من كابول إلى بغداد مفاوضات الجلاء تحت النار

 محمد صادق الحسيني

أصوات عالية بدأت تسمع في واشنطن مفادها بأن بايدن رئيس ضعيف وأنّ إيران تستغلّ ضعفه لإخراجنا من كل من أفغانستان والعراق، كما جاء على لسان السيناتور الجمهوري في الكونغرس الأميركي ليندسي غراهام والذي صرّح بالحرف الواحد:

“الإيرانيون يبذلون جهداً لإخراجنا من العراق وأفغانستان ليسيطروا على هذين البلدين، كما يسعون لصناعة قنبلة نوويّة ويبحثون عن تدمير إسرائيل”.

 أضاف: “إنني لم أقلق يوماً كما أقلق الآن من إمكانية نشوب حرب بين إيران وإسرائيل”.

من جهة أخرى، فإنّ كلّ التقارير الميدانية الواردة من أفغانستان والعراق وإنْ بشكل متفاوت ومختلف، تفيد بأنّ واشنطن يتقلص نفوذها هناك وهي في طريقها للرحيل صاغرة أمام تحوّلات البلدين المتسارعة نحو التحرّر من الهيمنة الأميركية.

وهذا قانون من قوانين السنن الكونية بعد خسارة الأميركيين كل معاركهم ضدّ هذين البلدين كما ضدّ شعوب المنطقة.

في المقابل، فإنّ هذا لا يعني سقوط أميركا وهزيمتها الكاملة، والأهمّ إقرارها هي بهذه الحقيقة.

بل إنّ ثمة ما يشي بذهاب واشنطن الى خطط جديدة تقيها دفع الأثمان الباهظة نتيجة هذا الانسحاب بالإكراه ولو مؤقتاً…!

ففي أفغانستان ظلت واشنطن لفترة طويلة تحشد حوالي هذا البلد الإسلامي (جمهوريّات الاتحاد السوفياتيّ السابقة) بمجموعات من المسلّحين الإرهابيين من داعش والقاعدة في مناورة مكشوفة لإشعال حروب اثنية تجعل الاستقرار في هذا البلد الذي يمثل الكوريدور الحيوي شمال – جنوب، صعب المنال ليس فقط للأفغان، بل وأيضاً لإعدائها وتحويل هذا الطريق لكلّ من روسيا وإيران بمثابة حزام ناري يلفّ كلّ الحيّز الحيوي الجيوبوليتيكي لهذين البلدين الصاعدين دولياً الى جانب الصين.

هذا كما لجأت واشنطن مؤخراً الى حارس مرمى الناتو الجنوبي ومخلبها المتقدّم أردوغان لتسليم أمن مطار كابول أولاً ومن ثم المدينة أيضاً (حسب ما جاء في محادثات بايدن وأردوغان في بروكسل أثناء قمة الناتو) ربما في مقدّمة لإحداث قاعدة عسكريّة هناك لهم كما هي الحالة في قطر والصومال (علماً انّ هناك الآن نحو 500 جندي تركي في أفغانستان)، على افتراض ان تتحوّل هذه المعادلة الأمنية الجديدة بمثابة التفاف جديد للناتو حول رقبة كلّ من إيران شرقاً وموسكو جنوباً والصين غرباً…!

في ما يخص العراق تحاول واشنطن أن ترمي بالعراق الجديد الذي تؤكده كلّ حقائق الجغرافيا والتاريخ بمثابة الجار الطبيعي الحليف لإيران، بمثابة حلقة “إبراهيمية” في تحالف “شامي” مزيّف مع كلّ من الأردن ومصر، لترميه في غياهب اللاهوية واللا قرار، غصباً عن أهله وطبيعته الناصعة في الانتماء العربي والإسلامي المقاوم.

ولما كانت تظنّ كما في أفغانستان أنها في طريقها لفقدان نفوذها المباشر وعليها الرحيل في أقرب الآجال فهي تحاول من خلال تعطيل او الإخلال في الانتخابات المقبلة بهدف الإبقاء على بقايا من بقاياها في نسيج السلطة!

إنّ واشنطن تعرف تماماً أنّ موازين القوى العالمية والإقليمية الجديدة تتحدث على أرض الواقع بأنّ وجودها في بحارنا وأراضينا لم يعد مقبولاً، وانّ عليها الرحيل، وهي تحزم حقائبها في إطار دفع هذا الثمن، لكن دفع هذا الثمن بالأقساط وتحت النار، نار الفتن الإثنية والمذهبيّة، وإشغال قوى محور المقاومة وأصدقائنا من الروس والصينيين في معارك جانبية عديدة لمنعهم من ملء الفراغ…!

وقد أتت معركة سيف القدس الأخيرة بمثابة إضافة نوعية مهمة ليس فقط في رفع قدرات محور المقاومة في موازين القوى العالميّة والإقليمية، بل وفي تخفيض وزن العدو “الإسرائيلي” لدى واشنطن أيضاً وليس فقط بالمقارنة مع قوّتنا الصاعدة، ما يجعل واشنطن أكثر حماساً في الرحيل السريع، وأكثر إحجاماً عن الدخول في حروب جديدة منعاً لاستنزاف قواتها في حروب لم تعد مضمونة كما كانت في القرن الماضي…!

ما يجري في لبنان وسورية من ضغوط عالية جداً في مجال التضييق على أهلنا في الغذاء والدواء والمحروقات، ومحاولة وقف عجلة إعادة البناء او التسريع في الانهيارات الاقتصادية، إنما يتمّ بشكل ممنهج ومنظم من قبل عملاء وأدوات أميركا من كارتيلات وحيتان مال وبقايا أمراء حروب، تلعب في الوقت الضائع لصالح سيدها، الى حين تنتهي معركة التفاوض بين إيران وأميركا وروسيا والصين مع أميركا، تحت النار، لا أكثر ولا أقلّ…!

عملية العدوان الغادر على مقار الحشد الشعبي على الحدود العراقية السورية، بأمر من بايدن شخصياً، جاءت لخدمة السياسة الآنفة الذكر وفي رسالة ردع يائسة لمنع العراق من الالتحاق بمعركة “الحرب الإقليميّة من أجل القدس” القادمة لا محالة.

وفي هذا السياق لا فرق إن تمّ التوافق بين طهران وواشنطن في فيينا أو ذهبت الأمور الى نهاياتها المسدودة وهو الأرجح، وكذلك لا فرق أن تعزّز توافق بوتين وبايدن للحفاظ على التوازن الاستراتيجي الذي تمّ في جنيف مؤخراً، أو عاد الطرفان الى تسعير الحرب الباردة بينهما من جديد، فالأمر سيان.

ففي كلتا الحالتين فإنّ المرحلة الانتقالية هذه ستظلّ سائدة الى حين، وأنّ نهاياتها لا بدّ منتهية بنصر وانفراج كبيرين لمحور المقاومة المنتصر.

والمعسكر المهزوم ليس أمامه سوى عدّ أيامه المتبقية في المنطقة بانتظار ترتيبات المغادرة والانسحاب من دون شك أو ترديد.

إنهم راحلون لأنهم طارئون ونحن الباقون لأننا أصحاب الأرض والحق، والسنن الكونية الواضحة والجازمة تعمل كما يجب، وهي في هذه الحالة لصالحنا وهي التي تقطع بأنّ المنهزم عليه دفع الثمن، وانّ المنتصر هو من يحدّد شروط الهزيمة والإذعان، وليس العكس.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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Islamic Jihad to ’Act Accordingly’ If ’Israel’ Continues Gaza Strikes

19/06/2021

Islamic Jihad to ’Act Accordingly’ If ’Israel’ Continues Gaza Strikes

By Staff, Agencies

Palestinian resistance groups warned Egyptian mediators that their patience is “running out” after the Zionist occupation regime Thursday evening launched an attack against Hamas positions in retaliation for the launching of incendiary balloons, a senior Islamic Jihad official said on Saturday.

The exchanges of hostilities come as the UN and Egypt try to consolidate a fragile ceasefire the ‘Israeli’ side begged for on May 21 following nearly two weeks of intense retaliation from resistance movements in Gaza to the Zionist onslaught.

“The Islamic Jihad will react accordingly to any future ‘Israeli’ military attack,” the official warned, vowing that the Palestinian resistance group “will not allow the ‘Israeli’ government to impose conditions on the resistance or isolate Gaza.”

The official further indicated that “the joint room of the resistance groups in Gaza have formulated a final and unified position to face the ‘Israeli’ action in the coming days.”

Continued ‘Israeli’ strikes “will certainly lead” to a resumption of military confrontation across the border in the near future,’ the Islamic Jihad official added.

On Nasser’s Fight for Arabic Independence and a Free Palestine

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Cynthia Chung

June 15, 2021

Nasser became the catalyst for an Arab Revolution for independence, a revolution that remains yet to be finished, Cynthia Chung writes.

In the 1950s the so-called enemy of the West was not only Moscow but the Third World’s emerging nationalists, from Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt to Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. The United States and Britain staged a coup d’état against Mossadegh, and used the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist movement and the grandfather organization of the militant Islamic right, in an attempt to remove Nasser, the leader of the Arab nationalists.

In the 1960s, left wing nationalism and Arab socialism spread from Egypt to Algeria to Syria, Iraq and Palestine. This emergence presented a threat to the old imperialist game of Great Britain, to which the United States was a recent recruit of, and thus they decided to forge a working alliance with Saudi Arabia intent on using Wahhabi fundamentalism as their foreign policy arm in the Middle East, along with the Muslim Brotherhood.

This paper will go through the carving up of the Middle East under Sykes-Picot, the British creation of Saudi Arabia and Israel and the British occupation of Palestine, the origin of the Muslim Brotherhood and Nasser’s fight for Arab independence. In a follow-up paper, I will discuss the role of the City of London in facilitating the bankroll of the first Islamic fundamentalist state Saudi Arabia, along with the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist apparatus.

An “Arab Awakening” Made in Britain

The renunciation will not be easy. Jewish hopes have been raised to such a pitch that the non-fulfilment of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine will cause intense disillusionment and bitterness. The manifold proofs of public spirit and of capacity to endure hardships and face danger in the building up of the national home are there to testify to the devotion with which a large section of the Jewish people cherish the Zionist ideal. And it would be an act of further cruelty to the Jews to disappoint those hopes if there existed some way of satisfying them, that did not involve cruelty to another people. But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.”

– the concluding paragraph of George Antonius’ “The Arab Awakening” (1938)

Much of what is responsible for the war and havoc in the Middle East today has the British orchestrated so-called “Arab Awakening” to thank, led by characters such as E.G. Browne, St. John Philby, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, and Gertrude Bell. Although its origins go as far back as the 19th century, it was only until the early 20th century, that the British were able to reap significant results from its long harvest.

The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, had been, to the detriment of the Arab people, a British led rebellion. The British claimed that their sole interest in the affair was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and had given their word that these Arab territories would be freed and allowed independence if they agreed to rebel, in large part led and directed by the British.

It is a rather predictable feature of the British to lie and double cross and thus it should be of no surprise to anyone that their intentions were quite the opposite of what they had promised and thanks to the Sykes-Picot Russian leak, were revealed in their entire shameful glory.

If the Sultan of Turkey were to disappear, then the Caliphate by common consent of Islam would fall to the family of the prophet, Hussein ibn Ali the Sharif of Mecca, a candidate which was approved by the British Cairo office as suitable for British strings. T.E. Lawrence, who worked at the Cairo bureau is quoted as saying:

If the Sultan of Turkey were to disappear, then the Caliphate by common consent of Islam would fall to the family of the prophet, the present representative of which is Hussein, the Sharif of Mecca….If properly handled the Arab States would remain in a state of political mosaic, a tissue of jealous principalities incapable of cohesion…” (1)

Once the Arab Revolt was “won” against the Ottoman Empire, instead of the promised Arab independence, the Middle East was carved up into zones of influence under British and French colonial rule. Puppet monarchies were created in regions that were considered not under direct colonial subjugation in order to continue the illusion that Arabs remained in charge of sacred regions such as Mecca and Medina.

In central Arabia, Hussein, Sharif of Mecca, the puppet leader of the Arab Revolt laid claim to the title Caliph in 1924, which his rival Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud rejected and declared war, defeating the Hashemites. Hussein abdicated and ibn Saud, the favourite of the British India Office, was proclaimed King of Hejaz and Najd in 1926, which led to the founding of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Al Saud warriors of Wahhabism were a formidable strike force that the British believed would help London gain control of the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal (under the heavy tutelage of T.E. Lawrence) was bestowed as King of Iraq and Hussein’s other son, Abdullah I was established as the Emir of Transjordan until a negotiated legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate occurred in 1946, whereupon he was crowned King of Jordan. (For more on this history refer to my paper.)

While the British were promising Arab independence they simultaneously were promising a homeland in Palestine to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917 states:

His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…

Palestine had been seized by the British during the so-called Arab Revolt on December 11th, 1917 when General Allenby marched into Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and declared martial law over the city. Palestine has remained occupied ever since.

Britain would receive the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations in July 1922.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing hundreds of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire. In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel’s “prescription” and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police.

Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947. Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

In 1869, a man named Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the intellectual founder of the Salafiyya movement, went to India where British led colonial authorities welcomed him with honors and graciously escorted him aboard a government owned vessel on an all expenses paid voyage to the Suez. (2)

In Cairo he was adopted by the Egyptian prime minister Riad Pasha, a notorious enemy of the emerging nationalist movement in Egypt. Pasha persuaded Afghani to stay in Egypt and allowed him to take up residence in Cairo’s 900 year old Al Azhar mosque considered the center of Islamic learning worldwide, where he received lodging and a monthly government stipend (paid for by the British). (3)

In 1879, Cairo nationalists in the Egyptian Army, led by the famous Egyptian hero Ahmed ‘Urabi, organised an uprising against the British role in Egypt. Afghani was expelled from Egypt by the Egyptian nationalists that same year.

Ahmed ‘Urabi served as prime minister of Egypt briefly, from July 1882 to Sept 1882, however, his movement for Egyptian independence was eventually crushed by the British with the shelling of Alexandria in July 1882 followed by an invasion which resulted in a direct British occupation of Egypt that would last until 1956. It would be Gamal Abdel Nasser who would finally end British colonial rule of Egypt during the Suez Crisis, whereupon the Suez canal was nationalised and the British military bases expelled.

While Egypt was fighting its nationalist fight from 1879-1882, Afghani and his chief disciple Muhammad Abduh travelled together first to Paris and then to Britain, it was in Britain that they would make a proposal for a pan-Islamic alliance among Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan against Czarist Russia (4).

In addition, the crisis in Sudan, was in the middle of a tribal religious rebellion against the British led by a man named Mohammed Ahmad a Sudanese sheikh who proclaimed himself the Mahdi, or savior, and was leading a puritanical Islamic revolt. (5)

What Afghani was proposing to the British was that they provide aid and resources to support his formation of a militant Islam sect that would favour Britain’s interest in the Middle East, in other words, Afghani wished to fight Islam with Islam, having stated in one of his works “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.”(6)

Although it is said that the British refused this offer, this is not likely considering the support Afghani would receive in creating the intellectual foundation for a pan-Islamic movement with British patronage and the support of England’s leading orientalist E.G. Browne, the godfather of twentieth century Orientalism and teacher of St John Philby and T.E. Lawrence.

E.G. Browne would make sure the work of Afghani would continue long beyond his death by immortalising him in his 1910 “The Persian Revolution,” considered an authoritative history of the time.

In 1888, Abduh, the chief disciple of Afghani, would return to Egypt in triumph with the full support of the representatives of her Majesty’s imperial force and took the first of several positions in Cairo, openly casting his lot with Lord Cromer, who was the symbol of British imperialism in Egypt.

Abduh would found, with the hold of London’s Egyptian proconsul Evelyn Baring (aka Lord Cromer) who was the scion of the enormously powerful banking clan (Barings Bank) under the city of London, the Salafiyya movement. (7)

Abduh had attached himself to the British rulers of Egypt and created the cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood which dominated the militant Islamic right throughout the twentieth century.

In 1899, Abduh reached the pinnacle of his power and influence, and was named mufti of Egypt.

***

In 1902, Riyadh fell to Ibn Saud and it was during this period that Ibn Saud established the fearsome Ikhwan (translated as “brotherhood”). He collected fighters from Bedouin tribes firing them up with fanatical religious zeal and threw them into battle. By 1912 the Ikhwan numbered 11,000 and Ibn Saud had both central Arabia’s Nejd and Al-Ahsa in the east under his control.

From the 1920s onward, the new Saudi state merged its Wahhabi orthodoxy with the Salafiyya movement (which would be organised into the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928).

William Shakespear, a famed British agent, forged the first formal treaty between England and Saudi Arabia which was signed in 1915, which bound London and Arabia for years before Saudi Arabia became a country. “It formally recognized Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of the Nejd and its Dependencies under British protection. In return, Ibn Saud undertook to follow British advice.” (8)

Harry St. John Bridger Philby, a British operative schooled by E.G. Browne and father to the legendary triple agent Kim Philby, would succeed Shakespear as Great Britain’s liaison to Ibn Saud under the British India Office, the friendly rival of the Cairo Arab Bureau office which was sponsoring T.E. Lawrence of Arabia.

In Egypt 1928, Hassan al-Banna (a follower of Afghani and Abduh) founded the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), the organization that would change the course of history in the twentieth century Middle East.

Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood was established with a grant from England’s Suez Canal Company (9) and from that point on, British diplomats and intelligence service, along with the British puppet King Farouq would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a truncheon against Egypt’s nationalists and later against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.

To get the Muslim Brotherhood off the ground, the Suez Canal Company helped Banna build the mosque in Ismailia that would serve as its headquarters and base of operation. (10) The fact that Banna created the organization in Ismailia is itself worthy of note. For England, the Suez Canal was the indispensable route to its prize possession, India and in 1928 the town Ismailia happened to house not only the company’s offices but a major British military base built during WWI. It was also, in the 1920s a center of pro-British sentiment in Egypt.

In the post-WWI world, England reigned supreme, the flag of the British empire was everywhere from the Mediterranean to India. A new generation of kings and potentates ruled over British dominated colonies, mandates, vassal states, and semi-independent fiefdoms in Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Arabia and Persia. To varying degrees those monarchies were beholden to London.

In the half century between 1875 and 1925 the building blocks of the militant Islamic right were cemented in place by the British Empire.

Nasser Leads the Fight for Arab Independence

In 1942, the Muslim Brotherhood would earn their well-deserved reputation for extremism and violence by establishing the “Secret Apparatus,” an intelligence service and secret terrorist unit. This clandestine unit functioned for over twelve years almost entirely unchecked, assassinating judges, police officers, government officials and engaging in goon squad attacks on labor unions and communists.

Throughout this period the Muslim Brotherhood worked for the most part in an alliance with King Farouq (and thus the British), using their clandestine forces on behalf of British interests. And throughout its entire existence it would receive political support and money from the Saudi royal family and the Wahhabi establishment (more on this in part 2 of this series).

The Secret Apparatus would be smashed into pieces by Nasser in 1954.

After WWII, the faltering Farouq regime lashed out against the left in an intense campaign of repression aimed at the communists. The Cold War was beginning. In 1946, prime minister Isma’il Sidqi of Egypt who was installed as head of the government with the support of Banna, openly funded the Muslim Brotherhood and provided training camps for its shock troops used in a sweeping anti-left campaign. Sidqi resigned in Dec 1946 after less than one year as PM due to massive unpopularity.

As King Farouq began to lose his grip on the Egyptian people, the Brotherhood distanced itself while maintaining shadowy ties to the army and to foreign intelligence agencies and always opposed to the left.

The Palestine War (1947-1949) resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel at the cost of 700,000 displaced Palestinian Arabs and the destruction of most of their urban areas.

