Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese are hitting the streets across the country to demand an end to rampant corruption and poor public services. Cutting across sectarian lines, they also want the current government of entrenched politicians dating back to Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war era to step down.
undreds of schoolchildren led anti-government demonstrations across Lebanon on Wednesday, refusing to return to class before the demands of a nearly three-week-old protest movement are met. In the capital Beirut, dozens gathered in front of the...
Lebanon, New Hampshire, The Department of Neurology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is seeking a licensed Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant to partner with Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Critical Care physic
Thinktank says third parties such as Shia militias are more important to Tehran than nuclear plans
Iran now has an effective military advantage over the US and its allies in the Middle East because of its ability to wage war using third parties such as Shia militias and insurgents, according to a military thinktank.
In one of the most detailed assessments of Iran’s strategy and doctrine across Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) concludes Iran’s “third party capability” has become Tehran’s weapon of choice.
Iran’s breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement by enriching uranium at an underground facility “marks a profound shift” which could signal the ultimate collapse of the deal, Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday. The French president, who has worked vigorously to save the nuclear deal since Donald Trump withdrew the US last year, said he was deeply alarmed Iran’s decision to resume enrichment at Fordow, a nuclear facility carved into a mountain. “I think that for the first time, Iran has decided in an explicit and blunt manner to leave the JCPOA agreement, which marks a profound shift,” Mr Macron said during a visit to China. His comments mark the gloomiest public assessment yet by a European leader about the chances of salvaging the agreement after the US withdrawal and as Iran continues to escalate its breaches of the deal. Meanwhile, a new report claims Iran has become the dominant power when it comes to fighting wars in the Middle East as a result of the “networks of influence” it has built throughout the region. Mr Macron spoke shortly after Iran began injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at Fordow, a facility that Iran hid from the world until 2009 and which Western and Israeli officials have long feared could be used for developing a nuclear weapon. Iran tensions | Read more The 2015 nuclear agreement forbids any uranium enrichment at Fordow and Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president acknowledged the sensitivity of the site when he announced the move earlier this week. Mr Rouhani insisted that the move was reversible and said Iran would return to full compliance with the agreement if European countries found a way around US sanctions to deliver the economic benefits Iran was promised in 2015. The reopening of Fordow comes days after Iran announced it was deploying advanced new centrifuges that can enrich uranium faster. But neither move brings Iran significantly closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. A weapon would require uranium enriched at 90 per cent, whereas Iran is currently enriching at around 5 per cent. Iran insists it has no intention of developing a nuclear weapon. The latest breaches have nonetheless alarmed European states and Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, repeated his warning this week it would take military action to stop Iran getting a bomb. “This is not only for our security and our future; it’s for the future of the Middle East and the world,” he said. Amid the growing tensions, it emerged that Iran briefly detained an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector last week and seized her travel documents, the first such encounter since the nuclear deal. Q&A; | The 2015 Iran nuclear deal Iran confirmed it had stopped the inspector from entering its Natanz nuclear site out of suspicion she was carrying “suspicious material”. Iran is believed to have begun secretly constructing the Fordow facility in the early 2000s but it was only known to the world when Barack Obama exposed it in 2009 and accused Iran of covertly working on a weapons programme. The base is around 80 metres underground, making it difficult to destroy with an airstrike, and is protected by anti-aircraft batteries. Israel came close to bombing the site in 2011 but ultimately decided not to move ahead. The network of alliances Iran has built with terror groups such as Hizbollah in Lebanon, as well a pro-Iranian Shia militias in Iraq, mean the balance of power in the Middle East is now in Iran’s favour, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank. At a glance | Key players in Tehran Iran’s ability, moreover, to fight and win wars in the Middle East without resorting to conventional military forces has been allowed to develop because there has been no effective international response to Iran’s activities in the region. According to the IISS’s latest report, “Iran’s Networks of Influence in the Middle East” which is published on Thursday, while the US and its allies still retain military superiority over Iran in terms of conventional forces, Tehran has proved to be more effective in waging war in what it calls the “Grey Zone” of conflict. This means Iran is able to avoid risking a traditional “state-on-state” confrontations, which it would be likely to lose. Instead, by building what the report calls “networks of influence” with proxies throughout the region, Tehran has succeeded in gaining a distinct advantage over rivals in the region, such as Saudi Arabia. “Iran is fighting and winning wars ‘fought amongst the people’, not wars between states,” the report concludes.
TN-Hendersonville, Summary: Location: Hendersonville, TN To be considered for this role, candidates must reside in one of these following cities: Hendersonville, TN or within 10 miles of this location. This is a remote position; candidates must be comfortable traveling to each of these zip codes and store locations: Cedar Hill, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Greenbrier, Hendersonville, Joelton, Lebanon, Madison, Nashvill
Triages, coordinates and facilitates the clinical management for an assigned population. Develops, monitors and reinforces care standards and protocols designed to enhance quality and promote cost-effective utilization of healthcare resources. -- 1. Facilitates the development of a plan of care in collaboration with the patient, family, caregiver and health care team. This is done through early identification and thorough assessment of the patient's need/preferences and resources available. Determines the appropriate level of care and coordinates the interdisciplinary treatment and plan of care. 2. Facilitates the progression of care by advancing the care plan to achieve desired outcomes. Monitors the progress towards the goals of the plan and alerts the health care team to potential revisions to the plan in response to the changes in the patient needs and condition. 3. Triages telephone calls and responds to patients and families and other members of the healthcare teams questions that are within a registered nurse's scope of practice. 4. Communicates information to the health care team and those involved in the treatment and patient's care. 5. Advocates on behalf of patients/families and caregivers for service access and insurance benefits within the constraints of regulations, and for the protection of the patient's health, safety and rights. 6. Recognizes situations that require referrals to Quality, Risk Management, or Patient and Family Relations and discusses with leadership. 7. Evaluates the options available and balances cost and quality to assure the optimal clinical and financial outcomes. Facilitates progression to appropriate levels of care. 8. Evaluates patient outcomes affected by the care management process for improvement opportunities. Identifies potential for and participates in quality improvement initiatives within the clinical setting or other organizational committees. 9. Works with the clinical research to coordinate care for patients on complex protocols. 10. Performs other duties as required or assigned.
Minimum Qualifications: ---- Graduate from an accredited Nursing Program required. ---- Bachelor's degree (or matriculated into a Bachelor's degree program with completion within a period of time agreed upon with the department at the time of hire) with 3 years of clinical experience required.-- ---- Recent acute care hospital experience preferred. ---- Desired qualities and behaviors include: collaborative team player with strong communication skills, use of a systems approach in planning, problem solving and decision making, creativity, innovation, risk taking, autonomy, flexibility, receptiveness to change and a commitment to professional growth.-- ---- Computer skills required. -- Required Licensure/Certification Skills: ---- Licensed Registered Nurse in New Hampshire required.---- ---- Basic Life Support (BLS) Certificate required.
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Mark your calendars for these 10 fun things to do in New Hampshire this weekend, starting with the N.H. Film Festival, which opens Thursday evening in Portsmouth. Visit NHPR's calendar for more events and activities. And submit your own v ia this link . The New Hampshire Film Festival is in Portsmouth from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20. The Music Hall is the festival's main stage, but other venues include 3S Artspace, the Moffatt-Ladd House, The Press Room, and the Music Hall Loft. Here's the festival schedule . Melvin Seals & JGB play at the Lebanon Opera House on Friday, Oct. 18, and Veronic Swift performs Oct. 20 in Lebanon. Jesse Cook plays the Chubb Theatre at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. The 2019 N.H. Pumpkin Festival is Oct. 18-19 in Laconia. Hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Five Painters at Kimball Jenkins Estate , School of Art, in Concord, Oct. 18, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Artist reception featuring James Wolcott, Robert
Triages, coordinates and facilitates the clinical management for an assigned population. Develops, monitors and reinforces care standards and protocols designed to enhance quality and promote cost-effective utilization of healthcare resources.--1. Facilitates the development of a plan of care in collaboration with the patient, family, caregiver and health care team. This is done through early identification and thorough assessment of the patient's need/preferences and resources available. Determines the appropriate level of care and coordinates the interdisciplinary treatment and plan of care. 2. Facilitates the progression of care by advancing the care plan to achieve desired outcomes. Monitors the progress towards the goals of the plan and alerts the health care team to potential revisions to the plan in response to the changes in the patient needs and condition. 3. Triages telephone calls and responds to patients and families and other members of the healthcare teams questions that are within a registered nurse's scope of practice. 4. Communicates information to the health care team and those involved in the treatment and patient's care. 5. Advocates on behalf of patients/families and caregivers for service access and insurance benefits within the constraints of regulations, and for the protection of the patient's health, safety and rights. 6. Recognizes situations that require referrals to Quality, Risk Management, or Patient and Family Relations and discusses with leadership. 7. Evaluates the options available and balances cost and quality to assure the optimal clinical and financial outcomes. Facilitates progression to appropriate levels of care. 8. Evaluates patient outcomes affected by the care management process for improvement opportunities. Identifies potential for and participates in quality improvement initiatives within the clinical setting or other organizational committees. 9. Works with the clinical research to coordinate care for patients on complex protocols. 10. Performs other duties as required or assigned. --Minimum Qualifications:---- Graduate from an accredited Nursing Program required.---- Bachelor's degree (or matriculated into a Bachelor's degree program with completion within a period of time agreed upon with the department at the time of hire) with 3 years of clinical experience required.-- ---- Recent acute care hospital experience preferred. ---- Desired qualities and behaviors include: collaborative team player with strong communication skills, use of a systems approach in planning, problem solving and decision making, creativity, innovation, risk taking, autonomy, flexibility, receptiveness to change and a commitment to professional growth.-- ---- Computer skills required.--Required Licensure/Certification Skills:---- Licensed Registered Nurse in New Hampshire required.---- ---- Basic Life Support (BLS) Certificate required.
Our values define us and our culture inspires us to Change lives for the better. Our employees are the heart and soul of our company and every success we experience begins with them. We hire team members who raise the bar, who are collaborative and inclusive, who build relationships, and who are looking for a long-term career with Fulton. We strive to promote a culture of Work-life balance, to unplug and recharge to be your best self, at work and at home.
The Management Trainee Program provides comprehensive exposure to the banking and financial services industry, supporting Fulton's Commercial Banking & Lending business, while offering a tailored experience unique to each Management Trainee (MT). Under moderate supervision from the MT Program Manager and/or Rotation Manager, the Trainee is responsible for observing policies and procedures to acquire a working knowledge of all aspects of the Corporation's operation and services. The Management Trainee program may require travel to various locations dependent upon the department rotation, work schedule, and business need. When necessary, travel (20% - 40% depending on assignment) and hours worked may vary.
The Commercial Management Trainee is a contributing member of the Management Trainee Program, but has joined the program with a commitment to the Commercial Business Line. Throughout the entire Management Trainee-Commercial program, the trainee will be a member of the MT Class, attend all Management Trainee meetings, volunteer activities, retreats, special events, etc., and be held to the same measurable standards as any other trainee to promote a sense of belonging and stability.
The Commercial Management Trainee will experience formal in-market and corporate-based training over an 18-24 month period. The first four (4) to six (6) months of the program is conducted at Fulton's Headquarters in Lancaster, PA with housing provided. After successful completion of the first four (4) to six (6) months, the MT returns/relocates to their assigned region and is managed directly by their assigned in-market manager for the remainder of the program.
Fulton's Management Trainee Program with a Commercial Focus offers:
* Rotational training where you ll progress through various areas of the organization, engaging with diverse teams, leaders, and departments.
* Mentorship that will encourage a feedback-rich environment in order to sharpen your professional edge, grow your skills, gain new perspectives, and advance your career
* Professional Development that will provide you with formal learning and development opportunities designed to empower and encourage continuous learning and career growth.
* Involvement & Initiatives where you will establish connections throughout the organization, support our communities, and live the culture in order to change lives for the better.
* Career Advancement: After successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to be considered for a professional position supporting Fulton's Commercial Banking & Lending business.
Positions will begin in Summer 2020 in June or July.
Various work locations are available throughout Fulton's Pennsylvania Market: Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Philadelphia, West Chester, Wyomissing, Yardley and York.
* Although this position provides initial training at Fulton's Corporate Headquarters, you will be expected to work on-site, in-market, in one of the locations listed above after the initial 6 month training period.
Standard hours are Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (dependent on work volume/rotation).
* Performs assigned duties in department rotations and executes with the intent to meet or exceed expectations.
* Department rotations may include but are not limited to: Credit and Credit Training, Business Loan Center, Commercial Banking, Enterprise Sales Enablement, Appraisal, and Fulton\'s Sales Partners.
* Conducts special projects and assignments outside scope of normal rotations. Attends seminars, events, and various corporate engagements in support of the Bank and/or employee professional development. Takes full responsibility and initiative to lead and/or or participate in various efforts assigned to the Management Trainee class, including fundraisers, campaigns, and community involvement opportunities.
* Proactively remains in compliance in order to adhere to all policies, procedures, schedule changes, and other employee responsibilities. Routinely communicates and reports on progress in program and provides feedback about program to Manager(s).
* Bachelor Degree - Specialty: Accounting, Analytics, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Real Estate, or other Banking or Sales related program. (Required)
* Achievement of an Overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in an undergraduate program degree. (Required)
* A minimum of six (6) - twelve (12) months' work experience through internship, co-op or direct work experience in banking, financial services or customer service.
* Must be available to work out of Fulton's Headquarters in Lancaster, PA for the initial four (4) to six (6) months. (Housing is provided).
* Banking, sales or financial services related experience is strongly preferred.
* Recipient of scholastic, civic or organizational honors/commendations demonstrating excellence, commitment, achievement.
* Participation in civic, fraternal, social, school or professional organizations.
* Measurable leadership demonstrated through financial institution work experience, professional development and volunteer positions.
This role may perform other job duties as assigned by the manager. Each employee of the Organization, regardless of position, is accountable for reading, understanding and acting on the contents of all Company-assigned and/or job related Compliance Programs, regulations and policies and procedures, as well as ensure that all Compliance Training assignments are completed by established due dates. This includes but is not limited to, understanding and identifying compliance risks impacting their department(s), ensuring compliance with applicable laws or regulations, and escalating compliance risks to the appropriate level of management.
As a condition of employment, individuals must be authorized to work in the United States without sponsorship for a work visa by Fulton Financial Corporation currently or in the future.
Fulton Financial Corporation ( Fulton ) is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons. Fulton will recruit, hire, train and promote persons in all job titles, and ensure that all other personnel actions are administered, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, gender, gender identity, age, genetic information, marital status, disability, covered veteran status, or any other legally protected status..
SunIRef:Sales:title Branch Sales & Service Regional Resource Team (RRT)- Multi-branch Teller/Personal Banker PNC Financial Services Group 5,897 reviews - Carmel, IN 46033 PNC Financial Services Group 5,897 reviews Read what people are saying about working here. Position Overview At PNC, our people are our greatest differentiator and competitive advantage in the markets we serve. We are all united in delivering the best experience for our customers. As a full-time Branch Sales and Service Regional Resource team (RRT) member, you will engage in proactive sales and customer service activities including teller transactions, selling bank products and developing referral opportunities. You will be part of the Regional Resource Team, based in the Indianapolis North Metropolitan area-Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Zionsville, and Lebanon area to support multiple branches in PNC's Indy North Retail Market. Job Profile Manages the customer experience by identifying opportunities to improve a customer's financial wellbeing and create loyalty while increasing share of wallet. From a variety of customer interactions, participates in proactive sales and service activities and identifies referral opportunities. Collaborates with ecosystem partners to grow customer's share of wallet. Positions PNC solutions to drive new revenue and customer loyalty. Drives proactive sales conversations through internal and outbound interactions with a defined sales process including outbound calling, service to sales, teller interactions, appointment setting and effective lobby engagement, ultimately elevating client loyalty. Delivers a full PNC conversation with every client interaction to identify appropriate PNC solutions. Leverages ecosystem partnerships to acquire, expand and retain relationships. Creates customer loyalty and grows customer share of wallet through a differentiated customer experience. Performs lobby engagement activities to connect with customers and position PNC products to meet their needs. Educates customers on options for managing financial transactions by leveraging technology, tools and resources. Applies product and procedural knowledge to identify, mitigate and solve customer problems effectively to drive customer loyalty. Manages risk through adherence to all policies and procedures, demonstrating sound judgment within established limits. Demonstrates a heightened scrutiny to identify and avoid loss. Ensures teller and branch daily operations and maintenance transactions are completed in an efficient and accurate manner. PNC Employees take pride in our reputation and to continue building upon that we expect our employees to be: Customer Focused - Knowledgeable of the values and practices that align customer needs and satisfaction as primary considerations in all business decisions and able to leverage that information in creating customized customer solutions. Managing Risk - Assessing and effectively managing all of the risks associated with their business objectives and activities to ensure they adhere to and support PNC's Enterprise Risk Management Framework. To learn more about this and other opportunities on our team.Watch this video. Competencies Banking Products - Knowledge of and ability to provide products and services available through the retail banking branch. Effective Communications - Understanding of effective communication concepts, tools and techniques; ability to effectively transmit, receive, and accurately interpret ideas, information, and needs through the application of appropriate communication behaviors. Managing Multiple Priorities - Ability to manage multiple concurrent objectives, projects, groups, or activities, making effective judgments as to prioritizing and time allocation. Matrix Management - Ability to build and use effective working relationships within own department and across department, functional, and geographic reporting lines. Problem Solving - Knowledge of approaches, tools, techniques for recognizing, anticipating, and resolving organizational, operational or process problems; ability to apply this knowledge appropriately to diverse situations. Prospecting. - Knowledge of prospecting principles, processes and skills; ability to identify and engage potential customers in the market. Build relationships and create opportunities. Plan, strategize and target the right industries. Create value propositions with impact. Retail Lending - Knowledge of and ability to design and develop retail lending products and services, manage and evaluate operational processes and procedures and ensure compliance with local and company policies. Selling. - Applies knowledge of banking products and services to meet customer needs and enable them to achieve their financial goals. Identifies prospecting approaches to identify potential customers and create opportunities to sell financial solutions and ideas to customers. Tech Savvy - Advise, educate and engage clients on a variety of technological tools and resources allowing them to explore solutions to achieve their goals and financial well being. Understanding Customer Needs - Knowledge of and the ability to recognize and be sensitive to the different perspectives and priorities of different customers. Disability Accommodations Statement The PNC workplace is inclusive and supportive of individual needs. If you have a physical or other impairment that might require an accommodation, including technical assistance with the PNC Careers website or submission process, please call ************ and select Option 4: Recruiting or contact us via email at ******************. The Human Resources Service Center hours of operation are Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) PNC provides equal employment opportunity to qualified persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or other categories protected by law. PNC Financial Services Group - Just posted report job - original job
Newton Nissan is looking for a Service Technician to join our growing team!We're located in Gallatin, which is just 30 miles outside of Nashville.The area, located right off the Cumberland River, offers a wide variety of activities including fishing, hiking, boating, and golfing while still being close to the state capital.Along with Gallatin being a first class place to live, we're offering a first class job opportunity at our Nissan location.Willing to provide a sign on bonus and up to 4 months of guaranteed hours for top candidates!What We Offer: Technician Uniforms2300 ROs/month, providing an average of 40-80 hours turned -Updated facility including 20 service bays and a locker roomLarge and constantly refreshed parts department with 700k parts -Ongoing training and education through the manufacturer and management teamReimbursement for ASE certificationsClear career progression with an opportunity to be promoted from withinDealer Rater Nissan dealer of the year 2 years running401kMedical, Dental, Vision, Life and DisabilityFamily-oriented and genuinely friendly work environmentEmployee vehicle purchase and service discounts Why Newton Motor Group?Newton Motor Group is a family owned auto group that has been serving the fine people of Tennessee since 2008.We now have four dealerships comprised of five major auto manufacturers including Nissan, Ford, Chevy, Buick, and GMC.With our locations in Gallatin and Shelbyville, we can serve all of Central Tennessee including Nashville, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, Lebanon, Lewisburg, Manchester, Tullahoma, Franklin, and all the surrounding areas.At Newton Motor Group, we are customer and employee oriented.We know that happy employees make for happy customers.Come to Newton Motor Group, and let us put a smile on your face.In our time here, we have done a lot to support this community including giving away a car every year to a local high school student.Come to a Newton Motor Group dealership near you today!SUMMARY This person will be responsible for inspecting, diagnosing and repairing customer vehicles.Areas of expertise include but are not limited to engine, transmission, drivability, cooling system, brake system, electronics, steering and suspension, HVAC. - Responsibilities:Performs work specified on the repair order with efficiency and in accordance with dealership standardsTests components and systems using diagnostic tools and special service equipmentDiagnoses, maintains, and repairs vehicle automotive systems including engine, transmission, electrical steering, suspension, brakes, air conditioningCommunicates directly with the Service Advisor so that customers can be informed if any additional service is needed. - Provide an estimate of time needed for additional repairsExecutes repairs under warranty to manufacturer specificationsRequirements:Must have at least -2 years of experience as an auto Service TechnicianHigh School diplomaASE certification preferredGreat attitudeStrong teamwork skillsValid in-state driver's license and automobile insurance.Knowledge in all aspects of automotive repair and maintenanceMust have a valid driver's licenseEnsures that customer's cars are kept cleanMaintain stall in an orderly and clean mannerAbility to identify problems quicklyAbility to learn new technology, repair and service procedures and specificationsAble to operate electronic diagnostic equipmentHireology . Keywords: Automotive Technician, Location: Murfreesboro, TN - 37130
At PNC, our people are our greatest differentiator and competitive advantage in the markets we serve. We are all united in delivering the best experience for our customers. As a Branch Sales and Service Representative, you will engage in proactive sales and customer service activities including teller transactions and developing referral opportunities. This position, within PNC's Retail Branch Banking Network, is based in the Indianapolis North Metropolitan Area in the Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Zionsville, and Lebanon areas.
Delivers a unique customer experience aimed to improve a customer's financial wellbeing and create loyalty while increasing share of wallet. From a variety of customer interactions, participates in proactive sales and service activities and identifies referral opportunities. Collaborates with ecosystem partners to grow customer's share of wallet. Positions PNC solutions to drive new revenue and customer loyalty.
Drives proactive sales conversations through internal and outbound interactions with a defined sales process including outbound calling, service to sales, teller interactions, appointment setting and effective lobby engagement, ultimately elevating client loyalty. Delivers a full PNC conversation with every client interaction to identify appropriate PNC solutions. Leverages ecosystem partnerships to acquire, expand and retain relationships.
Creates customer loyalty and grows customer share of wallet through a differentiated customer experience. Performs lobby engagement activities to connect with customers and position PNC products to meet their needs. Educates customers on options for managing financial transactions by leveraging technology, tools and resources.
Applies product and procedural knowledge to identify, mitigate and solve customer problems effectively to drive customer loyalty.
Manages risk through adherence to all policies and procedures, demonstrating sound judgment within established limits. Demonstrates a heightened scrutiny to identify and avoid loss. Ensures teller and branch daily operations and maintenance transactions are completed in an efficient and accurate manner.
PNC Employees take pride in our reputation and to continue building upon that we expect our employees to be:
Customer Focused - Knowledgeable of the values and practices that align customer needs and satisfaction as primary considerations in all business decisions and able to leverage that information in creating customized customer solutions.
Managing Risk - Assessing and effectively managing all of the risks associated with their business objectives and activities to ensure they adhere to and support PNC's Enterprise Risk Management Framework.
To learn more about this and other opportunities on our team.Watch this video.
CompetenciesBanking Products Knowledge of and ability to provide products and services available through the retail banking branch.
Effective Communications Understanding of effective communication concepts, tools and techniques; ability to effectively transmit, receive, and accurately interpret ideas, information, and needs through the application of appropriate communication behaviors.
Managing Multiple Priorities Ability to manage multiple concurrent objectives, projects, groups, or activities, making effective judgments as to prioritizing and time allocation.
Matrix Management Ability to build and use effective working relationships within own department and across department, functional, and geographic reporting lines.
Problem Solving Knowledge of approaches, tools, techniques for recognizing, anticipating, and resolving organizational, operational or process problems; ability to apply this knowledge appropriately to diverse situations.
Prospecting. Knowledge of prospecting principles, processes and skills; ability to identify and engage potential customers in the market. Build relationships and create opportunities. Plan, strategize and target the right industries. Create value propositions with impact.
Retail Lending Knowledge of and ability to design and develop retail lending products and services, manage and evaluate operational processes and procedures and ensure compliance with local and company policies.
Selling. Applies knowledge of banking products and services to meet customer needs and enable them to achieve their financial goals. Identifies prospecting approaches to identify potential customers and create opportunities to sell financial solutions and ideas to customers.
Tech Savvy Advise, educate and engage clients on a variety of technological tools and resources allowing them to explore solutions to achieve their goals and financial well being.
Understanding Customer Needs Knowledge of and the ability to recognize and be sensitive to the different perspectives and priorities of different customers.
Disability Accommodations Statement
The PNC workplace is inclusive and supportive of individual needs. If you have a physical or other impairment that might require an accommodation, including technical assistance with the PNC Careers website or submission process, please call 877-968-7762 and select Option 4: Recruiting or contact us via email at email@example.com.
The Human Resources Service Center hours of operation are Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
PNC provides equal employment opportunity to qualified persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or other categories protected by law.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 4, 2019) – Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Trevor Swainey, from Kings Mountain, N.C., right, provides watch standing training for Damage Controlman Fireman Amber Burnett, from Lebanon, Conn., aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97). Halsey is underway conducting training operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer)
Event date: November 20, 2019 Event Time: 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM Location: 51 N. Park St. Lebanon, NH 03766 Description: The City of Lebanon operates under a City Council/City Manager form of government. A nine-member City Council is elected for two-year terms. The City Council is responsible for establishing City policies. They meet on the first and third Wednesdays of every month.
BEIRUT (AP) — The World Bank called on Lebanese authorities Wednesday to urgently form a new government that can address the country’s worsening economic situation, warning that Lebanon “does not have the luxury of time to waste.” The stark warning came in a statement issued after a meeting between the World Bank’s regional director and … Continued
Company Driver - LOCAL -$71,500K / Van /No Touch / Benefits after 30 daysRequisition ID: 670For More Information, Contact a Recruiter @ 1.800.935.3131Pay & Benefits
Full-time CDL-A truck drivers are eligible for:
Avg Annual Gross: $71,500K
Pay: $1375 Gross Average Weekly
Bonuses:$5000 Sign On Bonus
NYC Pay Premium $50
Sunday AM Premium Pay $125
Haul type: No Touch Freight
Domicile Located in Bethel, PA
No touch Freight
Home Time: Home Daily- PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, VA
Sunday- Thursday Night & Off Friday & Saturday
Comprehensive Benefits Package after 30 days
Dedicated Driver Qualifications
Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL-A)
9 Months T/T experience in the last 3 yrs, or 2 years of experience with in the past 5 years.
22+ yrs. of age
Cardinal Logistics is currently seeking Class A truck drivers in your area. Known for its 100% dedicated truck driving routes, Cardinal has over 175 locations around the country with opportunities to advance your career through different dedicated routes. At Cardinal Logistics, home is your most important stop.Learn how to join Our Cardinal Team - Apply TODAY
Oct 29 Girls Varsity Soccer at Lemon Monroe High School Regional Semi-Final @ Lebanon JH 7:00 pm Oct 30 Boys Varsity Soccer at Marietta High School Regional Semi-Final @ Chillicothe 7:00 pm Oct 31 Boys Junior Varsity Football vs. Butler High School JV Football 5:30 pm | Tippecanoe High School Oct 31 Girls
Both the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank, and Hamas, which rules Gaza, have recently cracked down on journalists, arresting several in recent weeks for criticizing their respective governments; Hamas also incarcerated several activists trying to organize anti-Hamas demonstrations. Khaled Abu Toameh comments:
The latest crackdown on Palestinian journalists [likely] springs from the fear that the current wave of anti-corruption protests sweeping Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, and other Arab countries may spread to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Earlier this week, Hamas security forces also arrested one of their own officers, Hussein Qatoush, after he posted a video on Facebook in which he complained about the dire economic situation in the Gaza Strip. In the video, Qatoush said he does not have money to pay for transportation from his home to work. . . . In the eyes of Hamas, . . . it seems that any Palestinian who dares to complain about the bad economy in the Gaza Strip is a “traitor” and a “security threat.”
Hamas’s latest measures are evidently aimed at preventing a repeat of the widespread demonstrations that erupted in the Gaza Strip last March. Organized by social-media activists, the demonstrators protested the high cost of living and new taxes imposed by Hamas and called for solving the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip, including the high rate of unemployment. The protests, which lasted for a few days, were quickly and brutally crushed by Hamas.
Hani al-Masri, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, believes that the current anti-corruption protests sweeping some Arab countries will reach the Palestinian territories. “It is certain that the Arab Spring will arrive, sooner or later, to Palestine,” he said. “The [ruling] Palestinian elite is mostly corrupt and tyrannical [or] incompetent.”
Last week, the Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned, following intense protests against government corruption and a declining economy. The demonstrations are ultimately a threat to Hizballah’s dominance in the country. Therefore, writes Tony Badran, Washington should not help the terrorist group stay in power:
Hariri’s gambit is to return as the head of a new government, in partnership with Hizballah, to present a plan for some reforms, and to hope for a bailout from international donors. For the United States, this is not a desirable outcome. . . . The current protests, which have included varied criticism of Hizballah, only came about due to impending economic and financial collapse. It is unlikely that they would have surfaced had the system been floated yet again, for instance, through the injection of capital by well-meaning but misguided Western powers or Gulf Arab states, which in previous crises had made large deposits in Lebanon’s Central Bank.
More to the point, such an investment in the survival of the existing political-economic order would be an investment in the Hizballah-dominated status quo. Hizballah, the most powerful actor in Lebanon, had orchestrated the formation of the previous government. . . . It will similarly be the decisive force in the formation of any new government. It is no coincidence that the person who has spoken most forcefully in defense of the status quo during the two weeks of protests, while issuing directives to the government, is Hizballah’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah.
