ماذا يعني رفض رئيس الحكومة تمثيل طائفة لبنانية؟

يناير 22, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– من الطبيعي في السياسة أن يفكّر كل طرف باتخاذ الموقف من المبادرات السياسية التي تعرض عليه وفقاً لحساب مصالحه، فيرفض ما لا يلائمها ويقبل ما يتوافق معها. وهذا هو الحال مع النظر لقبول ورفض الرئيس المكلف بتشكيل الحكومة سعد الحريري تجاه ما يتمّ تداوله من مبادرات تتصل بحل العقد التي تعترض تشكيل الحكومة، وليس لأحد عليه أن يقبل ويرفض خارج إطار حساب مصالحه، ولكن دائماً تحت سقف المصلحة الوطنية، وإذا تسامحنا بمقياس المصلحة الوطنية الذي بات مطاطاً ويشكل الرديف للمصالحة الخاصة في أيامنا، بحيث بات المعيار ما دمت بخير فالوطن بخير، فلن يكون بمستطاعنا التسامح إذا كانت الخلفية واللغة المرافقتان للقبول والرفض تهددان وحدتنا الوطنية.

– تناقلت وسائل الإعلام موقفاً ثابتاً للرئيس المكلف برفض صيغة مقترحة للحكومة من إثنين وثلاثين وزيراً. وعند هذا الحد يدخل الأمر في نطاق الحق المشروع بالقبول والرفض، لكن اللافت للنظر أن الخلفية واللغة المرافقتين لتفسير الرفض الحريري توزعت بين أقوال نسبت إليه مضمونها «أنه لا يريد تكريس عرف تمثيل الطائفة العلوية في الحكومات المقبلة»، ومنها أن «منح العلويين مقعداً وزارياً يشكل انتصاراً لسورية» ومنها أن «ولاء العلويين ليس للبنان». ومن بين هذه المفردات العنصرية الخطيرة على وحدة لبنان وسلمه الأهلي، ما قيل في حلقات تلفزيونية بألسنة شخصيات محسوبة على الحريري بينما تقول جميع المعلومات التي تناقلتها وسائل الإعلام خلال الشهرين الماضيين أن الحريري لم يعترض على منح مقعد إضافي للأقليات، وهذا يعني أن الاعتراض ليس على منح الطوائف الأصغر مقعداً وزارياً بل حصر الاعتراض بالطائفة العلوية بالتحديد.

– الأخطر هو الكلام الأخير المنسوب للرئيس المكلف عن موافقته على صيغة إثنين وثلاثين وزيراً وتضمينها مقعداً إضافياً مسيحياً للأقليات، شرط أن يكون المقعد الإضافي للمسلمين من الطائفة السنية بدلاً من الطائفة العلوية، هذا مع العلم أن واحدة من الصيغ المعروضة على الحريري كانت حكومة من ستة وثلاثين وزيراً تتضمن وزيراً إضافياً من الطائفة السنية ضمن ستة وزراء جدد، يتوزّعهم الموارنة والأرثوذكس مسيحياً والشيعة والسنة إسلامياً فيصير التوزيع بين المذاهب متوازناً أكثر من حال حكومة الثلاثين وزيراً، ومقعد لكل من العلويين والأقليات، والاقتراح كان معطوفاً على جعل كل وزراء الدولة في الحكومة من دون تعويضات ورواتب ومكاتب، منعاً للتذرع بالرفض بحجة زيادة النفقات، ولو كان هدف الحريري هو زيادة وزير من الطائفة السنية لتسهيل تمثيل اللقاء التشاوري من دون أخذ المقعد من الحصص التي تم توزيعها بين الأطراف، لكان المنطقي أن يقبل صيغة الستة وثلاثين وزيراً، بدلاً من اقتراح استبدال المقعد العلوي المقترح في حكومة الإثنين وثلاثين وزيراً بمقعد للطائفة السنية.

