LCCC ENGLISH DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Bible Quotation For Today/Whoever
serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also
John 12/26-30: "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour. ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say "Father, save me from this hour"? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine."
Bible Quotation For Today/They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practise every kind of impurity.
Letter to the Ephesians04/17-24: "Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.
They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practise every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."
Latest analysis, editorials from miscellaneous sources published on May 19-20/15
The continuous rise of ISIS/Abdulrahman al-Rashed/Al Arabiya/May 19/15
Netanyahu: We'll keep making every effort to bring Eli Cohen to Israel burial/Roi Yanovsky, Itamar Eichner/Ynetnew/May 19/15
IDF to disband all Druze battalion/Ynetnews/Yoav Zitun, Hassan Shaalan/ May 19/15
Why Saudi Arabia will not accept another ceasefire/Jamal Khashoggi/Al Arabiya/May 19/15
How Obama Lost Ramadi/Jonathan Spyer/PJ Media/May 19/15
Iranian Attempt To Break The Saudi Sea Blockade On Yemen Could Lead To Violent Confrontation/MEMRI/May 19/15
Lebanese Related News published on May 19-20/15
Nasrallah briefs Iran official on Qalamoun battle
Unseasonal heatwave brings fires across Lebanon
Bassil, Mexico FM launch Lebanese-Mexican House
MP Ammar Houri: Future, Hezbollah seek presidential crisis breakthrough
Mount Lebanon man kills wife with assault rifle
Information Minister Ramzi Joreige seeks counter-terror plan at Cairo conference
Restaurant syndicate pushes food-safety plan
Gemayel Fears Repercussions of Lingering Vacuum
Christians Skeptic on Aoun's Initiative to End Presidential Stalemate
Aoun's Bloc Continues Tour on Rivals to Garner Consensus on Initiative
More Joint Security Force Members Deploy in Ain el-Hilweh
Miscellaneous Reports And News published on May 19-20/15
Europe wants central role in Middle East peace'
'No alternative' to Saudi peace plan
1,850 killed, over 500,000 displaced in Yemen: UN
Iraq forces eye swift Ramadi fightback
Israeli PM appoints Silvan Shalom as peace negotiator
Palestinian Authority Officials: No point in renewing talks because Netanyahu isn't interested in peace
Israel slams Palestinian bid to oust it from FIFA
Canadian editor: Some of the nicest people I ever met are Nazis
Egypt and Mursi – Judicial reform remains vital
Yemeni dialogue conference to sign treaty on crisis
Khamenei’s adviser dismisses Iran role in Argentina bombing
Top aide to Iran's leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, meets Syria's Assad in gesture of support
The militia nation
Top aide to Iran's leader meets Syria's Assad in gesture of support
ISIS looks for collaborators after taking Ramadi
Nearly 25,000 fled ISIS attack on Ramadi in Iraq
Merkel, Hollande push for 'ambitious' climate deal
UN urges southeast Asian nations to let migrants reach land
Officials: At Least 61 Dead in Colombia Landslide A massive landslide
Latest Jihad Watch News
Islamic State celebrates capture of Ramadi with orgy of bloodshed, 25,000 flee their homes
Kerry: Don’t worry about fall of Ramadi, “Daesh has been driven back”
Irish bishop harms dialogue, says 11 Christians are murdered every hour
Qatar Kidnaps Journalists…and Practices Sharia
Bassil, Mexico FM launch 'Lebanese-Mexican House' in Batroun
Antoine Amrieh/The Daily Star/May. 19, 2015
BATROUN, Lebanon: Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and his Mexican counterpart launched Tuesday the “Lebanese-Mexican House” in the northern coastal town of Batroun to boost cultural interaction between the two countries. “There are 500,000 people of Lebanese descent in Mexico, and they should know that they will have a house in Lebanon,” Bassil told a crowd at a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for the center. “They are invited to visit it and meet their people and [see their] villages in Lebanon.” It was unclear when the center's construction would be finished. Welcoming his Mexican counterpart Jose Antonio Meade, who is also of Lebanese descent, Bassil expressed pride that seven of the 18 ministers in the current Mexican cabinet have, according to him, Lebanese origin.
The Daily Star could not verify Bassil's claim of the makeup of Mexico's cabinet. He announced that the two countries would begin implementing a “serious and real” plan to enhance mutual relations. Bassil said that Meade launched Tuesday an official project to boost economic trade between Lebanon and Mexico. The minister explained that while Mexico exports goods worth $50 million annually, Lebanon only exports $400,000. “We will seek with Minister [Meade] to establish the first direct air route to connect Beirut to Mexico,” Bassil said, noting that there are no such routes connecting Lebanon to any Latin American country. He also announced plans to introduce Spanish language courses in Lebanese school curricula, and to encourage the teaching of Arabic in Mexico.
Meade said relations between the two countries were bound by emotions. “We put our heart in the middle of any memorandum between Lebanon and Mexico,” he said. “The Mexicans of Lebanese descent are an honor to Mexico thanks to the love they have shown, their success and their charity.” “We have come in search of our origins and roots in Lebanon, and here we are, leaving a piece of our hearts as we return.”
MP Ammar Houri:
Future, Hezbollah seek presidential crisis breakthrough
The Daily Star/May. 19, 2015
BEIRUT: Future Movement MP Ammar Houri Tuesday criticized Free Patriotic Movement Michel Aoun’s popular vote initiative and said his party is working with Hezbollah toward a breakthrough in the yearlong presidential deadlock. “Hezbollah has placed the [presidential election] card in Iran’s hands and it is benefiting from Gen. Aoun’s stance,” Houri told local news website el-Nashra. He raised concerns about the ongoing presidential stalemate and said: “We [the Future Movement] through our dialogue with Hezbollah are seeking to persuade [the party] to Lebanonize the election and cooperate with them in order to reach a breakthrough in the crisis.” Houri said Aoun’s proposal requires a Constitutional amendment “and this cannot be achieved in the absence of head of state.”
