No More Shyness: AUB Normalizing with the ’Israeli’ Enemy!

Marwa Osman

Treason is not a perspective.  Treason is an act of betraying one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.  It is a crime defined in every state’s constitution and is punishable by death in many countries. Why should it be any different in Lebanon?

Well, it is not but as we all know by now, Lebanon is a special country in nearly every aspect of life.  Whether it is a social, political or a military scandal, we tend to have multiple views around it and bicker until a new scandal starts to trend.  This time however, I chose to write about it to make sure legal action is taken against the American University of Beirut [AUB].

It is not acceptable for a university within the Lebanese borders from whomever it is funded by to break the law blatantly and without any remorse while the Lebanese judiciary system sits and watches.

The screenshot you see below this Op-Ed’s title is that of an email sent to AUB students by the career center of AUB. The career center is a department within AUB and its role is to secure jobs for AUB graduate students and internships of AUB undergraduate students.

As clearly stated in the email, the job offer sent by the AUB career center is in a company called “Check Point Software Technologies.”  Now, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. is an “Israeli” multinational provider of software and combined hardware and software products for IT security, including network security, endpoint security, mobile security, data security, and security management.  Its headquarters are in Tel Aviv“Israel” [occupied Palestine] and San Carlos, CaliforniaUSA as shown in the table below which can be easily found with a little research. The company was founded by “Israeli” nationals Gil Shwed, Shlomo Kramer and Marius Nacht in 1993.

One can see this screenshot and ask why is AUB doing this?  What motive do the people urging the students to take on such job offers bear in mind? It is quite simple to be honest; it is for the end goal of normalization with Lebanon’s enemy,
“Israel”. The same “Israel” that has carpet-bombed Beirut the capital of Lebanon, its suburbs, its southern districts, and the entire country’s infrastruction several times over the past 40 years.  Apparently, what AUB still does not fathom is that normalization with the enemy is a crime.

Whether those running AUB acknowledge normalization as a crime or not is not the case and should not be the case.  The case is simply AUB broke the law by offering this job because it is giving its students the chance to travel and work in
“Israel” while “travel, accommodation and training expenses are covered by the company.”  Hence, it is not only encouraging normalization; it is tempting students to do it by securing full payment coverage as they go for it and betray their country.

We already know that AUB most probably will try to dodge this crime by saying the job offer is not for Lebanese students rather for foreign ones.  However, what AUB seemingly refuses to acknowledge is that its campus falls on Lebanese territories and hence is within the jurisdiction of the Lebanese law and any crime committed shall be dealt with by Lebanese authorities.

Letting this one go this time, will permeate further violations of the Lebanese law by the same university of by other institutions operating inside Lebanon under the pretext of “it’s not for Lebanese students,” or “it slipped our minds” or “we are sorry, it won’t happen again.”

By exposing such behavior, we as Lebanese trust the Lebanese authorities will take the right legal actions against those who have committed this crime. I will not hide the fact that this also makes me concerned a lot for the future of my children’s education in this country if such acts of normalization are not dealt with swiftly and firmly.  AUB is indeed a very prestigious and esteemed university at the level of the quality of education and knowledge it provides, but it seems those running it need a reminder that it is operating on Lebanese soil to provide education and knowledge to “Lebanese” students first before any other foreign student.

AUB already had several head turning decisions like that of terminating the job of Palestinian American professor Steven Salaita for no apparent reason other than stimulation a few Zionists back in the US and “Israel” for offering him a job to begin with.  Another incident worth mentioning is when AUB banned independent political analyst Dr. Mohammad Marandi from participating in a BBC debate that was scheduled to take place on March 8, 2018 on AUB campus on the basis that he is “Iranian”. That was a decision made by the American University of Beirut, which hails itself as a sanctuary of freethinking in the Middle East and claims to provide a platform for freedom of speech.

Similarly, this new decision to offer such a job that seeks to normalize ties with Lebanon’s number one enemy was also made by the American University of Beirut which supposedly encourages in the about section of its website the “freedom of thought[…] personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.” Maybe AUB’s board of trustees should reinstate the university’s mission if those employed in it have set their minds to include “normalization” within the university’s vision for their current and future students.

