هنية: لم نكن في حالة عداء مع (النظام السوري) وهو وقف معنا وقدم لنا الكثير

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هنية: لم نكن في حالة عداء مع (النظام السوري) وهو وقف معنا وقدم لنا الكثير

أوضح رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس، إسماعيل هنية، أن ما نسب له من كلام حول “دعم الثورة السورية، غير دقيق”، وأن حماس “لم تكن يوماً في حالة عداء مع النظام السوري”.

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وقال هنية في تصريح له لوكالة “سبوتنيك” إن “النظام السوري وقف إلى جانب حماس في محطات مهمة، وقدم لها الكثير، كما الشعب السوري العظيم”، مشيراً إلى أن “الحركة لم تقطع العلاقة مع سوريا، لكن الكثير من الظروف الموضوعية أدت إلى شكل العلاقة الحالي”.

وشدد هنية على أن “سوريا دولة شقيقة، وقف شعبها ونظامها دوماً بجانب الحق الفلسطيني”، متابعاً أن “كل ما أرادته حماس أن تنأى بأنفسها عن الإشكالات التي تجري في الداخل السوري”.

وأكد أن “ما جرى في سوريا تجاوز الفتنة إلى تصفية حسابات دولية وإقليمية”، متمنياً أن “ينتهي هذا الاقتتال، وأن يعود الأمن والاستقرار والسلم الأهلي إلى سوريا وأن تعود إلى دورها الإقليمي القومي”.

وعن علاقة حركة حماس بمصر، قال هنية إن “العلاقة مع مصر استراتيجية بغض النظر عن طبيعة النظام الحاكم فيها”، منوهاً أن حماس “في الوقت الذي تتجه فيه لعلاقات قوية مع مصر، تحافظ على علاقات قوية مع قطر وإيران”.

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وأضاف أن “إيران دولة محورية مهمة في المنطقة، وعلاقة حماس معها تكتسب بعداً استراتيجياً”، لافتاً إلى أن “طهران قدمت الكثير لصالح الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته الباسلة”.

وأكد هنية أن “حركة حماس تتقاطع مع طهران في ما يتعلق بالشأن الفلسطيني في الرؤية والوجهة”، مصرحاً أن “العلاقة مع إيران اليوم في مرحلة مميزة ومتقدمة”.

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The Debate – Israel’s war crimes

Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card

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For days, now, the Israeli rewrite has been well underway, working overtime, to convince the world seven weeks of carnage in Palestine, more particularly Gaza, did not happen. Or, if it did, Israel’s response to the Great Return March was a measured, proportionate answer to the menace posed by some burning kiteswaving flags and nihilist teens armed with slingshot weapons of mass destruction.

At times, we’ve seen Zionists rip a page straight out of the “Sandy Hook” playbook, suggesting gruesome virtual film footage of the on-going blood bath was largely staged as if an anti-Semitic Hollywood back lot production. Indeed, to some, it appears the latest Palestinian victims include the same crises actors used over and over again in false flag operations ranging from Douma, Syria to Parkland, Florida.

Other apologists have turned the morgues of Gaza into a cynical goodwill gesture. Urging belief that if Israeli intent was mass slaughterthousands more would have found eternal peace as opposed to merely being left crippled or limbless on the floors of overbooked hospitals covered with the burn of noxious fumes as rivers of blood passed them by.

To be sure, the methodical madness that is Israel goes something like this: We have the most effective, disciplined, efficient killers in the world. Had we wished to execute many more, running off with backs turned in panic, we could have done so with abandon and relative ease.

Of course, it is that very expertise that puts to lie the claim that the 124 clearly identified members of the press killed or injured, these past months, had fallen victim by mere happenstance, alone.

Apparently, Palestinians should give thanks that Israel merely wanted to set a tone with a controlled atrocity, these past Fridays of protest, as opposed to one of its, by now, regular scenes of effortless carnage sown throughout Gaza like a well planned mosaic of anguish to the palpable indifference of the world.

Can it be long before Israel deducts the cost of ammunition, otherwise dangled for its token monthly occupation tithe, for the extorted quiet trauma of some two million political prisoners?

After-all, busy these days in Syria, saber-rattling in Iran and preparing for its long overdue coast to coast crush of Gaza, even the most prosperous war criminal can, at times, run up against constraints on available weaponry. Despite being the world’s 8th largest arms exporter, Israel, always on the make for more and more military gifts, would have us believe it is no exception.

And, predictably, when other excuses have collapsed to the honest lens of public transparency, the Hamas card is once again played with almost sneering contempt for the world’s ability to pierce the half-truths that fly, each day, alongside the Star of David cast throughout the occupied skyline that is Palestine.

Time and time again, many have been an all too willing, if not complicit, party to Israel’s deflective use of Hamas to explain away the inexplicable: just how proportionality can ever be manipulated to excuse an unchecked attack by the 16th most powerful military force of our time, with thousands of tanks, aircraft and combat ships, with a multibillion dollar yearly military budget, upon a largely tattered urban enclave armed with little more than the determination and spirit of its long embattled people.

It works. It has for decades in a world that long ago condensed the “good” to those with proper skin tone, religion and culture and the “bad” to those who invariably pray five times a day, not once each Saturday or Sunday.

