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Your Daley Gator CCW News Update For Wednesday (11/06/19)   

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. DemoNazi-Controlled House Votes To ‘Enhance The Border Security’ Of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt And Tunisia, But Not The Unites States…

          

Lebanon a 'beautiful idea' in need of a reboot, say protesters   

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From a narrow angle, Beirut looks a picture of elegance and success, its French boutiques, luxury hotels and imported cars blending into Mediterranean skies.

          

Ilhan Omar’s Very Selective Anti-Imperialism   

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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.

          

The Thongs Market: A Peak At Syrians’ Intimate Lives   

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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.


Charming But…

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   

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#1K Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.)

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://God.blue/splash.php?url=HewqfkEPrK5VJXbjItsBqxOX123ArwFFmK09kCyC7BsqPjpKxrgzLgmxqMY36_SLASH_1Swr5Ysu0MKmLGZNv_SLASH_asYbGqYYVSrUtE0JNkmi4ritfps_EQUALS_.

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

 

HANGTOWN 100 ENTRY LIST: (As of Nov. 5, 2019)

1 Karsyn Elledge/Mooresville, NC (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

1G Kyle Cummins/Princeton, IN (Jack Yeley)

1K Kyle Larson/Elk Grove, CA (Kyle Larson Open Wheel)

1NZ Michael Pickens/Auckland, NZ (RMS)

4D Robert Dalby/Anaheim, CA (Robert Dalby)

5 Kevin Thomas, Jr./Cullman, AL (Petry Motorsports)

7BC Tyler Courtney/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson Marshall Racing)

7x Thomas Meseraull/San Jose, CA (RMS)

8 Randi Pankratz/Atascadero, CA (Randi Pankratz)

11E Cory Elliott/Bakersfield, CA (Cory Elliott)

15 TBA/TBA (Petry Motorsports)

17BC Chris Windom/Canton, IL (Clauson Marshall Racing)

17w Shane Golobic/Fremont, CA (Matt Wood Racing)

19 Spencer Bayston/Lebanon, IN (Brodie Hayward)

19T Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV (Brodie Hayward)

19w Jake Morgan/Fair Oaks, CA (Sala Racing)

20 C.J. Sarna/Palm Desert, CA (C.J. Sarna)

21 Carson Macedo/Lemoore, CA (Tarlton Motorsports)

25 Jerry Coons, Jr./Tucson, AZ (Petry Motorsports)

25x Chase Johnson/Penngrove, CA (Tom Malloy)

27B Jake Bubak/Arvada, CO (Patrick Bourke)

27w Colby Copeland/Roseville, CA (Matt Wood)

39BC Zeb Wise/Angola, IN (Clauson Marshall Racing)

47BC Andrew Layser/Collegeville, PA (Clauson Marshall Racing)

47m Michael Faccinto/Hanford, CA (Del Morris)

57 Maria Cofer/Macdoel, CA (Maria Cofer)

67z Brad Sweet/Grass Valley, CA (Willie Kahne)

68 Jonathan Beason/Broken Arrow, OK (Six8 Motorsports)

71R Dave Darland/Lincoln, IN (Del Morris)

71x TBD

73 Dylan Ito/Ventura, CA (Keith Ford)

73K Jake Swanson/Anaheim, CA (Keith Ford)

76E Brady Bacon/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)

76m Jason McDougal/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)

77w Ryan Bernal/Hollister, CA (Matt Wood Racing)

81 Dillon Welch/Carmel, IN (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

84 Gio Scelzi/Fresno, CA (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

87 Aaron Reutzel/Clute, TX (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

97w Kaidon Brown/Sydney, AU (Matt Wood)

99 Colton Heath/Marysville, WA (Carla & Gaylon Stewart)

99 Robert Carson/Concord, CA (Howard & Karen Segur)

TBA TBA/TBA (Clauson Marshall Racing)

TBA TBA/TBA (Matt Wood Racing)

 


          

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World: Opening statement at the 70th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme   

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Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World

By Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
07 October 2019

Mr. Chairman,
Deputy Secretary-General,
Distinguished Delegates,
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.

Mr Chairman,

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.

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Mr Chairman,

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.

Thank you.


