Het moreel failliet van Israël

By Engelbert Luitsz           ©                (http://www.alexandrina.nl/?p=2583)

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De Israëlische ambassade in de Verenigde Staten heeft een LinkedIn-pagina gemaakt waarop de nieuwe president van Iran, Hassan Rouhani, staat afgebeeld met als “expertise” het verspreiden van nucleaire wapens. De directeur sociale media van het Joods Agentschap, Avi Mayer, vond het ook passend dit rond te sturen (zie onderstaande schermprints).

De jacht op Iran

President Obama heeft Rouhani niet gefeliciteerd toen deze tot president verkozen werd. Tot nu toe heeft Amerika niet eens geprobeerd in contact te komen met de Iraanse regeringsleiders, al het contact verliep via Zwitserland. Ook vandaag vond Obama het tijdens de Algemene Vergadering van de Verenigde Naties niet nodig deze man de hand te schudden. Waarom zou hij ook, Rouhani streeft immers naar ontwapening. Samen met Israël zijn de V.S. al zeker twintig jaar bezig Iran zwart te maken en de wereld bang te maken voor een op handen zijnde atoombom. Dat de gematigde Rouhani zelfs nog harder wordt aangepakt dan zijn voorganger Mahmoud Ahmadinejad geeft ons een goed inkijkje in de plannen van de Amerikaans/zionistische misdadigers. Het laatste wat deze schurken willen is dat er ergens een democratisch land komt in de buurt van het racistische Israël. Dat zou slecht zijn voor hun geloofwaardigheid.

De sancties tegen Iran zijn helemaal niet bedoeld om het maken van kernwapens tegen te gaan, het doel van de sancties is om sociale onrust te creëren in het land, waardoor de Westerse propagandamachine haar werk kan blijven doen. Het zijn de onschuldige burgers die daar het meest onder te lijden hebben en daarmee is het een misdaad tegen de menselijkheid. Het geraaskal van Netanyahu doet denken aan de waanideeën waaraan dictators gaan lijden wanneer hun macht tanende is. Zijn “rode lijnen” zijn berucht. Rouhani is “een wolf in schaapskleren”, diens toespraak voor de Verenigde Naties was “cynisch en vol hypocrisie”. Waar Rouhani pleit voor een Midden-Oosten zonder massavernietigingswapens – net als Assad overigens – gaan Amerika en Israël juist vol in de aanval en proberen zij uit alle macht een aanval op Syrië en Iran te verkopen aan de bevolking als een soort “noodzakelijk kwaad”.

Toen in 1953 een staatsgreep werd gepleegd in Iran, met hulp van de Amerikanen en de Britten, kwam de sjah aan de macht, volgens Amnesty International een van de ergste, meest extreme martelaars in de wereld. Toen deze in 1979 door een volksopstand werd afgezet, richtte Amerika zich bijna onmiddellijk op Sadam Hoessein, de aartsvijand van Iran. De politieke en militaire steun van de V.S. aan deze dictator zijn bekend, inclusief de Amerikaanse medeplichtigheid bij aanvallen met chemische wapens. Het dateert dus niet van gisteren. Noam Chomsky noemt de afgelopen zestig jaar een “marteling” voor Iran, met als beulen Amerika en Israël.

Het cruciale punt waar het Iran betreft, waar we moeten beginnen, is dat er in de afgelopen 60 jaar geen dag voorbij is gegaan zonder dat de Verenigde Staten de Iraniërs hebben gemarteld.

In de afgelopen dagen hebben we voor de zoveelste keer gezien hoe Israël op beestachtige wijze tekeer is gegaan in onder andere Hebron en Jeruzalem, vanwege de dood van een soldaat. Daarnaast worden er aan de lopende band huizen en soms hele dorpen van Palestijnen vernield en werkt men koortsachtig door aan het Prawer Plan, waarmee naar schatting tussen de 70.000 en 100.000 bedoeïenen etnisch worden gezuiverd.

