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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘protests’

Morsi Back After Massive Protests Threaten Palace

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

After a night of protests threatening the presidential palace, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has returned home, despite national outrage over his attempts at constitutional reform.

Police held back tens of thousands of protests around the perimeter of the residence, citizens who came out to protest reforms which will strongly increase the powers of the president and severely restrict any judicial oversight.

A referendum on the new measures is expected to be supported by the MuslimBrotherhood in the parliament.

King Abdullah in Trouble with Jordan’s Palestinians

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Last week, protests broke out in Jordan after a government decision to raise fuel prices. While protests have been taking place in Jordan for almost two years now, for the first time there is major involvement from Jordan’s Palestinians, with open calls for toppling the regime. With the future of Jordan’s King Abdullah in jeopardy, so is regional stability as well as Jordan’s peace with Israel. Pro-Western forces have critical options to consider.

The protesters, last week, started openly to call for the king to step down. The Independent noted that previously the protests had been “peaceful and rarely targeted King Abdullah II himself,” and reported that this time crowds “chanted slogans against the king and threw stones at riot police as they protested in several cities.”

Al Jazeera, as well, reported that protests have been taking place “across the width and the length of the country,” with “most chanting for toppling the regime.” Several of the king’s photographs – regularly displayed in public places in Jordan – were set on fire.

What came as a surprise in the recent protests, according to Al Jazeera, is that Palestinian refugee camps have been also participating to the fullest. These protests apparently broke out in the Al-Hussein refugee camp, close to Jordan’s capital, Amman. Protesters were seen calling for toppling the regime.

In another protest, Al-Hussein refugee camp protesters chanted: “Our god, may you take away our oppressor. Our country Jordan has existed before the Arab Revolution,” referring to the revolt against the Turks by which Jordan’s king’s great grandfather established the Hashemite kingdom.. Al-Hussein refugee camp protesters eventually marched into lively Douar Firas area near central Amman, where they were attacked by the fearsome Jordanian gendarmerie.

The gendarmerie officers were even harsher in the Al-Baqaa refugee camp, Jordan’s largest, where protests broke out for the first time, and slogans targeted the king with demands that he step down. Protesters reportedly burned tires, blocking the highway which borders the camp and connects Amman to Northern Jordan.

The Jordanian news website Ammon published a video showing an al-Baqaa refugee camp leader calling for “calm” within camps in Jordan, while admitting that the refugee camp’s leaders, usually favored by the regime over the Palestinian public, were not able to form a public committee to reach out to protesting youths. The Palestinian-dominated Jabal Al-Nuzha camp has also been the site of regular protests, with demonstrators also calling for toppling the king.

Other Palestinian-dominated areas are witnessing first-time protests as well, including Al-Ashrafiah, the Hiteen refugee camp and the broader East Amman.

It is not the Palestinians alone who are protesting against the king. “East Bankers” in Northern Jordan had generally kept away from the protest movements until last week, when the residents of Irbid, the biggest city in Northern Jordan, started calling for toppling the regime.

Other major protests have been taking place in several parts of the country. Tensions ran high in the southern city of Kerak, an East Banker-dominated city. A known opposition leader in Kerak, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was expecting serious escalation from the regime, and alleged that Jordanian police were cracking down on protesters and arresting their leaders. His claim was consistent with footage that appeared on YouTube, exhibiting parts of the unrest. He also claimed that southern Jordanians “have made up their minds, they will not tolerate the king any longer …it is too late for him to make any reforms.”

The Muslim Brotherhood too organized a protest, in the city of Rusifay, east of Amman. Their demonstration, critical of Abdullah’s Prime Minister, Al-Nosuor, but with no criticism of the king or calls for toppling his regime, simply demanded that fuel prices be reduced.

On November 18, the popular Jordanian news website, Al-Sawt, published an article entitled: “Will the Muslim Brotherhood get the price for its realism and positivity during the fuel-prices protest?” In the article, editor in chief, Tarek Dilawani (also a seasoned journalist for the Jordanian daily, Ad-Dustor), claims that the Jordanian regime had “an arrangement with the Muslim Brotherhood not to surf the tide of the protests, and to keep their demands fixed on peaceful reform of the regime.”

Nonetheless, the supposed arrangement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hashemite regime has not worked. It has not stopped protests by either Palestinians or East Bankers. As The Independent recently wrote: “The protesters…were led by activists that included the secular Hirak Shebabi youth movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various nationalist and left-wing groups.” It is therefore possible that the Muslim Brotherhood is only a part of the opposition, and not “the opposition.”

In New York, Protesters Voice Support For Israel

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Pro-Israel activists and concerned Jewish New Yorkers have been holding vigils and protests since Israel began striking Hamas missile launchers and terrorist operatives in Gaza last week.

