Israeli Security Forces Kill Palestinians with Impunity

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Since stealing 78% of Occupied Palestine in 1948, the rest in 1967, Israeli soldiers and police have systematically killed and terrorized defenseless Palestinians with impunity.

The Jewish state gets away with murder and much more because the world community fails to hold it accountable.

Notably the US and other Western countries turn a blind eye to its high crimes of war, against humanity, and daily apartheid persecution of a long-suffering people – illegally blockaded Gazans harmed most since 2007.

Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier accused Israel of “heinous war crimes inflicted every day…against the Palestinian people,” including “willful killing” and state terror.

The late Law Professor Michael Mandel called illegal Israeli settlements “war crimes,” citing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Geneva Conventions, along with other international and Canadian law.

On October 1, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel highlighted the disturbing reality for long-suffering Palestinians under apartheid occupation, saying the following:

“Israel’s perception of Palestinian citizens as (the Jewish state’s) ‘enemy’ continues to grant blanket impunity to police for killings.

The 10 commandments and hundreds of others fundamentalist Jews believe were given to their people by the almighty apply only to others of the faith, no one else — including No 6: Thou shalt not kill.

In October 2000, Israeli police killed 13 Palestinians who were nonviolently protesting for rights denied them.

All but one were Israeli citizens, the other a Gaza resident.

The killings Israel calls the “October 2000 events” followed Likud-leader Ariel Sharon’s provocative, heavily guarded, visit to the Haram al-Sharif, Islam’s third holiest site – sparking the Second Intifada.

The horrific five-year toll included:

• 4,166 Palestinian deaths, including 886 children and 271 women;

• 554 extrajudicial assassinations, including 253 peaceful bystanders;

• 3,530 Palestinians disabled or maimed;

• 8,600 imprisoned, including 288 children and 115 women;

• 576 students killed, including 199 university-level ones and 32 teachers;

• another 4,713 students injured and 1,389 detained;

• 2,329,659 dunums of confiscated Palestinian land;

• another 73,613 dunums of razed land plus 1,355,290 uprooted trees; and

• 7,761 demolished homes and another 93,842 damaged.

All of the above are unpunished high crimes of war and against humanity — an apartheid Israel speciality.

Established to investigate what happened in October 2000, Israel’s Or Commission found no justification for the killings that sparked all of the above.

Nothing warranted lethal and related violence against nonthreatening Palestinians.

To this day, no Israeli police officer or anyone more senior was held accountable for cold-blooded murder.

At the time, “(a)bout 660 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested in connection with these events, and hundreds, including scores of minors, were indicted and detained without bond until the end of trial,” Adalah explained.

In September 2005, Israeli police formally declined to hold officers in its ranks accountable for butchery.

In January 2007, Israel’s attorney general closed the case.

“Adalah has continued to demand justice and accountability for the Palestinians killed and for their families, including the punishment of those responsible,” it said, adding: 

“Adalah has also continued to confront the Israeli police and Mahash for their brutality and unaccountability towards Palestinian citizens of Israel, while calling for adherence to the Or Commission’s recommendations.”

For over 72 years and events preceding them, Israeli security forces have terrorized, brutalized and massacred defenseless Palestinians for crime of being Arabs in a Jewish state — their mark of Cain.

“This is How Armed Gangs Operate” Israel Admits its Troops Planted IEDs in a Palestinian Town

Israel Palestinians

By Alan Macleod

Source

The IDF admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area.

A seven-year-old Palestinian boy was walking with his mother just outside the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum a few miles to west of the city of Nablus. Seeing a strange orange and black package held down with some rocks, the boy approached, thinking it was a toy. His mother quickly stopped him, summoning a relative to investigate. Foolishly, the man shook the package and it exploded, injuring his face and hands.

Along the popular path they found another device, this time photographing it and throwing stones at it until it too exploded.

That device was housed in a metal box used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to store grenades, Israeli outlet Haaretz reports. That evening, after the images had caused outrage on social media, Israeli military units came and neutralized a third IED they had left on the path.

IDF sources freely admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area. Kafr Qaddum is known as a hotbed of protest against the Israeli occupation, suggesting this was done in response to their activism. Warning signs, written in Hebrew only, were found close to the IEDs. “People live there, and children wander around,” said the injured man, “it’s lucky nothing worse happened.”

“Even in a place where revenge operations by soldiers have already become routine, soldiers planting improvised explosive devices is exceptional, and it’s pure luck that it didn’t cause far worse injuries,” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said.

This is how armed gangs operate, not a regular army. But the action reflects the spirit of the army’s commanders and the government, both of which send the message that Palestinian lives and limbs are fair game.”

“When this story came to me I did not believe it was true. But it is,” said Haaretz’s Hagar Shezaf, who covered the story. Yet despite the fact that she obtained confessions from IDF sources, she entertained the idea that the whole thing was a Palestinian false flag operation.

Needless to say, placing explosive devices in civilian areas is a serious war crime. However, compared to the weeks-long bombing campaign against Gaza it is currently undertaking, planting some IEDs is perhaps a minor incident. Western media have shown little interest in covering the campaign, reflexively taking the Israeli side when doing so. Indeed, Canadian broadcaster CBC issued a public apology for using the word “Palestine” on air during an interview.

The humanitarian fallout from the bombing is likely worse than the bombing itself. The only power plant in Gaza has been forced out of action, and Israel is limiting the area to only three to four hours of electricity per day by restricting fuel imports. Oxfam warns that the conditions are likely to spark a COVID-19 epidemic that authorities will not be able to handle. Gaza has only 97 intensive care hospital beds, and people’s access to clean water has shrunk from 80 to 20 liters per day. “People are forced to choose between hygiene and food,” explained Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s country director for Israel and Palestine.

Malnutrition has also reached the point of crisis, with one third of Palestine (and over two-thirds of Gazans) food insecure, according to the World Food Program, who found that nearly eight percent of Palestinian children under the age of five showed moderate to severe signs of stunted growth.

The United States holds a huge amount of influence in the region. However, both political parties appear steadfast in their support for Israeli actions. Trump has emboldened Netanyahu to announce the annexation of much of the fertile Jordan Valley, while the Democratic ticket seems eager to outdo the president. “I pledge to you the Biden-Harris administration will sustain our unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security, including the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation pioneered during the Obama-Biden administration and the guarantee that Israel will always maintain its qualitative military edge,” Harris said at a fundraiser on Wednesday.

On the subject of the IEDs, Haaretz was concerned enough to print an editorial. “This phenomenon must be shut down and those responsible punished. The IDF must make sure there are no more such devices in the area, and that there are no other locations where orange boxes await curious children or their parents,” they wrote. Whether the IDF heed their words remains to be seen.

How Israel Wages War on Palestinian History

By Jonathan Cook

Source

Jenin camp c2642

When the Palestinian actor Mohammed Bakri made a documentary about Jenin in 2002 – filming immediately after the Israeli army had completed rampaging through the West Bank city, leaving death and destruction in its wake – he chose an unusual narrator for the opening scene: a mute Palestinian youth.

Jenin had been sealed off from the world for nearly three weeks as the Israeli army razed the neighbouring refugee camp and terrorised its population.

Bakri’s film Jenin, Jenin shows the young man hurrying silently between wrecked buildings, using his nervous body to illustrate where Israeli soldiers shot Palestinians and where bulldozers collapsed homes, sometimes on their inhabitants.

It was not hard to infer Bakri’s larger meaning: when it comes to their own story, Palestinians are denied a voice. They are silent witnesses to their own and their people’s suffering and abuse.

The irony is that Bakri has faced just such a fate himself since Jenin, Jenin was released 18 years ago. Today, little is remembered of his film, or the shocking crimes it recorded, except for the endless legal battles to keep it off screens.

Bakri has been tied up in Israel’s courts ever since, accused of defaming the soldiers who carried out the attack. He has paid a high personal price. Deaths threats, loss of work and endless legal bills that have near-bankrupted him. A verdict in the latest suit against him – this time backed by the Israeli attorney general – is expected in the next few weeks.

Bakri is a particularly prominent victim of Israel’s long-running war on Palestinian history. But there are innumerable other examples.

For decades many hundreds of Palestinian residents in the southern West Bank have been fighting their expulsion as Israeli officials characterise them as “squatters”. According to Israel, the Palestinians are nomads who recklessly built homes on land they seized inside an army firing zone.

The villagers’ counter-claims were ignored until the truth was unearthed recently in Israel’s archives.

These Palestinian communities are, in fact, marked on maps predating Israel. Official Israeli documents presented in court last month show that Ariel Sharon, a general-turned-politician, devised a policy of establishing firing zones in the occupied territories to justify mass evictions of Palestinians like these communities in the Hebron Hills.

The residents are fortunate that their claims have been officially verified, even if they still depend on uncertain justice from an Israeli occupiers’ court.

Israel’s archives are being hurriedly sealed up precisely to prevent any danger that records might confirm long-sidelined and discounted Palestinian history.

Last month Israel’s state comptroller, a watchdog body, revealed that more than one million archived documents were still inaccessible, even though they had passed their declassification date. Nonetheless, some have slipped through the net.

The archives have, for example, confirmed some of the large-scale massacres of Palestinian civilians carried out in 1948 – the year Israel was established by dispossessing Palestinians of their homeland.

In one such massacre at Dawaymeh, near where Palestinians are today fighting against their expulsion from the firing zone, hundreds were executed, even as they offered no resistance, to encourage the wider population to flee.

Other files have corroborated Palestinian claims that Israel destroyed more than 500 Palestinian villages during a wave of mass expulsions that same year to dissuade the refugees from trying to return.

Official documents have disproved, too, Israel’s claim that it pleaded with the 750,000 Palestinian refugees to return home. In fact, as the archives reveal, Israel obscured its role in the ethnic cleansing of 1948 by inventing a cover story that it was Arab leaders who commanded Palestinians to leave.

The battle to eradicate Palestinian history does not just take place in the courts and archives. It begins in Israeli schools.

A new study by Avner Ben-Amos, a history professor at Tel Aviv University, shows that Israeli pupils learn almost nothing truthful about the occupation, even though many will soon enforce it as soldiers in a supposedly “moral” army that rules over Palestinians.

Maps in geography textbooks strip out the so-called “Green Line” – the borders demarcating the occupied territories – to present a Greater Israel long desired by the settlers. History and civics classes evade all discussion of the occupation, human rights violations, the role of international law, or apartheid-like local laws that treat Palestinians differently from Jewish settlers living illegally next door.

Instead, the West Bank is known by the Biblical names of “Judea and Samaria”, and its occupation in 1967 is referred to as a “liberation”.

Sadly, Israel’s erasure of Palestinians and their history is echoed outside by digital behemoths such as Google and Apple.

Palestinian solidarity activists have spent years battling to get both platforms to include hundreds of Palestinian communities in the West Bank missed off their maps, under the hashtag #HeresMyVillage. Illegal Jewish settlements, meanwhile, are prioritised on these digital maps.

Another campaign, #ShowTheWall, has lobbied the tech giants to mark on their maps the path of Israel’s 700-kilometre-long steel and concrete barrier, effectively used by Israel to annex occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law.

And last month Palestinian groups launched yet another campaign, #GoogleMapsPalestine, demanding that the occupied territories be labelled “Palestine”, not just the West Bank and Gaza. The UN recognised the state of Palestine back in 2012, but Google and Apple refused to follow suit.

Palestinians rightly argue that these firms are replicating the kind of disappearance of Palestinians familiar from Israeli textbooks, and that they uphold “mapping segregation” that mirrors Israel’s apartheid laws in the occupied territories.

Today’s crimes of occupation – house demolitions, arrests of activists and children, violence from soldiers, and settlement expansion – are being documented by Israel, just as its earlier crimes were.

Future historians may one day unearth those papers from the Israeli archives and learn the truth. Those Israeli policies were not driven, as Israel claims now, by security concerns, but by a colonial desire to destroy Palestinian society and pressure Palestinians to leave their homeland, to be replaced by Jews.

The lessons for future researchers will be no different from the lessons learnt by their predecessors, who discovered the 1948 documents.

But in truth, we do not need to wait all those years hence. We can understand what is happening to Palestinians right now – simply by refusing to conspire in their silencing. It is time to listen.

How the UK Government Provides Cover for Israel’s Crimes

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

 

Boris and Bibi 5eb6a

MP Alister Jack has finally replied to my question asking where he and the UK government stand on the threat by Israel to annex more Palestinian territory known as the West Bank. It seems the Government has urged them not to do it.

I doubt if his letter reproduced here, is his own work. It is sprinkled with the humbug and deceit repeated for decades by Tory and Labour governments and was likely penned at least 20 years ago by a Foreign Office scribbler vaccinated with an Israeli embassy gramophone needle. It is still used as a reply template by MPs and ministers who dare not speak their own minds or are plain clueless.

MP Jack letter p1 30c70

MP Jack letter p2 7a38b

As usual, Her Majesty’s Government wants “a safe and secure Israel” but only “a viable and sovereign Palestinian state”. What a deplorable statement. Viable means workable in the most meagre sense. And when it comes to safety and security why can’t Mr. Jack be evenhanded? His words (if they are indeed his) express clear racial prejudice favouring the wellbeing and prosperity of one people at the expense of another which, I’d have thought, deserves a sharp rap on the knuckles.

He says there can be no changes to the status quo without a negotiated agreement between the parties. Mr Jack is surely aware that the status quo is itself illegal and breaches umpteen UN resolutions. And why does he feel the Palestinians must ‘negotiate’ their freedom? Picture the scene with the invader holding a gun to the head of the victim whose land the invader has occupied under brutal military control and in defiance of international law for 70+ years. Why is Mr Jack joining his colleagues in calling for more lopsided negotiations instead of pushing for law and justice?

‘Nothing shall be done to prejudice the rights of non-Jewish communities….’ Sorry, forget that.

So many experts are saying that a negotiated two-state solution is impossible. Does anyone seriously think the Israelis will voluntarily give up their ill-gotten territorial gains which are crucial to their Greater Israel dream? The only peaceable way to change their mind is through the persuasive power of BDS and other sanctions. For that reason BDS is under relentless Zionist attack and is fiercely opposed by the servile UK Government. The reason why the West endlessly woffles about ‘negotiations’ is their cowardly failure ever since 1948 to confront Israel’s greedy ambition for expansion and domination. That inconvenient bit in Britain’s 1917 pledge to Rothschild and the Zionist Federation about “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” is best forgotten. It’s so much easier for the UK Government to say and do nothing while their Zionist ‘friends’ surreptitiously complete their programme of creeping annexation. And never mind the 70+ years of grief this has caused innocent Palestinians.

Mr Jack refers to Boris Johnson’s article in Yedioth Ahronoth which appeared on the very day Netanyahu was supposed to be carrying out his crazed threat. “Annexation would represent a violation of international law…. I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead,” he wrote. “If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.” But Israel has repeatedly violated international law and repeatedly been rewarded, so why should it care what the UK thinks about boundary changes? They have been changing all the time. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem (including the Old City) in 1967 was a flagrant breach of international law, and what did the UK or anyone else do about it? “I want to see an outcome that delivers justice for both Israelis and Palestinians,” says Johnson absurdly. He has no interest in justice otherwise he’d be leading the charge for implementing international law and UN resolutions which have already ruled on the issue.

