Zionist Lobby Staging New Attacks against Pro-Palestinian American Author

TEHRAN - The Zionist lobby in the US has begun a new wave of attacks on the Pulitzer Prize-winning black author and essayist Alice Walker for supporting the Palestinians in her new book titled 'The Cushion in the Road' and also writing a letter to the American singer Alicia Keys asking her not to travel to "Israel",according to FNA.

The wave of Zionists' attacks on Walker came after she asked Alicia Keys to stay away from a music concert in "Israel" and instead hold it in the Gaza Strip for the Palestinians and also compared Israel's mistreatment of Palestinians to the behavior of the Nazis during the World War II.

Walker's book titled The Cushion in the Road is a series of essays on varying topics containing 80 pages on the Israeli brutalities against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

"I want the Israeli government to be made accountable for its behavior toward the Palestinians, and I want the people of the United States to cease acting like they don't know what's going on," Walker wrote in The Cushion in the Road.

"All colonization, all occupation, all repression basically looks the same, whoever is doing it. Our heads cannot remain stuck in the sand," the American author said in her book.

Last month walker wrote an open letter to American R&B singer Alicia Keys, urging her to boycott Israeli "apartheid".

"It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists," she wrote in her letter to Keys.

Walker, who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, has long criticized Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinian people, which she has compared to Black oppression in the United States, and has traveled to West Bank and Gaza to protest.

Last year, she refused to allow her award-winning classic, The Color Purple to be translated into Hebrew by an Israel publisher, in protest of Zionism and what she called Israel's "apartheid" policies.


No UK Decision on Arming Syria "Opposition": Hague

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday that his government had taken "no decision" to provide arms to Syrian armed "opposition" groups, according to al-Manar website.

"On the much debated question of whether we should give lethal aid of any kind to the Syrian opposition, the position remains the same, we have taken no decision to do that," he told reporters ahead of the so-called 'Friends of Syria' meeting in the Qatari capital Doha.

Stressing that weapons delivery is dependent on the course of negotiations and positions of other states, Hague noted that any such decision would have to be debated in the UK parliament. He claimed that Britain's main goals remain to "deliver more humanitarian aid" and "promote a political solution."

"At the end, there is only a political solution for the conflict. We want to see a successful conference in Geneva," he said, referring to a joint US and Russian proposal for a peace conference in the Swiss city.

Saturday's so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ talks in Qatar will be attended by ministers from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, and is expected to discuss foreign military aid to the mercenaries fighting the Syrian Arab Army..

Foreign actors have been orchestrating the conflict in Syria by supporting the armed terrorist groups with arms and money.

H. Mustafa

Pinheiro: The only Solution to Crisis in Syria via Negotiations

NEW YORK, (ST) -Paulo Pinheiro ,Chairman of the  UN International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said  that "the Committee is unable to reach conclusions about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, noting the  difficulty to assess conflicting data in this regard."

 In a press conference at the UN headquarters , following separate meeting he held with several UN security council members  Pinheiro  added: "We can not offer any information about who used chemical weapons , what are the materials used ,how it was delivered and where they  are" pointing out that Western countries, which accuse Syria of using Chemical weapons did not deliver  their information to the Committee and "UN  experts, chaired by Akai Saseltrom are the  only  ones able to find evidence via field inspection that they  could do  until now."


Pinheiro stressed that the only solution to the crisis in Syria comes through negotiations and that there is no military solution , adding:  "Handing over  weapons holds persons delivering  it responsible ,because those who receive   them  may commit war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Pinheiro continued :  "we need a new diplomatic push  rather than a new military push", calling to expedite the convening of the international conference on Syria in Geneva."

Worthy mentioning that Syria had demanded the UN  to send a neutral technical mission  to Khan al-Asal village  in  Aleppo for investigation after the  village was attacked by a rocket containing  toxic chemicals released by terrorist groups, but UN Secretary General  bowed to pressure from countries known for their support to shed  the Syrian blood requested additional  tasks allow the mission to spread over the entire Syrian territory in contravention of the Syrian demand , and thereby ,demonstrating deliberate intentions  that constitute a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

Russia has repeatedly confirmed that the reports of the Committee failed to take fair positions but tried to hold the Syrian government accountable for what is going on while  turning a blind eye at terrorist acts committed by armed groups and the negative impact of unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Syria.


T. Fateh 

Russia ,U.S. hold Syria talks in Geneva next week: U.N.

GENEVA: Senior Russian and U.S officials will meet the international mediator on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, in Geneva on Tuesday to discuss a peace conference, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Friday.

