The Friday Edition

Our Friday News Analysis | What the World Reads Now!

April 05, 2024


“Forgive us for NOT Knowing What We’re Doing – Our Bad”

__ Benzion Mileikowsky aka Binyamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu



The Hague, The Netherlands, 5 April 2024 | Tell the world if you know of a decisive story. We're still searching.



Our Friday News Analysis | What the World Reads Now!

Relatives and friends are praying near the body of a staff member of the World Central Kitchen in Rafah, Gaza, on Tuesday. Credit...Said Khatib/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


The deaths of World Central Kitchen workers pushed the number of aid employees killed during the war in Gaza to at least 196, according to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.





So after the IDF slaughtered seven volunteer chefs and food workers on Monday, we now know that World Central Kitchen, which has served more than 43,000 meals to Palestinians, must be a terrorist operation.





By Michael Moore
2 April 2024


Israel claims the seven international volunteer chefs and food workers it killed in a targeted air strike on Monday in Gaza at Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen relief site were Terrorist Hamas Cooks.


“They were running a terror operation using cumin, curry, and kale,” an IDF spokesman claimed.


“They were also hiding Hamas militants inside large vats of hummus. Hamas in the hummus, you could say. You have no idea how low these Muslims will go to kill Israelis with their rotted foods, which have sat in aid trucks for months at the border and are now used to pelt innocent settlers who have come from Park Slope in Brooklyn to the West Bank in Judea to take land that is rightfully theirs.”


The IDF spokesman continued: “We are sorry for destroying Chef Andres’ attempt to feed those who are food insecure or food challenged. Indeed, Gaza is now a literal food desert! A desert in the desert! Get it?!


“We know the importance of eating a meal or two a week. But when they start smuggling weapons inside pitas and baklavas, we will not tolerate that.”


The IDF said that it appears there are signs that the terrorist cooks may have also been holding some of the hostages in a cooler full of cantaloupe, hidden somewhere inside the 23,000 miles of tunnels under the 5-mile wide Gaza Strip.


“Let’s just acknowledge what the whole world already knows: There is no terror like the terror of a Michelin 3-Star celebrity chef in his kitchen on reality TV. And so, none of us should be surprised that terrorists have found their way into an operation with numerous large and lethal knives and hand-held mini flamethrowers.


“Look, this isn’t just some foodie fight going on,” The IDF Colonel insisted. This is war—a war where we have the bombs, the planes, the destroyers, the satellites, and the nuclear weapons. But trust me—they have all the chickpeas! We will not stop until we blow everything up, even if that means we must do it, one child’s falafel stand at a time.”


He concluded:


“Oh… um, and yes… freeing the hostages is our absolute #1 priority!!”


Here are some of the ‘terrorists’ at work:







Israel's response to the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers killed in an Israeli strike stood in stark contrast to its reactions to previous humanitarian tragedies throughout the Gaza conflict.



By Allison Kaplan Sommer
Haaretz Israel
2 April 2024 

Remorse and Regret?


“We Are So Sorry

Our Deepest Condolences
A Tragic Mistake.”


Does Anyone Anywhere still believe in Santa Claus?


It was clear from the outset that the deaths of seven international aid workers from World Central Kitchen in Gaza – killed in an Israeli strike Monday night – would not be treated with the usual Israeli reaction.


At 2 A.M. local time, the Israel Defense Forces, in its first comment, already promised a thorough review "by an independent, professional and expert body" to "understand the circumstances of this tragic incident."


The utterance was followed early on Tuesday with a video released by IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, who fixed his empathetic blue eyes at the camera as he expressed "deepest condolences," called the deaths "tragic," and applauded the humanitarian workers who "fulfilled their vital mission of bringing food to people in need."


Hagari said he had just gotten off the phone with WCK founder Chef Jose Andres to express his sorrow and regret "to the entire World Central Kitchen family," who, he said, "are on the frontlines of humanity."


He vowed, "We will investigate this thoroughly and share our findings transparently.”


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and many Israeli officials immediately addressed the tragic event in tweets, phone calls, and official statements. President Isaac Herzog, in a released statement, explicitly said he apologized to Chef Andres and promised Israel is committed to allowing more aid into Gaza.


By late Tuesday morning, there was a complete account of how the strike happened, even though it was a pretty embarrassing account for Israel's military, revealing bad planning and operational mistakes – and the fact that the military shot at vehicles marked as World Central Kitchen cars, claiming to target a militant who wasn't even there.


