Peretz: ‘We will ostracise Hamas and negotiate with PA’

Amir Peretz , head of Israeli Labor-Gesher (now merged with the Meretz party ), announced on Sunday that he will ostracise Hamas and only negotiate with the Palestinian Authority (PA), if his party wins the Knesset elections slated for 2 March, Quds Press reported. During a cultural event held in the settlement of Holon, Peretz declared: “Hamas will never get any money from Israel. We will isolate it and start political dialogue with the
| Israel, Israeli Elections, Middle East |

Best Enemies Forever: The Iran-U.S. Kabuki Show

The recent conflict between the U.S. and Iranian regimes brings to mind that hilariously famous scene from Stanley Kubrick’s classic, Dr. Strangelove , with the U.S. president calling the Soviet leader to warn him about a foolish mistake that had led to a hydrogen bomb heading their way from an American base. The President is amiable, polite and concerned-sounding, patient and contrite, approaching the situation with the goal of cooperative damage control. This latest round of Iran-U.S. flareup, though,
| articles 2015 |

Worldwide Furor Sparked by U.S. Assassination of Iran’s General Suleimani

The Trump administration’s January 3 drone missile assassination of Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani just outside Iraq’s Baghdad airport brought the world to the brink of yet another catastrophic U.S. war. That the Iranian government would retaliate in a matter of days, if not hours, was unquestioned. But Iran’s response stunned the world in its modesty and social power. Millions of Iranians, perhaps the largest  funeral  outpouring in world history, mobilized on January 6 in Tehran to honor Suleimani, the
| articles 2015 |

What Martin Luther King Jr. Would have thought of Israeli anti-Palestinian Apartheid

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose activism we honor today, took stands far beyond Selma and Montgomery, and called on other capitals than Washington, D.C., to ensure a dignified life for human beings. Dr. King was an early and vigorous opponent of the white South African Apartheid (Segregationist) government. He wrote former ambassador Chester Bowles in 1957 on behalf of a rally in New York on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10,
| Featured, Israel/ Palestine |

Merkel at Berlin conference on Libya: Arms embargo to be ‘more closely monitored than in past’

Foreign powers agreed at a conference in Berlin on Sunday to bolster a tentative ceasefire and better enforce an existing arms embargo in Libya, where a 10-month offensive on the capital of Tripoli has left more than 150,000 people displaced. Khalifa Haftar, the head of the self-styled Libyan National Army, and Fayez al-Serraj, the head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, both attended the conference, alongside leading state figures from the United States, France, Italy, the
| Politics, Libya, Libyan conflict |

Libya peace summit struggles to draw eastern commander Haftar back into diplomacy

Countries struggled at an international peace summit for Libya struggled on Sunday to draw eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar back into diplomacy, days after he quit talks and more than half of Libya’s oil output was shut in areas he controls, reported Reuters . Haftar, whose forces are bearing down on the capital Tripoli with the backing of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russian mercenaries and African troops, was expected to attend the one-day summit despite having abandoned talks
| Africa, EU, Europe & Russia |

Syria: 27,000 more civilians flee Idlib de-escalation zone

Around 27,000 civilians have fled their homes falling inside the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria over the last three days due to attacks of regime and its allies. The attacks of Bashar al-Assad regime, Russia and Iran-backed terrorist groups in residential areas east and south of Aleppo province continue to displace thousands of Syrians. According to Syria’s Response Coordination Group, the displaced civilians headed to areas near the Turkish border due to the attacks which violate the cease-fire agreement between Turkey and
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News |

Syria: US troops block Russian forces way to oil field

US soldiers present in regions under YPG group’s control in Syria, on Saturday stopped Russian soldiers who wanted to reach oil fields, according to a report by Anadolu Agency . Dispute between the US and Russia about the Rumeylan oil field in northeast Hasakah is ongoing. According to information Anadolu Agency obtained from reliable local sources, US soldiers blocked a Russian military patrols en route to the oil field. Tension occurred between the two groups,
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, Middle East |

What About Your First Oscar: 9 firsts for Arabs in the Academy Awards

What About Your First Oscar: 9 firsts for Arabs in the Academy Awards It's always nice to know breakthroughs take place ... albeit rarely, because #OscarsSoWhite. January 19th, 5:00 am January 16th, 2:31 pm Razan Mneimneh #OscarsSoWhite was once a trending hashtag, but continues to be proven factual with every passing year Not to be too negative... For the sake of focusing on the good and
| News |

