Fresh tensions between Israeli officials and the United States have reportedly surfaced when America’s top diplomat said that peace between Israel and the Palestinians would choke off extremism in the Middle East.
US Secretary of State John Kerry infuriated Israeli ministers Thursday when he said the unresolved conflict was fuelling recruitment for extremists in the region.
“There wasn’t a leader I met… who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” he said.
Did you hear that the president of Israel said Israel is a “sick society”? Reuven Rivlin, a Likudnik, said this over the weekend. There’s been lots of coverage in Israel, but as Sullivan points out, the declaration hasn’t gotten much attention stateside. I should think it would be viral.
“It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Rivlin told the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Sunday at a conference titled “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other.”
“The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low,” he said. “We have all witnessed the shocking sequence of incidents and violence taking place by both sides. The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena. There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia. There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools.”
A Palestinian hit-and-run suspect is sent to prison and winds up dead; a Jewish suspected of a similar but deadlier crime in the West Bank is sent home to his family.
Three months ago, on July 25, Raed al Jabari, a 35-year-old a father of five, was driving on Route 60 through the West Bank. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel (having earlier taken painkillers). Near the Gush Etzion Junction he hit a woman standing on the road. The woman was slightly injured. Immediately afterwards, he veered sharply back onto the road and turned himself in to Israeli authorities. There he explained what is outlined above.
Al Jabari was arrested and taken to the Ofer military prison. He was brought to the military court within the complex, where in light of these facts, the military judge released him on NIS 8,000 bail ($2140), having decided that he was not dangerous and his action wasn’t a deliberate terrorist act. But those were the days of Operation Protective Edge, and under the cover of the fighting in Gaza, the IDF greatly intensified its repressive actions in the West Bank. Without any additional evidence, the Military Advocate-General decided not to release him and Al Jabari became a “security prisoner.”
A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007.
The jury found one guard, Nicholas Slatten, guilty of first-degree murder, while three other guards were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard. The jury is still deliberating on additional charges against the operatives, who faced a combined 33 counts, according to the Associated Press. A fifth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, had already pleaded guilty to lesser charges and cooperated with prosecutors in the case against his former colleagues. The trial lasted ten weeks and the jury has been in deliberations for 28 days.
The incident for which the men were tried was the single largest known massacre of Iraqi civilians at the hands of private U.S. security contractors. Known as “Baghdad’s bloody Sunday,” operatives from Blackwater gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians at a crowded intersection at Nisour Square on September 16, 2007. The company, founded by secretive right-wing Christian supremacist Erik Prince, pictured above, had deep ties to the Bush Administration and served as a sort of neoconservative Praetorian Guard for a borderless war launched in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
“The vilification of Islam has reached such heights that when the Muslim Sultan Mehmet II is cast opposite history’s bloodiest psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic hero.”
By Elesi Ali
This week I saw Dracula Untold in Istanbul, with an Italian Turkologist who shares my enthusiasm for vampire movies. It was past 10pm when the credits rolled, and the audience was disgruntled. Outside, Istiklal Street was still booming. An armored police van drove passed us, weaving through indifferent crowds. “That film was very anti-Muslim,” said my friend. I’m the Muslim one in our relationship, but I was trying to shrug it off, because frankly what else is new?
Over the past 3 weeks I’ve spent a significant amount of time researching through the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and putting together a number of tables which record the statistics of each battle that took place during his lifetime. This was due to a number of articles written by Islamaphobes which depicted the Battles of the Muslims at that time as if they were monstrous massacres numbering in the hundreds of thousands. This insinuation for anyone that knows Islamic History and the population statistics of that time would find these grossly exaggerated claims quite amusing.
It should be known that the tribes in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century were not very large, and usually consisted of only a few hundred people. At the time the Quraish, which were considered one of the largest tribes in Arabia, could only muster around 3000 from their own tribe to fight during the Battle of Uhud. So if you were to take that number of 3000 and factor in the Women, Children and Elderly (which collectively is about 3x the number of Males) then one could estimate that the whole population of Meccah didn’t exceed 10,000 people.
In 628 CE it is said that as the Muslim Empire began to expand northwards towards the edge of the Roman Empire, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had written a Charter to reassure the Monks at St. Catherine Monastery that they had nothing to fear from the Muslims. In the Charter the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) guaranteed for the Christians their security and rights to worship and live freely.
This letter remained in the possession of the Christians at St. Catherine Monastery for almost a 1000 years until it was later taken by the Turkish Sultan Selim I in 1517. It would remain in Turkey until this day, where it can be seen displayed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.
Whether you believe this letter to be authentic or not, there’s no doubt that the Muslims in 1517 held this document in high regards, and didn’t show any reservations towards the rights laid out therein. And even up until today, we haven’t heard from a single credible Islamic Scholar who says that this letter holds anything that would be considered against the teachings of Islam.
Now with the recent rise of such Terrorist Organizations like ISIS and Boko Haram who are said to have kidnapped innocent women and took them as “Sex Slaves,” it is imperative for us Muslims to defend our faith and prove that their vile actions are not sanctioned by Islam.
Now even though Islam has permitted non-permanent slavery as a substitute to prison sentences, nowhere in the Islamic Texts does it say that men are able to rape women. Be it they their wives, their prisoners of war or anything else. I could present many examples to prove my argument, but to keep things short and concise, I believe this letter in and of itself will be more than enough to prove my point. If you wish for a more detailed explanation of why Rape is not permitted in Islam please visit the website found HERE.
So now without further or do let us look at the Translation of this letter, which is said to have been sent by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to the Christians at St. Catherine Monastery, and see exactly what it says:
“Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” President George W. Bush said in 2002 as he set the stage for an invasion ofIraq.
The premise he invoked was that if a country believes it faces an imminent threat, a preemptive attack against that threat is tantamount to an act of self-defense.
An earlier use of this “anticipatory self-defense” doctrine occurred when Israel tried to justify its 1967 war against Egypt, Syria andJordan. Many people still believe Israel’s claim to self-defense was justified when actually it was just as fraudulent as the Bush administration’s “evidence” that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense (Cambridge University Press, 2013), John Quigley, professor of international law at Ohio State University, examines what actually happened in 1967 and how the misrepresentation of events resulted in giving credence to the doctrine of pre-emptive war. Quigley’s re-examination follows the release of documents declassified in recent years by the governments of France, Russia, Britainand the United States, all of which were involved in monitoring the simmering conflict between Syria, Egypt and Israel.