There are distinct components to Israel’s grand witting misspeak about Hamas and Palestinians: The first is a desperate attempt to recast who and what the movement is and from where it has come.

On this point, Israel is to be applauded as it has apparently, successfully, packaged and sold an entirely fictitious representation of the movement to those who seek little more than a fabled narrative to maintain their dutiful support of its colonial project.

I am no stranger to Hamas. To me the movement is not an academic pursuit or abstract intellectual curiosity that only takes shape whenever it confronts the brute force that is Israel…be it in the 365 square kilometer (141 sq mi) confines of Gaza or in the streets and universities of the West Bank. To the contrary, I have been privileged to represent more than a few of its leaders for some two decades.  On occasion, the movement has sought my counsel on issues of international law prior to making its decision on how best to proceed with a given matter.

Many of these men and women have also been close personal friends for years. I have often shared a warm welcome and meal at a family dinner table or an overnight stay with Hamas leaders throughout my travels in the Middle East–on occasion against the backdrop of on-going Israeli carnage or in its aftermath.

I have known well most of its founders and current leadership including those that have either been assassinated or languish, today, in Israeli prisons and elsewhere denied any scrap of justice or due process. Over the years, I have spent literally thousands of hours meeting with movement leaders in prisons, at conferences, in Palestine and elsewhere.

These are virtuous, dedicated, nationalists who seek not power for the sake of it or personal profit but have long stood among those who have fought against overwhelming odds and violence to lead the way toward a Palestinian home built of the marrow of freedom, justice and equality.

Contrary to the Israeli and Western effort to reduce Hamas to a collective of essentially unschooled or unsophisticated foreign born so-called Islamists, nothing could be further from the truth. Hamas is a movement born of Palestine, composed of Palestinians who were raised on the very streets where the blood of their people and families, has been lost to the occupation terror imposed by Israel.  For the many who suffer from a now decade old blockade of Gaza–with its lack of food, water, medicine and mobility–Hamas and their families have known the same isolation and paid a like price.

Comprised, originally, of physicians, scholars, academics, lawyers, scientists, artists, religious leaders and farmers, it is a movement that evolved of necessity, born in the vacuum of what would obviously become the failed vision of Oslo.

More than a few of these leaders escaped the tyranny of Israeli oppression, years before, to obtain education and accomplishment abroad–only later to give up the fruits of all personal success to return to their homeland and fight for its liberation.

Over the years, Hamas evolved from a social service network, throughout Palestine, to become an armed guard of the Palestinian people through the discrete Qassam Brigades and an elected political movement swept to power in 2006. That victory came in what was described, then, by former President Carter, as the most transparent and successful electoral process he had observed as a monitor over his many years of such service in the Middle East.

Not long thereafter, all of Gaza was punished for the temerity of its electoral will through the imposition of the embargo that a decade later remains in place as an on-going stranglehold on the health, welfare and safety of its two million residents, punctuated by massive deadly Israeli onslaughts every few years.

Portrayed as little more than a terrorist group, one story, in particular, speaks volumes about the depth and breadth of the movement. Invited by one of its top leaders to attend a luncheon outside of Palestine, I arrived at a fourth floor walk-up to find most of its leadership, along with a number of other Palestinian resistance movements, engaged in a debate. No, it was not a heated argument over political tactics or military targets. During the next two hours, tempers flared over whether, and to what extent, language immersion should be included as a teaching tool in grammar school education throughout Palestine. The discussion was led by a PhD linguist schooled by legendary MIT professor, Noam Chomsky. Hebrew was among the languages to be learned.

I am not naive or starry-eyed. Like all political and national liberation movements Hamas has had its problems and made its share of missteps. Nevertheless, Israel’s long-standing attempts to reduce it to a selfish and reckless collective willing to sacrifice the interests and safety of Palestinians, including their own families, to the winds of cheap political gain, is just so much nefariously crafted delusion.

Although this unashamed invention has found a warm welcome in the insipid language of Zionist supporters and ignorant pundits, those with informed knowledge or experience with Hamas understand this call for what it is: a shameful and typical deflection from Israeli responsibility for what can only be called a willing slaughter, these last few months, that ranks among its many others… always, of course, because it had no choice.

The notion that the movement would ask or send people of Gaza to certain injury or death, at the hands of Israeli assassins lying in wait for all to see, reeks of the grand imperial lie that has been Israel for seventy years.

It is no less repugnant than the racist proposition that Palestinians, themselves, care so little about their own families or community that they would willingly sacrifice them en masse to gain the momentary sympathy of a world long inured to their isolation and loss of liberty and life.

Born of supremacist arrogance, Israel now seeks to reduce millions of Palestinians, who have struggled for generations, to little more than unthinking sheeple awaiting instructions from Hamas on when, and how, to express their will or gain their independence. Those with any connection to Palestine, or its long oppressed people, know all too well that the bars of its prison will never quiet its innate thirst for justice and freedom.

In Israel, the expedient conflation of victimizer and victim… of occupier and occupied… is brazen and readily transparent; an indecent marriage of those that would pull the trigger with others who fall prey to its barbaric squeeze. There is simply no honest or moral equivalence.

