Deal of the Century: US Invites «Israel» to Bahrain Summit on Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

Washington has invited the “Israeli” entity to participate in an American-led so-called Mideast “peace” conference expected to take place in late June in Bahrain, Channel 13 reported Monday, citing a senior “Israeli” official.

The official told the network the invitation was sent as a hardcopy, which is en route to “Israeli” entity in diplomatic mail channels.

The entity was expected to accept the invitation, the official added.

The “Israeli” entity’s so-called Finance Ministry had earlier told the Associated Press that it had not been invited.

The White House announced Sunday it will unveil the first phase of its long-awaited so-called Mideast “peace” plan at the conference, saying it will focus on economic benefits that could be reaped if the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

The plan envisions large-scale investment and infrastructure work, much of it funded by wealthy Arab countries, in the occupied Palestinian territories.

But officials say the June 25-26 conference will not include the core political issues of the conflict: final borders, the status of al-Quds [Jerusalem], the fate of Palestinian refugees or “Israeli” security demands.

The Palestinian Authority prime minister said Monday that any American “peace” plan that ignores the Palestinian people’s aspirations for an independent state is doomed to fail.

Mohammad Shtayyeh’s comments immediately cast a cloud over the summit.

“Any solution to the conflict in Palestine must be political… and based on ending the occupation,” he said at a Palestinian cabinet meeting. “The current financial crisis is a result of a financial war waged against us and we will not succumb to blackmailing and extortion and will not trade our national rights for money.”

US President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, said it was “difficult to understand why the Palestinian Authority would reject a workshop designed to discuss a vision with the potential to radically transform lives and put people on a path toward a brighter future.

“History will judge the Palestinian Authority harshly for passing up any opportunity that could give the Palestinians something so very different, and something so very positive, compared to what they have today,” Greenblatt said.

In another setback, Bashar Masri, a Palestinian industrialist with vast business holdings throughout the West Bank, said he had turned down an invitation to the conference.

“I will not participate in this conference, and none of the representatives of our companies will participate,” he wrote on Facebook. “We reaffirm our clear position: We will not deal with any event outside the Palestinian national consensus.”

The Palestinians severed ties with the US over a year ago over Trump’s recognition of al-Quds as the so-called “capital” of the “Israeli” entity. They have repeatedly expressed fears that the White House will try to buy them off with large sums of investment in exchange for freezing their demands for an independent state. They believe the US is trying to rally support from other Arab countries to bully them into accepting a plan that would legitimize “Israeli” control of the occupied West Bank.

In a joint statement with Bahrain, the White House said the gathering will give government, civil and business leaders a chance to rally support for economic initiatives that could be possible with a “peace” agreement.

“The Palestinian people, along with all people in the Middle East, deserve a future with dignity and the opportunity to better their lives,” Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said in a statement Sunday.

“Economic progress can only be achieved with a solid economic vision and if the core political issues are resolved.”

The tiny island nation of Bahrain, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, has signaled its willingness to open relations with the “Israeli” entity. Prominent rabbis in 2017 said King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had told them that he hoped the Arab boycott of “Israel” would end.

Bahrain hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are widely believed to be seeking closer ties to the “Israeli” entity, viewing it as a potential ally against Iran, a shared enemy.

Kushner and Greenblatt have been leading efforts to draft the plan, but after more than two years of work, they have not released any details.

A senior administration official in Washington told reporters Sunday that invitations to the conference are being sent to individuals in the United States, Europe, the Gulf, the wider Arab world and “some” Palestinian business leaders.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement.

There were no details on who might attend, or whether the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank was invited.

In the absence of direct talks with Palestinian leaders, US officials often talk of engaging Palestinians in the private sector and “civil society” groups.

It is unclear how any large-scale projects would be carried out in the Gaza Strip. The US and Israel consider Gaza’s Hamas rulers to be a terrorist group and have no direct contacts with them.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza — territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War — for an independent state. Breaking from the policies of its predecessors, the Trump administration has refused to endorse a two-state solution.

Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, and subsequently moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The US has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars of aid for the Palestinians and closed the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

The Palestinians have already said they would reject any peace plan offered by the US, saying Trump is unfairly biased toward Israel.

Kushner said it has been disheartening that the Palestinian leadership has attacked the plan before it is unveiled.

Earlier this month, Kushner insisted that the plan he has helped craft is a detailed, fresh approach that he hopes will stimulate discussion and lead to a breakthrough in solving the decades-old conflict. At a think tank in Washington, Kushner described it as an “in-depth operational document” not anchored to previous, failed negotiations, high-level political concepts or stale arguments.

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Archbishop Atallah Hanna: The Response to the ‘Deal of the Century’ Must be Through Ending Palestinian Internal Division

ST

Thursday, 09 May 2019 08:46

(ST)- Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of al-Quds [Jerusalem] Atallah Hanna believes that the response to the so-called the ‘deal of the century’ must be through ending the unacceptable Palestinian internal division.

“The internal division is not a destiny imposed on us but rather unacceptable and unjustified situation that must be addressed and end as soon as possible because this division is being exploited by occupation authority that targets al-Quds, Gaza and all Palestinian people ,” His Eminence said, urging Palestinians to ignore the so-called the ‘deal of the century’ and not to deal with it.

