«Israel’s» Gaza Headache

«Israel’s» Gaza Headache

Abdallah al-Sinawi

“I hope to wake up one morning and not find Gaza on the map,” former “Israeli” Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told the French President Francois Mitterrand during a meeting in the Elysee Palace. These were feelings he could no longer hide and the nightmares haunting him when he thought about the future of the Jewish “state”.

This was in the early 1990s when talk of settling the Palestinian issue dominated the arena of international diplomacy. The “Israeli” statement, conveyed by the surprised French president to his old friend Professor Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, was not a metaphor for fears as much as it was the basis of a complete strategy that governed “Israel’s” negotiations with the Palestinians in Oslo.

“Israel’s” strategic goals in the Oslo negotiations leaned towards getting rid of the Gaza headache as quickly as possible and transferring the responsibility over to a Palestinian Authority that is bound by full security cooperation with the “Israeli” occupation forces.

It was no coincidence that the title of the first phase of the Oslo agreement was “Gaza and Ariha [Jericho] first”. At the time, there was a fundamental criticism regarding the gaps and concessions that took on the title: “Gaza and Ariha, first and foremost”. This has been happening somewhat for more than a quarter of a century.

“Israel” did not abide by what it signed and there was no Palestinian state created on the territories occupied in 1967. The settlements expanded until they almost devoured the greater part of the West Bank. Al-Quds was annexed by the force of arms and not much attention was paid to any legitimate rights or international resolutions. The Palestinian Authority itself became a hostage under the bayonets of the occupation.

Popular uprisings unfolded. Confrontations took place in al-Quds and the West Bank. Gaza progressed to become “Israel’s” headache.

New situations arouse, the worst of which was the bloody Palestinian division between Fatah and Hamas or the West Bank and Gaza. A harsh siege was imposed on the impoverished enclave, making life there almost impossible.

Three devastating wars were carried out against Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Sporadic “Israeli” raids and attacks destroyed and killed. But Gaza did not succumb. No one in “Israel” is thinking of reoccupying Gaza. The price is high and intolerable. There are no biblical references advocating the occupation of a populated and armed enclave poor of natural resources.

“Israel’s” exact intentions with respect to its ongoing military operations against Gaza and its people are to reduce the prospects for the growth of the armed resistance and to sever its links to the West Bank in order to break the unity of the people and the cause. This is the closest explanation to the truth regarding the motives of the intelligence operation, the repercussions of which have caused the most severe clashes between the “Israeli” army and the resistance groups since 2014.

The failure of the operations shocked the “Israelis”. The commando force, which infiltrated into Khan Younis, fell into the ambush of the resistance. Its commander was killed and another officer was seriously wounded. It almost fell captive had it not been for the general military and intelligence mobilization directly supervised by the “Israeli” chief of staff to save it from that fate.

That incident with its ramifications and the courage shown by the Palestinians in a battle that lacked military parity was a new Gaza headache for “Israel”. The “Israelis” thought they can do whatever they wanted, launch incursions, kill and arrest, without caring about the truce that is supposed to refrain it from any provocative actions.

Such operations are not new. It cannot be envisioned that “Israel” will stop launching them in any long-term truce. It believes that it has the right to do whatever it wants in the name of its security without taking into account that there are about two million Palestinians who demand reciprocity. Calm in return for calm. Not calm from one side. That was the first message. There was a second message sent by the besieged Strip, which was targeted by “Israeli” missiles and destroyed while its residents were intimidated. The message conveyed is that it can retaliate, hurt and push 250 thousand “Israelis” to bomb shelters, paralyze and frighten the southern part of the Jewish “state” and eventually force the “Israelis” to accept Egyptian mediation for a ceasefire and a return to the course of calm, whose longevity cannot be counted upon.

While accepting the ceasefire, “Israel” declared that it would continue military operations if necessary.

What was the necessity that called for breaking the truce?

There is no single answer that goes beyond the loose phrases about “Israeli” security. As if one side has the right to violate the truce on vague grounds and to remove the other party’s similar rights. As usual, the US administration ensured that the “Israeli” war machine was protected in the UN Security Council. Hamas rockets appeared to be the only culprit, as if Palestinian victims were not terrorized and killed by “Israel’s” excessive violence. As usual, the Arab powerlessness was clearly tragic. As if the Gaza headache struck Arab rulers that wished not to find it on the map or that the entire Palestinian cause would simply disappear.

The Arab scrambling for normalization was the fundamental reason that drove the “Israeli” delegate in the UN Security Council to call other states that were talking about the disproportionate use of force ‘immoral’. That light criticism was not easy for “Israel”. As if identifying with the occupation and condemning the victims are the components of morality according to the latest “Israeli” definitions.

Despite “Israel’s” arrogance in its power, its fragility and lack of confidence in the future cannot be hidden. Suffice it to point the targeting of the Al-Aqsa TV with intensive shelling that leveled the premises and surrounding areas. This is a sign of weakness, not power. The capabilities and level of broadcast of the TV station is limited. This shows that “Israel” cannot tolerate a voice against its policies. It is unleashing policies that do not have a way to get rid of the chronic Gaza headaches other than the excessive use of force. It is a peace imposed by force, according to US President Donald Trump, in other words the “Deal of the Century”. With any objective reading, Gaza is its main focus. There is no room for negotiations over the settlements in the West Bank and al-Quds as well as the refugees. The Arab initiative of a comprehensive normalization in return for a full withdrawal from the Arab territories occupied since 1967 has clinically died. The separation of Gaza from the West Bank is an essential objective of the prepared plan.

What is being planned and what the “Israelis” hope to implement is striping away Gaza’s National liberation nature and transforming it into a purely humanitarian issue that includes improving the standards of living and services such as electricity, fuel and the establishment of a water corridor between Cyprus and Gaza under the full supervision of the “Israeli” security services. In one way or another, the failed intelligence operation and the ensuing military confrontation come in the context of the “Deal of the Century”. In one surreal scene, the violence, siege, starvation and the pressure to halt US shares to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) come side by side with proposed projects, deals and promises to improve the standards of living in exchange for Palestinians surrendering any legitimate rights. This kind of thinking is closer to delirium and is certainly fated to fail.

