De Palestijnen in de klauwen van het zionisme

By Engelbert Luitsz                  ©                        (http://www.alexandrina.nl/?p=2713)

Zionisme is het probleem; de verwijdering daarvan is de voorwaarde voor vrede in het Midden-Oosten.
John Rose

Nakba_damascus

Een Palestijnse man in het vluchtelingenkamp Jaramana in Damascus, Syrië. (Wikimedia Commons)

Hoe erg is erg?

Hoe ver kun je gaan met het gebruik van geweld, voordat er een reactie komt van “de internationale gemeenschap”? Het hangt er helemaal vanaf wie je bent. Het aantal slachtoffers van de atoombommen op Hiroshima en Nagasaki wordt geschat op zo’n 500.000, ongeveer de helft direct door de bommen en de andere helft als gevolg van stralingsziekte en kanker. Daarmee was het de grootste terroristische aanslag in de geschiedenis van de mensheid. En net zoals we de Amerikanen onlangs hoorden zeggen over Syrië, ging het hier om “gezichtsverlies” te voorkomen. De Russen stonden aan de grens met Japan en het zou een te zware klap zijn geweest voor de Amerikanen als de Russen een einde hadden gemaakt aan de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Honderdduizenden onschuldige mensen werden opgeofferd, opdat het Amerikaans imperialisme “geloofwaardig” zou blijven.

De aanslagen op 11 september 2001 hebben aan bijna 3000 mensen het leven gekost. Er was terecht veel verontwaardiging over deze daad, zelfs meer dan over het Amerikaanse antwoord dat wederom aan honderdduizenden onschuldige mensen het leven heeft gekost en het Midden-Oosten nog verder heeft ontwricht. Landen als Libië, Egypte, Irak, Afghanistan en Syrië worden aangepakt op basis van het overschrijden van normen die de Verenigde Staten of hun bondgenoot Israël nooit voor zichzelf hanteren. Israël heeft zich nooit iets aangetrokken van de 77 VN-resoluties tegen het land. Irak daarentegen kreeg er veel minder, maar deze werden wel geïmplementeerd. De economische sancties tegen Irak vanaf 1990 hebben volgens de meeste onderzoekers geleid tot de dood van enkele honderdduizenden kinderen. De invasie van Koeweit was lang niet zo erg als wat Israël in Libanon heeft gedaan, maar in tegenstelling tot Irak werd Israël juist beloond voor z’n uitzonderlijke bloeddorstigheid.

Atoombom op Iran?

Het zal dan ook niemand verbazen dat er geen enorme rel ontstaat wanneer een zionist voorstelt om een atoombom op Iran te gooien. De Amerikaanse miljardair Sheldon Adelson heeft een casino-imperium opgebouwd en is een van de rijkste mensen in de Verenigde Staten. De invloed van geld op politiek wordt met Adelson meteen duidelijk. Hij is de grootste particuliere geldschieter van de Republikeinen met bijna 93 miljoen dollar. Daarnaast is hij in 2007 begonnen met een krant in Israël, de Israel HaYom, met als doel de oorlogshitsers in de Israëlische regering tot steun te zijn tegen een bevolking die niet bovenmatig warm loopt voor oorlog. De krant is gratis en is uitgegroeid tot de grootste krant in Israël met een marktaandeel van bijna 40%.

De Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten meldde op 1 november dat Adelson heeft voorgesteld een atoombom te gooien op een dunbevolkt gebied in Iran, zodat de Iraniërs kunnen zien wat het effect is. Mochten ze niet onder de indruk zijn dan zou een volgende Teheran kunnen treffen. Het lijkt of Adelson als rechtgeaarde zionist van mening is dat alle landen rondom de enige democratie in het Midden-Oosten bevolkt worden door barbaren en analfabeten. Ook in Iran is men echter op de hoogte van het effect van de atoombommen op Hiroshima en Nagasaki, dus het is niet nodig dit nog eens te laten zien. Iran is in tegenstelling tot Israël ondertekenaar van het non-proliferatieverdrag. De opmerking van Adelson toont alleen – wederom – het diepgewortelde racisme aan dat het zionisme eigen is.

Het Tiananmenprotest

In de lente van 1989 werd een massale opstand op het Plein van de Hemelse Vrede (!) in Peking bloedig neergeslagen door de Chinese autoriteiten. Naar schatting 1 miljoen studenten, burgers en zelfs militairen namen deel aan deze grootse opstand tegen de onderdrukking van het communistische regime. Geen wonder dat de aandacht van de wereld op deze gebeurtenis gericht was.

En wat hoorden we in Israël? Benjamin Netanyahu, tegenwoordig minister-president, verklaarde later datzelfde jaar dat Israël dat moment had moeten gebruiken om Palestijnen “massaal te deporteren”. Toen ieders aandacht gericht was op China was het een koud kunstje geweest het zionistische project naar een ander level te tillen. En achteraf is er altijd de formidabele propagandamachine om kritiek te pareren. Gelukkig is dat niet gebeurd, maar het zegt genoeg over de ware intenties van Israël.

Gaza en de bom

Tegen het einde van Operatie Gegoten Lood, begin januari 2009, verklaarde een andere zionist, de rechts-extremist Avigdor Lieberman, dat Israël zich tegenover Hamas (= de Gazastrook in de zionistische propaganda) moest gedragen “als de Amerikanen tegenover Japan tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog”. Dat hij niet letterlijk over een atoombom sprak is uiteraard niet vanwege morele overwegingen, doch omdat de radioactieve neerslag ook in Israël voor problemen zou zorgen. Maar de strekking van zijn opmerking is volkomen duidelijk.

Gaza en gas

Nadat er enorme gasvoorraden waren gevonden voor de kust van de Gazastrook in 2000, heeft de Israëlische regering er alles aan gedaan om de exploitatie daarvan door de Palestijnen onmogelijk te maken. Het omstreden bezoek van Ariel Sharon aan de Tempelberg heeft geleid tot de Tweede Intifada, waarmee de onderhandelingen met British Gas direct beëindigd werden. Natuurlijk ontkent Israël elk verband.

Momenteel schijnt er eindelijk weer overleg te zijn, maar gezien de reputatie van Israël op dit vlak heb ik daar helemaal geen vertrouwen in. Nu Egypte met generaal el-Sisi weer een ouderwetse dictator heeft en dus “een vriend van Israël”, is de Gazastrook aan Egyptische kant op slot gegaan. De situatie voor de Palestijnen is daarmee nog moeilijker geworden en het gepraat over het gas lijkt meer bedoeld om de aandacht van die onmenselijke situatie af te leiden.

De onderzoeker Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed zei in 2012 al dat ook Operatie Gegoten Lood in ieder geval ten dele bedoeld was om de onderhandelingen over de exploitatie van het gas te torpederen.

