Haniyah to Al-Manar: Hamas “Part of Axis of Resistance in Face of Israeli Enemy”

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September 8, 2020

Head of Hamas politburo, Ismail Haniyah stressed that the UAE decision to normalize ties with the Israeli enemy is unjustifiable and serves only Trump and Netanyahu, adding that the relations between the Resistance Movement and Saudi Arabia have deteriorated and calling for the release of the Palestinian detainees.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar TV Channel, Haniyah emphasized that Hamas is part of the axis of resistance in face of the Israeli enemy, confirming that Syria has always supported the Palestinian cause.

“We hope that Syria regain security and stability as this would support the Palestinian cause.”

Hamas Chief pointed out that the Palestinians must unify against the Israeli settler and annexation schemes, adding the conference held by the  factions comes in this context.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Between Malek, Shiha, Al-Rahi, and Macron? بين مالك وشيحا والراعي وماكرون؟

By Nasser Kandil

The Patriarch Bishara al-Rahi’s statement that Hizbullah accused him of agency and treachery is most regrettable. Everyone assures that any attempt to learn Hizbullah’s response to the Patriarch’s call for neutrality was met with “No comment.” In her refrain from declaring her opposing perspective to the Patriarch’s stance, Al Mukawama aimed at preventing an interpretation of its position through lenses of sectarian defensiveness, giving lurkers the opportunity of fanning flames, resulting in exchanges of volleys of accusations of agency and treachery.

The invitation is open for the Patriarch to rise above allegations of treachery against him from a Party and a Mukawama, which have a full awareness and appreciation of sensitivities in Lebanon, and who prioritize a diligence about not taking positions, in order to ensure communication respectful of honorifics, including the Bkirki Honorific, and to preserve national unity.

To say that an understanding exists between the Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and

Al-Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah, to refrain from comments on the Patriarch’s call for neutrality, personally or through their respective party platforms, would not be revealing a secret. In addition, they have both expressed their displeasure towards individual voices and religious, political, and publicity sites which went against their chosen direction.

In view of such diligence and approbation, they would have rightfully expected from Bkirki a reciprocal approach through an invitation for a discussion of her position with all the Lebanese entities, in an effort to promote agreement and harmony, before her declaration. What is occurring today instead, is that the Patriarch’s call transformed into a mudslinging campaign against Al Mukawama and her arms, unjustly relegating to her the responsibilities for and the dire consequences of the multitude of crises Lebanon has been facing.

This declaration provided an opportunity for its exploitation by those lying in wait, through a discourse insinuating that the injurious and demonizing campaign targeting Al Mukawama has gained a solid base through Bkirki’s leadership. The duo’s silence was the utmost they could offer amidst all that, as an expression of care and respect, awaiting reciprocity from the Bkirki Seat, to provide the opportunity for communication about disagreements behind closed doors.

The Patriarch’s call and his speech on the occasion of Lebanon’s Centennial is being presented as a reading about Lebanon’s future and a project for a new contract benefitting from past experiences and present dangers. He refers to a fear that what is meant by a new contract is an invitation to trilateral power sharing, i.e. power sharing on an almost equal basis between Christians, Shias, and Sunnis, rather than current power sharing divided equally between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon. Such expressed fear sounds strange in view of  Speaker Berri’s refusal decades ago of a trilateral power sharing proposal, and Hizbullah’s refusal of  more generous sectarian power-sharing offers as a trade-off for its power which constitutes a major security threat to the Israeli Occupation.

Both parties confirmed and continue to confirm their insistence on the preservation of the position and role of Christians in Lebanon and the region as a fundamental constituency in the Orient, independent of the actual number of Christians in it.  They have repeatedly emphasized the necessity of reassuring this constituent and ensuring all elements of stability for its continued existence. Their belief is that the Orient’s Christians confer an added value to the Orient, and the loss or weakening of this constituent will rob the Orient of its distinctive characteristics.

These two parties who are implied in the “trilateral” accusation have been clear in attaching to every call for the end of sectarianism, another call for a positive Christian partnership which is reassuring to them, on one hand, and provides existential reassurances for Christians, on the other. A discussion is needed among the Lebanese about a new contract on the basic principles held by the duo encapsulated in progress towards a democratic state, unfettered by the federalism of sectarian protectorates, and ensuring guarantees against the transformation of democracy into a tool in the hands of a sectarian majority, shaking the equilibrium between sects or posing an existential threat to them.

The passage of one hundred years on the establishment of the political Lebanon, in the shade of which we stand today, makes it worthwhile to go back to the writings of two great Lebanese Christian thinkers who have had a strong influence on the conceptualization of Lebanon as an entity, and of Lebanese nationalism, and with whom every Christian political speaker affiliates or aligns his or her position with what had been attributed to them. The reference, of course, is to Charles Malek and Michel Chiha, who have drawn the picture for the Lebanese entity and the principles for its political and economic growth, and unequivocally warned of what they considered to be an imminent threat to its being, namely the earth shaking event of the creation of the Occupation State in 1948.

Both Malek and Chiha were terrified for the fate of the Lebanese entity, and called for the Lebanese to be vigilant about a future in an environment of increasing difficulties. They agreed, each from his own perspective, about the dangers associated with that cataclysmic event which made Lebanon a constant target for Zionist expansion, and at risk of structural damage to the culture of coexistence on which it is based. They agreed that this event created nurturing climates for religious prejudices and extremism, which in turn were expected to launch eras of threat to peace between the Lebanese, and geographic locations posing such threats, in the form of consecutive waves.

They stated that the Jewish State, which they described as racist and reliant on the potency of money and power, will constitute an existential threat to a Lebanon weak and helpless by comparison.  They believed that the newly formed entity will pump waves of Palestinian refugees, and as their hopes of return to their homeland became increasingly out of reach, would place at risk the sectarian equilibrium in Lebanon.

Charles Malek, from his position in the United Nations, sent a report in 1949 to Lebanon’s President and Prime Minister in which he went further, pointing out the approach of a Jewish epoch to the area, that Palestine was the mirror for conditions in the Middle East, that the scant influence of the Arabs will result in an increasing “Jewish” influence, and warned against betting on international positions because the West, headed by the Americans, will side with the “Jews.” He stated: “ In every principal conflict between Israeli and Arab interests, America will support  Israeli interests.  I warn strongly against falling blindly into the trap of seductive American construction projects before their full scrutiny and the scrutiny of Jewish connections to them.”  He proposed a countermeasure based on the building up of Arab armies, an Arab renaissance, and a liberation movement led by Lebanon and Syria. He wagered on a role supportive to the Palestinian cause, and aid to Lebanon and the area in the face of the “Jewish” threat, by the Worldwide Catholic Church, led by the Christian Church in the Orient, with Lebanon being its more important base.

Both Malek and Chiha believed, in the first place, that the triad of threats, expansionist, structural, and economic, posed by the Occupation, along with the Palestinian refugee issue, should form an axis for Lebanese policies internally, at the Arab level, and internationally.  Secondly, they pointed to the losing bet on the effectiveness of international interventions without possession of a considerable interest potential and adequate power to enable participation in the big equations, implying that begging for protection from a position of weakness will inevitably result in disappointment. Thirdly, they bet on the leading role of the Church in escalating and reinforcing power resources internally, and moving outward from that position of political, economic, and military strength, to rouse the Worldwide Church, in the hopes of creating a balance protective of Lebanon.  Can anyone say today that the threats no longer exist, or that the effectiveness of the Arab position has increased, or that the laws governing the movement in international relations have changed?

Al Mukawama, capable and competent, liberated and deterred, and became a source of anxiety for the Occupation in regard to its security and existence.  She became one of the manifestations of what Chiha and Malek asked of the Lebanese.  Sage and prudent,

Al Mukawama is the missing link which Bkirki should feel happy to meet halfway, for a complementarity in roles, translated into what should be done for Lebanon’s protection, with differentiation and variation lending strength to positions rather than being problematic. What has come forth instead from Bkirki’s positions only weakens power sources, aborts opportunities for complementarity between politics and power, and whets the appetite of those in wait for the possibility of weakening or isolating Al Mukawama. It fails to attempt seeking guarantees for Lebanon and the Lebanese using the pacification of Al Mukawama as leverage.

The neutrality initiative, even in its “active” form, fails to tell how it will solve the refugee issue in a time of Arab abandonment; how it will protect Lebanon’s economic role in the era of “normalization;” how it will protect Lebanon from the threat of aggression in the times of disintegration of Arab armies; and who will benefit from the weakening of Al Mukawama and from targeting her morale and reputation except lurking Takfeeri Extremism, lying in wait for Lebanon, the Orient, Christians, along with all the other constituents in the area?

Renewal of the Greater Lebanon starts with a dialogue between the Lebanese to form  understandings which address points of defect and invest in power sources.  Bkirki is the first invitee to openness towards Al Mukawama and investment in her sources of power, after Bkirki has clearly seen France coming to acknowledge Al Mukawama as a reality unsusceptible to marginalization or weakening. In making such acknowledgement, France was speaking for herself and on behalf of her allies, whom Bkirki considers as friends and fears Lebanon’s loss of their support.

The French movement confirms that the attention of those friends to Lebanon and lending their aid has come only as a result of the Al Mukawama raising their anxiety about “Israel’s” security and existence. Any reassurance to decrease such anxiety embedded in the  calls for neutrality will only mean that such attention will shift, and any helping hand will be withdrawn and washed from anything related to Lebanon. Perhaps this is the most prominent conclusion Chiha and Malek came to 70 years ago.

بين مالك وشيحا والراعي وماكرون؟

ناصر قنديل

ثوابت يجب عدم نسيانها وأوهام ممنوع السماح بمرورها وتغلغلها في نفوس الناس وعقولهم في النظر للحركة الفرنسيّة التي يقودها الرئيس امانويل ماكرون، حيث يتمّ تمرير كل شيء تحت ضغط الكارثة التي يعيشها اللبنانيون، أولها التوهّم أن فرنسا أم حنون جاءت لتساعد وتسهم في رفع المعاناة عن كاهل اللبنانيين، وثانيها أن إدراك أن السياسة باعتبارها لغة مصالح لا يعني الرفض المطلق لسياسات الآخرين ومصالحهم إذا لم تتعارض مع سياساتنا ومصالحنا، وثالثها أن ما لا يتعارض مع سياساتنا ومصالحنا ويؤسس لنقاط تقاطع لا تجوز إدارته بتساهل واسترخاء لأن المصالح تتراكم وتتغيّر والأطماع لا يردعها إلا حضور الحذر واستحضار القدرة وتحصين القوة. والمشهد اللبناني المقزّز في درجة التهافت أمام الرئيس الفرنسي، وتغيّر المواقف وتبدل الثوابت وتقديم أوراق الاعتماد، أظهر خصال انحطاط ليست حكراً على ما يحلو للبعض وصفه بطبقة سياسية فاسدة، فقد نخر سوس التهافت والانحطاط، صفوف الذين سمّوا أنفسهم ثواراً، والذين قدّموا أنفسهم بدائل، والنخب والكتاب والفنانين، ومن له مصلحة ومن ليس له مصلحة، إلا قلة رفيعة الشأن كبيرة النفس شامخة الأنف، لا عارضت علناً وقدمت الولاء سراً، ولا قاطعت، ولا سوّقت، ولا تهافتت، حالها كحال فيروز التي بقيت تشبه أرز لبنان يحتاجها ماكرون ولا تحتاجه، وتقاطع المصالح يعني لها النديّة، وليس الذل والاسترهان، ولا الزحف والبكاء، والبكاء السياسي والإعلامي، ليس بكاء وجع الناس المفهوم، وبقيت هذه القلة تحفظ سرّ المقام والدور والمسؤوليّة، فشارك بعضها بجدية ومسؤولية واحترام وندية، ولكنه لم يمنع نفسه من متعة التفرج على “الزحفطة” السياسية والإعلامية والاقتصادية و”الثورية” و”المدنية” وغير المدنية”، ولم يكن بعضها موجوداً فتابع عن بُعد وهو يجمع السخرية والألم من درجة هبوط وانحطاط مشهد، هو بالنهاية مشهد وطن لا يفرح محبّوه برؤيته على هذه الحال.

توضح زيارة امانويل ماكرون للعراق وتصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو، أن الحركة الفرنسيّة محميّة أميركياً، ولا تحظى فقط بالتغطية، بل هي جزء من سياسة أميركية بالوكالة، حيث تحتفظ واشنطن بالخطاب الدعائي ضد إيران والمقاومة، وتتولى فرنسا تبريد جبهات المشرق الملتهبة، بينما تتفرّغ واشنطن لتزخيم حفلات التطبيع العربي “الإسرائيلي” في الخليج، فماكرون المتحمّس لمرفأ بيروت بدا متحمساً لمشروع مترو بغداد، بينما كان الأردن والعراق ومصر يبشرون بمشروع “الشام الجديد” الذي يلاقي نتائج التطبيع الإماراتيّ الإسرائيليّ، بربط العراق عبر الأردن الذي يقيم معاهدة سلام مع كيان الاحتلال، بمرفأ حيفا، أسوة بالإمارات، في زمن خروج مرفأ بيروت من الخدمة، ولا يُخفى أن المشروع الذي قام أصلاً وفقاً لدراسة للبنك الدولي على ضم سورية ولبنان وفلسطين على المشروع قد اعتبر تركيا جزءاً منه، وقد أسقطت سورية ولبنان وفلسطين، واستبعدت تركيا حكماً، وفي زمن التغوّل التركي ورعاية أنقرة للإرهاب وتطبيعها مع الكيان لا اسف على الاستبعاد، وبمثل ما رحبت بالشام الجديد واشنطن وتل أبيب، هرول الرئيس الفرنسي مرحباً باستبعاد تركيا، على قاعدة تناغم مصري فرنسي سيظهر أكثر وأكثر، من ليبيا إلى لبنان، وصولاً للعراق، بحيث تقوم فرنسا بالإمساك بلبنان عن السقوط و”خربطة الحسابات” بانتظار، تبلور المشروع الذي يريد ضم سورية ولبنان معاً في فترة لاحقة، بعد إضعاف قدرتهما التفاوضيّة وعزلهما عن العراق، والمقصود بالقدرة التفاوضيّة حكماً قوى المقاومة وتهديدها لأمن الكيان، وهذا هو معنى التذكير الأميركي بأن المشكلة هي في حزب الله وصواريخه الدقيقة، كما يؤكد بومبيو.

لا مشكلة لدى قوى المقاومة بالمرحلة الانتقالية التي يتمّ خلالها انتشال لبنان من قعر السقوط، ليس حباً ولا منّة ولا مكرمة من أحد، بل خشية انفجار كبير يحول التهديد الإفتراضي للكيان إلى تهديد واقعي، ويأتي بالصين على سكة حديد بغداد دمشق بيروت، هي السكة التي يريدها ماكرون لفرنسا، لكن بعد التفاوض، بحيث تحفظ حدود سايكس بيكو، لكن يتغيّر مضمون التفويض بنقل الوكالة في حوض المتوسط إلى فرنسا، التي منعت من العراق والأردن قبل قرن، لحساب بريطانيا، المتفرّجة اليوم إلى حين. وهذا يكفي للقول إنه بعد فشل الرهان “الإسرائيلي” على نظرية معركة بين حربين كادت تفجّر حرباً، جاءت فرنسا بمشروع تسوية بين حربين، عساها تجعل الحرب الثانية اقتصادية، هدفها إبعاد الصين عن المتوسط، وإبعاد صواريخ المقاومة الدقيقة عن رقبة الإسرائيليين، والمقاومة المدركة للتحديات والاستحقاقات، تعرف ما بين أيديها كما تتقن ذكاء التوقيت.

لا شام جديد بدون الشام الأصلي والقديم، حقيقة يجب أن ينتبه لها ماكرون قبل أن يرتكب الأخطاء القاتلة، فلا ينسى أن التذاكي لا يحل المشكلات الأصلية، وأن روسيا لا تكتفي بالكلمات طويلاً، وأن بريطانيا لا تطيل النوم بعد الظهر.

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Intensified American Diplomatic Activities in the Middle-East

Intensified American Diplomatic Activities in the Middle-East

September 01, 2020

By Zamir Ahmed Awan for the Saker Blog

The U.S. has intensified its diplomatic activities in the Middle-East. After the Secretary of State Pompeo’s tour to six nations in the Middle-East, the Power-Pillar in White House, Jared Kushner, who is Senior advisor and son-in-law of President Donal Trump, along with Senior officials, is on his Middle-East trip currently.

