اليمن: السعوديّة تسلّم الأميركيّ السلطة

الأخبار السبت 9 نيسان 2022

ناصر قنديل

لم تستطع السعودية الذهاب الى الخيار الأمثل لوقف الحرب في اليمن عبر إعلان انتهاء عمليتها العسكرية التي بدأت قبل سبع سنوات ولم تنجح في تحقيق أيّ من أهدافها، بل زادت التعقيدات التي كانت عشية بدئها تعقيداً وتجذراً، فلم يكن يومها العمق السعودي تحت التهديد، ولا كان بمستطاع اليمن أن يفرض شراكته في أمن إمدادات الطاقة والملاحة في الخليج، ولا كانت مهابة السعودية كقوة إقليمية كبرى موضع تشكيك، وتعمق الجرح الموروث تاريخياً بين اليمنيين والسعوديين بصورة يصعب أن يعالجه الزمن، مع عشرات الآلاف من الشهداء ومئات آلاف الجرحى وملايين المهجرين والجياع، ولم يفد السعودية حشد حلف ضمّ الإمارات والسودان عملياً، وآخرين اسمياً، ولا الرعاية التسليحية واللوجستية والاستخبارية وأحياناً كثيرة العملياتيّة لأميركا وبريطانيا و”إسرائيل”.

وقف العدوان وفك الحصار كان شعار أنصار الله للبحث بأي حل سياسيّ، ورغم ذلك تجاوبوا مع الإعلان عن وقف الغارات من جهة والفتح الجزئي لمطار صنعاء وميناء الحديدة من جهة موازية، رغم عدم وضوحهما كإطار لفتح باب الحل السياسيّ، ولم تستطع السعوديّة الذهاب الى المطلوب مباشرة، رغم قراءة السعودية لتغير المشهدين الدولي والإقليمي، بصورة تجعل الاستمرار بالحرب مستحيلاً، وسبباً للمزيد من الخسائر، فلا الأميركي جاهز ولا هو حاضر أو قادر على تقديم المساندة في ظل همومه المتعاظمة، وصعود روسيا والصين لم يعد فرضية محتملة بل صار واقعاً غير قابل للإنكار، تبدو الحاجة لعدم استفزازه سياسة لا بد منها بمقدار من التوازن، والإسرائيلي في وضع لا يُحسَد عليه، وقد تبخر وهم الحديث عن (“إسرائيل” ليست عدواً بل حليف محتمل)، وتبخّرت صفقة القرن، وتبخّر التطبيع، و”إسرائيل” جحش أعرج وليست حصاناً يُسرَج عليه. و”إسرائيل” تحت ضربات الفلسطينيين تحتاج من يعينها، وليست في وضع يتيح لها تقديم العون، ومَن طبّع معها ومنحها امتيازات وموطأ قدم في بلاده، يستشعر بأنه جلب الدب الى كرمه، وفتح الباب لتهديد استقراره دون مقابل، وعلى الضفة المقابلة يبدو المحور الذي كانت الحرب أداة لتحجيم حضوره، وهو يتعاظم، والأميركي ينفتح على مفاوضات العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران لبلوغ الاتفاق مجدداً، والأموال المجمّدة يفرج عنها تباعاً، والعودة للطلب على النفط الإيراني رغم العقوبات تضاهي ما كانت عليه قبلها، وما تمّ تدبيره في العراق أو ما خطّط له في لبنان يصطدم بالجدار. وفي فلسطين تنهض المقاومة بمعادلات ردع في قلب الأراضي المحتلة عام 48، ومعادلات اليمن الرادعة من جهة وصمود اليمنيّين في جغرافيا بلدهم من جهة موازية يجعلان الخروج من الحرب بأقل الخسائر خياراً وحيداً ممكناً.

ذهب السعوديّون الى خيار الباب الموارب، ففتحوا الباب لوقف النار والرفع الجزئيّ للحصار، واستداروا نحو تركيبة السلطة اليمنيّة، فأزاحوا “الشرعية” التي قالوا إنهم دخلوا الحرب لحمايتها، وسلموا رجل المخابرات الأميركية منذ عهد الرئيس علي عبد الله صالح مقاليد السلطة، وجمعوا حوله زعماء الميليشيات التي تقاتل معهم، بمن فيهم التشكيلات المنتمية إلى فكر تنظيم القاعدة وحزب الإخوان المسلمين، وأسموهم جميعاً مجلساً قيادياً مؤقتاً بصلاحيات رئاسية كاملة، وقالوا إن مهمة المجلس التوصل الى وقف للنار مع أنصار الله، وقال أركان المجلس الجديد إنهم يستعدّون للحرب والسلم معاً، لكن جوهر الخطوة السعوديّة في مكان آخر. فالرياض تقول لواشنطن، ها هي عدة الشغل في اليمن، وعلى رأسهم رجلكم فيه فتولوا أنتم القيادة، وخذوا القرارات التي تريدونها. فالسعودية لم تعد هي مرجعية الحرب، وتريد لوقف النار أن يمتدّ، لكنها غير قادرة على تقديم الأثمان التي يستدعيها ذلك.

المأزق هو نفسه سواء تسلّم الأميركي ام السعودي دفة القيادة العلنية. فالقرار بيد الأميركي بالأصل مهما كانت الواجهة، وأنصار الله لن ينشغلوا بالتفاصيل، بين الأصيل والوكيل، وبوصلتهم لن تتوه، فقضيتهم واضحة، سيادة كاملة ورفع كامل للحصار وانسحاب للقوات الأجنبية ينهي الاحتلال، طريق وحيد لفتح باب الحوار السياسي الداخلي حول تفاصيل إدارة شؤون الحكم والاحتكام في تكوين السلطة الجديدة إلى صناديق الاقتراع.

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Mercenaries in Yemen: Nationalities, numbers & horrors

March 29 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Mona Issa 

American. French. Sudanese. German. Colombian. Yemeni. Eritrean. You name it.

Mercenaries in Yemen are a significant factor in what prolonged the war.

It’s the twenty-first century. Corporates have armies. With as little as a few ID papers and almost no governmental regulation, you can take up state-of-the-art arms and be sent to a war that’s not your war, not your battle, and kill people whose names you can barely pronounce. The trade offer? You receive some $10,000 a week. That’s $40,000 a month. That’s more than 30x the American minimum wage for some honest work. You need not read some Veronica Roth, because we’re already living in a dystopian novel. 

Let’s address the word “mercenaries.” In the very far away bureaucratic world of secret operations where sharp terms are smoothed down (recalling comedian George Carlin’s usage of post-traumatic stress disorder as a euphemism for shell-shock!), “mercenaries” is a taboo word. Instead, they’re called special forces to drive people away from the clandestine, underground nature of foreign soldier recruitment. An ancient ‘job’ dormant since the Middle Ages, the United States revived the mercenary industry with Bush’s War on Terror, and continued the venture into the UAE and Saudi-led war on Yemen, and now in Ukraine

Putting Saudi Arabia aside for now – UAE is the perfect orbit state for Washington. With a population of only 1 million with a total of 9 million expatriates, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan does not want to risk it all for a wealthy population that can barely manage a home without housemaids – the UAE is largely operated by foreigners rather than locals. So how was the UAE going to fight this war? An army operated by foreigners – namely US lieutenants and colonels and allies.

But why mercenaries? One reason is numbers. There was no way MBZ was going to send soldiers from his local population of 1 million to war. A foreign population, however, is cost-effective, could be bought in abundance, and will guarantee to prolong the war – especially if major terrorists like ISIS are on the ground.

Another reason is accountability. Because mercenaries operate outside the scope of direct military command – or, at least that’s what we know – Abu Dhabi benefits from zero accountability. Mercenaries can kill, maim and commit other war crimes with no investigation from a legitimate governmental body. They’re bought and sold like a commodity, where corporates, on the long run, can transform into superpowers like states in the new world.

A third reason would be, as an ex-Navy SEAL – Erik Prince – once said: Muslim soldiers could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims. Sending Muslim soldiers, Emirati or Saudi, to kill Yemenis will bear a conflict of interest. 

Read more: 7 years of aggression on Yemen, victims surpass 46,000

The Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees in Yemen can testify to witnessing American, Australian, Sudanese, Colombian, Eritrean, and even Yemeni mercenaries, working for Gulf and US interests in Yemen. Some were recruited out of ignorance and poverty, others were recruited out of coercion and deception, and many bear arms for major cash.

Kingfish

Erik Prince is a former US Navy SEAL who was behind the revival of the private security industry. 

He also calls himself ‘Kingfish.’ 

Notoriously known for Blackwater and his involvement in the Iraq War, he established another private military company called Reflex Responses – or R2 – after he sold Blackwater to investors as an escape from controversy. The UAE secretly hired both companies, Blackwater and R2, to go to Yemen. 

See more: Blackwater founder to charge $6,500 per seat on Afghanistan evacuation plane

Blackwater, which has massacred scores of Iraqis and is despised in Iraq more than the US soldiers themselves, has taken pride in employing Colombians and other Latin American military personnel, from soldiers to commanders. 

But, why did MBZ’s private army, a project originally launched by Blackwater, consist mostly of Colombians? 

As Professor of Strategy at the National Defense University Sean McFate put it, think of the private military industry as the t-shirt industry. In America, it costs 20$ to make, but in Bangladesh, it costs 1$ to make.

Colombian mercenaries are not only cheap, but they are also trained by Washington and are more violent and rigorous than others given they are hardened by guerrilla warfare in Latin America. 

The UAE hired 1,800 Colombians on the ground and tripled and quadrupled their salaries. 

“They’re pretty tough warriors in my experience,” McFate said. “They obey chain of command, and they have American training.