Yet, in a world that has long found Palestinians to be unworthy of equality and safeguard, this perverse union should come as no surprise. Indeed, willful blindness to Israeli slaughter is the explosive fuel that empowers its rage.

For decades, now, Hamas has become a convenient foil for Israel and its compliant choir after each new horror. Meanwhile, Israel walks away to rearm… leaving Palestine to bury her children, but not her hope.

Against the wail of broken dreams and lost lives, the Great Return March, marches on.  For Palestinians, there is no choice.

President Trump to Unveil New Middle East Peace Plan

President Trump to Unveil New Middle East Peace Plan

ALEX GORKA | 22.05.2018 | WORLD / MIDDLE EAST

President Trump to Unveil New Middle East Peace Plan

At the very start of his presidential term, Donald Trump promised to do what no other US president had done despite all their efforts. He said he would find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem and close “the ultimate deal.”

Donald Trump will unveil his new Middle East (ME) peace plan in mid-to-late June after the end of Ramadan. The exact date for its publication is yet to be announced. Select allies are already being briefed on the elements of the plan. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has confirmed that the initiative is being finalized.

The details are not yet known, but it is generally believed that the proposal will suggest recognizing Israel as the Jewish people’s homeland. The Palestinian Authority (PA) will be given limited sovereignty. Its territory will include about half of the West Bank, including the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and the entire Gaza Strip, provided that Hamas agrees to disarm. The Jordan Valley will go to Israel, preserving its security presence along the Jordan River. The Old City will also become a part of Israel. Palestine and Jordan will share religious jurisdiction over Jerusalem’s mosques. Abu Dis, located in the eastern part of Jerusalem, will become the capital of the PA. Israel will be responsible for the West Bank and the security of the border crossings. A system for compensating Palestinian refugees will be established and managed by the international community. Their right to return will not be recognized.

The plan will not be presented as a definitive document, but rather as the springboard for generating the momentum to rush into broader negotiations with the leading Arab actors, such as the Persian Gulf states and Egypt. The expectation is that certain mutually acceptable ideas will be discovered that will get the ball rolling.

So the proposal is not a two-state solution, but rather a blueprint offering a smorgasbord of options for further talks.

The plan is expected to be rebuffed by the PA amid signs that the US may slash funding for the West Bank and Gaza. The funds are likely to be reallocated elsewhere. Washington and its allies are looking for prominent Palestinians who would agree to back this plan that is certain to face rejection from the president of the PA. Mahmoud Abbas.

Progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track is a must; otherwise it’ll be a tall order to establish an anti-Iranian coalition that includes the leading Arab states. Saudi Arabia and other potential members of such a group cannot openly cooperate with Israel. The Palestinian problem is an obstacle. The US needs to marshal regional support for this plan. We’re going to start seeing some very intensive diplomatic efforts, including behind-the-scenes meetings. The plan will be inevitably rolled out at an international conference, probably hosted by a large Arab nation, such as Egypt for instance.

As mentioned above, many US presidents have tried to find a solution to the ME conflict. Trump’s plan stands out as an initiative not aimed at bringing the two sides to the negotiating table but rather one that exerts pressure to make them accept it. Resolving the Palestinian issue paves the way for uniting a powerful coalition under the US banner. Another hallmark of the plan is the attempt to find an alternative to the current Palestinian leadership. Finding the right people is part of the effort.

The US position in the region was weakened as a result of the decision to move the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Leading the peace process will get the US back onto the field as the leading player and an indispensable nation in the region.

With an anti-Iranian coalition in place and moves underway to roll back Tehran, China will suffer and find itself growing weaker. The rise in global oil prices will make Chinese commodities more expensive and thus its exports will become less competitive. The growth of its GDP could slow as a result.

Russia has the reputation of being an “honest broker” in the ME and its regional influence is on the rise. Keeping Moscow out of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process is one way to contain it.

And in the end, the Palestinians will actually gain nothing. The proposal appears to be highly favorable toward Israel and dismissive of the PA. With Israel retaining control over security almost throughout the Palestinian territory, no full sovereignty is possible. The PA’s borders would not be based on the pre-1967 demarcations as the UN resolutions demand. But Sunni Arab states and others would provide enough economic assistance to the Palestinians to make them pliable.

Donald Trump likes to make “deals.” Perhaps he views the Palestinian problem as essentially an economic issue, not a political one. Because of this perspective he has adopted a “you make concessions to get economic benefits in return” approach. The problem is with the PA’s leadership, which is headed by Mahmoud Abbas, its people, and also the Arab leaders who want a real political settlement instead of a trade deal, because they aren’t going anywhere. It’s really hard to imagine the Palestinians taking any offer of “limited sovereignty” seriously.

The Israeli-PA conflict is not a problem to be tackled by a club of the chosen. Any peace effort requires broad international representation. The Palestinian leadership insists that Russia and a number of other states and organizations take on the role of mediating such a multilateral peace process.

President Trump’ proposal hasn’t even been made public yet. Nothing official has been heard from Washington so far. But some experts believe that the plan is dead on arrival. Perhaps they have a good reason to think so.