Palestijnen en olie

De Syrische Golanvlakte werd in 1967 door Israël veroverd, daarna bezet en in 1981 geannexeerd. Verovering, bezetting en annexatie zijn veroordeeld door de Verenigde Naties, maar hier trekt Israël zich niets van aan. Integendeel, ook daar zit olie (en gas) en er zijn al concessies verkocht aan Amerikaanse bedrijven om in het gebied naar olie te gaan boren. Het is een kleine wereld. De eerste licentie wordt gegund aan een bedrijf dat gelieerd is aan Dick Cheney, iemand die volledig op één lijn zit met de al eerder genoemde Sheldon Adelson. Andere namen in dit verband zijn de zionisten Howard Jones en Rupert Murdoch, “de meest invloedrijke mediamagnaat in de politiek”.

Ook de Westelijke Jordaanoever heeft olie. De journalist Jonathan Cook heeft een prima artikel over wat hier weer speelt. De merkwaardige koers die de Apartheidsmuur volgt wordt duidelijk als we zien dat een deel van de Westelijke Jordaanoever die zo is ingepikt, belangrijk is voor de ontginning van de olievelden. Het grootste gebied, Area C, is volledig onder controle van Israël en wonder boven wonder zitten hier de olievoorraden.

Nawoord

Zo worden de Palestijnen niet alleen beroofd van hun water, hun olijfbomen, hun vee, hun huizen en hun land, maar ook nog eens van een uitgelezen kans op een zelfstandige economie. In 2000 was Yasser Arafat nog zo naïef te geloven dat de gasvelden de redding voor de Palestijnen zouden kunnen betekenen, maar net als Gamel Abdel Nasser vóór hem, verkeek hij zich op de gewetenloze machinaties van het zionisme.

Israël heeft alleen dit jaar al zes aanvallen op Syrië uitgevoerd. De Golanvlakte zal nooit worden teruggegeven, de Gazastrook is een gevangenis waar Israël een beleid van “langzame genocide” voert en de Westelijke Jordaanoever wordt net als Oost-Jeruzalem in versneld tempo aan de joodse staat toegevoegd sinds het begin van de laatste ronde “vredesbesprekingen”.

Gideon Levy verwoordt het uitstekend in zijn column voor Haaretz naar aanleiding van de laatste Israëlische aanval op Syrië, waarbij luchtafweergeschut werd vernietigd. Luchtafweergeschut is een defensief wapen, maar je beschermen tegen Israëlisch geweld wordt kennelijk ook gezien als “anti-Israël”.

Zo gaat dat ook met een oorlogszuchtige staat: bombarderen is hun taal. Israël beslist welke wapens zijn toegestaan en – bovenal – welke niet. Dat is goed, want zij zijn het sterkst. Israël doet het in de Gazastrook, en in Latakia, Syrië; in Soedan en de Middellandse Zee – overal waar het kan. Israël heeft het recht de soevereiniteit van een naburige vijandige staat te schenden, kan zonder problemen het Libanese luchtruim gebruiken – en laat God erbarmen hebben met iedereen die tracht hen te stoppen. God hebbe ook erbarmen met hen die twijfelen aan hun oordeel.

We moeten alles pakken wat we te pakken kunnen krijgen, zei Ariel Sharon ooit. Ondanks alle ontwikkelingen in de vorige en deze eeuw is het zionisme nog steeds trouw aan de grondbeginselen van dit koloniale project: Verdrijf de bevolking die niet past in je plan en als dat niet goedschiks kan dan maar kwaadschiks; zorg dat de landen om je heen verwikkeld raken in een interne stammenstrijd, zodat ze ongevaarlijk zijn voor ons; stel in landen die belangrijk zijn, zoals Egypte met het Suezkanaal, een corrupte dictator aan die naar onze pijpen danst; zorg dat je de steun blijft houden van een wereldmacht die je steunt bij elke immorele en misdadige actie, zowel in het veld als in de Veiligheidsraad; en bovenal, zorg dat de propaganda op orde is, zodat je moord kunt verkopen als zelfverdediging en etnische zuivering als vrijwillig vertrek.

Parallel Sayings in the Bible and Islam

 

The Quran and the Bible together

By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

There are many sayings in the Torah and the Gospel that have parallels in the Quran and Sunnah. As Muslims, this should not be a surprise to us because we know all the prophets before Prophet Muhammad preached the same message.

Allah said:

قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

Say: We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes of Israel and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims in submission to Him.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:136

Therefore, we find many verses of the Bible are in complete agreement with the message of Islam.

The following are some of these parallel sayings.

Allah said:

وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ

Your god is one God. There is no God except Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:163

The Torah says:

שְׁמַ֖ע  יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל  יְהוָ֥ה  אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ  יְהוָ֥ה  אֶחָֽד

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Allah said:

لَّا تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُومًا مَّخْذُولًا

Do not set up another god besides Allah and thus become censured and forsaken.

Surah Al-Isra 17:22

The Torah says:

  לֹֽ֣א  יִהְיֶֽה־  לְךָ֛֩  אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים  אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים  עַל־  פָּנָֽ֗יַ   לֹֽ֣א  תַֽעֲשֶׂ֨ה־  לְךָ֥֣  פֶ֣֙סֶל֙  וְכָל־  תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה  אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר  בַּשָּׁמַ֣֙יִם֙  מִמַּ֡֔עַל  וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩  בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ  מִתַָּ֑֜חַת  וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר  בַּמַּ֖֣יִם  מִתַּ֥֣חַת  לָאָֽ֗רֶץ

You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make unto yourself any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Exodus 20:3-4

Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

O you who believe, submit yourselves completely and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Verily, he is to you a clear enemy.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:208

The Gospel says:

ὑποτάγητε  οὖν  τῷ  θεῷ  ἀντίστητε  δὲ  τῷ  διαβόλῳ  καὶ  φεύξεται

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

Allah said:

سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ

Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy.

Surah Al-An’am 6:54

The Torah says:

 יְבָרֶכְךָ֥  יְהוָ֖ה  וְיִשְׁמְרֶֽךָ  יָאֵ֨ר  יְהוָ֧ה  פָּנָ֛יו  אֵלֶ֖יךָ  וִֽיחֻנֶּֽךָּ  יִשָּׂ֨א  יְהוָ֤ה  פָּנָיו֙  אֵלֶ֔יךָ  וְיָשֵׂ֥ם  לְךָ֖  שָׁלֹֽום

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

The Gospel says:

Ἰησοῦς  τῶν  θυρῶν  κεκλεισμένων  καὶ  ἔστη  εἰς  τὸ  μέσον  καὶ  εἶπεν  εἰρήνη  ὑμῖν

Jesus came and stood among them and said: Peace be upon you.

John 20:26

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمْ الرَّحْمَنُ ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ الرَّحِمُ شُجْنَةٌ مِنْ الرَّحْمَنِ فَمَنْ وَصَلَهَا وَصَلَهُ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ قَطَعَهَا قَطَعَهُ اللَّهُ

Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1924, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

μακάριοι  οἱ  ἐλεήμονες, ὅτι  αὐτοὶ  ἐλεηθήσονται

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 5:7

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا تَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا

You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love one another.

Source: Sahih Muslim 54, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

ταῦτα  ἐντέλλομαι  ὑμῖν, ἵνα  ἀγαπᾶτε  ἀλλήλους

These things I command you, that you love one another.

