US Embassy Relocation to Jerusalem ‘a War Crime’

Global Research, February 04, 2017
Jonathan Cook 31 January 2017
iStock 20492165 MD - American and Israeli flags

Analysts fear mixed signals from Trump administration may conceal a plan allowing the US ambassador to work out of Jerusalem 

From the windows of the grey, cube-shaped building that houses the US embassy in Tel Aviv, staff enjoy an undisturbed view out over the Mediterranean and a beach adorned in the summer with sunbeds and parasols.

Most days the only evidence of activity is outside on the pavement: A queue of Israelis snake out of a side door, clutching their documents and watched over by Israeli soldiers as they wait expectantly for a US travel visa.

The drab exterior offers no clues of the incendiary battle raging behind the scenes over whether the embassy’s days are numbered. Israel, and its allies in Donald Trump’s new administration, want to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem, 70km away.

The distance may be short but the move risks a political and diplomatic earthquake, according to most analysts.

Move ‘war crime’

If the Trump’s White House approves the relocation, it would overturn decades of international consensus on Jerusalem.

The message to the Palestinians and Arab world would be clear and provocative, said Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official and former Palestinian foreign minister.

“Moving the embassy is the same as recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital. It’s a war crime,” he told Al Jazeera.

There’s no way we or the Arab world could accept it. It would mean the end of the US as the broker of the peace process. We would fight back and mobilise the rest of the world against the move.

The Israeli army has been advising the government of Benjamin Netanyahu on the possible fallout too, according to a report last week in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. A change of address would be seen as a US green light for Israel to extend its sovereignty over the city and its holy places, including the al-Aqsa mosque, in the view of Israeli military intelligence.

Reactions could include mass protests from the Islamic movements inside Israel; riots in the occupied Palestinian territories and neighbouring states such as Jordan, which is the official guardian of al-Aqsa; and the collapse of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli army believes the move also risks inflaming the wider Muslim world and increasing the threat of terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish sites around the world.

UN protected zone

Tensions over Jerusalem have been high since the United Nations announced a partition plan in late 1947. It treated the city as an internationally protected zone, separate from the Jewish and Arab states it proposed in the rest of historic Palestine.

But months later, in a war that created Israel on the Palestinian homeland, Jerusalem was divided in two, under separate Israeli and Jordanian control.

In that period, Israel worked strenuously to pressure countries to set up embassies in West Jerusalem over stiff opposition from the US, said Nimrod Goren, the author of a book in Hebrew on the battles over the US embassy’s location.

“Initially, Washington stuck by the international consensus so strictly that its diplomats refused even to travel to Jerusalem for political meetings and ceremonies,” Goren, who heads Mitvim, a think-tank on Israeli foreign policy, told Al Jazeera.

But US resolve weakened through the 1950s as Israel’s main institutions, from the parliament to the president’s office, relocated to West Jerusalem.

Illegal annexation

A further turning point came in the early 1960s. “The US started to cultivate much closer ties with Israel, especially in defence matters,” he said. Washington turned a blind eye as Israel offered aid to poor, newly independent states in Africa and others in Latin America in return for establishing their embassies in Jerusalem.

By the time Israel invaded and occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, Goren observed, more than a third of the 54 diplomatic missions in Israel were located in the city.

When Israel formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, in violation of international law, declaring the entire city its “eternal, united capital”, the US again pressured states to move out of West Jerusalem. Only El Salvador and Costa Rica remained, until they too pulled out in 2006.

Another significant shift in Washington’s attitude followed the signing of the Oslo accords in 1994. Israel’s lobbyists worked hard to erode the significance of the accords, which, it was widely assumed, would entail the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

In 1995, the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which recognised Jerusalem as the “capital” of Israel and required a change in the embassy’s location by May 1999 at the latest.

Daunting ramifications

Like Trump, Bill Clinton and George W Bush promised during their presidential campaigns to implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Yet, once in office, they baulked at the daunting ramifications.

The US president, as the chief broker in the Oslo process, could not afford to be seen pre-judging the outcome of negotiations on Jerusalem, the most contentious of the final-status issues.

The continuing sensitivity was evident during Barack Obama’s presidency.

He turned to the US Supreme Court in 2015 to strike down another Congressional measure designed to confer implicit US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The legislation would have entitled American parents of children born in Jerusalem to list “Israel” as the birthplace on their passports.

Last October, the White House also made a point of publicly correcting the dateline on a press release concerning an eulogy delivered by Obama at Shimon Peres’ funeral in Jerusalem. The press release was re-issued with the word “Israel” struck through.

Confusing signals

Will Trump take a different tack, or will he too relent on his embassy pledge now he is in office?

In an interview late on Thursday, Trump indicated that he was not in a hurry to approve the move. “I don’t want to talk about it yet. It’s too early,” he told Fox News.

