ISRAEL, TURKEY CONTINUE TO ESCALATE OPERATIONS IN SYRIA

 09.06.2022

South Front

Israel and Turkey escalated their military operations in Syria recently, in what appears to be an attempt to further their interests and expand their influence in the war-torn country while Russia is thought to be busy with its military operation in Ukraine.

Israeli attacks on Syria are becoming more frequent. Late on June 6, warplanes of the Israeli Air Force launched several guided missiles from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights at the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

A source in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) said that many of the missiles were intercepted. However, some damage was reported near the town of the town of al-Kiswah, where several bases and research facilities of the SAA are located.

Early on June 8, the Israeli Defence Forces attacked again. Several Israeli battle tanks advanced in the UN-monitored buffer zone in the southern governorate of al-Quneitra and targeted an observation post of the SAA near the town of al-Malgah. The attack was a blatant violation of the 1974 separation of forces agreement.

Following the attack, the Israeli military dropped leaflets over al-Qunitra warning the officers and soldiers of the SAA against operating within the buffer zone.

Israel’s recent attacks were likely meant to further pressure Damascus over its alliance with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah as well as to weaken its authority over the al-Quneitra buffer zone.

Meanwhile, Turkey continues to prepare to launch a new military operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern and northeastern Syria.

As of June 8, the Turkish military and its proxies continue to shell SDF-held areas in the northern and northeastern Aleppo countryside, the northern Raqqa countryside and the northern countryside of al-Hasakah. The presence of Russian forces and SAA units in these areas didn’t deter Ankara.

The Turkish military and its proxies also continue to amass their forces near the SDF-held towns of Tell Rifaat and Manbij in the northern Aleppo countryside. The two towns are expected to be the main targets of Turkey’s upcoming operation.

Russia has been working to restrain the actions of both Israel and Turkey in Syria by developing its cooperation with the SAA and expanding its military presence in hot regions.

On June 7, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) concluded a joint live-fire exercise, which simulated facing “hostile” fighter jets and drones that violated Syrian airspace. During the exercise, Syrian and Russian fighter jets monitored and shot down hostile aerial threats at day and night.

Su-35s, Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets from the VKS as well as MiG-23ML and MiG-29SM fighter jets from the SyAAF took part in the exercise.

Syrian and Russian warplanes also conducted a joint patrol along the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as well as over the country’s eastern and northern regions, where Turkish forces are present.

The exercise, which demonstrated Russia’s commitment to the safety and security of Syria, was likely a message to Israel and Turkey. Both countries have been attempting to marginalize the Russian role in the country.

A Forgotten Anniversary

June 12, 2022

Source

By Jimmie Moglia

It is a property of the past to sink into oblivion, and of unpleasant truths to fade into evanescence. To such past belongs the attack on the USS Liberty.

When to the session of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, Israel’s 1967 war of Middle East invasion is/was for me but a negligible blip compared to other important personal events. Such as my getting ready to read the thesis for my degree in Electronic Engineering, in Genova, Italy.

Therefore, without particular consciousness I submitted to the sentences of the official media without examining the authority of the judge.

My first doubts arose not long later when I decided to visit the Eastern Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, located on the Sinai Peninsula at the very foot of Mt. Sinai. It could then only be reached from Tel Aviv via Sharm-el-Sheikh and a bus trip.

On welcoming the tourists on the bus the guide announced with pride that the Sinai was “now and forever an unalienable part of Israel.” I found the declaration irrelevant, if not odd, but I consider that moment as the beginning of my associated historical interest.

The official US line is that, on Jun 8, 1967, the Israelis mistakenly attacked by air, and torpedoed by sea, an unarmed US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171 others. 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of that attack.

Following are some details of the ship, of the episode and of its aftermath. For, similar to occasions that perhaps we all have felt, a detail that uncalled-for returns to mind, rekindles fuller memories of a larger connected event, not otherwise spontaneously recalled. The detail is the inspired arrogance of the Israeli guide I mentioned. More in general, I think that the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.

As in most cases involving Israel, any attempt to give a factual account of an event, fails in its promised impartiality. For in the corrupted currents of the world, the very terms ‘Jew’ or ‘Jewish,’ unless associated with praise or deference, taint their utterer with a halo of anti-Semitism.

That is, there is no neutral use of the words. The issue is very old and well explained, for example, by Jewish writer Joshua Trachtenberg in his book “The Devil and the Jews.” Where he documents how there has been a propensity at large, dating back to medieval times, to ascribe a legendary element of a biblical and obscure nature to the word ‘Jew’. That propensity has sunk into what Jung called “collective unconsciousness.”

I should also add that two men observing the same object will describe it differently, according to the point of view from which either beholds it. In the eyes of one it shall be a fair prospect, to the other a barren waste, and neither may see right. Wherefore, truth being the legitimate object of history, it is better that she should be sought-for by many than by few. Lest, for want of seekers, among the mists of prejudice and the false lights of interest, she is lost altogether.

The Liberty was first launched at the end of WW2 in Oregon and named then “Simmons Victor.” It belonged to a fleet of cargo carriers quickly built (one every 10 weeks), to replace the losses to submarine attacks during WW2.

Reconverted into a spy ship in 1964, she was renamed “Liberty”. On May 24, 1967, she was dispatched from the Ivory Coast to the Eastern Mediterranean, to monitor radio signals from both Egyptians and Israeli sources, as tensions grew between Israel and the Arab world.

While it is now acknowledged that Israel started the 1967 war, the only and univocal information channels of the time told the public that Egypt attacked and that Israel “had the right to defend itself” – a sentence now imprinted in the US collective mind, and repeated every time when Israel mounts an aggression, carpet bombs Gaza, demolishes Palestinian homes, builds Jewish “settlements” in Palestinian land, erects walls to keep the Palestinians out of the way, and kills Palestinians at large.

In May 1967, McNamara, the famous defense secretary, rendered infamous for his role in the Vietnam war, had informed Israel’s foreign minister that American intelligence showed Egypt did not plan to attack. And Johnson, then US president, had feebly called on Israel not to start a war. A call with as much effect as the “concern” of succeeding US presidents, whenever Palestinians are dispossessed of their lands and new massive Jewish colonial settlements are established on Palestinian land.

1967, in my view, is a historical milestone for the US and its vassalage to Zionist interests – for previous administrations were or seemed to be somewhat more reserved.

For example and for a time, the Jews hailed Roosevelt as a modern-day Moses, until some of his actions and unofficial records surfaced from the archives. Vice President Henry Wallace annotated in his diary a discussion between Roosevelt and Churchill (May 1943), on how to settle the “Jewish question.”

The notes say, “The President approved a plan to ‘spread the Jews thin’ all over the world. He said he had tried this experiment in the Meriweather County in Georgia (where he lived in the 1920s,) by adding only four or five Jewish families at each place. He claimed that the local population would have no objection if there were no more than that.” This was enough for the Jewish community at large to label Roosevelt a ‘traitor.’

In 1948 Truman recognized Israel but did not sell arms to the Jewish state. And in 1956, when Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal, Eisenhower threatened intervention and a halt to all foreign aid, if Israel did not withdraw.

But by 1960, President Kennedy had well understood Jewish power and its influence on domestic policies – he delivered sophisticated armaments and strengthened relations with Israel.

Johnson equaled or bettered Kennedy. After Kennedy’s assassination he said to an Israeli diplomat, “You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one.” And he chose and appointed a full cadre of Jewish and pro-Israel advisers to the White House.

On Jun 8, 1967, reconnaissance flights over the Liberty, sailing about 15 miles off the Egyptian coast, began at 5.15 AM, the next round at 8.50 AM and several other Israeli planes and jets circled the ship until 12.45 PM.

At 1.30 PM three Israeli Mirage jets began the attack. Completely taken by surprise, Liberty’s skipper William McGonagle ordered the only two 0.50 mm guns manned and fired – they were quickly taken out by the jets and the gunners pulverized before they could fire the first shots, however ineffective could the shots be anyway.

The attacks continued, one every 45 seconds, as the jets strafed the ship and circled back for another round. They hit with cannon and rockets. Then they aimed at the engine room below the smoke stack. Next came Napalm bombs that turned the deck into an inferno.

Six minutes into the attack, the Liberty, with whatever communication resources were left, radioed for help to the Sixth fleet located further west. “Any station, any station, this is Rockstar, we are under attack.” The operator on the aircraft carrier Saratoga could not understand the message. On the Liberty they changed transmitter. After some interminable minutes Saratoga replied “Roger” and Liberty screamed, “We are under attack and need immediate assistance.”

But now the Saratoga operator asked for the identification code. The Liberty’s operator, with cannon from three jets strafing the ship, had to retrieve the code from a book, and finally Saratoga replied reassuringly, “Authentication is correct. I am standing by for further traffic.”

Meanwhile, before the air attack began, the Liberty’s radar operator had spotted three unidentified ships approaching fast, and alerted the captain. In the confusion and carnage that followed, as the dead and wounded piled on deck, no one thought of the approaching ships. Now Captain McGonagle saw through his binoculars that the three boats, maneuvering in attack formation, were Israelis. Up to that moment he and everybody else thought that the attackers were Egyptians.

In the meantime the original mast with the US flag had been hit – and the Liberty sailors raised a new larger American flag.

The forward torpedo boat opened fire on the defenseless ship. This would provide cover for the attacking boats to get close and launch their torpedoes. Though crippled himself and with a crippled ship operating with one engine, McGonagle attempted evasive maneuvers. Of the 5 torpedoes launched by the Israelis, one hit – creating a gash 24 ft high and 39 ft wide. The Liberty listed by 8 degrees; the entire intelligence section was instantly flooded trapping and killing 20 people.

Now the torpedo boats halted fire while remaining at less than 800 yards from the Liberty. Still shocked, amazed and in disbelief, the Liberty signaled repeatedly with a hand-held Aldis lamp, “US Naval Ship.” “

Do you need any help?” signaled the Israelis. A response that, in the circumstances, was almost adding insult to injury. “No” signaled back the Liberty.

The torpedo boats had not yet departed when two oncoming Israeli helicopters circled the ship. Fearful of more attacks, McGonagle had the international flag hoisted signaling “Not Under Command.”

At 6.40 PM another Israeli helicopter arrived and dropped a bag containing a business card from the US Naval Attaché at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Ernest Castle. On the back of the card there was a hand-written question, “Have you any casualties?” Which seemed another insult added to injury. The Liberty’s deck was a wreck, still strewn with blood and some dead sailors… impossible to miss.

How about the call for help from the Sixth Fleet? After the signal was authenticated, the Saratoga launched some fighter jets but, moments later they were unexpectedly and inexplicably recalled, waiting for the arrival of another aircraft carrier, the America.

Eventually, the planes from the America took off and the squadron leader, while reassuring the Liberty radio operator, asked a logical question, “We are on the way, who is the enemy?” Good question. For the sailors on the Liberty, as well as Captain McGonagle could not as yet believe their eyes that the enemies were the Israelis.

At that moment, 4.14 PM, both the Saratoga and the America received a message from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, as follows, “Israeli aircraft erroneously attacked US ship. Israel sends apologies and wants to know which other US ships are near the war zone.” The US carriers immediately recalled all air strikes.

The first US ship to reach the Liberty to carry away the dead and wounded arrived at 6.40 AM the next day. It took three days for the crippled vessel to arrive at Malta. 20 corpses had remained unreachable in the area hit by the torpedo, drenching the ship with a smell of death.

The plan was to repair the Liberty, enabling her return to the US. It was the beginning of a tortuous public relations battle.

While the ship was still en route to Malta, some White House advisers in Washington suggested sinking it, to avoid or minimize embarrassment.

In Malta, a large tarpaulin-looking cover hid the gash caused by the torpedoes. All crewmembers, injured and uninjured were ordered, under threat of punishment, not to answer any questions from the press.

Meantime in the US, the Administration struggled to find what to say or do. The US press was jubilant about Israel’s victory in the Six Day War. The Jews organized a rally in Washington to celebrate it. Placards said “Moses led us out of the land of Egypt, now Moshe Dayan has led us back.” Jewish White House aids Levinson and Wattenberg, in a memo to the President, suggested that he express his full support for Israel. David Ginsburg, a president’s friend and leader of the Jewish community even wrote the encomiastic speech that the President would later deliver at the rally.

In the jubilation for Israel’s victory, the Liberty affair appeared a minor incident. The press completely bought the idea that the Israeli attack was an error. Senator Jacob Javits, stated, “With Israel we know it was a mistake, a miscalculation could take place in any place in the world.” Incidentally, Jacob Javits is the same senator who pushed through immigration reforms intended to make Americans of European descent a minority. Today any restraint is gone. The message that Europeans and Americans of European descent should become a disposable minority has almost become mainstream.

