Gaza Battle – israel (apartheid state) Loses Politically

Gaza Battle – Israel Loses Politically

 by Reese Erlich

Earlier this week the Israeli military and armed groups in Gaza clashed in the worst fighting since their 2014 war. Israeli planes bombed Palestinians, killing seven, wounding 26 and destroying numerous office and apartment buildings. Palestinian groups fired rockets and mortars into Israel, killing one civilian and wounding 18. Both sides agreed to an uneasy ceasefire, but the key political issues are unresolved.

Israel dominated the fighting militarily, but Palestinians nonetheless celebrated a victory because they forced Israel to back down and agree to a ceasefire.

In a tacit admission of political defeat, Israeli politicians bickered among themselves. The Israeli defense minister resigned and right-wing politicians clamored for the head of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, complaining he had ended the conflict too soon.

Lara Kiswani, executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center,

told me that months of Palestinian protests at the Israeli border, combined with resistance to the most recent attacks, have produced empathy for Palestinians.

“It’s hard to see what’s happening without sympathizing with the occupied people and being outraged about the U.S. support for Israel,” she said.

Some Gaza history

Gaza consists of a small strip of land along the Israel-Egypt border, twenty-five miles long and five miles wide. Gaza is packed with two million residents.

It was created in wake of the 1948 war that established the state of Israel and drove out many of its Arab residents. Gaza was ruled by Egypt until seized by Israel in the 1967 war, during which Israel also took the West Bank and the Golan region in Syria. Israeli settlers and military personnel occupied Gaza but faced such strong political and armed resistance that Israel was forced to withdraw in 2005.

If peace talks for a two-state solution ever succeed, Gaza and the West Bank would become an independent Palestinian state, living in peace alongside Israel.

In 2006 Hamas, a conservative political Islamic party, won parliamentary elections in both the West Bank and Gaza. Israel and the United States rejected the election results and assisted Fatah, the other major Palestinian party, in taking control of the West Bank a year later. Hamas took power in Gaza.

Israel has imposed a harsh blockade controlling sea, air and land access to Gaza. It limits the amount of food, medicine and fuel that enter, and curtails the export of Gaza’s agriculture and manufactured products. Palestinian fishing boats can’t even venture further than a few miles off shore or face attack by the Israeli Navy.

“It’s similar to the daily reality of prisoners,” said Palestinian activist Kiswani. “Nothing can get in or out. They live in fear of being bombed. But people are still organizing.”

The Israeli blockade severely limits the import of medicine, gasoline and other essential goods into Gaza. Children and other civilians suffer. Photo: (C) Reese Erlich.

Every week since March Palestinian youth have demonstrated at the Israeli border. Israeli soldiers killed at least 214 Palestinians, mostly with live fire, and wounded over 18,000.

Nevertheless Israeli authorities portray their country as the victim. Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon argued that Hamas intentionally targets civilians while Israel bombs only military sites.

“There is a side that attacks and fires 400 rockets toward civilians and there is a side that protects its civilians,” he said. “Every member country in the Security Council ought to ask itself how it would respond after a barrage of missiles is fired at its people.”

Ellen Brotsky, a Bay Area activist with Jewish Voice for Peace, told me that’s a phony argument. The Israeli military knows Gaza “is an open air prison with civilians all over. It’s not possible to separate out civilians in any bombing, and the Israelis know this.”

Recent clashes

Before the recent fighting, the Israeli government and Hamas had reached an informal ceasefire. Feeling international and domestic pressure from nine months of border protests, Israel had allowed Gaza to import diesel fuel, food and medicine. It allowed Qatar to bring in three suitcases stuffed with $15 million in cash to pay Gaza’s civil servants. Qatar supports Hamas politically and has provided economic aid in the past.

Then Israel got cocky. It sent a commando squad into Gaza to assassinate a Palestinian military leader, according to Hamas. Israel claimed the raid was designed to install surveillance equipment in the home of the Hamas leader.

Palestinian security discovered the Israelis and a firefight broke out, killing one Israeli officer and seven Palestinians. Israeli leaders portray such deadly raids as routine. But as Yousef Munayyer, executive director of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, tweeted, “Imagine if Palestinians crossed into Israel and killed … Israelis. All hell would break loose. But Palestinians are expected just to accept this.”

Hamas and Islamic Jihad responded to the raid by firing some 460 rockets and mortars into Israeli cities close to the border. They also fired an antitank rocket at a bus carrying Israeli soldiers, seriously wounding one.

Israeli officials have long assured the Israeli public that their US designed Iron Dome system will intercept enemy rockets midair. But press accounts indicate Iron Dome only stopped about 100, having been overwhelmed by the sheer number in the Palestinian assault.

Israel deploys a huge variety of other hi-tech weaponry in an effort to halt Palestinian resistance. But it hasn’t worked.

When Israel stopped goods from arriving by land, Palestinians dug smuggling tunnels to nearby Egypt. When Israel cut off sea access to prevent arms smuggling, Palestinians created a cottage industry of homemade rockets and mortars. When Israel’s hi-tech sensors discovered tunnels being dug into Israel from Gaza, Palestinians sent kites and balloons with incendiary devices to burn Israeli fields.

I am opposed to intentional attacks on civilians by either side. But the recent fighting in Gaza demonstrates once again that Israel can’t win the war militarily. As I’ve reported before, Israeli and Palestinian leaders know the broad outlines for a peace settlement. The only question is how long will Israeli leaders reject meaningful negotiations?

“Israel cannot military solve the situation with Palestine,” said Jewish Voice for Peace activist Brotsky. “There has to be a political solution which recognizes the land belongs to Palestinians as well.”

In 2016 Al Jazeera TV sent an undercover reporter to investigate the illegal activities of the Israel lobby in the United States. Reactionary Jewish-American groups pressured the Qatar government, funder of Al Jazeera, not to air it. But a digital version is now online. It’s worth checking out.

Reese Erlich’s syndicated column, Foreign Correspondent, appears every two weeks. He is author of Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect. Follow him on Twitter, @ReeseErlich; friend him on Facebook; and visit his webpage.

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«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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Israel Brutalizes Palestinians the Way Nazis Mistreated Jews

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Israel repeatedly accuses Gazans and other Palestinians of crimes the Jewish state commits against them – the same blame the victim tactic used by Washington against targeted nations.

Whenever violence erupts anywhere in the Occupied Territories, especially Gaza, it’s always initiated by Israel, not Palestinians – other than isolated incidents too minor to matter.

Since March 30, Gazan Great March of Return Friday demonstrations have been consistently peaceful. 

Yet IDF snipers targeted activist Palestinians with live fire and other brutal tactics, bearing full responsibility for devastating violence – killing over 220, injuring more than 24,000 others, many seriously.

The death and injury toll is sure to rise. Israel holds Gazans and other Palestinians responsible for state-sponsored crimes against them.

On Friday, Israel’s Beer Sheba District Court ruled that Israel is not “liable for damages for the shooting and serious wounding of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip in (November) 2014,” adding:

“Gaza Palestinians are not entitled to seek compensation for damages from Israel” because they live in what the court called an “enemy entity” – an egregious perversion of truth.

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed the case on behalf of the aggrieved Gazan family, leaving 15-year-old Attiya Fathi al-Nabahin a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair.

The court cited Article 5/B-1 of Israeli Civil Wrongs Law (State Responsibility – 1952) – police state legislation, saying “residents of a territory declared by the Israeli government as ‘enemy territory,’ are not eligible to seek compensation for state-sponsored crimes against them.

Israel is the enemy of all Palestinians, not the other way around. Yet the Jewish state is absolved of its highest of high crimes by Israeli judicial injustice and the world community, turning a blind eye to what no just societies tolerate.

No matter how grievously they’re harmed, long-suffering Gazans and other Palestinians are barred from getting redress in Israeli rubber-stamp courts against them.

A joint Al Mezan/Adalah statement said the unjust ruling sends a “very dangerous message that Gaza residents are not entitled to compensation or legal recourse in Israel in any circumstances, in contradiction of international obligations on access to justice and accountability,” adding:

“Israel declared that it absolves itself from the responsibilities, as a state, to investigate, deter, and take responsibility for violations by its armed and security forces.”

“The ruling grants comprehensive immunity to the Israeli military and the State for illegal, reprehensible, and even criminal actions taken during military operations in occupied territories, including the Gaza Strip, and leaves their victims without any hope of compensation.”

The court’s refusal to hear the above case “violates the right of Gaza residents to fulfill their right to ‘effective legal remedy’ from the occupying power as guaranteed to them under international humanitarian law.”

Separately, Adalah said from October 2000 throughout the Territories (the onset of the second intifada) to Gaza 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court affirmed the right of IDF snipers to kill and wound Gazans peacefully demonstrating for fundamental rights the Jewish state denies them.

Israel gets away with mass murder and much more because its courts and the international community do nothing to hold it accountable for repeated high crimes.

On Friday, Israeli General Kamil Abu Rukun, coordinator of government activities in the Territories, threatened Gazans with greater IDF violence against peaceful demonstrators than already since March 30, saying:

“Our patience has broken, and we will respond harshly. We will show no restraint.” Does he have Gaza war 4.0 in mind? Will IDF commanders deploy warplanes to terror-bomb peaceful demonstrators?

