Beirut Blast Anniversary: The Dust has yet to Settle

4-8-2020

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Rasha Reslan

Residents of Beirut are still traumatized by the Beirut port blast. The shocking scenes of the devastated waterfront set a new standard for the horror the blast caused at the time with no answers provided so far.

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Beirut blast: No satisfactory answers were provided yet

On August 4, 2020, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in the history of mankind ground Beirut’s Port and damaged more than half of the city. Tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a combustible chemical compound commonly used in agriculture as a high nitrate fertilizer, caused the explosion.

A year full of scars

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the blast, the marks of the explosion, which led to the martyrdom of around 217 people, injury of more than 7,000, and the displacement of over 300,000 remain engraved in the city, as the Lebanese people still await the truth.

Dr. Sam Rigby, Senior Lecturer in Blast and Impact Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said, “The disaster that hit Beirut was devastating and we hope that nothing like that ever happens again. This was an unprecedented event because never before has such a large explosion been so well documented.”

Official investigation: No answers yet

In a country that has witnessed assassinations and bombings over the last two decades, none of which have been solved, except in rare cases, and with none of the perpetrators being held accountable, the Lebanese are still waiting for answers to determine who is to blame and what caused the tragedy.

Today, the Lebanese capital remains a ghost town, with little progress made in determining who is to blame for the disaster. Furthermore, the official investigation is battling to hold those responsible accountable as a result of decades of inefficiency, corruption, and political influence.

The investigation has been referred to Lebanon’s judicial council. So far, it has ordered the arrest of 25 people, including the Port’s Director and the Head of Lebanon’s Customs Authority, and has taken more than 50 witness statements.

Beirut blast probe targets officials 

Reviewed government documents showed that many Lebanese officials were well aware of the dangers posed by the large chemical stockpile long before last year, as reported by The Washington Post

According to the documents, responsibility for the ammonium nitrate was passed around for years among various public and private entities, including the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the judiciary, the army, and even a private explosives company.

Families of the Beirut Blast victims demand accountability

On December 10, 2020, Lebanese Judge Fadi Sawan, the first investigative judge appointed, charged some former Lebanese MPs with “criminal negligence”, according to Amnesty International.

Simultaneously, Judge Sawan halted the investigation for nearly two months on December 17, 2020. Soon after, on February 18, 2021, Lebanon’s Court of Cassation dismissed Judge Sawan.

On July 2, 2021, the new judge assigned to the case, Judge Tarek Bitar, submitted a request to the parliament to lift the parliamentary immunity of three MPs who once held ministerial positions. Bitar also requested permission to prosecute security service leaders, including the former Army Chief, Jean Kahwagi.

According to the state-run National News Agency, Bitar decided to summon a number of powerful politicians and security officials for questioning as suspects, which could result in charges against them related to the blast.

“In July 2021, investigative judge Tarek Bitar demanded permission to investigate MPs and high-level security officials, including MP and former Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, MP and former Public Works Minister Ghazi Zeaiter, and MP and former Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, as well as the Head of General Security Directorate Major General Abbas Ibrahim, and the Head of State Security Major General Tony Saliba, over the explosion,” according to Amnesty International.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, former minister Ali Hassan Khalil said that the charges and criticism leveled against him were not justified, even though he was aware of the presence of hazardous material in the port, arguing that this was only aimed at diverting the course of the investigations.

Moreover, a recent investigation published by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that the investigation is hindered and has been marked by “obstruction, evasion, and delay”, including “flagrant political interference”.

“Official conduct, in a context of longstanding corruption and mismanagement at the Port, allowed for tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a potentially explosive chemical compound, to be haphazardly and unsafely stored there for nearly six years,” the same report added.

Furthermore, official documentation strongly suggests that some government officials anticipated and “accepted the risks of death posed by the presence of ammonium nitrate in the port”, according to the same report.

Public rage: Justice shall be served

A year after the Beirut blast, public anger in Lebanon is mounting, owing to a stalled investigation, a devastating economic crisis, and political paralysis. 

🇱🇧 A year ago today. Still nobody has been held accountable. #BeirutBlast pic.twitter.com/vQy34TQrWG— PiQ (@PriapusIQ) August 4, 2021

The victims’ families have called for marches at 3:30 (12:30 GMT) toward the port, where prayers will be made. The names of the victims of the explosion will be read between six and seven minutes after the explosion.

During a press conference on Monday, the victims’ families set a 30-hour deadline for officials to lift the immunity of officials summoned to appear before the judiciary by the investigative judge.

The families of the victims of the port explosion and activists call for accountability, launching viral campaigns on social media with the hashtags “#Justice for the victims of Beirut Port explosion,” or urging demonstrations, with various hashtags such as #we are all victims, and “#we Will Not Forget”.

Beirut Blast in Numbers

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One Racism; One World

Bouthaina Shaaban

2 Aug 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Bouthaina Shaaban

Any wrong or racist attitude may eclipse the truth for some time, but it cannot do so forever.

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Syrian sculptor, Rami Wakkaf

When the black movement in the US raised the motto “Black Lives Matter”, after the killing of George Floyd, the rest of the world should have joined by raising the motto “human lives matter”. So many people in different countries in the world have forgotten that they belong to one human race and one human family, either due to the colors of their skins and eyes, or due to the advanced positions their countries have reached in different domains. Amidst the hard competition we witness among people in different areas, it may well suit some to discriminate against others and belittle their achievements in order to get them out of their way. Athletes competing for medals are perhaps the most exposed to this kind of racism, which lately started to infect unusual territories, such as education and art, which until recently were thought to be totally safe from such practices. 

As London Art Biennale is a huge landmark for artists from all over the world, it is important to relate here to our dear readers an important incident that has taken place in 2021 London Art Biennale. The Syrian sculptor, Rami Wakkaf, responded to the invitation to participate in this Biennale by sending two of his works, which were very well received and bought almost immediately by the Biennale. Accordingly, he applied for a visa to attend the event, but of course he was not granted a visa because he is Syrian. 

After waiting patiently for the art judges, Rami was told that one of his works has got the prize for the best sculpture in the Biennale. Of course, he was very happy and excited and put the happy item on his Facebook and received congratulations and requests for media interviews. 

The next day, and perhaps after the Committee was reminded that he is Syrian, and no need to say that Syria is subjected to coercive US measures, he received a second email, which read that “the vote was very close, and during the jury recount, the artwork by Jason Briggs won that particular prize by one vote,” expressing sincere apologies for the mistake. 

Is it possible that the first email, which was sent to inform Rami Wakkaf that his work won the first prize, was sent before the final counting of the votes and before a final decision was made by the committee to choose this work? There is no doubt that the works of Rami Wakkaf would outlive the Committee’s decision and would receive the attention and celebration they are worthy of. 

Any wrong or racist attitude may eclipse the truth for some time, but it cannot do so forever. Racism is the antithesis of everything human, creative, and exceptional. 

It is the tool of those who fail to achieve and to appreciate the excellence of the achievements of others, and always for the wrong reasons. 

People in our region never used to believe that such things may happen in a Western country as they have an exaggerated idea of the absolute moral behavior of the West. But as means of communication are bridging distances, the truth is closer at hand. 

The West cannot indulge in racist practices, whilst keeping its moral superiority or its claims that it provides criteria for human behavior and ethics. It has to choose one or the other, or the choice will be made anyway. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Two More US Police Officers Involved in Capitol Riot Response Die by Suicide

AUGUST 2, 2021

Two More US Police Officers Involved in Capitol Riot Response Die by Suicide

By Staff, Agencies

Two more police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol have died by suicide, bringing to four the number of suicides by officers who guarded the building during the attack by Trump supporters.

Washington DC police Officer Gunther Hashida was found dead in his home, the District of Columbia’s police department said on Monday. He died on July 29, one week before his 44th birthday, according to his obituary.

Hashida joined the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department [MPD] in May 2003, according to media.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed Hashida as a “hero” who “risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy” in a written statement.

Just hours after the MPD confirmed Hashida’s death, department spokesman Hugh Carew said in a statement that another Metropolitan Police Officer who responded to the Capitol riot, Kyle DeFreytag, was found dead on July 10.

DeFreytag’s cause of death was also suicide, Carew said. The suicide was not reported until Monday.

MPD chief Robert Contee wrote in a message to the department last month that, “I am writing to share tragic news that Officer Kyle DeFreytag of the 5th District was found deceased last evening. This is incredibly hard news for us all, and for those that knew him best.”

MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith and US Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood also committed suicide in the days after the riot.

Hundreds of former president Donald President supporters stormed the Capitol building that day to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election win.

Four people died on the day of the violence. More than 100 police officers were injured.

A Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who had been attacked by protesters, died the following day.

The Capitol riot led to Trump’s second impeachment trial. More than 500 people have been arrested for their roles in the violence.

Last week, four police officers told a House of Representatives special committee that they were beaten, threatened, taunted with racial insults, and thought they might die as they struggled to defend the Capitol against the mob.

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dismissed the investigation regarding the Jan.6 Capitol attack, insisting that “Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.”

Trump also described the House investigation as “a fake and highly partisan” political move.

Trump has been accused by his critics of inciting his supporters to violence by peddling what they call “the big lie”, a baseless claim that Biden won the presidency through a stolen election.

Pelosi portrayed the violence, in which rioters clashed with police and sought to hunt down lawmakers, including Pelosi, as an attempt to “overthrow” the government.

Iran Vows Crushing Response to Any Measure against Its Interests, National Security – Official

AUGUST 3, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

An informed Iranian source said the Islamic Republic will give a strong and crushing response to any measure taken against its national interests and security, blaming Britain and the US for the consequences of such moves against Tehran.

“Although the Islamic Republic of Iran considers threats posed by the officials of Western countries and the Zionist regime to be mostly of propaganda value, any measure against Iran’s interests and national security will be met with strong and crushing response, with Washington and London being directly responsible for consequences of such moves,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity with an Iranian news outlet close to the Supreme National Security Council, said on Monday.

The Iranian source’s remarks came after the United States and the United Kingdom joined the ‘Israeli’ entity in accusing Iran of orchestrating Thursday’s attack on an ‘Israeli’ tanker off the coast of Oman, despite Tehran’s firm denial.

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Sunday.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also reflected on the matter, saying that the “unlawful and callous” attack had highly likely been carried out by Iran using one or more drones.

Later on, ‘Israeli’ newspaper Kan reported on Sunday that Tel Aviv has received a “green light” from Washington and London to carry out a “response” to the attack.

According to Iran’s Nournews news agency, the accusations against Iran come despite the fact that no evidence or a single proof has so far been provided to prove Iran’s role in this incident.

“Although the statements made by Blinken and Raab are in line with their Iranophobia project to impose their excessive demands in negotiations on [the revival of Iran’s] nuclear deal, they are also indicative of West’s extreme weakness in the area of intelligence and are aimed at creating a new crisis to help them meet their political goals,” it added.

The media report noted that Western countries’ false expression of concern about undermining of maritime security comes despite the fact that both the United States and the UK have many cases of piracy on their records.

“They have also turned a blind eye to the Zionist regime’s acts of terror against other countries and its frequent acts of mischief aimed at making shipping lines unsafe,” the report noted.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Sunday said recent accusations leveled against Tehran by the Zionist entity and the United States about attacking an ‘Israeli’-owned merchant ship in the Sea of Oman are “childish” and influenced by the Zionist lobby in the United States.

“The illegitimate Zionist entity must stop leveling baseless charges against Iran. This is not the first time that this regime brings up such accusations [against Tehran],” he added.

تونس | عين سعيّد على «الاستفتاء الدستوري»: المرحلة الانتقالية رهن الغموض

الإثنين 2 آب 2021

المغرب العربي

أمينة الزياني

تونس  | عين سعيّد على «الاستفتاء الدستوري»: المرحلة الانتقالية رهن الغموض
لا معطيات متوفّرة لدى خصوم الرئيس أو مسانديه عن تصوّراته للفترة المقبلة (أ ف ب )

يتحيّن الرئيس التونسي، قيس سعيّد، الفرصة المناسبة، لإعلان اعتزامه الدعوة إلى استفتاء شعبي على الدستور، يستهدف تعديل النظام السياسي بحيث يصبح رئاسياً. خطوةٌ من شأن تحقُّقها الانتقال بتونس من وضع دستوري إلى آخر مغاير تماماً، من دون أن يعني ذلك، بالضرورة، حياةً أفضل للتونسيين، في ظلّ أزمات مستفحلة لا تفتأ تزداد تعقيداً. وفي انتظار أن ينقشع غبار قرارات الـ25 من تموز، ينكبّ «اتحاد الشغل» على إعداد خريطة طريق لهذه المرحلة الحسّاسة، التي تبدي «النهضة»، يوماً بعد يوم، جاهزية أكبر لاستيعابها

تونس | استفاقت الساحة السياسية التونسية من أَثر صدمة قرارات 25 تموز، لتستوعب متطلّبات اللحظة ولوازمها، وأوّلها حثّ الرئيس قيس سعيّد على توضيح تصوّره للمرحلة المقبلة. وإن كانت منظّمات مهنية قد سارعت، منذ الساعات الأولى لإعلان قرار تجميد عمل البرلمان وإعفاء الحكومة، إلى مطالبة الرئيس بوضع خريطة طريق لفترة التدابير الاستثنائية، فإن الأحزاب واصلت انقسامها وتركيزها على فكرة «الانقلاب» أو الدعاية لـ»تصحيح المسار». الأمين العام المساعد لـ»الاتحاد العام التونسي للشغل»، صلاح الدين السالمي، أكد، في تصريح إلى «الأخبار»، أن «منظّمة الشغيلة» تنكبّ على إعداد خريطة للطريق سيتمّ تدارسها ضمن الهيكل التقريري (الهيئة الإدارية) في داخلها، قبل عرضها على الرأي العام.