John 15:17

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِلنَّاسِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ وَحَتَّى يُحِبَّ الْمَرْءَ لَا يُحِبُّهُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

None of you has faith until he loves for the people what he loves for himself, and until he loves a person only for the sake of Allah the Exalted.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 13463, Grade: Sahih

The Torah says:

לֹֽא־  תִקֹּ֤ם  וְלֹֽא־  תִטֹּר֙  אֶת־  בְּנֵ֣י  עַמֶּ֔ךָ  וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥  לְרֵעֲךָ֖  כָּמֹ֑וךָ  אֲנִ֖י  יְהוָֽה

You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself, for I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:18

The Gospel says:

 ἀγαπήσεις  τὸν  πλησίον  σου  ὡς  σεαυτόν

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:31

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا تَبَاغَضُوا وَلَا تَحَاسَدُوا وَلَا تَدَابَرُوا وَكُونُوا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ إِخْوَانًا

Do not hate each other, do not envy each other, do not turn away from each other, but rather be servants of Allah as brothers.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2559, Grade: Sahih

The Torah says:

לֹֽא־  תִשְׂנָ֥א  אֶת־  אָחִ֖יךָ  בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ  הֹוכֵ֤חַ  תֹּוכִ֙יחַ֙  אֶת־  עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ  וְלֹא־  תִשָּׂ֥א  עָלָ֖יו  חֵֽטְא

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him.

Leviticus 19:17

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُزَحْزَحَ عَنْ النَّارِ وَيَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَلْتُدْرِكْهُ مَنِيَّتُهُ وَهُوَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَأْتِي إِلَى النَّاسِ مَا يُحِبُّ أَنْ يُؤْتَى إِلَيْهِ

Whoever would love to be delivered from the Hellfire and entered into Paradise, then let him die with faith in Allah and the Last Day, and let him treat the people the way he would love to be treated.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1844, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

Πάντα  οὖν  ὅσα  ἐὰν  θέλητε  ἵνα  ποιῶσιν  ὑμῖν  οῖ  ἄνθρωποι  οὕτως  καὶ  ὑμεῖς  ποιεῖτε  αὐτοῖς  οὗτος  γάρ  ἐστιν  ὁ  νόμος  καὶ  οἱ  προφῆται

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مَنْ لَا يَأْمَنُ جَارُهُ بَوَائِقَهُ

He will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his evil.

Source: Sahih Muslim 46, Grade: Sahih

The Proverbs say:

אַל־  תַּחֲרֹ֣שׁ  עַל־  רֵעֲךָ֣  רָעָ֑ה  וְהֽוּא־  יֹושֵׁ֖ב  לָבֶ֣טַח  אִתָּֽךְ

Do not plan evil against your neighbor who dwells trustingly beside you.

Proverbs 3:29

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, tell the story of a prophet who was beaten by his people and he wiped the blood from his face, saying:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِقَوْمِي فَإِنَّهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6530, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

The Gospel says:

ὁ  δὲ  Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν πάτερ, ἄφες αὐτοῖς, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν

Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Luke 23:34

Allah said:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا

The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth with humility.

Surah Al-Furqan 25:63

The Torah says:

וּמָֽה  יְהוָ֞ה  דֹּורֵ֣שׁ  מִמְּךָ֗  כִּ֣י  אִם  עֲשֹׂ֤ות  מִשְׁפָּט֙  וְאַ֣הֲבַת  חֶ֔סֶד  וְהַצְנֵ֥עַ  לֶ֖כֶת  עִם  אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ

What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

Iyad ibn Himar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَوْحَى إِلَيَّ أَنْ تَوَاضَعُوا حَتَّى لَا يَبْغِيَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ وَلَا يَفْخَرَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ

Verily, Allah has revealed to me that you must be humble towards one another, so that no one wrongs another or arrogantly boasts to another.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2865, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

 πάντες  δὲ  ἀλλήλοις  τὴν  ταπεινοφροσύνην  ἐγκομβώσασθε, ὅτι ὁ  θεὸς  ὑπερηφάνοις  ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς  δὲ  δίδωσιν  χάριν

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

1 Peter 5:5

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

يُبْصِرُ أَحَدُكُمُ الْقَذَاةَ فِي عَيْنِ أَخِيهِ وَيَنْسَى الْجِذْلَ أَوِ الْجِذْعَ فِي عَيْنِ نَفْسِهِ

One of you looks at the speck in his brother’s eye while he forgets the plank in his own eye.

Source: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 592, Grade: Hasan

The Gospel says:

τί  δὲ  βλέπεις  τὸ  κάρφος  τὸ  ἐν  τῷ  ὀφθαλμῷ  τοῦ  ἀδελφοῦ  σου,  τὴν  δὲ  ἐν  τῷ  σῷ  ὀφθαλμῷ  δοκὸν  οὐ  κατανοεῖς

Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?

Matthew 7:3

Allah said:

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

We have already written in the book after the remembrance that My righteous servants will inherit the earth.

Surah Al-Anbiya 21:105

The Gospel says:

μακάριοι  οἱ  πραεῖς, ὅτι  αὐτοὶ  κληρονομήσουσιν  τὴν  γῆν μακάριοι  οἱ  πεινῶντες  καὶ  διψῶντες  τὴν  δικαιοσύνην, ὅτι  αὐτοὶ  χορτασθησονται

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:5-6

Allah said:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

Worship Allah and associate no idols with Him, and be good to parents.

Surah An-Nisa 4:36

The Torah says:

 כַּבֵּ֥ד  אֶת־  אָבִ֖יךָ  וְאֶת־  אִמֶּ֑ךָ  לְמַ֙עַן֙  יַאֲרִכ֣וּן  יָמֶ֔יךָ  עַ֚ל  הָאֲדָמָ֔ה  אֲשֶׁר־  יְהוָ֥ה  אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ  נֹתֵ֥ן  לָֽךְ

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord has given you.

Exodus 20:12

Allah said:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

Do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right of justice.

Surah Al-Isra 17:33

The Torah says:

לֹ֥֖א  תִּֿרְצָֽ֖ח

You shall not kill.

Exodus 20:13

Allah said:

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا

Do not approach adultery. Verily, it is ever immoral and an evil way.

Surah Al-Isra 17:32

The Torah says:

 לֹ֣֖א  תִּֿנְאָֽ֑ף

You shall not commit adultery

Exodus 20:14

Allah said:

وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ

Do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:188

The Torah says:

 לֹ֣֖א  תִּֿגְנֹֽ֔ב

You shall not steal.

Exodus 20:15

Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ

O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.

