Archive | December 18th, 2018

Erdogan-backed Puppet ready to launch offensive

NOVANEWS

Approximately 24,000 Erdogan-backed puppets are ready to launch their offensive east of the Euphrates, the Turkish publication Yeni Safak reported on Tuesday.

According to Yeni Safak, the first phase of this operation will focus on ten different garrisons that are controlled by the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.

The first phase of the puppet operation is set to last at least two months and will be led by the commander of the Turkish Army’s 2ndBrigade General Ismail Metin.

On Monday, Turkish Zionist puppet  Erdogan told reporters that the upcoming operation to target these YPG-held areas should begin ‘soon’.

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Boycott Airbnb

NOVANEWS

west bank

Airbnb reverses ban on Zio-Nazi after backlash

Airbnb is reversing a decision they made last month after entering the political fray of the Middle East and falling flat.

Facing a growing boycott movement and possible lawsuits in the U.S. and ‘Israel’, Airbnb announced today that is suspending its ban it has announced in November.

As reported in the Metro Voice last month, Airbnb had entered into the geo-political debate over Zionist Jewish illegal settlements in the illegally occupied West Bank in November when it banned 200 illegal rental listings that were Jewish owned from its website in Zionist Jewish illegal settlements throughout the West Bank.

The San Francisco-based online marketplace where property owners and renters can offer fee-for-service hospitality, continues to list Arab-owned properties in the West Bank, which are Muslim and Palestinian-owned, including in Jerusalem proper and its suburbs. Airbnb’s exclusive discrimination against Jewish-owned properties within Jewish settlements in the West Bank was fueled by anti-Jewish rhetoric against Israel from the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinians consider all Israel-occupied territory, including some in Jerusalem and eastward to the border of Jordan, as stolen property and illegally colonized by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967 in which Israel defeated 6 Arab countries.

Airbnb has said its original decision to ban Jewish-owned properties in the West Bank was not part of the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Saction) movement, urging companies to put pressure on the Jewish state to give up all of its disputed territories.

That contention by Airbnb was a hard sell when they had chosen to ban Jewish homes, but not Arab ones, in disputed Israeli territories. There are currently over similarly 200 disputed territories globally, none of which Airbnb has chosen to discriminate against host properties at this time.

Sarah Stern, Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth told the Jewish News Service Airbnb’s policy is a “double standard” of “anti-Semitism.”

Airbnb’s previous geo-fencing and targeting of Jewish-owned properties had included east Jerusalem, which contains parts of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall and some of the most sacred sites of Judaism and Christianity.

Historically and biblically, disputed territories in Jerusalem and the West Bank belonged to Israel for thousands of years. Those ancient boundaries for Israel are described in Genesis 15:8 and 17:8 and included what are now parts of modern Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

In 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered 92% of the disputed West Bank to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinians walked away from the negotiations.

On November 30th a full-page ad appeared in the Washington Post with the headlines, “AIRBNB: ANTI-SEMETIC BED AND BREAKFAST” and “AIRBNB SAYS … “BELONG ANYWHERE, UNLESS YOU’RE A JEW.”

The ad was placed by The World Values Network, whose Executive Director is American Rabbi Schmuley Boteach. That organization, along with others, is calling for a boycott of Airbnb for their anti-Israel discrimination and singling out of Jews.

According to an article in Forbes.com posted last week, “Several U.S. states are now researching whether the global travel company has broken state laws by prohibiting the listings. Some U.S. cities are calling for a boycott. Airbnb faces multiple lawsuits over alleged discrimination, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized the move during a keynote at the Israeli American Council conference on November 30, saying Airbnb’s actions had “no place” in the market.”

According to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Airbnb’s Vice-President, Chris Lehane, met with Israel’s Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin on Monday in Jerusalem leading Airbnb to issue a follow-up statement announcing their “policy would not be implemented,” adding that “the company will continue its dialogue with the Israeli government.”

Levin called the reversal of policy by Airbnb “a step in the right direction” and called for “all Israeli citizens” to “get equal treatment.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Boycott Airbnb

Turkey’s Crackdown Curiously Spares the Literary World

Signs showing the imprisoned Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan at a protest against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in November in Cologne, Germany. Ms. Erdogan is facing life in prison not for her books but for work with a Kurdish newspaper.CreditOliver Berg/European Pressphoto Agency

Signs showing the imprisoned Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan at a protest against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in November in Cologne, Germany. Ms. Erdogan is facing life in prison not for her books but for work with a Kurdish newspaper.CreditCreditOliver Berg/European Pressphoto Agency

ISTANBUL — Some Turkish authors who are not in prison may well be wondering why not.