The enhanced focus of the U.S. diplomatic and political engagement in the Middle-east has several objectives as:

On the surface, all efforts are for Israel, as the US is the only supporter of Israel blindly. The U.S. has been exercising its veto powers for Israel on several occasions and extends extraordinary political and diplomatic support, matched with non. It should be understood that, among the three prominent divine religions, Judaism is the oldest one, Christianity is the most populous in the Western World. However, Islam is the third one in its series and the last one of divine religion. A majority of Muslims inhabit the Middle East. The creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World was not logical in the first step. The Jewish population in Palestine was only 11 % at the time of planning for the creation of Isreal. Later on, Jewish were shifted to Palestine from various parts of the World; and mostly, the wealthy Jews were motivated and encouraged to purchase land and property from the Arabs.

The Zionist struggle of the late 19th century had led by 1917 to the Balfour Declaration, by which Britain assured an ultimate separate state only for Jews in Palestine. When that former Ottoman province became a British mandate under the League of Nations in 1922, it contained about 700,000 people, of whom only 58,000 were Jews, approximately 11 % only.

Bulk relocation happened during the period of 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The well-off Jews were buying the property in Palestine. If some patriotic Arabs refuse to sell their property, they face severe consequences like murder, injuries, detention, arrest, hostage, or expelled to exile. The Zionist militias of the Haganah and Irgun killed 5,032 Arabs and wounded 14,760, consequential in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled. At the end of World War II, the Jewish community in Palestine had increased to 33% of the total population.

The U.N. General assembly, backed by the U.S. and U.K., approved the creation of the state of Israel only limited to 5,500 Square Kilometers in 1947. But The Jews militant grabbed more land from local Arabs in 1948. It created an adversary between Arabs and Israelis. It led to an Arab-Israel War in 1967, and Israel seized even more land from Arabs.

The core reason for unrest in the Middle-East is the irrational creation of the state of Israel. The illogical creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World was the root cause of all problems. There are an estimated 8 million Jews all over the World, and out of which 6 million settled in the state of Israel, mostly migrated from Eastern Europe, Africa, Russia, and also from other parts of the World. The settlers were aliens, and not the son of the soil and not the local indigenous people, and furthermore, the expansionist approach of the State of Israel has been pushing Arabs out of their homeland. Millions of Palestinians have lost their home.

The World has a moral stance on the state of Israel that it should be limited to original approved state with an area of 5,500 Square Kilometers, and return the all illegal occupied Arab Land occupied in 1948 and 1967. Furthermore, the State of Israel promises and ensure that it will not hold any Arab land in the future. This principle-stance is in line with the UN Charter, OIC, and Arab-League decision. Most of the nations, including Russia and China, share similar views. But it is only the U.S. who support all irrational acts of Israel blindly. The Secretary of state will lobby for Israel during this trip and may gain more recognition from the Arab World.

Egypt was kicked out from the Arab league in 1979, as displeasure on its recognition of the State of Israel. It is worth citing that six nations founded the Arab League: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria in 1945 in Cairo, the Capital of Egypt. Later on, the other Arab countries kept on joining the Arab League, and currently, there are 22 members of the Arab League. The prime objective of the Creation of the Arab League was to promote the Palestinian Arab cause. The Arab League opposed the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947 and implementing a boycott of Jewish State. Especially imposed an oil embargo, which lasted until the Khartoum Resolution in September 1967. The Arab League, in 2002, endorsed a Saudi Arabian Arab Peace Initiative, which called for a full withdrawal by Israel “to the 1967 borders” in return for fully normalized relations.

Egypt signed the Peace Treaty with the State of Israel in 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The treaty was received with vast controversy across the Arab World, where it was condemned and considered a stab in the back. The sense of outrage was principally strong amongst Palestinians. However, as a result of the treaty, Egypt was expelled out from its own created Arab League in 1979–1989. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad disconnected all relations with Egypt after the signing of the peace deal, and diplomatic relations were not restored until 2005, under the rule of Bashar al-Assad.

Jordan also recognized the State of Israel in 1984, which was also not welcomed by the Arab World, mainly the Palestinian.

Keeping solidarity with the Arab World, the 57-members OIC (The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), the second-largest organization after the United Nations, spread over four continents, takes a strong stance on Israel and demands the return of Arab Lands which Israel occupied in the 1967 war.

Israel has not been welcomed by the international community, even, in E.U., Russia, and China, in addition to the Arab & Muslim World. However, it enjoys extraordinary support from the U.S. and favors from its creator UK.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) becoming the third Arab state, besides Egypt and Jordan, to fully recognize Israel, after signing a peace deal on August 13, 2020. The U.S. mediated the peace agreement. However, the unofficial interaction began as early as 2010, and cooperation was based on their joint opposition to Iran’s nuclear program and regional influence. Israel opened an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi in 2015, under cover of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

UAE’s decision has shocked the Muslim World, and there was a reaction. The most severe reaction came from Turkey, who is thinking to cut its diplomatic ties with the UAE. Iran is the most affected country, as rival Israel may sit next door in UAE. The growing defense cooperation between Israel and UAE is an alarming and significant threat to Iran. UAE and Israel were not at good terms with Iran historically.

Some of the other Arab countries also shown displeasures. In fact, the Arab World might lose unity and may divide pro and anti-this decisions. It may weaken the unity of the Arab World further. This agreement will have a far-reaching impact, and over time, the outcomes will be visible.

Secondly, the U.S. has lodged a media war against Russia and China. Their controlled media is building a narrative against Russia and China and projecting Russia and China as a severe threat. The Secretary of State also tried to convince the Arab World against Russia and China, building alliances in case of any confrontation in the region. The U.S. is in the habit of forming partnerships and alliances against their adversaries, and in the past, their such approach was successful. Secretary of State also traveled to four countries in Europe to convince them to join the U.S. against Russia and China but failed, and Europe seems more divided on the U.S. stance on Russia and China. It is believed that The U.S. efforts may also divide the Arab-Word into groups pro-America and Anti-America. This may create a space for Russia and China to lead the Anti-American block in the Arab World as well as in Europe.

The third objective is a part of the election campaign for the presidential election. President Trump has determined to re-elect again and can go to any extent. One can expect any abnormal decision from him to win the election. He wanted to prove that his foreign policy is in the best interest of American people “America First.” He is also using anti-Russia and Anti-China card to gain sympathy from the American voters.

Most of the Arab World, especially the oil-rich Gulf countries, is ruled by Kings and dictators, who depend on U.S. support to sustain their rule. But anti-American sentiments are growing immensely. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has widened its objectives in such tours, which makes it more difficult to achieve any significant results. Secretary of State trip failed to convince any other Arab country to recognize Israel. Contrary, the adversary has been enhanced. Either he was unable to persuade the State of Israel to suspend its expansion plans. In contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu categorically announced that the expansion plans are postponed or delayed only but not canceled or dropped out. He was also not able to convince most of the Arab countries to be part of the Anti-China-Russia alliance. Neither any direct impact on the Presidential Elections to be held in November later this year. His tour was counterproductive. Jared Kushner’s mission may also meet the same fate and no net gain at all.


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Ode to Resistance: Video-Clip from Palestine (Song by Haidar Eid)

Source

August 29, 2020

Ode to Resistance, a Song by Haidar Eid. (Photo: Video Grab)

By Haidar Eid

As Israel continues its bombing of Gaza for the 15th night in a row, while its sole power plant is forced to shut due to Israel’s decision to ban fuel from entering the Strip, and amid the spread of Coronavirus outside quarantine facilities, a new video clip has been produced.

It comes as part of a creative project produced in besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine, where a group of activists and artists came together in order to highlight:

  1. The Palestine that every refugee is dreaming to return to;
  2. Resistance to Israeli occupation and apartheid; and
  3. The links with progressive Arab forces .

It is an established fact that two million Gazans are trapped in the world’s largest prison. 13 years of Israel’s brutal siege by land, sea and air has devastated every aspect of life in the Strip. 97% of aquifer water is undrinkable, 52% of essential drugs are at zero stock, and over 50% of the population is unemployed. Gazans suffer chronic water, medicine, fuel and food shortages.

Add to this the latest Coronavirus cases that have been reported with only 66 ventilators for the 2 million residents of the strip. Unlike the pandemic all over the world, in Gaza it is allowed to spread simply because apartheid Israel has decided to tighten the medieval siege.

The UN already predicted that by 2020 Gaza would be uninhabitable. And we are already there!

Despite our situation, we, in Gaza have never stopped fighting for freedom and justice. Hence, the video clip. As activists and artists, we cannot stand by while Gaza’s entire population is slowly dying the hands of one of the most sadistic colonial powers.

This is why we wanted to highlight not only the suffering of our people, but their resilience and resistance. Students, children, elderly, shopkeepers, women, girls, worshippers, stone throwers, GFM protesters, fishermen, mothers, fathers…

In addition to being a celebration of Palestinian life and resistance, the clip is a tribute to the late Egyptian singer, Abdulhalim Hafez who was the first to sing these songs during the progressive decades of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

– Haidar Eid is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the Al-Aqsa University, in the Gaza Strip. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

تحريف التاريخ وتقديم رأس يوحنا لسالومي مناقشة لمقالة سجعان قزي عن الحياد

ناصر قنديل

عندما يكتب الأستاذ سجعان قزي مقالاً تنظيرياً لدعوة الحياد، وهو من الذين يُقال عن قربهم للبطريرك الراعي ودورهم في صياغة مشروعه للحياد، يفترض أن يكون المقال تشريحاً لمعادلات في التاريخ والجغرافيا والسياسة الدولية والإقليمية والمحلية تضيف لدعوة الحياد بعض الرصيد، لكن القارئ سيصدم بأن المقال محاولة تحريفية للتاريخ، باعتماد انتقائي أقرب للنشيد منه للتحليل الموضوعي، فالحديث عن تاريخ لبنان كتاريخ للحياد، يجافي حقيقة أن لا بلد في العالم تاريخه أحادي الوجهة بالحياد أو بالتحالفات، أو الحروب، ولبنان ليس شواذاً عن القاعدة، فلم يسبق منظرو الحياد السويسري والنمساوي الأستاذ قزي بالقول إن تاريخ سويسرا والنمسا تاريخ حياد، بل فعلوا العكس، وقالوا إن تاريخ أزمات البلدين ناجم عن عدم تبني خيار الحياد، الذي نضجت ظروفه الداخلية والخارجية في فترة من التاريخ تزامنت مع تلك الدعوات.

أسهل المهام في قراءة التاريخ هي الانتقائية، لكنها أسوأها، فيمكن بجلب وقائع عن تاريخ أحلاف خارجية كان لبنان في قلبها، كتحالف الأمير فخر الدين مع الأوروبيين بوجه السلطنة العثمانية في مرحلة من حكمه، أو تنصيب الأمير بشير الثاني حاكماً لبلاد الشام بعد غزوة محمد علي باشا ودخوله سراي بيروت، أو السردية المعلومة لانضمام حكم الرئيس كميل شمعون إلى حلف بغداد وطلبه للأسطول الأميركي، أو العلاقة المميزة لحكم الرئيس فؤاد شهاب وتموضعه في حضن المحور الناصري، والاستخلاص من كل ذلك على طريقة الأستاذ قزي، أن تاريخ لبنان الذي كتبته صور بمقاومة الإسكندر وصيدا التي أحرقت نفسها، هو تاريخ حروب ومواجهات ومحاور، والمحرّف للتاريخ وحده يفعل ذلك، لأن تلك ليست إلا البعض وليست كل تاريخ لبنان، كما يمكن لآخرين الاستعانة ببعض التاريخ للقول إن تاريخ لبنان هو تاريخ انقسام وفتن وحروب أهلية، وسيجد الباحث عشرات ومئات المحطات التاريخية لإسناد استنتاجه، لكنه يقع في التحريف لأنه اقتطع البعض وسمّاه الكل. ويعلم أصحاب العلوم ومنهم أصحاب علم التاريخ أن الحديث عن الإطلاق يكذبه استثناء واحد أو شواذ واحد عن القاعدة، فهل فات الأستاذ قزي، كم من المعاكسات التي يسوقها التاريخ أمام ناظريه لفرضيته، التي تصير تحريفا للتاريخ يستسيغه لمجرد غائية مسبقة في قراءة التاريخ، تريد التلاعب بالعقول لادعاء اكتشاف بارود التاريخ، والصراخ بفرحة أرخميدس، لقد وجدتها.

لم تجدها أستاذ قزي، فتاريخ لبنان هو تاريخ تنقل فيه بين حالات فيها الحروب الخارجية والداخلية، وفيها مقايضة السيادة بالحكم الذاتي، وفيها الخضوع للانتداب والاحتلال ومساومته، وفيها المقاومة وفيها الحياد والمحاور، ومن كل لون نصيب، كما هو تاريخ كل المجتمعات البشرية.

أما الحياد اليوم، الأنشودة التي يعرف أصحابها أنها تشبه أنشودة نحن نحب الحياة، والتي يعرفون أن لا وظيفة لها إلا شيطنة خصم، لا تصير دعوة الحياد ذات جدوى إلا بموافقته كشريك في الوطن، إلا إذا كان الحياد بنسخته الجديدة يقوم على الانقسام الداخلي للأوطان، وعلى حد علمنا أن التوافق كان ولا يزال من شروط دعوات الحياد، فالأنشودة تريد توصيف الشريك المقابل في الوطن كمحبّ للموت، وهي تدرك فراغ الحديث عن حب الحياة من أي معنى سياسي، ومثلها تريد أنشودة الحياد شيطنة الخصم بصفته داعية حروب، بينما يدرك أصحاب الأنشودتين أن الحياة والحياد بمعناهما الحقيقي ما كانت لهما فرص لو بقي لبنان تحت الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، بعد تجربة سنوات من مساعٍ للرئيس الكتائبي، الذي حمل خلفيته ذاتها الأستاذ قزي، وشعاره ذاته لعهده، وهو الحياد، الذي يعترف الرئيس الجميل بأنه رهان خائب انتهى بالفشل، لأن الأميركي لا يرى المنطقة إلا بالعيون الإسرائيليّة، ويقول التاريخ إن المقاومة هي التي حررت لبنان من الاحتلال بعد فشل وصفة الحياد، كما يقول إن قوة المقاومة هي التي جعلت الغرب ومن خلفه بعض العرب وكيان الاحتلال، يرتضون للبنان الحياد كعنوان لدعوة الراهن بعدما فشلوا بوضع اليد عليه، ولكن ليس سعياً لسلامه، بل كمشروع حرب بديلة.

