Enmity ongoing, normalization fragile: Israeli media on Qatar WC

27 Nov 2022

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli media comments on the everyday videos being published about Arab fans being hostile toward Israelis in solidarity with occupied Palestine.

A Moroccan fan carrying the Moroccan flag and a Palestinian banner at the Qatar World Cup on November 27, 2022

Israeli media commented Sunday in a very disgruntled manner on the way the Arabic crowds are reacting to Israeli correspondents showing up in Qatar under the guise of reporting on the World Cup and trying to get positive statements that serve the process of normalization from the Arab fans there.

An Israeli Hayom article entitled “The World Cup in Qatar, A Mirror for the Israelis: They Do Not Like Us nor Want Us” argued that the World Cup put the Israeli occupation before a harsh and bitter reality for the Israelis.

The Israelis clarified that they saw for the first time they saw a large-scale experience of rejection, neglect, hatred, and the non-acceptance of Israelis in an Arab-Muslim country.

“Everyone claiming that the people of the Gulf do not have enmity toward Israel saw that they have been tricked, and they are experiencing a different reality,” the article added.

“News reporters in Israeli channels enthusiastically went to Qatar and set up their cameras, waiting for the Arabs living in the Gulf and the various other Arab countries to praise Israel,” it said. “However, they soon found themselves subject to contempt, avoidance, and mockery from those same Arabs.”

An Israeli news channel showed earlier in the day Moroccan fans refusing to talk to an Israeli reporter, chanting in support of Palestine and against the occupation, despite the Israeli correspondent stressing that “your government normalized ties with us… we must be at peace now!”

Israeli media commented on how a group of Arabs refused to be interviewed by an Israeli reporter and confronted him by saying “there is no such thing as Israel. It is Palestine.” The author said this was expected, noting that he “was not surprised that the overwhelming majority of Arab football fans refused to be interviewed by Israeli television channels.”

Embarrassing situation

“It is only those that do not understand how the people feel in the Arab World that will rush and set up a camera, begging an Arab to be interviewed by an Israeli channel,” the author added.

He described what the Israeli reporters were subjected to, from humiliation to embarrassing situations and even having to conceal their identity by saying: “It is shameful to see an Israeli journalist begging and hugging whoever allows him to interview them to urge them to speak positively about Israeli, only for it to appear that they don’t consider that there is an Israel, only Palestine.”

Normalization takes a hit

“This is a series blow to anyone who thought normalization was right at the corner and that normalization with Arab countries was just a matter of time,” the author wrote.

“The behavior of the average Arab citizen toward Israel shows an enmity that is more than 70 years old, and it indicates that the root of the problem is still very much alive, kicking us down, and dealing blow after blow to us.”

This is the truth and this is reality, the article stressed. “Whoever does not want to see that must close their eyes. But the harsh, bitter, and, in my opinion, painful reality is that unless the Palestinian cause is solved somehow that is acceptable by all parties, we are not and will not be welcome in Arab countries. Even in countries that have signed normalization agreements.”

“It is enough to look at the normalization agreements with Egypt to understand how we did not make any progress with the Egyptian people, which is still among the most hostile Arab peoples toward Israel,” he stressed.

Normalization agreements fragile

Former Shin Bet official Doron Matza wrote in an article on the Makor Rishon website titled, “The hatred of Israel in Qatar indicates that the Abraham Accords have a glass ceiling,” that “the rude way Arab football fans are dealing with Israeli media correspondents surprised reporters, which opened their eyes to the status quo in the Middle East and Israel’s ties in the region.”

“They do not like us in Qatar and, as apparently, in the whole Middle East, and this is the conclusion that the journalists drew in light of the unpleasant interactions with Saudi, Qatari, and Iranian fans, among others,” Matza added.

“It turns out that nothing has changed… Even if it is good to be optimistic, we must not ignore reality,” he stressed.

He also said the normalization agreements signed with Arab regimes were lackluster in terms of influencing the people, saying they “were formed against the less ideological parties in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates.”

The author then concluded that the normalization agreements signed did not influence anything in terms of how the people of the region felt toward the Israeli occupation.

“The events that took place in light of the Qatar World Cup prove that Israel’s regional standings and the contents of the Abraham Accords have a glass ceiling,” the author underscored.

An Israeli KAN public broadcaster correspondent in Qatar complained Thursday about “unpleasant” incidents he was subjected to in Qatar during the channel’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup championship being held in the country due to him being Israeli, a heavily opposed “nationality” in the region.

Hoffman also said that when he and his team arrived at a restaurant at a local beach with his team, he took some photos. The restaurant’s owner inquired about their nationality, asking them where they were coming from. “When he found out that we are from Israel, he brought the restaurant’s security guards, and they kicked us out. They also took my phone and deleted all the photos I had taken.”

Another Israeli correspondent said a few days ago that he was bothered by the stances of the Arab fans attending the 2022 World Cup, saying that they would refuse to be interviewed by him due to his allegiance.

According to the correspondent, young Lebanese men were enraged when they found out that he was Israeli, saying: “I would also like to say that even off the air, whichever Arab fans we meet there with and introduce ourselves to, they reject talking to us altogether.”

Since the World Cup kicked off, there have been various videos that went viral of Arab fans refusing to be interviewed by Israeli media.

“All attempts to talk to football fans in Doha did not go according to plan,” Israeli media has said. “Videos are being circulated online are of Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper, and several Lebanese fans purposely avoiding Israeli reporters.”

Israeli Channel 12 correspondent, Ohad Hamo, expressed his frustration from the “maltreatment” of the Arab masses he came across in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Arab people of all nations refused to be interviewed by him, an Israeli, during a live TV broadcast. 

“Everyone knows us, perhaps from the widespread Tik Tok videos. They come to us and criticize us being here,” Hamo said in objection. “I don’t know why,” he cried out. 

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

22 Nov 2022 

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Anti-normalization Countries Resist The Arab-‘Israeli’ Alliance

July 9, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

Amid a push by the US and the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime to build an anti-Iranian coalition in the region, a report suggested that a number of Arab countries are against such an alliance.

Washington and Tel Aviv are pushing Arab countries for the realization of a military pact to counter alleged threats from Iran.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters said the plan is on the agenda of US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the occupied territories and Saudi Arabia in mid-July.

According to the sources, the plan seeks to “build a network of radars, detectors and interceptors between Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, with the help of ‘Israeli’ technology and US military bases.”

However, it highlighted the resistance of some Arab countries, including Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait, against such a plan due to their relations with Iran and also because of rejecting any ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupiers.

Starting from the tenure of former President Donald Trump, Washington has tried to convince a number of Arab countries to publicly announce the normalization of ties with the ‘Israeli’ regime.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco were among the first countries to toe the line, facing strong condemnations from Palestinians who denounced the move as a “stab in their back.”

Using baseless accusations against Iran, Washington is now trying to force some other regional states to side with the Zionist entity.

Iraq, however, is one of the countries that has clearly voiced its opposition to ‘Israel’ as it recently adopted a law criminalizing any sort of ties with the regime.

In late May, Iraq’s parliament approved a law making it illegal for the country to ever normalize its relations with the Zionist occupation regime.

Back in 2020, the UAE and Bahrain entered United States-brokered so-called “peace deals” with the ‘Israeli’ regime. Some other regional states, namely Sudan and Morocco, followed suit.

Reports suggest that Saudi Arabia is the next country that may embark on normalization. Analysts suggest the direct flight of Air Force One from Tel Aviv to Jeddah during Biden’s upcoming trip as a symbolic act can be interpreted within this framework.

Israeli military officials sent to Qatar as US works to bolster security cooperation

Arrival of officials in Qatar underscores how normalisation impacts Arab states that have not formally established ties to Israel

A general view shows US Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft at al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar (AFP/File photo)

8 July 2022 

By Sean Mathews

Israeli military officials have secretly been dispatched to Qatar as part of a security reshuffle that places Israel in US Central Command’s area of responsibility, current and former US and Gulf officials have told Middle East Eye.

At least one location where Israeli officials have travelled is al-Udeid, a US air base and the forward operating headquarters of all US forces in the Middle East, also known as Centcom, the sources said.

Israel was absorbed into Centcom last year, in a move that built on the 2020 normalisation agreements which saw Bahrain and the UAE establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Morocco and Sudan normalised relations with Israel soon after.

A Gulf official with knowledge of the matter who spoke with MEE on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic did not say how many Israeli personnel were currently in the country.  

The Abraham Accords and Israel’s inclusion in Centcom ‘are forcing all Arab capitals to reassess what their relationship with Israel looks like’

– R Clarke Cooper, former US official

Despite lacking formal relations, Israel and Qatar – two key US allies – maintain ties, and are known to engage on issues including the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

“There is dialogue, and it is a good dialogue,” said the Gulf official.

Qatar publicly acknowledges what it calls a “working relationship” with Israel. Those ties came to the fore during Israel’s offensive on Gaza last year when Defence Minister Benny Gantz reportedly met with Qatari officials in an unnamed country to negotiate aid for the besieged Gaza Strip.

However, the disclosure, not previously reported elsewhere, of Israeli military officials travelling to Qatar underscores how ties are extending beyond traditional areas such as Palestine, particularly as the US works to bolster security cooperation between its Arab partners and Israel.

“The Abraham Accords, as well as the inclusion of Israel into the US Central Command, are forcing all Arab capitals to reassess what their relationship with Israel looks like,” R Clarke Cooper, former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs under the Trump administration and currently at the Atlantic Council, told MEE.

“Current considerations of military integration to address shared threats like Iran is a real-time example of such reassessment,” he added.

‘Exploring greater security coordination’

In March, Qatari military officials – along with those from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan – reportedly held a meeting with US and Israeli counterparts in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh to discuss a plan for joint missile defence.

The meeting took place against a backdrop of rising tensions with Iran, as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal stall. 

In contrast to other Gulf states, Qatar is seen as more supportive of a return to the deal. Qatar shares the world’s largest natural gas field with Iran. Its leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, travelled to the Islamic Republic in May in a push to jumpstart stalled talks. Last month, the US and Tehran held indirect negotiations in Doha aimed at reviving the accord.  

Biden Middle East visit: Why an Israel-led security pact is a paper tiger
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But Qatar’s geographic position also means that it would be vulnerable to any escalation in the region, analysts say.

“The Qataris, like other smaller countries between Saudi Arabia and Iran, are open to exploring greater security coordination with other actors, whether that be Turkey, whether that be Israel as well,” Anna Jacobs, a senior analyst on Gulf states at the International Crisis Group, told MEE.

Asked about the stationing of Israeli military officials at US bases in Qatar, Centcom referred MEE to the Israeli military. The Israeli military refused to comment on the topic.

Lt Col Dave Eastburn, US Central Command spokesman, told MEE in a written response that the “easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East, including our partners in Israel”.

‘Working relationship’

Qatar, a gas-rich country of 2.8 million people, of which only 300,000 are Qatari nationals, has had a complex relationship with Israel.

Qatar was the first country in the Gulf to establish trade relations with Israel. During the Second Intifada, it was reportedly pressured by Saudi Arabia and other states to close its trade office there. A reopened office was subsequently shuttered when Israel launched its 2009 invasion of Gaza.

Qatar has long positioned itself as an advocate of the Palestinian cause. The Al Jazeera Media Network and its affiliates, which are funded by the Government of Qatar, are viewed by many as critical of Israel.

Doha is also close to Hamas, the group that governs the besieged Gaza Strip, and provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza in coordination with the UN, and with the backing of Israel.

Doha’s leverage with Hamas helped it negotiate a ceasefire to last May’s fighting which saw more than 260 Palestinians killed in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and 13 in Israel. Following the truce, Qatar pledged $500m in support of Gaza’s reconstruction.

A few months after the ceasefire, Qatar announced new measures to provide aid to impoverished families in Gaza. Defence Minister Benny Gantz praised Doha, stating: “I would like to thank Qatar for taking a positive role as a stabilising actor in the Middle East.”

“The Qataris have a win-win situation,” Yoel Guzansky, a Gulf expert at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, told MEE.

“They are appreciated on the Palestinian street for not normalising. They have good relations with the US and good relations with Israel.”

Navigating the grey zone

Biden is scheduled to embark on a four-day trip to the Middle East next week, where he will first visit Israel and the occupied West Bank. The visit will then culminate with a major gathering of regional leaders in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah.

Ahead of Biden’s trip, US officials have hinted that new states could take steps to normalise relations with Israel. The US is believed to be negotiating a deal to transfer two Red Sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, in a move that could eventually pave the way for Riyadh to normalise in the future.

Biden Middle East visit: Why the Arab world needs a new leadership
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Few expect Qatar to take similar measures.