Amcha, the Jewish activist organization led by Rabbi Avi Weiss, has been holding rallies in Manhattan on a daily basis supporting Israel.

At am Amcha protest last week near the Israeli consulate at 2nd Avenue and 42nd Street, a demonstrator waving an Israeli flag noted of pro-Palestinian protesters close by, “The Pro-Gaza mob is calling for the destruction of Israel. We on the other hand are simply calling for a stop to the Hamas missile barrage.”

“This is a battle for Israel’s survival,” another protester told The Jewish Press. “They, the Arabs of Gaza, now have rockets that can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel’s major population centers are now targets of these terrorists. They have to be stopped.”

Friday Morning Overnight Update

Friday, November 16th, 2012

7:35 AM NYC closed the area around the Israeli Consulate in light of the protests and for security reasons. Security has also been increased around other Israeli sites in the city.

The Federation announced they are donating 5 million dollars to Israelis in the South.

A Suspicious Object was found near the Jerusalem light rail at the Herzl train stop.

IDF was busy pounding terror targets overnight.

6:55 AM Missile hits house in Ashdod. No injuries.

 

Gush Etzion on High Alert

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Arabs and foreign anarchists have had a busy day on Wednesday, blocking main roads and running protests.

In Gush Etzion, army and police are expecting a number of attempts to close down the main highways, and have prepared for that possibility. Local residents have been warned of possible delays caused by these provocateurs.

 

 

More Naivete from Obama: Embassy Attacks Arose from ‘Natural’ Protests

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Speaking on the Spanish-language Univision television station yesterday, President Obama explained that it was not clear the attacks on the embassies were terrorism:

“What we do know is that the natural protests that arose over the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they could also directly harm U.S. interests” (emphasis added).

Does Obama really believe that people naturally protest obscure videos made more than half way around the world by unknown people and posted to youtube? Imagine Jews launched massive protests for every anti-Semitic youtube video.

Indeed, as was reported by JewishPress.com, the Egyptian talk show host who decided to turn the “Innocence of Muslims” video into a cause celebre is himself an extremist.

Perhaps its time for a President who isn’t an apologist for radical Islam.

Behind the Palestinian Protests: A Renewed Fatah Bid to Remove PM Fayyad

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

It is no secret that Fatah has long been trying to get rid of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who, its representatives argue, had been imposed on the Palestinians by the Americans and Europeans.

Abbas and Fatah have been trying for years to replace Fayyad with one of their own so that they could regain control over the Palestinian Authority’s finances.

The US and most Western donors have repeatedly made it clear to Abbas that removing Fayyad from his post would prompt them to reconsider financial aid to the Palestinians.

Fatah leaders in the West Bank were hoping that the street protests would force Fayyad to resign. But the prime minister’s refusal to succumb to the immense pressure (and threats) has left most of these leaders deeply disappointed.

For Fatah, the public outcry over the high cost of living provided a good opportunity to resume its efforts to remove Fayyad.

As soon as protesters took to the streets in a number of West Bank cities last week to demand the resignation of Fayyad, Abbas, who was in Cairo, declared that the “Palestinian Spring” had begun and that he supported the “just demands” of the demonstrators.

Abbas’s comment was seen as a green light to the protesters to take to the streets and demonstrate against Fayyad.

For several days, Palestinian Authority security forces had been instructed not to prevent the protesters from burning posters and effigies of Fayyad. The security forces also did not interfere as long as the protesters chanted slogans denouncing only Fayyad as an American and Israeli agent.

Some Palestinians believe that the protests actually served the interests of Abbas and Fatah, who have been widely accused of standing behind — or at least encouraging — the demonstrations calling for the ouster of Fayyad.

Palestinians noticed that in many cities, Fatah activists were organizing and leading the anti-Fayyad protests.

The unprecedented attacks on Fayyad stood in sharp contrast to the way the Palestinian Authority leadership had reacted in the past to criticism of Abbas.

Several Palestinian journalists and bloggers have been arrested since the beginning of the year by Palestinian security forces for publicly criticizing Abbas.

Abbas clearly had no problem as long as Palestinians were chanting slogans against Fayyad and hurling shoes at the prime minister’s posters in city centers.

But as soon as some of the protesters began directing their criticism also against Abbas and demanding an end to the Oslo Accords, Palestinian Authority officials warned that “outside elements” had infiltrated the ranks of the protesters in order to serve “foreign agendas.”

The “outside elements,” the officials claimed, were linked to Israel, Hamas, Iran and all the enemies of the Palestinians.

Abbas, who did not meet once with Fayyad during the crisis, was hoping that the demonstrations would send a message to the Americans and Europeans that the time has come to replace the prime minister. Instead of working with Fayyad to tackle the crisis, Abbas and his top aides preferred to spend the week in India.