          

World: Education Above All Foundation, World Bank Partner to Ensure Education for Two Million Out of School Children Around the World   

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Source: World Bank, Education Above All
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.orghttps://God.blue/splash.php?url=fDsnEq_SLASH_buIu66se5_SLASH_np1STMODdJsw3uDltqkKCVfi4TL_SLASH_q0nPhjwX6YGY4Dx3fQbmwh_SLASH_fbDXQ4FxCWas44dZAPxgNPD9hhPmtJR8XW4tDhA_EQUALS_.

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.

For more information, please visit: worldbank.org/educationhttps://God.blue/splash.php?url=1Jhrp_PLUS_hDOwPiFQhW0GVESU_PLUS_xbNAdiLBw_SLASH_7wdGx4tTVdzCd9y118Bs5OAZ32OKLmjBAqOPq7Q7_PLUS__PLUS_zldBr6GkxjSagbi5SitqJzEGdYpSm4wI_EQUALS_ educationaboveall.orghttps://God.blue/splash.php?url=Os0M2bIIrGxpIF5LiUqo7e35_SLASH_rAzYMzL54Mu2Tg7PacvlgVT1CkBU_PLUS__SLASH_QkpyLHXhFbCgqnGclAZAN9ABZRPX4G_SLASH_BsCrDa44KaKSV8zvLWR1S9JOZm9gLfVqugoytK6Kvd


          

World: Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 [EN/AR/ES/FR/ZH]   

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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.


          

World: Forced Migration Review Issue 58: Economies: Rights and access to work   

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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 fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk.

Forthcoming issues (see www.fmreview.org/forthcoming)

• FMR 59: Twentieth anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (October 2018)

• FMR 60: Education (February 2019)

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for email alerts at www.fmreview.org/request/alerts.

Marion Couldrey and Jenny Peebles
Editors, Forced Migration Review


          

World: Education in Emergencies - ECHO Factsheet   

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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

Key messages

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.


          

Associate Counsel, GCC, Jordan and Lebanon - Uber - Dubai   

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Areas of particular relevance include, commercial contracts, consumer issues, regulation, and new market entry. We are building technology people use everyday.
From Uber - Tue, 15 Jan 2019 18:08:42 GMT - View all Dubai jobs

          

Counsel | GCC, Jordan and Lebanon - Uber - Dubai   

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Areas of particular relevance include, commercial contracts, consumer issues, regulation, and new market entry. We are building technology people use everyday.
From Uber - Fri, 01 Nov 2019 18:10:56 GMT - View all Dubai jobs

          

Port of Braila, Romania to Port of Beirut, Lebanon   

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Port of Braila, Romania to Port of Beirut, Lebanon

          

Students Swell Lebanon Protest Movement   

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Lebanese students wave national flags and chant slogans as they gather in an antigovernment demonstration in the southern city of Sidon Saida on November 6 2019 Hundreds of schoolchildren led antigovernment demonstrations across Lebanon o

          

Lebanon's Hariri meets Aoun, says will continue talks   

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Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri met President Michel Aoun on Thursday and said after the meeting he would continue to hold talks with the head of state and other parties.

          

Lebanese students present united front in protests   

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Student representatives from universities across Lebanon gathered Wednesday morning at the Gibran Khalil Gibran Garden, in Downtown Beirut.

          

Warehouse Operations Supervisor - 1st Shift   

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IN-Lebanon, 1st Shift, Tuesday – Friday, 6:00am – 4:30pm Logistics done differently. At XPO Logistics, recently named one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune Magazine, we need Warehouse Supervisors who can bring out the best in their teams. If you know how to encourage people to continually raise the bar, while taking responsibility for all day-to-day warehouse operations, you might be an ideal f

          

Associate Veterinarian | Greenwood Veterinary Clinic   

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West Lebanon, Indiana, 2020 could be your year! Full or Part time Veterinarian position available for the right individual whose passion for providing animals excellent healthcare is top priority. Contact us today for mo

          

VIEWPOINT: Recognize Nuances of Chilean Protests   

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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 post VIEWPOINT: Recognize Nuances of Chilean Protests appeared first on .


          

Justice Prayers - November 6th    

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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.


Beirut Protests

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.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Canada Action Alert: Creation Care

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!

US Action Alert: H.R. 2407

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!
 