“The so-called the ‘deal of the century’ is the most dangerous conspiracy against the Palestinian cause and it aims to abort it. It only exists in the mind of those who plan for the deal, while on the ground it does not exist. There is one united people living under occupation and this people [Palestinian people] has the right to live freely in its homeland like the other world peoples,” the archbishop added in a newsletter sent to the Syria Times e-newspaper.

His Eminence emphasized that Palestinian people will never surrender to any suspicious deal or agenda, calling on all Palestinian factions and national dignitaries to end the division in order to be united in defending the Palestinian cause.

Basma Qaddour

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Pandering to Israel Means War with Iran

Global Research, May 09, 2019

The United States is moving dangerously forward in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to provoke a war with Iran, apparently based on threat intelligence provided by Israel. The claims made by National Security Advisor John Bolton and by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that there is solid evidence of Iran’s intention to attack US forces in the Persian Gulf region is almost certainly a fabrication, possibly deliberately contrived by Bolton and company in collaboration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It will be used to justify sending bombers and additional naval air resources to confront any possible moves by Tehran to maintain its oil exports, which were blocked by Washington last week. If the US Navy tries to board ships carrying Iranian oil it will undoubtedly, and justifiably, provoke a violent response from Iran, which is precisely what Bolton, Pompeo and Netanyahu are seeking.

It would be difficult to find in the history books another example of a war fought for no reason whatsoever. As ignorant as President Donald Trump and his triumvirate or psychotics Bolton, Pompeo and Elliott Abrams are, even they surely know that Iran poses no threat to the United States. If they believe at all that a war is necessary, they no doubt base their judgment on the perception that the United States must maintain its number one position in the world by occasionally attacking and defeating someone to serve as an example of what might happen if one defies Washington. Understanding that, the Iranians would be wise to avoid confrontation until the sages in the White House move on to some easier target, which at the moment would appear to be Venezuela.

The influence of Israel over US foreign policy is undeniable, with Washington now declaring that it will “review ties” with other nations that are considered to be unfriendly to the Jewish state. For observers who might also believe that Israel and its allies in the US are the driving force behind America’s belligerency in the Middle East, there are possibly some other games that are in play, all involving Benjamin Netanyahu and his band of merry cutthroats. It is becoming increasingly apparent that foreign politicians have realized that the easiest way to gain Washington’s favor is to do something that will please Israel. In practical terms, the door to Capitol Hill and the White House is opened through the good offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Israel is desperate to confirm its legitimacy in international fora, where it has few friends in spite of an intensive lobbying campaign. It seeks to have countries that do not have an embassy in Israel to take steps to establish one, and it also wants more nations that do already have an embassy in Tel Aviv to move to Jerusalem, building on the White House’s decision taken last year to do just that. Not surprisingly, nations and political leaders who are on the make and want American support have drawn the correct conclusions and pander to Israel as a first step.

One only has to cite the example of Venezuela. Juan Guaido, the candidate favored by Washington for regime change, has undoubtedly a lot of things on his plate but he has proven willing to make some time to say what Benjamin Netanyahu wants to hear, as reported by the Israeli media. The Times of Israel describes how

“Venezuela’s self-proclaimed leader Juan Guaido is working to re-establish diplomatic relations with Israel and isn’t ruling out placing his country’s embassy in Jerusalem, according to an interview with an Israeli newspaper published Tuesday.”

One would think that Guaido would consider his interview sufficient, but he has also taken the pandering process one step farther, reportedly displaying huge video images of the flags of both Israel and the United States at his rallies.

This deference to Israel’s interests produced an almost immediate positive result with Netanyahu recognizing him as the legitimate Venezuelan head of state, followed by an echo chamber of effusive congratulations from US (sic) Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who praised the Jewish state for “standing with the people of Venezuela and the forces of freedom and democracy.” Donald Trump’s esteemed special envoy for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, also joined in, praising the Israeli government for its “courageous stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people.”

A similar bonding took place regarding Brazil, where hard right conservative leader Jair Bolsonaro was recently elected president. Netanyahu attended the Bolsonaro inauguration last December and the two men benefit from strong support from Christian Evangelicals. Bolsonaro repaid the favor by promising that Israel would be his first foreign trip. In the event he went to Washington first, but the state visit to Israel took place in April, just before that country’s elections, in a bid to demonstrate international support for Netanyahu.

Brazilian Jews constitute a wealthy and powerful community which reacted positively to Bolsonaro’s pledges to fight corruption and high crime rates while also repairing a struggling economy. They also appreciated his stance on Israel. He committed to moving the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, though he has backpedaled a bit on that pledge. And he also promised to shut the Palestinian embassy in the capital Brasilia. He famously asked and answered his own question,

“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here. You do not negotiate with terrorists.”

Bolsonaro’s pro-Israel anti-Venezuela credentials also endeared him to Donald Trump on a visit to Washington in mid-March which was described by the media as a “love fest.” The Brazilian leader’s visits to Israel and the US as well as Guaido’s promises to Israel reveal that the foreign policies of Tel Aviv and Washington have become inextricably intertwined, with supplicant nations and politicians wisely seeking to do homage to both regimes to gain favor. It is a development that would shock the Founding Fathers, most particularly George Washington, who warned against entangling alliances, and it means that American interests will be seen through an Israeli prism, a reality that has already produced very bad results.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests.

Hassan Nasrallah: Daesh is Still a US-Israeli Asset, Threatens Central Asia

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 2, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Commander Mostapha Badreddine, known as ‘Zulfiqar’, who was killed in Syria in May 2016.

