Women, children choke on teargas in al-Khalil clashes with IOF

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A spate of violent clashes burst out afternoon Saturday between dozens of Palestinian unarmed youngsters and the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the Aroub refugee camp, in the southern West Bank province of al-Khalil.

Local sources said a state of panic overwhelmed women and children after the IOF troops stormed residential quarters at the Aroub camp and climbed over the rooftops of Palestinian civilian homes.

Heavy barrages of tear gas canisters and rubber bullets had reportedly been unleashed by the IOF on the civilian protestors, resulting in breathing disorders among women and children.

“The Palestinian youths reacted to the assault by hurling stones and empty bottles at the invading IOF patrols,”

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation soldiers propped up military reinforcement and imposed tight measures on southern al-Khalil, where a round of intensive combing operations cropped up.

A PIC news reporter quoted by-standers at the scene as stating that the IOF scoured the area and cordoned off the main entrance to al-Fahs village allegedly on accounts of chasing down a Palestinian driver who ran over an Israeli cop.

The Israeli occupation soldiers have come down heavily on the Palestinian drivers passing through the area under the same pretext, the eye-witnesses added.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

Israeli settlers assault Palestinian woman, her kids in al-Khalil

Extremist Israeli Jewish settlers are attacking a Palestinian child before the eyes of the Israeli occupation soldiers in the occupied West Bank. (File photo)

Extremist Israeli Jewish settlers are attacking a Palestinian child before the eyes of the Israeli occupation soldiers in the occupied West Bank. (File photo)

A group of Zionist settlers have physically assaulted a Palestinian woman and her young children in the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) in southern West Bank.

The assault occurred on Saturday when the illegal settlers waged an attack on Palestinian homes in the Old City’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood, Ma’an news agency reported citing an al-Khalil-based rights organization called Human Rights Defenders.

The report further quoted the group’s spokesman, Badee Dweik as saying that the Palestinian woman, Mirvat Abu Tuama, was walking home with her children Hazim, 10, Rahaf, 8, Lujayn, 5, and Liyan, 4, when a group of Israeli settlers chased and assaulted them.

According to Dweik, the attacking settlers also attacked the home of Yasser Abu Markhiyya in Tel Rumeida by hurling stones at it.

This is while another group of settlers attacked a Palestinian female teenager Madlin Abu Shamsiyya while she tried to film them as they were attacking the home of another area resident, Itidal Qiwar.

The latest attack by the Zionist settlers comes less than a week after another group of the Israeli occupiers harassed a delegation touring al-Khalil’s Old City that included the head of the Palestinian National Union for Football, Jibril al-Rajoub, and South African politician and anti-racism activist, Tokyo Sexwale, the report added.

Nearly 700 settlers live in 80 homes in the center of al-Khalil, surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians.

The settlements, illegal under international law, remain protected by the Israeli military forces in the tightly controlled city, where many streets are off limits to Palestinians.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

Arab League close to forming unified military force

In March, Arab leaders said during an Arab League summit in Egypt that they wish to create a joint military force to help maintain security within the region

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said the Arab League is moving closer to forming a joint Arab military force, pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Saturday.

“Technical teams are already working to develop a vision to establish a joint Arab force, and this will be ready within the next four months,” Shukri said on the sidelines of a state visit to Eritrea.

Speaking about Yemen, the FM said: “There can be no doubt that the situation in Yemen requires serious effort in order to find a solution to the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people. We need to find a way to return legitimacy and restore stability to Yemen.”

“Egypt is continuing its participation in the alliance and is doing everything in its power to stop the escalation,” Shukri said.

“We are in contact with our partners to provide assistance and help reach a political framework conducive to securing a ceasefire, returning Yemen’s legitimate government to power and ensuring Yemeni security and stability,” he added.

In March, Arab leaders said during an Arab League summit in Egypt that they wish to create a joint military force to help maintain security within the region.

The announcement came in the wake of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen to battle Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

Palestinian village Khirbet Susiya under imminent threat of demolition and expulsion

Susiya reflects Israeli authorities’ policy throughout Area C of West Bank

Khirbet Susiya, village under threat of demolition. Photo: Ann Pack, Activestills.org, 15 June 2012
Khirbet Susiya, village under threat of demolition

On 4 May 2015, Justice Noam Solberg of Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected a petition for an interim order that would freeze the implementation of demolition orders issued against homes in the village of Khirbet Susiya, which lies in the southern Hebron hills in the West Bank. The village residents requested the order as part of their petition to the court against the Civil Administration’s decision to reject the master plan they had drawn up for the village. In the petition, Att. Qamar Mashraki from Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights argued on behalf of the residents that their plan had been rejected for improper considerations, and that this constituted a double standard in planning and blatant discrimination against the Palestinian population.

