Grave Concern for Life of 2 Bahraini Activists behind Al-Khalifa Bars

3 Mar 2023

By Staff, Agencies

The rapid deterioration in the health condition of two prominent rights activists, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Abduljalil Al-Singace, who are serving life sentences in Bahraini jails linked to the 2011 uprising has sparked grave concern.

Al-Khawaja, 61, was sent back to prison on February 28 after security forces denied him access to a cardiologist for a serious heart-related complicacy, his daughter Maryam Al-Khawaja was quoted as saying in Bahraini media.

The rights activist, who was first arrested and put on trial in 2011 for leading peaceful protests that called for fundamental freedoms in the Gulf country, informed his daughter that he was suffering from breathing difficulties and heart palpitations.

After performing various medical tests, a doctor recommended that al-Khawaja be urgently moved to a cardiologist’s care, however, Bahraini security forces “refused to book the necessary appointment,” his daughter said.

Maryam said “a plain-clothed man” at the medical facility insisted his hands be cuffed and that he be taken back to prison.

According to his daughter, Abdul-Hadi believes the refusal to book his appointment was done to punish him because he had protested against being chained.

“I am constantly in a state of anxiety waiting for that call that something happened to my father in their notorious prison, and this latest news has now increased my anxiety tenfold,” his daughter said, concerned about her ailing father’s fate.

She said her father was “dying in their prisons” while the international community, especially the EU and Denmark, was watching it as mute spectators.

Sports Washing Brutality: British MPs Blast F1 Organization over Bahrain, Saudi Arabia

3 Mar 2023

By Staff, Agencies

A group of British MPs has written to the organizers of Formula One [F1] to express their “grave concerns” over motorsport’s role in “sports washing the appalling human rights records of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia”.

Ahead of the new F1 season, which begins this Sunday, in Bahrain, 20 parliamentarians including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Layla Moran, called for an independent inquiry into F1 and the governing body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s [FIA] activities in countries with questionable human rights records.

McDonnell, Labor’s former shadow chancellor said: “The presence of F1 gives the impression that Bahrain is somehow a normal state. Its abuse of human rights means it certainly isn’t. No sport should be providing this regime with any credibility.”

The British politicians condemned F1’s “refusal to engage with key stakeholders including human rights groups” before it awarded Bahrain the “longest contract in F1 history, breaching F1’s own policy”.

“Multimillion-dollar profits must not come at the expense of human rights,” the letter to F1 and the FIA, reads.

“You have a duty to ensure your presence has a positive impact, which will not be possible whilst political prisoners remain behind bars in Bahrain. If Lewis Hamilton can speak out, why can’t you?”

“I along with other MPs and peers from the UK parliament have written an open letter to FIA and F1,” Lord Scriven, a Liberal Democrat confirmed.

“We are asking them to do things to improve the way the sport operates around human rights, they are not extreme or radical things, they are issues that we would expect any sporting organization with any moral leadership at the heart of how motorsports, is governed and operates.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy [Bird], heralded the MPs letter, adding that F1’s leadership “cannot simply claim that their presence in these countries has a positive impact when evidence demonstrates otherwise”.

“F1 continues to profiteer from brutal Gulf autocrats, making multi-millions whilst victims pay the price,” Alwadaei said. “When Lewis Hamilton is able to speak out in the face of injustice, he sets a moral standard that F1 management must follow.”

Speaking ahead of the Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton, the motorsport’s most high-profile driver, said: “I couldn’t say whether or not I know that it’s got worse. I’m not sure it has got better while we’ve been coming all these years.”

He continued: “I know for me, I’ve only in the latter years started to understand more and more of the challenges of the people here in Bahrain, and also then in Saudi, it was my first time there last year but of course I read about some of the troubles there… But more needs to be done, without doubt. Whether or not that will happen, time will tell.”

Construction of the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir began in 2002 and cost $150m. The first race took place on 4 April 2004 and was won by Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari.

Sayyed Nasrallah to the US: If You Seek Chaos in Lebanon, You and ‘Israel’ Will Suffer the Pain

 February 16, 2023 

Translated By Staff

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Thursday a speech on the Islamic Resistance Martyred Leaders Day.

As Sayyed Nasrallah condoled with the families of the martyr leaders, he recalled their sacrifices.

His Eminence further congratulated Iran, its people and the Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei on the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

 “The international and Arab media neglected the millions who poured into the streets to celebrate 44 years of the Islamic Revolution while they used to focus on gatherings or riots that had a few people,” he added, pointing out that “All who betted on toppling the Iranian revolution, especially the Zionists, made a mistake, and I advise them not build their calculations on such mirage.”

On the Lebanese side,  Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that the agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement continues. “The Mar Mikhail Agreement is in a critical situation and we hope it will be preserved for the sake of the national interest,” he mentioned.

Moreover, His Eminence condoled with the Lebanese and the lovers and advocates of late PM Rafik Hariri on the anniversary of his martyrdom.

Meanwhile, the Resistance Leader hailed the sacrifices of “the oppressed Bahraini people, who won’t abandon their national cause, nor that of Palestine and occupied Al-Quds.”

Regarding the celebrated anniversary, he underlined that “Our martyr leaders clung to the option of resistance despite all the difficulties, betrayal and stabs in the back of the resistance.”

“Our achievements were scored thanks to the blood of our martyrs, leaders and all martyrs in the resistance movements, the Lebanese army, the Palestinian factions and the Syrian army,” Sayyed Nasrallah added, cautioning that “Since 2019, Lebanon has entered into a new scheme to return the country into the era of US hegemony.”

In addition, His Eminence underscored that “The liberation of Lebanon, its water and oil, and the revival of hope through the Palestinian intifada in 2000 are among the main achievements against the enemy.”

“Former US President Barack Obama admitted that toppling regimes needs only to alter the public opinion with ‘spam’,” he said, noting that “Obama himself explained the US tools to overthrow regimes by making people lose confidence in their leadership, and this thought is adopted by Biden administration.”

According to Hezbollah Secretary General, “We’re facing the challenge of confronting the US media, political and economic tools, on top of which is the game of dollar price.”

“What helps the Americans in their scheme is the presence of corruption and errors in the administrations of the targeted countries,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained, noting that “We must take the initiative, plan and cooperate in order to overthrow the scheme of chaos, domination and tampering with our people’s minds to control them.”

Recalling that “In October 2019, the slogan was ‘All means all’, because what was required is that the Lebanese lose their confidence in all officials,” he confirmed that “The US embassy, along with some NGOs, were manufacturing leaders. However, this project failed.”

On the regional level, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed Hezbollah’s condolences with the Turkish and Syrian governments over the devastating earthquake. “We’re facing a great human tragedy, and what happened is a test to the humanity of every person, party, association and country,” he said, noting that “Syria’s earthquake revealed the US administration’s failure in the test of humanity in and its brutal criminal face.”

The Resistance leader went on to say “In the 1st days of the earthquake, the American administration left the people die in Syria through its severe sanctions.”

His Eminence also slammed “The international community’s discrimination and double standards that were clear at various levels in dealing with the repercussions of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.”

“The West’s double standards in dealing with the devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey is a resounding human failure,” he said, urging “all sides to help Syria and Turkey to return to normal life, and this is the most difficult challenge.”

Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that “According to experts’ expectations, Lebanon is facing a new challenge, which is the possibility of an earthquake.”

“The Lebanese government – even if it is a caretaker one – must initiate contingency plans in anticipation of a possible earthquake,” he stated, noting that “Despite its modest capabilities, Lebanon can set contingency and comprehensive plans to face the possibility of an earthquake.”

In parallel, Hezbollah Secretary General underlined that “Among the first steps the Lebanese state must consider is fixing the cracked buildings.”

“Directly after the earthquake, the buildings in the northern Lebanese city, Tripoli, were the first to come to my mind, and I confirmed our readiness to help,” he uncovered.

Sayyed Nasrallah praised the Lebanese government’s steps in sending the official delegation to Syria, and offering all kinds of assistance. “Lebanon would benefit the most from breaking the siege on Syria,” he stated.

Moving to the “Israeli” front, Hezbollah Secretary General explained that “The internal ‘Israeli’ situation is unprecedented, especially in light of the entity’s officials fear from a ‘civil’ war.”

“The ‘Israeli’ occupying entity’s President acknowledged his fears of an imminent internal explosion and the collapse of the entity,” he mentioned, praising the “Palestinian people’s new uprising, particularly the heroic operations of the Palestinian youth in Occupied Al-Quds, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

According to His Eminence, “The foolish Zionist government may push for escalation in the entire region, not just in Palestine, and this is a possibility, especially in case of attacking the Al-Aqsa Holy Mosque.”

On the internal Lebanese front, Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled that “There is nothing new in the presidential file and we all saw what happened in Paris. It is true that the Lebanese are responsible.”

“Efforts must continue to search for agreement and understanding in order to resolve the issue of Lebanese presidency,” he said, noting that “No one can impose a president on Lebanon and the effort should be domestic.”

His Eminence went on to say that “The uncontrolled rise in the dollar in face of the Lebanese Lira must be dealt with, and the demands of the public sector are very justified.”

“What is happening in Lebanon is mainly caused by American pressure and the policy of withdrawing funds and deposits in a planned manner,” he stressed, adding that “The Americans sent a lot of messages to Iran in order to conduct direct negotiations, but Tehran refused that. We must seek to achieve a strong economy in our country and search for other markets, such as China and Russia.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Lebanese “not to accept any procrastination by the companies in the oil and gas file.”

To the Americans, the Resistance Leader sent a sounding message: “The resistance’s environment that you are seeking to target with chaos, suffering and pain will not give up its principles.”

He warned against any procrastination in extracting oil from water, and the Americans must be told to stay away from such move

To the Americans, the Resistance Leader said: “If you’re to sow chaos in Lebanon, you will lose everything. If you push Lebanon into chaos, you must wait for chaos in the entire region, particularly ‘Israel’. Those pushing Lebanon into chaos and collapse must anticipate everything and things that can’t be imagined.”

