Some Thoughts on the Latest Church Vandalism in Israel

Father Antonio Scudu, caretaker at the St. Stephen Church, west of Jerusalem, examines a portion of a shattered statue of the Virgin Mary. The vandalism of the church took place on September 19, 2017.

By Richard Edmondson

There still has been no arrest in the vandalism of St. Stephen’s Church, a Christian site near Jerusalem which vandals entered and desecrated on the night of September 19. I am, for that matter, not especially hopeful an arrest will be forthcoming. Israel has an extremely sorry history when it comes to investigating and prosecuting criminal cases of this sort. The record speaks for itself.

An article published by Haaretz on September 24 reports that over 50 Christian and Muslim religious sites have been vandalized since the year 2009. In that time only nine indictments have been filed, and only seven convictions have been handed down. That’s bad enough, but an article published Tuesday at Crux, a Catholic news site, suggests the record may be even worse than Haaretz is reporting. “There have been some 80 incidents of vandalism against churches and Christian sites in the Holy Land over the last decade. In most of the cases, no arrests or indictments have taken place,” that article states.

All I can tell you is that over the years since I’ve been blogging, which is about seven years now, I have reported on numerous attacks by vandals on religious sites in Israel, yet still the practice remains an acute problem.

My initial report on this month’s attack at St. Stephen’s was posted September 23. In that post I noted that the church is located on the grounds of a Catholic monastery, Beit Jamal, a Salesian monastery that lies near the city of Beit Shemesh. I also noted that this is the third time in four years that the site has been vandalized and commented, “Apparently the site is on somebody’s hit list.”

The previous attacks occurred in 2013, when a firebomb was thrown at the door and hateful graffiti scrawled on the walls, and in January of 2016, when the cemetery was vandalized. At the time, I put up a post on the 2016 cemetery attack, which you can access here. All this taken into consideration, it does seem as if the church might be on a hit list of some sort.

Whether this has anything to do with the fact that the locale is believed to have been the burial place of St. Stephen, I can’t say. But indeed, there is a longstanding tradition in church history that the saint’s remains were buried here. This of course is why the church is named after him, and perhaps for this reason, it is worth recounting a bit of St. Stephen’s story

Stephen, his speech before Jewish leaders and his death by stoning at their hands, are told of in the sixth and seventh chapters of the Book of Acts. Initially selected to help with daily distribution of food, Stephen was described as “a man full of God’s grace and power” who “did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people,” and he seems to have risen quickly to prominence among the disciples in Jerusalem. This of course in the months after Christ’s crucifixion.

Jews from one of the synagogues began to accuse Stephen in a manner very reminiscent of the charges brought against Jesus–and, like Jesus himself, Stephen ended up before the Jewish ruling council, or Sanhedrin. He was, among other things, accused of speaking “words of blasphemy against Moses and against God,” and he was also alleged to have invoked Jesus’ prophecy about the destruction of the temple. It’s probably not too much of a stretch, then, to speculate he may even have told people that God didn’t live in the Jewish temple (as Jewish leaders claimed) and that it was not necessary for people to actually go there in order to worship God, that God can be worshiped anywhere. This would have reflected Jesus’ teaching in John 4:21-23, and if Stephen indeed spread such teachings, then it would have infuriated the Jewish leadership all the more, for the temple was an enormously lucrative enterprise for them.

Then the high priest asked him, “Are these charges true?”

This is the opening line in Acts chapter 7, and it is at this point that Stephen launches into his lengthy speech. Basically, it’s a speech recounting the narrative of the Old Testament. The Abrahamic covenant, the stories of Issac and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs, the bondage in Egypt, Moses and the Exodus–all of this is spoken of by Stephen. All of it makes up about ninety percent of his speech, and for the most part it doesn’t ruffle too many feathers, but then we get to the following passage–and it is at this point that all “heck” breaks loose. Here again, the speaker is Stephen:

You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him–you who have received the law that was put into effect but have not obeyed it.

Notice that Stephen chooses the same adjective–“stiff-necked”–used by Moses in describing the Israelites. He is in effect saying that the Abrahamic covenant is hereby abrogated. If you consistently disobey the law–most especially if you murder God’s son–what other conclusion than that can be drawn? The covenant is dead. Jews can no longer consider themselves God’s “chosen,” Stephen is basically saying. It’s a pivotal moment. It is literally earth shaking. And the reaction from the Sanhedrin is spontaneous and immediate:

When they heard this they were furious, and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city, and began to stone him.

Thus Stephen became the first Christian martyr in recorded history. Interestingly, the text notes that one of those present, giving his approval to it all, was Saul–later Paul–who, somewhat astonishingly, ended up becoming an apostle of Christ himself.

Could this narrative in the New Testament have anything to do with why St. Stephen’s and the monastery have been attacked repeatedly?

