Moncef Marzouki, premier président de la Tunisie démocratique

 

moncef marzoukiLes fils de la Tunisie profonde, délaissés par les investissements, brimés par les politiques successives, de la colonisation à l’indépendance, opprimés par la dictature, ont hissé l’un des leurs à la tête de la République, en ce lundi 12 décembre. Moncef Marzouki est désormais le nouveau Président des Tunisiens.

Même si formellement, il faudra attendre l’investiture officielle et la cérémonie de prestation du serment de demain matin.

Pour la première fois dans l’histoire de la Tunisie,  le président a été élu dans la transparence, et non par le biais des urnes bourrées devant des observateurs complaisants. 153 élus de la Nation ont voté pour Marzouki, 44 se sont abstenus, et 3 ont signifié leur refus de le voir accéder à ses nouvelles fonctions. On notera que 15 députés qui n’appartiennent pas à la troïka ont tout de même choisi de voter pour lui. Puisque l’ensemble du triumvirat formé par El Mottamar, Ettakatol, et Ennahdha ne compte que 138 députés.

marzouki moncef présidentL’opposition a choisi librement de ne pas présenter de candidat. Par son abstention, elle a publiquement exprimée sa position de rejet. C’est son droit, et ce faisant, elle adresse un signal fort aux nouveaux gouvernants. Mais cette réaction est en elle-même une illustration du niveau auquel s’est hissée notre vie politique nationale. Qui aurait-cru, à peine une année auparavant, que des débats houleux mais maîtrisés, passionnés mais rassérénés, auraient lieu dans l’hémicycle du Bardo, hier encore, réservé, à quelques exceptions près, aux plus fidèles serviteurs de la dictature.

La Tunisie vit donc un tournant précédent. Le nouveau président devra relever de nombreux défis, sans commune mesure avec ceux auxquels ont dû faire face ses prédécesseurs. A quelques jours à peine de son investiture, il a dû essuyer une campagne d’une grande férocité, rarement vue même dans les plus vieilles démocraties. L’homme en a vu d’autres, et les attaques ne l’ont pas empêché d’avancer. Paradoxalement, les critiques même les plus injustifiées, ont le mérite d’exposer au monde entier, que la Tunisie a changé. Que les hommes qui la gouvernent aujourd’hui ne sont pas ceux qui ont fait son malheur hier.

Moncef Marzouki n’a pas dit autre chose, en  ses quelques mots qu’il a prononcés à l’annonce de sa victoire, d’une voix étranglée par l’émotion. Modestement, le premier président de la Tunisie démocratique soulignera qu’il a «bien reçu leur message», en s’adressant aussi à ses plus farouches opposants. A l’annonce de sa victoire, l’assemblée a crié, comme un seul homme, sa fidélité à la mémoire des martyrs de la Révolution Tunisienne. Et qui d’autre que Marzouki, aura autant martelé sa loyauté indéfectible à ceux qui ont offert leur vie pour que naisse la nouvelle Tunisie ?

(mag14.com / 12.12.2011)

Israeli force executes incursion into Gaza

GAZA, Dec 12 (KUNA) — Israeli forces, backed by tanks and bulldozers, carried out an incursion into the eastern outskirts of Gaza city on Monday, Palestinian sources said.
They told KUNA Israeli forces backed by around 10 Merkava tanks and bulldozers penetrated 300 meters deep into the outskirts of the closed Mentar crossing, east Gaza Strip.
The incursion took place amidst heavy fun fire against houses and farm lands of Palestinians, they said, coupled with military jets hovering above.
The Israeli gun fire did not cause human casualties, but the bulldozers destroyed large amount of farms.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army forces said a locally-made Palestinian rocket exploded in a town southern Israel but did not cause any damage.

