Today, yet another lie came back to haunt the con artists who led the Brexit campaign.

#Brexit was financial suicide, only the rich will benefit

Pride's Purge

Today, Nestle have announced 300 jobs are to be lost in York and Newcastle after production of Blue Riband chocolate is to be moved to Poland.

But on a visit to York last May, Boris Johnson claimed the city’s confectionery industry “will prosper” with Brexit.It won’t be the likes of Johnson who will be receiving their notices from Nestle …

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لماذا لايسقط اردوغان .. ولماذا لاتقسم سورية؟؟

 

بقلم نارام سرجون

..لايمكنك أن تصل الى اليقين مالم تمعن في الشك .. ولايكشف الأسرار ويسقط عنها الاقنعة الا عين الشك .. ولذلك لايصل الى الايمان المطلق من لم يداهمه الشك وان كان ينام في قلب الكعبة كل يوم أو يصلب على نفس الصليب الذي مات عليه السيد المسيح ..

والشك هو الذي يجب أن يسائل اردوغان وحكمه ويقيسه بمرحلة مصطفى كمال أتاتورك الذي أعلن نهاية الخلافة وقيام الجمهورية .. لان مصطفى كمال لم يستطع حتى هذه اللحظة من الهروب من تهمة العمالة للمخابرات البريطانية التي صنعته كبطل قومي لتركيا أنقذها من براثن الهزيمة وهو يحارب عدة جيوش (باستثناء الجيش البريطاني) وكانت النتيجة أن مصطفى كمال أخذ تركيا من الشرق الى الغرب وانتزع منها شيفرة الخلافة وهي الحرف العربي القرآني الذي يصلها بأربعمائة عام متواصلة .. ولايزال سر مصطفى كمال غير قادر على الهروب من الشك بعلاقته بالمخابرات البريطانية التي خدمته وخدمها .. وقد قامت جمهورية أتاتورك في نفس الفترة التي أقيمت فيها مملكة آل سعود ومملكة بني هاشم الأردنية على يد الانكليز الذين صنعوا لبلاد نجد والحجاز قائدا اسمه عبد العزيز آل سعود وصنعوا منه زعيما بانتصارات عسكرية .. ثم صمموا للعرب ثورة الشريف حسين وصنعوا لها قائدا ليكون سريره مفرخة للملوك “الجواسيس” تمثلت بأسرة الشريف حسين وسلالته .. والبريطانيون بارعون جدا في صناعة الزعماء والقادة لأنهم يعرفون أن الشعوب تتبع الزعماء فبدلا من مواجهة الشعوب فان الأفضل وضع اليد على لجام الشعب .. فهم يرون أن الشعوب ثيران هائجة أو جياد لاتقاد الا باللجام .. ولالجام للشعوب مثل ملوكها وزعمائها .. فبدلا من ترويض الجواد اصنع له لجاما ثقيلا ..

وهذه المقاربة التاريخية لنشأة الجمهورية الاتاتوركية التي اختار الانكليز لها العلمانية لالغاء طابعها الديني تفصلها اليوم عن خلافة أردوغان مئة سنة تقريبا .. فقد دفن اردوغان جمهورية كمال اتاتورك منذ أيام لأن وظيفتها انتهت وظهر أن مهمتها الحالية في ولادة الشرق الأوسط الجديد (الديني والمذهبي) لاتستطيع القيام بها دولة علمانية بل دولة دينية تتفاعل مع السديم المذهبي الهائج .. فأعيدت لها صفتها الدينية عبر حكم العدالة والتنمية ..

في ظروف نهوض الاسلام السياسي من ثورة الامام الخميني في ايران لم تعد تنفع النزعة القومية التي قادها صدام حسين لايقاف التمدد الثوري الايراني وفكر الدين الثوري ولم تعد مملكة آل سعود قادرة على التنطح العقائدي لهذه المهمة بسبب ظهور بثور وبذور فساد المملكة وتبذير أمرائها وحياتهم الباذخة وكان لابد من اطلاق العدو الطبيعي للموجة الخمينية الطاغية .. ولم يكن هناك افضل من العثمانية الصاعدة .. فالجمهور العربي المسلم مشدود بالنوستالجيا والحنين الى الدولة القوية المركزية التي شكلت المظلة العقائدية .. “وكان المذهب السني محرجا بسبب تمكن المذهب الشيعي “من تطوير نموذج للحكم الاسلامي فريد وقدم تجربة للثورة الفكرية والايديويولوجية الجهادية أصابت المثقفين الاسلاميين العرب بالصدمة وهو يظهرون عاجزين عن انجاز الثورة الاسلامية التي وعد بها الاخوان المسلمون وغيرهم طوال عقود .. وكان أفضل مرشح في نظر الغربيين للقيام بدور العدو الطبيعي للاسلام السياسي بنسخته الشيعية هو تركيا العثمانية .. وهنا لايمكن فصل احتلال العراق عن مصادفة غريبة في نجاح حزب العدالة والتنمية وصعود نجم لاعب الكرة التركي وبائع البطيخ أردوغان في نفس الوقت الذي هبط فيه نجم صدام حسين معه الى الحفرة التي روّج الأميريكون أنهم وجدوه فيها .. ففي العراق ظهرت الحاجة الماسة لقيادة للجمهور السني اليتيم الذي بدا مظلوما بعد أن اطيح بحكم السنة بالقوة .. وبدا المثقفون العرب يتلفتون حولهم بحثا عن رمز اسلامي قوي .. وكان القائد الجديد أردوغان قد اكتملت صناعته .. خطيب مفوه وذو صوت عال “كبائع بطيخ “وممثل بارع ومناور .. ونموذج عصري للخميني التركي السني .. انه النموذج المطلوب والمفصّل على مقاس الجمهور التائق لقائد مناظر للولي الفقيه ..

