US NON-PROFIT-FUNDED ISRAELI EXTREMISTS POSE IMMEDIATE THREAT TO AL-AQSA MOSQUE AND REGIONAL STABILITY

DECEMBER 7TH, 2022

Source

Robert Inlakesh

As the Religious Zionist Party forms part of Israel’s new government, fears arise of tensions over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound leading to a new regional escalation. Israeli settler provocations at Jerusalem’s holy sites have a long history of causing civil unrest that runs counter to Washington’s foreign policy goals, which is why U.S.-based non-profits that finance Israeli extremists are all the more outrageous.

With far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir pledging to fight for unfettered access to Al-Aqsa Mosque for extremist settlers, the conditions that could lead to an explosion of violence throughout occupied Palestine – and even regionally – are ripe. In May 2021, Israeli settler incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, combined with routine attacks on worshipers by Israeli police, caused a war to break out between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Once on the fringes of Israeli society, the extremist Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement have now entered the mainstream, with a leader of the second most powerful Israeli political party on their side. The temple mount group openly states on its website its intentions of destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as we know it today and building the Jewish “Third Temple” in its place – a virtual declaration of war against the Muslim world.

Although the extremist settlers who routinely storm the mosque are not necessarily close to achieving their end goal, they are hoping to see the new Israeli government grant them the full right to storm at will and perform religious rituals in Al-Aqsa. Such provocations could spark a round of tensions inside the Old City of Jerusalem and its surroundings, leading to a situation that the Secretary General of Lebanese Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, has vowed to challenge using a united resistance front, formed of a number of regional actors, including Yemen’s Ansar Allah.

THE ORIGINS OF THE AL-AQSA MOSQUE TENSIONS

Since the early days of the British Mandate period in Palestine, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its surroundings have been central to both the Palestinian national struggle and to creating the grounds for greater conflict between Zionists and Palestinians.

The Zionist movement’s attempts to take over the Western (Wailing) Wall – attached to the outer walls of the Al-Aqsa site, have sparked a number of riots and clashes, culminating in the bloody 1929 al-Khalil (Hebron) uprising.

During the Ottoman Rule of Palestine, Chaim Weizmann, then head of the Zionist Organization, saw the Western Wall site as a prize to attain, initially in order to bring ultra-orthodox Jews into the Zionist camp. He attempted to purchase the site from the Islamic religious trust known as the Waqf. In Tom Segev’s book, “One Palestine, Complete,” he cites a letter written by Weizmann to his wife, where he described, “the minarets and the bell-towers and the domes rising to the sky are crying out that Jerusalem is not Jewish,” clearly indicating a need to change the city’s character.

According to Yehoshua Porath’s book, “The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement 1918-1929”, during tensions between Zionists and Palestinians in 1920s Jerusalem, the precedent was already set for Muslim fears over any change in the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites. Porath writes that the Palestinians understood Zionist attempts to change the status quo at the Western Wall site as a gradual attempt to take over the Haram al-Sharif (otherwise known as the Dome of the Rocks mosque), located in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In reaction to Zionist attempts to attain more control in the Old City, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, created a large campaign to both refurbish the site and to signal to Muslims that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was under attack. This campaign ended up increasing the importance of the third-holiest site in the Islamic faith and in the Palestinian national struggle, combining the religious significance of al-Aqsa with the Palestinian fight for national liberation. The fact that Judaization attempts were being made by leaders of the Zionist movement, pre-dating the British Mandate rule itself, remains stored in the Palestinian collective consciousness until this day.

AL-AQSA UNDER THE LAW

The position that is maintained by the United Nations, despite Israel having passed its own legislation to annex Jerusalem in 1980, is that under international law, the territory is considered to be occupied. The international community “rejects the acquisition of territory by war and considers any changes on the ground illegal and invalid”, is the way the issue of Israel’s claims to sovereignty over the city it viewed by the UN. In addition to this, the status quo, as per Israel’s agreement with Jordan, is that the Jordanian Waqf has the right to maintain security inside the Al-Aqsa compound, whilst Israeli forces have the right to manage security on the Holy Site’s exterior.

Despite attempts to change it, Israeli law states that performing acts of religious worship inside the site is forbidden for Israeli Jewish citizens. Jewish Israelis are allowed to enter as tourists, as is the case for non-Muslim international travelers to the site. However, the Israeli police that operate security checks surrounding Al-Aqsa clearly do not abide by this precedent.

Israel has no right, under international law, to any of Jerusalem. One way that Tel Aviv could have been granted legitimacy in Jerusalem was through a potential peace deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with no such deal having yet taken place. Between 1993 and 1995, both Israel and the PLO signed what was known as the Oslo Accords. Oslo gave birth to a semi-autonomous Palestinian governing body – the Palestinian Authority – in some limited areas of the West Bank and Gaza. The series of agreements between the PLO and the Israeli government was supposed to lead to a process by which a Palestinian State could be created.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinian youth are handcuffed after protesting Israelis stroming Al-Aqsa Mosque, April 15, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP

Although Israeli negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), currently based out of the city of Ramallah, never resulted in a peace deal, the PA had only ever claimed for their state to include East Jerusalem. Under international law, without a viable Palestinian state – one that has its capital in East Jerusalem, Israel has no legal right to any part of the city.

Despite this, in 2000, then-Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, stormed the Al-Aqsa compound, causing a mass Palestinian revolt. Sharon’s move followed a march that had just taken place to commemorate the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres of around 3,500 Palestinians and Lebanese civilians – massacres that Sharon played a central role in facilitating.

For Palestinians, it was the act of an Israeli politician storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque site that served as the straw that broke the camel’s back. The uprising across the Occupied Territories known as the Second Intifada began in September 2000 and continued officially until 2005.

ISRAEL’S GROWING ENCROACHMENT ON AL-AQSA

Over the past two years, the Israeli assaults on Palestinian worshipers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound have been extremely pronounced, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Israeli riot police have repeatedly stormed the site, injuring hundreds of Palestinians and even killing a young man earlier this year. The war between Gaza and Israel in 2021 began as a result of tensions surrounding Al-Aqsa and the threat of an Israeli settler “death to Arabs” march penetrating the compound’s walls.

Leading up to the 2021 conflict, Israeli police had restricted access to the site for prayer during the month of Ramadan and even closed off the minarets at Al-Aqsa to prevent the call to prayer. In 2019, the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, pushed to install quiet speakers at the Mosque site, which indicates that the action performed by the Israeli police was likely not arbitrary and fits into a trend of extinguishing the Islamic presence in the city.

Going further back, in 2010, an Israeli terrorist attempted to detonate explosives in order to blow up the Al-Qibli Mosque inside the Al-Aqsa compound. This attack was followed by continued attempts by settlers to invade the area. 2015 however, was when the provocations began to take off in an unprecedented manner, with the number of Israeli settlers choosing to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque steadily increasing since that time.

According to Yaraeh – an organization that promotes settler incursions into Al-Aqsa – from August to October 2021, approximately 10,000 Israeli settlers entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, representing a 35% increase from previous years. This October, Yaraeh proudly announced that almost 8,000 settlers stormed the site in one month – the highest on record and more than in the entirety of 2012

In 2021, Hagit Ofran, the director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watchdog, told +972 Magazine that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had been responsible for tensions at the al-Aqsa site, “so much so that it was the reason Netanyahu was no longer in touch with Jordan’s King Abdullah II”. Since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel and Jordan have been bound by an agreement that maintains the “status quo” at the site, which involves Tel Aviv respecting the Hashemite King of Jordan’s symbolic custodianship over Al-Aqsa.

With Netanyahu returning to power, the Jordanian element to this story is particularly important. Netanyahu is backed by fanatical Israeli lawmakers who would like to see Palestinian citizens of Israel expelled from the country altogether. Although Jordan’s King Abdullah II is not likely to abandon his nation’s 1994 peace treaty with Tel Aviv, it is clear that during the Trump administration years, the Hashemite ruler had been isolated after taking a stance against the Netanyahu-Trump “Deal of the Century” model to end the Palestine-Israeli conflict. There are even reports that Benjamin Netanyahu, along with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was involved in attempts to hatch a coup plot to overthrow the Jordanian monarch – one that was publicly quashed in April 2021. The Israeli role in the alleged U.S.-Saudi campaign to undermine Abdullah was said to have been part of an attempt to strip the Hashemites of their symbolic custodianship over Al-Aqsa.

Under the Biden administration’s combined efforts with the former Bennett-Lapid government of Israel, Amman had again grown closer to Tel Aviv and even signed a memorandum of understanding for a “water for clean energy” exchange agreement. However, with Netanyahu’s return to power and the current weakening of the Palestinian Authority, if tensions arise from the growing encroachment upon Al-Aqsa, Jordan’s ruler could again be undermined. The Jordanians and Palestinian Authority have already joined hands, sending a message to the U.S. and E.U. to demand that no change be made to the status quo at Al-Aqsa as the new Israeli government comes to power.

In addition to its plans for the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians in neighborhoods like Silwan, Israel is also demolishing Islamic burial sites in the Old City. The Israeli Supreme Court has also been complicit in rejecting appeals to prevent a cable car project in the Old City, which will economically impact local Palestinians, as well as destroy their heritage sites. Recently, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem has condemned the rising settler attacks on holy sites throughout the city, but his statements largely fell on deaf ears.

Given all the context noted above, it is fair to assume that another escalation is only around the corner and that due to the silence of the international community, the Palestinian people will be left to defend their holy sites on their own. When this happens, however, it is likely that much of the Western world, along with Israel, will act as if the Palestinians are being violent and unreasonable, and motivated purely by anti-Semitism.

U.S. FUNDING OF EXTREMIST TEMPLE MOUNT GROUPS

The Temple Mount movement, which explicitly expresses its desire to not only change the status quo at Al-Aqsa but to build the ‘third temple’ by destroying the Islamic Holy site there, is spearheaded by American-born Israelis. There has been significant financial as well as promotional support from U.S. citizens and organizations. Lately, prominent conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson have themselves entered the site in the presence of extremist Temple Mount figures. Among both Christian and Jewish Americans, the issue has been of importance for starkly different religious reasons.

The Temple Institute, the most notable of a number of organizations that advocate changing the status quo at the Al-Aqsa compound and building the Jewish third temple, was revealed by a Haaretz news investigation to have been funded by a leading U.S. donor to Benjamin Netanyahu. The Temple Institute, founded in 1987 by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, received $96,000 from the U.S.-based One Israel Fund in 2012 and 2013 alone, with a number of other American organizations also contributing donations during that time. The 2015 Haaretz report uncovered that the financing of extremist Temple Mount groups comes from a large pool of tax-exempt charitable organizations that are based in the United States, ranging from New York and California to Texas.

According to the Temple Institute’s last publicly available financial report, for the years 2019 and 2020, the organization received over $2.9 million in funding. Around half came from the Israeli government, with the other half coming from donations. To contribute funds from the United States to the Temple Institute, donors can be directed from a website called America Gives, partnered with Israel Gives, a website from which you can directly aid to the Temple Institute. American Support for Israel, U.K. Gives and Canada Charity Partners are all set up to receive donations from outside of Israel.

American-born ex-Likud Party Knesset member, Yehuda Glick is a prominent figure in the Temple Mount movement and heads the Shalom Jerusalem Foundation. On the foundation’s official website, you can find a donation campaign that hopes to attract people who seek to “see the rebuilding of the Third Temple speedily in our time”. The foundation collects money through a tax-exempt charity based in New Jersey called the Jerusalem Friendship Alliance INC and collected more than $1.8 million in total revenue between 2011 and 2020.

The above-noted means of donating from the United States to the Temple Mount movement are but only a sample of a much larger pool of charitable organizations, through which American organizations and private persons can give money to a cause that runs counter to U.S. policy. Washington supposedly supports maintaining the status quo at Al-Aqsa.

FEARING A REPEAT IBRAHIMI MOSQUE MASSACRE SCENARIO

In 1994, after years of attempts by extremists to change the status quo at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), the settlers were finally successful. On February 25, U.S.-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein entered the Ibrahimi Mosque with an automatic weapon, opening fire on Palestinian worshipers. The horrifying terrorist attack resulted in the murder of 29 people and the injury of 125 others, in what Palestinians claimed was a settler plot with indirect support from the Israeli military.

