Sunday, July 23, 2017

Latin America and Unrestrained Murder

"Not long ago we visited Fortaleza, the city with the highest rate of child and adolescent homicide victims in Brazil. In 203, the murder ate was 268 per 100,000 inhabitants between the ages of 16 and 17, but the map of lethal violence was an almost perfect arc that covered an area far from the tourist zone, where some neighbourhoods had gone a whole year without a single homicide."
"When we visited these areas and asked young people how many murders they knew of, they sometimes had to use two hands to count."
Alejandra Sanchez Inzunza and Jose Luis Pardo Veiras, authors "Narco America"
Children take part in the Traditional Ceremony of Via Crucis dedicated to children murdered in Brazil at Sé Cathedral as part of Good Friday celebrations on April 07, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Children take part in the Traditional Ceremony of Via Crucis dedicated to children murdered in Brazil at Sé Cathedral in April in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Cris Faga/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Mexico's drug war represents a vicious, volatile, murderous phenomenon on an appallingly grand scale, one that the government at all levels has been spectacularly incapable of apprehending. It is a war centred on drug trafficking that is by its nature one of the deadliest conflicts the world knows. Second-ups are the gang-related violence in Guatemala, in El Salvador and Honduras; together the three represent the world homicide capital.

Overall, in Latin America, bodies are delivered daily to morgues whose total averages 400 murders a day. This reflects a homicide rate that comes in at four people murdered every 15 minutes. While Latin America can boast slightly over 8 percent of the world population, a full one-third of homicides world-wide take place in Latin America. Over the 16 year period between 2000 and 2016, 2.6 million people died violent, precipitous deaths.

While some municipalities do make an effort to deal with the murder rate and the impunity that runs rife through society, through the development of social programs in hopes of reducing violence, the effort barely budges the soaring murder rate. The seven most violent Latin American countries; Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico represent a living horror show; a culture of violence, corruption and impunity.

The list of Latin American countries where impunity and elusive justice reign, according to the Global Impunity Index out of Mexico's Center for Studies on Impunity and Justice, list Mexico in the number two position on the list with the Philippines taking the lead on this dishonour role. Worse, the figures represent the reported crimes; and it is well enough known that many such crimes go unreported for fear of repercussions or simply disinterest.

But the top two countries on that Impunity List give them an impunity rate of 99 percent. There are no penalties to be faced, in other words, for the murder of other human beings, so the act itself becomes commonplace and unremarkable. Three types of murders have been established through the United Nations' Global Study on Homicide: criminal, interpersonal and sociopolitical and all three categories are represented in Latin America.

Most of the murders take place in marginalized neighbourhoods, home to the poor and vulnerable, usually people with dark skin. A 2016 reported revealed, unsurprisingly, that 50 percent of homicides occur on 1.6 percent of the streets in Latin America. Organized crime or gang activity link to 30 percent of these homicides. Those nations with the most murderous reputations struggle with common problems exacerbated with specific issues.

Drugs in Mexico, conflict in Colombia, societal and economic meltdown in Venezuela, and territorial conflict in Brazil. Several months ago, 30 civil organizations initiated the Instinto de Vida (Instinct for Life) campaign in Latin America's seven most violent countries, revolving around the reduction of homicides by 50 percent over the next decade through conflict mediation; gun, alcohol and drug regulations; recidivism prevention; guarantee of access to justice and due process; and strengthening relations between police and communities.

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Back to Basics of "Resisting The Occupation"