Turkey interest rate cut to dampen foreign investor appeal

Sun, 2020-01-19 02:31 LONDON: Turkey’s move to cut interest rates highlights the country’s economic fragility and its exposure to geopolitical risk, say analysts. The latest 75 basis point cut on Jan. 16 follows four consecutive cuts during the last four monetary policy meetings that were held last year. In a bid to stimulate growth, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also hinted recently about the forthcoming interest rate cuts.  However,
| News |

Erdogan calls on Europe to support Turkey’s moves in Libya

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called on Europe to support its work in Libya, where it is providing military support to the internationally-recognised government, if it wants to end the conflict there, Reuters  reports. Erdogan made his remarks in a column published on the Politico website on Saturday, ahead of a summit in Berlin on Sunday that will try to stabilise the country. At the meeting, Germany and the United Nations will push rival Libyan camps fighting over
| Africa, Europe & Russia, Libya |

Turkey deports 4 German nationals for terror links

Turkey deported four terrorists of Germany nationality to their country, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Friday, Anadolu Agency  reports. The terrorists were deported as part of Turkey’s ramped-up efforts to repatriate foreign terrorist fighters, the ministry said in a statement. Turkey continues to deport foreign terrorist fighters, it added. The ministry also noted that the total number of foreign terrorist fighters deported back to their countries since November 11 last year has reached 179.
| Europe & Russia, Germany, Middle East |

UN: Syria truce fails as Idlib civilians killed daily

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Friday for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria’s opposition-held Idlib province, saying the latest ceasefire attempt had yet again failed to protect civilians, Reuters  reports. Turkey, which for years has backed Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, agreed a truce with Russia that was supposed to have taken hold in the bastion of 3 million people in the northwest earlier this month. But witnesses and insurgent sources
| International Organisations, Middle East, Syria |

Noam Chomsky Makes the Case for the Lesser of Two Evils

After a harrowing discussion about humanity’s undeniable march toward a dystopian future, world-renowned thinker Noam Chomsky and Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer move on to other pressing topics related to current events and end on a positive note. Beginning with the issue that inspired the two-part interview, Scheer explains that an episode of his podcast, “Scheer Intelligence,” which featured Susie Linfield discussing her book, “The Lions’ Den: Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to
| Scheer Intelligence, donald trump, hannah arrendt |

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 2: We Need To Talk About Henderson

Executive Summary Henderson was an employee of the OPCW, but the organisation clearly did not consider him to be part of the FFM. Henderson delivered his report outside of protocol with less than a day before the final FFM report was published. Three independent engineering studies commissioned by the FFM contradict Henderson’s findings. Henderson’s report is fundamentally flawed by the assumption that these cylinders could not have fallen from an altitude of
| MENA, alex, chemical weapons |

David Wurmser and Trump’s Zionist Occupied Brain

It’s antisemitism time. If you criticize Israel and the cadre of chickenhawk neocons steering Donald Trump’s foreign policy, you will be pilloried and exiled to the political wilderness, forever condemned as a white supremacist. Scratch a little bit beneath the surface and you will discover at the core of this anti-free speech campaign a rabid Zionist, the same Zionist agitators responsible for advocating and organizing the murder of over a million Iraqis.   It’s no longer permissible to criticize
| Israel, David Wurmser, Trump |

Over 500 dead in Syria Al-Hol camp in 2019

At least 517 inhabitants – mostly children – of the famed Al-Hol camp which houses relatives of detained Daesh fighters in northern Syria, have died throughout 2019, the Kurdish Red Crescent reported. The Kurdish-run camp, which hosts around 68,000 people reliant on humanitarian aid and assistance, has long been deemed to be above capacity and in need of urgent care. The worsening conditions in the camp such as poor sanitation, malnutrition and illness, have resulted in the deaths
| Middle East, News, Slides |

Iraq: Obese Daesh mufti who called for rape and genocide caught

A morbidly obese Daesh ‘mufti’ who advocated enslavement, rape, torture and ethnic cleansing was caught in a raid yesterday by an elite Iraqi SWAT team of the Nineveh regiment in the city of Mosul. Shifa Al-Nima, also known as Abu Abdul-Bari, was too overweight (reportedly weighing over 135 kilograms) to be put in a police car and was instead, unceremoniously taken into custody on the back of a pick-up truck. Al-Nima is considered to be one of
| Iraq, Middle East, News |

War Monitor: 39 fighters killed in battles between Syria regime and armed rebels in Idlib