“When you take them out of Latin America and put them in the Middle East, they have no sort of political affiliation to any Middle Eastern action or country, so they’re just truly loyal to their paymaster. So they got a lot of Latin American ex-special soldiers in Abu Dhabi. Then, as the Emirates went to war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, that’s when the Emirates deployed these mercenaries into Yemen to kill Houthis. And they did. And now we have mercenary warfare in Yemen almost like it’s the Middle Ages again.”

Under the guise of construction workers, Colombian mercenaries became part of an American mercenary army, led by Erik Prince, who scored a $529 million budget from the UAE to create a monster. 

“That is to me a pretty crazy part of the evolution of the mercenary business model that was taken from Erik Prince developing it in the US then exporting it to Abu Dhabi – then, all of the sudden, there are Colombians dying in Yemen. It’s hard to track,” said McFate. 

Spear: A Delaware-based firm with an Israeli touch

“Give me your best man and I’ll beat him. Anyone,” said Abraham Golan, the Israeli-Hungarian owner of Spear Operations Group that has also operated in Yemen to commit targeted assassinations. 

Golan was able to convince, over spaghetti and maybe some wine, the security advisor to MBZ that hiring his security company would be more effective than his own army – and, it worked. 

On December 29, 2015, a group of mercenaries from the Delaware-based military firm planted a bomb in the Islah political party headquarters in Aden, Yemen. Escorted by UAE military vehicles front and back, one of Golan’s mercenaries, Isaac Gilmore (also an ex-Navy SEAL and Delta Force veteran), jumps from the vehicle, fires bullets at civilians around the block, as his comrade rushes to plant the explosive device just under the building. With an Emirati soldier behind the wheel, the SUV zooms off as soon as the deed is done. 

Assassination targets handed out to Spears Group Operations’ mercenaries who were sent to operate in Yemen. (BuzzFeed News)

The group that Golan and Gilmore pieced together was a 12-man army, mostly consisting of former French legion officers and ex-US soldiers. The French officers were paid half of what Golan intended to pay – around $10,000 a month – which was even less than half of their American counterparts, a testimony to the commodification of military personnel and ‘market’ value. 

The assassination plot to kill Anssaf Ali Mayo, a leader of the conservative Islah party in Yemen, was plotted out over spaghetti at a UAE military base with MBZ’s security advisor and ex-Fatah member, Mohammed Dahlan. 

Dahlan fell from grace when he was accused of collaborating with the CIA and “Israel” – and that’s exactly what he did as he sat with Gilmore and Golan. The MBZ security advisor has his hands in a lot of political mess.

Read more: “Israel’s” piggyback on the Saudi-Emirati war on Yemen

A report by Al-Khaleej Online in 2018 exposes Dahlan’s complicity in holding secret training camps in occupied Palestine. 

The secret training camps, which held hundreds of Nepalese and Colombian mercenaries, were situated in the Naqab desert in occupied Palestine, where the geological nature of the region looks synonymous with that of Yemen.

Dahlan personally supervised the training and made regular visits and check-ups.

“Mohammed Dahlan visited these camps on more than one occasion to be informed,” sources revealed to Al-Khaleej Online. Dahlan was filled in on the progress of the preparations, in addition to the mercenaries’ training.

And by the way, the Aden operation failed. 

The price of Washington lip service? The blood of young Sudanese men 

There were two ways through which young Sudanese – even minors under 18 – got recruited to Yemen. By force and deception, and by Omar Al Bashir’s thirst for power. 

Estimates and reports suggest that up to 15,000 Sudanese mercenaries were fighting in Yemen. 

By force and deception: Many Sudanese became victims of forced conscription into becoming mercenaries for a private US firm, Black Shield Security Services. 

Responding to online job posts as “security guards,” the UAE-based company would trick the job applicants into signing the contract, only to the surprise of the young men that, all of the sudden, they’re redirected to a military training camp in the UAE to be sent off to either Libya or Yemen. They were offered ‘large’ sums of money, more than they can ever get in an average job in their country which has been experiencing an ongoing political crisis. 

The contracts signed by young Sudanese men, which had an e-Visa to enter the UAE from Khartoum attached to it, had “profession: Security Guard” written on them. 

Up to 15,000 Sudanese mercenaries were reportedly deployed in Yemen, who, according to the current Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, were reduced to 5,000. Many of them were children.

Official recruitment is also the culprit. Omar Al Bashir, Sudan’s old ruler, whose throne was strangled by sanctions and international pressures, sold his pro-Iran alliance for financial help from the Gulf – which meant sending thousands of Sudanese men and children to kill in Yemen. 

To go through with the recruitment, a private company – Rapid Support Forces – or the Janjaweed, a die-hard Bashir-backing militia, scored major bags with Saudi and Emirati officials. Both groups face allegations of systematic rape, indiscriminate murder and other war crimes from the Darfur war in which 300,000 people were killed. 

Arriving by the thousands from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese mercenaries were handed US-made weapons and uniforms. Then, they were taken to Al-Hudaydah, Taiz and Aden. Paid in Saudi riyals, 14-year-old amateurs were paid some $480 a month, while experienced officers from the Janjaweed were paid $530 a month – both cheaper than any other mercenary, including Colombians.  

The RSF profited $350 million from its role in Yemen. 

Ahmed, who was 25-years-old at the time when he was sent to Al-Hudaydah, commented on this experience: “The Saudis would give us a phone call and then pull back.

“They treat the Sudanese like their firewood,” he told the New York Times.

Other than Sudan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have also been paying Eritrea to provide troops and assistance. In 2015, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea revealed that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi signed a deal with Eritrea which allowed the coalition to use Eritrean military bases to attack Yemen. Chad isn’t left from the equation either: RSF mercenaries include hundreds of Chadian men, whose alignment lies with Bashir, hence maintaining an interest to keep him in power. 

There are also some 1,000 Pakistani mercenaries fighting in Yemen, despite a majority no-vote in Islamabad’s parliament. 

Yemenis fighting Yemenis 

As poverty, war and uncertainty brought millions of Yemenis to prolonged angst, many contemplated turning their back on their own kind. 

For around $1,200 a month, Yemenis were compelled to join the Al-Fateh brigade, a mercenary-militia based in Najran, Saudi Arabia, which was formed in 2016. The brigade is an all-Yemeni mercenary hub.

The Saudis recruited over 1,000 mercenaries to the Saudi-Yemen border to defend it.

In a report by the Middle East Eye, one mercenary that goes by the name Anees narrates that some thousand Yemenis were forced to advance towards Jabara valley in Saada province, Yemen, knowing that the valley is under control of the Yemeni armed forces, and that they were positioned just behind them in Najran. 

The leaders of Al-Fateh forced the mercenaries to move forward, assuring that Salafi fighters would follow and protect them.

He narrates, “Suddenly, the Houthis started to attack us from the mountains. We tried to withdraw but there were no Salafi fighters backing us up and only the Houthis besieging us from all directions.”

The Yemenis were besieged for four days, abandoned by both the Saudis and the Salafis. 

“We were about to die from hunger. We had run out of food. The Saudis and the Salafis did not break the siege on us, so we fought and pushed towards Najran and only few were escaped including me,” Anees said.

Bundeswehr

Last year, former German soldiers and police officers lodged in an offering to Saudi Arabia to form a group of mercenaries – or, according to German prosecutors, a terrorist organisation – to be sent to Yemen.

Two Bundeswehr soldiers were charged with terrorism by state prosecutors for conspiring to recruit 150 men and former soldiers from the Bundeswehr armed forces. The mercenaries were to be paid $46,400 a month to conduct operations in the Arabian peninsula.

The goal of the mercenary force to be formed was to capture land held by the Yemeni Armed Forces – however, it does not stop there. The mercenary force was also to be sent to other protracted conflicts around the world, with the two convicted terrorists in full conscious awareness that the fighters will have to commit murder and kill civilians to achieve strategic goals. 

The future

If the Saudi and Emirati armies were to fight and bleed, the war would not have lasted long with a population of 30 million willing to resist barefoot. Mercenaries played a significant role in the war on Yemen by sustaining the violence on the ground, continuously causing grief. 

Many experts would say that the future of warfare is private. The effectiveness of state armies is diminishing, while private firms have proven to get more tasks done – however bloody and sinister. 

As corporations overshadow governmental authority, warlords and investors will be more keen on keeping ‘security firms’ going in so-called “conflict zones in the Middle East,” where the flow of weapons and the funding for violence come from Western neoliberal democracies. 

While the use of mercenaries was dishonorable in recent times, the West has been promoting its use. As the foreign fighters are used to carry out targeted assassinations and other forms of murder, states and governmental bodies take in less and less responsibility and accountability for the humanitarian disaster that comes with the recruitment. 

A UN Mercenary Convention in 2001 forbids the recruitment of mercenaries in conflict: Only 36 countries supported the convention. Some of the countries that did not ratify it are the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, India, Japan and Russia. 

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Depopulation, not overpopulation will be one of the true crises of the century

23 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samuel Geddes 

Of the innumerable crises projected to dominate the 21st century, perhaps the most misguided warning has been about so-called “overpopulation,” the reality seems to be the exact opposite.

In most states, this projection is simply the opposite of what the numbers show

West Asian, Arab and Sub-Saharan states, though among the world’s poorest, have the most promising demographic future if they can achieve true economic independence and integration. 

So much of modern life has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic that almost every change seems to have been blamed on it. A particularly interesting example came in 2020 when for the first time since modern records began; China saw a decline in its overall population, with the number of births outnumbered by deaths. The numbers were even more catastrophic in Russia, with over 900,000 excess deaths over the course of 2020 and similarly grim declines across Europe and North America. Even the United States is now seeing net population decline in 20 of its 51 states. 

The dawning of this realisation has led to two misunderstandings. First, that this trend is any more than tangentially because of the pandemic and secondly, that population growth in these countries will ever return to “normal”. 

Of the innumerable crises projected to dominate the 21st century, perhaps the most misguided warning has been about so-called “overpopulation,” wherein the planet’s carrying capacity of human beings will be so overwhelmed by our numbers that a Malthusian die-off of billions will be inevitable due to diminishing access to food, water and arable land. 