Aoun’s “initiative also means changing our political system completely and turning it from a parliamentary system to a presidential system," he added. Houri said a Future Movement delegation will meet with a FPM delegation Wednesday to hear a briefing on Aoun’s proposal announced last week. Aoun proposed four options to solve the presidential vacuum:
1- A president could be elected directly by the people in two rounds of voting, first by Christians, and then by all Lebanese.
2- To hold a popular referendum to know who among the presidential candidates enjoys the most support. The winner would then be elected president by Parliament.
3- To allow Parliament to hold an election in which one of two of its most popular Maronite MPs would stand as candidates.
4- A new Parliament is elected based on a new electoral law that is more representative of the people, and then lawmakers would in turn choose a president.
Nasrallah briefs Iran official on
The Daily Star/May. 19, 2015/BEIRUT: Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has briefed visiting Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati on its battle in Syria's Qalamoun region, an Iranian news agency reported Tuesday. The two discussed recent developments in the region, and the spread of “takfiri groups,” the report added. It said Nasrallah briefed Velayati, the foreign affairs adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, on Hezbollah's ongoing battle alongside the Syrian army against jihadi groups in the border Qalamoun mountain range.
Velayati in turn hailed Hezbollah’s advancements in Qalamoun, and expressed optimism that “the resistance, which achieved great victories against the Zionist entity, will win in the battlefield like before." The visit came last in a series of meetings that Velayati held during his one-day trip to Lebanon Monday. He also met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun. Velayati served for 16 years as Iran's foreign minister, and currently heads the Center for Strategic Research, an Iranian think tank on strategy matters that was previously headed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He also ran in Iran's 2013 presidential elections.
Top aide to Iran's leader, Ali Akbar
Velayati, meets Syria's Assad in gesture of support
Reuters/May. 19, 2015/BEIRUT: A top aide to Iran's leader met Syrian President Bashar Assad Tuesday, Syrian state TV said, appearing to underline firm Iranian support for Damascus as it faces mounting pressure from insurgents in a four-year-old civil war.
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a former foreign minister, was the most senior of three Iranian officials to travel to Damascus in less than a week. Syrian state television reported the meeting between Assad and Velayati's delegation in a news flash without elaborating. Iran is Syria's most powerful regional ally and has become more pivotal to Assad's position since the uprising against his family's four-decade-old rule of Syria broke out in 2011. Tehran has sent economic aid to prop up the struggling economy and Iranian military advisers are on the ground in addition to Iranian-allied Hezbollah militants. On Monday Rustom Qasemi, head of an Iranian agency tasked with developing bilateral economic relations, visited Assad and said Tehran wanted to shore up Syria economically. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran's parliamentary national security and foreign policy committee, also reiterated Iranian support for Syria's government in a visit last week. Last month Iran's foreign minister said Western and Arab demands for Assad's removal have fueled years of unnecessary bloodshed as they have prevented negotiations on a political settlement. But Assad's position has been shaken over the past two months by the loss of notable areas of northwestern and southern Syria to a patchwork of insurgents including the ultra-radical ISIS and mainstream, Western-backed groups.ISIS has intensified the pressure by attacking government-held areas in central Syria, closing in on the ancient heritage site of Palmyra.
Unseasonal heatwave brings fires
The Daily Star/May. 19, 2015/BEIRUT: Lebanon is bracing for more bushfires Tuesday as heatwave conditions persist with temperatures predicted to soar over 40C. Dozens of firefighters have been involved in dousing bushfires that broke out Tuesday in the northern and eastern Beirut suburbs of Fanar, Jdeideh, Sadd al-Boushrieh and Kfar Shima. Civil Defense teams also put out forest fires in Sidon, Tyre, Nabatieh, Sarafand and Teir Diba in the south of the country. Firefighters also managed to douse a sugar cane fire at a rural property in Adloun, south Lebanon, while separate teams, backed by the Lebanese Army, were battling a huge fire at a greenhouse in Tabarja and a forest fire in Kfar Yassin in the Kesrouan district north of Beirut. The meteorological department at Beirut airport has issued a fire weather warning as temperatures along the coast stretching north and south of Beirut are expected to reach 41C. The weather department said the heatwave will subside late Tuesday with a significant drop in temperatures.
Information Minister Ramzi Joreige
seeks counter-terror plan at Cairo conference
The Daily Star/May. 19, 2015 |/BEIRUT: Information Minister Ramzi Joreige expressed optimism Tuesday that the Arab Information Ministers Conference in Cairo could lead to a plan to counter jihadi threats in the region. "I believe that this conference must end with a joint plan among Arab countries to combat terrorism and to address many media issues," Joreige told reporters at Beirut airport shortly before boarding a plane to the Egyptian capital. Joreige said he has several ideas to propose at the conference “and we hope to adopt a joint media strategy” to counter terrorism.
