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ناصر قنديل

يقبل الوضع اللبناني على التساكن لمدى زمني لا نعرفه، مع ما يمكن أن يشكل أكبر حدث سياسيّ وطنيّ في حياة الدولة اللبنانية، بما هي دولة، وليست مجموعة طوائف وأطراف سياسية. فنهاية مساعي وضع إطار تفاوضي برعاية أممية ووساطة أميركية مع كيان الاحتلال لترسيم الحدود يشكل نقطة فاصلة تبدأ معها مرحلة جديدة شديدة الحساسية والأهمية، سواء لجهة تولي الدولة بما هي دولة مسؤولة مباشرة ومرجعية تتصل بكل ما يحيط بالصراع مع كيان الاحتلال من مخاطر وتحديات، وتنفتح على كل ما يحيط بمفهوم العلاقات الدولية بترابط السياسة والاقتصاد فيها من بوابة أهم ثروات المنطقة والعالم التي يمثلها الغاز وترتسم حولها وعندها خطوط تماس وتفاهمات، ينتقل لبنان كدولة مع ولوج بابها من ساحة من ساحات الصراعات الكبرى، إلى مشروع لاعب إقليمي وازن.

الإدارة الرشيدة لهذا الملف بتشعباته، وقد أنيط بإجماع وطني بالمؤسسة الوطنية التي يمثلها الجيش اللبناني، تحت رعاية مثالية يوفرها وجود رئيس جمهورية هو العماد ميشال عون، الذي لا يجادل خصومه في وطنيّته واستقلاليته وشجاعته وعناده وصبره، وكلها ميزات يحتاجها صاحب الملف في هذه المفاوضات، ويثق بالمقابل أصدقاؤه بأنه أهل لحمل مسؤولية ملف بهذه الحساسية لاتصاله بالمقاومة والجيش والدولة، وموقع لبنان من صراعات المنطقة في زمن صفقة القرن وتضييع الحقوق والتطبيع الزاحف بلا أثمان، وزمن صراعات محاور شبكات الطاقة شرقاً وغرباً.

ينطلق لبنان إذن من نقطتين هامتين كمصادر قوة هما الجيش والرئيس، حيث يُضاف لموقعهما المؤهل والموثوق لإدارة الملف، كونهما بصورة طبيعية ودستورية يشكلان الجهات المرجعية التي لا جدال حول موقعها من إدارة هذا الملف، ومن هنا وصاعداً لا جدال في مرجعية الجيش ولا في إشراف الرئيس، فهل تكون المصلحة العليا للدولة بأن نلزم الصمت ونقول اتركوا للرئيس والجيش ما يريانه مناسباً كل في نطاق اختصاصه وحدود مسؤولياته وما تنص عليه صلاحياته، أم تعالوا لنقاش وطني يسهم فيه الجميع حول الأمثل والأفضل، وليترك اختيار الأفضل وطنياً بين أيدي الرئيس والجيش؟

أخطر ما قد يواجهنا هو تصرّف البعض على قاعدة اعتبار أن كل رأي وتداول بمقتضيات المصلحة الوطنية في هذا الملف هو نوع من التشكيك بأهلية القيادات العسكرية المتخصصة في الجيش أو الفريق الرئاسي اللذين يتوليان تحضير أوراق المهمة، بدلاً من السعي لتشجيع كل نقاش والتقاط كل نصيحة أو فكرة، على قاعدة أن لبنان كله يقف خلف رئيسه وجيشه، خصوصاً أن المشكلة لن تكون في الجوهر، لأن الرئيس والجيش كفيلان بهما، والمشكلة تقع في الرموز والتفاصيل والشكل لأن قيادة الكيان تضع ثقلها فيهما، وقد لا ينالان من الفريق الذي يتولى التحضير ما يكفي من الحذر بداعي الثقة المفرطة بالذات، أو بداعي الموروث من اللعبة الداخلية وتجاذباتها.

قبل أن تبدأ المفاوضات بدأ قادة الكيان بمحاولات التلاعب بالتفاصيل والشكل والرموز مثل مستوى الوفد وتشكيله من مدنيين، وضمّ دبلوماسيين إلى صفوفه، ما يستدعي حرفيّة وذكاء في إدارة هذه التفاصيل والرموز وكل ما يتصل بالشكل وتحديد تكتيكات لشروط تصعيدية وحدود التراجع عنها، ومراحل التراجع مثل رفض الجلوس في غرفة واحدة، ورفض وجود مدنيين والتمسك بالطابع العسكري للتفاوض، وتحديد المستوى الأعلى لرتبة رئيس الوفد من الطرفين، لما يسمى تفاوض ما قبل التفاوض بواسطة الراعي الأممي والوسيط الأميركي، حتى لو أدّى ذلك إلى تأجيل الجلسة الأولى التي بدأ الأميركي يضغط لتضمينها صورة تذكارية، ويجب أن يكون الوفد المفاوض ومرجعيّاته العليا محميين من أي انتقاد علني داخلياً، عندما تكون المفاوضات قد انطلقت، وأن يكون هامش المناورة المتاح للمفاوض برفع السقوف وتخفيضها ضمن أشدّ مقتضيات الحذر من أي تجاوز لخطوط حمراء يرسمونها، هامشاً واسعاً محمياً بثقة عالية، بحيث قد يرفض الوفد الجلوس في غرفة واحدة ثم يقبل بعد عناد ساعات بشروط مشدّدة تحقق غاية التفاوض غير المباشر، أو أن يشترط عدم تسمية الوفد الإسرائيلي إلا بضمير الغائب، هو يقول وهم يقولون، وأن لا تكتب المداخلات التفصيلية في المحاضر الأممية المعتمدة، ويكتب كل فريق محضره الخاص، ويتضمن المحضر الأممي حصراً، اختلف الفريقان واتفق الفريقان، وسواها من التفاصيل التي تشكل ما يُعرف برموز التفاوض ذات المعنى والأبعاد.

يجب أن لا يغب عن بالنا في كل لحظة أن لبنان يدخل التفاوض على ترسيم الحدود وفقاً لضوابط تهدف لمنع أي إيحاء بالتطبيع والاعتراف بالكيان وتضمّن مساعي حصول لبنان على حقوقه كاملة من دون التورط بما يمنح العدو مكاسب سياسية ومعنوية بالإيحاء بأن ما يجري مع لبنان هو جزء مما يجري في المنطقة من مناخات التطبيع، والقضية الرئيسية التي لا تحتمل تأجيلاً لصفتها المرجعية في التفاوض، ولكونها من موروثات ما قبل التفاوض، تنطلق من السؤال الذي يجب طرحه هو إلى ماذا سينتهي التفاوض في حال التوصل لتثبيت نقاط ترسيم الحدود، وما هو التوصيف القانوني لهذا التثبيت، وربما يكون ذلك موضوع الجلسات الأولى، والجواب يجب ان ينطلق من الجواب الداخلي على السؤال ، هل يكون بصيغة اتفاقية أو معاهدة يبرمها مجلس الوزراء وتذهب الى المجلس النيابي طالما انها تتضمن ما يتصل ببعد مالي تمثله ثروات النفط والغاز، حتى لو سميت معاهدة ترسيم حدود، أم أنها ستنتهي بتوقيع محاضر تعدها الأمم المتحدة ويوقعها وفدا التفاوض، اي من جهة لبنان الوفد العسكري اللبناني أسوة بما جرى في تفاهم نيسان ومن بعده ترسيم نقاط خط الانسحاب عام 2000 بمحاضر وخرائط موقعة من الجانبين وتصديق الأمم المتحدة مضافٌ إليها الأميركي كوسيط هذه المرة مثلما كان الأميركي والفرنسي في لجان تفاهم نيسان؟

الجواب البديهي المتوقع هو أن يتمسك لبنان بأن غرض هذا التفاوض هو التوصل إلى محاضر وخرائط موقعة تودع لدى الأمم المتحدة، وبأن يصرّ الجانب الإسرائيلي على أن تنتهي المفاوضات بمعاهدة يعتبرها تقاسماً لحقوق اقتصادية ليطلق عليها صفة المعاهدة، والمعاهدات تعني ضمناً وتشترط ضمناً اعترافاً متبادلاً بين الفريقين، وتجعل التفاوض مباشراً بينهما حتى لو لم يتخاطبا مباشرة بكلمة في جلسات التفاوض.

السؤال هو هل سيكون بمستطاع الوفد اللبناني الدفاع عن نظريّة المحاضر والخرائط لا المعاهدة، إذا بدأ تشكيل الوفد التفاوضيّ تحت عنوان ممارسة رئيس الجمهورية صلاحياته الدستورية التي تنص عليها المادة 52 من الدستور بصفته من يتولى المفاوضة على المعاهدات الدولية؟

القضية هنا لا تتصل بالاحتماء بعدم أحقية وفد كيان الاحتلال بالدخول على خط موادنا الدستورية، بل بالتمسك المطلوب في منطق الوفد اللبناني مع مرجعيّاته أمام الراعي الأممي والوسيط الأميركي، وتماسك هذا المنطق أولاً في عقول وروحية الضباط اللبنانيين المولجين بالتفاوض، خصوصاً أن مصدر السؤال لا ينبع من دعوة لعدم تولي رئيس الجمهورية الإشراف على التفاوض، ورعاية الوفد المفاوض، بل من السعي لتحصين موقع الرئاسة ومنع أي توريط لها بما يقيد مهمتها لاحقاً ويضعها ويضع لبنان في مكان لا ينفع معه الندم.

تمنح المادة 49 من الدستور رئيس الجمهورية صلاحيات أهم وأوسع وتتناسب تماماً مع المطلوب لرعايته التفاوض والإشراف عليه وعلى الوفد المفاوض، وتجنيب الرئاسة ولبنان مطبات الحديث عن معاهدة وتتيح ضبط التفاوض بصفته تفاوضاً تقنياً عسكرياً سينتهي بمحاضر وخرائط، فالمادة 49 تنص على أن رئيس الجمهورية يسهر على وحدة لبنان وسلامة اراضيه وهو القائد الأعلى للقوات المسلحة، والرئيس يشرف على المفاوضات من موقع سهره على وحدة وسلامة أراضي لبنان، ويرعاها عبر وفد عسكري بصفته القائد الأعلى للقوات المسلحة، وهذا هو الأكثر انسجاماً أصلاً مع أية مهمة لترسيم حدود، فلو تخطينا كونها تجري مع عدو لا تفاوض مباشر معه ولا اعتراف لبناني به، سيقوم الرئيس بالإشراف على مهام الترسيم مع دولة شقيقة مثل سورية بصفته المعني بسلامة أراضي لبنان وكقائد أعلى للقوات المسلحة، وليس بصفته من يتولى التفاوض على المعاهدات الدولية، علماً أن لا محظور مع سورية في الذهاب لمعاهدة.

اذا كان مفهوماً في مرحلة ما قبل اتفاق الإطار الترويج للمادة 52 لمطالبة رئيس مجلس النواب بترك المساعي السياسية مع الأميركيين لرئيس الجمهورية بصفته مَن يتولى التفاوض، فان مواصلة وضع المادة 52 في الواجهة كعنوان لمرجعية دور الرئيس سيفرض منطقاً ولغة وسياقاً بما يعقد الموقف، فالرئيس سيعلن حينئذ عن الوفد بموجب قرار ويصير عملياً هو المفاوض، بينما بالاستناد للمادة 49 سيصدر توجيهاته لقائد الجيش لتشكيل الوفد العسكري، وتحت عنوان المادة 52 سيكون توجيه الوفد المفاوض التوصل لمعاهدة دولية حكماً وفقاً لنص المادة، والسؤال مع من المعاهدة، أليست بين حكومتي «دولتي» لبنان و»إسرائيل»؟، بينما في اتفاقية الهدنة التي تمثل علمياً محضر تفاهم وليست معاهدة بين طرفين، بقي الأمر بنص المحضر ولم يكتب فيه أن هناك فريقاً أول هو حكومة لبنان وفريقاً ثانياً هو حكومة دولة «إسرائيل»، وقد اتفقتا على ما يلي، بل كتب النص من قبل ممثل الأمم المتحدة، ووقع المحضر الفريقان، وورد في النص الأمميّ عقد اجتماع بتاريخ كذا وحضر فلان وفلان ممثلين للجهة الفلانيّة وفلان وفلان للجهة العلانيّة، وبحصيلة المحادثات بعد التحقق من تفويضهما القانوني سيلتزم الفريقان، ويؤكد الفريقان، وفي المقدمة ورد ان الاتفاقية إنفاذ لقرار مجلس الأمن، ولم تبرم اتفاقية الهدنة كمعاهدة لا في مجلس النواب ولا في مجلس الوزراء، وبقيت محضراً وخرائط موقعة وقعتهما وفود عسكرية لم تخض مفاوضات مباشرة، والأقرب زمنياً والأقرب مثالاً في الموضوع أكثر هو كيف تم تثبيت النقاط المتفق عليها في الحدود البرية عام 2000 وكيف سجلت التحفظات على النقاط الحدوديّة الأخرى، أليس بمحاضر وخرائط؟

ببساطة إن إعلان رئيس الجمهورية أنه من موقع مسؤوليته عن سلامة الأراضي اللبنانية وكقائد أعلى للقوات المسلحة وفقاً لنص المادة 49 التقى وفد لبنان المفاوض على ترسيم الحدود بحضور قائد الجيش وأعطاه التوجيهات، سيكون له معنى سياسي وقانوني مختلف داخل لبنان وخارجه وعند العدو عن إعلان الرئاسة بأن الرئيس أصدر بموجب صلاحياته في المادة 52 من الدستور التي يتولى بموجبها المفاوضة على المعاهدات الدولية قراراً بتشكيل الوفد المفاوض حول ترسيم الحدود.

اللهم اشهد أني قد بلغت.

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Netanyahu Has No Option but to Wait for Trump’s Win ضيق الخيارات يحاصر نتنياهو: لا مخرج إلّا بفوز ترامب!

Netanyahu Has No Option but to Wait for Trump’s Win

By Ali Haidar – Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by Staff

Netanyahu finally noticed the threat caused by his failed performance in fighting the coronavirus pandemic; and it doesn’t seem that he has various options. As many obstacles obstructed his plan to form a purely right-wing government, polls showed that a lot of risks would threaten his position in case he proceeded to conduct early elections. Accordingly, Netanyahu is now trying to restore the confidence of his constituents, while waiting for the results of the American elections, in the hope that his ally, Donald Trump, wins these elections, which would positively impact Netanyahu’s position.

It is worth giving attention to the economic and media discourse of the Prime Minister of the enemy entity, Benjamin Netanyahu, since besides reflecting priorities of the entity in different areas, it shows the political and personal interests that occupy his thoughts as a Prime Minister who is accused of corruption and bribery. Based on this, the “Israeli” Haaretz newspaper observed the transformation in Netanyahu’s discourses, as he stopped mentioning normalization deals with the UAE and Bahrain after being too proud of this “exploit”. He also stopped mentioning his trial as well as criticizing law enforcement agencies. The newspaper considered that the reason behind this transformation was the sharp decrease in Netanyahu’s popularity due to the worsening of both health and economic crises, which obliged him to modify his media discourse in a way that it becomes suitable for the interests of the “Israeli” audience.

The results of the polls are perhaps one of the most significant indicators of this decline as they showed that “Likud” -the “Israeli” party- would decrease to 26 seats, while “Yamina” -the “Israeli” alliance- would increase to 23. A few months earlier, polls results had shown that “Likud” would pick up more than 30 seats, while “Yamina” would win about 10.

The importance of this unsurprising development is that it had a considerable impact on Netanyahu’s choices concerning the future of the government, which is -based on the current realities- not expected to stay till the end of its period, in order to avoid the scenario in which Netanyahu would step down as a Premier in one year, in conformity with the convention that imposes the alternation with his “partner but adversary” Benny Gantz, which he sees as the beginning of the end of its political life. Accordingly, Netanyahu has two choices: either reproducing a right-wing government that confirms him as unrivalled Premier and provides him with the parliamentary guarantees for the legislation that would protect him and allow him to continue in his position, or proceeding to conduct early elections whose date depends on various internal changes, and perhaps even external ones.

The best scenario for Netanyahu is the one where a right-wing government would be formed to free him from the limits that the partnership with the “Blue and White” party had imposed.

Theoretically, the right-wing camp, the closest to Netanyahu’s directions, has a majority that would allow Netanyahu to form a right-wing government [54 Knesset members]. In order to materialize his expected scenario, Netanyahu needs two of the three following blocs to join his camp: “Derekh Eretz” party which includes two Knesset members who broke away from the party of Moshe Ya’alon, “Yamina” alliance headed by Naftali Bennett, and “Yisrael Beiteinu” party headed by Avigdor Lieberman.

Concerning the latter, Lieberman proved -in practice- that he had no intention to join a government headed by Netanyahu. If this scenario had a considerable probability, the Prime Minister wouldn’t have needed to conduct three electoral campaigns during 2019 and 2020. Furthermore, till now, there are no signs that Lieberman would change its stance. As for the “Derekh Eretz” party, it has previously promised Gantz that it would not join a government without him, and that would be headed by Netanyahu. The two Knesset members who constitute this party proved their practical commitment concerning this advanced stance. However, “Yamina” that supports Netanyahu is supposed to be the most concerned with the continuity of the right-wing government. Consequently, it wouldn’t mind joining any attempt to form a right-wing government. Nevertheless, the success of this attempt depends on the alliance between “Yamina” and one of the two parties: “Derekh Eretz” and “Yisrael Beiteinu”, since without either of them –in the light of the current parliamentary map- the parliamentary majority wouldn’t be available.

Here, attention is drawn to that an additional factor that emerged might highly affect the thoughts of the head of “Yamina”, which is the polls that gave this party 23 seats, while it had 5 only, bearing in mind that this expected progress would be at the expense of “Likud”, which seemed weakening given the polls results, although it is still in the lead of the right-wing and other parties.

All these factors constituted a strong indicator that Netanyahu was not likely to succeed in forming a right-wing government in the light of the current realities. However, this remains possible in case new developments emerged in the stances of some parties, leading to a change in their estimations under the influence of the health and economic crises.

Accordingly, the most likely scenario is conducting early elections. Yet, Netanyahu was highly criticized for its management of the coronavirus pandemic crisis that resulted in unprecedented economic repercussions, as well as about a million unemployed. Apparently, the Prime Minister refocused on the health crisis because of these outcomes, at the time when his advisors were trying to convince him to remove the Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, who rudely breached the coronavirus instructions, and was accused of lying while being interrogated by the investigators of the Ministry of Health. Sources close to Netanyahu said that the “Likud” party was badly affected because of his performance regarding the outbreak, and that winning any elections depends on restoring the confidence of its constituents, as some of them joined the “Yamina” party. Moreover, “Blue and White” leaders saw that Netanyahu wouldn’t dare to conduct elections in the current situation. In order to strengthen their popular position, they are trying to differentiate themselves from him by criticizing his performance and showing their conflicts with him regarding different issues.