Shortly after the attack, Israel declared the old city of Al-Khalil a closed military zone, later seizing 60% of the Ibrahimi Mosque and turning it into a synagogue closed off to Palestinians. The attack was a resounding success for the Israeli terrorist, who had achieved his goal of making Palestinians pay for falling victim to his actions, and making the life of those living in the Old City miserable and subjected to constant checkpoint stops. Today, Al-Khalil’s Old City is one of the most disturbing areas to visit in all of Palestine, as settlers occupy homes that Palestinians have been expelled from, while simply visiting the Ibrahimi Mosque comes with a humiliating journey through a military checkpoint and a number of stops.

Although violent attempts to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound have not yet returned into the fold, the possibility of extremist attempts to use violence at the site is always a fear in the back of every Palestinian’s head. This fear is not unfounded, nor is it without historical precedent, as the Jewish Underground terrorist group had attempted just this back in the 1970s and 1980s; to not only blow up al-Aqsa Mosque but to detonate bombs on packed Palestinian civilian buses in East Jerusalem. Yehuda Etzion, a former member of the Jewish Underground who attempted to blow up Al-Aqsa in 1984, today still advocates building the third temple. Etzion continued to agitate, heading the Chai Vekayam movement that played a prominent role in promoting the Temple Mount movement in the early 2000s. The Jewish Underground is no longer operating, and many of its members were arrested for their violent attacks and plots. However, interestingly, the funding for this organization came primarily from within the United States.

The extremist settler, Baruch Goldstein, who was responsible for the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, was a protégé of the extremist Israeli political figure known as Meir Kahane, the founder of the infamous Kach movement, whose armed wing was the Jewish Defense League (JDL).  The Kach movement was eventually outlawed in both Israel and the United States, with the JDL being designated a terrorist group for its violent antics. Today, former members of the Kach movement and those sympathetic to its cause, such as Itamar Ben-Gvir, are now about to take cabinet positions in the new Israeli government.

Those who follow the beliefs of Meir Kahane, whose group carried out bombing attacks on U.S. soil, are called Kahanists. A 2019 Investigation conducted by The Nation revealed that a web of non-profit American organizations was financing Kahanist groups affiliated with the Religious Zionism Party, which is poised to become the second most powerful Israeli political party under the new Netanyahu administration. An Intercept report in early November then followed up on The Nation’s findings and revealed that tens of millions of dollars had been donated to Israeli far-right groups affiliated with the Religious Zionism Party. Religious Zionism openly advocates for changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa. Its most prominent figures, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, have both stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque this year.

The Biden administration has not changed Washington’s long-standing position of maintaining the status quo at al-Aqsa. However, its position of upholding “unwavering support” for Tel Aviv directly contradicts this position. The Israeli government, the recipient of $150 Billion in U.S. aid, directly finances the Temple Institute and other far-right organizations. Some of Israel’s most prominent political figures also support the idea of building the Jewish Third Temple and actively call for changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa.

Organizations that are the most prominent in promoting these ideas receive a large sum of their finances from U.S.-based tax-exempt organizations. If the U.S. government does not decide to put its foot down and make its support for Israel conditional, a major flare-up over the status of Al-Aqsa will be on its hands – an escalation that could cost Washington its relationship with Jordan and even leaderships in the wider Muslim world. The Al-Aqsa Mosque’s status is an issue that is close to the hearts of over 2 billion Muslims worldwide and attempts to destroy it will be tantamount to a declaration of Holy War, funded by tax-exempt U.S. organizations.

من التطبيع إلى الدمج

الخميس 17 تشرين الثاني 2022

‭}‬ سعادة مصطفى أرشيد*

راودت فكرة فتح طريق مائيّ يربط البحر الأحمر بالبحر الأبيض المتوسط قدماء المصريين، وذلك بحفر قناة تربط البحر الأحمر بنهر النيل وصولاً إلى المتوسط، ومثلت إحدى ركائز الاستراتيجية المصرية باحتكارها للتجارة الآتية من الشرق البعيد بطريق أسرع وأقلّ كلفة ويدعم من موقع مصر، ولكن كان على الفكرة أنّ تنتظر آلاف السنين، حتى غزو نابليون لمصر، الذي قرع أجراس الحداثة وأعاد الاهتمام والصراع من العالم الجديد إلى العالم القديم، الذي احتاج إلى إعادة اكتشافه من خلال الاستشراق والمشاريع، والتي كان أهمّها مشروع حفر قناة السويس، التي اعتبرت من عجائب الدنيا واختصرت الطريق الطويل بين أوروبا والشرق البعيد الذي كان مضطراً للالتفاف حول رأس الرجاء الصالح.

لكن هذا المشروع (قناة السويس) الذي حلّ مشاكل المواصلات لأوروبا، ما لبث أن أصبح مشكلة لمصر والشرق، فمن جانب فشلت مصر في إدارته ورعايته وتورّطت بالاستدانة التي كانت مدخلاً للهيمنة عليها، ومن جانب آخر كانت حماية القناة من الشرق تتطلّب إيجاد كيان غريب ومعادٍ للمنطقة يقوم بأعمال الحراسة ويكون عنصراً يمنع الوحدة والاتصال بين سورية ومصر، فكانت البذرة الشيطانية (إسرائيل).

تحوّلت قناة السويس من نعمة لمصر والشرق لتصبح نقمة، فأدّت الى احتلال مصر من قبل الإنجليز عام 1882، ثم إلى العدوان الثلاثي إثر تأميمها عام 1956، وكانت الشرارة التي أشعلت حرب 1967، والتي لا زلنا نعيش تداعياتها، ويبدو أننا سنعاني لفترة ليست بالقصيرة، فقد تسبّبت بأن يتداعى الأمن القومي للإقليم بأسره، وأن يُستبدل بأمن النظام ثم بأمن الرئيس الحاكم، ومن النماذج الواضحة نرى ذلك في تنازل مصر السيسية عن جزيرتي تيران وصنافير ومضائقهما للسعودية، وكان إغلاق تلك المضائق هو السبب المباشر لحرب 1967، وهذه المضائق قد تحوّلت اليوم إلى مضائق سعودية يسري عليها قانون المضائق وأعالي البحار.
في الأعوام الماضية أخذت حوادث جنوح السفن تتكرّر في القناة، مما أدّى إلى تعطيل المرور وتأخير السفن المنتظرة بطوابير، عدا عن أنّ السفن المتوسطة والضخمة لم تعُد تستطيع الإبحار في القناة بسبب حجمها، مما يضطرها للدوران حول أفريقيا، فيما المرور بالقناة هو من خط واحد يخصص يوم للسفن المبحرة من البحر الأحمر للمتوسط واليوم الآخر بالعكس.

قبل سنوات؛ تحدّث الإعلام (الإسرائيلي) عن مشروع حفر قناة موازية لقناة السويس تربط البحر الأبيض المتوسط بالبحر الأحمر، لكن إثر نقل السيادة المصرية على جزيرتي تيران وصنيفير إلى السيادة السعودية تسارع الحديث عن المشروع، إلى أن أعلن قبل أيام عن الشروع بأعمال الحفر من ناحيتين، واحدة بالقرب من إيلات والأخرى بجوار ميناء أسدود على البحر المتوسط، وذكرت تفاصيل العمل أنّ القناة ستكون مزدوجة، واحدة للسفن الآتية من المتوسط للبحر الأحمر وأخرى منفصلة عنها بالعكس منها، وستكون القناة أكثر عرضاً وسعة من قناة السويس، بحيث تتسع لأكبر السفن وناقلات النفط حجماً في العالم، حيث توفر الوقت وتختصر المسافة.

يرافق المشروع بناء مدن صناعية وترفيهية ومناطق حرة على طول ضفتي القناة، وفيها من أكثر أنظمة الأمن والحماية تطوّراً في العالم، وتقدّر الدراسات أنه من الممكن أن يتمّ إنجاز المشروع بعد خمس سنوات من الآن، وسيعمل به مئات ألوف العمال والمهندسين والفنيين من دول الجوار ومن الشرق الأقصى، كما تساهم في إنجازه شركات من كوريا وأوروبا والولايات المتحدة، فيما تموّله بنوك أميركية بفائدة متناهية الصغر(1%).

المشروع هو في قلب الأفكار المتداولة مؤخراً من الشرق الأوسط الجديد وصفقة القرن، التي يظنّ بعض من يتوهّم أنها قد انتهت مع مغادرة ترامب للبيت الأبيض، وهي مرتبطة بالطموحات التي يجهر بها ولي العهد السعودي في بنائه لمدينة نيوم، التي إنْ صدقت الأخبار ستجعل من دبي مدينة من الماضي.
كلّ هذه المشاريع تهدف إلى دمج (إسرائيل) في كلّ تفاصيل الإقليم، من شبكات الطرق إلى سياسات البيئة والأمن والإقتصاد والطاقة، لا بل جعلها العامل الأساسي والحيوي الذي يقود الإقليم، فيما لن تجدي تهديدات مصر ـ إنْ هدّدت ـ بوقف المشروع، أما المسألة الفلسطينية، فإنها ستذهب نحو مزيد من التهميش أمام المصالح المادية الجديدة الناتجة عن دمج (إسرائيل) وجعلها «كياناً طبيعياً».
*سياسي فلسطيني

مقيم في الكفير ـ جنين ـ فلسطين المحتلة.

فيديوات متعلقة


The Palestinian resistance continues to prove its presence in the West Bank

“The Palestinians sold their land”… a lie that the Palestinians destroyed with their steadfastness.

مقالات متعلقة

From Balfour to Lions’ Den: A contribution to defining Palestinian Nakba

11 Nov, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Makram Khoury-Machool 

The Palestinian Nakba began exactly 105 years ago with the release of a letter from then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the leader of the Zionist movement in what became infamously called the Balfour Declaration.

The project to establish the Zionist entity was and still is based on a long-term joint program between the Zionist movement and some colonial powers, primarily Britain and the US

As someone who grew up and was raised in the city of Yafa after the occupation of eastern Palestine in the 1967 war – known as the Naksa – in the house of his late grandfather and under the auspices of a great educational figure such as my grandmother, known as Madame Khoury, who’s slogan “I’d rather die in my house in Yafa than become a refugee” became a mantra that engraved in our minds the effect of attachment to the land… and as someone who listened and read the successive enthusiastic political articles of his father, the political writer Naim Youssef Machool, about the Nakba, the land, agriculture and steadfastness, as well as the articles, plays, interviews, and lectures of his mother, writer and novelist Antoinette Adeeb El-Khoury, I thought that based on this extensive personal experience, I should support and base my claim, listed below, on journalistic observations from the 80s and 90s in Palestine in particular and on two decades of academic research on the Palestinian issue in Britain in particular, and present a contribution to an expanded project whose main idea I will briefly list below.

We say that it is widely accepted that the Nakba of the Palestinians took place chronologically under the British mandate between the partition plan and Resolution of 29/11/1947 and the 1949 armistice with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, although there was no agreement within the framework of an armistice or the like with the Palestinian people; whether those who were expelled from it or those who remained in their homeland.

Accordingly, the struggle involving the Palestinian people remains open: Zionist domination of Palestine and Palestinian resistance against the occupation.

This article, part of which was presented at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 2011 and the Bandung Conference in 2015 and 2022, argues that although the most catastrophic period of the Palestinian Nakba (lit. catastrophe) reached its peak between 1947 and 1949, the Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of the Palestinian people’s catastrophe.

This article claims that the Nakba of the Palestinian people began exactly 105 years ago with the release of a letter from then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the leader of the Rothschild Zionist movement in what became infamously known as the Balfour Declaration issued on 2/11/1917, which followed the occupation of Palestine by Britain that was involved in WWI, especially the occupation of Al-Quds by General Allenby in December 1917.

It also argues that the Nakba includes everything that has happened since then until now, but certainly, this catastrophe reached its peak between 1947 and 1949 – which witnessed the forced expulsion of half of the Palestinian people from their homeland and the destruction of the majority of Palestine’s cultural, commercial, and social structure – and is continuing deliberately according to a plan that has not stopped until achieving liberation and independence.

