Biden will not end the ‘deal of the century’ – Palestinian leaders are acting in haste

Joseph Massad

24 November 2020 

The goal of the US ‘peace process’ has long been – and will continue to be under Biden – the obliteration of Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation

People denounce the ‘deal of the century’ in the occupied West Bank on 28 February 2020 (AFP)

Since the election of Joe Biden as the next US president, reports of the death of the “deal of the century” have been greatly exaggerated. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has felt a sense of relief that its love affair with Israel and Israel’s allies could finally resume. 

The PA had cut off official security coordination with Israel in May, and cooled relations with Bahrain and the UAE after they opened diplomatic relations with Israel this summer. The PA used the pretext that President Donald Trump’s “deal” was detrimental to Palestinian interests.  

In the wake of Biden’s election, the PA declared the deal and annexation plans to be “no longer on the table”. It officially resumed security coordination with Israel, citing assurances from Israel that it would comply with prior agreements it had signed with the PA.

This came just days after Israel opened bidding on the construction of a new Jewish colonial settlement intended to cut off occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The PA has also restored its ambassadors to Bahrain and the UAE. 

Palestinian prisoners

These PA moves seek to appeal to Biden, who is expected to be more sympathetic to their cause than Trump. And so, instead of announcing that the PA was looking forward to being welcomed back into the US capital, the adamantly anti-Palestinian New York Times, the US “newspaper of record”, announced that “in a bold move to refurbish their sullied image in Washington, the Palestinians are laying the groundwork for an overhaul to one of their most cherished but controversial practices, officials say: compensating those who serve time in Israeli prisons, including for violent attacks.” 

Israel has been demanding for decades that the PA not support the families of Palestinians killed by Israel, let alone the families of Palestinian prisoners of war. The US Congress “repeatedly passed legislation to reduce aid to the Palestinians by the amount of those payments”, which were also cited by Trump when he cut funding to the PA in 2018.

Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents

The New York Times added that “Palestinian officials eager to make a fresh start … are heeding the advice of sympathetic Democrats who have repeatedly warned that without an end to the payments, it would be impossible for the new administration to do any heavy lifting on their behalf”. 

This is an important example of how Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents. Biden has vowed not to move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, nor to rescind US recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of that city. Perhaps the only difference is that Biden may restore aid to the PA, while curtailing support to families of Palestinian prisoners – details of which are “being hammered out in Ramallah”, according to the Times.  

Security coordination

But as the “deal of the century” is predicated on the premise that the US and Palestinians must give Israel everything it wants, it remains unclear why the PA thinks the deal is no longer on the table. After all, the PA has acted in accordance with that very premise by resuming security coordination with Israel, returning its ambassadors to the Gulf states, and negotiating cuts to support for prisoners’ families – all without getting anything in return. 

The issue of financial support to Palestinian prisoners’ families is, in fact, a central feature of how the US “peace process” has always been premised on coercing Palestinians and other Arabs to join the US in legitimising Israeli colonial conquests and delegitimising any resistance to them. 

An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)
An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)

Since the 1993 Oslo I Accord, the PA has committed to stamping out all Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands, collaborating with Israel either by informing on or handing over resistors to Israeli security forces, or by having its own security agencies imprison or kill them. Why, then, Israel and the US complain, would the PA support their families?

This is to be contrasted with the fact that Israel and the US have always rewarded Israeli Jews who massacre Palestinians. A minuscule number of Israeli soldiers who kill Palestinians have ever been prosecuted, and even fewer found guilty, as has been documented by Israeli human rights groups and others. 

Israeli impunity

Last year, an Israeli soldier who fatally shot an unarmed 14-year-old Palestinian boy was sentenced to a month in military prison. The boy’s father told the New York Times: “This is unjust.” He said he feared that the soldier’s sentence would “encourage his colleagues to kill in cold blood”. 

Also last year, the Israeli army exonerated its soldiers in the killing of a Palestinian double-amputee protesting at the Gaza fence who was shot in the chest. The army said it could not ascertain that its soldiers were the ones who killed him. Another Israeli border police officer who killed yet another Palestinian teenager in 2014 was sentenced two years ago to nine months in prison, having been praised by the judge as “excellent” and “conscientious”. Biden victory means the end of an era for Netanyahu

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As for the Israeli military medic who shot dead an already injured Palestinian lying on the ground in 2016, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a year of probation and a demotion. His sentence was later decreased to 14 months, of which he served only nine before being released. 

These are neither aberrant nor new examples; they harken back to the establishment of Israel. Late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who expelled the Palestinian population of the city of Lydda in 1948 and devised the “break-their-bones” policy against Palestinians during the First Intifada, is celebrated in Israel and the US as a “hero” for peace. He never went to jail for his crimes.  

Nor did former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who, dressed in drag, headed a commando unit that assassinated several Palestinian leaders in their homes in Beirut in 1973. He, like Rabin, is hailed as a hero. 

In October 1956, the Israeli army committed a horrific massacre against its own Israeli-Palestinian citizens in the village of Kafr Qasim, when its soldiers shot dead 49 men, women and children coming home from their fields after a day of work, and injured dozens more.  

Despite an initial government cover-up, a trial took place and prison sentences were handed down in October 1958 to eight officers ranging from eight to 17 years. Appeals were filed, and all the sentences were reduced with all the convicted killers released by 1960, having spent their sentence in a sanatorium in Jerusalem, and not in a prison cell.

Officer Gabriel Dahan, convicted of killing 43 Palestinians, was appointed as officer responsible for Arab affairs in the city of Ramle in September 1960. The brigadier most responsible for giving the orders for the massacre, Yshishkar Shadmi, had a separate trial, and was found guilty of a “technical error” and fined one cent. 

Better deal next time?

What Biden and his friends are demanding of the PA today is precisely what Israel and Trump also demanded: namely, that it consider Israeli conquest, colonisation and occupation of Palestinian land – including the killing of Palestinians who resist (or do not resist) Israel – as heroic acts.

Since the PA did right by Israel and the US when it agreed in Oslo to quash any resistance to these Israeli heroic acts, it must continue to do so by not supporting the families of Palestinian prisoners or martyrs. 

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world

The goal of the PA, as envisaged by the Oslo Accords, is not only to obliterate any remaining resistance to Israel, but also to quash the Palestinian people’s will to resist their insidious coloniser once and for all. That was the essence of the US “peace process” in the 1970s and 1980s, of the Oslo deal, of former US President Bill Clinton’s Camp David offer in 2000, and of Trump’s “deal of the century“.  

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world. The much-awaited Biden, however, will be sure to indulge the PA. He will pretend, alongside the PA, that Palestinians will get a new and better deal next time.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books and academic and journalistic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, Desiring Arabs, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians, and most recently Islam in Liberalism. His books and articles have been translated to a dozen languages.

MBS said he would be killed by his ‘own people’ if Riyadh normalised ties with Israel: Report

Billionaire Haim Saban claims crown prince made remarks after UAE and Bahrain’s deals with Israel, Haaretz reports

Mohammed bin Salman is the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia
US President Donald Trump has suggested Saudi Arabia may recognise Israel (AFP/File photo)

By MEE staff
Published date: 23 October 2020

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban he would fear for his life if he struck a normalisation deal with Israel, Haaretz reported.

The Saudi crown prince, also known by his initials MBS, said following in the steps of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would get him “killed by Iran, by Qatar and my own people”, Saban said.

The entertainment mogul made the claim at a pro-Biden online campaign event on Wednesday entitled “Israel’s Security and Prosperity in a Biden White House”, hosted by Florida for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Haaretz reported.

The UAE and Bahrain, which closely coordinate their foreign policies with Saudi Arabia, normalised relations with Israel in August, cementing the move with a signing ceremony at the White House last month.

Saban, a billionaire who founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, was one of the few Democrats present when the agreements, dubbed the Abraham Accords, were signed on 15 September.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia to also agree to closer ties with Israel in the coming months.Arab populations continue to oppose normalisation with Israel, survey shows

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His comments came shortly after Sudan became the third Arab country in recent months to normalise ties with Israel.

Earlier this month, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said the kingdom would not recognise Israel until there was a return to Israel-Palestine negotiations.

Saban, a longtime donor to the Democratic party, also used his platform at Wednesday’s online event to praise presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden’s “47 years of commitment” to Israel.

“All Jews in America that care about the US-Israel alliance know they can sleep peacefully under a Biden presidency,” he said.

The normalisation deals have largely been met positively among both Democrats and Republicans.

The billionaire also claimed that President Donald Trump played a minor role in securing the Abraham Accords, while most of the credit should go to his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

“All of the credit should be going to Jared Kushner and [his aide] Avi Berkowitz, who worked really hard on it,” said Saban.

Trump has highlighted the Arab normalisation deals with Israel as major achievements as he seeks another term in 3 November elections, with his evangelical Christian base widely supportive of Israel.

Still, the normalisation deals have outraged Palestinians, who have called them “a stab in the back”, pointing out that they reward Israel and allow it to continue its illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as its siege of Gaza.

recent survey found that, despite the moves by the UAE and Bahrain, a majority of Arab populations continue to strongly oppose normalisation with Israel.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

For Trump’s Middle East allies, Joe Biden is a new nightmare

 Source

David Hearst
17 November 2020 14:19 UTC | Last update: 17 hours 25 mins ago

David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.


The president-elect’s actions in the Middle East will be dictated by events. But the loss of Trump represents a body check for the ambitions and aspirations of Gulf hegemons
Then Vice President Joe Biden during a visit to Saudi Arabia in 2011 (Reuters)

You can detect the shadow of Donald Trump fading from the Middle East in the nervous twitches of his closest allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accelerating settlements before the inevitable freeze or pause in construction in January when President-Elect Joe Biden takes over. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is releasing just a fraction of the estimated 60,000 political prisoners he has stashed in his jails.

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

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Sisi’s television anchors are, from one day to the next, given different scripts to read out. Take the sad case of Nashaat al-Deehy. When Biden was a candidate, al-Deehy trashed him: “Joseph Biden will become the oldest US president in the history of the United States of America. On 20 November he will be 78 years old. This will impact his mental situation and he suffers from Alzheimer’s and therefore is not fit to be president of the United States of America.”

But once the US media had called Biden president-elect, al-Deehy became respectful. “We have just learned that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sent a congratulations cable to US President-elect Joe Biden. This man has great respect for Egypt and is known to be wise and he listens well. He does not take decisions frantically. He does not take decisions when he’s angry. All of this was missing in the case of Donald Trump, who was violent and stubborn and arrogant. All of this we’re seeing it.”

Small gestures

The Saudi ambassador in London is in an equal turmoil. One day he hints to the Guardian that jailed women activists could be freed during the G20 summit next week.

“The G20, does it offer an opportunity for clemency? Possibly. That is a judgment for someone other than me,” said Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. “People ask: is it worth the damage it is causing you, whatever they did? That is a fair argument to make and it is a discussion we have back at home within our political system and within our ministry.”

