Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Imperialist Plans to Redraw Middle East Map by Dmitry MININ

15.07.2015 | 00:00

The recent history of Middle East has been fraught with conflict. More information has started to surface recently. It gives a clue on what drives the tumultuous events. Separate leaks lead to conclusion there were covert plans harbored in Western capitals to reshape the boundaries of the region. Now the issue has started to come into the open becoming part of international agenda. 
Michael Hayden, a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told French Le Figaro that it was time to tell the truth and admit that Iraq and Syria do not exist anymore while Lebanon and Libya are on the verge of collapse. The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement on the spheres of influence and control in the Middle East never corresponded to reality. The General said he does not know how the events will unfold. He is sure that the policy aimed at restoration of these countries is doomed. According to Hayden, Iraq and Syria still maintain representation in the United Nations but in reality these states have disappeared as entities.
Michael Hayden endorses Jeb Bush in the presidential race and may be offered an influential position in the foreign policy team in case the Republican wins in 2016. Democrats have prepared the ground for Republicans to act in case they win the White House. Hayden does not elaborate on the future plans, but some of the things he writes give a clue. For instance, he says the Kurds should become a leading US ally in the region. The General views Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as an alternative to radical Islam. Hayden believes it is expedient to restore full-fledged cooperation with Cairo.
Yaakov Amidror, who is now the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the BESA Center, is an important analyst, since he is the immediate past national security adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu and previously served as chief of the Research and Analysis Division of Military Intelligence in the IDF (Israel Defense Force). He has recently published an open report calledPerfect Storm: The Implications of Middle East Chaos. In this major monograph Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror studies the storms convulsing the Arab Middle East. He looks at the long-term implications of Middle East chaos. Amidror sees civilizational shifts of historical proportions underway, and he argues that there is no way of knowing how long the upheavals will continue or how they will end. 
The troubles go all the way back to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, he writes, and to the revolution in Iran, the consequent rise of radical Islam, the attacks of 9/11 on the U.S., the conquest of Iraq as a response to these, and to the Arab Spring. «To this we must add the weakness manifested by the international system, especially the U.S.-led Western alliance; the total worthlessness of global organizations; and the ruinous activities of local forces unique to each state», as he puts it. Amidror’s conclusion is that anyone from the outside trying to influence these regional upheavals in a positive direction will find the task very difficult. According to him, the states artificially created by British and French a century ago are on the brink of collapse today.
In many regions of the Middle East tribes and clans are more important for self-identification that statehood. Amidror sees drastic changes with uncertain outcome taking place in the region. «We are witnessing a wide and deep struggle over the character and future of the Arab nation, and perhaps of Islam as a whole», the author points out. For Israel, Amidror writes, the best strategy is to identify the greatest threats looming in its vicinity, and concentrate its efforts narrowly in dealing with these specific threats.
Amidror believes that the West is prone to short-term strategic planning in the given circumstances. It’s a serious weak point as the fighters for Islamic caliphate are ready for incessant and long-term war to reach their goals. The United States provoked the Arab Spring. Now it is doing its best to avoid the responsibility for the implications. It would like to influence the events at the distance resorting to different manipulations. But it’s not enough for reaching the desired goals. 
Many regional leaders are frustrated with the US. It explains the Saudi Arabia’s aspiration to spur the buddingrapprochement with Russia. Radical Islamists may become the dominant force in the Muslim world. The Israeli expert believes that some regimes (especially conservative monarchies) face existential threats and are urgently seeking ways to maintain stability in the region. To prevent collapse they may build alliances with Israel to strengthen its position as a result.
Many Israeli experts believe it’s not enough. They stand for more drastic changes. For instance, Zvi Hauser who currently serves as special counsel at Goldfrab Seligman & Co. in Tel Aviv, was Israel's Cabinet Secretary from 2009-2013. He was also appointed Chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council in 1997. Hauser also serves as a board member for several public institutions. In his article A Historic Opportunity for Israel in the Golan Heights published by Israeli Haaretz on July 3 he writes that «The virtuoso use of military technology to destroy pinpointed targets allowed Israel’s strategic-diplomatic leadership to fail to grasp the importance of the opportunity, refraining from adopting a broad, David Ben Gurion-esque historical vision. Consequently, it ignored the first real opportunity in nearly 50 years to conduct a constructive dialogue with the international community over a change in Middle Eastern borders and recognition of Israeli rule on the Golan Heights, as part of the global interest in stabilizing the region.» According to him, the Golan Heights should be defended from the Islamic caliphate and Jabhat al Nusra. But whose interests are met by the activities of these organizations? Besides, according to his vision, the Golan Heights moving under the Israeli rule could be seen as some kind of compensation for Israel’s approval of the Iran nuclear deal now in works.
The military of Turkey and Jordan are not making a secret of their intention to enter the territory of Syria. The mission is to create large buffer zones keeping away the Islamic State. How long will the military hold the positions in the zones? Will it not be an actual annexation of the other state’s territory? There are no definite answers to these questions. According to Israeli sources, air forces of Israel, United States and other NATO countries are ready to offer air cover in case of such intervention. This is the endgame. First, the West and the Syrian neighbors created the Islamic threat, now they are preparing for final partition of the country under the pretext of defending the country from it. At that the key actors pursue different goals. Turkey is very cautious when it comes to the issue of Kurdish statehood. It shies away from US plans to bolster the Kurdish movement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will never allow the establishment of a Kurdish state in Syria after major gains by Kurdish fighters. In a strong-worded warning on June 26, Erdogan accused the Kurds of ethnically cleansing other communities from land they have taken after pushing back Islamic State forces from the Turkish border. "I say to the international community that whatever price must be paid, we will never allow the establishment of a new state on our southern frontier in the north of Syria," Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media as telling guests at a dinner to break the Ramadan fast. He accused Kurdish forces of «changing the demographic structure» of several areas close to the Turkish border, which also have Arab and Turkmen populations.
Ankara gives priority to its global Pan-Turkish plans, no matter it lacks resources to implement them. To counter the implementation of «Kurdish Project» Turkey put forward the idea of uniting all Turkic peoples, including those who come from Central Asia, making up the population of Syria. Turkey is trying to form a separate Syrian Turkmen army in Syria on the basis of Ankara-supported Free Syrian Army. 10 thousand strong it will fight the Islamic State and Syrian Kurds. Incited by Turkey Syrian «Turkmen fighting groups in Syria have taken the decision to offer greater support to each other and work to create a Turkmen army if conditions permit», Syrian Turkmen Assembly chief Abdel Rahman Mustafa told Turkish Anadolu news on July 6. The Turkmen officials’ comments came as the Syrian Turkmen Assembly held a meeting in southern Turkey’s Gaziantep that brought together Turkmen representatives from Aleppo, Tal Abyad, Jarabulus, Latakia, Idlib, Raqqa and the Golan. 
The Turkmen military and civilian officials decided to form a military council which reports to the Syrian Turkmen Assembly, a pro-opposition group with ties to the Turkish government. The decision to form the council comes after calls emerged from Turkmen military formations to fight both the Islamic State and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. Turkmen leaders claim they number 3.0 million. According to official statistics, the number is 100 thousand in comparison to 2 million Kurds residing in Syria. Probably, the figures are twisted to substantiate territorial claims to be put forward when the time is right.
Iraq is a failed state and a headache. According to the plans, its Sunni-populated areas will become part of Jordan, the US staunch Arab ally. On Tuesday, July 7, 2015, the House considered H.R. 907, the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 907 was introduced on February 12, 2015, by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by unanimous consent on April 23, 2015. H.R. 907 extends to Jordan expedited congressional review of proposed U.S. arms transfers that is otherwise reserved for NATO members and other close allies. 
Specifically, the bill states that U.S. policy should be to: support Jordan in its response to the Syrian refugee crisis; provide necessary assistance to alleviate the domestic burden to provide for basic needs for assimilated Syrian refugees; cooperate with Jordan to combat the terrorist threat from the Islamic State or other terrorist organizations; and, help secure the border between Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. In 1996, the United States granted Jordan major non-NATO ally status, which makes non-NATO countries, who are exceptionally close allies of the United States, eligible for certain military assistance in the same manner as other NATO allies. Besides Jordan, the list of US major non - NATO (MNNA) allies includes Israel, Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
It’s hard to say if the abovementioned plans are feasible. Their implementation is in full swing to undermine the stability of the Middle East. The BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization have just held their summits in Ufa. It was stated there that the Eurasian space should not become a testing ground for geopolitical schemes. Until now the North-Western part of Eurasia has been protected from chaos and manipulations staged by those who see it as «strategic chess board». Its south-western part, or the Middle East, is going through major reshaping. The chess grand master starts with e2-e4 move. The offensive could be held back only if the two parts get united on the way of economic and political rapprochement. The meetings in Ufa offered a pattern to be used as a plan before the process is launched. This is a bumpy road with multiple hindrances to overcome. But it is imperative to go to the very end in order to bring stability to the continent.
Tags: Iraq Lebanon Middle East Syria US  Source: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/07/15/middle-east-redrawing-the-map.html

