هرمز: طهران تُمسك بالزمان والمكان… وواشنطن تمسك القلم

أبريل 24, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– هالة القوة التي تمثّلها أميركا تحضر بكل ثقلها عندما يعلن الرئيس الأميركي حزمة عقوبات جديدة بلا إعفاءات واستثناءات على إيران، وفي واشنطن بجرّة قلم يمكن إقفال أنابيب المال التي تتحرّك من خلالها التجارة العالمية، بلا أن تضطر واشنطن لتجريد أساطيلها أو تحريك صواريخها، خصوصاً بعدما اكتشفت أن سلاحها يشكل عبئاً عليها في المواجهة التي بدأها المحافظون الجدد عام 2000 بقرار غزو أفغانستان ثم العراق وصولاً لعدوان تموز 2006 على لبنان، وعام 2008 على غزة، وظهر أن حروب التدمير الذاتي التي يتيحها التلاعب بالنسيج الاجتماعي لبلدان المنطقة تحت عنوان تعميم الديمقراطية، توقع خسائر بشعوب ودول المنطقة، لم تتمكن الحروب الأميركية من إيقاعها، ولو أن هذه الحروب المسماة بالذكية، وقد نجحت بتعميم الفوضى وضرب المؤسسات الوطنية والنسيج الاجتماعي وتخريب العمران، لم تنجح بتحقيق الهدف المحوري لها، وهو نقل «إسرائيل» من حال القلق إلى حال الاطمئنان.

– نجحت أميركا بتدمير الكثير، لكن منسوب القلق الإسرائيلي يرتفع، ونجحت بخلق ثقوب وشقوق كبيرة في الموقفين العربي والإسلامي من «إسرائيل» والتطبيع معها، لكن مصادر الخطر الحقيقي على «إسرائيل»، ومفاتيح أمنها ليست بيد الذين يعلنون شراكتهم لواشنطن وتل أبيب في الحروب. ونجحت واشنطن وتل أبيب بتوظيف الإرهاب في تعميم ما سُمّي بالفوضى الخلاقة، لكن النهاية كانت فشل الإرهاب في التحوّل إلى مشروع تقسيم وتفتيت. وفشلت مشاريع تبييض المنظمات الإرهابية ودمجها في الحياة السياسية، واستدرج هذا الاستخدام حضوراً روسياً وازناً، وأنتج هذا الحضور موازين جديدة غيّرت في الخريطة السياسية والعسكرية. والمثال التركي واضح في سورية، والمثال الأوروبي على الطريق في ملف العلاقة بإيران، فتغير العالم وتغيرت المنطقة، والتطبيع الخليجي مع «إسرائيل» الذي كان حلماً في الماضي، ظهر عندما تحقق عاجزاً عن تحقيق الأمن المنشود لـ«إسرائيل»، وعن إطلاق تحالف عربي إسرائيلي بوجه إيران، وعن توفير الغطاء السياسي لما سمّوه بصفقة القرن التي لا يزال ينقصها التوقيع الفلسطيني، كي تصير صفقة.

– بالقلم تستطيع واشنطن أن تعلن القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل»، وان تعلن اعترافها بضم «إسرائيل» للجولان، لكنها تدرك أنها لن تستطيع تحويل توقيعها إلى توقيع أممي له صفة قانونية تفيد «إسرائيل»، ولن تتمكن «إسرائيل» من توظيف التوقيع الأميركي باستخدام القوة لتهجير السوريين من الجولان والفلسطينيين من القدس، لتهويدهما، بل يزيد العبء على «إسرائيل» في حماية الأثقال الأميركية الناجمة عن إعلان سقوط زمن التفاوض والتسويات، ورد الاعتبار لمنطق صراع الوجود بدلاً من صراع الحدود، وجعل المواجهة قدراً سورياً وفلسطينياً ولبنانياً، ولو تخلّى العرب الآخرون.

– قدر العالم أن النفط والغاز اللذين يشكلان مصدر الطاقة الحيوي الأول، يرتبطان عضوياً بما يمر من مضيق هرمز، وبقدر ما تثق واشنطن أن إضعاف إيران سيضعف كل قوى المقاومة في المنطقة، تدرك أن مضيق هرمز بيد إيران، وأن إدخال العالم في أزمة طاقة ممكن، وأن هذا سيعيد واشنطن من مباراة استخدام القلم إلى ميدان لا يفيد فيه القلم، ويجب استحضار الأساطيل لمواصلة الشوط الأول. بينما تملك طهران الخيارات المفتوحة في المكان والزمان، خلافاً لظاهر التعابير العنجهية، وتترك للعالم أن يسقط الأحادية الأميركية بتعطيل مفاعيل الحصار كي لا يتسع الحصار على الحصار.

– ماذا لو بدأت إيران باعتبار كل شحنة سعودية أو إماراتية تزيد عن حصتيهما المقرّرة في منظمة أوبك مخالفة قانونية يطالها نظام العقوبات الإيراني، باعتبارها تشجيعاً لنظام العقوبات الأميركي وفعل شراكة فيه. وهذا يعني قيام إيران بالتحقق، فقط التحقق، من كل شحنات النفط الخارجة من هرمز؟ ماذا سيكون سعر برميل النفط مع أول عملية تفتيش لناقلة نفط وطلب أوراقها؟ وماذا ستفعل واشنطن؟ فهل سيمسك الرئيس دونالد ترامب قلمه العريض ويرجّه مجدداً، أم سيجرّ أساطيله نحو الوقوع في المحظور الذي أمضى رؤساء أميركا عقوداً في تفاديه، أم سيجرجر الخيبة؟ أم سيفعل ما فعله مع كوريا الشمالية مدعياً أن الحل بات قريباً؟

– إيران ليست قلقة. فهي واثقة من إمساكها بلعبة المكان والزمان، ومن أن زمن الحبر انتهى، وزمن الدم يتواصل، فعلى من يريد نصراً بلا دماء أن يستعجل الرحيل أو أن يستنجد بحلفاء يدفعون الدم بالنيابة عنه وعن «إسرائيل»، وقد استهلكا معاً قدرات حلفائهما القادرين في تنظيم القاعدة وأخواتها من سورية إلى العراق إلى اليمن؟

– حرب سورية، كما يقول مركز واشنطن للشرق الأدنى، في أحد أهدافها كانت مرصودة لتأمين بديل عن المرور بهرمز عبر أنابيب للنفط والغاز تأتي من الخليج إلى المتوسط عبر سورية بعد السيطرة عليها، لأن لا مواجهة مجدية أو ممكنة مع إيران وهي تمسك بهرمز، فهل تغير الحال؟

Related Videos

Related Articles

Advertisements

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran:

“Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance). It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) , again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance), with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.

