Canada becoming even more extreme in supporting zionism. aid group accused of helping Hamas branded as ‘terrorist’

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TORONTO — A Canadian organization that provided humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has been formally branded a terrorist group before the start of a court battle over the revocation of its charitable status.

In a letter to the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy, the RCMP said the federal government had added the group to a list of “terrorist entities” as of April 24.

“IRFAN is now classified as a ‘terrorist group’ under Canadian law,” the letter from Supt. Stephane Bonin states.

“As a consequence, any property or asset belonging to IRFAN is now frozen.”

The letter offers no reason for the listing decision but Canada Revenue Agency has said the organization supported Hamas, itself branded as a terrorist organization.

A statement Tuesday from Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney noted CRA’s contention — which was to be argued in court next week — that IRFAN provided aid to groups run by officials of, or who supported Hamas.

IRFAN, based in Mississauga, Ont., sent about $14.6 million in resources to “various organizations associated with Hamas” between 2005 and 2009, the statement said.

The non-profit IRFAN was due in Federal Court of Appeal on May 6 to contest a 2011 CRA decision to revoke its charitable status because of its alleged ties to Hamas and failure to keep proper records.

No one for IRFAN was available to comment, but a lawyer speaking for the group condemned the listing as an attack on humanitarian support for Palestinians.

IRFAN did not know the terrorist listing was in the works and had no opportunity to respond or offer its side of the story, Ottawa-based lawyer Yavar Hameed said in an interview.

There’s no evidence the group did any direct funding of Hamas, he said.

“This listing happens days before we are to present arguments for the first time to the Federal Court of Appeal, so we’re very concerned about the timing with which this listing happens which completely undermines any ability for this organization to work as a charity,” Hameed said.

“On its face, we believe it is an unfair and unconstitutional decision that has been taken.”

Hameed also said the listing was a “nail in the coffin” for Canadian humanitarian support for “orphans and destitute” Palestinians and wondered if the decision was politically motivated.

Even acting for IRFAN as a lawyer puts him in a “tenuous” position because any support for the group could be seen to run afoul of the Criminal Code, he said, adding it is only the second time a Canadian domestic organization has been listed as terrorist group.

Meanwhile, RCMP said Tuesday it had raided IRFAN’s head office in Mississauga and a residence in Montreal as part of a terrorism-financing investigation.

“An extensive amount of documentary evidence along with stored media, money and other records were seized,” police said in a statement.

RCMP offered no further details of Monday’s raids.

Blaney’s statement noted “severe penalties” are in place for those who run afoul of the listing law.

“Canada will not tolerate terrorist activities including the financing of terrorist groups,” Blaney said.

“IRFAN-Canada has knowingly financed Hamas, a listed terrorist entity, for many years.”

In revoking its charitable status that followed two audits over 10 years, CRA referred to unproven suggestions from the U.S. government that IRFAN had ties to an Hamas-linked American aid group.

It also claims IRFAN “repeatedly misrepresented its fundraising activities to the public” and that the revocation decision was fair and legal.

It was not immediately clear whether the Federal Court of Appeal case against CRA had been rendered moot by Ottawa’s listing decision.