Source: Al-Akhbar, Translated by website team

صداع غزة في رأس إسرائيل

عبدالله السناوي

  الخميس 15 تشرين الثاني 2018

«أتمنى أن استيقظ من النوم ذات صباح فلا أجد غزة على الخريطة». هكذا كاشف رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي الأسبق إسحاق رابين الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا ميتران في اجتماع ضمهما بقصر الإليزيه بمشاعر لم يعد بوسعه أن يخفيها وكوابيس تلاحقه في النظر إلى مستقبل الدولة العبرية. كان ذلك مطلع تسعينيات القرن الماضي وأحاديث تسوية القضية الفلسطينية تتسيّد كواليس الديبلوماسية الدولية. لم تكن العبارة الكاشفة، التي نقلها الرئيس الفرنسي مندهشاً من رسائلها إلى صديقه القديم الأستاذ محمد حسنين هيكل، تعبيراً مجازياً مبالغاً عن هواجس ومخاوف بقدر ما كانت تأسيساً لاستراتيجية كاملة حكمت إدارة إسرائيل للمفاوضات مع الفلسطينيين في «أوسلو».

مال التصميم الاستراتيجي الإسرائيلي في مفاوضات «أوسلو» إلى التخلص بأسرع ما هو ممكن من صداع غزة وإحالة مسؤوليتها إلى سلطة فلسطينية مقيّدة بالتزامات التعاون الأمني الكامل مع قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي. ولم تكن مصادفة أن يكون عنوان المرحلة الأولى في اتفاقية «أوسلو»: «غزة وأريحا أولاً». شاع وقتها نقد جوهري لما انطوت عليه الاتفاقية من ثغرات وتنازلات أخذ عنواناً مضاداً: «غزة وأريحا أولاً وأخيراً». على مدى أكثر من ربع قرن هذا ما حدث تقريباً.

لا إسرائيل التزمت بما وقعت عليه ولا نشأت دولة فلسطينية على الأراضي التي احتلت عام 1967. توسعت المستوطنات حتى كادت تلتهم الجانب الأكبر من الضفة الغربية وضمت القدس بقوة السلاح من دون التفات كبير لأية حقوق مشروعة أو أية قرارات دولية، والسلطة نفسها تحولت إلى رهينة تحت حراب الاحتلال.

هبّت انتفاضات شعبية وجرت مواجهات في القدس والضفة الغربية وتقدمت غزة لتفاقم صداعها في الرأس الإسرائيلي.

ثم نشأت أوضاع جديدة، أسوأها الانشقاق الفلسطيني الفادح بين «فتح» و«حماس» أو الضفة وغزة، وفرض حصار قاس على القطاع الفقير حتى أصبحت الحياة شبه مستحيلة.

جرت ثلاثة حروب مدمرة عليه أعوام 2008 و2012 و2014 فضلاً عن غارات واعتداءات متكررة تضرب وتدمر وتقتل من حين لآخر من دون أن تخضع غزة. ليس في وارد أي تفكير إسرائيلي إعادة احتلال غزة، فالثمن باهظ وغير محتمل، كما أنه ليست هناك مطامع توراتية، أو إغواءات ما لاحتلال قطاع فقير في موارده الطبيعية ومكتظ بالسكان والسلاح. ما تريده إسرائيل ـ بالضبط ـ من عملياتها العسكرية المتواصلة ضد غزة وأهلها تقليل احتمالات نمو المقاومة المسلحة واتصال أدوارها بالضفة الغربية لفصم وحدة الشعب والقضية. هذا هو التفسير الأقرب إلى الحقيقة لدوافع العملية الاستخباراتية، التي استدعت تداعياتها أوسع اشتباك بين الجيش الإسرائيلي وجماعات المقاومة منذ عام 2014.

كان فشل العملية صدمة إسرائيلية مؤكدة. وقعت قوة الكوماندوس الخاصة التي تسلّلت إلى خانيونس في كمين المقاومة، قتل قائدها وأصيب ضابط آخر بجروح خطيرة، وكادت أن تقع في الأسر لولا التعبئة العامة العسكرية والاستخباراتية لإنقاذها من ذلك المصير تحت الإشراف المباشر لرئيس الأركان الإسرائيلي.

ما حدث تلك الليلة بدلالاته ومستوى الشجاعة التي أبداها الفلسطينيون في معركة تفتقد التكافؤ العسكري، تعبير جديد عن صداع غزة في رأس يتصور أن بوسعه فعل ما يشاء، يخترق ويستكشف ما يريد استكشافه، يقتل ويعتقل، من دون أن يأبه بمسار التهدئة الذي يفترض أن يلزمه بالامتناع عن أية تصرفات استفزازية بالسلاح.

مثل هذه العمليات الإسرائيلية ليست جديدة، ولا يتصور أن تمتنع عنها في ظل أية هدنة طويلة المدى، إذ ترى أن من حقها فعل ما تشاء باسم أمنها من دون أن يخطر ببالها أن هناك نحو مليوني فلسطيني يطلبون المعاملة بالمثل ـ تهدئة مقابل تهدئة وليست تهدئة من طرف واحد. كانت تلك رسالة أولى. كما كانت هناك رسالة ثانية من القطاع المحاصر، الذي استهدفته الصواريخ والطائرات الإسرائيلية تقتيلاً وهدماً وترويعاً لمواطنيه، أن بوسعه أن يرد ويوجع ويدفع نحو 250 ألف إسرائيلي إلى الملاجئ وإصابة جنوب الدولة العبرية بالذعر والشلل ويجبر المعتدي في نهاية المطاف على قبول الوساطة المصرية لوقف تبادل النيران والعودة إلى مسار التهدئة الذي يصعب التعويل على إمكانية ديمومته.

إسرائيل نفسها أعلنت في لحظة قبولها وقف إطلاق النار أنها ستواصل العمليات العسكرية إذا اقتضت الضرورة.