  • الأخبار

لكن، باستثناء ذلك، لا يبدو أن ثمّة تصوّرات مستقبلية جاهزة لدى خصوم الرئيس أو مسانديه. إذ أشار الأمين العام لـ»حركة الشعب» المقرّبة من سعيّد، زهير المغزاوي، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، إلى أنه «لا فكرة لديه عن تصوّرات الأوّل للمرحلة المقبلة، وهي مرحلة حسّاسة تتطلّب تريّثاً ودراسة لتستجيب لتطلّعات شعب تمّ سحقه، ولضرورات دولة تمّ تفتيتها واختراقها والعمل على تهرئة كلّ أركانها». ورأى المغزاوي أن «الرئيس يتحرّك ضمن دائرة صعبة وشائكة، ما يجعل خطواته حذرة»، مبدياً ثقته بأن «تحرّكات الرئاسة تصبّ في إطار التأسيس لديموقراطية سليمة». وعن الضمانات بأن لا تؤبَّد المرحلة الاستثنائية وأن لا تكون القرارات مسقَطة على الجميع، اعتبر محدّث «الأخبار» أن «الضمانة الوحيدة هي الشعب الذي خرج للتعبير عن إحباطه من الطبقة الحاكمة يوم 25 تموز، والذي يمكن أن يستعيد الكلمة الفصل متى ارتأى انحرافاً في السلطة».

في المقابل، واصلت حركة «النهضة» التنديد بما اعتبرته انقلاباً، ولكنها سعت إلى امتصاص الغضب الشعبي عبر الاعتذار وتقديم «كلّ ما يتطلّبه الوضع من تنازلات»، وفق تصريح لرئيسها راشد الغنوشي. وبصرف النظر عن الغليان في داخل الحركة، والانقسام الحادّ بين مَن يدعوها إلى التراجع واستغلال ما حدث في المراجعات والقراءة النقدية لمسارها في العقد الماضي، وبين مَن يحثّها على الصدام مع الرئيس ولعب ورقة الشارع، فإن الحزب اعتبر أن سُبل تجاوز الأزمة تتلخّص في تعليق التدابير الاستثنائية، ثمّ وضع خريطة طريق للمرحلة التي تعقب ذلك، معلناً أنه يمكن أن يقبل بانتخابات تشريعية مبكرة وتعديل النظام الانتخابي.

في هذا الوقت، يتطلّع عموم التونسيين إلى صفحة رئاسة الجمهورية باعتبارها قناة الاتصال الوحيدة تقريباً مع الشعب بكلّ شرائحه. ويمكن الاستنتاج من خطوات سعيّد المعبَّر عنها في المراسيم الرئاسية واللقاءات، أن أولى أولوياته ليست تعيين رئيس حكومة وفتح قنوات حوار وطني مع الأحزاب، وإنما لديه ترتيب مختلف، من أهمّ عناوينه أنه لا سبيل لإعادة المتسبّبين في الأزمة إلى الحلبة. وباشر سعيّد، في أكثر من كلمة، تطمين الرأي العام الدولي إلى «سلامة المسار الديموقراطي»، معتبراً أن خطواته تأتي في سياق حفْظ هذه التجربة من انسداد الأزمة التي عاشتها تونس خلال السنتين الماضيتين. كما عكف على عقْد جملة لقاءات تستهدف تحقيق انفراجة ولو محدودة في معيشة التونسيين، من بينها لقاؤه «اتحاد أرباب رؤوس الأموال»، الصيادلة، المصارف والمؤسسات المالية، حتى لا يفقد الزخم الشعبي حوله، والآتي أساساً من الطبقتَين الوسطى والفقيرة، وكلاهما طبقتان سُحقتا في العقد الماضي. وبالتوازي مع ذلك، تكرَّر حضور سعيّد في استقبال الهِبات الدولية من اللقاحات والأدوية وشحنات الأوكسجين، بعد تشكيله لجنة وطنية لمتابعة تقدُّم مكافحة الوباء، عدا عن التعديل في توقيت حظر التجوال وتدابير الحجر الصحي بما يسمح للمواطنين باستعادة نسق حياة «شبه طبيعية». ويوحي ما تَقدّم بأن الرئاسة تضع مكافحة «كورونا» وتداعياتها على رأس أولوياتها، على رغم حساسية الظرف السياسي.

يطالب جمهور سعيّد بقطع راديكالي مع المنظومة الحزبية ومحاسبتها على «العشر العجاف»


أمّا بالنسبة إلى تعيين وزير للداخلية، فهو جاء كـ»ضمانة لاستمرارية الدولة»، وفق ما حاجج به سعيّد في كلمة مرافقة لأداء الوزير اليمين الدستورية، حملت في طيّاتها دلالات عدّة؛ فالوزارة المذكورة، وعلى امتداد عشر سنوات، لم تكن صامتة على غرار نظيرتها العسكرية، وإنما أُقحمت في الشأن السياسي وقُسّمت من الداخل وتفرّقت ولاءات بعض قياداتها بين الأطياف السياسية، وفي مقدّمتها «النهضة». وكان ضروريّاً لسعيّد تحييدها وإعفاء الموالين للأحزاب، حتى يضمن تطبيقها للقرارات من دون عصيان أو تمرّد، وعدم اختراقها من جانب الأطراف السياسيين مجدّداً.

لكن، مع ذلك، يُخشى على سعيّد من الانزلاق نحو متاهات ربّما لم تكن محسوبة. فجمهوره المتزايد إثر قراراته الأخيرة، يطلب قطعاً راديكالياً مع المنظومة الحزبية، وثأراً منها على «العشر العجاف» اقتصادياً، والاحتقان السياسي، وقمع الاحتجاجات الاجتماعية، ومحاسبة «طبقيّة» تكون فيها طبقة الميسورين ورجال الأعمال متّهمة، من دون استثناءات، بالإثراء على حساب عموم التونسيين، وهي مطالب مفهومة نظراً إلى ما عاناه التونسيون خلال عقد من الزمن. ولكنها تتطلّب عقلنة وآليات تحترم منظومة حقوق الإنسان وسيادة القانون. وفي هذا الإطار، تُطرح تساؤلات حول التوقيفات وتطبيق القرارات القضائية، والذي جاء تحت لواء القضاء العسكري وشمل في الأساس برلمانيين ممَّن حظيوا بامتيازات الحصانة النيابية ليتجنّبوا أحكاماً قضائية صادرة بحقّهم، أو ممَّن تمتّعوا بامتياز التغافل عن المحاسبة أساساً، لكونهم جزءاً من المنظومة الحاكمة قبل مرحلة التجميد. إذ ترتسم علامات استفهام حول جدوى هذه التوقيفات، في الوقت الذي ينتظر التونسيون اعتقالات في صفوف الفاسدين وذوي النفوذ الذي أضرّ بمعيشتهم، فضلاً عن مدى احترام الخطوات الأخيرة لمبادئ المحاكمة العادلة وابتعادها عن منطق الثأر والتشفّي. وإذا كان الهدف ممّا جرى القطْع مع منظومة الامتيازات التي حظيت بها الطبقة الحاكمة ومن بينها الحصانة النيابية والسياسية، إلا أنه يمكن اعتباره إجراءات حقيقية تضمن ديمومة الانتعاش الاقتصادي أو سريان مبدأ المحاسبة على الجميع. فتونس تحتاج بشكل عاجل إلى حكومة تتولّى العمل على الملفّ الاقتصادي وإنقاذ البلاد من وضع الارتهان المالي للدوائر المانحة دولياً، كما تحتاج إصلاحاً في العمق للمؤسّسات الحيوية، لا إجراءات تُحدث انتعاشة ظرفية يخفت بريقها سريعاً ليعود التونسيون إلى سالف الأزمة والاحتقان.

ويرى مراقبون أن الخطوة المقبلة لسعيّد هي الاستفتاء الشعبي على تعديل الدستور نحو نظام رئاسي، وهي خطوة تتناغم تماماً مع رؤيته لمنظومة الحكم ولا يمكن أن يطبّقها إلّا عبر آلية تنقيح الدستور. ومن هنا، يعتقد هؤلاء أن مسألة تعيين رئيس حكومة هي مسألة «هامشية» لدى سعيّد، المؤمن بضرورة قيام نظام رئاسي برأس واحد، يكون فيه دور رئيس الحكومة محدوداً في تطبيق توجيهات الرئيس، معتبرين أن هذا الأخير يتحيّن الوقت المناسب لإعلان ذلك، بعد أن تكون الساحة السياسية قد لعبت جميع أوراقها لترضخ للأمر الواقع، أي استفتاء التونسيين على تعديل الدستور.

مقالات مرتبطة

Mortada to Al Mayadeen: Khalde Ambush Failed Dragging Lebanon into Civil War

August 1, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Journalist and filmmaker at Al Akhbar newspaper, Radwan Mortada, tells Al Mayadeen that those behind the ambush failed to drag Hezbollah into the battle they were aiming for.

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Lebanese army mobilized in Khalde, south of Lebanon

Radwan Moratada, a journalist and filmmaker at Al Akhbar, told Al Mayadeen on Monday that “Hezbollah gave the security services a list of the killers’ names and a deadline to hand them over.”

الصحافي في جريدة الاخبار اللبنانية رضوان مرتضى لـ #الميادين: حزب الله اعطى القوى الأمنية قائمة بأسماء القتلة.@radwanmortada pic.twitter.com/OEt2n8ORjs— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) August 2, 2021

Mortada told Al Mayadeen that the Lebanese army carried out an arrest campaign; however, they do not know if the suspects were arrested as part of the said campaign because many of them left their homes.

Mortada added that those behind the ambush failed to drag Hezbollah into the battle they aimed for, revealing information about a US-Saudi involvement in the ambush, with the aim of dragging Hezbollah into war.

رضوان مرتضى لـ #الميادين: معلومات عن ارتباط أميركي وسعودي بالوقوف وراء هذا الكمين لاستدراج حزب الله إلى حرب.#لبنان @radwanmortada pic.twitter.com/DcCvH6qvhM— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) August 2, 2021

The Lebanese journalist indicated that what happened in Khalde on Sunday was not a revenge operation according to tribal law. He said that if it was, killing Ali Shibli at the wedding on Saturday would have sufficed.

Mortada also stated that since October 17, 2019, he had noticed that some entity was determined to lead the country to a Sunni-Shia war, and Hezbollah was not dragged into that.

“What happened yesterday crossed all the red lines,” he added, saying that there were women and children among the mourners, noting that the attackers were determined to shed the largest amount of blood.

Omar Ghosn

Moreover, the Lebanese Army Directorate of Intelligence announced Monday that it arrested Omar Ghosn and his son in light of the Khalde ambush.

Earlier today, the army also announced that two who were involved in the shooting were arrested.

On Sunday, the Lebanese army was deployed to Khalde after armed men ambushed a funeral for Ali Shibli that was being held in the area, which led to confrontations. In turn, the confrontations led to several soldiers and civilians getting injured.

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أول الغيث: تونس

1 اب2021

المصدر: الميادين نت

بثينة شعبان

هل ستشكّل تونس أوّل الغيث للعودة إلى المرجعيات السليمة بعد دفن كلّ محاولات التضليل المشبوهة، والتي اشترك بها كلّ أعداء هذه الأمة رغم ادعاءاتهم الكاذبة بالخلافات وعدم التوافق؟ 

الخطوات التي قام بها الرئيس التونسي قيس سعيد ضرورية ولا بدّ منها

لا شكّ أنّ ما تعرّضت له منطقة الشرق الأوسط في العقود السبعة الماضية يعود إلى استحداث الكيان الصهيوني أولاً، وإلى التواطؤ المحكم بين هذا الكيان وحركة الإخوان المسلمين، والاتفاق على الأهداف الاستراتيجية الكبرى بين الحركتين الصهيونية والإخوانية، مع دعم مباشر وغير مباشر من الدول الغربية.

وقد كتب أكثر من إخواني سابق عن دور المخابرات الغربية في تأسيس وتشكيل حركة الإخوان المسلمين في الدول العربية، واستضافة قادتها في العواصم الغربية تحت عناوين إنسانية لا تمتّ للإنسانية بصلة. 

فقد نشرت وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية “سي آي إي” ما يقرب من 13 مليون وثيقة سرّية على الانترنت وجعلتها متاحة للعامّة. كشفت الوثائق عن النظرة الأميركية للإخوان بصفتهم أخفّ الضررين.

تكشف الوثائق أنّ عدّة لقاءات تمّت بين الولايات المتحدة وممثلين لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين لم تتمّ تسميتهم. وقد حدثت هذه اللقاءات مع عدد من فروع الإخوان في عدّة دول عربية كالأردن وسوريا وشمال اليمن والكويت، مؤكّدين على ولاء هذه التنظيمات الفرعية للجماعة الأمّ في مصر. 

والأمثلة أكثر من أن تحصى عن دور الحركة في بلدان عربية مختلفة في ضرب العيش المشترك، وخلق جوّ من التعصّب والتزمّت، واللجوء إلى العنف والتدمير في سبيل تحقيق أهدافهم، وأوّل هذه الأهداف زعزعة استقرار البلدان العربية، ومحاربة الأنظمة الوطنية والقومية والعداء المكشوف لأيّ صيغة وصعوبة.

كما أنّ الأمثلة كثيرة ومنشورة عن علاقة قادة الإخوان بالكيان الصهيوني، وتبادل الرسائل الودّية بينهم، والتأكيد على اشتراكهم في هدف تحويل الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية إلى العدوّ الأول للعرب بدلاً من “إسرائيل”. 