The confusing signals from his officials since his inauguration more than a week ago have hinted at a clash behind the scenes, said Nathan Thrall, a Jerusalem-based analyst with the International Crisis Group, a conflict resolution think-tank.

“The truth is no one really knows what Trump will do, even veteran US diplomats,” he told Al Jazeera.

On the one hand, Trump and his closest advisers on the Middle East have gone out of their way to raise expectations. Trump has invested more political capital on the move taking place than his predecessors.

The difference in approach was underscored by his choice of ambassador to Israel. David Friedman, a former bankruptcy lawyer, is more an ideological partisan – an ally of the settlers – than a diplomat, noted Yossi Alpher, who served as an adviser to former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak.

Fear of backlash

At the same time, however, Trump is certain to face strong institutional resistance from the US state department, said Thrall. Its officials have long opposed moving the embassy, fearing the consequences for US relations with the Arab world.

Last month, citing national security considerations, Obama signed a presidential waiver included in the Jerusalem Embassy Act to postpone for another six months the law’s implementation – as has happened without fail since it passed 22 years ago.

Trump could use Obama’s waiver to save face by delaying a decision until at least June, observed Goren.

It is possible too that, despite Israeli celebrations over Trump’s promise on the embassy, Netanyahu may prefer in the end to let the matter lie for a while.

“There seems to be an ambivalence among Netanyahu’s circle,” said Thrall. “On the one hand, he has a lot of problems on his plate at the moment [with a series of corruption investigations] and doesn’t need the possibility of triggering a conflagration in the region. And on the other, there’s no great gain for him. If the US moves the embassy, European states will not follow.”

That is how Palestinian officials and diplomats in Jerusalem appear to be reading recent comments from the administration. Shaath said: “We have signs that the administration has retreated a little. But it may simply be a delay. We can’t be sure.”

Hunt for work-around

A European diplomat based in Israel, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, said: “It looks like Trump’s bark may have been worse than his bite. But there’s still a danger that [US ambassador] Friedman and Netanyahu will find a work-around.”

Morton Klein, the head of the Zionist Organisation of American, one of Israel’s key Israel lobby groups in Washington, told the Haaretz daily last week that Friedman had told him he would work out of US offices in Jerusalem.

Alpher suggested a possible scenario might be for Friedman to take over a section of the US consulate in Jerusalem, which serves the occupied territories. The US embassy could then function separately in Tel Aviv.

“If American Jewish leaders are insistent that the embassy moves, I could see the [Trump] administration choosing that as a compromise,” he said.

Shaath said such a manoeuvre should fool no one. “We would not accept any sort of so-called compromise along those lines. If the ambassador is working from Jerusalem, then the embassy has moved – and we will fight it.”

Inner and Outer Ugliness: Congress Proves Once Again it is Occupied Territory

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By Richard Edmondson

In the photo above we see US Congressman Ed Royce of California discussing HR 11, a resolution he introduced condemning the UN Security Council for its recent action on Israeli settlements. You’ll also notice, to Royce’s right, Florida  Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen brushing her hair with a pink hairbrush.

The scene is from a debate in Congress which took place on January 5, 2017. Royce and a number of other congressional representatives (342 of them in all) became hot and bothered over the UN’s pointing out (correctly of course) that the settlements are illegal. The photo is a screen shot I took from a C-Span video.  It’s a long video, more than eight hours, but if you advance it to about the 5:19:52 mark, you can watch the entire House debate on HR 11, which not surprisingly includes a lot of groveling to Israel (hat tip to Greg Bacon).

Just to refresh your memory, the Security Council, by a vote of 14-0 with 1 abstention, passed a resolution on December 23 “condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.” Voting in favor were Russia, China, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Uruguay, France, Angola, Egypt, Japan, UK, Ukraine; the lone abstention was by the US.

The Security Council action was welcomed by a good many people the world over, although Benjamin Netanyahu threw a temper tantrum, claiming to have “absolute” proof the Obama administration had been secretly behind it. Other critics accused the US of a “betrayal” of its longtime “ally,” and an enormous amount of controversy erupted over the issue in the waning days of 2016 and carrying over into the new year.

Of course, anytime a dispute emerges between the US and Israel, members of Congress can always be counted upon to side with the latter rather than with their own nation–and this time was no exception.

“Today we put Congress on record objecting to the recent UN Security Council resolution that hurt our ally, that hurt Israel, and I believe that puts an enduring peace further out of reach,” fretted Royce.

Let me call once again your attention to the image of Ros-Lehtinen brushing her hair, for throughout a good portion of Royce’s speech, the Florida congresswoman–apparently unaware she was on camera–seemed preoccupied with primping and applying makeup to herself, this presumably in an effort to make herself look “beautiful.”

In the first frame of the montage below we see her with the pink hairbrush, followed by a shot of her rummaging in her purse. In the third frame she pulls out what appears to be lipstick or eyeliner (I’m not an expert on women’s makeup), and lastly applying it with her right hand while still holding the container with her left hand.