Gemayel Fears Repercussions of Lingering Vacuum
Naharnet/Outgoing Kataeb Party chief Amin Gemayel lashed out Tuesday at those who are obstructing the election of a new president, expressing concern over the yearlong vacuum at the Baabda Palace. “There are several initiatives but we are only concerned with heading to the parliament and electing a new president as the country can no longer endure” the lingering circumstances, Gemayel told reporters after meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri at his residence in Ain el-Tineh. Gemayel's statement comes a day after the Change and Reform bloc began a tour on the rival parties to brief them on Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's four-point initiative to resolve the presidential crisis. “The presidential elections is a joint responsibility and not individual,” Gemayel said, expressing fear that the polls are linked to foreign developments. Gemayel pointed out that Berri is “only concerned with activating legislation at the parliament and redeeming the country.”On Monday, the Kataeb chief said he agreed during a meeting with a delegation from Aoun's Change and Reform bloc to “maintain communication” during this period.“Our proposal was taken into consideration and we promised to consider the (Free Patriotic) Movement's suggestions,” said Gemayel, stressing that “the country cannot withstand long-term solutions or conflicting interpretations of the Lebanese political system and Constitution.”
LCCC/Derailed Micheal Aoun Is
Lebanon's Enemy/His Heretic Initiative goes with his delusions
Christians Skeptic on Aoun's Initiative to End Presidential Stalemate
Naharnet 19.05.15/The seat of the Maronite church in Bkirki and the Kataeb Party reportedly expressed reservations on the Change and Reform bloc's initiative to resolve the presidential deadlock. Sources said in comments published in al-Liwaa newspaper Tuesday that Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi and the Kataeb Party were mainly skeptic over the vague mechanism that the initiative is based on. Al-Rahi reportedly informed a delegation from the Change and Reform bloc that the Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's initiative includes positive and negative aspects. The sources said that the patriarch was keen to stress the importance of ending the presidential vacuum as soon as possible. Lawmaker Salim Salhab, who is part of the delegation, pointed out that al-Rahi would agree on any mechanism that facilitates the election of a new head of state, saying: “The patriarch favors consensus over any adopted technique.”The Kataeb party also vowed to study the initiative before taking any decision as the Lebanese Forces rejected any attempts to modify the Taef accord during the delicate stage the country is passing through. MP Ibrahim Kanaan, who led the delegation, told al-Joumhouria newspaper that the “initiative was partly accepted... Christians have joint concerns.” “The suggested mechanism was seriously discussed to reach a practical solution.” Kanaan said that the Christians “are seeking to fortify their presence in state institutions and elect a new president who enjoys the required characteristics.” “Those who are saying that the initiative requires a Constitutional amendment... haven't read it thoroughly as a referendum that includes Christians and the Lebanese doesn't require an amendment,” the MP criticized. “We are seeking to rectify the Constitutional path that have been adopted for the past 24 years.” Aoun's initiative sets four solutions to the presidential deadend, at the forefront the election of a president directly from the people in two phases, first by the Christians, who would eliminate candidates and on a second phase by the Lebanese people. Another solution would be a popular referendum and the candidate who garners most votes would be elected by the parliament as a new president. The initiative also includes the possibility of electing the Maronite candidate who has the majority of representation at the parliament, while the fourth is staging the parliamentary elections ahead of the presidential based on a new electoral law that provides equality between Christians and Muslims.
Aoun's Bloc Continues Tour on Rivals to Garner Consensus on Initiative
Naharnet/19.05.15/The Change and Reform bloc called Tuesday for real partnership between the Lebanese factions on the second day of its tour on Lebanese parties to discuss Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's initiative to end the presidential standoff.
MP Emile Rahme, who is loyal to Aoun, said after talks with Speaker Nabih Berri's Development and Liberation bloc at the parliament that the meeting was “fruitful.”“Partnership requires us to be frank with each other,” Rahme said, expressing hope that the rival parties would thoroughly study Aoun's initiative. He accused some parties of preventing Christians from their real representation at state institutions, considering the initiative a “chance to produce national unity.” Development and Liberation bloc lawmaker Ayoub Hmayyed told reporters that the meeting highlighted solutions for the political standstill. “We positively consider any proposed initiative, in particular that suggested by Aoun.” Hmayyed stressed that “partnership is the basis of all dialogues, which shouldn't allow any side to dominate or be excluded.”The delegation met on Monday with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Kataeb Party chief Amin Gemayel. Aoun's initiative sets four solutions to the presidential deadend, at the forefront the election of a president directly from the people in two phases, first by the Christians, who would eliminate candidates and on a second phase by the Lebanese people. Another solution would be a popular referendum and the candidate who garners most votes would be elected by the parliament as a new president.The initiative also includes the possibility of electing the Maronite candidate who has the majority of representation at the parliament, while the fourth is staging the parliamentary elections ahead of the presidential polls based on a new electoral law that provides equality between Christians and Muslims.
More Joint Security Force Members Deploy in Ain el-Hilweh
Naharnet /Members of the Palestinian joint security force deployed on Tuesday in two areas in the southern refugee camp Ain el-Hilweh after removing the obstacles hindering their presence there, the state-run National News Agency reported. A 30-member force deployed at the checkpoint near the entrance of al-Taware neighborhood, it said. Another 40-member unit positioned at the checkpoint of al-Tahtani street, NNA stated.The deployment came as part of efforts to consolidate security and stability in the camp, the agency added. The decision by the Higher Palestinian Security Committee to scale up a security plan at the camps began last year when the force deployed in Ain el-Hilweh that lies near Sidon. The joint force, which is led by Maj. Gen. Munir Maqdah, a senior Fatah official, has also deployed in other Palestinian camps. By long-standing convention the Lebanese army does not enter the shanty towns, leaving security inside to the Palestinians themselves. There have been several reports that the camps have become a safe haven for extremists.
IDF to disband all Druze battalion
Ynetnews/Yoav Zitun, Hassan Shaalan /Published: 05.19.15 / Israel News
Decision comes after 99% of Druze soldiers express desire to integrate into the rest of the armed forces.
