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M i d e a s t    Newsstand

Month: August, 2015

Muslim World and Secularism – Raza Habib Raja/HuffPo

by Newsstand

In Pakistan and, in fact, most of the Islamic world, the very concept of secularism is completely misunderstood. Somehow the concept has been thoroughly confused and amalgamated with Atheism. An overwhelming majority of politicians, and even intellectuals, often try to defend themselves when “accused” of being secular, particularly on mainstream online media and Urdu print media. To declare oneself as a secular is considered equivalent to being considered an atheist in the public imagination.

The entire atmosphere is riddled with severe misconceptions about secularism. Due to fear of being branded as “Atheist” and anti-Islamic the word secular, in both letter and spirit, is virtually absent from the discourse. Even those who understand that secularism is fundamentally different from atheism often raise the question: “what good is secularism?” and ” All we need is the right interpretation of religion.”

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US Christian Charities bankroll Israeli Settlements – Ash Gallagher/Al Jazeera English

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Ramallah, occupied West Bank – In a meeting this week with settlement leaders, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin declared that Israeli settlers had the “right” to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Rivlin said he did not think it was a matter of “political debate”, but rather, a “basic fact of modern Zionism”. His comments came amid increased tensions between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

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Lebanon's Women Warriors

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US Christian Charities bankroll Israeli Settlements – Ash Gallagher/Al Jazeera English

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Ramallah, occupied West Bank – In a meeting this week with settlement leaders, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin declared that Israeli settlers had the “right” to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Rivlin said he did not think it was a matter of “political debate”, but rather, a “basic fact of modern Zionism”. His comments came amid increased tensions between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.
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Muslim World and Secularism – Raza Habib Raja/HuffPo

by Newsstand

In Pakistan and, in fact, most of the Islamic world, the very concept of secularism is completely misunderstood. Somehow the concept has been thoroughly confused and amalgamated with Atheism. An overwhelming majority of politicians, and even intellectuals, often try to defend themselves when “accused” of being secular, particularly on mainstream online media and Urdu print media. To declare oneself as a secular is considered equivalent to being considered an atheist in the public imagination.
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Dem congresswoman: Israel's Treatment of Palestinian youth 'unacceptable' – Josh Ruebner/TheHill

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“I usually wear a suit, but I wanted to represent my son today,” Siam Nawarah explained after walking the halls of Congress and meeting with the State Department earlier this month.

The 43-year-old Palestinian father and successful salon owner from the West Bank city of Ramallah, with a youthful face that breaks into a sly grin in lighter moments, sported a black T-shirt with a picture of his 17-year-old son Nadeem wearing a baseball cap backwards, a keffiyeh — a Palestinian scarf — wrapped around his neck, and an ear-to-ear smile.
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Noam Chomsky: Israeli Apartheid ‘Much Worse’ Than South Africa – MintPress

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“In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid,” Chomsky says, according to Days of Palestine. “To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid.
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These Iranian pro-democracy activists want Congress to back the nuclear deal – Ishaan Tharoor/The Washington Post

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VIDEO:  Parvin Fahimi, mother of Sohrab Arabi (killed in the aftermath of 2009 presidential elections and one of the symbolic figures of the Green Movement), and a member of Iranian Mothers for Peace, supports the Iran Deal.

Dozens of prominent Iranian activists, both living at home and overseas, have in recent days expressed their support for the successful passage of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and urged lawmakers in Washington not to thwart the work of many months of concerted diplomacy.
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Jews of Lebanon – Documentary/English subtitles

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The Primacy Of Jewish Genes – Gilad Atzmon

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The Guardian reported this week that a study of Holocaust survivors revealed that the Jewish trauma is passed on to its children’s genes. The conclusion from a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital led by Rachel Yehuda stems from the genetic study of 32 Jewish men and women who had either been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, witnessed or experienced torture or who had had to hide during the second world war.
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Jerusalem: Nothing holy about the holy city – Dr. Ashraf Ezzat/ Veterans Today

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  Artwork:  William Blake – Jerusalem

On Sunday July 26th, the city of Jerusalem witnessed yet another deadly clash between Palestinians and Israeli Jews. This time around, the riot took place inside Al Aqsa mosque.

