Gantz’s Electoral Campaign Is Focused on Gaza’s Vulnerability

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Ramona Wadi
August 14, 2019

Five years after the colonial massacre unleashed by Israel on Gaza, known as Operation Protective Edge, Israeli politicians are still eyeing the enclave for ultimate destruction. Former IDF Chief and leader of the Blue and White Party, Benny Gantz, is promoting the same violent tactics that formed part of his earlier electoral campaign: invade Gaza and assassinate Hamas leaders if the conditions Israel demands are not accepted.

“We will aim for the toppling of Hamas, take action to assassinate all Hamas leaders and go in with ground forces for however long we want,” Gantz remarked during a press conference in Sderot.

As the IDF Chief of Staff during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Gantz oversaw the scale of bombardment and massacres against Palestinians civilians. The deliberate violence, which also targeted Gaza’s infrastructure, left thousands of Palestinians displaced. Over 2,000 Palestinians were killed and 11,231 injured, according to UN reports.

Netanyahu has so far refrained from another large-scale aggression against Gaza. While his strategic, intermittent bombing has earned him widespread criticism in within Israel’s settler-society, Netanyahu has merely changed tactics but not ideology. Without any overt declarations of targeting Gaza, Netanyahu is normalising the Israeli agenda and deflect criticism from the international community. The latter was put to the test a few months ago last May, when Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza elicited rhetoric from the international community justifying Israel’s purported right to “defend itself” while blaming Hamas.

While attempting to portray himself as different from Netanyahu, Gantz is merely offering another trajectory of implementing Zionist colonial violence. Israeli media is already running reports of a possible coalition government between Likud and the Blue and White party, thus signalling that despite alleged differences, Netanyahu and Gantz are still in accordance over political issues, notably Gaza, settlement expansion and the prevention of any form of a Palestinian state.

Gantz’s party is proposing the elimination of the Hamas leadership and destruction of its “headquarters, warehouses, operatives,” after which it would “fix the humanitarian situation in Gaza.” This plan of action was outlined by Gabi Ashkenazi, under whose direction as IDF Chief of Staff Operation Cast Lead unfolded in 2008.

Such exploitative comments illustrate Gaza’s vulnerability. In recent years, Palestinians in Gaza have suffered increasing deprivation as a result of endeavours by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the international community to render humanitarian aid conditional. UN officials have even stated their preference for a return to PA rule in Gaza to facilitate their humanitarian operations. Again, depriving Gaza of basic necessities is also blamed upon Hamas.

Gantz’s solution is to eliminate a political leadership and resistance movement in a large scale, drawn out aggression that will affect Palestinians in Gaza who are still suffering the consequences of the previous Israeli bombardments. Humanitarian aid, according to Gantz, is conditional upon Hamas’s elimination. As Gaza is rendered fragile to Israeli threats and their implementation, the manipulation of humanitarian aid for Palestinians, already a plan in action, will be consolidated.

Furthermore, Gantz is proposing is the re-establishment of Israeli presence in the enclave – a notion which is prevalentamong other Israeli candidates, albeit with different interpretations.  The ground invasion, therefore, must not be thought of merely as a military action tied to a specific operation, but as a possible prelude envisaged by the former IDF chiefs to contain Gaza from within – along with the illegal blockade that continues to threaten the wellbeing of Palestinians.

Once again, the Israeli electorate is facing propaganda that pits Netanyahu’s refined and brutal strategy against the violent “deterrence” promoted by Gantz. Yet, talk of a possible coalition only highlights how close both agendas are in terms of destroying Gaza.  Netanyahu has prepared the groundwork in terms of influencing the international community to turn a blind eye to Israel’s assaults on Gaza. A prospective Israeli government with Netanyahu and Gantz at the helm will build upon what Israel has so far accomplished in generating oblivion when it comes to Palestinians in Gaza.

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New Heroic Op in WB: “Israeli” Soldier Stabbed to Death, ‘Israel’ Concerned about More Palestinian Attacks on Settlers Planned in Gaza

By Staff

In a new heroic operation and as part of the successive “Israeli” failures to end the Palestinian resistance, a Palestinian man was able to stab an “Israeli” army soldier to death in the West bank.

The “Israeli” army along with the Police and Shit Bet failed till now to capture the Palestinian men despite the massive manhunt.

Hebrew local media reported that there have been no arrests as of yet.

“This morning we have learned of a terrible stabbing attack,” “Israeli” PM Benjamin Netanyahu said.

‘Israel’ Concerned about More Palestinian Attacks on Settlers Planned in Gaza

As the Zionist authorities announced that a soldier was stabbed and killed in Gush Etzionin the occupied West Bank, the various media outlets in ‘Israel’ reflected the large scale case of fear and worry about the possible recurrence of the incident.

The Israeli analysts considered that the operation alarms more attacks planned in Gaza Strip, adding that all the security measures cannot prevent such incidents when they target individuals.

The Zionist media outlets recalled the abduction of  three settlers in the same area, warning against similar kidnapping incidents in the near future.

In a sign of the Israeli tension, the occupation troops got alerted at Jalemeh crossing in the West Bank when an armed Palestinian managed to cross into the territories occupied in 1948.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

The Goods, the Bad and the Ugly

August 08, 2019

by Jimmie Moglia (and Patrizia Cecconi) for The Saker Blog

The Goods, the Bad and the Ugly

In the instance, the goods are those boycotted by the BDS measure (Boycott-Divest-Sanctions), proposed in the American Congress .

The bad are the US congressmen and politicians who sold their soul to the Jews for thirty pieces of silver, and rejected even the symbolic and extremely platonic ‘non-binding’ initiative of boycotting goods tainted by crime, theft, barbarities of all sorts, and by the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Actually, there is a better word for ‘soul’ as in ‘politicians who sold their soul’, but I will forbear to mention it out of my inviolable respect for the ladies. Even Tulsie Gabbard, who has made a name for herself as an enemy of the status-quo, chose to oppose the measure, demonstrating the type of caution that cowards borrow from fear and attribute to policy.

