The Chief strikes back, Pt III

MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim portrayed a very pleased refelection after meeting HRH Sultan of Selangor this afternoon, particularly about the discussion about his summary expulsion from PKR on Saturday.

The Malay Mail Online story:

MALAYSIA

Khalid says ‘very satisfied’ after meeting with Selangor Sultan

BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL
AUGUST 11, 2014
A positive Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (left) emerged from an audience with the Selangor Sultan (right) over the current crisis surrounding his position as mentri besar. — Bernama file pic
A positive Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (left) emerged from an audience with the Selangor Sultan (right) over the current crisis surrounding his position as mentri besar. — Bernama file pic
KLANG, Aug 11 — A positive Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim emerged today from an audience with the Selangor Sultan over the current crisis surrounding his position as mentri besar, saying he was pleased with the outcome.

The two-hour meeting held at the Istana Alam Shah here involved Khalid, the Selangor ruler as well as the state royal council.

“I am very satisfied,” he told reporters when met outside of the palace here.

But Khalid declined to reveal further details, and is set to announce the result of the meeting a press conference scheduled for 2pm today.

Khalid’s position was thrown into question after he was expelled by PKR’s disciplinary committee on Saturday ostensibly for his open defiance of the party’s decision for him to make way for PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Observers believe Khalid’s sacking leaves the coalition in a precarious state and will add to worries that snap polls may have to be called to ward off a stalemate.

Khalid’s removal sees PKR’s share of the 56-seat Selangor state assembly dropping to 13 from 14 while allies DAP and PAS have 15 seats each. Umno, the opposition in the state, holds 12.

It is still not known if Khalid will join any other party or will simply become the lone independent assemblyman.

Khalid has 14 days to appeal his expulsion. PKR’s top council will then decide if there are sufficient grounds for an appeal and form a special committee to hear his challenge.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/khalid-says-very-satisfied-after-meeting-with-selangor-sultan#sthash.164CSDAH.dpuf

 

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It is believed that HRH Sultan Selangor agreed for Khalid to continue and serve in the capacity as MB Selangor till the current 13GE term ends, at the maximum June 2018.

If that is true, than Khalid is now an independent with probably 15 PAS ADUNs and 12 UMNO ADUNs willing to back him to remain as MB Selangor in the Selangor State Assembly. With one of two more PKR ADUNs backing him, Khalid has a majority-back Selangor State Government  even though he is an independent.

What is more interesting, would he reshuffle the State Government Exco and remove all those DAP and PKR ADUNs who are clearly against his MB-ship and wanted to ow Anwar’s line of sordid scheme of things to install his wife as MB-Selangor.

The is a glimmer of hope for some UMNO ADUNs coming back as Exc0, which complement Khalid’s Selangor State Government.

Published in: on August 11, 2014 at 14:30  Comments (3)  

The Chief strikes back, Pt II

More legal letters are issued by Messrs Bon and Associates, in the chronic case of sacking of MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim from PKR as a member which the party Central Leadership Council unanimously decided yesterday. This time, it is to PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

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Note that the same letter was also addressed to PKR Disciplinary Chairman Dato’ Dr Tan Kee Kwong.

PKR supposedly stands for ‘KeAdilan’, which was born from the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister on 2 September 1998 and an UMNO member a day later, a decision made by UMNO Supreme Council. How different is that from what MPP PKR did to Khalid yesterday?

It is an obvious travesty against the concept ‘KeAdilan’ (Justice) which PKR was formed and the basis of its struggle. At least, Anwar Ibrahim was present and allowed to make his case when MT UMNO met on 3 September 1998 before they decided to sack him.

PKR members should question this sordid unproductive and now turning into a counter productive political drama, which include the attempt to install the totally inexperienced and leadership amateur Wan Azizah as MB Selangor, part of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim delusional scheme of politicking to assume the helm at Putrajaya by next GE.

This ‘Kajang Move’ comes with the expectation that Wan Azizah is supposed to administer and manage the most wealthiest and populous state and largest economy in the nation. Never mind the fact that Wan Azizah personally admitted that she doesn’t mind to be a ‘puppet’.

NST story on 5 August 2014:

Wan Azizah: I don’t mind being called a puppet

5 AUGUST 2014 @ 8:07 AM

SHAH ALAM: PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she does not mind being called a ‘puppet’ if the move to install her as the Selangor menteri besar is suc cessful.

She said that should she become MB, she would appoint her husband, de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as her consultant and adviser.

Addressing party members at an event in Klang last night, Wan Azizah said the only reason she was roped in to become the MB was because Anwar had his opportunity ‘snatched away’ from him.

“We strategised the Kajang Move to make Anwar an assemblyman and later, the menteri besar but this was thwarted by the Barisan Nasional-led Federal government.

“As the Selangor MB post was always for Anwar in the first place, I would not hesitate to call on him as my consultant and advisor when I become the MB.”

She claimed that Anwar has the necessary experience to advise her as he was once appointed by Qatar as its economic advisor.

Wan Azizah also took a swipe at under-fire MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, saying that he should realise that he is no longer involved in the corporate sector.

She said she and Khalid had not met since her candidacy was announced.

Meanwhile, PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli, who was also present, said there was still a chance for Abdul Khalid to remain as MB if he met with the party leadership and committee to explain the accusations against him by the party’s secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“We have little tolerance to allegations pertaining to integrity as we have always promised the people that we would be different and stand by our principles,” he said.

In a meeting on Sunday, the PKR leadership had discussed the sacking of Khalid from his party membership if he still refused to vacate his state post following the party’s re quest.

Rafizi said those who want Khalid to step down would not mind resorting to snap polls in order to make Wan Azizah the MB.

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Supporters of the unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellow and rakyat of Selangor must watch this development very closely.

*Updated midnight

Watch how Opposition Leader trying to justify the saclking of Khalid as MB Selangor

Published in: on August 10, 2014 at 11:30  Comments (7)  

The Chief strikes back

MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim responded to the PKR Disciplinary Board Chairman Dato’ Dr Tan Kee Kwong’s letter, with a letter from his lawyer Edmund Bon.

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Mr New Sin Yew of Bon Associates questions the PKR Disciplinary Board on which provisions and part of any article within the party constitution that Khalid as a member has violated and the complain against him is based on.

As the plot thickens, the MB-ship impasse gets more chronic.

*Updated 830pm

MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid has been sacked from PKR. The PKR Central Leadership Council unanimously made the decision earlier this evening.

The Star story:

Published: Saturday August 9, 2014 MYT 5:57:00 PM
Updated: Saturday August 9, 2014 MYT 8:26:35 PM

Khalid Ibrahim expelled from PKR

BY AKIL YUNUS
PETALING JAYA: PKR has expelled Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim from the party after his continued refusal to relinquish his Selangor Mentri Besar post.

The decision comes after The Selangor Mentri Besar refused to turn up to face a disciplinary hearing, following an order to do so latest by noon Saturday from PKR disciplinary committee chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong.

Dr Tan told a packed news conference that the party’s central leadership, which had convened earlier to discuss Khalid’s fate, unanimously decided that the MB was expelled effective immediately for what was considered “open defiance” to party orders.

He said Khalid had failed to adhere to the decision made by the central leadership on July 21 that he should relinquish his MB post to make way for party president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to take over.

“Having taken into consideration Khalid’s reply to the show-cause letter issued to him, we feel that he is no longer abiding by party decisions and as such, can no longer be part of the party.

“Khalid had defied decisions by the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council on several state issues and failed to provide timely explanations to these issues,” Dr Tan said.

Issues included the discussion on the Langat 2 project, which Pakatan leaders wanted to delay, the restructuring of the state’s water industry and the construction of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex).

The party said that Khalid had also failed to explain a RM67mil Bank Islam debt that was settled out of court.

However, Dr Tan said Khalid had 14 days to appeal the decision.

“If he chooses to appeal, then a separate committee will be formed to look into the matter,” he said.

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Tan Sri Khalid twitted that he was not given a fair chance of the explanation on his violation of party’s constitution and the charge against him is defective.  He also added PKR’s top leadership to remove him as party member as an attempt from his post as MB Selangor is unlawful.

Khalid Ibrahim's tweets of the latest chronic conundrum of PKR Top Leadership to boot him out as MB Selangor, pg1

Khalid Ibrahim’s tweets of the latest chronic conundrum of PKR Top Leadership to boot him out as MB Selangor, pg1

He also said that he is answerable to HRH Sultan of Selangor and would sought an audience with HRH and listen to his views on the current MBship impasse, which currently is a political plague in Selangor.

Khalid Ibrahim's tweets of the latest chronic conundrum of PKR Top Leadership to boot him out as MB Selangor, pg2

Khalid Ibrahim’s tweets of the latest chronic conundrum of PKR Top Leadership to boot him out as MB Selangor, pg2

Khalid would legally remain as MB Selangor till he is dismissed by HRH Sultan of Selangor or the majority of the ADUNs in the Selangor State Assembly voted for no confidence on him.