Accordingly, it is obvious that all the available scenarios for Netanyahu are full of risks and restrictions that increase with the aggravation of the health and economic situations. Although the majority of parties are not concerned with early elections, all the signs outweigh the mentioned scenario. However, the question remains as to when would it take place, and under which slogans and titles. In this context, the “Israeli” Haaretz newspaper considered that if the American President Donald Trump won a second term, this would encourage Netanyahu to conduct early elections and help him divert the attention of the “Israeli” public opinion to topics that aren’t exhausting for him. However, if the Democratic nominee Joe Biden won, and the democratic majority controlled the Senate, this would cause a political shake whose political consequences in “Israel” are difficult to expect. Thus, it is clearly shown how the internal factors and Netanyahu’s position in the polls highly affected the political discourse of the enemy Prime Minister, whose biggest concern is how to survive his trial and stay in his position. That is why he modified his political discourse that had been focusing on the “exploit” concerning the “Peace Deals” with the Emirati and Bahraini regimes, while all what he is worried about is Trump’s destiny in the expected elections.

ضيق الخيارات يحاصر نتنياهو: لا مخرج إلّا بفوز ترامب!

علي حيدر

الجمعة 9 تشرين الأول 2020

ضيق الخيارات يحاصر نتنياهو: لا مخرج  إلّا بفوز ترامب!
تتكاثر الانتقادات المُوجّهة إلى نتنياهو على خلفية أدائه حيال أزمة «كورونا» (أ ف ب )

لا تبدو الخيارات كثيرة أمام بنيامين نتنياهو، الذي يبدو أنه التفت أخيراً إلى حجم العاصفة التي تواجهه جرّاء أدائه الفاشل في مواجهة أزمة «كورونا». وفيما يعترض العديد من العقبات خطّته لتشكيل حكومة يمينية صافية، تُظهر استطلاعات الرأي مخاطر كبيرة محدقة بمكانته في حال التوجّه إلى انتخابات مبكرة. من هنا، يسعى نتنياهو، حالياً، إلى استعادة ثقة ناخبيه، في وقت يترقّب فيه نتائج الانتخابات الأميركية، التي يأمل فوز حليفه، دونالد ترامب، بها، بما ينعكس إيجاباً على موقفه هوليست أمراً ثانوياً متابعة الخطاب السياسي والإعلامي لرئيس حكومة العدو، بنيامين نتنياهو؛ فهو إلى جانب كونه يعكس أولويّات الكيان في أكثر من ساحة، فإنه يؤشر أيضاً إلى الاهتمامات السياسية والشخصية التي تحتلّ وعيه كرئيس حكومة متّهم بالفساد والرشوة. انطلاقاً من ذلك، رصدت صحيفة “هآرتس” التحوّل الذي استجدّ على خطاب نتنياهو، بعدما امتنع خلال الأسبوعين الأخيرين عن التطرّق إلى اتفاقيتَي التطبيع مع الإمارات والبحرين، وهو الذي كان قد ملأ الشاشات متباهياً بهذا “الإنجاز”، وأيضاً عن التطرّق إلى محاكمته وانتقاد أجهزة تنفيذ القانون. وأرجعت الصحيفة التحوّل المذكور إلى التراجع الكبير في شعبية نتنياهو بفعل تفاقم الأزمتين الصحية والاقتصادية، واضطراره إلى تعديل خطابه الإعلامي، وتحويله إلى ما يهمّ الجمهور الإسرائيلي.

ولعلّ من أبرز المؤشّرات على ذلك التراجع، نتائج استطلاعات الرأي التي أظهرت تراجع حزب “الليكود” إلى 26 مقعداً، في مقابل صعود تحالف “يمينا” إلى 23 مقعداً، بعدما كانت النتائج قبل أشهر قليلة تشير إلى فوز “الليكود” بأكثر من ثلاثين مقعداً، بينما راوحت كتلة “يمينا” حول العشرة مقاعد. أهمّية هذا المستجد غير المفاجئ، أن له أثراً كبيراً على خيارات نتنياهو في ما يتعلّق بمستقبل الحكومة، التي يُرجّح، في ضوء المعطيات القائمة، أنه لن يسمح باستمرارها إلى آخر عهدها، تلافياً لسيناريو تنحّيه عن رئاستها بعد نحو سنة التزاماً باتفاق التناوب مع الشريك – الخصم، بني غانتس، وهو ما يرى فيه بداية نهاية حياته السياسية. وعليه، يبقى أمام نتنياهو خياران: إمّا إعادة إنتاج الحكومة وفق تركيبة يمينية تُكرّسه زعيماً أوحد لها، وتوفّر له الضمانة البرلمانية لسنّ القوانين التي تُحصّنه، وتتيح له الاستمرار في المنصب؛ أو الذهاب نحو انتخابات مبكرة، يرتبط موعدها بأكثر من متغيّر داخلي، وربما خارجي أيضاً.
السيناريو الأفضل لدى نتنياهو يتمثّل في تشكيل حكومة يمينية تُحرِّره من القيود التي فرضتها عليه شراكته مع حزب “أزرق أبيض”. من الناحية النظرية، لدى معسكر اليمين، الأقرب إلى توجّهات نتنياهو، أغلبية تسمح له بتشكيل حكومة يمينية (54 عضو كنيست). على أنه من أجل تحقّق السيناريو المؤمّل لديه، يحتاج نتنياهو إلى انضمام كتلتين من الكتل الثلاث التالية إلى معسكره: كتلة “دِرِخ هآرتس /طريق البلاد” وتضمّ عضوي “كنيست” انشقا عن حزب موشيه يعلون، وكتلة “يمينا” برئاسة نفتالي بينت، وكتلة “إسرائيل بيتنا” برئاسة أفيغدور ليبرمان. في ما يتعلّق بالأخير، أثبت ليبرمان، بالممارسة، أنه ليس في وارد الانضمام إلى حكومة برئاسة نتنياهو، ولو كان هذا السيناريو يملك أرجحية معتبرة، لما احتاج رئيس الحكومة إلى خوض ثلاث حملات انتخابية خلال عامَي 2019 و2020، فضلاً عن أنه لا مؤشّرات حتى الآن على تحوّل في موقف ليبرمان. بالنسبة إلى كتلة “درخ هآرتس/ طريق البلاد”، فقد سبق أن التزمت مع غانتس بأن لا تشارك في حكومة من دونه ويرأسها نتنياهو، وقد أثبت عضوا “الكنيست” اللذان يشكّلان الكتلة التزامهما العملي بالموقف المتقدّم. أمّا بالنسبة إلى كتلة “يمينا”، التي تتموضع على يمين نتنياهو، فيفترض أن تكون الأكثر اهتماماً باستمرار حكومة اليمين، وبالتالي فهي لن تمانع الانضمام إلى أيّ محاولة لإنتاج حكومة يمينية. لكن نجاح تلك المحاولة يظلّ مشروطاً بانضمام إحدى الكتلتين: “درخ هآرتس” أو “إسرائيل بيتنا”، إليها؛ لأنه بدون أيّ منهما – في ظلّ الخريطة البرلمانية الحالية – لن تتوفر الأغلبية البرلمانية. على أن ما يجدر التنبّه إليه، هنا، هو أن عاملاً إضافياً استجدّ قد يصبح أكثر حضوراً في حسابات رئيس “يمينا”، وهو استطلاعات الرأي التي تمنحه 23 مقعداً، في حين أنه يملك الآن 5 مقاعد، علماً بأن تقدّمه المتوقع يأتي على حساب “الليكود”، الذي تظهر الاستطلاعات نفسها تراجعه، على رغم محافظته على تقدّمه على بقية الأحزاب اليمينية وغيرها. هذه الاستطلاعات قد تغري بينت بالتمسّك بخيار الانتخابات المبكرة، على أمل التحوّل إلى حزب رئيس ومنافس لـ”الليكود” في أيّ حكومة لاحقة.

كلّ السيناريوات أمام نتنياهو محفوفة بمخاطر وقيود تتغذّى بتفاقم الوضعين الصحي والاقتصادي


تشكّل تلك العوامل، مجتمعة، مؤشّراً قوياً إلى استبعاد نجاح نتنياهو، في ظلّ المعطيات الحالية، في تشكيل حكومة يمينية. لكن يبقى هذا الاحتمال وارداً في حال بروز مستجدّات في مواقف بعض الكتل، تؤدّي إلى تغيير تقديراتها على وقع الأزمتين الصحية والاقتصادية. وعليه، يصبح السيناريو الأكثر ترجيحاً هو إجراء الانتخابات المبكرة. لكن نتنياهو يتعرّض لانتقادات شديدة بسبب إدارته لأزمة “كورونا”، التي ولّدت تداعيات اقتصادية غير مسبوقة، وأدّت إلى نحو مليون عاطل عن العمل. ويبدو أن رئيس الحكومة أعاد، نتيجة هذه المعطيات، التركيز على الأزمة الصحية، في وقت يحاول فيه مستشاروه إقناعه بإقالة وزيرة حماية البيئة، غيلا غمليئيل، التي خرقت تعليمات “كورونا” بشكل فظّ، واتُّهمت بالكذب لدى استجوابها من قِبَل محقّقي وزارة الصحة. ويؤكّد مقرّبو نتنياهو، أيضاً، أن حزب “الليكود” تَضرّر كثيراً نتيجة أدائه حيال التفشّي الوبائي، وأن فوزه بأيّ انتخابات مقبلة مرهون باستعادة ثقة ناخبيه، الذين انزلق جزء منهم نحو كتلة “يمينا”. على أن قادة “أزرق أبيض” يرون أن نتنياهو لن يجرؤ على التوجّه إلى انتخابات في الوضع الحالي، وهم يحاولون، من أجل تعزيز مكانتهم الشعبية، التمايز عنه، عبر توجيه الانتقادات لأدائه، وتظهير خلافاتهم معه حول قضايا عديدة.
الواضح، بالنتيجة، أن كل السيناريوات أمام نتنياهو محفوفة بمخاطر وقيود، تتغذّى بتفاقم الوضعين الصحي والاقتصادي. ومع أن أغلب الأحزاب غير معنيّة بانتخابات مبكرة، إلا أن جميع المؤشرات ترجّح السيناريو المذكور. ولكن يبقى السؤال: متى؟ وتحت أيّ شعارات وعناوين؟ في هذا السياق، اعتبرت صحيفة “هآرتس” أن فوز الرئيس الأميركي، دونالد ترامب، بولاية ثانية، من شأنه أن يُحفِّز نتنياهو على التوجّه إلى انتخابات مبكرة، ومساعدته على صرف أنظار الرأي العام في إسرائيل إلى مواضيع مريحة له. لكن فوز المرشح الديموقراطي، جو بايدن، وسيطرة أغلبية ديموقراطية على مجلس الشيوخ، يمكن أن يؤدّيا إلى هزّة سياسية، يصعب توقّع تبعاتها السياسية في إسرائيل. هكذا، يتجلّى بوضوح كيف أن العوامل الداخلية، ومكانة نتنياهو في استطلاعات الرأي، تؤثر بنسبة كبيرة جداً على الخطاب السياسي لرئيس وزراء العدو، الذي يبدو أن أكثر ما يهمّه كيفية النجاة من المحاكمة ومن إطاحته من منصبه، ونتيجة ذلك عَدّل في خطابه السياسي الذي كان يركّز على إنجاز “اتفاقيات”السلام” مع النظامين البحريني والإماراتي، في وقت يُبقي فيه عينه وقلبه متعلّقين بمصير ترامب في الانتخابات المقبلة.

Palestine – Anniversary of the Death of a Child – 30 September 2000

Palestine – Anniversary of the Death of a Child – 30 September 2000

October 04, 2020

By Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

Palestine under siege for 72 years. A UK-prompted UN decision in 1947 allowed David Ben-Gurion, then the head of the Jewish Agency, to proclaim on May 14, 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel.

Mandatory Palestine in 1946

The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, a UN proposal, recommended a partition of “Mandatory Palestine” at the end of the British Mandate. “Mandatory Palestine” (picture to the left depicting Mandatory Palestine in 1946 – source: Wikipedia) was a geopolitical entity established between 1920–1948 in the region of Palestine, under the terms of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan as Resolution 181 (II).

This fastidious date and controversial decision in 1948 brought about misery for generations of people – Palestinians – on their own land, inflicted by a tiny country implanted on Palestine – but supported by a super-power to the point that this tiny country, called Israel, has itself become a super-power – on the verge of expanding herself not only over Palestinian territory, but over the entire Middle-East.

It shall not happen.

This tiny country, ruled by a minority of power-greedy Zionists, linked to a worldwide Zionist-dominated network over the western financial system, and hellbent to rule the world – as the Chosen People, has violated countless UN Resolutions calling for a halt of her deadly aggression on the Palestinian people. And not only on Palestine, but to stop her interference all over the Middle-East, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran – to mention just a few. To no avail.

The tragic and murderous photo series depicts the 20th Anniversary of just one indescribable crime. But it is also symbolic for Israeli-perpetrated atrocities that have been slaughtering Palestinians for the last 72 years – indiscriminately, children, women, men – and no end is in sight, because the west looks on and tolerates. It tolerates one outrageous brutality after another.

Tolerance with financial gain.

Weapons sales to Israel flourish – and trade with Israel is unaffected – as the Jewish people, victims of the Holocaust – that, indeed, shall never be forgotten! – are being used by their Zionist masters to continue instilling guilt on Europe, the world. It’s a strategy that works wonders. The victims cum guilt have become an alibi for today’s Israel getting literally away not just with murder, but with an ongoing genocide.

As things stand today, Israel is about to take over and absorb the Palestinian West Bank without serious opposition from its western NATO allies, the very hypocritical west that is officially propagating peace talks after peace talks – no end. Indeed, no end. Because Peace is not wanted. The United States of America wants full domination of the Middle-East. Its one of the planet’s most energy rich areas, but also one of the most strategic gateways between Eurasia and Africa. So, the symbiotic relationship of the tail wagging the dog, between Israel and the US of A will go on.

Should that take-over by Israel of the Westbank happen, then the entire once “Mandatory Palestine” would become Israel. This may be the “geopolitical” strategy, but are the people at large – all over the globe – aware of this diabolical plan?

When the legendary “Crack” – “There is a Crack in Everything, that’s how the Light Gets In” (“Anthem”, Leonard Cohen, London 2008 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wRYjtvIYK0&feature=emb_rel_pause) – will open our minds to the reality of what we humans are doing to ourselves, to humanity – to our fellow sentient beings – we may finally act and choose Justice over Greed, Love over Hate and Peace over War.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The mortal battle of the Perfidious Albion

The mortal battle of the Perfidious Albion

September 28, 2020

By Katerina for the Saker Blog

In this my third and hopefully last essay I will try to analyse an ingrained and totally unresolvable animosity between England and Russia. Here what riles me a lot is when some people would describe England as “Britain”. I have lived in both Scotland and England and I have also spent some wonderful holidays on the Welsh coast and I can say this, with the most assured certainty, that those three countries are totally different from each other, and the Scottish and the Welsh despising of English is unanimous, as both had suffered greatly from their terrible English neighbour. Those two, at various times, had a bitter experience of this so-called “Imperial Power”, which has been the cornerstone of this English “supremacy”.

Let’s look at this English “supremacy” a little bit closer. England has evolved as a combination of invaders to that part of the island, mostly a hybrid of Franco – German abnormality, combined with some “Norman” extracts. Aggressiveness was the unifying factor among them. And this inbred aggressiveness has also been a defining factor in their attitude towards the rest of the world. The drive to subjugate, to control, to enslave has been the hallmark of this English “race”. They have a lot to answer for, together with the Roman Catholic Church.

Unfortunately the brainwashing of their own English population has been extremely successful – in England, the notions of England as “the green and pleasant land”, the “land of hope and glory”, the one “ruling the waves” and having had the vast empire on which the “sun never sets” is still totally pervasive among most of them. They think it’s a great legacy.

They didn’t see the victims.

What we now have is a country that has lost its imperial status but still trying to hang on to the previous “glory”, this time by using their “dumb giant”, aka USA, thru which they are still trying to impose this control and subjugation on the rest of the world – in cahoots with the Jewish banking cabal.

The City of London is the headquarters. This banking cabal, starting with Rothschilds, at the time of the Napoleonic wars, through lies and machinations, had pretty much taken control of the Bank of England and also, unfortunately for the world, discovered that they had an absolute affinity with the English in their identical and all-consuming need for domination and control of others.

Their method was to use money. Even better, other people ‘s money, and the Talmudic Zionistic mentality could never stay away from possessing such money and using it for their pervasive manipulation and control.

It was a union made in HELL.

So, now we have this Anglo-Zionist entity that has managed to gain control of the world banking, and of course, the political arena, the military industrial complex, pharmaceutical and food industry, mass media, entertainment, etc, AND, importantly, education. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world does not seem to realise as to what extent they are being manipulated and CONTROLLED. Some are waking up though.

The fight I am describing is the fight of this Anglo-Zionist entity with Russia, and it is a MORTAL fight. I will also add that, not least of all, Russian true Orthodox religion is unacceptable to some, who are hiding in the background for now – where they prefer to be.

Over the centuries Russia and England had a remarkably fraught relationship – based on mutual dislike and distrust. One can wonder as to why – there are no shared borders, nothing to trigger the usual conflicts and yet, this deep-seated, centuries old animosity continues unabated. Why?

Well, this conflict is going MUCH deeper – it is a civilisational and a conceptual conflict – of totally opposite mentality, which is the essential and conscious self-awareness of being and how that affects others – whether one lives in harmony with the others or whether one wants to have power over them.

England has always seen itself as a dominant force – divide and conquer type of power. Russia has always strived for unity and peace, and not to be controlled by any external forces.

Russia became an Empire largely by absorbing various “peoples” living on that vast land and giving them a “Russian Home”, where they were being protected and their cultures preserved. England, on the other hand was building a different kind of Empire – a colonial one, with slavery, oppression, subjugation and control. Two radically different examples of “world order”.

(Here is a thought – perhaps if they had the rich landmass that Russia has, then that driven and destructive colonial mindset might not have unleashed itself on the world? Just a thought, although I don’t believe that would have been very likely, also we cannot afford to be charitable here).

England wanted global domination and Russia stood in its way. Most wars that Russia had to fight had an English “hand” behind them. It supported Sweden in its war with Russia, it supported Turkey in numerous Russian – Ottoman wars, it supported Japan in their war on Russia and the list can go on and on. The Crimean war was one of the exceptions where they actually fronted up for the fight. The very good rhetorical question that nobody seems to be asking – what on earth they were doing there in the first place?!

