Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Britain’s prime minister and Scotland’s first minister approved plans yesterday for a referendum on Scottish independence, in a move that could lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom after 300 years.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who opposes a Scottish breakaway, signed the deal in Edinburgh with Scotland’s pro-independence First Minister Alex Salmond, firing the starting gun on two years of campaigning. London gave Scotland’s administration the power to conduct the referendum in the autumn of 2014, offering Scots a straight yes-no question on leaving the U.K.
“Scotland’s two governments have come together to deliver a referendum that will be legal, fair and decisive,” Cameron said, according to a draft of his remarks released ahead of the meeting. “It is now up to the people of Scotland to make that historic decision.” Cameron’s Conservatives, their Liberal Democrat coalition partners and the opposition Labour party are urging voters to keep Britain together.
The marathon campaign will pit them against Salmond’s Scottish National Party (SNP), the majority party in the devolved Edinburgh parliament. The support among Scots for independence appears to be slipping, with a survey by pollsters TNS-BMRB released last week showing 28 percent in favor and 53 percent opposed.
Belgium urged change to federal state
Another recent development that may lead to the split of an EU member came from Belgium where the Flemish nationalist leader scored a breakthrough election win Oct. 14 and urged for a radical re-shape the federal state. Hailing a “historic” victory for himself in Antwerp with big gains right across the wealthy Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in local polls, Bart De Wever said Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and his coalition partners should “assume responsibility.”
De Wever’s New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) had bagged 37.7 percent and Socialist incumbent mayor Patrick Janssens 28.6 percent, and the win was underpinned by scores of 20-30 percent across the Fleming-populated territory. De Wever has been at odds with Belgium’s economically ailing French-speaking Wallonia for years, saying he is fighting over the fate of the 6 million Flemings in the kingdom of 11 million.
In the run-up to tense 2014 general elections, he wants to turn Belgium into a “confederation,” effectively seeking fiscal independence for the Dutch-speaking north and French-speaking south although sharing areas like defense.
PM downplays vote
Di Rupo rejected the significance of what he said were “local” elections. “This was not a federal vote,” Di Rupo said.
De Wever, 41, consistently presented these polls in advance as a calculated “stepping stone” aimed at pressuring what he considers an “illegitimate” central government. French-speaking Socialists came out on top in many areas across francophone Wallonia and the Brussels region, although centrists also made gains.
In Spain, troubled by the Eurozone crisis, wealthy Catalans are insistent on their call for sovereignty from Spain. Hundreds of thousands of Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona on last month in show of mass support for autonomy from Madrid, blaming Spain’s economic crisis for dragging them down. The region’s president, Artur Mas, has suggested he could seek independence if he is not given more control over taxes.
Compiled from AFP, AP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.
The Obama Administration on Tuesday reiterated its position that Jews must not be allowed to build and live on their ancient biblical heartland for the sake of peace in the region.
Speaking before the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Susan Rice stated that the White House "does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlement activity [sic], and will continue to oppose any efforts to legalize [Jewish] outposts."
Though technically the territories of Judea and Samaria are disputed, the US and other Western powers set no such limits on the Arab population's rampant construction.
Rice went on to suggest that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, which the world calls "the West Bank," is a detriment to the international community's plan to solve the conflict by birthing a Palestinian Arab state.
Some Israelis are concerned that an Obama win in the upcoming US presidential election will result in significantly increased pressure on Israel to meet Arab demands.
Many of the same Israelis have been urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to quickly adopt a legal study that he commissioned that justifies the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
"After years in which, unfortunately, a question mark hovered over the question of the right of the state of Israel to settle in Judea and Samaria, a panel of senior jurists...determined that Israelis have a legal right to settle [there]," Erdan was quoted as saying by Israel National News. "Let us not leave this report in the desk drawer."
Erdan was referring to the Levy Committee that Netanyahu himself established to look into the legality of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria under international law.
The committee was comprised of three senior Israeli jurists, including an international law expert who was party to the formulation of the "Oslo Accords."
The committee made public its findings early in July, noting that the standard accusation that Israel is militarily occupying Judea and Samaria is inaccurate under international law.
