• Abbas, in protocol of Doha meeting: PA will give Israel authority of West Bank if border talks fail - Diplomacy and Defense Israel News | Haaretz
    By Jack Khoury | Sep. 1, 2014 |

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly told Israel that if negotiations with the United States about establishing a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines fail, he will transfer responsibility of West Bank lands to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The report emerged Monday in the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, citing transcripts of a meeting in Doha between Abbas and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The newspaper published a photograph of the document, which appeared to come from the emir’s office.

    According to the published protocol, Abbas conveyed this messages to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a meeting with an unnamed Israeli defense official in his Ramallah offices around two weeks ago.

    Abbas reportedly told his counterparts at the Doha meeting that he told the Israeli official: "The peace process failed after 20 years, so our new strategy is that the United States and Israel agree to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital in a limited amount of time, and that both sides immediately begin determining the borders.

    “If both sides agree,” Abbas continues, "we will continue the talks about the rest of the core issues. And if not, we will take the following measure: Cessation of the security coordination and transfer of responsibility for PA territory to Netanyahu, who will bear the responsibility for them.”

  • Les hommes palestiniens peuvent-ils être des victimes ? Genrer la guerre d’Israël sur Gaza

    Aujourd’hui, nous devons être conscient-e-s de la façon dont le cliché « femmesetenfants » est véhiculé au sujet de Gaza et plus largement de la Palestine. Il accomplit plusieurs exploits rhétoriques, dont deux principaux : d’un côté, le regroupement des femmes et des enfants au sein d’une même catégorie indistincte, regroupé-e-s par « similitude » de genre et de sexe ; de l’autre, la reproduction du corps de l’homme palestinien (et plus généralement de celui de l’homme arabe) comme toujours déjà dangereux. Ainsi le statut des hommes palestiniens (une désignation qui inclut les garçons âgés de 15 ans et plus, et parfois aussi jeunes que 13 ans) comme « civils » est toujours perçu comme douteux. Source : Collectif féministes pour (...)

  • European jihadists

    Getting to Syria has generally been easy (...) All a fighter needs is a one-way ticket to Istanbul. From there, most take domestic flights to one of the border towns along Turkey’s frontier with Syria that runs for 822km (511 miles): locals dub these internal flights the “jihadi express”. Newcomers stay in safe houses before being smuggled across or passing through Turkish passport control using fake Syrian ID cards.


    The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence outfit, reckons that by the end of May as many as 12,000 fighters from 81 nations had joined the fray, among them some 3,000 from the West (see chart). The number today is likely to be a lot higher. Since IS declared a caliphate on June 29th, recruitment has surged. Syria has drawn in fighters faster than in any past conflict, including the Afghan war in the 1980s or Iraq after the Americans invaded in 2003.


    While the overwhelming majority of foreign fighters in Syria are Arabs, Britons make up one of the biggest groups of Western fighters. But Belgians, Danes and others have a higher rate per person (see left-hand chart above). France, which has tighter laws against extremism, has also seen more of its citizens go off to wage jihad.

  • Syrian rebels strengthen hold over Israel border region
    Senior Israeli official says rebels currently don’t pose a threat to Israeli security.
    By Amos Harel and Jack Khoury | Aug. 31, 2014 Haaretz

    Syrian rebel groups strengthened their hold over the Syrian side of the Quneitra Crossing — located on the frontier between Syrian and Israeli controlled parts of the Golan Heights – over the weekend and managed to repel attacks by Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

    The rebels kidnapped dozens of Fiji soldiers, members of the UN observer force stationed in the Golan Heights and are maintaining a siege on a second UN stronghold manned by Philippine soldiers. Officials in the Israeli security services said that it is a relatively moderate militia, the Free Syria Army, that controls the Syrian side of the border crossing, and that the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al-Qaida currently pose no threat. Despite this, Israeli forces in the Golan Heights are on relatively high alert due to the recent developments.

    Some 300 members from different groups participated in the taking of the Quneitra Crossing. This varied force was led by the Free Syria Army and with only a small number of Nusra Front members. The government forces that held the crossing before sustained losses in life and retreated to the north to areas controlled by the government. Over the weekend the Syrian army conducted several artillery barrages on the crossing area and tried to retake the area unsuccessfully. Israeli security officials characterized this attempt as "pathetic.”

  • La surévaluation du shekel bride la croissance de l’économie d’Israël

    Israel’s economy: Shekeled and bound | The Economist

    The strong shekel is hurting Israel’s economy more than the conflict in Gaza

    Aug 30th 2014 | Jerusalem | From the print edition

    More guns, less butter

    JUDGING by the actions of the Bank of Israel, Israel’s central bank, the economy is in worrying shape. The bank’s Monetary Committee, at its monthly meeting on August 25th, cut its main interest rate from 0.5% to 0.25%—the lowest on record.

    Few had seen the cut coming. Bond prices prior to the move had implied that there would be no change in rates for the next three months. The bank had only just cut rates by a quarter of a percentage point the month before, matching the previous record low. Furthermore, the statement accompanying July’s cut had a hawkish tone, implying that the cycle of interest-rate cuts that had begun in September 2011 was at, or near, its end.