As for Israel’s annexation misfire, it looks like world hostility gave Netanyahu cold feet and he and Trump cast around in desperation for a face-saver. They found it the United Arab Emirates’ ‘MBZ’ with whom they cobbled a deal for full diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE provided Israel suspended annexation, and this is touted as a triumph. No-one of course insisted on actually abandoning annexation and you can bet the piecemeal ethnic cleansing, destruction of Palestinian homes and confiscation of their lands will continue unabated.

Mr. Jack then says he’s proud that the UK supports UNRWA and is providing £34.5 million funding this year.  If the Palestinians were allowed their universal right to freedom of movement and self-determination in their homeland there’d be no need to keep throwing our tax money at agencies like UNRWA. It’s scandalous that money for our own schools and hospitals has been diverted to subsidise Israel’s long-running programme of thieving, collective punishment, dispossession and the trashing of the Palestinian economy.

Mr Jack goes on to say: “The UK’s position on Israeli settlements is clear.” Well no, it isn’t. They are illegal and even constitute a war crime yet the UK Government doesn’t mind if companies or individuals profiteer from using and endorsing those squats to the detriment of the Palestinians. And he seems to agree with his government’s opposition to the UN’s business and human rights database. Back in March 2016, UN Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 mandated the High Commissioner’s Office to produce a database of all businesses engaged in activities related to Israel’s settlement enterprise and having implications for the rights of the Palestinian people. Fair enough, you might think. But a year ago 103 local, regional and international organizations felt it necessary to call on the High Commissioner to release the Database expressing deep concern that the document and names of the companies facilitating the settlement programme had been withheld from circulation for 3 years due to political pressure. In the meantime the Israeli government had escalated the construction of new squats and broadcast its intention to formally annex parts of the West Bank in further violation of international law.

“The Database will bring an important degree of transparency on the activities of businesses which contravene rules and principles of international humanitarian and human rights law as a result of their operations in or with illegal Israeli settlements,” they said.

Amnesty International commented: “Naming the businesses which profit in the context of this illegal situation sends a clear message from the international community that settlements must never be normalized. These companies are profiting from and contributing to systematic violations against Palestinians.”

And Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights said: “The UK Government abstained on the vote of this Human Rights Council resolution in March 2016…. It was the only state to declare that the database was ‘inappropriate’ and that ‘it would not co-operate in the process’ of its implementation.” LPHR felt that the reasons given for the Government’s position “did not individually or cumulatively amount to an adequate basis for justifiably opposing the UN Database”. One such reason was that the UK Government thought the Human Rights Council should focus on states rather than private companies. LPHR says this contradicts the UK’s earlier agreement, along with the rest of the international community, that companies as well as states have vital responsibilities in protecting and advancing respect for human rights.

I won’t trouble Mr Jack for an explanation for all this. It’s enough that voters and campaigners are aware of the skullduggery.

‘We won’t reveal our response, let Israel speculate’: Hezbollah’s No. 2

Source

‘We won’t reveal our response, let Israel speculate’: Hezbollah’s No. 2
http://middleeastobserver.net/we-wont-reveal-our-response-let-israel-speculate-hezbollahs-no-2/

Description:

In an interview with Al Mayadeen TV, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naaim Qassem said that his group has decided that at this moment, the Lebanese group will not reveal what it will do exactly in response to the killing of one of its men in an Israeli airstrike on Damascus in recent days.

‘The Israelis can (understand) and calculate from (this stance) what they wish’, Qaasem added.

Hezbollah’s deputy leader also strongly condemned the America military’s recent interception of a civilian Iranian passenger plane carrying Lebanese passengers, which led to the serious injury of many of them.

Qassem said that this was ‘American state terrorism’ that runs contrary to international law and human rights charters.

The Americans sought with this crime to announce their military presence in Syria, and to send the message that there will not be a solution to the conflict in the Arab country (any time soon), Qaasem added.

Source: Al Mayadeen TV (YouTube)

Date: 26 July, 2020

(Important note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript:

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naeem Qaasem:

(In response to Israeli killing of Hezbollah member in Syria)

What occurred in Syria is an aggression that led to the martyrdom of the mujahid Ali Kamil Mohsen. We have surely studied this issue, and we decided that we will not announce what we will do (exactly in response). The Israelis can (understand) and calculate from (this stance) what they wish. For this reason, at this moment, there is no answer to this question (of our exact response and its timing), while (we) await the coming days.


Host: Period?


Sheikh Qaasem: Period.


Host:

Your eminence Sheikh (Qaasem), regarding the rules of engagement that you have delineated, and which have been specified by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, his eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah i.e. ‘any (Israeli) targeting of (any) one of our cadres in Syria, leading to his martyrdom, will incur a direct response’. This is the rule of engagement (with Israel). Are you committed to this rule?


Sheikh Qaasem:

I will not reply to this question in an indirect way. However, there is something clear to all: that (this) rule of engagement with Israel still stands. Subsequently, we have no intention of altering or changing this rule of engagement, no matter how much Israel tries to change it.

This is based on the fact that Lebanon cannot be protected from Israeli aggression except via the rules of engagement that (Hezbollah) has established after the year 2006. What safeguarded Lebanon for these past 14 years is the existence of a deterrence, the (serious) nature of which the Israelis know very well, and the Israelis also know very well that Lebanon is not a forsaken land, and that they cannot do with it whatever they please.

If here we are talking about the rules of engagement, then (I can confirm) that there are no changes in the rules of engagement.


Host: Absolutely no change…


Sheikh Qaasem:

As for the incident (targeting our cadre in Syria) itself, there is no (explicit) answer (at this moment), and what we will do may appear at the appropriate time.

(US military’s interception of Iranian civilian passenger plane)

Sheikh Qaasem:

The Lebanese government must express its opinion on this issue, and to announce its stance towards this incident, because the plane was holding Lebanese (citizens), and the plane reached Beirut airport. This means that (the Lebanese government) is directly concerned with this issue.

I do not know if at the next meeting of government ministers they will come out with a stance, yet we as Hezbollah have announced our stance, and we said clearly that this is a terrorist act, and this is American state terrorism that is reoccurring in various forms.

Is it conceivable that a civilian plane is attacked by two warplanes, as the civilian plane is running its normal course from Tehran to Beirut? This act runs contrary to international law, human rights charters, and all standards.

What I understood is that the Iranian officials intend to submit a complaint on the international level via the United Nations Security Council and these known channels. We (as Hezbollah) issued the required stance.

Yes, it is required that the entire international community, and that all forces – including the Lebanese government – at the very least express their objection to this act, based on the principle that such (sovereign and civilian) cannot be the place for sending (political and military) messages, nor for carrying out aggression. Whoever wishes to settle scores can go carry out attacks on (military-related) personnel and we will then see the result.

Host:

Do you have an idea regarding the motives of the Americans for carrying out such an action?

Sheikh Qaasem:

I don’t have detailed information, it has not become available to us as yet. It is clear that the Americans wish to say that ‘we are here, in the Tanaf region of Syria’, and they are imposing a type of (military) control to imply that in Syria there will be no solution; they will not allow the solution to arise. They have carved out an area of the land and imposed a no-fly-zone to protect and reassure Israel in actual fact. It is also aimed at giving the ability and safe zones for forces who attacked and ruined Syria, just like the other safe zones in Idlib and the north (of Syria) that are sponsored by America in various ways.

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Sheikh Qassem ٍSays Won’t Clarify Nature of Hezbollah Response to Zionist Strike on Syria: Let the Israelis Have Their Own Estimations

July 27, 2020

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed that the Resistance will not allow the Israeli enemy to change the rules of engagement, reiterating its capability to confront any Zionist war.

“Israel’s political confusion and low expectation from war outcomes as well as the US President Donald Trump’s quagmire eliminate the possibility of an imminent eruption of the war.”

In an interview with Al-Mayadeen News Channel Sunday night, Sheikh Qassem pointed out that what happened in Syria was an Israeli attack which claimed the martyr Ali Kamel Mohsen, rejecting to clarify the nature of Hezbollah response to this assault.

Let the Israelis have their own estimations and calculations in this regard, according to Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General who added that the Resistance response to any Zionist war will employ military capabilities much more developed than those it used during 2006 War.

Commenting on the US interception of the Iranian passenger plane in the Syrian airspace, Sheikh Qassem emphasized that the Americans want to frustrate and deactivate the strategic pact between Iran and Syria.

“Absence of US strategic project in the Middle East will allow the axis of resistance to achieve more victories.”

Sheikh Qassem indicated that the major countries do not want to help Lebanon financially in order to impose on it to play a role that serves the ISraeli interests in the region.

Hezbollah seeks Lebanon’s strength and independence, Sheikh Qassem said, adding that the party’s popularity, not military power, enabled it to be represented effectively in the parliament and the government.

Sheikh Qassem indicated that Turkey is trying to establish a political influence in northern Lebanon through supporting certain figures, like Ashraf Rifi and Nabil Al-Halabi.

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Iran executes former Defense Ministry official for allegedly spying for CIA

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-15

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – Tehran has executed a former Iranian Defence Ministry official over charges of alleged espionage for the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said on Tuesday.

The sentence against Reza Asgari, a retired employee of the ministry’s aerospace sector, was carried out last week, Esmaeili said, as quoted by the Mizan Online news agency, which covers judicial affairs. While supposedly working for the CIA, Asgari had handed over information about Iranian missiles.

The death sentence against Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, accused of transferring information about Iran’s military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on 3 January, has not yet been enforced, according to the spokesman.

Alongside these two defendants, a further three people have been sentenced to death in relation to unrest endured in November 2019, Esmaeili said.

Following these events, the US State Department said that more than a thousand people died in the riots, however, Tehran refuted these claims and said after six months that the number of casualties was over 220.

According to President Hassan Rouhani, the demonstrations were organised by the US and Israel to undermine Iran’s national security.

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On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

The truth is that Israel rarely behaves as an ‘Occupying Power’, but as a sovereign in a country where racial discrimination and apartheid are not only tolerated or acceptable but are, in fact, ‘legal’ as well.

Wednesday, July 1, was meant to be the day on which the Israeli government officially annexed 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and the Jordan Valley. This date, however, came and went and annexation was never actualized.

“I don’t know if there will be a declaration of sovereignty today,” said Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, with reference to the self-imposed deadline declared earlier by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. An alternative date was not immediately announced.

But does it really matter?

Whether Israel’s illegal appropriation of Palestinian land takes place with massive media fanfare and a declaration of sovereignty, or whether it happens incrementally over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months, Israel has, in reality, already annexed the West Bank – not just 30% of it but, in fact, the whole area.

It is critical that we understand such terms as ‘annexation’, ‘illegal’, ‘military occupation’, and so on, in their proper contexts.

For example, international law deems that all of Israel’s Jewish settlements, constructed anywhere on Palestinian land occupied during the 1967 war, are illegal.

Interestingly, Israel, too, uses the term ‘illegal’ with reference to settlements, but only to ‘outposts’ that have been erected in the occupied territories without the permission of the Israeli government.

In other words, while in the Israeli lexicon the vast majority of all settlement activities in occupied Palestine are ‘legal’, the rest can only be legalized through official channels. Indeed, many of today’s ‘legal’ 132 settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, housing over half a million Israeli Jewish settlers, began as ‘illegal outposts’.

Though this logic may satisfy the need of the Israeli government to ensure its relentless colonial project in Palestine follows a centralized blueprint, none of this matters in international law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions states that “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive”, adding that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Israel has violated its commitment to international law as an ‘Occupying Power’ on numerous occasions, rendering its very ‘occupation’ of Palestine, itself, a violation of how military occupations are conducted – which are meant to be temporary, anyway.

Military occupation is different from annexation. The former is a temporary transition, at the end of which the ‘Occupying Power’ is expected, in fact, demanded, to relinquish its military hold on the occupied territory after a fixed length of time. Annexation, on the other hand, is a stark violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations. It is tantamount to a war crime, for the occupier is strictly prohibited from proclaiming unilateral sovereignty over occupied land.

The international uproar generated by Netanyahu’s plan to annex a third of the West Bank is fully understandable. But the bigger issue at stake is that, in practice, Israel’s violations of the terms of occupation have granted it a de facto annexation of the whole of the West Bank.

So when the European Union, for example, demands that Israel abandons its annexation plans, it is merely asking Israel to re-embrace the status quo ante, that of de facto annexation. Both abhorring scenarios should be rejected.

Israel began utilizing the occupied territories as if they are contiguous and permanent parts of so-called Israel proper, immediately following the June 1967 war. Within a few years, it erected illegal settlements, now thriving cities, eventually moving hundreds of thousands of its own citizens to populate the newly acquired areas.

This exploitation became more sophisticated with time, as Palestinians were subjected to slow, but irreversible, ethnic cleansing. As Palestinian homes were destroyed, farms confiscated, and entire regions depopulated, Jewish settlers moved in to take their place. The post-1967 scenario was a repeat of the post-1948 history, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel on the ruins of historic Palestine.

Moshe Dayan, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister during the 1967 war, explained the Israeli logic best in a historical address at Israel’s Technion University in March 1969. “We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here,” he said.

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there, either … There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population,” he added.

The same colonial approach was applied to East Jerusalem and the West Bank after the war. While East Jerusalem was formally annexed in 1980, the West Bank was annexed in practice, but not through a clear legal Israeli proclamation. Why? In one word: demographics.

When Israel first occupied East Jerusalem, it went on a population transfer frenzy: moving its own population to the Palestinian city, strategically expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include as many Jews and as few Palestinians as possible, slowly reducing the Palestinian population of Al Quds through numerous tactics, including the revocation of residency and outright ethnic cleansing.

And, thus, Jerusalem’s Palestinian population, which once constituted the absolute majority, has now been reduced to a dwindling minority.

The same process was initiated in parts of the West Bank, but due to the relatively large size of the area and population, it was not possible to follow a similar annexation stratagem without jeopardizing Israel’s drive to maintain Jewish majority.

Dividing the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C as a result of the disastrous Oslo accords, has given Israel a lifeline, for this allowed it to increase settlement activities in Area C – nearly 60% of the West Bank – without stressing too much about demographic imbalances. Area C, where the current annexation plan is set to take place, is ideal for Israeli colonialism, for it includes Palestine’s most arable, resource-rich, and sparsely populated lands.

It matters little whether the annexation will have a set date or will take place progressively through Israel’s declarations of sovereignty over smaller chunks of the West Bank in the future. The fact is, annexation is not a new Israeli political agenda dictated by political circumstances in Tel Aviv and Washington. Rather, annexation has been the ultimate Israeli colonial objective from the very onset.

Let us not get entangled in Israel’s bizarre definitions. The truth is that Israel rarely behaves as an ‘Occupying Power’, but as a sovereign in a country where racial discrimination and apartheid are not only tolerated or acceptable but are, in fact, ‘legal’ as well.

Iran Prepares Retaliation for Israeli Acts of Sabotage

By Elijah J. Magnier

Source

Iranian Syrian meeting in Damascus 0a629

Iran has postponed the announcement of those it has concluded were responsible for the sabotage at the Natanz nuclear centrifuge facility and probably other sites. However, high ranking personnel in Tehran say that “investigations have concluded and the latest explosions may well have been related; indications are that Israel, plus another Middle Eastern country, are involved. Iran is studying its suitable and inevitable retaliation”.