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In the following three frames we see a now cosmetically-adorned Ros-Lehtinen giving her speech before Congress and the C-Span cameras:

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“Our closest friend and ally, the democratic, Jewish state of Israel, has been under constant attack by the United Nations,” she claimed.

The Security Council resolution that occasioned Ros-Lehtinen’s diatribe specifically is entitled UNSC Resolution 2334. I put up a post about it on December 24 that contains its full text. The measure expresses “grave concern” that settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, are “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines.” It also:

1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

For Ros-Lehtinen, however, UNSC Resolution 2334 was nothing more than an execrable attempt to “delegitimize” Israel–and all the more reason why swift passage by Congress of HR 11 was needed to repudiate it!

This resolution, Mr. speaker, will not undo the damage that has been done at the Security Council, but it sends an important  message to the world that the United States Congress resoundingly, and in a strong bipartisan manner, disapproves of the vote taken on resolution 2334, and it sends a warning to the nations that will gather in Paris next week to discuss the peace process that there will be repercussions if there is a move to introduce a parameters resolution before the 20th and in an effort to further isolate Israel. Our closest friend and ally, the democratic, Jewish state of Israel,  has been under constant attack by the United Nations. Abu Mazen and the Palestinians have pushed a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state, to undermine the peace process, to achieve unilateral statehood recognition.

For some reason–I’m not quite sure why–the sight of Ros-Lehtinen primping and then fulminating at the podium brought to mind a picture I once saw of an economically-impoverished elderly woman kissing a bird.

beauty

I first came across this image several years ago in a poem posted by Nahida the exiled Palestinian, whose website, Poetry for Palestine, can be found here. Her poem is entitled “Beauty.”  It is not a lengthy poem at all. In fact, it contains a mere five very short, but very powerful, lines:

Sometimes, beauty is mistakenly understood;
Assuming that
If someone is beautiful, they are always good,
When truth is
When someone is good, they are always beautiful.

The woman whose picture accompanies the poem is beautiful in a way that Ros-Lehtinen is not. In addition to berating the Security Council, the Florida congresswoman also attacked the UN Human Rights Council.

“We’ve seen it at  the Human Rights Council where Israel is constantly demonized  and falsely accused of human rights violations while the real abusers of human rights go unpunished because that body has utterly failed to uphold its mandate,” she insisted. “This is a body that allows the worst abusers of human rights–like Cuba, Venezuela, and China–to actually sit in judgement of human rights worldwide. What a pathetic joke!”

It’s interesting that Ros-Lehtinen would single out Cuba, Venezuela, and China as being among “the worst abusers of human rights,” while saying nothing–zip–zero–about Saudi Arabia, a country that executes people by beheading and which currently holds the chair of the Human Rights Council.

 photo syrianchildren.jpg“Yet the only thing they can agree on is to attack Israel,” the congresswoman blubbered on, “the only democracy in the Middle East and the only place in the region where human rights are protected.”

Exceptions were taken to other UN deliberative bodies  as well.

“We’ve seen this scheme to delegtimize Israel at the General Assembly where in its closing legislative session, the General Assembly passed twenty–twenty–anti-Israel resolutions and only four combined for the entire world!” Ros-Lehtinen bellowed.

“These institutions have no credibility, and now we have the unfortunate circumstance of the White House deciding to abstain from this anti-Israel, one-sided resolution at the Security Council,” she added. “Our ally was abandoned, and credibility and momentum were given to the Palestinians’ schemes to delegitimize the Jewish state, to undermine the peace process, and while the damage has been done, Mr. Speaker, by this act of cowardice at the Security Council, we will have an opportunity to reverse that damage.”

What exactly she meant by “we will have an opportunity to reverse that damage” is unclear. Possibly the Trump administration has some plan to introduce a new measure at the UN. In any event, Ros-Lehtinen clearly seems to be a person of both inner and outer ugliness–though of course she is not the only member of Congress with such attributes. Perhaps the most groveling speech of all those given in Congress on January 5 was that delivered by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“The cornerstone of our special relationship with Israel has always been right here in Congress, this institution,” said Ryan. “The heart of our democracy has stood by the Jewish state through thick and thin. We were there for her when rockets rained down on Tel Aviv; we were there for her by passing historic legislation to combat the boycott divestment and sanctions movement; and we’ve been there for her by ensuring Israel has the tools to defend herself against those who seek her destruction.”

“I am stunned! I am stunned!” the House speaker continued, “at what happened last month! This government, our government, abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most! Do not be fooled. This UN Security Council resolution was not about settlements, and it certainly was not about peace. It was about one thing and one thing only. Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democratic state. These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They do not advance peace, they make it more elusive.”

If Ryan was the supreme groveler in the debate, Royce would probably have to rank a close second. One thing which seemed terribly to incense the California congressman about the Security Council resolution is that it doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to steal East Jerusalem.