"Our basic conclusion is that from the point of view of international law, the classical laws of 'occupation' as set out in the relevant international conventions cannot be considered applicable to the unique and sui generis historic and legal circumstances of Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria, over the course of decades," the judges wrote.
In other words, the Geneva Conventions define "military occupation" as the seizing of another nation's land, and the fact is that no nation legally controlled Judea and Samaria following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which itself had ruled the area for over five centuries.
Additionally, the Jews cannot be considered an outside force in Judea and Samaria, but rather the historic founders of the territory as a unified nation-state. Jewish archeological finds dating back millennia abound in the "West Bank."
The committee based its findings on "international, Jordanian, Israeli and even Ottoman laws," all of which led to one inescapable truth: "Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered to be illegal."
you don't want to be putin's enemy....
Russian police and interior troops have killed more than 300 militants, including 43 warlords, in North Caucasus in the past few months, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“In the past several months, 479 militants were detained, and 313 terrorists, who refused to surrender, were killed, including 43 leaders,” Putin told a meeting on ways to fight terrorism in Russia.
“Our security agencies have started to work more effectively,” Putin said. “At the same time we pay a high price for every mistake, therefore we must work relentlessly and decisively, a step ahead [of terrorists], and, when necessary, even boldly.”
The Russian president pointed out the crucial importance of avoiding collateral damage and preventing civilian casualties.
“That is why all counter-terrorism operations must be planned scrupulously, and the actions of forces deployed by the various ministries and agencies must be well-coordinated,” Putin said.
He also stressed the need to continue to hold regular anti-terrorism drills, like the recent Caucasus-2012, to make sure that security forces from the different ministries and agencies involved in the fight against terror work together smoothly.
Over a decade after the end of a war against Islamist separatists in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, Russian security forces continue to fight militants across the volatile region.
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to Chechnya, has spread in recent years across the North Caucasus. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are reported regularly in the neighboring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria.
How can someone who has declared an annual income of €25,000 ($32,400) transfer €52 million abroad? What kind of supplementary income must an individual have who, according to his tax returns, earned €5,588 in 2010, yet still managed to move €19.8 million abroad? And how can it be that a Greek citizen sequesters €9.7 million abroad although he supposedly earned exactly zero euros?
These are the questions that tax fraud investigators will have to ask of a number of individuals whose identity has so far only been made public in the form of initials. For instance, a "G. D." stands at the top of a list with the names of 54,000 Greek citizens who relocated major assets abroad between 2009 and 2011. The list stems from the Greek central bank and is now in the hands of the Finance Ministry.
It is the longest of four lists that are currently circulating in Athens. Each contains the names of people whose financial circumstances -- bank balances and real estate holdings -- do not correspond at all with what they claimed on their tax returns. But hardly anything is being done about it. The Greek reality is sometimes paradoxical: While the governing coalition was busy squabbling with international creditors over how many hundreds of euros can still be trimmed from teachers' and nurses' paychecks, and Athens continued slashing employee pensions, wealthy Greeks moved billions abroad with relative impunity.
The odyssey of the "Lagarde list," as it's known, exemplifies the typically lax attitude toward tax criminals. For many months, it was thought to be lost, but then it resurfaced in early October. Now, the public prosecutor for financial crimes has a copy. It lists 1,991 Greek owners of Swiss bank accounts, and reportedly includes many prominent individuals from the realms of politics, business and culture.
List Goes Missing
The story of this list primarily illustrates the unwillingness of politicians to do anything to improve the situation. In the autumn of 2010, Christine Lagarde, who was still the French finance minister at the time, gave her Greek counterpart Giorgos Papakonstantinou a digitalized list of bank accounts with information on Greek customers at the HSBC Bank in Switzerland. The accounts contained a total of some €1.5 billion. While the French state was using this list to help collect half a billion euros from its own tax offenders, the Greeks showed little interest in attempting a similar initiative.
It wasn't until many months later, in June 2011, that Papakonstantinou finally relinquished only 10 names from the list to the head of Greece's Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE). The former minister said a few days ago that he didn't pass on all of the information because he had "no confidence in the agency."