          

Download Lagu Maher Zain, Lagu Sepanjang Hidup dan Ya Nabi Salam Alayka   

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Maher Zain adalah penyanyi asal Swedia berdarah Lebanon. Namun sejumlah lagunya cukup akrab di telinga penggemar musik di tanah air karena dibawakan d

          

The Lebanon Protests: Views from Beirut and Policy Implications   

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Twitter Suspending Quds News Account: An Attack on Palestinian Narrative & Journalism   

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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.

          

‘Willing to Invest’: US, Saudis Prefer Iraq, Lebanon ‘Shattered’ Than Friendly With Tehran   

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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.

          

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) to the U.S. Educational system, culture and values. Deadline : 31 December 2019   

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The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) to the U.S. Educational system, culture and values. Deadline : 31 December 2019

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) brings future leaders to the U.S. to experience the U.S. educational system, share their culture, and explore U.S. culture and values.

Application is open November 4th, 2019 through December 31st, 2019.

Global UGRAD is administered by World Learning on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.

Since 2008, World Learning has provided this opportunity to over 2,200 Global UGRAD students.  Participants leave the U.S. with the tools to become leaders in their professions and communities. Global UGRAD alumni go on to receive Fulbright grants, obtain prestigious international internships, and work in business and government in their home countries and regions.

Countries: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Zimbabwe

 

 

Program Goals

To promote mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries.

  • Provide a fulfilling exchange experience to drive academic, cross-cultural, and leadership competencies for students from Global UGRAD countries.
  • Enhance students’ academic knowledge and professional skills needed to pursue long-term academic and career goals.
  • Cultivate students’ comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the U.S.
  • Facilitate opportunities for students to establish social networks with U.S. host institutions and local communities.
  • Empower students to engage constructively in the civic life of their local and global communities.               CLICK HERE TO APPLY

The post The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) to the U.S. Educational system, culture and values. Deadline : 31 December 2019 appeared first on mucuruzi.com.


          

Neoliberalism’s Children Rise Up to Demand Justice in Chile and the World   

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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, […]

          

Med Surg RN - Lebanon   

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It's time to get on the road! We're in need of Med-Surg Travel Nurses to fill immediate openings at a hospital in Lebanon, NH. If this sounds great to ...

          

Bass, Terry Lee   

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Terry Lee Bass Lebanon 60, 03-Nov, Neuble Monument Funeral Home LLC.

          

Benton, Jessica   

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Jessica Benton Lebanon 23, 02-Nov, Partlow Funeral Chapel.

          

Gibson, James A.   

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JAMES A GIBSON Lebanon - James A. Gibson age 65 November 3, 2019, at his home. A native of Atlanta, GA, he was the son of the late James Thomas...

          

Willoughby, Carolyn   

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Carolyn Willoughby Lebanon 61, 31-Oct, Neuble Monument Funeral Home LLC.

          

EEG Technologist (FT), Neuro Diagnostics - sign on incentives: up to $7,500 | Dartmouth-Hitchcock   

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Lebanon, New Hampshire, ***EEG Technologists sign on incentives: up to $7500*** Performs standard and some specialized Electroencephalograph recordings, long term video monitoring, and trains to perform evoked potential t

          

1226 Mount Lebanon Road   

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Main Photo of 1226 Mount Lebanon Road a Huntsville Home for Sale 1226 Mount Lebanon Road Toney, AL 35773 - Wood Trail Neighborhood - Under Construction-this Beautiful Home Is Located A Stone’s Throw From Aerojet Rocketdyne And Facebook As Well As Highway 231/431. This 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom Home Offers 1,401 Square Feet Of Living Space. This Home Is Currently "under Construction" Come And Take A Look At This Beauty….don’t Miss Out!
Listing Courtesy of: Ace Realty

          

11/07 Links Pt1: Ron Prosor: For UNRWA, the party is over; Shin Bet: We thwarted over 450 terror attacks in the past year; Apartheid on Temple Mount: Police Block Jews from Using Drinking Fountains   

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From Ian:

Ron Prosor: For UNRWA, the party is over
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: We thwarted over 450 terror attacks in the past year
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.

PMW: Why is Martyrdom-death “unique in Palestine”?
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]






Apartheid on Temple Mount: Police Block Jews from Using Drinking Fountains
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.”