“This dangerous resolution effectively states that the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, are in the words of the resolution ‘occupied territory.’ Why would we not veto that?” asked Royce.

“It also lends legitimacy to efforts by the Palestinian authority to put pressure on Israel through the UN rather than to go through the process of engaging in direct negotiations, and it puts wind in the sails of the shameful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” he added.

gzmrg4Royce also claimed that Israel, not Occupied Palestine, is suffering “bullying and harassment.” That may sound like the statement of someone living in a parallel universe, but it is a view shared by New York Congressman Eliot Engel, one of HR 11’s original cosponsors.

“Throughout its entire history the state of Israel has never gotten a fair shake from the United Nations,” insisted Engel. “Year after year after year member states manipulate the UN to bully our ally Israel, to pile on one-sided resolutions placing all the blame for the ongoing conflict on Israel.”

Even those representatives who spoke in opposition to HR 11, did so while expressing their support for Israel at the same time. One such member was Rep. David Price, a Democrat from North Carolina.

“The fact is, H Res 11 runs a real risk of undermining the US Congress as a proactive force working toward a two-state solution,” Price lamented. ” And in this period of great geopolitical turmoil and uncertainty, we must reaffirm those fundamental aspects of our foreign policy, including our strong and unwavering support for Israel, while also demonstrating to the world that we are committed to a diplomacy that defends human rights and promotes Israeli and Palestinian states  that live side-by-side in peace and security, a formulation that has characterized our country’s diplomacy for decades.”

Another who voted against HR 11 was Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois who is also married to Robert Creamer, the Democrat Party operative who was seen in a Project Veritas video discussing plans to have protestors show up at Trump rallies during the campaign. Schakowsky feels that a little bit of criticism of Israel is allowable at times, and furthermore she holds to this belief as a “proud Jew,” as she stated to her colleagues.

 photo thousandeyes_zps2c4c47c1.jpg“I stand here as a proud Jew and someone who throughout my entire life has been an advocate for the state of Israel, and I am standing here to oppose our H Res 11,” said the Illinois congresswoman. “And as a member of congress I have been committed to maintaining America’s unwavering support for Israel, which has lasted from the very first moments of  Israel’s existence. The US-Israel bond is unbreakable, despite the fact that the United States administrations have not always agreed with the particular policies of an Israeli government.”

Yes, to be sure, our own government and Israel’s have not always seen eye-to-eye, but funny how that never seems to stop the billions in US tax dollars flowing into the Jewish state’s coffers each year. Schakowsky went on:

Presidents from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush have each vetoed, and sometimes voted for, a UN resolution contrary to the wishes of Israel’s government at the time, and only the Obama administration, until two weeks ago, never, ever cast a vote against what Israel wanted. But opposition to the building of settlements on land belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war was, with the exception of the land, of course, that’s going to be swapped, agreed to by both parties, has been the official US policy for many decades, contrary, again, to the assertions of H Res 11.  It has also been the policy of the United States to recognize that the only long term solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the violence, the loss of life, is to create two states, one for the Palestinians and one for Israel.

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Exactly how a contiguous Palestinian state is going to be created in a West Bank splotched and dotted with all those settlements, is something Schakowsky left unaddressed. But having voiced a few mild criticisms of Israel, the congresswoman apparently felt an overwhelming need for balance–and so she tossed out a few criticisms of the Palestinians for good measure.

“A two-state solution is the only way Israel can continue as both a democratic and a Jewish state living in peace and security that has eluded her from the very beginning,” she said. “The building of settlements is an obstacle to achieving that goal–and of course settlements aren’t the only obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace. The US resolution reiterates the Palestinian Authority security forces must continue to counter terrorism and condemn all of the provocations.”

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Provocations? It’s an interesting word when referring to a people who have been resisting land theft and occupation for more years than most of us have been alive. It also gives rise to a question: How is it possible to carry out “provocations” against a country or governmental entity that technically speaking is in all likelihood guilty of the crime of genocide? Of course it’s unlikely you’ll get an honest answer to that question from Schakowsky or any other member of Congress.

At any rate, HR 11–a resolution which not only impugns the Security Council but even criticizes the United States–passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-80, with 4 abstentions. You can go here to see  the roll call on the vote.

It was Jeffrey Blankfort who first coined the old saying about Washington being Israel’s “most important occupied territory.” I think it was sometime back in the late eighties or the nineties when Jeffrey made that comment, and if anything, over the years, it has become more profoundly true than ever.

‘The Last Bullet in the Peace Process’–Abbas Urges Trump not to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem

In addition to writing to Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also reportedly has written letters to the leaders of Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Arab League asking them to do what they can to stop the newly-elected president of the the US from moving the embassy.

Secretary of State John Kerry has waded into the controversy as well, warning that if the embassy is moved, “you’d have an explosion–an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even Israel itself, but throughout the region.”