Source: Al-Ahed news

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America’s War on Yemen Exposed

August 14, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – As atrocities and scandal begin to mount regarding the US-backed Saudi-led war on the impoverished nation of Yemen, the involvement and hypocrisy of the United States and other Western backers is coming to full light.

Global condemnation of Saudi airstrikes on civilian targets has brought public attention to Washington’s role in the conflict – a role the Western media has attempted to downplay for years. It is ironic, or perhaps telling, that alternative media outlets targeted as “Russian influence” are leading coverage of Yemen’s growing humanitarian catastrophe.

US Denies Role in Proxy War That Couldn’t be Fought Without It 
In a recent press conference, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis – when asked about the US role in the Yemeni conflict in regards to Saudi atrocities – would claim:

We are not engaged in the civil war. We will help to prevent, you know, the killing of innocent people.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

Mattis himself would lobby US Congress earlier this year to continue US support for Saudi-led operations in Yemen.

A March 2018 Washington Post article titled, “Mattis asks Congress not to restrict U.S. support for Saudi bombing in Yemen,” would admit:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a personal appeal to Congress on Wednesday not to restrict the United States’ support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, as the sponsors of a privileged resolution to end Washington’s involvement announced that the Senate would vote on the matter next week.

Support includes US intelligence gathering for Saudi operations, the sale of of US weapons to the Saudi regime, and even US aerial refueling for US-made Saudi warplanes dropping US-made munitions on Yemeni targets selected with the aid of US planners.

In essence, the US is all but directly fighting the “civil war” itself.

Abetting War Crimes, Sponsoring Terrorists to What End? 

As to why the US believes it must continue supporting a proxy war Saudi Arabia is fighting on its behalf – beginning under US President Barack Obama and continuing in earnest under current US President Donald Trump – the Washington Post could conclude (emphasis added):

The war in Yemen has inspired much controversy in Congress, as lawmakers have questioned why the United States has involved itself so closely on the Saudi-backed side of a civil war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel forces. Successive presidential administrations have presented the campaign as a necessary component of the fight against terrorism and to preserve stability in the region. As Mattis put it in his letter to congressional leaders Wednesday, “withdrawing U.S. support would embolden Iran to increase its support to the Houthis, enabling further ballistic missile strikes on Saudi Arabia and threatening vital shipping lanes in the Red Sea, thereby raising the risk of a regional conflict.”

However, Mattis, his colleagues, and his predecessors have categorically failed to explain how Iran constitutes a greater threat to either US or global security than Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a nation admittedly sponsoring Al Qaeda worldwide, including in Yemen as revealed by a recent Associated Press investigation, and the nation which both radicalized the supposed perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City and Washington D.C. and from which most of the supposed hijackers originated from.

If Iran is indeed waging war against Saudi Arabia and its terrorist proxies in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, the real question is – why isn’t the United States backing Tehran instead?

The obvious answer to this question reveals the crumbling moral authority of the United States as the principled facade it has used for decades falls away from its hegemony-driven agenda worldwide.

The US and its allies created the “War on Terror” and intentionally perpetuated it as a pretext to expand militarily around the globe in an attempt to preserve its post-Cold War primacy and prevent the rise of a multipolar alternative to its unipolar “international order.” It has done this not only at the cost of hundreds of thousands of human lives across the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, it has done it at the cost of trillions of taxpayers’ dollars and the lives of thousands of America’s own soldiers, sailors, aviators, and Marines.


Canada Too 

A recent row between Canada and Saudi Arabia over supposed “human rights” concerns appears to be a vain attempt to salvage the credibility of at least some nations involved in the now 7 year long war – the last 3 years of which has seen direct military intervention by Saudi Arabia, its partners, and its backers – including Canada.

The Guardian in an article titled, “‘We don’t have a single friend’: Canada’s Saudi spat reveals country is alone,” attempts to portray Canada as taking a lone, principled stance against human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia – abandoned even by Washington.

The article would claim:

The spat appeared to have been sparked last week when Canada’s foreign ministry expressed its concern over the arrest of Saudi civil society and women’s rights activists, in a tweet that echoed concerns previously voiced by the United Nations. 

Saudi Arabia swiftly shot back, making plans to remove thousands of Saudi students and medical patients from Canada, and suspending the state airline’s flights to and from Canada, among other actions.

