Archive | February 2, 2017

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

By Anisa Abeytia

Studies say that no matter where you were born, after living an average of five years in another country, you are susceptible to the same diseases as the native population. I lived in the Middle East for five years and in the Muslim American community for fourteen. I was not raised a Muslim and I’m not an Arab, but after nineteen years, I picked up some interesting habits.

Last summer, my children’s school received extra funding for tutors over the summer break. The kids weren’t thrilled, but I was. The perspective tutor called and we chatted about the children’s needs. She told me her brother’s names is Yousuf, just like my son. She had an accent, but I couldn’t place it and I didn’t want to ask her where she was from. It’s wasn’t important. I figured she was from a Muslim country and I’d find out when she came to my house.

The children waited for her and we watched as she parked and walked down the street to our house. She was a thin woman, wearing a scarf on her head, tied behind her head like a Russian peasant. I tried to place her look and I thought, maybe she’s Bosnian.

We sat and chatted for a few minutes and she again told me joyfully that her brother’s name is Yousuf. So I asked her where she was from.

“I was born in Israel,” she replied.

My heart sank. I looked at her scarf, the way she wore it and then back at her face. She must be an Orthodox Jew. I could feel my face rearrange itself into a frown and the colour drained from my face. I was embarrassed by the thought that she might notice the physical change, but her demeanour didn’t change at all. I tried to force a smile, but figured it would contort my face into an even more bizarre expression, so I just gave up.

My son entered the room before I was able to recover and she hugged him. My eyes opened wide, and I half expected her to harm him. Images of bleeding Palestinian children and angry Israeli settlers filled my head. My eyes darted back and forth, looking for an escape and to see if my mother had any of the Palestinian flags out.

I wondered, would she hurt him? I didn’t want to leave them alone, but I slowly turned to walk up the stairs. Why was I thinking this way? As I took each step, I tried to talk sense to myself.

I don’t even know her and I’m judging her. Step.

Don’t jump to conclusions. Step.

Women in Black are Israeli. Step. 

This continued until I reached the top of the stairs, at which point I spent two hours debating with myself. Am I supporting the occupation? Am I doing a bad thing? Should I go downstairs and ask her to leave? How do I justify that? I have to dig deeper than that for an answer to how I should behave. I look out the window and take in a deep breath, close my eyes, exhaling slowly.

What does Islam say?

I open my eyes. The answer is easy, don’t judge. Don’t be suspicious and always treat people in the best possible way. She is a guest in my house and my child’s teacher. Am I a Muslim? Do I follow my religion only when it’s convenient?

I’m calm now and just in time, the tutoring session is over.

I make my way down the stairs and my mother walks into the room. The tutor says she loves all the art on the walls and asks who the collector is. My mother starts to tell her about a Syrian Artist, Akram Abu Al Foz that I told her about.

“Anisa, show her his work. It’s absolutely stunning.”

I take out my phone and start to explain. She loves it, so I tell her about my trips to Turkey and my work with the Syrians. She asks me many questions and I answer. A few days later I receive a phone call from her. She tells me she was so inspired by the work I’m doing and would like to help. Would I mind meeting with her daughter who works at a local radio station?

I’m a bit taken aback. She wants to help me? I can barely get Arabs, Muslims or Syrians to help me and she is this Jewish-Israeli woman asking me if she can help? Then she tells me,

“My parents are Syrian. We are Syrian Jews.”

I am so happy I start laughing and I tell her how frustrated I’ve been, that I had decided to stop the work I was doing because I just wasn’t getting support and that I prayed a week ago and said,

“Oh Allah, if this is the path you want me to continue on, you will need to send the help to my door because I will not make one more effort.”

I was so depressed and ready to give up and my prayer was answered with a test. If I had given into the common Arab/Muslim mentality that all Jews are bad, I would have lost this opportunity. She opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed. However, the greatest gift she gave me was a renewed sense of hope and the knowledge that I was not alone. I only need to ask, with an open heart and mind, and help would be sent.