 

 

Transcript:
[…] The other subject (I want to talk about), my second point, is very important: it is the battlefield where the Sayyed (descendant of the Prophet) Zulfiqar, God have mercy on him, was operating, where he spent the last years of his life, and from where he returned as a victorious martyr, namely Syria. We’ll talk a little about it.

Day after day, the validity of our decision and choice to go to Syria is confirmed more and more clearly. (I mention it) because today, we speak of a martyred leader who was killed in this battle. And we are constantly 
asked for accountability for all the blood (of our fighters we shed for Syria). Every time our friends or enemies write something (about the Syrian war), they ask us about this blood, about our martyrs, a large number of martyrs, a whole constellation of (Hezbollah members) who fought in Syria and got killed or wounded. They ask: who answers for this blood (who bears responsibility for it and justifies it)? We answer for this blood. We answer for these wounds (of war).

Moreover, as the days passed, more and more masks have fallen, more and more hideous faces (of conspirators) were brought to light, and more and more documents and evidence (of a foreign plot) as well as confessions and press conferences have multiplied: confessions from former Presidents, Kings, former Prime Ministers, Heads of governments and Foreign Ministers, or former Chiefs of Staff… Day after day, our confidence and certainty is reinforced: what we did was 100% just and absolutely right, and we went to the right place at the right time. 
Every day, it becomes clearer that what happened in Syria was very different from what happened in the rest of the Arab world (during the Arab Spring). In Syria, there was a US-Israeli-Saudi plot for which some countries from the Gulf and the region were used (Emirates, Qatar, Turkey…). The Syrian issue had nothing to do with – we have said so repeatedly, but it must be recalled today as we commemorate this martyr. It had nothing to do with elections, democracy, reforms, change, or with any of this nonsense we have heard since 2011. And the proof is that the United States, Saudi Arabia and those countries (who participated in the plot), who did they come up with and push forward for this supposed “humanitarian democratic change” in Syria? This formula should be put in inverted commas, highlighted with two red lines, and, as the Syrians say, followed up with one thousand question marks and a million exclamation marks… Who did they come up with (in this alleged purpose)? Democratic forces? Forces from the popular will? Forces whose culture and ideology tends to shape a (better) future? Where have you seen any such thing? 
In order not to talk in theoretical and blurry terms and invoke merely documents or (theoretical) evidence, let us talk about an obvious, visible and undeniable reality, namely Daesh (ISIS). Let us consider the example of Daesh. Today we’ll talk a bit about Daesh.

Daesh… How were they able to capture nearly 40% of the territory of Syria? 40 or 45% of Syria, as far as I can remember. That is to say, most of the East of the Euphrates, which is 25% (of Syria) if we add Manbij and (neighboring) regions. Most of the East of the Euphrates, Deir Ezzor, Abu Kamal, Mayadeen, all the Syrian desert, which is 5 times the size of Lebanon, up to Palmyra, the outskirts of Homs, the Yarmouk camp, part of the province of Suweida, East of Homs, East of Hama, East and North of Aleppo… We talk about 40 to 45% of Syria! And at the same time, Daesh controlled half or more than half of Iraq, a whole number of Iraqi provinces: Anbar, Mosul, Salahuddin, etc. They arrived at the gates of Karbala and the gates of Baghdad.Where did they come from? Who brought them here? Who armed them? Who eased up things for them and gave them all the opportunities? Who gave them money? Who opened all the borders for them? Who covered them favorably in the media? All the Arab satellite channels constantly repeated (with praise) “the Islamic State”! Who (did all that)? We must never forget! Neither the Lebanese who have pushed back Daesh in the Jurd of Ersal and in the Bekaa have the right to forget, nor the Syrian people, nor the Iraqi people, nor all the peoples of the region must ever forget (all the atrocities) perpetrated by Daesh, (the Western and regional countries & media that supported them), and everything that Daesh will continue to do, as I’ll mention later. 

And what is Daesh? What is its ideology? It is the Wahhabi ideology that is shaped in Saudi Arabia, in the Saudi Universities, in the Saudi religious schools, in Saudi mosques, and that was propagated around the world with Saudi money (originally to thwart Khomeini’s revolutionary Islam), by decision and at the request of the United States, as recognized by both the Americans and the Saudis. Before the confession of Mohammad Bin Salman about this fact, there was a video recording of Hillary Clinton where she acknowledged this, namely that it is the US who asked Saudi Arabia to support, propagate and disseminate the Wahhabi ideology worldwide. Where does the ISIS ideology come from? Saudi Arabia! At the request of whom? The United States! Who facilitated this? The Americans and their allies! Who funded it? Saudi Arabia! And the ISIS fighters, where did they come from? (They were brought) from all around the world! O my brothers and sisters, most of the suicide bombers in Syria and Iraq were Saudi nationals! And there were other nationalities as well. And they were brought to these cities (of Syria and Iraq).The (US and Saudi Arabia) are the ones who supported them, armed them, financed them, have opened all the borders for them and have staked so much on them. Daesh was (initially) required only against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. And later, against Iran and against whoever was to be submitted, hit and destroyed.