Photo credits: Flash 90, Jonathan Sindel and Hadas Partosh.
"The decision of Jerusalem Police District Commander Yoram Halevy to place these metal detectors near the Temple Mount is a brave decision because this time last week we had two policemen killed. He is taking responsibility that things like this will not happen again."
"[Israel should not be intimidated by threats and should not reward terrorism by backing down]: I welcome the police on their courageous decisions and cabinet for backing them up."
"This is not a political issue, but a security related. No one is trying the change the status quo on Temple Mount, and I call on all Muslim residents to calm the spirits, avoid violence and listen to the police."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat 
Once again the Arab and Muslim world is united against Israel. Turkey and Jordan, along with the Palestinian Authority have accused Israel of closing access to faithful Muslims to the al-Aqsa Mosque. Outrage is visceral and spontaneous, denouncing the State of Israel for denying Muslims entry to the Noble Sanctuary for Friday prayers. The Jordanian-sponsored Waqf authority has accused Israel of planning to alter the status quo on the Noble Sanctuary, the third most sacred site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, which just incidentally happens to also be Israel’s most sacred site, the Temple Mount, where archaeological remnants of the Temple of Solomon are located.
A site sacred to Judaism’s heritage for thousands of years before Islam was ever introduced to the world, in the 7th Century. Where, typical of Islam, Islamic structures were built over the ruins of the Jewish Temple, twice destroyed in antiquity, by the Babylonians and by the Romans. But a site that remained a primary destination for the faithful, for Jews living in Jerusalem, throughout the greater Middle East, and in the far broader diaspora of dispersed Jewry. Muslim authorities insist that what they call the Noble Sanctuary cannot be shared by another religion, irrespective of how vital that site is to a religion and historical antecedents much predating Islam.
Islamic authorities speak of "Jewish feet defiling" the site sacred to Islam. Irrespective of the fact that Jerusalem represents Judaism’s ancient heritage, Muslims claim it as solely their own, and adamantly refuse to allow Jews to enter the sacred environs and to pray there. In the interests of maintaining peace between the two religions, Israel, after its successful defence in the 1967 conflict that liberated East Jerusalem's Old City from Jordan, agreed to allow Jordan to continue its stewardship of the site on behalf of Islam, through the authority of the Waqf which it administers.
Muslims may pray unhindered at their third most holy site in Islam, Jews are forbidden to pray at their most sacred site in Judaism, even though Israel administers the territory as its own. The presence of Jews at the site, permitted to enter but not to pray remains a source of adversity, however, with Muslims resenting Jewish presence and acting on the incitement by their political and religious leaders, hurl insults as Jews as well as rocks in a demonstration of contempt and rage. That demonstration of rage went somewhat further last week when three Arab Palestinians from a small village inside Israel attacked and killed two Israeli police stationed for security purposes at the site.
Those murders led to an immediate but brief shutdown of the site, where no one but police investigators were permitted entry, for obvious reasons, reflecting standard police procedure anywhere in the world where a violent crime of this magnitude is committed. This brief shutdown led to an immediate protest by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but not a word of condemnation of the atrocity that had led to the shutdown. Saudi Arabia’s king responded by demanding the site immediately be reopened to allow Muslims to enter the al-Aqsa mosque for prayer.
Palestinians pray on a street near a road block outside Jerusalem's Old City July 21, 2017.
Palestinians pray on a street near a road block outside Jerusalem's Old City July 21, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)
From those very same sacred precincts came the three assassins carrying their weapons meant to kill Israelis. Connivance with some authorities within the edifices on the Temple Mount was not entirely ruled out, enabling the three to carry out their mission. Entry for Muslims through their special gate into the compound has always been carried out without security checks. Even though weapons, including rocks to be thrown at Israeli security police and tourists have been stored there in the past, to be used to satisfyingly brutal effect.
When within a day the entry gates to the complex were re-opened, it was revealed that security devices had been installed. The Palestinian Authority immediately bristled at the news that metal detectors were put in place and henceforth all who enter the shrine must first undergo a security check. Jerusalem’s elite Muslim cleric Mohammed Hussein, forbade Muslims to enter the gates in protest of the placement of the metal detectors. They must, he insisted, pray instead in their numbers outside the gates. And so, thousands of Muslims appeared on the streets, positioning themselves to pray in protest on the streets outside the gates.
All the while, Palestinians and the world at large were being informed that Israel had betrayed its assurance to the world of Islam of free access to Muslims to their third most holy site. Worse, that plans to alter the site itself were to take place. And in the worst of all possible worlds for Islam and its faithful ummah, filthy Jewish feet would not only be ascending what to Jews is their holy of holies, but they would, henceforth, pray there as well. The Arab and Muslim world has risen as one to condemn and to threaten.
Contacts with Israel, declared Mahmoud Abbas would be suspended on "all levels". Presumably that includes security. And that would certainly spell problems for President Abbas, for without the aid of the Israeli military his own life would be forfeit, reflecting the lethal animosities between the PA’s Fatah and Gaza’s Hamas. Void of Israel’s protection, the violence-inspiring Abbas would be mortally dispatched by the violently-responding Hamas, taking advantage of the opportunity to act.
In the meanwhile, riots have broken out in Israel, with Palestinians mounting protests where clashes with Israeli troops are satisfying Palestinians’ penchant for ‘resistance’ of the ‘occupation’. In Turkey and in Jordan violent protests are taking place, charging Israel with crimes against Islam. In the streets of Jerusalem and at some West Bank locations, Palestinians throw stones and firecrackers and use burning tires to attack the Israeli security personnel. In response, Israeli troops have fired live rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas.
Any excuse for violence and incitement for more that the Palestinians can grasp in their ongoing war with Israel will do to build popular resentment at a victimhood the Palestinians and the wider circle of Islamist militants graspingly hold dear to describe the brutality levelled at them by genocidal Israelis. Muslim worshippers are informed by their religious authorities to prepare for a “long test of wills” for, according to Mohammed Hussein: “We will not back off.” No, of course they will not.
Turkey’s tyrannical president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undoubtedly pleased with these events, purporting to talk “reason” to the Israelis to persuade the removal of the metal detectors and the opening of the undefended gates to further mayhem and murder. Israel’s security measures, according to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, are “radical”. Not so, Turkey’s response to a failed coup attempt last summer that resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of tens of thousands of Turks and Kurds, much less the dismissal of over a hundred-thousand politicians, teachers, judges, military personnel, journalists, police and lawyers on trumped-up charges that they colluded with Turkey’s Gulenist movement to overturn the 'democratic' government.
The viciously violent attacks against Jews continues unabated, and celebrated by Islamists such as Hamas and Turkey, lauded as well by Palestinians supporting the PA’s contention that Israel sits on Palestinian land. A Palestinian man entered a West Bank settlement on Friday, climbing a security fence and entering a home where a family was preparing to celebrate the birth of a child. There he attacked four people having dinner, killing three of them, a grandfather, one of his sons and one of his daughters. 
As is so often done, the killer had posted a boast on Facebook of his intention, claiming to be motivated by Israel’s wrong-doing toward Muslim worshippers at the shrine. An off-duty soldier responded to screaming at the invaded home, rushed to the scene and shot and wounded the 19-year-old attacker who just murdered three innocent people. He has now achieved for himself hero status in the Palestinian world order.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Back to Basics of "Resisting The Occupation"