The territory that was under British administration before the war was divided between the State of Israel (officially formed May 14th, 1948), which captured about 78% of it. In opposition to Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan captured and later annexed the West Bank, and Egypt captured the Gaza Strip, with the Arab League establishing the All-Palestine Government, which came to an end in June 1967 when the Gaza Strip, along with the West Bank, were captured by Israel in the Six-Day War.

The Egyptian people were furious over these developments, and the reign of British puppet King Farouq who had done nothing to prevent the dismantling of Palestine was on extremely shaky ground. In response to this, Farouq’s accord with the Muslim Brotherhood broke down, and in December 1948, the Egyptian government outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood. Weeks later a Brotherhood assassin murdered prime minister Mahmoud El Nokrashy.

Two months later, in Feb. 1949, Banna was assassinated in Cairo by the Egyptian secret police.

For Arab nationalists, Israel was a symbol of Arab weakness and semi-colonial subjugation, overseen by proxy kings in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

On the night of July 23, 1952, the Free Officers, led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser, staged a military coup that launched the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, overthrowing the British puppet monarch. The Free Officers, knowing that warrants had been issued for their arrest, launched the coup that night, storming the staff headquarters in Cairo.

Cairo was now, for the first time, under the control of the Arab people after over 70 years of British occupation.

The seizure of power by the Free Officers in Egypt came during an era when the entire Arab world from Morocco to Iraq was locked in the grip of imperialism. Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia were French colonies; Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman and Yemen were British colonies. Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were kingdoms ruled by monarchies installed by London. And Egypt under King Farouq was the political and economic center of the Arab world.

A growing surge of Arab nationalism arose in response to the Free Officers’ actions in Egypt. The powerful Voice of the Arabs radio in Cairo was reporting to the entire Arab world that they had found their independence movement, and that Nasser was at its helm.

From 1956 to 1958 Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon underwent rebellions, Iraq’s king was toppled, and Syria united with Egypt in Nasser’s United Arab Republic, part of Nasser’s strategy to unify the Arab world.

In Algeria, moral and material support was given from Cairo towards the Algerian revolution that finally won them independence from French colonial rule in 1962.

That same year, Yemen underwent a Nasser-inspired revolt, triggering a proxy war pitting Saudi Arabia against Egypt, with Nasser stating in a 1962 speech, “Yemen’s fight is my fight. Yemen’s Revolution is our Revolution.”

Nasser’s leadership and the inspiration he stirred were so strong that even as late as 1969 the year before Nasser’s death, Libya’s king was overthrown and Sudan’s right-wing regime was eliminated by military leaders loyal to Nasser.

Nasser had managed to threaten the very heart of Anglo-America’s post-WWII strategy in the Middle East. Nasser understood, that if the vast oil fields in Saudi Arabia were under Arab control, the potential for an economic boom would be enormous for all Arab states, such that the old game of imperialism by Britain and France could no longer retain its chokehold on Arab independence.

Not only was Egypt a military rival to Saudi Arabia, not only did Cairo clash with Riyadh in a shooting war in Yemen, not only did Nasser inspire Arabs in Saudi Arabia with republican ideals but the Egyptian leader even won over some of Saudi Arabia’s royal family. This group was led by Prince Talal to form the ‘Free Princes’, which defected to Egypt demanding the establishment of a republic in Saudi Arabia!

What was really going on during the period of 1954 to 1970, under Nasser’s leadership, was a war between two competing visions for the future of the Middle East; an Arab world of independent but cooperative Arab republics utilising their natural resources to facilitate an economic boom in industrialisation vs a semi-feudal scattering of monarchies with their natural resources largely at the West’s disposal.

The real reason why the British and Anglo Americans wanted Nasser removed, was not because he was a communist or because he was susceptible to communist influence; it was because he refused to obey his would-be foreign controllers and was rather successful in this endeavour, bringing their shadowy actions uncomfortably close to the light and inspiring loyalty amongst Arabs outside of Egypt including those sitting on top of the oil.

What especially worried London and Washington was the idea that Nasser might succeed in his plan to unify Egypt and Saudi Arabia thus creating a major Arab power. Nasser believed that these oil wells were not only for the government of those territories to do with as they wished but belonged to all Arab people and thus should be used for the advancement of the Arab world. Afterall, most Arabs are aware that both the monarchies themselves and the artificial borders that demarcate their states, were designed by imperialists seeking to build fences around oil wells in the 1920s.

Nasser understood that if Cairo and Riyadh were to unite in a common cause for the uplifting of the Arab people, it would create a vastly important new Arab center of gravity with worldwide influence.

In 1954 Egypt and the United Kingdom had signed an agreement over the Suez Canal and British military basing rights. It was a short lived. By 1956 Great Britain, France and Israel concocted a plot against Egypt aimed at toppling Nasser and seizing control of the Suez Canal, a conspiracy that enlisted the Muslim Brotherhood.

In fact, the British went so far as to hold secret meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood in Geneva. According to author Stephen Dorrill, two British intelligence agents Col. Neil McLean and Julian Amery, helped MI6 organize a clandestine anti-Nasser opposition in the south of France and in Switzerland, (11) in his book he writes “They also went so far as to make contact in Geneva…with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, informing only MI6 of this demarche which they kept secret from the rest of the Suez Group [which was planning the military operation via its British bases by the Suez Canal]. Amery forwarded various names to [Selwyn] Lloyd, [the British foreign secretary].”

British prime minister Anthony Eden, Churchill’s handpicked successor, was violently anti-Nasser all along and considered a British coup d’état in Cairo as early as 1953. Other than such brash actions, the only political force that could mount a challenge to Nasser was the Muslim Brotherhood which had hundreds of thousands of followers.

Nasser’s long postponed showdown with the Muslim Brotherhood occurred in 1954, this was timed to add pressure during the rising frustration concerning the British-Egyptian negotiations over the transfer of the Suez Canal and its military bases to Egypt. The British, after over 70 years of direct occupation in Egypt, were not going to give up on one of their most prized jewels, their gateway to the Orient, so easily.

From 1954 on, Anthony Eden, the British prime minister was demanding Nasser’s head. According to Stephen Dorrill’s “MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations”, Eden had ranted “What’s all this nonsense about isolating Nasser or ‘neutralising’ him, as you call it? I want him destroyed, can’t you understand? I want him murdered…And I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt.”

Nasser would not back down, and in the first few months of 1954 the Muslim Brotherhood and Nasser went to war, culminating in Nasser outlawing them as a terrorist group and a pawn of the British.

On Oct. 1954, a Muslim Brotherhood member Mahmoud Abdel-Latif attempted to assassinate Nasser while he was delivering a speech in Alexandria, which was live broadcasting to the Arab world by radio, to celebrate the British military withdrawal.

Panic broke out in the mass audience, but Nasser maintained his posture and raised his voice to appeal for calm, and with great emotion he exclaimed the following:

My countrymen, my blood spills for you and for Egypt. I will live for your sake and die for the sake of your freedom and honor. Let them kill me; it does not concern me so long as I have instilled pride, honor, and freedom in you.”

The crowd roared in approval and Arab audiences were electrified. The assassination attempt backfired, and quickly played back into Nasser’s hands. Upon returning to Cairo, he ordered one of the largest political crackdowns in the modern history of Egypt, with the arrests of thousands of dissenters, mostly members of the Brotherhood.

The decree banning the Muslim Brotherhood organization said “The revolution will never allow reactionary corruption to recur in the name of religion.” (12)

In 1967, there was a Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab states Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, which was started by Israel in a coordinated aerial attack on Egypt, eliminating roughly 90% of Egyptian air forces that were still on the ground, followed by an aerial attack on Jordan, Syria and Iraq. Israel then went on to conduct a ground attack with tanks and infantry, devastating whole Arab regions.

Despite the disastrous loss to Israel, the people of Egypt refused to accept Nasser’s resignation and took to the streets in a mass demonstration calling for Nasser’s return. Nasser accepted the call of the people and returned to his position as president where he remained as until his death in Sept 1970.

Five million people turned out on the streets of Egypt for Nasser’s funeral, and hundreds of millions more mourned his death throughout the world.

Although Nasser had devastatingly lost a battle, the Egyptian people along with their Arab compatriots understood that the fight for Arab independence was not lost. The dream of dignity and freedom, in forever opposition to the shackles of tyranny could not be buried now that it had been stirred to its very core. Nasser would be the catalyst for an Arab Revolution for independence, a revolution that remains yet to be finished.

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Cynthia CHUNG

Cynthia Chung is a lecturer, writer and co-founder and editor of the Rising Tide Foundation (Montreal, Canada).

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‘Israel’ Begged US to Broker Gaza Ceasefire – Yedioth

06-06-2021

‘Israel’ Begged US to Broker Gaza Ceasefire - Yedioth

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said Tel Aviv begged the US to mediate a ceasefire during the 11-day military aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip that prompted the Palestinian resistance to retaliate with a massive rocket barrage.

Contrary to what is believed, ‘Israel’ was the side trying to achieve a truce during the war, Yedioth reported on Saturday.

According to the report, Tel Aviv repeatedly contacted the administration of US President Joe Biden to broker “a dignified ceasefire” by putting pressure on Egypt and some other countries.

After the Biden administration did not show much interest in intervening in the matter, Tel Aviv sent a message to Cairo calling on the North African state to intervene with the US approval, it added.

Tel Aviv launched the bombing campaign against Gaza on May 10, after Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East al-Quds.

The Gaza-based resistance groups did not sit idly by in the face of the ‘Israeli’ onslaught. Appearing noticeably stronger than before, the Palestinian fighters took the occupation entity by surprise with massive barrages of rockets.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 4,300 rockets towards different cities in the occupied lands during the war, which ended on May 21 after ‘Israel’ announced a unilateral ceasefire that the resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.

The Palestinian resistance struck the Red Sea port of Eilat, over 190 kilometers away using a new Ayyash-250 rocket.

Zionist media admitted at least 13 Zionist settlers were killed in the panic-stricken occupied territories and 357 others were injured, suggesting that the regime’s much-publicized “Iron Dome” missile system had failed in the face of the massive rocket fire.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said 253 Palestinians lost their lives in the ‘Israeli’ offensive, including 66 children and 39 women, and 1948 others were wounded.

المثلث السعودي- القطري- الإماراتي.. أين السيسي وإردوغان؟

حسني محلي

03-06-2021

حسني محلي 

المصدر: الميادين نت


حديث عن تحرك قطري مدعوم من إردوغان لمنع أي تقارب عربي مع دمشق، على الأقل قبل الاتّفاق النووي الذي سيحقق لطهران مكاسب إضافيّة.

استغلَّت قطر العزلة الإماراتية عربياً، فسبقت إردوغان إلى المصالحة مع السيسي.

ستغلَّت قطر العزلة الإماراتية عربياً، فسبقت إردوغان إلى المصالحة مع السيسي

بعد سلسلة من التناقضات التي شهدتها علاقات قطر مع كلٍّ من السعودية والإمارات، بعد انقلاب عبد الفتاح السيسي على الإخوان المسلمين في مصر، وهو ما انعكس على علاقات هذه الدول وسياساتها في اليمن والمنطقة عموماً، عاد الغرام يطبع علاقات هذه الدول، من دون تحديد السبب والهدف!

وعلى الرّغم من المنافسة التقليدية المكشوفة بين الإمارات والسعودية وخلافاتهما في اليمن، عادت الأمور فجأة إلى وضعها شبه الطبيعي بين الرياض والدوحة، بعد قمة العلا في 5 كانون الثاني/نوفمبر الماضي، من دون أن يكون واضحاً لماذا لم تتشجّع أبو ظبي على هذا التطبيع، ورجّحت عليه بكل حماس العدو الأكبر “إسرائيل”. 

استغلَّت قطر العزلة الإماراتية عربياً، فسبقت رجب طيب إردوغان إلى المصالحة مع السيسي، ودخلت في حوارات مثيرة مع موسكو، انتهت بالاتفاق في الدوحة، في 11 آذار/مارس الماضي، على آلية جديدة تدعم مسار أستانا، ولكن من دون إيران. وقد أعلنت طهران بدورها تأييد هذه الآلية، مع تحفظها غير المعلن عن “غرام” موسكو مع كل من قطر وتركيا، على الرغم من استمرار دعمهما للمعارضة السورية، السياسية منها والمسلحة، بما في ذلك “النصرة” في إدلب.

موسكو التي عبّرت في اجتماع منتدى سان بطرسبورغ الاقتصادي الدولي (الأربعاء) عن تأييدها لتحركات قطر الإقليمية، يبدو أنّها تجاهلت تصريحات وزير الخارجية القطري محمد عبد الرحمن آل ثاني، الذي قال بعد زيارته الأخيرة إلى القاهرة ولقائه الرئيس السيسي إن “موقف بلاده في سوريا لم يتغير، وإنهم ما زالوا ضد الرئيس الأسد”، وهو ما سنراه أكثر وضوحاً في اجتماع وزراء خارجية الدول العربية، الذين سيجتمعون في الدوحة في 8 الشهر الجاري. وتهدف قطر من خلال هذا الاجتماع إلى عرقلة عودة سوريا إلى الجامعة العربية، مع استمرار الضغوط الروسية بخلاف هذا الاتجاه. 

يفسر ذلك التحرك القطري المفاجئ للمصالحة مع “عدو الأمس” القاهرة، بل أكثر من ذلك، إقناع الرئيس السيسي بالمصالحة مع الرئيس إردوغان، ليساهم ذلك في إنهاء الخلافات السعودية مع أنقرة، التي يعرف الجميع أنها لن تفكر في أي مصالحة مع الرئيس الأسد، وهو ما لا يخفيه الرئيس إردوغان أبداً. 

ويدفع ذلك بعض الأوساط إلى الحديث عن تحرك قطري مدعوم من الرئيس إردوغان، لمنع أي تقارب عربي (سعودي – مصري – إماراتي) مع دمشق، وعلى الأقل قبل الاتّفاق النووي الإيراني الذي سيحقق لطهران مكاسب إضافيّة، بعد ما تحقق لها من تفوق نفسي في انتصار المقاومة الفلسطينيّة في الحرب الأخيرة، فيما يسعى الرئيس السيسي لاستغلال الوضع الجديد في غزة لدعم مكانته الإقليمية والدّولية وترسيخها، وبضوء أخضر أميركيّ وأوروبيّ، من دون أن ننسى أن قطر وتركيا، ومعها السعودية، وباعتراف حمد بن جاسم، في تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2017، كانت قد قادت الحرب على سوريا منذ بداياتها، كما تبنت السعودية والإمارات، ومعها باكستان، حركات الإسلام السياسي المسلّح، مثل “طالبان” و”القاعدة”، ومن قبلها تنظيمات المجاهدين الأفغان خلال الاحتلال السوفياتي للفترة الممتدة بين العامين 1979-1989.

ويذكر الجميع أيضاً الخلافات التي انفجرت بين قطر وتركيا وكلّ من السعودية والإمارات، اللتين دعمتا انقلاب السيسي في 3 تموز/يوليو 2013، فأعلنوا جميعاً الإخوان المسلمين تنظيماً إرهابياً. وقد لجأت قياداته لاحقاً إلى إسطنبول والدوحة.

كما لم يذكر أحد كيف استعدّت الدوحة لمرحلة ما بعد انقلاب السيسي، إذ تخلى الأمير الأب حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني فجأة (قبل انقلاب السيسي بأسبوع واحد فقط) عن منصبه لنجله الشاب تميم، الذي تبنى الإخوان المسلمين بشدة، واستنجد لاحقاً بالجيش التركي بعد تهديدات السعودية والإمارات له في حزيران/يونيو 2017، فأصبح لاعباً إقليمياً بفضل دعم إردوغان له.

وقد أدى دور الوساطة (!) بين طالبان وأميركا، والآن بين إردوغان وكل من السيسي والأمير محمد بن سلمان، العدوين المشتركين السابقين له ولحليفه إردوغان، وهو يقول إنه مستعد لمصالحة الجميع، باستثناء الأسد، علماً بأن إردوغان وآل ثاني كانا الأكثر تقرباً من الرئيس الأسد، وهما الآن الأكثر عداء له، من دون أن يكون واضحاً سبب استمرار موسكو، حليفة دمشق، بتعاونها معهما.

كما لا يدري أحد المبررات والأسباب التي تدفع إلى مصالحة دولتين مهمتين بكل المعايير والمقاييس، كمصر والسعودية، مع دولة بحجم قطر، التي لم تتهرب، بفضل أنقرة، من تحدي هاتين الدولتين، وإلى جانبهما الإمارات، التي تكتفي الآن بمراقبة تحركات قطر عن كثب، من دون اتخاذ أي موقف سلبي أو إيجابي حيالها، ورجّحت على ذلك الدخول على خط المواجهة بشكل غير مباشر، عبر دعم زعيم المافيا سادات باكار، الذي بدأ يكشف خفايا الدولة التركية وأسرارها في العديد من الأحداث الدموية داخلياً وخارجياً، ومنها عمليات الاغتيال الغامضة وتهريب المخدرات، وبالتالي تقديم الأسلحة والمعدات الحربية لجبهة “النصرة” والمجموعات الإرهابية في سوريا.

ويبقى السؤال أو التساؤل عن الدور الأميركي الحالي والمحتمل في مجمل هذه المعادلات، مع حقيقة تواجد القواعد الأميركية والأطلسية في جميع هذه الدول، الصديقة تارة، والعدوة تارة أخرى، مع استمرار حسابات واشنطن في سوريا والعراق، ومع التأكيد دائماً على ضمان أمن “إسرائيل” إلى الأبد، وهو ما لا تعترض عليه الدول “العدوة – الصديقة”، ويبدو أنها متفقة بشكل أو بآخر، ولكل حججها في ذلك حول قضية أساسية، وهي عدم السماح لإيران بترسيخ تواجدها في سوريا ولبنان واليمن، وبالطبع منطقة الخليج عموماً، وإلا فالقضية لا تحتاج إلى كل هذا المد والجزر في المواقف، بعد أن أثبتت السنوات العشر الماضية دورها ومسؤولياتها في أحداث المنطقة عموماً، وبشكل خاص في سوريا، التي تنتهي كل مشاكل المنطقة بحل أزمتها، ولكن بصفاء النيات. 

هذا الأمر لا يحتاج إلى أكثر من لقاء واحد، على أي مستوى كان، يتفق فيه الجميع على ضرورة العودة إلى ما قبل العام 2011، حتى من دون أي اعتذار من الشعب السوري، فقد دفع هذا الشعب الكثير إرضاء لغرائز ونزعات البعض من زعماء المنطقة، الذين ساهموا معاً في سيناريو ما يُسمى بـ”مشروع الشرق الأوسط الكبير”، ومن بعده “الربيع العربي الإمبريالي”، الذي قدم ما لا يخفى من خدمات تاريخيّة لـ”إسرائيل”، من دون أن يستخلص هؤلاء الزعماء أي درس من هزيمة “إسرائيل” هذه أمام المقاومة الفلسطينية ومن معها وخلفها من دول وشعوب التصدي والممانعة التي صمدت طيلة السنوات العشر الماضية ضد كل الأعداء.

ويبدو أنهم لم يستخلصوا العبر والدروس، فراحوا يتحايلون على أصحاب هذا الانتصار، وإلا كيف لنا أن نفسر التناقضات التي نعيشها الآن، بعد أن نسي هؤلاء الزعماء كل ما قالوه ضد بعضهم البعض، ولكل واحد منهم الكثير من الأسباب الشخصية والعامة ليكره الآخر أو الآخرين، وهو ما يفسر التحركات القطرية الأخيرة، والغريب فيها أنها حدثت برضا كل الأطراف الإقليمية المعادية والصديقة، بل أكثر من ذلك، برضا الأطراف الدولية، وهي أيضاً معادية وصديقة، وفي مقدمتها روسيا وفرنسا وبريطانيا وأميركا، التي تدير كل تحركاتها العسكرية في المنطقة عموماً من قاعدتي “العديد” و”السيليه” القريبتين من قناة الجزيرة التي “تتحدى الإمبريالية والصهيونية”!