What is the Daesh project? To establish a State in which there will be elections? A democratic State? A State in which the people can express (freely) his will? A State whose inhabitants will elect their MPs, their leaders and rulers? Never! For Daesh, according to the ideology of Daesh, elections are an act of disbelief (deserving of death)! Anyone who participates in elections is a disbeliever (in their eyes)! Whoever stands near a ballot box, his blood shall be shed, he is to be killed! Is it not what Al Qaeda and the Taliban did in Afghanistan? Is it not what happened in Iraq during all the elections that were held? Is Daesh able to shape a (better) future? And by whom were (these monsters) created? By the United States!

In the past, an individual named… Anyone can find (this video) over the Internet. I speak of General Wesley Clark – and it was on CNN, my brother, I don’t quote a TV channel of our friends or allies –, who was the Supreme Commander of NATO forces. (Wesley Clark) said on CNN that the Islamic State – they do not speak of Daesh (derogatory term), they keep saying ‘the Islamic State’ (to smear Islam) – : “ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies to fight to the death against Hezbollah.” He said: “To do this, you don’t put out a recruiting poster and say ‘Let’s go fight Hezbollah’. That is why we and our friends have created ISIS.” 
(Daesh was meant to fight) all that (Resistance) Axis, all these forces facing the US and the Israeli project. Syria rejected surrender and submission (to the US, and that’s why it had to be destroyed). There are people who have never done anything against Israel, but who spend their time denigrating Syria, saying that for decades, there has been no resistance in the Golan. It is enough for (the honor of) Syria, and its current and former leaders, to never have surrendered, to have remained steadfast (against Israel), to have held on and protected the (Lebanese and Palestinian) Resistance, not to have submitted to US dictates when the whole world was subject to them, with the exception of Iran and some popular forces (including Hezbollah). What was required was to break up Syria in the interest of the United States and Israel.As for Iraq, it expelled US forces from its territory by popular Resistance, armed Resistance, political Resistance and  the intransigence of its position (against US occupation). But the US wanted to resettle there. And about this point, I want to warn my Iraqi brothers. See what Trump is doing: it is clear that he wants to keep all his electoral promises. You may say that… Characterize him as you want: stupid, crazy, arrogant, whatever you like. But you know that my habit is to recognize the facts, even if they somewhat shed a positive light on our enemy. (In his foreign policy), Trump did everything he announced during the election campaign. He retreated from the Iranian nuclear deal, from such and such agreements and treaties – there must no longer remain a single international agreement to which the US is still committed to. He moved the US embassy to Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He acknowledged… The question of the ‘Deal of the Century’ (supposed to liquidate the Palestinian cause) is still ongoing. I do not know if he had spoken of the Syrian Golan (during his election campaign), so I will not include it in the list of broken promises. Everything he announced, he is doing it.

And among the things that Trump declared (back then), is that the US should take the Iraqi oil. The United States must seize it, that’s what he said. Of course, he also promised during his election campaign that Saudi Arabia is a milking cow that he’ll milk to the last drop (before getting rid of it). He has indeed milked it, and every day, he milks it even more! Isn’t it true?
So he said, among other things, that Iraqi oil is the rightful property of the United States: “We went into Iraq, we sent 150,000 soldiers, we made sacrifices, we paid a high price…” He often reminds the $ 7 trillion dollars spent, claiming (that because of that, this oil is rightfully theirs). He was asked how he would go about it. This happened during the election campaign, on television. I’m not inventing lies against this dude. He said they were to seize the oil fields area, stationing their forces there and isolating it (from the rest of Iraq). From there, they would take Iraqi oil and sell it until they have recovered their money. This is one of the electoral promises of Trump to which our Iraqi brothers should give their full attention. This idea has not left the mind of Mr. Trump. And when our Iraqi brothers follow every situation, every detail, every minor or major thing, they have to be very vigilant on this afterthought of Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump believes that Iraqi oil is rightfully his, and he must keep that promise. Daesh was the means that would allow the US to return to Iraq. And Daesh remains the pretext of maintaining US troops in Iraq.

And all the Daeshites who were East of the Euphrates, where have they gone, O my brothers? Where? Some went to Iraq, some were sent inside Syria, and another part has been transferred to Afghanistan. O my brother, who transferred them to Afghanistan? Who? We can understand the situation ourselves. Who transferred them to Afghanistan? (The US!) I’ll come back to it in a moment. Therefore, Daesh still has a role to play (at the service of the United States).Anyway, Daesh’s goal is to destroy (Arab and Muslim) armies, societies and peoples. Therefore if someone asks me whether Daesh was defeated, I will answer yes, but they did achieve great successes. It’s unfortunate to say but Daesh has done great things for the United States, for Israel and for all the enemies of the (Islamic) Community. Daesh destroyed armies, peoples and entire societies. Daesh poured torrents of blood among the peoples and inhabitants of our region. Daesh erected very high walls of hatred and rancor that will not disappear before decades or centuries. These are achievements that serve the interests of Israel and the United States. We must recognize it. We must recognize this reality in order to remedy it. We mustn’t merely recognize it and do nothing about it, it must be remedied.

