“Israel” Killing With Impunity, Lying Without Consequence?

 

The Guardian’s Editorial

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

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The Farewell Visit, Hours before the Execution…

Zeinab Daher

A few hours before the execution of three Bahraini activists, Ali al-Singace, Abbas al-Sami’ and Sami Mushaima, the Bahraini prison’s administration summoned the families of the martyrs in an unexpected call to visit their sons.

The regime in Manama carried out the death verdicts on Sunday [January 15, 2017], triggering angry demonstrations across the kingdom mainly in the villages of Diraz, Bani Jamra and Sanabis.

The youngest among them is Martyr Ali al-Singace who was under the legal age, only 15, when he was first arrested before the Bahraini revolution. He was allegedly accused of attacking an officer, and was later released after the breakout of the Bahraini revolution.

Ali was later kidnapped at the age of 16 and was threatened with being killed unless he operates as a secret agent for armed militias. The young martyr, who was still a student back then, was soon after sentenced to 5 years in prison for the case of February 14, for which he remained on the run, away from his family.

Finally, on the day of the alleged murder of Emirati officer Tariq al-Shihi and two policemen in al-Daih blast [March, 2014], Bahraini authorities stormed Ali’s house. He was detained about a year later and was sentenced to death, along with martyrs Abbas al-Sami’ and Sami Mushaima, for fabricated accusations.

However, it is worth mentioning that Ali, his family and all evidences confirm he had not been interrogated regarding the case of al-Shihi’s death.

So how could he be sentenced to death in a case he wasn’t even investigated for?

Speaking to al-Ahed News website, mother of 22 year-old Martyr Ali al-Singace described the procedure they went through one day ahead of the crime against the Bahraini activists: “The day before the execution, on Saturday, we were informed that we are allowed to visit our sons.”

They asked the martyrs on Saturday morning to give them the numbers of their families, the mother noted. “They wanted to give us their personal stuff, their clothes, food, shampoo, toothpaste… they wanted them to hand in all their personal stuff.”

The prison’s administration called Ali’s father, they informed him that at 16:00 they have to visit their son.

The family was suspicious of the news since no visits are allowed on Saturdays: “We called the family of martyr Abbas al-Sami’, they also said they have a visit at 14:30, then I called the family of martyr Sami Mushaima, they still hadn’t received any phone call at the time. But they were later informed that their visit is scheduled to be at 13:00,” the mother added.

“Our sons didn’t know that we will visit them. They learned about the visit half an hour before the first meeting of the Mushaima family. Each one of them was in solitary confinement, yet they could hear each other’s voices. All of them learned at 12:30 that they will be visited by their families.”

According to the bereaved mom, the martyrs themselves were cautious about the news: “Everybody knows that there are no visits on Saturdays. This, itself, represented an execution.”

“The visit wasn’t like any other… we underwent very careful inspection. Before we entered the prison, we were inspected in an outside cabin, then we were inspected again before we entered a car accompanied with 4 policewomen and 2 policemen,” the mother explained. She further noted that “after we got out of the vehicle, we were inspected again. The moment we entered the place, we saw many police officers on both sides. Between 50 or 60 police personnel, males and females, were deployed in the place.”

“Some four or five policewomen were standing next to us. They kept wearing their sunglasses, observing us during the one-hour visit.”

Martyr Ali al-Singace’s mother told us that the same strict inspection was applied on them as they exited the place… “We were surprised, we were only thinking of the entire procedure we went through.”

The mother explained the treatment they went through as “brutal inspection.”

“I told myself that the moment was a goodbye moment. I told my son to expect that this is the final visit… I told him this might be the last time we see each other although we didn’t know before. I had that feeling… I felt it is the time to say goodbye…”

On the next day, Ali’s father received a call at 09:00 in the morning informing him to come take his son’s corpse from a very far area, not in the region where they live.