Finally, the ugly are the criminals who killed and stole – and continue to kill, maim, imprison, humiliate and steal from the dispossessed Palestinians and rightful owners of Palestine.

If we were not living in a world upside down, the considerations that follow would be unnecessary.

The term ‘Jews’ excludes those (few or many, it is difficult to say), who reject the ‘chosen people’ philosophy of their sect – a philosophy known to many, but not many enough – for its meaning, history and implications.

For the voice of their dissenters is irrelevant, considering that the Jews, as a political-social entity, are a monolith, practicing a cultural-political hegemony that only blindness can deny. Hence, to edulcorate the truth by a quasi-synonym (Zionists) will not, in my view, do justice to the real dissenters.

In fact, many suspect, with cause, that some fake ‘dissenters’ are planted in the right places to ‘cover all bases’ – the metaphor of ‘gate-keepers’ being most appropriate. For hegemony to appear not overly conspicuous it must simulate some kind of antithesis or opposition. Why? So that hegemony may seem a choice and not an imposition.

Quoting from a Jewish writer about Jews in the Middle Ages.

“Without in any way minimizing the force of these factors (earlier referred to by the author as “a sense of frustration and exasperation aroused by Jews at large”), we believe nevertheless that they do not tell the whole story or even the essential part of the story. The most vivid impression to be gained from a reading of medieval allusions to the Jew is of hatred so vast and abysmal, so intense, that it leaves one gasping for comprehension. The unending piling up of violent epithets and accusations and curses, the consistent representation of the Jew as the epitome of everything evil and abominable, for whom in particular the unbounded scorn and contumely of the Christian world are reserved, must convince the most casual student that we are dealing here with a fanaticism altogether subjective and irrational.” (Joshua Trachtenberg, “The Devil and the Jews”)

Yes, it is irrational, but the position regarding the issue was clearly first stated by Pope Callistus II in 1120 AD, with his Bull “Sicut Judaeis Non.” And I quote from the Encyclopedia Judaica,

“It was a general Bull of Protection for the Jews, who had suffered at the hands of participants in the First Crusade (1095–96) and were being maltreated by their Christian neighbors. It forbade killing them, using force to convert them, and otherwise molesting them, their synagogues and cemeteries.”

And it is a position – we may all agree – that all rational people continue to maintain 900 years later. But it was expected from the Jews, at the time and in return, that they would not corrupt the Christian world.

The idea of corruption arose clearly when Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, translated the Talmud into Latin in the twelfth century. Here I quote from Wikipedia,

“Donin translated statements by Talmudic sages and pressed various charges against the Talmud by quoting a series of ‘allegedly blasphemous’ passages about Christianity. He also selected what he claimed were injunctions of Talmudic sages permitting Jews to kill non-Jews, to deceive Christians, and to break promises made to them without scruples.”

Note the inverted commas I added around ‘allegedly blasphemous,’ in view of what comes next.

The Catholic Church had shown little interest in the Talmud until Donin presented his translation. The Pope (now Gregory II) was surprised that the Jews relied on texts other than the Torah; texts that contained alleged blasphemies against Christianity. Equally surprised, we may add, are or would be many Americans today.

This lack of interest also affected, until then, the French monarchy that profited by the Jews’ money-making skills.

Given the astonishment generated by the translated Talmud, a debate was organized in Paris – it began on June 12, 1240. Donin represented the Christians. Four distinguished Rabbis represented the Jews, namely Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry.

The four rabbis’ objective was to defend the Talmud against Donin’s accusations that it contained obscenities and blasphemies against the Christian religion and God. In one Talmudic passage, for example, reference is made to someone named Jesus, dispatched to hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity. The Rabbis denied that this is the Jesus of the New Testament, stating as a kind of proof that “not every Louis born in France is king.”

Interesting argument, contradicted by another contemporary Jewish scholar– more on this later.

Among the obscene folklore, there is a story that Adam copulated with each of the animals before finding Eve. And Noah, according to the Talmudic script, was castrated by his son Ham. Furthermore, by now and thanks to the diffusion of knowledge via the web, most readers are aware of what the Talmud considers ‘acceptable’ sex, for example, lowering the age of consent to a 3-year old girl.

I don’t know why, but the recent resurrection of the already well-known criminal porno-ring of underage girls in Epstein’s ‘Lolita Island’, comes to mind.

Until the debate of 1240, Christians associated the Jewish religion with the Mosaic faith of the Old Testament. Hence the Church, suddenly and officially, realized that the Talmud was the Jews’ equivalent of the New Testament.

It is usually believed that the crucifixion of Christ is the historical trigger of the inherent conflict between Jews and everyone else. Some prominent Catholic thinkers have advanced the thesis that by rejecting Christ, the Jews have rejected Reason, (also referred to as Logos), as the underlying principle on which Greek-inspired Western civilization was built. Lack of Reason leads to continual upheaval, as in Trotsky’s “permanent revolution.”

Maybe, but the issue precedes the birth of Christ. For example, in 59 BC Lelius, a Pompey’s lieutenant, brought a suit against Flacco, a pro-consul in Asia Minor. The suit had to do with the transport (or lack thereof) of Jewish gold to Jerusalem. Flacco chose Cicero as his defender.

Here are Cicero’s words in his related writing, “Pro Flacco.”

“Now as to the accusation regarding the Jewish gold – which is why this trial is held not very far from the Aurelian square (the Jewish quarter). Yes, for this accusation you (Lelius), have chosen this place and this assembly of people, because you know how great is their number, how great their unanimity of purpose and how much is their power in the assemblies. I will speak softly so as to be heard only by the judges. For individuals are not wanting, ready to incite these people (the Jews) against me and against any other respectable citizen. I don’t want to give them reason to facilitate their attacks.”