وإذا أخذنا سوريا نموذجاً عمّا يجري في العالم العربي، فإننا نجد أنّ الإخوان المسلمين عملوا طوال تاريخهم على استكمال ما قام به العدوّ الإسرائيلي من حروب ضدّ سوريا، فقاموا ببثّ الفوضى والقتل والدمار من الداخل، وشقّ صفوف المجتمع بنشر أفكار التطرف والتكفير ومعاداة النظام السياسي الوطني، والتصويب على العيش المشترك، واستهداف المسيحيين والآشوريين والسريان ودفعهم إلى الهجرة خارج البلاد.

ولم تكن الفتن الدموية التي قاموا بها في الخمسينيات والثمانينيات والحرب الإرهابية التي تمّ شنّها على الشعب السوري عام 2011 من قبل المخابرات الإسرائيلية والتركية والأميركية والبريطانية إلا استكمالاً للمحاولة الإخوانية ضدّ سوريا في سبعينيات وثمانينيات القرن الماضي.

وفي كل مرة يستخدم الغرب إرهابيو الإخوان المدججين بالكراهية والحقد والعنف تحت مسمّيات وعناوين مختلفة من دون أن تختلف أساليب القتل والتدمير، وإن تكن توسّعت هذه المرة لتشمل كلّ مؤسسات الدولة التعليمية والزراعية والصناعية والصحية، وقتل الكوادر، ودفع من لا يُقتل إلى الهجرة في عمل ممنهج لبثّ روح التعصّب والفوضى والكراهية.

ولا شكّ أنّ الإخواني العثماني الجديد، والذي نصّب نفسه زعيماً لأخونة المنطقة والعالم، لعب الدور الأخطر في تشكيل وتشغيل هذه الحركة ضدّ سوريا والعراق وتونس وليبيا واليمن ومصر وحيثما أمكن ذلك. 

حين قرّر الشيخ نوّاف البشير مغادرة صفوف المعارضة في تركيا، والعودة إلى الوطن، قال: “لا توجد معارضة سياسية سورية في تركيا أو الغرب، ولكن توجد حركة أخوان مسلمين منظّمة ومموّلة ومسلّحة، تعمل من أجل تغيير هوية سوريا إلى بلد أخواني تابع لإسرائيل وأطماعها”.

واليوم وبعد عشر سنوات من هذه الحرب يكشف الكثيرون الذين استُهدفوا خلالها ونجوا عن الخيوط الخفية بين أحداث الثمانينيات والأحداث التي بدؤوها عام 2011، وأنّ كثيراً من الأسماء قد تمّ البحث عنها، واستهدافها نتيجة الدور الذي لعبته في مقاومة الإخوان المسلمين في نهاية السبعينيات وبداية الثمانينيات. 

ليس من الصعب على الباحثين المتخصّصين أبداً أن يثبتوا التوافق والتكامل بين الأهداف الصهيونية والإخوانية في منطقتنا، ولذلك فإنّ الأحاديث الرمادية عن التوافق والتعايش بين مجتمعات مدنية درجت خلال تاريخها على العيش المشترك والتسامح، وبين الإخوانيين والعثمانية الجديدة هي أحاديث إما مغرضة أو مغفّلة في أحسن الأحوال. ولا يمكن لمشروعين يعتمدان أسساً متناقضة أن يتعاونا تحت قبة برلمان أو سقف وطن إذ لا بدّ أولاً من الاتفاق على الأسس والأهداف المشتركة. 

وفي هذا الصدد، فقد سمعنا من الأخوة التونسيين، وعلى مدى السنوات الماضية، صعوبة العمل والتوصل إلى أية نتائج مرضية وحاسمة لصالح الشعب التونسي، وذلك لأنّ برنامج حركة النهضة مختلف تماماً عن البرامج الوطنية والمدنية والعلمانية الأخرى خاصة أن النهضة باعتبارها الذراع الإخوانية في تونس اتّسم عهدها بالإرهاب والفساد وتجنيد الإرهابيين من بين أعضائها وإرسالهم بالآلاف إلى سوريا لقتل المدنيين الأبرياء.

ومن هنا، ومن خلال المتابعة للشأن التونسي، قد تكون الخطوات التي قام بها الرئيس التونسي، قيس سعيد، مؤخراً، ضرورية ولا بدّ منها من أجل التمكّن من السير في طريق واضح المعالم ومحدّد الأهداف. وقد برهن التاريخ مرات ومرات أن الاسترضاء والمهادنات مع المتطرّفين بمن فيهم الإخوان المتصهينين في الأسس والمبادئ لا يوصل إلى حلول بل يضيع الزمن ويزيد الأمور تشتّتاً وتعقيداً. 

ربما هو قدر تونس الخضراء أن ترسل إشارات عن التوجهات المستقبلية للمنطقة، فقد كانت حادثة البوعزيزي هي الشرارة التي تدحرج بعدها ما أسموه بالربيع العربي، بينما كان في الواقع، أو أريد منه أن يكون، جحيماً عربياً أحدث الدمار والقتل والتخريب والفوضى على البلدان التي أصابها.

وقد يكون قرار الرئيس قيس سعيد في 25 تموز/يوليو، إيذاناً مناقضاً ينفض غبار الإخوان عن أعين المتضرّرين، ويساهم في تحقيق وضوح في الرؤية تقود إلى بلورة الأهداف الوطنية والتخلّص من الرماديات وحسم الأمور، وعدم الارتكاز إلى المواقف التي تحتمل الوجهين تحت أيّ ذريعة كانت، لأنّ الوقت ثمين والشعوب متضرّرة، ولا بدّ أن يبدأ العمل بإيمان وقوّة واندفاع لتلافي ما خلّفته السنوات العجاف، والبناء على الأسس السليمة التي تضمن سلامة وازدهار الأوطان. 

وبغضّ النظر عمّا تؤول إليه التجربة التونسية وإن كنا نتمنّى وندعو لتونس وشعب تونس بالتوفيق والخير، فإنّ ما حدث يُقدّم درساً على الجميع أخذه بعين الاعتبار بأنّ الوضوح في المسائل الوطنية شرط لازم، وأنّ الغموض والتأرجح والادّعاء بالإخلاص والنزاهة لا يمكن أن تتساوى مع الصدق والشفافية والوطنية الحقّة الواضحة. ولا شكّ أنّ الخطر العثماني الإخواني اليوم هو الخطر الداهم على بلداننا العربية، وهو مناقض تماماً للسيادة والقرار المستقلّ والمصلحة الوطنية العليا. 

لقد كشف العثماني الجديد عن نواياه الحقيقية في إصراره على احتلال شمال قبرص، ولا شكّ أنه يحمل النوايا ذاتها لشمال سورية والعراق وليبيا وحيثما تمكن من فرض وجوده وإرسال قواته. ولا شكّ أيضاً انّ حركة الإخوان المسلمين تشكّل الذراع الأهمّ لهذه الاحتلالات والاختراقات، ولا بدّ من مواجهتها كخطر داهم لا يمكن السكوت عنه أو التعايش معه أبداً.

السؤال هو: هل نعيش اليوم بداية صحوة لأحداث ربيع عربي حقيقيّ، وعودة إلى الركائز الوطنية السليمة، بعيداً عن محاولات التضليل والاصطياد في الماء العكر؟ كما كانت تونس إيذاناً لبرنارد هنري ليفي ببدء تطبيق نظرياته الخبيثة والمجرمة بحقّ شعوبنا، هل تشكّل تونس اليوم بداية الانقلاب الحقيقيّ على المشروع العثماني الإخواني، والعودة إلى القرار الوطني الذي تصيغه الشعوب بأنفسها، وإلى التيارات العربية العلمانية التي حقّقت نهضة حقيقية لشعوبنا وبلداننا، وصانت قراراتها الوطنية المستقلّة؟

هل ستشكّل تونس أوّل الغيث للعودة إلى المرجعيات السليمة بعد دفن كلّ محاولات التضليل المشبوهة، والتي اشترك بها كلّ أعداء هذه الأمة رغم ادعاءاتهم الكاذبة بالخلافات وعدم التوافق؟ 

إيران دولة مواجهة… وسيدة البحر!

 محمد صادق الحسيني

العالم يتغيّر بسرعة ولا فرصة كبيرة أمام الطارئين للنجاة من عواقب مغامراتهم!

ففي ظلّ تلاطم أمواج البحار مع قواعد الاشتباك الجديدة التي يثبتها الميدان مع كلّ يوم يمرّ على محور المقاومة، تبدو حكومة تل أبيب بقيادة نفتالي بينت أكثر ضعفاً وتخبّطاً من أيّ يوم مضى وتبحث عن أيّ قشة تنجّيها من الغرق.

جنرالات تل أبيب يحذرونها من أيّ ردّ فعل على قصف سفينتها في شمال بحر عمان، لأنّ الغلبة ستكون حتماً لإيران، كما تزدحم صفحات إعلام العدو الصهيوني بتلك التقارير.

وواشنطن تنأى بجنرالاتها عن المواجهة رغم التصريحات السياسية الرنانة، ما يضع واشنطن في حرج من التصعيد الى الحدّ الأقصى خوفاً من الانزلاق لحرب مفتوحة غير قادرة على سبر أبعادها!

من ناحية أخرى فلم يعد مهمّاً التوقف طويلاً او الاستماع بالتفصيل الى الشيخ روحاني ووزرائه عن رأيهم بأميركا وأوروبا والاتفاق النووي الآن ـ يمكن العودة إليها في ما بعد لأخذ العبرة والدروس ـ بعد أن رست إدارة شؤون البلاد عند قبطان السفينة الجديد الرئيس سيد ابراهيم رئيسي، الذي سينصّب رسمياً يوم غد الثلاثاء من قبل قائد الثورة والمسيرة الإسلامية في إيران الإمام السيد علي خامنئي في حسينية جماران الواقعة في نهاية شارع فلسطين في العاصمة الإيرانية، والذي سيقدم فريقه الحكومي بعد ذلك بيومين أيّ الخميس أمام مجلس الشورى الاسلامي لنيل الثقة بحضور رؤساء دول ووزراء وممثلين عن عشرات الدول التي قرّرت إرسال من يمثلها ليس بينها المملكة السعودية (كما قال خطيب زاده) كما كان قد روّج البعض في إشارة واضحة الى الاستقطاب القائم بين عالم ينهض ويشتدّ عوده وعالم يتقهقر ويأفل نجمه…!

والإدارة الإيرانية الجديدة إذن، وكما يقول المثل «المكتوب يُقرأ من عنوانه»:

تدخل نادي الحكومات بهذا المشهد المتلاطم الذي يوحي للعدو بأنها ستضرب بيد من حديد على كلّ من تسوّل نفسه الاعتداء على الأمن البحري او السيبراني او الميداني الإيراني…!

وسواء كانت إيران هي من ضربت السفينة «الإسرائيلية» في بحر عمان كما يُصرّ «الإسرائيليون» على اتهامها، او ايّ طرف من أطراف محور المقاومة، فإنّ الرسالة باتت واضحة وهي انّ قواعد الاشتباك مع العدو قد تغيّرت.

والذي فهم الرسالة جيداً هم جنرالات العدو الصهيوني الذين نصحوا ولا يزالون رئيس حكومة تل أبيب بينت، بعدم الانجرار لهذه اللعبة الجديدة لأنّ أسياد البحر سيكونون الإيرانيون بلا ريب، وان تل أبيب ستخسر الرهان…!

الأميركيون بدورهم أيضاً، ورغم كلّ الجعجعة السياسية والإعلامية الهوليودية ضدّ إيران فإنّ جنرالاتهم هي الأخرى ستتذكر أيام ترامب الأكثر صلافة وتجبّراً منهم، ورغم ذلك كان الجنرال ميلي رئيس هيئة الأركان المشتركة الأميركية قد أصدر أوامره الواضحة بأن يعود الجند إليه للتشاور معه قبل أيّ إقدام يطلبه الرئيس منهم ضدّ إيران، ما يؤكد تخوّف جنرالات واشنطن من ايّ مواجهة مع طهران…!

هذه العلامات الأولية كما مجموعة من القرائن والإشارات الأخرى تعزز الانطباع بأنّ إدارة الرئيس الإيراني الجديد ستكون في قلب المواجهة الإقليمية والدولية المشتعلة على اكثر من ميدان، وهي صاحبة اليد العليا ما يعني أنها دولة ممانعة كحدّ أدنى انْ لم تكن دولة مواجهة ـ هذا لا يعني بالضرورة أنها دولة حرب ـ لكن بالتأكيد لن تكون من بين أولوياتها:

ـ العودة لمفاوضات فيينا بأيّ ثمن كان.

ـ ولا المراهنة على عودة واشنطن للاتفاق النووي.

ـ ولا انتظار نتائج حوارات طهران – الرياض الأمنية التي بدأت في بغداد وتستمرّ الآن في مسقط…

في المقابل فإنّ حكومة رئيسي ورغم ما ذكر أعلاه فإنها ستعمل على أسس وقواعد جديدة في التعامل الداخلي والخارجي أهمّها:

ـ أولاً المراهنة على الداخل، ولأن القضايا المعيشية هي أولوية الأولويات عند الناس فإنها ستقوم بتفعيل مبدأ الاقتصاد المقاوم وزيادة الإنتاج الوطني.

ـ ثانياً فإنّ التعامل مع الخارج فسيكون على قاعدة أقصى التعاون والتضامن مع الأخوة والأصدقاء من بغداد إلى دمشق الى بيروت فغزة فصنعاء، وصولاً الى كاراكاس وموسكو وبكين وكلّ من يقف في وجه الأحادية الهيمنية الأميركية.