Netanyahu requests U.S. transfer funds to PA, Trump refuses
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 on Alert for Possible Terrorist Attacks on Jewish, Israeli Targets
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.
Netanyahu lauds pro-Israel fmr Canadian PM Stephen Harper
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.”
Bipartisan group of US congresswomen visits to show ‘no daylight’ on 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.”
Jewish Democratic congressman visiting W. Bank blasts treatment of Palestinians
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.
French far-left leader accuses Jews of 'violent sectarianism'
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.
BREAKING: Ex-Twitter Employees Charged For Spying For Saudi Arabia, Reports Say
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.
‘They Are Leading by Leaps and Bounds’: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Lauds Israeli Economic Innovation in Policy Speech
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.”
Iran said to pull out of deaf futsal championships to avoid facing Israeli team
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.
Jordan bans Israeli farmers from border enclave
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.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas bans rally to commemorate Yasser Arafat
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.
Gaza Protests Erupt after Police Throw Arrested Man Out the Window of His Home
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.”
Middle East: The Anti-Iran Revolution is Well Underway
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.


Seth J. Frantzman: U.N. slams bleeding Iraqi protesters for closing roads, harming oil supply
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.”
JCPA: Iran’s Strategy: Negotiate Using the Threat of Reneging on Its Commitments
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.”
IAEA accuses Iran of evading attempts to probe uranium production – report
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.
Top Iranian Official Targeted by New US Sanctions Is Wanted by Argentina for 1994 Bombing of AMIA Jewish Center
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.


Mike Pompeo: Iran positioning itself for rapid nuclear break-out
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.
MEMRI: Even As UK, France Acknowledge That Iran Is Violating The JCPOA, The Trump Administration, After Ostensibly Withdrawing From It, Continues To Preserve It – By Means Of Its Waivers For Civilian Nuclear Cooperation With 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.[1]

Although the U.S., in May 2018, announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA,[2] 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[3]).

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.[4]




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11/06 Links Pt1: PA: Dead ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was a US “pawn” and Israel and ISIS are “twins”; Israel says UNRWA chief’s stepping aside shows ‘deep’ change needed; Arab Spring 2.0   

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From Ian:

David Singer: Rabin’s Policies Can Help Break Gantz-Netanyahu Deadlock
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.


PMW: Dead ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was a US “pawn” and Israel and ISIS are “twins” - according to the PA
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."
MEMRI: Chicago Islamic Scholar Omar Baloch: Israel Arms And Trains ISIS, Uses It To Destabilize The Region, Advance Its Plans For 'Greater Israel,' Alienate Muslims From Concepts Of Jihad, Islamic State
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."



NGO Monitor: Key Takeaways from the Supreme Court’s Omar Shakir (HRW) Decision
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.




UK Paper Fails to Challenge the Lies of HRW’s Omar Shakir
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:
BBC News report uncritically amplifies political NGO’s talking points
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:
Updated Reuters Falsely Reports That Israel Has Criminalized BDS
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.
INSS: Russia in the Middle East: A Higher Gear or Media Buzz?
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.
Russia captures advanced Israeli missile interceptor in Syria - report
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.”
Israeli Deputy FM: We have sent humanitarian aid to Kurds
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 says UNRWA chief’s stepping aside shows ‘deep’ change needed
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.




Two Jordanians Detained by Israel Return Home After Handover Deal
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.”
The Coming Collapse of Lebanon Is a Crisis for Israel
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 practice saving lives together
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.”
Fatah Official Says PA Chief Abbas, Soon to Turn 85, Won’t Run for Re-Election
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will not run for re-election, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub told Palestine TV on Monday.

Rajoub’s announcement contradicted Hussein al-Sheikh, who recently said that Abbas is Fatah’s only candidate in the next presidential election.

“President Abbas is the only candidate of Fatah and honorable Palestinians,” stated Sheikh.

“Let us make him the sheikh of the tribe and the spiritual father of the democratic process,” said Rajoub. “In two months, President Abbas will celebrate his 85th birthday.”

In a speech in September at the annual UN General Assembly, Abbas said he will call for “general elections” in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem.

Abbas is currently in the 14th year of a four-year term.