الحياد يقوم كما لا يغيب عن الأستاذ قزي، على يقين طرفي الحدود سورية و«إسرائيل»، كما يسمّيهما الأستاذ قزي، بأن صراعهما أو سلامهما يحتاج حياد لبنان، ولبنان في الصراع المقصود هو المقاومة التي تؤرق أمن «إسرائيل» وتطمئن أمن سورية، ولا وظيفة لدعوة الحياد سوى طمأنة «إسرائيل» وإثارة قلق سورية، وبغض النظر عن المعنى السيئ لطلب ما يريح «إسرائيل» ويقلق سورية، يبقى المهم أن الحياد بالنتيجة، لن يلقى قبول «الجارين»، لأن أحدهما رابح والآخر خاسر، وفي الداخل لا يخفي دعاة الحياد وفقاً لمضمون كلام البطريرك صاحب الدعوة، أنه يستهف إضعاف فريق لبناني طائفي، وتصوير لبنان تاريخاً وبيئة لطوائف دون سواها، ومن المصادفات أن هذا الطرف المطلوب إضعافه قد عجزت كل دول العالم القريب والبعيد عن إضعافه، وكل ما تفعله الدعوة هو أنها تضع بعض لبنان في جبهة ومحور يستكملان الحرب ضد هذا الفريق أملاً بتعزيز مصادر قوته للفوز بحرب فشل في كسبها ضد هذا البعض الآخر من لبنان. وأين نبل الحياد هنا، وحقيقته؟

في العائدات المفترضة للحياد كما يقول البطريرك صاحب الدعوة، ويردد الأستاذ قزي، ترغيب بالمال والازدهار، وهما حاجتان لبنانيتان، لكن السؤال هو ببساطة، طالما ليس خافياً أن الحياد يستهدف استرضاء جبهة عالمية إقليمية، تملك المال المنشود وفقاً لأصحاب الدعوة، وتستهدف دفع الثمن من مصادر قوة فريق لبناني تناصبه العداء، فهل يملك أصحاب الدعوة وصفة لمعالجة النتائج العكسية لمشروعهم، القائم على ضمّ لبنان إلى محور غربي خليجي يجاهر بأن القضية الفلسطينية لم تعد ضمن اولوياته، ويتبنى التطبيع مع «إسرائيل» من دون حل هذه القضية، ويجاهر بالدعوة لتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، إلا إذا كانوا قد قبلوا ضمناً مقايضة التوطين بالأموال، ومثله توطين النازحين السوريين الذين لا يقبل الغرب بعودتهم، وبالتوازي سيتكفل العداء المضمر بالدعوة مع سورية، بقطع الطريق على فرص التعاون معها لإعادتهم؟

السؤال الحقيقي هو لماذا لم يقدم أصحاب الدعوة بدلاً منها، بفتح حوار مع المقاومة التي يسعون لشيطنتها، ويقدمون رأسها على طبق من ذهب للغرب والخليج طلباً للمال كما قدم هيرودس رأس يوحنا، طالما يؤمنون بأن الحياد شرطه التوافق الداخلي، فيكون الحوار بهدف توظيف مصادر قوة المقاومة لضمان عدم التوطين، بوضع السلاح في مقابل حق العودة، ووضع انسحاب المقاومة من سورية مقابل عودة النازحين وإعفاء لبنان من العقوبات، والتزام المقاومة الحياد في صراعات الخليج واليمن والعراق، مقابل إزالة الحظر عن تدفق أموال الخليج والسياح إلى لبنان؟

قد لا ترضى المقاومة بهذه العروض، لكننا كنا سنصدّق بأن خلفية الدعاة وطنية لبنانية حقيقية، وكان هذا ليكون الحياد الحقيقي المحقق للمصالح الوطنية، أو المؤكد لوطنية أصحابه، كمشروع مطروح على الطاولة لتعزيز قوة لبنان وتماسكه الداخلي، تماسك قالت التجارب إنه يبقى أغلى من أي تعصّب لفكرة يتبناها فريق وتتسبب بتعميق الانقسام، مهما كانت الفكرة صحيحة، فكيف إن كانت مبنيّة على تحريف للتاريخ وضعف نظر في الجغرافيا، وتنكّر لألفباء السياسة.

UAE-Israel normalization agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wound: Emirati activist

“The Emirati-Saudi alliance, in my view, is based on Mohammed bin Zayed’s plan to push Saudi Arabia towards Yemen’s swamp, and the ultimate goal was to weaken it politically and exhaust its economy.”

By Mohammad Mazhari

August 24, 2020 – 11:48

TEHRAN – Abdullah al-Tawil, an Emirati political activist, is of the opinion that “Emirates-Israel normalization agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wound and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause.” 

Israel and the UAE reached an agreement on August 13 that will lead to the full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two sides.
The deal came after a phone call between United States President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. 

Under the agreement, Israel has promised to suspend the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. However, just hours after the announcement Benjamin Netanyahu said he remained committed to the annexation plan.

In this regard, al-Tawil tells the Tehran Times that the agreement will not serve the Palestinians’ interests and won’t stop the annexation of the West Bank.

“This agreement pours salt on Palestinian’s wound, and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause,” says Al-Tawil.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: What are the causes or motives that prompted the UAE to normalize ties with Israel?

A: Firstly, I must record my personal position on normalization with Israel.

It was a stab in the back of the Arab nations. Israel denies clearly the rights of the Palestinians on their land and their just cause. 

Regarding the UAE’s reasons for overt normalization of ties with the Israeli regime, it must be pointed out that normalization was not a result of the moment, but rather it was passing quietly under the table.

Secret meetings were held in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, as well as secret talks at a high level. 

Besides the governmental level, there were plans to prepare Emirati people to accept the normalization by the public media and official statements on social media.

The Emirati regime pursues a policy of intimidating the Emirati citizens and restricting them with laws that criminalize the ruler’s criticism accordingly.

The ultimate goal of normalization is to guarantee Mohammed bin Zayed’s chance to reach power in a comfortable way after became notorious for hatching conspiracies and now looking for peace.

Given Turkey’s growing political and military power in the Middle East (West Asia) and the failure of Qatar’s blockade and undermining its mediatory role in the Palestinian cause, the Emirates feels need new allies to protect its interests.

Therefore, it believes in such a normalization agreement, which will form a strong ally for it to protect itself. This is in the level of politics, but economically the Corona crisis greatly affected the UAE’s markets and trades, especially in the real estate field.

Thus, they resorted to Jewish investors and finally tried to satisfy the U.S. administration, whether Trump remains or not because Trump is a lifeline for the Emirati rulers, but if he loses the upcoming election, then they will find a return line to the American Democrats.

Q: How do you assess the reaction of the people in the Arab world, including those on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, to the UAE’s decision to normalize relations with Israel?

A: Arab people as a whole still love Palestine, and their hearts beat with hatred of the Zionist regime which has killed Palestinians and demolished their houses. 

But we are talking about a policy of “destroying the awareness” practiced on the (Persian) Gulf peoples, especially the Emirati people when the Ministry of Tolerance was established.

The ministry tries to teach citizens the arts of tolerance with Hindu religions and Judaism in particular 

So, temples were opened for Hindus and synagogues for Jews. We cannot say that reactions inside the UAE are non-existent, but we can confirm that there are many people who refuse normalization but fear to openly object or reject it, given that what awaits them is an unfair judiciary, secret prisons, and inevitably a large financial fine due to laws that criminalize freedom of opinion.

By the way, there are Emiratis who have created a “resist normalization” association which its aim is to educate the citizens and refuse to sign treacherous agreements and support the Palestinian cause.

As for the (Persian) Gulf states, there are a very large number of those who expressed their objection to normalization. In many countries, the activists have launched tags with their names to refuse normalizing ties with Israel, a very important matter. Awareness at this phase has a critical role, and we wish it will continue.

Q: Do you think that the Emirates’ decision would serve the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause?

A: Of course, this agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wounds, and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause.

This agreement will not stop the annexation of the West Bank as explicitly declared by Netanyahu, nor will it restrain the regime which commits crimes against the Palestinians, nor will it ever restore al-Quds (Jerusalem), nor will it give them an independent state. Rather, it is an explicit recognition of Israel over the Palestinian lands and legitimizing the occupier of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque.

In short, it is an Emirati-Israeli agreement, and Palestine in this agreement was just a bridge to cross. 

“Mohammed bin Zayed has succeeded in weakening Saudi Arabia by influencing Mohammed bin Salman, who transferred the Emirati experience to Saudi Arabia in the cultural and security level.”

Q: Who actually rules the UAE? What are the main groups that govern the Emirates?

A: After the death of Sheikh Zayed, announcing his death was delayed for many reasons, including disputes among his sons.

I assure you that the phase that preceded the announcement of Sheikh Zayed’s death was that Mohammed bin Zayed managed to rig the process of electing his successor, in which Sheikh Sultan was more entitled.

And according to Sheikh Zayed’s will, Sheikh Khalifa became ruler of Abu Dhabi, and since then, Mohammed bin Zayed has messed with the country’s policies.

In 2011, when the Arab Spring started, Mohammed bin Zayed exploited it to suppress freedoms and restrict society with strict laws.

 Moreover, Mohammed bin Zayed ordered mass arrests of 94 Emirati citizens affiliated to the intellectual and academic classes, and that was to pave his way to fully control the reins of power in the country, especially after Sheikh Khalifa’s illness and absence of him in the media and political scene.

So, the actual ruler in the United Arab Emirates is Mohammed bin Zayed, who controls the country and exerts his influence on all other emirates, whose rulers are unfortunately coward and fearful of his authority.

Q:  What is the secret of the UAE-Saudi alliance? Would you expect Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to follow the example of the Emirates?

A: The Emirati-Saudi alliance, in my view, is based on Mohammed bin Zayed’s plan to push Saudi Arabia towards Yemen’s swamp, and the ultimate goal was to weaken it politically and exhaust its economy to undermine its influence after it was the most important state of the (Persian) Gulf.

Mohammed bin Zayed seeks greatness and fame. Unfortunately, he has succeeded in weakening Saudi Arabia by influencing Mohammed bin Salman, who transferred the Emirati experience to Saudi Arabia at the cultural and security level. Actually, the controls Mohammed bin Salman’s childish impulses.

As for his involvement in the normalization, Mohammed bin Zayed challenged Saudi Arabia for his superiority over the Arab peace initiative that Saudis had signed it, as if he is saying, “Come with me for the peace agreement, Saudi agreement is out of date.”
If Mohammed bin Salman remains in power, sooner or later, Saudi Arabia will, unfortunately, engage in the normalization process.

Bahrain is a dependent state and will inevitably be the first to sign the normalization agreement after the UAE.

We wish the other (Persian) Gulf states to be steadfast in facing pressures and to take a position that immortalizes in history, and when the grandchildren read it, they say that there are Arab countries who have betrayed and there are others that kept the covenant.  

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Susan Abulhawa Embodies the Spirit of Palestinian Resistance in Her New Book: Against the Loveless World

By Miko Peled

Source

Writer and political activist Susan Abulhawa weaves a daring tale of a Palestinian woman’s defiant experience in solitary confinement at an Israeli prison.

Book Review — “I don’t care to be accommodating,” Nahr, the lead character in Susan Abulhawa’s new novel, “Against the Loveless World,” tells us. Perhaps she says this to prepare us or even warn us of what lies ahead. Either way, the statement runs like a thread throughout the entire book.

As the pages of the novel turn and the story of Nahr’s life unfolds, we go through the ups and downs of this Palestinian woman’s unpredictable life. Slowly, as we are gripped by the power of her story, we come to realize that Nahr’s unwillingness to be accommodating is admirable but comes at a heavy price.

Susan Abulhawa is the author of the international bestseller, “Mornings in Jenin,” among other important works of prose and poetry. Personally, I found her newest novel to be daring, honest, and totally unaccommodating. Abulhawa is also a friend of mine, and reading her novel felt a lot like listening to her talk.

A cube

Nahr is an inmate held in solitary confinement at an Israeli prison and she tells us the story from her tiny cell. This is no ordinary cell, the Israeli authorities placed Nahr in a highly sophisticated cell where everything is automated: the light and the shower turn on and off on their own; the toilet flushes at set times and Nahr the inmate needs to accommodate herself to their schedule. She lives in this cell and is unable to tell if it is day or night or what time of day it is.

For reasons that she lays out in the story, Nahr is not permitted to have visitors of her choice but from time to time an international observer, a journalist, or a prison guard come into the cell. It is during these random visits that we see Nahr expressing her unwillingness to be accommodating for the first time.

Tatreez

I can’t decide which metaphor better describes Nahr’s story, so I will use two. The first is a piece of Tatreez, or Palestinian embroidery. The characters in the story are the colors and designs that represent the various towns, villages, and regions of Palestine. It is embroidered over a black cloth, which is Palestine, thus displaying both the immense beauty and unspeakable tragedy of Palestine.

The other metaphor is a cluster of vines that twist and grow around the trunk of a large tree. In Palestine, one sees this often. They are particularly beautiful when they are in full bloom, wrapped around large trunks of tall trees. The stories of Nahr and the people around her are the vines wrapping around Palestine.

Nahr is surrounded by several strong characters, many of whom represent the breadth of the Palestinian experience. Their stories are told through Nahr’s story and together they evoke the powerful emotions that we experience together with her:  innocence, passion, love, and hate, sadness and anger as well as delicately threaded tenderness, yearning, and even compassion. Abulhawa seamlessly weaves Nahr’s personal story and the stories of the other characters into the greater story of Palestine.

The story takes us into two of the largest Palestinian refugee communities in the world, Kuwait and Jordan. We come face to face with Palestinians who became refugees in 1948, and then again in 1967, and then brutally kicked out of Kuwait and turned into refugees again as a result of the first Gulf War. Each time they think they can finally rest, something happens and they are forced to move again. Yet throughout this painful and seemingly endless odyssey their anchor continues to be Palestine.

A story of love

Nahr experiences the full scope of cruelty meted out to women by men, by the patriarchy. Since men’s brutality towards women is not unique to a particular race, nationality, or culture, her experience is universal. And yet, although she suffers greatly at the hands of men, she is capable of feeling and expressing a deep, sincere love for a man.

Against the Loveless World A Novel By Susan AbulhawaThough she speaks to us from a cold, lonely cell in which she is held by Israel, Nahr is able to relay her feelings to one man who she truly loves and who loves her completely. She admits to “a sexual yearning made insatiable by love so vast, as if a sky.”

In one scene Nahr watches the man she loves and describes what she sees, “the guilt, the impotence of seeing those settlements, the anguish over his brother, his mother, the years in prison, the torture, the inability to move.” Then, reflecting on her own sense of helplessness she says, “I wanted to take him in my arms and fix everything,” but, Nahr sums it up “all I could do was help carry the tea glasses.”

Palestine, for those who were torn away from her and for those who care for her, is like a loved one dying of terminal cancer. Hard as we may try, all we can do is watch as she is being eaten away by the cancer of Zionist brutality, and make her as comfortable as possible as she slips away.

Nahr’s pain is deep and real and reading this novel one often forgets that it is, in fact, fiction. She experiences pain as a woman, as a Palestinian, and as a human being. In Nahr’s own words, it is “a cloistered, unreachable, immutable ache.”

The spirit of resistance

Nahr tells us about “the epic fabrication of a Jewish nation returning to its homeland.” She goes on to say that the deceit, “had grown into a living, breathing narrative that shaped lives as if it were truth.”

She describes the Jewish-only settlements that she sees spreading all over Palestine. Entire cities, neighborhoods, and homes of people she knows and loves who were forced to flee their homeland, taken over by Jewish settlers. She describes the silences of older Palestinians who cannot bear to talk about their loss.

But the spirit of resistance is alive in Palestine and Nahr will not stand idly by as others prepare to act. Nahr is enraged by the ruthlessness of settlers and soldiers, tucked away safely in their exclusive, Arab-free colonies. They live on stolen Palestinian land and come out periodically to attack Palestinians with impunity.

Once she realizes that people around her are engaged in acts of resistance, she wants in on the action. Here, once again, we see Nahr unaccommodating, fierce, and willing to face the consequences.

From her solitary cell in an Israeli prison, Nahr recalls Ghassan Kanafani and James Baldwin, two great writers, who, like her, were unwilling to be accommodating. They suffered greatly because of who they were, one a Palestinian, the other a Black American. They both wrote and spoke with unmatched courage and clarity, and although dead for decades, (Kanafani was murdered by Israel in 1972, Baldwin died of cancer in 1987), they remain icons of the struggle against racism, oppression, and colonialism.

Feeling the pulse

Along with Ghassan Kanafani and Ibrahim Nasrallah, Susan Abulhawa’s writing has the rare quality of allowing us to taste the flavor, to smell the fragrance, and to feel the pulse of Palestine. A  true understanding of the Palestinian experience is not possible without reading the work of these three writers.

Israel’s Jewish National Fund Is Uprooting Palestinians – Not Planting Trees

By Jonathan Cook
Source: Jonathan Cook

The Jewish National Fund, established more than 100 years ago, is perhaps the most venerable of the international Zionist organisations. Its recent honorary patrons have included prime ministers, and it advises UN forums on forestry and conservation issues.

It is also recognised as a charity in dozens of western states. Generations of Jewish families, and others, have contributed to its fundraising programmes, learning as children to drop saved pennies into its trademark blue boxes to help plant a tree.

And yet its work over many decades has been driven by one main goal: to evict Palestinians from their homeland. 

The JNF is a thriving relic of Europe’s colonial past, even if today it wears the garb of an environmental charity. As recent events show, ethnic cleansing is still what it excels at.

The organisation’s mission began before the state of Israel was even born. Under British protection, the JNF bought up tracts of fertile land in what was then historic Palestine. It typically used force to dispossess Palestinian sharecroppers whose families had worked the land for centuries.

But the JNF’s expulsion activities did not end in 1948, when Israel was established through a bloody war on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland – an event Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel hurriedly demolished more than 500 cleansed Palestinian villages, and the JNF was entrusted with the job of preventing some 750,000 refugees from returning. It did so by planting forests over both the ruined homes, making it impossible to rebuild them, and village lands to stop them being farmed.

These plantations were how the JNF earned its international reputation. Its forestry operations were lauded for stopping soil erosion, reclaiming land and now tackling the climate crisis.

