JUNE 7TH, 2022


By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – It is sometimes easier to see things from a distance, especially when talking about Palestine, where tragedies follow each other with unbelievable speed. There is no time to recover from one tragedy before two or three more occur, all initiated by Israel with its all-powerful military and then justified or buried by various branches of Zionist groups around the world.

The Dance of Flags, sometimes called the Flags March, takes place in Jerusalem each year around the beginning of June. In 2022 it was preceded by the targeted killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the assault on her funeral procession, followed by the killing of several more young Palestinians. The decision to carry out the ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills took place around the same time, yet not a moment of thought is given to the fact that there is a war going on.

The March of Flags in Jerusalem was an act of war. Israeli assaults on Jenin are an act of war. The displacement of the residents of Masafer Yatta is an act of war. And this is counting only the events that took place in the last few weeks.


Anyone who has witnessed the Dance of Flags firsthand in Jerusalem can attest to the fact that this is, without a doubt, a parade of terror. The thousands of young Israelis get excited for the moment when they enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate so that they can pound on the doors of Palestinian businesses and terrorize the Palestinians who reside in the Old City.

Each year the organizers of this racist hate parade go through the formality of negotiating with the Jerusalem police regarding the specific route of the march. Every year the police and other government agencies charged with security say that the request to enter the Old City via Damascus Gate is a dangerous idea. And every year the March proceeds as planned through Damascus Gate. Being the masters of the land and wielding a great deal of political power, the organizers of the Dance of Flags always get their way.


In Arabic, the Damascus Gate is called Bab el-Amoud, or the Gate of the Pillar. Apparently, in early times there was a large pillar in front of the gate on the inside. Generally, one can tell a great deal about a city just by paying attention to its gates. For example, when entering the Old City via Jaffa Gate and going down into the souk, one sees shops catering to tourists; and, in fact, most tourists and Israelis enter through there. It is considered a more “friendly” part of the Old City. The shops carry all sorts of Judaica, yarmulkes, menorahs and even IDF t-shirts.

When entering from Damascus Gate, one sees fewer tourists. Mostly Palestinians walk through it and the shops sell things that people actually need for their daily lives. Vegetables, bread, sweets, clothes and shoes. The shops that do carry items for tourists carry mostly kaffiyas and items like t-shirts that emphasize Palestine and show the Palestinian colors. The non-Palestinians walking the street down from Damascus Gate are usually hardcore Israeli settlers, who have taken over some of the homes along the road, and soldiers.

Israel Flags March
Palestanians defend against Jewish youth partaking in the Flags March, May 29, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP


It is a straight shot walking from Damascus Gate to the al-Aqsa Mosque, and to the Western Wall – or the Kotel – plaza. The plaza used to be the Mughrabi neighborhood of the Old City. Palestinians live and have businesses in that part of the city, but settlers are targeting and taking homes there at an alarming rate. The homes that have already been taken by settlers are clearly marked and easy to spot. First, a heavy door with a bolt is placed at the front of the home. You don’t see the Palestinian homes with doors like that. An intercom is put in place and very often an armed security guard stands regularly by the door.

A large Israeli flag is displayed on the building, usually hanging from the second story balcony. It is very often that these apartments are right above shops that are still owned and operated by Palestinian merchants who suffer greatly from the settlers’ presence. As one shopkeeper whose store I frequent often said to me once, “Ma fi awsakh minhum” – no one is worse than them.


According to the “Law Insider” website, an act of war is defined as follows:

Act of war (whether declared or undeclared), invasion, armed conflict or act of foreign enemy, blockade, embargo, revolution, riot, insurrection, civil commotion, act of terrorism or sabotage.

Another example of a definition is:

Act of war means hostile or warlike action, whether declared or not, in a time of peace or war, whether initiated by a local governmentforeign government or foreign groupcivil unrestinsurrectionrebellion or civil war.

The Flags March held in Jerusalem each year falls under these definitions. It is an invasion of the Old City by a mob large enough to be a small army; it is a riot; it is civil commotion, and it is an act of terrorism that involves sabotage. Even though those who participate in this hate parade are civilians, there is always a heavy military presence that accompanies them. It was reported that in 2022 some three thousand officers were deployed in Jerusalem for the purpose of this march. That represents nearly the entire Jerusalem police force.

Israel Flags
Israeli police snatch a flag from an elderly woman amid the Flags Day march in the Old City, May 29, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Not to be mistaken with traffic police, or cops on a beat looking for criminals, the police force that is deployed in East Jerusalem is of a different kind. This is a militarized police force and the officers are referred to as “fighters,” not officers. They look like soldiers, the arms that they carry are like those of soldiers, but their mandate is to attack Palestinian civilians, something they do with cruelty and brutality.

Zionists always blame Palestinians who respond to Israeli acts of war with acts of armed resistance against civilians. They call it terrorism. There is no question that it is terrible when civilians are killed and injured. The problem is that throughout the entire war Israel has waged against Palestinians it has been targeting civilians. There is no Palestinian military – there never was such a thing – and Israel has consistently, and with planning, targeted and killed Palestinian civilians going as far back as one can remember.

Perhaps it is time to step back and instead of viewing each act of violence perpetrated by Israel separately, instead view them all together as individual acts of a larger war – a war waged against a nation that has never possessed an army.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 26 May – 01 June 2022)

02, 06. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

Three Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were killed and 129 others, including 10 children, were injured by Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) fire while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Details are listed below:

On 27 May 2022, Zaid Ghuneim (14) was killed in al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem, after IOF deliberately and unjustifiably opened fire at him in their incursion into Um Rukbah area in the village and deployment between houses. (More information available here)

On 01 June 2022, Belal ‘Awad Qobha (24) was killed, and 4 others were injured in clashes during IOF incursion into Ya’bud village in Jenin.  The incursion ended by exploding the family house of Diaa Hamarshah, who was previously killed after carrying out a shooting attack that killed 5 Israelis in Tel Aviv on 29 March 2022.

On 01 June 2022, Ghofran Warasnah (30) was killed with a bullet shot by IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron, allegedly for attempting to carry out a stab attack.  (Further information available here)

Those injured were victims of IOF’s excessive use of force and suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 26 May 2022, a child was wounded with a bullet in clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Howara village, southeastern Nablus.

On 27 May 2022, 4 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly peaceful protest in Qalqilya.

On 28 May 2022, 4 Palestinians, including 4 children, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly peaceful protest in Qalqilya.

On 29 May 2022, IOF conducted extensive assaults during their incursion into al-Aqsa yard in East Jerusalem in the morning.  They beat up elderlies, causing them fractures, during IOF’s attempt to empty the yard in order to secure the raid of more than 2600 settlers.  IOF raided the mosque yard through al-Qibli praying hall side and broke the locks f the minaret of the Mughrabi Gate.  They topped the nearby roofs and al-Qibli praying hall roof as well as closing it with chains.  IOF also arrested 10 worshippers when they were near al-Silsilah Gate and obstructed the work of journalists, forcing them to leave the mosque yards.

In the evening, 79 Palestinians were wounded, and 50 others were arrested when IOF suppressed with sound bombs, teargas canisters and rubber bullets tens of Palestinians participating in a peaceful protest and raising Palestinian flags.  The protest coincided with a rally of hundreds of settlers in the Damascus Gate yard as part of their annual flag march where they chanted racist slogans and conducted many assaults under the protection of IOF who closed the entire area.  Also, clashes broke out between Palestinians and IOF and settlers that extended to East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods and villages.

On the same day, 6 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded in clashes with IOF near Howara checkpoint at the southeastern entrance to Nablus.  Also, 2 Palestinians; one was a child, were wounded with bullets in clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into al-Duheisha refugee camp, southwestern Bethlehem.  During the incursion, IOF raided a house, assaulted the residents, and destroyed the internal walls, causing severe damage to the house.  Moreover, 3 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded with live and rubber bullets in clashes with IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, northern Hebron.  A Palestinian was also wounded in IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest in Husan village, western Bethlehem.  Another Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in clashes with IOF near the Military Checkpoint 300, northern Bethlehem.

On 30 May 2022, 3 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to al-Bira.  Also, a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet and then arrested in clashes with IOF at the entrance to Kharsa village in Hebron. 

On 31 May 2022, 2 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to ‘Azoun village, eastern Qalqilya.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 6 times at agricultural lands in an access restricted area in eastern Gaza Strip. Also, five IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western shore.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 53 Palestinians, including 42 civilians: 12 children, 5 women (one was a journalist) and the rest were activists; 3 of them were assassinated. Also, 841 others were wounded in these attacks, including 84 children, 4 women, and 19 journalists all in the West Bank, except for 9 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, notices and settlement activity

Israeli authorities demolished 2 houses and 9 residential tents, rendering 11 families of 75 persons, including 14 women and 26 children, homeless. Also, the Israeli authorities razed 3 dunums and handed 3 demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 26 May 2022, IOF razed 3 dunums in Wadi Rahal village, southern Bethlehem, uprooting tens of olive trees.

On 30 May 2022, IOF handed 3 demolition orders to 3 uninhabited houses in eastern Yatta, southern Hebron.

On 01 June 2022, IOF demolished a house in al-Issawiya village in East Jerusalem, for the sixth time in a row under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering a family of 8 persons, including 4 women and 2 children, homeless.  On the same day, IOF demolished 9 residential tens and a sheep barn in Masafer Yatta area in Hebron, displacing 9 families of 60 persons, including 23 children.  IOF also demolished a residential barrack, and another used as a sheep barn in addition to 4 fences in Za’im village, northern East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, displacing a family of 5, including 3 children.  Moreover, IOF handed 10 cease-construction notices to facilities in Marda village, northern Salfit.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF rendered 76 families homeless, a total of 441 persons, including 89 women and 208 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 73 houses and 16 residential tents. IOF also demolished 47 other civilian objects, leveled 246 dunums and delivered 96 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

Settlers conducted 7 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank.  The attacks included setting fire to agricultural lands and attacking vehicles, houses, and journalists. Details are as follows:

On 27 May 2022, settlers organized a flag rally in Howara village in Nablus and attacked and damaged a coffeeshop on the main street in the village.

On 28 May 2022, settlers conducted attacks on Palestinians during a flag rally organized by the former under IOF’s heavy protection.  The rally took off from the Damasuc gate area towards the streets of Eat Jerusalem’s Old City On the eve of the anniversary of the occupation of the city.  IOF violently assaulted 2 Palestinian children and then arrested them.

On 29 May 2022, in a flag rally in Eat Jerusalem, settlers conducted assaults against Palestinians in the Damascus Gate and several neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.  Settlers assaulted by hands and insults journalists in the area, wounding a number of them.  The settlers also tried to raid houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and attacked property as well as breaking car windows.

On 30 May 2022, settlers set fire to agricultural lands in the outskirts of Madma and Burin villages in Nablus as 50 olive trees were burnt. 

On 31 May 2022, settlers assaulted Palestinians in Wadi Rababa neighborhood in East Jerusalem coinciding with an Israel Nature Authority’s razing operation in the area.  Settlers also threw stones at a vehicle and broke its windows in addition to attacking the passengers and causing them bruises and wounds.