Netanyahu was diep teleurgesteld dat er niet direct een aanval op Syrië kwam, waarmee de weg vrij zou komen voor een volgende aanval op Iran. Het is even tragisch als ironisch dat de oorlogshitsers aan alle kanten moreel voorbij worden gelopen door uitgerekend Poetin en Rouhani, en daarnaast door een zeer groot deel van de bevolking van de westerse landen, inclusief vele Amerikaanse oorlogsveteranen. Israël heeft miljoenen geïnvesteerd en honderden mensen gemobiliseerd om ervoor te zorgen dat de omgeving van het Beloofde Land vrij van niet-joodse smetten wordt, door middel van gerichte propaganda. Laten we hopen tevergeefs.

De banaliteit van het kwaad

Onze eigen Frans Timmermans, de kleine Eichmann, heeft geen woord over voor de ellende waarin zijn bazen Iran (en Syrië) hebben gestort. Hij is in korte tijd verworden tot een van de buikspreekpoppen van Amerikaanse en zionistische machtswellustelingen (Obama is “eerlijk” en “inspirerend” over Iran). Hij heeft zijn moreel besef ingeruild voor de illusie van de macht. Op 18 september was hij te gast bij Pauw & Witteman, waarbij in een gesprek met Nausicaa Marbe Hannah Arendts “banaliteit van het kwaad” ter sprake kwam. Niets geeft beter weer waarom wij de toekomst somber moeten inzien dan Timmermans’ geleuter, zonder te beseffen dat Arendt hem bedoelde met de banaliteit van het kwaad. De volstrekte onnozelheid van een brave huisvader die niet kan begrijpen dat hij deel uitmaakt van een misdadig systeem. Dáár moeten we bang voor zijn.

Joodse lolbroeken

Deze laatste onsmakelijke “grap” van de Israëlische ambassade, zeker in de context van alle al even onsmakelijke pogingen om EU-richtlijnen te omzeilen en elke poging tot een vreedzame oplossing met de Palestijnen te torpederen, zou voor Europa de druppel moeten zijn. De Nederlandse hasbara-brigade lijkt radeloos, verder dan nog maar eens een paar keer hard holocaust roepen komen ze niet meer. In de Volkskrant stond daarvan een prachtig voorbeeld van de hand van Alfred Pijpers (ik kom daar nog op terug).

Het zionistisch gevaar

Rouhani is een bedachtzaam man. Ik zal het daarom nog maar eens duidelijk zeggen: de Amerikaans/Israëlische politiek ten opzichte van Iran is misdadig en de zionistische entiteit moet oprotten uit Tel Aviv, Jeruzalem en de rest van de wereld. Het land is zo gecorrumpeerd geraakt door alle buitenlandse financiële, politieke en militaire steun dat het in zichzelf verstrikt is geraakt. Israël heeft helemaal niets om trots op te zijn, alles is dankzij buitenlandse financiers op poten gezet.

En nu hebben ze hun morele failliet ook voor niet-ingewijden kenbaar gemaakt. We hoeven Peres straks alleen maar te confronteren met het wanstaltige gedrag van de joodse staat en z’n handlanger overzee gedurende de afgelopen twee weken. Het is in een notendop wat er al meer dan honderd jaar in Palestina gebeurt; dit “licht voor de naties”, zoals de profeet Jesaja het noemde, is verworden tot het zaklampje waarmee pubers onder de dekens stiekem naar porno kijken.

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Barghouthi: “Israel Used Peace Talks To Implement Apartheid”

Palestinian Legislator, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, stated that the Oslo peace agreement is a big failure, and that Israel is the only party the benefits from this treaty.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi

Marking the twentieth anniversary of signing the first Oslo peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Barghouthi said that agreement was transitional and partial, and did not carry any characteristics of the main goal of peace talks.

“This allowed Israel implement a system of apartheid, by significantly escalating its settlement activities, and the theft of Palestinian lands, Israel is using the peace deal as a cover-up for its violations”, the Palestinian official added.

He also said that some of the failure aspects of this agreement is that it failed to include the release of all Palestinians held by Israel, and issue that kept all detainees, who were held before Oslo, behind bars for additional twenty years.