The most devastating of those wars, the WWII, had England’s full support and encouragement for Nazi Germany to attack Russia. That way they were hoping to get rid of BOTH their enemies at once. Thus is the mentality of this English “race” – a pathological hatred towards anyone who threatens their craven need for dominance. Hidden by a false smile.

What also greatly contributes to this mortal conflict, is the ingrained Zionistic hatred towards Russia. The reason for it I believe is well known – centuries ago most of them were expelled from Russia, from an enclave known as “Khazaria” (roughly above and between Black and Caspian seas), as they were making life a living hell for their Russian neighbours.

(I would say that nothing has changed, just ask the Palestinians!)

Why do you think that in the past, most countries in Europe had these talmudic Jews living in “ghettos”, shunned, segregated, and not allowed to interact with the rest of the population? What does that tell you? I would say that speaks of experience.

The moment they were stupidly released from these ghettos, of course by the liberal minded of those days, they had immediately infiltrated (or better say, infested) the hubs of power and control, wherever they could. Especially when it came to money and banking – they knew very well that by controlling money they can control everything else, including political power. People in USA and Europe are now paying a very heavy price for that liberal stupidity of the past, as most of their politicians are bought and paid for. It’s called lobbying and political donations – those who are paying for these politician’s election campaigns, get to dictate the favourable to themselves policies and while this system exists, the political structure, inevitably, will be always corrupt.

Russia has paid its heavy price as well, the so-called “Bolshevik Revolution” was carried out mainly by this vile spawn. Stalin, by the way, despite being a Georgian, was a Russian patriot and was hell-bent on getting rid of them. (For those who do not understand why Russians still feel great affection for Stalin, this should explain it).

Here I would like to clarify something. There are lots of Jews in Russia who are very intelligent, highly educated, good, hard-working, “normal” people, who love the country they live in. They also passionately defend it from the attacks by the West. Russia is their home. My good friend from school days was beautiful, intelligent and talented girl from a Jewish family; lots of people living in Israel speak Russian as their first language and a lot of them do not condone or support Israel’s policies, but that’s not the Jews we are talking about here.

In Russia there are two very distinctive nouns for people from that bloodline – “evrey” as in jew and “zhid” as in zionist, and that distinction there is for a very good reason! We are talking here about Zhids, unfortunately there are also quite a few of them in Israel and USA as well as everywhere else – the spawns of what I call a degenerate, defective gene, sadly, from that same gene pool. The ones who would sell their own mother if they can make a profit. Psychopaths, in other words.

This, the “khazarian” zionistic, psychopathic hatred towards Russia is centuries old and the desire for revenge is all consuming, but at the same time, of course, also to have a chance to pillage the country’s resources. Most of these so-called “Russian oligarchs” were such Zhids, who looted as much as they could during the terrible 90s and then ran to, where else… England!

To this Anglo-Zionist entity, throughout the ages, Russia has always been and remains enemy number one. That deeply ingrained animosity and hatred is impossible to eradicate. Unless the entire English “establishment”, including Monarchy is removed, and replaced with some forward-thinking people, and the Zhids owned banking is thoroughly cleansed, regulated and controlled, this state of affairs will not be resolved peacefully. This time this evil twin’s “HAND” will be behind the USA, which they totally own and control and which they would try to use. Add to that the greed of wanting to possess what Russia has and you will get a very clear picture as to why we have this aggressive, war-mongering posture towards Russia. They desperately want to destroy it as a Nation, over the centuries they have tried quite a few times and they will not stop until they destroy the whole world with it… They are Psychopaths.

And they need to be stopped.

I cannot think of any British Prime Minister (most were English born), who even attempted to improve this situation in any way. At least in the USA they had few Presidents (very few) who clearly understood how crucially important it was to have Russia as an ally, not as an enemy.

That understanding didn’t end well for them. The spider has indeed woven a very large web.

Although a much better comparison would be to that of a malignant cancer that has spread through the body and is killing the living tissue. This Anglo-Zionist cancer could destroy this humanity – while the humanity continues to be wilfully ignorant, insouciant, lazy and willing to be deceived. While we are being distracted with various side-shows, such as US elections, for example, the Psychopaths ugly hands are on the steering wheel, and one can only guess as to where they are driving this thing.

The only force that can stop them is Russia and China but that does not mean that others in this world should be sitting on their hands and watching – we are talking about our survival as a human family and the future for our children. Everyone who can think of that, needs to fight this evil in every way one can. As I have said before, we need to stop fighting among ourselves and turn our full attention towards one COMMON ENEMY.

The constant demonization of Russia and now China is all pervasive as Global MSM channels of information are totally OWNED by this Cabal, all of them. The populations of USA, Europe, Australia and everywhere else that has those MSM channels gets this brainwashing propaganda INCESSANTLY, every day! And lots of people believe it. Here again is that willingness to be deceived and that laziness that stops them from finding out the actual facts, the TRUTH. Listening to some of these people can make one feel absolute despair. For Christ sake, USE you God given brains!

Russia and China, two powerful countries each in its own right, are now combining their efforts to basically, save our world. We must do all we can to help – they are trying to save this world for us, after all.

The very first thing that needed to be done was to cut off the blood supply that feeds that cancer, the US dollar, and slowly but surely this is happening and they are beginning to feel it, hence the hysterical aggression unleashed on China and more demented provocations against Russia, including an attempt at “colour revolution” in Belarus and another “Novichok” garbage, now with this twit Navalny. Honestly, they cannot even come up with something original anymore!

I believe we have some German readers on this blog, here are few words for them:

Germany is in a dire need to get out of this sick and abusive dependence and the sooner, the better. This situation with NorthStream2 will be Germany’s biggest test. The Anglo-Zionist Cabal is arrogantly showing to you, Germans, how much you are under THEIR control and not just to you, to the rest of the world. Are you going to assert yourself and fight for your vital national interests or are you going to fold?

They have waited until the gas pipe was almost completed, with 8 BILLIONS already invested into it, and with only a hundred or so km left to go, they pulled the plug. Do you Germans realise what you are dealing with here and what that means? They are saying to you loud and clear– see what we can do, and if in the future, you dare to sign any agreements that we don’t approve, this is the price you are going to pay. You are vassals and you will do only what your Master tells you!

How does that feel?

Germany needs that gas pipe much more than Russia, as your future economy would absolutely depend on it. This Cabal has already done quite a few nasty things to your car industry, which no doubt, affected your economy, are you going to roll over here as well? Hopefully not. You Germans must still have some dignity left and can find the strength to stand up to this bullying and abuse, especially from THIS vile lot.

You are better than that.

As for the others, I like the very apt description of them having “tied their boats to the Titanic” and we all know what happened to that “unsinkable” ship. Are you hearing this, Australians? And Japanese and South Koreans and the rest of you vassals, including EU Europe? The time is now, to untie these ropes and move away – fast!

The “Perfect Storm” is coming.

Apparently, the Atomic Clock is now at only 100 seconds to midnight.

God help us.

Sources: https://www.stalkerzone.org?s=England+Russia+enemy

The World Has Gone Absolutely Insane!

THE SAKER • SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

We all know that we are living in crazy, and dangerous, times, yet I can’t help being awed at what the imperial propaganda machine (aka the legacy ziomedia) is trying to make us all swallow. The list of truly batshit crazy stuff we are being told to believe is now very long, and today I just want to pick on a few of my “favorites” (so to speak).

First, of course, comes the “Novichok Reloaded” scandal around the alleged poisoning of the so-called “dissident” Alexei Navalnyi. I already mentioned this absolutely ridiculous story once, so I won’t repeat it all here. I just want to mention a few very basic facts:

  • Navalnyi is pretty much a discredited non-entity in Russia. “Putin” (because this is how the imperial propaganda machine always personalizes the evils of Russia: “Putin” did this or that, as if Putin was personally in every alleged Russian evil deed) had absolutely and exactly zero reasons to harm Navalnyi in any way. I would even add that IF Navalnyi was poisoned in Russia (which I do not believe) then the FSB screwed up by not offering him 24/7 protection, especially in the current political climate (i.e. struggle for the completion of North Stream 2).
  • The Empire always likes to produce a “sacrificial lamb” to symbolize the putative evil of the nation which dares to resist. In Iran it was Neda, in Kuwait the infamous “incubator babies”, in Syria anonymous kids killed by Russian gas, and in Russia it was Nemtsov (did not really work) and now Navalnyi (I wonder who the sacrificial lamb will be in Belarus (Tikhanovskaia?). The FSB should have seen this coming, especially after Nemtsov.
  • There is exactly zero evidence that the mineral water bottle which the Germans claim contained traces of, what else, “Novichok”, ever was anywhere near Navalnyi or even that it ever was in Russia. No such bottle was found by, or mentioned to the Russian investigators. This bottle was, allegedly, hidden from the FSB by Navalnyi supporters, and secretly brought to Germany. What that means in terms of “chain of custody” is self-evident.
  • As I have mentioned in my past article, if what the German authorities are claiming is true, then the Russians are truly the dumbest imbeciles on the planet. Not content to use this now famous “Novichok” gas against Skripal in the UK and after failing to kill Skripal, these stupid Russians decided to try the very same gas, only “improved”, and they failed again: Navalnyi is quite alive and well, thank you!
  • Then there is this: according to the imperial propaganda machine, Novichok was so horribly dangerous, that the Brits had to use full biosuits to investigate the alleged poisoning of Skripal. They also said that they would completely destroy the dangerous Skripal home (though they never did that). The self same propaganda machine says that the Novichok used on Navalnyi was a more powerful, improved version. Okay. Then try to answer this one: why did the Russians NOT put on biosuits, why did not a single passenger suffer from any side effects (inside a closed aircraft cabin!)? How is it that this super-dooper Novichok not only failed to kill Navalnyi (who, allegedly, ingested it!) but also failed to even moderately inconvenience anybody from the many people Navalnyi was surrounded by on that day?

I could continue to deconstruct all this nonsense, but that would take pages. I will mention two thing though:

First, the Russians have requested any and all evidence available to the Germans and to the Organization for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – but they got absolutely nothing in return. Yet the EU is demanding an investigation (which is already under way in Russia anyway!) as if the Russians did not want the exact same!

After being exposed to an improved Novichok and after weeks in coma in intensive care, here is Navalnyi trotting down stairs feeling great

After being exposed to an improved Novichok and after weeks in coma in intensive care, here is Navalnyi trotting down stairs feeling great

Second, Navalnyi apparently has an immunity to otherwise deadly Russian biological agents, just take a look at him on this post-Novichok photo:

[By the way, the first time around the Brits also never gave the Russians any information, nevermind any kind of evidence. Apparently, to hide some super-secret secrets. Yeah, right!]

Next, I absolutely have to mention the absolutely insane situation around Belarus.

To make a long story short, the EU wants to sanction Russia for intervening in Belarus while that self-same EU is intervening in every possible imaginable manner: from the Poles who treat Tikhanovskaia as a modern False Dmitri the Fifth (see here for a summary of Polish-run False Dmitris), to the promise of a special “Marshall Plan for Belarus”, to the coordination of all the protests from Poland. The EU refuses to recognize Lukashenko as the winner (in spite of the fact that there is exactly zero evidence suggesting that Lukashenko lost) and refers to Tikhanovskaia as the “Leader of Belarus” (whatever that means).

As for our US American friends, having learned exactly nothing from the abject failure of their Guaido coup in Venezuela, they now want to repeat exactly the same with Tikhanovskaia in Belarus. As a result, Tikhanovskaia has been re-christened “Juanita Guaido”

But the worst are still the Europeans. Not only are they prostituting themselves to the leaders of the Empire, the following countries were the first to declare that they will not recognize Lukashenko as the leader of Belarus: Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia (which is no surprise, they all compete for the title of most pro-US colony on the planet), but also putatively mentally sane countries such as Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Denmark. The case of Germany is particularly amazing, because Germany will now be placed under immense pressure to cancel North Stream 2, something which the entire German industry opposes. Eventually, the US, Canada, the Ukraine, the UK and the entire EU joined in and also refused to recognize Lukashenko as the leader of Belarus.

What is especially amazing to me is that these EU imbeciles apparently don’t care that without North Stream 2 they will have to purchase US gas, at much higher prices, which will make the EU economy less effective than the US one. And I thought that prostitutes are always acutely aware of the money they can make: not the European ones, apparently.

Still, I think that the “top honor” in this category goes to Poland which, while condemning some undefined Russian intervention in Belarus, runs the NEXTA Telegram channel which runs videos like this one: (in Russian – no, not in Belarusian, they know that 99.9999% Belarussians speak Russian):

Oh, but it gets better.

NATO seems to be trying to frighten Russia with maneuvers in Poland and B-52 flights over the Ukraine and the Black Sea (see here for a full analysis). As for the Poles and Ukronazis, they apparently believe that the Russian bear covered himself in poop and ran away at full speed.

What I am going to say next is not a secret, every military person who looked into this issue knows and understands this: NATO, and I mean the combined power of all NATO member states, simply does not have the hardware needed to wage a war against Russia in Europe. What NATO does have is only sufficient to trigger a serious incident which might result in a shooting war. But once this war starts, the chances of victory for NATO are exactly zero. Why?

Well, for one thing, while coalitions of countries might give a thin veneer of political legitimacy to a military action (in reality, only a UNSC resolution would), in purely military terms you are much better off having a single national military. Not only that, but coalitions are nothing but the expression of an often held delusion: the delusion that the little guy can hide behind the back of the big guy. Poland’s entire history can be summarized in this simple principle: strike the weak and bootlick (or even worse!) the powerful. In contrast, real military powers don’t count on some other guy doing the heavy lifting for them. They simply fight until they win.

Yes, the Europeans, being the cowards that they are, do believe that there is safety in numbers. But each time these midgets gang up on Russia and start barking (or, to use Putin’s expression, start oinking) all together, the Russians clearly see that the Europeans are afraid. Otherwise, they would not constantly seek somebody to protect them (even against a non-existing threat).

As a direct result of this delusion, NATO simply does not have the equivalent of the First Guard Tank Army in spite of the fact that NATO has a bigger population and much bigger budgets than Russia. Such a tank Army is what it would take to fight a real war in Europe, Russia has such an Army. NATO does not.

The other thing NATO does not have is a real integrated multi-layered air defense system. Russia does.

Lastly, NATO has no hypersonic weapons. Russia does.

(According to President Trump, the US does have super-dooper “hydrosonic” weapons, but nobody really knows what that is supposed to mean).

I would even argue that the comparatively smaller Belarusian military could make hamburger meat of the roughly three times larger Polish armed forces in a very short time (unlike the Poles, the Belarusian are excellent soldiers and they know that they are surrounded by hostile countries on three sides).

As for the “armed forces” of the Baltic statelets, they are just a sad joke.

One more example: the Empire is now sending ships into the Black Sea as some kind of “show of force”. Yet, every military analyst out there knows that the Black Sea is a “Russian lake” and that no matter how many ships the US or NATO sends into the Black Sea, their life expectancy in case of a conflict would be measured in minutes.

There is a popular expression in Russia which, I submit, beautifully sums up the current US/NATO doctrine: пугать ежа голой задницей, which can be translated as “trying to scare a hedgehog with your naked bottom”.

The truth is that NATO military forces currently are all in very bad shape – all of them, including the US – and that their only advantage over Russia is in numbers. But as soon as you factor in training, command and control, the ability to operate with severely degraded C3I capabilities, the average age of military hardware or morale – the Russian armed forces are far ahead of the West.

Does anybody sincerely believe that a few B-52s and a few thousand soldiers from different countries playing war in Poland will really scare the Russian generals?

But if not – why the threats?

My explanation is simple: the rulers of the Empire simply hope that the people in the West will never find out how bad their current military posture really is, and they also know that Russia will never attack first – so they simply pretend like they are still big, mighty and relevant. This is made even easier by the fact that the Russians always downplay their real capabilities (in sharp contrast to the West which always brags about “the best XYZ in the world”). That, and the fact that nobody in the Western ruling classes wants to admit that the game is over and that the Empire has collapsed.

Well, they apparently can hide these truisms from most of their public opinion: Trump promises super-dooper missiles and big red buttons, and his supporters immediately wave (Chinese made) US flags! But I assure you that the Russians (political leaders and even the general public) know what the real score is.

Yet the Empire still refuses to deal with Russia in any other way except insults, bullying, threats, accusations, sanctions, and constant sabre-rattling. This has never, and I mean never, worked in the past, and it won’t work in the future. But, apparently, NATO generals simply cannot comprehend that insanity can be defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, while hoping to achieve different results”.

Finally, I will conclude with a short mention of US politicians.

First, Trump. He now declares that the Russians stole the secret of hypersonic weapons from Obama. This reminds me of how the Brits declared that Russia stole their vaccine against the sars-cov-2 virus. But, if the Russians stole all that, why is it that ONLY Russia has deployed hypersonic weapons (not the US) and ONLY Russia has both two vaccines and 2 actual treatments (and not the UK)? For a good laugh, check out Andrei Martyanov’s great column “Russia Steal Everything”.

And then there is Nancy Pelosi who, apparently, is considering, yes, you guessed it – yet another impeachment attempt against Trump? The charge this time? Exercising this Presidential prerogative to nominate a successor to Ruth Ginsburg. Okay, Pelosi might be senile, but she also is in deep denial if she thinks impeaching Trump is still a viable project. Frankly? I think that she lost it.

In fact, I think that all the Dems have gone absolutely insane: they are now considering packing both the Supreme Court and the Senate. The fact that doing so will destroy the US political system does not seem to bother them in the least.

Conclusion: quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat!

We live in a world where facts or logic have simply become irrelevant and nobody cares about such clearly outdated categories. We have elevated “doubleplusgoodthinking” into an art form. We have also done away with the concepts of “proof” or “evidence” which we have replaced with variations on the “highly likely” theme. We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with “rules-based international order“. In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the “Empire of illusions” and of the “triumph of spectacle”. He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.

There is not big “master plan”, no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire’s ruling classes.

Iran Says Houthis Use Its Military Know-How In Battle Against Saudi Arabia

South Front

Iran has supplied Ansar Allah (also known as the Houthis) with technical expertise and know-how, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said on September 22. However, the general claimed that Yemeni forces “have learned how to produce missiles, drones and weapons in Yemen on their own” and Iran has no military presence in the region. Shekarchi described what Iran is doing across the region as “spiritual and advisory presence”.

“Countries of the resistance front have armies and forces themselves. We provide them with advisory help. In order to share our experience with the people of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, our skilled forces go there and assist them, but this is the people and armies of these countries who stand against the enemies in practice,” the general stated.

Apparently, it was Iranian “spiritual” power which helped the Houthis to regularly pound targets inside Saudi Arabia, including the Kingdom’s capital and key oil infrastructure objects, with missiles and drones, despite the years of Saudi-led air bombing campaigns against Houthi forces and the land and maritime blockade of the areas controlled by them.