What I want to say before concluding this point is that Daesh, my brothers and sisters, and I address all the peoples of the region, Daesh is still a danger. Let no one consider that Daesh is over. Yes, the Daesh caliphate, this false caliphate is no more. Their pseudo-State is no more. The Daesh army who controlled much of the area of ​​Iraq and Syria no longer exists. But Daesh as an ideology, Daesh as the leadership they showed us on TV two days ago (al-Baghdadi)… How (are they still a threat)?… Daesh as lone wolves, Daesh as terrorists and suicide bombers (sleeping) cells, this Daesh still exists, and will be activated and instrumentalized in Syria. It’s not idle talk, but I speak on the basis of data and information. What remains of Daesh will be activated and instrumentalized in Iraq. This is why the current cooperation between Iraq and Syria on their shared border is a duty and a necessity of the utmost importance. For Daesh is a threat for the two peoples, the two armies and the two States.

Daesh today has a role to play in Afghanistan, killing the Afghan people, and spreading more death and chaos in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has become a base for spreading Daesh in Central Asia. And this is what the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister denounced yesterday and today. So who transferred Daesh to Afghanistan? (The United States !)
 

***

And up to Sri Lanka. After the horrific massacre in Sri Lanka, many countries of the world expressed their condemnation: the European Union has condemned it, as did European negotiators, the UN, the US, etc. But has someone asked about the ideology that perpetrated the suicide operations and (atrocious) massacres in Sri Lanka against (innocent) men, women and children in churches and hotels? Where does it come from? Who stands behind this ideology? Who supports it, finances it, revives it, defends it? Is it not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Why do you condemn (only) the instruments, and say nothing about the true and essential reason (of this terrorism, namely Wahhabism)?Daesh is still a security risk, and we must all behave as facing a (permanent) threat. We must face it politically, culturally, in the media, militarily, in terms of security, and on every field. Furthermore, this threat will never be far from Lebanon. It is true that the army and the Resistance, embraced by the people and through a national consensus, liberated our land (Jurd Ersal) from Daesh and its ilk, but this danger is not far from us and is not finished. It is true that we have achieved great victories on all fronts in the fight against Daesh and its ilk, and against the whole (US-Israeli-Saudi) project in the region, but we must consider that the danger persists and act accordingly to remedy it.

And on this issue, we must not forget the identity of those responsible, because it is one of the challenges today: the main culprits are the US and Saudi Arabia. What Daesh perpetrated against the peoples of our region, against Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, what it still perpetrates in Yemen, in Nigeria, what it has perpetrated in Sri Lanka, all these horrible crimes, this massive destruction, those billions of dollars in economic losses, hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded, dishonor (inflicted on women raped and subjected to slavery), the (Christian and Muslim) holy places desecrated and destroyed… All these losses, shall we forget them? Everything is fine? May God forgive past mistakes? How could this be so?

And the United States and some Gulf countries have the impudence to organize conferences against impunity, wanting to prevent that so and so who committed such a thing would escape punishment for his actions (in general African leaders). But as for the invasion of peoples, destruction of whole countries, killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people… It is not such a big deal. This issue is forgotten with a simple hug. Why? Because those who do this are the United States and Saudi Arabia: this bloody alliance currently at work, frankly, must be fought and condemned, (as) their insistence to continue the war against Yemen.

Yesterday, the United Nations said that the number of deaths in Yemen is probably 250,000 martyrs killed (by the bombing) or victims (of disease, famine…). 250,000 !!! But that is a (minor) information that appears briefly at the bottom of TV screens, and no more. There is nothing at all (neither outrage nor denunciation…). Did we see a movement in the Arab world? In the Muslim world? O my brother, is there any reaction at all in the whole world? It is the UN that gives this number, not the (Yemeni) TV channel Al-Masira, not AnsarAllah, not Sayed Abd-al-Malik (al-Houthi). The UN declares: ‘O people, a massacre unfolds before your eyes, 250,000 Yemenis have been killed so far !!!’ It is the UN that says that! Did a single hair of beard, mustache or head shudder (when people heard this information)? No way. Why? For the butcher is Saudi-American. It is forbidden to condemn them. It is impossible to say anything (against them).

Up to these (37) executions of young people in Saudi Arabia. One of them is a noble scholar. There were ordinary citizens, young men and women, some personalities. Some were under 15 when they were arrested. What is their sin? What is their crime? Having participated in a protest, a sit-in, posting something on a blog or social network… They are executed. Without trial. Their secret trials without appeal (are a travesty of justice). Is it not (an abominable crime)? But we talk about it no more. For an hour or two, some countries have condemned this act, and then, nobody talks about it anymore. And the relations (of all countries with Saudi Arabia) are completely normal because there is (lots of) money involved.

Today, my brothers and sisters, we live in a world… We must realize and understand that it is in such a world we live in. There are neither international law, nor international organizations, nor countries with principles or pride, nor values, ​​nor morality, nor laws. There is none of that. Only power and money (matter). The powerful are respected. The wealthy can do anything they want. They can seize a journalist like Khashoggi in a Consulate, and subject him to what has never been done in History. But nobody has the right to open his mouth because it is Saudi Arabia. The US perpetrates massacres every day, but no one has the right to open his mouth, because it is the United States. And if we dare say something, we will find ourselves condemned. Tomorrow, voices will rise in Lebanon saying that the Sayyed (Nasrallah) wants to create problems for our country, as if we did not have enough problems. Even if that were true, where is our humanity? Where are our moral values? Where are our human emotions (compassion, outrage…)? This situation asks us to stop (and take a stance).And after that, and worse than that, everything that happens in our region is at the service of Israel, its influence and hegemony, in order to complete the ‘Deal of the Century’ (liquidating the Palestinian cause), and at the service of the United States, politically and financially. Who can say otherwise? Someone dare tell us otherwise, and defend Saudi Arabia, claiming that it acts in the interests of the Arab community! This insistence on waging wars and financing of wars, (in whose interest is it)?