The Israeli response stood in stark contrast to its reactions to previous humanitarian tragedies in the six months of the Gaza conflict. More than 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Hamas' October 7 attack, and not once have Israeli officials thought to react to a single incident with remorse.


This time, there was no hesitation whatsoever or accusation of clever Hamas trickery causing the innocents' deaths. There was no hint of victim-blaming, no insinuation that the workers had been in the wrong place at the wrong time or had any association with hostile elements that would have made them any legitimate target.


There was no way the IDF could have claimed any wrongdoing on WCK's part. The organization has worked in coordination with the Israeli military in a tremendously public manner – so much so that the left attacked Jose Andres as being too sympathetic to Israel for praising its willingness to help facilitate WCK aid. He has been hit on social media for helping to feed Israelis as well as Gazans – and for failing to be more direct and outspoken against the military operation seen as responsible for the starvation crisis in Gaza his organization was addressing.


The deaths of aid workers from countries like Poland, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom deserved the humble and humane words of sorry that came from Israelis. But so do the thousands of Palestinian lives that have been lost, even if Israel doesn't perceive them as a PR disaster. One hopes the reaction to this tragedy is more than a one-off response and that it will serve as a lesson that will be applied in the future to all innocent victims of Israel's actions.


What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive? Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen.



EDITORIAL | Reconcile! Heal the Wounds!


Any peace accord, minus complete reconciliation, including restitution, will inevitably collapse. The wounds will only temporarily be soothed, letting the disease stealthily spread and eventually erupt and explode again. “ We cannot give up on the search to end this conflict ” 38, says President Obama in a letter to me on 16 August 2016.


Israel can and will defeat its enemies and win its wars by freeing itself from the chains of Israelism. Then, the world will become less anti-Israel. Destroy your enemies by becoming friends.




The Biden administration signed off on thousands more bombs to Israel despite global condemnation of the IDF’s killing of seven World Central Kitchen employees.

By John Hudson
Washington Post
4 April 2024


To read the article, click here.




Editor’s Note | Is Israel scheming to bomb Iran? Will Israel drag us all into World War III? If push comes to shove, will the West sacrifice Israel? If you live in the West, would you want a nuclear crater in your backyard?







What resources can Tehran use in response to the attack on its consulate in Syria?


© RT / RT


By Abbas Juma

RT HomeWorld News
2 April 2024


On Monday, the Israeli Air Force struck a building near the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital. As a result of the attack, the consulate building was destroyed, and the commanders of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unit, Generals Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, were killed.


President Ebrahim Raisi has warned that “this unfair crime won’t go unanswered.”


Zionists must know that they will never achieve their sinister goals with such inhumane actions and, day by day, the resistance front and the disgust and hatred of free nations against their illegitimate nature are being strengthened, and this cowardly crime will also not go unanswered,” he said.


The answer is still unknown. However, in recent years, Tehran has become a full-fledged superpower in the region, with support in many Middle Eastern countries.


Shadow of Iran


The escalation of the conflict in Gaza, which started with the Hamas-led invasion of Israel last October (“Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) subsequent military operation that claimed tens of thousands of lives, gave rise to much speculation about the weakness and short-sightedness of the Israeli leadership and the exceptional military training of Israel’s opponents. And it’s not just Hamas that we’re talking about, but Iran.


Iran was immediately accused of being involved in the Hamas attack. The WSJ reported that Iran had trained the Palestinians and instructed them on how to break through the Israeli border.


Moreover, it was said that Tehran had green-lighted the attack. The detailed coordination of the operation allegedly took place during a meeting between senior members of Hamas, Hezbollah, and two other Iran-backed militant groups in Beirut shortly before October 7. Officers of the IRGC also attended the meeting.


Later, the IRGC stated that the Hamas attack had been planned as revenge for the 2020 murder of the head of the Quds Force (part of the IRGC), General Qassem Soleimani. However, rumors about Iran’s direct involvement in the anti-Israeli operation haven’t been verified.


On November 3, 2023, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, the secretary general of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah, publicly stated that Iran had not been involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.


               “The decision behind this operation was 100% Palestinian, and its implementation was 100% Palestinian. [It was launched] to draw worldwide attention to this problem. Its planners hid it from everyone, even the Axis of Resistance movements,“ he said.


