Author Archive: iaoj

Ex-military men back call for dissolution of assemblies

armyBy Amin Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association, headed by Retired Vice Admiral Ahmed Tasnim, jumped into the fray on Tuesday by supporting the call for dissolution of assemblies, formation of a caretaker government

Read more » DAWN

Pakistan – Sources in Sharif’s government said that with civilian-military relations in such bad shape, Sharif suspected that the street protests to unseat him were being manipulated from behind the scenes by the army.

PM Pakistan and PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif.

PM Nawaz Sharif.

From czar-like prime minister to deputy commissioner-type character

By Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Besieged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been assured by military that there will be no coup, but in return he must “share space with the army”, according to a government source who was privy to recent talks between the two sides.

Last week, as tens of thousands of protesters advanced on the federal capital to demand his resignation, Sharif dispatched two emissaries to consult with the army chief.

He wanted to know if the military was quietly engineering the twin protest movements by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan and activist cleric Tahirul Qadri, or if, perhaps, it was preparing to stage a coup.

According to a government insider with a first-hand account of the meeting, Sharif’s envoys returned with good news and bad: there will be no coup but if he wants his government to survive, from now on it will have to share space with the army.

The army’s media wing declined to comment.

Thousands of protesters marched to parliament on Tuesday, using a crane and bolt cutters to force their way past barricades of shipping containers, as riot police and paramilitaries watched on after being told not to intervene.

Military spokesman General Asim Bajwa tweeted a reminder to protesters to respect government institutions and called for a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve the crisis.

Even if, as seems likely, the Khan and Qadri protests eventually fizzle out due to a lack of overt support from the military, the prime minister will emerge weakened from political crisis.

Sharif may have to be subservient to the generals on issues he wanted to handle himself — from the fight against Taliban to relations with India and Pakistan’s role in neighbouring, post-Nato Afghanistan.

“The biggest loser will be Nawaz, cut down to size both by puny political rivals and the powerful army,” said a government minister who asked not to be named.

“From this moment on, he’ll always be looking over his shoulder.”

A year ago, few would have predicted that Sharif would be in such trouble: back then, he had just swept to power for a third time in a milestone poll that marked the first transition from one elected government to another.

But in the months that followed, Sharif — who had crossed swords with the army in the past — moved to enhance the clout of the civilian government in a country that has been ruled by the military for more than half of its history.

He irked the generals by putting former military head Pervez Musharraf, who had ended Sharif’s last stint as prime minister in a 1999 coup, on trial for treason.

Sharif is also said to have opposed a military offensive to crush Taliban insurgents and sought reconciliation with India.

Sources in Sharif’s government said that with civilian-military relations in such bad shape, Sharif suspected that the street protests to unseat him were being manipulated from behind the scenes by the army.

He also feared that if the agitations turned violent, the army would exploit the situation to seize power for itself.

Read more » DAWN

Islamist militants ‘kill reporter James Foley on video’

vice newsThe Islamic State militant group has released a video online purporting to show the beheading of a US journalist. The victim was identified by the militants as James Foley, a freelancer who was seized in Syria in late 2012. The militants said it was in revenge for recent US air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq. The video has not been independently verified, but the White House said if it was genuine, the US would be “appalled by the brutal murder”.

Read more » BBC

‘India calls off sec-level talks with Pakistan’

indNEW DELHI – India on Monday called off foreign secretary-level bilateral talks with Pakistan which was slated to be held on August 25, Times of India newspaper reported on Monday.

The paper reported that the Indian government decided this after a meeting between Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and senior Hurriyat Conference leader Shabbir Ahmad Shah in New Delhi. Earlier on Monday, the high commissioner met Kashmiri leader ahead of the proposed secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India.

Read more » Daily Times

Schabas: “Netanyahu is the Greatest Threat for the Survival of Israel”

IsraAnother statement of the Chairman of the UN Committee on the conduct of the IDF in Gaza continues to doubt the sincerity of future conclusions: William Schabas said that Netanyahu was biggest risk to the survival of Israel. This statement is in addition to a previous statement where Schabas said that he would like to see Netanyahu in the Hague.