The next day he calls in the BBC to deny what he has just said.

Poor ambassador.

The king himself is by no means immune from wild policy swings. He has started being nice to Turkey.

A week after the earthquake in Izmir, Salman ordered the dispatch of “urgent aid” to the city. Then we learn that the king of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were in talks. The occasion was to present condolences for the death of the Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. But direct contact with a satellite of Riyadh would have been impossible without a green light from the diwan, the Saudi royal court.

Ever since Erdogan refused to let the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul drop, he has become a hate figure in Riyadh. Turkey has been declared – repeatedly –  a regional threat by Saudi social media and Turkish goods subject to a growing boycott. Now it has all changed.

These are small gestures, but telling ones, as Trump leaves office.

CIA bites back

Top of the list of nervous allies is the man who used Trump to fashion his rise to power.

Biden has every incentive to encourage MBS’ many enemies in the Royal family to step forward to prevent the over ambitious prince from becoming King

To become crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) had to get rid of, and trash the reputation of his elder cousin Mohammed bin Nayef, who was at the time the CIA’s prime asset in the country and the Gulf region. Before he did this, bin Salman phoned Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and Middle East adviser, to ask permission. It was given, sources with knowledge of the call told Middle East Eye.

Biden knows bin Nayef personally. Bin Nayef’s chief of staff and former interior minister Saad al-Jabri has fled to Toronto. A few days after Khashoggi’s assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, MBS despatched another crew from the Tiger Squad to kill al-Jabri, according to a lawsuit filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act in the US District of Columbia.

Al-Jabri was lucky. Border agents at Toronto International Airport detected the operation and sent it back home. All this is active evidence. None of this has been dealt with. The CIA’s own assessment that MBS ordered Khashoggi’s killing has never been published.

It is not just Biden himself the crown prince has to fear – although the presidential candidate reserved his sharpest words for the killing of Khashoggi – but the return of the CIA to the top table of decision making in the White House.

Overnight MBS goes from having a president in the White House who “saved his ass”, as Trump put it, to a successor who is not remotely interested in doing the same. Biden has every incentive to encourage MBS’s many enemies in the royal family to step forward to prevent the over-ambitious prince from becoming king. There are enough of them, by now.

Get out of jail card

An Oval Office under new management leaves MBS with relatively few options.

He could use Israel as his get-out-of-jail card, by pushing for recognition and normalisation. There is bipartisan support in Congress for the Abraham Accords signed between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel.

How Mohammed bin Salman is quietly enabling an Israeli axis in the Arab world

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Although the incoming Biden administration will put more emphasis on restarting direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, it would not stop another major Arab state like Saudi Arabia from joining the party.

The opposition to Saudi normalisation with Israel would be at home, not abroad. Recognising Israel would be perilous domestically. However much Saud alQahtani’s social media trolls bully Saudi public opinion, it is ferociously pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist.

Never more so than today, Palestine remains the key source of instability in the Middle East, the conflict that defines it, the conflict that endures as a symbol of European colonisation and Arab humiliation.

The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques recognising Israel? Not over many Muslims’ dead bodies.

Each time MBS has had to walk back on his wish to recognise Israel (and he was very near to flying to Washington and playing the role of smiling sponsor at the signing ceremony in the White House, before cancelling at the last minute) he has turned to his father, the king, to say that nothing has changed and reaffirm official state policy.

This is the Arab Peace Initiative published by his predecessor King Abdullah in 2002 and it only allows  recognition of Israel after a negotiated solution has been found based on 1967 borders.

US President Donald Trump waves to supporters on 15 November (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump waves to supporters on 15 November (Reuters)

The loss of Trump’s “крыша” – or protective roof – and the arrival of a hostile president in Biden will mean that MBS will need his father in the post as king even more than he has done in the past. We know from Saudi sources that at one point MBS was toying with the idea of forcing his father’s premature abdication on health grounds and seizing the crown himself.

The loss of Trump’s protective roof and the arrival of a hostile president in Biden will mean that MBS will need his father in the post as king even more than he has done in the past

In his latest round of purges, MBS targeted leading members of Hay’at al-Bayaa (the Allegiance Council) whose role is to approve a royal succession and the appointment of a new crown prince.

The latest arrests to purge the Allegiance Council of his critics would only have made sense if MBS himself was intending to becoming king. But that was in good times, when bin Salman’s star was rising and he could still visit London and Washington without creating flashmobs of human rights protesters.

In bad times, the king remains the tribal chief, who commands the loyalty of the royal family and the kingdom. Regardless of Salman’s actual mental condition, he is still the head of the family and there will be no rebellion against him. The same would not apply to his son if he pushed his father aside and seized the crown. He would be fair game for a palace coup. This is probably the main reason why the father is still king.

Regional alliance

The fate of the regional alliance that a future King Mohammed was attempting to build around himself also hangs in the balance. The real fight going on in the Sunni Arab world is about who would take over as leader and Western proxy.

Biden must end Trump’s alliance with Mohammed bin Salman

Read More »

The purpose of the alliance with Israel – in Emirati eyes – is not to increase wealth but power, power to become, with Saudi Arabia under King Mohammed, the regional hegemon.

That ambition still exists.

But the role that an “Arab Nato” alliance was intended to play to combat and curb Iran will now be diminished by Biden’s attempt to restore the nuclear agreement with Tehran. Iran’s rulers stared Trump in the eyes and did not blink first. They outlasted this US president as they have done to Jimmy Carter and every president who followed him.

The nuclear agreement (known as JCPOA) was Barack Obama’s crowning foreign policy achievement – although it was the fruition of years of negotiation involving many countries and past foreign ministers – the so-called P5 plus one, the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, and Turkey and Brazil before them.

However, each side’s moves are sequenced and whatever difficulties that lie on that path, Biden will pivot once more to restoring this nuclear agreement. Even if some sanctions continue, the policy of using them to exert “maximum pressure” will be over.

Detente will inevitably create a new reality in the Gulf region.

It will also create a new reality for members of the opposing alliance, Turkey and Qatar. Biden is no admirer of Erdogan, with whom he has spent many hours talking. He has apologised to Erdogan once for remarks suggesting that Turkey helped facilitate the rise of the Islamic State group. He is not about to do that again soon.

In a meeting with the New York Times’ editorial board filmed in December, Biden described Erdogan as an autocrat. Asked about how comfortable he felt with the US still basing 50 nuclear weapons in Turkey, Biden said his comfort level had “diminished a great deal” and that he would be making it clear to the Turkish leader that the US supports the opposition.

A volatile world

Once in power, Biden may find it more difficult to express this personal hostility. Whether he likes it or not, Turkey is a more confident regional military power than it was in Obama’s time.

Its military has proved itself as a counterweight to Russian military power in Syria and Libya, and it has just achieved a major breakthrough in Nagorno Karabakh, establishing for the first time access by road from the Turkish border to the Caspian Sea.

This is a strategic win for the Turkish state.

If he is going to partially lift sanctions on Iran, Biden will find that he needs Turkey as a regional counterbalance. There are today too many arenas, from Syria and Iraq to Libya, where Turkey has become a player. Biden has to deal with these “facts on the ground” whether he likes it or not.

Similarly, pressure will also now grow on Saudi Arabia to end its siege on Qatar. Their immediate neighbour, the UAE, will always regard Qatar’s pro-Islamist foreign policy as an existential threat. But the same does not apply to Riyadh, and quiet negotiations in Oman and Kuwait have already taken place.

Biden’s actions in the Middle East will be dictated by events. But the loss of Trump represents a body check for the ambitions and aspirations of Gulf hegemons.

It’s a more uncertain, volatile world.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

One ‘NO’ Instead of Three! Sudanese Against Normalization

One ‘NO’ Instead of Three! Sudanese Against Normalization

By Zeinab Abdallah

Beirut – News would read that Egypt and Jordan were the first to normalize ties with the enemy of the Arab and Muslim nation, and were then followed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

No! It is not the right way to report this particular ‘achievement’. It was the regime in each of Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan that started cozying up with the occupying regime. When it comes to peoples, they are not the same as their governors.

Peoples are usually blamed for what their rulers commit. However, it is certain for those who refuse to submit that they are capable of making the change despite the ruler’s will. Those people who reject humiliation and submission are ready to clean up the dirt they were forced to be covered with, and reverse the conspiracies made by their heads of states.

Those same peoples are ready to pay their lives for the freedom of Palestine. They are motivated by Muslim’s first Qibla, the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

Commenting on the Sudanese regime’s normalization with the ‘Israeli’ entity, Deputy Head of [Reform] al-Islah Now Party, and former Sudanese minister Hassan Rizk emphasized that Sudan has been backing the Palestinian cause since 1948, had fought next to the Palestinians and Arabs in all their wars.

It was Sudan that unified the nation and raised the three No’s against peace, recognition and negotiations with ‘Israel’, he added. His comment comes in reference to the fourth Arab League summit that was held in Khartoum on August 29, 1967.

The summit took place in wake of the Arab defeat against the Zionist military in the same year, and it came up with the famous Khartoum Resolution that provides three No’s: No peace with ‘Israel’, no recognition of ‘Israel,’ and no negotiations with ‘Israel’ unless everybody’s right is returned.

Rizk referred to this event as historic and made by great leaders such as al-Mahjoub and al-Azhari, however, he explained: “After 72 years of steadfastness and challenge, there came weak leaders who wasted the cause, followed the collaborators and the colonials, and sold the al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestine, and the nation’s dignity.”

Adding that the normalizers will remain with the Arab nation’s betrayers, the former minister stressed that the Sudanese people won’t abandon their principles, but will definitely abandon their betrayers: “We will keep defending Palestine, its lands, and people, and we will be the first to liberate and enter the al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of the day.”

Mr. Rizk made clear that there isn’t any advantage from normalizing ties with the Zionist enemy, explaining that it was tried previously by other Arab and Muslim nations which didn’t achieve anything. “After Camp David, we lost the African nations that were supporting Palestine and boycotting the occupation entity. Those countries normalized ties and became markets for the enemy.”

The Sudanese minister elaborated on the repercussions of the normalization harming those who were stuck in its mud, recalling how Egypt has lost its agriculture, health, security and leadership, and how the Palestinians have lost their unity, arms, and a lot of lands, not to mention their loss of al-Quds, the construction of settlements, razing their houses, and killing and detaining their women and children.

Rizk underscored that the lack of advantage is also applied for Jordan, Mauritania, Central Africa, Eritrea, and South Sudan… among the many countries that normalized ties with the occupation entity. He then added that the ‘Israelis’ are cheap and don’t pay for the favors made for them.

For his part, member of the General Secretariat of the Arab and Islamic Gathering in Support of the Choice of Resistance, and Sudan branch coordinator, Mr. Idriss Abdul Qadir Ayess stressed that Sudan didn’t stop being the reservoir for anti-Zionist enemy rallies, noting, however, that the ruling regime has stabbed the people in  the back, fallen in the arms of the Gulf states and operated upon their orders. He then outlined that this is rejected by the people although the stance of the transitional government has affected a noticeable part of the people.