Iran also denies reports of weapon and equipment supplies to the Houthis. This means missile components must have appeared in the Houthis’ hands and their missile and combat drone arsenal been expanded thanks to some unrevealed technological breakthrough behind the scenes.

Thus, the military cooperation deal officially signed between the Houthi government and Iran in 2019 was just a formality to highlight the sides’ unity on the frontline in the battle against ‘Zionist plots’ in the region, which became especially obvious in 2020 when the Houthi leadership, alongside with Iran, appeared to be among the most vocal critics of the UAE-Israel and Bahrain-Israel normalization deals. According to them, these developments are a part of the wider Zionist campaign against Middle Eastern nations.

Meanwhile in Syria, sources loyal to the Turkish-backed terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) claim that its members had killed a Russian special forces operator on the contact line near Kafra Nabl in southern Idlib.

According to militants and their supporters, they repelled an attack of pro-government forces there inflicting multiple casualties on the Syrian Army and its allies. Photos showing the equipment of the alleged Russian special forces operator were also released by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham media wing.

Pro-government sources did not report any notable clashes in the area last night or active operations involving Russian units there. According to them, the incident involving the Russian special forces operator may have happened several weeks (or even months) ago. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and their Turkish sponsors probably opted to use the obtained photos as propaganda to create a media victory in September to compensate for the losses and destruction caused by the Russian bombing campaign against the terrorist infrastructure in Idlib.

Details of the incident and the fate of the alleged Russian special forces operator involved in it remain unclear. In general, the Russian Defense Ministry reports all casualties among Russian service members deployed. Further, the militants did not show the body of the supposedly killed fighter. Therefore, if the incident really did take place, the Russian soldier most likely received injures and was then evacuated.

Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Forces continued bombing terrorist infrastructure in the Idlib region. Therefore, al-Qaeda and its Turkish sponsors are forced to console themselves with media victories.

السفير الأمريكي فريدمان: ندرس استبدال عباس بمحمد دحلان

   الصفصاف

فريدمان يهاجم القيادة الفلسطينيّة.. و”يسرائيل هيوم” تعدّل حديثه عن دحلان

تاريخ النشر: 17/09/2020 

فريدمان يهاجم القيادة الفلسطينيّة.. و"يسرائيل هيوم" تعدّل حديثه عن دحلان
فريدمان خلف ترامب لحظة الإعلان عن الاتفاق الإماراتي “الإسرائيلي” (أ ب)

عرب 48

تحرير: محمود مجادلة

عاد السفير الأميركي في (إسرائيل)، ديفيد فريدمان، إلى مهاجمة القيادة الفلسطينية من جديد، معتبرا أن الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي وصل إلى بداية النهاية في ظل اتفاقيات التطبيع التي وقعتها (إسرائيل) مع الإمارات والبحرين، برعاية أميركية.

وقال فريدمان في حديث لصحيفة “يسرائيل هيوم”، نشر اليوم، الخميس، إن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، تدرس استبدال الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس، بالقيادي المفصول من حركة “فتح”، محمد دحلان.

وعدّلت الصحيفة التصريحات لاحقًا، لتضيف “لا” على جملة فريدمان التي قالها ردا على سؤال عمّا إذا كانت الولايات المتحدة تدرس إمكانية تعيين دحلان المقيم في الإمارات، كزعيم فلسطيني جديد، “نحن نفكر في ذلك، لكن ليست لدينا رغبة في هندسة القيادة الفلسطينية”.

وأصبحت الجملة “نحن لا نفكر في ذلك، لكن ليست لدينا رغبة في هندسة القيادة الفلسطينية”.

تابعوا تطبيق “عرب ٤٨”… سرعة الخبر | دقة المعلومات | عمق التحليلات

وعن الصراع العربي (الإسرائيلي)، قال فريدمان: “لقد وصلنا إلى بداية نهاية الصراع العربي (الإسرائيلي) ولسنا بعيدين عن نهاية الصراع لأن العديد من الدول ستنضم قريبا” إلى مسار التطبيع الذي تقوده إدارة الرئيس الأميركي، دونالد ترامب.

وأضاف “لقد كسرنا الجليد وتوصلنا إلى سلام مع دولتين مهمتين في المنطقة. وكما قال الرئيس (ترامب)، وأنا أعلم أن هذا صحيح، سيكون هناك المزيد من الاختراقات (انضمام دول إلى اتفاقيات التطبيع). عندما يهدأ الوضع، في غضون أشهر أو عام، سنصل إلى نهاية الصراع العربي (الإسرائيلي)”.

وعن انعكاسات زخم التطبيع والتطورات الأخيرة على القضية الفلسطينية، قال إن “الشعب (الفلسطيني) لا يحصل على الخدمة الصحيحة من قيادته”، واستطرد “أعتقد أن الناس الذين يعيشون في يهودا والسامرة (الضفة الغربية المحتلة) يريدون حياة أفضل. يجب أن يكون واضحا لهم أن هذا ممكن”.

وتابع “تتمسك القيادة الفلسطينية بنفس الشكاوى القديمة، والتي لا أعتقد أنها ذات صلة. إنهم بحاجة للانضمام إلى القرن الحادي والعشرين. إنهم في على الطرف الخطأ من التاريخ في الوقت الحالي”.

وعن إمكانية تنفيذ مخطط الضم (الإسرائيلي) في الضفة المحتلة، قال فريدمان: “أعتقد أن هذا سيحدث، كانت لدينا عقبات بسبب كورونا وصعوبات دبلوماسية لتحريك ملف فرض ‘السيادة‘ (“الإسرائيلية” على مناطق في الضفة) ثم سنحت الفرصة مع الإمارات”.

وأضاف “كان الاستنتاج أنه حتى لو اعتقدنا أن السيادة هي الخطوة الصحيحة، إلا أن السلام فوق كل شيء، فالأعلام (الإسرائيلية) ترفرف حاليًا في ‘غوش عتصيون‘ و‘بيت إيل‘ و‘معاليه أدوميم‘ و‘شيلو‘ والخليل، ووفقًا لرؤيتنا للسلام (“صفقة القرن”) فإن الأعلام الإسرائيلية ستستمر في الرفرفة هناك”.

وتابع “السلام فرصة لا تتكرر إلا مرة واحدة في كل جيل. سنحت الفرصة وظننا أنه يجب أن نغتنمها، وأن نغتنم الفرصة التي تأتي بعدها، وتلك التي ستأتي لاحقًا”. وقال “بعد دفع عملية السلام إلى الأمام وتغيير مسارها (في إشارة إلى مخطط تجاوز الفلسطينيين وعقد اتفاقيات تطبيع مع دول عربية)، أعتقد أنه يمكننا العودة إلى مسألة السيادة بطريقة تكون أقل إثارة للجدل”.

اقرأ/ أيضًا | مخطط الضم طرحه كوشنر لتهديد الفلسطينيين

وشدد على أن تأجيل تنفيذ مخطط الضم بموجب اتفاق التطبيع مع الإمارات، ما هو إلا “تعليق مؤقت. أود أن أذكر أيضًا أننا أول إدارة أميركية تعترف بشرعية الاستيطان ونعتبر أنه لا ينتهك القانون الدولي، ونحن الإدارة الوحيدة التي نشرت خطة سلام تستبعد إخلاء المستوطنين من منازلهم في جميع أنحاء يهودا والسامرة”.

وكان فريدمان قد قال في الماضي مرارا، إن أراضي الضفة الغربية هي جزء من (إسرائيل)، وإن من حق اليهود الاستيطان فيها، كما دافع بقوة عن اعتراف الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بالقدس عاصمة ل(إسرائيل)، وبات أول دبلوماسي يتولى مسؤولية السفارة الأميركية، بعد نقلها من تل أبيب إلى القدس.

يذكر أن دحلان ملاحق من قبل تركيا وفلسطين لاتهامه بعدة تهم أبرزها، القتل والفساد والتجسس الدولي والضلوع بمحاولة الانقلاب العسكري الفاشلة التي شهدتها أنقرة، منتصف تموز/ يوليو 2016.

ويتهمه القضاء التركي، بالضلوع في محاولة الانقلاب الفاشلة، ومحاولة تغيير النظام الدستوري بالقوة، و”الكشف عن معلومات سرية حول أمن الدولة لغرض التجسس”، و”قيامه بالتجسس الدولي”.

وكانت صحيفة “يديعوت أحرونوت”، قد كشفت يوم الجمعة الماضي، زيارة دحلان (إسرائيل) ومدينة القدس المحتلة، برفقة مسؤول الأمن القومي الإماراتي، طحنون بن زايد.

وذكرت الصحيفة أن الطائرة الإماراتية التي هبطت في مطار اللد في حزيران/ يونيو الماضي وتحمل مساعدات طبية إلى الضفة الغربية، كان على متنها كل من دحلان وبن زايد حيث أجريا محادثات مطوله مع مسؤولين (إسرائيليين) في القدس.

وذكرت محللة الشؤون العربية في صحيفة “يديعوت أحرونوت”، سمدار بيري، أن تلك الطائرة أحدثت توترًا كبيرًا بين السلطة وبين الإمارات حيث رفضت السلطة استلام الطائرة، احتجاجا على وصولها بالتنسيق مع جميع الأطراف باستثناء السلطة. وأشارت بيري إلى دور دحلان في هندسة الاتفاق الإماراتي (الإسرائيلي).

متى يُسدل الستار على جريمة أوسلو ويقطع جسر الانفتاح مع «إسرائيل»؟

حسن حردان

أدركت «إسرائيل» ومعها الولايات المتحدة انّ توقيع اتفاق كامب ديفيد عام ١٩٧٨ مع مصر، والذي أسهم في إخراجها من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني، لم يحقق الهدف المطلوب وهو كسر جدار العزلة العربية والأفريقية والآسيوية والأميركية اللاتينية، من حول «إسرائيل»، ولن يمنحها «الشرعية» التي تريدها، واكتشفت أنّ السبيل لكسر هذه العزلة إنما يكمن في إحداث خرق في جدار الموقف الفلسطيني الذي يشكل الأساس في إبقاء وإدامة هذه العزلة، فطالما ظلّ هذا الموقف رافضاً الاعتراف بوجود «إسرائيل» ويستمرّ في الرهان على مواصلة خيار المقاومة الشعبية المسلحة سبيلاً لتحرير فلسطين لن تحصل «إسرائيل» على الاعتراف بوجودها وتكسر المقاطعة من حولها، لا سيما في العالم العربي، الذي يشكل الأساس كي تصبح «إسرائيل» دولة طبيعية مندمجة في المنطقة، لا تعيش فقط على المصل الأميركي الغربي، وإنما تتحوّل إلى مشروع يعيش بإمكانياته الذاتية من خلال تحوّل «إسرائيل» إلى المرتكز والمحور الأول في المنطقة الذي يستقطب رؤوس الأموال العربية ويستغلّ اليد العاملة العربية الرخيصة والنفط العربي وموقع فلسطين على البحر المتوسط وتوسّطها الوطن العربي بين المشرق والمغرب، وبالتالي تصبح «إسرائيل» هي قلب المنطقة والقوة الهيمنة عليها، والمحطة التي كلّ دول المنطقة بالمركز الرأسمالي الغربي… عندها فقط يتحقق الحلم الصهيوني في السيطرة على المنطقة وتغيير هويتها، والتربّع على عرشها كمشروع استعماري استيطاني يخدم المشروع الاستعماري الغربي الذي كان وراء إنشاء «إسرائيل» للعب هذا الدور وهذه الوظيفة…

اتفاق أوسلو، الذي وقع في ١٣ أيلول من عام ١٩٩٣ بين قيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وحكومة العدو الصهيوني، سهل تحقيق هذا الحلم الصهيوني عندما دشن رأس جسر الانفتاح على الكيان الصهيوني والاعتراف فيه.. فهو وفر المناخ المواتي بداية بإقدام المملكة الأردنية على توقيع اتفاق «وادي عربة»، ووفر الفرصة للعديد من الانظمة العربية التابعة للغرب للاتصال والاجتماع علناً مع مسؤولين صهاينة، بعد أن كانت مثل هذه اللقاءات محرّمة وتجري في السابق بشكل غير معلن، كما أنّ توقيع اوسلو أسقط مبرّرات استمرار مقاطعة دول عدم الانحياز في أفريقيا وآسيا وأميركا اللاتينية للكيان الصهيوني… هكذا فقد نجح أوسلو في أن يحقق لـ «إسرائيل» مكاسب لم تكن لتحلم بتحقيقها…

لقد كانت الأولوية الأساسية للقيادة الصهيونية تكمن في العمل على انتزاع الاعتراف بوجود الكيان الصهيوني ودمجه في المنطقة، وتحويله من كيان غاصب غير شرعي لا يحظى بالاعتراف بوجوده، الى كيان يحظى بمثل هذا الاعتراف بداية من قيادة منظمة التحرير، ومن قبل الدول العربية والأفريقية والآسيوية والأميركية اللاتينية، وكانت هذه الأولوية تتصدّر قائمة جدول أعمال الحكومات الصهيونية التي كانت ترى أنّ الكيان الصهيوني لا يمكن أن يعيش ويستمرّ إذا ما بقي معزولاً في محيطه المباشر وثم في المحيط الأقرب للمحيط العربي، وأنّ الحلقة الأساسية التي تحول دون كسر جدار العزلة والمقاطعة المفروض على «إسرائيل» إنما تكمن في منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية الممثل الشرعي للشعب الفلسطيني، المعترف به عربياً ودولياً، والتي إذا ما جرى استمالتها واغرائها وخداعها بتوقيع اتفاق يعترف بـ «إسرائيل» مع وعد بتحقيق السلام وإقامة دولة فلسطينية، فإنه سيفتح الطريق أمام «إسرائيل «لكسر جدار العزلة من حولها تحت عنوان.. «لماذا يا عرب أنتم ملكيين أكثر من الملك».. طالما أنّ منظمة التحرير اعترفت بوجود «إسرائيل» بموجب اتفاق أوسلو ونجري معها مفاوضات للتوصل إلى اتفاق نهائي لتحقيق السلام، فلماذا تستمرون في عدم إقامة العلاقات معنا وتستفيدون من ثمار هذه العلاقات بدعم اسرائيلي في مجالات عدة…؟»

إنّ جريمة أوسلو تكمن في أنها كسرت المحرمات في الصراع مع عدو الأمة العربية.. فكرّست الاعتراف بوجود «إسرائيل» من قبل منظمة التحرير، وفتحت باب إقامة العلاقات عربياً واسلامياً مع الكيان الصهيوني، وإشاعة الوهم حول تحقيق السلام وإقامة دولة فلسطينية مستقلة على حدود عام ١٩٦٧ وعاصمتها القدس الشرقية…

هذه هي جريمة أوسلو التي نحصد نتائجها هذه الأيام انفتاحاً عربياً على كيان العدو الغاصب، وتشجيعاً له على تنفيذ خطة القرن لتصفية القضية الفلسطينية، وشطب الحقوق الوطنية للشعب الفلسطيني…

لهذا فإنّ ما هو مطلوب اليوم قبل الغد، إقران الاتفاق على تشكيل قيادة فلسطينية للمقاومة الشعبية الموحدة ضدّ الاحتلال، بالتخلص من نهائياً من اتفاق أوسلو المشؤوم الذي لم يعد له من وظيفة سوى توفير المبرّرات لإضفاء الشرعية على إقامة العلاقات مع كيان العدو الصهيوني.. فكيف تستطيع السلطة الفلسطينية ومنظمة التحرير مطالبة الدول العربية مقاطعة «إسرائيل» وهي تقيم مثل هذه العلاقات وتستمرّ باتفاق أوسلو، ولم تعلن الخروج منه وسحب اعترافها بـ «إسرائيل» بعد أن انقلبت الأخيرة على كلّ التزماتها فيه، وأعلنت موت الاتفاق وجعلت من السلطة رهينة لديها وأداة أمنية لحماية الأمن الصهيوني ليس إلا…

قد يقول البعض إنك تغالي عندما تصف اتفاق أوسلو بالجريمة، ولكن هل هناك جريمة أكبر وأفظع من جريمة الاعتراف بوجود كيان غاصب احتلّ الأرض وشرّد الشعب وارتكب المجازر وانتهك الحرمات والمقدسات ولا يزال… إنّ وضع حدّ لهذه الجريمة والتمادي بها، هو السبيل لوقف استغلال أوسلو من قبل العدو الصهيوني وبعض الأنظمة التي تدور في الفلك الأميركي.. كما أنّ وضع نهاية لهذه الجريمة بإعلان الخروج نهائياً من اتفاق أوسلو وحل السلطة الفلسطينية وعودة منظمة التحرير إلى دورها التحرري الحقيقي، هو السبيل الذي يعزز المقاومة الشعبية والمسلحة، ويضع حداً ما يجري من استباحة للحق العربي في فلسطين، وتسابق الأنظمة التابعة للأميركي على إقامة العلاقات مع كيان العدو والاعتراف به، تحت شعار «لسنا ملكيين أكثر من الملك»… فمتى يسدل الستار على جريمة أوسلو وتنتهي هذه المسرحية… التي رسمت أوهام السلام مع عدو غاصب للأرض والحقوق، وأقامت جسر الانفتاح على «إسرائيل».. التي طالما جاهر وأعلن قادتها الصهاينة انهم لن يقبلوا إلا بمعادلة «السلام مقابل السلام»، وهو أمر عاد وأكد عليه أمس رئيس وزراء العدو بنيامين نتنياهو. أيّ أنه يقول للحكام العرب بأنّ عليكم أن ترفعوا راية الاستسلام لكيان العدو الذي اغتصب الأرض والحقوق، والتسليم والاعتراف بشرعيته والتخلي مطلقاً عن المطالبة بأيّ حقوق عربية في فلسطين، مقابل منحكم «السلام الصهيوني».