There is a longstanding conceit in Washington and in Europe that Lebanon must be “saved”— an impulse undiminished by the fact the country is dominated by Hizballah, and serves as a hub for its operations and criminal enterprise. . . . For the United States, the conclusion ought to be clear: the claims that Washington should back off its sanctions policy lest Lebanon break, that instability would only benefit Hizballah, and that the U.S. should continue instead to invest in Lebanon’s “state institutions,” are deluded.
In its conflicts fought in the past two decades with Hamas in Gaza and Hizballah in Lebanon, the IDF has a used a strategy based on the combination of precision weapons with detailed intelligence. David M. Weinberg, basing himself on a recent, extensive report, argues that this doctrine has proved to be a failure, and calls for a return to the military principles that served the Jewish state so well in the first three decades of its existence:
In most clashes, a deleterious dynamic has repeated itself. At first, Israel successfully launches a salvo of firepower based on accurate intelligence gathered over a long period of time. Then follows a decline in the quality of targeting intelligence with an attendant reduction in the number of targets that justify a strike, and a recovery by the enemy and a continuation of its attacks against Israel.
Subsequent Israeli frustration leads to attacks on targets with high collateral damage or on useless targets, alongside an immense effort to acquire new quality targets, which can lead to an occasional success but does not alter the general picture. What follows is a prolonged campaign—leading to public anger and frustration—and a maneuver by ground forces that is not sufficiently effective to bring the enemy to the point of collapse.
Consequently, a return to combat along more traditional lines is inevitable in many cases. This means maneuvering into enemy territory, locating and destroying enemy forces (or capturing them, thus undermining the myth of the self-sacrificing jihadist “resistance”). Only this will break the spirit of the enemy.
Consider this, too: while no large conventional armies today threaten Israel, the situation could change. If a radical Muslim Brotherhood regime should rise in a country like Egypt, or if the Syrian army is rebuilt after that country’s civil war, the IDF must be ready. Bear in mind that building ground forces is a complex process that takes time. Neglecting IDF ground-maneuver capabilities is therefore a dangerous gamble.
ConsortiumNews Lebanon Uprising Unites People Across Faiths, Defying Deep Sectarian Divides November 6, 2019 In repudiation of the idea that religious allegiance comes before national unity, protesters are demanding fair elections, a stronger judiciary and more government accountability, writes Mira Assaf Kafantaris. By Mira Assaf Kafantaris The Conversation Religion has shaped Lebanon since it gained independence […]
Description Style is never in short supply at our more than 1,000 TJ Maxx stores. They all have different products, but the same commitment to the thrill of the find. From designers straight off the runway to statement jewelry, we offer exciting surprises that make the everyday a little more fun. Same with working here. Our environment is ever-changing, yet always encouraging. Each shift is a new opportunity to Discover Different. Posting Notes: TJ Maxx Store 0003 -- 200 S. Main St -- West Lebanon -- NH -- 03784 Job Summary: Responsible for delivering a highly satisfied customer experience demonstrated by engaging and interacting with all customers, embodying customer experience principals and philosophy, and maintaining a clean and organized store environment. Adheres to all operational, merchandise, and loss prevention standards. May be cross-trained to work in multiple areas of the store in order to support the needs of the business. Responsibilities: - Role models established customer experience practices with internal and external customers - Supports and embodies a positive store culture through honesty, integrity, and respect - Accurately rings customer purchases/returns and counts change back to customer according to established operating procedures - Promotes credit and loyalty programs during customer interactions - Maintains and upholds merchandising philosophy and follows established merchandising procedures and standards - Accurately processes and prepares merchandise for the sales floor following company procedures and standards - Initiates and participates in store recovery as needed throughout the day - Maintains all organizational, cleanliness, and recovery standards for the sales floor and participates in the maintenance/cleanliness of the entire store - Provides and accepts ongoing recognition and constructive feedback - Adheres to all labor laws, policies, and procedures - Supports and participates in store shrink reduction goals and programs - Participates in safety awareness and maintenance of a risk-free environment - Performs other duties as assigned Requirements: - Possesses excellent customer service skills - Able to work a flexible schedule to support business needs - Possesses strong organizational skills with attention to detail - Capable of handling multiple tasks at one time - Able to respond appropriately to changes in direction or unexpected situations - Possesses strong communication skills - Capable of lifting heavy objects with or without reasonable accommodation - Works effectively with peers and supervisors to accomplish tasks - Retail customer experience preferred At TJ Maxx there??s so much potential to discover something new. A new day means new merchandise, and a fresh chance to reinvent retail. Discover Different means that we want you to bring your whole self and your sense of style to work with you every day??just as Associates do throughout the entire TJX family, which includes Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, and Homesense. Discover Different also means we embrace each other??s differences and unique perspectives. We consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, gender identity and expression, marital or military status. We also provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and applicable state and local law. Posting Notes: TJ Maxx Store 0003 -- 200 S. Main St -- West Lebanon -- NH -- 03784
Lebanon, New Hampshire, Chief Research Officer, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Associate Dean of Clinical Research, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
The Chief Research Officer/Associate Dean for Clinical Research will have t
Thanks to the following for their support: Hikari USA Coralife/Aqueon/Central Northfin Tetra/marineland/spectrum Imperial Tropical Han Aquatics PE Mysis Cobalt Aquatics San Francisco Bay Brand Ocean Nutrition Cichlid News Cichlid Press ZooMed Lebanon Pet & Aquarium Center ECHO Leahey Center for lake Champlain Omega One Pet Solutions Fluval/Hagen Sera USA Ecological Laboratories, Inc Florida Aquatic Nurseries… Read More »
Christians in Brooklyn are taking a stand and praying for their endangered brothers and sisters in Lebanon.
Paul Moshy is one of many attending a prayer service at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights. He's worried about his loved ones who are still in Lebanon.
"I heard Lebanon needs its support of the people. I came right in. I just hope to God my family and everybody else over there is safe,” said Moshy.
The prayers come amid turmoil in the country. Protests began nearly three weeks ago against widespread corruption.
The unrest prompted Maronite Brooklyn Bishop Gregory Mansour to hold the service.
“We are coming to pray for Lebanon. Simple. We are not doing any politics,” Mansour told Currents News.
Bishop Mansour was joined by members of other Christian denominations, including Armenian Orthodox Archbishop Danielian.
"As Christians, it is our primary duty to pray, to pray together for all those who are in different parts of the world,” said Danielian.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis has encouraged the protestors while pushing both sides to respect the dignity and freedom of everyone in Lebanon, saying "I urge everyone to seek solutions in the way of dialogue."
Until it's resolved, these Christians will continue to pray for peace in Lebanon.
"We can resolve every political difficulty without violence,” said Mansour.
Lebanon, New Hampshire, As a part of the Tenet and Catholic Health Initiativesfamily, Conifer Health brings 30 years of healthcare industry expertise toclients in more than 135 local regions nationwide. We help our clientss
Triages, coordinates and facilitates the clinical management for an assigned population. Develops, monitors and reinforces care standards and protocols designed to enhance quality and promote cost-effective utilization of healthcare resources. ? 1. Facilitates the development of a plan of care in collaboration with the patient, family, caregiver and health care team. This is done through early identification and thorough assessment of the patient?s need/preferences and resources available. Determines the appropriate level of care and coordinates the interdisciplinary treatment and plan of care. 2. Facilitates the progression of care by advancing the care plan to achieve desired outcomes. Monitors the progress towards the goals of the plan and alerts the health care team to potential revisions to the plan in response to the changes in the patient needs and condition. 3. Triages telephone calls and responds to patients and families and other members of the healthcare teams questions that are within a registered nurse?s scope of practice. 4. Communicates information to the health care team and those involved in the treatment and patient?s care. 5. Advocates on behalf of patients/families and caregivers for service access and insurance benefits within the constraints of regulations, and for the protection of the patient?s health, safety and rights. 6. Recognizes situations that require referrals to Quality, Risk Management, or Patient and Family Relations and discusses with leadership. 7. Evaluates the options available and balances cost and quality to assure the optimal clinical and financial outcomes. Facilitates progression to appropriate levels of care. 8. Evaluates patient outcomes affected by the care management process for improvement opportunities. Identifies potential for and participates in quality improvement initiatives within the clinical setting or other organizational committees. 9. Works with the clinical research to coordinate care for patients on complex protocols. 10. Performs other duties as required or assigned. ? Minimum Qualifications: ? ? Graduate from an accredited Nursing Program required. ? ? Bachelor's degree (or matriculated into a Bachelor's degree program with completion within a period of time agreed upon with the department at the time of hire) with 3 years of clinical experience required. ? ? ? Recent acute care hospital experience preferred. ? ? Desired qualities and behaviors include: collaborative team player with strong communication skills, use of a systems approach in planning, problem solving and decision making, creativity, innovation, risk taking, autonomy, flexibility, receptiveness to change and a commitment to professional growth. ? ? ? Computer skills required. ? Required Licensure/Certification Skills: ? ? Licensed Registered Nurse in New Hampshire required. ?? ? ? Basic Life Support (BLS) Certificate required.
Job Description Important note: - If you are selected to move forward in the process, next steps for this job may include an on-line assessment and a video screen. - Please make sure your profile includes a current email address that you check regularly (including your spam folder) as the invitations for these activities will be emailed to you. - For internal candidates, you must apply via the Jobs site on Teamworks or Teamworks at Home and please ensure your profile lists a personal (external) email address as your primary email address so you can receive communications and complete these potential activities. Please refer to the Team Member Handbook for more information on the Internal Job Opportunities Process.To participate in some selection activities you will need to respond to an invitation. The invitation can be sent by both email and text message. - In order to receive text message invitations, your profile must include a mobile phone number designated as "Personal Cell" or "Cellular" in the contact information of your application.At Wells Fargo, we want to satisfy our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. We're looking for talented people who will put our customers at the center of everything we do. Join our diverse and inclusive team where you'll feel valued and inspired to contribute your unique skills and experience.Help us build a better Wells Fargo. It all begins with outstanding talent. It all begins with you.Consumer Banking is an industry leader in supporting homeowners and consumers in addition to operating one of the most extensive banking franchises in the country. - We serve mass market, affluent, and small business customers; as well as provide home and personal lending. Our focus is on delivering an exceptional experience for our customers through financial advice and guidance coupled with providing the products and services that will help them realize their financial hopes and dreams. - We've built our team of top professionals by rewarding their accomplishments and ensuring they have what's needed to succeed. - - - - -As a teller at Wells Fargo you will spend your time interacting with customers focused on providing exceptional customer service and building relationships. - You will engage customers in conversations and share ways Wells Fargo can help to meet their financial needs.Your responsibilities include:
Engaging customers in conversations, listening to them, and proactively helping to meet their financial needs -
Asking questions to get to know the customer to build relationships
Introducing customers to another branch team member or sharing digital options that may make banking easier for them.
Working as a part of a team to help customers succeed financially
Following policies and procedures to minimize risk
Accurately and efficiently processing transactions
Maintaining a cash drawer including taking in and giving out cash and balancingPlease note: - Based on the volume of applications received, this job posting may be removed prior to the indicated close date. - - If you do not apply prior to the closing of this posting, we encourage you to apply for other opportunities with Wells Fargo.
1+ year of experience interacting with people, demonstrated through work, military, or education
Customer service focus with experience handling complex transactions across multiple systems
Ability to influence, educate, and connect customers to technology
Ability to interact with integrity and professionalism with customers and team members
Ability to meet or exceed performance objectives
Experience working with others on a team to meet customer needs
Cash handling experience
Ability to follow policies, procedures, and regulations
Ability to identify potential fraud/risky accounts and take appropriate action to prevent loss
Well-organized, independent and able to prioritize in a fast paced environment
Ability to exercise judgment, raise questions to management, and adhere to policy guidelines
Customer service focus with experience actively listening, eliciting information, comprehending customer issues/needs, and recommending solutions
Relevant military experience including working with military protocol and instructions, enlisted evaluations, officer/leadership reporting
Relevant military experience including working in personnel benefits management, processing military personnel orders or transitions, wartime readiness operations, human resources or military recruiting
Other Desired Qualifications
Multilingual speakers are encouraged to apply
Ability to stand for extended periods of time
Ability to work weekends and holidays as needed or scheduled
Street Address TN-Hermitage: 4720 Lebanon Road - Hermitage, TN
All offers for employment with Wells Fargo are contingent upon the candidate having successfully completed a criminal background check. Wells Fargo will consider qualified candidates with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable local, state and Federal law, including Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.
Relevant military experience is considered for veterans and transitioning service men and women. Wells Fargo is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran/Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation.
KY-LEBANON, Description: Supports operations by preparing and cleaning work sites; maintaining supplies and materials; performing steps in work processes; maintaining records. Duties: Organizes work by checking work schedule. Prepares work site by obtaining and delivering equipment, tools, supplies, and materials. Maintains clean and safe work site by removing scrap; sweeping and mopping area; erecting barrie
The first question that comes to mind is “Which wife?” Al-Baghdadi was known to have four wives, plus several ex-wives, one of whom was arrested in Lebanon in 2014, and freed a year later in a prisoner swap with al-Qaida. The 2nd question is “What part did the ‘intelligence gold mine’ obtained from the capture of al-Baghdadi’s elder sister days earlier play in the wife capture?” Suzan Fraser at the Associated Press connects some dots: “The ISIS leader blew himself up during an Oct. 26 raid by U.S. special forces on his heavily fortified safe house in the Syrian province
Company Driver - LOCAL -$71,500K / Van /No Touch / Benefits after 30 days
Requisition ID: 670
For More Information, Contact a Recruiter @ 1.800.935.3131
Pay & Benefits
Full-time CDL-A truck drivers are eligible for:
Avg Annual Gross: $71,500K
Pay: $1375 Gross Average Weekly
Bonuses:$5000 Sign On Bonus
NYC Pay Premium $50
Sunday AM Premium Pay $125
Haul type: No Touch Freight
Domicile Located in Bethel, PA
No touch Freight
Home Time: Home Daily- PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, VA
Sunday- Thursday Night & Off Friday & Saturday
Comprehensive Benefits Package after 30 days
Dedicated Driver Qualifications
Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL-A)
9 Months T/T experience in the last 3 yrs, or 2 years of experience with in the past 5 years.
22+ yrs. of age
Cardinal Logistics is currently seeking Class A truck drivers in your area. Known for its 100% dedicated truck driving routes, Cardinal has over 175 locations around the country with opportunities to advance your career through different dedicated routes. At Cardinal Logistics, home is your most important stop.
Lebanon and the Central Bank in particular have the means to contain any unforeseeable financial crisis in the short and medium term despite Moody’s downgrading of the country’s credit rating to Caa2, deep into junk territory, economists said Wednesday.
With many schools shuttered at least intermittently over the past three weeks of mass protests in Lebanon, some have found workarounds to keep up with coursework, with several teachers posting assignments online and communicating with parents via WhatsApp and online groups.
Under massive street pressure from protesters demanding accountability, Lebanon’s judiciary Wednesday began taking action on cases alleging large-scale corruption, as the World Bank highlighted the urgent need to address Lebanon’s emerging economic crisis.
Lebanese President calls for national unity but anti-government protesters remain defiant; The Indian capital is engulfed in a choking smog - residents are told to stay indoors; And why is an oven and baking ingredients aboard a rocket going to the International Space Station ?
About this Position Spring View Hospital is seeking an additional BC/BE Orthopedic Surgeon to join an existing Orthopedic Surgeon in a growing practice. Lebanon is only a one hour drive to both Louisville and Lexington, KY. This is an employed practice opportunity. Recruitment Package may include: - Base salary wRVU production incentive - Quality bonus - CME allowance - Sign-on bonus - Medical debt assistance - Relocation allowance - Residency stipend - Medical Director stipend - Health benefits Retirement plan - Marketing practice growth assistance About Spring View Hospital Amid the rolling hills and green pastures of central Kentucky, Lebanon and Marion County offer all the benefits of gracious living in a tranquil and beautiful setting. The Hospital Spring View Hospital is a 75-bed community hospital serving the residents of Marion County and the surrounding area. An integral part of the community since 1944, the hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission and provides quality inpatient and outpatient services at its acute care facility and at physician practice locations throughout the area. The Community Besides establishing itself as a center for trade, commerce and industry in central Kentucky, Lebanon has made a name for itself as a historic center. The Downtown Lebanon Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers antique shops and an arts and crafts cooperative that features the work of local artisans. The Maker's Mark Distillery is in nearby Loretto, and Danville's Centre College is nationally recognized for its academics. The 8,200-acre Green River Lake is a haven for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, with more than 33 miles of picture perfect water nestled between 250 miles of shoreline. Fagan Branch Reservoir is home to the 3.2-mile Cecil L. Gorely Naturalist Walking Trail, and the 34-acre Graham Memorial Park provides outdoor tennis courts, a fitness trail, picnic pavilion, gazebo, playground and aquatic center. About this PositionSpring View Hospital is seeking an additional BC/BE Orthopedic Surgeon to join an
“At this point, the US has some kind of military presence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan, and Yemen.”
Lebanon, New Hampshire, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic’s Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine seeks an experienced BC/BE Pulmonologist as Director of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center. This role can either be an adul
Demonstran di Irak membakar foto-foto pemimpin tertinggi Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dan membakar konsulat Iran di Karbala. Insiden ini agaknya menghancurkan usaha Iran yang telah berlangsung 40 tahun untuk menciptakan kawasan Sabit Hijau yang mencakup Iran, Irak, Suriah dan Lebanon.
Demonstran Irak di Baghdad meneriakkan slogan-slogan menentang kelompok milisi dukungan Iran sambil membakar foto-foto pemimpin tertinggi Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, dan komandan militernya Jenderal Qassem Suleimani. Iran memperingatkan warganya supaya jangan berkunjung ke Irak minggu lalu, ketika aksi-aksi protes meluas ke tempat-tempat suci Shiah dukungan Iran.
Kelompok anak muda Irak membakar bagian-bagian konsulat Iran di kota suci Karbala hari Minggu, sambil sejumlah demonstran lainnya melambai-lambaikan bendera Irak diatas tembok gedung konsulat itu. Para demonstran juga membakar kantor-kantor kelompok milisi pro-Iran di beberapa kota dalam aksi unjuk-rasa melawan Iran dan para pendukungnya.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei minggu lalu memicu kemarahan banyak warga Irak ketika ia menuduh adanya negara asing yang mengobarkan aksi protes di Irak dan Lebanon.
Khamenei mengatakan, Amerika dan beberapa negara Teluk Persia menggunakan badan-badan intelijen mereka untuk mendukung kerusuhan di Irak dan Lebanon.
Tapi Ayatollah Ali Sistani, pemimpin kelompok Shiah Irak mengatakan lewat seorang Imam kepada jemaatnya bahwa tidak ada negara asing yang bisa memerintahkan warga Irak untuk melakukan apa yang mereka kehendaki.
Seyid Ali Safi mengatakan, kata Sistani, tidak seorangpun, kelompok atau faksi regional, atau internasional bisa memaksakan kehendak mereka pada rakyat Irak.
Demonstran Irak juga telah memblokir pelabuhan utama Umm Qasr selama satu minggu, untuk mencegah masuknya barang-barang impor dari Iran.
Mantan Presiden Iran, Abolhassan Bani Sadr yang tinggal dalam pengasingan di Perancis mengatakan, aksi protes di Irak dan Lebanon telah menghancurkan usaha Iran hampir 40 tahun untuk membentuk persatuan negara Irak, Iran, Suriah, dan Lebanon.
Pemimpin tertinggi Ayatollah Khamenei, kata Bani Sadr, tidak bisa menjelaskan kepada rakyat Iran bagaimana usaha yang telah berlangsung lama ini bisa hancur berantakan dengan cepat. (ii/jm)
Christians should push for a more generous refugee/asylum policy to help respond to attacks on Mideast Christians.
It took President Donald Trump nearly two years to order American troops in Syria home. Or just to move them out of harm’s way, if not yet home. He was right to take that very limited step, despite the hostile tsunami against his decision.
The angry fulminations that characterized his critics—in the main their responses have been more emotional eruptions than considered arguments—well illustrate the need for an American exit from Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East. Many policymakers appear to believe that America’s purpose is to settle that tragic nation’s brutal, bitter civil war: depose President Bashar al-Assad, promote moderate Islamists, oust Assad’s Iranian allies, constrain Russian influence, deter Turkish involvement, protect Syrian Kurdish forces, and more. Such an effort is not just bizarre hubris but overweening arrogance and sheer delusion, as evidenced by the succession of Middle Eastern geopolitical disasters orchestrated by Washington in recent years.
As if the foregoing list was not long enough, the president’s evangelical backers have added another duty: protect Christians from Turkey and other threats. It is an attractive mission. For years there had been a slow erosion of the Christian population in the faith’s birthplace. The environment is difficult, even hostile, to all religious minorities, and the West offers a hospitable home for those able to emigrate. Although most defenders of Christianity discourage such flight, lest faith disappears from its birthplace, it is impossible to criticize people for seeking a better, safer, and more satisfying life elsewhere.
However, in 2003 Western Christians proved themselves to be perhaps the greatest enemies of Middle Eastern Christianity. The Iraq invasion triggered sectarian strife, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom were Christians. More than half of the original Christian population fled, some to Kurdistan, others abroad, especially to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. This tragedy was reinforced by the rise of ISIS, an outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which conquered much of the Nineveh Plains, then home to many religious minorities. No Iraq invasion, no Islamic State.
Past Callings: this is a phrase—not so much used anymore—to describe former occupations that one had. It is also going to be the name of a new monthly feature brought to you jointly by LebTown and the Lebanon County Historical Society.
For most Americans, it is important that our hospitalized veterans receive nothing less than the finest available care. At the Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC), that care just got a little better for some veterans thanks to an agreement with the Lebanon County Courts.
Lebanon is about to enter its fourth week of nationwide protests, with the northern city of Tripoli emerging as an unexpected centre of the movement, its daily demonstrations often bigger than in the capital Beirut. Our reporters spent the day with a protester in Lebanon's second-largest city, home to some of the country's poorest neighbourhoods.
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Protesters in each country are calling for changes in government amid a deep distrust of leaders and for economic opportunities amid high levels of corruption and unemployment. Like us on Facebook to ...
"Can Sayyed Nasrallah convince *all* Lebanese to put country over sectarianism, to end corruption in favor or patriotism and the common good, and to move Lebanon forward?"
Unfortunately sectariansim is deep rooted in Lebanon, the anglozionist lost Syria and doing their best to keep Lebanon a thorn in resistance back
BEIRUT (AP) — The World Bank called on Lebanese authorities Wednesday to urgently form a new government that can address the country's worsening economic situation, warning that the small Mediterranean nation "does not have the luxury of time to waste."
The stark warning came in a statement issued after a meeting between the World Bank's regional director and President Michel Aoun amid ongoing mass protests and a severe economic and financial crisis.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned his government on Oct. 29 in response to the unprecedented protests which have swept Lebanon starting in the middle of last month. The protesters erupted over proposed new taxes and have snowballed into calls for the government to resign and for the entire political elite that has ruled Lebanon since the end of its 1975-90 civil war to step aside.
The protests have paralyzed the country. Banks were closed for two weeks and imposed capital controls since re-opening Friday, in a bid to hold onto dollar reserves, but deepening the uncertainty.
Lebanon, one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world, already was dealing with a severe fiscal crisis before the protests began, one rooted in years of heavy borrowing and expensive patronage networks run by entrenched political parties. The Lebanese pound is already trading at up to 2,000 to the dollar on the black market, a devaluation of up to 30% from the official rate.
The protesters are calling for the formation of a technocrat government that would get to work immediately on addressing Lebanon's economic crisis. They accuse officials of dragging their feet on that.
Following his meeting with Aoun, World Bank Regional Director Saroj Kumar Jha said he urged swift measures to ensure Lebanon's economic and financial stability. "The politics has most attention, but economy has the...
KING HUSSEIN BRIDGE, Jordan (AP) — Israeli authorities on Wednesday released two Jordanian citizens who'd been detained for two months and returned them to Jordan, easing a standoff that has soured relations between the countries just as they marked a chilly 25th anniversary of their historic peace deal.
Israel and Jordan announced earlier this week that the two Jordanians held without charges would be freed and Heba al-Labadi and Abdul Rahman Miri crossed the King Hussein Bridge back into Jordan on Wednesday. Last week, Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations to protest the detentions. It further strained the tense ties between the two neighbors, who signed a peace treaty 25 years ago. As part of the arrangement, Israel says Jordan will return its ambassador to Israel.
Israel arrested al-Labadi on Aug. 20 and Miri on Sept. 2 as they entered the West Bank from Jordan through an Israeli-controlled crossing. They were held in administrative detention, which allows for open-ended detentions without filing charges against people suspected of security offenses.
"I didn't know the charges, it was a hard feeling because I didn't know the reason why I was there," al-Labadi said at the border crossing. "They were hitting the table. They told me you are at the intelligence office now. I wasn't aware of what was going on."
Al-Labadi, 32, was hospitalized last week due to her deteriorating condition after over a month on hunger strike in protest against her detention. She ended her hunger strike following the announcements about her release. Israel's Shin Bet security service has said al-Labadi was detained "because of suspicion of her involvement in serious security violations" but gave no further details.
She said Israeli authorities were investigating her over a visit made to Lebanon, and the reason for...
BAGHDAD (AP) — The shoes are coming off again in Iraq.
In years past, Iraqis have beaten their shoes against portraits of Saddam Hussein in a sign of anger and insult. In 2008, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at a ducking President George W. Bush during a news conference to vent his outrage at the U.S.-led invasion.
Now protesters in Baghdad's Tahrir Square are using their shoes again — slapping them against banners depicting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.
More violent demonstrations of their fury have erupted in southern Iraq, where protesters have torched the headquarters of parties and militias linked to Iran and thrown firebombs at an Iranian Consulate.
The anti-government protests that have convulsed Iraq in the past month are fueled by economic grievances and are mainly directed at Iraq's own political leaders. But they have also exposed long-simmering resentment at Iran's influence in the country, with protesters targeting Shiite political parties and militias with close ties to Tehran.
The uprising in Iraq, and similar anti-government protests underway in Lebanon, pose a threat to key Iranian allies at a time when Tehran is under mounting pressure from U.S. sanctions.
"There's a lack of respect. They act like they are the sons of this country and we are beneath them," said Hassanein Ali, 35, who is from the Shiite holy city of Karbala but came to Baghdad to protest. "I feel like the Iranian Embassy controls the government and they are the ones repressing the demonstrators. I want Iran to leave."
That the protesters are mainly from Shiite areas undermines Iran's claim to be a champion of Shiites, who are a majority in Iraq and Iran but a frequently oppressed minority in the wider Muslim world.
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese troops deployed Tuesday in different parts of the country to reopen roads and main thoroughfares closed by anti-government protesters faced resistance in some areas, leading to scuffles.
In most places, protesters withdrew peacefully as the troops moved in. But in Beirut's northern suburb of Zouk Mosbeh, a scuffle erupted when some demonstrators refused to move away from the main highway linking Beirut with northern Lebanon.
Several protesters were detained by troops. One protester, an older man, fainted and was rushed away in an ambulance; the Lebanese Red Cross later said he was in stable condition.
Human rights activist Wadih al-Asmar said dozens were detained during the scuffles north of Beirut.
Later Tuesday, Moody's ratings agency downgraded the government of Lebanon's issuer ratings to Caa2, saying it remains on review for downgrade. The agency said the downgrade reflects the increased likelihood of a debt rescheduling or other liability management exercise that may constitute a default. Moody's downgraded Lebanon's issuer ratings to Caa1 in January but had maintained it there after protests broke out on Oct. 17.
It estimates that Lebanon has a foreign exchange buffer of about $ 5-10 billion and that would likely to be used to service external debt payments.
Anti-government protesters have been holding demonstrations demanding an end to widespread corruption and mismanagement by the political class that has ruled the country for three decades. The protesters have paralyzed Lebanon by closing roads inside cities as well as major highways. The protesters rejected an economic reform plan, demanding deeper changes to the government and election laws.
"We are not defying the army but we want our demands to be met," said hairdresser Elie...
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If the Lebanese and Iraqi protesters succeed in toppling their governments and weakening established political parties with deep ties to Iran's leaders, Iran stands to lose decades of financial, political and military investments that have turned it into one of the Middle East's biggest powers. Some suggested that American, Israeli and Saudi provocateurs had stoked the unrest in order to weaken Iran and create divisions with its key regional allies...
"Khamenei, who has invested so much in the region both financially and in manpower, is not going to allow protesters to compromise Iran's regional dominance," said Nader Hashemi, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver. "No matter what it takes."
The nationwide protests taking place in both Arab states [Lebanon and Iraq] are also driven by a burning desire to end Iran's blatant attempts to turn them into de facto fiefdoms of Tehran. The protests, moreover, could not have come at a worse time for
Professor Suheil Bushrui, the internationally recognised authority on the life and works of Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931) states that Gibran occupies today a unique position amidst the pantheon of the works of the greatest writers and creative geniuses. This is seen in the discount on the work of Gibran such as the bestselling work The Prophet, Jesus, the Son of Man, The Madman, Prose Poems, Spiritual Sayings and A Tear and a Smile.
The latest work as compiled by Suheil Bushrui is titled A Spiritual Treasury. This compilation carries the salient and most prophetic of Gibran’s writings arranged into 38 broad topics, plus an introduction by way of a prologue, a chronology of the life of Kahlil Gibran. The most striking point of illumination is that the compilation attempts to draw attention to a broad gamut of spiritual factors as visualised by Gibran.
As such, the reader gets the chance of encountering the essence of Gibran thinking in a single volume. The title, Spiritual Treasury, is apt. Gibran is known to the world as a poet, artist, mystic, a recreator of myths and legends and a thinker. Excerpts from the work A Tear and a Saint, the compiler presents as a prologue to the world a vision that goes as I came to say a word. In this sensitive creation, the reader comes to know in a vision, the entire intention of Gibran creations that goes as follows:
My spirit is to me a companion who comforts me when the days grow heavy upon me; who consoles me when the afflictions of life multiply?
Then proceeds to state:
Who is not a companion to his spirit is an enemy, to people. And he who seems not in his self a friend dies despairing. For life springs from within a man and comes not from without him.
Then he concludes by saying:
And what I now say with one tongue, tomorrow will say with many.