Therefore, the Islamic researcher and political activist says: “We find that the Sudanese people today are divided due to the crumpling economy. Most of them believe that it is due to the American blockade and sanctions against the nation; however, they still believe that the Palestinian cause is the main reason to resist normalization.”

Mr. Ayess added that most of the Sudanese people are resisting and rejecting normalization, citing the general gatherings made against normalization and the people’s rejection and embarrassment of this step as an example.

Commenting on the country’s opposition groups, the Sudanese political activist considered that the “Islah” Party is unheard among the people because its symbols have participated in Omar al-Bashir’s government, explaining why they are not listened to by the people.

Relatively, he noted that the anti-normalization individuals today are working strongly to make the government retreat its step through media, popular, and legal pressure. He then reiterated that the people of Sudan won’t submit to the regime’s normalization, will reject it in all means, won’t abandon Palestine and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The people will strongly operate to put the government in front of two choices. The first is that the government retreats its heinous step, and the other is to topple it,” he added.

Between the two choices stand the only “NO” that sums up the ultimate rejection of any relationship with the occupier of Palestine. There is no need to three No’s! Only one “NO for normalization” is sufficient to save the nation from this disappointment and unite it behind the first and last cause: Palestine!

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Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi: Macron Is Nothing But Puppet of Jewish Zionists

ٍSource

2020-10-29 21:32:15

english.almasirah.net:Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi: Macron Is Nothing But  Puppet of Jewish Zionists

The leader of the revolution, Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, said that the Islamic nation today is fraught with problems and crises, and the occasion of the Prophet’s birthday should be a station to face these challenges.

In his speech on the occasion of Prophet Mohammed birthday (PBUH), Sayyed Abdulmalik added that the cause of all the major problems and corruption that our nation and human society suffer from is the deviation from the Prophet’s message.

Regarding the French insult to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the position of the French President Emmanuel Macron towards Islam, Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi said: Macron is nothing but a puppet of the Jewish Zionists, and they push him to insult Islam and the Messenger (PBUH).

The leader stressed that the tyrants US, Israel and their alliance are an extension of the distortion of the straight path, adding that the Western regime that permits insulting God and prophets, and prevents unveiling the plots of the Zionist Jews, is a witness to the control of the Zionist lobby over Western regimes and media.

Regarding the issue of normalization and between some Arab countries with the Zionist entity, Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi explained that declaring these deals is a betrayal and participating with enemies to target the nation.

He added that the Saudi authorities allowed the Jews flights while besieging the Yemeni people and imprisoning the free Palestinian people only because of their rightful stance against the Israeli enemy. He added that the Saudi, Emirati, Al Khalifa and the Sudanese regimes are partners with US and Israel in their plots.

About the assassination of the Minister Hassan Zaid, Sayyed Al-Houthi describes it as brutal, holding the Saudi aggression coalition responsible for the crime.

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Fearing Being Killed by Iran or Saudis… MBS Not to Normalize Ties with ‘Israel’ Now!

Fearing Being Killed by Iran or Saudis… MBS Not to Normalize Ties with ‘Israel’ Now!

By Staff

It is a dual effect that has this time terrified the young Saudi crown prince and hindered his most dangerous step ever.

According to Haaretz newspaper, the Saudi heir, Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] told ‘Israeli’-American billionaire Haim Saban that he couldn’t have joined neighbors Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in normalizing ties with the Zionist entity because doing so would get him “killed by Iran, Qatar and my own people.”

The report cited Saban relating the story of his meeting with MBS at an online campaign event on Wednesday called “‘Israel’s’ Security and Prosperity in a Biden White House,” sponsored by Florida for US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Bide and vice-president runner Kamala Harris.

Perhaps MBS fears being killed by his own people due to his accumulating shameful record of human rights violations firstly against his own people. MBS would be afraid that the suppressed Saudi public, fed up with the young prince’s horrible crimes, are awaiting the opportunity that would serve as the last nail in his own coffin.

Although some Saudis would welcome open relations with the occupation regime, the vast majority still -just like the free people in other Arab states; Bahrain as an example- oppose such disgraceful step.

Despite all the heinous crimes he has committed, what the weak-kneed prince cares for most is his own image, according to previous testimonies by the co-authors of “Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power.”

Justin Scheck commented on MBS’ reaction to his ruthless killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “I think he was very surprised by the outrage and by the fact that people in these other countries that he considers as important were going to harp so much on the death of one Saudi citizen.”

The other author, Bradley Hope said: “Mohammed bin Salman, despite being seen as a reformer, in the Western media and also among Saudi youth, he’s completely allergic to anything close to political reform. I’ve never in any of my reporting heard of him having anything close to a discussion of political reforms . . . He is completely politically illiberal, but he’s socially liberal. And that is something that everyone needs to know when they’re trying to think about Mohammed bin Salman.”

But why would MBS fear that he might be killed by Iran, here is the question!

Did Iran kill the Bahraini or the Emirati rulers after they announced formal ties with the occupation entity? Or what did MBS commit so that he fears the result so much?

Time will show us, but until then, the good point is that the Saudi heir is deterred from committing such a sin against Palestine, Islam and the Arab world.

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‘Israel’ Operated Secret Embassy in Bahrain for 11 Years

‘Israel’ Operated Secret Embassy in Bahrain for 11 Years

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist entity operated a secret embassy in the Bahraini capital of Manama for more than a decade, the Axios website reported on Wednesday, as the signing of the so-called ‘Abraham Accords’ signals the first official diplomatic relations between the occupation entity and Bahrain.

According to the report, the Zionist regime has worked on establishing quiet diplomatic ties with Bahrain for 11 years, principally through the use of a shell company – The Center for International Development – registered in the Gulf state.

Bahrain archives registered the embassy as a company providing marketing, promotion and investment services, and its website explained that it was a consulting firm for Western companies interested in non-oil investments in the region.

However, the existence of this secret diplomatic office has been classified and only recently came to light following a brief public broadcaster Kan report last week.

According to this investigation into more than a decade of clandestine diplomatic relations between the Zionist entity and Bahrain, the idea of opening a secret embassy was raised in 2007-2008 during a series of meetings with Bahraini Foreign Minister Khaled bin Ahmad Al Khalifa and his former Zionist counterpart, Tzipi Livni.

The decision to open the mission in Manama was preceded by the closure of an ‘Israeli’ mission in Qatar, according to Zionist security officials.

According to the report, the mission was registered on July 13, 2009 under the identity of the known shell company, known as the “Center for International Development”, although it has since changed its name and its new name remains confidential.

The Tel Aviv regime sent a formal request to open an embassy in Manama immediately after relations were officially established on Sunday.

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History Will Show No Mercy for Arab Traitors to Palestine – Hamas Leader

History Will Show No Mercy for Arab Traitors to Palestine – Hamas Leader

By Staff, Agencies

Head of Hamas resistance movement’s political bureau Ismail Haniyeh has once again condemned the US-brokered deals that the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Bahrain signed last month to normalize ties with ‘Israel,’ warning that history will show “no mercy” towards the Arab states that betrayed fellow Palestinians.

In an interview with the Middle East Eye [MEE] news portal published on Monday, Haniyeh said that the Arab countries that normalized ties with ‘Israel’ will be losers as the occupying regime will eventually threaten them.

“The Zionist project is an expansionist project. Its objective is to create a greater ‘Israel.’ We don’t want to see the Emiratis or the Bahrainis or the Sudanese being used as vehicles for this project. History will show no mercy, the people will not forget, and humanitarian law will not forgive,” he said.

In mid-September, US President Donald Trump presided over the signing of the normalization pacts between Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi and Manama. During a ceremony at the White House, Trump said “five or six” other countries were close to making similar agreements with ‘Israel,’ but did not name them.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Sudan and Oman could be next in line to normalize with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime.

“We know ‘Israeli’ leaders better than them. We know how they think. We would like to tell our brothers in the United Arab Emirates that they will lose as a result of those agreements because ‘Israel’s’ only interest is to seek a military and economic foothold in areas close to Iran,” Haniyeh said.

“They will use your country as a doorstep. We don’t want to see the UAE being used as an ‘Israeli’ launchpad,” he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Haniyeh stressed that Hamas had been vindicated by the collapse of the 1990s Oslo process between the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and ‘Israel.’

“From the day it was announced, Oslo bore the seeds of its own destruction… Oslo was a failure from day one because it was a security agreement, not a political one,” he said.

Additionally, Haniyeh enumerated the factors that had forced Abbas to rethink his approach towards the resistance group and deliver a “positive response to the initiative by Hamas.”

Moreover, the Hamas leader said the resistance group was prepared in case of any ‘Israeli’ attack on Gaza, warning that any future war would be costly for the Tel Aviv regime.

Further Betrayal of Palestinians

By The Muslim News

Global Research, October 07, 2020

The Muslim News 25 September 2020

The old idiom says, “possession is nine-tenths of the law”, but in the case of the dispossessed Palestinians, occupation represents one hundred per cent of the law after their land was usurped due to Israel’s creation some 82 years ago. Other Arab territories have been annexed in a succession of wars that followed too.

Justice is further away than ever with the UAE and Bahrain formally becoming the latest Arab countries to sell out their Palestinian brethren by normalising relations with Israel, despite Israel’s continued illegal military occupation of Palestinian land and the expansions of illegal settlements and destruction of Palestinian homes.

Both Arab dictators proceeded to formally sign agreements to normalise relations with Israel at a ceremony hosted by President, Donald Trump, the most pro-Israel US leader since Harry Truman who presided over the recognition of Israel in 1948.

Trump has torn up so many international conventions and norms by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, despite its special status, as well as handing over Syria’s Golan Heights that have been illegally occupied by Israel for over half a century.

Trump’s “No-Peace/Peace Plan” for Palestine. Netanyahu/Gantz Invited to White House to Discuss “Deal of the Century”

The move by the UAE and Bahrain to the Israeli camp is also a shift to realign the Middle East against Iran, described by Benjamin Netanyahu as Tel Aviv’s biggest enemy. Tehran was one of just a few countries to publicly condemn the normalisation of relations, describing it as “shameful” and a “humiliating act.”

Trump has tried to turn the rest of the world against Iran by trying to destroy the landmark nuclear deal by unilaterally withdrawing. According to Middle East Eye Editor, David Hearst, the new alliance in the Middle East could also be targeted against Turkey’s influence in the region.

The deal was brokered by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner and former British PM, Tony Blair, who called the deal “a massive and welcome opportunity to recast the politics of the region.”

The former envoy to the Middle East Quartet has spent much of his forced retirement time trying to encourage Arab countries to build cooperation with Israel based on a “shared outlook.”

He is credited with turning the accepted formula of “peace with the Palestinians before normalisation” on its head by effectively relegating their legitimate aspirations for a viable state to the back of the queue.

Perplexingly, apart from dangling the prospects of more US military sales, the UAE is reported to have received a pledge from Netanyahu that Israel will temporarily suspend its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, not to carry out the usurpation of territories already illegally seized for decades.