ومن يحار في السؤال عن سبب بقاء رجب طيب أردوغان في السلطة كل هذا الوقت وهو ينتقل من نصر انتخابي الى نصر آخر وكأنه طائر الفينيق فانه اما أن يكون من أولئك السذج الذين ينامون في قلب الكفر وفي سرير الرذيلة وهم يعتقدون أنهم في قلب الكعبة واما أنه من أولئك الواهمين بأن تركيا دولة تلعب اللعبة الديمقراطية بجدارة دون أن يكون للغرب أي دور فيما يجري فيها .. فالغرب لايسمح بأي ديمقراطية لاتتوافق مع مصالحه وتوجهاته .. وتجربة الزعيم النمساوي هايدر خير دليل لأن هايدر امتدح هتلر ونجح في الانتخابات بشكل غير متوقع فقاطعت أوروبة النمسا وحاصرتها حتى أرغم هايدر على التراجع والتخلي عن نصره الديمقراطي الناجز من أجل الشعب النمساوي الذي قاطعته أوروبة لأسابيع متتالية .. أما أردوغان فانه يهاجم أوروبة ويتبجح أنه أبو الاسلام السياسي وأنه يريد احياء الامبراطورية العثمانية ألد اعداء أوروبة التي حاصرت فيينا .. وهي اسوا الذكريات العثمانية في الوعي الاوروبي .. ومع ذلك فانه لايحظى الا بأصوات تلفزيونية ناقدة .. ولكن لاأحد يعلن مقاطعته أو محاصرته اقتصاديا ولاتخرج فتوى واحدة من رجال الاعمال والمال لسحب الاستثمارات الهائلة في البورصة التركية .. ولايقدم الاتحاد الاوربي على منع السياحة اليه لتدمير عموده الاقتصادي القائم على السياحة كما فعل الروس وجعلوا فنادقه شبه فارغة عندما أسقط لهم طائرة السوخوي .. والرجل يتعامل علنا مع داعش والنصرة وكل المجموعات الارهابية ويصدر الارهابيين واللاجئين الى اوروبة ومع ذلك تبقى اوروبة مستكينة له وكأنها عاجزة بلا حول ولاقوة ولاتقوم باي رد فعل وكأن يد السلطان هي العليا .. بالرغم من أن السلطان يخوض حربا عالمية يحارب فيها ايران وروسيا والعراق وسورية ومصر والصين ..

ماهو سر اردوغان؟؟ وكيف يغامر رجل مثله لاتزال صناديق الاقتراع بالكاد تعطيه نجاحا صعبا بأصوات 51% من الناخبين ولايبالي بأصوات 49% يعارضونه ويتصرف وكانه يحصل على أصوات 90% رغم أن السياسي الذي يفوز فوزا صعبا يخشى أن يخسر نقطة أو نقطتين بسبب اي قرار غير مدروس .. الا أردوغان الذي لايهزم ولايقهر .. فهو لايبالي بالأكراد ويطحنهم ويسحقهم ويزج بقياداتهم في السجن .. ويناطح تيار فتح الله غولن القوي .. وهو يعلي الخطاب المذهبي والاثني في بلد مليء بالمتفجرات المذهبية والعرقية .. ومع هذا فانه لايسقط .. فهل هو ابن الاله أم روح محمد الفاتح.. أم مصطفى كمال أتاتورك آخر بتصميم انكليزي بنسخة عثمانية يراد له أن يكون أبا الأتراك الجدد؟

والحقيقة أن سقوط اردوغان لم يكن يوما وهما نهذي به أو حلما يداعبنا بل انعكاسا لحقيقة وواقع ينقله لنا مثقفون ونخب تركية تناصبه العداء وتتوجس منه .. فهو محاصر بكل أسباب الخسارة وظهر ضعفه وترنحه في انتخابات عام 2015 عندما اهتز حزب العدالة والتنمية وكان عليه تشكيل حكومة ائتلافية ولكن اردوغان أعاد الانتخابات بعد ان هيأ طريقة الفوز والتلاعب على قواعد اللعبة بمباركة أوروبة التي لم ترفع صوتها كما تفعل عندما لاتروق لها المكائد الانتخابية ..

ان سبب بقاء اردوغان جاء من الحاجة اليه بسبب الدور التركي في الحرب السورية .. وأردوغان مدين للحرب السورية في بقائه لأن كل برنامجه الانتخابي في البقاء يستمده من تداعيات الحرب على سورية .. لأن مشروع الغرب القاضي بخلق حاجز داعش بين ايران والعراق وسورية على امتداد نهر الفرات يستحيل أن ينجح دون العون التركي .. كما ان جبهة النصرة في الشمال لاتقدر على الصمود دون الدعم التركي المطلق .. وهذان التنظيمان هما عماد مشروع الفوضى الخلاقة والشرق الأوسط الجديد .. فهما يرسمان حدود المذاهب بالدم وهما الاسفين الذي يمكن أن يقسم سورية .. ولايمكن ان تقاد الحملة الدينية الطائفية في المنطقة بحزب تركي علماني بل بحزب ديني يجمع حوله السنة الباحثين عن عمق مذهبي لاعلماني .. ولايمكن المخاطرة بتغييب شخص أردوغان عن الساحة التركية لما قد يحمله هذا الغياب من ضعف في معسكر الاسلام السياسي الذي قد يهتز اذا غاب ملهمه الروحي والرجل الساحر الذي التفت حوله الجماعات الاسلامية من المحيط الى الخليج وتحول الى مغناطيس تتبعه جماعات الاسلام السياسي كالمنومة مغناطيسيا وتهاجر اليه حتى من غزة المحاصرة .. تماما كما كانت الأحزاب الشيوعية العربية تنسخ التجربة السوفييتية وتسير معها كظلها .. ولذلك لايبالي اردوغان باي اعتبار انتخابي فالمال الخليجي يسرع اليه كلما أوعز البريطانيون بذلك .. والانتقادات الاوروبية لاردوغان مجرد كلام ونباح دون عض .. بل ان النباح يزيد من التفاف الاتراك حوله وهم يرون ان مستقبلهم صار غامضا في ظل السعار الغربي نحو تركيا ..