The whole thing started because the Palestinians were angered by the Jews’ access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning. Palestinians threw stones and fireworks while police fired stun grenades. This happened after security forces had forced its way into the Al-Aqsa compound before briefly entering into the mosque itself.

Protests broke out in the lanes and alleyways of the Old City around the mosque, with demonstrators confronting police and chanting “Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)”. Some Jewish fundamentalists pushed into the compound while police responded by firing more stun grenades and blocking entrance to the site.
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A Guide to Hasbara Trolls – Jonathon Blakeley/Gilad Atzmon Blog

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We are all aware of the Hasbara trolls, the Wikipedia Jews and the Israeli Neocon smear outlets. In the following important piece internet expert Jonathon Blakeley explores the vile and destructive impact of Sayanim and Hasbara agents  on the social networks. What we really see is a surge of Zio-centric anti- social behaviour in our midst. They are united against humanity, humanism, pluralism, freedom of expression and tolerance basically all those things that are precious to the rest of us./Gilan Atzmon

Hasbara is an Hebrew word defined as explanation. The purpose of Hasbara is to explain and educate western people about the Israeli mission. Hasbara can take many forms, adverts, websites, comments on blogs, letter writing, protests and so on. For a fuller idea of the depth of Habsara check this tool-kit from the We Believe in Israel Website. (made by BICOM).  The difference between propaganda and hasbara? I would say Hasbara is more of a soft sell at first, it seeks to inform, influence and educate the ignorant to the Israeli cause. The narrative of Hasbara has a victimized quality underpinning it, a very passive-aggressive approach, Israel is always defending not attacking. They play the mis-understood victim and invite their critics to attack them. The sub-current being that Israel’s message is not understood. Israel views that the reason for this is either lack of education or stupidity. So the Hasbara agents explain until they realise that they are getting nowhere and then respond with disdain and disgust.
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American Empire versus Global Zionism

by Taxi

America in the Middle East: we’re playing so many sides against each other – juggling swords and nukes and oil pipes in the eye of a firestorm.

Why?  And where is this all leading to?

Apparently, it is all for us, for us and only us – it is all for the benefit of America:  the greatest ever Empire in the whole history of mankind.  This is why we do what we do in the Middle East and it is all leading to…  the end of Israel.

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What Do Jerusalem Arabs Want? Elliot Abrams/Newsweek

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  Arab Legion Platoon on the walls of Old Jerusalem (1948)

It is conventional wisdom that all Palestinians seek, above all else, a Palestinian state. This is a reasonable conclusion to draw, although polls over the years have suggested that it may well be inaccurate.

Consider the most recent poll, by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Fikra Forum, and conducted by Nabil Kukali of the Palestine Center for Public Opinion.

A slim majority of Palestinians living in Jerusalem would prefer Israeli citizenship to being citizens of a Palestinian state, a new poll indicates. Just over half, or 52 percent, of respondents told pollsters they would prefer “Israeli citizenship with equal rights,” while 42 percent prefer to be Palestinian citizens when a Palestinian state is established. The figure is far higher than in polls conducted in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. In Gaza, just 4 percent said they preferred Israeli citizenship; in the West Bank, just 12 percent.

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Gaza, Gulag on the Mediterranean – Mohammed Omer/The New York Times

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https://i1.wp.com/static01.nyt.com/images/2015/08/25/opinion/25omer/25omer-blog427.jpg?w=500

GAZA CITY — At this time last year, as the missiles and bombs rained down in Israel’s lopsided seven-week war against Gaza, I wrote about our struggle to survive during the holy month of Ramadan. This year, another Ramadan has passed, Eid al-Fitr is over and the reality on the ground has changed very little.

The same dreadful conditions are creating desperation among Gaza’s inhabitants, whose lives are terrorized by war and stunted by the long blockade of this spit of land, 25 miles long and six miles wide. The only difference now is the absence of the smell of gunfire and explosives, and of the smoke trails from missiles fired by Israeli F-16s crashing down among civilian homes.