“We wanted to bury him an al-Sanabis but they didn’t accept. We feared that they would bury them some place without knowing anything regarding their whereabouts,” the mom said.

Although our sons were executed, people here in Bahrain won’t be silenced and won’t stop their protests.

Ali, just like many other ‘opinion detainees’ in Bahrain, received his judgement in absentia. Also like many other innocent detainees, he was subjected to electric shocks, torture and insults to confess committing ‘crimes’ he actually didn’t.

Ever since the peaceful popular protests started in early 2011, Manama has provided a heavy-handed security response. The clampdown has cost scores of lives.

Later during the popular uprising, the regime called in Saudi and Emirati reinforcements to help it muffle dissent.

1,300 Bahrainis have been arrested and those still in detention have been tortured and denied access to medical care. Hospitals have been militarized as doctors and nurses are harassed for treating victims of the protests. Thousands of workers have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs for taking part in the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, as the international community – particularly in the West – has been quite vocal in condemning atrocities committed against protesters in some Middle Eastern countries, things in Bahrain go the other way. When it comes to the injustice practiced against people there, calls from the West for an end to the authorities’ human rights abuses have been rather muted.

People who demand freedom would definitely offer big sacrifices, and so is the case of the families of Bahraini martyrs. They well accept the martyrdom of their loved ones. They believe that their sons are in heaven, and that justice would spread some day, when the tyrant would receive his due punishment.

Al-Ahed News

Disparity of security necessities among allies America, Turkey, Europe, and Israel تفاوت مقتضيات الأمن بين الحلفاء: أميركا وتركيا وأوروبا و«إسرائيل»

Disparity of security necessities among allies America, Turkey, Europe, and Israel

يناير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It is surprising that some analysts in the world and the region accept to consider the decision of the US President’s withdrawal from Syria as an expression of the mood of Donald Trump. The issue is not in discussing the presidential powers constitutionally; rather it is the ability of the President to deal practically alone with such decision. The US debate about the benefit of the military presence in Syria is neither new, nor governed by considerations related to Syria alone. The principle of the withdrawal from the whole Asian mainland was in circulation in the US decision-making centers for ten years after Baker Hamiliton report 2006 and after the decision of the President Obama in 2010 to withdraw from Iraq in 2011 and the deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2013, which was extended twice to 2016 and to the end of 2018 according to the requirements of the war on Syria and the new bets to win it.

The absolute American consensus on refusing the engagement in a military confrontation with Russia and Iran led to the thinking of how to manage the failure in wars between narrow equations, their first aspect is the turning into a boxing bag that receives blows respectively without a decision to go to war, while their second aspect is the withdrawal, imposing sanctions, and linking the engagement into settlements with conditions that meet the US interests. This aspect is more effective than the military presence according to many in Washington. Since the Battle of Aleppo and the fall of the bet on the Turkish disruption of the geographical expansion of the Syrian army supported by Russia, Iran, and the resistance forces the US decision of withdrawal has become ready, but it was delayed by another bet entitled Saudi-Israeli bilateral that is militarily capable of blowing in Syria and Yemen, and able to launch a political qualitative path entitled ending the Palestinian cause through the deal of the century that besieges Iran and the resistance forces in order to make a settlement with Russia that ends with the exit of Iran and the resistance forces from Syria as a condition for its stability and the Western involvement.

With the emergence of the limited Israeli ability to protect the aggressive interventions on Syria after the Russia decisions to deploy the S-300 missiles network, the development of the Syrian ability to combat the Israeli raids, the abject failure of Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen and its turning into a burden militarily and politically, the fall of the bet on the credibility of the success of the deal of century in finding a Palestinian partner, the emergence of a collective Palestinian will to refuse it, and the expansion of the popular and military Palestinian resistance movement and its imposing new equations, America had to decide to stay militarily face –to-face against Russia, Iran, and Syria in protecting the project of the Kurdish secession, although this project provokes a crisis with Turkey, the Atlantic ally of Washington, but it wants to protect the Israeli desire to barter the US withdrawal with the Iranian withdrawal.