US Publishes First Map Claiming Golan an ‘Israeli’ Territory, EU Rejects

By Staff, Agencies

Emphasizing the grave mistake in further violating the Syrian sovereignty, the map of the claimed ‘Israeli’ occupation lands was recently published.

For the first time since recognizing ‘Israeli’ sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the US has for the first time published a map showing the Syrian area as part of the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity.

The measure came only three weeks after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the strategic zone under the Zionist ‘sovereignty.’

The news was announced in a tweet by US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt showing the map on Tuesday with the following caption: “Welcome to the newest addition of our international maps system.”

The map shows the 1974 claimed ceasefire line between the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity and Syria as a permanent border, whereas the border with Lebanon continues to be demarcated as the 1949 armistice line.

The map further notes that the West Bank is under the ‘Israeli’ occupation, with its final status to be determined in the so-called ‘peace talks.’

And it notes that while the US recognized the holy city of al-Quds as the ‘capital’ of the Zionist entity in 2017, it does not take a position on the boundaries of the holy city, which is in fact the capital of the state of Palestine.

However, while the map was updated, text attached to the ‘Israel’ entry in the latest CIA world factbook, which included the map, continued to call East al-Quds and the Golan Heights ‘Israeli’ occupied.

Trump’s formal recognition of the Zionist entity’s sovereignty over the Golan sparked widespread international condemnation. The announcement in late March was a major shift in American policy and gave ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a needed political boost ahead of April elections.

The ‘Israeli’ regime occupied the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and in 1981 effectively annexed the area, in a move never recognized by the international community which stresses that the Golan Heights to be occupied Syrian territory.

The map was published with the US indicating it may also be on board with the occupation entity’s annexing West Bank settlements.

EU Rejects ‘Israeli’ Claim to Syria’s Golan, Other Occupied Territories

By Staff, Agencies

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has once again expressed the 28-nation bloc’s disapproval of the ‘Israeli’ regime’s claim of ‘sovereignty’ to Syria’s Golan Heights and other ‘Israeli’-occupied territories.

Speaking at the plenary session of the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, Mogherini stressed that the EU’s position on the status of Golan “has not changed.”

“The EU has a very simple and clear position,” she said. “The EU does not recognize ‘Israeli’ sovereignty over any of the territories occupied by ‘Israel’ since June 1967, in line with international law and with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 497. And this also applies to the Golan Heights.”

Mogherini also noted that she had already issued a declaration on behalf of all the 28 member states and clarified their stance on the Golan Heights.

She further added that the five EU member states of the UN Security Council: the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland, expressed the bloc’s common position on Golan in a joint stake-out.

The Zionist regime seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of its 1967 Six-Day War with Arab countries, which also saw the enemy’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds and the Gaza Strip.

Tel Aviv unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 in a move that was not recognized internationally.

For its part, Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.

On March 25, US President Donald Trump signed a decree recognizing ‘Israeli’ so-called ‘sovereignty’ over the occupied Golan at the start of a meeting with Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

Trump’s controversial policy shift came over a year after he recognized al-Quds as the so-called ‘capital’ of ‘Israel’ and transferred Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.

Related Videos

Related News

حصار سوريا: حرب «التركيع» والانتقام

فراس الشوفي
الخميس 18 نيسان 2019

يطال الحصار غالبية قطاعات الحياة في سوريا (أ ف ب )

يطال الحصار غالبية قطاعات الحياة في سوريا (أ ف ب )

كان على سوريا أن لا تقاتل، أن تخضع للهزيمة من دون مواجهة، أن تسمح للإرهابيين بالسيطرة على أقدم عاصمة في التاريخ، وأن تقوم إسرائيل الكبرى على أرضها. أما أن تقاتل وتصمد وتنتصر، فيعني أن تدفع الثمن حصاراً وتجويعاً

«النظام السوري يتعامل بعنجهية»، «الأسد ربح الحرب، لن ندعه يربح السلم»، «علينا الانتقام من الأسد»… بهذه التعابير، يختصر دبلوماسيون أميركيون وأوروبيون معنيون بالملفّ السوري، على رأسهم مبعوث الرئيس دونالد ترامب إلى سوريا السفير جيمس جيفري، سياسة بلدانهم ضد سوريا، في معرض تبريرهم لتصاعد حدّة العقوبات ضد الشعب السوري.هي العقلية ذاتها التي يتعامل بها الأميركيون وأتباعهم الأوروبيون، منذ منتصف القرن الماضي، مع الدول التي لا تخضع لسياساتهم في العالم، فلا تفتح بلدانها اقتصاداتها للنهم الأميركي ولا تسلّم ثرواتها للشركات الكبرى. في حالة الشرق، يضاف أمن إسرائيل واستقرارها إلى لائحة الشروط الأميركية.

