Just another day in Palestine

68-year-old Palestinian Woman Dies when Israeli Forces Block Ambulance

An elderly Palestinian woman died Saturday in Jerusalem when she suffered a heart attack while praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. She was identified as Sumayya Mahmoud Nasser, 68, from the Jit area in the land that is now Israel. Israeli forces stationed outside the mosque prevented an ambulance from reaching […]

West Bank Witnesses Worst Escalation in This Year, Israeli Forces Kill 4 Palestinian Civilians within Only 48 Hours; Two of Them Were Extra-Judicially Executed

Ref: 133/2018 – Date: 15 December 2018 – Time: 13:00 GMT: The West Bank is witnessing the worst and most violent escalation by the Israeli forces and settlers in this year. Only within 48 hours, the Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including an elderly and 2 extra-judicially killed

Israeli Soldiers Shoot Four Teens, Undercover Forces Kidnap One Palestinian, Near Ramallah

Israeli soldiers shot, Saturday, four Palestinian teenage boys at the entrance of the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the al-Biereh city, in the Ramallah and al-Biereh governorate in central West Bank, and attacked dozens of protesters, following the burial ceremony of a slain Palestinian. Undercover Israeli soldiers infiltrated into Kobar

Israeli Soldiers Invade Al-‘Arroub Refugee Camp

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at night, the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and fired at local protesters, in addition to spraying homes and cars with wastewater mixed with chemicals. Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel

Army Injures 23 Palestinians Who Intercepted Invasion By Colonists In Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers injured, on Saturday evening, 23 Palestinians after they intercepted illegal colonialist settlers, who were infiltrating by car into the southeastern area of Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum, said dozens of

Israeli Navy Abducts Two Fishermen In Gaza

Israeli navy ships attacked, on Saturday morning, several Palestinian fishing boats with live fire, abducted two sibling fishermen, including a child, and confiscated their boat. Zakariya Bakr, the head of the Gaza Fishermen Committee of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, has reported that the soldiers fired many live rounds

Army Abducts Four Palestinians In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday at dawn, four Palestinians, including a former political prisoner and a child, in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers ambushed a former political prisoner, identified as Rami al-Fakhouri, in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, in the Old City. It added

Mass Collective Punishment Targeting Entire Families, As Israeli Army Detonates Home In Ramallah

In an all-night massive Israeli military offensive into Ramallah, centered on the al-Am’ari refugee camp, to demolish the family home of Islam Abu Hmeid, Israeli soldiers forcibly removed more than 500 Palestinians from their homes in the dead of night. The families were forced out of their homes at gunpoint

 

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War on Palestine’s food supplies: israeli (apartheid state) navy opens fire, detains 4 fishermen in Gaza

Israeli navy opens fire, detains 4 fishermen in Gaza

(File)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained four Palestinian fishermen, on Saturday morning, including two brothers, off the coast of the western besieged Gaza Strip.

Head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, said that Israeli war boats opened fire targeting Palestinian fishing boats and chased a boat belonging to fisherman Saleh Abu Riyaleh. 

Bakr added that Israeli forces then detained fisherman Muhammad Saleh Abu Riyaleh, 28, and his 15-year-old brother, while at 4 nautical miles off the coast of western Gaza City. 

Israeli war boats had also opened fire towards fishermen off the coast of the al-Sudaniya area in the northern Gaza Strip.

No injuries were reported.

israel (apartheid state) tries to dim Islam’s traces in Jerusalem

Erdogan: Israel tries to dim Islam’s traces in Jerusalem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks at his gift given by Justice and Development (AK) Party's Istanbul Deputy Nureddin Nebati (not seen) during the 2nd Conference of Inter-parliamentary platform on Jerusalem in Istanbul, Turkey on December 14, 2018. ( Murat Kula - Anadolu Agency )

Turkish president on Friday accused Israel of trying to deliberately wipe out traces of Islamic heritage in Jerusalem over the last 50 years, Anadolu Agency reports.

“You [Israel] will not be able to wipe out,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at an Inter-parliamentary platform on Jerusalem in Istanbul.

You are deceiving yourself if you think you can destroy Jerusalem’s spiritual identity by moving a few embassies and consulates there, Erdogan said.