In most states, this projection is simply the opposite of what the numbers show. All but 46 of the world’s countries and territories have population growth rates below the “replacement rate” (2.1) needed to maintain any given population level. Likewise, close to 40 states are seeing their overall population decline, including such geopolitical heavyweights as Russia, Germany and Japan. China, currently the world’s most populous state at 1.4 billion is just barely in positive territory. 

Current projections have predicted that by the end of the century, China will have lost a staggering 50 per cent of its current population. Others brought forward this scenario to as soon as the middle of the century! The generations born before the introduction of the one-child policy are now retiring en-masse, leaving behind a workforce that will be a fraction of the size and burdened with the cost of supporting what is becoming the oldest national population in history. Such a demographic profile will bring with it profound economic challenges that will test the thesis of the “Chinese Century” to its limit. It is also unavoidable because, even though the one-child policy is now history and parents are being encouraged now to have upwards of two children per family, the nature of the problem is such that any change in policy has at least two decades before it takes effect, with newly born people finally entering the workforce. 

Nor is this at all limited to China or the states of East Asia. The states of the former Soviet Union have seen catastrophic declines over the last three decades. By some accounts about half of the population of Turkmenistan now lives abroad, having migrated seeking better economic opportunities. Swathes of former European powers such as Spain, Italy and Germany are already effectively empty, their own populations having peaked half a century ago! 

Trying to raise the birth-rate is a non-starter as has been stated. For the most severely affected states there is only one possible solution. In Europe and Russia, mass-immigration is the only option, and this would only serve to cancel out the decline, not to increase the population. Russia already has a vast pool of potential migrant labour in its former Central Asian underbelly. Already home to one of the largest migrant populations in the world, Russia will need to begin making itself as attractive as possible to millions more Central Asian citizens. If and when this decision is taken, Moscow will have to finally repudiate any notion of politically exploiting narrow ethnonationalist chauvinism, such as seems to be taking hold in Europe.  

Those countries in the best long-term position, demographically speaking, are also the world’s poorest and they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the Greater Middle East and Africa. By 2050 nearly half of the 10 most populous countries are projected to be in Africa, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Egypt. By the end of the century, Nigeria is likely to be the world’s third most populated country, at over 400 million people. 

As of 2021, the country with the fastest growing population is the Syrian Arab Republic, at over 5 percent annually. Other Arab heavyweights including Iraq, Yemen, Sudan and of course Egypt all stand in the ranks of the fastest growing populations on the planet. Unlike the countries of Europe, to which increasing numbers look for the hope of a better future, the region, like Africa south of the Sahara is among the most blessed in natural wealth of anywhere on earth. Rather than continuing to hold to the orthodoxy of economic liberalisation towards a rapidly weakening global system, should the countries of the region prioritize internal development, economic and even political unity, they could rapidly find themselves shaping the global order itself rather than being passively shaped by it. 

Were these states be able to assert meaningful economic independence, develop their own internal markets, educate and employ their populations, the balance of global power in the second half of this century may look truly unrecognisable. 

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

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

February 25, 2022

By Mohammad Sleem

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henceforth, to whom are the outcomes of normalization favorable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Normalization: A stab in the back of the Palestinian cause

FEBRUARY 19, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Rasha Reslan 

The recent wave of normalization in the Middle East has resulted in gruesome shifts in regional dynamics and balances most notably regarding Palestine and the Palestinian cause.

Most Arab and Muslim countries are apparently considering normalization, but at what cost?

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco are among the Arab countries that signed normalization deals with the Israeli occupation, echoing Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s recognition of “Israel” in 1977.

Here’s the ugly truth: More Arab and Muslim countries are apparently considering doing the same with the US midwifing the move, not to mention that those who adopted the UAE’s prototype for normalization with “Israel” considered the issue of Palestine as non-existent.

Arab peace initiative?

Despite all claims of an Arab peace initiative, Palestine seems to be an afterthought in normalization deals with “Israel”. The so-called “Abraham Accords” were more about Arab transactions with the US than with “Israel”. In short, normalization with “Israel’” was the charge paid in exchange for the US’ recognition of territorial claims (in the case of Morocco), removal from blacklists (in the case of Sudan), preservation of a totalitarian regime (in the case of Bahrain), or sale of weaponry (in the case of the UAE).

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

Dec 16 2021

By Staff, Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 16, 2021

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

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 7, 2021

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Ahmad Karakira

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sally Rooney under attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boycotting origins in Palestine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its success and effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How “Israel” is fighting BDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 1, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Algeria Battling “Israel” in Africa

10 Nov 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Hussam AbdelKareem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 5, 2021

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

By Staff, Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 28, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Documentation Project of Yemen Massacres

Saturday – October 29, 2021

Massacres Map of the Saudi-American aggression on Yemen

Introduction:

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

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

Objective:

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

Definition of a Massacre:

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

Map Characteristics:

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

Characteristics of the Interactive Frontpage:

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

Notes:

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

Thanks to all who contributed to this work.

من هو عبد الفتاح البرهان وما دوره في حرب اليمن واتفاق التطبيع؟

2021, 25 , تشرين اول

المصدر: الميادين نت

عبد الفتاح البرهان، القائد العسكري في السودان، يتردّد اسمه اليوم مع إعلانه حلَّ المجلس السيادي والحكومة، وفرضه حالة الطوارئ في البلاد. فمن هو؟ وما هي المناصب التي تقلّدها في حياته السياسية؟

'سنحرص على تنفيذ الاتفاق'
عبد الفتاح البرهان

يجسّد الفريق أول ركن عبد الفتاح البرهان، الذي أعلن اليوم الإثنين حلّ المؤسسات الانتقالية وحالة الطوارئ في السودان، عودةَ الحكم العسكري، وسط ترحيب من البعض، ورفض مطلق من آخرين ندّدوا بما وصفوه بأنه “انقلاب”.

ظهر البرهان اليوم الإثنين، عبر شاشة التلفزيون، في بزّته العسكرية. وأعلن، في نبرة حازمة، أنه يريد “تصحيح الثورة” التي أطاحت عمر البشير عام 2019. وأكّد إعفاء الوزراء ووكلاء الوزراء من مهماتهم، علماً بأن جزءاً كبيراً من هؤلاء اعتُقلوا منذ الفجر على أيدي قوى عسكرية.

في الشارع، يهتف متظاهرون ضده منذ أيام، رافضين “حكم العسكر”، لكن آخرين يطالبون بحكومة عسكرية، ويعتبرون أن الجيش هو المنقذ الذي سيحل كل مشاكل البلاد الاقتصادية والسياسية.

قبل إطاحة البشير، أدّى البرهان دوراً رئيساً بعيداً عن الأضواء في مشاركة السودان في التحالف العسكري الذي تقوده السعودية ضد اليمن، ثم أصبح في دائرة الضوء حين تولى قيادة المجلس العسكريّ الانتقالي في أعقاب إطاحة الرئيس السابق عمر البشير على يد الجيش، في 11 نيسان/أبريل 2019، في إثر تظاهرات حاشدة استمرت خمسة أشهر.

في 12 نيسان/أبريل، أدّى البرهان اليمين رئيساً للمجلس العسكري، الذي تولّى السلطة بعد البشير. تقلّد البرهان منصبه بعد أن تنازل الفريق أول ركن عوض بن عوف عن رئاسة المجلس العسكري بعد أقل من 24 ساعة من تسلّمه السلطة، تحت ضغط الشارع الذي كان ينظر إلى ابن عوف على أنه من داخل النظام، وحليف مقرّب من الرئيس السابق.

من الظلّ إلى المنصب الأول

تحوّل البرهان من شخصية تعمل في الظل إلى رئيس للبلاد بحكم الأمر الواقع. وقال عنه في حينه ضابطٌ في الجيش، طلب عدم الكشف عن هويته، إنه “ضابط رفيع المستوى في القوات المسلحة.. لم يكن يوماً تحت الأضواء كما هي الحال بالنسبة إلى ابن عوف (الذي كان وزيراً للدفاع) والفريق أول ركن كمال عبد المعروف (الذي كان رئيس أركان الجيش)”.

في آب/أغسطس 2019، وبعد عنف في الشارع ومفاوضات مع “ائتلاف قوى الحرية والتغيير”، الذي قاد الاحتجاجات الشعبية، وقّع المجلس العسكري اتفاقاً مع الائتلاف عُرِف بـ”الوثيقة الدستورية”، نصّ على مرحلة انتقالية يتقاسم خلالها المدنيون والعسكريون السلطة لقيادة البلاد نحو انتخابات وحكم مدني.

ترأّس البرهان، بموجب هذا الاتفاق، مجلسَ السيادة الذي كُلِّف الإشرافَ على إدارة المرحلة الانتقالية. ويتكوّن مجلس السيادة من 11 شخصاً: خمسة عسكريين يختارهم المجلس الانتقالي، وخمسة مدنيين يختارهم “تحالف قوى التغيير”، بالإضافة إلى مدني يتفق الجانبان على اختياره.

بعد سنتين من المرحلة الانتقالية، بات البرهان معتاداً على الأضواء، وبات يتصرف ويعامَل على أنه رئيس دولة، فلقد تلقى، الأربعاء الماضي، دعوةً إلى المشاركة في قمة بشأن ليبيا ستُعقَد في باريس في منتصف تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر. وهو يستقبل بانتظام المسؤولين والمبعوثين الأجانب الذين يزورون السودان.

يظهر، بصورة عامة، في بزّته العسكرية مع أوسمته، وغالباً برفقة نائب رئيس مجلس السيادة محمد حمدان دقلو، المعروف بـ “حميدتي”، وهو قائد قوات الدعم السريع المتهمة بقمع انتفاضة عام 2019.