But even this expertise – gained through enforcing war crimes – was undeserved. Environmentalists say the dark canopies of trees it has planted in arid regions such as the Negev, in Israel’s south, absorb heat unlike the unforested, light-coloured soil. Short of water, the slow-growing trees capture little carbon. Native species of brush and animals, meanwhile, have been harmed.

These pine forests – the JNF has planted some 250 million trees – have also turned into a major fire hazard. Most years hundreds of fires break out after summer droughts exacerbated by climate change.

Early on, the vulnerability of the JNF’s saplings was used as a pretext to outlaw the herding of native black goats. Recently the goats, which clear undergrowth, had to be reintroduced to prevent the fires. But the goats’ slaughter had already served its purpose, forcing Bedouin Palestinians to abandon their pastoral way of life.

Despite surviving the Nakba, thousands of Bedouin in the Negev were covertly expelled to Egypt or the West Bank in Israel’s early years.

It would be wrong, however, to imagine that the JNF’s troubling role in these evictions was of only historical interest. The charity, Israel’s largest private land owner, is actively expelling Palestinians to this day.

In recent weeks, solidarity activists have been desperately trying to prevent the eviction of a Palestinian family, the Sumarins, from their home in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers.

Last month the Sumarins lost a 30-year legal battle waged by the JNF, which was secretly sold their home in the late 1980s by the Israeli state.

The family’s property was seized – in violation of international law – under a draconian 1950 piece of legislation declaring Palestinian refugees of the Nakba “absent”, so that they could not reclaim their land inside the new state of Israel.

The Israeli courts have decreed that the Absentee Property Law can be applied outside Israel’s recognised territory too, in occupied Jerusalem. In the Sumarins’ case, it appears not to matter that the family was never actually “absent”. The JNF is permitted to evict the 18 family members next month. To add insult to injury, they will have to pay damages to the JNF.

A former US board member, Seth Morrison, resigned in protest in 2011 at the JNF’s role in such evictions, accusing it of working with extreme settler groups. Last year the JNF ousted a family in similar circumstances near Bethlehem. Days later settlers moved on to the land.

Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group focusing on Jerusalem, warned that these cases create a dangerous legal precedent if Israel carries out its promise to annex West Bank territory. It could rapidly expand the number of Palestinians classified as “absentees”.

But the JNF never lost its love of the humble tree as the most effective – and veiled – tool of ethnic cleansing. And it is once again using forests as a weapon against the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, survivors of the Nakba.

Earlier this year it unveiled its “Relocation Israel 2040” project. The plan is intended to “bring about an in-depth demographic change of an entire country” – what was once sinisterly called “Judaisation”. The aim is to attract 1.5 million Jews to Israel, especially to the Negev, over the next 20 years.

As in Israel’s first years, forests will be vital to success. The JNF is preparing to plant trees on an area of 40 sq km belonging to Bedouin communities that survived earlier expulsions. Under the cover of environmentalism, many thousands of Bedouin could be deemed “trespassers”.

The Bedouin have been in legal dispute with the Israeli state for decades over ownership of their lands. This month in an interview with the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Daniel Atar, the JNF’s global head, urged Jews once again to drop money into its boxes. He warned that Jews could be dissuaded from coming to the Negev by its reputation for “agricultural crimes” – coded reference to Bedouin who have tried to hold on to their pastoral way of life.

Trees promise both to turn the semi-arid region greener and to clear “unsightly” Bedouin off their ancestral lands. Using the JNF’s original colonial language of “making the desert bloom”, Atar said his organisation would make “the wilderness flourish”.

The Bedouin understand the fate likely to befall them. In a protest last month they carried banners: “No expulsions, no displacement.”

After all, Palestinians have suffered forced displacement at the JNF’s hands for more than a century, while watching it win plaudits from around the world for its work in improving the “environment”.

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (09– 15 July 2020)

Source

July 17, 2020 3:04 AM  PCHR

Summary

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multi-faceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, a civilian was killed by Israeli forces while he was walking with his friend in Kifl Hares village.

In addition, the army’s excessive use of force rendered 9 injuries among Palestinian civilians during raids and attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Furthermore, Israeli forces continued to arrest and raid the houses of those working with the Palestinian security services in the West Bank.

Over the past several weeks, the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, witnessed wide-scale demolitions and distribution of demolition notices of civilian houses and properties as well as confiscation of lands for establishing roads for settlements. This week witnessed an increase confiscation lands decisions, especially in al-‘Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem.

This week, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 168 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

Israeli military shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: On 09 July 2020, Israeli forces shot and killed Ibrahim Mostafa Abu Ya’qoub (33) without justification while he was walking with his friend on a street, 600 meters away from the settlement street so-called “Aber al-Samerah”, in north Salfit. On 13 July 2020, Aseen Mahmoud Hamad Duhair(34), from Rafah, succumbed to wounds she sustained after Israeli warplanes targeted her uncle’s house on 04 August 2014. It should be noted that due the Israeli attack, Duhiar suffered a spinal fracture, causing paraplegia or paralysis.

Israeli forces shot and wounded 9 Palestinians, including a child, in excessive use of force against peaceful protests in the West Bank: 2 in separate incidents in Salfit, 2 in suppression a peaceful protest in Nablus; and 5 were wounded in IOF raid into al-‘Isawiya in occupied East Jerusalem.

In Gaza, 5 shootings against fishing boats were reported; and once against agricultural lands western and eastern Gaza Strip.

Israeli military incursions and detention of Palestinian civilians: The Israeli military carried out 96 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, inciting terror among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 76 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children. During raids, a Palestinian vehicle was seized.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: The Israeli authorities continued their settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 13 violations, including:

  • East Jerusalem: demolition of 2 houses; 1 self-demolished, a demolition notice given to a building in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, and confiscation of dozens of dunams.
  • Bethlehem: 2 demolition notices and 2 cease-construction notices distributed, and 3 mixers and a concrete pump confiscated.
  • Salfit: 1000 square meters confiscated upon a military order.
  • Hebron: demolition of a 2-story house comprising of 2 apartments, 70 olive trees uprooted and confiscated, 70-square-long stone chains demolished, agricultural lands levelled, and an agricultural room demolished.
  • Tulkarem: a barrack and a cement wall demolished.

PCHR also documented 2 settler attacks: assault and vandalization on Palestinians’ vehicles in Laban al-Sharqiyia village, and establishing a settlement road in southern Hebron.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst blockade in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Furthermore, since the Palestinian Authority (PA) ended security coordination with Israeli authorities in May 2020, hundreds of critically ill patients whose condition cannot afford delays in treatment were denied travel. This was amplified by the restrictions put in place by Israeli forces since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic that had already had grave implications on the humanitarian and economic situation of the Gaza Strip population. Recently, a very limited number of individual cases of patients who have obtained medical referrals and financial coverage to Israel were able to travel, and some others referred to Israeli organizations working in the field of health for assistance in coordination.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.
 
1. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity/Shooting

  • On Thursday, 09 July 2020, IOF shot dead a Palestinian civilian without justification while he was walking with his friend in Kifl Hares village. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 23:00 on Thursday evening, Israeli forces deployed in an olive field in Kifl Hares village, north of Salfit, fired 4 – 5 live bullets at 2 Palestinians who were walking on a street, 15 meters away from the olive field. The olive field is about 600 meters away from a bypass road by Israeli settlers and IOF and links between several Israeli settlements and sites. As a result, Palestinian Ibrahim Mustafa Abu Yaqoub (33), from Kifl Hares village, was shot with a live bullet in his neck. Abu Yaqoub’s friend and two passersby transferred his via a civilian vehicle to Yasser Arafat Hospital, but he died before arriving to the hospital.

“At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, 09 July 2020, I called my friend Ibrahim and informed him that I am on my way to his house in Kifl Hares village in Salfit. We went out and made a phone call with one of our friends and told him that we are going to visit him, but the said that he went to Bedia village. Therefore, we decided to go back to Ibrahim’s house. While we were walking on the street, we heard a sound of gunfire as we were near Ali Saleh Hamad’s house next to olive fields that were about 15 meters away from our place. I thought that the shooting was far away, but Ibrahim suddenly stopped and said: “Haitham call my family and tell them that I got shot”. I was surprised because I thought that the gun fire was around us as IOF fired 4 – 5 sporadic live bullets. Ibrahim said he was shot in his chest and asked me to call his family. I thought he was joking, but I saw his shirt was covered with blood and he fell on the ground. I immediately called his brother. 2 young men, who were in the other side of the street, rushed to me and one of them namely Sari, moved Ibrahim to his vehicle and we all stepped into it. We attempted to leave from the village’s main entrance, but the shooting renewed from the olive field again. We returned to Hares village’s road and took Ibrahim to Salfit Hospital. However, Ibrahim died 10 minutes later and stopped moving as blood came out of his mouth. I later learnt that Israeli soldiers were deployed among the olive field, noting that for the last 5 five days, Israeli forces have been storming the village and deploying between olive trees. Four days ago, an Israeli military vehicle stopped me and an officer said to me, that if stoning did not stop in the village’s main street, they would carry out killings.”

  • Simultaneously, Israeli forces deployed in another olive field in the same village, as they were about thousand meters away of the above-mentioned olive field, opened fire in the adjacent neighborhoods. As a result, a 15-year-old child , from Kifl Hares villages, was shot with a live in his foot while being present adjacent to a house located in the main street, which about 10 meters away from the olive The child was transferred to Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah and his injury was classified as moderate. According to Israeli media, IOF alleged that they opened fire in the area after a Molotov cocktails was thrown at “Aber al-Samerah” street, south of the Kifl Hares village.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Friday, 10 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to the border fence in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 11:30 on the same Friday a peaceful protest took part from the center of Asirah northern village, north of Nablus, into lands threatened to be confiscated in al-Marj and Beit al-Zaki areas in Ebal Mount, east of the above-mentioned village. The protest was organized upon calls national factions in Nablus. The participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against Israeli forces, settlers, Israeli annexation plan, and the U.S president Donald Trump’s Middle East plan. When the participants arrived at the area, a large number of IOF were waiting for them in the area. The participants performed Friday prayer in the above-mentioned land while Israeli soldiers were surrounding OF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Hazem Yusuf Taher Yaseen (46), was shot with a sound bomb in his right hand that caused amputation of the middle finger and fracture in his index finger. A 52-year-old man also was shot with a sound bomb in his left leg that caused fracture in his leg’s instep. Another civilian’s leg was fractured after he was pushed by Israeli forces. The wounded civilians were transferred to al-Najah Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment. Many civilians also suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field. Israeli forces detained Yazan Khalid Yaseen (25), from the same village, severely beat him with their legs and rifles’ butt, dragged him on the ground, and took him to an unknown destination. Yaseen was later released and he referred to al-Najah Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Friday, Israeli forces stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces chased young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, Israeli forces stationed in the vicinity of a military watchtower established on lands of Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Salfit, fired live bullets at dozens of Palestinians participating in a funeral procession of Ibrahim Mustafa Abu Yaqoub, who was killed by IOF the previous day. Israeli forces chased young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 22-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 11 July 2020, Israeli forces stormed al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed in the village neighborhoods, established checkpoints at its entrances and searched vehicles before allowing them to leave the village. In the meantime, a number of young men protested at Al Mahmoud neighborhood’s entrance, west of the village, and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers. A large Israeli force immediately stormed the neighborhood, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at civilians and clashed with them. As a result, 5 civilians were injured, 4 of them were shot with rubber bullets and the fifth was hit with tear gas shrapnel. Two civilians also sustained burns to their faces after Israeli soldiers pepper-sprayed them. IOF arrested Sa’di Mahmoud and his sons Mohammed (23) and Ahmed (20) and withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 22 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of the Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 14 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 4 nautical miles ). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 22:40 on the same Monday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of the Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 – 5 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Johur al-Dee), south of Gaza city, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:50, on the same Wednesday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (6 nautical miles) and fired flare bombs. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

II. Incursions and Detentions

Thursday, 09 July 2020:

  • At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces detained Rami Mohammed Ghaith (26), while present near al-Baraq (Wailing Wall) in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to one of the investigation center in the city.
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Ras Ateya village, south of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and detained Tareq Majed Mara’ba (17).
  • At approximately 01:25, Israeli forces moved into Mithlon village southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Majed Hafiz Na’irat’s (53) house, head of health department in Mithlon village, and detained him.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Sa’eer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and detained Sowah Atta Jaradat (45) and Wajdi Nayef Mohammed Jaradat (23).
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in al-Daheya area. They raided and searched Mohammed Salah al-Qawasma’s (24) house and detained him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Ayman Obaid (21) and Omar Ahmed Mahmoud (16), and detained them.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Betounia, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Fahmi Assi’s house and detained his daughter Ruba Fahmi Assi (18), a student in Birzeit University.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Anan village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Obaid al-Mutairy (24) and Mo’ath Mujahed al-Mutairy (20), and detained them.
  • At approximately 03:20, Israeli forces moved into al-Beireh, north of Ramallah, and stationed at Um al-Sharayt neighborhood, southeast of al-Beira. They raided and searched Hussain Mohammed Hussain Abu Kwaik’s (65) house, one of Hamas Movement leaders, detained him and took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Beira, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Jamal Mohammed al-Taweel’s (57) house, one of Hamas Movement leaders, detained him and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and detained (4) civilians: Allam Sami Massad (51), Bassam Hassan Tayeh (49), Abdulla Afeef Zakarna (57), and Mazen Mohammed Zreiki (58).
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces reinforced with two military vehicles moved into al-Shoyoukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Eid Halayqa’s (39) house and no detentions were reported.
  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Hanini’s (24) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 10:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services moved into Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Shady Saad al-Mtawar’s (44) house, the Secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem, and handed him a summons to refer to al-Muskobeya investigation center in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into Khillat Hassan, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Azmi Taha Hamdan’s (24) house and detained him.
  • In the evening of the same day, Israeli forces established a temporary military checkpoint between Ramallah and Jenin, north of the West Bank. IOF detained Mohammed Falah Yousef Owais (26), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. Israeli forces took him to an unknown destination.
  • Israeli forces carried out (10) incursions in al-Jadida and Siries, southeast of Jenin; Ein al-Bida, east of Tubas in the northern valleys; Silwad in Ramallah; Ein al-Sultan refugee camp and Jericho, in Jericho governorate; Qafin in Tulkarem; Hebla in Qalqilia; Kifl Hares and Derastya in Salfit. No detentions were reported.

 
Friday, 10 July 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Shamisty’s (40) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and detained Amjad Mahmoud Jaber (22) and Malek Haroun Jaber (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdullah Sami Dwaik’s (17) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Jaba’ village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Zeyad Zaki Twam’s (25) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara military roadblock, southeast of Nablus, detained Shady Mahmoud Mohammed Hammad (33), member of the Palestinian National Security, from al-‘Arqa village, west of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’deya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Tamer Mohammed al-Khalafawi’s (22) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 21:40, Israeli forces established a temporary military roadblock at the entrance of Jebia village, north of Ramallah, stopped Ra’d al-Barghouthi’s (35) car while driving with his friend, Mohammed Ali Saleem (31), and detained them. IOF released them after several hours but confiscated their car, under the pretext of being illegal.
  • Israeli forces carried out an incursion in Tayaseer village, east of Tubas. No detentions were reported.

 
Saturday, 11 July 2020:

  • At approximately 00:40, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested Ibrahim Samir al-Banna (28), member of the Palestinian National Security, from Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Siraj Eshaq Abu Hashhash’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Eissa Ali Abu Arram’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:40, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Adham Omar Qabha (25), Mohammed Bassam Ba’jawi (35).
  • At approximately 04:10, Israeli forces moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abd Rabbo Khaled Hashash (21) and Fathi Hani Abu Rizq (20).
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Ali al-Mallah (26) while present near Qalqndia refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

 
Sunday, 12 July, 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli army, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Yazeed Mohammed Abu Eisha’s (20) house, in Ras al-Joura neighborhood, and detained him.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in al-Samoua’ and Dura villages in Hebron governorate; Hares and Kifl Hares villages, north of Salfit. No detentions were reported.