The night of September 19/20, when the vandal(s) entered the church, was the eve of the Jewish New Year. “The monastery is open for visitors and generally has good relations with its Jewish neighbors,” the Crux article notes, “including the residents of an ultra-Orthodox town.” The “ultra-Orthodox town” being referred to here is Beit Shemesh, located nearby, a city of about 103,000 population.

Beit Shemesh is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as being among the towns allotted to the Levites, or priestly class. In the modern, post-1948 era it was settled by Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria, though by the late 1970s it had become a major center of the Likud Party. The “good relations” mentioned in the Crux article probably pertain to Neturei Karta, which has a small community living in Beit Shemesh, primarily in one neighborhood of the city. You can go hereto see video of a protest in which an NK member, holding a Palestinian flag, is attacked and chased by Israeli police. The date on the video is 2015. An earlier video, also shot in Beit Shemesh, shows a confrontation between police and a large group of Orthodox men demanding enforcement of segregation between the sexes. It is perhaps not terribly surprising that a Christian church and monastery located in proximity to such a city would come under attack.

The vandals destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, a cross, and smashed stained glass windows depicting events in the life of Jesus. While Hebrew graffiti has been a hallmark of previous church attacks in Israel, nothing of the like was left in this case. Still,  Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, the Catholic patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, expressed the view that the attack was most likely carried out by “Jewish extremists.”

“Vandals broke into the church and destroyed the crosses, the statue of Our Lady and the stained glass, as well as the faces of the saints,” Mgr. Marcuzzo said.

“In the Old Testament, it is written to destroy the statues as a symbol of idolatry. Here, these people distort the Scriptures and promote fanaticism. Perhaps it is not a direct attack on Christians, but it is certainly a message against those who do not share their ideology and it is scary because it shows that there is no respect for others. Living together is undermined,” he added.

Anther cleric who commented on the matter is Salesian Father Antonio Scudu, who serves as caretaker of the church.

“I was shocked. I didn’t expect to see something like this. The church is always open. If you see what happened, you feel they did it with hate. They smashed everything,” he said.

Israeli Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told the Catholic News Service that the case is being given “top priority.”

“There have been arrests in previous cases. We are looking into this case to see if it was an individual or a group. These are all separate cases,” Rosenfeld said. “People can say what they want. This kind of case is top priority.”

Yet as the report posted by Crux notes:

Christians in the Holy Land, including Catholic leaders, have expressed frustration with lack of legal action against cases of desecration and vandalism of sacred places.

Even as the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land issued a statement condemning the September 20 desecration and vandalism of a Catholic shrine in Israel, some people criticized the statement’s “weak language” and asked, “How long will we be tolerant?”

“Unfortunately, in these situations we feel how vulnerable we are,” one person wrote on Facebook.

The words “how long will we be tolerant?” have a certain poignance to them, for in Israel there are “Jewish extremists” who seem to feel the nation has been overly “tolerant” by even allowing Christians and Christian churches to exist inside the country’s boundaries. One such individual is Benzi Gopstein, whose views I discussed in the post I put up in January of 2016 on the St. Stephen’s cemetery desecration.

Gopstein is the leader of Lehava, the far-right Israeli organization that opposes intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. He also hates Christianity. My 2016 post included an excerpt from a Times of Israel report in which Gopstein is quoted as referring to Christianity as “that accursed religion” and likening Christians to “vampires.”

Interestingly, the Lehava leader has also been referred to as “Israel’s teflon man, nothing sticks to him.”

The Israeli government may be feeling mounting pressure to do something about the wave of attacks upon religious sites, and if that is the case, we could end up seeing an arrest in the St. Stephen’s case. This of course would not alleviate the anti-Christian hatred felt by Jews like Gopstein, and if anything will make it worse. There is a reason the Christian Church, founded by men like Stephen, ended up breaking off from Judaism: the two faiths are pretty much incompatible.

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HASAN NASRALLAH: HEZBOLLAH IS MAKING HISTORY OF ENTIRE REGION

Source

15.09.2017

Hasan Nasrallah: Hezbollah Is Making History Of Entire Region

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via a screen during a rally marking Al-Quds day in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Lebanon June 23, 2017. (REUTERS)

On September 12, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah said at a religious event that Hezbollah is “making the history of the region, not only the history of Lebanon”, according to the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper.

At the same event, he announced that Syria and its allies have won the war in Syria, according to the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper.

We have won in the war [in Syria], what remains are scattered battles,” Nasrallah said at the event.

Moreover, Nasrallah added that the Syrian opposition had failed to achieve anything, and now they want to negotiate to get some benefits. Nasrallah also said that the war on ISIS was harder and more dangerous than the war with Israel in 2006.

Since 2011 we knew that what was going on is a great conspiracy, and that there is a US-Israeli-Qatari-Saudi project that aims to eliminate the resistance and end the Palestinian cause,” Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah also revealed that at the beginning of the crisis in Syria he visited Iran and met with Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei to warn him from what is going on in Syria.