ولم يكن قانون «قيصر»، الذي صادق عليه الكونغرس الأميركي في كانون الثاني الماضي، سوى واحد من حزمة إجراءات «قانونية» و«عمليّة» ظالمة، اتخذتها واشنطن لإسقاط سوريا اقتصادياً، بعد فشل إسقاطها عسكرياً، في ما يسمّيه أكثر من مسؤول سوري بـ«المرحلة الثانية من الحرب». و«قيصر» أيضاً جزء من الاستراتيجية الأميركية الجديدة، الهادفة إلى إخضاع محور المقاومة. وتعتمد تلك الاستراتيجية على تكثيف العقوبات لتطال – عدا عن الكيانات والشركات والأفراد الذين يرتبطون بالمؤسسات الإيرانية والسورية وحزب الله مباشرة – كل من يتعاون مع الدولتين السورية والإيرانية أو من يؤمّن موارد تساهم في الاستقرار الاقتصادي في الدولتين، بما يردع حتى الشركات الروسية والصينية عن التعاون مع دمشق وطهران، مع توسيع هامش العقوبات في لبنان لكن ضمن ضوابط. والبارز في الاستراتيجية الجديدة، هو تقصير المهل الزمنية الفاصلة بين كلّ حزمة وحزمة جديدة، بعد أن تبيّن للأميركيين قدرة أطراف محور المقاومة، لا سيّما الكيانات الرسمية والعسكرية الرديفة، على تجاوز العقوبات في فترات قصيرة. ويتوقّع مراقبون لمسار ملف العقوبات، بالتزامن مع إصدار الحزمة الجديدة ضد إيران في أيار المقبل، صدور حزمة جديدة تستهدف سوريا، تشمل قطاعات حياتية جديدة تؤثر على الشعب السوري. كذلك أكّدت مصادر اطلعت على مداولات تدور في الكونغرس الأميركي لـ«الأخبار» أن عدداً من النّواب سيتقدمون قريباً بقانون عقوبات جديد تحت مسمّى «Anti- Assad Assistance».

الحصار الجغرافي

لا يقف الأمر عند حدود قوانين العقوبات الجائرة على سوريا، إذ أنه صار ممكناً تشخيص الحصار الجغرافي على دمشق. فالأميركيون والبريطانيون يجاهرون اليوم بسيطرتهم على الحدود اللبنانية – السورية عبر دعمهم تشكيل أفواج الحدود البرية اللبنانية، وزرع أبراج مراقبة على طول الحدود، تمهيداً للفصل مستقبلاً بين البلدين وبين المقاومة والجيش السوري ومنع خطوط التهريب التجارية من وإلى سوريا مع اشتداد الحصار. المخطط نفسه يجري إسقاطه على الحدود الأردنية – السورية، عبر زرع أبراج مراقبة ورفع سواتر ترابية وأسلاك شائكة، فضلاً عن إنشاء قاعدتين عسكريتين في الشمال الأردني، في إربد والمفرق. وعلمت «الأخبار» أن الأميركيين يعملون على إنشاء قاعدة عسكرية جديدة في منطقة السلط شمال غرب الأردن. وصعوداً من الجنوب السوري، نحو منطقة التنف، حيث يصرّ الأميركيون على استمرار سيطرتهم على المثلث الحدودي الأردني – السوري – العراقي، وقطع طريق بغداد – دمشق، وإبقاء الشريان العراقي مقطوعاً عن سوريا. ومع أن المنطقة الواقعة بين شمال السيطرة الأميركية في التنف والضفة الغربية لنهر الفرات على الحدود السورية – العراقية، تقع تحت سيطرة الجيش السوري والإيرانيين، مروراً بمعبر البوكمال، إلّا أن تردي الوضع الأمني في غرب العراق وتواجد القوات الأميركية قرب الحدود، مع انتشار إرهابيي «داعش» في البادية المفتوحة، يحول دون تحوّل هذا المعبر إلى شريان حيوي برّي رسمي وغير رسمي، مع غياب القرار السياسي العراقي الحاسم.

ولا يترك الاحتلال الأميركي للشرق السوري والاحتلال التركي مع العصابات الإرهابية المسلحة لمناطق ما يسمّى درع الفرات ومحافظة إدلب من الشمال الغربي، سوى البحر السوري ممرّاً للبضائع، مع سلاح العقوبات المرفوع ضد حاملات النفط من أي جهة أتت نحو الساحل، والمطاردة العسكرية في بعض الأحيان من سفن «التحالف الدولي».

حصار «الشلل»

يطال الحصار غالبية قطاعات الحياة والاقتصاد في سوريا، إلّا أن التركيز على الموارد البترولية والغاز وقطع الغيار يُظهر السعي الأميركي إلى إحداث شلل عام في البلاد، يطال المواطنين السوريين أوّلاً وكافة قطاعات الانتاج والكهرباء والقطاع الصحي وصولاً إلى الغذاء. زائر دمشق هذه الأيام، يلحظ انعكاس الشلل على القطاعات الخاصة وعلى المواطنين العاديين، فيما تستمر قطاعات الدولة السورية بالعمل. وهذا الأمر يُسقط الحجج الأميركية الواهية عن أن هدف الحصار هو «النظام السوري» أو ماكينة الدولة السورية، ليظهر على أرض الواقع أن التأثير الأكبر يقع على المواطن السوري. ولا يخفي جيفري وفريقه، وبعض الأوروبيين المتابعين، أن الهدف الحقيقي هو الضغط على الشعب السوري بهدف دفعه إلى التمرّد على الدولة وتحميلها المسؤولية. وهذه المرّة الخطة تطال الموالين للدولة وليس المعارضين. إذ يقطن مناطق سيطرة الدولة ما لا يقل عن 18 مليونا ونصف مليون سوري، وهؤلاء جميعاً ينهش الحصار آخر مقدراتهم بعد ثماني سنوات من الحرب.

في الأسابيع الماضية، رفع الأميركيون من مستوى حصارهم النفطي، بما انعكس سريعاً على الحركة الاقتصادية في البلاد، في انتظار أن تجد الدولة السورية وحلفاؤها حلولاً عملية للتحايل على العقوبات الجديدة، لا سيما تلك التي استهدفت سفن نقل المواد البترولية. الحقول السورية كانت تنتج قبل الحرب ما معدّله 400 ألف برميل يومياً، وفي عام 2011 تراجع الانتاج النفطي إلى حدود 270 ألف برميل مع شح الموارد في الآبار القديمة، وكانت الدولة السورية قد شرعت في خطة للتنقيب في آبار جديدة لرفع مستوى الانتاج وتأمين الاستهلاك المحلي والتصدير. أما اليوم، وبعد الخسائر الفادحة التي حلّت بالقطاع، لا سيّما ما أحدثته سيطرة تنظيم «داعش» على الحقول في البادية السورية، ثم وقوع عدد كبير من الحقول تحت الاحتلال الأميركي في شرق الفرات، يمكن القول إن سوريا الآن تنتج عُشر ما تحتاجه من النفط والغاز،

أي نحو 24 ألف برميل يومياً.