وليس واضحاً كيف سيكون الرد الإيراني على كل هذه التحركات، التي إن لم تساهم في إنهاء الأزمة السورية فوراً، وبمصداقية تامة، فإنَّ المحافظين الذين يتوقَّع لهم الكثيرون انتصاراً كبيراً في الانتخابات القادمة، سيكون لهم موقف أكثر حزماً وحسماً إلى جانب الرئيس الأسد ومن معه في خندق المقاومة، وهو ما أثبتته طهران كنهج عقائديّ استراتيجيّ لن يتغيّر، ولكن قد يزداد عمقاً!

ويبقى السؤال الأهم في كل هذه المعادلات والسيناريوهات: هل سيطوي الرئيس السيسي صفحة الماضي مع “عدوه اللدود” الرئيس إردوغان؟ وكيف؟ وهل سيعملان في سوريا أو ضدها؟ ولمَ؟ وكيف سيكون ذلك؟ 

وتبقى المفاجأة الأكبر دائماً هي احتمالات المصالحة التركية مع “إسرائيل” بعد سقوط حكومة نتنياهو، الذي كان إردوغان يرى فيه عائقاً أمام محاولاته للمصالحة مع تل أبيب. وقد تبعث بدورها، بحكومتها الجديدة إذا نالت الثقة وعمَّرت طويلاً، إشارات إيجابية إلى أنقرة، ليساعدها ذلك في الخروج من عزلتها الإقليمية والدولية، ولو كان ذلك لمرحلة تكتيكية لا تتناقض مع أهداف “إسرائيل” ديناً وعقيدة واستراتيجية!

Hamas Warns “Israel” of another Round of Confrontation

05/06/2021

Hamas Warns “Israel” of another Round of Confrontation

By Staff, Agencies

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas warned the “Israeli” entity over its daily incursions into the occupied West Bank, saying “another round of confrontation” could take place if Tel Aviv does not end acts of violation against the Palestinian people.

Speaking to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on Friday during a visit to the Tunisian capital, Tunis, the movement’s spokesperson, Sami Abu Zihri, stressed that “Israel” “does not respect agreements and carries out daily incursions into the cities of the West Bank, and the threat of displacement of the residents of Al-Quds is still present.”

“It is likely that “another round of confrontation” will occur if the ‘Israeli’ entity continues such violations,” he added.

Abu Zihri further added that the ceasefire between “Israel” and Hamas is still holding since May 21 but its future depends on the apartheid entity, adding that his movement will respect the agreement as long as “Israel” does.

“If ‘Israel’ does not comply, it is natural for us to confront it,” the Hamas official said.

In parallel, he emphasized that the sides reached “a mutual and simultaneous ceasefire agreement, not a truce,” which was “fragile, due to the bloody and criminal nature of the occupation.”

On another level, Abu Zihri welcomed recent talks between Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in Gaza about a possible Hamas-“Israel” prisoner swap deal.

The Hamas spokesman stressed the importance of the reconstruction of the besieged Gaza Strip which was an “essential part of the dialogue that paved the way for the ceasefire.

He, however, emphasized that Hamas would refuse to link the issue of prisoners to the reconstruction aid.

“The file of Gaza’s reconstruction is linked to the outcomes of the ‘Israeli’ aggression. As for the prisoner exchange deal, its context is related to the release of Palestinian prisoners,” Abu Zihri pointed out.

It’s worth mentioning that more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 “Israeli” jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.

Over 350 detainees, including women and minors, are under “Israel’s” “administrative detention”.

Abu Zihri warned against “any slowdown or delay in the reconstruction of Gaza” and suggested Egypt to lead the reconstruction project given the North African country’s “experience and competence.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Abu Zihri said Hamas leaders have praised Iran for supporting the resistance.

“Iran has given a lot for the resistance, and we appreciate its stance on serving the Palestinian cause,” he reiterated, noting that “Hamas is keen to maintain relations with all Arab and Muslim states and not to foster a relationship with one country at the expense of another.”

إسرائيل تُعدّل أولوياتها: لا لتحوّل غزة إلى لاعب إقليمي

يحيى دبوق

 الجمعة 28 أيار 2021

إسرائيل تُعدّل أولوياتها: لا لتحوّل غزة إلى لاعب إقليمي
تسعى إسرائيل إلى منع ربط سلاح غزة وإرادة تفعيله بقضايا القدس والحرم القدسي (أ ف ب )

في وقت يتواصل فيه الشدّ والجذب في الماراتون التفاوضي الدائر بين العواصم المعنيّة بالملفّ الفلسطيني، يعكف كلّ من العدو الإسرائيلي والمقاومة الفلسطينية على تقييم نتائج «معركة القدس» والبناء عليها، على اختلاف المحقَّق بين الطرفين، من هزيمة للأوّل ونصر للثاني. من جهة إسرائيل، ثمّة قناعة بضرورة تعديل جدول الأولويات الذي كانت غزّة دائماً في أسفله، بعدما لمس الاحتلال نيّة لدى المقاومة والمحور الداعم لها في التأسيس على ما أفرزته المعركة من أجل تعظيم حالة الربط بين ساحات المحور وجبهاته. على خطّ موازِ، تتعمّق الانقسامات داخل محور التطبيع بقديمه وجديده، وآخر مظاهرها حرد الإمارات من تطنيش مصر لها في الملفّ الفلسطيني، الذي تجد أبو ظبي أن كلّ ما حاولت زرعه فيه عن طريق «اتفاق أبراهام» يضيع هباءً منثوراً

لعلّ واحدة من أهمّ نتائج معركة «سيف القدس»، بين العدو الإسرائيلي وفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، أنها رفعت مستوى تهديد غزة في سلّم التهديدات التي تواجه الأمن الإسرائيلي، بما لم يَعُد معه دقيقاً توصيف القطاع بالتوصيف التقليدي: الأقلّ تهديداً والأكثر قابلية للانفجار. ومن شأن تغيير التوصيف، تبعاً لمحدّدات الواقع ونتائج المواجهة، أن يفرض على إسرائيل مواجهة واقعٍ من نوع آخر مع غزة، التي لم يَعُد تهديدها متعلّقاً بها فحسب، بل بات ممتدّاً ومتّصلاً بخارجها، بما يتعدّى مناطق فلسطين وقضاياها على اختلاف تقسيماتها ومسمّياتها. المعنى العملي لذلك، من ناحية إسرائيل وأمنها واستراتيجياتها في مواجهة التهديدات، أن احتواء تهديد غزة عبر فرض أو قبول الهدوء معها، وإن في ظلّ خطورة تفجير دائمة (مقدور عليها)، مع رفع مستوى الردع إلى حدود تمنع القطاع من المبادرة العسكرية، لم يَعُد استراتيجية ناجعة ومقبولة، بل أضحى مرفوضاً، علماً بأن سبب الاحتواء، في أساسه، مرتبط بساحات التهديد الأخرى، التي لا مجال للمقارنة بينها وبين غزة.

حتى الأمس، كانت غزة، بالمعنى المشار إليه، «مقدوراً عليها». كان يمكن ربط هدوئها بحوافز تمنع تفعيل تهديدها، بعدما اعتقدت إسرائيل طويلاً أنها نجحت في ريط التهديد الغزّي بتنازلات متبادلة: تهدئة مقابل تليين جزئي للحصار وتقديمات اقتصادية ومالية، جنّدت لها دولاً عربية ترى في امتثالها للإرادة الإسرائيلية موضع رضى السيد الأميركي. لكن اليوم تغيّرت المعادلة؛ بات سلاح غزة وإمكان تفعيله متّصلَين بالقدس وقضاياها. وهي معادلة لم تترسّخ بعد، ولأنها لم تترسّخ، ستستهلك من إسرائيل جزءاً كبيراً من انشغالها الأمني والعسكري والسياسي، للحؤول دونها. كذلك، مطلب إرجاع غزة إلى حدودها، يتعلّق من ناحية إسرائيل باتجاهَين رئيسيَن اثنين: منع تفعيل سلاح غزة ربطاً بغيرها هو هدف في ذاته، إن لم يتحقّق سيؤثّر سلباً على مجمل التموضع الإسرائيلي في داخل فلسطين المحتلة، ويُعقّد من استراتيجيات الكيان المُفعَّلة ضدّ الفلسطينيين والقضية الفلسطينية، التي تراءى له، وإن بشكل مغلوط، أنها في المرحلة الأخيرة من إسقاطها.

من بين الأهداف الإسرائيلية إعادة الاعتبار إلى معادلة الحصار مقابل الغذاء، كما كانت عليه الأمور قبل المواجهة


أمّا الاتجاه الثاني فيرتبط بتهديدات الساحات الأخرى. والمقصود هنا تحديداً الجبهة الشمالية بمركّباتها المتعدّدة، واتّساعها الجغرافي الممتدّ، وإمكاناتها التي تتطلّب من إسرائيل تركيزاً لا تُشوّش عليه الساحة الجنوبية، أي قطاع غزة، بل أيّ قسم من أقسام فلسطين التاريخية. على أن غزة تتّجه اليوم لتكون جزءاً لا يتجزّأ من الساحة الشمالية، بما ينفي عنها وصف الساحة المعزولة التي ينحصر تهديدها في نطاقها. وفي هذا الإطار، يُعدّ حديث مسؤول حركة «حماس» في القطاع، يحيى السنوار، عن التنسيق على أعلى المستويات مع «حزب الله» خلال المواجهة، كما الحديث الذي سبقه، وهو الأهمّ من ناحية إسرائيل، لأمين عام حزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، عن الجاهزية للتدخّل إن لزم الأمر لمساعدة الساحة الفلسطينية، مصدر قلق لتل أبيب ومُتّخذي القرارات فيها.

بناءً على ما تقدّم، ستكون إسرائيل، ومعها حليفها الأميركي، والجهات الإقليمية التي تدور في فلكهما، معنيِّين بتحقيق جملة أهداف، على رأسها ما يلي:

– إرجاع غزة إلى حدودها، ومنع ربط سلاحها وإرادة تفعيله بقضايا القدس والحرم القدسي، فضلاً عن أقسام فلسطين الأخرى.
– منع الربط بين قواعد الاشتباك التي تحكم صراع غزة وإسرائيل، وبين أيّ ساحة أو جبهة في الشمال، بما يشمل ردع غزة عن التدخّل، أو الاستعداد للتدخّل، إلى جانب الساحة الشمالية، ربطاً بتموضع القطاع الذي بات إقليمياً، وأيضاً ردع الساحة الشمالية نفسها عن مساندة غزة، إن تطلّب الأمر ذلك.

– إعادة الاعتبار إلى معادلة الحصار مقابل الغذاء، كما كانت عليه الأمور قبل المواجهة، وإغراء القطاع بعطاءات مالية، سيجد العدو دائماً أطرافاً إقليميين يسارعون إلى تلبيتها، ومن جملة ذلك إعادة الإعمار.

– إعادة الاعتبار إلى السلطة الفلسطينية، وإن كانت إسرائيل نفسها، ومَن معها، تسبّبوا في إضعاف مكانتها ودورها لدى الجمهور الفلسطيني. وفي هذا الإطار، تأتي العطاءات المالية الممنوحة للسلطة، وإعادة فتح القنصلية الأميركية في القدس المحتلة كمُمثّلية أميركية لدى الجانب الفلسطيني، وكذلك المبادرات واللقاءات والاتصالات من جانب دول «الاعتدال العربي» بعد قطيعة مع رام الله، فيما لا يُستبعد إحياء شكل من أشكال التفاوض مع العدو، أملاً في إعادة السلطة إلى مكان متقدّم نوعاً ما على جدول اهتمام الفلسطينيين. لكن الواقع أن السلطة اليوم باتت تُعدّ لدى الفلسطينيين «شاهد ما شفش حاجة»، في مرحلة هي الأكثر حساسية وتأثيراً على فلسطين والقضية الفلسطينية والقدس، وهو ما يُصعّب مهمّة العدو.

تلك هي الأهداف الإسرائيلية في المرحلة التالية إذاً، لكن الفرق بين تشخيص المصالح التي يُفترض العمل عليها وبين النتائج التي يمكن تحقيقها بالفعل، فرق كبير، وهو ما قد ينطبق على حالة تل أبيب. مع ذلك، لن يدفع الفشل إسرائيل إلى الانكفاء والتسليم بالواقع الجديد، بل هي ستلجأ إلى خيارات أخرى وبديلة، وربّما أيضاً مع استعداد لتحمّل أثمانها إن ارتفعت نسبياً. على أن الإصرار الإسرائيلي، والدافعية المرتفعة لدى العدو، تقابلهما إرادة صلبة لدى الجانب الفلسطيني الغزّي أيضاً. فالمارد الذي خرج من القمقم لن يكون معنيّاً بالعودة إليه، كما تَصعُب على غيره، مهما بلغت مستويات دافعيّته، إعادته إليه. وللصراع، الذي ثبت أنه لا يخمد، جولات آتية.

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“الغارديان”: الفلسطينيون، الذين تخلت عنهم الحكومات، يعتمدون على دعم الغرباء

نسرين مالك
المصدر: لغارديان

24/5/2021

حتى تشدق الحكومات العربية بالقضية الفلسطينية تراجع في الفترة التي أعقبت توقيع اتفاقية كامب ديفيد، وتمت إزالة الفلسطينيين ببطء من الوعي العام العربي منذ التسعينيات.

الفلسطينيون توافدوا على المسجد الأقصى فجراً بتكبيرات العيد
الفلسطينيون يعتمدون على أنفسهم في حماية المسجد الأقصى.

تناولت نسرين مالك في عمودها في صحيفة “الغارديان” البريطانية واقع القضية الفلسطينية في أعقاب العدوان الإسرائيلي الأخير على غزة. وقالت إنه كان هناك زمن كان العرب يرضعون دعم القضية الفلسطينية مع حليب أمهاتهم. 

وأوضحت الكاتبة أنها من جيل نشأ في ظل اتفاقية كامب ديفيد واغتيال الرئيس المصري أنور السادات لما اعتبر خيانة للفلسطينيين. حتى معاهدة كامب ديفيد عام 1978، كانت مصر الحليف الرئيسي لفلسطين وأقوى قوة عسكرية في المنطقة بعد “إسرائيل”. وقد أعادت معاهدة السلام سيناء إلى مصر مقابل اعترافها بـ”إسرائيل”. ونتيجة هذا التطبيع، أغلقت مصر الباب أمام أي نوع من المساعدة العسكرية العربية للفلسطينيين، بحسب الكاتبة.

وتابعت: لقد ورثنا خيبة الأمل المريرة لتلك الحقبة. كانت فلسطين جزءاً لا يتجزأ من الهوية العربية لفترة طويلة وأصبحت تُعرف باسم “القضية” وهي قضية ملحة لم يتم حلها، تحولت بعد اتفاقية كامب ديفيد، من دعوة مثيرة للتضامن إلى أمر أكثر حزناً وتشتتاً.

وأضافت مالك أن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي والثورة الإيرانية دفعا الحكومات العربية والخليجية إلى التودد إلى الولايات المتحدة، وهو أمر لن ينجح إذا بقيت “إسرائيل” العدو الأول لهذه الحكومات. لذلك حتى تشدق هذه الحكومات بالقضية الفلسطينية تراجع في الفترة التي أعقبت توقيع اتفاقية كامب ديفيد مباشرة، وتمت إزالة الفلسطينيين ببطء من الوعي العام العربي ابتداء من تسعينيات القرن العشرين إلى اليوم.

وتابعت الكاتبة أنه حتى الأشعار عن فلسطين قد أوقفت في كتبنا المدرسية وفي وسائل الإعلام. وغنّت الفنانة اللبنانية فيروز ذات مرة، “الغضب الساطع آتٍ وأنا كلي إيمان”، في أغنية شعبية عن عودة الفلسطينيين الذين طردوا من القدس. لكن هتافها لم يعد على يبث على موجات الأثير العربية. وكتب الشاعر الأكثر شهرة في العالم العربي، نزار قباني، عن القدس يقول:

“غدًا، غدًا، سيزهر الليمون 

وتفرحُ السنابلُ الخضراءُ والزيتونْ 

وتضحكُ العيونْ 

وترجعُ الحمائمُ المهاجرةْ 

إلى السقوفِ الطاهرةْ 

ويرجعُ الأطفالُ يلعبونْ 

ويلتقي الآباءُ والبنونْ 

على رباك الزاهرةْ 

يا بلدي يا بلد السَّلام والزَّيتونْ”.

وقالت الكاتبة “لكنهم لم يعودوا إلى القدس.

وأوضحت الكاتبة أن القضية أضحت أصبح أمراً لم تعد الحكومات تعشر بالحاجة إلى الاهتمام به بعد الآن. وصار تصوير فكرة أن أي دعم نشط للفلسطينيين أمر ساذج، أو مخلفات من الماضي، أو أنه جزء لا يتجزأ من أجندة دينية متطرفة. فمن خلال سحب حتى دعمها المعنوي للفلسطينيين، “ساعدت الأنظمة الاستبدادية الضعيفة في جميع أنحاء المنطقة في جعل القضية تبدو وكأنها قضية هامشية، وهو الأمر الذي تمسك به الرومانسيون والراديكاليون فقط”.

وأشارت مالك إلى ان الشكوك نفسها تخيّم على الدعم لفلسطين في الغرب. إذ يترافق مع هذا الشك اتهام بأن هناك ترسيخاً غير معقول للقضية الفلسطينية. وثمة سؤال يحوم حول التضامن مع فلسطين، لماذا التركيز على هذه الأزمة في حين أن هناك الكثير من الآخرين حول العالم يطالبون بنفس مستوى الغضب تجاه قضاياهم إن لم يكن أكثر؟ ماذا عن الأويغور في الصين أو الروهينغا في ميانمار؟ 

ورأت مالك أن الإجابة على هذا السؤال هي أن السياسيين الغربيين ربما يفعلون القليل جداً في ميانمار أو الصين، لكنهم بالتأكيد يقومون بما يكفي للاعتراف بحدوث انتهاكات لحقوق الإنسان. فقد أعلن نواب بريطانيون عن وجود إبادة جماعية في الصين. وتخضع ميانمار لعقوبات. حتى حليفة الغرب الآخر في الشرق الأوسط، المملكة العربية السعودية، تتعرض للرقابة، حيث علق الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن مبيعات الأسلحة إلى السعودية في وقت سابق من هذا العام. بينما فشل مجلس الأمن الدولي في تمرير حتى بيان يدين الهجوم العسكري الإسرائيلي في غزة ويدعو إلى وقف إطلاق النار.

وقالت الكاتبة إن الرأي القائل بأن فلسطين تجتذب درجة غير متناسبة من الغضب الأخلاقي لا يفسر حقيقة أن القليل من هذا الغضب يأتي من الأماكن المهمة – مناصب وزراء الحكومة والنخب السياسية ووسائل الإعلام. ولأن هذه الحملة المتضامنة مع الفلسطينيين لا يُسمح لها إلا بالازدهار خارج التيار السائد المعتبر، فمن الأسهل بعد ذلك تأطيرها على أنها سيئة السمعة، مثل اتهامها بأنها “استفراد شرير لإسرائيل”.

وأضافت أن الحقيقة الثابتة هي أن الفلسطينيين مميزون. لقد حرموا، على عكس معظم الشعوب المضطهدة، من لغة الشرعية. إذ إن وقائع الاحتلال الذي يخضعون له ومقاومتهم والتمييز العنصري (نظام الأبارتايد) الذي يتعرضون له قد غُيّبت أو تم جعلها غامضة. أصبحت القضية الفلسطينية مشكوكاً فيها من خلال نوع من عكس الأدوار في سرد ​​الصراع. أصبح الضحايا هم المعتدون، وتم التخلي عن الفلسطينيين لمصيرهم، ثم تم تأطيرهم لأجله. 

