Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Taking Journalists Hostage
Palestinian journalists have once again fallen victim to the continuing power struggle between the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has jurisdiction over parts of the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamist movement that is in control of the entire Gaza Strip.
Neither the PA nor Hamas is any champion of human rights, especially freedom of the media. The two parties regularly crack down on their critics, including journalists who do not toe the line or dare to report on issues that are deemed as reflecting negatively on the PA or Hamas.
The past few weeks have been particularly tough for Palestinian journalists. In this period, several journalists found themselves behind bars in PA and Hamas prisons, while others were summoned for interrogation and had to spend hours in interrogation rooms facing and detention centers.
To make matters even worse, a new Cyber Crime Law passed by the PA paves the way for legal measures against Facebook and Twitter users who post critical or unflattering comments about President Abbas and his senior officials. Critics say the law is a grave assault on freedom of expression and it will be used as a tool in the hands of Abbas and his henchmen to silence their critics or throw them into prison. In addition, the PA has blocked more than 20 news websites that are affiliated with Hamas and Mohammed Dahlan, an ousted Fatah leader who has long openly challenged Abbas.
The PA-Hamas war is hardly a secret. The two entities use every available method to bring each other down. Abbas’s PA has not hesitated to take extreme measures against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. These measures include depriving the Gaza Strip of medical supplies, electricity and fuel, as well as forcing thousands of PA civil servants into early retirement and cutting off salaries to thousands of others.
Hamas’s retaliatory capacity towards the PA for these punitive steps is limited — by Israel. Fortunately for Abbas and the PA, Israel is sitting in the middle between the West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Chloe Valdary: Why I Refuse to Avoid White People
In the days since the white supremacists marched into Charlottesville, Va., my Twitter feed has lit up with advice from black pundits, activists and even friends:
“It’s time to stop talking about racism with white people.”
“Whiteness is always protected, even at its worst.”
“Non-racist white people simply don’t exist.”
Lines like these advise black Americans like me to respond to racism largely by avoiding white people. The assumption is that they are racist, even evil, unless they explicitly state and repeatedly prove otherwise.
I found myself thinking about this advice as I walked down Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn this past weekend. I noticed a white person walking her dog. Another listening to his music. And a third having dinner with her friends.
Do all of these people harbor a thinly veiled hatred for me, I wondered? Is there a secret white conspiracy scheming against me? How do I escape all this toxic whiteness I keep hearing about?
I didn’t grow up asking such questions. I was raised in a community in New Orleans where my parents taught me that the beauty of our people’s historical struggle for freedom and equality was that it ultimately spoke to the oneness of all human beings. Sounds of Blackness’s “Africa to America”; Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”: These were the albums I was raised on. These are what taught me to develop an identity that was secure in itself and which did not require prejudging others.
Though I never heard the words “white privilege” until I got to college, I encountered racism. A college anthropology professor assumed I shouldn’t be held to the same standard as my white peers. I’ve been called a “house slave” for standing up against anti-Semitism. I’ve been called the N-word.
But by and large the violent hatred on display in Virginia couldn’t be further from my personal experiences with white people. Every school I attended in New Orleans was either predominately black or multicultural. So I grew up around black kids and white kids and Hispanic kids and Jewish kids and Muslim kids and Asian kids. I was and still am able to navigate diverse cultural spaces with ease as a black woman — not because I assume that these people aren’t prejudiced toward me, but because if they are, I was raised not to respond in kind.
In the military and strategic sense of the word, an “enemy” is an entity that truly threatens our short- and long-term survival and vital interests — not one that simply does not share our concept of democracy and human rights.
Another dangerous geopolitical mistake made by Western societies is viewing only Islamic terrorist groups as enemies and targeting them in a vacuum. Equally, if not more, important to combat are those Islamist movements that condemn terrorism but spread their ideology “peacefully” in our countries.