He was succeeded by Evangelos Venizelos, who is the leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, better known as PASOK, and thus part of the governing coalition. Venizelos served as finance minister for nine months. He negotiated the debt haircut and the second bailout package -- and vowed time and again to tackle the big problem of tax evasion.
Meanwhile, tucked away in a drawer of his secretary's desk, there was a USB stick with information that had already been gathered on Greek tax offenders -- the Lagarde list. The authorities merely needed to launch investigations. But Venizelos didn't instruct the SDOE to conduct inquiries, nor did he inform anyone of the existence of this information. Everyone else in the government thought that the list had disappeared. It was only when the current Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras heard about the lost information, and wanted to ask Paris for a copy, that Venizelos supposedly remembered the USB stick in the drawer. He sent it by express courier to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Venizelos maintains that he didn't know "that no one aside from me had a copy."
Both Venizelos and Papakonstantinou have had to justify their actions before an investigative parliamentary committee -- and both men have attempted to shift the blame on each other.
There is yet another, shorter list, which despite its diminutive size is even more politically charged. Greek tax authorities are currently investigating the assets of some 60 politicians, and the probe apparently extends beyond suspicions of tax evasion alone. The speaker of the Greek Parliament, Evangelos Meimarakis -- a member of the governing conservative Nea Dimokratia, or New Democracy party -- recently stepped down due to corruption allegations, and he is not the only one implicated. A number of high-ranking former ministers are also suspected of involvement in sham transactions and money-laundering schemes.
Corruption allegations still don't necessarily interfere with a political career in Greece, as exemplified by the case of the former prefect of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiadis. He allegedly personally received nearly €1 million for public works projects that were never built. Psomiadis is also suspected of being connected with a mafia ring of loan sharks. None of this has apparently damaged him. In May, Prime Minister Samaras made him his election campaign organizer for northern Greece.
"We are very bad now as a society. We have become bad. We are greedy and asocial," says Costas Bakouris, 75, chairman of Transparency International Greece. Bakouris sounds very different than many European politicians who suddenly find that things are taking a turn for the better in Greece. Now that it's clear that the creditors will continue to pay, he says people are turning a blind eye to the inevitable.
In reality, says Bakouris, an incompetent political class continues to govern the country -- the same people, the same story. For decades, they have created a sick system that permeates all segments of society.
Indeed, it's not just former ministers and parliamentarians who have squirreled away millions of euros of dubious origin in their bank accounts. Investigators even discovered €2.8 million -- none of which had been declared -- in an account belonging to the deputy mayor of a town of only 14,000 inhabitants in the Thessaly region. The man receives a monthly salary of approximately €1,500.
Conditions Ripe for Corruption
Greece's largest social security organization, IKA, has been used by many in the country as their personal piggy bank. The fact that IKA coffers are actually empty hasn't stopped department heads or low-level employees from continuing to transfer money to friends and relatives who are not entitled to receive any payments whatsoever. But even everyday citizens take advantage of the system: Of the supposedly 700 blind people on the island of Zakynthos, for instance, in reality there are only 60 who truly cannot see.
Thanks to such commonplace tricks, an estimated 40 percent of Greece's annual gross domestic product (GDP) still generates no revenues for state coffers, says Athens-based corruption investigator Leandros Rakintzis.
According to Transparency International's Costa Bakouris, Greece has all the right conditions for corruption: plenty of bureaucracy, no functioning justice system, laws with numerous loopholes -- and economic pressure. Bakouris was himself an entrepreneur and lived for 20 years in Switzerland. He says Greeks like him, who have lived abroad for many years, have the clearest perception of the problems in their homeland. Bakouris also briefly worked for the state as the managing director of preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. After two years, he "more or less fired" himself. He says that he refused to accept that all bids -- whether they were for major infrastructure projects or for the carpeting in the Olympic village -- should be roughly three times as high as they were in Sydney, which hosted the games in 2000.
Bakouris doesn't believe that all the information on the lists will actually be investigated. Only one top politician has been sitting in jail awaiting trial for the past six months: former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos. He allegedly accepted many millions of euros in kickbacks for defense projects. Tsochatzopoulos, who denies all of the allegations, was a political protégé of socialist Andreas Papandreou, the founder of PASOK and the father of former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou.