Debunking 18 Claims Justifying Gaza Massacre

Debunking 18 Claims Justifying Gaza Massacre

Palestinian protesters gather during a demonstration where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the “Nakba”, and against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem at the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 16, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

After spending a great deal of time online, I read and watched endless virtual conversations about who’s at fault and who’s not in the wake of the over 60 casualties in Gaza on Monday. Discussions varied from whether Israel is exercising a righteous act of self-defense, or if Palestinians are legitimately organizing a peaceful protest; whether it is a conflict between two equals who are both guilty, or it is between an army of a state and an occupied territory packed with civilians?

It’s mind-blowing how people have the energy to keep repeating the same claims over and over again for days and weeks, ignoring outside information. That is why I have decided to spare others the time, effort, and emotion, by writing out the most common claims I have seen regarding the events of the Great March of Return, followed by my responses. Those interested in fact-checking these common falsehoods, can find them in one place.

The one claim that I will not deal with, one of the most popular, is that of: “The Bible say God give the land of Israel to the Jewish people?” Fundamentalists, regardless of faith, will never see beyond their own holy books. This list isn’t for them and I won’t bother trying to change their minds.

Claim 1: Israel acted with “restraint” towards protesters in Gaza. 

Speaking at the United Nations on Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “[W]ho among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”

Even harder it was to listen to an Israeli official saying how “We have Israeli civilian communities, farms, and homesteads just 100 meters away from the border. If we’re allowing that borderer to be porous we’ll have dead Israelis.”

First thing I can think of is, what border? Israel is the only country in the world with no defined borders, as they keep expanding into others’ land. The line between Gaza and Israel is an armistice line from 1949 and 1967, not an internationally recognized border.

Second, Palestinians are not crossing the armistice line and killing Israelis living right across the fence once they are “unleashed.” They are not animals, neither are they cannibals! Palestinians are the not encaged blood-thirsty animals that will prey the first thing they witness once they are out. Yes, they are trying to cross the fence into 1948 areas, but this is about realizing their right of return to the land many of them were forced to leave. Seventy percent of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from cities and towns in Israel. These people are trying to go home. They are trying to get to the houses they still have keys and official documents for! They are not embarking on a secret murderous mission.

Claim 2: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years ago. Moving the embassy is just a recognition of that reality.

At the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “In Jerusalem, King David established our capital 3,000 years ago.” Several members of the Trump administration have stated in recent weeks that Jerusalem is already the capital of Israel and moving the embassy is a “recognition of reality.”

King David is described in the Bible as the second king to preside over the United Monarchy, a unified territory of all Jewish tribes that lasted for about 100 years. Most of what is known about Kind David comes from religious readings, not archeological evidence.

According to religious tradition, King David reigned around 3,000 years ago. His capital was considered to be where the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan is located in East Jerusalem, along with the Israeli settlement and Bible park called the “City of David.”

Claim 3: This Great March of Return is totally organized by Hamas, a terrorist group.

It’s quite funny how this claim gives a huge deal of legitimacy to Hamas. They do Hamas a favor when they say that it could actually mobilize more than 40,000 people in one day for one goal.

The Great March of Return was organized by a grassroots group of Palestinians in Gaza. Here’s one of the founders of the protests, Nabeel Diab, telling Mondoweiss that it is a lie that Hamas is behind this movement. 

Claim 4: Hamas paid each Palestinian protesters a whopping $1,000 to cross into Israel.

Alt-right personality Laura Loomer has circulated the claim that “Hamas is paying $1000 to every Palestinian who tries to break the Gaza border with Israel and murder Israelis.”

Hamas was created in 1987. Palestinians had been resisting Israel since 1948. Who paid them before that?

Also, the assumption that Palestinians are nothing but a bunch of immoral mercenaries, is quite insulting to the nation that still comes up with new creative ways to prove its right in a better life.

Fact-check: relatives of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces were offered $3,000, and injured Palestinians were reportedly paid between $200 and $500. In reality these funds cover funerals, hospital bills, and provide a modest welfare stipend to the bereaved. More importantly, no Palestinian is being offered cash to kill Israelis.

Claim 5: Palestinians hate Israelis more than they love their kids.

This is a tired argument that keeps resurfacing one way or another ever since former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Mier said the first iteration, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” The line was just as offensive back then as it is now.

I am not sure how I can explain that no sane human being feels at ease endangering their kids, no matter what outcome they are expecting. No one can do this. None. I hardly think this kind of statements are meant to be discussed with logic. These are dehumanizing cruel insults I have no interest in wasting time on.

Claim 6: Live ammunition was only used to stop the ones crossing the fence. Israel used tear gas and rubber bullets for the most part. The casualties of journalists and minors are totally unintended mistakes.

I won’t say a word here. I’d rather let the IDF official Twitter account respond to this one (note: the IDF later removed the tweet):

Claim 7: This is Israel’s land and it will always be Israel’s, deal with it.

We are dealing with it, trust me. You took territory by force and ethnic-cleansing. We are trying reclaim our rights as civil and bloodless as possible in regular non-violent civil disobedience and boycotts.

Claim 8: The humanitarian crisis in Gaza must be solved.

Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted yesterday, “The United States must play an aggressive role in bringing Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the international community together to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and stop this escalating violence.”

