Constitution reform likely in sight after upper house race: Kyodo poll


Amending Japan’s Constitution is within reach, as many lawmakers in favor of such reform are likely to win in the July 10 House of Councillors election that would pave the way to secure the required two-thirds majority in the upper house, a Kyodo News survey indicated Tuesday.

Based on the nationwide, three-day telephone survey conducted from Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito are likely to win at least 74 of the 121 seats up for grabs in the election, surpassing Abe’s stated target of 61, a majority of the contested seats.

With the addition of Initiatives of Osaka and independents thought likely to support constitutional revision, being pushed by Abe, chances are strong that the combined number of contested and noncontested seats of the pro-constitutional amendment camp in the upper house would now account for at least two-thirds after the election.

On its own, the LDP could win at least 60 seats. By combining at least 57 of the contested seats with the noncontested seats it already holds, the LDP is gearing up to achieve a simple majority in the upper house for the first time in 27 years, according to the survey.

But the election outcome is far from certain as more than 40 percent of respondents said they are undecided on either their constituency or proportional representation votes.

To begin the process of constitutional revision, at least 162 of the upper house’s 242 lawmakers must approve before putting the issue to a national referendum.

The survey said Komeito is likely to gain ground by securing 14 seats, while the Initiatives from Osaka is likely to win six seats.

The four pro-constitutional change parties — LDP, Komeito, Initiatives from Osaka, and the Party for the Japanese Kokoro — together hold 84 noncontested seats. If the four parties win 78 of the contested seats, they will reach the two-thirds majority.

About 43,000 eligible voters responded to the poll. Two ballots will be cast each for constituencies that will account for 73 of the 121 contested seats, and for 48 seats through the proportional representation system.

As for those against amending the Constitution, the main opposition Democratic Party appears weak and is likely to win between 25 and 30 seats, below its 43 contested seats. The Social Democratic Party is likely to win just one of the contested seats, down from the two it currently has.

The People’s Life Party and Party for the Japanese Kokoro continue to face an uphill battle.

The Japanese Communist Party, meanwhile, is likely to gain ground by securing 9 seats, up from three of the contested seats it already holds.

The opposition camp is not faring well in the 32 single-seat constituencies, pitting an LDP candidate with a rival backed by four opposition parties, namely the Democratic Party, JCP, SDP and People’s Life Party.

The LDP has the lead in around 20 of the constituencies as well as in constituencies where three to six seats are up for grabs.

In the proportional representation system, the LDP could secure at least 20 seats and the Democratic Party at least 10 seats.

For the constitutional amendment, a two-thirds majority is also needed for the 475-seat House of Representatives, and the LDP and Komeito already hold such a majority there.


Toronto Islamic rally: Allah promised us that Israel will be destroyed by Muslims

The annual pro Iranian Islamic Al-Quds Day Rally in Toronto was held on Saturday, June 2, 2016 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and with messages opposing Zionism and Israel’s right to exist.

The rally started with a recitation of the first 8 verses of Surah Al-Isra (The Night Journey) in Arabic and English, which deal with the severe punishment Allah will inflict upon the Jews:

In the name of God, in the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the merciful, Glory be to Him, whomade His servant to go on at night from the sacred mosque to the remote mosque, of which We have blessed its precincts. We have showed him some of Our signs. Surely, He had the Hearing, the Seeing.

And We gave Musa the Book and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel saying not take other protector besides Me.

The offspring of those whom We bore with Noah. Surely, he was a grateful servant.

And We have made known to the Children of Israel in the Book. Most certainly you will makemischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.

So when the promise for the two came, We sent over you our servants of mighty powers. So they went to and from among the houses, and it was a promise to be accomplished.

Then We gave you back the turn to prevail against them and aided you with wealth andchildren and made you a numerous in band.

If you do good, you do good for your own soul; and if you do evil, it shall be for them. Sowhen the second promise came, We raised another people that they may bring you to grief and they may enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and they might destroy what everthey gained ascendancy over with utter destruction.

It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you. And if you again return to disobedience, Wetoo will return to punishment, and We have made Hell, a prison for the unbelievers.”

An article on a website Crescent International, “a publication of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT)” headed by Imam Zafar Bangash, one of the organizers of Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, provides an interpretation of these verses. According to the article, Allah promised His believers that the rule of Jews in Palestine will eventually come to its end by the Muslims. The following are excerpts from thearticle:

Shaykh As’ad al-Tamimi concludes that no effort to make peace with Israel will ever succeed… Basing his arguments on Qur’anic verses, he asserts that Palestine will be liberated by Muslims under the banner of Islam alone… This only is the time in their history that the Jews enjoy ‘increased resources’ and fighting man-power. As the Jews will not ‘do well,’ their state will be eliminated by the Muslims once again…

The author strengthens his argument by quoting a Hadith [Saying of the Prophet] from the authoritative collections of Bukhari and Muslim, that the Prophet Muhammad said:

‘The Day of Resurrection will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill the Jews to the extent that stones and trees will call out, “Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me come and kill him,” All (trees) will say this except the tree of al-Gharqad [a species of thorny tree still preferred by the Jews in Palestine] because it is one of the Jews’ trees!’…

The author covers many other smaller subjects of interest and controversy in the world of Islam as he moves to argue his central point that the state of Israel is not permanent and that Muslims alone will demolish this aberration in history.”