The legacy of corruption goes back generations. In the days when Papandreou the elder governed the country, after the story broke that the head of the state electricity provider had lined his own pockets with some 1.5 million drachmas, the prime minister reacted with the following quip: "We all agree, of course, that we are allowed to give ourselves a little present from time to time. But please don't make it too large."
In response to the economic crisis ravaging Spain, approximately 420,150 people have emigrated from Spain since January, according to the National Statics Institute (INE).
54,912 of those that have left are Spanish citizens — meaning that over 10,000 have left since earlier estimates this summer. That's also a 21.6 percent increase from 2011, according to ABC.
For the first time in history, the net migration flow was negative in all of Spain's autonomous communities, according to multiple Spanish news outlets.
The balance was last positive overall in 2009, when only 35,302 Spanish citizens left the country.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/half-a-million-people-leaving-spain-2012-10#ixzz29SupyUyc
(CNSNews.com) – HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher says he’s “consistently pro-death” – and “not one of those people who thinks all life is precious.”
Even dogs can create life, he said in an Oct. 7 interview on satellite radio.
Maher explained his views on life and death when Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and host of StarTalk Radio, raised the death penalty.
“You support the death penalty, according to my notes,” Tyson said. “Isn’t it largely Republican? They may not have birthed the idea, but?”
“Yeah, I guess so,” Maher said. “I mean I have a lot of ideas that you might consider conservative. But I feel like on that, I’m just consistent, like the pope is consistent. The pope is consistently pro-life; I’m consistently pro-death.”
“I am for the death penalty, although I do believe in more DNA testing,” Maher continued. “My motto is, ‘Let’s kill the right people.’ I’m pro-choice. I’m for assisted suicide. I’m for regular suicide. I’m for whatever gets the freeway moving. That’s what I’m for.”
“It’s too crowded,” Maher continued. “So, the planet is too crowded and we need to promote death.”
“When I look at the Venn diagram of people who are pro-death penalty and pro-choice, I don’t think they intersect,” Tyson replied. “You may be the lone person in the world at that intersection.”
“Absolutely not, I’ve met plenty of people who have the same feelings,” Maher said.
“I’m not randomly going around the street saying, ‘Hey we’re going to kill you,’” he said. “I mean we’re talking about people who’ve earned it. But as I say, you know, kill the right people. Kill the right people.”
Maher then detailed how his views on abortion tie into his “pro-death” stance. “I’m just not one of those people who thinks all life is precious, you know? I bet you a lot of people wouldn’t say that, but if you’re pro-choice, maybe that’s really what you’re thinking anyway.”
“I mean this is the big controversy that Rick Santorum brought up,” Maher said. “He does not like prenatal testing because he says that leads to abortion, because people find out that they’re going to have a child who is not normal in some way and they have an abortion because they don’t want to raise a child with severe challenges.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that -- to not bring someone in the world whose life is going to be so miserable in so many ways, so severely compromised,” Maher said.
“I mean it’s not that hard to create life, it’s teeming everywhere. It’s something a dog can do.”
Iranian police, termed “Iran’s Gestapo” by a Christian news site, has arrested between 100 and 400 Christians and thrown them into prisons.
Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the 'Church of Iran' house church movement, told the Christian BosNewsLife website, "We have learned that at least 100, but perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10 days.”
He said massive arrests of men and women included the break-up ofchurch services held by evangelical Christians in three cities, including Tehran. "We know that many have been forced to say they will no longer attend church services in exchange for freedom,” he said.
"They are of several movements. But it has become clear that Protestant Christians are now viewed as enemy number one of the state," according to Khandjani. "We need urgent prayers.”
One of at least five members of the Church of Iran in the city of Shiraz who were arrested last Friday is Mohammed Roghangir, known locally as 'Brother Vahid', who led a house church service attended by some 15 people.
"We are also concerned about sister Roxana Forughi as this is the second time she is being detained,” Khandjani added.
Iranian Christians said they were taken to Plak 100, the notorious detention center of Iran's Intelligence Ministry.
Khandjani confirmed reports that seven Christians received suspended five-year sentences last week for "action against the national security," after they were already jailed for up to three weeks in Rasht, some six years ago.
