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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Muslim Brotherhood specialist: reformists isolated, leadership detached from reality

Thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohammed Mursi march through the streets of Cairo in his support on November 8, 2013 in Cairo. (Photo: AFP-Gianluigi Guercia)

Published Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ahmed Ban is an Egyptian researcher on Islamist movements and currently runs a research center in downtown Cairo. He was the co-founder of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and a former member of the Brotherhood's general assembly before resigning in 2012. Al-Akhbar conducted an interview with him to discuss the current state of affairs in Egypt, the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and how current challenges facing the country can be overcome.

Al-Akhbar: In your opinion, what are the implications of the recent operations in Sinai?
Ahmed Ban: The takfiri groups want revenge on the Egyptian army following the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) [government], where dreams of creating an Islamic Caliphate and an Islamic state in Egypt were shattered.

The recent operations indicated a lack of intelligence related to Sinai, which works in the terrorists' favor and has led to the failure of the army's attempts to crush them until today. Confronting such criminal activities requires a strategy. Reports on the evacuation of Sinai’s residents to fight the terrorists are unacceptable. Creating good relations with the tribal sheikhs is imperative now, since the security solution alone will not be enough to confront people who are trained, carry modern weapons, and utilize the Sinai’s [rugged] terrain.

We need a comprehensive plan to address this dangerous phenomenon, where the economy, politics, and culture are considered all together, instead of just security measures, which will only lead to more terrorist operations.

AA: What links does the Muslim Brotherhood have with the extremist groups active in Sinai, who are suspected of links with al-Qaeda in Libya, in particular?

ABHistorically, the Muslim Brotherhood was the first to take up violence, by creating a private structure in 1940, which only became apparent in 1948, when the famous "Jeep" was apprehended and uncovered the case. Violent activities and assassinations continued after that. However, the MB realized this was a dead end in 1966, in conjunction with the executions of Sayyid Qutb and his cohorts.

In the 1970s, however, other groups became active, with the Military Technical College incident, the assassination of al-Sheikh al-Thahabi, and former President Anwar Sadat. This was followed by the [Islamist] wave which hit Egypt in the 1980s and 1990s, with organizations like Islamic Jihad and al-Jamaa al-Islamiya. But most of the leaders of those groups have truly recanted [violence] since 1995. The rest of the leadership contacted al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. They are currently active in Sinai or the Valley.

The biggest force today is Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which is comprised of a union between 100 members from al-Naser Salahuddin Brigades – a Palestinian group in Gaza – with al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in Sinai. It also gave birth to a better trained cell called al-Furqan Brigades, which is the biggest threat.

In the meantime, Egyptian authorities attacked the tunnel and weapon smuggling trade [between Sinai and Gaza]. This produced the "sacred alliance" between tunnel traders, arms dealers, and takfiri groups. They aim to wear down the Egyptian state and go back to business.

This intersects with the scenario adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is to exhaust the state. Investigations and the courts will ultimately decide if this is due to coordination between those groups and the Muslim Brotherhood or out of sympathy. However, it is certain that the Sharia Council for Rights and Reform, created after the January 25 Revolution, bolstered relations between the moderate and extremist wings of the Islamist current as a political actor in the sphere of Islamist movements.

AA: How true is the divide between reformists and extremists in the Muslim Brotherhood?

AB: One could say there was always a department promoting the Muslim Brotherhood and creating lines of communications with civil society actors. But this faction did not have any weight inside the Brotherhood. For example, the education committee in the Brotherhood has never seen a reformist member. It seems the Brotherhood has a written code, which is outdated and backwards and a spoken one, which it uses to deal with political and civil forces.
Thus, the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood with the FJP was merely a facade. There was no separation between the proselytising wing and the political entity.

It is deeply regrettable that the head of Misr al-Qawiyya party Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh could have separated from the party early in the January 25 Revolution, when it began making deals with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). He could have taken an important bloc with him, but he was late for sentimental reasons and the chance was lost. It also seems that the zero sum game group took control of the Brotherhood and remains so today. Egypt's Brotherhood did not learn the lesson of the Turkish or Moroccan experiences and chose the most dismal model.

Today, the imprisoned leadership keeps insisting on leading the organization. There are no reformists available to draw a new theoretical line, but the organization is full of angry members.

However, I call on the reformists inside the Brotherhood – if they exist – to separate themselves from the followers of Qutb who have been controlling the Brotherhood since the 1970s.
They live in a state of total separation from reality due to the spiritual isolation they practice. Although the Brotherhood got lost when it was controlled by Qutb's followers, since the internal elections in 2009, the Guidance Office has been isolating the reformist MB officials.

AA: What is your contention with Qutb's supporters, who you said took control of the organization?

AB: The "Qutb" leadership supports reaching power by any means. But it believes this society is composed of infidels or is at least living in the jahiliyyah [pre-Islamic era]. The Qutb group goes back to 1965. Back then, when they were sent to prison, they were called the Group of Tens for being sentenced to 10 years each. They were released in 1975.