Source*

Related Topics:

Yoga, Race and ‘Colour Blindness’*

Rabbis Thank Ahmedinejad for his Stance Against Zionism

An Unorthodox Rabbi Who Allied Himself With Prophet Muhammad*

A Small Act of kindness Disarms anti-Muslim Protester.*

Black History Month and Muslims

#Arabs4BlackPower Releases Movement for Black Lives Solidarity Statement*

Why were the Black Lives Matter protesters at London City Airport all White?*

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

U.S. Military Veterans Asked Lakota Elders for Forgiveness*

Despite Increasing Threats and Violence, Americans Show Support for Muslim Neighbours*

Heavenly Signs: Pluto Discloses

From the Symbolic Ascension to the Ascension of Our Lives

Lost to the Sea of Life

A Tool to Refocus Your Emotions

Is Your Heart as Strong as it is Big?

Faith vs. Ego!

Even Babies Know What is Fair!

The High Price of Suppressing Compassion

Body Atlas of Human Emotions*

 

Turkey Continues Repeated Violations against the Sanctity and Unity of Syria’s Sovereignty*

Turkey Continues Repeated Violations against the Sanctity and Unity of Syria’s Sovereignty*

Turkish army tank takes position near Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeasternTurkish town of Suruc in Sanliurfa provincee (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach) / Reuters

Turkish army tank takes position near Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeasternTurkish town of Suruc in Sanliurfa provincee (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach) / Reuters

By H. Said

Foreign and Expatriates Ministry voiced on Thursday strong condemnation of Turkey’s repeated crimes and attacks against the Syrian people and violations of the sanctity and unity of Syria’s territory.

The condemnation was expressed in two letters addressed to the U.N. Secretary General and President of the Security Council.

The letters referred to the Turkish troops’ incursion into the Syrian territories over the past few days and their occupation of some Syrian villages, including the villages of al-Ghouz and Abu Zibdin west of al-Bab city in northern Aleppo with the aim of advancing towards it.

The letters made it clear that these attacks pose a threat to the international peace and security in the framework of the exposed role played by the Turkish regime in supporting terrorism.

These attacks, the letters added, came in continuation of the Turkish regime’s aggression on Syria for more than five years now, which includes providing various forms of military, material and logistic support to the terrorist organizations, in addition to facilitating the entry of foreign militants into Syria, setting up training camps for them on Turkish soil under direct Turkish intelligence supervision and providing arms and fire cover to the terrorist groups fighting inside Syria.

The Ministry expressed in its letters the Syrian government’s renewed demand that the Security Council assume its responsibilities in preserving international peace and security and putting an end to the violations which the Turkish regime is committing against the Syrian people.

Source*

Related Topics:

Russia highly Concerned over Turkey’s Military Intervention in Northern Syria*

Turkey Allows 1,000 Terrorists to Cross Border into Syria’s Idlib*

Corporate Media Silent on M.E. on Israel and Turkey Strike on Syrian Oil Deal*

Turkey Shells Syrian Government Forces*

Washington Planning a Syrian invasion by Turkey and Saudi Arabia to split Syria in half with Washington controlling the Oil Fields*

Egypt’s U-Turn on Iraq and Syria*

Who’s Paying Amnesty Int’l to Lie about Syria?*

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

By Susan Seager

A Los Angeles federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of part of President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban. This order may be the most sweeping order yet against Trump’s executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ordered the federal government late Tuesday to allow the 28 Yemeni-American plaintiffs in the new lawsuit to be granted entry to the United States on the grounds that they obtained valid visas overseas and were unlawfully blocked from entering the United States.

Unlike the previous federal court orders that appeared to focus on mandating the release of detained travelers who already arrived at U.S. airports,  Birotte’s order requires federal officials to allow persons from the seven banned countries to come to the United States even though they are still overseas, so long as they have valid U.S. immigration visas.