After 41 years of service within the ranks of the IDF, the all Druze battalion "Herev" is slated to be disbanded according to a decision on Monday from Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. According to the IDF, the decision was made after a poll among Druze soldiers found that 99% of participants would rather integrate into the rest of the army than remain in a separate unit. A senior source in the IDF said that the decision comes at the end of "a series of consultations, including with the leaders of the Druze community who supported the desire to integrate the Druze youth into other combat units in the army. In order to preserve the glorious heritage of the battalion that lost 31 soldiers in its history... a special memorial site will probably be built for the battalion in the north." Some 400 soldiers currently serve in the battalion created in 1974 and it has mostly handled routine security duties on the Lebanon border - still the main mission of the battalion today.Druze integration into the rest of the IDF will begin in the next combat draft date (July-August) and existing companies within Herev will disperse in an organized fashion to other ground combat divisions in the army. Eisenkot ordered proper officials to find individual placement solutions for each officer and non-commissioned officer serving in the battalion. A senior IDF officer said Monday that, "further evidence of the high motivation among the Druze youth to serve the nation can be seen in the latest draft figures that 80% of the community about to enter into service want to serve in combat units - 5% more than the general public." The Herev battalion has played key roles in several operations and wars since its creation, and its soldiers were among the first to cross the border during the Second Lebanon War. It can easily be said that the Druze community has been more successful in integrating into the general culture of the armed forces than that of the Israeli public.Today, some 2,300 Druze serve in the IDF and another 1,500 are officers, some of whom serve in the IDF's most elite units. About 38% of those in regular service are combat soldiers, another 17% serve in technical positions and 13% play important administrative roles.
Netanyahu: We'll keep making every effort to bring Eli Cohen to Israel burial
Roi Yanovsky, Itamar Eichner/Ynetnews
Published: 05.18.15, 23:28 / Israel News
50 years after being caught and executed in Damascus, Mossad spy is remembered in ceremony; 'Eli Cohen was an extraordinary hero of Israel,' says President Rivlin. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday at a ceremony in memory of Mossad spy Eli Cohen that Israel will not rest until it brings Cohen back home for burial, 50 years after he was caught and executed in Damascus. "Children are named after Eli, streets and neighborhoods across the country commemorate his memory, and thanks to heroes like him, whose extreme modesty is inversely proportional to the greatness of their actions, we are able to survive," Netanyahu said. "As we speak, Mossad agents are working worldwide to continue Eli's legacy, and they are also worthy men and women, to the full appreciation of our people, even if their actions are not known and I hope are never known," he added. Netanyahu stressed the importance of Israel's control over the Golan Heights. "Imagine the Syrian army or rebel forces or extremist Islamic terrorist organizations or Hezbollah, under the command of Iranian generals, coming down from the Golan Heights to the Kinneret and the valleys of the north. Thanks to Eli Cohen this has been prevented," he said. The prime minister also vowed to include Eli Cohen's story in school curriculum. "Those who were not raised in the world of covert operations will have a hard time understanding the full significance of the warrior in the Mossad," Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said. "Only a select few are fit to fill this role. It requires a unique personality and a rare combination of qualities. Eli was one such warrior ... the legacy left by Eli, our man in Damascus, will survive for eternity."
Nadia Cohen, the spy's widow, spoke at the ceremony, saying, "Don't forget where Eli is, he is not with us. I'm asking, on this occasion, to do everything to bring him back home, to the country he fought for and for which he paid with his life."
President Reuven Rivlin, who hosted the ceremony at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, said: "Few people are remembered for generations. Among those few, there are almost none from the heroes of the intelligence community. Unknown soldiers who put their souls on the line and risk losing their lives at any minute, under a blanket of secrecy.
"Eli Cohen was an extraordinary hero of Israel. He merited that the entire country would know him well and maintain his legacy. We, citizens of Israel, will forever remember Eli Cohen as a true hero, who sacrificed his life in the defense of our security and for the freedom of our country."The president also talked about the obligation to remember Eli Cohen and his work, "The passing of the years can dim and blur the memory. Yet, our heroic brothers, who sacrificed their lives for our sake, deserve to be forever remembered."
He went on to stress, "This memorial ceremony marks a debt of honor to our brother Eli Cohen, and to his legacy. An eternal legacy which forever remains in our hearts. The legacy of our 'man in Damascus', for whom the safety to the State of Israel was ingrained in his very being." Cohen's three children and three brothers also attended the ceremony, as well as former Mossad heads Danny Yatom and Zvi Zamir.
Eli Cohen joined Army Intelligence in 1960 and in 1963, he moved to the special operations unit. His unique skills and exceptional professionalism helped him penetrate the top Syrian echelons and produce valuable and vital intelligence that improved Israel's preparedness ahead of the Six-Day War.Cohen helped thwart Syrian plans against Israel and passed on information on a Syrian plot to sabotage the National Water Carrier of Israel, the formation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and the armament of the Syrian Army - issues of the utmost importance to Israel's defense establishment in those years. When Cohen was caught, Israel made a great effort to rescue him and made different proposals to the Syrian leadership for Cohen's release, but those were rejected out of hand. On May 18, 1965, Eli Cohen was hanged in Damascus. Even 50 years after his execution, Eli Cohen is still considered a legendary warriror whose story and operations are told and taught in the Mossad to this very day.
Canadian editor: Some of the nicest
people I ever met are Nazis
There is nothing wrong with being a Nazi, the editor of a small Canadian periodical accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes about Jews told the Toronto Star on Saturday.