Apart from emotional slogans, the project to establish the Zionist entity was and still is based on a long-term joint program between the Zionist movement and some colonial powers, primarily Britain and the US. In addition, this article claims and warns that an attempt to implement a new chapter of the Nakba of the Palestinian people is very possible, including the expulsion of additional Palestinians from West and East Palestine because the goal is to seize Palestine as a whole and the Palestinian people are seen as an obstacle that must be eliminated to achieve this goal.

Since the peak of the Nakba between 1947 and 1949, Palestinians, whom I defined as the survivors of the Nakba – meaning those who were able to remain in their homeland and who were intended to be loggers and waterers, as per the Israeli occupation administration, for the ruling Zionist class and its Jewish Arab servants who were brought in from the Arab countries to colonize Palestine – consisted a “security problem” not only in Al-Jaleel, the Triangle Area, and Al-Naqab, but also in the Palestinian coastal cities, such as Akka in the north and Yafa in the south.

When late historian Dr. Constantin Zureik published the book The Meaning of the Nakba in 1948, a few months after the catastrophe and the peak of the Nakba, his description of the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people was accurate – due to what he witnessed personally and through his professional academic tools – being coupled with a resounding catastrophic psychological trauma.

However, examining what has happened to the Palestinian people, during the past 105 years, requires a new definition or at least an updated definition of the Nakba that has prevailed so far. What happened since 1917 onward shows the numerous and ongoing chapters of the Nakba of the Palestinian people since the Balfour Declaration till now, including the decision to partition Palestine in 1947 and the occupation of the second part of Palestine in 1967, the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987, the Oslo Accords and their offshoots between 1993 and 1994 and the second Palestinian Intifada that began in Al-Quds in 2000, as well as the killing of the first official Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004, the repeated wars on the Gaza Strip, and the ongoing aggression against the occupied West Bank and Al-Quds, in addition to a set of racist laws against the Palestinian people in western Palestine, specifically the so-called “National Law” of 2018, the continuous killing of the Palestinian people in occupied East Palestine and the arrest of more than a million Palestinian since the Naksa, including women, children and elderly, the expanding settlement that hasn’t stopped and the confiscation of lands, the so-called “Deal of the Century” and Netanyahu and Trump’s annexation scheme, which I called in a previous article the “third armed robbery,” and the economic and “military” occupation siege on the Gaza Strip by air, sea and land, 

On December 16, 2016, exactly on the 99th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Letter, we launched the Palestine Initiative 100 to re-engage with the beginning of this catastrophe. We were determined to renew encouragement to open the Balfour file since the beginning of the Palestinian people’s Nakba in 1917 and held a publicity evening in London, the capital of the British Empire that issued the Balfour Letter to the Zionist movement. As part of holding Britain to its historical, legal, and moral responsibilities, we demanded three types of steps: apology, compensation, and correction. We believe that canceling any of these steps would be naive, incomplete, or deceptive.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

For Lula’s Victory to Matter: A Proposal for a Unified Palestinian Foreign Policy

November 10, 2022

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva meets the Palestinian community in Brazil, in June 2022. (Photo: Via MEMO)

By Ramzy Baroud

Palestinians and their supporters are justified in celebrating the election victory of the leftist presidential candidate, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, in Brazil’s runoff elections on October 30. But Lula’s victory is incomplete and could ultimately prove ineffectual if not followed by a concrete and centralized Palestinian strategy.

Lula has proven, throughout the years, to be a genuine friend of Palestine and Arab countries.

For example, in 2010, as a president, he spoke of his dream of seeing “an independent and free Palestine” during a visit to the occupied West Bank. He also refused to visit the grave of Theodor Herzl, the father of Israel’s Zionist ideology. Instead, he visited Yasser Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah.

Later that year, Lula’s government recognized Palestine as an independent state within the 1967 borders.

Lula’s rival, soon-to-be former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is an ideologue who has repeatedly professed his love for Israel, and had pledged in November 2018 to follow the US government’s lead in relocating his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Unlike other pro-Israel world leaders, Bolsonaro’s affection is ideological and unconditional. In a 2018 interview with the Israeli newspaper ‘Israel Hayom’, he said: “Israel is a sovereign state … If you decide what your capital is, we will follow you. You decide on the capital of Israel, not other people”.

In a final and desperate move to win the support of Brazil’s Evangelical Christians, Bolsonaro’s wife, Michelle, donned a t-shirt carrying the Israeli flag. That gesture alone speaks volumes about Bolsonaro’s skewed agenda, which is symptomatic of many of Israel’s supporters around the world.

Lula’s victory and Bolsonaro’s defeat are, themselves, a testament to a changing world, where loyalty to Israel is no longer a guarantor of electoral victory. This has proven true in the case of Donald Trump in the US, Liz Truss in the UK, Scott Morrison in Australia and, now, Brazil.

The Israelis, too, seem to have accepted such a new, albeit unpleasant reality.

Interviewed by The Times of Israel, Brazilian scholar James Green explained that it behooves Israel to revise its view of Lula. Green said that the newly-elected president should not be seen “as a radical, because he’s not, and in this campaign, he needed to show his moderation on all levels”.

The willingness to engage with Lula, though begrudgingly, was also expressed by Claudio Lottenberg, president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s largest pro-Israel Jewish organization who, on October 31, issued a note, expressing the group’s “permanent readiness for constructive and democratic dialogue” with Lula.

Brazil’s political transformation is sure to benefit the Palestinians, even though Lula’s ideologically diverse coalition makes it more difficult for him to explore the same radical political spaces in which he ventured during his previous presidency between 2003 and 2011.

It is also worth noting that Bolsonaro was a relatively important player in the global conservative, far-right political camp that attempted to legitimize the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Following the recent reversal by the Australian government of a 2018 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Bolsonaro’s defeat is another nail in the coffin in Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’.

True, geopolitical changes are critical to the future of Palestine and the Palestinian struggle, but without a responsible Palestinian leadership that can navigate opportunities and face up and confront growing challenges, Lula’s victory can, at best, be seen as a symbolic one.

Palestinians are aware of the massive changes underway regionally and globally. That has been demonstrated through the repeated visits by Palestinian political groups to Moscow, and the meeting between Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas with Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 13, in Kazakhstan. The latter meeting has raised the ire of Washington, which is incapable of lashing out in any meaningful way so that it may not push the Palestinians entirely into the Russian camp.

Palestine is also becoming, once again, regionally relevant, if not central to Arab affairs, as indicated in the Arab League Summit in Algeria, November 1-2.

However, for all these dynamic changes to be translated into tangible political achievements, Palestinians cannot proceed as fragmented entities.

There are three major political trends that define Palestinian political action globally:

First, the Palestinian Authority, which has political legitimacy as the legal representative of the Palestinian people, but no actual legitimacy among Palestinians, nor a forward-thinking strategy.

Second, Palestinian political groups, which are ideologically diverse and, arguably, more popular among Palestinians, but lack international recognition.

And, finally, the Palestinian-led international solidarity campaign, which has gained much ground as the voice of Palestinian civil society worldwide. While the latter has moral legitimacy, it is not legally representative of Palestinians. Additionally, without a unified political strategy, civil society achievements cannot be translated, at least not yet, into solid political gains.

So, while all Palestinians are celebrating Lula’s victory as a victory for Palestine, there is no single entity that can, alone, harness the political and geopolitical change underway in Brazil to a definite building block towards the collective struggle for justice and freedom in Palestine.

Until Palestinians revamp their problematic leadership or formulate a new kind of leadership through grassroots mobilization in Palestine itself, they should at least attempt to liberate their foreign policy agenda from factionalism, which is defined by a self-centered approach to politics.

A starting point might be the creation of a transitional, non-factional political body of professional Palestinians with an advisory role agreed upon by all political groups. This can take place via the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has been marginalized by the PA for decades. This entity’s main role can be confined to surveying the numerous opportunities underway on the global stage and to allow, however nominally, Palestinians to speak in one united voice.

For this to happen, of course, major Palestinian groups would need to have enough goodwill to put their differences aside for the greater good; though not an easy feat, it is, nonetheless, possible.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Australia’s Jerusalem Reversal Marks the Death of Trump’s « Deal of the Century »

INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Feature photo | Protesters burn effigies of pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and U.S. President Donald Trump, during a demonstration against the United Arab Emirates’ deal with Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Aug. 14, 2020. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Ramzy Baroud
US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” was meant to represent a finality of sorts, an event reminiscent of Francis Fukuyama’s premature declaration of the “End of History” and the uncontested supremacy of western capitalism. In effect, it was a declaration that “we” – the US, Israel, and a few allies – have won, and “you”, isolated and marginalized Palestinians, lost.

In the same way, Fukuyama failed to consider the unceasing evolution of history, the US and Israeli governments also failed to understand that the Middle East, in fact, the world, is not governed by Israeli expectations and American diktats.

The above is a verifiable assertion. On October 17, the Australian government announced that it is revoking its 2018 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Expectedly, the new decision, officially made by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, was strongly criticized by Israel, celebrated by Palestinians, and welcomed by Arab countries who praised the responsible diplomacy of Canberra.

Any serious analysis of the Australian move, however, must not be confined to Australia’s own political shifts but must be extended to include the dramatic changes underway in Palestine, the Middle East, and, indeed, the world.

For many years, but especially since the US invasion of Iraq as part of the politically-motivated “war on terror”, Washington perceived itself as the main, if not the only, power that is able to shape political outcomes in the Middle East. Yet, as its Iraq quagmire began destabilizing the entire region, with revolts, social upheavals, and wars breaking out, Washington began losing its grip.

It was then rightly understood that, while the US may succeed in waging wars, as it did in Iraq and Libya, it is unable to restore even a small degree of peace and stability. Though Trump seemed disinterested in engaging in major military conflicts, he converted that energy to facilitate the rise of Israel as a regional power, which is incorporated into the Middle East’s political and economic grids through a process of political “normalization”, which is wholly delinked from the struggle in Palestine or the freedom of the Palestinians.

The Americans were so confident in their power to orchestrate such a major political transformation to the extent that Jared Kushner – Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law – was revealed to have attempted to cancel the very status of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, an attempt that was met with a decisive Jordanian rejection.

Kushner’s arrogance reached the point that, in January 2020, he declared that his father-in-law’s plan was such a “great deal” which, if rejected by Palestinians, “they’re going to screw up another opportunity like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence”.

All of this hubris was joined with many American concessions to Israel, whereby Washington virtually fulfilled all Israeli wishes. The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem was merely the icing on the cake of a much larger political scheme that included the financial boycott of Palestinians, the cancellation of funds that benefited Palestinian refugees, the recognition of the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and the support of Tel Aviv’s decision to annex much of the occupied West Bank.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies had hoped that, as soon as Washington carried out such moves, many other countries would follow, and that, in no time, Palestinians would find themselves friendless, broke, and irrelevant.

This was hardly the case, and what started with a bang ended with a whimper. Though the Biden administration still refuses to commit to any new “peace process”, it has largely avoided engaging in Trump’s provocative politics. Not just that, the Palestinians are anything but isolated, and Arab countries remain united, at least officially, in the centrality of Palestine to their collective political priorities.

In April 2021, Washington restored funding to the Palestinians, including money allocated to the UN refugee agency, UNRWA. It did not do so for charitable reasons, of course, but because it wanted to ensure the allegiance of the Palestinian Authority, and to remain a relevant political party in the region. Even then, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas, still declared, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on October 12, that “we [Palestinians] don’t trust America”.

Moreover, the annexation scheme, at least officially, did not go through. The rejection of any Israeli steps that could change the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territories proved unpopular with most UN members, including most of Israel’s western allies.

Australia remained the exception, but not for long. Unsurprisingly, Canberra’s reversal of its earlier decision regarding the status of Jerusalem earned it much criticism in Tel Aviv. Four years following its initial policy shift, Australia shifted yet once more, as it found it more beneficial to realign itself with the position of most world capitals than to that of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has failed simply because neither Washington nor Tel Aviv had enough political cards to shape a whole new reality in the Middle East. Most parties involved, Trump, Netanyahu, Scott Morrison in Australia, and a few others, were simply playing a political game linked to their own interests at home. Similarly, the currently embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss is now jumping on the bandwagon of relocating the British embassy to Jerusalem so that she may win the approval of pro-Israel politicians. The move further demonstrates her lack of political experience and, regardless of what Westminster decides to do next, it will unlikely greatly affect the political reality in Palestine and the Middle East.