Ali Khamenei thanks Iranian nuclear negotiating team

News | 15.07.2015 | 00:03
PressTV - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has expressed gratitude to the Iranian nuclear negotiating team for its efforts in nuclear talks with the P5+1 group of countries.
The Leader made the comments in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his Cabinet on Tuesday, the day Iran and six world powers reached a conclusion to intensive nuclear talks.
Rouhani, for his part, thanked Ayatollah Khamenei for supporting the Iranian nuclear negotiating team of his administration.
The president expressed hope that the nuclear conclusion reached in Vienna would prepare the ground for relieving pressure on Iran and disproving unfounded allegations fabricated by Iran’s enemies, and would also contribute to national progress.
After 18 days of marathon talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers - the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany - reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will put limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The 159-page conclusion will be presented to the Security Council, which will adopt a resolution in seven to 10 days making the JCPOA an official document.
Rouhani said that the expansion of close ties with neighboring countries and the continuation of nuclear negotiations were among his administration’s achievements in foreign policy.
“Under circumstances where the [Middle East] region is engulfed by chaos and terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran supports regional countries which are grappling with the scourge of terrorism and will continue on this path,” he said.
Speaking in a televised address on Tuesday after the conclusion of talks between Iran and the P5+1, Rouhani said Iran managed to achieve all four objectives it was seeking throughout intensive nuclear talks with the six powers.
"We were following four objectives in these negotiations. As part of today's agreement and under this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all the four objectives have been achieved," Rouhani said.
He enumerated the objectives as Iran's ability to go ahead with its nuclear activities, lifting of "cruel and inhumane sanctions," annulment of all "illegal" sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council against Iran and the withdrawal of Iran's nuclear dossier from the Security Council.

News Analysis: Greek third bailout's hard labor warning signal for Greece, eurozone

News | 15.07.2015 | 00:49
Xinhua - After six months of heated negotiations, Greece emerged from a marathon eurozone summit in Brussels on Monday with an agreement that clears the way for a new painful three-year bailout program.
It will be the third bailout the debt laden country secures from international creditors in the past five years.
If everything runs according to the plan in coming weeks, Greece will avoid the risk of an imminent bankruptcy and Grexit, which according to officials and analysts from both sides would trigger havoc in Greece and shake the European common currency zone.
A tough deal that gives Greece more time and another opportunity to fix the structural shortcomings of its economy and restore stability and growth is better than no deal, is the widespread motto in Athens and across Europe.
However, the new program's unprecedented difficult labor this time and the harsh terms of further austerity, which the ruling Leftists opposed until recently, is a warning signal for Greece and the euro zone, according to financial experts and media commentators in the Greek capital.
After the end of the battle in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces another wager to sell the deal to his party, his junior coalition partner, Greek lawmakers and citizens, to avoid a domestic rift and political instability and implement the conditions of the agreement with no more waste of time in order to unlock vital foreign financing.
The danger of possible prolonged political turbulence in Athens that could send the program again off track emerges as a key concern after the sealing of the debt deal.
The second is the legacy of the poisonous verbal war that lasted for weeks between Greece and its allies on one part and the most conservative circles of lenders led by Germany on the other part during the negotiations, analysts warned.
"There are two dangerous things lurking around the corner for Greece: the anti-Greek sentiment that has taken root in the minds of powerful euro zone players and the anti-European sentiment growing among Greek citizens," Alexis Papachelas, Executive Editor of Kathimerini (Daily) wrote in an opinion article on Tuesday.
On the one hand German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his allies await to prove that Greece cannot reform and make it, while on the other hand Tsipras faces a Herculean task to implement extremely painful policies, he argued.
For Papachelas the solution lies with the Greek premier. If he sees himself as a reformist, he could shift towards the political centre and move forward with new partners to change Greece.
For others, irrespective of Athens' intentions and stance from now on, any government's efforts are undermined right from the start by the harshness of the conditions set and by the big blow that has harmed relations in the euro zone lately.
Faced with a clear ultimatum by creditors to accept the harsh terms or deal with disorderly default and Grexit, the Greek premier made a very difficult compromise. A battle was won, but the war within the euro zone is not over, they warned.
Eventually the hardliners among champions of harsh austerity may face greater pressure and challenges from member countries which sided with Greece, like France and Italy.
"The Greek tragedy is a characteristic example of the way monetary unions always collapse when they do not develop into political unions, such as the U.S.," according to economist Vassilis Vilardos.
Regardless of the current painful compromise, the replay of the Greek thriller and an eventual rift with partners in the future is inevitable, if there will be no debt relief of any kind provided to Greece, the Greek expert argued in a recent article, insisting that the Greek debt load is unsustainable.
An editorial posted on the financial news portal "Euro2day.gr" on Tuesday backed the argument pointing to an article written in the summer of 1997 by the late Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman under the title "The euro: Monetary Unity to political disunity?"
"The drive for the euro has been motivated by politics not economics ... I believe that the adoption of the euro would exacerbate political tensions by converting divergent shocks that could have been readily accommodated by exchange rate changes into divisive political issues," Friedman had written.
Greek ruling Radical Left SYRIZA MP and Professor of Economics Costas Lapavitsas has no doubts regarding which path Greece should choose after the announcement of the terms of the deal.
In a statement released to media he insisted on Tuesday that the best solution for Greece in the long run will be a Grexit instead of an "unviable deal struck under blackmail."
"The dilemma Greece faces since 2010 is: stay in the euro with memoranda and a huge debt burden or return to the national currency with a growth program ... We tried the first road and we have witnessed the results. The new deal leads the country to the same dead end on worse terms," he argued.
For Lapavitsas the European monetary union today has failed due to the prevalence of the austerity formula and the repercussions on the European Union will be dramatic unless European partners change course.