The Guardian would also claim:

…the US said it would remain on the sidelines while Saudi officials lashed out at Canada over its call to release jailed civil rights activists.

Canada’s feigned concern for “human rights” in Saudi Arabia comes at a time when the Canadian government continues approving of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms sales to Riyadh. This includes small arms and armored personnel carriers Saudi forces are using in their ongoing invasion and occupation of neighboring Yemen.

The feigned divide between Ottawa and Washington over Saudi human rights violations is overshadowed by years of commitment by both North American nations in propping up the Saudi regime, and aiding and abetting the very worst of Riyadh’s human rights abuses unfolding amid the Yemeni conflict.

Canada’s apparent role is to help compartmentalize the worst of the West’s decaying moral authority, containing it with the US, and taking up a more prominent role in the West’s industrialized “human rights” and “democracy” leveraging racket.

While Canadian armaments help fuel genocide in Yemen – Canadian diplomats around the world fund agitators and directly meddle in the internal political affairs of foreign nations predicated on promoting “human rights” and “democracy.”

In Thailand for example, the US has receded into the shadows, allowing Canada, the UK, and other European nations to openly engage in political meddling on their behalf. US funding and support continues, but the public face of Western “outrage” is increasingly becoming Canadian, British, and Northern European.

However, Canada faces the same problem that has permanently eroded American credibility. And as its role in perpetuating real human rights abuses worldwide continues to be exposed, its feigned concern over token or even manufactured human rights concerns will increasingly appear hypocritical and hollow, undermining the West’s collective ability to leverage and hide behind human rights and democracy to advance their self-serving agendas.

Islamic Jihad Leader to al-Ahed: The July Victory Broke «Israel»

Local Editor

Twelve years have passed since the defeat of the “Israeli” entity in the Second Lebanon War – as referred to by the Zionists. The repercussions of the defeat still resonate with the enemy as it comes to terms with them. How can it not recognize them when these repercussions paved the way for a repeat of victories by the resistance in the Gaza Strip, where the fighters kept their pledge to their comrades in arms and gave martyrs on the road to al-Quds. There are still more.

In the spirit of the commemoration of this divine victory, a member of the political leadership of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, Ibrahim al-Najjar, asserted that the July 2006 victory is an important milestone in the history of the Arab-Zionist conflict.

“This blessed victory provided all members of the resistance with great morale, especially throughout the occupied territory. It doubled their hopes of salvation from the usurping entity,” Al-Najjar told Al-Ahed.

“No one can deny the obvious truth of this battle. The “Israeli” slogan, long since repeated by the enemy, that the occupation army is invincible has been broken and no longer has a place,” he added.

The Islamic Jihad leader went on to explain that “the 33 day battle offered a lot in the way of evidence that the Zionist army has been humiliated. It also proved the transformation of the battle into a historical icon full of hope for the resistance in general, and the Palestinians and Mujahideen in Gaza in particular.”

Al-Najjar considers that what happened in July twelve years ago was a triumphant triumph of Islam as a whole, pointing out that it is worth immortalizing and celebrating with the whole nation.

Al-Najjar calls for an extensive celebration of this qualitative achievement by the heroic resistance. He says that there is an urgent need to remind the future generations of it every year – as is the case with the battles of the first Muslims – noting that it is a lever for steadfastness and challenges.

“Our enemy is striving to obliterate these glaring milestones. So it is our responsibility to deliver the message of victory to the younger generation that was not present in that battle and to instill in them the enthusiasm, the courage and valor,” he concluded.

Source: Al-Ahed News – Palestine

The End of the US Unipolar Moment Is Irreversible

The End of the US Unipolar Moment Is Irreversible

The End of the US Unipolar Moment Is Irreversible

The past weeks have shown how part of the American establishment is weighing the pros and cons of the Trump administration’s strategies around the world. I have a strong feeling that in the coming weeks we will see the destabilizing effects of American politics, especially towards its closest allies.

A disastrous flip of events appears to be on its way, in case Trump were to lose the November midterm elections (the House and Senate elections). If this were to happen, the Trump administration would probably exploit the Russia gate conspiracy claiming that Moscow had now acted in favour of Democrats. Trump could argue that Moscow was disappointed by the lack of progress in softening US sanctions against Russia; indeed, by Trump’s measures against Russia (expulsions, sanctions, property seizures) and its allies (China, Iran and Syria).