A date for the Palestinian elections has yet to be determined.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad reject Abbas’s terms for Palestinian elections
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.
Abbas bans child marriage, with some legal exemptions
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 Relying on Qatari Funds in Gaza Strip
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.


Arab Spring 2.0
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.
FIFA: Iraq 'unsafe' to host World Cup qualifying matches
FIFA says Iraq is not safe enough to host World Cup qualifying games against Iran and Bahrain.

FIFA says it asked the Iraq soccer federation "to nominate a neutral venue" for the matches on Nov. 14 and 19.

The games were to be played in Basra, the southern city which hosted Iraq's return last month to playing competitive games at home.

Iraq has rarely staged home games since the 1980s because of security concerns.

Turmoil in Iraq in recent weeks has been fueled by economic problems and dissatisfaction with Iran's political influence on its neighbor.
Iran shaves weeks off breakout time, but isn’t tearing up nuclear pact yet
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.
US accuses Iran of ‘nuclear extortion’ as Tehran expands enrichment at key plant
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.
Macron: With new centrifuge operation, Iran is withdrawing from nuclear deal
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 IAEA inspector, seized travel documents - diplomats
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.
How Tehran Is Surviving U.S. Sanctions
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.
2 Iranians accused of spying on Jewish, Israeli targets in US plead guilty
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.
BBC News mantra on ‘peaceful’ Iranian nuclear programme returns
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.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Iran Defends Imperialism As Bulwark Against Imperialism (satire)
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.”




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Unpacking the PACBI Excuse (Divest This!)   

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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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11/05 Links Pt1: ‘I like your frame on this’: Warren nods as supporter claims US backs 'genocide in Palestine'; It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA; Israel’s Supreme Court rules HRW Director can be deported over BDS   

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From Ian:

‘I like your frame on this’: Warren nods as supporter claims US backs 'genocide in Palestine'
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?”

Warren responded, “I like your frame on this.”


Republican Jewish group’s campaign slams Democrats as a ‘disgrace’ — in Yiddish
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.





It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA
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.


Israel’s Supreme Court rules HRW Director can be deported over BDS
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.
NGO Monitor: Resource Page on Omar Shakir (HRW) Court Case
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


Guardian fails to challenge the lies of HRW’s Omar Shakir
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.
'A unity government is dead, and Israel is on its way to a 3rd election'
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.
Sderot youth challenge MKs to take up their cause
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.”

What does conviction of IDF soldier mean for ICC war crimes battle?
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”?
JPost Editorial: Recognize the Armenian genocide
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 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
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.
MEMRI: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad: It Is Possible That Al-Baghdadi Has Been Kidnapped, Hidden, Or Had His Appearance Surgically Altered; Israel Has Been Behind The Scenes Throughout The War; Erdoğan Is Our Enemy
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.
Halkbank Says It Will Seek Dismissal of US Indictment, Judge’s Recusal
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.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah official: Abbas won't seek reelection
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.
PMW: “The most despicable plot” – Palestinian reactions to the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration
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.’”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 2, 2019]


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]


Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas Joins Iranian Plan to Foil Arabs' Anti-Corruption Protests
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.
Hamas Encouraging Youth Drug Use as Qatar Support Comes to an End
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.
Hamas official: Egypt has barred Haniyeh from traveling abroad for past 3 years
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.




In chilling detail, ex-envoy to US Oren warns of Israel-Iran ‘conflagration’
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.
The Revolt Against Iran
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. Cheney to Introduce Legislation Mandating Full Dismantling of Iran Nuclear Deal
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.
The Islamic Zealots Who Seized U.S. Embassy 40 Years Ago Today Weren't 'Students'
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.


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."






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Qatar may cut aid to Gaza at end of year   

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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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11/04 Links Pt1: The missing billions of the Palestinian Authority; The delusional one-state solution; Netanyahu: Arab Countries Now See Israel as an ‘Indispensable Ally’ Against Iran   

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From Ian:

PMW: The missing billions of the Palestinian Authority
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]
The delusional one-state solution
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.
Trump’s Middle East shake-up led to killing of al-Baghdadi
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.




Netanyahu: Arab Countries Now See Israel as an ‘Indispensable Ally’ Against Iran
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.”