US ‘Shot Itself in Leg’ by Pushing Russia Toward China - Jim Rogers

News | 15.07.2015 | 00:11
Sputnik - American investor Jim Rogers has actively encouraged investing into Russia. During his interview with Gazeta.ru Rogers said that he has joined the Board of Directors and bought shares of ‘PhosAgro’ which is a Russian chemical holding company producing fertilizer, phosphates and feed phosphates.
He also increased the proportion of shares of the Moscow Stock Exchange and he also has a paper of ‘Aeroflot’.
Concerning the current ruble situation Rogers said, “Russia has low debt, unlike Greece, as well as convertible currency, which is quite unique for the new markets. So fundamentally its position can be called normal. It is being pressured by lower oil prices, but as soon as the black gold finds the stable point the situation will improve for the ruble.”
He also mentioned the dollar saying that the US currency is in a terrible situation as the US national debt and trade deficit are huge.
“If we simply write out on paper the facts that lie behind the ruble and the dollar, without naming the currency, then everyone will want to buy rubles and no one will buy dollars. But as soon as you name them then, of course, people buy dollars.”
He added that he hopes he will be smart enough to get rid of dollars before the collapse happens. “Everything seems perfect, until one day it ceases to be so. It was the same with Britain, France, Spain and Greece. Often stocks manage to go up for a few years before hitting bankruptcy.”
It is a matter of time before Asia becomes a major partner for Russia. For America this would mean that they will not receive their share of potential in the Asian market. The “US has simply shot itself in the leg.”
“The Asian market is much larger — 3 billion people. The population of the United States and Europe is a little more than 1 billion people. For Russia it is better to be with 3 billion creditors than 1 billion debtors,” the investor explained.
Jim Rogers said that China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are where all the money is, while the US and Europe have become the largest debtors.

The Problem of Greece is Not Only a Tragedy: It is a Lie

An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week’s landslide “No” vote and secretly agreed a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a “bailout” that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least 13 billion euros from the public purse – 4 billion euros more than the “austerity” figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in a referendum on 5 July.
These reportedly include a 50 per cent increase in the cost of healthcare for pensioners, almost 40 per cent of whom live in poverty; deep cuts in public sector wages; the complete privatization of public facilities such as airports and ports; a rise in value added tax to 23 per cent, now applied to the Greek islands where people struggle to eke out a living. There is more to come.
“Anti-austerity party sweeps to stunning victory”, declared a Guardian headline on January 25. “Radical leftists” the paper called Tsipras and his impressively-educated comrades.  They wore open neck shirts, and the finance minister rode a motorbike and was described as a “rock star of economics”. It was a façade. They were not radical in any sense of that cliched label, neither were they “anti austerity”.
For six months Tsipras and the recently discarded finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, shuttled between Athens and Brussels, Berlin and the other centres of European money power. Instead of social justice for Greece, they achieved a new indebtedness, a deeper impoverishment that would merely replace a systemic rottenness based on the theft of tax revenue by the Greek super-wealthy – in accordance with European “neo-liberal” values — and cheap, highly profitable loans from those now seeking Greece’s scalp.
Greece’s debt, reports an audit by the Greek parliament, “is illegal, illegitimate and odious”. Proportionally, it is less than 30 per cent that of the debit of Germany, its major creditor. It is less than the debt of European banks whose “bailout” in 2007-8 was barely controversial and unpunished.
For a small country such as Greece, the euro is a colonial currency: a tether to a capitalist ideology so extreme that even the Pope pronounces it “intolerable” and “the dung of the devil”. The euro is to Greece what the US dollar is to remote territories in the Pacific, whose poverty and servility is guaranteed by their dependency.
In their travels to the court of the mighty in Brussels and Berlin, Tsipras and Varoufakis presented themselves neither as radicals nor “leftists” nor even honest social democrats, but as two slightly upstart supplicants in their pleas and demands. Without underestimating the hostility they faced, it is fair to say they displayed no political courage. More than once, the Greek people found out about their “secret austerity plans” in leaks to the media: such as a 30 June letter published in the Financial Times, in which Tsipras promised the heads of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF to accept their basic, most vicious demands – which he has now accepted.
When the Greek electorate voted “no” on 5 July to this very kind of rotten deal, Tsipras said, “Come Monday and the Greek government will be at the negotiating table after the referendum with better terms for the Greek people”. Greeks had not voted for “better terms”. They had voted for justice and for sovereignty, as they had done on January 25.
The day after the January election a truly democratic and, yes, radical government would have stopped every euro leaving the country, repudiated the “illegal and odious” debt – as Argentina did successfully — and expedited a plan to leave the crippling Eurozone. But there was no plan. There was only a willingness to be “at the table” seeking “better terms”.
The true nature of Syriza has been seldom examined and explained. To the foreign media it is no more than “leftist” or “far left” or “hardline” – the usual misleading spray. Some of Syriza’s international supporters have reached, at times, levels of cheer leading reminiscent of the rise of Barack Obama. Few have asked: Who are these “radicals”? What do they believe in?
In 2013, Yanis Varoufakis wrote: “Should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising capitalism? To me, the answer is clear. Europe’s crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism …
“I bow to the criticism that I have campaigned on an agenda founded on the assumption that the left was, and remains, squarely defeated …. Yes, I would love to put forward [a] radical agenda. But, no, I am not prepared to commit the [error of the British Labour Party following Thatcher’s victory].
“What good did we achieve in Britain in the early 1980s by promoting an agenda of socialist change that British society scorned while falling headlong into Thatcher’s neoliberal trip? Precisely none. What good will it do today to call for a dismantling of the Eurozone, of the European Union itself  …?”
Varoufakis omits all mention of the Social Democratic Party that split the Labour vote and led to Blairism. In suggesting people in Britain “scorned socialist change” – when they were given no real opportunity to bring about that change – he echoes Blair.
The leaders of Syriza are revolutionaries of a kind – but their revolution is the perverse, familiar appropriation of social democratic and parliamentary movements by liberals groomed to comply with neo-liberal drivel and a social engineering whose authentic face is that of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance minister, an imperial thug. Like the Labour Party in Britain and its equivalents among former social democratic parties such as the Labor Party in Australia, still describing themselves as “liberal” or even “left”,  Syriza is the product of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, “schooled in postmodernism”, as Alex Lantier wrote.
For them, class is the unmentionable, let alone an enduring struggle, regardless of the reality of the lives of most human beings. Syriza’s luminaries are well-groomed; they lead not the resistance that ordinary people crave, as the Greek electorate has so bravely demonstrated, but “better terms” of a venal status quo that corrals and punishes the poor. When merged with “identity politics” and its insidious distractions, the consequence is not resistance, but subservience. “Mainstream” political life in Britain exemplifies this.
This is not inevitable, a done deal, if we wake up from the long, postmodern coma and reject the myths and deceptions of those who claim to represent us, and fight.
John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com