“Just as we were ready for war in defense of our oil, we’re ready to hit your protégé, ‘Israel’,” he vowed, noting that “Tomorrow is close.”

S. Nasrallah: He Who Pushes Lebanon towards Collapse Has to Expect Chaos in ‘Israel’ (Videos)

 February 16, 2023

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in a televised speech via Al-Manar (Februry 16, 2023).

Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah directed several threats to the United States on Thursday, vowing that Washington’s scheme in Lebanon will be foiled and that Hezbollah’s retaliation would be ‘unimaginable’.

In a memorial ceremony of the Lebanese resistance movement’s martyred commanders, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbas Al-Moussawi and Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that whoever “pushes Lebanon towards chaos and collapse has to expect chaos in the entire region and especially in the Zionist entity.”

His eminence underlined importance of urgent dealing with the dramatic low of Lebanese Lira against US Dollar, as he called to work to find solutions to the harsh economic crisis in Lebanon.

As he saluted the resistance of Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed to ‘unprecedented state’ in the Zionist entity, attributed to Israeli concerns over a potential collapse of the occupation regime before completing 80 years on its establishment.

The Hezbollah S.G., meanwhile, extended condolences, anew, to Syria and Turkey over the tragedy of the devastating earthquake which killed tens of thousands of people, injured tens of thousands others and left many more homeless, earlier this month.

About the Occasion

Sayyed Nasrallah renewed allegiance to the martyred commanders, vowing to follow their suit in defying challenges in a bid to defend the country and the nation against the enemies’ schemes.

“We hold memorial ceremonies of our martyred commanders in a bid to draw lessons and to confront the current challenges we are witnessing,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the resistance crowds who attended the memorial services in several regions across Lebanon: Beirut’s Dahiyeh, Bekaa’s Nabi Sheet, and southern towns of Jibsheet and Teir Dibba.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech aired via video link at Sayyed Shuhada Complex in Beirut’s Dahiyeh .

“Our martyred commanders stuck to the resistance path despite all hardships, abandonment and betrayal.”

In face of all forms of nowadays’ difficulties, “we will follow suit of our martyred commanders, we will assume our responsibilities and foil the US scheme,” the Lebanese resistance leader vowed.

Islamic Revolution Anniversary

As he congratulated the Iranian nation on the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, he slammed Western media over its biased coverage of the million-man marches which swept the Islamic Republic on the occasion.

“Western media turned blind eye to the million-man marches across Iran on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, as it focused on riots and instigated against the establishment in the Islamic Republic.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also addressed those who bet on the collapse of Iran as saying: “You will lose.”

Earthquake in Syria, Turkey

The Hezbollah S.G. referred to the February 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria as “the most prominent event in the last two weeks.”

“We are before a great tragedy that tests the humanity of all of us,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, as he slammed the US over sanctions against the Syrian government.

“The US Administration abandoned people in Syria and left them to die due to its oppressive sanctions.”

He also criticized double standards adopted by the international community in dealing with the tragedy between Turkey and Syria.

As Sayyed Nasrallah thanked all those who responded to Hezbollah’s call to offer aid to quake-hit regions in Syria, he underlined importance of setting earthquake safety plans in Lebanon, noting that “our country is not safe of such risks.”

In this context, his eminence hailed the Lebanese official stance towards the Syrian government and praised the domestic response to offer all forms of humanitarian aid to the quake-hit areas.

“Israel’s Curse of Turning 80”

Talking about the situation in the Zionist entity, Sayyed Nasrallah described it as an “unprecedented,” internally and with Palestinians.

“The foolish Israeli government is pushing towards two forms of clashes, the first internally and the second is with Palestinians,” his eminence said, referring to the internal Israeli disagreements and the Palestinians’ operations against the occupation.

“Israeli officials are concerned about the collapse of the Zionist entity before completing 80 years on its establishment in 1948,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, hoping that the Zionist entity will be collapsed before turning 80.

“The foolish performance of the Israeli government may lead to escalation in the entire region, especially if an aggression is carried out in Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

US Scheme in Lebanon

Sayyed Nasrallah warned that Lebanon has entered, since 2019, a new phase of a US scheme aimed at bringing it back to the era of Washington’s control.

“The record low of Lebanese Lira against the US dollar needs to be dealt with urgently,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated, stressing that the US pressures as well as policy of deliberate withdrawal of cash and deposits “are the main causes behind the current economic crisis.”

He noted that the US has been exploiting the corruption and the mismanagement of the Lebanese administration to implement its scheme in Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, called for reviving the agricultural and industrial sectors and to seriously invest in Lebanon’s wealth of oil and gas.

In this context, he warned against procrastination in extracting oil and gas in the Lebanese territorial waters, reminding the US and the Zionist entity that Hezbollah “was serious in all threats delivered regarding the maritime deal and wealth.”

Hezbollah’s ‘Unimaginable’ Retaliation

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, stressed that the US scheme of creating chaos and pushing Lebanon towards collapse will fail, warning that the Lebanese resistance party won’t keep mum in this regard.

“We won’t keep mum over US schemes, whoever creates chaos in Lebanon has to expect chaos in ‘Israel’.”

“He who wants to push Lebanon towards chaos and collapse has to expect an unimaginable retaliation.”

Mohammad Salami contributed to this report.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Martyr Sheikh Ragheb Harb Anticipated Danger of Normalization with ‘Israel’: Handshake is Recognition (Video)

 February 15, 2023

Mohammad Salami

Hezbollah Martyr Leader Sheikh Ragheb Harb, who returned from the Holy City of Al-Najaf in Iraq in 1974 to carry out religious and humanitarian projects, was one of the founders and basic supporter of the Islamic Resistance in face of the Zionist occupation in Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa.

Sheikh of the martyrs of the Islamic Resistance was, thus, arrested and imprisoned Israeli occupation forces in 1983. The martyr played a vital role in the resistance against the Israeli occupation since 1982 invasion till he was assassinated by the collaborators with the Zionist enemy in his town Jibsheet.

During his noble Jihad years, his eminence consecrated the principle of resorting to the armed resistance against the Zionist occupation, stressing that any handshake with the representative of the enemy is considered as a recognition of its existence.

The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon has always rejected the choice of holding negotiations and concluding ‘peace’ deals with the Zionist enemy regardless of all the circumstances. However, the Egyptian regime, during that stage, was involved in the path of surrender.

In 1978, Egypt signed a peace agreement sponsored by the United States of America, disengaging concerns and causes with the Arab countries, especially Palestine.

US President Jimmy Carter sponsoring agreement between Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat and Israeli PM Menahem Begin

Based on the Egyptian stance, Sheikh Ragheb Harb anticipated the danger of abandoning the resistance path and normalizing of ties with the Israeli enemy, affirming that normalization will legitimize the illegitimate existence of the occupation entity.

In 1994, Jordan followed the Egyptian path and signed a ‘peace’ agreement with Israeli enemy, which reinforced the importance of the Sheikh Harb’s warning against such deals.

The catastrophic collapse of the Arab attitude towards the conflict with the Zionist enemy was in 2020 when Bahrain, Emirates and Morocco concluded deals to normalize ties with the Zionist entity. In 2023, the military regime in Sudan also expressed readiness to normalize the relations with the Israeli enemy.

Consequently, the Palestinian cause is abandoned by certain Arab regimes; however, the armed resistance, as consecrated by the martyr cleric, has reached several achievements.

The resistance parties in Lebanon and Palestine have liberated the occupied territories in Southern Lebanon, Western Bekaa and Gaza and defeated the Israeli military arrogance in 2006 war and other confrontations.

Even the Palestinian youths and children have carried out attacks on the Zionist settlers and soldiers in the occupied West Bank, inflicting heavy upon them.

In other words, the Resistance in Lebanon and Palestine has ridiculed the occupation as said by Martyr Sheikh Ragheb Harb.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Normalization or Alternative Shelter? ‘Israel’ Buys Bahraini Island!

Feb 14, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

Taking its “normalization” of ties with the tiny kingdom to the next level, the Zionist regime has reportedly “bought an island” in Bahrain, drawing outrage from social media users.

Arabic-language news websites cited TV7 ‘Israel’ News as reporting that ‘Israeli’ company Himnota, which is owned by the ultra-right Jewish National Fund [JNF], bought a private island with an area of 9,554 square meters for $21.5 million in an auction.

The TV channel claimed that the island is residential and suitable for investment projects of special nature, quoting a source within Himnota as saying that skyscrapers can be founded on the island and can be used for evacuating ‘Israelis’ in the event of war.

According to the report, Avery Shnayer, representative of the Blue and White party on the board of directors of Himnota, said talks will be held with the “friendly” Bahraini regime to transfer sovereignty over the island to ‘Israel.’

Although the TV7 ‘Israel’ News report was immediately deleted without clarification, it sparked anger and outrage among Bahraini activists and social media users who expressed concern that the sale is a prelude to the occupation of another Arab territory.

“Reports emerging [posted by ‘Israeli’ news then deleted] that ‘Israel’ has bought an island in Bahrain – best described as colonial expansion – from a foreign ruling family that occupied Bahrain violently and has been ruling it violently since,” Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Alkhawaja said in a tweet.

Jawad Fairooz, a former Bahraini lawmaker and the head of SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights [SALAM DHR], described the report as ” a very dangerous and worrying signal.”

The news about the sale of the island came a day after ‘Israeli’ military chief Herzi Halevi landed in Bahrain to participate in an international military conference involving several regional leaders, according to the ‘Israeli’ media.

The conference was held under the auspices of the US Central Command [CENTCOM], with the head of the CENTCOM, Erik Kurilla also in attendance.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed US-brokered normalization agreements with the Zionist occupation regime in Washington in September 2020.