(www.kuna.net.kw / 12.12.2011)

Israeli settlers raid Jordan border

 

A tour guide holds an umbrella in front of a wooden ramp leading to the sacred compound where the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine stand, in  Jerusalem’s Old City Dec. 12, 2011.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers raided the Jordanian borders on Monday evening in protest over Amman’s involvement in a dispute over a footbridge to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said initial reports indicated that 30 Israelis crossed the security fence and entered a closed military zone on the border of the West Bank and Jordan, but she said they had not entered Jordanian territory.

She added that Israeli soldiers and border police were “operating to restore order” in the area.

The right-wing Israelis barricaded themselves after nightfall at a Christian holy site by the banks of the Jordan River revered by many Christians as the place where biblical Saint John was baptized.

The settlers, known as the “Hilltop youth,” were threatening to establish an outpost in the area as Israeli soldiers looked on from the border, the Hebrew-language news site Maariv reported.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, the group are threatening to breach the border.

The settlers are protesting Jordan’s role in a row over a footbridge to the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel on Monday closed the ramp after Jerusalem’s city engineer deemed it structurally unsafe. Israeli media reports said Israel would consult with the king of Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, on the future of the bridge.

The ramp was to have been torn down last month but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed the demolition on the advice of Israeli diplomats and security officials, government officials said.

Netanyahu was cautioned that removing the structure and building a new bridge could enrage Muslims, especially in turbulent Egypt, who might believe the work could damage al-Aqsa, said the officials, who insisted no harm would come to existing buildings.

Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, said Islamic religious authorities opposed demolition of the existing structure and construction of a new one.

Any construction at the site can be politically explosive. During Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister, his opening in 1996 of a new entrance to an access tunnel for tourists near the compound touched off Muslim protests and gun battles in which 60 Palestinians and 15 Israelis were killed.

(www.maannews.net / 12.12.2011)

Vrouwen in het Zwart Amsterdam

Vrouwen in het Zwart Amsterdam

houden een wake op 6 januari 2012
vanaf 12.45 uur op het SPUI in AMSTERDAM (Lieverdje)
Wake: Groningen Haarlem Leeuwarden Maastricht Utrecht

44 jaar bezetting is meer dan genoeg!

Wie zijn wij?

Het internationale Netwerk Vrouwen in het Zwart begon als beweging in Israël. In januari 1988, één maand na het uitbreken van de eerste Intifada, kwam een aantal Palestijnse en Israëlische vrouwen samen. Op het drukste kruispunt van Jeruzalem begonnen ze, in het zwart gekleed, een demonstratie tegen de Israëlische bezetting van Gaza en de Westoever. De eerste stille wake was een feit.

Ondertussen zijn er Vrouwen in het Zwart – groepen opgericht in meer dan 150 steden in de hele wereld. In Nederland waren de eerste vrouwen al in januari 1990 op het Spui in Amsterdam aanwezig en worden momenteel in zes steden maandelijks waken gehouden.

De Palestijnen hebben door de meer dan 40 jaar durende Israëlische koloniale bezetting te lijden van grove mensenrechten schendingen, landroof en verwoesting van hun economie. Wij ondersteunen het Palestijnse recht op zelfbeschikking en een onafhankelijke staat en zijn voor het recht op terugkeer van de vluchtelingen. We streven naar een oplossing door onderhandelingen van deze brandende kwestie; anders kan er volgens ons nooit vrede in het explosieve Midden Oosten komen. Lees meer >>>

ISRAEL:

Stop de invasies in Gaza en landconfiscaties in Palestijns gebied
Weg met de annexatie muur – The wall must fall
Beëindig de bezetting van de Westoever, omsingeling en uithongering van Gaza
Ontruim alle sinds 1967 gestichte nederzettingen
Erken het recht op terugkeer van Palestijnse vluchtelingen
Jeruzalem, hoofdstad voor twee volken

VIZ_spui

In 2001 won de Internationale Beweging van Vrouwen in het Zwart de Millennium Vredes Prijs voor Vrouwen van het ontwikkelingsfonds van de Verenigde Naties (UNIFEM).

