Politics

War in Gaza: Agreement on Ceasefire Must Address Root Causes of Conflict

Statement of the International Progress Organization

Vienna, 24 July 2014
RE/25057c-is

The international community, represented by the United Nations Organization, has a joint responsibility to stop the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people in Gaza. The situation constitutes a serious threat to peace and security according to Article 39 of the UN Charter. Due to their political paralysis resulting from disputes among member states, neither the League of Arab States nor the Organization of Islamic Cooperation can play any constructive role for the ending of hostilities.
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The Gaza Massacre - the Underlying Motives

By Chandra Muzaffar, President, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), July 21, 2014

Massacre has become a habit. Every two or three years, Israel launches a massive military assault upon largely unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. It did this in December 2008 to January 2009. It did it again in November 2012. On each occasion hundreds of Palestinians are murdered and thousands more maimed.

Every time, Israel claims the moral high ground for its brutal, barbaric action. It blames Hamas, an important component of the Palestinian liberation movement, for the present cycle of violence. It alleges, without an iota of proof, that Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens on 12 June 2014. Hamas has denied any involvement. The death of the teens - a despicable act - provided the justification for a large-scale operation against Hamas and other so-called militants. Israeli authorities arrested a number of activists including those who were released earlier.
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The World We've Constructed is far beyond George Orwell's Worst Nightmare

An Article by John Pilger published at AlterNet on July 11, 2014

The other night, I saw George Orwell’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

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The Iraq Crisis Puts India's 'Strategic Partnership' with America into Question

An Article by Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary of India, published at Daily Mail on July 8, 2014

Current developments in Iraq expose further the failure of US policies in West Asia.

With all the resources at its command, of information, analysis and technical expertise, and the sense of responsibility that must accompany the overwhelming power it possesses, the US should not be committing egregious mistakes in dealing with an unstable region like West Asia, riven with historical enmities, issues of nationhood, religious extremism, sectarian conflict and terrorism.

Instead of stabilising the region and releasing forces that would bring about real improvements in governance, participatory politics, institution building and social modernisation, US policies have largely done the opposite.
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The Dialogue of Civilization in Central Asia and the Ethno-religious Policy of Independent Kazakhstan

A Speech by Dr. Alessandro Lundini, IsAG Associate Researcher, “Eurasia” Programme, delivered at the Conference “Minorities at the Time of the Clash of Civilizations. Models of Multiculturalism and Dialogue”, Rome, June 4, 2014

The Conference was organized by the Institute of Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG) under the patronage of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

Click here to read the Speech

In Iraq, Islamic State Jihadists Destroy Ancient Mosques, Shrines

The Times of India, July 5, 2014

BAGHDAD: The jihadists who overran Mosul last month have demolished ancient shrines and mosques in and around the historic northern Iraqi city, residents and social media posts said on Saturday.

At least four shrines to Sunni Arab or sufi figures have been demolished, while six Shia mosques, or husseiniyahs, have also been destroyed, across militant-held parts of northern Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital.
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The Malaysian Link to Terror in Syria

By Chandra Muzaffar, President, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), June 30, 2014

Since April 2014, the Malaysian media has carried numerous stories of Malaysians who are directly or indirectly linked to terrorist groups operating in Syria, and to a lesser extent, Iraq. We are told that they see themselves as “jihadis” who are fighting for an Islamic cause. There are unconfirmed reports that some of them have been killed in the on-going conflict in Syria.

Police intelligence appears to have mined a lot of information about the activities of these individuals and groups. Their local training hideouts have been revealed and their regional and international links exposed. This has enabled the police to make several arrests.

Eliminating Muslim terrorist networks of this sort will not be a walk in the park. The police, and indeed, the majority of the Malaysian populace share the same faith as the individuals associated with these terrorist operations. A lot of Malaysian Muslims may also harbor some of the misconceptions and prejudices which impelled some of these jihadis to take the road to Damascus.

What would have motivated them to tread this perilous path? What would have persuaded thousands of Muslims from some 80 countries - according to a certain estimate - to join the armed rebels against the Bashar Al-Assad government in Syria? Why are they so determined to topple Bashar?
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Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Chief Makes Landmark Taiwan Visit

TAIPEI, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Unfazed by protests, Zhang Zhijun stepped off the plane at Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday and extended greetings in the local Minnan dialect.

"I'm afraid I don't speak it so well, but I speak these words with all my heart," said the head of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

Traversing decades of war and standoffs between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan since 1949, Zhang made this long-awaited trip to Taiwan as the first Taiwan affairs chief from the mainland to do so in 65 years amid warming cross-Strait ties.

"I know that Taiwan is a society of diversity and it has mixed voices on many issues. That's why I hope to have more contact with locals from all walks of life, especially grassroots people, so as to understand their lives, thoughts and their opinions on cross-Strait relations," Zhang said at the airport amid both welcome and protest.

"I want to know the real Taiwan," he added.

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“Non-Citizens”. Russian Ethnics Minorities in the Baltic Sea Region

A Speech by Dario Citati, Director of “Eurasia Research Program”, IsAG, delivered at the Conference “Minorities at the Time of the Clash of Civilizations. Models of Multiculturalism and Dialogue”, Rome, June 4, 2014

The Conference was organized by the Institute of Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG) under the patronage of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

Click here to read the Speech