James Sears, the editor of Your Ward News, a local Toronto magazine, was under fire after publishing a collage portraying large-nosed Jews objecting to its distribution, according to the report. The illustration in question was a response to objections by a Jewish postal worker to distributing the paper.In a copy of the illustration posted online, a bearded postal worker with glowing red eyes, peyot and a kippa is shown holding a bagel and screaming: “It’s the Holocaust all over again.” In a second panel, two Jews with large noses are engaged in a conversation regarding Your Ward News. “Bernie, these goyim are meshuga, but where’s the hate,” one asked the other.
“Keep looking Saul,” the second replies.
While one Jewish leader told the Star that it was “a clear attempt at a hateful representation of Jews,” Sears disagreed.
Queried if he is running a neo-Nazi magazine, Sears wrote the Star that “neither I nor the publication are ‘neo-Nazi’... NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT! Some of the nicest people I have ever met are Nazis, but we are not.”
In an open letter to Canadian postal workers published in Your Ward News, Sears stated that the New Constitution Party of Canada, a group connected to and promoted in the magazine, “also love the Jewish people” but not the “illegitimate Zionist apartheid State of Israel that holocausts the Palestinians whose land they stole.”
The postal worker who expressed objections to distributing the magazine “obviously has personal demons that he should exorcise with his rabbi,” he added, volunteering to “sit down with him to provide counseling in the form of ZioMarxist deprogramming.”
The party and the magazine, he added, are engaged in a battle with “the parasite” for the future of Canada.
The letter was published under a cartoon of Jesus with an assault rifle slung behind his back standing next to a grenade.
The continuous rise of ISIS
Abdulrahman al-Rashed/Al Arabiya
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
The capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, Ramadi, has fallen to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), almost a year after the fall of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province. What we are confronting in ISIS is a cancerous state that is expanding and becoming more dangerous in both Iraq and Syria, and threatening Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Ramadi fell due to the same mistakes that led to the fall of Mosul. The entire world saw Iraqi army forces quickly fleeing, followed by political chaos in the capital Baghdad and each party blaming the other. Truth be told, the blame falls entirely on the Iraqi government, which failed to make decisive decisions and accepted not to anger extremists.
Winners and losers?
Who are the winners and losers from the ISIS victory in Ramadi, the capital of the biggest province in Iraq? ISIS is the biggest winner, as it is growing from a scattered terrorist organization into a state. By controlling major cities, it attains more arms, members, money and influence. It occupies dozens of cities and towns, including the capitals of two provinces. It overlooks the borders of three countries, and has come closer to Baghdad.
What we are confronting in ISIS is a cancerous state that is expanding
The first losers are the people of Anbar, as their suffering will increase amid the rising number of displaced. The United Nations estimates the number of Iraqis displaced within the country at more than 2 million, most of them Sunni Arabs who are prohibited from seeking refuge in Baghdad, Karbala and Kurdistan due to sectarian and racial reasons.
Residents of cities occupied by ISIS cannot stay for fear of being slaughtered, having their sons unwillingly recruited, or getting killed by shelling, as happened to people in Tikrit.
Another winner of the ISIS expansion is Tehran, as Iraq has become a failed state that requires Iranian support. Tehran has offered to send more military support and thus repeat the Syrian experience, where the regime is now mainly dependent on Iranian power. The rich, strategic country of Iraq is transforming into an Iranian province due to ISIS victories.
These victories are unsurprising given that Iraqi Shiite sectarian forces reject the arming Anbar tribes to defend themselves. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi had to back down on his promises to arm those tribes due to sectarian parties’ protests. He also had to object to Washington’s desire to arm Sunni tribes that want to fight terrorists and defend themselves, warning that such a move is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.
Iran’s defense minister was the first of visitors to Baghdad during this crisis, and Abadi has asked Shiite militias to liberate Ramadi after the Iraqi army’s failure!
Why Saudi Arabia will not accept
Jamal Khashoggi/Al Arabiya/Al Arabiya
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Saudi King Salman and the whole of Saudi Arabia want to stop the war in Yemen, but if it has to, Riyadh will be decisive and patient until victory is achieved. Saudi Arabia will most probably reject further calls for a ceasefire, even if they appear “humanitarian” or aimed at giving diplomacy a chance. It will reject such calls because its rivals, whether the Houthis or ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, do not take the humanitarian aspect into consideration as they deliberately shell civilians. Their deceit was clear during the humanitarian truce that Riyadh unilaterally declared last Tuesday. The Houthis, Saleh’s forces and their ally Iran completely violated the truce. The former two targeted Saudi territories and killed civilians, while the latter sought to break the siege on Al-Hodeidah port, testing the Saudi will as if it wants to escalate the situation. It is a model that keeps being repeated elsewhere. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad and his regime lie and deceive while using barrel bombs to target every city and neighborhood they lose control of. In Iraq, sectarian militias kill people and wreak havoc - such incidents have become frequent, and no one has been held accountable or tried. This constitutes one “Iranian camp,” which includes a sectarian government in Iraq, an Alawite regime in Syria, and popular mobilization forces and militias that act upon hatred and myths. So in Yemen, Saudi Arabia must expect an ugly repetition of everything that has happened and is happening in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Pressure on Saudi Arabia comes from friends and enemies alike, from foolish people and those with good intentions. However, this must not weaken Saudi determination. Stopping the war now would be a big loss, because the Houthis would re-arm, make up for their losses and repeat their aggression against the kingdom and Yemen. Stopping the war now would be a big loss, because the Houthis would re-arm. I was in Doha last week participating in an annual forum that brings together dozens of retired Western politicians and researchers. Many of them lack confidence that Riyadh can end the war on its terms, and fear that it will be dragged into a battle beyond its control. These negative impressions add pressure on the kingdom because they speak to media outlets and research centers in their countries. They write commentaries on the war as experts on our region, and some provide consultations to their countries’ leaders. As such, Riyadh must show its capabilities and vision more clearly and actively.