Tension has been running high in the occupied Palestinian territories since last year when U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

READ: Why is Israel targeting Turkey’s presence in Jerusalem? 

Erdogan said criticizing the misconducts of Israel never means anti-Semitism, adding: “Some European countries side with the US and do not raise voice against Israeli occupation policies due to shameful scenes from World War II.”

Bombing children playing ball along the coast of Gaza is a crime against humanity as bad as the Holocaust, he said.

The Turkish president said Jerusalem is not merely a cause of a handful of Muslims in Palestine, but it is “our common cause.”

Erdogan thanked “heroes” who uphold the honor of Jerusalem and humanity and protect the dignity of the Muslim Ummah against occupiers.

Palestinians must put an end to discord among themselves in order to see the outcome of their friends’ efforts, the president added.

Why Do Fundamentalist Christians Support israel (apartheid state) – Right Or Wrong?

Why Do Fundamentalist Christians Support Israel – Right Or Wrong?

Author: Henry Kamens
https://journal-neo.org/2018/12/14/why-do-fundamentalist-christians-support-israel-right-or-wrong/

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It appears that many fundamentalist Christians support the hard-line policies of the Israeli Government (currently consisting of the parties Likud, United Torah Judaism, Shas, Kulanu and the Jewish Home) more blindly and fanatically than most Jews do. Christian and Jewish Zionist organizations in the US have combined their lobbying efforts, their targets being governors and state legislatures.

Approximately 26 states – more than half – have enacted laws or executive orders to prohibit their state governments from awarding contracts to companies that support the BDS program, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli program. This BDS movement uses boycott-related tactics against Israel or the Israeli-Occupied Territories in an attempt to get Israel to stop oppressing the Palestinians.

This is where American politicians interact with international issues and lobby groups. For instance, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, a Christian fundamentalist, issued an executive order on November 16, 2018 that states that “the Commonwealth of Kentucky unequivocally rejects the BDS practices and stands firmly with Israel,” noting that these BDS practices “threaten the sovereignty and security of a US ally and friend of the Commonwealth.”

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Consul General of Israel to the Southeast United States, Judith Varnai Shorer, and Dave Wicker, Congressional Liaison for Christians United for Israeli (CUFI) joined Governor Bevin at the signing ceremony of this order in the State Capitol building. The event was presented as if they, the people of Kentucky, and the United States, were collectively making a moral stand in support of the State of Israel.

Politicians such as Governor Bevin have called the BDS movement anti-Semitic and “repugnant.” He referenced passages from the Book of Ezekiel about being a watchman, saying Kentucky was watching and sounding the alarm.

In reality, however, the BDS movement is a nonviolent way to support the Palestinian cause in light of illegal Israeli settlements, the seizure of Palestinian land and the blatant refusal to abide by many UN resolutions over the years. Israel has effectively made Gaza into the world’s largest prison, yet forbids the inmates to even protest against this. Hundreds of nonviolent Palestinian protesters have been shot dead by Israeli troops in 2018 alone.

Bevin is not alone. Many want to paint the movement in the same way, but not in terms of taking a moral stand but because it is not politically expedient to use sanctions against the UN-created Jewish State.

The Israeli Lobby in the US is highly-motivated, well-organized and willing to contribute to the campaigns of politicians who oppose the BDS movement and vote for anti-Palestinian state and federal laws. But in reality all such legislation has more to do with governors and political types looking for campaign contributions and thus caving into pressure from the well-funded Israeli lobby, than anything else.

President Trump gave the Israeli Lobby a major victory when he moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – apparently without considering any of the geopolitical implications and ramifications of international law. He actually implemented a previously unimplemented US policy by “illegally” making Jerusalem, for all practical purposes, the legal capital of Israel.

Pushing Back

Taking up the Palestinians’ side, however, is musician Roger Waters, who was one of the founders of Pink Floyd and has been a strong supporter of BDS. He has lobbied his fellow pop stars not to perform concerts in Israel.

Waters has openly called Israel an apartheid state. He has compared its government’s PR to Nazi propaganda efforts, and claimed that Israel is the worst human rights offender in the world. And that was before recent events in Gaza, starting in March, 2018, and the bloody and deadly crackdown on Palestinian protestors.