Surah An-Nisa 4:135

The Torah says:

לֹֽא־  תַעֲנֶ֥ה  בְרֵעֲךָ֖  עֵ֥ד  שָֽׁקֶר

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:16

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْحَسَدَ فَإِنَّ الْحَسَدَ يَأْكُلُ الْحَسَنَاتِ كَمَا تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ الْحَطَبَ أَوْ قَالَ الْعُشْبَ

Beware of envy, for verily, it consumes good deeds just as fire consumes wood or grass.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 4903, Grade: Sahih

The Torah says:

לֹ֥א  תַחְמֹ֖ד  בֵּ֣ית  רֵעֶ֑ךָ  לֹֽא־  תַחְמֹ֞ד  אֵ֣שֶׁת  רֵעֶ֗ךָ  וְעַבְדֹּ֤ו  וַאֲמָתֹו֙  וְשֹׁורֹ֣ו  וַחֲמֹרֹ֔ו  וְכֹ֖ל  אֲשֶׁ֥ר  לְרֵעֶֽךָ

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Exodus 20:17

Allah said:

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ

Those who fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge.

Surah Al-Fatir 35:28

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

وَرَأْسُ الْحِكْمَةِ مَخَافَةُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

The foundation of wisdom is the fear of Allah the Exalted.

Source: Al-Jami’ As-Sagheer 1609, Grade: Hasan

The Proverbs say:

יִרְאַ֣ת  יְ֭הוָה  רֵאשִׁ֣ית  דָּ֑עַת

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

Proverbs 1:7

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ مَرِضْتُ فَلَمْ تَعُدْنِي قَالَ يَا رَبِّ كَيْفَ أَعُودُكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ قَالَ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ عَبْدِي فُلَانًا مَرِضَ فَلَمْ تَعُدْهُ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّكَ لَوْ عُدْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَنِي عِنْدَهُ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ اسْتَطْعَمْتُكَ فَلَمْ تُطْعِمْنِي قَالَ يَا رَبِّ وَكَيْفَ أُطْعِمُكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ قَالَ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّهُ اسْتَطْعَمَكَ عَبْدِي فُلَانٌ فَلَمْ تُطْعِمْهُ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّكَ لَوْ أَطْعَمْتَهُ لَوَجَدْتَ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ اسْتَسْقَيْتُكَ فَلَمْ تَسْقِنِي قَالَ يَا رَبِّ كَيْفَ أَسْقِيكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ قَالَ اسْتَسْقَاكَ عَبْدِي فُلَانٌ فَلَمْ تَسْقِهِ أَمَا إِنَّكَ لَوْ سَقَيْتَهُ وَجَدْتَ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي

Allah the Exalted will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me. He will say: O my Lord, how can I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? Allah will say: Did you not know that such-and-such servant of Mine was sick and you did not visit him, and had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food but you did not feed me. He will say: My Lord, how can I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? Allah will say: Did you not know that such-and-such servant of Mine asked you for food but you did not feed him, and had you fed him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for drink but you did not provide for Me. He will say: My Lord, how can I give You when You are the Lord of the worlds? Allah will say: Such-and-such servant of Mine asked you for a drink but you did not provide for him, and had you given it to him you would have found Me with him.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2569, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

τότε  ἐρεῖ  ὁ  βασιλεὺς  τοῖς  ἐκ  δεξιῶν  αὐτοῦ·  δεῦτε  οἱ  εὐλογημένοι  τοῦ  πατρός  μου,  κληρονομήσατε  τὴν  ἡτοιμασμένην  ὑμῖν  βασιλείαν  ἀπὸ  καταβολῆς  κόσμου ἐπείνασα  γὰρ  καὶ  ἐδώκατε  μοι  φαγεῖν,  ἐδίψησα  καὶ  ἐποτίσατε  με,  ξένος  ἤμην  καὶ  συνηγάγετε  με, γυμνὸς  καὶ  περιεβάλετε  με,  ἠσθένησα  καὶ  ἐπεσκέψασθε  με,  ἐν  φυλακῇ  ἤμην  καὶ  ἤλθατε  πρός  με, τότε  ἀποκριθήσονται  αὐτῷ  οἱ  δίκαιοι  λέγοντες κύριε,  πότε  σε  εἴδομεν  πεινῶντα  καὶ  ἐθρέψαμεν,  ἢ  διψῶντα  καὶ  ἐποτίσαμεν; πότε  δέ  σε  εἴδομεν  ξένον  καὶ  συνηγάγομεν,  ἢ  γυμνὸν  καὶ  περιεβάλομεν; πότε  δέ  σε  εἴδομεν  ἀσθενοῦντα  ἢ  ἐν  φυλακῇ  καὶ  ἤλθομεν  πρός  σε; καὶ  ἀποκριθεὶς  ὁ  βασιλεὺς  ἐρεῖ  αὐτοῖς·  ἀμὴν  λέγω  ὑμῖν,  ἐφ’  ὅσον  ἐποιήσατε  ἑνὶ  τούτων  τῶν  ἀδελφῶν  μου  τῶν  ἐλαχίστων,  ἐμοὶ  ἐποιήσατε τότε  ἐρεῖ  καὶ  τοῖς  ἐξ  εὐωνύμων·  πορεύεσθε  ἀπ’  ἐμοῦ  κατηραμένοι  εἰς  τὸ  πῦρ  τὸ  αἰώνιον  τὸ  ἡτοιμασμένον  τῷ  διαβόλῳ  καὶ  τοῖς  ἀγγέλοις  αὐτοῦ ἐπείνασα  γὰρ  καὶ  οὐκ  ἐδώκατε  μοι  φαγεῖν,  καὶ  ἐδίψησα  καὶ  οὐκ  ἐποτίσατε  με, ξένος  ἤμην  καὶ  οὐ  συνηγάγετε  με,  γυμνὸς  καὶ  οὐ  περιεβάλετε  με,  ἀσθενὴς  καὶ  ἐν  φυλακῇ  καὶ  οὐκ  ἐπεσκέψασθε  με τότε  ἀποκριθήσονται  καὶ  αὐτοὶ  λέγοντες  κύριε,  πότε  σε  εἴδομεν  πεινῶντα  ἢ  διψῶντα  ᾒ  ξένον  ἢ  γυμνὸν  ἢ  ἀσθενῆ  ἢ  ἐν  φυλακῇ  καὶ  οὐ  διηκονήσαμεν  σοι; τότε  ἀποκριθήσεται  αὐτοῖς  λέγων·  ἀμὴν  λέγω  ὑμῖν,  ἐφ’  ὅσον  οὐκ  ἐποιήσατε  ἑνὶ  τούτων  τῶν  ἐλαχίστων,  οὐδὲ  ἐμοὶ  ἐποιήσατε καὶ  ἀπελεύσονται  οὗτοι  εἰς  κόλασιν  αἰώνιον, οἱ  δὲ  δίκαιοι  εἰς  ζωὴν  αἰώνιον

Then the King will say to those at his right hand: Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him: Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them: Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me. Then he will say to those at his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they also will answer: Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then he will answer them: Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Matthew 25:34-46

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

حُفَّتْ الْجَنَّةُ بِالْمَكَارِهِ وَحُفَّتْ النَّارُ بِالشَّهَوَاتِ

Paradise is surrounded by things which are disliked, and Hellfire is surrounded by lusts.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2823, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