Birotte, the former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, is the sixth federal judge to issue an order freezing part of Trump’s travel ban. This new case is Mohammed v. United States.

Birotte’s order was broadly worded and not restricting to helping the plaintiffs.

Not only did Birotte block federal officials “from … removing, detaining, or blocking the entry of Plaintiffs,” but the judge also froze the removal, detention and blocking the entry of “any other person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa.”

Judge Birotte also ordered the federal government “to IMMEDIATELY inform all relevant airport, airline, and other authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and International Airport in Djibouti that [the Yemeni] Plaintiffs are permitted to travel to the United States on their valid immigrant visas.”

The lawsuit and related filings were filed Tuesday under seal. The plaintiffs are 28 Yemeni-Americans, including United States citizens living here and family members who remained behind in Yemen but had received immigrant visas to come to the U.S., according to a newspaper report.

Before Birotte issued his order,  judges in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Boston, Seattle and Alexandria, Virginia issued different temporary injunctions restraining federal enforcement of parts of  Trump’s travel ban last weekend, although the other orders dealt with immigrants who had already arrived in the United States, not those  stranded overseas.

Trump’s executive order blocks citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from coming to the U.S. for at least 90 days, bans refugees for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. No new travel or immigration visas are being given to people from these countries.

When the refugee ban is lifted, Trump’s order says that the United States will give preference to minority religions in the seven Muslim-majority countries, and Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network that his executive order would give priority to Christians.  “So we are going to help them,” he said of Christians in the Middle East.

Judge Birotte’s order did not order the federal government to issue new immigration visas, but requires the government to honor “valid immigration visas” issued before Trump’s executive order. The order does not apply to refugees or those with tourist visas.

Under Birotte’s order, government officials apparently can no longer instruct airlines and border officials outside the United States to block immigrants from the seven countries from boarding airplanes to the United States even though those immigrants had obtained valid visas before Trump’s order.

In the Los Angeles lawsuit, the Yemeni families argued Trump’s order violates their right to due process, unlawfully targets Muslims based on their religion in violation of the First Amendment, among other constitutional arguments.

The plaintiffs had left war-torn Yemen and obtained their U.S. immigration visas in the nearby country of Djibouti, Africa, after completing the U.S.’s vetting process and before Trump issued his executive order, but were blocked from leaving Africa.

Birotte instructed government attorneys to file written arguments defending the executive order and both sides to appear at a Feb. 10 hearing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Congress Just Passed Part of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan in the Budget Bill*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Jewish Members of Trump Administration Might Explain a Few Things*

Giving Thanks for a Nation of Migrants, Refugees, and Immigrants*

Native American Council offers Amnesty to 220 million Undocumented Whites*

New U.S. Law Lets Families Sue Doctors to Prevent Dismemberment Abortions*

New U.S. Law Lets Families Sue Doctors to Prevent Dismemberment Abortions*

Twinfoetusmain

By Ronn Blitzer

A new law not only restricts when and how a woman can get an abortion, it also lets her family members keep her from doing it. Arkansas Act 45, which passed on Friday, prohibits “dismemberment abortion,” also known as dilation and evacuation or D&E, a method commonly used to terminate pregnancies in the second trimester. Doctors who perform D&E abortions can be found guilty of a felony and face civil lawsuits. Other methods of abortion are not prohibited by the law.

Lawsuits against the doctors prescribed by the law aren’t just limited to money though. The law says that if a doctor attempts to perform a D&E abortion, which is regarded as the safest method of abortion after the 14-week mark, the woman’s husband or parents can sue to prevent the doctor from performing the abortion. The law is unclear what constitutes an attempt, or how an injunction against the doctor would be more effective than criminal charges. The law does state that if a pregnancy is the result of a criminal act, the perpetrator can’t collect monetary damages, but it doesn’t say they can’t sue to prevent the abortion.