“The agreement was signed without any commitments from Israel to stop its settlement activities”, Dr. Barghouthi stated, “This is why former chief negotiator, Dr. Haider Abdul-Shafi, and many others, quits talks; the number of Israeli settlers increased from 160.000 by the time Oslo was signed, to 650.000”.

Dr. Barghouthi said that the Oslo Agreement was not signed between two equal partners, forcing the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to recognize Israel as a state, while Tel Aviv only recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian People without recognize the Palestinian right to a state in the 1967 border.

“Those serious mistakes led to disastrous consequences allowing Israel to divide the occupied territories into areas A, B and C, giving it the change to build and expand settlements, and the Apartheid Wall”, he said, “The wall was build 25 Kilometers deep into the West Bank, isolating and confiscating large areas of lands and orchards, and isolated Jerusalem from its surrounding Arab areas”.

Furthermore, the official said that Oslo divided the Palestinian people, and their national movements, in addition to causing dividing the refugees in exile, and weakening the role of the PLO by transforming it into a government instead of a liberation movement.

He also accused Israel of only implementing what is good for the state, and of obliging the Palestinians to remain committed to the agreements and all agreements that following, including the Paris Economic Agreement.

“All issues of this conflicts were supposed to be resolved by 1999 through a final status agreement”, Dr. Barghouthi said, “But what happened is that Israel transformed the temporary agreement into a permanent one, and enforced its social, political and economic apartheid policies on the Palestinians.

He said that the Palestinian leadership should adopt a new policy by increasing national resistance activities, by boycotting Israel, by working on the international level to boycott all Israeli products, and different institutions.

“The Palestinians must end all internal divisions, form a unified leadership that can place economic strategies that support the people, counter increasing living costs”, the official said, “we need a compressive unity between all Palestinians in Palestine and in exile”.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

Al Qaeda, Kurdish militia clash on Syrian border with Turkey

(Reuters) – Seven al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were killed in a battle with a Syrian Kurdish militia on Wednesday, as violence between Syria’s Arabs and Kurds increased, opposition activists said.

The fighting in Atma, a town on the Turkish border which is a main escape route for refugees fleeing the civil war, shows how the region has become a battleground for a myriad of armed groups in a scramble to grab territory, opposition sources said.

As well as the seven members of the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraqand the Levant killed in fighting with the PYD, the Syrian arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), two women PKK recruits were also killed by mortar fire on the outskirts of the nearby town of Jandaris, the sources said.

Since the start of the revolt, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have pulled out of Kurdish regions, including Ifrin, where Atma is located, handing de facto control to the PKK.

While fear is widespread among Kurds of a possible Islamist takeover if Assad falls, the PKK has come under criticism from other Kurdish groups for having ties with Assad’s forces and has also been accused of killing peaceful Kurdish activists, charges the group denies.

Opposition activist Mohammad Abdallah said officers from Assad’s army visited PKK leaders in Jandaris in the last week to discuss military cooperation, prompting the rebels to launch a pre-emptive strike.

“There is a feeling that the Kurds were fortifying Jandaris as part of a plan to carve a Kurdish zone in Ifrin with the help of the regime,” Abdallah said. “Fighting has been heavy all day, and rebels have brought heavier guns to defend Atma and to target the PKK.”

Another activist in the town said the PKK had taken positions in high ground around Atma. “Most of Atma is now within site of PKK snipers. Clashes with rocket-propelled grenades are taking place on the hills,” he said.

Kurds comprise around 10 percent of Syria’s 21 million population. They are concentrated in Ifrin and other areas of the northwest, in parts of Damascus and in the northeastern oil producing area of Qamishli, where there has also been intense fighting between Kurds and rebel units and Arab tribes opposed to de facto Kurdish autonomy.

Seeking to mend ties with the Kurdish community, Syrian opposition leaders in exile attempted, at a meeting in Istanbul this month, to expand the Syrian National Coalition to include members of the Kurdish National Council, a grouping of the main Kurdish parties that does not include the PYD.

But the effort was put off as the coalition debated at length a joint declaration with the Kurdish Council that defines the Kurds as a separate people in a united Syria.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

IOF soldiers launch large-scale combing operation near Jenin village

 

 

JENIN, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a large-scale combing operation in the vicinity of Yabad village, south of Jenin, on Wednesday morning.