يجري تطويق سوريا من الحدود الأردنية واللبنانية والعراقية

وذهب الأميركيون بعيداً في الضغط على الشركات وتجار النفط والغاز. في الأردن مثلاً، هدّد الملحق الاقتصادي الأميركي الشركات المشغّلة لمصافي العقبة لوقف إمدادات النفط للتجار الذين ينقلون صهاريج الوقود إلى سوريا. وفي لبنان، عمد الأميركيون والفرنسيون إلى تهديد أحد أكبر مورّدي النفط في المنطقة ومنعه من إرسال بواخر البترول إلى سوريا، علماً بأنه محسوب على فريق 14 آذار، وسبق أن جنى مبالغ طائلة طوال الحرب السورية من تجارة النفط مع دمشق بعلم الأميركيين. وتعاني العبّارات الإيرانية من عدم إمكانية الوصول إلى الموانئ السورية، لجهة العبور من قناة السويس. ورغم النفي المصري لكلام رئيس الحكومة السورية عماد خميس حول منع عبارات نفط إيرانية من عبور السويس لكسر الحصار عن سوريا، إلّا أن أكثر من مصدر أكد لـ«الأخبار» تطبيق المصريين للعقوبات الأميركية، ومردّ هذا الأمر إلى ضغوط أميركية يتعرض لها المصريون.

وفيما كانت عدّة شركات روسية تعمل على إيصال النفط إلى سوريا، كشف الأميركيون أخيراً شبكات روسية عدة وعطّلوا قدرتها على العمل. وحالَ تسارع وتيرة العقوبات دون تشكيل كيانات بديلة تتابع نقل النفط في الأيام الماضية. فضلاً عن أن الشركات الصينية التي تعمل خارج الصين، لا تملك قراراً بالتعاون مع سوريا في ملف النفط، خشية العقوبات الأميركية.

الحصار المالي يمرّ بلبنان

في السنوات الماضية، راقب الأميركيون تحوّل لبنان إلى رئة سوريا المالية، في ظلّ العقوبات المفروضة على المصرف المركزي السوري والمصارف السورية وعدم القدرة على استلام الأموال أو تحصيلها من أي شريك مصرفي في العالم. لكن ظلّت سوريا تستفيد من نحو مليونين دولار يومياً إلى نحو 5 ملايين عبر لبنان، جراء تبادلات تجارية ومالية محدودة، ساهمت إلى حدّ في تأمين نسبة من القطع الأجنبي للسوق السورية. إلا أن التحولات التي تعصف بالسوق النقدية في لبنان جراء الضغوط الأميركية والسياسات النقدية، حولت الدولار إلى «عزيز»، ما حرم سوريا من مبالغ مهمة من القطع الأجنبي. ولا تمرّ زيارة أي مسؤول أميركي إلى بيروت، من دون التذكير بضرورة إيقاف المصرف التجاري السوري الذي يعمل في لبنان عن العمل، فضلاً عن تحويل البنوك اللبنانية إلى أدوات مراقبة للتجار، عبر مراجعة أدق التفاصيل معهم حول مشترياتهم. وعلى سبيل المثال، فإن استيراد القمح إلى لبنان وبعض السلع الأخرى يخضع للمراقبة الدقيقة، وتتم مساءلة التجار عن الكميات التي يتم إستيرادها إلى لبنان والمقارنة مع حاجة السوق اللبنانية، والتأكد مما إذا كان هؤلاء يقومون بنقل المواد إلى سوريا، والتهديد بمعاقبتهم!

Related News

Israel needs Russia, more than the latter needs the former in the Middle East.

PUTIN AND NETANYAHU AGENDA – 4 YEARS IN THE MAKING

 17.04.2019

Putin and Netanyahu Agenda - 4 Years In The Making

Click to see full-size image.

Since September 2015, when Russia entered Syria to fight the terrorism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin have held regular meetings, mostly focused on the security situation in Syria, but also to further the two country’s bilateral economic and other relations.

Following is a complete list of all meetings between the two leaders. It should be noted that apart from a few meetings on the sidelines of international events, Netanyahu was the party that always travelled to Russia to meet Putin. The Russian leader has not visited Israel to meet the Israeli Prime Minister. In fact, Putin hasn’t visited Israel since 2015 at all.

The 1st meeting between the leaders, following Russia entering Syria happened on September 21st, 2015. It took place at the Embassy of Israel, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow, Russia.  It was a 1-Day visit.

The focus of the visit was the security situation after Russia joined the war in Syria. Netanyahu also accused Syria and Iran of funding Hezbollah and preparing the Golan Heights for 2nd front against Israel.

Putin, on his part, said that the Syrian army will not open a second front against Israel.

Following the meetingNetanyahu said that the conversation regarding Syria went well, and they agreed on a joint mechanism to avoid misunderstandings between Israeli and Russian forces.

A Second issue was about Israelis waiting for a pension for Russia. Regardless, the main point was avoiding any misunderstandings in Syria between the Russian Armed Forces and the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) while Israel attempts to fight Hezbollah and Iran.

The 2nd Meeting took place on November 30th, 2015 and it was on the sidelines of the Paris Summit on Climate Change:

Netanyahu said ‘coordination, de-confliction mechanism’ with Russia was successful, and that it prevented ‘unnecessary accidents.”

Netanyahu also spoke about the “big battle against militant Islam [and] the terrorism it spews forward.” Netanyahu expressed “hope that Israel and Russia can see eye to eye on all the strategic matters” and reassured Russia that “it’s within our powers to have very good coordination on the ground and in the air” to prevent accident.