In the final analysis, it has become clear that the “Deal of the Century” was not an irreversible historical event, but an opportunistic and thoughtless political process that lacked a deep understanding of history and the political balances that continue to control the Middle East.

Another important lesson to be gleaned from all of this is that, as long as the Palestinian people continue to resist and fight for their freedom and as long as international solidarity continues to grow around them, the Palestinian cause will remain central to all Arabs and to all conscientious people around the world.


Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. His other books include “My Father was a Freedom Fighter” and “The Last Earth”. Baroud is a non-resident senior research fellow at the centre for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is ramzybaroud.net

From Ally to Enemy: Australia Hammers Final Nail in US ‘Deal of the Century’

October 26, 2022

Abraham Accord signing ceremony in Washington. (Photo: Wikimedia)

By Ramzy Baroud

US President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ was meant to represent a finality of sorts, an event reminiscent of Francis Fukuyama’s premature declaration of the ‘End of History’ and the uncontested supremacy of western capitalism. In effect, it was a declaration that ‘we’ – the US, Israel and a few allies – have won, and ‘you’, isolated and marginalized Palestinians, lost.

The same way Fukuyama failed to consider the unceasing evolution of history, the US and Israeli governments also failed to understand that the Middle East, in fact, the world, is not governed by Israeli expectations and American diktats.

The above is a verifiable assertion. On October 17, the Australian government announced that it is revoking its 2018 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Expectedly, the new decision, officially made by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, was strongly criticized by Israel, celebrated by Palestinians and welcomed by Arab countries who praised the responsible diplomacy of Canberra.

Any serious analysis of the Australian move, however, must not be confined to Australia’s own political shifts but must be extended to include the dramatic changes underway in Palestine, the Middle East and, indeed, the world.

For many years, but especially since the US invasion of Iraq as part of the politically-motivated ‘war on terror’, Washington perceived itself as the main, if not the only, power that is able to shape political outcomes in the Middle East. Yet, as its Iraq quagmire began destabilizing the entire region, with revolts, social upheavals and wars breaking out, Washington began losing its grip.

It was then rightly understood that, while the US may succeed in waging wars, as it did in Iraq and Libya, it is unable to restore even a small degree of peace and stability. Though Trump seemed disinterested in engaging in major military conflicts, he converted that energy to facilitate the rise of Israel as a regional power, which is incorporated into the Middle East’s political and economic grids through a process of political ‘normalization’, which is wholly delinked from the struggle in Palestine or the freedom of the Palestinians.

The Americans were so confident in their power to orchestrate such a major political transformation to the extent that Jared Kushner – Trump’s Middle East advisor and son-in-law – was revealed to have attempted to cancel the very status of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, an attempt that was met with a decisive Jordanian rejection.

Kushner’s arrogance reached the point that, in January 2020, he declared that his father-in-law’s plan was such a “great deal” which, if rejected by Palestinians, “they’re going to screw up another opportunity, like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence.”

All of this hubris was joined with many American concessions to Israel, whereby Washington virtually fulfilled all Israeli wishes. The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem was merely the icing on the cake of a much larger political scheme that included the financial boycott of Palestinians, the cancellation of funds that benefited Palestinian refugees, the recognition of the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and the support of Tel Aviv’s decision to annex much of the occupied West Bank.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies had hoped that, as soon as Washington carried out such moves, many other countries would follow, and that, in no time, Palestinians would find themselves friendless, broke and irrelevant.

This was hardly the case, and what started with a bang ended with a whimper. Though the Biden Administration still refuses to commit to any new ‘peace process’, it has largely avoided engaging in Trump’s provocative politics. Not just that, the Palestinians are anything but isolated, and Arab countries remain united, at least officially, in the centrality of Palestine to their collective political priorities.

In April 2021, Washington restored funding to the Palestinians, including money allocated to the UN refugees’ agency, UNRWA. It did not do so for charitable reasons, of course, but because it wanted to ensure the allegiance of the Palestinian Authority, and to remain a relevant political party in the region. Even then, the PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, still declared, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on October 12, that “we (Palestinians) don’t trust America”.

Moreover, the annexation scheme, at least officially, did not go through. The rejection of any Israeli steps that could change the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territories proved unpopular with most UN members, including most of Israel’s western allies.

Australia remained the exception, but not for long. Unsurprisingly, Canberra’s reversal of its earlier decision regarding the status of Jerusalem earned it much criticism in Tel Aviv. Four years following its initial policy shift, Australia shifted yet once more, as it found it more beneficial to realign itself with the position of most world capitals than to that of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ has failed simply because neither Washington nor Tel Aviv had enough political cards to shape a whole new reality in the Middle East. Most parties involved – Trump, Netanyahu, Scott Morrison in Australia, and a few others – were simply playing a political game linked to their own interests at home. Similarly, the currently embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss is now jumping on the bandwagon of relocating the British embassy to Jerusalem so that she may win the approval of pro-Israel politicians. The move further demonstrates her lack of political experience and, regardless of what Westminster decides to do next, it will unlikely greatly affect the political reality in Palestine and the Middle East.

In the final analysis, it has become clear that the ‘Deal of the Century’ was not an irreversible historical event, but an opportunistic and thoughtless political process that lacked a deep understanding of history and the political balances that continue to control the Middle East.

Another important lesson to be gleaned from all of this is that, as long as the Palestinian people continue to resist and fight for their freedom and as long as international solidarity continues to grow around them, the Palestinian cause will remain central to all Arabs and to all conscientious people around the world.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Hamas moves to reinstate ties with Syria in a bid to end feud: Report

The expected conciliation reportedly comes in light of Israel’s growing push to normalize ties with Arab states

June 22 2022

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh in 2006. (Photo Credit: SANA/AP)

ByNews Desk- 

A decade after the unanimous decision by the leadership of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to leave its base in Syria, a restoration of  ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad now inches closer to reality.

According to a report by Reuters, Hamas is expected to resume ties with Damascus soon, setting aside the long breakup with Syria.

In the period between 18–19 June, a delegation from Hamas reportedly visited Syria and met with officials, in a bid to rebuild their relationship.

Back in 2011, the Arab world was facing unprecedented turmoil that shocked its foundation and dethroned many of its rulers, leaving no Arab state safe from political upheaval.

At the start of the war on Syria, Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal were forced to end the presence of Hamas in Syria in order to preserve its neutrality, in the face of growing popular support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria.

“What pained Abu Walid [Khaled Meshaal] most when leaving Syria were the warm relations with President Al-Assad and the favor Hamas found with the president, which it will never forget,” Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk wrote.

However, it was not long before activists in Hamas were mourned as “martyrs” on social media, fighting against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Idlib.

In December 2012, Hamas field commander Mohammed Ahmed Kenita was killed fighting the SAA.

According to a report by Palestine Now, Kenita arrived from Gaza four months prior and contributed in the graduation of three military combat courses for rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

But, despite the ever growing sectarian and political differences between the two, Hamas found no other choice but to approach Syria in light of plans by former president Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the signing of the so-called Abraham Accords.

After Syria resumed ties with the UAE and Bahrain, the two states which harshly criticized Syria in the early days of the war, Hamas found the appropriate time to re-establish contact with Syria.

“Haniyeh and I talked about various issues in the region, including Syria, and that the relationship between Hamas and Syria must be re-established. There is a positive atmosphere, even if that takes time. I think that Hamas is moving towards resetting its relationship with Damascus,” said Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in an interview in late 2021.

On 21 June, Ismail Haniyeh landed in Beirut to meet Lebanese officials and take part in the 31st Islamic National conference.

Haniyeh is also expected to meet with the leader of Islamic Jihad Ziad al-Nakhalah and with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

التطبيع الرسمي فلسطينياً وأردنياً: قراءة في مقدمات الاتفاقات “الإبراهيمية”

الثلاثاء 17 أيار 2022

المصدر

إبراهيم علوش 

التطبيع لا ينجح إن لم تضمن “إسرائيل” قطع شرايين الحياة عن الدول المطبِّعة، إن هي قررت تغيير رأيها.

تسلسل الاتفاقات والمعاهدات زمنياً مهمّ جداً، لأنه يدخلنا في الأبعاد الإقليمية للتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني.

يتيح مرور عقود على توقيع المعاهدات والاتفاقات مع العدو الصهيوني سجلاً زمنياً طويلاً نسبياً لتقييم أثرها ومسارها وصيرورتها، بدءاً من اتفاقات كامب ديفيد التي وُقِّعت عام 1978، ومعاهدة السلام المصرية – الإسرائيلية التي وُقِّعت عام 1979، ودخلت حيز التنفيذ عام 1980، حتى معاهدة وادي عربة، أو معاهدة السلام الأردنية – الإسرائيلية، التي وُقِّعت عام 1994، والتي سبقها “إعلان واشنطن” بثلاثة أشهر بالضبط، والذي نص على إنهاء حالة العداء والبدء بمفاوضات لتوقيع معاهدة بين الأردن والكيان الصهيوني.

سبقت معاهدة وادي عربة عام 1994 اتفاقية أوسلو التي وُقعت عام 1993، وتأسست بناءً عليها قانونياً “السلطة الفلسطينية” عام 1994. وتبعت اتفاق أوسلو اتفاقات متعدّدة، مثل اتفاق أوسلو – 2 (يسمى أيضاً اتفاق طابا) عام 1995، والذي قسم الضفة الغربية إلى المناطق “أ”، و”ب”، و”ج”.  

وكان اتفاق أوسلو – 2 جاء تتويجاً لاتفاق “غزة – أريحا” عام 1994، الذي قضى بانسحاب “إسرائيلي” جزئي من أريحا وغزة لتأسيس السلطة الفلسطينية، وما يسمى برتوكول باريس عام 1994 أيضاً، والذي “نظم” علاقة السلطة الفلسطينية اقتصادياً بالكيان الصهيوني، وكلاهما (اتفاق غزة – أريحا، وبرتوكول باريس) أصبح جزءاً من اتفاق أوسع، هو أوسلو – 2.  

ثم جاء اتفاق الخليل عام 1997 الذي أعطى الاحتلال الصهيوني 20% من مدينة الخليل H2. ثم جاء اتفاق “واي ريفر” عام 1998 الذي كرس مؤسسة التنسيق الأمني رسمياً مع “إسرائيل” والولايات الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، كما كرس دور “السلطة الفلسطينية” في محاربة “الإرهاب” ضد العدو الصهيوني.  ثم جاء “اتفاق واي ريفر الثاني” عام 1999 ، والذي فسر بعض نقاط اتفاق “واي ريفر” الأول، ويسمى أيضاً اتفاق شرم الشيخ، وكان الاتفاق الأول مع نتنياهو والثاني مع إيهود باراك، وبعده جاء اتفاق تنظيم المعابر (معابر السلطة الفلسطينية) عام 2005.

يُضاف إلى تلك الحزمة من الاتفاقات المتناسلة البيانات المشتركة (كما في أنابوليس عام 2007)، وسلسلة اللقاءات التفاوضية مثل كامب ديفيد عام 2000، و”خريطة السلام” عام 2002، و36 جلسة تفاوضية بين محمود عباس وإيهود أولمرت بين عامي 2007 و2009، والمفاوضات المباشرة عام 2010 تحت وعد من إدارة أوباما بإيجاد “دويلة فلسطينية” خلال عام واحد، ثم محادثات تسيبي ليفني وصائب عريقات في الفترة 2013-2014… إلخ. 