In Memory of “February 14” Revolution: Bahrain Continues the Struggle

Feb 14, 2023

By Al-Ahed News

In memory of “The February 14” revolution, the resilience of Bahraini people increases in the face of the “Al Khalifa’s” arbitrary targeting. Bahrainis show their insistence to remain defiant in their struggle despite the maltreatment and repression they have suffered.

The people of Bahrain celebrated this occasion with a sequence of various revolutionary activities and events as well as a revolutionary movement. at the same time, the Bahraini Opposition abroad held a series of revolutionary activities as well including conferences, seminars, protests and rhetorical festivals.

Revolutionists and protesters escalated their angry movements through protests and blocking streets despite security mobilization, threats and arrests.

Accordingly, Bahrain witnessed massive protests on Monday night, which emphasized that the popular movement will continue their action until demands are fulfilled.

The protesters raised the photos of martyrs and political detainees, demanding their immediate release.

Hundreds in different Bahraini regions demonstrated to reaffirm the continuation of their action and responding to the call of Bahrain’s Senior Religious Scholar Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem.

In this context, the Head of the Political Bureau of Bahrain’s February 14 Youth Coalition Dr. Ibrahim al-Aradi said that “the Bahraini people’s commemoration of the revolution anniversary through their presence in protests and popular marches reveals their determination to stick to the values, principles, and objectives of the revolution.”

In a speech he delivered during the 12th anniversary of the Bahrain Revolution, Dr. al-Aradi added, “The Bahraini people, with their presence in popular marches carrying the photos of figures, leaders and detainees, is a genuine lesson to all of us in fighting against conspiracy, exasperation, and betrayal policies sought by the ruling Al- Khalifa regime.” 

“We are on the path of freedom, justice, and no submission to the suppressive Al Khalifa regime under any condition,” he went on to say.

By the same taken, al-Aradi re-emphasized the rejection of the Zionist presence in Bahrain, considering it an occupational existence. “Likewise, this existence represents a destructive scheme that targets the entire Ummah.

He finally warned that Bahrain, with all its people and components, will encounter all betrayal and normalization tools and will never hesitate to expand and develop all ways of resisting this scheme.

Bahraini Regime Allows Jews to Celebrate Their Festivals but Persecutes Muslims

December 24, 2022

By Staff

The Bahraini authorities has allowed Zionist settlers to celebrate “Hanukkah” in the capital, Manama, despite popular rejection and demonstrations, rejecting normalization with the “Israeli” entity.

This comes at a time when the Al-Khalifa regime regularly suppresses the ceremonies commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein [AS] and prevent the reception of Gulf citizens into Bahrain during Ashura.

Bahraini activists posted on their Twitter accounts a video showing Jewish settlers practicing “Hanukkah” rituals in a “synagogue” in Manama.

In light of this reality, which the Al-Khalifa regime authorities forcibly imposed on Bahrainis, a number of regions in the tiny gulf kingdom witnessed demonstrations and marches rejecting normalization with the occupying entity and the settlers’ celebration of “Hanukkah” in Manama.

Dozens of Bahrainis marched in the village of Al-Markh, carrying Palestinian flags and banners rejecting the Zionist presence in the country. The same happened in the town of Al-Maqshaa.

Despite the deployment of police forces, a massive demonstration was held on the island of Sitra raising slogans rejecting the presence of the occupying entity in Bahrain and the settlers’ celebration of “Hanukkah” in Manama.

It is noteworthy that the “Israeli” entity’s so-called president, Isaac Herzog, visited Bahrain earlier this month and met with a number of officials, more than two years after the US-brokered agreements to normalize relations between the two sides.

Dear followers, your ‘influencers’ seem ignorant about Israeli crimes

December 17, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Aya Youssef 

The world of ‘influencing’ and ‘content creation’ seems to be tone-deaf to “Israel” killing, bombing, and assaulting the people of Palestine.

Dear followers, your ‘influencers’ seem ignorant about Israeli crimes

So a mere handshake or even a simple eye contact will eventually initiate some sort of disruption unless you are ‘okay’ with the crimes that are being committed and these crimes sit well with you.

Now let’s delve deeper; consider this enemy, “Israel”, the occupation that was ‘established’ on the backs of Palestinians and formed due to “Israel’s” horrific massacres in Palestine.

This is called normalization 

Moving on to another set of rules: When a country that used to consider “Israel” an enemy in the past, intentionally decides to build diplomatic relations with “Israel”, this is known as “normalization agreements”. When a single diplomat steps foot in “Israel”, that is called normalization. When direct talks happen, that is called normalization. When an athlete faces another Israeli athlete in sports tournaments, that is called normalization. And when a group of Arab influencers pose for photos at an event where they are taking lessons on content creation from an Israeli, this is called normalization. 

‘Influencers’ & ‘content creators’ for “Israel”

Behind the scenes of endless selfies, likes, and comments, over 3000 ‘influencers’ and ‘content creators’ attended and spoke at the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ in Dubai, where the Israeli ‘activist’ Nuseir Yassin was a co-host.

The event included dinners and celebrations, and the contributors ‘lit a fire in the desert’. Sounds fun doesn’t it? 

Nuseir Yassin is known for his pro-“Israel” stance regarding the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He intentionally disregarded, through his self-described ‘humane videos’, the Palestinian Nakba, the Palestinian suffering, and most importantly, Israeli war crimes.

Nuseir is vocal about the ‘two-state solution’ in Palestine and believes that Palestinians and Israelis should ‘co-exist’. 

In his last video about the Palestinian struggle, Yassin disregarded the Palestinians’ right to self-defense and called them ‘attacks’ on “Israel”. Nusseir Yasin usually introduces himself as “Arab-Israeli”.

Read More: Nas Daily: When ‘entrepreneurs’ NAS-TILY become Israeli propaganda
Applying the before-mentioned set of rules, these Arab influencers’ existence in the same room and event as Nuseir, interacting, laughing, taking notes, and speaking with him, is called normalization. 

Keynotes into normalization 

Looking into the “agenda” of the Summit on the website, various topics were discussed during the two days event. 

Starting from day one, after the opening ceremony, the first speaker was Nuseir Yassin. 

Yassin’s topic, as it appeared on the website, was “Why Creators Will Conquer The World”. What was said during each speech or lecture cannot be found on any platform, given that the event was ‘exclusive’. On the Summit’s YouTube channel, few videos are posted and most of them are teasers or wrap-ups of the event. 

Users can rarely find any content that is related to what Nuseir or other speakers said. Is censoring part of the summit? Or is it because some attendees were not supposed to be there?

In one of these short videos that were published by a particular news outlet, Nuseir was seen talking with the audience and giving a lecture about content creation with a picture displayed for them that says “And if you look like me… GOOD LUCK..” 

In the video, Nuseir was filmed talking and lecturing the crowd about ‘history’ and how ‘throughout history, people could only impact 150 people…” 

Why does normalization always have to be ‘fun’?

For additional background information on this topic, Nas Daily is a popular page that publishes videos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. Each platform has a vast number of followers. 

On its Instagram account, Nas Daily writes the following slogan: ‘We Bring People Together’ at the top of its page.

Interestingly, on its Youtube platform, the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ posted a teaser titled “1 Billion Followers Summit – The Expo of Content Creation”. The video says ‘connecting 1 billion people under the same roof.’ 

In another ‘shorts’ video on YouTube, the Summit posted a video that says ‘The world of social media gathers under one roof!’ 

Sounds familiar? 

The vlog-styled videos are identical to those of Nas Daily. The scripts, the tone, even the shooting style, and the enthusiasm, all give the same vibes.

The Summit is powered by New Media Academy, the same academy that funded and embraced Nas Daily for its videos where they whitewash Israeli crimes. 

On the Summit’s LinkedIn, one can see how employees in Nas Daily actually worked for this big event. Parikshit Sachdeva appeared to be Nas Daily’s social media manager as he was a community manager in the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’. 

Another example is: Nizar Salman worked for Nas Daily as a project manager for 1 year and 9 months. Salman was an event lead for 8 months at the Summit. 

The contributors to the event added the ‘mystery celebrity speaker’ into the event to make it more ‘exciting’. The speaker turned out to be the former TV presenter and comedian Trevor Noah. 

Yassin was the one who hosted Noah during a debate that many attended and listened to. 

In addition to Noah, many international YouTubers attended the event such as Jordan Matter and Matpat. The speakers came from the US, Canada, Poland, Lebanon, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and many more.

When it comes to Arabs, activist Saleh Zaghari, appeared in a video justifying his participation in the event by saying that he was seeking to provoke those in charge of the conference by raising the Palestinian flag in the event. 

However, after Zaghri was heavily criticized by social media activists, he later apologized and admitted that he made a mistake by attending this event. 

The other normalizing event 

While the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ happened over the course of two days, 3 and 4 December, on 5 and 6 December, a different event took place in Abu Dhabi. The two events may look different on the surface, regarding the objectives and topics, but both meet at the same end; normalization with “Israel”. 

Around 300 decision-makers and representatives of 47 international space institutions attended the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate this month. The event focused mainly on topics related to ‘space sustainability, accessibility, and security’.

All looks normal, doesn’t it?

After his unwelcomed visit to Bahrain, and after he met with UAE’s President Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan at his private home in Abu Dhabi, the Israeli President Isaac Herzog took part in the Space Debate where he made a speech. 

Herzog, during his speech, urged to “move onwards and upwards, not with the competition of a cold war,” but rather with “our warm peace.” The Israeli occupation’s President called for countries to “collaborate in here on the blue planet we call home.”

The UAE was the first Gulf state to normalize ties with “Israel”, kicking off a wave of normalization that saw Bahrain, Sudan, and Morrocco swept by the tide.

The Israeli occupation and the United Arab Emirates have long been exchanging visits, drawing more and more criticism for the Arab nation that abandoned the Palestinian cause. 

Spot the ‘influencer’ in the audience 

After the Space Debate took place, many Lebanese activists strongly condemned the presence of a Lebanese filmmaker and content creator. 