While I appreciate these attempts to educate Americans on the Palestinian plight, and I understand how hard it is to maneuver while trying to avoid backlash, or in Bernie Sander’s case being smeared as “a self-hating Jew,” it is not very effective to call on an end to only the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, although it is getting worse by day.

The core problem is occupation and injustice. Without an end to the blockade, the humanitarian crisis will never end. Palestinians do not only demand food, water, and medication. They need full freedom, just like everybody else in the world.

Claim 9: Why should Israel give the Palestinians a state? Israel gave them Gaza and look what they have done with it? They are even split up between Fatah and Hamas.

This usually comes in response to any mention of a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. This logic that says we do things better, we have to train them first, they can’t run their own affairs, is quite similar to the colonial narrative that says brown people always need supervision from the others who know better, as if we are underage teenagers who can’t control our own fates. I don’t really have anything to say to counter this claim except, “If you are going to use this statement, then don’t get mad when we call Israel a colonial-settler state.”

Palestinian family, 1910s, Ramallah. (Photo: Public Domain)

Claim 10: Every stone in this land was built by Israel. It was a barren land, Israelis built and grew it.

Palestinians do no deny the Jewish existence in historic Palestine. We do realize that the Jews existed there; we are not interested in contradicting the truth. It might be surprising to some, but both the Christians and the Muslims of Palestine believe in all the prophets of the Jewish faith; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and Solomon. Narratives of the stories related to these figures are almost identical to people from all three faiths. There is no conflict there. In fact there are Jewish Palestinians. 

Furthermore, Palestine was not “a barren” land when European Jews arriving in the late 1800s and early 1900s began to increase. Haifa was an important cultural hub in the region. People worked to make a living, and historic Palestine was considered mostly an agrarian region of the Ottoman Empire. The old “land without a people” claim can be labeled as fiction.

Haifa Port. (Photo: Z. Kluger. Erez Israel from the air – 1937-38)

Advertisement for a 1939 theater production staged in Haifa. (Photo: Arab48)

Claim 11: Palestinians be third-generation refugees. That’s ridiculous.

Well, I think we can. As long as Palestinians are living in refugee camps, have very limited accessibility to the houses our families were forced out of, Palestinians can be refugees. Once Palestinians are given the choice to have our houses and farms back, only then we stop being refugees.

Claim 12: Refugee camps are not what you think. People drive nice cars and have decent housing. They even get educated. Why are they still complaining?

Thanks to the UNRWA schools and vocational training centers, generations of Palestinians refugees were and are still able to be provided with education. This is one basic human right granted by the UN. Although the education from the UN might not always be the highest-quality one can dream of, Palestinians have constantly managed to make something out of it, so they have better lives.

This does not go against the fact that they are still displaced. If you wish to understand why they can’t simply belong to where they were born and forget about anything else, please read my previous article on the connection between Palestinians and their heritage.

Claim 13: Israel is not an apartheid state. Palestinian territory IS where you can’t find one Jew living among Palestinians. Israelis are not welcome there.

This is an increasingly popular allegation, that it is the Palestinians who are practicing apartheid, not Israel. This narrative is promoted by Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S., Danny Ayalon. He even bothered to produce a video about it and make it his pinned tweet.

The Palestinian Authority does not ban Israelis from being in, or living in the West Bank. It is Israeli who has made it illegal for Israeli citizens to enter Area A of the West Bank, the section of the occupied Palestinian territory that houses all of the Palestinian urban areas.

Claim 14: Palestinians are anti-Semites.

I totally understand that European Jews still live the horrors of the Holocaust. I do realize that the anti-Jewish sentiment is still present in Europe and the U.S. to this very day, I have witnessed it first-hand. But remember, we, Palestinians, had nothing to do with this. We are not the Germans.

Claim 15: Palestinians are originally from other parts of the world, they are not natives to the land.

This could be true indeed. But if we are going to trace every inhabitant of every spot in the world to their ancestral origins, it should sound fair when the 5.2 million Native Americans decide to kick out every other American citizen and tell them: “you have all of Europe, Africa, and Asia to live in, this is ours and only ours.”

Claim 16: Most causalities on May 14th were middle aged males in military age.

I just heard this yesterday by the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on CNN. This is usually used to say that they are potential terrorists. Totally shifting attention from the fact that there were kids among the victims. As if saying that middle-aged male Palestinians are necessarily violent death-loving ones.

This reminds me of what extremists on our side usually say when they wish to justify suicide attacks in Israeli shops and buses, saying that “ALL Israelis serve in the military, that are all responsible for occupation, therefore, they are all legitimate targets”.

If the first claim is accepted by the international community, I don’t see why the second isn’t. It’s either both are true, or neither. And for the sake of humanity I sincerely hope it’s neither.

This claim originated from Hamas’ Saleh Bardwil who said 50 of the 62 killed on Monday were Hamas’ people. This statement is unfounded propaganda. Neither Hamas or Israel has provided evidence that this is true. And Bardwil has an incentive to fabricate Hamas’ importance wherever he can.

Claim 17: Palestinians don’t respect woman. They are barbaric. Why would civilized people give them any rights? They have to be better human beings first.