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Thursday that at least 39 fighters have been killed during clashes between the Syrian regime forces and armed rebels, in the Idlib governorate. “Clashes broke out around midnight on Wednesday, south of the city of Maarat Al-Numan, together with heavy bombardment despite the Russian-Turkish truce,” disclosed Rami Abdul Rahman , head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The observatory revealed that 22 armed rebels, mainly from Hayat
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News |

Haftar and Sarraj to participate in Berlin Conference, Greece upset

Prime minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Al-Sarraj , and retired field marshal, General Khalifa Haftar , announced on Thursday that they will participate in the Berlin Conference to be held next Sunday to discuss the Libyan crisis. Al-Sarraj confirmed that he would participate in the conference, and disclosed in his meeting, with political and military leaders in his government, that he is keen to invite countries with ties to the Libyan crisis.
| Africa, Europe & Russia, Germany |

Three Turkish soldiers among 10 killed in suspected YPG car bomb in northern Syria

Ankara has strongly condemned a suspected YPG car bomb which killed three Turkish soldiers and seven allied Syrian fighters at a traffic stop in Suluk, near the Turkish border. A car bomb attack killed 10 people, including three Turkish soldiers, in an area of northern Syria controlled by Turkish forces on Thursday, a war monitor and Ankara said. "Three of our brothers-in-arms fell as martyrs
| News |

Saudi Arabia has seen major progress in 'gender equality' in the past 2 years

Saudi Arabia has seen major progress in 'gender equality' in the past 2 years Saudi Arabia was deemed to be the country that made "the biggest improvement globally" since 2017. January 17th, 9:12 am January 17th, 9:14 am Leyal Khalife [ ADHRB ] This week, people were made aware of the efforts countries around the world have made with regards to gender equality following the release of a report
| News |

The New York Times’ Delusions of Empire

On January 9, 2020 the New York Times Magazine ran a long, feature op-ed personality profile . This is the second profile of the same leader in the NYT since June 2019. Written by “security” and US foreign policy author Robert F. Worth, the piece augurs terrible things for the coming year and more. Facing 2020’s continuing intense political debate, elections, mass migration, ecological devastation, resource wars and our collapsing international political economic order, we learn in
| articles 2015 |

Across the Balkans: Into Kosovo

An account of a journey from Croatia to Kosovo, by way of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia, and with a detour into Montenegro. This is part IX, and last installment, of a series. Street art in the divided town of North Kosovska Mitrovica, where Serb meets Albanian. The inscription, below the picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin, reads: “…BECAUSE FROM HERE THERE IS NO RETURN.” Photo: Matthew Stevenson. At 6:10 a.m. I found a taxi across
| articles 2015 |

China, Number One Economic Power for Half Decade, Dashes on

The recent China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai attracted little attention in the Western press but it is one more reminder that China is an economic and trading powerhouse that has surpassed the US. That is right, the word is “surpassed.” The CIIE also serves to remind us that China’s economic power now stands on four mighty pillars. Americans must understand this clearly, for ultimately all power grows out of economic power, including military power. A confrontational approach to China
| China, Economy/Economics, Opinion |

Hamas and Iran: More than an understanding, not quite a complete alliance

The Palestinians and Iranians are still reading the consequences of the US assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force on Iraqi soil, in early January. This occurred amid great interaction, especially Hamas and Iran, as the movement used this event to try to restore its relationship with Tehran, which has been somewhat lukewarm in recent years. The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, visited Tehran, with a high-level leadership delegation. This is his first visit
| Article, Iran, Iraq |

Scores of Syrian regime and rebel combatants killed as fighting ‘buries’ ceasefire

56 regime and rebel fighters were killed in Idlib today amid heavy fighting around the deserted city of Maarat al-Numan, while the regime accused rebels of killing civilians in Aleppo. Dozens of fighters and civilians were killed in Syria's Idlib province as the government pressed a deadly offensive on Thursday towards the deserted city of Maarat al-Numan in the south of the province The latest violence, which followed bloody regime and Russian airstrikes that left
| News |

UN says around 350,0000 Syrians have fled Russian-led assault in Idlib

Around 350,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, have fled a renewed Russian-backed offensive in the opposition-held Idlib province since early December, and have sought shelter in border areas near Turkey, the United Nations said on Thursday, Reuters  reports. The humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate as a result of the “escalating” hostilities, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation report. Russian jets and Syrian artillery have pounded towns and villages in recent
| Europe & Russia, International Organisations, Middle East |