Photo credits: Flash 90, Jonathan Sindel and Hadas Partosh.
"The decision of Jerusalem Police District Commander Yoram Halevy to place these metal detectors near the Temple Mount is a brave decision because this time last week we had two policemen killed. He is taking responsibility that things like this will not happen again."
"[Israel should not be intimidated by threats and should not reward terrorism by backing down]: I welcome the police on their courageous decisions and cabinet for backing them up."
"This is not a political issue, but a security related. No one is trying the change the status quo on Temple Mount, and I call on all Muslim residents to calm the spirits, avoid violence and listen to the police."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat
Once again the Arab and Muslim world is united against Israel. Turkey and Jordan, along with the Palestinian Authority have accused Israel of closing access to faithful Muslims to the al-Aqsa Mosque. Outrage is visceral and spontaneous, denouncing the State of Israel for denying Muslims entry to the Noble Sanctuary for Friday prayers. The Jordanian-sponsored Waqf authority has accused Israel of planning to alter the status quo on the Noble Sanctuary, the third most sacred site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, which just incidentally happens to also be Israel’s most sacred site, the Temple Mount, where archaeological remnants of the Temple of Solomon are located.
A site sacred to Judaism’s heritage for thousands of years before Islam was ever introduced to the world, in the 7th Century. Where, typical of Islam, Islamic structures were built over the ruins of the Jewish Temple, twice destroyed in antiquity, by the Babylonians and by the Romans. But a site that remained a primary destination for the faithful, for Jews living in Jerusalem, throughout the greater Middle East, and in the far broader diaspora of dispersed Jewry. Muslim authorities insist that what they call the Noble Sanctuary cannot be shared by another religion, irrespective of how vital that site is to a religion and historical antecedents much predating Islam.
Islamic authorities speak of "Jewish feet defiling" the site sacred to Islam. Irrespective of the fact that Jerusalem represents Judaism’s ancient heritage, Muslims claim it as solely their own, and adamantly refuse to allow Jews to enter the sacred environs and to pray there. In the interests of maintaining peace between the two religions, Israel, after its successful defence in the 1967 conflict that liberated East Jerusalem's Old City from Jordan, agreed to allow Jordan to continue its stewardship of the site on behalf of Islam, through the authority of the Waqf which it administers.
Muslims may pray unhindered at their third most holy site in Islam, Jews are forbidden to pray at their most sacred site in Judaism, even though Israel administers the territory as its own. The presence of Jews at the site, permitted to enter but not to pray remains a source of adversity, however, with Muslims resenting Jewish presence and acting on the incitement by their political and religious leaders, hurl insults as Jews as well as rocks in a demonstration of contempt and rage. That demonstration of rage went somewhat further last week when three Arab Palestinians from a small village inside Israel attacked and killed two Israeli police stationed for security purposes at the site.
Those murders led to an immediate but brief shutdown of the site, where no one but police investigators were permitted entry, for obvious reasons, reflecting standard police procedure anywhere in the world where a violent crime of this magnitude is committed. This brief shutdown led to an immediate protest by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but not a word of condemnation of the atrocity that had led to the shutdown. Saudi Arabia’s king responded by demanding the site immediately be reopened to allow Muslims to enter the al-Aqsa mosque for prayer.
Palestinians pray on a street near a road block outside Jerusalem's Old City July 21, 2017.
Palestinians pray on a street near a road block outside Jerusalem's Old City July 21, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)
From those very same sacred precincts came the three assassins carrying their weapons meant to kill Israelis. Connivance with some authorities within the edifices on the Temple Mount was not entirely ruled out, enabling the three to carry out their mission. Entry for Muslims through their special gate into the compound has always been carried out without security checks. Even though weapons, including rocks to be thrown at Israeli security police and tourists have been stored there in the past, to be used to satisfyingly brutal effect.
When within a day the entry gates to the complex were re-opened, it was revealed that security devices had been installed. The Palestinian Authority immediately bristled at the news that metal detectors were put in place and henceforth all who enter the shrine must first undergo a security check. Jerusalem’s elite Muslim cleric Mohammed Hussein, forbade Muslims to enter the gates in protest of the placement of the metal detectors. They must, he insisted, pray instead in their numbers outside the gates. And so, thousands of Muslims appeared on the streets, positioning themselves to pray in protest on the streets outside the gates.
All the while, Palestinians and the world at large were being informed that Israel had betrayed its assurance to the world of Islam of free access to Muslims to their third most holy site. Worse, that plans to alter the site itself were to take place. And in the worst of all possible worlds for Islam and its faithful ummah, filthy Jewish feet would not only be ascending what to Jews is their holy of holies, but they would, henceforth, pray there as well. The Arab and Muslim world has risen as one to condemn and to threaten.
Contacts with Israel, declared Mahmoud Abbas would be suspended on "all levels". Presumably that includes security. And that would certainly spell problems for President Abbas, for without the aid of the Israeli military his own life would be forfeit, reflecting the lethal animosities between the PA’s Fatah and Gaza’s Hamas. Void of Israel’s protection, the violence-inspiring Abbas would be mortally dispatched by the violently-responding Hamas, taking advantage of the opportunity to act.
In the meanwhile, riots have broken out in Israel, with Palestinians mounting protests where clashes with Israeli troops are satisfying Palestinians’ penchant for ‘resistance’ of the ‘occupation’. In Turkey and in Jordan violent protests are taking place, charging Israel with crimes against Islam. In the streets of Jerusalem and at some West Bank locations, Palestinians throw stones and firecrackers and use burning tires to attack the Israeli security personnel. In response, Israeli troops have fired live rounds of rubber bullets and tear gas.
Any excuse for violence and incitement for more that the Palestinians can grasp in their ongoing war with Israel will do to build popular resentment at a victimhood the Palestinians and the wider circle of Islamist militants graspingly hold dear to describe the brutality levelled at them by genocidal Israelis. Muslim worshippers are informed by their religious authorities to prepare for a “long test of wills” for, according to Mohammed Hussein: “We will not back off.” No, of course they will not.
Turkey’s tyrannical president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undoubtedly pleased with these events, purporting to talk “reason” to the Israelis to persuade the removal of the metal detectors and the opening of the undefended gates to further mayhem and murder. Israel’s security measures, according to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, are “radical”. Not so, Turkey’s response to a failed coup attempt last summer that resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of tens of thousands of Turks and Kurds, much less the dismissal of over a hundred-thousand politicians, teachers, judges, military personnel, journalists, police and lawyers on trumped-up charges that they colluded with Turkey’s Gulenist movement to overturn the 'democratic' government.
The viciously violent attacks against Jews continues unabated, and celebrated by Islamists such as Hamas and Turkey, lauded as well by Palestinians supporting the PA’s contention that Israel sits on Palestinian land. A Palestinian man entered a West Bank settlement on Friday, climbing a security fence and entering a home where a family was preparing to celebrate the birth of a child. There he attacked four people having dinner, killing three of them, a grandfather, one of his sons and one of his daughters. 
As is so often done, the killer had posted a boast on Facebook of his intention, claiming to be motivated by Israel’s wrong-doing toward Muslim worshippers at the shrine. An off-duty soldier responded to screaming at the invaded home, rushed to the scene and shot and wounded the 19-year-old attacker who just murdered three innocent people. He has now achieved for himself hero status in the Palestinian world order.

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Persecution and Survival

"We're asking to bring that child to be reunited with his mother. That's all we want. That's all the mother wants."
"It's all the child wants."
"A 12-year-old child is not safe unless he is in the arms of his mother. That's what we know; that's the language we understand."
"But he is safe."
"We don't want to be filling applications and documentation and such and such. We even offered to pay for the flight [to reunite the young boy with his mother in Winnipeg]."
Hadji Hesso, Yazidi Association of Manitoba

"We didn't think we would ever see him again."
"I was very saddened [by his condition] when I saw his photo ... I spoke to him on the phone and he said, 'I'm OK, I'm going to be fine'."
"We will never forget what [ISIL] did to us -- the torture, the pain, everything they did to us."
Nofa Zaghia, Yazidi refugee, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Emad Mishko Tamo
Emad Mishko Tamo was separated from his mother in August 2014 when the Yazidi family was captured by ISIS. (Facebook)
Now resident in Canada as a refugee, Nofa Zaghia is making a new life for herself and her four youngest children. She had two older boys with her husband. In 2014 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant arrived to invade her village in Iraq. ISIL targeted the Yazidi minority for extermination looking upon them as unfit to live. They are a minority ethnic group whose religious practises sets them apart from the Muslim majority in Iraq, who consider them to be heretics.

Islamic State terrorists rounded up Yazidi men to slaughter and leave them in mass graves, while the women and children were taken as slaves, to be used and sold on the slave market. Women and girls to be used as sex slaves. Tens of thousands of Yazidis were besieged when they fled the terrorists on Mount Sinjar above the town of Sinjar and their surrounding villages. They, presumably, were the fortunate ones, escaping death and enslavement. But on the mountain they faced winter cold, privation and starvation.

Kurdish forces effected a rescue, and since then rescued Yazidis have sought asylum elsewhere than their homeland of Iraq. Untold numbers of Yazidi women and children are still being held by ISIL terrorists, others have been sold into slavery, ending up in places like Mali. And there are still families of Yazidis marooned on Mount Sinjar. This week Nofa Zaghia received a call from her brother, living in a refugee camp in Iraq. He informed her that her 12-year-old son Emad Mishko Tamo had been rescued by Iraqi soldiers and brought to the camp.

And her brother posted a photograph of the boy through social media, seated in a pickup truck, frail in appearance, wide-eyed, encrusted with blood and mud, but alive. Her two years living in captivity under Islamic State, separated from her husband and their two older boys left her convinced that only she and the four younger children had survived. Now she knows that she will be reunited with her 12-year-old son.