The meaning of Justice Solberg’s decision is that at any moment, the Civil Administration can demolish all homes in the village. The residents, some 250-350 people depending on the season, will be left homeless in harsh desert conditions. They will be effectively expelled from their land in an act that is not only cruel but also illegal.

Israeli settlers in the area have already taken over almost 300 hectares of the villagers’ land. Past experience indicates that if the Israeli authorities succeed in expelling the villagers from Khirbet Susiya, either the settlers will directly take over the land or the authorities will take control of it an allocate it to settlers.

The state’s treatment of Khirbet Susiya and its residents illustrates its systemic use of planning laws to prevent Palestinians in Area C, which is under full Israeli control, from construction and development that meet their needs: most Palestinians in the area live in villages where the Israeli authorities have refused to draw up master plans and connect them to water and power supplies, under various pretexts. With no other choice, the residents eventually build homes without permits and subsequently live under constant threat of demolition and expulsion. This policy is intended to serve the goal, explicitly declared by Israeli officials in the past, of taking over land in the southern Hebron hills in order to formally annex it to Israel in a permanent-status agreement with the Palestinians, and annex it de facto until such a time.

In implementing this policy, Israel is acting in contradiction to its obligation to care for the needs of West Bank residents as the occupying power there. This is a grave breach of the prohibition in international humanitarian law on forced transfer of residents of an occupied territory. The prohibition permits such transfer only in exceptional cases, from which Khirbet Susiya is a far cry.

The state has been abusing the residents of Khirbet Susiya for many years: the army and the Civil Administration have repeatedly removed the residents from their homes, in which they have lived since before 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank. The Civil Administration is responsible for all aspects of civilian life in area C and is theoretically supposed to promote the well-being of the local population. In practice, the Administration uses its planning systems, in which Palestinians are not represented, to prevent them from promoting solutions that would meet their needs, barring them from building legally and from connecting to water and power supplies. The authorities also systematically refrain from protecting the residents of Khirbet Susiya from settlers who attack them or vandalize their property, and restrict their free access to the main town in the district, Yatta.

Over the years, the villagers petitioned the HCJ several times against demolition of their homes, requesting that they be permitted to build legally. However, the Court repeatedly adopted formalistic arguments and refused to force the authorities to fulfill their obligations, which include drawing up a master plan for the village and not demolishing homes there, so that the residents can continue to live in the place in reasonable conditions.

In contrast to Israeli settlers in the West Bank, Palestinian residents there are considered “protected persons” under international humanitarian law. The violation of their rights is especially blatant given the active support provided by Israeli authorities to construction and expansion of settlements in the area, even when they are established in contravention of Israeli law.

Children in the village of Khirbet Susiya. Photo: Yoav Gross, B'Tselem, 17 Nov. 2010
Children in the village of Khirbet Susiya

Background (see additional details here):

The Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya has existed in the South Hebron Hills since the 19th century. In 1983, the Israeli settlement of Susiya was established near the village, on Palestinian land that had been declared state land by Israel. Since then, the Israeli authorities have been working to force the Palestinian residents out of the area.

In 1986, they were expelled from their original village, which now functions as an archeological site run by settlers, who also live on the spot. The army expelled the residents again in 2001 – a short time after Palestinians killed Israeli Yair Har Sinai from the Susiya settlement. The residents relocated to their privately owned agricultural land.

In October 2013, after a long struggle, the Sub-Committee for Planning and Licensing of the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council rejected the master plan that the residents had drawn up for Khirbet Susiya. At the same time the civil Administration announced its decision to issue final demolition orders for all structures in the village. The sub-committee cited several reasons for its decision that conveyed a patronizing, unprofessional attitude. For instance, one argument was that the number of residents – several hundred people – was too small to warrant an independent community in terms of planning. Remarkably, the sub-committee has had no problem approving tiny illegal outposts established by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The sub-committee further argued that the plan would prevent the villagers from developing and breaking the cycle of poverty; it did not see fit to mention that the villagers’ drudge-filled existence is largely due to restrictions imposed by the Civil Administration itself, including the lack of amenities. The Administration recommended that the people of Susiya make an alternative plan for a location closer to the town of Yatta, a move that would effectively transfer the residents of Susiya out of Area C and expel them from their land.