Before launching military campaigns on behalf of human rights, we in the West should first invest in strengthening our values at home, and encourage our Muslim minorities to adopt those values, rather than let them fall into the hands of radical Islamist organizations. The West must stop demonizing its own Judeo-Christian-European identity and rid itself of multiculturalist extremism.
The attempt in the West to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell’s diseased society.
The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by George Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.
Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals.
At the conclusion of his four-year mission to Israel Tuesday, Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen—the outgoing European Union delegate to Israel—believes Israel has “much to learn” from the European Union when it comes to fighting terror.
Speaking in a press conference held at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, Faaborg-Andersen made it clear that while the European Union does indeed have a lot to learn from Israel in the war on terror, Israel would also do well to take a leaf out of Europe’s how-to guide when it comes to fighting Islamic militants.
Also during the conference Faaborg-Andersen noted that the war on terror is an effort necessitating the use of every weapon in the continent’s countries’ arsenals. Moreover, he said that while Israel had performed with notable success whe it came to operational counter-terror measures, it was also necessary to employ other tools at its disposal, such as education and de-radicalization methods.
“There’s a significant security aspect to it, which you undoubtedly address,” he said, “but there are also other aspects to work with including welfare and educational services and the like,” he opined. “Europe has adopted a more holistic approach to the war on terror—and Israel can definitely learn from European experience.”
When asked whether he considered this “holistic approach” to be a success, Faaborg-Andersen admitted shortcomings, but praised the overall approach.
“If there’s still terrorism it obviously hasn’t been a complete success, because a one-hundred-percent hermetically sealed security against attacks is tough to achieve. But you can definitely reduce the number of attacks. I think our approach is successful, but not entirely so. It’s certainly better than not doing anything,” he said.
“It’s also a lot better compared to the situation of just a few years ago,” the EU rep added. “Generally speaking, European terror handling preparedness today is leaps and bounds better than what it was, but there is obviously more to achieve in that regard—much more bureaucracy and organizational cultural gaps to bridge so we’re always one step ahead of the terrorists.”
An extremist cell was preparing bombs for an imam who planned to blow himself up at a Barcelona monument, a key suspect in the attacks that killed 15 people in northeastern Spain told a judge Tuesday, according to a judicial official.
The suspect, Mohamed Houli Chemlal, was one of four men to appear before Spain’s National Court in Madrid to testify about the Islamic cell that attacked pedestrians in Barcelona and the nearby seaside town of Cambrils last week. The Spanish daily El Mundo reported Tuesday that Chemlal confessed that the plan was for the main target of the Barcelona attack to be the Sagrada Familia church.
National Court Judge Fernando Andreu questioned the four about the vehicle attacks as well as the fatal explosion at a bomb-making workshop that police said scuttled the group’s plot to carry out a more deadly attack at unspecified Barcelona monuments. After the session, the judge ordered two of the surviving suspects held without bail, another detained for 72 more hours and one freed with restrictions.
A Spanish judicial official said Houli Chemlal, 21, and suspect Driss Oukabir, 28, identified imam Abdelbaki Es Satty as the ideological leader of the 12-man cell.
In response to the August 17, 2017 vehicular attack in Barcelona, that was carried out by an Islamic State (ISIS) cell whose members are Muslims of Moroccan origin, several articles in the Arab media called on the Arab world to prioritize the fight against extremism, to stop justifying terror attacks, and to take steps to end the teaching of hatred in Arab societies. In a strongly worded column, Ghassan Charbel, editor of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, argues that the framing of the attacks as a response to Western wrongs against Arab countries and Islam is aimed at concealing the desire to kill, and that the Arab world still clings to the past instead of embracing the future. Charbel calls for a rational examination of the factors that bring about a culture of hatred of the world that produces murderers.
Additionally, senior columnist for the Jordanian Al-Ghad daily Fahed Al-Khitan writes that the terrorist attacks fan the flames of hatred in the West toward the Arab world and Islam, and calls on the Arab world to strongly oppose terrorism and to reject the fatwas that the terrorists use to justify their actions.
