Archive | June 20th, 2017

An Open Letter to Wall Street Journal from a Palestinian Woman

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Amani Al-Khatahtbeh 

Bret Stephens penned a column last week in the Wall Street Journal titled, Where are the Palestinian Mothers? in which he makes the racist assertion, based on conversations he’s had with three individual women, that all Palestinian mothers raise their children to become “martyrs.”

The thing that Stephens must understand about Palestinians’ concept of “martyrdom” is that it’s a coping mechanism for the senseless loss of life they must endure. Their “martyrdom” is not an aspiration. It’s forced upon them.

My mother is a Palestinian. At the moment, she’s probably enjoying the peace of her suburban home. Unlike her counterparts in the West Bank and Gaza, she’s free from having to worry about her children being killed by occupational forces in the middle of the night, or even broad daylight. For a Palestinian mother, this is a freedom that can never be appreciated enough.

My grandmother was a Palestinian. She passed away last summer after decades of being a flag bearer of the strength of Palestinian mothers. She was a survivor of the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948, which was one of the first Palestinian villages to be ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias to create the state of Israel. She was seven years old at the time and witnessed the murder of her neighbors and relatives, including her own Palestinian grandmother and infant brother. Yet, she survived and, in her refugee exile, created a fruitful and happy life for her family that allows me to write this letter today.

Over that time, those militias came together to become the Israeli Defense Force. One of their leaders, Yitzhak Rabin, rose to become the prime minister of Israel.

In his column, Stephens claims that he has “yet to meet the Israeli mother who wants to raise her boys to become kidnappers and murderers.” Actually, every Israeli mother is legally obligated by the Israeli government to enter her sons and daughters into an institution that systematically kidnaps and murders. It’s the Israeli Defense Force.

palestinian women confrontation

Since 1948, the IDF has been creating mourning mothers for the longest occupation in modern human history, riddled with war crimes and human rights atrocities. Its illegal and immoral actions have been denounced in more United Nations resolutions than any other country in the world. The most recent were a series of four resolutions in the UNHCR denouncing Israel’s international law violations. All four of them passed 46 to 1 — with the lone dissenter being the United States.

Stephens refers to West Germany’s “moral rehabilitation” and ironically suggests it for the Palestinian people. Yet, in an iconic visit last month, Pope Francis stood before Israel’s apartheid wall and placed his hand on Palestinian graffiti that, in desperate broken English, said in spray paint: “Bethlehem looks like Warsaw ghetto.”

Extremist Israeli settlers have been engaging in some of the worst hate crimes in the conflict, notoriously known for pillaging mosques and churches, attacking and even running over Palestinians, and vandalizing Palestinian property with calls for the death of all Arabs. One of the three kidnapped Israelis was old enough to have already served in the IDF, and all three of them were on an illegal settlement on Palestinian territory. While no mother should endure the abduction or death of a child — neither Israeli nor Palestinian — the situation must be placed in the context of the conflict as a whole.

Since the disappearance of the three Israelis on June 12, 2014, at least 50 Palestinian civilians have been killed in retribution — including a 7-year-old child and a 15-year-old child — and hundreds more injured or imprisoned with no charges. But, you don’t know any of their names, despite having the three Israelis’ names memorized by heart.

Last Tuesday night, Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and burned alive by an Israeli mob. His mother — like the mothers of the eight other murdered Palestinians or the hundreds of newly detained prisoners — will never be given the media attention to express her grief. Nor does she or any of the other Palestinian mothers have the power to demand that Israel brings back their boys.

Among many Israelis, Mohammad’s death was celebrated. All facets of Israeli society, even up to the government, called for this sort of retribution, with Netanyahu demanding “revenge” and Ben-Ari calling for “death to the enemy.” While the call for justice is expected of any democratic country, what Israel is calling for is indiscriminate revenge.

Netanyahu called the killers of the three Israelis “human animals.” But, in Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people, his accusations and references of a faceless Palestinian enemy, and his sheer condoning and even encouragement of anti-Arab racism, he is implicating the Palestinian people as a whole.

Indeed, Israel treats Palestinians as nothing more than animals. In this case, Israel has placed its “animal” in a cage and keeps prodding it with a stick — or, more accurately, with rubber bullets, tear gas, and even white phosphorous. Then, when the animal bites back, Israel feigns selective memory and moral outrage and punishes it in ways that are unprecedented in our modern history.

