My Thoughts Islamic State (ISIS) threat

Whilst I welcome the decision that Britain has welcomed a UN resolution designed to weaken Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

The United Nations Security Council gave unanimous approval to the document, which was drawn up by the UK.

It backed sanctions on individuals recruiting, financing, supplying weapons, or fighting for Islamic State (IS) and linked groups.

The UK Ministry of Defence has revealed that its Joint Rivet surveillance aircraft has been operating in Iraq.

The reconnaissance plane had been operating in the region for the last few weeks, a spokeswoman said, helping to “build an understanding of the humanitarian situation and the associated ISIL (also known as IS) threat”.

“The intelligence and insight it has provided has guided our humanitarian efforts giving us an accurate picture of what is going on the ground so that we could best deliver aid to the Yazidi people.

The hot potato of the day has to be for me is how will world leaders address of the increase presence of Islamic State(ISIS) in Iraq which in my opinion has more than one leader with no base or constitution and why so many young people are being attracted in joining various Jihadist Groups.

I would like some acknowledgement that “we” the West, are in some measure to blame. After all, “we” did invade, overthrow a secular dictator, ostracise the experienced Civil Servants, and ensure the candidates for Presidential Election were acceptable to the transnational corporations. Val McDermid expressing sensible concerns that when you arm people you think are the goodies, they may actually be as bad as the baddies, and that in any event you escalate the use and possession of lethal weapons. All wanted super dooper diplomatic initiatives, though these were unspecified, and a longer term strategy for the Middle East. Nobody mentioned Russia and China. It was all “The West”. On Russia in particular, I am horrified that “the West’s” focus on “Aid Convoys” from Russia to Eastern Ukraine appear to be blinding intelligent people from considering the importance of the diplomatic role Russia could play

There are so many think tanks out there with little or no solutions to address the wider issue which affects some ethnic communities which the FarRight groups are quick enough to jump on the bandwagon to spread their hatred of Muslims and Islam what their lack of understanding of the Koran from some intellectually challenged people.

Ironically the UK has banned some Islamic groups but failed to ban groups like English Defence League, (EDL) British First (BF), British National Party (BNP) and United Kingdom Independence Party(UKIP) no doubt some will argue that those group will go underground well folks wake up they have in some cases gone underground but only surface to spread their vile messages to their lieutenants then disappear letting their foot soldiers taking the can who are already brainwashed is the only way to describe them.

Intriguingly I read two articles which really sums it up in a nutshell for me when it began with:

The US and the UK can’t defeat ISIS  Arab states have to take the lead The destruction of this caliphate must come from a Muslim led force

On Friday last week, as he became the fourth US president in succession to authorise airstrikes in Iraq, Barack Obama effectively said the world’s most powerful terrorist group, ISIS, was an Arab problem and that regional leaders would have to deal with it.

“The nature of this [ISIL / ISIS] problem is not one that the US military can solve,” he said, offering the clearest indication of his thinking. “[W]e can then be one of many countries that deal with the broader problem that ISIL poses,” he said during the press conference, but the US was not going to take the lead.

Over the last year ISIS has captured territory that is now larger than Great Britain. It is among the fastest-growing and richest terrorist groups of all time. After initially funding its efforts with extortion, smuggling and private donations, it literally struck gold in June when it made off with $400m in cash and gold from the central bank in Mosul. Since then it has also captured oil fields and earns up to £3m a day by selling the resource on the black market. The group also has a modernised arsenal from the weapons and vehicles it has captured from the Iraqi army. Even the well-trained and feared Kurdish forces are being pushed back in places.

The plight of Iraq’s minorities, especially the Yazidis, has struck a chord strong enough to raise demands that the USA and UK should intervene to help such groups and destroy ISIS. I don’t say this as a blind anti-interventionist – I supported the invasion of Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban and heavy military intervention in Syria to avoid a humanitarian crisis – but such a course of action would be foolhardy and counter-productive. On this, President Obama is absolutely right: the problem posed by ISIS cannot be solved by US military.

A wide-scale military operation spear-headed by the US or UK to defeat ISIS is doomed to failure. In fact they welcome the prospect. “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones,” a spokesman for the group told Vice News. “Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, god willing,” he added. ISIS would love the United States and UK to invade with soldiers or to step up aerial bombardment across the country.

There are two key reasons why I oppose such action. Firstly, aerial bombardment won’t make much difference, and may well lead to extensive civilian casualties. ISIS are well-versed in fighting an established army – in Syria – and constantly move around equipment and people. In case of (a highly unlikely) ground war, they would bog down American and British troops in a costly and draining ground war stretching over years, if not decades.

To reiterate, ISIS aren’t a rag-tag bunch of rebels hiding in caves, as al-Qaeda is largely reduced to now. It is a well-equipped urban guerilla army fighting on several different fronts and winning in most of them. While Saddam Hussain’s army barely put up a fight against American troops, the warriors of Islamic State would relish fighting them on their holy land.

A western-led attack on ISIS would also be counter-productive because of the inevitable blowback. The establishment of a caliphate has not just made ISIS more attractive than al-Qaeda, it also puts us in a deep quandary. To put it bluntly, the US or UK cannot be seen as cheerleading the destruction of the most successful caliphate in recent times.

It doesn’t matter how many imams or Muslims across the world have distanced themselves from ISIS, the destruction of this caliphate must come from a Muslim-led force. Otherwise the symbolism is such that we would be fending off terrorist attacks forever. To offer one example of their popularity – while not one Indian Muslim has been found fighting with al-Qaeda (in a country with the world’s second largest Muslim population), ISIS has not only inspired imams but attracted four Indian Muslim fighters already. The symbolism of a caliphate cannot be underestimated, and neither can the symbolism of its destruction.

I suspect Obama knows this. This is why there is hesitation across the American and British administrations, and why he said Arab leaders had to lead the charge against ISIS instead. The airstrikes authorised by Obama last week were limited, solely to help Kurdish armed forces fighting ISIS in northern Iraq. The British government isn’t even debating the prospect of joining its ally in these airstrikes and Labour opposes any such action outright.

There’s a reason, too, why we can afford to take a step back from this conflict. In contrast to al-Qaeda, the focus of the Islamic State is inward. It wants to consolidate territory across the Middle East before it takes on the might of the United States. It’s ironic that Saudi Arabia, which sponsored Wahhabism for decades, is now threatened by a group based on its ideology. We should let it deal with the consequences.

The ISIS leader was NOT trained by the CIA or Mossad, and Snowden didn’t say it

There are three common rules when people discuss politics:

1) they are willing to believe anything on the internet if it confirms their prejudices
2) they don’t want to accept people of their tribe do awful things
3) they find a way to blame America or the UK for most of the world’s problems

A recent example: the claim that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the self-proclaimed leader of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq – was funded or trained by the CIA or Israel’s Mossad, and that this was apparently revealed by Edward Snowden.

Stories claiming this hoax have gone viral all over the web (example 1example 2example 3). This is simply not true. In fact I asked the reporter Glenn Greenwald, who has had more contact with Snowden than most people this question directly.

Furthermore, Edward Snowden’s lawyer called this claim a hoax too.

So where did ISIS money and the guns come from?
I explain this briefly in my New Statesman article:

After initially funding its efforts with extortion, smuggling and private donations, it literally struck gold in June when it made off with $400m in cash and gold from the central bank in Mosul.

Since then it has also captured oil fields and earns up to £3m a day by selling the resource on the black market.

The group also has a modernised arsenal from the weapons and vehicles it has captured from the Iraqi army. Even the well-trained and feared Kurdish forces are being pushed back in places.

But America is still to blame, right?

In some ways, yes. The New York Times recently reported:

The Pentagon says that Mr. Baghdadi, after being arrested in Falluja in early 2004, was released that December with a large group of other prisoners deemed low level. But Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi scholar who has researched Mr. Baghdadi’s life, sometimes on behalf of Iraqi intelligence, said that Mr. Baghdadi had spent five years in an American detention facility where, like many ISIS fighters now on the battlefield, he became more radicalized.