Iran Nuclear Deal: Tehran, World Powers Agree to Historic Pact

News | 14.07.2015 | 13:57
nbcnews.com - Iran and world powers reached a historic deal early Tuesday for Tehran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions.
Tehran has been negotiating with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China for years, with diplomats extending a series of deadlines in hopes of arriving at a workable plan.
The deal capped furious negotiations and overcame stiff opposition from close U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, who say Iran cannot be trusted with a nuclear program of any kind.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the agreement a "historic moment" and a "win-win solution" that could usher in a "new chapter of hope" in relations between Tehran and the West.
"We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody but it is what we could accomplish and it is an important achievement for all of us," he said early Tuesday. "Today could have been the end of hope on this issue but now we are starting a new chapter of hope."
The comprehensive agreement — which runs more than 80 pages — was clinched after marathon overnight negotiations in Vienna.
It involves limiting Iran's nuclear production for 10 years and Tehran's access to nuclear fuel and equipment for 15 years in return for hundreds of millions of dollars in sanctions relief. However, the sanctions would not be lifted until Iran proves to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has met its obligations under the terms of the deal.
While more details were due to be announced at a press conference later Tuesday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran also has signed a roadmap with his organization to clarify outstanding issues.
"This is a significant step forward," Yukiya Amano told reporters.
Ahead of the press conference, the European Union chaired the final plenary between Iran and the six countries which negotiated the deal.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, seated next to a smiling Zarif, paid tribute to the "weeks, days, nights months and years" of work which led up to the agreement.
"The decision we are going to take today is not only on Iran's nuclear program but it is much, much more than this," she said. "It is a decision that can open the way to a new chapter in international relations and shows that diplomacy, coordination, cooperation can overcome decades of tensions and confrontations. This is a sign of hope for the entire world."
The White House said President Barack Obama would address the nation about the deal early Tuesday morning. One senior White House official cautioned that while the agreement was undoubtedly historic, it was not an "immediately transformative" moment.
"We're years away from judging its success," the official told NBC News.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he warmly welcomed news of the deal, praising the determination, commitment and "courage" of the negotiators.
"This is testament to the value of dialogue," he said in a statement. "I hope — and indeed believe — that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East. As such it could serve as a vital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond."
Israeli officials, however, quickly condemned the deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahy said it gave Iran a "sure path to nuclear weapons," Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called it a "capitulation of historic proportions," while Science Minister Danny Danon said the deal was "not just bad for Israel, it's dangerous for the entire free world."
The agreement still faces a vote in Congress, although it is unclear whether Republicans and some Democrats who object to the deal will actually be able to override the decision.
Even before details of the deal were released, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said it could trigger a "descent into chaos."
"The administration just lit the fuse for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East," he said in a statement. "We all know Iran's neighbors will not sit idly as the world's largest state-sponsor of terror becomes a nuclear-threshold state."
"This deal abandons America's historic bipartisan commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation, and instead begins the era of managed proliferation—a descent into chaos and an even more dangerous world."
Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani has staked a large share of his political future on a successful outcome of talks. He stands to be one of the biggest winners out of the agreement.

Growing Economic and Security Partnerships of the BRICS, SCO and EEU

| Can America Evolve With Russia and the Rest of Humanity?  Finian CUNNINGHAM 14.07.2015 | 00:00