In February 2014, Rabbis for Human Rights petitioned the HCJ, arguing that the Sub-Committee for Planning and Licensing had made an unreasonable decision in rejecting the master plan. The Court rejected the request for an interim order filed as part of the petition, and the village now faces immediate demolition.

The Israeli authorities’ policy towards the residents of Khirbet Susiya starkly contrasts their generous planning policy towards Israeli settlers in the area. The settlers of Susiya and its outposts enjoy full provision of services and infrastructure and are in no danger of their homes being demolished – despite the fact that the outposts are illegal under Israel law and in the settlement itself, according to figures published by settler organization Regavim, 23 homes were built on privately-owned Palestinian land.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

New Israeli government plans to annex 1/3 of West Bank by ‘legalizing’ illegal settlements

The English-language daily Jerusalem Post reports, based on unofficial copies of the Likud-Jewish Home coalition agreement, that within one month a professional team will be created to formulate a plan for the authorisation of settlement construction in the West Bank – both settlement outposts and building within recognised settlements – that were built “without the involvement of the authorities”, i.e. without the requisite permits.

Map van illegale nederzettingen

Israeli settlement map

Settlement outposts appeared following the 1993 Oslo Accord, in which the Israeli government committed itself to freeze the building of new settlements. Outposts, while not officially authorised by the government as they are essentially new settlements, are greatly by Israeli public authorities with infrastructure, resources and defense, according to the 2005 Sasson Report, commissioned by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

In the long-forgotten 2003 Road Map to Peace, Israel committed itself to removing all settlement outposts created after March 2001.

Some 100 settlement outposts exist today, according to estimates by the Israeli settlement watch group Peace Now.

Israeli policy toward Palestinian-owned homes built without permits is the exact opposite. Hundreds of Palestinian-owned homes and structures in the West Bank’s Area C, under full Israeli military and civil control, are demolished yearly due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. While Israel’s restrictive planning system makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain permits, the new government is planning to retroactively approve settlement building that violated even Israeli law, in addition to international law.

In 2013, 565 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C, including 208 residential structures, were demolished due to lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing 805 people, almost half of them children.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

If Gaza’s borders were opened, ‘100,000 young people would leave’

Educated Palestinian youths find few economic opportunities amid frustration over political stagnation, reconstruction

Gaza

Young people play volleyball in Beit Hanun, May 5, 2015. A bruising war with Israel last summer has left whole neighborhoods in ruins, especially in the eastern and northern Gaza Strip

Part one of a two-part series looking at life in Gaza. The second segment will focus on economic challenges for the Palestinian territory.

GAZA CITY — Rashid al-Najjar peered over his desk at Salim Marifi, 28, and Abdullah Shahin, 26, students at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University. They completed coursework toward degrees in accounting and literature but didn’t have diplomas because they couldn’t pay their tuition. Najjar, the vice dean of financial affairs, slammed a fist on the table.

“The young people are lost. There is no future for them,” he said. Many of the university’s 15,000 students can’t afford even half their tuition, he added. Those who graduate face a 45 percent overall unemployment rate, which rises to 63 percent among youths.

Meanwhile, electricity runs only six to eight hours a day in the Gaza Strip. More than 160,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in last summer’s war with Israel, and 100,000 people are still homeless. International donors pledged to give $3.5 billion in reconstruction funds in October, but barely a quarter of that has materialized so far. Israel’s economic blockade continues, Palestinian leaders are divided, houses lie in ruin, and youths feel unable to escape from or change the situation.

“If the borders opened for one hour, 100,000 young people would leave Gaza,” Najjar said. Shahin and Marifi nodded. “I’d go to Somalia, Sudan — anywhere but here,” Marifi said.

Gaza has an exceptionally high education rate and young population; one-fifth of the population has a bachelor’s or associate degree, and 64 percent are under 25 years old. The literacy rate is 96.9 percent.

The walls lining Gaza City’s University Street are covered with graffiti — school names in rainbow hues, national slogans and cartoons critiquing Palestinian politics among posters about females dressing modestly or advocating a boycott of Israeli goods. Young men and women stream through the campuses, greeting friends, browsing stalls of cheap accessories and munching on snacks.