ولا يشمل ما سبق عشرات المبادرات الموازية لـ”السلام”، مثل اتفاقية جنيف غير الرسمية بين ياسر عبد ربه ويوسي بيلين عام 2003 لتأسيس “سلام دائم”، وخطة الحاخام بنيامين إيلون للسلام، والتي جرى طرحها وترويجها بين عامي 2002 و2008، والتي تقوم على تجنيس الفلسطينيين في الضفة الغربية بالجنسية الأردنية، والسماح لهم بالبقاء ضيوفاً في الضفة الغربية بعد ضمها إلى “إسرائيل”، وخطة “إسرائيل الثنائية القومية” التي طرحها إدوارد سعيد ابتداءً، وتبناها عزمي بشارة وروّجها بقوة… إلخ.

كل ما سبق مهمّ لأن كثرة العناوين والمبادرات والجلسات التفاوضية وامتدادها عبر عقود، هو أمر مثير للاهتمام بمقدار ما هو مثير للملل، لأنه يقول كثيراً عن انعدام جدوى تلك الاتفاقات والمفاوضات، ولاسيما في ضوء ما تمخضت عنه على الأرض من تزايدٍ للاستيطان وتغولٍ لمشروع التهويد وتطرفٍ متصاعدٍ في المشهد السياسي الإسرائيلي وضلالة الحالمين بـ”حل سياسي للصراع”.

معاهدة كامب ديفيد: الخطيئة الأصلية في السياسة العربية

كذلك، فإن تسلسل الاتفاقات والمعاهدات زمنياً مهمّ جداً، لأنه يدخلنا في الأبعاد الإقليمية للتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني. فمعاهدة السلام المصرية – الإسرائيلية عام 1979 أخرجت مصر من حلبة الصراع العربي – الصهيوني، ولاسيما أن المادة السادسة من تلك المعاهدة تنص حرفياً على أن الأحكام الواردة فيها تُعَدّ ملزمة ونافذة في حال تعارضها مع أي التزامات أخرى (مثل معاهدة الدفاع العربي المشترك لعام 1950 مثلاً؟!)، وهو ما ساهم في تحجيم دور مصر الإقليمي فعلياً باعتبارها الشقيق العربي الكبير، وأكبر الدول العربية المحيطة بفلسطين، وهو ما يعني موضوعياً فتح الباب للتمدد الإسرائيلي إقليمياً، وكان من عواقب ذلك غزو لبنان واحتلاله عام 1982.

بعد معاهدة السلام مع مصر وقرار الجامعة العربية مقاطعتها ونقل مقر الجامعة العربية من مصر إلى تونس، راح النظام الرسمي العربي يدخل أكثر فأكثر في صيرورة اختلال التوازن والتفسخ والصراعات الداخلية، وكان ذلك كله نتيجة طبيعية لتحييد مصر سياسياً من جانب العدو الصهيوني، وتوهمها أنها يمكن أن تقتنص السلام والازدهار في مصر بمفردها إذا نأت بنفسها عما يجري في محيطها.

العبرة هنا أن تقسيم الوطن العربي إلى دولٍ وسياساتٍ قُطريةٍ متنابذة ليس تاريخاً قديماً أو مشكلة عقائدية يتداولها القوميون العرب فحسب، بل تحمل تجزئة الوطن العربي دلالاتٍ جغرافيةً – سياسيةً عميقةً وراهنةً. وبالتالي، فإن إزالة عمود مركزي، مثل مصر، من معادلة الصراع، كان يفترض بها أن تؤدي إلى انهيار الأقطار الأخرى كأحجار الدومينو، لولا المقاومة والرفض في الشارعين العربي والفلسطيني من جهة، وحالة الصمود والتصدي التي نشأت على الصعيد الرسمي العربي في مواجهة مشروع كامب ديفيد من جهة أخرى. وثبت، بعد عقودٍ من التجربة، أن هذا ليس خطاباً ديماغوجياً أو “لغة خشبية”، كما يهذر البعض، بل إنه يشكل قيمة جغرافية – سياسية ملموسة كحائط صد أعاق الانجراف والانهيار في الوضع العربي على مدى عقود، وإن كان العدو انتقل سياسياً إلى حالة الهجوم. 

بعد التجربة المصرية في السلام مع العدو الصهيوني، برزت عقدة “السلام الشامل” في مقابل “السلام المنفرد”، والتي أعاقت المشروع الأميركي للإسراع قدماً في فرض مسلسل المعاهدات والتطبيع على الصعيد الرسمي العربي، على الرغم من سعي المحور الخليجي لفرض مبادرة الأمير فهد في القمة العربية في فاس في تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 1981، والتي رفضتها سوريا آنذاك وأفشلتها (عن وجه حق، وإدراك ووعي تامّين لما تعنيه من تجريفٍ للوضع العربي وإلحاقٍ له بصيرورة كامب ديفيد من خلال الاعتراف الرسمي العربي جماعياً بحق الكيان الصهيوني في الوجود، على أساس مبدئي على الأقل). 

بعد العدوان الصهيوني على لبنان عام 1982 وعقابيله، انعقدت قمة عربية استثنائية في فاس مجدداً في أيلول/سبتمبر 1982، أُقرت فيها مبادرة الأمير فهد رسمياً، والتي أصبحت تعرف بعدها بمقررات قمة فاس 1982، وهي تعادل، بالنسبة إلى الجامعة العربية، برنامج “النقاط العشر” بالنسبة إلى منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، كما سيأتي.

المدخل الفلسطيني لتعميم مشروع كامب ديفيد عربياً

كانت العقدة المركزية في الإصرار على “السلام المنفرد” هي القضية الفلسطينية والمسؤولية العربية إزاءها، مع أن القصة ليست قصة مسؤولية إزاء القضية الفلسطينية، بمقدار ما هي قصة مسؤولية إزاء الذات في مواجهة خطر المشروع الصهيوني على المنطقة برمتها. ولنا عودة إلى تلك النقطة، لكن كان لا بد من “فرط” العقدة المركزية، المتمثّلة بالموقف الرسمي الفلسطيني؛ أي موقف منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، من أجل تعميم مشروع كامب ديفيد على كل الأقطار العربية، وصولاً إلى الاتفاقيات المسماة “إبراهيمية”.

كان يوجد داخل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، منذ بداية السبعينيات (وبعض الكتّاب والمعاصرين لتلك المرحلة يقول إنه وُجد منذ نهاية الستينيات) تيارٌ يرى ضرورة التفاهم مع “إسرائيل” والإدارة الأميركية لتأسيس “دولة فلسطينية” وفق حدود عام 1967.  أبرز رموز ذلك التيار، في ذلك الوقت، كان ياسر عرفات ومَن حوله في قيادة المنظمة والجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين.  

جاء الانقلاب الرسمي في موقف منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية في المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني في القاهرة عام 1974، والذي أقر ما يسمى “برنامج النقاط العشر”، والذي مثّل نقطة التحول الجوهرية في برنامج التحرير إلى برنامج تأسيس “سلطة وطنية فلسطينية على أي جزء يتم تحريره من فلسطين”. ومنذ ذلك الوقت، بدأ الانجراف الرسمي الفلسطيني في اتجاه تأسيس الدويلة مع التخلي بالتدريج عن الشروط والضوابط التي وُضعت لها، فالمهم هو تثبيت “المبدأ”، وبعد ذلك تتم زحزحة الشروط والضوابط باللتدريج بفعل عوامل النحت والتعرية السياسيَّين، وكانت تلك هي الرحلة التسووية التي قادت قيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية إلى أوسلو وما تلاها.

جرت المصادقة فوراً على هذا التوجه التسووي في مقررات القمة العربية المنعقدة في الرباط عام 1974: “إن قادة الدول العربية يؤكدون حق الشعب الفسطيني في إقامة سلطة وطنية مستقلة بقيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، بصفتها الممثل الشرعي الوحيد للشعب الفلسطيني، على كل أرض يتم تحريرها”، والعبرة تكمن في تمرير خطاب “سلطة وطنية فلسطينية على كل أرض…”.

للتاريخ، لم يصوّت إلّا ثلاثة أعضاء في المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني عام 1974 ضد برنامج النقاط العشر، أحدهم ناجي علوش (أبو إبراهيم)، والثاني محمد داوود عودة (أبو داوود)، والثالث سعيد حمامي (الذي عدّه متشدداً أكثر من اللزوم لأنه ربطه آنذاك بشروط صعبة!). 

شكلت مفاوضات جنيف بعد حرب أكتوبر عام 1973، واعتقاد قيادة منظمة التحرير أنها “على وشك” أن تتمخض عن “دويلة فلسطينية” بموافقة أميركية – إسرائيلية، خلفيةَ الانجراف الرسمي الفلسطيني نحو وَهْم المشروع التسووي.   

لكنّ صيرورة مشروع كامب ديفيد هي الصلح المنفرد، وبالتالي نشأت مشكلة “الصلح المنفرد” في مقابل “السلام الشامل”، فكان لا بد من تذليل تلك العقبة عبر إقامة صلح منفرد مع منظمة التحرير ذاتها من أجل نزع الذريعة من أيدي رافضي “الصلح المنفرد”.

كان ذلك يتطلب “إعادة تأهيل” منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية ذاتها على نحو يتوافق مع متطلبات الطرف الأميركي – الصهيوني. وأدت حرب لبنان عام 1982، فيما أدت إليه، إلى إخراج منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية من لبنان. وفي الأعوام التي تلت، أشرفت قيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية على ورشة كبرى لإعادة صياغة العقل السياسي الفلسطيني في اتجاه قبول دولة ضمن حدود عام 1967، وصولاً إلى “إعلان استقلال” وهمي في المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني في الجزائر عام 1988، تم الاحتفاء به كثيراً، كان من صاغه الشاعر محمود درويش، ووافقت عليه كل التنظيمات المنضوية في منظمة التحرير وقتها.

جاء الوصول إلى اتفاقية أوسلو بعدها عام 1993 تحصيلاً حاصلاً لتراكمات النهج التسووي، لأن البحث عن دويلة وعن “السلام” و”الازدهار” بالتفاهم مع “إسرائيل” والإدارة الأميركية، بعيداً عن “الشعارات الفارغة”، وعن العرب “الذين تخلوا عنا”، كما شاع في الخطاب السياسي الفلسطيني آنذاك، هو المعنى الحقيقي لشعار “يا وحدنا” الذي رفعه ياسر عرفات، كما أنه لا يزال المآل الحقيقي لكل من يرفع شعار “يا وحدنا” في أي قُطر عربي: التفاهم مع “إسرائيل”.. فالحس القُطري ليس مشروعاً نهضوياً للقطر، بل هو مشروع تسييد الكيان الصهيوني على المنطقة، وبالتالي تدمير القطر ذاته وتفكيكه.

لكنّ تيار البحث عن “الذات القُطرية” في الحالة الفلسطينية بالذات، وتحقيقها في “دويلة”، بعد التخلي عن مشروع التحرير، بالتفاهم مع الطرف الأميركي -الصهيوني، هو مكسب كبير لمشروع كامب ديفيد (الصلح المنفرد)، لأنه يجرح صدقية من رفضوه باسم “السلام العادل والشامل”. وما دام أصحاب القضية الرسميين ساروا في ركبه، فإنه لا تبقى لغيرهم ذريعة، باستثناء موقف أصحاب العلاقة وأولياء الدم: الشعب العربي، من مسألة التطبيع. ولا تزال هذه هي أهم جبهة في مقاومة التطبيع اليوم.  

صيرورة التطبيع على الصعيد الرسمي الأردني

بعد توقيع اتفاقية أوسلو، بات استكمال كسر حلقة دول الطوق مرهوناً بموقف سوريا ولبنان، لأن العلاقات التطبيعية بين النظام الأردني والعدو الصهيوني أقدم من أوسلو، بل أقدم من كامب ديفيد ومن أي مفاوضات بعد حرب أكتوبر 1973. وبحسب مقالة في صحيفة “واشنطن بوست” الأميركية للصحافيين الإسرائيليين، يوسي ميلمان ودان رفيف، في الـ27 من أيلول/ سبتمبر 1987، فإن الملك حسين بن طلال أرسل رسالة عام 1963 إلى رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي آنذاك، ليفي أشكول، فأرسل أشكول مدير مكتبه الخاص من أجل لقاء الملك في لندن في منزل طبيب الملك حسين الشخصي، اليهودي إيمانويل هربرت، في شهر أيلول/سبتمبر 1963. 