In a nutshell, this is the essence of the spiritual writings of Gibran, as he transcends from there, a mere plane of a poet and a story writer.
As Professor Bushrui states, Gibran may be said to embody in himself the successful reconciliation of widely disparate cultures and traditions, languages and literature. To the casual reader cum observer, it might appear paradoxical and implausible that a single person should blend within himself influences as diverse as Nietzsche, Christianity, Islam and the Romanticism poets such as Wordsworth and mystic poets such as Blake and their senior and junior contemporaries. Then enters his grasp of cultures living in environments such as Paris and New York besides his own cultural conditioning in Lebanon, his birthplace.
During a short span of life, Gibran had been grossly engaged in the function of learning, thinking and writing apart from his painting of mystical drawings that went into the illustrating for his works. Gibran is seen triumphantly achieving all these sectors that had gone into the making of an independent thinker enveloped in spiritualism. It looks as if Gibran has an intense foreboding of a world that in the grip of senseless violence and destruction, to heal oneself and pacify the conscience.
The opening segment is a series of thoughts on God selected from various works. Culled from the work titled Sand and Foam there goes a saying:
The first thought of God was an Angel
The word of God was a Man.
From the work titled ‘Beloved Prophet’, Gibran like most ancient prophets tend to compare the blessings of nature to personify God. One such saying goes as follows: I see Him rising like the mist from the seas and mountains and plains. God is glowing through His desire, and man and earth, and all there is upon the earth, rise towards God by the power of desire.”
From the saying on God, the reader’s attention is drawn towards the topic On Religion.
At the outset Gibran says:
If we were to do away with (the non-essentials) of the various religions, we would find ourselves united and enjoying one great faith and religion, abounding in brotherhood.
The most sensitive and penetrative visions emerge from the saying selected ‘On Love’ culled from the work The Broken Wings Gibran states: Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.
Then in another instance, Gibran queries:
Tell me, for love’s sake, what is that – flame which burns in my heart, and devours my strength and dissolves my will?
(Thoughts and Meditations)
There are short dictums that go as follows:
Love, like death, changes everything.
Love is a word of light, written by hand of light, upon a page of light.
When love becomes vast love becomes wordless.
Gibran in the manner paves the way to creative thinking and creative contemplation. On presenting this spiritual treasury, the compiler makes the reader know that Gibran was inspired by his difficult, and, at times, harrowing experiences as an immigrant in an adopted land (America), he dedicated his life and work to the resolution of cultural and societal conflicts. And in this process developed, as few writers have done before or since, a universal consciousness that transcends the barriers of the orient (east) and occident (west).
For a moment scanning the pages of the spiritual treasury, I was reminded of two poets, Tagore, and Krishnamurthi, who attempted a lifelong dealing to the power of the individual introspection. A researcher on the aspects of insights into communication may take these three creators seriously. As a reader, I felt that Gibran had left no stone unturned in the search for meanings behind the social forces like ‘On Women and Women’s Rights. One good example goes as follows.
Men who do not forgive women their little faults, will never enjoy their great virtues.
(Sand and Foam)
Women shall be forever the womb and the cradle but not the tomb.
(Jesus, the son of Man)
Quite a number of poetic visions emerge from the sayings ‘On Children’. One of the most fascinating moveable poems goes as follows:
Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
The pages of the Spiritual Treasury are illustrative as an added dimension to the contents. They are also obtained from the works of Gibran and meaningfully utilised not as mere decorations but as visual insights to the contents: These illustrations could be utilised further to teach visual communication at all levels.
The City of Lebanon, Ohio, is accepting applications for the position of Police Officer. The internationally accredited Lebanon Division of Police serves a population of over 20,000 and is responsible for an area of 14 square miles. The department has an authorized strength of 29 sworn officers. The citizens of Lebanon are seeking candidates who possess the personal character and professional skills necessary to serve in a position of public trust. Applications will be accepted from United States citizens who are at least 21 years of age and possess a valid Ohio driver’s license. The City of Lebanon offers an excellent employee benefit package and a starting annual salary of $61,027 to $80,828 after five years of service or previous law enforcement experience.
The Lebanon Division of Police offers initial testing for Police Officer candidates through the National Testing Network (NTN), Inc. To fill out the NTN application and schedule a test, go to www.nationaltestingnetwork.com, select Law Enforcement and sign up for the Lebanon Police Department. Candidates who attain a passing score on the entry level exam will be invited to participate in other stages of the selection process. National Testing Network does not replace the Lebanon Police Department’s responsibility and decision making in the testing process. All candidate results are provided to the Lebanon Police Department where the final decisions are made.
Applicants must also obtain a City of Lebanon application at the personnel department located in the Lebanon City Building, 50 South Broadway, Lebanon, OH 45036, or on the City website www.lebanonohio.gov. Applications must be received by personal delivery, mail, or email to the Personnel Department by December 20, 2019.Applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber, assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, sits on the flight line, Oct 24, 2019. Consistent training and exercising validates the B-2Õs ability to respond to challenges all over the globe. (Sr. Airman Thomas Barley/Air Force)
* A new poll found that 56 percent of registered voters believe President Trump will win again in 2020 * That includes 85 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats, according to the Politico/Morning Consult survey * Pollsters found that voters believed that Trump's voters were twice as likely than Hillary Clinton's to be 'very motivated' to go vote * Another poll found that the percentage of voters who believe Trump should win re-election hasn't significantly changed since the impeachment inquiry opened
A majority of registered voters believe President Trump will win again in 2020.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 56 percent of all voters said Trump will be re-elected next year. The president obviously has an edge with Republicans, with 85 percent saying a Trump 2.0 is happening.
But a majority of independents - 51 percent - agreed. Even a third of Democrats, 35 percent, said they believed there would be four more years of President Trump.
WNU Editor: He will be difficult to defeat. President Trump has the advantage of the incumbency and the bully-pulpit. The economy is also doing well, and his base overwhelmingly supports him. The Democrat candidates for President are also not inspiring, and I have trouble seeing them being able to attract independent voters. But the election is still far away. A lot can happen in 12 months.
As Trump allies denounce the whistleblower, pressure is building on CIA Director Gina Haspel to take a stand, say current and ex intelligence officials.
WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump and his allies continue to denounce the CIA whistleblower whose complaint led to an impeachment investigation, pressure is building on the spy agency's director, Gina Haspel, to take a stand on the matter, current and former intelligence officials tell NBC News.
"It will be incumbent on her to protect the whistleblower — and by extension, the organization — moving forward," Marc Polymeropoulos, a recently retired CIA officer who oversaw operations in Europe and Russia, said in an interview. "This is a seminal moment for her leadership, and I'm confident she will do the right thing."
So far, Haspel has been publicly silent as Trump has railed about the whistleblower, a CIA analyst, on Twitter. So has the director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.
WNU Editor: There is a problem with this "CIA analyst". He was removed from the White House for lying and leaking. He is implicated in filing a complaint against President Trump and Ukraine that has led to this impeachment inquiry, even though his complaint is at odds with the transcript that was released. He is a well known Democrat activist who is closely affiliated with former Obama intelligence officials whose opposition to President Trump is well known. Bottom line. This is a person who has used his CIA position to pursue a political agenda against the President and his policies. In this context, this is someone that I am sure CIA Director Gina Haspel does not want to step in and defend.
House Democrats have released the latest in the series of heavily-redacted transcripts of the secret hearings they had undertaken in recent weeks - that of Bill Taylor - the top US diplomat in Ukraine - ahead of his public testimony next week.
As The Hill notes, Taylor is viewed as a key witness who previously testified in meticulous detail about what he considered an effort by Trump and his allies to pressure Ukraine into opening investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
In leaked copies of his 15-page opening statement, Taylor voiced concerns that the Trump administration had withheld nearly $400 million in aid as leverage to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations into interference in the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his leading 2020 political rivals.
* The Department of Justice on Wednesday charged two former Twitter employees for spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia. * The charges allege that Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their employee credentials to access information about specific Twitter users, including their email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and internet protocol addresses.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday charged two former Twitter employees for spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
The charges allege that Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their employee credentials to access information about specific Twitter users, including their email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and internet protocol addresses. A third individual, Ahmed Almutairi, was also charged for acting as an intermediary between the Twitter employees and the Saudi government, the Justice Department said.
Jesse Barajas searches for the remains of his brother José, who was was dragged from his ranch on 8 April 2019 and has not been seen since, last month near the town of Tecate. Photograph: Emilio Espejel/The Guardian
José Barajas, who was snatched from his home, joins the ever-swelling ranks of thousands of desaparecidos, victims of the drug conflict that shows no sign of easing
As he set off into the wilderness under a punishing midday sun, Jesse Barajas clutched an orange-handled machete and the dream of finding his little brother, José.
"He's not alive, no. They don't leave people alive," the 62-year-old said as he slalomed through the parched scrubland of tumbleweed and cacti where they had played as kids. "Once they take someone they don't let you live."
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, the country's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) said on Thursday, further stepping away from its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.
The agreement bans enrichment and nuclear material from Fordow. But with feedstock gas entering its centrifuges, the facility, built inside a mountain, will move from the permitted status of research plant to being an active nuclear site.
"After all successful preparations ... injection of uranium gas to centrifuges started on Thursday at Fordow ... all the process has been supervised by the inspectors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog," the AEOI said in a statement, Iranian media reported
Israel is bracing itself for war with Iranian proxies, as Tehran escalates its provocations. But what will the United States do if conflict comes?
The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran. They were mindful of the Iranian plan for a drone attack from Syria in August, aborted at the last minute by an Israeli air strike, as well as Iran's need to deflect attention from the mass protests against Hezbollah's rule in Lebanon. The ministers also reviewed the recent attack by Iranian drones and cruise missiles on two Saudi oil installations, reportedly concluding that a similar assault could be mounted against Israel from Iraq.
The Israel Defense Forces, meanwhile, announced the adoption of an emergency plan, code-named Momentum, to significantly expand Israel's missile defense capacity, its ability to gather intelligence on embedded enemy targets, and its soldiers' preparation for urban warfare. Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time.
Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump's son published on Wednesday the name of the alleged anonymous whistleblower whose complaint fired the impeachment inquiry against Trump, breaking strict conventions for protecting officials who reveal wrongdoing in government.
Amid calls by the president himself to expose the whistleblower, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the name of a CIA analyst which has circulated online for weeks, and linked to a Breitbart news article implying the person was pro-Democrat and anti-Trump.
AFP could not independently verify the whistleblower's identity and is not publishing the name.
* A search is underway for a staff sergeant in training who disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday afternoon during a training exercise * The unidentified Air Force airman was from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida * He exited a C-130 four engine aircraft around 1.45pm from a height of 1,500 feet * He deployed his parachute and was last seen treading water in the Gulf, approximately four miles south of Hurlburt Field * As the aircraft turned to retrieve the man, crewmen lost sight of him * Several vessels, three Air Force aircraft were deployed in the search * The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Coast Guard are also on the scene
A desperate search is underway for a missing airman who disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico after suffering a parachute-jump mishap while exiting a Special Operations military plane.
The unidentified Air Force airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field was exiting a C-130 four-engine aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico during a training exercise around 1.45pm Tuesday when he suddenly vanished into the water below.
'The fall happened during a parachute-jump training exercise out of Hurlburt Field,' a report from the Air Force Times said.
The Coast Guard said the airman was a staff sergeant in training and fell out of the aircraft at 1,500 feet, according to WEAR.
Twenty masked gunmen launched a failed attack on a Tajik outpost on the border with Uzbekistan. The rare attack was quashed when border forces launched a counter operation and killed most of the raiders.
At least 17 people were killed in an overnight raid by armed men on an outpost on the border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Tajik authorities said on Wednesday.
"An armed group of 20 unknown masked individuals attacked a border outpost … using firearms," said Tajikistan's national security committee, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS.
Tajikistan's border forces said the assailants were members of the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group in Afghanistan.
At least five of the gunmen were detained and later provided critical intelligence during interrogations, authorities said.
World leaders have called on Iran to fulfil the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal, after it begins injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility.
Iran has begun to further distance itself from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed its atomic work, local media reported on Wednesday (local time).
The deal bans nuclear material from Fordow and, with the injection of uranium gas into its centrifuges, the facility will move from its permitted status of research plant to become an active nuclear site.
Over the weekend, Representative Ilhan Omar, making a stump speech for the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, praised him for his willingness to “fight against Western imperialism and . . . for a just world.” But, notes, Clifford May, it is unlikely she was referring to, say, European colonization of Africa, which ended in the 20th century. She seems, in fact, indifferent to contemporary imperialism:
Right now, people in Hong Kong, Iraq, and Lebanon are putting their lives on the line in struggles against oppressive empire builders. Omar, Sanders, and others who fancy themselves anti-imperialists show not the slightest concern for them. Start with Hong Kong, a colony of the British empire in the past, most of whose 7.3 million citizens vehemently oppose Hong Kong’s becoming a colony of the Chinese Communist party in the future. . . . [I]n a “just world,” wouldn’t governments require the consent of those they govern?
Move on to Iraq, where demonstrators by the tens of thousands have been protesting the ills caused by chronic corruption and economic mismanagement. They blame the Islamic Republic of Iran. . . . Turn next to Lebanon, [also under the thumb of Iranian imperialism, via the Tehran-controlled terrorist group Hizballah].
Unlike Western imperialists of the 20th century, the rulers of the Chinese and Iranian empires are unlikely to respond to protests by quietly lowering their flags and going home. Nevertheless, the free nations of the world should be implementing policies in support of those fighting 21st-century imperialism. At the very least, that means providing no financial assistance to governments controlled by terrorists or Communists.
One last question: is there no enterprising reporter willing to ask Omar and. Sanders what they mean by “Western imperialism,” how they plan to “fight” it, and whether they have any sympathy at all for those now resisting domination by non-Western empires? Their answers would be edifying.
At the end of the last decade, writer Malu Halasa and designer Rana Salam came from London to Syria, with the aim of discovering aspects of Syria’s culture and the Middle East in general. In 2008, they published “The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie - Intimacy and Design” which gives am insight into Syrians intimate lives.
The authors of the book, both of Middle Easter origins, were captivated by the remarkable contradiction between the conservative and religious nature of Syrian society in general, and the boldness found in women's lingerie shops, often frequented by young brides or married women mostly in Damascus and Aleppo.
The elegant book with its colourful photos shows different images of what can be found in some of these shops: underwear decorated with birds and butterflies, covered with feathers or issuing sounds or lights or even vibrating. Others included different accessories, such as a small mobile phone or plastic toys, some are made of dried fruit. The designs of many of these pieces are inspired by belly dancing outfits or the handicrafts that Syria is famous for and are usually embroidered using a single needle and all are made locally in workshops within the country.
In addition, the book includes pictures of mostly blond Eastern European girls modelling the lingerie. Most stores have catalogues showing pictures of non-Syrian models since Syrian society frowns on girls showing off their bodies.
Through numerous observations and encounters inside and outside Syria, and even through incomplete interviews with people who refused to answer certain questions, the writers talk about the contradictions in Syrian society which oscillates between conservatism and modernity. Halasa and Salam did not aim to state that Syrian women are oppressed but rather aimed at shedding light on a different aspect of their worlds, part of their popular traditions and the importance of underwear in married lives, and about the different roles, they are expected to play, both inside and outside the home.
Nasri Lingerie Souk
Almost ten years after the publication of the book, it seemed interesting to discover the changes in that "secret world", especially after the violent war in Syria which has cast a shadow on all Syrians without exception, a visit to one of the most famous women's underwear markets in Damascus - Nasri Souk would be most telling.
Nasri Souk which lies in a small roofed street, branches off from the most famous souk in Damascus: Hamidiyeh. Until the middle of the last century, it was known as the Tarabish (or Fez) market and there are two stories to why it carried that name: the first says that it was dedicated to the sale of Tarabish, that is, the red fezes that men used to wear, especially during the Ottoman era, and the second story attributes the name to the Tarabishi family who owned the market, then the name changed to Nasri after the Nasri family, who hail from the Jobar neighbourhood of Damascus, bought the entire Souk.
However, as of the mid-1960s, this market began to shift to the sale of women's underwear and tailoring supplies, and a decade after that it became the city's most daring and popular market, especially for girls from middle-class families who are putting together a trousseau, also every woman who wants to spice up her marital life goes Nasri market to find unique items.
The Secret Life of Syria’s Lingerie, a telling tale of what has happened to Syrian society: less disposable income, less innovation, less production, less inhibition, and younger brides. Thrill seekers in an otherwise grey life is what keeps shops open.
Syrians were always at peace with pleasure and sexuality, especially in the big cities. A visit to Damascus’ Souk Nasri lingerie stalls reminds one of the real priorities in life: temptation and thrills.
Today it’s hard for visitors to miss the market which lies along the long Hamidiya Street. The entrance is topped by a banner: ” Nasri Souk Welcomes You" and is decorated with bright colours and underwear in different designs. The market contains no more than twenty shops some of which are simply tables on which undies are displayed while other shops can accommodate some customers inside.
Most days these shops are crowded with women of different age groups and social backgrounds looking for specific items, or just shopping for the latest designs. Like in most Syrian markets, women in Nasri market spend a lot of time choosing the best items and then negotiating with vendors to get the best price they can.
The observations of the Nasri Souk shop owners about shoppers purchasing habits compared to pre-war are very interesting, these reflect Syria’s evolution terms of social, economic and cultural changes that cannot be ignored or denied.
“The biggest change in Syria are decency and kindness”. “The houses were destroyed, we can rebuild them”. “People died, may God have mercy on their souls, but what has happened to people’s spirits will need years to mend” says one of the shop owners, asking to remain anonymous as did the rest of the people we interviewed, they don’t like journalists and fear that talking to them would bring trouble”.
I asked him "What do you mean by morals changing?" He replies that the Syrian war has cost hundreds of thousands of women their husbands through death, exile and travel while other women have been denied the chance to get married due to the disproportionate migration of men, the war has also pushed many to marry at a very young age, meaning there has been an increase in the number of divorce. “Girls have been exposed from an early age to sexual matters, they would not have such exposure were it not for the war, sexual matters have become commonplace.”
Others talk about the positive psychological effect of buying underwear, especially those with bright colours, which justifies the demand for them. “If a woman or her husband experience depression, and that is quite common during war, it’s our duty to bring joy to their hearts.” This seems to be the slogan of the market where shop-owners pride themselves on being on-trend with colours and models “meeting the demands of customers searching for everything new”.
These trends include the introduction of bright colours like yellow, pink and violet, and the use of materials such as beads and shiny elements of all shapes. Some shop owners spoke of the high demand for new designs not only from Syrian customers living in Damascus, but from Syrians living outside the country, and even from customers from neighbouring countries like Lebanon, Iraq and, most recently, Jordan - after the reopening of the crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border.
It is not difficult to notice many designs featured in "The Secret Life of Syrian Women's Lingerie" but things are not what they used to be, shopkeepers say, many factories closed their doors and their owners have left the country, securing the necessary raw materials has become difficult. "Most stores had to give up lingerie sets that produced music, responded to clapping, or could be operated with remote control as importing some of the elements has become difficult.”
Of course, none of the sellers overlooked the impact of the deterioration of the value of the Syrian currency and the deterioration of the economic situation throughout the country on sales, especially since the customers of this market are the middle class who were affected most by the economic effects of the war. Some talked about how women are buying only crucial goods and how priorities have shifted for female breadwinners who are forced to think about securing food, clothes and medicine for the children in the absence of their husbands and how there has also been a drop in the number of tourists that would visit this market specifically, many said: "This year's sales are the worst ever".
In all cases, shopkeepers agree that the underwear trade has not and will not experience a decline no matter how harsh the situation in the country turns. "On the most dangerous days, when the shelling was at its worst, we still had dozens of customers. Lingerie is a necessity for many women, sometimes more important than food and drink," says the last person I interviewed, with a broad smile.
LARSON, COURTNEY, SWEET, WINDOM ENTER HANGTOWN 100
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Placerville, California (November 5, 2019)………Two weeks remain until the start of the inaugural Elk Grove Ford Hangtown 100, and already, the lineup is absolutely stacked with a multitude of talent from various disciplines throughout the racing world.
All are gunning for the top prize at California’s Placerville Speedway which features over $130,000 in total prize money for the co-sanctioned USAC NOS Energy Drink National and Western States Midget event on November 19-20.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup star and versatile dirt track pilot Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) will debut his own No. 1K for the first time in USAC National competition. The 2011 USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year captured a non-sanctioned midget victory in the car at Placerville in September.
Larson is joined by a host of others who are planning to make rare outdoor midget starts at the event, including 2017 Indiana Midget Week champ Shane Golobic (Fremont, Calif.), 2016 USAC National Midget Rookie of the year Carson Macedo (Lemoore, Calif.), 11-time USAC National Midget winner Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, Calif.), two-time All Star Circuit of Champions titlist Aaron Reutzel (Clute, Texas) and Gio Scelzi (Fresno, Calif.), all of whom have been winners on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car circuit in 2019.
What makes the event unique is that the talented bunch listed above gets the opportunity to face off against competitors who’ve been in the seat of a midget all year, including USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget point leader Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.), plus series winners Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.), Zeb Wise (Angola, Ind.) and Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and against past series champs Spencer Bayston (2017) of Lebanon, Ind., Tanner Thorson of Minden, Nev. (2016), Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. (2006-07) and Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. (2001-02).
Not to mention, the bucket of talent infused throughout the field continues to overflow with 2019 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car winners Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) and Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) versus top international midget racing stars Michael Pickens (Auckland, New Zealand) and Kaidon Brown (Sydney, Australia).
The USAC Western States Midget contingent is prepared to defend its home turf with the likes of series point leader Robert Dalby (Anaheim, Calif.), 2018 champion Michael Faccinto (Hanford, Calif.), recent Ventura winner Chase Johnson (Penngrove, Calif.), and regional USAC Sprint champs Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) and Ryan Bernal (Hollister, Calif.).
Tuesday’s PureCrop1 main event on November 19 will be 30-laps, $5,000-to-win and features the top-12 cars in combined points inverted. Following the action on opening night there will be a post-race party on the fairgrounds with food, drinks, a live band and a lot of fun to be had.
Wednesday night’s Royal Truck Body A-main on November 20 will be 100-laps around the famed red clay oval with the winner picking up a $20,000 payday. The overall points champion for the two nights will pocket a $12,000 bonus.
Reserved seating continues to be on sale for the Elk Grove Ford Hangtown 100 and can be purchased by visiting www.hangtown100.com/tickets.
A rain date has also been established for Thursday November 21st in case of inclement weather. To stay up to date with event news be sure and visit www.hangtown100.com and follow along on Twitter https://twitter.com/hangtown100.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. For more information on the Placerville Speedway log onto www.placervillespeedway.com
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By Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
07 October 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The modern concept of refugee protection was born in the middle of the last century, as the world emerged from two devastating global conflicts and was preparing to enter the Cold War. Millions had been uprooted from their homes, as wars cast people adrift, empires disintegrated, borders were redrawn, and minorities and political opponents were persecuted and expelled. Ensuring the safety of those displaced, and resolving displacement, were among the earliest priorities of the United Nations.
Seven decades on, forced human displacement remains a global concern. The context is different, but the complexity remains immense. Today’s refugee crises are part of a growing flow of human mobility, driven by many overlapping elements.
Resource-based conflicts that transcend borders, shaped by a mosaic of local, regional and international interests; fueled by extremism, criminal networks and urban gangs.
Loss of hope, as global advances in prosperity, education and the fight against hunger and disease fail to reach those most in need.
Conflicts premised on ethnic and religious differences, stoked by others for political and financial gain.
Collapsing eco-systems and weather-related disasters that destroy homes and livelihoods, forcing millions further into poverty.
Damaging forms of nationalism, and hate speech that – often through cyberspace – have found a new legitimacy in public discourse.
Refugees emerge from these widening fault-lines – a warning of things going wrong. This is why tackling forced displacement calls again for a bigger, broader ambition than we have managed to muster in the recent past.
This was the vision that drove the development of the Global Compact on Refugees. Addressing refugee crises cannot be done in isolation from larger global challenges, and from effective migration policies. The two compacts – on refugees, and on safe, orderly and regular migration – were designed to complement each other, and for good reason.
Look at the Sahel – a situation of enormous complexity, where insecurity, poverty and loss of traditional livelihoods are fracturing and uprooting entire communities, across the region and beyond. Protecting refugees and the internally displaced is vital. But this must be accompanied by a deeper and wider scope of action that cuts across the political, security, migration and development spheres.
Two aspects of the Global Compact on Refugees stand out.
One is its comprehensive approach. It accelerates a long-awaited shift in responses – from a traditional humanitarian angle, as the Deputy Secretary-General said, to one that preserves the humanitarian imperative, but matches it with a broader set of tools more adapted to the dynamics of today’s refugee flows.
This means peacemaking and peacebuilding, development action and private sector investment. It means sustained, strategic support to address the root causes of refugee movements and mixed population flows. The Deputy Secretary-General has just highlighted how this dovetails with the work to bring about a UN system that can best catalyze progress collectively towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Synergies between the compact and UN reforms are therefore relevant and strong.
Also, the compact makes tangible the commitment to international solidarity that underpins the refugee protection regime, but has never been fully realised. You will hear more about this from our new Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs, whom I am happy to introduce to you today.
Securing the refugee compact – a practical, concrete tool – proved that beyond the damaging, unilateral approaches that sometimes surface, a commitment to addressing refugee flows through international solidarity still prevails. At UNHCR, we are fully committed to this effort, and we count on all of you – our closest partners – to do the same. It is possible! The Global Refugee Forum, to be convened in December in this building, will be the opportunity to showcase what has been achieved, and make fresh commitments to further progress.
The last year has underscored why the compact is needed, and how it is starting to re-shape our collective response. Let me share my thoughts on seven related challenges.
First, while much of the discussion on forced displacement has focused on arrivals in the global North, the most profound consequences by far are in host countries in the global South. Preserving asylum there, and helping host communities, requires more substantial and sustained international support. More than four million Venezuelans, for example, have left the country, the majority taking refuge in 14 nations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most of these states have shown commendable solidarity, despite immense pressures. Colombia’s recent decision to grant citizenship at birth to the children of Venezuelans in the country is an example, and the Quito Process is helping shape a regional approach.
Sustaining this solidarity is vital, including through support to the services, infrastructure and economy of impacted countries. I welcome the engagement of the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank’s decision to extend support to Colombia – and potentially also Ecuador – through its Global Concessional Financing Facility. I urge them to accelerate their contributions. The forthcoming Solidarity Conference convened by the European Union, together with UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration, will be an opportunity to take stock and commit more.
Second, responses to 'mixed flows' of refugees and migrants continue to generate very divisive debates. Widespread political rhetoric exploits the anxieties prevailing among those excluded from the benefits of globalization, and directs those fears towards refugees and migrants – themselves among the most disenfranchised people on the planet. Pitting exclusion against exclusion is not only cynical and immoral – it rarely offers practical solutions to either. And measures taken or invoked to reduce flows – pushbacks, externalization of asylum processing, policies of deterrence – all erode refugee protection without really addressing the root causes of mixed flows, or the challenges of integration.
These situations are enormously complex – we must recognise that. I saw this last week in Mexico, where impressive examples of refugee integration are coupled with increasing migratory pressures from the region but also from Africa. A range of actions is undoubtedly needed to address these “mixed” flows. Several are included in that region under the MIRPS, a regional framework for protection and solutions which we have promoted; and we will contribute to UN efforts to support initiatives such as a regional development plan for Mexico and northern Central America, currently being discussed. In this context, saving lives and safeguarding the dignity and rights of all those on the move must remain central, together with access to international protection for those with valid claims. There and elsewhere, legal migration pathways would help prevent the abuse of asylum systems as substitutes of migration channels.
We observe these challenges not only in northern Central America and at the southern border of the United States, but also in southern Africa, and south-east Asia. In Europe, public confidence in asylum and migration management has been diminished, and must be restored through fast and fair procedures, good migration management that avoids overloading asylum systems, and investments in integration for those with a right to stay. Cooperation between governments is needed – including on the return of those who do not qualify for international protection or other stay arrangements.
I welcome the recent decisions of four EU States to establish a temporary cooperation mechanism for disembarking those rescued in the Mediterranean, and hope that this will galvanise broader EU engagement and revitalize rescue at sea arrangements. But this must also be matched by a broader ambition – investments in addressing the root causes of refugee flows, and supporting the efforts of refugee-hosting and transit countries. UNHCR continues to evacuate the most vulnerable from Libya – efforts for which Niger and now Rwanda are providing life-saving channels. Hopefully, others will join. We work closely with the International Organisation for Migration in these efforts, as elsewhere. But these operations pose enormous dilemmas, and can only be sustained as part of a comprehensive, responsibility-sharing approach that has the preservation of life, and access to international protection as central imperatives. There, as in several other operations, UNHCR colleagues and our partners are working – let us not forget that – under extremely dangerous conditions.
Third, long-standing and recurring displacement crises continue to persist, in the absence of political solutions. And other major crises are now becoming protracted too. In this context, the compact’s emphasis on inclusion, resilience and development action – pending solutions – is critical. This year marked the fortieth anniversary of the start of the Afghan refugee crisis. Regrettably, peace efforts seem once again to have stalled. I welcome Afghanistan’s decision to apply the comprehensive refugee response model in support of its initiatives to solve displacement, but solutions remain compromised by drought, insecurity and governance failures. Just 15,000 refugees returned home last year. The hospitality displayed by Pakistan and Iran, and their work on refugee inclusion and self-reliance, as well as on legal migration and stay options, are ground-breaking, but must receive more international support while the Afghan crisis continues.
In Somalia, too, while the commitment of the government to reduce forced displacement is evident and commendable, conflict and drought are still inhibiting solutions and driving new displacement. In this context, the regional application of the comprehensive response model by IGAD helps strengthen asylum, access to rights, and refugee inclusion in health, education and national economies.
Governments in the East and Horn of Africa have been in the forefront of the application of the comprehensive refugee response model. Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda, among others, have made enormous strides with the support of the World Bank’s expertise and financing, bilateral development support and private sector investments. These are already transforming the lives of many refugees, as well as refugee-hosting communities across the region, and proving the validity of the model enshrined in the compact. They are giving concrete meaning to the African Union’s decision to declare 2019 the year of refugees, displaced people and returnees in Africa.