“I’m very satisfied by the fact that our militaries have been very careful to coordinate with one another and will continue to do so. I think this is an indication of the openness and the success of the relationship between Israel and Russia,” the Israeli leader added.

There was really no comment by the Russian leader.

The 3rd meeting took place on April 21st, 2016 at the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia and it was a 1-day visit by Netanyahu:

Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged opinions on current aspects of bilateral cooperation, including security, and key issues of the global and regional agendas such as prospects for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement and the situation in Syria. Netanyahu said that Israel was giving its best to prevent transfer of weapons to Hezbollah from Iran and Syria.

He reiterated that Golan Heights would remain part of Israel, regarding of international decisions.

A few days earlier Putin met with Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the Middle East peace process.

Following the meeting it was announced that the leaders agreed on a goal of strengthening security coordination between Russia and Israel so as to avoid mishaps. Arrangements were made for a military delegation from Israel to meet a Russian one with the inclusion of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

The defense official meeting was Important as a result of the meeting between Netanyahu and Putin because “freedom of action for the IDF and the air force in places that are important to us vis-à-vis our security, and I think that this was achieved,” as the Israeli PM said.

They spoke of pensions for Russians who migrated to Israel again and agreed to finally sign a decision on June 7th for 25th anniversary of Israel-Russia relations.

The 4th meeting between the Russian President and the Israeli Prime Minister came on June 6th and 7th, 2016 and commemorated 25 years of Russia and Israel relations. They met at the Kremlin, Moscow and the Bolshoy Theater as well:

The two leaders discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation, including the further strengthening of trade and economic cooperation as well as cultural and humanitarian ties. In addition, there was an exchange of views on regional issues, primarily in the context of the fight against international terrorism. Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu reviewed developments related to Syria, as well as the status and prospects of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

There were also supposed talks of a a free trade area between the Eurasian Economic Union and Israel that could boost our business relations. Netanyahu also said that Turkish-Israeli reconciliation is “closer than ever.” Putin also said that he’s positive that Turkish-Russian relations back then would also improve (as they in fact did).

The 5th meeting between them happened on March 9th, 2017, once again at the Kremlin, Moscow and was just for 1 day:

Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel’s “frequent visits reflect genuine friendship and a tightening of relations in economics, technology, tourism and culture, as well as the living bridge of the one million Russian speakers living in Israel.”

He also hailed the conclusion of the agreement on the pensions of Russian migrants living in Israel.

He also said that Russia made important contributions to fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda Sunni terrorists, but replacing them with “Shi’ite Islamic terrorists by Iran” would be an unwelcome result.

He reiterated that “Israel is a state today.” And it has an army and can defend itself from the Shi’ite.

Putin on his part said “I am very pleased to see that we have such close and trusting contact. We meet regularly in person, are regularly in contact by telephone, and work together at the ministry and agency level.”

They discussed the situation in the Middle East and combating terrorism.

The meeting took place 1 day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Moscow and met with Putin to discuss the Middle East situation.

The 6th meeting took place on August 23rd, 2017 in the Kremlin, Moscow and was once again just a 1-day visit by Netanyahu:

Again, they discussed ways of improving bilateral relations and also exchanged views on the situation in the ME.

Putin said “Let me start today by saying that we are happy with the state of our bilateral relations, which have developed in part through your direct efforts, Mr Prime Minister.”

Netanyahu warned that “Iran is making tremendous efforts to bolster its presence in Syria. This is a threat for Israel, for the Middle East, and, I believe, for the entire world. Iran has also made serious advances in extending its control and influence in Iraq and Yemen. In many respects, it is Iran that exercises real control in Lebanon today.” Even alleging that Iran is the force exercising control in Lebanon.

“Mr President, we are fighting and defeating ISIS through common efforts, and this is very important. But what is worrying is that where we defeat ISIS and it disappears, Iran steps in.”

Netanyahu claimed that neither Russia nor Israel should forget that Iran threatens Israel constantly and it “arms terrorist organisations and encourages and initiates terrorism.”

Putin did not address Netanyahu’s remarks about Iran’s role in Syria nor his threat to take unilateral military action.

The 7th meeting happened on January 29th, 2018, in the Kremlin, Moscow and Netanyahu only visited for a single day:

According to the Kremlin’s statement “The leaders plan to discuss the development of Russian-Israeli cooperation in trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas and pressing international and regional issues, including a settlement in the Middle East and the situation in Syria.”

Before the meeting Netanyahu said that to defeat Nazism the way was to “to take a strong and timely stand against murderous ideologies.

“This is also our mission today and it is to this end that I want to speak with you, about our common efforts to promote security and stability in our region, and – of course – the cooperation between us, between Russia and Israel.”

Prior to leaving for Moscow Netanyahu said:

“We meet periodically in order to ensure the military coordination between the IDF and the Russian forces in Syria; as of today this has succeeded and it is important that it continue to succeed.

I will discuss with President Putin Iran’s relentless efforts to establish a military presence in Syria, which we strongly oppose and are also taking action against.

We will also discuss Iran’s effort to turn Lebanon into one giant missile site, a site for precision missiles against the State of Israel, which we will not tolerate.”

Following the meetingNetanyahu said that he “made it clear to him [Putin] that we will not agree to either one of these developments and will act according to need.” There were no remarks on behalf of Putin provided.

The 8th meeting between the two took place on May 9th, 2018 on the commemoration of Victory Day in Moscow:

Putin said that the meeting between the two leaders would be used to “discuss bilateral relations and problems in the region. Unfortunately, the situation is very acute. I would like to express hope that you and I will not only manage to discuss, but also find solutions which will lead to a shift in the situation, and which will also allow us to find ways to resolve heated conflicts.”

Netanyahu said before his trip to Moscow that “in light of what is currently happening in Syria, it is necessary to ensure continued coordination” between the Russian and Syria militaries. He made no mention of the airstrikes, and Tel Aviv has not commented. Russia and Israel have set up a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.