               “Absolute secrecy is what ensured the brilliant success of the operation through the element of astonishing surprise. The Islamic Republic of Iran publicly supports the resistance movements, but it does not exercise any guardianship over them [or] over their leaders.”


On the one hand, this statement by the leader of Iran’s main proxy force in the region marked the lines Iran was not ready to cross. On the other hand, Nasrallah reminded the world that Iran was able to confront Israel and its allies without starting World War III. The Axis of Resistance—an informal regional alliance between several Middle Eastern nations and political organizations that oppose the West and Israel and are united by Shiite ideology—was created for this very purpose.


In a way, Iran has created the world’s most successful coalition, which proved itself capable of restoring order in the region, fighting terrorism, and challenging global forces.


The “Party of God” heads the resistance


After the explosion in the port of Beirut, when chaos reigned in Lebanon, I talked with one of my friends from Hezbollah. At the time, he assured me that it was mainly due to the efforts of Hezbollah that the country didn’t fall into the abyss. And yes, Iranian funding had a lot to do with it. After all, Hezbollah comprises ordinary Lebanese people who support their country’s economy. However, it would not be fair to say that Hezbollah is dependent on Iran and subordinate to it since Iran has a special relationship with the countries that are part of the Axis of Resistance. However, to gain a deeper understanding, let’s dig deeply into the wounds.


FILE PHOTO: People with Hezbollah flags at the Hezbollah Political Party Rally in Baalbek in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. © Francesca Volpi / Getty Images


The roots of Hezbollah go back to the early 1960s when a clerical movement arose in Lebanon that wanted to revive Islam's critical principles. The idea was proposed by several Muslim theologians who had just returned from Najaf, Iraq, where they had been studying in Shia seminaries. Two of these people are particularly noteworthy.


The first is Imam Musa al-Sadr, who was educated in Qom, Iran. He embarked on his political journey in the Lebanese city of Tyre, but his activities soon spread throughout the country. Al-Sadr was very popular. He often spoke at mass cultural and educational events and surrounded himself with prominent intellectuals from various backgrounds. In 1967, he created the Supreme Islamic Shia Council (SISC), an official religious institution that supported the Shiite community. Many politicians disapproved of this, even those who shared Sadr’s faith.


Nonetheless, al-Sadr continued his political activities. He founded the Movement of the Oppressed and a military group to fight against Israel called the Lebanese Resistance Regiments (the Amal Movement). In all his sermons, the Imam called for war with Israel. Eventually, Al-Sadr was abducted in Libya, where he came at the invitation of President Muammar Gaddafi on August 31, 1978. His fate remains unknown.


The Imam’s work continues


Modern-day Hezbollah is associated with the name of another Muslim theologian, Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah. This prominent Shiite scholar built a cultural center with a mosque and a religious school in east Beirut. After moving to the city's southern suburbs, he led prayers at the Imam al-Rida Mosque. He became involved in politics, drawing on the experience of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Fadlallah founded the Association of Charitable Organizations, which united many educational, religious, and social institutions. This organization played an essential role in the further development of Hezbollah, and Fadlallah himself has been called its leader, although he claimed that this was not true. Gradually, the organization grew. It established a power vertical and acquired symbolic attributes. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 significantly contributed to the development of Hezbollah.


In Lebanon, there was an urgent need to create a single Islamic organization that would unite all Shiite groups. Islam was to become the proposed political party's intellectual, religious, ideological, and practical foundation. The party’s main goal was to resist the occupation, and its leader was to be a Sayyed – i.e., a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.


Nine representatives of the leading Islamic groups held a meeting and issued a document known as the Manifesto of the Nine. This manifesto was sent to Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, who approved it.


The majority of the religious groups in Lebanon then adopted the manifesto. Their leaders dissolved existing partnerships in favor of a single new structure, which became known as Hezbollah. In his book ' Hezbollah: The Story From Within, ' one of the prominent leaders of the movement, Sheikh Naim Qassem, wrote that the Lebanese Shiites enlisted the support of Tehran from the beginning. The guardians of the Islamic Revolution were given the order to support the allies in their fight against Israel, primarily through military training and the provision of necessary infrastructure. A delegation of high-ranking Iranian military officials came to Syria, and Damascus agreed to deploy the IRGC to Lebanon.


