مؤشرات خطيرة تطرحها أحداث خلدة

الثلاثاء 2 آب 2021

ناصر قنديل

تجتمع في أحداث خلدة مؤشرات لا يمكن للتحقيق القضائي والأمني تجاهلها، وأولى هذه المؤشرات توقيت الأحداث، فالبلد في مناخ من التوتر والاحتقانات المتعدّدة، بحيث يبدو كأنه برميل بارود ينتظر صاعق التفجير، والمرجعيات التي تقف وراء البيانات الموقعة باسم العشائر العربية في خلدة تظهر من بياناتها السابقة خلال سنوات مضت، درجة لا يستهان بها من التسييس، كما يظهر سجل علاقاتها، درجة عالية من الانخراط في علاقات داخلية وخارجية، وأظهرت في متابعتها لأحداث خلدة رغبة غير خافية بالتجييش بدلاً من التهدئة، ما يستدعي طرح السؤال حول وجود خلفية إشعال نار تتخطى مجرد مزاعم الثأر في مناخ ملتهب كالذي تعيشه البلد، ويستدعي مواكبة لاحقة لما وصف بالثأر بدعوات التهدئة، لا تنسجم مع الهجوم على موكب التشييع، بما بدا أنه محاولة لتعويض الاشتعال الذي لم يفلح ما سمي بالثأر بتحقيقه.

المؤشر الثاني هو أنّ الجماعات التي يرتبط بها التصعيد في خلدة كانت تقدم نفسها خلال سنتين كفرع لثورة 17 تشرين، يملك وكالة حصرية بقطع وفتح الطريق الرئيسي الذي يربط بيروت بالجنوب، وقد كان واضحاً أنّ هذه الجماعات وظفت قطع الطريق بما يتناسب مع شعارات الجناح الأكثر تسييساً وتطرفاً بين «فروع الثورة» ووكلائها الحصريين، وهو الجناح الذي يستثمر في شعارات الثورة لمهاجمة سلاح حزب الله، والضغط على بيئته والتنكيل بها واستفزازها أملاً باستدراجها إلى تفجير كان مطلوباً من استثمار ما عرف بـ»الثورة»، ولم يفلح بسبب تجنب حزب الله الدخول في منطق ردود الأفعال، وتحمله للتهجُّم والاستفزاز.

المؤشر الثالث هو دخول جماعات ما عرف بـ»الثورة»، خصوصاً جناحها الأشد تسييساً واتصالات بالسفارات تحت شعار المواجهة مع حزب الله على خط الاستثمار في قضية تفجير مرفأ بيروت، والسعي إلى تحويلها إلى جزء من أملاكه الحصرية، تحت شعار مواجهة الطغمة الحاكمة والفاسدين، ولكن بهدف الوصول إلى حزب الله، عبر اتهامه بتخزين النيترات في المرفأ ونقلها إلى سورية، وهو ما دأب ولا يزال رهط من محترفي التزوير على تكراره أملاً بتحويله إلى حقيقه، رغم ما يعرفه المعنيون من أنه إذا ثبت أنّ النترات كانت على صلة بتخديم الحرب في سورية فهي قامت بتخديم جماعات المعارضة التي تخشى السفارات كشف تورطها وتورط أطراف لبنانية معها في أي تحقيق جدي يتخذ هذا المنحى، ولذلك يكتفى بالاستغلال الإعلامي لهذا الاتهام والابتعاد عنه في التحقيق القضائي الغربي الداعم للتحقيق اللبناني وفي التحقيق اللبناني نفسه.

المؤشر الرابع هو دخول جماعات ما يسمى بالثورة ورموزها على خط أحداث خلدة، بلغة تبريرية لعملية الغدر التي فشلت بتفجير يستدرج حزب الله للتورط فيه، فكان الأمر المثير للاستغراب وغير المسبوق في عالم الثقافة والسياسة، هو أن تنبري شخصيات وجمعيات تحمل العناوين المدنية لتبهيت عملية القتل واعتبارها مجرد عملية ثأر مشروعة، ثم دخولها على خط كمين خلدة الذي نُصب للمشيعين، لتصويره اشتباكات بين أهالي خلدة وحزب الله كما خرجت بيانات وتصريحات الشخصيات والتجمعات، ومعها فضائيات لبنانية وعربية معروفة الدور والتمويل والشراكة في مرحلة الاستثمار قبل سنتين تحت اسم «الثورة»، من دون أن تشعر كل هذه التوليفة أو تنتبه بأنها منغمسة كما يفترض بالتحضير لشيء آخر، هو الصورة الكبرى لإحياء ذكرى الرابع من آب، والمنطقي ألا تسمح لأي حادث عرضي أو جانبي أن يطغى على هذه الصورة، إلا إذا كانت الصورة الكبرى هي هذه بالذات؟

كل شيء يقول إن قرار فتح النار بهدف القتل، مرتين متتاليتين في يومين متتاليين، على شباب وناس ينتمون لحزب الله وأنصاره، في نقطة الوصل والفصل بين بيروت والجنوب، هو قرار أكبر بكثير من مسألة ثأر، وأنّ الأمر أكبر من كاتب بيان العشائر ومن سوّقه وباركه، بصيغة التبني المتفاخر بالثأر بنية الاستفزاز مرة، وهذه ليست من عادات العشائر التي تلجأ للإدانة والتبرؤ رغم قبولها الضمني وتوسط العقلاء للاتصال والسعي للتهدئة، ثم مرة ثانية لتقديم صورة جغرافية عن الانتشار العشائري بنية التهديد، وهو استفزاز أكبر، وأن هذا الاستنفار التبريري الجريمتين، على نسق واسع إعلامي وسياسي، ليست مجرد أجزاء متفرقة تلاقت بالصدفة، بل هي أجزاء من سيناريو أكبر من أصحابه منفردين، أعد له ليكون الاحتفال الأكبر بذكرى تفجير المرفأ، وإحياء لثورة تشرين، بذات الوجهة المرسومة لاستدراج حزب الله، عبر تفجير مواجهة مسلحة يتورط بها حزب إليها وتصور سلاحه مجرد سلاح ميليشوي وتحتفل بها السفارات، فهل سيطرح التحقيق هذه الأسئلة، ويستدعي كلّ الذين يرمزون إلى هذا السيناريو؟

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Israeli Media: Iranians Identified the Israeli Point of Weakness and Attacked to Kill إعلام إسرائيلي: الإيرانيون حددوا نقطة الضعف الإسرائيلية وهاجموا بهدف القتل

Israeli Media: Iranians Identified the Israeli Point of Weakness and Attacked to Kill

July 31, 2021

Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen

Israeli media outlets are talking about an ongoing secret battle in the sea between “Israel” and Iran, highlighting Iran’s ability to identify the Israeli points of weakness.

Israeli Media: It seems the attackers’ intention was to kill

Israeli journalist Amir Bohbot wrote in an article on the Walla website, “the link between all the mysterious events and explosions in the maritime arena that were attributed to foreign reports by Iran and Israel” points to “an ongoing secret battle that mainly involved carrying out strikes and causing damage to ships.”

Bohbot said that despite all that, “the drone attack against a Japanese, Israeli-owned ship, last Thursday, off the shores of Oman, indicates a change in the rules of the game, not because of the method of the attack, but because the attack resulted in two deaths on board.”

Also according to Bohbot, the attack that took place near Oman explains that “it is not about a making a hint or sending a message, but rather about collecting a killing price.”

Bohbot added that the initial reports have mentioned that for the first time ever, “the Iranians attack the ship, in the early morning hours, without success, and then launch a second attack, only this time with an accurate hit… It seems that the attackers’ intention was to kill.”

He continued, “Both sides know that the majority of their operations can be denied and kept it in the dark as long as there are no fatalities. But this time, this was not the case.” 

He explained, “If the reports are accurate and the mysterious explosions are part of the arm-twisting policy between Jerusalem and Tehran… then the reality has turned from a dominating superiority of ‘Israel’ to a major weakness.”

He continued to say, “If the operation evolves in the said direction, with open attacks involving fatalities, then the Israeli policy will face a major challenge, as the US alienates itself from the ongoing events in the Middle East.”

This came in an article Bohbot wrote one day after an Israeli ship was targeted by a “drone” in the Arabian Sea, causing two deaths, according to the Maritime Security website, Dryad.

For his part, Haaretz’s senior intelligence analyst Yossi Melman said, “This is the fourth attack in which Israel is targeted,” noting that “Israel started it all, as it has been involved for the past two and a half years in sabotaging Iranian ships.” 

Melman added, “Israel is playing with fire,” pointing out that 90% of Israeli goods pass through sea routes.


إعلام إسرائيلي: الإيرانيون حددوا نقطة الضعف الإسرائيلية وهاجموا بهدف القتل

المصدر: وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية

الكاتب: الميادين نت

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية تتحدث عن المعركة السرية في البحر بين “إسرائيل” وإيران، وتشير إلى قدرة إيران على تحديد نقاط الضعف في الجانب الإسرائيلي.

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية: يبدو أن نية مهاجمي السفينة كانت القتل

كتب الصحافي الإسرائيلي أمير بوحبوط مقالاً في موقع “والاه” قال فيه إن “الربط بين جميع الأحداث الغامضة والانفجارات في الساحة البحرية التي نُسبت لتقارير أجنبية لإيران وإسرائيل” يشير إلى “معركة سرية مستمرة تضمنت بشكل أساسي ضربات وإلحاق أضرار بالسفن”.

وقال بوحبوط، إنه على الرغم من ذلك فإن “هجوم الطائرات المسيرة ضد سفينة يابانية ملكيتها اسرائيلية، يوم الخميس الماضي، قبالة شواطئ عمان، يشير إلى تغيير في قواعد اللعبة، ليس بسبب أسلوب الهجوم وإنما لأن الهجوم انتهى بقتيلين على متنها”.

ويوضح الهجوم الذي وقع بالقرب من عمان، بحسب بوحبوط، إلى أن “الأمر لا يتعلق بتلميح أو إرسال رسالة، بل بجباية ثمن قاتل”.

وأضاف بوحبوط أن التقارير الأولية تذكر أنه وللمرة الأولى “يهاجم الإيرانيون السفينة، في ساعات الصباح، دون نجاح، ثم ينفذون هجوماً ثانياً ويسجلون إصابة دقيقة.. يبدو أن نية المهاجمين كانت القتل”.

وتابع: “يعلم كلا الطرفين أن غالبية عملياتهما يمكن نفيها وإبقاؤها في هامش غموض طالما لا يوجد قتلى. لكن هذه المرة لم يحدث ذلك. إذا كان بالإمكان تحليل أحداث الأشهر الأخيرة”.

وأوضح أنه “إذا كانت التقارير دقيقة والإنفجارات الغامضة تعود إلى لي الأذرع بين القدس وطهران، وفي الخلفية دفع المشروع النووي، والتمركز الإيراني في سوريا، وتمويل الإرهاب في الشرق الأوسط، انقلب الواقع من تفوق هائل لإسرائيل إلى نقطة ضعف كبيرة”. 

وقال: “إذا تطورت العملية في هذا الاتجاه السالف الذكر، مع هجمات علنية تنطوي على قتلى، فإن السياسة الإسرائيلية ستواجه تحدياً كبيراً جداً، بعد أن بدأت الولايات المتحدة في استبعاد نفسها من الأحداث في الشرق الأوسط”. 

ونقل بوحبوط عن مصادر إسرائيلية قولها إن من الواجب “على إسرائيل أن تضع خط صلب يشمل الكثير من العمليات الصغيرة وكشف يحرج الإيرانيين. كل هذا من أجل خلق شعور بالملاحقة”.

ويأتي كلام بوحبوط بعد يوم من استهداف سفينة إسرائيلية بـ”طائرة مسيرة” في بحر العرب، ما تسبب بسقوط قتيلين، وفق ما أفاد موقع “درياد” للأمن البحري.

من جهته، قال محلل الشؤون الأمنية في صحيفة “هآرتس” يوسي ملمان إنَّ “هذه هي المرة الرابعة التي يتم فيها استهدافٌ على صلة بإسرائيل”، مشيراً إلى أن “إسرائيل هي التي بدأت عندما عملت طوال عامين ونصف العام على تخريب سفن إيرانية”.

وأضاف ملمان أنَّ “إسرائيل تلعب بالنار”، معللاً ذلك بأنَّ “90% من البضائع الإسرائيلية تمرُّ عبر مساراتٍ بحرية”. 

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech in the “Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation” Conference

July 23, 2021

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Translated by Staff

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, delivered a speech at the opening session of the Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation Conference on July 5th, 2021

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace, mercy, and Allah’s blessings be upon you all. Welcome to you all.

To begin with, I would like to welcome everyone attending this honorable and blessed conference. God willing, we will benefit from the dialogs, discussions, and outcomes of this conference to be used in our media battle, which is an essential and the main part of the great battle – the battle of the comprehensive confrontation. I would also like to thank the organizers of this conference, who made an effort to complete it today, and thanks to all the participants.

My speech will focus on the conference. But at the end of the speech, I will leave a small window, to discuss the political situation. Nevertheless, the bulk of the time will be dedicated to this conference.

First: The importance of the media and media discourse in this confrontation is very clear, and we do not need to talk to the media professionals, and the leaders of the media front in the resistance about this matter.

Second: The necessity and importance of developing and renewing the media discourse in this confrontation is also clear, precisely now and in principle. This is the circle of life; everything must develop and progress. There should be no stagnation. Since the conflict’s capabilities and methods of confrontation in its other forms developed so did the military, security, and political confrontations. It is natural that the media confrontation also develops. Firstly, because it is an integral part of the battle. And secondly, to keep pace with the developments in other arenas.
Another factor requiring this renewal in discourse is the steadfastness of the axis of resistance for ten years and its victory in more than one arena and field. When we say: the steadfastness of the axis of resistance within countries, governments, movements, parties, and peoples, people may see it as simple or small. But a huge number of martyrs, wounded, tears, blood, and pain were given and dangers, challenges, difficulties, obsessions, and battles of existence were fought.

Another reason is the resounding victory of the Palestinian resistance in the Al-Quds Sword battle and the new equations it imposed, in addition to the existing challenges as the battle continues. The battle is not over yet. Rather, it is on the rise and facing new dangers, new challenges, new hopes, and new equations.

Third: The media discourse that we want to renew and develop is in the face of whom? Here, we are not talking about internal problems of internal, local, or national nature. We are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the American hegemony, with the Zionist project and the American project in the region, the “Israeli” occupation of Palestine, all of Palestine – Gaza is outside the circle of occupation – the occupied Syrian Golan, the Shebaa Farms, the Kafr Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of Ghajar, the “Israeli” occupation as well as the American hegemony. 

In this confrontation, dismantling is not correct. The American hegemony is the basis and the most dangerous because this hegemony is, first and foremost, a problem for our countries and people. It is based stealing the decision-making process, plundering goods, imposing regimes, and preventing our people from deciding their fate in any field. This American hegemony is the one that is protecting “Israel.” Palestine cannot be liberated without confronting the American hegemony in our region because it has transformed the regimes and armies into dead structures – there is no movement, no will, and no action. This hegemony provides support and all the survival elements of this usurper entity.

Can you imagine, brothers and sisters, that after only 11 or 12 days of the Al-Quds Sword battle, voices in the Zionist entity began to rise and appeal to the United States of America to support it with what the Iron Dome needs in terms of missiles to confront the missiles of the resistance? After 12 days only! This entity is basically dependent on its existence, survival, continuity, arrogance, and superiority. It depends on American hegemony and support. Therefore, we cannot dismantle or isolate during our speeches and confrontation. Every massacre committed by the “Israeli” army is an American and an “Israeli” massacre as it is. Every “Israeli” aggression is an American as well as an “Israeli” aggression.

So here we are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the Zionist project with its ambitions, threats, and challenges to all countries and people in the region. We are also facing an American hegemony, which sometimes turns into a direct occupation as in Afghanistan that extended for nearly twenty years. And it is now over, with a humiliating, weak, and failed withdrawal. The US was unable to achieve anything. [The US occupation] turned into a direct occupation in Iraq. The American forces now in Iraq are occupying forces. They claim that they came at the request of the Iraqi government, but they are behaving as occupation forces, with their hegemony over Iraq’s skies, attacks against the Iraqi people, and in its recent aggression against the Popular Mobilization Forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border. These are the practices of occupying forces and not friendly or supportive forces. They also occupied east of the Euphrates in Syria. Hence, we are facing a hegemony that sometimes turns into an occupation, as well as other areas, as it is now said about the presence of US forces in southern Yemen. The speech, then, aims to confront the Zionist project, the American project, the “Israeli” occupation, and the American hegemony.

4- The media rhetoric in the axis of resistance was and still is based on main elements of power, and when we want to develop this discourse or renew it, we must renew and develop it based on these main elements of power, which the other media, the hostile media, lacks most of them. 

First: Relying on righteousness. The media of the resistance and the resistance axis as well as the media discourse here express righteousness, the right to Palestine, the right of the people of Palestine to their land from the sea to the river, Syria’s right to the Golan, and Lebanon’s right to the rest of its occupied territories. I always used to say that one of the features of the Palestinian cause is that today if we go around the world, we will find that the most important and clearest cause when it comes to righteousness, the legal right, the religious right, the humanitarian right, the moral right is the Palestinian cause. We find that the standards of righteousness that we use as a reference is the clearest in the Palestinian cause and in this conflict.

Hence, we rely on righteousness in our discourse and in our position. You stand for righteousness, while the other media outlets express falsehood by all standards – legal, religious, moral, and humanitarian standards. It is the right for our people to decide their fate away from American hegemony. America and the West must not impose on these people regimes and options. It is the right for our people to benefit from their wealth, while America and international actors loot these goods. So, first we rely on righteousness.

Second: We also rely on strength, and this is one of the developments in the struggle with the enemy today. The resistance’s media does not recite poems of lament and reminisce, but rather it recites poems of glory from victories and changing the equations. This is the truth.

Hence, today we also rely on the element of strength. When we talk about the resistance and its discourse, we are talking about achievements and victories, especially in the last two decades, in the past 20 years – the liberation of the south in 2000, the victory in 2006, the liberation of the Gaza Strip, the victories and steadfastness of Gaza in the face of several “Israeli” wars, and finally the last battle of Al-Quds Sword against the Zionists. There are also the achievements and victories of the axis of resistance against the global war and the biggest strife in our region, the rules of engagement imposed by the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, on the “Israeli” enemy as well as the Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.

The resistance imposed rules of engagement and balance of deterrence in more than one arena and area. The enemy’s army was considered the strongest and an invincible army that assaults, bombs, kills, and commits massacres without taking anyone into account. The resistance imposed new equations in protecting Al-Quds. The project I am talking about is liberating Palestine, and I will return to this point later. Therefore, reliance on strength and from a position of strength, and the media’s contribution in creating victory.

Third: Relying on external facts and realities. This is one of the strengths of the resistance’s media and media discourse. It relies on external facts and realities at the political, cultural, and emotional levels of the nation, its people, the resistance, and the resistance’s environments, and the enemy.

Knowing the enemy is one of the most important features of the discourse of the axis of resistance during the past 20 years. It was not gibberish discourse. I will use the expression scientific discourse, an objective discourse, a discourse based on numbers, facts, realities, studies, and research. Knowing the enemy’s points of strength and weakness, acknowledging them, confronting them, absorbing them, overcoming them, and weakening them. We should also know the enemy’s weaknesses to create victories.

The most important matter in the media discourse for 40 years, since 1982 when the resistance began in Lebanon; then, it escalated in Lebanon and Palestine, even though the Palestinian resistance came before. But now we are talking about our experience. The most important thing in this stage and in our psychological warfare is that it was based on facts, not illusions, fantasies, inventions, dreams, or lies. Of course, we must continue in this manner.

Fourth: Based on the third point, we come to the fourth point. One of the most important elements of strength in the media and the resistance axis is honesty. Honesty, which led to credibility, and credibility does not come for free. Credibility is not created by money, by the abundance of media outlets, or by the increasing expertise of media outlets.

