various measures of support to the Gülen movement. To what extent and to what end is much discussed, but with little hard evidence, but many suspicious links between the CIA and Fetullah Gülen have been exposed, including even sponsorship of Gülen’s green card residency in the United States by such CIA notables as Graham Fuller.

It is too early to sort out the facts sufficiently to put forward a clear account of the coup attempt, its peculiar timing, its botched execution, and its political intentions. What is clear at this point is that the failure of the coup is a political rupture unlike either the Iranian Revolution or the Egyptian uprising as reversed by a populist military coup. The reactions by the Erdoğan led Turkish government centered on seizing the occasion of the aftermath as an opportunity to forge unity and national reconciliation, and this has so far had impressive results in the principal form of creating a common front among the three leading political parties in the country, culminating in the Yenikapı rally that brought several million people together on August 7th in Istanbul to listen to speeches by the heads of the Government and the heads of the two leading opposition parties. As further signs of what is being called the Yenkapı Spirit were giant portraits of Erdoğan and Kemal Ataturk on the wall behind the podium used by the speakers, and as notable, a long quote from Ataturk in the midst of Erdoğan’s speech. This positive inclusion of Ataturk is a strong indication that the governing party is making a gesture of acceptance to Kemalists and other secular oppositionists who were viewed as the staunchest critics of Erdoğan’s style and substance, as well as providing reassurance that the Turkish state will not abandon its secularist orientation as it moves toward constitutional reform and the distinctive post-coup attempt challenge of eliminating Gülenist penetration from the institutions of state and society that had long nurtured subversive intentions in their secretive leadership cadres while pretending even to their faithful adherents to be promoting nonviolence, moderation, human rights, and a moderate, flexible Islam.

After such a long period of polarization the anti-Erdoğan secularists, although at least deeply grateful that the coup failed and intensely critical of the Gülenist plot as well as convinced of America’s dirty hands, remain wary and suspicious of Erdoğan’s motives. They point out that Ataturk’s portrait was only present and of the same size as Erdoğan’s because Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP (Peoples Republican Party), made it a condition of his participation and presence. They also note that Erdoğan in his speech referred to Ataturk as ‘Mustafa Kemal’ avoiding the honorific name conferred by the Turkish Parliament. Opponents of Erdoğan contend that he is using the atmosphere of heightened patriotism to carry out a government purge, detaining and purging thousands, declaring a state of emergency, whipping up popular support for restoring the death penalty, and pushing ahead with plans for a referendum that endorses his strong advocacy of constitutional reform featuring the establishment of an executive presidency with minimal checks and balances.

Tempering this skepticism of the anti-Erdoğan secularist are several considerations that lead to a more hopeful overall appraisal of the present situation. First, and foremost, Erdoğan has staked his politica future on an approach based on reconciliation that to work in the future entails a commitment to greater participatory and more inclusive democracy. This may seem expedient, but was far from predictable prior to July 15th. It would have been quite feasible in the inflamed post-coup atmosphere for Erdoğan to have strongly reaffirmed majoritarian democracy, claiming that he had received a mandate from the Turkish people to govern without constraint and to reconstruct the state along lines favored by the AKP. The reconciliation approach may not last, and depends on mutuality, but as long as it does, the stress on inclusive democracy implies a willingness to make compromises, including the reaffirmation of a secularist foundation of the proposed new constitution. True, Kılıçdaroğlu’s bargained to get Ataturk’s picture to hang at the rally, but the willingness of Erdoğan to give ground and exhibit flexibility is what gives ground for hope about the future.

As far as the mass suspensions are concerned, especially as involving journalists, the media, and educational institutions, there are reasons for concern. There are also contextual reasons to be

hesitant about voicing criticisms oblivious to the security threats that are still present and hard to assess and identify. After all, the Turkish state barely survived a coup arranged from within, and evidently reinforced by elaborate networks of Gũlen supporters that had infiltrated so widely as to make it virtually impossible to distinguish friend from foe. Part of the Gülen strategy was to gain and spread its influence through its extensive school system and the government-run military high schools. There are numerous seemingly reliable reports that entrance exam questions were given in advance to students later made subject to the cultic discipline of the Hizmet movement. What remains to be seen is whether a conscientious effort will be made to distinguish between innocence and guilt in accordance with due process and the rule of law. The state is entitled to take reasonable measures to protect itself, and this includes the declaration of a 90 day ‘state of emergency,’ but a claim of extraordinary authority is still a time to ascertain whether the rights of citizens are being respected and distinctions made between the guilty and the innocent. Again, if Erdoğan wants to sustain the Yenkapı Spirit, he has a strong incentive to avoid launching a witch hunt, and to roll back quickly excesses whenever detected.