The years of war led by Washington on Syria and its failure led to disparity in the requirements of security between it and its allies. Europe’s understanding of the concept of security starts with the issue of the displaced and the threat of its targeting through the infiltration of terrorists groups from the burning Middle East, while it ends with the concern about any open confrontation with Iran, whether through its military repercussions or its risks to the energy market. Europe did not hesitate to talk publicly about the US policies as a source of concern, whether through the withdrawal from the nuclear understanding with Iran or in managing the Palestinian cause. Turkey tried to search for new positioning that expresses its privacies; it found in Astana path its target through the cooperation with Russia and Iran and what was called by the Turks as the “Third option”. Therefore, the Turkish role in Syria was linked with a ceiling entitled “the concept of the national security” that considers the American –Kurdish relationship the first danger.

Washington lost its European and Turkish allies, while it stoke to its Saudi and Israeli allies. It found that it has to pay costly bills with imminent benefits, the most prominent of which is the American security which starts from Afghanistan. The American intervention was not as tactical as the American presence in Syria. Moreover, the condition of the Iranian cooperation with the requirements of the American security in Afghanistan in ensuring a secure withdrawal is governed by a political equation that was set at the Russian-Chinese- Pakistani- Iranian- Afghani meeting three weeks ago and which was related to the abandonment of the insistence on the Iranian withdrawal from Syria. This led to a set of American decisions under the title of a new concept of the national security that is not governed by the Saudi and Israeli ceilings, rather it sees that the security of Israel and Saudi Arabia is something and the concept of security according to Saudi Arabia and Israel is something else. The Yemeni settlement was the most prominent outcome of these decisions, because it means the acceptance of Iranian gains in the Gulf. This step has been followed by the withdrawal from Syria under the title of handing over the security in the Asian mainland to Russia to ensure the security of Israel and Saudi Arabia which differs from the concept of security to Israel and Saudi Arabia, this will be illustrated later maybe through the withdrawal from Iraq, and then American strict administration of the  negotiation on settlements and lifting of sanctions  and the moving to fight from inside the political and economic structures resulting from settlements.

It is a new stage in the crystallization of the new concepts of security, where the West is no longer a west and the Atlantic is no longer the Atlantic, rather they are separated issues according to interests, where Europe as Turkey has privacies and where Iran as a European and Turkish necessity it turned into American necessity in Afghanistan despite the Saudi and Israeli reservations. It is important to understand the speech of the Turkish President about the turning of the challenge of the American sanctions on Iran into an opportunity for negotiations between them and where Turkey is betting on playing a role of mediator in.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

تفاوت مقتضيات الأمن بين الحلفاء: أميركا وتركيا وأوروبا و«إسرائيل»

ديسمبر 21, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– من المستغرب أن يرتضي بعض المحللين في العالم والمنطقة، إلا لاعتبارات التوظيف السياسي، النظر لقرار الرئيس الأميركي بسحب قواته من سورية، كتعبير عن مزاجية وانفعالية دونالد ترامب، فالمسألة ليست في مناقشة حدود الصلاحيات الرئاسية دستورياً، بل في قدرة الرئيس عملياً وواقعياً على التصرف منفرداً بقرارات بهذا الحجم، والنقاش الأميركي حول جدوى البقاء العسكري في سورية ليس وليد اليوم، ولا تحكمه حسابات مرتبطة بسورية وحدها، بل إن مبدأ الانسحاب من البر الآسيوي برمته ملف مطروح في التداول في دوائر صنع القرار الأميركي منذ أكثر من عشرة أعوام، بعد تقرير بايكر هاملتون عام 2006، وقرار الرئيس أوباما في عام 2010 الانسحاب من العراق عام 2011 وتحديد موعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان في 2013 الذي جرى تمديده مرتين لعام 2016 ثم لنهاية العام 2018، وفقاً لمقتضيات الحرب على سورية والرهانات الجديدة للفوز بها.