PAS as a party is going with leaders’ (Party President Dato Hj Hadi Awang and Ulama’ Council Head Dato’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat) stance to support Khalid as MB Selangor, which means there are 15 ADUNs with him. On the other hand, DAP which has 15 ADUNs in Selangor State Assembly wanted him out. It is unsure how many of the 14 PKR ADUNs are willing to be with Khalid, for him to continue.

Unless this impasse has been solved through proper legal means, Khalid vowed to continue his job and serve the rakyat of Selangor.

Published in: on August 9, 2014 at 15:15  Comments (5)  

Animal Farm

Cover of George Orwell’s dark political satire, published in 1945

The coalition government of unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows based on the falsehood of struggle against “BN’s continuous practices of corruption and  oppression against rights” and win the richest state in Federation of Malaysia at 12GE on 8 March 2008, has now engulfed in similar charge by their own.

Former strategist to PKR VP Tian Chua and Harvard Alumnus Nat Tan penned his thoughts in pro-Opposition portal Malaysiakini:

August 7, 2014

Has Pakatan become corrupt as well?

NATHANIEL TAN

Has Pakatan Rakyat become corrupt? This is an extremely loaded question.

Massive currents in Malaysia united behind Pakatan as the 2008 general election approached, to fight for change, to kick out the corruption and cronyism that has poisoned Malaysia for decades.

Now, we are at a point where we need to ask: have we been fighting to replace one corrupt party with another?

Is this an Orwellian scenario where the people who say they are fighting to replace tyrants start bearing a disturbing resemblance to those very same tyrants?

It is never right to jump to conclusions. This article attempts to apply an objective test in search of answers, and readers will have to judge for themselves the degree of its objectivity and applicability.

I will weigh two possibilities: firstly, that Anwar Ibrahim and all thosepushing for a new menteri besar in Selangor are doing so for positive reasons; secondly, that Anwar and his supporters want to replace a menteri besar who refuses to pander to vested corporate interests with one who will.

To determine which of these is true, I propose the following test (the details of which will be elaborated on in the rest of the article).

If Anwar and all his supporters can commit in written, legally binding form, that any new menteri besar they install will keep to the following two promises, then I believe it plausible that the first possibility is correct.

If they cannot, this strongly suggests that the second possibility is more accurate.

Promise Number 1: Not to approve the transfer of ownership of 308.72 acres of land near Kota Kemuning from Tropicana Corporation Bhd to Eco World Development Sdn Bhd, or allow any development by any of these two companies on the total 1,172 acres of land, until Tropicana pays the state government no less than RM844.2 million – this being the Selangor people’s rightful share of the profits from this transaction and development.

Promise number 2: That water concessionaire Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) will not be paid one sen over the RM250 million currently offered by the Selangor government.

Tropicana Corporation

I first wrote about land deals a few weeks ago. I noted my surprise to find the issue being used by those in the anti-Khalid Ibrahim camp, given how they are likely the real root of the problem.

As of Monday, PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution himself – the man challenging Khalid for the deputy presidency of PKR – has been leading the charge, blatantly accusing Khalid of corruption with regard to this deal.

I cannot imagine any other politician being as quiet as Khalid while being the epicentre of this crisis.

As always, people mistake this silence for an invitation to attack him with impunity, even to the point of thinking that controversies that reflect badly on themselves can be contorted to reflect badly on Khalid. The gall and the hypocrisy is mind boggling.

Tropicana (formerly known as Dijaya Corporation Bhd, is owned by Danny Tan, brother of Vincent Tan), basically entered into what was essentially a joint venture with the Selangor government to develop some 1,172 acres of land near Kota Kemuning.

This was to be a long-term development and venture, and the agreement was that Tropicana would pay RM1.297 billion to the state over 20 years.

Tropicana then reneges on the spirit of this agreement, and sells 308.72 acres of this land to Eco World, for RM470.67 million to make a very quick, very large profit of some RM170 million.

When Khalid found out about this, he immediately objected to what he saw as a fundamental departure from the spirit of the joint venture, which originally emphasised joint, long-term development, instead of making a quick buck.

No land transfer if no immediate payment

Khalid insisted that since Tropicana is more interested in short-term profiteering rather than long-term joint development, it should pay the state RM844.2 million immediately, instead of RM 1.297 billion over 20 years.

Should Tropicana fail to do so, the state government will not approve the transfer of ownership from Tropicana to Eco World, as well as block any attempt by either Tropicana or Eco World to develop any part of the entire 1,172 acres of land.

However, Tropicana insists that according to the letter of the agreement, they are completely within their rights to have sold the piece of land to Eco World, and that there is no element of impropriety.

In what may be an acknowledgement of having been blind-sided, Khalid does not seem to contest this directly, but believes that if Tropicana feels that it can do this, then the state is owed their money upfront as well.

For some reason, some in PKR and DAP seem to feel an obligation to represent Tropicana’s interests in this matter, and the concern is that should PKR get its way with regards to a new menteri besar, both Tropicana and Eco World will suddenly find themselves with no barrier to transfering and developing the lands in question.

The DAP itself may not want to rock the boat in relation to its own dealings with the Tan brothers up in Penang, namely in the projects of GDV Bayan Mutiara Penang World City, IKEA Batu Kawan and the Penang Turf Club.

If Anwar has the numbers, then by all means, revoke Khalid’s membership in PKR and remove him via a vote of no confidence in the state assembly. Most likely, that will result in fresh state-wide elections.

Crisis has weakened confidence in Pakatan

If Pakatan wins bigger (a near impossibility, by my reckoning), Anwaristas will say the people have rejected Khalid; if Pakatan loses ground, Anwaristas will say it was Khalid’s fault.

In any case, it is clear that the crisis has weakened confidence in Pakatan, possibly fatally, and we can all have our own opinion regarding who manufactured the crisis in the first place.

There will always be sound and fury on one side, hiding all manner of corruption, and simple facts and figures on another. Those who do not have good answers to pressing questions have a tendency to attack the questioner. Be that as it may, the questions remain.

The biggest question of all is the one mentioned at the beginning of the article: has Pakatan become corrupt?

If there are facts and figures to prove that their integrity remains intact despite the information above, then by all means, please share them for the public good.

Better yet, let us all call for Anwar and his supporters to commit to these two promises, which will potentially resolve the controversy conclusively.

I know that a lot of us have become emotionally invested in the Pakatan dream. I also know that many of us hate to give in to cynicism – the one thing that will sink our country faster than anything else.

I will always advocate hope above cynicism, but at no point should our hope and dreams blind us to the truth before our eyes. We must always face that truth boldly, and make the best of it.

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Mr Tan’s frustration is morbidly growing within members and supporters of the Opposition. Particularly within PKR despite so many former leaders have abandoned the party of false struggle for ‘Justice’ through the past 16 years which snowballed from the sacking of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister on 2 September 1998 and from UMNO a day later.

George Orwell’s prophecy of pigs which advocated the revolution within the farm for the false maxim of ‘equality’, eventually manipulated themselves slyly to assume the leadership and later started to oppress, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.

These pigs, as portrayed by Orwell, abuse and oppress the moment they are settled on the position of power and pedestal standing despite their initial battle cry of ‘socialism’ and ‘justice’.

In the current state of affairs, these pigs are fundamentally against each other.

Pigs are pigs, in any which way they try to guise themselves. It is amazing how many who believed that they are of superior intellectual and moral standing and values, are sucked of getting their faces deep in the troff and then drawn into wallowing in the mud.

Published in: on August 9, 2014 at 09:30  Comments (3)  

Double standards

US Navy F/A-18F similar like this one dropped laser guided missiles onto ISIL positions near Erbul

US Navy F/A-18F similar like this one dropped laser guided missiles onto ISIL positions near Erbul

US Forces started to launch air strike against ISIL militant artillery batteries in North Iraq, which recently shelled into Kurdish and Yazidi positions.

BBC story:

 

8 August 2014 Last updated at 13:13

US launches Iraq militant air strike

The US says it has launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.

The Pentagon said American aircraft attacked artillery that was being used against Kurdish forces defending the northern city of Irbil.

President Barack Obama authorised air strikes on Thursday, but said he would not send US troops back to Iraq.

The Sunni Muslim group IS, formerly known as Isis, now has control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

In June, IS took control of the city of Mosul. Its fighters seized Qaraqosh, Iraq’s biggest Christian town, earlier this week.

‘Carefully and responsibly’
According to the Pentagon statement, two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on mobile artillery near Irbil.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said IS had been using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Irbil, where US personnel are based.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Obama said the Iraqi government had requested assistance and the US would act “carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide” against the Yazidi and Christian communities – both minority groups in Iraq.

Dr Marzio Babille, Unicef’s representative in Iraq, said the Yazidis were in an extremely precarious situation because of the “very aggressive and brutal” IS militants.

He said there were many “logistical and strategic difficulties”, but added that a humanitarian corridor needed to be established.

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The Sunni hardliners militant group recently threatened with ready force onto many minority groups and the Shiite majority and gave them ultimatum to follow them, as these ISIL fighters began to occupy towns in North Iraq.

Multinational volunteers of their interpretation of Jihad, ISIL intended to install a hardline Sunni government in Iraq.