By Jerusalemonline Staff

At the same time that Schabas, Chairman of the UN Inquiry Committee on IDF conduct in Gaza, is denying that he is anti-Israel, more and more statements against Netanyahu are being published.  A newly uncovered video shows Schabas calling Netanyahu the greatest threat to the survival of Israel.

In the video published by UN Watch on its YouTube channel, Schabas refers to threats that endanger the survival of the State of Israel, and says above all, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. “Honestly, if I had to think of a person who is considered the greatest threat to the survival of Israel, I would probably choose to Netanyahu,” said Schabas as mocking laughter erupted from the other members of the panel.

Read more » Jerusalem Online

Kirshan Bhagwan ke janam din ki budhai ho

kirBy Jagdeesh

Lord Krishna is the son of soil. The Native Hero of Dravidian Origin of Sindhu Subcontinent. He lived with poor masses and led the sons of soil in a victorious war remembered in history as Maha Bharat. He restored the power of native people that is why he is worshipped all over the subcontinent. Religious out look has blurred the historical facts of our lands.

Courtesy: via Facebook

USA: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew in Ferguson

usBy Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY

FERGUSON, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew in Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday, following nights of protests after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer.

“If we’re going to have justice, we must first have and maintain peace,” Nixon said at a Saturday afternoon press conference. “The eyes of the world are watching.”

Read more » USA Today

ISIS Militants massacre 80 Yazidis

Photo credits: BNO News

Photo credits: BNO News

Militants massacre 80 Yazidis; airstrikes target insurgents around Iraq’s largest dam

Some 80 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority have been massacred by Islamic State militants in a village in Iraq’s north, Kurdish officials said.

“They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters.“We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”

In addition to the murders, local women were kidnapped from the village, another Kurdish official source told Reuters. A local Yazidi lawmaker confirmed the information.

According to BasNews, a Kurdish website, it was the Yazidi minority village of Kojo some 20 km south of Sinjar that came under attack by the Islamic State (former ISIS) radicals.

BasNews reports that around 80 men – the village’s whole male population – was slaughtered, while all the women were kidnapped.

Read more » Toronto Star

Khan, Qadri fall ill in Islamabad

Imran Khan

Imran Khan


ISLAMABAD: Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, who arrived in Islamabad with thousands of his supporters leading an anti-government march, is suffering from 102 degree fever, SAMAA reported Saturday. …

….. Qadri was also unwell as he could not address his workers in the rally due to soar throat. However, he later addressed his followers in the afternoon.

Read more » SAMAA TV

12 dissenters killed, over 100 detained in Sindh, Pakistan

Missing persons of Sindh

Missing persons of Sindh

By ZulfiqarShah , CNN

Islamabad has become political hot spot these days due to Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri’s ‘Freedom’ and ‘Revolution’ protest marches. Taking advantage of Pakistani and international media focus on these marches, the Sindh Police, [!–!?–!} have allegedly launched the unannounced military operation in natural resources rich Sindh province against the secessionist Sindhi nationalist parties.

At least 12 Sindhi secessionists have been killed and over 100 have been either arrested or involuntarily disappeared, according to the reports from Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Dadau, Nawabshah, Jamshoro, Badim, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts of the historical province. The victims are associated with the Jeay Sindhi Qomi Mahaz (JSQM), Jeay Sindh Mutahida Mahaz (JSMM), Jeay Sindh Tahreek (JST), Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JST).

According to the Sindhi newspapers, the people of Sindh observed Black Day on 14th August, the day Pakistan was created out of united India in 1947. The day in Sindh is usually organized against the creation of Pakistan and the subjugation of Sindh to the ethnic Punjabi Muslim dominated Pakistan.