In the meantime, Egypt had accepted the cease-fire, but Israel had opened another front in Syria, to occupy the Golan Heights. As for the Liberty, the main interest of the media was not the attack, the dead and the wounded, but why the Navy had a ship in the area. Which shows how often trifles excite an exuberance of interest, while the core of an event receives lesser or little attention.

The first official White House explanation said it was a scientific research ship doing its job, but this did not satisfy the press. If so, why not inform the Israelis of the ship’s presence?

The administration then concocted an even more unbelievable story. The Liberty was verifying if communications exchanged by bouncing signals off the moon were reliable. In scope and absurdity, the explanation parallels the answer given by the head of NIST (National Institute of Research and Technology), Shyam Sunder, while presenting the official NIST report on 9/11.

During the conference, a physics teacher, David Chandler, had clearly demonstrated with a video, that building 7 had fallen at the acceleration of gravity, the signature of a controlled demolition. Unable to challenge the basics of physics, the director said, “Gravity is the force that keeps the universe together.” (I am not making it up)

As the number of reported Liberty casualties mounted, one reporter, during a press meeting, asked what was the President’s reaction. The Whitehouse spokesman replied that the President was “deeply grieved.”

In the meantime, Israel claimed that the Liberty, when spotted, appeared to escape at high speed toward Egypt, flew no flag and looked like an Egyptian cargo ship, the “El Queseir”, which was actually half the size of the Liberty and designed to carry 400 men and 40 horses.

Though almost incredible today, the Liberty attack stirred little interest or controversy at the time. But we must remember the moment, filled with enthusiasm about Israel’s victory, which, thanks to the Jewish sponsored massive celebrations, made it almost appear as an American victory. And, more ominously, the moment was filled with concerns about the mounting problems in Vietnam.

Besides, the dead and wounded of the Liberty were less than the price paid in one day by America, in life and limb, to ‘defend democracy’ in Vietnam.

The New York Times called the attack one of the “many mistakes that invariably occur in war…. the Israeli, flushed with victory made an error in identification… accident rather than design snuffed out (sic) the lives of some and caused injuries to others of the Liberty’s crew.”

One other striking aspect of the aftermath was the almost total lack of concern for the victims, whose reported number increased each day, while many sailors faced catastrophic injuries and a life of disability, impairment and pain. Proving how everything, on this side of the grave, is regarded rather in consequence of the habit of valuing it, than from any opinion that it deserved value. For the relative indifference to the victims is proof of the relative indifference to their value.

The main objective (inside the White House and notably with Johnson and McNamara), was not to antagonize Israel, along with the fear of not appearing sufficiently pro-Israel with the cadre of Israeli-firsters that comprised advisers, consultants, aids and secretaries within the Administration.

There were multiple meetings and exchanges between Jewish members of White House and the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Cynically, some suggested that the attack on the Liberty could help weaken the accusations of American support for Israel, and gain some credibility with the Arabs.

It was now clear that the Administration had (or for that matter has) no leverage with the Jewish state. The US had urged Israel not to launch a war. Just 20 days before the attack, Johnson had affirmed America’s commitment to the “political independence and territorial integrity of all Middle Eastern nations.” Israel itself had claimed that it had no territorial ambitions. The reader can decide for himself on the value or worth of those words.

But in the fevered exchanges with the Israeli US embassy, the Administration achieved one ‘success.’ Namely, the Israeli embassy agreed to tone down and backdate an official statement, ready to be released, essentially accusing the US of being responsible for the attack on the Liberty.

The Israeli ambassador had suggested to Tel Aviv to at least hold responsible some of the attackers – suggestion fiercely rejected by Israel. The official Israeli court inquiry was, expectedly, a joke. So, for that matter, was the official inquiry conducted in the US, which mainly centered on discrepancies in the timing of the attacks as reported by the surviving sailors called to depose.

The final transcript mirrors the shallowness of the investigation. Many officers said the court seemed afraid of uncovering information that could prove that Israel deliberately attacked the Liberty. A sailor, Scott, photographed the first reconnaissance plane in the morning of the attack. He thought he had given the court a critical piece of information, but the court was uninterested. They dismissed his testimony stating that reconnaissance flights began much later. Declassified Israeli records show that the plane photographed by Scott, was indeed the first to conduct a reconnaissance flight. Nor the American government even asked Israel to let its pilots, torpedo boat skippers or commanders, testify in the US Court.

In the end, the “conspiracy theorists” of this tragic event are, officially, those who do not believe that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake. In this regard, it was almost a return to the future of 9/11 – when 19 fumbling Arabs scored a checkmate on America, and displayed unbelievable acrobatic maneuvering skills in piloting jumbo jets for the first time in their life.

In 1980 Israel paid 6 m$ to the families of the Liberty’s dead and wounded (in 3 yearly installments of 2 m$/each). This is a fraction of a fraction of what constitutes America’s yearly payments to Israel.

The final telling episode involves the wounded skipper of the Liberty, William McGonagle. He received the Medal of Honor for bravery, but Johnson refused to give it to him in person, which is the tradition – “so as not to offend the Jews”. An Admiral commented, “I am surprised they didn’t just hand it to him under the 14th Street Bridge.”

On June 8, 1997, McGonagle met the remaining survivors of the Liberty at the Arlington Cemetery. Through the years he had been publicly silent, though he did not believe in the error of identification. In what was to be his last and only related public address, he told the survivors, “It’s about time that the State of Israel and the US Government tell what happened to the crewmembers of the Liberty and the American people.” He died less than two years later.

The first terrorist attack and burning of a TWA plane on the ground occurred in 1970, when it became clear that Israel would not return the lands illegally occupied in the 1967 war.

That was the beginning of hijackings, terrorist attacks, murders, Intifadas, genocides in Gaza and Lebanon, wars and more wars. During the 1980s the new Israel’s Oded-Yinon Plan called for a greater Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates. In the late 1990s came the call for a “New Pearl Harbor,” by the worthy husband of the equally worthy wife, Victoria Nudelman. In 2001 we had the “New Pearl Harbor”, followed by the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and countless other wars against sundry “terrorists.”

As far as we can know, the plan for a Greater Israel has not been canceled. During his administration, Obama declared that peace with the Palestinians should be achieved on the basis of returning to Palestine the lands occupied in 1967. Next day, uninvited, the Prime Minister of Israel, flew to Washington to deliver a counter-speech to the joint audience of Congress and the Senate. He received 29 standing ovations.

And how about Jewish influence? Here is a famous quote from the Los Angeles Times from Joel Stein, “I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.”

Jumping to current times, less known is the remarkable connection between Ukraine and the plans of Ihor Kolomoisky, governor (or now perhaps ex-governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk province and citizen of Israel, Ukraine and Cyprus.) Allegedly he is currently in Israel.

Kolomoisky was a key in organizing the Odessa massacre on 2 May 2014, with his private army, the 1st Dnipro Battalion. He also hired the son of US Vice-President Joe Biden, R. Hunter Biden, plus Secretary of State John Kerry’s support committee chairman, Devon Archer, as board members of his gas holding companies.

Though some related information can be found online, Kolomoisky’s plan is/was to turn Ukraine into a ‘second Israel,’ based on alleged historic claims by Ashkenazi Jews and their more or less mythical Khazarian (Ukranian) kingdom. Allegedly, Kolomoisky has spent millions to recruit right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe to fight against the Russian-speaking majority in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, and elsewhere.

Still a puzzle is the current paradoxical situation of a Ukrainian Jewish leadership linked, via an undeniable relationship, with allegedly the most militant and determined openly-Nazi section of the Ukrainian militias. Considering that Ukraine has a long history of anti-Semitism, dating at least from the treaty of Perejeslav of 1654 between the Cossacks of the legendary hetman Bohdan and the Tzar Alexis. Who, Khmelnytsky, masterminded rebellions against Jews, hated tax collectors and usurers for sundry landlords and peasant victims.

A more recent legacy of anti-Semitism is connected with the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 led by Lazar Kaganovich, one of the Jewish Bolshevik leaders of the revolution.

Not long ago I interviewed a Ukrainian Jewish family that immigrated to America during the last years of the Soviet Union. Although I could not distinguish or identify them as Jewish, they reported being negatively commented-on by sundry passers-by who recognized them as Jewish (in Kyev).

Without entering into refined speculation behind what can be found on various media, including Israeli media, it is interesting and perhaps meaningful that the Russian leadership has been recently less cautious than usual in airing related unconventional views on the subject. Such as Hitler having Jewish blood (Lavrov) or the historic Bolshevik leadership being 95% Jewish (Putin)

In the circumstances, that the Jewish Ukrainian administration has obvious close ties with a militia that historically embodies anti-Semitism defies – I think – any rational explanation.

All in all there is as much mystery in the current Ukrainian government-military arrangement as there still is in the events surrounding the attack on the USS Liberty.

To conclude, I attempted to relate the main events of the attack on the Liberty, the related opinions of some among the victims of the attack, and of some among the managers of its aftermath. To the best of my knowledge the information is correct.

I think that much injustice has been done, and much justice left undone by the parties involved after the attack on the Liberty. Just as the Western dome of power currently exerts equal and preposterous injustice in the treatment of Russia’s “Special Military Operation,” for the benefit and befuddling of those forming the base of the pyramid of subordination.

However, I am equally aware that when truth intrudes uncalled, and brings unpleasant memories in her train, the passes of the intellect are barred against her by prejudice and passion. If sometimes, she forces her way by undisputable evidence, she seldom keeps possession of her conquests, but is ejected by some favored enemy or, at best, obtains only a nominal sovereignty, without influence and without authority.

“Israel” to Double Settling Population, Expand Construction in Occupied Golan Heights

June 9, 2022

By Staff, Agencies 

As part of its scheme to double its population of settlers in the Occupied Syrian Golan, the apartheid “Israeli” regime continues bolstering its settlements in the Golan Heights.

The plan charged “Israeli” Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked with establishing a special committee for planning and construction, in order to create new settling units at existing communities and plan new ones. 

Last week, Shaked took another step in that direction, announcing the creation of a special planning space only for the Golan Heights. Marking 55 years since the occupation of the Golan Heights, on June 2 Shaked signed a decree authorizing a shortened process for building and expanding settlements in the Golan Heights.

The December 2021 decision to double the occupation population was made in an “Israeli” government meeting held not in Occupied Al-Quds but at “Kibbutz Mevo Hamma” in the southern Golan Heights. After a debate, the decision was passed to allocate a billion shekels in order to double the area’s population within five years. 

Last week, Shaked, who belongs to Bennett’s right-wing “Yamina” party, stated, “Fifty-five years after the ‘liberation’ of the Golan Heights I am excited to sign a decree that would change the face of the Golan Heights and meaningfully help strengthen settlement in the Golan.” 

According to plans, 7,300 settling units will be constructed in the Golan Heights within five years. Two new villages will be established [Asaf and Matar], each with 2,000 units. Further investment will be toward transportation infrastructure, updating the medical system in the region, and developing two advanced sectors, which are actually inter-related.  

The first is the agritech industry/smart agriculture, which includes developing unique greenhouses and advanced water management systems. The second is to turn the Golan into the capital of innovative climate and energy technologies.

Robert Inlakesh: How Israel’s 1967 war paved the way for the turmoil in today’s Middle East

On the anniversary of the Six-Day War, RT looks at how the conflict shaped the region

5 Jun, 2022

Robert Inlakesh: How Israel’s 1967 war paved the way for the turmoil in today's Middle East
FILE PHOTO. Israeli Centurion tank corps prepare for battle during the Six-Day War. © Getty Images / Three Lions
Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. 

On the 5th of June, 1967, a conflict which lasted only six days would go on to re-shape the entire Middle East, overthrow secular Arab Nationalism and unite Tel Aviv with Washington. All of which would pave the way for Israel to be handed carte blanche by the world’s most powerful country and prompt a US policy that would go on to tear the entire region to pieces.

The Six-Day War of 1967 is often misconstrued in popular Western discourse as having represented a victory for liberal democracy.

Often presented as a battle between good and evil, the Jewish David and Arab Goliath, the real story of the third Arab-Israeli war was one of a shrewd, but brutal, political power play on the part of Israel.

One that for better, or for worse, caused a re-structuring of Middle Eastern resistance to the West, as well as of the US-led bloc’s policy in the region. 

Israel based its argument for what it deemed a necessary and “pre-emptive war” on Cairo’s decision to amass its military forces in the Sinai Peninsula, and Egyptian President Gamal Abdul-Nasser’s announcement that he would close the Gulf of Aqaba. These events were enough to convince many that Tel Aviv genuinely feared a military offensive coordinated by President Nasser, with the participation of Syria. Damascus had also re-enforced its military presence near the border, with Soviet backing.