    The main change since the July meeting has been the Israeli army’s latest incursion into Gaza, in response to rocket attacks on southern Israel. The hostilities have dented consumption, especially in the southern part of the country, near Gaza. Tourism, which accounts for 7 % of Israel’s GDP, has slumped throughout the country, ruining this year’s peak summer season. But the Bank of Israel suggests that the fighting, and the drag on the economy it has produced, were not the main reason for the committee’s decision. Instead the bank noted that inflation is well below its 1-3 % target and the economy has been slowing across the board. The most recent GDP figures - growth of 1.2 % in the second quarter compared with a year before - were anaemic by Israel’s recent standards.

    These unhappy trends may have been aggravated by the hostilities in Gaza, but they long preceded them. Israel’s economy had once seemed indomitable, shrugging off the financial crisis and a series of conflicts with Islamic militants in Gaza and southern Lebanon, among other trials. But growth has been slowly decelerating since 2011. It remained perky enough to allow unemployment to continue to decline until the end of last year, to a low of 5.7 %. The budget deficit has also been falling, to 2.4 % of GDP for the year ending in May - the lowest level since 2007.

    However, these positive trends have either already reversed, or seem set to do so. The finance minister, for instance, recently admitted that the deficit in next year’s budget will rise to at least 3%. Meanwhile, industrial production has shrunk and—most worryingly of all—so have industrial exports. (Israel’s exports—many of them software and IT equipment—account for about 40% of GDP.)

    In part, the slowdown stems from the weakness of the global economy. But another factor behind both the worryingly low rate of inflation and the decline in exports has been the strength of the shekel. The currency has appreciated by 15 % since the height of the euro crisis in 2012, as measured by the Bank of Israel’s trade-weighted index.

    That strength is tied in large part to buoyant foreign investment, much of it in the form of expensive takeovers of Israeli tech firms. Israel’s nascent production of natural gas, which has cut fuel imports and thus boosted the current-account surplus, has also contributed. The Bank of Israel has built up $84 billion in foreign reserves resisting the shekel’s rise. But its preferred weapon against the currency’s appreciation has been a long series of interest-rate cuts, initiated under the previous governor, Stanley Fischer (now deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve), and continued under his successor, Karnit Flug.

    Low interest rates, however, are fuelling a giddy rise in house prices, as in so many other countries. In that respect, the run of disappointing economic news may come as something of a relief to the Bank of Israel. It appears to have diminished the shekel’s value somewhat - setting the stage, with luck, for a recovery in exports.❞

    • PLO: 32 Palestinians killed in West Bank since June

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As the eyes of the world focused on Gaza in recent months, Israel stepped up a campaign of repression, detentions, and settlement building across the West Bank, the Palestine Liberation Organization said in a report released on Thursday.

      Thirty-two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in a two month period beginning on June 13, the report said, and 1,397 Palestinians were injured by Israeli fire.

      During the same period, 1,753 Palestinians were detained — an equivalent of 24 a day — while Israeli forces conducted 1,573 military raids across the West Bank, or an average of 21 a day.

      The PLO report — which was entitled “Business as Usual” — also highlighted that the construction of Jewish-only settlements built on lands confiscated from Palestinian locals in the occupied West Bank had surged during the same period, with three different projects having been announced on Aug. 25-26 just as the Gaza ceasefire was declared.

      The report said that over the summer so far, more than 1,472 settlement homes had been approved, slated to house around 6,000 Jewish settlers.

  • Les djihadistes libyens se rallieront-ils à l’État islamique s’interroge la presse algérienne ?

    L’Etat islamique : de père inconnu ?

    par M’hammedi Bouzina Med : Bruxelles

    L’Etat islamique (EI) déroute les Occidentaux. Ils sont fascinés par le mystère qui l’entoure. El Qaïda a disparu du langage politico-médiatique. Pas le terrorisme d’obédience islamique. Curieux.

    Etat islamique (EI). C’est donc d’un Etat qu’il s’agit, même s’il n’est inscrit nulle part, dans aucune institution internationale, n’a pas de capitale politique, pas de citoyens identifiables, pas d’histoire… excepté des hordes armées, venues d’ailleurs et un chef autoproclamé, baptisé par lui-même « Abou Bakr El Baghdadi ». Cela suffit pour être identifié, partout dans le monde des médias et celui des plus hauts responsables politiques comme « L’Etat islamique » ou encore « Daech » selon la traduction phonétique arabe « d’Etat islamique dans les pays du Sham », entendez le Proche et Moyen-Orient. L’accroche fonctionne et fascine : un Etat islamique existe, donc et guerroie pour conquérir d’autres territoires et les soumettre à « sa loi ». El Qaïda n’est plus qu’un souvenir tragique dans le langage diplomatique, politique et médiatique : l’Etat islamique est le nouveau « tsunami » terroriste qui déferle sur le Moyen et Proche-Orient et enfante d’autres Etats islamiques « alliés », comme « Boko Haram » au nord du Nigeria qui vient d’adopter le label.

    D’où est né ce nouveau monstre terroriste ? Qui est derrière le recrutement de ses hordes d’assassins ? D’où leur viennent les armes, l’argent et la logistique ? Et enfin, comment une telle organisation arrive-t-elle à se structurer et à mettre en échec les armées conventionnelles des pays où elle sévit et à affoler les premières armées du monde, celle des USA et leurs alliés européens ? Les Occidentaux, en premier les USA, suivent grâce aux nombreux satellites géostationnaires, en live et en grand format, le moindre déplacement du moindre individu sur la planète Terre, écoutent jusqu’aux conversations téléphoniques privées dans les chaumières des montagnes ou sous les tentes du déserts et pourtant affichent leur surprise et leur peur et avouent leur incapacité à détruire le monstre dans l’immédiat.

