Towards the end of February 2019, coalition troops engaged in the assault on Islamic State’s last stronghold – Baghuz on the banks of the Euphrates in eastern Syria – made a gruesome discovery. Dumped in dustbins they found the heads of 50 Yazidi women who had been forced to act as sex slaves to the jihadists. Bloodthirsty and utterly inhumane to the last, they had decapitated the women before fleeing.
Author Archive: Neville Teller
On 26 February 2019 Britain’s Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, declared Hezbollah to be a criminal terrorist organization, and banned it from operating in the UK.
In September 1934, at a major Nazi party rally in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler declared that the Nazi revolution was complete, supreme power was his, and “in the next thousand years there will be no other revolution in Germany”. Thus began the much trumpeted Thousand-Year Reich. At its zenith Germany had conquered and occupied up to 40 percent of Europe. By May 1945 the Nazi regime had been comprehensively defeated. It had lasted eleven years.
Israel goes to the polls on Tuesday, 9 April. Ahead of the general election, old political parties like Likud and Labor, and newly-formed ones like Israel Resilience and New Right, have been publishing their platforms – the policies on which they seek the support of voters.
For once the description “historic” was no exaggeration when, on 3 February 2019, Pope Francis I stepped foot on the Arabian peninsula. This was the first time, since the establishment of the Muslim faith fourteen centuries ago, that a pontiff had ever done so. He was visiting the Sunni Gulf state of the UAE (the United Arab Emirates), at the invitation of its crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The visit was arranged to demonstrate the reality behind the UAE’s designation of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.
The struggle between Hamas and Fatah for the soul of the Palestinian people began almost from the moment that Hamas was created in 1987 as a radical off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Arab League’s economic and social summit, held in Beirut on 19 and 20 January, hardly showed the organization at its most dynamic. All Arab heads of state were invited. Almost none turned up.
Ever since then-US President Obama took office with his misconceived pro-Iran foreign policy, the Iranian regime has run rings around world opinion. The nuclear deal with Tehran, brokered by Obama in 2015, was promoted as a way of both resolving the long‑standing controversy over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and also encouraging the regime to join the so-called “comity of nations”.
One major factor behind President Trump’s decision to withdraw US special forces from Syria is the dominant position achieved by Russia, in alliance with Iran, in restoring the fortunes of Syria’s President Bashar al Assad. Another seems to have been a telephone discussion with Turkey’s President Erdogan just before Christmas 2018. The implications of this are worrying.
On September 2, 2018, a delegation from Israel’s Peace Now organization travelled to Ramallah in the West Bank to discuss with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas prospects for settling the conflict. The statements that follow such meetings rarely contain anything of substance. This was an exception.