Stephens makes the racist suggestion that Palestinian culture is filled with hate, but what, then, can we say of a society that views another people as collectively subhuman?

If you want to know where the Palestinian mothers are, they are living under a military occupation, among an unarmed civilian population, quietly reciting their boys’ names in their hearts as American columnists try to write them away.

Photography by Robert Croma.

A condensed variation of this column was originally published as a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal.

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The Privatization of Nuclear War ”VIDEO”

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GlobalResearchTV

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Zionist regime Dirty Little Secret

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Israel’s Dirty Little Secret

How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House

By Philip Giraldi 

At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that “Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them.” A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with “Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don’t you ask me about that?”

Don’t look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the “I” word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China. It operates with complete impunity on Capitol Hill and also at state and local levels and no one dares to require it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would permit scrutiny of its finances and also end its tax-exempt “educational” status. Nor does Congress or the media see fit to inquire into AIPAC’s empowerment of candidates based on their fidelity to Israel, not to mention the direct interference in the American electoral process which surfaced most visibly in its support of candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

The last president that sought to compel the predecessor organization of AIPAC to register was John F. Kennedy, who also was about to take steps to rein in Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program when he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson. Funny how things sometimes work out. The Warren Commission looked deeply into a possible Cuban connection in the shooting and came up with nothing but one has to wonder if they also investigated the possible roles of other countries. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission Report failed to examine the possible involvement of Israel in the terrorist attack in spite of a considerable body of evidence suggesting that there were a number of Israeli-sourced covert operations running in the U.S. at that time.

Looking back from the perspective of his more than 40 years of military service, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer described the consequences of Jewish power vis-à-vis U.S. policy towards Israel, stating that “I’ve never seen a president – I don’t care who he is – stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don’t have any idea what goes on.”

He also addressed the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, saying “Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty’s radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. [And that] Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded.” He concluded with “our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?”

It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 when Moorer spoke up. And, as in Moorer’s day, much of the partiality towards Israel makes its way through congress with little or no media coverage lest anyone begin to wonder whose tail is wagging which dog. To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

During the past several weeks alone there has been a flurry of legislation backed by Israel and its Lobby. One bill might actually have been written by AIPAC. It is called Senate 722, Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The bill has 63 co-sponsors, most of whom are the usual suspects, but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris, both of whom are apparently terrified lest they say “no” to Israel. With 63 co-sponsors out of 100 senators the bill was certain to pass overwhelmingly, and it was indeed approved 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting “no.”

And there’s more to S.722 than Iran – it’s subtitle is “An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments’ aggression.” Much of it is designed to increase sanctions on both Iran and Russia while also limiting the White House’s ability to relieve any sanctions without approval by congress. Regarding Iran, the bill mandates that “Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.”

The premise is of course nonsensical as Iran’s ability to threaten anyone, least of all the United States, is limited. It is far outgunned by its neighbors and even more so by the U.S., but it has become the enemy of choice for congress as well as for the former generals who serve as White House advisers. The animus against Iran comes directly from Israel and from the Saudi Arabians, who have managed to sell their version of developments in their part of the world through a completely acquiescent and heavily Jewish influenced western media.

And there’s more. A bill has surfaced in the House of Representatives that will require the United States to “consult” with Israel regarding any prospective arms sales to Arab countries in the Middle East. In other words, Israel will have a say, backed up undoubtedly by Congress and the media, over what the United States does in terms of its weapons sales abroad. The sponsors of the bill, one Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney of New York, want “closer scrutiny of future military arms sales” to maintain the “qualitative military edge” that Israel currently enjoys.

Schneider is, of course, Jewish and a life member of AIPAC, so it is hardly as if he is a disinterested party. Tenny runs for office in New York State, so it is hardly as if she is disinterested either, but the net result of all this is that American jobs and U.S. international security arrangements through weapons sales will be at least in part subject to Israeli veto. And you know that is precisely what will happen as Israel could give a damn what happens to the struggling American entity that it so successfully feeds off of.