But they graduate without opportunities. Najjar’s son was salutatorian in the economics department but couldn’t find any work except manual labor in a locksmith’s shop. At 25, he fled to Belgium and sought refugee status. Graduates often work low-skill jobs in bakeries, gas stations and vegetable stalls. Najjar said the best-paying jobs are for doctors and pharmacists, who make about 1,000 shekels ($255) a month. “That’s the best case,” he said. “The rest don’t have work.”

Gaza soccer

Most young people in Gaza don’t have a job, even though education and literacy rates are relatively high

In 139 square miles, Gaza has a population of 1.8 million, placing it among the densest areas in the world, and it’s growing at almost 3 percent a year. “It’s like squeezing the entire world’s population into an area the size of Libya,” said Basil Nasser, the acting head of U.N. Development Program’s Gaza office. He said 50,000 people enter the labor force each year, but the job market cannot absorb them.

While war and the blockade strangle the private sector, the public sector is oversaturated and mired in political paradox: 70,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority (PA) were told to stop working when Hamas took over in 2007. Some 40,000 are still in Gaza, taking monthly salaries but forbidden to work, Nasser said.

Meanwhile, another 40,000 civil and security personnel are employed by Hamas’ ministries but haven’t received pay for months. A billboard across from one police station in Gaza City reads, “#employee_without_salary” — part of a social media campaign for workers’ pay. The money isn’t coming because Fatah and Hamas are in disagreement, despite having had an ostensible unity government since last June.

Few people are thinking long term in Gaza. They can’t, Nasser said, because war has become an almost biennial occurrence. “Donors have fatigue,” Nasser said. “They can’t keep paying and seeing Israel destroy what they build every two years.”

Palestinian politicians aren’t thinking long term either, according to Gaza’s youths. “We don’t plan at all here in Gaza. We need true leaders whose only goal is to rebuild Palestine and bring it together,” said MBA student Alaa al-Khatib, 24. Instead, the parties are vying for power. “Hamas and Fatah are struggling, and people are the victims.”

Outside interests make the political situation worse, said blogger Sharif al-Sharif, 31. “We are controlled by regional powers. We are not free to make our own decisions,” he said. “Money is shaping the decisions of leaders in Palestine.”

Anees Mansour, a 29-year-old activist in Rafah, agreed. Palestinians could unite, he said, if not for foreign countries’ financial meddling. “There are so many hands playing the ball,” he said, standing on the roof of a building overlooking a line of now-closed tunnels into Egypt. His friends, all young men in their 20s from Rafah or Khan Younis, pointed out spots in the surrounding buildings where they saw people die.

“Hamas is supported by Qatar and Iran. Abu Mazen has Israel, Egypt and the U.S. Palestinians are just being thrown around in the middle,” Mansour said. His friends were supporters of Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad or no parties at all, he said, but they sit together as one. “We don’t talk about this bullshit. The problem is our leaders, and they pay money for the political numbers.”

“We tried,” he said, to create political change. When the Arab Spring happened in 2011, Palestinian youth activists demonstrated in Gaza and the West Bank, demanding national unity, dialogue and reconciliation. But authorities in both territories put an end to the rallies. “Who still believes in the Arab Spring, anyway? Both sides were attacking activists. Hamas arrested us here, and the PA arrested them in Ramallah. We couldn’t make it.”

Islamic Jihad billboard

A billboard in Gaza shows men belonging to Islamic Jihad killed in combat against Israel

Meera Adnan, 23, a former activist, said she was naive to believe youths could change anything. “The governments are too [messed] up,” she said at a cafe in Gaza City, smoking a cigarette and tugging at her loosened hijab. “The PLO is bullshit and should be dissolved. Hamas, like the Muslim Brotherhood, cannot be politically successful. What’s the other choice? Leftists? There’s no viable option.”

Not all youths are disillusioned. At one meeting with Al-Fakhoora, an organization that provides scholarships to high-achieving students, a group of youths talked about Gaza as if they were reciting motivational sayings — “Change always starts with one person,” “Every day is a new day,” “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

But many were frustrated with Gaza’s reliance on international organizations. Gaza needs development, social security and a private sector, said 33-year-old Shadi Saleh. “I wish NGOs had no role here in the future,” he said. Relief money often goes to programs implemented by foreigners without sufficient financial accountability or input from Gazans, he said. Some programs aimed at mental health issues, for example, often spend money on manuals and group sessions without measurable outcomes.