Trump would not hesitate to claim Russian interference in the midterms to aid the Democrats, citing intelligence reports. He would say that Russia aims to create chaos in the US by placing roadblocks in the way of attempts to “Make America Great Again” and handing the House and Senate to the Democrats. He would use the electoral defeat to blame his accusers of getting aid from Russia. In doing so, he would be accelerating the implosion of his administration in an all-out war with the establishment. The mainstream media would dismiss Trump’s accusations against the Democrats of collusion with Russia as a conspiracy theory of an unravelling presidency. All this, summed up, would lead to the Democrats having majority in both houses, easily proceeding to the impeachment of Trump.

Italy is piggybacking on the US, operating side by side with Washington to expand its role in North Africa, especially in Libya. However, Rome will have to offer something in return to please Trump. Evidence points to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the quid pro quo, the US encouraging Italy to complete it in order to put pressure on Germany’s North Stream II project and undermine Russian gas deliveries to the EU. I have the impression that the only card available for Italy to play (and which interests Trump) is an endorsement of Washington’s positions on Iran, given that Italy already shares in common with Washington differences with Paris and Berlin on many issues. In this sense, Conte’s words about US intelligence info on the JCPOA paves the way for further decisions:

“”I didn’t take a specific stand. I said we are willing to evaluate the necessity to take more rigorous stances if the (nuclear) accord is shown to be ineffective. We are waiting to have elements of intelligence, Italy would like to evaluate it with its EU partners”

As evidence of Washington’s failed strategy towards Iran, India continues to buy crude oil from Iran, increasing the amount in the last month by 52%. China is also increasing its importation from Iran. Meanwhile, Iran is working with other countries to circumvent the US dollar in order to sustain their mutual trade within a new framework of agreements. Washington is especially disappointment with New Delhi, with American officials continuing to reiterate that India’s intentions align with Washington’s. Since November, with the imposition of counter-sanctions on countries that continue to work with Iran, Washington’s bluff will become evident to everybody, much to the disappointment of the Trump administration.

In the meantime, relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia have almost completely broken down on account of human rights. Ambassadors have been expelled and there is a continuing war of words, with trade between the two countries being brought to a stop. This is the latest example of the divisions manifesting themselves within the Western elites, with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration being in opposition to the likes of France, Germany and Canada.

What is also clear is that the issue of energy is central to Washington’s strategy. Between criticism of the German Nord Stream II and invitations to Italy to finish the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, it is clear that both the Trump administration and the policy makers of the deep state are strongly concerned about what actions allies and enemies could take to overcome the pressure brought to bear by Washington on the issues of energy, Iran, and sanctions. This shows that the US is very fearful of de-dollarization, especially coming from its allies.

Bypassing sanctions with currencies other than US dollar, or creating creative finance structures that bypass the SWIFT payment system, are the only means of maintaining relations between countries in spite of Washington’s sanctions. The US strategy is limited in the short term and certainly harmful in the long term for US Dollar financial hegemony.

That Washington’s allies are even entertaining such possibilities places US financial hegemony at great risk in the long run. This worries the American deep state a great deal, even without Trump, who in any case will not be in charge past 2024 (should he be re-elected in 2020). One of the points of greatest tension is precisely this strategic difference between the Trump administration and the policy makers in the deep state (AKA Langley and Foggy Bottom). While the former can increase the pressure on allies (through NATO, the JCPOA, TTIP and TPP) to obtain immediate solutions and benefits, the latter must above all consider the effects in the medium and long term, which are often harmful for US interests. The imposition of sanctions on Iran, and the obligation of European allies to comply with this directive, is a prime example.

Another of Washington’s strategies revolves around the price of oil. The United States would have no problem seeing the price of crude oil skyrocket. Secretly, many in the administration hope that Iran will take the first false step by closing the Strait of Hormuz (Teheran will not make this move as things stand now); some even hope that the crisis between Canada and Saudi Arabia will have some impact on the cost of crude oil.

Even trade war and tariffs should be seen as part of Trump’s short-term strategy to demonstrate to his base that something is being done against countries that he thinks are taking advantage of the United States. In reality, Trump knows, or should know, that there is no way of stopping China’s growth, a result of globalization that has been the engine of free-market capitalism, making the western elite richer than ever before. Trump deceives his base with trade wars and tariffs, but in the long run the costs will be borne by American consumers, many of whom are Trump’s voters.