At the talks with Putin, Netanyahu used the opportunity to slam Iran for its anti-Israel policy:

“It’s hard to believe, but 73 years after the Holocaust, in our Middle East there is a country Iran that openly calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. But there is a difference between what was then [during WW2] and what we have today. We have our own country today.”

The 9th meeting between Putin and Netanyahu happened in the Kremlin, Moscow on July 11th, 2018, the two leaders also saw a world cup football match:

Netanyahu said: “It is clear that our focus is on Syria and Iran. Our view that Iran needs to leave Syria is well-known; it is not new to you.”

Several hours before he spoke a Syrian UAV had penetrated Israel’s airspace. It was reportedly shot down and Israel “will continue to take strong action against any trickle [of fire] and any infiltration into Israel’s airspace or territory. We expect that everyone will respect this sovereignty and that Syria will strictly abide by the [1974] Separation of Forces Agreement.”

According to the Israeli PM, the cooperation between Israel and Russia was a central component in preventing a conflagration and deterioration of the issues in Syria and other situations. He also thanked Putin for the opportunity to discuss all of these topics.

Putin said that “In general, our bilateral relations are developing quite positively. I will not quote figures now but they are positive. This applies not only to our economic interaction but also to our political interaction. Good relations are developing between our defense departments. The same goes for the cultural and humanitarian sphere.” The Russian leader reiterated that all Israeli concerns were discussed in detail.

The 10th meeting between them happened in Paris, on the sidelines of Armistice Day in Paris on November 11th, 2018:

It is of significance since it was their first meeting since a Russian IL-20 reconnaissance plane was downed over Syria as a result of actions by the IDF’s air force on September 17th. 15 Russian servicemen died in the incident.

Putin said that it was a “tragic chain of events” and didn’t directly blame Israel.

After the November 11th meeting, Netanyahu told reporters that the “conversation was very good and to the point; I would say it was very important.” He refused to elaborate any further on the conversation. He refused to elaborate any further on the conversation. No other information was provided.

The 11th meeting happened on February 27th, 2019 in the Kremlin, Moscow and was, again, a one-day visit by Netanyahu:

Putin said that bilateral trade is increasing. It was not very large in absolute figures but the trends were positive. He also said that it was very important to discuss the situation in the Middle East as well as security issues.

Putin said that he would soon visit a special monument devoted to the victims of the siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem, after Netanyahu extended an invitation.

This was one of the meetings in which Putin spoke the most and focused on the importance of discussions with Israel. Probably because elections were nearing for Netanyahu.

Prior to leaving for Moscow, the Israeli PM said:

“We are leaving for a very important meeting with President Putin in Moscow. It is not correct that this is my first meeting with him since the Ilyushin plane was downed by Syrian forces because I met with him In Paris and we discussed that we would meet again, and we are doing just that.

The conversation will certainly deal with several issues, but from our point-of-view, the focus of the talks will be preventing Iran from entrenching in Syria, the entrenchment of a country which explicitly says that its goal is to wipe us out. You know that when I say we are acting against this, these are no empty words.

“Of course, I will go into details with President Putin as we do in order to ensure that the Russian military and the IDF coordinate in such a manner so as to prevent friction and clashes between us. This has succeeded up until now and it is important that it also succeed in the future. This is the main goal for which I am traveling to Moscow; there are other goals.”

At the meeting, Netanyahu provided the following remarks:

“The biggest threat to the region’s stability and security comes from Iran and its allies. We are doing everything we can to prevent this threat from being translated into reality. We will not allow Iran to do what it talks about, that is, to destroy us, and we will act accordingly.

I will be happy to discuss with you these issues and our wonderful bilateral relations.

“The greatest threat to stability and security in the region comes from Iran and its proxies. We are determined to continue our aggressive activity against Iran, which calls for our destruction, and against its attempts to establish itself militarily in Syria.”

Their most recent and 12th meeting took place on April 4th, 2019, once again in the Kremlin, Moscow. It was probably organized to be as close as possible to the Israeli Election to show Netanyahu’s “close relationship” with both the US President and the Russian President. The meeting was also admittedly hastily organized on April 1st.

Taking part in the meeting on the Russian side were Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces Valery Gerasimovand Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev.

Putin said “I am happy to welcome you to Moscow. We met only recently, but the scale of our relations is so enormous that we need to meet frequently.”

On April 1st they spoke over the phone, discussing topical issues concerning bilateral cooperation, including military contacts, as well as the situation in the Middle East. The phone call was at Netanyahu’s initiative. Before departing from Israel, Netanyahu said he and Putin would “discuss events in Syria”, including the “special coordination between our militaries”. It was most likely a meeting to just showcase the relationship between Putin and Netanyahu and further seek to solidify his chances for re-election.

While both Israel and Russia are following their own agenda, and their official rhetoric reflects that, it is apparent that there is a working relationship between the sides. It could even be considered “friendly” in some fields.

In addition to meetings between Netanyahu and Putin, the Israeli PM also assumed the seats of Foreign Minister, Defense Minister and Health Minister.

Over the period since 2015, he has met several times with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and he also had a few meetings with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

Even when the Israeli Defense Minister was Avigdor Lieberman up until late 2018, Netanyahu still had meetings with Shoigu.

It is without a doubt that Israel has its own agenda in Syria and the Middle East and it likely doesn’t correlate with the Russian one. Still, though, it is quite apparent that Russia takes into account Tel’Aviv’s interests in its policy and conduct in Syria. Israel, without a doubt also acts in Israel with Moscow’s reaction in mind.

The entire scope of the relationship between the two countries, at least when it comes to Middle East policy is rather unclear, since Netanyahu is the more vocal party and he continues accusing Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

Putin on his part maintains that Israel’s concerns are being taken into account and that is about it.

It is also quite showing that Putin hasn’t visited Israel, whatsoever since September 2015. The Israeli leader is the one that visits Moscow every two months, thus the friendly relationship is also potentially one in which Tel’Aviv is the “needy” side, while Russia maintains the “strong” position.

Israel claims that it supported the defeat of terrorism and that Russia contributed to it, but the fact of the matter is that the actions of Russia and the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad, and even Iran were the parties that did the “heavy lifting” against ISIS.

