Netanyahu popularity remains unchanged in 2018 even after he has been questioned in some four cases, mainly of corruption but possibly also bribery. Thus, the future of Netanyahu and his coalition remain a major question, although it appears unlikely that any of the four cases will end in indictment.
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According to human rights organizations, including the African Refugee Development Center, deportation to a third country is not a tenable solution. In some cases, they say, the returnees have their travel documents stolen, experience arbitrary arrest, demands for bribes and even torture. However, the policy is aligned with the current trends in the Trump administration against immigrants and Islamophobia in Europe.
President Hassan Rouhani said citizens have the right to protest but that Trump “has no right to sympathize with Iranians”. He added, “This man in America who is sympathizing today with our people has forgotten that he called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago. This man who is against the Iranian nation to his core has no right to sympathize with Iranians.”
Since the operation in Afrin began, Turkey has been quick to exploit the international concern about the Islamist group, asserting that it is fighting IS as well as the YPG in the area. Turkey’s state news agency reported that ‘the PYD/PKK terror group has released all Daesh [IS] prisoners under the condition that they will fight against the Turkish army and Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Syria’s Afrin region’.
For many of President Trump’s evangelical supporters the move to Jeruslem is a key step in the progression of events leading to the second coming of Jesus. However, while supporters and opponents of the Trump announcement agree that the results might be cataclysmic, some of the supporters are happy. That is because they are reading it through a lens that promises the return of Jesus and the establishment of God’s kingdom.
If the Trump administration follows through on its threats, it could mean the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the United States (US) that goes to education, health care and food aid for Palestinian refugees via the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) which is already on shaky financial ground.
The recent dissent has been dubbed the ‘uprising of the poor’, who have been hardest hit by the country’s economic woes . The protests that followed the allegedly rigged presidential election in 2009 mainly attracted middle-class protestors who prioritized their political and cultural grievances over economic demands. Although it is difficult to separate economic and political demands, rising prices and growing inequality were the main instigators of the recent protests.
Today, Palestinians in Jerusalem number about 300,000. They have learned from years of war and discrimination the simple lesson that anyone who leaves his home or land will find it hard, if not impossible, to reclaim. The Palestinian strategy at present is therefore focused on sumud or steadfastness. The idea is that until the balance of power changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the best thing that Palestinians can do is to stay put.