 
Monday, 13 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Towr neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and detained (3) civilians; Mohammed Tayseer Abu Sbaitan (29), Ahmed Khaled Abu Ghannam (21), and Mousa Abu Ghannam.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mo’taz Waleed Shwaiky’s (18) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mousa Na’eem Fatafita’s (33) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Hindaza, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Huthaifa Yasser Abayat’s (23) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Arraba village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and detained (3) civilians; Ahmed Adnan Suliman Murdai (33), Ja’far Fawzi Abdullah Abu Salah (53), and Hassan Ramzi Hussain Abu Salah (43). IOF released Ja’far Abu Salah in front of “Mafi Dutan” settlement on the entrance of Arraba at approximately 10:00.
  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Abayat village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mahmoud Abdul Karim Ayyad (29) and Mohammed As’ad Nawawra (26), and detained them.
  • At approximately 06:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqoua’, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Salem al-Sabbah’s (24) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces stationed at al-Nafaq military checkpoint, west of Beit Jala, detained Mustafa Kamel Ayesh (21), and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces stationed at the end of al-Wad street, near Bab al-Majles, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, detained (5) civilians including 3 children. The detainees are: Abdul Rahman Ayman al-Bashiti (16), his brother Hatem (14), Ameer Mohammed al-Malki (19), Mustafa Mousa Abu Sanina (19), and Suhaib Abu Saleh (16).
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Wad street in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched al-Aseel Deserts store, and detained its owner Jehad Nazmi Abu Sbaih (37).
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in ‘Allar village, north of Tulkarem; Kifl Hares and Hares villages, north of Salfit. No detentions were reported.

 
Tuesday, 14 July 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Anas Awni Abu Balaha’s (25) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Barqin village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Abdullah Hasan Soboh’s (19) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Jadida village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Thafer Sami Zaqouq’s (20) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:50, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mujahed Ayed Flaih’s (28) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into Hizma village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hasan al-Khateeb’s house and detained his sons, Hamada (30) and Omar (24).
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Sa’eer, and Yatta, in Hebron governorate. No detentions were reported.

 
Wednesday, 15 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafr Ein village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hussam Yousef al-Barghouthi’s (30) house house and detained him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Silat al-Thuhr village, south of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jarrah Abdullah Hantouli (25) and Mofeed Fathi Za’rour (35), and detained them.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Urif village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Khaled Mustafa Sbbah’s (22) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces infantry unit moved into Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Saleem Rasem al-Rimawi’s (36) house and detained him. It should be noted that al-Rimawi is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons for 9 consecutive years.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mish’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Wael Mohammed Atta (27) and Taha Hussain al-Barghouthi (29), and detained them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Kobar village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided anmd searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Maher al-Barghouthi (26) and Fladimir Majed al-Barghouthi (45), and detained them.
  • At approximately 05:20, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah, and stationed in al-Masayef neighborhood, in the northern side of the city. They raided and searched Husni Mohammed Dars’s (47) house and detainedhim. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • Israeli forces carried out (6) incursions in al-Nabi Saleh, Deir al-Swadan, Um Safa, ‘Aroura, and Berzeit, in Ramallah; and Burin village, south east of Nablus. No detentions were reported.

 
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 10 July 2020, Israeli authorities notified to demolish parts attached to 2 inhabited houses in al-Walajah village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Activist Ibrahim ‘Awadallah said that Israeli forces notified Ahmed Mohammed ‘Awadallah and Mohammed ‘Abdullah Rabah to demolish parts attached to their houses in ‘Ain Jowizah area, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Awadallah added that the notification gave the houses’ owners until next Sunday to implement it, or they will bear the demolition costs. It should be noted that ‘Ain Jowizah area is exposed to a settlement attack, including demolishing houses and retaining walls and stop construction works in other houses.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into Um Rokba area and distributed notices to stop construction works in 2 inhabited houses located in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The first 330-square-meter house belongs to Nader ‘Abed al-Salam Salah, and the second 500-square-meter house belongs to Mohammed Mahmoud Salah. Also, IOF detained 3 mixers and a concrete pump from Mohammed’s house.
  • On Sunday, 12 July 2020, Israeli Municipality staff raided al-Tahan family’s facility in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The municipality staff informed the family to evacuate the facility comprising of 3 apartments as a prelude to demolish it. Weal Tahan clarified that the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition notice against the facility built in 1990, under the pretext of non-licensing. He added that in 1993 the municipality issued a decision to confiscate the land for the “public benefit” and began pursuing the family after construction on their land. Tahan added that many hearings were held to stop demolition and confiscation, but in vain. Tahan said that the municipality imposed a fine of NIS 260,000 on the family and they paid it. Tahan pointed out that 5 families lived in the facility.
  • On the same day, Bahaa’ ‘Adnan Zaytoun implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his house in Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Zaytoun said that the Israeli Municipality threatened him to pay heavy fines if its staff implemented the demolition. He added that his 75-square-meter house sheltering 6 persons, including 4 children, was built 4 years ago. It should be noted that since the beginning of this year, Israeli authorities forced 25 Jerusalemite families to self-demolish their houses or they will pay the demolition costs. Regarding the Israeli Municipality staff, they demolished 31 houses in occupied East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2020, in addition to 11 facilities and an under-construction house. Israeli authorities imposed many obstacles on Jerusalemites citizens and refused to license their houses.
  • On Monday, 13 July 2020, Israeli Municipality staff hanged eviction notices on dozens of dunams in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of being state owned-lands. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Isawiya Follow-up Committee, said Israeli police officers accompanied with the Israel Lands Administration staff hanged notices on Palestinian lands confiscated in 1967. Parts of these lands were given to Hadasah Hospital to establish parking and other facilities, and were given to expand “French hill” The owners of these lands are prohibited from using the rest of their lands. Abu al-Humus clarified that the dunams belong to ‘Eliyan, Mostafa, Derbas, Abu Reyalah, Darwish, Mahmoud, and ‘Obaif families. Abu al-Humus added that the notices ordered the owners to demolish and remove all constructions and trees from the land. It should be noted that Israeli authorities recently distributed dozens of eviction notices in al-‘Isawiya village for settlement expansion.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 13 July 2020, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Bereen, southwest of Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Ya’qoub Ishaq Ya’qoub Burqan and As’ad Yousef Burqan final demolition notices against their under-construction house (120 sqm). The notices gave them 7 days to challenge. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified the mentioned civilians on 07 June 2020 to stop construction works in their house comprising of 2 apartments and gave them until 17 June 2020 to challenge. Fareed Burqan, Head of the Village Council, said that;
    “I went with the owners of the house to the Israel Lands Administration Department in order to challenge the decision, but Israeli soldiers there prevented us from entering, under the pretext of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-‘Adisa area, south of Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed in the area while the Israeli Civil Administration officers cut Yousef Isma’il Yousef Jaradat’s 70 olive trees plated 5-10 years ago and confiscated them. This land is located within a land of 350 dunams, adjacent to “Kiryat Arba ” settlement, east of Hebron, and Israel considers it as state-owned land. It should be noted that Jaradat was previously handed a seizure notice by Israeli forces.
  • At approximately 09:30, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet al-‘Eidah area, east of Hebron. The Israeli bulldozer demolished a 70-meter-long stone chains and levelled Nemer Fahmi Mostafa Jaber’s 2-dunam land, under the pretext of being state-owned land. The losses were estimated at NIS 40,000. It should be noted that Israeli authorities distributed eviction notices on 17 March 2020.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Boq’ah area, east of Hebron. IOF leveled Mohammed Mostafa ‘Awwad Jaber’s agricultural land (1.5 dunams), under the pretext of being state-owned land and near the bypass road (60) and “Kiryat ‘Arba’” and “Karsina” settlements. It should be noted that on 05 July 2015, Israeli authorities demolished stone chains surrounding the agricultural land. On 03 May 2015, the Israeli authorities notified Jaber to vacate the agricultural land within 45 days and return it to its previous status, under the pretext of being state-owned land, or he will pay the eviction costs to the Israeli authorities. During the previous years, Jaber had obtained a land reclamation project from the agricultural labor committees, which included a 10-dunam plot of land, a water well, barbed wire and stone chains. The Israeli bulldozers demolished the water well and stone chains and razed the agricultural land. They also confiscated irrigation networks, fertilizer, generator, and pesticide spraying machine. At the beginning of 2014, Jaber reclaimed the land at his own expense and rebuilt part of the chains that had been destroyed by IOF, but the Israeli Civil Administration Department issued new notifications against the land, so he bulldozed it for the 2nd time.
  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Izbet Shofa village in eastern Tulkarem, where they demolished a barrack and a cement wall surrounding ‘Amer Mohammed Hamed’s parking. Also, Israeli forces demolished another wall surrounding Malek Abu Safiyia’s land, under the pretext of being in Area C.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished Ghassan Mostafa Shoqirat’s residential house in al-Mokaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Shoqirat (24) said that Israeli forces moved into Shoqirat neighborhood, closed the area surrounding his 120-square-meter house and demolished it. Shoqirat clarified that Israeli forces handed him a fine and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers move into Beit Marsam village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. Israeli forces demolished Mahmoud ‘Abed al-‘Aziz al-Sharha’s 60-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and tin plates. Al-Sharha’s losses were estimated at NIS 24,000. It should be noted that the Israeli Civil Administration Department handed al-Sharha a cease-construction notice on 02 June 2020, and handed him a demolition notice on 03 July 2020.

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 09 July 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Price Tag” groups, attacked al-Laban al-Sharqiyah village, southeast of Nablus. The settlers attacked Palestinian civilians’ vehicles parked in front of their owners’ houses and on the village streets. Also, they vandalized the vehicles with racist slurs and punctured the tires of 8 of them before leaving. PCHR keeps the names of affected persons.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli settlers, under Israeli army protection, built a new road connecting between “Ma’oun” settlement and a dairy farm established on Palestinian confiscated lands in Um Zaytouna area, east of Yatta in southern Hebron. Israeli forces seized these lands upon the Israeli Military Order No. 59 “Order Concerning State Property (Judea & Samaria)” (1967) established the ‘Custodian of Government Property’ to take control of land owned by the Jordanian Government (occupied in 1967).

Documentary: ‘Steal of the Century’ (Part 1)

Source

July 8, 2020

The documentary ‘Steal of the Century’ aims to provide the context leading up to Trump’s so-called peace plan, coupling together Palestinian voices with what International Law has to say about the issue. (Photo: Video Grab)

The ‘Steal Of The Century’ (Part 1) is a documentary by Robert Inlakesh, filmed on the ground in occupied Palestine, investigating the peace process, Donald Trump’s proposed ‘Deal of the Century’, and why the Palestinian people have unanimously rejected it. It also seeks to show the brutality of the occupation under which the Palestinian people live, as well as a brief look into the history of Palestine-Israel.

‘Steal of the Century aims to provide the context leading up to Trump’s so-called peace plan, coupling together Palestinian voices with what International Law has to say about the issue.

The documentary series is also built around the themes of the “final status issues”, as they are referred to, namely; borders, Jerusalem (al-Quds), Settlements, and refugees. The focus is also placed on issues, which fall under these categories.

Featured in the documentary are exclusive interviews with Ahed Tamimi, Jana Jihad, Issa Amro and others.

Credits:Cameraman: Hamde Abu RahmaEditing and Graphics by: Dias MussirovFeaturing the song: ‘The Farthest Mosque’ by Waheeb NasanProduced, Written and Directed by: Robert Inlakesh


كفى تحاملا على الأخوة الفلسطينيّين والسوريّين

معن بشور 

خطاب التحريض العلني أو الضمني على الأخوة الفلسطينيين والسوريين، كما خطاب التحريض الطائفي والمذهبي ضد هذا المكوّن اللبناني أو ذاك، ليس مرفوضاً لأسباب وطنية وقومية وأخلاقية وإنسانية فحسب، بل مرفوض لأسباب تتصل بالاستقرار اللبناني، والاقتصاد اللبناني، أو ما تبقى من اقتصاد لبناني…

فالتحريض على أي جماعة لبنانية أو مقيمة في لبنان يؤدي إلى إثارة مخاوف وهواجس عدة تشكل بدورها التربة الخصبة لأي مشروع فتنوي أو إرهابي أو تقسيمي يهدد البلاد، بل إنّ التحريض نفسه هو عامل التفجير الأساسي الذي دفع لبنان، بأبنائه والمقيمين على أرضه أبهظ الأثمان بسببه..

فالجميع يعلم أنّ الفلسطينيين موجودون في لبنان، بغير إرادتهم، وأنهم يناضلون منذ عشرات السنين، ويقدّمون الشهداء بعشرات الآلاف، من أجل العودة إلى بلادهم، وما من أمر يعيق عودتهم إلى بلادهم سوى إدخالهم في حروب مع الشعوب المضيفة التي من المفترض أن تخوض إلى جانبهم معركة العودة والتحرير…

فإسقاط التوطين، الذي نص الدستور اللبناني في مقدّمته على رفضه، معركة مشتركة بين اللبناني الذي لا يتحمّل وجود هذا العدد البشري على أرضه المحدودة المساحة، والمحكومة بجملة اعتبارات معقدة، والفلسطيني الذي يؤكد، ولو كان يقيم في أغنى بلدان العالم، أن لا أرض عنده أغلى من أرض فلسطين، ولا وطن أعز من الوطن الفلسطيني.. ولا كرامة له إلا في وطنه الأمّ…

فهل التحريض بين يوم وآخر ضد الفلسطيني يؤدي إلى مقاومة التوطين، أم أنه يسهل من خلال الفتنة تحقيق مشروع التوطين نفسه، وقد قلت في بداية التسعينيات من القرن الماضي في ندوة عقدها المنتدى القومي العربي في دار الندوة إنّ “فتنة التوطين تؤدي إلى توطين الفتنة”، ولعل ما شهدناه في لبنان من حرب فتنويّة امتدت أكثر من 15 عاماً هو أكبر دليل على عبثية هذا التحريض وخطورته التفجيرية..

ولن ندخل هنا في تعداد إسهامات الأخوة الفلسطينيين “اللبنانية”، على صعيد العلم والثقافة والإبداع والاقتصاد والأعمال، ومساهمتهم عبر العاملين من أبنائهم في الخارج بإرسال تحويلات مالية كبيرة كانت أحد موارد لبنان من العملة الصعبة، فلقد كانت مقالة الأستاذ طلال سلمان “الفلسطينيون جوهرة الشرق الأوسط” رائعة في إبراز دور الفلسطينيين في النهضة اللبنانية العامة خير معبّر عن هذه الحقائق.

أما الأخوة السوريون، فهم أيضاً ضحايا حرب كونية لعينة استهدفت بلدهم، ودمّرت دولتهم، وحاصرت دور وطنهم وموقعه التاريخي والجغرافي معاً، وهم كانوا دائما شركاء مع اللبنانيين في مراحل نهوضهم، سواء كعمال كادحين أو كمتمولين كبار، كما أنّ سورية كانت تفتح ذراعيها لكل لبناني، وإلى أيّ جماعة انتمى، ممن كانت ظروف صعبة تدفعه إلى مغادرة بيته لأشهر أو سنوات.

وبدلاً من أن نكتفي بالحديث عن العبء الذي يشكله وجودهم في لبنان، وهو بالتأكيد عبء حقيقي رغم المليارات من الدولارات التي دخلت إلى الخزينة من الخارج لإغاثتهم، يجب أن نسعى لوضع اليد مع الحكومة السورية لتأمين العودة الآمنة والكريمة لهم، خاصة أنّ بلادهم الحمدلله قد نجحت في إعادة الأمن إلى الجزء الأكبر من ربوعها، وأن نضغط بكلّ الوسائل على القوى الخارجية، وهي معروفة للجميع، وفي مقدمها الولايات المتحدة وأدواتها، والتي تحول دون عودتهم إلى بلادهم في محاولة منها لاستخدامهم في أجندات “مواصلة الحرب” على سورية بأشكال جديدة، وزعزعة الاستقرار فيها، وهناك أكثر من سيناريو يجري تداوله بهذا الصدد..

ثم ألا يدرك أصحاب الخطاب التحريضي، على اختلاف مواقعهم، أنهم يزرعون أحقاداً بين شعوب تربطها عبر القرون وشائج قربى وروابط أخوة، ومصالح مشتركة، فتعيش المنطقة بأسرها أجواء توتر دائم وتفجر مستمر، يكون لبنان ضحيتها الأولى، لا سيما أنّ بوابته إلى العمق العربي والإقليمي هي البوابة السورية. وانّ مطامع العدو الصهيوني في أرضه وكيانه ونفطه ليست خافية على أحد.