Israeli Merkava tanks prepared to push into densely populated districts in Gaza

Israeli Merkava tanks prepared to push into densely populated districts in Gaza

However, there was no consistency when Israeli Forces started shelling into civilian population in the second half of Ramadhan. Even when Israeli Forces committed infantry and heavy armoured units deep into Gaza, in the Zionist excuse of destroying Hamas militant units.

United States did very little when the Israeli Forces were brutally conducting massacre of 1,800 Gazans within three weeks and almost completely destroyed several villages. What is more shocking as infrastructure and essential services supply include water and electricity were completely obliterated to the 1.5 million Palestinians who have been living as refugees since 66 years ago, the Americans just lip service.

The Guardian UK story:

US ‘appalled’ by ‘disgraceful’ Israeli shelling of Gaza UN school

Agencies in Washington
theguardian.com, Sunday 3 August 2014 19.51 BST
Rafah UN school strike
Men inspect dead and wounded Palestinians outside a UN-run school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Sunday. Photograph: APAimages/REX
The United States said on Sunday it was “appalled” by the “disgraceful” shelling by Israel of a United Nations school sheltering some 3,000 displaced people in southern Gaza.

In language that was rare in its directness and severity, the US denounced the attack which occurred earlier in the day and killed 10 people, noting that the school had been designated a protected location and the Israel Defense Forces had been informed numerous times of the school’s coordinates.

The State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, called on Israel to do “more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties”.

“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least 10 more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” Psaki said in a statement.

On Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a UN-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed, and the UN said Israeli artillery had apparently hit the building. The Israeli military said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near the school and it shot back in response.

The US called that attack “totally unacceptable and totally indefensible”.

Psaki said UN facilities should not be used as bases from which to launch attacks.

“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” she said.

The US condemnation followed similar words one by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who said the shelling near the Rafah school was “a moral outrage and a criminal act”.

On Friday, answering questions in a White House briefing, President Barack Obama condemned Hamas’s then-reported abduction of an Israeli soldier – since reported by the Israeli army to have been killed, not abducted – but also said: “We must be clear that innocent civilians in Gaza caught in the crossfire have to weigh on our conscience and we have to do more to protect them.”

The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,775, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 of its soldiers have died in combat, while three civilians have been killed in Israel.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry described the ISIL Forces against the Shiites, Yazidis and Christians as “Its grotesque targeted acts of violence show all the warning signs of genocide”.

BBC story:

John Kerry: IS campaign in Iraq is a ‘wake-up call’

2 hours ago

The US has launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.

The strike comes after IS, formerly known as Isis, took control of large areas of Iraq and Syria, driving minority groups from their homes.

US Secretary of State John Kerry described the IS “campaign of terror” as a wake-up call: “Its grotesque targeted acts of violence show all the warning signs of genocide”.

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Distraught Gazan fathers and elders over their dead children, as a result of incessant and indiscriminate Israeli shelling into civilian population

The Israeli Forces were the ones which committed brutal deadly force against civilian Gazans, which tantamount nothing but genocide. The tragedy is heart wrenching when children were amongst those brutally murdered in these incessant shelling and bombing.

The New York Times story:

Israel’s Supporters Try to Come to Terms With the Killing of Children in Gaza

AUG. 7, 2014

Four children, three boys and a girl, all under the age of 8, were killed by an Israeli attack in Gaza City on July 17.

Credit Tyler Hicks/The
By ROBERT MACKEY

While the precise number of civilians killed in Israel’s monthlong bombardment of Gaza is once again the subject of a debate, outrage over the hundreds of Palestinian children killed has been expressed by partisans on both sides of the conflict.

The two sides differ sharply, however, over the question of who is ultimately to blame for the Israeli strikes that killed, according to a count from Unicef, 400 children and wounded over 2,500 more.

An interview with an 8-year-old Palestinian boy who was injured in an Israeli missile attack on Gaza last month. Unicef, via YouTube
For supporters of the Palestinian cause — as well as senior United Nations officials and some foreign correspondents who observed the carnage at close range — Israel’s military bears responsibility for firing shells and missiles that took so many young lives.

Palestinians evacuating a survivor after an Israeli airstrike hit a family building in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Sunday.Israeli Procedure Reignites Old DebateAUG. 7, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said most deaths could have been avoided had Hamas accepted an earlier cease-fire.Israeli Premier Voices Regret for Civilian Casualties, but Blames HamasAUG. 6, 2014
Palestinian business leaders said Israeli artillery damaged many of Gaza’s most successful industrial plants, including this biscuit factory in Deir al-Balah.Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic TollAUG. 6, 2014
The body of a child in the morgue at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, six infants under age 1 were killed during Israeli military operations.Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza ConflictAUG. 5, 2014
But many Israelis and their supporters abroad, forced to grapple with the moral implications of backing a military campaign against guerrilla fighters embedded in a densely populated area, have embraced the rationale offered by Israel’s government that Islamist militants are guilty of provoking the carnage by launching missiles from residential neighborhoods.
“Every civilian casualty is a tragedy, a tragedy of Hamas’s own making,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday. He did not address the objection, raised by some of his critics, that Israel’s own military command center is close to a Tel Aviv hospital.

Not all Israel’s supporters agree. “A provocation does not relieve one of accountability for how one responds to it,” Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, wrote on Wednesday, echoing an argument made last month by the Palestinian-American legal scholar George Bisharat. “For this reason,” Mr. Wieseltier added, “the war has filled me with disquiet, which my sympathetic understanding of Israel’s position has failed to stifle.”

Mr. Wieseltier then reminded his readers that “On the Slaughter,” a poetic meditation on a bloody pogrom in czarist Russia cited by Israel’s prime minister last month after the killing of three Jewish teenagers by Islamist militants, argued explicitly that the the killing of children was an unfathomable outrage. “After all, even Satan has not yet devised the proper vengeance for the death of a child,” he wrote, paraphrasing the Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik.

“I have been surprised by the magnitude of the indifference in the Jewish world to the human costs of Israel’s defense against the missiles and the tunnels,” Mr. Wieseltier wrote. “Some of the emails I have received have been lunatic in their lack of compassion. According to a poll by the Israel Democracy Institute, 95 percent of Jewish Israelis believe the war in Gaza is just. It is easy to see why: Self-defense is also a moral duty. But only 4 percent believe that the Israeli military has used excessive force. This makes me queasy.”

Asked to explain how an offensive that has claimed so many lives is nonetheless supported in Israel, Eva Illouz, a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told the German magazine Der Spiegel: “Israelis have a strong sense of their own moral superiority. ‘We ask people to get out of their houses; we call them on the phone to make sure civilians are evacuated. We behave humanly,’ the Israeli thinks. An army with good manners.”

Continue reading the main story
Most of her fellow citizens, Ms. Illouz added, “judge by the intention, whereas the world judges by the consequences.”

Others, including the Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel, have attempted to draw a bright line between Israel’s conduct and that of Hamas and other militant groups who stand accused of using Gaza’s children as “human shields.” In an essay printed this week in the pages of major American newspapers, including The New York Times, as a paid advertisement, Mr. Wiesel invoked the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac to accuse the Islamist fighters of practicing a form of “child sacrifice.”

Continue reading the main story
Though that faith-based advertising campaign, paid for by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Values Network, was endorsed by Israel’s foreign ministry, even some supporters of the military campaign remain unconvinced by the argument that Israel is free of blame for the death of Gaza’s children.

Continue reading the main story
David Landau, a former editor of the left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz, who supported a ground invasion of Gaza, argued forcefully that the inevitable killing of civilians in aerial bombardment made that part of the operation a violation of a principle of Halakha, or Jewish religious law. Specifically, he said, there is a “ruling based on the Talmud,” which holds “that the defense of ‘something unintended’ does not apply in cases where a sinful outcome is inevitable.”

Referring to a Jewish moral tale about a farmer who chopped off the head of a chicken not to kill it but to give his child something to play with, Mr. Landau wrote: “Like the lopped chicken’s head, there is no defense of no intent when the unintended offense is inevitable. The record shows the death and wounding of noncombatants as virtually inevitable in the bombing of the crowded Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli government’s accusation that Islamist militants knowingly used Gaza’s civilians as shields has been disputed by Palestinians. Noura Erakat, a Palestinian-American legal scholar at George Mason University, insisted in a televised debate with Amos Guiora, an Israeli-American professor of law at the University of Utah, that there was simply no evidence for that contention.
Noura Erakat and Amos Guiora debated the legal and moral implications of the fighting in Gaza last month. PBS NewsHour, via YouTube
Ms. Erakat has also argued that “Israel does not have the right to self-defense in international law against occupied Palestinian territory.” (Israel’s argument that it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip has been dismissed by some scholars like Lisa Hajjar of the University of California, who has called it “a self-generated ‘license to kill.’”)