Trump thinks in the very short term, constantly aiming to present himself before his electors with a list of ticked boxes ( Peter Lavelle of Crosstalk gets trademark of this definition), confirming that he is fulfilling his electoral promises. In this way he hopes to win the midterms in November. To succeed in this endeavor, the economy must pick up to a gallop (for now this is happening thanks to a series of tax cuts and the continuous pumping of easy money from the Fed) and he must put pressure on his allies as well as aggressively confront Iran, Russia and China through sanctions, cutting energy supplies and forcing Tehran to negotiate once again the nuclear agreement.

What many analysts struggle with when trying to analyse Donald Trump is that there is no overarching strategy uniting his actions into a coherent policy. Trump acts extemporaneously, often with a very short strategic outlook and for internal political motivations.

Nevertheless, if there is something that worries the deep state, it is the long-term impact of tariffs, trade war, sanctions and impositions on allies; or, to put it most simply, de-dollarization. If there is anything that scares the Trump administration, it is remaining entangled in a destabilizing war with Iran that would lead to the early end of the Trump presidency and destroying its legacy, as Bush’s legacy was destroyed by Iraq.

In all this uncoordinated and inconsistent behaviour, there is the hope of a major rise in the price of oil that would help slow down China’s growth and transform the US shale-gas industry into an ultra-profitable business, further boosting the US economy and allowing Trump to present further evidence to his base of his ability to improve their lives.

The United States is in the terminal phase of its unipolar moment and is struggling to come to terms with the downsizing of its role in the world. Its ruling elite cannot accept the prospect of sharing power, preferring to oppose by all means possible the transition to a world order involving more powers. If this situation is already complex for any superpower enough to manage, a president has been elected who has little regard for compromise and mediation.

Ultimately, in addition to an obvious problem in defining Washington’s role in the world over the next few years, the United States finds itself with a president who is in almost open warfare with an important part of the US establishment. The deep state is still living on the hope of impeaching Trump to halt the loss of US influence, deluding themselves that things can return to how they were at the height of the unipolar moment in the 1990s.

The Human Factor of the Resistance

Hussein Samawarchi

At 8:15 in the morning of a beautiful spring day, a young man sits with his adorable little sister in the garden of their South Lebanon home. They chat and laugh while waiting for their mother to serve breakfast; the old walnut tree’s branches above them offer soothing shade. A lady carrying her morning grocery shopping passes in front of their home and greets them. She asks that they give her best regards to their mother. The young man bows his head respectfully as the friendly neighbor proceeds to her house. He is a little bit worried about his social studies exam at the university later in the afternoon. Finally, their mother appears with a huge round metal tray containing cheese, labneh [Arabic word for yogurt], fried eggs, fresh bread, olives, a tea kettle, and little glasses.

As the young man, Imad, stands up to help his mother with the heavy tray, the tree shakes violently and the sound of birds disappears. A loud bang is heard followed by thick gray dust; the tray falls on the ground, so does the little six-year-old sister. Imad’s ears feel like a sharp thin skewer had gone through from one side to the other. He sees his little sister crying on the floor and turns to see his mother sitting down with shock on her face. He runs inside the house to check on his older sister and finds her covered in blood and dust under the rubble of the wall that separated the living room from the kitchen which had received a direct hit. His sister was conscious; she was wiping the blood off her eyes and yelling “my mom, my mom” at him. He assures her that their mother was out of the kitchen when the “Israeli” shell had hit it and begins to remove her from under the broken wall that had collapsed on her fragile body. Despite having her left leg and hip crushed, she still worried about the rest of her family. Imad carries her to a neighbor’s car where she had finally lost consciousness on the way to the hospital.

Although there were civilian casualties in the village from the other shells unleashed by “Israeli” tanks, no one from Imad’s family died that day. The twenty-two-year-old master’s program student Zahra could not walk normally anymore and Imad missed his exam; he would have aced it because he knew Camus like the back of his hand and the questions in the exam revolved around the French philosopher’s material; according to his best friend Elie who had come to spend the weekend and be with Imad during this difficult time.