A typically un-hinged-from-reality comment on the matter has come from an Israeli official. Ron Dermer, the ambassador to the US, said the embassy “move would be a great step forward to peace,” and he claims also that it would work to undo the “delegitimization of Israel.”

There are also now reports of worries that moving the embassy could increase security threats to State Department personnel in other countries besides Israel–but apparently this doesn’t concern Florida Sen. (and devoted Zionist) Marco Rubio.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs,” says Rubio. “It’s time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”

Rubio is referring to the “Jerusalem Embassy Act,” approved by Congress in 1995, which calls for the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem but which also allows for a presidential waiver if it is deemed the move would harm US security interests. Every president from the time the law was passed up until today has exercised the waiver.

The PLO response to the move–at least as stated in the above video–would be a withdrawal of its recognition of Israel. There is also a warning that the Palestinian Authority could dissolve itself, effectively rendering Israel responsible for administering what are now referred to as the “Palestinian territories.” This would leave the Jewish state with the choice of either annexing the territories and giving Palestinians living within them the right to vote in Israeli elections–or, alternately, Israel could openly rule over a subject people who have no rights as citizens. This would basically remove the fig leaf cover and expose Israel once and for all as an apartheid state. Should it choose this latter course of action, doubtless it would become grist for the mill for a conference set to take place in Ireland and which I posted an article about four days ago.

The three-day conference is to be entitled “International Law & the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism, and Responsibility,” and as I reported, one of the questions its participants will examine is whether Israel has a legal right to exist under international law.

If Dermer and other Israeli officials are worried about the “delegitimization” they are experiencing now, doubtless the fires of illicitness will get hotter if the Palestinian Authority “hands the keys to the territories” back to Israel. Whether the PA will actually go through with that remains to be seen, however. And my own personal view is that it is something they probably should have done a long time ago.

However, if today’s resignation of a Palestinian mayor inside of Israel is any indication, we could perhaps seem something like that come to pass.

UK Intelligence Called Israel ‘True Threat’ to Middle East

Posted on December 10, 2016

Haaretz

British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats and firms in addition to its military, the French daily Le Monde reported on Wednesday, based on leaked documents that came into the possession of whistleblower Edward Snowden. In one of the files, Britain’s GCHQ intelligence-gathering apparatus defined Israel as “a true threat” to the Middle East.

“The Israelis constitute a true threat to regional security, notably because of the country’s position on the Iran issue,” a leaked top secret document from 2009 said.

According to Le Monde, the GCHQ collected information on Israeli diplomats, including a person described by the newspaper as the second-highest ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry. That person was not named. The British also spied on the Palestinian Authority, the report said.

Email correspondence belonging to the Israeli ambassadors to Nigeria and Kenya was also the subject of British intelligence-gathering efforts as was Ophir Optronics, a firm deemed to be tied to the Israeli defense establishment that specializes in fiber optics, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics.

According to Le Monde, the GCHQ kept track of the phones of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as well as that of his two sons, Yasser and Tarek Abbas, on December 9, 2008. Noting that these interceptions occurred three weeks before Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in January 2009, the newspaper suggests they may have served to aid Israel to prepare for the operation.

From the end of 2008 through 2009 the British agency monitored communications among the PLO secretary general and numerous Palestinian delegations, in particular those in France, Belgium, Portugal, Pakistan, South Africa and Malaysia. It also spied on Israeli Arab lawmaker, Dr. Ahmad Tibi, and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.

A 2008 note from the American security agency, the NSA, revealed in the Snowden archives, and cited on the American site The Intercept, described the Palestinian Authority’s security forces as “no threat to the United States or its allies…and these forces are frequently the best informed on violence in the region.”

Another NSA document from April 18, 2013 cited “the great closeness of the NSA dating back to the 1980s with the Electronic Warfare Directorate, Jordan’s technical secret services. The two cooperate on priority targets and the Jordanians provide a large portion of the names of individuals targeted by the NSA in the region.”

The Le Monde report followed a previous publication based on documents stolen by Snowden dealing with spying by U.S. and British intelligence on Israeli military aircraft.

For 18 years, GCHQ and its American counterpart, the NSA, had collected drone transmissions after cracking the Israeli army’s encryption for communication among fighter jets, drones and army bases.

The information was reported in January by The Intercept and the German newspaper, Der Spiegel.

Britain and the United States reportedly have used this access to monitor Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip, watch for a potential strike on Iran and keep tabs on drone technology that Israel exports.

Snowden worked for U.S. intelligence before publishing classified material in 2013 and fleeing to Russia.

‘The Israeli Lobby dominates American, British and French foreign affairs’

December 04, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon on muslimpress.com

http://www.muslimpress.com/Section-opinion-72/106637-the-israeli-lobby-dominates-american-british-and-french-foreign-affairs

Muslim Press: Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has said that “the era of the Palestinian state is over.” What’s your take on this?