– إذا صحّ الكلام الأخير المنسوب للحريري. فالخطير فيه ليس مجرد التفكير بالإخلال بالتوازن الطائفي بين الطوائف الثلاث الكبرى المتفق على تساويها في اتفاق الطائفة، السنة والشيعة والموارنة، بل الأخطر هو بلوغ مرحلة من التفكير العدائي لطائفة لبنانية عريقة هي الطائفة العلوية، من موقع المسؤولية الرئيسية في السلطة الإجرائية التي يتولاها رئيس الحكومة، وهذا يعني أن البلد على شفا تهديد لسلمه الأهلي.

– على الرئيس الحريري أن يخرج للعلن ويوضح حقيقة موقفه من الطائفة العلوية قبل أن يتحوّل الكلام المنسوب إليه مادة ملتهبة في بلد يحتاج إلى مَن يطفئ النيران فيه لا إلى مَن يشعلها.

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Palestinian Prisoners Announce Hunger Strike in Ofer

January 22, 2019

Ofer crackdown

Palestinian prisoners at Ofer detention center announced on Tuesday they were going on an open-ended hunger strike a day after IOF carried out a fierce crackdown on the prison cells, injuring about 100 Palestinian prisoners.

Prisoners’ committee of the of Islamic and National Powers in Gaza said that many prisoners are the victims of Israeli attacks and medical negligence in prisons.

“These Israeli attacks against the Palestinian prisoners won’t break the Palestinian prisoners’ will and persistence,” the committee stated.

The committee also warned of a Palestinian Intifada (uprising) across the Israeli prisons due to the aggressive policies committed by the Israeli Prison Service.

It also revealed that the first step to be followed in the prisoners’ combat program in Ofer is returning back meals, noting that more steps “are yet to come.”

For his part, Hamas lawmaker, Moshir al-Masri commented on the latest developments.

“If the occupation declared a war on prisoners, we’ll declare a war from our side,” al-Masri said.

Source: Palestinian media

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“Syria’s Retaliation against Tel Aviv Airport Non-negotiable of Self-Defense”and Return of Golan Firm, Non-negotiable Right

“Syria’s Retaliation against Tel Aviv Airport Legitimate Right of Self-Defense”

January 23, 2019Bashar Jaafari

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations warned Tuesday that if the world body did not halt Israeli aggression on his country, Syria would retaliate with an attack on Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

Speaking at the UN Security Council after a series of Israeli airstrikes on Sunday and Monday, Bashar Jaafari said the Zionist entity was only able to act freely in Syria because it had the backing of the US, UK and France in the Security Council.

“Syria would practice its legitimate right of self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv airport” if the UN Security Council didn’t adopt measures stop the Zionist entity, SANA news agency quoted Jaafari as saying.

“Isn’t time now for the UN Security council to stop the Israeli repeated aggression on the Syrian Arab republic territories,” Jaafari said.

The Syrian diplomat said meanwhile, that France, Britain and US’ stance that prevents Security Council from assuming its responsibilities will not affect Syria’s right to defend itself and work to restore the occupied Syrian Golan.

He stressed that the restoration of the Syrian Golan is a firm right for Syria which can’t be negotiable or abolished through prescription.

Jaafari noted that the Israeli occupation full withdrawal from Golan into the line of June 4th, 1967 is an issue that should be applied based on the international law principles and legitimacy resolutions including Security Council relevant resolutions No. 242, 338 and 497.

SourceAgencies

Al-Jaafari: Return of Golan to Syria’s Sovereignty Is Firm, Non-negotiable Right

 

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“Israel” Killing With Impunity, Lying Without Consequence?

 

The Guardian’s Editorial

In the last nine months of 2018, according to the United Nations, Palestinians – many of them children – were killed at the rate of around one a day while taking part in protests along “Israel’s” perimeter fence with Gaza about their right to return to ancestral homes.

They included medics and journalists. Most of the dead were unarmed and posed no danger to anyone, with little more than rocks in their hands and slogans on their lips. Yet “Israel” continued with an immoral and unlawful policy that sees soldiers of its military, which is under civilian control, shoot, gas, shell and kill protesters, including those who pose no credible threat.

Hospitals in Gaza, which already struggle under an “Israeli”-Egyptian blockade, have been stretched to breaking point in dealing with the flood of patients ferried in from the protests.