وأشارت الكاتبة إلى أن الفلسطينيون تحمّل مسؤولية الأعمال الفردية العسكرية التي توصف في الغرب بـ”الإرهابية” وعوقبوا على ردود حركة حماس الانتقامية. ولم يكن هناك أي إجراء دفاعي يمكنهم اتخاذه بشكل شرعي، سواء رداً على الإخلاء من منازلهم أو الهجمات على المدنيين. وأوضحت أن الخطاب، الذي تم التدرب عليه جيداً وألقاه ببراعة سياسيون ذوو مصداقية، هو الذي حدد الوضع وهو القائل “إن لإسرائيل الحق في الدفاع عن نفسها. أي نوع من الأشخاص هو من لا يدعم حق إسرائيل، أو حق أي دولة، في الدفاع عن نفسها؟”. وتم تنميط كل من يرفض هذا الخطاب بأنه “ربما يكون شخصاً يتعاطف مع الإرهاب، أو شخصاً معادياً للسامية، وربما شخصاً مؤمناً غريب الأطوار يجمع القضايا المفقودة وليس لديه فهم للقانون الدولي أو تاريخ المنطقة”.

ورأت مالك أن شيئاً ما يتغير. فهذا المظهر السلبي لداعم فلسطين، الذي صوّر بأنه شخص كريه، يتعرض للتشكيك. ويبدو أن الهجوم الأخير على غزة، الذي قوبل مجدداً بنفس الأعذار الروبوتية لأفعال “إسرائيل”، قد غيّر التوازن. قد تكون الجغرافيا السياسية هي نفسها، لكن قدرة الحكومات (الغربية) على الاحتفاظ باحتكارها لتفسير ما يحدث على الأرض في “إسرائيل” وفلسطين تضعف. فقد تحدث حجاي العاد، المدير التنفيذي للمجموعة الحقوقية الإسرائيلية “بتسيلم”، مباشرة إلى أولئك الذين ربما يشككون الآن في الخط الرسمي، قائلاً: “صدق عينيك. اتبع ضميرك. والسبب في أنه يبدو وكأنه فصل عنصري هو ببساطة لأنه فصل عنصري”.

وخلصت الكاتبة إلى أن المزيد من الناس يصدقون ما تراه أعينهم. فالأفراد الذين يدعمون الفلسطينيين يتزايدون من حيث عددهم ودرجة ثقتهم بالقضية، وهم يتخلصون من الصورة النمطية لـ”الناشط الهامشي”. فوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وصعود حركة احتجاجية مناهضة للمؤسسة في الصيف الماضي تعمل على إخراج القضية الفلسطينية من الجمود. لقد بدأ مناصروها في العثور على بعضهم البعض، لتبادل المعلومات واللقطات، لإضفاء الشرعية على القضية مع كل تواصل جديد. وقالت مالك إن هؤلاء المناصرين ليسوا متعاطفين مع الإرهاب، ولا معادين للسامية أو متطرفين، على الرغم من أن أي تعبئة جماهيرية ستجذب حتماً بعض الموتورين والمشاغبين. لكن لا ينبغي السماح لهم بتشويه حركة متنامية من مقدمي الرعاية من أجل القضية، أولئك الذين يرون ظلماً جسيماً يقع على الفلسطينيين يومياً، ولا يرون أي تعهد أو وعد من قادتهم بأن أي شيء سيتم القيام به حيال ذلك. وختمت بالقول إن الناس يأتون من أجل فلسطين ليس لأن سياساتهم مراوغة أو لأن شخصياتهم مشكوك فيها، ولكن لأن الحكومات في العالم العربي والغربي لم تترك لهم أي خيار آخر”.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم


Abandoned by governments, Palestinians rely on the kindness of strangers

Nesrine Malik a Guardian columnist

The fight for justice has been left to individuals to champion – but we’re growing in number

A pro-Palestine demonstration in Athens, Greece, on 22 May 2021.
A pro-Palestine demonstration in Athens, Greece, on 22 May 2021. Photograph: Nikolas Georgiou/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Mon 24 May 2021 06.00 BST

There was a time when support for the Palestinian cause was fed to Arabs with their mothers’ milk. I am of a generation that grew up in the shadow of the Camp David agreement and the assassination of the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, for what was seen as a betrayal of the Palestinians. Until Camp David in 1978, Egypt had been Palestine’s main ally and the strongest military power in the region after Israel. The peace treaty returned Sinai to Egypt in exchange for recognition of Israel. With that normalisation, Egypt closed the door to any sort of Arab military assistance to the Palestinians for ever.

We inherited that era’s bitter disappointment. Palestine had been such an integral part of Arab identity for so long that it came to be known as “the case” or “the file” – an urgent unresolved issue at the heart of our world. After the Camp David agreement, “the case” went from being a rousing call for solidarity to something more melancholy and scattered.Advertisement

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iranian revolution motivated Arab and Gulf governments to ingratiate themselves with the US, and that wouldn’t work if Israel remained their public enemy number one. So even the lip service paid to the Palestinian cause in the period immediately after Camp David fell away, and the Palestinians were slowly rubbed out of the public consciousness from the 1990s onwards.

Poems about Palestine stopped appearing in our Arabic-language textbooks and in the media. The Lebanese singer Fairuz once sang, “The striking anger is coming and I am full of faith”, in a popular song about the return of the Palestinians driven out of Jerusalem. But her chant was no longer on the airwaves. The Arab world’s most celebrated poet, Nizar Qabbani, wrote, “The migrant pigeons will return/ To your sacred roofs/ And your children will play again”, again about Jerusalem. But they did not.

Eventually, the cause became something governments didn’t even feel the need to namecheck any more. The idea that was subtly passed down, via erasure and silence, was that any active support for the Palestinians was naive, a hangover from the past, or part and parcel of an extremist religious agenda. By the time Donald Trump announced he was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Al Jazeera noted the muted response from Arab governments and asked, “Why would Arabs not forget the Palestinian cause, now that they have themselves a thousand causes?” By withdrawing even their moral backing of the Palestinians, weak despotic regimes across the region helped make the cause seem a fringe issue, something only romantics and radicals held on to.

This same suspicion hangs over support for Palestine in the west. And with that suspicion comes an accusation – that there is an unreasonable fixation with the issue. A question hovers over solidarity with Palestine – why focus on this crisis when there are so many others around the world that demand the same, if not more, outrage? What about the Uyghurs in China or the Rohingya in Myanmar? The answer to that question is that western politicians may be doing too little in Myanmar or China, but they are certainly doing enough to acknowledge that human rights abuses are taking place. British MPs declared a genocide in China. Myanmar is under sanctions. Even the west’s other coddled ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, is coming under censure, with Joe Biden suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Meanwhile, the UN security council failed to pass even a statement condemning Israel’s military response in Gaza and calling for a ceasefire.

The view that Palestine attracts a disproportionate degree of moral outrage fails to account for the fact that so little of that outrage comes from the places that count – the ranks of government ministers, political elites and the mass media. And because that advocacy is only allowed to thrive outside the respectable mainstream, it is easier then to frame it as disreputable, as a sinister singling out of Israel, or special pleading for a not-so-special cause.

But the stubborn reality is that the Palestinians are special. They have, unlike most other oppressed peoples, been denied the language of legitimacy. The facts of their occupation, their resistance and the apartheid they are subjected to have been annulled or made ambiguous. The Palestinian cause has been rendered dubious through a kind of reversal of roles in the narration of the conflict. The victims became the aggressors. The Palestinians were abandoned to their fate, and then framed for it.

Palestinians were held responsible for the crimes of individual terrorists and punished for the retaliations of Hamas. There was no defensive action they could legitimately take, whether in response to eviction from their homes or attacks on civilians. A well rehearsed line, slickly delivered by credible politicians, defined the situation – Israel had the right to defend itself. What kind of person doesn’t support the right of Israel, or indeed, any country, to defend itself? Perhaps someone with terrorist sympathies, perhaps someone who is antisemitic, perhaps someone who is a crank conspiracist who collects lost causes and has no grasp of international law or the region’s history.

But something is changing. That negative profile of the unsavoury Palestine supporter is being challenged. The latest assault on Gaza, met once again with the same robotic excuses for Israel’s actions, seems to have shifted the balance. The geopolitics may be the same, but the ability of governments to maintain a monopoly on explaining what is happening on the ground in Israel and Palestine is weakening. Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of human rights group B’Tselem, spoke directly to those who might now be questioning the official line. “Believe your eyes. Follow your conscience. The reason that it looks like apartheid is simply because it is apartheid.”

More and more people are believing their eyes. The individuals who support the Palestinians are growing in number and confidence, shaking off the “fringe activist” stereotype. Social media and the rise of an anti-establishment protest movement last summer are bringing in the Palestinian cause from the cold. Its advocates are beginning to find each other, to share information and footage, to draw legitimacy for the cause with every new connection. They are not terrorist sympathisers, antisemites or radicals, though any mass mobilisation will inevitably attract its share of cranks and thugs, who should be vigorously called out. They should not be allowed to taint a growing movement of foster carers for the cause, those who see a gross injustice visited on the Palestinians every day, and see no pledge or promise from their leaders that anything will be done about it. People are showing up for Palestine not because their politics are dodgy or their characters questionable, but because governments across the Arab and western worlds have left them with no other choice.

The Image of Victory

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Image of victory .jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

See the source image

If winning a military battle is defined by the accomplishment of one’s military objectives, then Hamas won the current round of violence with its very first ballistic barrage on Jerusalem ten days ago. Israel, on the other hand, won’t win, can’t win and doesn’t even dream of winning. Like in recent ‘rounds’, all Israel hopes to achieve is an ‘image of victory.’ Despite its military might and destructive enthusiasm, Israel can’t prevail militarily because it doesn’t even remember what military objectives are or what they look like.  

In the last seven decades Israel has worked relentlessly to divide the Palestinians in an attempt to dismantle their ability to resist as one people. This project had been so successful in the eyes of the Israelis that many of them started to believe that the Palestinian cause had evaporated into thin air. But then, completely out of the blue (as far as the Israelis are concerned), Hamas managed to unite the Palestinians into a unified fist of resistance: on Tuesday every Palestinian between the River and the Sea joined a strike called by Hamas. Such a collective, multi-sectorial strike didn’t happen in Palestine since 1936.  

Military victory is not measured by the carnage you inflict on your foe. It isn’t measured by the number of casualties or the residential towers one reduces into dust. Admittedly, there is no room for comparison between Israeli military capabilities and Hamas’ firepower. Israel is one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Hamas is decades behind, yet it wins over Israel in every round of violence. 

The reason is simple. Hamas’ military objectives are simple and modest. Hamas has vowed to keep the resistance alive. It fulfills its promise. By achieving this goal Hamas has positioned itself as the Palestinian unifier. Israel, on the other hand, can’t decide its military goals. We hear Israel’s Defence Minister vowing to bring security to the Israelis but Hamas proves him wrong, continuing to rain Israel with rockets at a growing rate. Israel brags about its precision bombing of Hamas’ tunnels, yet rather cynically, Hamas keep operating from tunnels that seem intact and operational.

It doesn’t take a military genius to grasp that in order to stop Hamas, Israel needs to deploy ground forces and to engage in a fierce battle in the streets of Gaza. But this is exactly the one thing the IDF refuses to do and for a manifold of very good reasons. Firstly, the Israelis are fearful of a house-to-house battle. Second, Israel doesn’t want to control 2.5 million Gazans. Third, not one Israeli military leader is willing to face the relentless Israeli mothers brigade. In the region, however, Israel’s reluctance to send foot soldiers to Gaza is understood as cowardice and weakness. 

For Israel, Gaza in particular and Palestine in general is a no-win situation.

But there is a deeper reasoning behind Israel’s hopeless situation. Israeli decision makers (both within the political realm and in the military) subscribe to the power of deterrence. For Israelis, the power of deterrence means punishing the Arabs so heavily that their will to fight would practically stop existing. For one reason or another, the Israelis manage to clumsily zigzag through their troubling history in the region in an attempt to validate this doctrine. For instance, Israel works hard to convince themselves that despite their military fiasco in Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah has been reluctant to enter a new round of violence with Israel because it is intimidated by the consequences.

Examination of Israeli history actually defies the Israeli doctrine. When Arabs are defeated and humiliated in the battlefield they keep fighting until they win. When Arabs win, they often lose their motivation to keep fighting. They occasionally seek peace and harmony in accordance with the Islamic teaching.

In 1967 Israel defeated 3 Arab armies in just 6 days. Israel performed a perfect Blitzkrieg operation. The Israeli air force surprised and destroyed the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian air forces on the ground in less than four hours. Simultaneously, Israeli Panzers raided into Sinai, within hours the Egyptian forces collapsed. The humiliation of the Egyptian army was unprecedented in military terms.

If the Israeli doctrine carried any validity, Egypt wouldn’t consider any military confrontation with Israel. But the reality on the ground proved the opposite. Just a few months after their June 1967 defeat, the Egyptian Army launched a war of attrition against Israel, one which exhausted the Israeli forces (including the air force). In the War of Attrition (1967-70) Egypt displayed new capabilities, relying on new Soviet ground-to-air missiles that obliterated Israeli air superiority. Yet Israel refused to draw the necessary conclusions. It was suffocated by hubris that prevented it from reading its neighbors and their intentions.

On 6 October 1973 (Yom Kippur) at 2 PM, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israeli forces in the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights. Within hours the two Arab armies managed to obliterate the Israeli defence lines. A few days later and thanks to a close American airlift Israel recovered. It gained its lost land in the occupied Golan heights and even managed to conquer some new territory in Syria. In the South, Israel managed to establish bridgehead over the Suez Canal. It encircled the Egyptian 3rd army and cut its supply lines. But Israel failed to push the Egyptian 3rd and 2nd armies back. The Egyptian army ended the war, claiming a narrow strip of Sinai back. It was this victory that empowered Anwar Sadat to launch a peace initiative four years later (1977).

Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian leader at the time, didn’t manage to claim a victory. Syria remained a defiant enemy of Israel. It is reasonable to speculate that if Assad was allowed to cling to some of his territorial gains in October ‘73, Israel and Syria could have proceeded into further reconciliatory talks.

The same logic can be applied to Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shia resistance movement is reluctant to fight Israel not because it is afraid of the consequences, as Israelis delude themselves, but because it already won significantly over the IDF. A war with Israel is dangerous for Hezbollah not because Israel will do its best once again to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and flatten half of Beirut, but because the outcome of such a war is unknown. Hezbollah is in a much better position retaining its status as the Arab military force that made the IDF run home with its tail between its legs (2006).

One may wonder whether Israeli strategists are so thick as not to grasp the most obvious facts about their neighbors and what fuels their motivation to fight. It may of course be possible that Israel’s decision makers aren’t as excited by tranquility as some of us want to believe. Gaza is where Israel tests its new weaponry and tactics. Gaza rockets are a necessary ingredient in the Iron Dome’s public relations. Most importantly, the Gaza crisis emerged when Netanyahu’s political options were running out. It was the Gaza current conflict that made the political powers in Israel subside and then crystalize lucidly within the realm of the hard right. This war made both Netanyahu and Hamas stronger.

It would be fair to argue that Hamas is operating within the modernist perception of conflicts as devised by Carl von Clausewitz. For the German military philosopher “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” In ‘postmodernist’ Israel, it seems war is one of the means that keeps some politicians out of prison.

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Lebanon Confirms Its Rights To Confront ’Israel”… What Are Its Power Elements?

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Lebanon Confirms Its Rights To Confront ’Israel”… What Are Its Power Elements?

Charles Abi Nader

Apart from the political contending that preceded and accompanied the administrative-legal path of the Lebanese Maritime Borders Amendment Decree [6433], which also takes its constitutional and diplomatic path [as soon assumed] to the United Nations, it can be said that Lebanon – the government and the institutions – through its delicate and decisive decision to amend that decree, has imposed itself as a powerful player in the game of regional and international interests and conflicts.

The statement that Lebanon has imposed itself as a powerful player in the game of international interests and conflicts may be misplaced or inappropriate if we compare it to the crisis situation in Lebanon today, and what it is experiencing in terms of what looks like a financial, economic and social collapse, in addition to its fragmentation and political imbalance. But in reality, despite all the tragedies that have passed through Lebanon, its position has brought the highest level of challenge to many regional and international players.

First of all, the field of interest in which Lebanon has created itself by amending the decree defining its pure economic waters, is almost the entire eastern Mediterranean region, which is apparently very rich in gas and oil, between Syria and Turkey eastward and northward, between the occupied Palestine and Egypt southward and southwestward, and between Cyprus, Turkey and Greece westward. We are talking here about a maritime field, which is currently experiencing a delicate conflict and danger over the division and determination of the exclusive economic waters of the aforementioned countries, not far from the possibility that it will cause a military confrontation, such as between Greece and Turkey or between Cyprus and Turkey.

On the other hand, while ‘Israel’ is considered Lebanon’s fiercest opponent in this maritime border dispute, and due to its urgent need to exploit the huge wealth from the occupied Palestine’s coasts and to accelerate and advance its partnership with the Forum of Eastern Mediterranean States [Egypt, Cyprus and Greece], which is based on the initiation of the extraction and supply of gas and since it has completed the completion and preparation of the administrative, technical and legal structure for the initiation of the exploration in the Karish border field with Lebanon, which was affected by the aforementioned Lebanese amendment in more than half of its area, it will consider the Lebanese position regarding the amendment of its maritime rights in the south as a declaration of war against it, which would call for a non-simple reaction, not only as it threatened to stop indirect negotiations with Lebanon.

At a time where Lebanon is experiencing this almost complete collapse at all levels, and where most of the external parties involved in the conflict or the file contribute to deepening the collapse by exerting a lot of additional pressure on Lebanon to force it to surrender or submit to the maritime or other border file, and as these parties consider that the Lebanese position is supposed to be lenient and lax, in other words, disregarding what they see as their rights, so that they can make quick use of their needs before its inevitable collapse, Lebanon declares this strong position.

Therefore, the fundamental question remains: On what does Lebanon depend in this powerful position? And what are Lebanon’s power elements in the delicate game of defiance that it got itself involved in?

Of course, the consistent position of His Excellency the President of the Republic as a key official actor in guiding the negotiation process has been instrumental in amending the decree and establishing Lebanese maritime rights by fully supporting and embracing the perspective of the experts in the Lebanese Armed Forces and the specialists of the negotiating delegation in the demarcation process, which highlighted in a scientific-legal manner the correct maritime borders, that must be at first: A valid document for deposit with the United Nations and relevant institutions of the international community, and secondly: a platform for indirect negotiation with the enemy and for the demarcation and precise determination of the border based on it.

On the other hand, the legal and technical point of view presented and proved by the Lebanese Army in scientific details, from which its position was clear and decisive, regarding the necessity of completing indirect negotiations with the enemy on its basis, and in terms of the futility of its completion without it, proves without any doubt that the military, as a matter of national responsibility and duty, will be an essential party in fixing, protecting and supporting the amendment decision, with all possible military or security implications, dangers or repercussions.

Also, it is absolutely impossible to overlook the important role of the unified internal Lebanese position on the amendment, which was finally demonstrated by all concerned, official, partisan and political parties, and despite some initial reservations, which were in good faith in order not to lose the opportunity of demarcation and to benefit from the wealth as soon as possible, due to the urgent need for it today, this united position in terms of cohesion and non-division was essential in confirming the Lebanese decision to amend against all external parties.