The fact that there are various forms of injustices within a community doesn’t mean they can be deprived of their basic rights. Palestinians can resist patriarchy, corruption, double standards, all while resisting occupation. If they cannot, I demand that I see examples of societies and countries that could not enjoy full sovereignty before they were perfectly ideal and crime-free.

Claim 18: The call for Palestinian right to return, is an explicit call to destroy Israel and to kill its people.

Why not think “The call for Palestinian right to return is a great step to achieving peace, so Israelis and Palestinians can live all together in one secular, multi-cultural state with equal rights for all, and an ending refugee sufferings?”

The claim shows, if anything, a deep sense of dehumanizing Palestinians, of not showing a regard to their feelings, aspirations, needs, and most importantly: rights.

israel Repurposes Nakba Myths To Justify Monday’s Massacre in Gaza

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by Jonathan Cook

On Monday and Tuesday, Palestinians commemorate the anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, their mass expulsion and dispossession 70 years ago as the new state of Israel was built on the ruins of their homeland. As a result, most Palestinians were turned into refugees, denied by Israel the right to return to their homes.

Tens of thousands turned out on Monday in the occupied territories to protest against seven decades of Israel’s refusal to make amends or end its oppressive rule.

The move on Monday of the US embassy to Jerusalem, a city under belligerent occupation, has only inflamed Palestinian grievances – and a sense that the West is still conspiring in their dispossession.

The focus of the protests is Gaza, where unarmed Palestinians have been massing every Friday since late March at the perimeter fence that encages two million of them. For their troubles, they have faced a hail of live ammunition, rubber bullets and clouds of tear gas. Dozens had been killed and many hundreds more maimed, including children.

Early reports on Monday suggested that Gaza’s demonstrators were being massacred by the Israeli army. Amnesty International called the events a “horror show”.

But for more than a month, Israel has been working to manage western perceptions of the protests – and its response – in ways designed to discredit the outpouring of anger from Palestinians. In a message all too readily accepted by some western audiences, Israel has presented the protests as a “security threat”.

Israeli officials have even argued before the country’s high court that the protesters lack any rights – that army snipers are entitled to shoot them, even if facing no danger – because Israel is supposedly in a “state of war” with Gaza, defending itself.

On Sunday night the Israeli air force dropped leaflets across Gaza warning Palestinians not to go near fence. “The Israel Defense Forces is determined to defend Israel’s citizens and sovereignty against Hamas’ attempts at terrorism under cover of violent riots,” the leaflets said. “Don’t get near the fence and don’t take part in Hamas’ show, which endangers you.”

Many Americans and Europeans, worried about an influx of “economic migrants” flooding into their own countries, readily sympathize with Israel’s concerns – and its actions.

Until now, the vast majority of Gaza’s protesters have been peaceful and made no attempt to break through the fence.

But Israel claims that Hamas has exploited this week’s protests in Gaza to encourage Palestinians to storm the fence. The implication is that the protesters have been trying to cross a “border” and “enter” Israel illegally.

The truth is rather different. There is no border because there is no Palestinian state. Israel has made sure of that. Palestinians live under occupation, with Israel controlling every aspect of their lives. In Gaza, even the air and sea are Israel’s domain.

Meanwhile, the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their former lands – now in Israel – is recognized in United Nations Resolutions.

Nonetheless, Israel has been crafting a dishonest counter-narrative ever since the Nakba, myths that historians scouring the archives have slowly exploded.

One claim – that Arab leaders told the 750,000 Palestinian refugees to flee in 1948 – was in fact invented by Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. He hoped it would deflect US pressure on Israel to honor its obligations to allow the refugees back.

Even had the refugees chosen to leave during the heat of battle, rather than wait to be expelled, it would not have justified denying them a right to return when the fighting finished. It was that refusal that transformed flight into ethnic cleansing.

In another myth unsupported by the records, Ben Gurion is said to have appealed to the refugees to come back.

In truth, Israel defined Palestinians who tried to return to their lands as “infiltrators”. That entitled Israeli security officials to shoot them on sight – in what was effectively execution as a deterrence policy.

Nothing much has changed seven decades on. A majority of Gaza’s population today are descended from refugees driven into the enclave in 1948. They have been penned up like cattle ever since. That is why the Palestinians’ current protests take place under the banner of the March of Return.

For decades, Israel has not only denied Palestinians the prospect of a minimal state. It has carved the Palestinian territories into a series of ghettos – and in the case of Gaza, blockaded it for 12 years, choking it into a humanitarian catastrophe.

Despite this, Israel wants the world to view Gaza as an embryonic Palestinian state, supposedly liberated from occupation in 2005 when it pulled out several thousand Jewish settlers.

Again, this narrative has been crafted only to deceive. Hamas has never been allowed to rule Gaza, any more than Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority governs the West Bank.

But echoing the events of the Nakba, Israel has cast the protesters as “infiltrators”, a narrative that has left most observers strangely indifferent to the fate of Palestinian youth demonstrating for their freedom.

Once again, the executions of recent weeks, supposedly carried out by the Israeli army in self-defense, are intended to dissuade Palestinians from demanding their rights.

Israel is not defending its borders but the walls of cages it has built to safeguard the continuing theft of Palestinian land and preserve Jewish privilege.