It would appear, sadly, that “Israel” wishes to conduct a war over the airwaves, as well as one on the ground, against the Palestinians. This blatant disregard for Gazan lives and the lack of accountability is underpinned by a politics of resentment and dissembling that has profound repercussions for “Israel.” If one can kill with impunity, then can one lie without consequence?

“Israel’s” Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, unexpectedly called for early elections in December in what seems a transparent bid to head off possible corruption charges. The decision by Netanyahu to dissolve the Knesset came days after the prosecutor’s office recommended that “Israel’s” attorney general indict Netanyahu on charges of bribery, which he denies. Netanyahu is not only running for a fifth term in office, he is also running for his political life. His lawyers, it is reported, are arguing that a possible indictment be delayed… Echoing his friend Donald Trump, Netanyahu has told reporters that “Israel” can choose its leadership only at the ballot box and not through legal investigations, which are a “witch-hunt”…

The novelist Amos Oz’s words that “even unavoidable occupation is a corrupting occupation” have been ignored for too long. Netanyahu’s nearest rival brags that he sent parts of Gaza “back to the stone age” when in the military. Netanyahu would dismiss Oz’s warnings; but perhaps he ought to take heed of the recent spat between the historian Benny Morris and the writer Gideon Levy. The former, who made his name by lifting the veil on the ethnic cleansings on which “Israel” was founded, but drifted rightwards to say that these heinous crimes did not go far enough, and the latter, a leftwing columnist, agree that the [so-called] ‘two-state’ solution is a fading prospect. Netanyahu lulls the public with the notion that a ‘two-state’ solution will wait until “Israel” deems the conditions to be ripe. He hints that new friends in Washington, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will come up with a proposal the Palestinians will swallow. This is pure cynicism. There is no new plan – just a rebranding of the status quo, maintained by force by “Israel,” and with Palestinians within and without “Israel’s” [occupied] borders subjugated and dependent. “Israelis” must turn away from the occupation, which is debasing their society and suffocating the Palestinians.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

ISIS Needs the US to Survive

ISIS Needs the US to Survive

Scott Ritter – American Conservative Jan 18, 2019

Scene of the suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019

Scene of the suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019

“No war is over until the enemy says it’s over,” James Mattis, the former Marine Corps General and recently resigned secretary of state, is quoted as saying. “We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.” Mattis’s statement was made in 2012, well before President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement on December 19, declared victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote. He later expanded on that sentiment in a video message, posted on Twitter. “Our boys, our young men and women, are coming home now,” Trump noted. “We won.”

But a recent attack on U.S. forces in Syria, carried out by a suicide bomber which ISIS claimed was operating on its behalf, has led to an outpouring of criticism of Trump’s precipitous decision. “ISIS has claimed credit for killing American troops in Syria today,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted in the aftermath of the attack. “If true, it is a tragic reminder that ISIS not been defeated and is transforming into a dangerous insurgency. This is no time to retreat from the fight against ISIS. Will only embolden & strengthen them.”

While Mattis’s words were a cautionary warning about premature celebration, Rubio’s sentiments, along with those who share his point of view, miss the point of the ISIS attack altogether. The U.S. was on the verge of withdrawing from Syria, something Rubio and others believe would give ISIS a victory. Why, then, would ISIS attack American forces in such a high-profile manner, creating the condition for a reversal of Trump’s decision and keeping the U.S. military in Syria for the foreseeable future?

As far as military patrols go, the one carried out by forces assigned to the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on January 16 was as routine as it gets. SOJTF-OIR was authorized under Section 1209 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide assistance to the so-called “Vetted Syrian Opposition,” or VSO. A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence specialist, accompanied by a Department of Defense civilian translator, was tasked with meeting with local personnel from the Civil Administration of Manbij and the Manbij Internal Security Forces, ostensibly as part of the overall coordination being conducted with the VSO in preparation for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria announced by Trump last month. The intelligence specialist was accompanied by a small force of U.S. soldiers, tasked with providing force protection commensurate to the threat.