From there he joined al-Qaeda, and later split off into his own group which later became ISIS and Islamic State.

But what about all the pictures?

If you see any pictures, supposedly of al-Baghdadi meeting someone (like John McCain!), they’re also fake. These pics never reveal their source, time, date or location. Unless a pic does that, so it can be verified, it’s a fake.

Here is the history of the vile terrorist group and remember the quote:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out  Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me”.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a jihadist group, widely regarded as a terrorist organisation. In its self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aspires to bring much of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its direct political control, beginning with territory in the Levant region, which includes JordanIsraelPalestineLebanonCyprus, and an area in southern Turkey that includes Hatay. The group has been officially designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, and Lebanon, and has been widely described as a terrorist group by Western and Middle Eastern media sources, including Amnesty International

The group, in its original form, was composed of and supported by a variety of Sunni Arab terrorist insurgent groups, including its predecessor organizations, Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) (2003–2006),Mujahideen Shura Council (2006–2006) and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) (2006–2013), other insurgent groups such as Jeish al-Taiifa al-Mansoura, Jaysh al-Fatiheen, Jund al-Sahaba and Katbiyan Ansar Al-Tawhid wal Sunnah, and a number of Iraqi tribes that profess Sunni Islam.

ISIS grew significantly as an organization owing to its participation in the Syrian Civil War and the strength of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Economic and political discrimination against Arab Iraqi Sunnis since the fall of the secular Saddam Hussein also helped it to gain support. At the height of the 2003–2011 Iraq War, its forerunners enjoyed a significant presence in the Iraqi governorates of Al Anbar,NinevehKirkuk, most of Salah ad Din, parts of BabilDiyala andBaghdad, and claimed Baqubah as a capital city. In the ongoing Syrian Civil War, ISIS has a large presence in the Syrian governorates of Ar-RaqqahIdlib and Aleppo.

ISIS is known for its extreme and brutally harsh interpretation of the Islamic faith and sharia law and has a record of horrifying violence, which is directed at Shia Muslims, indigenous Assyrian (Chaldo Assyrian), Syriac and Armenian Christians,YazidisDruzeShabakis and Mandeans in particular. It has at least 4,000 fighters in its ranks in Iraq[71] who, in addition to attacks on government and military targets, have claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed thousands of civilians. SIS had close links with al-Qaeda until 2014, but in February of that year, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with the group, reportedly for its brutality and “notorious intractability”.

ISIS’s original aim was to establish a caliphate in the Sunni-majority regions of Iraq. Following its involvement in the Syrian Civil War, this expanded to include controlling Sunni-majority areas of Syria. A caliphate was proclaimed on 29 June 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—now known as Amir al-Mu’minin Caliph Ibrahim was named as its caliph, and the group was renamed the Islamic State.

The group has had a number of different names since its formation in early 2004 as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād, “The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad” (JTJ). These names are underscored in the following paragraphs.

In October 2004, the group’s leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi swore loyalty to Osama bin Laden and changed the name of the group to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn, “The Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers“, more commonly known as “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” (AQI). Although the group has never called itself “Al-Qaeda in Iraq”, this name has frequently been used to describe it through its various incarnations.

In January 2006, AQI merged with several smaller Iraqi insurgent groups under an umbrella organization called the “Mujahideen Shura Council“. This was little more than a media exercise and an attempt to give the group a more Iraqi flavour and perhaps to distance al-Qaeda from some of al-Zarqawi’s tactical errors, notably the 2005 bombings by AQI of three hotels in Amman. Al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006, after which the group’s direction shifted again.

On 12 October 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council joined four more insurgent factions and the representatives of a number of Iraqi Arab tribes, and together they swore the traditional Arab oath of allegiance known as Ḥilf al-Muṭayyabīn (“Oath of the Scented Ones”).[b][80][81] During the ceremony, the participants swore to free Iraq’s Sunnis from what they described as Shia and foreign oppression, and to further the name of Allah and restore Islam to glory.

On 13 October 2006, the establishment of the Dawlat al-ʻIraq al-Islāmīyah, “Islamic State of Iraq” (ISI) was announced.  A cabinet was formed and Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi became ISI’s figurehead emir, with the real power residing with the Egyptian Abu Ayyub al-Masri. The declaration was met with hostile criticism, not only from ISI’s jihadist rivals in Iraq, but from leading jihadist ideologues outside the country.[84] Al-Baghdadi and al-Masri were both killed in a US–Iraqi operation in April 2010. The next leader of the ISI was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current leader of ISIS.

On 9 April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, also known as “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”.

The name is abbreviated as ISIS or alternately ISIL. The final “S” in the acronym ISIS stems from the Arabic word Shām (or Shaam), which in the context of global jihad refers to the Levant or Greater Syria. ISIS was also known as al-Dawlah (“the State”), or al-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah (“the Islamic State”). These are short-forms of the Arabic name for the “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”; it is similar to calling “the United States of America” “the States”.

ISIS’s detractors, particularly in Syria, refer to the group using the Arabic acronym “DAESH” a term which it considers derogatory. ISIS reportedly uses flogging as a punishment for people who use the acronym.

On 14 May 2014, the United States Department of State announced its decision to use “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) as the group’s primary name. The debate over which acronym should be used to designate the group, ISIL or ISIS, has been discussed by several commentators. Ishaan Tharoor from The Washington Post concluded: “In the larger battlefield of copy style controversies, the distinction between ISIS or ISIL is not so great.”

On 29 June 2014, the establishment of a new caliphate was announced, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi named as its caliph, and the group formally changed its name to the “Islamic State”.

ISIS is a violent extremist group that follows al-Qaeda’s hard-line ideology and adheres to global jihadist principles. Like al-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups, ISIS emerged from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s first Islamist group dating back to the late 1920s in Egypt. ISIS follows an extreme anti-Western interpretation of Islam, promotes religious violence and regards those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels and apostates. Concurrently, ISIS (now IS) aims to establish a Salafist-orientated Islamist state in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Levant.  ISIS’s ideology originates in the branch of modern Islam that aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting later “innovations” in the religion which it believes corrupt its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam and hence has been attempting to establish its own caliphate. However, there are some Sunni commentators, Zaid Hamid, for example, and even Salafi and jihadi muftis such as Adnan al-Aroor and Abu Basir al-Tartusi, who say that ISIS and related terrorist groups are not Sunnis at all, but Kharijite heretics serving an imperial anti-Islamic agenda.

Salafists such as ISIS believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad, and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting against non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society. For example, when it comes to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, since ISIS regards the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad, it regards fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation with Israel.

From its beginnings the establishment of a pure Islamic state has been one of the group’s main goals. According to journalist Sarah Birke, one of the “significant differences” between Al-Nusra Front and ISIS is that ISIS “tends to be more focused on establishing its own rule on conquered territory”. While both groups share the ambition to build an Islamic state, ISIS is “far more ruthless … carrying out sectarian attacks and imposing sharia law immediately”. ISIS finally achieved its goal on 29 June 2014, when it removed “Iraq and the Levant” from its name, began to refer to itself as the Islamic State, and declared the territory which it occupied in Iraq and Syria a new caliphate.

In mid-2014, the group released a video entitled “The End of Sykes–Picot” featuring an English-speaking Chilean national named Abu Safiyya. The video announced the group’s intention to eliminate all modern borders between Islamic Middle Eastern countries; this was a reference to the borders set by the Sykes–Picot Agreement during World War I.

On 13 October 2006, the group announced the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq, which claimed authority over the Iraqi governorates of BaghdadAnbarDiyalaKirkukSalah al-DinNineveh, and parts of Babil.[82] Following the 2013 expansion of the group into Syria and the announcement of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the number of wilayah provinces which it claimed increased to 16. In addition to the seven Iraqi wilayah, the Syrian divisions, largely lying along existing provincial boundaries, are Al BarakahAl KheirAr-RaqqahAl BadiyaHalabIdlibHamaDamascus and the Coast.