Syrians flood squares to show support for army and presidential elections

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Admin

Apr 29, 2014
Provinces, (SANA) Syrians in several provinces on Tuesday took out to the streets in massive rallies to express support to the army, presidential elections and the national principles.
Rallies in Aleppo city
Citizens in Aleppo city staged two rallies in support of the national principles, the constitutional event of the presidential elections and army in the face of terrorism.
The people of al-Sirian and Mahatet Baghdad neighborhoods in Aleppo asserted that Syria’s strength comes from its army and the solidarity of its people, asserting that they will practice their right to vote in the upcoming presidential elections.
Aleppo Governor Mohammad Wahid Aqqad was among the participants, affirming that such rallies reflect the true face of Aleppo and its patriotic people.
Mass rally in Daraa
Locals from Daraa province on Tuesday organized a rally in front of the Workers Union’s building to express their support to the presidential elections and to the Syrian Arab Army in the battle against terrorism.
The participants, holding patriotic banners and waving Syrian flags, expressed their adherence to national unity and rejection of foreign interference in the Syrian internal affairs, adding that the presidential elections are a response to all lies made by USA and the western countries.
They highlighted that the real response to all fake calls of “western freedom” is through going to ballots and practicing the right of voting as to preserve Syria’s unity and dignity.
Daraa Governor Mohammad Khaled al-Hannous called upon Daraa people to participate in the elections because voting is the right and duty of every Syria citizen.
He hailed the sacrifices made by the Syrian army as to preserve Syria’s unity.
For his part, Head of Daraa Branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party Shukri al-Rifae said that the presidential elections are Syrian affair and the Syrians are the only side to determine who to rule and lead their country.
He stressed that foreign dictations are rejected, hailing the steadfastness of the Syrians in the face of terrorism and the achievements made by the Syrian army against the terrorist groups.
Mass rallies in Damascus Countryside
Mass marches and rallies were also organized in cities and towns of Qara, al-Nabek, Deir Attiya, al-Sabboura, Qatana, Arna, Bludan, Ashrafiat Sehnaya, Herjalleh, Dahyet Qudsia, and Dahyet Harasta in Damascus Countryside.
The participants showed their support to the national principles, the presidential elections and the army in the face of terrorism, stressing the need for all Syrians to take part in the elections to show that Syria will remain steadfast despite all pressure.
The rallies were attended by Damascus Countryside Governor Hussein Makhlouf and secretary of the Damascus Countryside branch of al-Baath Party Mohammad Bkheit.
Stand at Damascus University
Branch of Damascus University of the al-Baath Arab Socialist Party organized a stand in support of the Syrian Arab Army and the presidential elections.
Head of Damascus University al-Baath Branch Dr. Jamal al-Mahmoud, said that holding presidential election is one of the most important aspiration for the Syrian people, adding that the elections would be a continuation of the achievements carried out by the Syrian army against the armed terrorist groups.
Al-Mahmoud called on all citizens to participate in the election as it represents a public interest and national need to help confront all pressures exerted against Syria.
The participants said that the presidential election is a clear evidence of the sovereignty of the Syrian stances, adding that the coming stage is pivotal stage in the lives of the Syrians.
Celebration at Faculty of Information at Damascus University
In the same context, a celebration was held at the Faculty of Education in Damascus University, with the participation of the Dean of the Faculty, the secretary of the university branch of al-Baath Party, faculty members and many students.
Women’s Union branch in Sweida stages event
A similar event was organized by the Sweida branch of the General Women’s Union.
The event included traditional artistic, musical and dance performances, a ballet recital, and honoring 20 contributors in a charity campaign organized by the Union in 2013 to help the families of martyrs.
Gathering in Tartous
Meanwhile, teachers and students gathered outside the Arab Cultural Center in the city of Tartous to express their stance in support of the army against the terrorist groups and happiness over the holding of the presidential elections.
Members of the Teachers Syndicate branch, al-Baath Party branch members, and Tartous Governor Nizar Ismael Moussa were among the participants in the rally.
This event was held to coincide with the annual conference of the Teachers Syndicate branch, with the conference discussing various issues related to syndical issues and including theatrical performances by students and the honoring of the families of 25 martyrs. 
Student gathering in Hasaka
Similarly, students of al-Furat University in Hasaka gathered in the yard of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and chanted slogans expressing their unswerving support for the army in its battle against terrorism and happiness that the presidential elections will be held on time.
Stand in Sweida
A stand was staged outside Martyr Ghazi al-Debs high school in al-Qaria town in Sweida in which a crowd of youths stressed that they will adhere to the national principles as the country is approaching presidential elections.
Rally in Homs
Residents of Shin town and the neighboring villages in the countryside of Homs crowded in the town’s square to voice their solidarity with the Syrian army that is fighting the fiercest of battles to defend the homeland against foreign-backed terrorism and express support over the holding of the forthcoming presidential elections.
The participants raised the national flags and placards expressing determination to deter terrorism and commitment to the national unity.
They stressed the importance of the democracy being witnessed in Syria in spite of the crisis, noting the persistence of the people to continue the development process through presidential elections.
English Bulletin

Jubilation across country over upcoming presidential election and army’s victories

Israel Army Destroys Mosque, Church as Christians Threatened

Local Editor .A mosque was among several Palestinian structures destroyed by the Israeli army Tuesday in a West Bank village for having been built without permits, concurring sources said. The Israeli army destroyed  mosque and a church in the occupied territories in the latest of a string of racist attacks. Separately, an Israeli man threatened the Roman Catholic bishop of Nazareth and demanded that Catholics leave the country or face God’s wrath. Tabgha church, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, was also vandalized by the Israelis.