Still, the accusation that Hamas used children as shields has become so widely accepted by many supporters of Israel that it has given rise to crude speculation, like the conspiracy theory that four boys killed on a Gaza beach last month by Israeli shelling were sent to their deaths by ruthless militants hoping to tarnish Israel’s reputation. In an interview on Israeli television last week that was shared by Israel’s defenders, the American comedian Joan Rivers repeated that unsubstantiated claim.
Joan Rivers discussed the conflict in Gaza on Israeli television last week. Channel 10 Israel, via YouTube
The day after Ms. Rivers’s interview, an Australian editorial cartoon depicted a militant putting a child in danger for the benefit of public relations.
The bombing campaign and the indelible images of dead children have alienated some otherwise staunch defenders of Israel. Louise Mensch, a conservative British politician with a large Twitter following and a track record of support for Israel, was so distressed by the conduct of the Gaza campaign that she lambasted the Israeli government last weekend.
Ms. Mensch, whose husband is Jewish, even suggested that Mr. Netanyahu — who told CNN that Hamas had baited Israel into killing civilians to “use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause” — should undertake a closer study of his faith’s ethical teachings if he felt no responsibility for children killed by Israeli shelling as they played hide-and-seek on a beach.

***************

It is obvious the so called champions of ‘democracy and human rights’ are grossly inconsistent, hypocrites and practice morbid double standards.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on August 8, 2014 at 20:30  Comments (3)  

Reserved, by, for and with the Malaysian perspective

image

Monday to Friday, business paper The Malaysian Reserve would carry the Malaysian perspective and deeper analysis particularly on business, corporate, economics, political, geo-political and international stories.

It is published with the association and collaboration of The International New York Times.

Datuk Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan, former Editor of Business Times, Executive Editor of The Malay Mail and Adviser of online blog-aggregator The Mole is now back in broadsheets as the Adviser to The Malaysian Reserve.

So are the new directors.

Across town, another media organisation is fortifying themselves with new acquisitions. The Edge Media Group, controlled by Tong Kooi Ong who is believed to be a staunch Anwarista, recently acquired The Malaysian Insider. The Edge also increased their interest in Business FM (BFM 89.9) radio.

Obviously, the philosophy and strategic intent of The Edge Media Group is inline with Anwar Ibrahim’s and his band of bandits’ strategic agenda to ascend into power with their ‘politics of hatred’ strategy and continuous falsehood and manipulation.

The manipulation of facts and stories almost like how PKR Leaders spew their usual lies and slander.

On that note, it is believed that MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is taking The Edge Media Group to court, for slandering his good name in the ongoing power struggle within PKR.

*Updated 400pm

Published in: on August 8, 2014 at 09:40  Comments (1)  

The party of peoples’ justice

Showcause 5 August 2014

Showcause letter to MB Selangor dated 5 August 2014

Showcause letter 2014 (pg 2)

Showcause letter 5 August 2014 (pg 2)

This is the show-cause letter issued to Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim by PKR party HQ, signed by PKR Disciplinary Board Chairman Tan Kee Kwong. He has till Friday 8 Aug 2014 to answer.

This is continuous political drama by Anwar Ibrahim and his band of bandits since taking over Selangor State Government 8 March 2008 has been over bearing and clearly this will clearly affect the Selangor State Government administration.

It obvious Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership and moulding of PKR has never been about the people but only for his greed for power.

The abuse-of-power-convict engineered himself for the MB Selangor job with the excuse of “Precursor to coming to Putrajaya” with the resignation of ADUN Kajang Lee Chin Cheh on 27 January 2014.  The game was spoilt when Court of Appeal overturned Kuala Lumpur High Court of acquittal two years earlier for the charge of sodomising former aide Mohd. Saiful Bukhary Azlan.

The conveniently he slotted own wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as PKR President and she won in DUN 25 Kajang by-election. There on the ‘Kajang Move’ designed by PKR Strategic Director and staunch Anwarista Rafizi Ramli had propped her up as the “Upcoming MB Selangor, replacing Khalid”.

Today, Wan Azizah admitted that she is and all the while had been a puppet. Now she is ready to the ‘MB-Puppet’.

NST story:

Wan Azizah: I don’t mind being called a puppet

5 AUGUST 2014 @ 8:07 AM

SHAH ALAM: PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she does not mind being called a ‘puppet’ if the move to install her as the Selangor menteri besar is suc cessful.

She said that should she become MB, she would appoint her husband, de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as her consultant and adviser.

Addressing party members at an event in Klang last night, Wan Azizah said the only reason she was roped in to become the MB was because Anwar had his opportunity ‘snatched away’ from him.

“We strategised the Kajang Move to make Anwar an assemblyman and later, the menteri besar but this was thwarted by the Barisan Nasional-led Federal government.

“As the Selangor MB post was always for Anwar in the first place, I would not hesitate to call on him as my consultant and advisor when I become the MB.”

She claimed that Anwar has the necessary experience to advise her as he was once appointed by Qatar as its economic advisor.

Wan Azizah also took a swipe at under-fire MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, saying that he should realise that he is no longer involved in the corporate sector.

She said she and Khalid had not met since her candidacy was announced.

Meanwhile, PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli, who was also present, said there was still a chance for Abdul Khalid to remain as MB if he met with the party leadership and committee to explain the accusations against him by the party’s secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“We have little tolerance to allegations pertaining to integrity as we have always promised the people that we would be different and stand by our principles,” he said.

In a meeting on Sunday, the PKR leadership had discussed the sacking of Khalid from his party membership if he still refused to vacate his state post following the party’s re quest.

Rafizi said those who want Khalid to step down would not mind resorting to snap polls in order to make Wan Azizah the MB.

**************

Going for a pre-mature State Elections for Selangor isn’t an opinion agreeable with DAP. DAP Strategist Tony Pua, who is Chinese Chauvinist MP for Petaling Jaya Utara felt that a snap poll would not be favourable to PKR-DAP-PAS.

The Malay Mail online story:

Pakatan likely to lose Selangor if snap polls held, Pua warns

JULY 31, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — If PAS stays bent on protecting Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, snap elections in Selangor would be inevitable and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is likely to lose its grip on the country’s richest state, DAP’s Tony Pua warned today.

In such a scenario, the Selangor federal lawmaker said, PAS would emerge the biggest loser of all three PR parties.

Pua said should PAS’s non-Malay vote decline by 30 per cent and the Malay vote by just five per cent, the Islamist party, which now holds 15 seats in the 56-seat assembly, would find itself completely wiped out from Selangor.

“PAS’s insistence to support Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will inevitably lead to a snap election which will only cause PAS to lose most, if not all of their hard-won seats, and in all likelihood hand Selangor back to Umno on a silver platter.

“We hope that our comrades in PAS will be able to fully come on board the spirit of the coalition, for us to jointly deliver our Pakatan principles and promises to the rakyat of Selangor and prevent the aspirations of the people from being snuffed out before it has a chance of being realised,” he said in a statement here.

PAS has been locked in a public standoff with its PR allies PKR and DAP over the bid to remove Khalid as mentri besar, with several top party leaders insisting that the second-term mentri besar has done no wrong and should be allowed to finish out his term.

Umno has since indicated that it may take PAS’s side in the imbroglio, which means that should Khalid’s detractors choose to move a no-confidence motion in the state assembly, the House would be split down the middle with no clear majorities.

“Under such circumstances, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will likely have his request to hold snap elections in Selangor consented by the Selangor Sultan,” Pua said.

In a state-wide election, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP calculated that all three PR parties would incur significant losses although PAS was likely suffer the worst.

He pointed out that MB crisis has already resulted in a “massive loss of confidence” for PR in Selangor.

“As evidenced by various independent surveys and our own feedback on the ground, our voters and supporters are dismayed and even outraged by our inability to be decisive in this issue,” he said.

He pointed out that should both PKR and DAP suffer a three and 10 per cent drop in Malay and non-Malay votes respectively, the parties will suffer a combined loss of seven seats out of 30 contested, leaving PKR and DAP with only 10 and 13 seats respectively.

“However, even in the most optimistic scenario where there is inconceivably no drop in Malay support for PAS, coupled with only a 15 per cent drop in non-Malay support, the party will lose seven of the 15 seats won in the last General Election.

“Should non-Malay vote drop 25 per cent which is more than likely — given the controversies involving PAS preceding the election, then PAS will also lose Taman Templer, Hulu Kelang, Lembah Jaya, Seri Serdang and Paya Jaras, leaving them with only three seats in the state assembly,” he warned.

He said PAS will be “completely wiped” out in Selangor if Malay votes decline by a mere five per cent while non-Malay votes drop by 30 per cent.

“As anyone can see from the above scenarios, it will be very unlikely for Pakatan Rakyat — if the coalition still exists in the snap election — to retain power in the state.

“The biggest winner will be UMNO, returning with up to 30 seats in the State Assembly,” he said.

Collectively, PR’s three member parties control the majority of the House with 44 seats — 15 each for DAP and PAS, and 14 for PKR.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pakatan-likely-to-lose-selangor-if-snap-polls-held-pua-warns#sthash.WphnwmPC.dpuf

***************

All these politicking would just cause the lives of 6 million people who reside in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur to be seriously affected. Especially when strategic and infrastructure issues such as water, waste disposal, sewerage and water reticulation, affordable housing, public transportation and the logistic and supply of food items are affected when the State Administration is in Limbo and the MB Selangor has been attacked internally.

By far, the net end losers are the populous Selangor and indirectly in Kuala Lumpur. So much for the falsehood of  a party with the name ‘Justice for the People’.