According to the source, “this has been confirmed beyond any doubt as an act of sabotage. The explosion at Natanz was destructive but security forces managed to thwart further attacks before the planned actions could succeed. We have carried out several arrests”.

The spokesperson of Iran’s parliamentary national security committee Abul’FazlAmoudi said Iran was investigating all possible scenarios related to the Natanz explosion. Security and intelligence officers are looking carefully into the matter and will release the results of the investigation in due course.

“More advanced centrifuges with maximum performance will be built. The Islamic Republic will retaliate against those responsible, wherever they are in the Middle East so that they learn not to repeat similar attacks in the future. The nuclear deal with the US and Europe proved useless because the Americans revoked it and the Europeans did nothing to honor their commitment “for fear of Washington’s retaliation”. The West can no longer be considered a viable partner. Iran has decided a strategic way forward, looking East rather than West”, said the source.

The facts: in recent weeks, several explosions occurred in different locations in Iran. An explosion took place at a medical center north of Tehran causing 19 deaths and 14 wounded. Iran arrested those involved in the explosion that killed mainly medical personnel. A power plant in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz’s al-Zirqan district caught fire last Saturday following an explosion. A chlorine gas leak occurred at a unit of the Karoom petrochemicals plant near the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini in the Persian Gulf injuring dozens. Also, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base caused by a leak in gas storage, as initially reported. “Not all explosions are related to the saboteurs”, said the source.

“We shall not remain silent, because the Rule of Engagement has been violated. That gives Iran the right to retaliation with similar or greater strikes. The sabotage actions were carried out by the Israelis with US approval and the help of a Gulf country. This is a direct threat to Iran’s national security—but we are not in a hurry to retaliate immediately. All options are on the table and we certainly don’t want to support (US President Donald) Trump by giving him the pretext for any retaliation he could benefit from, or by diverting attention from his multiple domestic crises”, said the source.

Iran is present in more than one country and one Middle Eastern platform. It has many options for retaliation against those Tehran considers responsible for one, or for several, acts of sabotage. Iran believes these actions were intended to divert attention from the Natanz explosion that was the main target. Iran will take the case to the International Atomic Energy Agency that has access to Natanz in order to prove that it was an act of sabotage against an officially recognized nuclear site.

According to the high-ranking official, the Iranian-Syrian meeting in Damascus between Major General Mohammad Bagheri and his counterpart General Ali Ayyoub and the agreement signed to strengthen the Syrian air defense system is also a message to Israel for its action in Natanz.

According to officials in Iran, Israel – whose responsibility for the Natanz sabotage Avigdor Lieberman has already avowed – has “directly overseen the attack to slow down Iran’s unchanged path towards peaceful nuclear capability. Moreover, Israel – according to officials – wants Iran to end its support to its allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. These unlawful sabotage acts are not new to Iran. Therefore, the road towards nuclear capability will not cease, and support for Iranian allies will obviously increase.”

Israel seems to be trying hard to drag the US into a war situation with Iran because it can’t accept Iran’s growing strength in the Middle East, notwithstanding endless attempts to block Iran’s development during 40 years of sanctions. Israel carried out multiple assassinations against Iranian scientists and high-ranking figures to no avail. Iran has indeed been forced to rely upon itself, build a chain of powerful allies, and find ways to grow independently from the support of the Western countries due to their unfriendly attitude and disregard for signed agreements.

 

Israel is trying to stimulate the many Gulf countries who are anxious to run into Israel’s arms and establish overt relationships with Israel. These Gulf countries, led by Saudi Arabia, want Israeli support “to break Iran’s back”. That is nothing new; the Israeli-Saudi relationship dates back to the 80s. Bahrein, Qatar, and the Emirates all have established relations with Israel. However, Israel and Saudi Arabia cannot predict the Iranian reaction. Retaliation will come from the Axis of the Resistance. And it will come in an unexpected way.

Zionist Political Violence: Patterns and Motives

By Dr. Zuhai Sabbagh

Source

This attempt to tackle the issue of Zionist political violence will not constitute a quantitative and historical research, but will seek to explore the patterns and to analyze the motives behind the violent political practices carried out by the Zionist movement in Palestine over a period of more than a hundred years.

Before embarking upon this complex task, there is a need to shed some light on the phenomenon of general violence and its diverse patterns. This will be done by giving some internationally accepted definitions of violence in general and political violence in particular.

Definition of Violence

In addition to the complex socio-political nature of the phenomenon of violence, and the large ideological charge it carries in its fold, we find many different definitions. Therefore, there is no single comprehensive definition that researchers and writers can adopt, because the class biases of those who developed these definitions dominate their social consciousness, therefore their thinking affect the concepts and definitions they produce.

However, I will present some definitions, adopted by international bodies, and others employed by some writers, which can give us somewhat clear definitions and a relative scientific credibility.

An internationally acceptable definition of violence is that of the World Health Organization. In one of its World Reports, the WHO defined violence as:

“… The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.”[1]

Moreover, political violence is some kind of collective violence that could be perpetrated by groups, as well as, by states and thus be called state violence. Consequently, it includes “…economic violence … such as attacks carried out with the purpose of disrupting economic activity, denying access to essential services, or creating economic division and fragmentation…”[2]

American philosopher Hanna Arendt, distinguished between violence and power by arguing that “… Violence can be justifiable, but it never will be legitimate. Its justification loses in plausibility the farther its intended end recedes into the future…”[3]

Arendt found that violence and racism are interconnected and interrelated. She asserted that “…Violence in interracial struggle is always murderous, but it is not “irrational”; it is the logical and rational consequence of racism, by which I do not mean some rather vague prejudices on either side, but an explicit ideological system…”[4]

Hannah Arendt pointed out the differences between the two phenomena by asserting that,

… Power is indeed of the essence of all government, but violence is not. Violence is by nature instrumental; like all means, it always stands in need of guidance and justification through the end it pursues. And what needs justification by something else cannot be the essence of anything… Power needs no justification, being inherent in the very existence of political communities; what it does need is legitimacy.[5]

Political violence, in its various forms and to varying degrees, is used in settler colonial states as a tool to: plunder the rights and wealth of indigenous peoples, to neutralize their resistance to the settlement colonial project, to strengthen the process of ethnic segregation within the settlement colony, to sabotage the conditions of class conflict, and to divide the ranks of the vulnerable elements within the settler colonial working class.

Although the phenomenon of political violence can be seen as a hallmark of the Zionist movement and its practical applications in Arab Palestine, some Zionists, writers and politicians, have developed ideological concepts that give Zionism some exceptions, such as the slogans of “purity of arms”, “self-defense”, “self-restraint” and “hatred of violence”. By formulating these slogans, they sought to paint a different picture of the practices of the Zionist movement. The following is an analysis of the concept of “purity of arms” which have developed by Zionist settlers in the 1930s.

The Myth of the Purity of Arms

The concept of “purity of arms” is one of the symbols of Zionist military culture, which was developed during the British colonial period 1919-1948. The Israeli military wanted this concept to mean that the weapons used by the Zionist soldier will not be used against the innocent and therefore will remain pure.

According to Zionist writer Anita Shapira, it was during the 1936 Palestinian revolution in Palestine, that Zionist settler colonialists promoted,

“… [s]elf-image of Jews as a people who hate violence, as opposed to the image of Arabs as a bloodthirsty people… In exchange for the bloodthirsty image of the son of the desert, the moral image of a Jew who does not harm the innocent has been developed …”[6]

The ideological, political and psychological aspects of the use of political violence were developed by the Zionist movement and were used as a successful tool in recruiting settlers and making them a monolithic bloc. This act transcended the class conflict within the settler community and justified the looting, violence and terrorism that were employed against the Palestinian indigenous population.

Patterns of Zionist Political Violence

Zionist author Ian Lustick attributes to Zionist violence defensive motives and other social and ideological motives. He elaborated his ideas by stating that,

… the fight of Jews and their revenge against the Palestinian villages and Bedouin tribes, were motivated not only by self defense, but also by the desire to prove individual self-worth through the use of successful violence. This strives for the collective crystallization of an inspiring example of physical prowess and Jewish heroism in Palestine. It also provides Diaspora Jews with legitimacy which is another dimension of Zionist ideology.[7]

Zionist writer Anita Shapira elaborated that the ideology of so-called “restraint” and “self-defense” of the Zionist military has been adapted to offensive tactics and aggressive practices, and it was expressed in this most obvious position: “We will not harm innocent people, and our weapons will remain clean.” But we will strike gangs** and their bases in the villages …”[8]  She continued by stating that “… more than once, and by necessity, innocent people have also been harmed…”  Here we will present patterns of Zionist military operations that Shapira wants to include under the classification of “compulsive form” to give it exceptional status and show it as if it occurred without prior planning but inadvertently and accidentally.[9]

The Myth of Self-Defense

Razan al-Najjar, the 21 year old Gaza medic killed by an Israeli sniper on June 1, treating an injured man, undated photo from Palestine Live on twitter.

This self-image developed by the Zionist settlers of their soldiers appears to be inconsistent with the military practices that have taken place on the ground. In 1936-1939, Zionist military organizations Hagana, Etsel and Lehi carried out series of military operations against Palestinian civilian communities, causing many Palestinian civilian casualties. The operations varied and included: indiscriminate shooting of civilians passing by, shooting at: house residents, bus and train passengers. In addition, grenades were thrown at civilian gatherings, inside cafes, restaurants and cinemas. There was frequent use of temporary explosives, mines, car bombs and barrel bombs that were placed inside Palestinian city neighborhoods.[10]

It is worth mentioning here that the Zionist military organizations were the first to blow up cars in Palestine, and the first to use barrel bombs filled with booby-trapped explosives, which was a distinctive Zionist innovation. These barrels were known as “Jewish barrel bomb technique”[11]. They were used in the occupation of the city of Haifa, and during the ethnic cleansing of the city in 1948. The “barrels” were stuffed with explosives. They were rolled from the top of the Carmel Mountains to the lower Arab neighborhoods. They were electronically built so as to explode the moment they collided with the houses of Palestinian civilians.[12] Moreover, barrel bombs were also used by Zionist terrorists against Palestinian civilians in the cities of Jaffa and Jerusalem.[13]

These operations can only be described as terroristic, because the victims were always innocent Palestinian civilians and they bore Zionist political objectives. In order to better understand such Zionist practices, we need to shed some light on the phenomenon of terrorism, which was used as a functional tool for achieving political objectives.

According to George Lopez, an expert on the issue of terrorism,

Terrorism is a form of political violence… Terrorism is not violence without thinking. It reflects a detailed strategy that uses extreme violence to make people feel vulnerable and can be hurt many times … In the long run, the terrorists seek to employ this fear to serve real political objectives.[14]

In response to claims by the Zionist writers that Zionists were forced to use violence and force because of violent operations carried out by the Palestinians against Zionist settlers, American writer Norman Finkelstein showed that Zionism “did not use … [v]iolence in spite of it. The use of force was not circumstantial. The use of force was integral in the goal of transforming Palestine, which has an overwhelming Arab majority, into a Jewish state.”[15]

In his analysis of the myth of “the purity of arms”, Israeli academic and researcher Dan Yahav pointed out that,

Terrorism has coincided with Jewish settlement since the beginning of agricultural and urban settlement in Israel at the end of the 19th century, when security problems for individuals and property emerged. Many violent acts and accompanying reprisals have been carried out against the backdrop of numerous territorial disputes…[16]

Moreover, Zionist violence and terror did not start with the ethnic cleansing campaign in 1948-1949, but preceded that in a number of years. For example, at the beginning of the 1936 general strike in Palestine, three members of the Hagna military organization threw two grenades inside an Arab café located in the Rumema neighborhood of Arab Jerusalem. Three Palestinians were killed and six others were wounded in the blast. In November 1940, three ships carrying 3,642 illegal Jewish settlers sailed to the port of Haifa. Their mission was organized with the approval of the Gestapo. Being illegal, they were arrested by the British mandate authorities, who prevented their entry into Palestine and decided to deport them to Mauritius. The British authorities transferred a number of illegal immigrants to a French ship called Patria. The leadership of both the Jewish Agency and the Hagana, decided to sabotage Patria to prevent it from sailing to Mauritius. On November 25, 1940 a mine was smuggled in and planted into Patriato be later detonated. The blast created a large hole and water began to enter the ship. As a result, the ship tilted on its side, throwing to the sea water a large number of Jewish illegal immigrants and drowning 267 of them.[17]

Yahav’s book is full of many examples of terroristic practices that were perpetrated by the Zionist military organizations. Therefore, “The purity of arms”, “self-defense”, “hatred of violence” and “restraint” were ideological symbols and legends that were developed by Zionist settlers from the military, political leaders and writers. The aim behind their development was to conceal the truth, to conceal the atrocities and war crimes that were committed against the indigenous Palestinian population, and to show some sort of a fake morality of Zionist colonialist settlement.

In addition, Zionist practices included violence against property and psychological violence. Actually, the employment of violence is an ongoing process and constitutes an integral part of the development of Political Zionism.

If compared with other settler colonial projects that have evolved in the Third World, certain features give the Zionist settlement project a special form and specificity. The Zionist colonial project aimed at replacing the indigenous people of Palestine with settler colonial immigrants. This replacement was carried out by ethnic cleansing through the use of pure violence, aggression, terrorism and massacres, of which 110 massacres[18] were committed in 1948-1949. Therefore, we can call the Zionist project a colonial settlement that sought to colonize by replacement.

Israeli Violent Society

There are many testimonies of scholars and writers in the world who confirm the violent and aggressive nature of Israeli settler colonial society. But few Israeli intellectuals recognize this, or are willing to admit it. However, there are exceptions. In an interview with the evening economic Israeli newspaper Globes, former Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni, described Israeli society in the following terms.

We are an uncivilized society. Violence and cruelty here are appalling. Is pride in violence not present in the military? How many people have come out of the army, since the first intifada, and were completely insane? All of this is caused by the occupation, which is rooted here in a beautiful place. Occupation is corrupt because it allows the theft of their land and allows them to be abused and looted. The 14-year-old boy comes out with a knife that he knows is allowed, he knows very well what is happening, and he also wants to defend himself. They are watching the strongest, most ethical and their practices. If in the past they were cursing, they are now beating. If in the past they were beating, they are now stabbing. We are people who scream all the time, and that is part of the violence. They didn’t teach us to speak quietly, to listen. We became violent by shouting, talking and acting as well.[19]

It is worth mentioning that Israeli prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has been accompanied since 1967 with settler colonies that were established illegally inside the Palestinian territories. Thus Zionist rule inside these territories encompasses all the features of settler colonialism, and military occupation is one feature that was used as a tool to implement the Zionist settler colonial project.

As a precondition to the practice of Zionist political violence, Zionist leaders employed zoological language in the description of Palestinian indigenous peoples. The use of zoological language was the environment into which two psycho-sociological processes, that of substitution and dehumanization, evolved prior to the practice of political violence.