Advance the clock by 2060 years, and Cicero’s words could be applied almost verbatim to the US Congress, to the neo-cons, and to the objectively unbelievable proposition that any criticism of Jews amounts to ‘hate-crime,’ as does any reference to their history, or confutation of their documentably fantastic inventions of inexistent or unproven facts.

History is silent as to which seed was sowed, and to where, how, why and what created certain destructive characteristics of Jewish ideology. For all seed-sowings a mysterious thing, whether the seeds fall into the earth or into souls.

Maybe it was a little thing. For what we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, they are the embryos. It is the point of departure that may decide the whole future of an existence of a race or ethnic group. One single black speck may be the beginning of a decomposition, of a storm, of a revolution. From one insignificant misunderstanding hatred and separation may finally issue. An enormous avalanche begins by the displacement of one snow-crystal, and the conflagration of a town by the fall of a match. Almost everything comes from almost nothing. For accident plays a vast part in human affairs. Calculation has its uses but chance mocks it, and the result of a planned calculation is in no wise proportional to its merit.

It is a mystery. For it is in the origin of things that the great secret of destiny lies hidden, although the breathless sequence of after-events has often many surprises for us all. So that at first sight history seems to us accident and confusion; looked at for the second time, it seems to us logical and necessary; looked at for the third time, it appears to us a mixture of necessity and liberty; on the fourth examination we scarcely know what to think of it. For if force is the source of right, and chance the origin of the force, we come back to the first explanation, only with a heavier heart than when we began.

And equally, with a heavy heart, we observe that any effort at understanding the inner mechanisms of time and mind, whereby the US has become the secular arm of Israel, taints the researchers with anti-Semitism.

If the patient reader who read so far will catch his breath, I will now introduce Ms. Patrizia Cecconi, an Italian writer, a botanist and a strenuous defender of the cause of Gaza’s citizens and of Palestine at large.

In what amounts to a guerrilla of tactics, Patrizia has managed so far to reach Gaza and provide what help and support her organization makes possible. Among other things, she has published a very interesting and very well-written book titled “Vagando di erba in erba” (Roaming from herb to herb). In which Patrizia details an extended visit to the West Bank, using as a conductive theme, the description of Palestine’s natural flora, and the characteristic and beneficial uses of various wild plants. While, simultaneously, telling the reader of the life of the Palestinians she met, spoke with or was the guest of. I hope that the book may be available in English in the near future.

I will now translate the text of one of her recent articles published in Italy. The reported event – the destruction of Palestinian houses and apartment buildings in East Jerusalem, accompanied by the laughter of Israeli troops – almost coincided in time with the rejection by the US Congress of the BDS non-binding proposal.

The witness-reported Israeli laughter is not the first example of the lawless confidence of successful robbers. Some readers may remember the picnic tables and picnic chairs positioned above the wall dividing Gaza from the rest of Palestine. From where Israeli onlookers and tourists could watch Israeli soldiers gun down unarmed Palestinians, including women and children, as if they were pins in a bowling alley at a recreation center.

A Specter roams around… but it is not Communism

A specter roams around the Middle East, and from there, crossing seas and mountains, reaches everywhere, demonstrating the absolute inanity of the Universal Humanitarian Law and nullifying every rule of international legality, starting from the Geneva Conventions.

A specter that, with actual incontrovertible facts under our eyes, shows the useless foolishness of the United Nations Organization itself – reduced to be but a glass-palace shown to visiting school-children. Explaining to them how the dream of a “magnificent and progressive future” envisaged in those proud halls, was broken after three short years, thanks to self-declared birth of the Israeli State. A structure that, since its foundation, would ignore, dismiss, discard, disregard and trample-on all the United Nations’ principles and resolutions.

It would be reductive and factious to classify this statement as anti–Semitic. While not realizing, instead, the weight and danger – for the world at large – of Zionism’s long tentacles, obliterating universal humanitarian principles and every rule of international law. Any honest thinker, even minimally aware of reality, cannot but bitterly agree on the consequences of continuing to shelter Israel from the legal sanctions deserved by its criminal actions. Sanctions equally necessary to make that entity comply with the accepted standards of humanity, and to limit the horrendous damage, human and political it has produced for over a century.

For about 80 years, what occurred and occurs in 2000-year old Palestine, is an unrestrained use of power, applied in the name of Zionism. An ideology developed at the end of the 19th century by Austrian-born Theodor Herzl and later implemented in the establishment of the Israeli state, not respecting the UN Resolution 181, but through self-proclamation by Ben Gurion. This occurred shortly before the expiration of the British mandate, therefore outside the terms of the UN Resolution. Showing and declaring to the world that Israel stands above and beyond any human law, international or super-national. And making the only basis for the state’s existence a biblical tale that would entail or allow a “return to the Promised Land.”

What said above is not intended as a historical summary, but the not-to-be-forgotten basis for understanding Israel’s latest violation of international law and of the rights of the Palestinian people. Namely the recent demolition of large apartment blocks in Jerusalem, as part of the continuous, illegal and brutal confiscations of Palestinian property.

The Jewish state is carrying out the project of the “greater Israel,” envisaged prior to the establishment of the state and consisting in the step-by-step annexation of all historic Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, on the ground that God had decreed and promised to Jewish men and women the right to occupy this land. [My note, as clearly stated in the 1982 Odet-Yinon Plan, Israel is supposed to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates. When, thanks to the efforts of President Jimmy Carter, Israel had to give up the illegally occupied Sinai, a day of mourning was declared in Israel. Israeli president Rabin paid with his life for that ‘mistake.’]