Εἰσέλθατε  διὰ  τῆς  στενῆς  πύλης  ὅτι  πλατεῖα  καὶ  εὐρύχωρος  ἡ  ὁδὸς  ἡ  ἀπάγουσα  εἰς  τὴν  ἀπώλειαν  καὶ  πολλοί  εἰσιν  οἱ  εἰσερχόμενοι  δι’  αὐτῆς  ὅτι  στενὴ  ἡ  πύλη  καὶ  τεθλιμμένη  ἡ  ὁδὸς  ἡ  ἀπάγουσα  εἰς  τὴν  ζωὴν  καὶ  ὀλίγοι  εἰσὶν  οἱ  εὑρίσκοντες  αὐτήν

Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Matthew 7:13-14

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ أَحْدَثَ فِي أَمْرِنَا هَذَا مَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ فَهُوَ رَدٌّ

Whoever innovates something into this affair of ours which does not belong to it will have it rejected.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 2550, Grade: Sahih

The Gospel says:

ὃς  ἐὰν  οὖν  λύσῃ  μίαν  τῶν  ἐντολῶν  τούτων  τῶν  ἐλαχίστων  καὶ  διδάξῃ  οὕτως  τοὺς  ἀνθρώπους  ἐλάχιστος  κληθήσεται  ἐν  τῇ  βασιλείᾳ  τῶν  οὐρανῶν  ὃς  δ’  ἂν  ποιήσῃ  καὶ  διδάξη  οὗτος  μέγας  κληθήσεται  ἐν  τῇ  βασιλείᾳ  τῶν  οὐρανῶν

Whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men the same shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but he whoever does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Israeli settlers threaten to evict villagers

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers and settlers on Sunday threatened the people of Umm al-Khair village east of Yatta with eviction, a local anti-settlement committee official said.

Ratib al-Jbour said that a group of settlers accompanied by Israeli forces threatened to evict villagers from their houses according to notices previously given to property owners.

A verbal and physical confrontation erupted between the villagers and settlers, he added.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

Earlier Sunday, Israeli bulldozers razed and dug up agricultural lands near the Palestinian village of Qusra in the southern part of Nablus, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers from the nearby settlement of Migdalim entered the lands early in the morning and began to dig in the nearby village of Qusra.

Daghlas added that the bulldozers were digging to extend the nearby settlement into Palestinian land.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Gaza Running Out of Fuel and Medicines

 

Gaza’s suffocating siege persists. Israel imposes it illegally. It’s been ongoing since June 2007. It began a year earlier in less extreme form. It constitutes collective punishment. Fourth Geneva’s Article 33 states: “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

“Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

Fourth Geneva mandates protecting civilians in time of war. Doing so includes letting goods and people move freely.

Blockades are acts of war. They’re variously defined as:

 

    • surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;

    • isolating an enemy;

    • encirclement and besieging;

    • preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces, or aid in time of or as an act of war; and

    • an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy’s coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.

 

Francis Boyle calls blockades:

“(B)elligerent measures taken by a nation (to) prevent passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country.”

“Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade.”

“Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare.”

Blockades are considered illegal if:

 

    • their sole purpose is starving the civilian population or denying it other essentials for life; or

    • -damage to civilians is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete or direct military advantage anticipated.

 

In other words, blockades may not disproportionately harm civilians. Israel’s siege targets them.

Collective punishment is imposed. It’s deliberate. It’s malicious. It’s illegal. It has nothing to do with security. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.

Israel institutionalized closure. Fundamental international laws are spurned. Crimes of war and against humanity persist. Slow-motion genocide is official Israeli policy.

Repeated calls by human rights organizations to free besieged Gazans are ignored.

Last January, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) “call(ed) upon the Israeli authorities to first of all lift this unjust closure completely, as it is a form of collective punishment prohibited under the international humanitarian law, and second to discontinue all the unjust restrictions imposed on the movement of civilians and thirdly allow the free movement of trade; including imports and exports to and from the Gaza Strip.”

On October 3, the Ahlul Bayt News Agency headlined “Warning of humanitarian catastrophe as Gaza siege is tightened.”

In September, the UN Human Rights Council held its 24th session. PCHR and six other human rights organizations submitted a written statement titled “Closure and accountability.”

It highlighted deteriorating conditions. Egypt’s military junta worsened them. Gazan tunnels provide a vital lifeline. They supply essential goods.

After Egypt’s military ousted Mohamed Morsi, conditions deteriorated badly. State newspaper al-Gumoria said about 95% of tunnels were destroyed. Gazan officials estimate about 80% since July.

Equipment is used to detect tunnel activity. When found, bulldozers move in destructively. Rafah’s International Crossing Point provides the only access to Egypt.

Most often it’s closed. Enormous hardships are imposed. Gazans remain largely isolated. They’re cut off from the outside world.

Students can’t study abroad. Families are separated. Patients requiring medical care unavailable in Gaza can’t get it. Judicial redress is denied.

The submitting organizations called on world leaders to intervene responsibly. They haven’t done so for over seven years. They show no indication of changing policy. Gazan suffering continues.

The territory’s olive agriculture is a shadow of its former self. Years ago it thrived. Gaza olives and olive oil are among the world’s best. Planting and harvesting provided seasonal work for thousands of workers.

No longer. Small numbers remain. Israel’s siege decimated a once thriving enterprise. Trees and agricultural lands were razed. Many farmers turned to other crops.

According to Palestine’s ministry of agriculture, Israeli forces destroyed around 120,000 Gazan olive trees since September 2000.

Israel’s buffer no-go zone includes 30% of agricultural land. It’s some of Gaza’s most fertile. Fishermen are greatly restricted. Choice waters are off-limits.

On November 1, Maan News headlined “Hamas: Power outage across Gaza as fuel runs out.” Electricity production was halted.

Gazan energy authority deputy chairman Fathi el-Sheikh Khalil said:

“We have completely stopped the operation of (Gaza’s sole) power plant this morning at 6:00 AM because we don’t have a single liter of fuel.”

Most Gazan areas lacked power. Khalil blamed it on Egypt. Destroying vital tunnels cut off supplies.

According to Khalil, the Palestinian Authority overcharges. “Less than 50 percent of the needs of the Gaza Strip are currently covered by electricity from Israel (and) we can no longer get Egyptian fuel” because most tunnels were destroyed, he said.

“We tried to get fuel from Israel via the Palestinian Authority, but it has imposed prohibitive taxes.” Gaza’s plant supplies about a third of electricity needs.

It’ll “remain shut until fuel supplies resume from Egypt through the tunnels or the Rafah border crossing, or from Israel if the Palestinian Authority agrees not to impose the heavy taxes,” Khalil added.

On Friday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator, James Rawley, expressed concern. Lack of power “impact(s) all essential services, including hospitals, clinics, sewage and water pumping stations,” he said.

“It will also mean that Gaza’s 1.7 million people will experience power outages of up to 16 hours per day.” Before shutdown, Gaza got less than half the electricity it needs.

“For the benefit of Gaza’s civilian population, it is essential that a way be found to allow the power plant to resume its operations and that the broader chronic energy crisis be addressed,” Rawley added.

In September, Gaza’s energy authority warned of an impending fuel shortage. It called on Egypt to resume shipments.