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Israeli official confirms US nixed arms shipment; pols argue over who’s to blame

IsraWSJ report of frayed relations between Washington and Jerusalem, including combative Obama-Netanyahu phone call, sparks firestorm among Israeli politicians

senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza

Militarization of Police in North America

polMilitarization and protests in North America – do we have a problem?

By Matthew Coutts | Daily Brew

The shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown in a Missouri suburb earlier this week and the rampant police response to demonstrations in its wake have led many to question the scope of police militarization in the United States.

Read more » Yahoo News

Thousands of New Yorkers Shut down Times Square to Support Ferguson

File photo- Photo credit - Social Media + Internet

File photo- Photo credit – Social Media + Internet

Times Square SHUT DOWN: More than one thousand march in New York as Ferguson protests spin-off across the country over police shooting of Michael Brown

The New York rally in support of Michael Brown began Thursday evening in a march up Broadway before culminated in Times Square
Head of highway patrol, put in charge of Ferguson security by Governor Jay Nixon on Thursday, the St Louis suburb resembled a ‘war zone’
In addition to vigils in Ferguson and New York, there have been protests planned across the country via Twitter
Ferguson police have said that on Friday they will name the police officer who shot Brown


The fifth night of demonstrations in support of gunned down Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown saw scores of protesters marching through the streets of New York in a vigil that culminated in Times Square Thursday night.

Tensions flared as some protestors attempted to shove their way through a police barricade set up in their path toward the beating heart of the city.

Police held their own and tempers soon calmed, but as night gripped New York, the already congested Times Square ground to a halt as over 1000 marchers flowed into the streets to demand an end to police brutality and militarization and justice for 18-year-old Brown.

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Prime Minister Modi asks all the neighbouring countries to come together and work jointly to erase the poverty from the region


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a clarion call to all neighbouring and SAARC countries to work “shoulder-to-shoulder” to remove poverty from the region, leaving behind the world of death and killings.

Read more »

Militants attack Pakistani airbases, seven gunmen killed


File phone – Photo credit > Social Media + Internet

By Maaz Khan | AFP 

Gunmen armed with automatic weapons, grenades and wearing suicide vests attacked two military airbases in southwestern Pakistan early Friday, with security forces killing seven militants in the ongoing fighting, officials said.

Sarfaraz Bugti, the home minister of insurgency-hit Baluchistan province said that militants had tried to storm the Samungli airbase, used by Pakistan’s Air Force, and Khalid military airbase, both in the provincial capital Quetta, but had failed to penetrate either perimeter.

“Exchange of fire is going on near both the airbases. Seven terrorists have so far been killed,” Bugti told AFP.

“The target of the attacks were both the airbases but police and security forces thwarted the attacks,” he added. The airbases are some 12 kilometres (seven miles) apart in Quetta.

Mohammad Amlish, provincial police chief told AFP seven security personnel including four police, and three soldiers had been wounded in the gunbattle but that police had managed to stop the militants from entering the Samungli airbase through a drain.

“We have recovered three dead bodies. Two of them detonated their suicide vests after being encircled by police while one was shot dead,” Amlish told AFP.

A senior military official said rockets were fired at Samungli airbase, with two landing inside the perimeter fence. He said no damage was caused.

Quetta city’s police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP that militants first launched an attack on Samungli airbase before targeting Khalid military airbase around an hour later. Police had defused four bombs near the outer wall of Khalid airbase, he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks but the Taliban have threatened a bloody response to a recent Pakistan military offensive against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Pakistan launched the offensive in mid-June shortly after a brazen attack on Karachi airport that left dozens dead and extinguished a largely fruitless peace process with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

Later that month, gunmen opened fire at a plane landing at Peshawar airport in the country’s northwest, killing a passenger and wounding two crew members.

The Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed joint responsibility for the Karachi airport attack.

North Waziristan has become a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which rose up against the state in 2007, while the United States has long called for action in the area against militant groups targeting NATO forces in Afghanistan.

More than 500 militants and 27 soldiers have been killed in the assault so far, according to the military, though the death toll for insurgents cannot be independently confirmed.