Thanks to the Likud, Israeli Arabs Are Flourishing
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.
Arabs and Jews speak up for Israel and foster coexistence
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.
JPost Editorial: Gaza policy
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.
Only Decisive Action on the Ground, Not Precision Firepower from Afar, Can Defeat Israel’s Enemies
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.
Caroline Glick “The Joint Arab List is Unified to Wipe Israel Off the Map”
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.

Israeli Transportation Ministry Pushing ‘Sovereignty Through Transportation’
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.
EU slams Israel for okaying 2,342 settler homes, road that ‘fragments’ West Bank
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.
This Ongoing War: In Washington, a step towards bringing the Sbarro bomber to justice
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.
Jordanians held in Israel to be sent home, Amman set to return envoy after row
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.
'We'll turn Israeli cities into ghost towns,' Hamas leader warns
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."
How Hezbollah Recruits Palestinian Terrorists
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.
It’s Time for the US and NATO to Give Turkey the Boot
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.
Turkey’s Erdogan May Call Off US Trip After Congress Votes: Officials
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.
Turkish pro-gov media orders Qatar to 'weed out' critical journalists
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 vows to return jihadists to countries that revoked their citizenship
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.
JCPA: The Mystery Successor of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
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.
Protests in Iraq Have Turned against Iran
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.
Iraqi security forces open fire on protesters, killing 5
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.
‘Death to America! Death to Israel!’ Iran marks 1979 takeover of US Embassy
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 announces fresh violations of nuclear deal with extra, advanced centrifuges
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.
Iran remains worst state-sponsor of terror, works with al-Qaeda
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.”
European Union warns Iran over nuclear deal after uranium claims
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 decision to speed up uranium enrichment 'unacceptable,' says German FM
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.






We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

          

Lebanon President Aoun, Hariri meet to discuss way out of crisis   

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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.

          

Iran’s Hegemony Tested in Iraq, Lebanon   

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Iran’s Hegemony Tested in Iraq, Lebanon Anonymous Wed, 11/06/2019 - 15:09

          

Russia Has ‘Proof’ US Is Smuggling Oil In Syria & Did Israel/US Create A Civil War In Lebanon?   

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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 […]

The post Russia Has ‘Proof’ US Is Smuggling Oil In Syria & Did Israel/US Create A Civil War In Lebanon? appeared first on The Last American Vagabond.


          

Students swell Lebanon protest movement   

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Thousands of students took to the streets across Lebanon Thursday to demand a better future as an unprecedented anti-government protest movement entered its fourth week and continued to spread.

          

Students swell Lebanon protest movement   

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Thousands of students took to the streets across Lebanon Thursday to demand a better future as an unprecedented anti-government protest movement entered its fourth week and continued to spread.

          

UNIFIL urges for calm along southern border   

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The U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon Thursday urged Lebanon and Israel to exercise extreme caution and restraint near the border as political and security tensions escalate inside Lebanon.

          

City Council, Budget Work Session   

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Event date: November 21, 2019
Event Time: 05:30 PM - 08:00 PM
Location:
51 N. Park St.
Lebanon, NH 03766

          

Protesters stay on the streets to win change in Iraq and Lebanon   

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none

          

A New Arab Spring Is Unfolding in Iraq and Lebanon. But Things Could Get Bloody If Iran Gets Its Way   

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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…

          

Steve Brown: Syria is lost, Lebanon's gold is next   

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11:27a ET Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

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:

https://God.blue/splash.php?url=EZ8qydWUScBk5BtIqBnOao2jfQFhZJwLTlKdEV6bL_SLASH_aLW3SVjgu8TS5IhXFD_PLUS_pz1qcCQTmZS5gsP16NKGNROkvzLKfh8cmLdOHPi3IDJ6RNvQgMihZ0ljuN1Z1OJQI02Jm6x7KYujpKKrSFUdFf38kZupB23dJ23kyF43ipWNhE_EQUALS_...

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org



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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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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. ...