Is greater mass slaughter than already planned? “You have been warned,” he roared – ignoring reality on the ground in Gaza.

Hamas is Palestine’s legitimate government, democratically elected in January 2006. It’s not a “terrorist organization,” falsely designated this way by the State Department at Israel’s request, a despicable act, the Jewish state taking full advantage, committing high crimes against two million Gazans with impunity.

On Thursday, extremist Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv for war on the Strip, holding inflammatory banners and shouting hostile slogans, calling on Netanyahu to resign for not waging full-scale war on Gaza.

On the same day, a Security Council session on Gaza failed to resolve anything for its beleaguered people, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour saying:

“We want the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility with regard to this situation threatening international peace and security” in Gaza, adding:

“Unfortunately the Security Council is paralyzed. It did not shoulder its responsibility” – because of one-sided Trump regime support for Israel, dismissive of fundamental Palestinian rights.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Hezbollah Martyr’s Day

 

Local Editor

The speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered during the commemoration of Martyr’s Day hosted by the party in Beirut and other areas 10-11-2018

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, Abi al-Qassim Mohammad bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. I welcome you all and thank you for your attendance in numerous areas. I extend my greetings especially to our dear and beloved families and the families of the martyrs who are with us today to commemorate Martyr’s Day, Hezbollah’s Martyr’s Day, which is in fact their martyr. In this address, I would like to speak, first, about the occasion and then a little about the situation in the region, especially concerning the “Israeli” issue. It is more relevant on Martyr’s Day. The last point will tackle the local situation, specifically the issue of the government and its formation.

On November 11, 1982, which is now known to everyone, the prince of the self-sacrificing martyrs and the one who launched the era of self-sacrificing martyrdom operations, Ahmad Kassir, carried out his qualitative and historic operation. He targeted the headquarters of the “Israeli” military governor in Tyre. This headquarters managed and led the occupation forces in that area. The operation killed more than 120 “Israeli” officers and soldiers, including senior generals in the army and the “Israeli” security services. All that was said at the time was that “Israel” declared a three-day mourning period and that the building was completely destroyed. This self-sacrificing martyrdom operation shook the [“Israeli”] entity and charted a decisive course for the resistance, the resistance of our people. It included a group of parties, forces and resistance factions. Soon it produced a great victory and a great liberation. It started from Beirut to the suburbs to Mount Lebanon, to parts of western Bekaa and Rashaya. In 1985, the liberation reached Saida, Tyre, Nabatiyeh and the rest of western Bekaa and Rashaya, all the way to the occupied border strip. The path of the resistance was decisive and powerful. It accomplished within a few years, in less than three years, a great liberation. This was in fact the first victory. This was made by the blood of the martyrs. 11/11 was the great and powerful stone of foundation on this crucial course. We chose this day to commemorate Hezbollah’s martyr? Today, we honor all our martyred brothers and sisters, adults and children, the martyred leaders, the self-sacrificing martyrs, Mujahedeen and all those martyred along various fronts that we are fighting on. Convoys of martyrs continue to flow, score victories and contribute to victories on every front we go to.

These martyrs gave us a life of dignity, but through martyrdom received something far greater. On the Day of Resurrection, God Almighty has prepared for these martyrs blessings, graces and an eternal and immortal bliss that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart of man has imagined. But the martyrs have an important quality. Brothers and sisters as you well know there will be a reckoning on the Day of Resurrection. The Day of the great Resurrection is when all the people are raised back to life, brought together in the Gathering Place [Sahraa’ al-Mahshar] and judged. This day will come after decades, centuries, millennia. God knows.  This is from the unseen [al-Ghaib] which God has kept for Himself.

Only God knows how long it takes between the death of Man and the approaching of the Hour. From the time that I die to the approaching of the Hour, God knows how long it will last, decades, centuries or millennia. When a person dies where does he go? Death is not dying. Death is the separation of the soul from the body. The body decays in the dust. Where does the soul go? The heavenly religions answered this question. Philosophers and thinkers answered this question. There are multiple answers even within one religion and one doctrine. But allow me to say in the presence of the families of the martyrs that what is certain and unquestionable is that when we read the Quran – the immortal book of Islam – we will find that martyrs do not die. When their souls separate from their bodies during martyrdom, the martyrs move to life to what is called the world of Isthmus [Al-Barzakh].

They are alive. God Almighty says in clear verses that do not need a lot of interpretation: {And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive}. We are not talking about the Day of Judgment now. All the people are alive. All people will return to life. Life on the Day of Resurrection does not belong to the martyrs. We are talking about their lives after their martyrdom until the approaching of the Hour. {They are alive with their Lord, receiving provision, rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them – that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. They receive good tidings of favor from Allah and bounty and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be lost.}

There is a clear assumption in these verses, which is that these living martyrs are in that new world. They live by the grace of Allah and the mercy of Allah. Here the presumption is that they receive good tidings about those who are yet to join them in martyrdom; their friends, brothers and loved ones who are still living in this world. The martyrs who moved to that new world receive good tidings about those who are still in this world and will join them because they are continuing their path. In our culture, the families of the martyrs rest assured about the fate of their sons  and loved ones. Who are they with? You know in Lebanon, there are many expatriates and young people who travel abroad for work. For example, they head to Africa and stay with families who are usually from their town. They are usually relatives or the likes. The father knows where his son is staying, with his uncle, with his relatives, with his loyal friends. So he rests assured. He does not worry. But who do our martyred sons and brothers stay with? With their Lord, receiving provision. God knows what this moral, spiritual and materialistic provision is. God knows best because He kept it limitless. Receiving provision. He did not specify what kind of provision these martyrs would receive. Hence, they headed to that world and gave us this world. They left us victories, freedom, liberation, power and glory. They also left us their wills. Today, the liberation of land and prisoners, the dignity, the honor, the pride and security our country enjoys is thanks to the sacrifices of all the martyrs, the martyrs of Hezbollah, the martyrs of the Amal movement, the martyrs of the national and Palestinian resistance factions, the martyrs of the Lebanese army and the security forces and the martyred men, women and children of our people who have been killed in many of the enemy’s massacres. This pure blood gave us what we are enjoying now. They left in us their wills. The families of the martyrs preserved these wills through their patience and compassion, taking pride in their martyrs, staying steadfast on the path of the martyrs and offering more martyrs. The vast majority of the families of our martyrs gave the rest of their children to the resistance, to this path and all the arenas that we were and continue to operate in. Many of these young men are brothers or sons of martyrs. They hail from the families of martyrs. We have more than 135 families who have provided more than one martyr to our resistance. Some of these families provided more than three martyrs. On this occasion, it is our moral and brotherly duty to mention a dear and great father who passed away a few days ago, Hajj Abdul Hussain Hodroj, the father of three martyrs. This family is the first family in our march to offer three martyrs. It gave three martyrs in the 1980s consecutively.

This family and the rest of the martyrs’ families has always been an example and a model of patience and taking pride in their martyrs. On this occasion, I offer my condolences to every family member of the late Hajj Abdul Hussain Hodroj and tell them: your father has followed his sons who are waiting for him. The martyrs are our guarantee. They are a guarantee in the life of this world and our guarantee in the Hereafter. Their brothers and fellow fighters who remained on this path until we got to where we are now preserved the wills of the martyrs.

From here on I will discuss the [aforementioned] points.

The first point: With the blessing of this blood and the golden equation of the army, the people and the resistance, today we protect our country, our honor and the riches of our country. To be clear, it is primarily because of the missile capabilities that the resistance possesses today. The US and the West forbid the Lebanese army from possessing such capabilities. It is forbidden by several countries to have capabilities that can create balance, deterrence or fear within the enemy.

Today, the central force in Lebanon is this missile capability available to the resistance. Because of the equation and the missile capability, the enemy does not dare attack Lebanon. Since the end of the war in 2006 until today, the “Israelis” do not dare attack Lebanon, which was the scene of “Israeli” air raids. Several years ago, the enemy launched a raid along the border in the vicinity of Jinta. [Hezbollah] responded to the operation and the enemy was made to understand that any aggression will inevitably be followed by a response.

This formula is protecting the security and airspace [of Lebanon] as well as the villages and towns that were being bombed since 1948. Therefore, we find that the “Israeli” enemy, especially lately, is trying to focus a lot on the subject of missile power and capabilities available to the resistance. This is being done through intimidation, diplomatic pressure, using the Americans and even some European countries and by threats, claiming that if this is not addressed, [“Israel”] will address it.

I brought a text published a few days ago. Netanyahu is proudly addressing the “Israeli” people and is not ashamed about the Arabs and the Arab countries he went to, not even from the Arab countries that he is supposed to go to. He does not really recognize them and does not recognize the Arabs. What is the logic behind what he was saying? A few days ago, he said in front of the members of the Likud faction – unfortunately we have to quote his words: “Power is the most important [component] of foreign policy. ‘Occupation’ is baloney. There were huge countries that have occupied and transferred populations and no one talks about them. Power changes everything and it changes our policies vis-a-vis Arab states.” Netanyahu forcefully imposed himself on weak, frightened, and cowardly Arab governments. What is his problem with Lebanon and with the resistance? His problem is that there is power here. He cannot live with power. He cannot bear the presence of a power that sets limits for his ambitions, his projects and threats and all that he sees behind the borders. Therefore, he wants to take away this power while seeking more elements of power.