This group took control of the administrative offices of the Brotherhood in Egypt and the most important committee, the Education Committee, which formulates the group mentality of the Brotherhood's members, based on the ideas of Sayyid Qutb.

Qutb's central idea was based on the dichotomy between al-Hakimiyyah, from the [Quranic verse] "no governance but to God," and al-Jahiliyyah, meaning that society has steered away from Islam. So, a vanguard [from the Brotherhood] was needed to embody Islam and be a model for society. Thus, the organizational ideology of the MB led them to be a brigade or isolated religious cult, treating society with hostility, instead of permeating its fabric, from 1965 until today.

AA: Nevertheless, the Muslim Brotherhood appeared on the political scene in the 1970s.

AB: Ever since the group looked for some reformist issues to promote a positive mental image of the Brotherhood. This began in earnest during the term of [former MB Supreme Guide] Omar al-Tilmisani in 1973 and the creation of the Brotherhood's political group, particularly in the universities in the 1970s, which included Issam al-Aryan, Aboul-Fotouh, Hilmi al-Jazzar, Hamed al-Dafrawi, and other student leaders at that time. The MB was on the track of the political process. But when Tilmisani died in 1986, this group was struck a knockout blow and slowly became isolated, until it found itself outside the context of the Brotherhood's orientation and far from influencing the organization's mindset.

AA: This week, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood National Alliance to Support Legitimacy raised the slogan "down with the regime." What do you think of this slogan at this time?

ABPeculiar... The Brotherhood were political when they needed to be revolutionary. Today, they call for revolution, when the facts on the ground call for cumulative political work. Raising the slogan of overthrowing the regime is an expression of complete separation from facts. The popular mood does not favor revolutions. Egyptians are tired and despondent.

It should not be forgotten that the January 25 Revolution took place before the wave of enlightenment reached Egypt and in the midst of high illiteracy rates and reduced awareness. Tunisia is different, not just due to al-Nahda's different way of handling political developments and giving priority to building a modern state. The Brotherhood in Egypt favored the interests of their organization. However, Tunisia also benefits from an active and influential civil society.

AA: Will the Egyptian regime's measures, its police tactics, and animosity towards young people and workers be a blessing in disguise for the Islamists?

AB: Yes. The current regime's insistence on repeating the mistakes of its predecessors will give the Islamists the chance to return and I don’t believe it is unlikely to witness another revolutionary wave in Egypt. The current landscape is in favor of the interests and aspirations of the Brotherhood to crowd out those who dream of a "new country." This landscape will be the outcome of the "stupid" policies, which led the symbols of the past to take over the scene once again. The embers under the ash will turn to fire at any moment.

Young people in Egypt were silent and did not participate effectively in the political process. But this was not out of submission and it could become flammable at any moment. I believe the recipe for getting out of the current crisis necessitates an end to assaults on the freedoms and rights of people and moving forward on the questions of national dialogue and transitional justice. They are both part of the roadmap on which the regime bases its legitimacy.

In parallel, a council of elders must be created to reassess the political landscape. Egypt will not rise without national consensus, allowing the state the possibility of stepping out of the circle of reaction and taking the lead.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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‘Chickens—gate’ Is All About Iran


Armin Rosen — Business Insider Oct 29, 2014

The most generous interpretation of a “senior US official’s” now-infamous smear of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that the speaker was caught in a fit of pique.

After all, the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg lists many of the less-than-flattering things that high-ranking Obama staffers have called Netanyahu over the years: “recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse.” None are complimentary, but none have the same bluntly insulting power of “chickens—.“

If the quote itself is a gaffe, it’s nevertheless consistent with what the US administration must recognize as a looming foreign policy challenge, perhaps one of the greatest of Obama’s presidency.

The administration is trying to finalize a nuclear deal with Iran that it knows the Israeli government is not going to like. The quotes in Goldberg’s article could be a part of an effort to portray the Israelis as recalcitrant, unappreciative, or needlessly belligerent, in full knowledge of the rupture in relations — and political controversy inside the United States — that will come with the Iran deal Obama’s team currently envisions.

Interestingly, Goldberg’s article came just a few days after one of the administration’s top Iran negotiators laid out the goals and parameters of this eventual deal. On October 23, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman addressed a forum on the Iran nuclear negotiations at the Center for International and Strategic Studies in Washington. The administration must have known that the Israelis could not have liked what they heard.

Sherman conceded that the negotiating process has been difficult, and promised that Tehran would never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon. But she explained that the current negotiations have a more technical and more limited objective than that: “Our goal now is to develop a durable and comprehensive arrangement that will effectively block all of Iran’s potential paths to fissile material for a nuclear weapon,” she said. “Such an arrangement would bar Iran from producing fuel for a weapon with either uranium or plutonium.”

So even under a final agreement, Iran would retain enrichment capabilities — note the “for a nuclear weapon” modifier. It might even be able to continue research on advanced centrifuges or keep the infrastructure needed to enrich uranium to weapons-grade. It might even be allowed to enrich to weapons-grade, so long as its stockpiled remain below the 1000 or so kilograms of uranium needed for a warhead.