In Syria, ISIS’s seat of power is in Ar-Raqqah Governorate. Top ISIS leaders, including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are known to have visited its provincial capital, Ar-Raqqah.

After significant setbacks for the group during the latter stages of the coalition forces‘ presence in Iraq, by late 2012 it was thought to have renewed its strength and more than doubled the number of its members to about 2,500, and since its formation in April 2013, ISIS has grown rapidly in strength and influence in Iraq and Syria. Analysts have underlined the deliberate inflammation of sectarian conflict between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis during the Iraq War by various Sunni and Shiite actors as the root cause of ISIS’s rise. The post-invasion policies of the international coalition forces have also been cited as a factor, with Fanar Haddad, a research fellow at the National University of Singapore‘s Middle East Institute, blaming the coalition forces during the Iraq War for “enshrining identity politics as the key marker of Iraqi  politics”.

ISIS’s violence is directed particularly against Shia Muslims and indigenous Syriac-ArameanAssyrian and Armenian Christians. In June 2014, The Economist reported that “ISIS may have up to 6,000 fighters in Iraq and 3,000–5,000 in Syria, including perhaps 3,000 foreigners; nearly a thousand are reported to hail from Chechnya and perhaps 500 or so more from FranceBritain and elsewhere in Europe”. Chechen fighter Abu Omar al-Shishani, for example, was made commander of the northern sector of ISIS in Syria in 2013.

By 2014, ISIS was increasingly being viewed as a militia rather than a terrorist group.  As major Iraqi cities fell to al-Baghdadi’s cohorts in June, Jessica Lewis, an expert on ISIS at the Institute for the Study of War, described ISIS as “not a terrorism problem anymore”, but rather “an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they are taking terrain. They have shadow governments in and around Baghdad, and they have an aspirational goal to govern. I don’t know whether they want to control Baghdad, or if they want to destroy the functions of the Iraqi state, but either way the outcome will be disastrous for Iraq.” Lewis, who was a US Army intelligence officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, has called ISIS “an advanced military leadership”. She said, “They have incredible command and control and they have a sophisticated reporting mechanism from the field that can relay tactics and directives up and down the line. They are well-financed, and they have big sources of manpower, not just the foreign fighters, but also prisoner escapees.”

ISIS’s annual reports reveal a metrics-driven military command, according to the Institute for the Study of War, which is “a strong indication of a unified, coherent leadership structure that commands from the top down”.  Middle East Forum‘s Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi said, “They are highly skilled in urban guerrilla warfare while the new Iraqi Army simply lacks tactical competence.” Seasoned observers point to systemic corruption within the Iraq Army, it being little more than a system of patronage, and have attributed to this its spectacular collapse as ISIS and its allies took over large swaths of Iraq in June 2014.

Hillary Clinton stated: “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”

During the Iraq War, the US Armed Forces had never faced an organized militant force as effective.[citation needed] Douglas Ollivant, a former Army Cavalry officer who later handled Iraq for the White House National Security Council, said, “They were great terrorists. They made great car bombs. But they were lousy line infantry, and if you got them in a firefight, they’d die. They have now repaired that deficiency.” Like other analysts, Ollivant credits the civil war in Syria for their striking improvement in battlefield ability since the Iraq War: “You fight Hizballah for a couple of years, and you either die or you get a lot better. And these guys just got a lot better.” Another major weapon in ISIS’s tactical armoury is control of rivers, dams, and water installations.

ISIS runs a soft-power program, which includes social services, religious lectures and da’wah—proselytizing—to local populations. It also performs civil tasks such as repairing roads and maintaining the electricity supply.

The group is also known for its effective use of propaganda. In November 2006, shortly after the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq, the group established the al-Furqan Institute for Media Production, which produced CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products. ISIS’s main media outlet is the I’tisaam Media Foundation, which was formed in March 2013 and distributes through the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF). In 2014, ISIS established the Al Hayat Media Center, which targets a Western audience and produces material in English, German, Russian and French. In 2014 it also launched the Ajnad Media Foundation, which releases jihadist audio chants.

ISIS’s use of social media has been described by one expert as “probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies”. It regularly takes advantage of social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its message by organizing hashtag campaigns, encouraging Tweets on popular hashtags, and utilizing software applications that enable ISIS propaganda to be distributed to its supporters’ accounts. Another comment is that “ISIS puts more emphasis on social media than other jihadi groups. They have a very coordinated social media presence.” Although ISIS’s social media feeds on Twitter are regularly shut down, it frequently recreates them, maintaining a strong online presence. The group has attempted to branch out into alternate social media sites, such as Quitter, Friendica and Diaspora; Quitter and Friendica, however, almost immediately removed ISIS’s presence from their sites.

A study of 200 documents—personal letters, expense reports and membership rosters captured from Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq was carried out by the RAND Corporation in 2014. It found that from 2005 until 2010, outside donations amounted to only 5% of the group’s operating budgets, with the rest being raised within Iraq. In the time-period studied, cells were required to send up to 20% of the income generated from kidnapping, extortion rackets and other activities to the next level of the group’s leadership. Higher-ranking commanders would then redistribute the funds to provincial or local cells that were in difficulties or needed money to conduct attacks. The records show that the Islamic State of Iraq was dependent on members from Mosul for cash, which the leadership used to provide additional funds to struggling militants in Diyala, Salahuddin and Baghdad.

In mid-2014, Iraqi intelligence extracted information from an ISIS operative which revealed that the organization had assets worth US$2 billion, making it the richest jihadist group in the world. About three quarters of this sum is said to be represented by assets seized after the group captured Mosul in June 2014; this includes possibly up to US$429 million looted from Mosul’s central bank, along with additional millions and a large quantity of gold bullion stolen from a number of other banks in Mosul. However, doubt was later cast on whether ISIS was able to retrieve anywhere near that sum from the central bank, and even on whether the bank robberies had actually occurred.

ISIS has routinely practised extortion, by demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, for example. Robbing banks and gold shops has been another source of income.  The group is widely reported as receiving funding from private donors in the Gulf states, and both Iran and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS, although there is reportedly no evidence that this is the case.

The group is also believed to receive considerable funds from its operations in Eastern Syria, where it has commandeered oilfields and engages in smuggling out raw materials and archaeological artifacts. ISIS also generates revenue from producing crude oil and selling electric power in northern Syria. Some of this electricity is reportedly sold back to the Syrian government.

Since 2012, ISIS has produced annual reports giving numerical information on its operations, somewhat in the style of corporate reports, seemingly in a bid to encourage potential donors.

Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (abrreviated JTJ or shortened to Tawhid and JihadTawhid wal-Jihad, sometimes Tawhid al-Jihad,Al Tawhid or Tawhid) was started in about 2000 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and a combination of foreigners and local Islamistsympathizers. Al-Zarqawi was a Jordanian Salafi who had traveled to Afghanistan to fight in the Soviet-Afghan War, but he arrived after the departure of the Soviet troops and soon returned to his homeland. He eventually returned to Afghanistan, running an Islamic militant training camp near Herat.

Al-Zarqawi started the network with the intention of overthrowing the Kingdom of Jordan, which he considered to be un-Islamic according to the four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. For this purpose he developed numerous contacts and affiliates in several countries. Although it has not been verified, his network may have been involved in the late 1999 plot to bomb the Millennium celebrations in the United States and Jordan. However, al-Zarqawi’s operatives were responsible for the assassination of US diplomat Laurence Foley in Jordan in 2002.

Following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, al-Zarqawi moved westward into Iraq, where he reportedly received medical treatment in Baghdad for an injured leg. It is believed that he developed extensive ties in Iraq with Ansar al-Islam (“Partisans of Islam”), a Kurdish Islamic militant group based in the extreme northeast of the country. Ansar allegedly had ties to Iraqi Intelligence;Saddam Hussein‘s motivation would have been to use Ansar as a surrogate force to repress secular Kurds fighting for the independence of Kurdistan. In January 2003, Ansar’s founder Mullah Krekar denied any connection with Saddam’s government.