The political rupture in Turkey, up to this point, concerns the core of state/society relations. The fact that the failure of the coup attempt is being mainly attributed to ‘the people’ is a recognition of the power and responsibility of the citizenry to defend an elected government when threatened by unlawful and violent seizures of power. As such it extends the democratic mandate beyond the ballot box, and explores a protective role for and responsibility of the Turkish populace. In the case of the populist role in Iran and Egypt, it was to mount opposition against the abuses of the state, while in Turkey it was quite opposite–the defense of the state against a hostile and unlawful enterprise of subversion led by Gülen operatives in the military.

As with the earlier ruptures in Iran and Egypt, the United States Government seems to have had a shadowy, as yet unproven, role in the events of July 15th, as well as in the buildup over the years of the vast networks of Gülen influence, not only in Turkey but by way of its educational presence in over 100 countries. The American relationship with Turkey is deeply at risk if it turns out that the CIA was actively intervening in an important NATO ally. Anger and suspicions resulted from the failure of the U.S. to show more support for the elected Turkish government as the coup events unfolded, contrasting unfavorably with an immediate response by Russia and Iran. The persistence of anti-Americanism is also dependent on how the United States handles Turkey’s formal extradition request. For technical legal reasons, as well as probable political embarrassment, it seems extremely doubtful that the request will be granted. As Erdoğan has already made clear, an American refusal to extradite, regardless of reasons given, will be viewed as unacceptable. In Turkey it will not lessen the anger if the decision is couched in standard legal reasoning (no prospect of fair trial; possible retroactive application of capital punishment; and accusation centered on non-extradictable political crime). Recall the United States refusal after 9/11 to accept the response of the Taliban-led Afghan government that it would be willing to deliver Osama Bin Laden, but only if it was given convincing evidence of his role in the attacks. Such a response was put to one side, and did not for an instant divert the Bush presidency from moving ahead with its regime-changing military intervention.

As with the Iran rupture, the developments in Turkey seem already to have had profound geopolitical effects, especially greatly strengthening Turkish moves toward establishing a close diplomatic and economic relationship with Russia, moving closer to Iran, and adopting a less zero-sum approach to the Syrian conflict. As yet neither Ankara nor Washington has mentioned these policy shifts as potential sources of tension. In fact, the U.S. Government has indicated its willingness to explore seriously the Turkish extradition request. Much is at stake, including the fight against ISIS being carried on from the major American Incirlik Airbase where 50 nuclear weapons are reportedly stored.

Post-rupture Turkey presents many uncertainties at this stage. Among the most important are the following:

–is there a continuing serious threat of a second coup attempt?

–will the current spirit of reconciliation based on participatory and inclusive democracy hold? Will it be broadened to include the pro-Kurdish political party (HDP)? Will Erdoğan revert to his earlier (2002-2009) style of moderate and pragmatic leadership, abandoning the kind of authoritarian ambitions that proved so divisive after 2010?

–what impact, if any, will Erdoğan’s Muslim devoutness have on the political future of Turkey?

–how will geopolitics be affected? A diplomacy of equi-distance as between Russia and the United States/Europe? Realignment by shifts toward Russia, Iran, maybe China and India?

How these various questions will be resolved cannot be foretold with any confidence, and depend on complex interactions within Turkey, in the region, and the world. It would encourage better future outcomes if the media in the West adopted a more evenhanded approach that empathized with the trauma generated by the coup attempt and the difficulties of restored confidence in the loyalty of public institutions, particularly the armed forces. Unfortunately, up to now, the positive aspects of the response to the Turkish rupture of July 15th have been largely ignored in Europe and North America and the problematic aspects stressed usually without even making due allowance for context.

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Divide and Rule: How Factionalism in Palestine Is Killing Prospect for Freedom

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As Palestinians in the Occupied Territories begin preparations for local elections which are scheduled for next October, division and factionalism are rearing their ugly head.

Palestinian political platforms and social media are abuzz with self-defeating propaganda: Fatah supporters attacking Hamas’ alleged failures, and Hamas’ supporters doing the same.

What is conveniently overlooked by all sides is that the performance of Palestinian municipalities is almost entirely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.

In the West Bank, local councils are governed by strict Israeli-PA arrangement. Aside from very few chores, village and town councils cannot operate without a green light: an endorsement from the Palestinian Authority itself conditioned on a nod from the Israeli Occupation authorities.

This applies to almost everything: from basic services, to construction permits to digging of wells. All such decisions are predicated upon political stipulation and donors’ money, which are also politically-motivated.

Blaming a local mayor of a tiny West Bank village that is surrounded by Israeli military walls, trenches and watchtowers, and is attacked daily by armed Jewish settlers, for failing to make a noticeable difference in the lives of the villagers is as ridiculous as it sounds.

The local elections, however, are also politically and factionally-driven. Fatah, which controls the PA, is buying time and vying for relevance. No longer having a major role in leading the Palestinians in their quest for freedom, Fatah constantly invents ways to proclaim itself as a relevant force. It can only do so, however, with Israeli permission, donor money and US-Western political backing and validation.