The State Department denied MEE’s request to discuss Qatar and US normalisation efforts. Qatar also didn’t respond to requests for comment by the time of publication. 

In an interview earlier this year, Qatar’s foreign minister ruled out normalising ties with Israel “in the absence of a real commitment to a two-state solution” between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“If I was the Qataris, I would not normalise. And if I was the Israelis, I don’t know if I would want them to,” Guzansky said, explaining that both sides were so far apart on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that it was likely in each’s favour to keep bilateral ties in a “grey zone”.

Navigating that grey zone amid signs that normalisation in the region is proceeding will likely continue to test Qatar’s ability to balance the relationship. 

Algeria: 60 years of endless support for the Palestinian cause

July 5, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Ahmad Karakira 

Algeria has always demonstrated unconditional support for the country of Palestine and the Palestinian cause, which dates back to fighting “Israel” and helping Egypt claim back Sinai in the 1973 October War.

Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause

On July 5, 1962, after 132 years of French colonialism, Algeria declared its independence. The Evian agreements of March 18, 1962, ended the war between France and the Algerian National Liberation Army (ALN), and a referendum of self-determination took place on the first of July, 1962.

The results of the referendum came in favor of transferring power from the French to the Algerian authorities on July 3, ending decades of occupation, settler colonialism, and massacres.

The date – July 5 – was deliberately chosen by the Algerian government in reference to July 5, 1830, when the city of Algiers was occupied by France.

The seven-year war between the French occupier and the Algerian resistance left around one million Algerian martyrs on the path of Algeria’s freedom and liberation.

Endless stories about heroic epic battles by the Algerian resistance against Western colonialism can be recounted on the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

However, this piece aims to shed light on Algeria’s endless support for Palestine, the Palestinian cause, and fellow Arab states against all forms of oppression and occupation since the north African country gained its liberation through resistance.

“We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors”

To begin with, Palestinians supported the Algerian Revolution from 1954-1962 and showed solidarity through organizing fundraisers for Algeria.

Despite some Arab states shamefully signing normalization agreements with the Israeli occupation in exchange for some benefits, Algeria has strongly opposed such deals, considering normalization with the occupation as a betrayal to the Arabs and the Palestinian cause.

In the early 1970s, former Algerian President Houari Boumediene said his famous phrase, “We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors.”

It is noteworthy that similar to the official Algerian stance on Palestine, Algerians, according to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, oppose normalizing ties with the Israeli occupation with a 99% rate.

One would wonder about the secret behind Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause.

Historically, Algeria has always been advocating the Palestinian cause and supporting fellow Arab states against the Israeli occupation.

In fact, after only five years of gaining its liberation from the French occupation, Algeria supported the Arab allies against “Israel” by sending troops and aircrafts to fight alongside the Arab states in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Algerian army also played an important role during the 1973 October war.

Significantly, when Egypt signed the Camp David Agreement and established ties with the Israeli occupation, Algeria severed its ties with Egypt.

In addition, Algeria established close relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), providing it with weapons, training its fighters during the 70s, and helping the PLO obtain observer status in the UN in 1974.

After the former US President Donald Trump’s administration, the UAE, and “Israel” revealed the so-called “Abraham Accords” in August, current Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune stressed his country’s deep commitment to the Palestinian cause, affirming that Algeria deems Palestine as a sacred cause.

Algiers also harshly criticized the normalizing states (the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan). It also paid the price for its anti-normalization stance, as the US acknowledged the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara after years of unresolved disputes and unachievable status.

In trying to understand the reason behind Algeria’s official and popular support for the Palestinian cause, Sami Hamdi, the Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest magazine, explained that “Algerians feel a deep resonance with the Palestinians who have been colonized for some 82 years and believe that whatever the difficulties, resistance will eventually succeed.”

In the same context, TRT had quoted Jalel Harchaoui, a Senior Fellow at the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, as saying that Algeria’s “somewhat exceptional history makes resistance against colonial powers writ large a narrative crucially central to the Algerian state as we know it.”

Algeria’s participation in the 1973 October War

Aiming to restore the lands that “Israel” occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War – Sinai in Egypt and the Golan Heights in Syria – on October 6, 1973, Cairo and Damascus launched an attack on the Zionist entity. The war coincided with the holy month of Ramadan.

During that time, Algeria played a significant role in providing Egypt and Syria with Soviet weapons and bringing in troops to the Egyptian front to fight the Israeli occupation, despite its then-instable economic situation as a result of the pre-independence era of French colonialism.

In fact, then-Algerian President Houari Boumedienne reportedly flew to Moscow to secure military aid for the Egyptians and the Syrians.

In a reiteration of its role in supporting anti-colonialist movements, Algeria sent more than 2,100 troops, 815 non-commissioned officers, and 192 officers to Sinai. It also sent 96 tanks and over 50 fighters and bomber aircraft to Egypt, according to the Egyptian authorities.

Algiers also participated in the oil embargo imposed by the Arab members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the US over its support of the Israeli occupation during the war, which led to significant price hikes around the world.

On October 17, Arab oil producers decided to increase the price of oil by 17% and cut oil production by 5%, vowing to “maintain the same rate of reduction each month thereafter until the Israeli forces are fully withdrawn from all Arab territories occupied during the June 1967 War, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are restored.”

Sharon underestimated the power of Algerian forces

In the context of the 1973 October War, the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli occupation forces, David Eliezer, acknowledged in his released diaries that “Israel” lost this war as a result of the arrogance of then-Major General Ariel Sharon, who underestimated the power of the Algerian forces and thought that they wouldn’t stand a chance against the IOF forces, thinking that they would flee as soon as they set their eyes on Israeli tanks.

Eliezer said that 900 IOF soldiers were killed and 172 tanks were destroyed in just one day during the war.

On his part, the former Israeli Security Minister Moshe Dayan revealed that all the intelligence information showed that Algerians did not have weapons capable of intercepting the Israeli forces.

Dayan also said the Israelis received intelligence about a state of division between the Egyptians and the Algerians. The Israelis were surprised by the Algerian forces downing a giant US Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft by a missile, which frightened the US Staff and frustrated the Nixon administration.

The former Israeli minister said the Egyptian forces deceived the Israeli forces, making them believe that the strategic Al-Adabiya port was not fortified enough. However, the Algerian forces were in charge of protecting the port.

One cannot but hail the role of Algeria in supporting the Palestinian cause and anti-colonial liberation movements, whether on the official or popular level. Despite the geographical distances separating Palestine from Algeria, Algerians believe that the two countries share the same pain, torture, grief, sorrow, and hopefully the same liberation to be achieved in the near future.

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تونس ليست إيالة عثمانية يا إردوغان

الثلاثاء 12 نيسان 2022

المصدر: الميادين نت

خالد البوهالي 

يرى إردوغان أن هزيمة حزب “النهضة” في الانتخابات التشريعية، في حال إجرائها، ستكون ضربةً قاصمةً للنفوذ التركي في تونس.

تونس ليست إيالة عثمانية يا إردوغان

أثارت تصريحات الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان بخصوص حل البرلمان التونسي والدعوة إلى انتخابات جديدة حفيظة الرئيس التونسي قيس سعيد، ما جعله يرد بشكل عاجل عليه بأن تونس ليست إيالة عثمانية، في حين استدعت وزارة الشؤون الخارجية التونسية السفير التركي المعتمد لديها، وسلمته مذكّرة احتجاجٍ عبرت فيها عن رفضها التدخل في الشؤون الداخلية التونسية، واتصل وزير الخارجية التونسي بنظيره التركي من أجل الموضوع نفسه.

وقد ذكر بيان وزارة الشؤون الخارجية التونسية أن “تونس بقدر التزامها بثوابت سياستها الخارجية وحرصها على بناء علاقة وثيقة مع الدول الشقيقة والصديقة، قوامها التعاون والتضامن والتشاور والثقة المتبادلة، فإنها أيضاً تتمسك باستقلال قرارها الوطني، وترفض بشدة كل محاولة للتدخل في سيادتها وخيارات شعبها أو التشكيك في مسارها الديمقراطي الذي لا رجعة فيه”.

أولاً، ينبغي التأكيد أن من حق القيادة التونسية، سواء اتفق البعض أو اختلف معها، تقديم مذكرة احتجاج على تركيا، لأن مثل هذه التصريحات غير المسؤولة التي أطلقتها الحكومة التركية يعدّ تدخلاً سافراً في شؤون دولةٍ مستقلةٍ ذات سيادة، وبالتالي إنّ رد فعلها يبقى مسألة مفروغة منها، لأنها الجهة المخولة اتخاذ ما تراه مناسباً من القرارات التي تراها تصب في مصلحة البلاد، ولأن هذا الأمر لا يخص سوى الشعب التونسي وحده، الذي يملك حق اتخاذ المتعين من دون تدخلٍ أو تأثيرٍ من أية جهاتٍ خارجيةٍ في ما يخص مستقبله السياسي، وهو ما تكفله له المواثيق والأعراف الدولية.

منذ اندلاع ما سُمي بأحداث “الربيع العربي”، لم يتورع الرئيس إردوغان المهووس والمسكون بتحقيق حلم الخلافة العثمانية البائدة عن التدخل بشتى الوسائل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول الإسلامية والعربية، سواء في منطقة الشرق الأوسط أو شمال أفريقيا، كما لو أنها ما زالت تشكل جزءاً من الإمبراطورية العثمانية التي ترامت أطرافها بين أوروبا وشمال أفريقيا.

سعت تركيا منذ اندلاع الثورة التونسية في العام 2011، التي أطاحت حكم الرئيس التونسي الراحل زين العابدين بن علي، إلى دعمها بكل الوسائل المادية واللوجستية، لمعرفتها المسبقة بأن المنطقة الإسلامية والعربية مقبلة على تحولات دراماتيكية تمس المشهد السياسي وتصب في مصلحة تيار الإسلام السياسي الذي يشكل حزب العدالة والتنمية التركي أحد روافده.

وقد سهل وجود حزب “النهضة” التونسي في سدة الحكم، توسيع مجال النفوذ السياسي والاقتصادي لتركيا إدوغان -بسبب وحدة الأيديولوجيا التي تربط بين الحزبين- من خلال الاستثمارات التركية والمبادلات التجارية بين البلدين، التي لم تكن متكافئة بين الطرفين التونسي والتركي، إذ تميل كفتها لمصلحة الأخير، بسبب رفع الصادرات التركية نحو تونس، من دون رفع صادرات الأخيرة نحو تركيا.

 وصول عجز الميزان التجاري إلى حوالى مليار دولار بين تونس وتركيا شكل عبئاً كبيراً على الاقتصاد التونسي الذي يعاني أزمات عدة، ما دفع السلطات التونسية مؤخراً إلى مراجعة كل الاتفاقيات التجارية المبرمة مع أنقرة. 

كما أن البرلمان التونسي صوت قبل سنتين على مشروع قانون ينص على فرض رسوم جمركية على 90% من السلع والبضائع التركية، ما أثار غضب نواب حركة “النهضة” التي رفضت هذا الإجراء، وانسحبت فور بدء عملية التصويت عليه، إرضاء للحليف التركي.

ويبدو أن الدافع الحقيقي وراء تصريحات الرئيس التركي تجاه تونس هو توجسه من خسارة حزب “النهضة” التونسي الانتخابات التشريعية المقبلة، وبالتالي تقهقره في المشهد السياسي التونسي، بعد أن تداعت إحدى قلاع الإسلام السياسي المتمثلة بحزب العدالة والتنمية المغربي الذي يتزعمه الأمين العام الحالي عبد الإله بن كيران، الذي مني بخسارةٍ فادحةٍ في الانتخابات التشريعية التي نظمت في أيلول/سبتمبر من العام الماضي، في ضربة جديدة لأحلام إردوغان الذي كان يمنّي النفس بحكم حزام إخواني يمتد من سوريا، مروراً بمصر، إلى دول الاتحاد المغاربي، بدعم ومساندة من التنظيم الدولي للإخوان المسلمين.

وتأسيساً على ذلك، يرى إردوغان أن هزيمة حزب “النهضة” في الانتخابات التشريعية، في حال إجرائها، ستكون ضربةً قاصمةً للنفوذ التركي في تونس، وبالتالي تقويض بنيان ما بناه الرئيس التركي طيلة سنواتٍ بتحالفٍ مع صديقه زعيم حركة “النهضة” راشد الغنوشي، الذي يرعى المصالح التركية في تونس، لأن انحسار حضور الأخير يعني عملياً تراجع، إن لم يكن أفول، نجم التأثير السياسي والاقتصادي التركي في تونس، ونهاية أحلام إردوغان في بسط سيطرته على الدول التي كانت واقعة تحت الحكم العثماني.