In Israel, religion and politics blend as required, ever since 1897, when Theodor Herzl, though an atheist, found the biblical narrative useful for the establishment of a racist state, so that the religious aura would become the trump card, having the force of all founding myths.

Of course, without the interest of the then great powers of having a ‘Western reference point’ at the gates of the Middle East, no Sykes-Picot agreement (1916), nor the Balfour declaration (1917) would have been possible. And without the Shoa of WW2 perhaps we would not witness the Shoa of the Palestinians.

We use the term shoah, meaning a “devastating storm,” leading to the elimination of a population. With Nazism, the population was defined by race and was identified with its religion. The intention was to physically remove every individual associated with the race. In Israel and with the ongoing massacres of Palestinians the intent is not based on race or religion, but rather on the goal of driving them out, and to fully occupy the ground on which they have lived for centuries, even before the emergence of Islam.

Some call it the “ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” tracing it back to the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948. Others call it the ‘shoa,’ a Hebrew term, to make better understand the similarity between the Nazi-led and the Israeli-led ‘shoas’.

Yet all this does not disturb states that do business with Israel, even though they call themselves democratic, nor international and supranational organizations, even though their institutional representatives replenish their speeches with concepts such as ‘human rights,’ ‘justice’ and ‘peace.’

Israel benefits from a halo of false legality that, along with the tragedy of the (1972-born) Holocaust narrative, protects it as an unassailable armor. This is the will of the Israeli government, well supported by almost the entire population of approximately 9 million inhabitants. With the exception of twenty or so young activists plus a few journalists such as Gideon Levy or Amira Hass, who denounced the Israeli decision to destroy a dozen Palestinians apartment buildings, thus proceeding further on the path of destruction that has already affected tens of thousands of Palestinian buildings and homes.

It was an escalation beyond any possible justification, for the demolition affected even apartment buildings located in zone A – an area that, even according the Oslo agreements of 1993 (actually a trap to advance Jewish interests), should be under total Palestinian jurisdiction.

By so doing Israel, through Netanyahu, delivered a further kick to the law and to the already frayed Palestinian National Authority. Demonstrating once more, in the style of the “Iron Chancellor”, that agreements are but pieces of paper.

Israeli bulldozers and some 700 star-of-David-attired soldiers were ready to carry out the crime immediately after the Israeli Supreme Court, in total mockery of international legality, issued the predicted sentence of demolition. For in an act of foolish confidence the Palestinians had appealed to the (mock) Supreme Court.

In sum, like the Italian Jews, expelled from schools and jobs after November 1938, the Palestinians – in a tragic mockery that amuses the Israelis and is justified by sundry lackeys – saw their homes ‘legally’ demolished. This heinous abuse is repeated and recurrent. Between 1967 and 1973 Israel destroyed 9,000 homes, leaving thousands of Palestinian homeless, as documented by Jewish writer Felicia Langer in her book, “With My Eyes.” Then she left Israel because her action rarely had an effect on the rigged Israeli courts, though she unwillingly helped, by her legal attempts, to give a coat of legality to plain illegality, as the most recent case shows, with the Supreme Court deciding that it was legal to destroy the homes in East Jerusalem.

Did the (Italian) mass media adequately cover this umpteenth violation practiced on the Palestinians? – Did it note that by ridiculing international institutions, Israel removes from all citizens of the world the right to be protected by a Universal Law made mockery of? No the mass media was silent but for one ‘niche’ newspaper, “Il Manifesto,” that dedicated its first page to the event.

Therefore ‘mass-opinion,’ driven by the usual suspects concludes that the Palestinians built illegally, and that Israel, through its Supreme Court, has righted an illegality. We may wonder as to how many (Italians) may have thought that if we had an (Italian) Netaniahu there would not be so many building abuses (a plague in Italy).

While Israel will continue to do business with Italy and with other democratic Countries, the UN will issue a lamentation – it has already done so – and the European Union will issue their concern. In the end, the Palestinians will grow more desperate and understandably hateful of an entity that, for more than 70 years, humiliates them, stops them, injures them, kills them, expels them, and is even called democratic.

We saw the soldiers of the occupying army taking selfies and videos as they blew up the buildings, laughing and complimenting themselves. The Palestinians saw them too and we can imagine their feelings.

No one calls those soldiers terrorists, but according to Israel, terrorist is he who will rebel, perhaps with a stone or a kitchen knife, to this destruction of lives and rights.

Felicia Langer, the Israeli lawyer who left Israel shortly before she died, wrote, “The day will come when Israel will be forced to change its policy.” Perhaps it was an affirmation of faith, perhaps the desire to see justice triumph. But what we can see is only the multiplication of Israeli power and the contamination – as if it were a bacterium without an antibody– of every aspect of cultural, scientific, agricultural and industrial life everywhere in the world. With all this creating a kind of awe and discomfort that muzzles and prevents criticism. The fear refers to the anathema that condemns to isolation, anti-Semitism!

I wrote this before. Only independent newspapers can run the risk of an anathema without renouncing their function of making the truth known.

Here the truth is clear. Israel knows only abuse, and out of systematic abuse, only two results are possible, either resignation and flight, or resistance by all possible means, however right or wrong they may appear to our eyes as Western observers.

Meanwhile, while we write, the ten-story buildings with apartments adorned with velvet cushions, with curtains often bought in installments, with the tea glasses, the small cups for the ever-hot coffee, the dishes for the maqluba and the mussaqan, the rooms for the children , their games, their books, their clothes… all is now a pile of rubble. This is what the chosen people’s government wanted … except for twenty generous but impotent dissenters.

As for the rabbis of 13th century Paris, according to whom the Talmudic Jesus boiling in eternity in excrement is not the Christian Jesus, here are the thoughts of a Jewish scholar, Israel Shahak, a survivor of a WW2 concentration camp, who settled in Israel after WW2.