Hamas, which might endorse selected candidates but is unlikely to participate in the elections directly, is also embattled. It is under a strict siege in Gaza and its regional politicking proved costly and unreliable. While it is not as corrupt – at least, financially – as Fatah, it is often accused of asserting its power in Gaza through the use of political favoritism.

While one must insist on national unity, it is difficult to imagine a successful union between both groups without a fundamental change in the structure of these parties and overall political outlook.

In Palestine, factions perceive democracy to be a form of control, power and hegemony, not a social contract aimed at fostering dialogue and defusing conflict.

Thus, it is no wonder that supporters of two Fatah factions, one loyal to PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, and another to Mohammed Dahlan, recently clashed in Gaza. Several were hospitalized after sustaining injuries.

Of course, a main case in point remains the civil war of 2007, a year or so after Hamas won parliamentary elections. The Fatah-Hamas political culture failed to understand that the losing party must concede and serve in the opposition, and the victorious party cannot assume the vote as a mandate for factional domination.

Other factors contributed to the Palestinian divide. The US, at the behest of Israel, wanted to ensure the collapse of the Hamas government and conditioned its support for Fatah based on the rejection of any unity government.

Israel, too, inflicted much harm, restricting movement of elected MPs, arresting them, and eventually entirely besieging Gaza.

The European Union and the United Nations were hardly helpful, for they could have insisted on the respect of Palestinian voters, but they succumbed under American pressure.

However, there can also be no denial that these factors alone should not have jeopardized Palestinian unity, if the factions were keen on it.

To appreciate this further, one must look at the experience of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Although they divide themselves based on factional and ideological affiliations, they tend to exhibit much more solidarity amongst themselves. When a prisoner from a certain group goes on a hunger strike, he or she is often joined by a few, tens or even hundreds of other political prisoners from all factions.

These prisoners find ways to communicate and transfer messages amongst themselves, even when in solitary confinement or shackled to their beds.

They even hold elections in larger prisons to choose their own representatives, and issue joint letters to Palestinians outside, calling for unity and a common strategy.

If shackled prisoners are able to foster dialogue and adhere to a semblance of unity, those living in Ramallah mansions and those free to travel outside Palestine should be able to do so, too.

But the truth is, for many within the Palestinian leadership, unity is not an urgent matter and, for them, the ascendency of the faction will always trump the centrality of the homeland.

This is partly because factional politics is deeply rooted in Palestinian society. And like the Israeli Occupation, factionalism is an enemy of the Palestinian people. It has constantly overwhelmed any attempt at fostering dialogue and true democracy among Palestinians.

It is true that democracy is suffering a crisis in various parts of the world. In Brazil, a parliamentary subversion pushed an elected president out of office. In the UK, Labor Party plotters are entirely discounting the election of a popular leader. In the United States, democracy had been reduced to clichés while powerful elites are bankrolling wealthy candidates who are, more or less, propagating the same ideas.

But Palestine is different. It ought to be different. For Palestinian society, dialogue and a degree of a democratic process is essential for any meaningful national unity.

Without unity in politics, it is difficult to envisage unity in purpose, a national liberation project, a unified resistance strategy and the eventual freedom of the Palestinians.

There can never be a free Palestine without Palestinians first freeing themselves from factional repression, for which they, and only they, are ultimately responsible.

For Israel, Palestinian factionalism is a central piece in its strategy to divide and rule. Sadly, many Palestinians are playing along, and by doing so are jeopardizing their own salvation.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Divide and Rule: How Factionalism in Palestine Is Killing Prospect for Freedom

The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies

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Israel's stolen babies

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

It is Israel’s darkest secret – or so argues one Israeli journalist – in a country whose short history is replete with dark episodes.

Last month Tzachi Hanegbi, the minister for national security, became the first government official to admit that hundreds of babies had been stolen from their mothers in the years immediately following Israel’s creation in 1948. In truth, the number is more likely to be in the thousands.

For nearly seven decades, successive governments – and three public inquiries – denied there had been any wrongdoing. They concluded that almost all the missing babies had died, victims of a chaotic time when Israel was absorbing tens of thousands of new Jewish immigrants.

But as more and more families came forward – lately aided by social media – to reveal their suffering, the official story sounded increasingly implausible.

Lies and child trafficking

Although many mothers were told their babies had died during or shortly after delivery, they were never shown a body or grave, and no death certificate was ever issued. Others had their babies snatched from their arms by nurses who berated them for having more children than they could properly care for.

According to campaigners, as many as 8,000 babies were seized from their families in the state’s first years and either sold or handed over to childless Jewish couples in Israel and abroad. To many, it sounds suspiciously like child trafficking.

A few of the children have been reunited with their biological families, but the vast majority are simply unaware they were ever taken. Strict Israeli privacy laws mean it is near-impossible for them to see official files that might reveal their clandestine adoption.