Impoverished Baluchistan is wracked by an insurgency waged by ethnic Baluch tribes seeking greater autonomy from the federal government and a greater share of profits from the region’s wealth of oil and gas resources.

The region has also been hit by attacks blamed on Taliban militants.

Courtesy: Yahoo News

Russia Threatens to Drop The Dollar and Crash The U.S. Economy if Sanctions Are Imposed – Obama Signs “Sanctions” Order Anyway

PutinIs Russia bluffing, or is the world as we know it about to change for ever?

On Tuesday Reuters reported that a Kremlin aid Sergei Glazyev had announced that if the U.S. were to impose sanctions on Russia Moscow may drop the dollar as a reserve currency and refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks saying that Moscow could recommend that all holders of U.S. treasuries sell them if Washington freezes the U.S. accounts of Russian businesses and individuals.

Read more » SCG News

via Facebook



No, it’s not Baghdad, it’s in America tonight

FurgsonA Washington Post reporter was also arrested.

Read more » Daily Kos

via Facebook

Balochistan: August 11 Independence Day, Struggle against Pakistan Continues

BalochistanBefore it was annexed by Pakistan through military force, Balochistan had claimed its independence from the British on 11th August, 1947. The people of Balochistan have been fighting for their freedoms and against Pakistani oppression for nearly 65 years. This has often resulted in severe human rights violations on behalf of Pakistan, including extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, targeted killings and assassination against Baloch leadership and civilians.

Read more » UNPO

As Canadians, we don’t want our country sitting on the sidelines, unwilling to help and marginalized by Stephen Harper’s one-sided approach. – Tom Mulcair says

Canada's Leader of the Opposition

Canada’s Leader of the Opposition

Tom Mulcair: Canadians want balanced and principled approach to Mideast conflict

Nearly a month of sustained violence in Gaza and Israel has galvanized the world’s attention. As we watch images of Palestinian civilians suffering and dying, and Israeli civilians living in fear of rockets, no one can remain unmoved by a conflict that has killed thousands and left millions more living in fear for their safety.

When four children playing soccer on a Gaza beach were killed by Israeli shells, like so many other Canadians I was touched personally and thought of my own grandchildren. No child — Israeli or Palestinian — should have to live in fear of such violence.

As Canadians, we don’t want our country sitting on the international sidelines — unwilling to help and marginalized by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives’ one-sided approach.

As NDP leader, Jack Layton argued that Canada must engage partners for peace in the region and take a balanced and principled approach. This is a vision I share. New Democrats — committed to social justice — understand that we must actively work for peace, not simply talk about it.

New Democrats have long been committed to a policy of supporting peaceful coexistence in viable, independent states with agreed-upon borders, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and an end to violence targeting civilians.

I am proud to lead a party that constructively engages Palestinian and Israeli officials, defends human rights and promotes respect for international law. We are the only federal party to support the Palestinian Authority’s application for updated status at the United Nations.

During the current conflict in Gaza, we have criticized the indiscriminate rocket fire and breaking of ceasefires by Hamas — and have been clear that Israel, like all countries, has the right to defend itself from attacks.

Israel’s right to defend itself comes with the responsibility to protect civilian lives — and we have criticized the unacceptable number of Palestinian civilian casualties from Israeli Defense Force attacks during this conflict. The horrifying shelling of a United Nations facility sheltering refugees in Gaza was completely unacceptable and a clear violation of that responsibility.

While Conservatives and Liberals have both taken a one-sided approach, New Democrats have been speaking out in a principled and balanced way. We recognized the humanitarian crisis Gaza residents are facing and demanded Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird agree to contribute to the UNRWA emergency humanitarian appeal for Gaza. Sadly, Conservatives refused.

We pushed for the unimpeded distribution of humanitarian assistance within Gaza and the sustained reopening of border crossing points — in keeping with UN Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). This means an end to the blockade of Gaza, while recognizing Israel’s legitimate security concerns around weapons smuggling and the need for effective international action to address these concerns.