A month went by since the cowardly indiscriminate shelling of Imad’s village. He had long returned to attending classes again. His older sister laid in her bed at home; unable to move. She needed reconstructive surgery abroad. Imad had gone to several European embassies asking for help but none seemed too keen on assisting. Helplessness dominated his world. Ever since his father had passed away two years ago, Imad felt like he was the man of the house; he studied and worked nights to be able to cover some financial needs of his mother and two sisters. Frustration haunted the young man.

The village cleric made it a point to always try and socialize with Imad whenever there was an opportunity to do so. He made sure to encourage the young man in continuing to excel in his studies. Always told him how necessary it was to graduate; how it would make his mother and the whole village proud. Imad, and on more than one occasion, had shown interest in joining the ranks of the resistance. He wanted to avenge his sister’s predicament. The cleric insisted that being the only male in their household, his duty was to be there for his mother and sisters.

Two years had passed; Imad graduated and was given a job as a school teacher. He got a scholarship, managed by the village cleric, to continue his graduate studies. His older sister was walking with the assistance of crutches and had become engaged to the nice physiotherapist who had been attending to her rehabilitation. She also completed the requirements of the master’s degree and was planning on starting her doctorate level study.

Imad still wanted to join the resistance, but now not for the sake of revenge. Rather, to do his active role in deterring the violence being committed against his people. Every time he saw his sister limping alongside her fiancé, he felt like this should not happen ever again to any other beautiful young woman. Imad wanted to end the cause of violence and terrorism – to end the occupation. He went back to the cleric again and demanded that he joins the ranks of the defenders of Lebanon, for the purpose of establishing safety and not for the need to avenge. The cleric finally agreed.

After passing the medical exam, Imad was accepted into boot camp during the summer vacation. He learned survival skills and the correct use of light weapons. His instructors were very strict in every aspect of basic training that included legislature and guidelines on the correct treatment of captured prisoners. Fellow trainees were from all walks of life; medical doctors, architects, IT engineers, mechanics, bakers, and builders. All united in a brotherhood against the foreign occupier who killed Lebanese citizens without remorse.

This is what Hezbollah is made of. Lebanese men who choose to defend their country’s independence. Men who belong to a society built on family values where mothers are leaders and sisters are partners. Dignity comes before anything else; not an inch of land is subject to negotiations and not a single bearer of the Lebanese nationality is to be harmed or detained against his or her will. Hezbollah is men like Imad, saturated with social responsibility.

The US government and its agents, whom, in some cases, wear the traditional Arab costume, call Hezbollah a terrorist organization. They do so simply because Hezbollah stands between the realization of their demonic plans for the region and success. They have tried, time and again, to go through with the guidelines Henry Kissinger drew for them. And, they have failed miserably.

Mr. Kissinger’s school of twisted Machiavellian politics taught the importance of ruthless military campaigns and sanctions meant to wipe out entire sections of targeted populations with famine and the lack of medicine when napalm failed. He preached genocide.

What the likes of Kissinger did not understand and, therefore, could not teach was exactly the ingredient that kept them at bay: The Human Factor.

They took themselves as an example when they set up the schemes for the new world order. That was their fatal mistake. The standard of a decadent money-worshipping human does not apply to the majority of the rest of the free world. Imad does not live to generate profits for credit card companies who would end up enslaving him; he lives for the smiles on his family’s faces, for the pride of his ancestors, and for the security of his neighbors. Imad would happily embrace martyrdom for the sake of keeping his country, and hence direct society, safe. It is not terrorism, it is the brave defiance of victimization.

There is difficulty in imagining any oppressor, no matter how many fully loaded F-35s he maintains, having combat superiority over men whose fighting skills depend primarily on their love for the life of others. During the same 2006 morning, after ground shaking night battles between hordes of “Israeli” elite forces and a few Hezbollah warriors, where the “Israeli” ground commanders begged their headquarters for a retreat, both parties shed tears.

“Israeli” soldiers cried because of fear, Hezbollah warriors cried because they were not martyred. This is the philosophy that is unfathomable to the Zionists of the White House and Tel Aviv. Selflessness in favor of the human society is a concept that baffles them and they have not yet invented a new war machine that could prove victorious over that.