Today, there is an ongoing war in Libya. May God preserve us from (chaos) in Sudan. May God preserve us from (chaos) in Algeria. If the peoples of Sudan and Algeria do not behave with awareness and national responsibility, God knows what will happen to those countries. God knows where Libya is heading. God knows in what other countries (the Saudis and US) will interfere (to foment chaos). This insistence to display hostility against Iran, plot against Iran and besiege Iran, up to the announcement of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates that they’ll compensate for the absence of Iranian oil on international markets, where will this lead?“(In the long run) evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil.” (Quran, 30, 10). Just see the end (promised by God to evil people). And it is only their fate in this world (their punishment in the hereafter will be much worse).And (despite all that), Mr. Trump mocks (the Saudis) and constantly humiliates them. One would expect him to respect his friends, thank them, express his gratitude, invoke God’s blessings upon them, compliment them, and so on and so forth… But every day, he denigrates them. Every day, he humiliates them. We all saw Trump’s last speech (in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27). He laughed a lot, as well as his audience, (boasting about the ease with which he extorted money from Saudi Arabia). Yesterday, in a meeting with some (Hezbollah) brothers, I told them… I’ll tell you frankly. I do not like King Salman, I hate his guts. I hate him from the bottom of my heart. But listening to the way Trump talked about him, I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for him. See how Trump insults them, humiliates them, crushes them, degrades them… Where is the Arab pride? Where is Islam? Where are the two holy places (Mecca and Medina)? Where are the clans? Where are the tribes? Where are the… I do not know what to call them… these swords with which they dance? Where is their honor? Not a single word! Not a single word!

Some people in Lebanon, whenever I or some of my brothers speak and say bad things about Saudi Arabia, they meet us on the spot (to defend the Saudis). Show us your courage, O heroes, O proud, dignified and noble knights of Arabism! Go answer him! The Trump insulted your (beloved) King! He insulted your (beloved) King! Where are you? Nobody dares to even breathe (in front of Trump)! Are they (real) men?! No way! They did not open their mouth! Even the inhabitants of the tombs speak more than (the Lebanon’s March 14 coalition, pro-Saud and pro-US)! At least, when we enter a cemetery, there is an inscription on the tombstones. But (as for our Lebanese opponents), their faces are blackened, and there is nothing written on them! Please do not resent me for these colloquial words (spoken in Lebanese dialect). That’s how we speak in our villages.

Trump said (to King Salman), “Oh King! I like you !” Of course he likes him! “You have lots of money! And we spend a lot of money to defend you! So you have to pay!” And he made all kinds of (derogatory and explicit) signs. All his gestures and words were nothing but mockery and humiliation! Mockery and humiliation (from the beginning to end)! And after that, what did Trump say? “They want us to abandon Saudi Arabia? I do not want to lose Saudi Arabia! We have squeezed 450 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia, in arms sales and more!” I have a question: 450 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia? Because I speak only of Saudi Arabia. We have not mentioned (the sums squeezed from) the rest of the Gulf countries. All this money, is it Saud’s money, their personal funds?

First, there is no Saudi Arabia and no Saudi people, it is only the Hijaz, and the people of the Arabian Peninsula (usurped by the Saud family, with the help of Britain, who gave it their own name). This money is the property of the people of this (Islamic) Community. According to Islamic law and jurisprudence, all Muslim scholars will tell you that this money belongs to the public treasury, and is the property of all Muslims. What right do you have to take ownership of 450 billion dollars of Muslims’ money to give to Trump? On what (legal or moral) basis? While there are Muslims starving from Somalia to Indonesia? They are starving! There are famines, earthquakes, poverty, misery, diseases, illiteracy (that this money should relieve)… How to describe this situation?

Let me conclude this point with Pompeo. I’m done talking about the situation in the region, just two more words (before I speak about Lebanon internal politics). Pompeo… Two or three days ago, my (Hezbollah) brothers (who follow the Western media) sent me the speech of Pompeo on a CD in English, informing me of what he said. I asked them to make sure of it, so that the excerpts I’ll read in my speech be strictly accurate. This Pompeo, who is Secretary of State of the United States (equivalent to Minister of Foreign Affairs), is a diplomat who must inspire confidence, political trust, diplomatic trust, because he has to manage global affairs, to ensure peace in the world, give their rights to people, etc. [Laughs] The frankness he has shown is very positive and appreciable (for us).

He talks about his role in the CIA. This comment was also broadcast on US channels. The US Secretary of State acknowledged practicing lies, deception and theft. He confessed to lies, deceit and plunder! All this while he was director of the main US intelligence agency (CIA). He said: “I was the Director of the CIA. We lied, cheated and stole.” He is therefore a liar, a traitor and a thief, a robber. An international brigand, an international raider. Imam Khomeini, God have mercy on him, called them the “plunderers”. In addition to the “tyrants”, the “arrogant,” he called them “Plunderers of the world (resources) and of the peoples.” “We stole”, said Pompeo.

He was asked about the slogan of the military school where he studied (West Point). He was asked the question, or maybe he asked the question to himself, and he replied: “Our slogan was ‘Do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal, nor tolerate those who do.’ But when I was the Director of the CIA, we lied, cheated and stole. We had entire training courses.” When asked about his position with regard to Saudi Arabia, he says it’s different.

