PA forces crackdown on Gaza solidarity rally in Ramallah

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security forces broke up a rally in support of Gaza, which took place in Ramallah on Wednesday. Riot police used batons, sound grenades and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Injuries and arrests were reported at the scene. The protest was held despite a temporary ban on demonstrations issued earlier on Wednesday. Organisers have promised further rallies. Protesters have been calling on PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to drop measures against Gaza, which they believe punish its two million residents.

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President Abbas on Jewish History

May 02, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

abbas.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas as anti-Semitic after the latter claimed past massacres, including the Holocaust were related to the “social function” of Jews in banking.  “[H]ostility against Jews is not because of their religion, but rather their social function”, were Abbas’ exact words.

Abbas’ view is not a new one, and it was a view accepted by early (Labour) Zionists who tended to agree with the so-called ‘antisemitic argument’ that Jews were removed from labour and proletarian life and were too involved in capitalist adventures. Neither Abbas nor Early Zionists justified antisemitsm however,  they attempted to grasp it roots. Labour Zionism was actually a promise to change the Jewish people and their fate by means of ‘homecoming.’

“It would appear that, once a Holocaust denier, always a Holocaust denier,” the Israeli prime minister said of Abbas on Twitter on Wednesday. “I call upon the international community to condemn the grave antisemitism of Abu Mazen [Abbas], which should have long since passed from this world.”

But is Bibi correct? Has this kind of debate faded away? During the last American presidential election, contender Donald Trump was repeatedly accused of antisemitsm for  ‘dog whistling’  on the connection between Jews and Wall Street. Abbas’s comment, to a certain extent, helps us to locate Trump’s victory in an historical context.

Israel’s foreign ministry accused Abbas of fuelling religious and nationalist hatred against the Jewish people and Israel. I can’t figure out where the religious hatred is to be found in President Abbas’ words. Abbas didn’t argue that Jewish banking is a Judaic ritual or a mitzvah. He specifically referred to culture. In my book,  Palestinians are more than entitled to oppose Jewish nationalism. However there was no nationalist hatred there either.

PM Netanyahu asked the international community to condemn Abbas. David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel was quick to deliver.  He tweeted the following: “Abu Mazen has reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their ‘social behavior relating to interest and banks.’ To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don’t have peace, think again?”

I am left puzzled, when Friedman says  “WE don’t have peace” what ‘WE’ does he  have in mind? Is it the Israeli ‘WE’ or maybe he refers to the  American ‘WE” whom he is paid to represent. I ask because for the time being America and Palestine are in peace.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

If I Were MBS, I’d Be Cynical About This Visit

Robert Fisk

08-03-2018 | 10:52

Thank heavens Theresa May is giving a warm welcome today to the illustrious Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Majesty Mohammad bin Salman. For it is meet and right that she should do so. His Royal Highness is a courageous Arab reformer, keen to drag his wealthy nation into the 21st century in a raft of promises – women’s rights, massive economic restructuring, moderate Islam, further intelligence gathering on behalf of the West and an even more vital alliance in the “War on Terror”.

MBS

Thank God, however, that Theresa May – in her infinite wisdom – is not going to waste her time greeting a head-chopping and aggressive Arab Crown Prince whose outrageous war in Yemen is costing thousands of lives and tainting the United Kingdom with his shame by purchasing millions of dollars in weapons from May to use against the people of Yemen, who is trying to destroy his wealthy Arab brothers in Qatar and doing his best to persuade the US, Britain and sundry other Westerners to join the Saudi war against the Shias of the Middle East.

You see the problem? When it comes to money, guns and power, we will cuddle up to any Arab autocrat, especially if our masters in Washington, however insane, feel the same way about him – and it will always be a “him”, won’t it? And we will wash our hands with them if or when they have ceased to be of use, or no longer buy our weapons or run out of cash or simply get overthrown. Thus I can feel some sympathy for young Mohammad.

I have to add – simply in terms of human rights – that anyone who has to listen to Theresa “Let’s Get On With It” May for more than a few minutes has my profound sympathy. The Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, a very intelligent Richelieu, must surely feel the same impatience when he listens to the patently dishonest ramblings of his opposite number. Boris Johnson’s contempt and then love for the Balfour Declaration in the space of less than 12 months is recognized in the Arab world as the cynical charade that it is.