Source: AFP
29-04-2014 – 19:11 Last updated

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Al-Mustaqbal Propaganda on Hizbullah Backfires

Al-Mustaqbal Article on Hizbullah Backfires At Newspaper

Nour Rida 

Multiple and intense have been – and still are- the attempts to distort the image of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.

The March 14 camp has never seized to disfigure the image of Hizbullah. In fact, it has not missed any opportunity to defame the Resistance, yet they commit blatant mistakes, and their scheme backfires at them.

al-Mustaqbql article on martyr Ali Ashmar

The March 14 renown al-Mustaqbal newspaper author, Fady Shamieh, published an article on Monday entitled, “Hizbullah’s Involvement in the Syrian War: Names and facts.” Yet, Shamieh had inserted some wrong names and facts that stood out. In his article, Shamieh has published a photo of a Hizbullah martyr named, ‘Ali Mounif Ashmar‘, mentioning that Ashmar was martyred in Syria in July 2012.

Ali Ashmar was born in Kuwait on the 14th of July 1976. His father named him Ali after the first of the 12 Imams, Imam Ali, the prince of believers (pbuh).

He took part in many operations, the last of which was the Rub al-Tlateen in Odeisseh. On the 21st of March, 1996, Ali blew up a bomb loaded with shrapnel in a Zionist convoy that was made up of several trucks and cars in which “Israeli” officials were present. Numerous injuries and deaths were recorded among the “Israelis.”

One day after the operation, Ali’s body parts were collected, enshrouded and buried near the operation spot.

With such a blatant mistake, al-Mustaqbal newspaper proved it does not follow any fact-checking procedures, which in fact in not unprecedented. The newspaper continues to be a propaganda machine publishing lies and distorted facts.

For those who think the Resistance people and supporters are carrying a counter propaganda, Google will give you the answer. A simple search will demonstrate that Ali Ashmar was undeniably martyred in 1996 and that there were various articles and videos about his martyrdom published long before al-Mustaqbal’s article was published on April 28, 2014.
Source: al-Ahed news 

Russia Vows ’Painful’ Response to New US Sanctions


Lavrov: Russia Rejects US, EU Sanctions in All Their Forms

Russia Vows ’Painful’ Response to New US Sanctions

Local Editor

Russia on Monday vowed to deliver a “painful” responseRussian Foreign Ministry to fresh US sanctions on seven top officials and 17 Kremlin-linked firms that are meant to punish President Vladimir Putin’s stance on Ukraine.

“We will, of course, respond,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency. “We are certain that this response will have a painful effect on Washington.”

The United States and Europe Monday whacked Russia with fresh sanctions for failing to stop soaring tensions in Ukraine.

Source: Agencies
28-04-2014 – 21:19 Last update

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Ukraine SITREP-update April 28, 1447 UTC/Zulu

Russia stands for freedom!The Saker

  • The city hall and the city council buildings of the eastern city of Konstantinovka have been taken under control of Russian-speaking insurgents who say that they are here to protect the local authorities (who are opposed to the revolutionary regime in Kiev) from any attack by the junta.
  • Probably lured by the oligarch-galore in the Ukraine, the Jewish oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has showed up in the Dontesk region to show is support for the new regime.  According to him, “Donetsk is far from being as pro-Russian as it could be”.
  • The Mayor of Kharkov, Gennadi Kermes, has been shot in the back and critically wounded by an unknown gunman who used a rifle from long range.  The bullet passed through Kermes’ body, damaging several internal organs.
  • Six more Right Sector gunmen have been arrested over the week-end when they attempted to penetrate the Donetsk area under cover.
  • According to The Guardian, the Jews of the Ukraine do not fear the neo-Nazi Banderists, but Putin, Russia and Russian propaganda.
  • Obama is about to announce new sanctions against Russia.
  • The EU is about to announce new sanctions against Russia.
  • On Sunday, pro-regime soccer hooligans clashed with pro-federation Russian-speakers.  There were injuries, but not fatalities.
  • A number of fake snuff-videos purportedly made by the Right Sector which show policemen being killed have emerged on the Internet.  They are almost certainly fake, but nobody knows who is behind this action.