– الإجماع المطلق أميركياً على رفض الدخول في مواجهة عسكرية مع روسيا ومع إيران، يحصر البحث الأميركي في كيفية إدارة الفشل في الحروب، بين معادلات ضيقة، قطبها الأول التحول كيس ملاكمة يتلقى الضربات تباعاً دون قرار حرب، وقطبها الثاني الاحتماء وراء الجدار، وهذا يعني الانسحاب، وبناء جدار العقوبات وربط الانخراط بالتسويات التي تزيلها بشروط تلبي المصالح الأميركية، وهو جدار أشد متانة وفعالية من جدار الوجود العسكري، بنظر الكثيرين في واشنطن، ومنذ معركة حلب وسقوط الرهان على التعطيل التركي لمسار التوسع الجغرافي للجيش السوري مدعوماً من روسيا وإيران وقوى المقاومة، صار قرار الانسحاب الأميركي على الطاولة، والذي أخّره رهان آخر عنوانه ثنائية سعودية إسرائيلية مقتدرة عسكرياً في الضرب بقسوة في سورية واليمن، وقادرة على إطلاق مسار سياسي نوعي عنوانه إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية عبر ما سُمّي بصفقة القرن يحاصر إيران وقوى المقاومة. والهدف لهذه المعادلة المفترضة الذهاب لتسوية مع روسيا تنتهي بخروج إيران وقوى المقاومة من سورية كشرط لاستقرارها، وارتضاء الدخول الغربي على خط التسوية فيها.

– مع ظهور محدودية القدرة الإسرائيلية على حماية التدخلات العدوانية على سورية بعد القرارات الروسية بتوضيع شبكة صواريخ الـ»أس 300»، وتبلور القدرة السورية على التصدي للغارات الإسرائيلية، وظهور الفشل الذريع للسعودية في حرب اليمن وتحولها عبئاً عسكرياً وسياسياً، وسقوط الرهان على صدقية نجاح صفقة القرن في إيجاد الشريك الفلسطيني، وتبلور إرادة فلسطينية جامعة في رفضها، واتساع حركة المقاومة الفلسطينية الشعبية والعسكرية وفرضها معادلات جديدة، صار على أميركا أن تقرّر البقاء عسكرياً للوقوف وجهاً لوجه امام روسيا وإيران وسورية في حماية مشروع الانفصال الكردي. وهو مشروع يثير أزمة موازية مع تركيا الحليف الأطلسي لواشنطن، وذلك فقط لحماية الرغبة الإسرائيلية بفرض مقايضة الانسحاب الأميركي بالانسحاب الإيراني.

– بعد سنوات الحرب التي قادتها واشنطن على سورية، ترتب على الفشل ظهور تفاوت في مقتضيات الأمن بينها وبين حلفائها، سواء أوروبا التي باتت نظرتها لمفهوم الأمن تبدأ بقضية النازحين وتمر بخطر استهدافها عن قرب من تسلل الجماعات الإرهابية من الشرق الأوسط المشتعل، وتنتهي بالقلق من أي مواجهة مفتوحة مع إيران، سواء بمترتباتها العسكرية إذا حصلت، أو بمخاطرها على سوق الطاقة، ولم تتردد أوروبا بالتحدث علناً عن النظر للسياسات الأميركية كمصدر قلق، سواء بالانسحاب من التفاهم النووي مع إيران أو بطريقة إدارة الملف الفلسطيني، بينما ذهبت تركيا تبحث عن تموضع يعبر عن خصوصيتها، ووجدت في مسار أستانة ضالتها المنشودة، بالتعاون مع روسيا وإيران وما يسميه الأتراك بالخيار الثالث، وربط الدور التركي في سورية بسقف عنوانه مفهوم للأمن القومي يرى العلاقة الكردية الأميركية خطراً أول.