Netanyahu and the “Israeli” enemy that has nuclear weapons, the strongest air force in the region and a large army cannot bear the amount of missiles present in Lebanon. Why? Because they hinder and prevent the “Israeli” enemy from acting as it pleases.

Today on Martyr’s Day, I want to reaffirm that we are holding onto Lebanon’s strength, which lies in the golden equation: the army, the people and the resistance. We are holding on to the weapons of the resistance and all the resistance’s missiles. Neither intimidation nor threats, not even sanctions, which they bet on a lot, will change this. If we have to sell our homes to protect the resistance’s missile capabilities, we will do that. But threats and intimidation will not do anything.

I ask Lebanon that it must put up with this level of diplomatic pressure because giving in – if we assume it happens – means that Lebanon will be open to “Israeli” aggression at any time, any moment. It might not be a war but rather repeated attacks the way it used to be between the wars, starting in 1948 onto 2006. As for us, I am not saying anything new if I told the “Israelis” who are talking about a change in the rules of engagement or a change in the equation towards Lebanon: we will inevitably respond to any attack on Lebanon, any airstrike on Lebanon, any bombing on Lebanon. It will not be accepted that the enemy return to violate Lebanon as it did in the past decades. This is the first point.

The second point: In the context of the conflict with the enemy, over the past few weeks we have witnessed an onslaught of open normalization of ties and public visits by Zionist officials to some Gulf States. We condemn any form of normalizing of ties with the “Israeli” enemy regardless of the origin, government, state, leader, party or popular class. We condemn it and call upon all honorable people in the world to condemn it. The dangers of normalizing of ties with the enemy are clear. Normalizing of ties with the enemy means, at the very least, recognizing the enemy and recognizing the legitimacy of its violations against Palestine and the Islamic and Christian holy sites. It means being silent, justifying and overlooking the oppression and all the crimes it committed against the Palestinian people and the people of the region. It means fixating the “Israeli” entity, its remainder and its occupation. That is why everyone should condemn it. This goes above and beyond national interests. Nowadays, in order not to upset a certain state because of local issues, I remain quiet; you remain quiet, he remains quiet. Normalization of ties [with “Israel”] in the Arab and Islamic world will be a normal and ordinary matter. This should be rejected.

The humane, religious, moral, national, and legal duty is to speak out and condemn every form and step of normalization of ties [with “Israel”] in the Arab and Islamic world. This battle must be revived again and fought again. The battle of normalization of ties does not need missiles or weapons or money. This is the responsibility of the elites, scholars, young people on social networking sites, the media and anyone with the ability to express a stance. We will be asked about this on the Day of Resurrection. In this context, I would also like to say, especially to the Palestinian people, not to be saddened by these normalization steps. Why? Good might come from it. Let us look at the other side of the issue. What has been happening in secret is now happening in public. This is not a new thing.

What is happening now in public puts an end to the official Arab hypocrisy and lifts all the masks of deceit – of deceitful people and hypocrites who have portrayed for decades to the Palestinian people as well as the Arab and Islamic nation that their position is different. When masks fall and real faces are revealed, the lines are redrawn. Who is here and who is there? The camps will be clearly defined. This is one of the components of victory in the battle.

Deceitful people, hypocrites and liars who sell illusions and waste time here and there are the ones delaying victory and the growth of true awareness on which the resistance and revolutionary movements are based. Our true hope and your true hope is in our people and in some countries that are still resilient in their position.

Yes, we find hope when we look at the people of Gaza, who are taking part in the marches of return every week, especially on Fridays, and who are martyred and wounded every day. You find hope when millions of people in Gaza refuse to submit, give up, be silent and fall. Hope is in the West Bank, which is expressing its stance, too. Its mujahedeen, including young men and women come out to fire a shot, throw a bomb or launch a stabbing operation. A few days ago, the head of the Shabak spoke about thwarting an operation.

The operations that succeed are the act of resistance. The operations that are thwarted express the will of the resistance. When he says that this year alone, the “Israeli” security services have foiled 480 operations in the West Bank, this means that there are 480 acts of resistance and wills of resistance fighters that have been foiled. The reason they were foiled is another discussion. This reflects the real spirit in the West Bank. The smart money is on these people.

In the face of waves of normalization, we must take pride in our people in Syria’s occupied Arab Golan Heights. They have been under occupation since 1967 but they always refused normalization. They refuse to submit and turn the Golan into an “Israeli” territory. The “Israeli” enemy itself admitted to the great achievement the people in the Golan achieved a few days ago. The “Israelis” planned, prepared and exerted all efforts for the success of the municipal and local elections in the towns of the Golan. But the residents of the Golan foiled them. What does this express? If the residents of the Golan did not have Arab genuineness, commitment to the cause and a sincere sense of national belonging, they would have told you: all those Arabs are welcoming Netanyahu. The “Israeli” minister of culture prays at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the Emirates. So, why would I want to be beaten, imprisoned, arrested and confront the “Israeli” enemy? Let us normalize ties like most of the Arabs. Our people in Palestine, in the Golan and along the Arab and Islamic world are not like that.

In the face of normalization, we have many bright models from Tunisia to many Arab countries to Lebanon. Yesterday, the media reported about a boy aged 8-9 years participating in an international chess competition in Spain. This means it required preparation, hard work and exhaustion from him, his parents and the official relevant parties in Lebanon. The Lebanese official mission’s stance there is appreciated. Unfortunately, I have to say this in Lebanese fashion for Muslims in the Arab world to hear. We must say that the Lebanese Christian boy, Mark Abu Deeb, committed to not playing with the “Israeli” player. In the end, if it comes down to the “Israeli” player and I in the competition, I will not play with him. I will forfeit because he is an enemy. That is hope. Hope is in this youth, young men and people. It is not in the rulers who have long been downtrodden. The good thing that is happening is that the leaves of mulberries and the masks of hypocrisy and deceit are falling before the Arab people.

In Iran, Iranian athletes during international competitions express this stance. When a young man who has been working hard for years reach the finals or the semi-finals to compete with an “Israeli”, he forfeits to express this stance. Hope is here. This battle should be fought. On Martyr’s Day, we call again on the dear people in our Arab and Islamic nation to fight this war, return to it and not to consider it a marginal fight. It is a vital, basic and real battle to the “Israelis”. In Bahrain, despite the repression and cruelty, some demonstrations were held at night and others during the day yesterday in most Bahraini towns. The demonstrations were denouncing Netanyahu or any “Israeli” official’s visit to Bahrain. Those are our people. These are the people of our nation who we can bet on with all seriousness.

Trump and the US officials speak frankly. One of the objectives of the sanctions on Iran is to change its position on the Palestinian cause and to stop its support for resistance movements in the region. This is a declared objectives and one of the demands. But the Islamic Republic has not done as some Arab regimes do and say: I am under American and economic pressure. And then give up its principles, its beliefs, its commitment, and its faith.

Syria, which is still in the midst of a global war, is still steadfast. Day after day, truths are being revealed. When I see Netanyahu in any Arab capital or watch any “Israeli” official in any Arab capital, Syria and Damascus immediately come to my mind. If the Syrian leadership, the Syrian army, the Syrian people and Syria’s allies did not hold up in this great battle and this state and regime fell, it is clear that within a few weeks or a few months we would have seen Netanyahu in Damascus because most of this opposition is open and loyal “Israel”. We would have also seen the “Israeli” Minister of Culture in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus the way she was at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. But Syria did not change its position despite all the Arab injustice it has suffered over the difficult and harsh years.

The third point: A month ago, the world was occupied with the horrific crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul against the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The whole world was surprised by the details of the crime, which included kidnapping, killing, cutting up [the body], dissolving it in acid, and disposing of what was left into the sewer. The world has the right to be surprised, shocked and to condemn. Of course many are trying to see how this matter can be divided. In the Arab world, no one was surprised and shocked. No one condemned it. On the contrary, they showed solidarity. In the Arab world, cutting with a saw or a sword and dissolving in acid is a normal thing. People have the right to be surprised and astonished and to condemn. But it is strange how this world was not shocked by the scenes of the heinous and daily massacres in Yemen and its conscience was not moved by the Yemeni children. The United Nations itself says that hundreds of children now – 400 or 500 – hundreds of children are at risk of dying every hour in Yemen.

The United Nations and not us is talking about 14 million threatened with famine, and the number may have risen. There are hundreds of thousands of Yemenis threatened with cholera and threatened with death. The world was silent. Now, the world is beginning to speak. Now, the Americans are beginning to speak. The Europeans are beginning to speak. Of course, there is still Islamic and Arab silence, except for some countries. In general, there is silence and no one dares to speak. How big the sword, money, gold and submission are in the Arab world! Do you want to know why we got to this situation in the Arab world? This Arab stance towards what is happening in Yemen explains it to you. We are now faced with a new situation. I do not want to condemn only but also to say that we are faced with a new situation. The Khashoggi incident might have created some kind of transformation. However, it is good to hear American and European statements today as well as the United Nations calling for a halt to the fighting and an end to the war. This is worth pausing a little on it. It can be serious. This is probable. And it can be a trick and wasting time.