A very interesting trend is beginning to emerge: the deepening of the rift between the, shall we say, “official” leaders of the eastern Ukraine and their own electorate.  I am talking about folks like Mikhail Dobkin, Gennadi Kermes (the one shot today) or the various representatives of the Party of Regions in what is left of the Ukrainian Parliament.  The folks leading the anti-regime insurgency are adamant that the Party of Regions and all its members have already betrayed them many times and that the idea of participating in the Presidential elections organized by the junta in Kiev is yet another betrayal.  Yesterday, in one of the most popular talkshows on Russian TV (“Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev“) one of the supposedly “pro-Russian” representatives of the Party of regions ended up having an ugly shouting match with about half of the guests on the show, including three representatives of the pro-Russian insurgency in the eastern Ukraine, and several well-known Russian analysts.  At this point the “least disliked” “official” political figure in the eastern Ukraine might be Oleg Tsarev who was expelled from the Party of Regions and who initially announced that he was running for President, but who dropped out of the race when confronted about that by the local people in Donetsk.  He is also the politician who was invited to the Ukie TV show “freedom of speech”, who was guaranteed protection and then who ended up several beaten and partially stripped of his clothes by neo-Nazi thugs outside the TV station.

Speaking of TV stations, following the ban on the re-broadcast of Russian TV in the Ukraine, a number of TV stations have been stormed and taken under control of local insurgents who, interestingly, did restore the broadcast of Russian TV stations alongside Kiev controlled TV station.  They did not get the Ukrainian stations off the air.

For the time being the twice announced operation to put down the Russian-speaking East has achieved nothing besides getting a few people killed and radicalizing the local population.  The current strategy of laying siege to the rebellious cities is bound to fail as time is most definitely not on the junta’s side.  Again, to me, the eastern Ukraine has reached an escape velocity, a point of no return, and I simply do not see any figure who could make the idea of a federalized Ukraine work.  I am not even sure if Putin could do that.

Finally, there are pretty good signs that somebody is definitely trying to make things worse by, for example, filming the fake snuff-video I mentioned.  Or the shooting of Kermes for that matter.   The irony is that the Right Sector and the Russian-speakers are both opposed to a negotiated settlement and both equally hate the junta in power.  The shot which wounded Kermes today could have been fired by either side.

Note about terminology:

I employ a lot of expressions which I consider value-neutral.  I there speak of the “insurgents” in the East just as I spoke of the “insurgents” on the Maidan.  To me somebody who takes arms against a regime is an insurgent, that does not imply that I condone or condemn what he/she is doing.  Same thing for the expression “revolutionary regime”.  To me a revolutionary regime is one which brings about a radical change, a change in order, in regime.  That can be good or that can be bad.  Ditto for “rebels” who are, in my opinion, those who openly disobey the orders of an authority.  Again, I don’t believe that these expression imply anything other than a factual situation.

Stay tuned, kind regards,

The Saker

Reconciliation at the expense of the Palestinian cause

Breaking:  Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Gaza.
Published Friday, April 25, 2014
If reaching a national reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas was so easy that it could be done in less than 24 hours, which is what happened this week, why have these two parties failed to do so for the past seven years?
Paris: Why did the numerous meetings, discussions, and Arab mediation efforts over the past few years fail to bridge the divide between Fatah and Hamas, while a fleeting visit by a delegation representing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), sent by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to the Gaza Strip, was able to do so without any mediation?
Why did the 2011 Cairo Agreement and the 2012 Doha Declaration fail at a time when the proclaimed reconciliation is being accomplished today based on the terms of the two previous agreements?