ـ ثالثاً، التعامل بكلّ حزم وشدّة وعنفوان مع أعداء الأمة ابتداء بالقاعدة الأميركية المتقدّمة التي تسمّى «إسرائيل» مروراً بكلّ معتد إقليمي شرير وصولاً الى رأس محور الشر المتمثل بإدارة بايدن المحتالة والمخادعة وغير القابلة للثقة أو الاطمئنان.

ـ رابعاً التعامل مع سائر دول العالم وقواه الحية بناءً على سلوكهم وسياساتهم المعلنة على قاعدة: سلم لمن سالمنا وحرب لمن حاربنا، والسلام على من اتبع الهدى.

العالم بعيون إيران الجديدة سيكون مركز ثقله

الشرق وليس الغرب.

ومثلث الشام والعراق واليمن هو عمود خيمة هذا الشرق العتيد، ودرّة تاجه فلسطين.

وإيران سيفه البتار وجيشه الجرار بكلّ إمكانات دولة ولاية الفقيه.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Tunisia’s President To Businessmen: Return Billions of ’Looted’ Dollars So Not to Be Prosecuted

July 30, 2021

Tunisia’s President To Businessmen: Return Billions of ’Looted’ Dollars So Not to Be Prosecuted

By Staff- Agencies

Tunisian President Kais Saied, who seized control of the government last weekend, said that billions of dollars had been stolen from the country and offered businessmen an option to return the money if they wanted to avoid prison.

During his meeting with the head of the UTICA business union, Samir Majoul, on Wednesday, Saied blamed 460 individuals for snatching 13.5 billion dinars [around $4.8 billion] from Tunisia.

He promised a crackdown on corruption, but, at the same time, insisted he had “no intention to harm or abuse” Tunisian entrepreneurs.

“I propose a penal reconciliation with businessmen involved in looting the people’s money and tax evasion in exchange for their commitment to projects … instead of being prosecuted and imprisoned,” the president said in video footage of the meeting distributed by his office.

The businessmen on Saied’s list will be ranked in accordance with the amount of money they owe the country. Over the next ten years, they will be asked to fund the construction of schools, hospitals, and other socially important infrastructure, according to the proposal.

The head of state also urged traders to be “patriotic” and to reduce their prices, promising punishment for those caught speculating or hoarding goods.

Saied, who became president in 2019 after campaigning against corruption and the entrenchment of the political elite, used emergency powers to dismiss the government and freeze the parliament late on Sunday. He insisted the harsh move was necessary to “save” the country amid protests caused by people’s anger over its “dysfunctional” political system and crumbling healthcare provision.

His opponents have labeled the consolidation of power in Saied’s hands as a “coup” and a pushback against the achievements made by Tunisia during the Arab Spring uprising in 2014, and urged their supporters to take to the streets. However, the president has warned that the military would “respond with bullets” if the situation got out of hand.

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First released on February 22, 2021

We bring to the attention of our readers this Global Research Video documentary produced by Ariel Noyola Rodriguez, featuring Prof. Michel Chossudovsky.

We are at the crossroads of one of the most serious crises in World history.

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Israeli Media: Iranians Identified the Israeli Point of Weakness and Attacked to Kill إعلام إسرائيلي: الإيرانيون حددوا نقطة الضعف الإسرائيلية وهاجموا بهدف القتل

Israeli Media: Iranians Identified the Israeli Point of Weakness and Attacked to Kill

July 31, 2021

Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen

Israeli media outlets are talking about an ongoing secret battle in the sea between “Israel” and Iran, highlighting Iran’s ability to identify the Israeli points of weakness.

Israeli Media: It seems the attackers’ intention was to kill

Israeli journalist Amir Bohbot wrote in an article on the Walla website, “the link between all the mysterious events and explosions in the maritime arena that were attributed to foreign reports by Iran and Israel” points to “an ongoing secret battle that mainly involved carrying out strikes and causing damage to ships.”

Bohbot said that despite all that, “the drone attack against a Japanese, Israeli-owned ship, last Thursday, off the shores of Oman, indicates a change in the rules of the game, not because of the method of the attack, but because the attack resulted in two deaths on board.”

Also according to Bohbot, the attack that took place near Oman explains that “it is not about a making a hint or sending a message, but rather about collecting a killing price.”

Bohbot added that the initial reports have mentioned that for the first time ever, “the Iranians attack the ship, in the early morning hours, without success, and then launch a second attack, only this time with an accurate hit… It seems that the attackers’ intention was to kill.”

He continued, “Both sides know that the majority of their operations can be denied and kept it in the dark as long as there are no fatalities. But this time, this was not the case.” 

He explained, “If the reports are accurate and the mysterious explosions are part of the arm-twisting policy between Jerusalem and Tehran… then the reality has turned from a dominating superiority of ‘Israel’ to a major weakness.”

He continued to say, “If the operation evolves in the said direction, with open attacks involving fatalities, then the Israeli policy will face a major challenge, as the US alienates itself from the ongoing events in the Middle East.”

This came in an article Bohbot wrote one day after an Israeli ship was targeted by a “drone” in the Arabian Sea, causing two deaths, according to the Maritime Security website, Dryad.

For his part, Haaretz’s senior intelligence analyst Yossi Melman said, “This is the fourth attack in which Israel is targeted,” noting that “Israel started it all, as it has been involved for the past two and a half years in sabotaging Iranian ships.” 

Melman added, “Israel is playing with fire,” pointing out that 90% of Israeli goods pass through sea routes.


إعلام إسرائيلي: الإيرانيون حددوا نقطة الضعف الإسرائيلية وهاجموا بهدف القتل

المصدر: وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية

الكاتب: الميادين نت

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية تتحدث عن المعركة السرية في البحر بين “إسرائيل” وإيران، وتشير إلى قدرة إيران على تحديد نقاط الضعف في الجانب الإسرائيلي.

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية: يبدو أن نية مهاجمي السفينة كانت القتل

كتب الصحافي الإسرائيلي أمير بوحبوط مقالاً في موقع “والاه” قال فيه إن “الربط بين جميع الأحداث الغامضة والانفجارات في الساحة البحرية التي نُسبت لتقارير أجنبية لإيران وإسرائيل” يشير إلى “معركة سرية مستمرة تضمنت بشكل أساسي ضربات وإلحاق أضرار بالسفن”.

وقال بوحبوط، إنه على الرغم من ذلك فإن “هجوم الطائرات المسيرة ضد سفينة يابانية ملكيتها اسرائيلية، يوم الخميس الماضي، قبالة شواطئ عمان، يشير إلى تغيير في قواعد اللعبة، ليس بسبب أسلوب الهجوم وإنما لأن الهجوم انتهى بقتيلين على متنها”.

ويوضح الهجوم الذي وقع بالقرب من عمان، بحسب بوحبوط، إلى أن “الأمر لا يتعلق بتلميح أو إرسال رسالة، بل بجباية ثمن قاتل”.

وأضاف بوحبوط أن التقارير الأولية تذكر أنه وللمرة الأولى “يهاجم الإيرانيون السفينة، في ساعات الصباح، دون نجاح، ثم ينفذون هجوماً ثانياً ويسجلون إصابة دقيقة.. يبدو أن نية المهاجمين كانت القتل”.

وتابع: “يعلم كلا الطرفين أن غالبية عملياتهما يمكن نفيها وإبقاؤها في هامش غموض طالما لا يوجد قتلى. لكن هذه المرة لم يحدث ذلك. إذا كان بالإمكان تحليل أحداث الأشهر الأخيرة”.

وأوضح أنه “إذا كانت التقارير دقيقة والإنفجارات الغامضة تعود إلى لي الأذرع بين القدس وطهران، وفي الخلفية دفع المشروع النووي، والتمركز الإيراني في سوريا، وتمويل الإرهاب في الشرق الأوسط، انقلب الواقع من تفوق هائل لإسرائيل إلى نقطة ضعف كبيرة”. 

وقال: “إذا تطورت العملية في هذا الاتجاه السالف الذكر، مع هجمات علنية تنطوي على قتلى، فإن السياسة الإسرائيلية ستواجه تحدياً كبيراً جداً، بعد أن بدأت الولايات المتحدة في استبعاد نفسها من الأحداث في الشرق الأوسط”. 

ونقل بوحبوط عن مصادر إسرائيلية قولها إن من الواجب “على إسرائيل أن تضع خط صلب يشمل الكثير من العمليات الصغيرة وكشف يحرج الإيرانيين. كل هذا من أجل خلق شعور بالملاحقة”.

ويأتي كلام بوحبوط بعد يوم من استهداف سفينة إسرائيلية بـ”طائرة مسيرة” في بحر العرب، ما تسبب بسقوط قتيلين، وفق ما أفاد موقع “درياد” للأمن البحري.

من جهته، قال محلل الشؤون الأمنية في صحيفة “هآرتس” يوسي ملمان إنَّ “هذه هي المرة الرابعة التي يتم فيها استهدافٌ على صلة بإسرائيل”، مشيراً إلى أن “إسرائيل هي التي بدأت عندما عملت طوال عامين ونصف العام على تخريب سفن إيرانية”.

وأضاف ملمان أنَّ “إسرائيل تلعب بالنار”، معللاً ذلك بأنَّ “90% من البضائع الإسرائيلية تمرُّ عبر مساراتٍ بحرية”. 

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سدّ النهضة: من تهديد إلى فرصة؟

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*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي
 زياد حافظ 

الملاحظة الأولى هي أنّ ما وصلت اليه الأمور هو نتيجة تراكم الإهمال المصريّ خلال العقود التي تلت رحيل القائد الخالد الذكر جمال عبد الناصر. فمصر خلال الخمسينيات والستينيات كانت منصة حركات التحرّر الأفريقية تجسيداً وتطبيقاً للرؤية الجيوستراتيجية التي بلورها القائد جمال عبد الناصر في “فلسفة الثورة” حيث الأمن القومي المصري يكمن في دوائر ثلاث: الدائرة العربية والدائرة الإسلامية والدائرة الأفريقية. كم كانت رؤيته الجيوستراتيجية ثاقبة آنذاك وكما هي صحيحة اليوم وفي الغد! لكن بعد رحيله أتيحت الفرصة للكيان الصهيوني التوغل في أفريقيا وبناء علاقات لم تكن ممكنة في وجوده وسياسته. الانكفاء المصري يعود إلى خروج مصر من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني ما سمح للحضور الصهيوني بقوة في القارة الأفريقية.

ونلاحظ أيضاً أن بعد رحيل جمال عبد الناصر تحوّلت منصة حركات التحرّر من القاهرة إلى الجزائر مع الرئيس هواري بومدين. لكن رحيل الرئيس الجزائري سنة 1978 في ظروف تثير الريبة والشكوك تلت زيارة السادات للقدس في تشرين 1977 ومن بعد ذلك دخول الجزائر في العشرية الدامية فقدت الحركة التحررية الأفريقية منصة مؤثرة في نموها. حاولت ليبيا في ما بعد حمل العباءة الأفريقية، لكن مع خروج مصر من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني غاب الدور العربي في أفريقيا وحيّدت محاولات القذافي للإمساك بالورقة الأفريقية. هذه الملاحظات تأتي للتأكيد على أنّ التوغّل الصهيوني في القارة الأفريقية لما كان لولا الغياب القسري العربي بشكل عام والمصري بشكل خاص. فمن الواضح أنّ أعداء الأمة العربية في الغرب وفي الكيان وفي بعض الدوائر العربية يمنعون أيّ دور عربيّ في أفريقيا يساهم في تنمية القارة من جهة ويمكّن استقلال وسيادة الدول المكوّنة من جهة أخرى وأخيراً لحماية الأمن القومي العربي وفقاً لرؤية جمال عبد الناصر. كما أنّ تقسيم السودان وبناء سدّ النهضة استهدف السودان في مرحلة أولى تمهيداً لاستهداف مصر. فالمطامع الصهيونية في مياه النيل معروفة والحذر من قبل بعض الدول العربية من مصر تقاطعت لفرض الضغوط على مصر وترويضها.

على صعيد خاص، كنا شاهدين على نتائج الغياب العربي في أفريقيا وذلك من خلال عملنا في التسعينيات في إحدى مؤسسات البنك الدولي حيث كنا نغطّي أفريقيا الغربية. لاحظنا امتعاض نخب أفريقيّة من التوغل الصهيوني فيما بينما كانت تذكر لنا فضائل مصر في دعم حركات التحرّر في البلدان المعنية. ما نريد أن نقوله إنّ الرأس المال المعنوي الذي كوّنته مصر كان محفوراً في ذاكرة الدول الأفريقية سواء في دعم حركة التحرر وفي ما بعد في دعم الاقتصاد والتعليم. هذا الرأس المال بدّدته سياسات اللامبالاة بعد كامب دافيد المدمّرة التي تحصد نتائجها مصر اليوم وكأن مستلزمات كامب دافيد قضت بالتخلّي عن الدور الأفريقي لمصر كما تخلّت عن دورها في الصراع العربي الصهيوني.

الملاحظة الثانية هي أن المواجهة الحقيقية في موضوع السد ليست مع الشعب الإثيوبي الشقيق ولا حتى مع حكومته. أحد المتكلّمين في الندوة الدكتور محمد حسب الرسول وهو نائب أمين عام المؤتمر القومي العربي أعطى إضاءات هامة حول المشتركات والروابط المصرية والسودانية مع الشعب الإثيوبي. فهناك حوالي 70 بالمئة من سكان اثيوبيا من المسلمين وأن الكنيسة الإثيوبية من أعرق الكنائس ولها ارتباطات مع الكنيسة المصرية، وحيث كادت اللغة العربية تكون لغة رسمية تجعلها مرشحة للانضمام إلى الدول العربية. ما نريد أن نقوله هو أن المواجهة ليست مع الإثيوبيين شعباً وحكومة بل مع رأس الأفعى الحقيقي وهو الكيان الصهيوني الذي ساهم على أكثر من صعيد في بناء ذلك السد. وإذا كان سد النهضة يشكّل تهديداً واضحاً للأمن القومي المصري والسوداني وبالتالي العربي فإن المواجهة هي مع العدو الصهيوني المحتلّ أولاً وأخيراً.