Local sources said that IOF soldiers mounting 15 army vehicles were deployed along the road between Yabad and Toura Al-Gharbiya. The soldiers set up a roadblock at the entrance to Yabad and searched all passing cars, they added.

Other units were deployed in the olive groves to the north of Yabad village and combed the area, the sources said.

The IOF had launched another combing operation at dawn today during which heavy shooting and firing of flare bombs was heard and seen.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

“Only God knows” in Gaza, under cruel Israeli-Egyptian siege

This drawing of mine describes the way I feel: depressed, frustrated and suffocated while waiting for the Rafah border crossing to open.

This drawing of mine describes the way I feel: depressed, frustrated and suffocated while waiting for the Rafah border crossing to open.

I have tried many times to write about my experience at the closed Rafah border crossing with Egypt that has left thousands of people in Gaza stranded. Every time I start, a deep sigh comes over me. Shortly after I feel paralyzed, and finish by tearing apart my draft.  I have never found it this difficult to write about a personal experience. No words can capture all the suffering and pain our people in Gaza deal with collectively under this suffocating, inhumane Israeli-Egyptian siege.

As I write, I am supposed to be somewhere in the sky, among the clouds, flying to Istanbul to begin my graduate studies. But I could not catch my flight, as I am still trapped in the besieged Gaza Strip, sitting in darkness during the power cuts caused by fuel crisis, trying to squeeze out my thoughts during what is left of my laptop’s charge.

As much as I am attached to Gaza City, where I was born and spent all 22 years of my life, each day I spend trapped in it makes me despise living here. Each day that passes makes me more desperate to set myself free outside this big, open-air prison. Each day makes me unable to stand the mounting injustice, torment, brutality and humiliation.

Hardships and happiness

I have never experienced as many extreme ups and downs as I did this month. Despite the hardships throughout September, I also had some immensely happy moments. I think will remember them the rest of my life. This is life in Gaza: highs amid lows, everything in the balance, nothing secure from day to day, no plans, no guarantees.

At the beginning of September, I started the process to secure my visa for Italy. I am supposed to be there on 10 October to celebrate the publication of my first book, the fruits of my work over more than three years of writing. It is the Italian version of my blog, Palestine from My Eyes, which I started in May 2010. My book launched on 22 September. It was impossible for me to attend its release in Italy.

My blog was never about me as an individual. It is rather about a young Palestinian woman who grew up in the alleys of a densely inhabited refugee camp with an imprisoned father. It is about a woman whose awareness of her Palestinian identity was shaped in a besieged city under the brutal Israeli occupation. My blog is about our people, who are routinely dehumanized and whose stories are marginalized and unknown to the majority outside. It was about our Palestinian political prisoners and their families, whose lost and missing loved ones have become statistics, numbers which fail to communicate all the injustices they face under the Israeli Prison Service, which denies them their most basic rights.

The book, inspired by the harsh and complex reality we are forced to endure, makes me feel that my responsibility as a voice for our Palestinian people has doubled. Some amazingly dedicated Italian friends are fixing a busy schedule of events, book fairs, conferences and presentations in many different cities. My presence in Italy is very important, because I am sure few people there have met Palestinians. I am anxiously waiting for the Rafah border to open so I can be there for these events, to help my book spread as widely as possible.

Furious

I read on Reuters last Tuesday: “According to Abbas’s request, Egypt agrees to reopen Rafah border crossing on Wednesday and Thursday for four working hours each.”

My first reaction was laughter. Where was Abbas while the Rafah border was closed to thousands of patients seeking medical care abroad which they cannot access in Gaza, or students whose dreams to pursue their education overseas were crushed?

We are not only paying the price for the unsettled situation in Egypt. We have even become the victims of our own divided Palestinian leadership. It makes me furious to think that the opening of Rafah crossing, a lifeline for our people in Gaza, has come under the influence of the internal division between political parties competing to seek favors from our colonizers. The ruling factions seem to have become participants in the collective punishment we suffer.