“Back then, everyone was convinced that the [Syrian] regime will fall after two or three months. We explained our view of the enemy project for him [Khamenei], and that if we didn’t fight in Damascus we will fight in Hermel, Baalbek, al-Dahieh, Ghazieh, the Western Beqaa and the South [of Lebanon] … The leader [Khamenei] agreed and continue: not only in these areas but also in Kerman and Khuzestan and Tehran … and he said [Khamenei]: this front has several axis: Iran axis, Lebanon axis and Syria axis and the leader of this axis, Bashar al-Assad… We should work for him to win and he will win,” Nasrallah said about his meeting with Khamenei.

Furthermore, Nasrallah revealed that after a year or two of the crisis Saudi Arabia told al-Assad that if Syria announce cutting its ties with Iran and Hezbollah in a press conference, the crisis will be over.

Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah warned its friends in Iraq that if they didn’t fight ISIS and it captured Deir Ezzor it will enter Iraq. Hezbollah prediction were indeed accurate and ISIS did enter Iraq because the Iraqis didn’t fight ISIS inside Syria back then.

This speech can be considered the most important speech by Nasrallah during 2017. As the speech reveals that the Syrian crisis in 2011-2012 was in reality moved by the political disagreement in the region, not by the will of the Syrian people.

Pro-Resistance Activists to Zionists: “If You Think about It, We’ll Wipe You out!”

A new front has been opened this week between the Zionist entity and pro-Lebanese resistance activists, but this time on social media.

wipe out2

 

Hezbollah Military Media Center launched a hashtag campaign dubbed: “If you (just) think about it (war against Lebanon), we’ll wipe you out,” with Hebrew subtitles, in response to an earlier message delivered by Israeli occupation military spokesman to the Arab press, Maj.Avichai Adraee.

wipe out3

The Israeli spokesman published on his account on social media (both Facebook and Twitter) a picture of himself holding a sign with Arabic words saying “If you dare, we will surprise you.”

Adraee1

In an another post, Adraee said: “They said ‘If You revert, We Too Will Revert,’ we say: ‘If you dare, we will surprise you,’” referring to the name of operation launched by Hezbollah against ISIL terrorists in Syria’s Qalamoun countryside.

Adraee post

The hashtag created by Hezbollah Military Media Center went viral on social media, with hundreds of pro-resistance activists used it, posting photos that portray the Israeli failure in Lebanon.

Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center

Hezbollah declares victory over Deash terrorists in Syria

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BREAKING NEWS OF SAUDI CROWN PRINCE’S “SECRET” VISIT TO ISRAEL BRINGS EMBASSY SCRAMBLE

South Front

11.09.2017 

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Clearly the war in Syria and the international push for regime change against Assad has created strange alliances in the Middle East over the past few years. Among the strangest bedfellows are the Israelis and Saudis. It’s no secret that common cause in Syria of late has led the historic bitter enemies down a pragmatic path of unspoken cooperation as both seem to have placed the break up of the so-called “Shia crescent” as their primary policy goal in the region. But that’s perhaps why few pundits seemed overly shocked when Israeli media late last week began reporting that a Saudi prince made a secret visit to Israel, in spite of the fact that the kingdom does not recognize the Jewish state, and the two sides do not have diplomatic relations.

Last Wednesday (9/6) Israel’s state funded Kol Yisrael radio service made cryptic reference to the “secret” yet historic visit while withholding names and specifics. “An emir of the Saudi royal court visited the country secretly in recent days and discussed with senior Israeli officials the idea of advancing regional peace,” the station reported. It added further that, “Both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the issue.”

Breaking News of Saudi Crown Prince's "Secret" Visit To Israel Brings Embassy Scramble

Left: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Right: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The visit is said to have occurred the same week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed “unprecedented” relations with the Arab world. Netanyahu made the comments before members of the foreign ministry and said, “Things that are happening today between Israel and the Arab world are unprecedented. Cooperation on a wide range of issues are occurring behind the scenes, more than at any time in Israel’s history.”

But on Sunday reports began to emerge that the unidentified Saudi royal in question is no less than Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, which would indeed be shocking news:

On Sunday, the IUVM Online Arabic news outlet identified the Saudi official who reportedly visited Israel as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia and heir apparent to the throne.

The IUVM Online report cited a United Arab Emirates intelligence officer, who claimed that bin Salman was the member of the Saudi royal family who met with Israeli officials in last week’s secret meeting.

Western journalists also began on Sunday to report the dignitary as being Crown Prince Salman – something which could have huge geopolitical consequences for the region given that such a high level meeting would possibly take place at all.

 Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was on secret visit to Israel. 

The reports were immediately disputed and subject to disbelief and controversy. As bin Salman’s name continued to circulate Sunday, the Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. attempted to shut down news of the visit. A senior Saudi diplomatic official took to Twitter with a simple “Nope” in reference to the allegations.