And there’s still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th. Yes, I said “unanimously.” The bill requires the State Department of monitor what European nations and their police forces are doing about anti-Semitism and encourages them to adopt “a uniform definition of anti-Semitism.” That means that criticism of Israel must be considered anti-Semitism and will therefore be a hate crime and prosecutable, a status that is already de facto true in Britain and France. If the Europeans don’t play ball, there is the possibility of repercussions in trade negotiations. The bill was co-sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida and Nita Lowey of New York, both of whom are Jewish.

There is also a Senate companion bill on offer in the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. The bill will make the Anti-Semitism Envoy a full American Ambassador and will empower him or her with a full staff and a budget permitting meddling worldwide. The bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Marco Rubio of Florida. Gillibrand is unlikely to miss co-sponsoring anything relating to Israel due to her own self-interest and Rubio wants to be president real bad so he is following the money.

And finally, the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem. Again, the vote was unanimous. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, two reptiles who give snakes a bad name and about whom the less said the better. Schumer is Jewish and has described himself as the “shomer” or guardian of Israel in the Senate. That the resolution opposes long established U.S. government policy that the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Israel is in contravention of international law and is an impediment to any peace process with the Palestinians apparently bothered not even one Senator.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being “liberated.” There is probably even more to say, to include secret agreements with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, but I will stop at this point with one final observation. President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians “inciting” violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it. He then went to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and shouted at him for being a liar and opposed to peace based on what Netanyahu had told him. That is what passes for even-handed in the U.S. government, no matter who is president. A few days later the Israelis announced the building of the largest bloc of illegal new settlements on the West Bank since 1992, an action that they claim is being coordinated with Washington.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once boasted about owning the United States. I guess he was right.

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World Refugee Day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

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On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people”  resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.

Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN agency responsible for providing services to millions of Palestinian refugees, estimates that the number of registered Palestinian refugees in 2016 amounted to about 5.9 million, PCBS noted, highlighting that this figure was representative of a minimum number.

Palestinian legal NGO BADIL has previously estimated the number to be around 7.2 million.

As of 2016, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank registered with UNRWA accounted for 17 percent of the total refugees registered with the organization, while refugees in Gaza accounted for 24.5 percent.

According to UNRWA, 42 percent of the total population of the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip are internally displaced refugees from historic Palestine, with data indicated that Palestinian refugees living in the occupied territory and Gaza have an overall unemployment rate of 33.3 percent in 2016, compared to 22.3 percent among non-refugees.

Meanwhile, Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Nazi military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.

Touting one of the world’s highest unemployment rates at 44 percent, an estimated 80 percent of Gaza’s population is dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Across the diaspora, the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan amounted to 39.1 percent of the total refugees registered, while the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon and Syria numbered at 8.8 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.

According to UNRWA, while Palestinian refugees in Lebanon represent an estimated 10 percent of the population of Lebanon, they lack many basic rights, as they are not formally citizens of another state and are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living in Lebanon. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, for example, are prevented from working in up to 20 highly-skilled professions.

As a result, “among the five UNRWA fields, Lebanon has the highest percentage of Palestine refugees living in abject poverty,” the group said, adding that around 53 percent of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in 12 recognized refugee camps, “all of which suffer from serious problems, including poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, poor housing conditions and lack of infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in Syria has forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from the country, including men, women and children, to flee to surrounding countries and other areas in Syria in search of safety.

The Hamas movement’s Office for Refugees’ Affairs in Lebanon released a statement Tuesday, saying that the “Right to Return is a basic human right issue stated by international resolutions and guaranteed by heavenly laws.”

The office lauded UNRWA for its work with Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, but highlighted the dire and deteriorating humanitarian conditions of Palestinian refugees grows as UNRWA cannot adequately service nearly all 5.9 million registered refugees.

In the statement, the group called upon the international community to “uphold its responsibilities towards the refugees’ cause” and called upon the hosting Arab countries, especially Lebanon, “to provide decent living to Palestinian refugees by giving them their civil, social and humanitarian rights without connecting those to localization.”

Last week, Nazi Prime Minister Naziyahu called for the dismantlement of UNRWA, saying “UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates — and does not solve — the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Netanyahu, saying his statements were “the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem.”

“Israel should not be allowed to dictate how to change the legal system and to persist with its unlawful unilateralism,” Ashrawi said, adding that ”the Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.”