Human rights groups, Amnesty and the rest are angrily calling Crown Prince Mohammad to account this week. So are the inevitable protesters. Any constable who raises a baton to keep order will be “doing the Saudis’ work”, we can be sure. But I fear that the Crown Prince should be far more concerned by the Government which is now groveling to his leadership. For he is dealing with a Western power, in this case the Brits. And the only advice he should be given in such circumstances is: mind your back.

A walk, now, down memory lane. When Gaddafi overthrew King Idris, the Foreign Office smiled upon him. A fresh face, a safe pair of hands with an oil-bearing nation whose wealth we might consume, we thought Gaddafi might be our man. The Americans even tipped him off about a counter-coup, just as we much later helped Gaddafi round up his opponents for torture. Then Gaddafi decided to be an anti-colonial nationalist and eventually got mixed up with the IRA and a bomb in a West Berlin nightclub – and bingo, he became a super-terrorist. Yet come the “War on Terror” and the invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi was kissed by the Venerable Blair and became a super-statesman again. Until the 2011 revolution, at which point he had to become a super-terrorist once more, bombed by NATO and murdered by his own people.

Talking of Iraq, Saddam had a similar experience. At first we rather liked the chap and the Americans even tipped him off on the location of his communist opponents. He was a head-chopper, to be sure, but as long as he invaded the right county, he was a super-statesman. Hence we helped him in his invasion of Iran in 1980 but declared him a super-terrorist in 1990 when he invaded the wrong country: Kuwait. And he ended up, like Gaddafi, killed by his own people, albeit that the Americans set up the court which decided to top him.

Yasser Arafat – not that we even think of him these days – was a Palestinian super-terrorist in Beirut. He was the center of World Terror until he shook hands with Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton, at which point he became a super-statesman. But the moment he refused to deviate from the Oslo agreement and accept “Israeli” hegemony over the West Bank – he was never offered “90 per cent” of it, as the American media claimed – he was on the way to super-terrorism again. Surrounded and bombarded in his Ramallah hovel, he was airlifted to a Paris military hospital where he conveniently died. The “Israelis” had already dubbed him “our bin Laden”, a title they later tried to confer on Arafat’s luckless successor Mahmoud Abbas – who was neither a super-terrorist nor a super-statesman but something worse: a failure.

It should not be necessary to run through the other Arab transmogrifications from evil to good to evil again. Nasser, who helped to overthrow the corrupt King Farouk, quickly became a super-terrorist when he nationalised the Suez Canal and was called the “Mussolini of the Nile” by Eden – a slightly measly comparison when you remember that Saddam became the “Hitler of the Tigris” in 1990. [His eminence Imam] Khomeini was a potential super-statesman in his Paris exile when the Shah was overthrown. Then he became a super-terrorist-in-chief once he established the Islamic Republic. The French Jacobins thought that Hafez al-Assad was a potential super-statesman but decided he was a super-terrorist when Bashar al-Assad – lionized in France after his father’s death – went to war on his opponents, thus becoming a super-terrorist himself. The Brits quickly shrugged off their loyalties to Omani and Qatari emirs when their sons staged coups against them.

Thus Mohammad bin Salman, may his name be praised, might be reminded by Adel al-Jubeir as he settles down in London: “Memento homo”, the gladiator’s reminder to every emperor that he is only “a man”. What if the Yemen war is even bloodier, what if the Saudi military become increasingly disenchanted with the war – which is almost certainly why the Crown Prince staged a putsch among his commanders last month – and what if his Vision2030 proves a Saudi South Sea Bubble? What if the humiliated and vexatious princes and billionaires he humbled in the Riyadh Ritz Hotel come to take their revenge? What if – dare one speak his name? – a future British prime minister reopened the Special Branch enquiry into the Al-Yamamah arms contract? And, while we’re on the subject, what if someone discovers the routes by which US weapons reached Isis and their chums after 2014?

Or a real war breaks out with Iran? Please note, no mention here of the Sunni-Shia struggle, the 2016 butchery of Shia opponents in Saudi Arabia – most described as “terrorists”, most of them decapitated – and absolutely no reference to the fact that Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabist doctrines are the very inspiration of Isis and al-Qaeda and all the other ‘jihadi” mumbo-jumbo cults that have devastated the Middle East.

Nope. The truth is, you can’t just tell who your friends are these days.

Wasn’t it the Brits who double-crossed the Saudi monarchy’s predecessors in Arabia by promising them an Arab empire but grabbing Palestine and Transjordan and Iraq for themselves?

Wasn’t it the Brits who published the Balfour Declaration and then tried to betray the Jews to whom they’d promised a homeland and the Arabs whose lands they had promised to protect?