Imad is a university professor now. He never misses a chance to spend the weekend with his mother, two sisters, and their families. They all gather under the old walnut tree to celebrate life. His friend Elie visits now and then, along with his wife Janet and their two children who love spending time with Imad’s three kids. A grand breakfast in the garden is still the norm. Imad keeps one eye on his family and the other towards the southern hills where danger still lurks. His rifle is well oiled and ready should the “Israelis” decide to conduct a new offensive.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Saudi Arabia Rejects Human-Rights Criticism, Then Crucifies Someone

Krishnadev Calamur

Even as it excoriated Canada for scolding it over human rights, Saudi Arabia beheaded a man Wednesday in Mecca, then put his body on public display, for allegedly stabbing a woman to death. The method of punishment is known in Saudi Arabia as a crucifixion, which the government says is sanctioned by Islamic law, and is reserved for only the most severe crimes in the kingdom.

The suspect in this case was a man from Myanmar who was accused of breaking into the home of a Burmese woman and repeatedly stabbing her until she died, according to Bloomberg. He was also charged with weapons theft, the attempted murder of another man, and the attempted rape of another woman. King Salman endorsed the execution. The crucifixion practice is a gruesome one and is employed sparingly; most capital crimes in Saudi Arabia are punished through beheadings alone.

But as recently as 2013, Amnesty International reported that Saudi authorities executed and crucified five Yemenis in the city of Jizan after they were found guilty of armed robbery and the murder of a Saudi man.

“Pictures emerged on social media appearing to show five decapitated bodies hanging from a horizontal pole with their heads wrapped in bags,” Amnesty International said in a statement at the time. “In Saudi Arabia, the practice of ‘crucifixion’ refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded. It takes place in a public square to allegedly act as a deterrent.”

Saudi Arabia, which became a country in the 1930s, has employed beheading as a means of execution for decades—though the practice itself is centuries old and was once widely employed throughout the Muslim world and beyond…

Saudi Arabia executes more people than any country except China and Iran—and it does so for a variety of crimes.

News of the latest execution came amid a bitter diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada over a Canadian government statement that called on Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil-society and women’s-rights activists detained in recent days and weeks. As my colleague Sigal Samuel wrote in response, Saudi Arabia declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata and recalled its envoy to Ottawa. It froze all trade and investment deals, canceled educational-exchange programs, and suspended flights to and from Canada.

The flare-up occurred at a pivotal time for Saudi Arabia. Its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS, has cast himself as a reformer who is seeking to wean the Saudi economy away from its long overreliance on cheap oil and foreign labor. There have been other developments as well, which may look normal for the rest of the world but are potentially transformative for the kingdom—most significant among them, the government granting women the right to drive last September; the origins of the ban, as I noted at the time of the announcement, were murky, but the restriction appeared to be more cultural and religious than legal. But, as Samuel noted, “that win has been bookended by losses.” Women’s activists and human-rights campaigners continue to be detained. Torture remains rife in Saudi prisons, and executions continue apace.

The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, a human-rights group, said 146 people were executed in 2017, slightly less than the 154 executed in 2016. “Such a level of executions has not been witnessed since the mid 1990s,” the group said in a report released this week. The group said that as of April 2018, Saudi authorities had executed 47 people and were on pace to meet last year’s figure. Dozens more, it said, continue to face the death penalty, including some under the age of 18.

Jeffrey Goldberg, now The Atlantic’s editor in chief, wrote about one of these people, Ali al-Nimr, in 2015. Al-Nimr, the nephew of a prominent Shia leader in Sunni Saudi Arabia (who himself was executed), was sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion, and, despite international appeals, is still awaiting execution for alleged crimes committed when he was a minor during the Arab Spring protests that rocked the region.

Saudi Arabia employs the death penalty, which sometimes is carried out by gunfire, and usually in public, in response to a wide variety of transgressions, including murder, adultery, atheism, and sorcery and witchcraft. Despite this, it has in recent years found itself on various UN panels that oversee human rights and women’s rights around the world. (The country is hardly alone in its punitive practices—or its membership on elite UN panels… The United States is among the few Western nations that conducts executions, though it is mostly carried out by lethal injection.)

Saudi Arabia’s practices have been widely condemned by the international community and human-rights groups, but given its angry response to Canada’s alleged “interference” in its internal affairs, the kingdom looks unlikely to change the way it metes out its punishments. Saad al-Beshi, a Saudi executioner, said in a 2003 interview that he was “very proud to do God’s work.”