So far this year, settlers carried out 140 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 212 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 117 Palestinians, including 11 children and a journalist, were arrested; most of them were arrested during IOF’s incursion into al-Aqsa Mosque yards and suppression that coincided with the Israeli flag march in East Jerusalem. Moreover, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 2 infiltrators via eastern Rafah on 26 May and 8 fishermen while sailing off Rafah shore on 31 May.  Six of the fishermen were released the next day (further details available here).

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 3577 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2495 Palestinians were arrested, including 249 children and 17 women. IOF also conducted 16 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 52 Palestinians, including 35 fishermen, 14 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 108 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 3 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 1709 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 101 Palestinians at those checkpoints

جبال رودوس القبرصية… «إسرائيل» تتهيّأ لمعركة الصعاب

الأحد 5 حزيران 2022

 نبيه عواضة

نشر موقع واي نت العبري تقريراً تحت عنوان «آلاف المقاتلين في 50 سفينة وطائرة ــ نفذوا ما يشبه الاجتياح على قمم جبال رودوس في قبرص واختتام المناورة الكبرى…»

«عربات النار» هي التسمية «الإسرائيلية» لمناورتها والتي تمثل أكبر مناورة في تاريخ الجيش «الإسرائيلي» والتي استمرت لعدة أسابيع حاكت احتماليات المعركة المقبلة وعلى عدة جبهات.

أشار التقرير ضمنياً إلى أنه «للمرّة الأولى تدرّب الجيش «الإسرائيلي» هذا الأسبوع، وعلى نطاق غير مسبوق، على سيناريوات القتال في عمق أراضي العدو، بمشاركة مقاتلي فرقة النخبة 98، وكلّ من شيتت 13 ووحدة 669، وذلك في الجزيرة المجاورة قبرص… عشرات المداهمات السرية، إنشاء قاعدة أمامية، وأسر جنود من الجيش الإسرائيلي، عمليات خلالها يسير المقاتلين في أراضي العدو المجهولة لعشرات الأميال وهم يحملون عشرات الكيلوغرامات على ظهورهم. وقد راقب الروس والأتراك هذه التدريبات عن كثب. قبل ان يطرح سؤالاً مفاده الحاجة لعملية معقدة وحساسة للغاية كهذه في المستقبل ضدّ حزب الله»؟

فقد اختتمت مناورة الحرب الكبرى التي أجراها الجيش «الإسرائيلي» بنقل آلاف الجنود جواً وبحراً وذلك للقتال في عمق أراضي العدو التي تمّـ محاكاتها في قبرص ــ وذلك بواسطة أكثر من سفينة وفرقاطة وطائرة ومروحية: تحاكي مناورة شهر الحرب التي يجريها الجيش الإسرائيلي، حرب تندلع في ساحتين رئيسيتين تتخللهما أيضاً رشقات للصواريخ والقذائف الصاروخية من سورية وايران، حيث وصلت المناورة إلى ذروة غير مسبوقة هذا الأسبوع مع تشغيل (او تفعيل) فرقة النخبة 98، خارج إسرائيل وفي صفوفها آلاف المقاتلين من لوائي المظليين والكوماندو ووحدة الهندسة يهلوم بالتعاون مع قوات الذراعين الجوي والبحري.

وقد حاكت التدريبات في قبرص قدرات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في تشغيل آلاف المقاتلين في عمق ساحة القتال مثل لبنان، وذلك من أجل تثبيت الحسم ضدّ العدو، وزعزعته وذلك من خلال الدمج بين هجوم من الجبهة بواسطة قوات كثيفة من ألوية المشاة والدبابات والوحدات الهندسية. ومن العمق، بواسطة طواقم كوماندو على نطاق واسع للقيام بمداهمات على بعد عشرات الأميال من الحدود».

التقرير ذكر أنه ولأجل إجراء المناورة، استأجرت وزارة الدفاع سفناً وبواخر مدنية من إيطاليا واليونان، من أجل نقل القوات من قاعدة حيفا عبر البحر لمسافة تصل لنحو 400 كلم حتى السواحل الغربية لجزيرة قبرص، بالقرب من بافوس، (أصغر مدن قبرص)، وبشكل عام تمّ تشغيل نحو 18 سفينة مختلفة من بينها سفن صواريخ و(دفورها) وقطع بحرية تابعة لشيتت 13، وقد تدرّب الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في السابق على مرافقة (دعم) الغواصات لهذه القوات من خلال المعلومات الاستخبارية والنار، ولكن في هذه المناورة لم تشارك الغواصات. وقد تزامن ذلك مع نقل آلاف الجنود على عشرات الدفعات على متن نحو 30 طائرة هركولس ومروحيات (ينشولف ــ بلاك هوك) ومروحيات قتالية الى جانب قوات تأمين مرافقة لها من وحدة 669.

إذن، المناورة حاكت معركة مفتوحة مع قطاع غزة والتي لا ترتبط بتوقيت او بتوازن قوى، وقد تشتعل نتيجة لأي حدث، «القدس والاقصى عنوان يومي لذلك»، إضافة إلى تقدير اندلاع المواجهات في مناطق فلسطين المحتلة عام ٤٨ (هذا ما يفسّر حصول تدريب عسكري في مدينة أمّ الفحم في منطقة المثلث) كإستعادة أولية لنماذج ما حصل من صدامات داخل المدن المختلطة وما أفرزه ذلك من إعادة النظر بمفهوم «التعايش» إلى درجة وصف بعض الإعلام «الإسرائيلي» ما حصل إبان معركة «حارس الاسوار» أنه خطر وجودي واستعادة لأصل الفكرة ألا وهي الصراع على الأرض. إضافة الى احتمالية نشوء مواجهة مع جبهة الشمال وتحديداً حزب الله، الأمر الذي يتعدى تلقي صليات هائلة من الصواريخ على أنواعها (البعيدة المدى والدقيقة ضمناً قدرتها الاستخبارات العسكرية بنحو ١٠٠٠ صاروخ يومياً) بما فيها المُسيّرات (الانتحارية) وصولاً الى إمكانية حصول «توغل من قوات الرضوان في مناطق ونقاط معينة في الجليل الأعلى». كلّ ذلك مترافقاً مع صواريخ الحشد الشعبي وحركة أنصار الله والمُسيّرات اليمنية التي قال الاسرائيلي انّ ما وصلت به الى ما بعد الرياض وابو ظبي عملياً وحسابياً أصبحت شمالي إيليت (أمّ الرشراش فلسطينياً) ولعمق يمتدّ ٢٥٠ كلم في مرمى الفعل اليمني، (التحدي الثاني وفق تسمية مصلحة تقدير المخاطر في مركز الأمن القومي الاسرائيلي) بمعنى آخر الشعاع الممتدّ من مطار رامونا (طالته صورايخ القسام في معركة سيف القدس) جنوب البلاد وصولاً الى إيليت ساقط عسكرياً.

عاد الجنود الى قواعدهم او الى منازلهم في استراحة قد تكون لحظية وقتية مرتبطة بما يفرزه التطور المفاجئ للميدان او تكون روتينية قبل العودة الى القواعد مع تنشيط للحافزية القتالية وسط تراجعها لدى الجنود، وهو جلّ ما يستطيع ان يقدّمه رئيس الأركان أفيف كوخافي الذي يوشك في العام المقبل ان ينزع بزته العسكرية ويضع الأوسمة في خزانة باستعادة الدور والانتقال الى فعل القيادة السياسية كنسخة معدلة من «حزب الجنرالات».

أحداث القدس الأخيرة لم تسعفه حينما أحجم الميدان عن التدحرج الى معركة يتهيّأ لها بقوة وإدراك وتمكّن لـ «ينتصر» بشيء من الدمار عله يدخل شارع بلفور في القدس حيث مقرّ رئيس الوزراء…!

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MBS-Kushner investments could complicate vital Saudi regional diplomacy

June 05 2022

Saudi Crown Prince MbS wants Israel onside but has yet to figure out how to move forward without rocking the Saudi boat.


By Agha Hussein

The Saudis need to choose: Will it be regional stability with Tehran or regional confrontation with Tel Aviv? Riyadh cannot have both.

Saudi Arabia is slated for a complete socioeconomic overhaul under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) ambitious Vision2030, which aims to steer the kingdom towards a post-oil economy. For this to be realized, peace and political stability with Saudi’s neighbors is essential.

In this context, Riyadh sees diplomatic engagement with rival Iran as crucial to addressing the security dilemmas the kingdom faces from neighboring Yemen, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, which have the potential to derail progress on Saudi’s reform program.

However, MbS’ recent signals toward Israel could hinder the kingdom’s efforts to formalize the Iran-Saudi diplomatic ‘framework‘ aimed at bringing stability to its borders.

MbS and Israel

On 7 May, The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – of which MbS is chairman – committed $2 billion to a private equity fund for Israeli tech startups. This represents the first known case of the PIF investing in Israeli businesses.

The fund belongs to Jared Kushner, former US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and informal advisor who worked with MbS to draw Saudi foreign policy closer to Israeli interests.

During the Trump administration, Kushner and MbS formed a close interpersonal relationship. Kushner bypassed the US State and Defense Departments and dealt directly with the crown prince, helping him to consolidate power in return for closer alignment with Israel on Iran.

However, MbS eventually decided that the kingdom needed de-escalation with Iran as a means of addressing its growing security dilemmas in Yemen and the Persian Gulf. Citing the tensions it was causing with Iran, MbS took a step back from his partnership with Kushner by declining to join the August 2020 Abraham Accords struck between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, which Kushner played a lead role in facilitating.

This was followed by an Iraqi-mediated dialogue initiated between Tehran and Riyadh in October 2021, which has continued with a few intervals up to the present.

What about Iran?

Now, the investment in Kushner’s fund says two things about MbS’ current priorities. One, that the crown prince retains interest in finding niches of Israeli-Saudi cooperation, and two, that he intends to do so via the old, familiar approach with Kushner as a key broker and interlocutor.

But this challenges an important element of Iranian-Saudi diplomacy: namely, that both states’ compartmentalize their many differences across West Asia for the sake of detente and stability in their immediate, shared Persian Gulf region.

The Islamic Republic for its part has a very regionalized national security doctrine, which emphasizes keeping Israeli influence away from its own borders. Tehran may interpret MbS’ overtures to Israel as a sign that the Saudi talks are not promising outcomes consistent with its national security objectives.

If this is the case, Iran could decide to withdraw from the talks altogether. Indeed, Iran temporarily halted the Iraqi-brokered dialogue with Saudi Arabia in March when it launched missile strikes at purported Israeli Mossad sites in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Additionally, since economic diversification is a key pillar of Vision2030, Iran may view the investment in Kushner’s fund as MbS integrating Israel into his own bigger-picture. From Tehran’s perspective, this is counterproductive to Iran’s desired scenario of an Israel-free Persian Gulf and therefore does not bode well for the continuity of Iranian-Saudi diplomacy.

Ties with Turkey

Saudi Arabia’s relations with Turkey, another West Asian powerhouse, have recently thawed under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to mend fences with the kingdom.