True credibility is made by honesty – honesty in several areas:

1- Honesty in conveying the news of what the resistance is saying to the people and what the resistance’s media and its discourse are saying to the people. Honesty in conveying facts must continue regardless of the difficulties and challenges because this honesty accumulated and led to real credibility. Today, the enemy, its leaders, and settlers – because there is no people. There are occupying settlers, occupation army, and occupied people. There are no real civilians. These people today trust and believe the resistance’s media more than they believe their own leaders and media. How did we reach this conclusion? It is as a result of honesty, the long experience, and the facts that appeared before their eyes. Hence, honesty in conveying news.

2- Honesty in the promise. During all these decades, the resistance did not make promises that are far from reality and far from being achieved. When the resistance in Lebanon was founded – with all its parties and factions whose roles we appreciate – it promised liberation. It fulfilled its promise on May 25, 2000, and before that in 1985. When the resistance promised that we are a people who do not leave our prisoners in prisons, it waged wars for their release. The Palestinian resistance also entered into serious confrontations and challenges until it was able to release large numbers of prisoners, and the Palestinian prisoners are still at the top of the Palestinian resistance’s priorities. The resistance in Gaza promised to defend Al-Quds and start a battle with the enemy if it threatened the Maqdisis, the holy city, and the sanctities. Many in the nation were waiting [for this promise]. Some considered it a worthless threat. Hence, the resistance in Gaza began its battle starting with the defense of Al-Quds to create a new equation. Therefore, honesty in fulfilling a promise is also an element of strength. 

There is also honesty in the hopes you give.     The resistance does not promise dreams as a way of deception or false hopes. Today, when the resistance promises something, sets goals, or talks about equations of protection, it accomplishes the equations, as it did in Lebanon by establishing the rules of engagement and the balance of deterrence. The brothers in Palestine are now trying to do so too.

When we talk today in the axis of resistance about the liberation of Palestine – allow me to be very clear, and this disturbs many in the world – about the removal of this usurping entity that occupies, the cancerous gland, and the main enemy from existence, we are not talking about dreams, fantasies, or false hopes. And when we say that Al-Quds today is closer, yes, it is closer. The Al-Quds Sword battle brought Al-Quds closer, closer than ever before.

So, we’re talking about real hopes. We’re not exaggerating. This is one of the most important elements of the resistance’s strength: not exaggerating, not exaggerating in conveying the facts, being accurate, not exaggerating in portraying events, not exaggerating in describing achievements and victories, not exaggerating the goals achieved or the ones we seek to achieve, and not exaggerating hopes and distant goals.

Fifth: The popular base – on which the resistance media and the resistance discourse are based – is the broad popular base in our Arab and Islamic world and in the world as well. Among the characteristics of this base is that it is religiously diverse – Muslims, Christians, and even Jews who reject Zionism and have a real presence – intellectually, culturally, ideologically, nationally, and ethnically diverse. It extends throughout the region and in the world and is united by Al-Quds, its sanctities, and the grievances of the Palestinian people. It is the most important common denominator upon which followers of religions and ideas can agree because they agree on truth, justice, and confronting injustice. This broad base receives the discourse, accepts it from you, and interacts with it on more than one level.

Interaction can happen through the media or the people. It may be by being present in the field, by expressing a position in the media or on social media, by financial support, by going to the border with occupied Palestine, by participating in the battle fronts, by the willingness to sacrifice all that is precious and valuable, or by martyrdom.

There are people whose houses were destroyed, and yet they stand patiently over the wreckage, expressing their determination to continue resisting.

There are those whose family members are killed, as we have recently seen in Gaza and see every day in Al-Quds and the West Bank in Palestine as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948. There are similar scenes in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and many places. Therefore, this base exists. It needs your discourse, the facts that you report, as well as your interaction because the word that comes from the heart enters the heart. In many events, battles, and wars, when we used to see, for example, the commentator, the analyst, or the broadcaster emotionally interacting and shedding tears, the fighters on the battlefronts cried.

So, this level of interaction exists. When media outlets are launched, they search and want to establish an audience for themselves. I always used to say that when the resistance’s media was launched, it was based on an existing audience base. But the media must address the audience, preserve it, develop its culture and awareness, strengthen its will, respect its emotions and feelings, and increase its strength, momentum, and determination. It is also the responsibility of the media here to address the others who are still neutral, expanding this base. It should also address the others who lined up behind the enemy, championing it, normalizing with it, or conspiring against the resistance. This is a hard and difficult task, but it is possible. No one must despair, not those who are neutral or those who stood with the enemy.  

The historical facts in many wars show us – there is not enough time to mention examples – how true, honest, and logical discourse bring or push large numbers of people from the enemy’s front to join the front of the friend. This transformation was caused by logical and scientific discourse, truthful and persuasive discourse. This also falls under the domain of strength that bears responsibility.

Sixth: The great human and material capabilities that the axis of resistance enjoys these days. This, of course, has no precedent. It is as they say: It is what it is. If we compare between the resistance’s media in the past and now, there is a very big development – compared to the capabilities of the enemy is another research. There is no proportionality in quantity. Yes, there is a balance. The axis of resistance can sometimes dominate in its influence because it is based on elements of real strength. These capabilities include the television, radio, magazines, newspapers, social networking sites, popular platforms, various popular discourse platforms, and all other means. This, of course, today is one of the important points of strength of the resistance axis and in the battle of the resistance. These means were able, during all wars, to participate in creating victory.

Allow me to say that it did not only report or cover news of the victory, but it also participated in creating victory in every sense of the word. There is no exaggeration in it at all. In the latest battle, the Al-Quds Sword, the unbeatable enemy supported by the first superpower in the world, after days of military failure in the face of the besieged resistance and the besieged people in Gaza, what was it looking for? It was looking for an image of victory, an image of victory, and not for a real achievement of victory. As for the resistance front, there were real achievements of victory and real images of victory, and the media of the resistance participated in creating this victory. During all the previous stages, I believe that the media participated in creating victory, preserving it, and showing it. Without the media, victory would have been lost. This is one of the challenges that I will return to talk about shortly. This is possible thanks to the elements of strength as well as the human and material capabilities available to the resistance today, in addition to your blessed presence – there are distinguished human minds, experiences, and capabilities; there are creative people. This is a fact and not a compliment. We say this knowing that there is no proportionality between the material and financial capabilities available to the resistance media and the other camp’s media. We must be objective since we are examining. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes rush to focus on the elements of weakness, on the negatives, on the gaps, on the mistakes, and this is not objective. Objectivity in any evaluation assumes that we talk about achievements and failures, and not only about failures. We must talk about elements of strength and elements of weakness. We must talk about everything. Hence, we confirm, strengthen, and develop our strengths and achievements, address the weaknesses, and fill in our shortcomings and gaps.

Putting ourselves down as we always do is wrong. In the military field, there have always been gaps and mistakes, but they usually do not appear. What appears is the achievement, which is the field victory. The same applies to the security field where everything is even more concealed. When a failure occurs, only those concerned know about it. In the media, however, since it is clear and is public, yes, the failures, gaps, and errors appear and are highlighted. I tell you that the achievements of the resistance’s media are great and very important during the past decades. We must build on them. Focusing on the weaknesses only and beating down oneself does not lead to an objective evaluation nor does it open up prospects for development and renewal. Rather, it leads us to frustration, despair, and weakness. We can’t do anything; we’re weak and powerless – if we always think like this in the fields of media, the military, politics, and economy, we are choosing death, demise, and loss for ourselves. This should not happen at all. The first and most important sign of the influence of these media outlets is the position of the enemy front. Why are they taking down channels from satellites? If these channels have no effect, let them be.

There are hundreds of satellite channels, maybe thousands of satellite channels, I don’t know. Here, there is a hundred on the cable, at the very least. There is a thousand or more elsewhere. There are many satellite channels in the world. Let them forget and ignore these satellite channels the way they do with the rest of the channels in the world. But they take certain satellite channels, I will not name any so as not to leave some of the channels out, in more than one Arab and Islamic country and take them down. Today, the rest of the satellite channels live under the threat of being taken down from the satellites. The same goes for radio stations. Newspapers are prohibited from entering, even if we are now in the age of the Internet, because the issue is difficult. The same goes for the websites of some media outlets. A few days ago, the Americans shut down more than 33 websites. If these had no influence and were ineffective, why would the enemy bother taking them down?

This is evidence of influence, that it has a positive effect on the nation and is a source of disturbance to the enemy, regardless of the degree of disturbance. I’m getting close to the last part. We need to strengthen these means. They should complement each other. There should be positive not negative competition between them. We need to benefit from each other’s experiences in the media field the way we are doing it in the military field. One of the most important strengths in the armed resistance today is that there is an exchange of experience and expertise. There is no dismantled military front, but rather there is a continuous, cooperating, and integrated military front that will expand in terms of integration, God willing, in the future. The same goes for media.

What we need today which also requires your guidance and your expertise is to make the most of the great potential available via social media platforms and whatever reasons the enemy has in opening this door to the world. This is because we can turn threats into an opportunity. I looked over some statistics that asked why the world interacted more with the Al-Quds Sword battle than any other battle. Some studies credited the effectiveness of social media platforms for this. You can ban satellite channels, radio stations, and newspapers and bring them down. But you can’t do that with social media since it reaches the whole world today. It was able to transmit images and sounds of the battle in a way that wasn’t possible during past confrontations, injustices, and massacres in occupied Palestine.

This is a very great opportunity in which every human being, every individual, not only the elites, thinkers, analysts, intellectuals, and the media, but every individual in this axis and in this nation can become a creator and address the whole world and convey images, facts, and positions. Brothers and sisters, today we are waging the battle of revealing righteousness, reviving the people, and resurrecting sincere hopes. On the other hand, in the media, we are waging a battle against misinformation, distortion, fake news, and deception. This is a harsh battle.

This needs a plan on its own. This is in the defensive field, and all we talked about is included in the attack plan. Yes, today there are a lot of capabilities invested in this, especially in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the Islamic world. These people cannot defend the enemy. They cannot talk about the right of the enemy because it is false; they cannot talk about the humanity of the enemy, even if some Gulf media outlets tried to do so during the past year. However, the Al-Quds Sword battle erased these lies. Thus, they cannot defend the enemy, its behavior, brutality, crimes, falsehood, massacres, ugly face, past, or its present. And they cannot convince the nation that this enemy has no ambitions in the future. Hence, they turn their weapons toward the resistance in order to distort its image, distort its truth, falsify its positions. But the central focus is distortion, distortion in every sense of the word. So, today we see when we keep up with other hostile media outlets, I am not saying the opposite [media outlets], but hostile, that they are waging a media war day and night. Many human cadres and billions of dollars are provided for them, by their own admission. What for? For the purpose of distortion.

But in general, the focus is first on the Palestinian cause – intellectually, culturally, and religiously. We have been hearing lately – here it also needs a cultural and religious effort –  from some Gulf media outlets, especially religious theorizations that yes, Palestine is a right of the Jews, it is the right of the “Israelites” – Allah Almighty says they believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part.

Focusing on the ability of the enemy – this enemy cannot do anything, so we have to accept the wreckage – and the inability of the nation. But the most dangerous is the focus on distorting the image of the resistance. Today, for example, the resistance fighters in Iraq are accused of being Iran’s tail by some hostile Iraqi media outlets and on social media. When you are a jihadi resistance fighter and want the sovereignty, independence, and freedom of Iraq and Iraq’s oil to belong to the Iraqi people, you are a tail. But when you are an agent of the American embassy and a servant at its gates, you are a patriot. The same applies to the resistance in all the region, in Lebanon, in Palestine – you are tails, you are agents, you are Iran’s agents, you are an Iranian community, etc.

This is all easy – communities and agents, especially in this time. Accused of being an agent has become a normal thing. But the worst is when the resistance movements are accused of being mafias, mafias that steal, drug-trafficking mafias, crime mafias, without presenting a single evidence. They work on this night and day, and some people believe it. They even hold the resistance movements responsible for the dangerous situations in their countries – the economic and living conditions in Lebanon and elsewhere – even though they have nothing to with them. In any case, they even deny the victories created by the resistance and work to deny them. This happened in Lebanon in 2006. 

But after the Al-Quds Sword battle, I was watching some Arab satellite channels. While the Palestinians were talking about their victory and how the world and the Zionists recognized their victory. These channels were focusing on the numbers of the wounded, on the job opportunities that were lost, and on the pain and suffering of the people, even though the owners of the destroyed homes and the families of the martyrs and those who lost job opportunities were expressing their belief and their pride in victory. Just like what happened in Lebanon. The enemy was unable to create an image of victory. Yet, the hostile Arab media outlets created an image of a victory for it out of the bones and limbs of children, women, martyrs, and the wounded in the Gaza Strip and in occupied Palestine. This, of course, needs to be confronted. This is a tough battle that needs to a planned and follow up. But, first, allow me to say we need self-confidence. First, we must not be shaken by this distortion. We must have great confidence in ourselves, in our brothers and sisters, in our environment, in our people, in the resistance movements. These people are not infallible. They make mistakes, but the resistance movements enjoy credibility, sincerity, a high level of willingness to sacrifice, and loyalty. But these qualities do not prevent them from having some who make mistakes and commit sins. We must work to address mistakes and sins. They exaggerate the mistakes, but in general, they are fabricating lies and fake news that have nothing to do with the resistance and the resistance movements.

Today, you are invited to study this discourse on the basis of these elements of strength and to develop and renew it on every level in line with all the developments taking place in our region, with all the capabilities available in our hands – militarily, politically, culturally, socially, financially, etc. Development should also be in accordance with the threats, challenges, and opportunities. We must work to transform threats into opportunities. We need to review our rhetoric, our discourse, our literature, the terminology, methods, means, tools, ideas based on these constants. We do not want to start from scratch, but we want to take this great amount of quantitative and qualitative achievements in the axis of resistance, including achievements in the media, as a basis. We all must benefit from the results of your discussions and dialogues, God willing.

I would like to personally ask you for your own effort to help consolidate the new regional equation that we are proposing, to make it the regional equation for the protection of the Holy City. The resistance in Gaza wanted to indicate that they will meet any threat against al-Quds. The entire region will protect Al-Quds against any threat. This talk is not for media consumption, not for scoring points. We didn’t do that in the past, and we won’t do it now. This is a serious and real project that can be used as a basis. It is now being used as a basis – even if it has not yet been translated into practice. When the Zionists are convinced, and they are convinced, that threating the Holy City as well as the Islamic and Christian sanctities in the Holy City will lead to a regional war, they will reconsider and tread carefully when taking such a step. Launching the equation can impose a deterrent rule, let alone working to stabilizing it or even translating it into reality in the near or medium future.

We are working to link the elements of strength – states, governments, movements, and people – to this equation in the axis of resistance. We stay up at nights, hold meetings, coordinate, communicate, study, make plans, and put possible and hypothetical scenarios and various plans, etc. But this also needs the creating of a new public opinion, as we are emerging from a difficult stage during the past ten years. We need a new public opinion. If we were talking about an equation that will protect a geographical area in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, or Yemen, the idea of a regional equation or a regional war might not be acceptable to many of our people. But when we talk about the Holy City and the sanctities that concern everyone – the entire nation, the governments in the nation, all the free people of the world, and all the followers of the heavenly religions – this idea must be accepted and appreciated and has fertile ground, and we must work strongly for it. This requires focused effort during the next stage.

The last part of my speech is a look into the local situation. It will be said that O Sayyed and brothers – the speech can be addressed to you and me – now you are gathered to discuss the media discourse and its renewal in the face of occupation and domination, assessment, investment, and appreciation of the victory in Palestine.  We were expecting you to talk to us about the queues at gasoline stations, absence of medicines and baby formula, and the internal problems we suffer from. I would like to comment on this point and conclude with a couple of words.

In fact, it is required of those who conspire and lay plans in the region, in our Arab and Islamic world is to make all the people of this region preoccupied with internal issues, political problems, bread, gasoline, fuel, a bottle of gas in their homes and the milk of their children, their salary, and the national currency, so that there will be no place in their minds and hearts nor will they have the will, determination, concern, planning, and following on matters that concern the nation, including Palestine and Al-Quds. This is well known, and there is nothing new. But I am only reminding you. This has been in the works for decades, in one form, other than regional wars, wars between brothers, wars between friends, tearing up the nation, tearing up countries, etc. This is what is taking place in every country; the siege and economic sanctions on our countries, especially on countries and people belonging to the axis of resistance. In fact, their goal is for us to reach the point where there is no place for Palestine – in our minds, hearts, emotions, sentiments, our media follow-ups, our interests, our participation in the battle at any level. This is where they wanted people to be, and they are relatively successful. Let’s be realistic, and they are relatively successful. We have to acknowledge this and face it.

The correct thing to do is to work on two tracks or paths at the same time. The first path is to remain fighting this main conflict, not to lose sight of it, not to leave it, not to neglect it. The second path is to address our internal problems in our local, national society. We must do our utmost to address our political, living, financial, and economic crises and not abandon them. But we have to – here is our problem – work on both tracks, and I admit to you that working on both tracks is stressful, tiring, confusing, and difficult. However, with will and determination, we can advance. The first path does not make us abandon our internal interests, and the second path should not drown us and cause us to fall into our internal problems at the expense of the first path. This is the complexity of our battle that we must continue and fight.

Today, the Lebanese people and all those who queue in front of petrol stations and pharmacies must know what is happening with their currency and salaries. They must not lose sight of all the real causes of the crisis. The same goes for the countries in the region. Yes, there are real reasons that are frankly related to the crisis of the system in Lebanon. We are not only facing a government crisis. The government crisis in Lebanon expresses the crisis of the system. It is the product of the crisis of the system. There is a crisis of the system in Lebanon. There is a political crisis in Lebanon. There is rampant corruption. There are a lot of thefts. There is limitless monopoly. Until now, it is incomprehensible what is happening with the  gasoline and diesel and in renewing its causes. Sometimes some reasons are being exaggerated. They talk to you about smuggling. Control the issue of smuggling. How much is the percentage of smuggling? But look at the percentage of protected and abandoned monopoly. Well, we have a problem. True! It is a political crisis, corruption, a crisis of administration, a crisis of government, monopoly, a crisis in responsibility. Allow to speak at the popular level. There is a crisis of awareness among the people. We are not beating our people down. There are many people who are aware. But there are people take things where the enemy really wants. We need a little patience. It doesn’t make sense for people to shoot and attack each other with knives at the gasoline station. This is ignorance. This is ignorance beyond ignorance.

In any case, there is another reason, a real reason, a very big reason –  it’s America and its policies. It besieges, punishes, and prevents any help that can come from anyone in the world, whether it comes in the form of deposits in the Central Bank, donations, or loans. The US is the one that is preventing [them from reaching Lebanon]. You are America’s friends in Lebanon, don’t you know that? Aren’t you ashamed of that? The US ambassador makes appearances every day and sheds crocodile tears. Isn’t her government and administration the one preventing any country in the world from providing assistance, gifts, a deposits, or loans to Lebanon for political goals that are not related to Lebanon? Rather, it they are in the service of the “Israeli” occupation, in the service of the project to stabilize “Israel”, in the service of the settlement project, in the service of usurping gas and oil from our territorial waters, in the service of for “Israel’s” security. Isn’t it? Is it not the US administration that is preventing Lebanese banks from bringing their money and dollars from abroad? Is it not the US administration that is imposing sanctions and threatening sanctions? Is it not the US administration and its policies that are preventing the Lebanese, the Lebanese governments, the Lebanese state from seeking the assistance of any friend from the East? It is forbidden to ask assistance from China. Here, we are not just talking about arguments. There are real opportunities to address the economic and living situation in Lebanon. Real opportunities. Lebanon needs investments. This does not require a lot of philosophizing, either deposits to strengthen the Lebanese pound a little, gifts, aids, loans, or investments. The best are gifts and investments because they do not have effects on the budget and the Lebanese people. There are major Chinese and Russian companies that are ready to invest in Lebanon based on the BOT method, and without the Lebanese state paying anything. Then, these companies are told: No, no, no.