زد على ذلك، أن الرئيس التركي، ورغم كل ما يشهده من أزمة داخلية بسبب سياساته، يفتعل أزمة خارجية لصرف أنظار الرأي العام التركي عن الداخل. هذا السلوك إن دل على شيء، إنما يدل على أن الرئيس إردوغان أضحى يعيش أسوأ حياته السياسية.

لا شك في أن القرارات التي اتخذها الرئيس التونسي قيس سعيد منذ 25 يونيو/تمور 2021، من قبيل تجميد عمل البرلمان لمدة 30 يوماً، وإقالة رئيس الحكومة هشام المشيشي حليف حزب “النهضة”، طبقاً للمادة 80 من الدستور التونسي، إضافةً إلى العديد من الإجراءات الأخرى المصاحبة لها، أطاحت طموحات إردوغان.

ختاماً، إن الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان لم يستوعب بعد حقيقة أن عهد وصاية الباب العالي وحكم الدايات والبايات والإيالات ولى إلى غير رجعة، وأن عقارب التاريخ لا يمكن إرجاعها إلى الوراء، لأن الشعب التونسي ليس قاصراً، وهو قادر على قيادة سفينة بلاده نحو بر الأمان، من دون تدخل جهات خارجية تملي عليه ما يجب أن يفعله. لذا، يمكن القول إن تونس ليست إيالة عثمانية يا إردوغان.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

Palestinians Condemn ‘Summit of Shame’ Held in Israel

March 28, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined a meeting in the Naqab region, along with foreign ministers from Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and the UAE. (Photo: via Blinken Twitter page)

The High Follow-up Committee of the National Islamic Factions condemned on Sunday the “normalization summit” that brought the foreign ministers of Israel and Arab states together in the Naqab, the Middle East Monitor reported.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Sameh Shoukry of Egypt, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed of the UAE, Abdullatif Al-Zayani of Bahrain and Nasser Bourita of Morocco were joined at the meeting by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Speaking at a press conference in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian political groups described the summit as “the summit of shame in the occupied Naqab” and a “stab in the back” of the Palestinian people, who have been enduring “savage” Israeli attacks for more than seven decades.

The “summit of shame,” they added, was Israeli “exploitation” of the Arab states and their resources under the pretext of protection and forging a common security alliance.

“The real threat to the Arab people is the Zionist occupation,” Palestinian groups insisted. The summit, they said, was aimed at marketing the formation of an Arab-Zionist alliance as an extension to NATO.

The Palestinian factions concluded that the security, military and economic deals between Israel and the Arab states “will collapse due to the continuous Palestinian insistence on their rights and legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Arab-’Israeli’ Normalization: Is It Good or Evil?

February 25, 2022

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – The biggest step taking place between the Zionist entity and Arab countries nowadays is normalization. Several countries have normalized ties with “Israel” with the latter willing to make it official. This step might lead to a huge positive impact on the existence of the entity itself, not only politically, but also on different aspects, especially economically.

Normalization is the practice of policies or actions to treat “Israel” as a natural part of the Arab world, and to ignore the practices of the “Israelis”, both the regime and its settlers, in the extermination and displacement of Palestinians.

This practice aims to establish relations with the “Israeli” entity and to overlook “Israeli” crimes against the Palestinians without holding them responsible for these crimes.

To date, Morocco has become the sixth country – preceded by Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, Sudan and Jordan – to establish relations with “Israel” after signing agreements under US patronage. “Israeli” Prime Minister Naftaly Benet has been on several official visits and meetings with Arab leaders, with mutual promises for further deals and ties.

Some Arab leaders are seeking to secure their positions, with ties that seem beneficial for both sides, at least regarding political stability for their countries.

On the other side, signing economic deals is a top priority for the “Israeli” regime, as providing funds for settlement construction in West Bank territories is highly demand for land annexation and an increased grip for occupation.

Henceforth, to whom are the outcomes of normalization favorable?

Considering the aforementioned countries that normalized ties with “Israel”, their situation pre- and post-normalization has not changed much, if not becoming worse; as none of these countries gained full stability or improved their economic sector to better levels.

As for the “Israeli” side, normalization has contributed to the entity’s attempts to get its economy out of the current crisis. Indicators issued by “Israeli” economic institutions reflects the status of the entity’s economy.

According to data released by the “Israeli” Central Bureau of Statistics, the rate of the entity’s economic growth fell from 5% to 1% during the first half of 2019. This decline has continued over the past year with the COVID-19 outbreak and the consequent nationwide lockdown. This comes at a time when the entity is maintaining its suffocating economic blockade over the Palestinian territories and settlement projects, and may rise in pace with the expected economic recovery.

Legalizing the looting of Palestinian and Syrian national wealth by the “Israeli” occupation authorities is yet another emerging outcome of normalization.

While European countries refuse to receive any products from “Israeli” settlements in the West Bank, besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied Syrian Golan, the six Arab countries have not yet declared a clear position on this issue; not to mention the fact that the gas extracted from the Mediterranean Sea, which is exported today to Egypt and Jordan, is ultimately a stolen Palestinian wealth.

Consequently, the unfolding profits resulting from Arab-“Israeli” normalization unveils the hidden relations that have been developing years ago. The main cause for Arab leaders to take such a step is fear of sanctions being imposed on their regimes; in addition to the benefits of such a step on both their personal and national interests. However, people in different countries are calling for boycotting nearly everything related to the “Israeli” entity refusing any sort of normalized relations.

Logically, evil stands against all the ethics of humankind. To the devil, it does not matter what the results were of any tie or relation, not even when this cause represents the history of an entire Arab nation, when looting all of its wealth and land being the priority.

A battle for existence: How normalization endangers Arab heritage

21 Feb 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Lea Akil 

Normalization has many strings attached, one of which is the theft and looting of Arab heritage. How does the latter nourish the normalization process?

A battle for existence: How normalization endangers Arab heritage.

Over the years, we’ve heard the term ‘normalization’ used several times as numerous Arab states signed agreements with the occupying Israeli state. There are several questions that one can’t help but raise about normalization, Arabs, and “Israel”. What is the definition of normalization? What impact does it have on the region? What, above all, can the Zionist party gain from normalization? This treacherous agreement, signed with the blood of innocent Palestinians, is a gateway to a variety of routes, one of which is the theft of Arab heritage.
 
The boycott and rejection of normalization in our Arab countries have a long history, dating back to the early twentieth century when national, patriotic forces pushed for it in the face of colonial occupation. But the walls of boycott walls broke down as Arab states consecutively began normalizing ties with the enemy.
 
Having said that, the strategy of implementing normalization is predominantly controlled by American and European parties in conjunction with the Zionist political levels, with no mention of its cultural and religious levels, implying that the plan’s target audience is the Palestinian and Arab population. Through objective academic research systems and curricula apart from politics, the project developed an infiltration strategy to target the centers of Arab cultural immunity, which are represented by religious, cultural, and media institutions. 
 
The Zionist entity is primarily concerned with political and economic normalization, with a secondary interest in cultural normalization, in the sense that they refuse to acquire Arab culture, but at the same time aim to impose theirs. Their goal is to build a steady Western presence in the Middle East and refuse to open up to the Arab-Islamic culture of the region. However, cultural normalization is a tool utilized to encourage the Arabs to break down barriers, which paves the way for the theft of the Arab heritage.

A future away from the past

The Zionists and their allies want to eradicate the “state of perplexity” that has developed in the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim mindset about “Israel”, so that hatred turns paradoxical.

Through normalization, they intend to wash out the depths of culture and civilization, instilling twisted and dismembered truths and creating a fait accompli. They also try to discredit the realities that have formed the bedrock of Islamic culture and Arab nationalism for decades.
 
Because the dispute is entrenched in people’s knowledge, culture, collective memory, and national conscience, cultural normalization will be the determining factor in the long run. Without developing communication and cultural normalizing bridges, it’s difficult to penetrate historical, religious, and cultural normalization.
 
Hence, Zionist calls to accelerate cultural normalization with the Arab world constitute today’s greatest “challenge”, not only to the Arab and Islamic thought, but also to the Arab-Islamic conscience, values, and heritage.

Policy of penetration

A strategy adopted by the US government and Zionists exerts effort in the Arab and Islamic region to besiege the cultural environment hostile to the aforementioned entities and to eliminate any source of rejection and resistance, regardless of whether they come from the Holy Quran, Islamic heritage, or any form of Arab heritage. That said, the process of politicizing art, culture, and thought through regional or international festivals, which include the Zionist entity, is essential to them.
 
International festivals such as film, theater, poetry, sports, and literature cram any opportunity for communication between Zionists, Arabs, and Palestinians into the activities of the festivals and punish any party that boycotts so, also denying states against normalization the right to host these international festivals. 
 
Moreover, the Zionists can apply the policy of penetration by adopting a cordoning off policy to prevent anti-normalization groups from reaching media outlets and deprive them of international funding prospects, using the private and foreign media to promote normalization programs, suppress counter-media outlets, and influence attitudes toward symbols and ideals through indirect psychological influence, not to mention including the youth and women’s sectors as a target by using the presence of creative and cultural elites in order to normalize a reluctant or neutral discourse.

Why steal the Arab heritage?

The Jews faced a civilization shock and cultural crises at the beginning of their migration to the Palestinian territories, where they found a deep gap between reality and the dreams that the Zionist leaders planted in their minds. They had convinced them of the comfortable life that they would live in the “land of the fathers and grandfathers,” according to their claim.
 
The Land of “Israel” Research Association, which was created by the Zionist movement, was built after occupation forces seized the Palestinian National Museum in 1967, changed its name, and stole over a million pieces of Palestinian antiquities, claiming ownership and fabricating a false history for themselves, marking the beginning of heritage looting and cultural cleansing. 

Earlier in history, in order to legitimize their so-called “state”, the occupied lands witnessed a flow of Jewish immigrants flocking to the region, Zionists looting Arab heritage, and now normalization agreements that attempt to give the occupation an “organic placement” in the region – how else would the occupation continue to stand? 

Heritage looting

The Zionist enemy’s insistence on normalization, particularly in the cultural field, stems from its recognition that this field is qualified and capable of polluting the Arab thought and heritage, injecting distorted concepts and perceptions of its values, principles, and “national character,” among other things.

The sword of history

One way the Zionists chose to penetrate the Arab heritage is through literature and education. Why you might ask. How can literature and education help the Zionist project through normalization? Simple, what better way to normalize its presence other than rewriting history and leaving out any anti-Zionist teachings? 
 
In 1948, after the Israeli occupation used coercion to capture Palestinian lands, claiming that it had a historical and religious right to the territory, it made up several claims and evidence to justify its claim, but history has always exposed the Israeli falsehoods and deception. As such, re-writing history in Arab books is a weapon for the Zionist entity. 
 
The Arab world’s history can be re-written by falsifying various historical facts and axioms relating to the colonial settlement strategy that forced the Zionist entity into the Arab world, where the Israeli entity was founded.
 
Since most Arab schools include an anti-Zionist curriculum, which teaches students about the occupation of Palestine and the Zionist ideology, another way to penetrate the Arab world and influence its heritage is by abandoning anti-Zionist literature, documents, and writings, including those found in some holy books such as the Holy Quran. As one of the most important features of the structural elements of the Arab mentality, “Israel’s” scientific efforts to monitor, document, and analyze Islamic beliefs that impact the battle with Zionism are one of the most prominent aspects of Arab thought. 
 
Through the normalization agreements, the Zionist campaign was able to become a scientific reference for the entire region through universities and research centers that lay down the groundwork for the Zionist project, which aims to destroy the cultural and civilizational identity of the entire Arab region.

Emirati-Israeli joint agreement 

After the United Arab Emirates normalized ties with “Israel” in 2020, along with Bahrain, the Emirates signed a joint educational agreement with “Israel”. The memorandum aims to facilitate “cultural exchanges” between Emirati and Israeli students in general, as well as higher, technical, and vocational education. Cooperating in education is a strong Zionist tool to eliminate anti-Zionist education.
 
Furthermore, some Emirati textbooks are starting to include lessons that promote co-existence. The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has released research that looked at 220 Arabic-language textbooks from the UAE’s national curriculum that were printed between 2016 and 2021. Peacemaking was “by far” the top priority discussed in the textbooks reviewed, according to IMPACT-se.

According to the study, the books “promote patriotism, anti-radicalism, devotion to defending the homeland, and cooperating with friends,” as well as “provide a realistic approach to peace and security.”