Fourth, the issue of repatriation continues to be the subject of much attention. A question we are increasingly asked is – how to advance solutions, when security in countries of origin remains fragile, and there is no end of hostilities? Can people return to their home countries in the absence of political settlements?
The answer is that returns must be driven by people, not by politics. Across UNHCR’s operations, we have an ongoing dialogue with refugees on return, and on the complex factors that influence their decisions. We work with governments to help create the conditions paving the way for returns. These must be voluntary and sustainable.
Take the example of Syria. Some 200,000 Syrian refugees have returned since 2016, and over three quarters of the almost six million refugees in neighbouring countries say they hope to return one day. We must continue to be guided by their views and decisions, and provide support to those who choose to return to avoid exposing them to further hardship.
Our policy is not to stand back and wait. We work with the Government of Syria to help address barriers to return and support confidence-building measures; hoping of course that recent political advances are consolidated; and that further humanitarian crises – especially in Idlib – can be avoided through concerted action by all parties.
In the meantime, international support to asylum countries must be sustained. Their outstanding generosity, and continuous donor support have helped Syrian refugees contend with long years in exile, even in places like Lebanon where the ratio of refugees to nationals continues to be the highest in the world. The achievements are significant: last year, 1.3 million Syrian refugee children were attending school, and 110,000 work permits were issued in Jordan and Turkey. However, acute poverty and vulnerability are weighing on people’s lives, and on host communities, and inevitably influencing their decisions.
In Myanmar, too, the Government has recognised the right of refugees in Bangladesh to return, and has started an important dialogue with the refugees, to build confidence and enable informed decisions. UNHCR and UNDP are working on social cohesion projects in northern Rakhine State to help pave the way for eventual returns. These are important steps, but need to be accompanied by more visible changes on key issues of refugee concern – freedom of movement, solutions for the internally displaced, clear information on a pathway to citizenship.
A second bilateral initiative to commence repatriation in August did not result in any refugees coming forward. But it sent important messages: the door is open, and voluntariness was respected. My hope is that this can now pave the way for a more strategic approach, in which refugee voices and choices are central. UNHCR stands ready to advise and support. There, and in other places, for example with Burundian refugees in Tanzania, and Nigerian refugees in the Lake Chad region, we are available to facilitate dialogue and solutions through tripartite approaches which include UNHCR.
Fifth, and closely linked to my previous point, we need to seize opportunities to accelerate solutions. Conflicts moving towards peace are rare, but when there is a chance, we have to pursue it. In this respect, we are closely following events in Sudan and South Sudan. The political transition in Sudan and the new Government’s commitment to a peace process have important implications for hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees, and for the internally displaced. The renewed momentum in the South Sudan peace process is also encouraging. Spontaneous refugee returns to South Sudan have already surpassed 200,000, and IDP returns are also under way.
Over the last two years, UNHCR and IGAD have been promoting the inclusion of refugees and internally displaced people in the South Sudan peace process. I hope that these recent developments will pave the way to a definitive end of the cycle of violence and displacement that has blighted the lives of generations of Sudanese and South Sudanese people.
Resettlement is another solution – albeit for very few. While some countries are stepping up their programmes, the overall number of places has plummeted. I am very disappointed by this. Resettlement saves lives and offers stability to refugees who are most vulnerable and at risk. I propose that we use more deliberately our new three-year strategy to intensify resettlement efforts, and expand private sector and community involvement.
The sixth major challenge relates to our engagement with the internally displaced. At the end of 2018, over 41 million people were living in displacement in their own countries. Major IDP operations, in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the Lake Chad Basin, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ukraine, remain among our most politically and operationally complex – but all are among our priorities. I wish to flag in particular that together with our partners, we are responding with more resources to the Ethiopian government’s call for support to address recent large-scale internal displacement in the country.
In sum, we are trying to better align our efforts to advance solutions for refugees and IDPs, and to design our operations more effectively, in the context of inter-agency efforts. Our new policy on internal displacement reflects our firm and revitalized commitment. This places particular emphasis on protection leadership, and aligning our interventions with those of our partners.
A few days ago, at the start of the 74th session of the General Assembly in New York, we heard calls to accelerate our responses to the climate emergency, before it is too late. Greta Thunberg, speaking for the next generations, and António Guterres, speaking as the world’s conscience, were adamant in asking all of us to take action – now.
These calls concern us, too, as we gather here to discuss issues of forced displacement. I have just presented six key displacement-related challenges. The seventh intersects and underpins them all.
Climate-related causes are a growing driver of new internal displacement, surpassing those related to conflict and violence by more than 50%. Climate is often also a pervasive factor in cross-border displacement.
The term “climate refugee” is not based in international law, and does not reflect the more complicated ways in which climate interacts with human mobility. But the image it conveys – of people driven from their homes as an outcome of the climate emergency – has rightly captured public attention.
I am often asked how the UN refugee organization can help respond to this challenge. I wish to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts for your consideration.
For some years, UNHCR has worked to highlight relevant legal frameworks and the protection gaps resulting from cross-border displacement in the context of climate change. We will continue to help steer international discussions and the legal and normative debate in this area, including through engagement with the Platform on Disaster Displacement, and other multilateral fora.
Forced displacement across borders can stem from the interaction between climate change and disasters with conflict and violence – or it can arise from natural or man-made disasters alone. Either situation can trigger international protection needs.
In the first case, these would normally be met through recognition as a refugee under the 1951 Convention or regional refugee frameworks. In the second, temporary protection or stay arrangements, on which UNHCR has expertise, can provide flexible and speedy responses.
Even more specifically, where disaster-related displacement occurs, a strong operational response, guided by protection considerations, is often needed. Here too, UNHCR will continue to work in inter-agency contexts to support governments – building on our strong expertise in emergency responses. The Global Compact on Refugees by the way calls for preparedness measures and evidence-based forecasting, and the inclusion of refugees in disaster risk reduction strategies.
There are other considerations. Climate factors drive people out of their homes – but large-scale refugee movements – whether or not climate-induced – have themselves in turn an environmental impact, and refugees are frequently located in climate hotspots. I am determined to make these considerations more relevant to the way we prepare for and respond to refugee crises.
At UNHCR, we have worked for years to reduce the environmental impact of refugee crises through renewable energy options, reforestation activities, and access to clean fuels and technology for cooking. We have now launched a revitalized energy strategy and are improving our tools to address these challenges. Private sector partners such as the IKEA Foundation have been invaluable in helping us develop new approaches.
And finally like other organizations, we recognise that our own operational footprint has an environmental impact, and are taking action accordingly. We are working, for example, to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
Work to respond to these challenges is made possible by the strong confidence that UNHCR continues to receive from donor partners. We expect funds available this year to reach an estimated 4.82 billion US dollars. The United States’ contribution has continued to be the most substantial, and has been decisive in many challenging situations, and for this I am very grateful. I wish to thank the European Commission and Germany for their particularly strong support; and Sweden, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands for providing critical, substantive unearmarked funding; and of course all other donors as well.
The gap between requirements and available resources nonetheless continues to grow in absolute terms and will reach around 3.82 billion US dollars this year. Private sector income is projected to increase by 11% over last year’s figure, to 470 million US dollars. We continue to work to diversify our funding base, in the spirit of responsibility-sharing and to ensure a stable platform for our work. Most importantly, our partnership with development organizations is becoming much stronger, and is helping us find ways to target our resources in ways that leverage those bigger programmes.
I am aware that donor generosity must be matched by constant improvements in how we manage the organization. In late 2016, I initiated a reform process to ensure an agile and effective UNHCR, with country operations equipped to pursue context-driven strategies, innovate, and respond to local and regional dynamics, as part of UN Country Teams. This was the rationale for our regionalisation and decentralization process, which is giving greater authority and flexibility to country offices, helping us get closer to refugees, and front-loading support through Regional Bureaux located in their regions.
We are entering the last phase of structural changes, which will involve adjustments to Headquarters Divisions and other entities in line with the new rebalanced authorities.
Of course, transformation is not only about structures and accountabilities, and is not a one-time exercise – it is also about transforming our organisational culture, investing in the quality of work, improving and streamlining systems and processes, and creating space for innovation.
We are working on evidence-based planning, on how we describe impact, and on increasing efficiency, in line with our Grand Bargain commitments and as an active participant, as the Deputy Secretary-General noted, in broader UN reforms. I recently endorsed a Data Transformation Strategy, and the new UNHCR/World Bank Joint Data Centre will be inaugurated this week in Copenhagen by the Secretary-General – a milestone of humanitarian/development cooperation.
We also continue to embed a strong risk management culture across the organisation, and to strengthen systems and tools for preventing and responding to misconduct. This includes sexual exploitation and abuse, and sexual harassment, for which we have implemented a broad range of measures and to which I am personally committed, also as Champion for this issue in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee. There is no place in the organization for perpetrators, and we will keep survivors and victims at the center of our response.
In 2011, my predecessor, the Secretary-General, convened a ministerial meeting on the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, and the 50th of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. It is fair to say that until then, the statelessness mandate had been a rather peripheral aspect of UNHCR’s work. Clearly, you didn’t see it that way. More than 60 states and regional entities came forward with pledges aimed at reducing statelessness, and that groundswell of political will and commitment became the catalyst for the #IBelong campaign, launched in 2014. Spurred on by the energy that had emerged, we decided to fix a time limit – ten years – to bring statelessness to an end.
Now, as we mark the halfway point, it’s time to take stock and renew the commitment that set us on the path towards that bold ambition. This is the aim of the High-Level Segment that will follow in a few moments, as part of this Executive Committee meeting.
When we talk about statelessness, we often find ourselves speaking of laws, documents and other technicalities. These are critical, and are where the hard work has to happen, but when we frame statelessness purely in legal terms, we lose sight of the all-encompassing blight it casts on people’s lives, pushing them to the margins of society, denying them basic rights and a sense of identity. This is an area in which – for relatively little investment – wide-reaching impact is within our reach.
Some of you, last year, were present at an EXCOM side event at which a young woman who had grown up stateless became the citizen of a country for the first time. It was a deeply emotional experience for everyone present – and that moment, more than any speech or list of pledges, captured what it means to finally belong, after years spent living on the margins. She and a number of formerly stateless people are present here today, and I encourage you to talk to them and understand what citizenship has meant to them. Their stories are what will inspire us as we move ahead.
There have been important achievements in the first half of the campaign – tackling gender discrimination in nationality laws, introducing laws to avoid childhood statelessness, and developing procedures to find solutions for people who would otherwise be stateless. Certain protracted situations were finally resolved. Fifteen states acceded to one or both of the Statelessness Conventions. Kyrgyzstan became the first State to formally announce that all known cases of statelessness on its territory had been resolved – an achievement that should inspire others. I look forward to honouring a Kyrgyz champion of this campaign, Azizbek Ashurov, at the Nansen Award ceremony this evening.
I also wish to acknowledge the work of UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank, and civil society and academic networks – and especially the Geneva-based ‘Friends’ of the campaign, who have been persistent in their advocacy and support. The regional preparatory meetings have been characterized by energy and commitment. I am pleased to share that we have received 171 pledges ahead of today’s event, which has also galvanised other initiatives that may become concrete pledges later.
At a time when we are asking a lot of you, this is particularly commendable. At UNHCR, we will also step up our efforts even more to achieve the ambitious collective goal of ending statelessness once and for all.
The first Global Refugee Forum will be convened in this building in just over two months. It comes at the end of a turbulent decade, in which people and communities have been uprooted across all regions. Nobody foresaw, ten years ago, the convergence of trends and events that would lead to a doubling in the number of people forcibly displaced, and the prominence that refugee and migrant flows would assume in domestic and international politics. Addressing and resolving forced displacement has rightly emerged as an urgent priority intertwined with other 21st-century global challenges, including climate change.
The big question now is – what are we going to make of the next decade? Will it be one that sees us in retreat – turning our backs on the hard-learned lessons of the twentieth century – or one in which we will have the courage of joining forces in spite of our different perspectives and interests, embracing the challenges and opportunities of international cooperation to address the plight of exile? These are the fundamental questions that the Forum will have to tackle. I hope – of course – that it will respond by clearly showing the second way. I encourage all of you to ensure high-level representation from States, share positive experiences, and make significant and impactful commitments that will greatly improve the future of refugees and host communities.
I believe that in the Global Compact for Refugees, we have grounds for optimism. The momentum is there. We have a powerful tool that was born of a narrative of possibility. The Forum will be the occasion, I hope, to show that we do not shy away from the enormous responsibility placed on all of us – one that stems not only from the refugees and host communities looking to us for action, but also from the opportunity that we have to inspire new generations, and demonstrate, in so many practical, concrete ways, why international cooperation matters, and how it can be made to work.
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia
WASHINGTON DC, September 20, 2019 - This week, Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and the World Bank announced a ground-breaking partnership to enrol two million out of school children from more than 40 countries by 2025. During a meeting with World Bank President David Malpass, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation, stressed the importance of this framework agreement.
The agreement commits up to $250 million in funding for developing countries striving to enable access to quality primary education for all of their still out-of-school children. Unlike traditional philanthropic efforts of organizations like EAA who usually fund local non-profits directly, this innovative funding model aims to take lessons learned in the field to scale, through direct support to participating countries with implementation, evaluation, and reporting - enabling accountability and systemic change at the national level.
Out of school children (OOSC) are among the hardest to reach in each country due to the many and often compounding barriers to education including extreme poverty, distance to school, and conflict. This new agreement calls on governments to utilise funds to prioritise out of school children by ensuring their access to quality primary education through results-based financing. The agreement highlights the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting developing nations, in providing education for all, and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 4 (ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning).
"The World Bank is committed to addressing the global learning crisis. The partnership with Education Above All is critically important in this effort. There are still too many out of school children around the globe. Together we will bring these children into school and help them learn and fulfil their potential. Learning for all is a foundation for building strong human capital for every country," said Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education at the World Bank.
"Our partnership with Qatar and Education Above All will play an especially important role in the Middle East and North Africa," said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. "As access to quality education is critical for the region to unlock the huge potential of its large youth population, whose energy and creativity could become a new source of dynamic and inclusive growth."
Through this new funding structure, EAA and The World Bank will support financing opportunities for resource mobilization, education advocacy, and poverty reduction in developing countries across three continents. Proposed targeted countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.
About Education Above All (EAA) Foundation
The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The Foundation envisions bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of impoverished and marginalized children, youth and women, especially in the developing world and in difficult circumstances such as conflict situations and natural disasters. It believes that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, as well as a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, visit educationaboveall.orghttp://educationaboveall.org/.
About World Bank Group Work on Education
The World Bank Group is the largest financier of education in the developing world. We work on education programs in more than 80 countries and are committed to helping countries reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which calls for access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. In 2018, we provided about $4.5 billion for education programs, technical assistance, and other projects designed to improve learning and provide everyone with the opportunity to get the education they need to succeed. Our current portfolio of education projects totals $17 billion, highlighting the importance of education for the achievement of our twin goals, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Afghanistan, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao (The Netherlands), Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen
Global trends and challenges
More than 1 per cent of people across the planet right now are caught up in major humanitarian crises. The international humanitarian system is more effective than ever at meeting their needs – but global trends including poverty, population growth and climate change are leaving more people than ever vulnerable to the devastating impacts of conflicts and disasters.
Humanitarian needs are increasing despite global economic and development gains. In the past decade, the world has made profound development progress. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 1.2 billion to 736 million. The world is also richer than ever before: global GDP rose from $63.4 trillion in 2008 to $80.7 trillion in 2017.
But in recent years, more than 120 million people each year have needed urgent humanitarian assistance and protection. There are more crises, affecting more people, and lasting longer today than a decade ago. Most humanitarian crises are not the product of any single factor or event, but of the interaction between natural hazards, armed conflict and human vulnerability.
People’s vulnerability to crises is not just about where they live, but also about how they live.
Poverty, inequality, population growth, urbanization and climate change can erode people’s resilience and make them more susceptible to shocks. Although development gains are being made, progress has been uneven. The rate of extreme poverty remains high in low-income countries and in countries affected by conflict. Crises have disproportionate consequences for the poor: people exposed to natural hazards in the poorest nations are at least seven times more likely to die from them than those in the richest nations.
Fragile and conflict-affected areas are growing faster and urbanizing more rapidly than the rest of the world
In the past five years, the world’s population has grown by 400 million people, from 7.2 billion in 2014 to 7.6 billion in 2017. Although global population growth has slowed compared with previous decades, the rate has been uneven. Today, an estimated 2 billion people live in fragile and conflict affected areas of the word, where they are extremely vulnerable to the impact of conflicts and disasters. This number is projected to increase, as the population in these areas is growing twice as fast as the rest of the world, with an annual growth rate of 2.4 per cent, compared with 1.2 per cent globally. And the urban population in fragile areas grows by 3.4 per cent each year, compared with the world average of 2 per cent. These trends can compound resource scarcity and increase vulnerability to disasters. Urban population density can also amplify the impact of disasters and conflicts. In 2017, when explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 92 per cent of casualties were civilians, compared with 20 per cent in other areas. The populations of countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence are also younger than the global average. Whereas the proportion of the world’s population under 14 years of age has been steadily declining to about 25 per cent today, the average for countries in fragile situations is 40 per cent. As a result, one in every four children in the world is living in a country affected by conflict or disaster, facing threats of violence, hunger and disease. In 2017, more than 75 million children experienced disruptions to their education because of humanitarian crises, threatening not only their present well-being, but their future prospects as well.
More people are being displaced by conflicts
By the end of 2017, war, violence and persecution had uprooted 68.5 million men, women and children around the world – the highest number on record, and nearly 10 million more people than in 2014. Just over 40 million people were internally displaced by violence within their own countries, and 25.4 million refugees and 3.1 million asylum seekers were forced to flee their countries to escape conflict and persecution. The levels of new displacements far outstrip returns or other solutions. In 2017, 5 million people returned to their areas or countries of origin, but 16.2 million people were newly displaced – an average of one person displaced every two seconds, and the highest level of new displacement on record.
The rise in forced displacement is not the result of an increase in conflicts. In fact, after peaking in 2014, the number of political conflicts worldwide decreased by about 10 per cent, from 424 in 2014 to 385 in 2017, although there are still more conflicts compared with a decade ago (328 in 2007). However, during the same period, the proportion of violent and highly violent conflicts, which are more likely to cause human suffering, destruction and displacement, increased from 53 per cent to 58 per cent of all conflicts worldwide.5 The total economic impact of conflict and violence has also increased, from $14.3 trillion in 2014 to $14.8 trillion in 2017.6 The major share of both the human and economic cost of conflicts is borne by developing countries, which host 85 per cent of refugees.
Source: Forced Migration Review, University of Oxford
Country: Afghanistan, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Eritrea, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, World, Zambia
From the editors
When people are forced by conflict or other circumstances to leave their homes, they usually also leave behind their means of economic activity and subsistence. In their new location, they may not be able, or permitted, to work to support themselves. This has wide-ranging implications not only for people’s immediate earning capacity and well-being but also for community relations, economic development and the capacity of future generations to lead fulfilling lives. In our main feature on Economies, authors explore the complex interactions of the constraints and opportunities involved, drawing on case-studies from around the world and highlighting the roles of new actors, new technologies and new – or renewed – approaches.
We are also pleased to include two ‘mini-features’ in this FMR, one on Refugeeled social protection and one on Humans and animals in refugee camps. (See the back cover if you are interested in collaborating with FMR on a mini-feature – or a full feature.)
We would like to thank Karen Jacobsen (Tufts University) and Khalid Koser (Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund) for their assistance as advisors to the Economies feature theme. We are also grateful to the following donors for their support of this issue: ESRC-AHRC (Economic and Social Research Council and Arts and Humanities Research Council) Global Challenges Research Fund, the Global Program on Forced Displacement of the World Bank Group, Mercy Corps, UNHCR Division of Resilience and Solutions (Livelihoods Unit) and the Wellcome Trust.
See www.fmreview.org/economies to access the magazine, its accompanying ‘digest’ and all individual articles. A podcast of each article is also available. FMR 58 will be available in English, Arabic, Spanish and French. For printed copies, please email us at email@example.com.
Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen
Education is lifesaving. Education is crucial for both the protection and healthy development of girls and boys affected by crises. It can rebuild their lives; restore their sense of normality and safety, and provide them with important life skills. It helps children to be self-sufficient, to be heard, and to have more influence on issues that affect them. It is also one of the best tools to invest in their long-term future, and in the peace, stability and economic growth of their countries.
Education in emergencies actions can help prevent, reduce, mitigate and respond to emergency-related academic, financial, social, institutional, physical and infrastructural barriers to children's education, while ensuring the provision of safe, inclusive and quality education.
In 2017, the EU dedicates 6% of its annual humanitarian aid budget to education in emergencies, one of the most underfunded sectors of humanitarian aid. In 2018, this amount will increase to 8%.
4.7 million girls and boys in 52 countries have benefited from EUfunded education in emergencies actions between 2012 and 2017.
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Last week, hundreds of thousands of Chilean protesters joined those in Hong Kong, Bolivia, Lebanon and Spain to demand democratic reforms. Though driven to the streets by a rise in the cost of public transportation, demonstrators quickly turned to protest political injustices, demanding reforms to a tragically broken neoliberalist constitution and an unjust political system. […]
The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God's realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for his Almighty power. Nothing is too small for his love. - Corrie TenBoom
Loggers Kill Indigenous Protector of the Forest
Illegal loggers in the Amazon ambushed an Indigenous group that was formed to protect the forest and shot one of them dead. Paulo Paulino Guajajara, or Lobo (which means ‘wolf’ in Portuguese), was hunting on Friday inside the Arariboia reservation when he was attacked and shot in the head. The clash comes amid an increase in invasions of reservations by illegal loggers and miners since Brazil’s President took office this year and vowed to open up protected Indigenous lands to economic development.
God, for Indigenous people in Brazil whose way of life is threatened, and whose lives are threatened, by powerful business or political forces, we pray. Protect them, Lord. We pray for justice in this incident of violence, and for a future in Brazil that protects the natural resources that are so globally significant for human health, and for a future that protects the dignity of indigenous people.
DACA Heads to U.S. Supreme Court
Nearly 700,000 so-called Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children, are waiting for the US Supreme Court to decide their fate -- a decision that is scheduled for November 12. They have been living in limbo since September 2017, when President Trump ordered his administration to stop renewing the temporary work permits for those in the DACA program. DACA is a temporary work permit given as the President’s executive order, in lieu of Congress passing a law that gives them permanent protection. The court will decide whether it was legal for then-President Barack Obama to create DACA without congressional approval in 2012.
We pray for young men and women whose DACA status gave them hope and a sense of a future. Uphold them as they wait, Lord. We pray for Congress to -- we offer our prayers for hope, for dignity, and for a way forward. God, give wisdom to the justices as they weigh this important decision. Give compassion to our leaders who pass laws, or fail to pass laws, that shape the lives of so many. Give hope to the families who wait for signs of a brighter future.
Protesters blocked roads in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon on Monday, pressing a wave of demonstrations against the ruling elite that have plunged the country into political turmoil at a time of acute economic crisis.The nationwide protests, which were ignited on Oct. 17 by a government proposal to tax WhatsApp calls, led Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister last week. There has been no sign of progress yet toward agreement on a new government.
God, for the protests in Lebanon, we offer our prayers. For those suffering because roads, schools, and commerce are closed or dangerous, we pray for sustenance and protection. For powerful leaders who can resist or address calls for change, we pray for wisdom. For protestors, who risk their livelihoods and safety to voice their beliefs, we pray for wisdom.
Canada to Decide if U.S. Remains Safe for Asylum Seekers
A long-awaited legal look into whether the U.S. remains a safe country for refugees begins today at a Federal Court in Toronto. At issue is the Safe Third Country Agreement, which prohibits people from asking for asylum if they enter Canada from the U.S. — and vice versa. The agreement was signed by the two countries 17 years ago on the grounds both are safe places, so those seeking sanctuary should apply in the first country where they arrive. But as the U.S. has tightened its asylum rules and regulations in recent years, the deal has come under scrutiny over concerns that actions taken by the Trump administration no longer make the U.S. a safe harbour for asylum seekers.
God, for those who are desperate at borders they long to enter, but are prevented from doing so, we pray for comfort and for provision and for safety. We pray for those who think through policy and lawmaking, which affect so many people -- we pray for clear thinking, wise decision, and compassionate hearts.
We need your voice on this issue! As an expression of love for God’s awesome creation, tell your MP that you, as a person of faith, want meaningful climate action – consistent with the principles of the Paris Agreement – to reduce GHG emissions and address climate change. Add your voice today!
In 1989, the UN adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child on November 20, Universal Children’s Day. The Convention of the Rights of the Child lists the right not to be tortured or subjected to inhuman treatment or punishment. Ask your Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2407 and ensure that the billions of dollars sent to Israel every year are not used to abuse or detain Palestinian children. Take action now!
The Quds News Network has called Twitter’s move to suspend its account “a demonstration of clear bias against Palestinian media”. The news agency was suspended from the social media platform along with multiple accounts linked to the political and militant groups Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Anti-government demonstrations in Lebanon and Iraq have resulted in the resignation of both countries’ prime ministers. Despite these changes in leadership, one expert argues that a resolution - for Iraq in particular - may not come as soon as it should due to outside actors seeking to distance them from Tehran.
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Uprisings against the corrupt, generation-long dominance of neoliberal “center-right” and “center-left” governments that benefit the wealthy and multinational corporations at the expense of working people are sweeping country after country all over the world. In this Autumn of Discontent, people from Chile, Haiti and Honduras to Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon are rising up against neoliberalism, […]
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When I heard that United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Commissioner Pierre Krahenbuhl resigned, I was shocked. After all, the UN does not have the best track record when it comes to investigating corruption allegations against its own agencies, let alone when it comes to the UNRWA, which until recently had airtight immunity from criticism.
For 70 years, UNRWA has been something of a separate entity in the UN, one dedicated solely to the issue of Palestinian "refugees," alongside the agency that handles all other refugees – the UNHCR. But unlike the former UNRWA never even tried to solve the refugee problem and seemed dedicated to perpetuating it.
Case in point: When UNRWA was founded in 1949, there were around 700,000 Palestinian refugees in the world. Today, their number stands at 5.7 million.
But UNRWA's data must always be taken with a grain of salt, as they tend to artificially inflate. A census that took place in Lebanon in 2017 found that 300,000 people included in the agency's data simply do not exist and that the true number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was 66% smaller than stated on its reports.
At the same time, the budgets appropriated to UNRWA put the UN's actual refugee agency to shame.
Not only is UNRWA's budget per-refugee four times greater than that of any other refugee, it employs 30,000 people. The UNRCR, which deals with 70 million refugees, employs only 10,000 people.
But it seems that UNRWA's party is coming to an end.
Head of Shin Bet Nadav Argaman claimed on Thursday that the Shin Bet thwarted over 450 terror attacks in the past year. Argaman spoke at the Unmanned Systems Conference, UVID 2019, initiated by Israel Defense.
"We are an agency with excellent people, the best technology and synergy within the agency and with Israeli security authorities, which allows us to have an edge on very challenging enemies," Argaman said. "All that allowed us to thwart over 450 terror attacks in the past year and try to provide the citizens of Israel with safe and peaceful daily life without knowing what happens behind the scene."
Meanwhile, the IDF mapped on Thursday the house of Kassem Shabli, one of the terrorists who carried out an attack near the West Bank town of Dolev in August, in which 17-year-old Rina Shnerb was murdered.
The mapping was done in order to prepare for the demolition of the house in Kfar Kobar on Wednesday night.
Kassem a-Karim Ragah Shabli, 25, a member of the PFLP, has been arrested in the past for involvement in terrorist activities. Kassem provided the explosives that were used in the IED as well as assisted in assembling it, and took part in the killing of Shnerb.
Two other terrorists were arrested for involvement in the attack.
Death as a "Martyr" for Allah and for "Palestine" - during terror attacks and other violent confrontations with Israel - has been promoted as an ideal by the Palestinian Authority for years, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch.
The elevated status "Martyrs" enjoy in the PA was recently stressed by a host on official PA TV, who bragged that "Martyrdom in Palestine is unique," because a Martyr's funeral is considered "a wedding." A mother of a "Martyr" present in the TV studio expressed her opinion that death as a Martyr is "an honor": Official PA TV host: "Praise Allah, I want to say that this Martyrdom always is-"
Mother of a "Martyr": "An honor."
Official PA TV host: "Exactly! Martyrdom in Palestine is unique. We are the only ones who celebrate the news of a Martyr's wedding." [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 27, 2019]
A Martyr's funeral is considered a wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam.
These expressions of support for dying as a "Martyr" come as no surprise. PMW has documented numerous mothers and fathers who have expressed joy when their terrorist children died as "Martyrs." This is what the PA has taught them and what is expected of them. The following are examples of mothers praising their dead children's Martyrdom, collected in one video (additional texts below):
"I hold my head high. The honor is mine. I have a son who is a Martyr." [Official PA TV, Sept. 24, 2002]
"[My son] told me: 'In this entire world, I can't think of anyone to marry... I want to marry the Dark-Eyed (i.e., Virgins of Paradise).' I said: 'If these are his thoughts, I wish him Martyrdom.'" [Official PA TV, Jan. 21, 2003]
"I ask Allah to give him the reward of a Martyr... I greet all the people who came today to accompany my son at his wedding (i.e., to the Virgins of Paradise). My son is a sacrifice for the homeland, for Palestine, for Islam, and a sacrifice for all of Palestine." [Official PA TV, Feb. 17, 2018]
Why is Martyrdom-death “unique in Palestine”? According to a host on official Palestinian Authority TV, it's because "we are the only ones who celebrate the news of a Martyr's wedding."
PMW has documented numerous Palestinian parents who have expressed joy when their terrorist children died as "Martyrs." This is what the PA has taught them and what is expected of them. Here are examples of mothers praising their dead children's Martyrdom: pic.twitter.com/HzPMQmJ2bf
Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu on Wednesday released a video showing Israeli police officers physically blocking Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount from using the compound’s water fountain.