The latest reported crackdown comes on the eve of Monday’s trial of five Christian converts detained in Adel-Abad prison eight months ago following a raid on a house church in Shiraz.
Since their arrests, the five been confined in cells housing dangerous criminals on charges of "creating illegal groups", "participating in a house church service", "propagation against the Islamic regime" and "defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing," Iranian Christians said.
Iranian Pastor Behnam Irani potentially faces the death penalty for the "apostasy” of abandoning Islam.
The news site estimates there are at least 100,000 evangelical Christians in Iran, based on numbers provided church groups.
Israel national News
NEW YORK — There is a real danger that the “nightmare” euro crisis could destroy the European Union and Germany should either step up to fix it or step out of the currency union altogether, fund manager George Soros said on Monday.
The crisis “is having tremendous impact in the state of affairs, it is pushing the EU into a lasting depression, and it is entirely self-created,” said Soros, Chairman of Soros Fund Management.
“There is a real danger of the euro destroying the European Union. The way to escape it is for Germany to accept … greater commitment to helping not only its interests but the interests of the debtor countries, and playing the role of the benevolent hegemon,” he said at a luncheon hosted by the National Association for Business Economics.
Germany should act as the leader of the union such as the United States was for the free world after the Second World War, Soros said.
The influential fund manager floated another solution to the crisis that has gone on for more than two years: Germany could leave the euro, “and the problem would disappear in thin air,” as the value of the euro declines and yields on the bonds of debtor countries adjust.
The notion that governments are “riskless” is the main false assumption underlying the euro zone, Soros said, adding it could be corrected by introducing Eurobonds.
“But that has become politically unacceptable by Germany,” he added.
Soros also weighed in the Chinese economy, saying the country’s growth is slowing because household spending as a percentage of the world’s second largest economy is waning.
“The growth model which has worked is running out of steam because consumption as a percentage of GDP has fallen” to one- third of output from half, Soros said. Central bankers “will have to modify the growth model and somehow allow the household sector to have a bigger share of the total.”
China’s economy expanded 7.6% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the least in three years. The IMF this month cut its estimate for China’s 2012 growth to 7.8%, which would be the weakest pace since 1999, from 8%.
Soros said the unprecedented actions global central banks have taken to stimulate growth are necessary to “prevent a depression,” yet the “big open question” is whether they can exit the stimulus programs when the economy rebounds without spurring inflation. The programs include three rounds of so- called quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank holding its main rate at a record low 0.75%.
“They are engaged in a very delicate two-phase maneuver,” Soros said. “First is to increase the quantity of money available and then eventually they’ll have to reduce it when the economy resumes a faster rate of growth.”
“It’s conceivable that it can be done but it hasn’t yet been done,” Soros said. “Until then the possibility that eventually you could have a much greater inflation at some point is a very real one.”
This time, it really happened. The Knesset dissolved itself late Monday night, ahead of elections on January 22, 2013.
The final reading of the bill to dissolve the Knesset passed with 100 in favor and none opposed, over five months after it passed a nearly identical bill in its first reading before opposition leader Shaul Mofaz (Likud) joined the coalition at 2 a.m.
Although the final vote on the bill had not taken place by late Monday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reassured the public at a faction meeting: “This time it’s final. We are going to elections.”
The Knesset approved the final reading for legislation dissolving itself in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
On Monday afternoon, the Knesset held a celebratory opening meeting for the 18th Knesset’s fifth winter session, as mandated by law.
Netanyahu asked the public to re-elect him in his speech, listing his government’s achievements, including encouraging economic growth, building the southern border fence and establishing a cyber-defense force.
The prime minister also included a dig at former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who, according to a Jerusalem Post/Smith Research poll, would have a chance at winning the election should he return to politics.
“We didn’t initiate any unnecessary wars. There were no wars at all in my seven years as prime minister,” Netanyahu said. “The reason there were no wars is because we showed strength.”
The prime minister complimented his former bitter rival MK Amir Peretz (Labor), who ran against Netanyahu’s current strongest challenger Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich in the party leadership race. First, Netanyahu commended Peretz for initiating the Iron Dome missile defense system, and soon after, he said his government enacted a policy that used to be Peretz’s campaign slogan – minimum wage of over $1000 per month.