Have you noticed? American officials seem to be only able to ever talk about war. War, war, war. While Russia and most other countries of the world are talking of partnership, development, progress, prosperity and peace. What is it to be for humanity? War or peace?
American leaders are stuck in a seemingly never-ending mental groove of hostility, suspicion, enmity, war. Look into their eyes. They offer a dead-end of no hope, no progress, no humanity, only continual conflict. By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders are striving to enact a vision of hope for humanity, one based on mutual cooperation, partnership and common development.
The problem with official America is that it is still stuck in a centuries-old mindset when it presumed the right – and righteousness – of enslaving millions of people and exterminating native nations from their lands. Today, US states may be taking down the Confederate flag as a symbol of genocidal racism, but elsewhere if we listen to American leaders the same genocidal, supremacist mentality prevails – even when it is articulated by an African-American president.
In recent days, we saw a salutary example of how backward and nihilistic official America is in its thinking. Before the US Senate was the presumed next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, giving testimony ahead of his official appointment. The Joint Chiefs are America’s top military brass, who advise the president and his National Security Council on all matters of war and, much less, peace. Listening to Dunford’s worldview, one would think that America is under threat from all corners of the globe. Threat, insecurity, danger, fear, enemies, death, destruction, and so and so on. Official America’s worldview is one of never-ending nightmare, wherein lurks evil foreign spectres and demons.
Top of Dunford’s list of enemies is Russia who he said posed the»greatest threat to US national security», adding, but far from evidencing, that «Russia’s behaviour is nothing short of alarming».
The marine corps commander told Senators: «If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d point to Russia».
Dunford based his foreboding assessment on baseless claims about Russian military involvement in Ukraine’s civil war and alleged foreign aggression, without providing any supportive intelligence or evidence – just as countless other US leaders have iterated over the past year. (No mention, of course, of the US-led coup in Ukraine and the US-sponsored Neo-Nazi regime that is waging war on fellow citizens.)
To demonstrate that Dunford’s views are not some misinformed exception, we only have to recall the latest US National Military Strategy document published last week in which an identical worldview of threats, enemies and other dark forces was also promulgated. It represents the official position of the US and its worldview. Again, Russia was nominated as a security danger, along with China and Iran.
Now contrast this American mindset with other world leaders and nations. While Dunford was warning of existential enemies before Congress, on the other side of the world, leaders from Latin America, Africa and Asia were gathering in the Russian city of Ufa to attend the joint conferences of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
Addressing the plenary session, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the leaders and delegates from dozens of countries. He called on all associated nations to build a world based on «fair partnership», «mutual respect», and «sustainable development».
Also addressing delegates, Chinese President Xi Jinping echoed Putin’s vision of an inter-dependent multilateral world based on»deepening partnership». The Chinese leader said that the world needs to abandon «Cold War mentality and zero-sum games in order to jointly safeguard international and regional peace and stability». He said it was no longer acceptable for countries to unilaterally wield threats and sanctions at others. Such belligerent attitude, he added, was counterproductive and actually fuelling tensions, insecurity and conflict. He didn’t mention names, but everyone knows who he is referring to: the United States.
But, like Putin, Jinping’s central theme was a positive, hopeful one for humanity, one of emphasising «common development»,»economic partnership» and «community of shared interests».
The growing economic and security partnerships of the BRICS, SCO and EEU are proof that the vision of partnership that these leaders espoused is not merely empty rhetoric aimed at generating feel-good media headlines.
No-one is pretending that these countries are bastions of perfection and harmony. Much development in every sphere is needed. But the basic premise of common development for the common good is there, so too is a relationship of fraternal cooperation, trust and mutual peace.
Our point here is that the gathering in Russia shows that humanity has shifted its broad consciousness away from narrow nationalistic rivalries to one of genuine co-dependence and cooperation. Not just in rhetoric and aspiration, but in actual practice. All of the nations attending the summit in Russia have been scarred by wars at sometime in the past – none more so than Russia, which lost up to 30 million of its people during the Second World War.
What is needed now, however, is the understanding and appreciation of a common humanity and destiny. It is based on the belief that all humans, no matter their differences in culture or colour, can work together for their collective common good. That the sum of all parts is greater than the individual parts. Such a vision of development and peace is practicable and is in fact being proven in the new international relations that are being forged by the BRICS, SCO and EEU for the betterment of their respective populations –which collectively comprise the majority of the world’s people.
What a contrast Putin, Jinping and many other world leaders are to the American talking heads. US President Barack Obama is prone to sprinkle his rhetoric with all sorts of euphemisms and florid prose, but at bottom he still talks like most of Washington heads do about a world of threats, dangers, enemies in which America must be eternally, unilaterally, supremely powerful to launch wars whenever and wherever it wants.
Ultimately, America offers nothing to the world except fear, insecurity and war. It is the embodiment of an Orwellian dystopia where peace and fraternity are something to be sneered at, even reviled, as somehow foolishly naive.
Why is it that America cannot just evolve with the rest of humanity to embrace the world as a beautiful and bountiful place where we all can live together in peace and cooperation?
Before we get into an answer to that, the question must be dwelt on. Why is official America so full of aggression and fear, war and destruction? Why are international relations always presented in terms that demonise and degrade others? What is so elusive about cooperation, common humanity and peace?
America has never come to terms with its genocidal origins or its genocidal wars carried out during most of its 250-year history as a nation. The crimes are covered in lies and denials. America has never come to terms with the fact that its capitalist economy dictates hegemony and imperialistic predation for its operation. The attitude towards slaves and exterminated natives of the past is today embodied in Washington’s depiction of the world as lurking with de-humanised enemies who have to be conquered, subjugated and ultimately, if it comes to it, liquidated.
The hubris and ignorance of official America knows no bounds. The country is guided by presidents and Congressional leaders, presidential candidates and military generals who serve private corporations by telling scary stories to themselves and their people to justify their gargantuan war-making, murderous plunder of the planet. Yet American leaders think of themselves as so enlightened and virtuous. And unfortunately too many ordinary and increasingly oppressed Americans believe the ugly make-believe world they are inculcated with by their elite rulers.
The truth is that American leaders are nothing but barbarians in expensive suits. They need to evolve with the rest of humanity.
But for evolution there needs to be a dialectic process of humility, compassion and truth-finding. In official America there is no such dialectic. There is only a locked-in, dead-end groove of deadness and more deadness, fear and war. Fear and war. Fear and war.
If not evolution, then revolution is required in America, if greater humanity is to progress.

Staatsterror und Angriffskriege erzeugen weltweiten Terrorismus! von Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

zur Diskussion gestellt:
Was die jüdischen Besatzer nicht erledigen, schaffen die „Vichy-Kollaborateure“ der Palästinenserbehörde unter dem Präsidenten ohne Mandat, Abbas.
Es gab eine Razzia im besetzen Westjordanland, in der die Abbas-Behörde eben mal 108 Hamas-Mitglieder festgenommen hat. Unter der mehr als im Sinne des „Jüdischen Staates“ klingenden Begründung, die der Sicherheitsbeauftragte der Palästinenserbehörde, Adnan Dameri verbreiten durfte: „Diese Hamas Mitglieder hätten Anschläge auf den „Jüdischen Staat“ geplant und wir können es nicht zulassen, dass die Hamas unsere Sicherheit untergräbt und unser Land ins Blutvergießen zieht“.  -    Wohlgemerkt, diese Sätze stammen nicht von den jüdischen Besatzern, sondern von den palästinensischen Kollaborateuren.   -    Schon Hoffmann von Fallersleben stellte treffend fest: “Der größte Lump im ganzen Land ist und bleibt der Denunziant“.   -    Das palästinensische Volk ist also nicht nur durch die jüdischen Besatzer in Unfreiheit, sondern auch durch eine korrupte Palästinenserbehörde in Ramallah, die alles versucht, um sich selbst an der Macht zu halten und sich diesen Status Quo zu stabilisieren. Was stört da am meisten