The headline infuriated rather than relieved me. Opening the Rafah border for eight hours over two days was not a solution to the crisis caused by the complete closure of Rafah for more than a week.

The same day, in the taxi heading home, I received a call telling me I finally got a visa to Italy. I was so happy I forgot the conservative nature of my society and started screaming out of happiness in the car. The visa process took shorter than I thought. I called my friend Amjad Abu Asab, who lives in Jerusalem and received my passport for me, since Israel prevents Palestinians in Gaza from visiting the city, urging him to find someone coming into Gaza via the northern Erez checkpoint on Wednesday.

This can be my chance to leave Wednesday or Thursday, I thought. My happiness didn’t last. “Erez checkpoint will be completely closed from Wednesday until Sunday, 22 September, because of the Jewish holidays,” Amjad said. “No express mail, and no person, can cross Erez to Gaza during this period.”

“What an absurdity!” I screamed. “When the Rafah border crossing finally reopens, Erez checkpoint closes. We have to deal with Israel from one side and Egypt from the other. How long will we live at the mercy of others? There must be some emergency exit.”

Life of uncertainty

“The definition of uncertainty in the dictionary is Gaza,” my fellow Electronic Intifada writer Ali Abunimah once told me. That describes in short my life at the moment, and the lives of our people generally: a life of uncertainty.

I had no choice but to wait for the Jewish holidays to end for Erez to reopen and to get my passport. But on Wednesday, I insisted on going to Rafah. I refused to sit at home, powerless, unable to do anything but wait. At Rafah border crossing, I saw a gate of humiliation. People crowded on top of each other, roamed the waiting hall, waited impatiently for some news to revive their hopes, and ran after policemen, asking for help and explaining their urgent need to travel.

I met many of my fellow students who were stuck as well. They came with their luggage, hoping they could leave, but ended up dragging it back home.

I stayed until 2:00pm, hoping that I could at least register. I did, I think. I explained my situation to a policeman at the gate. He took my scanned copy of my passport and returned after about five minutes, saying, “Your name is registered.” I am not sure what he meant, but he did not say anything else. I asked him if there was a certain date I could leave. His reply was, “Only God knows.” I wish someone could tell me when I will be able to leave so I can have a break from worrying. But no one knows anything, “only God knows.”

While doing an interview with the Real News Network that morning at the border, an elegant elderly man in a formal black suit and holding a black bag interrupted. “I would like to make an interview,” he said. “I speak English, and if you like, I can do Hebrew.” The old man looked very serious as we awaited his poignant words. “This border, all this area, was mine. They came and stole it.” As he continued, the Real News crew and I realized the interview was descending into farce. “I have bombs in this bag and I can explode the whole place in a second!” the man said. We started laughing and said jokingly, “Go explode, then. We’re standing by you.” Yes, this Rafah gate of humiliation must be wiped away so we, Palestinian people in Gaza, can have some breath of freedom.

A joke

The Rafah border crossing closed again after 800 persons left to Egypt on Wednesday and Thursday. I am sure this closure would be easier to understand if it was a natural disaster. But knowing that other human beings are doing this to me and 1.7 million other civilians living in Gaza, while the rest of the world looks on, is too difficult to believe. It is more painful and shocking to realize that our neighboring Arab country, Egypt, is joining our Zionist jailers and collaborating with them to tighten the siege.

This experience made me believe that human dignity has become a joke. International law is nothing but empty, powerless words printed in books. We are denied our right to freedom of movement, our right to pursue our education, our right to good medical care, and our right to be free or to live in peace and security. But no one in power bothers to act.

I spent September worrying about the border and my dreams which may fade away if Rafah remains closed. This takes a lot of my energy and makes me suffer from lack of focus and sleep, and makes it hard for me to sit and express myself in writing or with a drawing. Our people’s tragedy caused by the ongoing closure of Rafah border continues, and the crisis is deepening. Living in Gaza under these circumstances is like being sentenced to a slow death. Act and set us free. It is time for these injustices we face on a daily basis to end.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

UN leader presses major powers over Syria deadlock

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday pressed the major powers to overcome differences on the Syria war amid troubled talks on a UN Security Council resolution on Syria’s chemical arms.