The consensus of intelligence officials has since been that there were no links whatsoever between al-Zarqawi and Saddam, and that Saddam viewed Ansar al-Islam “as a threat to the regime” and his intelligence officials were spying on the group. The 2006 Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq concluded: “Postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward al-Zarqawi.”According to Michael Weiss, Ansar entered Iraqi Kurdistan through Iran as part of Iran’s covert attempts to destabilize Saddam’s government.

Following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, JTJ developed into an expanding militant network for the purpose of resisting the coalition occupation forces and their Iraqi allies. It included some of the remnants of Ansar al-Islam and a growing number of foreign fighters. Many foreign fighters arriving in Iraq were initially not associated with the group, but once they were in the country they became dependent on al-Zarqawi’s local contacts.

Goals and tactics

The stated goals of JTJ were: (i) to force a withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq; (ii) to topple the Iraqi interim government; (iii) to assassinate collaborators with the occupation regime; (iv) to remove the Shia population and defeat its militias because of its death-squad activities; and (v) to establish subsequently a pure Islamic state.

JTJ differed considerably from the other early Iraqi insurgent groups in its tactics. Rather than using only conventional weapons and guerrilla tactics in ambushes against the US and coalition forces, it relied heavily on suicide bombings, often using car bombs. It targeted a wide variety of groups, especially the Iraqi Security Forces and those facilitating the occupation. Groups of workers who have been targeted by JTJ include Iraqi interim officials, Iraqi Shia and Kurdish political and religious figures, the country’s Shia Muslim civilians, foreign civilian contractors, and United Nations and humanitarian workers. Al-Zarqawi’s militants are also known to have used a wide variety of other tactics, including targeted kidnappings, the planting of improvised explosive devices, and mortar attacks. Beginning in late June 2004, JTJ implemented urban guerrilla-style attacks using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. They also gained worldwide notoriety for beheading Iraqi and foreign hostages and distributing video recordings of these acts on the Internet.


 JTJ claimed credit for a number of attacks that targeted Iraqi forces and infrastructure, such as the October 2004 ambush and killing of 49 armed Iraqi National Guard recruits, and for a series of attacks on humanitarian aid agencies such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It conducted numerous attacks against US military personnel throughout 2004, and audacious suicide attacks inside the high-security Green Zoneperimeter in Baghdad. Al-Zarqawi’s men reputedly succeeded in assassinating several leading Iraqi politicians of the early post-Saddam era, and their bomb attack on the United Nations Mission’s headquarters in Iraq led the UN country team to relocate to Jordan and continue their work remotely.

The group took either direct responsibility or the blame for many of the early Iraqi insurgent attacks, including the series of high-profile bombings in August 2003, which killed 17 people at the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, 23 people, including the chief of the United Nations Mission to Iraq Sérgio Vieira de Melloat the UN headquarters in Baghdad,  and at least 86 people, including Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, in the Imam Ali Mosque bombing in Najaf.[172] Included here is the November truck bombing, which killed 27 people, mostly Italian paramilitary policemen, at the Italian base in Nasiriyah.

The attacks connected with the group in 2004 include the series of bombings in Baghdad and Karbala which killed 178 people during the holy Day of Ashura in March; the failed plot in April to explode chemical bombs in Amman, Jordan, which was said to have been financed by al-Zarqawi’s network; a series of suicide boat bombings of the oil pumping stations in the Persian Gulf in April, for which al-Zarqawi took responsibility in a statement published by the Muntada al-Ansar Islamist website; the Maycar bomb assassination of Iraqi Governing Council president Ezzedine Salim at the entrance to the Green Zone in Baghdad; the June suicide car bombing in Baghdad which killed 35 civilians; and the September car bomb which killed 47 police recruits and civilians on Haifa Street in Baghdad.

 Foreign civilian hostages abducted by the group in 2004 include: Americans Nick Berg,Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley; Turks Durmus Kumdereli, Aytullah Gezmen and Murat Yuce; South Korean Kim Sun-il; Bulgarians Georgi Lazov and Ivaylo Kepov; and BritonKenneth Bigley. Most of them were beheaded using knives. Al-Zarqawi personally beheaded Berg and Armstrong, but Yuce was shot dead by al-Masri and Gezmen was released after “repenting”.



Ceasefire Israel vs Hamas will it last the test of time


Many are beginning to think that the ceasefire has no chance of ending with the continuing firing on both sides of the boarders. As usual both sides pays no heed,
agreements after agreements always breaks down at the last minute all because of a stumbling block as one side wants an end of siege and the other side want Hamas to disarm their rockets both claiming they have a right to defend themselves.

So far the ceasefire between Israelis and Hamas is holding for now somehow many are wondering will it last, only time will tell if it last. It’s been alleged that UK arms licences Israel will be suspended only if there is fresh violence in Gaza. UK has identified 12 licences for components which could be used in equipment in Gaza by Israel. It’s further alleged that it will suspend them in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.

Under the current climate I think this coalition will not follow it through as they are paying lip service just to show brinkmanship and keeping both the Conservatives back, front benches, and Labour from revolting against David Cameron which may change the course of the leadership of the Conservatives as Boris Johnson tries to find a safe Conservative Parliamentary seat .

Intriguingly world leaders call Hamas a terrorist organisation and they will not recognize them because of Hamas constitution which was in place from 1987. I have to stress from the very beginning that I have no affiliations to Hamas. I do however have vested interest with Palestine from the moment I visited the country with a trade union delegation and  long to revisit the places with my children to show them what I witnessed whilst I was there and for them to take their children’s children there to see what life was like under the occupation.

Recently a friend informed me about an article to which I recalled reading but did not connect the dots together by Alaa Tartir, program director Al-Shab
aka the Palestinian policy Network it begins with:

I came across the post-war recovery experts, their international consultancy firms, an international aid industry, and the donor community are ramping up for another Gaza reconstruction exercise. Another war, and another salvage effort for the besieged coastal strip. An international donors’ conference, a carbon copy of the 2009 Sharm El-Sheikh donor conference, is due to take place in Norway this September. There seems little doubt that conference participants will pledge another $5 billion (which may or may not be paid), in an effort that seems destined only to cover up the failure of the international community to stop the destruction before it started.

The donor conference does present an opportunity, however, to forge a new paradigm of aid politics. As a first step, Hamas must be invited to attend this round. Exclusion would only lead to repeated mistakes. It is time to re-evaluate the decision to exclude the party.

In the aftermath of the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, international donors rejected a democratically elected Hamas. By doing so they undermined the very governance reforms that they had paid to implement. Worse, they entrenched the intra-Palestinian divide between Fatah and Hamas. And they contributed to the years-long impasse in the peace process and to the deteriorating living conditions of Palestinians. Reconstructing Gaza has the potential to be a bold political move that would enable donors to reverse the mistakes they made in the past.

There are four strong reasons to include Hamas in the reconstruction process. First, it is time to acknowledge the major transformations that the party has undergone over the past decades. The Hamas of 2014 is dramatically different from the party of 1987 that penned a charter calling for the de facto rejection of Israel. In 2006, Hamas acknowledged the Oslo Peace Accords by participating in parliamentary elections. Hamas Chairman Khaled Mash’al has accepted a Palestinian state on the 1967 boarders. The charter is obsolete. It is about time that the US media starts focusing on the Hamas of today, an organization with reasonable demands, such as lifting the siege on Gaza.