The fate of her other son and her husband is unknown to her. She had somehow managed to escape with her four young children, but she has no idea what happened to the others.

Emad is receiving medial treatment. He has a bullet wound in his arm, and sustained injuries to his stomach. The Yazidi association representing her interests and those of her son, receives assistance from the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees and Winnipeg Friends of Israel. Canadian authorities are being urged to expedite the young boy's journey from the refugee camp in Iraq to Canada, to be reunited with his mother and four younger siblings.


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Friday, July 21, 2017

The ISIL Returnees Issue: The Dilemma of Unmitigated Child Abuse

"The government has absolutely no choice but to protect the Charter rights of these Canadians [who choose to go abroad to fight with terrorists in Syria and Iraq]."
"The embassy, the consulate would have to deal with them, the way they would any Canadian who's gotten in trouble abroad and assist them to come home if that's what they want to do."
"They [federal officials] always stress ... 'We cannot in any way afford to allow our actions to result in a Canadian citizen receiving basically torture, or abuse. That will never happen again'."
Lorne Dawson, professor, University of Western Ontario

"Does the Canadian government have a legal, let alone a moral, responsibility to act on these people's behalf? I think the answer is 'No'."
"They made a conscious decision to leave this country and to join a group that everyone and his dog knows is a terrorist group ... 'It sucks to be you; live with it'."
"This issue of orphans and kids born to people who joined Islamic State is going to haunt us for a decade. Who wants to take care of them? It's not the kids' fault, but these are the sons and daughters of terrorists."
Phil Gurski, former Canadian Security Intelligence Service analyst

"I really think they need to work with the Muslim community in terms of developing plans to assist them."
"They [terrorism-linked returnees] are Canadian kids, we can't just sort of throw them away."
Barbara Jackman, immigration lawyer, Toronto
More than 750,000 people have been displaced from Mosul since October [Karim Sahib/AFP]
UN: ISIL kills 163 people in Mosul in one day: Al Jazeera

The issue is undeniably a complex one, and fraught with emotion; a sense of compassion for the children born to people who of their own free will have dedicated their time, energy and aspirations to be part of an Islamist caliphate of conquest, restrained by nothing, evincing themselves no compassion whatever for the other Muslims and non-Muslims they slaughter through deliberate enactment of atrocities, the better to shock the watching world.

And it is telling, the response from various sources. From a professional immigration lawyer who speaks for immigrants and refugees, a response weighted in favour of human rights irrespective of the fact that human rights have been entirely trashed by the very people now anxious to return to a society they spurned in favour of one that modelled itself on Islam at its inception in the 6th Century as a warring, conquest-driven ideology encompassing religion, politics, social life.

From a professor who has studied the phenomenon of radicalized  youth from the perspective of a liberal-left profession priding itself on its 'progressive' credentials that allow it to proudly and loudly support the entitlements of Palestinian Arabs whose response to the creation of a Jewish state was to initiate a wide-ranging program of violent assaults, airplane hijacking, suicide bombings, attacks on Jews in foreign countries, the creation of a death cult inciting their youth to become martyrs.

From a man whose prism is that of a former intelligence officer who has seen at first-hand the plots and schemes and actions and crimes of terrorist groups threatening the stability of civilized nations serene in their democratic processes, suddenly placed on notice that their geographical distance from the volatile violence taking place in the Middle East will no longer grant them immunity from violence inflicted on them because the world has become a smaller place where air travel minimizes distance and trained assassins motivated by religious zeal commit themselves with lethal passion, and more latterly Western societies well infiltrated by religious zealots are readily conscripted to jihad.

At the present, and in the moment, as it were, when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the most current iteration of terrorist-jihad central in its purest-yet form of incendiary hatred theologically inspired, is in the process of swift collapse book-ending its swift rise, the issue of the hundreds of Western-sourced Islamists, trained as jihadists in the use of lethal weaponry turn restively to their adopted countries, including what offspring they have conceived. Some of whom have been known as the lion-cubs of ISIL, trained as children to kill, shoot, behead.
Social media images alleging to show an Isil sniper believed to be 16-year-old German Linda W
Social media images alleging to show an Isil sniper believed to be 16-year-old German Linda W Credit: Twitter

Canada, like other Western countries, is bracing for their return. And how to react, to treat them, to deal with them all, is an issue of grave and great concern. Canadians have experienced a taste of how their government will react under the Liberals, when a mere two weeks earlier, the al-Qaeda/Taliban-linked Omar Khadr, child soldier of Islamofascism was released from his status as a terrorist through a government apology to him, resuscitating his 'reputation' and sweetening it with a $10.5-million gift.

The government of Canada is consumed with the contrite view that it must not under any circumstances be seen to be complicit with other governments seeking to bring to justice Canadian jihadis who might be exposed to some form of torture while imprisoned, preparing to repatriate, perhaps prosecute them, but ensuring they are not persecuted for their misdeeds, as Canadian citizens. The fate of vulnerable children is yet another, critical issue which must be resolved. And it can readily be done.

With the recognition that the parents that bore them did so while threatening and committing unspeakable violence and planning far more in the future, those parents qualify for the designation and recognition of unqualified to raise those children on the evidence. Those children under their care have not been nurtured with love, but taught hatred. Their destiny, as far as their parents were concerned, was to populate a fascist Islamist state whose agenda was conquest through fear and slaughter.

Having proven themselves incapable of raising children in a familial environment based on the virtues of civilized society and providing for those children security and nourishment of the spirit, the children should be taken into custodial care. Parents charged under the Criminal Code under section 83 for leaving Canada to join a terrorist organization, participating in or facilitating terrorist activity or committing a crime for a terror group which has penalties up to life in prison are in no position to raise children.
A little girl named Amina was found by Iraqi Army soldiers when they heard her cries from the rubble. 
A little girl named Amina was found by Iraqi Army soldiers when they heard her cries from the rubble.  Credit: Rex

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One Religion, Two Versions, Deadly Antipathy

"This is a Daesh fighter. We found him in the sewers in Aleppo. He surrendered, and we handed him over to the Syrians."
"I don't know what happened to him but we treat our prisoners with respect. If they [Daesh] caught one of ours, they would have killed him right away."
"If we lose in Syria, we will definitely lose in Lebanon. The war isn't only in Syria. It's here also."
"They're not refugees [Syrian Sunni refugees entering Lebanon for haven]. They're terrorists."
Mohammad, Lebanese Alawite, Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon

"The Syrian crisis has affected the mindset of the people here."
"When the Syrian war started, the people in Jabal Mohsen raised the image of Bashar Assad. We saw this as a provocation because we knew Assad was killing Sunnis. So we started to fight [their Alawite neighbours]."
"The Syrian army besieged one opposition area in Syria. That caused us to do the same to Jabal Mohsen."
Ramzi, Sunni Lebanese, Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon

"The Syrians [refugees in Lebanon] have ruined everything. They do not let us work, because they'll work for much less."
"Each refugee has an iPhone 7. They'll tell  you they're poor but they're not."
Yusuf, Sunni Lebanese, Tripoli, Lebanon
man Assad
(left) A man proudly displays the Syrian state flag in the neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen. (Preethi Nallu) (right) A protester waves a Free Syrian Army flag on his way to a demonstration in Bab al-Tabaneh. (Preethi Nallu)

Lebanese Muslims live their lives isolated from one another; the Shiites in their neighbourhood, the Sunnis in theirs and never the twain do meet. Except in combat, now that Syria has collapsed into a divided state itself, with the Sunni terrorist group Islamic State on one hand, the Sunni Syrian rebels on the other, and the Alawite Shiite regime of Bashar al Assad taking up the slack. Taking up the slack with him are his defending sponsors, Russia, Iran (with its al Quds division of the Republican Guard Corps, the Iranian Shiite militias), and Iran's proxy Lebanese terrorist militia Hezbollah.

Mohammad, who lives in the Alawite section of Tripoli, is a fighter with a Lebanese militia dedicated to supporting Syrian President Assad against the Syrian Sunni opposition rebel groups. They cross the border into Syria to cooperate with the regime's military, alongside Hezbollah and the Iranian advisers to Assad. From his neighbourhood alone, Mohammad boasts no fewer than two hundred Alawite Lebanese have fought in Syria for the Syrian government side.

When his militia is not busy fighting in Syria, they turn their attention to doing the same in their very own neighbourhood of Tripoli; even the street next to the one Mohammad lives on is named Syria. Not surprising, since Syria dominated Lebanon for years, as an occupying force. In Lebanon's second largest city the animus between the Islamic sects is as intense and deadly as it is anywhere else in the Middle East. In the divided city, unemployment is high and the presence of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees hasn't helped.

Able-bodied young men hang about, loitering outside the shops, drinking, sweet thick coffee, some of them high on Captagon, an amphetamine popularly used by fighters in Syria. Lebanese soldiers patrol the streets inside armoured personnel carriers mounted with .50 calibre machine guns. The fighting between the two  Tripoli neighbourhoods has seen dozens of people die in their newly reawakened hostilities resulting from Syria's civil war.

The government of Lebanon, intimidated and coerced by Hezbollah, is indifferent to its Alawite Lebanese citizens fighting in Syria in support of the Syrian regime. Mohammad's proud recounting of his fighting escapades in Syria bear no consequences. His Sunni adversary Ramzi, on the other hand, is circumspect when and if he alludes to crossing the border to fight against the Syrian regime, for to do so does bear consequences. "If I say 'yes' it's four years in prison", says one resident of Bab al-Tabbaneh. Ramzi discreetly notes that several men of his neighbourhood have fought in Syria with opposition groups, as well as with Islamic State.
Children Slum Tripoli
Syrian refugee children play outside a slum complex in Tripoli. (Preethi Nallu)
Lebanese from Tripoli may go back and forth to Syria, but tens of thousands of Syrians have entered Lebanon as refugees, fleeing the fighting there. Deputy Mayor Khaled Wolley places the figure of such refugees in Tripoli at 150,000 including the city and its suburbs. And as far as Maysa Saif with the civil society group Basmet Amal is concerned, though working to bridge sectarian divisions in the city, refugees import an extremist ideology amplified in local mosques. "Sheiks were trafficking fighters to Syria. I'll say it publicly. I don't care."

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Islam: The World's Refugee Source

"Our nationality is a curse. It's just a source of pain for us and our children."
"When we first came [to the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut administered by UNRWA; the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East], on the first night, I cried. It's like a graveyard."
"We had a good life [in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinians in Syria]. All my friends are Syrians. They used to treat us as Syrians, and we used to treat them as Palestinians."
Wadad Jomah, Shatila Refugee Camp, Beirut, Lebanon

"It doesn't mean anything to me [of her status as a Palestinian]. I'm dying because of Palestine. If someone asked me to switch nationalities, I would."
Iman Abd-Alkarim, Shatila Refugee Camp, Beirut, Lebanon
In Lebanon, Palestinian refugee camps — like Shatila — are isolated communities, alienated from their surroundings. More than 60 percent of Palestinians live below the poverty line. Cramped into the notoriously lawless camps, they’re banned from all but the most menial professions and barred from owning property. MoMA

Clearly, these women -- whose parents and grandparents were among the thousands of Palestinians who fled when Israel defended itself during its 1948 war of independence, a war forced upon Israel when it declared itself a newborn state once the United Nations declared its legality with the plan for Partition, leaving Palestine divided between Israel and the Palestinians, an opportunity that Israel seized and the Palestinians refused considering all the land theirs and theirs alone -- would prefer not to be refugees.

The United Nations, in its great wisdom, responded by forming a refugee relief agency dedicated solely to the support and upkeep of the estimated 750,000 Palestinians who fled to find temporary refuge in neighbouring Arab countries until such time when they could return, on the destruction of Israel, in roughly several weeks, a month at most. They and their descendants, who now number around six million, have been designated refugees for whom the United Nations deems themselves responsible.

And those Palestinians in their aggravated, aggregated numbers continue to nurse their victimhood grievances, plotting to destroy Israel and regain what they feel they had lost during the tragedy of the Naqba ("Disaster") ever since, mounting one violent attack after another on the Jewish state and its citizens. They have graduated from merely denouncing Israel as an illegal 'apartheid' occupying force in "Palestine" to slandering it through a global public relations campaign portraying themselves as victims and Jews as oppressors bent on Palestinian genocide even while viciously violent attacks on Israelis and Jews there and abroad have become commonplace.

When the Palestinians dispersed, calling themselves victimized refugees, and seeking shelter in neighbouring states, none of those Arab nations saw fit to absorb their Arab brethren and give them status as citizens, save Jordan which is itself comprised of three-quarters Jordanian Palestinians since Jordan itself was created by the British during its colonization of the area, out of land meant to be apportioned to Israel.
Adnan, a young father sitting on the ledge waiting for a job opportunity, “The lives we established in Syria became our home.” He spoke about Yarmouk, about the war and destruction, and he was hopeful that someday he might return to Syria. “I do not wish to live in Lebanon,” said Adnan. Before the war he had a nice apartment, a decent job, and a safe place to raise his children. The war in Syria has torn his family apart, and he now lives in Shatila — without his family. His home and business was destroyed when Yarmouk turned into a battlefield. He lost everything. Unable to provide for his young family, his wife took the children to live with her parents in Iraq. Adnan was distraught about the separation from his family, and he hasn’t spoken to his children in months. MoMA

In the Syrian Yarmouk refugee camp administered by UNRWA, Wadad Jomah and her husband had a large two-story home with many windows of which they were proud; all lost now when the camp became a scene of conflict between rebel militias in Syria and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command whose backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad destroyed the peace of the 'refugee camp' which was such in name only. Her husband had been a production manager in a medical supplies factory.