إلا ان أخطر ما في الخطاب التحريضي، المنتشر هنا وهناك، هو حين يساوي أصحابه بين الوجود المدني الفلسطيني والسوري، وهو وجود اضطراري كما يعرف الجميع، وبين الاحتلال الإسرائيلي والمشروع الإرهابي التدميري، وكلاهما ثمرة مشروع أكبر يستهدف وحدة مجتمعنا، واستقرار بلادنا، وتدمير مقومات نهوضنا.

وهذا الخطاب الذي لا يميّز بين الجلاد والضحية هو كما يعرف الجميع، خطاب غير أخلاقي وغير إنساني، وغير عادل في الوقت نفسه.

أما الذين يعتقدون أنّ الخطاب التحريضي، طائفياً كان أم مذهبياً أم عنصرياً، قد يحقق لهم مكاسب سياسية أو انتخابية، مشابهة لما كان يحصل في السابق، فهم مخطئون جداً، لأنّ ظروف اليوم هي غير ظروف الأمس، علماً أنّ نتائج خطاب الأمس التحريضيّ لم تأتِ سوى بالوبال على لبنان وعلى أصحاب هذا الخطاب نفسه.. وإلى الجماعات التي يدّعون حمايتها.

من المعروف أنّ “أول الحرب كلام” وأنّ من يطلق كلامه على عواهنه إرضاء لعصبية أو غريزة أو جماعة، إنما يسيء إلى نفسه أولا وإلى الجماعة التي ينتمي إليها ثانياً، وإلى وطننا الغالي لبنان دائماً…

قليلاً من التبصّر يا أولي الألباب، فالتبصّر وحده طريقنا لمنع التفجر.

الأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

الحياد ومخاطر الدعوة إليه في لبنان؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

في خضمّ ما يعانيه لبنان من حصار أميركي، وانقسام داخلي ومخاطر متعددة العناوين من صحية (كورونا) ومعيشية مع تفشي البطالة وتفلت الأسعار، ووضع أقل ما يُقال فيه إنه من أسوأ ما شهده لبنان منذ إنشائه بقرار من المفوض السامي الفرنسي في العام 1920، في خضمّ هذا الوضع المأسوي البائس أطلق البطريرك الماروني لأنطاكية وسائر المشرق من لبنان مواقف تتعلق بواقع لبنان ومستقبله بناها على مقولة «الشرعية المصادرة» داعياً إلى حياد لبنان، الحياد الذي يرى فيه علاجاً لكلّ ما يعتور لبنان من مآسٍ وما يتهدّده من مخاطر. فهل الحياد يشكل فعلاً علاجاً لأمراض لبنان ويمكن اعتماده؟

للإجابة على هذا السؤال نبدأ أولاً بالتوقف عند معنى الحياد وطبيعته وشروطه المحددة في قواعد القانون الدولي العام وقانون النزاعات المسلحة والعلاقات الدولية، تلك القواعد التي تقول بان حياد الدولة يكون واحداً من ثلاثة: أولها الحياد العسكري، او الحياد المؤقت وثانيها الحياد الاتفاقي او الحياد الدائم، وثالثها الحياد الإيجابي عبر الانضواء في تكتل دولي محايد بين معسكرين دوليين متصارعين ولذا يسمّى «عدم انحياز»، وقد تبلور عملياً في حركة عدم الانحياز التي شكلها في منتصف القرن الماضي الثالوث المصري الهندي اليوغسلافي (عبد الناصر، نهرو، تيتو) وكان لبنان عضواً فيها ولا يزال رغم أفول شمسها وتراجع دورها حتى شبه الاضمحلال بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي وما سبقه من غياب القادة التاريخيين الثلاثة الذين شكلوها، وبالتالي إنّ الدعوة إلى الحياد المتقدّم الذكر والمسمّى أيضاً بالحياد الإيجابي لا يعني بأيّ حال هذه الحركة أو ما يشبهها ويبقى أن تكون الدعوة إلى حياد مؤقت أو دائم.

بيد أنّ الحياد المؤقت أو كما يسمى أيضا الحياد الحربي هو موقف تتخذه دولة ما بإرادتها المنفردة التي لا تتوقف عند إرادة الأطراف المتواجهة في نزاع عسكري، موقف تحفظ فيه الدولة علاقتها السلمية العادية بكل الأطراف من دون أن تنحاز لأي منهما ودون ان يشكل أي منهم خطراً عليها او يقتحم إقليمها لاستعماله في الحرب ضد الطرف الآخر. أي تعلن الدولة حيادها بنفسها وتتخذ من التدابير ما يقفل إقليمها بوجه كافة الأطراف، وتحفظ علاقاتها السلمية المتوازنة مع الجميع، فهل هذا ممكن في حالة لبنان الراهنة؟

قبل الإجابة نعرض للحياد الدائم او الحياد التعاقدي، الذي يختلف عن الأول لكونه لا يمكن أن يبرم بإرادة منفردة او يعطي مفاعيله دون ان ترضى الدول الأخرى به اقله الدول التي لها مصالح مع الدولة المزمع إعلان حيادها، فإعلان هذا الحياد وإحداث مفاعيله يشترط عرضاً (إيجاباً) من الدولة، وقبولاً من الدول الموجّه اليها ثم إبرام معاهدة يوقعها الجميع تنشئ حالة حياد الدولة المعنية. فإذا قامت هذه الحالة وجب احترامها، او فرض حمايتها لذا يجب على الدولة المعنية ان تمتلك القوة العسكرية الكافية للدفاع عن نفسها وعن حيادها.

فإذا راجعنا حالة لبنان على ضوء ما تقدّم نجد انّ إقامة حياد مؤقت او دائم تتطلب في الحد الأدنى إرادة وطنية جامعة تقرره، وقوة عسكرية مانعة لتحميه، وعلاقة سلمية مع كل دول الجوار والإقليم موسومة بعدم وجود صراعات معها حول أي من المصالح، ويُضاف اليها في حالة الحياد الدائم، قبول الدول المعنية به للتمكن من توقيع اتفاقية الحياد كما تفرض قواعد القانون الدولي العام، فهل تتوفر هذه الشروط في الحالة اللبنانية؟

نبدأ بالإرادة الوطنية الجامعة، ونرى ان اللبنانيين منقسمون عمودياً بين فئتين رئيستين، فئة تفاخر بالانتماء إلى الأمة العربية وتعتبر نفسها جزءاً منها، وفئة لا تستسيغ فكرة الانتماء ولا ترتاح إلى ممارستها، ويضاف إلى ما تقدّم وجود من يعيش انتماءه إلى الأمة الإسلامية أيضاً فضلاً عن العربية وهؤلاء يرفضون فكرة الحياد بين أمتهم وبين أعدائها لانهم يعتبرون مصالح الأمة هي مصالحهم، وهنا نذكر بموقف هؤلاء المعترض أصلاً على فكرة قيام لبنان المستقلّ عن محيطه ويرون أن قبولهم بالدولة المستقلة بعد زمن لا يعني تنازلهم عن انتمائهم، وعليه لا ينتظر من هؤلاء القبول بفكرة الحياد التي تترجم بالنسبة لهم انسلاخاً عن جسم الأمة عربية كانت او إسلامية، واعتقد انّ صاحب طرح الحياد انتبه إلى هذه الثغرة ولطف طرحه بالقول «بالحياد مع الاستمرار بالاهتمام بالقضايا العربية المشتركة». ولكن هذا التلطيف وهذا التراجع لا يغني ولا يسمن، فالحياد له قواعده وضوابطه فأما ان تلتزم ويكون الكيان محايداً أو لا تلتزم ولا يكون، أما سياسة «النصف نصف» فهي تلاعب على الألفاظ لا يعتدّ به، ولنقل صراحة ان تشكل إجماع لبناني على الحياد بمفهومه القانوني أمر مستحيل الآن وهنا ننوّه بموقف الرئيس العماد ميشال عون الذي واجه به صاحب الطرح قائلاً «الحياد يستلزم وفاقاً وطنياً» كلمة مختصرة قد تكون كافية لنعي الطرح كله.

أما الشرط الثاني المتمثل بامتلاك القوة الدفاعيّة اللازمة لحماية الحياد، قوة تكون وحيدة لا شريك لها على الأرض اللبنانية أي إقامة الجيش القادر على حماية لبنان، فهذا أمر شبه مستحيل الآن ويصعب تحققه في المستقبل في ظل 3 عوامل تحكم الوضع اللبناني أولها القرار الغربي بمنع لبنان من امتلاك تلك القوة التي تقيد التحرك الإسرائيلي وتمنع «إسرائيل» من تحقيق مطامعها في لبنان، ثانيها وضع لبنان المالي الذي يحول دون شراء الأسلحة والتجهيزات اللازمة لبناء منظومة دفاع مجدٍ، والثالث انقسام لبنان حول فكرة التحوّل إلى أسواق السلاح البديلة، وبالتالي يجد الجيش اللبناني نفسه محاصراً بضيق ذات اليد، والقيود الغربية، ورفض داخلي للبدائل ما يبقيه من غير سلاح يُعتدّ به لمواجهة المخاطر وتبقى القوة الدفاعية الرسمية الكافية حلماً لا يطال وتكون الحاجة إلى الحلّ الاحتياطي المتمثل بالمقاومة الشعبية أمراً لا مناص منه كما يرى رئيس الجمهورية العماد عون أيضاً، الأمر الذي يرفضه صاحب فكرة الحياد. وهنا انقسام آخر.

أما شرط إقامة علاقة سلمية متوازنة مع دول الإقليم لا عداء فيها فإنه أيضاً أمر مستحيل، فجيران لبنان اثنان دولة سورية الشقيقة، والكيان الصهيوني العدو الغاصب. واذا كانت العلاقة مع سورية محكومة بعوامل الأخوة والصداقة وبالاتفاقيات المبرمة معها والتي تنص على أنها علاقات مميّزة كما ورد في اتفاقية الطائف، فإنّ العلاقة مع «إسرائيل» عكس ذلك تماماً، فـ «إسرائيل» عدو للأمة التي ينتمي اليها لبنان ولا يغيّر من طبيعة هذه العلاقة إقدام بعض العرب على الصلح والتطبيع معها، كما أنها عدو للبنان تغتصب حقوقاً وتطمع بحقوق ومصالح في البر والبحر أرضاً وثروة وتنتهك السيادة وتهدّد مستقبل لبنان وجوداً ودوراً ووظيفة. وأيّ حياد يطرح قبل أن نستنقذ حقوقنا ومصالحنا من براثن «إسرائيل» يكون فيه انتحار ذاتي وخدمة للعدو، حقيقة وعاها صاحب الطرح كما يبدو وألمح إليها متأسفاً بالقول «للأسف… إسرائيل عدو» وطبعاً أسفه لا يقدّم ولا يؤخّر في طبيعة العلاقة بل إنه ينسف فكرة الحياد التي يطرحها.

وأخيراً نصل إلى فكرة قبول الحياد من قبل مجموعة الدول المعنية بالعلاقة مع لبنان، وهو قبول يشترط استباقه بأمرين، تصفية العلاقة والنزاعات حول المصالح البينية ثم عرض (إيجاب) يتقدّم به لبنان من اجل ان يستدعي القبول والموافقة عليه من قبل الطرف الآخر. وهنا نجد ان ما يحكم علاقة لبنان بـ «إسرائيل» جملة ملفات خطيرة منها توطين الفلسطينيين والخروج من الأرض اللبنانية المحتلة والاعتراف بالحدود البرية دون مناورة لإعادة ترسيمها والإقرار بالحدود البحرية دون الطمع بمساحات من منطقة لبنان الاقتصادية، فهل تقر «إسرائيل» بهذه الحقوق؟ نسارع للقول طبعاً لا. وها هي صفقة القرن تؤكد بكل وضوح انّ الحلّ الذي تطرحه يطيح بمصالح لبنان تلك، وبالتالي أي سلام يبتغى مع «إسرائيل» في ظل أطماعها تلك؟ أما سورية فيكفي ان نعود معها إلى مواقف سياسية أعلنت من قبل مسؤوليها لنجد أنها كلها تقطع برفض القبول بحياد لبنان ما يقود إلى القول إن الجوار غير جاهز للقبول بهذا الحياد أي يتعذر قيام الحياد الاتفاقي او الحياد الدائم.

حقائق اعتقد أن على مَن طرح الحياد ان يتوقف عندها، وبالتالي يكون من الأفضل له وللبنان ان يتجنب طرحاً مستحيلاً في مثل هذا الظرف بالذات، إذ لن يكون للطرح أثر او مفعول إلا زيادة الانقسام والتشرذم وإضافة ملف خلافي جديد تستفيد منه أميركا في خطتها الرامية لإنتاج فراغ سياسي مترافق مع الحصار والتجويع المنتج للفتنة والاقتتال الداخلي والممهّد لعدوان «إسرائيلي» على لبنان.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي

مقالات متعلقة

How Two Seemingly Unrelated Events Laid Israel’s Racism Problem Bare

A viral video showing an Israeli family mocking impoverished Palestinian children and a controversial New York Times editorial by famed Zionist commentator Peter Beinart have exposed the racist underpinning of the so-called Jewish state.

Source: MintPress News

by Miko Peled

Protesters attend a rally against Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, in Tel Aviv, June 6, 2020. Sebastian Scheiner | AP

Two seemingly unrelated items hit social media recently and both received a lot of attention. The first was an article by Peter Beinart that was published in the New York Times where Beinart claims he no longer believes in a Jewish State and calls for a binational state with equal rights in Palestine. The other, a video clip showing an Israeli family riding in a car when two children approach them. The car window opens and we hear the father ask the children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” While these two seem unrelated, there is something equally disturbing about both of them.

A Jewish home in Palestine

One might think that the epiphany experienced by yet another liberal Zionist, and one that has access to the mainstream media, should be celebrated. After all, another well known Jewish American has reached the conclusion that Palestinians deserve equal rights in their own country. However, as we read this article there are several disturbing elements that dampen the excitement.

Beinart shares with the readers, “I knew that Israel was a source of comfort and pride to millions of other Jews.” He explains that this is why he believed in the Jewish state. One could argue that slavery was a source of comfort and pride for millions of white Americans, yet to support slavery is still abhorrent.

Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart, center, talks to people after speaking at the University of Washington Hillel, October 23, 2014. Photo | Joe Mabel

He goes on to describe a sentiment that one hears from many liberal Zionists. “One day in early adulthood, I walked through Jerusalem, reading street names that catalog Jewish history, and felt that comfort and pride myself.” Jerusalem was an Arab city for over a thousand years. In 1948, Palestinians in Jerusalem were subjected to a total and complete ethnic cleansing, and not a single Palestinian was allowed to remain in the city. Jerusalem then became the capital city of the state of Israel and the street names, which used to catalog the long and magnificent Arab history of the city, were changed.

“I knew Israel was wrong to deny Palestinians in the West Bank citizenship, due process, free movement and the right to vote in the country in which they lived.” What about the rights of millions of Palestinians languishing in refugee camps? This country that gave him, and Jews like him, such pride is denying millions of Palestinians their right to return to the lands and homes from which they were expelled.

“But the dream of a two-state solution that would give Palestinians a country of their own let me hope that I could remain a liberal and a supporter of Jewish statehood at the same time.” That was precisely what the scam of the Two State Solution was set to do. To allow liberal Zionists to support the crimes of Zionism and the creation of a racist state in Palestine while still feeling good about themselves.

The idea that the Two State Solution would give Palestinians “a country of their own,” is puzzling. Palestinians have a country of their own, it is Palestine. According to historian Nur Masalha, it has been Palestine for thousands of years before the establishment of the Zionist state on May 15, 1948.

The epiphany experienced by liberal Zionists who suddenly realize they can’t have it both ways is really not an epiphany at all. It is a compromise that allows them to continue to justify their patronizing attitude towards Palestinians. Beinart is not unlike another liberal Zionist, Avram Burg. Burg, a staunch Zionist who served as speaker of the Knesset and chairman of the Jewish Agency, and in between, profited greatly from peddling Israeli weapons. He is a Zionist through and through, and yet, he too claims it is time for a single state. In a piece he authored in 2018, he writes, “Since 1967 Israel had occupied Palestinian territory.” Not unlike Beinart, he sees only the West Bank as Palestinian territory.

To feed a Bedouin

A disturbing video clip was recently shared on TikTok by Roy Oz, also known as Roy Boy, an Israeli entertainer who hosts various programs for children. In the clip, an Israeli family is driving comfortably in what appears to be an SUV, with young children in the backseat and the parents in front. The father, Roy Oz, is driving. As they drive, two young children approach the car. The children in the car are white, the children outside are brown. The landscape is barren, like a desert, and we can safely assume it is the Naqab region in southern Palestine.