Im Tirtzu’s Tamir Baram, who was among the Jews prevented from drinking water on the Temple Mount, said: “We’ve gotten to such an absurd situation on the Temple Mount in which something so elementary as drinking water is being prevented from Jews. For those who forgot, the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site – and we deserve to be treated there with respect rather than with discrimination.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested that Washington allow the transfer of $12 million to Palestinian security forces, but President Donald Trump denied the request, Channel 13 reported.
“If it’s so important for Netanyahu, he should pay the Palestinians $12 million,” Senior White House officials told Channel 13, quoting the president.
Netanyahu's administration was supposedly one of the key factors in Trump's decision to cut aid to the Palestinians in the first place, i24 reported. The cuts were made slowly over time, but the US State Department found that the money was still being transferred to Palestinian security forces, according to Israel National News.
Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, among other Israeli officials, reportedly asked the US to allow the transfer.
"All US security assistance to the PA has ceased," a US official told Axios. "The US security coordinator and his team continue to conduct a security cooperation-only mission. These activities are not funded with foreign assistance resources."
The transfer of funds did not occur, according to Israel National News.
Security agencies in India are on alert for possible terrorist attacks on the country’s Jewish community or visiting Israeli tourists.
News site DNA India reported that both al-Qaeda and ISIS could both be involved in such attacks, as intelligence agencies have traced messages being shared online by the terror groups.
In addition, a jihadist group in the southern state of Kerala may be collecting information on the Jewish community in the district of Kochi. Kochi is home to the Cochin Jews, an ancient community most of whose members have immigrated to Israel.
There may also be plans to kidnap Israeli tourists in the country. India is a popular destination for Israeli travelers, especially for young Israelis who have just finished their military service.
DNA speculated that the terror groups could also be motivated by Israel’s support for the Indian government’s decision to impose direct rule on the disputed Kashmir region.
RELATING TO the project that will link Harper’s name in perpetuity with the State of Israel, Netanyahu said that Israel is a hub on many levels, including bird migration from Europe to Africa and back. He saw the center as an important facility for ornithological research, combining beauty and science.
In a reference to the many friendships that Israel has developed over the years with the leaders of different countries, Netanyahu said that, “the best friendship is based on an alliance of values. Stephen has stood up for these values time and again.”
Harper, acknowledging that he is not supposed to be partisan in another country, recalled that he had first come across Netanyahu in the 1980s and had seen him on television when he had “virtually exploded off the screen.” He had predicted at the time that Netanyahu would one day become prime minister of Israel.
Not only did that happen, he said, but Netanyahu had become Israel’s longest serving prime minister and had transformed the country and its image on the world stage.
Harper described Netanyahu as “the most consequential figure in the history of the State of Israel.”
A bipartisan delegation of women members of Congress is visiting Israel this week to underline that there is “no daylight” between the Democratic and Republican parties when it comes to ensuring the strength of US-Israel relations, and in supporting Israel as a Jewish, democratic state, the leader of the group said Thursday.
Speaking to The Times of Israel by phone as the delegation toured the country, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida, said the group had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, and former chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, and found it “heartwarming” to hear how similar they sounded about the imperative to enable Israelis and Palestinians to “live side by side in peace.”
Two other members of the delegation were also on the call — Martha Roby (a Republican of Alabama) and Angie Craig (a Democrat of Minnesota). The delegation also included Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman, Brenda Lawrence, Mikie Sherrill and Susie Lee.
Asked about concerns in Israel that some high-profile members of the Democratic party have been loudly critical of Israel, and that three Democratic presidential candidates — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg — have talked of leveraging US military aid in order to compel Israel to change its policies on settlements and the Palestinians, Wasserman Schultz replied: “Quite the contrary: The message given to us, particularly by Prime Minister Netanyahu, is that he does not perceive or believe that there is any erosion of support.”
A Democratic congressman from Michigan has criticized Israel for its treatment of Palestinians following a tour of the West Bank earlier this week.
Rep. Andy Levin said Wednesday he was enraged by the situation in Susya, where Palestinian villagers are denied water access, while Jewish settlers nearby are granted government-supplied amenities.
“Yesterday, I traveled to the southern West Bank, including the Palestinian village of Susya, which the Israeli government has destroyed twice and currently denies access to water,” he wrote. “Yet we watched the government utility, right before our eyes, lay in pipes right across the village’s land to deliver tap water to an illegal Israeli outpost nearby.” He did not name the outpost.
Israel has several times in the past demolished Palestinian buildings in Susya, saying they were built without permits.
“It was simply incredible. As angry as the situation made me, the resilience of the Palestinian villagers left an even stronger impression,” wrote Levin, a former synagogue president and chair of the steering committee of Detroit Jews for Justice.
The leader of the French far left accused French Jews of inciting to assault him and promoting “violent sectarianism” that he said doesn’t occur among Muslims.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the France Unbowed movement, inveighed against the CRIF federation of Jewish communities and organizations on Sunday during a televised interview with France Inter.
“Sectarianism’s always been a problem for the republican idea,” Melenchon, who has been accused of anti-Semitic rhetoric in the past, said. “Take CRIF. It practices blatant, violent and aggressive sectarianism, namely against me, right? To the point of encouraging people to hit me during a demonstration like the one for Mirelle Knol.”
Mirelle Knol was a Holocaust survivor who was murdered in her Paris apartment last year, allegedly by a Muslim neighbor. CRIF asked Melenchon and the leader of the rightist National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, not to attend a commemorative march for Knol. Both politicians came to the march, where participants booed them until police escorted them away.
CRIF did not call for violence, which did not occur at the event, and condemned the booing.
Melenchon, who continued to call CRIF “bizarre, folkloristic and ridiculous,” did not name any other group as responsible for sectarianism.
The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday charges against two former Twitter employees for allegedly spying for Saudi Arabia which analysts believe is the first time that the United States government has accused Saudi Arabia of spying in the United States.
The two former Twitter employees that were charged are Ahmad Abouammo, who reportedly is a U.S. citizen, and Ali Alzabarah, who is a Saudi citizen.
In a statement, the DOJ wrote that the “information could have been used to identify and locate the Twitter users who published these posts.”
Prosecutors alleged that Abouammo “spied on the accounts of three users — including one whose posts discussed the inner workings of the Saudi leadership – on behalf of the government in Riyadh,” The Washington Post reported. Abouammo was also charged for allegedly “falsifying an invoice to obstruct an FBI investigation.
Prosecutors accused Alzabarah of “accessing the personal information of more than 6,000 Twitter accounts in 2015 on behalf of Saudi Arabia,” The Post added. “One of those accounts belonged to a prominent dissident, Omar Abdulaziz, who later became close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was killed by Saudi government agents last year.”
A second Saudi national, Ahmed Almutairi, was also charged for allegedly spying as prosecutors say that he acted as a middle man between the Saudi government and the two Twitter employees.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa lavished praise on Israel’s technology sector during a recent major economic policy address to women business leaders in Johannesburg, describing it as a model for his own country to follow.
When it came to growth and innovation, Israel was “leading by leaps and bounds,” Ramaphosa told the 2019 Presidential Dialogue of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa on Oct. 29.
“They are innovative in a number of sectors in the economy — in agriculture, in maritime, in many other areas,” Ramaphosa said, in remarks that were also broadcast live on South Africa’s national television network.
“They have shown that they can lead, and we can learn a lot from what they do,” he said.
Ramaphosa’s comments about Israel came in response to an audience question from prominent venture capitalist Polo Leteka — the co-founder of IDF Capital, a South African-owned equity firm that invests in businesses owned by black women.
Leteka told Ramaphosa that Israel’s status as a global technology leader had been secured by the financial support of its government.
“It was the government of Israel who put up a challenge fund back in 1992 — it was essentially a matching fund that put millions of dollars into the private sector,” Leteka said. “That’s how the industry there has developed as it has.”
After the Iranian Judo federation was banned by international sports authorities from all competitions over its boycott of Israeli athletes, another Iranian sports team has reportedly pulled out of a competition to avoid facing an Israeli squad.
Israel and Iran were placed in the same group in the upcoming World Deaf Futsal Championships, along with Argentina and Sweden. Israel was due to play against Iran on Saturday.
The Iranians said they wouldn’t show up to the tournament in Switzerland unless they were moved to a different group, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported Thursday. When that didn’t happen, they withdrew from the competition entirely.
Futsal is similar to soccer, with five players per side on a small court.
The Iranian team had won the Asia Pacific Deaf Futsal Championships in February.
Iran does not recognize Israel as a country and Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis. Iranian passports remind holders in bold red that they are “not entitled to travel to occupied Palestine.”
Last month, the International Judo Federation (IJF) banned Iran from competition indefinitely over the country’s refusal to face Israeli competitors.
The Jordanian government announced that as of Sunday, Israeli farmers will be banned from entering the Naharayim enclave, Jordan Valley Council head Idan Greenbaum said Thursday.
Under the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan, the Naharayim enclave and the Tzofar enclave were leased to Israel for 25 years, allowing the Israeli farmers living in the enclave to continue managing their farms.
About a year ago, the Hashemite Kingdom announced that it wanted to terminate the lease agreement and take over the two enclaves.
Various attempts were made both in public and in private to change the Jordanian decision, but the decision is apparently final.
About a month ago, a Naharayim farmer in the Jordan Valley approached with an urgent letter to King Abdullah II and asked him to stop the process of restoring the enclave to the possession of the Kingdom of Jordan.
Idan Greenbaum wrote to the Jordanian King on behalf of all the farmers of the Naharayim enclave: "I am taking an extraordinary step of writing directly to you, to prevent what is a disaster for us. I sincerely ask you to have the opportunity to present our suggestions to you or to someone you trust, through a meeting with us at the Island of Peace itself.
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction on Thursday accused Hamas of banning Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from holding a rally to commemorate former Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat on the 15th anniversary of his death.
Fatah had called on its supporters to gather on Thursday afternoon at the Square of Unknown Soldiers in Gaza City to mark the anniversary of the death of Arafat, who died on November 11, 2004. Another event, planned for next Monday, has also been banned by Hamas.
The ban came as Fatah and Hamas have been holding indirect negotiations on PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s initiative to hold new Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections.
Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah, said that the ban shows that Hamas’s announcement welcoming the new elections is nothing but “slogans.”
The ban, Aloul said, is a “frustrating and unreasonable message” from Hamas.
He said that Fatah was optimistic that matters were moving in the right direction after Hamas welcomed Abbas’s initiative to hold long overdue elections. “But Hamas took this unwise and unexpected decision to ban the event commemorating Arafat,” Aloul added.
A rare public anti-Hamas protest took place in Gaza following the death of a 28-year-old man who’d been thrown from the window of his own home by the terror group’s security services.
Three Hamas police officers arrived at the home of Anan Abu Jameh in the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza last Friday. According to the family, the security forces went upstairs to his room, arrested him and then threw him out of the window of his room. He sustained a serious injury to his head and later died from his wounds in the hospital.
"They knocked on the door very hard and as soon as I opened it they said, 'We want Anan,’” said the father. He said he had asked to see a search warrant but was pushed aside by Hamas men who told him they will “do whatever we want.”
The 28-year-old had recently graduated from a local university with a degree in communications and journalism.
The incident led to an uproar among the local residents, who labeled Anan’s death as a "cold-blooded murder." The subsequent protests forced the Hamas police spokesman to make a statement, presenting a different version of events where the 28-year-old was arrested based on a warrant for his arrest.
The police did not specify what the victim was accused of, but claimed Abu Jameh tried to evade the arrest by jumping from his window onto the nearby tree, from where he fell and sustained fatal wounds.
Abu Jameh's family rejected the police’s account of events, calling it a gross lie. The family also added the police didn’t try to investigate the circumstances of their son’s death at any point.
During Abu Jameh’s funeral in Khan Younis a rare anti-Hamas demonstration erupted, with the participants chanting: “Hamas are murderers.”
Iran's attempts to expand its malign influence throughout the Middle East have suffered a severe setback as a result of the unprecedented anti-government protests that have erupted in Lebanon and Iraq in recent weeks.
The most obvious source of discontent in these two key Arab states has been the endemic corruption that has taken hold in both Beirut and Baghdad; in both countries, it has been the prime motivation in persuading tens of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets.
The desire to end corrupt practices and force the governments in Beirut and Baghdad to undertake a radical overhaul of their respective countries' governments is, though, only part of the story.
The nationwide protests taking place in both Arab states are also driven by a burning desire to end Iran's blatant attempts to turn them into de facto fiefdoms of Tehran.
Iran's attempts to seize control of the political agenda in Lebanon dates back to the early 1980s, when Iran established its Hezbollah militia in the southern part of the country to launch a series of terrorist attacks against Israeli forces operating in the area. Since then, Hezbollah -- with Iran's backing -- has gradually extended its influence in the country to the point where Hezbollah is now widely recognised as Lebanon's most influential political organisation.
Iraqi Sunni Tribal Leader Sheikh Raad Suleiman: Masked Men Carried out a Large Massacre in Karbala; Iran Is the Source of All Our Problems; Our Politicians Should Resign pic.twitter.com/PdFc3ZnQtT
The Special Representative for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq slammed protesters for closing roads and disrupting oil on its way to ports, raising the ire of Iraqis who wonder why the UN cares more about oil and roads than people’s lives. It came days after the UN Secretary-General visited Turkey and appeared open to a plan by Turkey to settle Syrian refugees in an area that 200,000 have been forced to flee from due to fighting, leading to questions about the overall UN blind-spot on suffering in the region.
Jeanine Hennis, a Dutch politician who serves as a diplomat and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, tweeted on Wednesday that the protests in Iraq, where more than 200 protesters have been shot by security forces, are disrupting critical infrastructure.
“Also of grave concern. Responsibility of all to protect public facilities. Threats, closure of roads to oil installations, ports causing billions in losses. Detrimental to Iraq’s economy,” she wrote.
It was undermining fulfilling the protesters’ legitimate demands.
“Losses to whom?” wondered the Twitter account Mosul Eye, which is run by survivors of the ISIS occupation of Mosul. “Most young Iraqis have no work. The schools are bare. The hospitals are completely unsupplied. No electricity. No assurance of clean water.”
Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi said Iran would begin transferring nuclear materials to the Fordow site on November 6, 2019, as part of its fourth phase of reneging on its nuclear agreement obligations. He made it clear that the nuclear agreement prohibited Iran from transferring any nuclear material to Fordow, “but Iran is in the process of transferring nuclear material to the site.” He added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was updated that the transfer of nuclear materials – before being fed into centrifuges – would take place on November 6, 2019. The spokesman said that by the end of the week, Iran would provide reporters with more details on the nuclear issue.
On November 5, 2019, President Hassan Rouhani said that he instructed the AEOI to implement the fourth stage of moving away from Iranian commitments to the nuclear accord. He said that like the previous stages of Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement, these steps are “reversible,” and if the other nations that also signed the deal will fulfill their side of the agreement and restore Iran to their previous position (January 2017), then Iran will return to fulfill their commitments. Rouhani noted that the IAEA would be allowed to monitor their activities.
The Iranian president said that the facility in Fordow currently has 1,044 centrifuges in which uranium gas will be injected, in direct violation of the nuclear accord, where it was agreed that the centrifuges would be operated in a vacuum without being injected with gas. Under the agreement, Iran also pledged to drastically reduce the number of centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment site and banned uranium enrichment by 2031. At the same time, Rouhani made it clear that Iran continues to be committed to behind the scenes negotiations with several countries to resolve the crisis. Rouhani claims that Iran “had hoped to achieve results before taking these current measures, but that didn’t happen; No results were achieved, so we had to take this fourth step.”
The top inspector for the UN’s nuclear agency has reportedly accused Iran of evading attempts to gather information on Tehran’s uranium production at a warehouse that was flagged by Israel and where particles were found earlier this year.
Bloomberg, in a report Thursday, cited two officials as saying that Massimo Aparo told diplomats in a closed-door meeting in Vienna on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic was “evading attempts to discover the source of manmade and natural uranium particles detected at a warehouse in Tehran.”
The extraordinary meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors was convened by Cornel Feruta, the organization’s acting head, to discuss the latest concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, the report said.
In September, Reuters reported that traces of uranium were found at a facility in Tehran that was alleged by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be a “secret atomic warehouse.”
Iran has not provided an explanation for why uranium was found at the site to the IAEA, which is investigating the facility in the Iranian capital, the news agency reported at the time.
One of the nine top Iranian officials targeted by new US sanctions on Monday is wanted by the Argentine authorities for his alleged involvement in the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in downtown Buenos Aires.
Ali Akbar Velayati was among the list of senior aides to the Tehran regime’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sanctioned by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in order to “block funds from flowing to a shadow network of Khamenei’s military and foreign affairs advisors who have for decades oppressed the Iranian people, exported terrorism, and advanced destabilizing policies around the world,” an OFAC statement said.
Velayati was Iran’s foreign minister at the time of the AMIA atrocity on July 18, 1994, when 85 people died and hundreds more were wounded when a van packed with explosives was driven into the Jewish organization’s main building in the Argentine capital. He was also alleged to have been present at a meeting of Iranian security officials in the city of Mashhad on Aug. 14, 1993, where the decision to bomb the AMIA building is understood to have been taken.
In July 2018, Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral requested Velayati’s arrest by Russian authorities while he was on an official visit to Moscow. Velayati met with Russian President Vladimir Putin one day after Corral’s request was issued.
Judge Corral originally issued international arrest warrants in 2006 for Velayati and seven other Iranian and Lebanese operatives wanted in connection with the AMIA bombing. Corral also tried unsuccessfully to secure Velayati’s arrest under the same warrant in 2016, when the Iranian visited Singapore and Malaysia.
Iran got caught hiding plans & materials for nukes in a warehouse. IAEA gave them several months to scrub it then asked to inspect. Iran blocked them and is now making up nonsense to justify it.
Iran has positioned itself to rapidly break out into a nuclear power by resuming uranium enrichment at Fordow, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.
“Iran’s expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout,” Pompeo said.
The biggest obstacle to build a nuclear weapon is stockpiling enough fissile material — highly enriched uranium or plutonium — for the core of a bomb. A central objective of the 2015 deal was to extend the time Iran would need to do that, if it chose to, to a year from about 2 to 3 months.
Tehran’s latest "nuclear escalations" reflect the regime’s intentions all along: to extort the international community into accepting its violence and terror while it undermines the sovereignty of its neighbors. Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran’s latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran,” Pompeo said.
He called on the international community to supports sanctions against Iran.
On November 5, 2019, Iran announced that it was taking its fourth step to cut back on its obligations under the JCPOA nuclear agreement. This step includes reviving uranium enrichment at the Fordo nuclear facility and activating an array of advanced centrifuges that will enable it in future to double and triple its enrichment capability. In effect, Iran is systematically stripping the JCPOA of all meaning, ostensibly with the approval of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
France and Britain have issued a public response to this fourth step by Iran, saying for the first time that it is violating the JCPOA.
Although the U.S., in May 2018, announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA, it is in effect preserving it by continuing to grant significant waivers to the U.S. sanctions. These waivers allow some countries to help Iran develop its nuclear program under the heading of development for civilian needs – allowing Europe, Russia, and China to continue to uphold the agreement (see for example July 2019 statements on this matter by then-U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on the continuation of the waivers).
This report will set out the significance of this fourth step in Iran's withdrawal from its obligations under the JCPOA, as explained by two top regime officials, and will discuss the ramifications of the third step – the cancellation of the JCPOA's research and development timetable for it – for the development of Iran's nuclear program. These ramifications were previously discussed in a MEMRI report published in October.
The people in the region have had enough. Iranians have had enough. Now it’s time for the world to say ENOUGH to #Iran's aggression.
The prospect of a third election in Israel within twelve months looms large – should Blue and White leader Benny Gantz be unable to form a Government of National Unity within the next two weeks.
To break the current deadlock Gantz needs at least nine members to defect from the voting bloc of 55 seats led by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Gantz’s cause could be considerably advanced were he to publicly endorse the policies pursued by the late Prime Minister – Yitzchak Rabin – who was assassinated on 4 November 1995.
Rabin made his intentions very clear in his last speech to the Knesset on 5 October 1995 when presenting the 300 page “Israeli - Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” (Oslo Accords) for approval: “Members of Knesset,
“We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states." In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.
"At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel – Muslim, Christian, Druze and others – will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.
"We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
"We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines. ... Rabin – then Defence Minister – had stated on May 27, 1985:
“The Palestinians should have a sovereign State which includes most of the Palestinians. It should be Jordan with a considerable part of the West Bank and Gaza. East of the Jordan River there is enough room to settle the Palestinian refugees. One tiny State between Israel and Jordan will solve nothing. It will be a time bomb.”
Supporting Rabin’s policies would stand Gantz in good stead as he seeks to form a Government of National Unity and – failing that – in any upcoming election that would hopefully end Israel’s current precarious political situation.
While most of western society saw the death of ISIS leader and arch-terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi as a positive development in the war on terrorism, the Palestinian Authority chose to outrageously claim that Al-Baghdadi was a US "pawn" and ISIS a US creation - a terror organization only paralleled by Israel.
Muwaffaq Matar, a Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily, presented a venomous PA manifest against the US: "They [the US] killed their pawn, who they planted in the open borderless territories of Iraq and Syria after they created an organization-state of barbarity, terror, and racism, for which they chose the name 'the Islamic State.'" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 29, 2019]
But dealing with ISIS is not enough as it only amounts to "cutting off the tail of the monster," Matar stated, arguing that the monster's head - Israel - is yet to be fought: "[The elimination of Al-Baghdadi] was tantamount to a strong blow that has cut off the tail of the monster of terror. However, this monster has a head, and in it is a brain that is capable of growing a different tail and wings... The occupation, settlement, terror, racism, crimes against humanity, and rebellion against UN laws and conventions have a state. They named it 'Israel' and established it on the land of Palestine, which is the Palestinian people's historical and natural right."
Comparing Israel to ISIS, Matar stated that in practice ISIS and Israel are identical: "This [ISIS] is an organization that, in regard to its crimes, there is nothing similar to it in the modern history of the region except for a defective, colonialist, settling, occupying, and racist state for which they chose the name 'the State of Israel.' The heads of large states in the world have said that the elimination of Al-Baghdadi is not the end of ISIS' terror - and this is correct! - but not one of them referred to their responsibility and their state's responsibility to drain the greatest, deepest, and most dangerous swamp of terror for the region and the world: the defective and racist State of Israel. We know... that the Muslim Brotherhood organization... is essentially a twin of the Zionist movement."
Chicago Islamic Scholar Omar Baloch said in a video he uploaded to his YouTube channel on September 11, 2019 that Islamic State (ISIS) is now fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan because "you will always find ISIS in places that are running a Zionist agenda [for] Greater Israel." He said that Israel created ISIS in order to weaken Muslims by alienating them from ideas like an Islamic state, Jihad, and Muslim unity, without which he said Islam would not be the same. Showing pictures of ISIS fighters, Baloch said that the weaponry, uniforms, and training that ISIS has are evidence that it is trained and armed by Israel, and he predicted that Israel will use ISIS to destabilize Pakistan and Kashmir. He added that Israel is "working on Kashmir" by means of India's actions in the region and that Israel intends to do to the Kashmiris what it did do to the Palestinians.
According to the Facebook page of the Furqaan Institute of Quranic Education (FIQE), Sheikh Omar Baloch was born in Chicago and is the scholar in residence at the Al-Furqaan Foundation, of which FIQE is a division. The Facebook page also says that Baloch studied at Georgetown University, at Al-Azhar University in Egypt, at Jamia Thul Ahlul Hadith in Pakistan. For more about Sheikh Omar Baloch, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7053 Illinois-Based Sheikh Omar Baloch: Islamic Relief Organizations Should Promote the Caliphate as the Long-Term Solution to Humanitarian Problems.
"You Will Always Find ISIS In Places That Are Running A Zionist Agenda, The Agenda For Greater Israel"
Sheikh Omar Baloch: "All of a sudden, guess what? ISIS is in Afghanistan and ISIS is killing Taliban. [...] "You will always find ISIS in places that are running a Zionist agenda, the agenda for Greater Israel."
Like the lower court, the Supreme Court paints a clear picture of Shakir’s BDS activism, from when he founded a pro-BDS student group in 2006 through his present employment at HRW. During this time, he has been a consistent and ardent supporter of BDS (see NGO Monitor’s extensive material submitted in its filings and which was cited in the courts’ decisions). In the words of Justice Yael Wilner (in a short addendum to the main decision), “The statements [made by Omar Shakir and presented] above are definitely calls to boycott entities that operate in Israel and Judea and Samaria, only because of their connection to Israel or an area under its control — each one (statement) individually, all the more so when taken together. It seems to me that there cannot be a substantive argument about this.”
Pro-BDS activists often use the rhetoric of “human rights” and “international law” to justify their discriminatory campaigns, but such rhetoric does not legitimize the boycotts. The Entry into Israel Law, Amendment 28 (2017) applies specifically to boycott calls that are based on a company’s connections to Israel or an area under its control, not to circumstances when the company in question has undertaken problematic activities.
Even though the judges recognize there can be gray areas, Shakir’s activity unquestionably falls within the criteria of the law. Shakir rejects in total the presence of Israeli entities in the West Bank, and his calls for BDS are in opposition to their identity as Israelis, not because of any specific human rights violation.
Contrary to claims from Shakir’s lawyers and Amnesty International (which joined the case in an amicus capacity), denying Shakir’s work visa will not adversely affect human rights NGOs that want to send representatives to Israel to criticize Israel’s policies. This is because Shakir’s involvement in BDS is so egregious.
The Court firmly rejected a key argument from Shakir’s lawyers. They tried to argue that Shakir’s personal BDS activity ended upon his employment at HRW, at which point all his expressions should be attributed to HRW as an organization. Since HRW is not on the Israeli government’s list of “BDS organizations,” Shakir’s activity as an HRW employee should be granted “immunity” from the Entry into Israel Law. In sharp contradiction, the Court determined that he is responsible for his public statements, especially those on his private Twitter account. Shakir’s BDS is insufficient to trigger a listing of HRW as a “BDS organization” because HRW is a large international NGO with myriad activities having nothing to do with Israel. This is not a reflection on Shakir’s status as a BDS activist or HRW’s anti-Israel advocacy.
Honest Reporting: No Room For BDS Within Human Rights
Omar Shakir is Human Right's Watch (HRW) representative for Israel and Palestine. HRW is notorious for appointing anti-Israel staff and after a long investigation, Israel's Supreme Court have denied Shakir's visa extension. They have asked him to leave the country due to his clear involvement with Boycott movement against Israel.
Israel's law of denying entry to those that are involved with the hateful BDS movement is controversial, but the one thing that everyone is certain of: there is no room for BDS within human rights.
The Guardian is adept at amplifying, and failing to critically scrutinize, the unsubstantiated claims and accusations of anti-Israel NGOs, and its recent article about the Israeli Supreme Court decision on Human Right Watch (HRW)’s regional director Omar Shakir — a longtime BDS activist — follows this pattern.
First, as we predicted in a tweet before the article by Oliver Holmes (“Israel can deport Human Rights Watch official, court rules,” Nov. 5) was published, the piece uncritically cites Shakir’s unhinged response to the court’s decision: Shakir wrote on Twitter that if he was kicked out, Israel would join the ranks of Iran, North Korea, and Egypt in blocking access to Human Rights Watch staff. “We won’t stop. And we won’t be the last,” he said.
The truth is that democracies all over the world reserve the right to deny entry to those seen as intent on harming the state. Moreover, there are in excess of 350 NGOs (such as HRW) operating freely in Israel, even those who continually delegitimize the country, support BDS, and even reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
The denial of a work visa to one employee of one of these NGOs — after careful consideration by the country’s internationally respected Supreme Court — wouldn’t even minimally change the democratic nature of Israel. The human rights organization Freedom House continually ranks Israel as the only truly free and democratic country in the region, and the suggestion that this status will change due merely to the Supreme Court’s decision on Shakir’s work visa is risible.
In a subsequent paragraph in the article, Holmes makes the following claim about the broader effort by Israel to fight BDS — a movement, let’s remember, whose leaders oppose the continued existence of a Jewish state:
On the afternoon of November 5th the BBC News website published a report on its ‘Middle East’ page which was presented to audiences with a ‘halo effect’ reference to a “rights activist”.
The report itself (tagged, inter alia, ‘human rights’) is headlined “Israel court rejects Human Rights Watch activist’s deportation appeal” and the caption under the photograph at the top of the article reads: “Omar Shakir said he had not called for a boycott of Israel during his time at Human Rights Watch”
Obviously the BBC did not fact-check that claim from the person it had already flagged up as a “rights activist” (i.e. good) before amplifying it.
Had it done so, it would know that analysis of Tweets sent from Shakir’s personal Twitter account between June 2018 and February 2019 by NGO Monitor shows that 16% of those Tweets focused on BDS campaigns against Booking.com and TripAdvisor and additional Tweets supported a UN “blacklist” of businesses operating in Judea & Samaria.
45% of the BBC article’s word count is devoted to uncritical amplification of talking points from Omar Shakir (including a link to a Tweet) and his employer ‘Human Rights Watch’, including the following claim:
In an article yesterday about the ruling by Israel's High Court to uphold the government's decision not to renew the visa of Human Rights Watch's Omar Shakir on account of his ongoing anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) activity, Reuters incorrectly reports that Israel has "criminalized" BDS. In "Israel's top court upholds deportation of Human Rights Watch official," Jeffrey Heller erroneously reports: Israel says [Shakir] supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which it has criminalized.
It has lobbied Western powers to follow suit, and Shakir’s case was a test for its anti-boycott legislation.
Israel's anti-BDS legislation treats calls for BDS as a civil, not criminal offense. Specifically, the 2011 "Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel Through Boycott," as amended by the Supreme Court, allows businesses that have suffered economic harm as a result of such boycotts to sue for civil damages. There is no criminal component.
UPDATE, 8 am EST, Nov. 6: Reuters Corrects In response to communication from CAMERA, Reuters commendably corrected the article to make clear that promotion of BDS in Israel is a civil matter, not criminal.
