Tag Archives: Lebanon

Trump DoD Scraps Plan to Ban Cluster Bombs That Maim Children and Civilians Worldwide

“This is a profoundly retrograde step that puts the U.S. way out of line with the international consensus.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 12-1-2017

The new policy calls the weapons “an effective and necessary capability.” (Photo: mary wareham/flickr/cc)

The Pentagon made a decision that “beggars belief,” human rights groups said Friday, when it tossed out its plan to ban certain cluster bombs that leave a large percentage of lethal, unexploded munitions, which pose a significant risk to civilians.

“This is a profoundly retrograde step that puts the U.S. way out of line with the international consensus—cluster munitions are banned by more than 100 countries due to their inherently indiscriminate nature and the risks they pose to civilians,” said Patrick Wilcken, researcher on arms control and human rights at Amnesty International. Continue reading

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Israel Is Getting Ready for a Major War — and No One Is Talking About It

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 9-12-2017 by The Anti-Media

IDF soldiers deployed during “Operation Protective Edge.” (Photo: IDF/flickr/public domain)

 

Last week, Israel began holding its largest military drill in 20 years, and it was specifically designed to simulate a war with Hezbollah.

From the Independent:

“The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has deployed thousands of air, sea and land personnel to the Lebanese border for its biggest military drill in almost two decades, a show of strength designed to intimate Hezbollah and Iran even as their power grows in neighbouring Syria.” Continue reading

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Arab world’s first ordained female pastor is historic

Rola Sleiman made history. She now carries the title of ‘Reverend’ of the Presbyterian Church, the first woman to be ordained in a Middle Eastern Church on February 26, 2017 in Tripoli, Lebanon.

By Halim Shebaya. Published 3-4-2017 by openDemocracy

Rev. Rola Sleiman, used with permission.

Her ordination was “an act of love and justice”, those present at the ceremony heard in the sermon, and her comment to journalists after the ceremony was “Christ’s justice has been finally fulfilled”.

Rola had shown signs of cautious optimism in 2012 about her ordination: “It is not something that I dream of day and night. Whatever happens, I will not be discouraged.” But she tells me that she never imagined this day would come. She was very (pleasantly) surprised with the result of the Synod’s vote of 23-1 in favor of her ordination.

The historic nature of the event was not evident at first sight. She says “it’s not a big deal. I was serving my Church and I will continue serving.” Continue reading

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Come Again? State Department Claims It Brought Peace to Syria in 2015

Spokesperson John Kirby’s annual roundup included controversial “success stories”

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-29-2015

John Kirby briefs reporters at the Pentagon, 2014. DoD photo by Casper Manlangit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John Kirby briefs reporters at the Pentagon, 2014. DoD photo by Casper Manlangit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

State Department spokesperson John Kirby is raising eyebrows after he released a recap of 2015 “success stories” in which he credits the United States for bringing “peace” and “security” to Syria and “stepping up” to help the country’s people at a difficult time.

“The United States and many members of the international community have stepped up to aid the Syrian people during their time of need,” wrote Kirby in his laudatory year-in-review released late last week. He went on to claim that “the United States has led the world in humanitarian aid contributions since the crisis began in 2011.” Continue reading

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The demon of Death, a letter from Paris

The real goal of the attacks in France, as well as those in the Shia southern suburb of Beirut a few hours before this, is through fear, to spread division.

By Bernard Dreano. Published 11-14-2015 at openDemocracy

It was like spring in autumn. The weather had been turning warm, day after day, in this early November 2015 in Paris. One month later the town will host the UN Climate Conference COP21… Such unseasonable weather, the hottest November ever, must for sure have something to do with climate change.

It was an evening of football, with France vs. Germany at the Stade de France, in Saint Denis, north of Paris. Meanwhile the café’s terraces on the 11th arrondissement, the “swinging quarter” of the City, were packed with people enjoying the equable temperature. Nearby, 1500 people were gathering at the Bataclan, a well-known and popular music-hall, to attend the hard rock concert of the group Eagles of Death Metal. Continue reading

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Rights Campaigners ‘Disturbed’ as Obama Offers Further Spike to Israeli Military Aid

‘The fact that Netanyahu’s temper tantrum about the Iran deal could go towards an increase in aid is disturbing,’ said Naomi Dann of Jewish Voice for Peace

Written by Sarah Lazar, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-16-15.

President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is ready to hold "intensive discussions" about bolstering Israel's military. (Photo: White House/flickr/public domain)

President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is ready to hold “intensive discussions” about bolstering Israel’s military. (Photo: White House/flickr/public domain)

President Barack Obama offered Israel even more military aid this week as a consolation prize for the Iran deal, raising the concerns of human rights campaigners who oppose U.S. funding of atrocities against Palestinians.

Speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, the same day the accord was reached, Obama said he is ready to hold “intensive discussions” about bolstering Israel’s military, according to unnamed administration officials cited by The New York Times.

However, Netanyahu—who has vigorously opposed diplomacy with Iran—rebuffed the gesture.

Obama indicated in an interview with the Times on Tuesday that Netanyahu is likely holding out to see if he can still sink the Iran deal. Netanyahu “perhaps thinks he can further influence the congressional debate, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to uphold this deal and implement it without Congress preventing that,” said the president.

Due to recently-passed legislation, the U.S. House and Senate will have 60 days to review Tuesday’s agreement between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union. If lawmakers were to vote against the deal, and amass the votes to override a presidential veto, Obama’s hands would be tied on sanctions relief and the deal would sink. Continue reading

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Flag Burning At Its Finest

Flag used by Islamic State. Image via FaceBook.

Flag used by Islamic State. Image via FaceBook.

The people of Lebanon are rising up to protest against the Islamic State, and in particular the alleged beheading of a Lebanese soldier by ISIS – by challenging the world to burn ISIS flags and post photos of them doing so. But there are those in the government of that country that oppose this action, claiming the flags are religious symbols, which one may not desecrate according to Lebanese law, according to a report in the JewishPress.com.

The ISIS flag contains a religious writing at the bottom that translates to “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The controversy began August 30 when 3 youths posted pictures of themselves burning the ISIS flag in Sassine Square in Ashrafieh. The website Al-Akhbar reports that Lebanon’s Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi is now demanding the arrest of anyone who burns the ISIS flag. MP Ibrahim Kanaan said he would represent the group of three boys in court, who were the first to burn the ISIS flag, if the prosecutor charges them.

The concept is starting to go viral in Lebanon, and it has some Islamists worried.

We do not intend any offense to Islam or to Muslims throughout the world. As one of the world’s oldest and largest religious faiths, Islam is both divine and deserving of all respect. As non-Muslims, we apologize in advance for any misunderstanding.

It matters not what the government of Lebanon – or any other country – has to say about the world’s readiness to reject this group and all it represents. Islam teaches that religious faith and purity is not achieved in conversion through coercion. To that regard, ISIS is not representative of Islam any more than Ghandi is representative of violent uprising.

It also occurs to us that when ISIS uses this symbolic religious writing on their flag, it does so in violation of the very faith it claims to observe. While killing innocent men, women and children, raping and selling others, and burying still more alive, the barbaric actions are neither religious or holy. We believe ISIS to be the very spawn of the devil they claim to seek to destroy.

So we support those who would burn the ISIS flag, And we support those that will do so at risk.

JOIN US WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD IN REJECTING ISIS TODAY!

Follow the #BurnISISFlagChallenge news feed on Facebook

 

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