While Turkey’s angle has more to do with building economic and security ties, for Riyadh this entente has special importance for its overall regional diplomacy. This is because the tension in Turkish-Saudi ties is associated heavily with the 2018 state-sanctioned murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, reportedly at the personal behest of MbS.

The fallout from the murder made MbS persona non grata for many in the international community, and he remained a pariah until only relatively recently amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis.

This proved especially inconvenient when MbS began his urgent tilt to a more diplomatic foreign policy. Riyadh’s access to various diplomatic channels was suddenly very limited because of MbS’ personal, unilateral control over Saudi decision-making. Indeed, even Saudi Arabia’s (partial) rapprochement with Qatar, ending a three-and-a-half year blockade, required Kushner’s mediation.

Two weeks before Erdogan’s 28 April visit to Riyadh, a Turkish court transferred the trial of Khashoggi’s Saudi assassins to the kingdom. Thus, since Erdogan sees shoring up MbS’ international standing as necessary for their entente, the latter has reason to ensure that Ankara gets a degree of geopolitical value out of it too.

Critically, this is where the risk that MbS’ Israel outreach poses to Iranian-Saudi diplomacy, could spill over to the budding Turkish-Saudi normalization.

Turkey’s overtures to MbS have occurred in parallel with its rapprochement with Israel. If Turkish-Saudi dialogue covers regional agendas instead of just bilateral ones, Iran may well suspect the two of eyeing a bloc and drawing Israel toward it as a mutual ally.

Keeping Israel out

Iran would overplay its hand and damage its diplomatic credibility by raking up Turkey in dialogue with Saudi Arabia, as the latter could interpret this as Iranian heavy-handedness and drop the idea that Iran is able or willing to help it de-escalate matters in Yemen and the Persian Gulf.

Tehran does not want this to happen, as it has tactically benefited from playing the Yemen/Gulf de-escalation card: both to bring Riyadh to the negotiating table, and to show it that avoiding Israel is a worthy trade-off to cool tensions with Iran’s allies in Yemen and even Iraq.

Conversely, if Iran accepts that it cannot force the Turkish factor into its talks with Saudi Arabia, its diplomatic strategy toward Riyadh provides no recourse against the possibility of MbS asking Ankara to help connect him to Tel Aviv.

In this scenario, continuing the Saudi talks presents Iran with a credibility crisis – that of its ability to enforce its national security red-lines by pressuring or incentivizing its neighbors to avoid Israel. This could lead to Tehran abandoning the dialogue with Riyadh, or putting it on ice.

Vision or Mirage?

Saudi Arabia needs harmony, not contradictions and conflicts, between its various diplomatic processes and dialogues, both to properly restore MbS’ international reputation and to provide the stability the kingdom needs for Vision2030’s implementation.

The diplomatic cadre in Riyadh seems aware of this, going by the Saudi Foreign Minister’s statement on 24 May that the kingdom’s hands are ‘stretched out to Iran’.

Currently, Riyadh’s most obvious and potentially impactful option to de-escalate tensions across the region is to continue its dialogue with Tehran. Shelving ties with Israel is a small price to pay for the stability-dividends it offers Saudi Arabia.


MAY 25TH, 2022


By Ramzy Baroud

The Nakba is back on the Palestinian agenda.

For nearly three decades, Palestinians were told that the Nakba – or Catastrophe – is a thing of the past. That real peace requires compromises and sacrifices, therefore, the original sin that has led to the destruction of their historic homeland should be entirely removed from any ‘pragmatic’ political discourse. They were urged to move on.

The consequences of that shift in narrative were dire. Disowning the Nakba, the single most important event that shaped modern Palestinian history, has resulted in more than political division between the so-called radicals and the supposedly peace-loving pragmatists, the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. It also divided Palestinian communities in Palestine and across the world around political, ideological and class lines.

Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, it became clear that the Palestinian struggle for freedom was being entirely redefined and reframed. It was no longer a Palestinian fight against Zionism and Israeli settler colonialism that goes back to the start of the 20th century, but a ‘conflict’ between two equal parties, with equally legitimate territorial claims that can only be resolved through ‘painful concessions’.

The first of such concessions was relegating the core issue of the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees who were driven out of their villages and cities in 1947-48. That Palestinian Nakba paved the way for Israel’s ‘independence’, which was declared atop the rubble and smoke of nearly 500 destroyed and burnt Palestinian villages and towns.

At the start of the ‘peace process’, Israel was asked to honor the Right of Return for Palestinians, although symbolically. Israel refused. Palestinians were then pushed to relegate that fundamental issue to a ‘final status negotiations’, which never took place. This meant that millions of Palestinian refugees – many of whom are still living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, as well as the occupied Palestinian territories – were dropped from the political conversation altogether.

If it were not for the continued social and cultural activities of the refugees themselves, insisting on their rights and teaching their children to do the same, such terms as the Nakba and Right of Return would have been completely dropped out of the Palestinian political lexicon.

Palestinian refugee
A Family warms themselves by a fire during cold weather in a slum on the outskirts of a Gaza refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

While some Palestinians rejected the marginalization of the refugees, insisting that the subject is a political not merely a humanitarian one, others were willing to move on as if this right was of no consequence. Various Palestinian officials affiliated with the now-defunct ‘peace process’ have made it clear that the Right of Return was no longer a Palestinian priority. But none came even close to the way that PA President Abbas, himself, framed the Palestinian position in a 2012 interview with Israeli Channel 2.

“Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah,” he said.

Abbas had it completely wrong, of course. Whether he wished to exercise his right of return or not, that right, according to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, is simply “inalienable”, meaning that neither Israel nor the Palestinians themselves, can deny or forfeit it.

Let alone the lack of intellectual integrity of separating the tragic reality of the present from its main root cause, Abbas lacked political wisdom as well. With his ‘peace process’ floundering, and with the lack of any tangible political solution, he simply decided to abandon millions of refugees, denying them the very hope of having their homes, land or dignity restored.

Since then, Israel, along with the United States, has fought Palestinians on two different fronts: one, by denying them any political horizon and, the other, by attempting to dismantle their historically enshrined rights, mainly their Right of Return. Washington’s war on the Palestinian refugees’ agency, UNRWA, falls under the latter category as the aim was – and remains – the destruction of the very legal and humanitarian infrastructures that allow Palestinian refugees to see themselves as a collective of people seeking repatriation, reparations and justice.

Yet, all such efforts continue to fail. Far more important than Abbas’ personal concessions to Israel, UNRWA’s ever-shrinking budget or the failure of the international community to restore Palestinian rights, is the fact that the Palestinian people are, once again, unifying around the Nakba anniversary, thus insisting on the Right of Return for the seven million refugees in Palestine and the shattat – Diaspora.

Ironically, it was Israel that has unwittingly re-unified Palestinians around the Nakba. By refusing to concede an inch of Palestine, let alone allow Palestinians to claim any victory, a State of their own – demilitarized or otherwise – or allow a single refugee to go home, Palestinians were forced to abandon Oslo and its numerous illusions. The once-popular argument that the Right of Return was simply ‘impractical’ no longer matters, neither to ordinary Palestinians nor to their intellectual or political elites.

In political logic, for something to be impossible, an alternative would have to be attainable. However, with Palestinian reality worsening under the deepening system of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, Palestinians now understand that they have no possible alternative but their unity, their resistance and the return to the fundamentals of their struggle. The Unity Intifada of last May was a culmination of this new realization. Moreover, the Nakba anniversary commemoration rallies and events throughout historic Palestine and the world on May 15 have further helped crystallize the new discourse that the Nakba is no longer symbolic and the Right of Return is the collective, core demand of most Palestinians.

Israel is now an apartheid state in the real meaning of the word. Israeli apartheid, like any such system of racial separation, aims at protecting the gains of nearly 74 years of unhinged colonialism, land theft and military dominance. Palestinians, whether in Haifa, Gaza or Jerusalem, now fully understand this, and are increasingly fighting back as one nation.

And since the Nakba and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees are the common denominators behind all Palestinian suffering, the term and its underpinnings are back at the center stage of any meaningful conversation on Palestine, as should have always been the case.


MAY 23RD, 2022

By Miko Peled


JENIN, OCCUPIED PALESTINE – Israel’s announcement that it will not pursue an investigation into the killing of famed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was not surprising. The specific reasons it gave to justify the decision make little difference. However, one thing is certain: It is highly unlikely that the killing of a journalist like Shireen Abu Akleh was the decision of a lone soldier or a commander on the ground.

Abu Akleh was well known and well respected. She was clearly identifiable as a non-combatant and a journalist who posed no threat to Israeli forces. She had been in similar situations before and knew how to take the necessary precautions, including wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest. She had to be shot by a well-trained sniper, and their identity must be known to the Israeli authorities.

There had to have been an order or, at the minimum, approval given by the highest levels of the Israeli defense apparatus, as high as the minister of defense or even the prime minister, before the sniper could execute this assassination. Then, in a pretty transparent attempt to cover up the assassination, Israel pretended to want to conduct an investigation and demanded that the Palestinian Authority, which conducted the autopsy, hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.

Quoting an Israeli military official, The Times of Israel reported that “[t]he Israeli military has identified a soldier’s rifle that may have killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.” However, it continues to claim that “it cannot be certain unless the Palestinians turn over the bullet for analysis.” The attempt to deceive is ever-so-obvious in this statement. Since it had to have been a sniper who aimed and then took the shot, there can be no doubt who pulled the trigger.


The British paper The Guardian recently wrote, “Abu Aqleh [sic] was killed during an arrest raid by an Israeli commando unit on Palestinian militants.” Statements like this demonstrate the larger problem. The Israeli commando raids have no justification and are responsible for countless deaths of Palestinian civilians. Framing Palestinian fighters – defenders of their camp, their city and their people – as “militants,” and the Israeli invaders as “commandos,” immediately places the blame on the Palestinians and justifies the Israeli attack, thus justifying every Israeli raid.

Palestinian youth aim weapons
Palestinian youth aim weapons at occupying Israeli troops in Jenin, May 13, 2022. Majdi Mohammed | AP

This framing, typical in the media, allows the constant, never-ending killing of young Palestinians by Israel to go on uninterrupted. It begs the question: How many Palestinians need to die before the reporting is honest and Israel is forced to stop the killing?

Every so often, an event causes people to lift their heads and acknowledge that Israel went too far and that maybe something needs to be done. When Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered, there was a moment like that. When, a few days after the killing, her funeral procession was brutally attacked by Israeli forces, that was another such moment. But these moments are few and far between.

And these moments, even when they do come, do not last very long and yield no real results. Sometimes a letter is sent by a member of U.S. Congress; sometimes a few statements are made demanding an investigation into what took place. Then people move on and forget, and the flow of Palestinian blood – mostly young, promising men – continues unabated.

The roll of names of young Palestinians killed by Israel is too long to list; and, besides, by the time you try to write it down, more are added. The ages vary, but many are under 21. The images of weeping parents and siblings – sometimes a wife and a child, if they were old enough to marry – continue to flow as though this were some unavoidable, unpreventable curse.