Of course, if true such a dramatic move between the countries would signify a monumental shift in relations and outlook. On Sunday Israeli media was also broadly advancing bin Salman’s name as the Saudi emir in question.

Breaking News of Saudi Crown Prince's "Secret" Visit To Israel Brings Embassy Scramble

Multiple Israeli outlets on Sunday identified Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as having met with senior Israeli officials early last week.

Though initial reports in Israeli media speculated that it could mean positive momentum on the Palestinian issue, it is unlikely that the future king of Saudi Arabia himself would suddenly pay a personal visit to Israel over an issue which has stalemated regional diplomacy for decades. It also doesn’t appear that Israeli policy on settlements has undergone any significant on the ground change. If true, public knowledge of the visit will certainly result in embarrassment for both countries, especially on the Saudi domestic front.

The initial Israeli public radio report referenced the visit of “an emir of the Saudi royal court” on Wednesday while saying the trip took place “in recent days”. As both Israel and Saudi Arabia have been so heavily invested in pursuing regime change in Syria, and at a time when other world powers seem to be backing off, it is inconceivable that Syria wasn’t high on the agenda during the unprecedented visit.

The timing of the meeting also seems more than just coincidental in relation to last week’s Israeli airstrike on a Syrian military facility, which took place in the middle of the night Wednesday (or more precisely Thursday morning at 3:00 am). As we reported at the time, Israel’s brazen act of aggression was designed to provoke a response from Syria. As the Syrian government stands poised to be victorious in the more than 6-year long conflict while rapidly regaining more and more territory, Israel seems desperate to keep the war going and is still making last ditch efforts to draw external powers deeper into Syria, though framing its aggression as “humanitarian”.

Could the two powers have been engaged in face to face talks over renewed efforts at ramping up the stalled war for regime change in Syria? After all, Israel’s declarations of its willingness to do anything to prevent an enduring Iranian presence in Syria have reached a new erratic pitch of late. During Netanyahu’s recent contentious summit with Vladimir Putin in Sochi, the Israeli leader reportedly warned Putin that Israel would not tolerate an enlarged and stronger Shia sphere of influence along Israel’s border. Yet the current trajectory of the war in Syria ensures just that, especially after the US-Russia brokered Astana agreement seemed to give tacit approval of Iranian troop presence in parts of Syria, while placing Russia in the driver’s seat. It was further revealed that a senior Israeli official accompanying Netanyahu on the trip threatened to assassinate Syrian President Assad by bombing his palace in Damascus, while further adding that Israel will seek to derail the Astana de-escalation deal.

As for Saudi Arabia, while its deep embroilment in inter-GCC diplomatic war with Qatar seems to have tempered what used to be routine calls for Assad’s departure, it must be remembered that the current unraveling of the GCC is ultimately benefiting IranIt is entirely possible that the Iran issue alone might drive the kingdom into direct engagement with Israel no matter the risks and political embarrassment (for example, news of the visit hands Iran a propaganda victory and likely more influence on the so-called Arab street, even perhaps within Saudi’s own domestic population).

Saudi Arabia could also be worried about future blowback from its well-documented actions in Syria. A WikiLeaks cable released in 2015 as part of the “Saudi Leaks” trove of internal leaked Saudi diplomatic memos speaks to just this scenario. Though the memo’s exact date is unknown, it was drafted sometime in early 2012 based on internal references in the Arabic text. It spells out the kingdom’s internal long term rationale on Syria: that should the Syrian regime “be able to pass through its current crisis in any shape or form” then increased “danger for the Kingdom” means Saudi Arabia must “seek by all means available and all possible ways to overthrow the current regime in Syria.” A full translation of the key passage reads as follows:

“In what pertains to the Syrian crisis, the Kingdom is resolute in its position and there is no longer any room to back down. The fact must be stressed that in the case where the Syrian regime is able to pass through its current crisis in any shape or form, the primary goal that it will pursue is taking revenge on the countries that stood against it, with the Kingdom and some of the countries of the Gulf coming at the top of the list. If we take into account the extent of this regime’s brutality and viciousness and its lack of hesitancy to resort to any means to realize its aims, then the situation will reach a high degree of danger for the Kingdom, which must seek by all means available and all possible ways to overthrow the current regime in Syria.

Whether or not it was in fact Crown Prince Salman that himself went to Israel, the timing of the high level delegation’s visit is simply impossible to ignore. Simply put, Syria was without a doubt discussed… and shortly thereafter Syria was bombed. Such direct and closer relations among perennial enemies could be a sign of more escalation and desperate measures to come in the region. This is certainly not – as Israeli media reported – a sign of regional peace.

Saudi Crown Prince’s Secret Trip to Tel Aviv: Riyadh Moving Closer towards Normalization with ‘Israel’

11-09-2017 | 14:39

Following the bold announcements of Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the unprecedented relationship between Tel Aviv and some Arab states, new information uncovered the secret visit made recently by a Gulf delegation to the occupation entity.