In the end, the decisive role remains for the resistance, with its deterrent capabilities and balance of force against the ‘Israeli’ enemy, which is the main foundation in stabilizing and protecting the delicate, sensitive and bold Lebanese position, in terms of modification in general, and in terms of its sensitivity to hit the center of the Karish field, which ‘Israel’ considers to be under its control [within the areas occupied in the Palestinian waters], which had completed all appropriate measures to initiate exploration and exploitation of its wealth, with possible implications and developments, that will produce a provision that the enemy will regard the official Lebanese amendment to the decree as war or targeting what it claims to be its rights. As the Resistance has always stated, it is behind the Lebanese government in supporting and protecting what the latter determines in terms of national rights, land or maritime borders or the borders of Lebanese sovereignty, thus it [the Resistance] will, with its qualitative capabilities, remain the most powerful and solid safety valve for the protection, maintenance and stabilization of these national rights.



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The second coming of Ben-Gurion

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April 5, 2021 – 17:44

The reasons behind capsizing the Taiwanese cargo ship “Ever Given”, on the 24th of March, have become clear.

The cargo ship capsized in the Suez Canal for more than 6 days. Failing to float the ship is not the news, or that the reasons behind the accident were a human failure. But the real news behind it is the reviving of the old-new plans that were and are still alive in the dreams of the Zionist entity which is enlivening the “Ben-Gurion Canal” project. Yes, Ben-Gurion Canal has surfaced once more.

The project aims to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aqaba to the Mediterranean through the Negev desert. The idea of digging a canal opposite the Suez Canal began in 1963. It is recommended in a memo submitted by Lawrence Livermore Patriot Laps in the United States of America. The memorandum was proposed as a response to the decision taken by President Gamal Abdel Nasser to nationalize the Suez Canal in 1956. 

The memorandum suggested: In order to ensure the flow of navigation in the Red Sea, an alternative canal should be opened in the Gulf of Aqaba. It will be drilled through the Negev desert, which was described as an empty area that can be dug using nuclear bombs: Firstly, the project was halted due to the radiation that nuclear bombs could cause; and secondly due to the opposition that the project would face by the Arab countries, led by Nasser.

Today, political alliances have changed the face of the region, particularly after the implementation of the Abraham Accords by several Arab countries. Therefore, a political atmosphere is compatible. Hence, serious deliberations of the project, after the Ever-Given capsizing, provide the idea that the accident was contrived. It was intended as a new window for the return of the talks over finding an alternative to the Suez Canal. 

In principle, that the accident was premeditated is a fair assumption. In an article I previously published on the Al-Ahed website, I talked about Israel’s attempt to control and expand access to the gates of the water routes to the Mediterranean through the Abraham Accords. It was not a peace agreement. Rather, it was actually an economic treaty with Morocco, the Emirates, and Sudan. Once Oman signs it, Israel will be able to control the water routes from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Persian Gulf, and finally control the Red Sea through the upcoming Ben-Gurion Canal, which will provide enormous income for Israel.

Firstly, Israel and the United States are in dire need of the project to compensate for the severe economic contraction due to the Coronavirus pandemic and unstable conditions. The treaties were signed between Israel and the Arab countries so as to guarantee Israel’s political and economic stability, and to maintain its presence in the region.  

And secondly, the project is driven by the need to restrain the rise of the economic power of China, and to hold back its ongoing project known as “One Road, One Belt”. The Chinese project aims to build a train line that starts from the provinces of China in the west towards West Asia and secure water routes around the world. It is a multi-billion-dollar investment project. For example, before the Corona pandemic, several parties in Lebanon hosted the Chinese ambassador, who explained the benefits of the project, which will employ tens of thousands of workers, employees, and specialists along the train line, which will be used mainly to transport goods between China and Europe. Therefore, the U.S. is trying to hamper the Chinese trade route by creating an alternative route to compete with. So, the new stage of struggle will witness an economic war aiming to control seaports and global trade routes.

This American-Israeli project has overlapped with joining several agreements and draft agreements. For example, the United States and the United Arab Emirates have joined the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum as observers. And starting Monday, March 29th, the Military Cooperation Agreement between Jordan and the United States will take effect, which probably aims to find an alternative place for the American forces outside Iraq and Syria.

Thirdly, preparations are underway for the implementation of the New Levant Project, which extends from Iraq to Jordan to Palestine across the Arabian Peninsula to the Sinai Desert. The project aims to create a new trade route that does not pass through Syria and Lebanon, but rather through the New Levant lands extending from the Persian Gulf in the south to the Mediterranean in the north, and through it will pass new oil and gas pipelines from Iraq to Jordan, which will replace the Tab line.

The New Levant project might forfeit Syria’s geostrategic importance for the Americans as one of the most important global and historical trade lines between the north and the south throughout history. However, the project lost its momentum at this stage because of Israel’s drive to be part of it, which forced the Iraqi government to cease working on it.

The secrecy of the canal project’s memorandum was revealed in 1994. It was waiting in the drawers for new conditions to revive it. It seems that the capsizing of the ship was the perfect plan. The capsizing oddly coincided with the signing of the 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China. The current events are evidence that the need to change alliances has become inevitable in the region. This explains the economic pressure on Syria and Lebanon and the continued decline in the price of lira in the sister countries. The Americans hoped that through sanctions they would impose conditions for reconciliations with “Israel”, impose the demarcation of borders between the Palestinian and Lebanese borders to the best interest of Israel, and prevent Hezbollah and its allies from participating in the coming government. Eventually, the U.S. would have the upper hand to prevent the Chinese route from reaching its ultimate destination to the Mediterranean Sea. However, the reasons behind Biden’s escalating tone towards China and Syria were revealed once Iran and China signed the document for cooperation. The protocol also revealed the hidden options Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke of in his speech on the 18th of March.

The developments in the region may change the course of the Syrian crisis.  The “One Belt and One Road” project will not achieve its real success until it reaches the port of Latakia, or/and the port of Tripoli, if the Lebanese desire, in exchange for the ports of Haifa and Ashkelon in Palestine. However, this cannot be achieved as long as Syria is still fighting its new independence war against America and Turkey. Yet, the coming of the Chinese dragon to Iran may mark a new era. Syria constitutes one of the main disputes between China and the United States. It seems that the withdrawal of the latter to Jordan under the new military cooperation agreement has become imposed by the new coming reality. The Americans can manage from there any new conflicts in the region or prolong the life of the crisis and thus obstruct the Chinese project without any direct clashes.

The construction of the Ben-Gurion Canal may take several years. However, the project is now put into action. Thanks to “Ever Given” capsizing, the canal building is now scheduled around May 2021. It is clear now who is the main beneficiary of this calamity, which hit one of the most important global navigation points, namely the Suez Canal.

Normalization agreements were primarily aimed to expand Israeli influence over waterways. The disastrous consequences on the region are starting to be unwrapped.  The major target is going to be Egypt. Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal is estimated to be 8 billion dollars. Once Ben-Gurion is activated it will drop into 4 billion dollars. Egypt cannot economically tolerate the marginalization of the role of the Suez Canal as one of the most important sources of its national income, especially after the completion of the construction of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia. Confinement of the Nile water behind the water scarcity will cause the Egyptians to starve. It will have disastrous consequences on Egypt and Europe. Since the latter will receive most of the Egyptian immigrants; however, this is another story to be told.
 

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Rosatom Trolls and Advertises Northern Sea Route During Suez Traffic Jam (Ruslan Ostashko)

April 03, 2021

Source

Translated by Sasha and subtitled by Leo.

A specimen of real, as opposed to false creativity has been once again demonstrated by one of the Russian state corporations – Rosatom. Its PR team used the jamming of the Suez canal by a container ship for advertising the Northern Sea Route and for trolling to the Western ‘partners’.

The situation in the Suez canal vividly demonstrated why Russia is strengthening its position in the Arctic. A huge container carrier that jammed the main transport artery of the planet has caused gigantic losses – $10 billion a day. That is if we don’t count all sorts of indirect consequences like a local oil shortage caused by its delivery delays.

Source – Izvestiya: “Tankers carrying $400 million worth of oil found themselves blocked by the ship ‘Ever Given’ which ran aground in the Suez Canal a few days ago. The magazine South China Morning Post reported this on March 26 from sources of the analytical agency Kpler.”

With this situation as the background, our Rosatom began quite creatively advertising our Northern Sea Route, aiming precisely at the foreign audience.

Rosatom: “Thread: reasons to consider Northern Sea Route as a viable alternative to the Suez Canal Route.

1. Way more space to draw peculiar pictures using your giant ships.

2. If you get icebound, we have icebreakers, well to break the ice.

3. You might get stuck in the Suez Canal for days.”

This is not only an advert but also a trolling addressed at the Anglo-Saxon russophobes who believe that they control the key transport arterials of the planet. In the past they did. However, as the climate is ch sanging and the Russian icebreaker fleet is growing, the Western control over the trade between the South-East Asia and the European Union is doomed to weaken. Such incidents as the blocking of the Suez Canal merely urge the product suppliers from China to EU to ponder whether it is worth a risk of getting stuck in a jam and ensuring losses or better to entrust the steering of the container ships to the Russian icebreakers.

The blocking of the canal also reminds the Europeans how important is the Northern Stream 2 for them. Because it is not only the oil tankers that were stuck in the canal. The carriers with the liquid gas from Qatar were there too. In the meantime, the pipeline deliveries from Russia are protected from such risk. Oil has already reacted to this. Spot prices of gas, particularly the liquid petroleum gas, may rise for a brief period. But something else is interesting here. The Head of the National Energy Security Foundation Konstantin Simonov says: “The accident vividly demonstrated the advantage of Russia as the gas supplier to Europe and that pipelines should not be written off,” the expert said.

Source – Russian Gazette: “Europe gets the bulk of its LPG from Qatar and the gas tankers sail via the Suez Canal. Taking into account the empty gas storages due to lower temperatures during the past winter, the blockage of this route leaves Europe with three options: either to buy more of Russian pipeline gas or again the Russian LPG, or to buy the LPG in the USA. Had the Northern Stream 2 been in operation now, as it was initially planned, Europe would not have had any problems with gas supply.”

Like that! The ‘sworn partners’ of Russia are used to thinking they have everything under control. However such incidents demonstrate how fragile is the Western civilization in reality, dependent on a mount of various factors that have a lot less influence on us. I already raised this topic when back in I discussed the frost in Texas. Now, looking at the fuss around the container carrier blocking the Suez, I am left with nothing else but the urge to join the question put forward by a spiteful Russian political writer, Viktor Marakhovsky:

Source – Telegram channel Marakhovskoye Vremya: “Dear respected friends, I do not understand the bureaucratic hubbub around the container carrier in the Suez Canal. I can name a few ways of clearing the ship straight away. First, to start a flashmob in the social networks, to colour the avatars and to share the #IyouContainerCarrier tag, to declare a sitting school strike. Second, to invite the Avengers, although I think Hulk and Vision can manage, if just two of them. Third, to ask the modern visionary who earlier dug the super speed tunnels, rescued the children from the cave and solved the electricity supply in Australia. He surely has something up his sleeve.”

“It is impossible that the leading civilization, presided by the architect of the universe, would turn out to be unable to easily and simply straighten some barge that got turned by the wind (!) And it can’t be that some lousy wind block 12% of global trade. …Or can it be that civilization thinks too much of itself?”

That is a rhetorical question. But the salvation, just like the anti-COVID vaccine, will come from Russia. Our icebreakers will escort all the ships to their intended destinations. Don’t doubt that. And a banal wind, may it be even the Arctic one, is no obstacle for the Russian technology. If someone doesn’t want it, well, let them spend additional exuberant sums on insurance due to being stuck in the Suez Cana

مصر وحالة اللامعقول… أمن قوميّ أم أمن الرئيس؟ Egypt and the state of the absurd … national security or the security of the president?

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

مصر وحالة اللامعقول… أمن قوميّ أم أمن الرئيس؟

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

أثار حادث جنوح الباخرة «إيفر غيفن» منذ أيام وسدّها مجرى الملاحة في قناة السويس، تسونامي من الأخبار والتعليقات والتحليلات، اعتمد كثير منها على نظرية المؤامرة، التي وإنْ كانت غالباً على خطأ، إلا أنها قد تصيب أحياناً، ومما لا شك فيه، أنّ تأثيرات هذا الحدث ولا بد، استراتيجية بامتياز، وسوف تكون لها تداعيات مهمة في الزمن القريب، انه ليس حدثاً عابراً.

تتعطل الموانئ السورية، اللاذقية، بانياس وطرطوس، يتمّ تدمير ميناء بيروت بفعل فاعل، يتوقف ميناءا عدن والحديدة عن العمل بسبب الحرب والحصار، وأخيراً تجنح سفينة «إيفر غيفن» التي تحمل بضائع يقلّ وزنها قليلاً عن ربع مليار طن بسبب الرياح، والنتيجة أن تغلق قناة السويس أمام حركة الملاحة، فيما تعمل موانئ الخليج بنشاط، مثلها مثل موانئ حيفا وأسدود، ويتداول الجميع الحديث عن قناة بديلة، تصل بين البحر الأبيض المتوسط والبحر الأحمر، من عسقلان حتى أيله (ايلات)، وعلى شواطئها مدن صناعيّة وتجمّعات عمالية وفنادق ومراكز ترفيه.

فكرة قناة السويس في البداية، ارتبطت بالغرب وتوسّعه وحركة تجارته العالميّة وتنافسه الاستعماريّ، حفر المصريون القناة بجهدهم وعرقهم في منتصف القرن التاسع عشر، وفقدوا مئات ألوف الأرواح أثناء عملية الحفر، وذلك باستعمال الفأس والقفة، وحققوا خلال عشر سنوات، معجزة هندسيّة تفوق في روعتها وفوائدها وتأثيرها أهرامات الجيزة، لكن ورثتهم لم يحافظوا عليها، وحتى عملية تطويرها التي انتهت عام 2015 لم تكن ذات بال وأهميّة، وهنا يتضح أنّ المسألة ليست مسألة سفينة جانحة بحادث عرضي، أو رياح عاتية، وإنما فشل للنظام.

في عام 1888 وقعت اتفاقية القسطنطينية، لإدارة قناة السويس والتي حدّدت حقوق السفن العابرة للقناة، وكذلك الحقوق والواجبات المترتبة على مصر، ومع تقدّم الزمان، تطوّر القانون الدولي المتعلق بالمضايق والممرات وأضاف على اتفاقية القسطنطينية التي لا تزال معمولاً ومعترفاً بها، بنوداً عديدة تحكم وتنظم عمل القناة، وهي تشمل حرية الملاحة والمرور السريع البريء والآمن للجميع، ومن دون تمييز تجاه العلم الذي ترفعه السفينة الذي يمثل الدولة التي سجلت السفينة بها، ويحظر كلّ من الاتفاقية المذكورة والقانون الدولي إغلاقها، وفي حين تملك مصر حقوقاً في القناة باعتبارها جهداً مصرياً في أرض مصرية، إلا أنها في الوقت عينه ترتب عليها مسؤوليات، وذلك بأن تقوم بما يلزم من أجل سلامة المرور، وصيانة الممر، وتأمين وسائل تيسير الملاحة، وضمان سلامة السفن، وحيازة ما يلزم من آليات الطوارئ في حال تعطلت القناة. فالممرات المائيّة يحظر إغلاقها لما في ذلك من تأثير على السلم العالمي، وأمام خطورة هذا الحدث الذي أثبت أنّ الدولة الفاشلة غير قادرة على إدارة هذا الممر الحيوي، الأمر الذي قد يضع إمكانيّة وضع إدارة القناة تحت رعاية دوليّة أمراً ممكناً.

الفشل عند هذا النظام، لم يبدأ عند حادث السفينة، فالنظام أصلاً لم يستطع المحافظة لا على مكانته العربيّة والأفريقية والإسلامية فحسب، ولا على علاقاته بجواره غرباً في ليبيا التي عادت وستعود عليه بالكوارث، مقابل خدمته لأولياء النعمة ومصدر بقائه في الحكم، أو جنوباً في السودان، الذي تقسّم وأخذ ينحو بشطريه الجنوبي والشمالي بعيداً عن مصر وعن المحيط العربي، وفشل النظام في التعاطي مع سدّ النهضة، الذي أخذ يمتلئ بالماء وأصبح أمراً واقعاً، فيما رجال النظام وقططه السمان يموّلون السدّ المعادي ويقرضون الحكومة الإثيوبيّة، بشرائهم سندات تمويل السدّ، لإماتتهم وإماتة المصريين عطشاً، مقابل فوائد ربوية، فيما حلفاء النظام السعوديين والإماراتيين، الذين يحارب نظام عبد الفتاح السيسي من أجلهم، نراهم يقفون إلى جانب إثيوبيا.

لم يرَ نظام العسكر في مصر، من مخاطر على بلده من الحرب الأهلية وليبيا، ولا في جنوب السودان، وما يحضّر له من سدود ومشاريع مائية، بخبرة وشركات (إسرائيلية) وأموال خليجيّة تقضي على إمدادات المياه من بحيرة فكتوريا والنيل الأبيض، ولا أمام خطر العطش الذي سيصيب مصر بعد اكتمال المشاريع على جميع روافد النيل، ويتنازل عن جزر مهمة لأمنه القوميّ في مضائق البحر الأحمر – تيران وصنافير – والتي كانت السبب المباشر لحرب عام 1967، والتي ستكون متكآت ملاحيّة لمشروع القناة البديلة.

إنها هزيمة لنظام العسكر، لصورة الدولة الشرقيّة في أذهان العالم، أنهم مثال للهزيمة في الحرب، والفشل في الإدارة، والاستبداد بالحكم، وعلى سبيل المثال البسيط، نرى وزير النقل المصري وهو جنرال متقاعد لا يرى في حادث السفينة مسؤوليّة إلا مسؤولية الرياح، التي استطاعت إزاحة سفينة متطوّرة يصل وزنها مع حمولتها إلى ربع مليار طن، في حين يتمّ تداول روايات سخيفة حول سبب الحادث والمسؤولية عنه.

هذا انكشاف لعورات نظام متهافت، فشل في الحفاظ على البلد وعلى أمنها القوميّ، يخوض حروباً بالوكالة في ليبيا، وأخرى في جنوب جزيرة العرب، يتحالف مع «إسرائيل» واليونان في خطوط الغاز، ويفرّط بحقوقه المائيّة التي هي سرّ بقاء مصر المعروفة في التاريخ باسم هبة النيل، عاجز عن التعامل مع الأزمات الاقتصادية الخانقة والمتلاحقة وغير قادر على حلها، البطالة تتفاقم وتزداد بمعدلات مزعجة وترافقها انهيارات اجتماعيّة، فساد مستشرٍ في كافة قطاعات الإدارة القاصرة، أبراج سكنية تنهار فوق أجساد ساكنيها، فيما لا يرى من مهدّدات للأمن القومي إلا في المعارضة الداخليّة، وزجّ 60 ألف من مواطنيه في السجون، بتهمة الانتماء للإخوان المسلمين، فيما بعضهم من الأقباط…

إنه نظام العسكر، ومصر التي نامت نواطير أمنها القومي ومصالحها العليا، فيما عاثت بها الثعالب ضراً وفساداً، لكم تحتاج إلى حاكم بعقلية السلطان العثماني محمود الثاني، الذي أنهى سيطرة العسكر الانكشاريّ على الدولة، بعد أن أصبحوا عبئاً ثقيلاً عليها، ومصدراً من مصادر ضعفها وهوانها.

اليوم في أمّ الدنيا كما يحب أهل مصر تسميتها، نرى في نظام العسكر، انّ الحمار قد أكل الأمن القوميّ وأبقى على أمن الحاكم وضرورات بقائه.

*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

Egypt and the state of the absurd … national security or the security of the president?