In an open and frank interview I recently conducted with veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, he speaks of his frustration with the Israeli media and the Israeli audiences that consume it. “The media doesn’t want to report, and the consumers don’t want to know,” Levy passionately exclaimed.


When the Israeli press report on a killing, they never fail to toe the government line, so the Palestinian is always a terrorist or part of a violent riot. He or they, as the case may be, had to be dealt with, and the courageous Israeli fighters did so. From time to time, to demonstrate just how professional the Israeli forces are, they are shown in action. Images are shown of these forces entering a refugee camp, which, as of late, they have often been doing, particularly in the northern part of the West Bank.

Israel brings in several battalions of commando units, Shabak secret-police units, or anti-terrorist forces, all heavily armed and wearing the best communication and protection equipment in the world, and equipped with unlimited amounts of ammunition. Israeli forces also have the best-trained medics, the finest first-aid capabilities, and helicopters ready to evacuate an injured soldier speedily. Once evacuated, an injured Israeli soldier receives the finest medical care in modern, well-equipped facilities.

Israeli raid
Israeli forces raid a home in Jenin, May 13, 2022, the day of Abu Akleh’s funeral. Majdi Mohammed | AP

All of this to face a few young Palestinians armed with little more than M-16s. The Palestinians have no helmets, no bulletproof vests, possess limited amounts of ammunition, and risk a very high possibility of getting injured or killed. A Palestinian wounded in battle does not have access to the same level of emergency medical care as the Israeli forces. Not even remotely. Palestinian ambulances, if they can even make it to the scene, are poorly equipped, and medical facilities are far and are rarely equipped well enough to deal with severe injuries.


On the Israeli side, life goes on as though nothing significant happened. Watching the news makes Israeli society numb. Clashes, Palestinians killed, the coalition government facing yet another crisis, Netanyahu may or may not be close to returning to the prime minister’s chair; who knows. From time to time, an Israeli settler or an officer is killed, their name is mentioned in the news, and people cry for a few days and forget. Settlements are being built – so many thousands in the Naqab, thousands more in east Jerusalem – and people of Msafer Yota in the South Hebron Hills are being forced off of their lands, but this is all normal, nothing to worry about. Israelis travel overseas for vacation and go out to cafes and restaurants — new ones open daily. One has to try them all.


MAY 17TH, 2022


By Jessica Buxbaum

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — On April 29, Inès Abdel Razek woke up to 80 new Twitter followers.

“These accounts were following the exact same people that were tweeting about Palestine, but from France or Francophone accounts that work on Palestine,” Razek said of her new followers.

The advocacy director of Rābet, the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy’s digital platform, became wary of the issue after Abier Khateb, a grants manager at Open Society Foundations, reported mass followings as well.

Razek told MintPress News that she began individually reporting each account as fake but kept her own account open — lest she let the alleged bots win. But after a few days, Razek made her profile private. At the peak of the mass following, Razek had accumulated 400 fake followers.

From the end of April through the first few weeks of May, more than 40 pro-Palestine Twitter accounts reported mass followings. Digital-rights experts say acquiring huge amounts of fake followers triggers Twitter’s algorithm and can lead to the tech giant suspending an account, effectively censoring users by forcing them to make their accounts private.

These accounts included those belonging to human rights and activist organizations Adalah, Combatants for Peace, Breaking the Silence, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. They also included news publications and journalists, like The Palestine Chronicle, Ali Abunimah and Hind Al-Eryani; and politicians, such as Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom. Twitter did not respond to MintPress inquiries on the source of the suspicious accounts.

Dr. Marc Owen Jones, an assistant professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University, conducted an analysis that found more than 1,150 fake accounts. Twitter deleted approximately 1,090 of these accounts, according to Jones. His analysis determined that the average account-creation time was one to three per minute, suggesting these accounts were created using an automated process.

The profiles were in various languages, including French, Spanish, English and German, but usually had Arabic bios. They often had strange names — like Noble Betty Thomas — and zero followers.

“They had clearly made-up names,” Sarah Leah Whitson, who also experienced a large influx of new followers, told MintPress. “The vast majority of them had Israeli names and Israeli addresses. Some of them had made-up Arab names, which were mangled. It’s clear that they’re [using] stolen images of people.”

In response to the bulk followings, software developer Daniel Easterman created a free script to automatically report and block hundreds of these bots for users.

Easterman said the spamming problem has a censorship effect by forcing users to make their accounts private. “This means they won’t be able to distribute their messages widely as they would normally,” Easterman told MintPress News.

Another area of particular concern is how a flood of fake followers may cause Twitter to shut down an account. “When you see such a dramatic increase in followers, it’s usually somebody manipulating the system for commercial gain,” Easterman said. “So that could trigger Twitter to automatically flag that as suspicious activity and suspend the activist’s account.”

Using Twitter to target human rights defenders and journalists isn’t unusual. In 2017, journalist Iona Craig and others who report on Yemen were spammed with thousands of fake followers. Many speculated the culprits were state entities belonging to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The reason behind this particular mass following campaign remains unknown. Jones hypothesized it’s acting as a form of social media suppression, writing on Twitter:

Some suggest it’s a means to degrade the algorithmic quality of a Twitter account so that it possibly gets suspended; some suggest it’s others trying to boost popularity of an account. When it’s unsolicited, as in this case, I tend to think it’s more of a targeting operation. I am naturally cynical, but most people who get a sudden influx of fake followers feel unnerved and uncomfortable. If that fact is widely known, it functions as a tool of surveillance and potentially intimidation (e.g., you are being watched). It also makes many people mute their accounts for a bit which has a censorship effect.”

Razek, Whitson, and others told MintPress that the flood of fake followers appears to be diminishing for them. However, a new operation has emerged.

In the past week, Jones found around 2,800 fake accounts following pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist accounts who have recently been tweeting on the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh.

“This network is likely the same as the one found at [the] end of April, although now it is active,” Jones wrote on Twitter.

The accounts have between 0 to 20 followers, with the majority of bios written in English and simply stating the account location, which is Israel. Most accounts don’t have a banner picture and the profile pictures have purportedly been swiped from real people.

According to Jones, the accounts have begun liking and retweeting posts, without any real partisan regularity: they like both pro- and anti-Palestinian subject matter and follow both pro-Zionist and pro-Palestinian accounts but appear to target the pro-Palestinian side more. Accounts targeted include The Jerusalem Post; the government of Israel’s official state account; activist organization Jewish Voice for Peace; the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; Israeli journalist Ilan Pappe; and former Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi.

Again, the reason for the bulk followers remains unclear. “Those who get followed understandably find it intimidating, as if a form of surveillance or a technique to try and degrade [the] quality of an account with low-quality follows,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “The fact remains, these are clearly fake accounts and ruin the experience of Twitter.”


Palestinian digital-rights experts have long decried the increasing censorship of Palestinian content online. During Israel’s assault on Gaza and the upticks in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Compound and in Sheikh Jarrah in May 2021, Palestinian activists reported social media companies were removing their content on Israeli violence and ethnic cleansing for violating community guidelines.

The social media censorship didn’t stop when tensions died down over the summer, though. Last month, social media users in Jordan said their posts related to Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa were taken down and their accounts blocked. Additionally, accounts belonging to Palestinian news publications covering the violence in occupied East Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa were deactivated by Facebook.

In their recent monthly report on social media violations, Palestinian NGO Sada Social stated the deletion of Palestinian content “is in line with and in response to Israeli requests to tighten the screws on Palestinians and their media.”

Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid also accused Instagram of shadow-banning (having content viewership limited) her pro-Palestinian content during Ramadan.

Razek suggested the swarm of fake followers on Twitter may be an extension of Instagram’s alleged shadow-banning. “The purpose is to pollute our algorithms and make our accounts less visible. So in the way that Instagram is shadow-banning some content, this could be a way that Twitter shadow-bans our content,” she said.

While the identities behind the fake followers haven’t been revealed, many have pointed to Israel. The Israeli government’s targeting of Palestinian digital content is well-documented. According to 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, the Israeli Ministry of Justice Cyber Unit sends content-removal requests aimed at Palestinian content to social media companies such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube. The Justice Ministry has boasted these corporations comply with 95% of their requests. And Israeli governmental organizations and NGOs also encourage their citizens to flag Palestinian content for removal.


Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s pending purchase of Twitter came with a promise of securing free speech on the digital platform. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” the self-declared free-speech advocate said in a statement about his Twitter deal.

While digital-rights experts like Jones are wary of Musk’s potential Twitter takeover, Whitson, who’s experienced targeted attacks, harassment, and censorship threats for decades for speaking out against Israeli abuses, views the buyout positively.  For the executive director of nonprofit Democracy for the Arab World (DAWN), the risk of corporate censorship is a bigger issue than online hate speech. Whitson said:

I’m hopeful that Elon Musk will be true to his word to protect and promote free speech and to end concerted efforts to target and cancel speech that we don’t like. Seeing how Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have launched systematic efforts to silence pro-Palestine activist voices, I’m very wary of corporate moderators deciding what speech is and isn’t acceptable.”

Whitson doesn’t agree the bots are a form of censorship, but she does see them as an assault on free speech. “It’s a form of targeted harassment and bullying,” she said. “It’s a targeted attack on people who are speaking freely, including journalists and human rights activists.”


MAY 26TH, 2022


By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – Zionists like to admonish Palestinians by saying that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. But, according to Zionist talking points, Palestinians missed several opportunities when Israel was willing to graciously “give” them pieces of their own land. Moreover, it is alleged that Palestinians have missed so many of these great opportunities that they have no one to blame but themselves for their misfortunes.


piece by Richard Cravatts published in the Times of Israel, and later republished in other publications, is a particularly asinine example of this admonition. In his piece, “An Open Letter to Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Your Fellow Travelers,” Cravatts writes: “Millions of Palestinian refugees [have been] created by your people’s repeated rejection of offers of statehood – in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, and other occasions….”

Blaming the Palestinians for the ongoing tragedy of the refugees is not only callous but as outrageous as blaming the victims of the Holocaust for the horrors of the Nazis. I can testify that I have heard more than one Zionist claim that the Jews whom the Nazis killed had it coming because they did not heed the call of the Zionists. Had the Jews of Europe come to Palestine to steal and live on other people’s land, the Nazis would have spared them, a theme found throughout Yoav Shamir’s 2009 documentary, “Defamation.”

The claim that Palestinians are prone to missing opportunities is one of the most common Zionist lines, and they still use it because it works – because unfortunately there exists such a lack of knowledge regarding the history of Palestine that Zionists can loudly proclaim that “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!” and go unchallenged. Another iteration of this claim is, “If only the Palestinians had the foresight to accept Zionist offers, or at least offers that the Zionists were agreeable to, things would have been so much better for them.” “Them” being the Palestinians.

Anyone familiar with the Zionist talking points has heard the claim that the Palestinians “missed opportunities” so they have no one to blame for their lot but themselves. In a recent lecture I gave in southern California, a Palestinian student asked me how to reply to this argument. His question was specifically about the Zionist accusation that Palestinians rejected the Two-State Solution.