"Any talk, any discussion is a positive sign," U.N. spokeswoman Corinne Momal-Vanian told a news briefing in the Swiss city, where a previous round of talks was held on June 5.

An international peace conference aimed at ending the crisis  in Syria, first muted in June or July, is unlikely to take place before August .


About 600 Russians and Europeans fighting on the side of Syrian "opposition "– Putin

At least 600 Russians and Europeans are fighting alongside the "rebels" battling the forces of Syrian government, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to Voice of Russia,RT.

 “It is known that there are at least 600 people from Russia and Europe fighting along with opposition forces in Syria,” Putin said during the Forum’s plenary session.

Putin reiterated that weapon supplies to the Syrian rebels violate international law, and threaten to further destabilize the country.

"Why supply weapons to "militant forces" in Syria when we are not sure of the composition of these groups? "he said, adding that it remains unclear where these arms will end up.

"If the United States ... recognizes one of the key Syrian "opposition" organizations, al-Nusra, as terrorist ... how can one deliver arms to those" opposition" members?" Putin said. "Where will (those weapons) end up? What role will they play"?



Germany summons Turkish ambassador

BERLIN –  Germany's Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to hear a protest after Turkish minister accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of picking on Turkey for domestic political gain ahead of elections, according to FOXNews.

Merkel on Monday criticized the Turkish security forces' crackdown against street protests as "much too strong." The chancellor has long been skeptical of Turkey's ambitions to join the European Union; her coalition government supports continuing membership talks but this week blocked a decision to open a new chapter in negotiations.

Egemen Bagis, Turkey's minister in charge of EU affairs, said that if Merkel is looking for "internal political material" ahead of September elections "this should not be Turkey."

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said ambassador Huseyin Avni Karslioglu was summoned to the ministry Friday.


Bipartisan Senate group seeks to block military funds to Syria

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation to block the U.S. from escalating its involvement in the crisis in Syria as concerns mount on Capitol Hill over the Obama administration's plan to directly arm" rebels", according to BBC.

Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Tom Udall, D-N.M,; and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced the bill Thursday to prohibit the Defense Department and intelligence agencies from funding operations in Syria.

Earlier this month, Obama announced the U.S. would begin providing arms and ammunition, after the Syrian government's  military dealt the rebels serious setbacks.

Paul said he was disturbed by the president's decision to reverse course and arm the"rebels", fearing getting mired in a conflict in which little is known about the fighters battling the regime.

"Engaging in yet another conflict in the Middle East with no vote or Congressional oversight compounds the severity of this situation," Paul said in a statement. "The American people deserve real deliberation by their elected officials before we send arms to a region rife with extremists who seek to threaten the U.S. and her allies."

Murphy expressed concern over the possibility that American weapons and money could fall into the hands of terrorist organizations.

"We should be extremely wary of allowing the United States to be drawn into a complicated proxy war that could mire our country for years at a potentially incalculable cost to U.S. taxpayers and America's reputation at home and abroad," Murphy said.

The senators said the bill would not apply to non-lethal humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people provided by the U.S.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in May to provide weapons to "rebels" in Syria, as well as military training .


Spain arrests "jihadists" in Ceuta

Eight people have been arrested in the Spanish territory of Ceuta on suspicion of recruiting "jihadist fighters" to go to Syria and elsewhere, police say, according to BBC.

Those detained in the raids on Friday morning are accused of being part of a network linked to al-Qaeda.

They are suspected of funding, indoctrinating and facilitating travel for would-be fighters.

Police say the network was based in the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta and the Moroccan city of Fnideq.

Interior Ministry Jorge Fernandez Diaz called the operation a "hard blow" against international terrorism.

All the detainees are Spanish citizens, Spanish media reported.

In a statement, the ministry of interior said dozens of people, some of them under 18, had left both Ceuta and Moroccan territory under the cover of the al-Qaeda-linked network.

Some of them had taken part in suicide attacks, while others had joined training camps to prepare for armed action, the ministry said.

Several groups of "jihadists' were still expecting to travel from Spain to Syria, the ministry statement said, adding that the investigation was still ongoing.

"We are aware that they facilitated the travel of a number of persons from Ceuta, Morocco and other places in Spain, via Turkey," Mr Fernandez Diaz said.

He said he would give more details on Saturday at a news conference.

The National Police and the Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) began separate investigation in 2009 and 2011 but began working together earlier this year.

Details about those arrested were not immediately available.

The ministry of interior said the case had been registered with a court for investigation.

The presence of foreign combatants amongst those fighting the Syrian government of is causing anxiety in Western countries, as well as in Syria itself.

Last year, three people from Ceuta who went to fight in Syria were killed in separate battles, the Spanish news agency Efe reported.