There is an exception in the law for circumstances where there is a “serious health risk” for the mother. In such cases, D&E abortions are still allowed. There are no exceptions, however, for rape or incest.

The Daily Beast reported that 683 of Arkansas’s 3,771 abortions in 2015 were done with the D&E method, and Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains told the publication that it’s “the most common method of second-trimester abortion in the United States and in the world.”

The law was sponsored by Arkansas Rep. Andy MayberryLawNewz.com reached out to Mayberry with questions about the law. He has not responded yet, but he has said, according to The Daily Beast, that D&E is a “gruesome, barbaric procedure” that “no civilized society should embrace.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Abortions Banned in Russian City for 1 Day in memory of Biblical ‘massacre of innocents’*

Abortion Survivor to Congress ‘I was Born Alive after Being Burned in My Mother’s Womb’*

Mississippi Signs Ban on Abortions that Rip Babies ‘limb from limb’*

‘This baby won’t stop breathing!’: Abortionist Strangled Baby Born Alive While Nurses Stood and Watched*

U.S. World Population Control Programme Revealed Creates War and Famine*

Israel Weaponizes it’s Rape Culture against Palestinians*

Israel Weaponizes it’s Rape Culture against Palestinians*

By David Sheen

Liberal Israelis protest Lehava in Jerusalem after three of its members were charged in an attack on a mixed Jewish-Arab school, December 2014 - Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Liberal Israelis protest Lehava in Jerusalem after three of its members were charged in an attack on a mixed Jewish-Arab school, December 2014 – Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Liberal Israelis protest Lehava in Jerusalem after three of its members were charged in an attack on a mixed Jewish-Arab school, December 2014 – Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Lawmakers in Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition are trying to deflect attention from sex crime scandals involving the highest echelons of Israeli society by making false allegations against Palestinians and other non-Jews.

In recent months, a long list of senior Israeli officials, including members of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s inner circle, have been investigated and, in some cases, convicted for sex crimes against women and girls.

But rather than acknowledging the problem in their own ranks, right-wing members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, are renewing their efforts to paint Palestinians as the prime perpetrators.

At a December 2016 session of the Knesset’s status of women committee, legislators from parties in the ruling coalition – particularly the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu – alleged that there was a pattern of Palestinian men and boys preying upon Jewish women and girls.

Yulia Malinovsky, a representative of Yisrael Beiteinu, started off the session by asserting that in the Jerusalem area in the previous nine years, there have been 800 cases where Jewish Israeli women were sexually assaulted or sexually harassed by Palestinian men “based on nationalist motives.”

“Why are we forbidden to talk about the phenomenon of sexual harassment by Arabs? Because it’s not politically correct?” Malinovsky queried.

Her party colleague Oded Forer argued that any sex crime “motivated by religion or nationalism is a terror attack in every possible way.”

The lawmakers lacked evidence to back up their allegations. That much became clear when Ayelet Orenstein, head of the department for sex crime victims in the Israeli police, testified to the Knesset committee.

Orenstein told the committee that, according to police statistics, the number of sex crimes in mixed cities where Israeli Jews live in close proximity to Palestinian citizens, has not increased in recent years. Rather, it has decreased.

Orenstein explained that the decrease applied both to sex crimes in general, and specifically to sex crimes in which a non-Jewish person was the perpetrator.

The right-wing legislators grew agitated when Orenstein would not corroborate their claims of a plague of Palestinian-on-Jew sex crimes. She was then asked to explain the disparity between her own statements and the aforementioned statistic of 800 sex crimes, which Malinovsky insisted had also been provided by the police.

After examining a document handed to her by Malinovsky, Orenstein explained that the 800 cases referred to included all assaults committed in Jerusalem in the past nine years, regardless of whether or not they were sexual in nature.

Orenstein’s “rough estimate” – her words – was that the number of relevant reported sex crimes in Jerusalem during this time period was around 200 – a quarter of that claimed by Malinovsky.