The reality was, however, that Egypt was engaged in a grueling war in Yemen, deploying three quarters of its military into the country and had lost nearly 10,000 men in the process. It was so catastrophic for Nasser that the intervention there was later referred to by historians as “Egypt’s Vietnam.” The Egyptian president clearly wasn’t ready to confront Israel and had amassed his troops in the Sinai as a show of force, in order to save face at a time when he faced pushback over the other conflict. 

As for the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba, Nasser never properly followed through on blocking the Straits of Tiran and despite the rhetoric, they were never closed for much more than a day.

Come June 5, 1967, Israel launched ‘Operation Focus’, an aerial attack which wiped out the near entirety of Egypt’s air force in a matter of minutes, ensuring what would become an overwhelming victory for the Israelis. Prior to the war, the assessment previously offered to Israel, by US President Lyndon Johnson, was that US intelligence believed that the United Arab Republic (Egypt) would not attack, and that if it did, Israel would “whip the hell out of them.”

Leonid Brezhnev, then leader of the Soviet Union, had stated in a brief, prior to the Six-Day War of 1967, that Israel had received huge amounts of armaments from the West. Brezhnev went on to express his government’s fear that the weakening of Arab nations could lead to the collapse of the anti-Colonialist movement in the Middle East. Following the war, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Palestine had been decisively defeated. However, it didn’t stop the anti-Colonialist movement in the Middle East, but instead paved the way for its reformation.

The US was thrilled with Israel’s defeat of its Arab neighbors and considered the war to have served its own interests in putting Nasser in his place and weakening Soviet allies. Washington now valued Israel as an essential part of its Cold War strategy against the USSR. What ensued was the inevitable tightening of the Israel-US relationship, which paved the way for the alliance we see today. Israel had earned its place amongst Western Nations and would go on to aid in implementing the subsequent “Kissinger Doctrine” that the US would employ in the Middle East. 

The 1967 victory was a stunning one for Israel, cementing its place in the region, but it also represented a catastrophe for the Arabs, known as the “Naksa” (Setback). Over 300,000 Palestinians had been forced from their homeland, as Israel occupied the entirety of historic Palestine, in addition to the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Syrian Golan Heights. Furthermore, the war had largely defeated secular Arab Nationalism and represented a death blow to the Egyptian President’s brand of it, known as Nasserism. 

Up until that point, the most popular political ideologies in the Middle East had been Arab Nationalism, Socialist Pan-Arabism and Communism. The Egyptian President, who would die of a heart attack a few years later in 1970, was the primary influencer of Arab revolutionaries that existed in the region. With the perceived failure of Arab Nationalism, there would then emerge a number of competitor ideologies with which Arab movements and leaders would choose to fight their enemies. The most prominent of which would later become revolutionary Islamism, something that Nasser had actually helped to suppress, as it manifested itself in the form of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. 

As for Palestine, the future negotiations for Palestinian statehood would go on to be based upon reclaiming the 22 percent of the country – the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip – that Israel occupied during the 1967 war. Israel would emerge as major power that would primarily serve a US agenda in the region and could act at that point, seemingly, with impunity against its enemies. 

Today, over 1,000 Palestinians are being forced out of their homes, as Israeli forces bulldoze a collection of West Bank villages known as Masafer Yatta. This is the single largest act of ethnic cleansing, ordered by Tel Aviv against Palestinians, since the 1967 war. The position that the US began to take in 1967, unconditional support for Israel, hasn’t changed and the country’s utility for Washington’s agenda in the region, and its powerful lobby in America, means its human rights violations are ignored. 

Therefore, 55 years after the Six-Day War, there is no barrier to Tel Aviv’s behaviour, and it seems to have a free pass to deal with its enemies in whatever manner it chooses, even if that ends up contradicting US policy.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Related

‘Israeli’ Air Raid on Damascus Outskirts Kills Three, Syrian Air Defenses Intercept ’Hostile Targets’

May 21, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

At least three people were martyred after the ‘Israeli’ occupation’s warplanes launched fresh airstrikes on the outskirts of Damascus late on Friday, Syrian media said, adding that the country’s air defenses intercepted “hostile targets.”

The air raid launched from the ‘Israeli’-occupied Golan Heights targeted the southern parts of the Syrian capital amid renewed aggression against the Arab country.

State-run SANA news agency said the attack took place at around 23:01 local time on Friday [20:01 GMT on Saturday] when the ‘Israeli’ regime carried out surface-to-surface missiles at targets in southern Damascus.

“Three people were martyred and some material losses caused,” it said, citing a military source.

The report said the country’s air defense intercepted the “hostile targets” and shot down most of them.

According to reports, the attack also resulted in a fire near Damascus International Airport, leading to the postponement of two flights.

The latest ‘Israeli’ aggression came a week after five people, including a civilian, were martyred in a missile attack targeting the town of Masyaf in the Hama countryside.

Before that, on April 27, a deadly air raid left 10 people martyred, including six Syrian forces.

Syria has been in the throes of foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Although Daesh [Arabic for takfiri terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] was crushed by Damascus with the help of resistance groups in the region, terrorist groups continue to hold sway in some parts of the country.

The Syrian government maintains that the ‘Israeli’ regime and its Western and regional allies aid these terrorist groups that continue to wreak havoc in the country.

The Tel Aviv occupation regime has been a key supporter of foreign terrorist groups in the Arab country, who have been seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad and his democratically-elected government.

The Zionist occupation regime frequently launches airstrikes at Syria, which many see as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s phenomenal success in decimating Tel Aviv-backed terrorist groups.

The aerial bombardments intensified in scale and frequency after 2011 when the Arab country found itself in the grip of foreign-backed militancy and terrorism.

The Syrian government has, on numerous occasions, complained to the United Nations about the incessant ‘Israeli’ aggression.

Following the May 14 strike, Syria’s foreign ministry urged the UN Security Council to issue a “clear” condemnation of the Zionist regime’s recurrent attacks on the Arab country.

The ministry in a letter stated that the ‘Israeli’ strike came hours after an assault by foreign-backed terrorists in northern Syria killed 10 troops.

The back-to-back incidents “show a permanent coordination between ‘Israel’ and its terrorist stooges,” SANA said at the time, citing the country’s foreign ministry.

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انقلاب المعادلة الروسيّة بين محور المقاومة و«إسرائيل»

الخميس 5 مايو 2022

 ناصر قنديل

 –

كثيرة هي الأسباب التي كانت تسمح بالقول إن هناك هامشاً روسياً استثمر عليه الإسرائيليون في بناء استراتيجيتهم المسمّاة، معركة بين حربين، والتي كانت الغارات الإسرائيلية على سورية تحت شعار منع وصول السلاح الإيراني الى حزب الله، ومنع تركيز بنى عسكرية لإيران وقوى المقاومة في سورية، وخلال سنوات عرفت هذه المعادلة الكثير من المنحنيات والمتغيرات رسمت ما عرف بقواعد الاشتباك، التي منحت “إسرائيل” زمام المبادرة العسكري مقابل ثنائية، تعامل شبكة الدفاع الجوي السورية مع الغارات والصواريخ الإسرائيلية من جهة، والاحتفاظ بحق الرد في الزمان والمكان المناسبين لمحور المقاومة من جهة ثانية، بعدما قيّدت جولات الاشتباك نطاق الغارات الإسرائيلية بضوابط متلاحقة، منها حرمة الدخول الى الأجواء السورية بعد إسقاط سورية للطائرة الحربية الإسرائيلية عام 2018، والاكتفاء بغارات من البحر والأجواء اللبنانية والقصف من الجولان السوري المحتل، ومنها الردّ الفوريّ أو دون تأخير، عندما يسقط شهداء أو يتم إلحاق أذى يستدعي التذكير بالخطوط الحمراء الممنوع تجاوزها، ومنها تجنب استهداف مواقع المقاومة في لبنان، ومنها الابتعاد عن حركة الطائرات الروسية والاحتماء بها أو بالطائرات المدنيّة خلال الغارات.

لم تكن روسيا تخفي عدم رغبتها بجعل وجودها في سورية مصدراً لتأزم علاقتها بـ”إسرائيل”، فهي جاءت بقواتها تحت عنوان دعم سورية وجيشها في الحرب التي استهدفتها منذ عام 2011، وكانت الجماعات الإرهابية هي الأداة المسلحة التي سيطرت على أجزاء من الأراضي السورية، رغم ادراك موسكو أن وراء هذه الحرب حلف دولي تشكل “اسرائيل” أحد اطرافه، ورغم إدراك موسكو أن واشنطن هي من يقود حلف الحرب على سورية، وأنه في أية مواجهة روسية أميركية فإن “إسرائيل” جزء عضويّ من جبهة حلفاء أميركا، لكن موسكو التي تعتبر أن الصراع بين سورية و”إسرائيل” سابق على تمركزها في سورية، وتعتبر أن الصراع بين محور المقاومة و”إسرائيل” أكثر جذرية من مضمون الحرب التي تخوضها في سورية، هكذا قامت معادلة التحالف بين سورية ومحور المقاومة مع روسيا في مواجهة الإرهاب وإنهاء الاحتلالين الأميركي والتركي، على قاعدة فصل المواجهة مع “إسرائيل” عن هذا التحالف، من جهة، وتوفير الشروط اللازمة على مستوى الظرف السياسي والمقدرات العسكرية للردّ من خارج سورية، لإعلان عندها عن سقوط هذه المرحلة وقواعد الاشتباك التي حكمتها، بينما سعت سورية لمنح الأولوية للمعارك التي يشكل الدور الروسي عاملاً حاسماً في كسبها شمال سورية، ومواصلة السعي لتطوير سلاح الدفاع الجوي السوري لتعزيز وتوسيع نطاق حرمة الأجواء السورية، نحو حرمة الأراضي السورية، والى حين ذلك الاكتفاء بالتصدّي للغارات بالدفاعات الجوية، وما قد يرافقها بين حين وآخر من صواريخ دفاع جوي تتم برمجتها للسقوط داخل وفي عمق الأراضي السورية والفلسطينية المحتلة.

جاء التحوّل الكبير في العلاقات الدولية والإقليمية الذي فرضته الحرب في أوكرانيا، وبدأت رياحه تضغط على مواقف الأطراف الإقليميّة، وكانت العين الأميركية على “إسرائيل” وسعيها للحياد تفادياً لتغيير قواعد التعامل الروسية مع الغارات الإسرائيلية على سورية، وبدأ بعد شدّ وجذب أن واشنطن لا تستطيع التسامح مع حياد “إسرائيلي” يهدّد بتفكيك جبهة الحلف بوجه روسيا، تحت شعارات للخصوصية مشابهة للخصوصية “الإسرائيلية”، من تركيا الى الخليج وما أظهرته فوارق التصويت بين قرار الجمعية العامة بإدانة الحرب وقرارها بتعليق عضوية روسيا في مجلس حقوق الإنسان، وبدأت تظهر علامات التموضع الإسرائيلي في الحرب الأوكرانية ضد روسيا، ولعله من المفيد التذكير هنا أن أوكرانيا معقل للحركة الصهيونية جعلها مرشحة من ضمن لائحة ضمّت فلسطين والأرجنتين لتكون أرض الميعاد الصهيونيّة، حيث كانت مملكة الخزر، إحدى الممالك اليهودية عبر التاريخ، ولم تكن كلمات وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف التي استفزت “اسرائيل” عن دماء أدولف هتلر اليهوديّة، مجرد اقتباس تاريخيّ لمواجهة مزاعم فلاديمير زيلنسكي، وهو استفزاز عقائدي عميق لا يمكن أن يرد في حال انفعال ولا تعبيراً عن غضب، كما أظهرت ردود الكرملين ووزارة الخارجية الشديدة القسوة على الاحتجاج الإسرائيلي، وما رافق الرد الروسي من كشف عن مشاركة مرتزقة صهاينة في الحرب ضد روسيا، ومعدات إسرائيلية، وأدوار استخبارية إسرائيلية، في التنصت والأقمار الصناعية وتشغيل شبكات الدفاع الجوي.

تدرك روسيا أنها تخوض حرب تغيير قواعد العلاقات الدولية مع الغرب، وأن هذه الحرب ممنوع أن تنتهي دون تحقيق هذا الهدف، خصوصاً لجهة فرض التراجع على المكانة الأميركية المتحكمة بالهيمنة السياسية والاقتصادية والدبلوماسية على العالم. كما تدرك روسيا أن الحرب في أوكرانيا ليست كافية لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وأن أهمية هذه الحرب بأنها فتحت الباب لتغيير قواعد اللعبة الدولية، ومنها حرب الطاقة، وحرب العملات، لكن منها أيضاً حروب إقليمية لها حساباتها وقواها الذاتية التي تنتظر الفرصة المناسبة، كسعي الصين لاسترداد السيادة على تايوان، وسعي كوريا الشمالية لكسر الحصار المفروض عليها، وسعي محور المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران لمكانة “إسرائيل” وحجم حضورها في المنطقة، والتي تشكل مجتمعة البيئة الدولية الجديدة، لفرض نظام عالميّ جديد، وربما تكون الحرب الإقليمية المقبلة تحت سقف فرض معادلات جديدة لفك الحصار عن غزة، وردع الغارات على سورية، وربما فتح الطريق لتحرير الجولان، بعض الحراك الدولي المطلوب روسياً، والذي تكفي فيه إشارات كالتي ظهرت بعدم الممانعة، حتى تلتقطها القوى المعنيّة وفي طليعتها محور المقاومة للانتقال من مرحلة إلى مرحلة، فلعل استهداف الأمن الإسرائيلي يشكل الخاصرة الرخوة في نظام السيطرة الأميركيّ على العالم، وقد آن أوان هزّه.