While in Qatar, I met a young Yemeni minister whom the Houthis expelled from his ministry. He abhors them, but he does not sympathize with the war. He fears for his family and bitterly talks about injured civilians, fuel shortages and closed hospitals.
He does not care if a Saudi pilot is concerned about avoiding civilian casualties because the minister knows that blowing up an arms depot on the outskirts of a residential neighborhood will harm some residents even if they are not the target. He is not willing to forgive the foreigner, even if the latter fights to achieve a dignified life without Houthi guns pointed at Yemeni heads. We need a humanitarian Decisive Storm and better rhetoric to win Yemeni hearts and minds. The 1 billion riyals ($266.65 million) that King Salman allocated last week for a Yemen relief center must reach the country in the form of food or fuel. Our Yemeni brothers must not starve. It is a difficult mission amid Houthi insolence and rejection of peace, but the kingdom must do this because the war is not against Yemen or the Yemenis, but for them.
Iran is also exerting pressure. Its desire for confrontation with the kingdom was shown via its insistence to send a jet to Sanaa airport, though it was prevented from doing so. Iran then tried to send a cargo ship to forcefully enter Al-Hodeidah port, but the Saudi navy prevented it.Tehran wants one of their boats or ships to be hit so as to escalate the situation into a regional crisis that its ally Russia can describe as “threatening world peace,” and thus address it at a U.N. Security Council session that further complicates matters.
The Houthis want a ground assault. They are under the delusion that if they violate the ceasefire, they will drag Saudi Arabia to Yemen’s mountains and into street battles. They do not care if Yemen is destroyed - what matters to them is bloodying Saudi Arabia.
Saudi intellectuals are also exerting pressure and warning of a ground assault. They recall the famous American statement: “We mustn’t send our sons to war.” They say it in English as they puff on cigarettes and worry those whose sons are on the frontlines. Operation Decisive Storm must go on until victory is achieved, no matter what. If we stop, we will go back to square one.
How Obama Lost Ramadi
Jonathan Spyer/PJ Media
May 18, 2015
The fall of Ramadi to the fighters of the Islamic State is a disaster for the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The taking of the city brings IS to just over 60 miles from Baghdad. In addition to showcasing the low caliber of the Iraqi security forces, the events surrounding the fall of the city lay bare the contradictions at the heart of Western policy in Iraq.
Prime Minister Abadi had ordered the garrison in Ramadi to stand firm. He hoped to see a successful stand in the city as a prelude to a government retaking of Anbar province, over half of which is still in IS hands.
But in a manner reminiscent of the fall of Mosul in June 2014, Iraqi security forces ignored orders to defend Ramadi, and fled eastwards to the neighboring town of Khalidiyeh. This left Ramadi to the tender mercies of the fighters of the Islamic State, who have reportedly since slaughtered at least 500 people. It is important to note that even U.S. airstrikes were not sufficient to prevent the debacle.
As of now, Shia militias are heading for the city's outskirts. A militia-led counterattack is expected in the coming days. A further advance eastwards by the Sunni jihadis, at least in the immediate future, is unlikely.
So what is behind the failure of the Iraqi security forces and the continued advance of the jihadis?
On the simplest level, the greater motivation and determination of the IS fighters explains their continued successes against the Iraqis. The jihadis are all volunteers. Not all of them are highly skilled fighters, but their level of motivation is correspondingly very high.
The White House is determined to relate to the government of Haider al-Abadi as the sole authority in Iraq.
By contrast, Iraqi soldiers are often serving far from home, defending communities for whom they have little concern. Most joined the army for the salary. Their unwillingness to engage against the murderous jihadis of the Islamic State is not hard to understand or explain.
However, this problem has now been apparent for nearly a year, ever since the Sunni jihadis first crashed across the border from Syria last June. So why has it not been addressed? The blame for this cannot be placed at the feet of low ranking Iraqi soldiers.
The blame lies at the policymaking level. The United States is committed to the territorial unity of Iraq. It therefore is determined to relate to the government of Haider al-Abadi as the sole authority in the country.
The problem with this stance is two-fold.
Firstly, it precludes providing arms directly to the elements who are most willing to use them against the Islamic State (namely, the Kurdish Peshmerga and further south, the elements among the Sunni tribes whom the U.S. aided during the "surge" in the 2006-2007 period).
In the north, this has not prevented the Kurds from successfully defending the area west of Erbil (with the vital assistance of coalition air power). But it has served to keep the Kurds militarily dependent on the coalition, thus reducing the possibility of their making a bid for independence from Baghdad in the immediate future.
The Obama administration refuses to directly arm pro-Western elements in Iraq most willing to fight IS.
Secondly, and more importantly, the U.S. commitment to the territorial unity of Iraq is leading to a willful blindness regarding the actual nature of the government in Baghdad and its true sources of strength and support.
The supposedly legitimate armed forces of Baghdad are, as has been witnessed again in Ramadi, not fit for the purpose. The true defenders of Baghdad and of the government are right now heading toward Ramadi. They are the forces of the "Hashd al-Shaabi" (popular mobilization). They are the Shia militias, supported by Iran. These militias are the wall behind which the Amadi government shelters.