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness responded to Naziyahu’s comments at the time, saying that the issue of Palestinian refugees could only be resolved through a negotiated end to the Nazi-Palestinian refugee conflict, instead of shuttering an aid agency catering to their humanitarian needs.

While UNRWA has been the target of Palestinian criticism on a number of occasions, Palestinian refugees, notably in the occupied Palestinian territory, see the preservation of their status as refugees as maintaining their claim to their right of return to the villages in historic Palestine from which their ancestors fled during the creation of the Racist Nazi state.

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Why has Cyprus become Zionist province?

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Why has Cyprus become an Israeli province?
Israel-Cyprus gas pipeline

Gilad Atzmon writes:

The Cypriot press reported last week on a large joint Israeli-Cypriot military drill.

The following Israeli video publicises an elite Israeli commando brigade engaged in aggressive military manoeuvres around Cyprus’s Troodos mountain range.

How did this come about? How did the Cypriots, who have traditionally supported the Palestinian cause, become a province of the Israeli empire?

The answer is an Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal.

In the beginning of April we learned about a proposed 2,000 kilometre subsea pipeline connecting gas fields located offshore in Gaza and Cyprus with Greece and possibly Italy.

The pipeline agreement between Israel, Italy, Cyprus and Greece leaves both the Turks and the Palestinians out. While Gaza faces a critical energy crisis with electricity reduced to less than three hours a day, Israel aims to collect billions of dollars from significant natural gas reserves located off the Gaza shore and well within Palestinian territorial water (assuming such a term exist).

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s energy minister, hailed the pipeline project expected to be in operation in he year 2025 as the “beginning of a wonderful friendship between four Mediterranean countries”.

Of course, not all concerned Mediterranean nations are included in the deal. We can foresee that this is a recipe for disaster: the pipeline and the gas installation are soft targets. The region is volatile. Cyprus is putting its sovereignty at risk. Within a short time, it may, God forbid, become a battleground for cynical global operators.

The Cypriot leadership knows that if it wants a pipeline that dispatches plundered Palestinian natural, the it must become an Israeli province. And, as the video reveals, Cyprus is now protected by its Israeli big brother.

The Israeli-Cypriot joint military drill was undertaken to deliver a message to Turkey and other regional players: any attempt to interfere with their gas theft project will be met by Israeli military brutality.

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What does it take to move from pseudo-democracy to real participation?

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Democratic illusion

By Graham Peebles

Imagine a country run along truly democratic lines. In such a mythical land, what would be the role of the politician, and the nature of his or her relationship with that amorphous group paraded under the banner of “the people”?

Will of “the people”?

We in pseudo-democratic countries hear a lot about politicians serving and honouring the “will of the people” – in Britain this nauseating slogan of appeasement has been repeated ad infinitum since the disastrous European referendum vote – but from where does the supposed conviction of the masses arise? Does it evolve from independent minds tussling with questions of justice and freedom, debating and discussing pertinent issues over tea and cake, or is it the politicians who construct this perceived will, manipulating the people they claim to serve into believing what they, the politicians, want them to believe. And while on occasions there may be some degree of uncertainty in the success of the project of persuasion – “the people” can sometimes be an annoyingly unpredictable bunch – every avenue of propaganda and control is employed to ensure that the ideological intentions of the political class are reflected in the will of the people as and when they place their sacred X on the ballot paper, and exercise their long-fought-for democratic right, which (particularly in first-past-the-post systems) carries little authority and even less autonomy.

Mass manipulation

The principle tool of inducement is of course the mainstream media: television and radio stations, newspapers and magazines are used to flood the minds of the populous with a certain view of life, particular ideas, values and carefully edited “facts”. Political and economic slogans are repeated like mantras over the airwaves, until they infect the populous and are repeated parrot-like by apathetic, ill-informed voters. Education systems are designed to support the message, enabling the most malleable minds to be conditioned into, for example, competition and conformity. Organised religion reinforces the pervasive values and imposes its own, often cripplingly repressive doctrine on the faithful. Creative independent thinking – the principle quality of enquiry, analysis and response – is for the most part lost within the fogs of dogma and stereotype that are wrapped around the minds of the unsuspecting virtually from birth. The world is presented as hostile, competitive, full of pain and difficulties. Material satisfaction and pleasure is sold as happiness, desire constantly fed – creating agitated noisy minds, discontent and anxiety, all of which deny or greatly inhibit the possibility of that most democratic quality, free thinking.