This country’s literary world has a proud tradition of enduring imprisonment and repression, but mainstream authors have enjoyed an odd, if partial, immunity to the crackdown by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a failed coup attempt this summer.

It is not that no authors are jailed: A prominent novelist and human-rights advocate, Asli Erdogan, is facing life in prison. And the thousands of books put out by 29 publishers aligned with the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Mr. Erdogan blamed for orchestrating the failed coup, have been withdrawn from bookstores, universities and schools and reduced to pulp.

Ms. Erdogan, who is not related to the president, is not in prison for anything in her books, but for work with a beleaguered, and since suppressed, Kurdish newspaper, Ozgur Gundem. Another novelist, Ahmet Altan, and his brother Mehmet, an academic, were jailed for “subliminal messaging” in favor of the attempted coup — again, not in their books but during a TV appearance.

In bookstores, works by mainstream publishers, other than those deemed pro-Kurdish, have been untouched by the crackdown. Ms. Erdogan’s books continue to sell, and even better than before, according to book industry officials.

Compared with people in other intellectual fields, writers have gotten off easy. Since the coup attempt, some 120 journalists have been jailed, along with hundreds of academics and thousands of teachers. Only three authors are behind bars, none of them for their books.

It is not clear why the literary world has been given a pass so far. Some think it reflects the book world’s status, which is higher than journalism’s, and suppression of authors has unpleasant associations with previous periods of authoritarian rule in Turkey. Others speculate that writers may be self-censoring, steering clear of issues that could prove troublesome. And many warn that this could just be a short-lived phase.

The Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk in 2014. “I had various troubles with the government and court cases not because of my novels but because of my interviews and random brief political essays,” he said.CreditAyman Oghanna for The New York Times.

The Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk in 2014. “I had various troubles with the government and court cases not because of my novels but because of my interviews and random brief political essays,” he said.CreditAyman Oghanna for The New York Times

It is not that Turkey’s literary figures have not been outspoken about current events. “In the last three decades, novelists were not much in trouble for what they wrote in their fiction,” said Orhan Pamuk, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006 (the only Turk to be so honored).

But Mr. Pamuk has often run afoul of the Erdogan government. “I had various troubles with the government and court cases, not because of my novels but because of my interviews and random brief political essays,” he said. “Journalist political commentary is dangerous in Turkey, and after the failed coup, the situation of free speech got worse.”

Irfan Sanci, the owner of Sel Publishing, has been prosecuted 10 times over books he has published, and is free while he appeals a three-year prison term. But those prosecutions were all on obscenity charges and mostly involved foreign works, such as Beat novels by William S. Burroughs or erotic works by Guillaume Apollinaire.

Social and political criticism, especially of the current government, often gets writers jailed, but rarely when it appears between two covers.

That is, if the work has nothing to do with Mr. Gulen’s movement, and if it refrains from any sympathetic treatment of Kurdish issues — two big ifs in contemporary Turkey. But most Turks opposed the coup attempt, even if they detested Mr. Erdogan. And fresh in memories is a time, only a few years ago, when the Gulen movement was aligned with the president and Mr. Gulen’s followers were blamed for persecuting authors.

The Kurdish issue is murky, too, because Turkey’s military is in a shooting war with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the P.K.K.

Still, no one is taking heart from what may prove to be a temporary and limited immunity. “Yes, books seem more untouchable than newspapers, and they’re kind of scared of accusing the authors of books,” said Eray Ak, an editor for the book reviews at the Cumhuriyet newspaper, whose editor in chief, Turhan Gunay, has been jailed.

Hasan Cemal, a former editor in chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, in 2006. He faces criminal charges for a book he wrote about a Kurdish guerrilla and singer, although he has not been jailed.CreditCem Turkel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Hasan Cemal, a former editor in chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, in 2006. He faces criminal charges for a book he wrote about a Kurdish guerrilla and singer, although he has not been jailed.CreditCem Turkel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Tora Pekin, a lawyer for Cumhuriyet, said the government had already done enough to raise concerns: “Arresting Asli Erdogan and Necmiye Alpay was crossing a threshold. After them, they can put anyone in jail.”