…as many as 8,000 babies were seized from their families in the state’s first years and either sold or handed over to childless Jewish couples in Israel and abroad. To many, it sounds suspiciously like child trafficking.

Did Israeli hospitals and welfare organisations act on their own or connive with state bodies? It is unclear. But it is hard to imagine such mass abductions could have occurred without officials at the very least turning a blind eye.

Testimonies indicate that lawmakers, Health Ministry staff and senior judges knew of these practices at the time. And the decision to place all documents relating to the children under lock untl 2071 hints at a cover-up.

Hanegbi, who was given the task of re-examining the classified material by Prime Minister Binyamn Netanyahu, has been evasive on the question of official involvement. “We may never know,” he has said.

By now, Israel’s critics are mostly inured to the well-known litany of atrocities associated with the state’s founding. Not least, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homeland in 1948 to make way for Israel and its new Jewish immigrants.

The story of the stolen babies, however, offers the shock of the unexpected. These crimes were committed not against Palestinians but other Jews. The parents whose babies were abducted had arrived in the new state lured by promises that they would find in Israel a permanent sanctuary from persecution.

Targeting Arab Jews

But the kidnapping of the children and the mass expulsion of Palestinians at much the same time are not unrelated events. In fact, the babies scandal sheds light not only on Israel’s past but on its present.

The stolen babies were not randomly seized. A very specific group was targeted: Jews who had just immigrated from the Middle East. Most were from Yemen, with others from Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Arabness of these Jews was viewed as a direct threat to the Jewish state’s survival, and one almost as serious as the presence of Palestinians.

The Arabness of these Jews was viewed as a direct threat to the Jewish state’s survival, and one almost as serious as the presence of Palestinians. Israel set about “de-Arabising” these Middle Eastern Jews with the same steely determination with which it had just driven out most of the area’s Palestinians.

Like most of Israel’s founding generation, David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister, was from Eastern Europe. He accepted the racist, colonial notions dominant in Europe. He regarded European Jews as a civilised people coming to a primitive, barbarous region.

But the early European Zionists were not simply colonists. They were unlike the British in India, for example, who were interested chiefly in subduing the natives and exploiting their resources. If Britain found “taming” the Indians too onerous, as it eventually did, it could pack up and leave.

Settler colonialism

That was never a possibility for Ben Gurion and his followers. They were coming not only to defeat the indigenous people, but to replace them. They were going to build their Jewish state on the ruins of Arab society in Palestine.

Scholars label such enterprises – those intending to create a permanent homeland on another people’s land – as “settler colonialism”. Famously, European settlers took over the lands of North America, Australia and South Africa.

The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has observed that settler colonial movements are distinguished from ordinary colonialism by what he terms the “logic of elimination” that propels them.

Ben Gurion feared that, whatever their religion, they [Arab Jews] might “corrupt” his Jewish state culturally by importing what he called the “spirit of the Levant”.

Such groups have to adopt strategies of extreme violence towards the indigenous population. They may commit genocide, as happened to the Native American peoples and to the Australian Aborigines. If genocide is not possible, they may instead forcefully impose segregation based on racial criteria, as happened in apartheid South Africa. Or they may commit large-scale ethnic cleansing, as Israel did in 1948. They may adopt more than one strategy.

Ben Gurion needed not only to destroy Palestinian society, but to ensure that “Arabness” did not creep into his new Jewish state through the back door.

The large numbers of Arab Jews who arrived in the first decade were needed in his demographic war against the Palestinians and as a labour force, but they posed a danger too. Ben Gurion feared that, whatever their religion, they might “corrupt” his Jewish state culturally by importing what he called the “spirit of the Levant”.

Adult Jews from the region, he believed, could not be schooled out of their “primitiveness”. But the Zionist leadership hoped the next generation – their offspring – could. They would be reformed through education and the cultivation of a loathing for everything Arab. The task would be made easier still if they were first detached from their biological families.

Jew on Jew genocide

Israeli campaigners seeking justice for the families of the stolen babies point out that the forcible transfer of children from one ethnic group to another satisfies the United Nation’s definition of genocide.

Certainly, the theft of the Arab Jewish children and their reallocation to European Jews chimed neatly with settler colonialism’s logic of elimination. Such abductions were not unique to Israel. Australia and Canada, for example, seized babies from their surviving native populations in a bid to “civilise” them.

The “re-education” of Israel’s Arab Jews has been largely a success. Netanyahu’s virulently anti-Palestinian Likud party draws heavily on this group’s backing. In fact, it was only because he dares not alienate such supporters that Netanyahu agreed to a fresh examination of the evidence concerning the stolen babies.

But if there is a lesson to be drawn from the government’s partial admission about the abductions, it is not that Netanyahu and Israel’s European elite are now ready to change their ways.

Rather, it should alert Israel’s Arab Jews to the fact that they face the same enemy as the Palestinians: a European Jewish establishment that remains resolutely resistant to the idea of living in peace and respect with either Arabs or the region.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies

Former DIA Head Joins Anti-Muslim Hate Group

NOVANEWS

Act for America

(The screen shot above is from ACT For America’s issues page.)