Lebanon is among the countries that still have a strong stance regarding the normalization agreement with “Israel” and considers “Israel” as an occupation. 

Lebanon criminalizes normalization with the Israeli occupation in its law. The Lebanese criminal code, the 1955 Boycott Law, and the Code of Military Justice all say that any type of contact between Lebanese and Israeli citizens is prohibited; punishment can range from a few months in prison to death.

Many Twitter activists argued that the Lebanese filmmaker, Kazim Fayad, should not be present at an event that the Israeli President spoke at. After the backlash, Fayad had to issue a statement regarding the matter. 

The filmmaker claimed that he was not able to leave the hall where the event was taking place and that the only reason he was attending was that he had booked interviews with several news outlets. 

It is worth mentioning that the speakers of the event were published ahead of the ceremony, in addition to the many news outlets that reported that Herzog arrived in the UAE to attend the Space Debate. It does not stop here. Looking closer into the event itself, which was posted in its entirety on YouTube, there was a 40-minute break between the end of the last debate that took place and Herzog’s arrival at the event. Thus, giving Fayad, and other so-called “influencers” plenty of time to dodge a possible encounter with the enemy’s President.

Read More: Serious Concerns as Lessons in Normalization Hit Lebanese Schools

Ignorance or turning a blind eye? 

Now one cannot help but wonder: do the influencers realize what they are really ‘influencing’? 

The real question here is whether the millions of followers, that these ‘influencers’ have, know what subliminal messages they are intaking on daily basis, through swiping, liking, and commenting on those influencers’ social media stories, videos, and pictures. 

In both events, Israelis were present. In both events, Arabs were present. And in both events, prominent figures, TV presenters, and social media influencers were present. Should any questions be raised? The answer is yes.

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At the World Cup, The Arab World Rallies to Palestinian Cause

December 7, 2022 

By Ishaan Tharoor | The Washington Post

In the aftermath of Morocco’s sensational victory over Spain, the triumphant Moroccan squad posed for a picture with a flag. It wasn’t their own green star-on-crimson banner, nor the flag of Algeria, Tunisia or Lebanon, all of which flapped in the stands in a reflection of the Pan-Arab solidarity that has coursed through the first World Cup in the Middle East. Instead, the Moroccans waved the flag of Palestine, an explicit echo of support for a cause that has suffused the whole tournament. At the match on Tuesday evening, Palestinian emblems were everywhere, draped across people’s shoulders, on scarves, on T-shirts.

Outside the stadium beforehand, I met Mona Allaoui, a resident of Rabat, the Moroccan capital, who wore a Palestinian kaffiyeh over her Moroccan national team shirt. “I don’t care about politics,” she said, by which she meant the political normalization agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, signed between her nation’s leaders and ‘Israel’ in 2020. “I support the Palestinians because I’m a human being and they are our brothers and sisters.”

At a tournament bombarded from all fronts by political concerns, the cause of Palestine is a kind of leitmotif… The Palestinian flag has been ubiquitous at the World Cup’s stadiums, no matter which teams are playing. Banners calling for a “Free Palestine” were raised in the stands of at least one game, while a protester at a match involving Tunisia invaded the pitch waving a Palestinian flag. During games, fans from Arab nations have chanted for Palestinian rights and against recent killings of Palestinians by ‘Israeli’ forces. They did so again Tuesday.

Interactions between ‘Israeli’ journalists — invited to Qatar for the World Cup despite the absence of formal relations between both sides — and various fans they came across in Doha, Qatar, underscored the prevalence of the issue. Videos that proliferated on social media showed bemused or startled ‘Israeli’ reporters being berated by passersby. In one encounter with Moroccan fans who walk away shouting “Palestine,” Raz Shechnik of ‘Israel’s’ Yediot Aharonot beseeched them: “But you signed ‘peace’!”

The Abraham Accords, forged by the Trump administration, paved the way for the normalization of ties between ‘Israel’ and four Arab states — the three monarchies of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, as well as Sudan. It was hailed as a major regional breakthrough and a mark of a shifting political order in the Middle East, with certain Arab powers losing interest in the entrenched struggle over Palestinian dispossession and more animated by other priorities. This week, ‘Israeli’ President Isaac Herzog called on the royals of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in what were billed as ‘landmark visits.’

The World Cup, though, has showed how small the vision of that supposed ‘peace’ is. In recent months, there has been plenty of chatter in Washington about how ‘Israeli’ officials and business executives have become a common sight in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and even in Riyadh [the Saudis have yet to normalize relations with ‘Israel,’ though there’s a depth of connections]. But what goes often unsaid in the US and ‘Israeli’ conversation about these normalization deals is the extent to which they only reflect top-level elite interests in the region.

‘Israelis’ in Qatar reckoned with that reality. “There are a lot of attempts by many people here, from all around the Arab world, to come out against us because we represent normalization,” Ohad Hemo, a reporter for ‘Israel’s’ Channel 12, told his network. “‘Israelis’’ wish came true, we signed ‘peace’ agreements with four Arab states, but there are also the people, and many of them don’t like our presence here.”

Some ‘Israeli’ commentators saw the backlash as evidence of enduring anti-‘Israeli’ sentiment in the region. “This isn’t a knock on the Abraham Accords, or even on ‘peace’ with Jordan and Egypt,” wrote Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post. “They are all significant and all brought positive results for ‘Israel’ and for those countries. But it’s also a wake-up call about the limitations of those agreements.”

Recent polling shows that overwhelming majorities of ordinary citizens in many Arab countries, including those that participated in the Abraham Accords, disapprove of formalizing ties with ‘Israel.’ “There is clearly not much love in the Arab world for ‘Israel,’” wrote Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics, a Washington-based risk consultancy that focuses on the region. “The decades of humiliation, resentment, and anger which many Arabs feel toward ‘Israel’ cannot simply vanish with the signing of such normalization agreements.”

Still key for millions of people in the Arab world, their governments aside, is the political condition of Palestinians, millions of whom live lives circumscribed by ‘Israel’s’ security interests, shorn of the same rights afforded to the ‘Israelis’ around them. For years, most Arab governments conditioned normalization with ‘Israel’ on the advent of a separate Palestinian state. But the process to create that state has effectively collapsed, while ‘Israel’s’ new far-right government contains numerous politicians who oppose any scenarios in which Palestinian statehood could ever be viable.

“Ordinary Arabs are against this occupation and see it as inhuman and unacceptable,” said Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of history and contemporary politics at Qatar University.

Zweiri said the political tenor of the tournament in Qatar has offered a clear message not just to the United States and ‘Israel,’ but to Arab governments that also seem intent on obscuring the political priorities of Palestinians. The presence of Palestinian flags at stadiums was “not organized by states, but something genuine from within the people themselves,” he said. “The World Cup is about ordinary people, it’s about middle-class people. It’s not about the elite.”

“They can talk about normalization about 100 years, but they cannot impose it,” Zweiri said.

That’s a view recognized by some in ‘Israel.’ “After the Abraham Accords were signed with several Arab countries in 2020, rightist pundits claimed that the Palestinians’ fate no longer interests other Arabs,” wrote Uzi Baram in left-leaning ‘Israeli’ newspaper Haaretz. “They didn’t bother to read the article in the agreement stating that their fulfillment requires establishing a Palestinian state. As for the symbiosis between the Palestinians and other Arab nations, no further proof seems needed following the World Cup in Qatar.”

Aladdin Awwad, 42, a Palestinian cybersecurity specialist who works in Doha, was at Morocco’s victory over Spain. His brother had draped a Palestinian flag over the Morocco jersey he was wearing.

“It’s great to see all these Arab nationalities support our cause and show the West that Palestine will not die,” Awwad told me. “We are not here to create problems. We are not against peace. But we exist and we are here.”

Anti-Israel protests rage in Bahrain, Herzog forced to change plans in Manama

Sunday, 04 December 2022 11:00 AM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 04 December 2022 11:16 AM ]

Anti-Israel protests rage in Bahrain, Herzog forced to change plans in Manama

People in Bahrain have staged fresh demonstrations across the Persian Gulf country to reiterate their support for the Palestinian cause, and to condemn the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime, and the visit by Israeli president Isaac Herzog to Manama.

Protesters in the village of al-Markh chanted slogans in protest against the normalization of ties, voiced solidarity with the Palestinian nation in their struggle against the occupying Israeli regime and called for the expulsion of Israeli tourists from Bahrain.

People take part in a rally in al-Daih, Bahrain, on December 3, 2022, against Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s visit to the tiny Persian Gulf country. (Photo via Twitter)

They chanted slogans including “We shall never accept humiliation,” “Normalization is treason” and “Bahrain is the cemetery of Zionists”. The demonstrators also trampled upon the Israeli flag.

A similar rally was also held in the village of al-Daih, where participants held up placards against Herzog’s visit and normalization of relations with Israel. They waved Palestinian national flags and chanted “Death to America” ​​and “Death to Israel.”

Elsewhere in the coastal village of Dumistan, demonstrators called for the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners.

Herzog arrived in Manama on Sunday and was welcomed by Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani and Bahrain’s envoy to Israel Khaled Yousif al-Jalahma upon landing in Manama.

As a result of the protests, Herzog’s itinerary was changed at the last minute, though Bahraini officials said they would not allow protests to take place during the visit.

Palestinian crashes car through Ben Gurion Airport checkpoint ahead of Herzog trip

Israeli authorities tell passengers at Ben Gurion Airport to duck due to security breach after a Palestinian man crashes a car through the airport’s checkpoint.

He is set to head to al-Qudaibiya Palace, where he will meet King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah over lunch.

Earlier, Herzog had been slated to meet with members of the local Jewish community, and then hold a meeting with the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Thursday that the regime’s so-called security service, Shin Bet, had decided to boost Herzog’s security detail for the trip following an online social media campaign from Bahraini opposition activists.