Wasn’t it – since we are talking autocrats – the Brits who gave Ceaucescu an honorary knighthood and then took it back when he was deposed? We gave Mugabe the same gong and then took it back. Incredibly, we gave one to Mussolini too. Yes, we took it back in 1940.

So have a care, Crown Prince Mohammad. Don’t trust perfidious Albion. Watch your back at home, but also abroad. Thanks for all the arms purchases. And thanks for all the intelligence bumph to help us keep track of the lads who are brainwashed with the Wahabi faith. But don’t – whatever you do – be tempted by an honorary knighthood.

Source: The Independent, Edited by website team

Trump guarantees Saudi Arabia, but what about Egypt? ترامب يضمن السعودية فماذا عن مصر؟

Trump guarantees Saudi Arabia, but what about Egypt?

Written by Nasser Kandil,

فبراير 25, 2018

It is difficult to separate between the US announcement of making the date of transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem on the commemoration day of the usurpation of Palestine this year after less than three months, from the American consideration of the solidity of the alliance which includes America, Israel, and the Gulf governments especially Saudi Arabia and UAE, and the readiness of this alliance to bear the burdens of this procedural decision, which was planned to be carried out years later, as announced by the US Secretary of State Rex Tilerson after his President Donald Trump signed the decision of transferring. But Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Gulf do not form an adequate guarantee to absorb the results of this provocative development which it seemed clearly that Palestine is its arena without any signs of Arab popular anger to deter the governments from their dashing behind America and without making any consideration.

With the exception of the initiative of the resistance axis of igniting  the streets in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen which its popular crowds came out under the bombing of Saudi aircraft in supporting Palestine which seemed alone among the Arabs and where the reactions of the Islamic world exceed those witnessed by the Arab world, Washington was confident that the process of taming the Arab street has reached advanced stages by making it under the control of the governments on one hand, and a fact under the influence of the obsession of making the conflict with Iran and the sectarian fanaticism exceed the sanctity of the Palestinian cause and what it arises of feelings and emotions towards Jerusalem.

Historically and politically Egypt forms the winning card. Historically Egypt is the Arab street, but the absence of the Egyptian street from the issue of the announcement of Jerusalem as a capital of Israel was surprising. Historically, Egypt is the important Arab balanced force internationally and among the Arabs and the Muslims despite the advanced status of Saudi Arabia which was not achieved but because Egypt retreated, as proved by the Egyptian waiver of the islands of Thiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia and the chasing of everyone who said that these islands are Egyptian. Politically, Egypt is the direct neighbor of Palestine on open borders with Gaza strip where the Palestinian resistance exists, and where Egypt is controlling most of the Palestinian position and the strength of its presence against the projects of ending the Palestinian cause through its geographic, economic, security, and demographic influence.

Contrary to the hopes aspired for the post-Muslim Brotherhood stage in Egypt and the role of the army in reconsidering the status of Egypt in the Arab issues, it seems that the rule in Egypt is motivated by authoritarian interest to adjust the constitution to ensure indefinite powers for the president, and ready to present what is necessary to get the support of Washington and Riyadh as two capitals that are able to hinder the process and have money and intelligence to arise noise and to support forces of objection. It seems that the cost of the allowance of suppressing every objection and protest is by handing over the international and the regional decision to Washington especially concerning the Palestinian cause to the extent of the economic normalization regarding gas deal which the head of the occupation government Benjamin Netanyahu is boasting of, and to hand over the Arab leadership to Saudi Arabia.

The provocation and the challenge represented by the decision of transferring the US Embassy to Jerusalem oblige the Palestinians along with those who support them in the East and West to bear the responsibility of moving without depending on the Arab street or on any serious official position after it became stable that the Gulf and Egypt are outside any consideration.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ترامب يضمن السعودية فماذا عن مصر؟

فبراير 24, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– لا يمكن الفصل بين الإعلان الأميركي عن جعل موعد نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس في ذكرى اغتصاب فلسطين هذا العام بعد أقلّ من ثلاثة شهور، عن القياس الأميركي لمتانة الحلف الذي تشكّل بين أميركا و«إسرائيل» وحكومات الخليج وخصوصاً السعودية والإمارات، وجهوزية هذا الحلف لتحمّل تبعات هذا القرار الإجرائي، الذي كان مقرراً بعد سنوات، كما أعلن وزير الخارجية الأميركي ريكس تيلرسون مع إعلان رئيسه دونالد ترامب التوقيع على قرار النقل، لكن السعودية وشركاءها في الخليج لا يشكلون ضمانة كافية لامتصاص نتائج هذا التطوّر الاستفزازي الذي بدا بوضوح أنّ ساحة التصدّي له لا تزال فلسطين، دون أن تظهر علامات غضب عربي شعبي كافية للجم الحكومات عن اندفاعها وراء الأميركي بلا حساب أو دفعها للتحرّك في مواجهته.