The father opens the window and hands a cookie to the children outside and says to his children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” He speaks to the children outside in Arabic and then turns to his children again, asking in Hebrew, “You don’t want to feed a Bedouin, Ariel?” One of the two children outside is older than the other and hands the cookie to the younger child. Then, the father turns the camera, showing his children’s faces and asks again, “Do you want to feed a Bedouin? You don’t?” We hear him also saying to himself, “they are so cute,” referring to the children outside.

The father then turns to the children outside and asks in Arabic how much money they want. “One thousand shekel?” He asks. “No, just ten” one of the children answers. “Only ten?” The father asks at which point the mother reaches out of the car and hands one of the children a coin.

Expressions of Shock

Expressions of shock came fast from Palestinian communities, who demanded an apology and an explanation. Some even said this was the worst expression of racism they had ever seen. But there is nothing shocking about this clip because this was a normal Israeli middle-class family expressing what countless Israelis express all the time. The appalling racism and patronizing colonial attitude toward Palestinian Bedouin children, as we see in the video, is the foundation upon which the state of Israel was established and exists throughout Israeli society.

Without structural, systemic, deeply ingrained racism, Israel would not exist. Furthermore, without this white supremacist attitude, no Israeli pilot would be able to push the button that releases the bombs which then burn and rip Palestinian children in Gaza to shreds. No sniper would be able to pull the trigger and kill and maim Palestinians. It is an essential part of Zionist education.

Many Israelis had expressed their displeasure at this expression of racism. However, their displeasure aside, this is nothing new or abnormal. It is not unlike the incident where an Israeli army medic, who is charged with saving people’s lives and had taken an oath to do so, executed a wounded Palestinian laying on the ground. The incident was caught on video and went viral, resulting in the medic being court-martialed and receiving a slap on the wrist. This medic also acted as he was trained, as he was taught, that a Palestinian life does not matter.

Recognizing that Palestinians have rights within a Zionist construct is a symptom of Zionist racist supremacy. This racism is what allows a family to drive by Palestinian children and treat them like animals in a safari. It is how the state of Israel is able to continue the Naqba, the systemic, catastrophic destruction of Palestine and its people for close to one hundred years.

Feature photo | Beinart speaks at a 2012 event in Atlanta after being banned from a Jewish book festival over his criticism of Israel. David Goldman | AP


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ROBERT INLAKESH ON HIS DOCUMENTARY, “STEAL OF THE CENTURY: TRUMP’S PALESTINE-ISRAEL CATASTROPHE”

Source

Robert Inlakesh is a Documentary Filmmaker, Journalist, and Middle-East  Analyst

I recently spoke with him on his visits to Occupied Palestine nd in  particular his two-part documentary, “Steal Of The Century’: Trump’s  Palestine-Israel Catastrophe” , the first part of which he released on  June 5.

Watch part 1

Twitter: @falasteen47

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واقع الحال الفلسطيني هذه الأيام – نضال حمد

الأربعاء 24 يونيو 2020

واقع الحال الفلسطيني هذه الأيام – نضال حمد

واقع الحال الفلسطيني هذه الأيام وللأسف الشعب في اجازة مفتوحة

من أسباب الخراب الفلسطيني نجد الاستزلام وعبودية الأشخاص والتعصب للفصيل والافساد بالمال والمناصب والسماح للمتسلقين بالتسلق على تضحيات شعبنا.

سياسة الرجل المناسب للوقت المناسب لا الرجل المناسب في المكان المناسب. وعدم جدية القيادة وتفردها باتخاد القرارات المصيرية في مجالس وطنية شكلية كانت ولازالت تحت سيطرة النهج الفاسد والمفسد.

الارتهان لدول وأنظمة هي نفسها كانت ولازال رهينة بيد أعداء الأمة والقضية. واستغلال الخلافات مع بعض العرب للذهاب في الاتجاه الخاطئ. المراهنة على الغرب وأمريكا ودول العالم والأمم المتحدة وقراراتها.

الفذلكة السياسية التي غدت توسلا وتسولا. ثم التخلي عن حق المقاومة والكفاح وهو حق مقدس.

ما بني على أساس خاطئ ينتج الأخطاء وربما يؤدي في وقت ما الى الهلاك.

عدم مراجعة التجارب وأسباب الفشل والهزائم والأخطاء والتغني بالقرار المستقل والخ …

الشعب الذي يرضى بقادة فاسدين، مرتهنين، مفسدين ومتآمرين لا يلتفتون لمعاناته ومأساته، ولا يعملون باخلاص لأجل قضيته وحريته. الشعب الذي يرضى بالذل والهوان ولا يثور لتصحيح مساره وتغيير قيادته وسياساتها سيدفع أثمانا مضاعفة لصمته وسباته.

أي حال بدك يمشي؟

الأمور ماشية بسرعة الدولار

كيف استطاع الاعداء ايجاد وباء المال الذي دمر منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وجزء كبير من شعب فلسطين؟.

المال المُسَمَمْ والمُسَمِمْ الذي لازال يعتقل حرية القرار لدى فصائل هامة وتاريخية في مسيرة نضالنا.

المال الذي حول الفلسطينيين من فدائيين الى وقائيين وآخرين من مقاومين الى مقاولين يتسولون عند الاخرين.

لاشيئ يقدم للفلسطينيين مجانا سواء للسلطة في الضفة أو للسلطة في غزة. كل شيئ له ثمنه. أموال الدول المانحة لا تقدم لأجل عيون عباس وأموال امارة اخوان قطر لا تقدم لأجل مقاومة حماس.

وصلنا الى زمن صارت فيه فلسطين قضية مرتبات ومعاشات وميزانيات.

كل ما نعيشه من خيانات لفلسطين وقضيتها من قبل غالبية العرب والمسلمين وبعض الفلسطينيين، تبدو بالرغم من سوداويتها جيدة وربما هي من علامات نهضة فلسطينية، خروج من الهاوية وربما قرب نهاية الاحتلال وأعوانه.

قرأت مؤخرا في موقع واتس أب رسالة استهزاء فلسطينية تشرح بكوميدية سوداء فلسطينية معروفة مأساة الشعب الفلسطيني وحاجته الاقتصادية وضائقته المالية، وذلك عبر سرد لواقع حال عائلة أحد وزراء السلطة الفلسطينية وهو عضو في اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح. كانت احدى بناته قبل فترة بطلة استعراض عضلات ضد مواطن فلسطيني قرب جامعة بير زيت. هددت وعربدت ثم شفطت بسيارتها الحديثة (رانج روفر) وتبلغ قيمتها تسعون ألف دولار أمريكي فقط لاغير. من مال أبوها وأبو أبوها. شقيقتها ليست أسوأ منها فهي أيضا تملك (جيب جاكورا) ثمنه فقط 100 ألف دولار أمريكي ( أبو وِشِ سِمِحْ) الذي كان يدعي بعض أتباع بدعة القرار المستقل سنة 1983 أنه بامكانه فتح (جبل تربل) في الشمال اللبناني و (جبل قاسيون) في دمشق.

عائلة الوزير المذكور كلها موظفة في السلطة وبمرتبات لو جمعناها سوية ستكفي لاطعام مئات العائلات الفلسطينية الفقيرة. خاصة في ظل أزمة رواتب موظفي السلطة. الأب عضو اللجنة المركزية والوزير في السلطة يتقاضى مرتبا شهريا مع نثريات بقيمة 35 ألف دولار أمريكي. في حين أن زوجته التي تعمل في الكادر الدبلوماسي لسلطة اوسلوستان مرتبها الشهري 3000 دولار. البنت الأولى تشغل منصب مدير عام عند والدها في الوزارة ومرتبها الشهري 2000 دولار. البنت الثانية تمتلك شركة برأس مال 300000 دولار امريكي فقط لا غير. ابنه (المناضل الشرس) يمتلك شركة برأس مال يبلغ 500000 دولار أمريكي. وابنتاه اليانعتان سبق وذكرنا امتلاكهما لسيارتين رانجين بقيمة 190 ألف دولار.

قلبي مع عائلة الوزير العضو في مركزية فتح… بالفعل عائلة مسكينة. أتألم لأجلهم، الجماعة ناقصهم بحر علشان يشتروا كم يخت للترويح عن أنفسهم وقضاء اجازات واستراحات بسبب عملهم المضني والدؤوب في خدمة القضية والجماهير وحق العودة. في زمن سلطة العار  كل شيء وارد وممكن … ومادامت الساعة بالدولار والحسابة بتحسب سوف نجد سحيجة ومماليك وعبيد يدافعون عن اللصوص والعملاء لأنهم مصدر رزقهم ولو على حساب فلسطين وشعبها.

عليكم-ن اللعنة ذكورا وإناثا انتم-ن وسلطتكم-ن وسحيجتها وسحيجاتها وعلى كل من لازال يتعامل معكم-ن بحجة الوحدة الوطنية.

أما السحيجة في مخيمات لبنان وفي مخيم عين الحلوة بالذات أذكرهم أنه في مثل هذه الأيام من سنة 1982 سقطت مخيماتهم تباعا بيد الصهاينة الغزاة، لكن بعد تضحيات جسام وملاحم بطولية جسدها أبناء وبنات شعبنا، في حين كان بعض أركان السلطة والمنظمة من مبتدعي شعار القرار المستقل يفرون من أرض المعركة. بالأمس فروا من الميدان وتركوا المخيمات تقاتل واليوم ينسقون مع الاحتلال الصهيوني ويقودون قضيتنا وشعبنا الى الهاوية.

نضال حمد

Empires and their puppets including Israel will eventually fall: “Free Gaza Movement” co-founder Greta Berlin

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June 8, 2020 – 12:45
Berlin likens the situation in the occupied Palestinian lands to South Africa under the apartheid regime which will finally be a country for all citizens including Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
 “This kind of situation, like its predecessor in South Africa, will eventually fall apart, and the country will end up being a country for all citizens, Jews/Christians/Muslims,” Berlin, an author and activist, tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview:  
This is the text of the interview:
1: Madame Greta Berlin, please tell us what Israel has achieved after 72 years since its establishment. Has it succeeded to win legitimacy?
 A: Israel has achieved what all white/colonial/racist entities have achieved; subjugating, terrorizing, marginalizing, and stealing from the indigenous population to make an illicit country. It’s no different than the U.S. or Canada or South Africa or Australia. 
Israel has the biggest gorilla in the room on its side and that’s the U.S.It’s gotten its legitimacy from the very countries who have done the same thing to a population that was already there and perceived as, somehow, being “less human” than the invaders. After 72 years, it’s only legitimate claim to the land of Palestine has been through force, and all empires and their puppets eventually fall. Israel will as well.  
2: How do you analyze the situation inside Israel?
 A: There are three strata inside Israel; Ashkenazi Jews, the white Jews from Europe/Russia, and the U.S. who control power, politics, and money. The second tier is the Sephardic or Arab Jews who were often forced to immigrate to Israel immediately after Israel was founded on the backs of the Palestinians. Once the European Jews drove out 750,000 Palestinians, they needed workers to come and settle in the land they stole. What better place to find them than the Arab Jews of the Middle East and North Africa? If they didn’t want to come peacefully, Mossad made sure they changed their minds. 
After arriving in Israel, they even made up a name for themselves… Mizrahi… so they didn’t have to be called Arab Jews. They are becoming the largest segment of the population, but they have little power. You’ll often see them as members of the IOF, subjugating the third tier in Israel; the Palestinians, who have no power whether they are Israeli citizens or living in the Bantustans of the occupied West Bank and Gaza. 
Americans are beginning to wake up to the terrorism of the Israeli occupation This kind of situation, like its predecessor in South Africa, will eventually fall apart, and the country will end up being a country for all citizens, Jews/Christians/Muslims. 
 3: Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, and Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz are unanimous in this move. Netanyahu has confidently said that annexation will take place within “a few months,” or before the American presidential election in November. What has made Israel behave so unashamedly and intransigently? Don’t you think that an impotent international community or inaction by international bodies have made Tel Aviv so emboldened?
 A: Israel has the biggest gorilla in the room on its side and that’s the U.S. It makes no difference who is President in the U.S., Israel controls Congress, and most politicians will bow to its demands. However, watching what is happening in the U.S., everything is going to change over the next few years, as China emerges triumphant and the U.S. becomes another failed empire like Britain and France. 
Personally, I’m all for a one-state solution and have been for decades. And the sooner, the better for everyone living there. Palestinians already outnumber Jews, and those demographics are only going to improve for Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim.  
 4: You are internationally famous for advocating “justice” for Palestinians since early 1960. What prompted you to highlight the sufferings of the Palestinians?
 A: While in graduate school in 1963, I met and married a Palestinian and had two Palestinian/American children who couldn’t return to Safad, the city where their father was raised, while a Jew from New York City could immigrate there with no other credentials except religion. 
That sense of injustice has challenged me since then. The most outspoken advocate for the rights of marginalized people like Palestinians are often the people who learned the truth after being lied to as children. Like many Americans, I grew up thinking Israel was the victim and Jews had the right to settle in the Holy Land. When I met my husband, and he began telling me the truth of the violent takeover of his land by European terrorist Jews, I became an advocate for justice in Palestine for life.  
 5: You were a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement and among those brave persons who broke the Gaza siege. Can you please explain your experiences and reactions?
 A: This is such a long story, encompassing two years of planning, buying the boats, sailing to Gaza and so much pain, laughter and delight at finally getting there. It’s a book and a movie and a webinar already. The best way of describing our journey to Gaza is to provide people with these three links.
 6: The U.S. has been blindly defending the illegal behavior of Israel toward Palestinians over the past seven decades. How can such support be justified by a country which proclaims leadership of the free world and defender of democracy and human rights?
 A: The U.S. has never been a defender of democracy and human rights. The country was founded on the genocide of the native population and got rich on the back of slavery. It has had, however, one of the most brilliant PR campaigns of any country in the world. Israel tries to emulate it with many of the same catchphrases such as, “the only democracy in the Middle East.” That’s as big a lie as the U.S. saying it stands for human rights.
However, there is a difference between government propaganda and the citizens of the U.S. Americans, once they wake up, are among the most outstanding advocates for justice for people seeking equal rights, and have put their lives on the line, from the martyrs of the civil rights movement, https://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs
to Rachel Corrie in Palestine. They are the one bright and hopeful beacons of light in the U.S., especially this younger generation. I have great hopes they will become like many of us out of the 1960s, advocates for a better world. 
 7: How is it possible that successive Congresses and to a lesser extent administrations remain so biased in favor of Israel? Does it show that the American people who vote for their representatives are indifferent or ignorant toward the situation of the Palestinians?
A: Bribery, Blackmail, and Benjamins. 
It is true, however, that Americans are beginning to wake up to the terrorism of the Israeli occupation. But to be honest, Americans can barely make it from one paycheck to the next and are overwhelmed with problems in their own back yards. 
And the country is huge, with 331 million people, only 20% who even own a passport. Very few of us travel outside the Northern Hemisphere. America and much of its population are isolated and not very well-educated about other countries.  
 8: And, why anybody who opposes the stealing of the Palestinian lands or criticizes suppression of Palestinians is easily being accused of ant-Semite?
 A: It’s become a badge of honor to be called anti-Semitic. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Stephen Hawking, Roger Waters have all been called anti-Semites. I’m proud to be in their company.

Quds Day: Reminder of Palestinian struggle

By Salman Parviz

May 21, 2020 – 14:5

Originating in Iran with the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day with the aim of forging unity among the Muslims and Arab nations so that they will unanimously express their backing for the Palestinian nation each year.

To mark the occasion amid the novel coronavirus pandemic the International Quds Day Conference was held online May 18 and 19.

This year’s Quds Day has special significance in the denunciation of the so-called “Deal of the Century” and proposed annexation of Jordan Valley and occupied West Bank, a display of shocking disregard for international law. The deal has given green light to Israeli sovereignty on the illegal settlements built since the 1967 war, which is now colonized by more than 600,000 Israeli Jews.

Protests in the region on May 15 marked the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba or “catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced into exile following creation of the Zionist state in 1948. It was another opportunity to denounce the policies of U.S. President D. Trump’s ultra-right policies and alliance with Israel.