“Judaism is imbued with a very deep hatred towards Christianity, combined with ignorance about it. This attitude was clearly related to the Christian persecution of Jews, but is largely independent of them.

The deeply negative attitude is based on two main elements. First, on hatred and malicious slanders against Jesus. … The notion of collective and inherited guilt is both wicked and absurd. However, what is at issue here is not the actual fact about the Jesus, but the inaccurate and even slanderous reports in the Talmud and post Talmudic literature – which is what Jews believed until the 19th century and many, especially in Israel, still believe.

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt for rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources that mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the Talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

… In addition to the above crimes they accuse him of witchcraft. The very name ‘Jesus’ was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still persists. The Gospels are equally detested, and they are not allowed to be quoted (let alone taught) even in modern Israeli Jewish schools.”

But even before Christ – we may add – some historians interpret the celebration of Hanukah, for example, as a reminder of the rejection by the Jews of any Greek influence (and therefore Greek thought and values) into their midst – that is the rejection of Reason. It is the same Greek influence that, along with Christianity, molded Western thought and civilization at large – now under attack.

Israel Shahak titled his book, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years.” I doubt whether any of the US politicians who voted down the non-binding BDS proposal knows that the book exists.

Though even if they did, gold trumps justice, especially among the rich. For many, a Congressional seat, with all its emoluments, benefits, guaranteed luxurious life and dream-like pension, is well worth the sale of their soul. As Romeo said to the struggling pharmacist who sold him the poison Romeo wanted,

“There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,

Doing more murders in this loathsome world,

Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.”

 

With Criticism Crushed in the West, Israel Can Enjoy Its Impunity

Global Research, July 29, 2019

Recent events have shone a spotlight not only on how Israel is intensifying its abuse of Palestinians under its rule, but the utterly depraved complicity of western governments in its actions.

The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House two-and-a-half years ago has emboldened Israel as never before, leaving it free to unleash new waves of brutality in the occupied territories.

Western states have not only turned a blind eye to these outrages, but are actively assisting in silencing anyone who dares to speak out.

It is rapidly creating a vicious spiral: the more Israel violates international law, the more the West represses criticism, the more Israel luxuriates in its impunity.

This shameless descent was starkly illustrated last week when hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, many of them masked, raided a neighbourhood of Sur Baher, on the edges of Jerusalem. Explosives and bulldozers destroyed dozens of homes, leaving many hundreds of Palestinians without a roof over their heads.

During the operation, extreme force was used against residents, as well as international volunteers there in the forlorn hope that their presence would deter violence. Videos showed the soldiers cheering and celebrating as they razed the neighbourhood.

House destructions have long been an ugly staple of Israel’s belligerent occupation, but there were grounds for extra alarm on this occasion.

Traditionally, demolitions occur on the two-thirds of the West Bank placed by the Oslo accords temporarily under Israeli control. That is bad enough: Israel should have handed over what is called “Area C” to the Palestinian Authority 20 years ago. Instead, it has hounded Palestinians off these areas to free them up for illegal Jewish settlement.

But the Sur Baher demolitions took place in “Area A”, land assigned by Oslo to the Palestinians’ government-in-waiting – as a prelude to Palestinian statehood. Israel is supposed to have zero planning or security jurisdiction there.

Palestinians rightly fear that Israel has established a dangerous precedent, further reversing the Oslo Accords, which can one day be used to justify driving many thousands more Palestinians off land under PA control.

Most western governments barely raised their voices. Even the United Nations offered a mealy-mouthed expression of “sadness” at what took place.

A few kilometres north, in Issawiya, another East Jerusalem suburb, Israeli soldiers have been terrorising 20,000 Palestinian residents for weeks. They have set up checkpoints, carried out dozens of random night-time arrests, imposed arbitrary fines and traffic tickets, and shot live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets into residential areas.

Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group, calls Issawiya’s treatment a “perpetual state of collective punishment” – that is, a war crime.

Over in Gaza, not only are the 2 million inhabitants being slowly starved by Israel’s 12-year blockade, but a weekly shooting spree against Palestinians who protest at the fence imprisoning them has become so routine it barely attracts attention any more.

On Friday, Israeli snipers killed one protester and seriously injured 56, including 22 children.

That followed new revelations that Israeli’s policy of shooting unarmed protesters in the upper leg to injure them – another war crime – continued long after it became clear a significant proportion of Palestinians were dying from their wounds.

Belatedly – after more than 200 deaths and the severe disabling of many thousands of Palestinians – snipers have been advised to “ease up” by shooting protesters in the ankle.

B’Tselem, another Israeli rights organisation, called the army’s open-fire regulation a “criminal policy”, one that “consciously chose not to regard those standing on the other side of the fence as humans”.

Rather than end such criminal practices, Israel prefers to conceal them. It has effectively sealed Palestinian areas off to avoid scrutiny.

Omar Shakir, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, is facing imminent deportation, yet more evidence of Israel’s growing crackdown on the human rights community.

A report by the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign last week warned that Israel is systematically denying foreign nationals permits to live and work in the occupied territories, including areas supposedly under PA control.

That affects both foreign-born Palestinians, often those marrying local Palestinians, and internationals. According to recent reports, Israel is actively forcing out academics teaching at the West Bank’s leading university, Bir Zeit, in a severe blow to Palestinian academic freedom.

Palestinian journalists highlighting Israeli crimes are in Israel’s sights too. Last week, Israel stripped one – Mustafa Al Haruf – of his Jerusalem residency, tearing him from his wife and young child. Because it is illegal to leave someone stateless, Israel is now bullying Jordan to accept him.

Another exclusion policy – denying entry to Israel’s fiercest critics, those who back the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – is facing its first challenge.

Two US congresswomen who support BDS – Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who has family in the West Bank – have announced plans to visit.