وحتى الانقلاب العسكري التركي الذي لاتزال أسراره تتكشف رويدا رويدا جاء لتثبيت الرجل بعد اهتزاز شرعيته في انتخابات عام 2015 .. وبدا تثبيت اردوغان في الحكم بعد اعادة الانتخابات والزج بقادة الأحزاب الكردية في السجن وكأنه طعن في التشكيك بشعبيته وشرعيته .. حيث ظهر بعد الانقلاب وكأنه عاد بقوة الشعب وليس بالتحايل على قوانين الانتخابات .. والحقيقة هي انه عاد بقوة المتطرفين الاسلاميين الذين أزاحوا من طريقهم بعنف كل من يمكن أن يحول بينهم وبين الحكم المطلق حتى انجاز مهمة الشرق الاوسط الكبير الذي لاتقدر على انجازه الا تركيا الاسلامية بحكم مطلق التي توقف التمدد الايراني والتي تثبت دولة سنية يحاول الغرب صناعتها بين سورية والعراق وترضعها من أثدائها العثمانية حتى يشتد عودها لأن لاأمل لها الا بالثدي العثماني وهي محاصرة غربا وشرقا .. وربما كان من نتائج الدكتاتورية الاسلامية التركية التي يريدها الغرب أن تكون مثل قنبلة موقوتة هو استقطاب المجتمع التركي وابقائه متوترا ريثما تحين لحظة تقسيمه لأن الديكتاتورية الاسلامية لايمكن التنبؤ برد فعلها اذا ماخسرت السلطة في صناديق الاقتراع أو في انقلاب عسكري .. فهي تتصرف وكأنها في مهمة تاريخية وجهادية وان ليس من حقها فقدان السلطة بل حماية الخلافة التي خسرتها في حرب عالمية ولن تقبل بخسارة ثانية لها مهما بلغ الثمن .. حتى وان كانت الخسارة ديمقراطية في صناديق انتخاب ..

أهمية تركيا اليوم جاءت من دورها السوري فقط ودون مراوغة واجتهادات وتبريرات عن اسطورة الاقتصاد المتفوق الاسلامي وغير ذلك .. واستمرار الحرب السورية هو الذي يمد بعمر أردوغان الذي صار حاجة غربية لاستمرار الحرب على روسية والصين وايران من البوابة السورية ولذلك تم التمديد له بمشروع النظام الرئاسي حتى عام 2028 وهو عام يوافق نهاية الفترة الثانية للأسد لأن مشروع الشرق الاوسط الكبير تعثر ولم ينجز في الزمن المرسوم في الربيع العربي ويقدر له أن يتعثر لسنوات بعد أن ثبت ان الأسد يستحيل اسقاطه .. وقد قدم أردوغان أوراق اعتماده من جديد عقب الانتخابات الأخيرة بالقول بأن سورية تقسم قطعة قطعة .. وهو تعهد قديم يعيد تقديمه لمن صنعه وكلفه بمهمته وهي بناء قطع الشرق الأوسط الكبير قطعة قطعة .. وتقسيم سورية هو قلب الشرق الأوسط الجديد وقلب مهمته التي كلف بها منذ سنوات .. والشرق الاوسط الجديد بخرائطه الدموية يعتمد عليه .. ولكن ثبات الأسد في دمشق جعل مشروع التقسيم صعبا للغاية .. وهو مشروع لايتحقق الا بغياب الأسد وبقاء اردوغان .. وينتهي بغياب اردوغان وبقاء الأسد .. ولذلك بقي اردوغان ..

اردوغان كان قد بدأ مشروعه من سورية التي ساعدت في صعوده وسمحت له بالتدفق في قضايا المنطقة ومنحته صفة الوسيط الوحيد في المفاوضات مع اسرائيل بعد مسرحية دافوس ومرمرة ثم ساعدته اقتصاديا لانعاش اقتصاد شرق الاناضول على حساب اقتصاد شمال سورية وهذا ماساعد الكتلة الانتخابية في شرق الاناضول وهي الكتلة الاسلامية على الانتعاش والثراء ومن ثم اجتياح الاقتصاد التركي في غرب الاناضول مما اثر على الوزن الانتخابي لغرب الأناضول العلماني الذي لم يسترد موقعه منذ تلك اللحظة الفاصلة ..
ولكن كما بدأ أردوغان مشروعه من سورية فان استمراره مرتبط بسورية .. ومن كانت بدايته واستمراره من سورية فان نهايته لاشك لايمكن ان تكون الا من سورية .. وان بيته العثماني أوهن من بيت العنكبوت الاسرائيلي ولن يصمد اذا هبت عليه الريح أو جزء من الريح التي هبت على سورية .. انه منطق النشوء والوجود والبقاء والخلود .. بأن لحظة الموت تقررها لحظة الميلاد .. فميلاده كان في سورية .. وموته سيكون في سورية .. مهما طال الزمن .. ولايزال هناك شيء خفي تنتظره تركيا والمنطقة ستجعل بائع البطيخ يدرك أن تركيا مجرد كومة بطيخ .. وأن تكسير وتقسيم سورية لايشبه تقسيم البطيخ على الاطلاق .. لكن البطيخة التي ستتكسر هي التي تقف فوق كتفيه .. وبامكانه انتظار معركة ادلب ليتحقق من ذلك ..