Don’t the Lebanese officials know that this will revive the Lebanese economy and the country, address a large part of our crisis, and secures tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of job opportunities? They know, but I tell you frankly, there is the American veto and fear of the Americans. They do not fear that the US will include the Lebanese state and the Central Bank on the list of sanctions. Rather, there is personal fear – they fear that they, their people, their wives and children, be included in the list of sanctions. 

The Lebanese people in various areas and from various parties and factions offered their best youth, men, and women, as martyrs to save Lebanon and liberate it. In order to save them financially and economically, don’t Lebanon and the Lebanese people deserve that the politicians in Lebanon sacrifice and bear, even if that means they will be included in America’s list of sanctions? Why don’t we have the courage?!

Otherwise, tell me what are the solutions? What are we waiting for? The Lebanese are waiting for a slow death; everyone is talking about collapse. They only differ on the timing of the collapse. Well, these are real solutions, these are realistic solutions. America is threatening to put Lebanon, the officials, or political figures in Lebanon on the sanctions lists. Reality is telling us that all of Lebanon is heading toward death. What will you do? How will you act?

This should not be forgotten while facing the internal confrontation. This is part of the main conflict. This is basically their goal. They tried for years in Gaza to incite the people against the resistance. They besieged Gaza. 

After more than two years of calm, stability, and security in most of the Syrian regions and governorates, and when Syria was calling on companies from all over the world, from the east and elsewhere, from the Arab world, even Lebanese companies to invest, America’s Caesar Act came to impose a siege on Syria. It threatened any company that invests in Syria within a certain scope with sanctions. So, the companies retreated. They got frightened and retreated, even countries friendly to Syria. This is in order to put pressure on Syria.

Iraq is still suffering. Iran is still suffering. Yemen is besieged. Gaza is still under siege. This is the logic of the sanctions in Lebanon. The Americans are frankly saying that our goal in Lebanon is to incite the Lebanese people against the resistance in general and specifically the environment of the resistance against it. These people have no shame. They do not hide their goals. They said years ago that we spent 500 million dollars in 2005 and 2006 just to tarnish the image of Hezbollah. Today, the Americans are saying we want to incite the Lebanese people and the environment of resistance against the resistance.

O Lebanese, the main partner in destroying your national currency, the reason for the crises and calamities you are also experiencing, the high prices, hunger, and the loss of job opportunities is the US administration, the US policies, and the US embassy in Lebanon, which deceives you by giving you two or three masks here and malicious smiles. Yes, there are other problems – I don’t want to defend – but other problems have always been there, corruption, banditry, wrong policies for decades. But the difference is that these practices were protected by American policies and by successive American administrations. The most prominent thieves, spoilers, and corrupt people in Lebanon are America’s friends in Lebanon as well. Why did America remain silent about them during all the past years and now came out to fight corruption? It is not even honest when it talks about corruption. This is a cover for the real economic battle.

Today, we find them clearly speaking in “Israeli”-American discussions. Following their failure in the July 2006 war – so far, they have failed, and we are in 2021 – they threatened us with war. They threatened us with bombing, bombing our places, our camps, and our factories if we do not stop with precision missiles. All their threats were in vain because they know the nature of the equation. They know that war with Lebanon is not a picnic. They keep on threatening, but they also know the price in return. Well, what are they betting on? Today, all the “Israeli” enemy’s research centers are pinning their hopes om the economic and living crisis in Lebanon. So, I tell our people to, first, arm yourselves with awareness, patience, and determination – yes, with hard work, you can address these crises – to, at the very least, persevere during these crises.

In conclusion, the issue of the government. Now, the prime minister-designate has returned. These days are supposed to be decisive. I do not want to say anything now because there are meetings that will be held today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow that can clearly paint a picture of the government scene.

We also have the news that we heard in the media about allegations against the caretaker prime minister, a number of former ministers, and a number of military and security leaders. We did not read names of judges, and it was not said that there were judges. Of course, it is unfortunate that the defendants find out about the allegations against them from the media. Until this moment, I think – at least this morning – no one has been officially informed that they are the defendants or wanted for investigating over the Beirut Port case. Of course, this is one form of political exploitation of the issue. We previously rejected this, and we reiterate our rejection of this issue.

Today, I will not comment. I will leave the comment for a later time until the real judicial information comes out to see whether the information circulated and leaked in the media is true or not. We previously talked about the standards and the difference in standards. What we are seeking as the anniversary of the explosion and this horrific massacre nears is justice and truth. Until now, justice is still far away, and the truth is hidden. For a year and for months, we called on the former investigative judge and the current judge to publish the file of the technical investigation regarding this horrific incident. So far, our demands have fallen on deaf ears. Was what happened an explosion? Was it intentional? Was it caused by negligence? Were there rockets owned by the resistance in the Beirut Port? Were there resistance weapons stores Beirut Port as was said in the first few days and weeks?

This is part of the campaign of lies that we did not spare time to give evidence for. And you know it doesn’t need evidence. So far, no one told the truth yet, not even to the families of the martyrs. We do not want you to hold a press conference, my brother. Just gather the families of the martyrs and tell them how their children were martyred. Was there an “Israeli” missile? Was there an “Israeli” aggression? Were there explosives? Did the resistance use the warehouses in the port? Was there negligence? And secondly, we want to see whether there is a unity of standards or not, a real judicial action or political targeting. Then based on this, action will be taken.

As for the living conditions, we must all continue to work towards real solutions, effective solutions, not small or simple actions. This can only happen through a courageous will and a high willingness to sacrifice to open the doors to save the Lebanese economy.

Thank you for giving me your attention. You are used to listening to me for an hour and maybe I go further to an hour and a quarter. I wish that your conference will be productive and useful, God willing. And we will certainly benefit from all your ideas, opinions, and creations. May God grant you wellness. Thank you for all your efforts from now and in the past. And thank you, in advance, for your sincerity and loyalty in this battle. 

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you.

PFLP-GC Chief, Ahmad Jibril, Dies in Damascus, Who is Palestinian Leader Ahmad “Abou Jihad” Jibril?

07/07/2021

The Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, Ahmad Jibril, died on Wednesday in Damascus at 83.

Sources close of the late leader mentioned that he died of sickness at one of hospitals in the Syrian capital.

Jibril founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command in 1968. He carried out several attacks on Zionist targets and administered two deals to swap prisoners with the Zionist entity in 1979 and 1985 according to which around 1200 Palestinians were released from the Israeli jails.

Jibril was one of Syria’s and Iran’s allies and fiercely opposed all the settlement agreements between the PLO ( Palestine Liberation Organization) and the Israeli enemy.

‘Israel’ classified Jibril as one of its arch foes and attempted to kidnap him several times.

SourceAl-Manar English Website

Hezbollah Offers Condolences on Demise of Palestinian Resistance Commander Ahmad Jibril: He Devoted His Life Palestine 

 July 7, 2021

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Hezbollah offered on Wednesday the striving Palestinian people deep condolences and its jihadi factions as well as the command and members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command over the demise of the Movement’s Secretary General, Ahmad Jibril, hoping Holy God grants the senior Palestinian leader His Wide Mercy.

In a statement, Hezbollah mentioned that Jibril’s life was full of resistance, jihad, redemption and sacrifice on the road to Palestine, adding the he sacrificed his son ‘Jihad’ for the sake of the pure Palestinian soil.

Hezbollah indicated that Jibril used to believe in the continuous strife as the only path to liberation and unity among the resistance groups on the various fronts, recalling that he used to move from one righteous battle to another.

The statement mentioned that Jibril was characterized by solid determination,deep spirituality, heroic bravery, and distinct qualities that enabled him to occupy this adequate position in the history of Palestine and the region.

Hezbollah considered that the Palestinian people lost a prominent figure of honor and redemption, adding, “What condoles us is that our Umma (nation) and Palestinian people are following his path to liberation, resistance and victory”.

It is worth mentioning that Jibril had died of sickness on Wednesday in Damascus at 83.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Who is Palestinian Leader Ahmad “Abou Jihad” Jibril?

Source: Al-Mayadeen

Ahmad Jibril is the founder and secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). He believed in armed struggle against “Israel” to liberate Occupied Palestine, and died on Wednesday in Damascus.

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Who is Palestinian Leader Ahmad “Abou Jihad” Jibril?

Ahmad Jibril (Abou Jihad) is a Palestinian leader who founded the PFLP-GC. He was the Secretary General from its inception in 1968 until his death on Wednesday in Damascus.

“Abou Jihad” believed in the armed struggle to liberate Palestine, to which end he founded the PFLP-GC, a leftist nationalist Palestinian group that split from the PFLP, and chose to establish its headquarters in Damascus.  The group executed many operations against the Israeli occupation.

Early Life

Ahmad Jibril was born in 1938 in the village of Yazur in the suburbs of occupied Yafa to a Palestinian father and Syrian mother. They were forced to emigrate to Syria during the Nakba in 1948 and settled in the city of Quneitra with his uncles. After receiving his high school diploma in 1956, Jibril moved to Cairo to receive an “academic-military formation,” graduating from the military academy in 1959.

Politics

During his studies in Egypt, Jibril became acquainted with the General Union of Palestinian Students, at which point he grew to become more acquainted with the idea of armed struggle.

In 1959, Jibril founded the “Palestine Liberation Front,” after the “Algeria Liberation Front,” which had influenced him. He would later merge with several leftist and nationalist movements to found the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” in 1967. The movement was led by George Habash, while Jibril led its military wing. He would later decide to break from Habash’s front to found in 1968 the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command,” which today carries out important operations against the Israeli occupation.

Jibril was also firmly against any negotiations with “Israel” in 1974 and remained close to Syria.

Military Operations

The “Al-Khalisa” operation of 1974 was one of the first guerilla operations executed by the “PFLP-GC.” Three guerilla fighters entered the settlement of “Kiryat Shmona,” north of Palestine, killing and wounding tens of Israelis.

The front was also experienced in kidnapping Israeli soldiers and exchanging them with Palestinians in Israeli prisons, like the “Al-Jalil” operation of 1985 in which 3 Israeli soldiers were exchanged with 1150 prisoners.

In November 1987, two of its fighters used a light paraglider, landing near “Kiryat Shmona,” and killed two Israeli soldiers before being martyred themselves.

The PFLP-GC also carried out a large number of operations against the Israeli occupation during the occupation of the South of Lebanon between 1978-2000.

In 2002, “Israel” assassinated Jibril’s son, Jihad Jibril, the head of the front’s military wing in Tallet al-Khayyat, Beirut, by planting explosives on his vehicle. “Israel” considered Ahmad Jibril one of its worst enemies and had attempted to kidnap and assassinate him on numerous occasions.

Al-Mayadeen had broadcast a documentary entitled “Ahmad Jibril” in Arabic last year. This 12-episode documentary showcases the Palestinian freedom fighter’s memoirs, life, and approach to the Palestinian cause in all stages, beginning from when he laid down the principles for the Palestinian revolution. 

The work is biographical and highlights many important stages in the history of the contemporary Palestinian revolution, and many of the nation’s causes, through the lens of a Palestinian Pan-Arab freedom fighter that refused to settle on the Palestinian cause; a man who was one of the most important and greatest military leaders of the Palestinian cause.

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Zionist Academics Take The Side Of State Power

About me

11 June 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Tensions in Academia

The growing divide in the United States between Zionists and supporters of Palestinian rights has led to pronounced tensions in academia. Much has been said about increasing pro-Palestinian student protests as well as the activities of pro-Israel boards of governors, presidents, deans, etc. The latter try to guard their campuses from pro-Palestinian faculty, student clubs, invited speakers and the like.

These tensions have found yet another academic front on which to contest. There are two historical associations in the U.S. for scholars of Middle East studies reflecting opposing attitudes toward Israel and its behavior toward the Palestinians. And this divide presents us with a dichotomy of values at the professional academic level.

The oldest of these is the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). It was founded in 1966 and currently has a membership of more than 2700. It also serves as a “constituent society of thirty-six affiliated organizations.” It puts out a quarterly journal and has an active Committee on Academic Freedom. MESA is a very successful learned society. Its scholars cover all of the Middle East and North Africa. It is dedicated to high standards of scholarship and diversity of interpretation.

By the 2000s the debate within academia over the expansionist nature of Israel and its treatment of conquered Palestinians was heating up. Because most of MESA members have a broad knowledge of the area, a sense of local perspectives, and also know the history of the Arab Israeli conflict, their positions tend to be critical of Israeli behavior and American support for it. And that led to an organizational split.

In 2007 two scholars, Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, decided to start a rival organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). They did so because, according to them, MESA was “dominated by academics who have been critical of Israel and America’s role in the Middle East.”

One might wonder why the position taken by many MESA members upset Lewis and Ajami. After all, debating issues from an historical perspective is, in part, what academics are supposed to do. If MESA was allegedly “dominated” by those critical of Israeli behavior, Lewis and Ajami’s answer was to establish a “politicized” organization “dominated” by Zionists. It made little sense in terms of dialog, but tactically it fit right in with how Zionists—those who uphold the legitimacy of a Jewish state in Palestine—react to criticism.

Over the last quarter century, a common tactic of Zionists has been to withdraw from public debate and, where they can, bring about enforced silence of anyone who is critical of Israel. That, of course, is what those pro-Israeli academic administrators and boards were and are doing. Part of this effort entails labelling those critical of Israel as anti-Semites. This stratagem is generally used to shut down negative assessments in the West. Seeking to expand the scope of this effort, ASMEA’s much lauded founder, Bernard Lewis, who died in May of 2018, sought to defame Islam with the same charge. That approach is carried on by ASMEA. The organization awards a Bernard Lewis Prize, a description of which quotes Lewis, “to an astonishing degree, the ideas, the literature, even the crudest inventions of the Nazis and their predecessors have been internalized and Islamized.” In competition for this award, young Middle East scholars are encouraged by ASMEA to identify Muslim Arab opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism.

Part II—Expressing Values

The two organizations have recently shown where this tension has taken them in terms of human rights. This was occasioned by the recent outbreak Palestinian resistance caused by threats of evictions (ethnic cleansing) of Arab families in Jerusalem, and aggressive Israeli actions at the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The latter actions, in particular, triggered rocket attacks from Gaza.

Here is part of a long and detailed MESA statement. The shorter ASMEA statement is given in full:

MESA (21 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Board of Directors.

“The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America condemns the ongoing and intensified Israeli government assault on the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip and those who are Israeli citizens. During May 7–20, 2021, Israeli military attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip damaged at least 51 educational facilities, including 2 kindergartens, 46 schools, 1 university, 1 vocational training center, and 1 Ministry of Education facility—among other vital infrastructure. Israeli air strikes and tank shells directly hit a number of these buildings. The deadly conditions created by the Israeli military attacks in Gaza forced all schools to remain closed for at least five days after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, affecting the lives and access to education of 591,685 students. In addition, Israeli military strikes internally displaced at least 66,000 Palestinians who then sought refuge in 58 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), causing further disruptions to the population’s education–indeed, to their lives. …

“There is little doubt that successive Israeli governments across the political spectrum have carried out a decades-long attack on Palestinian students, teachers, and educational facilities. Indeed, this attack is part of a broader political, administrative, and legal system of racial discrimination and domination—regularly enforced through violence—that has defined the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people. And, as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch have found, the Israeli government’s purposeful and systematic privileging of Jewish Israelis while dominating and oppressing the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid.”

ASMEA (25 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Chairman, Professor Norman Stillman

“The recent wave of violence in the ongoing struggle between Israel and Hamas has left many members of our community of scholars deeply concerned. While we hope and pray no harm befalls any of our members, anywhere, and their loved ones, ASMEA remains committed to our founding principles as an academic association.

“As scholars, we believe in the pursuit of objective truth when studying and teaching the issues and topics affecting the regions of our academic concern. We recognize that these principles can create division and disagreement, but so long as scholarship contributes to the body of knowledge, we welcome and encourage vigorous debate.

“We stand behind and support our members in Israel and deride those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship than restoring balance to the Academy and protecting academic freedom in Middle East and African studies, and related disciplines.”

There are a couple of things to note about these two statements: (1) The MESA statement is issued in support of the Palestinians, and specifically their collective human right to education. It contains assertions about the Israeli violations of that right—assertions that can be fact checked. The statement also references the reports of international organizations concerned with civil and human rights. (2) The ASMEA statement claims objectivity and a willingness to debate, but then proceeds to defame and trivialize those who disagree with their position—“those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship.” Actually, one can characterize this charge as a psychological projection of the statement’s author who, being a Zionist stalwart must be, by definition, both politicized and partisan. The statement also makes no reference to the Palestinian situation under Israeli rule and reduces the struggle to one between Hamas and Israeli—an objectively incorrect and thus untrue assertion. This reductionist gambit is used by almost all contemporary supporters of Israel.

Part III—Crossing the Rubicon

There is a Rubicon (a fundamental crossing point) that all Jewish intellectuals are now confronting. Whether or not one crosses this line reveals the nature of their values. To cross it is to take the side of human rights and the rule of law. To refuse to cross is to take the side of state power—in this case, to align with the power of a proven apartheid state.

To add context to this choice, consider the case of Eva Illouz, a professor of sociology at Hebrew University. On 14 April 2014, she wrote an essay for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz entitled, “Is It Possible to be a Jewish Intellectual?” In this piece she sets forth two opposing positions: one is the Zionist/Israeli demand for the primacy of “ahavat Israel,” or the “love of the Jewish nation and people”–-the claim that all Jews have a “duty of the heart” to be loyal to the “Jewish nation.” The other position is that of the lone intellectual (here her model is the philosopher Hannah Arendt), whose obligation is to maintain the “disinterested intelligence” necessary to “speak truth to power.”
 
Illouz explains that Zionists have a “suspicion of critique” and use “the memorialization of the Shoah” (the Holocaust) and “ahavat Israel” to mute it. “The imperative of solidarity brings with it the injunction to not oppose or express publicly disagreement with official Jewish bodies.” It is within this context that she can ask if it is still possible to be a Jewish intellectual. Illouz’s conclusion is that it has become exceedingly difficult to be so because the demands for Jewish solidarity are particularly “brutal.” And then she makes her choice and, if you will, crosses the Rubicon. “In the face of the ongoing, unrelenting injustices toward Palestinians and Arabs living in Israel, his/her moral duty is to let go, achingly, of that solidarity.”

It is not difficult to recognize that ASMEA stands at the bank of this Rubicon and refuses to cross. The organization’s values do not reflect any devotion to universal principles such as human rights and the rule of law, much less “objective truth.” Their leadership, at least, has no interest in critiquing the use of power but rather is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the interests of a specific power. The values exalted here are the parochial codes those intellectuals (among others) use to rationalize service to a state even when it turns criminal. The independent-minded, outspoken intellectuals, such as Eva Illouz, demanding broader moral integrity and responsibility from their contemporaries, are rarities.

Part IV—Conclusion

Any speculation about which side of the Rubicon line “History” favors is really silly. Historical prediction, like the weather, is a short-range affair. However, one might sense a present shift in sentiment in the U.S. and the Western world generally. It is an apparent shift in favor of the Palestinians and against apartheid Israel. One might even hazard a guess that the shift will continue to grow. Why so? The reason is straightforward and quite simple. It should continue to grow just as long as Israel does not stop. That is, as long as it continues to evolve as a racist state—simultaneously destroying human rights and international law.

The worm turns: US port workers refuse to unload Israeli ship

Gosh, It couldn’t happen to a more deserving country

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor -June 5, 2021

…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: This could be the beginning of something. The Israelis, to counter this movement, will have to put ‘assets’ in play here, which means they have to expose themselves as such, which is alway just wonderful when they do that.

Cross your fingers that this will spread to other countries and their dock workers. The politicians in those countries will then also have to choose between Israel and their own unions. This could get very interesting.