The West insists on maintaining the illusion that the government in Baghdad is something other than a Shia sectarian-dominated entity in the process of entering a de facto military alliance with the Iranians. This stubbornness is producing the current absurd situation in which Western air power is being used in support of Shia Islamism.
American hesitation to aid Kurdish and tribal Sunni forces has left the field to Iranian-backed Shia militiamen, seen here after their recapture of Tikrit in March.
It is important to understand that this is not taking place because there is no other option for stopping the advance of the Islamic State. There is another, more effective option: direct aid to the Kurds, and to the Sunni tribes further south.
This support of Shia Islamism is taking place because of the conviction in Western capitals — most importantly, of course, Washington, D.C. — that the advance of Iran and the building of Iranian strength in Lebanon and in the collapsed states of Iraq and Syria is not a phenomenon to be prevented.
Rather, Western capitals believe that growing Iranian influence can be accommodated and perhaps even allied with.
This conviction combined with the desire to maintain the fictions of "Iraq" and "Syria" are the foundations of current policy. For these reasons, in the coming days we will witness U.S. and Western air power, astonishingly, supporting Shia Islamist militants as they battle with Sunni Islamist militants. Meanwhile, overtly pro-Western forces further north lack arms.
The Islamic State just took Ramadi. In Western capitals where Middle East policy is made, folly is engaged on a similarly triumphant march.
**Jonathan Spyer is Director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2011).
Iranian Attempt To Break The Saudi Sea Blockade On Yemen Could Lead To Violent Confrontation
By: A. Savyon and H. Verulkar*/MEMRI
May 19, 2015 Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No.1161
The Iranian ship Nejat (“Rescue”), which Iran says is bringing humanitarian aid, is set to arrive at the Yemeni port of Al-Hudaydah on May 21, 2015. Aboard it are Iranian representatives, including Majlis member Dr. Mohammed Sadeghi, who fought with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iraq during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war; members of the Iranian media, and activists from France, Germany, and the U.S. Prior to the ship’s departure, the peace activists announced to the Iranian mediathat they were enthusiastic supporters of the regime of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, and that they were willing to die in their mission to bring humanitarian aid to Yemen.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said that the Nejat was joined by two Iranian warships last night.
Yemen’s sea and air ports have been under siege since the beginning of Operation Decisive Storm.
The Saudi Position On The Iranian Vessel’s Attempt To Enter Yemen
The Saudis are allowing humanitarian aid into Yemen only after inspection to ascertain that weapons are not being smuggled in to the Houthis.
Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Al-’Asiri, spokesman for the Arab coalition’s Operation Renewal of Hope and Saudi defense adviser, told Al-Jazeera by phone on May 11: “The coalition forces have the right to conduct a search” of the vessel. He added: “After we ascertain that its cargo [indeed comprises humanitarian aid] we will allow it toproceed to its destination.”
In a May 12 statement, Al-’Asiri stressed, “The Arab coalition will not allow any vessel to reach Yemen without coordinating with us,” and clarified: “The Saudi land forces are on alert to deal with any attack.” He said that the coalition was issuing permits to bring in aid to Yemen in coordination with the U.N., and that Iran can send its aid to Yemen via the U.N. Under this arrangement, the Saudis have allowed several aid ships that passed inspection to enter the port.
On May 13, Al-’Asiri said: “Another country [i.e. Iran] seeks [to bring in] aid [to Yemen]by force, in violation of the decision by the Yemeni government and the Arab coalition that the Yemeni government has authorized the latter to deter all violations. This constitutes a violation of international law.” In another conversation with Al-Jazeera, on May 14, Al-’Asiri warned Iran against any attempt to bring in aid by force, saying that “any attempt by any country” to do so “will be considered a precedent in this kind of crisisand under international law.”
Also, Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin implied in a May 13 phone conversation with Al-Jazeera that all means would be used against the Iranian vessel should it try to break the blockade. He placed all responsibility for any violation of the blockade on the Iranian regime, andadded that Yemen had authorized the coalition to deter any violation.
Also on May 13, Yassin told the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that Yemen’s Foreign Ministry had given no permission to the Iranian ship to proceed to Al-Hudaydah port. He explained that the coalition countries had set up sites for inspecting aid shipments via sea and air before they could enter Yemen. Ships must first go to Djibouti for inspection, and aircraft are searched at airports in some of the coalition countries.
He said: “Yemen’s Foreign Ministry, which is operating temporarily from Riyadh, has granted many entry permits to theaid and humanitarian organizations [whose delegations] arrived recently at Sana’a airport after contacting the ministry…
“The Iranian vessel’s advance towards Yemen, which is not authorized by the Yemeni government or the coalition countries,” he said, “constitutes a clear provocation to the international community.” He added: “We must know the identity of the passengers on the ship, what their roles are, and whether or not they are going to go back [to their countries]… On board this ship, there are 60 Iranians and seven foreigners from human rights organizations, and they do not have visas to enter Yemen. Therefore, their entry is illegal, and they must be held fully responsible for this.”
On May 16, 2015, Yassin told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that another Iranian ship had turned back to Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, after the UN demanded that Tehran allow its cargo to be inspected. He said: “The ship’s return [to Iran]… indicates that it had contraband on board.”
He also underlined an April 28, 2015 incident in which a civilian Iranian plane from Oman attempted to land at Sana’a airport without authorization, which ended with the runway being bombed by Arab coalition jets. Noting that while all the countries and aid organizations obey laws without causing provocation,”Tehran’s insistence on violating Yemeni airspace, and its attempt to land at Sana’a airport, led to the destruction of [the airport's] runway, out of fear that [Iran] would [use it] to carry out their plans. The same will apply for Iran’s declaration that it will not allow inspection of the vessel that it is claiming carries humanitarian aid.”