Ian Halperin, an Israeli film producer, launched a personal counterattack against Roger Waters in a new documentary he entitled “Wish You Weren’t Here.” Apparently this production has more to do with standing up for the political status quo than protecting Jews. With a case of high-powered speakers, the documentary paints Waters as an anti-Semite.

“With this movie, I’m trying to bring people together, not to divide them,” Halperin said. “This particular film is meant to call [Waters] out and bring people together… Music is supposed to spread love, not hate,” he said.

CNN Effect

A CNN commentator, Marc Lamont Hill, was recently fired after making a speech at a United Nations conference in which he called for “international action that will give us what justice requires, and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” The reaction was immediate, with CNN firing him for telling the truth, a commodity CNN has distanced itself from in recent years.

It must be noted that he was not speaking on behalf of CNN, but only as an American writer and lecturer in communications at Temple University in Philadelphia. The speech was given at an appropriate venue, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People Special Meeting at UN Headquarters on November 28, 2018.

Several Jewish journalists and Israeli Consul Dani Dayan immediately called Dr. Hill’s remarks anti-Semitic, but you can judge this for yourself after listening to the actual speech before the UN body. Consul Dayan tweeted that Hill’s remarks were like a “swastika painted in red,” whilst the Anti-Defamation League said they were tantamount to calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Marc Lamont Hill had told his assembled international audience, “Our solidarity must be more than a noun; our solidarity must become a verb.” Recalling the multiple tactics and strategies employed by the black community against Jim Crow laws and slavery in the United States, he called for embracing the movement to adopt boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Moreover, he said, solidarity means recognizing the Palestinian right to self-defence, stressing that Palestinians must not be shamed for resisting in the face of State violence and ethnic cleansing.

He was able to say in a 20 minute speech what the international community has been unwilling to address, describing with great insight the plight of the Palestinian people and how the international community has turned its back on the blatant violations of those same rights.

Hill was fired by CNN the very same day. It is no longer possible to take a stand that is not in step with the Jewish lobby and the American political elites, including Donald Trump.

Gideon Levy, wring in the Jewish newspaper Haaretz, said, “In a matter of hours, the skies collapsed into well-orchestrated hysteria. Seth Mandel, an editor of the Washington Examiner, accused Hill of having called for Jewish genocide; Ben Shapiro, an analyst on Fox News, called it an anti-Semitic speech.”

Gideon Levy concluded: “The Jews and Israel have an incredible degree of influence in the Western media.” Now you can call me, too [the author] an anti-Semite as well, and using Gideon’s language – a self-hating Jew, to boot.

Hill presented a vision deeply rooted in universal human rights, in which Palestinians can gain freedom just as other people have. He made particular reference to the history of the Black struggle against American state sponsored racism, Jim Crow and apartheid.

Holding Israel Accountable

Hill called for the support of boycotts because they are a time-honored nonviolent tactic, which can be used to hold Israel accountable. For some he likely came across as a hybrid of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Yasser Arafat, but those people’s problem is that, in the US, this cannot be used against him.

In light of current efforts to also have him fired from his university teaching position, Witold Walczak told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Under the First Amendment, Temple University cannot punish an employee for making off-the-job statements that it might disagree with. It’s not complicated.”

After apologizing for some of his remarks, Hill has made a number of public statements perhaps designed to keep his position at Temple. “I talked about the need to return to the pre-1967 borders, to give full rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel and to allow the right of return. No part of this is a call to destroy Israel,” he said.

He pushed back against the criticism he has received, saying that he did not support anti-Semitism and that the “river to the sea” reference was a “call for justice” – both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.”

But still various Zionist organisations and rabid politicians continue to condemn him, and are urging [at the least] for the university where he is employed “to strongly condemn Marc Lamont Hill’s dangerous calls for violence against Israelis and the destruction of Israel, and to fire Hill immediately, or at least suspend him from the prestigious Steve Charles Chair that he holds.”

But the most vocal accusers are the same Christians who speak of love and forgiveness, who nevertheless spout headlines such as “CNN Commentator Marc Lamont Hill Calls for the Eradication of Israel.”