We will set aside the fact that this is an outright lie for a moment. We will not get into this issue in-depth, only to say that in fact, since the 1970s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (the PLO) has been the only party striving to achieve a Two-State Solution and that their willingness to make this enormous sacrifice cost them a great deal and made things worse for Palestinians the world over.

This argument typically comes from Zionists who live in the United States or the U.K. and who think it is OK that Israel has taken all of Palestine. They never admonish Israel for annexing the Syrian Golan Heights or East Jerusalem. They have no issue with Israel’s building entire cities on Palestinian land. This accusation comes from Zionists who believe Israel has a right to colonize all of historic Palestine.

Israel has a right to do this because, so they tell us, Jewish people around the world may (or may not) be related to a tribe that resided in Palestine some two or three thousand years ago. They tell us that this tribe, called the Hebrews, which may or may not have any historical connection to modern-day Israel and the Jewish people, is the reason it is OK for the modern State of Israel to commit unspeakable crimes against an entire nation.


What is implied in the admonitions by Zionists is that Zionism and the colonization of Palestine by Zionist Jews are legitimate and that the Palestinians refuse to accept this legitimacy. However, these admonitions present us with opportunities to raise a larger question. The question that ought to be asked is: Why in the world would Palestinians accept any offer by their colonizers? Why would any colonized nation accept anything but the total defeat of their colonizers and oppressors, especially considering that these “offers” fail to include the liberation of all of historic Palestine?

The answer is that there is no reason. The attempts at partitioning and slicing Palestine have all been part of a strategy meant to legitimize the violent Zionist takeover of Palestine and delegitimize the Palestinian rejection of it.

The aforementioned senseless, mindless Zionist propaganda piece starts by addressing Rep. Tlaib as follows:

On May 16th, you and some other members of The Squad, including Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, McCollum, and others, introduced a loathsome resolution, H. RES. 1123, which had as its purpose “Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian refugees’ rights” and to “commemorate the Nakba,” the catastrophe you assign to Israel’s creation, “through official recognition and remembrance.” According to your baleful resolution, the Nakba not only took place at Israel’s founding “but [refers] to an ongoing process of Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land and its dispossession of the Palestinian people that continues to this day.”

In this typical Zionist propaganda piece, Cravatts calls the proposed legislation to recognize the Nakba “loathsome.” Amnesty International recently published a report accusing Israel of committing the crime of apartheid — a crime so heinous it is designated as a “crime against humanity.” Interestingly, the writer does not find those who commit the crime of apartheid loathsome, only the legislation recognizing the victims of the crime.

What is loathsome, however, is that the United States is complicit in the crimes against the Palestinians. It is loathsome to live in the United States and to justify, explain and provide cover – thin as it may be – for the brutal regime that has been tearing Palestine apart for over seven decades. And it is loathsome to stand by and applaud as the state of Israel continues to brutalize an entire nation while the world, and Israeli society, look the other away.

‘Israeli’ Regime Claims ‘No Suspicion of Crime’ in Killing of Palestinian Journo Shireen Abu Akleh

May 24, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

There has been “no suspicion of crime” in the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the Tel Aviv regime claimed two weeks after ‘Israeli’ forces shot dead the veteran reporter in the occupied West Bank.

Abu Akleh, a veteran of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network’s Arabic service, was shot in the head on May 11, when she was reporting on an ‘Israeli’ raid on the Jenin refugee camp.

Her tragic death sent shockwaves across the region, drawing global condemnation. The United Nations and the European Union, among others, called for a full investigation into what has been described as a deliberate killing “in cold blood.”

On Monday, the Zionist regime’s Military Advocate Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi claimed in a statement that “Given that Ms. Abu Akleh was killed in the midst of an active combat zone, there can be no immediate suspicion of criminal activity absent further evidence.”

Tomer-Yerushalmi, whose comments will definitely infuriate Palestinians, will ultimately be responsible for determining whether any individual ‘Israeli’ occupation soldier will face disciplinary action over the fatal shooting.

She alleged that the Tel Aviv regime does not yet know whether the journalist was killed by stray Palestinian gunfire or by an ‘Israeli’ bullet aimed at an armed Palestinian, meaning that she does not consider the intentionally targeting Abu Akleh by ‘Israeli’ troopers even as a possibility.

The military “is taking every effort to examine the circumstances of the incident in order to understand how Ms. Abu Akleh was killed,” Tomer-Yerushalmi went on to claim.

Eyewitnesses and journalists who were with Abu Akleh on the day she was shot described the shooting as a “deliberate attempt” to kill journalists.

Shatha Hanaysha, a news correspondent and an eyewitness to the shootings, said they were not caught up in crossfire with Palestinian fighters like the ‘Israeli’ army claimed, stressing, “It was an ‘Israeli’ sniper” that shot at them.

“We made ourselves visible to the soldiers who were stationed hundreds of meters away from us. We remained still for around 10 minutes to make sure they knew we were there as journalists,” she wrote in a blow-by-blow account of the shooting incident.

As no warning shots were fired, the journalists, all wearing press helmet and body armor, felt safe enough to move towards the camp, Hanaysha further explained. However, “Out of nowhere, we heard the first gunshot.”

Soon after the assassination, Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also claimed at first that “it appears likely that armed Palestinians — who were firing indiscriminately at the time — were responsible for the death of the journalist.”

However, the latest footage, which was filmed by a Jenin resident, shows quiet moments, with no sounds of fighting between ‘Israeli’ forces and Palestinians, confirming that Abu Akleh was shot dead by ‘Israeli’ snipers on purpose, and not accidentally by a stray bullet as Tomer-Yerushalmi trying to suggest.

Israeli occupation issues sentence against Freedom Tunnel prisoners محكمة الاحتلال تقضي بالسجن 5 سنوات وغرامة مالية على أسرى نفق الحرية

Israeli occupation issues sentence against Freedom Tunnel prisoners

May 22, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Ne

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli occupation court issues a sentence of 5 years and 8 months of imprisonment against the Freedom Tunnel prisoners, except for Zakaria Al-Zubaidi.

PPC lawyer Khaled Mahajna: These sentences are an example of “Israel’s” arbitrary practices against the Palestinian people

The Israeli occupation court issued a sentence on Sunday against the Palestinian prisoners who broke out of Gilboa Prison on September 6, in what was later known as the Freedom Tunnel operation.

Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent said the occupation court sentenced five of the prisoners to five years and eight months in prison, adding that Zakaria Al-Zubaidi was not sentenced today because of his different circumstances.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club lawyer Khaled Mahajna told Al Mayadeen that the rulings against the prisoners were “unfair”, adding that these sentences are an example of “Israel’s” arbitrary practices against the Palestinian people.

Mahajna noted that the rulings can be appealed, but there is no trust whatsoever in the Israeli courts’ system. 

Earlier, the prisoners’ lawyer said 11 prisoners were being sentenced today for the 2021 prison break from Gilboa in September, clarifying that five of the defendants are accused of providing assistance to the others to escape, as per the Israeli claims.

Mahajna also said that he does not expect the Israeli occupation to do them justice, rather it will conspire with Israeli intelligence and the prosecution’s demands and will force harsh sentences against them in order to please the “Israeli public” and feign an achievement after the embarrassment the prisoners caused them.

He declared that this “show trial” the prisoners are undergoing is illegal and inhumane, noting that if the sentences are harsh, the defendants’ team of lawyers will head to the Central Court and the Higher Court to appeal any sentence considered harsher than expected.

The other prisoners that provided assistance to the Freedom Tunnel prisoners as per Israeli claims were later sentenced to four years of imprisonment and a fine.

On the Monday morning of September 6, 2021, six Palestinian prisoners broke out of the high-security Israeli Gilboa prison through a tunnel they dug, which led them outside the prison walls before they were arrested.

The Freedom Tunnel prisoners are Mahmoud Al-Aridah, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, Yaqoub Qadri, Mohammad Al-Aridah, Ayham Kamamji, and Munadel Nafi’at.

Mahmoud Al-Aridah and Yaqoub Qadri were re-arrested four days later, on September 10, 2021 in Al-Nasra. Zakaria Al-Zubaidi and Mohammad Al-Aridah were re-arrested the next day, and Ayham Kamamji and Mundadel Nafi’at on Sunday the 19th, after the house they had barricaded themselves in, east of Jenin, was surrounded.

محكمة الاحتلال تقضي بالسجن 5 سنوات وغرامة مالية على أسرى نفق الحرية

الاحتلال يصدر حكماً  بالسجن 5 سنوات على 5 من أسرى نفق الحرية 

أصدرت محكمة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، اليوم الأحد، الحكم على الأسرى الفلسطينيين الذين شاركوا في عملية “نفق الحرية”.

وقالت مراسلة الميادين إنّ محكمة الاحتلال حكمت بالسجن 5 سنوات و8 أشهر وغرامة مالية على أسرى نفق الحرية.

وأعلنت أنّ الاحتلال حكم على الأسرى الذين يتهمهم بمساعدة أسرى نفق الحرية بالسجن 4 سنوات وغرامة مالية.

وقال محامي نادي الأسير خالد محاجنة للميادين، إنّ الأحكام الصادرة بحق الأسرى “غير عادلة”، مضيفاً أنّ “الأحكام الصادرة هي نموذج من ممارسات إسرائيل بحق الشعب الفلسطيني”.

ولفت محاجنة إلى أنّه يمكن استئناف الأحكام، “لكن لا تعويل على نظام المحاكم الإسرائيلية”،مشيراً إلى أنّ  قوات الاحتلال تحاول إبعاد الصحافيين من قاعة المحكمة.

وفي وقت سابق، أكد محامي أسرى نفق الحرية، أن 11 أسيراً سوف يعرضون على المحكمة اليوم للبت في عملية انتزاع حريتهم من سجن جلبوع في أيلول 2021، موضحاً أنّ 5 من “المتهمين” يزعم الاحتلال تقديمهم المساعدة لأسرى نفق الحرية ال6.

وقال محاجنة إنّه لا يتوقع أن تنصفهم المحكمة، بل سترضخ وتتواطأ مع مطالب النيابة والمخابرات الإسرائيلية وفرض عقوبات صعبة من أجل إرضاء “الجمهور الإسرائيلي” ومحاولة الخروج بإنجاز معين  بعد الإحراج  الذي سببه لهم الأسرى.

وأشار المحامي إلى أنّ المحكمة الصورية التي تمارس على الأسرى غير إنسانية وغير قانونية، مشيراً إلى أنّه في حال كانت الأحكام التي ستطلق صعبة، سيتوجه طاقم المحامين إلى المحكمة المركزية ومحكمة العدل العليا لاستئناف كل حكم سيكون فوق المتوقع.

وفي مطلع الشهر الجاري، أكدت هيئة شؤون الأسرى والمحررين، أنّ سلطات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، تُواصل عزل الأسير زكريا الزبيدي داخل زنازين العزل الانفرادي منذ ما يقارب 8 أشهر.