(www.vrouweninhetzwart.nl/ / 12.12.2011)

Ritueel slachten: de PvdA weet het nog niet

Debat over ritueel slachten in Amsterdam-West.

Wat gaat de PvdA in de Eerste Kamer doen? Stemmen de sociaal-democraten daar in met een verbod op het onverdoofd, ritueel slachten of niet. Komende dinsdag begint in de Eerste Kamer het debat over het wetsvoorstel van Marianne Thieme van de Partij voor de Dieren. De stem van de PvdA-senatoren is doorslaggevend.

Tegen persbureau ANP verklaarde Thieme dit weekeinde ervan uit te gaan dat de Eerste Kamer het verbod op de rituele slacht zal steunen, nadat eerder een meerderheid in de Tweede Kamer (PvdA, VVD, PVV, GroenLinks, SP, D66 en PvdD) dat al heeft gedaan. Maar vooralsnog laten de sociaal-democraten in de senaat zich niet in de kaart kijken, bleek gisteren tijdens een debat dat was georganiseerd door de afdeling Nieuw-West van de PvdA in Amsterdam. “Ik kom hier om naar argumenten te luisteren”, aldus Nico Schrijver, lid van de PvdA-fractie in de Eerste Kamer en hoogleraar internationaal recht in Leiden.

Torpederen
Het debat in het Calvijn met Junior College in Amsterdam West, wilde overigens maar geen debat worden. De joden en moslims in de bomvolle, maar rustige zaal waren het hartgrondig met elkaar eens: de PvdA dient het verbod te torpederen. Gerrit Terpstra, namens de CDA-fractie in de Eerste Kamer aanwezig, was het daar helemaal mee eens. De Partij voor de Dieren, wel uitgenodigd, schitterde door afwezigheid, zodat van die kant geen argumenten werden ingebracht.

Schrijver kreeg te horen dat het verbod in strijd is met de vrijheid van godsdienst. De bepaling dat ritueel slachten wel mag als de voorstanders kunnen aantonen dat dat pijnloos kan, is een omkering van de bewijslast en een dode letter. Of om met Gerrit Terpstra te spreken een ‘ritueel geslachte dode mus’. Het is ook meten met twee maten, volgens de tegenstanders van het verbod: joden en moslims moeten voldoen aan de zwaarste normen om dierenleed te voorkomen, terwijl tegelijk de bio-industrie zijn gang kan gaan.

Hogere eisen
Schrijver beloofde dat hij het wetsvoorstel met zijn ‘juridische timmermansoog’ zal beoordelen. Godsdienstvrijheid en rechten van minderheden wegen zwaar voor hem. De PvdA’er lijkt gevoelig voor het aanbod vanuit de moslimwereld om de rituele slacht te verbeteren en daarover een convenant te sluiten met de overheid. Schrijver: “Ik heb gehoord dat er veel mis is met halal-vlees. Het zou het debat helpen om hogere eisen te stellen aan de kwaliteit van de producten.”

Schrijver vroeg zich af waarom de kwestie niet Europees wordt geregeld. “Als we het hier verbieden wordt het vlees uit het buitenland gehaald. Aan symboolwetgeving heb ik geen behoefte.”

(www.trouw.nl / 12.12.2011)

PLO official invites Gingrich to Palestine

 

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi invited US Republican Newt Gingrich to visit Palestine as her guest, after the presidential hopeful said Palestinians were an “invented” people.”
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Monday invited US Republican Newt Gingrich to visit Palestine as her guest, after the presidential candidate said the Palestinian people were “invented.”

“I personally offer to host Mr. Gingrich,” Ashrawi said in a statement.

In an interview Friday with the Jewish Channel, Gingrich said Palestinians were an “invented” people “who are in fact Arabs.” On Saturday, he added: “These people are terrorists.”