    Plus intrigant : au moment même où les USA accentuent leurs bombardements dans la région et les Européens leurs fournitures d’armes, aux combattants kurdes et irakiens, les hordes de l’Etat islamique frappent un grand coup : 160 soldats de l’armée syriennes exécutés, dans la région de Raqa et plus de 40 ‘Casques bleus’ de l’Onu faits prisonniers, à la frontière du Golan syrien. Si l’on résume : évalués entre 10 et 15.000 hommes, les hordes de l’Etat islamique se meuvent, à découvert, dans les montagnes et déserts arabes, conquièrent des villes et villages, prennent en otages des « Casques bleus », se réunissent et discutent de stratégies de combat et … médiatique, mangent, dorment et pensent à l’avenir, comme tout « peuple » de n’importe quel Etat, dans le monde, sans prendre au sérieux leurs adversaires.

    « L’Etat islamique » existe, donc, avec cette nuance que les Occidentaux font mine d’ignorer d’où il vient et jusqu’où ira-t-il. Voilà le nouveau défit du siècle : combattre cette monstruosité débarquée sur terre, provenant de l’inconnu, comme les envahisseurs dans les films de fiction, venus d’une autre planète pour asservir les Terriens. Sauf que… le chef-calife de l’Etat islamique, Abou Bakr El Baghdadi a séjourné, dans la prison de Guantanamo, entre 2004 et 2009. Les Américains le connaissent bien. Sauf qu’une partie de ses hordes d’assassins partent d’Europe et d’ailleurs, en passant les procédures douanières. Et par dessus tout, l’Etat islamique s’est annoncé à partir de la Syrie, en allant vers l’Irak. Deux pays qui concentrent, autour d’eux, les plus grandes forces militaires coalisées de l’Occident. Deux pays qui vivent, comme par hasard, de terribles guerres civiles. Pourquoi ? Comment ? C’est vrai qu’il y eut l’intervention, par « esprit de solidarité », des Occidentaux, en Irak, pour libérer les Irakiens de Saddam Hussein ; en Syrie contre El Assad, en Libye contre Kadhafi… Trois pays qui ne répondent plus, eux, à la notion « d’Etat ». Qui sont devenus des champs de batailles, de chaos et de désolation.

    Il est curieux d’entendre les dirigeants et diplomates du monde, affirmer qu’il n’y a plus d’Etat en Libye et soutenir qu’il y a un Etat islamique, à cheval sur plusieurs pays du Moyen-Orient. Il est surprenant d’entendre dire, les plus hautes sommités du monde, y compris celles de l’Onu, défendre le principe du dialogue et de la voie politique, pour résoudre les crises et conflits et d’appeler, dans le même temps à armer, encore plus, la région du Moyen-Orient. Certes, Kaddafi, Saddam étaient cruels avec leurs peuples ; certes, Al Assad est un dictateur capable de tuer son peuple pour rester au pouvoir, mais sont-ils les seuls dictateurs dans ce bas monde ? Il se trouve que deux de ces trois pays ont un dénominateur commun : ils disposent des plus grandes réserves de pétrole (Irak , Libye) et deux d’entre eux (Irak, Syrie) sont situés sur les routes de l’autre source d’énergie (gaz), venant des pays de l’Asie centrale, au sud de la Russie. Et l’Etat islamique s’est annoncé, à la jonction exacte des routes de l’énergie du futur. Ce ne sera, nullement, une surprise si les djihadistes de Libye annoncent, un jour, leur vassalité à « l’Etat islamique » d’Orient. Comme au temps où El Qaïda enregistrait, partout dans les contrées arabes et, succinctement en Occident, des affidés. Dieu nous garde de cette énième monstruosité qu’est l’Etat islamique (EI), surtout qu’il reste, encore, quelques « survivants » d’El Qaïda, y compris chez nous.❞

  • Egypte : mort d’Ahmed Seif el Islam, saint patron de la justice – Nouvelles du Caire


    Mort d’une figure emblématique de la militance égyptienne et de la lutte pour les droits de l’homme, le père d’Alaa Abdel Fattah et Mona Seif, tous deux emprisonnés actuellement, alors qu’Alaa a commencé une grève de la faim la semaine dernière.

    Voici la lettre ouverte de son fils, traduite en anglais :


    Triste jour pour les luttes égyptiennes.

  • Hamas trying to sell ’victory’ to Gazans - D
    With Egypt and Israel recognizing it, Hamas can claim an achievement. But the question remains: Could it lead to a Palestinian release from the bonds of the Oslo Accords?
    By Amira Hass | Aug. 27, 2014

    Israel and Hamas understood that they had arrived at a kind of a draw. Israel’s ability to militarily grind the other side will always be greater than that of Hamas, but the Palestinian threshold of suffering and its ability to absorb the blows is greater than that of Israel by an order of magnitude. The Israel Defense Forces and the military wing of Hamas could have continued demonstrating their asymmetrical armed power for a few more weeks, at the expense of the lives and homes of thousands more Palestinians and at the expense of the lives and property of a few Israelis and the worn out nerves of the citizens of Israel.