– خسرت واشنطن حليفيها الأوروبي والتركي وبقيت متمسكة بالحليفين السعودي والإسرائيلي، ووجدت أن عليها دفع فواتير باتت مكلفة مع استحقاقات داهمة، أبرزها الأمن الأميركي الذي يبدأ من أفغانستان، حيث التدخل الأميركي لم يكن تكتيكياً كما هو حال البقاء الأميركي في سورية، وحيث شرط التعاون الإيراني مع مقتضيات الأمن الأميركي في أفغانستان بتأمين انسحاب آمن تظلله معادلة سياسية ظهرت في الاجتماع الخماسي الروسي الصيني الباكستاني الإيراني الأفغاني قبل ثلاثة اسابيع، يرتبط عضوياً بالتخلي عن وهم الإصرار على انسحاب إيراني من سورية، فرأينا حزمة قرارات أميركية عنوانها التموضع على خطوط مفهوم جديد للأمن القومي لا يتبع السقوف السعودية والإسرائيلية، ويرى أن أمن «إسرائيل» والسعودية شيء ومفهوم السعودية و»إسرائيل» للأمن شيء آخر، وكانت التسوية اليمنية العلامة البارزة في هذه الحزمة، وما تحمله من تقبل لفكرة تحقيق مكاسب إيرانية في الخليج، وتبعتها خطوة الانسحاب من سورية بصورة موازية ومشابهة، والعنوان هو تسليم الأمن في البر الآسيوي لروسيا بما فيه ضمان أمن «إسرائيل» والسعودية بغير مفهوم «إسرائيل» والسعودية للأمن، وهو ما ستوضحه المراحل اللاحقة، ربما بالاستعداد للانسحاب من العراق، وبعدها إدارة أميركية أشد صعوبة للتفاوض على شروط التسويات ورفع العقوبات، والانتقال للقتال من داخل البنى السياسية والاقتصادية الناشئة عن التسويات.

– هي مرحلة جديدة في تبلور مفاهيم جديدة للأمن، لم يعد فيها الغرب غرباً، ولا الأطلسي أطلسياً، بل محاور منفصلة وفقاً لحسابات المصالح في كليهما، حيث لأوروبا كما لتركيا خصوصيات، وحيث إيران كضرورة أوروبية وتركية تتحول في أفغانستان ضرورة أميركية، رغم التحفظات السعودية والإسرائيلية، ولعله من المهم قراءة كلام الرئيس التركي عن تحويل تحدي العقوبات الأميركية على إيران إلى فرصة للتلاقي بينهما بمفاوضات تراهن تركيا على لعب دور الوسيط فيها..

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حلف وارسو الجديد… لكن ضدّ إيران

يناير 14, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– في استعارة للمكان يريد وزير الخارجية الأميركية أن يلعب على الذاكرة باستعادة صورة حلف شديد القوة كان يحمل اسم حلف وارسو عاصمة بولندا أيام الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، بالإعلان عن حلف يستهدف مواجهة إيران من العاصمة نفسها ليحمل الاسم نفسه، حلف وارسو، متوجاً بالدعوة للاجتماع المفترض منتصف الشهر المقبل زيارته للمنطقة التي ملأها كلاماً عن حزم وعزم إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب على منع تحول اليمن وسورية إلى لبنان آخر بالنسبة لكل من السعودية و«إسرائيل»، مخفياً المهمة التي تحدث عنها بالتلميح بقوله إنه يجب توحيد جهود الجميع في الشرق الأوسط بوجه إيران، دون أن يلفظ الكلمة السحرية التي ستظلل مؤتمر وارسو، وهي الحلف السعودي الإسرائيلي.