– باستثناء مبادرة محور المقاومة لتحريك شارعه في لبنان والعراق وإيران، واليمن الذي خرجت حشوده الشعبية تحت قصف الطائرات السعودية تنتصر لفلسطين، فيما بدت فلسطين وحيدة عربياً، حيث فاضت ردود الأفعال في عواصم العالم الإسلامي عن تلك التي شهدها العالم العربي، وبعض عواصم الغرب، بما جعل واشنطن تثق بأنّ عملية ترويض الشارع العربي قد بلغت مراحل متقدّمة لجعله ممسوكاً من الحكومات من جهة، وواقعاً تحت تأثير حبوب الهلوسة التي حُقِن بها بدفع الصراع مع إيران والعصبية المذهبية لمكان يتقدّم على قضية بحجم وقدسية القضية الفلسطينية وما تثيره القدس من مشاعر وانفعالات.

– تاريخياً وسياسياً تشكّل مصر بيضة القبان، فتاريخياً هي الشارع العربي وغياب الشارع المصري عن قضية إعلان القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل» كان لافتاً، وتاريخياً مصر هي القوة العربية السياسية الوازنة دولياً، وعربياً وإسلامياً، رغم ما يبدو في الظاهر من مكانة متقدّمة للسعودية لم تتحقق إلا بسبب ارتضاء مصر التراجع للخلف، وتسليم راية القيادة للسعودية، كما قالت قضية التنازل المصري عن جزر تيران وصنافير للسعودية وملاحقة السلطات لكلّ مَن قال بأنّ الجزر مصرية، في تصرف لافت للنظر ومثير للتعجّب. وسياسياً تشكل مصر الجوار المباشر لفلسطين على حدود مفتوحة مع قطاع غزة، حيث خزان المقاومة الفلسطينية، وحيث تتحكّم مصر بالكثير من مفاتيح الموقف الفلسطيني وقوة حضوره بوجه مشاريع تصفية القضية الفلسطينية، عبر ثقل تأثيرها الجغرافي والاقتصادي والأمني والديمغرافي.

– خلافاً لكثير من الآمال التي رسمت على مرحلة ما بعد الأخوان المسلمين في مصر، ودور الجيش في ردّ الاعتبار لمكانة مصر في القضايا العربية، يبدو الحكم في مصر مندفعاً بقوة مصلحة سلطوية صرفة بتعديل الدستور لتأمين ولايات غير محدّدة للرئيس، مستعدّاً لتقديم ما يلزم للحصول على دعم واشنطن والرياض كعاصمتين قادرتين على العرقلة وتملكان مفاتيح المال والمخابرات لإسناد قوى الاعتراض وإثارة الضجيج، ويبدو الثمن واضحاً للسماح بقمع كلّ صوت احتجاج وصرخة اعتراض، وهو تسليم القرار الإقليمي والدولي لواشنطن، خصوصاً بما يخصّ القضية الفلسطينية حتى حدّ المبادرة لتطبيع اقتصادي مستغرَب في صفقة الغاز التي يتباهى بها رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو، وبالتوازي تسليم القيادة العربية للسعودية.

– الاستفزاز والتحدي اللذان يختزنهما قرار توقيت نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس، يطرح على الفلسطينيين، ومَن معهم في المشرق والمغرب، مسؤولية التحرّك دون آمال توضع على شارع عربي جارف، أو على موقف رسمي جادّ، بعدما صار ثابتاً أنّ الخليج ومصر خارج الحساب.

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Arab MK: Saudi Arabia ’In Alliance’ With the ’Israeli’ Right, Doesn’t Want Netanyahu’s Downfall

Local Editor

22-02-2018 | 12:00

Arab Member of the “Israeli” Knesset Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Joint List party stated that Saudi Arabia has an alliance with the “Israeli” right wing during an interview on Tuesday night.

 

Ayman Odeh

“There is a direct alliance between Saudi Arabia and the “Israeli” right and it is disgraceful,” Odeh said in an interview with the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen channel.