Gilad Atzmon: This idea is more than welcome. What we need is one state from the river to the sea and this state will be Palestine. I do not think that we are talking about a political shift but simply facts on the ground.

MP: How do you predict the fate of the two-state solution? How could Trump presidency affect the solution?

Gilad Atzmon: I do not engage in prophecy. The two-state solution is dead and if I am reading the map correctly, the US is not a key player in the Middle East anymore. Putin took their place and this fact may have a significant positive impact on the future of the conflict.

MP: How do you evaluate Donald Trump’s policies towards Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Gilad Atzmon: We are clueless in regard to Trump’s policies. In fact I do not even believe Trump has a Middle East policy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But as I mentioned above, the US is not a key player in the Middle East. Accordingly, America’s position is hardly relevant. This may change.

MP: Do you think the international community has failed to defend Palestinians rights against Israeli crimes?

Gilad Atzmon: Of course! The question is why. The answer has something to do with the total hegemony of the Jewish Lobby in the West. The Israeli Lobby dominates American, British and French foreign affairs. Even the Palestinian solidarity movement is shy of the topic. Why? Because the Palestinian solidarity movement is also dominated by similar Jewish institutions such as JVP, JFJFP etc. In other words, the voice of the oppressed is shaped by the oppressor and oppressor’s sensitivities.

MP: What role does the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Mahmoud Abbas play in the conflict? Do you see their role as positive?

Gilad Atzmon: I never take sides on Palestinians or Arab political matters. As far as I understand, Abbas believes that Palestine’s ultimate bomb is the demographic bomb. In other words, for the Palestinians to win, all they have to do is to survive. I guess that this explains a lot.

“If the Our Messenger, Prophet Mohammad, is Alive he will attend the funeral of Perez”: Abbas’s “Mufti”

Prophet Mohammad participated in his  Jewish neighbor’s funeral  and Perez is “our neighbor” Mahmoud Habbash,  the adviser of Abbas for religion affairs ,said responding to Palestinians slaming Abbas for taking part in Peres funeral,

Celebrations in Abbastan and Hamastan (Edited)

 

Peres, is our neighbor if you like it or not, he added

 

 

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Fact Check
Let us check what Allah said in Holly Quran

لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ   الممتحنة (8)

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.

إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَىٰ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ   الممتحنة (9)  –

Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

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مستشار محمود عباس : لو كان الرسول بيننا لحضر جنازة بيريز


مستشار محمود عباس : لو كان الرسول بيننا لحضر جنازة بيريز

دافع محمود الهباش مستشار الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس للشؤون الدينية عن مشاركة الاخير ووفد موسع من السلطة في جنازة “ شمعون بيريز “ ،وقال ان الرسول محمد لو كان حيا بيننا لشارك بهذه الجنازة.

وقال الهباش ان هذه المشاركة تاتي في اطار “الحنكة السياسية” و”قطع الطريق على المتربصين بالمشروع الوطني” الذين ارادوا ان يضعوا الرئيس في موقف محرج ليرفض المشاركة ويظهر بانه معادي للسلام والتوجهات الدولية، حسب قوله.

واضاف الهباش بكل ثقة أن الرسول لو كان حيا بيننا لشارك بهذه الجنازة، واكد على قوله هذا بان الرسول عليه السلام شارك بجنازة جاره اليهودي، وما بيريز الا جار شئتم ام ابيتم”، حسب تفسيره لأقوال الرسول.

واستشهد الهباش بحديث منقول عن الرسول حدث أثناء جنازة يهودي يقول فيه الرسول في نهايته “أليست نفسا”، مبررا لرئيسه مشاركته في عزاء أحد أكبر مجرمي الكيان “الاسرائيلي”.

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الجزائر ساخطة على ابو مازن وكل من شارك في جنازة شيمون بيريز السقاح برتبة رجل سلام

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Abbas Shakes Netanyahu’s Hand at Peres Funeral: “Good to See You!”

 

September 30, 2016

Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmpud Abbas shakes Israeli PM Banjamin Netanyahu's hand at Shimon Peres' funeral in al-Quds

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas shook hands and spoke briefly at Shimon Peres’s funeral on Friday in a rare public encounter between the two men.

“Good to see you. Long time,” Abbas said in broken English, a video posted by Netanyahu’s spokesman showed.

Netanyahu and his wife thanked him for coming.

The last substantial public meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu was in 2010, though there have been unconfirmed reports of secret meetings since then.

Abbas was given a front-row seat next to European Council President Donald Tusk.

On Wednesday, Abbas described Peres as a “brave” partner for peace.

“Peres was a partner in making the brave peace with the martyr Yasser Arafat and prime minister Rabin, and made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo agreement until the final moments of his life,” Abbas said earlier.

Peres died on Wednesday aged 93 after suffering a major stroke.

Although he is known to the west for wining Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, Peres is well remembered as the man who ordered the devastating “Grapes of Wrath” operation against Lebanon in 1996, which left 175 people dead.