Netanyahu also delineated the condition to join his coalition, should he be reelected, which is support for his planning and construction reform.
“In the current term, my coalition partners and the opposition prevented the reform, which would have helped solve the housing crisis, from passing,” he stated.
At the beginning of the winter session’s opening meeting, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin pointed out that in the last decade, “a prime minister fell victim to direct election, a prime minister fell into a coma, and a prime minister fell because he was suspected of crimes.”
He said that unlike in past elections, the current government lasted four years and initiated a legitimate election.
Based on what happened in the past, Rivlin added, “it is no wonder that the public has lost faith in reasons for elections.”
According to Rivlin, the upcoming election is especially important because it is issues-based, specifically focusing on the economy.
President Shimon Peres said the election is a time to set goals for the future. He called for campaigns to be respectful and be a “brainstorm” for Israel’s future, rather than “arguing for the sake of arguing.”
When Apple purchased fingerprint security startup Authentic this summer, many began speculating that its biometric technology could make its way to the iPhone 5. Of course, the iPhone 5 announcement came and went without so much as a peep about biometric identification. But a handful of patent applications, especially one published Thursday, indicate Apple is certainly exploring the idea.
How a biometric sensor could be discreetly placed on an iPhone.
This latest patent, ambiguously titled “Devices and Methods for Providing Access To Internal Component,” describes how “an image capture device, a strobe flash, a biometric sensor, a light sensor, a proximity sensor, or a solar panel” could be hidden under a display window that could selectively become transparent or opaque depending on if the component is being used. This enables additional components to be added to the device without leading to a “cluttered” or unattractive appearance.
Although such technology could give future iOS devices a super slick appearance whether they’re glass, aluminum, or heck, even Liquidmetal, it’s the mention (and illustrations) of biometric sensors that piqued our interest.
Biometrics is not a new area of invention for Apple. In 2010 for example, Apple was granted a patent for a method for fingerprint identification on a tablet device. This patent was originally filed way back in 2005, before the iPhone or iPad publicly existed.
Realistically implementing any sort of biometric identification is actually a bit of a feat.
“You have to have the right software, powerful enough for all these background calculations on the fly, and a very robust and low latency network to grab all that information and authenticate it,” IHS analyst Wayne Lam told Wired. “The current technology is kind of not very user-friendly and not very accurate.” Thus, so far we’ve seen biometrics only in limited scenarios in limited markets, such as enterprise laptops. However, biometric technology has been more widely deployed in Japanese products.
But since fingerprint-level security isn’t really necessary outside of enterprise or government sectors, Apple could take a different approach. “What Apple may do with some of the IP from the firm they acquired is integrate it into the natural use scenario,” Lam said. Indeed a patent granted Tuesday for a two-step unlock homescreen could be one such application. And fingerprint scanning is not just useful for security; it could also be used to easily allow multiple profiles on a single mobile device.
Even if that is the end goal, and even if this is something Apple is actively working on, we would likely not see finished applications of this technology for years — if ever.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohammed Badie called on Muslims worldwide to liberate Jerusalem by means of jihad, according to AFP.
In his weekly message to supporters, Badie reportedly asserted that “The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims,” stressing that the city's conquest “will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations.”
The Brotherhood's Supreme Guide has in the past called on Arab forces to confront Israel and for the international community to pressure the “Zionist government to withdraw from the land of Palestine.”
In a written statement issued in May to commemorate the "Nakba," a term meaning catastrophe used by Palestinians and other Arabs to describe Israel’s creation in 1948, Badie demanded that “The international community rectify the historic injustice [of Israel's birth]" and claimed that Muslims had "begun the era of liberation of all peoples, first of all the Palestinian people, [suffering from] the worst occupation known to man – the Zionist occupation.”
Badie also previously vowed that if the Muslim Brotherhood ever rose to power in Egypt, it would work to sever relations with Israel. "We are certainly not happy with the illegitimate marriage between Cairo and Tel Aviv," he said.
"Once we rise to power we will change many things in Egypt's policy, starting with the country's relations with Israel which have caused us great harm."