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Posts Tagged Palestine

Erdogan calls on Muslim countries to unite and confront Israel by Faisal Edroos, Al -Jazeera

Erdogan calls on Muslim countries to unite and confront Israel

Turkish president tells OIC leaders that Israel must be held accountable for the killing of Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

by Faisal Edroos
 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslim leaders to unite and confront Israel, days after scores of Palestinians were killed by Israeli snipers as they marked 70 years of Israeli occupation.

Speaking at an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday, Erdogan said Israel should be held accountable over the killings which drew widespread international condemnation and triggered a wave of protests from Asia, through the Middle East, to North Africa.

“To take action for Palestinians massacred by Israeli bandits is to show the whole world that humanity is not dead,” Erdogan told the group of Muslim leaders gathered in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.

The Turkish president described Israel’s killing of Palestinians as “thuggery, atrocity and state terror,” and said the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would inevitably haunt it.

‘US part of the problem

On Monday, just as the US went ahead with the controversial relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, 62 Palestinians, including five children, were killed and more than 2,700 wounded as the Israeli army fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters who had assembled hundreds of metres from a 1949 armistice line between Gaza and Israel.

The protesters in the besieged enclave had gathered to commemorate Nakba Day – an event in 1948 when Zionist paramilitaries ethnically cleansed Palestinian cities and towns. About 750,000 people were forcibly expelled from historical Palestine.

WATCH: Turkey plays a major role in US Jerusalem move

The Istanbul summit was attended by several heads of state, but Saudi Arabia, the host of the 57-member OIC, sent only a senior foreign ministry official. Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE also deployed lower level ministers.

Speaking at the conference, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said the Palestinian cause had “become a symbol for oppressed peoples everywhere” and condemned Israel for “brutal massacre” of peaceful demonstrators.

“Who among us does not know the declared siege forced on Gaza Strip and collective punishment against its population?” the emir said.

“The Gaza Strip has been transformed into a large concentration camp for millions of people who are deprived of their most basic rights to travel, education, work and medical treatment.

“When their sons take arms they are called terrorists, and when they stage peaceful demonstrations they are called extremists, and are shot dead with live ammunition.”

For his part, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said the US had become “part of the problem and not the solution” and called the relocation of the embassy “an act of aggression against the Islamic nation, against Muslims and Christians”.

Jordanian King Abdullah II urged for the adoption of urgent measures to back “the resistance of Palestinians”, while Iranian President Hasan Rouhani called for economic and political measures against the US and Israel.

Late on Friday, the OIC issued a final communique calling on the United Nations to form an international investigation into the killings in Gaza; the creation of an international protection force for Palestinians, and for the OIC to place economic restrictions on any countries, companies or individuals who recognise Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

Thousands protest in solidarity with Palestine

Earlier in the day, Erdogan told a raucous crowd of more than 10,000 people in Istanbul’s Yenikapi fairground that the Muslim world had to unite and “pull themselves back together”.

“Muslims are way too busy fighting and disagreeing with themselves, and shy away when confronted by their enemies,” he told the audience.

“Since 1947, Israel has been free to do what it likes in this region. They do whatever they feel like. But this reality can be undone … if we unite.” 

Earlier this week, Turkey recalled its envoys to Israel and the US following the killings of the Palestinians and the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

Tolgar Memis, a German-Turk, said he came to the rally to support Erdogan’s recent remarks and policies against Israel.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years, all the injustice, and what happened earlier this week – it’s simply unacceptable.

“Erdogan has made great strides in defending the Palestinians, something he is obligated to do, and hopefully other leaders will follow his cue.”

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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Interview with an Israeli General’s Son by Jonas E. Alexis and Miko Peled in Veterans Today


Interview with an Israeli General’s Son

Miko Peled: “Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future.”

By

Jonas E. Alexis

 

 

…by Jonas E. Alexis and Miko Peled

[ Editor’s Note: Dear readers, This is a fabulous start of the year interview by Jonas. His work has been superlative in that too many writers take the commentary only route, and they are now a dime a dozen.

The real work comes in showing what your commentary is based upon. That is how you establish your street cred in the internet world. With not professional journalism, Jonas just blew by that by getting out there and doing the work.

