THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE EMERGING NEW WORLD ORDER

 A

Source: New Eastern Outlook

By James O’Neill
One of the many difficulties in interpreting the statements of United States President Donald Trump is to decide what category to put his many statements (and even more prolific tweets) in.

Is it another thought bubble similar to his pronouncements on a cure for COVID-19 that was more likely to kill rather than to cure those who followed his advice? Is the latest pronouncement said with an eye to his re-election this coming November, to be discarded once that hurdle has been passed?

The answer to that question is perhaps best found by looking at his track record over the past 3 ½ years. There have been many pronouncements in the foreign policy field, but vanishingly small achievements have followed. The much-heralded nuclear deal with North Korea is one of the latest to fall by the wayside with North Korea’s president Kim announcing a resumption of nuclear testing.

Kim’s cited reason was the total absence of any concrete moves by the United States in settling their multiple outstanding issues. Kim noted, with some justification, that Trump’s negotiating technique was to demand concessions from the North Koreans which had to be fulfilled before the US would make any moves itself, such as reducing troop numbers in South Korea, or ceasing its economic warfare on the North.

It is a well-established principle that what a person does is a much more reliable indicator of future behaviour than what they say. Since becoming president, Trump has withdrawn from, or announced the United States’ intention of withdrawing from, a significant number of major treaties. These included, a by no means exhaustive list, the nuclear arms deal with Iran negotiated with the other United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany and European Union; the International Postal Union; the Paris climate agreement; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; UNESCO; and the Human Rights Council.

Whatever else these moves may mean; they are not the actions of a country committed to solving international problems in a multi-national format. Given this track record over the past 3+ years there is no basis for believing that they are temporary measures designed only to enhance Trump’s re-election prospects. Rather the attitude has been, “as long as you do what we want, we will stay.”

Given also the lack of any serious opposition to these moves in the US Senate or his putative presidential opposition candidate Joe Biden, it is probably safe to assume that these moves reflect a broader US approach to multilateral relations. That is, “as long as you do what we want we will stay” in any given organisation.

The reaction to unfavourable decisions by international bodies does however go further. The International Criminal Court (that the United States does not belong to) recently announced it was reopening its investigation into war crimes committed by the United States (and its allies) in Afghanistan. One might argue that this is long overdue, given that these alleged crimes have been a feature of the long 18+ years of warfare carried out on that country. This is before one even begins to contemplate the manifest lies on which the original invasion was based.

Trump’s reaction to the ICC announcement was to threaten both the organisation and its investigating staff, implying a military response if they had the temerity to indict any Americans for war crimes. The principles established in the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials are, it seems, but an historical aberration when even the investigation of what are, in reality, well documented crimes, invokes such a lawless and violent response.

It is in this context that one has to look at Trump’s sudden enthusiasm for an arms control treaty with Russia. This is the topic to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting between the United States and Russian representatives at a 22 June 2020 meeting in Vienna.

There are a number of ways to interpret the United States’ sudden enthusiasm for an agreement with Russia. The first and most obvious is that it is that the United States has realised that the modern Russian arsenal, partially detailed in President Putin’s March 2018 speech to the Russian parliament, is vastly superior to anything in the United States arsenal and that gap is unlikely to narrow, little alone close, for the foreseeable future.

The Russian (but United States resident) writer and military analyst Andre Martyanov is particularly scathing on this point, both in his books and all his website.

While that is possibly part of Trump’s motivation, this is far from being the whole explanation. One has only to look at the continuing role of the United States in Ukraine, not to mention the farcical trial of four alleged perpetrators of the shooting down of MH 17 (three Russians and one Ukrainian) to gauge a measure of United States sincerity.

Far more likely a motive is that Trump is using the meeting as part of his much wider campaign of trying to disrupt the burgeoning Russia China partnership that is going from strength to strength. Trump wants a new deal on nuclear arms that includes China, but he is silent on the other nuclear powers (Great Britain, India, France, Pakistan and Israel) all of whom have a similar or greater number of nuclear weapons than China.

China has long since passed the United States as the world’s largest economy in terms of parity purchasing power. It has formed a close and growing relationship with Russia, not only in its huge Belt and Road Initiative (with now more than 150 countries) but in a series of other organisations such as the Shanghai Corporation Organisation and ASEAN that is presenting a radically different model of economic co-operation and development than the exploitative western model that has dominated for the past 300 years.

This threat to the United States’ self-defined role as the world’s dominant power did not commence during Trump’s presidency, and the United States reaction to it will not cease with the ending of that presidency, either at the end of this year or in four years’ time. If Biden wins in November, we may be spared the endless tweets and bombastic behaviour, but it would be naïve to anticipate any significant change in United States foreign policy.

Therein lies the greatest danger to world peace. The likely future trends arising out of the growing might of China and its relationship with Russia have recently been analysed by the imminent Russian academic Sergey Karaganov. His analysis of the developing China Russia relationship and its geopolitical implications was recently published in an Italian outlet and conveniently summarised in English by Pepe Escobar in his article “Russia Aiming to Realise Greater Eurasian Dream”.

Karaganov argues that Russia’s growing relationship with China represents a wholly new non-aligned movement centred in the greater Eurasian landmass. Unlike the British and the later United States models which depended on invasion, occupation and exploitation of the natural resources of the conquered nations, the new Eurasian model is much more likely to recognise the individual rights and aspirations of the participating nations and pursue policies of mutual benefit.

None of which is seen as other than a threat to the United States and the model it seeks to impose upon the world. Trump’s recent gestures towards Russia need to be interpreted in that light. The United States has no genuine interest in the welfare and prosperity of either Russia or China. Rather, they exist as pieces to be used in the United States version of the world chess board, manipulated to try and maintain the old model of Western, and in particular, United States dominance.

The reluctance of a growing number of European countries to subscribe to that version is more apparent by the day. Therein lies the challenge, the prospect for a better future for the countries joining the pivot to the east, and the greatest danger from a desperate United States unwilling to acknowledge that its days of dominance are rapidly disappearing.

As the Indian commentator M.K. Bhadrakumar says: “Trump’s diatribe against the ICC exposes the hypocrisy of American policies, which keeps blabbering about a rules based international order while acting with impunity whenever it chooses, for geopolitical reasons.” He cites examples and then concludes that “America under Trump has now become the rogue elephant in the international system.” That is, with respect, a perfect summation of where we are at present.

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

UNESCO should cry no tears over Israel’s departure

UNESCO Headquarters [unesco.org]

By Dr Daud Abdullah | MEMO | January 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

محاور حروب ترامب العالمية: قطبية أميركا وتقويض إيران وتمكين «إسرائيل»

أغسطس 13, 2018

د. عصام نعمان

لا غلوّ في القول إنّ دونالد ترامب يخوض، بموجب سياسة «أميركا اولاً»، حروباً عالمية، تجارية ناعمة وعدوانية ساخنة بالوكالة. الرئيس الأميركي يتوخّى من حروبه تلك تحقيق جملة أهداف أبرزها ثلاثة: تأكيد قطبية الولايات المتحدة وأولويتها في علاقات القوى الدولية، وتقويض نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، وتمكين الكيان الصهيوني من البقاء الدولة الأقوى في غرب آسيا والأقدر على مواجهة حركات التحرير والمقاومة في هذه المنطقة الغنية بالنفط والغاز وذات الموقع الاستراتيجي البالغ الأهمية.

لاستعادة قطبية أميركا وتأكيدها، اعتمدت إدارة ترامب سلسلةً من السياسات والمواقف العدوانية:

الانسحاب من اتفاقية باريس للمناخ بدعوى تعارضها مع مصالح أميركا الاقتصادية.

الانسحاب من منظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلوم والثقافة الأونيسكو بدعوى «تركيزها غير التناسبي والعدائي المتواصل ضدّ إسرائيل».

الانسحاب من مجلس حقوق الإنسان التابع للأمم المتحدة بدعوى نقده سياسة إدارة ترامب في قضايا الهجرة، ونقده المتواصل لممارسات «إسرائيل» المنافية لحقوق الإنسان.

الانسحاب من الاتفاق النووي بدعوى أنه لا يحدّ من قدرات إيران على صنع أسلحة نووية، كما يتيح لها استخدام مواردها في دعم حركات المقاومة المعادية لأميركا و»إسرائيل».

شنّ حرب تجارية ومضاعفة العقوبات الاقتصادية ضدّ إيران وروسيا والصين، وضدّ الحكومات والشركات التي تمتنع عن التزام العقوبات المعلنة ضدّ تلك الدول.

لتقويض نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، وصولاً الى إسقاطه، إذا أمكنها ذلك، طوّرت ادارة ترامب الحرب الأميركية المتواصلة ضدها منذ سنة 1979 بإعلان انسحابها من الاتفاق النووي منتصفَ ايار/ مايو الماضي، ثم بإعادة فرض سلّة من العقوبات الاقتصادية كانت عُلّقت بعد توقيع الاتفاق النووي سنة 2015، تقضي بمنعها من شراء العملة الأميركية والمعادن الثمينة ومكوّنات السيارات والطائرات، وبفرض العقوبات على الشركات العالمية التي تتعامل معها تجارياً في مختلف القطاعات الصناعية والتقنية والزراعية. كل ذلك تمهيداً لفرض رزمة إضافية جائرة من العقوبات مطلعَ تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر المقبل تستهدف قطاع الطاقة الإيراني ومنع تصدير النفط أو استيراد أي مشتقات نفطية، وحرمان إيران التعامل بالدولار واليورو. ويدّعي أركان إدارة ترامب أنّ غاية هذه العقوبات ليس تغيير نظامها بل تغيير سلوكها للقبول بمفاوضة واشنطن وتعديل الاتفاق النووي، ووقف صناعة الصواريخ الباليستية بعيدة المدى.

لتمكين الكيان الصهيوني من أن يكون الأقوى في غرب آسيا والأقدر على مواجهة حركات التحرير والمقاومة، لجأت الإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة، ولا سيما إدارة ترامب، الى جملة تدابير ومواقف أبرزها:

تزويده مساعدات مالية سخيّة لا تقلّ سنوياً عن أربعة مليارات دولار.

تسليحه بأحدث الأسلحة الأميركية وأكثرها تطوراً في البر والبحر والجو.

تنظيم وتسليح وتدريب مقاتلي تنظيمات إرهابية في شتى أنحاء العالم ونقلهم إلى سورية والعراق وليبيا واليمن لمقاتلة حكوماتها المعادية لأميركا او لـِ «إسرائيل» او لكلتيهما.

تنشيط وتمويل التيارات الإسلاموية السلفية المتطرفة، والتعاون مع الحكومات المحافظة بغية تسليطها على المجتمعات العربية، والعمل على استغلال تعدديتها المذهبية والأثنية لتقسيم الدول التي تحتضنها، ولا سيما سورية والعراق واليمن.

الضغط على الدول العربية المحافظة المعادية لإيران من أجل حملها على التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني وإقامة محور سياسي وعسكري معادٍ لإيران بدعوى أنها اصبحت العدو الاول للعرب.

ما حظوظ سياسة أميركا الترامبية في بلوغ أغراضها سالفة الذكر؟

صحيح أن العقوبات الاقتصادية وآثارها سيئة ومضرّة، إلاّ أن ثمة أسباباً وعوامل تحدّ من فعاليتها وقد تؤدي الى فشلها:

اولها، أن مجموعة كبيرة من الدول باتت متضرّرة من سياسة إدارة ترامب وعقوباتها الاقتصادية. في مقدّم هذه الدول: الصين وروسيا والهند ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي ودول أخرى في أميركا وآسيا حليفة للولايات المتحدة. ومن المنطقي أن تتعاون هذه الدول، بأشكال متعددة، لمجابهة سياسة واشنطن والحدّ من فعاليتها. والواقع أن بعضها باشر فعلاً هجوماً معاكساً على أميركا في هذا السبيل.