Panic at Israeli Tel Aviv Airport Caused by a Syrian Golan Souvenir

ARABI SOURI

The Israeli Tel Aviv airport went into a state of panic and complete chaos over a rusted metal item discovered with an American family; reports from occupied Palestine confirm.

An American family brought back an idol to worship from the holy lands, as it appears to be, turned out to be an unexploded shell taken as a souvenir by the family heading back home.

The video is available on BitChute, and Rumble.

The Souvenir that sent Tel Aviv airport into panic
The ‘souvenir’ the American family was taking back home with them.

Security officials sounding an evacuation alarm was enough to scatter all passengers at the departure hall in the Ben Gurion airport (Tel Aviv airport), Ben Gurion is one of the lead terrorists and founding fathers of the temporary Zionist colonial entity dubbed ‘Israel’, stealing the name of Prophet Yacoub (Jacob) who was also known as Israel.

No reports yet on where this American family found their souvenir, a rusted piece of metal, whether from a shop or they just picked up an item from the ground during their illegal visit to the occupied Syrian Golan.


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Will a regional war over Al-Aqsa Mosque revive The Palestinian cause?

27 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Robert Inlakesh 

“Israel” has, for long, not had to worry about the Arab and Islamic nations attacking it to liberate their own lands, as well as those of the Palestinians, today we are growing closer to a new equation.

At this point, a multi-front war with “Israel” will completely change the equation in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

Violent Israeli incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, threaten a renewed round of violence in the Palestinian occupied territories and perhaps beyond. Why is the regional dimension to the Palestinian question being left out of Western analyses and what difference will another ‘Arab-Israeli’ war make?

Last May, the ‘Joint Room’ of armed resistance factions in the Gaza Strip launched Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem), a military operation to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque, after it had been repeatedly desecrated and its worshippers attacked, leading to an embarrassing set back to the Israeli regime. The 11-day war, as it is now called, spelled massive death and destruction in the Gaza Strip. Roughly 270 Palestinians were killed and at least 14 Israelis (the number of soldiers killed is still unconfirmed), clearly showing the suffering on the Palestinian side to have been much greater. However, the symbolic victories won during the battle with “Israel”, not only launched from Gaza but everywhere inside occupied Palestine, left the Israeli regime begging for a ceasefire.

The battle of Seif al-Quds represents an important marker in the history of modern Palestinian armed struggle, emerging as a symbolic driver of the armed struggle much like the battle of Karameh. The battle of Karameh, which took place in 1968, when PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] aligned forces and the Jordanian military fought the Israeli regime, was not a conventional military victory over “Israel” for the PLO, but instead proved “Israel” to be beatable. Prior to this battle, in which Jordanian and Palestinian forces still suffered heavy losses, the Fidayeen operations did not carry as much symbolic weight and provided a light at the end of the tunnel for Palestinians. The battle of Karameh however, proved that Israeli military vehicles could be destroyed and their military could be fought for over 15 hours and not achieve a decisive military victory over a dedicated Arab fighting force.

Up until May of 2021, it was generally thought that the armed factions in Gaza could not outwit their Israeli opponents and any war would produce the same results as previous battles. That being, massive death, and destruction in Gaza, combined with the besieged territory’s isolation from all other fronts. The battle of Seif al-Quds flipped this way of thinking on its head and sent a strong message regionally. There then emerged a full unified militarized force inside the Gaza Strip that could unite the Palestinian people, outwit its Israeli opposition and provide an alternative path for the Palestinian movement. 

What made the victory, led by Hamas, so important, was its ability to transform the way the Arab and Islamic nations view the Palestinian cause and the battle having signified the re-birth of the armed struggle as the principal means through which liberation is to be achieved. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had abandoned the armed struggle altogether by the end of the second Intifada, instead of pursuing fruitless dialogue with “Israel”, whilst committing itself to “security coordination”, which benefitted “Tel Aviv” solely. The Palestinian Authority (PA), as of earlier this year, officially absorbed the PLO into itself. This means that instead of the PA being an offshoot of the PLO, the roles are now reversed.

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, was for long the consensus position of the Arab Regimes; that normalization comes only as the result of a withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 and the formation of a Palestinian State, with “East Jerusalem” as its Capital. The Trump-era “Abraham Accords”, which saw Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, join Jordan and Egypt in normalizing ties with “Israel” and spelled the death of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has no regional powers behind it, meaning no leverage over “Israel” that it can use to force through a so-called two-State solution. The PA does not even possess any symbolic power through mass support from the Arab and Islamic world, on top of this it continues to prevent democratic elections.

Although the Palestinian cause had for long been the central issue of the Arab and Islamic world, the wars of aggression against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other countries in the region took much of the attention that had been placed on the Palestinian issue in the past. Now, despite the suffering throughout the region, Palestine is again at the top of the agenda, however, there is still work that must be done in order to push towards the protection of Holy sites, revolution, and eventual liberation. 

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is the primary hindrance to a new Intifada, this PA is slowly weakening and is displaying its inability to control many areas, the most obvious case being in Jenin camp. The Israeli occupation forces receive the bulk of their intelligence on the activities of Palestinians, deriving their control, from the PA. Right now there seems to be an ongoing battle inside the ruling Fatah Party – which runs the PA – for the very soul of the organization and there are two possible conclusions to this phase of PA rule in the West Bank; the complete collapse of the PA, or a new Fatah leadership which will pursue a more hostile stance against “Israel”. In either case, “Israel” will be put in an extremely difficult position in the West Bank.

A Regional Front Against ‘Israel’

Following the battle of Sayf al-Quds last year, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, announced that he sought to form a multinational force which would transform any battle over al-Quds into a regional war with “Israel”. Later, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Yemen’s Ansarallah, as well as the Palestinian factions, all signed on to this mission. 

In Western media, the reporting on the repeated attacks on worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound has not only been littered with lies to protect the image of the Israeli forces but has also left out the possible regional response that such attacks could trigger. It seems that this piece of the puzzle has not yet been factored into the Western analysis, which will only go as far as looking into the possible reaction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza. 

In a multinational ‘Quds Day’ conference, broadcast on Tuesday, we saw the emergence again of the regional axis that pledges to take on “Israel” and defeat its aggression against al-Quds. Key to this conference were leaders of resistance factions from Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Palestine, which all spoke of a regional coalition that will use armed struggle to liberate al-Quds. The Palestinian issue “cannot be resolved at the negotiation table,” said Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, whilst Hezbollah’s Sayed Hassan Nasrallah announced that his patry would be on the front lines of the fight for al-Quds. The issue of Arab normalization was also a central issue addressed during the conference, indicating that the coalition of resistance Parties is seeking to send the region a message through armed struggle.

At this point, a multi-front war with “Israel” will completely change the equation in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. If Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq become involved in a battle, alongside the Palestinians, this will completely transform the issue and force the international community to take the Palestinian struggle seriously. Most importantly, however, the Arab and Islamic leaderships – which operate outside the resistance coalition – will have to reconsider their roles in the conflict if such a war breaks out. The only missing piece in this picture is Syria, if Damascus takes advantage of the situation and launches an offensive in the Golan Heights, this will force countries regionally to re-engage with the Syrian government and will give Syria a central role in seeking a solution for Palestine, tying the fate of its occupied territory to those of the Palestinians. 

“Israel” has, for long, not had to worry about the Arab and Islamic nations attacking it to liberate their own lands, as well as those of the Palestinians, today we are growing closer to a new equation. The obstacles ahead are; who will be the accepted Palestinian representatives internationally? How to bring the region into a multi-faceted confrontation with “Israel”? And how to strive for the full initiation of a Third Intifada? If these questions can be answered, the Palestinian cause will not only be the central issue regionally, it will possess much greater power for liberating Palestine than ever before.

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

UAE cements its economic ties with Israeli Apartheid

5 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Marion Kawas 

This betrayal of the Palestinian people by the UAE despotic leaders will never be forgotten.

UAE Cements its Economic Ties with Israeli Apartheid

The United Arab Emirates has completed negotiations on a bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement with “Israel”. On April 1, 2022, the Emirati trade minister sat down in a hotel in occupied Al-Quds to sign off on the first full trade agreement with any Arab country. The negotiations themselves were apparently fast-tracked, and will further accelerate the reported $900 million trade between the two countries in 2021. The UAE is reportedly the second-largest economy in the Arab world and this new deal will cover 95% of “food products, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, drugs and more” of goods currently traded with “Israel”.

The agreement, coming on the heels of the so-called “Negev Summit” (Summit of Shame) held last week, shows the expanding parameters of the economic and political cooperation between the Arab despot regimes and the Zionist state. 

So free trade now with the Emirates for illegal Israeli settlement wine and food products? While activists in Western countries are out on the streets campaigning hard to have such products removed from store shelves, here is an Arab country rushing to confer privileged trade status to these poison fruits of an aggressive and brutal military occupation.

In fact, one of the early economic deals after the signing of the Abraham Accords was between Israeli settler companies that produce wine, tahini, olive oil, and honey and the Dubai distribution company FAM Holdings. And prior to that, bottles from the Golan Heights Winery, in illegally occupied and annexed Syrian territory, were already on store shelves in Dubai.

In the last two weeks, Canadian activists have intensified their push to have Israeli apartheid wines de-shelved in publicly owned liquor stores, especially after multiple provincial governments in Canada rushed within days to remove Russian liquor products. In Vancouver and Victoria B.C., lively pickets and leafletting have taken place and a letter-writing campaign to the BC government has garnered over 1200 signatures to date; the campaign has some notable endorsers, including Roger Waters, former and current Vancouver city councilors, and local artists and professors amongst others.

Will this new free trade agreement cover cyber technology and other military defense products? Like what the newly created Elbit Systems Emirates is set up to offer? They were recently awarded a $53 million contract to supply technology to the UAE Air Force. 

It was reported on April 3, 2022, that the Emirati sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Capital, was a major investor in the Israeli NGO group which produced the now-discredited Pegasus spyware. Mubadala is chaired by none other than Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. In January of this year, Mubadala also reportedly invested $100 million in six different Israeli venture-capital firms.

The role of the UAE as an economic regional power, and even a global one in some areas, should not be underplayed. From Dubai Ports World which punished workers in Canada for supporting a #BlocktheBoat picket, to these Israeli defense subsidiaries being opened in the Emirates, to the combined punch of the five leading Emirati sovereign wealth funds that amounts to a staggering $1.4 trillion in aggregate assets: all these factors explain why “Israel” signed this “historic” free trade agreement with the Emirates.

While children in Yemen are starving to death, and UNRWA remains chronically under-funded, and the exorbitant cost of living in Lebanon impoverishes even more people, the obscene wealth controlled by these Emirati regimes is being used to help strengthen the economy and stability of the Zionist state. That wealth is strengthening a state that is beating and terrorizing Palestinians right now in Al-Quds, a state that is extra-judicially assassinating Palestinians in their towns and villages, a state that denies medical treatment to babies resulting in their untimely deaths, and a state that exists on apartheid and supremacism for its survival. This betrayal of the Palestinian people by the UAE despotic leaders will never be forgotten!