    During the first two or three weeks of the war, the Palestinian public in Gaza – including the majority, which is not the Hamas hard-core – supported the Muqawama (resistance, meaning the military wings ) almost in their entirety, despite the heavy civilian losses. Afterwards, however, it lost not only its fortitude to suffer, but also its belief in the political logic of extending the military campaign and in Hamas’ negotiating skills. That message certainly got through to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists and their leaders.

    As expected, Hamas spokesmen were quick to sell the cease-fire as a victory over Israel. If they compromise and, in the coming weeks, speak of “achievements,” they have a better chance of persuasion; it will be sufficient to quote some of the Israeli newspapers on the military surprises that Hamas prepared and its ability to find Israeli weak spots.

    Hamas can certainly claim a diplomatic achievement: Egypt spoke directly with Hamas representatives in order to get their agreement to the current cease-fire. PLO representatives on the joint negotiations delegation in Cairo did not participate in this successful round of the talks. A senior PLO source told Haaretz that delegation members who were not Hamas or Islamic Jihad did not even insist on being kept in the loop. Hamas understood long ago that the coup against Mohammed Morsi in Egypt had created a new reality and overturned the political and regional forecasts it had counted on before.

    But it turns out that even Egypt, which refused to speak directly with an organization that is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, understood that it had no other option: Hamas is a key political organization in the Palestinian arena. If Egypt wants to fill the role of political and regional leader, it cannot dismiss Hamas as a terrorist organization that can be crushed.

    Despite everything, after more than 2,100 deaths, among them 518 children and 296 women (according to the figures of the Mezan human rights organization); over 10,000 wounded; more than 10,000 buildings that were bombed and wrecked, including some 2,800 which were completely destroyed; how is it possible to describe as a victory an agreement that does not even include an important term that Hamas demanded from the start of the war: international guarantees that Israel will carry out its commitments, especially the “lifting of the blockade?”

    Hamas’ spokesmen raised expectations with their demand that the “blockade be lifted.” Though important to Hamas, the sea port and airport had little significance to the public. Allowing goods into the Strip - especially raw materials and construction materials - is positive, but people in Gaza were speaking more and more about the resumption of contact between Gaza and the West Bank, about regaining their freedom of movement, not only to go abroad but also within the country, at least the areas that were occupied in 1967.

    The separation between Gaza and the West Bank – which contravenes the Oslo Accords, yet deepened during the Oslo negotiations – has been a pillar of Israeli policy over the past 21 years (together with the expansion of settlements and the establishment of Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank). Israel has not changed its policy and it is difficult to believe that it will “remove the blockade” in accordance with the very logical expectations of the Palestinians.

    But another round of fighting in the near future does not seem likely. Hamas’ ability to rearm is limited.

    Now the question is whether Hamas and Fatah can overcome their mutual aversion and succeed in creating a joint political strategy.

    If they do, such a strategy would need to free them from the bonds of the Oslo Accords, and involve popular resistance and a resolute diplomatic and legal campaign. At the same time, it would also need to prevent any of the individual Palestinian groups from imposing a military path on all the rest.

  • Michel Warschawski, Alternative information center:

    The Israeli national consensus behind the massacre in Gaza is the result of a fifteen year old process of deterioration of Israeli society, both politically and ethically, a process that cannot be defined other than one of evolving fascism, from top to bottom.


  • Septembre 2014
    Dossier : la politique déboussolée ; Etat islamique, monstre providentiel ; surprenante convergence sur la prostitution ; remettre l’histoire à l’endroit ; « sale guerre » au Sinaï ; Moscou et Tel-Aviv, une étrange lune de miel ; dilemme des miliciens ukrainiens ; colère chinoise cherche syndicats ; négociations secrète pour la libéralisation des services ; le baiser de la mort de l’Europe à l’Afrique ; fièvre des canaux en Amérique centrale ; ni pause ni doutes pour les partisans d’une Europe fédérale ; le cerveau ne pense pas tout seul ; juger et un acte politique

  • [Info-Palestine.eu] - Israël ramène l’économie de Gaza « au point zéro »

    La fameuse usine d’électronique de la compagnie Ibrahim Al-Jarou n’est plus qu’un tas de gravats.

    La ferme d’élevage de bovins Afaneh, située sur la route parallèle à la frontière à l’Est, a subi le même sort. Toutes les vaches ont été tuées lorsque les bombes et les obus d’artillerie ont touché la ferme.

    Le président de la « Food Industry Federation » à Gaza, Taisir al-Safadi, affirme que l’attaque israélienne a causé de lourdes pertes à l’industrie alimentaire, ces pertes étant estimées à 150 millions de dollars. « Les plus grandes et les meilleures usines de la Bande ont été détruites, elles fournissaient 70% des besoins du marché local » a-t-il déclaré à l’occasion de la visité des usines de la région.