He was also seen as a driving force in the development of the Zionist entity’s  undeclared nuclear program.

Source: AFP

Mahmoud Abbas will attend the funeral of his master

No surprise Arafat did it

Yasser Arafat kisses the hand of Leah Rabin at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral.

BOTH SOLD 82% OF THE HOLLY LAND FOR A RED PIECE OF CARPET SOAKED WITH PALESTINIAN BLOOD

Netanyahu issue permission to Abbas  to cross into the Israeli entity to participate today in the funeral of former War Criminal, meanwhile Arab MPs of the «Arab common list» in the Knesset, decided to boycott the ceremony.

President Abbas to Attend Zionist Peres’s Funeral

Celebrations in Abbastan and Hamastan (Edited)

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will attend the funeral of the ex-president of the Zionist entity and war criminal Shimon Peres, Palestinian officials told AFP on Thursday, in what will be a rare visit to Jerusalem.

Several Palestinian officials confirmed his participation in Friday’s funeral on condition of anonymity. An Israeli defense ministry unit also said Abbas had asked for it to coordinate his participation.

>Report: Abbas, Peres held secret talks

Oslo Engineers

It is worth noting that Peres was responsible for scores of war crimes committed by the Zionist entity against the Lebanese and Palestinian civilians throughout the past decades.

Source: AFP

Bahrain FM pays tribute to Peres: ‘Man of War”

(AFP) Bahrain’s foreign minister paid tribute to ex-Israeli president Shimon Peres on Thursday, in a surprise statement that drew strong Arab criticism on social media.

“Rest in Peace President Shimon Peres, a Man of War and a Man of the still elusive Peace in the Middle East,” Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said on Twitter.

The response to his tweet was swift.

Like most Arab countries, Bahrain does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and many Arabs associate Peres with the successive wars that have rocked the Middle East rather than the Oslo accords with the Palestinians that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

“The foreign minister is paying tribute and praying for the Zionist terrorist and the killer of children,” complained former opposition lawmaker Jalal Fairooz.

Another critic, Khalil Buhazaa, tweeted: “Diplomacy does not mean rudeness.”

Peres died on Wednesday aged 93 after suffering a major stroke.

Although he is known to the west for winning Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, Peres is well-remembered as the man who ordered the devastating “Grapes of Wrath” operation against Lebanon in 1996, which left 175 people dead.

He was also seen as a driving force in the development of Israel’s undeclared nuclear program.

العرب يتسابقون لـ «تحية روح بيريز» وبعض اللبنانيين يشيدون

روزانا رمَّال

سمحت سخرية القدر لرئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس بـ «فرصة» الحصول على تصريح بالدخول الى القدس المحتلة لحضور جنازة الرئيس «الإسرائيلي» السابق شيمون بيريز، بعدما درس رئيس وزراء الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو الموافقة على طلبه ووافق!

يدخل الرئيس محمود عباس بسلام أرض بلاده المسلوبة في القدس حيث «العاصمة اليهودية المنشودة»، والتي كلفت «إسرائيل» حروباً وغزوات «أصيلة ووكيلة» لتبصر النور ولا تزال تلوح في أفق الشرق الأوسط نيات تكريسها منذ لحظة السعي الى إنشاء دويلة كردية وتقسيم سورية. وهو المشروع الذي يجابَه اليوم بأيدٍ من حديد من قبل اولئك المقاتلين أنفسهم الذين قاتلوا «إسرائيل» أيضاً في جنوب لبنان.

الأمعاء الخاوية التي ترفع الهامات والرؤوس وتشمخ فيها الجبهات التي انتصرت على إنسانية المحاضرين بها من وراء قضبان سجون الاحتلال والتي قدمت فلسطين على منابر السلام واجهة الإنسان وقبلة للعالم لم تكف محمود عباس للتخلي عن المجاملات البروتوكولية التي لا تجدي مع هذا العدو وآخرها بطولة الاسير مالك القاضي الذي أفرج الاحتلال عنه بانتصاره على الموت ومضرباً عن الطعام ومحتجاً على القهر والظلم. لم يكف الرئيس عباس أن هذه الأيام تصدف فيها مناسبة الذكرى الـ16 لانطلاق الانتفاضة الثانية انتفاضة الأقصى التي بدأت يوم 28-9-2000 في ساحات الأقصى.. لم تفلح مناشدات محمد الدرة في حضن والده، ولا صرخات الامهات المستغيثات بالقول بإفهام عباس أنه سيفتح الباب لكل الراغبين سراً بالمشاركة بدفن الميت بالمجاهرة والمشاركة معاً.

يتقاطر العالم ليسجل موقفاً للصهيونية العالمية في مثل هذه المحافل، وتقف ايران متفرجة على عدد المتضامنين والذين عبّروا عن حزنهم الشديد من عرب وخليجيين وتدرك أنها هي «السبب».

