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Middle East enters into new era with US Embassy in Jerusalem



US Embassy

The high profile inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem was performed while the blood of Palestinians was being shed,as Israeli forces killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests along the Gaza border.

The provocative move by US President Donald Trump has ended the scope for a peaceful resolution to the decades long Israeli Palestinian conflict.Both US President and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will help bring peace to the Middle East

It was Trump’s announcement in December that inspired the Palestinians to start protests on March 30 under the banner The ‘Great March of Return’ demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their own homes, villages and lands in present-day Israel.

Israeli Border Police initially used rubber bullets than live rounds at the protesters during the Great March of Return,the peaceful show of resistance by Gazans that culminated on Tuesday (15th May)on the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba Day and Israelis mark as the birth of the state of Israel.

Nakba, meaning “catastrophe”, refers to the moment in 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven out of their towns and villages that led to the creation of the Israeli state.

The move has infuriated the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has pledged to continue the peaceful struggle against Israeli oppression and invasion of internationally recognized territories of the State of Palestine, and said that the United States can no longer be a mediator in the negotiations between the two parties.

Tensions are high in Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank as US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner,the US envoy to the Middle East, attended the ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem.Jared Kushner said, “We will look back on this day” and remember that “the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth.”

The fulfillment of commitment by Trump of relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem would inflame the sentiments in the Middle East as it provides Israel to term it as a legitimate right to establish Jerusalem as its own capital.

The location of the US mission is sensitive as it cuts across the 1949 Armistice Line that separated West Jerusalem from No Man’s Land, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

All the countries have placed their embassies in Tel Aviv because of the United Nations decision to treat Jerusalem as a “corpus separatum,” a separate area that should be governed by the international community.

Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, in coordination with Israel, On May 12,2018 has blocked a joint EU statement criticizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump had also threatened to cut off financial aid to countries opposing his Israel Foreign policy and that voted in favor of of a United Nations General Assembly resolution on December 2017 calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A total of 128 countries backed the resolution.

Some countries such as Ivory Coast, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Kenya; 11 were from Latin American countries – Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela have expressed their interest to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has two parts ,comprising East and West . Israel claims East Jerusalem as old city sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews while Israel regards entire Jerusalem as its indivisible capital.

The status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The US president has insisted  that he has “taken Jerusalem off the table,” implying that Jerusalem is no longer serves a disputed issue between Israel and Palestine and both the parties can move forward to other issues, such as security, borders, and refugees.

Thus completely changing the 70 years of official US policy would spark violent protests across the Middle East.

Trump has emboldened Benjamin Netanyahu to accelerate his policies of annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories and to erase political and demographic presence of Palestinians.

“This is history,” Netanyahu declared. “President Trump made history. We are all excited. It reminds me of my childhood. I grew up here. I used to walk here in the fields.This is where the border was and it was already dangerous. This is the day that will be engraved in our collective national memory for generations to come.”

The Temple Mount is in our hands,” he said, repeating this quote from Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.

For the permanent peace, Trump would have recognized   West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and installing  its embassy in  an independent Palestine in East Jerusalem.

The Middle East has entered into a new era  with US declaring Jerusalem as capital of Israel .Trump decision has complicated the entire situation as US has lost its credibility of being a honest and neutral mediator to the conflict  and  Arab League conference was  called the “Jerusalem summit,” and issued a strong statement condemning Washington’s planned embassy move.

Blog: By Arti Bali,

(Senior Journalist)




Obituary – Ex-Aus batsman Dean Jones had a love affair with India




Dean Jones

For some strange reason, a 51-second video clip of Dean Jones being bowled neck and crop for a duck by the legendary Kapil Dev in a Test against Australia went viral on Wednesday, with a commentator uttering the words “that’s the end of Dean Jones”. And, on Thursday Jones died of a cardiac arrest, aged 59 years and 184 days, in Mumbai.

Jones, who was in India to honour his contract with a broadcaster for the IPL, was close to many Indian players, like Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar, and was a regular visitor to India for cricket-related work.

A top order batsman, Jones, who was part of the second Tied Test in which he scored his maiden double century in 1986 in Madras, played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs between 1984 and 1994. He was a gutsy batsman and wasn’t scared of stepping out to play speedsters. His running between the wickets was very brisk. Jones is perhaps best known for his 210 in the Tied Test, his maiden double century at that level — an innings after which he was taken to a hospital and was put on a saline drip after he was dehydrated during his eight-and-a-half hours at the crease in hot and humid Madras, as Chennai was then called.”

A day that changed my life forever,” Jones tweeted on September 19, on the 34th anniversary of the Tied Test. Another tweet of his that day read:

“This Test was the Renaissance for Australian cricket. It was our Mt Everest moment. Under AB [Border] we started to believe that we can compete against the best. Great friendships started with the Indians. Our Journey had just begun!” Indeed, Jones’s friendship with Indians had well and truly begun in 1987, and some of his friends, like Kapil Dev, were in the team that played at Chepauk. India proved lucky for Jones as he was part of Allan Border’s team that won Australia their first ever World Cup, in 1987 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. After retirement, Jones started getting TV work in India and was nicknamed ‘Professor Deano’. He even named his twitter handle @ProfDeano. Jones’s love affair with India continued both on and off the field. In Test cricket, although he played only three matches on Indian soil, his average here — 92.