Israeli officials have indicated they will exempt them both, apparently fearful of drawing wider attention to Israel’s draconian entry restrictions, which also cover the occupied territories.

Israel is probably being overly cautious. The BDS movement, which alone argues for the imposition of penalties on Israel until it halts its abuse of Palestinians, is being bludgeoned by western governments.

In the US and Europe, strong criticism of Israel, even from Jews – let alone demands for meaningful action – is being conflated with antisemitism. Much of this furore seems intended to ease the path towards silencing Israel’s critics.

More than two dozen US states, as well as the Senate, have passed laws – drafted by pro-Israel lobby groups – to limit the rights of the American public to support boycotts of Israel.

Anti-BDS legislation has also been passed by the German and French parliaments.

And last week the US House of Representatives joined them, overwhelmingly passing a resolution condemning the BDS movement. Only 17 legislators demurred.

It was a slap in the face to Omar, who has been promoting a bill designed to uphold the First Amendment rights of boycott supporters.

It seems absurd that these curbs on free speech have emerged just as Israel makes clear it has no interest in peace, will never concede Palestinian statehood and is entrenching a permanent system of apartheid in the occupied territories.

But there should be no surprise. The clampdown is further evidence that western support for Israel is indeed based on shared values – those that treat the Palestinians as lesser beings, whose rights can be trampled at will.

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A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

ما دور روسيا في «الحرب الناعمة» بين أميركا وإيران في سورية؟

يوليو 29, 2019

د. عصام نعمان

الحرب بين أميركا وإيران متواصلة ومتصاعدة. طابعها الظاهر اقتصادي، لكنها في الواقع متعدّدة الساحات والجوانب. آخر مظاهرها اللافتة ما حدث ويحدث في الجولان السوري. ففي غضون شهر ونصف الشهر شنّت حليفتها «إسرائيل» هجومين على موقعٍ للجيش السوري في تل الحارة يشكّل نقطة استطلاع بصري والكتروني الى مسافة بعيدة داخل الأراضي التي تحتلها قوات العدو في سورية.

يدّعون في «إسرائيل» انّ إيران وحزب الله أقاما، بالتعاون مع سورية، بنية تحتية مكوّنة من مواقع استطلاع ومنشآت استخبارتية لجمع المعلومات التي تخدم تنفيذ عمليات ضدّها. كما تدّعي «إسرائيل» انّ حزب الله ووحدات المقاومة التي يديرها في المنطقة هو مَن يقوم بتنفيذ هذه العمليات. ذلك انّ رجال الحرس الثوري الإيراني ممنوعون، بموجب «الاتفاق» الذي تمّ التوصل إليه بوساطة روسية، من التواجد على بُعد أقلّ من 80 كيلومتراً إلى الشرق من الحدود مع الجولان المحتلّ راجع مقالة المحلل العسكري رون بن يشاي في «Ynet»، 2019/7/24 .

لا يجوز، بطبيعة الحال، الركون الى ما تتقوله وسائل الإعلام العبري، لكن من الأكيد انّ ما تكشفه في هذا المجال، سواء كان صحيحاً او مختلَقاً، يتمّ بموافقة الرقابة العسكرية ويمثّل تالياً وجهة نظر «إسرائيل».

في هذا السياق، كان رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية بنيامين نتنياهو قد كشف في مقابلة مع صحيفة «يسرائيل هَيوم» 2019/7/19 انه في الإجتماع الثلاثي الذي عُقد في نهاية الشهر الماضي بين مستشاري الأمن القومي لأميركا وروسيا و»إسرائيل» في القدس المحتلة جرى التوصل الى اتفاق لإخراج إيران من سورية.

قناةُ التلفزة الإسرائيلية 13 كانت قد نقلت عن مسؤول أميركي رفيع المستوى انّ تل ابيب وواشنطن طالبتا روسيا بضرورة ان يشمل ايّ اتفاق مستقبلي بشأن الوضع في سورية إنسحاباً عسكرياً إيرانياً ليس من سورية فقط بل من لبنان والعراق ايضاً «معاريف» 2019/7/18 . القناةُ نفسها أوضحت أنه لم تتوافر أنباء بشأن الردّ الروسي على المطالب الإسرائيلية والأميركية، لكنها أشارت في الوقت عينه إلى أنه في اثر اللقاء الأمني المذكور، دافع مستشار الأمن القومي الروسي بتروشيف عن إيران وأكد دعم روسيا لوجودها العسكري المستمرّ في سورية.

إلى ذلك، جاء في التحليل العسكري لرون يشاي المُشار اليه آنفاً «انّ قوات الشرطة العسكرية الروسية تقوم بمراقبة المنطقة وتنفيذ الاتفاق فيها». المنطقة المقصودة هي محيط موقع تل الحارة الذي استهدفته «إسرائيل» فجرَ يوم الأربعاء الماضي، والمقصود بالاتفاق ما تزعمه «إسرائيل» عن وجود تفاهم بين أميركا وروسيا و»إسرائيل» يقضي بمنع قوات الحرس الثوري الإيراني من التواجد على بُعد أقلّ من 80 كيلومتراً الى الشرق من الحدود مع الجولان المحتلّ.

كلّ هذه الواقعات والتقوّلات المار ذكرها، سواء كانت صحيحة او مختلَقة، تشير الى انّ ثمة تفاعلات وعمليات تجري في جنوب سورية، والمرجّح أنها تصبّ في مخطط الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل» الرامي الى تفادي الحرب بالنار مع إيران بالنظر الى تكلفتها الباهظة، والإستعاضة عنها بتأجيج الحرب الناعمة ومن ضمنها مشاغلة حلفاء إيران، وفي مقدّمهم سورية وحزب الله، بصنوف من المناوشات والضغوط والعمليات العسكرية المحدودة، كلُّ ذلك بقصد تشديد الحرب الإقتصادية على إيران وحلفائها. ذلك انّ إدارة ترامب تظنّ انّ الحرب الاقتصادية بدأت تعطي ثمارها بدليل انّ إنتاج إيران من النفط انخفض من 2,5 مليون برميل يومياً، كما كانت عليه الحال قبل العقوبات، الى أقل من 400 الف برميل يومياً الأمر الذي سيُكره طهران على الرضوخ لمطلب واشنطن بالعودة الى المفاوضات وذلك تفادياً لخروج الناس الفقراء الى الشوارع، بحسب تقديرات واشنطن.

«إسرائيل» المشغولة بانتخاباتها البرلمانية في شهر أيلول/ سبتمبر المقبل تميل قياداتها السياسية والعسكرية الى التسليم بجدوى الحرب الاقتصادية الأميركية، كما تفضّل عدم التصعيد في هذه الآونة تجنّباً لاستفزاز إيران وحلفائها ودفعهم الى ردّ الكيل كيلين. ذلك انّ فريقاً من القياديين السياسيين والعسكريين في الكيان الصهيوني يتخوّفون من ان تكون أطراف محور المقاومة قد تقوّت مؤخراً بما حدث من مجابهات ووقوعات في المنطقة صبّت في مصلحتها. فالناقلات التي جرى نسفها في موانئ الإمارات العربية المتحدة، والناقلة البريطانية التي حجزتها البحرية الإيرانية وجرّتها الى ميناء بندر عباس بعد أن رفعت عليها العلم الإيراني، وإعلان الإمارات عن عزمها سحب قواتها العاملة في جبهات الحرب اليمنية، وتصعيد الحوثيين وحلفائهم حرب الطائرات المسيّرة على القواعد العسكرية والمطارات السعودية في الرياض وأبها، ونجاح حزب الله وسورية في بناء معامل متخصّصة بتأمين دقة تصويب الصواريخ الدقيقة… كلّ هذه الأحداث والإنجازات قد تحمل إيران وحزب الله في حسبان بعض القياديين الإسرائيليين على تصعيد عمليات ميدانية، برية وبحرية، من شأنها إرباك حكومات أميركا وبريطانيا و»إسرائيل» في وقت يمرّ كلٌ منها في ظروف داخلية دقيقة.

غير انّ كلّ هذه التطورات والاحتمالات لا يمكن ان تحجب سؤالاً ملحاحاً يمور في أذهان قادة محور المقاومة السياسيين والميدانيين: ما دور روسيا في كلّ ما يجري، لا سيما في جنوب سورية وشمالها الشرقي وغربها؟ هل هي حليف مشارك، ام حليف مساند، ام مجرد شرطي مراقب لمدى امتثال الأطراف المتحاربة لبنود اتفاقات سياسية وميدانية قيل إنه جرى إقرارها بين دول كبرى وأخرى إقليمية؟

وزير سابق

Iranian Official: Netanyahu-Dreamt Middle-East Never Takes Shape

Iranian Official: Netanyahu-Dreamt Middle-East Never Takes Shape
TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dream to create a new Middle-East in collaboration with the US and certain regional states will never come true, said a senior official at the office of Iran’s Commander-in-Chief Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

“Netanhayu is suffering a type of illusion and the Middle-East that he dreams will never take shape,” Deputy Head of the Political-Religious Bureau of Iran’s Commander-in-Chief for Political Affairs Rasoul Sanayee Raad said in an interview with the Persian-language Ana news agency on Monday.

“The Middle-East desired by Netanyahu for the sake of which they started the 33-day war and launched a proxy war in Syria will never be materialized,” he said.

Sanayee Raad also warned of certain Arab states’ cooperation with the US to implement the Deal of the Century plot, and said such measures do not endure and the Palestinian people’s wrath will make them regret.

In relevant remarks in late May, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani, in a video address to a conference in the Gaza Strip under the title of “No to Deal of Century”, reassured that the Palestinian nation will defeat the US-devised plot, dubbed “the deal of the century,” through resistance.

“The deal of century will be defeated at the hands of the resisting people of Palestine,” Shamkhani added.

He said the plan aims at “complete elimination of Palestine,” speaking via video link at the event, which was held in Gaza City in the coastal enclave with senior leaders of Palestinian resistance groups in attendance.

Using the scheme, Washington is trying to abuse the “ignorance, laxity, and the treacherous nature” of some of its vassal states to “permanently do away with the issues of the Palestinian refugees’ return [to their homeland] and formation of an independent Palestinian state,” he added.

Also joining the conference were Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of Hamas resistance movement, Yahya Sinwar, the Palestinian resistance movement’s leader in Gaza, and Ziyad al-Nakhaleh, the leader of the Islamic Jihad resistance group.

The conference came in the run-up to International Quds Day.

The day was so named, Shamkhani said, as a token of support for anti-Israeli resistance until the ultimate liberation of the entirety of the occupied Palestinian territories.

Iran stands with all the nations that resist oppressors,” Iran’s security chief said, citing Imam Khomeini as saying, “As long as there is oppression in the world, there is struggle too. And as long as there is struggle, we stand up too.”

“In line with the viewpoint of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, we once again in the Islamic Republic insist on supporting the resistance, especially in the occupied Palestine, and will not cease this support despite all hardships, political pressures and economic sanctions, as the Islamic Republic considers supporting the resistance fighters a religious obligation,” Shamkhani added.

The Iranian official then highlighted how the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979 was followed by creation of resistance movements that defeated Israel in all their confrontations with the regime, liberating Gaza and southern Lebanon. He saluted the resistance fighters, who brought about the victories.

Further in the conference, the leader of Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip, Yehya al-Sinwar, said the US-devised “deal of the century” will not go ahead.

He also asserted that the Palestinian resistance front will not abandon the Palestinian cause, including liberation of all Israel-occupied territories, most notably the holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds.