Chanting ‘death to Israel’, Bahrainis rally ahead of Herzog visit

Bahrainis take to the streets in the tiny Persian Gulf island country to condemn Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s upcoming visit.

On Monday, the Israeli president will take off for the United Arab Emirates to meet with his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Abu Dhabi ruler and known colloquially as MBZ. Herzog will also attend the Abu Dhabi Space Debate.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel in an event in Washington in September 2020. Sudan and Morocco followed suit later that year. Palestinians have condemned the deals as a treacherous “stab in the back.”

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:


Amid popular rejection, “Isaac Herzog” arrives in the Kingdom of Bahrain today on a visit, the first of its kind since the conclusion of the agreement
Mass demonstration condemning the visit of the head of the Israeli entity
Herzog in Manama on the impact of widespread popular demonstrations against normalization


World Cup Arab fans shun Israeli media, reject normalization: Reports

22 Nov 2022 

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Arab football fans refuse to be interviewed by Israeli journalists in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Arab football fans refuse to be interviewed by Israeli journalists in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Israeli media agencies reported on Tuesday that Arab fans in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are distancing themselves from the Israeli media and are rejecting normalization with the occupation.

i24news said that several Israeli media agencies told Reuters that those asked for interviews turned their backs, refused to answer, or shouted Palestine, adding that fans are specifically shunning Israeli reporters, in a move that could illustrate challenges in warming relations between the Gulf and “Tel Aviv”.

Israeli officials expressed their hope that the US-brokered normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in 2020, and later with Sudan and Morocco, would lead to further normalization, including with Saudi Arabia, i24news said.

“While Israel did not qualify for the World Cup, it had hoped the presence of an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Israelis at the event would warm ties,” the website said, noting that this “included Israeli reporters, who flew to Qatar ahead of the event on connecting flights, while one of them was on the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha on Sunday, under a FIFA-brokered agreement,” the website added.

“Attempts to talk to soccer fans in Doha didn’t go according to plan,” the website added, noting that footage circulated online shows Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper and a number of Lebanese fans deliberately distancing themselves from Israeli reporters, i24news confirmed.

Two days ago, Israeli media said that Lebanese fans in the World Cup Qatar 2022 refused to speak to Channel 12 reporter after learning he was Israeli.

According to the Israeli channel’s correspondent in Qatar, the Lebanese young men became angry when they learned that the person speaking to them was from an Israeli media agency. The correspondent said, “The Lebanese young men refused to recognize the existence of Israel,” stressing that “Israel” does not exist, it is Palestine.

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Prof. Tim Anderson: Bahrain’s meaningless elections means to mask its despotism

15 Nov 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Manama’s ‘normalisation’ with the Israeli colony is a serious obstacle and one that springs from the undemocratic nature of the regime.

Sondoss Al Asaad 

The Bahraini regime has just turned the page on the elections the tactic it wanted: elections without opponents or political associations in a bid to continue undermining rights and liberties and perpetuating the absolute powers of the King after he dismissed at least 100,000 citizens for the crime of belonging to – arbitrarily dissolved associations – or boycotting the last 2 electoral cycles, not to mention the suspicious division of the electoral districts and the main reliance on the participation of the politically-naturalised and the military personnel.  So, the expected results were predetermined by claiming that the turnout was massive and unprecedented “reaching 73%” ignoring popular discontent and the unwillingness of the majority of citizens to participate.  What happened confirms that Bahrain’s parliament is not going to witness legislative work in the upcoming days, but rather greater ties with the Israeli occupation throughout successive agreements in the sectors of the economy, finance, and medicine as well. To talk more about the elections and their consequences, I interviewed the Australian academic, Professor Tim Anderson.

1) What is your comment on the settings under which the Bahrain elections were organised?  Do you think it was credible to organise such a democratic process in a country that suffers from authoritarianism at all levels?

Before even mentioning elections in Bahrain we should recognise that there is little democratic in the 2002 constitution or its application. The National Assembly – with 40 elected members in the Council of Representatives and 40 royally-appointed members in the Consultative Council – is effectively just an advisory body to the hereditary monarch, who controls all state power. 

Although this Assembly makes laws, the King and his appointees can block them. On top of that, the King appoints all executive ministers. The two Prime Ministers since independence in 1971, and many senior ministers, have been his family members.

In this context, the current elections for Bahrain’s Assembly are being carried out without the participation of most opposition parties, many of whose leaders are in exile or in jail. 

As even the Washington-aligned Human Rights Watch group admits, this is a façade of democracy with little substance. But that façade allows other apologists (in the USA, the UN, and Europe) to go along with the Bahraini regime’s claims that its King is: 

“Deeply interested in the involvement and partnership of citizens in the decision-making process, out of a true belief in the importance of democracy .. [and a] vision for the democratization and parliamentary process in the country.”

When it seemed there was a democratic opening, during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011, a movement “demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister” was brutally suppressed, with the help of the Saudi military. Security forces killed dozens of protesters and arrested hundreds more, many of whom were tortured in custody. After that most opposition parties boycotted the 2014 elections and, after that, the regime outlawed the main Shia opposition group, Al-Wefaq, and the main secular opposition group, the National Democratic Action Society (Waad). 

Opposition figures were jailed or forced into exile. For example, former parliamentarian Abdul-Hamid Dashti was sentenced in absentia to a lengthy prison term for simply insulting the Bahraini and Saudi regimes. Banned political parties had their members further disqualified for any role in public office, under 2018 laws. The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said in 2022 that there were “potentially 1,400 political prisoners in Bahrain, out of a total prison population of 3,200-3,800”. Since 2011 there has been increasing use of the death penalty, often based on evidence allegedly obtained under torture. All this makes internal democratic organisation very difficult. 

2) In your opinion, why did the Bahraini regime relentlessly promote the elections?  What are the benefits that it seeks – given that it does not respect the principle of the separation of powers?

The Bahraini tyrant seeks legitimacy and hosting the US 5th naval fleet helps him win powerful allies. As with Qatar (hosting a huge US air base) and Saudi Arabia, the US government has not launched any ‘Arab Spring’ colour revolutions against Bahrain. This means that, while occasional criticisms are raised, their usefulness to Washington helps soften their image. 

For example Adam Ereli, former US Ambassador to Bahrain, argued recently that the ‘democracy’ of Bahraini regime “although falling short for some, arguably achieves the greatest good for the greatest number .. while admittedly imperfect, Bahrain’s stewardship of the democratic process nevertheless provides a much needed and publicly validated opportunity for its citizens to participate in the governing of their country.”

Other Arab countries with far greater democracy have been bombed by the US for their supposed political deficiencies. In other words, it matters little to Washington that there is no separation of powers and little democracy at all in Bahrain. Better that way, in fact; but for image marketing purposes the façade remains important. So the King presents democratic rhetoric, human rights reports, and near-meaningless elections, to mask the absolutist character of his comprador (foreign agent) regime.

 3) How did you read the recommendations of Pope Francis to the King as well as the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council?  And why, in your opinion, does the international community adopt double standards in Bahrain?  Why does it acknowledge the existence of repression when it does nothing to ease the stifling restrictions imposed on Bahrainis?

A. In his recent visit to Bahrain Pope Francis did raise questions about the execution of prisoners, religious discrimination, and migrants’ rights. He was said to have asked privately for the release of some of the country’s political prisoners. Nevertheless, the interfaith meeting he attended was certainly a show aimed to cover discrimination against the 70% majority Shia Muslim population. The latter is politically active and both Washington and the Bahraini monarchy often link them to Iran, to blame Tehran for destabilising the regime.

The UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) has not yet responded to the ‘fourth cycle’ report from Manama, which was lodged in early November. However, in its 2017 response to the ‘third cycle’ of reports, the HRC tried to push the regime to agree to inspection of its prisons (so as to assess the use of torture), to remove all reservations on the women’s rights treaty (CEDAW), to stop all executions and to ‘consider political reform’. There is not much sign of change, but Manama is certainly ‘going through the notions’ of responding in some detail to the latest ‘Universal Periodic Review’ (UPR).

Once again, the big power sponsors of the Bahraini regime shelter it from any harsh criticism. Indeed, historically, both in Latin America and in West Asia, Washington has supported many bloodthirsty, dictatorial regimes. The best current example is the Saudis, key sponsors of Al Qaeda and ISIS/Daesh terrorists.  It should be plain that human rights and democracy have nothing to do with western foreign policy. Nevertheless, a certain amount of ‘human rights bureaucracy’ helps provide a semblance of normality.

 4) Do you think that the Bahraini people have succeeded in overthrowing the intended goal of organising the so-called “coexistence forum” as well as “elections? How? And what is the message you send to them?

A. There is a fair amount of external democratic agitation, but the sponsors of the Manama regime have strong voices. For example, multiple sources repeat the claim that there was a quite high participation rate of 73% in the latest elections, for an initial 34 seats. They also stress the participation of women candidates, even when they note the absence of opposition parties.  This was in many respects an attempt to counter the Al Wefaq party’s call for a boycott, while Amnesty International said the elections were taking place in a climate of repression. The country’s top cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim also backed the boycott call. It is not clear that those claims of 73% participation are at all reliable. 

Meanwhile, at an international level, complaints are kept alive about Manama’s failure to face the issues of political prisoners, extrajudicial killings and systematic torture, and sectarian discrimination.  The ‘impunity of the regime’ has become an important theme. As with the demands of the Palestinian people, the democratic reform demands on the Bahraini regime are capturing international attention. That is important; so too, in this writer’s opinion, is making common cause with the other democratic movements in the region. Bahrain is a small country and its democrats need regional allies.

 5) How can these two events be linked to the rush in the steps of normalisation with the Zionist entity?  What links the two regimes of Bahrain and the apartheid occupation?  Are you afraid of a premeditated intention to turn Bahrain into another Palestine, as the Bahrain’s top spiritual Shiite authority, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem, has previously warned?