The new alliances are a further trampling of Palestinian rights by Israel’s incessant illicit encroachments. The theft of their land is a legacy of British colonialism and placing a special responsibility on the UK to put right before might.

The latest Arab alliance, which some suspect comes ahead of Saudi Arabia following suit, is a sad day, not just a more betrayal and as such sets a precedent that there is little sense of justice left in the world.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.The original source of this article is The Muslim NewsCopyright © The Muslim NewsThe Muslim News, 2020

Bahrainis Rally Against Normalization Despite Crackdown

Bahrainis Rally Against Normalization Despite Crackdown

By Staff, Agencies

Bahraini protesters staged rallies across the tiny Gulf kingdom to denounce the recent agreement between the ruling Al Khalifah regime and the Zionist entity to establish full diplomatic ties.

Waving Palestinian flags and wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus, demonstrators rallied in the northern villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhura on Friday, walking over the name of Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah in an apparent show of outrage over the normalization deal.

Protests were also held in the villages of Barbar, Karzakan, Nuwaidrat and Sehla, Salmabad town as well as Sar residential area west of the capital, Manama.

Protesters trampled ‘Israeli’ flags before they were burned along with pictures of the Bahraini king, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Banners were carried reading “Death to America, Death to ‘Israel’”, “The Bahraini Nation Rejects Normalization,” and “Bahrain is Enraged over al-Quds.”

Pictures and witness testimony indicated that regime forces were heavily present on the streets during the marches.

The rallies came as the head of the Zionist entity spy agency Mossad met Thursday with Bahraini officials to discuss topics of mutual interest and strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Bahrain’s National Intelligence Agency President Adel bin Khalifah Al Fadhel and Strategic Security Bureau Chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Khalifah welcomed Yossi Cohen upon his arrival in Manama, the official Bahrain News Agency reported.

The two sides stressed the importance of the agreement recently signed between Bahrain and the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity, saying it would pave the way for future cooperation in various fields.

Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani in a US-brokered event hosted by US President Donald Trump at the White House on September 15.

Sayyed Nasrallah to Macron: You’re Welcome as a Friend, Not as a Guardian

September 30, 2020

Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Tuesday firmly rejected accusations of betrayal by French President Emmanuel Macron, noting meanwhile that the Resistance party is still committed to the French initiative “but based on respect”.

In a televised speech via Al-Manar, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified fallacies made regarding the formation of the new government in Lebanon and Paris’ initiative regarding the current crisis.

He stressed, in this context, that Macron is welcome in Lebanon “as a friend and ally, not as a guardian of our country.”

His eminence also stressed that Hezbollah has been well known for his credibility and sincerity, calling on the French president to “ask the friend and the enemy” about this issue.

Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed, meanwhile, that excluding Hezbollah from taking part in the new government is “out of question”.

Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah hit back at Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu who claimed that Hezbollah allegedly has a missile factory near a gas station south of the capital, Beirut.

The Hezbollah S.G. said the party’s Media Relation Office would hold a tour for media outlets’ reporters to head to the area Netayahu had spoken about in a bid to refute lies of the Israeli PM.

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, hailed the Lebanese Army for foiling attacks by terrorists in the country’s north, warning that the terrorists have been preparing for a major military action in Lebanon.

Emir of Kuwait Demise

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by offering condolences over the demise of Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

His eminence praised Kuwait monarch for his role in stopping the civil war in Lebanon, noting that he also stood by Lebanon and contributed to reconstruction of Lebanese towns following the Israeli war on Lebanon in July 2006.

“Emir of Kuwait also adopted an honored stance on Palestine and Al-Quds,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, praising Sheikh Al-Sabah for not striking a deal with the Zionist entity echoing other Arab states.

North Lebanon Confrontations and ISIL Revive

Tackling the latest confrontations between the Lebanese Army and Takfiri terrorists in the country’s north, Sayyed Nasrallah described the Lebanese soldiers as heroes, hailing the Lebanese people for standing by the Lebanese Army.

His eminence warned that Lebanon is facing a threat of major military action by ISIL terrorist group.

“We appreciate the popular stance in the northern villages where people voiced support to the army and security forces.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah said that since the assassination of Iranian Major-General Qassem Suleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi paramilitary force, US has been working hard to revive ISI in the region.

He called for caution and awareness regarding this threat, urging the Lebanese people to rally behind the Lebanese Army and security forces.

Sayyed Nasrallah Hits back at Netanyahu

His eminence then hit back at Netanyahu claims that a facility south of Beirut allegedly contains Hezbollah missiles, calling on media outlets to tour the area.

“Lebanese media outlets are called upon to tour in the area at 22:00 today in a bid to refute Netanyahu’s lies.”

“We position our missiles neither in Beirut Port nor near a gas station, we know very well where can we preserve our rockets,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated, referring to similar claims by Israeli media shortly after the deadly explosion at Beirut Port on August 4.

Tackling the state of alert on the Lebanese-Palestinian border, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated an earlier threat to retaliate to the martyrdom of Hezbollah fighter Ali Mohsen in Damascus earlier in July.

“Israeli occupation army has been on alert at the border with Lebanon for more than two months in the longest period of mobilization since 1948.”

Ex-PMs Setting Conditions on Gov’t Formation

Turning to the government issue, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah has been facilitating the formation of the new government following the resignation of caretaker PM Hassan Diab’s government earlier last month.

He said that four ex-PMs Saad Hariri, Fuad Siniora, Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam formed a club in which they were setting conditions on Hezbollah and his allies, noting that they were leading the negotiations in this regard instead of the PM-designate Mustapha Adib, who recused himself from his mission last Saturday.

His eminence mentioned some of the conditions set by the ex-PMs: number of ministers in the government will be limited to 14, portfolios will be rotated and the ministers will be named by them.

In addition to taking the role of the PM-designate, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the four ex-PMs were also going beyond the authority of President Michel Aoun who has the right to take part in the formation process.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Hezbollah repeatedly asked the ex-PMs if such conditions were stipulated by the French initiative, noting that the answer was no.

Excluding Hezbollah from the Gov’t ‘Out of Question’

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that Hezbollah did not agree on the process of naming the ministers, stressing that the Resistance party did not commit to follow a random government and to hand over the country to it.

In this issue his eminence said that Macron was asking the parliamentary majority in Lebanon to hand over the power to the minority, noting that this contradicts the principle of democracy.

Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed here that Hezbollah won’t accept to be excluded from the government, noting that this behavior aimed at defending the back of the resistance in the country and at preventing further collapse of Lebanon on the economic and financial levels.

Betrayal Accusations ‘Rejected’

Hezbollah S.G. hit back at Macron, rejecting his latest remarks when he accused the Lebanese parties of ‘betrayal and blamed Hezbollah and Amal movement of foiling the French initiative.

Sayyed Nasrallah then addressed Macron by saying: “We did not attack any one, we defended our land against the Israeli occupier. We went to Syria upon the request of the government there to fight those militants whom your state consider terrorists.”

“What are the promises which we did not keep? Our credibility and sincerity is well known to our enemies and our friends. Betrayal accusations are unacceptable and condemned.”

“If you want to know who foiled your initiative look for the US which imposed sanctions, and look for Saudi King Salman and his speech at the United Nations General Assembly,” Sayyed Nasrallah said addressing the French president.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that Hezbollah stance since the beginning of the French initiative was to welcome and to facilitate such efforts, but stressed that Macron’s rhetoric of superiority is not accepted.

“You are welcome as a friend and an ally, not as a guardian and prosecutor who defends the interest of certain Lebanese camp,” the Hezbollah S.G. said.

He concluded this part of his speech by maintaining that Hezbollah is still committed to the French initiative, voicing readiness to hold discussions in this regard “but on base of respect.”

Bahraini People and Deals with ‘Israel’

Sayyed Nasrallah then praised the Bahraini people who took to streets to protest against the Manama regime’s decision to hold so-called peace deal with the Zionist entity.

“We appreciate the moves of the Bahraini people who despite oppression by the regime took to streets and voiced opposition to any deal with the Israeli enemy.”

Hi eminence also said that Hezbollah relies on the stance of the people of the Arab countries and their popular will to oppose their regimes and refuse deals with the Israeli enemy.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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The House of Saud Struggles to Normalize Ties with “Israel” As It Sinks in the Yemeni Swamp

The House of Saud Struggles to Normalize Ties with “Israel” As It Sinks in the Yemeni Swamp

By Staff

The father and son relationship between Saudi King Salman and his son the Crown Prince – Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] – is at crossroads regarding the methods in which normalization with the apartheid “Israeli” entity would occur; though the sand kingdom is over its head regarding the consequences of the brutal war it waged on Yemen.

MBS is interested in a normalization with the entity, while King Salman likes the so-called “Arab Peace Initiative”, but the war in Yemen and threats to the Crown Prince at home are keeping them busy.

In a rare speech this week, Salman said Saudi Arabia still adheres to the so-called “Arab Peace Initiative”, which conditions normalization on an “Israeli” withdrawal to the 1967 lines and the establishment of a Palestinian state. But MBS wants to speed up normalization as part of his strategic and, above all, economic vision.

In his speech, King Salman focused on regional affairs: Iran and the “Israeli”-Palestinian so-called “peace” process – though he never mentioned the “Israeli’ entity’s normalization with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Was he trying to prove that he’s still in control of his kingdom and that he still sets foreign policy? Is this an intergenerational dispute, pitting the son’s project against the father’s traditional attitudes?

Saudi Arabia’s decision-making processes are enigmatic, as are relationships among members of the royal family and the kingdom’s domestic and foreign-policy considerations.

Yet, Saudi-“Israeli” normalization – which Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser announced will be happening very soon – seemed to be delayed.

Moreover, it’s not clear whether the delay is a matter of principle – that is, until a Palestinian state arises, or at least until “Israeli”-Palestinian negotiations resume – as King Salman said, or only a temporary one, until MBS manages to persuade him.

The difference in the two royals’ positions also raises another question. Saudi Arabia has provided an umbrella for the latest “peace” deals. Not only did it not condemn them, it praised the UAE and Bahrain for taking this step, which was coordinated with MBS, and opened its airspace to flights to and from the “Israeli” entity.

Not to mention, the public opinion in Saudi Arabia for a historic turnabout in the sand kingdom’s relationship with the “Israeli” entity is being paved.

Though, one issue stays unresolved.

It’s clear that Riyadh need to make peace with Washington, either before or as part of a deal with the “Israeli” entity. The main dispute between them is the war in Yemen, which began after King Salman was crowned in 2015.

In this war, the Saudi and UAE armies have treated Yemen’s civilian population brutally and used American weapons to do so. More than 125,000 people have been martyred, including 14,000 who were killed in deliberate attacks on civilian targets.