Imagine, then, that the leading US diplomat –we do not speak of the CIA or the US military, he is the Foreign Minister of the United States– confesses to be a liar, a cheater and a thief. It’s not me who described him! He described himself in these words! This man who was in Lebanon just a few days ago! And who came to tour the world, Europe, etc.

By mentioning all this, I want to come to this conclusion: whoever trusts and pins his hopes in the United States to settle our problems and concerns for us, and help our causes… May God help us if they were to be the intermediary to solve the problem of our land and maritime borders (with occupied Palestine)! They want to impose their terms, they want to impose themselves in Lebanon (in the interests of Israel). The United States does not negotiate, they just impose their conditions and give ultimatums! Such are Trump and Pompeo! Liars, cheaters, thieves. They support and favour Israel at the expense of the whole world! Not only at the expense of Arabs, Muslims and Christians of the region, but at the expense of the whole world!Regarding the bloody and monstrous  Saudi-American alliance, we must be clear and firm. And regarding Daesh, no one should act as if this danger was over: this danger still threatens us, and has new roles in the region. We must always and constantly be ready to face this danger, and not be neglectful in this regard. […] 

See also: Hassan Nasrallah: Israel is Unable to Launch a New War, Beware of the Media

“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah 

The ‘Deal of the Century’: Two Con Men’s Job

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Elias Samo
May 5, 2019

Yes, you can ‘judge a book by its cover’, especially if the ‘book’ is the ‘Deal of the Century’ and the ‘cover’ lauds two con men, Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, when two con men are involved, ‘Deal of the Century’ is likely more akin to ‘Theft of the Century’.

The ‘Deal’, presumably a road map for peacefully settling the Palestinian problem, was drawn up, ironically, by a small group of American Zionists responsible for the formulation of American foreign policy. The group is led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and senior presidential adviser, with help from John Bolton, national security advisor, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State and David Friedman, American ambassador in Israel. Anecdotally, it should be noted that Netanyahu is a close friend of the Kushner family and used to visit the family while in the US and stay overnight, at times in Jared’s bedroom; perhaps making Jared an unregistered foreign agent serving Israeli interests. With such strong pro-Israeli input in drawing up the ‘Deal’, what does one expect the ‘Deal’ to be except a right-wing, Likudist plan to establish a Great Israel from the River to the Sea.

A central question to this ‘Deal’ is, what does Trump have left in his pocket to offer the Palestinians? Historically, Palestinian maximum demand was the liberation of mandated Palestine. With the passage of time the Palestinians have lowered their demands to the minimum of three elements. First, a Palestinian state on the West Bank, (which David Friedman, the American ambassador no less, refers to it as Judea and Samaria). Second, East Jerusalem as its capital. Third, the return of the refugees. Trump has already given away or eliminated these three quintessential elements necessary for resolving the Palestinian problem peacefully. Trump has recognized united Jerusalem to be the eternal capital of Israel and moved the American embassy there. He has also acquiesced to Netanyahu’s declaration that he will annex the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and probably an eventual annexation of the entire West Bank. As to the Palestinian refugees, for Trump a Palestinian refugee is one who was alive when Israel was created in 1948, that is seventy one years old or more, which makes it very difficult to find many Palestinians still alive who qualify as refugees based on the criteria set by Trump. He furthermore severed political relations with the Palestinians when he ordered the closure of the PLO offices in Washington and imposed economic sanctions on the Palestinians when he stopped economic support to UNRWA.

Bearing in mind the fact that the ‘Deal’ was drawn up by Zionists in the Trump administration, it is only appropriate to expect that the ‘Deal’ will be everything Israel wants. Thus, a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian problem, in all probability, has become null and void in the foreseeable future; the ‘Deal’ offers nothing to the Palestinians and some prominent Palestinian officials have said so. Nabil Shaath, advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, noted that Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ will not bring peace to Palestine. Riyad Maliki, Palestinian Foreign Minister, said that the ‘Deal of the Century’ which seeks to find the ultimate solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will bring bad news to the Middle East. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, elaborated further, noting that “Trump and Netanyahu are planning to terminate the Palestinian cause by removing Jerusalem from any solution, annexing major settlements and finding a capital for us on the outskirts of Jerusalem.” In view of the foregoing, Mahmoud Abbas has no choice but to reject the ‘Deal’, with the consequence of being condemned for sabotaging the peace process and for Netanyahu reverting to his mantra that there are no Palestinians to negotiate with.

ARE THE US AND ISRAEL PREPARING FOR WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST? (1/2 IRAN)

Posted on

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Many analysts believe a US-Israeli war on Iran and Lebanon is likely despite the lack of evidence of preparations for such a war. Although forces could be quickly mobilised after a political decision to go to war, all indications point to a non-military war situation for the simple reason that the US “strangulation war” is not costly to the US establishment and fits perfectly with the objectives of its main Middle Eastern ally, Israel. Nevertheless, menacing letters are being exchanged among involved parties who are, nonetheless, prepared for the worst-case scenario.