Second, before entrusting reconstruction funds to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, donors need to be reminded of its eroding legitimacy, including the fact that it is un-elected. Donors must work with the local government as well as secure a long-term impact by lifting the siege on Gaza. This does not entail recognizing Hamas as a legitimate government, but is rather a recognition that Hamas’s popularity and public legitimacy has increased in the aftermath of the war on Gaza. Yes Hamas has, like Fatah, committed human rights violations and practised corruption; it is equally responsible, alongside Fatah, for the intra-Palestinian divide. Parallel demands must be made for public accountability. But this should be dealt with as a separate matter from the reconstruction of Gaza. Given Hamas’ political standing, is it not about time to ask donors, and the US in particular, when they will engage directly?

slientdemoThird, the donor community must engage with the right actors. It is not enough to recognize Hamas as a legitimate political actor as Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinsonargued. Rather, it is time “to do business” with Hamas, and to focus efforts on the interests of Palestinians. Hamas, more than anyone else, knows what Gaza needs today, and has the infrastructure to make sure the needs of Gazans are met.

Fourth, it is more than time to end the donors’ traditional preference for including Israel in reconstruction planning and discussions. Israel pockets a large portion of funds bound for Palestinians, and clearly targets Palestinian infrastructure and capacity for development, not just in Gaza but also in the West Bank. It is more than time to pay attention to the findings of a recent Independent Commission for Human Rights report that unless donors “hold Israel accountable, [Israeli] actions will continue and your funds will go to repair the damages. Ironically, Israel will end up receiving over 30% of all funds that you bring for recovery and humanitarian assistance” because of their control over goods and services.

If donors don’t want to keep pouring their aid dollars into a bottomless pit while letting Israel get away with repeated assaults, they must hold Israel accountable. It is beyond ludicrous to invite the besieger that has repeatedly destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure beyond any conceivable notion of “self-defense” to the planning table with the besieged.

The explicit and direct inclusion of Hamas in the international donors’ conference in Norway next month is key to an effective reconstruction process. Next month donors must choose between sustaining the status quo or taking bold and necessary steps for change. Respect for the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza and beyond dictates bold change over the status quo.

here are some of my  suggested actions that people may wise to do by signing various petitions:




Passions continues to run very high on both sides of confliect

“I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand”.

At the UN the father of Palestine was a Guest Speaker who invited to highlight the concerns of Palestine. Israelis and US Governments walked out in protest over the presence of Yasser Arafat quoting that they will not be present whilst a terrorist is there yet during then the Israelis broken all the UN resolutions that the UN upheld.

Year after year resolutions have been presented from all the trade unions and the three main political parties on both issues of Palestine and Israel from the various pressure groups in support or against and you have guessed it there have been heated passions on both sides for and against the motion(s) from 1967 to the present time.

Lets not forget some history here:

In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour signed the infamous ‘Balfour declaration’ which gave away the land of the Palestinians to establish a ‘Jewish homeland’.

At the time of the Balfour Declaration, the area of historic Palestine had a 90% Palestinian Arab population.

The Balfour Declaration states “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, however this has clearly not been upheld.

In the run up to the Israeli declaration of independence, Arabs were forced out of their villages upon threat of death. 531 villages were completely cleansed of their Arab populations.

Deir Yassin, a small village near Jerusalem was ethnically cleansed in April 1948 when 250 of its inhabitants were massacred by members of the Irgun and Lehi terrorist gang militias.

The Irgun was also involved in the bombing of the King David Hotel, which killed 91 Jewish, Arab and British civilians. The Irgun then became part of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF)and its commander, Menachem Begin, would later become an Israeli Prime Minister.

Four Israeli Prime Ministers are confirmed to have taken part in terror attacks, massacres or ethnic cleansing; Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin.

The early Zionist movement was known to be hostile towards religious Jews. Theodor Herzl, the founding father of Zionism, had initially supported a mass-conversion of Jews from Judaism.

This indicates that Zionism is a political rather than religious ideology and criticism of Israel and the Zionist movement is not criticism of the Jewish faith and therefore claims of ‘antisemitism’ are unjustified.


In 1967, Israel pre-emptively attacked Egyptian forces, leading to a full-scale war. It was following this war, that Israel began its occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East to have a nuclear arsenal, with up to 400 nuclear warheads. This is enough to destroy every major population centre in the Middle East.

The Israeli attack on Gaza, known as ‘Operation Cast Lead” from December 2008-January 2009 was one of the harshest seen by this tiny defenceless strip of land. Over 1,300 Palestinians were killed.

After the Gaza War, a number of Israeli soldiers said that they witnessed or heard accounts of human rights abuses against the Palestinian population, such as, the shooting of unarmed women, children and elderly people.

During the War on Gaza,Israel used the banned chemical agent, White Phosphorous, on a civilian population – a weapon that causes deep burns and inhalation of which can be fatal.

Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, which followed the 1967 War, was universally condemned and is illegal under international law. The UN has issued numerous Resolutions against Israel’s annexation of the city, however, Israel continues to ‘Judaize’ the city. Palestinian families in Jerusalem live under harsh restrictions, and are being cut them off from their families in the West Bank.

Abuse of Rights:

unnamedIsrael’s Separation Wall not only restricts Palestinian freedom of movement but also captures huge stretches of Palestinian land. Businesses and homes have been demolished to make way for the wall and villages have lost access to wells and farmlands that they relied on.

The West Bank is littered with checkpoints. The UN reported in 2011 that there were 522 road blocks and checkpoints in the West Bank. Israel continues to place severe restrictions on freedom of movement for Palestinians and the treatment received at checkpoints is humiliating. The result has been a decrease in the number of Palestinians using West Bank roads, effectively causing them to be used exclusively by settlers.

Palestinians in need of medical attention, including pregnant women, often suffer from Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement. The ongoing blockade of Gaza means that pregnant women are forced to spend days at crossings, even when in need of urgent attention.

Palestinian children who throw stones are imprisoned by Israel for approximately one year, in adult prisons, breaching provisions of UN Conventions. IDF (Israeli military) soldiers have on numerous occasions, shot and killed children for throwing stones.

A report published by Amnesty International states that Israel has “entirely appropriated the Palestinians’ share of the Jordan river”. The average Israeli uses four times more water than the average Palestinian.

Israel’s recognition:

But then, in 1967, after another war, Israel occupied these Palestinian areas and Israeli troops stayed there for years. Israelis hoped they might exchange the land they won for Arab countries recognising Israel’s right to exist and an end to the fighting.

Israel finally left Gaza in 2005 but soon after, Hamas won elections and took control there. Much of the world calls Hamas a terrorist organisation. It refuses to recognise Israel as a country and wants Palestinians to be able to return to their old home and will use violence to achieve its aims.

Since then, Israel has held Gaza under a blockade, which means it controls its borders and limits who can get in and out.

Life in Gaza:

Life for the many of the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip is difficult.

Israel controls its coastline and all the entry and exit crossings into Israel. There is another crossing point into Egypt. There is no working airport. Because access is so restricted, not many goods get into or out of Gaza. Food is allowed in, but aid agencies say families are not eating as much meat or fresh vegetables and fruit as they used to. There are often power cuts.

Large numbers of people are unemployed because businesses can get very few of their products out of Gaza to sell, and people don’t have much money to buy things.

Palestinian refugees:

During the 1948 and 1967 wars hundreds of thousands of Palestinians left, or were forced out of, their homes and moved to neighbouring countries to become refugees.

More than 4.6 million Palestinians are refugees and their descendants, many living in camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. They get help from the United Nations.

Violence in Gaza:

Though the Palestinians don’t have an army, rockets are regularly fired from Gaza into Israel. Israelis living in border towns are used to having to take shelter and adapting their lives to deal with the rockets.

In the years since Israel withdrew its troops in 2005, Gaza has seen several Israeli offensives. Israel says these were aimed at putting a stop to rocket fire. In 2008, Israel sent soldiers into Gaza. An estimated 1,300 people, many of them civilians, were killed in Gaza before a ceasefire was declared; 13 Israeli soldiers also died.

In 2012, at least 167 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed during an Israeli operation. After eight days a ceasefire was declared with both sides promising to stop attacks.

Most recently in July 2014, Palestinian authorities said over 200 people were killed by Israeli air strikes and many more injured. Israel says more than 1,100 rockets were fired from Gaza, seriously injuring at least four Israelis, with one Israeli man killed.