(e) Racism and Zoology

Over the years, terms, expressions and titles have been developed and used only by Jewish Israelis when they speak or write about Arab Palestinians. These terms are used in the media (written, visual and audio), in public spaces, by military personnel, politicians, intellectuals and even by children. I will present some of these titles here and then analyze the motive behind their use in Israeli and Zionist discourse.

There are special terms that are used in Israel to describe Palestinian demonstrations such as “assafsoof”- mobs, “shelhoov yetsareem” – alerting instincts, “hamon moussat”- an incited gathering, and “heshtoliloot”- meaning insane behavior. In addition, when the Israeli army attacks a Palestinian position, they use the term “tihoor kenay mihableem”- clearing nests of saboteurs, as if Palestinian fighters were nothing but harmful insects that should be sprayed with chemical pesticides. All these titles are circulated in various Israeli media.[20]

The use of these racial slurs is not limited to the Zionist period of settler colonialism. Other racial slurs were also used during the period of Jewish non-Zionist settler colonialism. In his essay “The Truth from the Land of Israel”, spiritual Zionist writer Ahad Ha’am mentioned in 1891 that “We are accustomed abroad to look at Arabs as wild barbarian animals who live in the desert and as a people who are similar to donkeys…”[21]

Zionist leaders frequently used racial slurs. The Zionist right-wing theorist, Vladimir Jabotinsky, described the Palestinians as “a group of half-savages.”[22] Tivankin, one of the leaders of the left-wing Zionist party Ahdoot Havoda, described Palestinian demonstrations as “masses of savages”, “Arab thieves”, and “an instigated mob”[23], while the Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion told a meeting of his party Mapai in 1931, “They also have the right to human beings, but they are savages,”[24] and a number of Zionist intellectuals, such as the writer Abba Ahimeir and the national poet Ori Tsvi Greenberg, did not see the Arabs as human beings, but regarded them rather as “desert savages” and “herds of Arab wolves.”[25]

During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin called the Palestinian Arabs “animals on two legs”[26], while former northern commander General Yanush Ben-Gal described Palestinians, in the Galilee region in northern Palestine, as “cancer in the body of the state.”[27] The former commander of the Israeli army, general Rafael Eitan, described the Palestinians as “drug-sedated cockroaches in a bottle”[28], and one of the settler leaders in the West Bank, lawyer Elyakim Ha’etsni, described the Palestinians as “rats”[29]. General Ehud Barak described the Palestinians as “crocodiles”[30], while Rabbi Ovadia Yusuf, rabbi of the Eastern Jews and spiritual leader of the Shas party, described the Palestinians as “snakes”[31] which symbolized evil.

The frequent use of racial slurs for the Palestinian Arabs that come from the world of animals and insects does not stop with these leaders, but is employed by some Israeli intellectuals, like writers in literature and children’s stories and researchers. For example, Israeli writer Or Paz, who wrote a novel entitled “Ants”, described Palestinians as “people” composed of ants, that are damaging the upper storey of a couple of Israelis who are meant to symbolize the Israeli people.[32] Israeli university lecturer Benny Morris described Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as “wild animals” and “barbarians”. He recommended that something like a cage has to be built for them. He also depicted the Arab world as a “barbarian world”. [33]

In 1985, Israeli researcher Adir Cohen studied and analyzed 1,700 Israeli children’s books written by a group of Israeli children’s book writers. In many of these children stories, Adir Cohen found that the authors have depicted the Palestinian Arabs with racial slurs that included “poisonous snakes, foxes, wolfs, donkeys, frogs, and predators.”[34]

At least two right-wing ex-ministers, have openly used racial slurs against Palestinian Arabs. In 2013, the then deputy defense minister MK Eli Ben Dahan, depicted the Palestinian Arabs by saying: “To me, they are like animals, they aren’t human”[35]. And in 2014, the then Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, called Palestinian Arabs “little snakes”.[36]

The phenomenon of using racial slurs to depict the indigenous populations is not limited to the Israeli settler colonizers, but has also appeared among other European settler colonizers. Frantz Fanon has pointed out that French settler colonizers in Algeria have also used similar racial slurs in depicting the indigenous Algerian Arabs.

…In fact, the terms the settler uses when he mentions the native are zoological terms. He speaks of the yellow man’s reptilian motions, of the stink of the native quarter, of breeding swarms, of foulness, of spawn, of gesticulations. When the settler seeks to describe the native fully in exact terms he constantly refers to the bestiary…[37]

The use of zoological racial slurs is psychological self-deception used by the settlers to ease their “collective conscience”. They implement this self-deception through replacement and dehumanization.

The Process of Replacement

In order to carry out all settler heinous crimes, the settler colonialist uses violence and terror because he faces continuous national resistance from the indigenous population. He cannot convince the indigenous population to voluntarily give up their lands, resources, freedom and homeland.

Instead of normally having guilt feelings and uneasy conscience, the settler colonialist possesses the very opposite, a deep seated hatred. In order to understand this abnormal behavior, we need some sort of socio-psychological analysis.

British psychologist R.D. Laing confirms that “[w]e attribute to them exactly what we do against them, because we see ourselves within them, but we don’t know that. We think they’re others, but they’re actually us.”[38]

Therefore, negative and despicable traits such as cruelty, racial hatred, looting and theft, which, as Laing asserts, are attributed to the colonized victim.

In his analysis of this psychological phenomenon, Israeli psychiatrist Yiftah Sokhinbar[39] affirmed that every human being has a “natural sense of justice towards his or her likes.” But aggression also produces a sense of guilt. Guilt also leads to self-hatred among some persecutors.[40]

Sokhinbar confirms that the persecutor “develops, before meeting with the persecuted, an aggressive view. He sees himself as an aggressor, and he regards the world as an aggressor. His aggressiveness increases the fear within him, and puts him in a closed circle. An appropriate ideology evolves around it.”[41] Moreover, “… For the majority of persecutors, self-hatred and guilt are eliminated by dropping them on the victim, which exacerbates the persecutor’s aggressiveness.”[42]

The presence of these colonial imperative features was confirmed by Tunisian psychiatrist Albert Memmi, who indicated that any colonial settler with a true human conscience is totally unfit to be a good settler.[43]

But, in order for the settler to hate them, his hatred needs to be adequately justified. The settler justifies his racist hatred and gives it some kind of fake legitimacy in his eyes, by assuming racial superiority towards the indigenous peoples. In his view, they become degenerates, dirty, and have animal features. Therefore, they are not worthy of the ownership of the land, wealth, homeland and freedom, and they do not deserve human treatment, but only contempt and hatred.

The settlers use animal racial slurs to dehumanize the indigenous people in order to become, in their view, subhuman, mere animals that one should not harbor any guilt feelings towards them. The process of dehumanizing the indigenous population serves the settler psychologically. When the indigenous people are transformed into animals, especially harmful and predatory animals, the settler can despise and hate them and consequently can easily direct his aggression towards them.

The Process of Dehumanization

The process of developing stereotyped ideas must be preceded by a psychological process that can be called a process of dehumanization.

This process frequently takes place in confrontational relations, especially in relations of exploitation and hegemony. In order to be able to direct our aggression towards another being, we must depreciate his value beforehand, thus making aggression against him look legitimate and justified…[44]

In his introduction to Albert Memmi’s book “The Colonizer and the Colonized”, Jean Paul Sartre pointed out the following observation.

… No one can treat a human being like a dog without first considering him a human being. The inability to abhor the humanity of the persecuted becomes the alienation of the persecutor… Since he denies humanity in others, he regards it — everywhere — as his enemy. In order to manage this, the colonizer must take extreme cruelty and adopt the immunity of the stone. In short, he must, also, depreciate his own humanity.[45]

Concluding Remarks

  • Zoological racial slurs are used to dehumanize the Palestinian indigenous population by giving fake legitimacy to the looting of their homeland, and to the deprivation of freedom and wealth thus allowing the launching of colonial aggression against them under various pretexts.
  • Zionist colonial consciousness produces a colonial ideology that prepares the settler and provides him with a psycho-intellectual readiness to attack the Palestinian indigenous population.
  • Deep-seated hatred and racist ideology are aimed at legitimizing looting, subjugation, colonial settlement and apartheid. Political violence and colonial oppression are employed as two tools in the achievement of the stages of the Zionist settler colonial project.
  • Zionist violence, aggression and terrorism against the Palestinian indigenous population constitute structural phenomena related to the Zionist colonial structure.
  • Finally, the Zionist state is not violent because it is a “Jewish state”, it is neither violent because its violence is “in self-defence”, nor is it violent because of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Zionist state is not violent for “security reasons” or “in reaction to Palestinian Arab violence.” The Zionist state is violent because of its political, ideological, socio-economic structures. All colonial states have historically been violent, aggressive, terroristic and their violence has been structural, persistent, not partial, or accidental, or exceptional.

UK Government Evasive About Sanctions If Israel Annexes West Bank

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

 

Boris Johnson YH 67e91

Writing in the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth today – the very day Netanyahu threatened to commence extending Israeli sovereignty to illegal Jewish squatter communities and the Jordan Valley in a blatant bid to thieve more Palestinian land – UK prime minister Boris Johnson makes this disgraceful claim:

“I am a passionate defender of Israel…. a life-long friend, admirer and supporter.” On other occasions he has declared himself “a passionate Zionist”, an equally tasteless thing to be.   “Few causes are closer to my heart than ensuring its people are protected from the menace of terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement. The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to, in peace and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.”

The trouble, dear Boris, is that the Israelis, who are violent intruders, won’t let their neighbours live in peace and security and cry blue murder whenever they put up resistance which they have every right to do. Your brilliant solution to the Holy Land problem is to force the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table and never mind implementing international law and scores of UN resolutions. Will you never learn?

Yesterday, at Westminster, the scene was Questions to the Foreign Secretary, the subject ‘Planned Annexation of the West Bank.

– Tonia Antoniazzi: What recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government on their planned annexation of parts of the west bank.

– Julie Elliott: What assessment he has made of the effect of Israel’s plan to annex parts of the west bank on human rights in that region.

– James Cleverly (Minister of State for Middle East & North Africa): The UK’s position is clear: we oppose any unilateral annexation. It would be a breach of international law and risk undermining peace efforts. The Prime Minister has conveyed our position to Prime Minister Netanyahu on multiple occasions, including in a phone call in February and a letter last month. The UK’s position remains the same: we support a negotiated two-state solution based on 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as a shared capital and a pragmatic, agreed settlement for refugees.

– Tonia Antoniazzi: Current sanctions are clearly not working as a deterrent for Israel’s plan to annex the west bank illegally. Strong words at this point are a betrayal of the Palestinian people—they need actions. Can the Minister outline what action the Government will take against annexation?

– James Cleverly: The Government have maintained a dialogue with Israel. We are attempting to dissuade it from taking this course of action, which we believe to be not in its national interest and not compliant with international law.

– Julie Elliott: In 1980, the UN Security Council condemned Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and, in ’81, its illegal annexation of the Golan Heights. What lesson does the Minister think the Israeli Government took from the failure to see those Security Council resolutions adhered to? Are the UK Government abandoning the Palestinian people, as suggested in a recent open letter by UK charities?

– James Cleverly: The UK Government remain a friend of Israel and also a friend of the Palestinian people. We have continued to have dialogue both with the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and with the Government of Israel, and we encourage them to work together to come towards an agreed settlement that will see a safe, secure state of Israel alongside a safe, secure and viable Palestinian state. There is still the opportunity for that negotiated settlement to be the outcome, and we will continue working with both the Israelis and the Palestinians to facilitate that.

– Lisa Nandy: World leaders are warning of consequences should annexation go ahead, but the silence from this Government has been deafening, so much so that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz says that France is now the world’s “last, best hope” to stop annexation. This really is shameful. I raised my concerns with the US ambassador—has the Minister? Will he commit to a ban on settlement imports and recognise Palestine, as this House voted to do? Forgive me, I may have missed it. If he will not do those things, can he tell us what exactly he is proposing to do?

– James Cleverly: The UK remains a friend and ally to the state of Israel and a good friend to the Palestinian people. It is tempting—and I am sure it will placate certain voices on the left of the political spectrum—to stamp our feet and bang the table, but we will continue to dissuade a friend and ally in the state of Israel from taking a course of action that we believe will be against its own interests, and we will do so through the most effective means available.

– Alyn Smith: I listened carefully to the previous exchange, and I have much respect for the Minister, but I am not asking him to stamp his feet or bang the table—I am asking him to match the sensible position that he has outlined today on the illegal annexation of the already illegally claimed settlements with some actual action. No amount of warm words and sympathy are going to cut it in this discussion. My party, likewise, is a friend of the two-state solution. We are a friend of the Israeli state, and we are a friend of the Palestinians as well. We want to see a viable solution, but there is a lively debate that we can influence right now within Israel, and we need to put action on the table, not warm words and sympathy. Settlement goods should at the very least be labelled as illegal, and targeted sanctions need to be put on the table to focus the minds of the coalition. I urge him to act, not just talk.

– James Cleverly: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken with his opposite number and other members of the Israeli Government, as have I and indeed our Prime Minister. We are working to dissuade Israel from taking this course of action. There will always be voices in British politics that would jump at any opportunity to bring in sanctions and disinvestment. We do not agree with those voices, and we will continue to work towards a negotiated two-state solution, using the diplomatic means we have at our disposal.

– Alyn Smith: I appreciate that answer, and I would urge more. When Russia illegally occupied Crimea, the UK Government, with our support, implemented sanctions with the international community. We need that sort of action now, and I would urge the Minister to greater efforts than we have heard today.

– James Cleverly: I reiterated the UK’s position at the UN Security Council on 24 June. I made it clear that annexation would not go unanswered. However, I will not stand at this Dispatch Box in order, as I say, to placate some of the traditional voices in criticism of Israel when the best way forward is to negotiate and speak with a friend and ally, in the Government of Israel, to dissuade them from taking a course of action that we believe is not in their own best interests.

Well, you get the picture…… a bizarre piece of parliamentary theatre in which a British minister of the Crown plays chief pimp for a foreign racist entity. What a pathetic performance by Mr Cleverly. He mouths the same tired and obsolete excuses for inaction as his predecessors and cannot bring himself to show principle or backbone. Perhaps that’s because Her Majesty’s Government simply hasn’t any.

So here is a question of my own. Why would anyone want to be “a friend and ally to the state of Israel”, as Government ministers like to describe themselves, when outside the Westminster bubble of Zionist stooges the racist regime has no friends? And for the simple reason that being a Friend of Israel means embracing the terror on which the state of Israel was built, approving the dispossession of the innocent and oppression of the powerless and applauding the discriminatory laws against indigenous non-Jews who inconveniently remain in their homeland.

It means aligning oneself with the horrific mindset that abducts civilians — including children — and imprisons and tortures them without trial, imposes hundreds of military checkpoints, severely restricts the movement of people and goods, and interferes with Palestinian life at every level.

And never mind the shooting up by Israeli gunboats of Palestinian fishermen in their own territorial waters, the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy, the cruel 14-year blockade on Gaza and the bloodbaths inflicted on the tiny enclave’s packed population. And don’t let’s even think about the religious war that humiliates the Holy Land’s Muslims and Christians and prevents them visiting their holy places.

If, after all that, you are still Israel’s special friend, where is your self-respect?