The “threat” as it was, was two-fold. On the one hand you have the Turkish military and allied proxies on the outskirts of Manbij who are threatening to occupy Manbij in the wake of a U.S. withdrawal in order to expel Kurdish forces aligned with the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish political party Turkey accuses of being allied with the PKK, a Turkish-based Kurdish group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey. On the other, ISIS, an Islamic extremist group which had, until 2016, occupied Manbij. Although ISIS had been driven from Manbij by VSO forces, so-called “sleeper cells” remained. This threat was real—in March 2018 a U.S. Delta Force operator and British commando were killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by ISIS.

But ISIS apparently was not a major factor in the security plan put in place by the patrol. The planned meeting took place in a popular restaurant located on the main street of Manbij. The owner had fled Manbij when ISIS took over, returning after its liberation to open this particular establishment, which became the “go-to” location for visiting dignitaries (Senator Lindsey Graham claims to have eaten there when he visited Manbij), and was frequented by U.S. soldiers during their “coordination” efforts with the VSO. If an ISIS suicide bomber wanted to pick one location in Manbij where he or she could be certain Americans and high-value local officials would regularly congregate, it would be this restaurant.

This is precisely what happened this week. Alerted by the tell-tale presence of the unique M-ATV vehicles used by U.S. special forces, flying large American flags, the ISIS suicide bomber waited until the Americans had entered the popular restaurant and sat down with their VSO counterparts. The bomber walked to the entrance of the restaurant, detonated a suicide vest carrying explosives and, in the resulting explosion, killed the DIA intelligence specialist, his American interpreter, and two other U.S. soldiers, and wounded three other U.S. soldiers. Eleven locals died in the bombing as well, including at least five members of the Manbij Internal Security Force.

Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria had been met with a wave of high-profile opposition, and prompted the resignations of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk, in protest. Senator Lindsey Graham led a chorus of Congressional opposition to the decision, calling it a “huge Obama-like mistake” and, in doing so, drawing parallels to the December 2011 withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, an action critics later claimed helped spawn the birth of ISIS. Graham further noted that “An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia. I fear it will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world.”

While Iran, Syria and Russia have all supported Trump’s decision, ISIS had remained silent—until January 16. “The enemy gets a vote,” Mattis said. On January 16, 2019, ISIS voted, but it wasn’t the vote Senator’s Graham and Rubio have articulated. The ISIS attack in Manbij was a premeditated, carefully calculated event designed to sow chaos in the processes associated with an American disengagement in Manbij.

Manbij is a predominantly Arab city strategically located on the front lines separating Turkish forces from their arch-enemies, the Kurdish YPG, in the contested territory of northern Syria. The Manbij City Council, headed by a former Syrian Parliamentarian named Sheikh Farouk al-Mashi, has been touted as a model for similar Arab-led city councils in former ISIS strongholds such a Raqaa, the one-time capital of the ISIS caliphate. These councils would operate within the framework of a self-governing Kurdish-dominated entity in northeastern Syria known as Rojava. Arab-led city councils like the one in Manbij are viewed by the U.S. as a means of reducing the Kurdish profile in northeastern Syria, thereby placating the Turks, locking in a pro-U.S. Arab element opposed to the Assad regime in Damascus, and providing an Arab-based political entity that can effectively counter the attraction to ISIS on the part of many Syrian Arab tribes.

The problem with this approach is that it can’t work. The Kurds will never grant full autonomy to the Arab city councils, thereby guaranteeing Turkish angst, and the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, has insisted on the return of all Syrian territory to its control. Moreover, the city councils are weak and ineffective, and as such provide the perfect incubator for a residual ISIS presence. The only way the continued existence of city councils such as the one in Manbij is for the U.S. to remain in Syria and continue to prop them up.

The leadership of ISIS knows that its days are numbered once the Syrian government can turn its full attention on the eradication of that organization. ISIS was born in the vacuum of governance created by the collapse of central authority in both Iraq and Syria brought on by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the subsequent support of Islamic extremism as a vehicle of instability in Syria after 2011. As the Iraqi government, with the assistance of Iran, regains control of its own territory, the last remaining bastions of ISIS control are on Syrian soil, in areas controlled by the U.S. military. The correlation between the presence of U.S. military forces and the continued existence of ISIS should not be lost on anyone—ISIS needs the U.S. in order to survive.