This vision of success is exactly what Netanyahu means when he warns of a deal that leaves Iran as a “threshold nuclear power,” as he did during his speech before the UN General Assembly in September.

But this isn’t the only potential source of Israeli anxiety from Sherman’s CSIS address. She said the US and the Iranians “have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable,” and suggested that remaining points of contention were of the trivial and even slightly generic variety, at least in light of the overall trend towards an agreement: “Like any complicated and technically complex diplomatic initiative, this is a puzzle with many interlocking pieces,” said Sherman.

And perhaps most alarmingly from an Israeli perspective, Sherman described this drift towards closer US-Iranian relations as an unvarnished good for the Middle East and the planet at large

“The world is clearly better off now than it would have been if the leaders on both sides had ignored this opening,” she said of the negotiating process. “With all that is going on in the Middle East today, an Iranian nuclear program that was not frozen but instead rushing full speed ahead toward larger stockpiles, more uranium enrichment capacity, the production of weapons-grade plutonium, and less transparency would hardly have been a stabilizing factor.”

The Israelis do not see it that way. They view the current Iran negotiating process, and the rebalancing of regional power that it represents, as one aspect of a larger and deeply worrying whole.

The Israelis do not want to see a deal that they think will empower Iran, which is a leading patron for Hamas and Hezbollah, two regional terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction. The Israelis are already juggling terrorism in the Sinai, the political and diplomatic aftermath of this summer’s Gaza flare-up, the civil war in Syria, the creation of a Palestinian unity government that includes 
Hamas, ominous incidents on the border with Lebanon, and ongoing unrest in Jerusalem.
The re-orientation of American policy towards Tehran is be a troubling added variable, highlighted by statements made by officials to the Wall Street Journal.

Officials “said the intensive negotiations the U.S. has pursued with Iran since last year on the nuclear issue could help stabilize the Mideast and have improved understanding,” WSJ reports.
Furthermore, Sherman’s speech shows that US officials believe they’re close to a deal that the Israelis will find deeply unpalatable.

The whisper campaign in Goldberg’s article could be part of an effort to soften US public opinion for an upcoming and far more public crisis in relations between the two allies. Or it could be a reflection of behind-the-scenes dynamics — evidence that the Obama administration’s attempts to reassure the Israelis in private haven’t bore fruit.

It could also be the residue of a growing spat between the US and Israel over the parameters of a final deal — the full ugliness of which only became public yesterday.

Speculation aside, there was one very clear message in Goldberg’s article that Netanyahu probably heard loud and clear.

“It’s too late for him to do anything,” one of Goldberg’s anonymous official said of the possibility of Netanyahu launching an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

Inevitably, Israel is going to have to live with whatever deal Washington signs with Tehran — regardless of what it looks like. And Obama will have to deal with the political fallout of Israeli’s disappointments and even anger over a final deal — regardless of what form that damage control will have to take.
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الجيش السوري يطوق ميدعا ويبسط سيطرته على حوش الفارة في الغوطة الشرقية
Hawsh Al-Faarra:  (It means Courtyard of the Female Mouse or the Courtyard of the Female Fugitive)  Whatever it means, the SAA has completely liberated this village as of 2 days ago.
 Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Keeps Terrorists under Siege in Homs City
Mayda’ah:  This important connecting link to the successful campaign to delouse the entire East Ghoutaa is under very tight artillery control as of today with some reports, unconfirmed, indicating the infesting rats had pulled out.  As of right now, it is fair to say that this town will be liberated within the next 72 hours at the most. Let’s hope.
 Tal Kurdi:  Major SAA advances into the “industrial zone” here with 9 confirmed rat carcasses dotting the landscape.  All of these vermin belonged to Ahraar Al-Shaam (yawn) and Al-Ittihaad Al-Islaami Li-Ajnaad Al-Shaam (yawn squared).  This front is of signal importance to the process of choking off the area of Doumaa. It is infested by Jaysh Al-Islam terrorists who are followers of the doomed Zahraan ‘Alloosh.  .
“Al-Sha’laani” (TUNISIAN BARBARY APE FETISHIST. Id pending.)
Shaafi’ Rajab
No other names available.

Al-‘Ibb Farms in Doumaa.  This is where ‘Alloosh is cringing in fear.  7 rats killed today belonging to Nusra.

Harastaa:  At the Secondary Roundabout, heavy fighting with no details.
الجيش السوري يواصل تقدمه في محوري تل كردي ومزارع العب على مشارف دوما
Harastaa:  East of the Cars Automobile Company, 2 rodents were killed:
Talaal Ahmad

‘Ayn Turma Town:  12 confirmed rats down in a firefight.  Weapons and ammo were seized behind the Police Station and the Municipal Offices.