That the PFLP, a terrorist offshoot of Fatah, the leading Palestinian Authority party, finds common cause with a murdering tyrant is hardly surprising tough the former is mostly Sunni and the latter Shiite. Opposition groups accusing some of Wadad's relatives of collaboration with the Syrian regime, executed them. When another relative who fought with Jabhat alNusra, an alQaeda affiliate was arrested by government forces as he attempted to enter the camp to see his children, he was  imprisoned and died there.

The unrest and the danger led Wadad and her husband Hussein Jomah to leave Yarmouk three years ago, for the very same reason that most Syrian Sunnis left Syria. They resisted continuing to be living targets for the regime's chemical attacks, starvation siege strategies and barrel bombs, which destroyed the civil infrastructure they called home and killed the people they called their relatives. When they arrived in Lebanon, to the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila they found a warren of rickety concrete, narrow alleyways and squalid conditions.

Yarmouk, now, is in the hands of the Islamic State, and residents there continue to starve to death. The refugees now in Lebanon's Shatila camp recall their lives in Yarmouk before the civil war and mourn, just as their parents and grandparents recalled their lives in Israel before they fled, and mourned. "I can't live here anymore. I cry every night. I just want one room and a school for my son", wept pregnant Iman.

An alleyway in the Shatila refugee camp (photo: Mohammad Reza Hassani)
The infrastructure in the Shatila refugee camp is in a catastrophic state of repair. Above the narrow streets hangs a tangle of high-voltage cables that sometimes carry no power for up to 16 hours a day. The camp is hopelessly overcrowded, which means that residents are forced to build new residential complexes on top of existing buildings. From time to time, entire buildings collapse under the strain. Quantara.de

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Fear and Degradation in Syria, Squalid Misery in Lebanon: Merciful Islam

"We don't have a moderate opposition. When they first started rebelling against Assad, everyone was with them. But then they started killing and kidnapping. They didn't achieve anything."
"They came by force. They weren't invited. They [foreign Arabs] thought they were fighting for Jerusalem, not Syria."
"They would slaughter you if you did anything. You had to abide by their rules all the time."
"I saw countless executions. They would gather a bunch of people and slaughter them, either by beheading or shooting. After the beheading, they would put heads on sticks for three days. They killed a lot of my neighbours, a lot of elders, for small mistakes."
"If you cursed God, you would be beheaded. If someone told 'Daesh' you had spoken ill of them, they would behead you."
"When I was back in Syria, I wanted my kids to grow up and have an education and a good life. I still want that. But I have nothing to offer and see no hope."
Khalil, 43, Beqaa Valley refugee camp, Lebanon

One child killed and several people injured as major blaze engulfs camp for Syrian refugees in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.  Al Jazeera


In Lebanon's Beqaa Valley hundreds of thousands of Syrians have settled in makeshift refugee camps. They live in squalid conditions, affecting the health of the children marooned there with their parents. Children in such camps develop respiratory problems resulting from the dampness and the difficulty of maintaining hygiene. "In the winter, the canal floods. It stinks", says Khalil, speaking of the open sewer that lies metres from the structure in which his family lives; a simple tarp-covered affair. As one of the last families to arrive at this camp, he had little choice in the location of his new home.

In the summer as warm weather arrives, a plague of insects descends and the dirt on the valley floor turns to deep muck when rains arrive.
Bekaa Village Refugee Camp
Reuters

His own makeshift latrine used by his family drains directly into the canal, just as do those of all the other families. One of his neighbours complains about the filth surrounding them, and muses about moving back to Syria. "Where will you go?" Khalil asks  him, and answers himself, on behalf of his unhappy neighbour: "To death."

While most Sunni Syrians who have fled their country of birth have done so because the city, the towns and villages where they have lived all their lives have been bombed by the military faithful to the country's Shiite regime, which has used starvation, privation, aerial bombing, chemical weapons attacks, barrel bombs to destroy civil infrastructure and commit carnage to soft human bodies, destroying the lives of a half-million Syrians and dislocating millions more, in Khalid's experience his town was invaded by Islamic State.

Islamic State had inherited his town after an earlier insurgence of rebel groups had looted everything of any value from the village, to resell what they had stolen from the residents. Including the furniture from the town's school. When Islamic State moved into his village, Khalil says, their state of existence in the village descended from bad to dreadful. Most of the Islamic State fighters that established themselves in the village, he said, were foreign Arabs, others didn't speak Arabic.

The foreign fighters, Khalil stated, appeared to believe that they were on a mission to "liberate" the holy city of Jerusalem. They had no idea, he claims, that they were fighting a battle to overthrow the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. What Khalil appeared to find most troubling was the recruitment drives to ensnare the villagers into joining Islamic State. Under ISIL control, women remained indoors. Seen unaccompanied in the streets they could expect a public whipping.

Khalil himself was placed in prison for a month when a search of his cellphone revealed he had been in contact with a relative in the Syrian army. After experiencing a whipping and being otherwise beaten he was eventually released. But it was when his eldest daughter, 16, and his eldest son, 14, were being recruited into Islamic State that he made his move to take his family out of Syria, leaving behind their house and anything they couldn't conveniently carry with them.

At night they walked into Kurdish-controlled territory and from there made their way to Damascus where he paid a smuggler to take his family to Lebanon. "I wouldn't call it a life", he said wearily of the way the family lives in Lebanon when winter winds tear the tarps from the structures where families live in their Bekaa Valley encampment. In Khalil's shack there is a stove, a television set and a sewing machine. His wife uses the sewing machine to stitch colourful clothing for the women in the camp, to earn a living.
Bekaa Village Refugee Camp
Reuters

"If not for my wife, we wouldn't be able to support ourselves", he observes. If not for the Islamic State forcing women to wear all-encompassing black burqas, they would not now, far from ISIL control, thirst to wear bright and colourful clothing to soothe themselves. Two of the family's eight children attend school. A few of the younger children take advantage of "child friendly spaces" that NGOs provide.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Beauty of Islam

"I had nothing to do with any of this [Syrian Sunni protests against the Alawite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] before I was working and then going home. I hadn't even taken part in the demonstrations."
"They [Syrian prison guards] ask you in prison who is your lord. If you say God, they torture you more. You must say it is Assad."
"As soon as I was well enough [after his discharge from prison in Syria] I joined the fighters [rebel Sunni Syrians battling the Syrian regime]."
"It's true that I have been through all this but I'm not upset. It's all for the sake of God. This is what God has written for me. Our prophet would fight for the sake of God and be rewarded. I will be rewarded for this in paradise."
Abid Borhun, Syrian refugee, Reyhanli, Turkey


This man, Abid Borhun, lives with his wife and their four children in Turkey now. He once fought with the Syrian Sunni rebel group calling itself Ahrar al-Sham. But before he had decided to join the rebels he had no connections whatever to the growing protest movement. This was a man, an ordinary citizen of Syria, who remained beyond politics, as he saw it being played out, between Shiites and Sunnis in his native Syria.