“We will not sell al-Quds …We believe liberation of al-Quds will come soon,” he noted.

Israeli Deadly Force Against Palestinian Civilians

Global Research, July 29, 2019

For over half a century, Occupied Palestine has been and remains a deadly undeclared free fire war zone.

Time and again, Israeli forces gun down Palestinians engaged in peaceful demonstrations threatening no one.

Gazans under more than 12 years of politically motivated/suffocating blockade endured and continue enduring the worst of it.

Since establishment of the Jewish state on stolen Palestinian land in May 1948, the world community took no actions with teeth to hold its criminal class accountable for a regime of brutal state terror against defenseless Palestinians.

Since West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem occupation began in June 1967, Israel held the entire Palestinian population hostage to what the late Edward Said called its “refined viciousness.”

The Occupied Territories are virtual free-fire zones. Israel considers peacefully demonstrating Palestinians “terrorists,” killing, maiming, or otherwise harming them considered “self-defense” — defying international humanitarian laws.

In Gaza and throughout the Territories, Israel commits Nuremberg-level crimes repeatedly, yet remains immune from accountability — because of US support and world community indifference Palestinian suffering.

In its 2018 annual report, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) highlighted Israel’s “policy of willful killing (of peaceful) Great March of Return” demonstrators.

What’s been going on weekly since March 30, 2018 was and continues to be “one of the most violent and bloodiest violations (of international law) committed by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians” since occupation began over half a century earlier.

The weekly onslaught was only exceeded by three premeditated Israeli wars of aggression during the December 2008 to summer 2014 period — another virtually certain ahead, at a time and invented reason of Israel’s choosing, based on Big Lies and deception like all wars.

PCHR stressed that Gazan protests have been “fully peaceful and included various folklore activities and political speeches,” adding:

“(S)ometimes (small numbers of) young men approached the border fence to throw stones and molotov cocktails and used slingshots against the Israeli soldiers fortified in watchtowers in military vehicles and behind sand berms on the other side of the border fence.”

Some “young men also attempted to break through the border fence or pull parts of it in addition to firing incendiary balloons at the borders.”

“However, all those acts did not pose any imminent threat to the life of Israeli soldiers as none of them were harmed during the reporting period.”

Since legitimate weekly protests began 16 months ago, continuing weekly, Israeli forces waged virtual undeclared war on its participants — including against young children, paramedics aiding the wounded, and journalists reporting on events.

Israeli forces have used live fire, tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound grenades, even drones — against unarmed peaceful demonstrators threatening no one.

Since March 30, 2018, well over 300 Gazan men, women, and children were lethally shot, many thousands of others wounded, hundreds maimed for life. “(D)ozens had their upper or lower limbs amputated,” said PCHR, adding:

“Even before the outbreak of the Great March of Return and the following months, the statements and procedures issued by the Israeli political and military leaders provided the Israeli forces a climate of impunity to open fire at civilians and encourage them to commit crimes of willful killings.”

“Those statements described the Great Return March as ‘violent’ and “terrorist’ protests and that Hamas Movement is behind those protests.”

Then-Israeli war minister (2018) Avigdor Lieberman said

“Israeli soldiers did what was necessary (sic). I think all our soldiers deserve a medal (sic).”

Like its predecessors, the Netanyahu regime enforces collective punishment throughout the Occupied Territories, Palestinians brutalized, their fundamental rights denied.

Separately, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ Children in Armed Conflict report report to Security Council members highlighted, but way understated, the extent of Saudi war crimes against children in Yemen and Israeli ones in the Territories.

Saying it verified 1,689 child casualties in Yemen last year, including 576 deaths, another 1,113 seriously wounded flew in the face of an earlier UNICEF report.

It said at least one Yemeni child under age-five dies every 10 minutes from starvation alone.

Annualized that’s 52,560 deaths – plus countless numbers of older children and adults perishing from starvation, untreated diseases, and overall deprivation, along with deaths from Saudi/UAE terror-bombing.

Since Bush/Cheney launched war against the Yemeni people in October 2001, escalated by Obama, greatly exceeded by Trump, civilian deaths in the country likely number in the hundreds of thousands, carnage continuing daily, the death and injury toll mounting.

The secretary general’s report blamed Israel for killing 56 Palestinian children, wounding another 2,674 — but failed to include the Jewish state on its annual blacklist “of shame” for crimes against children and other civilians.

Like most of his predecessors, Guterres failed to observe UN Charter principles he’s sworn to uphold – notably preserving and protecting human rights, supporting world peace and stability, denouncing wars of aggression, and respecting fundamental international laws.

He one-sidedly supports Western and Israeli interests, doing nothing to help long-suffering Palestinians, notably beleaguered Gazans.

Time and again, his response to premeditated US-led Western and Israeli high crimes against peace called for all sides “to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties and in particular any measures that could place civilians in harm’s way” — consistently and repeatedly ignoring reality.

Civilians in all US-led war theaters and Occupied Palestinians are subjected to merciless mistreatment.

Since taking office in January 2017, Guterres failed to condemn Western and Israeli high crimes, failed to demand long-ignored accountability, failed to support victims of their naked aggression.

His earlier calls to reengage in the (no-peace) peace process ignored US/Israeli opposition to peace and stability in the Territories and active war theaters.

In April 2018, while Israeli soldiers were lethally shooting and wounding defenseless Gazans during their weekly peaceful protest, Guterres tweeted his “best wishes to all those celebrating Passover around the world. Chag Same’ach (joyous festival)!”

The US, its imperial partners, and Israel use deadly force against children and other defenseless civilians without condemnation of accountability from the world community.

Nor has the UN secretary general used his bully pulpit to condemn their repeated high crimes against peace — siding with Western/Israeli oppressors against the oppressed, instead of the other way around.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Occupy Palestine TV

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