علاقات بالخارج

خلال المفاوضات بين الجيش والمحتجين بشأن تركيبة الحكم، قام البرهان بزيارات لمصر والإمارات والسعودية. والأخيرتان من أبرز المانحين للسودان.

أمضى البرهان فترة من حياته المهنية ملحقاً عسكرياً لدى بكين. ويقول الضابط السوداني عن البرهان إنه “ضابط كبير يعرف كيف يقود قواته”، مضيفاً “ليست لديه ميول سياسية، إنه عسكري”.

وُلد البرهان عام 1960 في قرية قندتو شماليّ الخرطوم، ودرس في الكلية الحربية، ولاحقاً في مصر والأردن. وهو متزوج وأب لثلاثة أبناء. وكان قائداً لسلاح البر، قبل أن يعيّنه البشير في منصب المفتّش العام للجيش.

حرب اليمن

يشير محلّلون ووسائل إعلام سودانية إلى أن البرهان تولّى عملية تنسيق إرسال جنود سودانيين إلى اليمن في إطار “التحالف السعودي” في الحرب ضدّه.

أرسل البشير قوات سودانية إلى اليمن عام 2015 في إطار تحوّل رئيسي في السياسة الخارجية، شهد تخلّي الخرطوم عن علاقاتها المستمرة منذ عقود بإيران، عبر الانضمام إلى “التحالف” الذي تقوده الرياض.

وتقول ويلو بيردج، مؤلفة كتاب “الانتفاضات المدنية في السودان الحديث”، وأستاذة التاريخ في جامعة نيوكاسل، إن البرهان عمل عن كثب مع قوات الدعم السريع، بموجب تولّيه الملف اليمني، من دون أن تستبعد أن يكون دعم هذه المجموعة ساهم في إيصاله إلى السلطة.

عبد الفتاح البرهان و”إسرائيل”

أشارت وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية اليوم إلى أن التطورات في السودان “تمثل سبباً في قلق إسرائيل وإدارة جو بايدن، على حدّ سواء”، معلِّلة ذلك بأنه يعود إلى ترسيخ اتفاق التطبيع مع الخرطوم. 

وقالت إن “استمرار الاحتجاجات سيصعّب دفع عملية التطبيع قُدُماً في السودان، ويجب الأخذ في الحسبان أن رئيس حكومة السودان عبد الله حمدوك لم يكن هو من دفع إلى تطبيع العلاقات بإسرائيل، بل كانت القيادة العسكرية برئاسة عبد الفتاح البرهان”.

وفي السياق نفسه، انتقد مصدر إسرائيلي موقف واشنطن مما يجري في السودان، وقال لصحيفة “إسرائيل هيوم” إنه “في الوضع الحالي يفضّل دعم الجيش وقائده رئيس المجلس الانتقالي عبد الفتاح البرهان، لا رئيس الحكومة عبد الله حمدوك”.

يُشار، في هذا السياق، إلى أن البرهان قال، رداً على علاقته بـ “إسرائيل”، إنّ “لا عداء بين السودان وأيّ طائفة أو دين أو جهة”.

وأرجع عبد الفتاح البرهان توقيع حكومته اتفاقات “أبراهام” مع الولايات المتحدة و”إسرائيل” إلى “اقتناع الحكومة بأهمية نشر قيم التسامح والتعايش بين الشعوب، في مختلف أديانهم وأعراقهم”، بحسب الإذاعة الإسرائيلية.

وكان الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب أعلن، في تشرين الأول/أكتوبر الماضي، توصُّل السودان و”إسرائيل” إلى اتفاق من أجل تطبيع العلاقات بينهما.

وأدّت السعودية دوراً في دفع عملية التطبيع بين السودان و”إسرائيل”، عبر دفعها 335 مليون دولار إلى الولايات المتحدة من أجل تسريع تطبيع العلاقات بين الخرطوم و”تل أبيب”، بحسب ما ذكرت “ميدل إيست مونيتور”.

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

October 1, 2021

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

By Iqbal Jassat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

الفشل الذريع للإسلام الأطلسي


الجمعة 10 أيلول 2021

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موفق محادين

ما من تجربة أصابها الفشل الذريع كلما اقتربت من فكرة الدولة والاقتصاد والحداثة والمجتمع المدني، مثل تجربة الإسلام الأطلسي، والأدق التوظيف السياسي لهذا الإسلام.

اعتقد البعض أن الإسلام الأطلسي، البريطاني- الأميركي، في طريقه للسيطرة على الوطن العربي، محمولاً بقرارات أميركية وبـ”حنفيات” مالية وإعلامية من الغاز المسال، حيث يتحول هذا الإسلام إلى حصان طروادة بحقبة جديدة من الاحتلال العثماني. 

وبنى البعض أوهامه على أحلام مريضة بسقوط سوريا واستمرار الحدث العابر في تاريخ مصر ثم عبر تونس والمغرب وقبلهما السودان والعشرية السوداء في الجزائر. 

تأسيس هذا النمط من الإسلام السياسي لم يكن بعيداً منذ لحظته الأولى عن أصابع الاستخبارات البريطانية ثم الأميركية.

بيد أن هذه الأوهام سرعان ما تبخرت وراحت أحجار الدومينو الإسلاموية الأطلسية تتداعى الواحد تلو الآخر: سوريا، ثم مصر، ثم السودان، فتونس، وأخيراً السقوط المدوّي لهذا التيار في الانتخابات البرلمانية والبلدية المغربية. وقريباً من الوطن العربي؛ تتجه مؤشرات الانتخابات البلدية في تركيا وسقوط حزب إردوغان في المدن الكبرى إلى أن تركيا العثمانية قاب قوسين أو أدنى من غروبها وغروب مشروع اليهودي الأميركي برنارد لويس الذي نظّر مبكراً للانبعاث العثماني في تركيا. 

والأدعى إلى السخرية هنا أن تبدو طالبان التي تجسد ثلاثية المفكر المغربي، الجابري، القبيلة- العقيدة- الغنيمة كرمق أخير لإسلام أطلسي أنفقت عليه مئات المليارات. 

ولنا أن نقول، ما من تجربة أصابها الفشل الذريع كلما اقتربت من فكرة الدولة والاقتصاد والحداثة والمجتمع المدني، مثل تجربة الإسلام الأطلسي، والأدق التوظيف السياسي لهذا الإسلام. 

والأخطر هنا هو أن تأسيس هذا النمط من الإسلام السياسي لم يكن بعيداً منذ لحظته الأولى، حتى اليوم، عن أصابع الاستخبارات البريطانية ثم الأميركية، بل إن أول من دافع عن الدولة العثمانية في بداية انحطاطها ومنع سقوطها على أيدي الجيوش المصرية في القرن التاسع عشر، الثنائي اليهودي الذي كان يتحكم في بريطانيا: رئيس الوزراء دزرائيلي، ورجل المال روتشيلد. 

وقد تم توظيف هذا النمط من هذا الإسلام بحسب كل مرحلة، فمن الوهابية النجدية والقطرية وعلاقتها بقلم الاستخبارات البريطانية كما يعترف بيركهارت، إلى توظيف هذا الإسلام ضد حركات التحرر الوطني العربية وغير العربية، إلى استراتيجية تطويق روسيا السوفياتية ثم البوتينية والصين كحزام أخضر إسلاموي تحت سيطرة مطابخ الاستخبارات الأطلسية وأقلامها. 

ومن الوثائق والمراجع حول ذلك: 

–  مذكرات بيركهارت.

–  مارك كورتيس، التاريخ السري لتحالف بريطانيا مع الأصوليين. 

–  ستيفن هات، لعبة بعمر الإمبراطورية. 

–  روبرت درايفوس، لعبة الشيطان. 

–  مذكرات جيمس وولي، مدير الاستخبارات الأميركية الأسبق. 

–  ثروت الخرباوي، سر المعبد. 

–  ايان جونسون، مسجد في ميونخ

–  شاريل بينارد، الإسلام الديموقراطي. 

–  نوح فيلدمان، تدهور الدولة الإسلامية ونهوضها. 

–  بيرنارد لويس، لغة السياسة في الإسلام. 

–  عبد العظيم حماد، الوحي الأميركي. 

–  لوي شتراوس، أعلام الفلسفة السياسية. 

أما في التطبيق، فمن ذلك: 

1- في تونس والمغرب، فضلاً عن الفشل الاقتصادي الاجتماعي، فإن الأخطر هو التغطية على التطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني؛ ففي عهد الحكومة الإسلامية في المغرب، تم التوقيع على العديد من الاتفاقات مع العدو الصهيوني، وفي تونس رفض نواب حركة النهضة التصويت على تجريم التطبيع. 

2- في مصر، فضلاً عن محاولة الإسلاميين المذكورين وضع اليد على مصر وخصخصة ما تبقى من مؤسسات الدولة لنهبها بـ”تراب المصاري”، كما حدث في السودان، واصل حكم مرسي السابق سياسات التطبيع مع العدو وتبادل معه البرقيات بمناسبات مختلفة، وقمعت شرطته أكبر تظاهرة حاولت اقتحام سفارة العدو في القاهرة. 

3- في السودان، وبعد الانقلاب العسكري الدموي للإخوان (تصفية عشرات الضباط)، دخل الإسلام السياسي أسوأ أيامه، من كل النواحي الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والسياسية، وصار من أكثر الدول فساداً ومديونية، رغم خيرات السودان الكثيرة، وذلك فضلاً عن الصراعات الداخلية بين الأجنحة الإسلامية نفسها (الترابي- البشير) وأخيراً المجموعة الحالية التي دشّنت عهدها بالتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني. 

ولعل الوجه الأخطر في تجربة السودان الإسلاموية تمزق الدولة نفسها بين ولايات انفصالية، مثل دارفور، والموافقة على سلخ الجنوب كمحمية إسرائيلية. 