 

   ( الثلاثاء 2017/04/25 SyriaNow)

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It took 4 years but, NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims

NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims

By Robert Parry

The New York Times, which has never heard an allegation against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that it hasn’t immediately believed, has compiled a list of his alleged atrocities with a surprising omission: the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

Why this omission is so surprising is that the sarin incident was the moment when the Western media and the Washington establishment piled on President Barack Obama for not enforcing his “red line” by launching military strikes against the Syrian government to retaliate for Assad “gassing his own people.”

The retaliation, which would have pummeled the Syrian military, was hotly desired by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists who were obsessed with achieving another Mideast “regime change” even if that risked turning Syria over to Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State. The story of Obama’s supposed “red line” retreat has become a treasured groupthink of all the “important people” in D.C.

So, for the Times to compile a summary of alleged Assad atrocities, which included a separate section on “chemical attacks,” and to leave out the August 2013 case suggests that even The New York Times cannot sustain one of the most beloved myths of the Syrian war, that Assad was at fault for the sarin attack.

Previously, the Times backed away from one of its front-page reports – published about a month after the sarin attack – that used a “vector analysis” to place the site of the sarin missile launch at a Syrian military base about 9 kilometers from the two impact zones. That analysis was considered the slam-dunk proof of Assad’s guilt, but it collapsed when it turned out that one of the missiles contained no sarin and the other rocket, which did have sarin, had a range of only about 2 kilometers, placing the likely firing location in rebel-controlled territory.

Hersh’s Findings

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh further demolished the Assad-sarin myth in an article that traced the chemicals back to Turkish intelligence, but the mainstream U.S. media was so hostile to any dissenting view on the Assad-did-it groupthink that Hersh had to publish his findings in the London Review of Books. Later, Turkish police and opposition officials corroborated much of Hersh’s findings – and I’ve been told that U.S. intelligence analysts now agree, at least generally, with Hersh’s conclusions.

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh

But the Times never directly repudiated its earlier accusations against Assad’s military, thus allowing the groupthink to be sustained that Assad was responsible for the 2013 attack. That history became important again on Tuesday when another incident – also apparently involving sarin or a similar poison gas – claimed lives in an Al Qaeda-dominated area of northern Syria.

The U.S. mainstream media (along with President Trump and his top aides) immediately blamed Assad again, with Trump and his team threatening to launch a retaliatory military strike even without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. The 2013 case loomed large in the background with Trump implicitly referencing Obama’s presumed failure to enforce his “red line.”

Prominent U.S. news personalities, such as MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, also have cited the old Assad-was-guilty-in-2013 conventional wisdom to buttress their new rush to judgment over the Tuesday incident. Indeed, the 2013 sarin case has become a perfect example of how the major U.S. media often jumps to conclusions and then refuses to back down regardless of the ensuing evidence.

But now we have the Times’ list of alleged Assad atrocities, compiled by Russell Goldman, a senior staff editor on the International Desk, that doesn’t allege that Assad or his forces were responsible for the 2013 sarin attack.

Goldman reports: “In the latest attack on civilians, more than 100 people, including children, were believed to have been killed by chemical weapons in a rebel-held town in Idlib Province on Tuesday. A doctor there said the victims’ pupils were reduced to pinhole-size dots, a characteristic of nerve agents and other banned toxic substances.

“The United States put the blame for the attack on the Syrian government and its patrons, Russia and Iran, and suggested that the salvo was a war crime. While the attack was among the deadliest uses of chemical weapons in Syria in years, it was far from an isolated case.

“During the war, the Assad government has been accused of regularly using chlorine gas, which is less deadly than the agent used on Tuesday and is legal in its commercial form. According to the Violations Documentation Center, an antigovernment watchdog, more than 1,100 Syrians have been killed in chemical weapons and gas attacks.”

The reference to the anti-Assad group’s claim about the 1,100 Syrians allegedly killed by chemical weapons would presumably include the 2013 sarin incident, although local medical personnel put the death toll much lower, at perhaps several hundred. But note how the Times used a passive tense in describing those deaths – “more than 1,100 Syrians have been killed” – without attribution of who did the killing.

And nothing specific at all about the 2013 sarin case and who was responsible.

The Chlorine Cases

The chlorine-gas cases have resulted in only a few fatalities, which also undercuts the claims that the Assad government was responsible for them. Why would Assad risk more outside military intervention against his government by using a chemical weapon that has almost no military value, at least as allegedly deployed in Syria?

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21, 2013 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

U.N. investigators – under intense pressure from the West to find something that could be pinned on Assad – agreed to blame him for a couple of the chlorine allegations coming from rebel forces and their civilian allies. But the U.N. team did not inspect the sites directly, relying instead of the testimony of Assad’s enemies.

In one of the chlorine cases, however, Syrian eyewitnesses came forward to testify that the rebels had staged the alleged attack so it could be blamed on the government. In that incident, the U.N. team reached no conclusion as to what had really happened, but neither did the investigators – now alerted to the rebels’ tactic of staging chemical attacks – apply any additional skepticism to the other cases.

In one case, the rebels and their supporters also claimed to know that an alleged “barrel bomb” contained a canister of chlorine because of the sound that it made while descending. There was no explanation for how that sort of detection was even possible.

Yet, despite the flaws in the rebels’ chlorine claims – and the collapse of the 2013 sarin case – the Times and other mainstream U.S. news outlets report the chlorine allegations as flat-fact, without reference to sourcing from the U.N. investigators whose careers largely depended on them coming up with conclusions that pleased the majority of the five-member Security Council – the U.S., Great Britain and France.

If this fuller history were understood, much greater skepticism would be warranted by the new allegations about Assad ordering a new sarin attack. While it’s conceivable that Assad’s military is guilty – although why Assad would take this risk at this moment is hard to fathom – it’s also conceivable that Al Qaeda’s jihadists – finding themselves facing impending defeat – chose to stage a sarin attack even if that meant killing some innocent civilians.