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

نصرالله يُصيب عصافير الاستراتيجية والسياسة بحجر التصنيع: الغارات الإسرائيليّة على سورية وخطة الأميركيّين للحدود معها

 الأربعاء 16 شباط 2022

ناصر قنديل

ستبقى طويلا تداعيات وترددات كلام الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله عن تحويل آلاف الصواريخ التي تمتلكها المقاومة الى صواريخ دقيقة داخل لبنان، وعن تصنيع الطائرات المسيّرة في ورشات المقاومة اللبنانية وامتلاك فائض منها جعله يقول، مَن يريد أن يشتري فليقدّم طلباً، وعن تفعيل شبكة صواريخ الدفاع الجوي جزئياً بما يخصّ الطائرات المسيّرة، وهذه الترددات والتداعيات على المشهد الإسرائيلي تتصل بمستقبل فرص الحرب وفرضيّاتها. فالتوازن الذي تنشئه هذه الثلاثية يصيب كل منظومة الضوابط التي رسمها الإسرائيليون لنظرية الحرب، ويظهر هشاشتها. فالحديث عن متابعة الجيش الإسرائيلي لعدد مخزون المقاومة من الصواريخ الدقيقة كعامل مقرّر في الحرب يصبح مزحة سخيفة أمام إعلان السيد نصرالله، خصوصاً أن الركن الثاني في ثلاثية نصرالله هو إصراره على القول في كل من مفردات الثلاثية، تحويل (الصواريخ الى دقيقة) وتصنيع (الطائرات المسيّرة) وتفعيل (جزئي لشبكات الدفاع الجويّ)، أنها منجزة منذ سنوات، وهذه صفعة لركن إسرائيلي مقابل هو الحديث عن المتابعة، فعن أية متابعة يتحدثون وهم غافلون عما يجري منذ سنوات، ثم بعد الصفعة يميناً وأختها يساراً، صفعة بقفا اليد ثالثة، أن الأميركي والإسرائيلي يعلمان ذلك، وهذا أحد مبرّرات الكشف عنه، اذن هو يفضحهم أنهم يكذبون، بمعادلاتهم، ومتابعاتهم وإعلاناتهم.

في الاستراتيجية حسم السيد نصرالله مصير فرضية الحرب الإسرائيلية، فمقاومة تمتلك آلاف الصواريخ الدقيقة وآلاف المسيّرات وشبكات دفاع جويّ قابلة للتفعيل الكليّ، هي مقاومة خارج نطاق قدرة أية حرب إسرائيلية على النيل منها، بل إن الحرب هنا تصير قراراً إسرائيلياً بالانتحار، حيث يقدم رأس الكيان على طبق من ذهب للمقاومة، لكن ما لا يجب ان يغيب انه في السياسة، لن تكون تداعيات إعلانات السيد نصرالله أقل من وقعها في الاستراتيجية، ففي السياسة بنى الإسرائيليون خطاباً عسكرياً وسياسياً ملأوا فيه فراغ عجزهم عن خوض الحرب بمعادلة قوامها، تقديم الغارات على سورية كبديل قائم على تظهير خداع بصريّ عنوانه مواصلة استعراضات القوة كعلامة مزدوجة على التفوّق وامتلاك زمام المبادرة، تحت شعار أن هذه الغارات تمنع تعزيز ترسانة المقاومة بالمزيد من الأسلحة الكاسرة للتوازن، وهي مزيد من الصواريخ الدقيقة، ومزيد من الطائرات المسيّرة، وفرصة نقل شبكة دفاع جوي قابلة للتفعيل، وبالتالي القول إن لدى جيش الكيان خطة قيد التنفيذ للتهيئة للحرب عنوانها السير بخطى حثيثة لإضعاف قدرات المقاومة عبر البوابة السورية، وفجأة تجد قيادة الكيان أنها تفقد هذا النص كله، فالصواريخ الدقيقة والطائرات المسيّرة وشبكات الدفاع الجوي، ومنذ سنوات، لا تعتمد على العبور من سورية، ومعادلاتها منذ سنوات قائمة ومقيمة في لبنان، وأنتم تعرفون ذلك، فماذا عساكم تجدون عنواناً جاذباً لتبرير عراضات القوة بالغارات على سورية. وهل هذا كمين استراتيجي رسمه السيد نصرالله للهدف البديل الذي سيُجبر الإسرائيليين على اختياره لهذه الغارات، التي بقيت شكلاً وحيداً حصرياً يصعب الاستغناء عنه للنشاط العسكري الممكن لجيش الاحتلال، والتي يحتاجها الإسرائيليون ولا يستطيعون ترك الفراغ القاتل يخلفها، والتي لن تجد هدفا بديلا يبررها سوى فتح دفاتر الحديث عن توازنات جبهة الجولان؟ فهل سيأتي الإسرائيليون بأقدامهم الى طرح مستقبلها بديلاً، وقد أرسل لهم الإعلام الحربي إشارة رجال الثلج في المقاومة، كتعبير عن رمزيّة ثلاثية جبل الشيخ ومزارع شبعا والجولان، و«إسرائيل” قد وضعت بين يدي المقاومة هدية ذهبية بربط مصير الجولان ومزارع شبعا، وهم اليوم بين خياري وقف الغارات التي فقدت مبرراتها أو تصنيع هدف بديل لها، ويبدو كلام السيد نصرالله إعلاناً بأن المقاومة مستعدة لكليهما؟

في المقلب الأميركي إصابة بالغة يوقعها السيد نصرالله بالأهداف الاستراتيجية التي بنيت على السعي لسقف ملكية المقاومة لعدد محدد من الصواريخ الدقيقة، وقد تعبوا في الماضي في الحديث عن سعي لوقف التصنيع، والسيد يأتيهم اليوم بمصطلح بديل هو التحويل، وقد اكتمل، وعن تصنيع آخر، ويكشف لهم محدودية رهانهم على لعبة المجتمع المدني والانتخابات ويتهمهم بمحاولة تأجيلها، ويستدعيهم للمضي في المنازلة الانتخابية، بالتوازي مع “لا” قوية لدعواتكم الملحة لاتصال مباشر، لكن ربما تصلكم الأجوبة مشفرة على ما كنتم ترغبون بطرحه على الطاولة في الاتصال المطلوب المرفوض، سقف للصواريخ مقابل عرض للترسيم مثلاً، فجاءكم الجواب انتهى الأمر والصواريخ الدقيقة باتت بالآلاف، فماذا عساكم تفعلون بينما في السياسة يسقط السيد نصرالله الخطاب الأميركي الموازي للخطاب الإسرائيلي، المبنيين معاً على سردية بناء قوة المقاومة عبر استجرار السلاح النوعي عبر سورية، حيث تتكامل الغارات الإسرائيلية تحت عنوان لا استقرار لسورية ما لم تتوقف عمليات نقل السلاح لحزب الله، مع الضغوط الأميركية لفرض بند مراقبة الحدود اللبنانية السورية كشرط لاستقرار سورية ولبنان؟ فيقول السيد إن لا وظيفة باقية للحدود مع سورية في سردية سلاح المقاومة، فما هو بديلكم؟ وهنا ربما يفتح للأميركيين أيضاً باباً خلفياً للتراجع إذا أحسنوا التقاطه كجواب افتراضي على الاتصال المطلوب المرفوض، وهو صرف النظر عن ربط استقرار سورية بنمو مقدرات المقاومة ومعادلة توزان الردع مع “إسرائيل”. فالأمر انتهى، وان انزلق الأميركيون الى اختراع هدف بديل للضغط في ملف الحدود اللبنانية السورية، ولم يقوموا بحذفها من أجندتهم ربما يذهبون بأقدامهم الى كمين لا مصلحة لهم بالمخاطرة في اكتشافه عبر الاصطفاف وراء الإسرائيلي في هدف جديد عنوانه الجولان، والطريق الذي فتحه السيد سالك، سقطت الأهداف كما في أفغانستان فسارعوا للرحيل من سورية.

المقاومة التي تعلن أن زمام المبادرة العسكرية بات بيدها، تظهر عبر خطاب السيد أن المبادرة الاستراتيجية والمبادرة السياسية باتتا بيديها أيضاً.

Syria Labels ‘Israeli’ Brutality in Occupied Al-Quds Neighborhood as ‘War Crime’

February 15, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Syria roundly condemned the brutal practices of the ‘Israeli’ occupation military forces and Zionist settlers against Palestinians in the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah as “war crimes,” calling on international organizations to put an end to the rising acts of the regime’s aggression.

“The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates follows up on ferocious ‘Israeli’ assaults being committed by ‘Israeli’ settlers and troops against local Palestinians in the occupied al-Quds. The attacks have claimed several lives and caused damage to property,” the ministry said in a statement released on Monday.

It denounced the displacing of Palestinian families from their ancestral homes in Sheikh Jarrah as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and a flagrant violation of international law and humanitarian principles.

“Syria calls on world states as well as international humanitarian organizations to immediately stop ‘Israeli’ practices and prevent the regime from killing more Palestinians and trampling on their rights,” the ministry stated.

Confrontations broke out in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday as far-right ‘Israeli’ lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir of the Religious Zionism alliance opened a parliamentary office there, in what was described as an effort to exacerbate the situation in the neighborhood.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Ben Gvir’s step as a “provocative” move that “threatens to ignite violence.”

The ministry said the failure of the international community and the UN Security Council to take necessary measures to compel ‘Israel’ to stop its occupation of al-Quds encourages the occupying regime to forge ahead with its colonial Judaization projects in the Holy City.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry then held the Zionist regime fully and directly responsible for the escalation in occupied al-Quds and the potentially dire consequences.

Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by the ‘Israeli’ police on Palestinians protesting against the displacement of dozens of Palestinian families in favor of Zionist settler groups.

Since the Tel Aviv occupation regime seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Zionist settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to force Palestinians out of their homes in the area.

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Palestinian Resistance to Back Syria’s Retaliation to ‘Israeli’ Attacks

 February 10, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Palestinian resistance groups condemned the latest ‘Israeli’ missile strikes in the vicinity of the Syrian capital city of Damascus, expressing their staunch support for any retaliatory measure that the Arab country would adopt against the Tel Aviv regime.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif al-Qanou condemned the attack, saying the aggression exhibited the unlawfulness of the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity, and stressed the need for decisive and necessary steps to prevent recurrence of such assaults.

In the same respect, Daoud Shihab, a spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, also said, “We support any decision by Syria to respond to the Zionist regime’s aggression on Damascus.”

Separately, Yemeni Ambassador to Damascus Abdullah Ali Sabri expressed his country’s full solidarity with Syria in the face of recurrent ‘Israeli’ attacks, denouncing the latest missile strikes as blatant violation of the country’s sovereignty and international law.

“We condemn the brutal attack amid the complicity of the international community, and affirm Syria’s legitimate right to respond,” he pointed out.

Early on Wednesday, Syrian air defense units intercepted and brought down separate barrages of missiles launched by the ‘Israeli’ occupation military at various targets in the vicinity of Damascus.

State-run SANA news agency, citing a military source, reported that several ‘Israeli’ missiles were fired from the direction of the Lebanese capital city of Beirut at some targets near Damascus at 00:56 am.

The source added that the second attack was carried at about 1:10 am as a number of ‘Israeli’ surface-to-surface missiles coming from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights struck some sites near Damascus.

“Our aerial defenses confronted the enemy’s missiles and shot some of them down,” the source noted.

SANA said one soldier was martyred and five others wounded as a result of the attacks. The strikes caused some “material damage” as well.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

The Tel Aviv regime frequently targets military positions inside Syria, however, it mostly keeps quiet about its attacks on Syrian territories which many view as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s increasing success in confronting terrorism.

The Zionist occupation regime has been a key supporter of terrorist groups that have opposed the government of President Bashar al-Assad since the foreign-backed militancy erupted in Syria.

‘Israeli’ Military Drills for a Winter War with Hezbollah

Feb 9 2022

By Staff, Agencies

In the middle of two harsh winter storms, the Zionist military’s 74th Armored Battalion conducted a large-scale drill and in an attempt to improve its ability to go to war against Hezbollah.

The five-day exercise saw troops simulate combat against Hezbollah after a three-month training period in the occupied Golan. The drill saw Zionist soldiers practice combat methods in rocky terrain and in urban centers where they will have to battle the resistance group.

“The drill was long and complicated, with a number of technical operations that we worked on,” said Lt.-Col. Ofer Tchorz, commander of the 74th battalion, a part of the 188th Armored Brigade.

The challenges posed by the ‘Israeli’ winter such as cold temperatures and rain, as well as challenges posed by the communication between maneuvering units are a central part of the drill that troops are training on.

“The summer doesn’t influence tanks, but winter takes the drill to the next level,” he said, explaining that some of the tanks got stuck in the mud during the drill, needing to be removed by engineering platforms.

Having to carry out the drill during bad weather showed troops how to deal with the added challenges posed by such conditions should war break out with Hezbollah in the winter, Tchorz explained.

“We are preparing for war with Hezbollah in all weather conditions.”

Company Commander Cpt. Ofek Naaman from the 605th Combat Engineering Battalion told The Jerusalem Post that he and his troops trained during the two winter storms last month.

“It’s definitely a lot more challenging than the summer,” he said. “But I trained my troops during the last two storms that we had, so no doubt it was challenging but it’s not something my fighters did not experience.”

What was more challenging, he said, was walking on the hilly terrain.

“The area is full of hills and the ground was muddy,” he said. “The equipment is heavy and needed to be carried for a long period of time.”

Hezbollah has been described by senior military officers as the strongest army in the Middle East after the Zionist military.

Troops from the unit have four months of specialized training, including intensive studies on the enemies that surround the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity, specifically the threat posed by Hezbollah. The soldiers also have intelligence briefings and reviews where they are updated on what is happening on various fronts in order to constantly update their combat methods.