According to Odeh, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said “no” to the Saudi king, apparently referring to the so-called ‘peace’ plan proposed by the Riyadh regime to Abbas, in which the capital of the Palestinian state would be in Abu Dis.

Odeh said Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be weaker in the near future, because of the investigations, and ruled that any defeat for Netanyahu would harm the “Israeli” right and settlements in the West Bank.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Odeh made clear that “Saudi Arabia does not want the downfall of Netanyahu.”

“Saudi Arabia does not want the “Israeli” right to be replaced. Saudi Arabia believes that Netanyahu is the best man in the battle against Iran.”

Saudi Arabia, he explained, considers the Iranian issue as the m”So who’s Saudi Arabia’s ally and shares its view regarding this issue? Is it Avi Gabbay from the Labor Party or Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid? Or is it Netanyahu, the leader of the “Israeli” extreme right wing? All those watching us now can nod their heads in agreement and say this is the scientifically true.”

Netanyahu frequently boasts of the growing behind the scenes cooperation with some Arab nations like the Saudis or the Gulf States.

Odeh pointed out that in the past Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries used to say that there would not be normalization of relations with “Israel” before there’s a solution to the Palestinian issue.

However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir shamelessly announced earlier in December that the Gulf State will have normalized relations with the Zionist entity.

“We have no relations with “Israel”, we have a road map for relations with “Israel” called the Arab ‘peace’ initiative,” al-Jubeir admitted in an interview with FRANCE 24.

“There is a direct alliance between Saudi Arabia and the “Israeli” right and it is disgraceful,” Odeh said in an interview with the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen channel.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Abbas at the Security Council

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

He long ago lost credibility for collaborating with Israel as its enforcer against his own people – for special privileges he’s enjoyed for years, growing super-rich, much of his ill-gotten wealth stashed in offshore tax havens while most Palestinians remain deeply impoverished and viciously persecuted, besieged Gazans most of all.

Tuesday at the Security Council in New York, he proposed an international peace conference in mid-2018, dealing with unresolved final status issues.

Earlier peace talks accomplished nothing. Conflict resolution defeats US/Israeli objectives. Violence and chaos serve them.

Years of betraying his people long ago proved Abbas can never be trusted – scamming, exploiting and persecuting Palestinians for Israel since Oslo.

He relinquished so much for nothing in return for so long. Most Palestinians distrust him. In 2005, Israel installed him as president, keeping him in office as long as he’s useful. Now in his 80s, perhaps not much longer.

Without joint US/Israeli approval, no peace plan will be accepted. For what it’s worth, Abbas proposed a peace conference involving Palestinians, Israel, and other nations representing the region and world community based on Security Council Res. 1850 (2008).

It called for Palestinians, Israel, other nations and international organizations to pursue efforts for a two-state solution, along with peaceful coexistence of all regional countries.

It urged all parties to refrain from actions harmful to the outcome of talks, along with “mutual recognition and peaceful coexistence between all States in the region in the context of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Washington, Israel, and other regional rogue states ignored its principles for the past decade – no likelihood whatever to expect them to turn the page for peace and stability ahead, notions they reject.

According to reports, the outcome of a peace conference must include acceptance of Palestinian statehood by the world community based on June 1967 borders, along with full UN member state status.

Abbas called for establishing a multilateral international mechanism, aiding both sides in talks to resolve all final status issues – in a specified period of time with guarantees for implementation.

He urged refraining from unilateral moves by both parties during negotiations, especially settlement construction, freezing Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, and halting efforts to transfer Washington’s embassy to the city.

Talks must adhere to principles of relevant Security Council resolutions, especially 242, 338 and 2334, he said.

A two-state solution must include East Jerusalem as exclusive Palestinian capital. He rejected interim solutions and temporary borders, minor land swaps permitted if both parties agree.

Diaspora Palestinians must be guaranteed their international law guaranteed right of return.

If agreement is reached, Abbas proposed letting Palestinians vote to accept or reject it by national referendum.

His proposal is like all other peace plans, dead-on-arrival when initiated.

This one has no chance to be implemented, its principles rejected by Washington and Israel.

Committed resistance against Israel oppression is the only chance for eventual Palestinian liberation.

Sham peace talks are a waste of time, raising false hopes, accomplishing nothing each time initiated – an Israeli delaying and diversionary tactic for more time to keep stealing Palestinian land.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Abbas bows before UN

Palestinian President Abbas bows before UN

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