في عام 2014 نشر الكاتب الإسرائيلي يوسي ميلمان بعض المعلومات، وردت في صحيفة “معاريف” الإسرائيلية، تتعلق بعلاقة الملك حسين التاريخية بالساسة الإسرائيليين وجهاز الموساد. وورد ضمن المعلومات أن “إسرائيل” أنقذت حياة الملك حسين عدة مرات، إحداها – يقول ميلمان إنه كان شاهداً عليها – كانت بداية “لمواجهة سوريا حين استجابت “إسرائيل” لمساعدته بتركيز قوات من الجيش مكّنته من مهاجمة سوريا التي كانت تنوي مساعدة الفلسطينيين في أيلول/ سبتمبر 1970″.

وتحدث الكاتب عن “مئتي ساعة من المكالمات أو المحادثات للملك مع الزعماء الإسرائيليين، وأن رؤساء الموساد أحبّوا لقاء الملك، وهو ما تم في مقر الموساد في إسرائيل، وفي قصر الملك في عمّان، وفي القارب الملكي في ميناء العقبة، وفي منازل خاصة في لندن وباريس”.

وبحسب الكاتب، فإن “اللقاء الأول تم عام 1963 بين الملك حسين ويعقوب هرتسوغ، الذي كان آنذاك نائب مدير مكتب رئيس الحكومة، في منزل طبيب في لندن، بهدف تنسيق المواقف وفحص إمكان وجود تعاون سري”.

وفي هذا اللقاء – يزعم الكاتب – “جدد الملك حسين، بتأخير 16 عاماً، العلاقة التي كانت بين جده الملك عبد الله الأول بالصهيونية، بحيث أقام عبد الله الأول هذه العلاقات في الثلاثينيات من القرن العشرين”.

وليس الأمر في حاجة إلى كثير من التمحيص، إذ إن قصة العلاقات القديمة بين العدو الصهيوني والملك حسين وردت بالتفصيل في كتاب “أسد الأردن: حياة الملك حسين في الحرب والسلام”، بالإنكليزية، للكاتب الإسرائيلي آفي شلايم عام 2009.  واسم الكتاب بالإنكليزية هو Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace.

باختصار، لا تحتاج قصة الوصول إلى معاهدة وادي عربة إلى تحليل سياسي أو تاريخي مفصّل، مثل الحالتين المصرية والفلسطينية، اللتين مرّ كلٌّ منها في نقطة انقلابٍ ما، من الناصرية إلى الساداتية في حالة مصر، ومن ثقب إبرة “برنامج النقاط العشر” في الحالة الفلسطينية، وإنما هي حالة إخراجِ السر إلى العلن بعد أن أتاحت اتفاقية أوسلو ذاتها ذلك، وكان الأمر “مطبوخاً” أصلاً على الصعيد الرسمي الأردني.  

العِبْرة هي أن اتفاقية أوسلو ذاتها أتاحت الصلح المنفرد للنظام الأردني، بكسرها محظور “السلام الشامل” الرسمي العربي، على نحو يجعل التطبيع “الإبراهيمي” اليوم تحصيلاً حاصلاً، لولا أن معاهدات دول الطوق لم تكتمل بتوقيع مثيلاتها من جانب سوريا ولبنان. وكان يُفترض، على ما يبدو، أن تكتمل في دول الطوق أولاً، وهذا أحد أهم أسباب الحرب المستمرة على سوريا، وعلى المقاومة في لبنان، وتورط الطرف الأميركي – الصهيوني المباشر فيها.

التطبيع يمأسس لإلحاق الأردن بالفضاء الصهيوني

لكن فيما يتعلق بعواقب وادي عربة، لا بمقدماتها الواضحة، يجب أن نذكر أنها كرست قانونياً صيغتين أساسيتين للعلاقة الأردنية – الإسرائيلية:

–       أولاً: السعي لتحقيق تكامل إقليمي، تبلور في خمس عشرة مادة من أصل ثلاثين تتألف منها المعاهدة، غطت كل أوجه الحياة بين الطرفين، مدنياً واقتصادياً.

–       ثانياً: السعي لتحقيق تنسيق رفيع المستوى، أمنياً وسياسياً، أصبح الأردن الرسمي عبره ملزماً بالتعاون ضد أي شكل من أشكال العداء لـ”إسرائيل”، حتى لو كان ذلك على مستوى التحريض اللفظي فحسب، كما جاء مثلاً في المادة الحادية عشرة من تلك المعاهدة.

–       ونضيف أن المادتين الخامسة والعشرين والسادسة والعشرين، من معاهدة وادي عربة، نصّتا على أنها تسمو على كل ما عداها تماماً كما في معاهدة السلام المصرية – الإسرائيلية.

غير أن ذلك كله لم يُعفِ النظام الأردني من دفع ثمن كبير، بعد أن بات من الواضح أن مشروع ضم الضفة الغربية، في ظل “صفقة القرن”، يعني تصدير “المشكلة الفلسطينية” سياسياً إلى الأردن، وحلها على حساب ذاته القُطرية. وبذلك، فإن الاتفاقيات “الإبراهيمية”، كابنة شرعية للاتفاقيات ما قبل “الإبراهيمية”، انقلبت على أمها، وهذا طبيعي، لأن التفاهم مع العدو الصهيوني يعني تفاقم الصراعات العربية الداخلية. لقد دخلت السلطة في فلسطين والأردن في ترتيبات مع العدو تؤدي إلى تجاوزهما، ولولا أن البلاد تدفع ثمن التطبيع، لقلنا: على نفسها جنت براقش!

اتخذ التطبيع في الأردن، بحكم كونه دولة طرفية، وامتلاكه أطول حدودٍ مع العدو الصهيوني، وثقل التأثير الغربي فيه، وفقدان نظامه تراثاً استقلالياً وطنياً (في مقابل تراث وطني استقلالي عريق لشعبه)، صيغةً أكثر طغياناً مما اتخذه في مصر كدولة مركزية، تفصلها صحراء سيناء عن “دولة” العدو، وتملك إرثاً ناصرياً، وتملك قبله إرث دولة مركزية عريقة، على الرغم من استخزاء الأنظمة التي حكمت مصر بعد جمال عبد الناصر للطرف الأميركي – الصهيوني.

فُرِض التطبيع في الأردن بالقوة في كثيرٍ من الحالات، كما قُمِعت الاحتجاجات ضده في كثيرٍ من الحالات الأخرى، مثل اعتصام “جك” السلمي ضد السفارة الصهيونية في عمان، وهو أطول اعتصام في تاريخ الأردن، واستمر أسبوعياً منذ نهاية أيار/مايو 2010 حتى بداية عام 2016، وتم سحقه بالقوة في النهاية. 

وتكريساً لفكرة التكامل الإقليمي، جرى في عز الحرب على سوريا تحويل مرفأ حيفا إلى بوابة تصدير واستيراد، عبر الأردن، إلى الدول العربية. وكتبت صحيفة “جيروزاليم بوست”، في تقرير لها في الـ21 من شباط/ فبراير 2016، تحت عنوان “ارتفاع ضخم في المنتوجات الأوروبية المارة عبر إسرائيل إلى الدول العربية”، أن المنتوجات التركية والبلغارية بصورة خاصة تأتي على متن عبّارات تحمل شاحنات أو في حاويات إلى ميناء حيفا، ليتم شحنها براً إمّا إلى الأردن، وإمّا عبر الأردن إلى العراق والدول الخليجية، وأن عدد الشاحنات التي نقلت منتوجات تركية وبلغارية عبر الكيان بلغ نحو 13 ألفاً في عام 2015، دفع كلٌّ منها رسوماً إل العدو الصهيوني عند دخوله فلسطين العربية المحتلة وخروجه منها، وأن عدد تلك الشاحنات ارتفع بمقدار 25% عن عام 2014، إذ بلغت آنذاك 10.300 شاحنة. وهو ما يشكل، في رأينا المكتوب والمنشور، أهم عائق في فتح الحدود البرية على مصاريعها مع سوريا من جانب قوى الشد العكسي المستفيدة من مرفأ حيفا، في الأردن وخارجه.    

وفي شهر تشرين أول/أكتوبر 2016، أعلن الكيان الصهيوني تدشين خط سكة حديد بيسان – حيفا بتكلفة مليار دولار، الذي كان جزءاً من سكة حديد الحجاز قبل ذلك بقرنٍ ونيف. وقال بوعز تسفرير، المدير العام لشركة قطارات “إسرائيل”، بمناسبة التدشين وقتها، “إن خط قطار حيفا – بيسان سوف يربط ميناء حيفا بجسر (الشيخ حسين)، الواقع في منطقة الأغوار الشمالية، ثم سوف يواصل مسيره إلى الأردن، حيث مدينة إربد وصولاً إلى العاصمة عمَّان. وهو سيكون أيضاً قطاراً لشحن البضائع، وسوف يخدم سكان منطقة وادي الأردن، ويعزّز حركة التجارة لميناء حيفا، كما سيتم تعزيز عمل خط القطار الجديد خلال الأعوام المقبلة”. 

قبل التطبيع “الإبراهيمي” المعلن بأعوام، في 3/2/2017 تحديداً، نشرت وسائل الإعلام تصريحات لوزير المواصلات الصهيوني، يسرائيل كاتس، آنذاك، يقول فيها إنه يدفع في اتجاه تعزيز تبادل المعلومات بين الكيان الصهيوني والدول الخليجية، بسبب ما لذلك من تأثير إيجابي “في خطة التواصل البريّ المزمع إنشاؤها من إسرائيل مع دول الخليج”. كما أشار إلى أنّه، بصفته أيضاً وزيراً للمواصلات، يعمل على الدفع قُدُماً في هذا الاتجاه، وهناك “موافقة من رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيليّة بنيامين نتنياهو، على توسعة خط القطار بين إسرائيل والأردن، ليصل إلى المملكة العربيّة السعوديّة”، مُعتبراً أنّ “الأردن سيكون حلقة الوصل بين إسرائيل ودول الخليج في قضية السكك الحديديّة التي تربط بينهما”.  

وكان رشح، في صيف عام 2015، أن “الإدارة المدنية” للضفة الغربية، والتابعة للجيش الصهيوني، قرّرت المصادقة على مخطط لمدّ شبكة سكك حديدية في جميع أنحاء الضفة الغربية، وأن المخطط يشمل 473 كيلومتراً من السكك الحديدية، و30 محطة قطار في 11 خط سكة حديدية، “يتجاهل الحدود السياسية القائمة”، بحيث ستربط السكك الحديدية بين المدن الفلسطينية، كما ستربط هذه المدن بالمدن في “إسرائيل”، وبالأردن و”سوريا أيضاً”، “وستخدم جميع سكان المنطقة”. وبسبب الطبيعة الجبلية للضفة، فإن المخطط يشمل عشرات الجسور والأنفاق، بحسب مواقع متعددة عبر الإنترنت.

ليس الأردن والسلطة الفلسطينية، إذاً، إلّا منطقتين طرفيتين تمثّلان موطئ قدم للوصول إلى العراق وسوريا والدول الخليجية. وبالتالي، فإن مشروع “الكونفدرالية الثلاثية” (بين الأردن والدويلة الفلسطينية والكيان الصهيوني)، والذي يبرز بين الفينة والأخرى، ليس إلّا صيغة سياسية لتسهيل التغلغل الصهيوني في المشرق العربي.  

أسست معاهدة وادي عربة قاعدة لربط البنية التحتية في الأردن بالكيان الصهيوني من خلال عدد من المشاريع، مثل اتفاقية الغاز مع العدو الصهيوني بقيمة 10 مليارات دولار لمدة 15 عاماً لتوليد الكهرباء عام 2016، والتي أصدرت المحكمة الدستورية قراراً في أيار/مايو 2020 أنها لا يمكن أن تُلغى على الرغم من الاحتجاجات، ولا حاجة إلى عرضها على مجلس النواب… ومن تلك الاتفاقيات أيضاً مشروع قناة البحرين (الميت – الأحمر) لتحلية المياه وإنقاذ البحر الميت، بسبب سرقة “إسرائيل” مياه نهر الأردن، والذي لم يتم إعلان صيغة نهائية له بعد.. وهناك أيضاً المناطق الصناعية المؤهلة Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ’s) والتي يتم بموجبها التصدير إلى الولايات المتحدة منذ التسعينيات من دون جمرك ما دام يوجد فيها مُدخل “إسرائيلي”، وأغلبية الشركات والعمالة فيها غير أردنية أصلاً.. ناهيك بتقارير كثيرة عن تطوير وادي الأردن ومشاريع مناطق حرة وصناعية ثلاثية مع السلطة الفلسطينية.