MBS

According to 360 ‘Israeli’ website, it was Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman the leader of the delegation that met with Netanyahu secretly.

According to the website, an Emirati intelligence officer accompanied bin Salman, along with former General who is close to the royal family, Anwar Eshqi, beside several other senior figures.Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s office as usual declined to comment on the issue not to embarrass Saudi Arabia, which in parallel presents itself as defender of the Palestinian cause, fixed, and just rights of the Palestinian people, all denied by the ‘Israeli’ apartheid regime.Commenting on the issue, member of the “Coalition for al-Quds” Saleh al-Shwaiky stressed rejection of such visits no matter what are the circumstances.Speaking to the al-Ahed news website, al-Shwaiky said:

“According to us, we have a firm stance that criminalizes normalization of diplomatic ties with Zionist occupation regime, in addition to all suspicious attempts that some make secretly to get closer to the entity that is attacking our Palestinian people, land and sanctities.”

The Maqdessi activist wondered why some Gulf figures in particular want reconciliation with ‘Israel’ whilst neglecting their responsibilities in supporting the Palestinian cause.

He further censured the parity of this group with the colonial powers that are based on making Tel Aviv a natural part of the region without caring for the tragedies it caused to the Palestinians.

“Instead of fighting Yemen and killing civilians there, they should have moved towards the al-Aqsa Mosque that is being violated everyday by the Zionist settlers. They should have saved all the potentials and money to resist in Palestine and liberate al-Quds from the Zionist dirt.”

The Saudi crown prince’s visit to Saudi Arabia represents a turning point in the path towards normalizing ties between the Saudi Kingdom and ‘Israel’, paving the way for other sides to adopt the same policy that has been executed secretly for some considerations, which practically means aborting work to solve the Palestinian cause.


Source: Al-Ahed News

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Saudi Arabia tries to gain information for a military action in Qatar السعودية تجسّ النبض لعمل عسكري في قطر

Saudi Arabia tries to gain information for a military action in Qatar

أغسطس 8, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The Saudis intended to insult Qatar and to deal with it as a non- sovereign country, when they refused to organize Qatari pilgrimage campaign to Saudi Arabia, and when they decided to open the door individually to the Qataris who want to send an application for performing Hajj through the website, and thus they will have a temporary passport at the airport once they arrive in exchange of handing over their Qatari passports to be received again at departure. This procedure has intelligence intentions by opening the way to recruit the Qatari opposition on the occasion of Hajj, so it is difficult to trace them as traitors by their governments under the pretext of the participation in the religious rites. So those who are recruited by Saudi Arabia will be lost among the lists of pilgrims, in addition, there are not any easy means to know who have met the invitation but only by recruiting informants among their ranks, as long as the traveling must be from a third country since the Qatari passports will not get an entry visa to Saudi Arabia.

The Qataris responded by booking on the website and disconnecting it from inside Qatar, they considered that the Saudi procedure is a political exploitation of the Hajj season, they suggested to send a complaint to the International Court of Justice under this title, but the Saudi response came quickly accompanied with a solidarity of the boycotting countries which participate in the crisis with Qatar. The response considers that the doubtful Qatari position of the Saudi administration of Hajj season is a call to internationalize the religious rites, and thus it is as “an announcement of war” according to the declaration of the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir. He added that his government will reserve the right to reply to this position according to what is considered by a declaration of war.

The Saudi position was not a reaction to the Qatari position. In the Qatari responses there was an indication to the accusation of Qatar of being subordinated to Iran in the call to internationalize Hajj season, knowing that the internationalization was not a clear demand in the Qatari response as much as it is a Saudi interpretation of the Qatari legal complaint in front of the International Court which may ignore the cause, or will render a judgment to oblige Saudi Arabia to coordinate with the Qatari government in organizing the participation of its citizens away from the political relations between the two governments, but the linkage to Iran is due to the fact that Iran has called publicly for the internationalization of hajj seasons and managing them towards the permanent administration of the holy sites, it identified a formula which it tried to promote on the Islamic countries regarding this administration. But Riyadh did not issue any comment that considers the Iranian position as a declaration of war, so this means that the accusation of the declaration of war is addressed to Qatar not to the one who is proposing the administration of Hajj season by Saudi into circulation whether totally or partially.