    • ما الضرورة التي تدعو لخرق التهدئة؟

لا إجابة واحدة تتجاوز العبارات الفضفاضة عن الأمن الإسرائيلي، كأنه من حق طرف واحد أن يخرق التهدئة بدواعي غامضة وينزع عن الطرف الآخر أية حقوق مماثلة، أو غير مماثلة. كالعادة تكفّلت الإدارة الأميركية بتوفير الحماية لآلة الحرب الإسرائيلية في مجلس الأمن الدولي، وبدت صواريخ «حماس» متهماً وحيداً، كأنه لم يسقط ويروع ضحايا فلسطينيون بالعنف الإسرائيلي المفرط. وكالعادة تبدى العجز العربي مأسوياً كأن صداع غزة قد أصاب قصور حكمه حتى تمنت بدورها ألا تجدها على الخريطة، أو أن تختفي القضية الفلسطينية كلها من الوجود.

كانت الهرولة العربية للتطبيع داعياً جوهرياً لما أسماه المندوب الإسرائيلي في مجلس الأمن بـ«عدم أخلاقية» الدول التي تتحدث عن عدم تكافؤ العنف بين الإسرائيليين والفلسطينيين. لم يكن ذلك النقد الهيّن مناسباً لإسرائيل، كأن التماهي مع الاحتلال وإدانة الضحايا من مقومات الأخلاق وفق أحدث التعريفات الإسرائيلية.

على رغم عجرفة القوة فإنه لا يخفى مدى هشاشتها وعدم ثقتها في مستقبلها. تكفي الإشارة إلى استهداف «فضائية الأقصى» بقصف مكثف أزال مبناها وما حولها. هذه علامة ضعف لا قوة، فالفضائية محدودة في إمكانياتها ومستويات انتشارها، كأن إسرائيل لا تحتمل صوتاً يناهض سياساتها. إنه انفلات أعصاب وسياسات لا تعرف وسيلة ما للتخلص من صداع غزة المزمن غير الإفراط في استخدام القوة. وإنه سلام القوة ـ بتعبير الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، أو «صفقة القرن» بتعبير آخر. بأية قراءة موضوعية مما تسرب عنها فإن غزة محورها الرئيسي. لا مجال لأي تفاوض في مستوطنات الضفة الغربية والقدس واللاجئين، والمبادرة العربية التي تقضي بالتطبيع الشامل مقابل الانسحاب الكامل من الأراضي العربية المحتلة منذ عام 1967 ماتت إكلينيكياً. فصل غزة عن الضفة الغربية هدف جوهري للخطة المزمعة.

ما هو قيد التخطيط ومحاولة التنفيذ نزع الطابع التحرري الوطني عن غزة وتحويلها إلى محض قضية إنسانية يخفف من وطأتها تحسين مستويات المعيشة والخدمات كالكهرباء والوقود وإنشاء ممر مائي مع قبرص للانتقال من غزة وإليها تحت الإشراف الكامل للأجهزة الأمنية الإسرائيلية. بصورة أو أخرى تدخل العملية الاستخباراتية الفاشلة وما ترتب عليها من مواجهات عسكرية في سياق «صفقة القرن». في مشهد سريالي واحد يتجاور العنف والحصار والتجويع والضغط بوقف الحصة الأميركية في «الأونروا» وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين مع التلويح بمشروعات وصفقات ووعود تحسن مستوى الحياة مقابل التخلي عن أية حقوق مشروعة. هذا النوع من التفكير أقرب إلى الهذيان ومصيره الفشل المؤكد.

    • * كاتب وصحافي مصري

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The Victorious Palestine

Hussein Samawarchi

The act of celebration is very symbolic. Knowing what a people celebrate gives the spectator insight on what kind of society they represent, along with their values.

The Palestinians just celebrated repelling an offensive and avoiding another full-blown massacre against their families. They did not celebrate attacking the illegal settlers who continue to rape their land. Not that they don’t have every ethical right to do so; after all, those settlers are foreign elements who have displaced them by resorting to terrorist methods like the use of weapons and a mercenary army for the purpose of ethnic cleansing and the theft of ancestral land.

It just shows how genuinely pure their cause is – it gives indications of their social attitude. These are the same people who expressed sorrow for the many Jews who endured the unspeakable in Europe almost 80 years ago; they are the same people who opened their hearts and doors so innocently for those who barely made it with their lives. They did it under the belief in the Arabic saying “??? ???? ?????” which means God’s land can accommodate all.

Little did they know that the ships claiming to bring in refugees turned out to be transporting Zionists pretending to be Jews. Pretending, because humanity’s prophet Moses did not teach theft and is, by all means, exonerated from the criminal practices of these people. You are not a Jew if you do not follow the teachings and example of Moses.

The rockets shot at the occupied land were not an act of attack, they constituted a defense strategy. Terrorism could not have possibly been stopped with dialogue. God knows the Palestinians, with their natural social tendencies to peaceful approaches, had tried for decades, but words were always met with bullets and more extermination. Hence, the “Israelis” were met with reciprocation this time. It seems that a conversation in their own language is what yields results. Unleashing rockets back at them made them desist from leveling more buildings on children like they have done so many times before.

The Palestinians have celebrated the success of stopping another chapter in their holocaust.

Of course, what happened took its toll on an already divided and ailing “Israeli” political scene. The modern-day Heinrich Himmler of the Zionist entity decided to take a quick exit from the council of psychopaths they call government. Lieberman must have finally accepted the fact that being a bouncer at a nightclub does not necessarily qualify him to lead an occupying force. More reverberations took shape in the further plummeting of Netanyahu’s popularity among his people.

The footage that emerged this week of a beautiful symbol exploding while touched by impure hands carried immense significance. When “Israeli” terrorists tried to desecrate the great flag of Palestine with hands drenched in the blood of innocents, it exploded. A flag is the representation of a nation. It was a lesson; the nation will explode and engulf desecrators with fire just like its symbol did. They need to understand that regardless of how long they remain occupying the holy land, it will never be theirs just like it will never lose its real name, Palestine.