Manama’s ‘normalisation’ with the Israeli colony is a serious obstacle and one that springs from the undemocratic nature of the regime. Even the Israeli media has noted the public reaction against this within Bahrain. Al Wefaq leader Sheikh Hussein al-Daihi, said there is “no place for zionists in Bahrain”, maintaining that Bahraini people will always support Palestine. 

Yet while Zionists and their collaborators says the new Jewish facilities make Manama “a beacon of religious tolerance”, many Bahrainis are alarmed at the regime’s integration of zionist cells into the country, a project which was tried before. They fear being crowded out by a wave of settlers, even perhaps becoming another Palestine. 

The links between the Bahraini and Israeli regimes are obvious – they are both client states of the North Americans, providing support for its interventions, wars, and its regional hegemonic agenda. The huge US airbase and a complaint monarchy make Bahrain a dream regime for the USA, but also a ripe case for democratic revolution. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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Al-Wefaq: Bahrain elections lack legitimacy, do not represent people

12 Nov 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahraini political party Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Hussain Al-Daihi confirms that “the participation rate in the sham parliamentary elections did not exceed 35%,” which proves the awareness of the Bahraini people.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahraini political party Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Hussain Al-Daihi

The Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahraini political party Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Hussain Al-Daihi said that “the participation rate in the sham parliamentary elections did not exceed 35%,” thanking the Bahraini people for “exposing the falsity of the electoral process despite the threats and intimidation.”

“Bahrainis are living under the weight of a stifling political crisis and grave human rights violations, and they are committed to the need for a genuine political process that will lift Bahrain out of tyranny and dictatorship and take it to a democratic system and social justice,” Al-Daihi added in a speech on Saturday.

“The authority should learn from the course of what happened today and take a lesson,” he said, explaining that “the people of Bahrain are not naive, and they cannot be deceived by the tricks played by the regime.” 

Al-Daihi affirmed that “what happened today will result in a certain council that has lost legitimacy and true representation of the people of Bahrain, and the elections went with only one component, which is the government component.” 

“Those who observed today’s scene in Bahrain noticed the reluctance to participate in the sham parliamentary elections process, as the very high rate of boycott among the youth group was remarkable,” he went on to say.

“The people of Bahrain have proven to be conscious, civilized, and capable of accurate diagnosis,” he said, adding that it has a strong will and firm determination, and it “has passed the exam with remarkable success.” 

On November 6, Al-Daihi formally announced that his party is boycotting the general elections in Bahrain and explained that the reasons justifying the boycott are diverse but mainly concern the failure to implement a crucial reform, ongoing political repression in the country, and authorizing the zionist entity to meddle with the country’s domestic affairs.

He further said that Bahrainis are continuing to pay a heavy price for their freedoms by getting killed, imprisoned, displaced, dishonored, denaturalized, their mosques demolished, their basic rights infringed on, and the list goes on. 

Bahraini cleric Issa Qassem told the people of Bahrain that the elections constitute a test of the populace’s awareness, explaining that to elect means opening the door for Bahraini-citizenship-bearing Israelis to vote for parliament members.

Qassem called for tomorrow to be a day of mourning for the Bahraini people, stressing that participating in the election is like signing a document agreeing to make matters worse and signing a normalization agreement.

Since 2018, the Bahraini authorities have prohibited members of former political opposition parties, not only from running for parliament but also from serving on the boards of directors of civic organizations, under the so-called Political Isolation Law and dissolved the two main opposition groups, namely Al-Wefaq and Waad parties, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, leaving no one else to dispute the autocratic rule of the Kingdom headed by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

On Saturday morning, Bahrainis went to the polls to elect a new parliament, where over 330 candidates, including 73 women, took part in the run to compete for the country’s House of Deputies 40 seats. Not one of them was found to represent the opposition, as it was banned through the adoption of the Political Isolation Law that prohibits all activists and opponents belonging to the main political parties from running and voting.

Since then, authorities have imprisoned hundreds of opposition figures, including Al-Wefaq’s leader Sheikh Ali Salman, denaturalized many, and executed others.

November 12, 2022

Bahrainis Protest, Groups Slam ’Repressive’ Climate as Regime Holds Election

By Staff, Agencies

Hundreds of Bahrainis staged demonstrations across the tiny Gulf kingdom to demand a mass boycott of the parliamentary elections, as the country holds the polls under what rights groups describe as “political repression” by the ruling Al Khalifa regime.

On Friday night, demonstrators took to the streets in the coastal village of Dumistan, carrying pictures of Bahrain’s most prominent cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, imprisoned political dissidents as well as those killed at the hands of regime forces.

They expressed solidarity with political prisoners and jailed activists, called on people from all walks of the society to stay away from the polls during November 12 elections.

The protesters also called for an end to human rights violations and the release of political detainees.

Elsewhere in the northern villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhura, groups of demonstrators called for an election boycott, a comprehensive political solution amid the Manama regime’s crackdown on dissent, and demanded a transition from the monarchy to the rule of the people, by the people, and for the people, and a new constitution.

A similar rally was staged in al-Muthallath al-Samoud region as well, where participants demanded boycott of the November 12 parliamentary elections and a new constitution.

Earlier, Sheikh Qassim reiterated the call to boycott parliamentary elections, saying participation in the elections amounts to betrayal.

“The responsibility of Bahrainis is to boycott the election, and participation in it is a betrayal,” he said in a televised address broadcast live on Friday on several Arabic-language television networks.

The distinguished Shia cleric noted that the Bahraini parliament acts in favor of the monarch and to the detriment of the Bahraini nation.

Bahrain’s main opposition group al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, in a statement released on September 14, described the boycott of November 12 polls as a national duty, emphasizing that the ruling Manama regime maintains absolute control over the electoral process and seeks to install a weak legislature, whose main task would be to burnish the image of the corrupt Al Khalifa dynasty and cover up its human rights abuses.

It added that the constitutional and political rift between the Bahraini regime and the nation is deepening day by day, the main reason for which, it said, is the lack of any social agreement between the two sides.

In the absence of a real administration, the Al Khalifa regime continues its authoritarian rule by imposing its political, economic, security and social wills on the Bahraini nation, Wefaq said.

Bahrainis head to the polls Saturday. More than 330 candidates, including 73 women, are competing to join the 40-seat Council of Representatives – the lower house of parliament.

“This election will not introduce any change,” Ali Abdulemam, a Britain-based Bahraini human rights activist, said.

“Without the opposition we will not have a healthy country,” he told AFP.

The restrictions have ignited calls for a boycott of Saturday’s elections which come more than a decade after the 2011 popular uprising.

Since then, authorities have imprisoned hundreds of dissidents – including Wefaq’s leader Sheikh Ali Salman – and stripped many of their citizenship.

International human rights organizations have argued that the vote is being held in an “environment of political repression.”

Citing Bahraini civil society figures, the rights groups said the retroactive bans have affected between 6,000 and 11,000 Bahraini citizens.

The elections “offer little hope for any freer and fairer outcomes,” they said.

Ayatollah Qassim Slams Participation in Bahrain’s Parliamentary Election As ‘Betrayal’

November 12, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim reiterated the call to boycott parliamentary elections, saying participation amounts to betrayal.

“The responsibility of Bahrainis is to boycott the election, and participation in it is a betrayal,” Ayatollah Qassim said in a live address aired on Friday.

He noted that the Bahraini parliament acts in favor of the ruler and to the detriment of the Bahraini nation.

This parliament is a tool to exercise oppression, he said, amid growing calls to boycott the elections. 

On Thursday, the cleric wrote in a Twitter post that the sham vote is meant to “slaughter democracy” in the Gulf kingdom.

He said that voter participation would not result in the consolidation of democracy in Bahrain as communities are largely excluded from the political process.

“How would it be possible to strengthen democracy [in Bahrain], whilst elections have originally been designed to destroy it? This is an election whose doors are closed to those who seek democracy,” he underlined.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society says opposition groups, in a show of outright rejection of dictatorship and repression by the ruling Manama regime, have unanimously agreed to boycott the forthcoming elections.

“In light of the increasingly suffocating atmosphere, dictatorship of the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty, utter disregard to public demands and violation of people’s right to seal their own fate, foreign-based Bahraini opposition groups as well as social and political activists in the country have taken the decision not to cast ballots in the upcoming polls,” al-Wefaq deputy secretary-general Sheikh Hussain al-Daihi said in an interview with the Arabic-language Lualua television network.

Wefaq, in a statement released on September 14, described the boycott of November 12 polls as a national duty, emphasizing that the ruling Manama regime maintains absolute control over the electoral process and seeks to install a weak legislature, whose main task would be to burnish the image of the corrupt Al Khalifa dynasty and cover up its human rights abuses.

It added that the constitutional and political rift between the Bahraini regime and the nation is deepening day by day, the main reason for which, it said, is the lack of any social agreement between the two sides.

In the absence of a real administration, the Al Khalifa regime continues its authoritarian rule by imposing its political, economic, security and social wills on the Bahraini nation, Wefaq said.

Bahrain protests continue as elections near

9 Nov 2022

Source: Agencies

Bahrain witnesses further protests denouncing the upcoming elections (Archive/Getty Images)

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Bahrainis protest to denounce upcoming elections and stand up for the rights of political prisoners.

      Bahrainis organized demonstrations, again, to denounce and abstain from what they view as fraudulent parliamentary elections scheduled for next week.

      Online videos depicted demonstrators marching to the streets protesting the November 12 elections in Saar, a residential town west of Manama, and Sanabis, a village on the capital’s outskirts.

      Protesters demonstrated in solidarity with citizens that were detained for exercising their right to free expression in Bahraini jails.

      They were holding pictures of Sheikh Ali Salman, the imprisoned opposition leader, and Sheikh Isa Qassim, the most renowned Shiite cleric in Bahrain.

      Additionally, they carried signs with the words “boycott election,” “your vote would upset martyrs,” and “boycotting elections is a religious duty.”