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Help keep GATA going:

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

https://God.blue/splash.php?url=Xz8v5nzrfJCMGwrDfsfmgV9EAhix4YzXlS_SLASH_FjVVFz44BN1Ol88_SLASH_TvgnmpNauAuf4_PLUS_UomjiRgGcfsz73zmbBcr1qv2nRgdyxZawMZZbnkBkI_EQUALS_

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

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LEBANON ARCHITECTURE   

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dome and 65-meter-high minarets, the mosque has become a dominant feature of the Beirut City Center skyline and it was inaugurated in 2008. EPA/WAEL HAMZEH ▶확 달라진 연합뉴스 웹을 만나보세요

          

UNRWA students in Gaza Connect with Japanese Research Station in Antarctica   

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crisis category: 
Students from al-Rimal Preparatory Co-Ed school “C” during their participation in an online session with Japanese scientists from the Syowa Station in Antarctica © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Ibrahim Abu Osheba.
“This is my first time to participate in such sessions. I am so thrilled and excited to see how life beyond the borders of Gaza is and to hear new information, as well,” said ninth-grader Daniya...
Thursday, November 7, 2019
English
UNRWA Program: 
Education
UNRWA Field: 
Gaza Strip
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Background Information: 

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.

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Iraq's key port closed again; 6 protesters killed in Baghdad    

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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...


          

Outgoing Lebanese PM says talks underway on new Cabinet    

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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.


          

Lebanon crisis: The environmental activists cleaning up the streets after protesters leave   

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For four weeks now people in Lebanon have been protesting against the government. France 24's Leila Molana-Allen followed those leading the clean-up effort once the protesters have left.

          

Syria is Lost… Lebanon’s Gold is Next   

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  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
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Techno-Sales Engineer Job at Sehnaoui Plant Nigeria Limited (SPNL)   

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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

          

Associate Product Manager   

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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

          

Lebanon a ‘Beautiful Idea” in Need of a Remake, Say Protestors   

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IMF Argentina / Lebanon / US China Trade   

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The IMF welcomes reports that the US and China may be closing in on a trade deal, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday (November 17) in Washington. “We have to wait until there is the...

          

Associate Veterinarian | Greenwood Veterinary Clinic   

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West Lebanon, Indiana, 2020 could be your year! Full or Part time Veterinarian position available for the right individual whose passion for providing animals excellent healthcare is top priority. Contact us today for mo

          

Fossils Of Lebanon Mireille Gayet Olivier Gaudant Pierre Abi   

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Fossils Of Lebanon Mireille Gayet Olivier Gaudant Pierre Abi

          

No Sign of New Cabinet as Lebanese Leaders Meet, Bank Curbs Continue   

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Customers find it difficult to withdraw hard currency as Lebanon faces worst economic crisis since civil war

          

More misery for Lebanon after Moody’s downgrade   

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A bleak situation in Lebanese bond markets deteriorated further on Tuesday when Moody’s cut its rating to Caa2 and kept the sovereign on review for further downgrades.

          

A New Arab Spring Is Unfolding in Iraq and Lebanon. But Things Could Get Bloody If Iran Gets Its Way   

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A New Arab Spring Is Unfolding in Iraq and Lebanon. But Things Could Get Bloody If Iran Gets Its WayA new Arab Spring is unfolding in Lebanon and Iraq as citizens lead protests. But Iran's involvement could be dangerous for protesters.



          

Bolos Sekolah, Ratusan Siswa di Lebanon Ikut Unjuk Rasa Anti-Pemerintah   

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Ratusan siswa di Lebanon telah meninggalkan pelajaran mereka di sekolah untuk bergabung dengan massa protes anti-pemerintah. Unjuk rasa yang menargetkan lembaga-lembaga negara itu saat ini memasuki mi

          

Salvage HONDA ACCORD 2.3L 4 2002   

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2002 HONDA ACCORD
Vin : 1HGCG32052A029161
Price : 0.00
Vehicle type : COUPE
Mileage : 246751
Make : HONDA
Model : ACCORD
Condition : Used
Year : 2002
Color : BLACK

Location: LEBANON,TN,37090,USA

          

Something in the air   

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One of the many street artworks that have emerged as part of Lebanon's rebellion against corruption.
November 7, 2019

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.

If you like our work, become a Green Left supporter today.

One of the many artworks that have emerged as part of Lebanon's rebellion against corruption.

          

In Lebanon   

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by Luke

          

Lebanon: Protests and Government Resignation   

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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

          

BC Soccer News, Wednesday, November 6, 2019   

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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, […]

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