“It doesn’t matter to me: two, four, 10—as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute,” he said, according to the BBC. He added: “No one is afraid of me. I have a lot of relatives, and many friends at the mosque, and I live a normal life like everyone else. There are no drawbacks for my social life.”

Source: The Atlantic, Edited by website team

 

Bahraini Authorities Are Killing My Father, I’m On Hunger Strike to Save Him

 

Ali Mushaima

The government of Bahrain is slowly killing my father, Hassan Mushaima. This week I began a hunger strike outside Bahrain’s London embassy to save him.

My father is a leader of the political opposition in our homeland. In 2011 he was at the forefront of Bahrain’s Arab spring protests – a mass movement that peacefully called for human rights and democratic reforms in the authoritarian Gulf kingdom.

Police violently crushed the demonstrations, killing dozens and jailing thousands. Early on the morning of 17 March 2011, security forces broke into our home and arrested my father. Along with other leading human rights defenders and opposition figures – known collectively as the Bahrain 13 – he was tortured and hauled before a military tribunal. After a patently unfair trial, the court sentenced him to life, simply for calling for democracy in Bahrain.

I was part of the same case as my father, but I was convicted in absentia because I was in London at the time; a year later my Bahraini citizenship was revoked. If I return home to see my father, I’ll be jailed along with him.

Throughout this time, Bahrain’s authorities have punished my father by subjecting him to humiliating, inhumane treatment in the kingdom’s notorious Jau prison – a horrific detention center overcrowded with hundreds of political prisoners. The torture my father has endured has caused such severe problems that he has required surgery four times. Jau prison’s abusive and unsanitary conditions have seen his health sharply deteriorate, and authorities are denying him the medical care he needs to survive.

My father is 70 years old and suffers from serious chronic illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, gout and a urinary tract infection. He is in remission from lymphoma. He needs to take many different pills a day to help with these conditions: without them he could die.

Since 2016, however, the government has prevented him from seeing a physician needed to ensure the cancer has not returned, despite the need for screenings every six months. More recently, the authorities have singled out political prisoners for further insulting restrictions on healthcare, forcing them to be strip-searched, chained, shackled, and marched to external facilities if they want to attend medical appointments. Human Rights Watch found that this “degrading” treatment “violates international standards”.

Now my father’s medication is running out, and the government simply doesn’t care. Just last week the UN human rights committee found that Bahrain is failing to meet its treaty obligations under the international covenant on civil and political rights. It cited inhumane prison conditions and denial of medical care for political prisoners.

Despite numerous requests for assistance from my family and international campaigners, Bahrain’s so-called human rights bodies – such as the UK-funded police ombudsman and National Institution for Human Rights – have done nothing but whitewash continued abuses. Earlier this year the NIHR outright denied that my father even had any health problems that required treatment.

Without urgent medication and treatment, my father will die – and Bahrain’s chief western allies in London and Washington are letting this happen.

Since 2012, the UK has provided £5m in “technical assistance” to Bahrain. This was ostensibly meant to facilitate reforms and improve institutions like the ombudsman, but it has had the exact opposite effect: providing diplomatic cover for intensifying repression and police abuse. The UK government is aware of my father’s case, but it has entirely failed to take any action to rectify the situation, merely raising his case “at a senior level”.

Likewise, the Trump administration in the US has signed off on billions of dollars of new arms deals and abandoned human rights conditions altogether. Trump even told Bahrain’s king that there would be no more “strain” between the two countries, effectively green-lighting the kingdom’s bloodiest protest raid in years just days later.

The UK and the US are directly enabling Bahrain’s repression and they’re contributing to the brutal conditions killing my father. But it’s not too late. Leaders in London and Washington can still intervene to save my father and stand up for human rights. I urge them to use their influence to ensure he is immediately provided with the medical treatment he needs to live, and ultimately to secure his release.

Until my father is safe, I have no choice but to follow his commitment to peaceful protest and launch my own hunger strike against oppression. The regime should know that actions against him will not change my political views. The will of the pro-democracy fighters who started the revolution in 2011 against dictatorial rule remains strong, and we are now even more convinced that this regime can’t reformed itself.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

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