Al Qaeda’s goal would be to draw in the U.S. or Israeli military against the Syrian government, creating space for a jihadist counteroffensive. And, as we should all recall, it’s not as if Al Qaeda hasn’t killed many innocent civilians before.

[For more on the mysterious 2013 sarin case, see a memo from U.S. intelligence veterans, “A Call for Proof on Syrian-Sarin Attack.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s

The Race for Raqqa

April 04, 2017

by Ghassan Kadi

Barely two months into his office, Trump is still facing a very hostile environment around him both domestically and internationally. Many of his domestic election promises have been kept to the pleasure of some and dismay of others, but on the international front, his emerging policies are, for better and for worse, still developing.

Some pundits believe that it is only a matter of time before Trump turns against Russia even more vehemently than his predecessor. Some even argue that he already did. The truth is that his stand towards Russia is giving confusing messages; but is it really?

Trump thus far remains adamant about working with Russia, and with Syria for that matter, against ISIS. So what has changed?

In the lead-up to his presidential election win and all the Democratic Party accusations regarding different types of association with Russia, even some pro-Russia analysts believed their enemies’ lies and thought that once elected, Trump was going to walk away from the Levant and give it to Russia on a silver platter. Well, this did not happen, and it wasn’t meant to happen.

This is not to mean that Trump is not quitting before a fight either. Thus far, all indications are that he is not looking for a fight; instead, he is looking for leverage.

The leverage he is seeking is more than a simple face-saver. He wants America to weigh in as far as the final talks regarding the end of hostilities in Syria is concerned.

Only a few days ago, I heard on the grapevine that a deal has been struck between America and Russia, one that is based on a trade-off; ISIS for Iran. It didn’t make much sense then, and it still doesn’t, because it is clear now that this deal has not yet been struck; it has only been touted.

Without paying too much attention to the sequence of events, Trump made very early hostile and unprovoked remarks towards Iran. That was his way of showing his Israeli and Saudi allies that he shares the same anti-Iranian passion they have. That was also his way of telling Putin what the new administration redlines are; and Iran is certainly high on the list.

Certainly, the Saudis jumped on the opportunity and felt euphoric. After all, they feel that they had been badly let down by Obama who would not take decisive action in Syria against President Assad. The Saudis are either naïvely triumphant or simply unaware of what is around the corner for them. Trump’s anti-Iran passion is perhaps only equaled, if not surpassed, by his anti-ISIS passion, and he is not shy from saying that it was Arab/Muslim oil money that funded ISIS. Simply put, whilst many thought that the Saudis were going to be the first on Trump’s international “hit-list”, they have in reality only been renegaded to the second position; because right now, Trump can use them and he is going to get all the mileage he can before he turns against them.

The Saudis, who have never been masters of foreign diplomacy nor intelligent by any measure, are under the illusion that their relationship with the United States has been restored. Little do they realize that they are being walked on a leash and straight into the slaughter house.

This is where the race for Raqqa begins and we are yet to see where it ends.

Unlike Mosul and before that Aleppo, different powers can end up kicking ISIS out of Raqqa. This includes the Americans (aided by loyal Kurds), the Syrian Army (aided by Russia, Iran and loyal Kurds) and the Turks.

Syria’s redline is ISIS.

Russia’s and Iran’s redline is also ISIS.

Turkey’s redline are the Kurds.

The Kurds’ redline depends on which Kurdish faction

But America’s additional redline is Iran.

Turkey announced recently that operation Euphrates Shield has ended. Erdogan seems to be stepping out of Raqqa to see how the others play the game. His troops are poised to go back in, though they never really left, but he wants to distant himself from the Raqqa battle for now.

On the other hand, America is saying to Syria, Iraq and Russia; if you want ISIS out of Syria and Iraq, we will help, we will guarantee it, but you must reciprocate by keeping Iran out of Syria and Iraq.

It is on these lines that the battle for Raqqa is drawn; each side trying to score as much as possible militarily so he can have a bigger say.

The recent huffing and puffing on part of America, Israel, and even Syria herself has been along these lines. Only Russia is playing it cool, at least thus far.

No one can be sure of what is happening within the diplomacy corridors behind the scenes. America is possibly arguing that serious attempts to quell all forms of radical Islam should not keep Iran off limits. The Russians and the Syrians will find this argument difficult of defend ideologically. The Russians and the Syrians will find it even more difficult to argue against this if America presented preparedness and willingness to sacrifice Saudi Arabia in the overall deal.

America will perhaps try to push harder and present a comprehensive Middle East road map, one that includes Lebanon and makes disarming Hezbollah part-and-parcel of the overwhelming deal. There is little doubt that given the very little that Israel and the US have on the ground in the Levant at present, they will be prepared to let their loyal Kurds down, let Turkey down, let Qatar and Saudi Arabia down, fight ISIS till the end, restore full Iraqi and Syrian sovereignty, if this can guarantee for the American Israeli duo clipping the wings of Iran and removing Hezbollah from the scene. The recent statements America made about the future pf President Assad as one that needs to be decided by Syrian people is only one little aspect of the new and bigger direction America is seeking.

America and Israel will be hoping that Russia will be able to convince both of Syria and Iraq that this is a good deal and that it is a win-win situation. The Kurds as a whole will lose regardless of who wins as they always did. Turkey will be feeling left out whether such a deal comes to fruition or not. Syria will not accept being swayed into walking away from her allies. Iran will not accept to be demoted after it has scored many diplomatic and military wins. Saudi Arabia will be elated to see the prospect of Iran dragged down the gutter before it realizes that it is the second sheep in line. Hezbollah will not let down arms and sees this whole scenario a question of life or death.