I would suggest that this dockworkers union should get a lot of thank you calls. Despite the possibility of getting rid of having to listen to Bibi as PM, the new one is fully committed to taking over the West Bank and there never being a Palestinian state.

If the Zionist have the right to make the Palestinians stateless, then the work has the right of looking at putting Israel in a similar situation. The Israelis plan to impose their will with military and financial power, which hence gives the rest of the would permission to use the same tools.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, as the old saying goes… Jim W. Dean ]

Jim’s Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPal
Jim’s work includes research, field trips, Heritage TV Legacy archiving & more. Thanks for helping. Click to donate >>

First published … June, 05, 2021

Dockworkers in the US Port of Oakland have refused to unload an Israeli cargo ship as part of an international boycott campaign against Israeli atrocities against Palestinians.

Pro-Palestine Americans protesting the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip banned the Israeli ship docked on Friday morning in the port of Oakland in California from unloading its cargo, forcing it to leave the US harbor.

In a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people in the aftermath of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, the protesters held banners and waved Palestinian flags in support of the movement to impose an economic boycott on the Israeli regime.

“Back up! Back up! We want Freedom, Freedom! All these Zionist attacks, we don’t need ’em, need ’em,” demonstrators chanted, calling on the Israeli ZIM-operated cargo ship Volans to leave port.

“We’re picketing an Israeli-operated vessel – ZIM Volans – it spent over 2 weeks out at sea, unable to dock, for fear of this exact protest. Now its here, while it’s here, we’re doing a community picket.” Wassim, @AROCBayArea #BlockTheBoat #ShutdownApartheid pic.twitter.com/lSMLbkzXos

— GGJ (@ggjalliance) June 4, 2021

“Our goal today is to show the city of Oakland that we do not want them to do business with and allow Israeli apartheid money to come into our city,”  Wassim Hage, a spokesman for the demonstrators, told reporters.

“It’s part of an international picket movement at port cities around the world that will be going on over the next couple of weeks,” he pointed out.

According to Hage, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse’s Union Local 10 were amid the picketers at the Port as “a huge show of solidarity between organized working people and the struggle for Palestine liberation.”

Following our victory against the Israeli ZIM ship this morning, the Bay Area is gathering again at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in the Port of Oakland to keep the ship from unloading. As long as the ship is here, we will be as well! #BlockTheBoat #BDS #EndIsraeliApartheid https://t.co/wES9cnytBD pic.twitter.com/I8AOWMqA76

— AROC #BlocktheBoat (@AROCBayArea) June 4, 2021

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators had prevented Volans from docking at Oakland’s harbor for more than two weeks after its scheduled arrival date.

Volans, which was apparently bound for Los Angeles according to an online schedule cited by electronicintifada, had attempted to avoid the anti-Israeli demonstrators.

“By refusing to unload Israeli cargo, Oakland workers are throwing a wrench in the Israeli economy and putting pressure on Israeli apartheid,” tweeted Jewish Voice for Peace.

“Each day the ZIM ship can’t unload, the largest Israeli shipping company loses millions of [dollars],” the group added.

In related news, dock workers in the South African port city of Durban refused to offload cargo from an Israeli container ship on Friday in solidarity with Palestinians and in protest against Tel Aviv’s hostilities on Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian activists across the globe have launched a coordinated campaign against Israeli atrocities against the besieged Palestinians suffering under Tel Aviv’s aggressive military actions killing defenseless innocent civilians.

The Israeli regime started a 12-day war against the Gaza Strip on May 10.

As a result of the brutal Israeli aggression, at least 248 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including 66 children, with more than 1,900 people wounded.

BIOGRAPHY

Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor

Managing Editor

Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. 

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Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014

إسرائيل تُعدّل أولوياتها: لا لتحوّل غزة إلى لاعب إقليمي

يحيى دبوق

 الجمعة 28 أيار 2021

إسرائيل تُعدّل أولوياتها: لا لتحوّل غزة إلى لاعب إقليمي
تسعى إسرائيل إلى منع ربط سلاح غزة وإرادة تفعيله بقضايا القدس والحرم القدسي (أ ف ب )

في وقت يتواصل فيه الشدّ والجذب في الماراتون التفاوضي الدائر بين العواصم المعنيّة بالملفّ الفلسطيني، يعكف كلّ من العدو الإسرائيلي والمقاومة الفلسطينية على تقييم نتائج «معركة القدس» والبناء عليها، على اختلاف المحقَّق بين الطرفين، من هزيمة للأوّل ونصر للثاني. من جهة إسرائيل، ثمّة قناعة بضرورة تعديل جدول الأولويات الذي كانت غزّة دائماً في أسفله، بعدما لمس الاحتلال نيّة لدى المقاومة والمحور الداعم لها في التأسيس على ما أفرزته المعركة من أجل تعظيم حالة الربط بين ساحات المحور وجبهاته. على خطّ موازِ، تتعمّق الانقسامات داخل محور التطبيع بقديمه وجديده، وآخر مظاهرها حرد الإمارات من تطنيش مصر لها في الملفّ الفلسطيني، الذي تجد أبو ظبي أن كلّ ما حاولت زرعه فيه عن طريق «اتفاق أبراهام» يضيع هباءً منثوراً

لعلّ واحدة من أهمّ نتائج معركة «سيف القدس»، بين العدو الإسرائيلي وفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، أنها رفعت مستوى تهديد غزة في سلّم التهديدات التي تواجه الأمن الإسرائيلي، بما لم يَعُد معه دقيقاً توصيف القطاع بالتوصيف التقليدي: الأقلّ تهديداً والأكثر قابلية للانفجار. ومن شأن تغيير التوصيف، تبعاً لمحدّدات الواقع ونتائج المواجهة، أن يفرض على إسرائيل مواجهة واقعٍ من نوع آخر مع غزة، التي لم يَعُد تهديدها متعلّقاً بها فحسب، بل بات ممتدّاً ومتّصلاً بخارجها، بما يتعدّى مناطق فلسطين وقضاياها على اختلاف تقسيماتها ومسمّياتها. المعنى العملي لذلك، من ناحية إسرائيل وأمنها واستراتيجياتها في مواجهة التهديدات، أن احتواء تهديد غزة عبر فرض أو قبول الهدوء معها، وإن في ظلّ خطورة تفجير دائمة (مقدور عليها)، مع رفع مستوى الردع إلى حدود تمنع القطاع من المبادرة العسكرية، لم يَعُد استراتيجية ناجعة ومقبولة، بل أضحى مرفوضاً، علماً بأن سبب الاحتواء، في أساسه، مرتبط بساحات التهديد الأخرى، التي لا مجال للمقارنة بينها وبين غزة.

حتى الأمس، كانت غزة، بالمعنى المشار إليه، «مقدوراً عليها». كان يمكن ربط هدوئها بحوافز تمنع تفعيل تهديدها، بعدما اعتقدت إسرائيل طويلاً أنها نجحت في ريط التهديد الغزّي بتنازلات متبادلة: تهدئة مقابل تليين جزئي للحصار وتقديمات اقتصادية ومالية، جنّدت لها دولاً عربية ترى في امتثالها للإرادة الإسرائيلية موضع رضى السيد الأميركي. لكن اليوم تغيّرت المعادلة؛ بات سلاح غزة وإمكان تفعيله متّصلَين بالقدس وقضاياها. وهي معادلة لم تترسّخ بعد، ولأنها لم تترسّخ، ستستهلك من إسرائيل جزءاً كبيراً من انشغالها الأمني والعسكري والسياسي، للحؤول دونها. كذلك، مطلب إرجاع غزة إلى حدودها، يتعلّق من ناحية إسرائيل باتجاهَين رئيسيَن اثنين: منع تفعيل سلاح غزة ربطاً بغيرها هو هدف في ذاته، إن لم يتحقّق سيؤثّر سلباً على مجمل التموضع الإسرائيلي في داخل فلسطين المحتلة، ويُعقّد من استراتيجيات الكيان المُفعَّلة ضدّ الفلسطينيين والقضية الفلسطينية، التي تراءى له، وإن بشكل مغلوط، أنها في المرحلة الأخيرة من إسقاطها.

من بين الأهداف الإسرائيلية إعادة الاعتبار إلى معادلة الحصار مقابل الغذاء، كما كانت عليه الأمور قبل المواجهة


أمّا الاتجاه الثاني فيرتبط بتهديدات الساحات الأخرى. والمقصود هنا تحديداً الجبهة الشمالية بمركّباتها المتعدّدة، واتّساعها الجغرافي الممتدّ، وإمكاناتها التي تتطلّب من إسرائيل تركيزاً لا تُشوّش عليه الساحة الجنوبية، أي قطاع غزة، بل أيّ قسم من أقسام فلسطين التاريخية. على أن غزة تتّجه اليوم لتكون جزءاً لا يتجزّأ من الساحة الشمالية، بما ينفي عنها وصف الساحة المعزولة التي ينحصر تهديدها في نطاقها. وفي هذا الإطار، يُعدّ حديث مسؤول حركة «حماس» في القطاع، يحيى السنوار، عن التنسيق على أعلى المستويات مع «حزب الله» خلال المواجهة، كما الحديث الذي سبقه، وهو الأهمّ من ناحية إسرائيل، لأمين عام حزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، عن الجاهزية للتدخّل إن لزم الأمر لمساعدة الساحة الفلسطينية، مصدر قلق لتل أبيب ومُتّخذي القرارات فيها.

بناءً على ما تقدّم، ستكون إسرائيل، ومعها حليفها الأميركي، والجهات الإقليمية التي تدور في فلكهما، معنيِّين بتحقيق جملة أهداف، على رأسها ما يلي:

– إرجاع غزة إلى حدودها، ومنع ربط سلاحها وإرادة تفعيله بقضايا القدس والحرم القدسي، فضلاً عن أقسام فلسطين الأخرى.
– منع الربط بين قواعد الاشتباك التي تحكم صراع غزة وإسرائيل، وبين أيّ ساحة أو جبهة في الشمال، بما يشمل ردع غزة عن التدخّل، أو الاستعداد للتدخّل، إلى جانب الساحة الشمالية، ربطاً بتموضع القطاع الذي بات إقليمياً، وأيضاً ردع الساحة الشمالية نفسها عن مساندة غزة، إن تطلّب الأمر ذلك.

– إعادة الاعتبار إلى معادلة الحصار مقابل الغذاء، كما كانت عليه الأمور قبل المواجهة، وإغراء القطاع بعطاءات مالية، سيجد العدو دائماً أطرافاً إقليميين يسارعون إلى تلبيتها، ومن جملة ذلك إعادة الإعمار.

– إعادة الاعتبار إلى السلطة الفلسطينية، وإن كانت إسرائيل نفسها، ومَن معها، تسبّبوا في إضعاف مكانتها ودورها لدى الجمهور الفلسطيني. وفي هذا الإطار، تأتي العطاءات المالية الممنوحة للسلطة، وإعادة فتح القنصلية الأميركية في القدس المحتلة كمُمثّلية أميركية لدى الجانب الفلسطيني، وكذلك المبادرات واللقاءات والاتصالات من جانب دول «الاعتدال العربي» بعد قطيعة مع رام الله، فيما لا يُستبعد إحياء شكل من أشكال التفاوض مع العدو، أملاً في إعادة السلطة إلى مكان متقدّم نوعاً ما على جدول اهتمام الفلسطينيين. لكن الواقع أن السلطة اليوم باتت تُعدّ لدى الفلسطينيين «شاهد ما شفش حاجة»، في مرحلة هي الأكثر حساسية وتأثيراً على فلسطين والقضية الفلسطينية والقدس، وهو ما يُصعّب مهمّة العدو.

تلك هي الأهداف الإسرائيلية في المرحلة التالية إذاً، لكن الفرق بين تشخيص المصالح التي يُفترض العمل عليها وبين النتائج التي يمكن تحقيقها بالفعل، فرق كبير، وهو ما قد ينطبق على حالة تل أبيب. مع ذلك، لن يدفع الفشل إسرائيل إلى الانكفاء والتسليم بالواقع الجديد، بل هي ستلجأ إلى خيارات أخرى وبديلة، وربّما أيضاً مع استعداد لتحمّل أثمانها إن ارتفعت نسبياً. على أن الإصرار الإسرائيلي، والدافعية المرتفعة لدى العدو، تقابلهما إرادة صلبة لدى الجانب الفلسطيني الغزّي أيضاً. فالمارد الذي خرج من القمقم لن يكون معنيّاً بالعودة إليه، كما تَصعُب على غيره، مهما بلغت مستويات دافعيّته، إعادته إليه. وللصراع، الذي ثبت أنه لا يخمد، جولات آتية.

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The Third Intifada. Israel’s Crimes. Palestine’s Wrath. Ray of Hope?

Conversations with Richard Falk, Richard Silverstein and Laith Marouf

By Michael WelchRichard FalkRichard Silverstein, and Laith Marouf

Global Research, May 22, 2021

“What they need to do is they need to occupy the bases of the Canadian Armed Forces! They need to occupy the military hardware factories! They need to occupy their courts and stop the shipping of these weapons to apartheid Israel! Anything less than that will not actually cleanse them from the blood on their hands as Canadians!” 

– Laith Marouf, from this week’s interview

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

As of 2:00 am on May 21 by the Israel-Palestine hour this morning, or 7:00pm EDT on Thursday, the two sides of the disputing rivals had ceased hostilities – at least for the time being.[1]

As of 2:00 am on May 21 by the Israel-Palestine hour this morning, or 7:00pm EDT on Thursday, the two sides of the disputing rivals had ceased hostilities – at least for the time being.[1]

By the standard account, the bitter eruption rose up on May 6 when Palestinians rose up in protest to a Supreme Court of Israel ruling on the matter of evicting six Palestinian families from their housing units in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. This was followed the next day by Israeli police storming the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam and firing stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas at the worshippers in attendance.

Then on May 10, Hamas, the militant force governing over Gaza, wanted Israeli security forces removed from Sheikh Jarrah and the Temple Mount complex, location of the holiest site in Judaism which also housed Al-Aqsa Mosque. When Israel refused they fired rockets on targets in Israel. What followed was a campaign of airstrikes by Israel.

What followed was the most destructive period of violence in years.. [2]

The following clip recorded by Middle East Eye is just a sample of what the last two weeks were like:

“I don’t know what to do.”

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl breaks down while talking to MEE after Israeli air strikes destroyed her neighbour’s house, killing 8 children and 2 women#Gaza #Palestine #Israel pic.twitter.com/jnZx8wruaX

— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 17, 2021

Israel-Palestine: The Humanitarian Consequences of an Occupation

Regrettably, violence in the region tends to spring up from time to time. And absent being held to account for past crimes by the UN, Washington, or really anyone, Israel will most likely continue on setting up more shelters on occupied land, and besieging the beleaguered Gaza, and ignoring the human rights of their Palestinian neighbours frankly at levels well beyond the harsh treatment of Blacks in modern day America.

But something is a little different this time. Despite Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ technology taking out as many as 90 percent of rockets, some projectiles, cruise missiles no less, are punching through and hitting Israel stronger than ever. The Palestinians in Israel are themselves taking action in the streets, in businesses, and synagogues. And even in the United States, while the President continues to disappoint with his tepid remarks about the right of Israel to defend itself, sharp and popular critics in Congress such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are speaking out loudly against continuing to arm Israel despite its ongoing abuses against Palestinians.

Do these and other unique scenarios marking this 11 day period of terror mean things will be different now or in the long term? This is the question running through this Global Research News Hour and its sixty minute broadcast.

On the show in our first half hour, Richard Falk, professor emeritus of law at Princeton university talks to listeners highlighting some of the less talked about elements of the past month, including how it was incited by right wing settlers and during the Islamic holy period known as Ramadan. He also discussed attacks on media and the prospects for victory for Palestinians in the long term.

Following that, we hear from Richard Silverstein, a progressive blogger focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He will dwell on the growth in Hamas’ arsenal, the growth of Palestinian solidarity in Israel, and the potential ability of the International Criminal Court to wound Israel’s prospects.

Finally, Palestine activist and commentator Laith Marouf joins us again to dwell on the motives of the new Palestinian resistance, the prospects for the conflict to intensify, and the goals of Canadians wishing to show their solidarity with the damaged but determined victims of 73 years of Israeli confrontation.

Richard Falk is an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years and holds the title of professor emeritus. In 2008 he was also appointed by the UN to serve a six-year term as the Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights. He contributes regularly to Global Research.

Richard Silverstein is a political writer and commentator. Since 2003 he has authored the progressive Jewish blog Tikun Olam, which focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. He contributes regularly to Middle East Eye, and has contributed in the past to Truthout, Alternet, Haaretz, Mint Press News, Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, Comment Is Free and Al Jazeera English.

Laith Marouf is a long time multimedia consultant and producer and currently serves as Senior Consultant at the Community Media Advocacy Centre (www.cmacentre.org) and the coordinator of ICTV, in Canada (www.tele1.ca). Laith derives much of his understanding of Middle Eastern Affairs from his ancestral background of being both of Palestinian and of Syrian extraction. He is currently based in Beirut.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 317)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

Other stations airing the show:

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WZBC 90.3 FM in Newton Massachusetts is Boston College Radio and broadcasts to the greater Boston area. The Global Research News Hour airs during Truth and Justice Radio which starts Sunday at 6am.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John, N.B. airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 7pm.

CJMP 90.1 FM, Powell River Community Radio, airs the Global Research News Hour every Saturday at 8am. 

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday afternoon from 3-4pm.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 9am pacific time. 

Notes:

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/57200843
  2. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-idUSKCN2D12SV

Terrorizing and Massacring Civilians Israel’s Specialty

Victorious Gaza

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, May 21, 2021

Israeli terror-bombing and shelling of besieged Gazans continues in its 11th day with no letup so far.

Unindicted war criminal Netanyahu says he’s “determined” to keep massacring Gazans and terrorizing Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories until his diabolical aims are achieved.

A readout of Wednesday’s conversation between him and Biden’s impersonator was more head-fake deception than a White House call for “significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire (sic).”

For 73 years, the US aided, abetted, and financed the worst of Israeli high crimes of war, against humanity, slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people, and preemptive wars against neighboring states.

In the past week, the Biden regime blocked three Security Council (SC) joint statements that called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — showing its dominant hardliners support war, not resolution.

On Wednesday in response to a French draft SC statement, jointly supported by Egypt and Jordan — that states “(t)he shooting must stop.” 

“The time has come for a ceasefire and the UN Security Council must take up the issue,” the Orwellian response of the Biden regime’s UN mission was as follows:

“(W)e will not support (what furthers deescalation and ceasefire) actions that we believe undermine efforts to de-escalate (sic).”

According to an unnamed French source, Wednesday discussions on the above joint proposal at the UN were “very intense.”

See the source image

Separately from Beirut, Lebanon,  Islamic Jihad official Ziad Nakhaleh said neither nuclear weapons, warplanes or peace agreements between Israel and some Arab states achieved regional peace and security, adding:

Gazan resistance against Israeli state terror “made miracles that you can see with your own eyes and you live them every moment when you run to shelters.”

He referred to Strip responses to longstanding Israeli state terror against millions of long-suffering Palestinians under militarized occupation.

Because of increased dispossession of Palestinians from their homes on their own land, “we had two choices, to surrender and to give them everything or fight them over everything,” he explained.

One-sided US-dominated Western support for the highest of high Israeli high crimes permits its ruling regimes to do whatever they damn please with impunity — no matter how egregiously in breach of international law.Israeli War on Gaza Over Kites?

As for long-suffering Palestinians, rhetorical Western concern for their rights and welfare is hollow.

It’s virtually never followed by actions with teeth on their behalf. 

Support for apartheid Israel has always been and remains entirely one-sided.

In January 2006, Hamas democratically won a Palestinian legislative majority over pro-Israeli puppet rule under Fatah.

Yet in October 1997 at the behest of Israel, the Clinton co-presidency false designated Hamas a “foreign terrorist organization” — what it never was and isn’t now.

At the time in response to what Israel urged, Hezbollah was falsely given the same designation.

Its officials are part of Lebanon’s elected government.

In May 2018 general elections, its candidates and allies won a 67-seat majority of parliament’s 128 seats – equally divided between Muslims and Christians. 

At the time, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called parliamentary results a “political and moral victory” for the resistance — giving the group and its allies power to veto legislation they consider unacceptable.

For self-defense against threatened Israeli aggression, its ruling authorities maintain a military wing.

Much stronger today than during Israel’s 2006 aggression against Lebanon, embarrassing IDF ground forces at the time, it’s a force to be reckoned with if the Jewish state again preemptively attacks the Lebanese people.

In April 2019, the Trump regime falsely designated Iran’s military — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)— a terrorist organization even though the Islamic Republic never attacked another nation preemptively or threatened one except in self-defense if attacked, the UN Charter right of all nations.

In stark contrast, aggression is what the US, NATO and Israel are guilty of time and again.

The world community of nations for peace, stability and compliance with the rule of law should designate them terrorist organizations.

Overnight Wednesday, Israel continued to terror-bomb and shell Gazan residential areas.

According to the Strip’s health ministry, at least 64 children and 38 women was massacred so far, the overall death toll around 230 — numbers that keep rising by the hour.

Interviewed on French television Wednesday, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said the following:

“Palestinians want their own self-determination rights.” 

“They want their own state. They want to be able to run their own affairs and have freedom, and not have to be restricted to move around.”

Israel denies them “their rights” as affirmed under international law.

It’s an “apartheid” state. “I have no other reference point to describe what the Israelis are doing against the Palestinians.”

According to political analyst Omar Baddar, “Israeli leadership understands that…they are completely free to carry on with their massive assault against Gaza’s civilian population.”

No US/Western actions against the Jewish state will follow.

For 73 years, Israel has been free to commit the most egregious high crimes with impunity.

The US-dominated West and world community never did anything to hold its ruling authorities accountable for Nuremberg-level high crimes.

Nothing punitive will follow its ongoing rape and destruction of Gaza — for the fourth time since December 2008.

Nor will anything be done to halt its state terror against Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Territories.

*

Note to readers: Please click the share buttons above or below. Follow us on Instagram, @crg_globalresearch. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My two Wall Street books are timely reading:

“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”

https://www.claritypress.com/product/how-wall-street-fleeces-america/

“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”

https://www.claritypress.com/product/banker-occupation-waging-financial-war-on-humanity/

Featured image is from The Bullet

***

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I think that the end is very close to us as a state: Gideon Levy

Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy offers his analysis on the escalating  Israeli-Palestinian violence - France 24

Gideon Levy, an Israeli columnist and board member of the Israeli daily Haaretz, tells FRANCE 24 that the escalating violence is not surprising in light of Israel’s 53-year occupation of Palestinian territories and says only international action might eventually lead to a lasting solution to the conflict.


Israel is living in chaos, we have been living in economic chaos since the beginning of Corona … and now we are in the midst of chaos, and we do not know what will happen to it.

Our storming of their mosque was a big mistake that was not taken into account. The government did not listen to the opinion of Mr. Emin Ayam, the head of the settlements, and hit his opinion across the wall. The Iron Dome is not the solution. Everyone knows that the accuracy of the Iron Dome is only from 20 to 30 percent and not as Netanyahu claims to reassure the people.

A $ 50,000 missile launches to hit a $ 300 missile, and is often mistaken. Today the Knesset announces a bill worth 912 million dollars for war expenses and losses with a fierce terrorist enemy in a small area called Gaza $ 912 million in transportation expenses, oil, missiles, military preparations, and civilian losses in the state’s infrastructure and other things .. This is really very much within a time span of only two days. Our budget will never allow that, and we will not be patient for a long time …. The solution is not in fighting .. We have understood the lesson ..These savages are not collapsed Arab armies that do not find power today … nor are they with money-holders. We may be able to ideologize them like sheep … the problem is in their belief and their complete belief that the land is theirs and not ours … America will not benefit us in the end, and the Arab leaders will not support us because of their impotence in their homelands and the people hatred for them.

Personally, I think that the end is very close to us as a state … especially that the peoples of the region have begun to wake up from their slumber and we have dreamed of making friendship between our peoples.

Personally, I fear that the tables will soon turn in Egypt and Jordan, which means that we have become without protection from the peoples of the barbarian region … Our destination must be to Europe and they must receive us as refugees. I think that this is better than being eaten alive by the Arabs. I am not trying to intimidate you, but I am trying to put points on the letters only. This is a fact that the US government in Tel Aviv does not want you to see.

How much we will be able to withstand in these circumstances … Hell is above our heads while we are in shelters, our business, our lives, and everything is completely disrupted and the government is unable to do anything, so be patient together, but I fear that the time has passed and we are in inescapable patience


يورونيوز – جدعون ليفي – المحلل الاقتصادي والسياسي… يقول:

إسرائيل تعيش في فوضى, فقد كنا نعيش بفوضى اقتصادية منذ بدايات كورونا …والان اصبحنا في وسط فوضى لا نعلم ما ستؤول له الأمور.

اقتحامنا لمسجدهم كان غلطة كبيرة لم تكن بالحسبان, الحكومة لم تستمع لرأي السيد ايمين عاوام رئيس المستوطنات وضربت رأيه عرض الحائط, القبة الحديدية ليست الحل فالكل يعلم بأن دقة القبة الحديدية هي من 20 الى 30 بالمئة فقط وليس كما يدعي نتنياهو لتطمين الشعب.

صاروخ قيمته 50 الف دولار ينطلق لضرب صاروخ قيمته 300 دولار ويخطيء في معظم الاحيان.

اليوم يعلن الكنيست عن فاتورة قيمتها 912 مليون دولار مصاريف حرب وخسائر مع عدو ارهابي شرس في منطقة صغيرة تدعى غزة
912 مليون دولار من مصاريف نقل وبترول وصواريخ وتحضيرات عسكرية وخسائر مدنية في البنية التحتية للدولة وغيرها .. هذا كثير جدا فعلا في مسافة زمنية هي يومين فقط فميزانيتنا ابدا لن تسمح بذلك ولن نستطيع ان نصبر لفترة طويلة….الحل ليس في القتال .. فقد فهمنا الدرس .. هؤولاء المتوحشين ليسو جيوش عربية منهارة لا تجد قوة يومها … ولا هم باصحاب مال قد نستطيع ان نؤدلجهم كالخراف … المشكلة في عقيدتهم وايمانهم التام بان الارض لهم وليس لنا … امريكا لن تنفعنا في نهاية المطاف ورؤساء العرب لن يساندونا لعجزهم في اوطانهم ولكره الشعوب لهم.

شخصيا اعتقد ان النهاية قريبة جدا لنا كدولة .. بالذات ان شعوب المنطقة بدأت تفيق من سباتها وحلمنا في عمل مصادقة بين شعوبنا

اخشى شخصيا ان تقلب الطاولة قريبا في مصر والاردن مما يعني اننا اصبحنا بلا حماية من شعوب المنطقة البربرية …وجهتنا يجب ان تكون لاوروبا وعليهم ان يستقبلونا كلاجئين اعتقد ان هذا افضل من ان نؤكل احياء من قبل العرب
انا لا احاول ان اخيفكم ولكني احاول وضع النقاط على الحروف فقط فهذه الحقيقة التي لا تريدكم الحكومة الامريكية في تل ابيب ان ترونها.

كم سنستطيع ان نصمد في هذه الظروف …الجحيم من فوق رؤوسنا ونحن في الملاجئ وأعمالنا وحياتنا وكل شيء معطل تماما والحكومة عاجزة عن عمل اي شيء, لنصبر معا ولكني اخاف ان يكون الوقت قد مضى ونحنا في صبر لا مفر منه

“مترجم من جوجل”

Putin rewrites the law of the geopolitical jungle

Putin rewrites the law of the geopolitical jungle

April 23, 2021

By Pepe Escobar and first posted at The Saker Blog

Putin’s address to the Russian Federal Assembly – a de facto State of the Nation – was a judo move that left Atlanticist sphere hawks particularly stunned.

The “West” was not even mentioned by name. Only indirectly, or via a delightful metaphor, Kipling’s Jungle Book. Foreign policy was addressed only at the end, almost as an afterthought.

For the best part of an hour and a half, Putin concentrated on domestic issues, detailing a series of policies that amount to the Russian state helping those in need – low income families, children, single mothers, young professionals, the underprivileged – with, for instance, free health checks all the way to the possibility of an universal income in the near future.

Of course he would also need to address the current, highly volatile state of international relations. The concise manner he chose to do it, counter-acting the prevailing Russophobia in the Atlanticist sphere, was quite striking.

First, the essentials. Russia’s policy “is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens and for the stable development of our country.”

Yet if “someone does not want to…engage in dialogue, but chooses an egoistic and arrogant tone, Russia will always find a way to stand up for its position.”

He singled out “the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions” to connect it to “something much more dangerous”, and actually rendered invisible in the Western narrative: “the recent attempt to organize a coup d’etat in Belarus and the assassination of that country’s president.” Putin made sure to stress, “all boundaries have been crossed”.

The plot to kill Lukashenko was unveiled by Russian and Belarusian intel – which detained several actors backed, who else, US intel. The US State Department predictably denied any involvement.

Putin: “It is worth pointing to the confessions of the detained participants in the conspiracy that a blockade of Minsk was being prepared, including its city infrastructure and communications, the complete shutdown of the entire power grid of the Belarusian capital. This, incidentally means preparations for a massive cyber-attack.”

And that leads to a very uncomfortable truth: “Apparently, it’s not for no reason that our Western colleagues have stubbornly rejected numerous proposals by the Russian side to establish an international dialogue in the field of information and cyber-security.”

“Asymmetric, swift and harsh”

Putin remarked how to “attack Russia” has become “a sport, a new sport, who makes the loudest statements.” And then he went full Kipling: “Russia is attacked here and there for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis [jackals] are running around like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan [the tiger] – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along and ready to serve their sovereign. Kipling was a great writer”.

The – layered – metaphor is even more startling as it echoes the late 19th century geopolitical Great Game between the British and Russian empires, of which Kipling was a protagonist.

Once again Putin had to stress that “we really don’t want to burn any bridges. But if someone perceives our good intentions as indifference or weakness and intends to burn those bridges completely or even blow them up, he should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetric, swift and harsh”.

So here’s the new law of the geopolitical jungle – backed by Mr. Iskander, Mr. Kalibr, Mr. Avangard, Mr. Peresvet, Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Sarmat, Mr. Zircon and other well-respected gentlemen, hypersonic and otherwise, later complimented on the record. Those who poke the Bear to the point of threatening “the fundamental interests of our security will regret what has been done, as they have regretted nothing for a very long time.”

The stunning developments of the past few weeks – the China-US Alaska summit, the Lavrov-Wang Yi summit in Guilin, the NATO summit, the Iran-China strategic dealXi Jinping’s speech at the Boao forum – now coalesce into a stark new reality: the era of a unilateral Leviathan imposing its iron will is over.

For those Russophobes who still haven’t got the message, a cool, calm and collected Putin was compelled to add, “clearly, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence, self-assurance in the correctness of our position and common sense when it comes to making any decisions. But I hope that no one will think about crossing Russia’s so-called red lines. And where they run, we determine ourselves in each specific case.”

Back to realpolitik, Putin once again had to stress the “special responsibility” of the “five nuclear states” to seriously discuss “issues related to strategic armament”. It’s an open question whether the Biden-Harris administration – behind which stand a toxic cocktail of neo-cons and humanitarian imperialists – will agree.

Putin: “The goal of such negotiations could be to create an environment of conflict-free coexistence based on equal security, covering not only strategic weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but also, I would like to emphasize, all offensive and defensive systems capable of solving strategic tasks, regardless of their equipment.”

As much as Xi’s address to the Boao forum was mostly directed to the Global South, Putin highlighted how “we are expanding contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the allies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization”, and extolled “joint projects in the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union”, billed as “practical tools for solving the problems of national development.”

In a nutshell: integration in effect, following the Russian concept of “Greater Eurasia”.

“Tensions skirting wartime levels”

Now compare all of the above with the White House Executive Order (EO) declaring a “national emergency” to “deal with the Russian threat”.

This is directly connected to President Biden – actually the combo telling him what to do, complete with earpiece and teleprompter – promising Ukraine’s President Zelensky that Washington would “take measures” to support Kiev’s wishful thinking of retaking Donbass and Crimea.

There are several eyebrow-raising issues with this EO. It denies, de facto, to any Russian national the full rights to their US property. Any US resident may be accused of being a Russian agent engaged in undermining US security. A sub-sub paragraph (C), detailing “actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad”, is vague enough to be used to eliminate any journalism that supports Russia’s positions in international affairs.

Purchases of Russian OFZ bonds have been sanctioned, as well as one of the companies involved in the production of the Sputnik V vaccine. Yet the icing on this sanction cake may well be that from now on all Russian citizens, including dual citizens, may be barred from entering US territory except via a rare special authorization on top of the ordinary visa.

The Russian paper Vedomosti has noted that in such paranoid atmosphere the risks for large companies such as Yandex or Kaspersky Lab are significantly increasing. Still, these sanctions have not been met with surprise in Moscow. The worst is yet to come, according to Beltway insiders: two packages of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 already approved by the US Department of Justice.

The crucial point is that this EO de facto places anyone reporting on Russia’s political positions as potentially threatening “American democracy”. As top political analyst Alastair Crooke has remarked, this is a “procedure usually reserved for citizens of enemy states during times of war”. Crooke adds, “US hawks are upping the ante fiercely against Moscow. Tensions and rhetoric are skirting wartime levels.”

It’s an open question whether Putin’s State of the Nation will be seriously examined by the toxic lunatic combo of neocons and humanitarian imperialists bent on simultaneously harassing Russia and China.

But the fact is something extraordinary has already started to happen: a “de-escalation” of sorts.

Even before Putin’s address, Kiev, NATO and the Pentagon apparently got the message implicit in Russia moving two armies, massive artillery batteries and airborne divisions to the borders of Donbass and to Crimea – not to mention top naval assets moved from the Caspian to the Black Sea. NATO could not even dream of matching that.

Facts on different grounds speak volumes. Both Paris and Berlin were terrified of a possible Kiev clash directly against Russia, and lobbied furiously against it, bypassing the EU and NATO.

Then someone – it might have been Jake Sullivan – must have whispered on Crash Test Dummy’s earpiece that you don’t go around insulting the head of a nuclear state and expect to keep your global “credibility”. So after that by now famous “Biden” phone call to Putin came the invitation to the climate change summit, in which any lofty promises are largely rhetorical, as the Pentagon will continue to be the largest polluting entity on planet Earth.

So Washington may have found a way to keep at least one avenue of dialogue open with Moscow. At the same time Moscow has no illusions whatsoever that the Ukraine/Donbass/Crimea drama is over. Even if Putin did not mention it in the State of the Nation. And even if Defense Minister Shoigu has ordered a de-escalation.

The always inestimable Andrei Martyanov has gleefully noted the “cultural shock when Brussels and D.C. started to suspect that Russia doesn’t ‘want’ Ukraine. What Russia wants is for this country to rot and implode without excrement from this implosion hitting Russia. West’s paying for the clean up of this clusterf**k is also in Russian plans for Ukrainian Bantustan.”

The fact that Putin did not even mention Bantustan in his speech corroborates this analysis. As far as “red lines” are concerned, Putin’s implicit message remains the same: a NATO base on Russia’s western flank simply won’t be tolerated. Paris and Berlin know it. The EU is in denial. NATO will always refuse to admit it.

We always come back to the same crucial issue: whether Putin will be able, against all odds, to pull a combined Bismarck-Sun Tzu move and build a lasting German-Russian entente cordiale (and that’s quite far from an “alliance’). Nord Stream 2 is an essential cog in the wheel – and that’s what’s driving Washington hawks crazy.

Whatever happens next, for all practical purposes Iron Curtain 2.0 is now on, and it simply won’t go away. There will be more sanctions. Everything was thrown at the Bear short of a hot war. It will be immensely entertaining to watch how, and via which steps, Washington will engage on a “de-escalation and diplomatic process” with Russia.

The Hegemon may always find a way to deploy a massive P.R. campaign and ultimately claim a diplomatic success in “dissolving” the impasse. Well, that certainly beats a hot war. Otherwise, lowly Jungle Book adventurers have been advised: try anything funny and be ready to meet “asymmetric, swift and harsh”.

SUSPENDED FOR REFUSING A COVID TEST!

It’s been a very strange few weeks, well if it could possibly get any stranger than it already is.

On the 16th February I uploaded a 30 minute video onto my YouTube channel, titled “Vaccination and Vacation or Sceptical Staycation?” The video accompanied an article which I have also published in print.

The video was taken down within 3 hours of being uploaded, it had been viewed by 4 people (yes a whopping 4 people) and bearing in mind the channel is less than 4 weeks old and has less than 10 subscribers! Someone was incredibly upset with the content I had produced but neglected to give me a reason for censoring it.

I subsequently found myself banned for the second time on YouTube, the previous ban was for re uploading a speech which I gave in Sheffield last summer that had reached 67.5k views on another channel before

before being taken down by YouTube. Free speech really is under the threat of total annihilation!

On the 28th Feb I arrived at work (yes, I work full time, 48 hours per week as well as writing and researching, no furlough for me!) at 6 a.m. where it quickly transpired, that the company I work for, had suddenly decided to introduce ‘on the spot’ covid testing!

I entered the building and was met by someone I’d never met previously (who was wearing a Hi-Viz vest, so he must’ve been important!) and was told “You need to take a covid test mate.” I politely responded by explaining to the newly appointed Hi-Viz Health Enforcement Officer (he was a supervisor apparently), that “I don’t need to take any test and will not be doing as I’m not sick or showing any symptoms.”

“If you don’t take the test you’ll be immediately suspended and face disciplinary action.” I was told.

I was completely taken by surprise and was amazed that this individual, who had been given the task of herding people into a temporary testing facility (basically an office with rearranged furniture) had no clue that what he was doing or what he was instructing people to do, was completely unethical and unlawful.

I replied by attempting to appeal to his common sense, with “Really? You do realise that I have inalienable rights to bodily integrity and what you have just said is totally unlawful, don’t you? Are you threatening me with disciplinary action should I not consent to an invasive medical procedure? Because that would be coercion.”

He reasoned his instruction with “It’s no different to a drugs and alcohol test.”

I went on to explain to him that the covid test is nothing like a drugs and alcohol test and that the drugs and alcohol test is consensual and part of the terms and conditions within the contract of my employment, should I be suspected of being drunk or under the influence of drugs whilst at work.

I also added that the covid test is an invasive medical procedure which requires the appropriate training, as there is a danger that an untrained person could cause injury by piercing the blood brain barrier.

I asked him if the person performing the test had any medical qualifications at all (she didn’t and is in fact in the vulnerable group for covid, as she has a child at home with a respiratory issue!!) and what training they had received.

I was told that the person overseeing the test had been trained and was instructing others to perform their own tests. I asked what training she’d had that qualified her to instruct people to perform invasive medical tests on themselves and received no response.

After a lengthy debate with the obviously unqualified Hi-Viz Health Enforcement Officer, whilst in full view of roughly thirtyish other people crammed into an open office, it was decided that I was suspended on full pay pending an investigation for the allegation of ‘Refusing a reasonable management instruction, refusing a lateral flow test’ which could result in disciplinary action. I was handed a letter of suspension in full view of the gawping group of willing test subjects and told “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

This entire incident was completely wrong on so many levels I was stunned that it was actually happening and went home in sheer amazement.

I arrived back home at 6.30a.m. Much to the confusion of my partner (who is in the medical profession) who was in complete disbelief when I told her the full story over a cup of coffee. I then typed up the entire incident as a statement whilst it was still fresh in my mind so as not to forget any details. (I have attached a copy of the suspension letter and my statement at the end of this article should you wish to read my version of the whole encounter).

On the 3rd March I was invited into an interview with HR regarding the allegations and subsequent suspension which lasted roughly 30 mins.

I handed them a pre prepared statement containing my version of events from the incident. I then read it out for the record. I was asked a couple rather pointless questions, which aren’t even worth mentioning, before handing them my written conclusion. I read it out for the record and is as follows.

I do not accept the allegations that I refused a “reasonable management request”. (By refusing a lateral flow test.)

The current government guidelines on testing for covid in the work place are quite clear.

Government guidelines state that employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees, it is likely that they can reasonably instruct an employee exhibiting symptoms to be tested.

However, it may not be reasonable for the employer to require an employee to be tested, if they are not exhibiting symptoms (for example, if they are part of a testing programme to identify possible asymptomatic cases).

The current government guidelines state that if I have exhibit symptoms of covid then I should report to a testing centre to take an RT – PCR test and that testing requires my consent, as the tests are an invasive medical procedure.

Should I exhibit symptoms, I would not attend my place of work and I would consult the government’s guidelines.

I had received no prior communication from (work place omitted) before the 28/02/21, that I would be required to give my consent to take a test for covid.

I work alone and outside in a huge yard area, where I have close to zero physical interaction with any other person throughout my working day, therefore there are no reasonable grounds to:-

a) Reasonably suspect that I am asymptomatically infected with covid or

b) That I am considered to be in a category of risk that would potentially increase the spread of covid.

Taking into consideration the above information, I cannot accept that I did not follow a reasonable management request.

I am of the view that I exercised my inalienable rights to privacy, confidentiality and bodily integrity which were completely ignored.

I do not believe that the health and safety obligations within my contract of employment were applied to me at any time during the incident.

On reflection, however, I am of the view that there are several potential breeches of my contract of employment.”

I handed over a pre prepared list of ten questions which I would require the answers, prior to any disciplinary hearing, should one go ahead. Those questions can be found at the end of the article should you wish to read them.

The interview concluded and I left, pondering the possible disciplinary hearing which I had no doubt would soon take place. To my astonishment it never did!

Instead I received a phone call from a senior manager apologising to me for what had happened and that the allegations had been dropped and I was free to return to work on Monday 9th March.

I was totally shocked, particularly when considering the current climate we are in. I had been looking passed returning to work and pondering my future post dismissal and was feeling rather bleak about the whole thing but despite my worries I stood my ground and I won! A small but very significant little victory!

I am in no doubt that there will be more battles to fight in this war of medical tyranny and with certainty, the enemy along with their army of Hi-Viz Health Enforcement Officers, will be planning other attacks on freedom and liberty but for now I have survived to fight another day.

I am an ex Royal Marines Commando and my gut instinct will always be to stand and fight. I understand that not everyone is able to do the same and I would never criticise them for that but I could not justify, not putting into practice, that which I encourage others to do. I have never and will never encourage someone to do something, which I am not prepared to do myself.

These are testing times where every little victory matters, however small and we must push back where we can, however we can!  

If you wish to read the statements, questions and letter of suspension, then continue on. I have left out the name of my employer and those involved, as I still work there and would be in breach of my contract of employment should I reveal such details whilst still employed there.

I would further like to add that this is a personal experience and I am not advising or encouraging anyone to imitate my actions nor do I give advice in any legal capacity.

I believe it is everyone’s personal responsibility to educate themselves on their inalienable rights and exercise them where they feel they are obliged to.

MY STATEMENT OF THE INCIDENT

1. I arrived to (work place omitted) at 0554hrs on 28/02/2021, which is my normal place of work. I am employed as a (title omitted). My duties are to (job description omitted).

2. On entering the building, I was immediately met in the main entrance, by a person unknown to me, who did not identify themselves to me and immediately instructed me to take a test for covid 19.

3. I asked why I was being instructed to take a covid test and was simply told that “Everyone was being tested.”

4. I refused to take the test on the grounds that I was not showing symptoms of covid 19, I was not ill, I had not been in contact with anyone showing symptoms of covid and that any test would require my consent.

5. I was instantly threatened with suspension should I not comply with the testing that was being carried out.

6. I explained that it was unlawful to coerce me into an invasive medical procedure and that my inalienable rights to bodily integrity were being disregarded as a result of the attempted coercion.

7. This was refuted by the person instructing me to take the test who went on to inform me that “The covid test is like the Drugs and Alcohol test and if you refuse to take it you will be suspended and face possible disciplinary action.”

8. I again pointed out that that statement alone was coercion and unlawful. I also added that the drugs and alcohol tests were totally different and that they were part of a consensual contract of employment.

9.  I explained that being ordered to participate in an invasive medical procedure at the behest of anyone who simply orders me to, is definitely not within the terms and conditions of my contract of employment.

10. I was concerned that the conditions of the test were unsafe and that the area of testing was inappropriate for several reasons.

11.  I explained my reservations regarding the inaccurate covid testing system which was being used, the way in which it was being used and the setting in which it was being performed, was of a huge concern.

The test produces high rates of false positives which wrongly inform the individual being tested that they are positive resulting in financial loss due to forced quarantining.

Whilst being performed by non-medically qualified staff, the chances of test inaccuracy is dramatically enhanced due to possible cross contamination because the whole of the workforce were all being ushered into the same room at the same time, not socially distancing and not wearing any face coverings. This is not in line with the standards of a medical testing facility.

I also had concerns that the area had not been suitably disinfected or prepared to the required standard of a medical testing facility.

12. I asked if there was a Medically Qualified person on site performing the testing procedure, as the action of swabbing the nasal passage can be dangerous when performed by unqualified people and can result in injury or damage to the blood brain barrier.

13. I was told that the person performing the test had been trained.

14. I asked who was performing the test and what training they had received.

15. I was then told that members of staff were performing their own tests. I was at this point extremely concerned bordering on horrified at such a cavalier approach to my health and safety.

16. I explained that could be a particularly dangerous and those performing procedures on themselves could injure themselves if they pierce their blood brain barrier.

17. I then asked if I was being suspended because if I was, then I needed to be going home immediately due to the unsafe environment I was in and the level of distress this had caused me.

18. I was told by another member of staff, who instructed me to go into the room where everyone was being tested because someone wanted my Family name.

19. I told this person, that whoever required my details should come out of the crowded room, which I assumed was suspected of a covid outbreak and get my details as I was not prepared to enter on the grounds of safety.

20. This person then came back and said “that I had to go in there as HR were in there.”

21. I asked this person to identify himself. He said “I’m just (name omitted).”

22. I informed (name omitted) that “this was a private matter” and that “I do not ‘need’ (as he put it) to go anywhere and that I do not take orders from strangers where my health is concerned.” I added that he should also mind his own business and repeated that should someone require my details that they come out and get them.

23. I was then shouted at by the security guard who said “it’s no good arguing with us, it’s not our rules”. Or words to that effect.

24. I responded by saying that “they were responsible for facilitating a procedure that could potentially cause injury and that they were involving themselves in the ‘argument’ by shouting comments.”

23. I was then handed a sheet of paper, informing me that I was suspended on full pay for “Refusing a reasonable management request” (refusing a lateral flow test for covid).

24. The person who handed me the letter did not identify himself, he did not take me to a private area to explain what was happening and simply said “don’t shoot the messenger”.

25. Not at any point during the incident was I offered the option of a private area to discuss any of the concerns I had raised, nor was I asked if I was comfortable discussing this in full view of the entire workforce. I have the right to privacy and confidentiality which was not afforded to me at all during this incident.

26. Throughout the incident which lasted roughly 20 minutes, I was subjected to several members of staff who found it highly appropriate to comment and voice their opinions on what should have been a private conversation between myself and a manager.

27. I found the entire experience to be, distressing, extremely humiliating and totally unprofessional.

28. I then left the premises, on receiving the letter of suspension.

QUESTIONS I HAD PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE DISCIPLINARY HEARING

1. What was the purpose of the mass testing on the date of the incident?

2. Who was given the responsibility for overseeing the testing?

3. What Medical Qualifications does the person responsible for overseeing the testing have?

4. What preparations were made in the area to be used for testing?

5. Was suitable insurance in place on the date of the incident, to cover any injury which could be sustained, as a direct result of Negligent Medical Procedures?

6. Why, was prior notice of testing not given, including an explanation for the requirement to be tested, as testing requires consent?

7. Why was I not taken to a private area to discuss my concerns to protect my confidentiality? And alleviate my clear and obvious distress?

8. Why were people allowed to form in a huge group whilst observing none of the government guidelines regarding social distancing or face coverings?

9. Why wasn’t there a qualified professional there to answer my concerns?

10. Which Laws, contractual or otherwise did the person suspending me from my duties, have the authority to behave in such an inappropriate, unethical and unprofessional manner?

THE LETTER OF SUSPENSION

Blockbuster: Biden Rolling Back Israel’s ‘Free Ride,’ Ready to Recognize Palestinian State

Plans for ‘reset’ of PA ties include rollback of Trump policies legitimizing settlements, $15 million in COVID-related aid to Palestinians

Times of Israel: The Biden administration will reportedly push for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, reinstating US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to more traditionally held positions than those of former president Donald Trump.

memo titled “The US Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward,” which was revealed Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi-based The National, also showed that the Biden administration is planning on announcing a $15 million aid package in coronavirus-related humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians as early as this month.

Drafted by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr, the memo also details plans to roll back various Trump policies that Washington believes made reaching a two-state solution more difficult, such as US legitimization of the settlement enterprise.

Amr recommends in the memo that the White House back a two-state framework “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps and agreements on security and refugees.”

Hady Amr, now US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, speaks at the Brookings Institute, where he was a fellow, on December 3, 2018. (Screen capture/YouTube)

While behind closed doors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has participated in peace negotiations based on the 1967 lines, publicly the formula is not very popular in Israel, particularly among the right wing, which is expected to further expand in the Knesset after next week’s election.

The memo discusses “rolling back certain steps by the prior administration that bring into question our commitment or pose real barriers to a two-state solution, such as country of origin labeling.”

The memo was referring to a last-minute policy change announced by Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, which requires all US exports from the settlements to be labeled as having been “made in Israel.”

Since 1995, US policy had required products made in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such. That directive was republished in 2016 by the Obama administration, which warned that labeling goods as “made in Israel” could lead to fines. Prior to the Oslo Accords, however, all products manufactured in these areas were required to mention Israel in their label when exporting to the United States.

The Pompeo order went into effect in December, but manufacturers were given a 90-day grace period, until March 23, to implement the change.

“As we reset US relations with the Palestinians, the Palestinian body politic is at an inflection point as it moves towards its first elections in 15 years,” the new memo reads. “At the same time, we [the US] suffer from a lack of connective tissue following the 2018 closure of the PLO office in Washington and refusal of Palestinian Authority leadership to directly engage with our embassy to Israel.

The Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, pictured in 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s diplomatic mission in Washington in 2018, against the backdrop of the PA’s boycott of his administration following the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In 2019, the Trump administration shuttered the US consulate in Jerusalem, which served as the de facto embassy to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. The mission was folded into the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and the previous position of consul-general was dissolved.

Before the Trump administration began tightening the screws on the PA in 2018 for refusing to engage with its peace efforts, the United States was the single largest donor country to the PA.

The US paid hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the PA’s creditors, such as the Israeli state utility companies from which the Palestinians purchase water and electricity. They paid for training for the PA’s security forces and numerous infrastructure projects.

Washington also gave hundreds of millions a year in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — known as UNRWA — which is in charge of administering the daily needs of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the Middle East.

The memo, which was passed along to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, highlights UNRWA in particular as one of the organizations the Biden administration plans to back in order to aid the Palestinians.

Israel accuses UNRWA of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, criticizing the agency’s practice of extending refugee status to millions of descendants, rather than only to the original refugees as is the norm with most refugee populations worldwide.

Then-US president Donald Trump (L) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas leave following a joint press conference at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

Noting major economic disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, the memo states that the Biden administration is “planning a full range of economic, security and humanitarian assistance programs [for Palestinians], including through UN Relief and World Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

“State and USAID are working towards a restart of US assistance to the Palestinians in late March or early April,” the memo says, adding that the COVID-related humanitarian relief package will be announced beforehand.

The memo reveals the administration’s plans to “take a two-fold approach of maintaining and ideally improving the US relationship with Israel by deepening its integration into the region while resetting the US relationship with the Palestinian people and leadership.”

It notes Amr’s “listening sessions” with senior officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry who “welcomed the restart of US-Palestinian relations.”

The United States consulate building in Jerusalem, March 4, 2019. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Notably, those two offices are controlled by Blue and White ministers Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi who hold more moderate public stances on the Palestinian issue than Netanyahu and his Likud party. Gantz and Ashkenazi have taken pride in their efforts to block Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation plans last year.

One section of the memo likely to please both sides of the political spectrum in Israel is its support for expanding the normalization agreements brokered by the Trump administration between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors.

However, Amr also writes of using such agreements “to support Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people.” Netanyahu has sought to divorce the normalization deals from the Palestinian issue, arguing that the peace deals prove that Israel can expand its diplomatic ties in the region without making concessions to the Palestinians.

As previously pledged by Biden officials, the memo floats the idea of reopening an independent consulate akin to the one that served as the de facto mission to the Palestinians and operated out of the western part of Jerusalem until 2019. Doing so would signal US recommitment to a two-state solution, the document says. However, no final decisions have been made yet on the matter.

Benny Gantz (left) and Gabi Ashkenazi of the Blue and White party arrive to give a joint a statement in Tel Aviv on February 21, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The memo notes the Biden administration’s commitment to engaging the international community via the UN and the Middle East Quartet, which consists of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

The document notes the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections in May and presidential elections in July, adding that it has been 15 years since Palestinians have been able to elect their representatives.

“But the implications of an election remain uncertain: the collapse of a power-sharing agreement after the prior elections led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza [in 2007],” the memo says, noting the PA request that the US push Jerusalem to allow elections to take place in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, but not stating Washington’s position on the matter.

“We are analyzing the evolving situation and will propose a US posture together with the inter-agency,” the memo reads.

The lack of position on elections is likely to disappoint Ramallah as Palestinian officials have been lobbying Washington in recent weeks to come out in support of the democratic process, sources familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Joe Biden after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

Amr recommends the Biden administration push the PA to clamp down on incitement while also calling out Israeli settlement expansion on land that Palestinians hope will be part of their future state.

The memo reveals that talks are underway with the PA leadership aimed at altering Ramallah’s controversial payment of stipends to Palestinian security prisoners, including those convicted of terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

The altered policy currently being discussed in Ramallah would base the stipends on prisoners’ financial need rather than the length of their sentence, senior Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel in January.

The Biden administration will also seek to boost Palestinian institutions. “This includes strengthening civil society, media watchdogs and other elements of the fourth estate, such as emphasizing to the [Palestinian Authority] the need to protect civil society through the reductions of arrests of bloggers and dissidents,” the memo reads.

ABOUT VT EDITORS

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VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duffeditors@veteranstoday.com

New Symbolic Role for the Israeli Flag

About me
Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

(23 February 2021)

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Flying the Israeli Flag

During the January 6 insurrection, hardly any of the U.S. media took note of the following fact: amongst the signs and banners of rightwing organizations—the “South will rise again” Confederate states enthusiasts, the fascist-like Rambo militias, and the disparate run-amok MAGA maniacs—stood a very large Israeli flag.

If you are looking for comment and contextualization of this appearance, the best place to go is the Israeli progressive web-based magazine, 972.  There you will find a very good piece, dated 22 January 2021, by Ben Lorder. 

Lorder explains that the presence of the Israeli flag in this milieu is not a rarity. “It is hardly the first time,” he tells us. It has also shown up at “Straight Pride parades and pro-Trump car caravans.” Indeed, according to Lorder, “for the ascendant forces of right-wing populism in the United States and around the world … support for Israel takes on a special intensity.” Now, why would that be so? Not exactly for progressive and humanitarian reasons. It would seem that for the rightwing hate-groups presently feeling their time has come, “Israel has become a symbol for a set of values, an entire worldview. … A canvas to project their own fantasies of nationalist chauvinism.”

Interestingly, this rightwing admiration is limited to the Israeli state, which is seen as powerful, aggressive and xenophobic—all necessary qualities for the defense of the Caucasian West against “ethno-religious Others.” This admiration does not extend to diaspora Jews, because American and European rightwing revival is also anti-Semitic. This situation makes for strange bedfellows. Most of these rightist ideologues share the Zionist hope that all those diaspora Jews will pack up and leave—for Israel. 

Part II—Making the Identification—the Israeli State

One might raise the objection that this identification of a demonstrably racist Western rightwing movement with the Israeli state is a serious misinterpretation—resulting in a misappropriation of the Israeli flag. Israel just can’t be the fiercely xenophobic place these fanatics think it is. 

Unfortunately, this objection runs counter to the facts. There is abundant evidence the State of Israel is aggressive and xenophobic and, what is more, is willing to ally with the present Western rightwing movements. The flag, of course, comes along for the ride. For instance, in a Washington Post article by Ishaan Tharoor, entitled “Israel strengthens its ties with the West’s Far Right,” the author notes that “Under [Prime Minister] Netanyahu’s watch, Israel has amassed a conspicuous crop of illiberal allies. Some, like [Italy’s Matteo] Salvini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, represent political movements with histories of neofascism and anti-Semitism. Others, like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, espouse the agenda and rhetoric of would-be strongmen, promising the destruction of their enemies while scoffing at pearl-clutching human rights activists.” 

This has not gone unnoticed among American Zionists such as Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the Jewish American group 

J Street. Ben-Ami said that “In their zeal to maintain the occupation and reject all criticism of its policies towards the Palestinians, the Israeli Right clearly feels kinship with other ultranationalist leaders who are demonizing ethnic minorities, civil society groups and democratic institutions.”

Finally, one can point out that Prime Minister Netanyahu has hired Aaron Klein as his new campaign manager. Klein is a “former reporter for the right-wing Breitbart News site [and] worked with Steve Bannon on Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign. … Klein also collaborated with Bannon to support disgraced former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually assaulting multiple women. The Yeshiva University graduate wrote articles in Breitbart in an effort to discredit Moore’s accusers.”  All one can say here is like finds like.

Part III—Making the Identification—the Israeli Jews

Yet, one can still raise a doubt. One can say that just because the Israeli government has gained racist allies who support its policies of ethnic cleansing, that does not mean that the majority of Israeli Jews are supportive of this. But again, the evidence is incriminating. After all, Israeli Jews democratically elect their prime minister and Netanyahu is certainly not an unknown politician. He leads the country’s rightwing Likud Party and has run the government since 2009. Obviously, he and his policies are both familiar and acceptable to at least a hefty plurality of Israeli Jews. Perhaps as a result of this fact, few Israelis are making a fuss about the use of their flag by the extremist right. 

Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the present Israeli ethnocentrism and the racist policies it engenders are not new. They do not have their origin with Benjamin Netanyahu’s time in office, or the current generation of Israeli Jewish citizens. The present culture and politics have a deeper origin. It lies with the nation’s founding ideology of Zionism.

Part IV—Zionism Sets the Direction

Let’s take a look at Israel’s founding ideology and the factors that historically shaped it in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

First: Zionism is the ideology that makes the claim that the Jews are a nation and they have the right to their own state. It arose as a predictable consequence of long periods of European (not Middle Eastern, Arab or Muslim) anti-Semitism. It also arose out of a 19th- and 20th-century European political culture wherein the standard organizational arrangement was nation-states, most of which were relatively homogeneous in population.  

Second: As a consequence of this political standard, the Zionist leaders concluded that the answer to the suffering caused by anti-Semitism was the creation of a Jewish state.

As the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann said, the goal was a state “as Jewish as England is English.” By the end of the 19th century, the World Zionist Organization had launched a campaign to convince Europe’s great powers to support the founding of such a state.