    « L’occupant a délibérément attaqué toute l’infrastructure nationale. Il a bombardé les plus grandes usines agroalimentaires afin de transformer Gaza en un marché de consommation improductif. »


    ciblant directement les élevages de volailles et de bovins ainsi que les ports de pêche


  • Palestinians to UN, Western states: Try citizens who served in the IDF for war crimes
    Palestinian FM sends letter calling for foreign volunteers in Israeli army who served in Gaza to be investigated under Geneva Convention.
    By Barak Ravid | Aug. 27, 2014

    Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki has sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and a number of Western foreign ministers asking them to bring to trial their citizens who serve in the Israeli army or volunteer with the military for alleged war crimes commited in Gaza. 

    Haaretz received a copy of the letter Maliki sent Tuesday to his U.S., British, French, Australian, Canadian and South African counterparts. In the letter, he emphasized that UN member states bear the responsibility of investigating and putting on trial people in their jurisdictions who have violated international law. 

    “The Israeli military currently has approximately thousands in its ranks. This total includes both Israeli dual nationals and non-Israeli volunteers enlisted through so-called “Mahal” programs,” Maliki wrote. “These dual nationals and foreign nationals participate in Israeli combat operations within the territory of the occupied State of Palestine, including the current offensive in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, foreign nationals volunteering with the so-called “Sar-El” program provide non-combat maintenance and logistics support to the Israeli occupation forces.”

    The Mahal program enables young Jews aged 18 to 24 years from around the world who don’t have Israeli citizenship to volunteer for the Israeli military. They serve in combat units for one-and-a-half years, and volunteers get temporary residency status. The Sar-El program, a joint initiative of the Jewish Agency and the Israel Defense Forces, brings Jewish volunteers from around the world to Israel for a period of one week to one year during which time they volunteer with bases around the country.

    In the letter, Maliki says that IDF forces have carried out a long line of war crimes in the Gaza Strip, in the past and in the current round of fighting, which has caused the deaths of many innocent civilians and the destruction of key infrastructure. Under the Geneva Convention, which all the recipients of the letter are signatories of, “States are obligated to take all measures necessary to suppress violations of international humanitarian law, including grave breaches, i.e. war crimes,” he added.  

    “Palestine hereby calls upon all member States of the United Nations to meet these legal obligations with regard to the potential involvement of its nationals in international crimes relating to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, including the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip,” he wrote.

    Maliki then identified a number of steps the Palestinians want the recipients of the letter to take:

    1. Identifying all of its nationals who are serving in or otherwise aiding Israeli occupation forces, including participants in the so-called “Mahal” volunteer brigade and the so-called “Sar-El” volunteer program;

    2. Notifying all such persons of alleged violations and war crimes committed by Israel during the current offensive in the Gaza Strip, the potential criminal liability for committing or contributing to the commission of war crimes, and each State’s obligation under international humanitarian law to investigate potential war crimes within its jurisdiction and prosecute where appropriate; and

    3. Investigating any allegations that its nationals were involved in the commission and/or the aiding and abetting of war crimes during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, and prosecuting these individuals where appropriate. 

    It remains to be seen how practical the Palestinian request from Western countries to investigate their citizens who served in the IDF is. There is reason to believe that most of the countries that received the letter will be reluctant to do anything about it. And even if they wanted to advance the issue, it would prove extremely difficult for them to identify and locate those individuals.

    However, Maliki’s letter is another attempt to increase the diplomatic and legal pressure internationally after the Gaza operation. It was only a few weeks ago that the Palestinian Authority pushed for the establishment of a Gaza war crimes commission in the UN Human Rights Council to investigate alleged Israeli crimes during the fighting in Gaza.

    In addition, the PA is holding discussions and consultations with Hamas about the possibility of signing the Rome Statute and applying to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. But despite the surge in Palestinian statements on this topic, it seems that Abbas, fearing an Israeli response and harsh international criticism, is not interested, at this time, to move further along that path.

  • Corruption in Shi‘ite religious establishments

    This is an important article: the first one that i have seen which deals with the issue of corruption in the Shi‘ite religious establishment. Did you know that Al-Khu‘i and Fadlallah each left an endowment of $2 billion and that the sons of the two late marji‘ taqlid were put in control of the endowments?

    الإخوان المسلمون الشيعة

    في مراجعة الصراعات الداخلية للمؤسسات الدينية، وفي إطار الحديث عن براغماتية السياسات، من اللافت أن رجال الدين الذين يُبدون مبالغةً في الانفتاح أو الانغلاق هم الأكثر فساداً من الناحية المالية. في الواقع لم تُدرَس بشكل جدي أنثربولوجيا العلاقة بين المؤسسة الدينية وسياساتها المالية واقتصادها، معظم الدراسات انصبت على علاقاتها السياسية واشتباكها الطبقي وكرونولوجيات تطورها المدرسي. هل من الصدفة أن ثروات كل من التقليدي السيد الخوئي والليبرالي السيد فضل الله تقدر بالمبلغ نفسه: مليارَي دولار؟

    الفتاوى الميسرة تَجتذب المال والعلاقات السياسية والإعلامية (فقهاء بني العباس شرعوا الخمر)، وكذلك الفتاوى المتشدّدة. فنمطا الفتاوى هذان لا يحتاجان إلى جهد أصولي استنباطي جدي، كما أنهما يغذيان بعضهما بعضاً في مسعاهما لاستقطاب كل الشرائح الاجتماعية إلى ميدان صراعهما. آمنة ودود، التي أمّت الرجال في الصلاة، ستَستقطب شرائح واسعة حتى لو لم تكن ممارستها مبنية بإحكام فقهياً.