Deciphering the Pentagon’s latest anger towards Russia by M.K. BHADRAKUMAR

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 14.07.2015 | 10:32
In successive weeks, the United States has ramped up tensions with Russia. Two highly provocative statements have emanated from the Pentagon. One was the Pentagon report titled 2015 National Military Strategy issued a fortnight ago, at the instance of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, naming Russia and China as two world powers with which the US may have to fight a war with “immense consequences.”
The second fusillade came during the testimony by the Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford at the US Senate Armed Services Committee last week where he nailed Russia as the greatest threat to the US national security. This is what Dunford said:
“My assessment today … is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security. If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”
But for the fact that these words came from a general who has been designated by President Barack Obama as the next chairman of the joint chief of staff to succeed Gen. Martin Dempsey, one could have scoffed at it as sheer bluster.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford
Now, what has happened for taking such an apocalyptic view of the global strategic balance? The fact remains that despite the US’ overwhelming superiority in conventional forces, there is a global strategic stability and it is inconceivable that Russia will use its thermonuclear capabilities except to defend itself against an external attack.
To be sure, the US faces no “existential threat” from Russia and will not face one unless it indulges on its own in some stupid act like launching an aggression against Russia (in which case Moscow is guaranteed to use all the power at its command to resist.) Put differently, the threat the US faces is of Russia’s retaliatory capability, which remains intact despite the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Indeed, Russia is the only power with such capability, which makes it an existential issue, theoretically, for the US.
But then, what is it that really upsets the US? Three interpretations can be given. One could be that the Pentagon is making a persuasive case to increase its budget by raising the Russia bogey. This is what Charles Tiefer, a Forbes contributor who covers government contracting, the Pentagon and the Congress, estimates.
Tiefer points out that Dunford was not talking about the threat posed by Russia’s conventional arms but he means strategic nuclear threat. Tiefer writes:
“But, as to such a thing going nuclear, it never did in the Cold War.  We still have the enormously powerful strategic nuclear arsenal that deterred even the world-threatening Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.  Why isn’t this still the answer for the future as for the past?”
“Because, as to the future, Gen. Dunford is alluding to the aging of that American strategic triad – ICBM missiles, long-distance bombers, nuclear submarines, and the nuclear weapons they carry.  They have been in place for many decades.  It is General Dunford’s mission to raise the fear level of the American public to the level it will begin to authorize the enormous long-term spending on modernizing that strategic nuclear triad.”
Teifer gives a very simplified list of what the US military wants and estimates its cost to be at the very minimum somewhere between $872 million to $1.082 trillion. Yes, a trillion dollar splash to modernize the whole strategic triad – that’s what Dunford could be arguing for. “Obviously Gen. Dunford will “scare hell out of the country” (as President Truman was told to do at the start of the Cold War) to start down that road,” Teifer concludes.
Of course, we have heard of the military-industrial complex in the US and we know the propensity of all militaries to conjure up exaggerated threat perceptions to create alibi for appropriating disproportionately big military budgets. Teifer may well have a point.
However, there is a second plausible explanation for Dunford’s strange thought process. His rhetoric could be an exhortation to the US’ NATO allies to get in line and to do their part to increase their military spending to at least 2% of their GDP, which Washington has been demanding for a long time. Of course, the US’ European allies largely depend on American weapons and it will be good business for the US war contractors.
But the problem with this argument is that the Europeans are smart enough to figure out that Pentagon is beating the war drums to get them to spend more money on buying American weapons.
Which brings us to a third explanation: Could it be that the US is genuinely getting nervous about Russia and China and what they are up to lately, and the Pentagon is not really exaggerating? Consider the following.
Both the Pentagon report anticipating a war with Russia and China and Dunford’s sensational remarks appeared in the immediate vicinity of the summit meetings of the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization at Ufa, which were hosted by Russia. (By the way, in Dunford’s view, Russia is at the top of a list of US concerns that also included China whose rapidly expanding military has alarmed Pentagon officials.)
The heart of the matter is that the salience of the BRICS and SCO summits last week has been the extraordinary surge of the strategic understanding between Russia and China that have been accruing in recent years.
The Russian President put it succinctly when he told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at their meeting in Ufa, “Combining efforts, no doubt we (Russia and China) will overcome all the problems before us.” Such a statement has never before been made openly at a Russia-China exchange at the highest level.
What Putin said effectively makes Russia and China allies insofar as he called for their standing up for each other on issues of core interest to either side. In fact, it goes much beyond that. Putin actually called for the “combining” of efforts by China to defeat the challenges facing the two countries.
He didn’t name the US, but the implication is clear, namely, the US cannot hope to take on Russia or China if they stand shoulder to shoulder and pool their efforts.
Looking back, the single biggest moment of the Ufa summits has been the convergence of the BRICS, SCO and the Eurasian Economic Union on a single platform on July 10. Xi made the suggestion to Putin transform the SCO as “an important platform to dovetail China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Russia’s aspiration under the Eurasian Economic Union framework, expand room for their practical cooperation and facilitate development, cooperation and prosperity of the whole Eurasian continent.”
Putin agreed that the “decision to align China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Russia’s aspiration under the Eurasian Economic Union framework will surely instill strong momentum into bilateral economic cooperation.” He proposed in turn that Russia and China “beef up coordination within the SCO and BRICS frameworks, so as jointly enable the two blocs to promote unity and cooperation among the member states and play a key role in issues of their common concern.”
At Ufa, a decision was taken last week to launch negotiations between China and the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia) on an economic partnership agreement to align their rules, mechanisms and cooperation areas, which also envisages a key role for the SCO “as a link and a platform.” Putin said elsewhere that Moscow hopes that the SCO would become a platform to solve international issues.
Suffice it to say, Russia and China have gained such extraordinary “strategic depth” today on the Eurasian landmass that the US’ containment strategies toward them have been rendered ineffectual. More than that, the Russian-Chinese entente in Eurasia also means that the two powers can conduct their economic relations with Europe insulated from US interference.
Clearly, short of launching an outright war against Russia and China (with unpredictable consequences), it becomes impossible for the US to browbeat these two defiant great powers. They are not seeking confrontation with the US, but simply by “combing efforts,” they can make a confrontation far too costly for the US to mount vis-à-vis either of them.
Suffice it to say, the elusive goal of the “New American Century” looks more and more a chimera today. It is this sense of profound disquiet in the American mind that finds its reflection in the Pentagon report and in Dunford’s outburst.
Tags: Pentagon Russia US

Palestinian youths face arrests without warning

1,560 Palestinian children were taken into Israeli custody last year, and many spent time in solitary confinement 

