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Poll: 44% of American Jews oppose moving US embassy to Jerusalem

September 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Forty-four per cent of American Jews don’t support the US President Donald Trump’s suggestion of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the American Jewish Committee (AJC)’s survey revealed yesterday. The survey, which is conducted annually, was based on telephone interviews carried out in August, incorporating a national sample of 1,000 American Jews aged 18 and over. Nine per cent were Orthodox Jews, 16 per cent identified with the Conservative movement, 31 per cent were Reform Jews, two per cent Reconstructionists and 39 per cent who consider themselves “just Jewish”. Thirty-six per cent of the survey’s respondents said that they would be in favour of the embassy’s relocation only in conjunction with a clear progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace […]

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Bangladesh guards Buddhist temples amid Rohingya backlash fears

September 15, 2017 rbksa 0
Fri, 2017-09-15 12:56

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Bangladesh authorities on Friday deployed hundreds of police to protect Buddhist temples in the region where about 400,000 Muslim Rohinygas have sought refuge from unrest in Myanmar.
The move came amid fears of attacks on the religious minority in revenge for events in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar.
Thousands of supporters of a hard-line Islamist group staged protests in the border town of Cox’s Bazar after Friday prayers, calling on Myanmar to halt what they called the “genocide” of the Rohingya – who are in the minority in Myanmar.
Most of the Rohingya refugees have fled to camps around the Bangladesh border city where there were already 300,000 Rohingya before the latest unrest erupted on August 25.
There has been a huge outpouring of sympathy in Bangladesh for the persecuted Muslim group, with media giving blanket coverage to accounts of massacres and torture by the Myanmar army and Buddhist militia.
Cox’s Bazar police chief Iqbal Hossain said 550 police have been deployed in the region, including at 145 Buddhist temples, to prevent ethnic violence.
He said police had stepped up security so local Buddhists, who have been established for centuries, “don’t feel panicked”.
“It’s a preventive measure,” he told AFP. “We’ve also set up check-posts across the district.”
The reinforcements have come from the port city of Chittagong to watch temples, including the 300-year-old Kendriya Shima Bihar at Ramu, which hosts important Buddhist relics.
Police were also patrolling outside Buddhist temples in Ukhia and Teknaf – the nearby towns where most of the newly arrived 400,000 Rohingya refugees took refuge.
District authorities have also set up an inter-religious communal harmony committee since the Rohingya crisis started.
Jyotirmoy Barua, a top lawyer from the Buddhist community, told AFP that some 20 armed police were at a temple at Ramu in Cox’s Bazar on Friday.
Buddhist leaders in Bangladesh have protested the anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and have urged Myanmar to resolve the crisis.
They said there have been some minor incidents targeting the Buddhist community.
“They (Bangladeshi Buddhists) are feeling insecure. There is uneasiness,” Barua said.
Police in neighboring Chittagong district have also stepped up security at dozens of Buddhist temples, a senior police official told local media.
Buddhists make up less than one percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people. They are well integrated in society but have faced past attacks.
In 2012, some 25,000 Muslims attacked Buddhist temples and businesses around Cox’s Bazar after a Buddhist allegedly put an image defaming the Qur’an on Facebook.
At least 11 Buddhist temples were torched in the riot. There were allegations in the local press that some Rohingya joined the attack.

Main category: 
Hundreds of Rohingya children arrive in Bangladesh alone
Bangladesh offers land to shelter Rohingya fleeing Myanmar
UN says 313,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh

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FM: EU must see Turkey as an equal

September 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkey’s foreign minister yesterday urged European countries to change their view of Turkey, saying that unless the EU sees Ankara as an equal partner, “a healthy relationship won’t be possible”. Speaking at a press conference in the capital Ankara with his visiting French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey “doesn’t want to have problems with Europe”. “However,” Cavusoglu said, “Turkey is also not a country that bows down to impositions and double standards.” As long as you do not see us as an equal partner, a healthy relationship cannot be expected, despite differences in standards. Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey’s view of Europe changed over time and that European countries must similarly “change their mindset about Turkey”. Le Drian said […]