Recent weeks have featured Russia's expanded diplomatic activity in the Middle East following its longstanding involvement in the Syrian civil war. With the reduced U.S. military presence in northern Syria, the image of Russia as the leading power in the region was strengthened.
To what extent does this image of Russia reflect reality? Russia's intensive diplomatic activity in the region reflects Moscow's desire to fill the breach left by the U.S, but it does not represent a change in the balance of power between the global powers in the region. The U.S., should it choose to do so, still has the ability to challenge Moscow and upset Russia's achievements in almost every part of the region.
Russian analyst Fyodor Lukyanov, echoing the official position, stressed that Russia does not view the situation in Syria as a zero sum game with the U.S.
The political process to resolve the conflict in Syria, which was resumed on Oct. 30 in Geneva, is not under Moscow's control. The Russian attempt (2017-2019) to promote a resolution in cooperation with Turkey and Iran through the Astana Process did not succeed, and Moscow is now forced to return to the Geneva track, which is under UN control, and over which the West has veto power.
The U.S. still holds very strong cards in Syria - territorial (most of the Kurdish zone and the al-Tanf region); political (veto rights over the Geneva process); military deterrence; and economic (sanctions and preventing aid for rebuilding Syria). Beyond Syria, Russia at this stage has limited influence on regional states. U.S. allies in the Middle East are not rushing to the Russian side.
An advanced Israeli surface-to-air missile that was fired from the David's Sling (formerly known as the Magic Wand) missile system was given to Russia by Syria, when it was found intact after the rocket did not explode on contact, according to Russian media sources.
The rocket was reportedly fired on July 23, 2018, and Syrian forces that were dispatched to the scene found the missile intact after it sustained minor damage from impact. The missile was then taken to a Syrian-Russian base where it was transferred to Moscow for further research.
David’s Sling was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and American defense contractor Raytheon. The system is designed to intercept enemy planes, drones, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles and the newest generation of tactical ballistic missiles at low altitude.
The system forms the middle layer of air defense systems between the Iron Dome and the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 missile defense systems.
Russian media reports quoted Chinese news agency Sina saying that the missile was taken by Russia for “reverse engineering.”
Israel will help the Kurds in any way it can, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in the Knesset on Wednesday.
The deputy foreign minister added that she cannot go into detail about how Israel aids the Kurds, because doing so can hurt their cause.
“Israel has received many requests for aid in diplomatic and humanitarian matters. We are aiding them in various channels,” Hotovely said, in response to a motion to the Knesset’s agenda on the situation of the Kurds in Syria.
In addition, the Foreign Ministry has helped non-governmental organizations send humanitarian aid to the Kurds.
Hotovely recounted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “condemned the Turkish invasion of northern Syria and warned against ethnic cleansing of the Kurds,” and that Israel conveyed “our truth about the Kurds in a continuing dialogue with the US.”
Israel’s support for the Kurds is based on “historic ties… [and] shared and varied interests,” she added. “There are many Kurdish Jews in Israel who maintained ties with their place of origin. Kurds are a moderate and pro-Western factor in the Middle East.”
Israel called on the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees to release in full its findings of alleged mismanagement at the organization, following an announcement that its leader was taking an indefinite leave of absence.
The agency, known as UNRWA, said Wednesday the findings of a probe into alleged abuses of power among top management “relate specifically to the commissioner general” Pierre Krahenbuhl.
The Foreign Ministry said reports on alleged mismanagement at UNRWA lend credence to its criticism of the agency and called for a full release of the probe’s findings.
“The reports reinforce Israel’s claims that a deep and fundamental change is needed in the agency’s operating model,” it said in a statement.
The ministry charged that under Krahenbuhl, UNWRA has become more politicized, “the deficit has ballooned” and the agency’s model was increasingly unsustainable.
“The suspension of Krahenbuhl is a first step in a long process needed to eliminate corruption, increase transparency and prevent politicization in the agency,” it said.
It also called on donor states to consider a new operating model for UNRWA and said recent events showed the agency’s mandate should not be automatically renewed three years from now.
BREAKING: Head of UN refugee agency for Palestinians who said he would not stand down until end of probe into his sexual misconduct, abuse of authority & corruption steps down before end of probe.
"I will also immediately resume aid to the Palestinians and financial support to UNRWA."@ewarren, as a progressive, why not await the UN probe into charges that UNRWA bosses engaged in "sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination & other abuses for personal gain"? pic.twitter.com/VmkR10u6sm
Two Jordanians, whose detention without charge by Israel led Jordan to recall its ambassador, returned home on Wednesday in a handover deal that defused a diplomatic crisis, officials said.
Hiba Labadi, 24, was arrested in August after crossing into the West Bank to attend a family wedding. She subsequently went on a hunger strike and was hospitalized after her health deteriorated.
Separately, Abdul Rahman Miri, 29, was arrested in September after he also entered the West Bank to visit relatives.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday the two would return to Jordan “before the end of the week” without saying how their release had been secured.
Safadi however said King Abdullah had ordered the government to do everything necessary to bring them back “whatever that may cost.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the handover was agreed after talks between Israeli and Jordanian security chiefs. It said Jordan’s ambassador would return to his post “in the coming days.”
It is imperative that the United States and Israel’s other allies ensure that Lebanon does not become another Afghanistan — a terror group masquerading as a state. This is a real danger now, and Israel is gravely imperiled by it. America — and all well-meaning peoples — must continue to isolate Hezbollah and its slave government in Lebanon until sanity and civilization return to “the Paris of the Middle East.”
The government and infrastructure of Lebanon are dominated by the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, which has already dispatched gangs of thugs to drive masses of demonstrators from the streets of major cities like Beirut and Tyre. The government of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has resigned due to enormous street protests over his utter mismanagement and corruption.
Israel should be worried, because Hezbollah, with its economic and political power threatened, could lash out at its neighbor to the south as a unifying distraction for its outraged citizenry. A repeat of Hezbollah’s terror-missile war of 2006 would be a far more lethal version of that earlier conflict, which aimed to eradicate the “Zionist entity” on Lebanon’s southern frontier.
Since Hezbollah is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran and Iran’s terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran can be expected to play a key role in Lebanese affairs at this critical juncture. And where Iran gets involved, Israel becomes the ultimate target.
Israeli and Palestinian firefighters took part in a joint fire-fighting exercise in Rishon Lezion on Tuesday, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
The exercise, held at the Rishon Lezion Firefighting and Rescue School and led by the head of the facility, trained the visiting Palestinian firefighters to handle a number of various real-life situations using a simulator. The Israeli firefighters were trained to speak Arabic throughout these life-threatening situations.
Within the scenarios practiced, the joint exercise included real-life situations such as dealing with fires inside buildings and vehicles, as well as efficient ways to rescue casualties or those in need from blocked or closed off areas.
In part of the blossoming professional relationship between the Palestinian and Israeli commissions, the commander of the Palestinian Civil Defense met with the commissioner of the Israeli Fire and Rescue Authority in the commissioner’s office to discuss firefighting innovations, future collaborations and the importance of the joint work between the two governments.
“The close cooperation between Israeli firefighters and Palestinian firefighters is of great importance in the field,” civilian officer Lt.-Col. Samir said. “Thanks to the combination of forces, we have the ability to work together to improve the skills and the proficiency of both Israeli and Palestinian firefighters alike. This collaboration has yielded fruit in the past and continues to bring positive results every time. Therefore, we will continue to work in order to strengthen and improve it, with a clear purpose – to save human lives together.”
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s terms for holding elections for the PA's parliament and president, Ynet reported on Wednesday.
The chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC), Hanna Nasir, arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday for talks with leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian factions on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s plans to hold parliamentary elections in the coastal enclave, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
According to Ynet, Hamas and PIJ, which are not members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, rejected the clause stating that the elections must be held in accordance with the Election Basic Law, which requires recognizing the agreements signed by the PLO to be able to run.
The organizations require a meeting between the factions to define the terms for new elections; only after a consensus is reached, a presidential order for elections would be issued.
A Palestinian parliamentary election was last held in 2006. The following year, Hamas carried out a violent takeover in the Gaza Strip and has been in power in the coastal enclave ever since.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a decision barring Palestinian teenagers from marrying before they turn 18 years old, unless they receive an exemption from a religious court and a top legal official.
The official PA news site Wafa reported earlier this week that Abbas made the decision, but did not say when.
In the West Bank, Palestinian law previously mandated that a female must be 15 years old and a male 16 years old to be eligible to marry, according to Suna Nassar, the PA Women’s Affairs Ministry’s legal adviser. Comparatively, in the Gaza Strip, it had held that a female must be 17 years old and a male 18, she said in a phone call.
The PA controls the West Bank, whereas Hamas rules Gaza. Hamas has not said publicly whether it will enforce Abbas’s decision.
A 2018 PA Central Bureau of Statistics report found that 10.8 percent of women in 2017 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip aged 20-24 had married before turning 18.
In contrast, the report determined that in 1997, 30.3% of women in the West Bank and Gaza who were then between 20 and 24 married before reaching 18.
"Hamas are murderers! God's revenge on them!" - Protesters shouted on the streets of Gaza on unusual & rare protest following the death under unclear circumstances of a young man arrested by the Gaza police. His family claims he was thrown from the third-floor by police officers pic.twitter.com/QCAjMKu1Yg
Qatar warned Hamas, the Palestinian militant group running the Gaza Strip, that it could cease providing funds and aid to the area in 2020. This warning, as Middle East Monitor reports citing Hezbollah-linked Al Akhbar newspaper, came from Qatari envoy Mohammed El-Emadi. El-Emadi reportedly told Hamas and other Gaza factions that Doha had complications with renewing the funding.
Moreover, what makes the demonstrations in Lebanon and Iraq unique and gives them historical dimension is that they cross the sectarian, religious and party lines, and demand a change in the structure of government, which currently perpetuates these divisions and prevents unity.
This is unheard of for Lebanon, where political power is divided according to the prominence of the various sectors in society, or for Iraq, where the majority of the population is Shiite. In both countries, protesters have made it clear that they would not settle for the mere resignation of the prime minister (Lebanese Prime Minister Said Hariri has already resigned), nor with reforms that would preserve the current and corrupt system of power.
Although economic hardship and the desire to eradicate corruption are the main issues driving the demonstrations in Lebanon and Iraq, Tehran is up in arms over them. Both countries are of paramount importance in the process of "exporting" the Iranian revolution, both play a key role in repelling external attacks on Iran, and both are used as the base of operations from which Iran can use proxies to attack potential enemies.
In Lebanon, this task falls to Hezbollah and in Iraq, it is the work of pro-Iranian militias. Therefore, any threat to the internal stability in Iraq and Lebanon could undermine Iran's security and military strategy.
Tehran is also concerned that the Iranian people may catch the protest "bug," as they did in 2009 and in 2017.
The prospect of the second round of the Arab Spring in Lebanon and Iraq being more successful than its predecessor is unclear. Replacing the political system in Arab countries is no simple matter, and rulers do not give up their seats easily. But the Iranians already feel threatened by this – just as much as they feel threatened by the devastating economic sanctions the US has imposed on them.
It may very well be that Tehran's decision to renew uranium enrichment sought to distract from the internal problems of the protests in Iraq and Lebanon are creating for it. The ayatollahs much prefer the Iranian people focus on the "real" enemy that on their own plights.
The ongoing game of brinkmanship between Tehran and Washington has entered a new, potentially dangerous level, with Iran restarting uranium enrichment at its Fordo nuclear facility and also announcing it was raising the level of this enrichment, up to five percent.
These two decisions represent a distinctly shocking and provocative move by the Islamic Republic, but they also remain easily reversible, experts say, as Iran attempts to bully its way toward financial relief while keeping just shy of prompting European countries to call for a so-called snapback of broader international sanctions.
The transformation of the Fordo Fuel Enrichment Plant, which is buried deep under a mountain in Iran’s Qom district, from a uranium enrichment facility to one used for other, non-nuclear purposes was a key provision of the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The heavily fortified Fordo was originally built and operated in secret by Iran, until it was exposed by Western intelligence services, including Israel’s, and ultimately acknowledged by Tehran in 2009 to great international criticism. The facility is widely regarded as having been built for the explicit purpose of producing highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons far enough underground that it couldn’t be destroyed in a military strike.
The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of “nuclear extortion” and vowed no let-up in pressure after the clerical regime said it would resume uranium enrichment at the key Fordo plant.
“Iran has no credible reason to expand its uranium enrichment program, at the Fordo facility or elsewhere, other than a clear attempt at nuclear extortion that will only deepen its political and economic isolation,” a State Department spokesperson said.
“We will continue to impose maximum pressure on the regime until it abandons its destabilizing behavior, including proliferation-sensitive work.”
The comments came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “never let Iran develop nuclear weapons.”
”Iran expands its aggression everywhere. It seeks to envelop Israel. It seeks to threaten Israel. It seeks to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said at an event in Jerusalem.
Iran has regularly threatened to destroy Israel, and has developed ballistic missiles believed in the West to be intended to carry nuclear warheads in the future.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said Iran’s decision to resume enrichment activity at a nuclear facility meant it had withdrawn from the troubled 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers.
Iran on Wednesday said it had begun inserting uranium gas into over 1,000 centrifuges at the Fordo nuclear facility, which under the JCPOA pact had turned into a research facility with no active enrichment.
“I think that for the first time, Iran has decided in an explicit and blunt manner to leave the JCPOA (nuclear) agreement, which marks a profound shift,” Macron said at a news conference during a trip to Beijing, according to a Reuters report.
Macron called the developments a “profound change” from Tehran’s previous position and a “grave” move.
“I will have discussions in the coming days, including with the Iranians, and we must collectively draw the consequences,” Macron said.
Iran briefly held an inspector working for the U.N. nuclear watchdog in the Islamic Republic and seized her travel documents, diplomats familiar with the agency’s work said on Wednesday, with some describing it as harassment.
The incident appears to be the first of its kind since Tehran’s landmark deal with major powers was struck in 2015, imposing restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Hours after Reuters reported the incident, Iran confirmed that it had prevented an inspector from accessing its Natanz site - the heart of its uranium enrichment program - last week, because of a concern that she might be carrying “suspicious material”, according to the Fars news agency.
The episode comes at a time of heightened friction between Iran and the West, with Tehran breaching the deal’s restrictions step-by-step in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the deal and renewed sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency is also in transition, with a new chief taking over next month.
The incident is due to be reported on at a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Thursday convened at short notice to discuss “two safeguards matters” not specified in the agenda, which was circulated on Monday.
A year ago, the U.S. kicked off a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. After withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, in November it reimposed a raft of economic sanctions squeezing Iranian oil exports and curtailing the country's access to the international financial system.
Iran expected that other parties to the nuclear deal would help shore up its economy. But European governments could not force private companies to defy U.S. sanctions. Nor did other friendly governments - China, Russia, and India - pick up the slack. They face little pressure from the oil market to go out on a limb for Iran. Global demand is slowing, supply is abundant, and prices are low - so why risk U.S. sanctions to buy Iranian oil?
The International Monetary Fund and World Bank predict that Iran's economy will rebound from a recession to near zero percent growth in 2020. Iran's fluctuating currency, the rial, has stabilized. The Iranian economy stays afloat in part because it is diversified. In 2017, crude oil accounted for 43% of Iranian exports, so Iran's service, agricultural, and non-oil industrial sectors were able to cushion the blow from the collapse of oil revenues under sanctions.
Moreover, the government can draw upon its $100 billion of reserves to cover any gaps and to ensure the continued strong social spending that Iranians expect.
Two Iranians who were charged with collecting information on Israeli and Jewish targets in the US and on opponents of the Iranian regime have pleaded guilty to acting on behalf of Tehran, the US Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual US-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, were arrested last year.
“The Iranian government thought it could get away with conducting surveillance on individuals in the United States by sending one of its agents here to task a permanent resident with conducting and collecting that surveillance,” said Jessie K. Liu, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Doostdar is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17 and Ghorbani will receive his sentence on January 15.
As part of his plea, Doostdar admitted he traveled to the United States from Iran on three occasions to meet with Ghorbani and to convey directions for Ghorbani’s activities on behalf of Iran.
Iran’s latest breach of the 2015 JCPOA was portrayed by the BBC as “rolling back another commitment” in the opening line of an article headlined “Iran nuclear deal: Uranium enrichment to resume at underground facility” which appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on November 5th.
As is inevitably the case in BBC reporting on that deal and Iran’s nuclear programme, audiences were told that:
“Iran has insisted that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.”
The BBC knows that in December 2015 (after the JCPOA had already been agreed) the International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA – produced a report which stated that:
“…the agency “assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place” up to 2009.”
The BBC also knows that in April 2018 Israel revealed documents from Iran’s nuclear archive which raised new issues. Nevertheless, it once again chose to amplify Iranian propaganda but not to inform readers of those relevant parts of the story.
Officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran explain the country’s virtual takeover of Iraq and Lebanon, as well as its use of puppet militias and proxy forces in Syria and Yemen, among others, as a defense against Western efforts to take over Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and other Middle East states, regime sources reported today.
Representatives of various government ministries and the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told journalists Wednesday that the territorial integrity and political independence of countries in the region are sacrosanct, and require Iran’s protection from what they characterized as a US-led effort to exert effective control over them, protection that Iran provides in the form of taking them over and exerting effective control.
“Satanic Western imperialism will not succeed,” warned Deputy Minister of Defense Mohtin Yorai. “To counter the threat of the evil machinations of the Great Satan and its minions we have already assumed de facto control of the governments of Iraq and Lebanon, and are working to establish similar arrangements elsewhere. In the same vein we offer material and financial support to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other groups waging a similar fight. The Zionists and their allies will fail in their campaign to subjugate and rule the region because we will do so first.”
Iranian Schoolgirls Demonstrate on Anniversary of 1979 Takeover of U.S. Embassy in Tehran: It Feels Good to Punch America in the Mouth; Death to America! Death to Israel! pic.twitter.com/fXftANiXnA
Last time, I pointed out the various excuses the boycott-Israel crowd uses when forced to confront their clear double-standard on human rights stances (i.e., Israel deserves to be boycotted for building a fence to keep suicide bombers from its cities, but Syria and China should not be boycotted since they merely killed 3-500,000 or 70,000,000 of their own people).
As noted, most of these excuses have the distinction of being both transparently self-serving and unbelievably lame. But one “reason,” the one claiming that the call to boycott Israel wells up from Palestinian civil society and is thus unique, begs for a more careful review.
The claim that BDS is a response to boycott calls originating from people in the region is based on the 2004 Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (or PACBI). Whenever Naomi Klein or some other boycott advocate talk about a boycott call endorsed by over 200 Palestinian civic organizations, the groups on the list of original PACBI signatories is what they’re talking about.
Within that original list of participating organizations (which I can no longer find now that PACBI has been folded under a general BDS Web umbrella), 10-15% of the signatories were identified as originating outside Israel, the West Bank or Gaza, including over 20 organizations from surrounding countries (13 from Syria, 6 from Lebanon and 2 from Jordan) and another 9 from Europe or North America. Now it may be that some of these (as well as some of the organizations not identified by location) are refugee or Diaspora groups. But given the large Syrian contingent on PACBI’s original roster, the notion that we’re talking entirely about un-coerced volunteers becomes shaky.
Second, as the name implies PACBI stands for an academic and cultural boycott (the least popular form of BDS, by the way), meaning those who signed up in 2004 were not necessarily joining a movement for wholesale economic isolation of the Jewish state. So those claiming that PACBI is the origin for broad-based BDS activities may be putting words into the mouths of Palestinian agricultural, medical and industrial unions/organizations, many of whom may not be that excited about economic boycotts that punish them as well as Israel.
On more meatier matters, the first group that topped the list of “Unions, Associations, Campaigns” supporting the PACBI boycott call is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, a coalition that includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and some of the more violent sub-sets of Fatah. Call me crazy, but I suspect that it’s much easier for this Council to get the Palestinian Dentist’s Association (also a PACBI signatory) to agree to its requests that vice versa.
The potential that the PACBI boycott call arises from coercion within Palestinian society (vs. being a consensus welling up from the grass roots) also points out an interesting paradox. The claim that Israel uniquely deserves the BDS treatment is, to a certain extent, based on Israel supposedly being exceptional with regard to its level of human rights abuses (vs. Iran, China, North Korea, etc.). And yet the members making up PACBI can only be seen as legitimately representing Palestinian civic society if Israel’s “repression” does not extend to eliminating such civic space in both Israel and the West Bank.
Like the claim that Israel is inflicting a “Holocaust” on a Palestinian population that is simultaneously experiencing a population explosion, the very existence of PACBI demonstrates that the level of repression found in countries ignored by BDS activists (Sudan, Saudi Arabia, etc.) does not exist in Israel. And thus we are led back to the conclusion that the best way to avoid being a target of alleged “human rights” activists pushing boycott, divestment and sanction is to actually be a repressive dictatorship that crushes civic society rather than letting it exist to sign boycott petitions.
Finally, a note on dates. PACBI, as stated on their own Web site, made its “plea” for academic BDS in 2004, years after divestment programs originating at the 2001 Durban conference were well underway in North American and European universities, unions, churches and municipalities. In other words, the PACBI call was the result of the success BDS was seeing between 2001-2004, and being the result it could not have simultaneously been the cause.
Time travel underlies much of the BDS project, as is underlies much of what passes for analysis of the Middle East. My favorite example of this is the projection of today’s US support for Israel (which didn’t really kick into high gear until the 1970s) back to 1948 and beyond in hope of finding a US-Zionist conspiracy going back to before the founding of the Jewish state.
If ignorance is bliss, then the folks behind the PACBI excuse for BDS are either the happiest people on earth, or at least the most manipulative.
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Elizabeth Warren nodded along with an attendee at her town hall event while he claimed the American military supported genocide.
The Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential hopeful took questions from the crowd in Grinnell, Iowa, on Monday, with one attendee saying, “Right now, the United States is bombing at least seven countries. We support genocides in Palestine and in Yemen. The U.S. military is actually the biggest polluter of any organization in the world.”
He continued, “United States sanctions on Venezuela caused over 40,000 deaths, and we also have sanctions on many other countries like Iran, North Korea, and you can name many more.”
The attendee asked Warren, “I’m wondering, as president, will you stop U.S.-supported murder, whether it’s through sanctions, arms support, or boots on the ground?”
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Sunday launched a $10 million campaign — an unprecedented amount in partisan Jewish advertising — with online ads depicting 2020 Democratic US presidential candidates as a “disgrace.”
Videos titled “Shanda,” Yiddish for “disgrace,” blast the Democrats for saying they would consider reducing aid to Israel.
“The radical Left has taken the reins of the Democratic Party, and their policy proposals will devastate our national security, our alliance with Israel, our economy, and our health care system,” Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the release of the 15- to 30-second ads.
The placement of the videos on Facebook, YouTube and other media will cost $50,000. Brooks confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency a report in Axios that the RJC had budgeted $10 million for its 2020 efforts.
In the spots, “leading Democrats” are accused of “turning their back” on Israel. They show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is Jewish.
This morning we launched our first ad of the 2020 campaign cycle. The ad, called “Shanda,” criticizes leading Democrats for turning their backs on Israel and threatening to cut US aid to our closest ally. See more >>> https://t.co/x1uNDX86g6pic.twitter.com/GkyX0Wy2EK
UNRWA’s top official, Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, was accused of appointing as an adviser a woman with whom he was romantically involved. The pair traveled on business class flights across the globe. Deputy Commissioner-General Sandra Mitchell was accused of bullying and of manipulating the system to find a well-paid job for her spouse, Robert Langridge, who was promoted. Chief of Staff Hakam Shahwan was accused of behaving like a thug, placing people loyal to him in positions of power, and lobbying to take over UNRWA operations in Jerusalem.
Perhaps not surprisingly in view of the above, the agency has adopted a culture of secrecy about itself. It employs about 30,000 people (compared to the UNHCR’s 11,000 for the rest of the world’s 17 million refugees and displaced persons). Most of its staff are Palestinians and many are known members of Hamas (indeed, Hamas membership helps one get a UN job). Peter Hansen, UNRWA’s former Commissioner-General (1996–2005), admitted in an interview with CBS that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll. For example, the chairman of UNRWA’s Palestinian workers’ union, Suhail al-Hindi, is a member of Hamas’ new political leadership.
Retired IDF Col. Yoni Fighel, a former military governor in the territories, notes that as long as UNRWA employees are members of Hamas, they are going to pursue the interests of that organization within the framework of their job.
The agency was threatened with closure after the Trump administration implemented severe cuts following reports that proved rockets had been hidden inside UNRWA schools. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who sat on the ethics findings for months, claims he is “committed to acting swiftly on the corruption allegations.”
The UN originally made clear that UNRWA’s mandate would be short-term, indicating that the refugee issue should be solved expeditiously through repatriation or resettlement. In the words of former UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie, “The refugees will lead an independent life in countries that have sheltered them. Except for the ‘hardcore’ cases, the refugees will no longer be maintained by an international organization as they are at present. They will be integrated into the economic system of the countries of asylum and will themselves provide for their own needs and those of their families.”
Palestinian residents of Arab states — all of whom are considered refugees by UNRWA — should become citizens of those states, as they are in Jordan.
In a landmark anti-BDS ruling the High Court of Justice has paved the way for Israel to deport Human Rights Watch’s local director Omar Shakir for his support of boycott activity against Israel.
Human Rights Watch is weighing an appeal to a larger judicial panel of the verdict by a three judges. If not appeal is lodged, Shakir could be asked to leave the country within 20-day.
The ruling is a victory for those who hold that advocates of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement are acting against the state and are not engaged in legitimate criticism of Israel. Opponents view it as part of a movement to suppress human rights advocacy in Israel.
Shakir, who is a US citizen, immediately tweeted that if the HCJ decision is upheld, Israel will “join ranks of Iran, N Korea & Egypt in blocking access for @hrw official. We wont stop. And we wont be the last.”
Minister for Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan [Likud] expressed his satisfaction over the verdict.
"I applaud the decision of the Supreme Court that accepted my Ministry and the Interior Minister's position that a work visa should not be given to a foreign boycott activist who wants to harm Israel and its citizens," he said in a statement.
"Omar Shakir is a BDS activist who took advantage of his stay in Israel to harm it, something no sane country would allow. Israel sees great importance in the activities of real human rights organizations, granting hundreds of visas every year to human rights activists. HRW is welcome to appoint another representative in Israel in place of Shakir if it chooses to do so," he added.
On November 5, 2019, the Supreme Court rejected Shakir’s appeal and upheld the ruling of the Lower Court that his work visa will not be renewed.
In October 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) hired Omar Shakir to serve as its “Israel and Palestine Country Director.” Shakir has been a consistent supporter of a one-state framework and advocate for BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) campaigns, fitting the longstanding HRW practice of hiring anti-Israel activists to serve in key positions relating to Israel.
In May 2018, due to Shakir’s BDS ties, the Israeli Ministry of Interior chose not to renew his work visa. HRW and Shakir have been challenging this decision in Israeli courts. In April 2019, he lost his case in the Jerusalem District Court and immediately appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. The hearing took place on September 24, 2019. While Shakir regularly assails Israel for its “lack of democracy,” in fact, the Israeli courts allowed him to remain in the country during his appeal process despite having no obligation to do so.
Omar Shakir’s background and history of anti-Israel activity exemplifies the organization’s troubling ideological approach to Israel and retreat from the universal principles of human rights.1
The Guardian is adept at amplifying, and failing to critically scrutinise, the unsubstantiated claims and accusations of anti-Israel NGOs, and today’s article about the Israeli Supreme Court decision on Human Right Watch’s regional director Omar Shakir – a long time BDS activist – follows this pattern.
First, as we predicted in a tweet before the article by Oliver Holmes (“Israel can deport Human Rights Watch official, court rules”, Nov. 5th) was published, the piece uncritically cites Shakir’s simply unhinged response to the court’s decision: Shakir wrote on Twitter that if he was kicked out, Israel would join the ranks of Iran, North Korea and Egypt in blocking access to Human Rights Watch staff. “We won’t stop. And we won’t be the last,” he said.
The truth is that democracies all over the world reserve the right to deny entry to those seen as intent on harming the state. Moreover, there are in excess of 350 NGOs (such as HRW) operating freely in Israel, even those who continually deligitimise the state, support BDS and even reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
The denial of a work visa to one employee of one of these NGOs – after careful consideration by the country’s internationally respected supreme court – wouldn’t even minimally change the democratic nature of Israel. The human rights organisation Freedom House continually ranks Israel as the only truly free and democratic country in the region, and the suggestion that this status will change due merely to the supreme court’s decision on Shakir’s work visa is risible.
In a subsequent paragraph in the article, Holmes makes the following claim about the broader effort by Israel to fight BDS – a movement, let’s remember, whose leaders oppose the continued existence of a Jewish state.
There is virtually no chance, and if there is no dramatic breakthrough in negotiations, Israel will be facing its third general election in a year, senior political officials from the Likud, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, and the New Right were saying Monday.
According to one official, the two sides are farther apart than ever, particularly since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokespeople were questioned by police last week.
The same official said that Blue and White was waiting for Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to decide whether or not to indict Netanyahu. Mendelblit is expected to make his decision in early December. For Blue and White, even if Mendelblit were to drop the count of bribery, any indictment would be the final nail in the coffin of any possibility of forming a government with Netanyahu, he explained.
On the other hand, the official said, Netanyahu wants to remain prime minister, even if he is indicted. Therefore, he will not step down, and will apparently retain the support of the Likud and the smaller right-wing parties when and if he is under indictment.
The official said that as of Monday night, it was clear that neither the Likud nor the right-wing bloc would oust Netanyahu and would prefer to hold a third election, even at their detriment.
He also said that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz's position was shaky and even if he wanted to adopt the compromise put forth by President Reuven Rivlin, he would not be able to negotiate it.
"A unity government is dead, and Israel is on its way to a third election," the official said.
In the middle of Sderot, near the Gaza border, 120 chairs sat empty on a lawn on Sunday, waiting for MKs to fill them.
The chairs were set up by young residents of Sderot to represent the 120 MKs who they say they feel abandoned them as rockets continue to be fired at them from Gaza on a regular basis, including on Friday.
“Elections are important and coalition negotiations are important,” organizers wrote. “Even investigations are important, recordings are important, indictments are important. And also a memorial ceremony [for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin] is important.”