For Naaman, Hezbollah’s strength is not something to laugh at – and it’s for exactly that reason that forces are training for war against the group.

Israel Bombs Damascus: Soldier Martyred

 MIRI WOOD

Israel bombed Damascus from Beirut, and from the Syrian Golan which it occupies, in the early hours of 9 February. Lieutenant Zulfiqar Fayez Mansour was martyred while defending his homeland within its internationally recognized borders. Five others were injured. This triad of war criminal bombings by Israel also resulted in the destruction of housing, businesses, and automobiles. An undisclosed number of incoming missiles were intercepted and downed by Syrian air defense systems.

This is Israel’s second war criminal bombing of Syria since 31 January.

We ask our western readers to consider their concerns were a foreign military to bomb their countries, and on a regular basis. We also point out to our US American compatriots that during our time of food insecurity, housing insecurity, and a runaway inflation beginning to imitate Weimar, our taxes continue to pay Israel to murder Syrians in their country, in the amounts of tens of billions of dollars ($146 billion, according to a 31 May 2021 report by USA Today).

Israel bombed Damascus  one hour before rationed electricity is turned on.
Israel bombed Damascus one hour before rationed electricity is turned on.

The Israeli aerial bombs were dropped just before 0100, Damascene time; Israel again breached Lebanon’s airspace, flying over Beirut. The breaching of another country’s airspace is a war crime, as is the aggressive bombing of a country. The second round of bombing were surface-to-surface, fired from the Syrian Golan occupied by Israel since 1967.

Israel's three war crimes: Breaching Lebanon's airspace, bombing Syria from the air, and from the Syrian Golan, which it criminally occupies.

Syria News notes that the latest war criminal bombing of the Syrian Arab Republic comes on the heels of Sayyed Nasr Allah statement that Hizb Allah is in possession of an air defense system; one might wonder if this latest criminal aggression by the US satrap in the Levant was an attempt to test it.

We also note that UNSCR 497 (1981) states that the occupation of the Syrian Golan is in breach of International Law, and called for an urgent withdrawal by no later than 5 January 1982, “in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.” We further note, that unlike the colonialist UNSCR 2254 (2015), the bastion of peace and security has been steadfast in its NATO klansmenship: While the junta holds monthly anti-Syria hoax meetings on the implementation of 2254, it has not forced UNGA member Israel to withdrawal from the Syrian Golan.

NATO stenographer reporters engaged in pimping for the Military Industrial Complex, have chosen to ignore the most recent of Israel’s criminal and deadly aggressions; among the pimps ‘current’ reports are the claims that the Israel’s December bombings of the seaport of Lattakia were “rare.”

Syria reported on the Israel war criminal bombings around 0200, Damascene time.
NATO stenographers still ignoring Israel deadly bombing, 8 hrs later.
Apartment house bombed by Israel.
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israel bombs damascus3
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israel bombs damascus4

This is Lieutenant Zulfiqar Fayez Mansour. He was martyred by another war crime committed by Israel, while defending his country within its internationally recognized borders.

Israel continues to engage in crimes against humanity with impunity, courtesy of the the complicity of the NATO junta occupying the UN.

Israel continues its war crimes against Syria, with impunity, courtesy of the American taxpayer, currently faced with food and housing insecurity.

— Miri Wood

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Former ‘Israeli’ Chief of Staff: The US Withdrawal from Iran’s Nuclear Deal Was a Big Mistake

Jan 29 2022

By Staff

‘Israeli’ Maariv newspaper cited the Zionist entity’s former Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot as saying “the issue of attacking Iran requires international legitimacy, as confirmed by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu.

In an interview, Eisenkot told Maariv that such kind of attack couldn’t be carried out individually and without a prior notice as it results in very deep results, while the current rhetoric is not as serious as required.

Regarding the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, the Zionist regime’s former chief of staff further added: “It is a big strategic mistake in which the Iranian are freed from certain restrictions. When they started violating the deal, they did it from the position of strength due to the American withdrawal. And as long as the sanctions are partial, the Russians and the Chinese were capable of keeping cooperation with Iran.”

In another context, Eisenkot said ‘Israel’ was about to assassinate Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani after Iranian missiles targeted the occupied Golan Heights.

As for the so-called “elimination of Hezbollah’s infrastructure, namely tunnels, along the northern border,” the ‘Israeli’ official said “Nasrallah decided to plan an attack on the Galilee, and Hezbollah wants to deal ‘Israel’ an unprecedented blow.”

Israel is Tightening Its Grip on Syria’s Golan Heights by Creating “Facts on the Ground”

January 20th, 2022

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

In the occupied Golan Heights, the population of Settlers and Syrians is approximately equal, but experts fear that a new Israeli project will turn Syrians into a demographic minority on their own land.

MAJDAL SHAMS, OCCUPIED GOLAN HEIGHTS — On Dec. 15, 1981, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) enacted a law officially annexing the Golan Heights — Syrian territory captured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. Now, 40 years later, the Israeli government hopes to double the size of Jewish settlements there by the end of this decade, in an effort human-rights activists see as further normalizing a forgotten occupation.

Last month, the Israeli government approved a $300 million plan to promote Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied Golan Heights. In response, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al-Marsad – Arab Human Rights Center in Golan Heights submitted a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett this month demanding the plan’s cancellation, given that it is a violation of international law to build settlements on occupied land.

“Attempts to normalize the occupation of the Syrian Golan have no validity in international law and the status of the Golan Heights remains occupied territory,” Adalah attorney Suhad Bishara said in a press release. The Israeli government has yet to respond to the organizations’ letter.

Currently, about 28,000 settlers reside in 34 settlements in the Golan. They operate 167 settlement businesses and control 95% of the land. The new government initiative seeks to double the settler population in the Golan in five years by establishing two new settlements and relocating or building factories in the region. The aim is to add 23,000 settlers and construct 7,300 housing units. It also wants to boost the population of Katzrin, the largest settlement in the Golan, by 50,000 residents by 2040.

“The expansion of settlements in the Golan Heights not only violates the rules of international humanitarian law and human-rights law but also deepens the discriminatory reality against the natives concerning their rights to use natural resources,” Al-Marsad attorney Karama Abu Saleh said. “This exacerbates the situation whereby settlers have privileges in receiving budgets and access to natural resources, while the natives are suffering from land shortages and other crises.”

A forgotten occupation

In 2019, then-President Donald Trump signed a proclamation declaring the Golan Heights as part of Israel — not Syria. In doing so, the United States became the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian territory. Two days after Israel’s official annexation of the Golan Heights in 1981, the UN Security Council used Resolution 497 to determine the Knesset’s Golan Heights Law as null and void. Today, most of the international community considers the Golan Heights occupied.

Israel decided to build a settlement in honor of Trump — to be called Trump Heights  — as a thank you to the former president for his executive order. Trump Heights is part of the government’s development plan to increase the settler population in the Golan. While Trump’s action altered the U.S.’ Middle East strategy, it did not change the global status quo, Adalah attorney Bishara reiterated, telling MintPress News:

The declaration of the Trump administration in this regard did not change anything on the ground. It has, of course, its international implications in terms of how Israel perceives this acknowledgement. But in terms of international law, the annexation and any recognition by any state, including the U.S., does not change the status of the area as an occupied territory and the Syrian community there as a protected community under international humanitarian law.”

Al-Marsad’s founder and director, Nizar Ayoub, said that Trump’s declaration increased settlement activity in the Golan, with many settlements adopting expansion projects. “A few years ago, settlers were around 19,000 to 20,000. Now, there are about 28,000 to 29,000 settlers,” Ayoub said.

But Trump’s decision isn’t the only factor speeding up settlement expansion efforts in the Golan. “The Israelis are taking advantage of the holocaust going on in Syria and the destruction of the Syrian state,” Wael Tarabieh, director of Al-Marsad’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Program told MintPress News. “So this is the opportunity that they are using to cement their grip on the Golan.”

After Israel occupied more than two-thirds of the Syrian Golan during the 1967 War, 95% of the population was displaced and banned from returning. Israeli forces destroyed the area’s infrastructure and built settlements using the rubble from the razed villages. But the speed at which the settlements expanded was slower than what Israel hoped, Tarabieh explained. “The heart of the Golan is almost empty because the policy of the settlers since the occupation was to go as far as possible toward the Syrian ceasefire line and to create facts on the ground there,” Tarabieh said, detailing that until 2010, Israel and Syria were in discreet negotiations about what to do with the Golan, thereby keeping settlement expansion from happening. This changed, however, when war broke out in Syria.

Golan Heights
Druse supporters of President Assad wave Syrian flags during a rallydemanding the return of the Golan Heights in Majdal Sham. Oded Balilty |AP

Today, only 27,000 Syrians remain concentrated in five villages (Majdal Shams, Buqaatha, Masaada, Ain Qinya, and Ghajar) in the northern Golan. Settlers and Syrians are approximately equal in number now, but Al-Marsad’s Tarabieh believes the new settlement project will turn the Syrians into a demographic minority on their own land. He explained:

The main point is ignored and denied all the time, which is that the other Syrians who were uprooted from their lands count at more than half a million and no one is talking about them. No one is talking, for example, about the right of return for the Syrians as we talk about the Palestinians. That’s why we call it a forgotten occupation, and everybody is treating the Golan as if it were a normal expansion of Israeli land.”

And amid the crisis in Syria, the Golan’s Syrians are left without a voice, Tarabieh said, continuing:

Because of what’s happened in Syria in the last decade, the people [here] are helpless and they feel helpless. If you take a look at the local media, you’ll find that the reaction from the side of locals [to Israel’s settlement plan] is very few compared to what we used to see in the past years. And this explains that the people of the Golan, the Syrians, do not have any political support or representation.”

Despite most of the global community recognizing Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights as a violation of international law, the oppression is largely absent from international headlines.

Adalah attorney Bishara surmised this is because public attention has been preoccupied with Syria’s civil war, ongoing developments in the occupied Palestinian Terrirtories, and a raging pandemic. With the occupation of the Golan less of a violent land grab compared to the volatile situation in Palestine, Israel’s injustice against Syrians gets pushed aside.

As less focus is drawn to the issue from an international perspective, within Israel’s government the occupation becomes further normalized. Bishara concluded:

It seems that the Golan Heights is becoming consensus. Because even Meretz [an Israeli left-wing political party] government members voted in favor of this governmental decision, which says that there is a consensus along the whole spectrum of the Israeli political arena — from the right wing to the so-called left, Zionist parties.”

How settlement expansion will impact the native Syrians

Golan’s remaining Syrian villages control less than 4% of their own land. This is because Israel designated the occupied Golan Heights as “state land,” meaning the Israeli government determines its use. While turning some of it into military training fields and outposts, other portions were allocated as nature reserves and national parks, and the largest area is reserved for settlement development. A severe housing crisis emerged out of the Israeli-made land shortage — a problem that will only be exacerbated by the government’s settlement plan.

Discriminatory land policies have made it nearly impossible for Syrians to receive building permits, forcing them to build illegally and risk demolition orders. Israeli authorities have issued 1,570 demolition orders since its annexation of the Golan. As a result, many Syrians have had to pay exorbitantly high fines, go to prison, or have their homes demolished.

“The new project to double the settlement population will seriously affect the Syrian villages. As long as the settlements are expanding, more restrictions will be forced on the local population and make the housing crisis here even more difficult,” Ayoub said.

Golan Heights
Israeli tanks maneuver in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Aug. 4, 2020. Ariel Schalit |AP

Israel’s plan to turn more than 2,000 acres of the Golan into a national park has severely restricted the surrounding villages’ development. Majdal Shams, for instance, is now unable to expand because of limited space.

Al-Marsad’s Tarabieh speculated the settlement expansion plan may benefit local construction businesses; but, overall, the Syrian-Golanese economy will suffer.

“The economic situation will become worse and worse with time,” Tarabieh said, explaining how along with settlement growth, Israel hopes to transform the Golan Heights into Israel’s renewable-energy capital. Last year, Israel approved a plan to build a giant wind farm on a fifth of Syrian agricultural land in the Golan — significantly harming the natives’ health, environment and economy, and depleting their natural resources. “That’s why people feel that they can do nothing. We are a few people without any kind of support,” Tarabieh said.

But he argued that the Syrian communities are not in regular confrontation with the settlers, but rather the Israeli government is their main source of friction. “When we talk about the housing crisis, people don’t connect it directly to the settlers. They connect it to the policies of the Israeli government, because we deal with the Israeli authorities,” Tarabieh said. “They are the ones who reject our need to expand the villages.”