'Humanity is dying': Syrians feel abandoned by the world

Syrians have been abandoned for almost nine years by the international community, who they accuse of being blind, deaf and mute to the endless, daily atrocities by the Assad regime. As the poet John Donne famously noted, 'No Man is an island'; all peoples on earth are interconnected on the large and small scale, with our destinies intertwined . Solitary confinement is commonly used as a form of punishment because, on the small or large scale, without
| In-depth |

Acting head of UN Palestinian refugee agency says US, Israel working against it

The interim head of the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees accused the United States on Thursday of lobbying foreign parliaments to stop donations to the organisation, to which Washington cut off funding in 2018, Reuters  reports. Christian Saunders, in an interview with Reuters in his Gaza office, also said Israel was seeking to replace United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) services for Palestinians, mandated by the UN General Assembly, in occupied East Jerusalem with those of its
| Asia & Americas, International Organisations, Israel |

Russia ridiculed after using fake photo of Syria refugees

Russia ridiculed after using fake photo of Syria refugees  Syrian activists have ridiculed the Russian embassy in Syria after it was exposed for using a fake photo of a ‘humanitarian crossing’ in which it claimed Syrians from Idlib were queuing up to move to areas held by the Syrian regime. In the Tweet published by the embassy on its Twitter page on Sunday, it claimed that a reconciliation centre set up by Russia and the Syrian
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, Middle East |

A reading of Israel intelligence predictions for 2020

An Iranian nuclear bomb, high possibility of war in the north, and a continued truce with Gaza. These are the predictions of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate known as Aman for the year 2020. They were published last night after being postponed from last Tuesday in an attempt to measure the impact the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani would have on conditions in the area and the Middle East. These predictions are the ones published for the public,
| Article, Iran, Israel |

US resumes joint military operations against IS in Iraq

Two US military officials said the Pentagon wanted to resume these operations in order to pick up the fight against the Islamic State group. The United States  on Wednesday resumed joint military operations with Iraq, which had briefly been put on pause after the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, media reported on Wednesday. Two US military officials quoted by  The New York Times
| News |

Why Haftar refused to sign the Moscow ceasefire document

Diplomatic activities between Moscow, Ankara, Tripoli and Benghazi finally yielded some kind of lull in the nine-month war over control of Tripoli, the Libyan capital. On Sunday 12 January, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Vladimir Putin called on Libya’s warring sides to declare a ceasefire, which they did. On Monday 13 January Moscow hosted both Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) and Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of the United Nations recognised
| Africa, Article, Europe & Russia |

Falafelicious: A tribute to Arab dishes before 'Veganuary' comes to an end

Falafelicious: A tribute to Arab dishes before 'Veganuary' comes to an end 8. For the love of Mc...dous January 16th, 12:06 pm January 16th, 12:07 pm Step Feed Some may say it's hard being vegan in an Arab country as the love for meat butchers even the healthiest of us. But come to think of it, there are so many Arab dishes that are inherently vegan, making it pretty easy to resist
| News |

Iran Tensions Showed How Much More Work an Effective U.S. Anti-War Movement Needs to Do

People participate in a protest in Times Square against military conflict with Iran on Jan. 8, 2020, in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images Last week, following President Donald Trump’s illegal and unwarranted assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, cities across the U.S. saw the stirrings of anti-war protests. Thousands rallied to oppose a full-fledged war with Iran — numbers far smaller than the millions who amassed to
| Justice, Natasha Lennard, Politics |

'The situation is tragic': Hundreds of children died in Syria's Al-Hol camp last year

More than 500 people, mostly children, died in 2019 at the Syrian refugee camp, with malnutrition, poor healthcare for newborns, and hypothermia the main causes of death. Around 517 people, mostly children, died in 2019 in the Syrian camp of al-Hol , which houses displaced civilians and relatives of Islamic State group fighters. The Kurdish Red Crescent told AFP that 371 children were among those who died in the squalid tent city . The
| News |

UN appeals for $477 million for refugees in Sudan

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has appealed for $477 million to help more than 900,000 refugees in Sudan, in addition to nearly a quarter of a million of their Sudanese hosts this year. “Sudan has a long history of hosting refugees and asylum seekers but also struggles with its own internal displacement, while facing a severe economic crisis. Our call comes at a time when the country is going through a historical political transition, and requires
| Africa, International Organisations, News |

