Thousands of Jews attended prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to observe the start of the Tisha B’Av fasting day on Monday night, days after violence shook
Prayer leaders read aloud from the Book of Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah’s biblical account of the destruction of the First Jewish Temple by invading Babylonians in 586 BC.
The Western Wall is a remnant of the Second Jewish Temple, built on the site of the first and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
The wall is at the foot of the Temple Mount compound, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the golden-topped Dome of the Rock in the heart of the Old City, the third-holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The event comes after relative calm returned to Jerusalem following nearly two weeks of Palestinian protests over security measures at the Temple Mount, installed after a July 14 terror attack in which three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli Druze policemen with weapons they had smuggled onto the compound.
"The United Nations has become a threat to the liberal international order. It weakens the constitution of liberal democratic states by attacking the political and cultural conditions required for their survival. It attacks the security of free-world countries and the common values that underpin free societies. In recent years, UN leadership has become more hostile to free citizens and politicians who dissent from illiberal supranational rule.
The UN often acts against the free world by targeting politicians who defend the liberty, security and safety of free citizens. In particular, UN chiefs target pro-Western politicians who defend the free world by upholding democratic rule over supranational rule and adopt secure border policy to keep free societies free. During the US presidential campaign, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said he didn't intend to interfere with political campaigns but declared Donald Trump 'dangerous from an international point of view'.
UN members attack the free world by smearing pro-Western politicians with propaganda terms such as xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism and populism. Its leadership has framed democratic citizens' defence of free-world countries as 'xenophobia'. They call democratically elected politicians who represent their people and protect them from harm 'populist'. They claim secure border policy is a form of nationalism and by extension (in UN thought), an abuse of human rights. And they depict the UN as a bastion of benevolent internationalism, despite its track record...
The UN rails against conservative party politicians who defend secure border policy so that Western democracy and open society and can flourish. Human rights chief Hussein described right-wing Western politicians as 'demagogues' and compared their 'tactics' with those of genocidal Islamic State.
However, the UN adopts a comparatively accommodationist approach to closed and illiberal -societies under Islamist and communist rule. Last year, the UN General Assembly honoured communist dictator Fidel Castro with a minute of silence. On that day, as on so many others, it entertained attacks on Israel's sovereignty by Islamists. And the UN is yet to explain how its benevolent internationalism includes the Organisation of Islamic Co¬operation's redefinition of human rights to disallow freedoms 'contrary to the principles of the sharia'... Liberal internationalists need to ¬acknowledge there's something rotten in the state of the UN."
A United States Navy helicopter fired flares on Friday at Iranian vessels that approached a group of American ships “at a high rate of speed,” in the latest Persian Gulf encounter between U.S. and Iranian forces.
After the helicopter’s attempts to establish communications with the Iranian ships were not answered, it fired flares and the Iranians stopped their approach.
Iran presented the incident in a different light. Mimicking a frequent U.S. Navy chargeabout Iranian conduct in the Persian Gulf, the IRGC claimed that the U.S. Navy behaved in a “provocative and unprofessional” manner.
“At 4:00 PM Friday, July 28, US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier accompanied by its warship, while under surveillance by IRGC missile boats, began flying a helicopter over the ‘Resalat’ gas-oil field and approaching IRGC vessels,” the IRGC said in a statement.
It added that “the US warships in a provocative and unprofessional move began firing warning shots at the Iranian vessels, to which the IRGC Navy’s ships paid no attention and continued with their mission.”
Earlier last week, an Iranian ship came within 150 yards of the USS Thunderbolt, prompting the U.S. patrol boat to fire warning shots.
When we reported yesterday about Putin's surprisingly harsh response to last week's House legislation to launch new sanctions against Russia, which also binds Trump from unilaterally removing sanctions without getting Congressional approval, we concluded that "now we await the US re-retaliation in what is once again the same tit-for-tat escalation that marked the latter years of the Obama regime, as the US Military Industrial Complex breathes out a sigh of relief that for all the posturing by Trump, things between Russia and the US are back on autopilot."
American military officials and diplomats say the arms, which they characterized as defensive, are meant to deter aggressive actions by Moscow, which the U.S. and others say has provided tanks and other sophisticated armaments as well as military advisers to rebels fighting the Kiev government.
Meanwhile, NATO continues to deploy even more troops to countries in the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, something which Russia has warned it takes as an act of aggression. Over weapons deliveries to Ukraine rebels may be just the spark that finally launches an armed conflict between Russia and NATO.
The choice of the base was carefully calculated to keep the planes away from the reach of Russian Iskander missiles (500 kilometres) but no location in Norway is beyond the operational range of Kalibr ship-based sea-to-shore missiles and aircraft armed with long-range air-to-surface missiles.
In June, Norway’s government announced that the decision was taken to extend the rotational US Marine Corps force stationed at Værnes through 2018. The move contradicts the tried-and-true Norwegian policy of not deploying foreign military bases in the country in times of peace.
Also in June, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway agreed in principle to create a trilateral coalition built around the P-8 maritime aircraft to include joint operations in the North Atlantic near the Russian Northern Fleet bases.
The facts listed above show the situation is grave enough to top the agenda of the NATO-Russia Council. But it’s not the case as yet. Last year, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current President of Germany who was Foreign Minister at the time, slammed NATO for «saber-rattling and war cries» and provocative military activities in the proximity of Russia’s borders. He called for an arms control deal between the West and Russia. Fifteen other members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) joined Steinmeier's initiative: France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal.
Russia’s proposal to discuss a new European security treaty was rejected by the West. The draft document was published in 2009. In March 2015, Russia expressed its readiness for negotiations concerning a new agreement regarding the control of conventional weapons in Europe.