Hence, the Saudis’ aggression on Yemen has reappeared on the Washington agenda due to a partially classified report on US involvement in the conflict written by the State Department’s inspector general. The document’s unclassified sections, which were reported in the American media, reveal the magnitude of war crimes by Saudi and Emirati forces and their mercenaries, to the point that the US faces a risk of prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

Oona Hathaway, a former Department of Defense lawyer and now a Yale professor, told The New York Times: “If I were in the State Department, I would be freaking out about my potential for liability. I think anyone who’s involved in this program should get themselves a lawyer.”

Public and international pressure led Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, to freeze an arms deal with Riyadh in 2016 as a way of pressuring the Saudis to change their tactics in Yemen. One year later, Trump reversed that decision and opened the floodgates of US arms sales to the Saudis.

To Trump, Saudi Arabia, he said, has “nothing but cash,” which it uses to buy American services, protection and other goods. Regarding the slaughter of civilians in Yemen, he said the Saudis “don’t know how to use” American weapons.

Congress didn’t believe Trump’s explanations, and in April 2019, it passed a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to US military involvement in Yemen. Trump vetoed the resolution and circumvented the ban on arms sales to Riyadh by declaring a state of emergency over Iran, which allowed him to continue complying with Saudi requests.

The US government did budget $750 million to train Saudi soldiers and pilots on fighting in populated areas, with the goal of reducing harm to civilians. It also gave the Saudis a list of 33,000 targets they shouldn’t strike. But the Saudis don’t seem to have been overly impressed, and violations continue to this day.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the UAE understood the dangers of its involvement in the war in Yemen and withdrew its forces, overcoming the ban on selling it F-35 fighter jets and other arms. It then overcame the “Israeli” obstacle by signing this month’s so-called “peace” deal.

MBS, who started the war in Yemen along with his father, is still wallowing in the Yemeni swamp that has complicated his relationship with the US. And that’s on top of his resounding failures in managing the Kingdom’s foreign policy, like forcing then-Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign, imposing a blockade on Qatar, waging an unsuccessful oil war with Russia that sent prices plummeting and abandoning the Palestinian issue.

Domestic issues haven’t gone that well for MBS either. His Vision 2030 is stumbling. The Kingdom’s treasury has had problems funding megalomaniac projects like his city of the future, which is supposed to involve three countries (Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan), diversify Saudi Arabia’s sources of income and reduce its dependence on oil. So far, it remains on paper.

He did boast an impressive achievement in the war on corruption when he detained dozens of billionaires at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and shook them down, but this was more about squeezing his political rivals’ windpipes than fighting corruption.

Accordingly, MBS can only envy his friend, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed [MBZ], the UAE’s de facto ruler who extricated his country from the war in Yemen and became Washington’s darling – not only because he normalized ties with the “Israeli” entity. And above all, he isn’t surrounded by hostile relatives.

So the question arises: Did all this happen in defiance of Salman’s wishes?

MBS who according to US intelligence didn’t hesitate to put his own mother under house arrest and keep her away from his father for fear she would work against him – may also prove to be someone who doesn’t see obeying his parents as a cardinal virtue. King Salman may be able to give speeches in support of the Palestinians, but his son, as defense minister, has the power to stage a coup against his father if he thinks this will serve him or his agenda, which might yet include normalizing ties with “Israeli” entity.

Why the Middle East “peace agreements” will fail to achieve their purpose

Why the Middle East “peace agreements” will fail to achieve their purpose

September 25, 2020

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

This week, a third Arab country has reportedly agreed to submit to Washington’s pressure to normalize relations with the Zionist state. This was very much expected and I’m sure it didn’t catch most observers by surprise. In the end, I expect most of the shameful Arab League to submit since it is known that most of them have had secret dealings with the Zionist state since many years, if not decades ago. So why come out of the closet now? What is the purpose of these “peace agreements?”

Personal I find it rather humorous that they are calling these deals “peace agreements” since peace agreements are signed by countries who have been at war, not long-standing allies who have never fired a single bullet towards each other. But the purpose of these deals are unfortunately not to make us laugh, but to intimidate.

Washington has realized that it cannot remain in the Middle East for ever. This is not because the Islamic Republic of Iran has vowed to expel them, but because reality has finally caught up to them. They are hated in this region, every act of terror that they commit against the people of this region, be it through sanctions or bombs- will attract more support for the Resistance Axis, the only force that truly fights them in the Middle East.

Moreover, their own people have grown tired of these constant wars and acts of terror overseas, and with a 22 trillion dollar debt, their economy is no longer what it used to be. On top of that, they’ve been humiliated by their own allies on the world stage, who refuse to re-impose sanctions and embargoes on the Islamic Republic – despite the constant threats issued by the likes of Mike Pompeo.

Taking a step back from its traditional role of lead terrorizer of the world is also an outspoken foreign policy issue for US President Donald Trump. Trump has on many occasions made it clear that he considers many of Washington’s allies to be “free-riding” on Washington’s “generosity”. He has repeatedly told his NATO allies that they “must pay” for Washington’s supposed protection. The same has been said about Washington’s Persian Gulf vassals. I know some people would say these statements by Trump are just excuses to redeploy US troops closer to Russia and China, but if we play with the idea that Trump perhaps isn’t the 5-dimensional chess player that some believe him to be, I would say this:

Trump has been an outspoken critic of Washington’s role in the Middle East. He even admitted himself that Washington has killed “hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East” and that “the single greatest mistake we ever made was to go to the Middle East”.

So this takes us back to the so called “peace agreements”. Both the timing and the way they were presented by the media gives us many clues as to what Washington’s intentions are. Western diplomats, think tanks and journalists have been quick to call the “peace agreements” a “nightmare for Iran” and a “a major geo-strategic shift in the region”. Brian Hook, the former US State Department’s lead official on Iran, said the “agreement amounted to a ‘nightmare’ for Iran in its efforts against Israel in the region.” But why? What is their reasoning?

At first glance, if one were to follow the Western narrative, it would seem that Washington’s allies have all united against the Islamic Republic and now stand to offer a collective deterrence against Iran. But anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of Middle Eastern politics would reach the same conclusions that were stated above – peace agreements are signed by countries who have been at war, not long-standing allies who have never fired a single bullet towards each other.

Of course the timing for President Trump is also perfect. A few months before the US elections, he presents his own version of the Camp David Accords, which resulted in the normalization of relations between Israel and Egypt in 1978. He will certainly portray this as a great political victory for him at home.

But what Washington is really doing is merely posturing. This is what they’ve been doing for over 4 decades against the Islamic Republic. For Washington this will be a great way to exit the region without being thrown out and without compromising Israel’s security. But they’re not kidding themselves, they know that nothing has changed and that this is just more of a PR stunt than it is a “diplomatic coup”. Let’s be honest, no country will ever fear Bahrain or the UAE, and Washington knows this. Collectively the Arab League’s military forces would offer little resistance in a regional war against the Resistance Axis. These are the same Arab League armies that cannot even defeat the Houthis in Yemen despite massive Western assistance. Not only are they extremely incompetent, as proven on multiple occasions in Yemen where the Saudi Air Force has bombed their own forces on the ground, but they are also cowards, again proven in Yemen where Saudi forces have been filmed abandoning their superior US-made vehicles and running away from the field of battle.

It would seem that Washington’s eventual withdrawal from the Middle East is to the detriment of Israel’s interests rather than to the benefit. Unless of course we forget that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and that it probably won’t be long before the US and Israel will arm Saudi Arabia with Nuclear Weapons to target Iran. But still, the secret dealings between Israel and “some Arab states” as Zionist Chieftain Benjamin Netanyahu said years ago, the not-so-secret Israeli Nuclear Weapons arsenal and the fact that Washington’s potential “taking a step back” policy does not really mean that it wouldn’t come to the aid of Israel in a matter of minutes, don’t really strike anyone in the region as “shocking news”.

So what have these “Peace Agreements” really shown us? Nothing really. We all knew this day would come eventually. They were cautious when they sent the UAE and Bahrain out of the closet first, dipping their toes into the water to see the reaction of the people in the region. Seeing how the Arab league and most other countries didn’t really react with outrage, they are now sending more countries to step out and admit their shameful alliance with Israel. Really, the only thing that the Gulf monarchies have achieved is to write their own names into the history books as the shameful allies of a terrorist state. We have yet to see [at the time of writing 2020-09-25] which country will be the “third Arab state” to sign the agreement with the Zionist state, but it matters not, camps were chosen long ago despite not having been declared officially by some countries.

My bets are on Morocco by the way.

Sudan in The Footsteps of Emirates: Normalization for Wheat and Oil السودان على خطى الإمارات: التطبيع مقابل القمــح والنفط

Sudan in The Footsteps of Emirates: Normalization for Wheat and Oil

By Mai Ali – Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by Staff

Quickly encouraged by the US and UAE, Sudan is about to normalize relations with “Israel”, in the light of a civilian-military agreement to move in that direction, after the transitional government had tried to suggest that it had nothing to do with this issue. The marathon negotiations that aim to finalize the normalization file are held in Abu-Dhabi, in the middle of many American baits to Khartoum, starting with lifting sanctions and freeing it from the “foolishness” of terrorism.

Khartoum | In the midst of silence on the part of the transitional government, the head of Sudan’s “Sovereignty Council”, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, engaged in three party-negotiations in Abu-Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates [UAE], which involved, together with Sudan, the US and UAE. The negotiations treated a specific agenda that primarily included normalizing relations between Khartoum and Tel Aviv.

Although Abdallah Hamdok’s government washed it hands of the meeting between Burhan and the “Israeli” Prime Minister Netanyahu in Uganda’s Entebbe seven months ago, the presence of the Minister of Justice, Nasruddin Abdul Bari, among the delegation headed by al-Burhan in Abu-Dhabi two days ago, created a remarkable paradox. It comes especially that Abdul Bari has engaged, immediately upon arrival to the Emirati capital, in direct negotiations with a US administration team about lifting sanctions on Sudan, supporting the transitional period, exempting Sudan from American debts, and urging the “friendly” States to take similar steps towards it.

Thus, it appeared, for the first time, that there was obvious and public harmony between the civilian government and military component, especially after the head of Sudan’s “Sovereignty Council” had met, at his office last week, with the Minister of Justice, before they went to the UAE where they discussed the legal issues concerning lifting sanctions that the US has been imposing on Sudan since 1977 and removing Sudan from “the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism”. They also discussed the measures that these actions could require, and that Abdul Bari had started earlier by holding meetings with officials and jurists in Washington, which resulted in Sudan’s government approval for paying financial compensations for the families of the victims of the American destroyer “USS Cole”.

Concerning what observers considered to be a distribution of roles, Minister of Information, Muhammad Saleh, denied that the ministerial delegation accompanying al-Burhan had the mandate to discuss normalization with “Israel”, reiterating that the transitional government didn’t have any authorization by the Legislative Council to take decisions in such matters, which are among the tasks of an elected government. He added that the ministerial delegation was in Abu-Dhabi just to discuss removing Sudan from the “list of State Sponsors of Terrorism” and lifting economic sanctions on Sudan.