1. Philip Giraldi ended an article the other day with the following: (Note to Shas Party members, red highlighting is done by today’s guest editor Mulaykah al-Almaniyya):

“I regularly talk to a number of former intelligence agency colleagues, many of whom do not like Trump and will not vote for him, but I do not detect much concern over providing him with classified briefings on international developments. Nearly everyone assumes that he is a patriotic American and will protect what is shared with him. The angst over the Trump briefing appears to be contrived, coming mostly from the media and the chattering class. Indeed, I hear much more anger from former colleagues over the Hillary Clinton email scandal because with all her vaunted experience she should and must have known better, and chose to disregard the rules anyway. Many of us believe she ought to be in jail. In any event, both candidates will receive their briefings and one hopes that a better understanding of some developments in the world will prove beneficial to them, possibly making them think twice about some of the ill-advised policies that they have been promoting.”

You can add my name to the list of those who think she should be in jail just for the email scandal alone.

Giraldi also recently was one of several writers making fun of Michael Morell – an asshole of truly magnificent proportions.

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell has written a New York Times op-ed entitled “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton.” Morell’s story begins with the flat assertion that “Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president – keeping our nation safe…Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

We here at Mantiq al-Tayr believe the Morell may as well have said “I ran the most vile evil organization on the planet, outside of the state of Israel, and I support Hillary Clinton. In fact, even Israel supports Hillary Clinton. And if you think the past sixteen years of constant war have been great, well hell it is going to get even better.”

I am surprised as hell that no one has written any satire about Morell’s article.

Ooops.  Somebody did.  It’s pretty good too.

It’s called I STACKED DETAINEES INTO HUMAN PYRAMIDS, NOW I’M ENDORSING HILLARY CLINTON

For example:

“A little more than twelve years ago, I served in the United States military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. I helped stack detainees into human pyramids, and had the opportunity to ride a few of them around like they were donkeys. We even made a giant dart board and catapulted detainees at the board, as we competed to see who could get the highest score.”

And:

I am fully behind her when she beats the drums of war and declares, “We need to take out their strongholds in Iraq and Syria by intensifying the air campaign and stepping up our support for Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground.” (Note:  She sounds a lot like Mike Flynn, see below.)

And:

“Given my past involvement with taking naked detainees and stacking them on each other, it is my belief that she understands soldiers experience tough situations every day.”

2. The worthless assholes who run our intelligence and foreign policy establishments are beneath and beyond contempt but even worse their interests are counter to the interests of anyone who isn’t part of the National Security State.  All they want is war, lots of you it, and they want to fight it and pay for it.  And fuck you if you want health insurance or a decent pension.  I mean fuck you.

Let’s take a look at what Mike Flynn has had to say about war.  Remember him?  He’s the guy who used to run DIA and who is said to have been damn near Trump’s choice to be able to listen to bullshit from Walid Phares, but I digress.  Oh, and Flynn is hardly the worst of the lot.  He’s said to be one of the better ones and he really sucks.  Really.

Let’s go with this quote from Spiegel Online: (Note to Shas party members, oh hell, never mind.)

“The overall strategy must be to take away Islamic State’s territory, then bring security and stability to facilitate the return of the refugees. This won’t be possible quickly. First, we need to hunt down and eliminate the complete leadership of IS, break apart their networks, stop their financing operations and stay until a sense of normality has been established. It’s certainly not a question of months — it will take years. Just look back at the mission we created in the Balkans as a model. We started there in the early 1990s to create some stability and we are still there today.”

Don’t you just love the “it will take years” quote. The National Security State will be sucking on your taxing paying boobies forever. And this quote comes from one of the very few clods in the establishment who  says that invading Iraq was wrong. But note the language he uses:

“It was (a) huge error. As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”

It was not an “error” nor a “mistake” and it sure as hell was not a “strategic failure.” It was a deliberate effort to rape the country and turn it into a complete mess so that it could never be a threat to Israel.  It was a tremendous success and many many many many people in the National Security State made a hell of a lot of money out of it.  And they still are.  ISIS came right out of this and the intelligence community probably loves ISIS and needs ISIS and they sure as hell do have have ISIS and Flynn wants to spend “years” fighting ISIS which just happens to be in Iraq, the same place he claimed it was an “error” to invade (and utterly destroy).  But it is okay to do it now. You can’t make this shit up.

He co-authored a book, which is he is now out actively marketing, with the notorious Michael Ledeen. Ledeen observes in this piece:

“Americans have long been unique in believing that peace is the normal condition of mankind.  The opposite is true.  Most of human history, including our own, is the story of war, the consequences of wars, and preparations for war.”

And Ledeen likes this.  He goes on to write:

“We are now returning to a more violent normalcy, where peace is rare and stability most unlikely.”