– بالنظر للدعوات التي وجهت والتي ستوجه، والتي طالت مصر والسعودية والبحرين والإمارات والمغرب، وما قد يعقبها من دعوات لبعض دول أميركا اللاتينية، والمقارنة مع مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية الذي رعته واشنطن عام 2012، لتنسيق الجهود لإسقاط الدولة السورية، والذي ضم كل الدول الأوروبية وأغلب الدول العربية، وغابت عنه إسرائيل لضمان نجاحه، ودول إسلامية وازنة كأندونيسيا وتركيا وباكستان، سيبدو مؤتمر وارسو هزيلاً، وتعبيراً عن حجم التراجع في النفوذ الأميركي ليس في المنطقة فقط، بل وفي العالم، حيث سيكون كافياً غياب حلفاء أميركا الأوروبيين، وشركائها الكبار في حلف الأطلسي وفي مقدمتهم مع الدول الأوروبية تركيا، وسيكون الحضور لدول هامشية في القدرة على خوض المواجهات المؤثرة على إيران، ويصبح للمؤتمر وظيفة واحدة، أن يكون الشكل الوحيد المتاح لحشد يضم حلفاء واشنطن من العرب مع «إسرائيل» لمهمة مشتركة عنوانها مواجهة إيران وقوى المقاومة.

– علّق وزير الخارجية الإيرانية محمد جواد ظريف على المؤتمر بنشر صورة تظهر المشاركين في القمة الدولية بشأن التسوية الشرق الأوسطية ومحاربة الإرهاب والتي عقدت في شرم الشيخ المصرية عام 1996، بمن فيهم الرؤساء السابقون للولايات المتحدة بيل كلينتون وروسيا بوريس يلتسين ومصر حسني مبارك و«إسرائيل» شيمون بيريز، والتي خصصت يومها لمواجهة إيران وقوى المقاومة، وكتب ظريف تحت تلك الصورة: «أذكّر مَن سيستضيف وسيشارك في المؤتمر ضد إيران: هؤلاء الذين حضروا العرض الأميركي الأخير الموجّه ضد إيران إما ماتوا أو وُصموا بالعار أو هُمّشوا، في وقت أصبحت فيه إيران أقوى من أي وقت مضى».

– لم ينتبه بومبيو ربما إلى أنها ليست المرة التي يجتمع فيها الحكام العرب المعادون للمقاومة في مؤتمر واحد مع قادة كيان الاحتلال، بل لم ينتبه ربما إلى أن اجتماع العام 1996 كان قمة رئاسية، لن تتاح لمؤتمر وارسو، الذي سيعقد على مستوى وزراء خارجية، وأن ما تغير من يومها إلى يومنا هذا من ضعف وتراجع في حال أميركا وحال الحكام العرب وحال «إسرائيل»، كافٍ لتفسير التوقعات كيف سيكون الفشل مضاعفاً قياساً بالفشل السابق، خصوصاً أن أهم ما تكشفه الدعوة للمؤتمر هو خلافاً لكل كلام آخر، العجز عن السير قدماً بجدية في مسار ينتهي بحل القضية الفلسطينية التي راهن الأميركيون على صفقة القرن لإنهائها بشراكة فلسطينية يؤمنها عرب أميركا، لينتج عن المشهد الجديد تغيير جذري في توازنات المنطقة، فيأتي المؤتمر عودة للصيغ التقليدية اعترافاً باليأس من نجاح الصيغ الجديدة التي بقيت أهدافاً بلا خريطة طريق واقعية لتحقيقها.

– سينتهي مؤتمر وارسو، ولن يحصد نتائج أفضل من قمة شرم الشيخ عام 1996 ولا من مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية 2012، وهو أشد هزالاً من كل منهما على مستوى الحضور، وحال أميركا والمشاركين أشد هزالاً مما كانت في الحالتين.

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The Saudi Engine of Repression Continues to Run at Full Speed

 

David Ignatius

One hundred days after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pressing ahead with anti-dissident campaigns and remains in regular contact with Saud al-Qahtani, the media adviser whom the CIA believes helped organize Khashoggi’s killing, according to US and Saudi sources.