It might be a serious move. But this possibility is not caused by the killing of Khashoggi. It is not because now the world grew a conscience. The world has been seeing the children, the massacres, the bombings and the daily killing for four years. Why did the world now say that this war should stop? This needs a little bit of contemplating. It is simply because the Yemenis resisted in this battle. This is a great lesson. They were steadfast in this battle and the Saudi-Emirati-US coalition failed in this war. If this possibility was serious, then its purpose is to save the Saudis and the Emiratis more than it is to save the Yemenis. This coalition has failed in occupying the north and failed in managing the south. It is failing in Yemen in the north and in the south. They lost in the north because of the steadfastness and the military failure. In the south, it was because of the popular movement and the administrative and political failure. Today, America wants to save its allies in the region. Trump and the American camp are not heart broken because of the [Yemeni] children. But we care about the results. We care that the war and the fighting to stop. Interestingly, he says that it will stop within a month. But why within a month? Why not immediately? Why not directly? This is another point our brothers in Yemen are paying attention to it very well or they should pay attention to very well. It is as if the Americans are telling the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition: you have a month. Get your affairs in order. See what you can do with the formula and what you can achieve. After a month, the world will tell you to stop. Therefore, it is strange and interesting that at the time when American and Western calls to stop the war are issued, we witness an increase in the months-long escalation in Yemen; the existing escalation now along the west coast and in Hodeida. This is if it was a serious probability. If the was a deceit to deceive the Yemenis and take them away from their weapons, fronts and their positions. They should not be fooled because usually when fighters feel that the battle is coming to an end, their mettle diminishes and weakens. It is over. They might be negligent and slow down. This is an existing experience.

On Martyr’s Day and while we take pride in the martyrs of our brothers and our people in Yemen, I tell our brothers there: Be patient and steadfast. Hold on to your weapons, fronts and positions. Today, you are closer to victory than ever before. The victory of the Yemenis lies in remaining in their land and preventing this barbaric aggression from fulfilling any of its objectives. They are steadfast and are creating a military miracle. There is military legend taking place daily along the western coast and the various Yemeni battlefronts.

I conclude with a final point with regard to the regional situation. We condemned the verdict issued against Sheikh Ali Salman, may God protect him and some of his brethren. What is worth noting, brothers and sisters, is that the court in Bahrain declared His Eminence innocent over the charge of spying for Qatar. There was no communication in the whole recording. At the time, Qatar was attempting to mediate and coordinate with the Saudis to find a solution at the beginning of the Yemen crisis. At that time, the Qataris were active in all arenas. So, the court ruled on is innocence and the public prosecution appealed. What was the verdict? A life sentence! Mashalla, from innocence to life imprisonment. It is understandable if it was from innocence to four years or five years or ten years. There might be legal grounds. But to life imprisonment, this confirms every day that the judiciary in Bahrain and in the likes of Bahrain is a real repressive authority. Sheikh Salman’s prison term was supposed to end soon and he would have gone to his family and people. But this regime insists on detaining him and detaining scholars, leaders, figures and thousands of Bahraini youth. It does so to force the people to surrender. It will neither give up its national stance, its demand for reform or its rights, whatever the sacrifice. It has forcefully proven this.

We move to the Lebanese concern. At the beginning, we spoke a lot in Fosha [Classical Arabic]. Now, we will speak in colloquial Arabic [Ammiya]. Probably in colloquial Arabic the Lebanese would understand each other better. First of all, I would like to apologize to the non-Lebanese viewers because they will be watching me mention names of sects. This is because the composition of our country, unfortunately, is a sectarian one. We live under this sectarian system and we have to speak this language because this is the reality we have in the country.

Regarding the subject of the government, I will talk with clarity, transparency and openness, but of course respecting everybody.

I am going to divide this subject into three sections. The first section includes the facts. The second section is based on facts and includes some remarks. And the third section is our position at the current stage.

Regarding the facts, why? Five months ago until today, we have not spoken about the subject of the government. We have not stated what we have done, facilitated, assisted,  demand? We have not spoken about anything. We worked on everything away from the media. We used to always stress on rushing to form a government. We emphasized that it should be a national unity government and that the results of the elections should be taken into consideration.

 

Of course, the atmosphere of the whole country implies that Hezbollah is disrupting and delaying. Through the facts and remarks as well as the position towards the current complication – the old new complication – we determine our position.

After the assigning the Prime Minister-designate to form a government, discussions were made. We were always part of these discussions. A large part of these discussions took place with our brothers in the Amal movement and us. Another part was with us separately or with the Amal movement separately.

The number of the representatives in the government was discussed. There were voices that demanded the government of 32 to allow the two oppressed and disadvantaged Lebanese components, which are the Alawite Muslims and the minorities from the Christians, to be represented. If the government were made of 32 representatives, we would be lifting a historical injustice from these two components. Lebanon does not need more than eight or ten, or twelve ministers to represent all its parties. 14 ministers are enough. Why raise it 24 or 30 for everyone to be represented? In the same context, let the 30 be 32 for everyone to be represented.

His Excellency the President of the Republic was in agreement. His Excellency the House Speaker was in agreement. The main, basic forces in the country were in agreement. The PM-designate did not agree. He said this embarrasses him a lot, and that he cannot take responsibility, and so on. We will continue to hear this language. What I can bear, what I am capable of and what I’m not. Following extensive discussions, it turns out that lifting the historical injustice from the Alawite component and the minorities component from the Christians was an objective that can be done, yet not in this government but in the coming government. But this is a noble goal and a national goal that should be fought for as long as the system in Lebanon is a sectarian one. When the system ceases to be sectarian, everyone will have a chance to be represented in the government because they enter it due to their qualifications or political affiliation and not their sectarian affiliations.

We overcame this subject. If we wanted to obstruct and complicate, we could have said since the first day: We are not going to participate and we do not accept. We want 32 ministers. We want a Alawite and Christian minorities. Focus on this. Is anyone preventing us from doing so? Like now, is anyone preventing us from doing so?  No one is preventing us. But we have overcome that. This is the first thing.

The second thing: Here I am talking about facilitations. They brought up the subject of ministerial quotas.

Allow me to mention names. The Lebanese Forces have 15 deputies. Since day one, they demanded five ministers. The Progressive Socialist Party has nine deputies. Since day one, they demanded three ministers and wanted all the Druze representation. The Future Movement wanted all the Sunni representation and has only 20 deputies. They wanted all the Sunni representation and have no problem exchanging a Sunni with a Christian with the President of the Republic. The Amal movement and Hezbollah have 30 deputies. They accepted six ministers. Who has been facilitating the process since day one and who has been complicating it? Who? If I am saying something untrue, let some one say it is incorrect. We accepted six. I would like to apologize to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. We learn lessons from him. It seems that humility in this country is wrong. Today, I am one of the people who is saying that humility in this country is wrong. Since day one, we should have demanded ten ministers according to the criteria of the Lebanese forces, the Socialist Party and the Future Movement. We should have demanded ten ministers because we have 30 deputies. We have Shiite, Sunni and Christian ministers. In both blocs, we have Christians and Sunnis. We could have demanded 10 ministers and brought is down to eight but not to six ministers. But we, Hezbollah and the Amal movement, did not behave in this manner. We considered the situation in the country, the economic and financial situation and the difficulties. Let us stick together. Let us address it and solve it. So we accepted six. As Amal and Hezbollah, this is not our size. This is not our size parliament. This is not our electoral size. This is not our political size. This is not the size of our preferential votes. Now, I would like to count. We can count again. When we count, we can start from the beginning. There will no longer be any complications. We will start discussions from the beginning.

The third point regarding the facts: You know that we are always committed to our allies. The Nationalist Party had the right to be represented in previous governments. They did not accept it to be represented. Take it from your share. So we took it from our share. One day, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, at the last minute, agreed to reduce one minister from the Shiite quota and increase one minister for the Sunni quota so that one of our allies Minister Faisal Karami can be represented.

Well, closing on these allies? This is their natural right.

We now come naturally to demand representation for our allies. We do not abandon our allies. Of course when there is a right, when there is one criterion that must be followed, we stick to the criteria.

Among our allies, we also mention our ally and friend Emir (Prince) Talal Arslan. He is part of the Strong Lebanon bloc. The Strong Lebanon bloc vowed to address this issue. It will get him his right. We have always been supportive. The Nationalist Party has three deputies. They said no since the criteria is four or five deputies. So those who have three deputies do not take a minister. We abide by the criteria. When there are no more criteria, we will talk about the Nationalist Party. We have Christian allies and Christina friends that we allied with during the parliamentary elections in Zhale and Jbeil. It was also said that there are two criteria to the new government. The first is that it is a national unity government. The second is that the results of the elections should be taken into consideration. Let the results of the elections be taken into consideration. There are our Sunni brothers, the Sunni deputies. We told them that if these criteria apply to everyone and the results of the elections were taken into consideration, where is the problem? We will take it.