  • ‘NYT’ journey to Israel/Palestine to be led by Israeli ‘expert’ who called on countrymen to ‘kill and kill’ Palestinians

    ...as someone who criticizes The Times reporting regularly, I’m still occasionally taken aback by new examples of how far The Times bias on Israel and Palestine extends and how deeply embedded it is at the paper. A tweet yesterday from long-time Guardian reporter Chris McGreal provides another surprising indication of this phenomenon. McGreal tweeted, “The ‘featured expert’ of NYT readers trip to Israel-Palestine is Arnon ‘the Arab counter’ Soffer. So no bias there then.” Soffer is a politically influential Israeli professor whose views have helped to provide the “intellectual” justification for Israel’s policy of carrying out regular massacres in the Gaza Strip, as well as for ghettoizing and marginalizing Palestinians in other locations.

    #New_York_Times #laideur

  • An open letter |
    Alaa Abd El Fattah
    Mada Masr

    have decided — when I saw my father fighting against death locked in a body that was no longer subject to his will — I decided to start an open hunger strike until I achieve my freedom. The well-being of my body is of no value while it remains subject to an unjust power in an open-ended imprisonment not controlled by the law or any concept of justice. 

    I’ve had the thought before, but I put it aside. I did not want to place yet another burden on my family — we all know that the Ministry of the Interior does not make life easy for hunger strikers. But now I’ve realized that my family’s hardship increases with every day that I’m in jail. My youngest sister, Sanaa, and the protestors of Ettehadiya were arrested only because they demanded freedom for people already detained. They put my sister in prison because she demanded my freedom! And so our family’s efforts were fragmented between two prisoners, and my father’s heart worn out between two courts — my father, who had postponed a necessary surgery more than once because of this ill-fated Shura Council case.

    They tore me from my son, Khaled, while he was still struggling to get over the trauma of my first imprisonment. Then there was the brute performance of the Ministry of the Interior as they carried out their “humane” gesture — my visit to my father in the ICU. The police tried to empty the hospital ward and corridor of patients and doctors and family and nurses before they would allow the visit. They set times and informed us, and then canceled. In the end they snatched me from my prison cell at dawn with the same tenderness shown when they arrested me.

    The police general could not decide how to ensure I would not escape. He was completely convinced that this was all a ruse, that nobody was sick and we were conspiring to deprive him of his hours of rest. I arrived at the hospital chained to the iron frame of the police transport vehicle, and, finally, in the ward they snuck in a camera and filmed us against our will.


  • #Ebola et #Israël : le personnel d’#Air_France a peur

    L’épidémie d’Ebola qui touche l’Afrique de l’ouest et les menaces du Hamas sur les #vols arrivant et partant de Tel-Aviv poussent de nombreux personnels navigants d’Air France à refuser de travailler sur les vols vers ces destinations.



  • Social Media: The weapon of choice in the Gaza-Israel Conflict


    As the war progressed, it was an online battle of narratives - between heavily funded Israeli state media outlets, represented by Israeli spokespersons of the Israeli government and the army with decades of experience - versus Palestinian citizen journalists who only had their own laptops, smartphones and cameras. (...)

    “Most of the Western corporations and outlets are biased in favour of Israel, so they totally mislead people by fabricating news, showing Palestinians’ destroyed homes as Israeli ones. This attitude sparked uproar and disgust toward those news channels - namely Fox News. Alternatively, Palestinian activists firmly focus in revealing the reality through social media tools,” said Maram Humaid, social media activist.

    #Gaza #Palestine #Israël #réseaux_sociaux #information

  • Gaza nous remet en mémoire le péché originel du sionisme
    Miko Peled / 19 août 2014 -The Electronic Intifada / Traduction : Info-Palestine.eu - AMM

    Comme nous le voyons depuis 7 décennies, coopérer et courber l’échine n’améliorent pas les choses.

    La coopération avec les autorité israéliennes apporte peut-être une aide à court terme, mais elle valide par ailleurs le « droit » d’Israël de terroriser et d’humilier les Palestiniens avec notre consentement, à « nous », tous les gens qui ont une conscience. Que nous soyons palestiniens ou non, l’heure est à la non-coopération et à la résistance contre l’injustice.

    Aujourd’hui, Israël et ses partisans rejettent le blâme de la violence à Gaza sur le Hamas. Mais Israël n’a pas attendu la création du Hamas, fin des années ’80, pour commencer à lancer ses attaques contre Gaza. Israël s’est mis à attaquer Gaza quand l’enclave était peuplée de la première génération de réfugiés, au début des années ’50.

    Les Palestiniens, et ceux de Gaza en particulier, ne sont pas devant une option : résister et être tué ou vivre en paix. On leur offre l’option d’être tués debout ou tués dans leur lit en plein sommeil.

    « Une mer de haine »

    Gaza est en train de se faire punir parce que Gaza rappelle constamment à Israël et au monde le péché originel du nettoyage ethnique de la Palestine pour la création de soi-disant état juif. Alors que la résistance palestinienne n’a jamais représenté une menace militaire pour Israël, elle a toujours été décrite comme une menace existentielle pour l’état.