The Saudi crown prince, far from altering his impulsive behavior or signaling that he has learned lessons from the Khashoggi affair, as the Trump administration had hoped, appears instead to be continuing with his autocratic governing style and a ruthless campaign against dissenters, the US and Saudi sources said this week.

“Domestically, he feels very confident and in control. As long as his base is secure, he feels that nothing can harm him,” says one American who met recently with MBS, as the crown prince is known. One of Britain’s most experienced Saudi-watchers agreed: “He’s completely un-chastened by what has happened. That is worrying for Western governments.”

MBS has been contacting Qahtani and continuing to seek his advice, according to the US and Saudi sources. A Saudi source said Qahtani had also met recently at his Riyadh home with his senior deputies from the royal court’s Center for Studies and Media Affairs, the cyber-command post he ran until shortly after Khashoggi’s death. “I’m being blamed and used as a scapegoat,” Qahtani is said to have told his former aides.

“Qahtani holds a lot of files and dossiers,” says the American who met recently with MBS. “The idea that you can have a radical rupture with him is unrealistic.” A Saudi who is close to the royal court agrees: “There’s stuff [Qahtani] was working on that he may have to finish, or hand over,” he said.

One indication that MBS hasn’t altered his Qahtani-style Internet bullying tactics is an aggressive social media campaign launched this week to attack Khashoggi and Omar Abdulaziz, a dissident living in Canada.

An Arabic hashtag on Twitter surfaced Thursday claiming to offer “Fact” about the two men’s alleged involvement in anti-Saudi conspiracies funded by Qatar. One English-language post showed pictures of the two men with the caption “Jamal and Omar: Qatar’s Agents.”

Also appearing on Twitter was a slick video titled “Qatar System Exposed,” apparently produced by a company with the same name as a Dubai-based studio. The video includes English subtitles alleging that Khashoggi was involved in a plot to “create a new destabilizing Arab Spring to unsettle Arab countries, mainly, Saudi Arabia.”

Another new video argues that The Post shouldn’t have given Khashoggi a platform as a columnist when he was also receiving editing advice on his columns from the head of the Qatar Foundation International, a Qatar-funded group based in Washington.

Ironically, the main evidence offered to support these charges of Khashoggi’s links to Qatar is a Dec. 22 article in The Post by Souad Mekhennet and Greg Miller. The Qatar Foundation link was hardly a secret; I mentioned it in a long column about Khashoggi that appeared on Oct. 12, 10 days after he disappeared in Istanbul.

Even MBS’s strongest supporters in the United States appear concerned by the new social media campaign. Ali Shihabi, the head of the Saudi-backed Arabia Foundation, commented in an email to me Thursday:

“I have no idea who is behind this new campaign, but it certainly does not seem wise.” He argued that despite a “concerted campaign funded by Qatar and others . . . the kingdom’s media organs had so far exercised great self-control since the Jamal tragedy, and I would hope that continues.”

The videos and Web postings in the new campaign all have the professional feel of modern media studios in Dubai. According to a Saudi source, Qahtani recently made two trips to the United Arab Emirates, even though he is supposedly under house arrest in Riyadh. The trips couldn’t be confirmed independently.

The Treasury Department said Nov. 15 in imposing sanctions on Qahtani that he “was part of the planning and execution of the operation” that led to Khashoggi’s death.

The American who recently visited MBS said he cautioned him that top US military and intelligence officials were weighing whether the crown prince was a dictator, like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, nominally committed to modernization but unreliable, or a solid ally of the United States. “As long as you keep Qahtani, people will say you’re more like Saddam,” this visitor warned.

Senior Saudi officials who have discussed MBS’s continuing contact with Qahtani have urged US patience. “If I try to ban him, [Qahtani] will find another channel,” a senior prince is said to have advised the administration. Meanwhile, the Saudi engine of repression continues to run at full speed.