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SAADA Mustafa Arshid

The accident of the delinquency of the ship «Ever given» days ago and blocked the course of navigation in the Suez Canal, a tsunami of news, comments and analysis, many of which relied on the conspiracy theory, which although often wrong, but may sometimes infect, and no doubt, that the effects of this event must, strategy par excellence, and will have important repercussions in the near time, it is not a passing event.

The Syrian ports, Latakia, Banias and Tartus are destroyed by an actor, the ports of Aden and Hodeidah stop working due to the war and siege, and finally the ship “Ever Geven” which carries goods weighing just under a quarter of a billion tons due to the wind, the result is that the Suez Canal is closed to shipping traffic, while the Gulf ports are working actively, as are the ports of Haifa and Ashdod, and everyone talks about an alternative channel, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, from Ashkelon to Ayla (Eilat), and on its shores industrial cities, labor gatherings, hotels and entertainment centers.

The idea of the Suez Canal at the beginning, associated with the West and its expansion and the movement of its world trade and its colonial competition, the Egyptians dug the canal with their effort and sweat in the middle of the nineteenth century, and lost hundreds of thousands of lives during the drilling process, using the axe and the shell, and achieved in ten years, an engineering miracle beyond In its splendor and its benefits and impact the Pyramids of Giza, but their heirs did not preserve it, and even the process of development that ended in 2015 was not significant and important, and here it is clear that the issue of a ship is not a matter of ship accidentally, or high winds, but a failure of the system.

In 1888, the Constantinople Agreement was signed for the management of the Suez Canal, which defined the rights of ships crossing the canal, as well as the rights and duties of Egypt, and as time progressed, the development of international law on straits and corridors, added to the Convention of Constantinople, which is still in force and recognized, many clauses governing and regulating the operation of the canal, which includes freedom of navigation and rapid, innocent and safe passage for all, without discrimination against the flag that the ship flies in, which represents the country in which the ship is registered, and both the aforementioned convention and international law prohibits its closure. While Egypt has rights in the canal as an Egyptian effort on Egyptian territory, it has responsibilities to do what is necessary for traffic safety, maintain the corridor, secure the means of facilitating navigation, ensure the safety of ships, and possess the necessary emergency mechanisms in the event of a breakdown of the canal. Waterways are prohibited from being closed because of the impact on world peace, and in the face of the seriousness of this event, which has proved that the failed State is unable to manage this vital corridor, which may place the possibility of placing the management of the canal under international auspices.

Failure with this system did not begin when the ship accident, for the regime originally could not preserve its Arab, African and Islamic status only, nor its relations with its side to the west in Libya, which returned and will return to it with disasters, in return for its service to the saints of grace and the source of its survival in power, or to the south in Sudan, which is divided and began to turn its southern and northern parts away from Egypt and the Arab ocean, and the failure of the regime in dealing with the Renaissance Dam, which began to fill with water and became a fait accompli, while the regime’s fat cats were financing the hostile dam and lending to the Ethiopian government, by buying bonds to finance the dam, to kill them and let the Egyptians thirst in exchange for usurious interest, while the regime’s allies, Saudi and Emirati whom the regime of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is fighting for, are standing by Ethiopia.

The military regime in Egypt does not see the dangers to its country from the civil war and Libya, nor in southern Sudan, and the dams and water projects prepared, with experience and (Israeli) companies and Gulf funds that eliminate water supplies from Lake Victoria and the White Nile, nor the danger of thirst, which will afflict Egypt after the completion of projects on all the tributaries of the Nile. Moreover, the regime gave up important islands for its national security in the straits of the Red Sea – Tiran and Sanafir – which were the direct cause of the 1967 war, and which will be navigational anchors for the alternative canal project.

This is the exposure of the states of a reckless regime, which failed to preserve the country and its national security, is engaged in proxy wars in Libya, and another in the south of the Arabian Peninsula, allied with Israel and Greece in gas lines, and overrides its water rights, which are the secret of Egypt’s survival known in history as the Gift of the Nile, unable to deal with the economic crises stifling and successive and other Unemployment is worsening and increasing at alarming rates and accompanied by social collapses, widespread corruption in all sectors of the underage administration, residential towers collapsing over the bodies of its inhabitants, while it sees no threats to national security except in the internal opposition, and 60 thousand of its citizens are imprisoned, accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, while some Copts.

Today in the mother of the world, as the people of Egypt like to call it, we see in the military system that the donkey has eaten national security and kept the security of the ruler and the necessities of his survival.

*Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, Occupied Palestine

السفينة الانتحارية ومحاولة اغتيال قناة السويس .. الرومانسية الناصرية والحلم

نُشرت بتاريخ 2021/03/28 بواسطة naram.serjoonn

لن عرف الحكاية اذا عرفت بدايتها فقط او نهايتها او جزءا منها .. ومن يظن ان حكاية السفينة العالقة في قناة السويس عابرة فليعلم انه لايعلم .. فحكاية السفينة الانتحارية ايفرغرين التي انتحرت في وسط القناة – مثل اي انتحاري ارهابي يفجر حزامه الناسف لالحاق الاذى بخصومه – لتخريب فكرة قناة السويس .. يعود سرها الى عام 1956 عندما انتحرت سفينة استشهادية لغاية أخرى يقودها الاستشهادي ضابط البحرية السوري المسيحي جول جمال في بورسعيد .. ذلك العمل الاستشهادي كان دفاعا عن قناة السويس المصرية ابان العدوان الثلاثي على مصر .. وكان ذلك اعلانا لاغلاق قناة السويس الى اشعار آخر الى ان تصبح مصرية بالكامل ..


في تلك اللحظة عام 56 ظهرت أسرار القناة .. فالقناة تبين انها عزيزة على قلب بريطانيا وانها احدى اهم جواهر التاج البريطاني .. ولكن أخطر الأسرار ظهرت عندما تبين ان الجغرافيا هي التي تقرر ملكية الطرق الدولية .. في تلك اللحظة المصرية المصيرية الناصرية تنبه البريطانيون الى حقيقة الجغرافيا وهي ان هذه القناة ليست في انكلترة بل في مصر .. ومن يملك الجغرافيا يملك القرار على الجغرافيا .. ولذلك فان البريطانيين لم يمانعوا في ان تقفل او تقتل قناة السويس وتردم اذا لم تكن لبريطانيا او فلتخلق قناة سويس بديلة او استنساخ القناة في النقب الفلسطيني .. وهذا ماكان في صلب التخطيط الغربي .. لذلك ظهرت فجأة منذ الستينات مشاريع شق قناة بديلة من العقبة (ايلات) الى البحر المتوسط عبر النقب في فلسطين المحتلة تحت رعاية اسرائيل ..


العالم الغربي لايحب النوم في العسل كما بعض البسطاء من السياسيين في الشرق .. لأن قرار قتل قناة السويس ظهر ووضع أخرى تحت رعاية اسرائيل يعني ان القناة ستكون نقلت وكأنها صارت في بريطانيا .. لأن اسرائيل مربوطة بالسلاسل الى الغرب ولاتقدر الا ان تكون طوع بنان الغرب لحاجتها اليه .. فهي مخفر متقدم ونواطير من المستوطنين اليهود الذين يرتبط مصيرهم بجرة قلم من أوروبة .. واذا فكرت اسرائيل في التمرد فان الغرب سيتركها لمصيرها في هذا البحر العربي الهائل بل وسيوجهه لتحطيمها .. واذا كان الرئيس الامريكي يقول للملك السعودي انك لن تبقى اسبوعين اذا تخلينا عن دعمك فان نفس الكلام يقال لاسرائيل .. فهذه الاسرائيل ستقع في خمسة ايام اذا قرر الغرب تركها لمصيرها ..
هذه بداية الحكاية .. اي منذ لحظة تحرير القناة وظهور ضابط بحري انتحاري يحول سفينته الى سفينة انتحارية وتغلق القناة الى اشعار آخر .. ولكن مابعد هذه البداية نصل الى وسط الحكاية الذي يبدو مشطوبا وخفيا وجزءا لايراه أحد ولايلتفت اليه أحد بسبب زحمة الاحداث التي غطت بضجيجها على صوت الحكاية الحقيقية .. ففي وسط الحكاية حدثت بداية الانتقام من قناة السويس وبداية الجريمة لاغتيالها .. الى ان نصل الى نهاية القصة التي ظهرت منذ أشهر ..


مشكلة اي جريمة اغتيال انها تحتاج تحضيرا .. وجريمة اغتيال قناة السويس والانتقام منها كانت تحتاج تحضيرا جيدا لمسرح واسع .. وتحضير المسرح يعني تدمير السيطرة المصرية على منظومة الفكر الناصري والقومي التي صنعت ظاهرة جول جمال المواطن المشرقي الذي يستميت من اجل الدفاع عن كل الشرق وهي الظاهرة التي صنعها زمن الضباط الاحرار والرومانسية الناصرية .. وتم كسر الرومانسية الناصرية عام 1967 لاحلال الحلم الساداتي محلها والذي هو باختصار النوم في العسل .. الحلم الساداتي كان يحلم بالرفاه ودولة اللاحرب ولذلك كان عليه تفكيك المنظومة الفكرية الناصرية القومية المشاغبة بطموحها بكل رومانسيتها والتخلص من تلك التركة في مصر وحول مصر .. وبناء منظومة كامب ديفيد .. ونجح الحلم الساداتي في استئصال النزعة العسكرية من نفوس المصريين بمعاهدة كامب ديفيد التي كانت مخدرا قويا فيما يتم انجاز العمل بصمت لتجريد مصر من كل اسلحتها التي كانت تحمي قناة السويس .. وأهم أسلحتها كان القومية العربية التي جعلت ضابطا سوريا مسيحيا يفجر نفسه في سفينة فرنسية (مسيحية) والذي كان يعني ان قناة السويس صارت محمية ب 200 مليون عربي .. وهذا هو رعب الغرب الذي وجد نفسه ان الحلم الرومانسي المصري وضعه وجها لوجه مع كتلة 200 مليون عربي مستعدين للموت..


وبعد 12 سنة فقط من كامب ديفيد تم ضرب العراق حيث تدربت القوات الامريكية في الصحراء المصرية بتسهيلات كامب ديفيد عبر كثير من المناورات على حروب الصحراء في ماسمي بسلسلة (مناورات النجم الساطع) والتي كانت تحاكي حربا في الصحراء وفيها عرفت مشاكل الحروب الحديثة في الصحراء وتم تجنبها كلها في حرب عاصفة الصحراء التي كانت تدريباتها تتم في صحراء مصر .. والمصريون لايعرفون انهم يحضرون مسرحا لقتل العراق ومن ثم اضعاف مصر واغتيال قناة السويس ونهر النيل ..

وبعد عشر سنوات اخرى تم الاجهاز على العراق نهائيا في احتلال مباشر .. فيما محبو منظومة كامب ديفيد في مصر ينامون في العسل ويسمع شخيرهم الى المريخ وهم يحمدون الله ان السادات كان فطنا وذكيا انه جنبهم هذه الصراعات والحروب .. فرغم كل ماقيل عن أسباب حرب العراق فان هناك سببا لم يتم التركيز عليه وهو ان التجارة القادمة من الصين تفكر في طريق بري على طريق الحرير من ايران الى العراق الى سورية .. وهذه قد تكون قناة سويس برية ..

ولذلك وضع اميريكا داعش في وسط الطريق .. وكان المراد قطع الطريق البري .. ليس من أجل قناة السويس بل من أجل الا تموت القناة البديلة الاسرائيلية التي صارت تتحضر بمشروع مدينة نيوم السعودي .. الذي لايوجد اي سبب لبنائها الا انه ليخدم مشروعا اسرائيليا ما ..

بعد تدمير طريق الحرير بما يسمى (الثورة السورية) .. وميناء بيروت .. وتعطيل قناة السويس .. صار الحل الوحيد لتجارة أسيا والغرب في اسرائيل فقط .. فكل الطرق الدولية تمر من اسرائيل .. طريق حيفا – دبي البري .. وقناة ايلات -المتوسط .. وهذه الطرق كلها بيد الغرب طالما هي بيد اسرائيل حيث لايوجد ناصر ولارومانسية ناصرية .. والغرب موجود في الخليج المحتل والذي تم نشر جاليات غير عربية بشكل واسع فيه لاعلان هوية جديدة لاعلاقة لها بمنظومة الناصريين والقوميين العروبيين الذين قد يهددون الطرق الدولية ..


من جديد سيخرج علينا أصحاب النوم في العسل ويسخرون من نظرية المؤامرة لان وظيفتهم هي تطبيع المؤامرة .. اي جعل المنظر التآمري منظرا طبيعيا لا يد للانسان فيه .. فهم يرون ان داعش ليست مؤامرة امريكية لقطع التواصل الجغرافي وقاعدة التنف التي تجثم على الطريق الواصل من العراق الى سورية ليست الا بالصدفة .. والربيع العربي ليس مؤامرة بل بسبب توق الشعوب العربية الى الكرامة والحرية .. وليس لان الشعوب البسيطة صارت لها وظيفة تنفيذ المشاريع الغربية دون ان تدري .. والقذافي قتل بسبب غضب الجماهير وليس لأنه اراد تحقيق فكرة نكروما بالولايات المتحدة الافريقية وصك عملة ذهبية لها ..
واليوم وبعد مرور 130 سنة على افتتاح قناة السويس يتقرر ان باخرة عملاقة تنفذ عملية انتحارية في قناة السويس .. لأن السفن تحركها الامواج وليس الرياح .. فاين هي الامواج في قناة السويس كي تجنح بها سفينة .. ولايمكن ان تحرك الرياح هذا الجبل العملاق الذي طوله 400 متر ويحمل مايعادل 100 الف سيارة .. ليجنح بهذه الزاوية مالم تكن عملية انتحارية للسفينة التي ارتطمت بالضفة الشرقية للقناة .. فما هذه الصدفة في انها حدثت بعد تفجير ميناء بيروت وبعد تفعيل الاتفاق التجاري بين دبي وحيفا؟؟ وبعد تعطل طريق الحرير السوري؟؟
ماذا سيحل المصريون اليوم من مشاكل خلقها لهم الوهم الساداتي والحلم الساداتي الذي كان نوما في العسل؟؟ سد النهضة يسرق مياههم وقناة السويس تسرق منهم ..

النيل سرق في اثيوبية .. وقناة النيل كثرت سكاكينها .. بين حلمين تصارعا .. بين سفينتين انتحاريتين .. سفينة قادها جول جمال الضابط البحري السوري من أجل قناة السويس في الحلم الرومانسي الناصري .. وسفينة انتحارية صنعها زمن الحلم والنوم في عسل كامب ديفيد .. سفينة نعلم ان من أرسلها هو نفسه من أرسل الانتحاريين الى بغداد ودمشق والى ابراج نيويورك .. ونسف موكب الحريري .. ونسف ميناء بيروت .. ومن أراد ان يكسر الشرق .. ويقيد كل جرائمه ضد مجهول ..

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يذكرني هذا الحدث بفيلم مصري لمحمود ياسين (بعنوان وقيدت ضد مجهول) كأنه نبوءة عن اليوم لنوستراداموس .. كان يلعب فيه دور شرطي بسيط للحراسة ولكن في كل حي يحرسه كانت تزداد السرقات فقرر رئيسه وضعه لحراسة الاهرامات .. فلاشيء يسرق هناك .. ولكن الهرم الاكبر يختفي ويسرق .. فيقرر رئيسه وضعه في مناوبة حراسة على كورنيش النيل .. فماذا سيسرق هناك ؟؟ ولكن ينتهي الفيلم بتلفون مفاجئ لرئيس الشرطة ليبلغه بأن نهر النيل سرق !! في رمزية عن سرقة رمزية مصر ..

Suez Canal: Sisi is a danger not only to Egypt, but to the world

David Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

David Hearst

26 March 2021 18:16 UT

Egyptian government’s abject failure in responding to the Suez closure highlights the threat this regime poses to international trade and stability

Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the UN in New York in 2019 (AFP)

When a 35km expansion of the Suez Canal was opened six years ago, banners appeared on the streets of Cairo proclaiming it to be Egypt’s “gift to the world“.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi welcomed foreign leaders on a yacht. Helicopters and jets performed a fly-by. The expansion was hailed as a national triumph and a turning point after years of instability.

The Egyptian government is a practised liar. It lies to its own people every day, but in times of crisis, it also lies to the international community

When the Suez Canal was closed unceremoniously by a 400-metre container ship hitting the bank in a dust storm on Tuesday, there was silence. For 26 hours, there was not a word about the closed canal, the shipping backing up in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, or of the Ever Given itself.

Instead, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) issued a media statement announcing the successful transit of an Italian cruise ship with 65 Covid-19 cases aboard.

There was a media blackout. It was only on Wednesday that the lying started in earnest, with the first official statement noting that efforts were “continuing to reopen the canal”. The SCA downplayed the impacts on navigation, sending a “message of assurance that the navigation will continue as usual”. As if to reinforce that message, the authority allowed a convoy of ships to enter from the northern end in Port Said on 24 March.

Feeding the propaganda mill

The authority warned journalists not to heed any news or rumours about the most serious incident to block the canal since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, other than statements coming from them. Egyptian journalists did not need any encouragement to toe the line. They fed the propaganda mill, celebrating the SCA’s statement and claiming the ship had been refloated. They even tried to demonstrate this with satellite images, although the images themselves still showed the ship firmly wedged in place. 

The truth was even concealed from international shippers. The Gulf Agency Egypt shipping company quoted the SCA as saying that the container ship stranded in the canal for more than a day had been partially refloated and was standing alongside the bank, and that traffic would resume shortly.

The same story was fed to Lloyd’s List, which reported seeing an email from the Egyptian company sent to the China Shipowners’ Association: “We are still waiting confirmed information for the towing direction. Convoy and traffic will be back to normal within [a] very short time as soon as the vessel is towed to another position,” read the email, based on information provided directly by the SCA early on Wednesday.

Satellite imagery shows tug boats and dredgers attempting to free a ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal on 26 March 2021 (Satellite image c.2021 Maxar Technologies/AFP)
Satellite imagery shows tug boats and dredgers attempting to free the ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal on 26 March 2021 (Satellite image c.2021 Maxar Technologies/AFP)

On Thursday, two days after the chaos had started, the SCA officially announced that navigation had been suspended.

The Egyptian government is a practised liar. It lies to its own people every day, but, in times of crisis, it also lies to the international community. 

When a Russian passenger jet was brought down in 2015 by an Islamic State (IS) missile 23 minutes into a flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg, Russia and the UK instantly cancelled all flights to the Red Sea resort.

Two harsh lessons

But it is difficult to keep maintaining that a ship the size of the Ever Given is floating, when it so evidently isn’t.

However the Suez Canal crisis is resolved, this incident has taught the world two harsh lessons: how important the canal and Egypt still are for international shipping, and how disastrously and incompetently both are being run.Egypt’s Suez Canal: Why does its closure matter?

The incompetence of Sisi’s dictatorship, in other words, is not just a matter of international concern on the issues of human rights and the rule of law. Sisi’s incompetence threatens a major international waterway.

In the immediate future, this week’s Suez crisis could not have happened at a worse moment. It reinforces the interest of oil-and-gas-producing Gulf states in exploring ways to bypass the canal by routing their product through Israel. The Emirati normalisation deal with Israel has led to a tidal wave of contracts and projects, each of which spells an existential threat to Egypt’s monopoly on this traffic.

Whether through a long-neglected pipeline built by the shah of Iran, new internet cable or a railway line, or even a canal through the Negev desert – no greater push could be given to finding ways of bypassing the Suez Canal and Egypt than by the Egyptian reaction to an incident of this magnitude.

Sisi’s disastrous rule

In the longer term, there is now a clear pattern of decline and disaster to Sisi’s rule. Above and beyond all the other issues in which he has embroiled his country – backing the wrong side in Libya, a witch hunt against the Muslim Brotherhood at home and abroad – Sisi really had two existential things to worry about. He has failed in both.