Morrocan-Israeli joint agreement 

Additionally, after Morocco signed the normalization agreement with “Israel”, both parties also signed a joint agreement to “honor the Jewish past in Morocco,” which includes the teaching of Moroccan “Jewish heritage” in several schools. 

A newspaper said this agreement is not only a dedication to honor the Jewish past in Morocco but also to ironically create a future of “harmony and tolerance for all future generations.”

“A $1.5 million center dedicated to Jewish culture has been built in Essaouira, and now with the signing of this special Memorandum of Understanding agreement, a future of harmony and tolerance can be created for all future generations!” said Deputy US State Department envoy, Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism, Elie Cohanim. 

Israeli National Library 

In 2012, the European Union financed a digitizing project for several rare Arabic books and manuscripts at the Zionist Library. In view of recent political changes in the region, the dangers of these scientific and research programs have increased. New normalization agreements between the Zionist entity and several Arab and Islamic countries are frequently followed by cultural, heritage, and scientific research understandings and cooperation.
 
That is how the Arabic-speaking Israeli library has become one of the Israeli occupation government’s most effective tools for reaching out to the Arab community in their mother tongue.
 
However, it goes without saying that the library is made from books looted by the Israeli government during the Palestinian Nakba. Tens of thousands of books were stolen from Palestinian homes under the supervision of the Israeli army and custodians of the Israeli National Library. In fact, the Nakba was considered a period that culturally destroyed Palestine, being the first attempt at heritage looting. 
 
It is worth noting that, according to United Nations conventions, trafficking in cultural heritage is prohibited, and cultural heritage treasures, whatever they might be, should be returned to their home country if they were smuggled.

Colonizing the Arab kitchen

Heritage looting doesn’t stop at literature, history, and education; it also includes the Arab taste and cuisines. Before the Nakba, there was no such thing as an “Israeli Cuisine”, so the occupation chose not only to occupy the Palestinian lands but also to steal their cuisine and many other Arab cuisines in order to enrich their so-called culture, which, in return, could legitimize them before the international community. 
 
In 2016, the Israeli airline El Al Airlines published a tweet, which sparked a lot of controversies and drew attention to “Israel’s” theft of Arab popular food and attributing it to itself. The tweet was: “What Israeli food do you like most: Hummus, Falafel, Shakshuka or Shawarma Rolls?” Needless to mention that all these are traditional Arab dishes. 

In fact, falafel comes from the Egyptian kitchen, hummus (chickpeas) is a part of the Lebanese cuisine, shakshuka is Palestinian, and shawarma originates from Syria. Arabs, on their part, assert that Israeli adoption of their food is a part of a broader effort to minimize, if not erase, the Arab national identity.
 
Falsifying the connection of Arab cuisines to Israeli history is a political step by the occupation entity to send a brotherly message to the Arab region, which it aims to completely normalize ties with. 

Read more: Dubai Expo; A Journey to What Future?

In one instance, Dubai TV hosted an Israeli chef to “talk about the Israeli cuisine” in a segment to explore the global cuisines of countries represented at Expo 2020, which is now taking place in Dubai. After normalizing with “Israel”, the UAE is now nourishing “Israel’s” heritage looting that “Israel” itself has been practicing for years. 
 
The show sparked a wave of anger on social media for being complicit with the Israeli narrative and promoting parts of the Palestinian and Arab culture as Israeli, denying them ownership of prominent parts of their heritage, culture, and history. 

Colonizing arts

“Israel” is considered stagnant in the field of arts, with no historical and cultural background whatsoever. That is why the occupation chose to loot many Arabic, specifically Egyptian, songs by turning them into Hebrew.
 
Some songs were taken from famous singers such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Ahmed Adawiya, Umm Khulthum, Lebanese singer Fairouz, and some modern singers such as Lebanese singer Elissa. The stolen melodies give the Israeli music a sense of belonging to the region, which pushes its normalization further into the region. 

On the other hand, for the first time last year, Miss Universe contestants from the UAE took part in the pageant, and Morocco took part for the first time in 40 years, after the ratification of normalization agreements between their country and “Israel”. 
 
The 70th Miss Universe pageant took place in occupied Palestine at the occupied city of Eilat (Um Al-Rashrash). The announcement sparked a wave of calls for a boycott of the competition’s location.
 
In light of the string of regional normalization agreements, the Israeli strategy has become focused on lending itself a sense of “organic placement” within the region through rapid ill-devised policies of faux-cultural and diplomatic rapprochements.

Read more: Bloody Crystals: An Israeli Attempt to Hide the Corpses

Diarna; cultural cleansing 

Diarna (Our Homes) is a non-profit organization based in the United States, founded in 2008 by the Executive Director of the American Sephardic Federation, Jason Guberman, which allegedly aims at “preserving the Jewish heritage in the Arab countries,” but a deeper look into its activities reveals an insidious agenda.

In 2010, Diarna began using the latest 3D digital mapping techniques, along with traditional studies and oral interviews, to document more than 2,500 alleged Jewish sites in the Middle East and North Africa, including Morocco, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, one of the undeclared goals of this organization is claiming these sites as their own. Hence, attempting to steal parts of Arab heritage. 

After the string of normalization agreements, “Israel” could be waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to normalize relations next. If so, how does that feed the Zionist project in the region? 

By following the organization’s plans and its relations with the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Muhammad bin Abdul Karim bin Abdulaziz al-Issa, we can easily realize that there is a special focus on certain regions in Saudi Arabia.

According to the leaked maps, the project targets the Tiran Island, in addition to the Jabal Tiran and Wadi Al-Yahud project in Khaybar, the Samwal Palace in Tayma, and Al-Baqi cemetery, the Kaab bin al-Ashraf fortress, and al-Seih neighborhood in Medina, as well as the city of Abu Arbash in Jazan and the city of Najran in the south. 

No future without the past

The essence of normalization with “Israel” is to bring about change to the Arab and Islamic world, beginning with the recognition of “Israel” as the “promised Jewish state” in the region and reaching the restriction of the military capabilities of the Arab world and changing its political beliefs, as well as the region’s overall attitude toward this entity. 

Hence, normalization in itself paves the way to fulfilling the Zionist agenda and goal in the region, considering the different tools to use in order to properly implement their process and plan. “Israel” aims to maintain a military and economic power in the region, but it can only do so by being recognized in the region, which is already happening. But where did this entity come from and why should it belong in the region? A question every anti-Zionist would answer, but some Arabs chose not to. 

Cultural normalization and heritage looting helped in whitewashing the Israeli crimes in occupied Palestine and “warmly welcoming” the occupation in the region. Now you might wonder, how are the normalizing Arab states able to accept cooperating with an occupation government that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions over the years?

After “Israel” was able to whitewash its image in front of some Arab states, it took a few steps closer to fulfilling the Zionist dream, which requires more looting of Arab heritage. By normalizing ties and colliding with the Arab culture in the normalizing states, the Arab heritage is in danger. 

However, the Arab heritage will not fade from the resilient honorable states that till today have not abandoned the Palestinian cause and have stood in solidarity with the Palestinian martyrs and people. The norm should be that there is no place for normalization in the Middle East because there is nothing normal about the occupation.

Parasite in action: How ‘Israel’ exploits normalizing Arab states?

February 17, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Ali Jezzini

“Israel” not only benefits more its security relations with normalizing Arab countries but ends exploiting these relations and causing damage to the security interests of the country in question.

According to the “peace treaty of 1979” between Egypt and “Israel”, the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian land, shall be divided into 4 zones, 3 of them extending on Egyptian soil

It is rare to find in the Israeli literature a concept that influenced the formation and fate of the Zionist project on the land of Palestine, as did the Iron Wall concept created by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who was a Russian-born Zionist. Jabotinsky is one of the first theorists of the so-called “Zionist Right-wing”. The concept does not mean physically building a wall of iron around occupied Palestine; instead, it invasions a wall that must depend mainly on forming a potent military organization on one hand, and creating an illusory psychological wall in the mind of the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular on the other hand.

The stones of this imaginary wall are ought to be made of Arab despair and frustration, according to Jabotinsky. While sometimes military defeats can contribute to Israeli plans of building such a wall, forcing normalization on Arab people does create the same effect. 

The wall in that regard is not just a mere protective barrier for the Israeli settlers, but a gateway to achieving Israeli colonial interests in the region. Not only do these interests go – naturally – against those who oppose the Israeli project but also against its supposed allies who expected to reap benefits from such actions, especially in the security sector. In this case, the Israeli alleged superiority in the military, as well as its advancement in the security technology domain, becomes a burden rather than a benefit to the normalizer. 

How come?

Egypt, when it all started

Map of the “1979 peace treaty” between “Israel” and Egypt (source: Palestineinarabic.com)

Perhaps the most significant setback of the Arab struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestine was when Anwar Al-Sadat decided to turn his back on his Arab and Palestinian brethren and on what Jamal Abdel Nasser had accumulated for a noble prize and a fistful of nothing in exchange for “peace”.

While a colleague’s article had previously discussed the negative economic and political aspects that accompanied such an action made by Sadat, this article will focus on the security aspects.

According to the “peace treaty of 1979” between Egypt and “Israel”, the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian land, shall be divided into 4 zones, 3 of them extending on Egyptian soil while only one in occupied Palestine. In Zone A, Egypt shall maintain no more than one mechanized division of its army numbering no more than 22,000 soldiers. In Zone B, no more than 4 infantry battalions shall be deployed to support the local police, in military terms, meaning no more than 2000 soldiers for such a huge swath of Egyptian land. In Zone C, only local police are allowed inside this area and UN peacekeepers (they were not sent later on due to fear of Soviet veto).

On the other hand, despite Israeli military superiority, they were allowed to keep 4 infantry battalions, in a land strip extending parallel to the borders – its width is only a few Kilometers in contrast to the Egyptian tens of kilometers wide multiple zones. Without the need for an explanation, the treaty obviously limits Egypt’s sovereignty over a huge part of its lands, as any further deployment of Egyptian forces needs to be discussed thoroughly with the Israeli side before receiving an approval that might not come.

Starting from 2011, an insurgency launched by ISIS militants left more than a thousand deaths for the Egyptian army as well as more than 1500 civilians. Despite the fighting receding in the last few years, the insurgency wreaked havoc on the already poor Egyptian region, with the Egyptian army failing to take action since only local police were available at zone C. The militants knew that pretty well and made every use of it.

“Israel” allowed Egypt to send a limited number of troops on occasions to chase the terrorists from one zone to the adjacent one. The New York Times even claims that Israeli warplanes conducted raids inside the Eygptian national territories with Egypt’s consent on some occasions. Spokespersons for both the Israeli and Egyptian militaries declined to comment on such a claim. “Israel” says it allegedly allows Egypt to send forces based on the security needs of the latter, but still tangible results could have been different and many Egyptian soldiers coming from the least able social classes of Egypt would be still alive if it were not for the “peace agreement.”

A poison dealer: ‘Israel’ with Morocco 

On November 24, “Israel” and Morocco inked a “historic security pact“. The MoU, signed by Israeli security minister Benny Gantz and Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi, is said to be aimed at “collaboration and strengthening Israeli-Moroccan relations.” That MoU comes after both parties signed a cooperation agreement with Morocco, the first of its kind in the cyber security domain since the normalization of ties between Morocco and the Israeli occupation in 2019.

Morocco is also buying a new set of Israeli-made weapons and military hardware believing that it would increase its security, namely to counter Algeria. Several media reports, including those published before Gantz’s, detailed the Israeli-Moroccan arms sales. According to The Jerusalem Post Israeli newspaper, the Moroccan army is now deploying three Heron unmanned aircraft made by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), which were obtained through a French business to avoid any link with “Israel.”

Israeli made Heron drone

Morocco is also operating smaller drones purchased from the Israeli company BlueBird. Moroccan security forces got unmanned patrol vehicles from Robotim, an Israeli company that is partly owned by Elbit. Morocco has also purchased anti-drone systems from “Israel’s” Avnon company, which are built by Skylock.

According to Israeli media, Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide advanced air defense and anti-missile defense systems to Morocco as part of a $500 million deal. IAI will offer the Barak MX system, which uses surface-to-air (SAM) missiles to intercept all types of aircraft and missiles. According to Israeli Channel 12, the contract began with Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz’s travel to Morocco in late 2021.

Barak MX Israeli missile system

While all these systems can considerably increase the military capabilities of the Western equipped Moroccan armed forces, a problem arises when discussing military topics usually, since weapons are usually bought with the intention of pointing them in the direction of someone at one point, namely Algeria, whose stagnating relations with Morocco suffered even more after the latter’s normalization with the Israeli occupation. 