The patrol that was attacked in Manbij was not, as the detractors of Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria have stated, furthering the national security objectives of the United States. While it wasn’t their intention, through their actions these Americans were empowering ISIS by furthering a situation from which ISIS in Syria draws its relevance. A U.S. withdrawal from Syria would set ISIS adrift, allowing the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to defeat it and reassert its control over not only the territory currently occupied by ISIS, but also the hearts and minds of the Syrian Arabs whom ISIS needs for sustainment. By attacking the U.S. military and Manbij City Council on January 16, 2019, ISIS cast its vote in favor of the continued presence of U.S. military forces in Syria. Those who continue to argue in favor of a U.S. military presence in Syria are only giving credence to that vote.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal (2018) by Clarity Press

Source

US Threatens to Sanction Lebanon if They Participate in Rebuilding Syria

US Threatens to Sanction Lebanon if They Participate in Rebuilding Syria

By Leith Aboufadel

The U.S. State Department allegedly sent a cable to the Lebanese Embassy in Washington that warned them against inviting Syria to the Arab Economic Summit in Beirut that is scheduled to take place this week, Al-Akhbar reported on Wednesday.

According to Al-Akhbar, Lebanon was not only warned against inviting Syria to the Arab Economic Summit, but Washington also threatened sanctions against Lebanon if they participate in any reconstruction efforts.

The latter (U.S.) threatened Lebanon with sanctions if it participated in the reconstruction of Al-Sham (a reference to Damascus),” Al-Akhbar claimed.

“The U.S. position was relayed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, in more than one way,” they continued.

The alleged confidential cable allegedly read:

“We urge Lebanon and all Arab League member states to refrain from sending an invitation to Syria. We also urge Lebanon not to take any steps that contribute to securing the financial interests of the Syrian regime. For instance, making investments or sending funds for reconstruction. Any financial or material support for the Assad regime or its supporters may be subject to American sanctions.”

The U.S. State Department has not issued a comment regarding these allegations; however, Washington has warned several nations in the past about participating in the reconstruction of Syria.

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Michelle Alexander on Palestinian Suffering and Injustice. Accuses America of being Run by Criminals

Michelle Alexander on Palestinian Suffering and Injustice. Accuses America of being Run by Criminals

By Stephen Lendman,

Law professor, scholar, author, civil rights champion Michelle Alexander best known for her book titled “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness,”

Palestinians

Since UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s 1917 call for establishing a nation for Jews in historic Palestine, their people have endured over a century of discriminatory injustice. 

Israel’s 1948 war of aggression stole 78% of their homeland, the rest in June 1967, including Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city.

Endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression, along with social and cultural fragmentation define conditions for beleaguered Palestinians – over 100 years of suffering, no end of it in sight, the world community dismissive of their fundamental rights.

Virtually everything important affecting their lives and well-being are decided by others, an intolerable situation with no prospect for change – US/Israeli installed quisling PA government, serving as the Jewish state’s enforcer.

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Law professor, scholar, author, civil rights champion Michelle Alexander is perhaps best known for her book titled “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness,” her most noted work.

She explained that

“(m)ore black men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850 before the Civil War began.”

Racist drug laws largely affect “poor communities of color.” In America’s inner-cities, most Black youths can expect criminal injustice prosecutions one or more times in their lifetimes.

Over 60% of Black men born in 1965 or later without high school degrees (following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination) have prison records.

They’re marked for life, targeted by militarized cops for the color of their skin, leaving them vulnerable to re-arrest, imprisonment or death. America’s racist war on drugs disproportionately targets people of color and ethnic minorities.

Racism defined the US from inception. Racist war wages against Americans and unwanted aliens of the wrong color, ethnicity or religion – its global gulag the shame of the nation.

In her NYT op-ed, a rare example of truth-telling on a vital issue, permitted by the self-styled newspaper of record, one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its high crimes in its own reporting, Alexander highlighted Martin Luther King’s notable April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” address.

It was delivered one year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, his truth-telling remarks criticized at the time, ignored ever since by major media.