It is conflicts of this magnitude that create wars, and as the race for Raqqa looms, arms will be twisted and skulls will be crushed, and in the end, it is the people, ordinary men, women and children who pay the price.

US Jews disappointed that 150 bomb threats in USA since early January were fake & made by an israeli jew

Source
Jewish groups had pointed to scores of bomb threats against their communities as the most dramatic example of what they considered a surge in anti-Semitism. Some blamed a far-right emboldened by President Donald Trump. Now, that picture has been complicated by the arrest of an Israeli Jewish hacker who authorities say is responsible for the harassment.

Israeli police said the motive behind the threats was unclear. An attorney for the 19-year-old man, who was arrested Thursday, said her client had a “very serious medical condition” that might have affected his behavior. Earlier this month, U.S. law enforcement had arrested a former journalist in St. Louis, Juan Thompson, on charges he threatened Jewish organizations as part of a bizarre campaign to harass his former girlfriend. But Israeli police say the Jewish teen is the primary suspect in the more than 150 bomb threats in North America since early January.

Previously, Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and monitors extremism, had partly blamed Trump for creating an atmosphere that fueled the bomb threats and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, among other recent harassment. “His well-documented reluctance to address rising anti-Semitism helped to create an environment in which extremists felt emboldened,” Greenblatt wrote last month.

On Feb. 28, in a meeting with state attorneys general, Trump had suggested the phoned-in bomb threats may have been designed to make “others look bad,” according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The remark raised concerns that Trump was downplaying bigotry. That same night, Trump opened his address to Congress with a strong condemnation of the threats and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, which occurred in suburban St. Louis, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

In a phone interview Thursday from Washington, where Greenblatt was discussing anti-Semitism with members of Congress, he said, “It’s not the identity of the culprit that’s the issue,” but the outcome of threats themselves, which terrified Jews and disrupted Jewish life.

He said anti-Semitism remained a serious concern, pointing to other recent incidents around the country. Swastikas were drawn throughout a New York City subway car with messages such as “Jews belong in the oven.” In South Carolina, a white supremacist with felony convictions was charged with plotting an attack on a synagogue that officials said was inspired by the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. A Seattle synagogue was vandalized with a spray-painted message, “The Holocaust is fake history.”

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a civil rights and social justice group based in New York, said the arrest in Israel doesn’t change Trump’s record of being slow and insufficiently forceful in condemning anti-Jewish prejudice and bigotry in general. The center had repeatedly pointed to the bomb threats as evidence of “a national emergency of anti-Semitism” and accused Trump of failing to recognize the “real evidence” behind the problem.

“Nobody has said that Donald Trump himself has spray-painted swastikas or tipped over gravestones or that he picked up the phone and made bomb threats,” Goldstein said. “What we were condemning was the silence. Organizations had to shame Donald Trump into responding.”

The White House has not commented on Thursday’s arrest.

Melissa Plotkin, director of community engagement and diversity at the York Jewish Community Center in Pennsylvania, which was the target of a bomb threat last month, said it was “troubling” to find out the suspect was Jewish. “I’m trying to make sense of it and wonder what was going through the mind of the person when they were carrying this out,” Plotkin said. The Jewish Federations of North America called the case “heartbreaking.”

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut, said the case was an uncomfortable reminder of what he had been through. In 1999, medical waste marked with swastikas was left in his synagogue parking lot. The incident prompted an outpouring of support from religious leaders and others in the community. But then police charged a member of his congregation, an outcome Hammerman described as “somewhat embarrassing” and “difficult.”

The rabbi expressed concern that the arrest of the Israeli-American teen would fuel denial of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Goldstein said his office had received emails Thursday claiming all reports of anti-Semitism were “fake news.”

“I think we should never jump to conclusions as to who did a particular act and allow the process of investigation to play itself out,” Hammerman said in a phone interview. “On the other hand, we should be equally vocal in calling out those who seem to condone such activity or at least don’t explicitly condemn it.”

Andrew Rehfield, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, said “finding out this guy was Jewish was baffling to us.” Rehfield was among local leaders who organized the community’s response to the cemetery vandalism last month, which drew donations and offers of help from Christians and Muslims, and political leaders from around the country. Some Jewish institutions in Missouri had also received bomb threats.

Rehfield worried that efforts to combat anti-Semitism would be undermined not only by the identity of the bomb threat suspect, but also the partisan prism through which such incidents are viewed. Rehfield had been criticized by opponents of Trump for accompanying Vice President Mike Pence on a visit to the vandalized cemetery. Then on Thursday, Rehfield said a Jewish Trump supporter distributed an email demanding Jewish leaders apologize to the president now that police say a Jew was responsible for the threats.

“I think it does speak to the extremism on either side and the lack of charity and the lack of nuance,” Rehfield said. “None of us attributed this to Trump. None of us attributed this to (White House chief strategist Steve) Bannon. None of us attributed it to David Duke. I’m not going to apologize for wanting the administration to clearly condemn anti-Semitism.”

 

“Israel maintains a regime of apartheid over Palestinians” 

“Israel maintains a regime of apartheid over Palestinians” — UN report

Report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) 2017
Palestine and the Israeli Occupation, Issue №1
Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid

UN group cowers to Israeli & US complaints – takes down report finding Israel guilty of apartheid

United Nations

“The report concludes that the weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the proposition that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity, the prohibition of which is considered jus cogens in international customary law.”

This report was commissioned by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) from authors Mr Richard Falk and Ms Virginia Tiley.

This report examines, based on key instruments of international law, whether Israel has established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Having established that the crime of apartheid has universal application, that the question of the status of the Palestinians as a people is settled in law, and that the crime of apartheid should be considered at the level of the State, the report sets out to demonstrate how Israel has imposed such a system on the Palestinians in order to maintain the domination of one racial group over others.