Ban hosted a lunch with the foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — the permanent Security Council members — to put across his message, UN officials said.

Ban has said the Security Council — divided into opponents and backers of Syria’s President Bashar Assad — has been gripped by an “embarrassing paralysis” over the 30-month-old conflict.

Ban has called on the Security Council to take action over the use of chemical weapons in the war and to press for a Geneva peace conference.

The meeting was held as Russia and the United States negotiate a Security Council resolution to make a plan they have devised to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons binding under international law.

Western nations want the resolution to threaten the possibility of sanctions if Assad fails to keep the plan. Russia, Assad’s key ally, has resisted any attempt to threaten any kind of action against Assad.

Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions seeking to increase pressure on Assad in the past 18 months.

US officials say progress has been made on a resolution but days more of talks will be needed before a vote can be held.

The United States accuses Assad’s forces of staging an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack near Damascus. It says that more than 1,400 people were killed.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

IN YET MORE COMPLICATIONS 13 OPPOSITION GROUPS BREAK AWAY FROM SNC, AND JIHADIST LEADER REPORTED CAPTURED BY RIVALS

By Peter Clifford                ©                (http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-2/)

 

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

To add yet another complication to the already complex Opposition structure, 13 Opposition groups declared an “Islamist Front” yesterday and said that they did not recognise any foreign based Opposition organisation.

A Gun Seller in Opposition Held Aleppo

A Gun Seller in Opposition Held Aleppo

This denial of any authority to overseas based Syrian Opposition groups apparently included specifically the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and its prime minister designate Ahmad Tomeh.

The statement, signed by significant Opposition brigades such as Liwa al-Tawhid as well as the Al-Nusra Front (ANF), said, “The National Coalition and the proposed government under [recently chosen] Ahmad Tomeh does not represent us, nor do we recognise it”.

Other signatories included the radical but non-jihadist Ahrar al-Sham brigade and the 19th Division, a relatively new addition to the mainstream Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The statement went on, “These forces call on all military and civilian groups to unite in a clear Islamic context that… is based on Sharia law, making it the sole source of legislation”.  They also called for “unity” and for fighters “to reject division… putting the interest of the [Islamic] nation over the interest of [each] group”.

The Northern Storm brigade based in Azaz, who recently clashed with the Jihadist group The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), also issued a statement supporting the new grouping.

Clearly disillusioned by the SNC’s lack of achievement in getting the international community supporting Opposition groups with weapons and perhaps by the failure to get the US to strike at Assad, the new Islamic grouping also undermines the authority of the FSA.

At the same time continued fierce fighting is reported near Syria’s northern and eastern borders between ISIL and FSA units and in Hasakah province in the north-east, ongoing clashes between the Kurdish militia, the YPG, and a combined ANF and ISIL force near the border town of Ras Al-Ain.

An unconfirmed report this morning, Wednesday, also says that ISIL have “captured” the leader of the Al-Nusra Front, known as  “Abu Saad”, while he was on his way to Aleppo, an incident, if true, which could lead to yet more trouble.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

General Idriss Talking on Skype Until 3.00m

Talking to the German magazine Der Spiegal, General Salim Idriss, the Chief-of-Staff of the FSA’s “Supreme Military Council”, said that although some FSA units had worked together with Jihadist groups like the ANF and ISIL, he did not approve.

“I am against it”, he said, “And have warned against it. The jihadists have killed several of our commanders; they are very dangerous for us, as well. But so long as no one helps us otherwise, I can’t prohibit cooperation on a local level”.

General Idriss also said that he was on Skype till 3.00am every night discussing tactics and plans with local commanders across Syria, as well as negotiating “with our foreign friends about support” and speaking with the SNC. You can read more, HERE:

AT UN OBAMA AGAIN BLAMES ASSAD FOR CW ATTACK, AND CW INSPECTORS RETURN TO DAMASCUS:

At the opening of the 68th annual United Nations General Assembly yesterday in New York, President Obama reiterated his threat of military action against Syria if it fails to comply with the chemical weapons disposal framework agreed between the US and Russia and called on world nations and the UN to take action on the “Syrian problem”.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Obama Addresses 68th UN General Assembly

Referring specifically to the 1400 people who died in a chemical weapons incident on August 21st, he said, “It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to  suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.”