The fourth point, which is the representation of the independent Sunni deputies, is detailed as follows.  They are the March 8 deputies, the March 8 Sunnis or as the Future Movement call them Hezbollah’s Sunnis. I and everyone in Hezbollah are proud to have them as brothers. We are proud that the Sunnis belong to us and we to them. We take pride in this. We lift our heads high and take pride in every Sunni sister or brother form March 8. We respect everybody. Since 2005, the stance of the Sunnis of March 8 was nationalist, firm and resilient. Their stance prevented turning the political conflict in Lebanon into a sectarian war. At that time, others at home and abroad wanted a sectarian war in Lebanon. The greatest achievement the Sunnis of March 8, including their political and civil stances, their politicians, scholars, sheikhs, parties, forces, blocs, youths did was prevented turning the conflict in Lebanon to a Sunni-Shiite conflict and to a sectarian conflict. This is what the US, “Israel” and Saudi as well as some at home wanted. Even the March 14 was hoping for a Sunni-Shiite conflict in Lebanon. March 8 Sunnis were always alongside the resistance, the Palestinian cause and the sanctities of this nation. March 8 Sunnis are not a charge. They are not something shameful. They are not insult. This is a real masquerade.

These deputies wanted to be represented. They met with each other, made calls, formed a consultation meeting and spoke to us. They said, brother, we demand to be represented. We represent a large segment of the Sunni sect. That is true. You want us to talk about numbers, we can. We can talk about anything. They demanded two ministers. We told them that you are six deputies. It is true that your size is big and real, but two ministers is hard. They said, okay brother, one minister. We told them to demand and we will help them. O, Lebanese, senior officials, leaders, ministers, patriarchs, sheikhs, muftis, bishops and everyone listen. Since day one of talking about the formation of the government, we spoke to the relevant people. We spoke to the PM-designate regarding the independent Sunni deputies, the independent Sunnis, the March 8 Sunnis. Call them whatever you want. We demanded that they be represented with a minister in the government. Since day one. Whenever, we spoke with each other or sent messages to each other, we always emphasized on this demand as being a real and serious demand. Frankly speaking, we told the concerned parties that we are not demanding this for the sake of demanding. So that later we will tell our brothers, the six deputies, that we demanded, sought and spoke, but we could not do anything. This is not our position. We are serious. If you are talking about a national unity government, then they are a great segment of the Lebanese people. They are a great segment of the Sunni sect. At the very least, their right is to be represented by one minister. But it was never given importance. We cannot, we can. Some might have gotten confused and thought that Hezbollah is talking for the sake of talking. Now, I am talking about Hezbollah. In the end, we take the names, go to Baabda, issue a decree and the government will be formed. They will object for two or three days. Everything will then work out. This is how it used to be done. I believe this is humiliating. This is humiliating. It is disrespecting people. It is not acknowledging people. Not acknowledging what they represent and who they represent. This is humiliating and is unacceptable anywhere. I will come back to this a little later. After five months of negotiations wit the Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party, the complication was solved. The Christian-Druze complication was solved. This is great, regardless of the results. They called us. The PM-designate called us and said I want the names of your ministers, the three ministers. Even when he called and asked for the names, I did not know the portfolios. Am I not a leader in Hezbollah? I swear I did not know what portfolios will be given to the ministers of Amal and Hezbollah. There is the Ministry of Health where they made a big deal out of it. What are the other two ministries? Our brothers in the Amal movement, apart from the Finance Ministry, what are they taking? We do not know. Those philosophers who say we are ruling the country, controlling it and running it. We still do not know what are portfolios are.  I am responsible. To the martyrs’ families and Hezbollah: before anyone, I am responsible because I was trying to be a decent person more than I should. We told him, we won’t give you the names until you solve the issue of the independent Sunni minister. He said there is no Sunni minister. Brother, how is there no Sunni minister? He said there is none. There are no names. Do whatever you want, but you will not get the names. We don not give complements. We do not talk for the sake of talking. We do not deceive. We have been clear since day one. Brother, there was confusion during the first month and the second month. A month before they solved the Christian-Druze complication, we clearly demanded that the brothers, the independent Sunni deputies, be represented by a minister. If this is not addressed, we will not move on.

Practically, the formation has stopped. The PM-designate went to Paris. The situation in Lebanon is as chaotic as it was in 2005. There is still sectarian incitement between the Sunnis and the Shiites. We can still hear all the nonsense we used to hear in 2005.

These are the facts.

The second part which is basing on these facts: all what has been said about an fabricated complication, an unexpected complication, an emergency complication, some even said that Hezbollah let its rabbits loose are not true. I will not say more than this. It is not true. The deputies have been talking about this for more than five months. We have been talking about this and demanding with them. Others and us. But now, we are talking about ourselves. It is not true. Some media outlets called it a Christian-Druze-Sunni complication. The PM-designate and the other side do not recognize the existence of a Sunni complication because they do not recognize the other side in the first place. Otherwise, this subject would have present since day one. All those who sent me letters saying it is new, an emergency or fabricated, I tell them it is not new, an emergency or fabricated. It has been there since day one. I tell you there is something – because we too are decent people. Some considered that we committed a tactical mistake. I do not think we committed a tactical mistake. The tactical mistake, however, is that you have been talking in closed meetings and you did not mention this in the media. We simply were talking behind closed door with the PM-designate and telling him: Your Excellency, you initiate. Send for the deputies and sit with them. Agree with them. Whatever you agree with them will work. Just, you start the initiative. We did not resort to the media in order not to portray that Hezbollah is imposing this on the PM-designate. And so that it would not be turned into a battle of defiance or a battle of defeat. It is not a tactical mistake because we want the government to be formed and every person takes his right. This is the reason. Otherwise, we could have gone to the media, what is stopping us? We are not afraid to talk to the media. We are not afraid of America, “Israel”, Saudi Arabia or the dollar and the Arabic sword. We wanted to solve the issue wisely and in the best way and for the PM-designate to accommodate everyone and be a national leader. We told him that we were serious and we will not abandon our allies. This is one point.

The second point is based on the facts that I spoke about. Some said that Hezbollah’s goal from this matter and siding with the Sunni deputies is to prevent the President of the Republic and the Free Patriotic Movement from having 11 ministers in the government. This is nonsense. Now, I tell you. Let the president and the Free Patriotic Movement take 11, 12 or 15 ministers. We do not have a problem. They are our strategic and tactical allies. When we supported the demand of the Sunni deputies in ministerial representation, we did not say to take it from the president’s share. We did not say from the 11 ministers. We are demanding from the PM-designate to give from his share and not the share of the president. If later he agrees with the president that they take it from the president’s share, then that is his business. We never asked for it in an internal meeting. I will tell you more than this. Since day one, we told the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) with utmost seriousness that we are not asking of the movement or the president anything regarding this subject. This matter is with the PM-designate.

How can someone reach the realization that Hezbollah does not want the president and the Free Patriotic Movement to get 11 ministers? Their desire is to have 11 or 12.

Our relation with His Excellency the President is excellent and flawless. We disagree. We have always disagreed on details with regards to Lebanese politics.

But our alliance and our relationship is above all this. They are trying to employ this problem to cause a conflict between Mr. President and Hezbollah or between the FPM and Hezbollah.

The third point: since day one, it appeared that we will not give the names. Therefore, the formation process stopped. ‘Iran this, Iran that.’ This is an Iranian-American conflict. I thought this was Hezbollah’s government, and I am disrupting Hezbollah’s government. All of you are saying this is the government of Hezbollah. Iran is disrupting the government of Hezbollah!

There is a level of absurdity in the country. Before the sanctions, Hezbollah is rushing to form a government because of the sanctions. Now, when we showed solidarity with our Sunni brothers, Hezbollah is disrupting the government formation because of the sanctions. Brother, stick to one opinion. This one or that one.

Also Syria. Now, it appears that President Bashar al-Assad is also interfering. He ignored the situations east of the Euphrates, in Idlib, the reconstruction of Syria and the political solution to work on the Lebanese government.

I would like to assure you that neither Iran nor Syria has any relation with the subject. This is it. There are independent Sunni deputies. March 8 represent a very large segment of the Lebanese and the honorable Sunnis in Lebanon. They have the right to demand a minister. We stand by them.

Do not talk include Iran or an American-Iranian-Syrian conflict or any of this nonsense. I will set formalities aside and mention names. I would like to address Mr. Walid Jumblatt and to the brothers in the Progressive Socialist Party because of the following:

The first point: Iran wants to punish you for delaying the formation of the government. Where did you get this? What is your evidence? During the five months you and the Lebanese Forces were arguing and arguing. As Iran demanded the formation of the government and is punishing Lebanon for delaying it!

Syrian President Assad is interfering! The Syrians did not talk to us and did not ask us for anything. So far, they have not spoken to us or asked us for anything even though we talk to each other on a daily basis. There is communication between us every day.

So this is your reading. Your antennas have caught this. Fix your antennas, Walid. They are not fixed.

Of course, I maintain respect. Look. You have been delaying the formation of the government for four months. Four months debating – three ministers, two ministers, three ministers – until you found the solution.

As a friend, I would have accepted you talking about the delay in the past four months, but now no. Now, you do not have the right to about us delaying or obstructing the formation of the government or about the regional and economic situations. You can start counting from the day we refused to give the names of our minister. You obstructed for four months.

But now you have to calm down a bit and wait and see where this subject will go.

I will also address the Lebanese Forces. You are the complication. You were the complication. As if the Lebanese Forces had nothing to do with the battle that was fought in Lebanon through the media outlets, politics, social media, universities and insults. And they say that the complication is the Sunni complication. You have debated for five months. It is your right. I am not saying if you were wrong or right. You have the right to demand your rights. But for five months you disrupted the country. Did we say anything? Did anyone from Hezbollah say that the Lebanese Forces disrupting the country, the Socialist Party disrupting, the country or the Future Movement disrupting the country? W e did not open our mouth. We waited and waited. Just because we showed solidarity with our brothers, you opened fire and say Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are disrupting! Is this fair? What country is this? You do not have the right.