Algeria, an Arab state that never ceased to stand by the Arab and Palestinian cause, already announced that it finds itself targeted by Gantz’s visit in November, as well as by the increasing Israeli military support to its neighbor. Algeria faces even more challenges along its 1,427 km border with Morocco since “Israel” is increasing its intelligence presence in the latter, an action that Algeria is probably not going to tolerate as it threatens its national security.

The two North African countries share strong ties at all levels, as even some of them treat each other as one community and one people. Opening a gateway to the Israeli presence in the region is only going to increase the threat of an escalation between Algeria and Morocco. Whose interests such an escalation might serve? Most probably foreign powers that will seek to exploit such events to have a firmer foothold in the region, namely the European Ex-colonial powers.

A castle of glass: “Israel” and UAE

“Israel” did not wait long before it tried to exploit the war on Yemen, Naftali Bennet, the Israeli PM offered the UAE “security and intelligence support” after the Ansar Allah retaliatory attack on facilities in Abu Dhabi. According to The Times of Israel“Israel” even offered the UAE to export its “battle-tested” system, namely the Iron Dome, except that the system won’t only be to protect the UAE from Yemeni retaliatory attacks, but its radar system, the EL/M-2084, can be also used as an early warning system against Iran.

EL/M-2084 Iron Dome system radar

On January 31, some Israeli media even said that the UAE is “Israel’s” front in the Gulf region, adding that “If detection and warning systems are deployed in the UAE, they will be a cornerstone for a regional air defense system.” Israeli security minister Benny Gantz said that “Israel has a huge opportunity if it is able to sell the UAE detection and warning systems,” adding that if such systems were deployed in the UAE, they would detect any attack from the South (Yemen) and the East (Iran), “And this would be a cornerstone for a regional air defense system.”

The previously mentioned  EL/M-2084 radar system is a short-range radar system if compared to its bigger brother the EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar that possesses a greater potential to spot heavy ballistic targets, relaying information directly to the Israelis via data link.

EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar

On February the second, The UAE reached out to the Israeli Security Ministry through its embassy in “Tel Aviv” to explore how a formal request for delivering an advanced Israeli radar to Abu Dhabi would be received. The Green Pine Radar, according to its manufacturer, Elta, a subsidiary of “Israel Aerospace Industries,” will be able to detect and track dozens of missiles at vast ranges. The ELM-2090s, a more sophisticated version of the Green Pine, is said to be of interest to the UAE.

Such acquisition might prove destructive to UAE’s security, why is that?

Despite the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna with Iran, “Israel” has hinted several times about it being ready to “act alone” regarding the Iranian nuclear program, hence conducting a military strike. The problem with that rhetoric is that it is almost impossible to conduct such a complex and resources intensive operation alone, not only due to the Iranian active and passive defense systems but also because of the retaliatory second-strike capability that Iran possesses. Iran has a large and advanced arsenal of ballistic missiles aimed at “Israel,” deterring the Israeli occupation from conducting such non-calculated moves.

Early warning systems and radars in the UAE, can grant “Israel” a wider time frame between the launch time of a supposed retaliatory second strike and the moment they hit. The curvature of the earth prevents radar systems from over-the-horizon spotting of such missiles at the time of launch in Iran, which added to the land distance that degrades the effectiveness of radars, limits Israeli capabilities. So deploying a radar system in the UAE would address these security concerns right?

Radar horizon explained

The problem with deploying Israeli radar systems and early warning systems is not only that these systems can push the other party to target such systems that degrade the ongoing deterrence, but also put the UAE facilities hosting such systems in the crosshairs of any legitimate response.

After many years of avoiding confrontation with Iran, the UAE just painted a bull’s eye on its military facilities hosting Israeli manpower and hardware if any escalation is to happen in the future. How does is that supposed to provide more security to the fragile, foreign investment and tourism-dependent Emirate? 

Read: How normalization with “Israel” assassinated Egypt’s economy 

America builds military bases around the world. China builds economic ones

7 Jan, 2022 

By Tom Fowdy

Source

Morocco is a strategically important North African country that sits at a crossroads between multiple regions of the world. To its immediate north is the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean Sea. To the south and east is the rest of the African continent, and to the west is the vast Atlantic Ocean and the Americas.

This advantageous position has been noted in Beijing, and so it’s no surprise that in one of China’s first diplomatic engagements of 2022, Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), signed a deepened Belt and Road Initiative cooperation plan with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

While Morocco has been a formal member of the BRI since 2017, the cooperation plan is a more specific roadmap which, according to the Global Times, “will further deepen practical cooperation in a variety of fields, including infrastructure construction, logistics, trade, investment, agriculture, fishing and other fields, while further promoting the BRI construction with already signed economic and strategic plans.” Some news outlets have described this agreement as a “strategic partnership,” with the clear implication that Morocco’s importance to China is growing in significance.

Morocco offers an opportunity for China to increase its economic footprint and clout in Europe and the Mediterranean – without the political liability of actually being in Europe. Since the BRI was created, China has eyed the wider Mediterranean region as a particular area of interest where it can extend its influence on the continent.

This has included the acquisition of Piraeus port in Greece, the construction of the Serbia-Hungary railway (linking the Balkans with Central Europe), the building of Haifa port in Israel – a deal the US failed to block – and the incorporation of Italy into the BRI in 2019.

However, China’s attempts to expand the BRI further into Europe have run into difficulties. Even though Beijing acquired a deeper stake in Piraeus port late last year, political tensions have seen Chinese state-led investment in Europe stall.

n Rome, Mario Draghi, who became Italian prime minister in February last year, has taken a dimmer view of Chinese investment and vetoed a number of takeovers of local companies. While he has not pulled Italy out of the BRI, his Eurocentric foreign policy philosophy means any attempt by Beijing to invest deeper in the country on strategic infrastructure is likely to be rebuffed. This means China needs a new strategic gateway to expand its reach into Europe.

In late 2021, as the geopolitical situation continued to evolve, we saw a new pattern in China’s foreign policy strategy, whereby it began to focus on the BRI in countries it had not previously been affording much attention to, notably Cuba and Eritrea.

Whilst Morocco is not a state currently opposed by the United States – it’s actually in America’s good books, given its normalization of relations with Israel – deeper incorporation into the BRI follows the pattern of China cementing its ties with non-Western nations with greater strategic ambition and less hesitation.

Rabat is an important partner for China. Morocco embraced Huawei 5G, was one of the first countries in the world to get ahead on Covid vaccinations due to Sinopharm, and supported China’s position on alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang at the United Nations.

This shows the relationship is a multi-faceted one – not just commercial, but politically minded too. As a post-colonial African state, Morocco shares China’s outlook on national sovereignty and non-interference, which is a useful hedge against the West. And so Morocco has no qualms about inviting China to expand its footprint there without political pushback, on the premise its own affairs are respected.

As Morocco is such a politically reliable partner, China envisages the country to be the Western link of its Mediterranean strategy – a platform from which to export goods and services into Europe (in particular Spain, Portugal, France, Italy) and even perhaps, more ambitiously, onwards to the Americas.

As an example of what this might entail, using examples from other BRI projects, it could see the building of logistics infrastructure such as warehouses to host and distribute air freight, as was seen when Alibaba partnered with Ethiopian Air to create a cold chain vaccine supply line to Africa.

It may also involve constructing new sea and air ports to make it easier to move goods in and out of the country. One can imagine Morocco becoming a regional hub for in-bound Chinese trade and a launchpad for the wider region – something that would bring money to the country and not constitute a so-called “debt trap,” which is an accusation often levelled at the BRI by detractors.

The strategic consequence of this could potentially be the deepening of Europe’s commercial links to China, which Beijing is determined to achieve despite American pressure and competition. In the process of pursuing this, it has been effectively building around the continent to entrench its commercial interests.

Having established its presence firmly in the Southern Balkans and Greece, China has deepened its partnerships with non-EU and non-NATO countries in Eastern Europe – such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia – and has now opened up a new frontier in North Africa. Unlike America’s focus on its military presence across the world, with its 750 bases in more than 80 countries, these strategic hedges and BRI projects are not designed to pursue hegemony, but to maintain its growth trajectory in a changing world.

Hamas Can Now Hit All ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian Territories – Senior Leader

Dec 16 2021

By Staff, Agencies

A co-founder of Hamas said the Palestinian movement can hit all ‘Israeli’-occupied territories as it has become much stronger since it was formed in 1987.

“Hamas started from scratch and confronted the enemy with stones, and today, it possesses capabilities that threaten all the occupied territories,” Mahmoud al-Zahar told Yemen’s al-Masirah network on Wednesday.

He further described the ongoing war with the ‘Israeli’ regime as open-ended, saying the latest military exercise by Hamas’s armed wing affirms the resistance movement’s readiness to confront the Zionist entity and proves its steadfastness in defending occupied al-Quds and the al-Aqsa mosque.

Marking the 34th anniversary of Hamas’s foundation, the Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, the resistance movement’s military wing, launched a military exercise dubbed “Shield of al-Quds” in the ‘Israeli’-besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

The exercise, according to Hamas, was intended to inform ‘Israel’ that the resistance is fully prepared “in case they think of doing something foolish” in the besieged Gaza strip.

Elsewhere in his remarks, al-Zahar said the new Zionist cabinet wanted to convey the impression that it was tougher on Palestinians in order to gain the support of the ‘Israeli’ settlers.

He added that the Arab countries standing with Palestine had been similarly harmed by the ‘Israeli’ regime, while some other Arab countries had been completely drawn into the normalization project.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain unashamedly signed US-brokered normalization agreements with the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity in an event in Washington in September 2020. Sudan and Morocco followed suit later that year.

On Monday, Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met the UAE’s de facto ruler in Abu Dhabi, becoming the first ‘Israeli’ regime leader to publicly visit the Gulf state. The normalization attempts have been strongly denounced by Palestinians as an act of betrayal.

Shield of Jerusalem’: Qassam Brigades Release Photos of Latest Military Drills (PHOTOS)

December 16, 2021

Al-Qassam Brigades train in Gaza. (Photos made available to local media by the Media Unit of Al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In these photos, released by the media unit of Hamas’al-Qassam military Brigades, Qassam fighters undergo intense military training in an unknown site in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Today’s drills are part of a larger training effort under the name of ‘Shield of Jerusalem’, carried out by al-Qassam and other Gaza-based resistance groups in anticipation of a future Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Gaza, a home for nearly two million Palestinians, mostly refugees, has been under hermetic Israeli siege since the democratic elections held in Palestine in January 2006. Since then, Israel has launched several wars on the Strip, killing thousands of people and injuring many more. 

Throughout the years, Gaza’s resistance against Israel has intensified and was progressively strengthened as demonstrated in the last war of May 10.

(All Photos: Made available to local media by the Media Unit of Al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza)

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BDS Movement: “If we abandon Palestine, we abandon ourselves”

December 7, 2021

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Ahmad Karakira

Amid the shameful wave of normalization with the Israeli occupation and the Arab failure to support the Palestinian cause in favor of the US and “Israel,” the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement has proven to be effective.

Boycotting is one form of resistance against the Israeli occupation, but is not and should not be an alternative to armed resistance

On November 25th, after a struggle with cancer, passionate writer and activist Samah Idris passed away. Idris dedicated his life to Palestine and the struggle against normalization with the occupation. He was editor-in-chief of the prominent Al Adab literary magazine from 1992 onward.

Idris was one of the founders of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon after the Jenin massacre in 2002, and played a leading role in furthering the movement’s influence.

He had a strong commitment to Palestine and its cause, which he used as a compass in his battle.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen English, he said, “Lebanon condemns the Israeli occupation which violates universal principles and the right of people to self-governance.”

Even in his final days before his untimely death, Idris continued to denounce those who normalize ties with the occupation as he fought to expose the occupations’ atrocities.

The revolutionary’s death comes amid a shameful recent normalization wave by several Arab countries with “Israel,” the newest of which is the visit of the occupations’ Security Minister Benny Gantz to Morocco.

The visit witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on security cooperation between the two sides, deeming the Moroccan regime as a partner in oppressing Palestinians and betraying the Palestinian cause, and ignoring the history of Moroccan revolutionaries and resistance leaders such as Abdelkarim al-Khattabi who fought against Spanish and French colonialism. 

Morocco is the fourth Arab country, following the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan, to have normalized ties with the Israeli occupation under Washington’s sponsorship.

Originally, in 1945, the Arab League issued a decree to officially boycott Israeli companies and goods in support of Palestine, forcing Arab citizens and companies of an Arab League member to boycott any ties with “Israel.”

Unsurprisingly, the US Congress passed laws in 1977 criminalizing US companies that comply with the Arab boycotting bodies.

However, as a result of Western pressure, several Arab countries have abandoned the boycotting movement and normalized ties with the Israeli occupation.