Training camps were set up in Lebanon’s Bekaa region, and a system was developed that included the fighters' military, religious, and moral training. Young people flocked to the training camps. The experience of the Palestinian resistance was also taken into account. All this yielded results in the war with Israel and later allowed Hezbollah to become an official political force that represented the interests of a large part of the population.


Today, Hezbollah continues to build up its military forces despite external and internal pressure (specific forces in Lebanon speak in favor of disarming the movement). The group’s military arsenal includes dozens of types of missiles and drones. It also has ballistic missiles ranging between 500km and 700km. According to its secretary general, Hezbollah has around 100,000 fighters.


Iran supports Hezbollah with hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Today, the group takes an active part in the Palestinian conflict. According to a recent report, the organization conducted 1,194 military operations on the Israeli border, leading to heavy losses on the Israeli side– an estimated 2,000 people were killed and wounded. Hundreds of pieces of military equipment were destroyed.


Iran’s influence in Iraq


In early September, I went on a pilgrimage to Iraq for the annual Arbaeen March, which gathered tens of millions of Muslims worldwide. We walked 82km from the city of Najaf (which Shia Muslims consider sacred) to the city of Karbala, and throughout this journey, I couldn’t help but wonder how well everything was organized. The people were provided with food, medical services, and transport; most importantly, their safety was ensured. This was largely possible due to the assistance of Iran, which traditionally helped organize this critical event for Shia Muslims.


However, just a few decades ago (from 1980-1988), Iraq and Iran were in the midst of a bloody war. In eight years, this conflict claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people on both sides. The fact that both countries are considered centers of Shia Islam added to the problem. The main religious education centers are in Iraq and Iran – in Najaf and Qom, respectively. The foremost spiritual authority in Iraq is its supreme leader, while in Iraq, it is the great Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. As a result, the Shiites in Iraq became divided based on whether they were oriented towards Iran or Iraq.


The country’s most powerful political forces are connected with Tehran, and, as a result, Iraq has become one of the critical centers of the Axis of Resistance. The current conflict in Palestine has demonstrated this. For example, in November of last year, it was reported that US military bases in Iraq and Syria had been attacked 58 times since the start of the Hamas operation on October 7.


The high level of coordination between the groups that carry out the attacks and Tehran is quite obvious. At the end of January 2024, the media reported that the strike on the US base was carried out a few hours after Iran vowed to avenge the attack on IRGC forces in Damascus. According to some reports, the militants were members of Iraq’s Shiite militia Harakat al-Nujaba. However, many similar groups operate in Iraq.


Popular Mobilization Forces (Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi)


The Popular Mobilization Forces are Iraq's largest and most potent paramilitary group. Some reports claim that it became the third-largest military force in the country last year. Official reports show that, from 2001 to 2003, the Popular Mobilization Forces doubled– from 116,000 fighters to 238,000. In comparison, the number of soldiers in the regular army increased by 25,000 (to 450,000) over the same period, while the number of police officers in the country increased by 22,250 (to 700,000). The active financing of this Tehran-backed group explains the growth.


FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Shiite fighters and members of Al-Hashd al-Shaabi stand next to their unit's flag in the village of Albu Ajil, east of the northern city of Tikrit. © AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP


The need for such an organization arose after the city of Mosul was captured by Islamic State (IS) terrorists in June 2014. At the time, 1,500 terrorists forced thousands of soldiers to flee the city. Before this, IS terrorists had captured the towns of Hit, Fallujah, and most of Anbar province. It became evident that the Iraqi Army was not able to cope with IS. At that time, Iraq’s government decided to integrate the militia into the country’s security services, and Iraq’s Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a ‘fatwa’ on the “righteous jihad” against IS on June 13, 2014. He called on the people of Iraq to take up arms and defend “their country, their people, and their shrines” and to join the security service. The fatwa strengthened the authority and legitimacy of the Popular Mobilization Forces. In light of the threat posed by IS, intra-Shiite competition subsided, and Iran’s influence in Iraq grew.


In June 2014, the city of Tikrit was captured by terrorists, and 1,700 military personnel were brutally executed (this is known as the Camp Speicher massacre). The shocking footage quickly spread on social media, and the Popular Mobilization Forces gained public support, which increased even more after the fighters managed to push IS out of Tikrit. In April 2015, the city was liberated.


The fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces were assisted by the IRGC’s Quds Forces, led by Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The Popular Mobilization Forces maintain close military, intelligence, and financial ties with Tehran. It became a legal organization at the end of 2016 when the Iraqi parliament legislated for its status. The Interior Ministry listed more than 67 different brigades that belonged to the umbrella organization. It is important to note that not all brigades are Iranian proxy forces. However, the Badr Organization and Kataib Hezbollah are the most authoritative pro-Iranian groups.


By 2019, the Popular Mobilization Forces included fighters oriented toward Iran and those who recognized Ayatollah al-Sistani's authority.


The Badr Organization


This group came into existence a long time ago. During the Iran-Iraq War, it helped Iran fight against Saddam Hussein. Hadi al-Amiri – the organization’s leader and experienced field commander – was one of the few people whom IS militants truly feared in 2014. Al-Amiri publicly declared his support for Iran. In 30 years, he had come a long way – from a guerrilla fighter who took part in the Iran-Iraq war on the side of Tehran to a military commander in charge of one of Iraq’s best Shiite brigades. He also served as the Iraqi transport minister. Al-Amiri had gone from a national traitor to an Iraqi hero who was considered a key figure in the fight against IS.


In 2019, the US accused al-Amiri of attacking the US embassy. The attack was a response to US air raids on the militia bases of Kataib Hezbollah, which is allied with Iran.


Kataib Hezbollah


The Iraqi branch of Hezbollah, formed in 2003, has up to 30,000 fighters. Like the Badr Organization, Iraq’s Hezbollah publicly supports Iran and is oriented towards the Islamic Republic and its supreme leader, both spiritually and politically. The group took an active part in resisting US forces during the Iraq War. It also fought against terrorists on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to some reports, Kataib Hezbollah fighters are trained by instructors from the Quds Forces, which are part of Iran’s IRGC.


The US believes that the recent attack in which three US soldiers were killed on the Jordan-Syria border was carried out by Kataib Hezbollah. The Pentagon publicly declared this. Meanwhile, the militants have claimed responsibility for more than 150 attacks on US troops since the start of the war in Gaza in 2023.


The group used to be headed by Jamal Jafar Ibrahimi, better known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who came from Basrah, Iraq. However, he died on January 3, 2020, as a result of a US airstrike near Baghdad Airport. The legendary Iranian general, the head of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, was also killed at that time. Al-Muhandis was Iraq’s deputy national security adviser, a member of the Iraqi parliament, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces.


In addition to the groups mentioned above, which operate under the auspices of the Popular Mobilization Forces, we may also note the Iraq-based militant groups “Imam Ali Brigades,” “Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba,” and “Saraya al-Khorasani.”


Iran’s influence in Syria


It would not be an exaggeration to say that, during the war against terrorists that began in 2011, Iran, along with Russia, played an essential role in saving Syria. From the start of the conflict, Iran sent volunteer fighters, military equipment, medicine, fuel, and ammunition to Syria. Tehran opened a line of credit and allocated considerable funds to support the government in Damascus. This helped Assad hold out until 2015 when Russia’s Air Force came to the aid of Syria and radically changed the situation at the front.


During the war years, Iran formed many paramilitary groups in Syria that helped the Syrian Army. However, Shiite militias in the country preserved their independence and were never directly subordinate to the official command of its army.


Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas (LAFA)


The Al-Abbas Brigade is closely linked to the Syrian Republican Guard and was named after Abbas ibn Ali – the son of the Shiite Imam Ali. The brigade was formed in 2012 with a specific goal – to ensure the safety of the Sayyida Zeinab mosque in Damascus and other holy sites in Syria revered by Shiites.


Reliable sources claim that the brigade is divided into smaller groups, named after the 12 Shiite Imams, and consists mainly of Iraqi, Lebanese, and Syrian Shiites. Initially, there were about 500 fighters, but in 2013, the number of volunteers increased to 10,000. All fighters completed a 45-day training course in Iran, during which they were trained to use weapons such as grenade launchers, Kalashnikov assault rifles, and sniper rifles.


The Fatemiyoun Brigade


This group was officially formed in 2014. It mainly includes Shiites from Afghanistan, known as the Hazaras (which make up around 10% of the country’s overall population). The fighters are recruited from among the millions of Afghan refugees who live in Iran. In Afghanistan itself, the brigade is known as “Hezbollah in Afghanistan.”