Obama also announced a further $339 million contribution in US aid to Syria to support countries hosting Syrian refugees, bringing their contributions so far to $1.4 billion.

A UN official said that the details of how to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons are basically agreed but everything is held up by a disagreement on how to enforce it, between the US and Russia, at the UN Security Council.

The UN weapons inspectors, who have already investigated the deaths that occurred on August 21st, arrived back in Damascus by car last night, Tuesday, after flying to Beirut and will spend the next few weeks investigating 14 other chemical weapons incidents reported by both sides in the conflict.

Meanwhile, despite the vast sums of money promised in aid, Save the Children fund is reporting that 1 in 20 children in the Opposition controlled areas of rural Damascus province is severely malnourished, with 14% of those, acutely malnourished.

The aid organisation is reporting incidents like one family trapped in their cellar by explosions just eating half a piece of bread each over 4 days. With  the price of remaining food items rocketing and agricultural production down, the humanitarian crisis is just expected to get far worse this winter.

Reuters has a video report on Save The Children’s work, here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3tzLLsLJYwc

Also at the UN this week was a delegation from the SNC led by its President Ahmad Jarba, who when meeting on Tuesday with the US Secretary of State John Kerry, expressed their disappointment of the failure of the US to take military action against Assad.

In “compensation”, Kerry is reported to have told them that despite the lack of military action, after Assad “has used chemical weapons on his own people, after he has killed tens of thousands, it is impossible for us to imagine that he would play any role in a subsequent transition government.”

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Malala Yousafzai & Gordon Brown at UN

Also at the UN on Monday were Malala Yousafzai, the 16 year old shot by the Taliban, and former UK prime minister Gordon Brown in support of their campaign to raise $500 million to educate 400,000 Syrian refugee children  (scroll down, see below).

With a starting fund of $1 million raised in just a few days via AVAAZ members (EDITOR: Thank you to all those readers who, like me, contributed), Malala and Brown were planning a meeting with potential funders to raise an initial amount of $175 million to get the project underway using round the clock shifts at existing schools in Lebanon.

ANOTHER CAR BOMBING IN SYRIAN CAPITAL KILLS 7, WHILE NUNS AND ORPHANS REPORTED TRAPPED IN CHRISTIAN MA’ALOULA:

In Syria itself, a car bombing yesterday, Tuesday, in the part of the Damascus suburb of Tadamum still controlled by the regime, is reported to have killed 7 and wounded 15, some of them critically.

Heavy fighting is also reported in the suburb of Barzeh where Opposition fighters are resisting attempts to storm it by the Syrian Army, HERE: and in the Damascus countryside around the Christian town of Ma’aloula, casualties are reported on both sides as they clash in the town and on the surrounding hillsides.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Monastery of St. Thekla, Maaloula

A group of nuns and orphans sheltering at a monastery in the town are now thought to be trapped as shells and other munitions fall around them.

In Hama city, the Opposition continue to advance and the sounds of heavy gun and anti-aircraft fire have been reported around checkpoints and in districts bordering the airport.

Similarly, a major battle is underway around the town of Sheikh Sa’ad in Deraa province and Opposition fighters are said to have captured the Dara’a Al-Balad old border crossing overnight.

There is also a disturbing report that 3 Syrian men have gang-raped a 14 year old Syrian girl in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. One man has been arrested and the police are looking for 2 others. This is the 10th sexual assault reported in the camp this year.

Lastly, not all is lost. In Opposition areas of Aleppo that are now away from the frontline and therefore relatively calm, districts that were formerly ghost towns are coming back to life.

The previously abandoned industrial zone of Sheikh Najjar in New Aleppo, is now home to thousands of displaced Syrians from other parts or the city.

Salem, a petrol pump attendant filling a vehicle containing 7 Opposition fighters with fuel, says,  “All the factories were abandoned. But today it is full of life: there are restaurants, gas stations, boutiques and even a barber.”