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ISIS, the Terrorist Caliphate.


Photo credits: BNO News

Photo credits: BNO News

Become Muslims by noon today…or we crucify all of you

Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf’s Twitter account was suspended after posting a shocking photo of his seven-year old son holding aloft a severed head in the city of Raqqa, Syria. The caption beneath the photo read, “That’s my boy.” This is but one example of the viciousness and barbarism inflicted by ISIS militants on those who fail to kowtow to their demands.

Another is the threat issued to an entire village: Become Muslims or we will kill you all. ISIS radicals have already enforced a primitive Islamic caliphate on a portion of Iraq. The remainder of that country as well as Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Cypress are in their crosshairs. Their tactics are brutal and the corpses left in their wake are reminiscent of the killing fields in Cambodia.

When ISIS troops encircled the walled town of Kosha, inhabited by members of the Yazidi sect with ancient Zoroastrian ties, the ultimatum was delivered to the town mayor Falah who, in turn, made the demands known to the villagers. Falah, the official, said money was offered to ISIS, but was refused. It seems only blood and mayhem will satisfy the fanatics.

A refusal by the 2,500 villagers to deny their faith could mean that every man, woman and child will be massacred for rejecting the order to bow a knee to Islam. It was the first time the militants had threatened to destroy an entire town, but will certainly not be the last if they are not stopped.

Meanwhile, another 300 members of the Yazidi sect are surrounded on top of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. Whether they live or die may well be determined by how soon food and water can be delivered to them, and how soon air strikes will eliminate the threat to their lives.

An Iraqi government leader reported that some 500 men, women and children had been slaughtered by the extremists, some buried alive, and more than 300 women were reportedly captured and taken away as slaves. Whether these are villagers from Kosha or another town is not known, but it just proves that these blood-thirsty terrorists will stop at nothing in order to achieve their goal of total domination—one region at a time.

Dr. Michael Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His book, Persia: The Final Jihad, is available at

Courtesy: CNN iReport

Islamic State militants take hundreds of Yazidi women hostage in northern Iraq; authorities fear they will be raped, treated as slaves

file photo - photo credit: Social media + internet

file photo – photo credit: Social media + internet

Hundreds Of Women Captured By ISIS Fighters

Hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by Islamist militants, Iraq’s government has said.

Kamil Amin, a spokesman for the country’s human rights ministry, said the women were kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) fighters.

He added that some of the women are being held in schools in Iraq’s second city Mosul, and that the ministry learned of the kidnappings from the victims’ families.

“We think that the terrorists by now consider them slaves and they have vicious plans for them,” Mr Amin said.

“We think that these women are going to be used in demeaning ways by those terrorists to satisfy their animalistic urges in a way that contradicts all the human and Islamic values.”

Read more » Sky News

Contribution of Sindh in the Freedom Movement of India


Photo credit - BBC urdu

Photo credit – BBC urdu

This is the translation from the Hindi Book “Swatantra Sangram Aur Sindh Ka Yogdan” written by Prem Tanwani. Translation by: Deepk Ramchandani.

Read more » iDOC

Islamic State militants threaten Turkey with violence if Euphrates water supply not restored

Islamic State militants have directly threatened Turkey with violence as they swore to “liberate” Istanbul in order to reopen a dam on the Euphrates River. Water flow to parts of Syria and Iraq is at a record low. The apparent closure is especially unfavorable to the terrorist group, as its new ‘capital’ Raqqa, in northern Syria, is in that zone.

Read more »

The new neutral – A new ethos is needed to replace old biases, discrimination and non-neutrality in diplomacy

Zufiqar Shah

Zufiqar Shah

By Zulfiqar Shah

When individual or collective conflicts push politics into a blind alley, neutrality becomes key to mediation and resolution. Mediation, in all its forms—cultural, individual, collective or judicial—requires neutrality. If seen through the lens of diplomatic history among nations and the cultural history of people, neutrality embodied with justice has not only been successful in bringing about peace but also sustaining it. Hence, the diversified nature of conflicts, inter- as well as intra-state, ethnic and group require the exhibition of extreme neutrality for a judicious and sustainable resolution of the antagonism that is destined to lead all of us towards collective destruction.