The Saudis feel with agony whenever they remember that the crisis with Qatar lasts more than the expectation, and whenever they notice that the international and the regional situations are surrounding the crisis through a stable static, while they feel that Doha is comforted to its position in the light of the American position, which its ceiling is a media support of the Saudi position and a real dealing with how to employ the crisis in favor of US gains with each of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, on the other hand there were European and Russian positions that stick not to allow the escalation of the crisis on one hand, and the Saudi control on Qatar on the other hand in the light of the Turkish-Iranian positions that support Qatar implicitly

Saudi Arabia tries to gain information under a religious pretext for the escalation militarily through the vocabulary of ” a declaration of war” in order to impose new dynamism for the crisis, whether through the escalation of war,  so this opens a negotiation on a hot skate that achieves some gains and justifies the end of the crisis from a superior Saudi position or through a military process that is desired by the Saudis from the first day, if they ensure that the process will not turn into a confrontation with Turkey or Iran on one hand, and if they ensure the quickness of the operational success. But the two matters are questionable, so trying to gain information is not the first shot in the war.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

السعودية تجسّ النبض لعمل عسكري في قطر

ناصر قنديل

يوليو 31, 2017

– تقصّد السعوديون إهانة قطر ومعاملتها كدولة فاقدة للسيادة عندما رفضوا تنظيم بعثة حجّ قطرية إلى السعودية، وقرّروا فتح الباب فردياً للقطريين الراغبين بالحجّ للتقدّم بطلباتهم عبر موقع إلكتروني والحصول على جواز سفر مؤقت على المطار حين وصولهم مقابل تسليم جوازاتهم القطرية لاستردادها في طريق العودة، ويحمل التدبير في ما يحمل نيات استخبارية بفتح المجال لتجنيد المعارضين القطريين بمناسبة موسم الحج، فيصعب تقفي أثرهم كعملاء من قبل حكومتهم، لأنّ الذريعة هي المشاركة في شعائر دينية، والمجنّدين مع السعودية يضيعون بين لوائح الحجاج. هذا إضافة لعدم توفر وسائل سهلة لمعرفة مَن هم الذين استجابوا للدعوة إلا عن طريق دسّ مخبرين بين صفوفهم، طالما السفر يجب أن يتمّ من بلد ثالث والجوازات القطرية لن تحصُل على سمة دخول للسعودية.

– ردّ القطريون بالحجز على الموقع وقطع التواصل معه من داخل قطر، واعتبروا الإجراء السعودي استغلالاً سياسياً لإدارة موسم الحج، ولوّحت بالتوجه لمحكمة العدل الدولية بشكوى على السعودية تحت هذا العنوان ليأتي الردّ السعودي سريعاً مصحوباً بتضامن دول المقاطعة المشاركة في الأزمة مع قطر. والردّ يعتبر الموقف القطري المشكك في الإدارة السعودية لموسم الحج دعوة لتدويل الشعائر الدينية، وبالتالي هو بمثابة «إعلان حرب»، وفقاً لتصريح وزير الخارجية السعودي عادل الجبير، مضيفاً أنّ حكومته ستحتفظ بحق الردّ على هذا الموقف بما يتناسب مع اعتباره إعلان حرب.

– الموقف السعودي ليس رداً على الموقف القطري، ولا بحجمه أصلاً، وقد ورد في الردود السعودية اتهام لقطر بالتبعية لإيران في الدعوة لتدويل موسم الحجّ، علماً أنّ التدويل ليس مطلباً واضحاً في الردّ القطري بقدر ما هو تأويل سعودي للتلويح القطري بالشكوى القانونية أمام محكمة دولية قد تردّ القضية، أو تُصدر حكماً بإلزام السعودية بالتنسيق مع الحكومة القطرية بأحسن حال في تنظيم مشاركة مواطنيها بمعزل عن العلاقات السياسية بين الحكومتين، لكن الربط بإيران يستحضر حقيقة أنّ إيران دعت علناً لتدويل مواسم الحج وإدارتها وصولاً للإدارة الدائمة للأماكن المقدسة، وحدّدت صيغة حاولت تسويقها لدى الدول الإسلامية لهذه الإدارة، ولم يخرج عن الرياض تعليق يعتبر الموقف الإيراني إعلان حرب، ما يعني أنّ الاتهام بإعلان حرب موجّه لقطر وليس لكلّ من يذهب تلميحاً أو تصريحاً، كلياً أو جزئياً لطرح إدارة السعودية لموسم الحج في التداول.

– يشعر السعوديون بالضيق كلما تذكّروا أنّ الأزمة مع قطر تطول أكثر مما توقعوا، وكلما انتبهوا إلى أنّ الوضعين الدولي والإقليمي يحيطان الأزمة بستاتيكو لا يتيح تحريكها إلى الأمام. وهم يستشعرون أنّ الدوحة مرتاحة لوضعها في ظلّ موقف أميركي سقفه تأييد إعلامي للموقف السعودي وتعامل واقعي مع كيفية توظيف الأزمة لمكاسب أميركية من كلّ من قطر والسعودية، وفي المقابل مواقف أوروبية وروسية متمسّكة بعدم السماح بتصعيد الأزمة من جهة، وبسيطرة السعودية على قطر من جهة أخرى، في ظلّ موقفين تركي وإيراني داعمين ضمناً لقطر.