After Morsi’s July ouster, relations between Cairo and Hamas deteriorated badly. Egyptian military officials wrongfully accuse Hamas of involvement in Sinai violence. Baseless allegations don’t wash.

According to OCHA, goods from Egypt through Rafah crossing are less than 5% of their June volume.

“Less than 10 truckloads of goods may have entered Gaza through the tunnels per day between 20-26 October, compared to 15 truckloads which entered during the previous week, and 30-40 truckloads during September,” it said.

Vital medicines are in short supply. Since Egypt’s July coup, OCHA said:

“(T)he Ministry of Health in Gaza began restricting X-rays and limiting certain drugs to emergency use only, due to low supplies and the unreliable flow of medical supplies via the Rafah Crossing.”

By end of July, “27 per cent (128 items) of essential medicines were at zero stock in the Central Drug Store in Gaza and 16 per cent (78 items) were at low stock (between 1-3 months’ supply).”

“Twenty-five percent of (Gaza’s) drug supplies are normally received from, or through, Egypt via this crossing.”

“Two principal Egyptian donors, the Arab Physicians Union and the Physicians Syndicate, are expected to halt donations to Gaza in view of current urgent needs in Egypt.”

“These groups have played a crucial role as a source for rapid supply of critical items, such as dialysis solutions, common chemotherapy drugs, Factor VIII for hemophilia, immunosuppressants for kidney transplant patients and treatments for other chronic blood disease conditions.”

“Any sustained gap in the supply of these items would have immediate negative impact on patients.”

“The Human Appeal International (United Arab Emirates) and Qatar Red Crescent also provide donations to the MoH in Gaza via Rafah, but according to the MoH, only one drug shipment has been received via that route since 30 June, from an Italian NGO.”

Gazan construction is collapsing. General Eitan Dangot is Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

After a tunnel to Israel was discovered in mid-October, he blocked construction materials transfers to Gaza.

He did it punitively. He did it maliciously. It’s standard Israeli policy. Preventing vital construction has nothing to do with internal Israeli security.

It goes for schools, medical clinics, private residences, and other nonmilitary purposes.

Destroying most of Gaza’s tunnel economy affects available construction materials. OCHA commented before Dangot’s blockage, saying:

“The Palestinian Federation of Industries estimated that, on average, around 1,500 tons of construction materials entered Gaza through the tunnels per day, compared to 7,500 tons prior to the imposition of the recent measures.”

“The price of construction materials on local markets rose sharply before declining to between 20 to 30 percent above the normal price by the end of the month, and leading to a sharp slowdown in construction activities and the operation of concrete mix factories.”

Gaza is more isolated than ever. Chronic shortages persist. Israel pretends otherwise. World leaders turn a blind eye.

Gaza’s humanitarian crisis deepens. Palestinian Authority officials ignore it. They’re illegitimate. They’re duplicitous. They’re shameless. Complicity with Israel reveals their true agenda.

Over 1.7 million Gazans suffer out of sight and mind. Nothing in prospect suggests relief.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Analysis: Did Syria’s Assad get away with chemical weapons attack?

 

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 2, 2013.

CAIRO — Bashar Assad got away with it.

Only a few months ago, Syria’s president was a widely-condemned rogue leader whose police state had just launched poison gas on commuter villages outside Damascus. Fourteen-hundred people, including hundreds of children, were choked to death, their nervous systems shut down by the gas that seeped into their homes. And the world watched it happen in unprecedented detail. Images of the attack seeped into even far corners of the Internet.

It took more than a year to determine the extent of the vicious shelling in the Syrian city of Hama in 1982 by Assad’s father. The death toll from that massacre remains disputed, but estimates from news agencies and non-governmental organizations put the total at around 20,000. This time, however, cellphones, tablets and social media exposed the horrors of what happened outside Damascus, almost in real time. Syrian activists posted live updates as bodies were buried in rows in mass graves. The hours of graphic videos of dead babies on hospital floors are accessible for free to anyone with an Internet connection.

Yet, somehow, Assad not only got away with the gas attack, but appears to have also emerged stronger after it. How is that possible?

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a lot to do with it. By stepping into the standoff between Syria and the U.S., he tossed Assad a lifeline that also allowed President Barack Obama to forgo intervening in a conflict most Americans wanted no part in after a decade of costly wars in distant Muslim lands.

Assad’s price for the monstrous attack, his punishment, was to give up his chemical weapons in an internationally-supervised process. Destroying the weapons is a net positive for the world — fewer deadly tools in the hands of a dangerous regime — but it’s not much of a price for Syria to pay. It’s like getting away with mass murder with only a fine.

In exchange for destroying the poison gas and the factories that make it — a process that’s almost impossible to verify — there would be no U.S. military strike. Assad would get to stay in power and continue his war with “conventional weapons,” including artillery and Scud missile attacks on civilian areas, napalm dropped on schools, and starving the opposition into submission. Even more shocking is that Assad has weathered the crisis appearing to the world as reasonable, rational and ready to compromise.

While Putin threw Assad — and Obama — a lifeline, it was the rebels themselves who helped the Syrian president rehabilitate his image. The rebels are increasingly associated with al Qaeda fanatics who have hijacked their revolution. The al Qaeda rebels kidnap journalists who want to tell their story, and aid workers who try to bring food and medicine.

Assad’s government says it will take part in peace talks. The rebels refuse.

Assad says he’s fighting terrorists. Some of the rebels make him look like he has a point. This Ramadan, Assad should send Putin and al Qaeda fruit baskets.

This isn’t the first time a dictator is getting a second chance, and even coming off looking better after committing heinous crimes. Saddam Hussein was never punished for the gassing in Halabja that left 5,000 people dead; the U.S. didn’t intervene until he invaded oil-rich Kuwait two years later. Assad’s father, Hafez, remained in power for nearly two decades after Hama. He grew to become a fixture of stability in the Middle East who kept his border with Israel quiet and peaceful.

President Obama used to say it was a matter of “when,” not “if” Assad’s regime would fall. Its inevitable collapse now, however, seems far less certain, even after the most watched war crime in history.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Egypt on high alert as Mohamed Morsi trial threatens to revive civil unrest

John Kerry flies in for surprise visit day before ex-president is due to be tried for inciting murder of opposition demonstrators

Egypt‘s former president Mohamed Morsi plans to reject the authority of a court due to try him on Monday, in what could be his first public appearance since being deposed and hidden in a secret location in July.

The trial is expected to increase Egypt’s political tensions, with Morsi supporters planning a series of nationwide protests and police announcing a state of alert. Security fears are so high that on Sunday court officials had not yet confirmed whether the trial would be televised, or even whether the ex-president would be allowed to attend in person.

Morsi stands accused of inciting the murder of protesters demonstrating outside Cairo’s presidential palace last December, charges also faced by 14 other senior officials from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi, who still regards himself as Egypt’s legal president, plans to defend himself because he believes engaging a lawyer would be an indirect acknowledgment of the court’s authority.

“Neither us nor President Morsi acknowledges the legitimacy of this trial,” said Amr Darrag, a cabinet minister during Morsi’s year in office, speaking on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice party.