Third: The open question was where such a state would be founded. Although, most of the Zionists were not religious, they eventually fixated on Palestine because of its Biblical relationship to the ancient Hebrews. By 1917, in the midst of World War I, Chaim Weizmann managed to recruit British backing for the founding of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.

Fourth: And “therein lies the rub,” as Hamlet would say. The mass influx of Europeans, in this case Jews, into a well-populated non-European land—according to British Mandate records, there were some 700,000 Arabs living in Palestine—presaged disaster. The fact that these Zionist immigrants sought domination, ultimately a state for one group alone, would inevitably introduce a corrosive racist element into the country. The indigenous population would eventually have to be segregated out and denied resources and rights—a process, which over time, would lead to an apartheid state of affairs. 

The fact that this predictable path discouraged neither the Zionist Jews nor their British patrons tells us that, when Weizmann made his deal with the British, it was done in a time and place operating on the racist assumptions of colonialism. Indeed, it turns out that Israel is the last great disaster of the age of colonialism—an age in which Europeans took their superiority (both physically and religiously) for granted. And, if they lorded over non-Europeans it could only be for the benefit of the latter, as was suggested by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden.” All of this was shown to be both obsolete and obscene with the coming of the Nazis and World War II.

Fifth: The racist prognosis described above has been realized in Israel. Here is a snapshot of the present situation. B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human-rights organization, has been documenting the violations of human rights in Israel’s Judea and Samaria (more properly known as the occupied Palestinian territories) since 1989. Earlier this month, it issued a position paper announcing that it has decided to call out Israeli policy for what it is—organized, state-sponsored racism. The paper is titled “A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This Is Apartheid.” The paper makes the case that “what looks like apartheid—which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines as inhumane acts committed under a regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups—ought to be called apartheid.”

Sixth: Present-day Israel came about in a predetermined way flowing from Zionism’s initial assumptions. In the first half of the 20th century, Europe and the United States saw nothing wrong with colonialism and helped the Zionists establish a Jewish national home in Palestine. Then came World War II, and the West’s attitude toward racism changed. Yet, in the shadow of the Holocaust, now stood Israel, whose leaders were convinced more than ever that only an ethnocentric, exclusively Jewish nation-state could guarantee survival. So their original purpose and their original racist practice never has changed.

Part V—Conclusion

The resulting apartheid state has attracted the rising wave of today’s rightist fringe like bears to honey. Whether they are white nationalists, Christian nationalists, or just nationalist thugs in suits, they all sense something laudable in Israel. It is a standard-bearer for their own hopes and dreams. To repeat Ben Lorder’s phrasing, the Zionist state has become “a canvas to project their own fantasies of nationalist chauvinism.” As a consequence, the Israeli flag is no longer just Israel’s. Its symbolism has become broader in an all-too-negative way. That is why it was so avidly displayed at the failed insurrection of January 6. 

Lebanon Bids Farewell to Struggler and Thinker Anis Al-Naqqash

 February 25, 2021

Lebanon bade farewell on Wednesday to the struggler and political thinker Anis Al-Naqqash, who died of the coronavirus in Damascus on Monday.

A number of the resistance supporters, Al-Naqqash friends, and the representatives of resistance movements attended the burial ceremony during which Sheikh Maher Hammoud led the prayers for the body of Al-Naqqash.

It is worth noting that Al-Naqqash died on Monday after battling COVID-19 for several days, Lebanese media reported.

Born on 1951, Al-Naqqash joined the ranks of Fatah movement in 1968. He was tasked with several missions in Lebanon, occupied territories and Europe as well. He played vital role in coordination between Palestinian revolution and revolution in Iran.

Al-Naqqash was among the first operatives who formed the Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation in 1978. He witnessed the Lebanese civil war and documented its behind-the-scenes events.

In 1980, he was accused for being involved in a failed assassination attempt on the last Prime Minister of Iran under Pahlavi monarchy, Shapour Bakhtiar, in a court in Paris and was sentenced to life in prison. Al-Naqqash was freed on 27 July 1990, after being pardoned by President François Mitterrand.

He is well known for being a pro-resistance political analyst who opposes Western-backed Arab regimes. In the last years, he had run Beirut-based Al-Aman Network for Studies and Researches.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Bibi, Pfizer and the Election

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Bibi Pfizer election.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Israel’s biggest news outlet Ynet reported a few hours ago  that in the country voluntarily making itself Pfizer’s testing ground,  “75.4% of those diagnosed yesterday were under 39.  Only 5.5% were over 60. “The number of critical patients dropped to 858 – the lowest since January 4. However, this number is more than double that in mid-December, just before Israel started its ‘pioneering’ experiment in mass vaccination.  Ynet reports today that “In Israel 59.9% of critical patients are over 60 years old. 18.2% are aged 50 to 59. In addition, 10.8% are aged 40 to 49 and 7.5% are in their 30s. As of today, more than a third of critical patients are between 30 to 59 years old.” 

The meaning of the above can hardly be denied or at least demands immediate attention. The country that leads the mass vaccination contest reports a radical shift in the nature of the pandemic. It doesn’t take a genius to suspect that there may be a correlation between the mass vaccination campaign and the growing vulnerability of younger age groups including new-born and pregnant women. The biology here is also far from being too complicated. The virus that initially preyed on the elderly and vulnerable has morphed by means of mutation and is now fit enough to attack other segments of society and particularly younger age groups. 

Up to the 20th of December, the day Israel launched its mass vaccination campaign the country had logged 3,074 deaths. In less than two months of ‘successful’ mass vaccination that number almost doubled. As of writing this article, it stands on 5,526. This spectacular rise in deaths (80% in less than two months) occurred when the country was in lockdown, hence it wasn’t exactly ‘social gathering’ that helped the virus spread. The only thing that was spreading in Israel in these two months was the Pfizer vaccines and the so-called British mutant that is apparently more popular in Bnei Brak than in Kent. The inevitable question here is whether there is a connection between vaccination and mutants, but this is the one question no one is allowed to ask in Israel.

In November 2020 Israeli Health Ministry data revealed that Israel detected 400 cases coronavirus under the age of two. By February 2021, that number grew to 5,800.  We are dealing with a clear rise of about 1300%, impressive indeed. Israeli Ynet reports that this kind of rise in numbers of new-born Covid-19 morbidity are reported around the world, I investigated it but didn’t manage to find any confirmation that this is indeed the case.  In Britain, for instance, all I find is reports on a ‘Covid-19 baby boom’ and some concerns regarding a rise in child obesity. In fact, nobody reports on a rise of 1300% in new-born Covid-19 except Israel. 

I am not in a position to determine what led Israelis to make themselves into guinea pigs for a pharma giant with a dubious safety and ethical record. The possibility must be considered that in Israel the success of a mass vaccination campaign could be Netanyahu and his party’s primary ploy ahead of the coming election. Netanyahu faces a serious legal battle, and winning the election extends far beyond politics for him. It is an existential survival battle. I believe Bibi had to choose between war with Iran and a Pfizer vaccine. He had good reason to assume that Pfizer is by far a better and more peaceful option.

Netanyahu probably gathered that a successful mass vaccination campaign would secure his victory. This was indeed a reasonable consideration on his part, and it may prove to be correct. It is worth mentioning that not one of Netanyahu’s political opponents on the evaporating Israeli Left or centre dare challenge Netanyahu’s vaccine policy. More so, not one Left-wing institution in Israel has stood up for the many Israelis reluctant to be vaccinated (currently more than 50%).  Not one politician took their side and stood for their elementary rights.

Meanwhile, the government is desperate to make sure that the entire nation is vaccinated. The government won’t hesitate to introduce totalitarian measures.   The Jerusalem post reported today that “a green passport will be required to enter certain places and to participate in certain activities. Only people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus will be eligible for one. As part of the program, registered gyms, theatres, hotels, concerts and synagogues will be able to operate starting next week.” Israel already signed agreements with countries that will open their gates solely to the Israelis who carry green passport.

One may wonder why the Israeli Government is so obsessed with vaccinating the entire population, including the youth, army and other segments that aren’t necessarily high-risk. One possibility is that the Israeli government knows by now the real implications of the vaccine. Israel can’t turn a blind eye to the 1300% rise of Covid-19 cases in new-borns. They also can’t ignore that the number of Covid-19 deaths since the vaccination campaign started equals that of IDF fatalities in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a war the country is still traumatized by.

It is possible that Israeli leadership now acknowledge the fatal mistake it has made distributing the vaccine widely. It may be plausible that the only solution they could come up with is vaccinating the entire population, hoping that this may provide at least temporary protection, which may last until the March election date.

If there is any validity in my dark depiction of the Israeli reality, it is reasonable to conclude that with Bibi at the helm and Pfizer with a needle, Israelis do not really need enemies. 

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⁨إصلاح “حماس”، عمرو علان يساجل أحمد يوسف

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

إصلاح “حماس”، عمرو علان يساجل أحمد يوسف

عمرو علان

 عربي 21، الخميس 31 كانون الأول\ديسمبر 2020

نشر د. أحمد يوسف مؤخرا مقالا بعنوان “لأخي خالد مشعل، حماس وجدلية الإصلاح والتغيير”، وجاء المقال على صيغة نصيحة لحركة “حماس” ولرئيس مكتبها السياسي السابق السيد خالد مشعل بهدف تقويم المسار وسد الثغرات وتقوية الحركة حسب تصور د. أحمد. 

لكن جل ما عدَّه د. أحمد نصائح إصلاحية كانت في الحقيقة تساعد على زيادة اعوجاج المسار – إن كان مسار الحركة شابه اعوجاج – وتفتح الباب على مصراعيه للتنازلات في الثوابت عوضا عن سد الثغرات، وفيها مما يهدم قوة الحركة الحقيقية إذا ما استصاغتها قيادة الحركة.

ويبدو أن ما ورد في المقال المذكور يتجاوز كونه حالة فردية إلى كونه يمثل وجهة نظر شريحة معينة من أبناء حركة المقاومة الإسلامية “حماس”. 

ولا يدّعي كاتب هذه السطور أنه أحد أبناء هذه الحركة، لكن منطلقا من الحرص على كل فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، التي تعد حماس عمودها الفقري، والتي باتت تشكل يد الشعب الفلسطيني الطولى وسنده الصلب، هو ما اقتضى هذا الرد.

حماس” والمعترك السياسي

يقول د. أحمد إنه كان من أوائل من دعوا إلى دخول معترك السياسة والحُكْم، ويتحسر على تأخر حركة حماس في اتخاذ هذه الخطوة، لكنه في الوقت نفسه يختلف مع السيد خالد مشعل على كون خوض حماس لانتخابات 2006 ودخولها معترك السلطة والحُكْم قد حمى ظهر المقاومة كما كان مرجوا، وهو محق في هذا التقييم، فكيف إذن لا تؤخذ هذه التجربة ونتائجها بالحسبان عند الدعوة إلى الغوص أكثر في دهاليز السياسة والحُكْم؟ 

وهنا يجدر التذكير بكون أول من عد انتخابات 2006 غير شرعية كانت أمريكا ومن لف لفها من دعاة الديمقراطية، رغم شهادة الجميع بنزاهة تلك الانتخابات بما في ذلك حركة فتح ذاتها. أليس في هذا عبرة لمن يَعدّ أن تلك الدول التي يرجى مخاطبتها في السياسة كخصم سياسي لن تعترف بحركات المقاومة كندّ سياسي حتى تتخلى عن الثوابت؟ ناهيك عن تخليها عن المقاومة المسلحة كمنهج وطريق للتحرير؟

وفي الواقع – ومع تقديرنا لكلام السيد خالد مشعل – فإن دخول حركة حماس انتخابات 2006 كان خطأ في التقدير، فهو أولا: لم يؤمّن للمقاومة وحركة حماس عموما أي حصانة، وثانيا: كان بمعنى أو بآخر اعترافا ضمنيا بأوسلو رغم تصريحات حماس بعكس ذلك، ورغم عدم رغبة حماس بالاعتراف بمسار أوسلو، فالسياسة ممارسة، لا مجرد مواقف تفقد قيمتها إذا ما اقترنت بالفعل، وعلى المرء أن يعترف بأن رفض مخرجات أوسلو ومن ثم دخول انتخابات للمشاركة في سلطة هي أحد مخرجات أوسلو فيه من التناقض ما لا يمكن تجاهله.

ومن ثم يذكر د. أحمد فيما ذَكَر لدعم وجهة نظره خذلان بعض الحركات الإسلامية والعروبية التي كانت حماس تعول عليها بما نراه من انبطاح واتفاقيات تطبيع مخزية. 

حسنا، أليس أحد أهداف هذه الاتفاقيات بث الوهن في عَضُد حركات المقاومة والضغط عليها نفسيا؟ وإيهامها بأنه لم يعد لها سند ولا نصيرعلها ترضخ للمسارات السياسية طريقا عوضا عن طريق المقاومة والكفاح المسلح؟ 

نعم يألم الجميع لما نراه من هرولة للارتماء في أحضان العدو، لكن هذا لا يغير شيئا على الأرض وفي الميدان، فلقد طورت حماس في ظل السنوات العجاف التي مرت من قدراتها التسليحية أضعافا، وحفرت عشرات الكيلومترات من الأنفاق، وتحولت المقاومة إلى جيش يحسب له ألف حساب، ولكم في المناورات المشتركة الأخيرة “الركن الشديد” مثالا، وإن هذا الطريق هو الذي يحبط أهداف العدو من إسقاط بعض الأنظمة والحركات في براثن التطبيع، وأما الغرق أكثر في بحور السلطة فلن يكون مصيره أفضل مما وصلت إليه السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية، التي لم تصمد على قرار وقف التنسيق الأمني الشكلي سوى أسابيع، حتى خرج علينا حسين الشيخ ليعلن انتصار الشعب الفلسطيني وعودة الحال لما كان عليه بعد استلامه ورقة من مجرد ضابط مخابرات صهيوني، وبالمناسبة كان شح الأموال وضيق الحال الاقتصادي من أهم دوافع السلطة لإعلان عودة التنسيق الأمني والخروج علينا بتصريح حسين الشيخ المخزي بكل المعايير، وهذه نفس الظروف التي أشار إليها د. أحمد في مطلع مقاله، ولعله بهذا يقرأ في كتاب الرئيس محمود عباس.

النظام الداخلي لحماس وحديث الهدنة

ويمضي د. أحمد في مقاله بعد ذلك لتعداد بعض النقاط التي يرى فيها خللا، ومن بينها على سبيل المثال: دعوته إلى تطوير النظام الداخلي لحركة حماس، ولعملية اختيار القيادات فيها، وهذا أمر مشروع ومحمود بالتأكيد، لكن مع مراعات منهج التطوير السليم، وإدراك كون حركة حماس حركة مقاومة وتحرير لا دولة، فصحيح أنه يجب بث الدماء الجديدة في صفوف القيادات والاستفادة من طاقات أبناء حركة حماس المخضرمين، لكن من الصحيح أيضا أن معيار اختيار القيادات الأساسي في حركات التحرير يبقى سِجِل تلك القيادات الجهادي والنضالي، وهذا نهج كل حركات المقاومة والتحرير عبر التاريخ، فلا تقاد حركات المقاومة (بالتكنوقراط) والاختصاصيين، ويُذكِّر هذا بما كانت تتداوله بعض قيادات فتح عن أبو عمار – رحمة الله عليه – بعد إنشاء السلطة، وبعد تصديقهم لأكذوبة أنه بات لنا دولة، فكانوا يتهامسون بأن أبا عمار ليس رجل المرحلة، حيث مقتضيات إدارة الدولة تختلف عن متطلبات إدارة حركة نضال وطني، والكل يعرف بقية القصة، وما آلت إليه حركة فتح بعد إقصاء كل من كان له تاريخ نضالي من صفوفها لصالح (التكنوقراط) على شاكلة سلام فياض وغيره.

ثم يقول د. أحمد إنه قد آن الأوان لعقد هدنة أو استراحة محارب، وليته وضح لنا مفهوم الهدنة التي يقترحها، ألم تعقد حماس عدة اتفاقيات تهدئة؟ لكن دائما كان العدو من يخرقها ولا ينفّذ ما التزم به، فالهدنة المقبولة من وجهة نظر العدو هي تلك التي تسلم المقاومة بمقتضاها سلاحها أو تتوقف عن الإعداد من زيادة السلاح كما ونوعا وحفر الأنفاق وغير ذلك، فهل هذا هو الثمن الذي يُقترَح على حركات المقاومة وحماس دفعه؟

المقاومة السلمية

 وفي نقطة أخرى متصلة يدعو د. أحمد إلى تبنّي منهج مقاوم يردع العدو ويكشف جرائمه، ملمحا إلى المقاومة السلمية، ويتعجب المرء من هكذا كلام وكأن المقاومة السلمية تردع عدوا أو تكبح مغتصبا، نعم المقاومة السلمية تعد أحد أشكال المقاومة لكن لا يجوز بحال تبنيها كمنهج وأساس للمقاومة، فالكفاح المسلح وحده من يردع العدو، ولو كانت مقاومة الشموع تردع محتلا لفلحت مقاومة من اتخذها نهجا من قبْل، فأي نصيحة هذه التي تؤدي إلى تسليم رقاب المقاومين للصهيوني كي يذبحهم على مذبح تجربة المجرب؟ وأما فضح جرائم الاحتلال، فليكن د. أحمد متأكدا بأن أولئك الذين يرغب بفضح العدو أمامهم هم ذاتهم شركاء حتى أخمص قدميهم في جرائم هذا العدو، ولا يلزمهم شرح ولا توضيح.

حزب سياسي للإسلاميين!


أما الطامة فكانت في قول د. أحمد “لقد آن الأوان لإنشاء حزب سياسي يتحدث باسم الإسلاميين في فلسطين، ويمثل رأس جسر لهم، بعيداً عن اتهامات التطرف والإرهاب”، عذرا لكن أيما تشويش في الأفكار هذا؟ هل يرضى د. أحمد وصول الحال بحماس بأن تشجب وتدين العمل المقاوم ليرضى عنها هؤلاء الذين يريد شرح جرائم الاحتلال لهم؟ ونربأ بالدكتور أحمد عن ذلك، وأيضا هل وصف حركة حماس وسائر حركات المقاومة بالإرهاب والتشدد لأنهم فعلا كذلك أم لكونهم متمسكين بحقهم وحق كل الشعب الفلسطيني في المقاومة والتحرير؟ 

وعليه ليس مفهوما ما المقصود من هذه النصيحة، وما هي طبيعة تلك الحركات الإسلامية “غير المتشددة”، ولعل مرد التشويش في الأفكار عند د. أحمد هو الإيمان بطريق السلطة والحُكْم، وإعلاء السياسة كأولوية على القوة والمقاومة اللتين تعدان مصدري صناعة السياسة ومرتكزاتها الأساسية، وبدونهما يصير العمل السياسي مجرد استجداء وحبر على ورق.

ويدعو د. أحمد إلى ضرورة إعطاء أولوية الإنفاق للمحتاجين، ولتوجيه دعم الدول العربية والإسلامية لوكالة الأونروا، مجددا القصد غير واضح تماما من هذه النصيحة ومن استخدام كلمة “أولوية” في هذا المقام،بالطبع يقع على عاتق حركة حماس مسؤولية اتجاه المحتاجين من شعبنا، كونها أحد الفصيلين الأكبرين في الساحة الفلسطينية، وكونها ارتضت تسلم السلطة في قطاع غزة، فإن كان القصد هو إيلاء هذه المسؤولية المزيد من الاهتمام عبر سد أبواب الهدر التي باتت وبصراحة كثيرة في نشاطات فروع حركة حماس في خارج فلسطين، عبر كثرة المؤتمرات الخطابية التي لا تقدم ولا تؤخر كثيرا، والتي تتسم في الكثير من الأحيان بالبذخ غير المقبول نهائيا، وصارت مصدر استرزاق للبعض وللزبائنية، وحيث صار جزء لا يستهان به من كوادر حركة حماس في الخارج عبء على كاهل الحركة بدلا من أن يكونوا رافدا لها.