التخلّي عن الدور الريادي المصري في الشأن الأفريقي مبني على نظرية تمّ ترويجها أن 99 بالمئة من أوراق اللعبة تملكها الولايات المتحدة وأن البوّابة للولايات المتحدة هي الكيان الصهيوني المحتل. بغض النظر عن صحة ذلك التقدير آنذاك، أي في السبعينيات من القرن الماضي، فإن موازين القوّة الدولية والإقليمية الحالية والمرتقبة تدحض تلك النظرية وبالتالي الخيارات والسياسة المبنية عليها يجب أن تخضع لمراجعة. فمصر مهدّدة شرقاً وشمالاً من الكيان الصهيوني والخلايا الإرهابية المدعومة من الولايات المتحدة والكيان الصهيوني، وغرباً من أيضاً من جماعات التعصّب والغلو والتوحّش، واليوم من الجنوب عبر خطر التعطيش، وجميع هذه المخاطر مرتبطة بالكيان الصهيوني المحتلّ وداعمه الأساسي الولايات المتحدة. ألم يحن الأوان لمراجعة تلك السياسات لمواجهة التهديدات؟ بل نقول أكثر من ذلك ونعتبر أنه بإمكان تحويل التهديد إلى فرصة انطلاقة جديدة عبر قلب الطاولة على الكيان وجعل من سد النهضة منفعة مشتركة لكلّ من مصر والسودان وبطبيعة الحال إثيوبيا عبر تشبيك إقليمي بين دول وادي النيل والقرن الأفريقي لا مكان للكيان الصهيوني فيه.

الملاحظة الثالثة هي أنّ التشبيك الاقتصادي بين بلاد وادي النيل والقرن الأفريقي يتكامل مع التشبيك المرتقب بين بلاد الرافدين وبلاد الشام من جهة، ومع مشروع التشبيك في دول المغرب الكبير من جهة أخرى. والتكامل بين هذه المكوّنات الأربعة يساهم في وجود كتلة عربية وإقليمية تتكامل مع مشروع الطريق والحزام الواحد الصيني والمشروع الأوراسي الروسي. المستقبل هو في الشرق وليس في الغرب والأفول الغربي هو أفول استراتيجي لا يستطيع أحد إيقافه أو حتى إبطاءه. والمشروع العربي النهضوي الذي نناضل من أجله هو في صميم المواجهة مع الكيان الصهيوني حيث بوجود الكيان لا شيء غير التجزئة والضعف والتخلّف والانقراض. أما المواجهة فهي تأتي بالوحدة وبالوحدة تأتي القوّة وبالقوة تأتي النهضة.

Russia and the Olympic Games

July 30, 2021

Russia and the Olympic Games

by Batko Milacic for the Saker Blog

The world Olympic movement has always been based on the principles of equal and impartial attitude towards athletes – representatives of all states of the world. The Olympic Games were designed to stop wars and political strife, to unite representatives of all countries of the International Olympic Committee. One of the main Olympic principles was peacekeeping – the opportunity for the strongest athletes to meet under national flags for a peaceful competition. We seem to be losing all this today. Since the days of Nazi Germany, the Olympic Games have become a weapon of propaganda, and during the Cold War, political squabbles from terrorist attacks, protests and boycotts unfolded around them. However, now, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) forced the Russian team to abandon the national flag and anthem, the entire political background of the current Olympic Games has become especially visible.

In ancient Greece, military operations were stopped for the period of the Olympic Games. Peaceful competitions, the cult of sports, the cult of beauty and the spirit of ancient competitions had priority. As the founder of modern Olympics, Baron de Coubertin, wanted to revive all this! But the proud fathers of Athens or Baron de Coubertin could hardly have imagined that in modern days noble sports would turn into an instrument of a political game. Earlier, there were boycotts because of the Cold War, provocations in the stands, racism… Now we have strange doping scandals. As a result, the Tokyo Olympics, at the suggestion of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), have become institutions that also operate on the basis of political interests.

As a reminder, since 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been investigating the massive use of doping by Russian athletes. They were stripped of their medals and removed from the competition. In Russia itself, where they love sports and root for their athletes, this was perceived as a planned attack on Russian sports. Moreover, for example, Russian biathlon fans are convinced that half of European athletes in this discipline use anti-asthma drugs that expand the lungs “for medical reasons”.

However, that the suspension of Russian athletes is not based on scientific facts is confirmed by the statement of the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, Ole Einar Bjorndalen.

Bjorndalen, 47, an eight-time Olympic biathlon champion, stated in 2017,that more compelling evidence than scratch marks supposedly found on sample bottles of some Russian athletes if they are to be implicated in the ongoing doping scandal.

“I hope that we will be able to see some evidence for what they [Russian athletes] are being punished, and that it it’s not that there are some marks on the bottles, because then I will be terribly afraid of giving samples,” Bjorndalen, said, as cited by the Norwegian News Agency (NTB).

The very idea that one can be found guilty of doping violations without being tested positive has stoked fears among the athletes as they now worry they can be punished virtually under any pretext, Bjorndalen said.

“We skiers are beginning to feel uncertain when we are being tested that there are some scratches on sample bottles for which they can punish us,” he said.(1)

Anyone who violates the doping regulations should be punished, and severely, so that the strong message is sent, that fair play is the basis of the Olympic Games. But to punish the whole country, and which is superpower in sport(Russia is always among the few countries with the most medals won), on the basis of unreliable evidence, is absolutely unacceptable.

Therefore, in response to a well-thought-out decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the days of the Olympics rallies, the Russians launched the not quite tolerant hashtag #wewillROCyou (according to the permitted name of the Russian team – Russian Olympic Committee). The anger of ordinary Russian citizens is reasonable if we keep in mind that never in history has any country been deprived of its flag and anthem.

So we have to ask ourselves, all of us who love sports but also basic human rights, is it right to try to humiliate a country of 147 million inhabitants? Especially having in mind how much that country has provided to the world in the field of sports, culture, science. The answer is self-imposed – the injustice towards Russian athletes and Russia must be corrected.

  1. https://www.rt.com/sport/410355-bjorndalen-afraid-doping-test-ban/

The Right of the Palestinian People to Self-Determination under “Israel’s” Colonial Occupation

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July 29, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Afreen Rizvi

From Palestine and South Africa to the Americas and Australia, settler-colonists [have] violently fought to prevent the indigenous people, that were colonised, from fighting for liberation.

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This article explores Palestine’s right to self-determination under “Israel’s” illegal occupation. This paper seeks to demonstrate that since the Balfour Declaration that was issued by the British Government in 1917, there have been politically driven strategies deployed to gradually liquidate the Palestinian people. The indigenous people of Palestine have been faced with systematic persecution, apartheid policies and brutal occupation; as such, it is submitted that the Palestinian people must be able to exercise their right to self-determination. I will begin with a discussion on self-determination as a right before outlining the historical background of the “Israel”-Palestine issue, and the political allyship of each entity apart. 

Self-Determination in International Law

The principle of self-determination, as it is understood today, evolved from a principle to a right, triggering much debate over the years. It denotes the legal right to peoples to decide their own destiny in the context of international order.[1]There are two aspects to self-determination: internal and external. Internal self-determination is the right of the people to govern themselves without any other interference, this includes the independence to freely choose their own political, economic and social system.[2] External self-determination on the other hand is the right for peoples to determine their own status politically – this allows the establishment of an independent state. After the First World War, and specifically after his famous “Fourteen Points” speech, US President Woodrow Wilson declared that, “Peoples may not be dominated and governed only by their own consent. ‘Self-determination’ is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of action, which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril.”[3] The right of self-determination was introduced to the UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960, and subsequently adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 in the same year. Additionally, the UN Charter stated that one of the purposes of the United Nations was “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”[4] Upon adopting the Declaration of Decolonisation, the UN underlined the necessity of ending colonialism and through this declared, inter alia, that the right to self-determination was not limited. 

It is important to note that the right of self-determination has been cited extensively by the UN assembly, Security Council, and is enshrined in various treaties as well as in decisions made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The following excerpt from the aforementioned declaration was subsequently introduced in Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) providing a detailed legal definition of self-determination, and this definition is used in various international and national treaties and documents.[5]

“All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.” 

It is widely accepted that the right of self-determination is applicable to “peoples” in colonial territories, as well as others who do not fall in the category of being colonised or oppressed, the only difference is they have to exercise their rights internally. The right of self-determination is no longer limited to the conventional colonial independence scenarios, such that various ethnic and cultural groups of people within different states effectively rely on the right of self-determination in order to declare their independence.[6] A common argument often presented against the right of self-determination is that the principle of territorial integrity in relation to states is challenged by the principle of self-determination – as it is the will of the people that fundamentally leads to the legitimacy of a state. This indicates that people are not only free to choose their state but also their territorial boundaries. However, in accordance with the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, the United Nations and International Court of Justice demonstrated that there is no contradiction between territorial integrity and the right of self-determination.[7] In that context, it is necessary to add that Koskenneimi argued that “It is doubtful whether the statement of principle was intended to be taken literally… its revolutionary potential was tempered by the Final Acts strong emphasis on territorial integrity.”[8]

In the context of Palestinian self-determination, I submit that “Israel” is a colonial entity that has occupied Palestinian territory; thus, the Palestinian people must be able to exercise this right. It is imperative to note that under international law, only groups categorized as “peoples” have the right to self-determination. The interpretation of “peoples”, however, continues to cause confusion. For example, one may question do all “peoples” need to share one ethnicity or location? If so, where would be the place that gathers people who are a part of multi-ethnic states? With regard to Palestinians, “Israel” has already officially accepted the existence of the “Palestinian peoples” in the Camp David Accords signed with Egypt in the year 1978.[9]

Moreover, it is argued that the right of self-determination can heavily disrupt the essence of peace, such that political communities may resort to force if their demands are not met.[10] Violence was also exhibited in the case of Nigeria after the British authorities recognized three main groups, Igbos, Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba. These groups were legally recognized after seeking independence. These minority groups were effectively excluded from the political sphere and the impact of this devolution caused further ethnic divide and political strife[11]. It is claimed that the violence that erupted between 1965-1967 with Nigerians and Biafrans signified that exercising the right of self-determination leads to political and ethnic turmoil.[12] 

In response to this argument, it is contended that despite self-determination struggles usually portrayed as violent and brutal measures, people should still have the freedom to exercise this fundamental right. It is important to understand that colonial settlers aggressively battled to preserve their right of conquest as their own right to self-determination. Till present day, “Israel” has committed war crimes, most notably in Gaza. From Palestine and South Africa to the Americas and Australia, settler-colonists [have] violently fought to prevent the indigenous people, that were colonised, from fighting for liberation, thus the argument that self-determination leads to violence and brutality does not hold much weight in this context considering it is no different to the measures taken by colonising entities.[13] Further to this, in the past, the UN has failed to sustain peace even with states that exercised their right to self-determination, as noticed with the case of Cyprus.[14] Conflicts among states exist irrespective of self-determination, therefore the premise of this argument is incorrect. It may be more suitable to look beyond the UN paradigm if we ought to find lasting solutions to such conflicts.

The Palestine-Israel Conflict

In order to better understand the Israel-Palestine conflict, it is necessary to present the issue within the historical framework of decolonisation struggles. Historically, the world has witnessed decolonisation struggles beginning with violence as a result of a people being denied independence and liberation by the colonising entity. The Palestinian struggle against the Zionist ethnonationalist entity has lasted since the 20th century; the story of Palestine is on political independence, liberation, and putting an end to the apartheid Israeli regime. Whilst Zionists argue that “Israel” has a historic right to Palestinian land, it is imperative to note that had it not been for the involvement of European imperial powers, most notably Britain, there would have not been any creation of “Israel”. In November 1917, Britain the de facto ruler of Palestine, issued the Balfour Declaration. The eighty-word statement by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour announced support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. 

In 1922, five years after the Balfour Declaration, the “League of Nations” approved the British Mandate for Palestine and the establishment of a “Jewish homeland.” The decision of the mandate did not consider the will of the Palestinian people or their fundamental rights. Between 1939 and 1949, there were a series of mass protests that took place against Jewish immigration to Palestine as well as armed Zionist groups launching attacks against the indigenous people of Palestine[15]. It is necessary to note that in 1947, the UN adopted Resolution 181, a partition plan for Palestine which was subsequently rejected by the Palestinians. The UN General Assemblies plan was to partition Palestine between the native Palestinians and the Jewish colonial settlers. Throughout 1948-1949, the Palestinians were attacked by Zionist forces. Villages and hotels were bombed near Haifa demonstrating early signs of ethnic cleansing. In April 1948, one month before the State of “Israel” was created, Zionist forces massacred over 100 250 Palestinians in the city of Deir Yassin[16] which is in close proximity to Jerusalem. In December of 1948[17], the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 which allowed the right of return of Palestinian refugees. This is a brief explanation of how the state of “Israel” came into existence. In 1974, Yasser Arafat, a Palestinian Political leader stated:

“The [UN] General Assembly partitioned what it had no right to divide – an indivisible homeland.”