Next to the one dealing with the Palestinian resistance unifying in the face of terrorism, another great event took place during this same period. The Arab leaders who have been supporting Zionists in secret for so long have decided to come out in the open. As unfortunate as that may be, it does help put things in perspective. Now, the revelation that Palestine is not limited, as a cause, to Arabs has been confirmed. And now, those Palestinians who waited for the presumed Arab support know that they are not going to receive it.

The positive aspect is that the Palestinians are able to finally make better alliance calculations. The leaders who have always pretended to be supporters of this righteous central cause have made their reality public. The indisputable knowledge that they belong to the “Israeli” camp indicates that whomever they are against must be in the camp supporting Palestine.

The continuous bashing of the Syrian government, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Republic of Iran by the same people who welcome the oppressors of Palestinians does not require a great deal of analysis. The preposterous allegation that a Shiite geographical crescent is being formed to subdue Sunnis has been debunked by the same people who made it.

If there is a crescent in the making, it is one that includes Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, Alawites, Christians, and any other free soul who believes in Palestine.

It is high time to stop listening to the media funded by those who are too busy between offering “Israel” billions to strike Lebanon and turning their diplomatic missions into human slaughterhouses. Or, that of those who give a private mosque tour to the woman who compares the Islamic mosque Azan to dogs barking. People must focus on the deeds and not the words – contemporary history is sufficient to know whose compass is in the right direction, who is suffering from wars and crippling sanctions due to their dedication for Palestine.

May Palestine remain united and may it celebrate many more victories to come.

Source: Al-Ahed

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الحرب والتطبيع… أوهن من بيت العنكبوت

«إسرائيل» أوهن من بيت العنكبوت، قالها السيد نصرالله ولا زالت عالقة كشوكة في حلوقهم،

نوفمبر 15, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– منذ العام 2000 والمعادلة العبقرية لقائد المقاومة السيد حسن نصرالله تقضّ مضاجع قادة كيان الاحتلال، «إسرائيل» أوهن من بيت العنكبوت، قالها السيد نصرالله ولا زالت عالقة كشوكة في حلوقهم، خاضوا حرب تموز 2006 وحلمهم رفع علم الاحتلال في ساحة النصر في بنت جبيل، حيث قالها علهم يتحررون من وطأتها، فجعلتها حرب تموز معادلة استراتيجية راسخة، فخاضوا حرب غزة ودبّروا الحرب على سورية وحرب اليمن وفي عقولهم وخطط مفكريهم، التحرر من عقدة بيت العنكبوت، وها هم الآن يعودون بصفقة القرن وتسمية القدس عاصمة أبدية لكيان الاحتلال بكل الدعم الأميركي والتطبيع الخليجي، وبالإشهار عن أن دولتهم قومية يهودية، ويخوضون حربهم على غزة، فماذا يقول التاريخ وماذا تقول الوقائع؟

Image result for ‫الكورنيت في غزة‬‎

– حربهم الأخيرة على غزة التي توقفت في منتصف الطريق كانت تأكيد المؤكد بأن كيانهم وجيشهم أوهن من بيت العنكبوت، فالميدان اليوم له أسياده، ولم يعد جيش الاحتلال مَن يرسم المعادلات فيه، الكورنيت حسم السيطرة في البر، والقدرات الاستخبارية للمقاومة أعادت لهم جثث كبار ضباطهم بدلاً من الإنجازات، والصواريخ أسقطت قبتهم الحديدية وسقطت على رؤوسهم، والتهديد بالتصعيد جاءهم بالتهديد المقابل بالمزيد، الصواريخ الدقيقة والعالية القدرة والبعيدة المدى ستنزل إلى ساحات النزال، وترعد فوق تل أبيب.

– في السياسة تقول الحرب في سورية والحرب في اليمن، إن الأهداف الإسرائيلية سقطت، وإن الذراع الإسرائيلية مغلولة، وإن مشروع صفقة القرن يسقط بالضربة القاضية، غياب الشريك الفلسطيني، لأن الشعب الفلسطيني رسم خطوطه الحمراء، مَن يتنازل عن القدس مقتول مقتول، فماذا تقول لهم خطواتهم التي ترعاها واشنطن في الخليج وضم القدس وإعلان يهودية الدولة؟

– مرّ كيان الاحتلال بأربع مراحل من التعامل مع مرجعياته في مقاربة السعي المحموم نحو التطبيع، في المرحلة الأولى لم يكن يعرض سوى تطبيع تقيمه دباباته حيث يحتل الأرض ويضمّ الجغرافيا ويفرض على السكان الرضوخ لذل الاحتلال، وهي صيغة التطبيع التي تتناسب مع مشروع «إسرائيل» الكبرى القائمة على منهج الاحتلال ورسم حدود الكيان بالقوة، وقد سقطت في الجولان العربي السوري بانتفاضة أهله وتمسكهم بهويتهم العربية السورية، وتكرّس سقوطها منذ عام 2000 بسقوط مشروع التوسّع، وفشل الكيان بالاحتفاظ باحتلال جنوب لبنان وتالياً فشله بالاحتفاظ باحتلال غزة.

– في المرحلة الثانية كانت «إسرائيل» العظمى هي البديل الاستراتيجي، وعنوانها مقايضة الأمن بالهيمنة، ومحورها التطبيع الاقتصادي لحجز مقعد المدير الاقتصادي للمنطقة، مقابل القوة العسكرية القادرة على التدمير، لكن شرطها تظهير قدرة الردع، فجاءت حرب تموز 2006 وتكفلت بما بقي منها. وفي المرحلة الثالثة كانت «إسرائيل» الفضلى هي البديل الاستراتيجي الجديد وعنوانها إعادة صياغة المنطقة من خلف الستار وفقاً للمصالح الإسرائيلية، وأداتها التطبيع مع تنظيم القاعدة والفكر التكفيري بأدواته ومرجعياته الخليجية، وكانت الحرب على سورية أداة تطبيق المشروع، والإعلان عن أن جبهة النصرة كنموذج لهذا التطبيع شريك في الأمن الاستراتيجي لكيان الاحتلال، وقد سقط آخر ما تبقى من هذا التطبيع الذي شمل العلاقات التحالفية المعلنة مع حكام الخليج بالضربة القاضية في جنوب سورية.