The head of Sudan’s “Sovereignty Council” is trying to promulgate that a country under sanctions could never dispose of them unless it normalizes with “Israel”. He had already justified his meeting with Netanyahu last February by saying that it was on the basis of “his responsibility and sense that hard work was crucial to maintain Sudan’s national security and ensure the highest interests of Sudanese people.”

This time, the proof seems clearer. He set the price that he wants in return for accepting normalization. It consists of a financial support worth $1,2 billion, earmarked for wheat and oil; a $2 billion grant or a 25-year loan; a commitment to provide Khartoum with economic aid from the UAE and the US; and the removal of Sudan from “the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism”, which was at the forefront of the Sudanese delegation’s demands. Some analysts considered that these demands were like a bait that the administration of US President, Donald Trump, threw to the Sudanese government to push it towards accepting normalization. In this context, a diplomatic source described, in a conversation with “al-Akhbar”, what the US was doing as a “notorious and exposed political blackmail”, and added that, however “Washington and Tel Aviv have wanted to obtain normalization at no cost”. The source added that “the military component was moving towards normalization, and it seemed that the civilian government had accepted on condition that it receives a cost, in other words, if normalization had a price, there would not be anything wrong with it.”

Trump’s administration is active, at the very highest level, to finalize the file concerning normalizing relations between Khartoum and Tel Aviv. This was obvious since the visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to Sudan last month, which fell within the frenetic endeavors of the current administration to ensure benefits that would help its President to achieve additional points in the expected electoral race. Thus, this administration scrambled to circumvent any possible pretext that Hamdok’s government might use, noted that the efforts of its broker, i.e. the Emirati ally, were early focused on the military component in the “Sovereignty Council”, on the grounds that the military was the closest to the UAE since the era of the former regime. Accordingly, there is concern that the current path leads to, as well as to open the door to “Israel”, enhance the Emirati intervention in Sudanese internal affairs. This is what the diplomatic source describes saying that “what the UAE was doing was more than intervention; Abu-Dhabi was leading and making decisions concerning the Sudanese affairs”, pointing out that “the military was, with or without knowledge, following the UAE that was pushing it towards finalizing the normalization file.”

السودان على خطى الإمارات: التطبيع مقابل القمــح والنفط

مي علي

الأربعاء 23 أيلول 2020

السودان على خطى الإمارات: التطبيع مقابل القمــح والنفط
الخروج من شرنقة العقوبات لا يكون إلّا من بوابة التطبيع وفق ما يروّج له رئيس «مجلس السيادة» (أ ف ب )

بدفعٍ أميركي – إماراتي حثيث، يقترب السودان، أكثر فأكثر، من تطبيع علاقاته مع إسرائيل، في ظلّ توافق مدني – عسكري على المضيّ في هذا الاتجاه، بعدما حاولت الحكومة الانتقالية الإيحاء بأن لا يدَ لها في ذلك. المفاوضات الماراثونية الهادفة إلى حسم ملفّ التطبيع السوداني منعقدة في أبو ظبي، وسط كثرة الطعوم الأميركية الملقاة إلى الخرطوم، وفي مقدّمها رفع العقوبات عنها وتخليصها من «لوثة» الإرهابالخرطوم | وسط صمت من جانب الحكومة الانتقالية، ينخرط رئيس «مجلس السيادة» السوداني، عبد الفتاح البرهان، في مباحثات ثلاثية في العاصمة الإماراتية أبو ظبي، تضمّ، إلى جانب السودان، كلّاً من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والإمارات، وتتناول أجندة محدّدة، على رأسها ملفّ تطبيع العلاقات بين الخرطوم وتل أبيب. وعلى رغم تنصّل حكومة عبد الله حمدوك، سابقاً، من اللقاء الذي جمع البرهان برئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي، بنيامين نتنياهو، في عنتيبي الأوغندية قبل سبعة أشهر، إلّا أن حضور وزير العدل، نصر الدين عبد الباري، ضمن وفد البرهان الموجود منذ يومين في أبو ظبي، يمثّل مفارقة لافتة، وخصوصاً أن عبد الباري انخرط، فور وصوله الى العاصمة الإماراتية، في تفاوض مباشر مع فريق مِن الإدارة الأميركية موجود هناك حول رفع العقوبات عن السودان، ودعم الفترة الانتقالية فيه، وإعفائه من الديون الأميركية، وحثّ الدول «الصديقة» على اتخاذ خطوات مماثلة تجاهه.

هكذا، بدا، هذه المرّة، أن ثمّة تناغماً واضحاً وعلنياً بين الحكومة المدنية والمكوّن العسكري، ولا سيما بعدما اجتمع رئيس «مجلس السيادة»، في مكتبه الأسبوع الماضي، بوزير العدل، قبل ذهابهما إلى الإمارات، وتباحثا في المسائل القانونية في ما يخصّ رفع العقوبات الاقتصادية التي تفرضها الولايات المتحدة على السودان منذ عام 1997، إلى جانب إزالة اسم السودان من «قائمة الدول الراعية للإرهاب»، وما يستدعيه ذلك من خطوات إجرائية كان قد بدأها عبد الباري، في وقت سابق، بعقده لقاءات مع مسؤولين وقانونيين في واشنطن، تَمخّضت عنها موافقة الحكومة السودانية على دفع تعويضات ماليّة لأسر ضحايا المدمّرة الأميركية «كول». وفي ما عدّه مراقبون نوعاً من توزيع الأدوار، خرج وزير الإعلام، فيصل محمد صالح، لينفي أن يكون الوفد الوزاري المرافِق للبرهان يحمل تفويضاً بمناقشة التطبيع مع إسرائيل، مكرّراً القول إن الحكومة الانتقالية لا تحمل تفويضاً من المجلس التشريعي يمنحها الحق في اتّخاذ قرارات مماثلة، وإن تلك القرارات من اختصاصات الحكومة المنتخبة. وأضاف صالح إن الوفد الوزاري الموجود في أبو ظبي ذهب لبحث رفع اسم السودان من «قائمة الإرهاب» ورفع العقوبات الاقتصادية عنه.

مصدر دبلوماسي: ما تقوم به الولايات المتحدة «ابتزاز سياسي مفضوح»


على أن الخروج من شرنقة العقوبات لا يكون إلّا من بوابة التطبيع وفق ما يروّج له رئيس «مجلس السيادة»، والذي سبق أن برّر لقاءه نتنياهو في شباط/ فبراير الماضي بأنه جاء انطلاقاً من «مسؤوليته واستشعاره بأهمية العمل الدؤوب لحفظ أمن الأمن الوطني السوداني وصيانته، وتحقيق المصالح العليا للشعب السوداني». أمّا هذه المرّة، فقد بدا البرهان أكثر وضوحاً، إذ وضع أمام مفاوضيه الثمن الذي يطلبه مقابل الموافقة على التطبيع، والمُتمثّل في دعم مالي قيمته 1,2 مليار دولار مخصّص للنفط والقمح، ومليارا دولار في صورة منحة أو قرض لمدة 25 عاماً، بالإضافة إلى الالتزام بتقديم مساعدات اقتصادية إماراتية وأميركية للخرطوم، فضلاً عن إزالة اسم السودان من «لائحة الإرهاب»، والتي تتصدّر مطالب الوفد السوداني. مطالبُ اعتبرها محلّلون بمثابة الطُّعْم الذي رمت به إدارة الرئيس الأميركي، دونالد ترامب، للحكومة السودانية لدفعها إلى قبول التطبيع. وفي هذا الإطار، يصف مصدر دبلوماسي، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، ما تقوم به الولايات المتحدة بـ»الابتزاز السياسي المفضوح وغير الخفيّ»، مستدركاً بأن «واشنطن وتل أبيب تريدان الحصول على التطبيع من دون دفع أيّ شيء مقابل ذلك». ويضيف المصدر إن «المكوّن العسكري الآن يمضي في اتجاه التطبيع، والحكومة المدنية يبدو أنها وافقت مقابل أن تقبض الثمن، بمعنى أنه إذا وُجد مقابل للتطبيع فلا بأس في ذلك».

وتنشط إدارة ترامب، على أعلى المستويات، لإنهاء ملفّ تطبيع العلاقات بين الخرطوم وتل أبيب. وهو ما بدا واضحاً منذ الزيارة التي أجراها وزير الخارجية الأميركي، مايك بومبيو، إلى السودان، الشهر الماضي، والتي تندرج في إطار المساعي المحمومة للإدارة الحالية لتحقيق مكاسب تساعد رئيسها في تحقيق نقاط إضافية في السباق الانتخابي المنتظر. ولذا، سارعت هذه الإدارة إلى الالتفاف على أيّ حجج يمكن أن تتذرّع بها حكومة حمدوك، علماً بأن جهود وسيطها، أي الحليف الإماراتي، انصبّت باكراً في اتجاه المكوّن العسكري في «المجلس السيادي»، على اعتبار أن العسكر كانوا هم الأقرب إلى الإمارات منذ عهد النظام السابق. ومن هنا، يُخشى أن يؤدي المسار الحالي، فضلاً عن فتح الأبواب لإسرائيل، إلى تعزيز حضور الإمارات في الشأن الداخلي السوداني. وهو ما يعبّر عنه مصدر دبلوماسي بالقول إن «ما تقوم به الإمارات تَعدّى مرحلة التدخل إلى مرحلة أصبحت فيها أبو ظبي تقود وتقرّر في الشأن السوداني»، مشيراً إلى أن «العسكريين منقادون خلفها بعلم منهم أو من دون علم، وتدفعهم الحماسة إلى إنهاء ملفّ التطبيع».

 اشترك في «الأخبار» على يوتيوب هنامن ملف : ربيع إسرائيل في أفريقيا: السودان على خطى الإمارات

Analyst: An Islamic and United Front against Normalization

Analyst: An Islamic and United Front against Normalization

By Nour Rida

There has been recent agreements between the UAE and Bahrain with ‘Israel’ to open formal diplomatic ties as total departure from the Arab consensus over the resolution of the Palestinian issue. ‘Israel’ and the UAE on August 13 reached a deal that will lead to full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two sides, in an agreement apparently brokered by US President Donald Trump. Bahrain also signed the controversial and US-brokered normalization agreements with ‘Israel’ during a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday.

Commenting on the matter, political analyst and expert on Palestinian affairs, and also professor at the University of Tehran Dr. Hadi Borhani told al-Ahed news “At a certain point, all the countries of this region had opposed the presence of the ‘Israeli’ entity in the Middle East and this totally makes sense. ‘Israel’ and the ‘Israelis’ do not belong to the Middle East, they came from thousands of kilometers away from Europe. Their issue was an issue with Europe to begin with, and the British colonialists were the ones who exported this issue to the Middle East by bringing the ‘Israelis’ to the region. The people of the region are well aware of the Sikes-Picot agreement, the Balfour declaration issued by the British government and they saw with their bare eyes how ‘Israel’ occupied Arab and Muslim lands, kicked out its people and removed Palestine off the world map.”