ثانيها، أن الولايات المتحدة أطلقت منذ سنة 1979 عقوبات اقتصادية قاسية ضد إيران بلغت ذروتها في سنة 2015، لكنها لم تُفلح في حملها على التراجع والرضوخ ما أدى الى قيام الرئيس الأميركي باراك اوباما بالتخلي عن سياسة العقوبات الفاشلة والتركيز على خيار المفاوضات مع إيران وتوقيع الاتفاق النووي في السنة ذاتها. الملاحظ اليوم ان كل الدول الكبرى الموقعة على الاتفاق النووي تعارض إقدام ترامب على الانسحاب منه، وتعلن تمسكها به وتؤكد معارضتها للعقوبات الأميركية وعدم التزام إجراءاتها، كما تؤكد استعدادها للتعاون مع إيران بغية تفادي مفاعيلها.

ثالثها، ان إيران أصبحت الآن أكثر اقتداراً عمّا كانت عليه ايام كانت الولايات المتحدة تمارس عليها عقوباتها الجائرة قبل توقيع الاتفاق النووي سنة 2015. ومن المنتظر ان تتمكن الآن رغم الصعوبات التي يعانيها اقتصادها من التغلّب على هجمة ترامب وعقوباته الجائرة.

رابعها، ان أميركا تتهيأ لخوض انتخاباتها النصفية مطلعَ تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر المقبل، وهي تتناول مجلسيْ الكونغرس الشيوخ والنواب اللذين يسيطر عليهما الحزب الجهوري الموالي لترامب. وإذا تمكّن الحزب الديمقراطي المعارض من السيطرة على كِلا المجلسين او على أحدهما في الاقل، فإن ادارة ترامب قد تجد نفسها عاجزة عن فرض الرزمة الثانية من العقوبات ضد إيران.

خامسها، إن محور المقاومة المناهض لسياسات ترامب لن يكون مكتوفَ اليدين في هذه الآونة. فقوى المقاومة في منطقة غرب آسيا الممتدة من شواطئ البحر الأبيض المتوسط غرباً الى الحدود الإيرانية – الأفغانية شرقاً سيكون حاضراً وفاعلاً بمواجهته القتالية لأميركا وحلفائها ولا سيما الكيان الصهيوني. ولا شك في أن عمليات المقاومة في هذه الساحات سيكون من شأنها إنهاك أميركا وحلفائها وحملها، عاجلاً او آجلاً، على إعادة النظر بسياساتها الرعناء.

باختصار، الولايات المتحدة ستنزلق مجدداً الى صراعات مستعرة ومتعدّدة، وليس أكيداً ان ما عجزت عنه في الماضي ستكون قادرة على الفوز به في الحاضر الأكثر تعقيداً وخطورة.

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الخداع الأميركي

مارس 24, 2018

زياد حافظ

نحيي هذه الأيام ذكرى أولى جرائم القرن الحادي والعشرين، أيّ احتلال العراق وتدميره على يد قوى تحالف الأطلسي وعدد من الدول خارج إطار مجلس الأمن والقانون الدولي والمواثيق الدولية. فالولايات المتحدة التي قادت ذلك التحالف لم تعتبر نفسها معنية بالقانون الدولي أو مجلس الأمن. أما الجرائم الأخرى فهي العدوان الكوني على سورية، وتبنّي جماعات الغلو والتعصّب والتوحّش في كل من العراق وسورية، والعدوان على سورية وليبيا واليمن. فمن يقرأ تاريخ الولايات المتحدة القريب أو البعيد يصل إلى نتيجة قاطعة أنه لا يمكن الوثوق بالولايات المتحدة بشكل عام في اتفاقاتها الشفهية أو حتّى المبرمة بشكل خاص. فثقافة الولايات المتحدة في التعاقد بين الأطراف، سواء كانوا في القطاع الخاص أو في القطاع العام، أو مع الدول الصديقة أو غير الصديقة، تفضي أن الولايات المتحدة ستتخلّى عن أي أتفاق أو أي تعاقد أو أي التزام مكتوب، فما بالك في ما يخصّ الاتفاقات الشفوية، عند أول فرصة تسمح بذلك وإن كانت على حساب مصالحها الاستراتيجية أو سمعتها.

فهذه الثقافة مبنية على قناعة وواقع أن التعاقد بين أطراف هو نتيجة لموازين قوّة سائد عند توقيع الاتفاق أو الالتزام بتفاهمات شفوية أو خطّية. وبما أن سنّة الحياة هي السعي إلى تحسين الوضع لكل طرف، فيصبح الاتفاق إن كان مبرماً أو شفوياً عبئاً على الطرف الذي استطاع تحسين وضعه. وبالتالي فإن الواجب الأخلاقي من وجهة نظر الثقافة الأميركية! هو نقض الاتفاق الذي يحدّ من الإمكانيات المتزايدة خارجه أو الخروج عنه لعقد اتّفاق آخر يعكس بشكل أفضل التغيير في موازين القوّة بين الأطراف المتعاقدة. لذلك أصبح قطاع المحاماة في الولايات المتحدة من أهم القطاعات الاقتصادية والمالية لانشغال الأميركيين أفراداً ومؤسسات بالدعاوى!

تاريخ الولايات المتحدة حافل بنقضها لاتفاقات مبرمة سنذكر منها اتفاقين مبرمين لما لهما من أهمية على العلاقات الدولية والاستراتيجية، كما سنشير إلى اتفاقات أخرى اقتصادية وسياسية وثقافية تمّ ضربها عُرض الحائط. الحالة الأولى هي الخروج عن الاتفّاق لتحديد الصواريخ البالستية المعروف باتّفاق «أ بي أم» الذي أقدمت على إشعاره إدارة جورج بوش في أواخر عام 2001 ثم تنفيذه عام 2002. كان ذلك الخروج أحادياً، لأن الولايات المتحدة اعتبرت أن لا مصلحة لها بالتقيّد بذلك الاتفاق خاصة أنها كانت تنوي بناء منظومة صاروخية مضادة للصواريخ البالستية والتي تحظرها اتفاقية أ بي أم. وقيمة هذا الاتفاق الذي أبرم عام 1972 بين الاتحاد السوفياتي والولايات المتحدة أنه كان نتيجة المحادثات لتخفيض الاسلحة الاستراتيجية التي رافقتها والمعروفة باتفاقيات «سالط» أي محادثات تخفيض السلاح الاستراتيجي بالأحرف الأولى في اللغة الانكليزية. فهذا الاتفاق كان نتيجة محادثات سالط 1 عام 1972، بينما تعثّرت المحادثات بعد 7 سنوات محادثات سالط 2، بسبب عدم التوازن في التسليح الاستراتيجي والتكنولوجي بين الاتحاد السوفياتي والولايات المتحدة. لكن المهم أن اتفاق أ بي أم صمد 30 سنة حتى إدارة بوش. فسباق التسليح بين الاتحاد الروسي والولايات المتحدة بدأ منذ تلك الفترة بعد سنتين من وصول فلاديمير بوتين إلى الرئاسة عام 2000. فقرار إدارة بوش بالانسحاب واجهه الرئيس الروسي بقرار تطوير القدرات العسكرية الروسية نوعاً قبل أن تكون كمّاً كما كشف عنه في خطابه الأخير في مطلع شهر آذار/مارس 2018. وقد أكّد على مسؤولية الولايات المتحدة في التسبب في سباق التسلّح في مقابلة على الشبكة الأميركية أن بي سي بعد بضعة أيام من خطابه الشهير. والجدير بالذكر أن معظم القادة العسكريين الأميركيين ومنهم فوتل قائد المنطقة المركزية الوسطى ومسؤولون آخرون في البتناغون أخذوا على محمل الجدّ خطاب الرئيس الروسي وإقرارهم أن منظومتهم الدفاعية غير مؤهّلة لمواجهة المنظومة الروسية الحديثة، كما أشرنا في مقال سابق.

واليوم يكثر الحديث في أروقة الإدارة الأميركية عن انسحاب الولايات المتحدة من الاتفاق النووي مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، رغم اعتراض العديد في الولايات المتحدة، ورغم اعتراض الدول الأوروبية الحليفة للولايات المتحدة وخاصة المملكة المتحدة وفرنسا وألمانيا. هذا يدلّ على عدم اكتراث الولايات المتحدة بالاتفاقات التي تعقدها ولا تهتم بمصالح غير مصالحها وكأن تغيير الإدارات لا يعني استمرارية في الالتزامات. وهذا مخالف للقانون الدولي والأعراف الدبلوماسية والدولية.

وهناك اتفاقيات غير مبرمة مع الاتحاد السوفياتي في أواخر الثمانينيات وقبل سقوطه، والتي أفضت إلى قبول الاتحاد السوفياتي بتوحيد ألمانيا على أساس أن الحلف الاطلسي لن يتوسع شرقاً في أوروبا ليتاخم الاتحاد السوفياتي ويهدّد أمنه مباشرة. كما تمّ الاتفاق على أن تصبح أوكرانيا دولة حاجز بين منظومة الاتحاد الأوروبي والأطلسي والاتحاد الروسي. كان ذلك الاتفاق مع إدارة بوش الأب غير أن إدارة كلنتون نقضته مستفيدة من تفكّك الاتحاد السوفياتي ومجيء رئيس روسي ضعيف بوريس يلتسن. وكانت حجّة إدارة كلنتون أن ليس هناك من أي نصّ مكتوب يلزمها بذلك، رغم وجود أدلّة قاطعة على التفاهم الشفهي الذي حصل بين غورباشيف وبوش الأب والمستشار الألماني هلموت كول وقيادة الحلف الأطلسي. فكانت حروب البلقان في التسعينيات التي أدّت إلى تفكيك يوغسلافيا ومآسي البوصنة والهرزاق توّجها الهجوم الأميركي على صربيا وقصفها من الجوّ لمدة طويلة أدّت إلى إخضاعها وبالتالي إذلال حليفتها روسيا.

الحالة الثانية هي قرار إدارة ترامب بالانسحاب من اتفاقية المناخ التي وُقّعت في باريس عام 2015 والتي كانت تهدف إلى احتواء الاحتباس الحراري، وذلك عبر فرض قيود على الإنتاج الصناعي وضرورة إيجاد تكنولوجيات ملائمة للحفاظ على البيئة. قرار الانسحاب من ذلك الاتفاق كان من أول القرارات التي اتخذها ترامب، حيث اعتبر أن الاحتباس الحراري خرافة ويفرض قيوداً وكلفة إضافية غير مقبولة على الانتاج الصناعي الأميركي. والمأساة هنا هي اعتماد الرئيس الأميركي سردية الانجيليين المتشدّدين الذين لا يعترفون بالقاعدة العلمية لظاهرة الاحتباس الحراري وأن الأخير هو مجرّد وجهة نظر غير مدعومة بالوقائع، حتى وإن كان هناك شبه إجماع عند العلماء على ذلك بما يدحض تلك السردية. فقرار الرئيس الأميركي بالانسحاب من تلك الاتفاقية، والتي كانت تعتبر من إنجازات الرئيس السابق باراك اوباما، لم يخل من الكيدية بحق سلفه، وإن كان على حساب المصلحة الأميركية المتوسطة والبعيدة. أما تداعيات الانسحاب من الاتفاقية فهي ستكون وخيمة على الولايات المتحدة والعالم من الناحية البيئية ولن تعود بالضرورة إلى منافع للصناعات الأميركية كما تعتقد الإدارة الحالية.

أما على الصعيد الاقتصادي، فكافة الاتفاقات التي قد وقّعتها الولايات المتحدة عند إنجاز منظمّة التجارة العالمية بتخفيض أو إلغاء التعرفات الجمركية أصبحت بمهبّ الريح مع الإدارة الحالية. أقدم الرئيس الأميركي على فرض تعرفات جمركية على استيراد الصلب والألومنيوم كما فرض تعرفات على المتنوجات الصينية بقيمة 60 مليار دولار بحجة عدم التكافؤ في الميزان التجاري مع الصين. طبعاً، هذا القرار أثار حفيظة الحلفاء والخصوم على حد سواء وقد يؤدّي إلى نتائج وخيمة من حروب تجارية وحروب في صرف العملات مزعزعة أكثر مكانة الدولار المهتزّ أصلاً. وهذا القرار اتخذ ضد رأي المستشارين الاقتصاديين في البيت الأبيض ما أدّى إلى استقالتهم.

