19 | 09 | 2019

The third International Trade Union Forum for solidarity with the workers and People of Syria concluded its works today on September 8th in Damascus.

In the framework of the Forum, the 232 international delegates from 52 countries met with the President of the country, Bashar Al-Assad. During the meeting, on the behalf of WFTU, colleagues from Czech republic, Egypt, Niger, Tchad, Russia, India and Lugansk gave a short speech.

Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), attacked far-right Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White) Chairman Benny Gantz on Friday, September 6, for their racist attitude towards the Joint List, the political representation of the vast majority of Arab citizens of Israel.

Odeh commented on the remark he floated during an interview with Yidioth Ahronoth, published on August 23, about the possibility of the Joint List joining a coalition headed by Blue & White: “I see that Netanyahu doesn’t want Arabs in the Knesset; Gantz doesn’t want Arabs in the coalition.” Odeh addressed the opposition expressed by Gantz to the idea, saying that, like Netanyahu, Gantz is “looking for an Arab who doesn’t have a national identity; a pro-Zionist Arab – as a fig leaf.”

The 3rd International Trade Union Forum for solidarity with the workers and People of Syria against the economic blockade, imperialist interventions and terrorism takes place in Damascus, Syria hosted by GFTU Syria and in cooperation with the WFTU and ICATU.

Trade Unionists from the Arab countries and all over the world massively participate in the Forum while the WFTU delegation is headed by its General Secretary, comrade George Mavrikos.

The head of the Central Election Committee, Justice Hanan Melcer, said in a radio interview he gave on Thursday, September 5, that he strongly opposes the far-right Likud party’s bill to allow cameras in and around polling stations during the upcoming elections. On Wednesday, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud that their bill to legislate the deployment of cameras in polls around the country is legally problematic and cited Melcer’s earlier opinions on the matter, saying it would cause chaos and prevent some people from turning up at the polls.

Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday, September 1, to extend “Jewish sovereignty” to all settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) — a move tantamount to annexation — seeking to shore up right-wing support some two weeks ahead of the September 17 Knesset elections. Speaking to elementary school students in the West Bank settlement of Elkana on the first day of the school year, Netanyahu was echoing a pledge he made days before the previous national vote in April. The premier said that no more settlements would be evacuated, as happened in 2005 when the entire Israeli civilian presence in the Gaza Strip was removed.

A poll released by Kan News on Sunday evening, September 1, found that if the Knesset elections were held then, the third largest parliamentary block in Israel’s Knesset would be the Joint List with 11 seats. Ahead of it would be the far-right Likud with 32 seats in the 22nd Knesset, making it the party with the most representatives, and Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White) which would trail the Likud by a single seat with 31 MKs.

Hadash MK Ofer Cassif placed responsibility for the escalation of violence between Israel and Hezbollah on Sunday, September 1, at the doorstep of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “the serial criminal from Balfour Street.”

Cassif said “Netanyahu and his servants are responsible” for the recent clash, adding they mean to “occupy the seat of power with blood and to ensure the criminal [Netanyahu] will escape prison.”

According to reports, at 15.00 on August 31, two USAF aircraft carried out a raid on the command centre of the Hurras al-Deen armed group located 7 km northeast of the city of Idlib. US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown said the operation targeted “al-Qaeda leaders responsible for attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.” He added that “the removal of this facility will further degrade their ability to conduct future attacks and destabilise the region.” Lieutenant Colonel Brown further said that the United States and its “allies and partners will continue to target violent extremists” because “northwest Syria remains a safe haven” for terrorists.

As children all over Israel headed back to school on Sunday, September 1, it’s expected that they will immediately start to feel the effects of the appointment of far-right and religious fanatic Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) leader and Yamina (To the Right) Knesset candidate Rafi Peretz as education minister.

In the high school grades, students will be taught the wording of the racist “State-Nation” law and debate “what it means to be a Jewish state.” Peretz contends that it’s very important to teach our historical rights as a sovereign state, as articulated in the law.”

Despite threats of the United States government to sanction foreign people and companies that approach President Bashar al-Assad, on Wednesday, August 28, the 61st edition of the Damascus International Fair was inaugurated, with the participation of more than 820 companies from 38 countries and about 600 from Syria.

The stand of Venezuela exhibits agricultural products, food, construction materials, manufacturing, an exhibition of photographs of the emblematic landscapes of the cities of Venezuela, video projection of the mining wealth, hydrocarbons and gas of Venezuela, tourism, traditions and cultural traditions of the Venezuelan people.

Negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Israel Teachers’ Union (ITU) resulted in an agreement on Friday, August 30, which averts a strike at elementary schools that was set to begin today, Sunday, September 1, the first day of the new school year. ITU General-Secretary Yaffa Ben-David said the agreement was “an unprecedented achievement for the teachers of the country.”

On Thursday night, 2,000 teachers demonstrated outside the Tel Aviv Museum, in an attempt to pressure the Education and Finance ministries to accede to their demands, most of which focus on pensions, the proposed reforms for special education, and conditions for teachers who work at multiple schools. Among the demonstrators were Hadash MKs Ofer Cassif and Youssef Jabareen and Hadash activists in the ITU.

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