“Hey, how did we forget?” they continued. “A plane for the prime minister is important and so are demonstrations outside the attorney-general’s house, but wait, rockets on the residents of the South are not a little important.”
The residents said they’re sick of promises that are not being fulfilled.
“After a Shabbat full of fireworks in the sky, after the horror show organized by terrorists on the other side of the fence, we decided to stop being quiet.”
Dvir Sasi, a spokesman for the protest, said: “We welcome all the MKs to come to us and explain the situation to us, and listen to us, and tell us their solution.”
Twenty months into the Gaza border conflict, the IDF courts issued their first conviction of a soldier for shooting one of the approximately 350 Palestinians who have been killed.
At the same time, the sentence was a mere one month of community service since the conviction was not for a more serious charge, like manslaughter, but essentially for the low-grade offense of violating the rules of engagement for opening fire.
Why was this the result, and what does all of this mean for the broader big battle before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over whether Israel’s legal system complies with international law or whether it has committed war crimes?
Official and unofficial statements from the IDF were short on details, leaving some critics to speculate about potential improper intentions.
Essentially, they said that the unnamed IDF soldier had violated open fire regulations in shooting toward the 15-year-old Palestinian Othman Helles as he was climbing the Gaza security fence, but that IDF investigators could not establish for sure one way or another whether that soldier’s bullet was the one that killed him.
What does this mean? How can the IDF know the soldier fired illegally toward Helles without knowing whether his bullet was the “kill-shot”?
About 105 years ago, the Armenian genocide began. Members of the Armenian community living in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated at the orders of the governing authorities. As many as 1.5 million Armenians, an ethnic minority, were rounded up and murdered or deported to the deserts of Syria to die.
The Armenian genocide was well known in its time. The German military attaché to the Ottoman Empire described it as “total extermination” and other accounts provided graphic details of the horrors the survivors went through. Women were sold into slavery and raped, children were left to starve. In a prelude to the Holocaust and the crimes of ISIS, the slaughter of Armenians was an opening to a hundred years of similar mass murder events.
As a state founded in the wake of genocide, Israel knows too well what it means to be a small minority subjected to massacre and the systematic murder by a government. Like Armenians, Jews had to live as minorities under regimes such as the Germans or the Poles, enjoying “protection” so long as they did not get in the way of the state’s interests.
In late October, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide. It overwhelmingly passed with 405 votes and affirms that the US will record the genocide and provide “solemn remembrance of one of the great atrocities of the 20th century.” The US was moved to act because of recent tensions with Turkey.
Turkey protected ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and Trump should have known.
In his national address announcing that US Special Forces had killed Baghdadi, President Donald Trump commended Turkey while turning a blind eye to Turkey’s collusion with ISIS. While Trump thanked “the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us,” he downplayed the importance of intelligence provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was critical to the mission.
We know that Turkey institutionalized support for jihadis after Syria’s President Bashar Assad attacked Syrian rebels in Ghouta using chemical weapons in September 2013, and that Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) provided weapons, money and logistical support to jihadi groups that evolved into ISIS. Wounded ISIS warriors regularly showed up at Turkish hospitals in Gaziantep to receive medical care.
Baghdadi founded ISIS in the spring of 2014. ISIS attacked Mosul and Sinjar in June, terrorizing Yazidis and Kurds. Over five years, the so-called ISIS caliphate grew to the size of Great Britain, with eight million people under its control.
According to the SDF, “Turkey provides all kinds of support to the terrorist groups. These forces, trained and funded by Turkey, are engaged in a planned ethnic cleansing against our people.” Turkish-backed jihadis in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) commit crimes on a daily basis in Turkish-occupied areas of Syria such as Afrin, Azaz, Bab, Jarablus and Idlib.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was interviewed on Syria TV on October 31, 2019. He said that the extremist Wahhabi doctrine represented by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and ISIS will continue to exist even after ISIS is gone and that Al-Baghdadi had been released from American prisons in Syria in order to lead ISIS. Questioning whether Al-Baghdadi was really killed by the Americans, President Al-Assad suggested that he may have already been dead or that he may have been kidnapped, hidden, or had his appearance surgically altered. He said that the American operation to kill Al-Baghdadi was a trick and that American politics rely on imagination and resemble Hollywood. Later in the interview, President Al-Assad said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Syria's enemy and that U.S President Donald Trump is the best president America has ever had because he is transparent about American policy and America's interest in Middle Eastern oil.
In addition, President Al-Assad said that even though Turkey is occupying parts of Syria, negotiating with it would not suggest that Syria could also negotiate with Israel, because Syria does not recognize Israel as a state or the Israelis as a people the way it does Turkey and the Turks. He also said that Syria wants to gradually regain sovereignty in Kurdistan. Furthermore, President Al-Assad said that Israel's influence is ever present in Syria, that Israel's involvement in the Syrian civil war is a given even though it is not openly apparent, and that everything that has taken place in Syria has served the interests of Israel through proxies, agents, flunkies, or the United States. The English-subtitled version of the interview was uploaded to the Syrian Presidency's YouTube channel.
A lawyer for Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, which has been criminally charged by US prosecutors with helping Iran evade sanctions, said in a letter on Monday that it would seek to dismiss the case and have the judge assigned to it recuse himself.
In a letter to US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, Andrew Hruska, a lawyer for Halkbank, said the bank was not agreeing to appear in court on the charges. He asked that he be allowed to represent the bank for the limited purpose of arguing the dismissal and recusal motions.
A hearing is scheduled in the case on Tuesday, and prosecutors have said they may seek a fine against Halkbank if it refuses to appear.
A spokesman for the office of Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. Hruska did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan brought the criminal charges against Halkbank on Oct. 16. The bank called the charges an escalation of Washington’s sanctions on Ankara over its military incursion in Syria, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called them an “unlawful, ugly” step.
Hruska said in Monday’s letter that the bank’s “incidental contacts with the US are insufficient to establish… jurisdiction” in the New York federal court.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not planning to run in the next presidential election, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said in an interview with Palestine TV on Monday.
Rajoub’s announcement contradicts a statement by another senior Fatah official, Hussein al-Sheikh, who recently said that the only candidate of Fatah in the presidential election will be the 84-year-old Abbas.
“President Abbas is the only candidate of Fatah and honorable Palestinians,” Sheikh said.
Rajoub, who also heads the Palestinian Football Association, described Abbas as a “national treasure.” Abbas, he revealed, does not want to run in the election, and he won’t agree to be a candidate.
“Let us make him the sheikh of the tribe and the spiritual father of the democratic process,” Rajoub said. “In two months, President Abbas will celebrate his 85th birthday.”
In September, Abbas announced in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly that he intends to call for “general elections” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
Rajoub, a former head of the PA’s Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, is seen by some Palestinians as a potential successor to Abbas. However, Rajoub did not say in the interview whether he intends to present his candidacy in the presidential election.
Rajoub’s announcement that Abbas won’t seek another term in office is likely to trigger a “war of succession” between several veteran PLO and Fatah officials who see themselves as suitable candidates to succeed the PA president.
Abbas himself has not said whether he intends to contest the next election. Moreover, he still hasn’t announced a date for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections.
The last Palestinian presidential election was held in 2005, when Abbas was elected for a four-year term. The last parliamentary election, held in 2006, resulted in a Hamas victory.
Rajoub expressed hope that Abbas would set a date for the new elections before the end of this year.
The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Zionist leader Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Every year, PA officials condemn the Balfour Declaration and seem to compete in calling it names, denying its legitimacy, and refuting the validity of Jews’ right to a national home in “Palestine” as Palestinian Media Watch has reported. This year is no exception. Here are some examples of statements by PA officials and others about Balfour’s “ominous promise”:
PA Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif stated that the Balfour Declaration is an “invalid promise” that Britain had no right to give, and that the Jews had no right to receive. He called it “a mark of disgrace in the history of humanity” and a “historic mistake,” and predicted that Israel/the Jews will disappear like previous “invaders”: Minister Abu Saif: “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, and the invaders will go away as those who preceded them went away...
He added: ‘The ominous promise, in which the one giving the promise permitted giving what is not his to one who has no right, was a mark of disgrace in the history of humanity. The historic mistake will only be corrected when the right returns to its owners.’”
The PA claims of the illegitimacy of Britain’s actions and Israel's creation is illustrated by this image printed by the official PA daily, which shows the British and the Israeli flags in a no entry sign on the Balfour Declaration together with an image of Balfour and “Palestine”:
The PLO factions issued a joint statement on the anniversary that named the Balfour Declaration “the most despicable plot in the history of the peoples.” The PLO claimed that the “ominous promise” was the result of the convergence of interests of the “colonialist states” Britain and the US and the Zionist movement. The PLO repeated the PA claim that the colonial powers used the Jewish people as a pawn in the Middle East to gain control in the region, steal its resources, and prevent the Arab countries from developing:
Fatah: “We will defend our holy sites with our blood and our souls” “Jerusalem is ours”
Text: “The deal of the century will never pass. We will defend our holy sites with our blood and our souls” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "This is not allowed. This cannot happen. This is a decisive moment, a dangerous moment for us. Our entire future is at stake. If Jerusalem is lost, what will you say afterwards?" Text: “Jerusalem is ours and you will never have a place in it” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "This is a crucial moment that demands that every Palestinian present themselves immediately to quickly discuss the fate of the eternal capital [Jerusalem]. In politics: It’s the capital. In religion: It’s the capital. In geography: It’s the capital." Text: “The shining rage will uproot the tyranny from our land” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "Here we are sitting, here we are remaining. We will never repeat the mistakes of the past. We will not repeat the mistakes of 1948 or the mistakes of 1967. We are remaining here – occupation, settlements, whatever – We are remaining here!" Song lyrics: "The home is ours and Jerusalem is ours" Text: “The home is ours and Jerusalem is ours. And with our hands we will liberate it, Allah willing” Text: “Fatah Al-Asifa” (The Fatah logo includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas.) [Official Fatah Facebook page, July 28, 2019]
Alnehaiwi added that the "popular revolutions against the [Iranian] occupiers and [Arab] executioners are a luminous point and milestone that will serve the interest of the Palestinian issue." Noting that Hamas did the right thing when it sided with the Syrian people in their uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad, the political analyst said: "Hamas may regret its support for Iran. Hamas will lose a great deal if it continues to side with Iran and stands against the people who have revolted against [Iranian] occupation and the executioners."
Such criticism, however, is unlikely to deter Hamas from pursuing its agenda of promoting Iran's interests in the region. The Arabs who are risking their lives to demand good governance and an end to corruption are now being targeted by Iran and its puppets in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Iraq.
It now remains to be seen whether the Arabs who have finally woken up to realize that Iran -- and not Israel -- is the real threat to their well-being will be able to keep up the momentum and continue their uprising against corruption and Iranian dominance over their countries.
By continuing to align itself with Iran, Hamas is leading its people straight toward even greater suffering. The only way for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to alleviate their misery is by revolting against their "leaders" in Hamas. Instead of firing rockets at Israel and demonstrating at the Gaza-Israel border, Palestinians ought to learn from their brothers in Lebanon and Iraq who their real enemies are: Iranian-backed dictators and fake Palestinian leaders, who only know how to lead their people towards further suffering.
As the year comes to an end, the Gaza Strip is preparing to return to the familiar, suffocating financial crises that is sure to result from Qatar’s ending its grant to poor families. Qatari envoy in the Strip, Mohammed al-Emadi, has informed Hamas and other terror factions there that his government is having difficulties renewing the grant, Al-Akhbar reported Tuesday.
These funds did not cover all of Gaza’s poor families, and the most each lucky family received was $100 each month, but it was a reliable stopgap measure to stave off the explosion that’s sure to come without this charity. There will be two more payments until the end of 2019, Al Emadi told the local leaders, after which they are on their own.
Over the weekend, Hamas made it clear that it was blocking the security escalation with Israel and is not interested in keeping it up. But then, on Monday, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, bragged that he had been the one to determine in recent years whether or not there would be war.
Kan 11 TV on Monday night provided a glimpse into the other wars Hamas has been waging: internal leadership wars, a cruel, Darwinian effort to literally “thin the herd” with violent border fence riots, and an unofficial operation to induce as many as 200,000 Gazan youths to using drugs, mostly hashish and opiates – to help them forget the hardships of their daily lives.
Egyptian authorities have barred Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh from traveling outside the Gaza Strip and Egypt for almost three years to prevent him from meeting with their political rivals, a senior official in the terror group said in an interview published Tuesday.
The last time Haniyeh traveled beyond Gaza and Egypt was in late 2016 and early 2017 before he was elected Hamas head.
“The Egyptians are not permitting the head of the politburo to travel abroad because they do no want him to meet their political rivals,” Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior official in the terror group, told Dar al-Hayat, an Arabic-language news site. “This ban [has been in place] for about the last three years.”
Hamas, which frequently meets with Egyptian intelligence officials mediating between the terror group that rules the Strip and Israel, also maintains close ties with countries that Cairo views as foes such as Qatar and Turkey.
They sure have vivid imaginations. If only they used them to dream about peace instead of their desire to destroy us. https://t.co/HYqJg3OIyS
Like many, I always thought that the famous checkered "Palestinian Keffiyeh" was a timeless symbol of the Palestinian Arabs. Turns out, it dates back only to 1936 & the violent, antisemitic, ultra nationalistic far-right Arab riots.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren has described in chilling detail how a conflict between Israel and Iran could easily be sparked and descend into a massive conflagration, devastating Israel and other countries in the region.
Israel is already girding for a war with the Islamic Republic, and has carried out hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. A single miscalculation during one of those airstrikes could draw retaliation by Iran, Oren wrote in a column published in The Atlantic on Monday.
“The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran,” he began. “Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it’s not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark.”
An Israel Defense Forces bombing run could inadvertently hit a sensitive target, or an Israeli official could step out of line and say something to embarrass Iran following an attack, Oren wrote.
“The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin,” he continued.
Unsurprisingly, Iran and its allies in Iraq and Lebanon are blaming recent unrest on the usual suspects: a conspiracy of foreign actors that includes the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Zionists.
How will this end? In 2008, civil unrest led to Hezbollah’s armed seizure of Beirut. Hezbollah and Iran have poured thousands of fighters and billions of dollars into neighboring Syria to help crush the rebellion against their Syrian ally. In 2009, Iran’s green movement protests over stolen elections finally ebbed in the face of torture, beatings, and detentions meted out by the regime. “We in Iran know how to deal with protests,” Iran’s second-most powerful man assured Iraqi officials this month. “This happened in Iran and we got it under control.”
Ten years ago, when Iran saw its largest uprising since the 1979 revolution, Obama was not only reluctant to express solidarity with Iranians, he also refused to acknowledge the rigged elections, dismissed advisers who urged active assistance, and blocked CIA resources earmarked for supporting democratic uprisings. In The Iran Wars, former Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon reveals how Obama’s peculiar reticence was largely motivated by his worry that American involvement would ruin his secret overtures to Tehran in hopes of brokering an agreement. While President Trump has also expressed a desire to strike a deal with Iran, he has already retweeted two videos of Iraqi demonstrators storming the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Whether this administration is able to leverage these protests into successful policy beyond tweets remains to be seen. And perhaps more importantly, it is too early to tell whether the nascent political revolts in Lebanon and Iraq can survive the backlash from Iranian-backed militias and snipers long enough to evolve into a meaningful, organized political opposition.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) will soon introduce new legislation that would compel the Trump administration to eradicate the remaining vestiges of the landmark Iran nuclear deal, the lawmaker told the Washington Free Beacon.
Cheney's legislative effort comes as GOP hawks in Congress have launched an offensive against the Trump administration's decision to again grant Iran sanctions waivers that permit it to conduct sensitive nuclear work, including at an underground bunker site that once housed the regime's atomic weapons program.
The legislation is yet another sign of mounting frustration among hawkish Republicans over the Trump administration's mixed signals on Iran. Critics allege the administration is backtracking on its own "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran in order to preserve possible diplomacy with Tehran down the road.
The Free Beacon reported last week that the Trump administration's State Department had signed off on the nuclear waivers, despite public and private pressure from anti-Iran voices on Capitol Hill. The debate marks one of the clearest divides yet between typically faithful Trump administration supporters in Congress and those inside the administration.
Cheney told the Free Beacon that the waivers have helped legitimize Iran's nuclear infrastructure and paved a way for it to continue working on sensitive nuclear issues with help from countries such as China and Russia.
These were first and foremost religious zealots blindly following the will of clerics (Ali Khamenei and Mousavi Khoeini among them) who often visited the hostages, too. Many attended Amir Kabir University, "strictly allied with Khomeini and the new Mullah establishment," according to Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah (2006). As Bowden puts it, they "were all committed to a formal Islamic state and were allied, some of them by family, with the clerical power structure around Khomeini."
Bruce Laingen, who was the chargé d'affaires at the embassy, wrote in his journal that Khoeni was "the clerical link with the 'students' at the embassy since the day of the seizure and . . . the link before that, too, in the planning for the seizure." On July 21, 1980, he wrote with certainty that Khoeni was Khomeini's "liaison with the 'students' of the embassy" and that there "can be no question of the extent to which the clerical forces are solidly in control."
The term "students" was inaccurate and misleading in 1979, and it is all the more so now. After four decades, the time has come finally to get it right.
The 40th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran serves as a reminder of the long history of malign behavior by the regime in #Iran and the danger it has posed to the United States and the world over the past 40 years. https://t.co/Why37eFgkJpic.twitter.com/NnooHx9tzO
40 Years On: How US-Iran Hostility Affects the World Today
With anti-American slogans and effigies mocking President Donald Trump, thousands rallied outside the former US embassy in Tehran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. Amid renewed tensions with Washington, state television showed rallies taking place in several other cities, including Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan, four decades after revolutionary students stormed the diplomatic mission. "They will continue their enmity against us. They are like a lethal scorpion whose nature is to have a poisonous sting," the head of the army, General Abdolrahim Mousavi, said in a speech at Tehran. "We are ready to crush this scorpion and will also pay the price."
Where was this when Iraqi government kicked the Jews out of their home & confiscated all their belongings. I’m ashamed to this day of how my people behaved it back then and how they allowed it to happen. وين كنتوا من صار الفرهود و ليش سمحتوا بترحيلهم، حركة جدا متاخرة للاسف https://t.co/XOEvBq5Ohd
Lebanon's Al Akhbar (associated with Hezbollah) reports that Qatar's envoy to Gaza has warned that much of its funding to the poor in Gaza may end by 2020.
Mohammed Al Emadi told Hamas and other factions in the Gaza Strip that it would be difficult for Qatar to renew the $30 million it has been giving every month to help Gazans.
Al Akhbar said it received this information from Hamas officials. Palestine Today confirmed the story.
Qatar has been giving some 109,000 Gaza families $100 every month, along with paying for fuel, major building projects and other infrastructure. Qatar has been cooperating with Israel is providing this aid.
Hamas is hoping that either Qatar reverses the decision or that some of the tax revenues that the PA is refusing to accept from Israel will go directly to Gaza. This seems like wishful thinking.
Qatar has been the only Arab country that has seemed to actually care about Gazans beyond lip service. It has coordinated countless shipments of aid to Gaza with Israel. It has given hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aid while most Arab countries attend anti-Israel conferences and issue statements.
Yet even though only Qatar has walked the walk, the article says that Gazans resent the Qatari aid because Israel supports it. In the words of the writer, "Gazans know that what Doha offers is an Israeli interest before it is Palestinian."
That zero-sum thinking represents a lot of the problems of the Middle East in a nutshell.
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Since its creation, the Palestinian Authority has received tens of billions of dollars of international aid. Just since 2011, the European Union, the United States, and other countries have provided the PA with hundreds of millions of dollars and euros of aid.
While the PA has constantly complained about its financial difficulties, scrutiny of the PA’s own financial records for the years 2011 - 2018, shows that the PA transferred from its coffers over 7 billion shekels to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), some of which was then given to terrorist organizations. In that same period, the PA also spent over 440 million shekels to fund its non-functioning institutions.
Funding to the PLO and internationally designated terrorist organizations
The PLO, which is also headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is an umbrella organization for several Palestinian groups. The largest and most dominant member is Abbas’ Fatah party. Other members include groups designated as terror organizations by the US and the EU such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestinian Liberation Front. PLO members are entitled to and receive funding from the PLO.
While international donors have demanded that the PA show financial transparency, the PLO is not subject to any financial regulation or demands of transparency. Accordingly, it is impossible to know what happens with billions of dollars of donor money the PA has given and continues to give today to the PLO.
Only on sporadic occasions are the financial workings of the PLO exposed. In June 2018, a senior PFLP official, Maher Mazhar, complained that the PFLP was not getting its monthly allocations from the PLO.
Denying the claim of the PFLP, PLO Executive Committee member and Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad confirmed that Abbas and the Palestinian National Fund - the financial branch of the PLO - are responsible for funding the PFLP, and stressed that the allocations had not been stopped:
“PLO Executive Committee member [and Fatah Central Committee member] Azzam Al-Ahmad denied that the allocation from the Palestinian National Fund to any Palestinian organization, including the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] (PFLP), has been stopped. In a telephone conversation with Al-Ahmad from Amman, he said: ‘There is no truth to the rumors that [PA] President Abbas or any other party has stopped the allocation to the PFLP.” [Ma’an, (Independent Palestinian news agency), June 17, 2018]
Events like the Jaffa Riots of 1921 (95 dead) and the Riots of 1929 (249 dead) were a common fixture. When all out war inevitably emerged in 1948 due to Arab rejection of a Jewish state, it ended with the permanent exile of up to 90% of Palestinians from Israeli-controlled territory. Nothing unusual here. Population transfers are a common result of intrastate ethnic conflict. Those wishing to alleviate Palestinian hardship should consider this when contemplating a situation that would result in a power struggle similar to what emerged following the British Mandate.
And a power struggle it will be. One-staters envision shared governance between Jews and Arabs, who will work together under a liberal democratic framework, but the Palestinians have proven unable to do this even amongst themselves. Two years after Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas overthrew the PLO and instituted a totalitarian Islamist regime.
Things are not much better in the West Bank, where President Mahmoud Abbas is now in his 15th year of a four-year term. The “occupation” cannot be blamed. After all, pre-state Israel somehow managed to uphold democratic norms under the brutality of the British Mandate. Democracy is simply not presently part of the Palestinian lexicon.
The same goes for the “liberal” part of “liberal democracy.” Polls by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center show that the Palestinians hold beliefs vehemently at odds with an inclusive society. A majority support honor killings, and 93% of the population harbors antisemitic views, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Before the one-state solution as envisioned by Palestinian advocates is even discussed, Palestinians have a very long way to go. Looking at examples from the broader region, there’s good reason to believe that an Israeli-Palestinian utopia will forever remain a pipe dream.
Understandably, as US President Donald Trump continues to delay his vision for resolving the conflict, ideas counter to the mainstream two-state solution will be discussed. Some are worse than others, but few are as bad as the one-state solution.
As it turns out, the killing of both Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his heir apparent, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, was a direct result of Trump’s shake-up of the pre-existing order in northern Syria and northern Iraq. While it should be obvious, it bears repeating: the media and the American people are not privy to the vast trove of intelligence the commander in chief has at his fingertips. This is particularly important in the complex and multidimensional Middle East, where alliances and verbal agreements are the rule, rather than the exception.
We think in black-and-white terms, but the truth is often closer to gray and white, or black and gray. I have many theories as to just how our US special forces pulled off this miraculous assault against the No. 1 terrorist in the world, but overall, I would venture that what it boils down to is that the president caught al-Baghdadi off-guard.
Al-Baghdadi was no doubt celebrating America’s pullout from the region and got careless. Essentially, it flushed him out into the open. He was planning a new barrage of terror, especially against the Kurds and Yazidis. What he was not prepared for was the determination and steadfastness of Trump. He miscalculated regarding our president and suffered the consequences.
By taking out al-Baghdadi and al-Muhajir, Trump has now sent the clearest message yet to all of our enemies, including Iran and North Korea, that he means business. This was and is a major turning point in his presidency, and it is a crying shame that he can’t seem to get one iota of credit for it from his political opponents.
In the final analysis, the American people will ultimately decide how much credit to give him. I am a firm believer they will be much kinder and wiser judging his record in hindsight.
The Arab world’s perception of Israel is undergoing a seismic shift, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Addressing a 200-strong crowd in Jerusalem at the kick-off event of the Christian Media Summit and inauguration of the Friends of Zion Museum’s new media center, Netanyahu said Israel has gone from being perceived as an enemy in the region to being seen as an “indispensable ally.”
“Something very big is happening: the transformation of Israel in the minds of many in the Middle East. It’s no longer being perceived as an enemy. We’ve become an indispensable ally against the enemy of militant Islam,” he said.
As evidence, Netanyahu cited the lack of violence following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and then later of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“People said there would be a tremendous convulsion. But what happened? Nothing,” said Netanyahu.
The Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem is an interactive facility that harnesses Christian support to combat BDS and antisemitism.
The impetus behind the Arab world beginning to band together with Israel, said Netanyahu, was Iran. Israel’s goal, he said, was “to make sure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons and that its march toward an empire and conquest has stopped.”
Netanyahu praised US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose hefty economic sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear program, but said that “if Israel was not here, Iran would already have nuclear weapons.”
During Benjamin Netanyahu’s long tenure in office, and contrary to widespread perceptions that he is anti-Arab, the Jewish state’s Arab citizens have seen major social and economic improvements. Netanyahu himself displayed his characteristic savvy and tenacity in pushing through an important 2015 measure to increase government investment in Arab communities. Drawing on an interview with Ron Gerlitz—a staunchly leftist activist who advised the government in devising and implementing these policies—Netta Ahituv explains what they have accomplished. (Free registration required.)
Over the past seven years, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of Arab students enrolled in universities and colleges in Israel has risen by 80 percent. Over five years the number of Arabs studying computer sciences, and the number of Arab students pursuing master’s degrees in all fields have both jumped 50 percent, while the number studying for a PhD has soared 60 percent.
In the last decade, the number of Arabs working in high-tech has increased eighteenfold, and one-quarter of them are women. . . . The proportion of Arab doctors in Israel has climbed from 10 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2018, and 21 percent of all male doctors are Arab, according to the Health Ministry. Educational institutions in Arab locales are receiving unprecedented levels of funding—including 130 million shekels ($37 million) for informal-education programs. Moreover, public transportation is finally making inroads into the smaller Arab towns, to the point where the Bank of Israel recently declared that the gap in access to such transport between Jewish and Arab locales with fewer than 20,000 residents has shrunk considerably.
In the interview, Gerlitz notes that some of the ministries that have contributed the most to these improvements have done so under the direction of right-swing politicians, such as Likud’s Yisrael Katz and the Orthodox Shas party’s Aryeh Deri. And he notes other kinds of good news as well, including major changes in the labor market:
Government investment, on the one hand, and a new spirit in Israeli Arab society, on the other, has led to Arabs enrolling in higher education and working in both the public and private sectors; [in fact], the proportion of Arab civil servants rose from 5.7 percent in 2007 to 11.3 percent in 2017.
Israel is often accused by her enemies of being an apartheid state. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As one who grew up under the apartheid system in South Africa, I can attest to this. Arab citizens of Israel are accorded the same rights as any other citizen. They travel on our public transportation in safety without the fear of being attacked. They walk freely around our neighborhood streets, play with their children in the local parks, attend the local movie theaters, eat in Israeli restaurants, and are treated in all Israeli hospitals.
Until not long ago, some of the Hamas terrorist officials were sending their relatives to be treated in Israeli hospitals. The practice was stopped at the behest of the Hamas leadership, who forbade their citizens from seeking treatment in Israel – despite medical services in Gaza being woefully inadequate.
In Jerusalem, many of the main pharmacies are staffed and managed by Arab citizens. Arab women wear the Hijab and are often seen shopping in Israeli shopping malls and supermarkets with their husbands and families. Many of the doctors and specialists in Jerusalem are from the Arab sector. A friend’s daughter gave birth to her child at Hadassah-University Medical Center, on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus. She shared a ward with another expectant mother who also happened to be Arab. The obstetrician was a Muslim Arab from East Jerusalem.
“He was outstanding,” our friend told us. “Apart from being an excellent doctor, he was also so kind and considerate. In fact, my daughter was so impressed with him that she asked if she could come and see him at his consulting rooms in East Jerusalem. Unsurprisingly, he advised against it. He told her that it would not be safe for her to come to the neighborhood where he worked.”
Many years ago, a few years after the Six Day War, I lived in Jerusalem for a short while. In those days relations between Jewish and Arab citizens were particularly cordial to the extent that we young people would patronize some of the Arab discotheques. This was before the days of fundamentalism (on both sides). We spent many Saturday nights learning the moves of the exotic oriental disco music. Both Arabs and Jews mingled on the dance floor and had a great time. We shopped in the Arab shuk, and would regularly visit the souvenir stores of Bethlehem and Beit Jala.
Despite the feeling of gloom and hopelessness, there are chinks of light. One of my first voluntary activities was to coach young Israelis. I ended up coaching two remarkable young people. One was an Israeli Arab from a virulently ant-Israeli town in the north, where “A” was brought up to hate Israelis and Jews. When the IDF offered young Arab youths the opportunity to attend an engineering course for free, A decided to sign up.
“After all,” he told me, “anything we could take from the Israelis for free was almost considered an obligation.”
A recounted his first encounter with Israelis. He was surprised and almost shocked to discover how friendly and “nice” the personnel were.
Ten rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the South on Friday night. Although they were fired after a month of relative calm, it’s hard to say they came out of the blue. Israelis, and particularly residents of the western Negev, are aware that rocket attacks from Gaza can happen at almost any time.
The main difference with the rockets this weekend was that they did not seem to be fired for any particular reason. There had been no Israeli operation in the area and no casualties in the ongoing “March of Return” border protests. The rockets, one of which scored a direct hit on a home in Sderot, were reportedly fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and not Hamas, which controls the Strip.
Although this is not the first time, this should be of concern because the large number of rockets launched indicates that Hamas might be losing its grip to more radical terrorist organizations, and that an internal struggle among these terrorist groups could result in them trying to gain points by attacking Israel or even trying to drag Israel into an escalated conflict.