This was not the first Israeli effort to portray Palestinians as sexual predators – and it was unlikely to be the last. In fact, the committee meeting bore great resemblance to another Knesset session held just over five years earlier.

Frightening increase?

In December 2011, the Knesset’s immigration committee convened for an “urgent” session on “the kidnapping of new [Jewish] immigrants by minorities,” the latter a euphemism for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Opening the meeting, then-Likud lawmaker Danny Danon said:

“We have all heard horrible stories of a frightening increase in the number of cases of young women who come from a poor socio-economic background that are simply kidnapped [by Palestinians]. At first when I was told about it, I said, ‘What do you mean kidnapped? It’s probably a romantic relationship, consensual.’ But it turns out that there are cases in the State of Israel, in the year 2011, of girls physically kidnapped in the middle of the day, in Kiryat Malakhi, in Arad, in Beer Sheva, in Nahariya, that minorities simply force women into the car.”

Then, too, a representative of the Israeli police department for sex crime victims – Rachel Greibin – denied the existence of any such phenomenon or increase in attacks on Jewish women by Palestinian men.

“That phenomenon has not been seen by the police, the phenomenon you have just described is unknown to us,” Greibin said.

Upon Danon’s insistence that he heard an unnamed police commander claim that this type of cross-cultural sexual violence was increasing, Greibin responded,

“We do not have data or lots of cases of kidnapping.”

Danon now serves as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The attempt to frame Palestinians as sex offenders is a favored tactic of the Israeli far right. Israel’s anti-miscegenation movement is keen to cast the relatively rare romantic relationships between Jews and Palestinians as abusive, in order to justify such groups’ continued existence and their funding budgets.

Minutes of the 2011 Knesset committee meeting confirm that the session was stacked with members of Yad L’Achim and Lehava, two groups that oppose marriages between Jews and people of other religions

Smear strategy

Similarly, the recent session of the status of women committee heard complaints from female members of Im Tirtzu, an anti-Palestinian group that a Jerusalem court ruled may be fairly described as “fascist,” and Students for the Temple Mount, a group that seeks to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites. Anat Gopstein, anti-miscegenation activist and wife of Lehava leader Bentzi Gopstein, was also in attendance.

Unsurprisingly, the December session concluded with Malinovsky proposing that the government dispense additional funds to Israeli anti-miscegenation groups.

“Today there is a budget of 50 million shekels [$13 million] for the war on violence against women. I ask of all the relevant bodies and the committee chair that part of this money will be apportioned to treat the problem of sexual harassment on a nationalist basis in mixed cities.

Right-wing activists distribute flyers urging Israelis to “Join Lehava in the war on miscegenation” in Jerusalem in October 2014 - Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Right-wing activists distribute flyers urging Israelis to “Join Lehava in the war on miscegenation” in Jerusalem in October 2014 – Oren Ziv ActiveStills

 

Falsely charging Palestinians with rape isn’t exclusive to Israel’s far right. In May, Netanyahu himself falsely accused two Palestinians of raping a Jewish woman.

Soon afterwards, Israeli police revealed that no such rape had ever occurred. Rather, the woman’s parents had concocted the rape accusations upon learning that their daughter had been dating a Palestinian man, Israeli police said.

In Israel, the rape smear strategy has even been adopted by Jewish supremacists trying to thwart liaisons between Black Jews and Black people of other religions. In 2013, Israeli journalist Danny Adino Abebe publicly accused African refugees of kidnapping 1,000 Israeli citizens of Ethiopian descent. After this writer demanded that Abebe provide evidence for his claim, he quietly removed his article from the Internet.

Budgets for bigotry

The Israeli government continues to fund groups which openly aim to end miscegenation in order to preserve Jewish ethnic purity.

In October, Or Kashti of the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported on anti-assimilation groups receiving funds from the Israeli government to move to cities with a mixed population of Palestinians and Jews. The understanding behind the funding was that its recipients would try to drive wedges between Jews and their Palestinian neighbours.