It is also unclear what portion of Israel’s requests are being fulfilled by Russia, since they continue being the same with every subsequent meeting. Without a doubt Russia undertakes action and contains the situation and without its assistance Israel would quite possibly be in a more precarious situation.

Russia, at least, formally condemned the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, but it is no secret that it may further its own agenda, not in Syria, but in Crimea and getting recognition for the “annexation.”

The veiled relationship between Israel and Russia doesn’t appear to be as strong as the very public one between Tel’Aviv and Washington, but the scope remains unclear.

Netanyahu attempts to be vocal of it, since he is used to the very public Trump administration, but the Russian administration has an entirely different style of politics.

At a glance it also appears that Israel needs Russia, more than the latter needs the former in the Middle East.

جبران باسيل وزير خارجية العرب

أبريل 17, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لولا تفاصيل السياسة اللبنانية وما تطرحه في التداول من اصطفافات وخنادق، لكانت المواقف التي يحرص وزير الخارجية جبران باسيل على تثبيتها كخط لا حياد عنه كافية لتحفظ له في السياسة مكانة يصعب أن ينالها وزير خارجية لبناني أو عربي آخر. فالبلد هو لبنان البلد الصغير الواقع تحت ضغوط دولية كبرى، في ملفات يظن الكثير من اللبنانيين أنها تستدعي ملاطفة مصادر الضغط وصنّاعه، وفي مقدمتهم واشنطن، والوزير هو رئيس التيار الوطني الحر الآتي من موقع زعامة مسيحية لبيئة عاشت مع خطاب تقليدي بعيد عن المواقف التصادميّة مع السياسات الغربية، وهو على رأس أكبر كتلة وزارية وأكبر تكتل نيابي، ويفترض أنه يستعدّ لخوض غمار الترشح لرئاسة الجمهورية، التي يعرف كما يقول العارفون، إن لواشنطن كلمة مؤثرة إن لم تكن فاصلة فيها.

– يسبح جبران باسيل عكس تيار المزاج اللبناني السياسي العام الداعي للنأي بالنفس، والمزاج المسيحي التقليدي الداعي للتصالح مع الغرب، والحسابات الرئاسية الخاصة التي تفترض مراعاة الأميركي كناخب رئيسي، وإن لم يكن الناخب الرئيسي، ويسير على نهج في ترسيخ دبلوماسية ممارسته لمسؤوليته في وزارة الخارجية، قوامها فلسفة الحق قوة، والانتماء هوية. وللذين ينطلقون من تبسيط الأمور بالنظر لتحالف التيار الوطني الحر مع حزب الله، أن يتذكروا أن المواقف التي تصدر عن باسيل في كل مناسبة ومنبر حول القضايا العربية، لا تُسمع من وزراء دول كالعراق والجزائر، في أيام عزّها السياسي، وخياراتها المعلنة بالتمسك بالثوابت العربية، خصوصاً قضية فلسطين.

– في اجتماع لوزراء الخارجية العرب اواخر العام 2017 وقبل إعلان واشنطن اعترافها بالقدس عاصمة لـ»إسرائيل» دعا باسيل الدول العربية، إلى النظر في فرض عقوبات اقتصادية على الولايات المتحدة، لمنعها من نقل سفارتها في «إسرائيل» إلى القدس، وقال باسيل، إنه يجب اتخاذ إجراءات ضد القرار الأميركي «بدءاً من الإجراءات الدبلوماسية مروراً بالتدابير السياسية ووصولاً إلى العقوبات الاقتصادية والمالية»، ودعا باسيل الدول العربية إلى مصالحة عربية عربية لاستعادة الأمة العربية ذاتها، «أنا هنا أقف أمامكم وأدعوكم لمصالحة عربية عربية سبيلاً وحيداً لخلاص هذه الأمة واستعادة لذاتها، وأن ندعو من أجل ذلك إلي قمة عربية طارئة عنوانها القدس.. الويل لنا إذا خرجنا اليوم بتخاذل، إما الثورة وإما الموت لأمّة نائمة». وأكد باسيل أن «القدس ليست قضية بل هي القضية».

– أثناء التحضير للقمة العربية الاقتصادية في بيروت تحدث باسيل لوزراء الخارجية العرب، وقال لهم »سورية هي الفجوة الأكبر في مؤتمرنا ونشعر بثقل فراغها ويجب أن تكون في حضننا بدل أن نرميها في أحضان الإرهاب كي لا نسجّل على أنفسنا عاراً تاريخياً بتعليق عضويتها بأمرٍ خارجي وبإعادتها بإذنٍ خارجي». وبالأمس في اللقاء العربي الروسي في موسكو وقف باسيل وقال «لا يجوز أن نخطئ في العدو ولا أن نضيع البوصلة. فالعدو هو «إسرائيل» والبوصلة هي فلسطين، وكل ما يشتت من تركيزنا عن هدف إعادة حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني هو إلهاء لنا عن مصالحنا ومصالح شعوبنا. وأنا أدعو الى مراجعة الحسابات وإعادة تحديد الأهداف. أقول هذا للتاريخ ولتسجيل موقف في ما نحن على وشك ضياع القضية وضياع الأرض والقدس والمسجد الأقصى وكنيسة القيامة. وإذا ارتضى أحد اليوم بذلك. فنحن على ثوابتنا باقون، فلسطين عربية، وعاصمتها مدينة القدس، والجولان سورية، وسكانها عرب سوريون، وشبعا لبنانية وصكوكها عائدة لنا، كما كرامتنا لا يأخذها أحد منا».