75 — was the highest of the six countries he had played in. He played 18 ODIs in India and tallied 719 runs at 44.

94. The Aussie once also played alongside Indians in unofficial cricket. When a World XI gathered in England to celebrate the bicentenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1987, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar partnered Jones in a game against Gloucestershire in Bristol.”

He was a very nice, jovial person. I was shocked when I heard this news today. I was absolutely devastated. Of course, we played against each other, representing India and Australia. We also played together once. It was one of the three matches played before the main five-day game between the MCC and Rest of the World XI at Lord’s in London. Dean and I had a 200-odd-run partnership. I scored 171 and he scored 70-odd in that match,” Vengsarkar told IANS. “Of course, I knew him very well. When he used to come to Mumbai for commentary etc, sometimes we used to meet. He was a good friend. And he used to play golf also. So, I was surprised that he collapsed and died today. It’s absolutely shocking,” he said. In mid-2000s, Jones also applied for the India coach’s job. Although he didn’t get the job, he became coach of the Islamabad franchise in the maiden Pakistan Super League in 2016 and guided the team to the title.

Jones played a prominent role in the revival of Australian cricket in late 1980s, especially during the 1987 World Cup and the 1989 Ashes Test series.

He went on to captain Victoria and Derbyshire. At times, Jones was too outspoken. As a commentator, he slipped a couple of times. In 2006, he called South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla a “terrorist”, a comment for which he had to pay a penalty. But he was accepted back into the commentary box while Amla forgave him. On Thursday morning, Jones reportedly greeted everyone when he was at the breakfast table in the hotel where he was staying in Mumbai. “When he went for breakfast, he was jovial and said ‘good morning boys, hope everything is fine’ to people present there,” a hotel source told IANS.

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

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Obituary – MoS Railway Angadi will be remembered for warm gesture, smile




Suresh Angadi,

New Delhi, Sep 23 : Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who passed away on Wednesday evening at a hospital here where he was being treated for Covid-19 will always be known for a big smile and warm gestures by his colleagues and friends.

Angadi was made the Minister of State for Railways in May last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Soon after his appointment as MoS for Railways, he knew that he has to meet the expectations of PM Modi to improve the train services.

During the inaugural run of second Vande Bharat Express train between New Delhi to Katra on October 4 last year, just two months after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, he travelled in train with media persons to give a message that the government is standing with the people of J&K for the overall development of the region.

There were around 80 media persons along including the camerapersons to cover the inaugural run of the Vande Bharat Express.

During the trip, Angadi kept on interacting with the media about the plans of the Railway Ministry to bring development in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

He gave interviews for four consecutive hours without any break and assured that he answered all the tough questions posed to him.

Speaking to IANS on the same trip, Angadi had said, the Indian Railways, which has witnessed delays in completion of several important projects, was aiming to finish all of them by 2022, on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.

He had also said that the national transporter sees the option of allowing private operators to run trains as an opportunity to provide world class services.

Angadi had said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that all the pending projects and works be completed by 2022. We are focusing on completing pending works, like doubling and tripling of tracks, electrification, installation of CCTVs and signalling system upgrade.”

“New projects will be taken up only after completing them,” Angadi said.

He also favoured giving trains to private operators, and cited the example of private TV channels and said, “The entry of private players will generate more jobs and investment opportunities. In the long run, a lot of development will follow due to the competition.”

In countries like China trains run at 400 kmph. But in India trains were not running even at 160 kmph, he said.

“To compete with the world, we have to opt for investment from many sources. When a private company or people comes and invests in railways, it will create opportunities to develop economy,” he had said.

The railways had last year proposed to corporatise Rae Bareli Modern Rail Coach factory in UP.

On opposition of the Congress and other parties to corporatisation and privatisation of railways’ manufacturing units, the Minister said, “The Congress never thought about development. It has always opposed development.”

“We have not got to think of the Congress, but development and competition, and let the economy grow and create employment opportunities,” Angadi said.

Citing examples, he had said, the national highways remained undeveloped till the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government took it up and today even foreign countries were appreciating them.

Angadi in the railway ministry was also known as one of the most punctual minister. He always came to the ministry on time and ensured that the press briefing started on time.

Angadi represented Belagavi constituency of Karnataka in Lok Sabha.

He first won from the seat in 2004 and remained undefeated from the seat till 2019.

He was also known as a media man, who always remained responsive to the queries of media even late in night.

Following the news of gis death, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadiji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment and dedication towards the people. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti.”

Angadi Angadi admitted at AIIMS on September 11 after testing positive for Covid-19. He breathed his last on Wednesday evening.

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It was all about being ruthless: MI skipper Rohit Sharma




Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi, Sep 24 : Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, returned to his usual, elegant self with a masterful innings to lead Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rohit scored 80 off 54 as MI scored 195/5. In reply, KKR managed to score 146/9.

Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.

“It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible. We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.

As the KKR bowlers fumbled with their line and length and gave Rohit short deliveries, the MI captain replied with his trade mark pull shots to deposit the ball over the boundary.

“I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight,” he said.

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