Naftali Bennett, in his capacity as Israel’s diaspora affairs minister, has been promoting the importance of the “Jewish family” – a thinly veiled reference to endogamy. Preventing sexual relations between Jews and people of other religions appears to be a major goal of a program for which the Israeli government earmarked $50 million between 2014 and the end of 2017.

The diaspora affairs ministry spent $500,000 on a propaganda video arguing that miscegenation puts the Jewish people in peril. The video was broadcast on Israeli television in December.

In his role as education minister, Bennett approved a move to drop a Hebrew-language novel titled Borderlife from the academic curriculum in 2015 because it described a fictional romantic relationship between a Jewish Israeli woman and a Palestinian man. In December 2016, the education ministry introduced new rules to make it easier to ban books in the future.

Taunting

The accusations leveled at the recent status of women committee meeting against Palestinian citizens of Israel raised the ire of Palestinian representatives in the Knesset. Jamal Zahalka, head of the Balad Party, argued at the meeting that Palestinian citizens of Israel are committed to combating sex crimes.

“In Arab society, as in Jewish society, men that attack women, regardless of who they are, are considered the scum of the human race, despicable people that are rejected by society,” said Zahalka.

“In my opinion, the courts do not sentence with enough severity. I want every Arab that is convicted – not by politicians, but by the courts and police – to face the full weight of the law. Even more than a Jew, I don’t care. We as a society want this. Conduct a poll, and 99% of the Arab society will tell you: Not five years in jail, 10 years in jail. So let’s not make this a sectarian issue.”

Zahalka called on Jewish and Palestinian parliamentarians to stop trying to turn sexual assaults into a racial issue and to work together to tackle the problem.

“On this issue there is consensus,” Zahalka said. “It’s one of the rare issues in the Knesset where everyone agrees that we must combat the phenomenon. So you come here and present it as if it’s a subject for disagreement and taunting?”

Despite Zahalka’s comments, some elements of Israeli society have continued to display a disturbing attitude towards sex crimes. The week after the status of women committee meeting, former Israeli president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav was released from jail, granted early release from prison. Katsav was welcomed to his home town of Kiryat Malakhi with public fanfare.

In the days that followed, Israeli police recommended charging Moshe Dadon, head of a local authority in the Jerusalem area, with rape and other sex crimes against several women.

In January, it emerged that yet another senior Israeli politician is now being investigated over sex crimes. Amnon Cohen, a member of the Knesset from 1999 to 2015, is accused of being bribed by a businessman with sexual favours. A woman told a court in Lydda (Lod) – a city near Tel Aviv – that she was coerced into having sexual relations with Cohen, saying she was “afraid for my life.”

For these reasons and others, the liberal Israeli news site +972 Magazine named “the women standing up to sexual harassment” as its “person of the year” for 2016.

But if the Jewish-Israeli leadership continues to frame Palestinian men as sex predators and interracial relationships as treason, just so that they can avoid tackling the sex crime epidemic in their midst, that honour will offer only cold comfort.

Source*

Related Topics:

Netanyahu’s Former Driver gets 27 years for Raping Minors*

Sex Crimes and Israeli Leadership*

Australian Principal Accused of 74 Child Sex Charges Walks free in Israel*

Israel, Organized Crime, White Slavery, and the Sex Trade*

Jewish Lawyer Banned after Telling Sex Abuse Victim not to Accuse a fellow Yid*

The Jewish Lobby and Lord Janner’s Catalogue of Child Sex Abuse*

Israeli General’s Sordid Past*

Major lawsuit Hits Israeli Minister, Judges, and U.S. Zionist Donors for Child Trafficking*

Israeli Facebook Exec Arrested for Paedophilia*

Jewish Sexology and the Assault on Gender and the Family*

The Talmudic Roots of Jewish Supremacism*