*Updated 2300hrs

Published in: on August 5, 2014 at 19:00  Comments (9)  

Scuttling the sinking ship

In the wake of chronic political conundrum which resulted of the domino effect  from the pre-emptive exercise to prop Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim as Menteri Besar Selangor days before Court of Appeal decided on the acquittal ruling of Sodomy II case

Former strategist for Batu MP Tian Chua and Harvard Alumnus Nathaniel Tan wrote in Malaysiakini:

11:00AM Jul 31, 2014

PKR’s obsession tearing Pakatan dream apart

 

What is the top priority of Anwar Ibrahim and PKR?

Is it to keep nurturing Pakatan Rakyat as a strong coalition that presents a united front in replacing Barisan Nasional in GE14, or is it to install Anwar’s wife as menteri besar of Selangor, at any and all costs?

The question seems to be a pertinent one as we look at the unfolding crisis in Selangor, and the options available to PKR.

The first option is to leave things as status quo, which results in stability all around (except of course for those desperate to make Selangor their personal piggy bank).

The other option is for Anwar and PKR to continue with their efforts to forcibly replace Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as the head of the Selangor government.

Let us examine the consequences of this course of action. We will begin with a brief recap of the latest developments.

PKR in Pakatan like Umno in BN?

First, PKR announces that internally, it has decided to replace Khalid with Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR president.

A Pakatan meeting is held, attended by Anwar, Lim Guan Eng and Mohammed Sabu – all top ranking leaders of Pakatan, except for Mat Sabu, who is only second in command in PAS.

Following the meeting, a statement is issued stating that Pakatan has ‘accepted’ the proposal for Wan Azizah to take over as Selangor menteri besar, and the leaders will take the matter back to their respective parties for discussion.

PAS number one Abdul Hadi Awang soon after releases a statement saying that PAS’ position is for Khalid to stay as menteri besar.

Saifuddin Nasution then releases a response saying that this should not be, because at the aforementioned meeting, a decision was already made in support of replacing Khalid with Wan Azizah, and that this was agreed to by the three parties.

This is very confusing. If the matter had already been decided, then what need was there for the three party leaders to go back to their respective parties for discussion, as stated in their original statement?

(There is also some confusion as to whether it is ethical or technically correct for Saifuddin (left) to currently be issuing anti-Khalid statements as secretary general of PKR while he runs for deputy president against Khalid. It is worth noting that voting results clearly demonstrate that more than a third of PKR members support Khalid versus Azmin Ali, with about half or Anwar’s man Saifuddin trailing a very distant third.)

Is Pakatan becoming like BN, where Umno calls the shots, and the other parties are mere rubber stamps?

(For those who like primary sources, both press statements can be compared in verbatim here).

Anwar driving a rift within PAS?

Now, the two most respected leaders in PAS, Hadi and Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, have come out publicly in support of Khalid remaining as menteri besar, the latter rightfully lamenting that this polemic should not have tainted the holy month of Ramadan.

Their voices are added to that of Iskandar Samad, the Selangor PAS commissioner, meaning all the most directly relevant PAS leaders speak with one voice on this issue.

It is clear that there are a number of second tier PAS leaders who support PKR in this matter, despite the clear signal given from both Hadi and Nik Aziz.

The question is, what will happen if PKR persists in its attempted coup?

Will the PAS Anwaristas try to force the matter within PAS, and declare open war against Hadi and Nik Aziz? Or perhaps attempt a coup of their own within PAS?

If they do, then this opens one more in a series of debilitating rifts: within PKR, within Pakatan, and now within PAS.

PAS’ discipline is its core strength

Any observer of Malaysian politics will note that PAS is possibly the only party in Malaysia that is built on genuine institutional strength.

Whether we agree with all of its principles, there is no doubt that PAS is more grounded in those principles than in individual leaders that come and go.

The same cannot be said of other parties, and nowhere is this more apparent than PKR’s intensely individual-centric feudal politics.

No one can deny the power of PAS’ party discipline. Any organiser of mass rallies in Malaysia knows that whether there is a massive turnout depends on whether the PAS leadership issues a directive for party members to show up or not.

This sense of discipline, unity of purpose, and fervent belief in maintaining the chain of command has always defined PAS.

PAS members take the long view in believing that no storm is so bad that it necessitates breaking discipline aboard the ship.

This means that while internal democracy and airing of views are never suppressed, the heart and soul of the party is faith in and adherence to its internal structures, processes and elected leaders. To lose that is to lose PAS, and every member understands this.

An open rebellion against this time tested system could have unimaginable costs, including losing even more ground where Pakatan needs it most – the rural heartland of Malaysia.

Guan Eng sulking like a spoilt child?

Soon after Hadi’s announcement, Lim Guan Eng essentially threatened the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat because of the Selangor menteri besar issue.

I cannot say I am entirely surprised, but I did not expect Lim to play the big card so quickly.

This can only mean that all this while, the single biggest decision maker in DAP has long prioritised DAP’s own power base over the overarching goal of maintaining a united front to overthrow BN.

I suppose with megaprojects like the Penang undersea tunnel to keep DAP in the money for a long time to come, they can afford to pander to their hardline backers, with no concern over the larger picture of Malaysia’s future.

Despite the controversy over hudud, in which PAS eventually backed down, never once has PAS spoken openly of leaving the Pakatan family. It seems Lim is rather more practised at playing the spoilt child.

Both PKR and DAP would be complete fools to think that they can break BN’s hegemony by themselves. No one knows this better than they themselves.

Their actions then point to an increasingly simple conclusion: that they would rather fight like warlords over the scraps they currently control, than actually keep to earlier promises of putting their differences aside to concentrate on the changes we all know Malaysia so desperately needs.

Nothing but a sham marriage of convenience?

How shameful for so many of us who cried ‘No!’ when people accused Pakatan of being nothing but a sham marriage of convenience. When push came to shove, it looks like they were right and we were wrong.

Despite Anwar now scrambling to do damage control, and playing good cop to Guan Eng’s bad cop, his and PKR’s obsession with power, money, and water payouts fundamentally still eclipses any understanding that voters – especially those in the pivotal middle ground – are beginning to see Pakatan cohesion as a joke.

The way things are clearly going, there will be no doubt any more that a vote for Pakatan will come to mean a vote for instability. After all, who could trust a party that fought so pettily and cannot agree on the most fundamental questions of choosing chief executives?

The first failed experiment in opposition unity was Barisan Alternatif, which lasted six years. Six years after the formation of Pakatan, it seems history is repeating itself.

I strongly doubt Malaysians will ever place any faith again in this particular experiment, should it fall apart again, as it inevitably will if Anwar and PKR stay their course.

When that happens, any project to take Malaysia back from BN would then once again be set back by decades – all because the man who failed his bid to become Prime Minister of Malaysia insists that his wife becomes the menteri besar of Selangor.
NATHANIEL TAN wishes everyone, including Anwar and all his supporters, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Maaf zahir dan batin.
– See more at: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/270214#sthash.WbbyP6lz.dpuf

******************

It is obvious wishful or more likely, wet dreamers amongst Opposition supporters who dream for the unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows to take control of Federal Government aka Putrajaya is going through a process of horrid daytime nightmare.

Hence, they started to look for plausible options to salvage what ever they thought theoretically could be done.

Sin Chew Jit Poh story:

What other options does Pakatan have?

Opinion 2014-08-01 15:08
By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

The Selangor MB crisis has now moved into a stalemate with the following possible eventualities in near future:

1. Anwar gives in, and Khalid Ibrahim continues to become the MB: The impending crisis is temporarily solved, but Anwar’s Kajang plan fails completely. Everything is back to square one. However, the damage on PKR has been done, internally and externally.

Where internal damage is concerned, the three factions within PKR–the Anwar faction (his family and close aides), the Azmin faction and the Khalid faction–will no longer be able to get along properly. The Anwar faction will take control of central leadership, but Azmin gains foothold among the grassroots as Khalid’s faction remains firmly in power in Selangor.

Externally, PKR’s image and reputation will suffer yet another blow thanks to this squabble, its support rate fast dropping.

As the supreme leader of Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar and his leadership capacity will once again come under public scrutiny.

2. Hadi Awang gives in, and Khalid bows out, Kak Wan taking his place (but then she still needs to get the nod from the Sultan).

The consequences: Pakatan is saved from disintegration, the Plan B (Kak Wan in the place of Anwar) of Kajang plan works. Anwar has had his purpose fulfilled (whatever that is).

Power shift takes place within PKR. Khalid is out of the picture, leaving Anwar and Azmin’s people now counteracting each other.

As for PAS, the erdogans (typified by Mat Sabu) who support Anwar Ibrahim have scored some points in this battle, and PAS will remain very much in the embrace of the opposition pact.

Party president Hadi Awang and the clerics suffer thumping defeat, calls for PAS-Umno cooperation dying down.

3. Anwar and Hadi are mutually non-compromising, and the choice of MB now goes to the state assembly. Pakatan is on the verge of disintegration. Due to absence of consensus, PKR will have to table a no-confidence motion against Khalid Ibrahim. The votes in the hands of PKR and DAP reps, along with the combined votes of PAS and Umno reps, will determine whether the motion will eventually be passed.