Now he lives in a border town where Syria and Turkey meet, along with thousands of other Syrian refugees. His children are young, ranging in age from eight to 18 months. He has named his youngest boy Ibraham, but calls him Erdogan in honour of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to whom he feels grateful that he and his family have found haven.

As a businessman, busy shaping his life in the capital Damascus, Abid Borhun, might never in his wildest, most bleak nightmares have imagined a time when he would not be hale and capable, the master of his own fate. But he is a paraplegic, unable to move his legs, his arms, requiring that he be propped up. He suffered a severed spinal cord, three shattered vertebrae. Bullet fragments remain in his chest. A colostomy bag collects his waste.

"I tried to scream but no sound came out", he tells an enquirer, asking what had happened to him. Crouched with his rebel group in a shallow trench, preparing to launch a nighttime attack on a hilltop where Syrian army soldiers were stationed in northern Syria, he was hit by a sniper's bullet, through his neck. He felt certain he would die. The shahada slipped in a whisper from his mouth, leading him with a reverence for his spiritual investment in Islam, to death, and peace.

Instead, he survived, ending up at the Turkish border. Permitted entry, months of medical treatment followed in Turkish hospitals. This man who never entertained thought of protesting against the repressive government that ordained his life, was arrested on his way home on the outskirts of Homs. He was accused of terrorism. "What I saw in prison I hadn't even seen in films. I felt near the end of my breath", he told his interlocutor.

Beaten, hung by his wrists tied behind his back, he was electric-shocked. He was treated to a process whereby he came close to drowning. Then he was fitted and forced into a tire. And for twelve hours he was left squeezed into the tire before being released. He was released because he had been forewarned that if he 'confessed', in hopes of releasing himself from torture, he would be killed. Two months later he was released, ill and disillusioned.

And that's the point at which he joined the rebel militia, after he had recuperated from his ordeal. He is not bitter. What he experienced, he emphasizes, is what God had ordained for him. And if it is God's wish that he remain as he is, a shadow of what he was, he is content. Islam, the faith that instructs its faithful to slaughter the infidel, and to dedicate their lives to jihad, inspires him.

He does think about his country, and he hopes that the Sunni Syrian rebels will manage somehow to defeat their bloodthirsty president who destroys the lives of his citizens through chemical weapons, barrel bombs, starvation and privation geared toward killing more than the half-million he has already slaughtered. In this sectarian war. Where one branch of Islam has a venomous detestation for the other. Where either branch of Islam feels that the other represents apostasy.

"I want everyone to know about the beauty of Islam", he says. "I want Islam to spread. No matter what country, I want Islam to spread."

Heaven forfend!

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Turkey’s Yayladağ camp for displaced Syrians. CRISIS GROUP/Hugh Pope

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Iranian Shiite Crescent

"The average person [in war torn Yemen] lives on tea and bread. It's just one meal a day."
"They are in a weakened state, and that is why they are getting sick [in the cholera epidemic outbreak]."
Jamie McGoldrick, UN humanitarian coordinator, Yemen

"People will continue to get sick, and they will always be treated like cattle here."
"The international community should just make people stop fighting and help our hospitals."
Aziz Ramadan, Yemeni Coast Guard officer
Yemen Cholera map July 12

It's a telling phenomenon, that in the Middle East the enmities of ages past relating to tribal, clan, ethnic, sectarian and political violence is never far from the surface. From time to time unappeasable rage from one group to another bubbles up and hatred grows, nourishing bloodlust and conflict. In this century the Middle East has become accustomed to looking to the 'international community', and more singularly, the United States, to intervene and miraculously produce if not peace, then a temporary hiatus between peace and war.

Without such intervention they feel persecuted and deadlocked in arriving at any workable solution of their own invention whereby they might all live in peace with one another. Their passions, so close to the surface appear resistant to reason. That basic human rights should be the inheritance of all people anywhere and everywhere appears to elude their consciousness. And so, they inflict misery and carnage upon one another through their abrasive denunciations, threats and violence.

The one country that, under its current heightened fundamental Islamism appearing to initiate much of the hostile reaction that permeates the region is the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its glowering ayatollahs inflicting misery not merely in the region but far afield. Shiite Persia considers itself superior and closer to the Almighty than its Arab neighbours, most of whom practise Sunni Islam, representative of the majority of Muslims anywhere in the world.

Envisioning itself the ultimate authority on Islam and nourishing its ambitions to replace the command of Saudi Arabia as the custodian of the two most sacred sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina, Iran has been engineering a Shiite triangle as a power source with itself at the helm, to gain the legitimacy of authority and power that it craves and feels is rightfully its own. It has succeeded in alienating the Arab world against its machinations, and it has given the wider international community ample reason to suspect its ambitions go wider afield than the Middle East.

It is undeniably involved in creating and supporting terrorist groups to do its bidding both in the region and internationally. Iran's authority in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon (where its proxy jihadist militia Hezbollah holds sway) and Yemen, and the support it receives from Qatar, has it poised, alongside its growing thrust in ballistic missile and nuclear warhead enterprise, to present as the ultimate power in the Middle East. Its links to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program gives the lie to its constantly-assuring critics it has only peaceful aspirations.

Iran's meddling in Yemen's politics, spurring the Shiite Houthi rebels to challenge the country's Sunni government has brought the impoverished nation into a state of vicious conflict. The country's damaged infrastructure and state of war has brought it to an even greater degree of destabilization. Half of its 27 million people have no access to clean water and two-thirds lack enough food. Their state bordering on mass malnutrition has made the population vulnerable to cholera, which has become epidemic.

At least 269,608 people in Yemen in 21 of its 22 provinces have been infected with cholera, with 1,624 dying of the bacterial infection caused by feces-contaminated water that modern sanitation and water systems have eradicated elsewhere in the world. Treatment is simple enough with rehydration solutions and sometimes antibiotics, but in Yemen where structures and systems are overburdened and supplies short and medical facilities destroyed by bombing mostly from Saudi Arabian-led forces, the situation is dire.

Clinics that remain struggle to cope. The state is so poor civil servants were no longer being paid and sanitation workers went on strike. Lack of garbage collection caused septic backups contaminating water wells, and when dirty rainwater polluted the wells even more, it was inevitable that cholera would ensue. The United Nations requires $2.1-billion for humanitarian relief in Yemen, easily supplied by a wealthy country like Qatar, but the UN remains reliant on the international community.