And frankly his writing now is better, more solid than the majority of mainstream journalists, as he does not shy away from the red line areas, and VT readers all know what those are… Jim W. Dean ]

*

Miko Peled is an Israeli-American activist and author of the best-selling book The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2016). He grew up in a Zionist family. His father fought in the 1948 war and served as a general in the war of 1967. Peled believes that “Israel has been on a mission to destroy the Palestinian people for over six decades.” Peled wrote in the LA Times in 2012:

“Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future.”[1]

Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple, writes in the introduction of Peled’s The General’s Son:

“I feel immense relief, and gratitude. Someone must take responsibility for being the grown-ups of our human Universe. There must be people, in all walks of life, who decide: Enough’s enough; there are children here.

Peled’s next book, Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five, is scheduled to be released next month.

JEA: I have been following your work for quite some time, and you have been a great inspiration to many, including myself. What are the challenges that the Palestinians are actually facing in places like Gaza and the West Bank?

MP: In my opinion ,he major challenge is that Palestinians are facing an ongoing genocide by a powerful settler colonial state (Israel). Israel has received worldwide legitimacy and recognition and this is very difficult to reverse. In order for Palestinians to gain their rights, their land and their freedom this recognition and legitimization needs to be reversed.

In order to free Palestine the international community will have to get behind a serious campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, to isolate Israel so that like South Africa it can make way for a real democracy with equal rights.

JEA: What is your take on Trump’s Jerusalem decision? Will it actually lead to peace in the Middle East? Do you think Trump actually knows what he is doing?

MP: Trump may or may not know what he is doing, I am sure that he is unaware of the complexity of the issue. It was a poor decision with far reaching consequences which are yet to unfold. What is clear now is that his declaration has emboldened Israel and Palestinians have been paying a heavy price through massive arrests, countless injured and dead by Israeli forces.

Peace in the Middle East is a misleading term. The Middle East is a big place with many issues that need to be resolved. Peace in the entire region is not going to happen because of a single issue being resolved.

The issue of Jerusalem is a uniting factor and Trump’s decision has brought about condemnation by all Arab, Muslim and most European countries.

JEA: Let’s get this clear: what do you make of the anti-Semitism accusation that gets thrown in the media whenever a person criticizes the Israeli policies toward the Palestinians? Back in 2012, I corresponded with Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post and I challenged her to provide serious evidence that John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago is an anti-Semite.

Our conversation revolved around a number of issues, but I finally asked her, “If an American criticizes the policies of the United States, does that mean that the person is anti-American?” “NO,” she responded. Then I proceeded to say, “Then how can Mearsheimer, who is Jewish, be an anti-Semite when he simply criticizes the incoherent policies of the Israeli government?” To this very day, she never responded to that question. What is really at stake here?

MP: It’s about legitimacy. They cannot allow criticism of Israel for fear that it will lead to the inevitable delegitimization of Israel and Zionism as a whole.

Since there is no legitimate argument to support the existence of Israel and the ongoing persecution of Palestinians by Israel they resort to name calling. Hence the term anti-Semitic is thrown freely.

This is now true for the BDS movement although the call for BDS and the demands of the BDS movement activists are all about equality, justice and freedom.

JEA: I was watching a debate between Alan Dershowitz and Cornel West on this very issue, and I was simply appalled that Dershowitz pulled out the anti-Semitism card on West! In any event, you are an activist and you often travel to Israel. Have you seen some positive changes over the years?

MP: There is no reason to expect positive changes on the ground yet. Israel is powerful and has a blank check from the US and the U.K. Israel had created a reality where it is undefeatable militarily and diplomatically. This is why the BDS movement, which is a grassroots civil society based resistance movement, is gaining ground and that is possibly the only positive change one can point to at this time.

JEA: What responses have you received from the Israel government about your activity? Do you think some officials have read your book? Do they know who you are? Have you been threatened?

MP: There has been no official response or reaction by Israel to my work whatsoever.

JEA: Let’s just hope that people will continue to rise against the genocidal regime in Israel in 2018. Let us also work toward peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

[1] Miko Peled, “Six Days in Israel, 45 Years Ago,” LA Times, June 6, 2012.

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Trump’s Hydra-headed National Security Strategy   General Mirza Aslam Beg Former COAS Pakistan

Trump’s Hydra-headed National Security Strategy

 

General Mirza Aslam Beg

Former Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan

friendscolumn@hotmail.com

 

 

“Trump’s Security Strategy is a farce because it has no National Security Strategy.  It has outbursts.” – Roger Cohen

 

Trump’s outbursts grow from his notion of America First, where he merges his existence with passion, that defines his National Security Policy:

Protect homeland way of life; promote American prosperity; persevere peace through strength; advance American influence in the world; build India as a counterweight to China.