According to the analyst, every person who has reason understands the ‘Israeli’ project and its aggressions and acknowledges it is an occupation. “The majority of the people of the region do enjoy this sense of reason and have eyes that see the reality, including regular people and rulers and officials. This is the general atmosphere. However, some country rulers and governments were pushed into this treason, as ‘Israel’ exploits their weakness points. The major issue in the region, in my opinion, is that Arab governments are busy accusing each other of extremism, westernization, and orientalism and turned these conflict with ‘Israeli’ to one among themselves.”

He went on to explain “You see this in the wars between Arab nationalism and Arab kingdoms, Islamist versus nationalist, etc. If these countries try to respect each other and put differences aside, then they can remain united in face of the ‘Israeli’ occupation and presence in the region. We also see pressure put on Egypt by cutting off the Nile waters, and on Sudan by promising it will be removed off the list of supporters of terrorism if it acknowledges ‘Israel’ as an independent state, and so on.”

Dr. Borhani also noted that “The region does not stand in a right position. If the governments of the region do not wake up and decide to take a serious stance on the presence of the ‘Israeli’ occupation, then the situation will keep deteriorating and it will take the region into historical misery. The countries of this region must be able to see and understand the history of this issue well and make a serious decision to get out of this cycle of humiliation. The first step towards such an accomplishment would be to recognize each other’s existence and differences in opinion and position. The countries of the region must avoid division and enmity and find areas of cooperation and synergy.”

As the expert expresses, “According to Imam Khomeini, if Muslims do not disperse, and unite together, and each one of them pours a bucket of water on ‘Israel’ that would be enough to solve the problem. But without such cooperation, even the most advanced weapons cannot do anything because these weapons are used to weaken each other and that strengthens ‘Israel.’”

Touching on Kuwait’s stance, Dr. Borhani praised Kuwait for its good position on the Palestinian issue. “Kuwait’s relations with Palestine are rooted in history. This position is not only limited to its rejection to the normalization with ‘Israel’ today. Many Palestinian refugees grew up in Kuwait. Many pro-Palestinian organizations were supported by Kuwait as well. This all goes back to the status of Kuwait; its democracy is the best among the GCC and many Arab league countries. Also, the Assembly of the nation of Kuwait is a real assembly and that makes the voice of the people heard. The majority of people in Kuwait oppose ‘Israeli’ presence, and so the resistance against ‘Israel’ will continue in that small country. Moreover, Kuwait is a country of education and culture and this matters a lot. Hence, we can say that the Kuwaiti people are aware of the history of the region and the history of colonization and the occupation of Palestine. This awareness for sure has a positive effect on Kuwait’s position on the Palestinian issue and all Arab countries should follow its lead.” 

As for Iran’s position, Dr. Borhani said that Iran is the most important provider of security in the Persian Gulf. “The security of the Gulf waterway is vital for Iran and the region. ‘Israel’s’ presence in these waters is a matter of concern and could affect the security of the region. Iran has made it clear to the UAE and Bahrain that the countries that provided the ground for ‘Israel’ are responsible for any insecurity and disturbance in the region.”

In terms of Iran’s position, the analyst concluded that “Iran must avoid unilateralism and take positions that are supported and approved by Arab nations and the countries of the region. Iran must enter into serious cooperation with Arab countries to counter the normalization of relations and form an Islamic front against normalization. Many countries in the region oppose normalization. Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Palestine and other countries are in this group.”

Algerian President: Palestinian Cause Remains Sacred (VIDEO)

September 24, 2020

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. (Photo: File)

The right of the Palestinian people to have a state with Jerusalem as its capital is not subject to bargain, the Algerian president said on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s remarks came at a speech he delivered at the 75th UN General Assembly via video link.

“The Palestinian cause remains a sacred cause for Algeria and its people,” Tebboune said.

He went on to express firm support for the Palestinian people and their “inalienable” right to establish their independent, sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital.

On Sept. 15, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel at the White House; ignoring the Palestinian rejection. Yet, Riyadh has not declared its rejection or support for these agreements.

Tebboune also stressed in his speech the need to accelerate a comprehensive UN reform to improve its performance and to ensure fair representation of the African continent in the Security Council in line with the Sirte Declaration.

The African Union summit held in Sirte, Libya, in 2005 came out with the Sirte Declaration calling for a comprehensive UN reform and ensuring representation of the continent in the Security Council with two permanent and five non-permanent seats.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Road to Saudi Ties with ‘Israel’ Being Paved, Cautiously

Road to Saudi Ties with ‘Israel’ Being Paved, Cautiously

By Staff, AP

Although Saudi Arabia has made its official position on the region’s longest-running conflict clear, claiming that full ties between the kingdom and the Zionist entity can only happen when ‘peace’ is reached with the Palestinians, state-backed Saudi media and clerics are signaling change is already underway with ‘Israel.’

It is a matter that can only happen under the directives of the country’s heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS].

“It’s no secret there’s a generational conflict,” said New York-based Rabbi Marc Schneier, who serves as an advisor to Bahrain’s king and has held talks in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to promote stronger ties with the ‘Israeli’ entity.

Gulf capitals have been increasingly looking to the Palestine-occupier entity as an ally to defend against common rival Iran amid quiet concerns about the direction of US foreign policy and the uncertainty around the upcoming presidential election. But it’s not only countering Iran that’s brought ‘Israel’ and Arab states closer in recent years.

The rabbi said the former Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman, told him that the top priority of his brother, MBS, is reforming the Saudi economy.

“He said these exact words: ‘We will not be able to succeed without ‘Israel’.’ So for the Saudis, it’s not a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when.’ And there’s no doubt that they will establish relations with ‘Israel’,” Schneier said.

Prominent Saudi royal, Prince Turki al-Faisal, insisted that “any talk of a rift between the king and the crown prince is mere speculation.”

“We’ve seen none of that,” said the prince, who served for years as head of intelligence and briefly as ambassador to the US.

In a phone call with US President Donald Trump on September 6, King Salman repeated his commitment to the Arab ‘Peace’ Initiative, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The initiative offers ‘Israel’ normal ties with Arab states in return for Palestinian statehood on territory the Zionist entity occupied in 1967 — a deal that starkly contradicts the Trump administration’s Middle East so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.

When the White House announced last month the United Arab Emirates and ‘Israel’ agreed to establish full diplomatic ties — a move matched by Bahrain weeks later — Saudi Arabia refrained from criticizing the deal or hosting summits condemning the decision, despite Palestinian requests to do so.

It also approved the use of Saudi airspace for ‘Israeli’ flights to the UAE, a decision announced the day after Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, met with Prince Mohammed in Riyadh. Kushner has been pushing Arab states to normalize ties with the Zionist entity.

Prince Turki said Arab states should demand a high price for normalizing ties with ‘Israel.’ He said ‘Israel’ remains “the stumbling block in all of these efforts.”

Relatively, Raghida Dergham, a longtime Arab columnist and co-chair with Prince Turki of the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi, said younger generations in the Middle East want normality rather than a confiscation of ambitions and dreams.

“They want solutions not a perpetuation of rejection,” said Dergham, whose Beirut Institute e-policy circles have tackled questions about the future of the region and its youth.

When the UAE-‘Israel’ deal was announced in August, the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Saudi Arabia was against normalization with ‘Israel.’ Still, public criticism in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain has largely been muted, in part because these governments suppress free speech.

“It is very hard to get accurate data, even when polling people,” said Yasmine Farouk, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Farouk said public opinion on ‘Israel’ in Saudi Arabia is diverse and complex, with opinions varying among different age groups and among liberals and conservatives. She said there is an effort to prepare the Saudi public for change and to shape public debate around ‘Israel.’

As Saudi Arabia prepares to mark its 90th National Day on Wednesday, clerics across the country were directed to deliver sermons about the importance of obeying the ruler to preserve unity and peace.

Earlier this month, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, delivered another state-backed sermon on the importance of dialogue in international relations and kindness to non-Muslims, specifically mentioning Jews.

He concluded by saying the Palestinian cause must not be forgotten, but his words caused a stir on social media, with many seeing the remarks as further evidence of the groundwork being laid for Saudi-‘Israeli’ ties.

The English-language Saudi daily, Arab News, which has been featuring op-eds by rabbis, changed its social media banner on Twitter this past Friday to say “Shana Tova,” the Jewish New Year greeting.

Palestinians Fear Cost Of Arab States’ Normalization with ‘Israel’: PA Quits Arab League Chairmanship

Palestinians Fear Cost Of Arab States’ Normalization with ‘Israel’

By Staff, The Guardian

Diplomatic breakthroughs between the Zionist entity and Gulf monarchies have revealed fissures in the relationship between Palestine and Arab governments, raising questions over whether they can still be relied on to champion the Palestinian cause.

For years, the Zionist occupation regime has vigorously pursued ties with the Arab world, focusing on powerful Gulf countries with whom it shares a ‘common enemy’ in Iran and who crave its hi-tech security and espionage products.

Last week, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed accords with the ‘Israeli’ entity at a White House ceremony to establish an open business and diplomatic relationship.

The public ties smashed apart widespread isolation of the ‘Israeli’ entity in the region – a decades-old policy the Palestinian leadership saw as vital leverage in its struggle for independence.

“We definitely feel betrayed,” said senior Palestinian politician Saeb Erekat, condemning the deals as a “tremendous encouragement for the ‘Israeli’ government to continue their occupation”.

Relatively, US President Donald Trump said several more Arab states would soon announce their intention to sign similar deals, suggesting a more substantive shift.

In the West Bank and Gaza, the Washington-dubbed so-called “Abraham accords” did not come as a surprise, but still hurt.

“Relationships are based on pure interest. Nobody cares about the Palestinian issue,” said Shadi Abu Samra, a 35-year-old social worker from the city of Ramallah. “I am not at all astonished. It was expected one day. There have been relations for a long time between ‘Israel’ and the Gulf states.”

Dalia Karazon, a mathematics teacher from the same city, said she was frustrated that the UAE and Bahrain claimed the accords would help the Palestinians. “They can do whatever they want, but they should not relate that to our interest, because our interest is to end the occupation and not reconcile with it.”

Arafat al-Daf, a 21-year-old student from Gaza, said the move simply added to Palestinian disappointment, “from ourselves, from the Arabs, from the world”.

Palestinian officials warned that regional pressure is more critical now than it has been for years. Threats of further regional isolation, they say, helped dissuade ‘Israel’ from going ahead this summer with its much-publicized plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. “The Arabs had a major role,” said one Palestinian official on condition of anonymity.

Under the ‘Israeli’ normalization deal with the UAE, it agreed to “suspend” annexation, but critics of the deal say that clause was only added as lip service to the Palestinian issue. Meanwhile, politicians in the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories argue the annexation plan is still a priority.

PA Quits Arab League Chairmanship Unhonored to See Arab States Rush to Normalize with the Occupation

PA Quits Arab League Chairmanship: Unhonored to See Arab States Rush to Normalize with the Occupation

By Staff

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki announced Palestine’s decision to quit the post of currently leading the Arab League citing its latest conspiracy.