إنّ أقصر الطرق لوقف هذا الانحدار والتخاذل الرسمي العربي ووضع حدّ لتجرّؤ بعض الحكام العرب على تجاوز الحقوق العربية الفلسطينية والسير في ركب الحكومات التي وقعت اتفاقيات صلح مع العدو الصهيوني والاعتراف باغتصابه أرض فلسطين المحتلة، إنّ أقصر الطرق، لوقف هذا الانحدار، إنما يكون بإعلان فلسطيني موحد استعادة منظمة التحرير دورها التحرّري الموحّد لكلّ القوى والحركات الوطنية والإسلامية المقاومة والفاعليات الفلسطينية، والذي يرسم سقف الموقف الوطني الفلسطيني المتمسك بالحق العربي الفلسطيني كاملاً دون نقصان، ويعتبر أيّ اعتراف بكيان الاحتلال خيانة للقضية المركزية للأمة جمعاء، واستسلاماً للعدو.. لكن استعادة هذا الموقف الفلسطيني الموحد مرهون بالتخلص من اتفاق أوسلو وحلّ السلطة الفلسطينية.. والتأكيد أنّ الحليف الحقيقي للشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته إنما هو محور المقاومة الذي يبذل الدماء دفاعاً عن فلسطين ورفضاً لأيّ تفريط بالحقوق العربية فيها.. فما يحصل يجب أن يكون درساً لتحديد الصديق من العدو…

من فلسطين الخبر اليقين

علينا أن نوثّق كلّ ما يتعلق بهويتنا وعروبتنا
بثينة شعبان

بثينة شعبان 

المصدر: الميادين نت

14 أيلول 00:01

يمكن اعتبار القرن الماضي تجربة خاضها العدوّ الصهيوني في فلسطين، واليوم وفي القرن الحادي والعشرين يعمل على نقل هذه التجربة للبلدان العربية كلّها أو بعضها حسبما تتوافر له الظروف

كان اجتماع الجامعة العربية بهدف اتخاذ موقف من تطبيع الإمارات مع العدو الصهيوني مثيراً للخزي والشفقة والاستغراب؛ ففي الوقت الذي اعتقد كل وفد أنه يعتزم أن يتخذ موقفاً من الورقة الفلسطينية سلباً أو إيجاباً لم يكن يدرك أنه في العمق إنما يتخذ موقفاً من نفسه ومن بلده الذي يمثله ومن مستقبل شعبه وأجياله.

وإذا كان الرافضون لإدانة التطبيع اعتقدوا أنهم انتصروا في هذا الاجتماع وأسقطوا من حساب الجامعة إدانة التطبيع فإنما كانوا هم الأخسرين لأن مستقبل شعوبهم على المحك ولأن المسؤوليات الملقاة على عاتقهم والتي لم يشعروا بها إلى حدّ الآن تحتّم عليهم التفكير بعمق ورويّة حول ما هم فاعلون في مستقبل اختلف جذرياً عن الماضي الذي عاشوه، وفي تسابق أحداث وضغوط دولية معادية تحتاج منهم إلى جهود مضاعفة في الفكر والعقل والسياسة والحكمة كي يضمنوا خلاصهم هم وليس خلاص فلسطين وكي يضمنوا استمرارهم هم وليس استمرار فلسطين.

علّ ما لم يخطر ببال هؤلاء هو أن فلسطين كانت حقل تجارب أعدائهم منذ “مؤتمر بازل” عام 1893 حيث وضع الصهاينة رؤية شاملة للقرن المقبل ولِما يريدون إنجازه وهو تأسيس دولة على شاكلة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية تقوم بإبادة السكان الأصليين واستجلاب المهاجرين للأرض الغنية بالموارد الطبيعية وها هم في بداية القرن الحادي والعشرين يشعرون أنهم حققوا خططهم التي وضعوها وفق السياسات التي رسموها وأصبح بإمكانهم أن ينتقلوا إلى مرحلة جديدة هدفها ليس “صفقة القرن” وليس ابتلاع الضفة والقطاع فقط وليس إلغاء “حلّ الدولتين” مرة وإلى الأبد وإنما هدفها هو أسرلة المنطقة برمتها ونشر الثقافة الصهيونية على أنقاض الثقافة العربيّة ومن ثمّ تحويل العرب إلى هنود حمر المنطقة والاستيلاء على ثرواتهم وتاريخهم وحضارتهم.

وبعد ذلك نشر ما يعملون عليه منذ عقود من أبحاث وآثار مسروقة ليقنعوا العالم أنهم هم السكان الأصليون لهذه المنطقة برمتها وأنه تم تهجيرهم والاستيلاء على ممتلكاتهم من دون أي وجه حق، ومن بعدها يبدؤون بمطالبة كلّ الدول العربية بالتعويض عن معاناتهم التي تسببوا بها ويصبح الموضوع الأهم في المنطقة هو المظلومية التي تعرّضوا لها والتعويضات المستحقة لهم ولكن ليس من ألمانيا هذه المرة بل من الدول النفطية المهرولة للتطبيع معهم والاستسلام لقوانينهم وخططهم المرسومة بعناية فائقة.

وما تأكيد الإمارات على كلّ المطاعم أن تستعدّ “لتقديم خيار أكل الكوشر” وأن تقوم بتوفير مستلزماته إلا أول الغيث بهدف إحداث التغيير الثقافي في حياة الناس هناك والذي لا يبغي التواجد مع الآخر وإنما يبغي أن يحلّ محله ويثبت تفوّقه عليه وينفي وجوده لصالح المستقدَم من الأكل والفكر والثقافة.

 قد يشعر القارئ لهذه السطور أنها ضرب من الخيال وهنا أودّ أن أذكّره بالفرق بين من يخطط ليوم أو يومين أو لا يخطط على الإطلاق بل تتسم أعماله بردود الأفعال، وبين من يخطط لمئة عام؛ ففي “مؤتمر بازل” عام 1893 قرّر المؤتمر القومي اليهودي أن الحركة اليهودية التي لم تمتلك حينها مصادر بشرية كثيرة عليها أن تركّز على موضوعين أساسيين يجعلان منها قوة ضاربة في العالم وهما موضوع المال والإعلام، كما كان التوجّه هو العلاقات المتميزة مع الولايات المتحدة والانطلاق منها لنشر نفوذها في بقية دول العالم.

اليوم ورغم ضغوط الولايات المتحدة على الكيان لقطع علاقاته مع الصين نلاحظ أن الكيان يعزّز كل أنواع علاقاته مع الصين كما أنه يتغلغل بشكل ممنهج ومدروس في أفريقيا، وما اتفاقات الاستسلام التي عمل ويعمل جاهداً على توقيعها مع أنظمة عربية إلا مقدمة لتغيير ثقافي وبنيوي وجوهري في هذه البلدان لصالح رؤاه وخططه المستقبلية بصهيَنة المنطقة.

ومن هذا المنظور بالذات فهو يضخّم قدرات كيانه التقنية والتكنولوجية والعسكرية والزراعية ويبثّ الدعايات على أنه قادر على تحويل الصحراء إلى جنان خضراء، وأن من يتّسق بالقول والعمل معه سوف يعبر عتبة مستقبل يحلم به الجميع، ولكن ما لا يتوقف عنده الآخرون هو أنه يعمل على توظيف ثروات وقدرات ومؤهلات هذه البلدان ذاتها التي يفرض هيمنته عليها كي يزيد من شأنه وقوته وقدرته على بسط نفوذه أكثر وأكثر وإيهام العالم أن كلّ ما يتم تحقيقه يعود إلى رؤاه وتدبيره .

من هنا فإن الضرورة تقتضي اليوم التمسّك بما لدينا من مقوّمات الهوية الحضارية والثقافية بغضّ النظر أيضاً عن خيار حكام البلدان العربية الخانعين للضغوط الأميركية المعادية للوجود العربي وبغضّ النظر عن جامعة عربية لم تسجّل للعروبة أي إنجاز يذكر في تاريخها لأن الثقافة والهوية هما اللذان يحققان الوجود التاريخي والأبدي للشعوب والدول.

ولنعلم جميعاً أن المعركة تبدأ اليوم؛ معركة الوجود أو عدمه مع هذا الكيان الغاصب، ولنتعلم من الدروس التي عشناها أو عايشناها في فلسطين؛ فاليوم تنشط العناصر الصهيونية في البلدان الأوروبية والغربية لتشتري من الفلسطينيين ثبوتيات ملكية الأرض في فلسطين حتى وإن كانت أوراقاً قديمة تعود إلى ثلاثينيات وأربعينيات القرن الماضي كي ينسجوا قصصهم بأنهم اشتروا الأرض والبيوت ولم يغتصبوا ولم يهجّروا وهذه إحدى الخطوات التي رسموها في محاولاتهم لإثبات حقهم بأرض فلسطين.

ولا نعلم اليوم كم من الوثائق والآثار نهبوا من سوريا والعراق وليبيا وتونس والمغرب ومصر والأردن، ولا نعلم ماذا تنسج مراكز الأبحاث الصهيونية العاكفة على كتابة تاريخ جديد للمنطقة قد يصفع أحفادنا على وجوههم بعد عقود مقبلة. لدرء كلّ هذا علينا أن نوثّق كلّ ما يتعلق بهويتنا وعروبتنا؛ من مأكلنا إلى ملبسنا إلى موسيقانا إلى أغانينا إلى تراثنا إلى قصصنا ورواياتنا، وعلينا أن نتمسك بثقافة عربية أصيلة لا يجد الاستسلام إليها طريقاً.

مهما فعلت الحكومات الفاشلة وطبّعت واحتفلت؛ فهي لا تستطيع أن تفعل شيئاً سوى الاستسلام للعدو إذا ما أمسكت الشعوب بناصية هويتها وتمسكت بها وبجذورها وأورثتها لأجيالها القادمة موثّقة شاهدة على أحقية العرب في هذه الأرض وفي هذا التاريخ.

يمكن اعتبار القرن الماضي تجربة خاضها العدوّ الصهيوني في فلسطين، واليوم وفي القرن الحادي والعشرين يعمل على نقل هذه التجربة للبلدان العربية كلّها أو بعضها حسبما تتوافر له الظروف؛ فالمسألة اليوم ليست الانتصار لفلسطين فقط ولكنها الانتصار للذات من البلد والشعب ومستقبل هذا الشعب الذي يدكّ العدو الصهيوني أول الأسافين في مدماك مستقبله سواء أدرك بعض الحكام العرب المنهزمين ذلك أم لم يدركوا؛ فلا أحد يخطب ودّهم أو يبغي صداقتهم أو حتى يكنّ الاحترام لهم ولكن الهدف هو نهب ثرواتهم والاستيلاء على أرضهم ومواقعهم الجغرافية وتحويلهم إلى مأمورين بإمرة الصهيوني، ومصيرهم سيكون كمصير من طبّع مع الصهاينة من الحكام العرب قبلهم؛ فسيعاملهم الصهاينة بإذلال باعتبارهم عرباً مهزومين مستسلمين؛ فتعامُل إسرائيل مع المطبعين قبل التطبيع ليس كمثله بعد التطبيع.

فمن يجاهد اليوم فإنما يجاهد لنفسه، ومن يرتمي في أحضان الصهاينة ويطبّع حتى على الهاتف فسيعلم الظالمون أي منقلب سينقلبون. حين يعتبر العرب أنّ الانتصار لفلسطين هو انتصار ضروري للذات وللهوية، وأنّه لا فرق لدى هذا العدوّ بين أبناء العرب في بلدانهم المختلفة حينذاك فقط نكون قد بدأنا بخدمة فلسطين وخدمة أنفسنا وبلداننا ومستقبل شعوبنا  

American dream, global nightmare

By Keith Harmon Snow

September 10, 2020 – 20:35

For many years I have mistakenly believed that police shootings and killings of blacks and Native Americans in the United States occurred because police officers had made some kind of mistake.

The cops were poorly trained, my conscience argued, they made a mistake, but they can be reformed, they can be better trained. I saw it as a lack of training, a phenomenon that occurred due to some accident of circumstances or a moment of confusion. Now I more clearly see that police in the United States—especially white but not only white police—shoot and kill people of color out of hate.  

It has always been this way.  The modern era of black lives doesn’t matter is no aberration.  How can we speak of the ‘Death of the American Dream’ when for millions of people their reality in the land of the free and home of the brave has revolved around the imperatives of struggling to survive in the shadows of predatory capitalism? The violence grew alongside the great European enlightenment, and then the Conquistadors brought conquest and annihilation to the shores of Turtle Island—what the white man calls ‘America’—and to the Spice Islands and the Kingdoms of Kongo and everywhere they went, and then came the galleons packed with once free African men and women sold into the brutality of plantation slavery.  Life for far too many Americans—north, south, central—has always been more nightmare than a dream. 

Our own citizens marginalized by our own U.S. government are not special in this regard. If we the conscious and caring people of the world open our hearts, minds, and eyes, we bear witness to the most horrible suffering, rampant injustice, unspeakable atrocities, war, and plunder being committed against innocent people everywhere.  One might have to dig tooth and nail to get beyond the unprecedented censorship, somehow defeat the exclusive algorithms of social media and reject the false fact-checkers, but the evidence is irrefutable: The power brokers of the United States of America and its closest corporatized allies—Canada, Europe, Israel, Australia, Japan—constitute a supreme and immediate threat to all life on planet Earth.  Of course, to admit this ugly fact one must confront the demons of disbelief and most people will never do that. The fact-checkers would reject it as false in any case.

I have met people all over the world whose consciousness was falsely informed by the idea of the ‘American Dream’, a pure fantasy that has spread and, like a true virus, infected the minds of people free and unfree all over the world. Take the young Congolese soldier who aspires to serve in the U.S. military.  What is the source of this Dream? How does it proliferate in far-off places and everywhere infect so many minds and, it appears, hearts?

The cognitive dissonance that everywhere prevails is due to the power, reach, and success of the western propaganda system. Hollywood and Netflix films travel the world faster than the speed of light and deepen the shadows that everywhere dim the consciousness of humanity.  Life is becoming more machine than man, more man than woman, more disconnected from itself every day. Transhumanism is the new eugenics. Western consciousness is falsified by powerful elite individuals and their institutions of state power, propaganda, and perception management, including the traditional mass media mainstays (e.g. the New York Times, National Public Radio, Observer, Agence France Press, AP, BBC, Washington Post, Newsweek, etc.) but also the antisocial media of the Facebook, Twitter and Google kind.  What else could explain the cognitive dissonance whereby so many of the world’s people act against their own interests in support of a very real contemporary fascism?  

Language has been so utterly perverted to serve the forces that divide and conquer that it is nearly impossible to convey the truth as I see it: people have been deeply conditioned to believe that which is unbelievable and disbelieve the truth even when it hits them right between the eyes.  You don’t have to be a western news consumer to be sick from eating the corporate propaganda of one flavor or another, and so we have entire populations clamoring to have what we in North America have, but not at all prepared to accept the sacrifices that come with having it, and who—not incidentally —are forced to suffer the indignities that come with not having it so that we can.

Fascism, for example, is not about jackboots and swastikas, though there is plenty of that variety in the world, and particularly in today’s Trumpian dystopia, but rather a matter of the health or illness of the character structure of the individual. Otherwise reasonable and thinking human beings are so quickly lost to a cycle of self-fulfilling hysteria (read: fascism) inculcated in their inner being by the many sociological and psychological operations being conducted against them (read: us) by elite interests, predatory corporations, phantasmagorical ‘entertainment’ industries, think tanks, the mass media, and even the charity complex.  The great American Empire does not limit psychological warfare only to the targeting of its enemies, and torture is a useful tool that the Trumps, Bidens, Trudeaus, Clintons, and Netanyahu’s (sic) will quickly and quietly deploy against anyone who has something important truth to tell or anyone who gets in the way of those who don’t want it told.   

The example of toxic pharmaceutical injections (so-called ‘vaccines’) being served on unwitting dark-skinned populations quickly comes to mind, followed immediately by the clamoring for telecom microchip implants that will fundamentally dehumanize humanity.  It’s astonishing that more people don’t see how easily we have been fooled; that they don’t —for example—stand up and tell the elite powers-that-be to stick their toxic injections up their assets. Even if they did, the response is obvious: beat the people up, imprison them, torture them into submission, and stick it to them.

The stellar contemporary example of selling oneself out for the dictates of predatory capitalism is the COVID-19 conspiracy.  The world is overcome by a systematically manufactured fear and it has left people everywhere jumping at shadows, even their own.  One more example would be the conspiracy of 9-11 that for so many years now has informed and driven the great American hatred of all things Islam and all people Islamic and has provided a convenient cover story to justify the permanent warfare economies of the Zionist Anglo-American Empire, and the wars that they feed on. Alas, Islam has no corner on the market of American hate: with the COVID-19(84) scare the North American public has descended into a hysterical xenophobic fear and hatred of all things Chinese.  It doesn’t matter that Bill Gates and his satanic conspirators orchestrated their premeditated profiteering by first moving their pharmaceutical interests offshore to some far-off place called Wuhan.  Fear is the most valuable currency wielded by the people that pretend to be our ‘leaders’.

The disconnect between what is real and what is virtual is nowhere so starkly obvious, and sometimes horrible, and universally beautiful, as it is when you exit technological ‘civilization’—the matrix of indoctrination and conditioning that revolves around the bombardment of the senses with constant advertising and infotainment and subliminal seduction—and enter what westerners have been conditioned to see as the ‘uncivilized’ world comprised of rural Africa, Asia, Latin America or West Asia.

Indeed, the entire juggernaut of capitalism and its ‘achievements’—if global dominance, pollution, disease, trafficking in women and children, war crimes and genocide count as achievements, which for the psychopaths in power, they do—and the global onslaught of the multinational corporation is based on the expropriation of raw materials from all over the earth and the perpetual re-supply and re-stimulation of the ‘global’ economy for the production of unnecessary and unwanted products peddled by unnecessary and unwanted corporations to justify unnecessary and unwanted ecological destruction.

The pace of our modern world makes it impossible for people to navigate the facts or fictions about events and policies that define our reality. Global surveillance, data collection, and social engineering are no longer the exclusive haunts of the spooks at the CIA, MI-6, or MOSSAD. Now everyone is at risk of becoming the unwitting pushers of propaganda that would be nauseating to a truly awakened consciousness.  It seems people are so hopelessly lost that they will without question choose to sacrifice their children to save their own bodies.  And so, what do we have? We have an Empire of otherwise good people blindly doing everything wrong and convinced they are the greatest saints in the universe.  They follow the pied pipers of propaganda condoning the most egregious crimes committed in the name of the great state’s red white and blue, atrocities the likes of which they cannot even imagine and committed by the dirtiest spymasters and covert operatives. 

We may indeed be at the end of an era, but this has nothing to do with the monumental fraud of the upcoming U.S. national elections. True, these may cause the great Satanical Empire to pause, but only so much as one white supremacist war-mongering philanderer might be substituted for another.  And there is the great hope for so many people of the world, it seems: they believe that all that needs to be done is swap one delusional white savior for another, and truth and justice will be restored to the world. Nothing can be further from the truth. There is no such thing as the lesser of two evils.  The American dream is not so much dead as it is adrift on a dark and stormy sea. 

This does not mean that the end is near, although in global environmental terms I personally believe it is.  The corpse may yet be revealed.  Who can say for sure?  The evidence suggests that positive feedback loops have been set in motion and the climate is spiraling out of control.  Thus, it is only a matter of time for all of us. There is a bigger picture, but North Americans and Brits and Israelis are wholly incapable of seeing it.  