الموقف الإيراني المؤيد للمقاومة والصعود العلمي والتكنولوجي والعسكري جعلها بالغنى عن التزلف والتودّد لنيل رضا الغرب وجعل جيرانها يلجأون «للشيطان».

تنظر سورية إلى ما يجري… تسأل كيف يتوحّد العرب الذين Arab League appeals to int'l community to protect J'lem and Aqsa Mosque، ووقفوا بالدور بين حكام وملوك ورؤساء وممثلين عنهم للمشاركة بوداع الطاغية.

تناشد القوى الفلسطينية «المقاومة» رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية حفظ ما تبقى من ماء «وجهها ووجهه» وترجوه ألا يحضر وها هي كلّ من «حماس» والجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين، تدعوانه للتراجع عن المشاركة في الجنازة اليوم. تناشد حماس عباس التخلّي عن قراره بتشييع المجرم بيريز، حسب ما قالت، وتنبّهه أنّ مشاركة «الرئيس الرمز» «توفر غطاءً للأطراف الأخرى بالهرولة السياسية وتمثل تشجيعاً لهم للتطبيع مع «إسرائيل».

لم تخطئ حماس في هذا فها هي الأغطية تتوزع والتصريحات تظهر الى العلن..

وزير خارجية البحرين خالد بن أحمد يقول للميت «ارقد بسلام يا بيريز» الرجل نفسه يصف السيد حسن نصرالله بـ Image result for ‫ارقد بسلام يا بيريز‬‎«إرهابي» ويلاحق اللبنانيين على اراضي بلاده، يصنف المحتل داعية «سلام» ويكاد يبدو من أصحاب العزاء، فتصريحاته بقيت تتوالى وآخرها: «أيها الرئيس شمعون بيريز، يا رجل الحرب ورجل السلام الذي لا يزال صعب المنال بالشرق الأوسط»..

قد يكون المشهد إيجابياً لدرجة وضوح الأمور وانبلاجها، الخليج طبّع مع «إسرائيل» علناً وانتهى الأمر!

الذي كان خافياً بكتمان السرّ كالمملكة العربية السعودية بات علنياً، لم تشرح الرياض معنى لقاءات تركي الفيصل بالصهاينة حتى الساعة.. ولم توضح فحوى المشاهد التي تناقلها الإعلام لرجل الأمن السعودي انور عشقي بين «الإسرائيليين»..

قطر ستلبّي «الواجب» كالعادة ويحضر الجهاز الحاكم.. المغرب سيرسل أندريه أزولاي أحد مستشاري الملك محمد السادس للجنازة.

«القناة العاشرة» العبرية نقلت عن مصادر «إسرائيلية» وجود «اتصالات مع دول من الخليج العربي بينها سلطنة عُمان التي قد تحضر الجنازة بدورها، ورجحت مصادر صحافية «إسرائيلية» حضور الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي والملك الأردني عبدالله الثاني.

يراقب الإعلام المصري المشهد ويتكتم إعلام قصر عبد الفتاح السيسي عن البوح بالحقيقة، فلا يؤكد ولا ينفي مشاركته، فالرئيس المصري لا يزال في حيرة من أمره، هل يحضر شخصياً أو يكتفي بإرسال سامح شكري وزير خارجيته؟ يبدو السيسي متحفظاً أكثر عن الإعلان عن تحركاته في الآونة الأخيرة بعد تهديدات تعرّض لها.. عله يفاجئ الكاميرات اليوم!

لا يغيب بعض اللبنانيين عن الحدث ولا يوفر بعضهم جهداً بالظهور بمواقف «معيبة» بحق بلد سجل أول انتصارات العرب على «إسرائيل»، فيضعون حساباتهم الشخصية والتاريخية ويطلقون مواقف قياساً لخلفيات لا تمتّ للقضية بصلة، فيصبح خصوم حزب الله وسورية منظّرين لفلسفة حرية التعبير وموزعين شهادات حسن سلوك ولياقات، وكأنهم خريجو أعرق مدارس الديبلوماسية والسياسة الدولية، اللبناني «السيّئ الحظ» هنا فارس سعيد أول المبادرين لتحية عباس الذي يطالبه الفلسطينيون بالرجوع عن قراره..

فلينم الفلسطينيون قريري العين وليفتخروا، لقد اعتبر فارس سعيد موقف رئيسهم شجاعاً ويدلّ على حنكة سياسية.

غاب عن سعيد أنّ مَن يحيي «الشجاعة» كفضيلة، يسوّق لها قاصداً او غافلاً.. غاب عنه أيضاً أنّ مجرد التفكير بالفرضية هو جهوزية لقبولها وبداية انفكاك تلك العقدة المتينة التي تربط «إسرائيل» بالإرهاب واعتبارها مباحة بين الاعداء وتذاكياً..

غاب عنه أيضاً أن تأييد «الخطأ» لن يتحوّل وجهة نظر أبداً…

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