“Israel” consistently and tactically made use of Occupation Law to further acquire Palestinian land whilst simultaneously arbitrarily arresting and targeting Palestinian people through the use of apartheid policies. It is argued that “Israel” has used UNSC Resolution 242 to justify and legitimate these actions through “political framework shaped by U.S intervention”[18] as mentioned by Noura Erakat, a human rights attorney and Palestinian activist. Erakat claims that the Occupation Law failing to regulate Palestinian territories effectively, is a result of a political, not a legal contest. It is asserted that “Israel’s” argument that the Palestinian territories are simply under their administration, would hold no weight were it not for the political powers involved in the region. 

Furthermore, it is also argued that the United States has favoured “Israel” to such an extent that the US dismisses “Israel’s” violation of international law and allows the state to carry out war crimes without facing any repercussions besides blanket statements. As a result of the Occupation Law that “Israel” takes advantage of, Palestinian territories remain occupied, Palestinian people are systematically being ethnically cleansed[19], and their fundamental rights such as the freedom of movement are infringed.

The Human Rights Watch published a report in April 2021, in which it was made very clear that for the past 54 years, Israeli authorities have transferred Jewish Israeli’s to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OTP) and “granted them a superior status under the law as compared to Palestinians living in the same territory when it comes to civil rights, access to land, and freedom to move, build, and confer residency rights to close relatives.”[20] In 1970, the General Assembly Resolution 2625 added that “Every state has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provision of the charter.” Therefore, “Israel” and the international community as a whole should not be denying the Palestinians their right to self-determination. Palestine should be able to manage its own affairs without the interference of external and colonial entities. It is important to understand that the Palestinian people have witnessed the occupation of their lands, forced expulsions to neighbouring lands, military bombardment, and erasure of their identity. As such, the struggle for independence and self-determination should be welcomed by all. 

Ali Abunimah, a policy adviser, argues that self-determination “must return to the center of the Palestinian struggle”[21]. To add, Abunimah asserts that the Palestinian right to self-determination can indeed be compatible with the coexistence of Jews. It is claimed that the United States has a long history of deciding the fate of the Palestinian people. For instance, as per the Clinton Parameters, “Israel” would get “Jewish neighbourhoods” and the Palestinians would get “Arab neighbourhoods”. In hindsight, this meant that “Israel” would be allowed to keep the land it has colonised and annexed since 1967, and the people of Palestine would be able to have what is left – which Israeli occupation forces and settlers continue to annex and occupy till today. America’s “peace process” has allowed “Israel” to aggressively maintain their illegal occupation of the Palestinian people.[22] 

Professor Noam Chomsky in his book ‘On Palestine’[23] highlights that “Israel’s” policies are directly connected to the Zionist ideology that “both aim to establish a Jewish state by taking over as much of historical Palestine as possible and leaving in it as few Palestinians as possible.” Chomsky, a Jewish historian and activist, further claims that the international community has “never condemned” the Israeli entity which led to the enormous expulsion of 750,000 people and the destruction of hundreds of villages and towns. In addition to this, Chomsky states that “ethnic cleansing has become the DNA of Israeli Jewish society.” Erasing the Palestinian land and people should be enough of a reason for the remaining people of Palestine to exercise their right to self-determination. There are distinct similarities between Palestine and the apartheid in South Africa. The Israeli Knesset authorises legislation that separates, segregates, and discriminates against the Palestinians. A recent report by Human Rights Watch also backs up this claim:

“Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy.”[24]

The United States of America remains a close ally of “Israel”. The U.S provides financial and military support to “Israel” which has been used criticised by several human rights agencies as this funding is used to perpetrate human rights abuses against the Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip. In the Ten-Year Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and “Israel”, $38 billion has been promised to “Israel” from the U.S beginning in 2016.[25] This includes $3.3 billion in Foreign Military financing and $500 million for missile defence programs. Several U.S politicians declare their support for “Israel” and do not shy away from mentioning “Israel has every right to defend itself” despite the fact that it is “Israel” that is committing heinous crimes against the Palestinian people. As mentioned by Chomsky, as a result of political power and close relationship with the U.S, “Israel” has been able to act with impunity since 1948. The U.S also has a history of blocking UN resolutions[26] against “Israel”. According to UN data, since 1972, the US has vetoed at least 53 United Nations Security Council resolutions that are critical of “Israel”[27]. 

Contrastingly, Palestine does not have such strong allies. Palestinian resistance leaders have announced receiving military and financial support from the Islamic Republic of Iran; however, I submit that as Iran is a sanctioned country, the support offered to Palestine may not be as much as the support offered by the U.S and the UK to “Israel”. The UK has consistently and repeatedly sold arms to “Israel” despite its illegal occupation of Palestine.[28]

In conclusion, the people of Palestine have every right to self-determination, and this can be understood just by investigating the crimes perpetrated by “Israel” against the Palestinians, and the systematic oppression they have faced as a people. Since 1969, the General Assembly has recognised the “inalienable rights of the people of Palestine”[29] In 1974, member states of the UN worked to restore the “Question of Palestine” on the General Assembly agenda, and as such Arab heads of states upheld the “right of the Arab Palestinian people to the return to its homeland and its right to self-determination.”[30] Some weeks later the General Assembly passed resolution 3236 which mentioned “Recognizing that the Palestinian people are entitled to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,” and (a) The right to self-determination without external interference”. It should be noted that the General Assembly condemned governments which failed to recognise the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under “colonial and foreign domination”. For the Palestinians to exercise this right, the Israeli entity must vacate from the occupied areas in order to establish an independent Palestinian state. The United Nations has again affirmed its commitment to the Palestinian right to self-determination. In November 2020, the UN General Assembly endorsed a draft resolution once again recognising “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to an independent State of Palestine.”[31] 163 states voted in favour of this resolution, whilst 5 states voted against this, namely: “Israel”, The United States of America, Micronesia, Nauru, and the Marshal Islands. Tomis Kapitan eloquently argues that legitimate residents of Palestine include all Palestinians irrespective of where they are located in Palestine, including Palestinian refugees outside of the country. He states that “expulsion does not remove ones right of residency… Palestinians also retain residency rights in those territories from which they were expelled.”[32] Kapitan asserts that the Palestinian people, as a collective, have the “entitlement to being self-determining in that region [historic Palestine]… not qua Palestinians, but qua legitimate residents. The force used against them has not erased the fact that they are, and are recognized as being; a legitimate unit entitled to participate in their own self-determination.”[33]

Whilst some may argue that the Palestinian right to self-determination is an anti-Semitic stance, it should be duly noted that a Palestinian state would include Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is in fact the Zionist entity that remains anti-Semitic by expulsing and rejecting Jewish natives from enjoying their rights in Occupied Palestine. It should be remembered that the Palestinian right to self-determination is legal and in accordance with international law. For the state of Palestine to be completely independent, colonial settlers will have to return to the European countries they entered from and respect international law. To end, a group of academics including Palestinians and Israelis issued a One State Declaration in 2007, inspired by the South African Freedom Charter and declared: “The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status; Any system of government must be founded on the principle of equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for all citizens. Power must be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all people in the diversity of their identities.[34]

sources

[1]https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/self_determination_(international_law)#:~:text=Self%2Ddetermination%20denotes%20the%20legal,destiny%20in%20the%20international%20order.&text=For%20instance%2C%20self%2Ddetermination%20is,right%20of%20%E2%80%9Call%20peoples.%E2%80%9D

[2] Salvatore Senese, ‘External and Internal Self-Determination’ [1989] 16(1) Social Justice <https://www.jstor.org/stable/29766439?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents&gt; accessed 9 May 2021.
[3] Wilson, War Aims of Germany and Austria (1918).
[4] UN Charter, Art 1 (2).
[5] https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2018/11/UNDRIP_E_web.pdf

[6] Quane, Helen. 1998. “The United Nations and the Evolving Right to Self-Determination.” The International and Comparative Law Quarterly 47(3): 537–572.

[7] Johan D. Van der Vyer, ‘Self-Determination of the Peoples of Quebec under International Law’ [2012] 10(1) Journal of Transnational Law & Policy 38
[8] Martti Koskenniemi, ‘National Self-Determination Today: Problems of Legal Theory and Practice’ [1994] 43(2) The International and Comparative Law Quarterly <https://www.jstor.org/stable/761238&gt; accessed 10 May 2021.
[9] J Massad, ‘Against Self-Determination’ [2018] 9(2) Humanity 161-191
[10] M Evangelista, ‘Paradoxes of Violence and Self-determination’ [2015] 14(5) Formerly Global Review of Ethnopolitics <https://doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2015.1051811&gt; accessed 3 May 2021.
[11] B Ibhawoh, ‘Testing the Atlantic Charter: linking anticolonialism, self-determination and Universal Human Rights’ [2014] 18(7) International Journal of Human Rights 1-19

[12] Beardsley, Kevin, David E. Cunningham, and Peter B. White. 2015. “Resolving Civil Wars before They Start: The UN Security Council and Conflict Prevention in Self-Determination Disputes.” British Journal of Political Science 47(3): 675–697.
[13] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-gaza-latest-palestinian-happening-b1852170.html
[14] Tobias Nowak and Charis Van den berg, ‘Alternative Approaches to Self-Determination Applied to the Cyprus Conflict’ [2020] 15(5) Transboundary Legal Studies <https://research.rug.nl/nl/publications/alternative-approaches-to-self-determination-applied-to-the-cypru&gt; accessed 7 May 2021.
[15] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-role-of-jewish-defense-organizations-in-palestine-1903-1948
[16] M Hogan, ‘The 1948 Massacre at Deir Yassin Revisited’ [2001] 63(2) The Historian <https://www.jstor.org/stable/24450239&gt; accessed 10 May 2021.

[17] https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/palestineremix/timeline_main.html
[18] Noura Erakat, ‘Taking the Land without the People: The 1967 Story as Told by the Law’ [2017] 47(1) Journal of Palestine Studies 18-38 
[19] Lucy Garbett, ‘I live in Sheikh Jarrah for Palestinians, this is not a ‘real estate dispute’’ (The Guardian, 17 May 2021) <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/17/palestinians-sheikh-jarrah-jerusalem-city-identity&gt; accessed 17 May 2021.
[20] https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution
[21]Ali Abunimah, ‘Reclaiming Self-Determination’ ( Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, 21 May) <https://al-shabaka.org/briefs/reclaiming-self-determination/&gt; accessed 10 May 2021.[22]https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/us-role-peace-process-perspective
[23]Noam Chomsky, On Palestine (Penguin Books 2015)

[24] https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution
[25] https://il.usembassy.gov/ten-year-memorandum-of-understanding-between-the-united-states-and-israel/
[26] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/19/a-history-of-the-us-blocking-un-resolutions-against-israel
[27] https://www.un.org/depts/dhl/resguide/scact_veto_table_en.htm
[28] https://caat.org.uk/resources/countries/israel/
[29] https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-196558/
[30] United Nations
[31] https://prc.org.uk/en/news/3213/un-votes-overwhelmingly-in-support-of-palestinian-self-determination
[32] Tomis Kapitan, “Self-Determination,” in Tomis Kapitan and Raja Halwani, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Philosophical Essays on Self-Determination, Terrorism and the One-State Solution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 13-71.
[33] Ibid.
[34] “The One State Declaration,” The Electronic Intifada, 29 November 2007

Related

The Forever Imminent Collapse of the Iranian “Regime”

July 29, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Seyed Mohammad Marandi

As Iran is literally depicted as illegitimate and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability.

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Under US occupation Afghanistan has become the beating heart of global opium cultivation and distribution, but for Iran haters, just a whiff of unrest anywhere in the country is often enough for them to get practically stoned. BBC Persian becomes embarrassingly euphoric, while Persian television ‘Iran International’ headquartered in London and with ties to Mohammed bin Salman, and VOA Persian begin to hallucinate completely.

Arabic media narratives usually depend on state policy towards Iran. Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel is consistent in its hatred and is often more deranged than ‘Iran International,’ while Aljazeera Arabic and English narratives largely sway in harmony with the state of play in Doha’s dealings with Riyadh, Ankara, and Washington.

Western corporate and state-owned media usually, but by no means always, put more effort into appearing balanced and professional than their state backed Persian language Iran bashing counterparts. However, in all these outlets there is a recurring and repetitive theme that can appear credible and even well documented to the uninitiated or the true believers.

Any objective review exposes a certain consistency in “analyses” that many years ago used to surprise me. Since the 1980s, audiences have been constantly told that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an evil, unstable, unpopular, incompetent and a corrupt “regime” that is on the brink of collapse. In over four decades of research and reporting, it has been regularly implied that the day is not far off when the “regime” will finally fall into the dustbin of history.

Some would argue that these “experts” confuse analysis with aspirations and facts with expectations. For them, it seems the ultimate collapse of revolutionary Iran is natural and inevitable, since its ideological foundations, constitution and political structures are not based upon “superior” or “contemporary” western intellectual traditions. These views are constantly reinforced by a small army of Iranian comprador intellectuals and many angry “scholars” affiliated with western academia, think-tanks and media, who reassuringly repeat the favorite talking points of their western overlords. Liberals and “leftists” at academic institutions may fight over Cuba, Venezuela, and Iraq, but when it comes to Iran there is often a loving consensus.

The latent Orientalism of these western analysts and their native informants as well as the Eurocentric worldview imposed upon western institutions and academia, are solid barriers that prevent most from recognizing the often irresolvable paradoxes resulting from such “expert” analyses. Hence, as the Islamic Republic is literally depicted as illegitimate, incapable of self-governance, and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability and even the “international community.”

They feel no need to explain how an incompetent and universally reviled “regime” can possibly be such an enormous threat to the existing and well entrenched regional and international order. Either the US-led Western Empire is vastly overrated, or the Iranian “regime” is not quite the regime it is portrayed to be.