فإذا كان المقصود هو سد هذا الباب وتحويل جزء من هذا الهدر لدعم المحتاجين من شعبنا فلا غبار على ذلك، وأما إن كان المقصود تحويل حركة حماس لجمعية خيرية، وتقزيم القضية الفلسطينية لتصبح قضية محتاجين ففي هذا انحراف كبير، فمسؤولية حركة حماس الأساسية مع باقي حركات المقاومة العمل على تحرير الأرض، والتحرير له أولوياته المعروفة، وهذا ما يحل مشكلة المحتاجين من أصلها التي ما هي إلا أحد أعراض الاحتلال وضياع الأرض، وإلا سيظل شعبنا محتاجا ومحروما إلى ما شاء الله، ومع الفوارق في الفداحة وقدر المعاناة، يظل حال الشعب الفلسطيني كحال غيره من شعوب المنطقة التي اتخذت من المقاومة والصمود طريقا، فها هي الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ترزح تحت حصار خانق منذ قرابة الأربعين عاما، ولبنان يتحمل من الحصار والضغوط الأمريكيين بسبب تمسك حزب الله بالثوابت الدينية والوطنية وحقوق لبنان في أرضه وثرواته من غاز وغيره، وتتعرض سوريا لحرب كونية ضروس منذ عشر سنوات بسبب مواقفها الوطنية والقومية الداعمة للمقاومات في لبنان وفلسطين على حد سواء، واليوم جاؤوها بقانون قيصر الظالم ليستكمل الحصار الاقتصادي على شعبها الصامد، فهذا هو حال شعبنا وهذه هي ضريبة التحرير، وإلا فلنرتضي أن تصير حركة حماس تنتظر الفتات من تحويلات مالية “إسرائيلية” كما السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية العتيدة.

خاتمة


الحديث يطول فيما ورد في المقال من نقاط “ونصائح”، لكن ملخص القول إن د. أحمد دعا في غير موضع من مقاله إلى استخلاص العبر والدروس من تجارب الماضي، لكن الظاهر أن د. أحمد لم يستخلص العبر من المثال الشاخص أمامنا ممثلا في مسار منظمة التحرير وما وصلت إليه، ناهيكم عن مسارات المتخاذلين الآخرين من حركات ونظام عربي متهالك، فإذا كان هذا هو المنهج فلا لوم على الذين سقطوا سقوطا مدويا في عامنا هذا الذي يصح وصفه بعام الخيانات.

*كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

Kim No-VAX does DARPA

Kim No-VAX does DARPA

December 20, 2020

A Back to the Future exercise: time-traveling to survey the sci-tech scene in the mid-1980s

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

HAL9000_I’m_Sorry_Dave, Motivational Poster. Wikimedia Commons

I have been going through my Asia Times archives selecting reports and columns for a new e-book on the Forever Wars – Afghanistan and Iraq. But then, out of the blue, I found this palimpsest, originally published by Asia Times in February 2014. It happened to be a Back to the Future exercise – traveling in time to survey the scene in the mid-1980s across Silicon Valley, MIT’s AI lab, DARPA and the NSA, weaving an intersection of themes, and a fabulous cast of characters, which prefigure the Brave New Techno World we’re now immersed in, especially concerning the role of artificial intelligence. So this might be read today as a sort of preamble, or a background companion piece, to No Escape from our Techno-Feudal World, published early this month. Incidentally, everything that takes place in this account was happening 18 years before the end of the Pentagon’s LifeLog project, run by DARPA, and the simultaneous launch of Facebook. Enjoy the time travel.

In the spring of 1986, Back to the Future, the Michael J Fox blockbuster featuring a time-traveling DeLorean car, was less than a year old. The Apple Macintosh, launched via a single, iconic ad directed by Ridley (Blade Runner) Scott, was less than two years old. Ronald Reagan, immortalized by Gore Vidal as “the acting president,” was hailing the mujahideen in Afghanistan as “freedom fighters.”

The world was mired in Cyber Cold War mode; the talk was all about electronic counter-measures, with American C3s (command, control, communications) programmed to destroy Soviet C3s, and both the US and the USSR under MAD (mutually assured destruction) nuclear policies being able to destroy the earth 100 times over. Edward Snowden was not yet a three-year-old.

It was in this context that I set out to do a special report for a now-defunct magazine about artificial intelligence (AI), roving from the Computer Museum in Boston to Apple in Cupertino and Pixar in San Rafael, and then to the campuses of Stanford, Berkeley and MIT.

AI had been “inaugurated” in 1956 by Stanford’s John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky, a future MIT professor who at the time had been a student at Harvard. The basic idea, according to Minsky, was that any intelligence trait could be described so precisely that a machine could be created to simulate it.

My trip inevitably involved meeting a fabulous cast of characters. At MIT’s AI lab, there was Minsky and also an inveterate iconoclast, Joseph Weizenbaum, who had coined the term “artificial intelligentsia” and believed computers could never “think” just like a human being.

Joseph Weizenbaum. Source: Chatbots

At Stanford, there was Edward Feigenbaum, absolutely paranoid about Japanese scientific progress; he believed that if the Japanese developed a fifth-generation computer, based on artificial intelligence, that could think, reason and speak even such a difficult language as Japanese “the US will be able to bill itself as the first great post-industrial agrarian society.”

And at Berkeley, still under the flame of hippie utopian populism, I found Robert Wilensky – Brooklyn accent, Yale gloss, California overtones; and philosopher Hubert Dreyfus, a tireless enemy of AI who got his kicks delivering lectures such as “Conventional AI as a Paradigm of Degenerated Research.”

Meet Kim No-VAX

Soon I was deep into Minsky’s “frames” – a basic concept to organize every subsequent AI program – and the Chomsky paradigm: the notion that language is at the root of knowledge, and that formal syntax is at the root of language. That was the Bible of cognitive science at MIT.

Marvin Minsky at MIT Lab. Photo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

At the MIT cafeteria, Minsky delivered a futurist rap without in the least resembling Dr Emmett Brown in Back to the Future:

I believe that in less than five centuries we will be producing machines very similar to us, representing our thoughts and point of view. If we can build a miniaturized human brain weighing, let’s say, one gram, we can lodge it in a spaceship and make it travel at the speed of light. It would be very hard to build a spaceship to carry an astronaut and all his food for 10,000 years of travel …

With Professor Feigenbaum, in Stanford’s philosophical garden, the only space available was for the coming yellow apocalypse. But then one day I crossed Berkeley’s post-hippie Rubicon and opened the door of the fourth floor of Evans Hall, where I met none other than Kim No-VAX.

No, that was not the Hitchcock blonde and Vertigo icon; it was an altered hardware computer (No-VAX because it had moved beyond Digital Equpment Corporation’s VAX line of supercomputers), financed by the mellifluously acronymed Pentagon military agency DARPA, decorated with a photo of Kim Novak and humming with the sexy vibration of – at the time immense – 2,900 megabytes of electronic data spread over its body.

The US government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – or DARPA – was all about computer science. In the mid-1980s, DARPA was immersed in a very ambitious program linking microelectronics, computer architecture and AI way beyond a mere military program. That was comparable to the Japanese fifth generation computer program. At MIT, the overwhelming majority of scientists were huge DARPA cheerleaders, stressing how the agency was leading research. Yet Terry Winograd, a computer science professor at Stanford, warned that had DARPA been a civilian agency, “I believe we would have made much more progress”.

It was up to Professor Dreyfus to provide the voice of reason amidst so much cyber-euphoria: “Computers cannot think like human beings because there’s no way to represent all retrospective knowledge of an average human life – that is, ‘common sense’ – in a form that a computer may apprehend.” Dreyfus’s drift was that with the boom of computer science, philosophy was dead – and he was a philosopher: “Heidegger said that philosophy ended because it reached its apex in technology. Philosophy in fact reached its limit with AI. They, the scientists, inherited our questions. What is the mind? Now they have to answer for it. Philosophy is over.”

Hubert Dreyfus. Source: Berkeley Campus News

Yet Dreyfus was still teaching. Likewise at MIT, Weizenbaum was condemning AI as a racket for “lunatics and psychopaths” – but still continued to work at the AI lab.

NSA’s wet web dream

In no time, helped by these brilliant minds, I figured out that the AI “secret” would be a military affair, and that meant the National Security Agency – already in the mid-1980s vaguely known as “no such agency,” with double the CIA’s annual budget to pay for snooping on the whole planet. The mission back then was to penetrate and monitor the global electronic net – that was years before all the hype over the “information highway” – and at the same time reassure the Pentagon over the inviolability of its lines of communication. For those comrades – remember, the Cold War, even with Gorbachev in power in the USSR, was still on – AI was a gift from God (beating Pope Francis by almost three decades).

So what was the Pentagon/NSA up to, at the height of the star wars hype, and over a decade and a half before the revolution in military affairs and the full spectrum dominance doctrine?

They already wanted to control their ships and planes and heavy weapons with their voices, not their hands; voice command a la Hal, the star computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Still, that was a faraway dream. Minsky believed that “only in the next century” would we be able to talk to a computer. Others believed that would never happen. Anyway, IBM was already working on a system accepting dictation; and MIT on another system that identified words spoken by different people; while Intel was developing a special chip for all this.

Although, predictably, prevented from visiting the NSA, I soon learned that the Pentagon was expecting to possess “intelligent” computing systems by the 1990s; Hollywood, after all, already had unleashed the Terminator series. It was up to Professor Wilensky, in Berkeley, to sound the alarm bells:

Human beings don’t have the appropriate engineering for the society they developed. Over a million years of evolution, the instinct of getting together in small communities, belligerent and compact, turned out to be correct. But then, in the 20th century, man ceased to adapt. Technology overtook evolution. The brain of an ancestral creature, like a rat, which sees provocation in the face of every stranger, is the brain that now controls the earth’s destiny.

It was as if Wilensky was describing the NSA as it would be 28 years later. Some questions still remain unanswered; for instance, if our race does not fit anymore the society it built, who’d guarantee that its machines are properly engineered? Who’d guarantee that intelligent machines act in our interest?

What was already clear by then was that “intelligent” computers would not end a global arms race. And it would be a long time, up to the Snowden revelations in 2013, for most of the planet to have a clearer idea of how the NSA orchestrates the Orwellian-Panopticon complex. As for my back to the future trip, in the end I did not manage to uncover the “secret” of AI. But I’ll always remain very fond of Kim No-VAX.

فَخُّ التطبيع الإماراتي ينزلق بسرعة نحو الكارثة حتى على مَن صنعه من الإماراتيين!

السيد سامي خضرا

كما هو متوقع، فإنّ التجربة الإماراتية التطبيعية ستكون نموذجاً مختلفاً عما سبقه من خطوات مع مصر والأردن وغيرهما وذلك لأسبابٍ موضوعية:

فكُلُّنا يعلم أنّ دولة الإمارات ما قامت واستمرّت إلا من خلال الوافد من الإختصاصيّين من جميع أنحاء العالم بِمَن فيهم العالم العربي وخاصة المصريّين والفلسطينيّين والعراقيّين واللبنانيّين، فكان من الاستحالة قيام المُسمّون «السكان الأصليّين» بمفردهم بمهام قيام دولة.

لذا فإنّ أيّ زائر للإمارات سوف يرى الأجانب في كلّ مكان في الوزارات والمؤسسات والشركات والمطارات وعند المداخل والمخارج وسائر مراكز الدولة بحيث أنّ ما يُسمّى «بالسكان الأصليين» أصبحوا يُشكِّلون حوالى عشرة بالمئة من مجموع القاطنين والساكنين والموظفين والعاملين.

فالإمارات وعلى خلاف الدول الأخرى ليس لها تاريخٌ مستقلّ كما هي حالة المحيط القوي الضارب في أعماق التاريخ كعُمان واليمن والهند والسند وغيرها من البلدان العريقة من أواسط آسيا حتى الشرق الأفريقي.

وهؤلاء آثارهم ظاهرة ومستمرّة في زنجبار ومدغشقر ومومباسا إلى الأرخبيل الأندونيسي المترامي.

والإمارات ليس لها مواقف قومية ولا محطات تاريخية ولا معارك فاصلة أو دور عالمي أو صناعي أو اقتصادي إلا ما استُحْدث لها مؤخراً من تدخلات هوجاء تَنُمُّ عن طبيعةٍ مريضة تُترجمها بعدوانية وخُبث على شعوبٍ قريبةٍ وبعيدةٍ منها ولم تجلب إلا الكوارث والمصائب:

كتدخُّلِها في ليبيا والقرن الأفريقي وسورية والعراق ورغبتها في إقامة قواعد عسكرية في أريتريا وجيبوتي…

وكل هذا في كَفَّة، وتدخلها الظالم والإجرامي بكلّ تفاصيله اليومية في اليمن في كفةٍ أخرى.

فما نراه اليوم على مستوى التطبيع من تسرُّع «نكائي» في أن تُظهر الإمارات حماسها غير المُعْتَمِد على أيّ أُسس يمكن أن تحتمي بها، فهي ومنذ أن تمّ الإعلان عن الخطوة التطبيعية وتراها تحشد إعلامياً لِتُبيِّن فوائد التطبيع (وكلها موهومةٌ على صعيد الإقتصاد والتجارة والسياحة و«السلام» وشركات الطيران…

ولا نغفل عن آخر عروضاتهم في التعاون على صعيد الأبحاث العلمية والتكنولوجية وهو أمرٌ يُضحك الثكلى!

فمن غريب الأمور أن تطلب هذه الدولة التعاون العلمي مع دولٍ أخرى وقد وضعت نفسها في موقعٍ ليس لها مُطلقاً، وهذا يُذكِّرنا بالمناورات العسكرية في السنين الماضية بين بعض الدول الخليجية الصغيرة وجيوش الولايات المتحدة الأميركية!

وأين هؤلاء من هؤلاء؟!

كما يُذكِّرنا بالمؤسّسة التي أُنشئَت في الإمارات عبر مرسوم صاحب السمو الشيخ خليفة بن زايد آل نهيان بإنشاء «وكالة الإمارات للفضاء» وبميزانيات مهولة وطموحات خيالية لإقامة مدينة في المريخ بعد مئة عام!

والأمر ليس نكتةً أبداً إنما هو حقيقة بُثَّت عبر الفضائيات التابعة لهم ورآها الناس في كلّ مكان.

ففي ظلّ هذا التطبيع البائس بنسخته الإماراتية من الطبيعي أن نسأل:

ماذا لدى الإمارات لِتُقدّمه للطرف الآخر إلا العبث والكيد والتآمر والتجسُّس وتنفيذ الأجندات الأمنية لخدمة المحور الأميركي الإسرائيلي والتغطية المالية للقيام بعملياتٍ دوليةٍ قَذِرة… وها هي اليوم تفتح البلاد على مصراعيها للمؤسسات الأميركية الإسرائيلية؟!

فليس عند الإمارات وكما كانت في كلّ تاريخها شيءٌ تُقدّمه مُستقِلاً لا في المجال التقني ولا العلمي ولا القومي ولا الإنساني باستثناء البهرجات الإعلامية التي لا تُقدِّم ولا تؤخر، وما هي إلا بالونات تُسعد الناظرين ألوانُها لتعلو وتُبهِرهم ثم لا تلبث أن تنفجر من دون نتيجةٍ أو فائدة.

ومن ذلك مشاهد لأفرادٍ يَتصنَّعون ويتزلَّفون تطبيعاً يدَّعي السلام ويُشجِّع على الزيارات المتبادلة والإعجاب التافه.

والكلّ يعلم أنّ هؤلاء لا يمثلون إلا الشاذ من أمة العرب والمسلمين.

إنَّ فَخَّ التطبيع الإماراتي ينزلق بسرعة نحو المُتوقَّع الكارثي حتى على مَن صنعه من الإماراتيين.

وتطبيع الإمارات في حقيقته هو خدمةٌ مجانية بل ومدفوعة الثمن للأعداء ولن تجلب إلا مزيداً من المآسي الإنسانية والتي لن يسلم منها ومن كوارثها حكام الإمارات أنفسهم.

ويا ليتهم يتذكَّرون أنه لو دامت لغيرهم ما وصلت إليهم…

Hackers Target US Nuclear Weapons Security Agency-‘Israel’ Is Afraid, Fears More Advanced Cyberattacks

Hackers Target US Nuclear Weapons Security Agency

By Staff, Agencies

The US nuclear weapons agency is reportedly targeted by hackers as part of a massive cyber security breach against federal agencies and critical infrastructure.

Politico reported on Thursday that hackers targeted the Department of Energy [DOE] and its National Nuclear Security Administration [NNSA], which secures the US nuclear weapons stockpile.

The attack was part of a massive cyber campaign that affected at least half a dozen federal agencies, including the Treasury, State, War and Commerce Departments, Bloomberg reported.

The US has a total of 3,800 nuclear weapons, many of which were produced during the early years of the Cold War and are overseen by the NNSA.

US President-elect Joe Biden described the cybersecurity breach as a matter of great concern, saying his team would impose “substantial costs” on parties responsible for such attacks.

Biden promised he “will make cybersecurity a top priority at every level of government, and we will make dealing with this breach a top priority from the moment we take office.”

“But a good defense isn’t enough; we need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyber-attacks in the first place,” Newsweek reported, quoting from a statement sent Biden’s transition team. “We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our allies and partners.”

Senator Deb Fischer, chair of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said that she was “troubled” by reports of the security breach.

“Our nuclear deterrent is the bedrock of our national security. The NNSA’s infrastructure and computer systems play a vital role and must be protected,” she said in a statement.

Earlier this week, the US Department of Homeland Security and thousands of businesses were targeted by a sweeping hacking campaign that officials suspect was directed by the Russian government.

Emails sent by officials at DHS, which oversees border security and defense against hacking, were monitored by the hackers as part of the sophisticated series of breaches, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters Monday.

Technology company SolarWinds, which was the key steppingstone used by the hackers, said up to 18,000 of its customers had downloaded a compromised software update that allowed hackers to spy unnoticed on businesses and agencies for almost nine months.

The United States issued an emergency warning on Sunday, ordering government users to disconnect SolarWinds software which it said had been compromised by “malicious actors.”

‘Israel’ Is Afraid, Fears More Advanced Cyberattacks

‘Israel’ Is Afraid, Fears More Advanced Cyberattacks

By Staff, Haaretz

‘Israel’ is under attack and it is growingly afraid after hackers have targeted at least 80 ‘Israeli’ firms, with more possible attacks are still expected.

The attack, led by a group called Pay2Key, is the latest in a string of cybercampaigns targeting the Zionist entity. However, the latest move is said to have financial motives – further blurring the lines between hacktivism and cybercrime.

Omri Segev Moyal, CEO of the cybersecurity firm Profero, claimed that “The Iranian attack has been in the works for months, and is only growing and continuing to inflict damage on the ‘Israeli’ market. Much like the tit-for-tat dynamic of war,” he told Haaretz.

“The ‘Israeli’ economy is the ‘home’ front in this war, and we need to defend it,” he added.

“Winter is coming,” Segev Moyal tweeted in an attempt to warn others in the Zionist entity.

“We cannot and should not underestimate them,” said Segev Moyal, adding that “most of the ‘Israeli’ market is not prepared to deal with such an attack.”

But what do cyber-experts mean when they talk about ideologically driven cybercrime? We spoke to the team that first managed to locate Pay2Key and linked it back to Iran to try to understand.

Pay2Key was discovered in November in a joint research project by two ‘Israeli’ cybersecurity firms, Check Point and Whitestream. Initially, the group was thought to be another band of cybercriminals active in the field of ransomware, albeit a very advanced one.

The hacker group was extremely careful to delete its tracks. The combination of the two is a new and impressive skill that has rarely been seen by run-of-the-mill cybercriminals.

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