Trump strategy flows from the above policy. It is a hydra-headed strategy, targeting Palestine, Afghanistan, Iran, China, North Korea and Pakistan in particular

Palestine. Trump celebrates the 100 years of Balfour Declaration of 1917, which is a public statement issued by the British government during World War I, announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. It read:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

 

              Thus Trump has wrecked the possibility of establishing the states of Palestine and Israel, bringing the whole of Middle East to a state of crisis and catastrophe. This would result in decimation and destruction of more Muslim countries like Crusade one, which began in 2001. This is now Crusade Two, “to advance American influence in the world through strength.” Therefore chances of peace in Palestine now are remote, because the Arab World has its interests diverted towards war in Syria, Iraq and Daēsh and is engaged in managing the ravages of Arab Spring, while America, who could negotiate peace, has taken sides with Israel.

Afghanistan.

America Lost the War in Afghanistan- Egged-On By Trump Business Partners in India -Trump Wants to Make Pakistan the Fall Guy for US Afghanistan Failures

 America lost the war in Afghanistan by the year 2010, when they sent Richard Armitage to me, seeking dialogue with Afghan Taliban, who were not ready to be cheated again, as in 1990 and demanded occupation forces withdrawal as the pre-condition for talks. Despite setbacks and a gradual erosion of authority, Trump continues to reinforce his defeat through various machinations such as indirect support to Daēsh in Afghanistan, thus creating very serious security dilemma to all the neighbouring countries. He is also threatening Pakistan, to contain and curb the rising power of the Afghan resistance, so that he could “build India as the counter-weight to China”, and establish Indian hegemony from Afghanistan to Bangladesh, under the Indo-Pacific Regime. The purpose is “to persevere peace through Strength.”

Iran. Since 1980, Iran has been demonized as a serious threat to the regional countries, yet Iran has emerged resilient and strong despite sanctions, embargoes and trade restrictions, compelling America to find peace with Iran, by signing the Nuclear Deal. Trump now calls this deal “the worst deal ever been negotiated” and is not ready to sign the waivers on Iran sanctions, and threatens that “the best way to lock-in the Iranian hard-liners for the two decades would be to tear up the deal.” Trump may tear-up the deal, yet he cannot shake-off the resolve and self-confidence of the Iranian people, to “struggle to persevere peace through strength.”

Trump Choose India as a Counter-weight to China

China. Trump has called China “the strategic competitor.” Instead of joining hands with China and follow their geo-economic strategy of peace through regional cooperation, he is trying to build-up the Indian counter-weight, against the rising military and economic power of China. The Indian Counter-weight, which could not contain and curb Pakistan from rising, now has been assigned the task to contain China, with “the United States locked and loaded”, in support of India. A withering superpower could do no better than this.

Trump’s Policy Focused on Containment of China

North Korea. With limited nuclear weapon delivery capability, North Korea has been able to deter America, despite possessing a stockpile of nuclear weapons, most efficient delivery system and a state of the art air defence capability. Yet America has failed to develop a strategy that could build up pressure on North Korea and is showing a kind of helplessness, expecting China to bring sanity to the North Korean leader. The state of helplessness in case of North Korea, as well as Afghanistan, exposes the hollowness of super-power America, trying to advance their influence in the world, through farce policy initiatives.

Iran-Afghanistan-China-Pakistan-Russia

Pakistan lies at the centre stage of the regional conflict syndrome. It has to tread carefully protecting its interests, through the support of the people, embodied in the elected parliament, and building blocks of regional support of Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan, under the security partnership of China and Russia. Pakistani nation shares with Iran, the will to resist and reject, pressures and threats and continues to rise with the sublime dignity of the great civilizations with whom it shares common borders.

Pakistan – Heart of Asia

Pakistan is the Heart of Asia, as late Liaquat Ali Khan reminded the nation and we have to prove to be true to this great heritage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superficial Emergency Session of the OIC

The Emergency Session of the OIC did not show any seriousness amongst the members of the states. Only a few heads of the State attended. There has been an erosion of unity amongst them, and the Arab world, in particular, has been in a state of disarray after the Arab Spring. Taking advantage of the regional anarchy, America and Israel have struck, which seriously “prejudices the civil and religious rights of the Muslims and other communities of Palestine”. The situation poses a big challenge to the entire Muslim World. Except for Turkey and Iran, none seem to be taking the matter seriously. The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted against Trump’s Palestine Policy, and hopefully, it would put a check to Israel’s ambition of expanding at the cost of Arab territories for Greater Israel!

 

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