4- في سوريا والعراق، وإضافة إلى استراتيجية تدمير الدول باسم مواجهة الأنظمة، قدم الإسلامويون للعدو الصهيوني والامبريالية واليهودية العالمية أخطر ذريعة لاتهام العرب والمسلمين بالتخلف والإرهاب الدموي المسلح، وإعادة إنتاج المعزوفة الاستشراقية العنصرية الصهيونية (إعادة الاستعمار لـ تمدين المتوحشين). 

5- ويشار كذلك إلى دور الميليشيات الإسلاموية في دعم عميل الاستخبارات الأميركية في إندونيسيا، سوهارتو، الذي يصنّف من أكثر الرؤساء فساداً ودموية في العالم، والذي نظّم مع الميليشيات الإجرامية المذكورة مذابح تقشعر لها الأبدان بحق الأرياف والطبقة العاملة والمثقفين، راح ضحيتها مليون شخص، كثالثة كبريات المذابح في القرن العشرين، بعد المذبحة التركية ضد الأرمن، والمذابح الأميركية النووية ضد المدن اليابانية. 

6- أما تركيا التي يسوّقها الإسلاميون كنموذج للتنمية، فهي ليست دولة إسلامية بل توظف الإسلام خارجها وفي المحيط العربي والآسيوي لغايات طورانية وأجندة أطلسية. فإضافة إلى وجود أكبر سفارة للعدو الصهيوني فيها، ومستوى واسع من التنسيق العسكري والأمني معه، ووجود كبرى القواعد العسكرية الأميركية مثل إنجرليك، وعضويتها في حلف الأطلسي، الذراع العسكرية الأمنية للإمبريالية العالمية، فإن اقتصادها اقتصاد رأسمالي في كل تفاصيله وليس اقتصاداً إسلامياً، ويقوم على ما يعرف بالتقسيم العالمي للبلدان المتوسطة التطور التي تحل بعد الدول الصناعية الكبرى في سياق استيعاب خطوط الإنتاج والصناعات التي تتخلى عنها البلدان الكبرى تحت تأثير الثورة المتواصلة للتكنولوجيا، مثلها في ذلك مثل البرازيل والمكسيك والهند وجنوب أفريقيا والنمور الآسيوية. 

وليس بعيداً عن ذلك، “الموديل” الاجتماعي لهذه الدول، وعلى رأسها تركيا، وهو “موديل” غير إسلامي إطلاقاً، بالنظر إلى ترخيص البغاء والمشروبات الكحولية، بل إن تركيا تعد مع كولومبيا وآذربيجان وجنوب أفريقيا من بلدان المافيا العالمية، وكذلك من أكبر مستوردي الويسكي في العالم، ومن أكبر مستهلكي المخدرات وطرقها (ممراً ومقراً). 

7- ويشار هنا إلى أن البيئة الاقتصادية عموماً لرجال الأعمال المسلمين ليست بعيدة عن بيئة (يوسف ندا) خصم جمال عبد الناصر والمتورّط في محاولة اغتياله وصاحب الاستثمارات الكبيرة في جزر غسل العملة والتهرب من الضرائب، مثل جزر المارشال، العذراء البريطانية، ومناطق مثل بنما، وفي وسع المهتمين أكثر العودة إلى كتاب ستيفن هات (لعبة بعمر الإمبراطورية) حول بنك BCCI وعلاقته بغاسلي العملة الإسلاميين، وكتاب كورتيس السابق الذكر، وخاصة حول بنك الائتمان وعلاقته بغسل العملة، وكذلك العودة إلى فيلم “التسلل” حول بنك الاعتماد ودور إسكوبار وناشطين إسلاميين. 

سدّ النهضة: من تهديد إلى فرصة؟

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*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي
 زياد حافظ 

الملاحظة الأولى هي أنّ ما وصلت اليه الأمور هو نتيجة تراكم الإهمال المصريّ خلال العقود التي تلت رحيل القائد الخالد الذكر جمال عبد الناصر. فمصر خلال الخمسينيات والستينيات كانت منصة حركات التحرّر الأفريقية تجسيداً وتطبيقاً للرؤية الجيوستراتيجية التي بلورها القائد جمال عبد الناصر في “فلسفة الثورة” حيث الأمن القومي المصري يكمن في دوائر ثلاث: الدائرة العربية والدائرة الإسلامية والدائرة الأفريقية. كم كانت رؤيته الجيوستراتيجية ثاقبة آنذاك وكما هي صحيحة اليوم وفي الغد! لكن بعد رحيله أتيحت الفرصة للكيان الصهيوني التوغل في أفريقيا وبناء علاقات لم تكن ممكنة في وجوده وسياسته. الانكفاء المصري يعود إلى خروج مصر من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني ما سمح للحضور الصهيوني بقوة في القارة الأفريقية.

ونلاحظ أيضاً أن بعد رحيل جمال عبد الناصر تحوّلت منصة حركات التحرّر من القاهرة إلى الجزائر مع الرئيس هواري بومدين. لكن رحيل الرئيس الجزائري سنة 1978 في ظروف تثير الريبة والشكوك تلت زيارة السادات للقدس في تشرين 1977 ومن بعد ذلك دخول الجزائر في العشرية الدامية فقدت الحركة التحررية الأفريقية منصة مؤثرة في نموها. حاولت ليبيا في ما بعد حمل العباءة الأفريقية، لكن مع خروج مصر من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني غاب الدور العربي في أفريقيا وحيّدت محاولات القذافي للإمساك بالورقة الأفريقية. هذه الملاحظات تأتي للتأكيد على أنّ التوغّل الصهيوني في القارة الأفريقية لما كان لولا الغياب القسري العربي بشكل عام والمصري بشكل خاص. فمن الواضح أنّ أعداء الأمة العربية في الغرب وفي الكيان وفي بعض الدوائر العربية يمنعون أيّ دور عربيّ في أفريقيا يساهم في تنمية القارة من جهة ويمكّن استقلال وسيادة الدول المكوّنة من جهة أخرى وأخيراً لحماية الأمن القومي العربي وفقاً لرؤية جمال عبد الناصر. كما أنّ تقسيم السودان وبناء سدّ النهضة استهدف السودان في مرحلة أولى تمهيداً لاستهداف مصر. فالمطامع الصهيونية في مياه النيل معروفة والحذر من قبل بعض الدول العربية من مصر تقاطعت لفرض الضغوط على مصر وترويضها.

على صعيد خاص، كنا شاهدين على نتائج الغياب العربي في أفريقيا وذلك من خلال عملنا في التسعينيات في إحدى مؤسسات البنك الدولي حيث كنا نغطّي أفريقيا الغربية. لاحظنا امتعاض نخب أفريقيّة من التوغل الصهيوني فيما بينما كانت تذكر لنا فضائل مصر في دعم حركات التحرّر في البلدان المعنية. ما نريد أن نقوله إنّ الرأس المال المعنوي الذي كوّنته مصر كان محفوراً في ذاكرة الدول الأفريقية سواء في دعم حركة التحرر وفي ما بعد في دعم الاقتصاد والتعليم. هذا الرأس المال بدّدته سياسات اللامبالاة بعد كامب دافيد المدمّرة التي تحصد نتائجها مصر اليوم وكأن مستلزمات كامب دافيد قضت بالتخلّي عن الدور الأفريقي لمصر كما تخلّت عن دورها في الصراع العربي الصهيوني.

الملاحظة الثانية هي أن المواجهة الحقيقية في موضوع السد ليست مع الشعب الإثيوبي الشقيق ولا حتى مع حكومته. أحد المتكلّمين في الندوة الدكتور محمد حسب الرسول وهو نائب أمين عام المؤتمر القومي العربي أعطى إضاءات هامة حول المشتركات والروابط المصرية والسودانية مع الشعب الإثيوبي. فهناك حوالي 70 بالمئة من سكان اثيوبيا من المسلمين وأن الكنيسة الإثيوبية من أعرق الكنائس ولها ارتباطات مع الكنيسة المصرية، وحيث كادت اللغة العربية تكون لغة رسمية تجعلها مرشحة للانضمام إلى الدول العربية. ما نريد أن نقوله هو أن المواجهة ليست مع الإثيوبيين شعباً وحكومة بل مع رأس الأفعى الحقيقي وهو الكيان الصهيوني الذي ساهم على أكثر من صعيد في بناء ذلك السد. وإذا كان سد النهضة يشكّل تهديداً واضحاً للأمن القومي المصري والسوداني وبالتالي العربي فإن المواجهة هي مع العدو الصهيوني المحتلّ أولاً وأخيراً.

التخلّي عن الدور الريادي المصري في الشأن الأفريقي مبني على نظرية تمّ ترويجها أن 99 بالمئة من أوراق اللعبة تملكها الولايات المتحدة وأن البوّابة للولايات المتحدة هي الكيان الصهيوني المحتل. بغض النظر عن صحة ذلك التقدير آنذاك، أي في السبعينيات من القرن الماضي، فإن موازين القوّة الدولية والإقليمية الحالية والمرتقبة تدحض تلك النظرية وبالتالي الخيارات والسياسة المبنية عليها يجب أن تخضع لمراجعة. فمصر مهدّدة شرقاً وشمالاً من الكيان الصهيوني والخلايا الإرهابية المدعومة من الولايات المتحدة والكيان الصهيوني، وغرباً من أيضاً من جماعات التعصّب والغلو والتوحّش، واليوم من الجنوب عبر خطر التعطيش، وجميع هذه المخاطر مرتبطة بالكيان الصهيوني المحتلّ وداعمه الأساسي الولايات المتحدة. ألم يحن الأوان لمراجعة تلك السياسات لمواجهة التهديدات؟ بل نقول أكثر من ذلك ونعتبر أنه بإمكان تحويل التهديد إلى فرصة انطلاقة جديدة عبر قلب الطاولة على الكيان وجعل من سد النهضة منفعة مشتركة لكلّ من مصر والسودان وبطبيعة الحال إثيوبيا عبر تشبيك إقليمي بين دول وادي النيل والقرن الأفريقي لا مكان للكيان الصهيوني فيه.