In daily life, the settler and indigenous populations have coexisted in a relatively quiet, peaceful way, as Tarabieh described. Settlers visit the Syrian villages’ medical clinics and supermarkets. They employ Syrian architects and engineers to build their homes. And you’ll find young Syrians working for settlers in agricultural spaces. “It’s not a daily conflict with the settlers. It’s not a direct clash between the settler and the Syrian native. It’s between us and the [Israeli] government.” Tarabieh said.

With greater settlement development, however, Tarabieh believes the balance of power in the Golan will shift. “When these settlers control more lands, this tension will grow,” he said. “And we may become closer to our Palestinian fellow brothers in the sense of the relationships with the settlers.”

Palestine in the face of Palestinicide

15 Jan 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Susana Khalil

Today, some Arab tyrannies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, seek to submit to this colonial-imperial force, putting the Arab-Persian world at risk.

Palestine in the face of “Palestinicide”

Zionism is a European colonial movement. The English historian Keith Whitelam conceptualizes it as the continuation of Colonial Europe. In 1948, Zionism succeeded in imposing a colonial regime in Palestine called “Israel”. It is classic colonialism, but it differs from historical colonialism in that it does not come from a people, but from a movement that aromatically falsifies history and disguises itself as a people, i.e. the “Jewish people”. Jews, Muslims, and Christians are not peoples, they are religions, and it is sad to have to explain this, at this point in human history and to a supposedly enlightened, educated, and secular world.

The West supposedly has to its credit a worthy history of fighting for secular values, which cost them blood. Secularism is today part of its identity and culture and is a sentiment, but it is inept and structurally ignorant to believe and feel that Jews are a people. To address this issue is to be discriminated against, even by pro-Palestinians. Beyond being a rotten Western taboo, it has its reckless consequences due to sophisticated totalitarian censorship, clear Western obscurantism.

The ideologues of Zionism foresaw that in their colonial enterprise, the day the native achieves his independence, they, as colonizers who do not come from a people but from a movement that seeks to become a people, do not have a point of return as happened in classical colonialism, that they as Jews would return to their respective original homelands. That is why Zionist colonialism has as its nature the very end of that native people in order to settle and ensure the foundations of a “nation-state” called “Israel”. This principle not only remains in force but also advances. Today, some Arab tyrannies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, seek to submit to this colonial-imperial force, putting the Arab-Persian world at risk.

The colonial and expansionist regime of “Israel” withdrew from the Sinai territories in Egypt, conditioning and subjugating the Egyptian dictatorship. There is a false withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, conditioning and subjugating a caste of Palestinian traitors of the so-called Palestinian Authority. They maintain a military invasion in the Golan Heights in Syria. They unilaterally withdrew from South Lebanon, without conditioning and subjugating the Lebanese government or any Lebanese caste, and this exception is because they were overthrown by the Lebanese armed resistance of Hezbollah. The international Zionist lobby is the mastermind of the barbaric US imperial military invasion of Iraq, for the alleged establishment of democracy, and for the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There will be no justice in the Arab-Persian world, except through the abolition of “Israel’s” colonial expansionist anachronism.

The worst thing about the Oslo Accords is not Zionist colonialism that managed to infiltrate through the Palestinian Authority, but the “memoricide” exercised by that Palestinian Authority, erasing the essence or the raison d’être of what the cause of liberation of the native Palestinian people against the Israeli colonial yoke is. And this “memoricide” takes place when the armed struggle is abandoned, so people are encouraged to follow the “peaceful” approach of struggle, which already existed, that is to say, the cultural, legal, academic, political, financial, economic, media, intellectual, humanitarian, religious, artistic, culinary, and historical struggle, which already existed and must exist; it is vital and magical. But the point is that on the stage, in the peaceful universe, the raison d’être of the Palestinian Cause is censored, evaded. In fact, almost nobody talks about the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, anymore.

I do not remember the author of the phrase: “If you want peace, prepare for justice.” The Palestinian people are facing the most powerful fascist movement of our historical time. Zionism is neoliberal and non-neoliberal imperialism itself.

Armed struggle is not easy and neither is it a guarantee for the liberation of historic Palestine. The peaceful struggle is not easy; it focuses on human rights, and in many cases, it does not address the essence of the Palestinian Cause. Both fronts are important, all fronts of struggle are important.

From the peaceful stage, as a native Palestinian from the Diaspora, the daughter of peasant survivors of Al-Nakba, I fight against the colonial yoke of Israel, I fight for the National Liberation of my Palestinian people against a colonial force.

From the peaceful scenario, does the colonial regime of “Israel” have the right to exist? From the noblest of my soul, I say no. The so-called Israeli population would become Palestinian. Just to raise this is outrageous. I do understand and comprehend the reaction of not understanding; comprehending and accepting the right of native people to decide for themselves. I understand the atheists of freedom and justice.

Some might defend the existence of that colonial, imperial regime and anachronism and believe they have the right to do so, but what is not morally acceptable and constitutes an outrage to human dignity is censoring defending the others’ right to voice their rejection in the universe of debate. That is contrary to the free-thinking world.

There are those who lovingly state, I support “Israel”, and to those I say, support it in your country. why don’t you give it your homeland? There must be a debate, and this is part of the human condition.

I believe that we Palestinians must reposition ourselves, renaissance the root of our cause, be reiterative, not fall into distractions, and not submit to the reality of a contour or conjuncture. This implies intellectual courage and deep human fortitude in the face of so much censorship, fear, demonization, and threat. We must make our intellectual peaceful revolution. We must kick the table and be a rebellion of lucid intellectual light. Therein lies not only the beauty of the Palestinian Cause, but the beauty of being Palestinian.

… More than an intellectual challenge, it is to liberate intellectual fear, for Zionism itself is an intellectual, academic, media, legal, historical, moral, aesthetic, religious, archeological, sociological and philosophical fraud.

The Palestinian Liberation Cause is a direct cause for the protection of the Arab, Persian, and Kurdish world from Israeli expansionist colonialism. As I heard, it was said in the neighborhood of El Guarataro, in Venezuela, the liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world.

Let us free ourselves from the self-censorship that sets the trap for us. We must be strategic, intelligent, and subtle. We will not receive any subsidy, if we do so, we will be rejected, demonized.

They operate an extermination plan against the Palestinian people; they not only colonized the homeland, but also its history, its cuisine, and its most popular artistic expression. And it is logical to say that, for example, they colonized the falafel and the embroidery. That is proof and sample that it is colonialism that does not come from a people, it needs to disguise itself as a people and take it from the native people. They are extermination modalities; they must expel Palestine from history.

It is all about being honest, the world, yes, the world is at risk in the face of Zionism. The Palestinians have an appointment with history and it is to liberate today, in the 21st century, their people from the anachronistic and expansionist colonial regime of “Israel”. Likewise, the Palestinians have a debt with humanity itself and it is to extirpate Zionism, the most powerful fascism of our time, for this we need everybody in, which is the struggle of our time.

Let me be riddled and demonized with the filthy and bastard accusation of the Zionist supremacy of anti-Semitism. Anyway, as Ernesto Guevara used to say, “How can my life matter if what is in danger is humanity.”

Yes, the liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world, that is to say, taking steps against imperial, colonial atrophy and barbarism synchronized by Zionism.

The gloomy thing is that if we let the Palestinian people disappear, they will sadly exist in the echo of humanity as the cursed people, that by not liberating its noble cause, humanity remains in darkness. In this case, the outcome would be a cursed Palestinian, a traitor Arab.

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

As Israel Plots Endgame in Occupied Golan, Bennett Must Remember Lessons of the Past

January 5, 2022

Israeli Government approves a plan to double the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the Golan Heights. (Photo: via Prime Minister of Israel Twitter page)

By Ramzy Baroud

With Syria still embroiled in its own war, Israel has been actively rewriting the rule book regarding its conduct in this Arab country. Gone are the days of a potential return of the illegally occupied Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty in exchange for peace, per the language of yesteryears. Now, Israel is set to double its illegal Jewish settler population in the Golan, while Israeli bombs continue to drop with a much higher frequency on various Syrian targets.

Indeed, a one-sided war is underway, casually reported as if a routine, everyday event. In the last decade, many ‘mysterious’ attacks on Syria were attributed to Israel. The latter neither confirmed nor denied. With the blanket support given to Israel by the Donald Trump administration, which recognized Israel’s illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights of 1981, Israeli reluctance to take credit for the frequent and increasingly destructive and bloody air raids has dissipated.

Briefly, some in the Israeli government were concerned by the possible repercussions of the advent of Joe Biden to the White House in January 2021. They worried that the new president might reverse some of the pro-Israel decisions enacted by his predecessor, including the recognition of the “Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” due to the “strategic and security importance to the State of Israel”. Biden, a long-time supporter of Israel himself, did no such thing.

The initial concern about a shift in US policy turned into euphoria and, eventually, an opportunity, especially as Israel’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is eager to break the Right’s historic dominance over the Jewish settlement movement in occupied Palestinian and Arab lands.

“This is our moment. This is the moment of the Golan Heights,” Bennett declared triumphantly at an Israeli government cabinet meeting held specially to officiate plans regarding the further colonization of the Golan on December 26.

The following statement by Bennett speaks volumes about the context of the Israeli decision, and its future intentions: “After long and static years in terms of the scope of settlement, our goal today is to double settlement in the Golan Heights.” The reference to ‘static years’ is an outright rejection of the occasional freezing of settlement construction that mostly took place during the so-called ‘peace process.’ Bennett – who, in June 2021, was embraced by Washington and its western allies as the political antithesis to the obstinate Benjamin Netanyahu – has effectively ended any possibility of a peaceful resolution to Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan.

Aside from predictable and clichéd responses by Syria and the Arab League, Israel’s massive push to double its settlement activities in the Golan is going largely unnoticed. Not only Israel’s right-wing media, but the likes of Haaretz are also welcoming the government’s investment – estimated at nearly $320 million. The title of David Rosenberg’s article in Haaretz tells the whole story: “Picturesque but Poor, Israel’s Golan Needs a Government Boost to Thrive.” The article decries government ‘neglect’ of the Golan, speaks of employment opportunities and merely challenges Bennett’s government on whether it will “stay the course”. The fact that the occupation of the Golan, like that of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, is illegal under international law is absent from Israeli media coverage.

Namely, Israel’s main focus currently is to normalize its occupation of Arab land entirely. But if that mission has failed over the course of 54 years, can it succeed now?

For Israel, the illegal settlement enterprise, whether in the Syrian Golan or in occupied Palestine, is synonymous. It is inspired by deep-rooted ideological and religious beliefs, compelled by economic opportunities and political interests and assuaged by the lack of any meaningful international response.

In the case of the Golan, Israel’s intention was, from the onset, to expand on its agricultural space, as the capture of the fertile Syrian territory almost immediately attracted settlers, who set the stage for massive agricultural settlements. Although the home of merely 25,000 Jewish settlers, the Golan became a major source of Israeli apples, pears and wine grape production. Local tourism in the scenic Golan, dotted with numerous wineries, thrived, especially following the Israeli annexation of the territory in 1981.

The plight of the steadfast Golan Arab Druze population of nearly 23,000 is as irrelevant in the eyes of Israel as that of the millions of occupied Palestinians, whether under siege in Gaza or living under a perpetual occupation or apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Golan population is equally isolated and oppressed but, like the Palestinians, continues to resist despite the heavy price of their resistance. Their hardship, however, is likely to increase with the expected doubling of the Jewish settler population.

Israel is, of course, aware that popular uprisings will eventually be mounted in response to its latest colonial endeavors, but various factors must be giving Bennett the confidence to continue with his plans. A major source of reassurance is that it could take Syria years to achieve any degree of political stabilization before mounting any source of challenge to the Israeli occupation. Another is that the Palestinian leadership is in no mood for confrontation, especially that it is, once again, on good terms with Washington, which has resumed its funding of the PA soon after Biden’s inauguration.

Moreover, in Israel, the anti-settlement movement has long subsided, crystallized mostly into smaller political parties that are hardly critical in the formation or toppling of government coalitions.

More importantly, Washington has no interest to initiate any kind of diplomatic efforts to lay the ground for future talks involving Israel, the Palestinians and certainly not Syria. Any such attempt now, or even in coming years would represent a political gamble for Biden’s embattled administration.