Political and economic slogans are repeated like mantras over the airwaves, until they infect the populous and are repeated parrot-like by apathetic, ill-informed voters.

Individuality has been perverted, championed and denied. Within a conformist society where the pressure to think, act, and be a certain way is all-pervasive. True individuality – the natural flowering of innate potential within an environment of cooperation, understanding and tolerance, free from fear – is restricted and only realised through strength and often brings exclusion. And so the “will” of individuals, their ability to think beyond the rhetoric, to see the false as the false and the true as the true, becomes constrained at best, easily manipulated and/or non-existent.

Popular awakening

Many are awake to this; young and old see the injustices, the pretence and invasion for what they are. They are angry, and long for an alternative way of living. Huge numbers have been marching in cities throughout the world, demanding change and to be listened to. The response of the ruling elite has been fierce resistance, often violent. Ever more repressive policies, austerity and the like have been imposed, wages effectively lowered, costs increased, life made even more difficult, physically exhausting and emotionally draining, insecurity intensified, hope denied. Despite this assault, there is a global movement of solidarity evolving, and with the energy of the time flowing with increasing strength, the citadel of resistance cannot be sustained indefinitely. True democracy, a social construct that we have idealised but not lived, will win the day, greatly changing the role of the politician and the type of people who become public representatives.

… without a well educated, engaged population, democracy remains a fantastical construct of the elite, its principles periodically displayed for public appeasement and sustained self-deceit.

Democracy is participation, as are social responsibility, freedom of expression and social justice, tolerance and mutual understanding. All these are inherent in the democratic ideal and constitute its primary colours. Where these are absent, so too is democracy. Likewise,without a well educated, engaged population, democracy remains a fantastical construct of the elite, its principles periodically displayed for public appeasement and sustained self-deceit. In the absence of democracy, politicians, living in a suited bubble of complacency and privilege – two interwoven vices of self-deception – become ideological enforcers and persuaders. Divorced from the public at large, aligned with corporate interests and consistently duplicitous, trust in governments and politicians is at an all-time low. These men, and women, of power are rightly seen as cynical and ambitious, prepared to say anything to achieve positions of power and to hold on to them.

The truly democratic politician

If complacency is the poison of the political class, then apathy and ignorance are the Achilles heel of the people. Social responsibility and participation sit at the very heart of the matter – participation by well-informed people who recognise that we are all individually responsible for society, for the well-being of our neighbours at home and abroad, and the integrity of the natural environment, participation in how the place in which we live and work functions, participation founded on a sense of responsibility leading to and demanding, by dint of commitment and creative participation, influence.

Within such an environment the role of the politician changes dramatically. It becomes one of listening, facilitating, informing and enacting, of representing – making known – the “will of the people” to the business community and parliament – which is of course what they should do now but on the whole, don’t. In this democratic paradigm, self-interest and corporate power begin to weaken and the will of the people to evolve. Democratic decisions about policies and methods, the clarifying of aims, the nature of systems and structures in such a world would be reached through overwhelming consensus – not the paltry 51 per cent of perhaps a mere 45 per cent of the population, as is the case now.

When the nature of… the will of the people is based on the recognition of humankind’s essential unity, together with the acknowledgment that we are responsible for the world and all life within it, then all becomes possible.

Under the existing democratic paradigm the talk is of power and control, duplicitous politicians and leaders and disenfranchised citizens. The rhetoric of political debate is combative and dishonest, ideologies and ideals clash, the economy dominates and business largely dictates government policy. Socio-economic systems have been designed and developed to deny the manifestation of real democracy and to facilitate the perpetuation of the status quo: a state of affairs in which piece by piece the natural environment is being destroyed, half the world’s population is living on less than $5 a day, economic inequality is at unprecedented levels and 65 million people are displaced. That is to name but the most pressing issues facing humanity.