Iran, which began the conflict leading to this dire humanitarian crisis, has other fish to fry, destabilizing the world order alongside North Korea. The coalition of Sunni-majority Arab nations in the Middle East has embarked on a disagreement with Qatar for its support and friendship with Iran and in the process they are now divided, leaving Iran dismissive of their claims, content to see its enemies in a state of disarray.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Irreconcilable Perspectives

"[The Temple Mount attack represents] an extremely serious event which crossed all red lines. The investigation is ongoing. We will need to reevaluate all of the security arrangements on the Temple Mount and its environs."
"I call on all public leaders to act to calm the situation and ensure quiet in Jerusalem."
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan

"Israel must reopen Al-Aqsa mosque and the Haram al-Sharif [compound] immediately."
"[Israel must] refrain from taking any step aimed at changing the historical [status quo; restraining Jews from praying at their most holy site, permitting the Jordanian Waqf authority to control the site on behalf of Muslims exclusively]."
PA information minister Mohamed Momani
Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)
Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)

Three Israeli Palestinians, Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19, plotted to obey Islam's stern injunction that all its faithful must engage in jihad, and for that purpose they killed two Israeli policemen standing duty on the Temple Mount. They made lethal use of two Carlo-style submachine guns and a pistol to succeed in their attack. One of the terrorists attempted to stab an officer after being apprehended.

In honour of their noble deed the clan they belonged to in their remote northern Israeli village erected a mourning tent. The abhorrent violence by Palestinians heeding the incitement of Mahmoud Abbas and their religious leaders who speak of Jews defiling the sacred precincts of the third holiest site in Islam, represents one element of authority inspiring those they serve, to commit these unspeakable acts of carnage.

Investigations proceeded to fully appreciate just how it was possible for three Palestinians bent on mayhem and murder were able to enter the area armed, and it was ascertained that in all likelihood they had assistance from those within the Temple Mount complex. Searches were ongoing to determine whether other weapons were present. To close off the murder scene, access to the Temple Mount was closed for the first time in memory, to Muslim Friday prayer.

Eliciting a furious response from Mohammad Hussein, the Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem, who took the occasion to call on Palestinians to defy the Israeli police-investigative shutdown. "We completely reject the ban by Israeli authorities." Well, of course they do; the tragedy for them is that three Palestinian heroes met their deaths, not that two Israeli policemen were murdered. "We have urged our Palestinian people to rush to al Aqsa today and every day to hold their prayers", he told Reuters.

Despite that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement from his office that the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary would be reopened once the security evaluations and the sweep for weapons was completed on Sunday, Muslims are outraged at their inability to access the Al Aqsa mosque as though nothing unusual had occurred, claiming the incident of locking them out of their prayer space represents Israeli "terrorism".
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Border Police officers walk on the Temple Mount after a shooting attack in the area left three people injured, two of them seriously, on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)
  2 Israeli policemen shot dead near holy site, gunmen killed: police
"We cannot allow for agents of murder who desecrate the name of God, to drag us into a bloody war", emphasized Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, of the delicate maneuvering that Israeli authorities must negotiate in efforts to allay Muslim concerns, iterating and reiterating that Israel has no plans to upset the status quo  and the site, administered as it is, "will be preserved".

A call from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Mr. Netanyahu expressing concerns over a possible escalation in overheated emotions, entirely justified on the part of Palestinians, it would seem, can fairly well be interpreted as a dark warning that should conditions not return to 'normal' favouring Muslim priorities there will be untoward consequences from an outraged and abused Palestinian population.

It is as though the events as they unfolded as described by Israeli police chief Roni Alsheikh, describing the attackers opening fire on the Israeli officers from inside the holy site, never occurred. As though weapons had never been brought into the holy compound by these devout Muslims. As though after shooting the two policemen, one of the assailants hadn't made use of a knife to attack an officer checking whether he had explosives on his person, leading to his defensive death.

To the Palestinian community, and to their sympathizers, three Palestinian men were killed by representatives of the Israeli occupation. And just incidentally, and of no consequence, two Israeli policemen lost their lives.

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Holding Israel To Arbitrary Standards

"We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled."
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

"Israel supports free trade and objects to its politicization. We are currently in touch with the Canadian authorities and are discussing this matter."
Itay Tavor, head, public diplomacy, Embassy of Israel, Ottawa

"There's many areas in dispute in the world and many areas in dispute in the world produce liquor products and wines. And nobody would like to see discrimination against Israel in a way that other regions in a similar position are treated differently. That would be the case if there's no reversal of this particular decision."
Michael Mostyn, president, B'nai B'rith Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the wines follow the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and “the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the wines follow the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and “the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”  (Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star)

The decision of which Mr. Mostyn makes reference to, has since been overturned. Several days earlier it was revealed the Ontario Liquor Control Board was informed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that it was no longer to accept wines derived from two wine-producing areas located in the West Bank, the area that Israel refers to as Judea and Samaria, corresponding to history, tradition and heritage; ancient Jewish territory, now claimed as their own through squatter-rights by the Palestinian Authority.

The world keeps forgetting that Israel responded to  a violent series of attacks by combined Arab armies in an effort to dislodge the Jewish State from its traditional geography under the newly re-established and completely internationally legal State of Israel. The conflict inflicted upon Israel that resulted in yet another victory over its challengers to its right to remain in the Middle East, saw Israel triumphant in retaking the Old City of East Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria.

Only in the Middle East must a nation which has been attacked and has successfully defended itself, be expected to return its original land mass to the losing aggressor. Yet the international community has collectively decided that Israel must restore to the Palestinians land that was never theirs to begin with. Which most certainly would have happened, had the Palestinians not continued to engage in a human-rights-violating terrorist incitement to violence against Israel and its citizens.

Canada has enjoyed stable and good relations with Israel, recognizing it as the sole democratic state institution in the Middle East, whose values and system of justice and dedication to equality reflects Canada's own. Yet a manager at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency took it into his head to redress what he personally appears to feel is a wrong done to Palestinians by punishing Israeli wineries located in the West Bank. In their defence the CFIA claims this was an error made by 'younger employee' "who made a mistake".

To begin with the CFIA itself is mistaken in its role; it would be up to Customs and Excise, not the CFIA, to exercise the kind of judgement that the CFIA took it upon itself to do. And having done so, now disavows. The letter dated July 11 from the LCBO addressed to "all sacramental wine vendors" purported to affect two wineries, Psagot and Shiloh, stating the grapes "grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory" are persona non grata in Canada, as adjudged by the CFIA.

That Canada does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the West Bank and other territories occupied in 1967 (wrested from the illegal possession of Jordan: West Bank, and Egypt: Gaza, in a conflict inflicted upon an unwary and unprepared Israel, just managing to succeed in its small self-defence military units against a much larger combined armies of its Arab adversaries, to realize victory over those that meant to destroy it) including the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, so that wine products labelled as products of Israel "would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading". 
A man shows a bottle of his wine that’s sold mainly for export, at the Shilo winery in the Jewish settlement of Shilo in the West Bank. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images


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