Peace Process:

Other countries, particularly America, have worked hard to settle the fighting between the Arabs and Israelis but so far nothing has worked. Many people want Gaza and the West Bank to be turned into a new country – Palestine. Israel won’t agree to this unless it feels safe – and Hamas accepts its right to exist. The other sticking points are what will happen to Israelis who’ve settled in the West Bank, who will run Jerusalem and what will happen to the Palestinian refugees.

Hell, both trade unions and the three main political parties have been invited to see the situation on both sides of the boarders by the friends of Israel and Palestine that is a fact and cannot be deleted from history but people can choose to ignore it by putting it at the back of their minds and get on with their little bubbles. Whilst most that went on the March have been consistent to say it is not just about the indiscriminate firing of both sides of the conflict there is more to it that meets the eye like the return of Palestinian and compensate for the lands that was stolen from them over the years of conflict and to rebuild Palestine and that the coalition should do more to enforce an embargo Israel arms.

Many will be aware that the Pro-Zionist movement recently took to all forms of social media outlets to justify their stance by resorting to use emotional blackmail by saying to the many  demonstrators who went on the march they are supporting  terrorists Hamas when in actual fact the marchers from all walks of life were marching against the indiscriminate killings of innocent children who were trying to flee from bullets being fired by the Israeli forces with unfortunate consequences the children ends up the hospitals with serious wounds and ending up dying of their own wounds because of lack of medication which is in short supplies and the Israeli Government where not allowing innocent children to cross the boarders to seek much-needed treatment. Most will say for us the final straw was when Israelis bombed a UN school which brought more angry people out to the streets.

I would all to continue to lobby your Member of Parliament to end the fighting and stop arming Israel currently there is 31 different companies exports arms to Israel. if you are not sure how to find your MP click on

Please donate what you can to help provide aid to the Palestinians by clicking on,2PDX4

Sign the petition by clicking on:

Boycott Israeli Goods does it really serve its purpose?

Recently a formal and informal request was put to Birmingham City Council to raise the Palestinian flag at half mass in respect of innocent children who died in the cross fire between Israel and Palestine unfortunately this request was turn down by Birmingham City Council and the following statement was given:

Birmingham City has a long-standing protocol for the flying of flag from Council House.

Ordinarily, the council flag flies and the only exception to this are visits by the monarch (when Royal Standard flies) and birthdays for the Royal family (when the union flag is raised). Flags fly on national days such as St. George’s for England Scottish for St Andrew’s and Welsh for St David’s. City council flag is lowered if a serving or past member of the council passes away.

Yet whilst I may or may not concur with the statement of Birmingham City Council statement some Councillors with and members of the public came up with a brilliant  idea of holding a silent vigil during lunch time and another on the same day for workers who could not attend during the lunch time which in my opinion effective.

I salute all councils which hold managed to raise the Palestinian flag at half mass in respect of the death of innocent children who are our children of the future as they are not at fault of the conflict.

Many of us hopes to see that both children live, and stand shoulder together one day. Some may say that this may never happen in our life time but our children’s life time is one possibility and as long there is a way there is a will for this to happen.

I long to revisit Palestine one day to show my son and his children to the Palestine where many trade union delegations who met Yasser Arafat and he invited us his compound to take a look at the damages that was done under Arial Sharon army then the delegation proceeded to visit Jennin, Ramallah, Rafar and the list is too long to comment which will have my followers in tears.

Endless excuses from Israel and not one can justify their actions. This image sums up why Israel is so wrong. How can Israel keep bombing and shelling peoples homes. These buildings are not military buildings or army barracks because Hamas have none. The buildings we see being destroyed are were people live or where they work. And yet just look at this image, even when the killing stops how can Palatine recover?

Israel should pay for the destruction but above all Benjamin Netanyahu should be brought to justice by the Hague.

Some groups have called for the boycott of Israeli goods there seems to be many companies and supermarkets who supports and stock Israeli goods see below:

The peaceful way.
Shops & Clothing:
– Starbucks
– Tesco
– M&S
– Disney Shop
– McDonalds
– Hugo Boss
– Sunglass Hut
– Giorgio Armani
– Calvin Klein
– Ralph Lauren – Playtex
– Banana Republic
– River Island
– Timberland
– Coca Cola
– Fruitopia
– Fanta
– Kia Ora
– Lilt
– Sprite
– Sunkist
– Evian
– Volvic
– Nescafé
– Nesquik – Perrier
– Vittel
Foods & Chocolates:
– Nestle
– Maggi (Noodles)
– Buitoni
– Crosse & Blackwell
– KitKat
– MilkyBar
– Quality Street
– Smarties – After Eight – Aero
– Lion
– Polo
– Felix (Cat Food)
Makeup/Perfumes & Health:
– L’Oreal
– Clinique – DKNY
– Prescriptives – Origins – La Mer
– Bobbi Brown
– Tommy (Perfume)
– Bumble & Bumble
– Kate (Cream)
– Johnson & Johnson (Baby Oil)
– Huggies
– Garnier
– Arsenal Football Club
– Time Warner Time Life Magazine
– Barbie
– Intel – Motorola
– Kotex
– The Sun
– The Times
– Australian Newspapers
– National Geographic
– Star Channels (Indian)
– Sky
– Fox
– Nokia
– Standard Newspapers
– New York Post
– The Telegraph
– Independent

Whist I may or may not agree with boycotting Israeli goods some people put on my Facebook the following:

You are fools with no brains do,you realise who the main employees in Israeli factories or other companies located in Judea and Samaria actually are? It is true that the management is usually Jewish, but the people working on the floor are mainly Palestinians. So by boycotting Israeli companies with factories in Judea and Samaria, you will actually cause more harm to Palestinians. In a lot of cases if they don’t have work for their Jewish bosses, they would be unemployed, which means no income for their (Palestinian) family. By boycotting these factories you are really not helping the Palestinians, but rather hurting them, more than the Jewish management. A company can always change location, but it is harder for the Palestinian families to move. So please, European politicians, academics and other “smart people” who feel sorry for the Palestinians, start to think about them and let them keep their jobs

Here is one solution that all Muslims should start to perform

Here in the UK we should bring down groups organisations bodies that represent these so called rulers

If the Muslim world just for one year did not perform Umrah or Hajj & donated that money to Palestine

Saudi Arabia’s rulers would change in their attitude

If the People of Pakistan and Turkey really voiced their concerns

And the same in Egypt and North Africa and Middle East

These leaders would with one phone call bring Israel to it knees

And the beauty is no one needs to resort to violence

Maybe it’s time for the billions to become United

We call for peace in Palestine and Israel conflict

I recall during my time as a very active trade unionist which I’m proud to been part of trade union delegation who was invited to visit Palestine organised by the Friends Of Palestine even then  it was a desperate situation. Waiting for the next wave of attacks is no way to live and, like many other onlookers, we feared where this was going to end.  Almost all the casualties so far have been Palestinian civilians. They were bearing the brunt of this bloody escalation.  At the time we sincerely hoped that  all sides would stop firing its rockets and that the Israeli Government can be persuaded to stand down. The Israeli bombardments are indiscriminate and lethal. The tragic loss of civilian life in Gaza and Jenin at the time. Former Member of Parliament Lynne Jones, Birmingham Selly Oak, 1992–2010 and other trade unions lobbied The British Government to do all it can to bring about a ceasefire and prevent further loss of life.

Benjamin-Netanyahu-Israel-Ban-Ki-MoonI could still recall the United Nations, Security Councils, and European Parliament passing resolutions after resolution to end the ceasefires but did Israel heed as usual they stuck two fingers to the world that called for a ceasefire it was during the time of the leaderships of Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat  unfortunately it was to continue until the death of  Yasser Arafat then after the burial Hamas and Israel continued unto the present still with no solutions from both-sides.


demoThe UN has called for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire”, allowing for the delivery of “urgently needed” humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

At an emergency session in New York, the security council adopted a presidential statement – one step below a legally-binding resolution – urging Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond”, the BBC reports.

However, the Israeli and Palestinian envoys to the UN both criticised the presidential statement.

The Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said: “Miraculously, it doesn’t mention Hamas. It doesn’t mention the firing of rockets. You don’t have to have the IQ of a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets are falling on you, you are allowed to defend yourself.”

We stand together and we call on World Leaders to unite to call for the immediate ceasefire on both-sides of the conflict

We stand together and we call on World Leaders to unite to call for the immediate ceasefire on both-sides of the conflict

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative, said he was “disappointed” a formal resolution demanding Israel withdraw its forces from Gaza has not been agreed. “They should have adopted a resolution a long time ago to condemn this aggression and to call for this aggression to be stopped immediately,” he said.

The UN’s statement emphasised that “civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected”. It also stressed an urgent need for “immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip”.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama called for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire during a phone call to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.

More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed in the fighting.

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon has called for an urgent “humanitarian pause” to the fighting. “On this, the last Friday of Ramadan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel”, he said. “This pause would last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday period”.

Meanwhile, there are reports that John Kerry had presented both sides with a new ceasefire proposal today and is awaiting a response before he flies back to Washington tonight.

This follows yesterday’s mass protest where Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) clashed with Palestinians in the volatile area around a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.Over 10,000 people took to the streets to protest against the bloodshed in Gaza. Protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails and blocked a road with burning tyres, while IDF says it used “riot dispersal means”, a term used to cover weapons such as rubber bullets and tear gas.

More than 15 women, children and United Nations staff were killed and 200 injured yesterday when a school used as a UN shelter was shelled in Gaza, the fourth time in as many days that a UN facility has been hit.

The UN has rejected IDF claims that it gave occupants time to leave before the attack. The UN says it made repeated attempts to negotiate a period of time during which people could safely leave the area but none was granted.

According to the UN, more than 118,000 people are now sheltering in UN schools and people are running out of food. More than 800 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have died since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on 8 July.

Hamas has said it would consider a ceasefire if Israel agrees to lift its blockade of Gaza, but the organisation wants the terms to be agreed before it lays down its arms.

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza following the bloodiest day of the two-week conflict.

More than 500 people have been killed and more than 3,100 injured in Gaza since Israel launched its operation against Hamas militants, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.

At least 100 Palestinians were killed yesterday alone as Israel escalated its military onslaught. The bodies of women and children were said to be strewn in the streets of Shejaiya as people fled their homes.

Following an emergency closed-door meeting, held at the request of Jordan, the UN Security Council expressed “serious concern at the escalation of violence”. It backed efforts by Egypt and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to broker a ceasefire deal, including the “withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip”.

But Riyad Mansour, the Palestinians’ UN representative, said he was disappointed that the council had not adopted a resolution to “stop the aggression against our people”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described the Israeli attacks as “crimes against humanity” and called for urgent talks. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue operations “as much as we need to” despite the death toll of Israeli soldiers rising to 18 at the weekend.

Twenty Israelis, including two civilians, have died in total, including two Americans fighting with the Israel Defence Force. The Guardian says the rise in casualties on Israel’s side could “increase pressure inside Israel for an end to the fighting or harden determination to inflict a decisive blow on Hamas”.

But Hamas has already cast doubt on the agreement, denying that a deal has been reached but saying talks are continuing in Egypt.

According to the Israelis the truce will begin on Friday at 6am local time (4am GMT), and if honoured will build on the temporary “humanitarian pause” both sides undertook today. But fears remain that one or both sides could renege on the agreement.

Israeli security forces say that Palestinian militants fired three mortars at Israel today, despite both sides committing to a five-hour cessation of hostilities on humanitarian grounds after four boys were killed playing football on the beach yesterday.

According to reports from Palestinian medical officials and journalists who witnessed the attack, the four teenagers were killed by shells fired by an Israeli naval gunboat.

“Children and adults scattered as the first shell struck, with a second and third hitting as they ran, setting fire to the palm-thatched shack
UN  figures cited in a Human Rights Watch report yesterday, suggest that more than three quarters of the Palestinians killed have been civilians, including 36 children, and that approximately 7,500 people had been displaced in the bombing campaign.

“Israel’s rhetoric is all about precision attacks, but attacks with no military target and many civilian deaths can hardly be considered precise,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director of Human Rights Watch.

Well hopefully we all live in the hope that both Palestinian and Israelis will live in peace one day and hopefully a two state solution will be possible which may or may-not happen during our live time but may be possible through the eyes if our grand children.



My thoughts of children suffering in Gaza and Isreal conflict

1) Saturday 19 July a March and rally took place in London, Glasgow, Sheffield,   and some parts of the world like New York, Berlin, Paris, Soul, Johannesburg, Brussels, Jakarta, Athens, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver,   protesting against the disproportion of bombing of in Gaza and lack of food, medical aid arriving into Palestine whilst children who are the ones who suffer the most in this conflict. I’d like to know where the peace negotiators are in the middle east. Horrific scenes on TV & social media. Innocent children being killed. Heartbreaking what humans can do to each other. Conflict should be avoided and communication should be increased.

2) For the sake of humanity its important Israel is not let of the hook, while focus is on the shooting down of the plane in the Ukraine. What happened on that plane is sickening and vile and Russia has many questions to answer.

demo3) However the slaughter happening in Gaza should not be overshadowed either. Israel has become a rogue state itself. They have lost all credibility and care little to nothing for international law. The deaths of civilians cannot be excused and the way the Israel Army is using attack jets and tanks against civilian areas shows they are out of control.

4) Israel causes its own problems by keeping the Palestinian people poor, denying them they ability to be their own state, building on land they stole and having little regard for human rights. Palestinians have no army, navy or air force they have however extremist who only grow stronger because of Israel actions. Because of the Israel hostility the moderate politicians lost ground. Yet while no missiles should ever be fired into Palestine I doubt the world has failed to notice that one person has died on the Israel side. Yet 310 Palestinians have been killed. From the images appearing on social media what is more than clear is that they are civilians not Hamas.

photo-15) It’s time Israel was treated with the disrespect it deserved and sanctions were placed on them to stop their violence.

6) The alleged terrorist attack in the Ukraine is a tragedy, and I pray that all those martyed are blessed with a place in paradise. I agree with our PM David Cameron that sanctions against Russia for their complicity in the atrocity are necessary.

7) But what about the refusal of Israel for their indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and for breaking more UN resolutions than any other country. Why is the PM not calling for sanctions against Israel. Why is the PM, and other world leaders ignoring the plight of the Palestinians. Why are they turning a blind eye to the injustice, and the killing of children.

8) At last the UN is calling for an immediate ceasfire. But the cynic side me thinks that there is an ulterior motive behind it but I could be wrong. Is it anything to do with the fact that 13 Israeli soldiers were killed yesterday? If it is what about the first 13 Palestinians that were killed when the violence broke? Why did the UN not call for an immediate ceasfire then? It is clear that in the eyes of the UN the life of a Palestinian is worth less than an Israel soldier. The UN has proved time and time again it is a tool of the USA exploited for their own purposes!

9) It is a real shame that the Muslim countries some of whom spend the majority of their public finances on weapons have not come to the aid of the Palestinians. Do you think Israel would continue their attacks if Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, or Turkey threatened to intervene?

Benjamin-Netanyahu-Israel-Ban-Ki-Moon10) Unfortunately there seems to be more unity amongst the apes in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes than Muslim countries. Caesar got it right in the Rise of the Planet of the Apes when he described to his peers that one stick breaks easy but a bunch of sticks is a lot harder to break. I hope that the Muslim leaders watch the film so they might learn a lesson from the apes!