Additionally, the Yemeni mission to the UN sent a letter to the Security Council warning that if Iran does not allow inspection, it will bear full responsibility for any incident resulting from the vessel’s attempt to enter Yemen’s territorial waters.
Iran’s Position On The Vessel’s Attempt To Break The Blockade
Iran, which supports the Houthis and has already sent them weapons, does not recognize the Saudis’ authority to enforce the blockade, particularly their authority to stop humanitarian aid from entering. It argues that the ship’s entry into Yemen has already beencoordinated with the UN.
On May 16, 2015, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said: “Saudi Arabia cannot make decisions for the countries aiding Yemen or forthe UN.”
In a May 19 Al-Manar TV interview, and in a May 16 Tehran press conference, respectively, Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham also rejected the Saudi demand to inspect the vessel.
Iranian spokesmen have also threatened that any Saudi attempt to attempt to stop the ship would trigger an Iranian response. In a May 12 interview with Iran’s Arabic-language channel Al-’Alam, Iranian Army Deputy Chief of Staff Masoud Jazayeri said: “I explicitly state that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s restraint has itslimits. The new rulers in Saudi Arabia, the Americans, and the others should note that if they wish to again disrupt the Islamic Republic of Iran’s attempts to provide aid to countries in the region, it will spark a conflagration there that they will certainly be unable to contain.”
On May 17, Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee head Ala Al-Din Boroujerdi told the Iranian news agency Fars: “The Iranian decision is exact and very courageous… Saudi Arabia and the coalition countries have no right to inspect this ship or to prevent it [from reaching Yemen]… Iran will respond very decisively and strongly to any interruption by aggressive countries.
The U.S. Position On The Dispute
On May 12, 2015, the U.S., which supports the coalition blockade on Yemen, asked Iran to divert the vessel to the UN aid distribution hub in Djibouti, instead of trying to break the blockade to reach Al-Hudaydah.
AssessmentIn MEMRI’s assessment, neither Iran nor the Saudis are going to back down in this matter. Saudi Arabia will only allow the Iranian vessel through after it undergoes Saudi inspection, and Iran will not permit the Saudis to board it. Either a violent confrontation or a Saudi takeover of the ship is likely.
It should be noted that the Iranians would like the Saudis to instigate a violent confrontation, in which Iran would play the role of aprovider of humanitarian aid that is being attacked.
This tense scenario could erupt into a localized conflict at sea that could escalate to a broader confrontation in the Arabian Peninsula and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia has, in recent days, made diplomatic efforts. Alongside this Iranian provocation, it convened the May 18-19 Riyadh summit, an intra-Yemeni dialogue among all Yemeni political parties except the Houthis, passing resolutions backing the position of Saudi Arabia and the coalition for resolving the Yemen crisis on several levels – domestic, regional, and international – via the UN.
Under these circumstances, it can be assumed that the U.S. will intervene to try to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis; such a solution might be attainable, although in light of the stances of both sides, this cannot be certain. However, even if a last-minute diplomatic solution is found, this skirmish could exacerbate the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran and lead to a violent escalationat some point in the near future.
In this context, it should be mentioned that the five-day ceasefire that began on May 12 has not been renewed, and, according to Yemeni Foreign Minister Yassin, the ceasefire collapsed following violations by the Houthis – thus legitimizing the ongoing Saudi airstrikes against them.
*A. Savyon is director of MEMRI’s Iran Media Project; H. Verulkar is Director of Research at MEMRI
 Sadeghi was also aboard the Iranian aircraft that attempted to land at Sana’a airport on April 28, 2015; in this incident, Saudi and coalition aircraft bombed the runway. Marebonline.com, Mashreghnews.ir, May 5, 2015.
 German activist Christoph Hörstel, on board the ship, told the Iranian news agency Fars: “I Iove Iran very much, and I believe that the Rule of the Jurisprudent in Iran represents the most important political change in the world in the last century… My wife is even willing to deal with the news that I have been killed for the goal that I have chosen… For years I was in the Afghanistan war alongside the mujahideen and I have experience with this kind of risk.” Fars, May 18, 2015. In an interview with Tasnim on May 17, 2015, Hörstel said: “If the Americans had any sense, they would accompany the Nejat and not interfere with hit at all, because today the eyes of the entire world are on how it acts towards it.” U.S. activist Caleb Maupin said: “I love Iran and Iran’s Islamic Revolution… We have all thought about [being killed on our mission]. Before this trip,even I thought about the possibility that I will die, and I have prepared myself for it.” Mashregh, Iran, May 16, 2015.
 Aljazeera.net, May 11, 2015.
 Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2015.
 SPA.gov.sa, May 18, 2015.
 Aljazeera.net, May 13, 2015.
 Aljazeera.net, May 14, 2015.
 Aljazeera.net, May 13, 2015.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 13, 2015.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 16, 2015.
 Marebonline.com, Mashreghnews.ir, May 5, 2015.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 16, 2015.
 Aljazeera.net, May 13, 2015.
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 1155, Iran’s Support For The Houthi Rebellion In Yemen: ‘Without Iran There Would Be No War In Syria And Ansar Allah Would Have Never Emerged’, April 21, 2015.
 Mehr (Iran), May 16, 2015.
 Iribnews.ir, May 19, 2015; ISNA (Iran), May 16, 2015.
 Al-’Alam (Iran), May 12, 2015.
 Fars (Iran), May 17, 2015.
 Voice of America, May 12, 2015.