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Oprah Leaves BDS Out in the Cold – Arutz Sheva

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After Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu boldly snuffed attempts to have him banned from the Rototom Sunsplash festival, it has become known that media mogul Oprah Winfrey also turned away a BDS request earlier this month.

The New York Post revealed Sunday that a BDS “delegation” showed up at her magazine’s offices, carrying a letter urging her to publicly reject Israeli jeweler Lev Leviev’s products.
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War Criminals Gather In London For World's Largest Arms Fair – Billy Briggs/MintPress

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EDINBURGH – Thousands of activists are expected to gather at the United Kingdom’s largest international arms fair in London next month. Attended by hundreds of arms companies with exhibits representing over 1,500 arms firms, the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Exhibition brings representatives from the world’s most oppressive regimes together in one place to sell military weapons, including those from Israel, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
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The Russian army is beginning to engage in Syria – Thierry Meyssan/Voltairenet.org

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After having negotiated a regional alliance against the Islamic Emirate which implied Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, Russia suddenly had to abandon its strategy after the Turkish turn-around. Ankara has in fact decided to break off its ties with Moscow, and has cancelled, without genuine motive, the contract for the gas pipe-line Turkish Stream, created, in partenership with Ukraine, an international Islamic Brigade intended to destabilise Crimea [1]. It has also come to the help of the Islamic Emirate in their fight against the Kurds of the PKK and the YPG.

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An Outsider’s Inside View of the Group That Zionists Loathe and Fear – Book Review by Richard Edmondson/Veterans Today

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Hezbollah is routinely branded a “terrorist” organization by Western media, but if asked, most Americans would probably be hard-pressed to name a single terrorist act the group has committed (armed resistance against a military occupation of one’s country does not constitute terrorism).

Yet the media resolutely go on labeling the group with words like “extremist,” “militant,” “fanatic,” etc. in a deliberate effort to manipulate public opinion. Why?
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Israel's Rage and Impotence, the Final Days – Gordon Duff/ Veterans Today

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Israel is technically defenseless and humiliated. This is not conjecture nor is it a positive thing for prospects of peace. It is entirely the result of Netanyahu’s scheming and game playing and has led to serious escalations across the region. Today, Damascus is being shelled relentlessly. Our bureau personnel are in their homes and hotels, hearing sirens and shells falling.

Yesterday, an Israeli drone was shot down by a Syrian air defense missile of a type Israel was unaware had been deployed. The drone was directing fire from the Yarmouk Camp in South Damascus, Grad rockets and heavy mortars, that are hitting civilian areas across the city. Today an ISIS jihadist captured there described the Israeli fire control officers who are helping target key infrastructure systems, water and electricity. They have been successful.
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Noam Chomsky on Norman Finkelstein Work in Gaza

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Zionism Infiltrates and Occupies Reggae – The Fight Between BDS and Likudist Raggae Singer Matisyahu/DOUBLE ARTICLE

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And the hasbara beat goes on.  And on and on and on!  When Matisyahu was banned by Spanish music festival organizers last week, global Zionism instantly rushed to his aid and did their usual mafia-style intimidation and blackmail and got him re-instated into the festival with a big fat apology from the festival organizers to boot.

Matisyahu claims that he supports “peace and compassion for all people”,  adding: “My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music”.  Yet, he absolutely refused to go on official record as backing a Palestine state, as well as other stuff reported in the Aljazeera article below.  When he says “I do not insert politics into my music”, he’s clearly lying through his Ashkenazim teeth – just check out the lyrics to his song ‘Jerusalem’ for evidence.  Almost every line in that song is pure Likudism, settler style.  Read the two articles below and decide for yourselves.  Oh and by the way, Matisyahu’s song ‘Jerusalem’ is probably one of the worst reggae songs to ever be dumped on the ears of mankind – in my estimation – and yes, I do know my reggae.

And one last thought:  BRAVO BDS SPAIN for turning up at Matisyahu’s concert just to wave giant flags of Palestine in the face of Apartheid-loving Matisyahu.

