Mid Week News in Brief: What Others Are Saying

[UN’s] Richard Falk Defends Hamas for Keeping Gilad Shalit “In Good Health”

The latest UN report from Richard Falk, the Boston terror apologist, is outrageous. But just what his UN employers ordered. On the Palestinian Arab – Israeli conflict, Falk advises against “the value of direct negotiations at this time.” And then he rails against Israel’s killing of Hamas “military leader” Ahmed Jabari. Jabari was the Hamas military chief who led the development of the terror organization’s core military abilities in the Gaza Strip. He held Gilad Shalit prisoner for over 5 years and personally released him (following Israel’s agreement to release over a thousand Palestinian prisoners, many of whom were convicted murderers.) From Richard Falk? Israel should be condemned for killing Jabari because he “kept Shalit in good health.” - Human Rights Voices

IRAN: Closure of Tehran’s Largest Persian-Speaking Church

The Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran was closed last Thursday, May 23rd, due to pressure from Iranian security authorities. The authorities wanted to limit the church service to just the Armenian language, thus preventing any Farsi services from taking place. In another incident on May 21st, security authorities arrested Pastor Robert Asseriyan, one of the leaders of this church, in the middle of a worship service and transferred him to an unknown location. Iran’s Islamic regime has been implementing its anti-Christian agenda for a long time. This includes pressuring church leaders to prevent Farsi speakers from entering their churches, arresting members of the congregation and their pastors, and also closing down churches. Since the raiding of the country’s house churches, many new Christian converts have been arrested and terrorized. - Assist News Service, Mohabat News

[Muslim] Brotherhood leaders slam Turkey protestors

Several Muslim Brotherhood leaders accused Turkish protesters of receiving foreign funds from entities which they claim “want to make the highly successful Islamic project fail”. They said the crisis in Turkey is not really about the development of Taksim Square. The whole issue is part of the war on Islam and an attempt to undermine efforts by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party to complete the Islamic renaissance it has achieved. Hussein Ibrahim, secretary general of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said that thrusting the [Muslim] Brotherhood into the Turkish incidents demonstrates that there are people who wish to manipulate internal issues to serve international interests and projects in order to fight everything Islamic even if Turkey “has made unprecedented strides with regards to developments rates and the improvement of citizens’ incomes.” - Egypt Independent

Hezbollah fighters preparing for Aleppo offensive

Syrian opposition sources said yesterday that Hezbollah fighters were preparing to launch a major operation against the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. Louay Miqdad, media and political coordinator of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) told Asharq Al-Awsat that more than 4,000 Hezbollah fighters had arrived in the outskirts of Aleppo and were “gathering at the military engineering academy in preparation to enter Aleppo.” More than half of the strategically important city is reported to be under the control of the opposition. The Washington Post reported yesterday that Hezbollah was amassing thousands of its fighters around Aleppo, citing senior commanders from Hezbollah and the FSA on the presence of around 2,000 Hezbollah fighters in the city’s suburbs. Miqdad said: “Hezbollah’s escalation of its operations to include Aleppo proves that the Syrian regime forces are exhausted and need support.” He likened “the regime’s recruitment of Hezbollah fighters to former Libyan leader Gaddafi’s recruitment of African mercenaries,” adding that Hezbollah’s involvement will not change the balance of power in Aleppo, because the opposition forces are well entrenched in their positions. Reports of Hezbollah’s arrival in Aleppo have led many residents to leave the surrounding area. FSA fighters said they had no choice but to “booby-trap buildings in the city in order to stop regime and Hezbollah forces entering them.” – Asharq Al-Awsat, London.

Iraq: Israel can’t use our airspace for striking Iran

Baghdad has warned Israel that it would respond to any attempts by the Jewish state to use Iraqi airspace for a strike against Iran’s controversial nuclear program, a top Iraqi minister told AFP. The remarks from Hussein Shahristani, deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, mark the first time a senior Iraqi official has publicly warned Israel against entering its airspace — the most direct route — to hit targets in Iran. Shahristani also said that Iraq had received assurances from Washington that the United States would not use its airspace to attack Iran, which Western powers believe is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran has repeatedly denied the claim. “The (Americans) have assured us that they will never violate Iraqi airspace or Iraqi sovereignty by using our airspace to attack any of our neighbors,” Shahristani said in an interview in his office in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone. “We have also warned Israel that if they violate Iraqi airspace, they will have to bear the consequences.” – Arab News, Saudi Arabia.

Combating Antisemitism at the UN

It is opening week of another session of the UN’s top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, and antisemitism will once again be promoted around the globe via an organization built on the ashes of the Jewish people and sworn to hatred’s eradication. In March of last year, Israel decided not to cooperate with a UN ‘human rights’ establishment that promises equality and delivers discrimination. Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration and European governments not to spotlight the dark antisemitic underbelly of UN “human rights” operations, however, Israel is considering reversing this decision. Without fundamental reform, such an unfortunate about-turn by Israel would be a major boost to Israel’s delegitimizers. The cornerstone of every credible human rights institution is equality. Israel can and must articulate clearly identifiable sources of inequality that can be fixed – if the commitment to universal human rights standards is bona fide. The UN Human Rights Council can modify its agenda to place Israel under the same item as all other states. The mandate of the Council special investigator on Israel can be changed to require reporting on the human rights abuses of all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Western states in Geneva can end the exclusion of Israel from its regional group and abide by the UN Charter’s promise of the equality of all nations, large and small. A global vehicle for modern antisemitism or a human rights instrument? The ball should not be in Israel’s court. – Human Rights Voices

Hamas ‘surviving’ without Iranian aid

Islamist group’s departure from the ‘Axis of Resistence’ did not hasten reconciliation with Fatah. Healing the internal Palestinian rift seems to be unachievable despite the impact of the serious reduction in Iranian financial aid to Hamas and the departure of the Islamist group’s headquarters out of Syria. The latest issue of contention between Hamas and Fatah is Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s move to appoint a new prime minister to fill the vacuum left with the resignation of caretaker premier Salam Fayyad. Hamas rulers in Gaza pay the salaries of 50,000 workers and troops, which presents a financial hardship for the Islamist group similar to that faced by the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Authority. “Hamas can handle the financial difficulties and compensate for the Iranian financial aid with a strict tax system, the tunnel trade, and financial aid from some Arab states,” said Hani Habib, a Gaza-based commentator and political analyst in an interview with Gulf News. - Gulf News, UAE.

(Photo credits:  consortiumnews | tlvfaces | UNHRC)

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