Baalaa Village:  A major triumph for the SAA backed by the NDF here at this little hamlet which was depopulated by the savages of the Nusra crime syndicate.  36 carcasses counted:
Abdul-‘Azheem Deebu
Mustafaa Al-Kawwaa
Fareed Shidaadi
Sa’di Safraa
‘Adnaan Ghuraab
Muhammad Al-Zaahid
‘Umar Al-Shaykh-Hassan
The rest were foreigners mostly from Tunisia and Libya.
قتل وكواتم واختطاف.. جماعة
Jawbar:  To the north. Major fighting continuing.  The SAA continues to advance by taking over several more city   blocks and cleaning out rat infestations.

Zamalkaa:  North of the Grand Mosque.  A pickup with 23mm cannon destroyed.  No further details.

‘Irbeen:  At the north entrance.  A Truck with weapons and ammo from Jordan was vaporized by alert SAA RPG operators.

Hammooriyya Village:  9 skunks killed.  All were foreigners.

Al-Zabadaani:  In the Al-Sultaaniyya Quarter, Ahraar Al-Shaam traitors lost 5 rats.  I have no names.

Fighting also reported in Madhaayaa Town, Al-Zamaaniyya, Dayr Salmaan, Doumaa.
القضاء على إرهابيين من

Al-Zamraani Crossing at Qaarra on the Leb border.  2 trucks laden with weapons and ammo were destroyed.  All rodents inside atomized by SAAF.
Jaffar Deghayes
The dead rodent, Ja’afar Dighayyes, appearing in this photo without a bullet in his empty skull. 
British professional rat, of Libyan origin, joins his brother in Hell Syria after receiving an unwelcome projectile into his brain courtesy of the Syrian Army. Tsk tsk.  He is deemed a martyr or something or another by his father.  He decided his own Libya did not need any more incompetent jackdaws so he went to Syria where his one brother was killed already this year and where his third brother is waiting anxiously to complete the hat trick.  What a family!  Soon they will be extinct. 
photo taken from Twitter claiming to be Mohammad Ali Baryalei fighting with ISIS.
Muhammad ‘Ali Baryalaay, an Aussie strip-joint bouncer, drug dealer, heroin addict, pimp and pederast seen here carrying the same weapons that would blow up in his face in Idlib a few days ago.  Jihad!  Jihad! 
Here he is again all ready to travel to his destination in Hades.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

IOF Kills Ex-Palestinian Prisoner following Zionist Rabbi Shooting

Local Editor

Israeli occupation forces killed a former Palestinian prisoner hours after the shooting of a rightwing Zionist Rabbi.

According to reports from the occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli forces shot dead Moataz Hejazi after storming his house in the Abu Tor neighborhood of East al-Quds.
Former Palestinian prisoner Muataz Hijazi
The 32-year old Palestinian had spent 11 years in an Israeli jail and was released in 2012.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters in the area. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.

Prominent Palestinian resistance movement, Islamic Jihad mourned the Martyr Hijazi in a statement.

"Islamic Jihad mourns their martyr Muataz Hijazi who was killed in Al-Thuri neighborhood in Jerusalem after clashes with the occupation," the group said in a statement sent to AFP in Gaza City.

Israeli sources said the Palestinian was a suspect in the shooting of Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire on him and fled the area.

Zionist Rabbi Yehuda GlickGlick was shot after attending a conference in west Jerusalem linked to the question of Jewish prayer rights at the Al-Aqsa compound.

He was hit in the stomach, chest, neck and arm, but his condition improved overnight to serious but stable, the Shaarei Tzedek hospital said.

The gunman fled, but his motorcycle was found parked outside the house in Abu Tor, public radio said.

American-born Glick, who is in his 50s, is one of the rightwing Jewish extremists who call for raiding the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

Source: Agencies
30-10-2014 - 12:39 Last updated 30-10-2014 - 12:39


Israel closes al-Aqsa to all visitors after the shooting of a right-wing rabbi

A Palestinian man reacts to Israeli policemen as an ultra-orthodox Jewish man escorted by Israeli forces, enters the al-Aqsa mosque compound where Muslims' access was restricted by Israel, in occupied East Jerusalem on October 27, 2014. (Photo: Anadolu - Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu)
Published Thursday, October 30, 2014