Why did both sides encumber the Palestinian people with the burden of their dispute all this time if they were able to put an end to it? The more important and vital question is, if the dispute between Fatah and Hamas was a result of their clashing national programs and political visions, as they claim, does that mean that they finally managed to formulate a common national program?

The national reconciliation agreement that was announced clearly postulates the formation of a technocratic government made up of qualified figures in five weeks, having legislative and presidential elections after six months and renewing PLO institutions to pave the way for Hamas to join the organization.
This raises an obvious question about the common national program that will be presented to the Palestinians first and the international community second. 
Have the fundamental differences between a party that sees peace as the only path to reach a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and another that believes in resistance in all its forms as a path to liberate historic Palestine been resolved? Or did one side succumb to the other’s strategy?
Modern Palestine Flaq
The statements issued by both sides indicate that the reconciliation agreement recognizes the Oslo Accords as the framework of the PA, which will renew its institutions through elections. Fatah leader, Azzam al-Ahmed stated very clearly: “We as Palestinians unanimously accept an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, solving the problem of the refugees, full sovereignty over all our territory, and no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.” Saeb Erekat preceded Ahmed stressing that “reconciliation is necessary to achieve peace.” Abbas himself did not miss the chance to assert that “there is no contradiction between reconciliation and negotiations.”
Hamas leaders on the other hand spoke in general terms. Member of the Hamas political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said: “The Palestinian people are the main supporters and sponsors of ending the division,” emphasizing that “the occupation is the sole beneficiary of Palestinian fragmentation.” He did not deny that implementing this agreement will face a lot of difficulties but he insisted on the necessity to “shake the dust and turn a new page by uniting and going forward towards reconciliation.”
But Abu Marzouk needs to tell us how is it possible to go forward if his political party does not answer the questions that were posed in 2006? What if the international community imposed its previous conditions on Hamas? What is his response to what Ahmed said about Palestinian unanimity regarding the two-state solution? Does he agree with Erekat that reconciliation is the way to peace?


The clarity with which Fatah leaders confirmed their traditional positions while Hamas leaders were evasive in responding to them clearly indicates that Hamas is the weakest link in this reconciliation. 

Even though Abbas resorted to the reconciliation as a maneuver after failing to procure the bare minimum of his demands from Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, Hamas was forced into it after losing the Muslim Brotherhood – its primary source of support – and losing Syria and Iran as allies without gaining Qatar.

This means that both sides resorted to the so-called national reconciliation to improve their political positions and not because it is going to serve the Palestinian cause as they made it out to be. It is absolutely impossible to serve this cause in the absence of a clear and specific agreement on the nature of core national principles and how they can be achieved, whether through resistance, negotiations or a compromise between the two. The interest of the Palestinian cause can not be achieved given that one of the parties has been mired in futile negotiations for 20 years and another party fluctuates in its position depending on the regional and international circumstances whereby it calls for resistance but hesitates to practice it since 2006.
The reconciliation that they are touting confirms once again that the PA as an institution with the Oslo Accords as its frame of reference has become a point of consensus between all the parties. They disagree on their share but they do not disagree about it, otherwise, what is the point of Hamas returning to this authority through new elections after trying this path before, which has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that maneuvering from within this institution is an impossible task? If it justified its participation in the 2006 elections by the death of the Oslo Accords during the second Intifada, what is their justification this time? 
How can Abbas threaten to hand over the keys of this authority at a time when he will call on the Palestinian people tomorrow to renew its legitimacy?
Had Abbas been serious about his threat, he would have used the national reconciliation agreement as an opportunity to call on all the Palestinian parties to embark on an open national workshop aimed at formulating scenarios and alternatives for the post-PA era. 
If Hamas still adheres to the idea of historic Palestine, it would have refused to go through reconciliation on the basis of elections governed by the Oslo Accords.
But having all these questions lingering without answers, especially from Hamas, indicates that what happened in the Gaza Strip yesterday is nothing but a show, a form of political adolescence and hypocrisy practiced by the leaders of both sides against the Palestinian people. It is also a matter of divvying up interests and not ending the split. But even if we agree that this reconciliation truly ends the division, then it is doubtlessly at the expense of the Palestinian cause and its core principles.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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