Yazan Al-Jundi, a slender 16-year-old Palestinian from the Old City of Jerusalem, loves taking selfies, chatting on Facebook and playing soccer.
Though in many ways a typical teenager, Al-Jundi is also especially vigilant for his age: Last year, he was arrested three times by Israeli security forces.
Al-Jundi is one of at least 700 Palestinian minors who were arrested in Jerusalem during 2014, according to the UNICEF office in Jerusalem. In addition to the 860 Palestinian minors arrested in the West Bank last year (according to data given to Al Jazeera America by the Israeli military) 1,560 Palestinian children in total were taken into Israeli custody. 
Al-Jundi was detained for the first time last June while leaving Al Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem after afternoon prayers. He and five friends were forced to stand for two hours in the sun, Al-Jundi said, before they were transferred to a police station. One by one, they were handcuffed, their legs were shackled and they were individually taken for interrogation.
“My turn came and there was a Druze investigator,” Al-Jundi recalled. “She tried tricking me, saying that I threw stones… she shouted at me, but I wouldn’t cooperate, so she threatened to bring the ranking officer to beat me.”
At 1 a.m., Al-Jundi was taken to the police station in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound where he was ordered to strip naked. After he was permitted to dress, he was put in a dirty cell with three other boys. “The smell of the blankets was deadly,” he said.

Ramallah, Palestine, protests, youth arrests

Relatives of Palestinian minors detained in Israeli jails hold placards during a gathering to ask for their release on February 17, 2015 in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images
Al-Jundi was released without charge that afternoon, but was banned from Al Aqsa for 15 days.
Palestinian children in Jerusalem fall under Israeli civil law, and are technically protected by Israel’s Youth Law, which is intended to safeguard the welfare of minors. Civil rights organizations, however, claim that the law is often applied discriminatorily. “In the Youth Law, there are supposed to be general norms, with certain exceptions in extreme circumstances,” says Farah Bayadsi, an attorney for Addameer, a prisoner support organization. “But [with Palestinian minors] the exception becomes the norm.”
The Youth Law says, for instance, that parents should be present during their child’s interrogations, yet according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Palestinian parents are routinely denied access. Furthermore, while Israeli minors are summoned to police stations for interrogation, Palestinian children in Jerusalem are often arrested without warning, sometimes at their homes in the middle of the night. According to data provided by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), night arrests occurred in 30 percent of the Jerusalem cases that the organization documented in 2014.
Palestinian children in the West Bank, who are subject to Israeli military law as opposed to civil law, are not entitled to any protection from the Youth Law. Palestinian minors under military law have only two rights: against self-incrimination and to consult a lawyer, says Ivan Karakashian, advocacy unit coordinator of DCIP, “and they’re seldom advised of their rights.” DCIP’s statistics for 2014 show that in 94.4 percent of West Bank cases involving minors, no lawyer was present. Israeli children, whether from a settlement in the West Bank or inside Israel, including Jerusalem, all fall under the Israeli civil system, and therefore, if arrested, face an entirely different process than their Palestinian counterparts do in the West Bank.

Taken into custody

One night last February at 3 a.m., 10 balaclava-clad Israeli soldiers entered the West Bank home of 17-year-old Abdurrahman An-Najjar. He says that one soldier grabbed him, slapped his face and pushed him against the wall. They handcuffed and blindfolded him, and led him to a military jeep without informing him why he was being arrested or where they were taking him.
“We were very sad and worried. We kept living in anticipation of knowing his whereabouts,” says An-Najjar’s mother. In the military court system, children can be held between 24 and 96 hours before appearing in front of a military judge, says Karakashian, and longer if there are exceptional circumstances such as a “ticking time-bomb situation.” Children are not allowed access to an attorney until they see a judge. “In some cases, particularly if it’s a night arrest, and the child is first transferred to a military base before reaching the police station for interrogation, the parents have no idea why their child was arrested, or where he’s being taken,” Karakashian says.
Palestinian minors in both the West Bank and Jerusalem face physical violence from Israeli soldiers and police during arrest, transfer and interrogation, but it’s more widespread in the West Bank. Although the IDF strongly disputes allegations that the treatment of minors constitutes "abuse," according to data provided by DCIP, 55 percent of detained Palestinian children from Jerusalem reported physical violence in 2014; in the West Bank, it was 75.7 percent. 
Soldiers ordered me to strip down to my underwear to search me. They ordered me to sit and stand many times. They wanted to make fun of me.
Thabet ‘Edaily, 16-year-old Palestinian
Last July, 16-year-old Thabet ‘Edaily awoke in his village near Nablus at 1:30 a.m. to soldiers banging on his front door. He recalls being led out of the house, where “a soldier tied my hands in front with a plastic cord that he tightened so hard and blindfolded me.” A military jeep drove him to an interrogation center. “Soldiers ordered me to strip down to my underwear to search me,” ‘Edaily swore in an affidavit to DCIP. “They ordered me to sit and stand many times. They wanted to make fun of me.”
‘Edaily’s interrogator, a man named Jackson, made the boy sit on a low metal chair for hours with his hands tied to the back of the chair and his feet tied to its front legs. “It was really painful to sit in such a position,” said ‘Edaily, who endured this on multiple occasions.
For 25 days, ‘Edaily was held alone in a small, window-less cell. His only contact was with Jackson and a guard who “would open the cell, enter with another jailor, handcuff me behind my back, shackle my feet and keep me lying on the floor while brutally beating me.” 
‘Edaily felt frustrated and depressed, especially while in isolation. “I didn’t know day from night. I had to sit there and talk to myself. Sometimes I’d sing or laugh for no reason. I acted strangely and worried I might go insane.”
In 2013, 21.4 percent of West Bank child detainees were held in solitary confinement for an average duration of 11 days, and in 2014 for an average of 15 days. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture found that even a few days of social isolation can cause lasting mental damage in adults and be considered a form of torture. “So imagine, 15 days for a child,” says Karakashian, who believes Israel uses solitary confinement for strategic purposes. “In the US, isolation is used to separate minors from the adult population, or to punish misbehavior. In Israel, it’s used to coerce a confession.”
The Israeli military court system has a 99.7 percent overall conviction rate, and according to Karakashian, “almost all the confessions [routinely used to convict minors] are coerced in one form or another.”  
‘Edaily denied accusations that he threw stones at an Israeli car until his fourth interrogation session, when he said Jackson threatened to have his parents arrested and killed in front of him. Terrified, ‘Edaily gave the interrogator what he was looking for. “I confessed to throwing stones several times at a settler car.”