As far as Iran goes, the “zero oil exports” – the US wants to impose on the 1stof May – may be impossible to achieve. It will not be easy for OPEC members to compensate the two million Iranian barrel of oil daily (out of 3.45 million of total daily production), as President Donald Trump would like. The US objective is to curb Iran’s will and force it to the negotiation table to dictate elements necessary for the security of Israel in the Middle East. A goal no US establishment has ever managed to achieve since the “Islamic Revolution” took power in Iran in 1979, notwithstanding the sanctions imposed over four decades.

Iran has land borders with Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. It is logistically easy to supply these countries with Iran’s high-quality light crude oil at a cheaper price than the market price. During the Bush and Obama eras, Iran never stopped exporting its oil and exchanging it for hard currency or gold, despite sanctions.

Moreover, China needs its 650,000 barrel per day. Several Chinese companies offer technology and industrial services and commerce their expertise and products with Iranian companies in exchange for oil, and these companies are not willing to stop this trade. This alone will be enough to cause the failure of the US establishment’s objective of “zero exports” without necessarily meaning that such a breakdown will lead to a military confrontation.

President Trump is not willing to engage his forces in a major war, even if he has the audacity to ask Saudi Arabia to pay for it. The US President may have to find another achievement in the Middle East to brag about and exploit during the campaign for his second mandate in 2020. This US administration, like previous ones, will likely fail to curb Iran’s will despite the severe sanctions it has imposed. Nor will it succeed in forcing Iran to stop support for its partners in the Middle East (i.e. Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen). The support of Iran to state and non-state actors in the region is a self-imposed obligation cited in many articles in the Iranian constitution.

Moreover, Iran will never agree to open its missile industry to inspection or to halt its missile production, as requested by the US establishment. Iran’s missiles represent its main efficient weapon to maintain a balance of forces sufficient to dissuade all its potential enemies. And last, Iran and its Middle Eastern partners will not abandon the Palestinian cause until the last Palestinian group decides to abandon its territory to Israel. Therefore, Trump should be content – as the achievement of his first mandate – with the “gifts” he has given to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The bras-de-fer between the US and Iran will likely not wind down as long as Trump is in power, so long as he is unwilling meet Iran’s two conditions for the resumption of negotiations with Tehran: lifting the heavy sanctions imposed on Iran, and honouring the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor Barak Obama. Trump seems unable to accept the end of unilateral US hegemony over the world.

Proof-read by:  C.G.B

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Graphic Designers to Support Palestinian Right of Return

Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:16

Graphic Designers to Support Palestinian Right of Return

TEHRAN (FNA)– Graphic designers from around the world will take part at the first “Return of the Century” international graphic workshop in Iran to support the cause of the Palestinian people’s right to return to their own land.

Secretary of the International Union of Unified Ummah (IUUU) Alireza Komeili said on Monday morning that the first iteration of the international poster workshop is slated to kick off in Iran’s Eastern city of Mashhad this week.

“The workshop seeks to promote an artistic confrontation to Americans’ insolence in backing Israel and floating the dangerous idea of the ‘deal of the century’,” Komeili said.

The event will be held in a bid to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation of Palestine and US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” which is designed to do away with the Palestinian people’s right to return to their own land.

According to Komeili, the three-day event will focus on the three main issues of the “deal of the century”, Arab countries’ normalization of ties with Israel and America’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s so-called capital.

The workshop will be attended by graphic designers from 12 countries, including 30 artists from Iran.

Komeili said 40 posters will be selected at the end of the event to be showcased by pro-Palestinian groups around the world on the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe) as well as the International Quds Day.

On Sunday, A senior leader of the Hamas resistance movement stated that Palestinians will never agree to Trump’s controversial proposal for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century”.

Addressing a national meeting of the leaders of Palestinian political factions in Gaza City on Saturday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, stressed that Hamas would make use of all its potential and capabilities to confront the American scheme, calling for unity among Palestinian parties in the face of the plot, presstv reported.

“We are able to achieve national unity and run our Palestinian homeland without much effort if there is great will and genuine intention. Our nation is utterly determined to protect the Palestinian cause. It is steadfast to deal with the deal of the century, no matter what the challenges or sacrifices could be,” Haniyeh pointed out.

He added, “The Palestinian nation will remain in the occupied territories and confront arrogance until we achieve freedom and independence.”

Haniyeh further warned that Washington was determined to liquidate the Palestinian cause through the so-called deal of the century.

He pointed out that the US attempted to completely destroy the Palestinian cause through rejection of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, abolition of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, giving green light to Israel’s official annexation of settlements in the occupied West Bank, and fomenting political rift between the Palestinian factions based in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh underlined that the political agenda of all Israeli parties was based on this ideology: “No to the return of Palestinian refugees, no to the establishment of a Palestinian state and no to al-Quds as the capital of Palestine.”

The senior Palestinian official then said Hamas was ready to enter talks with other Palestinian factions to form a national unity government.

Haniyeh reiterated that Palestinian land belonged only to Palestinians and that they would not give an inch of it to the occupying regime of Israel.

The Hamas official also called on all Palestinians across the world to stand against Washington’s so-called deal of the century.

Haniyeh finally urged all Arab leaders to stop normalization of diplomatic ties with Israel.

Trump’s so-called “peace plan” has been dismissed by Palestinian authorities ahead of its unveiling at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the formation of the new Israeli cabinet, most likely in June.

Speaking in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah in mid-April, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at Trump’s initiative, asserting that it was “born dead.”

Shtayyeh noted that negotiations with the US were useless in the wake of the country’s relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, which Palestinians consider the capital city of their future state.

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