أما على صعيد السياسة الخارجية فنجد الولايات المتحدة لا تكترث للقانون الدولي وقرارات مجلس الأمن. فهي تقدم على خطوات خارج مجلس الأمن كاحتلال أجزاء من سورية وقبل ذلك العراق وقصف مواقع للدولة والجيش السوري وذلك من دون أي تكليف دولي بل ضاربة عرض الحائط كل ذلك. أضف إلى ذلك الاتهامات التي تلصقها مندوبة الولايات المتحدة نيكي هايلي بحق روسيا أو إيران دون أي دليل والتهديد المباشر لسورية ولجميع الدول التي لا تلتزم بالموقف الأميركي. فالبلطجة هي أساس السلوك الدبلوماسي في الولايات المتحدة. وإذا أضفنا تصريحات وزير الخارجية الجديد مايك بومبيو بأن لا جدوى للدبلوماسية فهي مضيعة للوقت على عكس ممارسة القوّة العارية التي هي أفعل نرى مدى الانحدار والاستهتار بالقوانين فما بالك بالأعراف الدولية!

قرار نقل السفارة الأميركية من تل أبيب إلى القدس هو أيضاً مخالف للقوانين والمواثيق الدولية، كما أن تمويل الكيان الصهيوني للاستمرار في بناء المستعمرات في الأراضي المحتلّة هو أيضاً مخالفة للقانون الدولي. فالولايات المتحدة لا تعتبر أنها مقيّدة بذلك والوعود التي قطعتها على القيادات الفلسطينية بالتوسّط مع حكومة الكيان تبيّن أنها خدعة. نشير هنا إلى كتاب الدكتورة بثينة شعبان مستشارة الرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد والرئيس الحالي بشّار الأسد حول المحادثات بين سورية والولايات المتحدة والنفاق الذي أظهرته القيادات الأميركية المفاوضة خلال التفاوض. فما كانوا يقولونه في الغرف المغلقة كانوا ينقضونه في العلن! كذلك الأمر بالنسبة لمهام الموفد الأميركي إلى لبنان دافيد ساترفيلد الذي ادّعى التوسّط بين حكومة لبنان وحكومة الكيان في قضية بلوك رقم 9 لحقول الغاز مقابل شاطئ لبنان الجنوبي تبيّن أنه ينقل وجهة نظر الكيان الصهيوني ضارباً عرض الحائط القانون الدولي بالنسبة لتحديد الحدود البحرية الاقتصادية للبنان.

هناك حادثة يجب ذكرها أيضاً لأنها تشكّل مفصلاً أساسياً في العلاقات بين روسيا والولايات المتحدة. فروسيا تتّهم الولايات المتحدة ودول الغرب بالخداع في ما يتعلّق بقرار مجلس الأمن 1973 عام 2011 المتعلّق بحظر التحليق في أجواء ليبيا وضرورة حماية المدنيين. تعتبر روسيا أن الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا والمملكة المتحدة استغلّوا القرار لشنّ هجوم الحلف الأطلسي على ليبيا وتدميرها وقتل رئيسها. فالتفسير الذي تبنّاه الحلف الأطلسي لقرار مجلس الأمن يناقض نصّاً وروحاً القرار الأممي ما أثار حفيظة روسيا فأدّى إلى انتهاجها دبلوماسية متشدّدة وهجومية تجلّت في التحالف مع الدولة السورية في مواجهة الحرب الكونية على سورية في مجلس الأمن وفي الميدان.

نذكر هنا محاولات وزير الخارجية الأميركية السابق جون كيري في الولاية الثانية للرئيس أوباما لعقد تفاهمات مع نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف حول تخفيض التوتّر في سورية تمّ إفشالها من قبل أطراف داخل الإدارة الأميركية. فحادثة الهجوم الأميركي على مواقع الجيش العربي السوري في دير الزور عام 2016 أدّى إلى سقوط شهداء واحتلال فصائل داعش لمواقع الجيش العربي السوري، وذلك رغم الاتفاق بين كيري ولافروف الذي سبق الهجوم بأيام عدّة. ومؤخّراً الهجوم في مطلع هذا العام على وحدات روسية في منطقة دير الزور أيضاً أدّى إلى سقوط أكثر من مئة قتيل بين القوّات الروسية وإن كانت تابعة لشركات أمنية روسية خاصة، وذلك رغم «التفاهم» المتبادل بين الأميركيين والروس لعدم التصادم المباشر. فكان لا بد من إنذار روسي مباشر وواضح تجلّى لاحقاً في خطاب الرئيس الروسي محذّراً من أن أي اعتداء على أي حليف لروسيا بمثابة اعتداء عليها يستدعي الردّ المناسب. فمرّة أخرى تخرق الولايات المتحدة كلماتها لأغراض ظرفية وإن كانت على حساب المصالح الطويلة المدى وكأنها لا تكترث لها.

أما على صعيد منطقة الشرق الأوسط فالسلوك الأميركي مع بعض حلفائها يثير ريبتهم. فالتعاطي مع قيادة إقليم كردستان أدّى إلى سقوط الرهان عليه كورقة ضاغطة على حكومات بغداد وطهران ودمشق. والشعور عند القيادات الكردية هو أن الولايات المتحدّة تخلّت عنها. لكن على ما يبدو فإن القيادات الكردية في سورية تُعيد كرّة التحالف مع الولايات المتحدة وإذ تجد نفسها تواجه بمفردها الجيش التركي في عفرين، وربما في منطقة منبج وعين العرب والقامشلي. من جهة أخرى نشهد تعاظم الحذر التركي بل الريبة من الموقف الأميركي. فالثقة أصبحت شبه معدومة بين الطرفين. ونشير هنا إلى بعض الأوساط الأميركية كرئيس مجلس العلاقات الخارجية ريشارد هاس أنها تعتبر التحالف مع تركيا غير ضروري، بل التحالف مع الأكراد هو الأهم. هذا وكانت أصوات عديدة في الولايات المتحدة اعتبرت تركيا غير صديقة لها، وإن كانت في معسكر حلفائها.

ونقض الاتفاقات ليس محصوراً بالقطاع السياسي والعسكري والاقتصادي بل يشمل أيضاً القطاع الثقافي والرياضي. فلا ننسى مقاطعة الولايات المتحدة للألعاب الأولمبية في موسكو عام 1980 ولا ننسى انسحاب الولايات المتحدة من منظمة الأونيسكو التي ساهمت في إنشائها ودعمها طالما المصالح الصهيونية لم تكن مهدّدة. والآن تقطع الولايات المتحدة مساهمتها في منظمة الأنروا بعد أن خفّضت تمويلها للأمم المتحدة عقب التصويت في الجمعية العامة ضد قرار نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس. فالكيد أصبح عاملاً أساسياً في اتخاذ القرارات وإن أضرّت بسمعة ومصالح الولايات المتحدة. فتعتبر نفسها فوق كل الاعتبارات!

أما الوعود فلن ندخل في مناقشتها، لأنها عديدة خاصة أن الولايات الأميركية لا تحترم حتى حلفائها الأوروبيين. وبالتالي يصبح التساؤل حول مصداقية الولايات المتحدة أكثر جدّية، وإن كانت موازين القوّة بين الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا ما زالت لصالح أميركا. لكن هل تستطيع الولايات المتحدة وبعض الدول الأوروبية ومع الكيان الصهيوني وبعض دول الجزيرة العربية خوض معارك استراتيجية في المشرق العربي وتواجه كلاً من محور المقاومة وروسيا ومن ورائهما الصين، خاصة أن الثقة بين أعضاء ذلك التحالف الغربي مهتزة؟ سؤال محفوف بالمخاطر التي لا تستطيع الولايات المتحدة ولا بعض الحكومات الأوروبية الإجابة عليه. فهي ما زالت تعتقد أن بإمكانها ضرب تحالف محور المقاومة وروسيا من دون أي ردّ فعل مكلف لها ومن دون تصدّع التحالف الغربي.

هذه بعض الملاحظات التي تجعل الدول الصاعدة كروسيا والصين تشكّك في مصداقية أي كلام يصدر عن الولايات المتحدة. فالمواقف العدوانية الأميركية ضد كل من روسيا والصين رغم الاتفاقات المبرمة معهما تؤكّد أن العقوبات المفروضة عليهما عقوبات فاقدة أي قاعدة شرعية دولية سواء الرغبة الأميركية التي تعتبر أن ما تقوله في لحظة ما هو القانون وليس أيّ شيء آخر. فهل يمكن الوثوق بالولايات المتحدة بعد كلّ ذلك وما هي قوّة القانون الدولي الذي لا تحترمه الولايات المتحدة؟ فشريعة الغاب هي التي تتحكّم بسلوكها. ذلك يذكّرنا بمقولة الشاعر البيروتي الراحل المرحوم عمر الزعنّي الذي كان يردّد بالعامية:

بلا عصبة يقصد آنذاك عصبة الأمم قبل إنشاء الأمم المتحدة ، بلا مجمع

كلّ دولة إلها مطمع

الحق بيد القوّة

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USA and israel leaves UNESCO, Goodbye and Good Riddance

Goodbye and Good Riddance

By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | December 25, 2017
By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | December 25, 2017

Holding hands, the US and Israel have decided to walk out of UNESCO. Nothing could be more appropriate. Two rogue states run by two dangerous buffoons. Two states that have wreaked immense violence across the Middle East ever since ‘Israel’ was implanted in Palestine. In addition to Palestine, the US has launched genocidal wars against three countries just since 1990, Iraq (twice), Libya and Syria and continues to back Saudi Arabia in its equally genocidal war on Yemen.

As for Israel, living permanently outside international law is a necessary condition of its existence. It should have been tossed out of the UN long ago, or at least suspended, until it mended its ways. After all, what club continues the membership of someone who does not obey the rules, is warned once, once, twice, thrice, even 50 times, but still refuses to obey the rules? But Israel does not have to mend its ways and remains a member of the ‘international community’ because another state that does not obey the rules, and shows no respect for international law either, the US, protects it at every level and in every way, fomenting even more violence.

UNESCO has done its best to protect the cultural heritage of Palestine. Nothing that is not Jewish matters to the Zionists and so little of it is Jewish that Muslim and Christian Palestine has been ravaged, not just once (1948) or twice (1967) but continuously. The destruction of Palestine is the necessary condition for the creation of Netanyahu’s ‘Jewish state.’ It is all or nothing: there can be no compromise, no either/or. The Palestinians have set forth options, one secular state, two states living side by side, but the only option acceptable to Israel is all Palestine for us and none for you.

The elimination of the Palestinian human presence in 1948 was accompanied by the destruction of close to 500 of Palestinian villages or hamlets, irrespective of their historical and cultural worth. More destruction followed after 1967, beginning with the demolition of the Magharibah quarter in 1967 to make way for a ‘plaza’ around the Haram al Sharif and continuing in the years that followed. The war also created the opportunity for more Palestinians to be driven out of their homeland, this time from the West Bank, where many had taken refuge during the Zionist onslaught in 1948.

The war was another opportunity to drive Palestine further into history, towards the point where the physical evidence had all been destroyed and the Zionists could say ‘What Palestine? There was never a Palestine here.’ In fact this is what they have been saying all along, anyway, convincing no-one outside their own ranks because the Palestinians have not gone away, because their numbers are increasing (possibly there are now more Palestinians between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan River than the Zionist settler population) and because too much of their history can still be seen on the landscape. This is why the danger to Al Aqsa, glowing above Jerusalem, is so great because it is the living symbol of the lies being told by the Zionists.

On this subject how intriguing it is, and how frustrating for the Zionists, that in the half century they have been burrowing under and around the Haram al Sharif they have not found one object proving that the temple was ever there. There are far older structures whose ruins can be seen today. Turkey is full of them: the excavated temple at Gobeklitepe in south-eastern Turkey is 12,000 years old so how can it be that nothing is left of the grandiose structure said to have been built by Solomon where Al Aqsa now stands? The Bible speaks of a building more than 60 meters high, built from wood (the cedars of Lebanon) and huge blocks of stone. Similar material is said to have been used in the building of the second temple, completed in 515 BC and destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. It is said to have been of the same massive dimensions yet nothing has been found, no remnants of fallen stone pillars, no votive bowls, absolutely nothing, suggesting that if the temple did stand on this site the biblical descriptions were fantastically exaggerated (no surprise in a book full of fantastic exaggerations).

