By Uri Avnery*
8 May 2015
BINYAMIN NETANYAHU seems to be detested now by everyone. Almost as much as his meddling wife, Sarah’le.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/J Carrier
Six weeks ago, Netanyahu was the great victor. Contrary to all opinion polls, he achieved a surprise victory at the last moment, winning 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, leaving the Labor Party (re-branded “The Zionist Camp”) well behind him.
The extra seats did not come from the Left. They came from his nearest competitors, the Rightist parties.
However, it was a great personal triumph. Netanyahu was on top of his world. Sarah’le was radiant. Netanyahu left no doubt that he was now the master, and that he was determined to order things according to his wishes.
More than 27,000 applicants applied for some 200 teaching jobs for the coming academic year in the Gaza Strip, where unemployment has now reached nearly 44 per cent, making it one of the world’s most unstable economies, the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East on 8 May 2015 said.
UNRWA continues to distribute food to 830,000 refugees in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA
“The resilience of Palestine refugees is legendary, but not inexhaustible,” said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides direct relief and works programmes for some 5 million Palestine refugees in the region.
Gunness quoted UNRWA Commissioner-General Krähenbühl as saying via social media: “Palestine refugees need more than just aid; they need a just solution.”
7 May 2015 (RT)* – Two Chinese missile frigates will enter the Russian Black Sea naval base of Novorossiysk for the first time in history. They will then conduct joint exercises with Russia in the Mediterranean
Type 054A frigate. (Image from Wikipedia) | Source: RT
The Linyi and the Weifang will enter the port of Novorossiysk on May 8 to take part in Victory Day celebrations, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Each is a 4,000-ton vessel of the relatively new Type 054A (also known as Jiangkai II), which first entered service in 2007. They are accompanied by a support ship. This is the first time Chinese warships will have entered the Russian base. Continue reading
By Roberto Savio*
In 1963 I took a trip to Venezuela. I was a young reporter then working for the Italian magazine Rinascita. During an interview with President Bentancourt he spoke about how very worried he was as a social-democrat about the rise of guerrillas in Venezuela.
Guevara’s face on a flag above the words “El Che Vive!” (Che Lives!) | Wikimedia Commons
I then set out to find its leader by the name of Teodoro Petkoff, but I could not find him. Nevertheless I was able to talk to some of his sympathisers. From this a report took shape with the peasant farmers that Petkoff wanted to enlist following the Cuban model.
I came to the conclusion that the facts were completely different to what Petkoff thought. And that the guerrillas would not succeed.
From Venezuela I went to Cuba where I talked to several Cubans stating that the revolution would not be repeated in Venezuela, which was not very well received by a few of the interviewed.
7 May 2015 (RT)* — Providing Kurds with weapons through the Iraqi central government lets the US maintain its influence over it while direct weapon supplies to the Kurds serves none of the US strategic interests, former US diplomat Peter Mark Van Buren told RT.
**Iraqi Kurdish smugglers near the border of Iraq | Author: James Gordon | Wikimedia Commons
US senators are pushing for a bill allowing direct military aid to the Iraqi Kurds fighting the Islamic State terrorists. The bill has been sharply criticized by the Iraqi government.
RT: We’ve heard that Baghdad is against this bill. Why would the US risk losing the support of the Iraqi government?
Peter Mark Van Buren: It’s important to understand that this bill is being put forward by a select group of individuals in the US Congress, not by the US government. The White House obviously opposes it and the chances of this bill changing any American policy on the ground are exactly zero.
By Mohammed Al-Asaadi and Ansar Rasheed*
Fighting in Yemen has closed numerous schools and left children in a desperate struggle to survive. Without emergency relief and an end to the conflict, their situation will only become worse.
© UNICEF Yemen/2015 | Ibn Sina School in Sana’a, Yemen, was heavily damaged in an air strike. The school, now closed indefinitely, provided primary and secondary education to 1,500 girls.
Sana’a, Yemen, 6 May 2015 – Seven-year-old Nada Nussir will not be going to school tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the day after that.
And her 4-year old friend, Abdul Rahman, will never return to school at all.
“Abdul was 4 years old, and he was killed by a sniper,” Nada says. “I do not want to die like him.” Continue reading
Oxford, 6 May 2015 (IRIN)* – Those trying to escape conflict and violence often only make headlines when they cross an international border and become refugees, but the majority of people forced to flee their homes seek refuge within the borders of their own country. They are “internally displaced persons,” or IDPs. By the end of 2014 there were 38 million of them, more than twice the number of refugees.
**Photo: Tobin Jones/UN Photo | Women arrive at a camp for internally displaced people in Somalia
Today, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) released its annual overview of global trends. Here are the key figures and issues from its 99-page report: Continue reading
6 May 2015 – Hardly any country in the world hosts as many companies accused of severe human rights violations as Germany, according to a recent survey by the University of Maastricht. EurActiv Germany reports.
Of 1,800 human rights violations analysed by the University of Maastricht, 87 can be traced to German companies.
This places Germany in fifth position, according to the number of such cases, behind the United States (511 cases reported), the United Kingdom (198), Canada (110) and China (94).
The list of potential human rights violations is long and includes cases such as water pollution in Peru, due to copper mining for car manufacturing, land expulsions in Uganda for a coffee plantation, villages flooded by a dam in Sudan, and exploitation of workers in the apparel industry.
In all of these cases, German companies were involved either directly or indirectly, according to complaints from NGOs, which were recently backed up by the University of Maastricht’s global comparative study.
– The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.
I recall meeting Elliot Abrams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State during the Ronald Reagan administration, in 1982.
He told me that at the point in history, the real West was the United States, with Europe a wavering ally, not really ready to go up to the point of entering into war with the Soviet Union.
When I tried to explain to him that the East-West denomination dated back to Roman times, long before the United States even existed, he brushed this aside, saying that the contemporary concept was that of those standing against the Soviet Empire, and the United States was the only power willing to do so.
The Reagan presidency changed the course of history, because he was against multilateralism, the United Nations and anything that could oblige the United States to accept what was not primarily in the interests of Washington.
The fact that United States had a manifest destiny and was therefore a spokesperson for humankind and the idea that God was American were the bases of his rhetoric. Continue reading