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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Turkey Upset Vote Broadens Gov’t, Reduces Erdogan’s Power

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Voters in Turkey’s national parliamentary elections on Sunday voted to broaden the base and minimize the power that had coalesced under AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong backer of the Muslim Brotherhood who has welcomed Hamas to set up foreign headquarters in the country.

“Long live democracy!” CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told his supporters at about 10 pm local time as early returns made it clear that Turkey’s election outcome was different this time around, after 12 years of rule by the AKP’s Justice and Development Party.

More than 53.7 million eligible voters were expected to vote Sunday (June 7) in a pivotal parliamentary election. Of those, nearly 46 million went to the polls between 8 am and 5 pm local time; voter turnout was high – about 85 percent – “sign of a strong democracy,” according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who voted in Istanbul.

At least 50,000 people signed up to serve as election monitors, showing their concern over the possibility the vote might be rigged. It was a realistic concern: during local elections last March, there were suspicious power outages in 22 provinces across the country while votes were being counted, and discrepancies surfaced between numbers recorded at polling stations and those entered into the Higher Election Board computers.

The results may ultimately determine whether Turkey eliminates the prime minister’s position in favor of the presidential system desired by Erdogan, who has long advocated for the change.

At the end, the people made it clear: they had had enough of Erdogan’s dictatorial manner.

In the previous 2011 election, the AKP won nearly 50 percent of the 550 seats in the parliament. But this time, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) garnerned just 40.6 percent of the vote – not enough to win the 276 seats necessary to form the next government alone.

The leftist-socialist CHP (Republican People’s Party) which led the country prior to the landslide victory by the AKP 12 years ago, won approximately 25.3 percent.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) received 16 percent, higher than MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli Bahçeli had hoped for. “May the election be the best yet for our 20 parties, their valued candidates and 165 independent candidates,” he said prior to the vote.

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) meanwhile won 12.7 percent of the nationwide vote. This is the first time the Kurdish sector has crossed the parliament’s 10 percent barrier and winning a place in the legislative body. The HDP victory did not come without a cost – a bombing on Friday before the elections left two people dead in southeast Turkey and 200 others wounded. It was not clear whether in fact the polls would be safe in Kurdish areas. The Kurdish PKK terrorist organization also has a deep interest in the outcome of the election inasmuch as its group, which advocates for separating the region from the rest of Turkey, has been targeted by the government for years.

Fatah Renews Ties with Syria’s Government Regime

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

The Palestinian Authority will re-open its offices in Syria after a lapse of 32 years, Fatah central committee member Abbas Zaki told the Ma’an News Agency. Fatah, the leading faction of the PA, began as a terrorist organization.

Fatah maintains a military wing (the Al Alqsa Martyrs’ Brigades) which carries out terrorist attacks against Israel. The faction has also managed to “Palwash” its institutionalized encouragement of terror via official PA government ceremonies honoring dead terrorists and various PA government-backed media outlets whose programs for children and adults are filled with hatred for Israel and Jews.

Abbas Zaki told Ma’an that discussions were held with the Syrian regime over returning to the UN Relief and Works Agency villages — still called “camps — those Arabs whom the United Nations agency classifies as “refugees.”

The Da’esh terror group, also known as the Islamic State (ISIS), still controls two-thirds of the Yarmouk refugee camp, one of UNRWA’s largest. Zaki said the rest of that village is under control of other armed Arab factions.

Rivlin: No Help in Rebuilding Gaza Until IDF Soldiers’ Bodies Returned

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin, known for his warm, open manner and willingness to see both sides of a story, this time is not moving a muscle.

Rivlin told United Nations envoy to the Middle East Nicolai Mladenov in their meeting on Wednesday that Israel won’t help rebuild Gaza until Hamas returns the remains of two fallen IDF soldiers whose bodies are still being held hostage.

“Hamas is ready for the time being not to kill Israelis; they are willing to wait,” he acknowledged. “But before there is rebuilding, they have to give us back our sons. We know that their task to get rid of us is still on their agenda. Each side has to build confidence in the other.”

Lt. Hadar Goldin and St. Sgt. Oren Shaul both lost their lives last summer in Gaza while fighting in Operation Protective Edge, the counter terror war launched to silence the rocket fire and destroy the smuggler tunnels aimed at southern Israel.

Both of their bodies were stolen by Gaza terrorists during the heat of battle, and the terror group has refused to return them, thus preventing their grieving families from burying their dead loved ones. It is an especially cruel way to torture a parent, a method used as often as possible by Iranian-sponsored terror groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

The Goldin family, who met two days ago with the president, requested that Rivlin raise the issue every time he meets with any foreign dignitary and any time the issue of helping Gaza is suggested.

