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Lebanon's Uprising Could Shake The Country's Sectarian Foundations – Kareem Chehayeb/HuffPo

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On June 20, 2013, hundreds of Lebanese activists gathered in downtown Beirut to protest against the parliament extending its term and canceling elections. The parliament believed that a potential security crisis in Lebanon due to the rising extremist Salafist movement and in part to the Syrian civil war meant that elections would be risky. After a few protesters tried to break through the police barricade, the police ruthlessly attacked any and all protesters in their sight with batons: men, women, children, the elderly — everyone. A few activists tried to camp outside, but were immediately arrested. And that was that. The momentum died off just a couple of days after. This was Lebanon in a nutshell. The vast majority had a problem with the existing power structures, the March 8 and March 14 coalitions, but few were driven to be active. Fast-forward to August 29, 2015. Over 250,000 people packed Martyrs’ Square and Riad El Solh Square in downtown Beirut. What happened?

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Bribing Bibi and his Proxies to Behave – Phil Giraldi/The Unz Review

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There are a lot of expressions about standing up to bullies being the best policy. Unfortunately the White House has difficulty in following that sound advice when it comes to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his governing coalition ofracists and thugs. And one might also add that the reticence also applies to dealing with Israel’s many friends in Congress, some of whom have apparently extorted their pound of flesh in exchange for their votes on the Iran deal.
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The Israeli Army's 5 Most Lethal Weapons of War – Kyle Mizokami/The National Interest

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Much like the Israeli Air Force, the Israeli Army came from humble—but more established—beginnings. Israel’s ground forces had their origins in the Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary force created in the early 1920s to protect Jewish interests.

The Haganah cooperated with British authorities, but turned hostile in 1944 when the Axis neared defeat and the need for a Jewish state became increasingly clear. In 1947 the Haganah was reorganized into regular army units, and renamed the Israeli Army two weeks after the founding of the State of Israel.

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Tribute to Arab War Refugees

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Six Palestinian Journalists Kidnapped By Israeli Forces In August – MintPress

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The Union of Palestinian Radio and Television documented about 20 Israeli violations regarding the rights of Palestinian journalists and media staff working in Palestine this August.

The Union stated, in the monthly report issued on Thursday, that Israeli forces detained six Palestinian journalists and two photojournalists, including Hazem Obaid, who works for Al-Quds TV.

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Netanyahu seeks to snatch victory from jaws of defeat on Iran deal – William Booth/The Washington Post

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — No political leader fought longer or harder against the Iran nuclear deal than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who appears to have suffered the worst foreign policy ­defeat of his career following the announcement that President Obama has secured enough votes in the Senate to preserve the pact.

Yet senior Israeli officials close to Netanyahu are saying that their prime minister has not failed — but won, in a way.

Netanyahu has waged diplomatic war against Iran’s nuclear ambitions through four terms in office, warning that Iran was racing toward a bomb that would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state.

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How AIPAC Lost the Iran Deal Fight – Karoun Demirjian, Carol Morello/The Washington Post

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Not since George H.W. Bush was president has the American Israel Public Affairs Committee sustained such a public defeat on an issue it deemed an existential threat to Israel’s security.But the Iran nuclear deal has Washington insiders wondering if the once-untouchable lobbying giant has suffered lasting damage to its near-pristine political reputation.

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Alan Dershowitz On The Iran Nuclear Deal, Hillary Clinton Emails

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Spectacular China V-Day Parade, 2015

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*Highly recommended viewing

Obama's Congress Victory and Israel – Dr. Josef Olmert/HuffPo

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The big fight is over, and President Obama is the clear winner. Where there is a winner, there are also losers, and in the case of the Iran nuclear deal, the losers are the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, but also the cause of stability in the Middle East. There are two groups of people who have developed the myth of the all-mighty AIPAC.
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UN Set to Back Raising Palestinian Flag – AFP

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United Nations – A draft resolution on raising the Palestinian flag at the United Nations will likely be adopted next week in time for president Mahmud Abbas’ visit to New York, the Palestinian envoy said Thursday.
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The UN General Assembly will vote on September 10 on the measure that is almost certain to garner a majority of votes in the 193-nation forum.

“We have the votes and we are working to get as many votes as we can,” said Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations.

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Sen. Booker ends the myth of bipartisan support for Israel – Jennifer Rubin/The Washington Post

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The Iran deal is as big a threat to Israel as any event since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The American people as a whole by a large majority oppose it, and yet a Democrat from New Jersey, Sen. Cory Booker, who has had excellent relations with the pro-Israel community, cannot bring himself to oppose the deal even after it is certain there are enough votes to sustain a veto. Moreover, his statement acknowledges just how flawed the deal is.
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American ideals draw these U.S. citizens to settle in Israel's West Bank – Michele Chabin/USA TODAY

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OCCUPIED EFRAT, West Bank — When Mordechai Reich moved to this Jewish settlement seven miles south of Jerusalem in 1994, he wanted to study in a yeshiva, or seminary. He stayed in Efrat, once part of the biblical land of Israel, because he felt he could make a difference.

“For me, Israel is a young country where individual contributions add up to create significant change,” said Reich, a psychologist who immigrated here from New York. “In that sense it is a land of opportunity, just as America is. We integrate Israeli culture and American culture and the result is a strong culture.”

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