Will annexation happen? As I write this the news agencies remain silent and the world holds its breath. If Israel goes ahead it will be another step in the fulfilment of Plan Dalet, the Zionists’ dirty ploy to take over the Palestinian homeland as a prelude to declaring Israeli statehood. Its intention was, and still is, to gain control of all areas of Jewish presence and strategic and economic importance and keep expanding Israel’s (deliberately fluid) borders in order to satisfy their insatiable greed.

Don’t you think Netanyahu and his loathsome crew make superb recruiting sergeants for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement? I now expect BDS to expand dramatically and hit the rogue state where it hurts if it doesn’t get civilised.

An obvious response from even the most retarded Western politicians would be to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the new UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement. To enjoy the Association’s privileges Israel promised the EU to show “respect for human rights and democratic principles” as set out in Article 2, an essential and enforceable element of the Agreement. But Israel, as usual, shows contempt for these principles and its membership ought to have been terminated long ago.

To its shame the go-it-alone UK Government remains committed to rewarding its evil creature’s most obscene crimes, having announced that it is “working closely with the Israeli government to implement the UK-Israel trade and partnership agreement.… and to host a bilateral trade and investment summit in London.” This suggests that the provisions of Article 2 were not carried over from the EU to the new UK-Israel Agreement. However, exactly a year ago Lisa Nandy put this question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will seek the inclusion of a binding human rights clause in a future free trade agreement with Israel to establish that the (a) relations between the parties and (b) provisions of the agreement shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles as is provided for in Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.”

The answer from the Minister of State for Trade Policy was: “The UK-Israel Agreement incorporates human rights provisions of the EU-Israel Trade Agreements, without modification.”

Let’s see if they really mean it and suit action to their words.

Al-Moallem: Our fight against terrorism is not over and the “Caesar Act” will be a chance for the Syrian people to perk up their economy

Source

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Moallem has affirmed that the real goal behind the so-called “Caesar Act” is to open the door for terrorism to return to Syria as in 2011 and to force Syria to give up its alliance with the resistance and accept normalization with Israel.

 In a press conference on Tuesday, al-Moallem said that the statements made by Mike Pompeo and James Jeffery about the so called “Caesar Act” prove that they are all liars because if they wanted the good of the Syrian people they wouldn’t conspire against their livelihood.

He stressed that there are no exceptions in what is termed as the “Caesar Act” and that the Americans are lying when they claim that this Act doesn’t include medicine or medical supplies.

He pointed out that the Syrian people are used to dealing with unilateral sanctions that have been imposed on them since 1978 under several terms.

 The top Syrian diplomat reiterated that this American legislation will be a chance for the Syrian people to perk up their economy, achieve self-sufficiency and deepen cooperation with friends and allies in all domains, noting that Syria’s war on terrorism hasn’t finished yet.

He wondered if the presence of US forces around Syrian oil fields, the burning of wheat fields and the US threat to friendly countries that want to contribute to reconstructing Syria serve the interests of the Syrian people. He said that the US occupation forces are investing in terrorism and this was proved in transporting leaders of Daesh terrorist organizations by their helicopters to Iraq and in supporting Jabhat al-Nusra and the Turkish regime in their acts of aggression on Syria.

“They are definitely lying when they talk about the interests of the Syrian people,” al-Moallem affirmed.

On the political arena, Al-Moallem affirmed Syria’s commitment to the process of finding a political solution to the crisis in the country and its rejection of any American or non-American foreign interference in the work of the constitutional committee, which must be a Syrian-led process away from any foreign interference.

He reiterated that the Syrians will allow no interference in their constitution and will only recognize a national constitution that will serve the interests of the Syrian people.

On the situation in Idlib, al-Moallem said that Syria behaves according to its priorities, available capabilities and in the light of dialogue with its allies, mainly Russia, pointing out that there is a cessation of hostilities in Idlib pursuant to the Sochi Agreement. “When the terrorists don’t abide by the agreement, our heroic armed forces retaliate directly, but this decision is taken by the military leadership,” said al-Moallem, indicating that the Turkish regime invades northern Iraq, transfers mercenaries to Libya for the sake of oil and occupies lands in Syria to revive the Ottoman ambitions.

The Syrian top diplomat clarified that the popular resistance in the areas under the US occupation is normal, but the strange thing is the illusion of some Kurdish groups which think that the United States will continue to support them.

” I want to tell them that there will come a day when they wake up in the morning and will not find the Americans who actually don’t defend the Kurds’ interests in the region, but the interests and security of “Israel”.

On Syria’s relations with its allies, al-Moallem said that ” we are in close alliance with our Russian friends who have offered sacrifices in the fight against terrorism on the Syrian soil. The Russian support for Syria will continue and consultations between the two sides are done on daily basis. Also Iran is a close friend that will always support Syria. As for China, we consider it as an ally with who Syria has continuous dialogue and we are sure that our friends and allies will not leave Syria alone .”

On Palestine, al-Moallem said that Syria continues to support the Palestinian people and their right to return and build their independent state. “

“We don’t recognize the annexation plans of the Israel occupation with regards to the West Bank. Israel should withdraw from all Arab lands that it has occupied,” al-Moallam made it clear.

Al-Moallem asserted that Syria supports the Libyan National Army and institutions as well as the Libyan sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also reiterated Syria’s support for Egypt’s national security.

Hamda Mustafa

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SDF HEAD SPOTTED ALONGSIDE WITH ISIS-AFFILIATED TRIBE LEADER

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SDF Head Spotted Alongside With ISIS-Affiliated Tribe Leader

The Kuridsh-led Syrian Democratic Fores (SDF), with a direct support from the United States, continue their ‘fight for democracy’ in northeastern Syria. At least, they want others to think this way.

In fact, the SDF leadership, which sabotaged the negotiation process with Damascus by making overextended demands, is openly cooperating with ISIS-affilated persons. Just recently, the SDF head Ferhat Abdi Sahin (nom de guerre: Mazloum Kobani Abdi) was recently photographed alongside with an ISIS-affiliated tribe leader.

The SDF cooperation with tribes and local militias that once declared their allegiance is no secret. Nonetheless, the mainstream Western media narrative prefers to ignore these facts.

US President Donald Trump: “I don’t want to stay at all. I don’t like the Kurds. They ran from the Iraqis, they ran from the Turks, the only time they don’t run is when we’re bombing all around them with F-18s.”

Claimed by Bolton in his book: “The Room Where It Happened”
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Do Palestinians’ Lives Matter?

By Stuart Littlewood

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Not according to the UK Government which continues to cuddle and slobber over the rogue regime that terrorizes, dispossesses and slaughters them.

Palestinian Lives Matter e2524

Lately, anti-racism activists and their fellow-travelers have been vandalizing statues in the UK, including a memorial to Winston Churchill. Even Nelson is threatened. And Robert Peel, like Churchill, has been boarded up for protection from the loonies. Incredibly Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland 1306-1329, hero of Bannockburn and bringer of independence, has been branded a racist by graffiti scribblers. Bruce (or de Brus), Earl of Carrick and 7th Lord of Annandale, was of Norman descent I believe. So, is our entire medieval history and culture – 1066 and all that – condemned? If it’s the feudal system and the struggle between mighty lords and their lowly vassals that bothers today’s hypersensitive agitators, most of our history books will have to be taken off the shelves and our monarchs consigned to the dustbin in order to appease them.

Why don’t these firebrands look for modern-day racists to complain about? In which case they might focus on “Israel’s knee-on-the-neck occupation of Palestine”, as Leslie Bravery describes it. This snarling, brutal entity illegally occupies Palestine and part of Syria and is stuffed with baddies with no redeeming features whatsoever. They have been busy ethnically cleansing the native Palestinians and stealing their lands for seven decades.  And what of their many supporters in high places? What should we call people who defend the indefensible… who admire the despicable… who applaud the expulsion at gunpoint of peaceable civilians and the confiscation of their homes?

Being a Friend of Israel – like most of the Conservative Party at Westminster – means embracing the terror and racism on which the state of Israel was built. It means embracing the dispossession of the innocent and oppression of the powerless. It means embracing the discriminatory laws against those who stubbornly remain in their homeland. It means embracing the jackboot gangsterdom that abducts civilians — including children — and imprisons and tortures them without trial. It means embracing the theft and annexation of Palestinian lands and water resources, the imposition of hundreds of military checkpoints, the severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and maximum interference with Palestinian life at every level.

It means not minding the bloodbaths inflicted by Israel on Gaza and feeling not too bothered about blowing hundreds of children to smithereens, maiming thousands more, trashing vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, power plants and clean water supplies, and causing $billions of devastation that will take 20 years to rebuild. And where is the money coming from? That’s right – from you and me.

It means turning a blind eye to the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy and the cruel 14-year blockade on Gaza. It means endorsing the denial of Palestinians’ right to self-determination and return to their homes. It means shrugging off the religious war that humiliates Muslims and Christians and prevents them visiting their holy places. It means meekly accepting a situation in which hard-pressed American and British taxpayers are having to subsidize Israel’s illegal occupation of the Holy Land.

And if, after all that, you are still Israel’s special friend, where is your self-respect?

Pandering to Israel has been immensely costly in blood and treasure and stupidly damaging to our reputation. Is it not ludicrous that a foreign military power which has no regard for international law and rejects weapons conventions and safeguards can exert such influence on foreign policy in the US and UK?

Everyone outside the Westminster/Washington bubble knows perfectly well that there can be no peace in the Holy Land without justice. In other words no peace until the occupation ends. Everyone knows that international law and countless UN resolutions still wait to be enforced. Everyone knows that Israel won’t comply unless sanctions are imposed. Everyone knows that the siege on Gaza won’t be lifted until warships are sent.

What’s more, everyone now knows that the US is not an honest broker, that Israel wants to keep the pot boiling and that justice won’t come from more sham ‘negotiations’. Nor will peace. Everyone knows who is the real cause of turmoil in the Middle East. And everyone knows that Her Majesty’s Government’s hand-wringing and empty words of ‘concern’ serve no purpose except to prolong the daily misery for Palestinians and buy time for Israel to complete its criminal scheme to make the occupation permanent.

And that is about to happen.

Can’t breathe!

For the last year Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been saying he’ll “extend sovereignty on all the settlements” including sites that have security importance or are important to Israel’s heritage. And that will include Hebron, Jericho and the Jordan Valley.

The move would be another major step in the fulfillment of the long-running Plan Dalet (otherwise known as Plan D) which was the Zionists’ blueprint for the violent takeover of the Palestinian homeland as a prelude to declaring Israeli statehood – which they did in May 1948. It was drawn up by the Jewish underground militia, the Haganah, at the behest of David Ben-Gurion, then boss of the Jewish Agency.

Plan D’s intention was not only to gain control of the areas of the Jewish state and defend its borders but also to control the areas of Jewish presence outside those borders and ensure “freedom of military and economic activity” by occupying important high-ground positions on a number of transport routes.

“Outside the borders of the state” was a curious thing to say when nobody would admit to where Israel’s borders actually ran, but the aim was to steal land that wasn’t allocated to Israel but was reserved for a Palestinian state on the 1947 UN Partition Plan map. Since then Israel has purposely kept its borders fluid in order to accommodate the Zionists’ perpetual lust for expansion into Palestinian and Syrian territory and eventual takeover.

No doubt with this in mind the Israeli government has confirmed the appointment of the pro-annexation Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely as Israel’s next ambassador to the UK. Hotovely is a religious-nationalist extremist committed to the ‘Greater Israel’ project.  As Minister of Settlement Affairs in the Israeli government many here will regard her as a war criminal. All Israeli settlements (a more appropriate word would be ‘squats’) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and are considered illegal under international law. And many see Israel’s long-running squatter policy as a war crime for the simple reason that Article 8(2) of the Rome Statute defines “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory” as such “when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes”.

Hotovely tends to run off at the mouth having criticised American Jews for not understanding the complexities of the region because “they never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers”. She herself slid out of compulsory military service by becoming an educational guide in Jerusalem and an emissary of the Jewish Agency in the United States.

She’s also keen to re-write New Israel’s sordid history: “We need to delete the word ‘occupation’ and we need to redefine the term ‘refugee’….” Hotovely rejects Palestinians’ hopes for statehood and instead dreams of a Greater Israel spanning the length and breadth of current Israel plus the Palestinian territories, saying “We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country…. This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.”

But what is the basic truth of her right to the land? She came there from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic so a question that immediately springs to mind is: “What ancestral links does she have with the Holy Land? Has she had a DNA check-up? And what exactly gives her and her kind the right to lord it over the Palestinians who have been there all the time?”

In London she’ll replace Mark Regev, former Netanyahu spokesman and mastermind behind Israel’s propaganda programme of disinformation and dirty tricks. Under Regev’s watch in January 2017 a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, plotted with stooges among British MPs and other maggots in the rotting political woodwork to “take down” senior government figures including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan.

Masot was almost certainly a Mossad asset. His hostile activities were revealed not, as one would have wished, by Britain’s own security services and media but an Al Jazeera undercover news team. Her Majesty’s Government’s response? “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.”

At a Labour Party conference fringe meeting Israel insider Miko Peled warned that “they are going to pull all the stops, they are going to smear, they are going to try anything they can to stop Corbyn…. the reason anti-Semitism is used is because they [the Israelis] have no argument….”

And that’s exactly what happened. Corbyn, a perceived threat to Israel’s cosy relationship with the UK, is now relegated to the sidelines.

Regev came to help silence criticism of the Israeli regime. Why the switch to lovely Tzipi? I’d say she’s here to smooth ruffled feelings caused by Israel’s latest planned land grab in the creeping annexation of the West Bank. And Regev, mission accomplished in the UK, is needed in Tel Aviv to defend Netanyahu from the ensuing flak if he goes ahead with annexation.

EU’s shame

Where does the EU stand in all this? A year ago one hundred and fifty-five European researchers and academics delivered a stinging rebuke to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, and Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Science, Research & Innovation.

Their letter expressed the outrage felt throughout the world, and especially in European countries including the UK, at the EU’s policy of endlessly rewarding the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel. Perversely each new act of unspeakable brutality, each new onslaught of disproportionate force against civilians had brought fresh privileges, fresh co-operation, fresh embraces from an enthusiastic EU élite. The letter said among other things:

“In spite of continual and serious breaches of international law and violation of human rights, and regardless of the commitment for upholding human rights of European countries, Israel enjoys an exceptionally privileged status in dealing with Europe also through the Association Agreement and has been receiving grants from the European Commission in the area of research and innovation (FP7 and its successor Horizon 2020).

“Funds are granted even to Israeli arms producers such as Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd, the producers of lethal drones that were used in the Gaza military assaults against civilians, together with numerous academic institutions that have close ties with Israeli military industry.

“We appeal to the European Union to impose a comprehensive military embargo on Israel, as long as Israel continues to blatantly violate human rights. We are deeply disturbed that public funds contributed by European tax payers are channeled to a country that not only disregards human rights but also uses most advanced knowledge and technology for the very violation of human rights.”

The EU-Israel Association Agreement has a lot to answer for. It came into force in 2000 for the purpose of promoting (1) peace and security, (2) shared prosperity through, for example, the creation of a free trade zone, and (3) cross-cultural rapprochement. It governs not only EU-Israel relations but Israel’s relations with the EU’s other Mediterranean partners, including the Palestinian National Authority. To enjoy the Association’s privileges Israel undertook to show “respect for human rights and democratic principles” as set out as a general condition in Article 2, which says:

“Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.”