Rivlin also told Mladenov during their meeting that ultimately, Israel would be willing to cooperate with the UN in rebuilding Gaza but noted that few others have kept their promise to do the same. “Everyone is willing to help, but no one is helping,” he observed.

The president also reminded that previous deliveries of concrete and iron intended for construction went badly astray. Literally millions of dollars’ worth of construction supplies intended to rebuild homes and infrastructure for the people of Gaza following previous wars ignited by their terrorist rulers were confiscated and used to build underground bunkers for terror leaders, rockets, mortars and terrorist tunnels.

Part of that network, which Hamas and its allies used to great advantage during last summer’s war, was dismantled by the IDF. But much of it still remains within the enclave and Hamas is intent on rebuilding the rest.

Mladenov responded that it is important to rebuild Gaza as quickly as possible, not only to address the lack of housing, but also to create jobs and opportunities so that Gazans “will be drawn away from radicalism.”

UN Validates Terror as Committee Grants NGO Status to Hamas-Linked Group

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Israel is fuming as the United Nations once again validates terrorism with an official committee vote to grant a Hamas-linked group “Non-Governmental Organization” status.

The United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations decided to grant the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) an NGO status. The organization, which operates from Britain, promotes anti-Israel propaganda in Europe, in the political arena, in campuses and among the European public.

In 2010, Israel determined that the organization was illegal, because of its ties to Hamas. In 2010, a decree signed by then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak determined that the PRC serves as an organizational and coordinating wing of Hamas in Europe. Its members, according to the decree, are senior Hamas officials, operating to promote the terrorist group’s agenda in Europe, and maintain direct contact with other Hamas senior officials, including its leaders in Damascus.

The PRC’s guidelines include the denial of Israel’s right to exist, supporting the right of return of refugees to Israeli territory in order to establish a Palestinian state instead of the Jewish state, and opposition to the peace process.

This is based on research conducted by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which also found that senior members of the PRC serve in other organizations, which involve, among other activities, transferring funds to Hamas.

On the masthead of the PRC, the letter R is superimposed on a keffiyeh, which stands for “return.” Inside the letter is a miniature map of “Palestine”, symbol of the final goal: the establishment of a Palestinian state to replace the State of Israel.

A Non-Governmental Organization status enables organizations to strengthen their global influence and to widely spread their activities. This includes access to UN committees and conferences like the Human Rights Council, and permanent and Independent representation in UN sessions.

The committee is composed of 19 countries, including: Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Cuba, Turkey, China, Russia, the United States and Israel. The result of the vote on the adoption of the organization as an NGO was 12 in favor (Including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela, China and Cuba), three against (USA, Uruguay and Israel), and three abstentions (India, Russia and Greece). Burundi was absent from the vote. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor expressed his frustration: “Until today, the UN has given Hamas discounts and let it strengthen its activities. Now, the UN went one step further, and gave Hamas a welcoming celebration at its main entrance, allowing it to be a full participant.

“According to this script, one day we may find Hezbollah sitting at the Security Council and ISIS voting at the Human Rights Council. This is the peak season for the UN’s Theatre of the Absurd.”

German FM Steinmeier Advises Gaza ‘Stop Attacking Israel If You Want Economic Progress’

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Hamas will have to end its rocket fire on southern Israel before Israel ends its blockade on the enclave, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday during a visit to Gaza.

On Sunday, Steinmeier told reporters in Jerusalem it is essential to Israel’s security to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure and homes in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

During his visit on Monday, the German diplomat noted the importance of improving Gaza’s economy, which he said requires the opening of crossing points by Israel; in other words, lift the blockade around the enclave. But, he said, that is not easily done.

“We need local investments and those from abroad,” he said. “Hence we also need the possibility to export the goods, which are being produced here (in Gaza). This can happen only by opening the borders.”

However, he said bluntly, rocket fire aimed at the Jewish State by Gaza terrorists makes it extremely difficult for anyone to help create economic or other progress.

“But the whole truth is: all this will, under most difficult circumstances, happen only when there is real certainty … that (Gaza) is no longer a launching pad for rockets.”

Steinmeier did not meet with Hamas leaders, who have maintained an iron grip over the region since seizing control and ousting the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction in 2007.

Netanyahu Warns Campaign to De-Legitimize Israel Will Become Existential Threat

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a grave warning at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday (May 31) that Israel is facing a “great struggle” that will be an existential threat.

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the State of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name. It is not connected to our actions; it is connected to our very existence,” he said.