In this way, Tehran recruited Afghans to protect the interests of Syria and the Syrian government, which has been loyal to the Islamic Republic throughout history. According to certain information, the Fatemiyoun Brigade comprises the Army of Muhammad, a Shiite militant group formed during the Soviet-Afghan war. These militants also fought against the Taliban. The brigade is divided into smaller units. For example, the group includes the Abuzar Brigade, which consists entirely of Afghan militants.


According to the US Institute of Peace (USIP), Fatimiyoun militants are generally between 17 and 35 years old. Shiism isn’t the only motivation for joining the brigade—many fighters face economical problems and are vulnerable due to their migrant status. The report says the militants are often recruited from the same village or workplace, encouraging them to watch over each other and operate more effectively at the front.


The Fatimiyoun Brigade, under the command of IRGC officers, took part in Assad’s offensives. It fought in the Syrian cities of Homs, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, and Idlib. The brigades possess modern Russian T-90 tanks. According to various sources, they have between 10,000 and 20,000 fighters. However, this information dates back to 2017, since Iran reduced the number of fighters following the victory over IS. The youngest and oldest fighters and those who violated discipline were the first to be demobilized. Today, the brigade is no longer active, but experts believe that, if needed, Iran could call up to 40,000 trained fighters at any moment. At least 10,000 of them possess combat experience.


The Zainebiyoun Brigade


This group mainly includes Pakistani Shiites (from the Kurram and Balochistan regions). The name of the unit refers to the main Shiite shrine in Damascus, which was barbarically attacked by IS militants in 2013. After this incident, the region started actively mobilizing Shiite militants. The Pakistani brigade numbered between 2,000 and 5,000 fighters. It was often spotted near Damascus, Aleppo, and Idlib and has participated in the Syrian Army’s offensives. The IRGC was also responsible for training and financing the Zainebiyoun Brigade.


Paradoxically, experts believe that the brigade is one of the least known and poorly studied Shiite armed groups that operated in Syria under Iranian command.


One of the last Pakistani Shiites to die in Syria was Zaki Mohammad Abbas. He was buried in the city of Qom in Iran, which the Shiites consider holy. Little is known about Abbas – his name may be a pseudonym, and his place and year of birth, occupation, as well as the location and circumstances of his death in Syria remain unknown.


In an interview with Panjereh on June 23, 2016, Zainebiyoun’s chief commander, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, stated that the main reason for the group’s mobilization was the threat to Shiite pilgrimage sites in Syria. He said that Pakistani Shiites wanted to “rush to the defense of the shrines” and take part in the “apocalyptic battle against terrorists.”


Mousavi states, “Iran is the main center and command headquarters of this war.” The commander also said Pakistani Shiites had written a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, asking for permission to fight in Syria, to which Khamenei verbally replied: “Those who can fulfill their duty should do so to the best of their ability.”


Several sources claim that the Zainebiyoun Brigade is under the direct command of the IRGC.


Yemen’s Houthis


Until last year, few people talked about the Yemeni fighters from Ansar Allah. But things changed when they rose against the US and its allies. The Houthi group was the only force in the region that dared to tell the truth about the events in Palestine and stood up for the Palestinians. On January 12, 2024, the US and UK attacked the positions of the Houthis in Yemen. This strike was a response to the blockade imposed by the Houthis on Israeli ships (as well as ships heading to and from Israel) in the Red Sea.


The Houthis are also called “Iran’s proxies,” and it is believed that Iran has transferred modern drones and missiles to Ansar Allah, which made it possible for the group to attack deep-sea targets and modern ships. However, the Houthis are a lot more independent than, for example, Iraq’s militia brigades or Hezbollah. There is no evidence that they depend on Iranian aid or are under Tehran’s direct influence.


FILE PHOTO: Houthi militants after they captured the headquarters of the Sixth Military Zone following rough clashes with Yemeni government forces in northern Sanaa, Yemen. © Mohammed Hamoud / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images


Ansar Allah’s cooperation with Iran resembles a union formed based on ideological and religious affinity. However, the Houthis understand the region's situation, goals, and methods, which we discussed in detail in an earlier article.


Chaos has reigned in Yemen since the unification of South Yemen and North Yemen in 1990. The latest conflict began with a dispute between the Sunnis and Shiites in 2004. In Saada, a city in northwestern Yemen, the Shiites spoke out against the Sunni authorities, whom they accused of religious oppression and corruption. Naturally, Iran supported the Shiites. As a result, the religious minority demanded independence, and an armed uprising began, which was headed by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who was killed in late 2004. The fighters are called “Houthis” in his honor, but officially, the movement is called Ansar Allah (“Supporters of God”).