– باسيل يثبت في كل منتدى ومناسبة أنه مهما تلبّدت الغيوم اللبنانية، ومهما تباينت الآراء تجاه القضايا المحلية، فإن الثوابت لا تمسّ ولا يجب أن تتغيّر، وهي ليست مواضيع مساومات تتبدل بتبدل السياسات أو تتغير بتغير الحسابات، فلا هي تتقدّم بحساب المجاملات ولا هي تتراجع بحساب النكايات، ولجبران باسيل وجب القول قد نختلف كثيراً في السياسة اللبنانية أو نتفق، لكن الأهم أننا نفخر بك وزيراً لخارجيتنا تحمل مشعل ثوابتنا وراية فلسطين الحق دائماً بلا تردّد، وتشهر حاجة العرب لمكانة سورية ومكانها، فما دمت كذلك نحن معك، ولعلك في هذا الجمع وحدك من يصحّ فيه أن يكون وزير خارجية العرب.

 

Trump Dances to Israel’s Tune

By Philip Giraldi
Source

Trump Bibi Golan 600x400 2 88b96

So newly reelected Israeli monster-in-chief Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted, with a grin, that America’s President Donald J. Trump followed through on his proposal to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group. Bibi was smiling because the timing of the move, one day before the Israeli election, strongly suggests it was done to assist him against what had become a very strong opposition challenge. That Trump likely colluded with Netanyahu to blatantly interfere in the election has apparently bothered no one in Israel or in the tame American media.

The gift from Washington came on top of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, threatening members of the International Criminal Court if they try to prosecute Israel for war crimes, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, removing the word “occupation” from the State Department’s assessments of human rights infringements on the West Bank, eliminating relief funding for Palestinian refugees, leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council because it was too critical of Israel, and looking the other way as Israel declared itself a state only for Jews. Washington also ignored the bombing of hospitals, schools and water treatment infrastructure in Gaza while Israeli army snipers were shooting unarmed demonstrators demanding their freedom.

The labeling of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group is particularly disturbing as it means that the United States military by virtue of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) now has a mandate to attack the IRGC wherever it appears, including in Syria or even in the waterway the Straits of Hormuz, where the guard has regular patrols in small boats. It is a de facto declaration of war and it comes on top of a number of deliberate provocations directed against Iran starting with the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) one year ago, which led to the unilateral imposition of harsh sanctions directed against the Iranian economy to bring about a popular uprising as well as regularly repeated false claims that Iran is the leading “state sponsor of terrorism.” Next month, the U.S. will begin enforcing a unilaterally declared worldwide sanction on any and all Iranian oil sales.

Netanyahu pledged to annex Israeli settlements on the largely Palestinian West Bank if elected, which is undoubtedly a move cleared in advance with the Trump team of foreign policy sociopaths as it de facto puts an end to any delusional speculation over a possible two-state negotiated solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict. It will also lead to a massive upsurge in violence as the Palestinians object, which is neither a concern for the White House or Netanyahu, as they are assuming that it can be suppressed by overwhelming force directed against an almost completely unarmed civilian population.

And Trump will no doubt expect Bibi to return the favor when he is running for reelection in 2020 by encouraging American Jews who care about Israel to support the Republicans. Trump is focused on his own electability and is absolutely shameless about his betrayal of actual American interests in the Middle East, possibly because he has no inkling of the actual damage that he is doing. His speech last week before the casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson-hosted Jewish Republican Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas was a disgusting pander to a group that includes many key players who have little or no concern for what happens to the United States as long as Israel flourishes. The only good news that came out of the meeting was that Adelson himself appears to be “gravely ill.”

Trump at times appeared to be speaking to what he thought was a group of Israelis, referring to “your prime minister” when mentioning Benjamin Netanyahu and several times describing Israel as “yours,” suggesting that deep down he understands that many American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the United States. At another point, Trump declared that “The Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and their country,” apparently part of a White House plan to keep playing that card to turn American Jews and their political donations in a Republican direction before elections in 2020.

Trump also told the Republican Coalition audience how he came to a decision on recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He described how “he’d been speaking to his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt, over the phone about an unrelated issue when he suddenly brought up the Golan Heights.” Trump shared how “I said, ‘Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I’m working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie.’ After the advisers filled him in, Trump said he asked Friedman: ‘David, what do you think about me recognizing Israel and the Golan Heights?’ Friedman, apparently surprised by the suggestion, reacted like a ‘wonderful, beautiful baby,’ Trump said, and asked if he would ‘really … do that.’ ‘Yeah, I think I’m doing it right now. Let’s write something up,’ Trump said he responded, prompting applause and cheers from his audience in Las Vegas. ‘We make fast decisions and we make good decisions.’”

Putting the Trump story about the Golan Heights in some kind of context is not really that difficult. He wanted an answer to please Netanyahu and he went to three Orthodox Jews who support the illegal Israeli settlements and have also individually contributed financially to their growth so he was expecting the response that he got. That he was establishing a precedent by his moves on Jerusalem and the Golan apparently did not occur to him as his administration prides itself on having a foreign policy vision that extends no longer than the beginning of next week, which is why he hired Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams. And then there is always the doleful Stephen Miller lurking in the background as well as the three musketeers of Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman for really serious questions relating to why acceding to the wishes of parasite state Israel should continue to be the apparent number one priority of the government of the United States.

Donald Trump neither poses nor answers the question why he feels compelled to fulfill all of the campaign pledges he made to the Jewish community, which by and large did not vote for him, while failing to carry out the promises made to those who actually did support him. The absurd Jewish Republican Coalition narrative about how Trump gave Israel the Golan Heights should have resulted in a flood of opprobrium in the U.S. media about his profound ignorance and fundamental hypocrisy, but there was largely silence.

The nonsense going on in Las Vegas in front of a lot of fat cats who regard the United States as little more than a cash cow that they control as well as in the White House itself unfortunately has real world consequences. America is being led by the nose by a well-entrenched and powerful group of Israeli loyalists and this will not end well. The U.S. doesn’t even have a Middle Eastern foreign policy anymore – it has a “to do” list handed by Netanyahu to whomever is president. The fact that the current man in charge in Washington is either so ignorant or so deluded as to allow the process to escalate until the U.S. is drawn into yet more catastrophic wars is beyond regrettable. U.S. foreign policy should not depend on the perceptions of Kushner and company. It should be based on real, tangible American interests, not those of Israel. Someone should explain that to the president.

%d bloggers like this: