Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against israel’s (apartheid state) impunity

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

RT | January 23, 2019

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

Damascus has threatened to exercise its legitimate right for self-defense against Israeli aggression and target Tel Aviv airport in a mirror response, unless the Security Council puts an end to IDF intrusions into Syrian airspace.

Apparently fed up with years of Israeli impunity in the Syrian skies and regular strikes carried out in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, Syria has threatened to retaliate in explicit terms.

“Isn’t time now for the UN Security Council to stop the Israeli repeated aggressions on the Syrian Arab Republic territories?” Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari wondered Tuesday.

“Or is it required to draw the attention of the war-makers in this Council by exercising our legitimate right to defend ourself and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Civil Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?”

Air strikes against alleged ‘Iranian targets’ in close proximity to Syria’s busiest airport have become a norm for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose former chief of staff openly confessed last month to running a large-scale bombing campaign in Syria for years. Besides causing casualties and material damage by their “near-daily” strikes, Israeli combat missions into Syria have also repeatedly endangered flights operating over the conflict-torn country.

While the IDF rarely acknowledges striking specific targets in Syria, the Russian military has been keeping a close watch on IDF maneuvers over the Arab Republic. On Christmas Day, Israeli jets endangered two civilian aircraft while engaging targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, noting that the IDF F-16s flew in as civilian jets were landing at Beirut and Damascus airports. In September, Israeli actions resulted in the death of 15 Russian servicemen after Israeli jets deliberately used Russian Il-20 recon plane as a cover and placed it into the path of a Syrian air defense missile.

Urging the UN Security Council to adopt measures to stop such blatant violations of Syrian sovereignty by the Jewish state, Jaafari accused France, Britain and the US – all permanent members of the world body – of endorsing Israeli aggression in breach of their responsibility to “maintain international peace and security in accordance with international law.”

Placing little faith into Western intentions to bring long-awaited peace to the country, the diplomat noted that Syria plans to restore full sovereignty over its lost territories, including the Golan Heights, which Israel continues to occupy.

“The restoration sovereignty of the occupied Syrian Golan is a permanent right of Syria that [is] not subject to negotiations,” Jafari stressed.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. While Tel Aviv refrained from extending sovereignty over the Golan for over a decade, in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the area. The Druze of the Golan were offered full Israeli citizenship under the Golan Heights Law of 1981, but only a small minority changed their allegiance from Syria to Israel. Syria repeatedly reiterated that the occupied land is an integral part of its territory, and that it will work to return it by all means necessary. Tel Aviv sees things differently.

“Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in November, after the US become the only state to vote alongside Israel against a symbolic, non-binding UN resolution calling on Tel Aviv to withdraw from the occupied region.


25 Years Ago an Agreement on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine Was Signed

25 Years Ago an Agreement on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine Was Signed

January 16, 2019

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with

On January 14th 1994 in Moscow the presidents of Ukraine, Russia, and the US signed the tripartite declaration for the liquidation of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Under the treaty 176 intercontinental missiles and 1500 nuclear warheads on the territory of Ukraine had to be liquidated.

One might ask what has Donbass got to do with this?

When today Ukrainian radicals say that if Ukraine had preserved the world’s third biggest nuclear arsenal nobody could stop Kiev strangling an anti-fascist uprising not only in Donbass but also in Crimea, this is the absolute truth. People generally don’t joke about such things. Despite the fact that it’s unlikely that Kiev could’ve created a fully-fledged system of controlling, servicing, and using in combat all the missiles it inherited, even the existence of this arsenal made Ukraine almost invulnerable in relation to any external pressure. Taking into account the fact that Ukraine, in principle, could bring a considerable part of its available weaponry (except intercontinental missiles) to combat readiness (today, 23 years after the last warhead left the territory of “independent” Ukraine, it is possible to talk about it openly), nobody would start to clash with a monkey armed with a nuclear “grenade”.

Ukraine relinquished nuclear weapons only because its leaders attached too much value to diplomatic tinsel under the name “recognition of independence”. It is exactly what we regularly hear from patriotically dilettanti, crying out: “Why hasn’t Russia recognised Donbass yet?”

I can understand people who suffer from the fact that units of the 1st Guards tank army still haven’t come to the Dnieper, Vistula, Oder, Rhine, and, finally, the Atlantic. The desire to capture everything, to kill all enemies, and to throw internal opposition into jail – cleaning snow in Siberia – is the natural reaction of small children and infantile adults concerning the complicated and unclear to them world that surrounds them. But I am surprised by the ritual surrounding abstract recognition [of the DPR/LPR – ed] by the people who don’t understand its significance.

Here is a simple example: Russia did not recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This did not prevent it from dispersing the Georgian army in one week when Saakashvili tried to restore the control of Tbilisi over these territories via armed force. Russia does not recognise Transnistria, but everyone perfectly knows that in a similar situation the reaction of Moscow will be the same. Russia never presented territorial claims to Ukraine, recognising its territorial integrity, but one month hadn’t even passed after the coup in Kiev and Crimea reunited with its Motherland. On the other hand, Japan does not recognise the Southern Kuril Ridge as Russian, but does this strongly help it? Up to the 70’s the US did not recognise the People’s Republic of China, considering the Taiwanese Kuomintang as the legitimate authority of China. And what?

Returning to Crimea. Not many people in the world recognised Crimea’s transition to the structure of Russia. But, besides the Kiev provokers, nobody tries to challenge the right of the Russian border guards to control the territorial waters of the peninsula.

In international law there is the concept of “an authority that actually controls the territory”. Irrespective of whether or not this authority is recognised by someone, or whether or not it was formed as a result of a coup, separation, or the voluntary division of the former state (as an option of merging two or several former ones), what’s important is not the fact of its international recognition, but the fact of its ability to support military-political control over a certain territory. If you have such an ability, then people will interact, trade, and even conclude quite official agreements with you. But if you formally own something but are not capable of controlling this ownership, then people will only sympathise with you whilst reaching agreements with those who control the territory.

In fact, this is what the Minsk process is based on. For several years Russia, France, and Germany have tried to explain to Kiev that it must speak and agree with the real authorities in Donbass. If it will reach an agreement on maintaining unity, then nobody will interfere, and if it won’t be able to reach an agreement, then it will be obliged to reach an agreement about a civilised divorce. But Ukrainian politicians, like 25 years ago, drag its heels concerning the question of formal recognition and demand that Donbass is returned to them under the Christmas tree either by Ded Moroz [Russia – ed], Santa Claus [America – ed], or Père Noël [France – ed].

But they could’ve learnt at least something from the story with nuclear disarmament.

Ukraine likes to remember the Budapest memorandum in connection with Crimea and Donbass. On Russian talk shows it as a rule is presented as a piece of paper without meaning (like saying: the memorandum is not a treaty and doesn’t oblige anyone to do anything). This isn’t true. A memorandum is a publicly given word of honour to follow certain rules. In some sense it is even more than a treaty. The latter, as a rule, is concluded over a certain period of time. But even termless contracts can be denounced (or just stop working) if the situation changes. But a memorandum indeed is not a binding document, it is not ratified, thus it cannot be denounced, but violating it is also not comme il faut [as it should be – ed]. This is like publicly promising a girl that you’ll marry her, and then, also publicly, bragging that you deceived her.

But notice that, unlike Kiev, the US and Great Britain, which together with Russia signed the Budapest memorandum, and also France and China, which gave Ukraine similar guarantees in special separate declarations, do not see any violations of the mentioned document. The answer to the question “Why?” is in the mentioned Tripartite declaration, the 25th anniversary of which we celebrated on January 14th. The following provisions were a part of the Budapest memorandum in an unchanged form. Ukrainian diplomacy likes to refer to them, but in practice they haven’t been violated:

“- reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

– refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in selfdefense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

– reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

– reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a nonnuclear weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;

– reaffirm, in the case of the Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state”.

It is not difficult to notice that exactly the same obligations that were given to other states that joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as non-nuclear states also apply to Ukraine. Help to Ukraine (including via immediate actions of the UNSC) is promised only if Kiev becomes a victim of aggression or the threat of aggression with the use of nuclear weapons. I.e., in the event of non- nuclear aggression, nobody owes Ukraine anything. It was promised to Ukraine to not use economic coercion against it. But even now, despite all the unfriendly steps made by Kiev, Russia did not tear up any treaty or any agreement on the initiative. Economic ties were torn up only where Ukraine tore them up.

Concerning territorial integrity, guarantees are given only within the framework of the CSCE final act. At the same time, peacefully changing the borders is allowed (who will say that Crimea was conquered? And, by the way, it is precisely for this reason that Turchynov demanded war in March 2014 – back then it was possible to try to record a violation of the Budapest memorandum). Moreover, even the obligation not to use armed force against Ukraine has no absolute character, the vague formulation “except in selfdefense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations” was used. Let’s note that the UN did not record a violation of the Charter by Russia (only the UN Security Council has the competence to do this).

So formally the Memorandum hasn’t been violated.

Let’s be frank, it is indeed formulated in such a way that it is impossible to violate it whatever may happen. And Ukraine knew this. Pay attention: the Tripartite declaration is dated January 14th 1994 (it was signed by Kravchuk), and the Budapest memorandum was signed on December 5th (practically one year later) by Kuchma. During all this time Ukrainian diplomacy tried to squeeze out the best conditions from the guarantor states. But it didn’t squeeze them out, and couldn’t have.

A critical mistake was made by Kiev on May 23rd 1992. On this day Russia, the US, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed the Lisbon protocol on the basis of which, Kiev, Minsk, and Astana joined the NPT as non-nuclear countries. Kazakhstan and Belarus also did not apply for nuclear status. For them, the signing of this document was natural. However Ukraine tried to keep its nuclear arsenal. But Kiev decided that it would be possible to bargain later, and that the most important thing at the time was international recognition. And Ukraine was frankly blackmailed with the refusal to recognise it as a nuclear state.

Kiev did not understand that a country with the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal would be recognised anyway. Even if it doesn’t happen immediately, it will be possible to wait for however long is necessary – agreements will be made with it all the same and its opinion will be taken into account in international affairs. Kravchuk was afraid that the people [of Ukraine – ed] won’t treat the “sovereign” government seriously if it isn’t internationally recognised. His Minister of Foreign Affairs (Zlenko) hurried to report on recognition by “the whole world” (to start with – by “all the civilised world”) and open embassies everywhere where it was possible. And he signed the Lisbon protocol in which Ukraine unambiguously took upon itself the obligation to relinquish nuclear weapons. All the rest is two years of floundering in an attempt to get out of the already undertaken obligations or to at least squeeze out at least some dividends from this.

In fact, the issue of Kiev’s relinquishment of its nuclear status was decided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (not the Rada, not the government, and not the president). Of course, Zlenko had the correspondingly issued powers, but it is his signature that is underneath the protocol, and, most importantly, it is he and his department who developed recommendations for decision-making bodies. Ukraine at the time had no other experienced foreign affairs specialists.

The fact of recognition and having their own diplomatic missions played the same role for the Ukrainian authorities that pieces of glass, beads, and broken guns played for African savages in the 15th-16th centuries, or blankets and whisky for Indians a couple of centuries later. It was a fetish for which it is possible to give everything. And they indeed gave. And thank God. It is difficult to imagine what would’ve happened to the world if Ukraine had kept its nuclear weapons. In any case, Kiev would’ve for sure launched a war against Russia in the 90’s.

Since the clever learn from the mistakes of fools, it is worth remembering the story of Ukrainian nuclear disarmament and not to make a fetish out of the recognition of someone’s independence and sovereignty. This is a little more than a mere formality that sometimes others try to flog expensively. The fact of recognition does not give anything other than the right to officially maintain diplomatic mission in the countries that recognised you. But, for example, Taiwan, after most of the world recognised the People’s Republic of China and severed diplomatic relations with Kuomintang, simply renamed its embassies into trade missions. Nothing else changed and won’t exchange until Taipei is able to keep the island under control. But as soon as the unity of China will be restored, even those ten countries that still recognise not the People’s Republic of China, but the Republic of China (Taiwan), will absolutely quietly accept the new reality.

What’s important is the actual state of affairs, and not the theoretical one. Imagine that Zlenko didn’t sign the Lisbon protocol, Kravchuk didn’t sign the Tripartite declaration, Kuchma didn’t sign the Budapest memorandum, and Ukraine would’ve kept its nuclear arsenal. Do you think that it would’ve remained unrecognised for long? Right. And now let them kick themselves.

Syria: Kurds Reject Turkish ‘Safe Zone’ Agreed With Trump

Local Editor

Senior political Kurdish leader Aldar Khalil said Syrian Kurds rejected the US-proposed “security zone” under Turkey’s control in northern Syria, AFP reported.

Khalil said that the Kurds would only accept the deployment of UN forces along the separation line between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops to prevent an offensive.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he and his American counterpart Donald Trump reached a “historic understanding” on Syria in their latest phone call.

“Other choices are unacceptable as they infringe on the sovereignty of Syria and the sovereignty of our autonomous region”, the Kurdish official added.

Following a phone conversation with Trump, Erdogan announced Tuesday that Ankara would create a 32-kilometre safe zone in northern Syria.

Erdogan’s spokesperson later elaborated that the security zone would be controlled by Ankara.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Behind the «Israeli» Acknowledgment of Syria Strike

3 hours ago

Fatima Haydar

In a rare acknowledgement, the “Israeli” entity confirmed Saturday that it had conducted an airstrike on Syria, targeting Damascus airport.

At his weekly cabinet meeting, “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, confirmed that the “Israeli” Occupation Forces had conducted an air raid, saying that “Just in the past 36 hours, the air force attacked Iranian depots full of Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport”.

Retired Lebanese Major General and political researcher, Hisham Jaber, highlights some key issues regarding the “Israeli” airstrike on Syria.

Maj. Gen. Jaber indicated that it is “a normal thing that ‘Israel’ issues a confirmation –regardless of it being false – regarding the strike. After all, Syria had already announced, on Saturday, that Syrian air defenses had intercepted an air raid carried out by the ‘Israeli’ entity.”

The “Israeli” entity typically refrains from commenting on individual airstrikes in Syria, but does generally acknowledge that it carries out raids against “Iranian- and Hezbollah-linked targets” in the country.

In this context, Maj. Gen. Jaber slammed these “Israeli” allegations saying, “It is one thing for ‘Israel’ to claim hitting Iranian and Hezbollah targets – which is not true at all – for wherever there are Syrian troops, Iranian advisors are present”.

The “Israeli” acknowledgement came at a time when the IOF had announced it has completed the so-called “Northern Shield” tunnel digging operation, amidst intensive reports on “Israeli” media speculating why Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah hasn’t commented on the ongoing events.

“Regarding the tunnels, irrespective of their presence or absence, it has been said that tunnel digging breached United Nation’s resolution 1701. But what is important is knowing the exact date these tunnels had been allegedly dug, if any,” said Gen. Jaber.

He went to explain that, “Had these alleged tunnels been dug by the Resistance between the years 2000 (the end of the ‘Israeli’ aggression) and 2006, then they did not breach any resolution, since UN resolution 1701 had not been declared at that time,” adding that “We are free to do whatsoever on our land”.

Maj. Gen Jaber pointed out that the aforementioned issue should have been stated bluntly by the Lebanese State when faced with the UNIFIL’s statement regarding the tunnel digging.

However, the retired army general posed a critical question , asking, “if it has been proved that the digging took place after 2006 and the tunnels were in fact a breach of 1701 on Lebanese soil, then how many times has ‘Israel’ breached that same resolution by trespassing Lebanese air, land and sea?”

“This is the end point. This is where the issue stops! We have nothing further to add,” Gen. Jaber proclaimed, adding,

“The Resistance is not obliged to adhere to ‘Israeli’ declarations as to publicize the number of their missiles and where they are kept. It’s is totally absurd! It’s not our job to reassure the ‘Israelis’ if we have or haven’t acquired ballistic missiles.”

Furthermore, the retired army general explained that the Resistance possessed “enough” missiles and

“‘Israel’ should stop targeting Syria under the pretext of preventing Hezbollah from acquiring more missiles via Syria”.

A final point regarding the alleged tunnels, Maj. Gen. Jaber asserted that “the Resistance’s stance regarding that issue is wise. And it doesn’t want to get caught in a give-and-take situation with the ‘Israelis’”.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Eisenkot’s Legacy in Confronting Lebanon: Restraint & the Growing Capabilities of the Resistance

Jihad Haidar

The retirement of every chief of staff of the “Israeli” army, with some exceptions such as the resignation of Dan Halutz following the 2006 defeat in Lebanon, is normally accompanied by propaganda and theatrical displays.

Putting that aside, we find that Gadi Eisenkot’s retirement from his post, his exit from military service and the succession of Aviv Kochavi coincide with major strategic and practical developments surrounding the Zionist entity.

At the level of the theatrical display, Eisenkot was keen to appear in the media, trying to showcase what he called achievements against the axis of resistance. To this end, he conducted a series of interviews that grabbed headlines and newspaper articles in a celebratory manner. What made the “Israelis” really happy during Eisenkot’s term was that he did not involve them in any war with regional foes – especially since the public is aware that the internal front will be one of its main arenas in any broad confrontation.

In the past four years, however, it has been become apparent that “Israel” – during Eisenkot’s term – has adopted a “brinkmanship” policy in the hope that it will extract concessions from Hezbollah and restraint it in case Tel Aviv opted to launch an aggression. It is well known that one of the conditions for a successful “brinkmanship” policy is that one side succeeds in persuading the other that it is prepared to go to the limit. But Hezbollah faced this policy with a firm stance forcing “Israel” to retreat and back down. Although “Israel” had many reasons for the operational initiative, the political and security decision makers backed down due to their concerns over the price of any military confrontation. In light of this, “Israel’s” messages of intimidation turned into additional victories for Hezbollah enhancing the resistance’s deterrence force. As such, the enemy became more exposed.

In this regard, the enemy tries to mislead when praising calm with Lebanon, especially since it did not want this calm, which formed an umbrella for the resistance to continue to accumulate and develop its military and missile capabilities. At the very least, Tel Aviv was seeking a similar version of what was happening in Syria. It terms of ambition, “Israel” aims to exploit Hezbollah’s preoccupation with countering Takfiri terrorism, to attack it, destroy its strategic capabilities or restrict it. Thereby giving “Israel” a wide margin in attacks at the local and regional levels.

On the other hand, calm was a demand for the resistance for several reasons. First, the resistance does not adopt an open war strategy with the “Israeli” entity. It has its other strategy in the struggle with the enemy in Palestine. Second, it provides it with the opportunity to continue to build and develop its defensive, deterrent and offensive capabilities. And this is what happened. And third, it is a demand of the Lebanese people as it is a gateway to building and resolving crises.

A quick glance back reveals that these demands and objectives have been achieved to a very large extent, distinguishing Lebanon from all of its Arab neighbors. The negatives that it is currently grappling with are the result of the performance of the ruling political class at the economic, political and social levels.

It is clear that if the chief of staff of the “Israeli” army had to speak objectively, in response to the army’s command, Syria has won, and the threat of rebuilding the Syrian army is again on the horizon. Hezbollah along with Syria triumphed and removed an existential danger threatening it and the people of the region. The axis of resistance triumphed in the battle regionally. All “Israeli efforts to drain Hezbollah and divide Syria have failed.  The resistance succeeded in developing its military and missile capabilities. In light of this, Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced that the group succeeded in acquiring precision rockets. “Israel” recognizes the effects of the rockets as dangerous to regional equations and its strategic depth. However, the effects of possessing precision missiles are more significant than the effects of the tens of thousands of rockets themselves.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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UNESCO should cry no tears over israel’s (apartheid state) departure

UNESCO should cry no tears over Israel’s departure

UNESCO Headquarters []

By Dr Daud Abdullah | MEMO | January 2, 2019

There will be no tears now Israel and the US have withdrawn from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Both countries have undermined the organisation’s credibility and brought it into disrepute – UNESCO will be better off without them.

UNESCO is governed by several international accords, to which all members are treaty-bound to adhere. The 1954 “Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict” is arguably the most important international instrument for the protection of cultural property – defined as monuments of architecture, art or history; archaeological sites; buildings of historical or artistic interest; works of art; manuscripts, important books and archives, as well as scientific collections.

Both The Hague Convention and its Protocol have been incorporated into international customary law; their provisions are, therefore, binding on all parties to conflict, regardless of whether or not they are signatories to these instruments. In recent years, the protection of cultural heritage has been deemed so important that the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has recognised the destruction and seizure of buildings dedicated to religion, education, arts, science or charitable purposes, as well as historic monuments, a war crime.

Yet throughout its 70-year history, Israel has shown an alarming disregard for UNESCO’s rules and ideals, seeking exemptions and privileges not granted to any other member state. Its real grievance with UNESCO is that it wants the organisation to remain silent and, in doing so, endorse its theft and destruction of Palestinian cultural heritage.

Israeli soldiers and civilians have stolen innumerable objects of historical, cultural and archaeological importance to Palestine. Bizarrely, on the same day that Israel announced its withdrawal from UNESCO, one of the country’s leading daily newspapers, Haaretz, published an article under the title “Israel Displays Archaeological Finds Looted from West Bank”. This was in reference to a Civil Administration exhibition currently being held at the Bible Land Museum in Jerusalem.

As a contracting party to The Hague Convention, Israel is obliged “to prohibit, prevent and, if necessary, put a stop to any form of theft, pillage or misappropriation of, and any acts of vandalism directed against, cultural property”. Yet, with the backing of the US, it chooses to do just the opposite.

The theft of archaeological items is bad enough, but their wilful destruction is far worse. Israel’s construction of the Separation Wall –  which encircles its settlements across the occupied West Bank – has often required large-scale archaeological excavation. Palestinian officials believe that an estimated 1,100 archaeological landmarks have been ruined or destroyed by the construction of the wall.

Furthermore, as a matter of policy Israel refuses to share with Palestinian researchers the data and objects obtained from its excavations in the occupied territories. Although Israel signed the UNESCO “Recommendation on International Principles Applicable to Archaeological Excavations” in 1956, it has refused to ratify the 1970 “UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property”. Instead, it continues to argue that international law does not prohibit excavation in occupied territories.

Around 53 per cent of the archaeological sites in the occupied West Bank are located in Area C, in which Palestinians are prohibited from conducting exploration, restoration and development. Unsurprisingly, during the first five years of the Oslo Accords (1993-98), only nine out of the 171 excavation permits issued by the Israeli Staff of Antiquities were granted to Palestinian academic institutions.

All told Israel has, for its own partisan reasons, never been a committed member of UNESCO. Its discomfort always lay in the fact that it could not persuade the organisation’s members to acquiesce to its theft and destruction of Palestinian cultural heritage. Disagreement and divorce seemed inevitable, given that UNESCO has declared some of the sites affected by Israel’s occupation as World Heritage sites.

Contrary to the Israeli-US claim, UNESCO has never adopted a policy of singling-out Israel for criticism or censure – the only reason it has been subjected to scrutiny is because it has, for decades, refused to act in accordance with UNESCO’s rules.

Were UNESCO to turn a blind eye to Israel’s looting and vandalising of Palestinian cultural heritage, this would be nothing less than a dereliction of duty. Furthermore, to appease Israel would set a dangerous precedent for rogue states and non-state actors to act with similar impunity.  Instead of weeping over their departure, UNESCO must now feel deeply relieved that it will no longer be called upon to act against its principles, values and interests.


الهروب………بقلم د. بثينة شعبان

من “أوسلو” إلى “صفقة القرن”: حكاية تلازم المسار والمصير، والرجل، الرجل، الذي لم يوقع

حين بذل الأمريكان ساعات وساعات تفاوضية لإقناع الرئيس حافظ الأسد بالتدخل لإجراء مفاوضات بين الإسرائيليين وحزب الله كان جوابه الدائم لهم:

كما أنهم احتلوا الأرض دون مفاوضات فعليهم مغادرتها دون مفاوضات.

 لم أكن أدرك في ذلك الوقت العمق التاريخي والحضاري والسياسي الذي يستند إليه الرئيس حافظ الأسد، ولكنني كنت أشعر دائماً أنه ليس على عجلة من أمره وأنه يؤمن أن التمسك بالحقوق والعمل من أجل استعادتها سوف يدير عجلة الزمن لصالح صاحب الحق دون أدنى شك. وكيف لا وهو الرابض على أرض اقتحمها عشرات الغزاة على مدى قرون واندحروا جميعاً وبقيت هذه الأرض لسكانها الأصليين. ومنذ أيام وحين أعلنت المتحدثة باسم البيت الأبيض سارة ساندرز سحب القوات الأمريكية من سورية لم تغادرني صورة الجنود الإسرائيليين وهم يهربون من الجنوب اللبناني ويتركون عملاءهم وراءهم.

والمهم في المشهد بالنسبة لي أيضاً هو صورة العملاء الذين يغادرهم أسيادهم ويُتركون قرناً بعد قرن وعقداً بعد عقد ولم يتعلمو إلى حدّ اليوم أن الولاء والانتماء يجب أن يكون أولاً وأخيراً للأرض والتاريخ وليس للسيد الذي يأتي بأسلحته أو بأمواله أو بنظرته العنصرية أو بكلّ هؤلاء جميعاً ليقنع بعض ضعاف النفوس من أصحاب الأرض أنه حامي الحمى وأنه هو الذي يضمن لهم حقوقهم وحريتهم وكرامتهم. وسواء انسحب الأمريكيون اليوم أو غداً، وبغض النظر عن تاريخ وطريقة وضمانات انسحابهم، فهم دون شك سيهربون من سورية وستعود هذه الأرض لأصحابها وأهاليها.

ولكن وكما حدث عام 2000 بدأت التكهنات تصدر حول هذا الانسحاب والأسئلة تتوالى حول الصفقة التي يمكن أن تكون قد عقدت قبل انسحابهم أو حول موجبات الانسحاب أو حول العوامل التي قادت إليه والتعقيدات التي يمكن أن تعقبه. وكل هذه تصب في إطار القناعة بقوة العدو وأنه يعلم تماماً ماذا يفعل وأن كل خطواته محسوبة ومدروسة وأن كلّ خطوة يخطوها تضيف إلى نجاحاته التي سطرها التاريخ بينما الأحداث التاريخية تُري أن تحركات أعدائنا وخصومنا العسكرية على مدى العقود الماضية كانت كارثية في مناطق مختلفة من العالم وأنهم انساقوا مُضلّلَين لخوض معارك واقتحام بلدان دفعوا ثمنها وانتهت بانكسارات متزايدة لهم بينما حصل المحور المقاوم على زيادة في القوة والمناعة وأفق أرحب للعب دور أكبر في تشكيل خارطة المستقبل.

كم عمل الكيان الصهيوني والولايات المتحدة وقطر على حبك الأحداث المؤامراتية للتخلص من قوات اليونيفيل على الجولان السوري المحتل ظناً منهم أن الإرهاب الذي دفعوا به إلى هذه المنطقة سوف يُنصّب الكيان الصهيوني سيداً وحيداً هناك بعدما خلقوا ظروفاً صعبة لسورية في تلك المنطقة وعلى معظم ترابها الوطني أما اليوم فالكيان الصهيوني نفسه والولايات المتحدة يعملون على عودة قوات اليونيفيل بعد أن يأسوا من إمكانية تواجد أدواتهم سواء في الجنوب أو في أماكن أخرى من البلاد وهم يعدون السيناريوهات والاستراتيجيات في محاولة لمنع نتائج حربهم على سورية أن ترتدّ عليهم بأسوأ مما كانوا يتخيلون. إذ رغم الآلام والجراح والفقد والخسارة والدمار المتعمّد الذي تسبّبوا به فقد تمكنت دولة صغيرة بعزيمتها وإرادتها وتضحياتها ودعم الحلفاء والأصدقاء أن تحبط مخططات دول وأن تكسر شوكة مئات الآلاف من الإرهابيين، والأهم من هذا وذاك أن تثبت للعالم كلّه ان أصحاب الحق قادرون على الصمود والانتصار مهما واجهوا من ظلم ورياح عاتية. وهذا المثل بحدّ ذاته هو مثل يحبط الظالمين ويشدّ من أزر المظلومين ويلهمهم في تجاربهم القادمة.

وإذا اتفقنا أننا في نقطة تاريخية يعيد العالم فيها تشكيل ذاته على أسس ونماذج وقواعد جديدة فلا شك أن الأنموذج السوري سيكون له مكان الصدارة في تجارب الشعوب الرافضة للذل والاستسلام وأن هذا النموذج سيُلهم شعوباً شتى في أنحاء متفرقة على وجه الأرض، الأمر الذي ستكون له ارتداداته وعلى مدى عقود على خطط وأعمال المحتلّين والمستعمرين والطامعين. فهل كان أصحاب الستر الصفراء في باريس سيرشقون الحجارة على الشرطة لولا تجربة الفلسطينيين مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي العنصري؟ وهل كان الباريسيون سيلبسون الستر الصفراء لولا الثورة الأورانجية والثورات الملونة التي اخترعتها الإمبريالية ضد روسيا وضد الشعوب الطامحة لإعادة تكوين ذاتها على أسس الكرامة والقرار المستقل والإيمان بالأوطان وليس بالقوى الخارجية القادمة والمدعية الدفاع عن شرائح في هذه الأوطان فقط كي تستخدمها وقوداً لخططها الشريرة واستكمال استعباد الشعوب من خلال أدوات رخيصة ومرتهنة لإرادتها؟

لن أدخل في جدل خلفيات القرار الأميريكي، والذي من الواضح أنه قرار ترامب منذ أشهر خلت، ولا في جدل توقيته وكم سيستغرق تنفيذه من الأيام وما الذي سوف يليه لأنّ لكل هذه الأسئلة أجوبة تعتمد على واقع سياسي وعسكري واقتصادي معقد لأطراف عديدة، كما وتعتمد على استراتيجيات لها علاقة باحتضار عالم قديم وولادة عالم جديد، ولكن ما يهمني هو الروح المستلَبَة التي يقرأ من خلالها البعض مثل هذه القرارات فيحاولون إبقاء الهيبة والقوة على من فشل ويهرب من فعلته المشينة واللاشرعية ولا يتجرأون حتى لتسطير عوامل القوة لدى الطرف الذي بذل وضحى وكان السبب الأساسي لهذا الفشل والهروب.

والإرتهان لما يقوله الغرب عن ذاته وعن الآخرين ارتهان مخزِ بالفعل، ومدهش أننا ورغم صلابة أمهات الشهداء والجرحى والتضحيات الجسام ما زال البعض لا يجرؤ أن يقلب المعادلة أو أن يقول بالقلم العريض: هربوا لأننا صمدنا، وانهزموا لأننا ضحينا، وحتى لو لم يكن هذا الهروب يلبّي الشروط التي نريد فسوف نستمر بالعمل والتضحيات إلى أن ننجز ما نريد وإلى أن يطمئن العالم بأن أصحاب الأرض والحقوق لا يُهزمون.

كلّ التفاسير الأخرى التي تحاول أن تمنح الهارب عناصر القوة التي دفعته لاتخاذ هذا الموقف معتقدين أنه نابع من قوة وليس من ضعف هي تفاسير مُستلَبة وغير قادرة أن تقنع ذاتَها بأن أصحاب الحقوق قد غيّروا التاريخ وأجبروا المعتدين على الهروب. بالإضافة إلى ربح المعارك العسكرية لا بدّ لنا من أن نركّز على معاركنا الفكرية ونثق بأنفسنا وننطلق من عوامل قوتنا. فالاستعمار الفكري والإعلامي لا يقل خطورة عن الاستعمار العسكري والسياسي. والعالم يشهد تحولات جسام في شكله ومضمونه وآفاقه المستقبلية ومن الواجب علينا أن نكون أوفياء لتضحيات شهدائنا وجرحانا ولآمال شعوبنا وأن نكون أحد المكونات الأساسية في هذا العالم الجديد فكراً وقولاً وعملاً وبكلّ ثقة واقتدار.

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Al-Jaafari: The Constitution is an Absolute Syrian Sovereign Affair

20 December، 2018
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said Thursday that Syria is open to any initiatives that help it come out of the crisis, affirming that the constitution is an absolute Syrian sovereign issue.

Al-Jaafari, speaking at a UNSC session on the state in the Middle East, added that Syria is ready to actively participate in any genuine effort to reach a political solution through which the Syrians alone decide their future without any foreign intervention.

He affirmed that the international community has to help Syria end the terrorist war and eliminate the remnants of the terrorist organizations, adding that Syria is writing the last chapter of its fight against terrorism.

Al-Jaafari went on to say that the success of any political track in Syria requires work with the Syrian state and pre-cooperation with it, saying that it also requires an international commitment to overcome the remnants of terrorists and end the illegitimate presence of foreign troops on the Syrian territories.

The Syrian diplomat affirmed that Syria hopes the current committee on discussing the constitution, emerging from the Syrian-Syrian national dialogue congress in Sochi, would be formed as soon as possible.

Al-Jaafari said Syria welcomes the role of the UN special envoy as a facilitator to the works of the Committee, and its assertion-at the same time-that no one can appoint himself as a third side in this process.

He said that western states claim their commitment to Syria sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity while they launch aggression on it and attack parts of its territories, as well as they still support terrorists.

Al-Jaafari affirmed that the constitution and any related issue is a sovereign affair which is decided by the Syrians without any external intervention, adding it is not permissible to impose any preconditions or conclusions regarding the task of the committee on discussing the constitution.

“Syria is determined to achieve the political solution through a Syria-Syrian dialogue, led by Syria, without any foreign intervention.. and combating terrorism should have the priority in all phases and developments of the political process,” al-Jaafari said.

He added that all the honest Syrians are called to take part in the political process, based on national bases in order to go ahead in reconstructing what has been sabotaged by terrorism.

الجعفري: الدستور شأن سيادي.. داعمو الإرهاب لن يحصلوا بالسياسة على ما لم يحصلوا عليه بالإرهاب

نيويورك- سانا

أكد مندوب سورية الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة الدكتور بشار الجعفري أن الدستور وكل ما يتصل به هو شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم دون أي تدخل خارجي داعيا الدول التي دعمت الإرهاب إلى الخروج من حالة الانفصال عن الواقع وأن تدرك بأنها لن تحصل بالسياسة على ما لم تحصل عليه بالإرهاب.

وقال الجعفري خلال جلسة لمجلس الأمن الدولي اليوم حول الحالة في الشرق الأوسط: إن سورية منفتحة على أي مبادرات لمساعدتها في الخروج من الأزمة الحالية وهي جاهزة للمشاركة الفعالة في أي جهد صادق يهدف إلى الوصول لحل سياسي يقرر فيه السوريون وحدهم مستقبلهم وخياراتهم عبر الحوار السوري/السوري وبقيادة سورية وعلى أساس أن الشعب السوري هو صاحب الحق الحصري في تقرير مستقبل بلده دون أي تدخل خارجي وبما يضمن سيادة سورية واستقلالها ووحدتها وسلامة أراضيها وهو الأمر الذي أكد عليه القانون الدولي وميثاق الأمم المتحدة وكل قرارات مجلس الأمن الثلاثين ذات الصلة بسورية.
نجاح أي مسار سياسي يتطلب العمل عن كثب مع الدولة السورية والتنسيق المسبق معها حول مختلف الأمور ذات الصلة

وشدد الجعفري على أن نجاح أي مسار سياسي في سورية يتطلب العمل عن كثب مع الدولة السورية والتنسيق المسبق معها حول مختلف الأمور ذات الصلة كما يتطلب التزاماً دولياً وإرادة سياسية حقيقية لدى الجميع للقضاء على ما تبقى من فلول الإرهابيين بشكل كامل وإنهاء وجود القوات الأجنبية غير الشرعية على الأراضي السورية والتوقف عن عرقلة الجهود الصادقة التي تبذلها الحكومة السورية بالتعاون مع حلفائها للوصول إلى الحل السياسي المنشود لافتا إلى أن سورية وانطلاقاً من مسؤولياتها الوطنية وحفاظاً على مصالح شعبها أبدت تعاوناً والتزاماً كبيرين مع جهود الأمم المتحدة بدءاً بمهمة مبعوثها كوفي عنان مروراً بمهمة الأخضر الإبراهيمي وصولاً إلى مهمة ستافان دي ميستورا وهي ترحب اليوم بتعيين غير بيدرسن مبعوثاً خاصاً للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى سورية وتعبر عن استعدادها للعمل والتعاون معه عن كثب.

وأكد الجعفري حرص سورية على أن ترى لجنة مناقشة الدستور الحالي المنبثقة عن مؤتمر الحوار الوطني السوري السوري في سوتشي النور في أقرب وقت ممكن موضحا أن الدولة السورية كانت أول من سلم قائمة الأعضاء المدعومين منها وانخرطت بجدية كاملة مع حلفائها للتغلب على العراقيل التي فرضتها بعض الأطراف لتعطيل تشكيلها وحرفها عن مسارها الصحيح والهدف المنشود منها وبالتالي لا يمكن لأحد أن يشكك في دعم الدولة السورية لهذه العملية أو في التزامها بمخرجات مؤتمر سوتشي.

وأعرب الجعفري عن ترحيب سورية بدور المبعوث الأممي الخاص كميسر لأعمال لجنة مناقشة الدستور الحالي وتأكيدها في الوقت ذاته أنه لا يمكن لأي كان أن ينصب نفسه طرفاً ثالثاً في هذه العملية وذلك انسجاماً مع ميثاق ومبادئ عمل الأمم المتحدة من حيث الحياد والنزاهة وعدم التدخل في الشؤون التي تكون من صميم السلطان الداخلي لأي دولة عضو.

الدستور وكل ما يتصل به شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم دون أي تدخل خارجي

وجدد الجعفري التأكيد على أن الدستور وكل ما يتصل به هو شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم دون أي تدخل خارجي ولا يجوز فرض أي شروط أو استنتاجات مسبقة بشأن عمل اللجنة والتوصيات التي يمكن أن تخرج بها فاللجنة سيدة نفسها وهي التي تقرر ما سيصدر عنها وليس أي دولة أو طرف آخر ولا يجوز فرض أي مهل أو جداول زمنية مصطنعة فيما يخص عمل اللجنة لأن ذلك ستكون له نتائج عكسية حيث أن الدستور سيحدد مستقبل سورية لأجيال قادمة.

وأوضح الجعفري أنه بعد مرور نحو ثماني سنوات من الحرب الإرهابية على سورية لا بد من التوقف عند مفارقة عجيبة لدى بعض الدول تتمثل في تعارض واضح بين أقوالها وأفعالها متسائلا كيف تتسق أقوال هذه الدول بضرورة احترام سيادة سورية واستقلالها ووحدة أراضيها وبأن الحل يجب أن يكون سورياً سورياً وبقيادة سورية دون أي تدخل خارجي مع أفعالها ولاسيما لجهة عدوانها العسكري المباشر على سورية وغزوها أجزاء منها ودعمها للمجموعات الإرهابية وإنشائها مجموعات سياسية لا هدف لها سوى عرقلة الحل السوري السوري وفرض الوصفات المسبقة التي ثبت فشلها ومحاولاتها البائسة لرسم مشهد صدامي وتوزيع جديد للأدوار بهدف زعزعة الاستقرار في المنطقة عبر تأليب دولها ضد بعضها البعض خدمة لـ “إسرائيل” وحلفائها وبهدف تصفية القضية الفلسطينية.

وأشار الجعفري إلى أن هذه الدول تحاول إضفاء صفة “المعارضة السورية المعتدلة” على الإرهابيين الأجانب الذين جلبتهم من بقاع الأرض الأربع وقال: اسمحوا لي هنا طالما أننا نتحدث عن المعارضة المعتدلة أن أعرفكم ببعض وجهاء هذه “المعارضة المسلحة السورية المعتدلة” بعد أن تم تعديل هؤلاء الوجهاء وراثياً في مختبرات أجهزة استخبارات دول معروفة ليصبحوا معارضة سورية وهؤلاء الوجهاء هم “أبو المقداد التركي” و”أبو مصعب السعودي” و”أبو صهيب الليبي” و”أبو جون البريطاني” و” أبو محمد التونسي” و”أبو هريرة الأمريكي” و”أبو معاذ التركستاني” و”أبو حفصة المصري” و”أبو عبد الرحمن الكندي” و”أبو عبد الله الأردني” و “أبو طلحة الكويتي” و”أبو مرة الفرنسي” و”أبو عود البلجيكي” و”أبو الوليد الأسترالي” و”عبد الحق جند الله الإيغوري” والمفتي الشرعي لـ “جبهة النصرة” الإرهابي “عبد الله المحيسني وهو سعودي”… هؤلاء هم وجهاء وقادة المعارضة السورية المسلحة المعتدلة.

استمرار النفاق السياسي تحت قبة مجلس الأمن يفضح النوايا الحقيقية لسياسات الدول التي زجت كل إمكانياتها العسكرية والإعلامية والسياسية على مدى ثماني سنوات تم خلالها الإمعان في دعم الإرهاب في سورية

وشدد الجعفري على أن استمرار النفاق السياسي تحت قبة مجلس الأمن يفضح النوايا الحقيقية لسياسات الدول التي زجت كل إمكانياتها العسكرية والإعلامية والسياسية على مدى ثماني سنوات تم خلالها الإمعان في دعم الإرهاب في سورية والاستثمار فيه في تناقض صارخ مع كل القرارات التي اعتمدها هذا المجلس وأدت إلى كوارث لا يمكن تعدادها وحصرها طالت الأبرياء من أبناء الشعب السوري.

وبين الجعفري أن الوقت حان أكثر من أي وقت مضى كي تتم قراءة الوضع في سورية بطريقة موضوعية وصحيحة تهدف إلى مساعدة سورية في التخلص من الحرب الإرهابية التي بدأت بمساعدة حلفائها في كتابة الفصل الأخير منها وفي القضاء على ما تبقى من فلول تنظيمي “داعش” وجبهة النصرة والمجموعات الإرهابية المرتبطة بهما بدلا من الاستمرار باعتماد مواقف متطرفة بهدف ابتزاز الحكومة والشعب السوري وإطالة أمد هذه الحرب الإرهابية وتوسيع آثارها التدميرية على سورية والمنطقة والعالم ومحاولة تكرار الوصفات الفاشلة التي تسببت في تدمير وتخريب أكثر من بلد لافتا إلى أن الوقت حان أيضا لأن تخرج الدول الداعمة للإرهاب من حالة الانفصال عن الواقع وأن تتخلى عن آخر أوهامها وأن تدرك أنها لن تحصل بالسياسة على ما لم تحصل عليه بالإرهاب.

وأشار الجعفري إلى أن سورية كانت ولا تزال ملتزمة بالعمل لتحقيق الحل السياسي عبر حوار سوري/سوري وبقيادة سورية دون تدخل خارجي على أن تتصدر مكافحة الإرهاب الأولوية في كل مراحل وتطورات العملية السياسية موضحا أن جميع السوريين الشرفاء مدعوون إلى المشاركة في هذه العملية السياسية على أسس وطنية للمضي قدماً في إعادة بناء ما دمره الإرهاب والتي بدأت على أرض الواقع عملياً بهمة السوريين المخلصين لوطنهم والسعي لعودة المهجرين السوريين إلى بيوتهم فالسوريون جميعاً سيضعون نصب أعينهم حقيقة أن الحل لا يمكن أن يكون إلا سورياً وعبر عملية سياسية ذات مصداقية تحت سقف الوطن وذلك انطلاقاً من قاعدة أن الدستور وكل ما يتصل به هو شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم فقط.

لا يجوز إغفال مقدمات الأزمة في سورية والأدوار الخفية التي قامت بها بعض الحكومات وبعضها أعضاء في مجلس الأمن لفبركة هذه الأزمة

وفي رده على مندوبي الدول الأعضاء قال الجعفري: لا يجوز إغفال مقدمات الأزمة في سورية والأدوار الخفية التي قامت بها بعض الحكومات وبعضها أعضاء في مجلس الأمن لفبركة هذه الأزمة وخلق ظروف استمرارها وتصاعدها بما يخدم أجندات تلك الحكومات التدخلية لتغيير المشهد الجيوسياسي في منطقتنا مذكرا أعضاء المجلس بظهور رئيس وزراء قطر السابق على التلفزيون القطري الرسمي واعترافه بأن قطر والسعودية صرفتا 137 مليار دولار لتخريب سورية بتعليمات من الولايات المتحدة.

وأضاف الجعفري: أليس من المشروع ربط كلام هذا المسؤول القطري الذي جاء إلى مجلس الأمن في العام 2011 ليستعدي أعضاءه ضد الدولة السورية بظهور تنظيمي “داعش” وجبهة النصرة والتنظيمات الإرهابية الأخرى فجأة في الساحة السورية والعراقية.. أليس هذا سؤالا مشروعا وهل يمكن لأي عاقل أن يتصور أن هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية التي ظهرت فجأة قد سقطت علينا في سورية والعراق من السماء مع بعض النيازك القادمة من أحد الثقوب السوداء في هذا الفراغ الذي يحيط بنا.. هذا السؤال برهن أعضاء مجلس الأمن.

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