After Hussein’s death, his brother Abdul-Malik al-Houthi took over as the movement’s leader, and the fighting continued. Yemen’s authorities called the Houthis a “pro-Iranian fifth column.” In response, the movement accused Yemen’s political establishment of treason and said it served the interests of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi religious movement. Today, we may assume that Iran and Yemen are closely tied, united by their shared goal of fighting against the US and Israel. In this regard, the Houthis are also essential to the Axis of Resistance.




Tehran resorts to a revolutionary foreign policy to improve its position in the Middle East. This has transformed it from a peripheral power barely surviving the eight-year war with Iraq into a regional superpower with global ambitions.


Iran’s success in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen is a result of its long-standing support for the region’s main political forces. Moreover, Iran has a deep understanding of the cultural characteristics of those countries where the Shiites makeup either the majority or the socially and politically important part of the population.


We must also note the economic ties between Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. Iraq and Iran are involved in cultural exchange—for example, Shiite scholars and religious pilgrims regularly travel between the two countries. This allows the two nations that were once at war to grow closer to each other.


Iran not only engages in the policy of exporting the Islamic Revolution but also protects the interests of the Shiites and acts as a guarantor of their security. Iran has proven that it does not withdraw when it comes to war. At the same time, Iran promotes the pro-Palestinian agenda and the liberation of Jerusalem, which makes it popular among many Sunnis in the region.


Today, Iran and the Axis of Resistance coalition, which it heads, are the only forces in the region ready to confront the US. Meanwhile, the Americans are losing their authority in the Middle East and becoming more despised by the local population.


Abbas Juma is an international journalist, political commentator, and Middle East and Africa specialist.




April 03, 2024


Source: Jews for Justice for Palestinians


The Chris Hedges Report Mar 30, 2024
A Genocide Foretold – by Mr. Fish


The genocide in Gaza is the final stage of a process begun by Israel decades ago. Anyone who did not see this coming closed their eyes to the character and ultimate goals of the apartheid state.


"But it is easier to pretend.
Pretend Israel will allow humanitarian aid.
Pretend there will be a ceasefire.
Pretend Palestinians will return to their destroyed homes in Gaza.
Pretend Gaza will be rebuilt.
Pretend the Palestinian Authority will administer Gaza.
Pretend there will be a two-state solution.
Pretend there is no genocide."



There are no surprises in Gaza. Every horrifying act of Israel’s genocide has been telegraphed in advance. It has been for decades. The dispossession of Palestinians of their land is the beating heart of Israel’s settler colonial project. This dispossession has had dramatic historical moments — 1948 and 1967 — when vast parts of historic Palestine were seized and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed. Dispossession has also occurred in increments — the slow-motion theft of land and steady ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.


The incursion on Oct. 7 into Israel by Hamas and other resistance groups, which left 1,154 Israelis, tourists, and migrant workers dead and saw about 240 people taken hostage, gave Israel the pretext for what it has long craved — the total erasure of Palestinians.


Israel has razed 77 percent of healthcare facilities in Gaza, 68 percent of telecommunication infrastructure, nearly all municipal and governmental buildings, commercial, industrial, and agricultural centers, almost half of all roads, over 60 percent of Gaza’s 439,000 homes, 68 percent of residential buildings — the bombing of the Al-Taj tower in Gaza City on Oct. 25, killed 101 people, including 44 children and 37 women, and injured hundreds — and obliterated refugee camps. The attack on the Jabalia refugee camp on Oct. 25 killed at least 126 civilians, including 69 children, and wounded 280. Israel has damaged or destroyed Gaza’s universities, all of which are now closed, and 60 percent of other educational facilities, including 13 libraries. It has also destroyed at least 195 heritage sites, including 208 mosques, churches, and Gaza’s Central Archives, which held 150 years of historical records and documents.


Israel’s warplanes, missiles, drones, tanks, artillery shells, and naval guns daily pulverize Gaza — which is only 20 miles long and five miles wide — in a scorched earth campaign unlike anything seen since the war in Vietnam. It has dropped 25,000 tons of explosives — equivalent to two nuclear bombs — on Gaza, many targets selected by Artificial Intelligence. It drops unguided munitions (“dumb bombs”) and 2000-pound “bunker buster” bombs on refugee camps and densely packed urban centers as well as the so-called “safe zones” — 42 percent of Palestinians killed have been in these “safe zones” where Israel instructed them to flee. Over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes, forced to find refuge in overcrowded UNRWA shelters, hospital corridors, courtyards, schools, tents, or the open air in south Gaza, often living next to fetid pools of raw sewage...