– تطل المرحلة الرابعة، وعنوانها «إسرائيل» الصغرى، وشرطها الانكفاء خلف الجدار، والاكتفاء بالاعتراف الأميركي بالقدس عاصمة لكيان الاحتلال، وإشهار يهودية الدولة، وهي ثمرة التسليم بسقوط فرص التسوية مع محور المقاومة، وسقوط فرص ضربه وإضعافه، وسقوط فرص إيجاد شريك فلسطيني بقياس المصالح الإسرائيلية لمضمون التسوية، وشكل التطبيع الذي يتناسب مع بدء أفول الكيان وقوته وقدرته على رسم الخرائط، هو التطبيع الذي نشهده مع حكام الخليج، لتوظيفه في إزالة الذعر الذي يعيشه المستوطنون في الكيان القلقون من مستقبل كيانهم، غير الواثقين بغدهم، في ظل ذعر استراتيجي عنوانه أن وجود الكيان صار مطروحاً على بساط البحث، ومثل هذا التطبيع يسهم في نشر ثقافة الاطمئنان بأن «إسرائيل» كيان طبيعي معترف به في المنطقة، حتى لو كان من يعترفون ليسوا من تخشاهم «إسرائيل» وتعتبرهم التهديد الاستراتيجي لوجودها، وهم من يتسبب لها ولمستوطنيها بهذا الذعر الاستراتيجي، فهو تطبيع بيت العنكبوت، كما باتت الحروب حروب بيت العنكبوت.

– كان لي شرف المشاركة في مؤتمر علمي بدعوة مشتركة من جامعة حلب والمستشارية الثقافية الإيرانية في سورية، ومما قلته في مشاركتي،

إن تلاقي السنن التاريخية والسنن الإلهية جعل الرد على التطبيع الإسرائيلي مع تنظيم القاعدة كردّ على الفشل في حرب تموز ومحاولة استجلاب مَن يباهي حزب الله في بذل الدماء، قد جاء على يد حزب الله نفسه، الذي تكفل بقطع يد تنظيم القاعدة ومتفرعاته في سورية داعماً الدولة السورية وجيشها،

إن تلاقي السنن التاريخية والإلهية يقول اليوم

إن الرد على التطبيع الخليجي المبرمج لحساب «إسرائيل» الصغرى بعد الهزيمة التي تلقتها الحرب التي دبّرتها «إسرائيل» ضد سورية وكان سقوطها مدوياً في حلب، ها هو يبدأ من حلب، حيث المدينة العربية الجريحة، التي لا تزال تلملم بقايا أشلائها بعد دمار وخراب وموت، هي المدينة العربية الأولى التي تقود المواجهة على هذه الحلقة من التطبيع، لكنه تطبيع بيت العنكبوت، دون أن يغير ذلك من وصف الجرم بما يستحق، لكن دون وهم الظن بأن «إسرائيل» تتفوق وتتقدم، فهو حلف المتعوس الحاكم للخليج مع خائب الرجاء المنتقل من حرب فاشلةإلى تطبيع فاشل.

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No Sanctions Can Stop Cooperation between Russia, ASEAN Countries, 13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin: No Sanctions Can Stop Cooperation between Russia, ASEAN Countries

November 15, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that no sanctions can stop cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries.

At a press conference in Singapore after his participation in the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Russia-ASEAN summit, Putin said that any politically-motivated restrictions in the economy are a hindrance and hurt everyone, including those who introduce them.

No sanctions can stop cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries and the development of their economies, the Russian strongman said.

Putin meanwhile, stressed that Russia is ready to work with Japan to resolve controversial issues.

He also asserted that Russia’s participation in WEF in Davos “will not affect Russia’s authority in world’s economy. A country’s authority in the world’s economy depends on its economic power, the economy’s structure, results in terms of technological effectiveness, the GDP growth, macroeconomic indicators, small external debt, the absence of budget deficit or its minimum rate or, what is better, budget surplus, which Russia enjoys now.”

Those imposing restrictions on Russian businessmen’s participation in WEF impose them against themselves, Putin added.

On the other hand, the Russian President has spoken briefly with US Vice President Mike Pence and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton before the beginning of the plenary session of the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

Meeting with Pence, Bolton

Putin and Pence had discussed strategic stability as well as the implementation of a new start treaty, Sputnik said.

He said that he believes that strategic stability is the key issue on the agenda of Russia-US talks.

Commenting on Syrian influx of migrants, Putin said that Europe should get rid of its “phobias” and help the Syrian people if it does not want to face a new inflow of migrants.

Russia is ready for full-fledged work in Syria’s economy, which would be advantageous for Moscow, and hopes that joint humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria, conducted by Russia as well as France and Germany, will continue, Putin added.

Source: Sputnik

https://www.globalresearch.ca/

13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions: Report

November 15, 2018

S-400 air defense systems

At least 13 countries have expressed their interest in purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems instead of US equipment despite the likelihood of provoking Washington’s sanctions, media reported citing people with first-hand knowledge of a US intelligence assessment.

Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam were among the countries that had already engaged in talks on buying the Russian missile systems, the CNBC broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

Washington expected that several countries would yield to the US pressure and abandon their plans to purchase the Russian equipment, the outlet added.

“Many of these countries do not want to wait for US regulatory hurdles … The S-400 has less export restrictions and the Kremlin is willing to expedite sales by skipping over any regulatory hurdles. It’s like buying it off the shelf,” one of the sources told the broadcaster.

Another source noted that S-400 had been more powerful, in terms of capability, than the US most capable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“No other US system can match the S-400’s ability to protect large swathes of airspace at such long ranges,” the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said.

Sanctions over the purchase of the Russian military equipment could be triggered under the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which came into force in 2017 and is set to punish Moscow for it alleged meddling in the US 2016 presidential election.