    Moshe Dayan, le fameux général borgne, a décrit cela dans un discours prononcé en avril 1956. Il parlait dans le kibboutz Nahal Oz, une colonie israélienne sur la frontière de la bande de Gaza où les chars israéliens prennent position chaque fois qu’il y a une incursion terrestre dans Gaza.

    « Derrière la bande de terre de cette frontière, il y a une mer de haine et de vengeance », leur a dit Dayan. Ironiquement, six mois plus tard, quand Israël eut occupé Gaza et que mon père fut nommé son gouverneur militaire, il dit ne voir « ni haine ni désir de vengeance, mais un peuple avide de vivre et de travailler ensemble pour un avenir meilleur ».

  • Manifestations pour Gaza : François Bazin, du Nouvel Observateur, rejoint les rangs de la police -
    par Colin Brunel, le 21 août 2014
    Acrimed | Action Critique Médias

    Qui dit fiche de police dit fiche individuelle, comme en témoigne le titre de l’article : « La vraie nature du camarade Pojolat ». François Bazin choisit donc de présenter Alain Pojolat comme un homme isolé, qui porterait à lui seul la responsabilité de l’organisation des manifestations « interdites ». On peut ainsi lire que « c’est lui [Pojolat] qui a organisé la manifestation pro-palestinienne qui a dégénéré à Barbès, le 17 juillet dernier, et qui l’avait maintenue malgré son interdiction ». Ou, plus sobrement, dans le chapô de l’article : « La manif interdite de Barbès, c’est lui ».
    François Bazin ne doit pas avoir une très grande expérience des manifestations pour penser qu’un homme seul peut « organiser » et « maintenir » ce type d’événement. Les manifestations de soutien aux Palestiniens ont été appelées par des organisations (associations, syndicats, partis), y compris les manifestations « interdites », et des personnes comme Alain Pojolat n’en sont que les représentants, chargés entre autres des contacts avec les autorités, notamment la Préfecture de Police. C’est la procédure classique pour l’organisation d’une manifestation.

  • What would Israel do in Hamas’ shoes? -
    The Palestinian response to the killing of Mohammed Deif’s wife and son will be exactly like the Israeli response in the reverse situation: Vengeance and retribution.
    By Gideon Levy | Aug. 21, 2014 | Haaretz

    Think of a terrible scenario: Hamas, heaven forbid, kills Sara and Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife and son. Another scenario, no less terrible: the targets are Revital and Nadav Gantz, the IDF chief of staff’s wife and son. What would Hamas have gotten out of such horrific murders? And how would Israel have reacted? Submitted to its demands? Would public opinion have moderated? Would Israel ever forgive?

    And what would Hamas benefit if it succeeded, heaven forbid, to kill the prime minister or the chief of staff? Wouldn’t we have found substitutes? Would Israel have renounced its leadership? Bowed its head to its leaders’ assassins? Would Israel have hastened to build them a deep-water seaport and airport in Gaza?

    Whoever decided to try to assassinate Mohammed Deif and succeeded in killing Vidad, his wife, and Ali, his son (an 8-month-old infant), didn’t think in those terms. Israelis are never willing to play the opposite-role game and consider what would have happened if we were in their place. It’s part of our dehumanization and demonization of the Palestinians. Murdering their leaders and commanders? Legitimate. Murdering ours? Monstrous horror. How can you even compare?

    Those responsible for murdering the members of the Deif family were looking for a victory picture, or at least a pain photo, painful enough to stop the rocket fire. But the effect was, and always will be, the opposite. This action too will only intensify the resistance, extremism and resolve, just as it would have done in the reverse situation, of killing an Israeli leader.

    A war that began with the “pain map” drafted by the Air Force, which included bombing the homes of “Hamas operatives” – a wondrously flexible term that comprised bombing the homes and families of a hospital director and police chief – was looking for a happy ending. The moral issue of bombing a house with all its residents inside, of attempting to assassinate Deif and killing his wife and baby son – aren’t they innocent? – raise only a snigger in the Israel of today. Setting the moral issues aside, as there’s no demand to consider them, what about sense or reason? That is likewise not a prevalent commodity. Not to mention learning the lessons from the futile past of targeted killings. The people want an assassination – let’s give it one.

    The Palestinian response to the killing of Deif’s wife and son will be exactly like the Israeli response in the reverse situation. Vengeance and retribution. We saw it in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s barrages and we’ll see it in the days to come. There will be no substitute for Deif’s wife and son, but there would most certainly be one for Deif – as there was one for all his predecessors, fatalities of Israel’s targeted killings over the generations.

    None of the replacements was more moderate than his predecessor. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi wasn’t more moderate than Ahmed Yassin, Deif is not more moderate than Ahmed Jabari, and Yahya Ayyash’s heir was not Mahmoud Abbas. No assassination has ever changed the picture for the better. Israel only hung more scalps on its belt, a false display of victory. Israel got nothing out of them but bloodshed, lust for revenge and feelings of hatred. But why should Israel learn from its past? That’s too sensible and self-evident.

    Like a used-up wad of chewing gum stuck to one’s sole, this war is sticking to Israel and Gaza, refusing to let go. Its end is nowhere in sight, it has no conclusion. Tuesday’s assassination only prolonged its days.

    Nobody knows what terms the Israeli delegation agreed to in Cairo and, just as inexplicably, nobody knows what terms it refused, either. The impression emerging from the smoke screen is that Israel did not agree to give Gaza much, if anything, and Hamas reacted, in self-evident frustration, with rocket fire.