In the West Bank, the prison contracts by the day as Jewish settlers and the Israeli army steal more land. In Gaza’s case, the prison cannot be shrunk any smaller.

For many years, world heads of state have castigated Palestinians for using violence and lambasted Hamas for firing rockets out of Gaza.

But now that young Palestinians prefer to take up mass civil disobedience, their plight is barely attracting attention, let alone sympathy. Instead, they are criticized for “breaching the border” and threatening Israel’s security.

The only legitimate struggle for Palestinians, it seems, is keeping quiet, allowing their lands to be plundered and their children to be starved.

Western leaders and the public betrayed the Palestinians in 1948. There is no sign, 70 years on, that the West is about to change its ways.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

الاستعدادات لافتتاح السفارة الأميركية.. إمكانية حدث متفجر

2018-05-14 

الصحف الإسرائيلية تتناول التحديات الأمنية والسياسية المحيطة باحتفال نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس بالتوازي مع ذكرى النكبة ومسيرات العودة الكبرى التي يعتزم الفلسطينيون تزخيمها. هنا مقتطفات من أبرز ما حملته الصحف الإسرائيلية من تحليلات ومخاوف.

الفلسطينيون دعوا إلى تظاهرات حاشدة في غزة “مسيرة المليون” وفي الصفة “يوم الوحدة من أجل القدس”

تناولت صحيفة “معاريف” الإسرائيلية حالة التوتر التي يعيشها الكيان في الشمال وفي الجنوب وتسلسل الأحداث في إطار احتفالات “يوم القدس الإسرائيلي”. على هذه الخلفية، إضافة إلى إطلالة متوقعة للمغنية نيطع برزيلاي، الفائزة بمسابقة الأغنية الأوروبية في ساحة رابين بتل أبيب وغيرها من الاحتفالات، تستعد الشرطة الإسرائيلية لحدث تاريخي بالغ الأهمية: نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى حي “أرنونا” في القدس.

وتورد الصحيفة: “يدرك مفوض الشرطة روني الشيخ حقيقة أنها منطقة قابلة للانفجار وأن هناك شكوكًا بمحاولات هجوم”. يقول الشيخ للصحيفة: “في كل لحظة هناك محاولات لشنّ هجمات وفي كل لحظة، قوات الأمن والشاباك والجيش والشرطة يحبطونها وبنجاح عموماً. لذلك، فإن هذا الوضع هو وضع أساسي لا يتغير، ودورنا كشرطة هو إعطاء المواطنين شعوراً روتينياً بالأمن لتمكينهم من القيام بكل المناسبات كمسألة روتينية”.

وتشير الصحيفة إلى وصول وفد من حماس أمس برئاسة إسماعيل هنية القيادي في حماس إلى مصر في زيارة مفاجئة من أجل منع تصعيد في ذكرى “يوم النكبة” الفلسطيني. عاد الوفد إلى قطاع غزة في المساء.

“معاريف” نقلت عن محللين تقديرهم أن المخابرات المصرية مررت رسالة إلى حماس تحذرها من التصعيد على الحدود، بل وحتى العمل من أجل عدم تجاوز السياج الأمني، ​​الأمر الذي قد يؤدي إلى فقدان كامل للسيطرة.

في غضون ذلك، يعتبر الفلسطينيون نقل السفارة من تل أبيب إلى القدس “خطوة استفزازية”، ودعوا إلى مسيرات ضخمة، في غزة أطلق عليها “مسيرة المليون” وفي الضفة الغربية أعلنوا عن “يوم الوحدة من أجل القدس”.


حماس تخطط لمئة ألف متظاهر

“مسيرة العودة اليوم” في الضفة الغربية

صحيفة “يديعوت أحرونوت” تناولت بدورها زيارة هنية إلى مصر بحيث أشارت إلى أنه في إطار التحضير لذروة تظاهرة “مسيرة العودة اليوم” في الضفة الغربية، غادر أمس رئيس حماس إسماعيل هنية قطاع غزة في زيارة خاطفة إلى مصر للقاء رئيس المخابرات المصرية عباس كامل، معتبرة أن زيارته ركزت على خطر التصعيد الأمني ​​بين إسرائيل وقطاع غزة الذي يمكن أن يحدث في حال محاولة اختراق السياج إلى الأراضي الإسرائيلية.

ورأت الصحيفة أن التدخل المصري ينضم إلى جهود جهات دولية أخرى، وكله بهدف منع تصعيد قد يؤدي إلى عدد كبير من القتلى في الجانب الفلسطيني.

وتابعت “جهاز الطوارئ والإسعاف في قطاع غزة زاد من مستوى تأهبه للأحداث. ويخطط الفلسطينيون للتظاهر اليوم في عدد كبير من المواقع على طول السياج الحدودي في قطاع غزة، وليس فقط في البؤر الخمسة العادية التي تظاهروا فيها في الأسابيع الأخيرة، ومن المتوقع أن تستمر التظاهرات في “يوم النكبة”.

وبحسب “يديعوت أحرونوت” ستحاول حماس جلب أكبر عدد ممكن من المتظاهرين، وذلك بهدف تجاوز حاجز المئة ألف. استعداداً لهذا الحدث، تبث حماس مقاطع فيديو دعائية وأفلام حرب نفسية مع رسائل عبرية إلى الجمهور الإسرائيلي.