Why Iraq is contemplating buying long-range Russian air defence missiles

Iraq is considering the purchase of yet more long-range missiles from Russia amid American and Iranian strikes on its soil. Iraq is once again contemplating buying long-range S-400 or S-300 air defence missile systems from Russia following US drone strikes and Iranian missile strikes on its soil this month. Karim Elaiwi, an Iraqi member of parliament on the security and defence committee,  to ld   The Wall Street Journal  that no contracts have yet been signed. 
| In-depth |

Syria: 313 civilians killed in Idlib since November 2019

More and more civilians are losing their lives or getting displaced in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib as the regime, Iran-backed groups and Russia intensify airstrikes, Anadolu reports. A total of 313 civilians, including 100 children, were killed, 1,843 others injured and 382,466 Syrians were forced to flee their homes since November 2019, according to data provided by the Coordinators of Interventions in Syria, a local rights group. The strikes also targeted many civilian buildings including 48
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News |

How Donald Trump Successfully Wagged the Dog, and More

Although I have never seen Donald Trump with a pet, I do believe that he wagged the dog when he ordered the assassination of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The expression “wag the dog” comes from a 1997 film satire in which a president, caught up in a sex scandal, uses a war to divert attention from his peccadillo. It was released at about the time of the Monica Lewinsky/ President Clinton scandal and later U.S. bombing in Sudan. In
| articles 2015 |

Erdogan, Trump discuss Libya developments in phone call

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed developments in Libya in a phone call on Wednesday, the White House and Turkey’s presidency said, days ahead of a summit in Berlin that will address the Libyan conflict, Reuters reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host leaders of Turkey, Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France and Italy on Sunday at the summit, which follows a meeting in Moscow on Monday where Libya’s warring parties failed to
| Africa, Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia |

Turkey: Libya’s Haftar wants military solution

Renegade Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar is seeking a military solution to the lingering conflict in the country, Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday, Anadolu reports. “This is true that Haftar does not want peace. He seeks a military solution, not a political process,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a panel in the capital Ankara. Despite that Turkey is not pessimistic about the Libya issue, he added. On Jan. 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in
| Africa, Europe & Russia, Libya |

EU prepares for migration wave amid Libya crisis

EU will be prepared in case of any migration wave from Libya amid crisis in the region, an EU official said on Wednesday, Anadolu reports. “Being prepared, not acting ad hoc is a very important strands in our thinking for the migration policy,” said Dana Spinant, spokeswoman for the EU Commission, addressing Anadolu Agency’s question on the bloc’s extra measures on the possible new wave of immigration from Libya. “Clearly, this will also need to inspire the
| Africa, EU, International Organisations |

US Democrats clash on Middle East in presidential debate as Biden insists on keeping troops

US Democratic presidential candidates have clashed on the Middle East, with Joe Biden insisting on keeping troops there while Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders called for their withdrawal. The six remaining presidential candidates from the Democratic Party in the US have clashed on the Middle East in their latest debate, which was held in Des Moines in Iowa on Tuesday evening. The debate was dominated by foreign policy in the wake of the US  killing
| News |

28 killed in devastating airstrikes, raids in Idlib and Damascus despite Syria ceasefire

Syrian regime airstrikes have killed 15 people in Idlib city despite a ceasefire declared last week. At least 15 people have been killed and 65 injured as regime aircraft bombed commercial and industrial areas of the city of Idlib on Wednesday, in violation of a ceasefire declared last week . The New Arab’s correspondent in Idlib said that warplanes had bombed the Al-Hal vegetable market and the Sina’a industrial district in the rebel-held city ,
| News |

Turkey deploys 2,000 Syrian fighters to Libya to battle Haftar: report

Around 2,000 Syrian opposition fighters have travelled to Libya to back the UN-recognised Government of National Accord against rogue warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces, according to a report. Turkey has reportedly deployed more than two thousand Syrian fighters to Libya to fend off an offensive by Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) forces. Earlier this month, Turkey's  parliament passed a bill approving a military deployment to Libya, aimed at shoring up the UN-backed Tripoli-based government of Libyan
| News |

UK tells Daesh mother her 4 children can return home if she stays in Syria

The British government has offered the return of four children belonging to a couple who joined Daesh in Syria, on the condition that the mother stay behind. Mehak Aslam, along with her husband Shahan Choudhury, travelled to Syria in 2014 to join Daesh at the height of their so-called caliphate, while they controlled vast swathes of Syria and Iraq, taking their children with them. Following the military defeat of the group as a whole throughout the past two years
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News |