In its heyday Sheikh Najjar, which opened five years ago, was touted as a huge economic success, with around 6,000 factories churning out everything from textiles to biscuits and medicine.

Ahmad, who opened a barber’s shop 4 months ago is seeing up to 100 clients a day and now has an assistant as business prospers.  You can read more, HERE:

It existed under a ban and yet it survived and spread while its executioners went to the junkyards

The Muslim Brotherhood, which was dissolved this week due to the issuance of a coup court injunction, is 85 years old (est. 1928). During this time it lived under a 51-year ban, thus only living 34 years without being banned. Moreover, even during its years of freedom, it was subjected to harassment, eavesdropping, spying, and the burning of its headquarters, just as it was during the ban. The best evidence of this is the attacks it was subjected to while one of its members served as president. The Muslim Brotherhood has lived its entire life under pressure, pursuit, and injustice. Its first Supreme Guide, Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna, died as a martyr at the hands of Ibrahim Abdel Hadi’s government, backed by King Farouk, after throwing the group’s members in jail as punishment for working to liberate Palestine, almost reaching the point of liberating it from the Zionists. Moreover, the seven other guides succeeding Al-Banna were all given life sentences under Abdul Nasser’s reign and the military trials of Mubarak.

Shaaban Abdel Rahman

Shaaban Abdel Rahman is a prominent Egyptian author

The current Supreme Guide, Dr. Mohammed Badie, had his son killed, his tooth broken, was insulted and then thrown into jail with his predecessor Mahdi Akef, along with thousands of the group’s leaders.

It is a long history of sacrifice and jihad for the sake of Allah’s religion; if members of the Muslim Brotherhood sought for worldly or financial gains, then they would have agreed to the deals offered to them by the successive regimes, from Farouk to the current coup regime. But instead, they preferred prison and execution to compromising on their homeland, religion, and principles… They did not give up their patriotism, legitimacy, or faith.

Please tell me, would a group that has suffered for 85 years, lost dozens of martyrs at the hands of tyrants and thousands more to the bullets of the coup, had hundreds of thousands of its members, the best people of Egypt, imprisoned, suffering through the displacement of families, the destruction of homes, and the seizure of money only seek power and benefits? What kind of mind would believe that a person would give up his or her whole life in order to rule or achieve benefits? There certainly must be a bigger purpose, a higher cause: the liberation of Egypt from foreign control, and the liberation of the Egyptian people from brutal tyrants who rule with iron and fire… But the foolish do not realise this. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has existed for most of its years banned, is present today in the majority of Egyptian villages, towns, and streets, and almost in every home. It is present in over 80 countries, according to the statements of its officials.It has survived behind bars, its members were hung on the gallows, their blood shed in the streets and squares, but it continues its path, with the help of God. It has come out of every challenge stronger, more united, and more widespread, while the brokers of colonialism and their executioners are sent to the junkyards of history.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

Settlers clash with Palestinians in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes broke out Wednesday between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in al-Qarmi neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem, witnesses said.

Around 400 settlers held a rally in the al-Saraya, al-Hakari, and al-Qarmi neighborhoods, waving Israeli flags and dancing while some shouting the slogan that “Jerusalem is ours.”

Palestinians tried to stop them and a fight broke out before Israeli police arrived at the scene and confronted the Palestinians after accusing them of throwing stones.

Police both prevented the settlers from continuing the march and stopped Palestinians from leaving some neighborhoods.

(Source / 25.09.2013)

Kerry: Israel-Palestine Talks Seek ‘Final’ Deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says renewed talks between Israel and Palestine are in pursuit of a “final status agreement,” not an interim one.

Kerry spoke Wednesday before a closed-door meeting of Palestinian donors known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

The group is focused on helping to revive Palestine’s fragile economy while the newly restarted peace talks with Israel move forward.

Kerry also says parties in the talks have agreed to “intensify” them and to “intensify the U.S. facilitation” of negotiations.

President Barack Obama spoke Tuesday at a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week in Washington.

(Source / 25.09.2013)