The first was the Suez Canal; the second was maintaining the water levels of the Nile. Sisi laughed and ridiculed his boss, former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, for raising concerns about the dam Ethiopia was building in 2012, and arranged for a leak of a private meeting to embarrass the president. 

The line from the Egyptian army was that the issue was too serious for a mere Muslim Brotherhood president to handle. So they shelved the issue, and Sisi then compounded his mistake by signing away Egypt’s claim in an agreement with Ethiopia and Sudan in 2015. Now, he is reportedly considering military action, just weeks before the dam – which has long been completed – gets its second crucial filling

Instead of concentrating his meagre resources on the two issues that really matter to his country, Sisi has spent all his time obsessed with his image

Instead of concentrating his meagre resources on the two issues that really matter to his country, Sisi has spent all his time obsessed with his image. 

A revealing window into Sisi’s real priorities in the years in which he has run Egypt into the ground can be seen in the official record of lobbyists working for the Egyptian government, filed with the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

An investigation of these official records conducted by a group of Egyptian journalists at Sasapost reveals how the lobbying operation in Washington went into overdrive after the 2013 Rabaa massacre and the suspension of $260m in US military aid, a fraction of the total $1.3bn package.

Sisi’s government paid the Glover Park Group $250,000 a month to lobby senior members of Congress who opposed him, such as Senators Lindsey Graham and the late John McCain. Glover Park spent two years working on Graham until he reversed his position, Sasapost reported. Between 2013 and 2019, Sisi paid this company alone $13.25m – a huge price in the Washington lobby market.

Whitewashing the regime

What were Egypt’s concerns in Washington? Whitewashing Sisi’s image, targeting the American right and Israel’s supporters, and focusing on “religious rights,” with Joe Biden about to enter the White House. In other words, everything that Sisi has spent his money on has been about his image. None of it has had anything to do with what really matters to his country.

But these are Sisi’s priorities. He has not uttered one word about the crisis going on in the Suez Canal. 

It is now commonplace to hear that Egypt is a failing state – a state that fails its citizens, one with depleted resources, a weakened economy plundered by the Egyptian army, and growing levels of poverty affecting tens of millions of people. 

The international community, however, has yet to wake up to the fact that Sisi is a danger not only to his people and his country but also to international trade and stability. Perhaps a big ship jammed into a tight space will do that for them.

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

timeline suez canal

Yemen: Trilogy of victory,, in the seventh year اليمن: ثلاثيّة النصر سنة سابعة

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Yemen: Trilogy of Victory, in the seventh year

Nasser Kandil

– None of the observers and followers of the Yemeni scene, supporters of the Yemeni people and their resistance represented by Ansar Allah, nor of their opponents supported the Saudi aggression to expected that the war will continue for this long, nor that the Yemenis can bear this amount of killing, destruction, siege, hunger and suffering, and stand at their goals to stop the aggression and lift the blockade as a condition for accepting any call for a cease-fire and the beginning of negotiations.

– Compared to all the wars that have been fought against the peoples of the region and their resistance forces, there is nothing that can be compared to the Yemeni case, as the six-years war is being fought directly by armies possessing tremendous military superiority, accompanied by a tight siege, which can be similar in terms of intensity of fire to the wars of Gaza and the 2006 aggression against Lebanon. But there is nothing like the Yemeni situation, they are wars of days and weeks, not years, and despite the fiery siege on Gaza, the Egyptian outlet remains a breathing lung for the besieged Gaza. In Syria Lebanon remained a lung to breath from, and in Syria, where the war continued for ten years accompanied by fierce sanctions, the fiery superiority of the Syrian state and its allies remained, and the sea remained under the hands of the Syrian state and its army, and a resource for armaments and imports that could be secured behind the back of the blockade, Whereas in Yemen, supremacy was for the camp of enemies, with fire and siege, and the six years continued and produced havoc, destruction, death, hunger and epidemics, and Yemen was steadfast

– During the sixth year, Yemen moved from steadfastness to regaining, developing missile salutations and drones, an unmistakable deterrent force despite the electronic jamming techniques possessed by the Americans and through them the Saudis, and within a year this weapon proved high technical capabilities that produced a military deterrence balance based on exceptional scientific superiority, and within a year the security of the Saudi rear in Yemen, and burned Aramco times, and became the security of the water The gulf and the energy corridors and ensure their flow in the hands of the Yemenis, and proved the failure of the war miserably to all those who were behind it, led by The American Joe Biden, who became president and was vice president on the day of its launch with the promise of ending it in weeks or months, and began maneuvers to get out of the war with the least losses, from trying to distinguish America from Saudi Arabia, to Saudi offers of a cease-fire, to U.S. calls for a political solution.

– On the eve of the seventh year, the Yemenis demonstrated their strength, so they presented the trilogy of victory, and their leader, Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi, appeared in a detailed explanation of the war, its objectives and context, and the conditions for accepting solutions through the duality of stopping aggression and lifting the siege, based on steadfastness, determination and clarity in reading the past and the present and drawing the horizon of the future. Within hours of the zero hours of the seventh year, the army and the resistance presented an intense and concentrated dose of deterrence elements, inflaming the Saudi depth with raids and missiles, saying with a full mouth that the threats of their leader had taken their way to implementation. During the day, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis gathered in the squares and streets, celebrating the Day of National Resilience, affirming their loyalty and cohesion with their leadership and army, the 2006 July scene of the destruction of the destroyer Sa’er, the speech of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and scene of the people marching to southern Lebanon amid the cluster bombs in response to the call of the Leader of the Resistance. This trilogy victory was a harmonious symphony, drawing a clear ceiling in front of the American-Saudi alliance entitled, no place for maneuvers, the war will be a scourge, not a debate, and the negotiation path has a mandatory path: stop the aggression and lift the blockade, opening of the port and airport and the departure of foreign troops.

– Yemen enters the seventh year with the strongest confidence in victory, and the great victory has become the fruit of great patience, but this time it is really the patience of an hour.

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اليمن: ثلاثيّة النصر سنة سابع

ناصر قنديل

لم يكن أحد من المراقبين والمتابعين للمشهد اليمنيّ، من مؤيّدي الشعب اليمنيّ ومقاومته التي يمثلها أنصار الله، وحكماً من خصومه المؤيدين للعدوان السعوديّ ليتوقع قبل ست سنوات في مثل هذه الأيام، أن تستمرّ الحرب طول هذه المدة، ولا أن يتمكّن اليمنيون من تحمل هذا الكم من القتل والدمار والحصار والجوع والمعاناة، ويصمدوا عند أهدافهم بوقف العدوان ورفع الحصار كشرط لقبولهم بأية دعوة لوقف النار وبدء التفاوض.

بالمقارنة مع كل الحروب التي خيضت وتخاض ضد شعوب المنطقة وقواها المقاومة، ليس هناك ما يمكن تشبيهه بالحالة اليمنية، فحرب ست سنوات تخوضها مباشرة جيوش تملك تفوقاً عسكرياً هائلاً، يرافقها حصار محكم، يمكن أن تشبهه من حيث كثافة النار حروب غزة وعدوان عام 2006 على لبنان، لكنها حروب أيام وأسابيع، وليست سنوات، ورغم الحصار الناري يبقى المنفذ المصري رئة تنفس لغزة المحاصرة، وتبقى سورية رئة يتنفس منها لبنان، وسورية التي استمرّت الحرب عليها عشر سنوات وما يرافقها من عقوبات، بقي التفوق الناري فيها للدولة السورية وحلفائها وبقي البحر تحت يد الدولة السورية وجيشها، ومورداً للتسلح وتأمين المستوردات التي يمكن تأمينها من وراء ظهر الحصار، بينما كل شيء في اليمن تفوق لمعسكر الأعداء، بالنار وإحكام الحصار، والسنوات الست تتواصل وتنتج الخراب والدمار والموات والجوع والأوبئة، واليمن صامد.

خلال السنة السادسة انتقل اليمن من الصمود الى استرداد زمام المبادرة، مطوّراً سلاح الصواريخ والطائرات المسيّرة، قوة ردع لا تخطئ رغم تقنيات التشويش الإلكتروني التي يملكها الأميركيون ومن خلالهم السعوديون، وخلال سنة أثبت هذا السلاح مقدرات تقنية عالية أنتجت توازن ردع عسكري مستنداً الى تفوق علمي استثنائي، وخلال سنة صار أمن العمق السعودي بيد اليمن، واحترقت آرامكو مرات، وصار أمن مياه الخليج وممرات الطاقة وضمان تدفقها بيد اليمنيين، وثبت فشل الحرب فشلاً ذريعاً لكل من كان وراءها، وفي طليعتهم الأميركي جو بايدن الذي صار رئيساً وكان نائباً للرئيس يوم انطلاقها بوعد إنهائها خلال أسابيع أو شهور، وبدأت المناورات للخروج من الحرب بأقل الخسائر، من محاولة التميّز الأميركي عن السعودي، الى عروض سعوديّة لوقف النار، الى دعوات أميركية لحل سياسي.

عشية السنة السابعة أظهر اليمنيّون بأسهم، فقدموا ثلاثيّة النصر على الملأ، فظهر قائدهم السيد عبد الملك الحوثي في شرح مفصل للحرب وأهدافها وسياقها وشروط قبول الحلول تحت شعار وقفها، وتختصرها ثنائيّة وقف العدوان وفك الحصار، وعبر عن مستوى الثبات والعزم والحزم والوضوح في قراءة الماضي والحاضر ورسم أفق المستقبل، وخلال ساعات حلّت الساعة صفر من السنة السابعة فقدم الجيش والمقاومة، جرعة مكثفة ومركزة من عناصر الردع فألهبوا العمق السعودي بالغارات والصواريخ، قائلين بالفم الملآن إن تهديدات قائدهم قد أخذت طريقها للتنفيذ، مستعيدين مشهد تدمير المقاومة في لبنان للمدمّرة ساعر ترجمة لخطاب السيد حسن نصرالله، وخلال ساعات النهار احتشد مئات آلاف اليمنيين في الساحات والشوارع، يحيون يوم الصمود الوطنيّ، يؤكدون تمسكهم بثوابتهم وتماسكهم مع قيادتهم وجيشهم، مستعيدين مشهد زحف الشعب الى جنوب لبنان وسط القنابل العنقودية تلبية لدعوة قائد المقاومة، فكانت هذه الثلاثيّة سمفونية متناغمة، ترسم سقفاً واضحاً أمام الحلف الأميركي السعودي عنوانه، لا مكان للمناورات، الحرب ستكون وبالاً لا سجالاً، وطريق التفاوض له ممر إلزامي وقف العدوان ورفع الحصار، أي فتح المرفأ والمطار وخروج القوات الأجنبية.

اليمن يدخل السنة السابعة أشدّ ثقة بالنصر، وقد بات النصر العظيم ثمرة للصبر العظيم، لكنه هذه المرة فعلاً صبر ساعة.

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صاحب المعجزة الاقتصادية التركية عاجز .. الليرة التركية تستغيث اذ تستعد لليلة;الدخلة

نارام سرجون

بتاريخ 2021/03/23 

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naram.serjoonn نارام سرحون

كنت أفشل فورا كلما حاولت ان أشرح للاسلاميين ان الفقاعة الاقتصادية التركية غير حقيقية لانها مثل الجسد المحقون بالكورتيزون الطبي حيث ينتفخ ويتورم ولكن العلة لاتزال فيه .. الاستثمارات في البورصة التركية جاءت بشكل مريب مثل لعبة القمار ورفعت الاقتصاد بشكل سريع .. ونسب هذا النهوض الى فكرة (الاسلام هو الحل) الذي جاء به الاسلاميون الاتراك .. ويسهب المتحدثون المتحمسون المعجبون بالتجرية التركية في الحديث عن الرقم السحري لترتيب الاقتصاد التركي الذي وصل الى المرتبة 17 في العالم .. وكلما فتح احد فمه للاعتراض والتشكيك تعالت الأصوات الساخطة الساخرة والهابطة .. (شو عم يحكي هاد؟؟ خلوه يسكت موفهمان شي) .. رغم ان رقم 17 في الترتيب الاقتصادي العالمي كان يذكرني بترتيب الجيش العراقي الذي دخل الكويت الذي صنف على انه الجيش الرابع في العالم .. وتبين ان النفخ في الجيش الرابع في العالم كان لتبرير ضربه بقسوة فائقة وتدميره .. فالجيش الرابع في العالم يجب ان يضرب بسلاح فائق التدمير وبلا رحمة ولاتوقف .. وتبين ان الجيش الرابع في العالم كان بالعدد فقط رابعا ولكن من غير طيران ولاتكنولوجيا ولاعدة متطورة .. وحكاية الاقتصاد السابع عشر في العالم قصة مضخمة تشبه حكاية الجيش الرابع في العالم .. رغم محبتي واحترامي للجيش العراقي لكنه لم يكن الجيش الرابع في العالم ولا الرابع عشر عندما تم نقخ الدعاية الغربية لغاية في نفس بني اسرائيل ..

لايوجد اقتصاد بهذه المرتية في العالم دون صناعات ثقيلة وأسواق واسعة تستوعبه او اسواق مال كبيرة .. فلا هو دخل اوروبة ولاامريكا .. وأسواق استرالي وامريكا الجنوبية او أفريقيا.. فالاقتصاد الحقيقي هو بقيمة السلع الحقيقية التي يطرحها .. ولكن الاقتصاد التركي لم يقدم لنا سيارات ولا طيارات ولا كومبيوترات ولا اي شيء .. سوى السياحة والمسلسلات التركية .. وهذه ليست اقتصادا كاملا بل جزءا من اقتصاد ..

بل ان افضل مرحلة انتعش فيها الاقتصاد التركي هي عندما انفتح على الجنوب بتسهيلات سورية حيث لأول مرة انتعش اقتصاد الاناضول بشكل حقيقي على حساب اقتصاد تركيا في الجانب الاوروبي بسبب النقلة الكبيرة في التسهيلات السورية للتجارة التركية ..
تركيا الغبية لم تستمع لصوت العقل عندما عرض الرئيس الأسد مشروع البحار الخمسة التي تضم العرب وايران وتركيا .. ولو نفذ هذا المشروع لكان انقاذا حقيقيا للاقتصادات الثلاثة .. عقل اردوغان المحشو بالعثمانيات لايؤمن الا بالنجاح العثماني الصرف والبطولة الفردية .. وظن ان اميريكا واوروبة ستعطيانه الشرق الاوسط ليصبح قوة عظمى ويصبح قادرا على فرض شروطه على الغرب .. هذه العقلية الأنانية تسببت في مشاكل تركيا التي لن تجد لها حلا .. الحل كان في الجنوب والبواية السورية العراقية .. وهذا انتهى الى الابد .. ولن يفتح الباب جنوبا طالما ان حزب العدالة والتنمية في السلطة وطالما ان اردوغان في الحكم .. وعلى تركيا ان تدفع ثمن جنون العظمة .. ..

الاقتصاد التركي يترنح .. والاستثمارات الأجنبية تتراجع وتهرب .. والاسلام التركي لم يجد الحل .. ومعادلة الاسلام هو الحل تبين انها خدعة وكذبة اخوانية .. والاموال التي تدفقت في عروق البورصة التركية تتسلل خلسة اليوم من البورصة التركية .. وهذه مؤشرات سحب الدعم الغربي عن زمن حزب العدالة والتنمية .. رغم ان اردوغان يحاول جهده في بث الثقة بالاقتصاد والليرة التركية ولكن عبثا .. فكل ماسرقه من أموال ومعامل السوريين لايعتبر اقتصادا ثابتا والتلاعب بالسعوديين وابتزازهم بقصة الخاشقجي ارتدت عليه لأن مستوردات السعودية والخليج من البضائع التركية انخفضت بنسبة 90% ..

وفي يوم واحد انهارت العملة التركية وخسرت 10% من قيمتها بسبب قرارات اردوغان المتخبطة ..

مرة يقترب اردوغان من مصر ومرة من نفط ليبيا ومرة يتهاوش مع اليونانيين ومرة يريد ان يساعد في نقل الغاز الروسي .. كلها أعمال فوضوية ومرتبكة .. والليرة في حضن أردوغان مثل الطفلة في يد ابيها وهي تحتضر وتموت .. وهو يحس بالذنب لأنه لم بعطها الدواء الصحيح بسبب عجرفته وطيشه وجشعه ..

ماذا يفعل اردوغان سوى ان يحفر قبرا لليرة التركية .. ويعلن نهاية الفقاعة ونهابة المغامرة .. والاقتصاد التركي سيهتز اكثر .. ومايخشى ان اموال السوريين المهربة الى تركيا وكل استثماراتهم وكل ماسرقه المعارضون واللصوص الاتراك سيقع ايضا مع وقوع الاقتصاد التركي قريبا .. وستكون افضل نصيحة لهم أن يهربوا بأموالهم من تركيا .. ولو كان فيهم عقل لاعادوا اموالهم الى بلادهم .. لأن الليرة السورية ليست مثل الليرة التركية .. فالازمة الحالية لليرة السورية ليست حقيقية وليست تعكس الا حالة نفسية للاسواق والمضاربات والشائعات .. وهذه ستنتهي بمجرد ان يحدث تراجع خفيف في التشنج الامريكي او في الوجود الامريكي او التركي في سورية وبمجرد تحرك الجبهات واسترداد قطاعات الانتاج التي تسيطر عليها اميريكا ..اما ازمة الليرة التركية فهي حقيقية وعميقة رغم انها غير محاصرة ولاتوجد قطاعات انتاج معطلة لان قيمتها التي نفختها منذ سنوات ليس حقيقية وهي كانت تتحرك بقيمة اعلى من رصيدها الذهبي ومن قيمة انتاج السلع التركية .. ولن تعود الليرة الى سابق عهددها .. خاصة ان تركيا ستشهد خضات كثيرة .. والسبب ليس ان الغرب يتأمر على تركيا الاسلامية بل لان الغرب سحب دعمه عن المشروع الاسلامي التركي بكل بساطة بعد ان احترقت اوراقه ..
اردوغان ينزف ببطء .. ولن تنفعه كل الصلوات .. ولن تنفعه كل دعوات المؤمنين .. ولن ينفعه السجود في أياصوفيا .. وكما يقول فلاديمير بوتين لخصومه ساخرا ومهددا بخشونة .. (مهما فعلت المرأة في يوم دخلتها .. فلن تبقى عذراء) .. واردوغان مهما فعل فانه ينطبق عليه مثل بوتين .. عليه وعلى ليرته التي سيدخل بها اليورو والدولار مهما فعلت ومهما سرق لها اردوغان من نفط وقمح وزيتون ومعامل سورية ..


لو تنطق الليرة التركية اليوم لقالت عن اردوغان: انه قاتلي ومغتصبي ..

The Arab yacht summit plotters have fallen out

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George Nader (fourth from left) organised a secret summit of Arab leaders on a yacht in the Red Sea in late 2015
David HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

David Hearst

15 March 2021 15:09 UTC 

An alliance of regional rulers that put so much effort into suppressing democracy is weakening now as its participants bear substantial grudges against each other

For the past decade, an alliance of rulers has bent every sinew to halt the onward, and irreversible, fight for human rights in the Arab world.

To preserve their own decaying regimes, this alliance has laid waste to once proud and civilised nations. It has waged wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, reducing much of them to rubble. It has funded coups in Egypt, and attempted them in Tunisia and Turkey. The blood of hundreds of thousands has been shed in these interventions.

They were fought in the name of defending the region from Islamism and extremism. In this, they attracted the credulous, or cynical, support of former colonial powers France and Britain. But in reality their “jihad” had nothing to do with defending liberalism or secularism.

These regimes had no qualms about enlisting religious forces for political ends. Their quest was for hegemony, or how to transfer autocracy from one generation to another. For them, power was part of the family silver.