على حافة انفجار

الجيش الإسرائيلي يستعد لمواجهة التظاهرات التي دعت إليها حماس

وفي مقالة أخرى في صحيفة “يديعوت أحرونوت” يتحدث الكاتب في الصحيفة يوسي يهوشع عن تعزيزات تتضمن قوات ووحدات خاصة وقناصة، ويعتبر أن “الجيش الإسرائيلي جاهز لأكبر تظاهرة للفلسطينيين اليوم على حدود قطاع غزة، الخشية الرئيسية: محاولات اختراق السياج واختطاف جنود والتسلل إلى مستوطنات”.

ويلفت الكاتب إلى ذروة الاستنفار في المؤسسة الأمنية من اليوم وفي الأيام القريبة المقبلة خشية تصعيد في قطاع غزة. التقديرات هي أنه من اليوم، بموازاة افتتاح سفارة الولايات المتحدة في القدس، سوف تبدأ أعمال شغب خطيرة مقابل السياج الحدودي تستمر اليوم أيضاً، يوم النكبة”.

وبحسب التقديرات الإسرائيلية، سيشارك حوالي 100.000 فلسطيني في التظاهرات. الخشية بحسب أمنيين هي أن يحاول الآلاف منهم عبور السياج ودخول إسرائيل. ويقولون في الجيش الإسرائيلي إن حماس معنية بدفع محاولة اختراق جماعية للسياج الأمني​​، وإشعال آليات هندسية وإلحاق أضرار بمواقع الحراسة والرصد وإطلاق النار.

ويستكمل الجيش الإسرائيلي استعداداته لجهود حماس المعلنة للقيام بأعمال عنيفة ومحاولات اقتحام جماعية للسياج، تحت كنف يوم النكبة. كجزء من الاستعدادات خصص الجيش ثلاثة ألوية نظامية لمواجهة التحديات المعقدة. التعليمات التي صدرت للقوات هي عدم السماح باختراق السياج، ومنع إلحاق ضرر بالبنى التحتية، والمنع الكامل للتسلل إلى مستوطنات في غلاف غزة.

وبحسب الكاتب “في الجيش الإسرائيلي يتهمون حماس باستغلال أعمال الشغب من أجل القيام بهجمات إرهابية تحت كنف الحشود، وإلحاق الضرر بالبنية التحتية للسياج وتنفيذ هجمات في الأراضي الإسرائيلية، حماس تجرّ الجمهور في قطاع غزة إلى حدثٍ عنيف ضد إرادته”.

كما يلحظ الجيش نوايا لإشعال الآليات الهندسية، وإلحاق أضرار بالبنية التحتية الأمنية على السياج، مثل أبراج الحراسة ومواقع إطلاق النار الآلية، فضلاً عن محاولات خطف جنود تحت ساتر أعمال الشغب. في الجيش يحذرون من أنه إذا تضررت بنى تحتية أمنية فسوف يكون هناك رد على البنى التحتية في القطاع: “حماس هي المسؤولة عن كل ما يحدث داخل قطاع غزة ومنه، وعلى ضوء هذا تتحمل المسؤولية الكاملة عن الاحداث وتداعياتها. لن نسمح بالمساس ببنيتنا التحتية الدفاعية”.

ويوضح الكاتب في “يديعوت أحرونوت” أن انتشار الجيش لا يشمل فقط نشراً معززاً لكتائب في القطاع، بل وأيضاً وحدات خاصة وقوات جمع معلومات استخباراتية وقناصة. وفي إطار الاستعدادات لهذه الأيام المتوترة أوقف تدريبات الجنود النظاميين، وغالبية الجهود تُوجّه نحو مواجهة أعمال الشغب العنيفة، مضيفاً أن الجيش الإسرائيلي وزع منشورات، محذراً سكان قطاع غزة من الاقتراب من السياج.


خطة أسرلة القدس الشرقية

وتحت عنوان “خطة أسرلة القدس” يقول الكاتب نير حسون في صحيفة “هآرتس” إنه على مر عشرات السنين، تعاملت السلطات الإسرائيلية مع القدس الشرقية كأنها منطقة مختلفة عن بقية إسرائيل، في كل الخدمات تقريباً. هذه المعاملة نبعت من توفير الميزانيات، وتسخير الأجهزة المدنية لأغراضٍ أمنية، والشعور بأن شرقي المدينة هو وديعة بيد إسرائيل الاستثمار فيه يذهب هباء.

وبحسب الكاتب فإن وزارة النقل ستبدأ بتشغيل باصات القدس الشرقية، والأراضي ستُسجّل في الطابو الإسرائيلي، ومراقبو الامتحانات الإسرائيليين سيصلون إلى المدارس في القدس الشرقية وغير ذلك.

ويرى أن الحقيقة الأهم التي يجب معرفتها عن القدس هي أن سكانها ليسوا مواطنين إسرائيليين. إنهم 40% من سكان العاصمة وهم لا يملكون حق التصويت للبرلمان الإسرائيلي الذي يؤثر على حياتهم.


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