– تجسّ السعودية النبض بذريعة دينية لفرصة تصعيد تريده عسكرياً عبر مفردة «إعلان حرب» لفرض دينامية جديدة للأزمة، سواء عبر تصعيد يلوّح بالحرب فيفتح تفاوضاً على نار حامية يحقق سقفاً من المكاسب يبرّر إنهاء الأزمة، من موقع سعودي متفوّق، أو يأخذ الأمور إلى عملية عسكرية يرغبها السعوديون من اليوم الأول، إذا ضمنوا عدم تحوّل العملية إلى مواجهة مع تركيا أو إيران، من جهة، وضمنوا سرعة النجاح العملياتي من جهة أخرى، والأمران مشكوك فيهما، ولهذا جسّ النبض ليس طلقة أولى في الحرب.

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الأقصى وعرسال… تكامل الشعبي وتآمر الرسمي

الأقصى وعرسال… تكامل الشعبي وتآمر الرسمي

صابرين دياب

أغسطس 8, 2017

في الوطن العربي، ربّما بغير ما هو في معظم البلدان، يتناقض الشعبي والرسمي إلى مستوى تناحري. أينما يتّجه الرسمي، يأخذ الشعبي اتجاهاً آخر ينقضه وينفيه، ذلك لأنّ الرسمي نتاج تراث سياسي أنتجته الثورة المضادة على الأقلّ منذ سايكس – بيكو، فكان جرَّاء ذلك النبت القطري ببنيته السياسية المرتبطة بالخارج ارتباط يؤكده حبل سري مع المستعمر الغربي والكيان الصهيوني.

ودون عودة بعيدة حتى للتاريخ والوقائع الحديثة في الوطن العربي، فإنّ ما يدور اليوم وخاصة في لبنان، وفلسطين، يقدّم لنا صورة كاشفة عن حدثين نقيضين يعمل كل منهما في اتجاه مضادّ للآخر ونافٍ له.

على المستوى الشعبي في فلسطين، ولأكثر من أسبوعين دخل الشارع الفلسطيني المقدسي ومن تمكّن من الوصول من المناضلين/ات من المحتلّ 1948 جولة مواجهات ساخنة مع جنود وشرطة ومخابرات الكيان الصهيوني بكلّ ما وهبتها أميركا والغرب من سلاح وتقنية. اعتمد العدو أشدّ قمع ممكن وأسوأ حرب نفسية بهدف التحطيم المعنوي.

سلاحه القمعي ما وهبته إياه أميركا والغرب

وسلاحه النفسي تهافت معظم الحكام العرب على الاعتراف والتطبيع، وحتى التنسيق مع الكيان ضدّ المقاومة. لكن لا هذا ولا ذاك ثنى الفلسطينيين عن الإصرار عن مواجهة العدو بلا أيّ سلاح، سوى الوطنية والثقافة والدين والتاريخ، وهي الأسلحة التي يفتقر لها العدو مقابل افتقار جماهيرنا لسلاح القتل والخبث والفتك النفسيّين.

وكان للفلسطينيين ما أصرّوا عليه، لا معابر إلى ثالث الحرمين، إلى الأقصى، لا بوابات معدنية ولا خشبية ولا إلكترونية، ليعود العدو للبوابتين الكلاسيكيتين: نقاط التفتيش، وعيون العسس.

حاول المخروقون نفسياً ومعنوياً التقليل من الانتصار في حرب الموقع هذه، وحرب الموقع هي نعم: الانتصار في موقع، ومن ثمّ التكامل مع موقع، فمواقع أخرى منتصرة كما كتب انطونيو غرامشي، المناضل الإيطالي ضدّ الفاشية وصولاً إلى اصطفاف المواقع معاً لتشكل حرب جبهة واسعة.

ولكن، من جانبنا، لنا العبرة في ما يقوله العدو حيث الاشتباك الداخلي في أوساطه نقداً لسلطته الحالية التي تمثل أقصى العنجهية الصهيونية. هذا ناهيك عن استخدام معارضي سلطة العدو لهذه الهزيمة، في تعزيز رصيدها الانتخابي. وعليه، اعتقد محترفو الهزيمة من العرب بأنّ القدس انتصرت أم أنكروا ذلك، فلا قيمة لما يزعمون.

ولم يكن لدى نتنياهو سوى المتاجرة بقاتل المواطنين الأردنيين بدم بارد في عمّان، ليستقبل القاتل ويسأله السؤال الذي قُصد به تحقير النظام الأردني، وكأنّ هذا القاتل كان يقوم بعمل بطولي: «هل تحدّثت مع صديقتك»؟ وهو سلوك استفزازي تحقيري بمنتهى الصلف والصفاقة.

بعد انتصار الأقصى أو الانتصار للأقصى، لم تخجل أنظمة عربية وإسلامية كثيرة، من محاولة السرقة العلنية لشرف الموقف، لم يكن ذلك مدهشاً ولا مستغرباً، حيث الوقائع ظاهرة للعيان، ولكنها تكشف عن هشاشة البحث عن نصر ما، وسرقته بعد أن كانت هي نفسها في صف العدو بهذا الأسلوب أو ذاك!