Updated at 11:36 am (GMT +2): Israeli Occupation Forces on Thursday closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to all visitors after an overnight shooting incident in which a man on a motorbike tried to gun down an Israeli hardliner.
"This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying on Thursday.
"We hold the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the al-Aqsa mosque this morning," he told AFP.
"The state of Palestine will take all legal measures to hold Israel accountable and to stop these ongoing attacks," he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man suspected of the shooting attack on the Israeli hardliner, a spokesman said.
"The Palestinian, who was the main suspect in the Wednesday night attack, was eliminated at his home in Jerusalem's Abu Tor neighborhood by special police forces," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.
Abu Tor straddles the seam line between west Jerusalem and the occupied eastern sector, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.
The suspect's death took place just hours after a gunman on a motorcycle had opened fire at a right-wing Zionist Rabbi called Yehuda Glick at a rally in Jerusalem, leaving him critically wounded.
Glick was reportedly shot in his upper body at "close range" at an event outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, where a number of Israeli members of Knesset and right-wing activists were in attendance, Israeli news site Ynet said.
The attack was reported after a conference focused on the reconstruction of a Jewish temple on top of the al-Aqsa mosque was concluded at the center, with top right-wing Zionist officials and activists in attendance.
The incident comes amid increasing tension in Jerusalem over an expected Knesset vote to potentially divide the al-Aqsa mosque compound -- the third-holiest site in Islam -- between Muslims and Jews, or else restrict Muslim worship at the site.
The Israeli army radio announced early October that the ministry of tourism was working on a plan to allow Jews to enter the al-Aqsa compound through the Cotton Merchants Gate, in addition to the Moroccan Gate which is already used as an entrance for non-Muslims.
Although mainstream Jewish leaders consider it forbidden for Jews to enter the area, right-wing nationalist activists have increasingly called for Jewish prayer to be allowed on the site.
Since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, an agreement with Jordan has maintained that Jewish prayer be allowed at the Western Wall plaza -- built on the site of a Palestinian neighborhood of 800 that was destroyed immediately following the conquest -- but not inside the al-Aqsa mosque compound itself.
Yehuda Glick is an American-born Israeli and the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, a Zionist organization focused on "strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Temple Mount."
Critics charge that the Fund actually leads Jewish tours to the site with the intention of leading Jewish prayer there -- currently banned under Israeli agreements -- and encouraging Jews to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and build a Jewish temple there.
He has been previously banned by Israeli authorities from entering the compound due to provocations while on the site.
For Muslims, al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site.
Al-Aqsa restrictions, violations
Israel continues to restrict the entry of Palestinian worshipers into al-Aqsa for the fifth week in a row.
In an urgent message to the US administration on Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that Israel's continued provocations at the mosque complex would lead to a "wide-reaching explosion."
Israeli authorities have imposed restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, denying Muslim men under 40 access to the holy site while facilitating the entry of Zionist settlers of all ages.
In recent months, hundreds of extremist Zionist settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into East Jerusalem's flashpoint al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
The frequent violations anger Palestinians who fear Zionist presence on the al-Aqsa is aimed at usurping the site.
Abbas said Saturday legal measures would be taken to prevent Zionist settlers from attacking Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
"The Palestinian leadership will be taking the necessary legal measures, at the international level, regarding the aggression of settlers on the Al-Aqsa mosque," Abbas said in a speech to the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah party.
"We will not allow settlers to attack the mosque," he added, referring to the entire compound, which is the third holiest site in Islam.
A Palestinian official last week called for holding an emergency Arab and Islamic summit to discuss Israeli plans to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Palestinians and Israelis.
"Israel is racing against time to legitimize storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound by herds of extremist settlers," Ahmed Qurei, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement.
Earlier this month, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he was "deeply concerned by repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem," saying that such actions "only inflame tensions and must stop."
Meanwhile, Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement condemned the "Israeli aggressions within the al-Aqsa Mosque compound” and slammed "Arab silence" and "international complicity.”
The resistance group called on "directing all efforts to protect al-Aqsa and the Islamic and Christian holy sites."
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli leader Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada" – a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
(Ma'an, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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9/11 Was NATO’s License to Expand Globally

Wayne MADSEN | 30.10.2014 | 00:00

The 9/11 attacks on the United States undoubtedly benefited a number of actors, including the American military-intelligence complex, Israel, and most definitely, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Cold War-era, the area of responsibility for which had long been confined to Europe and North America, used the provisions of Article 5 of the NATO Charter – which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all – to extend NATO’s power deep into Eurasia, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

After engaging in out-of-area invasions and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, and Syria and, again in Iraq, against the «Islamic State,» the «North Atlantic» military bloc has transformed itself from a Cold War defensive alliance into a global offensive axis of nations that acts with or without United Nations authorization.

NATO has also become an instrument of neo-colonialism. Under its umbrella or the European Union, NATO established quasi-colonial governments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and Libya, as well as a Syrian government-in-exile in Turkey. Political advisers from NATO nations have acted as virtual viceroys, exercising veto authority over the governments installed with Western military might. 

The first nation to come under NATO occupation was Bosnia-Herzegovina, created from the ashes of the former Yugoslavia. After NATO's «Stabilization Force» (SFOR) was dissolved, the European Force (EUFOR) was created. EUFOR's «OPERATION ALTHEA» authorizes 1600 troops from mostly NATO nations, including France, Italy, Turkey, and Germany, to occupy Bosnia-Herzegovina. EUFOR's main base is at Camp Butmir, a former Yugoslav air base outside of Sarajevo. Additional troops can be deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina from NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) in neighboring Kosovo, carved by NATO out of Serbia. Camp Butmir also permits troops from non-NATO members of the EU, particularly Austria, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden, to interface with NATO troops assigned to the base.
EUFOR is also supplemented by a European Police Mission (EUPM), comprising police forces from mostly NATO nations. The European Union Special Representative (EUSR) acts as a political viceroy with effective control over the government in Sarajevo. 