وحمّلت هيئة الأسرى سلطات الاحتلال المسؤولية الكاملة عن حياة الأسير الزبيدي ورفاقه الآخرين الذين انتزعوا حريتهم من سجن “جلبوع”، في ظل ما تقوم به إدارة سجون الاحتلال من إجراءات عقابية بحقهم وابتكار أساليب قمعية جديدة تنفذها ضدهم.

وكانت المحكمة قد نظرت، في نيسان/أبريل الماضي، في طلب النيابة العامة فرض عقوبات إضافية عليهم وعلى 5 أسرى آخرين، تنسب إليهم سلطات الاحتلال تهماً بمساعدة الأسرى ال 6 في الهروب.

74 Years of Historical Injustice: The Creation of “Israel”

18 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Hussam AbdelKareem 

The British colonialists viewed the Zionist movement as a tool for their imperial designs and hence the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917.

74 Years of Historical Injustice: The Creation of “Israel”

“Al-Nakba” is the Arabic term used to commemorate the creation of the “State of Israel” on May 15, 1948. “Al Nakba” literally means “catastrophe”, which best describes how Arab peoples feel about the creation of the Hebrew “state” in Palestine at the expense of its legitimate owners; the Palestinian Arabs.

In 1948, the principles of right and justice were, literally, butchered at the hands of the Zionist gangs and militias known as Haganah, which later turned into the “Israeli Army”. The Jewish Zionists in Palestine, who emigrated mainly from Eastern Europe, were preparing for this day for decades. The Zionists knew very well that they were not welcomed in Palestine and will never be accepted by Arab nations, so conquering the land by force was their sole path to achieving their goals in Palestine. War with the Arabs, in the Zionists’ eyes, was inevitable. Extensive military planning and preparations were undertaken by the Zionists in Palestine since their early arrivals at the beginning of the 20th century and particularly after Great Britain took over Palestine at the end of World War I.

The British colonialists viewed the Zionist movement as a tool for their imperial designs and hence the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, confirming Great Britain’s commitment to establishing a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. The Zionists were receiving full support from the colonial power, which was true to its pledge. Waves of Jewish immigrants arrived from Europe to strengthen the Zionist project in Palestine, and by 1947, when the Palestine partition plan was passed at the UN, the Zionists had a 75,000 semi-army force, which was further aided by another 20,000 Jewish militants in the following year when they waged their war on the Arabs in Palestine in 1948. When the British withdrew their forces from Palestine in 1948, they handed their military installations, camps, and equipment to the Haganah, thus leaving behind them a fully armed and well-trained Jewish army ready to fight the Arabs in Palestine who were practically deprived of weapons and even the slightest means of defense.

The Zionists, who were owning a mere 6% of the land in Palestine in 1948, launched their “war of independence” against the Arabs, which ended in declaring their Jewish “state of Israel” after conquering about 80% of historical Palestine by force and bloodshed. The war was brutal, and the Zionists exhibited utmost forms of savagery and cruelty. Many massacres against civilian Arabs were committed in several cities and villages in Palestine. In one of the most horrible massacres, 254 civilian villagers, including women and children, were killed in cold blood at the hands of Zionist terrorists in the town of Der Yassin, near Jerusalem. Other brutal crimes were also committed in Haifa, Tantura, and Lydd, and the Zionist terror campaign resulted in about 800,000 Palestinian Arabs fleeing their homes and lands and becoming refugees in neighboring Arab countries, namely Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. Total destruction was inflicted by the Haganah on 531 Arab villages all over Palestine. About 85% of the Arabs who lived within the borders of the to-be “State of Israel” were forcefully expelled. It was ethnic cleansing in its ugliest forms.  

The world was watching while these Zionist crimes were happening in Palestine and did practically nothing except some relief efforts and humanitarian aid. Even when “Israel” officially decided to confiscate the Palestinian refugees’ homes, lands, and properties in 1949, the UN did not bother to intervene. Actually, it was no surprise, as the UN was under the domination of the Great Powers of the post-World War II era, particularly the UK and USA, both supporting the new Jewish “state” which was planted in the heart of the Arab world.

After the 1948 war ended, “Israel’ firmly refused to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their country and demanded they be settled permanently in the other Arab countries. Furthermore, “Israel” refused to admit to the crimes committed by its troops and even declined to acknowledge its responsibility for uprooting the Palestinian Arabs and turning most of them into stateless refugees in miserable camps. The Israeli narrative about the Palestinian refugee problem is that they “voluntarily” left their homes and lands! And “Israel” refused to pay any financial compensation to the refugees whose properties were illegally confiscated and taken over by Jewish settlers. In 1967, another wave of displaced Palestinian refugees was added to the 1948 one to make the problem even worse. Again, the world did nothing apart from some expressions of sorrow for the humanitarian suffering of the refugees. With the help of its patron, the US, “Israel” escaped any accountability for its crimes and actions.

Seven decades have passed, with successive generations, and the status of the Palestinian refugees is still the same; not allowed to return to their historical homeland, not compensated, and not recognized as victims of historical injustice!

“Al-Nakba” will remain the term to be used to describe what happened on May 15, 1948, as long as the Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation continues. It’s a shame that the world allows such a tragedy to go on this long. It’s a shame that “Israel” is left without accountability.

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

Constantly on the Verge of Collapse: How Palestinians Became a Factor in Israeli Politics

May 18, 2022

Israeli politicians Naftali Bennett (L) and Ayelet Shaked. (Photo: via Wikimedia commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

Israel’s coalition government of right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is on the verge of collapse, which is unsurprising. Israeli politics, after all, is among the most fractious in the world, and this particular coalition was born out of the obsessive desire to dethrone Israel’s former leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Netanyahu was successfully ousted in June 2021, Bennett’s coalition has been left to contend with the painful reality that its odd political components have very little in common.

On April 6, Israeli lawmaker Ildit Salman defected from the coalition, leaving Bennett and his temporary allies wrangling with the fact that their Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) coalition no longer has a majority. Now that the Knesset count stands at 60-60, a single defection could potentially send Israelis back to the voting booth, which has been quite habitual recently.

Two current Bennett allies, Abir Kara and Bir Orbach, are possible defectors. Even Bennett’s old Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) partner, Ayelet Shaked, could ultimately betray him, once his coalition ship begins sinking. And it is.

Both Bennett and Shaked left the Jewish Home in 2018 to form Yamina. Although the latter won only seven seats in the March 2021 elections, the far-right party proved to be the kingmaker, which allowed the anti-Netanyahu coalition to be formed. The only alternative to this current coalition would have been a government in which Netanyahu and Bennett would alternate the prime minister post. Though Bennett is a protegé of Netanyahu, the current prime minister knew too well that his former boss cannot be trusted.

So, instead, Bennett opted to join a hotchpotch coalition of political desperados, each joining an unlikely government for simply having no other option. For example, Yesh Atid (17 seats), and Kahol Lavan (8 seats), once part of the Blue and White center-right coalition, betrayed their political base by joining far-right Yamina and, consequently, leaving behind Telem of Moshe Yalon, which now has no Knesset representation.

The same can be said of Labor (7 seats) and Meretz (6 seats) who, earlier, were the backbone of the Israeli political establishment – in 1992 they had 56 seats combined. Losing faith in their own political base, they opted to join their supposed ideological nemesis, instead of enduring the painstaking process of breathing life into a dying camp.

The captivating part of the story is the United Arab List of Mansour Abbas, which is rightly perceived to have betrayed its Arab base in Israel and its own Palestinian people everywhere else. As the Israeli army is cracking down on Palestinian communities throughout historic Palestine, including Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Naqab – Mansour Abbas’ own base – this strange political creature remains committed to Bennett, though nervous about future possibilities, especially that the nature of the Israeli attacks on Palestinians are increasingly shifting towards a religious war.

Consequently, it is hard to imagine that Bennett’s government could realistically survive till 2025. In fact, it is quite rare in Israeli politics that any government coalition has served its full four-year term. Still, Israel’s historic political instability is worsening. In fact, Bennett’s government is the outcome of an agonizing political process that saw Israeli voters cast their votes in four different general elections in only two years.

Perhaps, what is keeping Bennett’s coalition together, though precariously, is the menacing image of Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, sinisterly watching from across the Knesset aisles while waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. Some Israeli analysts even argue that the defection of MK Salman was largely instigated by the abuse and intimidation she received from Netanyahu’s Likud party, which saw her as a traitor to their right-wing agenda.

Regardless of the fate of Bennett’s government, Israel’s political crisis will continue indefinitely, and there are reasons for this.

Though the Israeli right has dominated the country’s politics for many years, especially since 1996, it remains fractious and opportunistic. The constant need to feed the insatiable appetite of the country’s powerful right-wing constituency keeps pushing Israel’s right-wing parties further to the right. They are merely united around such values as the racial and religious supremacy of Israeli Jews, their hate for Palestinians and Arabs, the desire to expand the illegal Jewish settlements and the rejection of any mediated solution that would provide Palestinians with their basic human rights.

The left in Israel is, frankly, not a left at all. It is recognized as such, largely because of its ‘peace-process’ legacy, which died with the assassination of Labor Minister Yitzhak Rabi, in 1995. Tellingly, Rabin was not a peacenik but one of Israel’s most militant and violent leaders. However, the erroneous association, linking any Israeli leader with the ‘peace process’, automatically classified that individual as a ‘leftist’. According to Israeli analyst Oz Aruch, this also applied to Ariel Sharon. The name of the late notorious Israeli prime minister and Army General is associated with the Sabra and Shatila massacre, along with other horrific episodes.

Without a real ideology and without a ‘peace process’, or even the desire to engage in one, the Israeli left has become irrelevant.

The same applies to the center which, by definition, is the political camp that occupies the space between the right and the left. With the right being in constant redefinition and the left having no strong ideological base, the Israeli center has proven equally hopeless. The outcome of the April 2019 elections, when the center coalition Blue and White obtained 35 seats, should have been a watershed moment for Israel’s political center. This ultimately culminated to nil, and eventually led to the collapse of Blue and White itself.

While this is taking place in Israel, the Palestinian body politic has been slowly reanimating. Though Palestinian Arab parties in Israel remain divided, and Palestinian groups in the occupied territories are yet to find their common ground, Palestinian communities, especially the younger generations, have been articulating a new political discourse. With grassroots leaderships, they are coordinating their actions from occupied Jerusalem to Gaza, to the Naqab to the West Bank and to Palestinian communities in Israel itself.

For the first time in many years, Israel finds itself in a position where it is no longer the only party that is shaping events or determining outcomes in the country. Therefore, Israeli political instability will worsen. Contrastingly, Palestinians are finally becoming a factor in Israeli politics and, through their popular resistance, can mobilize to put pressure on Israel as has been the case in recent years.

Israel is now facing the dilemma of either ignoring this new Palestinian factor, at its own peril, or accepting the inescapable fact that Israel can never enjoy stability while Palestinians remain occupied, confined and oppressed.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is

“Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

17 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Atilio A. Boron 

How long will Washington’s double discourse last?

“Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

Israeli government troops assassinated Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, one of the leading figures of Al Jazeera TV network. Yet, Washington and the Western media and governments remain silent in complicity against this unspeakable crime, not only for the murder itself but also for the vicious attack on freedom of the press. Can you imagine how these governments and their dependent press would have reacted if this crime had been committed against a Venezuelan-American journalist in Venezuela? This news would have been the cover of all the newspapers in the West and the subject of all the radio and television programs, denouncing the brutality of the Maduro “regime”. But, since the crime was committed by the Israelis, what prevails is silence and concealment of the information. Again, the damn double standard of the empire!

Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead while covering an Israeli army incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. A Palestinian colleague of the murdered journalist, Ali Samudi, was also attacked by Zionist bullets and was shot in the back, fortunately not causing fatal injuries. The “Israel” Defense Force confirmed that it carried out an operation Wednesday morning in the Jenin refugee camp, but denied that they have shot at journalists present at the scene. However, Israeli army sources assured that there was an exchange of fire on the ground and Defense Minister Benny Gantz himself told the foreign press at night that the army “was not sure how the journalist died. Maybe it was a Palestinian who shot her, the shot could also have come from our side, we are investigating,” Gantz said. Nevertheless, one of the photographers from the French news agency AFP said that Israeli forces were firing in the area and that he saw the body of the Al Jazeera reporter on the ground. In addition, he said that there were no armed Palestinians in the area.

Al Jazeera called on the international community to hold “Israel” responsible for the “intentional” death of the journalist. “In a flagrant murder that violates international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces cold-bloodedly murdered the Al Jazeera correspondent in the Palestinian territories,” the channel said. Qatari Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater said on Twitter that the correspondent was shot “in the face” and called the act “Israeli state terrorism.” For its part, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), the autonomous Palestinian government based in the West Bank, described the journalist’s death as an “execution” and as part of the Israeli effort to hide the “truth” of its occupation of the West Bank. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that these protests will find an echo in the Western press, completely controlled by US imperialism and its European lackeys.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid assured that his country wanted to join an “investigation into the sad death of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh” and stressed that “journalists must be protected in conflict zones”, for which “Tel Aviv” has “the responsibility to get to the truth.” The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called for the facts to be investigated by “both parties” in a transparent manner. In a completely hollow speech the diplomatic stressed that the “absolute priority” of the United States is “the protection of American citizens and journalists”, something blatantly false. Beautiful words, devoid of any substance because the United States and Western countries have been endorsing the genocidal policies of the state of “Israel” since 1948, and there is nothing to suggest that this policy will be changed in the near future, especially in the context of the Ukrainian war.

For its part, Amnesty International (AI) pointed out that the “increase in unlawful killings” in recent times is one more example of the need to put an end to “Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians.” In an unusually harsh public statement, the organization denounced what could be “extrajudicial executions” against Palestinians. It also said that “the murder” of the journalist “is a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which “Israel” locks up Palestinians. “Israel” is killing Palestinians left and right with impunity. How many more must die before the international community acts to hold “Israel” accountable?” questioned AI’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Saleh Higazi. This statement is in line with a recent declaration by Noam Chomsky, who accused the Israeli government of practicing genocidal policies in Gaza, the largest open-air prison in the world according to his words. The sad culmination of this policy followed by the neo-Nazi government of “Israel” was the scandalous repression that occurred during the funeral of Abu Akleh, which offends the most basic canons of human rights. However, despite these brutal transgressions and “Israel”‘s escalation of repression in recent weeks -in which at least 31 people were killed- the American government continues to monolithically support the slaughterers of the Palestinian people.

How long will Washington’s double discourse last? How is it that Biden, who claims to be recognized as a champion of human rights, supports a regime like the Israeli one that, since its foundation, has systematically violated the human, social and economic rights of the Palestinians stealing their land, destroying their houses and condemning them to a trickle-down genocide?

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

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (28 April- 11 May 2022)

12 05, 2022

(This weekly report covers two weeks due to holidays)

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Five Palestinian civilians, including a female journalist and a child, were killed and 27 others, including a woman, a female journalist and a male journalist, were injured, while tens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in separate incidents in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 30 April 2022, a Palestinian civilian was killed after being shot with a live bullet in his chest while walking on the street during the Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF)  incursion into Azzun village in Qalqilya.

Om 08 May 2022, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian, from the Gaza Strip and resided in the West Bank, while trying to sneak into Israel through a hole in the annexation wall in southern Tulkarm. More information available here. On the same day, a child, from Bethlehem, was killed after being shot with 4 live bullets by an Israeli security officer, under the pretext that he sneaked into “Tekoa” settlement that is established on Bethlehem lands. IOF claimed that he had a knife in his possession. There were no eyewitnesses to the incident.

On 11 May 2022, journalist Shireen Abu ‘Akleh, Al-Jazeera media network’s reporter, was killed and her colleague was injured by the IOF fire during their coverage of IOF’s incursion into Jenin refugee camp. More information available here. On the same day, IOF killed a Palestinian boy during clashes in al-Bireh city in Ramallah, after chasing Palestinian protestors in the area. More information available here.

Meanwhile, those wounded were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 30 April 2022, two Palestinians were injured with live bullets during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Zababdeh village, southeast of Jenin.

On 01 May 2022, a Palestinian sustained live bullet wounds in his foot while others suffocated after clashed with IOF at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron.

On 02 May 2022, 3 Palestinians were wounded with rubber bullets and other suffocated during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah.

On 05 May 2022, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet in his foot during clashes with IOF near Kalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem. On the same day, IOF beat and pushed Palestinians present in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied East Jerusalem. This coincided with IOF’s securing the raids of  hundreds of Israeli settlers to the mosque’s yards. Also, IOF surrounded Palestinian worshipers inside al-Qibli chapel and al-Marwani Mosque, closed the doors of the mosques and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets inside them. As a result, the glass of Salah Al-Din Minbar (pulpit) in al-Qibili chapel was broken. In addition, IOF severely assaulted Palestinian women, who tried to present during settlers’ raids to the mosque, obstructed press crews’ work and forced them to evacuate the mosque’s yards.

On 06 May 2022, 4 Palestinians were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya.

On 07 May 2022, a Palestinian sustained live bullet wounds in his shoulder after IOF opened fire at a group of Palestinian workers who tried to enter Israel via a hole in the annexation wall in southern Qalqilya. On the same day, 3 Palestinians were inured with rubber bullets fired by IOF to disperse a Palestinian group gathered to confront settlers, who moved into Haris village in northern Salfit and attacked Palestinians’ houses.  Also, a Palestinian woman sustained wounds while trying to prevent IOF from assaulting her husband.

On 08 May 2022, a journalist and human rights defender sustained bruises after being assaulted and dragged on the ground by IOF while covering and filming IOF demolition of a tin-plate room in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron. On the same day, a Palestinian was shot with IOF’s fire while passing through a military checkpoint in Bab al-‘Amoud area in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext that he stabbed a police officer. IOF prevented to provide first aid to him for more than half an hour before he was transported to Hadassah Hospital in a critical condition.

On 09 May 2022,  three Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot with live bullets during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Nablus to secure Israeli settlers raids to Joseph’s tomb from the eastern side. On the same day, 4 Palestinians were injured by IOF’s fire while trying to confront settlers attacks in Azzun village in Qalqilya.

On 10 May 2022, a female journalist sustained teargas canister shrapnel wounds in her foot and 6 other Palestinians were assaulted during IOF demolition of al-Rajbi family house in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 11 May 2022, a Palestinian was critically injured by IOF’s fire at al-Qatateen gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, before he was arrested, under the pretext that he tried to carry out a stabbing attack. Following the incident, IOF closed al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, physically assaulted Palestinian worshipers, prevented them from present in the mosque’s yards, and arrested one of them.

 In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 8 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, eight IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 46 Palestinians, including 36 civilians: 9 children, 4 women, including a female journalist, and the rest were activists; 3 of them were assassinated. Also, IOF attacks wounded 551others, including 63 children, 4 women and 18 journalists : all in the West Bank, except 7 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

During the reporting period, 21 settler-attacks were reported in the West Bank: 7 Palestinians, including 2 journalists, sustained bruises; 397 trees were cut and damaged and several vehicles sustained material damage. Details are as follows:

On 29 April 2022, Israeli settlers, from “Kochav Hashachar” settlement, cut and seized 60 grape seedlings from an agricultural land in Kafr Malik village in Ramallah. In the evening, settlers, from ” Shilo” settlement, threw stones at Palestinian vehicles passing on Ramallah-Nablus street. Also, settlers, from ” Givat Asaf” settlement, Palestinian vehicles passing on a street leading to Beitin village, east of Ramallah.

On 03 May 2022, a Palestinian sustained wounds during settlers’ attacks on Kafr Malik village in Ramallah. Also, settlers ran over 3 sheep in the area.

On 05 May 2022, Israeli settlers, from ” Ma’ale Livona” settlement, cut olive trees twigs in Sinjil village, northeast of Ramallah. On the same day, Israeli settlers damaged 300 olive trees and legume crops planted in 15 dunums after grazing their sheep in these dunums in western Al-Khader village in Bethlehem. Also, Israeli settlers physically assaulted Palestinians, who confronted settlers to prevent settlers from seizing 60 dunums in Al-Khader village in Bethlehem. In the evening, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the intersection of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. As a result, a glass of a vehicle was broken and his owner was injured. In addition, Israeli settlers damaged  a Palestinian vehicle and broke its windows, 500 meters away from Al-Mughayyir village’s intersection, north of Ramallah. Also, they attacked and damaged a Palestinian bus at the entrance to Beit Furik village, and attacked another vehicle near Huwara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus.

On 06 May 2022, Israeli settlers, from ” Yitzhar” settlement, attacked 3 houses in Urif village, southeast of Nablus, and set 3 vehicles parked in the area on fire. 

On 07 May 2022, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian houses at the main intersection leading to Haris village, north of Salfit. On the same day, settlers cut 30 olive trees from Kafr ad-Dik land, west of Salfit.

On 08 May 2022, Israeli settlers threw stones at a bus carrying 15 players, including 4 children, from ‘Azmout club at Beit Furik military checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, causing material damage to it. On the same day, Israeli settlers threw stones at a Palestinian vehicle at Huwara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, broke its windshield and caused material damage to it. Also, settlers attacked 7 Palestinian vehicles parked on Nablus street in central occupied East Jerusalem, causing material damage to them.

On 09 May 2022, Israeli settlers, from  Ma’on ” settlement, uprooted 20 olive trees in eastern Yatta in Hebron. On the same day, 3 Palestinians, including 2 journalists, were injured during settlers’ attacks in Azzun village in  Qalqilya.

On 10 May 2022, Israeli settlers uprooted 17 olive seedlings and damaged an agricultural room on Kafr ad-Dik village’s lands, west of Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 120 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

Israeli authorities demolished 14 houses and dwellings, making 19 families homeless, a total of  90 persons, including 21 women and 51 children. Also, they demolished 10 commercial facilities , built a road for settlers, razed 22 dunums, and authorized the expulsion of 2000 people from Masafer Yatta in Hebron. Details are as follows: 

On 05 May 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court authorized forcible expulsion of hundreds of Palestinians from their lands in Masafer Yatta in Hebron. Next day, the Israeli civil administration announced that the sub-committee of the of Judea and Samaria Higher Planning Council is set to give its approval for planning and  building 3,988 new settlement units in the West Bank. More information available here.