While successive U.S. presidents and administrations have supported Israel, none has done as much in such a short time to embolden its right-wing settler-led colonialist government than Trump whose administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, stalling the road map for a two-state solution.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner worked closely with former U.S. special envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, to design the “Deal of the Century”. The plan was announced in January after several months of delay. What Palestinians saw as a “surrender note”, referred in one of the Tehran Times’ headlines as the “Highway to Hell” and what many consider “Heist of the Century”.

After three inconclusive elections in the Zionist state a three-year power-sharing agreement was announced in April which allows Netanyahu first bite at leading before handing power to Benny Gantz. At the heart of that agreement is the illegal annexation of large swathes of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea.

Israel is 21st century’s Middle East version of apartheid-era South Africa, the only remaining apartheid state where Palestinians remain, at best, second class citizens in Israel, under occupation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and West Bank.

Of historical significance is the plight of residents of Gaza Strip. In January 2006, Hamas won a sweeping majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections ending more than 40 years of domination by Fatah, the political faction built by the late Yasir Arafat.

Following the elections U.S., EU and Canada cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Canada having helped to facilitate and monitor the elections. Worth mentioning is that the Israel-Hezbollah conflict ensued during the summer of 2006.

Gaza Strip was put under Israeli and Egyptian blockade in 2007 when the Hamas resistance movement started controlling the enclave. As a result of Israel’s stifling measures the UN has warned in the past that the Gaza Strip would become “uninhabitable” by 2020.

More than two million people cramped up in a 362 square kilometer area, deprived of their fundamental human rights including freedom of movement. Under strict air, sea and ground siege imposed by Israel and Egypt for the last thirteen years, Gaza Strip is considered the largest open-air prison in the world.

This prison verdict is backed by international community, mainly the Western powers and the U.S. During the siege the coastal enclave has undergone three major Israeli offensives.

Today around 6.5 million Palestinians live abroad as refugees or members of the diaspora.

Quds day is a reminder of the plight of Palestinian people.
 

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حزب الله والمعادلة الكبرى…

نايف أحمد القانص

عاماً بعد عام يزداد محور المقاومة مناعة وقوة امتداداً من بيروت إلى دمشق وبغداد والقدس وصنعاء وصولاً إلى طهران، وقد راكم هذا المحور خبرات قتالية خلال السنوات الأخيرة، لا سيما من خلال مشاركته في مواجهة الحرب الكونية على سورية.

لعقود طويلة، ظلّت معادلة الصراع مع العدو الصهيوني غير متوازنة حتى أيار عام 2000 تاريخ تحرير جنوب لبنان من الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» الذي خرج جيشه يجرّ أذيال الخيبة والانكسار بعد أن قيل عنه يوماً إنه «لا يقهر».

منذ ذلك التاريخ، لم تهدأ محاولات استهداف حزب الله الذي تمكّن من تغيير موازين القوى وإجبار الصهاينة على الانسحاب كما تمكّن من تحرير عدد كبير من الأسرى اللبنانيين والعرب في مفاوضات غير مباشرة، ولم يوفّر التحالف الصهيوني الأميركي، بمساعدة بعض العرب، وسيلة إلا واستخدمها من أجل التضييق عليه وتأليب اللبنانيين ضدّه.

عام 2005، وتحديداً بعد اغتيال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني الأسبق رفيق الحريري بدأ التحضير لمؤامرة جديدة بتوجيه أصابع الاتهام إلى سورية وتحميلها مسؤولية عملية الاغتيال لتستمرّ الضغوط حتى خروج الجيش السوري من لبنان صيف 2005.

في العام 2006 شنّت «إسرائيل» عدواناً على لبنان لتأتي النتائج عكس ما تمنّاه العدو الصهيوني والقوى التي تقف خلفه فانتصرت المقاومة ومن جديد هزم الجيش «الذي لا يُقهر» في عدوان الثلاثة وثلاثين يوماً ولا تزال المؤامرات تستهدف حزب الله حتى يومنا هذا.

بعد ذلك، اندلعت أحداث ما سمّي «الربيع العربي» وهي استكمال للمؤامرة الصهيوأميركية على دول المنطقة العربية، خاصة سورية قلب المقاومة، وبما أنّ استهداف القلب مقدّمة لإنهاء الجسد، شُنَّت الحرب الكونية على سورية واستجلب إليها الإرهابيون والمرتزقة من كلّ أصقاع العالم، عندها استدرك حزب الله حجم المؤامرة فوقف إلى جانب سورية وتحقّق النصر وسقطت المؤامرة، لتبدأ اللعبة من جديد باستهداف لبنان وإيران في وقت واحد بحراك شعبي ظاهره مطالب معيشية وباطنه تدمير ممنهج.

سقطت المؤامرة في إيران ونجحت المقاومة في لبنان في امتصاص الغضب وضبط النفس ووضع مصلحة لبنان فوق كلّ مصلحة، وفي خضمّ الوضع الاقتصادي الصعب تمكنت القوى الوطنية، وعلى رأسها حزب الله من تشكيل حكومة أقرّت خطة اقتصادية إصلاحية وبدأت بملاحقة كلّ من تلاعبوا بأوجاع اللبنانيين ولقمة عيشهم.

إلا أنّ محاولات محاصرة حزب الله لم تنتهِ، لتكون ألمانيا هذه المرّة مركز اللعبة الجديدة بحظرها نشاطات «حزب الله» على أراضيها وتصنيفه كمنظمة إرهابية، وبطبيعة الحال فإنّ هذا الإجراء يتلاقى مع أهداف «إسرائيل» وأميركا، وقد أكد ذلك أمين عام حزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله في أحد خطاباته قائلاً إنّ «حزب الله ليس له أيّ تنظيمات في أيّ بلد أوروبي أو في أيّ من دول العالم»، مشيراً إلى أنّ «اللبنانيين في ألمانيا أو في أيّ بلد هم من المؤيدين لمقاومة الاحتلال وهؤلاء ليس لهم أيّ علاقة تنظيمية مع حزب الله». وهذا يجعلنا نتساءل: أليست مقاومة المحتلّ ومقارعته حقّاً مشروعاً لجميع الشعوب دون استثناء تكفله القوانين والشرائع الدولية؟ ألا يخدم الامتناع عن تحديد مفهوم للإرهاب الإدارة الأميركية راعية الإرهاب في العالم والعدو الصهيوني؟ إلا يشرعن المعنى الفضفاض للإرهاب التدخلات في شؤون الدول واحتلالها ونهب ثرواتها؟ وهل يتساوى المقاوم المدافع عن أرضه وبيته مع الإرهابي المحتلّ؟ وهل يتساوى الجلاد مع الضحية؟

لطالما كان حزب الله ولا يزال إلى جانب الشعب الفلسطيني والمقاومة في فلسطين بكلّ فصائلها وحركاتها من دون تمييز أو استثناء، وكلّ محاولات حصاره والتضييق عليه هي بسبب مواقفه التي تعيق تنفيذ «صفقة القرن» المزعومة التي تهدف إلى نسف قضية فلسطين وحقوق أبنائها وإبقائهم في الشتات إلى ما لا نهاية.

في أجواء ذكرى نكبة فلسطين وعلى بعد أيام من اليوم العالمي للقدس الذي أعلنه الإمام الخميني ليكون في آخر يوم جمعة من شهر رمضان المبارك، نؤكد أنّ قضية فلسطين ستبقى حية في وجدان الأمة، ما دامت هناك مقاومة في لبنان وسورية والعراق وفلسطين واليمن وإيران، وما دامت هناك أيدٍ مضرجة تقرع باب الحرية سننتصر بإذن الله.

*السفير اليمني في دمشق

في ذكرى اغتصاب فلسطين اقتراح للتفكير… ومبادرة سلام القدس عليكم وصباح القدس لكم

ناصر قنديل

بين ذكرى اغتصاب فلسطين، وعيد المقاومة والتحرير عشرة أيام، ليس من الصدفة أن يقطعهما هذا العام يوم القدس، الذي جاء بمبادرة من الإمام الخميني رحمه الله، قبل أربعين عاماً، ليحفظ القدس في الذاكرة، تاركاً مهمة التحرير مهمة منفصلة، تستقوي ببقاء القدس حيّة في الذاكرة الجمعيّة عندما تتوفر ظروف العمل.

عيد المقاومة تذكير بأن الأمل بتحرير فلسطين مؤسس على أسباب ومعطيات واقعية، وكما يقول سيد المقاومة دائماً، إن عظمة النصر في أيار، انه سحب من التداول السؤال حول إمكان التحرير، لأن دليل الإمكان هو الوقوع.

تأتي المناسبات وتحتشد هذه السنة وقد تكفّل إعلان كيان الاحتلال، عن هويته كدولة عنصرية يهودية، بإسقاط فرص الحديث عن أي تساكن مع الاحتلال تحت شعارات مموّهة كالدولة ذات القوميّتين، أو دولة المواطنة. كما تكفلت بالتوازي صفقة القرن، بإقفال كل طرق التسويات ومسارات التفاوض، التي لم تكن يوماً إلا لإلهاء شعوبنا وأمتنا، عن خيار المقاومة كخيار وحيد للتحرير، واسترددنا في طريق سقوط خيار التفاوض والبحث عن التسوية، وحدة نضال الشعب الفلسطيني، فما عاد هناك أربعة شعوب، شعب يقيم شبه دولة في غزة، وشعب يريد بناء نصف دولة في الضفة، وشعب ينتظر ربع عاصمة دولة في القدس، وشعب منسيّ تمت التضحية بحقوقه، كشرط للتسوية والتفاوض، هو أهلنا في المناطق المحتلة عام 48 الذين ترك لهم أن يناضلوا لتحسين شروط العيش في الكيان وتحت الاحتلال والطريق هو الانتخابات التي تشرعن الاحتلال والاغتصاب. فعاد الفلسطينيون اليوم شعباً موحداً وليس واحداً فقط، حيث الحق واحد والقضية واحدة والهوية واحدة والطريق واحد وهو المقاومة.

أن تبقى فلسطين بوصلتنا، هذا هو العهد، لكن أن نسعى نحوها، فذلك هو الطريق الذي يسلكه كل داعم للمقاومة ومساند لصمود سورية، وتعافي مصر، ورفض نظريات ومسارات الانعزال عن فلسطين، تحت عنوان مبتذل للوطنية في الكيانات العربية، مثل لبنان أولاً وسورية أولاً ومصر أولاً والأردن أولاً والعراق أولاً، فوطنية كل عربي لا تصان في بلده، ما بقيت فلسطين تحت الاحتلال، وبقيت يد كيان الاحتلال هي العليا في منطقتنا، ولا أمن وطني لدولنا الوطنية خارج مفهوم الأمن القومي كما صاغه الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد ويواصل تثبيته الرئيس بشار الأسد، وعنوانه مواجهة تغوّل المشروع الصهيوني وعدوانيّته ودعم نضال الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته.

السؤال الذي يواجهنا كنخب ثقافية وإعلامية واجتماعية، حول نوع الدعم الذي يمكن تقديمه لفلسطين، يستدعي التفكير بمبادرة واقعية ومؤثرة في آن واحد، وقد استوقفتني قبل سنتين الفكرة العبقرية للإمام الخميني بإعلان يوم القدس، الذي كان يربط استقباله لقادة الدول بمدى قبولهم بتسهيل إحياء يوم القدس، فيما كان تشدّده موضع تساؤل حول جدوى إعلانه بالأصل. وها هو يوم القدس اليوم مناسبة تخرج فيها عشرات الملايين عبر عواصم العالم ترفع الشعارات وتهتف للقدس وفلسطين، وستبقى وتتعاظم وتزداد، حتى يحين موعد العمل العظيم، وتدق ساعة التحرير، ولو جيلاً بعد جيل، لأن الأصل هو الذاكرة، والأجيال، ومعركة الوعي وكي الوعي.

اختبرت خلال هاتين السنتين مبادرة عنوانها، التدرب على استبدال صباحاتنا التقليدية، والبلهاء بلا معنى أحياناً، مثلها مساءاتنا وسلاماتنا، بأن نقول صباح الخير ومساء الخير، أو نلقي السلام التقليديّ للمسلمين السلام عليكم، أو لدى المسيحيين، نهاركم سعيد، بصباح ومساء وسلام، تحمل كل المعاني النبيلة وتختصرها، فيكون سلامنا رمزاً للخير وللسلام والحب والحق، ويرمز لما يجب أن يبقى حياً في الذاكرة، ولا يرتب أعباء على مَن يتبنّاه، فهو ليس منشوراً سياسياً، ولا بندقية، ولا سلاحاً، إنه مجرد سلام وتحية.

صباح القدس عليكم وصباح القدس لكم، ومسّيناكم بأنوار القدس، وسلام القدس لكم ومنكم وعليكم وبكم، كلّها مفردات تصلح، وهي بسيطة وسهلة، وإذا انتشرت بين الملايين وصارت تقليداً شائعاً، فهي خير إسهام في معركة الحق نحو فلسطين، وفي الاختبار اكتشفت أنها ليست بالسهولة التي تبدو عليها، فهي سهلة من زاوية انعدام الخطر والتبعات من اعتمادها، لكنها ليست سهلة بتحويلها إلى عادة، ولا هي سهلة بتحمل بعض السخرية عندما نلقيها على بعض المتفذلكين الذي سيقولون حتى الصباح والسلام تقومون بتسييسه، ولا هي سهلة مع الأهل والأقارب والأصدقاء والأبناء، حتى تصبح عادة، ولا قيمة لها ما لم تصبح عادة، فوجدت أن تحدّي الصعوبة يحول هذا التحدّي إلى فرصة، حيث الشرح والبيان عن سبب الاختيار ومعانيه، وحجم المضمون الذي يختزنه، هو نشر للوعي، وخلال السنتين شاركني المئات من الأصدقاء والمتابعين الاختبار، وقد وجدنا فيه معاً خياراً، يؤكد هويتنا وبوصلتنا، واستنهاضاً لمعاني السمو والرقي في التخاطب، وقد صار أسهل بكثير من البداية وصارت شجاعتنا باعتماده أساساً في سلامنا وتحايانا أعلى بكثير، ولا زلنا نتدرب على المزيد ونسعى لامتلاك الشجاعة لتجاوز الإحراج، فاكتشفنا أنها معركة حقيقية ويومية.

أقترح مناقشة الفكرة، وإن شاركتموني تقدير قيمتها وأهميتها، فإن تعميم اعتماد القدس ركيزة سلاماتنا وصباحاتنا ومساءاتنا وتحايانا، تجسيد لمعنى مسؤوليتنا عن صناعة الوعي، وتجذير الذاكرة في أجيال يجب أن ترث من إلقاء الصباح وتحية المساء معنىً لا يتقادم عليه الزمن، تختصره القدس.

نكتشف كم كان الزعيم أنطون سعاده عبقرياً عندما وضع بنفسه وهو في الثانية والثلاثين من عمره نشيد الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي “سورية لك السلام” وصاغ تحية الحزب “تحيا سورية” قبلها بأعوام، ولا تزال هذه التحيّة وهذا النشيد يحفظان الذاكرة القومية من جيل إلى جيل، وما الضير أن تحيا سورية ويكون سلام القدس عليكم وصباح القدس لكم؟

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Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterated full support for Palestinians against the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities, calling on Muslim nations and the entire world community to take immediate and practical steps towards putting an end to the decades-long ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Thursday, on the eve of Nakba Day [Catastrophe], when back in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and the ‘Israeli’ regime proclaimed existence.

“72 years ago, on this day, the Zionist immigrants massacred people of the land of Palestine — including men, women, the youth, the elderly and innocent children — and forced them out of their homes while using deviant and racist ideas and thoughts as a pretext. [That is how] the Palestinian land and the entire West Asia were afflicted with Zionist Nakba,” the statement read.

Palestinians mark Nakba Day on May 15, a day after the occupying regime declared existence.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry described Nakba Day as the starting point of ‘Israeli’ crimes against the true owners of Palestine, including building settlements, further displacing Palestinians, desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque, maintaining a crippling siege on Gaza, and annexing the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights.

The statement also censured new US-backed attempts by the ‘Israeli’ regime to annex more Palestinian land.

The ministry, relatively, expressed Iran’s “full solidarity” with the Palestinian cause, rejecting a “humiliating” peace plan drawn up by the administration of US President Donald Trump to end the ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict.

It also emphasized that international bodies, especially the United Nations, need to shoulder their responsibility and “set the stage for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and a referendum joined by the true inhabitants of this land — including Muslims, Christians and Jews — so they can exercise the right to decide their own fate and form an independent Palestinian government with holy Quds as [the state’s] capital.”

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