Source: Sputnik

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Behind a Saudi Prince’s Rise, Two Loyal Enforcers

By Ben Hubbard and David D. Kirkpatrick

When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia convened an outdoor banquet this spring for his fellow Arab rulers, seated among the kings, princes and presidents were two friends with few qualifications other than their closeness to the young prince himself: a poet who has become known for orchestrating ferocious social media campaigns, and a former security guard who runs the Saudi sports commission.

The two men had each played pivotal roles in many of the brazen power plays that have marked Prince Mohammed’s sprint to dominance of the kingdom — the ouster of the previous crown prince, the detentions of royals and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, the kidnapping of the Lebanese prime minister, and the kingdom’s diplomatic spats with Qatarand Canada. Even Saudi royals have come to fear the prince’s two friends — Saud el-Qahtani, 40, and Turki al-Sheikh, 37 — and the Arab potentates around the table could scarcely object to their presence.

Now the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents has focused attention on their roles as enablers of the crown prince’s impulsiveness and aggression, and Saudi watchers consider the men’s fate a bellwether of the royal court’s direction as it grapples with the international outrage over the killing.

“They are the closest people to the crown prince,” said Kristin Smith Diwan, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. “They are his political enforcers and the face of the brash new ‘Saudi first’ posture at home and abroad, and those opposed to the hypernationalist, thuggish direction in Saudi foreign policy would be happy to see them cut down to size.”

Neither man is among the 18 people Saudi Arabia says it has arrested in the course of its investigation into Mr. Khashoggi’s killing.

But the kingdom has already assigned some blame for the killing to Mr. Qahtani, the social-media czar. He lost his title as an adviser to the royal court because he contributed to the vitriolic rhetoric toward the kingdom’s critics that led to Mr. Khashoggi’s death, a Saudi official said. It is unclear which of his many duties Mr. Qahtani has relinquished.

Mr. Sheikh, the sports commissioner, was in New York for medical treatment during the killing, according to Saudis who know him, and has since avoided the spotlight.

Mr. Khashoggi, who was a Saudi insider before fleeing the kingdom last year to live in Virginia and write columns for The Washington Post, had said the two men exemplified what was dangerous about Prince Mohammed.

The crown prince “does not have political advisers except Turki al-Sheikh and Saud al-Qahtani,” Mr. Khashoggi said in private comments published by Newsweek after his death. “They are very thuggish. People fear them. You challenge them, you might end up in prison.”

Mr. Qahtani did not respond to messages seeking comment. Mr. Sheikh did not respond to a request for comment sent to the sports commission.

Both men run portfolios — social media and sports — that resonate with the large population of young Saudis whom Prince Mohammed has courted as his base. Both have sought to fire up the fierce nationalism that the prince has encouraged by pouring money into battles against rivals in stadiums or on the internet.

Although neither portfolio relates to foreign affairs, foreign envoys often seek out the two men because of their influence, said Dennis Horak, the former Canadian ambassador to Riyadh who was expelled in August after other Canadian diplomats called for the release of detained rights activists.

Mr. Sheikh was approachable while Mr. Qahtani “had a much fiercer reputation,” Mr. Horak said. The pair, he said, was “not so much good cop-bad cop, more bad cop and lesser-bad cop.”

Like Prince Mohammed, neither was well known before the prince’s father, King Salman, ascended the throne in 2015. Both were educated inside the kingdom with scant experience abroad.

Critics in the kingdom say that they sometimes failed to understand the dynamics of Western politics and culture, like when Mr. Qahtani orchestrated the plastering of billboards and trucks in London with his boss’s photo during the crown prince’s visit there last spring — to the derision of Londoners unaccustomed to foreign personality cults.

But each man had skills the prince treasured.

Mr. Qahtani, who held an undergraduate law degree and wrote poetry, had been recruited to work in the royal court more than a decade ago. He gained a deep understanding of the royal family’s secrets that members and associates of the royal family say he later exploited to help Prince Mohammed plot his rise and eliminate his rivals.

He also appears to have developed an interest in hacking. As early as 2009, someone using credentials associated with Mr. Qahtani was trawling amateur hacking forums to learn about surveillance software, according to images of the posts captured by other forum members.

In 2012, someone using Mr. Qahtani’s government email address solicited services from the Italian spyware company Hacking Team, according emails later released by WikiLeaks. In one email, the writer sought a visit by people with “high technical knowledge” to “explain the solutions you offer and training and costs.”

“Will bear all the costs of the trip from A-Z,” the author of the email added.

Mr. Qahtani has become Prince Mohammed’s chief propagandist. With a Twitter following of 1.36 million users, he solicited names for a blacklist of enemies of the kingdom and then marshaled mass social media attacks against them, commanding followers his critics have called “electronic flies.” His work has earned him the nicknames Lord of the Flies, Mr. Hashtag and “Saudi Arabia’s Steve Bannon.”

Mr. Sheikh was a bodyguard in Prince Mohammed’s security detail who charmed the prince with his sense of humor and intense loyalty, said associates of the royal family who know both men. Roughly the same age, they developed a personal rapport, and the prince rewarded Mr. Sheikh with a seemingly limitless budget to make the kingdom an international contender in tennis, boxing, soccer and other sports. He has welcomed wrestling legend Hulk Hogan to Riyadh and last April, he joked in the ringabout keeping for himself the championship belt for the WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble.

In an extension of his royally financed campaign to build a sports empire, Mr. Sheikh became the honorary president of one of the most successful and popular soccer teams in Egypt, an honor widely believed to reflect heavy investments of money from the crown prince. But Mr. Sheikh resigned in a dispute with the board after just a few months and instead bankrolled his own rival franchise, Pyramid. He recruited three star Brazilian players and launched a sports channel dedicated to his team, reportedly pouring in as much as $33 million.

But he complained publicly that Egyptian referees, fans and commentators were failing to appreciate his investments, and said he had asked Egypt’s president to intervene. In September, a stadium of Egyptian soccer fans broke out in vulgar chants denouncing Mr. Sheikh and the Saudis, and he responded by abandoning the team.