The influences: Once the motion goes into voting, competition is expected to be very intense. Whether Khalid is eventually unseated, the relationship between PAS and Pakatan Rakyat will invariably be bruised

If the motion fails, Khalid will retains his MB office. He will then form a new state administration anchored by his own people. Because of PAS, this will also spell the collapse of the Pakatan state government.

If the motion is passed, Khalid will have to step down from office whether he likes it or not. But whether Kak Wan will get to become the new MB with the consent of the Sultan remains a major challenge.

4. Khalid will seek the Sultan’s consent to dissolve the state assembly to pave way for fresh elections. The election outcome: There is no way for the three parties within Pakatan Rakyat to remain in a coalition. PAS will contest on its own, or perhaps work with Umno to confront PKR-DAP.

Of the 56 state constituencies in Selangor, about 40 are Malay-majority. Any party or coalition that wins the favor of the Malays will take Selangor.

If PAS goes with Umno, chances for them to win in these Malay constituencies are very high. But, BN’s other component parties might not be happy with Umno. Neither will non-Malay voters.

If PAS were to run on its own, it can decide which camp to join after the elections. Of course, this will have to depend on how many seats it has won.

Whatever it is, it has become a sure thing that domestic politics will be reshuffled. Pakatan Rakyat will no longer be a three-party pact as only PKR and DAP will still be in the play. If PAS chooses to align with Umno, the erdogans within the party might flee en masse.

On the contrary, if the party chooses to play lone ranger, its future influences will very likely be confined to only the northern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.

******************

The sacking of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as MB Selangor and appointing former0abuse-of-power-convict Anwar Ibrahim’s wife and puppet PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail instead is reported by Malaysiakini:

11:56AM Aug 4, 2014

SACKING OF KHALID DISCUSSED AT PKR MEETING

Abdul Khalid Ibrahim may be sacked as a PKR member if he continues to cling on to his Selangor menteri besar post, a party insider said today.
The possible sacking of Khalid from the party was discussed at the PKR political bureau meeting at its headquarters in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya, last night, the source said.

“Although we see this as one of the ways to make Khalid vacate the post, it will look bad on the party,” the source told Malaysiakini on condition of anonymity.

However when asked about this today, party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told Malaysiakini there was no mention of the word “sacking” in the meeting’s minutes.

Khalid’s defiance to the request by PKR to vacate the post of menteri besar has irked PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who appears to be in a quandary now.

This is especially so with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and the Islamic party’s spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat expressing their support for Khalid to stay in his post.

The position taken by the PAS leadership has also opened the possibility of a split in Pakatan, although Anwar has dismissed this, saying there was no indication of this and that all the member parties were committed to the coalition’s spirit of cooperation.

Just before the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebration, Anwar announced that his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be new Selangor menteri besar, but this was not taken well by some factions within the party, even though no one defended Khalid to stay on.

The July 19 announcement came after an intense and heated meeting of the PKR leadership, including MPs and state assemblypersons from all over the country.

The source said last night’s meeting, which ended at midnight, also discussed putting up an alternative name for Khalid’s replacement.

Azmin’s name too comes in

The party, he said, would, besides Wan Azizah, propose another name as well for the post to the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council.

Gombak parliamentarian Azmin Ali, who is leading the race for the post of PKR deputy president, would be the other person the party would propose to its allies – DAP and PAS – so that the two parties can come to a decision on the matter in their respective central committee meetings on Aug 10.

The source said PAS would most likely accept Azmin, as the party has shown resistance toward putting up Wan Azizah as the head of the Sela gor government.

He said DAP leaders had no problem with either Wan Azizah or Azmin, as long as Khalid was replaced.

The source said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s latest statement that all parties must first decide if they can accept a woman to be menteri besar showed the party was open to another candidate.

“The decision to name Azmin as an alternative is based on the fact that his name was proposed by seven people at the last special meeting PKR held at its headquarters before Hari Raya,” the source said.

“One of the leaders who proposed Azmin’s name is Penang PKR chief Mansor Othman, who is closest to Anwar in the northern region,” the source added.

He said the party may not have a choice but to propose two names, in order to appease the various factions in DAP, PKR and PAS that supports Azmin.

He added that these factions feel Azmin would be best to replace Khalid due to his loyalty to the party since 1998 – during the reformasi days – and due to his support from PKR grassroots especially in Selangor, considering his performance at the party’s internal polls.

Azmin has remained in the lead for the deputy president post against Khalid and Saifuddin.

This group feels that Selangor needs an MB who can come out strongly against arch rival Umno, and that Azmin is the best person to do so as he has led Pakatan Rakyat to victory in the 2008 and 2013 general polls.

Azmin himself has been very quiet about the whole Selangor MB fiasco and has declined requests for interviews with the press.

However, it is learnt that Azmin, since he returned from a 10-day pilgrimage to Mecca, has held serious and private discussions with Anwar, DAP and PAS leaders to find a solution to the Selangor problem.

****************

Anwar Ibrahim’s minions within PKR is out to politically assassinate Khalid, left, right and centre.

Besides challenging Anwar Ibrahim’s minions like PKR Secretary General Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to make a report to MACC on the “Unexplained RM66 million arisen from settling debts with Bank Islam”, MB Khalid still has a last minute option.

Take Anwar Ibrahim and his minions like Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to court. This include PKR as the party.

Thats is the only language that Anwar Ibrahim understand. Challenge him in his own game and get to prove against his current political nemesis and his minions’ stories. Stretch the fight all the way.

After all, Khalid has many times proven that he is no push over.

That might actually scuttle a sinking ship in the current storm. However that is the right thing to do, against all of Anwar Ibrahim;s falsehood, being extended and spun till this very chronic political junction.

PKR common members have rights too. Rights to choose. Rights to be free from being hoodwinked. The right to disentangle themselves from a really chronic conundrum of one lie being compounded and infused after another.

Published in: on August 5, 2014 at 01:00  Comments (8)  

Butchers taking a breather

The “Butchers of Gaza” Israeli Forces had to hold back on their massacre of Palestinians at Gaza because a third United Nations sponsored school was bombed.

The Guardian UK story:

Israel calls partial truce amid outrage at third strike on UN school

• Troop withdrawal under way in Gaza with ceasefire called for Monday
• UN chief Ban Ki-moon tells Israel to ‘end this madness’ after bombardment kills at least 10 people and injures dozens

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem and Jason Burke in Rafah
The Guardian, Sunday 3 August 2014 19.56 BST

 

Palestinian men carry an injured man following an Israeli military strike on a UN school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Rex Features

Palestinian men carry an injured man following an Israeli military strike on a UN school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Rex Features

A third deadly attack on a United Nations school sheltering people fleeing bombardment in Gaza was strongly condemned by both the UN and the US on Sunday, with UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, calling it a “moral outrage and a criminal act” and pleading for an end to “this madness”.

The Israeli defence ministry said on Sunday night that Israel would hold a truce in most of Gaza for seven hours on Monday for humanitarian aid and to allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes, but would fight back if attacked.

The humanitarian truce, beginning at 10am (0700 GMT), would not apply in areas of Rafah, the ministry said, because Israeli forces are remaining on the ground in and around the southern Gaza town to destroy a cross-border tunnel.

The US said it was appalled by the “disgraceful” school attack, which killed at least 10 people and injured dozens just days after the shelling of two other UN schools in Gaza caused international shock and anger.

A hospital near the site of the attack, in the southern town of Rafah, was overwhelmed with the dead and injured. Children’s bodies were stored in an ice-cream freezer as the morgue ran out of room.

It was, said Ban, “yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises, among other civilian facilities”. He called for a swift investigation, saying “those responsible [must be] held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had been “repeatedly informed of the location of these sites”, Ban added.

In an unusually severe statement, the US state department called on Israel to do “more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties”.

The Israeli military was investigating the incident, said a spokesman, but preliminary inquiries had shown that its forces were “targeting a number of terrorists on a motorbike near the school, and we did identify a successful hit on a motorbike. We do not target schools. We certainly do not target civilians. We are still reviewing the incident.”

The attack came as Israeli forces began withdrawing most troops from Gaza in what the military described as a “new phase” in the 28-day conflict. Air strikes and shelling continued alongside the troop redeployment and Hamas continued to launch rockets at Israel.

“The troops are in the midst of a redeployment to other parts of the border,” said IDF spokesman Lt-Col Peter Lerner. “We are releasing troops from the frontline but the mission is ongoing. Ground forces are operating. Air forces are operating.”

Troops were “extremely close” to completing a mission to destroy Hamas’s network of attack tunnels, he said. The IDF had “a rapid reaction force on the ground that can engage Hamas if required”.

Residents of some areas of Gaza, who had been warned to evacuate, were told they could return to their homes. The IDF has dropped leaflets in parts of Gaza telling residents to “tell your hidden leaders the battle is over” and that “all members and leaders of Hamas and other terrorist movements are unsafe”.

Residents, who reported limited shelling overnight in the northern areas, were reluctant to return to their homes following the breakdown of previous ceasefires.