Ashrawi invited the presidential hopeful “to re-learn his history and come to Palestine to see for himself, not only the suffering the Palestinian people face on a daily basis due to the Israeli military occupation, but also to experience the rich culture and history of the Palestinian people”

She added: “it is unbelievable that Mr. Gingrich, who studied history at two outstanding American universities and even taught history, could make such a misguided comment, solely for the sake of political pandering.”

She noted that Gingrich labeled Palestinians as terrorists “on the same day that we mourned the loss of a young Palestinian peacefully protesting the military occupation of his land.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also urged Gingrich to open a history book.

“Even the most extremist settlers of Israel wouldn’t talk in such a ridiculous way,” Fayyad told reporters on Saturday.

Such remarks would be better suited for a politician adhering to “a Nazi ideology, a source of suffering for humanity, and the Jews topped the list of victims” of that ideology, he added.

(www.maannews.net / 12.12.2011)

‘Mustafa was freedom’: Testimony from an eyewitness in Nabi Saleh

 

by Ben Lorber on December 12, 2011

tamimishot

Ibrahim Bornat, artist and activist from Bil’in, was standing next to Mustafa Tamimi when Tamimi was shot in the head with a tear gas canister at close range by an Israeli soldier (Bornat can be seen standing directly next to Tamimi in the now iconic photos on the right). Ibrahim is himself no stranger to the resistance. Since 2000, he has been in the hospital 83 times for injuries sustained by the Israeli military during demonstrations, and has been arrested five times. Here is his testimony about his experiences when Mustafa was critically injured on Friday, December 10. It was translated by Rena Hamadah, a Palestinian-Canadian activist in the West Bank.

Mustafa and I were alone, it was just the two of us, with the rest of the protesters quite far behind, and we were chasing the jeep and telling it to leave. We got separated from the rest, because the soldiers threw almost 50 tear gas canisters at once, so the whole protest was pushed back. The tear gas went over our heads and we got closer to the soldiers, shouting at them that they had thrown enough. The jeeps turned around to leave as they were shooting gas behind us. One jeep, however, lingered and seemed to be waiting for us to get closer. As we reached the jeep, the soldier opened the door and shot two rounds of tear gas. I think I saw this soldier’s face, but Mustafa definitely saw and whoever he is, Mustafa knows best.

Mustafa pushed me down, and one canister that was aimed for me flew over my head. The second one hit Mustafa, but I didn’t know it hit him at first because I thought ‘for sure they wont shoot at us from so close’. I thought he had just ducked down, and then I thought that maybe he had just passed out from the gas, because there was gas all around him. I went to him, laying face down on the road, and I turned him over and pulled the cloth off his face.

Of what I can say about it, it is worse than words can say. The whole half of his face was blown off, and his eye was hanging out, and I tried to push his eye back up. I could see pieces of the inside of his head, and there was a pool of blood gathering under him. His whole body was trembling. It started from his feet, then up to his arms, then it reached his chest, and then his head, and then a gasp came out and I’m sure at that moment he died. He gasped, and let out a bunch of air, and I knew at that moment his soul had left. I have seen many people, not a few, die in front of me, and I know death. Maybe later on they revived his heart, but I knew that his soul had left.

I ran back to get people, because we were far away, but there was no ambulance around, so the people around gathered him and put him in a service [a communal taxi] and tried to leave. The soldiers stopped the service and tried to arrest Mustafa, but when they saw that he was on the brink of death, they began to act as if they were humanitarian, to revive his heart. But what is ‘humanitarian’, to shoot someone to kill, and then to try to help him? These were the same soldiers from the jeep that shot him. They shot him, then say they want to help him. What they really did is prevent him from leaving. The body lay on the ground for half an hour. They wanted Mustafa’s ID, and they also wanted the ID of his mother, of another family member, and of Bassem Tamimi’s wife, because these people wanted to go out with him too. But I don’t know why they wanted the passport of a dead person! They were doing some kind of medical treatment while he was lying on the ground, but this was no hospital, and what he needed was to be taken to a hospital. He should have been flown out in that moment! There is nothing you can do for him on the street there.