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Millions of Palestinians have good reason to remember Peres

Tel Aviv loves nothing more than a good excuse for a memorial or a ceremony of some sort to divert international attention from the injustices it metes out on a daily basis to the Palestinian people. Thursday provided such an occasion in honour of former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who died on 28 September last year, aged 93. The anniversary is being used as an excuse to honour the Zionist State’s so-called man of peace and Israel is stretching the memorial celebrations throughout the month to make the most of the propaganda value of his death. The ancient Greek storyteller Aesop observed that “a man is known by the company he keeps” and so it came as no […]

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Trump administration backs bill suspending aid to PA

September 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Trump administration yesterday announced its backing for a bill that would suspend US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until the latter ends payments to prisoners and their families. “The Trump administration strongly supports the Taylor Force Act, which is a consequence of Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organisation’s policy of paying terrorists and their families”, the State Department said. The statement added that President Donald Trump “raised the need to end any part of this programme that incentivises violence against Israeli and American citizens with President Mahmoud Abbas last May in both Washington and Bethlehem.” The announcement comes six weeks after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed the measure. The legislation is named after an American student killed […]

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Turkish, Qatari leaders meet for first time since Gulf rift

September 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani yesterday discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments. The two leaders met at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara, Turkish presidential sources said. Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the sources said Erdogan and Al-Thani also agreed that a diplomatic solution should be found to the Qatar crisis. Read: Details of the Qatar crisis In early June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region. The four countries also imposed an embargo on Qatar and issued a long list of demands, including the closure of […]

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Has Trump become a leader of Arab nationalism?

The developments of the crisis with Qatar have revealed the depth of the abyss the entire Arab world is descending into. New aspects and dimensions are being added to it daily. Since this crisis, which surprised the GCC, the only fort left of the crumbling Arab system, has gone on for more than three months; it seems that it is heading for more complications and escalations rather than towards resolution. This raises fears of the Arab world growing gradually closer to the moment it hits the bottom of the abyss. Perhaps the strangest thing revealed by the developments of the crisis over the past week was the emergence of Donald Trump’s role as the puppet master and his keenness to […]

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Israel reinstates administrative detention for Palestinian rights activist

September 15, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israeli authorities have reinstated an administrative detention order for Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hamouri, after the Israeli Supreme Court accepted the prosecution’s appeal. Hamouri, who works for Palestinians prisoner rights group Addameer as a field researcher, is a Palestinian-French dual national and a former prisoner in Israeli jails. A six-month administrative detention order was first issued for the prisoners’ rights activist on 23 August, but on the day of its confirmation hearing, the court instead decided to make Hamouri complete the remaining time on a previous sentence. Hamouri was released in a 2011 prisoner exchange, with three months left to serve. Read: Israel sentences 18 Palestinians to administrative detention The judge’s decision was appealed by the Israeli prosecution, and on […]

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Catalan Independence Vote October 1: Why? What’s At Stake? What Do The Polls Suggest?

September 15, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Unless the central government in Madrid forcibly stops elections, the Catalan Independence Vote will take place on October 1.

Politico covers What Spain has to Lose from Catalan Independence.

Catalonia Percent of Spain

Voting Intentions

Poll Source in Spanish: Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió (CEO) June 2017

2015 Advisory Voting Map


Please consider Why some Catalans want to break away from Spain.

Research from CEO (above link), as translated by Politico

  • Increased autonomy (26 percent)
  • Belief that Catalonia would improve if it struck out on its own (23 percent)
  • Desire for a new model for running a country (19 percent)

“I want a fair country, a more social and leftist country, and I believe the best way to achieve that is leaving Spain,” said Marc Becat, a 22-year-old who works in sales.


“All the money and all the taxes that flow to the Spanish government will stay in [an independent] Catalonia,” said Ana Martí Benavente, a 78-year-old Barcelona pensioner.