The following are excerpts from the columns by Ghassan Charbel and Fahed Al-Khitan:
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Editor Ghassan Charbel: Why Are We Tempted To Clash With The World, Instead Of Living With It And Within It?
“Every time an explosion is heard in any city in the world, the same scene plays itself out. I go into the newsroom, see the eyes glued to the breaking news appearing on the screens, and hear my colleagues mumbling, ‘Just don’t let the perpetrator be an Arab;’ ‘Just don’t let the perpetrator be a Muslim;’ ‘We don’t need any more [incidents].’ I hear them and I share their sentiments. But very quickly the truth stares us in the face. It’s no secret that attacking the world has become our exclusive, terrible specialty.
“I know full well that the man who ran over the tourists in one place or another does not represent his country of origin or the sect to which he belongs, that he did not receive official authorization to perpetrate the crime, that he was a wanted man in his country before he was added to the international lists of wanted criminals, and that he poses a greater threat to his country of birth than to the faraway arena where he committed the crime.
“I know that fanaticism is not the monopoly of a particular region, or sect, or country… but we must acknowledge unequivocally that we are the masters of aggression directed at the world and that we have attained a ranking that cannot be surpassed in the Guinness Book of World Records…
The satirical French magazine has stirred controversy once again after releasing a new issue with a cover showing a van running over pedestrians and the caption: “Islam is the religion of peace… eternal.”
The cover comes shortly after the terror attack in Barcelona which saw the death of 14 and over a hundred more injured after Islamists used a white rental van to plough into pedestrians. The magazine, which is set to hit French newsstands on Wednesday, is well-known in France and across the world for its pull-no-punches style.
The magazine has continued to push the limits of satire, but it has made several enemies due to its content, most notably in the radical Islamist scene. As a result, the headquarters of the publication was attacked by Islamist terrorists in January of 2015 in what became the first major Islamic State attack in the country.
The attack resulted in the deaths of 12 people including eight cartoonists. The police were later able to shoot the suspects who holed up in separate buildings and declared their allegiance to Islamic State and al Qaeda.
Ben Dror Yemini: Turning a blind eye to extreme Right or Left anti-Semitism
Needless to say, that according to the definition of anti-Semitism that was recently approved by the European Parliament, both Wise and Odeh are anti-Semites in every sense of the word.
David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and one of the most prominent members of white supremacist today, expresses opinions which perfectly align with those expressed by the anti-Zionist Left.
Duke was one of the first to come out in support of Mearsheimer’s anti-Israel book, just as he was one of the more prominent Trump supporters. Not only do those two facts not contradict one another, but they reflect the very same ideology.
The very same language is being adopted by the Black Lives Matter activists, who have latched onto not only the BDS movement but also the horrific propaganda purporting Israel is committing war crimes.
Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same. Alt-left and Alt-right are one and the same. They are not two sides of the same coin. They are exactly the same side.
One would assume that were I an American, I’d stand with the protestors against the Alt-right. My only question would be: where were Trump’s many detractors—who are right in everything they say against the man—when the Left produced so many anti-Semitic diatribes? Why were they silent? Precious few, such as journalist Jeffrey Goldberg and Professor Alan Dershowitz, published scathing criticism of it. But the rest of their friends in the academic elite were dead silent.
Racism, all racism, is reprehensible. But the display of racism by the neo-Nazis is Charlottesville was another thing entirely, not only because of its nature, but also because it received forgiveness from the president of the most important power in the world. That is a terrifying reality.
On Tuesday, renowned legal scholar Alan Dershowitz appeared on Fox & Friends, and condemned the actions and philosophies of Antifa:
Remember that president Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, put 110,000 Japanese Americans into detention centers; that President Lowell of Harvard imposed anti-Jewish quotas, that discrimination against women was rampant. Once you start rewriting history of African-Americans in this country, you have to start rewriting history of discrimination against many, many other groups.