“It does not matter what we do; it matters what we symbolize and what we are.

“This is a phenomenon that we have known in the history of our people – what hasn’t been said about the Jewish People? They said that we are the focus of all evil in the world. They said that we are the poisoners of the wells of humanity. They said that we drink the blood of little children. All of these things are being said about us today as well. It was not true then and it is not true today. This does not have a shred of truth,” Netanyahu continued.

“I read again the poem of the great Alterman, about the accusations that are hurled at us, and he says that the most important thing is that we do not believe the awful things aimed at us because in the end that will be the victory against us. As long as we do not believe, as long as we reject these things and do not flagellate ourselves, we will be strong and steadfast.

“I think that it is important to understand that these things do not stem from the fact that if only we were nicer or a little more generous – [since] we are very generous, we have made many offers, we have made many concessions – that anything would change. [Because] this campaign to de-legitimize Israel entails something much deeper that is being directed at us and seeks to deny our very right to live here.

“I think that one must ask how can it be that Israel is accused over homes in Gilo, or over this or that action that we take to defend ourselves from terrorists, but that when a hundred times more victims – a hundred times more, not twice or ten or 50 times as many, but a hundred times – more people are being slaughtered in Syria, just in Syria – there are no protests, no condemnations, no 80% of decisions by United Nations human rights committees, against Syria.

“It is we who are accused, IDF soldiers who are accused of killing children. I saw the IDF delegation to Nepal which rescued Nepalese children and brought babies into the world. I did not see a delegation from Boko Haram. I did not see delegations from Iran there. I did not see delegations from Al Qaida and I did not see delegations from Syria.

“There is no justification for the campaign of de-legitimization being waged against the State of Israel, in which they are trying to suspend us from international organizations.

“The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred.

“We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred. We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy.

“There is no democracy that is more challenged than the State of Israel, which respects human rights, which respects pluralism, which respects humanity even in the most difficult war situations, even when thousands of missiles are being fired at our cities.

“Therefore, here we are not dealing in justifications, here we are telling the truth.

“This past weekend we had to rebuff a major international effort to oust us from FIFA and I am pleased that we succeeded. This was part of the continuing effort; I am not deluding myself that these efforts will cease, and we need to act on a very broad front, but the first thing that we must arm ourselves with is the truth — the truth, and also with the inner pride that we know who we are and what we represent, and that we will not capitulate to libels.

“And therefore, an accomplishment must be noted, an important accomplishment, but it must also be noted that this was a milestone in a long campaign in which we will insist on our rights and in which we will uphold the truth – not on our truth alone, but on the truth and we will not allow ourselves to be ousted from important sports organizations nor from those which are not important.”

US Claims ‘No More Extensions’ for Iran Nuclear Talks

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

The United States says ‘enough is enough’ and is now vowing to end P5+1 talks with Iran on time – by the current June 30 deadline – whether or not negotiators reach a deal.

“We’re not contemplating any extension beyond June 30,” State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said at a briefing on Wednesday. Rathke added that the U.S. believes world powers and Tehran can achieve their goal and reach an agreement by the self-imposed deadline.

Journalists have heard this kind of talk before, of course, and have learned to simply wait and see if the claim proves true.

Talks have resumed this week in Vienna at the deputy level. But Secretary of State John Kerry will meet on May 30 in Geneva with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to further discuss the current sticking points.

European leaders told reporters earlier in the week that it appeared possible no deal would be reached by the June deadline.

It appears the Iranian government has also been seeking a way to discredit the talks, even as state TV quoted senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi as saying the deadline could be extended.

The state-run Press TV internet site claimed Wednesday (May 27), “A recent opinion poll conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Organization (IRIB) shows the majority of the Iranian people do not trust the US with regard to a possible final deal between Iran and the P5+1 group over Tehran’s nuclear program.”

IRIB President Mohammad Sarafraz reportedly said at a news conference in the northeastern province of South Khorasan that some 70 percent of Iranians believe the US will not uphold its commitments from the talks.

According to the IRIB poll, 72.9 percent of Iranians believe “Tehran should continue to enrich uranium on home soil if the nuclear talks break down,” Sarafraz allegedly said. He added that 70 percent of responders also said they believe Iran should “cut down imports in a bid to counter enemies’ plots if the nuclear talks fail.”

The IRIB executive reportedly added that according to the poll, 75 percent of those who responded said they would blame Washington if the talks reach a deadlock.

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly urged U.S. and European leaders to step back and walk away from this “bad deal.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-claims-no-more-extensions-on-nuclear-talks-with-iran/2015/05/27/

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