Essential being the operative word.

Respecting human rights and democratic principles is not optional. Article 2 allows steps to be taken to enforce the contractual obligations regarding human rights and to dissuade partners from pursuing policies and practices that disrespect those rights. The Agreement also requires respect for self-determination of peoples and fundamental freedoms for all. Given Israel’s contempt for such principles the EU, had it been an honorable group, would have enforced Article 2 and not let matters slide. They would have suspended Israel’s membership until the regime fully complied. Israel relies heavily on exports to Europe so the EU could by now have forced an end to the brutal occupation of the Holy Land.

Rewarding annexation

Questions in the House of Commons last week revealed that the Government plans to host a UK-Israel trade and investment conference in London. One such question advertised the fact that “Israeli exports to the UK grew by 286% over the last decade, and bilateral trade levels are at a record high”. The Minister, Conor Burns, announced: “We strongly value our trading relationship with the State of Israel and are working closely with the Israeli government to implement the UK-Israel trade and partnership agreement.… We are working with the Israeli counterparts to host a UK-Israel trade and investment conference in London, which will have its primary focus on scoping out and identifying new opportunities and collaboration between Israel and the United Kingdom.”

Then Andrew Percy MP, a notorious stooge for Israel, asked the Secretary of State for International Trade what recent discussions she’d had with her counterpart in the Israeli government on a UK-Israel free trade deal. Ranil Jayawardena, answering for the Secretary of State, said that the UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement, signed in February 2019, will enter into force at the end of the Transition Period in January 2021. It will allow businesses to trade as freely as they do now, without additional tariffs or barriers. “Total trade between the United Kingdom and Israel increased by 15 percent in 2019 to £5.1bn. We value this trade relationship and are committed to strengthening it, so we will seek to work with counterparts in the new Israeli government to host a bilateral trade and investment summit in London.”

So there’s still a desire at the heart of UK government to reward racist Israel, not only for its knee-on-the-neck brutality but even for a crime of such enormity as can’t-breathe annexation.

قانون قيصر.. لا تتركوا سورية وحدها!‏

د. عدنان منصور

قبل أن تبدأ الولايات المتحدة بتطبيق قانون «قيصرها» بحق سورية، ثمة أحداث وإجراءات حصلت على الساحة السورية ـ اللبنانية، قبل فترة وجيزة من الموعد المحدّد لبدء تطبيقه يوم 17 حزيران، لتطرح تساؤلات، وتثير علامات استفهام عديدة، كان لا بدّ من التوقف عندها، ونحن في مواجهة ما تضمره وتبيّته واشنطن حيال الدولتين التوأمين سورية ولبنان بشكل خاص، ولدول المنطقة والعالم بشكل عام.

لعلّ ما شاهدناه من تطورات في الأسابيع الأخيرة، ليدفعنا الى تسجيل بعض المواقف والحوادث والتطورات، على الساحتين السورية واللبنانية التي تصبّ في خدمة قانون قيصر، الذي يمعن في الضغوط على النظام، ويشدّد الخناق الاقتصادي والمالي والتجاري على سورية، وعلى مَن يتعاطى معها من دول المنطقة والعالم، بعد سريان مفعول القانون الظالم، الذي به تريد الولايات المتحدة، توجيه ضربات قاتلة لاقتصاد سورية وإنتاجها القومي، وايضاً، لمن يحاول أن يتجاوزه أو يتعاون مع النظام. ولعل الأحداث والتطورات الأخيرة، تدفع بالمراقب المتابع لها، إلى تسليط الضوء على أمور عدة أبرزها:

1

ـ لقد شهدت سورية مع اقتراب موسم حصاد القمح، سلسلة من الحرائق التي اندلعت بفعل فاعل، ولم تكن صدفة، حيث التهمت النيران مساحات واسعة من الأراضي المزروعة بالقمح، وهو الغذاء الاستراتيجي الذي تعتمد عليه سورية، والتي آثرت منذ عهد الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد، تحقيق الاكتفاء الذاتي منه، ليجنّبها مستقبلاً اللجوء الى الدول المصدّرة له، ويبعدها بالتالي عن الابتزاز السياسي من قبل بعض المصدّرين له.

هذه الحرائق المتعمّدة من قبل مجموعات داخلية إرهابية، ومعارضة، والتي تنسّق مع جهات خارجية، تستهدف ضرب الاقتصاد السوري في الصميم، وثروته الغذائية، وإرهاقه أكثر فأكثر، من أجل تحميل الدولة أعباء ثقيلة تضاف إلى الأعباء التي تتحمّلها، جراء الحرب المفروضة عليها منذ تسع سنوات وحتى اليوم. فما عجزت عن تحقيقه قوى العدوان في الحرب العسكرية على سورية، تريد أن تعوّضه بحرب اقتصادية شرسة مدمّرة. وما إحراق محاصيل القمح على مساحات واسعة، إلا ليصبّ في إطار التدمير الممنهج للاقتصاد السوري.

2

ـ في ظلّ الظروف الحساسة التي تشهدها دول المنطقة، علت أصوات في الداخل اللبناني، من قبل أطراف ما كانت يوماً إلا في خانة العداء ضدّ سورية. لتنبري فجأة تطالب بإقفال معابر التهريب، بذريعة أنها تضرّ باقتصاد ومالية لبنان.

لا أحد مع التهريب، ولا أحد ضدّ القانون. لكن أن نقفل المعابر غير الشرعية ـ وهذا حق ـ ونترك العلاقات الاقتصادية والتجارية والمالية مع سورية، دون ان نفعّل الاتفاقيات والبروتوكولات الموقعة معها، وعدم التواصل الفعلي والجدي مع المسؤولين السوريين، لتنظيم أطر العلاقات الاقتصادية والتجارية والمالية والجمركية، والتنسيق معاً في مواجهة تداعيات قانون قيصر على البلدين، فهذا أمر لا يصبّ في مصلحة لبنان وشعبه، حيث تشكل له سورية على الدوام رئته الشرقية الوحيدة، التي يتنفس منها وهو يطلّ من بابها بصادراته إلى العراق ودول الخليج العربية.

3

ـ إنّ تحريك الشارع اللبناني الذي يشهد ظروفاً داخلية حساسة وخطيرة، وفي ظلّ أوضاع اقتصادية ومالية ومعيشية ونقدية واجتماعية قاهرة، بمظاهرات مشبوهة، تطالب بنزع سلاح المقاومة، وتحميلها مسؤولية ما يشهده الداخل اللبناني، والتصويب عليها عشوائياً، مدار استغراب واستهجان. فبدلاً من أن تركز هذه التظاهرات على الفساد والحالة المزرية التي أوصلتنا إليها الطبقة السياسية، جاء مرتزقة المظاهرات المدفوعة الثمن من قبل محرّضيهم، وموجّهيهم، ليشوّشوا على المقاومة، ويفرغوا حقدهم وتعصّبهم، تماشياً وتناغماً، مع سياسات وأهداف أطراف داخلية، وإقليمية وخارجية غربية، ما كان هدفها الأول إلا حصار المقاومة وتعطيل دورها، والنيل منها، ومن ثم القضاء عليها وإنهاء وجودها.

4

ـ انّ قرار الإدارة الذاتية الكردية، بمنع مزارعي محافظة الحسكة ـ وهي الخزان والسلة الغذائية الرئيسة لسورية ـ من تسليم محاصيلهم من القمح للمراكز التابعة لدمشق، يشكل سابقة خطيرة، نظراً لمفاعيله وتأثيراته السلبية الكبيرة على اقتصاد الدولة وعلى الأمن الغذائي للشعب السوري. رغم أنّ وقف تسليم القمح للسلطات السورية، ستترتب عليه خسارة لمزارعي القمح، وأيضاً كساد المخزون. هذا القرار الذي لم يأت من فراغ، وإنما بتوجيه وطلب من رعاة وداعمي الإدارة الذاتية الكردية، الذي ينسجم بالكامل مع قانون قيصر. والأسوأ من ذلك، أنّ مكوّناً من مكوّنات الشعب السوري، يفرض حصاراً على أبناء شعبه، من دون أيّ اعتبار إنساني أو أخلاقي، ليشكل هذا القرار إذا لم تتراجع الإدارة الذاتية الكردية عنه، قمة الخيانة والنذالة بحقّ وطن وشعب. لتثبت الإدارة الذاتية الكردية، مدى عمالتها وتواطئها ودعمها المسبق، من دون تحفظ لقانون قيصر.

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ـ لم يقتصر الأمر على الإدارة الكردية، إنما تبعته إجراءات أخرى، لجأت إليها سلطات الاحتلال التركي في الشمال السوري، وفي المناطق التي تسيطر عليها، حيث تفاقمت ممارسات الاحتلال، من خلال سياسات التتريك الممنهجة للمناطق الخاضعة له، لا سيما في أرياف حلب والرقة والحسكة. إنّ الاحتلال التركي، لم يتوقف عن سياسة تغيير الديموغرافيا للبلدات والقرى، وبالذات العربية منها، وتهجير سكانها باستخدام العنف، وتوطين الفصائل الإرهابية وعائلاتهم مكانهم بالقوة والإكراه، وإجبارهم على اعتماد العملة التركية في المناطق المحتلة والتداول بها، وإقامة مراكز رسمية تركية فيها، كالبريد وربطه بالبريد التركي.

وفي سياق الحرب الاقتصادية على سورية، فرضت تركيا منذ أيام قليلة على مؤسسة الحبوب التابعة لها، بتسويق المحاصيل الزراعية في رأس العين، الى تركيا حصراً وبالأسعار المناسبة لها.

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ـ منذ بداية الحرب على سورية عام 2011، اعتمد الكرد ـ دون ضوابط أو محاذير ـ على الولايات المتحدة وحلفائها في المنطقة، بما فيها «إسرائيل»، سياسياً، وعسكرياً، ومالياً، ولوجستياً واستخبارياً. وهم الآن ليسوا في وارد العودة الى الحضن السوري، والوقوف بجانب الدولة والقيادة والشعب، وهم في مواجهة قانون قيصر. كما أنهم أيضاً ليسوا بوارد التنصّل من القرارات الأميركية ذات الصلة بسورية، أو عدم الالتزام بها، او تحييد دورهم عنها. فطبيعة العلاقات الأميركية الكردية، وتأثير واشنطن الكبير على الكرد، وتحكّمها بقراراتهم وسياساتهم ومصيرهم، سيجبر الإدارة الذاتية الكردية، كي تكون حصان طروادة لقانون قيصر، الى جانب أحصنة عديدة في المنطقة والعالم. فهي ستشارك من دون حدود، وفق ما يرسمه لها الأميركي، في حصار سورية وشعبها، أياً كانت الأسباب والذرائع الواهية، والنتائج الوخيمة.

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ـ ما تريده واشنطن من قانون قيصر، شلّ اقتصاد

سورية، وتضييق الخناق على شعبها، ثم تحميل النظام في ما بعد، المسؤولية الكاملة عن تدهور الأوضاع، ودفع السوريّين إلى التظاهر والعصيان، مدعومين من قوى خارجية معادية، تقوم بترويج لحملة إعلامية واسعة النطاق، ضدّ دور إيران وروسيا، وتشويه دور وتواجد المقاومين من لبنان إلى جانب سورية في مواجهتها للإرهاب، على أنهم السبب الذي دفع بواشنطن الى فرض العقوبات التي يعاني من نتائجها الشعب السوري.

الحقيقة الواضحة هي انّ الولايات المتحدة التي لم تستطع مع حلفائها، وبالذات مع العدو الإسرائيلي، ان تأخذه من سورية بالحرب التي فرضت عليها منذ تسع سنوات، تريد ان تحققه من خلال حرب اقتصادية شرسة ناعمة، متعددة الجبهات والقطاعات، ترمي إلى تركيع النظام، وتجويع الشعب السوري، والاستفراد به، ووضع الدولة السورية أمام خيار واحد من خيارين:

أما القبول برحيل النظام وتسليم السلطة للمعارضة، وأما الخضوع للعقوبات، والحصار والتجويع، وبعد ذلك الاستسلام لمشيئة واشنطن في كلّ صغيرة وكبيرة، من دون قيد او شرط.

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ـ لا يقتصر قانون قيصر على سورية لوحدها، كما يظنّ البعض في لبنان، انما يستهدف أيضاً كلّ دولة، وكلّ كيان، أو هيئة أو مؤسسة او أفراد في العالم، يريدون التعاون مع دمشق بأيّ شكل من الأشكال. كما يمنع قانون قيصر، ايّ جهة تقوم بنشاطات تجارية، او مالية، أو صناعية، او استثمارية، لا سيما في قطاع النفط والغاز او غيرها من النشاطات، او تقديم المساعدات وإنْ كانت مجانيّة، لتنشيط القطاعات الصناعية والزراعية والإنتاجية أو المصرفية، مما حمل بعض المصارف الأجنبية العاملة في سورية، الى وقف نشاطها، وإقفال مكاتب فروعها، قبل بدء سريان مفعول قانون قيصر.

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ـ انّ قانون قيصر لن يوفر في مفاعيله السلبية لبنان ودول المنطقة، التي تواجه القرارات المذلة، وسياسات الهيمنة التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة، بحق الشعوب الحرة للمنطقة، الرافضة لصفقة القرن، والتطبيع مع العدو. والخضوع للإملاءات الأميركية. اذ قانون قيصر وانْ استهدف بالدرجة الاولى سورية، إلا انّ تطبيقه، سيلحق الأذى بلبنان واللبنانيين، ودول الجوار. لأنه سيغلق الباب أمام اللبنانيين ويمنعهم تحت التهديد بفرض العقوبات عليهم، من أي تعامل تجاري، او صناعي او خدمي او استثماري. وهذا الأمر سيلحق ضرراً كبيراً باللبنانيين، خاصة بعد إطلاق ورشة إعادة بناء سورية ما بعد الحرب، مما سيحول دون تخفيف الأعباء المعيشية والمالية والتجارية عن اللبنانيين داخل بلدهم. حيث سيحرم قانون قيصر، الصادرات اللبنانية، الصناعية منها والزراعية، ومختلف البضائع من دخول الأراضي السورية، ومنها الى دول الخليج، وهذا ما سيلحق ضرراً كبيراً بالمنتجين، والأفراد والتجار، والصناعيين في هذا المجال.

ولا يقتصر مفعول القانون على لبنان وحده، وإنما سيطال أيضا إيران، رغم أنّ هذه الأخيرة تواجه في الأساس، عقوبات أميركية صارمة.

واشنطن تريد من قانون قيصر، أن يطال بشظاياه دولاً تراها الإدارة الأميركية متمرّدة عليها. فهي تريد من سورية فكّ ارتباطها النهائي مع إيران، ومع المقاومة في لبنان، ووقف الدعم لها. كذلك فكّ ارتباطها مع روسيا، وتقليص العلاقة معها، والعمل على وضع حدّ للتمركز العسكري الروسي ـ الإيراني، وإخراج قوى المقاومة وإبعادها عن سورية. إذ ترى واشنطن، انّ تمدّد التمركز الروسي الإيراني في سورية، وكذلك قوى المقاومة، يشكل تهديداً استراتيجياً لمصالح الولايات المتحدة، و»إسرائيل»، وحلفائها في الشرق الأدنى، لا سيما في منطقة الهلال الخصيب.