NATO exercises political and military control over Kosovo through NATO's KFOR, which is based at Camp Film City in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, a nation which remains unrecognized by UN Security permanent members Russia and China. While most NATO nations are opposed to UN membership for Palestine, they wholeheartedly support UN membership for Kosovo, a nation governed by remnants of the Kosovo Liberation Army, once recognized as a terrorist group by the United States and which has been accused of running a number of criminal enterprises, including human organ, narcotics, cigarette, nuclear material, weapons, and stolen automobile smuggling.

KFOR mainly comprises troops from NATO countries Germany, France, the United States, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, and Turkey. Under NATO KFOR command are troops from Ukraine, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Morocco, Armenia, Finland, and Ireland. There is little doubt that NATO's integration of non-NATO troops in theaters like Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Libya is an attempt to integrate through the back door the armed forces of neutral and non-European nations, yet another indication of NATO’s global expansion. NATO is on a fast track to becoming a worldwide military force for a de facto one-world, largely unelected, government.

KFOR's commander reports to the NATO Commander of Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy. KFOR's political adviser exercises de facto veto authority over the «independent» government of Kosovo. The U.S. Army’s main base in Kosovo is at Camp Bondsteel in Ferizaj. The base, built by former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company, Kellogg, Brown and Root, is a mini-city complete with American fast-food restaurants like Burger King and Taco Bell, as well as a «Cool Beans Coffee Shop.» In other words, Camp Bondsteel is a virtual U.S. colony in the middle of the Balkans putting on display all of the excesses of America’s «trash culture.»

KFOR troops are engaged in asserting Kosovo control over majority Serbian communes in northern Kosovo and the troops have used «non-lethal» force, including rubber bullets, on Serbs who want to be integrated with Serbia. The plight of the Serbs in northern Kosovo in dealing with Kosovo government criminal syndicates in Pristina is just as dire as the fate of Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine who are under threat from neo-Nazi and Ukrainian Jewish oligarch militia forces intent on retaliatory carnage and ethnic cleansing in the Donbass region. NATO has adopted the recalcitrant regimes in Pristina and Kiev as virtual vanguards against Serbia and Russia, respectively.

Although NATO's presence in Iraq ended with the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces in 2011, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, housed in America's largest embassy, continues to play a major political role in Iraq. The most recent example was forcing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, accused of being too pro-Iranian and an «anti-Semite,» to step down from his office in favor of the more pro-Western Haider al-Abadi. Thousands of U.S. military personnel and contractors continue to be based at the Baghdad embassy and U.S. consulates in Basra, Erbil, and Kirkuk. The advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Syria into Iraq has permitted NATO to restore its presence in Iraq with U.S., Canadian, British, and French aircraft taking part in offensive operations against ISIL forces in the country. U.S. forces have ordered civilians to evacuate the Herir airport in Iraqi Kurdistan so the facility can be transformed into an airbase for U.S. and NATO forces. U.S. and NATO forces are also using Erbil International Airport as a base from which to launch attacks on ISIL forces.

NATO, through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), maintains de facto control over the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia via the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which consists mostly of troops from Uganda and Burundi. In addition, the TFG is supported by Ethiopian military forces and CIA operatives. The CIA operates from a secret base at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport. CIA officers direct the activities of AMISOM's Ugandan and Burundian forces in Somalia and conduct drone attacks against suspected Islamist guerrillas in the country. The CIA base in Mogadishu also coordinates drone attacks throughout the Horn of Africa and Yemen with other CIA drone facilities in Djibouti, Seychelles, and Oman. 

NATO’s Counter-Piracy Task Force 508 (CTF-508), which, ostensibly, operates in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to counter Somali-based pirates, is also involved in counter-insurgency operations in Yemen directed against Shi’a Houthi rebels and South Yemen independence restoration forces. Such NATO operations are thinly veiled as «anti-Al Qaeda» operations. However, NATO sees Yemeni instability as a reason for it to turn the country into yet another NATO occupied nation. And NATO and its Pentagon masters have long yearned to turn the Yemeni strategic island of Socotra into an Indian Ocean version of Hawaii, a massive U.S. military base in the region that would dwarf the smaller base at Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory far to the south.

The NATO political adviser in Libya, a post pushed by the CIA-backed American Libyan Council, coordinates NATO's military operations in Libya with Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Morocco. NATO’s military training role in Libya is handled by an «advisory team» based in Brussels but which makes frequent visits to Libya. NATO's outreach to Arab monarchies in the Gulf, Jordan, and Morocco to become de facto «associate members» of NATO are conducted through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. NATO's outreach to Jordan and Morocco, as well as Egypt, Israel, Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, and now, Libya, is conducted through the Mediterranean Dialogue.

NATO is also expanding into the Southern Hemisphere. NATO and Colombia have signed a partnership agreement, the first such agreement with a Latin American nation. Colombia reportedly agreed to facilitate the stationing of additional NATO troops in Central America and the Caribbean, including European colonies and ex-colonies such as Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Belize. NATO controls over 400 islands as «overseas territories» in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean alone, many inhabited with several uninhabited, but all of which could be transformed into military bases.