Look, we’re both a nation of immigrants and a nation of discrimination against immigrants. That’s an important history for us to remember. And the other important thing is do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues.
Many of these people — not all of them — many of these people are trying to tear down America. Antifa is a radical anti-American, anti-free market, communist, socialist, hard, hard-left censorial organization that tries to stop speakers on campuses from speaking. They use violence, and just because they’re opposed to fascism and to some of these monuments shouldn’t make them heroes of the liberals.
Alan Dershowitz: The President Has a Special Obligation to Condemn the Racist Right
All decent Americans have an obligation to condemn the violent bigotry of the Nazi and KKK demonstrators in Charlottesville or wherever else they spew their poisonous and threatening rhetoric. But President Donald Trump has a special obligation to single out for condemnation, and distance himself from, individuals and groups that claim – even if falsely – to speak in his name, as the racist provocateurs in Charlottesville did.
David Duke, the notorious bigot, told reporters that white nationalists were working to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” Richard Spencer, the founder of the Daily Stormer (a not so coded homage to the Nazi publication Der Sturmer,) attributed the growth of the ultra-nationalist alt-right to the Trump Presidency: “Obviously the alt-right has come very far in the past two years in terms of public exposure…is Donald Trump one of the major causes of that? Of course.”
Trump initially responded as follows: “We must ALL be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America.” But then, following the car ramming that killed a peaceful protester, President Trump made the following statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides.”
President Trump’s inclusion of the words “violence on many sides” – which seemed improvised – suggested to some a moral equivalence between the Nazis and the KKK, on the one hand, and those protesting and resisting them, on the other hand. Trump denied that he was suggesting any such equivalence and subsequently made the following statement: “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and other hate groups, are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”
As a reaction to the recent expression of racist and anti-Semitic hatred at Charlottesville, last weekend’s demonstration in Boston was admirable. Some 40,000 people gathered to express their opposition to racial and religious bigotry, in welcome rebuke to a president who has difficulty calling out these maladies by name. Yet by directing part of their outrage at an unrelated free speech event held on the Boston Common, many of the protestors exemplified the creeping moral hysteria engulfing the American left.
The Boston Free Speech Coalition Rally was announced long before the tragedy that befell Charlottesville. It was planned not by white supremacists, as counter-protestors claim, but by a 23-year-old college libertarian activist named John Medlar. After Charlottesville erupted in violence, and activists in Boston began conflating his imminent rally with the assorted neo-Nazis and white supremacists who had gathered in Virginia, Medlar immediately distanced himself from it. “While we maintain that every individual is entitled to their freedom of speech and defend that basic human right, we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry,” he said. “We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence.”
Surveying the list of speakers Medlar had compiled, the Anti-Defamation League determined that, “Unlike Charlottesville, the Boston event, as currently planned, is not a white supremacist gathering.” One of the speakers was an Indian-American Republican challenger to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Certainly, controversial people were scheduled to appear, most notably Kyle Chapman, a multiple felon who has earned cult status on the far right for his photogenic beating of left-wing protestors at Berkeley earlier this year. The rest of the invited speakers, many of whom didn’t bother to show up, included a leading “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist and a self-described “Pro-Bernie [Sanders] 1 A[mendment] lawyer.” Ultimately, the event was more alt light than alt right. According to The New York Times, the only Nazi or fascist insignia to be found in Boston on Saturday were leaflets “which other counterprotestors appeared to have prepared,” to help people “learn to identify these symbols.”
IsraellyCool: Media Manipulating You With Lies By Omission
One little detail (and this is how most of the media operate). The story in all the various outlets comes form one news wire: Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). They wrote the story up and, interestingly, only Jewish and Israeli outlets published it. Which is a strong clue to what I’m about to tell you.
I’d forgive you if you assumed they were disaffected, angry young white boys.
We don’t actually know the full details of the identity of these three youths because they’re juveniles and their full identity hasn’t been revealed. But we do know the identity of the fourth co-conspirator.