“If you want to improve people’s psychosocial status, why don’t you employ them?” he said. “Youths in Palestine need to be employed. They don’t need somebody telling them how to debrief and relieve stress. They need money in their pockets.”

Leila Barhoum, 31, a YMCA project coordinator with a master’s in poverty and development from Sussex University, agreed that Gazans don’t have enough say in how aid money is spent. “NGOs are valuable because they employ people,” she said. “But we are lost here because we are applying policies written by players outside of Palestine.” While Gaza spins in cycles of devastation and relief, she said, Gazans rarely decide their own futures. “I’m looking for the point when I can be a Palestinian making policies for Palestine.”

‘NGOs are valuable because they employ people. But we are lost here because we are applying policies written by players outside of Palestine.I’m looking for the point when I can be a Palestinian making policiesfor Palestine.’

Leila Barhoum

project coordinator, YMCA

Some young Gazans say the lack of collective agency in the territory is their own fault. Gazans are occupied in body and mind, said Saleh Bala’awi, 26. He has an MBA and has worked with the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. He lives in Gaza City’s Shati beach camp.

He pulled out a U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs map of the Gaza Strip. “Who is this map for? I’ll give you a hint — there’s no Arabic. It’s for foreigners,” he said. He started knocking on the table in front of him. “You know how Pavlov’s dogs would come for food at this sound? People here are the same. We sit and obey and blame the occupation and beg for help.”

Gazans are unable to think beyond gathering the basic necessities of survival, Bala’awi said. “The problem is not just political. Occupation has become an excuse. We have to take ownership and think for ourselves.”

But people cannot think when they don’t have food to eat, and more than two-thirds of Gaza’s population is food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity. “You can’t ask somebody for political awareness if he can’t get bread for his family,” Sharif said.

In the meantime, even education and privilege can’t protect young people from despair. “I feel empathy for people who allow governments to manipulate them,” Barhoum said, adding that in her opinion many Israelis opposed the war and even more would if they saw its effects.

Not all agree. “But the recent election proves the opposite. Most of Israel supports [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Saleh interrupted. It’s hard to think Gaza will really change, he said, adding that in 10 years, Gaza will probably be the same, only with less water, less electricity, fewer jobs and more despair.

“Did you hear about the 400 Gazans who drowned after the war?” he asked. One of them was Sajed Nafez Hammad, a photographer friend of Saleh’s who had saved to buy his cameras. He had started an independent media office in a tower that Israel bombed to the ground. He decided to get on a boat and head across the Mediterranean along with 500 other asylum seekers, 400 of them from Gaza, all hoping to reach Europe. The boatcapsized, and the vast majority died.

Khatib pulled out his mobile and opened Facebook. “That’s him on my second cover photo,” he said, pointing to a picture of the two of them sitting in the middle of a road, with the sun shining.

Everything in Gaza is temporary, said Amal Sabawi, the program coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee, which tries to empower young people in their communities. “Gaza is only living its today, and this is intentional. You have to think about electricity, water, war,” she said. “You can’t build for the future. You just look under your feet.”

The key to youth empowerment is not only scholarships and job opportunities but also enforcing political and legal accountability, she said. The U.N., government ministries and NGOs are all failing to hold one another and Israel accountable, she said. “Israel controls and benefits from everything, and people are waiting. Even if the youth protest, nobody listens,” she said. “It’s not about having an honest leader. We need a system, a rule of law to be applied and respected.”

Otherwise, Sabawi said, young people will turn more and more toward extreme measures — picking up arms, veering toward extremism or getting on boats. “The kids, they try,” she said.

But even those trying to support them are hard pressed to survive. “People don’t have power or hope for the future,” she said. Ask people in Gaza what they think about tomorrow, she said, and the response would be the same: “We do not know.”

(Source / 10.05.2015)

The Israelification of the UK: Part 2 – The loss of British values

The Israelification of the UK: Part 2 – The loss of British values

Laura Stuart argues that British values are now dictated by powerful lobby groups such and as the pro-Israel and LGBT lobbies. 

Amongst the most powerful lobby groups in the UK that wield a huge influence on Government policy, are the pro Israel lobby groups and think-tanks such as the Henry Jackson Society and BICOM. I would mention the Quilliam Foundation but the organisation, particularly its leader Maajid Nawaz, have been totally discredited and have no influence within Britain’s Muslim community.