Furthermore, the modern day Zionists are connected to ancient Israel only by their religion. Their first colonists had no living connection with the land and no ethnic connection with the people who lived on it. Zionists continue to play on the living Jewish connection in Palestine over the centuries but do not mention that the Jews who were there when their forefathers arrived regarded Zionism as a heresy. Netanyahu’s claim that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for 3000 years could convince only idiots, seeing that Israel is only seven decades old and that the last Jewish state in Palestine collapsed in the sixth century BC.

In any case, irrespective of these questions, the ancient Jewish presence in Palestine cannot be accepted as justification for the destruction of what was there until the arrival of Zionist colonists in the late 19th century.

The Zionists share with the Crusaders the unsavory distinction of bringing to Palestine the greatest destruction known in its modern history. After conquering Palestine in the late 11th century the Crusaders massacred or drove all Muslims and Jews out of Jerusalem. The restitution of Muslim rule was followed from the early 16th century by four centuries of a long Ottoman peace until the British capture of Jerusalem in December, 1917. From that time onwards, Palestine has not known a day of peace. Violence and repression by the British occupiers was followed by massive violence, repression and dispossession by the Zionists, continuing down to the present day.

Jerusalem was always a prime target. Massacres and the seizure of Palestinian property in 1948 were repeated after the seizure of the eastern half of the city in 1967, followed by a continuing racist demographic war launched in complete breach of international law and the laws of any country claiming to be called civilized. What this underlines is that at heart Israel is not a modern state but a tribal, atavistic community that lives by its own brutal standards, certainly insofar as the Palestinians are concerned, and is indifferent to what the rest of the world thinks, when not actually contemptuous of what it thinks. For the Zionists to think that they can get away with this endlessly is a sure indication of the madness and delusions in their minds.

The US has now gone so far as to ‘recognize’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when in international law, Jerusalem is an occupied city, all of it, not just the eastern half, captured by force of arms and settled in direct violation of the laws or war. Commenting on the UN General Assembly vote rejecting the Trump declaration, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador, openly threatened those who had voted in its favor. Names had been taken and punishment would be inflicted at the appropriate time. By voting for the resolution UN members had shown a lack of respect for the US, according to Haley: where, one might ask, is US respect for international law and the right of UN members to take independent decisions on the basis of that law?

The Trump declaration on Jerusalem has had an incendiary effect across the Middle East and amongst Muslims everywhere. It should be welcomed because it rips the last veil from the deceit known as the peace process. Mahmoud Abbas has had his nose rubbed in the dirt. The Saudi and Qatari governments, dealing with the Zionists behind the thinnest of veils, have had to fall into line on the question of Jerusalem. The Trump declaration has united Muslims across all divides.

By themselves, as brave as they are, as much fortitude and steadfastness as they have always shown, the Palestinians were never going to be able to defeat their enemies on their own. They were far too powerful. The road back to Palestine was always going to lead through the Arab world, as George Habash wrote in the 1950s, now to be extended, given the rise of Iran, to the Islamic world. Nasser fired up the Arab people in the 1950s and together, Hizbollah and Iran have again set an example of defiance of the US and Israel, so successfully that Israel is now well into preparations for the war intended to destroy them once and for all.

This will be an existential war for survival, an extremely violent war for which Israel has been making intensive preparations. It is warning of total destruction and Hasan Nasrallah is warning back that Hizbollah is ready with missiles that can reach any part of occupied Palestine. The stakes in Middle Eastern wars have never been higher, the possible consequences never graver and even potentially cataclysmic. The consequences of Trump’s declaration would have been so well known beforehand that it seems insufficient to call it stupid. Perhaps it was intended to bring on the war with Iran that Israel and [Zionists in] the US have wanted for a long time.

Trump’s Pivot to Asia – An Arms Sales Bonanza – An Anti-Peace Trip

November 10, 2017

by Peter Koenig for the Saker blogTrump’s Pivot to Asia – An Arms Sales Bonanza – An Anti-Peace Trip

President Trump’s 5-country Asia tour has nothing to do with seeking peace anywhere, it has not even to do with diplomacy – it is entirely a warmongering business trip for the Military Industrial Complex. It is amazing that the world doesn’t catch on.

We know about Obama’s several years of pivoting to Asia. It resulted largely in the TPP, the Transpacific Partnership, a trade agreement between 12 countries including the US. The first thing Trump did when he came on board is canceling it, claiming that it would only harm the US. Canceling it, in fact, was a good thing, since contrary to what Trump understands, or claims to understand, of US-made international trade, the Asian partners would have suffered, not the US. There is not one single trade agreement the US has instigated, bilateral or multilateral, where the US came out as a loser, or even as an equal, always a winner. The original meaning of trade is not winning or losing, but it is an exchange of equals with equal benefits for all partners. ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) is perhaps one of the few living examples.

Trump doesn’t like multilateral trade agreements, because – even though he is in control – he may not be in total control. He wants to call the shots, every shot. Literally. This is what this 8-day ‘pivot’ to Asia is all about. It is about selling weapons, ‘the best, the most accurate, the deadliest the world has ever produced. Trump’s words – almost. And repeated over-and-over-and-over again.

At a press conference in Tokyo, with Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe, Trump said literally, when pointing at Prime Minister Abe, “[He] will shoot [North Korea’s] missiles out of the sky when he completes the purchase of lots of equipment from the United States. One very important thing is that Prime Minister Abe is going to be purchasing massive amounts of [US-made] military equipment, as he should. We make the best by far … it’s a lot of jobs for us, and a lot of safety for Japan (The Guardian, 6/11/2017).”

Trump had the audacity, as he always does, calling North Korea (DPRK – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) a “threat to the civilized world”. And this, when he knows – or should know – that Pyongyang is only defending North Korea from the constant threats and aggressions of the United States, that Kim Jon-Un has no intention of attacking any country – but still has the memory deep inside, inherited by generations of North Koreans born after the atrocious Washington initiated 1953 Korean war, that devastated literally the entire country and killed 3 million people, about a third of the then North Korean population.

The entire world knows, including Trump’s predecessors, that the only threat to not only the world’s civilization, but to the entire humanity, are the United States of America – a rogue state, not respecting any international laws, no international contracts – and no human life, not even that of her own citizens. Tens of millions of people around the globe have been killed since the end of WWII directly by the US military, or NATO, or indirectly through proxies or mercenaries by the United States. All for wars that aim at complete world hegemony, at ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ – as described by the PNAC – Plan for a New American Century. Nobody wants to touch this reality – almost nobody. Fortunately, in the last few years there are countries emerging that dare stand up to the killing monster, resisting it, by disobedience, despite ‘sanctions’, and through economic measures, like detaching their economy from the fraudulent fiat dollar. Recent examples are Venezuela and Iran.

Trump’s arms sale’s bonanza started actually already with Saudi Arabia, when he sold King Salman 110 billion worth of the best killer instruments – bombs, planes and tanks – America produces. A record weapon sales-contract.

On the pivot’s second leg, South Korea – Trump trumped up his tone, not at all for peace but to threaten once more Pyongyang and the North Korean leader, the American bully cum President calls derogatorily the ‘Little Rocket Man’. – Where are we in this world? Does this man Trump not see how much he is despised? Or is he so sick to actually enjoy being hated?

More than eighty percent of South Koreans want peace with the Nord. President Moon Jae-in was recently elected on a platform of uniting the South with the North – to bring back together families that were separated for more than half a century. How could he be such a dreamer? With close to 30,000 American soldiers on South Korean soil and a weapons arsenal, including nuclear arms, that could destroy all of east Asia in a jiffy. – And billions worth of more weapons sales to Seoul are on Trump’s murderous sales agenda. He is not only a bully par excellence, but the best salesman the US military industrial complex could wish for – and a booster of the US’s GDP of death and destruction.

The bully at the pulpit had no intention of addressing a road to peace. To the contrary, he boasted about the extraordinary unsurmountable weapons might of “America First” – and using South Koreans Parliament as a platform to launch yet another slandering tirade towards North Korea’s leader, Kim Jon-un, and her people, “[I] have come here to this peninsula to deliver a message directly to the leader of the North Korean dictatorship—the weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. They are putting your regime in great danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face. North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves. Yet despite every crime you have committed against god and man… we will offer a path towards a much better future. It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime, a stop to your development of ballistic missiles and complete verifiable and total denuclearization.”

While Emperor Donald was talking, three US Navy aircraft carriers were positioning themselves in attack mode in front of North Korea’s coast, preparing for more intimidating war games. More provocation, knowing damn well that DPRK’s President Kim Jon-un will not let go of his defense strategy – and rightly so. Anyone who knows a bit of North Korea’s history understands. Kim’s several requests for dialogue, as he wants peace for his country and for his people, were rejected by Washington. Instead he was showered with Trump’s outrageous warmongering language like “we will unleash ‘fire and fury’ the world has never seen” – or “we will destroy your country to rubble” – and more of such ridiculous and shameful threats – shameful for the so-called ‘leader’ of the “free world”, of the globe’s self-proclaimed Almighty, and shameful for all the other nations of this globe that just watch and listen to the monster’s angry outbursts – but are afraid to counter him, though they know he is wrong.

According to Reuters, Han Tae Song, Ambassador of the DPRK to the United Nations in Geneva, told on Wednesday the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, “The United States and other hostile forces impede the enjoyment by our people of their human rights in every possible way, resorting to the vicious ways and means of all kinds in their attempt to stifle the ideas and system of the DPRK,” He continued saying that Washington “manipulated” sanctions resolutions against his country at the U.N. Security Council that violated North Korean sovereignty and rights to existence and development.

“Due to these inhumane economic sanctions, vulnerable peoples like women and children are becoming…victims. Such sanctions against humanity which block even the delivery of the medical equipment and medicines for maternal and child health and the basic goods for daily life…..threaten the protection and promotion of our women’s rights and even the right to survival of the children.”

Next stop on Trump’s ‘pivot’ was Beijing, where, to the surprise of most media, he behaved like a statesman, trying to persuade President Xi of the benefits of a friendly US-Sino relation – and of course, of the importance that China adhere to the UN imposed sanctions on North Korea. The South China Sea, Human Rights and China’s alleged lack of Democracy – the usual Washington swan song – were not mentioned. Even the Chinese media hailed Trump’s visit as a success. The two leaders signed contracts for some 250 billion dollars-worth of investment and trade deals, or rather, as per Bloomberg, “non-binding memoranda of understanding”, between the two countries.

The deals, many of which were already concluded or planned before the Beijing meeting, included goods and services in transportation (Chinese purchase of 300 Boeing civilian aircraft), agriculture (pork and beef), IT, the financial sector (with Goldman Sachs – who else?) – and more. Nothing controversial. Trump expects to be appreciated at home for his salesmanship in Beijing – and for helping reducing the 250 billion US trade deficit with China.

Interestingly though, during the perhaps strategically most important stop of his Asia journey – Beijing – Trump did not use his usual vitriolic language to condemn and threaten Pyongyang and putting Xi on guard to follow the strict sanctions regime against the DPRK – or else. Why didn’t he? – Did he realize that it was worthless? That China would never let her neighbor die – and he would make himself ridiculous making believe his sanctions threat would work on China? – Or did he have a deeper agenda, like winning China over – or neutralizing her – for a possible future strike on Iran? – Of course, if carried out, then by proxies like the armed-to-the-teeth with US and UK weaponry Saudis and Israel? – Time will tell. But there is no doubt that the clear winner of this meeting was President Xi – with his calm manner and Tao philosophy of smiling and non-aggression.

On his last stop in Da Nang, Vietnam, Trump attended the APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit (10-11 November), where he was expected to meet with President Putin, even briefly at the margin of the meetings. However, no official meeting was scheduled and as RT reports, ”Hopes of a bilateral Putin-Trump meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit have waned with the White House citing “scheduling conflicts,” but at least the two were all smiles while shaking hands during the photo call.”