The Times of Israel did go a step further than other outlets: they linked back to the original story recounting when the four had been caught though even that didn’t have a picture. Remember this story was made international when the media was trying to pin any sign of anti-Jewish sentiment on Trump’s followers (and therefore Trump). But this particular story went stone cold dead for the mainstream media with this picture:
Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson … and Peter Stuyvesant?
One of these things is not like the others.
Amid the impassioned debate over whether, when and how to remove statues memorializing the Confederacy, an Israeli nonprofit is seeking a piece of the action. On Tuesday, Shurat HaDin, which represents terror victims in court, called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to remove all memorials to Stuyvesant, the last Dutch director-general of New Amsterdam (now New York), who was an anti-Semite.
“Peter Stuyvesant was an extreme racist who targeted Jews and other minorities including Catholics and energetically tried to prohibit them from settling in then New Amsterdam,” read a statement by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Shurat HaDin’s president. “New York, of all American cities, which boasts such important Jewish history and claims such a present day vibrant Jewish community, should take the lead in denouncing Stuyvesant’s bigotry.”
The group’s complaint affects a range of locations and institutions around the city — from the elite Stuyvesant High School to Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn neighborhood. The Dutchman also has a statue in Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Square.
It’s true that Stuyvesant hated the Jews — to put it lightly. He didn’t want them to stay in his colony when they arrived in 1654 from the Netherlands via Brazil. When that didn’t work (because — awkward! — some of the colony’s owners were Jewish), Stuyvesant settled for prohibiting them from building a synagogue and serving in the militia. And he slapped them with a special tax.
At a sit-down in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a growing risk to international security posed by Iran.
“Iran is increasing its efforts to establish its military foothold in Syria,” Netanyahu said at the meeting, his sixth with the Russian leader in the past two years. “That is dangerous for Israel, the Middle East and, I believe, the whole world. Iran is already in advanced stages of taking over Iraq and Yemen, and in effect it also controls Lebanon.”
The Israeli prime minister continued, “We are all defeating ISIS in a concerted international effort, and that is welcome. What is not welcome is Iran moving in everywhere ISIS moves out. We do not forget for one minute that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction every day; it is arming terrorist organizations and is itself instigating terrorism; and it is developing intercontinental missiles with the goal of arming them with nuclear warheads.”
“For all these reasons, Israel continues to oppose Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, Netanyahu concluded. “We will defend ourselves in any way against this threat and any threat.”
The United States has decided to deny Egypt $95.7 million in aid and to delay a further $195 million because of its failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The decision reflects a U.S. desire to continue security cooperation as well as frustration with Cairo’s stance on civil liberties, notably a new law that regulates non-governmental organizations that is widely seen as part a growing crackdown on dissent, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
U.S. officials were especially unhappy that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in May allowed the NGO law to go into effect. Human rights groups and activists have said that it effectively bans their work and makes it harder for charities to operate.
Egyptian officials had assured U.S. officials earlier this year that the law, which restricts NGO activity to developmental and social work and introduces jail terms of up to five years for non-compliance, would not go through, the sources said.
Egypt called off a scheduled meeting between its foreign minister and top US presidential adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday after the United States decided to withhold millions of dollars in aid.
But President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would meet the US delegation led by Kushner later in the day, Sisi’s office said.
Two US sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that Washington had decided to deny Egypt $95.7 million in aid and to delay a further $195 million because of its failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms.
“Egypt sees this measure as reflecting poor judgment of the strategic relationship that ties the two countries over long decades and as adopting a view that lacks an accurate understanding of the importance of supporting Egypt’s stability,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The decision could have “negative implications” on achieving common goals and interests between the two countries, it added.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had been scheduled to meet the US delegation led by Kushner, a son-in-law to US President Donald Trump and a close adviser, on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss the Middle East.
But the meeting was canceled immediately after the ministry released its statement, a copy of Shoukry’s schedule sent out to journalists showed.