Morsi’s trial is likely to spark renewed unrest. A spokesman for the anti-coup alliance – a coalition of Morsi backers from the Brotherhood and its allies – has promised to “make this day an international day of protest. We will defeat this brutal traitorous military coup.”

More than 1,000 pro-Morsi supporters and dozens of security officials have died during confrontations at protests since Morsi’s 3 July overthrow. Terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists have also risen.

Fears that Morsi’s re-emergence might reinvigorate his supporters have led Egypt’s authorities to keep quiet about the precise arrangements for his trial. While it is likely to take place at a police compound on the eastern outskirts of Cairo, this has not been officially confirmed. An official at the prosecutors’ office told the Guardian it had not yet been decided whether the trial would be televised orwhether Morsi would be allowed to attend, out of fear for public order.

In news that may exacerbate tensions further, the US secretary of state,John Kerry, arrived in Egypt on Sunday – the first time a US secretary of state has travelled to Egypt on what is known as an unannounced visit for security reasons.

A US official said Kerry’s visit was entirely unrelated to Morsi’s trial, but his presence could anger both Morsi supporters and his critics, who each accuse the US of meddling in Egyptian affairs and of siding with their opponents.

The US has never described Morsi’s overthrow as a coup, but last month Washington cut the amount of aid it gives to Egypt. The unannounced nature of Kerry’s arrival suggests he is keen to keep a low profile.

For the first time in its history, Egypt will have two ex-presidents on trial at the same time, with Morsi following his predecessor Hosni Mubarak into the dock. But whereas Mubarak’s first trial (he is currently being retried)was greeted eagerly by most Egyptians, Morsi’s prosecution has provoked mixed emotions.

“A lot of Egyptians feel pity for Morsi, even people who like Sisi [the army chief, General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi],” argued Ahmed Shabani, a 30-year-old doctor who took part in anti-Morsi protests this June, and who was also involved in the December demonstrations against Morsi that led to this trial.

“We know he was just a pawn for the Brotherhood, an engineering professor who became the president,” Shabani added. “And now he’s probably going to be sentenced to life.”

In some quarters, the case is seen as a trial of the Brotherhood rather than just Morsi himself, said HA Hellyer, a Cairo-based analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a foreign affairs thinktank.

“When Mubarak was in court, it was the prosecution of a president who’d been around for 30 years, and those who were very vigorously in support of the trial really wanted a death sentence,” said Hellyer. “But with Morsi, it feels more like it’s the Brotherhood on trial, rather than Morsi as an individual. I get the impression that as long as the Brotherhood get stamped out, it wouldn’t go down so badly. I don’t think they’re looking for Morsi’s blood.”

Morsi and his co-defendants are accused of ordering hundreds of Brotherhood cadres on 5 December 2012 to attack secular protesters camped outside his presidential palace demanding the abandonment of a constitution drafted by Morsi’s allies. The confrontation sparked night-long clashes that left at least 10 dead, and began a spiral of political upheaval that led the army to overthrow Morsi this July, following days of mass protests.

“It was a turning point in Egyptian history,” said Shabani, the Morsi critic, of the December clashes. “For the first time two groups of people directly faced each other on the basis of their political beliefs. It was a civil war – a small one, just on one street. But ever since everything went violent.”

Morsi was arrested along with several of his aides on 3 July, and has since been held virtually incommunicado in at least three government compounds. Beyond a visit from EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, and two phonecalls with his family, his jailers have limited Morsi’s contact with the outside world – treatment his supporters say is extrajudicial and does not bode well for a fair procedure in the courtroom.

“There is no evidence in Morsi’s 4 November trial,” Morsi’s legal adviser, Mohamed el-Damaty, told Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, al-Ahram.

But Egypt’s new interim government says his treatment and his prosecution are legitimate. “He will have full rights to a free and fair trial,” said Badr Abdellaty, a spokesman for Egypt’s foreign ministry. “He will be charged on criminal charges before his normal judge according to the Egyptian penal code. Nothing extraordinary. Nothing exceptional.”

Whatever else happens, Morsi’s prosecution is unlikely to be speedy. Mubarak’s trial was subject to frequent administrative delays and postponements. “If it’s anything like Mubarak’s trial, this session may start and finish within about five minutes,” said Hellyer. “It could be the start of a very drawn-out process.”

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Tunisia extends state of emergency

State of emergency, which has been in place since 2011 uprisng, is extended by eight months to June 2014.

Tunisian leaders agreed to extend state of emergency by eight months
Tunisia, which is grappling with a political crisis and violence attributed to armed groups, has said it is extending by eight months a state of emergency in place since the 2011 uprising.

The presidency made the announcement on Sunday and said the state of emergency would be extended until the end of June 2014.

Tunisia’s authorities have renewed the state of emergency by periods ranging from three months to a year since the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Late on Saturday, Tunisia’s ruling party, Ennahda, and the opposition failed to reach an agreement on appointing a new prime minister, with both sides pledging to continue negotiations.

Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party whose resignation has been demanded by the opposition, has pledged to step down and allow the creation of a government of independents as part of a roadmap.

After months of stalling, the Ennahda-led government opened talks with the opposition on October 25 to form the new government, agree on a much-delayed constitution and prepare for elections.

The roadmap to resolve the crisis was drafted by mediators including the powerful UGTT trade union.

Tunisia has also been reeling from economic hardship – a driving force behind the 2011 uprising – with inflation running at more than six percent, a weak currency and a steep budget deficit of about 7.4 percent of gross domestic product.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Rebel leader in Aleppo quits

Accuses ‘warlords’ of ‘conspiring’ against people

Syrian refugees go on their daily life in a park on November 3 in Istanbul.

The rebel leader who led a massive July 2012 assault on Aleppo resigned Sunday, accusing both Syria “warlords” and the international community of “conspiring” against the people.

“Because of some people’s refusal to heed calls for unity… I announce my resignation from the leadership of the Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo,” Colonel Abdel Jabbar Al Okaidi said in a video statement.

The July 2012 assault saw rebels seize large swathes of the city before a bloody stalemate set in.

Activists and rebels have long blamed internal disputes and the international community’s failure to supply the opposition with advanced weaponry for the sustained stalemate, which has resulted in the destruction of much of the city.

In his statement, Okaidi pointed to the rebel loss on Friday of Sfeira, southeast of the city, and said the “blessed revolution” against President Bashar al-Assad “has torn off the last mask on the face of the international community”, which is “conspiring against this people and against this revolution.”

Okaidi also lashed out at the exiled opposition, “who represent no one but yourselves.

“You have turned your backs on (Syria) and you have detached yourselves from it completely,” he said.

In the video, which was shared widely among Syrian activists, Okaidi also criticised some rebel leaders on the ground, whom he referred to as “warlords.”

“Stop… racing each other for power and for your kingdoms… Go back to how you were” at the start of the revolt, he said.

Speaking to AFP via the Internet, activist Mohammad Wissam said that the fall of Sfeira has given rise to “fears for Aleppo city.”

Sfeira’s fall “means that the road to Aleppo from the east is open,” he said.