      Bahraini protestors stage rallies almost every day to express their opposition to the Al Khalifa dictatorship’s oppressive policies, despite the harsh limitations enforced by the regime.

      Earlier, on November 6, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahraini political party Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Hussain Al-Daihi, announced that his party is boycotting the general elections in Bahrain.

      The reasons justifying the boycott are diverse but mainly concern the failure to implement a crucial reform, ongoing political repression in the country, and authorizing the zionist entity to meddle with the country’s domestic affairs.

      The remarks were delivered during a press conference in which Sheikh Al-Daihi said Bahrainis have no power or representation in legislation and legislative processes.

      According to the Sheikh, the core issue is that Bahrainis are deprived of a legal state by a small group of elites that carry out most decision-making, manage public wealth and security, and deprive the people of all their rights.

      He further said that Bahrainis are continuing to pay a heavy price for their freedoms by getting killed, imprisoned, displaced, dishonored, denaturalized, their mosques demolished, their basic rights infringed on, and the list goes on. 

      Read more: Rights mustn’t be violated, lives of punished mustn’t be taken: Pope

      Al Wefaq party cites reasons for formal boycott of Bahrain elections

      November 6, 2022

      Source: Agencies

      By Al Mayadeen English 

      The leader of the Al-Wefaq party says it has become obvious that the political foundations of the country are based on absolutism.

      Al-Wefaq Deputy Secretary-General Hussain Al-Daihi

      The Deputy Secretary-General of the Bahraini political party Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Hussain Al-Daihi, announced that his party is boycotting the general elections in Bahrain.

      The reasons justifying the boycott are diverse but mainly concern the failure to implement a crucial reform, ongoing political repression in the country, and authorizing the zionist entity to meddle with the country’s domestic affairs.

      The remarks were delivered during a press conference in which Sheikh Al-Daihi said Bahrainis have no power or representation in legislation and legislative processes.

      According to the Sheikh, the core issue is that Bahrainis are deprived of a legal state by a small group of elites that carry out most decision-making, manage public wealth and security, and deprive the people of all their rights.

      He further said that Bahrainis are continuing to pay a heavy price for their freedoms by getting killed, imprisoned, displaced, dishonored, denaturalized, their mosques demolished, their basic rights infringed on, and the list goes on. 

      Touching upon the 2002 constitution, Al-Daihi stressed that it has become obvious that the political foundations of the country are based on absolutism.

      The system of government in the Kingdom of Bahrain is supposed to be democratic, with sovereignty being in the hands of the people, “the source of all powers.”

      But instead, the constitution blends the executive, legislative, and judicial powers together in one framework, which inevitably contradicts the principle that the people are indeed the source of all powers.

      To add insult to injury, Bahrain, considering how small it is in size, is now ranking among the worst violators of human rights due to its violent crackdowns on the opposition, the Sheikh said. 

      Read more: NGO reports on increased abuse on political prisoners in Bahrain jail

      The elections meant to elect 40 members of the Council of Representatives are scheduled to be held in Manama on November 12.

      But Al-Daihi said it is pointless to accept these “useless elections” as they merely reflect the will of the elite which “consecrate injustice, enslavement, and marginalization that no sane, straightforward, and honest citizen, whose eyes and heart lay on the interests of his people and his country, would ever approve of.”

      Sheikh Al-Daihi added that engaging in the electoral process will not only serve to re-perpetuate the crisis and elongate the sentences of political prisoners but will also enable the zionist entity to meddle in Bahraini domestic affairs via diplomatic normalization, which is to be avoided at all costs.

      Read more: Bahrain king dismisses minister for refusal to normalize with “Israel”

      The Sheikh proclaimed that the party Al-Wefaq strongly condemns all means of subjugating people to slavery, exclusionary decision-making processes, and marginalization, which will all remain if the electoral process goes into effect.

      He pointed out several defects with the overall engineering of the electoral districts and the subsequent social divisions it generates, the lack of legislative and oversight powers, the participation of the military personnel who amounts to over 17% of the electorate, and the adoption of the Political Isolation Law that prohibits all activists and opponents belonging to the main political parties from running and voting.

      Al-Wefaq announces that it is fully boycotting the parliamentary and municipal elections and called on citizens to follow suit, adding that the party expects the lowest level of engagement with it and that acts of threats, intimidation, and coercion by the regime in Bahrain will be to no avail.

      On November 5, the party issued a pamphlet titled “139 reasons to boycott the parliamentary and municipal elections.”

      One of the reasons listed in the pamphlet reads, “The Parliament’s inability to safeguard the practices of basic rights of free speech and the freedom to protest peacefully, and its neglect of the executive body’s systematic abuses on freedom of expression. The Parliament is a partner in repressing freedoms.”

      Read more: Rights mustn’t be violated, lives of punished mustn’t be taken: Pope

      Bahrain Regime Holds Dialogue Forum to Ameliorate Heinous Image of Human Rights Violations

      Nov 5 2022

      By Staff, Agencies

      Relatives of Bahraini political prisoners have called on Pope Francis to put pressure on the Manama regime to end human rights abuses across the kingdom, calling on the pontiff to highlight the plight of the inmates by visiting their families and even prisoners themselves.

      In a report published on Friday, Middle East Eye said the relatives of political prisoners in Bahrain had welcomed Pope Francis’ call for the revocation of the death penalty and observance of human rights in the kingdom, expressing hope that the pontiff would use the remainder of his historic four-day trip to visit families of death row inmates as well as the prisoners.

      “There is an urgent need for the Pope to continue pressuring towards ending human rights violations,” Ali Mushaima, Bahraini human rights activist and son of an imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader Hasan Mushaima, told Middle East Eye on Friday.

      “I previously requested the Pope meet with my father in prison and demand the immediate release of all political prisoners and I hope that this will happen during the upcoming days.”

      The Pope’s visit comes as Bahraini rights activists have raised concerns that the ruling Al Khalifa regime would take advantage of the trip to showcase an image of religious coexistence even while standing accused of systematic persecution of the Shia majority in the country, including many of the political prisoners.

      Maryam Alkhawaja, a Bahraini human rights activist and daughter of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, a prominent human rights defender imprisoned since 2011, told Middle East Eye that she and others had called on the Pope to cancel his visit to Bahrain or refuse to shake hands with the kingdom’s ruler, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, but neither of them came to pass.

      “However, we are very happy to see that he took this as an opportunity to raise human rights concerns including the death penalty and the sectarian discrimination against the Shia population in Bahrain,” Alkhawaja said.

      The rights activist also said she believed the regime’s plan to use the Pope’s trip as a publicity stunt had backfired, adding, “The visit has worked against them as it has brought further attention to the disastrous human rights situation in the country.”

      Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, said in a statement on Friday that the ruling regime was exploiting the ongoing visit by Pope Francis to cover up its gross human rights violations and repressive measures against democracy advocates.

      Al-Wefaq added that the Manama regime seeks to mask the extent of its oppression and religious discrimination as prisons and detention centers across Bahrain are full of scholars, professors, elites and nationalist figures who are subjected to all forms of torture and humiliation.

      Earlier, nine international human rights organizations urged Pope Francis to call for an end to human rights abuses in Bahrain and denounce the injustice and repressive policies of the Al-Khalifa regime during his visit to the country.

      The head of the Catholic Church is currently paying an official visit to Bahrain at the invitation of the country’s civil and ecclesial authorities. He will conclude his trip on November 6.

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      Russia courts Muslim countries as strategic Eurasian partners

      Thursday, 13 October 2022 7:10 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 14 October 2022 9:14 AM ]

      Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attend the CICA summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on October 13, 2022.

      By Pepe Escobar

      Everything that matters in the complex process of Eurasia integration was once again at play in Astana, as the – renamed – Kazakh capital hosted the 6th Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

      The roll call was a Eurasian thing of beauty – featuring the leaders of Russia and Belarus (EAEU), West Asia (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Palestine) and Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan).

      China and Vietnam (East and Southeast Asia) attended at the level of vice presidents.

      CICA is a multinational forum focused on cooperation toward peace, security, and stability across Asia.,Kazakh President Tokayev revealed that CICA has just adopted a declaration to turn the forum into an international organization.  

      CICA has already established a partnership with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). So in practice, it will soon be working together side-by-side with the SCO, the EAEU and certainly BRICS+.

      The Russia-Iran strategic partnership was prominently featured at CICA, especially after Iran being welcomed to the SCO as a full member.

      President Raeisi, addressing the forum, stressed the crucial notion of an emerging  “new Asia”, where “convergence and security” are “not compatible with the interests of hegemonic countries and any attempt to destabilize independent nations has goals and consequences beyond national geographies, and in fact, aims to target the stability and prosperity of regional countries.”

      For Tehran, being a partner in the integration of CICA, within a maze of pan-Asia institutions, is essential after all these decades of”maximum pressure” unleashed by the Hegemon.

      Moreover, it opens an opportunity, as Raeisi noted, for Iran to profit from “Asia’s economic infrastructure.”

      Russian President Vladimir Putin, predictably, was the star of the show in Astana. It’s essential to note that Putin is supported by “all”nations represented at CICA.

      High-level bilaterals with Putin included the Emir of Qatar: everyone that matters in West Asia wants to talk to “isolated” Russia.      

      Putin called for “compensation for the damage caused to the Afghans during the years of occupation” (we all know the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder will refuse it), and emphasized the key role of the SCO to develop Afghanistan.

      He stated that Asia, “where new centers of power are growing stronger, plays a big role in the transition to a multipolar world order”.

      He warned, “there is a real threat of famine and large-scale shocks against the backdrop of volatility in energy and food prices in the world.”

      Hefurther called for the end of a financial system that benefits the “Golden billion” – who “live at the expense of others” (there’s nothing “golden” about this “billion”: at best such definition of wealth applies to 10 million.)

      And he stressed that Russia is doing everything to “form a system of equal and indivisible security”. Exactly what drives the hegemonic imperial elites completely berserk.