On 09 May 2022, IOF built a 300 m length of road  for settlers on Wadi Fukin village’s lands, west of Bethlehem. On the same day, IOF razed 22 dunums in Jab’a village, west of Bethlehem, for settlement purposes.

On 10 May 2022, Israeli vehicles demolished a 3-storey building (600 sqm) in Silwan village, under the pretext of non-licensing. The first floor included shops while the second and third floors included 5 residential apartments housing 5 families, including 30 members: 6 women and 19 children.

On 11 May 2022, Israeli authorities demolished 4 houses; 3 were self-demolished in Silwan, Beit Hanina and Isawiya villages in occupied East Jerusalem. IOF made 5 families homeless, a total of  21 persons, including 6 women and 10 children. On the same day, Israeli authorities demolished 2 facilities; one of them was a real estate office in Jabal Al Mukaber neighborhood while the other was an iron storage in Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem. On the same day, Israeli authorities demolished a house in Al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem. Also, they demolished 9 dwellings and rooms and 8 barracks and livestock tents in Kherbet al-Rakiz and Kherbet al-Fakhit in Hebrob. IOF made 9 families homeless, a total of 39 persons, including 22 children. In addition, IOF served 14 demolition notices to dwellings and barns in southern Hebron.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 60 families homeless, a total of 339 persons, including 69 women and 166 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 65 houses and 5 residential tents. IOF also demolished 39 other civilian objects, leveled 244 dunums and delivered 63 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 306 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 139 Palestinians, including 13 children, were arrested. Also, IOF arrested a child after he tried to sneak into Israel via the border fence in eastern Khan Yunis, and released him later.

”So far in 2022, IOF conducted 2979 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2166 Palestinians were arrested, including 224 children and 16 women. IOF also conducted 12 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 40 Palestinians, including 25 fishermen, 13 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 07 May 2022, under its collective punishment policy against Palestinians accused of conducting attacks against  IOF or settlers, IOF demolished the family house of a Palestinian prisoner from Jenin. More information available here.

On 08 May 2022, under its collective punishment policy, IOF took the measurements of 2 houses as a prelude to demolish them after their incursion into Rummanah village  in western Jenin. The two houses belong to the families of 2 Palestinians arrested by IOF on the same day, after being accused of carrying out an attack that resulted in the murder of 3 Israelis in Elad city in Israel.

So far in 2022, IOF demolished 5 houses and closed another one after damaging its contents, as part of collective punishment policy.

The Israeli occupation authorities declared closure of crossings with the Gaza Strip and West Bank starting from 03 to 06 May 2022, On the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. On 05 May 2022, Israeli authorities announced the decision of Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, to extend the imposed closure until 08 May 2022.

On 07 May 2022, Israeli authorities decided to extend the complete closure until 09 May 2022.

On 08 May 2022, Israeli authorities announced the reopening of the West Bank crossings to permit holders, except for residents of Rummanah village in Jenin, as the two Palestinians accused of carrying out an attack in Elad city in Israel, live in this  village. In addition, Israeli authorities announced that the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing remains closed for the Gaza Strip residents until further notice, except for patients and humanitarian cases that can be entered and traveled after receiving a permission from the concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 142 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 11 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 1406 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 89 Palestinians at those checkpoints

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Palestinians mourn slain Al Jazeera journalist as calls grow for independent investigation

May 12 2022

Palestinians refused calls for a joint investigation of Shireen Abu Aqla’s murder, citing Tel Aviv’s track record of inaccurate investigations of their soldiers’ crimes

(Photo credit: The Times UK)

ByNews Desk 

Thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank joined the funeral procession of murdered Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla Nasri on 12 May, one day after she was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.

Her funeral procession started from the Istishari Hospital in Ramallah, before arriving at the presidential compound of the Palestinian Authority (PA), where President Mahmoud Abbas bid her farewell.

During the ceremony, Abbas said Israel was “fully responsible” for Abu Aqla’s death.

Her body will make its way to Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, where her family lives, before being laid to rest on 13 May.

The colleagues of Abu Aqla, who also came under fire on 11 May while covering Israeli raids on Jenin, said the occupation troops deliberately targeted the senior Al Jazeera correspondent, despite wearing a bulletproof vest clearly labeled PRESS.

“The [bullet] that killed Shireen was intended to kill her because the sniper fired the bullet at an area of her body that was not protected,” fellow journalist Shatha Hanaysha said.

Hanaysha also highlighted that the Israeli snipers who opened fire could clearly see that they were journalists.

In response to the accusations, Israeli officials initially tried to dodge the blame for the murder, blaming Palestinian factions instead.

“There is a good chance that armed Palestinians, who fired widely, are the ones who led to the unfortunate death of the journalist,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters hours after the murder.

However, later in the day, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi said it was “unclear” who fired the shot that killed the journalist.

“At this stage, we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death,” the Israeli officer told Hebrew media.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz also struck a more cautious note, saying: “We are trying to figure out exactly what happened … I don’t have final conclusions.”

For their part, the PA has rejected a US-backed call for a joint investigation into the murder with Tel Aviv.

“Israel has requested a joint investigation and to be handed over the bullet that assassinated the journalist Shireen. We refused that, and we affirmed that our investigation would be completed independently,” Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on 12 May.

The official also added that all evidence and witness statements confirm that the Palestinian-American journalist was assassinated by Israeli special units.

As international condemnation grows, the EU and UN have joined calls by right groups for an independent investigation into the murder of Abu Aqla.

The office of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement saying he was “appalled by the killing of Shireen Abu Aqla, a Palestinian-American reporter for Al Jazeera TV.”

The lead spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU, Peter Stano, said that it is vital for a “thorough, independent investigation to clarify all the circumstances of this incident as soon as possible and for those responsible to be brought to justice.”

Rights groups, lawyers and Palestinian authorities, however, say they do not expect a credible investigation into the killing by Israel, which has a track record of not thoroughly investigating crimes committed by the Israeli army.

Last month, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) submitted a formal complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing Israel of systematically targeting journalists working in Palestine.

The IFJ has repeatedly condemned Israel’s deliberate targeting of journalists and media facilities in occupied Palestine.

According to WAFA, least 55 Palestinian journalists have been killed since 2000, with no one ever being held responsible.

229 Rights Groups: “Israel” must Be Held Accountable for Premeditated Assassination of Palestinian Journalist

May 13, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies 

Some 230 international rights organizations and networks have strongly condemned the assassination of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by ‘Israeli’ occupation forces in the occupied West Bank, calling for the Zionist entity to be held accountable for the brutal crime.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency said the 229 signatories affirmed in a statement that the “Israeli” occupation forces’ targeting of the Palestinian journalist was a “deliberate and premeditated act and a full-fledged assassination operation.”

“Martyr Shireen Abu Akleh is a direct victim of organized terrorism [by ‘Israel’], which behaves with the mentality of criminal gangs,” the signatories stressed.

The statement said the killing was a result of systematic incitement against Palestinian journalists by the occupying regime for their professional role in revealing the truth and exposing the “Israeli” entity’s crimes.

It further criticized the international community’s silence over atrocities committed by “Israeli” troops against Palestinians, saying it exposes their double standards.

“The ‘Israeli’ occupation forces, with their heinous act, want to obscure the truth and cover up their horrendous crimes against the sons and daughters of the Palestinian people. Moreover, the regime, with its heinous act, wants to scare and intimidate journalists to prevent the conveyance of the truth to the world,” the signatories underlined.

The statement also called for the opening of a “neutral, independent and transparent” international investigation into the “Israeli” targeting the Palestinian journalist under the supervision of the International Criminal Court [ICC].

The signatories stressed the need to launch an international campaign by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the International Federation of Journalists, international nongovernmental organizations, and Palestinian human rights institutions to hold “Israeli” war criminals accountable, prevent impunity for the perpetrators, and bring a legal human rights case at the ICC to prosecute “Israeli” leaders and politicians, who publicly incite the killing of Palestinian civilians, including journalists.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was martyred on Wednesday after being shot in the head while covering the “Israeli” army’s raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

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Former Israeli Premier: Israel Could Cease to Exist before 80th Anniversary

May 8, 2022

Former Israeli PM, Ehud Barak. (Photo: via MEMO)

Former Israeli premier Ehud Barak has expressed concern that Israel will cease to exist before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment, Israeli media reported on Saturday.

In an interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Barak predicted a doom-and-gloom scenario for Israel.

“Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty, and in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade,” Barak said.

Barak noted that many regimes, including those in the United States, Italy, and Russia, have experienced the curse of the eighth decade, and that Israel is no exception, drawing an analogy between the Zionist regime and fascism, nazism and communism.

The ultra-conservative former premier’s fears echo prevailing fears in Israel.

A recent survey of young Israeli adults found that nearly half of the population in the occupied Palestinian territories is not optimistic about Israel’s future, with more than one-third of people thinking about migrating for jobs and better life.

(PressTV, PC, Social Media)

Palestinians Rally for Hunger Striker Khalil Awawdeh (PHOTOS)

May 7, 2022

Palestinians in Gaza participate in a rally in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Khalil Awawdeh. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestinians in Gaza participated in a rally in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who was transferred to a hospital following a serious deterioration of his health.

Awawdeh, a 40-year-old father of four, has been on a hunger strike for 67 days now, in protest of his illegal administrative detention without charge or trial.

Awawdeh, from the town of Idhna, near Hebron (Al-Khalil), was detained on December 27, 2021. He suffers from headaches, joint pain, severe fatigue, arrhythmia, and frequent vomiting in addition to significant loss of weight, as he has lost over 20 kilos.

“Administrative detention is Israel’s go-to legal proceeding when it simply wants to mute the voices of Palestinian political activists, but lacks any concrete evidence that can be presented in an open, military court,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.

“Not that Israel’s military courts are an example of fairness and transparency. Indeed, when it comes to Palestinians, the entire Israeli judicial system is skewed. But administrative detention is a whole new level of injustice,” Baroud added.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Zionism in Ukraine Allied with Nazism


In this deep dive with historian and author Matt Ehret we examine the history of Zionism in Ukraine and the origin of many of the Zionist ultra nationalist groups now occupying Palestinian territory since the Nakba (ethnic cleansing of Palestine) in 1948.

We look at the emergence of the Chabad Lubavitch sect that was established before Zionism came into existence and has its origins in Ukraine – now with 10,000 emissaries in 100 countries at the cutting edge of Zionist expansionism. This group is believed to be responsible for the majority of the price tag attacks in occupied Palestine, denies the right to return for all Palestinians and leads the ideological war against non adherents of Judaism.

We make the link between this secular ultra nationalist ideology and consider how it is mutually inclusive of the Ukrainian far right and Nazi elements that now dominate Ukrainian politics, military and police. Matt analyses the Oligarchical power base behind these cults and how it ties into the Great Reset/WEF agenda that is threatening Humanity.

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