“What we’ve witnessed in the recent meeting reflects the Arab League’s collusion,” al-Maliki stated.

He further hinted that the United States’ attempts to drag other nations to normalize have been hindered.

The minister also pointed that the Palestinian Authority is contacting all countries to stabilize their stances and secede from the US pressure.

“We are not honored to see Arab States rushing to normalize ties with the occupation during our chairmanship of the Arab League,” he announced.

The Palestinian minister further added that the PA is following the promotion of names of countries that will imitate that Bahraini and UAE steps toward normalization.

Related

Yemeni Houthis Vow To Fight Israeli Plots As Netanyahu Signs Historic Deal With UAE, Bahrain

Yemeni Houthis Vow To Fight Israeli Plots As Netanyahu Signs Historic Deal  With UAE, Bahrain
Video

The Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis) continues pounding Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.

Late on September 17, the Yemeni Air Force loyal to the Houthi government struck Abha International Airport in the Saudi province of Asir with Samad 3 combat drones, which can be used as loitering munitions. The Houthis claimed that the strike hit a military section of the airport causing material damage and casualties among Saudi forces.

The military infrastructure in the Abha airport area and southern Saudi Arabia itself has regularly become a target of Houthi missile and drone strikes. Just during the past month, Abha International Airport was targeted by at least 4 drone and missile strikes. The Saudi capital of Riyadh and oil infrastructure in the central part of the Kingdom are also not out of danger. The Houthis demonstrated this several times during the past few years. The most recent strike on Riyadh took place just a few days ago.

The September 17 attack, together with regular strikes on other targets inside the Kingdom, showed that efforts of the Saudi Air Force to destroy missile stockpiles and launching sites in Yemen did not lead to any notable impact.

Saudi proxies fighting the Houthis on the ground are also in a state of retreat. During the past few days, they lost even more positions south of the Marib provincial capital retreating from Najd al-Majmaa, Habisah, Ajam al-Sud and al-Atf.

The Maas Camp west of Marib city still remains in the hands of Saudi-backed forces. However, this stronghold is the last obstacle for the advancing Houthi forces in this part of the province. If the defense of pro-Saudi forces continues to crumble, the Maas Camp will be fully isolated and captured.

In the southern part of Marib province, Houthis and their local allies captured the area of Rahum. Here, the mid-term target of the Houthi advance is the town of Hurayb, located on the administrative border between the provinces of Marib and Shabwah.

It is interesting to note that the Houthi leadership recently declared that it stands against the US-promoted normalization with Israel and reaffirmed its support to Palestine. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi even stated that actions of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain contribute to Israeli plots against Muslim countries. He claimed that Yemen has become the target of the Saudi-led intervention due to Yemen’s alleged resistance to the Israeli agenda in the region.

On September 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially signed historic peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Washington. The development is a major foreign policy victory for the administration of US President Donald Trump and its Israeli allies. The event was attended by Trump himself who noted that the courage of the Israeli and Arab leaders enabled these countries “to take a major stride toward a future where people of all faiths live together in peace and prosperity.”

On the other hand, the US State Department has already declared that the UAE and Israel could forge an alliance against Iran. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, key US regional allies, will likely become a part of this effort. Therefore, the announced ‘peace and prosperity’ plan apparently includes a further strengthening of the pressure on Iran and even increases of chances of a potential military action against the republic.

The ongoing normalization campaign also triggered a new escalation in the Gaza Strip, including the exchange of strikes between Palestinian armed groups and Israel, as well as political instability in Bahrain. The population of Bahrain appears to be unhappy with the decision of the country’s leadership.

The modern Middle East could easily be compared with a powder keg that is ready to explode at any moment.

Exposing the “Gulf Israelization” كشف حساب «أسرلة الخليج»

TRANSLATION

ناصر قنديل

الأكيد أن ذهاب حكومات الإمارات والبحرين نحو اتفاقات وتفاهمات تتضمن التطبيع والتعاون الأمني مع كيان الاحتلال، وفرضية لحاق سلطنة عمان بهما، ما كان ليصير لولا الموافقة السعودية التي عبّرت عن نفسها بفتح الأجواء أمام طيران الكيان، وفي ظل تأكيدات إعلام الكيان لحجم العلاقة السعودية الإسرائيلية من جهة، وللتعاون المشترك مع السعودية والإمارات في الحرب على اليمن، وفي ظل فتوى مستغرَبة عن إمام الحرم المكي يشرّع فيه اغتصاب الأرض الفلسطينية أمام المستوطنين، متحدثاً عن حق تاريخي مزعوم يتقاطع مع الخرافة الصهيونية لأرض الميعاد. يضاف إلى ذلك ما قاله الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بعد محادثة مع الملك السعودي سلمان بن عبد العزيز، عن قرب الالتحاق السعودي بركب التطبيع ولم تنفه السعودية، رغم أنه أعاد تأكيد كلامه في حفل التوقيع، والأكيد أن صيغة تعامل الحكومات التي سارت بالتطبيع تعبر عن شعورها بالمأزق، سواء بادعاء الحديث عن مكاسب مقابلة للتطبيع تتصل بإلغاء إجراءات ضم الضفة الغربية، نفاها رئيس حكومة كيان الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو، أو ببيانات متلاحقة تتحدث عن ترابط التفاهمات التطبيعية مع التزامات أميركية وإسرائيلية بحل للقضية الفلسطينية وفقاً لصيغة الدولتين، رغم أن صفقة القرن نسفت الصيغة من جذورها، وصولاً لمستوى منخفض في التمثيل في حفل التوقيع، بغياب الملك البحريني وولي العهد الإماراتي، رغم ما يفرضه حضور الرئيس الأميركي ورئيس حكومة الكيان.

الأكيد أننا أمام أسرلة الخليج تعويضاً لفشل كيان الاحتلال في فرض محاولات تغيير التوازنات وقواعد الاشتباك على جبهات جنوب لبنان وفلسطين وسورية، والأكيد أن المكاسب الأميركية والإسرائيلية واضحة، تكتيكياً بالاستعراض الانتخابي الذي يحتاجه كل من ترامب ونتنياهو، واستراتيجياً بالتموضع على ضفاف الخليج في وجه إيران، وبينهما مكاسب اقتصادية يراهن عليها الإسرائيلي وعلى رأسها تعزيز مكانة مرفأ حيفا واستغلال غياب مرفأ بيروت عن الخريطة، في توقيت مريب لترابط الحدثين، لكن السؤالين المرادفين هما، هل هذه المكاسب تعني تحولاً في الموازين، وما هي مكاسب الحكومات الخليجية الموازية، خصوصاً أن طبيعة المشكلات التي تعصف بالكيان والمجتمع الأميركي وتحدد أولويات الناخبين لا يغير فيها الاستعراض الذي شهده البيت الأبيض، وأن مقابل هذه المكاسب من الواضح أن السياق الناتج عن مسار الأسرلة الخليجي يفتح باب ديناميكية أمنية وسياسية فلسطينية كانت الوحدة أول عناوينها، وتتجه نحو معادلة الانتفاضة الشاملة التي قالت التجارب إنها وحدها تعيد صياغة المشهد العربي الشعبي والسياسي، رغم أنف الحكومات، وبالتوازي يفتح باب متغيرات في الأمن الخليجي أبرزها سحب الوساطة الإيرانية مع أنصار الله لتحييد الإمارات من دائرة الاستهداف الناتج عن مشاركتها في الحرب على اليمن، وما قد يترتب على ضربات يمنية موجعة للإمارات، التي يصفها اليمنيون بمدن الزجاج.

في التوازنات الحاكمة للمنطقة، تقول التجارب التاريخية إن معيار القوة الأميركية والإسرائيلية يتحدد بعنوانين ثابتين، الأول هو القدرة على شن الحروب، ولا يبدو أن أحداً يتوهم إضافة لموازين القوى يمثلها ضم البحرين والإمارات لجبهة اختبرت قواها الفعلية في ذروتها بشراكة الخليج والناتو وضمنه تركيا ومعهما أميركا و»إسرائيل» في الحرب على سورية، وكانت نتيجته الفشل وتفكك حلف الحرب، والثاني هو القدرة على عزل الشعوب في المنطقة عن خيار المقاومة عبر تعزيز أوهام التفاوض والتسويات، وفرصها انطلاقاً من البوابة الفلسطينية، انطلاقاً من إدراك تاريخي لصناع القرار في واشنطن بأن وضع الشعوب في المنطقة والشعب الفلسطيني تحت مظلة وهم التفاوض والتسوية هو أكبر خدمة تقدم لكيان الاحتلال، وأن الانتقال من هذا المربع إلى إسقاط فرص التفاوض وسد أبواب التسويات، يضع شعوب المنطقة وفي مقدّمتها شعب فلسطين في طريق التوحّد وراء خيار المقاومة، ويستدرج وضعاً أشد صعوبة على كيان الاحتلال، لا يمكن لواشنطن سلوكه إلا عندما تعتقد أن كيان الاحتلال فقد قدرة التحرك، وأن مسؤولية حمايته باتت عهدة أميركية، وأن إقامة الجدران حول الكيان يجب أن تتوسّع لحدود ضمان الأمن الإسرائيلي، بوجه محور المقاومة، أسوة بجدار الفصل العنصري في فلسطين وجدران الحماية التي يتم السعي إليها في مواجهة جنوب لبنان وغزة والجولان، وصولاً لجدران الخليج الذي يتم تحويله لخط دفاع أمامي في أي مواجهة مقبلة تهدّد أمن الكيان.

التدقيق في المصالح الخليجية يكشف بوضوح ضعف الحجج التي تساق للدفاع عن اتفاقات التطبيع، ومحاولات ابتداع أسباب موجبة مصلحية، فالأمن الخليجي سيصير أشد عرضة للتهديد بدلاً من الحماية، والمصالح الاقتصادية ستكون مهددة بالطموحات والأطماع والمقدرات التي تملكها المصارف والشركات التي تملكها اللوبيات اليهودية في العالم والتي كانت تتردد باتخاذ كيان الاحتلال مقراً لها، ستتجه نحوه كمقر بما فيها تلك التي كانت تتخذ من دبي والمنامة مقراً، ومرفأ حيفا سيشطب فرص التوجه الأوروبي نحو الخليج من جداول رحلات السفن نحو جبل علي، والتماسك الداخلي سيتعرض للاهتزاز عندما يبدأ التموضع الإسرائيلي وما يرافقه من العبث، وإذا كانت إيران تتصرف قبل أسرلة الخليج بمنطق الحرص على التهدئة، فإن ما بعد الأسرلة يمنح إيران خط تماس على مرمى حجر بمشروعية كاملة مع المصالح الأميركية الإسرائيلية في ظل الكلام الخليجي الأميركي الإسرائيلي عن حلف أمني عسكري بوجه إيران.

دجاجة حفرت على راسها عفرت.

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