I often say: “If you are reading the New York Times you are contributing to your own mental illness.”  This is no joke: I am completely serious. (Substitute any other mainstay of the western corporate-prostituted media and the statement still applies.)  My sincerity comes after foolishly dedicating years of my life to researching world events, investigating the corruption of the Empire, juxtaposing these with the realities I have seen and experienced, and comparing them to the propaganda produced by our so-called democratic society.  These are advertising delivery mechanisms meant to manipulate public opinion and manufacture consent while simultaneously making someone a lot of money.  The reaction by consumers of western propaganda to my thesis is generally hysterical.  The smarter ones are certain that they are immune to the dirty tricks of the propaganda pundits, and so they reject the thesis outright, and with great disdain, if not laughter, but only after lecturing me about their clairvoyance (and my ignorance).  The more intellectual the consumer of this propaganda, the more arrogant the certainty of their immunity to it.  

These intellectuals couldn’t be more wrong.  Miseducated by the best colleges, they are like academics living in their own little worlds, debating amongst themselves, or like the politicians that inhabit the wasteland of private profit and perfidious power we call the U.S. ‘Congress’.  Do you think they have ever read such great works as the Upanishads? The Abbasids?  The Conceptions of Nature and Methods Used for Its Study by the Ikhwan al Safa, al-Biruni, and Ibn Sina?  The Koran?

The American dream lives on in many good people, and that is because we hold out a flicker of hope that someday of reckoning might be near, that a deeper consciousness will take hold, that enough people will stand up to the evil—in all its ugly cowardly petty manifestations—and together with good people of all nations and colors and faiths the world over we will usher in a new paradigm that is grounded in wisdom and love.   


Keith Harmon Snow is the 2009 Regent’s Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work on war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.  A photojournalist and war correspondent, he is a three-time Project Censored award-winner.

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موسكو ومشروع جذب فرنسا إلى سورية تحت عنوان الإعمار

ناصر قنديل

أن تكون زيارة وفد حكوميّ روسيّ رفيع الى دمشق هي الزيارة الثانية لوزير الخارجية الروسيّة سيرغي لافروف لسورية، فذلك يعني رمزيّة يُراد لها أن تؤشر لما هو غير عادي، وأن يقول لافروف في ختام الزيارة إن عودة الوضع الطبيعيّ في سورية بنسبة كبيرة يفتح ملف إعادة الإعمار كأولوية، وأهمية حشد الدعم الدولي لذلك، فهذا يعني أن ثمة في المضمون ما يدعو لمناقشة على درجة عالية من الجدية للمشهد الدولي والإقليمي وبلورة توجهات تتصل بتحديد الوجهات المستهدفة في عملية إعادة الإعمار على خلفيّة سقوط الرهانات الخارجية على العبث بالاستقرار الداخلي في سورية، ونجاح مشروع الدولة السورية في فرض حضوره والصمود بوجه التحديات بدعم مستمر ونوعي وثابت من الحلفاء، فماذا عساه يكون، إضافة لما يمكن أن يقدمه تعزيز دعم الحلفاء في روسيا وإيران للدولة السورية وتعزيز التعاون الاقتصادي مع القطاعين العام والخاص في سورية، ليحتاج اللقاء على هذا المستوى من الأهمية التي أريد تسليط الضوء عليها؟

خلال سنوات قليلة مضت كانت روسيا وهي تقدم نموذج علاقتها مع تركيا، بالتعاون مع إيران، تتوجّه نحو الحلقة الثانية من التموضع في صفوف حلف الحرب على سورية، للانتقال من ضفة الحرب إلى ضفة السلم، والحلقة الثانية تمثلها فرنسا المهتمّة منذ زمن بإعادة الإعمار في سورية، وفي عيون موسكو أن الوقت حان لباريس التي تدرك وصول الحرب على سورية إلى طريق مسدود، كما تدرك حجم التوازن الذي تحرص عليه موسكو بين أنقرة وباريس في ليبيا، تعرف وقد بدأت مهمة رعاية النهوض الاقتصادي في لبنان من بوابة التسوية السياسية، أن البداية من لبنان تعني التحضير للتوجه نحو سورية، العمق الطبيعي للاقتصاد اللبناني، وممره الإلزامي نحو الأسواق العربية في الخليج والعراق، وعمقه السياسي في بيئة استراتيجية يشكل النفط والغاز طرفها الأول، والصراع بين محور المقاومة والحلف الأميركي الإسرائيلي طرفها الثاني، وتقف روسيا على نقاط ومفاصل هاتين المعادلتين بدقة تعرفها باريس، تفتح الطريق الموازي الذي لا بد منه لمبادرة فرنسية تسير بين النقاط في المعادلتين على الضفة اللبنانية، لا تكتمل من دون أن تتحصن بالتوجه نحو سورية.

فرنسا بعيون روسية تمثل ثلاث معادلات ترسم موقفها وموقعها، فهي شريك روسيا في التمسك بالاتفاق النووي الإيراني الذي خرجت منه واشنطن، ومؤخراً وقفت فرنسا مع روسيا في وجه المسعى الأميركي لتجديد الحظر على السلاح على إيران خلافاً لما ينص عليه الاتفاق النووي، وفرنسا منافس لتركيا في المتوسط وتحتاج لتوازن دولي وإقليمي معها على مستوى الفاعلين في البيئة الاستراتيجية الواحدة، وطرف التوازن هنا هو روسيا وإيران، وهما على تواصل مع فرنسا وسمعتا منها رغبة واضحة بالتعاون الإقليمي الذي تعرف فرنسا أن بوابته سورية، وفرنسا أظهرت في لبنان رغبة بتوجيه رسالة مفادها أنها لا تأتي لتنفيذ أجندة تقييد وحصار الحليف اللبناني لروسيا وإيران في سورية الذي يمثله حزب الله، الحليف الاستراتيجي للدولة السورية الذي يحمّله بعض خصوم سورية مسؤولية هزيمتهم في الحرب عليها، ولدى فرنسا معطيات كافية عن مساع تركية لطلب الدعم من حزب الله وروسيا وإيران لوراثة الدورين السعودي والفرنسي في لبنان، مقابل تنازلات تركيّة في سورية، ولم تلق الدعوات التركية الاستجابة التي كانت تسعى إليها أنقرة.

موسكو التي تعمل على خطّ حوار بين الدولة السورية والجماعات الكردية التي تربطها علاقات مميزة بفرنسا، ضمن معادلة خروج أميركي سلس من سورية، كما تعمل على توسيع نطاق الترتيبات المشتركة مع تركيا في منطقة ادلب لتعزيز الاستقرار وتقدّم مسار حضور الدولة السورية بالتوازي مع تقدّم المسار السياسي الذي كانت تعتبره فرنسا شرطاً للتقدم نحو مشروع إعادة الإعمار، هي موسكو التي تعلن عن أولوية إعادة إعمار سورية وحشد الدعم الدولي لها لتمنح فرنسا فرصة تلتقطها لبلورة صورة أشمل للدور المتوسطي لفرنسا الذي لا يكتمل بدون الحلقة السورية، وفي سورية دولة رفضت علاقات تحت الطاولة عرضها الفرنسيون مراراً، وكان جوابها على مثل هذه الدعوات المتكررة أن الأولوية هي لعودة العلاقات الدبلوماسية، وأن السفارة الفرنسية في دمشق هي الجهة الصالحة لبحث كل الأمور ذات الاهتمام المشترك.

في زمن عقوبات قانون قيصر تبدو فرنسا مدعوة لموقف مشابه تجاه سورية من الموقف تجاه لبنان، بالفصل بين مسار الإعمار في سورية ومسار المواجهة الأميركية مع إيران، أسوة بمسعى الفصل بين إنقاذ الاقتصاد اللبناني ومسار المواجهة ذاته.

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Normalization with ‘Israel’ Increases UAE’s Vulnerability – Iran’s Abdollahian

Normalization with ‘Israel’ Increases UAE’s Vulnerability – Iran’s Abdollahian

By Staff, Agencies

The United Arab Emirates’ decision to normalize ties with the Zionist regime has increased the vulnerability of Abu Dhabi in the region and would allow Israel to carry out its plot to split up the UAE, Senior Adviser to the Iranian parliament Speaker, Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.

In an interview with Al-Alam TV Channel, Abdollahian said the UAE’s wrong decision and strategic mistake to normalize ties with ‘Israel’ reveals that Abu Dhabi is under the influence of the US and cannot make independent decisions.

“The American and Zionist pressures caused the UAE to suffer such humiliation and commit this treason against the Palestinian nation and cause,” he added.

The Iranian official further warned that the ‘Israeli’ entity’s main objective behind normalization of ties with Arab states is to have access to Arab and Islamic countries to carry out a major plot for disintegration of the region.

The American-Zionist plots entail disintegration of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Abdollahian said, adding that ‘Israel’ plans to partition even a small country like the UAE and create seven separate states or emirates.

The Iranian adviser warned Emirati officials that playing in the field of the US and ‘Israel’ would increase their vulnerability in the region. “It means that insecurity in the region will escalate, and escalation of insecurity could have inappropriate impacts on all regional countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Abdollahian went on to say that the Emirati rulers have been thrown into great political confusion and have adopted wrong policies on the basis of trial and error, adding, “If the UAE does not rethink its ties with the Zionist regime and its policies on neighbors and the region, the Zionists who have come under the guise of peace today will push them back for tens of years.”

The United Arab Emirates and the Zionist regime announced in August they have reached a deal that will lead to a full normalization of diplomatic relations.

The move has drawn strong criticism from many Islamic countries and regional organizations.

THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT, ANNEXATION AND NORMALIZATION

Source

The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization

As the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on with no end in sight, Israel and the US have launched an all-out push to resolve the conflict once and for all, on Israel’s terms. If the manoeuvre is successful, Israel will end up with all of the territories it conquered during the 1967 war, including all of the Golan Heights and Jerusalem and most of the Palestinian Territories, including the best sources of water and agricultural land. The West Bank will find itself in the same situation as the Gaza strip, cut off from the outside world and surrounded by hostile Israeli military forces and Israeli settlements.

The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization

Palestine in the regional and international geopolitical context

The current economic, political and social situation in Palestine must be considered in the regional context. Two aspects are of most immediate relevance in this sense: the first is the long running confrontation between the US, Israel, the Saudis and the UAE (along with their other allies and associates) and the ‘Axis of Resistance’.

The second geopolitical development that is of fundamental significance for the Palestinian people is the attempt by Israel (with the emphatic support of the Trump administration and most of the US Congress) to resolve the ‘Palestinian question’ by normalizing relations with as many Arab and Muslim countries as possible while at the same time proceeding with the plan to annex large chunks of Palestinian territory and keeping the Palestinian inhabitants in conditions of severe deprivation and isolation.

In each instance there are broad similarities but also some significant differences in the postures of different countries and international organizations to these two key topics. There are also the superimposed bilateral and multilateral confrontations and rivalries, of which the mutual antagonism between Iran and the US, Israel and the Saudis is one of the most important. There is also the rivalry between Turkey, the Saudis and Iran to be considered the ‘leader’ of the Muslim world, and a deepening enmity and confrontation between Turkey and Egypt. All of these elements and opposing forces are also deeply involved in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

The ‘Axis of Resistance’ comprises the countries and groups determined to confront the efforts by the US and Israel to impose their hegemony over the course developments take, the core of which consists of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. Other Muslim and Arab countries are not willing to directly confront the US and Israel, or are allied to greater or lesser degree with them against Iran and the other members of the resistance (the Saudis in particular).

The topic of the normalization of relations with Israel prior to a conclusive peace agreement with the Palestinians has also polarized the region since the deal concluded between the UAE and Israel. Most Arab and Muslim countries have stated that they will not be normalizing relations with Israel as yet, and that they remain committed to the Arab Peace Initiative, notwithstanding that many already have significant unofficial and semi-covert relations with Israel.

While Russia and to a lesser extent China are cooperating with the members of the Axis of Resistance in Syria to defeat the foreign-backed terrorist groups that continue to occupy and ravage some parts of the country, most now concentrated in Idlib province, they are understandably reluctant to become directly involved in the military confrontation with the US and Israel that is taking place there. While the European Union generally goes along with the US and Israel on many issues, most of its member countries have clearly stated that they do not and will not support Israel’s annexation of occupied Palestinian territories.

A broader consideration of each country’s reactions to these parallel developments – the emergence and consolidation of the ‘Axis of Resistance’ and the normalization of relations with Israel – also provides important insights into the current political trajectory and objectives of the dominant political factions in each country in the region, though the nature and configuration of the opposing social and political forces and the internal dynamics that have produced that trajectory must be considered separately in each instance.

This is just and true and revealing in the case of the internal politics of the predominantly Judaeo-Christian denominated Western countries – United States, Israel and Europe (as well as Australia and New Zealand) – as it is in the predominantly Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

In the United States, the Israel-Palestine conflict and associated disputes in the Middle East is one of the most polarizing political issues in terms of international events, and each side can find support among a wide range of social sectors, political organizations and social movements. While most of the Congress and the White House invariably support Israel, the Palestinian cause can count on the support of a small number of members of Congress and numerous civil society organizations and social movements.

Israel Blocks Visit by Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib - WSJ

Two first-term Congresswoman in particular, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have drawn the ire of the corporate press and many of their political opponents (including from their supposed allies in the Democratic Party). In 2019 Israel barred them from entering Israel or the Palestinian territories, a decision that was encouraged and applauded by the Trump administration and by Donald Trump personally.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the US “supports and respects” Israel’s decision to deny entry to Tlaib and Omar.

“This trip, pure and simple, is nothing more than an effort to fuel the (boycott movement) engine that Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar so vigorously support,” Friedman said in a statement released Thursday evening.

Slamming the boycott movement as “economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish State,” Friedman defended Israel’s right to deny entry to those who support a boycott of the country. LINK

The criticism and condemnation of their strong statements in support of the rights of the Palestinian people in ‘the corridors of power’ in Washington and the US corporate media is probably matched only by their popularity on ‘the Arab street’.

The two main contenders for the presidency in November’s elections, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, are both ardent supporters and promoters of Israel, and the Palestinians can only expect vocal opposition to recognition of their rights from that quarter unless a surprise candidate emerges in the meantime.

Many people are trying to persuade ex-Navy SEAL and former governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura to run for the presidency; if that were to occur, it might be possible that he could garner sufficient popular support to challenge what appears set to be a one horse race between the Republicans and Democrats at this stage.

The Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement has been an attempt by civil society groups to contest and counteract the clear favouritism for Israel against Palestine that exists within the upper echelons of the two main political parties, and therefore the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon, and high-level State officials.

The BDS movement is present worldwide, and faces basically similar conditions in all Western countries (in Europe, Australia and New Zealand) – that is, very pro-Israel ruling political parties which determine all government policies on the matter, which do not reflect a much more non-partisan, evenly split (between ‘pro-Israel’ and ‘pro-Palestine’ sentiments) or even pro-Palestinian rights attitude within society more generally. The BDS movement has been strongly condemned by most members of the Congress and the corporate media, as well as by many state legislatures in the US.

The entrenched bipartisan pro-Israel attitude in the US includes commitments to provide at least $3billion of financial and military support annually for consecutive 10-year periods, close military and technological cooperation and support in all fields, and the promise to ensure that Israel maintains a ‘qualitative edge’ over any and all possible opponents in the Middle East, irrespective of Israel’s foreign policies and objectives and what Israel does with the weapons the US provides. Nothing at all is offered to the Palestinians.

The US also provides strong diplomatic support for Israel, taken to new levels during the Trump administration which has moved the US embassy to Jerusalem after recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and endorsed the Israeli occupation of and assertion of sovereignty over the Golan Heights, both decisions in contravention of all international laws and over forty years of almost unanimous UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the matter (usually, the only votes against being the US, Israel and a small number of tiny US-dependent countries). The US has vetoed all resolutions in the Security Council critical of Israel regardless of the circumstances, with one exception towards the end of Obama’s presidency which called on Israel to withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territories and emphasized that all Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories are illegal.

Closer to the location in Europe, civil society groups and some politicians – rarely from the ruling parties – have formed alliances and campaigns to support the rights of the Palestinians, including the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement. The Freedom Flotilla, which has attempted to breach Israel and Egypt’s strict economic and physical blockade of Gaza and deliver food and medicines on several occasions, is one significant example. The flotilla that attempted to breach the blockade in 2010 was intercepted, the crew and passengers accompanying them in an act of solidarity were arrested and imprisoned, and the ships and cargos confiscated.

The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation conducted by Israeli commandos against six civilian ships of the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ on 31 May 2010 in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Ten activists were killed during the raid and many more wounded. Ten Israeli soldiers were wounded, one seriously.

Numerous other attempts have been made to deliver food and medicine, however none have succeeded in breaching the blockade. Plans to send another Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in May of this year were interrupted by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, however the organizers still intend to set sail for Gaza when global health and travel restrictions permit. LINK

The situation in Gaza

The Palestinian territories have been rocked by extremely asymmetrical clashes and fighting since the 1980s, in which Israel has not hesitated to deploy the full weight of its vastly superior firepower against the occupants of the Gaza strip in particular. The first round of sustained open conflict broke out in 1987:

Intifada, also spelled intifadah, Arabic intifāḍah (“shaking off”), refers to two popular uprisings of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip aimed at ending Israel’s occupation of those territories and creating an independent Palestinian state. The first intifada began in December 1987 and ended in September 1993 with the signing of the first Oslo Accords, which provided a framework for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The second intifada, sometimes called the Al-Aqṣā intifada, began in September 2000. Although no single event signalled its end, most analysts agree that it had run its course by late 2005. The two uprisings resulted in the death of more than 5,000 Palestinians and some 1,400 Israelis. LINK

Israel imposed a strict physical and economic blockade on Gaza in 2007 after HAMAS won the legislative elections in the Gaza strip. The PLO won the elections in the West Bank, and Mahmoud Abbas was declared president. For almost the entire period since then Egypt has also closed its border with Gaza and prevented the movement of all people and goods.

The Palestinian economy had already been devastated during the second Intifada, and the strict blockade and isolation imposed by Israel and Egypt has ensured that there has been no significant economic recovery. With a population of just under 5 million in the Palestinian territories (with well over a million more Palestinians living in impoverished refugee camps in neighbouring countries), average annual GDP per capita has hovered around $2000 per capita in the West Bank and closer to $800-900 per capita in Gaza.

The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization

Agriculture accounts for approximately 10% of GDP, light industry 23% and services around 65% of total GDP and broadly similar proportions of employment. Palestine’s main exports are olives, citrus fruit, vegetables, limestone, flowers and textiles. The main imports are food, consumer goods and construction materials. Unemployment has been estimated at around 20-30% of the workforce since the start of the second Intifada, and youth unemployment has usually been significantly above 40%. The Palestine economy and society have been pushed into a condition of stasis and dependency on foreign ‘aid’.

