Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lavrov Sez Moscow Would Block Any Initiative Calling for Force Against Iran

______________________________

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would scuttle any UN Security Council resolution that could be interpreted as allowing military action against Iran. In an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta, he was asked whether Israel or the USA could start military operations in Iran, and he replied, “As the Libyan experience has shown, sadly, a military scenario is possible”. Therefore, Russia will exercise an extremely cautious approach at the UN Security Council. Lavrov noted, “We won’t allow any more such disingenuous interpretations. We’ll see to it that no resolution is open to interpretation like the one on Libya”. The West, led by the USA, suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons programme, but the Iran says it needs nuclear power solely for civilian uses. Lavrov observed that there’s “absolutely no evidence” that Iran decided to include a military component in its nuclear programme.

23 October 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20121023/176857678.html

Editor’s Note:

All of Wet Willy’s bellicose dribbling on Iran is sheer bullshit and moonshine. Lavrov appeared in public with Salehi a month ago, and that signalled a Russian guarantee to Iran. China’s behind that move, so, any military operation against Iran isn’t going to happen any time soon (or later). To put it bluntly, the USA is in “check” and it can’t move. All that it (and its amen corner in Israel’s Likud) can do is to make loud toothless growls. Israel lacks the means and the USA lacks the money and human military resources to attack a state such as Iran. It’s not Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Kosovo, or Lebanon. It’s a large and cohesive nation-state with one of the longest histories of any human society. The last time that the USA tried messing with a near-peer, it failed miserably (South Ossetia in ’08Saakashvili was just Foggy Bottom’s stooge). Also, remember what the PLA did to the USA in Korea… the Chinese infantry wiped up the floor with the Americans (the only thing that ensured a stalemate there was American firepower compensated for lacklustre American boots on the ground… that’s still true today). The same would happen here… but worse.

Do you really want to vote for a liar on 6 November? Willy knows all that I’ve written is true, yet he still makes irresponsible and vacuous threats. Is that what you want in a president? President Obama isn’t perfect by a long shot, but he won’t attack Iran just to prove his machismo… Willy would. That should scare you…

BMD

Saturday, 22 September 2012

This is Why Israel Isn’t Going to Attack Iran Any Time Soon (Or, Any Time Later): In Israel, Time Change Unleashes Culture Clash

Protesters in Tel Aviv against ultra-religious imposition of early shift to Winter Time in Israel

______________________________

The forecast for Israel on Sunday: balmy late-summer temperatures, uncomfortable humidity along the Mediterranean coast and … darkness at 18.00? Israel moves its clocks back by an hour overnight, putting the country on its winter clock more than a month ahead of Europe and the USA, adding to the rising anger that many mainstream Israelis feel toward the ultra-Orthodox minority. Many Israelis believe the time change, meant to make it easier to fast on the upcoming Yom Kippur holy day, unnecessarily disrupts life, and it costs the economy millions of dollars. They say the early onset of darkness raises electricity costs, causes more car accidents, and gives children less time to play after school.

Whilst the custom has long bred resentment, the premature arrival of winter hours comes at an especially sensitive time, given the rising backlash against what is widely seen as religious coercion by ultra-Orthodox leaders. Raanan Lidji, a 34-year-old high-tech worker from Tel Aviv, said, “Its ridiculous. It’s just a power play by the ultra-Orthodox to show who’s in charge. There is no reason for it being this early”. The move to winter time ahead of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and holiest date on the Jewish calendar, has been standard practice for decades and enshrined in law since 2005. Yom Kippur, which begins on Tuesday evening, is marked by a sundown-to-sundown fast. Orthodox religious parties, which have always held key swing votes in Israel’s political system, are behind the time change, wanting to decrease the number of waking hours for those fasting.

Although the length of the fast doesn’t change, the sun sets an hour earlier with the winter clock, shortening the more difficult end of the fast. In a similar custom, neighbouring Muslim countries sometimes adjust their clocks, even in the middle of summer, during Ramadan to make the month-long fasting period easier to manage. However, the clocks return to summer time after Ramadan ends. In Israel, the seemingly premature clock change elicits complaints every year from secular and Modern Orthodox Israelis, who make up some 90 percent of Israel’s Jewish population. Nevertheless, this year, a variety of factors heightened the anger. Yom Kippur, which falls on a different date each year based on the Jewish calendar, arrives relatively early this year, making the change all the more noticeable.

It also comes against the backdrop of rising tensions between the secular masses and the politically-powerful ultra-Orthodox minority. Much of the anger is directed at Interior Minister Eli Yishai, whose ultra-Orthodox Shas Party played a key role in shaping the law. Yishai resisted repeated calls to push back the change. In 2010, when it came even earlier in September, nearly 400,000 people signed a petition urging him to change the system. Following the outcry, Yishai appointed a committee to study the matter. However, he never implemented its recommendation that the summer clock remain in effect until early October.

Nehemia Shtrasler, an economics affairs columnist at Haaretz wrote, “He simply wants to build up the special form of régime to be found in Israel… a religious ‘minocracy’. It’s not a democracy that represents the majority and takes the minority into account, rather, it’s a minority that controls the majority and doesn’t care a damn about it”. A spokesman from the Shas party didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also had no immediate comment.