التطبيع لا ينجح إن لم تضمن “إسرائيل” روافع تمكّنها من قطع الكهرباء والماء والحياة الاقتصادية عن الدول المطبّعة إن هي قررت تغيير رأيها.  فلا أمان للكيان الصهيوني مع رأي شعبي عربي يمكن أن يمارس ضغوطاً تدفع في اتجاه وقف التطبيع. لذلك، فإن النموذج الأردني لإنتاج الكهرباء بغاز فلسطيني مسروق يضع كل مواطن أمام خيار صعب: إمّا أن يقبل التكامل الإقليمي مع “إسرائيل”، وإمّا أن يقبل العيش بلا كهرباء وماء واقتصاد… إلخ. ثم يقال له: إن شئت ألّا تطبّع، فلا تطبِّعْ!  

وستكون لنا عودة إلى البعد الاقتصادي للتطبيع، في مقالات مقبلة، إن شاء الله.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

فلسطين تستعدّ لمشهد استراتيجيّ جديد

 الجمعة 1 نيسان 2022

 ناصر قنديل

ليس في فلسطين وحدها، بل في غالب الأحيان تتوهّم القوى السياسية التي تضعها حركة شعبها في الواجهة أنها تتحكّم بالمسارات، رغم ما يأتي من مفاجآت مخالفة لتوقعاتها، ومن فشل تقع فيه شعاراتها وحساباتها، لكن لذلك في فلسطين نكهة مختلفة وطعم آخر. فالصراع الذي يخوضه أي شعب هو الذي يقرّر درجة جذرية وديناميكية التحولات، وقد لا يكون هناك أشد جذرية وديناميكية من الصراع الذي يخوضه الشعب الفلسطيني خلال قرن كامل، برزت فيه حركات تاريخية وازنة لعبت دوراً مهماً في صناعة الأحداث، ورسم خرائط هامة على مساحة العالم، وبقيت حركة الشعب الفلسطيني الشعلة الأشد حيوية وتوهجاً، بردت وانطفأت قبالتها شعلة العديد من حركات كانت تصنع الأحداث في أقاليم معينة وحقب زمنية موازية.

في فلسطين يقع محور الصراع الكوني، الذي تستقيم معه المطابقة بين الحقائق التاريخية والقراءات السياسية، فكل بحث تاريخي عميق بأصل القضية سيكتشف استحالة نجاح أي حل سياسي مهما بدا قانونياً ومنصفاً، بإنهاء الصراع، طالما يقوم على التغاضي عن بقاء كيان الاحتلال ولو على بقعة صغيرة من فلسطين، أو عن بقاء لاجئ فلسطيني واحد لا يشمله حق العودة، أو بقي جزء من القدس جائزة ترضية لجماعة الوهم والخرافة في العقيدة الصهيونية حول أرض الميعاد، وأن ذلك التجاوز لمنطق الحق ومعادلاته سيتكفل بتفجير أية صيغة تسوية. وبالمقابل فإن كل مشاريع مواجهة الهيمنة الأميركية في العالم، سواء تلك التي تخوضها دول كبرى كروسيا والصين، او دول متوسطة أو صغرى، او تلك التي تخوضها شعوب وحركات تحرّر، ستبقى قاصرة سياسياً وعملياً طالما توهمت تحييد كيان الاحتلال عن روزنامتها أو افتراض أن تجاهل الصراع مع الكيان يضعه خارج توازن القوى الذي تستند إليه الهيمنة الأميركية، وأنه في أية مواجهة فاصلة مع مشروع الهيمنة سيظهر كيان الاحتلال ركيزة رئيسية للدفاع عن هذا المشروع. وبالتوازي مع هذين البعدين بعد ثالث قوامه حجم الانتشار العالمي للوبيات المسيطرة على المصارف ووسائل الإعلام والخاضعة للهيمنة الصهيونية، ما يجعل كيان الاحتلال شريكاً في المنظومة العالمية للهيمنة، لا يمكن توهم التحرر من الهيمنة دون ضربها وتفكيكها، وبالتالي التصادم مع الكيان.

ما نشهده منذ قرن كامل يقول إن المقاربة السائدة في البلاد العربية والإسلامية ومن خلفهما العالم، لم تكن ناضجة ولا هي الآن لملاقاة الحقيقة التاريخية والحق التاريخي، ولذلك يمرّ الصراع على الحق والحقيقة في فلسطين بدورات يتناوب فيها الاحتباس مع الانفجار. وها نحن في نهاية دورة احتباس وعلى عتبة دورة الانفجار. فالانتفاضة الأولى التي عرفت بانتفاضة الحجارة أثمرت تراجعاً “إسرائيلياً” لم تحسن القيادة الفلسطينية استثماره، فأجهض في اتفاق أوسلو، والانتفاضة الثانية أثمرت تراجعاً إسرائيلياً جديداً ترجم بالانسحاب من غزة فأسس للاحتباس الذي نحن فيه وللانفجار الذي نقف على عتبته، واليوم تقف فلسطين على عتبة مرحلة استراتيجيّة جديدة، ربما لا يقرأ أبعادها الكثيرون في العالم والمنطقة. فقد سقطت صفقة القرن، وسقط التطبيع، ومشروع الهيمنة الأميركية يتراجع بسرعة، وقوى المقاومة للهيمنة الأميركية في العالم تنمو بسرعة وتهز أركان الغرب، ومحور المقاومة في المنطقة يسجل حال صعود، والتطرف يسيطر على دفة قرار كيان الاحتلال، مع حكومة لا تملك الا السير وراء توحّش المستوطنين، والشعب الفلسطيني منذ معادلة سيف القدس امتلك الثقة بقدرته منفرداً على رسم معادلات الصراع، ووضع قضيته في رأس أولويات القضايا.

العمليات الفلسطينية الأخيرة بنوعيتها وتسارعها، تقول إن اللحظة التاريخية تقترب، ومشهد جنين يرسم ساحات الصراع، التي قد تخرج معها أجزاء من الضفة الغربية عن سيطرة الاحتلال كما خرجت غزة، وتتحول إلى قواعد للمقاومة، ربما في جنين، وربما في الخليل، وربما في سواهما في الضفة الغربية أو في الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948، لكن اللحظة آتية وتتقدّم بسرعة.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Why “Israel” is really threatened by Amnesty’s apartheid report

Feb 04 2022

Why “Israel” is really threatened by Amnesty’s apartheid report

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

Once again, when “Israel” is accused of something, it rushes to accuse others of “anti-Semitism”.

Prior to the release of Amnesty International’s near-300 page report supporting its position that “Israel” is committing the crime of Apartheid, the Israeli regime had already lashed out in order to delegitimize it as “anti-Semitic”. The reason for this is that “Israel’s” Jewish nature is now called into question.

Amnesty International’s lengthy report, which according to its Secretary-General, Agnes Callamard, was 4 years in the making, concludes that “massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid under international law. This system is maintained by violations which Amnesty International found to constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention.”

Without addressing any of the report’s findings, Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, claimed that “instead of seeking facts, Amnesty quotes lies spread by terrorist organizations”, labeling Amnesty as “just another radical organization.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry itself directly accused Amnesty of anti-Semitism, as did pro-“Israel” organizations such as the ADL, AIPAC, and others, all claiming that the only reason for the report was because “Israel” is Jewish. What’s interesting is that the lengthy Amnesty report is directly citing the laws implemented by the Israeli regime and begins with quoting its former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who said “Israel is not a state of all its citizens…[but rather] the nation-state of the Jewish people and only them.”

What’s interesting is that not a single Zionist organization, nor the Zionist regime itself, has attempted to go through the report and refute it, instead of attempting to obfuscate and mislead people into thinking that the world’s largest – renowned as liberal and moderate – human rights organization is in fact filled with anti-semitic terrorists. Yet, nobody is buying this, especially due to the fact that Amnesty is not alone in its conclusions.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), the second most influential human rights group, also released a 200 page report last year, entitled ‘A Threshold Crossed’, in which they concluded “Israel” was committing the crime of Apartheid. Additionally “Israel’s” top human rights group, B’Tselem, also released a position paper in which they accused “Tel Aviv” of operating “a regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Israeli human rights group Yesh Din also released a legal conclusion that the occupation of the West Bank is Apartheid. On top of this, the accusation of Apartheid being practiced by the Zionist regime has been argued by the likes of the late anti-apartheid icon, Desmond Tutu, as well as Palestinian groups. Palestinians have argued that Apartheid is what they are suffering from for decades, way pre-dating any human rights groups taking the position they do today.

So with such consensus from leading human rights groups internationally, that “Israel” is an Apartheid regime, there is now a major issue for “Israel” that has to be well understood in its context. “Israel” has always been a regime of Jewish supremacy, of Apartheid, it was built around the understanding that this is to be the case and continues to implement its policies until this day. For long, “Israel” has been able to shield itself from the accusation that it is fundamentally a racist regime. With the fall of the Soviet Union, no superpower emerged willing to take up the banner of the Palestinian cause, and the United States maintained complete domination over dealing with the Palestine-“Israel” conflict. When things got tough for “Israel” during the first Intifada, they ended that problem with the Oslo Agreement, and since 1993, were able to get away with presenting the illusion of peace whilst continuing to ethnically cleanse and colonize Palestine. However, the so-called two-state solution and “peace process” were essentially destroyed during the Trump administration once and for all, meaning that the internationally agreed-upon consensus for ending the conflict had fallen flat and the US was not even pushing for that anymore. 

The Arab reactionary regimes began normalizing ties with “Israel”, making no pre-condition of a Palestinian State before doing so, whilst the international community sat back and allowed the situation to play out as Palestinians fought against Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan to rob them of the final 20% of their land. In this period, two very key things happened, one was that the final nail had been hammered into the two-state solution coffin, the other was that the Palestinian youth underwent a pivotal transformation and prepared themselves for waging resistance in order to liberate all of their lands. The latter mentioned point had of course progressed over a greater peroid of time, but with the Trump administrations recognition of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and illegal settlements as belonging to “Israel”, it contributed greatly to the mindset of the Palestinian youth today.

Being in Palestine to witness the reaction to Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, I saw the desperation, interviewed countless Palestinians, and spoke to friends on their feelings toward how to proceed with their struggle for national liberation. I recall speaking to Palestinian friends of mine in the occupied West Bank who had been lifelong proponents of nonviolent struggle, one of which told me, “I don’t believe in non-violence anymore, we need to take our land back by force.” At that time however, most people felt desperate, even depressed, and did not see a light at the end of the tunnel. Following the uprising, leading to 11-days of war, last May, the energy and hope is now alive and well, especially in the Palestinian youth.

All of this must be kept in mind now, because if the two-state solution is now dead, then what comes next? The human rights organizations have just paved the way for the very next step, “Israel’s” entire system is now the target, not just its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. The reports by Amnesty, HRW, and B’Tselem all demand that the Israeli regime drop its discriminatory policies everywhere in historic Palestine. If “Israel” is forced to do this, there can be no Jewish state, because in order for there to be one, “Israel” has to systematically oppress the Palestinian people.