So yes, Flynn is now writing with the notorious Islamophobe Israel-firster Ledeen and Flynn is supposed to be one of the better guys.  Holy shit.

And of course he is a huge Islamophobe, though he would deny it.  Here he writes like he’s Ledeen or Walid Phares:

“I describe Islam as a political ideology,” he said. “In this country it masks itself behind its religion.”

So you all Mooooselims working in government, have fun when people who think like this are running things. Pence, as bad as he is, used to say some not so bad things about Islam. Of course good old Walid Phares will no doubt be in the White House with direct access to President Trump. Oh, and quite likely he’ll be reading the exact same types of intel that Hillary used to have on her private server. But I digress.

How would this sound?  “I describe Judaism as a political ideology.  In this country it masks itself behind its religion.”  Just asking.

3.  Act For America is a well-known anti-Muslim hate group founded by the truly insane Brigitte Gabriel who has appeared on these pages in the past. According to the publication in DC called “The Hill” Gabriel has taught DoD employees about Islam.  According to that publication (which seems to be using the Southern Poverty Law Center as its source) she said while doing so:

“If a Muslim who has — who is — a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day — this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”

The Hill also notes:

“ACT for America, which boasts more than 800 chapters and 279,000 members, says it wants to stop a “creeping” threat that exists from the mere presence of Muslims in American society and from the “political correctness” that makes room for them. That’s the same message that’s expected to be carried into ACT’s annual National Conference and Legislative Briefing on Capitol Hill.”

That’s a lot of members, members who no doubt will want to buy his book he wrote with Ledeen.

And folks that is just the tip of the iceberg.  For more on this shitty outfit click here. The SPLC correctly calls them a hate group.

So naturally, Mike Flynn, yes, the very same guy who wants war forever more, spoke to ACT For America a few days ago. According to this article he said that Islam is a “cancer” and carried on with the usual shit people of that ilk claim about how Islam is an ideology and not really a religion and so on and on and on.

But it gets worse.  With Zionism, and Zionism is the main beneficiary of all of this, it always does.

It turns out that Flynn just a few weeks ago joined ACT For America’s board of directors.  Flynn is actually working for an SPL-designated hate group.  You can’t make this shit up. Damn, if only Trump had picked him then the number 2 office in the land would be held by a guy whois on the board of directors of a hate group.  And so many people were all so worried about David Duke.

And:

“The former Lt. Gen. is also scheduled to speak at ACT’s national conference and legislative briefing in September. He is similarly set to make an appearance in Broadview Heights, Ohio on July 15 to speak at an event sponsored by the Cleveland ACT chapter.”

And you Trump supporters have got to love this:

“In a February 29 tweet, Flynn praised ACT’s founder and president Brigitte Gabriel, a notorious anti-Muslim demagogue. A day earlier, Gabriel was photographed with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Gabriel was apparently at the estate to give a “national security briefing.”

Nice to know that Trump not only has Walid Phares sitting in his lap, he is also getting advice from wackos like Gabriel and Flynn.

And of course it is all about money.  Flynn is pushing his book, the one he co-authored with Ledeen.

4. Well it’s video time.

Here’s Mike Pence not sucking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmWaTzBmAiU

And as a tribute to Flynn and his Muslim-hating Israel-firster cohorts who are so afraid of the spread of Shakira law, we present Shakira.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Former DIA Head Joins Anti-Muslim Hate Group

Israeli police and social workers refuse to help father find his missing son

Ariel with photo of his son Avraham

Marianne Azizi writes:

Ariel Formanovski, 42, is in a new reality. On 1 July his son disappeared. Since then he has had no help from any Israeli authority – because the child was snatched by his mother.

It is 45 days since Ariel last saw his three-year-old son, Avraham. His contract for shared custody is worthless. The mother of Avraham moved house and took the boy with her, without notifying anyone – in essence an abduction of Ariel’s son.

Start of the nightmare

One day, Ariel went to collect his son as usual but there was no sign of him. The landlord of the mother’s house said she’d moved, with no forwarding address. Ariel went to the police immediately and filed complaints. This was to become a daily activity. He filed requests in the courts to demand to know his son’s whereabouts. Finally, he was informed that his son had moved to Nili, a small settlement near Modi’in. No address was given. The events of the day on which he searched for his son are detailed in the story of his arrest and also my own arrest.

An Israeli TV cameraman and international filmmaker turned up for the court case, as well as many supporters. After only 10 minutes it was judged that Ariel could be released – unless the police decided to pursue further investigations, but they had no grounds for doing so.

The events from that evening until his release were filmed. The videos also taken on the day proved that Ariel was acting within the law and very calm in his search for his son. However, he was not to know that the settlement where he was searching for his son was full of serving and former Mossad and Shabak (also known as Shin Bet) officers who made no secret of it when he visited, nor that the police station where he was abused was also full of Shabak investigators.