Over half a century ago, King called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today…on the wrong side of a world revolution,” adding: “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation.”

“We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Silence is “betrayal…(N)o one who has any concern for the integrity and life (in) America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam.”

“This madness must cease…We must stop now…We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam.”

Accusing America of being run by “criminals,” imagine what he’d say if alive today, US wars of aggression raging in multiple theaters, no end of them in prospect, the threat of possible catastrophic nuclear war.

Alexander explained that King was urged to stay silent about the war or risk being called a communist sympathizer, harming the civil rights movement.

He couldn’t stay silent about the cutting-edge issue of the time “because (his) conscience le(ft) (him) no other choice,” he said, adding “(a) time comes when silence is betrayal. (T)hat time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.”

Taking a moral, ethical, and legal stand for peace and justice cost him his life. If alive today, he’d be age-90.

Alexander wrote her op-ed because she can no longer remain silent about “one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine,” explaining:

With rare exceptions, “the entire Congress (most often is) “silent on the human rights nightmare” in Occupied Palestine, Gazans harmed most of all, an issue obsessing me personally, one I address repeatedly, feeling obligated as a Jew to speak out, refusing ever to be silent on this and every other vital issue.

Horrific conditions in the Territories are “reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in the United States,” said Alexander, much worse she should have stressed, but to her credit she’s speaking out, taking a stand for long-denied justice, others with her, the only way to push things for hopeful change.

King was right. Silence is betrayal. If alive today, he’d surely champion the Palestinian cause, supporting their human and civil rights the way he did for Black Americans.

Alexander stressed the importance of “speak(ing) out passionately against the human rights crisis in Israel-Palestine, despite the risks…”

“We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,” said King. Edmund Burke stressed that “(t)he only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is (for) good men (to) do nothing.”

It’s never an option for activists, Alexander saying “to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations,” adding:

“We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face.”

“We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions, and we ought to question the US government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the US government has pledged in military support to Israel.”

All of the above issues are essential to speak out about and much more, including civil rule for Jews, militarized apartheid discrimination against Palestinians.

Daily life in Occupied Palestine is intolerable, collective punishment longstanding official policy. So is state terror and institutionalized racism.

Normal daily life is denied. Peaceful demonstrations called “riots” are prohibited, viciously attacked when held. Borders are closed, population centers isolated, economic strangulation imposed, slow-motion genocide inflicted on blockaded Gazans.

Multiple daily neighborhood incursions, land, air, and sea attacks, bulldozed homes, ethnic cleansing, targeted killings, mass arrests, torture, and gulag imprisonment reflect daily life for praying to the wrong God.

Israel gets away with high crimes of war and against humanity because of support and encouragement by Washington, along with world community indifference toward Palestinian rights.

They’re brutalized as viciously as Nazis mistreated Jews, enduring virtually every imaginable form of indignity, degradation, and criminal actions against them – including live fire against peaceful demonstrators threatening no one, never anything this extreme against Jews doing the same thing.

Israel is a flagrant international law violator. Law Professor Francis Boyle explained that since the first intifada erupted in 1987, “the world has seen heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people,” including daily flagrant breaches of Fourth Geneva, the Rome Statute, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, countless Security Council resolutions, and other international laws.

Israel is guilty of “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated,” Boyle explained, adding:

Crimes against humanity, a US and Israeli specialty “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention.”

Wanting to live free in sovereign Palestine is called terrorism by Israel, free and open expression considered incitement, resisting tyranny, a universal right, called terrorism.

Alexander and other supporters of Palestinian rights agree that justifiable criticism of Zionism and Israel isn’t anti-Semitism. The Big Lie otherwise won’t die.

She pledged in the new year “to speak with greater courage and conviction about injustices beyond our borders, particularly those that are funded by our government, and stand in solidarity with struggles for democracy and freedom.”

Her “conscience leaves (her) no other choice.” The same spirit should drive every human and civil right supporter of governance of, by, and for everyone equitably at home and abroad.

Alexander’s article is long, detailed, and important to read. Her passion and mine support right over wrong – for Palestinians and all other persecuted people everywhere.

 

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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