A foreign ministry official told Reuters the meeting had been canceled but did not give a reason. A US embassy official in Cairo said Kushner’s meeting with Shoukry had never been set in stone because “the schedule was never fixed.”
Disillusioned about US efforts to revive the peace process, the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is considering dissolving the PA and renewing a Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership, Arabic media reported on Wednesday.
Abbas’s deliberations come ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is set to arrive in Israel on Wednesday night with a US peace delegation after quietly meeting with leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
According to the report in the Lebanese daily Al Hayat, which cited unnamed “reliable” sources in the PA, Abbas is waiting for Kushner and Trump’s envoy to the region Jason Greenbelt to give him a written response to his conditions for returning to the negotiating table, namely “freezing settlement construction in the West Bank and working towards a two-state solution.”
The Palestinians are also reportedly renewing their bid to halt Israel’s settlement expansion through the International Criminal Court. The report said a PA delegation will travel Thursday to the ICC’s headquarters in the Hague in order to meet with the court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly instructed senior PA officials to “keep a low profile” and dial down the pessimism in Ramallah about the United States’ efforts to relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner are scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday. The two are set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, ahead of a series of meetings with various Middle Eastern leaders on restarting the peace talks, stalled since 2014.
Since Trump took office, Kushner and Greenblatt have made a number of trips to the region and held numerous meetings with Netanyahu, Abbas, King Abdullah of Jordan, and the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf states.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Tuesday said that over two decades of peace negotiations with Israelis have produced “nothing,” and called on the international community to unilaterally establish a state of Palestine.
“We convinced the international community that the best way to reach a state is through negotiations. But after 24 years of negotiations, we have not gotten anything,” said Maliki, in a meeting with British Secretary of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt in Ramallah.
In the face of stalled peace talks, Maliki called for “active intervention” by the international community and the “imposition of peace” through the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to the official PA news site Wafa.
Alluding to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a document that helped pay the way for the revived Jewish state, Maliki called on British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson to promise the Palestinians a state through a “Johnson declaration.”
Signed on November 2, 1917 by the UK’s then foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour, the declaration announced his government’s intention to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in the Land of Israel.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has called on British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to recognize a Palestinian state in a declaration akin to that of the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
“Balfour became famous for his promise to the Jews to establish a state for them on the land of Palestine,” Maliki said on Tuesday in Ramallah, in a meeting with British Middle East and International Development Minister Alistair Burt. “I call for the current British foreign minister to be famous for giving the Palestinians a promise called the ‘Johnson declaration’ that recognizes a Palestinian state.”
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat also called on the UK on Tuesday to recognize a Palestinian state.
Over the past year, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has called on Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, and has floated the possibility of suing the country, if it does not apologize.
Abbas has also urged Britain to cancel plans to celebrate the Balfour Declaration’s centenary in November.
In April, the British Foreign Office said it had no plans to apologize for the Balfour Declaration.
“The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologize,” the Foreign Office said.
“We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves toward peace.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Muslims: Shofar Blasts During Jewish Month Of Elul A Call To Destroy Al Aqsa (satire)
Spiritual leaders at a contested Jerusalem holy site are warning that the Jewish practice of sounding a ram’s horn each weekday morning this lunar month is meant to exhort Jews to demolish the mosque that stands there and replace it with a Jewish temple.
During Elul, the final month of the Jewish year, tradition calls for communities to sound the shofar at the end of the morning prayer service, a custom with ancient roots intended to rouse the individual from the figurative slumber of inertia and spark renewed vigor in pursuit of relationship with the Almighty and with fellow humans. However, Islamic authorities are claiming the ritual has a far more sinister purpose, to rally the faithful to flock to the site of the alleged ancient Jewish temples and begin their reconstruction by destroying the Islamic shrines atop the plateau.
As evidence, the Islamic authorities point to the fact that they never need real evidence. “We just make assertions and expect to be believed,” they explained. “That holds true in doctrinal matters as well as political and ethnic matters. We just have our ‘narrative,’ as you might call it, and it would be racist for anyone to challenge that narrative with facts. You wouldn’t want to be accused of racism, would you?”