“Strange attacks from everywhere, and a new story every day,” he wrote on Facebook. “Why the headache?”

Mr. Sheikh also splurged last September on a $4.8 million limited edition Bugatti Chiron sports car, according to a sales contract obtained by The New York Times. The seller, the Emirati businessman Saeed Mohammed Butti Alqubaisi, declined to comment.

When an entertainment program on the Saudi-owned satellite network MBC last year seemed to hint at a rumored affair between Mr. Sheikh and an Egyptian singer, Mr. Sheikh ordered the network to fire the production team, according to industry executives familiar with the case. The show remains off the air.

Both men played signal roles in Prince Mohammed’s rise. In June 2017, Mr. Sheikh and Mr. Qahtani were among a handful of Prince Mohammed’s loyalists who forcibly detained the previous crown prince and interior minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, holding him overnight and threatening him until he agreed to give up his claim to the throne, according to members and associates of the royal family.

 

In a video made the next day, Mr. Sheikh can be seen hovering behind the ousted prince as he pledges allegiance to Mohammed bin Salman. A social media campaign spread rumors that a cocaine addiction had made the ousted prince unfit to rule, and people close to the royal family said Mr. Qahtani fueled the rumors.

Both men sprang into action again when Saudi Arabia led a blockade of its tiny neighbor Qatar in June 2017, over its support for political Islam. They unleashed insults and promoted hashtags bashing Qatar, and Mr. Qahtani forced MBC to stop airing Turkish soap operas because of Turkey’s support for Qatar, costing the network millions in losses, according to industry executives.

He also persuaded Prince Mohammed to spend more than $100,000 on American television commercials denouncing Qatar, evidently unaware of how few Americans were following the Gulf dispute.

A Qatari-owned network, BeIN Sports, had acquired the exclusive rights to broadcast this year’s World Cup in the Arab world. So Mr. Qahtani helped promote BeoutQ, a bootleg operation beamed from Riyadh-based Arabsat. BeoutQ ripped live events from BeIN’s feed and broadcast the games without paying for rights, spurring international lawsuits. The Saudi government has denied any relationship to the pirate network.

Both men also played key roles again last fall when Crown Prince Mohammed arbitrarily detained hundreds of the kingdom’s richest businessmen and several of his royal cousins in a Ritz-Carlton hotel in what was billed as a crackdown on corruption — just a few weeks after Mr. Sheikh had picked up his $4.8 million Bugatti.

Both men acted as interrogators, demanding that the captives confess to corrupt self-enrichment and pledge to surrender vast sums, according to relatives and close associates of several detainees. Although blindfolded during some interrogations, detainees told relatives that they saw the two men or recognized their voices from broadcast interviews. Others said that through hotel room windows, they saw Mr. Sheikh coming and going surrounded by armed guards.

Several former detainees have reported physical mistreatment during the interrogations, including beatings, electrical shocks and suspension upside down for long periods.

Some have shown their family members lasting scars from the beatings and shocks, and in one case photographs of the bruises and scars have been shared with The New York Times; some of the pictures included the electronic monitoring bracelet that the government has forced released detainees to wear to track their movements. One was forced to make his consent to a forced confession with only a thumb print because he was too incapacitated to write out his signature, according to a relative informed by the detainee.

Although no evidence has emerged that either man directly abused the captives, both questioned detainees who had been abused.

The government of Saudi Arabia has called the allegations of physical abuse “absolutely untrue.”

A few weeks after his release from the Ritz, Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, once the kingdom’s wealthiest investor, made a donation of more than a half-million dollars to a Saudi soccer club, writing on Twitter that he was “responding to the invitation of my brother Turki al-Sheikh.”

Neither Mr. Qahtani nor Mr. Sheikh have commented publicly on the killing of Mr. Khashoggi. But Mr. Qahtani, who lost his title as a royal court adviser, appears to believe his days of serving the prince are not over.

After his dismissal, he tweeted his thanks to the king and crown prince for “this great opportunity to have the honor to serve the homeland.”

“I will remain a loyal servant of my country forever,” he added.

Ben Hubbard reported from Beirut, and David D. Kirkpatrick from London. Tariq Panja contributed reporting from London, and Karam Shoumali from Berlin.

Source: NYT, Edited by website team

Israel’s failure in Gaza

2018-10-13_al-aqsaal-aqsa.jpg

By Mohammad Ayesh
Source

The failed Israeli operation that targeted Hamas members on Sunday evening confirms that Israel is not sparing any opportunity and is not risking losing any target, regardless of the political situation. It does not care if the truce collapses or survives and it does not care about any international mediator. It has become clear that we are facing a security and military system not governed by politicians and therefore it does not adhere to what they adhere to.

However, the implications of the Israeli operation against the Gaza Strip do not just come down to Israel not caring about the truce or political mediators and not sparing a Palestinian target from its attack. It goes beyond this due to its military nature and sensitive timing, occurring at a time when truce talks under Egyptian auspices are taking place. The most important and prominent implications of this Israeli operation are as follows:

First, judging the success or failure of the operation should not be based on the human losses sustained on either side because this is not a conventional war or a military scale. Instead. Israel’s failure is manifested in the fact that the operation aimed to abduct a Hamas leader, most likely the martyr Nur Baraka who recently obtained a Master’s degree. This operation means that Israel wanted him alive, because if they wanted to kill him, they would use an air strike, not a ground attack, after determining his exact location. This means that according to Israeli assessment, the man possessed important secrets and that is why they wanted to arrest him alive, not assassinate and eliminate him. However, they failed in their operation, as they lost the man and his secrets and came out of the operation with the death of an Israeli officer from the unit that carried out the operation.

Secondly, the Israelis are not respecting the Egyptian mediation for the truce. This means that international guarantees more binding for Israel should be sought if Hamas agrees to a truce. It should also be known whether the Israeli security agency would comply with the commitments of the politicians. If the Israeli government was aware of this operation and agreed to it in advance, that would mean that Tel Aviv is not interested in a truce with the Gaza Strip, and that there are no guarantees for the continuation of the truce after reaching it, as Israel could breach it at the first sight of a Hamas leader it can reach.