Israeli analysts said that Israel was effecting a unilateral winding down of the military operation rather than engage in truce negotiations with Hamas. Yossi Melman, a respected commentator, wrote in Ma’ariv: “After 27 days of fighting and 63 IDF soldiers killed—the war is over … It is a unilateral political decision that is based on a military assessment. The IDF will deploy along defensive lines in a security zone inside the Gaza Strip and, at the same time, will reduce the number of troops and redeploy many of them in staging grounds inside Israel.”.

Despite the truce, the international community is likely to be alarmed at Israel bypassing negotiations. Political leaders and senior diplomats have repeatedly stressed that the two sides must address and resolve underlying issues that led to the current conflict to break the cycle of violence.

Efforts to forge a truce resumed in Cairo on Sunday, with Middle East envoy Tony Blair and US special envoy Frank Lowenstein flying in, along with a Palestinian delegation which included representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main militant groups in Gaza.

Israel declined to send a team to join the talks, , an indication that it wants to proceed on its own terms, diminishing prospects for an early breakthrough.

Among demands tabled by the Palestinians were an end to the blockade of Gaza, extending the permitted fishing zone at sea and the removal of the no-go buffer zone inside the border, as well as the rehabilitation of Gaza, emergency aid and a release of prisoners.

As diplomats prepared for talks in Cairo, the funeral took place of Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old soldier whom Israel originally said had been captured by Hamas during an attack near Rafah on Friday. Hamas denied it was holding the soldier. Israel retaliated for the attack – in which two other soldiers were killed – with massive bombardment of the area.

In a statement issued on Saturday night, the IDF said Goldin had been killed in battle, bringing the number of soldiers killed to 64. It also confirmed he was related to the defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon.

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas’s spokesman in Gaza, told reporters: “Israel tricked and deceived the world when it claimed a soldier had been abducted and then admitted that he had actually been killed in battle in Rafah. It did this only in order to breach the 72-hour ceasefire agreed upon with the UN and the US, in order to commit massacre in Rafah.”

Praising the soldier as a “great hero”, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told Goldin’s parents: “I hope that you will find consolation in the fact that he fell to uphold the people of Israel in the struggle for our independence.”

The UN warned of a rapidly unfolding health disaster in Gaza, with overwhelmed medical services on the verge of collapse. It said a third of hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics and 29 ambulances had been damaged in the fighting, at least five medical staff had been killed on duty and more than 40% of medical staff were unable to get to places of work.

Critical supplies of medicines and other supplies were almost depleted and damage and destruction of power supplies had left hospitals dependent on unreliable generators.

The Palestinian death toll passed 1,750, 80% of whom are civilians, according to UN estimates. About 460,000 people have been displaced since the start of the conflict.

The UN said many were “now living in overcrowded conditions in schools, with relatives or in makeshift shelters. This, coupled with lack of inadequate water and sanitation, poses serious risks of outbreak of waterborne and communicable diseases.”

Meanwhile, a statement signed by the EU and European commission presidents on behalf of 28 member states has called on Israel and Hamas to “immediately stop” hostilities and condemned the loss of life.

“The bloodshed needs to stop. We deplore the terrible loss of lives, including innocent women and children,” it said, saying Gaza residents were suffering “intolerable violence”. It also called the continued rocket fire by Hamas “an unacceptable threat” to Israeli citizens.

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It is tragedy that the world is lacklustre on this obvious hedious crime against humanity of Palestinian genocide.

Published in: on August 4, 2014 at 12:30  Comments (2)  

Nentanyahu’s Butchery

The ultimate arrogance of the zionists in their zest to butcher the unarmed civilian Palestianians in Gaza, mainly women and children is demonstrated when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu telling off the American allies in the midst of international outcry against the merciless slaughter. So far over 1,700 souls perished in 17 days of brutal military operation.

The Daily Main online story:

Netanyahu warns the US: Do not ‘ever second guess me again’ on Hamas

The Israeli Prime Minister hit out after a truce was broken Friday morning
In a phone call with U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented
He said Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas
He now ‘expected’ the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 09:10 GMT, 2 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:37 GMT, 2 August 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the White House not to force a truce with Palestinian militants on Israel following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza,
Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration ‘not to ever second guess me again’ on the matter.
The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be ‘trusted’ on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, at the cabinet meeting at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday. On a phone call with the US Ambassador Friday, shortly after a cease fire was broken, he vented his anger and said he expects US support on how he chooses to deal with Hamas
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, at the cabinet meeting at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday. On a phone call with the US Ambassador Friday, shortly after a cease fire was broken, he vented his anger and said he expects US support on how he chooses to deal with Hamas
The Obama administration on Friday condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action.
The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms.

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The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply.
With the cease-fire in tatters fewer than two hours after it took effect with an attack that killed two Israeli troops and left a third missing, President Barack Obama demanded that those responsible release the soldier.
Obama and other U.S. officials did not directly blame Hamas for the abduction. But they made clear they hold Hamas responsible for, or having influence over, the actions of all factions in the Gaza Strip.
The language was a distinct change from Thursday when Washington was focused on the deaths of Palestinian civilians.
‘If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible,’ Obama told reporters.
President Barack Obama spoke on Friday afternoon, in part about he Middle East. His administration condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action
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President Barack Obama spoke on Friday afternoon, in part about he Middle East. His administration condemned ‘outrageous’ violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a ‘barbaric’ action
He added that it would be difficult to revive the cease-fire without the captive’s release.
‘It’s going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can’t feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment,’ he said. His comment reflected uncertainty in the U.S. and elsewhere that Hamas was actually responsible for the incident or if some other militant group was to blame.
At the same time, Obama called the situation in Gaza ‘heartbreaking’ and repeated calls for Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties.
Despite the collapse of the truce, Obama credited Kerry for his work with the United Nations to forge one. He lamented criticism and ‘nitpicking’ of Kerry’s attempts and said the effort would continue.
Kerry negotiated the truce with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in a marathon session of phone calls over several days while he was in India on an official visit.
Kerry had spent much of the past two weeks in Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and France trying to mediate a cease-fire with Qatar and Turkey playing a major role because of their close ties with Hamas.
A Palestinian supporter of Hamas holds the Quran as others shout slogans against the Israeli military action in Gaza, during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Tulkarem town on Friday
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A Palestinian supporter of Hamas holds the Quran as others shout slogans against the Israeli military action in Gaza, during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Tulkarem town on Friday
Man tinkers with unexploded Israeli shell after bombardment

Those efforts failed with Israel saying it could not trust Hamas and some Israelis and American pro-Israel groups complaining that the U.S. was treating the group — a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department — as a friend.
Late Thursday, however, Israel accepted Kerry and Ban’s latest proposal, despite its reservations. Once the truce was violated, though, Israeli officials hit out at not only Hamas, but the United States and Qatar for its failure.
An Israeli official said the Netanyahu government viewed both Hamas and Qatar as having violated the commitment given to the U.S. and the U.N. and that it expected the international community to take practical steps as part of a ‘strong and swift response,’ especially regarding the return of the abducted soldier.
In a phone call with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call.
Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was ‘not to ever second-guess me again’ and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to the people.
Netanyahu added that he now ‘expected’ the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.
They said Netanyahu made similar points to Kerry, who himself denounced the attack as ‘outrageous,’ saying it was an affront to assurances to respect the cease-fire given to the United States and United Nations, which brokered the truce.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2713967/Netanyahu-US-Dont-second-guess-Hamas.html#ixzz39I73cLWl
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Even Jewish British politician Ed Milliband is attacking British Prime Minister David Cameron for the nonchalant attitude on the incessant but heavily indiscriminate massacre of Palestinian population in Gaza.

Another Daily Mail online story:

Miliband and PM in war of words over Gaza conflict: Accused Cameron of ‘silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians’

 

Ed Miliband accused Cameron of ‘silence’ regarding death of Palestians
Remarks sparked angry response from Downing Street amid claims Prime Minister’s views had been misrepresented
Labour leader has called on UK Government to condemn the escalating violence on both sides

By BRENDAN CARLIN, MAIL ON SUNDAY POLITICAL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 23:31 GMT, 2 August 2014 | UPDATED: 23:31 GMT, 2 August 2014

Ed Miliband last night sparked a furious political row over the conflict in Gaza by accusing David Cameron of ‘silence’ regarding the death of Palestinian civilians.
In an outspoken statement, Mr Miliband said Mr Cameron’s ‘silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action will be inexplicable to people across Britain and internationally’.
The remarks sparked an angry response from Downing Street, with aides accusing the Labour leader of misrepresenting Mr Cameron’s views.
David Cameron, pictured, was accused by Ed Miliband of ‘silence’ regarding the death of Palestinian civilians
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David Cameron, pictured, was accused by Ed Miliband of ‘silence’ regarding the death of Palestinian civilians
The No 10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister has been clear that both sides in the conflict need to observe a ceasefire.
‘We are shocked that Ed Miliband would seek to misrepresent that position and play politics with such a serious issue.’