A history of war, annexation and expulsions, as well as a series of practices, has left the Palestinian people fragmented into four distinct population groups, three of them (citizens of Israel, residents of East Jerusalem and the populace under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza) living under direct Israeli rule and the remainder, refugees and involuntary exiles, living beyond. This fragmentation, coupled with the application of discrete bodies of law to those groups, lie at the heart of the apartheid regime. They serve to enfeeble opposition to it and to veil its very existence. This report concludes, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, and urges swift action to oppose and end it.


Executive Summary

This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.

The analysis in this report rests on the same body of international human rights law and principles that reject anti-Semitism and other racially discriminatory ideologies, including: the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965). The report relies for its definition of apartheid primarily on article II of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973, hereinafter the Apartheid Convention):

The term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to… inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.

Although the term “apartheid” was originally associated with the specific instance of South Africa, it now represents a species of crime against humanity under customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, according to which:

“The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts… committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

Against that background, this report reflects the expert consensus that the prohibition of apartheid is universally applicable and was not rendered moot by the collapse of apartheid in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia).

The legal approach to the matter of apartheid adopted by this report should not be confused with usage of the term in popular discourse as an expression of opprobrium. Seeing apartheid as discrete acts and practices (such as the “apartheid wall”), a phenomenon generated by anonymous structural conditions like capitalism (“economic apartheid”), or private social behaviour on the part of certain racial groups towards others (social racism) may have its place in certain contexts. However, this report anchors its definition of apartheid in international law, which carries with it responsibilities for States, as specified in international instruments.

The choice of evidence is guided by the Apartheid Convention, which sets forth that the crime of apartheid consists of discrete inhuman acts, but that such acts acquire the status of crimes against humanity only if they intentionally serve the core purpose of racial domination. The Rome Statute specifies in its definition the presence of an “institutionalized regime” serving the “intention” of racial domination. Since “purpose” and “intention” lie at the core of both definitions, this report examines factors ostensibly separate from the Palestinian dimension — especially, the doctrine of Jewish statehood as expressed in law and the design of Israeli State institutions — to establish beyond doubt the presence of such a core purpose.

That the Israeli regime is designed for this core purpose was found to be evident in the body of laws, only some of which are discussed in the report for reasons of scope. One prominent example is land policy. The Israeli Basic Law (Constitution) mandates that land held by the State of Israel, the Israeli Development Authority or the Jewish National Fund shall not be transferred in any manner, placing its management permanently under their authority. The State Property Law of 1951 provides for the reversion of property (including land) to the State in any area “in which the law of the State of Israel applies”. The Israel Lands Authority (ILA) manages State land, which accounts for 93 per cent of the land within the internationally recognized borders of Israel and is by law closed to use, development or ownership by non-Jews. Those laws reflect the concept of “public purpose” as expressed in the Basic Law. Such laws may be changed by Knesset vote, but the Basic Law: Knesset prohibits any political party from challenging that public purpose. Effectively, Israeli law renders opposition to racial domination illegal.

Demographic engineering is another area of policy serving the purpose of maintaining Israel as a Jewish State. Most well known is Israeli law conferring on Jews worldwide the right to enter Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship regardless of their countries of origin and whether or not they can show links to Israel-Palestine, while withholding any comparable right from Palestinians, including those with documented ancestral homes in the country. The World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency are vested with legal authority as agencies of the State of Israel to facilitate Jewish immigration and preferentially serve the interests of Jewish citizens in matters ranging from land use to public development planning and other matters deemed vital to Jewish statehood. Some laws involving demographic engineering are expressed in coded language, such as those that allow Jewish councils to reject applications for residence from Palestinian citizens. Israeli law normally allows spouses of Israeli citizens to relocate to Israel but uniquely prohibits this option in the case of Palestinians from the occupied territory or beyond. On a far larger scale, it is a matter of Israeli policy to reject the return of any Palestinian refugees and exiles (totalling some six million people) to territory under Israeli control.

Two additional attributes of a systematic regime of racial domination must be present to qualify the regime as an instance of apartheid. The first involves the identification of the oppressed persons as belonging to a specific “racial group”. This report accepts the definition of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of “racial discrimination” as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”. On that basis, this report argues that in the geopolitical context of Palestine, Jews and Palestinians can be considered “racial groups”. Furthermore, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is cited expressly in the Apartheid Convention.

The second attribute is the boundary and character of the group or groups involved. The status of the Palestinians as a people entitled to exercise the right of self determination has been legally settled, most authoritatively by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its 2004 advisory opinion on Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. On that basis, the report examines the treatment by Israel of the Palestinian people as a whole, considering the distinct circumstances of geographic and juridical fragmentation of the Palestinian people as a condition imposed by Israel. (Annex II addresses the issue of a proper identification of the “country” responsible for the denial of Palestinian rights under international law.)

This report finds that the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime. It first examines how the history of war, partition, de jure and de facto annexation and prolonged occupation in Palestine has led to the Palestinian people being divided into different geographic regions administered by distinct sets of law. This fragmentation operates to stabilize the Israeli regime of racial domination over the Palestinians and to weaken the will and capacity of the Palestinian people to mount a unified and effective resistance. Different methods are deployed depending on where Palestinians live. This is the core means by which Israel enforces apartheid and at the same time impedes international recognition of how the system works as a complementary whole to comprise an apartheid regime.

Since 1967, Palestinians as a people have lived in what the report refers to as four “domains”, in which the fragments of the Palestinian population are ostensibly treated differently but share in common the racial oppression that results from the apartheid regime. Those domains are:

1. Civil law, with special restrictions, governing Palestinians who live as citizens of Israel;

2. Permanent residency law governing Palestinians living in the city of Jerusalem;

3. Military law governing Palestinians, including those in refugee camps, living since 1967 under conditions of belligerent occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip;

4. Policy to preclude the return of Palestinians, whether refugees or exiles, living outside territory under Israel’s control.