Keeping calm

Palestinian youth arrest, Silwad

Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian boy during clashes in the West Bank village of Silwad, north of Ramallah.
Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images
Micky Rosenfeld, the Israeli police’s foreign press spokesman, explains youth arrests in East Jerusalem in terms of maintaining law and order. “The arrests that were made were due to the fact that Palestinian minors were involved in riots and disturbances,” Rosenfeld says. In a statement, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) says that youth arrests in the West Bank are in response to  “violent and illegal acts committed by Palestinians, such as rock and Molotov cocktail hurling.”
But the children themselves offer other explanations.
“They’re trying to instill fear in our minds so we won’t defend our homeland when we grow up,” ‘Edaily says.
Karakashian says it’s about control. “The Israeli military wants to control a population of thousands without needing hundreds of soldiers. You can’t arrest everyone, so you arrest the soft targets, the most vulnerable, the children — and then everyone falls in line.”
Violations such the use of solitary confinement, and the prosecution of 12- and 13-year-olds, lessened in the West Bank in 2014, possibly due to a pledge to implement reforms by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That came in response to a report released by a delegation of distinguished British jurists in 2012, and a UNICEF report from the following year, though the IDF says it reviews its policies regarding minors in the West Bank "irrespective of any report." Though night arrests still occur both in the West Bank and Jerusalem, in 2014, some Palestinian children did receive summons. Even so, rights groups say that the reforms have not been substantial. Last February UNICEF released a statement saying, “reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased.”
“If you look at the system overall, it’s still extremely abusive,” Karakashian says.
Al-Jundi’s second arrest was on Sept. 23 of last year, when special forces soldiers grabbed him outside his school in Jerusalem. This time, Al-Jundi’s father Sami was permitted to witness the interrogation. “The interrogator was pushing Yazan to say he threw stones from his school window,” Sami says. “I told the officer, ‘You’re trying to make him confess to something he didn’t do.’ He said I was damaging the interrogation and kicked me out.”
“When parents are there, the children are less intimidated,” says Bayadsi, the attorney who works for the prisoner support organization. “When parents aren’t there, they’re more afraid, and it’s easier for the interrogator to use any means to get the child to confess. Sometimes they ask them about other children, and try to make them informers.”
Al-Jundi was released again the following afternoon without charge, and sentenced to five days of house arrest.
Though there are no available statistics about repeated arrests of Palestinian youth, advocates and attorneys agree that minors are at risk if they live near settlements, military installations or in heavily policed neighborhoods, as Al-Jundi does. “They get caught up in the system because of their proximity to it,” says Karakashian.
“It’s hard to see a child being re-arrested,” says Bayadsi. “Sometimes I see a released child going back to the station to bring clothes to his [arrested] brother. I hate seeing this cycle of criminalization inside the family. As if they want to keep the family afraid.”

Repeated arrests

A few weeks after his previous arrest, soldiers were waiting for Al-Jundi outside his home. The interrogators wanted information about his classmates and cousins.
“The third arrest was really scary,” recalls Al-Jundi’s mother, Fadia. After her son was taken to the station, seven undercover police officers searched the home. “When they left, I started crying. Each day when he didn’t come home, I began to cry again … I was afraid Yazan would go to jail. Because he’s young and they will make him confess to something he didn’t do, because he’s afraid.”
While waiting to see a judge, Al-Jundi was brought to court every day for four days. At the end of each day, his case was postponed. “They sent me back to the Russian Compound and the Jewish kids who were waiting with me went home,” Al-Jundi says.
After five days, Al-Jundi was released without charges. His face gaunt and haggard, he hugged his mother upon returning home. “He said, ‘I missed you,” Fadia recalls. “I told him, ‘me too.’”
This was eight months ago, and insecurity lingers. “At any moment they might take me again,” Al-Jundi says. He insists, however, that he’s not afraid.
You don't have to be a radical left-wing activist for the arrest of a child to resonate.
Sahar Vardi, Jewish Israeli activist
“He wants us to think he’s brave,” Fadia says. “He’s trying to pretend that he’s not scared, that it’s no big deal, but it’s not true.”
“After being released, a lot of children feel they’ve become men. It’s a rite of passage,” says Karakashian. “But after some time, they realize they’re traumatized.  They realize the homes provided no security, their parents were completely powerless and they were entirely on their own.”
Activists are working to ensure that detained children are not entirely on their own. Fadi Quran, a Palestinian activist in El-Bireh who is a senior campaigner for the civic organization Avaaz, has developed a training program that educates and prepares children on how best to protect themselves if arrested. “Our program teaches children their basic rights, simulates the experience of arrest, and fully prepares the children emotionally and mentally so that they remain strong and safe,” Quran says. "Israel's detention policy towards children is designed to fragment our society and create terrifying trauma ... Our goal is to reach every child in Palestine, because none of them is safe from arrest."
Sahar Vardi is a Jewish Israeli who, with a group called Free Jerusalem, began organizing awareness campaigns around children’s arrests in East Jerusalem five months ago. “When you hear about a kid getting arrested, you have a moral obligation to do something,” says Vardi.  “You need to organize, strategize, mobilize — not just feel bad about it.” Free Jerusalem recently launched a 24/7 hotline that will allow Palestinian community organizers to contact Israeli activists whenever a child is arrested. When that happens, activists immediately go to the station where the child is being held, both in order to monitor the police, and to demand that specific Youth Law protections are upheld. Vardi feels that arrests of Palestinian minors are an issue that could mobilize a segment of Israeli society to take action. “You don't have to be a radical left-wing activist for the arrest of a child to resonate,” says Vardi.
Every time I go to bed, I check the house and the surroundings to make sure there are no Israeli soldiers nearby getting ready to storm the house. 
Abdurrahman An-Najjar, 17-year-old Palestinian
After 20 days, ten of which were spent in isolation, An-Najjar was released without charge. If he had been charged, he might have had to plead guilty in order to reduce his jail time. Most cases end in plea deals regardless of innocence, Karakashian says. A child awaiting trial under the military court system is often imprisoned longer than if he were sentenced.
An-Najjar is still scared and anxious, especially while sleeping.  “Every time I go to bed, I check the house and the surroundings to make sure there are no Israeli soldiers nearby getting ready to storm the house. I have nightmares that they arrested me all over again, and that I’m at the frightening jail alone.” He’s afraid when separated from his family, and has difficulty concentrating in school.
‘Edaily was sentenced to two years, and is expected to be released in July 2016. In the meantime, his family is waiting. “Thabet was very affectionate and always brought joy to the house,” says his father, Abed. “His laughter is what I miss the most.”
Source: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/7/2/youth-arrests-among-palestinians.html