Read more: A Genocide Foretold.






Source: Haaretz


By Amira Hass
Published March 26, 2024


A displaced Palestinian man, along with his belongings, sits on a donkey cart amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli bombardment in the Hamad area, west of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on March 14, 2024.Credit: AFP



… because it reached Al-Jazeera?
We will never know how many thousands of Palestinian civilians were killed in the same manner, according to the same automatic subjective recipe for killing.
We will never know the identity and number of pilots and drone operators who killed Palestinian civilians, ostensibly due to a collective concern.
(also serving as a masquerade for revenge),
protected in advance from any oversight, criticism, correction,
Self-examination and sleepless nights.


"I felt threatened" became, long before October 7, an automatic defense whenever a Jew kills a Palestinian.


"I felt" is a very personal and subjective state of being.


Still, when spoken in IDF-ese in contemporary Hebrew, it becomes a rigid and objective truth, sheltering all those under its wings.


The identity of the dangerous suspect shot to death usually varies. Defining the suspect as dangerous and fit to be killed does not require them to carry a weapon. Nor does age or gender matter. However, the person feeling subjectively threatened must meet two conditions so as not to be suspected of lying and so that public opinion's yardstick will safeguard his impunity: he has to be Jewish, and he has to be armed.


Will the fact that the dead 63-year-old man was a convert well-liked by the settlers change the storyline, which automatically absolves settlers who kill?


Read more: Opinion | 'Feeling Threatened': An Israeli Prescription for Killing With No Criticism or Oversight






Source: Middle East Eye


By Samah Jabr
Published March 27, 2024


Amid a surge in torture cases since 7 October, there is an urgent need for health professionals to document such atrocities properly.


Israeli soldiers transferred detained Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip on 21 November 2023 (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

Reports of sexual abuse,
including rape and forced nudity,
Underscore the depravity to which detainees are subjected.
The insidious combination of physical and psychological torture
It serves not only to punish but also to extract coerced confessions.


Such practices scar and traumatize survivors and their families
While intimidating the broader Palestinian community.



Torture remains a pervasive reality in Palestine, where countless individuals have endured unspeakable physical and psychological trauma at the hands of Israeli forces.


This has been a severe problem since the Gaza war began on 7 October, with Palestinians telling the Middle East Eye that they have been physically tortured with dogs and electricity, subjected to mock executions, and held in humiliating and degrading conditions. One man described how he was handcuffed, blindfolded, and detained in a metal cage for 42 days.


Addressing such grave human rights violations demands a comprehensive approach, including the development of specialized skills for healthcare professionals tasked with documenting and treating survivors.


Trained in the Istanbul Protocol for torture documentation, I have dedicated myself to equipping fellow professionals with the necessary tools to navigate this challenging terrain.


As violence continues to escalate - with torture not restricted to detention centers but also witnessed in the streets of the occupied Palestinian territories and captured on video - it is more imperative than ever to bolster health workers’ capacities to document such incidents, thus amplifying the voices of survivors in their pursuit of justice...


Read more: How to hold Israel accountable for torturing Palestinians.





Making a Difference – The Means, Methods, and Mechanism for Many to Move Mountains


Photo Credit: Abraham A. van Kempen, our home away from home on the Dead Sea


By Abraham A. van Kempen

Senior Editor
Updated 19 January 2024


Those who commit to 'healing our broken humanity' build intercultural bridges to learn to know and understand one another and others. Readers who thumb through the Building the Bridge (BTB) pages are not mindless sheep following other mindless sheep. They THINK. They want to be at the forefront of making a difference. They're in search of the bigger picture to expand their horizons. They don't need BTB or anyone else to confirm their biases.


Making a Difference – The Means, Methods, and Mechanism for Many to Move Mountains


Accurate knowledge promotes understanding, dispels prejudice, and awakens the desire to learn more. Words have an extraordinary power to bring people together, divide them, forge bonds of friendship, or provoke hostility. Modern technology offers unprecedented possibilities for good, fostering harmony and reconciliation. Yet its misuse can do untold harm, leading to misunderstanding, prejudice, and conflict.


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