    There are other (imaginary?) scenarios as well. For example, Israel saw the chance to kill Deif, so it retracted its agreements, preparing the ground for the mother of all victory photos. But what good did that do? Nothing. No quiet, not even a mock victory photo, only more blood and retribution.

  • La cible d’Israël n’est pas le Hamas mais un futur Etat palestinien
    Une véritable souveraineté des Palestiniens mettrait fin au droit actuel présumé d’Israël de voler leur terre, de contrôler leurs frontières, de les assiéger et de les bombarder à volonté

    Par Dan Glazebrook. Article publié dans CounterPunch, le 15 août 2014 : Israel’s target is not Hamas, but Palestinian statehood (traduction : JFG-QuestionsCritiques).

    (...) La version de Netanyahou sur des négociations impossibles à cause du terrorisme palestinien et de la désunion palestinienne était de plus en plus minée par la réalité – et, fait décisif, ses soutiens américains et européens n’y croyaient pas. Le gouvernement israélien a riposté au nouveau gouvernement d’union nationale par « ce qui ne peut être décrit que comme une guerre économique. Il a empêché les 43.000 fonctionnaires de Gaza de devenir salariés du gouvernement de Ramallah, et non plus du Hamas, et a resserré le siège autour des frontières de Gaza, annulant ainsi les deux principaux bénéfices de cette fusion » (Avi Shlaim). Et pourtant, le Hamas a maintenu son cessez-le-feu.

    Ce dont Netanyahou avait véritablement besoin était d’une provocation contre le Hamas, à laquelle ils seraient forcés de riposter. Une telle riposte lui permettrait à nouveau de les dépeindre comme des terroristes assoiffés de sang avec lesquels on ne peut jamais négocier, fournirait l’occasion d’une nouvelle vague de dévastation à Gaza et exacerberait les tensions au sein du gouvernement d’union nationale entre le Fatah et le Hamas.

    Neuf jours près l’investiture de ce gouvernement, le 1er juin [2014], Tsahal a mené une attaque contre Gaza dans laquelle à été tué un jeune garçon de 10 ans circulant à bicyclette. Mais le Hamas s’est encore abstenu de riposter.

    Le jour suivant, cependant, le kidnapping apparent de trois jeunes Israéliens en Cisjordanie a fourni l’opportunité d’une provocation à une toute autre échelle. Ayant accusé le Hamas de ce kidnapping (sans jamais produire ne serait-ce qu’un début de preuve), Netanyahou s’en est servi comme d’une excuse pour attaquer l’ensemble de la direction du Hamas en Cisjordanie, tandis que son ministre des Finances, Naftali Bennett, déclarait : « Nous transformons la carte de membre du Hamas en ticket pour l’enfer ». L’opération Gardien de nos Frères fit exactement cela, avec l’arrestation de 335 cadres du Hamas (dont 50 venaient juste d’être libérés dans le cadre d’un échange de prisonniers) et largement plus de 1.000 rafles (laissant les habitations attaquées « comme si un tremblement de terre avait eu lieu » selon un activiste palestinien). Noam Chomsky observe : « Les 18 jours de saccage […] ont réussi à saper le gouvernement d’union nationale qui était craint et a brutalement accru la répression israélienne. Selon des sources militaires israéliennes, les soldats israéliens ont arrêté 419 Palestiniens, dont 335 affiliés au Hamas, et tué six Palestiniens, fouillant également des milliers de sites et confisquant 350.000 dollars. Israël a également mené des dizaines d’attaques à Gaza, tuant 5 membres du Hamas le 7 juillet. Le Hamas a finalement réagi avec ses premiers tirs de roquettes en 19 mois, ont rapporté des responsables israéliens, fournissant à Israël le prétexte pour l’opération Bordure Protectrice, le 8 juillet ». Ayant donc tué onze Palestiniens en moins d’un mois, Israël s’est servi ensuite des tirs de représailles à la roquette, qui n’ont tué personne, pour lancer le plus grand massacre de Palestiniens depuis des décennies.(...)

  • You might not have heard of the ‘Hannibal Protocol’, but it’s behind one of Israel’s worst atrocities yet - Comment - Voices - The Independent

    The Israeli forces didn’t give the Palestinians of Rafah any warning, but embarked on the most aggressive bombing campaign of Operation Protective Edge. Airplanes struck Rafah 40 times, dropping massive bombs on its civilian neighbourhoods, and heavy artillery pumped more than 1,000 shells into the area. Tanks also invaded, firing in all directions, and heavy bulldozers moved in to flatten scores of houses on the heads of people who were still inside.

    Palestinians who did manage to jump into cars to escape the inferno were shot at, and cars carrying injured civilians trying to approach the Rafah hospital were also attacked. The blitz lasted three hours and killed more than 150 Palestinians. It also injured hundreds of others, having buried them under the rubble.

    The colonel who orchestrated the assault on Rafah was Ofer Winter, the commander of the Givati Brigade. A religious settler, on the eve of the Gaza war he dispatched a letter to his troops, laden with biblical references, which perhaps explains the ferocity with which they attacked Rafah.

    #fanatique_religieux #criminel #crimes #atrocités #Israel #Israël