Therefore, the more the normalization ties increase, the more the work of the BDS movement becomes crucial.

Sally Rooney under attack

A few days ago, some 70 prominent authors, poets, and playwrights have signed a letter of endorsement in support of Irish author Sally Rooney’s decision to prevent Israeli publishing house “Modan” from translating her latest work, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” into Hebrew.

Rooney indicated that her decision is part of a cultural boycott over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

She said she “did not feel it would be right” to accept a contract with an Israeli company “that does not publicly distance itself from the apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.”

Citing human rights reports, Rooney pointed out that “Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets the definition of apartheid under international law.”

The author confirmed she supports the “Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS)” movement targeting “complicit” firms and institutions “in response to the apartheid system and other grave human rights violations.”

Rooney explained that the BDS movement is “modeled on the economic and cultural boycott that helped to end apartheid in South Africa.”

Boycotting origins in Palestine

Since the 1920s, Palestinians have mastered boycotting as a way of resisting the British mandate and the Zionist colonization, and in 1936, they organized a huge six-month strike in protest of the British support for Zionism.

In addition, the Resistance factions launched a popular boycott of Israeli products during the first Intifada (1987-1992), which led to a dynamic plunge in Israeli exports.

When all UN resolutions failed to stop “Israel” from violating international laws and continuing its crimes against Palestinian people and land, 170 different Palestinian bodies first launched the BDS movement in 2005. 

The BDS movement website wrote, “Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure ‘Israel’ to comply with international law.”

In an aim to withdraw apartheid in South Africa, several activists, organizations, unions, and politicians pressured the apartheid South African regime through heavy lobbying, isolation, and product boycotting worldwide as a form of achieving liberation. The boycott movement cost the racist regime a great loss and isolation from international events and markets by the demand of many Europeans.

As a result, post-apartheid South Africa has supported the Palestinian cause since the two sides established formal diplomatic relations in 1995, a year after the end of the apartheid regime. South Africa also reduced its diplomatic representation in the so-called “Tel Aviv” in 2019 and withdrew its ambassador.

It is noteworthy that the boycotting movement has been historically used to end oppression, such as Ghandi’s Indian Salt March in 1930 and African Americans’ famous Montgomery Bus Boycott in late 1955. Unlike BDS, these movements are celebrated without being described as “anti-Semitic.”

Its success and effect

“BDS aims to end international support for Israeli violations of international law by forcing companies, institutions, and governments to change their policies. As Israeli companies and institutions become isolated, ‘Israel’ will find it more difficult to oppress Palestinians,” explains the BDS movement.

So far, BDS has achieved several victories against the Israeli occupation on many levels, which led “Israel” to dedicate resources, including money, government staff, and security services to undermine BDS and threaten its activists.

Culturally, thousands of artists, famous of which is Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters from legendary rock band Pink Floyd, have declined to perform in “Israel” as a result of BDS calls and is even an ardent supporter of the movement.

In addition, various academic institutions and unions in the US, Canada, South Africa, and the UK have announced their support for Palestine and the movement.

After respecting the choice of boycotting, renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking withdrew from the Israeli Presidential Conference. Also, after a visit to Palestine, the famous Black activist and academic, Angela Davis, expressed that she “unequivocally endorses the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign.”

Most recently, the South African government announced that it has “withdrawn its support” from the current Miss South Africa (SA) pageant due to fruitless attempts to persuade the pageant to reconsider its plan to participate in the Miss Universe event, which is set to take place in “Israel.”

Economically, a UN report showed that BDS was a major cause of a 46% drop in foreign direct investment in “Israel” in 2014, while the world bank mentioned that the movement resulted in a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from the occupied lands, according to the movement. Moreover, the Israeli occupation government and the Rand Corporation published reports that predict that BDS will cost “Israel” billions of dollars, which it did.

How “Israel” is fighting BDS

Proving to be effective, “Israel’s” policies against BDS and pressure on EU and US have proven the efficiency of the movement and the extent of loss it has caused to the occupation. 

The Zionist lobby worldwide and pro-“Israel” groups have urged governments such as France, Canada, the US, UK to criminalize BDS.

Last but not least, it is important to mention that the BDS movement is one form of resistance out of many against the Israeli occupation, amid the shameful wave of normalization with the Israeli occupation and the Arab failure to support the Palestinian cause in favor of the US and “Israel.”

However, boycotting is not and should not be an alternative to armed resistance as the late Samah Idriss affirmed, “We believe there is no other way to communicate with the Israeli occupation except through boycotting and armed resistance, and nothing else.”

Idris is no longer with us, but his memory will live in the hearts and minds of all the supporters of the Palestinian cause.

International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People Celebrated in Climate of Betrayal, Harrowing Violence

Dec 3, 2021

Since the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) to partition Palestine into two separate

Source: Al Mayadeen

Hana Saada

After 74 years of the unjust division of the Palestinian land, the UNGA and the UNSC continue to refrain from taking any solid actions in the interest of the Palestinian people and their cause, on that regard, the declaration of the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine appears to be a mere voice act that does not contribute to improving the situation of this people.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was celebrated, on Monday, in a context marked by harrowing crimes committed by the Zionist regime, the intensification of the Zionist settlement operations in Palestine, and the persistent blockage of the peace process, exacerbated by the normalization of relations between the Zionist entity and some Arab countries, dubbed as a betrayal to the Palestinian cause.

Monday, 29 November 2021 marks the 44th observance of the United Nations (UN) International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In 1977, the United Nations selected the date of November 29 for the celebration of the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”. This date, given its significance and importance to the Palestinian people, is based on the UN General Assembly’s call for the annual celebration of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

Adopted on November 29, 1947, this resolution is intended to create Arab and Jewish states in this ‘disputed territory’. Since then, the Palestinian people continue to lose territory to the Zionists, while the living conditions of the Palestinians have deteriorated more and more amid poverty, denial of fundamental freedoms through the systemic discrimination and subjugation, forcible evictions, and demolition orders of Palestinian property in the neighborhoods of Sheik Jarrah and Silwan. This culminated, more recently, in spurring violence that claimed the lives of innocent women, children, and the elderly during the 11-day offensive on the Gaza Strip that began on May 10, amounting to war crimes. There was a deliberate intention by the Zionist occupation forces to inflict more casualties among the civilians to push the Palestinian people to accept the existence of the Zionist Entity.

A total of 243 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed during the Zionist attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10. Clashes erupted, on May 13, across the occupied territories because of the Zionists’ attacks and restrictions on Palestinians in the Eastern part of Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as a Zionist court’s decision to evict 12 Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Zionist settlers.

The decision on the forced displacement is itself, a war crime and aggression against humanity, transforming the Zionist judiciary into a barbaric tool to pass racist Zionist expansion agendas to the detriment of the Palestinian civilians.

The tension moved to Gaza on May 10, leading to a military confrontation between the Zionist forces and the Palestinian resistance groups, where the Zionist warplanes have caused an unprecedented scale of destruction in the Palestinian homes and infrastructure.

Palestinians are also victims of repeated military attacks, claiming the lives of several innocent civilians (men, women, and children), especially in the Gaza strip, which has been under a strict blockade for 15 years.

The Zionists are committing violations against worshipers in Al-Quds “Jerusalem” by preventing them from accessing places of worship, at the top of which, Al-Aqsa Mosque, the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims, resorting to an excessive force against them in a way that threatens their lives and most likely leads to death. In the holy month of Ramadan, at least 305 people sustained varying injuries as the Zionists stormed the Esplanade of Mosques in East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by Jewish settlers.

The Zionist Entity is committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Arabs in the occupied territories, with a view to maintaining the domination by Jewish Zionists over Palestinians.

The Zionist regime has become the sole governing power alongside extremely-limited Palestinian self-rule, where the Zionists are methodically highly-privileged, while Palestinians have been dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas… these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

Noting that the Apartheid system was a policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid defines apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group and systematically oppressing them”. The 1998 Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopts a similar definition.

For its part, Human Rights Watch’s 213-page report, entitled: “A Threshold Crossed,” states that Palestinians are suffering from the Apartheid; 

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director.

“These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People marks the recognition of historic injustice suffered by the valiant Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to recover their stolen rights. It has traditionally constituted an opportunity to recall the Palestinian cause that has not yet been resolved, as well as the sufferings of the Palestinian people who have not yet recovered their inalienable and immutable rights as defined by the General Assembly (GA), namely; the right to independence and national sovereignty, and the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and recover their properties.

This year, the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes at a time when the Palestinian cause has experienced a dangerous slippage, marked by the signing, at the end of 2020, of “normalization agreements” between the Zionist entity and four Arab countries.

The Palestinian cause taken hostage:

In 2020, a watershed year for the Zionists’ diplomatic integration into the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco have normalized their relations with the Zionist entity, within the framework of the “Abraham Accords”.

This is a political error, a betrayal of Al-Quds, al-Aqsa mosque and the Palestinian cause, and a stab in the back of the Palestinians. For the latter, such normalization with the Zionist Entity encourages the occupation forces to commit more violations against the Palestinian people, paving the way for more aggressive war and the expansion of Zionism, Judaization, and colonization of Palestinian land.


It is in this wake that a vast outpouring of international solidarity with the Palestinian people was launched, in particular, in countries that have normalized their relations with the Zionist entity through demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests against these agreements.

Morocco and Palestine

Morocco, whose king is the Chairman of the El-Quds Committee, normalized its relations with the Zionist Entity on December 10, 2020, in exchange for the recognition by former US President Donald Trump of the kingdom’s alleged “sovereignty” over Western Sahara.

This barter was condemned, in the strongest term, throughout the world and especially by Algeria and the Moroccan people who took to the streets for several days to express their rejection of this agreement, organizing demonstrations often repressed by the regime in place.

More recently, the Makhzen regime and the Zionist entity inked a framework agreement aimed at strengthening the security cooperation between the Moroccan and the Zionist intelligence services, nearly one year after the normalization of their relations, amidst broad popular disagreement. A move dubbed as shameful and disgraceful by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Algeria and Palestine

President Tebboune urged, in a speech delivered on the sidelines of the celebration, in Algeria, of this International Day, the international community to assume its historic responsibilities towards the practices of Zionist occupation aimed at undermining the building of the sovereign Palestinian state, while reiterating Algeria’s unwavering and firm support for the struggle of Palestinian people to recover their stolen rights. He stressed, once again, with a well-articulated position, his rejection of all forms of normalization with the Zionist Entity, deploring the four Arab countries’ scrambling to normalize relations.

“We have noticed a kind of scramble (a mad rush) towards normalization. This is something we will never participate in, nor bless. Palestine’s cause is sacred, and we will not give it up,” the Algerian President said.

He repeatedly expressed the country’s preparedness to invite all Palestinian groups to a comprehensive meeting in Algeria. Tebboune’s words were applauded by Palestinians and Algerians alike, who have a long history of intertwined solidarity.

Palestinian factions praised President Tebboune for his government’s strong opposition to any bids aimed at establishing ties with the Zionist Entity, calling on Arab rulers to follow suit and reject all forms of normalization. 

There is no doubt that when Algerian President Tebboune called the Palestinian cause “sacred”, he was truly speaking on behalf of the Algerian people whose history is marked by resistance against colonial powers. Algerians remain stick to their pro-Palestine stance, considering the Palestinian cause the mother of all causes. Their beliefs about national sovereignty and the right for countries to determine their own destiny are central, firmly committed to the principles of a sovereigntist governing ideology, based on their national pride, far away from any quid pro quo deals, capable of exercising foreign pressure on their country. 

In 1988, noteworthy, when Palestine declared its independence, Algeria was the very first country worldwide to officially recognize its statehood. This decision further contributed to the deeply-rooted Algerian-Palestinian relations. Even when other Arab states, notably those which signed the “Abraham Accords” last year, dropped their pan-Arab commitments to the Palestinian struggle, Algeria has stood by the cause.

For its part, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas hailed Algeria’s principled positions, describing the signing, by the Moroccan regime, of several agreements, particularly in the security and military spheres, with the Zionist enemy as an unjustified act whatever the pretext or the objective.

For the Hamas movement, the normalization and signing of agreements between Rabat and the Zionist Entity “would lead the Zionists to commit more crimes against the Palestinian Arab people and to the violation of their legitimate rights to freedom, independence and return “.

Gantz in Rabat

The agreement was inked in a visit to Rabat by the Zionist Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, received by Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defense Administration Abdellatif Loudiyi. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding which launches officially the security cooperation in all its aspects (operational planning, procurement, research, and development) between Morocco and the Zionist entity, according to media close to the Moroccan military circles.