Their failure to acknowledge, let alone explain, this contradiction lies in the fact that most are simply blind to its existence. The Orientalist demonization of Iran makes almost all negative attributes seem reasonable and plausible, even though they are often mutually exclusive.

The seemingly always-in-crisis Iran doesn’t even have the luxury of being competently evil or deceiving. We are told that Iranians hate the “regime,” Iraqis despise Iran (no allusion to General Suleimani’s massive funeral processions in Iraq), Afghans are resentful, Lebanese feel subjugated, Syrians are outraged, and Yemenis abused. Nevertheless, it is largely left unexplained how an unpopular and heavily sanctioned Iran can wield such enormous influence and maintain such powerful allies, while its western and regional antagonists have infinitely more wealth and resources at their disposal.

These so called experts and analysts don’t seem to recognize that while these powerful anti-Iranian narratives may have a significant impact on perceptions towards Iran, they definitely do not inspire confidence regarding the stability or legitimacy of the US Empire. Hence, we will continue to be told that the Iranian “regime” is possibly facing imminent collapse, but the real story may actually be that the centuries old domination of the “Free and Civilized world” is closer to imminent collapse.

Requiem for an Empire: a prequel

July 29, 2021

Requiem for an Empire: a prequel

by Pepe Escobar with permission and widely cross-posted

Assaulted by cognitive dissonance across the spectrum, the Empire of Chaos now behaves as a manic depressive inmate, rotten to the core – a fate more filled with dread than having to face a revolt of the satrapies.

Only brain dead zombies now believe in its self-billed universal mission as the new Rome and the new Jerusalem. There’s no unifying culture, economy or geography knitting the core together across an “arid, desiccated, political landscape sweltering under the brassy sun of Apollonian ratiocination, devoid of passion, very masculine, and empty of human empathy.”

Clueless Cold Warriors still dream of the days when the Germany-Japan axis was threatening to rule Eurasia and the Commonwealth was biting the dust – thus offering Washington, fearful of being forced into islandization, the once in a lifetime opportunity to profit from WWII to erect itself as Supreme World Paradigm cum savior of the “free world”.

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Red Square

Today, it’s not Germany-Japan but the specter of a Russia-China-Germany entente that terrorizes the Hegemon as the Eurasian trio capable of sending American global domination to the dustbin of History.

Enter the American “strategy”. And predictably, it’s a prodigy of narrow mindedness, not even aspiring to the status of – fruitless – exercise in irony or desperation, yielding as it is from the pedestrian Carnegie Endowment, with its HQ in Think Tank Row between Dupont and Thomas Circle along Massachussets Avenue in D.C.

Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class is a sort of bipartisan report guiding the current, bewildered Crash Test Dummy administration. One of the 11 writers involved is none other than National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The notion that a global imperial strategy and – in this case – a deeply impoverished and enraged middle class share the same interests does not even qualify as a lousy joke.

With “thinkers” like these, the Hegemon does not even need Eurasian “threats”.

Wanna talk to Mr. Khinzal?

Meanwhile, in a script worthy of Dylan’s Desolation Row rewritten by The Three Stooges, proverbial Atlanticist chihuahuas are raving that the Pentagon ordered the partition of NATO: Western Europe will contain China, and Eastern Europe will contain Russia.

Yet what’s actually happening in those corridors of European power that really matter – no, baby, that ain’t Warsaw – is that not only Berlin and Paris refuse to antagonize Beijing, but mull how to get closer to Moscow without enraging the Hegemon.

So much for microwaved, Kissingerian Divide and Rule. One of the few things the notorious war criminal really got it was when he noted, after the implosion of the USSR, that without Europe “the US would become a distant island in the coastline of Eurasia”: it would dwell “in solitude, a minor status”.

Life is a drag when the (global) free lunch is over and on top of it you need to face not only the emergence of a “peer competitor” in Eurasia (copyright Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski) but a comprehensive strategic partnership. You fear that China is eating your lunch – and dinner, and nightcap – but still you need Moscow as the designated enemy of choice, because that’s what legitimizes NATO.

Call The Three Stooges! Let’s send the Europeans to patrol the South China Sea! Let’s get those Baltic nullities plus pathetic Poles to enforce the New Iron Curtain! And let’s deploy Russophobic Britannia Rules the Waves on both fronts!

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Chongqing Night

So far, Russia-China had been exhibiting infinite Daoist patience in dealing with those clowns. Not anymore.

The key players in the Heartland have clearly seen through the imperial propaganda fog; it will be a long and winding road, but the horizon will eventually unveil a Germany-Russia-China-Iran alliance rebalancing the global chessboard.

This is the ultimate Imperial Night of the Living Dead nightmare – hence these lowly American emissaries frantically scurrying around multiple latitudes trying to keep the satrapies in line.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, China-Russia build submarines like there’s no tomorrow equipped with state-of-the-art missiles – and Su-57s invite wise guys to a close conversation with a hypersonic Mr. Khinzal.

Sergey Lavrov, like an aristocratic Grand Seigneur, took the trouble of enlightening the clowns with a stark, erudite distinction between rule of law and their self-defined “rules-based international order”.

That’s too much for their collective IQ. Perhaps what they will register is that the Russian-Chinese Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation, initially signed on July 16, 2001, has just been extended for five years by Presidents Putin and Xi.

As the Empire of Chaos is incrementally and inexorably expelled from the Heartland, Russia-China is jointly managing Central Asian affairs.

In the Central and South Asia connectivity conference in Tashkent,

Lavrov detailed how Russia is driving “the Greater Eurasian Partnership, a unifying and integrational outline between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans that is as free for the movement of goods, capital, labor and services as possible and which is open to every country of the common continent of Eurasia and the integration unions created here.”

Then there’s the updated Russian National Security Strategy, which clearly outlines that building a partnership with the US and hitting win-win cooperation with the EU is an uphill struggle: “The contradictions between Russia and the West are serious and are hard to solve.” By contrast, strategic cooperation with China and India will be expanded.

A geopolitical earthquake

Yet the defining geopolitical breakthrough in the second year of the Raging Twenties may well be China telling the Empire, “That’s enough”.

It started over two months ago in Anchorage, when the formidable Yang Jiechi made shark fin soup out of the helpless American delegation. The piece de resistance came this week in Tianjin, where Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and his boss Wang Yi reduced mediocre imperial bureaucrat Wendy Sherman to stale dumpling status.

This searing analysis by a Chinese think tank reviewed all the key issues. Here are the highlights.

– The Americans wanted to ensure that “guardrails and boundaries” are established to avoid a deterioration of U.S.-China relations in order to “manage” the relationship responsibly. That did not work, because their approach was “terrible”.

– “Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng hit the nail on the head when he said that the U.S. “competition, cooperation and confrontation” triad is a “blindfold” to contain and suppress China. Confrontation and containment are essential, cooperation is expedient, and competition is a discourse trap. The U.S. demands cooperation when it is in need of China, but in areas where it thinks it has an advantage, it decouples and cuts off supplies, blocks and sanctions, and is willing to clash and confront China in order to contain it.”

– Xie Feng “also presented two lists to the U.S. side, a list of 16 items requesting the U.S. side to correct its wrong policies and words and deeds toward China, and a list of 10 priority cases of China’s concern (…) if these anti-China issues caused by the U.S. side’s bent are not resolved, what is there to talk about between China and the U.S.?”

– And then, the sorbet to go with the cheesecake: Wang Yi’s three bottom lines to Washington. In a nutshell:

1. “The United States must not challenge, denigrate or even attempt to subvert the socialist road and system with Chinese characteristics. China’s road and system are the choice of history and the choice of the people, and they concern the long-term welfare of 1.4 billion Chinese people and the future destiny of the Chinese nation, which is the core interest that China must adhere to.”

2. “The United States must not try to obstruct or even interrupt China’s development process. The Chinese people certainly have the right to a better life, and China also has the right to modernization, which is not the monopoly of the United States and involves the basic conscience of mankind and international justice. China urges the U.S. side to expeditiously lift all unilateral sanctions, high tariffs, long-arm jurisdiction and the science and technology blockade imposed on China.”

3. “The United States must not infringe on China’s national sovereignty, let alone undermine China’s territorial integrity. The issues related to Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are never about human rights or democracy, but rather about the major rights and wrongs of fighting against “Xinjiang independence”, “Tibet independence” and “Hong Kong independence”. No country will allow its sovereign security to be compromised. As for the Taiwan issue, it is a top priority (…) If “Taiwan independence” dares to provoke, China has the right to take any means needed to stop it.”

Will the Empire of Chaos register all of the above? Of course not. So the inexorable imperial rot will go on, a tawdry affair carrying no dramatic, aesthetic pathos worthy of a Gotterdammerung, barely eliciting even a glance from the Gods, “where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands / Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands, / Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands”, as Tennyson immortalized it.

Yet what really matters, in our realpolitik realm, is that Beijing doesn’t even care. The point has been made: “The Chinese have long had enough of American arrogance, and the time when the U.S. tried to bully the Chinese is long gone.”

Now that’s the start of a brave new geopolitical world – and a prequel to an imperial requiem. Many a sequel will follow.

A few images as metaphors for our world :-)

July 28, 2021

Check out these two images:

The first is a perfect metaphor for the West civilization:  Everything in that picture is perfect, including the uniquely British BoJo and his oh so sincere homopride.

The second images shows a true western triumph.  On the basis of totally unsubstantiated claims by one defector who was under criminal prosecution in Russia, the collective West, via WADA and the IOC, has banned Russia from being called “Russia” at the Olympics.  No flag.  No national anthem.  No country.  Only “ROC” (Russian Olympic Committee). 

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After all, we ALL *know* that Russians athletes are all full of dope and drugs, when they are not soaking in cheap vodka.  Here is some more evidence of that:

Yes, this is a woman. At least by western standards…

So the united West still has enough traction with organizations it created and controlled to insult and humiliate Russia.  Bravo, that is a triumph!  Right?

Well, none of that prevented Russian athletes to win medals, even in these terrible conditions!

But, hey, no worries, the West also has some awesome athletes.  This creature  might even win a medal, as a female: (see photo on right)

In fact, the West goes from triumph to triumph: it seized Russian diplomatic buildings, it kidnapped several Russian citizens and jailed them, it blamed MH17 on Putin personally, fabricated both the Skripal and the Navalnyi false attacked (and botched them both!!) and now it deprived the Russian athletes from their national symbols without even denying that, “yes, this is a form of collective punishment, so what?

As for Biden, he just declared that there was nothing in Russia besides missiles and oil deposits (maybe he thinks that he has “become Obama” since that, at least, would make him black and woke-compatible!).

Surely, all this shows that the West is winning, Russia is losing, badly, and homorights and “democracy” will triumph all over our planet.

Good thing that the western legacy ziomedia is really honest and never engages in propaganda (like the Russian or Chinese press does):

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As for the greatest military in the history of the Galaxy, it will crush Russia with a daring combination of (future) hypersonic missiles and (current) homo-soldiers 🙂

But, no worries, a the next generation of gender-fluid US kids is already being prepared

But , no worries, Russia is about to collapse, and so is China.

So all is well, no need to worry (or to listen to “Russian propaganda”).  The West is doing GREAT and its future is even greater.

Right?

The Saker

PS: especially for the “alternatively gifted”: since I neither fear nor hate homosexuals, or homosexuality as such, I am not a “homophobe”.  That is just a “loaded-term” whose sole purpose and function is to disqualify as “hate-filled” (or fear, or both) bigot anybody who has not been brainwashed by wokeness. That is also why the value-neutral term “homosexual” was replaced with “gay”. This is called “framing the discussion” (in order to supress any ideological opposition).  Personally, if anything, I feel genuinely sorry for the poor people who are truly affected by gender dysphoria (the politically correct DMS-5 term for what was previously known as “gender identity disorder”) or any other psychological dysfunction.  I just refuse to simply declare that a personality disorder is actually healthy only because those affected by it (a small, but loud and obnoxious minority) don’t want to be considered anything but totally healthy and “normal”.  The very *last* thing these poor people need is to be told that they should be proud of their dysfunction.  What they need is healing, not encouragements to go into denial (especially with the comorbidity which almost always accompanies gender identity disorders!).

الثلاثيّ غير المقدّس

29 تموز 2021

ليس في العالم بلد يكرهه بعض أبنائه ويتمنون الشر له ويجهدون لتسخيف كل إشارة خير لتعميم اليأس، كحال لبنان.

يلفت نظر المتابع للمواقف الإعلامية والسياسية وجود حلف إعلامي حزبي يضم ناشطين في جمعيات تسمّي نفسها بالثورية، مهمته شيطنة كل مبادرة أو خطوة تتصل بمعالجة وجه من وجوه الأزمة الضاغطة على اللبنانيين.

لم تكن مبادرة السيد حسن نصرالله بالدعوة لاستيراد البنزين والمازوت من إيران بالليرة اللبنانيّة الهدف الوحيد الذي تم التصويب عليه من هذا الثلاثيّ، كي نقول إن الخصومة السياسية هي السبب، علماً أن أي لبناني يفترض أن ينظر لكل مبادرة يمكن أن تسهم في حلحلة معاناة اللبنانيين بإيجابية ويناقشها بانفتاح وعقلانية بعيداً عن الكيد والشيطنة لمجرد ان المبادر هو خصم سياسيّ.

عندما عرضت شركات صينية استثمارات في لبنان بمليارات الدولارات، خرج هذا الثلاثي يشكك في مبدأ وجود هذه الشركات، بالرغم من أن لهذه الشركات ممثلين ظهروا على وسائل الإعلام وخبراء شاركوا في اجتماعاتها مع المسؤولين الرسميين، وذلك فقط للقول إن الطريق مسدود أمام أية حلول إلا بالسياق الذي ترسمه السفارات الغربية والخليجية، والتشكيك بالشركات الصينية ومؤهلاتها وقدراتها التمويليّة مثير للسخرية، خصوصاً في مجال المرافئ وتجهيزها وتشغيلها، فالمعدات والشركات الصينية تشغّل كبريات موانئ العالم من دبي الى بوسطن وصولاً الى امستردام.