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ـ انّ المسؤولية الوطنية والقومية، تحتم على الجميع، العمل على احتواء قانون قيصر بكلّ أبعاده وأهدافه، اذ إنّ سورية، ليست معنيّة به وحدها، وهذا لا يتمّ إلا بتضافر الجهود والتنسيق الكامل، بين سورية ولبنان والعراق وروسيا وإيران والصين وغيرها من دول العالم. إذ لا يمكن لهذا القانون التعسّفي، الأحادي الجانب، الذي سنّته دولة بكلّ عنجهيتها، خارج إطار القانون الدوليّ، والشريعة الدولية، لتفرضه في ما بعد، على دول العالم، وتلزمها التقيّد به، غير عابئة بسيادتها، وكرامتها، واستقلالها وحرية قرارها.

لا بدّ من تحرك دولي لكسر هذا القانون، الذي يجسّد شريعة الغاب بكلّ المقاييس، شريعة تعوّدت عليها الولايات المتحدة، وأصبحت جزءاً لا يتجزأ من سلوكها اللاإنساني المقيت، حتى ولو دمّر هذا السلوك وطحن شعوباً بأكملها.

على اللبنانيين أن يدركوا، رغم التهويل بفرض العقوبات عليهم، انه من غير المقبول ان يؤخذ لبنان رهينة بيد قانون قيصر، ومن غير المقبول ان يظلّ أسيراً، ورهينة في يد من يريد السير به الى فلكه، والتحكم بقراره ومصالحه الوطنية، ومنعه من التنفس من خلال رئته الشرقية الوحيدة ـ سورية. يتوجب على لبنان، وعلى مسؤوليه، تفادي الانزلاق والوقوع في الفخ الأميركي المرسوم. لأنه سيكون وبالاً على لبنان وشعبه، عاجلاً أم آجلا. إذ لن يفيده ولا يجديه نفعاً في نهاية المطاف العسل الأميركي المشبع بالسمّ القاتل.

واشنطن تريد إسقاط سورية، لأنه بإسقاطها، ستتهاوى دول المنطقة المعارضة للسياسة الأميركية، كأحجار الدومينو. وهنا تكمن مسؤولية الجميع، للحفاظ على سورية، ودورها، ومكانتها، ومقاومتها، والوقوف الى جانبها مهما كلف الأمر، ولحين إسقاط قانون القرصان.

*وزير الخارجية الأسبق

After the West Bank When (How Soon) Will the East Follow?

By Jeremy Salt

Source

West Bank Palestine 039e9

Whatever percentage of the West Bank Israel begins to annex in July, it will eventually annex the rest. Will it then turn to the east bank of the Jordan river?

Since the 19th century, the Zionist project was based on the seizure of all Palestine, including territory east of the Jordan. The map of ‘Israel’ presented to the Paris peace conference in 1919 extended northwards into what is now Lebanon and included the city of Sidon; in the northeast, all the Golan Heights and Syria almost as far as Damascus; in the southeast the entire Jordan River valley, with the territory it desired extending almost to the town limits of Amman.

Water was integral to zionist calculations from the beginning. In the imperial carve-up between Britain and France, however, the headwaters of the Jordan on Mt Hermon, fed by the Hasbani and Baniyas rivers,  stayed within the French mandate for Syria (later divided into Lebanon and Syria).  The water flows into the Sea of Galilee, from where it feeds the Jordan River before emptying into the Dead Sea.

In the 1950s and 60s the zionists made repeated attempts to divert the waters of the Golan, apart from bombing Syrian attempts to make better use of the water by building pumping stations. In its 1967 attack on Egypt and Syria, Israel seized two-thirds of the Golan, ensuring the flow of its waters south into Lake Galilee.  About 100, 000 Syrians fled or were expelled, along with several thousand Palestinians. About 100 of their villages were demolished and their land given to the 22,000 settlers who now live on the heights. An entire city, Quneitra, was also reduced to rubble by Israeli army sappers.

Currently, Israel takes about 60 percent of its fresh water needs from Lake Galilee and the West Bank.  From the Galilee the water is pumped south to feed the Naqab, while 80 percent of the West Bank’s aquifers is drained so Israeli needs can be met and the settlers (about 450,000 excluding occupied East Jerusalem) can water their lawns and fill their swimming pools.  By comparison, the Palestinians (2.2 million are allowed scarcely enough for domestic use, they have to endure frequent cuts and they have been prevented from drilling new wells since 1967 despite population growth.

With the Dead Sea dying and the Sea of Galilee drying up, falling to its lowest level for a century in 2018, Israel is increasingly dependent on desalinated water.  In 2018, in an attempt to revive the Sea of Galilee, the government approved a plan for it to be refilled with desalinated water. The drought of 2018 forced a reduction in the water pumped from the Sea of Galilee from an annual 400 million cubic meters to 30-40 million.  With a growing population and a diminishing supply of fresh water, control of both banks of the Jordan river is bound to be a critical element in zionist forward planning once the latest stage of expansion – the annexation of the West Bank – has been completed.

A false dichotomy

The mainstream Zionists, led by Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, attached themselves to British imperial designs like a limpet,   promising to be faithful to British interests in the Middle East. They were rewarded with key positions in the civilian administration (control of ‘immigration’ and the attorney-generalship)  as well as military and police protection for their purchase and settlement of land, and the ejection of the Palestinian farmers which followed.

In the history of the Zionist movement a false dichotomy has been created between the mainstream ‘practicals’ and Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist stream of ‘politicals.’ Jabotinsky – “your fascist” as Mussolini described him to a zionist delegation – was indifferent to the rights, needs and aspirations of the Palestinians but open about his intentions. The Palestine he intended to take in its entirety extended not just from the sea to the Jordan river but to the other side of the river, originally placed within the mandate but removed by Britain in 1922 and converted into the puppet state of Transjordan.

Jabotinsky knew ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine would resist the seizure of their land, and thus intended to build an ‘iron wall’ of military force to overcome them. Once defeated, having been forced to see reason, as Jabotinsky put it,  peace could be established between the two peoples.

The  ‘practicals’ projected an entirely different image. They reviled Jabotinsky’s fascistic Revisionists. They were socialists,  so they declared, irrespective of the fact that their kibbutzes,  their moshavs,  their labor unions and their peak union body, the Histadrut, were for Jews only. They intended no harm to ‘the Arabs’.  All they wanted was to work the land to the benefit of everyone and live in peace with their neighbors.  They were happy to share irrespective of another fact, that Palestine was not theirs to share in the first place.  When partition was first suggested in 1937 they accepted it and they accepted it again in 1947. It was ‘Arab’ obstructionism that was blocking the road to peace.

The diaries of their senior figures told the real story behind the dissimulation. Only there did they reveal their true intentions, to take the land and get rid of the people. The ‘practicals’ knew as well as the Revisionists that an ‘iron wall’ would have to be built against ‘the Arabs.’  An ‘Eretz Israel’ which included the other side of the Jordan was their map as well.  The differences between themselves and the Revisionists were no more than tribal infighting over power. Tactics differed but the strategic end objective  – the seizure of all of Palestine as delineated on the 1919 map – was the same.

Zionist map 7e5fb

Having served its purpose,  the UN partition plan was dumped almost immediately. The zionist leadership never had any intention of abiding by UN resolutions or international law.  It could do neither, if Israel was to be established as a Jewish state.  As Ben-Gurion made clear,  war would give the zionists what they wanted, all of Palestine, not just the 54 percent allocated in the partition plan and but for international intervention in 1948-9, they might well have succeeded.  Partition was accepted by the zionists only because at that stage they could go no further.

Having seized 78 percent of Palestine, Israel was admitted to UN membership only on the condition that it comply with General Assembly resolution 194 of 1948, giving expelled Palestinians the right of repatriation or compensation.

As it has never complied with this resolution and never had any intention of doing so, there is a clear legal reason to regard Israel’s membership of the world body as null and void. Another distinctive characteristic of Israel’s UN membership is that it remains a state without declared borders. This is not just because of the state of war that still exists between itself and two adjoining Arab states (Lebanon and Syria) but because Israel does not want to declare its borders. This seemingly anomalous situation is deliberate, allowing Israel to continue its expansionist drive towards the borders of the ‘national home’ as inked on the map in 1919.

Annexation of the West Bank takes it a further step in this direction. Netanyahu is a Revisionist. His Arab-hating father was for some time Jabotinsky’s secretary.  Since the election of Menachem Begin in 1977, Revisionists have been in government for more than 40 years, with even more extreme extremists (Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked) now taking center stage. In the Zionist context they almost make Netanyahu seem a moderate.

No one should doubt that beyond his lies and deceit, Netanyahu remains faithful to his Revisionist roots.  In his 1993 book A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World Netanyahu reaffirmed the “right” of the Jewish “people” to the entire ‘land of Israel.’

There should be no confusion about this. The ‘land of Israel’ is not (not yet) synonymous with the state of Israel.

The land is there only for Jews, not to be shared with anyone else, a principle pursued since the beginning of Zionist colonization and a commitment which Netanyahu took a step further with the nation-state law of 2018 and has now taken another step further with his declaration that the Palestinians of the annexed West Bank will not be citizens but “subjects”, a term usually applied to the subjects of a king or emperor.  Again,  this is consistent with the long-term view held along the political spectrum that Israel is the state of the Jewish ‘people’, and not of its citizens.

Last September Netanyahu pledged to annex the West Bank if re-elected.  He now rules Israel under a power-sharing arrangement with Benny Gantz, army chief of staff during the 2014 onslaught on Gaza that killed 2200 people, including 1492 civilians (551 of them children). The Israeli military also shelled UNRWA shelters, killing civilians there as well as in the streets and their apartments.  Annexation of the West Bank was part of the unity deal between these two unindicted war criminals.

How much will be annexed in the first stage won’t be known until Netanyahu issues the first decree but it will definitely include a 100-km long stretch of the Jordan River valley between the Hussein and Karameh (formerly Allenby) bridges. Violence will follow as surely as night follows day, the zionists using resistance,  as they always do, as a pretext to take more land and further tighten their grip.

There may well be a third intifada on the West Bank  and it would take only a few shots across the river for Israel to have the ‘security’ pretext (the protection of its 11,000 illegal settlers in the Jordan valley) for crossing the water and establishing itself on the east bank.  An immediate acquisition would be King Abdullah (formerly the East Ghor) canal on the east bank, from which is pumped 90 million cubic meters of fresh water a year to the residents of Amman.

On the basis of all past zionist practice, the steady expansion into and settlement of Jordanian territory would soon follow, over the futile objections of the ‘international community.’ This is hardly far-fetched. Zionism is an opportunistic ideology and where opportunities have not arisen fortuitously to seize more of Palestine over the past seven decades,  Israel has created them.

Those beating their breasts because annexation will mean an end to the ‘peace process’ and the two-state solution are delusional. The Zionists never intended there to be a two-state solution in Palestine and the ‘peace process’ died long ago, if it was ever intended to live.  In reality, it was no more than a cost-effective war process fought behind closed doors at Camp David and giving Israel time to consolidate its hold on the West Bank.

Once the annexation of the West Bank begins the Palestinian Authority will collapse.  Mahmud Abbas has already severed links with Israel and the US, not that this counts for anything at this stage. King Abdullah has already warned of the “massive crisis” that will follow once the West Bank is annexed but there is little he can do to stop it. The king can respond by sending the Israeli ambassador home and he can suspend the 1994 ‘peace’ treaty in whole or part but he cannot stop annexation any more than King Canute could stop the incoming tide.

The ‘international community’ is already reacting negatively but is likely to do little in practice. The  US is giving Israel a free hand and the lobby will ensure King Abdullah stays in line. He is dependent on the US, where pressure is already being exerted through Congress for the extradition of Ahlam al Tamimi,  implicated in the bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria in 2001, and released in 2011 as part of a Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange. As US nationals died in the bombing, Al Tamimi is wanted for prosecution in the US.  Refusal or delay by Jordan in handing her over would completely play into Israel’s hands. It is the “child killer” – Israel of course never kills children – that would capture the US media headlines and not the annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel’s ‘peace treaty’ with Jordan is no more than a tactical tool, just as the ‘peace process’ was, to be tossed aside when it has outlived its usefulness.  The Israel army is already stationed on the west bank of the Jordan. No one should expect it to stay there once the annexation of the West Bank has been completed. The east bank of the Jordan River is as much a part of the 1919 map as the Golan Heights or southern Lebanon, where only the resistance of Hizbullah has held the zionists at bay. Almost certainly Israel is going to cross the Jordan river one day.

Palestinian Artist Paints Mural on Apartheid Wall for Autistic Man Shot Dead by Israeli Police (VIDEO)

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June 16, 2020

Mural of Palestinian Iyad Hallaq on the Aparthied wall in Bethlehem. (Photo: via Twitter)

A Palestinian artist memorialized Palestinian autistic man Iyad Hallaq, 32, who was shot dead by Israeli police in Jerusalem on May 30.

A few days ago, Palestinian artist Taqieddin Sabatin painted a mural commemorating African American man George Floyd, who was killed by US police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.



See @palestinechron’s other Tweets

Sabatin painted the Floyd and Hallaq murals on the concrete wall built by Israel to separate Bethlehem from Jerusalem in order to commemorate both victims of police brutality.

Hallaq, a 32-year-old man with the mental age of an 8-year-old child, was executed by Israeli forces while crouching behind his teacher near his special needs school in the Old City of Jerusalem.

His murder in cold blood brought to mind the killing in Minneapolis days earlier of George Floyd and made parallels of police brutality in the US against African Americans and in Palestine against Palestinian Arabs.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Why Israel Fears the Nakba: How Memory Became Palestine’s Greatest Weapon

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

Israel is afraid of Palestinian memory, since it is the only facet of its war against the Palestinian people that it cannot fully control.

n May 15, thousands of Palestinians in Occupied Palestine and throughout the ‘shatat’, or diaspora, participated in the commemoration of Nakba Day, the one event that unites all Palestinians, regardless of their political differences or backgrounds.

For years, social media has added a whole new stratum to this process of commemoration. #Nakba72, along with #NakbaDay and #Nakba, have all trended on Twitter for days. Facebook was inundated with countless stories, videos, images, and statements, written by Palestinians, or in global support of the Palestinian people.

The dominant Nakba narrative remains – 72 years following the destruction of historic Palestine at the hands of Zionist militias – an opportunity to reassert the centrality of the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. Over 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes in Palestine in 1947-48. The surviving refugees and their descendants are now estimated at over five million.

As thousands of Palestinians rallied on the streets and as the Nakba hashtag was generating massive interest on social media, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, paid an eight-hour visit to Israel to discuss the seemingly imminent Israeli government annexation, or theft, of nearly 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

“The Israeli government will decide on the matter, on exactly when and how to do it,” Pompeo said in an interview with Israeli radio, Kan Bet, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Clearly, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu has American blessing to further its colonization of occupied Palestine, to entrench its existing Apartheid regime, and to act as if the Palestinians simply do not exist.