The ‘Friends of Israel’ group of each of the main political parties are also very influential within the parties. On the Wikipedia page on pro Israel lobby groups, I found this interesting piece of information:

The “All-Party Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group” is an All-Party Group[23] registered with the UK Parliament. Its stated purpose is “To create a better understanding of Israel, and to foster and promote links between Britain and Israel”. The current chair is Lord Janner of Braunstone of the House of Lords. Administrative support for the group is provided by the Office of Lord Janner. (2)

The Israeli lobby holds a powerful sway over British public life

 

The Israeli lobby holds a powerful sway over British public life

This is indeed interesting bearing in mind that Lord Janner (former head of the Board of Deputies of British Jews) is alleged to have sexually abused and sodomised young boys from care homes.

Lord Janner is unable to face trial due to advanced dementia, the details of which are hotly debated in the media.

You can check if your local MP is a member of a parliamentary pro Israel group by checking this list.

 

Child abuse

Rather worryingly, what is not being discussed in the media is the fact that since so many of our MP’s and leaders have apparently been involved in the abuse of small boys, that they may have left themselves open to blackmail.

Child abuse by such high profile figures in Westminster is an activity which our own MI5/6 must have known about, and therefore the spies of foreign governments could have known too: how did this leave the abusers open to blackmail and coercion by foreign powers?

This needs to be discussed and investigated bearing in mind some of the allegations against people who were in positions of power which are now being bandied about on social media as having been involved in paedophile rings particularly in Westminster. Who ordered the police to stop investigating these cases over the decades and why?

Who wanted Cyril Smith, Greville Janner and others to remain in positions of power whilst they were so vulnerable to blackmail? Even now I suspect the reason that Janner will not face trial is because of the possibility of him naming others of whom the general public might yet be unaware.

British values

Another result of powerful lobbying is that our leaders want children to be “informed” about LGBT at primary schools. Why have these “British values” changed? I can safely say that homosexuality was not something ever discussed or even thought about when I was at school, even secondary school. The driving force behind the change in what is taught in schools are the hugely powerful LGBT lobby groups who have the ability to influence government policy and our education system too.

pride-london-march-001What pressure was David Cameron under, and from whom, when he rushed through the Same Sex Marriage Bill, and then later said he regretted doing so?

Now our government wants to make attendance at classes about sex education, including homosexuality and same sex marriage compulsory; so parents no longer have the right to keep their children away from topics, which they may prefer them not to be exposed to, least of all at primary school age.

Free speech is one very obvious casualty of the lobbies, especially with the recent cancellation of theconference in Southampton University titled “International Law and the State of Israel”, we can clearly see that free speech in the UK does not extend to criticism of Israel. Theresa May has promised to continue her crackdown on so called “hate speech” in universities, so we can look forward to more restrictions on our scholars ability to speak about Islam.

Pro Israel lobby groups

Given that the power of the pro Israel lobby is so strong and the donations of pro Israel Jews so generous, it is little surprise to see our political leaders shamelessly grovelling at various pro-Israel events during the year. Please do watch Theresa May performing to her audience at the recent Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel independence day), where she remembers “those who fought and died to protect Israel’s independence” – no mention of the Palestinians who died and had their land stolen from them.

Israel-PalestinejThe descendants of those ethnically cleansed Palestinians are amongst those desperate to make a new life during their exile, who are drowning in their hundreds in the Mediterranean Sea.

We should be alarmed at the reality of who will be the new Foreign Secretary under the new Tory government.

We can expect a pro Israel lobby led crackdown on immigration, particular Muslim immigration.

 

An article in the Jewish Chronicle last week stated that David Cameron has spoken about the state of Israel’s right to defend itself against “indiscriminate attacks”, something that he does not afford to the Palestinians who are under constant siege, occupation and attack. This led the Israeli media outlet, Haaretz, to publish an articleasking the question “Is David Cameron the most pro Israel British Prime Minister ever?

Who cares about the law?

Some countries are prepared to flout international law on a regular basis. Israel is the first state that comes to mind as a regular breaker of international law, and because of our British politicians being on their knees to the lobbies, the UK and other countries are not likely to hold Israel to account.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Where is justice these days? More surprising is that Australia is willing to ignore international law, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been advising our government on how to deal with refugees, advising them to turn their boats away to ensure no migrants reach European shores and claim asylum!

Similar in mentality is the recent appearance of anti-homeless spikes, which have appeared in our shopping centres to deter rough sleepers. I suppose if you use force to deny boats the opportunity to land in Europe, then you have solved the problem ?