Millions of fundamentalist Christians support Israel because it says in the Bible (Revelations) that Christ will return after the Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt, and the Israeli government is rebuilding it. Using the scriptural reference in this way supports the essential con of so-called “fundamentalism” – that as long as you can quote scripture to support your position, even if your interpretation of that scripture has been derided for the past two thousand years, you are automatically right and justified, regardless of your conduct.

There is nothing in the actual teaching of Christ which supports such a position – indeed; he attacked the Jews of His day for saying exactly the same. But one only needs to read the articles and comments in many Christian press articles to gain insight into the mentality and collective mindset of many fundamentalist Christians. In their view, the Palestinians, who are also mostly Christians, are getting in the way of progress, and in order to oppose them, we can just forget everything Jesus taught.

Regardless of which side of this argument you take, one thing is certain – Hill made a hell of a speech. It was even better than anything Obama gave, and if a good speech can get you a Nobel Prize for Peace, Hill should get one for speaking truth to power. Fundamentalists Christians may consider themselves above secular powers, but Marc Lamont Hill might be catching them up.

Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

The US-supported holocaust in Yemen

The US-supported holocaust in Yemen

Deliberate targeting of civilians

At least half the victims are children

There are approximately 28 million people in Yemen.

US-supported Saudi Arabian forces have insured that 20 million don’t have access to regular food supplies and nine million are on the verge of famine.

A deliberate policy of genocide.

Paid for by US tax payers.

Click here for more info about Radio War Nerd

 

Will India Help Iran Avert U.S. Sanctions-Related Medical Crisis?

Source

ShutterstockShutterstock

by Aveek Sen, Mojtaba Mousavi, and Udayan Tandan

Zeinab, the mother of a four-year-old girl suffering from blood cancer, says that “Mina has been under medication for nearly five months. The doctor had prescribed her pills recently and Mina has to take them every night for three years straight.” Zeinab adds, “We are spending really difficult days both physically and emotionally. It’s okay if you have no food at home, but in hospitals, there should be medicine for patients, for children. Whatever sanctions you’re imposing, don’t restrict medicine.”

Restrictions on importing pharmaceutical active ingredients reduced Iran’s medicine production during the last round of U.S. sanctions in 2012. “I am a PSC patient and I need Mesalazine and Ursobil on a daily basis,” said Amir, 29 who was diagnosed in 2008 with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a liver disease. “In 2012, I couldn’t find enough Mesalazine and my colitis activated again. That was an awful experience. The doctors told me that without regular intake of the medicines, I face serious damage to my liver. It may overtime metamorphose into colorectal cancer.” 

U.S. officials have said repeatedly that the sanctions are designed to target the Iranian “regime,” and it has even issued a waiver for humanitarian goods. But in action, by imposing sanctions on Iranian bank transactions, the United States is effectively blocking the only way to buy medicine for Iranian patients.

“When banks are terrified to handle Iran-related transactions, it means we cannot even buy medicine, and if we do, we cannot transfer them into Iran since airlines won’t accept cargoes destined for Iran,” says a senior manager in an Iranian firm importing pharmaceuticals, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Fear is the main weapon that the United States is using to enforce its sanction policy against Iran. “The fact is that the banks are so terrified by the sanctions that they don’t want to do anything with Iran,” said French ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud to The New York Times. “So it means that there is a strong risk that in a few months really there will be shortage of medicine in Iran.”

On October 3, 2018, judges at the International Court of Justice ruled that the United States had to remove “any impediments” to the export of humanitarian goods, including food, medicine and spare parts, and equipment and services necessary for the safety of civil aviation. The United States argued the ruling was a “defeat” for Iran, saying it already allowed humanitarian-related transactions.

“Excluding medicines from sanctions is just a false claim,” says Iranian Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi. “We have many medical cargoes need to be transferred quickly but there is no airplane or ship to transfer them into Iran due to US sanctions.”

“If imports of drugs into the country are stopped right now, we are able to meet 50 percent of the nation’s need for medicines,” says Akbar Barandegi, the director general for pharmaceutical affairs at the Iranian Food and Drugs Organization.