The Jewish “cover story” of the ram’s horn representing divine mercy cannot be true, insisted the imams. “Mercy has no place in this world,” they argued. “Mercy means weakness – that one is unwilling to follow through with what must be done as justice demands. When someone shows you compassion, it is an admission of weakness to be exploited. Attributing such a characteristic to Allah would be blasphemous. Compassion is the devil’s tool, and has no place in this world. No wonder the Jews preach it!”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is holding firm against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and some 30,000 public sector and government workers in the Gaza Strip, whose salaries are paid by the PA, will be fired or forced into early retirement, a senior Palestinian official has confirmed to Israel Hayom.
According to the official, Abbas plans to keep the pressure on Hamas in Gaza for as long as the organization refuses to implement a reconciliation agreement with Fatah, dismantle its Gaza administrative committee — the establishment of which effectively displaced Fatah as the governing body in the Gaza Strip — and transfer power of governance to representatives of a Palestinian unity government.
Senior Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar recently led a delegation of top Hamas officials to Cairo. Egyptian intelligence officials informed the delegation about a proposal put forth by Abbas, under which members of the Hamas government in Gaza and some members of Hamas’ military wing who are stationed at the border crossings would join the PA police and other Palestinian security services. In exchange, Hamas would transfer control over public affairs in Gaza and Gaza border crossings to the PA.
Hamas rejected the offer outright, and Abbas responded by ramping up pressure on Hamas, imposing economic sanctions and enacting measures meant to exploit the organization’s financial distress and political isolation to reinstate the PA as the governing body in Gaza.
Two members of the Palestinian group Fatah were killed in worsening clashes with Islamist groups in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon on Wednesday, medical sources said, bringing the number of dead to six in nearly a week of fighting.
The clashes at the Ain el Hilweh camp began late last Thursday between Islamist fighters and a joint force comprising the main Palestinian factions, including Fatah, which are responsible for the camp’s security.
Two other Fatah members and two Islamist fighters had already been killed and a total of 15 combatants and civilians have been wounded, a security source said.
The source said clashes had escalated on Wednesday, when gunfire wounded three people, including two Lebanese security personnel, outside the camp.
The fighting was triggered when a leader of an armed faction sympathetic to the Islamist Badr group fired at the headquarters of the joint security force last week.
In April, seven people were killed in clashes in the camp between the Badr group and the joint security force after it deployed there.
Two Israeli Jews have converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State in Syria, according to the Shin Bet security agency.
The two were named on a list of 20 Israeli citizens, one of whom is now deceased, who joined the ranks of the jihadist group, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Tuesday.
The two Israelis were born Jewish in the Soviet Union, immigrated to Israel at a young age, grew up in Israel, then converted to Islam as adults and traveled to Syria to join the ranks of IS. It was not immediately clear when the two left the country.
One, a 28-year-old woman, grew up in Ashdod. The other, Alex, a 32-year-old man, grew up in Lod.
Alex’s sister, who was not identified, told the TV station the family was in “shock” and is not in touch with him.
The United States wants to know if the United Nations atomic watchdog plans to inspect Iranian military sites to verify Tehran’s compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Tuesday.
Haley met International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials in Vienna on Wednesday for what she described as a fact-finding mission, which is part of President Donald Trump’s review of the deal Iran made with world powers to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most sanctions.
“If you look … at past Iranian behavior, what you’ve seen is there have been covert actions at military sites, at universities, things like that,” Haley, a member of Trump’s cabinet, told Reuters in an interview.
“There were already issues in those locations, so are they including that in what they look at to make sure that those issues no longer remain?” she said. “They have the authority to look at military sites now. They have the authority to look at any suspicious sites now. It’s just are they doing it?”
She said she was traveling to Vienna to ask questions, not to push the IAEA to do anything.
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