Late in 2015 – two years after their first major success, that being the military coup in Egypt, the leaders of this alliance – crown princes and rulers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan – met secretly on a yacht to plot their plans for the region. To summon the same cast of characters on a yacht in the Red Sea today, six years on, would, however, be more difficult. 

For one thing, the fixer of this secret summit is in prison. George Nader is serving ten years on child sex charges. For another, the participants today bear substantial grudges against each other.

Money like rice?

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cooled fastest. The Saudis no longer have “money like rice” as the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi once bragged to his chief of staff Abbas Kamel. And any way King Salman is not as generous as his late brother Abdullah was, even if he had the money, which he doesn’t.

Sisi has no interest in following Mohammed bin Salman into the camp of pariah dictators

Sisi tried to get a new line of funding from Riyadh by giving it two uninhabited but strategically placed Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to much protest at home. But the Saudis are no longer interested in such baubles like the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba.  

Their eyes light up when contemplating cheaper and faster ways to the Mediterranean – through Israel. Egypt is not saying it, but it is getting increasingly irritated by plans to bypass the Suez Canal, which it enlarged to the tune of $8.2bn.

Whether it is reversing a once-secret desert pipeline that ran from Iran to Israel during the time of the Shah, or the development of ports and free zones in Israel, or Blue Raman, a new fibre optic cable for the Middle East, it’s all pointing in one direction for Cairo – a huge loss of money and regional influence. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP)

It is not as if there have not been past divergences between banker and client state. Egypt’s refusal to send troops to fight in Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war in Yemen was one. It has refused to be as hostile to Iran and its allies in Lebanon. But two new factors are persuading Egypt that its national interests are not always best served by its regional allies. 

The Biden factor

The first is the arrival of US President Joe Biden and his obvious antipathy to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – even though he refuses to sanction him. Sisi has no interest in following bin Salman into the camp of pariah dictators. Rather, he has a strong motive to distance himself from that clan.For Trump’s Middle East allies, Joe Biden is a new nightmareRead More »

Bin Salman’s international reputation has been tarnished by the release of the US intelligence report into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. When it was released, Mohammed bin Salman expected that every member of his club, and even those that were not, like Qatar, to send a message of support. 

Most did. King Abdullah II of Jordan; Sudan’s prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, flew to Riyadh. Others like Bahrain and the UAE issued statements. The only country to fall silent was Egypt.

The second factor was the military defeat of the Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, when his forces were repulsed from Tripoli and retreated to Sirte. The Turkish intervention, and the effectiveness of its drones, came as a shock to Egypt, whose agenda in Libya was driven by the Emirates. Egypt, however, invested considerably in training, arming and supplying Haftar’s forces.

When both the UAE and Egypt discovered that they were on the losing side – and this was sometime before Haftar pushed Sisi to invade – some in the Egyptian media began to question publicly why Egypt was in this position. Libya is important to its neighbour, not least because of the millions of Egyptians who – in times of peace – work there. When Libya prospers, so does Egypt. Haftar’s defeat opened the way for direct talks with the government in Tripoli, and covert talks with Turkish intelligence chiefs. 

As a result, the candidates of the list which lost the election to the post of prime minister had been agreed beforehand by both Turkey and Egypt. When the Libyans rejected those candidates, it did not disturb the tacit understanding between Ankara and Cairo. Nor are things as close between Cairo and Abu Dhabi. The froideur started over a question of money. But it rapidly went much further over Abu Dhabi’s recognition of Israel

The second wave

The second wave of normalisation with Israel displaced the first. Both Egypt and Jordan lost influence as the gatekeepers of the Arab world to Israel, in the same degree to which the UAE gained it.

It’s no coincidence that two of the nations that attended that yacht summit are in the process of softening their hostility to Ankara

When Abu Dhabi announced it would invest $10bn in Israeli energy, manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech, it was no coincidence that Jordan at first refused permission for Benjamin Netanyahu’s jet to use its airspace, and he had to cancel his trip to pick up the prize money in person. Netanyahu’s office said the dispute with Amman stemmed from Israel’s decision to cancel the Jordanian crown prince’s plans to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque the day before.  

Much of the legitimacy of the Hashemite dynasty rests on its role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, a role that is now being overtly threatened by its Saudi cousin with Israel’s encouragement. Bin Salman is playing a zero-sum game. By advancing his own relationship with Israel, he is weakening the stability of Israel’s safest border. 

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the closing session of an African summit meeting (AFP)
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (AFP)

The yacht summit was convened to counter Turkey and Iran’s resistance to their schemes. So it’s also no coincidence that two of the nations that attended that summit are in the process of softening their hostility to Ankara.

Enters Turkey

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are being pushed into each other arms by a US president who is hostile to the Saudi crown prince and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mohammed bin Salman was told by his advisers that if Biden won, he would have to open relations with Turkey. 

Where foreign relations are based on secret pacts between leaders each of whom have good reason to fear their own people, they are built on sand

Bin Salman is not convinced, and can’t overcome the feeling that Erdogan was out to get him for having ordered Khashoggi’s murder. But the relationship between his father, King Salman, and Erdogan was never ruptured and so halting attempts are being made.

Qatar has offered to mediate, which is ironic, because when the boycott of the Gulf peninsula states started, the Turks offered to mediate. Turkey maintains strong relations with Oman and Kuwait and both Ankara and Riyadh have an interest in showing Washington they are regional players.

But is more going on under the table? Recently the Houthis claimed to have shot down a drone that “had proven its worth in Azerbaijan”, an oblique reference to Turkey. It was a Turkish drone, but not one used in Azerbaijan. Last year the Saudi government signed a deal with a local company to supply armed drones after getting a technology transfer from a Turkish defence firm, Vestel Karayel. Six drones were delivered. 

Turkey denies there was anything official about this technology transfer. A Turkish source familiar with the defence industry said Vestel did not seek government authorisation to make such a tech transfer to Riyadh. Still, the incident raised eyebrows. Janes defence news said the Karayel has not been previously known to be in service with the Saudi military.

In any case the Saudi boycott of Turkish goods still continues.

Repairing ties with Egypt

Last week’s flurry of statements from the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, chief counsellor to the president Ibrahim Kalin and the president himself about turning the page with Egypt have been downplayed by Cairo.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, confirming contacts with Cavusoglu, said that Turkey must “align with Egypt’s principles” before relations could return to normal. And the editor in chief of Egypt’s al Watan newspaper published ten conditions before relations could be restored.

This will have the same effect on Ankara as the 13 demands the blockading countries laid on Qatar.

The optimism in Ankara started when Egypt announced an oil and gas exploration bid in the Eastern Mediterranean which acknowledged the coordinates of the continental shelf declared by Ankara. The Greek foreign minister, Nikos Dendias, claims to have since “adjusted” those coordinates after a trip to Cairo.Turkey-Egypt relations: What’s behind their new diplomatic push?Read More »

Turkish intelligence chiefs have, however, met their Egyptian counterparts several times. Apart from Libya, Turkey is offering the Egyptians help in their dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. UAE is doing the opposite by offering help to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmet. 

Mohammed Dahlan, the Abu Dhabi-based former Fatah security chief, visited Addis in an announced visit. What was not announced was that his boss Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed went with him, according to one informed source. Egypt is baulking at the Turkish charm offensive and there has been no breakthrough.

“Egypt wants Ankara to take at least a symbolic step on the presence of Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey,” an official told MEE. 

If that is what is needed, it will not materialise. The Muslim Brotherhood does not have a physical presence like a regional office in Turkey. So there is nothing to close down. To go against individual members of the large expatriate Egyptian community in Istanbul would mean extraditing individuals, which Turkey is not going to do. Nor is there any discernible Turkish pressure on the Egyptian opposition media in Istanbul. Cairo would particularly like Al Sharq television off air.

“The Turkish authorities have nothing to offer nor withdraw when it comes to Al Sharq Channel because we are not funded by Turkey or Qatar,” its owner Dr Ayman Nour, the Egyptian opposition politician, told MEE. “We have not sensed any change on the Turkish side with regard to Al Sharq.”

But the axis itself is weakening and the lessons for everyone in the region are clear. Where foreign relations are based on secret pacts between leaders, each of whom have good reason to fear their own people, they are built on sand. Where they are based on the strategic interests of their peoples, they are more durable. The more national interests are based on the interests of their peoples rather than the rulers, the greater the stability of the region

Thus far it has been warm embraces one day, and stabs in the back the next.

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

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

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The “New Shaam” and the Detonation of Jordan الشام الجديد» وتفجير الأردن

The “New Shaam” and the Detonation of Jordan

by Nasser Kandil

Egyptian, Iraqi, and Jordanian meetings are being held to reinforce a trilateral project with an economic title failing to mask political, and possibly, strategic dimensions. This project called “The New Shaam ” does not answer how a project bearing the name of Syria (Al Shaam) could be founded while excluding Syria from its consideration. Those involved in the project are incapable of denying the reality of the role of isolator between Syria and Iran that this trio is playing, in addition to isolating Iraq and Jordan from Syria which geographically falls in the middle between those two countries. Those involved also fail to deny the declared American paternity of this project in parallel to American declared paternity of the Gulf-Israeli normalization, with both projects being complimentary and a guarantee for each other’s success.

The economic return of this “New Shaam” project is not unrelated to its political role. Egyptian electricity to Iraq compensates Egypt for the loss of Suez Canal returns resulting from Gulf-Israeli normalization, while simultaneously acting as a substitute for electricity to Iraq from Iran. Similarly the exchange of Iraqi oil and Egyptian gas via Jordan detaches Iraq from need for Iranian gas, and provides additional compensation for anticipated Suez Canal revenue loss from the reliance of the Gulf trade on Israeli ports after normalization. As for what has been promised to Jordan from this project has been financing to compensate for the halting of goods from Syria in transit via Jordan to the Gulf, and becoming a compulsory junction for the goods arriving at the Occupation’s ports and destined for the Gulf.

The Gulf-Israeli normalization built on the foundation of granting the Occupation a pivotal economic role in the region, redraws the political-economic map of the countries in the region, and markets it using appealing names such as the “The New Shaam.” The new map imposes on Egypt accepting the loss of the role which the Suez Canal has played in exchange for the crumbs meted by the designated replacement role, and imposes on Iraq the role of separating Syria from Iran, encircling Syria with an Iraqi-Jordanian siege, accepting the loss of Iraq’s natural common interests with both Iran and Syria, and placing Iraq’s internal cohesion, unity, and stability in danger. Jordan, however, will be the most vulnerable to the influences and pressures resulting from this project, irrespective of the enticements Jordan is offered to accept this role.

Jordan lies at the intersection of two fault lines portending renewed crises, namely the closed door to a resolution for the Palestinian Cause, and the wide open door to the Gulf-Israeli normalization, along with the connection to a third fault line of high tension entitled separating Syria from Iran, and separating Jordan and Iraq from Syria and besieging her. The question becomes could the delicate situation in Jordan withstand such pressures, given the weight of the Palestinian Cause and its influence on Jordan especially in light of the Palestinian united opposition to the “Deal of the Century” and Jordan’s inability to isolate herself from such Palestinian transformation, and in view of the strong Jordanian-Syrian social and political intertwinement, and the popular climate in Jordan aspiring to speeding up the natural and cooperative relationships between Jordan and Syria? Given the popular demand in Jordan for the closure of the Israeli Embassy, can Jordanians tolerate scenarios of trucks crossing Jordan with goods loaded from the Port of Haifa in transit to the Gulf?

If “The New Shaam” project does not become quadrilateral, open to and inclusive of Syria, refusing the designated role of marketing normalization at the expense of the Palestinian People and Egyptian interests, and rejecting playing the role of isolating and besieging Syria, Iraq and Egypt will pay a political and economic toll from their stability. Jordan, on the other hand, will be facing fateful and possibly existential challenges, similar to what pushed Lebanon in the eve of Camp David.

«الشام الجديد» وتفجير الأردن

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ناصر قنديل

للمرة الثانية ينعقد لقاء مصري عراقي أردني تأكيداً على مشروع ثلاثي بعنوان اقتصادي لا يُخفى البعد السياسي وربما الاستراتيجي وراءه، فالمشروع المسمّى بالشام الجديد، لا يملك جواباً على كيفية قيام مشروع يحمل اسم الشام ويستثني الشام من حساباته؟ بل لا يستطيع القيّمون على المشروع إنكار حقيقة أن الثلاثي الجديد يلعب دور العازل بين إيران وسورية، عدا عن كونه يعزل الأردن والعراق عن سورية بينما هي تتوسّطهما معاً، كما لا يمكن لأصحاب المشروع إنكار ما قاله الأميركيون عن أبوتهم للمشروع بالتوازي مع أبوتهم للتطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، حيث يكمّل أحد المشروعين الآخر، ويضمن نجاحه.

العائد الاقتصادي للمشروع غير منفصل عن وظيفته السياسية، فالكهرباء المصرية للعراق هي من جهة تعويض لمصر عن خسائر قناة السويس الناتجة عن التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، ومن جهة مقابلة تأمين بديل كهربائي للعراق عن المصدر الإيراني، كما تبادل النفط العراقي والغاز المصري عبر الأردن فك للعراق عن حاجته للغاز الإيراني، وتأمين موارد إضافيّة بديلة عن خسائر ستحلق بقناة السويس من الاتجاه للاعتماد التجاري للخليج على موانئ كيان الاحتلال بعد التطبيع، أما العائدات الموعودة للأردن من هذا الربط فهي لتمويل يعوّض على الأردن ما سيُصيبه من خسائر توقف خط الترانزيت الى الخليج عبر سورية مقابل لعب دور المعبر الإلزامي للبضائع الواصلة إلى موانئ كيان الاحتلال والمتجهة نحو الخليج.

التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي المؤسس على ركيزة منح كيان الاحتلال دوراً اقتصادياً محورياً في المنطقة، يُعيد تشكيل الخريطة السياسية والاقتصادية لدول المنطقة، ويتم تسويق هذه الخريطة بأسماء جاذبة مثل الشام الجديد، فعلى مصر وفقاً للخريطة الجديدة أن تتلقى خسارة قناة السويس لدورها وتصمت لقاء فتات دور بديل، وعلى العراق الذي يكلف بمهمة فصل سورية عن أيران وتطويق سورية بحصار عراقي أردني، أن يرتضي خسارة مصالحه المشتركة الطبيعيّة مع كل من سورية وإيران، وأن يعرّض تماسكه الداخلي ووحدته واستقراره الأمني للخطر، لكن الأردن سيبقى الساحة الأشد عرضة للضغوط والتأثيرات الناجمة عن هذا المشروع رغم العروض التشجيعيّة التي يتلقاها لقبول الدور.

الأردن الذي يشكّل خط تقاطع فوالق الأزمات المستجدّة بفعل التوتر العالي لخطَّي إغلاق أبواب الحلول أمام القضيّة الفلسطينية، وفتح الباب الواسع للتطبيع الخليجيّ الإسرائيليّ، يتم ربطه بخط توتر عالٍ ثالث عنوانه فصل سورية عن إيران، وعزل العراق والأردن عن سورية بنية حصارها، ويصير السؤال هل الوضع الدقيق في الأردن يحتمل هذه الضغوط، في ظل حجم حضور القضية الفلسطينية وتأثيرها على الأردن، خصوصاً مع وحدة الموقف الفلسطيني بوجه صفقة القرن، وعجز الأردن عن تحييد نفسه عن هذه التحولات الفلسطينية، وفي ظل حجم التشابك الاجتماعي والسياسي الأردني السوري، وتنامي مناخ شعبيّ أردنيّ يتطلع لتسريع العلاقات الطبيعيّة والتعاونيّة بين سورية والأردن، وفي ظل مطالبات أردنية بإغلاق السفارة الإسرائيلية هل يمكن للأردنيين تحمل مشاهد الشاحنات العابرة من مرفأ حيفا نحو الخليج؟

ما لم يكن مشروع الشام الجديد رباعياً يضمّ سورية، وينفتح عليها، ويرفض الدور المرسوم لتسويق التطبيع على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني والمصالح المصرية، ويرفض لعب دور العزل والحصار بحق سورية، فإن العراق ومصر سيدفعان أثماناً سياسية واقتصادية، من استقرارهما، لكن الأردن سيكون أمام تحديات مصيرية وربما وجودية، تشبه تلك التي دُفع لبنان نحوها عشية كامب ديفيد.

Arabic press review: Palestinians step up efforts to sue Israel at ICC

Meanwhile, Hamas is reportedly split on decision to participate in elections, and Egypt and the UAE feel alienated after results of UN-sponsored Libyan elections

Image result for Arabic press review: Palestinians step up efforts to sue Israel at ICC
The Bakr family in their house in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on 7 February, with posters of four children from their extended family killed during the 2014 Gaza war (AFP)

By Mohammad Ayesh

Published date: 8 February 2021 15:13 UTC

Palestinians to sue Israel at International Criminal Court

Palestinians have started intensifying their efforts to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), following its recent decision recognising its jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories, Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported.

The ICC’s ruling that it has jurisdiction over the situation in the Palestinian territories opens the way to it investigating alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza.ICC rules it has jurisdiction to probe alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking to transfer the record of Israeli crimes documented during the Gaza war, including settlements in the West Bank and Palestinian detainees in occupation prisons, according to the newspaper.

The ministry is reportedly expected to start making extensive contacts at the international and regional levels. The paper added that an official Palestinian delegation would visit the ICC soon with the aim of moving the cases forward to prosecute Israeli leaders for the crimes they committed in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian circles said that the Palestinian foreign minister would formally request that the ICC prosecutor open a criminal investigation as soon as possible.

Disagreement within Hamas over election participation

The decision to participate in the Palestinian elections has caused disagreement within Hamas, whose members said they had not been adequately consulted prior to the move.

Members and supporters of the movement in the West Bank have rejected the decision, due to the continued repressive practices of the occupation forces and the Palestinian Authority against them, Arabi21 reported.After 15-year wait, Palestinian elections face new obstacles following law amendments

The news website interviewed several sources within the movement in the West Bank, who said: “Hamas leaders and commanders in the West Bank have informed the leadership of the widespread dissatisfaction over the movement’s decision to participate in the election, which was made hastily and without consulting with the movement’s institutions.”

The sources said the conditions facing Hamas in the West Bank, which is under the control of President Mahmoud Abbas, remain the same. The movement says it is still facing restrictions imposed by the PA, while Israeli forces continue to crack down on its members, restricting their ability to participate in public meetings, form lists or hold meetings with other political forces.

Anger in Egypt, UAE following Libyan elections

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been actively attempting to contain the latest developments in Libya, namely the establishment of a new executive authority under the auspices of the United Nations headed by personalities who have no affiliation to either country, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

According to Egyptian sources, the loss of the Cairo-backed list, headed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Tobruk Aguila Saleh, was a shock to the Egyptian authorities involved in the Libyan crisis, especially after the victory of figures known to be inclined towards Turkey.

The sources emphasised that the Egyptian presidency had been uneasy over the victory of the Al-Manfi/Dbeibah list and the formation of a new executive authority in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations.Libya: Dbeibah surprise pick as new interim prime minister

The sources pointed out that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi considered what happened as a “great victory for Turkish policies in Libya”, adding that “Cairo still has bargaining chips to tame the new executive authority”.

The sources also said that the retired general Khalifa Haftar and his forces still presented a major pressure card for Abu Dhabi and Cairo to obstruct the work of the new government in Libya if it expressed hostile or militant positions towards the interests of the two countries – or showed a clear bias towards Turkish interests at the expense of the Egyptian and Emirati states.

Haftar’s militia spokesman, Ahmed al-Mesmari, welcomed the results of the vote and congratulated the newly elected officials. Sisi has also declared his support for the transitional government.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye

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