Iran faced a shortage of life-saving medicines in 2012-13 due to economic sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States. Medicines were exempt from the sanctions. However, Europeans were reluctant to supply pharmaceuticals, primarily due to payment concerns since Western banks were wary of handling financial transactions with Iran.

In these circumstances Iran turned to India for a supply of essential life-saving drugs. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is known worldwide for its quality generic drugs. Indian pharma majors like Cipla, Ranbaxy, and Glenmark supplied Iran with bulk drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and generic formulations of drugs used in the treatment of lung and breast cancers, brain tumors, and heart ailments, among others. In the cases of Cipla and Ranbaxy, they provided medicines to Iran despite having a major presence in the U.S. market.

With U.S. sanctions kicking in once again, Iran’s position has become precarious for it may face trouble importing essential items like food and medicine. Ajay Sahai, the director general of the Federation of Import-Export Organisations, remains cautiously hopeful since the United States has of yet not provided clarity on this issue. Also, he points out, if European companies bend to U.S. pressure, Indian pharmaceutical companies could again step in, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises with no exposure to the U.S. market. India has also already obtained a sanctions exemption on oil imports, and the payment mechanism between the two nations has been resolved. Sahai notes that Iranians will be eager to import from India in exchange for what India owes in oil payments.

Century Pharma is one Indian enterprise well-positioned to help Iran. It’s been in the business of manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients for the past three decades and has been regularly exporting to Iran, according to the company’s managing director, Janak Sheth. In fact, Century Pharma has already received two big orders from Iran in the last week.

Every time Iran faces tight sanctions from Western countries, its trade with Asian countries, especially southeast Asian states, increases until whenever Iran decides to expand its relationship with the West,” says Javad Aminian, an expert in Iranian relations with South Asia. “So, we expect Iran’s trade with Asia to rise again during the new round of sanctions.”

Aveek Sen is an independent journalist working on cybersecurity and the geopolitics of India’s neighborhood, focusing on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Bangladesh. @aveeksen. Udayan Tandan was a former legal consultant at the Enforcement Directorate and currently practices law in New Delhi. @udayantandan. Mojtaba Mousavi is the founder and editor of the Tehran-based analytical website, IransView.com. His writings on Iran’s foreign policy appeared in different Iranian and international media including Al-Monitor and Al-ahram weekly. @mousavimojo

Russia to Set Up Military Base in the Caribbean

Russia to Set Up Military Base in the Caribbean
By Tass

Tu-160 strategic bomber

Tu-160 strategic bomber

© Marina Lystseva/TASS

Moscow is gearing up to establish a long-term military presence in Latin America and the current mission of the Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela is part of this plan, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.

“It is the right idea to include Venezuela in long-range aviation missions,” military expert Colonel Shamil Gareyev told the newspaper, adding that it was also economically reasonable. “Our strategic bombers will not only not have to return to Russia every time, but also won’t perform aerial refueling while on a patrol mission in the Americas. Our Tu-160 aircraft arrive to their base in Venezuela, conduct flights, execute their missions and are then replaced on a rotating basis. This is how it should be done,” he said.

Colonel Eduard Rodyukov, a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Military Sciences, in turn, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that “the arrival of Russia’s Tu-160 strategic bombers to Central America is kind of a signal to Trump to make him realize that abandoning nuclear disarmament treaties will have a boomerang effect.”

According to Kommersant’s sources in Russian military management agencies, the Russian-Venezuelan agreement on the flight of two Tu-160 strategic bombers is mutually beneficial, since Caracas got a chance to exhibit its independent military policy and Russian pilots performed not just a simple training flight but covered a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean, the Barents, the Norwegian and the Caribbean Seas.

We are clearly helping the Venezuelan government stay afloat, Research Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Emil Dabagyan told Kommersant. “Since Russia benefits from oil exploration, it wants the Venezuelan regime to stay in place,” he added. As for Caracas, joint military drills with Russia and other activities of this kind are very important for it at the moment. According to the expert, Venezuelan authorities “seek to show their determination to protect the country from the potential aggression of the United States, who has been labeling the Maduro regime as illegitimate.”

This article was originally published by TASS

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