الملاحظة الثالثة هي أنّ التشبيك الاقتصادي بين بلاد وادي النيل والقرن الأفريقي يتكامل مع التشبيك المرتقب بين بلاد الرافدين وبلاد الشام من جهة، ومع مشروع التشبيك في دول المغرب الكبير من جهة أخرى. والتكامل بين هذه المكوّنات الأربعة يساهم في وجود كتلة عربية وإقليمية تتكامل مع مشروع الطريق والحزام الواحد الصيني والمشروع الأوراسي الروسي. المستقبل هو في الشرق وليس في الغرب والأفول الغربي هو أفول استراتيجي لا يستطيع أحد إيقافه أو حتى إبطاءه. والمشروع العربي النهضوي الذي نناضل من أجله هو في صميم المواجهة مع الكيان الصهيوني حيث بوجود الكيان لا شيء غير التجزئة والضعف والتخلّف والانقراض. أما المواجهة فهي تأتي بالوحدة وبالوحدة تأتي القوّة وبالقوة تأتي النهضة.

COMBAT FOOTAGE: HOUTHIS RAID POSITIONS OF SUDANESE FORCES IN YEMEN’S HAJJAH

South Front

16.04.2021 

Combat Footage: Houthis Raid Positions Of Sudanese Forces In Yemen’s Hajjah
Screen grab from the Houthis’ video.

On April 16, the Houthis (as Ansar Allah is known) released a video of a recent attack by their fighters on Sudanese forces in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah.

The 18-minute video shows Houthi fighters attacking the Sudanese Armed Forces west of Harad. The Houthis storm a network of forward positions, mortar posts as well as a small village that was occupied by Sudanese soldiers.

The Houthis bold attack forced Sudanese troops to withdrew from their positions without showing any real resistance. Houthi fighter used assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades only.

During the attack, several Sudanese soldiers were killed. The Houthis also captured loads of weapons including heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, mortars, recoilless rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

The Sudanese military is the second biggest contributor to the Saudi-led coalition after the Saudi military itself. Earlier this year, the Houthis revealed that 4,416 Sudanese service members have been killed in Yemen, so far.

Despite the heavy losses and the 2011 Sudanese coup d’état, Khartoum is yet to leave the Saudi-led coalition. In 2019, a plan to withdrew 10,000 Sudanese troops from Yemen was announced. However, the withdrawal has never happened.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

The Myth of Peace in the Middle East: Deconstructing the Naturalization Narrative

April 16, 2021Articles,

American-Israeli delegation visit to Morocco in December 2020. (Photo: US Embassy Jerusalem, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Mohamed El Metmari

This critical essay deconstructs the political narrative surrounding the naturalization agreements that have occurred between some Arab countries and Israel formally known as the Abrahamic Accords or Jared Kushner’s plan for peace in the Middle East. It offers unique perspectives and analysis of these accords and their true geopolitical intentions. Primarily, it argues how the peace promised by these newly established ties remains just a myth as it explores the true objectives behind them. Interestingly enough, it also highlights the true goals behind the U.S’ mediations in these Accords.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of the hottest yet unresolved political issues of today. Whereas this conflict is not heading towards any resolutions soon, the recent naturalization agreements that have occurred between some Arab regimes and the apartheid state of Israel may mark a future shift in Middle East’s political scene.

Earlier to these agreements, boycotting Israel was these Arab nations’ approach to show support for Palestinians and their claims. Before 2020, only two bordering countries have had diplomatic ties with Israel; that is, Egypt and Jordan. This number has risen to six as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have set full diplomatic and economic relations with Israel as part of Jared Kushner’s plan for peace in the Middle East known formally as the Abrahamic Accords.

Celebrating the first occurrence of the Abrahamic Accords, Trump hosted a signing ceremony in the White House and had the following rash statement to announce: “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.” By this politically immature statement, Trump seemed as if he had finally found a solution to the conflict in the region.

As for peace in the region is concerned, Jared Kushner’s peace plans do not make any sense. Apart from Sudan, none of the countries involved with these accords are in conflict with Israel. On the opposite, Morocco and so the Gulf States have retained very healthy diplomatic relations with Israel, even if they were undeclared publicly. For instance, Morocco has had a fair share of intelligence-sharing with Israel since the mid-sixties. On top of that, the two countries had liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat from Sept. 1, 1994, to Oct. 23, 2000. Not to mention Morocco’s contribution in populating Israel by handing over its Jewish population to the newly established Jewish state during the reign of the Moroccan king Hassan II.

Granted, Israel supports the totalitarian regimes of the region mainly because these totalitarianisms do not demand accountability for its human rights and international law violations. Hence, most Arab dictatorships have been dealing with Israel on political and security levels; especially after the outbreak of the Arab spring where these regimes had to obtain the latest spying and security tech to topple every dissident in their population who desires regime change. Whereas the case of the Washington Post’s correspondent Jamal Khashoggi remains the most covered case, Amnesty International has reported that Moroccan journalist Omar Radi’s phone has also been infected with the Israeli Pegasus spyware.

The Myth of Peace: Deception, Expansion and Dispossession.

Each time an Arab country initiates full diplomatic relations with Israel, its local propaganda machine makes it look as a major historical event that has occurred in the country. Some media outlets have gone far with this. For example, they take the religious tolerance preached in the Muslim faith as a pretext for setting these normalization agreements with this ‘Jewish’ nation. Other media platforms, however, have beautified the image of Israel’s apartheid regime via elaborate historical descriptions of Jewish culture and heritage. This is not wrong at all, but what is wrong is to evoke this history only at this particular event ignoring Israel’s present violations of International Law and Human rights and most of all occupation of Palestinian lands. This is why it is easy to deconstruct the naturalization narrative and prove that it is just a myth.

First of all, the context of these agreements was preceded and controlled by the 2020 US elections. Trump’s administration had tried to convince the American public that it will be the first administration that ends the conflict in the Middle East and thus planning on gaining a potential leverage in the election race. But despite the occurrence of the Abrahamic Accords last year and even Trump’s administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017, it still was not enough to win Trump the approval of the devastated American public. This is mainly because Americans wanted Trump out of the White House at any cost; even if it meant choosing the lesser evil of the two candidates in the elections.

Meanwhile, these events come as a perfect opportunity to boost the reputation of the Likud party and more specifically the reputation of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose image has been stained by his corruption and monopoly of the Israeli political scene. Unlike Trump, the chances of him getting replaced in the upcoming Israeli elections are relatively low because of his firm grip on power and the lack of his equal in the Israeli political arena. Furthermore, with the massive press coverage that comes with such events, Netanyahu, similarly to Trump, wanted the spotlights on him to distract the public from his administration’s terrible handling of Covid-19 and thus gaining significant leverage in the elections.

Second, the biggest gain for Israel from these new ties with the Arab States and Morocco is that it reinforces its political influence in the Middle East. Not only this, but unlocking Israel’s geo-political isolation in the region as well. And since this newly granted influence to Israel is an approved one, it gives it freedom to expand and occupy more without any opposition. Of course, if Israel is gaining a legitimate influence in the region, this means that Palestine’s position will exacerbate. And thus the Palestinian cause will no longer have the leverage it has on the Middle Eastern political scene.

Furthermore, Israel’s decision to create ties with the Gulf countries in specific is not arbitrary. This move was motivated by economic reasons. As it is known, the Khaleeji people are the biggest consumers in the region. Hence the khaleeji market becomes a perfect destination for Israeli goods. Israeli products, foods in specific, can even replace other products coming from other countries because of the close distance and the low shipping costs. Additionally, Sudan may not offer much as markets are concerned, but it is definitely a great source of agricultural imports for Israel. Being the mediator between Israel and its “new” allies, the US benefits from these agreements as well since it is Israel’s biggest ally. After all, any ongoing political conflict between Israel and any of the Middle Eastern countries is primarily endangering US’ political and economic interests in the region. In other words, the mediation of the US in these so-called Peace agreements is not out of a sort of altruism because the US is only after its share of the pie.

Third, to say that these newly established ties will bring “peace” to the region is ludicrous and rash but not totally wrong. But for whom this peace is served; for Palestine, for the Arab States, or for Israel? To give a rather simple and short answer, it is apt to say it remains just a myth for the Palestinians in specific, but it means more security and power for the Israeli side in particular. To put it differently, with Israel having full diplomatic ties with these Arab countries and Morocco, it becomes easy for it to carry its annexation plans and dispossession of Palestinian lands without being held accountable. And the Palestinians are likely to be displaced gradually and implicitly to one of these countries. Apparently, Morocco and the rich Gulf states are the biggest fish that Israel could ever come to terms with. Since they provide financial comfort and political stability, some Palestinians may choose these destinations over their currently Israeli-occupied and war-inflected homes.

However, it is worth mentioning that the Emiratis as well as the Saudis despise the Palestinians. Hence, the Palestinians will never accept the reality of being displaced to one of these two countries. Meanwhile, this does not apply to either Kuwait or Oman in which do not have a strong political influence in the region. Apart from Morocco, they maybe the desired destination Israel is looking for to displace the Palestinians to after annexing their lands. Whether the two countries agree to normalize relations with Israel in the future or not, it does not really matter as long they are subservient to UAE and Saudi Arabia. Apparently, the Palestinians are likely to resist as they usually do.

Concurrently, Israel is likely to pressure them to accept this bitter reality as it has been doing for the last decades. Hence, Israel will possibly seek not only to increase its siege and pressure on the borders and checkpoints, but it may also instigate a war with Hamas as a pretext for a military escalation. Hamas, on the other hand, will be, as always, scapegoated for the whole thing especially that it is classified as a terrorist organization. Therefore, the peace that Israel is seeking is a peace with the Palestinians out of Palestine.