Considering the massive US political sway, why do Palestinians then insist on making demands which, according to the pervading realpolitik of the so-called Palestinian-Israeli conflict, seem unattainable?

Since the start of the peace process in Oslo in the early 1990s, the Palestinian leadership has engaged with Israel and its western benefactors in a useless political exercise that has, ultimately, worsened an already terrible situation. After over 25 years of haggling over bits and pieces of what remained of historic Palestine, Israel and the US are now plotting the endgame, while demonizing the very Palestinian leaders that participated in their joint and futile political charade.

Strangely, the rise and demise of the so-called ‘peace process’ did not seem to affect the collective narrative of the Palestinian people, who still see the Nakba, not the Israeli occupation of 1967, and certainly not the Oslo accords, as the core point in their struggle against Israeli colonialism.

This is because the collective Palestinian memory remains completely independent from Oslo and its many misgivings. For Palestinians, memory is an active process. It is not a docile, passive mechanism of grief and self-pity that can easily be manipulated, but a generator of new meanings.

In their seminal book “Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory”, Ahmad Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod wrote that “Palestinian memory is, at its heart, political.”

This means that the powerful and emotive commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba is essentially a collective political act, and, even if partly unconscious, a people’s retort and rejection of Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’, of Pompeo’s politicking, and of Netanyahu’s annexation drive.

Despite the numerous unilateral measures taken by Israel to determine the fate of the Palestinian people, the blind and unconditional US support of Israel, and the unmitigated failure of the Palestinian Authority to mount any meaningful resistance, Palestinians continue to remember their history and understand their reality based on their own priorities.

For many years, Palestinians have been accused of being unrealistic, of “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” and even of extremism, for simply insisting on their historical rights in Palestine, as enshrined in international law.

These critical voices are either supporters of Israel, or simply unable to understand how Palestinian memory factors in shaping the politics of ordinary people, independent of the quisling Palestinian leadership or the seemingly impossible-to-overturn status quo. True, both trajectories, that of the stifling political reality and people’s priorities seem to be in constant divergence, with little or no overlapping.

However, a closer look is revealing: the more belligerent Israel becomes, the more stubbornly Palestinians hold on to their past. There is a reason for this.

Occupied, oppressed and refugee camps-confined Palestinians have little control over many of the realities that directly impact their lives. There is little that a refugee from Gaza can do to dissuade Pompeo from assigning the West Bank to Israel, or a Palestinian refugee from Ein El-Helweh in Lebanon to compel the international community to enforce the long-delayed Right of Return.

But there is a single element that Palestinians, regardless of where they are, can indeed control: their collective memory, which remains the main motivator of their legendary steadfastness.

Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951 that totalitarianism is a system that, among other things, forbids grief and remembrance, in an attempt to sever the individual’s or group’s relation to the continuous past.

For decades, Israel has done just that, in a desperate attempt to stifle the memory of the Palestinians, so that they are only left with a single option, the self-defeating peace process.

In March 2011, the Israeli parliament introduced the ‘Nakba Law’, which authorized the Israeli Finance Ministry to carry out financial measures against any institution that commemorates Nakba Day.

Israel is afraid of Palestinian memory, since it is the only facet of its war against the Palestinian people that it cannot fully control; the more Israel labors to erase the collective memory of the Palestinian people, the more Palestinians hold tighter to the keys of their homes and to the title deed of their land back in their lost homeland.

There can never be a just peace in Palestine until the priorities of the Palestinian people – their memories, and their aspirations – become the foundation of any political process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Everything that operates outside this paradigm is null and void, for it will never herald peace or instill true justice. This is why Palestinians remember; for, over the years, their memory has proven to be their greatest weapon.

Zionism and COVID-19: Two Viruses that Require the Same Remedy

By Daniel Haiphong

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Zionism COVID c0ab5

On May 15th, Palestinians and their allies around the world marked another Nakba Day on the calendar. The 72nd anniversary of the founding of the Zionist state intersected with the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. COVID-19 has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and plunged millions more into economic precarity. The devastation of the virus in many ways relates to the ongoing Zionist colonization of Palestine. Nakba Day symbolizes the heinous oppression that Israeli colonialism has imposed upon the Palestinian people and it should come as no surprise that many people sympathetic to the Palestinian cause view Zionism as its own kind of virus. To commemorate Nakba Day, Twitter users all over the world shared the hashtag #COVID1948 to make the comparison between Zionist aggression and COVID-19.

The colonial virus of Zionism reached its deadliest phase of development after World War II. Between 1947 to 1949, nearly 800,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homeland by Zionist security forces. If Palestinians did not flee, then they were massacred. At least thirteen thousand Palestinians were killed over the same period. Nakba Day was the culmination of thirty years of British colonial policy that had all but sold the Palestinian homeland to “the Jewish People,” a euphemism for the Zionist settlers seeking to produce their own colonial empire in the heart of the Arab world.

May 15th itself merely marks the moment when Zionist colonial forces were able to declare an “independent state” of Israel with the help of stolen Palestinian land and the blessings of the Western dominated United Nations. Since Israel’s formation, the viral spread of the Zionist occupation has become no less violent and destructive for the Palestinian people. After losing nearly 80 percent of historic Palestine to Zionist aggression in the Nakba, Palestinians were removed from the remaining twenty percent following the defeat of the Arab resistance to Israel in the 1967 war. Colonial settlement in the West Bank continues unabated and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip live under conditions unfit for human life.

Since 2000 alone, Zionist occupation forces have slain ten thousand Palestinian lives, including over one thousand children. Thousands of political prisoners languish in Israeli prisons. The colonization of Palestine is supported by the United States. U.S. aid to Israel since 1948 totals to around 142 billion USD. Israel also benefits from U.S. protection in the form of diplomatic immunity on the global stage. Despite ample evidence of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the commission of war crimes, Israel has never been punished by the International Criminal Court or any other U.N. body.

COVID-19 has only given Israel further reason to annex more Palestinian land in the West Bank and intensify economic ruin for Palestinians in Gaza. In this way, Palestinians and their allies in the Arab world are currently struggling with two viruses. The first is the virus of Zionist colonialism. Israeli settlers not only benefit from the oppression of the Palestinians but also from a relationship with the U.S. that strengthens an equally destructive imperialist policy employed throughout the region and the globe. Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Libya are but a few allies of the Palestinian people that have either been successfully destabilized or placed under ongoing imperial siege by the U.S., Israel, and their regional allies. Israel’s hand in these regime change campaigns has been verified by strategic documents such as the Oded Yinon Plan published by the World Zionist Organization in 1982.

The second virus is COVID-19. Palestinians in the West Bank have largely been left to the whims of their colonizer in battling the pandemic. Palestinians essentially have no state of their own, but rather an instrument of Israel in the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority only has jurisdiction in portions of the West Bank carved out by the Israeli colonizers. Furthermore, Palestinian Authority officials, especially security forces, have no real autonomy. Israel is ultimately responsible in the final analysis for enforcing social distancing measures and providing necessary medical supplies and other basic necessities. While Israeli officials boast of their success in stopping the spread in segregated cities, Palestinians have voiced concern that the virus is spreading virtually undetected due to a lack of testing capacity. Life under colonial occupation has made the containment of the virus virtually impossible.

Israel’s relationship with Palestine is a reminder that colonialism did not end during the anti-colonial liberation movements that followed the Second World War. COVID-19 and Zionism are two viruses that require the same remedy. The end of colonialism and its violent legacy in the 21st century is the only path to recovery from the Zionist plague. Palestine’s colonial status is a reminder that the principle of self-determination has yet to be applied equally among nations. Zionism must be cut off from its host. This means that the Palestinian people must be given full autonomy through an independent state such as what occurred in the former colonial world. A mere satellite state that neighbors a hostile colonial regime, which is what is proposed by advocates of the two-state solution, cannot stem the tide of land theft, military occupation, and ethnic cleansing without a redistribution of power into the hands of the Palestinian people.

There is a direct connection between nations that have overthrown their formerly colonial or semi-colonial status and success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam became a truly independent nation in 1975 after its national liberation movement defeated the United States. Vietnam currently reports 0 deaths from COVID-19 due to its swift response to the virus’ spread in China. China, which was the first nation to report the new virus, preserved hundreds of thousands of lives by using its enormous state and mass organizations to test and quarantine citizens living in dense urban centers. And Venezuela, a nation that remains economically vulnerable due to U.S. sanctions, has lost just ten people to the virus through effective mass quarantine measures and popular mobilization.

The collective power necessary to rid of COVID-19’s deadly transmission as well as Zionism’s deadly expansion cannot be achieved in isolation. As Al-Quds day approaches, efforts to develop solidarity with the Palestinian people must be intensified. The American people can fulfill their commitment to solidarity with Palestine by pressuring the U.S. government to withdraw from bilateral military and economic aid relations with Israel. Such pressure should also extend to U.S. wars of aggression abroad that weaken allies of Palestine such as Syria and Iran. Americans must demand that their government cease its pursuit of permanent hegemony—a goal which requires Israel’s unmitigated colonial expansion in the Middle East to successfully achieve.

On the domestic front, there is much work to be done in strengthening the principle of self-determination and combating the spread of the virus. As is the case with Palestine, the two struggles go hand in hand. Native Americans and Black Americans, two oppressed nations ravaged by centuries of U.S.-based colonialism, have also been hit hardest by COVID-19. Furthermore, wonton violence, state repression, and economic disparities continue to shape the lives of people within these communities. A movement for the self-determination of oppressed nations in the U.S. mainland necessarily leads to a situation where the U.S. government must think twice about its unanimous support for Israel’s predatory expansionism. It would also give Palestinians and all oppressed peoples more breathing room to address global pandemics such as COVID-19 and the destruction of the environment. More crises are bound to arise from the innumerable contradictions that the people of the world have inherited from the rise and fall of global capitalism and its imperialist stage of development. The struggle for freedom and self-determination in Palestine will be critical in the broader movement to resolve these contradictions in the days, years, and decades to come.

Hate as a Common Ground: Why Israel’s Coalition Government Is Likely to Survive

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

Israeli leaders insist that democracy, transparency, and inclusion are achievable, even when millions of the country’s Arab citizens are marginalized and continue to be victims of institutional racism that dates back to the very foundation of Israel.

Shortly after an agreement to form a “national emergency government” in Israel, leader of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party, Benny Gantz, tweeted triumphantly that ‘democracy’ in Israel has been ‘safeguarded’.

But how is a deal that would grant Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a veto power over the very judicial system which will determine his fate, a form of democracy?

In January, Netanyahu was indicted on multiple counts of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. His trial is scheduled for May 24.

By making such an assertion, Gantz is simply deluding himself, following one the most disgraceful acts of political betrayal in the country’s modern history. By agreeing to join Netanyahu’s Likud party, Gantz has demolished his own parliamentary group which unified several major parties in one single bloc, all with the aim of removing Israel’s longest-serving leader from power.

The Blue and White, which until recently consisted of three parties (Hosen Li-Israel, Yesh Atid and Telem), presented itself to Israeli voters as a political force that would finally restore some credibility to Israel’s ailing political institutions.

Clearly, Israel was not ready for such a mission.

It is convenient to blame Gantz for the collapse of Israel’s once-burgeoning opposition, but the problem with Israel’s political elites is far more complex than that of a single individual.

Israeli leaders insist that democracy, transparency, and inclusion are achievable, even when millions of the country’s Arab citizens are marginalized and continue to be victims of institutional racism that dates back to the very foundation of Israel.

In actuality, Gantz could have formed a government with the help of the Joint List, a coalition of Arab and progressive parties, which is the only Israeli political bloc that represents hope for a better, more inclusive future.

The supposed Israeli ‘centrist’, however, opted to join Netanyahu – and to, consequently, alienate his own allies, Yesh Atid and Telem – than meet the reasonable conditions of the Joint List.

The Joint List, which had eventually endorsed Gantz to form a government, had merely requested the removal of the Nation-State Law (which defines Israel as a Jewish State), the Kaminitz Law (which restricts building in Arab communities in Israel) and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine, in accordance with international law.

The Arab parties’ demands were simply too much for Gantz to handle, for several reasons.

One, Gantz is essentially a right-wing politician and a military hawk, who favors the annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories and has called for even harsher wars on Gaza.

Two, the Blue and White would have never been able to build a wider coalition if it adhered to any of these demands. This much was made clear by the head of Yisrael Beiteinu leader, Avigdor Lieberman.

Three, Member of Knesset (Parliament) Zvi Hauser, one of the most influential figures of the Blue and White, is among the main forces behind the racist Nation State Law of July 2018. Expecting Hauser to cancel the jewel of his political achievements would be most unrealistic and would have further destabilized a party that has already lost nearly half of its supporters in a matter of days.

Hauser is an interesting character, an ambitious politician and a person to watch, as he will play an important future role in Israel’s coalition government.

Hauser will now become the “proverbial long arm of the Judicial Appointments Committee,” according to Yossi Verter, writing in Haaretz. This committee, in particular, was the main stumbling block in the difficult negotiations, which preceded the announcement of a government coalition deal between Gantz and Netanyahu.

According to the deal, Netanyahu can accept or reject any of Hauser’s future appointments. Hauser is unlikely to find Netanyahu’s interference unacceptable, simply because he is used to the idea of being Netanyahu’s point man.

Yes, indeed, Hauser entered public service in 1994 to serve as the Likud party’s spokesman under Netanyahu who, at the time, was the country’s opposition leader.  In fact, Hauser’s political career throughout the years seems to be intrinsically linked to Netanyahu’s own.

And here, yet, is another common ground between the Likud and the Blue and White, which could make the planned annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Jordan Valley very much possible.

The text of the coalition government agreement spoke of potential annexation of parts of the occupied territories as early as the summer, in accordance with the US President Donald Trump’s “Vision for Peace”.

This understanding was by no means a concession on the part of Gantz, who, too, supports some form of annexation.

That’s where Hauser’s role becomes vital once more, for it was Hauser himself who headed the ‘Coalition for the Israeli Golan’, which championed and promoted Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Hauser’s wish received a huge boost in March 2019, when Trump signed the order recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli.

Despite its difficult birth and the Blue and White setback, the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition has more in common than meets the eye:

For one, Gantz seems to have abandoned his strategy of getting rid of Netanyahu through the court system. With Hauser as a middle man, Netanyahu, at least for now, is somewhat safe.

Secondly, not only is the annexation of Palestinian territories (despite strong Palestinian and international rejection to such a move) not a point of contention between the coalition partners, but a point of agreement as well.

Thirdly, with Gantz’s rejection of a coalition that includes the Joint List, and Netanyahu’s complete disregard for the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians are entirely erased from the political map of Israel’s ruling elites. This is unlikely to change in the future as well.

There is one positive aspect in Israel’s unpromising government coalition, and that is clarity. Knowing of Netanyahu’s anti-Palestinian, anti-peace, and anti-international law long legacy, we should have all the clarity needed to understand that no just peace can possibly be achieved when Netanyahu is still at the helm.

The same can be said of Gantz as well, who preferred to willingly shake the hand of the devil than to find common ground among the leaders of Israel’s Palestinian Arab community.

Even when Netanyahu’s eighteen-month term as Prime Minister expires, a Gantz-led Israeli government is unlikely to fare any better.

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