The Lebanese Forces must wait five months. If Walid must wait four months, they should count five months. After five months, you will have the right to speak. Five months from now, every word you say on this subject is an attack on a Lebanese segment.

One of the remarks that was raised and said is that Hezbollah is hardening its position because it wants to kick out the prime minister. This is not true. We have been cooperating with him since day one. I mentioned to you the subject of the 32 ministers, the Alawite, the Assyrian, the Nationalist Party, our Christian friends, etc. we do not want to overthrow him. On the contrary, we want him to form the government. Let him come and form a government he heads. We have no problem with this issue, but to give everyone the right.

This is the last part and we will conclude.

Our position is as follows:

We agree that what is raised is to form a national unity government and taking the results of the elections into account. The criteria are the one we disagree on. Let someone tell me what the criterion was the government going to be formed on and issue decrees. We submitted the names a few days ago.

Is the criterion for every four deputies one minister or is it for every five deputies one minister? What is the criterion? The Lebanese forces were asking for five ministers and they took four ministers. They have 15 deputies. Amal and us have 30 deputies and we took six ministers. We have the right to eight ministers if this is the criterion.

The Future Movement has 20 deputies. It takes all 20. The PM-designate with five ministers take 20. We are 30. Where is the unified criterion? There is no unified criterion. He is telling us that there should be a unified criterion and there isn’t one!

You are debating with me whether those six deputies belong to a bloc or not. They represent a huge segment. What was presented is that the results of the elections will be taken into account. The six deputies should be represented by the results of the elections – their results. I would like to add something here today. These six deputies no longer represent their voters. They represent the Sunnis of March 8. They represent all these people from the south to the north, who participated in the elections and supported the lists. Some of the lists passed and others did not. But they did not change their affiliations or their political line.

Today, the six deputies are not only six MPs representing those who specifically elected them. They represent this political line. The language we hear – that we do not accept a minister from March 8 in the government – is rejected. It is a language of isolation and exclusion. We refused isolation and exclusion.

We refused and there is no need to speak in public. In secret and in the inner sessions, we were not with anyone to be excluded or eliminated. We were even honest with our most bitter opponents when we were talking about a national unity government.

There is no national logic, no moral logic, no legal logic, no political logic, no logic of national interest, when someone in Lebanon says that the March 8 Sunnis are not allowed to be represented in this formation. On what basis are they not allowed? If they are not allowed, then let us talk from the starting point openly. Let us talk from the beginning and again because there is no more national unity government, no election results and no criteria.

If the subject became according to discretion that is each one will go back to his political force, representation and presence and impose condition, let us, then, go back to the starting point. Let us start from the beginning.

These MPs are asking for their rights and their representation. We have to stand by their side and support what they represent and who they represent. We stood by them and we will stand by them. Let every Lebanese hear. We will remain with them a year, two years and 1000 years until the end.

We are not the kind to give up on our allies. We do not abandon our allies when there is logic and right. When an ally asks for something that is not rightfully his, we discuss with them. But when an ally, who is a friend and a brother, asks you for something that is rightfully his, we do not abandon him. This is not us. And you must know us by now through all this long experience. As we seek to help you, you should also help us.

We are not a party to the negotiations there about this complexity. The solution to the problem is with by the Prime Minister-designate. Solve it with him.

Yesterday, I met with the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement. Of course Mr. President assigned him to do so. Can you do anything? I told him: we are not asking from the President anything. And we are not asking anything from you. Mr. President is the father of all and he assigned him. You are trying to find solutions to this subject. Excellent. We support that and anyone who is seeking to address this subject. We are not asking you anything. We are not part of the negotiations. Let me go back to the subject of the quota and the 11 ministers. No one should talk to Hezbollah and negotiate with it. The decision is with the brothers, the six independent Sunni deputies. Negotiate with them. Talk to them. Discuss with them. Be fair to them. Whatever they accept, we are on board. We do not accept or reject. It is not our business. They are asking for their rights. They are our allies and we stand with them. Hezbollah stands with them.

The issue for us, first and foremost, is moral. But the narrative that we gathered the Sunnis so we can use them to fight. To Walid Bek and others, if we wanted to disrupt the government in Lebanon, we do not need to hide behind our Sunni brothers. We have courage, ability, presence, clarity and transparency. I say it on television. If we wanted to disrupt the government and do not agree on the formation of the government, we do not hide behind anyone. But we want the government. Because we wanted a government, we were modest. We are still humble and lenient even if it was on our expense and the expense of our allies. We spoke in the closed rooms to help solve it and not challenge.

Now, we do not want to challenge anyone. We do not want to get into political tension with anyone. We do not want to get into a media debate with anyone. We do not want to bring together sheikhs and scholars to write a statement and say malicious hands. And we do not want to use any rhetoric. We have been like this since 2005. I would like to tell the PM-designate: If you really wanted to form a government and help this country, you should assume your responsibilities. This way causing sectarian incitement and sectarianism will not lead to a result. Don’t you know us? Since 2005, this rhetoric has not done anything. It only causes tension in the country and the street. But does it change our stance? Does it affect our will, convictions and commitments? Never. Say what you wish. You can disrupt, destroy and sabotage. Then later they tell you it is because of the economic and financial situations. Weren’t there economic and financial situations five months ago? Why did you negotiate for five months? This portfolio, this number, this minister, etc. And we used to tell you about the country and the economic and financial situations.

When we were done with that issue and we were demanding the rights of these deputies, suddenly the economic and financial situation cannot take it any longer. Aren’t you loyal to Lebanon? We are not loyal. We are mercenaries and agents. You are the loyal ones to Lebanon. Go ahead, you have to solve the matter. Give them one minister. Respect them and agree with them. Form a government. And see how you will save the economic and financial situation. Whether the government will save the economic and financial situation or not, we will talk about that later, God willing, when the government is formed. Are we heading to a salvation government or are there going to be new looting projects in the country? We will get to that and talk about it.

Now, I will summarize regarding the government. We do not need to repeat and explain. To us, it is their right and we stand by their side. We are not using them to fight. Never. If someone asked whether the fate of the country depends on the decision of one of the six deputies, I tell them yes. It is their right. We as Hezbollah when the six MPs call us or send a delegation and tell us ‘you may give the names of your ministers to the PM-designate’, then we will.

With all affection and love, I have a lot of things in my heart I want to talk about. I will not talk about the today. God willing, we will not have to speak about them. We do not want conflict, tension or escalation. We do not want to bring things back to the start, to zero. This is all with regard to the subject. It is not regional, international or local. No one is hiding behind anyone. It is their right. Negotiate with them. Speak to them. And respect them. Whatever decision they make, we will commit to it.

On Martyr’s Day, we are committed to this matter. This is our course, our thought, our history and our loyalty. We pledge to our righteous and pure martyrs that, God willing, we will continue their path and achieve their goals whatever the sacrifices. Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations, Translated by website team

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians (08 – 13 November 2018)

PCHR Weekly Report 

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 08 – 13 November, 2018.

New Israeli Military Esclation in the Gaza Strip: Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes, launching 197 missiles at civilian buildings and military sites belonging to Palestinian Armed Groups.
2 Palestinian civilians were killed and 20 others were wounded, including 5 children and 4 women. Many civilian facilities, residential houses, and security sites were targeted and completely destroyed.

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 killed during their participation in the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege Protests while the 2 others were killed during the escalation the Gaza Strip witnessed in the middle of the week.  Moreover, the Israeli forces wounded 172 civilians, including 27 children, 15 women and 4 paramedics.  In the West Bank, a person wounded succumbed to his wounds while Israeli forces wounded 17 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and a paramedic.

 

The Gaza Strip has witnessed a military escalation, where the Israeli forces have unprecedentedly used warplanes and artillery shells since the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.  This escalation has started after an Israeli special undercover unit “Mista’arvim” infiltrated the day before yesterday, 11 November 2018, Khan Younis in the Southern Gaza Strip and killed 7 members of the Palestinian armed groups, mainly a commander in al-Qassam Brigades from Khan Younis, creating a state of maximum alter among the Palestinian armed groups and tension among the Palestinian civilians.  This undercover operation was followed by barrages of rockets launched deep into the Israeli towns adjacent to the Gaza Strip.  Since Monday afternoon, 12 November 2018, and until the reporting period, upon a decision by the highest Israeli military and political echelons, the Israeli forces carried out intense airstrikes against many civilian facilities and residential houses in addition to sites belonging to the security services and others to the Palestinian armed groups, launching at least 40 missiles.  The Israeli artillery shelling also targeted the areas adjacent to the border fence with Israel.  Due to the hostilities, 2 civilians were killed and 20 others were wounded, including 5 children and 4 women in addition to the destruction and severe damage in many residential houses, other civilian facilities and security sites.

 

As part of using excessive force against the peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip borders, on 08 November 2018, the Israeli forces killed Mohammed Abu Sharbin (20) from Rafah City after wounding him with a bullet that hit his upper chest and exited his back during his participation in the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protests in eastern al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip.  On 09 November 2018, the Israeli forces killed Rami Qahman (28) while participating in the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protests in al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after being wounded with a bullet to the neck.