NATO is no longer a European or North Atlantic entity. However, its supporters prefer to retain the bogus acronym in order to mask NATO’s actual intentions of global military domination and occupation.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Syria Neighbors: Three years later

ED: On Monday, 30 May 2011 I asked:
Is Erdogan worried about Strategic Relationship with Syria?
I answered: He should
Erdogan, should worry, Turkey has the same Syrian, religious/ethnic political landscape. So, if Syria falls, Turkey could be NEXT. If Syria survive (IT will), Turkey would lose everything build via the Syrian Gate.
In Arabic we say in Arabic, "those who have a Glass home should avoid throwing stones on neighbors." 
On Thursday, 23 June 2011 I wrote:
Erdogan "knows, no peace can be achieved without Hamas, so he brought Mashaal to Istanbul, to meet Ahmet Davutoglu, apointed by Clinton to engineer the new midddle east with "Brother Netanyaho".  Most likely, Davutoglu, showed Mashaal the design of the new Middle Eastern Map after the decline of the regime in Syria, and conveyed to him the turkish demand that Hamas must recognize Israel, in order to "consolidates the position of the Palestinian Authority in negotiations and presses Israel even more in front of the international community, the US and Obama in particular. " 
But I was wrong in saying;
Most likely, Mashaal refused the deal, catched the first flight to Damascus.
But I was right in saying;
According to turkey the so-called Arab Spring presents opportunities.Thus said Erdogan's adviser who ignored or failed to see the RISKS so far presented by "Arab Spring", a civil war in Libya, and may be in Yemen,
"As the Arab Spring enters its fourth month, it faces challenges but also presents opportunities. Despite setbacks in Libya, Yemen, and Syria,the democratic wave has already begun to change the Middle East’s political landscape." 
 "Over the last decade, Turkey has developed different types of relationships with the countries of the Middle East, targeting improved relations with both governments and the public. Indeed, Turkey is probably the only country that has been able to promote relations at the two levels in the Arab world."
Translating Kalin's statement on Syria, I wrote:
Turkey developed improved relations with Exiled Muslim Brothers, and ignored its “Zero Problem” Foreign Policy, with its neighbors, and main gate to Arab world. Muslim Brothers are now meeting in Istanbul instead of London.

Blinded by the 4 months old " Arab Spring ", and despite the setbacks, Kalin

is still hoping the Syrian unrest may present an opportunity for Turkey. 
What opportunity?? I asked

The answer:
The opportunity to engage Muslim brothers, and their offspring, Hamas, " publicly and directly, as Turkey has done, with USA and Europe. "After all, they are now part of the emerging political order in the Arab world" 
Kalin concluded 
"A democratic and prosperous Arab world will make Turkey’s standing in the region stronger, not weaker."
Again, what opportionity, what change, and what political landscape?? I asked

'Let us connect the Dots" I wrote

After Jully war , 2006, Saad El-Hariri predicted
"In a week, two weeks, when it starts raining, and the economy's crumbling. Then people will be annoyed with Hizballah." Even the Shi'a will begin looking around and realizing that "their society has been pulverized," and while "it's fine and dandy to have 10,000 dollars, where are the jobs?! What will they eat?!" Plus, it will be hard to encourage any kind of investment in Lebanon as long as Hizballah remains armed and dangerous." 
Saad urged that now is a golden opportunity for the international community to "weaken" Bashar. The USA needs a clear, new policy to isolate Syria. "My belief is, if you don't isolate Syria, if you don't put a blockade, they will never change." By subduing Syria, you remove Iran's main bridge for playing the troublemaker in Lebanon and Palestine."If you weaken Syria," Saad suggested, "then Iran has to work alone." The Saudis and other Arab states have all had enough of young Bashar, according to Saad, and no longer want to try a conciliatory approach to the Syrian regime. After Bashar's recent speech threatening civil war in Lebanon, they are no longer interested in "talking" with Damascus. Saad said he had hear this directly from the Saudis, and that Prince Bandar is delivering this message in Washington now (Comment. It is also interesting that Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal made similar comments, but about Iran specifically, during an 8/22 meeting with Ambassador Oberwetter, as reported in reftel. End Note).
"The Saudis and Egyptians have turned. Look into that." When Talwar asked what the United States could do to increase the pressure on Syria, Saad suggested forging ahead on the special tribunal with international character on the Hariri assassination and organizing international sanctions on Syria. "
"Getting a little more animated as the conversation continued, Saad argued that the Syrian regime needs to be gotten rid of entirely. "
"If the regime were to fall in Syria, who would be there to fill in the vacuum?..., Saad suggested that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, in partnership with ex-regime figures like Abdel Halim Khaddam and Hikmet Shehabi ("though he's still close to theregime"), could step into the void. Saad claimed that the Syrian Brotherhood is similar in character to Turkey's moderate Islamists. "

"They even support peace with Israel." Saying that he maintains close contact with Khaddam (in Paris) and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader-in-exile Ali Bayanuni (in London), Saad urged us to "talk to Bayanuni. See what he's like. You will see wonders."