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‘If we don’t get our soldier back we should start levelling Gaza': Palestinians face new wave of bloodshed as ceasefire breaks down after Israeli soldier is ‘kidnapped by Hamas’
Mr Miliband stressed that he was ‘a supporter of Israel’ but branded its military actions in the past two weeks as ‘wrong and unjustifiable’.
He called on the UK Government ‘as a whole’ to condemn the escalating violence on both sides.
Yesterday, in the 26th day of the conflict, Israel carried out fresh attacks on Gaza while militants launched more rockets into Israel as a hunt continues for missing Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin.
The remarks by Ed Miliband, pictured, sparked an angry response from Downing Street, with aides accusing the Labour leader of misrepresenting Mr Cameron¿s views
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The remarks by Ed Miliband, pictured, sparked an angry response from Downing Street, with aides accusing the Labour leader of misrepresenting Mr Cameron’s views
Palestinian officials said 55 people had died in Israeli strikes on Saturday, most in Rafah. Some 1,655 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 66 Israelis, all but three soldiers, have so far died.
Last night Israeli officials said they would not attend truce talks in Cairo, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation in Gaza would continue ‘if required’ after the demolition of Hamas’s tunnels.
So far some 31 tunnels have been destroyed under the border with Israel.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2714441/Miliband-PM-war-words-Gaza-conflict-Accused-Cameron-silence-killing-hundreds-innocent-Palestinian-civilians.html#ixzz39IA9sg2q
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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Seasoned British politician Lord Paddy Ashdown felt the extreme Israeli Forces handedness against the Palestinians in Gaza would escalate the problem further.

The Daily Mirror story:

Gaza crisis: Paddy Ashdown brands Israel’s attacks ‘foolish and disproportionate’

Aug 02, 2014 11:24 By Nina Massey
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Lord Ashdown also said that neither side could simply ‘blast their way to victory’
Flynet / BarcroftLord Ashdown’s says Israel and Hamas need to sit down and talk
Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown has branded Israel’s attacks on Gaza as “foolish” and “disproportionate”, saying both sides need to talk to each other.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the peace envoy also said that neither side could simply “blast their way to victory”.

He compared the situation to the conflicts in Bosnia and Northern Ireland where peace deals had been brokered.

Lord Ashdown said: “Neither side can blast their way to victory, so there is only one way to get peace now, and that is for the sides to sit down and start talking to each other.

“Hamas has to be at the table. Who’s firing the rockets? It’s Hamas, and so you have to talk to them… If an individual or an organisation has the support of the people who it represents, in the end you have to talk to them. We had to talk to the IRA, for goodness’ sake.”

Lord Ashdown also said there was “no question” that Israel’s military action was “disproportionate”, telling the show: “Is it disproportionate? Yes it is, there’s no question about it.

“Israel makes the excuse that because weapons are being fired from civilian areas, it’s entitled to use indiscriminate total force against civilian areas. No you’re not.”

He added that had British troops retaliated to civilian attacks in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, they would “have been guilty of a crime”.

The former Lib Dem leader continued: “To have accidentally, in the course of trying to be careful, hit a single UN school and haven, you could put down to an error in the process of trying to be careful. But to hit six, you have to conclude that’s either criminally careless or carelessly indiscriminate.”

Lord Ashdown described Israel’s military action as “really foolish “, adding that its actions had “created hundreds if not thousands of terrorists, created the enmity of the entire Middle East and lost the support and sympathy of world opinion”.

“That doesn’t seem to me to be a very good dividend from military action,” he concluded.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/gaza-paddy-ashdown-says-israels-3951450#ixzz39I62Jkhn

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Lord Ashdown is right. Apparently, Anti Semitism feeling in Europe is rising and more and more Europeans condemn the brutal Zionist Israeli Forces massacre against Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.

The New York Times story:

Anti-Semitism Rises in Europe Amid Israel-Gaza Conflict

By MELISSA EDDYAUG. 1, 2014
Photo

Protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza last weekend displayed a swastika at a Paris rally. The demonstration had been banned by the government and prompted deployment of police. Credit Etienne Laurent/European Pressphoto Agency
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BERLIN — Across Europe, the conflict in Gaza is generating a broader backlash against Jews, as threats, hate speech and even violent attacks proliferate in several countries.

Most surprising perhaps, a wave of incidents has washed over Germany, where atonement for the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes is a bedrock of the modern society. A commitment to the right of Israel to exist is ironclad. Plaques and memorials across the country exhort, “Never Again.” Children are taught starting in elementary school that their country’s Nazi history must never be repeated. Even so, academics say the recent episodes may reflect a rising climate of anti-Semitism that they had observed before the strife over Gaza.

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This week, the police in the western city of Wuppertal detained two young men on suspicion of throwing firebombs at the city’s new synagogue; the attack early Tuesday caused no injuries. In Frankfurt on Thursday, the police said, a beer bottle was thrown through a window at the home of a prominent critic of anti-Semitism. She heard an anti-Jewish slur after going to the balcony to confront her assailant, The Frankfurter Rundschau reported. An anonymous caller to a rabbi threatened last week to kill 30 Frankfurt Jews if the caller’s family in Gaza was harmed, the police said.

The string of incidents comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned anti-Semitic chants from pro-Palestinian demonstrators and President Joachim Gauck called on Germans to “raise their voices if there is a new anti-Semitism being strutted on the street.”

But even as the police have clamped down on demonstrators, banning slogans that target Jews instead of Israeli policies, a spike in violence has spread fear among Jews, not only in Germany but also in other European countries.

More Jews have begun leaving France in recent months, following anti-Semitism that has spilled onto the streets since the start of the Gaza conflict almost a month ago. While most of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been peaceful, a small number of violent protesters, many of them young Arab men, has targeted Jewish businesses and synagogues.

French authorities have strongly condemned the violence and, citing public-safety concerns, have refused to authorize a small number of pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Others have spoken of a need to counter anti-Semitism among certain segments of the country’s Muslim youth.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke last week of a “new,” “normalized” anti-Semitism. “It blends the Palestinian cause, jihadism, the detestation of Israel and the hatred of France and its values,” he told the National Assembly.

Even in historically tolerant Italy, anti-Semitic smears have appeared on the streets of Rome. Jewish shop windows in several neighborhoods were defaced this week with swastikas and tags reading “Torch the synagogues” and “Jews your end is near.” Police suspect that right-wing extremists, possibly along with pro-Palestinian activists, carried out the acts.

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Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, said he believed that the threats were linked to tensions in the Middle East. “There is cyclically a common thread running between the dramatic tensions in the Middle East and the increase of anti-Semitic episodes,” he said.

In Austria, a preseason soccer match between the Israeli team Maccabi Haifa and Germany’s Paderborn was moved to a more secure location last weekend after a group of youths bearing Palestinian and Turkish flags stormed the field and attacked players during a previous match.

Prominent newspapers, politicians and popular stars in Austria and Germany have responded to the anti-Jewish outburst with a campaign called “Raise Your Voice,” in support of their countries’ Jewish communities. But Samuel Salzborn, a professor of political science at Göttingen University, does not believe that the effort has shifted public opinion.

“The official line of the German government is happily, clearly against anti-Semitism, but that is resulting in far too little,” Mr. Salzborn said. “There is a startling indifference in the German public to the current display of anti-Semitism.”

To many of the more than 100,000 Jews in Germany, the outburst of anti-Semitism since the conflict flared in Gaza has a troubling undertone and has stirred especially painful memories. The Central Council of Jews in Germany has received hundreds of calls from members asking whether they should pack their suitcases and leave the country.

“I have not heard that for many years,” said Dieter Graumann, the council president. “When calls for Jews to be gassed, burned and murdered are bawled on the streets of Germany, that no longer has anything to do with Israel’s politics and Gaza. It is the most abhorrent form of anti-Semitism.”

Academics who study anti-Semitism say the acceptance of disparaging remarks about Jews has become increasingly common in the educated middle class over the past two decades. Especially on social media, where hashtags such as #HitlerWasRight have appeared, there has been a significant jump in slurs against Jews.

Monika Schwarz-Friesel, a cognitive scientist at Technical University, has spent 10 years tracking anti-Semitic comments from educated Germans in letters to editors, in Internet chat rooms and on social media. She said such comments in public forums had served as kindling for the most recent outbreak.

“Violence always starts in the mind,” Ms. Schwarz-Friesel said. “Attacks like that on the synagogue in Wuppertal are not just pulled out of thin air.”

Carola Melchert-Arlt, an elementary school principal in Berlin and mother of three, said she felt afraid for the first time in her decades of living in Germany. She said her mother had asked her to stop wearing a Star of David, a family heirloom from her grandmother’s bat mitzvah, around her neck.

Friends have taken down their mezuzas, Ms. Melchert-Arlt said, and she no longer stifles a smile when a fellow Jew wonders if they are really welcome in Germany.

“We have all always felt the latent anti-Semitism here,” Ms. Melchert-Arlt said. “But what we have experienced in recent weeks and days, not only in Germany but across Europe, is a prevailing mood of outward anti-Jewish sentiment in the streets.”

Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Rome, Katarina Johannsen from Berlin, and Aurelien Breeden from Paris.

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Published in: on August 3, 2014 at 12:00  Comments (5)  
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