Well, why would President Putin want to meet with Trump, who after a meeting with seemingly positive chemistry, in Hamburg in July 2017, at the G20 summit, has been nothing but deceptive? Why faking more trust in a flamboyant billionaire bully, who has no ethics, who doesn’t honor contracts, promises, multilateral agreements or even international law – and allows his government to keep slandering Russia for ‘interfering’ in the 2016 US Presidential Elections?

The truth is, Trump, his predecessors, the UK leadership, the NATO allies, the Saudis, Gulf States and the EU puppets are shameless, ‘legalized’ murderers. – Legalized, because they dance to the tune of Trump’s canons, or to the dark deep state’s strings that pull the triggers of mayhem and death. For these people – are they still to be called people? – Trump has accomplished what he set out to do: Selling hundreds of billions worth of arms. In less than a year of his Presidency, he did more good to the military-security industrial complex than Obama did in his last four years in office.

Arms are made to kill and destroy. Killing and destroying is contributing big-time to the US GDP; in fact, this industrial octopus with all its associated tentacles – finance, IT, research, sub-contracting, mercenary funding abroad and within the US, spying and surveillance the world over – amount to more than half of the US total economic output. The United States of America lives off an economy of war, an economy of destruction and death.

Take Yemen. Since March 2015, the US and UK backed and armed Saudis have bombed Yemen to ruins, destroying schools, hospitals, roads, ports – vital infrastructure for any civilization. In addition to hospitals and schools, they targeted specifically water and sanitation systems to cause utmost harm to civilian populations. As a result, cholera cases are estimated at 500,000-plus, mostly children and women and elderly (UNICEF), the worst in recorded history. Many die, because the Saudis, again backed by the US and the UK, have banned import and distribution of essential drugs.

With major ports closed – also by the Saudis, the US and the UK, Yemen is facing one of the worst famine the world has ever seen in recent history. Daily Saudi shelling with US planes and UK bombs, has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, women and children – some estimates range from 60,000 to 80,000. Nobody really keeps count. Yemen has been (kept) poor before. And now, who cares. Yemen already today is the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. And there is no end in sight.

Since the US / UK backed Saudi attacks began some 20 months ago, UK arms sales have increased 50 times. Yet a case filed with the International Court of Justice (ICC) by UK citizens against ‘illegal’ weapons sales, was dismissed by the court, as it could not find anything illegal with these weapon deliveries. That only shows, ICC’s worthlessness, as it is totally controlled by the Zion-Anglo-Saxon hegemon.

What might be more effective than ICC in stopping the boundless assassination raids, is chaining up Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Theresa May and David Cameron, and parachuting them onto Hudaydah, one of Yemen’s hardest hit towns, in the west of the country. Let them see and feel and smell the pain, death and desperation of the survivors. Would it light up the remnants of their spark of ethics and moral they may still have left from birth?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

 

The real reasons Trump is quitting UNESCO

Source

Trump the Israel puppet

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

At first glance, the decision last week by the Trump administration, followed immediately by Israel, to quit the United Nation’s cultural agency seems strange. Why penalise a body that promotes clean water, literacy, heritage preservation and women’s rights?

Washington’s claim that the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is biased against Israel obscures the real crimes the agency has committed in US eyes.

Palestinian self-determination

The first is that in 2011 UNESCO became the first UN agency to accept Palestine as a member. That set the Palestinians on the path to upgrading their status at the General Assembly a year later.

It should be recalled that in 1993, as Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo accords on the White House lawn, the watching world assumed the aim was to create a Palestinian state.

But it seems most US politicians never received that memo. Under pressure from Israel’s powerful lobbyists, the US Congress hurriedly passed legislation to pre-empt the peace process. One such law compels the United States to cancel funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians.

Six years on, the US is $550 million in arrears and without voting rights at UNESCO. Its departure is little more than a formality.

Preserving Palestinian heritage

The agency’s second crime relates to its role selecting world heritage sites. That power has proved more than an irritant to Israel and the US.

The occupied territories, supposedly the locus of a future Palestinian state, are packed with such sites. Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Muslim relics promise not only the economic rewards of tourism, but also the chance to control the historic narrative.

Israeli archaeologists, effectively the occupation’s scientific wing, are chiefly interested in excavating, preserving and highlighting Jewish layers of the Holy Land’s past. Those ties have then been used to justify driving out Palestinians and building Jewish settlements.

UNESCO, by contrast, values all of the region’s heritage, and aims to protect the rights of living Palestinians, not just the ruins of long-dead civilisations.

Nowhere has the difference in agendas proved starker than in occupied Hebron, where tens of thousands of Palestinians live under the boot of a few hundred Jewish settlers and the soldiers who watch over them. In July, UNESCO enraged Israel and the US by listing Hebron as one of a handful of world heritage sites “in danger”. Israel called the resolution “fake history”.

Combating “memoricide”

The third crime is the priority UNESCO gives to the Palestinian names of heritage sites under belligerent occupation.

Much hangs on how sites are identified, as Israel understands. Names influence the collective memory, giving meaning and significance to places.

The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has coined the term “memoricide” for Israel’s erasure of most traces of the Palestinians’ past after it dispossessed them of four-fifths of their homeland in 1948 – what Palestinians term their Nakba, or Catastrophe.

Israel did more than just raze 500 Palestinian towns and villages. In their place it planted new Jewish communities with Hebracaised names intended to usurp the former Arabic names. Saffuriya became Tzipori; Hittin was supplanted by Hittim; Muyjadil was transformed into Migdal.

A similar process of what Israel calls “Judaisation” is under way in the occupied territories. The settlers of Beitar Ilit threaten the Palestinians of Battir. Nearby, the Palestinians of Sussiya have been dislodged by a Jewish settlement of exactly the same name.

The stakes are highest in Jerusalem. The vast Western Wall plaza below Al Aqsa mosque was created in 1967 after more than 1,000 Palestinians were evicted and their quarter demolished. Millions of visitors each year amble across the plaza, oblivious to this act of ethnic cleansing.

Settlers, aided by the Israeli state, continue to encircle Christian and Muslim sites in the hope of taking them over.

That is the context for recent UNESCO reports highlighting the threats to Jerusalem’s Old City, including Israel’s denial for most Palestinians of the right to worship at Al-Aqsa.

Israel has lobbied to have Jerusalem removed from the list of endangered heritage sites. Alongside the US, it has whipped up a frenzy of moral outrage, berating UNESCO for failing to prioritise the Hebrew names used by the occupation authorities.

Upholding international law

UNESCO’s responsibility, however, is not to safeguard the occupation or bolster Israel’s efforts at Judaisation. It is there to uphold international law and prevent Palestinians from being disappeared by Israel.

Trump’s decision to quit UNESCO is far from his alone. His predecessors have been scuffling with the agency since the 1970s, often over its refusal to cave in to Israeli pressure.

Now, Washington has a pressing additional reason to punish UNESCO for allowing Palestine to become a member. It needs to make an example of the cultural body to dissuade other agencies from following suit.

Trump’s confected indignation at UNESCO, and his shrugging off of its vital global programmes, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realisation.


A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi. The version here is published by permission of Jonathan Cook.

U.S. and israel unable to live with the standards required in membership of UNESCO

U.S., Israel to Pull Out of U.N. Agency Over Alleged Bias

The United Nations flag. (Makaristos / Wikimedia Commons)

Editor’s note: Shortly after the U.S. announced it was pulling out of UNESCO, Israel announced it would join the U.S. in leaving the agency.

PARIS—The United States said Thursday it is pulling out of the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and need for “fundamental reform.”

While the Trump administration had been preparing for a likely withdrawal from UNESCO for months, the announcement by the State Department on Thursday rocked the agency’s Paris headquarters, where a heated election to choose a new chief is underway.

The outgoing UNESCO director-general expressed her “profound regret” at the decision and tried to defend the reputation of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions.

The U.S. stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member state in 2011, but the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office and sought to weigh on policy behind the scenes. The U.S. now owes about $550 million in back payments.

In a statement, the State Department said the decision will take effect Dec. 31, 2018, and that the U.S. will seek a “permanent observer” status instead. It cited U.S. belief in “the need for fundamental reform in the organization.”

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, praised Washington’s move as heralding “a new day at the U.N., where there is a price to pay for discrimination against Israel.”

“UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel bashing and has disregarded its true role and purpose,” Danon said in a statement. The organization’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences.”

Several U.S. diplomats who were to have been posted to UNESCO this summer were told that their positions were on hold and advised to seek other jobs. In addition, the Trump administration’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year contains no provision for the possibility that UNESCO funding restrictions might be lifted.

The lack of staffing and funding plans for UNESCO by the U.S. have been accompanied by repeated denunciations of UNESCO by senior U.S. officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

U.S. officials said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision and that it was not discussed with other countries but was the result of an internal U.S. government deliberation.

The officials, who were not authorized to be publicly named discussing the issue, said the U.S. is notably angry over UNESCO resolutions denying Jewish connections to holy sites and references to Israel as an occupying power.

Chris Hegadorn, the U.S. Charge d’Affaires and ranking U.S. representative to UNESCO, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that the decision to pull out was linked to “the unfortunate politicization of the mandate of UNESCO, where anti-Israel bias has been a major factor and something the US has been struggling to address.”

“The accrual of arrears since 2011 since the admission of Palestine as a member state had been mounting,” he added.

Many saw the 2011 UNESCO vote to include Palestine as evidence of long-running, ingrained anti-Israel bias within the United Nations, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.

UNESCO’s outgoing director-general, Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, called the U.S. departure a loss for “the United Nations family” and for multilateralism. She said the U.S. and UNESCO matter to each other more than ever now to better fight “the rise of violent extremism and terrorism.”

She defended UNESCO’s reputation, noting its efforts to support Holocaust education and train teachers to fight anti-Semitism—and that that the Statue of Liberty is among the many World Heritage sites protected by the U.N. agency. UNESCO also works to improve education for girls in poor countries and in scientific fields and to defend media freedom, among other activities.

UNESCO’s executive board plans to select its choice to succeed Bokova by Friday in a secret ballot.

It’s not the first time the U.S. has pulled out of UNESCO: Washington did the same thing in the 1980s because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt and used to advance Soviet interests. The U.S. rejoined in 2003.

Hegadorn said the U.S. would remain a force at the cultural agency in the same way as it was from 1984 when the country withdrew under President Ronald Reagan.

The U.S. informed Bokova it intends to stay engaged as a non-member ‘observer state’ on “non-politicized” issues, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

“We will be carefully watching how the organization and the new director general steers the agency,” Hegadorn said. “Ideally, it steers it in way that U.S. interests and UNESCO’s mandate will converge.”

___

Lee reported from Washington.

Matthew Lee and Thomas Adamson / AP

Update on Israeli Feud with UNESCO

As I reported in a post yesterday, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has in the past week adopted a couple of resolutions that have aroused Israeli indignation. One of the resolutions–the one which seems to have sparked the most fury–recognizes the old city of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site.

According to the video in the embedded tweet below, Israel has now announced a cut of $1 million in UN funding, apparently in retaliation.

 declared the obvious,  is 🇵🇸. Why is Israel even in the UN? They’ve broken so many laws — 🇮🇱 needs to be shunned & boycotted!

 As I reported in yesterday’s post–and as the video above also mentions–the World Heritage committee, in addition to designating the site as Palestinian, also declared it to be endangered. Reportedly the concern here, or at least one of the concerns, is the threat from vandalism. Given that Hebron is inhabited by Israeli settlers, who seem to be free to commit crimes against the Palestinian population with impunity, the apprehension is probably justified. But of course this aspect to the resolution’s passage in all probability had the effect of arousing Israeli anger all the more.

The Israeli official in the video I posted yesterday–the man who interrupted the proceedings by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews” and who was accused by the representative from Cuba of turning the meeting into a “politicized circus” by way of response–this man’s name, apparently, is Carmel Shama-Hacohen, and he reportedly is Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO. According to a report here, shortly after the Hebron resolution was passed, he declared that fixing his “toilet” was more important than the vote just taken:

Israel isn’t known for its fondness of the United Nations and its institutions, but a resolution passed on Friday questioning Israel’s continued occupation of the ancient West Bank city of Hebron and the damage it might be causing to holy sites there drew an unusual response.

“Sorry … I have a very urgent … sorry, Mr Chairman … it’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris,” Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said sarcastically while addressing the forum’s annual gathering.

“There is a huge problem in my toilet, and it’s more important than the decision you just adopted, thank you.”

Also in yesterday’s post I made an offhand observation regarding the impression that comments by Israeli officials often leave with me. Specifically, I said:

From turning a meeting into a circus sideshow by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews,” to accusing a people living under a brutal occupation of being responsible for their own misery and suffering–there is something about the behavior of Israeli officials that somehow always seems to remind me of the proverbial rude guest who showed up for a party uninvited.

When I wrote those words yesterday, little did I know that Israel does not even hold a seat on World Heritage Committee–which would seem to lend a sort of special significance to my comment about the rude guest showing up uninvited. But indeed, I made that discovery today.

If you go to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention website, you can find a PDF document that lists the current members of the World Heritage Committee. There are 21 of them in all. Here is a screen shot from the document (click to enlarge):

As you can see, Israel is not on the list. In other words, Hacohen, who spent part of the meeting talking about his toilet and importuning silence on behalf of “six million murdered Jews,” is not even a member of the committee. But yet, according to Israelis, it is the committee members who are guilty of bad behavior.

By the way, the World Heritage Committee’s deliberations are taking place in Krakow, Poland, and they are not over yet. The session is supposed to continue through Wednesday, so there may be more to come.

Israel Turns UNESCO Meeting into ‘Politicized Circus’

Israel, not for the first time, is royally P.O.’ed at UNESCO. The UN organization’s World Heritage Committee has been holding a meeting in Krakow, Poland–and in a session on July 4, the body passed a resolution naming Israel as an “occupying power” while at the same time condemning its tunneling and underground excavation activities in the old city of Jerusalem.

Said excavations, presumably for archaeological purposes, started up several years ago. I first put up a post about them back in 2014 after it was reported that they were causing structural problems with Palestinian homes in the area, so it’s good that UNESCO is addressing the issue. But the resolution angered the Israeli representative, who threw a temper tantrum by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews.” And this is what we see in the video below:

As you can see, the representative from Cuba charged the Israeli–rightfully in my opinion–with turning the meeting into a “politicized circus.” She then reciprocated by calling for a moment of silence for Palestinians who have died. As the video shows, the overwhelming majority of people in the auditorium rose to their feet. It did not sit well with the Israelis.

According to a report here, one Israeli official accused the UNESCO committee of being “detached from reality,” while the Zionist state’s Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no decision by UNESCO can change that reality.”

That all was, as I say, on July 4.

Three days later, on July 7, Israel again had a hissy fit over a resolution–passed by the same committee. This time the measure had to do with Hebron, specifically recognizing its old city as an endangered World Heritage site. Hebron’s old city includes a site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque (or Mosque of Abraham) and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. In that regard it has significance to both religions. But the committee voted to recognize the old city of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site–rather than an Israeli one. This of course makes perfectly logical sense because Hebron is in the West Bank and the West Bank is internationally recognized as rightfully belonging to the Palestinians. But again Israelis resorted to tantrums.

“Not a Jewish site?!” thundered Netanyahu. “Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – our patriarchs and matriarchs!”

Of course, the committee didn’t say it wasn’t a Jewish site; they just said it was a Palestinian site–because the site is, after all, in Occupied Palestine. In fact, according to a report here, the resolution–which passed by a vote of 12-3 with six abstentions–“emphasized the importance of the site to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.”

But Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli charged the committee with attempting to “appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people,” and she went on to further accuse the UNESCO delegates of maliciously spreading lies.

“This is a badge of shame for UNESCO, who time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies,” she is quoted as saying.

You might recall I put up a post about Hotoveli a week ago.  This was after she did an interview with 60 Minutes Australia in which she expressed the view that “it’s not because of the Israelis” that Palestinians live under such abject conditions. No, “it’s really dependent on them,” she insisted, adding that “their leadership doesn’t give them the ability to live under democratic values.”

From turning a meeting into a circus sideshow by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews,” to accusing a people living under a brutal occupation of being responsible for their own misery and suffering–there is something about the behavior of Israeli officials that somehow always seems to remind me of the proverbial rude guest who showed up for a party uninvited.

By the way, in case you missed it, Israel recently confiscated an array of solar panels that had been donated by the Dutch government to a Palestinian village in the West Bank. Despite being surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, the village in question, Jubbet al-Dhib, is not connected to the national electric grid. The Dutch government has called the action “unacceptable,” and Holland’s prime minister, Mark Rutte, has reportedly now lodged a formal protest. The solar panels cost approximately $600,000.

Netanyahu Slams ‘Delusional’ UNESCO Vote on Al-Khalil (Hebron)

July 7, 2017

Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday slammed a UNESCO vote declaring the Old City ofAl-Khalil (Hebron) Netanyahu Slams ‘Delusional’ UNESCO Vote on Al-Khalil (Hebron)Hebron an endangered world heritage site, calling it a “delusional decision”.

“It is another delusional decision by UNESCO,” Netanyahu said in a Hebrew video posted online. “This time they ruled the Tomb of the Patriarchs is a Palestinian site, meaning not a Jewish site, and it is in danger.”

Source: AFP

UNESCO Votes to Declare Palestine’s Al-Khalil ‘a Heritage Site’

July 7, 2017

Al-Khalil-1

UNESCO has declared the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) a protected heritage site in a secret ballot despite Israeli attempts to thwart the vote.

On Friday, the UN’s cultural arm voted 12 to three — with six abstentions — to give heritage status to al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank, which is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers.

On Thursday, a Palestinian official said the Zionist entity was seeking to thwart Palestinian efforts to include the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.

Deputy Mayor of al-Khalil Yousef al Jabari made the remarks to a group of journalists visiting the Old City of al-Khalil on Thursday, one day prior to UNESCO’s vote on the matter.

The Old City of al-Khalil is also home to the Ibrahimi Mosque, one of the key holy sites in the Muslim world.

Jabari described Ibrahimi Mosque as a “pure Muslim” site and said, “We will do everything we can [for] this place to remain a mosque, and a mosque for Muslim worshipers only.”

If the Palestinian Authority (PA) succeeds in its bid on Friday, the Old City of al-Khalil would become the third site registered under “Palestine” since the UNESCO recognized it as a member state in 2011.

Source: Press TV

Power crisis hits Gaza hospitals as Israel tightens siege on sick

Source

8 May 2017

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is growing more dire against the dimming possibility of a reconciliation between the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, and the Islamist movement Hamas, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, has warned.

UNSCO says the friction between the competing Palestinian regimes that operate under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip “have aggravated an already difficult situation in the Gaza Strip.”

One consequence is that for the last three weeks, Gaza’s electricity crisis has become even more severe, forcing hospitals to curtail services in an attempt to preserve limited fuel supplies.

The World Health Organization warned that all of Gaza’s public hospitals may be forced to suspend critical services, putting thousands of lives at risk.

These growing tensions culminated on 27 April, when the Palestinian Authority decided that it would no longer pay for the electricity Gaza receives from Israel.

Hamas called the move “a grave escalation and an act of madness.”

“Gaza will not kneel for collaborators with the occupation,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, posted on Twitter.

PA pressure on Hamas

The step is likely part of the PA’s decade-long effort to force Hamas to cede control in Gaza. Hamas won parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2006, but was never allowed to fully assume power over the Palestinian Authority.

A partially successful US-backed putsch led to the split, with Abbas remaining in control of the PA in the West Bank, and Hamas controlling the interior of Gaza.

The Abbas-controlled PA works closely with Israeli occupation forces, while Hamas has continued to engage in armed resistance.

In early April, Abbas said he would take “unprecedented steps in the coming days to end the division” between the West Bank and Gaza.

The PA imposed sharp salary cuts on civil servants there, leading to mass protests. But Rami Hamdallah, the PA prime minister in Ramallah, said, as the BBC reported, that “the salary cuts would stay in place until Hamas moved towards reconciliation.”

Last week, Hamas announced a new charter ditching anti-Jewish language and formally accepting, as Abbas does, a two-state solution with Israel.

It also announced on Saturday that Ismail Haniyeh, its former prime minister in Gaza, has been elected as the movement’s overall leader.

One Israeli analyst suggested in the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz that Abbas’ crackdown on Gaza was part of an attempt to keep Hamas isolated and to curry favor with the new US president. Abbas met Donald Trump at the White House last week.

Hospitals at “minimal capacity”

Meanwhile, Gaza’s economy has been devastated by a 10-year Israeli blockade and repeated military assaults.

In mid-April, Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel after a three-month supply funded by Turkey and Qatar was depleted.

The PA has refused Hamas’ requests to reduce or eliminate the heavy taxes on diesel that fuels Gaza’s power plant, a provision UNSCO supports.

Gaza receives just over half of its electricity from Israel which has until now been paid for by the Palestinian Authority.

“Palestinians in Gaza, who live in a protracted humanitarian crisis, can no longer be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures,” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said.

Gaza is already operating on a severe energy deficit. Its daily supply of electricity from Israel, Egypt and its sole, partially functioning power plant totals only 210 megawatts, while the population of two million requires 450 megawatts per day.

The shortfall means that people in Gaza without backup generators must function with no electricity for 12 to 18 hours a day.

While international assistance has managed to barely keep hospitals open by ensuring they have enough fuel for generators, Gaza’s precarious situation is clear.

Hospitals are currently working “at minimal capacity,” the UN humanitarian coordination agency OCHA reported last month.

Another dire health and environmental consequence is that faced with a lack of energy for water treatment, waste plants are discharging more raw sewage into the sea.

No exit for many

Emergency fuel supplies are only guaranteed through May, forcing hospitals to postpone surgeries and refer more patients outside Gaza, potentially exposing them to life-threatening delays or Israeli attempts at blackmail.

According to UNSCO, since 15 September 2016, Israel has significantly reduced approvals for Palestinians to leave Gaza, including patients.

Last December, Israel approved fewer than 42 percent of applications to leave Gaza for medical care, the lowest rate since 2009, according to UNSCO.

Meanwhile, Egypt kept the Rafah crossing, the only outlet for most of Gaza’s residents, completely closed for the entire month of April.

Letting Israel off the hook

UNSCO acknowledges that Israel’s blockade is responsible for severe impairment in every sector in Gaza, including education, health and agriculture, and urges the “international community” to support the lifting of Israel’s siege.

Yet it still presents the closure as a security measure for Israel.

UNSCO notes that this year marks 10 years of Israel’s closure on Gaza, which UNSCO describes as a response to Hamas’ “violent” takeover in 2007.

As well as ignoring the context of the intra-Palestinian fighting, this timeline ignores that the cut in exit permits began in the mid-1990s, sharply falling after Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza in 2005.

In the face of the evidence that its prospects have all but vanished, UNSCO continues to insist that the “international community” commit to a two-state solution.

It notes that in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s construction of illegal settlements has surged since last September while the land where Palestinians live is shrinking.

The report confirms that it is “virtually impossible” for Palestinians to obtain building permits in Area C of the West Bank – the 60 percent of the occupied West Bank over which Israel exercises full control. More than 90 percent of applications for building permits are rejected by Israeli occupation forces.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to develop settlements in Area C.

UNSCO acknowledges that Israel’s settlements violate international law, but pointedly fails to call for any sanctions or consequences.

“It is critical that recent international initiatives to advance the prospects for peace translate into a legitimate process to end the occupation and achieve a final settlement to the conflict,” UNSCO implores.

What UNSCO does not explain is how such a “process” would occur in the complete absence of measures to hold the occupying power accountable.

 

US Adopts Negative Approach to United Nations, in other words “International Law”

US Adopts Negative Approach to United Nations

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/02/us-adopts-negative-approach-united-nations.html

There are many warning signs to indicate that the US is poised to adopt a more negative approach toward the United Nations than it has in recent years. For instance, the Trump administration is considering canceling US participation on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in protest of the body’s actions in general, and specifically its treatment of Israel.

On February 16, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, called out the HRC for «breathtaking double standards» and «outrageously biased resolutions» against Israel, during a press conference after her meeting with the UN Security Council. She lashed out at the council for failing to discuss the buildup of illegal Hezbollah weapons, provided by Iran; strategies for defeating the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group; or holding Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for the alleged crimes against civilians.