No sides to take

Inter- and intra-state, ethnic and national conflicts have frequently occurred in the post-modern world. The post-World War League of Nations, which culminated into the UN, was an outcome of many international/European treaties among nations, which were neither judicious nor brokered by neutral mediators. Hence, it provided a reason for World War II. The two World Wars were waged between colonisers and aspirants holding colonial ambitions, seeking maximum control over colonies and  their wealth and natural resources. Thus, the birth of the UN became inevitable since a neutral body was the niche of the modern era of statehood. Meanwhile, the powerful among the countries also formed parallel alliances at regional and international levels to further their interests.

No doubt, the UN has gradually transcended into a comparatively neutral forum since the world needed to go a step forward to formulate an international legal framework, not only for the member states but also for the citizens of member states. However, it is the our duty to introduce further reforms, agree upon new legal and policy frameworks, reform the structure and the authority to exhibit maximum neutrality and impartiality.

Nations, governments and international institutions always have to deal with a complex patchwork of relations and behaviours when they have to switch between neutrality and securing their interests. Since national interest has mostly superseded justice and neutrality in interest-based competitions, diplomacy and internal-external engagements, neutrality today has become an absurdity. This was evident in the recent political crises in Syria and Ukraine. It has also been observed in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Kurdistan Movement, the Tibetan issue and the freedom movement in Sindh and Balochistan in Pakistan.

In fact, the absence of justice-based neutrality, both in nation-states and international and regional forums like the UN, Saarc and the Organisation of Islamic Countries, despite coming up with remedies have also been deepening the old wounds of the people. This has resulted in the rise of gross human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and war crimes that victimise millions of innocent citizens and dissenters.

Read more » eKantipur

Must watch – Tarek Fatah on Israel Palestine Conflict

The language of the talk show is in Hindi (urdu).

Courtesy: Rawal Tv » BilaTakalluf with Tahir Gora Ep68

S&P revises down outlook on Canada’s big six banks to negative

recessionBy Reuters

TORONTO (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s said on Friday it had revised its outlook on Canadian banks to “negative,” due to concerns the government is becoming less willing to bail out banks in the event of a financial crisis.

The move comes a month after rival rating agency Moody’s also revised its outlook to “negative” from “stable,” as part of an annual review. The move followed Moody’s decision in June to revise its outlook lower on certain debt and deposit ratings at Canadian banks.

Read more » Yahoo News–finance.html

Guided by History, a Jew Tries to Unite Two Faiths Divided by War in Gaza

JohnNEWARK, Del. — Shortly after the latest cease-fire expired in Gaza on Friday, Jacob Bender gingerly climbed the steps of the mimbar, the pulpit at the Islamic Society of Delaware here. A Jew in a mosque, his hands palpably quivering but his reedy voice steady, he read some brief comments to close the afternoon’s worship service, called Juma’a.

Mr. Bender offered both hope and censure, twinned: Muslims and Jews could still be “partners for peace and justice,” he said. Israel and Hamas bore shared responsibility for the current carnage, he added, and more hatred would lead to more violence, while love would lead to reconciliation.

Read more » The New York Times

Some Israelis Count Open Discourse and Dissent Among Gaza War Casualties


JERUSALEM — The signs are everywhere.

At a recent demonstration in Tel Aviv against Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, counterdemonstrators chanted “Death to the left!” along with the more commonly heard “Death to Arabs!” Afterward, some of the right-wingers beat some of the leftists — using large poles that had held Israeli flags.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority blocked B’Tselem, a human rights group, from running a paid radio advertisement reading the names and ages of Palestinian children killed in Gaza.