It should be noted that demonstrations against normalization were scheduled in Morocco on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Moroccan Action Group for Palestine organized a popular sit-in, Sunday, in front of the parliament headquarters in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, in solidarity with the Palestinian defenseless people and confronting the agendas of Zionist penetration in the region.

The group said, in a statement, posted on Saturday, that the popular sit-in, organized under the slogan “With the resistance against normalization with the Zionists,” comes on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and within the framework of the continuous popular mobilization in support of the Palestinian struggle under the slogan “The Moroccan people: Palestine is a national issue.”

The sit-in, added the same source, “confirms the established historical positions in confronting the Zionist occupation and all its tools, and facing the Zionist intrusion agendas to sabotage the region.”

However, Moroccan security forces prevented the popular sit-in. The president of the Moroccan Observatory against Normalization with the Zionist Entity, Ahmed Ouihmane indicated, in a statement to the Algerian news agency, that the Moroccan security forces prevented, by force, this popular sit-in.

Different protests were organized in Morocco coinciding with the afore-mentioned visit of the Zionist war criminal to create official channels between the intelligence and security services for the two parties. Protesters assured their full adherence and attachment to the support of the Palestinian people and the overthrow of all forms of normalization.

The protests were subject to dispersal using force, under a heavy security siege, amid the participation of human rights defenders, supporters of the Palestinian cause, and the presence of the media. 

This year celebrations constitute a new opportunity for many free countries and brave peoples to express their unwavering and coherent support for the Palestinian people, calling on the international community to translate its words into actions in the face of the dangerous escalation in the Palestinian territories and the UN to honor its commitments.

Epilogue

To this end, the whole world is also called upon to exert real pressure on the Zionist Entity… the enemy of humanity with a view to putting an end to its systematic violation of human rights and enforcement of discrimination against the Palestinian people. Besides, the UN and its member states should take appropriate actions as 74 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) to partition Palestine into two separate states, no concrete actions have been taken so far. 

Instead, the hope of achieving sustainable political settlements is fading away with an entity blatantly showing disdain for international human rights law, including two key international human rights instruments, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on Socioeconomic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), both of which have as their first Article, the Right to Self-Determination, as well as a continuous disrespect of internationally adopted provisions and principles in this direction.

The UN should be held accountable for its evident lack of action in recent years. It lost its credibility for non-abide by the adopted resolutions and turning a blind eye to the Zionists who blatantly flout the relevant UN resolutions, laws of international legitimacy, and international terms of reference, and deny agreements in an attempt to impose the status quo policy, and hamper the building of the sovereign Palestinian state.

This organization is called to honor its commitments to defend international law and order, work to hold the Zionist occupation accountable for the overruns and violations committed, ensure international protection, and stave off attacks and violations against the Palestinian people and their sanctities.

The international community, on the other hand, should re-evaluate its relationship with the Zionist Entity, establish a commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression in Palestine, transcend rhetoric, deploy further efforts in defense of the Palestinians inalienable rights and bring Zionists into compliance with international law.

Palestinian leaders should put on the shelf their domestic rifts, creating a united front aimed at addressing the onus fallen on their shoulders. A favorable atmosphere should be created to address the catastrophic ordeal the Palestinians are passing through. Palestinian national unity stands to be the only basis for achieving the hopes and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people in defeating and thwarting the Zionist schemes that hide behind the titles and slogans of normalization, as well as its perfidious policies aimed at displacing the Palestinian people through creeping Judaization and illegal settlement and forcefully altering the Palestinian religious and historical landmarks.

Finally, addressing ourselves, our collective conscience should react to concrete and permanent actions, not momentary reactions as events unfold!The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Moroccans Rally Calling For End to Rabat’s Normalization with ‘Israel’

Dec 1, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Angry Moroccans against the butchers of the Palestinian children and those normalizing the savagery in the garb of lucrative military deals on Monday took to the streets in several cities across the country to protest Rabat’s normalization of ties with the Zionist regime and recent military agreements signed between the two sides.

The protesters, including activists and ordinary people, took part in large-scale protests in the cities of Oujda, Berkane, Ben Slimane, Beni-Mellal and Oulad Teima on Monday.

The demonstrators chanted vociferous anti-‘Israel’ slogans, calling for an end to normalization of relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv and voicing their support for the Palestinian cause.

The Moroccan police, however, foiled a similar protest by pro-Palestinian groups in the capital Rabat on Monday, using brute force, according to reports.

The demonstrations protested under the banner of “The Moroccan Front to Support Palestine and against Normalization”, denouncing recent bonhomie between the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime and Morocco.

They also condemned the visit of Benny Gantz, the Zionist war minister, to Morocco and rejected any collaboration with “the enemies of the Palestinian people.”

The pro-Palestine demonstrators said any cooperation with the Tel Aviv regime constitutes a threat to Morocco and the whole region.

Gantz visited Rabat last week, his first known visit to one of the Arab states that normalized ties last year, during which the two sides signed a military agreement and a pact that would see the occupation regime sell drones and weapons to Morocco.

In a statement, Gantz said that the agreement was “very significant and will allow us to exchange ideas, enter joint projects and enable ‘Israeli’ military exports here.”

Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan signed agreements to normalize relations with Tel Aviv in 2020 as part of the so-called ‘Abraham Accords’, brokered by the previous US administration.

The normalization deals sparked widespread protests in these countries, pointing to the overwhelming divide between the rulers and the people, and have also been condemned by all Palestinian political factions, who have termed it a betrayal of their cause.

Monday’s protests coincided with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an annual day dedicated to expression of solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.

Algeria Battling “Israel” in Africa

10 Nov 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Hussam AbdelKareem

Due to the strong Algerian opposition, “Israel”‘s accession is almost impossible.

Argelia lucha contra "Israel" en África | Al Mayadeen Español

On October 16th, 2021, the Executive Council of the African Union announced the postponement of its decision on approving or rejecting the “observer status” of “Israel” in the Union to the next African summit scheduled for February 2022. This decision is in fact the culmination of a great effort made by Algeria politically and diplomatically over the course of three months among the African countries to oppose and confront the sudden decision taken by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, to accept the application of “Israel” to join the African Union as an observer member, and the subsequent presentation by the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia (the headquarters country) of his credentials to the Union on the 22nd of June 2021.

From the first day of the decision of Moussa Faki, a French-educated former Chadian prime minister, Algeria went into something like a state of emergency, and a decision was taken at the highest levels to launch a comprehensive diplomatic campaign and to use all of Algeria’s weight and political capabilities to confront Faki’s personal decision. The Algerian Foreign Ministry announced its total rejection of “Israel’s” admission to the ranks of the African Union and said that the Chairperson of the Commission had not consulted the member states in this regard.

Algeria began to move and succeeded in persuading six Arab African countries (not including Morocco and Sudan, who are involved in a process of normalization), namely Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania, Djibouti, Libya, and the Comoros Islands to announce their opposition to Faki’s decision in a statement on August 3rd. Moussa Faki quickly felt that he is being targeted by the pressures of Algerian diplomacy, represented by Minister Ramtan Lamamra, so he issued an official statement on August 6th in which he responded to Algeria and affirmed that his decision to accept “Israel” as an observer member is indeed within his authorities.

The Algerian campaign against “Israel” in Africa did not stop (South Africa, who had reservations about Moussa Faki’s decision from the first day, cooperated with it), and succeeded in persuading Sudan to join the countries opposing Faki’s decision in a statement issued by the Sudanese Foreign Ministry on October 15th. And in the next day, Algeria succeeded in leading a group of 24 African countries who also announced their objection to Faki, which prompted the Executive Council to finally decide to postpone the decision on accepting the membership of “Israel” until the next summit. This is an important diplomatic victory for Algeria because it actually means, almost certainly, the failure of the project of “Israel”‘s accession, as approving it in the African summit; due to the strong Algerian opposition, “Israel”‘s accession is almost impossible.

This Algerian activity and efficiency are due, in part, to its desire to compensate for the years of relative inaction that characterized the Algerian diplomacy during the rule of the ailing former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which allowed “Israel” to penetrate into African circles that it did not reach before. Benjamin Netanyahu intensified contacts with West African and sub-Saharan countries in 2016 and hosted an agricultural conference in “Israel” in which 15 countries participated. He also made several visits to the region and was feeling so triumphant to the extent that he publically said, during his visit to Liberia “Israel is returning strongly to Africa!”. “Israel” succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with a record number of African countries (46 countries out of 55 members of the African Union).

Historically speaking, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser took charge, in the fifties and sixties of the last century, of combating the Israeli penetration into the African continent. And he took advantage of Egypt’s weight at the time and its relations with the national liberation movements in the continent to besiege the Israeli presence and keep it within minimum limits (most notably with the apartheid racist regime in South Africa). In the aftermath of the October 1973 war, “Israel” was having diplomatic relations with only four African countries. But Sadat’s coup in Egypt and the Camp David Accords opened the African doors to “Israel” once again. The banner of combating Israeli expansion in Africa then passed to Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, who paid great attention to the countries of the continent and built a network of close relations with them and provided them with financial support and contributed to a large extent in keeping most African countries, especially its western and sub-Saharan countries, out of Israeli influence until he was killed in 2011.

The growing Moroccan-Israeli relations are one of the reasons for this Algerian activity at the African level. Algeria no longer considers “Israel” as a Pan-Arab danger, but has become a direct threat to it on its borders. When “Israel” and Morocco crowned decades of their unofficial relations by announcing the establishment of full diplomatic relations in December 2020, Algerian President Abdelmajid Tabboun said, “We notice a kind of rush towards normalization. We will not participate in it or bless it. The Palestinian Cause is sacred to us here in Algeria, and it is the mother of all causes”. His Prime Minister Abdelaziz Jerad followed with a strong statement in which he said that “Algeria is being targeted” and that there is a foreign will for Zionism to reach Algeria’s borders.

That is, Algeria’s leadership has come to consider “Israel’s” relations and activities in neighboring Morocco as a direct security and strategic threat, which has caused great tension in the Algerian view of the Moroccan ruling regime. The Algerian newspaper “Al-Shorouk” published an article titled “For these reasons, the Zionist entity targets Algeria.” And what made matters worse was the intelligence information that “Israel” had helped Morocco establish a military base near the Algerian border. Things crossed its red lines when Algeria felt that “Israel”, through Morocco, was trying to interfere with the internal Algerian affairs. And recently, Algerian television announced that the separatist “MAK” movement has ties to “Israel” and Morocco and that those involved in it were in contact with Israeli parties under the cover of “civil society organizations.” In the end, Algeria decided to cut diplomatic relations with Morocco last August.

“Israel”, in turn, responded to Algeria, accusing it of being part of an axis that includes Iran. Its foreign minister, Meir Lapid, from Casablanca, expressed concerns “about Algeria’s role in the region, its rapprochement with Iran, and the campaign it led against Israel’s admission as an observer member of the African Union”.

Today we are witnessing a great Algerian rise to combat and thwart the Zionist expansion in Africa. This is not surprising for a country with a glorious history of revolution and resistance to colonialism, who, since the days of its great revolution sixty years ago, has been associated with Palestine, its revolution, and its cause, and considered it the twin of its soul and struggle, and is still in the same position.

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

The Central Myth of Zionism: Jews Have No Future in the Arab and Muslim World (Updated)

Net 5 Nov, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samuel Geddes

The loss of 100 or so citizens to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco would at best be terrible public relations for “Israel”. The loss of 100,000 or more would be existentially disastrous. 

Flourishing communities such as those in Iraq, Iran, and Yemen were, for much of history, the centers of the Jewish world and deeply enmeshed within the societies that surrounded them. One of the most effective lies of the Israeli propaganda has been to posit the irreconcilability of Jewish and Arab identities as if it is impossible to be both. The existence of hundreds of thousands of Jews with origins from Morocco to the Gulf demonstrates otherwise. 

Throughout the decades in which Arab leaders, in particular, pledged their opposition to the existence of “Israel” and its further colonization of Palestine, they have neglected to use one of the most powerful weapons at their disposal. Had Arab leaders in Iraq, Yemen or the states of the Arab Maghreb wished to truly damage the viability of “Israel”, they could easily have opened the way for their historic Jewish populations to return, trading in their Israeli passports and citizenship for that which they, their parents or even grandparents lost.  

The tactical argument

By this point, it has become clear even to the mainstream western opinion that the two-state solution envisioned by the Oslo Process is not even a remote possibility. Rather than the self-determination of an Arab state on the territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967, the central issue of the conflict has shifted to the political equality of all Palestinians within the territory of Mandate Palestine. The achievement of this goal would instantly nullify the concept of a “Jewish State” as Jews within the entire territory are already outnumbered by Palestinians, a demographic imbalance that will only grow with time.