According to Politico, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson is questioning the value of the US belonging to the Human Rights Council.

The US believes that the countries which violate human rights are members of the council. In 2012, the body was slammed for allowing a representative of the Palestinian Hamas group to speak.

 

Indeed, the council has been many times criticized for being biased and incompetent. Russia has blasted the body for confrontational approaches. Speaking at the UN General Assembly session in November, 2016, Grigori Lukyantsev, Russian Foreign Ministry’s deputy director of Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights, accused the UNHRC of becoming a platform for lambasting certain countries and settling political scores. «We have to note that the Council’s agenda has become an instrument for promoting conjunctural interests of several countries and groups. Discussions more and more often turn to settling political scores, mentorship, defamation of states. Moreover, the ungrounded geographical imbalance in the matter of human rights situations in one or another country does not reflect real tendencies, but rather represents a result of political orders», he noted. The deputy director also noted that Russia decries «attempts to use the HRC for including different politically charged issues on the agenda for the UN General Assembly».

In October, 2016, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi criticized the re-election of Saudi Arabia to the UNHRC, saying that the election is, «the best indication that human rights is merely in direction of political interests». Human rights groups had called on countries to reject the candidacy of Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Yemen. The kingdom was elected for its calls to protect women’s rights, which are widely believed to be violated by Riyadh.

No doubt the US is serious about pulling out from the council. The calls for leaving have been heard there since a long time ago. Actually, Republicans have always been prone to minimize the role of the UN. In 2003, many US officials and lawmakers were stunned by the fact that the UN Human Rights Commission elected the Libyan ambassador Najat al-Hajjaji its president yesterday, overriding a US objection that her country’s «horrible» record disqualified it for the post. Many Americans hold the opinion that the withdrawal from the UNHRC will not hurt the United States in any way.

They may be right; the decision to withdraw will not have grave consequences. It’s not the membership in the council that matters but rather the US disparaging attitude towards the United Nations in general. The views of President Trump and his advisers – combined with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress – indicate that Washington is poised to change its policy towards the UN. In the 1980s, President Ronald Regan was antagonistic to the international body. The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation acted as the leading anti-UN lobby at that time. It campaigned for defunding the organization. George W. Bush Jr. openly derided the UN and renounced many multilateral treaties.

President Trump has made making derogatory comments about the United Nations. The UN has «such great potential,» but it has become «a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!» he tweeted in December, 2016. A couple of days later he tweeted again: «As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20th».

The new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had argued for a review of US expenditure on the UN to ensure America «gets what it pays for» though she cautioned in her confirmation hearing against «slash and burn» cuts.

The administration is preparing to order sweeping cuts in funding to the UN and other international organizations, while potentially walking away from some treaties. A president’s draft executive order would reduce voluntary contributions to international bodies by 40% and complains of ‘burdensome’ commitment to UN. The draft order could reverse or roll back funding for priorities championed by former President Barack Obama, including international peacekeeping missions and US support for development work under the UN umbrella. A second order calls for a review and possible withdrawal from certain forms of multilateral treaties that do not involve «national security, extradition or international trade». Potential targets include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the Washington Post, the proposed funding review is envisaged to take a year and be overseen by a panel including the departments of defence, state, justice, the office of the director of national security, the office of management and budget and the national security adviser. It is likely to attract only limited opposition in Congress. «The United States is in fact the United Nations’ largest supporter, providing nearly a quarter of its total revenues, and the American contribution continues to grow annually», the Guardian cites the text of the order on international funding cuts, titled Auditing and Reducing US Funding of International Organizations.

Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said «I think that heavy cuts to US funding to the UN are likely, and Trump will keep on kicking the institution to score cheap political points».

Alabama representative and senior Republican Mike Rogers drafted a bill to terminate the US membership in the UN. In early January, a bill known as the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 was introduced to US Congress. The bill aims to repeal the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other related laws. It requires the president to terminate US membership in the UN and to close the America’s Mission to the United Nations. The legislation prohibits the authorization of funds for the US assessed or voluntary contribution to the UN, the authorization of funds for any US contribution to any UN military or peacekeeping operation, the expenditure of funds to support the participation of US armed forces as part of any UN military or peacekeeping operation, US Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and diplomatic immunity for UN officers or employees.

Also in January, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to defund the United Nations. Many Republicans see the Trump presidency as the best opportunity to pull out from the UN.

True, the organization is certainly overdue for serious internal changes but the world needs it as the only universal body able to take on the challenges to humanity and maintain global security, including the fight against terror. The UN is a communication platform bringing states together to talk instead of plunging into endless conflicts.

After the Cold War, the UN saw a radical expansion in its peacekeeping duties, taking on more missions in ten years than it had in the previous four decades. Between 1988 and 2000, the number of adopted Security Council resolutions more than doubled, and the peacekeeping budget increased more than tenfold. Today, the organization maintains 16 UN peacekeeping operations with 117,000 troops, police, military observers, civilian personnel and volunteers from 125 countries.

In the current UN budget, these operations cost $7.87bn a year. The US defense budget in FY 2016 was approximately $600bn. The Guardian emphasizes that «for a truly tiny cost, close to 1% of the American defense budget, America receives a huge dividend from the UN – peace in many remote parts of the world, making them safe for American trade, investment and tourism. If the US tried to do all this alone (which it would be unable to), it would cost first, American lives, and second, billions more in US tax dollars». The UN’s role in tackling the problem of refugees around the world is immense.

The UN isn’t perfect but it’s the best international body to address international problems. To reject the organization will rob the US of a vital institution to communicate with the world. To disregard the UN means to disregard international law. Hopefully, this is only a temporary trend and reason will prevail. By leaving, the US will shoot itself in the foot. 

Israeli rabbis: Trump is the Jewish Messiah

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In a recent Op-Ed at Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz – former Israeli cabinet minister Uzi Baram (born to Arab Jewish mother from Syria) said that extremist Jew members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government are rallying on US president Donald Trump to help destroy Islam’s sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of Rock at Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem). These fanatic religious Jews believe that the Muslim structures are hindering the fulfillment of Jewish salvation represented by the construction of the so-called Third Temple.

Several leading Israel rabbis at the Sanhedrin organization have claimed that two powerful pro-Israel world leaders, Vladimir and Donald Trump, not only support Israel’s right to exist – Trump even accepts Jewish right to Jerusalem as their spiritual inheritance. It is historically unprecedented (reported by Israel Today, November 15, 2016).

Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the top gun at the Sanhedrin sent letters to both Trump and Putin urging them to work together to fulfill a project that will benefit all mankind – the rebuilding of the Holy Temple atop Jerusalem’s hotly contested Temple Mount.

Torah (Old Testament) was written by rabbis in 1312 BCE. It doesn’t mention that Temple Mount would be destroyed first by Babylonian in 586 BCE and later by Roman in 70 AD. Furthermore, neither Torah nor the Christian Bible calls for the reconstruction of Third Temple.

According to the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute, it got the three things needed to rebuild the Third Temple; 1) a plan  (see the model above), 2) one million stones for the building, and 3) Red Heifer.

Ironically, in October 2016, UNESCO declared that Old City of Jerusalem (occupied East Jerusalem) had nothing to do with Judaism.

Jerry Rabow in his 2002 book, 50 Jewish Messiahs, claims that since the disappearance of Jesus (as), more than 50 men and women have claimed to be Jewish promised Messiah.

In my life time, I have read two Jewish Messiahs – multi-billionaire George Soro and former US president Barack Obama.

UN idiot: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Jewish

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Antonio Guterres, the newly installed United Nations secretary general and a Friend of Israel told Israel Radio on Friday that “it was completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”

This is no news to people who have studied the history of Temple Mount and Jewishness from some objective sources. The Zionist narrative of Temple Mount, just like Holy Holocaust is all based on fakes, frauds, and forgeries (watch video below).

The so-called Temple Mount (Solomon Palace or Haikale Sulemani) and part of Old City of Jerusalem were destroyed by Romans in 70 AD to crush the anti-Rome armed rebellion by the people of Judea, who were not Jewish. Majority of them belonged to Hebrew tribes also known as Bani Israel who were descendants of 12 sons of prophet Israel (Jacob). These people who lived in Arabian peninsula converted to Christianity and Islam with the passage of time. Over 90% of current world Jewry is not Israelites but Khazarian Turks.

Israeli historian Dr. Shlomo Sand, author of books The Invention of Jewish People’, ‘The Invention of the Land of Israel’, and ‘How I ceased to be a Jew’ has claimed that the word JEW was invented in late 18th century – most probably by Christian Zionists.

The photo above clearly shows that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of Rock are not built on top of the Temple Mount. And the so-called Wailing Wall under the Al-Aqsa Mosque is not the foundation wall of the Temple Mount – but of a Roman fortress.

In October 2016, UNESCO declared that Old City of Jerusalem (occupied East Jerusalem) had nothing to do with Judaism.

But don’t expect Netanyahu stop speaking through Antonio Guterres’ mouth in the future.

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US Public Discourse Slipping Further from Reality

Posted on January 23, 2017

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Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) is the latest example of a member of Congress who seems to be slipping further and further from reality. Rogers has introduced a bill entitled “The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”–which sounds good until you get to the fine print.

The bill is aimed at eliminating US membership in the United Nations, which Rogers sees as a threat to US sovereignty. It also would end US support for UN agencies such as UNESCO and the World Health Organization, and would even have the UN headquarters kicked out of New York.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the UN. It has been used often as a political tool to support US foreign policy objectives, for instance in 2011 when it authorized a no-fly zone over Libya–and so for this reason I have some doubts as to whether Rogers’ bill will pass. But this is neither here nor there. Where things get really crazy is when you look at the congressman’s reasoning behind the bill.

According to RT, Rogers’ bill, officially HR 193, was motivated by the UN Security Council resolution adopted last month criticizing Israeli settlements. I have already discussed HR 11, a bill introduced specifically in response to that Security Council resolution and which was approved by a vote 342-80, and HR 193 seems to have been similarly motivated. Or at least partly, at any rate–for the RT report makes note of the fact that the Alabama congressman introduced an earlier version of the bill back in 2015.

“Why should the American taxpayer bankroll an international organization that works against America’s interests around the world?” Rogers is said to have asked at that time. “The time is now to restore and protect American sovereignty and get out of the United Nations.”

A little more from the RT report:

Later, in June 2015, Rogers had introduced his document – then named HR 1205, but essentially the same USExit idea he’s proposing now.

“The UN continues to prove it’s an inefficient bureaucracy and a complete waste of American tax dollars.” Rogers went on to name treaties and actions he believes “attack our rights as US citizens.” These included gun provisions, the imposition of international regulations on American fossil fuels – but more importantly, the UN attack on Israel, by voting to grant Palestine the non-member state ‘permanent observer’ status.

“Anyone who is not a friend to our ally Israel is not a friend to the United States.”

So in Rogers’ delusional thinking, it is the UN, and not Israel or its US Lobby, which threatens the sovereignty of the United States.

American funding to the UN comes to approximately $8 billion per year, that’s in mandatory payments as well as voluntary contributions. This makes up about 22 percent of the UN’s overall budget.

By contrast, US funding of Israel presently comes to about $3.8 billion per year (in direct aid). Presumably, if Rogers’ bill passes, the $4.2 billion difference will then be available to pass along to Israel. I’m not saying that’s what will happen, but worth keeping in mind is that in September of last year, Obama signed a $38 billion aid package to the Jewish state, and Obama wasn’t even on good terms with the Israeli leadership. Imagine what largess may flow under a Trump administration.

As I said before, the US is often able to pressure other nations and thereby use the UN as a political tool to advance its own foreign policy objectives, so from that standpoint one might argue that the $8 billion per year was an investment which brought back a return.

By contrast, if the money goes to Israel, the opposite will be the case: for it is Israel which uses the US as a political tool, not the other way around.

If we continue to be ruled by people like Rogers, our national sovereignty will eventually disappear. We will become a nation governed in total by a foreign power.

israel busy destroying Jerusalem’s history and replacing it with fake artifacts

Will UN bless Israel’s destruction of Jerusalem’s heritage?