I checked the wonders of of Bayanuni, and the new middle east landscape: 

  • "The head of the Syrian MB, Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni, told Reuters that should the MB reach power in Syria, it would be ready to open peace talks with Israel."
  •  "if talks lead to withdrawal from the occupied lands and grant Palestinians their rights, then where would be the problem? There is no problem."
  • "The Reuters report contrasted Bayanouni's statement with Hamas' position which does not even recognize Israel. The implication is that the Syrian MB may not necessarily share the position of the Palestinian Islamists (Hamas) or Egypt's for that matter
  • Update: Bayanouni followed up on his interview and denied saying that his group is ready to assume power in Syria. Instead he called for a national coalition government.He did repeat however that in principle his group does not reject restoring Syrian rights from Israel through negotiations and a political settlement, provided the other side is willing.
  • In his denial he followed the steps of Egypt Brothers, who boycotted last friday demonstrations. I wonder if they after riding the revolution's tide may show us their wonders????
I concluded: "The So-called "Syrian revolution"  after failure to attract the Syrian masses,turned into violence, and failed again. They failed in both attracting or dividing the Syrian army. "

What's left?? I asked

The last card:"humanitarian intervention", I answered and added

Most likely, Russia shall not burn it's fingers as it did in Libya, instead it will burn the zionist's last card, so there would be no "No Fly Zone" 
Moreover, the fall of Syria, would pave the way towards the fall of Tehran, and that would be the last step in changing the "World's Political Landscape". Therefore, I claim both Russia, and China, would do everything to keep Resistance Axis a main player in the "Middle East’s political landscape" fighting both Condi's new middle east and new world order
Again, Erdogan should be worried, and should at least change his political advisors. Palestine, the resistance option is the only way to "make Turkey’s standing in the region stronger" 

Turkey three years later is wondering:
  • to intervene or or not to intervene in Syria.
  • to continue supporting ISIL or Join the US in "Fighting" ISIL
A Syrian Kurdistan is emerging.

Three years ago, I told that to a friend and added:
Don't be surprised if you see in future a divided Turkey, a Kurdistan, uniting the Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, It would be good for "Israel" especially If lead by Zionist Barazani, and it may be accepted by Syria who would retake Iskandarone and and 15 millions Allawis
Three years later, Turkey, Jordan, the so-called March 14th movement in Lebanon, and the Leadership of Hamas, realized that Assad is victorious and its time to pay for what they did to Syria.

Now read the following Article on the fatigue of Syria's "Good" neighbors

Syria’s neighbors face “host-country fatigue”

Syrian refugee children attend the Bunia Mustaqbal school in Lebanon's eastern town of Ersal, on the border with Syria, for the first time on October 25, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Maya Hautefueille)
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2014Al-Akhbar
Syria's neighbors are approaching "host-country fatigue" because of huge demand from refugees for housing, schools, jobs and healthcare and scant resources like water, Jordan's foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Lebanon and Turkey echoed that message at an international conference in Berlin on what UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres called "the most dramatic humanitarian crisis the world has faced in a very long time."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whose country has led the way in Europe by taking in 70,000 refugees and giving nearly 650 million euros in aid, said international efforts to stop Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) 's "murderous rampage" would fail without a parallel solution for the growing refugee problem.
  • "We are approaching host-country fatigue in which the limit of our ability to address the needs of Syrian refugees is being tested and has already been reached," said Jordan's Nasser Judeh, adding that his country alone hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees and economic migrants.
Steinmeier praised the generosity of neighboring states for sheltering more than three million people who have fled Syria in a 3 1/2-year war that has killed nearly 200,000 people.
But he said simply providing the basics was not enough.
"Hopelessness and despair make people vulnerable to radicalization and manipulation. This is a real threat as half of the refugees are children and teenagers," he said. "We must ensure that these people have a chance to receive an education."
Ministers from those countries appeared unconvinced that the broader international community is playing its part.
"The neighboring countries, including Turkey, have to date had to shoulder an unfair share of the humanitarian burden resulting from the conflict in Syria," said Naci Koru, deputy foreign minister of Turkey, which has taken in more than 1.6 million Syrian refugees so far, at a cost of $4 billion.
"The contribution that we have received from the international community - only $250 million - has fallen significantly short of our expectations," he said.
With ISIS posing a threat to an expanse of territory inside Syria that is home to about 5 million people, "we are faced with the risk of further humanitarian disasters and continued large-scale movements of Syrians towards our borders", Koru added.
Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam said a "daily tragedy" was affecting refugees and the impoverished communities hosting them, while Jordan's Judeh said donors must significantly raise funding to avoid "friction and social tensions" arising.
“Lebanon is no longer officially receiving any Syrian refugees,” Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas told Al-Akhbar last Saturday, “except those with urgent humanitarian reasons.”
Lebanon’s population has grown by nearly 25 percent since the war in Syria began in 2011, with over 1.5 million Syrian refugees sheltered in a country with a population of 4 million, making it the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world.
(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!