True democracy is an expression of human solidarity. For this to develop and reflect the proclaimed ideal, systemic change and a fundamental shift in attitudes is required, both by politicians and the people who they are supposed to represent. This will not come from the political class – they are quite happy with things the way they are and will fight to the last. It will, and must, come from the people. The worldwide protest movement contains within it the evolutionary seeds of lasting change, but as the reactionary forces resist with increasing force, the need for sustained engagement and collective participation grows stronger. As Maitreya has made clear, “nothing happens by itself, man must act and implement his will”. When the nature of that will the will of the people – is based on the recognition of humankind’s essential unity, together with the acknowledgment that we are responsible for the world and all life within it, then all becomes possible.

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Mikdad on World Refugee Day: Syria deals with refugees within the humanitarian framework

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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Syria commemorated the World Refugee Day with a festivity held at al-Mashraqa Restaurant in Damascus.

The festivity included various heritage and folkloric shows performed by participants from Arab and foreign states and an exhibition for traditional handicrafts, embroidery items, paintings and photography, in addition to playing musical pieces.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said that Syria deals with refugees within the humanitarian framework to provide appropriate assistance and protection that ensure decent life for all.

He added that Syria does not consider the Palestinians as refugees, hoping that they would achieve their ultimate goal in returning to Palestine and establish their independent state.

Mikdad noted that the same is applicable on the Iraqi, Somali and Sudanese brothers.

He hailed the UNHCR efforts in Syria, indicating to close cooperation between the two sides to provide refugees a safe home and a decent quality of life.

UNHCR Representative in Syria Sajjad Malik underlined the Syrian government’s generosity and kindness in dealing with refugees.

Similar festivities were held in Aleppo, Tartous and Qamishli with the participation of refugees from different nationalities.

According to a study by the UNHCR, an unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home, more than half of whom are children.

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Bomb-laden car seized in eastern countryside of Salamiyeh

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Army units operating in the eastern countryside of Salamiyeh seized Monday a car bomb loaded with large amounts of high explosive materials prepared to be detonated in al-Hasso town, in Wadi al-Azib in the eastern countryside of Salamiyeh in Hama province.

Local reporter said that the army units managed to seize a car bomb laden with large amounts of high explosive materials prepared to be detonated in al-Hasso town in Wadi al-Azib in the eastern
countryside of Salamiyeh.

The source added that the seized car, which carries an Iraqi registration plate from Nineveh province, was dismantled by the army engineering units.

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Iran: Targeting terrorists’ sites in Deir Ezzor came in coordination with Syrian government

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Tehran, The Iranian Foreign Ministry affirmed on Monday that the targeting of terrorists’ sites in Deir Ezzor by Iran was in coordination with the Syrian government and within the context of Iran’s firm policy of fighting terrorism.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that the targeting of terrorist sites in Deir Ezzor was carried out with the prior knowledge of Syrian government and within the framework of the principled and firm policy of Iran in combating takfiri Wahhabi movements.

He added that the Deir Ezzor operation was just a “small slap” and a warning to those who cannot or do not want to understand the realities of the region and do not know their limits.

He asserted that the fight against terrorism is part of the defense of the security and stability of the region and the security of Iran, which will spare no effort in fighting terrorists and will not compromise when it comes to defending its stability and security.

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Syria: 12 people killed in US-led coalition new massacre against civilians in Hasaka

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12 persons from one family were killed in a new massacre committed by the US-led international coalition against civilians in Tal al-Shayer area near the Syrian-Iraqi borders in the southeastern countryside of Hasaka.

Identical local and media sources said the US-led international coalition aircrafts carried out on Monday night a series of airstrikes on areas in the southeastern countryside of Hasaka, killing 12 persons from one family in Tal al-Shayer near the Syrian-Iraqi borders.

This crime is one of the massacres committed by Washington and its allies who formed the so called International Coalition against ISIS outside the jurisdiction of the UN Security Council.

On June 14, the coalition aircrafts launched airstrikes on a water crossing on the Euphrates River, east of Deir Ezzor city killing 3
civilians.

On June 9, the coalition also carried out 25 airstrikes using internationally banned white phosphorus bombs on the western outskirts of Raqqa city and the area between al-Mshalab and al-Sinaa neighborhoods and in al-Sebahi neighborhood, killing 17 persons.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Syria: 12 people killed in US-led coalition new massacre against civilians in Hasaka

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