However, Israel is not the only benefactor from these agreements. Clearly, the Gulf States have paid for US military protection by signing these accords. But UAE in specific have had further arms deals and gained even more political protection against the Iranian influence in the Arab peninsula. Nonetheless, when a country signs a peace deal, it does not instantly demand acquirement of advanced F-35 stealth Jet, which is what this Gulf State did, because the two are paradoxical. Therefore, in opposition to the classic definitions of peace treaties, the brokered peace from these agreements is a purchased one like many peace agreements that have been signed before it in the region. After all, Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel so it is de-listed from the state-sponsors of terror, the Gulf States signed them as a payment for US military protection and Morocco got support for its sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Therefore, as all the purchased peace agreements the Middle East has witnessed over modern history- whether it is peace for land, peace in exchange of monopoly or what have you- this one is also doomed to be broken by conflict since it is not based on a balanced compromise where two equal parties meet in the middle. Rather, it is a political move towards accumulation of power where the main side of this conflict, meaning the Palestinians, is not even included in these agreements.

The US, Morocco, and Israel: A Geopolitical Chess Game over Africa

The fact that Israel has pursued diplomatic relations with Morocco- a country so far away from the Middle East’s political discourse- is by no means for peace as it is claimed by any of the Accords’ orchestrators. The moment it was announced that Morocco was to resume relations with Israel, Moroccan propaganda machines overshadowed the controversies that come with this event by preaching to the public about the Moroccan Jewish heritage and the coexistence of the Abrahamic religions in this homogeneous sphere. This normalization was depicted as a win-win situation for Morocco especially that Trump has rewarded Morocco’s approval of its resumption of relations with the apartheid regime by signing a presidential proclamation that recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.

The celebrations following this recognition covered up totally for the naturalization. This proclamation has even become an independent narrative of its own. The official discourse in Moroccan media has asserted that this recognition is the fruit of long-lasting diplomatic ties between Morocco and the US and not as a part of the Abrahamic Accords. Moreover, many factors influence politics, but altruism is not one of them. Taking the fact that Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the US in 1777, and the two countries long diplomatic relations, it stands as a surprise that it took so much time for the US to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara or at least support its claim diplomatically.

Meanwhile, political terminology is important here because Moroccan media had it intentionally mixed up to alleviate the Moroccan public’s rage. Trump’s presidential proclamation does not recognize the Western Sahara region as a Moroccan entity as they have claimed, but it only recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over it. These are two different things, because Morocco has already been practicing sovereignty over the region although with some difficulties mainly caused by intense altercations with the Algerian-backed Polisario Front. The only thing that Morocco has needed is legitimacy and this proclamation happens to be it. Obviously, this is a simple treat from the US for Morocco’s acceptance of the resumption of relations with Israel.

Nevertheless, the majority of the Moroccan public welcomed Trump’s move, but they abhorred Morocco’s establishment of ties with Israel. Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, has refused to call this an act of “naturalization” of relations. For him, normalization is a Middle Eastern term that does not apply to Morocco which is not a neighboring country to Israel. Indeed, Morocco’s North African location and its large indigenous Amazigh population make it hard to proclaim the country as purely Arab.

Bourita has preferred using the term “resumption” of relations instead. As mentioned earlier, Morocco and Israel had Liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat before Morocco had to close their office in response to Israeli repression of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000. Not to mention, there is a number of almost 800.000 Jews of Moroccan decent living in Israel right now.

Obviously, Israel remains the biggest benefactor from these naturalization agreements. However, the US did not take part in them without purpose. The existence of Israel in the Middle East protects American interests in the region. That is why Zionist lobbies in the US always do their best to empower this regime. And this is what AIPAC is doing and what Christians United for Israel and other Zionist lobbies are doing. As a result, this support for the apartheid regime enables the US to retain its firm grip on Middle East’s political and economic affairs. These are all facts now. But the case of Morocco is still a uniquely dubious one. Pressing Morocco – a country so far away from The Middle East’s frenzy and even terminology to sign these deals seems confusing to say the least; especially that Morocco is not a rich country like the Gulf States.

However, ever since Morocco’s rejoining the African Union in 2017, many countries and the US particularly have started to look for ways to intensify their relations with this African country more than before. To illustrate, Morocco’s main weapon supplies come from the US. Granted, the influence of the US embassy in Rabat has surpassed diplomatic lines to influencing Moroccan cultural context and even influencing Moroccan academia via its grants and many programs and English learning courses. This soft pressure changes the structure of Moroccan society with time. As of now, although French is the official second language in Morocco, the majority of Moroccan youth, many of whom have benefited from US grants and programs, speak English. This is not bad at all, but again, politics is the game of interests and not altruisms. Implemented in these courses and grants are soft ideologies that create sympathy and acceptance of US values and democracy in the Moroccan community. In the long run, acceptance of the US image rises even if its intentions in the region are not necessarily benevolent.

To connect this to the question at hand, Morocco remains the US’ key holder to the African Union and African countries. This strategic move to invest in Morocco politically and economically and then support its sovereignty over its full territorial land comes as the price for infiltrating a fertile network of rising African economies. Hence, these countries become perfect investment destinations for the US. And although China is the biggest player in Africa as economy is involved, not counting the previous colonial powers of Africa, the US is doing the best it can to take this role in the near future. After its degrading failure to do so under pretexts of humanitarian aid and war on terror, the UShas finally chosen this diplomatic direction to overtake Russian and Chinese influences in Africa. It is hence a perfectly played chess game over geopolitical expansion and power. Peace and human rights preached in these agreements however, are turned into industries that are used to further their dominance and hegemony.

Additionally, what makes Morocco exceptional is its officials’ diplomatic maturity and its political stability in comparison to the Middle East and other African countries. Also, Morocco’s ability to repay its debts boosts foreign investors’ confidence to embark on the Moroccan market. Not to mention, Morocco itself needs this kind of political and economic partnership and support as it seeks to take the lead as an African power. However, this pursuit remains far-fetched without having full sovereignty over its lands or without having strong allies.

Meanwhile, Moroccan King Mohamed VI has confirmed that Morocco’s position on Palestine remains unchanged. He has also affirmed that he places his country’s territorial issue and the Palestinian cause at the same level, and that the kingdom will use its new position to push for a conflict resolution in the region. Thus, Morocco is playing it as safe as it could as it is placing itself neither with the current, nor against it.

All in all, Morocco and the Arab regimes’ decision to normalize relations with Israel is not promising of any lasting peace between Palestine and Israel simply because Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories will gain significant legitimacy from the establishment of these diplomatic ties. Especially that these Arab States are not democratic themselves so they can account it for its infringement of international law and human rights. Granted, since the Palestinian question, the right of self-determination and the right of return are not included in the official discourse of these peace agreements, a resolution for the Palestinian- Israeli conflict remains just a myth that appears to be tangible with propaganda and exclusionary media narratives.

– Mohamed El Metmari is an independent writer and researcher affiliated with the faculty of Letters and Humanities of Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Martil, Morocco. He is an Open Hands Initiative’s Conflict Resolution alumnus. Currently, he is conducting a Master’s thesis centered on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His articles have appeared on Aljazeera Arabic, SasaPost, and Countercurrents. He contributed this essay to The Palestine Chronicle.

THE SIX-YEAR EPIC FAILURE: RIYADH’S CRUSADE ON SANA’A

22.03.2021

South Front

Six years of the Saudi-led war have passed in Yemen, and it keeps going with no sign of a peaceful solution on the horizon.

The “occasion” was “commemorated” with a briefing by Ansar Allah, or as they are popularly known – the Houthis. Some impressive numbers were shared.

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sari said that the Saudi-led coalition carried out more than 266,150 airstrikes throughout these 6 years. The predominant number of those strikes targeted Yemeni citizens, homes, cities and other infrastructure.

On the side of the Houthis, at least 1,348 separate missile operations were launched, with nearly 500 being behind enemy lines on key military facilities of the Kingdom and the UAE. In total, the Houthi Air Force carried out 12,623 raids with drones. In 2021 alone, Ansar Allah has carried out 1,464 operations, including 124 attack operations, and the rest reconnaissance.

The Ansar Allah ground forces carried out 12,366 combat operations throughout the years. When it comes to losses, the Houthis didn’t share theirs. They claimed that over the 6 years, the Saudi-led coalition had suffered some significant losses. In total, more than 240,000 fighters were either killed or injured.

This includes UAE forces, Sudanese mercenaries, Saudi armed forces, as well as the troops of the Yemen puppet government.

As expected, the update focuses more on what the Houthis achieved and what Saudi Arabia has lost, but it has been an open secret that Riyadh’s intervention in Yemen hasn’t been a glowing example of success.

In just the past few days, leading up to March 22nd, the Houthis carried out a significant attack on Aramco oil facilities. A refinery was struck by 6 suicide drones. The Saudi Ministry of Energy claimed that the attack caused a fire that was “quickly” controlled by the refinery’s staff. Satellite imagery, however, showed the damage to be much more extensive than Riyadh let on.

Saudi Arabia, on its part, released footage of its airstrikes on Ansar Allah in the Marib province. The videos presented 17 pinpoint airstrikes by Riyadh warplanes on vehicles and positions on several fronts of the province. The Saudi-led coalition also released a video showing precision airstrikes on a cave supposedly used by the Houthis to store suicide drones. It is purportedly located near Yemen’s capital Sana’a.

In spite of these videos, and the Saudi attempt to present the situation in a somewhat positive light, the Saudi-led coalition has been slowly retreating in Marib.

Six years of war have passed in Yemen, in which massive amounts of funds were “invested” by Riyadh to fight a war that it still can’t even go near winning.

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Israel is an advanced garrison for U.S. in the region: Moroccan analyst

By Mohammad Mazhari

December 28, 2020 – 18:15

TEHRAN – A Moroccan journalist describes Israel as an “unnatural entity” which is “planted” in the region to represent U.S. interests and cause escalations.