“It’s the Popular Party above all things, I hate them, that’s it,” said Alex Fores, a 21-year-old engineering student. “They’re very right-wing and obviously if you look at what people vote here [in Catalonia] it’s a completely different ideology.”


“What we Catalans find surprising is how the international community doesn’t react to the fact that we’re being prevented from voting” – Marta Alsina, teacher.

March in Barcelona

Pro-Independence Flag Face

Spain Threatens to Arrest Mayors in Favour of Vote

The Express reports Spain Threatens to Arrest Mayors in Favour of Vote.

Aljazeera reports Spain Summons Catalan Mayors Over Independence Vote.

Spain’s state prosecutor has ordered a criminal probe of all 700-plus Catalan mayors who have backed an independence referendum, as Madrid seeks to block the separatist vote it deems illegal.


The country’s prosecutor office on Wednesday ordered the 712 mayors, who have agreed to help stage the October 1 vote, to be summoned to court as official suspects and called for their arrest in case of a refusal to appear for questioning.


Barcelona Mayor Ana Colau, who opposes secession but supports a vote, says she wants to help arrange the referendum but won’t do so without assurances that she and her staff would be acting legally.


Spain’s King Felipe VI also entered the fray on Wednesday, stepping up the pressure on Catalonia by vowing that the Spanish constitution “will prevail” over any attempt to break the country apart.


In his first comments on the growing political crisis, Felipe said the rights of all Spaniards will be upheld against “whoever steps outside constitutional and statutory law.”

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona this week to show support for independence.


Opinion polls show that Catalans are evenly divided on independence, but over 70 percent want a referendum to take place to settle the matter.

One Million March

The Guardian reports One Million Catalans March for Independence on Region’s National Day

Up to a million Catalans have gathered in Barcelona to call for independence less than three weeks before the region is due to hold a vote on whether to break away from Spain.


For the sixth successive year, Catalonia’s national day – La Diada de Catalunya – was used as a political rally by the pro-independence movement. Organisers said 450,000 people had registered for the event, and Barcelona police later tweeted that 1 million turned up.


Polls also show that Catalans are divided on whether they wish to secede from Spain. A survey at the end of July found that 49.4% of Catalans were against independence and 41.1% supported it.


Raül Romeva, the Catalan foreign affairs minister, told reporters that the referendum had already begun, with expatriate Catalans voting by post.


“You need to remember that people are already voting,” he said. “The Catalan community abroad is already voting. Those people who say there’ll be no referendum forget that the referendum is already under way.”

Ballot Papers to Be Seized

The BBC reports Ballot Papers for Banned Referendum to be Seized.

Catalonia’s public prosecutor has ordered the seizure of all ballot papers ahead of a banned independence referendum deemed illegal. The vote on breaking away from Spain, planned for 1 October, has been suspended by the constitutional court.


But Catalonia’s pro-independence government says it will still go ahead. As a result, the Public Prosecutor’s Office instructed security forces to take everything which could help with the “consummation of the crime”.


The order came as Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal came out strongly against the plans. “You can’t skip the laws because you want to skip them,” Nadal told a paper.

Rajoy’s Political Mistakes

Prime minister Rajoy is telling Catalonians not to vote because it is illegal.

I strongly suspect the people most likely to stay away from the polls on that message are those who do not favor independence.

Rajoy also made mistakes leading up to the current referendum.

In 2006, with agreement from the Spanish Parliament and approved by a majority in a referendum a statute on Catalonia was approved.

In 2010, Rajoy asked the constitutional court to overturn the law. It did. 14 articles were abolished and 27 will be reinterpreted governing Language, judiciary, taxes and self-recognition as a ‘nation’.

This inflamed Catalonia and rightly so.

In Favor of an Independent Catalonia

I am in favor of an independent Catalonia if that is how the citizens vote.

I seem to recall how citizens of one country decided to skip the law because they did not like it. The protest worked out pretty well.

I am talking of course about the Boston Tea Party and subsequent US independence from Britain via the American Revolution.

What’s Spain going to do to stop the referendum? Send in the troops?

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