11) Many Jews speak out against what Israel is doing. We have to make sure this doesn’t become a platform for those with anti-Semitic views. At the same time there are those who accuse the critics of Israel as being anti-Semitic. Religion has to be taken out of the conflict; the Israeli state is no more a Jewish state than Britain is any more a Christian state. A Zionist yes but we have to be clear that Zionism is not Judaism. Israel now exists, there is no rolling back the clock and undoing that and the rest of the region will have to accept that. On the other hand Israel has to accept that there is a Palestinian state which has its own borders which Israel has no right to be in, she has to end all the occupations, the wall has to come down and the people of Israel have to treat people of other faiths and races with respect. Christians as well as Muslims suffer in Palestine. I get that Hamas are firing rockets into Israel but they are nothing compared to the destruction and death Israel is bringing to Palestinians. As long as Israel keeps retaliating in this way, as long as she keeps starving the Palestinian people by destroying their crops and trees and diverting water away from Palestine then there can never be peace. Israel is the stronger country both military and financially and has to be the ones to make the first move however painful that may be.

12) Tanks and military units penetrated deeper into Gaza on Friday as the Israel Defence Forces’ ground offensive entered its second day. At least 20 people died and many more were injured as intensive tank fire across eastern Gaza ravaged buildings and led to mass civilian casualties in the area.

13) The latest figures reported by health officials in Gaza, now estimate the total number of dead to be 316, a rise more than 60 since the offensive first began. IDF reports say that “40 Hamas terrorists” have been killed during the operation so far, with many of the underground tunnels used by the group destroyed. Three Israeli soldiers were injured, including one seriously, in a gun battle in northern Gaza; while one more was injured after being caught by sniper fire on Saturday morning.

14) With the number of people to die as a result of conflict in Gaza now topping 300, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon is set to travel to the region today in a bid to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Following an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last night, a UN spokesman said that the UN chief was travelling to the region to meet with officials from both sides to secure a “lasting resolution” between both sides.

15) With the number of people to die as a result of conflict in Gaza now topping 300, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon is set to travel to the region in a bid to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Following an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last night a UN spokesman said that the UN chief was travelling to the region to meet with officials from both sides to secure a “lasting resolution”.

16) Palestinians are fed up with words they want to see action from the UN and not tokenism because they (UN) do not want to rock the boat. Let’s not forget this war has been going on for a very long-time which dates back to 1967 to the present time. As ever, the dominant narrative being presented to us on the current conflict in Gaza is that Israel is defending itself and its civilians against unprovoked rocket attacks by terrorists. And as ever, it is the same narrative being pushed in Washington and London, as like a well-rehearsed play the actors involved perform their respective roles with the same old aplomb.

17) It is the same narrative we have been subjected to over countless years, one intended to paint Israel, that democratic outpost of Western civilisation surrounded by barbarian hordes intent on its destruction, as perennial victim. But as in the past so as now, it is a lie. The truth is the current conflict has little if anything to do with Hamas or its rockets. It does however have everything to do with the state of Israel’s decades-long policy of occupation, embargo, siege, collective punishment, expropriation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. 

18) Israel’s war is not with Hamas but with the Palestinian people in their entirety, both the 1.5 million in Gaza and the three million in the West Bank. It is a war waged every hour of every day there is occupation, checkpoints, and settlements. It is a war waged every hour of every day there is an economic embargo, siege, and collective punishment. It is a war being waged every second of the indignity and humiliation suffered by its victims.

19) Yet despite the irrefutable facts of Israel’s barbaric treatment of a people criminalised for daring to exist, we are treated to a constant inversion of the truth, which holds that the many and multiple depredations being suffered by the Palestinians do not amount to one of the most sustained and grievous crimes against humanity in history, but are the result of their intransigence and violence. 

20) This is the song of colonialism. The victims always bring it on themselves. If only they would learn to bear their chains in silence. As Golda Meir said, “We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” And they are killing them, right now, while the world looks on again. Worse, when we consider that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people constitutes a clear and unarguable breach of international law, and has done for decades, the Western media’s continuing policy of ascribing a moral equivalence between Israel an oppressive settler colonial state, and the Palestinians an oppressed colonised and besieged people, monumental insult is added to monstrous injury. There is no moral equivalence. Nor could there ever be one.

21) A concerted attempt is underway to break an attempt at unity between Fatah and Hamas, after the Netanyahu government incited and whipped up hatred against the Palestinians over the recent abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers after they left an illegal settlement near Hebron to hitchhike back to Israel proper. 

22) Their deaths have been exploited to prosecute an agenda of keeping the Palestinians divided. It won’t work. Oppression does not divide it unites its victims and Israel deludes itself if it believes it can break a people whose will to resist has proved unbreakable time and again. That said, resistance is not a game nor is it romantic or glorious. The trauma being suffered by children, old people, and everyone forced to live under the shells and missiles being rained down on them will be unimaginable. The fear as the tanks gather at Gaza’s border and the troops prepare to invade will be immeasurable.

23) The bombing of Guernica in 1937 during the Spanish civil war by nazi bombers on behalf of General Franco’s fascist forces has endured as a symbol of barbarism, when innocent civilians for the first time in western Europe were attacked by the military might of an advanced industrialised nation. A reproduction of Picasso’s famous painting of this war crime hangs pride of place within UN headquarters in New York to this day.

24) How ironic then that the same UN demonstrates nothing but impotence in the face of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, which at time of writing has killed close to 200 people and injured hundreds more, the vast majority civilians and many of them children. There is no point in deluding ourselves that anything approaching a resolution is anywhere in sight, not with a supine administration in Washington which could end this barbarity with one phone call. 

25) All we can say with certainty at this moment is that incinerating Palestinian children in the name of civilisation and democracy renders both meaningless.

26) please sign the petition to end the killings in Palestine

My thoughts on data retention and investigatory powers bill.

1) Whilst I concur with freedom of expression in the UK and I don’t have a problem with GCHQ if they wish to monitor my mobile calls, and emails let me put in plain English to some people I have nothing to hide and frankly I don’t give a flying monkeys as it’s only criminals who have something to hide.

2) GCHQ can only go on the directions of the government of the day. Let’s not forget it was under strict instructions of a  dreaded former prime minister AKA the milk snatcher who did away with trade union rights under her rein which saw the trade union being quashed in GCHQ and it took many trade union activists to lobby the government to restore the right to have trade unions in the workplace of GCHQ which came about in 1997 to which I’m proud to be one of the many activists to lobby for the change.

"Wake up my people the establishment is watching you"

“Wake up my people the establishment is watching you”

3) There has been grave concerns which has arisen in regards to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill by some part funded Government lobbyists to seek assurances that across party will vote against the bill which has backfired this is on the grounds of 449 members of parliament voted in favour of the bill.

Emergency legislation enabling the police to continue to be able to access communications companies’ records of phone and internet use has cleared Parliament and is set to become law.

Peers approved the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill after two consecutive days of debate. It had already won MPs’ backing.

Ministers said it needed to be rushed through to maintain the state’s existing powers, after a European Court of Justice ruling in April. But critics had demanded more time to debate the measures.

4) “The Conservatives will bring forward plans to “curtail” the role of the controversial European Court of Human Rights in the UK, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said 17 July 2014.

Mr Grayling confirmed the Tories would set out their proposals in time to be included in the party’s manifesto for next year’s general election.

The move comes after the two staunchest supporters of the European Convention on Human Rights among Conservatives in the Cabinet  Kenneth Clarke and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve lost their jobs in David Cameron’s reshuffle of his top team.”

I won’t be surprised if the bill will get the nod to go through to become law by the end of this year which will give the ammunition for the argument of letting through the blanket retention via the backdoor.
5) Don’t be very surprised by this coalition that gives them the requirement to sanction internet service providers to log details of all of their users online activity for inspection by the police and other government agencies.

"This what the Coalition thinks of voters and country"

“This what the Coalition thinks of voters and country”

6) Why I am not surprised the coalition had more than year to consider their response to the European ruling it ruled that it was a breach of data being kept would allow investigators to piece together someone’s private life. instead the coalition used a canny way to put it to the vote in the house so they can claim credit to say we did it and this what we think of you!