Bar-Ilan University rebuked a professor who expressed empathy for all the war’s victims in an email to students.

And at a recent screening at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, a fading bastion of liberalism, when some audience members stood for a moment of silence in memory of four Palestinian boys killed as they played soccer on a Gaza beach, others who kept their seats berated them with cries of “Shame on you — what about our boys?” and “You’re raping the audience,” according to several people who were there.

In Israel, open discourse and dissent appear to be among the casualties of the monthlong war in Gaza, according to stalwarts of what is known as the Zionist left — Israelis who want the country to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and help create a sovereign Palestinian state.

Israeli politics have been drifting rightward for years, and many see that trend sharpening and solidifying now. Several polls find that as many as nine out of 10 Israeli Jews back the prosecution of the war by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When that support slipped a bit last week, it seemed to be because more people wanted an even more aggressive assault on Hamas, the militant Islamist faction that dominates Gaza. Israelis who question the government or the military on Facebook, or who even share photographs of death and devastation in Gaza, find themselves defriended, often by people they thought were politically like-minded.

“One of the victims of war is any nuance,” said Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman, who emigrated from New York in 1979. “The idea of having a nuanced position that recognizes the suffering on both sides and the complications is almost impossible to maintain.”

Rabbi Weiman-Kelman is the founder of Kol Haneshama, one of Israel’s largest and best-known Reform congregations, where every service ends with an adaptation of a traditional Hebrew prayer for peace that includes a line in Arabic borrowed from a traditional Muslim prayer. (Disclosure: I have occasionally attended those services.)

Read more » The New York Times

Iran to unveil new defense system similar to Iron Dome – military commander

ironA senior Iranian military commander has announced that Tehran is about to unveil new long-range and mid-range missile defense systems like Israel’s Iron Dome or the US Patriot, which can knock out incoming missiles in mid-air.

The commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier Farzad Esmayeeli, announced Wednesday that Iran is preparing to roll out a number of advanced defense systems on September 22, the country’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

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Israel and Egypt against Gaza

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi.

An insane alliance: Israel and Egypt against Gaza

Despite its mediator role, Egypt is no impartial broker. It shares Israel’s view that Hamas can be crushed and suffocated into submission. Palestinians wonder how their ex-ally can leave Gaza to burn.


Egypt-Israel-Gaza is possibly one of the most bizarre and perhaps twisted love-hate triangles of recent times. Washington’s credentials as an honest broker have rightly been questioned over the years, and Egypt was traditionally seen as a welcome counterbalance to U.S. bias, but Cairo has lost its pro-Palestinian credentials. It can scarcely be seen as an impartial broker.

For the past year or so, ever since Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi became the de facto leader and then president of Egypt, his regime has been an enthusiastic accomplice in the Israeli-led blockade against Gaza, completely sealing off the Rafah crossing and destroying hundreds of tunnels into the Sinai which provided the Gazan economy with some respite from the siege.

Taking a page out of Israel’s handbook, Egyptian officials leaked plans to Reuters earlier this year that Egypt intends to topple Hamas by, among other things, fomenting dissent in Gaza and backing Fatah.


Read more » HAARETZ

Why the Latest Snowden Leaks about Pakistan Are Scary


In a blockbuster story in The Washington Post, Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman detail more aspects of the United States’s so called “black budget,” which was revealed by Edward Snowden in leaks to the newspaper. Today’s long piece is about the United States’s strained relationship with Pakistan, and offers some fresh detail about the country’s secretive nuclear program. As the story notes, “Pakistan appears at the top of charts listing critical U.S. intelligence gaps. It is named as a target of newly formed analytic cells. And fears about the security of its nuclear program are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else.” The real importance of the piece, however, is what it indirectly explains: namely, that even if the Pakistanis follow our wish and wholeheartedly pursue terrorist groups and Taliban elements, there is bound to be serious collateral damage, and a host of fresh problems.