 

In the same context, during the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 152 civilians, including 22 children, 11 women, and 4 paramedics.  Three of those wounded sustained serious injuries.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 08 and 13 November 2018 in Each City

 

City Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical
Conditions
Northern Gaza Strip 31 11 2 0 3 2
Gaza City 55 0 5 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 21 6 3 0 0 0
Khan Younis 43 4 1 0 1 0
Rafah 2 1 0 0 0 1
Total 152 22 11 0 4 3

 

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, the Israeli forces fired artillery shells at sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.

 

In the West Bank, medical sources at al-Istishari Specialist Hospital in al-Rihan Suburb declared the death of Mohammed Shreiteh (28) from al-Mazra’ah al-Gharbiyah, northwest of Ramallah, as he succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the peaceful protests against settlements on 26 October 2018.  The above-mentioned had been wounded with a bullet to the front side of the head, fragmenting part of his brain.

in the same context, during the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 17 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and a paramedic, in separate shooting incidents.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 65 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 18 Palestinians, including 4 children.

 

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 08 November 2018, the Israeli forces demolished a 200-square-meter residential house belonging to the family of ‘Ali al-Ja’bah in al-Za’im village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.  Moreover, they demolished a room and surrounding fence belonging to ‘Ali Abu Jom’ah in addition to removing the foundations of an under-construction house belonging to the family of Mohammed al-‘Omari.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers in the West Bank documented 2 attacks carried out by settlers, in Salfit and Nablus.  The settlers wrote hostile slogans against Arabs on the walls and vehicles in addition to slashing tires of 17 vehicles in Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

In the Thirty-third week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces killed 2 civilians and wounded 152 civilians, including 22 children, , 11 women and 4 paramedics. Doctors classified 3 civilian’s injuries as serious. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • The Central Gaza Strip: at approximately 16:30 on Thursday, 98 November 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of Palestinian young men, who approached the border fence. As a result, Mohammed ‘Ala’a Mahmoud Abu Sharbin (20), from Rafah, was killed after he was hit with a live bullet that penetrated the upper side of chest and exited the back. Mohammed was transferred via a PRCS ambulance after it received coordination to a hospital where he arrived dead. The Israeli shooting and firing tear gas canisters, which continued until approximately 18:00, resulted in the injury of 21 civilians, including 6 children and 3 women. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 5 were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • The Northern Gaza Strip: 31 civilians, including 11 children, 2 women, a deaf young man and 3 paramedics, were wounded. Twenty four of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 1 was hit with a rubber bullet and 9 were hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified2 civilians’ injuries as serious. The wounded paramedics were identified as:
  1. Karem Mahmoud Rashed al-Dalow (37), a paramedic at the Palestinian Civil Defense from al-Remal neighborhood in Gaza City, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the neck;
  2. Saleh Faraj Saleh al-Remahi (27), a volunteer paramedic at the Palestinian Ministry of Health from Jabalia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the face; and
  3. Hutheifah Mahmoud Hasan Abu ‘Aitah (27), from Jabalia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back.

 

  • In Gaza City: 55 civilians, including 5 women, were wounded. Twenty two of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 33 were hit with rubber bullets.

 

  • Khan Younis: Israeli forces’ shooting at demonstrators, which continued 18:00, resulted in the injury of 43 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic. Twenty one of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 17 were hit with tear gas canisters and 5 were hit with rubber bullets. The wounded paramedic was identified as Falasteen Khalid Qdaih (21), a volunteer paramedic at Youth Pioneer of Peace medical Team, was hit with a live bullet to the left leg.

 

  • Rafah City: Israeli forces’ shooting, which continued until 17:00, resulted in the injury of 2 civilians, including a child, with live bullets. Medical sources at Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis declared the death of one of them namely Rami Wa’el Eshaq Qahman (28), who succumbed to his wounds he sustained after being hit with a live bullet to the neck.

 

  • At approximately 11 November 2018, a Palestinian civilian was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the head during his participation on the March of Return activities, east of al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 09 November 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders gathered on agricultural lands of “al-Resan” Mount area, west of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah in protest against the Israeli settlers’ attempt to seize and confiscate the land. When the civilians arrived at the abovementioned area, the Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, Feras Samarah (33), a paramedic at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), was hit with glass shrapnel of an ambulance where she was present after Israeli forces opened fire at the ambulance. The Israeli soldiers arrested Fares al-Sayed Nasser (30) and Mohammed Manthoum Abu ‘Ayash (23) after chasing and attacking them with their rifles.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 09November 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim” settlement established on the village lands. The protestors chanted national slogans in the anniversary of the death of the late President, Yasser Arafat demanding end of occupation, condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. Minister Walid Assaf, head of the National Committee to Resist the Wall and Settlements, participated in the demonstration. The protestors threw stones at Israeli forces stationed behind sand barriers. The Israeli forces fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. They also raided and searched houses belonging to Jamal Saleh Jom’ah, Zhdi, Ahmed Shtaiwi and Khaldoun Abu Khalid ‘Obaid. The soldiers then topped the houses’ roofs and used them as watchtowers to monitor the protestors and fire rubber bullets and sound bombs. As a result, 4 civilians, were wounded, including child Sari Abdullah ‘Ali (10) who was hit with a rubber bullet to the right hand.

 

 

Civilian Succumbed to his Wounds:

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on Saturday, 10 November 2018, medical sources at the Istishari Arab Hospital in al-Raihan Suburb in the northern Gaza Strip, announced the death of Mohammed Ibrahim Shraiteh (28), succumbing to wounds he sustained during his participation in the peaceful demonstration against the Israeli forces on Friday, 26 October 2018, in al-Mazra’ah eastern village, northwest of the city. Mohammed was hit with a live bullet to front side of the forehead, causing a fragmentation to a part of the brain. Mohammed underwent 4 surgical operations in the abovementioned and he stayed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a deep coma until his death.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Thursday, 08 November 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a military vehicle and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit al-Mofaqarrah, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Ahmed Mahmoud al-Hamamdah (45) a notice to evacuate his 5-dunum land under the pretext of State lands within 45 days. It should be noted that Kherbit al-Mofaqarrah is a residential compound.

 

Israeli settlers’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 09 November 2018, a group of Israeli settlers moved into Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit, and then wrote hatred slogans against Arabs on walls and vehicles. They also punctured the tires of 17 vehicles. PCHR keeps the names of persons whose vehicles were damaged.

 

  • On Sunday, 11 November 2018, dozens of Israeli settlers with the Israeli forces’ protection moved into the Antiquities areain Sibistia village, northwest of Nablus. The village’s Council said that around 150 Israeli settlers accompanied with Israeli forces moved into the antiquities area in Sibistia village and stayed there for few hours before leaving. It should be noted that the Antiquities area in Sibistia village was under the Israeli incursions several times.

 

Recommendations to the International Community:

 

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC to continue to investigate the Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and grave violations in the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  7. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  8. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  9. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  10. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  11. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

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؟

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– 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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Jewish Politics in America – A Post Political View

November 14, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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I was invited to join the Unz Review, here is a link to my first contribution:

http://www.unz.com/

“The two contradictory Jewish ideologies (Identitarianism and Israelism) are each well- ensconced within the two rival ideologies that are tearing America apart. The red Republican counties want America to be Israel Again. The large metropolitan areas near America’s coasts have adopted the twelve tribes of Israel model – a loose Identitarian coalition threatened by Samaritans, Canaanites, Amalekites or as Hillary Clinton calls them the ‘basket of deplorables.’

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In 1994 I enrolled in a postgraduate course in philosophy at a British University. On my first day at the University I had to complete a few routine administrative duties such as registering my name with the philosophy department and meeting my supervisors. I was also told that I had to join the student union. Being a subservient type, I walked over to the Student Union hall where I soon realized that the task was slightly more complicated than I had expected. There were a plethora of student unions to choose from: The Black Student Union, The Asian Student Association, The Socialist Students, The Gay Student Society and more. Confused, I asked for assistance. They asked where I was from. When I told them “Israel,” I was told that the “Jewish Student Union” was my home.

It was then, at the Student Union Hall, that I first encountered the identity split between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. It would take some time before I was able to define this binary tension in philosophical or post political terms and before I understood the Jewish dilemma in terms of Nationalist/Identitarian dialectics. Two decades later, the political battle now going on in America is basically an extension of that internal Jewish debate.

Back in 1994 I didn’t see any reason to join the Jewish Student Union. I had never identified ‘as a Jew’ and Judaism meant little to me. Israel was my place of birth. My ‘identity’ as I then saw it was geographically oriented. Fortunately, I managed to complete my postgraduate course without becoming a ‘union member.’ But my thoughts about that morning at the student union hall have evolved into a few controversial books and hundreds of papers on ID politics and the current Identitarian dystopia.

In 2011 I wrote The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. The premise of the book was that if Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ then we have to dissect the meaning of the J-Word. We have to grasp how Judaism (the religion), Jews (the people) and Jewishness (the spirit, ideology and culture) relate to each other and how these terms influence Israeli politics and the activities of the Jewish Lobby around the world. Instead of studying ‘Zionism,’ an archaic term that is not relevant to most Israelis, my book focused on Jewish identifications. I did not address the problematic question of ‘who and what Jews are,’ I tried instead to find out what those who call themselves Jews identify with.