Ms. Alpay, who also faces life imprisonment, is a linguist and is often described as a living dictionary of the Turkish language.

Mr. Sanci, too, said no one should be complacent. “The fact that the journalists are in jail but not the authors yet doesn’t mean we won’t be in the future,” he said. “This is a period without law.”

Mr. Pamuk noted that prominent novelists were in jail because of ties to journalism.

“Asli Erdogan, whom I admire a lot, is emblematic, and her case is heartbreaking,” he said. “She only did a symbolic act of lending her name to a newspaper as an editor.”

“It is not easy to accept that a great literary critic, Necmiye Alpay, who educated the Turkish readership about the intricacies and glories of the Turkish language in her book columns, is in prison for being a ‘traitor,’” he continued. “It is also hard to believe the government newspapers’ claims that these writers whom the Turkish public are reading, discussing and enjoying at least for the last 20 years are ‘terrorists.’”

Most, Mr. Pamuk noted, are being held under pretrial detention under a state of emergency declared after the coup attempt. “If there is evidence against them, they should be tried,” he said, “but not put into prison before the verdict.”

Hasan Cemal, a former editor in chief of Cumhuriyet, has published a dozen books without incident — even some that are quite provocative, such as one challenging the subject of a deeply rooted taboo here, “1915: The Armenian Genocide.” But his book “Delila,” about a Kurdish guerrilla and singer, was banned last year, and he faces criminal charges over it, although he has not been jailed.

Ahmet Sik, an investigative journalist, in 2012. When Mr. Sik was arrested in 2011 and jailed for a book he had not yet published, Mr. Erdogan justified that by saying, “Sometimes a book is more dangerous than a bomb.”CreditDaniel Etter for The New York Times.
Ahmet Sik, an investigative journalist, in 2012. When Mr. Sik was arrested in 2011 and jailed for a book he had not yet published, Mr. Erdogan justified that by saying, “Sometimes a book is more dangerous than a bomb.”CreditDaniel Etter for The New York Times

Mr. Cemal said he thought a large part of the reason more authors had not been arrested over their books was that many were being careful about what they wrote. Thousands of people, after all, have been charged after insulting the president.

Senay Aydemir, the editor in chief of the Posta Kitap publishing house, said more time needed to go by for literary responses to the crackdown to begin to filter in.

“The tradition of literature in Turkey is strong in this sense,” he said. “Throughout the history of the republic, authors faced similar pressure, exile or prison, but found ways to resist. I think this tradition will continue.”

In the meantime, he said, the book business is doing well, because in unsettled times, more people read. He also sees signs that more people are writing books, including many journalists whose publications have been closed.

“Book publishing is still Turkey’s most free arena,” said Cem Erciyes, another publisher. “I see lots of journalists, lots of literary writers taking shelter in the world of books. The book is the oldest media — its wisdom, its accumulation of knowledge is thousands of years old.”

When an investigative journalist, Ahmet Sik, was arrested in 2011 and jailed over a book he had not yet published, Mr. Erdogan justified the arrest by saying, “Sometimes a book is more dangerous than a bomb.”

The book was seized in draft form and banned. It came out anyway in an edition listing 125 editors, a who’s who of Turkey’s literary, academic and journalistic world, under the title “000Book” to avoid the ban on the actual title, “The Imam’s Army.”

It turns out that Mr. Sik’s book was an investigation of the infiltration of Turkey’s security services by Mr. Gulen, the man Mr. Erdogan now accuses of trying to overthrow his government.

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Haley Says She Read Trump’s Peace Plan: ‘It Will Take Advantage of Technology’

NOVANEWS

Outgoing UN ambassador tells Security Council the plan ‘contains thoughtful detail’ but gives no further details

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East in New York, December 18, 2018.U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East in New York, December 18, 2018.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that a U.S. plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians “brings new elements to the discussion, taking advantage of the new world of technology that we live in.”

“It contains much more thoughtful detail,” Haley told the UN Security Council of the plan, which she said she has read. “It recognizes that realities on the ground in the Middle East have changed in powerful and important ways.”

She gave no details of what was in the long-awaited plan, which has been prepared by U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

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