في المقلب الآخر، كانت حرب الموقع تأخذ مجراها الشريف المشرّف في جرود عرسال في لبنان، حيث تتكاتف المقاومة والجيشان السوري واللبناني ونصف الدولة اللبنانية، للإجهاز على إرهابيّي النصرة بأسرع التوقعات وأقلّ التكاليف.

وكذا كان المقدسيّون وفلسطينيّو 1948 قد أهدوا نصر الأقصى للعرب والمسلمين، فإنّ المقاومة وسيّدها قد أهديا نصر عرسال لجميع اللبنانيين، وجميع المقاومين.

وأيضاً، إذا كان نصر القدس الجزئي، قد طعنته أكاذيب الأنظمة مكشوفة العورة، فإنّ انتصار عرسال طعنته الأنظمة نفسها، وقطاعات كثيرة من السياسيين في لبنان نفسه.

صحيح أنّ الأنظمة العربية التابعة تتواصل مع بعضها ومع الكيان الصهيوني، وتتمظهر جبهتها بلا مواربة، ولكن قوى المقاومة ودعمها الشعبي من القدس إلى عرسال إلى بيروت إلى دمشق، تتواصل على الأرض ميدانياً وروحياً.

ولعلّ هذا ما يؤكد لنا حقيقة، أن ّالمشترك العربي هو شعبي لا رسمي، وهذا ليس بالأمر البسيط، بل هو الأساس.

 

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CAIR Lies To U.S. Public, Offers Cryptic Support To Al-Qaeda

Ikhras اخرس

Photo published for Hizballah launches major operation on both sides of the Syrian-Lebanon border

Hizballah launches major operation on both sides of the Syrian-Lebanon border

Hizballah and Syrian regime forces have launched operations on both…

alaraby.co.uk

In solidarity with Al-Aqsa, Hizbullah terrorists launch a few new massacres against Syrians! http://fb.me/CsYMMiJd 

The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated and Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award winning Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) continues to lie to the U.S. public. After extensive consultations and planning with the Lebanese and Syrian governments, Hezbollah resistance fighters joined a coordinated assault on Al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists based on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal. The operation unfolded on the mountainous, barren and unpopulated region of Joroud Arsal which spans the border of Lebanon and Syria. The highly anticipated assault took place after exhaustive negotiations failed to secure the Al-Qaeda fighters’ withdrawal from the area. The Syrian administration had agreed to permit the local Al-Qaeda leader, Abu-Malek Al-Talli (infamous for kidnapping a group of Nuns and chopping off the heads of kidnapped Lebanese soldiers), and his fighters to join their fellow “mujahideen” in the Al-Qaeda-held, Northern Syrian city of Idlib. When Al-Qaeda overran Idlib in March of 2015, this same CAIR “activist” congratulated the Syrian people on its “liberation.”

As a condition for his fighters’ withdrawal to Idlib, Abu-Malek demanded that he be provided safe passage to Turkey with tens of millions of dollars and all his wives. When it became apparent further negotiations would be futile, the Hezbollah resistance forces took part in a closely-coordinated operation with the Lebanese and Syrian militaries to uproot Al-Qaeda fighters from the region. Any force entering this desolate area with the intention to commit a massacre would be disappointed to discover it is uninhabited.

If the so-called activists and self-appointed spokespersons for U.S. Muslims at CAIR are not going to ikhras, they should at least refrain from lying to their fellow Americans and offering cryptic support for terrorists in the collective name of the U.S. Muslim community. Muslims who were born and raised in the Arab world, speak Arabic with native ability and are well-informed about Arab geography, politics and current events have a moral responsibility to tell the truth and expose CAIR activists’ cryptic support for terrorism and the lies peddled to the U.S. public in our collective community name.

Hezbollah Congratulates Palestinians: Only Resistance Path Can Liberate Occupied Land

Hezbollah flag

 July 27, 2017

Hezbollah congratulated on Thursday the Palestinian people on the great victory represented by obliging the Zionist enemy to cancel all the arbitrary measures it had taken in Al-Aqsa Mosque’s vicinity, noting that the Israelis aimed deeply at controlling this major Islamic symbol away from the Arabs and the Muslims.

In a statement, Hezbollah considered that this victory is the  fruit of the Palestinians’ steadfastness and bloody sacrifices made for the sake of protecting the sanctity Al-Aqsa from the Zionist desecration, adding that admitting the path of resistance is the only way to liberate the occupied land and regain the sanctities.

Hezbollah pointed out that the Palestinian uprising against the Zionist measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque is a shining torch which illuminates the path of the Umma that, according to the statement, has to provide the Palestinian people with all the forms of support.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations

 

 

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