While this question is certainly germane to an understanding of Israel and the Middle East conflict, it is also crucial to an understanding of the current American dystopia. Instead of asking ‘who Americans are’ let us explore what Americans identify with.

In the post-political era, America is divided into two camps, let’s call them Americans and Identitarians. Americans see themselves primarily as American patriots. They often subscribe to a nationalist populist ideology and, like the Israelis, identify with a piece of geography. On the other hand, Identitarians are primarily liberals and progressives. They identify themselves in biological and sociological terms, and they see themselves first as LGBTQ, Latino, Black, Jewish, feminist etc. Their bond with the American nationalist ethos is at most secondary and often non-existent.

This division in America between ‘nationalism’ and ‘identitarianism’ is similar to the dichotomy I observed at the student union hall in 1994. In fact, Israel has become a prime model for American nationalists. Similarly, it is Jewish progressive ideology that inspires Identitarians globally and in America in particular. It is the pervasiveness of Jewish ideologies within both nationalist and Identitarian discourses that sustains the dominance of Jewish and Israeli political institutions in American politics.

The Israeli Lobby’s hegemony over American foreign policy and its force in advocating policies that favor Israel has been widely recognized. Numerous studies on the topic have been published, such as: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Prof John Mearsheimer and Prof Stephen Walt), The Power of Israel in The United State (Professor James Petras). Alison Weir’s website, If Americans Knew routinely presents a devastating chronicle of Israeli intervention in American politics. The Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs has been producing outstanding work as well. The crucial question is, why have Americans let this happen?

My study of Jewish ID politics suggests that America isn’t just influenced by one Jewish lobby or another. The entire American political-cultural-spiritual spectrum has been transformed into a internal Jewish exchange. Most American do not see the true nature of the battle they participate in and, for the obvious reasons, their media and their academics do not help. It is more convenient to keep Americans in the dark.

America is rapidly moving towards a civil war. The divide isn’t only ideological or political. The split is geographical, spiritual, educational and demographical. In a Voxarticle titled, “The Midterm Elections Revealed that America is in a Cold Civil War,” Zack Beauchamp writes, “This is a country fundamentally split in two, with no real room for compromise.” Of the midterm election Beauchamp reports that “American politics is polarized not on the basis of class or even ideology, but on identity… One side open to mass immigration and changes to the country’s traditional racial hierarchy, the other is deeply hostile to it.” He correctly observes that “Republicans and Democrats see themselves as part of cultural groups that are fundamentally distinct: They consume different media and attend different churches; live in distinct kinds of places and rarely interact with people who disagree with them.”

Despite this American schism, Israel and its Lobby are somehow able to influence both sides, managing to finding pathways to the secluded corridors of both parties. Although Democrats and Republicans can no longer talk to each other, it seems that both are happy to talk to Israel and the Lobby. And it is at AIPAC’s annual conference that these political foes compete in their eagerness to appease a foreign state. This anomaly in American politics demands attention.

As a former Israeli, I had not observed the effects of the Israel/ Jewish Diaspora dilemma until I had my experience at the Student Union Hall in Britain. Israel was born with the Zionist desire to eradicate the identity of Jews as cosmopolitans. Zionism promised to bond the Jew with the soil, with a territory, with borders. Thus, it is consistent with the Zionist paradigm that Israel is notorious for its appalling treatment of asylum seekers, immigrants and, of course, the indigenous people of the land. Israel has surrounded itself with separation walls. Israel deployed hundreds of snipers in its fight to stop the March of Return – a ‘caravan’ of Palestinian refugees who were marching towards its border. Israel has been putting into daily practice that which Trump has promised to deliver. For a Trump supporter, Israel’s politics is a wet dream. Maybe Trump should consider tweaking his motto in 2020 into ‘Let’s make America Israel.’ This would encompass building separation walls, bullying America’s neighbors, the potential to cleanseAmerica of the ‘enemy within,’ and so on. It is not surprising that in 2016 Trump beat Clinton in an Israeli absentee exit poll. The Israelis do love Trump. To them, he is a vindication of their hawkish ideological path. Although during the election Trump was castigated as a vile anti-Semite and a Hitler figure by the Jewish progressive press, once elected, Fox News was quick to point out that Trump was actually the ‘First Jewish President.’

We can see that Israel, Trump and his voters have a lot in common. They want militant anti immigration policies , they love ‘walls,’ they hate Muslims and they believe in borders. When alt right icon Richard Spencer described himself on Israeli TV as “a White Zionist” he was actually telling the truth. Israel puts into practice the ideas that Spencer and Trump can so far only entertain. But the parallels between Israel and the Trump administration’s Republican voters is just one side of the story.

In my recent book, Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, I point out that while the old, good Left tried to unite us by insisting that it was not important whether one was Black, a Woman, a Muslim, a Jew or Gay; in the class war, we were all united against capitalism. It was the new Left that taught us to speak ‘as a’: as a Jew, as a Gay, as a Black and so on. Instead of being one people united in the struggle for justice and equality, within the post political realm we are pulled into endless identity battles.

Seemingly, this Identitarian revolution has been inspired by a few Jewish ideological and philosophical schools including, most importantly, the Frankfurt School. Truth must be said, when it comes to ID politics, Diaspora Jewish ideologists are often slightly more advanced than others, not because Jews are more clever than anyone else but simply because Jews have engaged in identity politics far longer than anyone else. While Gay identity politics is about four decades old and Feminism is maybe a century old, Jewish identity politics started in Babylon two and a half millennia ago. In fact, Judaism can be realised as an exilic Identitarian project. It deliberately and carefully sustains Jewish cultural, spiritual and physical segregation. Although Jews often drop their religion and dispose of God, many cling to Jewishness. For one reason or another, Jews often choose to operate within Jews- only political cells such as Jewish Voice for PeaceJewish Voice for Labour and so on. These Jewish bodies tend to preach inclusiveness while practicing exclusivity.

So it is hardly surprising that Jewish Identitarian philosophy and Jewish Identitarian success provides the model that inspires most, if not all, Identitarian politics within the New Left milieu in general and the current Democratic Party in particular. This isn’t the place to discuss at length or in depth the reasons behind Jewish identitarian success, however, it should be mentioned that while most Identitarians are taught to celebrate victimhood, to blame others for their misfortune, Jewish Identitarianism has a subtle dynamic balance between victimhood and entitlement.

Naturally, Jewish ideologists are at the helm of the Identitarian revolution. Maybe more well known is the fact that a chief funder of that revolution is financier George Soros and his Open Society Institute. Soros may genuinely believe in the Identitarian future: It is cosmopolitan, it is global, it defies borders and states but far more significantly, it also serves to divert attention from Wall Street and capitalist crimes: as long as Identitarians fight each other, no one bothers to fight Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and corporate tyranny. Soros didn’t invent this strategy, it has long been called ‘divide and conquer.’

The abovesheds light on the depth of influence of Jewish politics in America. While Israel is an exemplar of contemporary Republican goals, Democrats are emulating Jewish Diaspora identitarianism. The two contradictory Jewish ideologies are each well- ensconced within the two rival ideologies that are tearing America apart. The red Republican counties want America to be Israel Again. Thelarge metropolitan areas near America’s coasts have adopted the twelve tribes of Israel model – a loose Identitarian coalition threatened by Samaritans, Canaanites, Amalekites or as Hillary Clinton calls them the ‘basket of deplorables.’

The story of Jewish political strength in America doesn’t end there. A New York Jew can easily metamorphosize from an hard-core Identitarian into rabid Zionist settler and vice versa, but such a manoeuvre is not available to ordinary Americans. White nationalist Richard Spencer can not make the political shift that would turn him into a progressive or a liberal just as it is unlikely that a NY transsexual icon would find it possible to become a ‘redneck.’ While Jewish political identity is inherently elastic and can morph endlessly, the American political divide is fairly rigid. Jewish ideologists frequently change positions and camps, they shift from left to right, from Clinton to Trump (Dershowitz), they support immigration in their host counties yet oppose it in their own Jewish State, they are against rigid borders and even states in general, yet support the two state solution in Palestine (Chomsky). Gentiles are less flexible. They are expected to be coherent and consistent.

It was this manoeuvrability that made PM Netanyahu’s 2015 speech in front of a joint session of Congress a ‘success,’ although it might well have been considered a humiliation for any American with an ounce of patriotic pride. As we wellknow, Bibi can communicate easily with both Republicans and Democrats just as he cansimultaneously befriend Trump and Putin. He deploys snipers at the Gaza border with orders to kill while considerately peppering his statements with LGBTQ human rights advocacy. Not many Americans have dared to address this topic, but I believe that there are some who, by now, can see the situation clearly.

It was the Israeli in me who saw the disparity between ‘Israeli’ and ‘Jew’ at the Student Union Hall because I was raised as an Israeli patriot. I was trained to love and even die for the soil I mistakenly believed to be mine. As an Israeli, I was also trained to think tribal but speak universal, and I learned how to whine as a victim yet exercise oppression. But at a certain point in my life, around my thirties, I started to find all of it too exhausting. I wanted to simplify things. I demoted myself into an ordinary human being.

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