Haaretz had this very enlightening report on how Europe is following the Israel’s lead on how to deal with immigrants and matters of national security. Israel congratulates itself on managing to round up African asylum seekers and putting them in concentration camps, awaiting deportation, and by their building of a massive fencealong the Sinai to keep any more “infiltrators” from getting in.

Hold firm to the rope of Allah

Muslims need not despair. We need to be confident in Islam and actively engage in the promotion of the religion as a comprehensive way of life and a holistic belief system. Rather than allowing ourselves to feel inhibited by the demonisation of Muslims in the media, we need to engage in society at every level from joining parent-teachers associations in schools, to interacting more with those who influence Government policy.

We understand what is taking place in our society and around us by reading and understanding the Qur’an. Nothing that is happening to the Muslim community in 2015 or about the perpetrators of oppression is new, it happened to the previous Muslim communities too.

The best thing for us to do, is to immerse ourselves in reading and understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah, which will soften our hearts and protect ourselves from sins.

We must abstain from activities that harden our hearts, such as engaging in the temporary pleasures of materialism and consumerism, which have become almost a new religion for many in the western Capitalist society.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

Houthis agree to Yemen cease-fire, urges return to UN talks

Yemen’s Shia Houthi group has agreed to a Saudi-proposed humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen and called for resuming the political dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations.

In a statement, the Houthi group expressed willingness to “deal positively” with any efforts that would alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

The Houthi statement was the first response to the five-day “humanitarian truce” proposed by the Saudi-led coalition, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

“We stress on the need to resume dialogue from the point it stopped when the [Saudi-led] aggression began, provided that it is held under the auspices of the UN,” the group’s political bureau said in a statement broadcasted by the pro-Houthi Al-Masirah TV.

“We also call for the immediate lift of the unjust [coalition] blockade, and we’re ready to deal positively with any efforts that would alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people,” the group said, in an implicit nod of acceptance to the truce proposed by the coalition.

On Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled a proposed five-day humanitarian truce in Yemen, noting that the truce could start as of Tuesday.

The truce makes it, however, necessary for the Houthis to abide by a cease-fire in all Yemeni provinces.

(Source / 10.05.2015)

Tension prevails in al-Aqsa due to repeated incursions

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Tension prevailed in al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday Morning due to the settlers’ repeated incursions into the holy site under the protection of Israeli police.
Three extremist groups of Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli military forces, stormed the Aqsa Mosque from al-Magharebah gate, which provoked Muslim worshipers who confronted the incursion.

The Palestinian worshipers and Jerusalemite people followed the settlers chanting Allahu Akbar and forced them to go out of the Mosque from al-Silsilah gate.

Meanwhile, Israeli policemen took photos for the Palestinians who confronted the settlers in order to arrest them later at the exit gates of the Mosque.
(Source / 10.05.2015)

Deadly bombings shake Iraq

Blasts in and around Baghdad kill 14 people in run-up to Shia Ashura events as ISIL claims suicide attack in Fallujah.

The deadliest attack took place in the town of Tarmiyah

Separate bombings in and around Baghdad have killed at least 14 people, officials say, as authorities tighten security measures in the capital before a major Shia religious event that draws thousands of pilgrims.

The deadliest attack took place in the town of Tarmiyah on Sunday when a car bomber struck a police and army checkpoint, killing five security force members and wounding 10, a police officer said.

The town is about 50km north of Baghdad.

Another car bomb killed three civilians and wounded eight at an outdoor market in Taji, about 20km north of Baghdad, the officer said.

Distrust hangs over Anbar refugees in Baghdad

In the capital’s southern Abu Disher neighbourhood, a bomb targeted Shia pilgrims, killing two and wounding seven.

Another civilian was killed and five wounded in a bomb attack in an outdoor market in the northern Baghdad district of Shaab, police said.

The commemoration of the 8th-century Imam Mousa al-Kazim’s death draws tens of thousands of Shia from all walks to converge on his golden-domed shrine in northern Baghdad.

The pilgrims typically march to the shrine while hundreds of tents are erected to offer them free food, drinks and services.

Also on Sunday, a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden armoured military vehicle into a group of government forces during clashes outside the ISIL-held city of Fallujah.

The attack killed at least three soldiers and wounded seven, an army officer said.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which controls vast areas of northern and western Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement posted on a website.

(Source / 10.05.2015)