Palestine GDP 1995-2020

Palestine GSP per capita 2010-2018

Unemployment rate in Palestine 1995-2020

Youth unemployment in Palestine

Top 10 Trading Partners (2018)

Palestine exports:

Palestine Exports By CountryValueYear
Israel$967.46M2018
Jordan$73.95M2018
United Arab Emirates$26.41M2018
Saudi Arabia$21.01M2018
United States$14.53M2018
Kuwait$9.12M2018
Turkey$7.76M2018
Qatar$7.26M2018
United Kingdom$6.47M2018
Germany$2.09M2018

Palestine imports:

Palestine Imports By CountryValueYear
Israel$3.62B2018
Turkey$657.81M2018
China$424.92M2018
Germany$209.32M2018
Jordan$188.61M2018
Italy$110.31M2018
France$110.25M2018
Egypt$93.79M2018
Ukraine$88.59M2018
Saudi Arabia$87.65M2018

Source: Trading Economics

The already crippled Palestinian economy received another devastating blow in 2008-2009 when the Israeli leadership launched ‘Operation Cast Lead’, a period of massive air and artillery strikes against the entire Gaza enclave. The Institute for Middle East Understanding summarized the impact of the prolonged military operation on Gaza’s infrastructure, population and economy:

  • According to investigations by independent Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, between 1,385 and 1,419 Palestinians were killed during Cast Lead, a majority of them civilians, including at least 308 minors under the age of 18. More than 5000 more were wounded. Thirteen Israelis were also killed, including 3 civilians.
  • According to the UN, 3,540 housing units were completely destroyed, with another 2,870 sustaining severe damage.
  • More than 20,000 people – many of them already refugees, some two or three times over – were made homeless.
  • Attacks on Gaza’s electricity infrastructure caused an estimated $10 million in damage, according to the Israeli advocacy group Gisha.
  • 268 private businesses were destroyed, and another 432 damaged, at an estimated cost of more than $139 million, according to an assessment by the Private Sector Coordination Council, a Palestinian economic group. A separate report found that 324 factories and workshops were damaged during the war.
  • According to the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides services to Palestinian refugees, the offensive damaged almost 20,000 meters (approx. 12 miles) of water pipes, four water reservoirs, 11 wells, and sewage networks and pumping stations. Israeli shelling also damaged 107 UNRWA installations.
  • Eighteen schools, including 8 kindergartens, were destroyed, and at least 262 others damaged. Numerous Palestinian government buildings, including police stations, the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and part of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ compound, were also destroyed.

Ten years later, a report in The Guardian reviewing the context of the military operation surmised:

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, pounding the densely populated strip from the air, sea and land for 22 days. It was not a war or even “asymmetric warfare” but a one-sided massacre. Israel had 13 dead; the Gazans had 1,417 dead, including 313 children, and more than 5,500 wounded. According to one estimate 83% of the casualties were civilians. Israel claimed to be acting in self-defence, protecting its civilians against Hamas rocket attacks. The evidence, however, points to a deliberate and punitive war of aggression. Israel had a diplomatic alternative, but it chose to ignore it and to resort to brute military force.

For its part, the Jewish Virtual Library states of developments leading up to the military operation:

Hamas seized power from the Palestinian Authority (PA) in what amounted to a coup in June 2007. This allowed them to confiscate armored vehicles and weapons given to the PA by Israel, the United States and other countries. In addition, the group manufactured its own mortars and rockets while smuggling in from Egypt more sophisticated rockets provided by Iran.

Between 2005 and 2007, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza fired about 2,000 rockets into Israel, killing four Israeli civilians and injuring 75 others. The bombardment continued in the first half of 2008.

On June 19, 2008, Egypt brokered a six-month pause in hostilities that required Hamas to end rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. Hamas was also expected to halt its military buildup in Gaza and release an Israeli soldier it was holding hostage. In exchange, Israel agreed to ease the blockade of Gaza and to halt military raids into Gaza. As part of the deal Egypt promised to stop the smuggling of arms and weapons from its territory into Gaza.

Throughout the fall, Israel and Hamas accused each other of violating the Egyptian-mediated truce. Rocket fire from Gaza never stopped entirely and weapons smuggling continued. Hamas insisted Israel never allowed the expected amount of goods to flow into Gaza and of conducting raids that killed Hamas fighters.

Despite discussions by both sides aimed at extending the cease-fire, violence continued. On December 24, an Israeli airstrike targeted terrorists who had fired mortars at Israel. Hamas subsequently fired a barrage of rockets and mortars into Israel and warned it would put thousands of Israelis “under fire.”

The next day, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Hamas to stop attacking Israel, but the terrorists responded with another salvo of rockets.

At 11:30 a.m. on December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead. It began with a wave of airstrikes in which F-16 fighter jets and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters simultaneously struck 100 targets within a span of 220 seconds. Thirty minutes later, a second wave of 64 jets and helicopters struck an additional 60 targets. The air strikes hit Hamas headquarters, government offices and 24 police stations.

Israeli Air and Naval Forces struck Hamas terrorist cell headquarters throughout the Gaza Strip including a Hamas training base and outposts as well as Hamas government complexes. They also attacked rocket launchers and Grad missile stockpiles. Houses of senior Hamas and Jihad terrorists were targeted along with dozens of tunnels that have been used to pass weaponry into Gaza.

Hamas was caught by surprise. The Israeli government had leaked information to the Israeli press suggesting an attack was not imminent. Many Hamas terrorists had come out of hiding; consequently, approximately 140 members of the group were killed the first day, including Tawfik Jaber, head of Hamas’ police force. The Israeli attack was the deadliest one-day death toll in 60 years of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, a day that was called the “Massacre of Black Saturday” by Palestinians in Gaza. Hamas responded with a rocket barrage on southern Israel.

The Palestinian economy is still languishing under the Israeli/ Egyptian blockade and the Palestinian territories continue to be rocked by intermittent intensification of the permanent condition of ‘low-intensity’ conflict, the most recent escalation in military attacks against the enclave lasting for about two weeks in August during which hundreds of explosives-laden and incendiary balloons were released toward Israel and Israel conducted nightly bombing raids on the besieged Palestinian enclave.

A ceasefire was announced at the end of the month pursuant to which Hamas promised to attempt to prevent any more fire kites or incendiary balloons from being released and Israel promised to let some essential goods into Gaza including fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant which has often only been operating for a few hours a day due to chronic fuel shortages.

Whether coincidental or not, the announcement of the ceasefire coincided with the first official Israel/ US delegation to the UAE to discuss details of the ‘normalization’ of relations. On the same day, Israel sent military bulldozers into Gazan territory to clear land and build earthen barricades along the border.The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization

Normalization for the people of Gaza: less Israeli airstrikes, more Israeli bulldozers?

CAPTION Normalization for the people of Gaza: less Israeli airstrikes, more Israeli bulldozers?

A recent analysis of the fishing sector by Palestine Chronicle provides a Palestinian perspective on the impact the Israeli blockade and military attacks have had on the Palestinian economy and people.

Gaza’s fishermen are true heroes. Against numerous odds, they brave the sea every day to ensure the survival of their families.

In this scenario, the Israeli navy represents modern-day pirates opening fire at these Palestinian men – and, in some cases, women – sinking their boats sometimes and driving them back to the shore. In Gaza, this has been the routine for almost 13 years.

As soon as Israel declared the complete closure of Gaza’s fishing zone it prevented thousands of fishermen from providing for their families, thus destroying yet another sector in Gaza’s decimated economy.

The Israeli military justified its action as a retaliatory measure against Palestinian protesters who have reportedly launched incendiary balloons into Israel in recent days. The Israeli decision, therefore, may seem rational according to the poor standards of mainstream journalism. A slight probe into the subject, however, reveals another dimension to the story.

Palestinian protesters have, in fact, released incendiary balloons into Israel which, reportedly, cause fires in some agricultural areas adjacent to occupied Gaza. However, the act itself has been a desperate cry for attention.

Gaza is almost completely out of fuel. The Strip’s only power generator was officially shut down on August 18. The Karem Abu Salem Crossing, which allows barely limited supplies to reach Gaza through Israel, has also been closed by an Israeli military order.  The sea, Gaza’s last resort, has, recently, turned into a one-sided war between the Israeli navy and Gaza’s shrinking population of fishermen. All of this has inflicted severe damage to a region that has already endured tremendous suffering.

Gaza’s once healthy fishing sector has been almost obliterated as a result of the Israeli siege. In 2000, for example, the Gaza fishing industry had over 10,000 registered fishermen. Gradually, the number has dwindled to 3,700, although many of them are fishermen by name only – as they can no longer access the sea, repair their damaged boats or afford new ones.

Those who remain committed to the profession do so because it is, literally, their last means of survival – if they do not fish, their families do not eat…

When the Oslo Accord was signed between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, Palestinians were told that one of the many fruits of peace would be the expansion of Gaza’s fishing zone – up to 20 nautical miles (approximately 37 km), precisely.

Like the rest of Oslo’s broken promises, the fishing agreement was never honoured, either. Instead, up to 2006, the Israeli military allowed Gazans to fish within a zone that never exceeded 12 nautical miles.  In 2007, when Israel imposed its ongoing siege on Gaza, the fishing zone was reduced even further, first to six nautical miles and, eventually, to three.

Following each Israeli war or violent conflagration in Gaza, the fishing zone is shut down completely. It is reopened after each truce, accompanied by more empty promises that the fishing zone will be expanded several nautical miles in order to improve the livelihood of the fishermen.

Israel’s annexation plan and the push for normalization of diplomatic relations

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing for the formal of annexation of all Palestinian territories occupied by illegal Israeli settlements, as well as the Golan Heights captured from Syria in the 1967 war. Illegal Israeli settlements have expanded rapidly over the years, occupying some of the most fertile areas that remained to the Palestinians and cutting off their access to most water sources.

The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization
The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization

In addition, Netanyahu intends to annex most of the Jordan Valley as well, which would cut off the Palestinians in the West Bank from Jordan completely and leave them as isolated and vulnerable to Israeli punitive attacks as the Gaza strip has been since Egypt sealed off its border. While the Trump administration seems willing to recognize all of the blatant land grabs carried out by Israel over time irrespective of the circumstances and the rights of the Palestinians, the latter being recognized emphatically by a unanimous UN Security Council resolution just before Trump assumed the presidency which also condemned all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories, the Trump administration has hesitated to give an official endorsement of the plan to annex the Jordan Valley.

The Israel-Palestine Conflict, Annexation And Normalization

The agreement between the UAE and Israel to normalize relations takes on immense significance in this context. It is an attempt by the Israeli government to nullify and extinguish the rights of the Palestinians once and for all, and get as much international recognition as possible of the status quo.

US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said on Sunday 30 August that more Arab and Muslim countries were likely to follow Abu Dhabi’s move.

“We believe that other Arab and Muslim countries will soon follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead and normalise relations with Israel,” he told reporters after talks at Netanyahu’s residence.

He did not name the states, but Israeli officials have publicly mentioned Oman, Bahrain and Sudan. Recent news reports have suggested Morocco may also be considering a similar agreement with Israel in exchange for military and economic aid, citing a long history of semi-covert relations and joint activities.

However, Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine el-Othmani said last week, “We refuse any normalisation with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people”. LINK

In the aftermath of the announcement of the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, the leaders of Iraq, Jordan and Egypt met in Jordan and made a belated attempt to restore the Arab Peace Initiative on the international geopolitical agenda. At a trilateral meeting in mid-August, the leaders of the three countries reiterated their determination to forge a new regional Arab strategic partnership and become a proactive participant in geopolitical developments in the region.

Meeting for the third time in a year, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi agreed to deepen cooperation on a wide range of topics and sectors including regional security, health, education, trade and food security.

The three leaders, whose countries account for about a third of the total Arab population, called for the Arab Peace Initiative for the Palestine-Israel conflict to be reactivated, stating that the only viable resolution would be in accordance with relevant UN resolutions and “in a manner that fulfils all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

The three countries also emphasized the need to “stop Israeli steps to annex Palestinian lands and any measures to undermine prospects to achieve a just peace or seek to alter the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem”. LINK

However, given the notorious inability of the Arab countries and political factions to maintain a united front and remain committed to the pursuit of strategic objectives in the long term in recent times, the onus is clearly on the leadership of the respective countries to demonstrate that the meeting was not just a ‘photo op’ and opportunity to posture on the international stage.

Late last month, the Saudis also denied media speculation that they were inclining towards normalizing relations with Israel. Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Kingdom remains committed to peace with Israel “as a strategic option basis on the Arab Peace Initiative”, in the Saudis’ first official comment since the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize relations with Israel.

“The Kingdom considers any Israeli unilateral measures to annex Palestinian land as undermining the two-state solution,” the Saudi Minister said in an event in Berlin, in comments reported on Saudi’s foreign affairs ministry Twitter page…

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan affirmed his country’s commitment to the Arab Peace Plan in comments following a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin.

Prince Faisal added that Israel’s unilateral actions concerning colonies are thwarting chances for peace.

“Saudi Arabia considers Israel’s unilateral policies of annexation and building of settlements as an illegitimate (way forward) and (as) detrimental to the two-state solution,” the Saudi foreign ministry quoted Prince Faisal as saying.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that “abiding by the Arab Peace Initiative (API) is the real test for Arab states’ positions on Jerusalem and a test for the seriousness of the Arab joint action.”

Azzam el-Ahmad, a member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah central committee, welcomed on Thursday the Saudi position on peace with Israel on the basis of the longstanding Arab Peace Initiative.

“The Saudi position is important because it adheres to Arab consensus, the Arab Peace Initiative, and plays a central role in the region,” Ahmad said.

First adopted by the Arab League in 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative calls for full diplomatic ties between Israel and the entire Arab and Muslim world in exchange for a “full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967,” the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a “just” and “agreed upon” solution to the right of return of Palestinian refugees based on UN Resolution 194. LINK

The Arab Peace Initiative: a complete copy of the text is available here.

After the Arab Peace Initiative (API) was first adopted by the 22 member states of the Arab League in 2002, it was subsequently endorsed by the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

At a meeting in April 2013 hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry, a delegation representing the Arab League further displayed Arab states’ interest in peace when they scaled back the API’s demands upon Israel by accepting a two-state solution with mutually agreed upon land swaps.

Endorsing land swaps was a meaningful step taken by the Arab League as it is a concept that allows a two-state outcome to remain realistic.

While the API has been unable to gain traction or support among the world’s ‘major’ powers, until the UAE-Israel ‘normalization’ deal most proposals on how to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process took the API as a framework or key reference in negotiating a solution.

The significance of the API is that it was the first collective Arab effort that was unanimously agreed to by all Arab states.

Acknowledging the magnitude of such a proposal, former President Shimon Peres summarized it best in late 2008 when he described the API as the reversal of the “3 No’s” at the Arab League’s Khartoum summit in 1967.

API Obligations Towards Israel:

  1. Withdraw from all disputed territories to return Israel’s borders to the June 4, 1967 lines including the Golan Heights and addition of southern Lebanon.
  2. Reach a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem as prescribed by UN Resolution 194.
  3. Accept the establishment of a Palestinian state composed of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

API Obligations Towards Arab States:

  1. Deem the Arab-Israeli conflict finalized and commit to peaceful relations with Israel guaranteeing security to all regional states.
  2. Establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel. LINK

Former IDF Intelligence Director Amos Yadlin has reaffirmed the Israeli intention to neutralize the Arab Peace Initiative, asserting in late August that it is no longer relevant now that Israel and the United Arab Emirates are set to normalize ties.

“The Arab Peace Initiative principle of having the veto on normalization between Israel and the Arabs, this is gone,” Yadlin told The Jerusalem Press Club during a virtual meeting on the US-brokered deal.

He spoke of what he claimed was the demise of the Arab Peace Initiative, which for 18 years has been one of the cornerstones of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. The initiative was an attempt by the Arab states to reach a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines. It is referenced in most international documents.

The announcement of the deal between the UAE and Israel marks the first break from the Arab Peace Initiative since its inception, upending almost entirely the principles of peace making between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel’s 1979 agreement with Egypt and its 1994 accord with Jordan, were signed prior to that 2002 Initiative.

Yadlin, who is currently the Executive Director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, speculated that Bahrain could be the next Arab country to make a deal with Israel, because its ‘covert’ relations with Israel were similar to those of the UAE.

He also noted that last summer Bahrain hosted a summit that related to the economic portion of the US President Donald Trump’s plan.

“But they [Bahrain] will look over their shoulder to see what the Saudis are saying,” Yadlin said. He imagined that the Saudis had given the UAE its silent consent to a deal with Israel, but that didn’t mean it would immediately. The “Saudis will not hurry to join [a deal with Israel]… They will be very cautious,” Yadlin said.

The other countries who might join are Sudan and Morocco, Yadlin said. These countries will look to see what price the UAE might have to pay for a deal with Israel, he added. LINK

The United Arab Emirates appears somewhat disconcerted by the regional reactions to its normalization deal with Israel, claiming that it remains committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state and to the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative. The claim was made by a senior official who spoke with The Times of Israel, in rare on-the-record remarks to Israeli media.

Hend al-Otaiba, the director of strategic communications at the UAE’s Foreign Ministry, was commenting hours after the UAE’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel was announced, and shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he still intended to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.

Asked for clarification of the UAE’s position on the Arab Peace Initiative, a spokesperson subsequently replied: “A two-state solution is at the heart of the Arab Peace Initiative. In the absence of a freeze on annexation, a two-state solution will quickly cease to be a possibility.”

Mohammad Issa Abu Shehab, UAE ambassador to the EU, told Emirates TV the step was most important for its success in “freezing all Israeli plans for Palestinian land.”

However, a senior Israeli official said Netanyahu’s annexation plan was only “temporarily suspended” to allow for the signing of the agreement with the Emirates.

Netanyahu himself later insisted during a press conference that annexation remained on the table, though he acknowledged that Trump had asked that the move be put on “temporary hold” for now.

“I said I would extend sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. There is no change in my plan to extend our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria with full coordination with the United States,” he said. “I am committed to that, and it hasn’t changed… I will never compromise on our rights in our land.” LINK

The US representatives accompanying the first Israeli delegation to the UAE made clear that Israeli annexation of Palestinian land is an intrinsic part of the normalization deal. Speaking with the embedded journalists on the flight to the UAE, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner addressed the Trump peace plan and its allowing for Israel to extend its sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria.

Annexation was included in the plan because it was clear that “in the context of any agreement, Israel wasn’t going to give up that territory,” and the US “had to make sure Israel’s security was protected.”

He claimed that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and potentially recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank would “take those provocative issues off the table.” LINK

The statements confirm that all affirmations claiming otherwise are merely spin, made as part of the campaign to promote the bilateral deal and convince other Arab and Muslim leaders to normalize relations with Israel.

In spite of earlier comments by the UAE and a joint statement by the three countries that indicated the annexation plan would be ‘suspended’, senior UAE official Omar Ghobash has admitted his government did not “have any guarantees as such” that Israel would not annex occupied Palestinian territory in the future.