Ultra-Orthodox parties such as Shas, whilst representing less than 10 percent of the general population, have long served as kingmakers in Israel’s fragmented political system. With this power, rabbinical authorities control the rules for marriages, divorces, and burials, and ultra-Orthodox males have long received exemptions from compulsory military service in order to pursue religious studies. Ultra-Orthodox men often continue their studies well into adulthood, living off welfare subsidies as their secular counterparts work and pay taxes. The draft exemptions and study subsidies have become a central issue in Israeli politics. Early this year, the Supreme Court ruled the exemptions illegal and ordered the government to change the law.

However, attempts in parliament to reform the nation’s draft law deadlocked; it caused one of Netanyahu’s coalition partners to quit, and the government missed a deadline to draw up new legislation. With religious leaders saying that they’ll resist any change to the old arrangement, Defence Minister Ehud Barak is currently struggling to figure out a new draft system. Adding to the tensions, in recent months, extremist sects within the ultra-Orthodox community came under fire for attempts to ban the mixing of sexes on buses, sidewalks, and other public spaces. In Jerusalem, because of fears that extremists will vandalise them, advertisements depicting women are gone from billboards and buses.

These attempts at coercion fuelled a brewing cultural clash between two Israels. On one hand, the country continues to be a high-tech powerhouse with liberal values, turning Tel Aviv into a gay mecca. On the other hand, the ultra-Orthodox, with their high birth-rates, have grown increasingly outspoken and assertive. With Netanyahu expected to call early parliamentary elections in the coming months, the country’s opposition is likely to use the controversies over the draft and religious coercion against him. Ronit Tirosh, a lawmaker from the opposition Kadima Party, said, “Israel’s proving, once again, that it’s living in the dark”.

22 September 2012

Associated Press

As quoted in Wenatchee (WA) World

http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2012/sep/22/in-israel-time-change-unleashes-culture-clash/

Editor’s Note:

By the way, the coalition partner that left Bibi the Bobo over his coddling of the ultra-religious was Kadima, which is an offshoot of the Likud. You see, they woke up and saw reason… they’re unwilling to bend over and suck up to the ultra-religious. Bibi’s in the deep doo-doo… his talk is just that… big talk, no action. Israel isn’t united behind him. That sounds like the Republicans in the USA, sucking up to the loudest and most unrepresentative “religious” voices in the country. That’s why President Obama’s going to win… most Americans don’t want a theocracy run by a set of unsmiling ignorant yahoos. Well, it shows that the rightwingers in both Israel and the USA coddle pietistic draft-dodgers… and kiss up to loudmouthed “religious authorities”. Do you want polygamous Mormons and hardshell Southern Baptists dictating to the rest of us? Vote Republican, then… the rest of us can vote against that (the Prez has an almost-certain lock on re-election, thank God). That’s why all the talk of Israel or the USA attacking Iran is hot air and arrant bullshit. It’s “bollocks on stilts”, as the English say. The whole megillah’s just a political Kabuki play, with no relation to the real world. In short, much ado about nothing…

As for me, I have much sympathy for Modern Orthodox Judaism… I find that my attitude to the Church is quite similar. I utterly reject the Über-Orthodox and konvertsy paths… just as some of my Modern Orthodox Jewish friends reject the Haredi path. Both are dangerous and godless perversions of Holy Tradition. We should have the courage of our convictions and speak up… after all, the nutters make a loud racket, don’t they? Don’t let them monopolise the online discussion… join in… you’re NOT alone!

BMD

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

VOR Presents: The Magic of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran, also known as Iran or Persia, is a country in Southern and Western Asia with its capital in Tehran. According to the existing written documents, its history goes back nearly 5,000 years. Iran has the second biggest economy in Western Asia after Turkey. It is also one of the most technologically advanced states in its region. Take a chance, and plunge into the atmosphere of this ancient country.

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

******

______________________________

4 July 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/80241928/

Editor’s Note:

The Iranians are sleeping easier at night… Russia and China have given them guarantees. Besides that, the Netanyahu coalition in Israel is close to collapse over the thorny problem of draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva bokhers… in any case, the present coalition between Kadima and Likud was an odd one to begin with (its only been around since May and its fraying already). Bibi is too busy fighting for his political life to pay attention to Iran. As for the USA, China holds too much of the US debt. That is, China can issue a veto and the USA can do nothing. You see, the situation came into being as GWB fought two needless and hellishly-expensive wars without raising taxes… that meant that he had to mortgage our children’s future so he could spare the affluent effluent a tax increase. Reflect on this… Wafflin’ Willy wants to bring back GWB’s policies (and surrounds himself with GWB’s advisers). GWB went from having a modest surplus to being deeply in debt. Mittens will go from being deeply in the hole to being in the grave. Do you really want that?

As for the Iranians, they’re achingly normal. The propaganda directed against it is because it’s a socialist state… it has nothing to do with Islam. Don’t listen to King Rush or Fox News, their only shtick is hatred and ignorance. You should attend to better sources…

BMD

Blog at WordPress.com.