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Cloak And Dagger Blog – Back From the Dead

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hacked

As many of you know, my Cloak And Dagger blog came under heavy attack from, presumably, zio cyber terrorists, probably because the heavy anti-zio content probably hit the radar on Hasbara-central’s army of Internet warriors. The damage was quite extensive and corrupted both the content and the backup files, and also left behind a few trojans and sleepers. After spending the whole day finding and removing threats, I finally gave up and completely erased the machine, losing all the content on it. I decided that it was too dangerous to assume that I had gotten all of the threats eradicated. Consequently, I have rebuilt the site from scratch on a new server and at a different Internet location from the previous site, and also set up for offsite backups. The new location for the site is:

http://cloakanddagger.ez.lv

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Hashtag #YouStink – Sudden Social Unrest in Downtown Beirut

by Newsstand

A multitude of motley Lebanese nationalists:  left and right and communist and gay and capitalist and PanArabist and all sorts of other colorful social and political Lebanese movements have all gathered outside the Lebanese parliament in protest of systematic corruption that is now so entrenched in Lebanese politics, that the incompetent Lebanese government is not even able to insure public trash collections.

Many neighborhoods in Beirut are stinking out this summer from mountains of uncollected trash.  For over two decades now, electricity is still being severely rationed, which only enriches the ‘Deisel-Motor Mafias’ – all with connections to one Lebanese politician or another.  Same with water.  Same with all other public services.  The Lebanese infrastructure is completely breaking down due to cronyism, political tribalism, nepotism and deep bribery.

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Israel’s Other Existential Threat Comes From Within – Hilik Bar/The New York Times

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It used to be said by some in Israel that “only the right can bring peace.” But the brave, pragmatic Zionist right of Menachem Begin is gone.

Successive right-wing governments have adopted the mantra “there is no partner for peace.” Of course, the Palestinians have not been the perfect partner — and, of course, there is no such thing. You make peace with your enemies, as Yitzhak Rabin used to say.

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J-Street elects Muslim to head college units – AP

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OCCUPIED WASHINGTON — A dovish pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. that has struggled for acceptance by more established Jewish groups has elected an American Muslim as president of a core initiative — its chapter program on college campuses, where debates rages over Israel and Palestinians.

Amna Farooqi, a senior at the University of Maryland, was voted president of the seven-member J Street U National Student Board on Sunday. Farooqi, who is of Pakistani descent, had previously served as a regional representative on the student board for the lobby, which formed in 2009 to counter harder-line pro-Israel lobbies and has been attacked by critics since as disloyal to Israel.

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Israel Came Close to Attacking Iran, Ex-Defense Minister Says – Jodi Rudoren/The New York Times

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — A former Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, revealed new details to his biographers about how close Israel came to striking Iran’s military facilities in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and why it did not despite his and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire to do so, according to interview excerpts aired on Israeli television Friday night.

Mr. Barak, who also previously served as Israel’s prime minister, said that he and Mr. Netanyahu were ready to attack Iran each year but that in 2010, the military chief of staff said Israel lacked the “operational capability”; in 2011, two key ministers waffled at the last minute; and in 2012, the timing did not work out because of a joint United States-Israel military exercise and visit by the American defense secretary. He noted that the two ministers who balked in 2011, Moshe Yaalon and Yuval Steinitz, “are the most militant about attacking Iran” today.

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PALESTINIAN STRINGS – A Danish-Arab in Palestine

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*(Recommended soulful viewing)

Palestinian minister of disinformation – Sean Durns/TheHill

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Mustafa Barghouti’s “Obama can still do something for peace in the Middle East” (Aug. 17) misleads through omissions, misrepresentations, and falsehoods.
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Alien-believing group ends support for Zionism – The Times of Israel

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A statement from the Raelians said that their leader, Rael (Claude Vorilhon), was told in an August 6 prophesy from Yahweh, the head of the extraterrestrial beings called the Elohim, that “protection” for Israel had been withdrawn due to Israeli policies on the Palestinians. Both Yahweh and Elohim are Hebrew words for God.
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