A historic photograph shows Jerusalem’s Moroccan Quarter, below the al-Aqsa mosque compound and the Dome of the Rock. Israel demolished the 700-year-old neighborhood, including a 12th century mosque, to create the Western Wall Plaza, after it occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. (via Library of Congress)

Israel is once again trying to remove Jerusalem’s ancient sites from a UN list of endangered world heritage.

The effort to strip the protection comes as groups that call for the destruction of the al-Aqsa mosque and its replacement with a Jewish temple are intensifying their activities, often with Israeli government funding and support. It also follows decades of Israeli destruction of ancient sites in the city.

Less than two weeks after UNESCO adopted a resolution sharply criticizing Israel’s violations at the al-Aqsa mosque/Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem, the UN educational and scientific body’s World Heritage Committee Executive Board will vote on whether to keep the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls on the list of endangered sites, a status they have held since 1982.

Fifty-five other UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe are considered to be in danger.

Jerusalem’s Old City was placed on the list after delegates found the site’s “historical authenticity” and “cultural significance” were threatened by negligence, rapid urbanization and the destruction of religious properties.

Israel has controlled Jerusalem’s Old City since its army occupied East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to ask the 21 member nations on the World Heritage Committee Executive Board not to support keeping the area on the endangered list.

Israel has opposed the inclusion of the site on the list since it was first proposed by Jordan.

“There is a will to stop this chaos [of such resolutions] which harms everyone,” Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen told The Jerusalem Post.

But Shama-Hacohen said winning favor for Israel’s position from from the World Heritage Committee will be tough.

The committee will meet in Paris next week.

Extremist settlers

In April, Jordan submitted its report to the World Heritage Committee outlining why the site should remain on the endangered list.

Israel also submitted a report claiming it has undertaken several projects to protect the Old City “while improving the lives of its inhabitants and its use by tourists.”

The Israeli report claims that the Israel Antiquities Authority conducts or supervises all projects in and around the Old City.

But the report fails to mention that the authority has handed over control of several archaeological projects to the extreme settler organization Elad.

Elad currently manages a tunnel project that connects the Western Wall to the Davidson Center, an Israeli-built exhibition facility, in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan.

Jordan’s report details many of the concerns over the al-Aqsa mosque and the Haram al-Sharif outlined in the UNESCO resolution adopted on 13 October, but also discusses how the surrounding Muslim neighborhoods within the walls of the Old City are threatened.

In recent years, Israeli-government supported private settler groups such as Elad and Ateret Cohanim have forcibly displaced scores of Muslim and Christian families in the Old City to make way for Jewish settlers.

Jordan’s report states that Israel has carried out 20 excavations in the area surrounding the al-Aqsa compound during 2015. It presents evidence that the excavations are discarding historic remains from the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. Jordan asserts that the excavations threaten to breach the walls of the al-Aqsa mosque.

The archaeological projects Israel undertakes in Jerusalem have the narrow agenda of unearthing artifacts that demonstrate an ancient Jewish presence in the land while ignoring or destroying artifacts from other eras.

History of destruction

Immediately following the 1967 war, Israel destroyed the 700-year-old Mughrabi Quarter, also known as the Moroccan Quarter, in the Old City in order to create the Western Wall Plaza adjacent to the al-Aqsa compound.

Today the plaza serves primarily as an open gathering space for tourists and Jewish worshippers.

When Israel occupied the area on 7 June 1967, the entire neighborhood was put under strict curfew and Palestinians were shut in their homes.

On the evening of 10 June 1967, the day the war ended, the 650 residents of the Mughrabi Quarter were given two hours to vacate their homes, according to scholar Tom Abowd.

Those who did not leave voluntarily, were removed by force before the area was flattened by bulldozers. By the next night, more than 130 homes had been destroyed.

One woman was buried beneath the rubble, her body found the next morning in the ruins of her home.

Among the scores of homes and structures reduced to rubble, was one of Jerusalem’s oldest Islamic schools, al-Afdaliya, which later came to be known as Sheikh Eid mosque.

The structure has been dated to Saladin’s reign in the 12th century.

Benjamin Kedar, a retired professor of history at Hebrew University and a former vice president of Israel’s National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, called the destruction an “archaeological crime.”

In the last five years, Israel has allowed the Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a so-called “Museum of Tolerance” on top of the ancient Muslim Mamilla Cemetery. Though in West Jerusalem, and therefore not the subject of the UNESCO resolutions, it is a stark example of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s disregard for Jerusalem’s people and heritage.

Hundreds of skeletons were dug up in the middle of the night. Yehoshua Dorfman, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority at the time, later admitted, “I should have stopped the excavation and not allowed the destruction of that part of the cemetery.”

Dorfman also admitted to mistreatment of Muslim and Christian graves at excavation sites elsewhere, including the Elad-run “City of David” in occupied East Jerusalem. “The bones were just left lying around outside for months until they were taken away,” Dorfman wrote in a book published after his death in 2014, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz.

Vilifying UNESCO

Since UNESCO passed the resolution condemning the myriad ways Israel violates the rights of Palestinian and Muslim worshippers at al-Aqsa mosque and threatens the architectural integrity of the compound, Israel has gone on the offensive.

This week, Yisrael Hasson, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority, stepped up the vilification of UNESCO, comparing the UN body to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that has destroyed ancient sites in Syria.

Claiming falsely that the resolution denies Jewish reverence for the site it calls Temple Mount, Israel has effectively convinced UN leaders to distance themselves from the resolution.

These include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova and UNESCO executive board chair Michael Worbs.

Mexico and Brazil, two of the 24 countries that voted in favor of the resolution, have since repudiated their support.

Though there will not be a re-vote, the countries say they would not support a similar resolution in the future.

If Israel should now succeed in convincing the World Heritage Committee to remove Jerusalem from the list of endangered sites, the UN would in effect give a blessing to Israel’s ongoing assault on the city’s ancient heritage.

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Syria Condemns Massacres Committed by Turkish Regime during Its Invasion of Syrian Territories

Monday, 29 August 2016 17:02

Syria Times

DAMASCUS, (ST)- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has stressed that  the massacres and aggressive acts committed by the Turkish regime during its invasion of Syrian territories are a crime of aggression and an evident crime against humanity. The ministry has also stressed that fighting terrorism on the Syrian lands by whatever party should have been done in coordination with the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army, urging the Security Council to pressure the Turkish regime to withdraw its forces from the Syrian territories.

 Addressing the UN Chief and President of the Security Council in two identical letters about the horrible massacres committed by the Turkish army and its allies against civilians in two Syrian villages northern Syria, the ministry said “the Turkish army’s air force and artillery in coordination with its-affiliated armed terrorist groups randomly bombarded the villages of Jeb al-Koussa and al-Amarneh in the south of Jarablus city in Aleppo. 35 civilians were martyred in the shelling, tens others were wounded and huge damage was caused to public and private properties as well as to the infrastructure of the two villages.”

Evident Crime against humanity

According to the ministry, the Turkish regime’s crimes and attacks are condemned by all moral and legal standards and they constitute a war crime and a crime against humanity whether these crimes were committed directly by the Turkish army or indirectly by Turkish regime’s tools and terrorist agents like the so-called “Free Army” and terror groups like “Deash”, “Jabhat al-Nusra”,” Ahrar al-Sham”,  “Nour Eddin Zinki”, “Liwa al-Tauheed”, “Liwa Shuhada Badr”, “Liwa al-Muhajereen”, “the Islamic Front” and “Western Turkistan organization”.

The ministry added that Turkey also keeps providing the terrorists with all kinds of weapons and ammunitions in addition to mercenaries of more than 100 different nationalities, pointing out that the Turkish media said on August 28, 2016 that the Turkish regime allowed more than 3000 terrorists to have access into Syria across the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to join the terrorist organizations in the country.

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the repeated violations, attacks and massacres which have been committed by the Turkish regime against the Syrian people and against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Syrian state for more than five years,” the ministry said.

It added that “Syria urges the Security Council member states to condemn these coward crimes and to adopt effective measures that force Erdogan to stop supporting terrorism and using it as a means to interfere in  Syria’s internal affairs.”

Not a single Bullet Fired against “Daesh”  

It pointed out that in its alleged anti-Deash military operation in Syria, the Turkish forces didn’t fire a single bullet on Daesh terrorists, rather Deash joined the Turkish army and its terrorist allies and helped the army enter Jarablus, thereby providing a clear proof about Erdogan’s regime’s cooperation with Daesh and other terrorist groups.

It noted that the Turkish regime’s talk about Deash expulsion from Jarablus was actually a process to replace Deash with Turkish-backed terrorist groups.

The ministry stressed that “the French, US, British, Saudi and Qatari continuous support for the Turkish regime is but a blatant support for terrorism not only in Syria but in all countries of the world. It is also a clear-cut evidence that these countries are colluding with the Turkish regime in killing innocent people in Aleppo, Damascus, Jarablus, Lyon, Brussels and Berlin,” the ministry stressed.

Fighting terrorism should be done in coordination with Syrian government and army

  “Syria reiterates that fighting terrorism on the Syrian lands by any party should have been done in coordination with the Syrian government and the Syrian army which has been bravely battling terrorism for more than five years,” the ministry said, stressing that the Syrian government will spare no effort as to combat terrorism and achieve political solution to the crisis in Syria through Syrian-Syrian dialogue led by the Syrians themselves away from foreign interference and without preconditions.

Security Council Urged to Pressure Turkey to withdraw its forces from Syria

The ministry concluded the letter by saying that “the Syrian government urges the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility in keeping international peace and security and to call on Turkey to immediately withdraw from the Syrian lands, to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to stop supporting the terrorist groups by completely closing its borders with Syria in implementation of international legitimacy and Security Council resolutions relating to fighting terrorism, particularly resolutions Nos. 2170 and 2178 for 2014 and resolutions Nos. 2199 and 2253 for 2015.

Hamda Mustafa

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ISIL Demolishes Ancient Temple in Iraq, Hints at Destroying Pyramids

 

Takfiri ISIL group vowed to destroy ancient sites built by infidels” after showing video footage of the group blowing up a 2,500-year-old temple in Iraq.

The video showed ISIL militants detonating bombs at the ancient temple of Nabu in Iraq which proceeded to reduce to rubble.

Following the destruction of the ancient temple, the group vowed to destroy other ancient sites that were created by “infidels.”ISIL Demolishes Ancient Temple in Iraq, Vows to Destroy Pyramids

When noting their intention to destroy other ancient monuments, the video showed pictures of the Great Pyramid of Giza indicating the group hopes to destroy the impressive Egyptian structures.

Earlier this year, shocking pictures showed how ISIL militants had destroyed ancient monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra.

The militants sparked a global outcry when they started destroying Palmyra’s treasured monuments, which they consider idolatrous, after taking the city in May 2015.

They ransacked UNESCO World Heritage sites before finally being ousted after three weeks of fighting earlier this year.

Source: Agencies

08-06-2016 – 14:35 Last updated 08-06-2016 – 16:01

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Risky Move: #AskNetanyahu Quickly Backfires on Israeli PM

 photo asknetanyahu_zpshl8yvu1y.jpg

Netanyahu’s Twitter Nakba

RT

In what could at best be described as a risky PR move, and at worst just asking for trouble, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened himself up to the world of Twitter with an “Ask Netanyahu” social media campaign, yielding predictably funny results.

Within minutes of the announcement, people made use of the hashtag to question the Israeli leader about pressing issues.

The Q&A session was set to take place Thursday morning to honor Israeli Independence Day.

Continued here

Did you use Nano thermite or regular cutting charges to bring down Building 7? pic.twitter.com/k6ojYBg3an

Why was it okay to EXECUTE 73-years-old Tharwat Sharawi for driving her car too slow.. She was 73!!

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Whilst spending precious time with your family on the beach did u order the bombing of Gaza Children

Does it bother you that history will remember you as a racist, war criminal and mass murderer?

Dear Bibi,
Please can you abide by international law and allow the refugees to return?
Thank-you,
Joss

Why any Jew in the world has the right to live in Israel while the Palestinians are denied the Right of Return to their land?

How many knives have your IOF planted knives on Palestinian children? How many have they killed?

Can you watch This ?

This is the Most Moral Army in the World

Why did you order IDF to shoot these children who were playing football on the beach ?

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