The activist also described Okaidi as “one of the most important personalities of Aleppo.”

Okaidi had earlier written on his Facebook page that “Sfeira has not fallen because of a lack of ammunition. God is our witness that we put all the (rebel) Council’s capacity at the disposal of the Sfeira operations room…

“The Sfeira front needed men to fight, but the (rebel) Free Syrian Army and other battalions failed.”

Okaidi defected from the loyalist army in May 2012 to join the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Israeli forces prevent Palestinian olive harvest in 2 villages

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday prevented Palestinians in two villages across the West Bank from accessing their orchards in order to harvest olives on their lands, activists said.

Women, children, and elderly residents of the central West Bank village of al-Janiya were escorted by activists from the “You’re not alone” campaign to harvest olives on Sunday morning.

Israeli forces deployed in the area en masse and surrounded the group, preventing the Palestinians from accessing their lands.

The olive orchards are located near the Israeli settlement of Talmon, which was itself built on land confiscated from the village. The area of al-Janiya is surrounded on all sides by Israeli-controlled roads.

Also Sunday, Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from Qaryut village in the northern West Bank district of Nablus from reaching their lands to harvest olives. Their lands are located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli.

The coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, Salah al-Khawaja, said Israeli authorities frequently impose restrictions on Palestinian farmers and detain them, especially during the olive harvest season.

Al-Khawaja said that the third phase of the “You are not alone” campaign will involve planting trees in different areas, especially lands located near settlements where Palestinian farmers are subjected to attacks by Israeli settlers.

According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest period sees the highest peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

In 2012, there were 353 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Over 7,500 olive trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers between January and mid-October in 2012, according to OCHA.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

(Source / 03.11.2013)

Radicalisation in Syria poses growing threat to Europe, says Turkish leader

In exclusive interview, president Abdullah Gul says Syria risks becoming ‘Afghanistan on the shores of the Mediterranean’

Abdullah Gul

Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s president.

The Syrian nation is dying as an indifferent world looks on, and the territory it occupies risks becoming “Afghanistan on the shores of the Mediterranean”, the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, has said.

Radicalisation of ordinary people by Islamist jihadist groups was spreading across Syria and posed a growing risk to its neighbours and the countries of Europe, Gul said in an exclusive interview with the Guardian.

But the response of the international community – including Turkey‘s American and British allies – to the security, humanitarian and moral challenges posed by the crisis had been “very disappointing”, he said. He reiterated his view that the UN security council’s performance was a “disgrace”.

In a forthright and sometimes angry critique of western policy on Syria, Gul said the deaths of more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians, in fighting over the past 32 months could have been avoided. Turkish mediation efforts early on in the war were not supported and were even undermined by western powers, he complained.

With the conflict showing no sign of ending, Turkey faces extreme instability and dislocation along its 565-mile border with Syria, the prospective radicalisation of its Kurdish, Alevi and Sunni Muslim populations, the spread of infectious diseases such as polio, TB and measles, and many new additions to its current total of 500,000 Syrian refugees.

Asked about the risk of the war spreading beyond Syria, Gul said that if Turkey were attacked or Turkish territory invaded his government would respond militarily “in the strongest way possible”.

He said: “There is no question about this. In fact we have already stated that we have changed the rules of engagement and we have given authority to Turkish armed forces in that respect … I don’t see how much worse it can get, it’s already very bad. But let me also say that this is not a bilateral issue between Turkey and Syria. We did not have any conflict with Syria, but when those human rights violations begun to occur and there was massacring of the people of Syria, then it become a matter for mankind, for us all, the international community. It’s only by virtue of being a neighbouring country that Turkey is so very much involved. Also from the point of view the fact that we are hosting 500,000 Syrians in Turkey. Two hundred thousand of them live in camps and 300,000 in the cities through their own means.

“We have so far spent $2bn (£1.25bn) for them. We will continue to do so because this is a humanitarian matter [but] it’s very regrettable seeing the indifference on the part of the international community.”

Gul said that if the current deterioration in Syria continued unchecked, it would pose an increasingly grave security and counter-terrorism challenge for Turkey.

“If the atmosphere remains as it is, then this can lead to more radicalisation and some groups in the civil war becoming more extreme, dividing up, not being under control, and spreading across that country. Because under those circumstances, ordinary people could become much more extreme and this is something that poses a danger and threat not just for Turkey – it’s an issue for everyone.

“I don’t think anybody would tolerate the presence of something like Afghanistan on the shores of the Mediterranean. For that reason the international community must have a very solid position with respect to Syria.”

Unfortunately, that unified stance appeared lacking and meanwhile the country was being destroyed.

“At the very beginning the international community’s rhetoric was very high [calling for Assad to stand down immediately] but then it reverted to its current position now. And that is a contradiction itself. And morally too, there is a country, Syria, exhausting itself, consuming itself, with many people dead, the infrastructures gone, there is a lot impact of what is going on, and the international community is watching this. Simply watching this, and this is very regrettable.”

Gul said Turkish efforts to engage Assad in a dialogue two years ago had not received sufficient backing from Turkey’s allies, but could have headed off the disaster that ensued.

“We talked to Assad because we wanted things to be resolved by peaceful means. That engagement was at all levels, it wasn’t just myself, the prime minister, the foreign minister, we all worked very hard and at the time we even faced pressure from our allies because they said this was going on too long and it wasn’t going anywhere. This is what I mean about the high rhetoric of the international community at the very beginning. They should have done something to follow up on their rhetoric and this was not done.

“What we tried to do did not work out and there wasn’t much more we could do. I wish Assad had understood what we were telling him. In my very last message to him I said that if things went on as they were, whatever might be done would be too little, too late, and that he should take the initiative and lead the change in his country so the country would not fall to pieces.

“He read my letter and said it was all very important and good but he did not act on it, he did not do anything. Most certainly, yes, if he had heeded my advice, 100,000 people may not have died and Syria would not have faced so much destruction.”

Gul suggested that the chemical weapons deal with Assad brokered by Russia was a distraction that Assad had exploited to bolster his position.

“It might be said Assad made good use of an opportunity with the chemical weapons deal with the Russians. But the question comes back to the international community again … Of course we are very pleased about the chemical weapons and we support that. But was it just the chemical weapons? Do we reduce the whole thing to chemical weapons? I think there is a moral question there that is presented to the international community.”

Asked whether the US and Britain should be doing more to end the crisis, he replied: “Frankly speaking, our expectation was different, we expected more. I think it is very disappointing to see the whole discussion reduced to a discussion solely on chemical weapons.”

Gul said it was important that the proposed Geneva II peace conference, due this month, was better prepared than its forerunner. He felt last month’s London meeting of the Friends of Syria group had been helpful. But he expressed scant hope that the next Geneva meeting would achieve a breakthrough, if and when it takes places. “The country is destroyed … There really isn’t in my opinion much that can be done now.”

Gul spoke to the Guardian during a weekend visit to Edinburgh, where he attended the Turkey-Britain Tatli Dil bilateral forum, met Scottish residents of Turkish origin and was given dinner by the Duke of York.

(Source / 03.11.2013)