For years now, the United States has begged the Pakistani military and intelligence service (ISI) to cut all ties to terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Pakistan itself. The new prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, has pledged a dialogue with the Taliban, however, and although the army chief–the most powerful man in the country–has called for strong action against terrorist groups, there is little doubt that elements in the military and ISI have maintained a relationship with many of these militant organizations. The purpose of this double-game, which has been going on for over a decade, is to ensure a Pakistani (read: Taliban) presence in Afghanistan as a hedge against Indian influence, and to maintain that same influence in the disputed region of Kashmir, which is predominantly Muslim, and which India controls in colonial fashion.

The United States, and an increasing number of liberals in Pakistan, have pushed hard for the country to embrace the war on terror, end the double game, give up using Taliban elements as proxies, and engage in a fight that has blown back into Pakistan and killed thousands of Pakistanis. All of which seems eminently sensible and overdue. The problem is that the people who would be carrying out this campaign against some very bad guys are the same ones who have been in bed with those bad guys, and who, moreover, tend to go about their business without much concern for the niceties of law or human rights. As the piece reports:

Beyond the budget files, other classified documents provided to The Post expose fresh allegations of systemic human rights abuses in Pakistan. U.S. spy agencies reported that high-ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officials had been aware of and possibly ordered an extensive campaign of extrajudicial killings targeting militants and other adversaries.

Public disclosure of those reports, based on communications intercepts from 2010 to 2012 and other intelligence, could have forced the Obama administration to sever aid to the Pakistani armed forces because of a U.S. law that prohibits military assistance to human rights abusers. But the documents indicate that administration officials decided not to press the issue in order to preserve an already-frayed relationship with the Pakistanis.

Or, in more detail:

Other classified documents given to The Post by Snowden reveal that U.S. spy agencies for years reported that senior Pakistani military and intelligence leaders were orchestrating a wave of extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects and other militants. In July 2011, an assessment of communications intercepts and other intelligence by the NSA concluded that the Pakistani military and intelligence services had continued over the preceding 16 months a pattern of lethally targeting perceived enemies without trial or due process. The killings, according to the NSA, occurred “with the knowledge, if not consent, of senior officers.” The NSA cited two senior Pakistani officials who “apparently ordered some of the killings or were at least aware of them,” read a summary of the top-secret NSA report, titled, “Pakistan/Human Rights: Extrajudicial Killings Conducted With Consent of Senior Intelligence Officials.”

Read more » NEW REPUBLIC

Was Treated Well, Says BSF Soldier Sent Home From Pakistan

pak-india-flagWagah:  After spending 48 hours in Pakistan’s custody, a Border Security Force jawan returned home this evening. “I was treated well,” said 30-year-old Satyasheel Yadav, who was swept onto the Pakistan side of the border in Jammu after he fell into the River Chenab on Wednesday. (After Falling Into River, BSF Jawan is in Pakistan’s Custody)

“They made me comfortable. I was given food. I have no complaints. I am very happy I am going home,” he said in a brief statement, hours before he was released by Pakistani troops.

Mr Yadav walked back across the border at RS Pura in the Jammu region, dressed in his combat fatigues and flanked by his seniors.

“I am grateful to them (Pakistanis) for treating him well,” said DK Pathak, Director General of the BSF after the trooper returned. “I can’t answer why they took so long to hand him over. They did ask some questions, it isn’t uncommon,” he added

Read more » NDTV

A Saudi died after attempting to sexually abuse a donkey.

donkeyA Saudi Sheikh has died attempting to sexually abuse, a donkey. The poor animal, which is primarily a victim in this case. According to reports circulating on the net, Saudi police found the body of Sheikh abuser the day after the murder, and found that the victim-victimhood received a severe kick in the face and three kicks in his chest when he tried to sodomize the animal. The man died of his injuries after long moments of suffering. Police who found the donkey and tied the victim’s car near the body also speculated that Sheikh had removed his pants and left in his vehicle (4X4) before trying his misdeed .

Read more » Beiruting

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