Thirdly, the disregard for the Palestinian side and the Egyptian mediation, and the execution of this operation in this manner, including the military ground invasion, backed by air cover, would not have happened had it not been for the unprecedented wave of Arab normalisation with Israel. This includes the Gulf’s keenness to build free relations with Tel Aviv. Otherwise, why would Israel no longer care about the Egyptians’ anger and letting them down if the numerous channels in the Arab world were not open to it. Accordingly, any tension in the relations with Egypt and Jordan (traditional friends) could possibly be compensated for by relations with other Arab countries.

Fourthly, Israel definitely wanted to test Hamas’ military strength and also wanted to test its armed forces’ reaction after all of these years of siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. It seems that this test was important from an intelligence perspective for the Israelis before initiating a truce period. Perhaps Tel Aviv also wanted to conduct this test before making the decision to wage (or not to wage) a full-scale war on the Gaza Strip. In previous wars, Israeli forces’ estimates of Hamas’ strength were mostly wrong, and the previous three wars ended without results.

In summary, Israel suffered a new loss in this operation and although the operation’s target, the martyr Nur Baraka, was not known to the public, he was certainly an important man and Israel wanted him alive to obtain the information in his possession. Otherwise, it would not have engaged in this risk that almost ended in the capture of another Israeli officer if he hadn’t been killed on the spot. On the other hand, it is important to say that the free Arab normalisation with Israel and the Gulf moving towards Tel Aviv bears part of the responsibility for this Israeli arrogance.

The Plan: Why Israel Is Bent on Supporting Arab Division

By Elias Samo
Source

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During many meetings with senior members of the Syrian opposition in various European cities in 2013-2014, I would remind them that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, amongst others, host and finance the opposition due to their own self-interest and agendas; and not out of love for Syria. I would note that there is no disagreement among us Syrians about the brutality, corruption and exploitation of the Ottoman Empire during its four-century rule of Syria; we don’t want history to repeat itself. As for Saudi Arabia, I would remind the opposition of the contributions Syrian professionals made in the development of the Kingdom in past decades. We say to the Saudis “Blessed be your Wahhabism for you, but not for Syria”; Syria is a cultural and societal mosaic of ethnic, religious and sectarian components. As for the United States, we all agree that Washington supports Israel and views Syria as an adversarial state. However, Israel is a totally different matter. Since its creation, Israel has pursued aggressive and expansionist policy towards its neighbors in pursuit of two primary objectives: I – Great Israel and II – No Arab Unity And Support Arab Division.

I – Great Israel:

Great Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Since the June 1967 War and the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel has been in control of the land between the River and the Sea. Thus, Great Israel exists in reality, though not legally or officially until it annexes the West Bank and declares the Jewish Great Israel with Jerusalem its capital.

II –Supporting Arab division:

There are numerous documents and publications to that effect for the Arabs to read. Unfortunately, and according to international surveys, Arabs are amongst the least reading people in the world. This reminds me of the late Moshe Dayan, the Israeli Defense Minister during the June 1967 War. After the war, Dayan published some Israeli military strategies and tactics during the war. His colleagues criticized him for divulging military secrets to the Arabs. His response was not to worry; the Arabs don’t read. This problem is further compounded by the Arabs lack of interest in research or translation. Jointly, these three components form critical foundations for the development of societies and civilizations.

In the 1990’s, I participated in numerous Track II Diplomacy meetings with Israelis regarding the Syrian-Israeli Peace Process. During one of those meetings, attended by some Egyptians and Palestinians in addition to the Israelis, I gave a presentation in which I noted that the Arab region is divided into four sub-regions: The Fertile Crescent, The Arabian Peninsula, The Nile Valley and North Africa. Unlike the other three sub-regions, the Fertile Crescent faces national security threats being surrounded by three powerful and hostile neighbors: Turkey to the North, Israel to the South and Iran to the East. To deal with this multiple and omnipresent security threats, Syria and Iraq must agree to some form of unity; a joint population of 40+ million people, educated and productive endowed with natural resources including substantial oil reserves, and a large army. I emphasized the point that the purpose of such a unity is not aggressive; but defensive. I had hardly finished my presentation when the late Ze’ev Schiff, the military editor of the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz in a loud voice said “Do you think we will let you do that?”; meaning that any Arab initiative for unity must receive a prior Israeli approval which of course is not forthcoming. Mr. Schiff had previously published an article in Haaretz in 6/2/1982 proposing a plan for a future Iraq, in which he wrote that the best thing to serve Israel’s interest would be “the dissolution of Iraq into a Shiite State, a Sunni State and the separation of the Kurdish part.”

There were more comprehensive plans to break up a number of Arab states. In 1982, the Israeli journalist Oded Yinon proposed a more elaborate plan entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”, published in the Hebrew Journal Kivunim. The plan called for the dissolution of several Arab states into smaller states. The author starts with “Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces…” He continues “Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions…” Furthermore, “ The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as Lebanon…” His solution for the Palestinians is through “The termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians…”

After Yinon, the neoconservatives in 1996 submitted a plan for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s consideration entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. Israel’s Western frontier is secured through the peace treaty with Egypt. The frontier with Syria could be secured “by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria.” As for Iraq, it starts with “removing Saddam Hussein from power…”

In 2007, General Wesley Clark, in an interview and a lecture, said that while visiting the Pentagon just a few days after 9/11, a General explained to him that a decision has been made “to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off with Iran.”

Iraq, the first on the Pentagon war list was invaded in 2003. The Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, in a Haaretz article on April 3, 2003, notes that “the belief in war against Iraq was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals…” Syria, next on the Pentagon war list, was “a ripe fruit ready for picking” However, the picking of Syria had to wait until the start of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

Had Syrians known what was planned for them by Washington and Tel Aviv, they might have avoided the death and destruction in Syria, for patriotism and wisdom call upon the various factions in the State to put aside their differences and confront the external threats.

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