Palestinian reactions to the normalization deal

In comments about the ‘deal of the century’ being pushed by the Trump administration The Guardian noted that many younger Palestinians are disenchanted with the legacy of Oslo and angry that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, still serves in effect as a ‘security subcontractor’ for Israel in the West Bank. Abbas did respond to the plan by threatening to suspend security coordination with Israel, but he has threatened that countless times before. LINK

Palestinian reactions to the Israel-UAE were emphatic.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh slammed the flight as “very painful” and “a clear and a blatant violation of the Arab position towards the Arab-Israeli conflict”.

“We had hoped to see an Emirati plane landing in a liberated Jerusalem, but we live in a difficult Arab era,” he said.

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassen said the UAE-Israel deal went against the position of the Emirati people, and was “in Zionist interests only … fuelling disagreements in the region”.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, said Kushner and his team were “scrambling to convince as many Arab and Muslim leaders as possible” to give Trump an election boost.

“They will be a prop at the backdrop of a meaningless spectacle for a ridiculous agreement that will not bring peace to the region,” she said.

Conclusion

As the Israel-Palestine conflict moves into a new phase, some of the battle lines are clearly drawn, others remain obscured by the fast pace of developments after so many years of stalemate and stagnation.

While the Axis of Resistance has grown and strengthened considerably over the last decade, the same could be said of the forces of annexation and normalization, albeit that most of the normalization has occurred in covert and semi-covert meetings and joint activities that cannot be officially acknowledged as yet.

The brutal fact remains that the Palestinians are isolated and living in conditions of extreme deprivation, and none of the latest geopolitical developments gives them cause to think that there will be any change in the foreseeable future.

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IRANIAN RESISTANCE AXIS STRIKES BACK. CONVOYS WITH US EQUIPMENT BLOWING UP IN IRAQ

Iranian Resistance Axis Strikes Back. Convoys With US Equipment Blowing Up  In Iraq
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On September 3, an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy with equipment of the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar. Iraqi troops that were escorting the convoy suffered no casualties. According to local sources, no significant damage was caused to the equipment. Following the incident, security forces detained 2 suspects near the explosion site. The investigation is ongoing.

However, it is no secret that the attack was likely conducted by one of multiple pro-Iranian Shiite groups that surfaced in the country following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi commanders by a US strike in Baghdad in January.

Earlier, the Guardians of Blood (also known as Islamic Resistance in Iraq) released a video showing an IED attack on another convoy with US equipment. The attack took place near Camp Taji, north of Baghdad on August 23. During the last few months, such attacks became a regular occurrence across Iraq.

Pro-Iranian forces not only created a wide network of active cells that carry out these operations, but also successfully track movements of US forces and their equipment. According to local sources, a large number of Iraqi security personnel involved in the guarding of US forces and facilities in fact support the Iranian-backed campaign against the United States as well as the public demand of the full US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Despite loud statements and the handing over of several US bases to the Iraqi military, Washington is not reducing its military presence in the country. Rather it’s regrouping its forces and strengthening the security of the remaining facilities. Tensions are on the rise not only in Iraq.

On September 3, Israel’s ImageSat International released satellite images showcasing the impact of the recent Israeli strikes on Iranian-linked targets near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and in the province of Homs. The report claimed that the strike on the Damascus International Airport destroyed a headquarters and a warehouse used by Iranian forces. The same area was the target of an Israeli attack in February. The strike on the T4 airport in Homs damaged the main runway and an apron. As a result, the air base was temporary placed out of service.

A few days earlier, the Israeli Defense Forces claimed that they had hit approximately 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in August. This supposedly included 35 hits on Hamas weapons manufacturing sites, along with 30 underground sites, 20 observation posts and 10 sites linked to the group’s aerial capabilities such as drones. According to the Israeli side, these strikes were a response to rocket and other attacks from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian groups claim that they just retaliate to permanent pressure and acts of aggression from the Israeli side.

Taking into account the war in Yemen, a large part of the Middle East has been turned into a battleground of the conflict between the Israeli-US bloc and the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance.

George Abdullah, 35 years in prison, in France, why? جورج عبدالله 35 عامًا في سجون فرنسا، لماذا؟

“Israelis” Await Hezbollah’s Response in the North

“Israelis” Await Hezbollah’s Response in the North

Translated by Staff

Tal Lev-Ram, a correspondent for “Israel’s” Maariv newspaper, is forecasting a tense and heated phase for the “Israeli” military along the norther frontier in the near future. The outlook comes despite the “relative calm” on the ground and civilian life carrying on as normal.

The reporter examined recent statements by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah regarding the open account with the enemy – the party will continue to collect from the “Israeli” army. He said that this did not surprise the “Israeli” security establishment.

Lev-Ram pointed out that the assessment confirms that Sayyed Nasrallah’s objective is a limited operation aimed at killing an “Israeli” soldier in response to the killing of a Hezbollah member in an attack attributed to “Israel” in Syria about a month ago.

He added that there are those in the occupation army who don’t believe that the high level of tension that may last for a long time warrants imposing restrictions on civilian routines in the north, whether on the settlers living in the region or on visitors to the occupied Galilee and Golan.

According to the reporter, the assessment of the occupation army “indicates that Hezbollah will continue its attempts to carry out an operation along the border, as it tried the last two times using precise tools and snipers so that the operation does not get out of control.” 

“Nevertheless, the army takes into account the possibility of an anti-armor missile being launched by Hezbollah at its forces, and that is why its officials on the ground strictly prevent and limit entry to threatened areas in Lebanon and avoid committing tactical mistakes in the area where Hezbollah continues to search for a target.”

In light of the tense situation in the region and Hezbollah’s assertion that it will continue attempting to carry out an operation against “Israeli” forces, the state of high alert may  spill over into the Jewish holiday season, which starts on September 18 and continues until the end of the month and includes the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement.

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Sayyed Nasrallah to Zionists: ‘One Israeli Soldier for Every Hezbollah Fighter’

August 30, 2020

Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech on the 10th of Muharram in which he tackled local and regional developments as he expressed that “this year the 10th day of Muharram comes with greater sadness because of the absence of crowds expressing their love and loyalty in fields due to the virus”.

After offering his condolences to the prophet household and all the believers in the world, his eminence remembered two stances that we learn from Imam Hussein (as). The first is that “when rightness gets portrayed as wrong, people must take the initiative to reveal the rightness even if it was through martyrdom”. The second is that ” when oppressors and tyrants put you in front of two choices either war or humiliation, the answer is definitely “Humiliation… how remote!”.”“In the conflict today, the region is divided into two camps, right and wrong. Occupation, confiscating rights and terrorism are in one camp, and the rights of the Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese people are in the other camp…

Today, on the 10th of Muharram, we as Hezbollah reassure that we will never acknowledge this occupying entity even if the whole world did. Right is what these people and the regimes that represent them portray and wrong is what the US regime bluntly portrays from stealth to domination and oppression,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.“The US policies in Palestine, the war on Yemen which is US led, while Saudi and Emirates are only tools and funders, the siege on Syria and occupying some of its lands, backing oppressive regimes, dominating Iraq and stealing its wealth, as well as the ongoing aggression against Iran since the victory of the Islamic revolution,” he added, assuring that “we have triumphed in the last years in Lebanon and Palestine and we will triumph in Yemen. We triumphed against ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and Iran triumphed in the war with its firmness and steadfastness.”“The future of this conflict in Palestine and the region is victory, just as this axis faced a global war and triumphed in the past,”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.On the Emirati peace with Israel, Hezbollah SG condemned the Emirati stance, referring to the Israeli superior attitude even in such a situation.“When the Emirates claimed that their peace plan with Israel will result in halting the joining of Palestinian lands to Israel, Netanyahu instantly held a conference and assured that joining lands is still in his agenda, and when the Emirates claimed that they will be receiving F35 from Israel after the peace plan, Netanyahu held a conference and tweeted denying that and assuring the Israeli military superiority in the region and its lack of trust in anyone in the region.”

“This is how they deal with anyone who crawls to them. Peace in return for humiliation. What the Emirates did was a free favor for Trump and Netanyahu in their worst political states.

On the local level, Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that the parliamentary factions will successfully choose a candidate for leading the government Monday in order to rebuild the economic situation and implement reformations.He further wondered about all those international and regional calls for responding to people’s demands saying: “We’ve always hoped for a government that expresses people’s needs. But how will these needs be known? Through public referendum? Public surveys? We are ready for discussing that with each other in order to cut the road on anyone who tries to impose his demands and claim that they are public demands.”

“We don’t claim that we represent all the Lebanese people, but we represent a percentage… as for Macron’s call for a new political era and his criticism for the sectarian system in Lebanon… we are open to any dialogue as long as all the Lebanon factions accept that,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

On the port explosion, Sayyed Nasrallah called for a righteous investigation in the port explosion and called for announcing about the Army’s initial investigation results to put an end to all the lies and rumors. He further called for punishing the TV stations that took advantage of people’s emotional situation after the explosion and started lashing and stating lies, saying these must be held accountable by the official and judicial parts as well as people.

Sayyed Nasrallah reassured the resistance’s firm alignment with Amal Movement and its leadership and its support to the Supreme Islamic Shiite council and Imam Moussa Al-Sadr’s family in their responsibility to follow up his case.“Some unfortunate incidents that take place between young men in some towns are denounced and must be confronted with awareness, but with the strong relation between the two leaderships, we are able to pass these events successfully,” his eminence said.

Concerning the developments on the southern Lebanese borders, his eminence pointed out that “after Hezbollah member was martyred in the Israeli attack on Syria, Israel instantly knew that there will be retaliation based on the equations we drew with our power, not our speeches. This is how respect is attained.”Sayyed Nasrallah stated that the Israelis have evacuated all their locations on the Lebanese borders and have been in state of alert for the last period waiting for Hezbollah to wage any retaliatory attack and get over with it.“But today, I tell the Israeli that if you kill one of our fighters, we will kill one of your soldiers. We don’t care to retaliate by hitting machines or locations or causing material damage. All this financial damage can be replaced due to the large amounts of money you have,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

In conclusion, his eminence called for further awareness, responsibility, and commitment to the measures taking in order to limit the spread of Corona Virus and be able to commemorate Ashura next year hopefully.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Safieddine: Hezbollah Protected Lebanon from Israelis & Takfiris, Made sacrifices More than All Other Lebanese Parties

 August 25, 2020

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Head of Hezbollah Executive Council Sayyed Hashem Safieddine stressed Tuesday that the Resistance ideology relies directly on Imam Hussein’s (P) creed, adding that it is always ready to sacrifice martyrs for the sake of the path of righteousness.

The Resistance patience and sacrifice have led to the major victories, according to Sayyed Safieddine, who added that Hezbollah managed to defeat the Israeli occupation army and frustrate the US schemes in the region.

Sayyed Safieddine pointed out that Hezbollah enemies resorted to the political propaganda to distort the Resistance image, stressing that this novel war will fail just as the military battles.

“Hezbollah has protected Lebanon from the Israeli and takfiri enemies and made sacrifices for that sake more than any other party in Lebanon’s history”

Sayyed Safieddine maintained that Hezbollah has undergone the political and institutional experience in Lebanon in order to protect the Resistance, adding that it would not never compete with other parties for state portions.

Every Hezbollah fighter has the basic goal of following Imam Hussein’s (P) path and embracing martyrdom.

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NO CHANGES IN THE UNIFIL MANDATE AND THE ATTEMPT TO DESTROY THE LEBANESE STATE HAS FAILED

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The US had threatened to withdraw its annual financial support of $135 million (27% of the $500 million annual costs) for the 10,000 UNIFIL men deployed in Lebanon unless its mandate was strengthened. The US, at the request of Israel, asked to see the UNIFIL forces disarm Hezbollah and evacuate arms depots in the south of Lebanon. But above all, the US wanted UNIFIL troops to evaluate and inform Israel of the deployment and the accurate location of Hezbollah’s highly trained and experienced Special Operation Forces, called the “Ridwan”, spread along the borders facing the Israeli army. However, this US-Israeli wishful thinking has not been gratified. A series of disappointing events has thwarted Israel-US objectives: the Special Tribunal verdict on the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was considered unsatisfactory by a number of pro-US Lebanese at the time when a (failed) coup d’état was being prepared against the government, the parliament and President Michel Aoun. So what will be the fate of UNIFIL in Lebanon?

The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 was followed by a Lebanese domestic uprising against the “Axis of Resistance” and paved the way for the second Israeli war of July 2006, which failed to achieve its objectives. In fact, in 2006, Israel was supported by several Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia and also by Lebanese political leaders acting as US-proxies, with the aim of fulfilling Israel’s wish to disarm Hezbollah. However, the assassination of Hariri did result in the exit of Syrian forces from Lebanon.

The failure to disarm Hezbollah was followed by another attempt to weaken the organisation when Israel assassinated Hajj Imad Mughnniyah in February 2008. Mughnniyah was Hezbollah’s military commander and the deputy leader of the Jihadi Military Council headed by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – Secretary General of “Hezbollah”. However, these assassination tactics did not achieve the hoped for result, and they remind us that attacks against leaders of jihadist organisations can never be an effective way to defeat ideologically motivated groups, especially a highly driven one such as Hezbollah.

Might Belarus become the next Syria?

The Saker

Might Belarus become the next Syria?
Lukashenko and son

August 24, 2020

Okay, I admit it, the title is rather hyperbolic 🙂  But here is what I am trying to say: there are signs that Russia is intervening in the Belarusian crisis (finally!)

Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building.  They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation.  To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly.  But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.

  • Last week Lukashenko said that no other elections, nevermind a coup, will happen as long as he is alive.
  • This time Lukashenko decided to show, symbolically, that he is in charge and that he will die fighting along his son if needed.

The message here is clear: “I am no Ianukovich and, if needed, I will die just like Allende died”.

Needless to say, the AngloZionist propaganda machine has immediately declared that seeing Lukashenko carrying a Kalashnikov is a clear sign that he has gone insane.  In the western context, if this was, say, Luxembourg or Belgium this accusation of insanity would be spot on.  But in the Belarusian context, these accusations get very little traction, chalk it up to cultural differences if you wish.

To understand how powerful this message is, we need to keep in mind the two key rumors that the Empire’s PSYOP operation was trying to convey to the people of Belarus:

  • There are profound differences amongst and inside the ruling elites (especially the so-called “siloviki” – the “power ministries” if you want, like Internal Affairs or KGB).
  • Lukashenko either has already fled the country or is about to flee it (each time a helicopter files over Minsk, the western PSYOPs say that this is footage of Lukashenko “fleeing the country”).

I have a strong suspicion that what happened between Putin and Lukashenko is very similar to what happened between Putin and Assad: initially, both Assad and Lukashenko apparently thought that pure violence will solve the problem.  That profoundly mistaken belief resulted in a situation in which the legitimate authorities were almost overthrown (and this is still possible in Belarus).  In each case, the Russians clearly said something along the lines of “we will help you, but you have to radically change your methods”.  Assad listened.  Lukashenko apparently did too, at least to some degree (this process has just begun).

The truth is that the opposition is in a difficult situation: the vast majority of the people of Belarus clearly do not want a violent coup, followed by a bloody civil war, a total deindustrialization of the country and a total submission to the Empire, i.e. they don’t want to go down the “Ukie way”.  But how to you *legally* overthrow a government, especially if that government now sends the clear message “we will die before we allow you to seize power”?

Then there is the immense problem with Tikhanovskaia: while few believe that she got 10% and Lukashenko got 80% – nobody sincerely believes that she beat him.  So while the West wants to paint Lukashenko as “the next Maduro“, it is practically impossible to convince anybody “that Tikhanovskaia is the next Guaido“.

So where do we go from here?

Well, Lukashenko has not fired Foreign Minister Makei or KGB Head Vakulchik.  Truth be told, I tend to agree with some Russian analysts who say that Makei is not really the problem, and that the main russophobe in Minsk is Lukashenko himself (just one example: he was the one who removed the four Russian Sukhois which Russia had sent to help Belarus control their airspace).  It is quite true that Lukashenko runs all his ministries with an iron hand and that saying that Makei is all evil and black while Lukashenko is this white, innocent, victim is not very credible.  However, even if Makei and Vakulchik were only executing Lukashenko’s orders, then now need to fall in their swords as a sign of contrition and reparation towards Russia.  Still, the Russians will probably indicate the Lukashenko that the Kremlin will not work with these turncoats.

Then there are the public statements of the Belarusian Minister of Defense, Viktor Khrenin, who says all then right things and who seems to take a very hard line against those western forces which are behind this latest attempt at a color revolution.  It is well known in Russia that while Belarusian diplomats seems to, how shall I put it, prefer smiles to substantive collaboration with Russia.  The case of the Belarusian military is quite different, not only do the Russian and Belarusian militaries train together, they also share intelligence on a reportedly continuous basis.  Besides, without Russia the Belarusian military would find itself completely isolated, unable to procure technical support or parts, disconnected from the Russian early warning systems and removed from Russian intelligence support.

The Belarusian military is dramatically different from the Ukrainian military which had practically lost its combat readiness decades ago, which was then purged from all real patriots, and which was fantastically corrupt.  In contrast, the comparatively small Belarusian military is, by all accounts, very well-trained, decently equipped and commanded by very competent officers.  I think that it is a safe bet to say that the armed forces are loyal to Lukashenko and that they would probably welcome a full reunification with Russia.

As for Lukashenko himself, he has, for the first time, allowed an openly pro-Russian party to register (in the past, pro-Russian movements, organizations and parties were systematically persecuted and shut down).  He also declared on public TV that “his friend Putin” advised him on how to react to the demonstrators.

So will Belarus become the next Syria?

Well, no, of course not, the two countries are way too different.  But in a different sense, what happened in Syria might happen in Belarus: Russia will provide her full support, but only in exchange for major reforms on all levels.  And though Lukashenko now declares that the West only wants to destroy Belarus as a first phase of destroying all of Russia, I do not believe that there is any chance for a military conflict, unless one of three things happen:

  1. Some nutcase on either side opens fire and triggers a military incident (and even that might not be enough)
  2. The Poles get really desperate and do something fantastically dumb (Polish history demonstrates that this is a very real possibility)
  3. Lukashenko is killed and chaos ensues (not very likely either)

We must remember that when Russia intervened in Syria, the Syrian military was in shambles and basically defeated.  This is not at all the case in Belarus which has a superb military (of the “lean and mean” sort) and they can secure their own country, especially when backed by the KGB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs forces.

Still, while Lukashenko might be part of the solution in the short term, in the long term he must go and be replaced by a trustworthy leader whom the Belarusian people and the Kremlin could really trust and that leader’s main task will be to fully reintegrate Belarus into Russia.  Again, a major difference with Syria.

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