      “Offer you can’t refuse” bites the dust

      The imminent juxtaposition between CICA and the SCO and EAEU is yet another instance of how the pieces of the complex Eurasia jigsaw puzzle are coming together.

      Turkey and Saudi Arabia – in theory, staunch imperial military allies – are itching to join the SCO, which has recently welcomed Iran as a full member. 

      That spells out Ankara and Riyadh’s geopolitical choice of forcefully eschewing the imperial Russophobia cum Sinophobia offensive.  

      Erdogan, as an observer at the recent SCO summit in Samarkand, sent out exactly this message. The SCO is fast reaching the point where we may have, sitting at the same table, and taking important consensual decisions, not only the “RICs” (Russia, India, China) in BRICS (soon to be expanded to BRICS+) but arguably the top players inMuslim countries: Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.

      This evolving process, not without its serious challenges, testifies to the concerted Russia-China drive to incorporate the lands of Islam as essential strategic partners in forging the post-Western multipolar world. Call it a soft Islamization of multipolarity.  

      No wonder the Anglo-American axis is absolutely petrified.

      Now cut to a graphic illustration of all of the above – the way it’s being played in the energy markets: the already legendary Opec+ meeting in Vienna a week ago.

      A tectonic geopolitical shift was inbuilt in the – collective – decision to slash oil production by 2 million barrels a day.

      The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a very diplomatic note with a stunning piece of information for those equipped to read between the lines.

      For all practical purposes, the combo behind the teleprompter reader in Washington had issued a trademark Mafia threat to stop “protection” to Riyadh if the decision on the oil cuts was taken before the US mid-term elections. 

      Only this time the “offer you can’t refuse” didn’t bite. OPEC+ made a collective decision, led by Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

      Following Putin and MBS famously getting along, it was up to Putin to host UAE President Sheikh Zayed – or MBZ, MBS’s mentor – at the stunning Konstantinovsky Palace in St. Petersburg, which datesback to Peter the Great.

      That was a sort of informal celebration of how OPEC+ had provoked, with a single move, a superpower strategic debacle when it comes to the geopolitics of oil, which the Empire had controlled for a century. 

      Everyone remembers, after the bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, how US neo-cons bragged, “we are the new OPEC”.

      Well, not anymore. And the move had to come from the Russians and US Persian Gulf “allies” when everyone expected that would happen the day a Chinese delegation lands in Riyadh and asks for payment of all the energy they need in yuan.

      OPEC+ called the American bluff and left the superpower high’n dry. So what are they going to do to “punish” Riyadh and Abu Dhabi? Call CENTCOM in Qatar and Bahrain to mobilize their aircraft carriers and unleash regime change?

      What’s certain is that the Straussian/neocon psychos in charge in Washington will double down on hybrid war.

      The art of “spreading instability”

      In St. Petersburg, as he addressed MBZ, Putin made it clear that it’s OPEC+ – led by Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – that is now setting the pace to “stabilize global energy markets” so consumers and suppliers would “feel calm, stable and confident” and supply and demand “would be balanced”.

      On the gas front, at Russian Energy Week, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller made it clear that Russia may still “save” Europe from an energy black hole.

      Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) may become operational: but all political roadblocks must be removed before any repairing work starts on the pipelines.

      And on West Asia, Miller said additions to Turk Stream have already been planned, much to the delight of Ankara, keen to become a key energy hub. 

      In a parallel track, it’s absolutely clear that the G7’s desperate gambit of imposing an oil price cap – which translates as the weaponization of sanctions extended to the global energy market – is a losing proposition.

      Slightly over a month before hosting the G20 in Bali, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati could not make it clearer: “When the United States is imposing sanctions using economic instruments, that creates a precedent for everything”, spreading instability “not only for Indonesia but for all other countries.”

      Meanwhile, allMuslim-majority countries are paying very close attention to Russia. The Russia-Iran strategic partnership is now advancing in parallel to the Russia-Saudi-UAE entente as crucial vectors of multipolarity.

      In the near future, all these vectors are bound to unite in what ideally should be a supra-organization capable of managing the top story of the 21st century: Eurasia integration.    

      Pepe Escobar is a veteran journalist, author and independent geopolitical analyst focused on Eurasia.

      (The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

      Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

      Rights Group: Bahrain Has Highest Number of Political Prisoners among Arab States

      September 14, 2022

      By Staff, Agencies

      Bahrain has the biggest number of political prisoners among Arab states, an independent human rights organization said.

      The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights [BCHR] censured the Gulf kingdom over its repressive measures and heavy-handed crackdown against political opponents and democracy advocates.

      It said in a report that Bahrain, under the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty, has the largest number of imprisoned rights activists, and it is estimated that there are some 4,500 campaigners being held behind bars across the country.

      The organization went on to note that a lot of reports published over the past decade have shed light on the deplorable conditions of prisoners at Bahraini jails, prompting the international community and human rights organizations to compel the Al Khalifa regime to relatively improve prison conditions.

      BCHR highlighted that Bahraini authorities have arrested about 15,000 people for their political beliefs over the last decade, thus turning the country into the first Arab nation with the highest number of prisoners in recent years.

      Political prisoners in Bahrain are subjected to various forms of torture, ill-treatment and persecution, and the Al Khalifa regime silences any opposing voice through detention, torture and execution, it pointed out.

      Lately, Jalal Feroz, a former member of the Bahraini parliament, said more than 2,500 political opponents are incarcerated in Bahraini prisons, and that they are subjected to the most vicious forms of torture.

      BCHR, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights [GCHR] and Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain [ADHRB] recently in a joint report entitled “Prison Conditions in Bahrain” pointed to the serious structural deficiencies in Bahrain’s criminal justice system, and lack of fair trials for defendants.

      They emphasized that human rights are being violated on a large scale at detention centers across the Gulf kingdom, and inmates are exposed to various forms of torture and ill-treatment.

      Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis since the popular uprising began in the Arab country in mid-February 2011.

      People demand that the Al Khalifa regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

      Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any form of dissent.

      The normalization of Bahrain With “Israel” is the great betrayal

      Report: “Israeli”–Arab Middle East Military Network is Evolving Overtly & Covertly

      August 16, 2022 

      By Staff, “Israel” Alma Org.

      Efforts by the apartheid “Israeli” entity and some Arab countries surpass mere normalization to the creation of Middle Eastern NATO-like military alliance, as a report by the “Israeli” Alma Center noted.

      The July visit by US President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia and to the “Israeli”-occupied Palestinian territories was a means to pave the way for such an alliance.

      However, it was likely unrealistic at this stage to expect Riyadh to make public all of the potential ways it might, or already has begun to, cooperate with the “Israeli” entity in the military realm, against the common adversary: Iran and its regional axis.

      According to the report, Saudi Arabia, whose cities, airports, and oil sites have come under regular missile and UAV operations by Iran’s ally the Ansarullah revolutionaries in Yemen, is clearly interested in seeing Iran contained, while also avoiding an all-out war with the Islamic Republic.

      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s conservative social structure also means that the country is unable to change its public orientation to the “Israeli” entity overnight, in the same manner that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain did after signing the August 2020 “Abraham Accords”.

      Although the Saudi leadership has indicated that it requires progress on the “Israeli”–Palestinian front before it can go further in normalization, the ability of “Israeli” and Saudi Arabia to cooperate in quieter ways against Iran likely goes significantly deeper than meets the eye, explained the report.

      The September 2021 shift of the “Israeli” entity from the area of responsibility of the US Military’s European Command [EUCOM] to Central Command [CENTCOM], the latter being responsible for the Middle East, marked a major milestone in the development of a Middle Eastern architecture, the report pointed.

      The report further added that this shift also allowed for much more substantial US-led coordination of operational military activities among the “Israeli” entity, Gulf states, and American forces in the Middle East against Iran’s regional axis.

      That makes a collective approach in the region towards common threats smoother between the apartheid entity, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, but also, likely with Saudi Arabia.

      Now that the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] is a formal CENTCOM partner, new opportunities have opened up, the Alma report explains.

      This includes joint maritime and aerial training exercises, strategic planning, and work on drawing up regional cooperation doctrines. The sharing of intelligence and the transfer of technological capabilities are all likely on the table.

      The entity’s move to CENTCOM formalizes joint military drills involving American, Arab, and “Israeli” forces, creating a platform that can be used to develop common missile defense cooperation, as well as cooperation on maritime security, cyber defense, counter-terrorism, and special operations, the report added.

      While every nation in this bloc is responsible, first and foremost, for creating solutions to its challenges individually, the creation of regional arrangements is already underway between the “Israeli” entity and the Gulf states, despite the fact that each has its own threat profile perception when it comes to the Iranian axis.

      The IOF can provide an array of capabilities to this bloc, the report said.

      Just as Saudi Arabia is now providing overflight rights to civilian airliners flying in its air space, it could, theoretically, do the same for IAF flights, as could other Gulf states that are close to Iran.

      Increasingly intimate joint training, such the November 2021 US, “Israeli”, Emirati, and Bahraini joint navy drill in the Red Sea, forms a key pillar of this emerging bloc.

      The acquisition of “Israeli” air defense systems, such as Iron Dome, by Gulf states remains on the agenda, as well as the transfer of other “Israeli” defense technology.

      The “Israeli” entity is well position to supply UAV interception capabilities to its new Gulf friends, while every country that is under CENTCOM’s area of responsibility can share tracking information of UAV and missile activity by Iran and its allies, creating a regional air defense network, the report stated.

      Many of these activities can be expected to occur away from public view, and therefore, official statements by heads of states, including that of Saudi Arabia during Biden’s recent visit, likely only reflect a part of the full picture.

      Overall, the so-called Abraham Accords are increasingly becoming a daily tool to facilitated “Israeli”–Arab joint operations. Military to military cooperation between the entity, the UAE, and Bahrain are growing closer in plain sights, and daily IOF operations are increasingly being integrated with regional, CENTCOM-led frameworks.

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