“Israel is an unnatural entity based on expansion, and it does not have standards of a state,” Driss Addar tells the Tehran Times. “It is an advanced military garrison for America, which is the hidden state of the Jews of Khazaria.”
The Moroccan journalist calls Israel an arrogant regime that is established based on expansionism.
Following is the text of the interview: 

Q: How do you see the decision of some Arab states like the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan to normalize ties with Israel? 

A: There are multiple reasons for each government, although the context that paved the way for Arab states to normalize their relationship with Israel was apparently the same.

But before answering your question, I would like to point out that regarding Morocco the step of normalization of ties was taken within the framework of joint Arab action and settlements based on the two-state solution. 

The Moroccan step differs in terms of context and historical motives and also even the content of the statement issued in this context.

That is why the Palestinian Authority treated the Moroccan decision differently, in contrast to its position on the Abraham Accords, which was rejected by Morocco too. 

The Arabs today are pushed into a corner, and their interaction with their geopolitics is limited to be a spectator or the functional tool for other powers.

So the Emirates’ normalization of ties with Israel is based on promised goals within the framework of building an Israeli-(Persian) Gulf coalition to confront Iran after America portrayed Tehran as an enemy.

In this concept, the previous friend becomes the enemy and the enemy becomes a close friend who is welcomed.

Israel and the United States are aware that geography in the East is senseless after the creation of chaos, breakup plans, and proxy wars, and today they are investing in this reality, with the certainty that the idea of a new Middle East has become impossible after Syria’s victory over a terrorist war that was imposed on it.

 With the emergence of Russia as a new international power and Iran as a large regional power, the current U.S. administration wants to cripple the next administration by forming an Israeli-(Persian) Gulf alliance to prevent a U.S. return to the nuclear deal or laying landmines for Biden.

Q: Why did Morocco accept to normalize relations with Israel? It seems that there were informal relations with Israel before the announcement of normalization.

A: Morocco provides an explanation and justification for this normalization step and this agreement is limited to the transfer of the Moroccan community and a set of exchanges between the two sides.

 Not to mention America’s recognition of the Moroccan Sahara, it contributed to this step while other countries do not have these incentives, which makes the Moroccan situation different.

Morocco has been playing a mediatory role in the past and wants to continue it now. In the context of the change in the regional system and the escalations over the Palestinian issue, Morocco adopted a different viewpoint that sees itself as more capable for mediation than Egypt or Jordan.

Here Morocco has determined an agenda, including finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Here we are not talking about the best way to achieve consensus within the framework of an official Palestinian demand; the point here is related to Morocco, as it started from the beginning and after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a political solution and in the same framework that was agreed upon in the Arab world and in the (Organization of) Islamic Cooperation, that is the two-state solution.

So, Morocco has set an agenda realizing that the people reject the normalization of ties with Israel. So it did not call it normalization, but a statement that all wait for the implementation of the demands mentioned in it.

Morocco does not want to exclude the Palestinian cause but rather stated that this issue is equal to its national causes.

The issue is explained clearly in detail. So it is a conditional agreement that pledges a just solution to the Palestinian issue.

Moroccans are monitoring the progress of the agreement. Hence, unlike other forms of normalization, there is no signal of disregard or humiliation for the Palestinian cause in Morocco. 

The agreements between the Arabs and the Israeli regime were raised under initiatives and joint actions, while this is a conditional initiative and not a blank check.

Morocco hopes that all parties in the conflict succeed in finding an opportunity for a fair settlement approvable by international, Arab, and Islamic communities, otherwise it will not be applicable. Any initiative needs to take into account the Palestinians’ rights to succeed. 

I guess what is expected from this agreement is something greater than what is carried out by states that have fully normalized ties with Israel.

Over the years of conflict, the Israeli regime neither abides by UN resolutions nor Arab initiatives, and the siege on the Palestinian people is continuing. 

This is something that cannot be overlooked. Morocco had officially closed the contact office during the second Palestinian uprising (Intifada) in 2000.

The issue here is not who will join the normalization process or not. We must seek the possible conditions to facilitate a comprehensive and complete peace in the Middle East (West Asia).

What distinguishes Morocco is that it has a large community within Israel and also officials in the Israeli government are still associated with their Moroccan origins. 

Therefore, Rabat considers it an opportunity to resolve the conflict in a context that is under regional and international pressure.

Arabs are living in a difficult situation and Morocco is part of the Arab world and is concerned with resolving the Palestinian issue and considers it as a red line.

What happened is a conditional connection to mediate between Israel and Palestine. It is not a full normalization, because it would not be possible before settling the Palestinian issue. 

Here we had to pause at the difference between contact mechanism, which is a pre-condition for any mediation, and full normalization that cannot be achieved in the absence of a solution. 

Rabat says that the agreement does not compromise on the Palestinians’ legitimate rights.

Official Moroccan position has not changed as it sticks to a two-state solution. However, Morocco accepted conditional contact, clearly and within an agenda that approves the Palestinian cause in the context of its first national priority, which is contrary to the content of the Abraham Accords.

Q: Do you think that the normalization will benefit the Islamic and Arab worlds? Do you expect Israel to give up its expansion plans after the normalization of relations?

A: What I said is an explanation and not a justification, and therefore it falls within the framework of understanding the political possibilities.

But strategically it will not change the situation at all, because the problem is very deep, as we face a blockage in the proposed solutions.

Even the two-state solution is a long story presented a long time ago, but it is not practically possible. Given the Israeli rejection and the impossibility of the two states’ existence in this small geography, in which this Israeli regime was planted, this small area cannot host two states in terms of history and religion.

Therefore, it is not possible to expect significant results from normalization unless we go beyond the limits of the current static situation.

Israel is an unnatural entity based on expansion, and it does not have standards of a state. It can even be said that it is an advanced military garrison for America, which is the hidden state of the Jews of Khazaria, according to Tatiana Grachova, the Russian writer and author of the book “Hidden Khazaria”.

Consequently, this regime is established on expansionism, and this is the main reason for escalations in the region. 

Despite Israeli arrogance, in the political process, one can only talk about an attempt to besiege and embarrass this regime.

Q: Don’t you think that Saudi Arabia would join others to normalize ties with Israel sooner or later? What will be its impact on the rest of the Arab countries?

A: The recent signals hint that Saudi Arabia will join the normalization process.

I don’t think that the Saudi normalization will create a different atmosphere or will have more serious repercussions rather than the previous steps in normalization. The main goal of these countries is forming an alliance with Israeli to surround Iran. The rest of the Arab countries, especially those close to the conflict zone, are in a different position. With the exception of Syria, whose position is clear on Israel as an enemy, the rest of neighboring Arab countries not only prefer to support normalization of ties with Israel but also support aggression against the resistance axis and occupied Palestine.

Q: Now how would you describe the position of Arab countries, governments, and people toward the Palestinian cause?

A: It is no longer possible to address the path and options of Arab policies.

But no one is against the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation, especially in its difficult circumstances.

Now the question here is how can the demands of the Palestinian people be fulfilled to confront Israeli malicious policies?

If you focus only on the dark reality of our region, you will see that the Palestinian cause is in its worst condition, but a strategic vision will say that the facts suggest important changes in favor of the Palestinian cause.

Rather, the victory of Syria, and the achievements of the resistance axis, is the most important cards that can hinder the deal of the century.

This deal cannot be passed without eliminating the Lebanese resistance and overthrowing the Syrian state, the two goals that were not achieved by the resistance of the nations of the region.
 

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MBS said he would be killed by his ‘own people’ if Riyadh normalised ties with Israel: Report

Billionaire Haim Saban claims crown prince made remarks after UAE and Bahrain’s deals with Israel, Haaretz reports

Mohammed bin Salman is the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia
US President Donald Trump has suggested Saudi Arabia may recognise Israel (AFP/File photo)

By MEE staff
Published date: 23 October 2020

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban he would fear for his life if he struck a normalisation deal with Israel, Haaretz reported.

The Saudi crown prince, also known by his initials MBS, said following in the steps of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would get him “killed by Iran, by Qatar and my own people”, Saban said.

The entertainment mogul made the claim at a pro-Biden online campaign event on Wednesday entitled “Israel’s Security and Prosperity in a Biden White House”, hosted by Florida for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Haaretz reported.

The UAE and Bahrain, which closely coordinate their foreign policies with Saudi Arabia, normalised relations with Israel in August, cementing the move with a signing ceremony at the White House last month.

Saban, a billionaire who founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, was one of the few Democrats present when the agreements, dubbed the Abraham Accords, were signed on 15 September.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia to also agree to closer ties with Israel in the coming months.Arab populations continue to oppose normalisation with Israel, survey shows

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His comments came shortly after Sudan became the third Arab country in recent months to normalise ties with Israel.

Earlier this month, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said the kingdom would not recognise Israel until there was a return to Israel-Palestine negotiations.

Saban, a longtime donor to the Democratic party, also used his platform at Wednesday’s online event to praise presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden’s “47 years of commitment” to Israel.

“All Jews in America that care about the US-Israel alliance know they can sleep peacefully under a Biden presidency,” he said.

The normalisation deals have largely been met positively among both Democrats and Republicans.

The billionaire also claimed that President Donald Trump played a minor role in securing the Abraham Accords, while most of the credit should go to his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

“All of the credit should be going to Jared Kushner and [his aide] Avi Berkowitz, who worked really hard on it,” said Saban.

Trump has highlighted the Arab normalisation deals with Israel as major achievements as he seeks another term in 3 November elections, with his evangelical Christian base widely supportive of Israel.

Still, the normalisation deals have outraged Palestinians, who have called them “a stab in the back”, pointing out that they reward Israel and allow it to continue its illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as its siege of Gaza.

recent survey found that, despite the moves by the UAE and Bahrain, a majority of Arab populations continue to strongly oppose normalisation with Israel.

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

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