It was like being thrown into another world. I was handcuffed and squashed into a tiny room, the temperature was over 50 degrees. I had three cops interrogating me – one screaming in my ear, one spitting on me, and the other physically hurting me.

The commanding officer told me: “You are not in Petach Tikvah [a town east of Tel Aviv] now boy. This is Shabak. We are going to fuck you and teach you a lesson.”

Another told me to sign a statement that I wouldn’t see my son; yet another told me to sign that I was guilty of trespassing. I refused. I didn’t get my phone call [to a lawyer] – they wrote in the report I had refused a lawyer. It was like a scene from Midnight Express. I was prepared to stay there forever, if that is what it would take, for the sake of my son.

Freedom and secret files

After Ariel has now been released – see the video below. A fuller version of the video can be seen here.

He has filed many complaints – against the police for false arrest and for the return of his phones and money, and has been in the court daily to request a case to establish the whereabouts of Avraham. The courts in Israel are now in recess, which means nothing can be done until September, unless it is urgent. The court secretaries are on strike, and hundreds of people pile into the court offices trying to submit claims. Parental alienation will peak during the summer.

Ariel’s lawyer has demanded to see the secret file on him. Everyone in Israel has one. Once a citizen has served in the Israeli army a secret file is opened on him or her. There is a secret file on every individual which grows according to how many phone calls are recorded by the authorities, posts published on social media, or anything which may show dissent against the police, judiciary or welfare authorities. Lawyers are not allowed to see the file, which is usually presented in court by the police who could demand further investigations on the basis of the “secret file” which only a judge can see.

Time is not on Ariel’s side. After 90 days, it is usually assumed that parental alienation has taken place, and he will be allowed to see his son only in a contact centre. In the meantime, Ariel is filing daily requests to the court and the police. He has asked the police to accompany him to the house in which he believes Avraham was last seen. They ignore his requests. No one has seen Avraham nor heard from him. His mother has changed her phone number.

Mossad and Shabak

This week, at the appointed day and time Ariel returned to the settlement where his former wife was believed to be living to collect his son for the routine visit. Meylet Gordo, the landlord of the rented accommodation, offered him a drink of water and said he could go into the house so that he could see that the mother and child had gone. Neighbours came out to the street to tell him they were all working either for Mossad or Shabak, and Ariel declined to enter the premises, fully aware that the last time he had merely stood on the street he’d endured physical abuse and prison.

A drama has been created, which is turning into a major crisis. There is a young boy who has been wrenched from his father, his kindergarten and all he has known. He is hidden and must be very confused or even afraid.

He then witnessed Avraham’s maternal grandparents going into the house with pots of food; the window blinds were closed. According to the landlord’s wife, they had gone to clear out the last of their possessions, which seemed unlikely given that food was being taken into the house surreptitiously.

A drama has been created, which is turning into a major crisis. There is a young boy who has been wrenched from his father, his kindergarten and all he has known. He is hidden and must be very confused or even afraid. Ariel shouted loudly: “I love you Avraham, your dad loves you,” and was then told that this was a damaging action towards his son, and might confuse him.

Forty five days and hundreds of files since his son was snatched, Ariel continues to ask the police just for a photo of his son or a video to show that he is safe. He has gone from a normal life of work and keeping joint custody to a life where he doesn’t know even what day it is any more as he works around the clock in his search.

Go home. Your child is not dead

As I was following this story closely, I visited the police this week with Ariel to file a missing person’s report. They refused, repeatedly. I asked two of the commanders at the police station why they wouldn’t. The answers I received were that as Ariel had “handed over” the child to his mother, it meant he had given up his child and rights. They ignored the joint custody orders and told Ariel to get new ones, even though the existing order was still valid.

The officer also told me that the police had to act within the law, which stipulates that a father has no right to search for his child if the mother is still involved and that whether the mother was fit for the task was irrelevant. I asked what if the mother was a dangerous woman; the office shrugged and said this was not in the equation. However, after pressing further, and perhaps fearing adverse publicity, they relented and made some phone calls. After a few hours they told Ariel to go home as his child was not dead. No more information was given.

What of the child? His rights? His need for his father? On 18 August, Avraham will be three years old. His father had already bought tickets for a trip to Legoland to celebrate the child’s birthday.

In order to appeal yet again to the court, because he is a man, he needs to find GBP 4,000 just for a bond.

Last week his former wife didn’t turn up to the court, and is obliged to pay GBP 1,000 expenses. She dropped (for now) the false claims against him. She will never have to pay it herself. She is supported by the Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO) and, as a woman, will be protected despite proof that she is lying to get legal aid, lying about her son, in order to do what she always wanted: to move closer to her work and break the custody order. She was warned last year in a previous attempt that she would face sanctions if she repeated her efforts to abduct Avraham. This year, almost to the day, in a repeat exercise she upped the stakes by making false claims.