I was with the family the whole night afterwards, especially with his father, who is very sick and on kidney dialysis. Mustafa’s family believed there was still some hope, so I did not want to tell them that I knew he was already dead. His father is very sick, and kept falling asleep and waking up again, and we didn’t tell him much at first, only that Mustafa had been shot but that, God willing, he would be okay. There are some things that are hard and give you no hope, and then there are some things that are hard, but there is something nice about them. Martyrdom is something that is hard, but it is also honorable, and that gave his family a lot of comfort.

I knew Mustafa as a brother in the resistance. We were close in the resistance to the occupation. Anyone who comes out with me in our resistance to the occupation is close to me, as close as my mother, brother, or father, whether they be Palestinian, Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, or international. He was free, and a person who is free fights the occupation. That’s the thing I can most say about him- he was freedom.

We defend ourselves through strength, through courage, through our right to this land, through steadfastness. The occupation, to defend itself, has to kill people. But we defend ourselves with our right. This is my philosophy.

(mondoweiss.net /12.12.2011)

Hundreds of US-NATO Soldiers Arrive and Begin Operations on the Jordan-Syria Border

Update 1: Today at 12:00 P.M. we contacted DOD Press Office via two voicemail messages and one e-mail asking for comment(s) on this story. As of 6:00 P.M. EST we have not heard back.

Update 2: Another journalist with a major mainstream media publication was told by his editors that there would be no coverage or follow up on these developments.

SyriaJordanAccording to first-hand accounts and reports provided to Boiling Frogs Post by several sources in Jordan, during the last few hours foreign military groups, estimated at hundreds of individuals, began to spread near the villages of the north-Jordan city of “Al-Mafraq”, which is adjacent to the Jordanian and Syrian border.

According to one Jordanian military officer who asked to remain anonymous, hundreds of soldiers who speak languages ​other than Arabic were seen during the past two days in those areas moving back and forth in military vehicles between the King Hussein Air Base of al-Mafraq (10 km from the Syrian border), and the vicinity of Jordanian villages adjacent to the Syrian border, such as village Albaej (5 km from the border), the area around the dam of Sarhan, the villages of Zubaydiah and al-Nahdah adjacent to the Syrian border.

Another report received from our source in Amman identified an additional US-NATO Command Center in “al-Houshah,’ a village near Mafraq.

Our Iraqi journalist source in London provided us with the following related information:

“Some of the US forces that left the Ain al-Assad Air base in Iraq last Thursday, did not come back to the USA or its base in Germany, but were transferred to Jordan during the evening hours.”

The above information was further corroborated by our correspondent and advisor Nizar Nayouf who interviewed an employee in the London-based office of Royal Jordanian Airlines:

“At least one US aircraft carrying military personnel landed in the Prince Hassan Air base located about 100 km to the east of the city of Al-Mafraq.”

Earlier last week, Jordanian news websites disclosed that “Western officials have requested the King to allow establishing an electronic spy station in the north of Jordan (near the Syrian border) in order to access the Syrian army and contact Syrian high-rank officers for convincing them to make a military coup or (at least) rebel against the regime”. 

Nizar Nayouf, BFP advisor and correspondent on Syria in London, had the following statement on Al-Mafraq:

The al-Mafraq air base, which now includes Air Force Academy, was a starting point for “conspiratorial activities” by Jordan, The UK and Israel against Syria in the past, particularly in the 1960s. In September 1968, a Syrian commando Major, Salim Hatoom, who fled to Jordan with a number of officers after a failed coup attempt, established a camp from which he started a rebel military against the then left-wing government of Syria under president Nureddin al-Atassi and Salah Jadid. By the end of 1970s and early 1980s, the Syrian Islamic Brotherhood and their military wing “At-Taleeah al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah” (the Islamic Militant Vanguard) used the same base for its military struggle against president Hafez a-Assad regime, in which they were being trained by the Jordanian and Israeli intelligence agents, and cars were being bombed before they were sent to the streets of Syrian cities for the killing of innocents and undermining state facilities.”