Consequently, in terms of alleviating the colonial pressure on the Palestinians, as well as amplifying their demographic, and by extension political advantage, it makes complete sense for the surrounding countries to voluntarily reabsorb their Jewish former citizens, thereby removing them from the arena of conflict. 

In the case of Yemen, we are speaking of roughly 430,000 people. Of Iraqi Jews, between 200,000 to 600,000, Iranian Jews number 200,000 to 250,000, and Moroccans some 473,000. Were these communities to return to their homelands in any significant number it would be a catastrophic erosion of “Israel’s” demographic position, as well as its pretensions to being central to the identity of all Jews everywhere.

The loss of 100 or so citizens to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco would at best be terrible public relations for “Israel”. The loss of 100,000 or more would be existentially disastrous. 

Perhaps surprisingly given the intensity of its opposition to the Zionist state, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the regional countries best placed to facilitate this. Since the success of the 1979 revolution, Judaism has received official recognition along with other minority religions such as Christianity and Zoroastrianism, including political representation in parliament.

The Iranian leadership has consistently made clear the distinction it sees between Jews, an ethnoreligious community, and Zionists, purveyors of a racist political ideology. Still, the country’s Jewish citizenry is a fraction of its pre-revolutionary size. Despite this, the future large-scale and permanent return of Iranian Jews is entirely conceivable if Tehran goes to the necessary lengths to assure them that their cultural, religious, and political freedoms would be guaranteed. 

Iran would likely be apprehensive about repatriating hundreds of thousands of its former citizens, their children, and grandchildren, in light of the ongoing Israeli campaigns of sabotage and assassination against its nuclear program and other targets. In the long run, however, even a relatively small demographic decline would dramatically constrain the military and covert power of the Israelis, hamstringing their capacity to attack their neighbors. 

A population drain of this kind could well lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, whereby other Israeli citizens witnessing outmigration may also choose to emigrate to countries where their long-term future is better guaranteed. 

The moral case

This is also a question that may force itself on the governments of the region whether they choose to address it or not. 

The Jews of the Arab and wider Islamic world to a significant extent continue to hold on to their eastern cultural heritage. To those governments and movements opposing the colonization of Palestine, this fact represents a unique advantage to be exploited. As both the global and regional environment becomes more hostile to “Israel”, its behavior could become yet more erratic and desperate. By offering resettlement to their former Jewish communities, regional countries would both give them a peaceful way out and demonstrate that Jews do have a future in the region outside of occupied Palestine. Such a gesture would demonstrate to many the futility of sacrificing themselves for a colonial project that will inevitably fail.  

Prior to the conflict, the Arab and Islamic world had nothing approaching the levels of persecution and discrimination as those suffered by the Jews of Christian Europe. In the aftermath of the Second World War and the exposure of the Holocaust to global awareness, the west could have earnestly confronted its own deeply rooted anti-Semitism. Instead, it chose to cynically back European Jewish ethnonationalism in Palestine.

For those struggling to end the colonial project in Palestine, an essential element of the strategy must be to demonstrate to enough Jewish Israelis that their own survival is not tied to the survival of “Israel” and that being a Yemeni, Iraqi, or Moroccan Jew does not exclude a person from membership of the Arab nation. 

As well as the enormous economic benefits to be had from the reintegration of hundreds of thousands of highly educated and productive people, the value of the societal and cultural enrichment that would follow would be incalculable. 

The peaceful repatriation of North African and Middle Eastern Jews to the countries of their birth or recent ancestry may seem like an idealistic pipe dream but it would not entail the creation of a radically new social dynamic. Rather it would be a return to the religious, cultural, and ethnic pluralism which has predominated in the region for so much of its history. 

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

Jewish-American Group Visits Saudi Arabia to Advance Normalization with ‘Israel’

Nov 5, 2021

Jewish-American Group Visits Saudi Arabia to Advance Normalization with ‘Israel’

By Staff, Agencies

A Jewish-American group visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently to advance the normalization of ties between the kingdom and the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime, with a member of the group predicting a deal in the coming months or year.

The delegation, consisting of 20 Jewish-American leaders, met with senior Saudi officials, including at least six government ministers and top representatives of the Saudi royal house, according to Zionist media.

The visit came at the invitation of the Saudis and with the support of the Biden administration, after a visit to the UAE – the first Arab country that normalized its relations with the occupation regime in 2020 – in order to strengthen bilateral ties.

“The Saudis are preparing their citizens for normalization with ‘Israel’,” said Jewish-American businessman Phil Rosen, a member of the delegation, ‘Israeli’ Ynet news website reported.

Rosen also said he “would not be surprised if we see normalization between Saudi Arabia and the Tel Aviv occupation regime in the coming months or year.”

Under US-pushed normalization deals, a number of Arab countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, have agreed to establish official diplomatic ties with the apartheid entity.

The normalization accords, however, have been denounced by Palestinians the people of the region as “treacherous”, and sparked protests in the countries that signed them.

In recent weeks, the Zionist regime has approved plans for more than 1,700 new illegal units in the East al-Quds settlements of Givat Hamatos and Pisgat Zeev.

In a statement on Wednesday, UN experts condemned the regime’s illegal expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds as “the engine of the occupation” and hold the Zionist entity responsible for a wide range of rights violations against the Palestinian people.

Al-Manar, Al-Masirah Channels Launch Friday Extensive Documentation of Saudi-led Aggression Massacres on Yemen: Video

October 28, 2021

Al-Manar and Al-Masirah TV Channels are scheduled to launch an extensive documentation project which records all the massacres committed by the US-Saudi-led forces and mercenaries in Yemen.

An interactive map will come-to-light on the official websites of the two TV channels at 8 p.m. and reveal in an innovative way the massacres committed by the aggression with all the available data and figures.

The interactive map is aimed at preserving and perpetuating the sacrifices of the Yemeni civilians before the Saudi-led aggression.

“So as Rights Remain Preserved,” was the motto of the documentation that represents a reference for right activists, academicals, media outlets and public opinion, using photos, videos and demonstration tools.

Al-Manar English Website is also part of the project and will display the interactive map with data translated in English. Click here.

Yemen has been since March 25, 2015 under aggression by the Saudi-led coalition in a bid to restore power to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is Riyadh’s ally.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been killed or injured by US-Saudi-led airstrikes.

The Arab impoverished country has been also under harsh blockade by the coalition which includes in addition to the Kingdom, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Documentation Project of Yemen Massacres

Saturday – October 29, 2021

Massacres Map of the Saudi-American aggression on Yemen

Introduction:

This work is one of the largest documentation projects that records massacres committed since the start of the Saudi-US aggression on Yemen, on March 26, 2015, based on information released by well-known sources.

We assure, through this project, that the blood of Yemen’s oppressed martyrs and injured will persist in the conscience of the free people. This blood will also constitute a mark of disgrace for all who contributed to the bloodshed in Yemen.

Objective:

Documentation of widespread massacres perpetrated by the Saudi-US aggression across Yemen through an interactive and innovated map that can be considered a reference to rights activists, media outlets and journalists as well as to specialists and public opinion.

Definition of a Massacre:

A killing is considered a massacre in this project when at least one civilian gets martyred by Saudi-led aggression fire.

Map Characteristics:

  • Every dot on the map represents a massacre
  • Dots are classified by colors, every color refers to a year
  • The color of dots gets bolder as per the number of martyrs
  • Every massacre is recorded according to:
    • Date of the massacre
    • Place of the massacre
    • News summary
    • Link of the news story
    • Number of martyrs
    • Number of injured
    • Related photos and video (if available)
  • The map allows the search feature according to:
    • Place of the massacre (mainly provinces)
    • Date of the massacre
    • Keywords
  • Yemeni Center for Human Rights was considered the main source regarding the number of victims. Hence, there would be an overlap between the toll which appears on the map and the news summary
  • Areas where the massacre occurred are approximate

Characteristics of the Interactive Frontpage:

  • Represents statistical reference to massacres
  • The map is the source for figures on the frontpage

Notes:

We don’t claim that this project has covered all massacres committed by the US-Saudi aggression on Yemen. Therefore, we are glad to receive any addition, either on the level of massacres or the visual material at: yemen-map@almanar.com.lb

Thanks to all who contributed to this work.

‘Normalization’: Betrayal of Palestine by Arab Regimes No Easy Road

October 1, 2021

Anti-normalization protest in Tunisia. (Photo: Via Twitter)

By Iqbal Jassat

Pinning Palestinians down while applying harsh measures of violent repression accompanied by a fanatical settler movement of arch-racists given free rein to attack and plunder, is a notorious game Israel has elevated to a daily ritual.

In fact, the routine of inflicting war crimes has all the hallmarks of a rogue regime entirely caught up in a misplaced belief that to engage in ethnic cleansing is a religious obligation.

Conflating Judaism with a racist political ideology of Zionism has been part of a strategy designed to deceive, distort and divert. It has its roots in the First Zionist Congress held on the eve of the 19th century.

That this is well documented and widely known is not in dispute. Indeed, awareness of Zionism’s goal to dismember and dislodge Palestinians from their centuries-old homeland, and forcibly impose thereon a foreign entity known as Israel, has always been a bedrock for resistance.

Israel has thus always been considered an enemy thrust upon a native population through the most horrific forms of terrorism. The memories of Deir Yassin remind the world of bloody massacres committed by Zionist terrorists who didn’t spare hundreds of villages to colonize Palestine.

That more than seven decades later the expansionist goals of Zionism are still being pursued at a great human cost to successive generations of the indigenous Palestinian population, is reflected in daily atrocities.

None of these facts, as attested to by historians as well as organs of the United Nations, are contested, although Israel and its supporters seek to distort and malign commentators who speak truth to power as antisemitic.

Yet, against this background of terrorism and current conditions siege, occupation, killings and mass imprisonment – recorded and broadcast via mainstream media for all the world to witness – it is bizarre that a handful of Arab regimes have broken rank with Palestine’s freedom struggle.

And at a time when even Haaretz describes atrocities by Israel as a pogrom:

“Residents of the Palestinian communities in the southeastern West Bank have experience with settler attacks – when they graze their flocks, work their fields, or even have a picnic on their own land. But they cannot recall an attack like the one experienced Tuesday by the small communities of Khirbat al-Mufkara, al-Rakiz and al-Tuwani. On Simhat Torah, dozens of young Jews, most of them masked, conducted what can only be described as a pogrom.”

The treachery associated with what has become known as “normalization” is an outrageous manifestation of betrayal and collaboration. Limited to the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, these regimes have in effect confessed that the protection of their shaky thrones counts for more than legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

As unelected self-imposed despots fearful of democratic values, they have bargained that “normalization” with the usurper of Palestine will “guarantee” safety and protection for them. In other words, just as Egypt has done, these oligarchs have outsourced their intelligence networks and security apparatus to Israel, knowing full well that in doing so, they have abandoned Palestine.

Though the abnormality of implicit recognition of an illegal colonial enterprise has been in sharp contrast to countless Arab League resolutions, the deal of “normalization” pushed by Trump and vigorously backed by the Biden administration has exposed these leaders as surrogates of western imperialism.

The case of Bahrain’s role in the “Abraham Accords” reveals the soft underbelly of Arab dictatorships. Besides being financially dependent on its neighbors, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s alliance with Israel is designed to entrench its power and crush any resistance to authoritarianism or efforts towards freedom and democracy.

In 2011, during the onset of the Arab Spring uprisings, Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain to suppress anti-government protests. This trend continues today by Israel equally committed to maintaining the status quo and preventing the success of any popular uprisings.

In this context, one may justifiably condemn Bahrain’s gross insensitivity and abject abdication of Palestine’s freedom struggle as treacherous.

Showcasing Israeli war criminal Lapid’s visit to Manama, where he is set to open the embassy flying Israel’s flag, is utterly outrageous. This follows the opening of a Zionist embassy in Abu Dhabi; another embassy will likely be established in Rabat. Sudan thus far has reportedly said that it has no plans yet to open an embassy in Khartoum.

Not surprising therefore that the Arab street across these capitals have vowed to end “normalization”. The iron-fisted grip held by Arab despots notwithstanding, human rights movements (many banned and leaders exiled) have declared their outright rejection of America’s much-vaunted Abraham Accords.

Stirrings in Sudan are becoming more vocal despite Khartoum’s attempts to silence critics. In Bahrain the main opposition group, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society declared Lapid’s trip as a “threat”, saying, “This is provocative news and this trip is completely rejected, and he (Lapid) should not set foot on Bahraini soil.”

Their message is clear: “Any (Israeli) presence on Bahraini soil means incitement.”

– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the South Africa-based Media Review Network. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com

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