Domain 1 embraces about 1.7 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel. For the first 20 years of the country’s existence, they lived under martial law and to this day are subjected to oppression on the basis of not being Jewish. That policy of domination manifests itself in inferior services, restrictive zoning laws and limited budget allocations made to Palestinian communities; in restrictions on jobs and professional opportunities; and in the mostly segregated landscape in which Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel live. Palestinian political parties can campaign for minor reforms and better budgets, but are legally prohibited by the Basic Law from challenging legislation maintaining the racial regime. The policy is reinforced by the implications of the distinction made in Israel between “citizenship” (ezrahut) and “nationality” (le’um): all Israeli citizens enjoy the former, but only Jews enjoy the latter. “National” rights in Israeli law signify Jewish-national rights. The struggle of Palestinian citizens of Israel for equality and civil reforms under Israeli law is thus isolated by the regime from that of Palestinians elsewhere.

Domain 2 covers the approximately 300,000 Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem, who experience discrimination in access to education, health care, employment, residency and building rights. They also suffer from expulsions and home demolitions, which serve the Israeli policy of “demographic balance” in favour of Jewish residents. East Jerusalem Palestinians are classified as permanent residents, which places them in a separate category designed to prevent their demographic and, importantly, electoral weight being added to that of Palestinians citizens in Israel. As permanent residents, they have no legal standing to challenge Israeli law. Moreover, openly identifying with Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory politically carries the risk of expulsion to the West Bank and loss of the right even to visit Jerusalem. Thus, the urban epicentre of Palestinian political life is caught inside a legal bubble that curtails its inhabitants’ capacity to oppose the apartheid regime lawfully.

Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 6.6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestinian territory, 4.7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip. The territory is administered in a manner that fully meets the definition of apartheid under the Apartheid Convention: except for the provision on genocide, every illustrative “inhuman act” listed in the Convention is routinely and systematically practiced by Israel in the West Bank. Palestinians are governed by military law, while the approximately 350,000 Jewish settlers are governed by Israeli civil law. The racial character of this situation is further confirmed by the fact that all West Bank Jewish settlers enjoy the protections of Israeli civil law on the basis of being Jewish, whether they are Israeli citizens or not. This dual legal system, problematic in itself, is indicative of an apartheid regime when coupled with the racially discriminatory management of land and development administered by Jewish-national institutions, which are charged with administering “State land” in the interest of the Jewish population. In support of the overall findings of this report, annex I sets out in more detail the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory that constitute violations of article II of the Apartheid Convention.

Domain 4 refers to the millions of Palestinian refugees and involuntary exiles, most of whom live in neighbouring countries. They are prohibited from returning to their homes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel defends its rejection of the Palestinians’ return in frankly racist language: it is alleged that Palestinians constitute a “demographic threat” and that their return would alter the demographic character of Israel to the point of eliminating it as a Jewish State. The refusal of the right of return plays an essential role in the apartheid regime by ensuring that the Palestinian population in Mandate Palestine does not grow to a point that would threaten Israeli military control of the territory and/or provide the demographic leverage for Palestinian citizens of Israel to demand (and obtain) full democratic rights, thereby eliminating the Jewish character of the State of Israel. Although domain 4 is confined to policies denying Palestinians their right of repatriation under international law, it is treated in this report as integral to the system of oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole, given its crucial role in demographic terms in maintaining the apartheid regime.

This report finds that, taken together, the four domains constitute one comprehensive regime developed for the purpose of ensuring the enduring domination over non-Jews in all land exclusively under Israeli control in whatever category. To some degree, the differences in treatment accorded to Palestinians have been provisionally treated as valid by the United Nations, in the absence of an assessment of whether they constitute a form of apartheid. In the light of this report’s findings, this long-standing fragmented international approach may require review.

In the interests of fairness and completeness, the report examines several counterarguments advanced by Israel and supporters of its policies denying the applicability of the Apartheid Convention to the case of Israel-Palestine. They include claims that: the determination of Israel to remain a Jewish State is consistent with practices of other States, such as France; Israel does not owe Palestinian non-citizens equal treatment with Jews precisely because they are not citizens; and Israeli treatment of the Palestinians reflects no “purpose” or “intent” to dominate, but rather is a temporary state of affairs imposed on Israel by the realities of ongoing conflict and security requirements. The report shows that none of those arguments stands up to examination. A further claim that Israel cannot be considered culpable for crimes of apartheid because Palestinian citizens of Israel have voting rights rests on two errors of legal interpretation: an overly literal comparison with South African apartheid policy and detachment of the question of voting rights from other laws, especially provisions of the Basic Law that prohibit political parties from challenging the Jewish, and hence racial, character of the State.

The report concludes that the weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the proposition that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity, the prohibition of which is considered jus cogens in international customary law. The international community, especially the United Nations and its agencies, and Member States, have a legal obligation to act within the limits of their capabilities to prevent and punish instances of apartheid that are responsibly brought to their attention. More specifically, States have a collective duty: (a) not to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful; (b) not to aid or assist a State in maintaining an apartheid regime; and © to cooperate with the United Nations and other States in bringing apartheid regimes to an end. Civil society institutions and individuals also have a moral and political duty to use the instruments at their disposal to raise awareness of this ongoing criminal enterprise, and to exert pressure on Israel in order to persuade it to dismantle apartheid structures in compliance with international law. The report ends with general and specific recommendations to the United Nations, national Governments, and civil society and private actors on actions they should take in view of the finding that Israel maintains a regime of apartheid in its exercise of control over the Palestinian people.


The original report was deleted from the UN website. Alternative source here

The full report: (download pdf here)

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