Israel understands this absolutely and plans to take advantage of this opportunity, arguably unprecedented since the Madrid talks over thirty years ago. Yet, while Bennett is urging Israelis in their quest for settlement expansion with such battle cries as “this is our moment’, he must not underestimate that the occupied Palestinians and Syrians are also aware that their ‘moment’, too, is drawing near. In fact, all popular Palestinian uprisings of the past were initiated at times when Israel assumed that it had the upper hand, and that people’s resistance has been forever pacified.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website iswww.ramzybaroud.net

الشهيد قاسم سليماني: سورية لن تنساك

 د. فيصل المقداد*

الثلاثاء 3 يناير 2022

منذ انتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بقيادة الإمام المرحوم روح الله الخميني، أدركت سورية بقيادة القائد الخالد حافظ الأسد أنّ القضية العربية، بصفتها قضية تحرّر من الاستعمار والإمبريالية ومواجهة مع العدوان والصهيونية، تكسب صديقاً كبيراً وحليفاً ثابتاً، ونشأت على أساس هذا الإدراك والوعي التاريخيّين صداقة عميقة بين الجمهورية العربية السورية والجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، وعلى مدى سنوات ظلت هذه الصداقة تنمو وتتعمّق وتتجذر، وقد عرف مع ظهور المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين وصعود قوّتها بدعم من سورية وإيران، الترجمة الحقيقية لمفهوم البلدين لأولوية الصراع مع كيان الإحتلال الجاثم على أرض فلسطين والذي يحتلّ الجولان السوري الحبيب وأراض لبنانية غالية، وجاء إنجاز تحرير جنوب لبنان عام 2000 ومن بعده تحرير غزة عام 2005 كثمرة لنضالات هاتين المقاومتين الباسلتين في لبنان وفلسطين، تأكيداً لقيمة الصداقة بين سورية وإيران ودورها في إعادة الاعتبار للقضية المركزية للعرب، قضية فلسطين، وللصراع مع كيان الاحتلال كعنوان لمفهوم الأمن القومي لدول وشعوب المنطقة، وللمقاومة كنهج لتحرير الأرض وحماية الكرامة الإنسانية…

وقد نمت هذه العلاقة وترسخت كواحدة من ركائز صناعة الاستقرار في المنطقة برعاية واهتمام مباشرين من الإمام علي الخامنئي والرئيس بشار الأسد، بصفتها نواة نظام إقليمي ضامن للاستقرار في مواجهة عهد الحروب الأميركية التي هدفت لتعميم الفوضى ونشر الإرهاب وإطاحة الاستقرار منذ مطلع القرن الواحد والعشرين.

جاء استهداف سورية بالحرب الكونية التي رعتها وقادتها واشنطن، وشاركت فيها حكومات وجيوش وأجهزة استخبارات ومؤسسات إعلامية عملاقة، ورصدت لها مقدرات مالية هائلة، والهدف واضح وهو إسقاط كلّ المعاني والأبعاد التي ترمز اليها سورية الواحدة والسيدة والمستقرة والقوية والمزدهرة، وقد أدركت القيادة الإيرانية وعلى رأسها الإمام الخامنئي هذه الحقيقة مبكراً، ووقفت بكلّ ثبات ووضوح وحزم الى جانب سورية وشعبها وجيشها وقائدها، وعلى مدى سنوات الحرب الظالمة على سورية وجد السوريون في إيران خير نصير، لم يبخل بالدم لمواجهة العدو الواحد الذي مثله ثنائي الاحتلال والإرهاب، خصوصاً بعدما انكشف عمق التحالف بين هذين العدوين، وعندما شهد العقد الأخير نهوضاً لشعوب المنطقة وحركات المقاومة فيها لمواجهة هذا العدوان الثنائي مدعوماً من كلّ قوى الشر في العالم، كانت سورية في طليعة صناع النصر على الإرهاب والاحتلال، وكانت العلاقة الإيرانية السورية ركيزة أساسية لهذه المواجهة ولصناعة الانتصار، وسيكتب التاريخ ملاحم البطولة التي سطرها السوريون ومعهم أخوة في الدم من شرفاء العالم وأحراره، وفي طليعتهم الحليفان الإيراني والروسي وقوى المقاومة.

عندما يكتب التاريخ هذه الملحمة الأسطورية للنصر على الإرهاب سيظهر إسم الشهيد القائد قاسم سليماني بأحرف من نور، وقد كان أحد أبرز القادة في هذه الحرب، ووقفوا على خطوط النار فيها، وتركوا بصمات واضحة في صفحاتها، ولن ينسى السوريون عندما يكتبون تاريخ معارك حلب ودير الزور وسواهما أن يتذكروا شراكة الدم مع هذا القائد وتضحياته.

عندما قرّرت قوات الاحتلال الأميركي اغتيال القائد سليماني، كانت تقدّم شهادتها بحجم الغيظ والإرباك الذي تسبّب به بوجوده ودوره لمخططات التقسيم والفوضى وتعميم الإرهاب التي رعتها وعملت على نشرها، وعندما ارتقى سليماني شهيداً شعر السوريون كما كلّ المقاومين والشرفاء والأحرار أنهم خسروا أحد رجالات الحرب على الإرهاب.

ستبقى الصداقة الإيرانية السورية ترسم خارطة طريق الحرية والتحرر والمقاومة والاستقرار والازدهار والاستقلال لشعوبنا، وسيبقى قاسم سليماني أحد رموز هذه الأخوة، وسيذكره السوريون كلما تذكروا شهداءهم وذكروا بطولاتهم.

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*وزير خارجية الجمهورية العربية السورية

مقالات متعلقة

هل سترد سورية أم تصعد روسيا بوجه «إسرائيل»؟

الخميس 30 كانون أول 2021

 ناصر قنديل

ينشط خصوم سورية واللاعبون على حبال الخلاف بينها وبين حلفائها وخصوصاً روسيا وإيران لبث الشكوك، وتقدم الغارات “الإسرائيلية” على سورية، ساحة نموذجية لتحقيق هذا الهدف، فالغارات تتواصل ولا تكاد تتوقف عن معدل غارة في الأسبوع، وسورية تكتفي بصد الصواريخ بصواريخ مضادة، وتحقق غالباً نتائج جيدة، لكن الأثر المعنوي للغارات يبقى جارحاً على مستوى الرأي العام السوري خصوصاً، والعربي عموماً، وتظهر المطالبة بالرد وقد تجاوزت مع الغارة الأخيرة على مرفأ اللاذقية كل المرات السابقة، ومثلها الانتقادات التي تطال الموقف الروسي، وتحمله مسؤولية التمادي “الإسرائيلي”، ويصل البعض إلى حد اتهام روسيا بالتواطؤ والشراكة، وليس فقط اغماض العين عن هذه الاعتداءات.

في مثل هذه القضايا تلعب الحرب على المعنويات دوراً هاماً، ولا يكفي فقط قراءة أبعاد العمل العسكري ميدانياً واستراتيجياً ووضعه في سياق الإطار العام للقيادة العسكرية المعنية في أولويات المواجهات وتخصيص الموارد لها، ويكفي النظر إلى أهداف الغارات “الإسرائيلية” نفسها لمعرفة أنها غالباً بمفعول ضئيل من الوجهتين الاستراتيجية، أي تغيير موازين القوى ووجهة الأحداث، والتكتيكية أي الحاق الأذى الجسيم بالبنى والهياكل العسكرية والمدنية، لكن الغارات تستمر للبعد المعنوي سواء في تأكيد التفوق “الإسرائيلي” تجاه الرأي العام المشكك بقدرة قيادته على خوض حروب جديدة، وتتخذ القيادة “الإسرائيلية” من عدم الرد علامة على موازين القوى التي تحكم علاقتها، ليس في سورية فحسب، بل بمحور المقاومة المستهدف عبر هذه الغارات، تحت عنوان منع تدفق الأسلحة الإيرانية لقوى المقاومة، ومنع تموضع القوات الإيرانية وقوى المقاومة في المناطق القريبة من حدود الجولان السوري المحتل، ولو كان هذا الشعار إعلامياً فحسب، هذا إضافة إلى زرع الشكوك بما تقوله قيادة المحور عن تفوقها الاستراتيجي على كيان الاحتلال، وتصريحات قادة المقاومة عن القدرة على محو “إسرائيل” من الوجود، وصولاً إلى زرع الشكوك بين قوى المحور وروسيا، أو على الأقل زعزعة ثقة جمهور المحور وفي قلبه سورية تجاه مضمون التحالف مع روسيا.

في العقل البارد لقيادة محور المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران وفي قلبه سورية، والقيادة الروسية، ثقة متينة بالتحالف الذي نجح بتحقيق انتصارات أحبطت المشروع الأميركي الذي كانت “إسرائيل” في قلبه، وكان يرمي لاسقاط سورية وتفتيتها وتحويلها إلى إمارات ومشيخات ودويلات ومناطق نفوذ، وثقة بحجم التضحيات التي بذلها أطراف هذا التحالف وبالنتائج التي ترتبت عليه لكل منهم، وتسليم بخصوصية إدارة العلاقة بالغارات الإسرائيلية، بين كل من أطرافه، حيث روسيا ملتزمة بإعادة بناء الدفاعات الجوية لسورية وقد فعلت الكثير في هذا السياق، وهو ما تظهره عمليات التصدي للصواريخ بالصواريخ واسقاط الكثير الكثير منها، وهو ما تكفل بإسقاط أول طائرة “إسرائيلية” في الأجواء السورية قبل أربعة أعوام، وهو ما يمنع “إسرائيل” من دخول الأجواء السورية مجدداً منذ ذلك التاريخ، لكن روسيا التي رسمت دورها في سورية دولياً تحت سقف دعم الدولة الشرعية في مواجهة الجماعات الارهابية، ليست مستعدة لتوسيع نطاق التزامها ليطال التحول إلى طرف في صراع تاريخي قائم ومستمر بين سورية و”إسرائيل”.

بالنسبة إلى محور المقاومة بلا استثناء وفي طليعته إيران وفي قلبه حزب الله، يبقى سقف الموقف هو ما ترسمه القيادة السورية، واحترام جدول أولوياتها، وفي سورية تبقى الأولوية لمواصلة تحرير الأرض السورية الواقعة خارج نطاق سيطرة الدولة، بفعل سيطرة الاحتلالين الأميركي والتركي والجماعات التقسيمية أو الارهابية العاملة في ظلالهما، وطالما أن الغارات “الإسرائيلية” ذات طابع إعلامي، فالدولة السورية ماضية في أولوياتها، خصوصاً أن ذلك يريح العلاقة بينها وبين موسكو التي تشاركها هذا الالتزام ضمن إطار المهمة الأصلية التي جاءت القوات الروسية على أساسها إلى سورية، وطالما كان ذلك ممكناً ترغب الدولة السورية بعدم الاستجابة لمحاولات استدراجها إلى طرق جانبية تربط هذه الخطة.

الغارة الأخيرة على اللاذقية تختلف عن سابقاتها، فهي تأتي في ذروة الأزمة الأوكرانية التي تعيشها روسيا في محاولة لتغيير قواعد الاشتباك، والقول لموسكو إن مدى الحركة “الإسرائيلية” لن يراعي الخطوط الحمر الروسية، وإلا فإن “إسرائيل” تملك قدرة التأثير في مسار المواجهة في أوكرانيا عبر جاليات يهودية فاعلة في روسيا وأوكرانيا، وتستهدف “إسرائيل” من هذا التوسيع لنطاق الحركة، التأثير على مسار التفاوض الدائر في فيينا حول الملف النووي الإيراني، عبر السعي لفرض تصعيد عسكري في المنطقة يعقّد مسار التفاوض ويضغط على الموقف الأميركي، ويضعه في زاوية صعبة، ولذلك كان ذا مغزى ما تضمنه البيان الروسي من اتهام “إسرائيل” بالاحتماء بطائرات روسية كان تحلق في أجواء اللاذقية، وتم اختيار التوقيت “الإسرائيلي” بعناية ليتزامن مع هذا التحليق، وما يرافقه من تعليق عمل الدفاعات الجوية السورية تفادياً لوقوع كارثة شبيهة بالتي حدثت قبل سنوات، وأسفرت عن اسقاط طائرة روسية بصاروخ سوري.

الأكيد الآن هو أن  التعامل مع هذه الغارة ليس كما قبلها، وأن الكل ينتظر روسيا لمعرفة طبيعة الاجراءات التي ستتخذها في ضوء البيان الصادر عن وزارة الدفاع الروسية، خصوصاً أن المرة الماضية شهدت موقفاً روسياً قاسياً أوقفت خلاله موسكو العلاقات السياسية مع حكومة الاحتلال، وزودت الجيش السوري بشبكات دفاع جوية حديثة، وأقفلت الأجواء السورية بوجه الطائرات “الإسرائيلية” في  كل مناطق الانتشار الروسي، ومنها اللاذقية ودمشق وحمص، لكن الأكيد أن الموقف الروسي يبقى روسيا، وأن رداً سورياً منتظراً لن يكون بعيداً، ومن خلفه كل محور المقاومة، وأن معادلة الصواريخ مقابل الغارات ستكون على الطاولة لترسم قواعد اشتباك جديدة، خصوصاً أن واشنطن التي أيدت في عهد الرئيس ونالد ترامب ضم الجولان، لم تنسحب بعد رسمياً من هذا التأييد في زمن إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن، والقرارات الاستيطانية الأخيرة لم يجف حبرها بعد.

إن غداً لناظره قريب.

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