“This is what gender discrimination looks like in Israel”

With all this, Ariel is dying inside, his soul starting to have the wound of many other estranged fathers. He keeps up the momentum by filing appeals daily in the court and with the police. He is worried about the wellbeing of his son. But the police refuse to check on the whereabouts of the child, and will not reassure the father about his safety.

In a previous case another mother hid for eight months and surrendered only when the father, a lawyer, had piled enough pressure to force the newspapers to report his child missing. This is what gender discrimination looks like in Israel. And the child who cries for his father? His life is at risk of being damaged forever.

Ariel had custody of his son for four days a week. Giving a turn to the mother to have him means she has all the rights to kidnap him.

Ariel searches house to house for Avraham, in locations he thinks his son might be, and from tips he receives. What madness is this that a citizen cannot turn to the authorities for support, and the same authorities are criminalising the man. In Israel, the only solution is hope and prayer. What a return for the loyalty and army service of Israeli men who are now ashamed of their state!

The Coalition for Children and Families in Israel (CCF) is giving all the support it can to Ariel. Without funding, it work for free and give as much legal help as possible, for the public good.

The problem is that there are thousands of fathers in similar situations, decent loving men thrust into a nightmare with possibly no return to normal life. Ariel has a Facebook page (in Hebrew) where he shares his daily search for Avraham and appeals to anyone who has information on the whereabouts of his son.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Israeli police and social workers refuse to help father find his missing son

Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS

(04 – 10 August 2016)

Hebron: Nazi Forces Demolish Two Houses in Yatta Village in Hebron.           (AFP)

  • Nazi forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt

–         13 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • Nazi forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 ones in Jerusalem.

–         44 civilians, including 3 children, were arrested.

–         11 of them, including 2 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

  • Nazi forces continued to impose collective punishment measures against Palestinian civilians.

–         2 houses were destroyed in Yatta, south of Hebron.

  • Nazi forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

–         A civilian was forced to self-demolish his house.

–         Sa’ed Institution for Educational Consultations in the Old City was closed under the pretext of “supporting terrorism”.

  • Nazi illegal Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.

–         6 houses, 4 civilian facilities and a water pipeline were demolished.

  • Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Sea
  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

–         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

–         4 Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were arrested at military checkpoints.

Summary

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in theoPt continued during the reporting period (04 – 10 August 2016).

 

Shooting:

Nazi forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Nazi forces wounded 13 Palestinian civilians; 7 of them in the West Bank and the 6 others in the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen and chase them in the sea.

In the West Bank, on 05 August 2016, Mohammed Abu Alya (15) sustained a bullet wound to the leg when Nazi forces moved into al-Mughayer village, northeast of Ramallah and stationed at its entrance. A group of youngsters gathered and threw stones at Nazi soldiers who opened fire in response. As a result, the aforementioned child was wounded.

On the same day, Hassan Khaled Dabous, photographer at B’Tselem, was hit with a tear gas canister to the hand while covering Na’lin weekly protest, west of Ramallah. He was treated on the scene by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) paramedics.

On 10 August 2016, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded when Nazi forces opened moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp in al-Bireh. They raided a number of houses looking for weapons. Three civilians were wounded with Two Two bullets, one sustained a live bullet wound and the 5th sustained a rubber-coated metal bullet wound to the left ear.

In the Gaza Strip, on 05 August 2016, 6 Palestinian civilians sustained live bullet wounds when dozens of youngsters headed to the border area, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, and threw stones at Nazi soldiers stationed behind the border fence. Nazi forces started opening fire sporadically. As a result, 6 civilians were wounded and then transported to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Their wounds were classified as moderate.

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, on 07 August 2016, Nazi gunboats stationed off Khan Younis shore in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire heavily towards the Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed area for fishing.  As a result, the fishermen fled away for fear of being killed or wounded.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8251

 

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

Holocaust Memorial Day

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Kitty Moses

By: Gilad Atzmon.

The true interpretation of the Goldstone report is that Israelis are the Nazis of our time.

In fact, those world leaders around the world who bowed to Jewish pressure and made the Holocaust into an international memorial day must have been convinced that the Holocaust carries a universal message against oppression and racism. They were actually correct, if the holocaust has any universal and ethical meaning, stopping the ‘Jews only state’ and bringing its criminal political and military leaders to justice is the true interpretation of the lesson of the Holocaust.

Propaganda Minister Edelstein added “on the Holocaust memorial day of all days, which also marks the battle against global anti-Semitism, we must discuss this connection, because today the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are accused of harvesting organs and murdering children”. The Israelis better internalise that the truth of Israeli brutality is now common knowledge. IDF mass murder of children, elders and women is part of our collective memory. The Israeli institutional involvement in organ harvesting is also well documented and an accepted fact.

In the wake of the ‘International Holocaust Memorial Day’ I will say it loudly and openly. To oppose the Jewish state and Jewish nationalism is the true meaning of the memory of the Holocaust.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on Holocaust Memorial Day

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