Source: WP, Edited by website team

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Deadly Drone Attack on Al-Anad Kills, Injures Dozens of Aggression Forces

Yemeni drone

Yemeni drone (archive)

Al Manar

A Yemeni drone strike hit a military parade outside the southern port city of Aden on Thursday, killing or injuring dozens of Saudi-led aggression forces.

The drone attack targeted graduation ceremony in Al-Anad airbase in Lahij, military sources close to both Houthi revolutionaries and aggression forces reported.

The drone managed to get into the airbase and hit the main platform of the parade, Yemen’s Al-Massirah reported.

The casualties included high-ranking commanders of Saudi-backed fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s forces, military sources said.

Sky News Arabia reported that Chief of Staff of Hadi’s forces, along with Lahij governor were among those injured in the drone attack.

Al-Massirah reported that the strike accurately hit its target, noting that the attack followed a surveillance operation of the aggression forces’ moves and gatherings in Al-Anad airbase.

Local sources said that sirens of ambulances were heard in the area, Al-Massirah reported, adding that many of the injured are in serious condition.

Talking to Al-Manar following the attack, Yemeni Air Force and Air Defense Spokesman, Abdullah Al-Jafri said that the attack on Al-Anad airbase killed or injured 150 Saudi-led forces and mercenaries, including high-ranking Saudi and Emirati commanders.

He said that the strike on the strategic air base of Al-Anad has sparked fear among aggressions powers, stressing that they will not be able to stop the revolutionaries’ drones.

Source: Agencies

 

Yemeni Air Forces Strike Saudi Al-And Base: Dozens Killed, Injured

 

Local Editor

Yemeni Air Forces and the Popular Committees launched on Thursday an air strike on the Saudi aggression forces at Al-Anad Air Base in the southern province of Lahij.

A Yemeni military source said that the air strike was carried after a careful monitoring of the gatherings and movements of the Saudi forces inside the base.

The source confirmed that dozens of Saudi led forces and mercenaries were killed in the operation.

Yemeni Air Forces Strike Saudi Al-And Base: Dozens Killed, Injured

Yemeni Air Forces Strike Saudi Al-And Base: Dozens Killed, Injured

 

Meanwhile, Hadi regime chief of general staff, deputy chairman of general staff, and the intelligence chief, and a prominent military leader were all injured in the operation.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Yemeni forces and artillery unit of the army and the popular committees carried out a joint operation that targeted forces in Al-Baydaa region.

Source: Al-Masirah, Translated by website team

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An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFPTV shows the moment a drone exploded above Yemen's al-Anad airbase in in the government-held southern province of Lahj on January 10, 2019.

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Yemen Talks: Saudis Disrupting Prisoners’ Deal

Local Editor

The Saudi coalition and its mercenaries are attempting to disrupt the prisoner exchange deal, which was agreed to during the Sweden consultations. 

Based on the operational mechanism and timetable for implementing the terms of the deal, the National Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs presented a complete, accurate and professional list of prisoners, while the other party failed to comply. The number of names presented on the other party’s lists totaled 9,147, the majority of which were marked by disparities.

These disparities included 2171 repetitions, 1144 names of people who were previously released and 1460 fake names and lack of complete data. The other party’s lists also included 111 names of Al-Qaeda and Daesh members and 47 names of persons detained on criminal and moral grounds.

The National Committee revealed that while the other party tried to flood the lists with thousands of fake and repeated names, they ignored hundreds of their prisoners, making no mention of their names. The Committee noted that it had no objections to releasing the prisoners whose names were not mentioned if the other party committed to releasing all of its detainees.

The National Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, headed by Abdul-Qader al-Murtada, stated that the other party’s list is evidence of its lack of seriousness and its intent to circumvent the agreement. The committee confirmed its commitment to both the prisoner swap agreement and not allowing the coalition to disavow or disrupt it. The committee also called on the UN envoy Martin Griffith to pressure the other side and compel them to implement the prisoner exchange agreement.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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