However, when Fayyad announced a series of austerity measures to alleviate the economic hardships, Abbas’s office rushed to announce that Fayyad did so “on the instructions of the Palestinian president” — himself. Abbas was now trying to take credit for complying with the demands of the street.

Abbas and Fatah were also hoping that the protests would achieve other goals.

First, they were hoping that the scenes of anarchy and lawlessness on Palestinian streets would put pressure on many Arab countries to resume financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. Some Gulf countries are reported to have cut off aid to Abbas’s authority because they feel that he is not serious about combating corruption and implementing major reforms.

Second, Abbas and Fatah were hoping that the protests would persuade the Americans and Europeans to increase financial aid to the Palestinians.

Third, Abbas was hoping that the demonstrations would prompt the Americans and Europeans to intensify pressure on Israel to accept his preconditions for resuming the peace process: a full cessation of settlement construction and recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state.

Fourth, Abbas and his advisors were hoping that the protests would put the Palestinian issue back at the top of the international community’s agenda, especially at a time when the Iranian threat appears to have stolen the limelight.

Muslim Riots Spread Like Wildfire Through Europe

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to Europe. Muslim rioters have clashed with police in several European cities, and more demonstrations are being planned. The protests are part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about the amateur film, which ridicules Islam and depicts the Muslim Prophet Mohammed as a fraud, a madman and a sexual deviant.

Muslims in many European countries are calling on governments to outlaw the controversial film. They are also pressing elected officials to enact anti-blasphemy laws that would criminalize the criticism of Islam. As most European countries lack American-like First Amendment protections, the momentum is building for the imposition of legal curbs on free speech when such speech is perceived to be offensive to Islam.

In Belgium, police using pepper spray and batons arrested more than 200 Muslims in the northern city of Antwerp after clashes at a demonstration against the film. The protest in the Borgerhout district of the city was organized by an Islamic fundamentalist group called Sharia4Belgium. The protest was organized via a text message which read: “We are ready to work with our souls and hearts to fight for our beloved prophet, even if death comes to meet us. Whoever has love for the Prophet must be present.” In Brussels, police arrested more than 30 individuals who participated in two separate protests — one in the Sint-Joost-ten-Node district, and another one in downtown Brussels near the American embassy.

In Britain, some 300 Muslims protested in central London outside the American Embassy. The crowd included many radical Muslims associated with the hardline group, Hizb ut-Tahrir; they shouted slogans and held placards, saying, “America — Get Out of Muslim Lands.” The gathering, which consisted mostly of men but also some women and children, listened to speakers who condemned the film, U.S. foreign policy and the “oppression” of Muslims.

In France, police in Paris arrested 152 Muslims for taking part in an unauthorized, impromptu protest on September 15 at the Place de la Concorde near the American Embassy; there were a number of clashes, with four police officers hurt.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he would prevent any further anti-American demonstrations sparked by the anti-Islam film. “I have issued instructions so that this does not happen again,” Valls told France 2 television. “These protests are forbidden. Any incitement to hatred must be fought with the greatest firmness.” Valls also said that among the roughly 250 protesters, there were some groups that “advocate radical Islam.”

Nevertheless, Muslims have now issued a call via text messages and social media for new protests to be held on Saturday, September 22, at 2pm at the Trocadero district in Paris. The President of the anti-immigrant National Front party, Marine Le Pen, said the protests mark the beginning of a process of “intimidation” by Muslims.

In Germany, major Muslim umbrella organizations have warned that the movie could “endanger the public peace” and lead to “street massacres” in German cities. The chairman of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, has also called for a legal ban on the film within the Federal Republic. “I do think that we must use all legal means to ban the film,” Mazyek said in an interview with ARD television. Mazyek continued that the video had the goal of “sowing discord and hatred,” and therefore “I would use all means possible to outlaw the film.”

German political leaders are now equivocating about their commitment to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on the anti-Islam movie, said, “I can imagine there would be good reasons to outlaw the film” – a reversal of her statement of just two years ago, when, commenting on the Danish cartoon controversy, she declared: “Free speech is one of the greatest treasures of our society.”

Separately, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he would consider all legal options to ban public showings of the anti-Islamic film. He said Islamic extremists such as the Salafists are likely to incite violent protests within Germany, which Friedrich called a “highly dangerous” situation.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has also pleaded for a ban on the movie, arguing that freedom of expression has its limits. “The abuse of a religion that is likely to disturb the public peace is forbidden to us,” he said in an interview on Deutschlandfunk German radio. He also argued that a ban on the film would send the message that “Germany does not stand behind right-wing radicals who insult other religions.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/europe/muslim-riots-spread-like-wildfire-through-europe/2012/09/19/

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