Until now, Israel has seen Hamas as in control and responsible for what happens in Gaza. But it should be kept in mind that PIJ is affiliated with Iran and relies on the Islamic Republic for funds and weapons. In this sense, the events in the South cannot be seen in isolation from the tension with Iranian-proxy Hezbollah on the northern border.
The general opinion seems to be that Hamas is not interested in another mini-war with Israel – what would be the fourth serious conflict since 2008 – and Israel does not want another war on its southern border.
The fact that there is not a fully functional government following two rounds of elections – and a serious possibility now of a third round – might act as an encouragement to the terrorists in Gaza. It will be clear to the Palestinian extremists that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want to face a third election in a state of war on the southern border.
In its conflicts fought in the past two decades with Hamas in Gaza and Hizballah in Lebanon, the IDF has a used a strategy based on the combination of precision weapons with detailed intelligence. David M. Weinberg, basing himself on a recent, extensive report, argues that this doctrine has proved to be a failure, and calls for a return to the military principles that served the Jewish state so well in the first three decades of its existence:
In most clashes, a deleterious dynamic has repeated itself. At first, Israel successfully launches a salvo of firepower based on accurate intelligence gathered over a long period of time. Then follows a decline in the quality of targeting intelligence with an attendant reduction in the number of targets that justify a strike, and a recovery by the enemy and a continuation of its attacks against Israel.
Subsequent Israeli frustration leads to attacks on targets with high collateral damage or on useless targets, alongside an immense effort to acquire new quality targets, which can lead to an occasional success but does not alter the general picture. What follows is a prolonged campaign—leading to public anger and frustration—and a maneuver by ground forces that is not sufficiently effective to bring the enemy to the point of collapse.
Consequently, a return to combat along more traditional lines is inevitable in many cases. This means maneuvering into enemy territory, locating and destroying enemy forces (or capturing them, thus undermining the myth of the self-sacrificing jihadist “resistance”). Only this will break the spirit of the enemy.
Consider this, too: while no large conventional armies today threaten Israel, the situation could change. If a radical Muslim Brotherhood regime should rise in a country like Egypt, or if the Syrian army is rebuilt after that country’s civil war, the IDF must be ready. Bear in mind that building ground forces is a complex process that takes time. Neglecting IDF ground-maneuver capabilities is therefore a dangerous gamble.
The Joint Arab List is a political party in Israel’s parliament. It currently has 13 seats.
The only way the Anti-Bibi Netanyahu forces can form a government without Netanyahu is if it has the support of this Joint Arab List party. Yet how can any Israeli, or Israel supporter, support having this list or these politicians in an Israeli government or even in Israel’s parliament?
Nobody else is saying the truth about this party like Caroline.
Israel’s Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich is pursuing a policy that would bolster the road and rail infrastructure in Judea and Samaria with the goal of creating de facto annexation of the territories, according to a report by Israel Hayom.
The program, described by the ministry as “sovereignty through transportation,” would see the road connecting Jerusalem to Gush Etzion expanded at a cost of about NIS 1 billion ($283 million). A major new road from Gush Etzion southward would be built at a similar cost under the plan.
According to Smotrich’s office, this new policy, which includes additional projects, is designed to “end the current isolation of Judea and Samaria when it comes to transportation planning, so that the area is just like any other region in Israel.”
To promote this agenda, Smotrich has also created a special bureau for Judea and Samaria planning in his ministry. He has also had Judea and Samaria transportation projects integrated with national projects so that the residents of those areas can have their concerns addressed over the long term.
This means that a variety of issues that have previously been ignored by state agencies will have proper oversight, including road safety. It would also allow residents of Judea and Samaria to use the same general monthly or daily public transportation passes used all over Israel, known as the Rav Kav.
The European Union on Monday condemned Israel after construction plans for 2,342 settlement homes were green-lighted last month.
The bloc said its position on Israel building in the West Bank remains unchanged: “All settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”
The EU also criticized the decision to approve the expansion of a road that connects settlements to Jerusalem while bypassing Bethlehem, referred to by locals as the tunnel road, saying it is “entrenching the fragmentation of the West Bank.”
The Peace Now settlement watchdog has speculated that the project would “dramatically increase the number of settlers in the Bethlehem area.”
The bloc made its statement after the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee — the Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing settlement construction — published on Thursday the protocol from a meeting it held earlier this month when it made the approvals, capping off a record year for such plans since US President Donald Trump took office.
The quarterly session was the last held during the 2019 calendar year, during which plans for 8,337 homes were advanced — the most since 2013. Each of Trump’s nearly three years in office saw an increase in settlement approvals, with 6,742 green-lit in 2017 and 5,618 advanced in 2018.
So did the legislators ask King Abdullah II to extradite Tamimi so she can be put on trial for the terrorism charges she faces in Washington? We still don't know and it's not for lack of trying. But at least we know now this isn't because Jordan is free of the obligation to hand her over. We know the State Department has an actual view on this. That view is the Jordanians surely are obliged and that justice demands it.
Jordan's government tracks what was published in yesterday's Country Report about Jordan and Ahlam Tamimi. We know because it's a front page item in today's Jordan Times, the English-language newspaper said to be controlled by the government (and which blocks us on Twitter):
The US Department of State has hailed Jordan as a “committed partner” in counterterrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE). In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2018, the Department of State commended Jordan’s “leading role” in the global coalition to defeat the Daesh terror group...
Hailed and commended, yes. As for the State Department report saying the US regards the extradition treaty as valid, that part the authoritative Jordanian daily's editors simply ignore. They just choose not to report it. And for those laboring under the illusion of a free, liberal and fair-minded Hashemite Kingdom, you might want to glance at "20-Jan-18: Shutting down media critics in Jordan isn't quite the challenge it might seem to be". According to Freedom House, Jordan has one of the world's most unfree news industries, media and human rights environments.
Nonetheless, what's just happened amounts in our eyes to a welcome step in the direction of overdue justice.
Two Jordanian nationals who were recently detained by Israel will return to the Hashemite Kingdom in the coming days, authorities in both countries said Monday.
Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister, made the announcement on Twitter Monday afternoon. It was later confirmed by Israeli authorities, who pointed to the importance of Jerusalem’s ties with Amman.
Heba al-Labadi and Abdel Rahman Miri were detained several months ago over suspicions of ties to terror groups and held without charge, sparking a diplomatic row between Jerusalem and Amman.
Jordan recalled ambassador to Israel Ghassan Majali last week to protest the pair’s detention.
“Heba al-Labadi and Abdel Rahman Miri will return home before the end of the week,” Safadi tweeted.
“The government has worked to secure their release since the first day [they were arrested] in accordance with strict instructions from his Majesty King Abdullah II to take all measures necessary to bring them back safely,” he added.
Israel detained Labadi, 32, and Miri, 29, at the Allenby crossing in the Jordan Valley on August 20 and September 2, respectively. The Palestinian Authority Prisoners Affairs Commission has said that both of them were held under administrative detention orders.
Administrative detention is a measure that allows Israel to detain certain suspects for months at a time without indicting them or presenting details of the accusations against them.
If Blue and White leader Benny Gantz "dares" to order a "foolish operation" against the resistance movement in the Gaza Strip, he will "rue the day he was born," leader of the Hamas in Gaza Yahya Sinwar declared on Monday.
Sinwar was speaking in response to remarks Gantz made about a possible military response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel.
In a meeting at which Hamas' politburo leader Ismail Haniyeh and UN Special Coordinator for the Gaza Strip Sergey Mladenov were also present, Sinwar called Gantz "the next leader of the occupation."
According to a report on the Al Ghad TV station, at a separate meeting with young people in Gaza, Sinwar said, "If Israel continues to tighten the siege on Gaza, we'll shoot rockets at Tel Aviv for six months straight. We'll turn the cities of Israel into ghost towns."
Over the past few days, Sinwar had made a number of stringent anti-Israeli declarations. In an interview Sunday, he said that a prisoner exchange deal was not currently possible because of the political situation in Israel and the "leadership vacuum it has created."
Sinwar also said that "They don't even have a government that can agree on a budget, or a limited government to discuss security issues such as the Iranian threat, for example."
A lot of attention has been devoted to the Islamic State’s use of the Internet to inspire or direct international terrorist attacks. But little has been written about how Hezbollah uses similar approaches to recruit and execute attacks. A new study published this month in the CTC Sentinel explores this development by analyzing several cases of Hezbollah’s alleged social media efforts to recruit Israeli Arabs and Palestinians to kill Israelis.
From the end of 2015 through 2017, both the Islamic State and Hezbollah recruited terrorists outside their base countries using social media and encrypted communications platforms to help people form cells and conduct terrorist attacks abroad. Several high-profile Islamic State virtual plots were carried out successfully, killing people in Europe and beyond during this period. Hezbollah, on the other hand, has thus far failed to execute an attack using Palestinians recruited online. But foiled, covert plots still point to a major, yet poorly understood, terrorist threat to Israel. By hiding behind anti-Israel Facebook groups, Hezbollah can oversee plots from afar, at a limited cost to the organization.
The latest study compares and contrasts six publicly available cases of Palestinians recruited by Hezbollah handlers online. In each case, Hezbollah operatives develop ties with individual Palestinians through anti-Israel Facebook groups. After establishing a relationship, the Palestinian recruit is instructed to continue discussions over encrypted email and other communications platforms. The recruit is then asked to form cells with other trusted people in the West Bank. According to the analysis, all of the recruits and cell members were young men from across the West Bank between the ages of 18-32. The sole exception was 49-year-old Mustafa Ali Mahmoud Basharat — who did not make it very far in the planning process before Israel foiled that plot.
In most cases, Hezbollah used secure platforms to send instructions on how to build explosive devices. Palestinian recruits usually conducted surveillance of Israeli military targets, unless Israeli authorities disrupted the cell early on the planning process. Hezbollah’s instructions ranged from kidnapping Israelis, carrying out bombings, and conducting shooting attacks against Israeli military targets. In one case, a Hezbollah-led cell started to build explosives to use in a suicide bombing targeting an Israeli bus.
No wonder. Despite a long, friendly relationship with Turkey, Ankara under Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become increasingly belligerent towards the United States and our allies, especially Israel, and, most recently, the Syrian Kurds.
Turkey’s invasion of Syria this month to subdue US Kurdish allies has generated condemnations from Western European and Arab nations, as well as from Russia, India, China, and, surprisingly, even Iran
But this is only the latest dust-up: Erdogan’s Turkey is guilty of a string of international offenses. In 2015, Turkey, unprovoked, shot down a Russian fighter jet. To Egypt’s annoyance, Turkey supports its enemy, the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan frequently issues antisemitic calumnies, is a reliable foe of Israel, and in 2010 attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which ended in the deaths of 10 Turkish activists. Turkey deployed a team of thugs to the streets of Washington, DC to abduct anti-Erdogan Turkish activists. Turkey illegally occupies most of Cyprus. After buying American F-35 fighter jets, Erdogan contracted with Russia to purchase anti-aircraft batteries against stern US objections. Erdogan runs Turkish politics with an authoritarian fist, just a short step from totalitarianism
To make matters worse, Turkey is a member of NATO, and the alliance’s only Eurasian member; all others are North American or European, but Turkey has been in the group since 1952. Under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey has moved further from the goals and policies of other NATO members, often standing in stark opposition to the body’s will, as it is currently doing in Syria.
US Vice President Mike Pence insisted that “the United States of America is not going to tolerate Turkey’s invasion of Syria any further.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper is encouraging NATO members to take “diplomatic and economic” measures against Turkey. President Donald Trump threatened Erdogan with devastating economic sanctions, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that “military action” may be needed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may call off a visit to Washington next week in protest at votes in the House of Representatives to recognize mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide and to seek sanctions on Turkey, three Turkish officials said.
Erdogan is due in Washington on Nov. 13 at President Donald Trump’s invitation, but said last week that the votes put a “question mark” over the plans.
“These steps seriously overshadow ties between the two countries. Due to these decisions, Erdogan’s visit has been put on hold,” a senior Turkish official said, adding that a final decision had not been taken.
Turkish sources say Trump and Erdogan have a strong bond despite anger in Congress over Turkey’s Syria offensive and its purchase of Russian air defenses, and despite what Ankara sees as Trump’s own erratic pronouncements.
Those personal ties could be crucial given NATO member Turkey’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 missile defense system, which under US law should trigger sanctions.
Turkey is already suspended from the F-35 fighter jet program in which it was both joint producer and customer, and the offensive it launched against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria on Oct. 9 set the stage for further US retaliation.
In a withering attack on Al Jazeera and Qatar, the pro-government Daily Sabah slammed Al Jazeera English for being critical of Turkey’s foreign policy and demanded that it “weed out” journalists.
Turkey, which Amnesty International calls “the world’s largest prison for journalists,” appears to be using its far-right nationalist media to try to order Qatar to muzzle Al Jazeera in English. The lead editorial at Daily Sabah calls the network a “threat against the Turkey-Qatar alliance.”
The editorial begins by noting that Turkey and Qatar are “strategic partners” and accuses Israel and other countries of “ganging up” on Qatar. But the Turkish newspaper accuses Al Jazeera English, “Qatar’s flagship news channel,” of “spreading anti-Turkey propaganda under the pretext of independent and objective journalism.” Turkey’s pro-government media now accuses Qatar’s media of “jumping on the Western media’s Turkey-bashing bandwagon” and “smearing last month’s Turkish operation into northeastern Syria.”
The US State Department slammed Turkey on Saturday as one of the “worst offenders” in crimes against journalists. Amnesty International says Turkey has arrested hundreds of people for being critical of Turkey’s invasion of Syria. The Daily Sabah article now reflects Turkey’s demands that regional media of other authoritarian states abide by Turkey’s demands and control critical journalists. There can be no critique of Turkey’s military operation, either in Turkish media or abroad.
Turkey said Monday it would send jihadist prisoners back to their countries of origin, regardless of whether they had been stripped of citizenship.
Interior Minister Soleyman Soylu said Turkey had nearly 1,200 foreign members of the Islamic State terror group (IS) in custody, and had captured 287 during its recent operation in northern Syria.
“Of course, those that are in our hands, we will send them back to their countries,” he said, state news agency Anadolu reported.
“However, the world has devised a new method. They say ‘Let’s strip them of their citizenship… Let them be tried where they are.’
“It is impossible for us to accept this view… We will send Daesh (IS) members to their countries whether they strip them of their citizenship or not,” he added.
It remains unclear whether Turkey will be able to do so in practice.
Western countries have often refused to accept the repatriation of citizens who left to join IS in Syria, and have stripped many of their citizenship.
Although under the New York Convention of 1961, it is illegal to leave someone stateless, several countries, including Britain and France, have not ratified it, and recent cases have triggered prolonged legal battles.
U.S. intelligence officials told the New York Times that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi paid sums of money to the “Hurras al-Din“ (Guardians of Religion Organization) which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, to provide protection for ISIS members and their families, who fled Deir ez-Zor and Mosul.
The main difference between ISIS and al-Qaeda was that ISIS initiated the establishment of the Caliphate through the occupation of huge territories in Iraq and Syria and founded the “Islamic State,” whose capital was Raqqa. Al-Qaeda, meanwhile concentrated on establishing its affiliates in various parts of the world.
As a result of ISIS’s success, terrorist branches in various parts of the world such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and other South Asian countries, such as the Philippines and Myanmar abandoned al-Qaeda and swore allegiance to ISIS instead.
The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a severe blow to the morale of ISIS, but ISIS has already lost leaders such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, so the death of the latest leader may be a temporary blow from which the organization can recover.
The new leader of ISIS will find it very difficult to re-take control of the vast territories the “Islamic State” lost in Syria and Iraq and will have to devise a new strategy.
The dream of the Islamic Caliphate ended even before Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death.
ISIS’s new leader is now expected to become the number one target of U.S. intelligence, who the U.S. will also seek to assassinate because ISIS and its new leader pose a threat to U.S. national security.
At the beginning of last month, anti-corruption demonstrations spread through Iraq. They were put down, violently, by the government, sometimes with the help of the Iran-backed militias that have come to exert increasing influence in the country. The deaths of protestors at the hands of these militias have, however, only stoked popular anger and diverted much of it toward the Islamic Republic itself. David Adesnik and Nicholas Wernert write:
From the onset of the unrest, Tehran has played an integral role in shaping Baghdad’s response. After the first protests, Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, the organization’s expeditionary branch, flew to Baghdad and—in place of the prime minister—chaired a meeting of Iraq’s top security officials.
The U.S. has supported the elected Iraqi government’s efforts to assert the rule of law over the militias, yet their parliamentary factions serve as key power brokers in Baghdad. The current protests also demonstrate Iraqi voters’ complete loss of confidence in their prime minister, in part because of his failure to resist Tehran.
Until now, the U.S. government has been extremely hesitant to designate Iraq’s Iran-backed militias as terrorist organizations, fearing a potential popular backlash. Yet Iraqis’ own resentment of Iran’s proxy forces is now obvious. Washington therefore should designate these groups [as terrorists] under human-rights as well as counterterrorism authorities in order to highlight their atrocities and demonstrate that America stands with the Iraqi people.
At least five people were killed as Iraqi security forces opened fire on protesters in Baghdad on Monday, a Reuters witness said, as thousands continued to gather in the largest wave of anti-government protests for decades.
A Reuters witness saw one man shot dead, his body carried away by fellow protesters, when security forces opened fire with live rounds on demonstrators near Baghdad's Ahrar bridge.
A Reuters cameraman saw at least four others get killed.
However, security and medical sources put the toll at one dead and 22 wounded, adding that rubber bullets and tear gas, not live ammunition, were used. The Interior Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
More than 250 Iraqis have been killed in demonstrations since the start of October against a government they see as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
Reviving decades-old cries of “Death to America,” Iran on Monday marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 student takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and the 444-day hostage crisis that followed as tensions remain high over the country’s collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.
Demonstrators gathered in front of the former US Embassy in downtown Tehran as state television aired footage from other cities across the country.
“Thanks to God, today the revolution’s seedlings have evolved into a fruitful and huge tree that its shadow has covered the entire” Middle East, said Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, the commander of the Iranian army.
However, this year’s commemoration of the embassy seizure comes as Iran’s regional allies in Iraq and Lebanon face widespread protests. The Iranian Consulate in Karbala, Iraq, a holy city for Shiites, saw a mob attack it overnight. Three protesters were killed during the attack and 19 were wounded, along with seven policemen, Iraqi officials said.
Associated Press video showed a fire burned the consulate’s gate as demonstrators threw gasoline bombs and climbed its walls, some waving an Iraqi flag. Iranian media only reported a “protest outside” of the diplomatic post, adding that things had returned to normal.
Iran on Monday broke further away from its collapsing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers by announcing it’s doubling the number of advanced centrifuges it operates, calling the decision a direct result of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement.
The announcement — which also included Iran saying it now has a prototype centrifuge that works 50 times faster than those allowed under the deal — came as demonstrators across the country marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 US Embassy takeover that started a 444-day hostage crisis.
By starting up these advanced centrifuges, Iran further cuts into the one year that experts estimate Tehran would need to have enough material for building a nuclear weapon — if it chose to pursue one. Iran long has insisted its program is for peaceful purposes, though Western fears about its work led to the 2015 agreement that saw Tehran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Tehran has gone from producing some 450 grams (1 pound) of low-enriched uranium a day to 5 kilograms (11 pounds), said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Salehi dramatically pushed a button on a keyboard to start a chain of 30 IR-6 centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, where he was being filmed, increasing the number of working centrifuges to 60.
The US State Department’s new report on terrorism lists the Islamic Republic of Iran as the top international state-sponsor of terrorism and cites Tehran’s work with facilitating the activities of Sunni terrorist organization al-Qaeda.
“Iran remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism,” noted the document titled, “Country Reports on Terrorism 2018” that was released on Friday. “The regime has spent nearly one billion dollars per year to support terrorist groups that serve as its proxies and expand its malign influence across the globe. Tehran has funded international terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also has engaged in its own terrorist plotting around the world, particularly in Europe.”
The report said that “Tehran continued to allow an AQ [al-Qaeda] facilitation network to operate in Iran, which sends fighters and money to conflict zones in Afghanistan and Syria, and it has extended sanctuary to AQ members residing in the country.”
“At the same time, the United States and its partners continued to pursue al-Qa’ida (AQ) globally, and the United States applied maximum pressure on Iran-backed terrorism, significantly expanding sanctions on Iranian state actors and proxies and building stronger international political will to counter those threats,” the State Department said.
Germany and the EU have refused to designate Hezbollah’s entire organization a terrorist group. According to German intelligence reports reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, 1,050 Hezbollah members and supporters operate in Germany. The Hezbollah operatives raise funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon, recruit new members and spread antisemitic and jihadi ideologies in Europe. The Netherlands, Canada, the US, Israel, Britain and the Arab League proscribed Hezbollah’s entire entity a terrorist organization.
“Hezbollah remained Iran’s most powerful terrorist partner and the most capable terrorist organization in Lebanon, controlling areas across the country,” wrote the State Department’s counterterrorism experts. “Iran’s annual financial backing to Hezbollah – an estimated US $700 million per year – accounts for the overwhelming majority of the group’s annual budget. Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon and Syria continued to pose a threat to Israel.”
The European Union on Monday warned that it could back away from supporting the Iran nuclear deal, after Tehran announced a major increase in enriched uranium production.
Following a series of steps away from its commitments under the 2015 accord, the head of the Iranian atomic energy agency said Monday that production of enriched uranium had reached five kilos a day and two new advanced centrifuges had been developed.
Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, said that the EU’s backing for the deal depends on Tehran keeping up its end of the pact.
She said the bloc “took note” of the announcement but would wait for confirmation by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency before responding.
“We have continued to urge Iran to reverse such steps without delay and to refrain from other measures that would undermine the nuclear deal,” Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels, saying the EU “remained committed” to the nuclear deal.
“But we have also been consistent in saying that our commitment to the nuclear deal depends on full compliance by Iran.”
Iran's announcement that it has developed advanced machines to speed up its uranium enrichment jeopardizes an agreement with world powers, Germany's foreign minister said on Monday, urging Tehran to return to the original accord.
"Iran has built very advanced centrifuges, which do not comply with the agreement," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a news conference in response to a question about the announcement.
"They have announced in early September that they would not comply with the nuclear accord and we think this is unacceptable," he said through an interpreter.
On Monday, Iran broke further away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers by announcing it was doubling the number of advanced centrifuges it operates, calling the decision a direct result of US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the agreement.
The announcement – which also included Iran saying it now has a prototype centrifuge that works 50 times faster than those allowed under the deal – came as demonstrators across the country marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 US Embassy takeover that started a 444-day hostage crisis
By starting up these advanced centrifuges, Iran further cuts into the one year that experts estimate Tehran would need to have enough material for building a nuclear weapon – if it chose to pursue one.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: We must Not Engage in Negotiations with America in Order to Prevent It from Entering Iran Again pic.twitter.com/0MXlge3ma9
Lebanese President Michel Aoun and caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri held talks on Thursday on responding to three weeks of nationwide anti-government protests that have thrown the country into its worst crisis in decades.
Welcome to The Daily Wrap Up, a concise show dedicated to bringing you the most relevant independent news, as we see it, from the last 24 hours (10/26/19). As always, take the information discussed in the video below and research it for yourself, and come to your own conclusions. Anyone telling you what the truth […]
Since October, protests in Iraq and Lebanon have re-energized the Middle East region as hundreds of thousands of young people descend onto public squares, repeating 2011 Arab Spring slogans that call for regime downfall. But while Iraq and Lebanon could offer great promise if protesters learn from past failures in the region, they could also…
At Lew Rockwell's internet site financial writer Steve Brown argues that gold trading and swapping have been controlled by the United States to maintain control over worldwide currency values. Brown's analysis is headlined "Syria Is Lost, Lebanon's Gold Is Next" and it's posted here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc. CPowell@GATA.org
Great Bear Drills New Near-Surface High-Grade 'Yauro Zone' Discovery at Dixie:
10.32 g/t Gold Over 18.20 m, 5.60 g/t Gold Over 25.25 m, and 16.60 g/t Gold Over 6.00 m
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -– Great Bear Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: GBR) today reported new results from its ongoing, fully-funded 90,000-metre drill program at its 100%-owned Dixie project in the Red Lake district of Ontario.
Three new gold discoveries have been made and drill results disclosed in this announcement are from the following zones along the LP Fault: Yauro (new zone), Viggo (new zone), Bear-Rimini, Northwest of Bear Rimini; and along the North Fault (new zone), which runs parallel to the LP Fault. ...
Results include: 32 g/t gold over 2.65 metres and 21.33 g/t gold over 3.30 metres, within a wider interval of 5.14 g/t gold over 37.40 metres; 30.66 g/t gold over 3.45 metres, within a wider interval of 5.60 g/t gold over 25.25 metres; and 35.96 g/t gold over 1.73 metres, within a wider interval of 2.01 g/t gold over 66.20 metres. ...
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces opened fire on Thursday, killing six protesters as they were trying to remove barriers blocking their march in central Baghdad, while in the south, demonstrators forced the closing of the country's main port, hours after services had resumed following days of closure, officials said.
Demonstrators have been trying to reach the Green Zone, which houses government offices and foreign embassies.
Along with the six killed, at least 41 protesters were wounded as security forces fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse the march in downtown's Rashid Street, where the central bank is located, security and medical officials said.
The protesters were trying to remove barriers near two bridges that lead to the west bank of the Tigris River. Now all bridges leading to the Green Zone have been blocked by security forces.
Later, a security official said more reinforcements have been added to the entrances leading to the Green Zone. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets since last month in the capital and across the largely Shiite south to demand sweeping political change. The protesters complain of widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, including regular power cuts despite Iraq's vast oil reserves. More than 250 people have been killed since the unrest erupted on Oct. 1.
Protesters have blocked roads to raise pressure on the government. A similar tactic is being used in Lebanon's ongoing anti-government demonstrations.
In southern Iraq, the reopening of the Umm Qasr port, which houses a vital oil terminal and is an entry point for food and basic goods, came a day after the military called on the protesters to stop...
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri says discussions regarding the formation of a new government are underway among various political groups.
Hariri spoke on Thursday after meeting President Michel Aoun. He provided no other details.
Hariri resigned on Oct. 29, meeting a key demand of protesters who have been demonstrating for three weeks across the country against an entire political class they blame for bringing Lebanon to the verge of bankruptcy.
Aoun is required to set a date for binding consultations with heads of parliamentary blocs to name a new prime minister. But he has yet to do that, nine days after Hariri's resignation.
The demonstrations have continued, meanwhile, as protesters accuse politicians of dragging their feet while an economic and financial crisis worsens.
Source: Lew Rockwell By Steve Brown The largest reserve gold traders on the planet are the six bullion banks. A bullion bank is a large multi-national bank authorized to serve as a conduit through which Central Banks – and the Fed primary dealers – loan their gold out into the market. All central banks lease read more
Sehnaoui Plant Nigeria Limited (SPNL) was incorporated in 2005 through the concerted and strategic efforts of SEHNAOUI Plant group of companies, a global distributor of construction machinery with significant experience in selling its products and services to leading companies in Nigeria. SPNL is a market leader in the construction trading industry in Lebanon. We are... Read More
PA-Lebanon, Who is Lebanon Seaboard Corporation? Lebanon Seaboard Corporation (LSC), headquartered in Lebanon, PA has been manufacturing lawn and garden products for the consumer lawn and garden, professional sports turf, landscape and golf course markets since 1947. It is a family owned and operated business that sells at major retail accounts such as Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, Costco, Amazon and Chewy, jus
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Looking through a collection of street art shared on social media from the Lebanese rebellion against corruption and inequality, I was reminded of the similar explosion in street art during the Sudanese rebellion, just a few months ago.
A quick online search came up with many more examples of powerful artworks produced as part of recent people's power movements around the world: Chile, Catalonia, Hong Kong, Brazil ... the list goes on.
It brought back feelings from a long time ago, when I was a teenager growing up through the late 1960s and ’70s: the feeling that something is in the air; that the ground is shifting and change is happening.
Back then, many young people first encountered that feeling through culture. It was pervasive in popular music and art. Discussion of social and political change seeped through the thickest walls of repression. It seemed to literally bubble up from the ground.
That is how it felt then — and how it is beginning to feel now.
That pervasive cultural mood in the ’60s and ’70s that was to become the youth culture of the era did not come from nothing. It grew out of millions of people engaged in sustained struggle over many years.
The same holds today. Behind the cultural expressions of rebellion lie real mass revolts, involving hundreds of thousands of people putting their lives on the line at the risk of beatings, pepper sprays, detention, torture or even death, particularly in the Global South.
A Palestinian friend reminded me of the great risks that today's young rebels in Iraq and Palestine face, when compared with the climate rebels in the West. The huge gap between the rights people have to protest in the rich countries and the Global South is stark.
So what chances are there of the people's movements in these two parts of the world coming together and making common cause?
I think the chances are good because, whether a people's movement is sparked by poverty, authoritarianism or the climate crisis, all these movements identify the global capitalist system as being at the heart of their problems.
Another reason is the globalisation of culture, boosted by new technologies and capitalism's drive to sell us more stuff, including stuff we do not need and cannot afford. More than ever, culture is today transmitted faster and further around the globe. And when real, sustained people's power movements emerge, its impact on popular culture is unstoppable.
There is a real rebellion taking place. It is time to choose sides.
One way to help the side of rebellion is by supporting people’s media, such as Green Left Weekly.
On October 29, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation, automatically triggering the resignation of his government. The move followed nearly two weeks of nationwide mass protests, described as potentially the largest in Lebanese history. Protestors represent a broad economic, political, and sectarian cross-section of Lebanese society, and have continued to call for a comprehensive change in political leadership even after the resignation of the Hariri government. The protests, and uncertainty over the formation of a new government, represent a significant challenge for Le
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS & MLS NEWS By the numbers: Comparing Bair’s first season to other MLS Homegrown attackers – Whitecaps FC Whitecaps FC Homegrown attacker Theo Bair had a solid debut MLS season for the ‘Caps, playing 824 minutes in the league while registering two goals and two assists. Hwang called up for WCQ versus Lebanon, […]