Mr. Nayouf went on to emphasize the irony of the situation:

I guess history repeats itself but as farce…Last spring, that tens of Syrian soldiers, who fled to Jordan, were transferred to a camp west of the Jordanian city of “Salt”, in which officers from Israeli military intelligence (AMAN) began the investigation with them under the supervision of the Jordanian military intelligence. This was to extract information from them on issues related to the development of the Syrian army, weapons and training, especially after 2006.

We contacted our expert sources on US media and intelligence-military and were told that the US media has been told not to report on this latest development until Tuesday, December 13. Boiling Frogs Post is the first news website to report on these latest developments.

This story is developing and we await further details and confirmation from our sources in Turkey and Jordan. For additional Boiling Frogs Post Syria coverage see here and here.

(www.globalresearch.ca / 12.12.2011)

Palestinian flag to fly at UNESCO

The Palestinian flag will be raised at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Press TV reports

Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas will be present at the flag-raising ceremony in the French capital Paris on Tuesday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

A spokesperson for Abbas said he will also meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his visit.

In October, Palestinians won the UNESCO seat in a Paris vote with 107 countries out of 173 voting in favor and 14 against the bid. Fifty-two abstained from vote.

The membership came despite massive lobbying efforts by the Israeli regime and the United States, which cut off its annual share of UNESCO funding in response.

Palestine will become the 195th member state of UNESCO and the measure is seen as a step towards the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Washington has repeatedly threatened to veto the statehood bid at the UN Security Council.

More than 100 countries have so far officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel captured and annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

(www.presstv.ir / 12.12.2011)

Face veils banned for citizenship oaths

 

A woman wearing a niqab demonstrates against Quebec's Bill 94 requiring people to uncover their faces to receive government services, in April 2010. Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Monday a similar rule is in place to take an oath of citizenship.
A woman wearing a niqab demonstrates against Quebec’s Bill 94 requiring people to uncover their faces to receive government services, in April 2010. Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Monday a similar rule is in place to take an oath of citizenship.

The government is placing a ban on face coverings such as niqabs for people swearing their oath of citizenship, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Monday.

The ban takes effect immediately.

As a result, Muslim women will have to remove their niqabs or any other face-covering garments, such as burkas, before they can recite the oath of citizenship to become Canadians. Citizenship judges will be directed to enforce the rules at ceremonies over which they preside.

It’s a “public declaration that you are joining the Canadian family and it must be taken freely and openly,” he said, calling it “frankly, bizarre” that women were allowed to wear face veils while they swear their citizenship oaths.

Kenney said he doesn’t accept that it’s a religious obligation to wear the veil, explaining that when Muslim women perform the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required by their faith, they are required not to cover their faces.

“It’s a cultural tradition, which I think reflects a certain view about women that we don’t accept in Canada. We want women to be full and equal members of Canadian society and certainly when they’re taking the citizenship oath, that’s the right place to start,” Kenney said in an interview on CBC News Network.

Kenney said he’s had complaints from MPs and citizenship court judges that it’s hard to tell whether people with their faces covered are actually reciting the oath of citizenship, which he says is a requirement to become Canadian. Wladyslaw Lizon, a Conservative MP from Mississauga, Ont., brought it to his attention, Kenney says.

“We cannot have two classes of citizenship ceremonies. Canadian citizenship is not just about the right to carry a passport and to vote,” he said.

Citizenship and immigration officials will be asking that “all those taking the oath do so openly,” Kenney said, describing it as a “deep principle that goes to the heart of our values.”

Kenney is in Montreal meeting with cultural groups and delivering a speech on the value of Canadian citizenship.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case where a woman wants to testify in court while wearing a niqab. The complainant argued her right to wear the niqab is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

(www.cbc.ca / 12.12.2011)