Racist Slave State Of Mauritania arrests nine anti-slavery activists


Mauritanian authorities have arrested nine anti-slavery activists and accused them of starting a riot in which several police officers were injured and a bus was burned, activist leaders said on Sunday.

The arrests were an attempt to use the riot in Nouakchott to discredit the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) movement, its coordinator Issa Ould Aliyine told a news conference.

“From the first hours of the riots, and even without knowing their cause or the details, an order was given to government media to start a campaign to link the IRA with the violence,” he said.

The riot on Wednesday started when police moved squatters from the Haratin ethnic group, many of them former slaves, from an area they have occupied illegally for decades, said Cheikh Sid’Ahmed Ould Sidi, the prefect of Ksar where the clash took place.

The Haratin, Mauritania’s main “slave caste”, are descended from ethnic groups along the Senegal river. They often work as cattle herders and domestic servants.

“What happened was provoked by a movement known for its extremism,” said Mahy Ould Ahmed, one of the governors of the capital Nouakchott, referring to the IRA. It was not clear whether the activists were charged.

Slavery is a crime against humanity in Mauritania but the practice is still believed to affect between 4 and 20 percent of the population. Anti-slavery activists are frequently at odds with the government.

(Reporting by Kissima Diagana; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

B’nai Brith: “Al-Quds Day must be shut down permanently in Canada”


Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, calls on the Canadian government to ban Al-Quds Day rallies in Canada following CIJnews report on a disturbing statement made by a keynote speaker who implicitly justified the shooting of Israelis at Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto on July 2, 2016 .

“Al-Quds organizers in Toronto have called for Israelis to be shot. Authorities must take this threat seriously, before it happens in Canada. Mallah’s latest outburst of hate speech proves that al-Quds organizers have not learned their lesson from the 2013 police investigation,” Mostyn said. “Al-Quds Day must be shut down permanently in Canada, and B’nai Brith will be launching a campaign to end this display of hate speech and incitement.”

Ali Mallah is a former member of both the federal and Ontario NDP Executives and a prominent member of the Canadian-Arab community, who served as the Ontario Vice-President of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), called implicitly for Israelis to be shot en masse.

The following are excerpts from Ali Mallah’s speech:

“We will back and we will be back. We will continue marching. We will never get tired. We will never give up until Palestine, all Palestine from the river [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] sea will be free

“The irony is, be it Mr. [Barack] Obama [US President] or Mr. Selfie, I mean Mr. [Justin] Trudeau, you know, talk about fairness, talk about democracy, but those words don’t include the dictionary for the Palestinian people and against the illegal occupation of Palestine.

“Brothers and sisters, don’t underestimate your action. Trust me. The illegal state of Israel is investing millions and millions of dollars to buy a journalist, politician, writers to attack you, because you support BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions]. Just imagine, supporting BDS has costed the Israeli state more than $50 million and they will invest more, because they are in a panic mode, because you scaring the hell of them and they should be. Because we will never leave Palestine or Palestinians.

“And also, if you remember, about a month ago or two, and I say this with a great sort of sadness and insult, because Mr. Trudeau, who promised us a new era of Canadian politics, has proven he is another milder copy of Steve [former Prime Minister Stephen Harper] when it comes to the international politics and issues. Shame and more than shame. What business the Parliament of Canada is trying to intimidate you and me over Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions? Well, we are in a Canadian society, on a Canadian land by original people to start with, and we value the freedom of expression and the right to dissent and we have the right to have our public political opinion.

And we say to Mr. Trudeau and to the rest of the Canadian Parliamentarians who showed no guts, no bravery, no honour, but voted against you, because you support BDS. We tell them: We are the real Canadian who reflect the Canadian values of equity, equality, diversity, respect and freedom and against oppression and aggression. They don’t. We do

“We have to make sure that when we talk to others to say criticizing the illegal occupation of Palestine is not antisemitism. It is your right and duty to say that Israel is a illegal state and is an occupational state… I would say: equating Zionism with Judaism is antisemitism. Equating Zionism and Judaism is antisemitism. Not the other way around. Equating Israel and the state for the Jews is antisemitism…

“And again as we have it before, we salute the resistance against occupation by any form, by any manifestation that comes across. People who are oppressed, who are occupied, [I say it] again, have the right to resist their occupation by any means necessary. Who tells you something else, tell him you are a liar.

In the United States, if somebody made a mistake and walked into somebody’s home, he will be shot. Right? Here in Canada, if somebody attacks us we will attack them and shoot them. All right? So why it is okay then to occupy Palestinian land and to oppress Palestinian people?”

Ali Mallah implicitly justified the shooting attacks against Israelis whom he equated to criminals who deserved to be shot because they took by force the home of others.

The same rationale was mentioned in the speech of Elias Hazineh, former President of the Toronto-basef Palestine House, at al-Quds Day rally in Toronto on August 3, 2013. Hazineh said among other things the following:

We have to give them [Israelis] an ultimatum. You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine and the people of Palestine…

I want to remind you of how police works. When somebody tries to rob a bank the police get in, they don’t negotiate and we have been negotiating with them for 65 years.

We say get out or you are dead. We give them two minutes and then we start shootingand that’s the only way they’ll understand.

I’m reminding the verse from the Koran ‘And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war’ [verse dealing with the military preparation of Muslims to launch the jihad against the infidels ]. That’s the only thing that they’ll understand.”