عندما جاء وفد رسمي روسي يرافق شركات روسية وجال بمشاركة السفير الروسي على عدد من المسؤولين عارضاً مشاريع استثمار في المرفأ والكهرباء ومصافي النفط كرر الثلاثي المعزوفة التشكيكية ذاتها، وقامت قنوات تلفزيونية تنتسب لهذا الثلاثي بالحديث عن أن الشركات الروسية وهمية، بصورة تثير الضحك، فهل يعقل أن السفير الروسي ووزارة خارجية دولة عظمى كروسيا سترسل شركة وهمية الى أي بلد في العالم وبأي هدف، بينما ذهبت قناة تلفزيونية أخرى الى فبركة تقرير يربط بين الشركة وباخرة النترات التي تفجّرت في مرفأ بيروت.

بعد توقيع لبنان على عقد مبادلة النفط بالخدمات بالليرة اللبنانية مع العراق نشطت قوى الثلاثي الشيطاني، ولم يرق لها الأمر فخرج بعضها يتساءل عن ماهية الخدمات التي سيقدّمها لبنان بهدف القول إن العقد لن ينفذ، بينما المنطق أن يتعاضد اللبنانيون لإنجاح هذا العقد الذي يوفر على لبنان نزيف 500 مليون دولار، وبعض آخر وضع أسئلة حول كيفية مبادلة النفط بالفيول وصولاً لتشكيك لا يهدف لتحصين الخطوة بل للطعن بها، وبعض ثالث لم يتورّع عن تصوير العقد بأنه بيع نفايات عراقيّة نفطيّة للبنان بهدف التخلص منها.

ليس في العالم بلد يكرهه بعض أبنائه ويتمنون الشر له ويجهدون لتسخيف كل إشارة خير لتعميم اليأس، كحال لبنان.

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Hezbollah Is “Israel’s” Main Concern

July 28, 2021

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By Staff

“Israel” is constantly obsessing about Hezbollah. The constant state high alert along Lebanon’s southern frontier governs and restricts the movements of the “Israeli” troops there. 

In a lengthy article, a military analyst at ‘Walla’ News website, Amir Bohbot, revealed the extent to which the “Israelis” fear any movement on the border that Tel Aviv thinks has a connection with Hezbollah.

According to Bohbot, a classified unit called the “Galanit Anemone Unit” was established a year and a half ago. It consists of officers and intelligence soldiers from the Galilee formation, soldiers from Unit 9900 of the Mock Intelligence and Unit 8200, which is the largest and most powerful intelligence-gathering unit in the Zionist entity. The unit was formed in order to focus on the confrontation with Hezbollah and what is happening on the northern front.

Below is the text of the article:

Soldiers of the Galanit Anemone team, located unknown individuals in civilian clothing moving suspiciously along the border. Combining the various intelligence capabilities from the 8200 and the 9990 units in the Intelligence Division, the Northern Command turned on the red light due to changes in the region.

The classified team in the Galilee formation operated under the command of an intelligence officer of the 91st Infantry Division, whose military career is well intertwined with the activities of Hezbollah over the past two decades, and explains some of the challenges facing the Galanit Anemone Unit.

Lieutenant Colonel T., 37, began his service as an intelligence NCO in 2003 in the Galilee. In 2005, he was in the area during an attempted kidnapping in the town of Ghajar on the border with Lebanon, when Hezbollah fighters tried to kidnap soldiers. A year later, in the summer of 2006, when he had become the head of the research brigade in the Intelligence Division “Aman” and was in the port in Kiriya, Tel Aviv, a terrifying report arrived about the activation of the “Hannibal Procedure”.

“There was an alert, and there were reinforcements on the ground. As soon as the alert level declined, Hezbollah surprised us and kidnapped Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev,” the lieutenant colonel recalled.

The shortfalls in intelligence and the delivery of information to the forces on the ground are engraved in Lt. Col. T.’s head and accompany him in his daily operational activities. In 2014, he became the intelligence officer of the 769th Brigade under the command of Brigadier General Dan Goldbus, when the first explosive device was detonated against an “Israeli” army force.

At that time, an assessment began to form that Hezbollah had tunnels deep in the ground and in the rocks below the border. Eventually, Lt. Col. T. became the operations commander for locating and destroying the tunnels in Galilee. In 2018, he closed the circle and was appointed head of the Lebanese branch of the research division and played a significant role in the psychological warfare against Hezbollah operatives on the border seeking revenge for killing Hezbollah operatives in Syria, including the attempted attack on the Gladiola outpost in the Shebaa Farms [Mount Dov] in 2020.

About a year and a half ago, under strict conditions of secrecy, a classified team called “Kalanit Hagalil” was established under his command. The team combined soldiers and intelligence officers from the Galilee formation, with soldiers from the 9900 unit for visual intelligence and the 8200 unit, which is designated as the largest and most powerful intelligence-gathering unit in “Israel”.

“They all sit together around the same table and do multidisciplinary intelligence. Their first organized work was the exposure of the tunnels on the Lebanese border,” Lt. Col. T. explained, emphasizing that blending their expertise produces valuable and very significant intelligence for the Northern Command.

The idea was born in the sharp mind of Brigadier General Y., who was formerly the Galilee Squad Intelligence commander and now commander of Unit 8200. He is now nicknamed “Y. Hezbollah” due to his extensive knowledge of the organization’s secrets.

He was the one who initially put forward an assessment that wasn’t based on actual intelligence about Hezbollah digging tunnels. A commander of an area parallel to his in Unit 8200 and Lt. Col. T. cooperated. In the planning stages, an objective was set for the special team to gather information on routines in real-time and war requirements in the field of warning, pursue and track operatives, take over an area [control], produce information on enemy plans, produce targets, and monitor Hezbollah’s activities along the border. The idea was approved and supported by the current “Aman” chief, Major General Tamir Heiman.

“As soon as the 8200 commander arrives here, to the area, and tells his people ‘you are the most important’, this expresses everything. He conveys a message to everyone. Partnership yields successes that cannot be talked about,” Lt. Col. T. explained. “We collect information about residential areas, forests, and open areas. After an attempt to target an officer and a soldier on the border with sniper fire last August, we responded by attacking targets that we had produced. This intelligence is produced by the squad. Thwarting what is happening on the border is carried out in cooperation between the Galanit Anemone, the Shin Bet, and the police.”

Meanwhile, Hezbollah continues to wage nerve-wracking psychological warfare against the army and has been moving along the border for a decade. In some cases, it puts people at points near the border on the pretext that they are environmentalists, shepherds, or hikers.

But the leader of the Galanit Anemone refers to a new phenomenon: the Radwan Unit. Hezbollah’s elite fighters are moving along the border.

In this context, he says, “The soldiers of the Galanit Anemone not only detect Hezbollah members on the line of contact but also track them down and try to find their whereabouts. It’s months-long work. They move close to the border, observe, and gather intelligence about the ‘Israeli’ side. At first, they were unknown to us”.

According to estimates by Northern Command officers, the Radwan Unit is building operational capabilities for future warfare. Lt. Col. T. asserts that in addition to the firepower built by Hezbollah, which ranged between 130,000 and 150,000 missiles, the party gathers intelligence along the borders in order to carry out its threats and incursions and attacks inside settlements and outposts along the borderline.

“When Hezbollah sets up an anti-tank missile launcher cell in the border area, we must detect it before it launches the missile,” Lt. Col. T. added, “and after we exposed Hezbollah’s tunnels and destroyed them, it tries to find other routes to infiltrate into “Israel”.”

In the past year, the efforts to infiltrate into “Israeli” territory intensified, but Lt. Col. T. and the intelligence soldiers in the Galilee formation warn that the Radwan Unit and other Hezbollah operatives will one day be able to use these infiltration methods to carry out operations.

“Hezbollah is no longer the same terrorist organization that we knew before. It is an army in every sense of the word. It is an organization that learns, draws conclusions with capabilities that would not embarrass a regular Western army and despite its size, it operates under very high and strict secrecy,” said the Galilee intelligence officer.

Soldiers and commanders of the Galanit Anemone sit in the operations room throughout the day and receive signal intelligence from Unit 8200 [phone calls and exchange of messages from the area], drone and satellite images, surveillance balloons, and other sensors, some of which belong to the 869th Field Intelligence Battalion.

Soldiers, religious and secular, including members of the Druze community who speak fluent Hebrew worked to expose the party’s movements in the region and thwart any suspicious trend during the period of tension in which Hezbollah sought revenge by killing soldiers.

“The Galanit Anemone operates in routine and emergency. In my head, I always have a picture of my childhood friend from Kiryat Shmona, Liran Saadia in the Egoz unit, who was killed in the Second Lebanon War, during a battle with a cell of saboteurs. He was hit and killed by an anti-tank missile in the town of Maroun al-Ras. We did not have information to prevent this. Our goal is to deliver intelligence information to the field.”

According to the division’s intelligence officer, they are monitoring broader activities and looking for a reference on the ground, such as a third-generation anti-tank missile unveiled by the Iranian security industry that may reach the region and pose a threat to the army and the settlements near the fence.

Nujaba: Entire US Military, Including “Criminal” Air Force, Must Leave Iraq

27 Jul 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement has called for a complete pullout of American forces from the country, saying the planned withdrawal under the newly-inked agreement between Baghdad and Washington must include the US military’s “criminal” air force.

“We have no confidence whatsoever in Americans, and do not agree to their presence under any circumstances. We fiercely oppose the US military presence, and demand a complete pullout of American forces,” Nasr al-Shammari, Nujaba’s spokesman, told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network in an interview on Monday night.

The comments followed a meeting between Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden in Washington, where they sealed an agreement formally ending the US “combat” mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Biden said the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Shammari hailed Kadhimi’s latest remarks that Iraq no longer requires American combat troops.

The Nujaba official said the withdrawal must also include the US air force, which, he said, controls Iraq’s airspace and has been behind many of the American military’s crimes in the Arab state.

“The US military’s crimes in Iraq, especially the assassination of military commanders Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani [of Iran] and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were carried out by its air force,” Shammari said.

He said the US military offered no help to Iraq to prevent the rise of the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] initially, or to defeat it later on.

“American forces did not warn against the Daesh militant group’s threats until after it captured more than a third of the Iraqi soil. Additionally, the troops did not provide any assistance to confront the terrorists,” he said.

Shammari said certain Iraqi factions want to promote themselves though foreign support and thus seek a prolongation of the US military presence in the country.

“Who can guarantee that American forces in Iraq will not be reinforced under the title of advisors?” he asked.

Meanwhile, prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr praised the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, saying, “We are waiting for a complete withdrawal of American troops.”

Sadr praised the role of Iraqi resistance fighters in speeding up the American pullout in a post published on his Twitter page, and wrote “The occupiers finally announced the start of the withdrawal of all their combat forces.”

“We are waiting, just as you are, for the complete pullout of the occupying forces,” he said in an address to resistance groups, while appreciating “efforts aimed at striking this agreement, especially those made by brother al-Kadhimi.”

He added, “We have already announced our conditions, and the military operations of resistance forces will stop completely once they are met. We must work to support Iraqi armed forces, including the army and law enforcement, so they can secure Iraqi territories and protect the country against terrorism, violence and proxies.”

Separately, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halboosi hailed the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, and stated that his country is moving confidently towards the full realization of its capabilities.

He described the agreement as a diplomatic and political achievement in line with Iraq’s national interests, establishment of full sovereignty and the creation of a capable Iraq.

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

“Kata’ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada”: US May Back a Military Ruler in Iraq

27 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

After many Iraqi stances refusing to legitimize the US presence in Iraq, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi warns against a plan to destabilize the elections and appoint a US-backed military ruler in Iraq.

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Al-Fartousi: The Iraqi government made a grave mistake

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi considered that “the negotiations between the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his accompanying delegation with the US administration are aimed at legitimizing the US presence in Iraq.”

In response to the Biden-Kadhimi agreement to end the US military combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, al-Fartousi said that “the Iraqi government made a grave mistake when it undertook the role of a mediator between the Resistance and the US.” 

“By doing so, the Iraqi government recognized the presence of US combat troops in Iraq,” he added.

Concerning the Iraqi parliamentary elections and Iraq’s political future, Al-Fartousi confirmed that “the circulated information suggests that the upcoming elections will not bring anything new to the political structure. As a result, a decision was made against them.”

Al-Fartousi warned that “a military figure, who accompanied the Iraqi delegation to the US, may be nominated as a military ruler,” he added.

The Secretary-General of “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” Qais al-Khazali said that the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s statement about the need for US forces was “unfortunate”, noting that “the statement is rejected and does not reflect the reality of the capabilities the Iraqi forces have attained.”

On Monday, the Deputy Secretary-General of Iraq’s “Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement” Nasr al-Shammari expressed to Al Mayadeen his distrust in the Americans.

“Iraq’s Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement rejects the US presence in Iraq,” al-Shammari emphasized.

Commenting on some Iraqi stances which call for the continuation of US presence in Iraq, Al-Shammari  said, “Whoever demands a continued US military presence in Iraq aims to gain internal power through the foreign powers.” 

“US forces in Iraq did not provide an early warning against ISIS invasion, nor did they assist in confronting it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hussein Fuad had lately stressed that his country’s security forces are still in need of the training, armament, equipment, and capacity-building programs provided by the US.

On his part, Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji has recently announced that the US has been informed that “Iraq does not need any foreign combat force” on its soil.

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