This means that the only solutions left are the following; “Israel” kills every single Palestinian in a mass genocide, “Israel” is completely destroyed to be replaced by a new state structure, or the country is transformed into a democratic state under which the majority would be Palestinian and all citizens are treated equally. “Israel” knows that the latter two options mean the end of the Zionist dream and hence are not willing to accept any report telling it that it must change its racist settler colonial system. “Israel” has always been a racist endeavor, so to corrupt this is seen by its supporters as an existential threat. They know it’s Apartheid and that’s just the way they like it, but what they don’t like is being told they can no longer run an Apartheid regime.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

كلام جعجع عن سعر الصرف وكلام شيا عن الغاز والكهرباء

الاربعاء 12 كانون أول 2022

 ناصر قنديل

اذا وافقنا على دعوة حزب القوات اللبنانية لقراءة كلام رئيسه عن ربط تحسّن سعر الصرف تلقائياً إذا فازت القوات بالانتخابات، بنيّة حسنة بصفته ربطاً يستند الى قراءة القوات لأزمة سعر الصرف، كما قال جعجع، بصفتها أزمة انعدام ثقة سببها وجود أغلبية نيابية وسياسية حليفة للمقاومة، وأن انقلاب هذه الأغلبية سيعيد هذه الثقة، وبالتالي سيعيد لسعر الصرف معادلته الاقتصادية، بدلاً من السياسية، والسعر الاقتصادي للدولار، كما قال جعجع، أقل بكثير من سعر السوق، فإن هذه القراءة بالنية الحسنة لن تكون لصالح القوات ورئيسها على الإطلاق، ولعلها تكون مدخلاً لاستنتاجات أشد قسوة بحق القوات ورئيسها من القراءة التي تتهمها القوات بشيطنة كلام رئيسها، وأخذه في سوق المزايدات الاتهاميّة.

سننطلق من كلام جعجع نفسه ودون أية إضافة، كما ورد أعلاه، ونثبت نقاط اتفاق معه، أولها أن السعر السائد والمرتفع والمتصاعد ارتفاعاً، هو سعر سياسي وليس مطابقاً للسعر الاقتصادي الأدنى حكماً من هذا السعر السياسي، وثانيها أن وراء هذا السعر السياسي هو هذا الصراع على وجهة لبنان السياسيّة بين وجهتين، واحدة تمثلها المقاومة وتحالفاتها، والثانية تمثلها جبهة داخليّة يقدّم جعجع وحزبه نفسيهما كطليعة لها، وتضم معهما مرجعيّات روحيّة وقوى وشخصيّات وأحزاباً ومنظمات مجتمع مدني، وكل منهم يجاهر بموقفه المعادي للمقاومة، ويتهم الوجهة السياسية التي تمثلها بالتسبب بعزل لبنان عربياً ودولياً وحرمانه من دعم قوى خارجية تملك قدرات مالية كبرى، ما تسبب بأزمته المالية ويتسبب بتفاقمهما؛ وتقف وراء هذه الجبهة الداخلية، جبهة خارجية تبدأ من واشنطن وتنتهي في الرياض، تقول إنها تخوض علناً معركة تحجيم واضعاف حزب الله وتحالفاته، وتعتبر الانتخابات النيابية فرصة لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وتربط علناً كما تقول بيانات وزارة الخارجية الأميركية ومجلس الوزراء السعودي، أي مساعدة للبنان بوقوف اللبنانيين بوجه حزب الله ومقاومته، وتعاقب قوى سياسية بتهمة التحالف معه، وتعلن استعدادها لفك هذه العقوبات إذا فكت هذه القوى حلفها مع حزب الله.

هذا التفسير الذي يقدّمه الفريق الذي يتصدر جعجع وحزب القوات النطق بلسانه داخلياً، عبرت عنه السفيرة الأميركية دورتي شيا عندما أرادت الرد على سفن كسر الحصار التي جلب حزب الله عبرها المازوت الإيراني الى لبنان عبر سورية، فأعلنت بلسان إدارتها كسر العقوبات الأميركية المفروضة على لبنان لمنع استجرار الكهرباء الأردنية والغاز المصري، فالأمر الذي تحدّث عنه جعجع ليس مجرد تكهّن سيكولوجي، بل هو معرفة الشريك بالشريك وما يفعل، فالسلة العقابيّة التي يقع لبنان تحت وطأتها ثمن فكها أن يتخلى لبنان عن خيار سياسي وينتقل الى خيار معاكس. والسلة هي، أولاً فتح وإغلاق الأسواق الخليجية أمام الصادرات اللبنانية الزراعية والصناعية ورفع او إقامة الحظر عن السياحة والودائع الخليجية الى لبنان، وثانياً تصنيف لبنان الائتماني لدى الشركات الأميركية الممسكة بأسواق المصارف العالمية وما يترتب على التصنيف من تعامل مع الديون والخطوط الائتمانية واستطراداً تعامل الصناديق والبنوك الدولية مع طلبات لبنان للقروض، وثالثاً السماح بحرية التبادل التجاري بين لبنان وسورية والعراق وإتاحة قيام مشاريع جر النفط العراقي واقامة مصافي النفط اللبنانية، ورابعاً الإنجاز السريع لترسيم حدود ثروات النفط والغاز اللبنانية وفق ما يحقق مصلحة لبنان ويتيح له استثمار ثروات بالمليارات، ويحرر الشركات المعنية بالتنقيب من القيود التي منعت، ولا تزال، قيامها بالتزاماتها. وتكفي مراجعة الخطوات الأميركية والسعودية تجاه لبنان لعشر سنوات مضت ورؤية عكسها لمعرفة ما يبشرنا جعجع بأنه سيحدث إذا انقلب لبنان لصالح الرؤية الأميركية السعودية، التي يجاهر جعجع بتمثيلها، لكن السؤال هو هل سيحدث فعلاً؟

لا حاجة للقول إن وهم نيل الأغلبية كحل سحري لن يبدل وجهة لبنان التي بدأ العقاب الأميركي السعودي لتغييرها، يوم كانت الأغلبية النيابية مع حلفاء واشنطن والرياض قبل عام 2018، ولا حاجة للقول إن نقطة البداية التي يعد بها الأميركي والسعودي هي مجرد نقطة بداية، أولها خذوا الأغلبية، ثم القول هذا غير كاف فشكلوا حكومة لون واحد، ثم خذوا قرارات تشبه قرار حكومة السنيورة في 5 أيار 2008 بتفكيك شبكة اتصالات المقاومة، وصولاً لوصفة الحرب الأهلية الكاملة، وعندها يتفرّجون على لبنان يحترق، وربما تشترك «إسرائيل» في المحرقة، وبعدها لا نفط ولا غاز ولا مَن يحزنون بل هيمنة «إسرائيلية أحادية على ثروات لبنان طالما أن القوة التي يحسب لها «الإسرائيليون» الحساب لم تعد قادرة على فرض معادلة الردع، ولا أسواق مفتوحة مع الجوار ولا من يسوّقون، بل تسوّل للمساعدات على طريقة الدول التي ترتضي دور الملحقات في المحور الأميركي السعودي، ووضع شرط مضمونه الإلتحاق بركب صفقة القرن بعنواني التطبيع وفتح الأسواق للمصارف الإسرائيلية والمرافئ الإسرائيلية، وتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين وربما النازحين السوريين في لبنان، طالما ان الجهة التي عطلت على «إسرائيل» وشركائها مسار صفقة القرن والتطبيع والتوطين قد تم إضعافها.

وحدها وصفة الوفاق الوطني تنقل لبنان الى ضفة يحفظ فيها أسباب القوة التي تحمي ثرواته السيادية ومصالحه الوطنية العليا، وتبني دولة قادرة على وضع سياسات اقتصادية ومالية عنوانها القرار السيادي في النفط والغاز والانفتاح على دول الجوار، وتعزيز مكانة الاقتصاد المنتج، وهيكلة القطاع المصرفي الذي كان شريكاً ومعه مصرف لبنان في تدمير لبنان مالياً وتضييع ودائع اللبنانيين، ووضع آلية قضائيّة غير انتقائية لملاحقة الفساد، لكن ما يقوله سمير جعجع واضح، لبنان محاصَر ومعاقَب ومحروم من حقوقه بقرار أميركيّ سعوديّ، وأنا رجل الأميركي والسعودي وإذا انتخبتم القوات كمحور للأغلبية ولاحقاً سمير جعجع رئيساً للجمهورية عندي ضمانات برفع هذه العقوبات وهذا الحصار. فهل يشَرّف أحداً أن يكون شريكاً في حصار بلده وأهله وأن يحمل لهم شروط الذل التي يفرضها عليه من يحاصره ويعاقبه؟

Lebanon’s political showdown… will it be confined to electoral competition?

Jan 09 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen Net

After the Lebanese Forces Party announced general “electoral rallying”, a multitude of questions arise on why its discourse is in harmony with the Saudi mobilization and US embargo against Lebanon.

The confrontation comes out by escalating the internal and regional fronts

The Lebanese Forces Party (LF) in Lebanon announced general “electoral mobilization” on Saturday amid attempts to finalize control over constitutional institutions and escalate the political confrontation.
The confrontation itself would take place by escalating the internal and regional fronts, which raises questions on whether Lebanon’s crisis is limited only to economic and social issues. 

Some factions are attempting to portray Lebanon’s electoral battle as a critical juncture. The LF’s announcement of general “electoral mobilization” is understandable as far as electoral races go, but the timing, the tools, and the discourse itself raise a multitude of questions. Why is their campaign primarily based on mobilizing people against Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and throwing accusations against them? And why are these voices pushing toward further tension, division, and incitement?

It is under these circumstances that a call for national dialogue was launched from the presidential palace in Baabda by Lebanese President Michel Aoun in order to agree on three issues and work on their application in government institutions: administrative and financial decentralization, a defense strategy to protect Lebanon, and a financial and economic recovery plan.

The invitation was met with an apology by former PM Saad Hariri, whereas PM Najib Mikati told Aoun that now is not the time to hold a dialogue.

Saoud: Likely that Geagea would attempt to start security issues

In this context, journalist Ghassan Saoud stressed to Al Mayadeen that the campaign against Hezbollah and the President is derived from their renowned position regarding the “deal of the century” and the naturalization of refugees, adding that the one responsible for the crisis is the one that prevented Lebanon’s oil from being extracted: the United States.

Saoud also considered that it was the US’ policies that forced the Lebanese into migration. 
 
The Lebanese journalist also noted that the US axis was the one behind the displacement of Iraq’s Christians, whereas the Resistance axis protected Syria’s Christians against ISIS. He considered that whoever wishes to speak about sovereignty should go to extract oil from the sea [meaning in defiance of US interference], emphasizing that the real sovereign is the one that stands against all foreign parties interfering in Lebanon.

He clarified that it is likely that LF Executive Chairman Samir Geagea would resort to inciting security issues

Saad: Everyone counting on the upcoming elections

For his part, Professor of International Law Antoine Saad said that Lebanon has lost the makings of a state, and everyone is counting on the next elections, adding that there is a will to do away with the bankruptcy that has plagued all the elements of state-building.

He highlighted that Lebanon currently has no sovereign authority at its land, naval, and aerial borders.

Bazzi: The Lebanese Forces is the only party receiving a monthly payment from Saudi Arabia

Political affairs expert, Wassim Bazzi, saw that the concept of mobilization is usually employed in wars and considered that Geagea is fighting an electoral battle with a military legacy, stressing that the LF chief is the Saudi spearhead in the upcoming electoral project.

Bazzi also said that the Resistance’s weapons were the only means by which Lebanon’s presence and national pride were restored, further clarifying that the LF is the only party that is receiving monthly payments from Saudi Arabia.

Lebanese Forces Executive Chairman Samir Geagea had announced yesterday his party’s complete general mobilization for the electoral battle, calling on turning all of his party’s institutions into electoral centers that would serve the party in the upcoming elections.

The Lebanese Presidency had announced a week ago that President Michel Aoun signed a decree to hold the elections in May 2022.

Erdogan’s Reconciliations: ‘Israel’ is a Friend, Assad Remains an Enemy! مصالحات إردوغان.. “إسرائيل” صديق والأسد يبقى عدواً!

 ARABI SOURI 

Turkey Erdogan – Syria President Bashar Assad

Erdogan knows that reconciliation with Assad will not be easy for him as long as he believes that such reconciliation will mean the final defeat of his regional and international project.

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

A week after the “Turkish reconciliation with the UAE”, which was achieved by Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit to Ankara (11/24) at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the latter announced his “efforts to achieve similar reconciliations with Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain,” speaking about his upcoming visit to Abu Dhabi in the first half of next February after he called Bin Zayed and congratulated him on the UAE National Day (December 1).

Erdogan, who, along with his ministers, forgot everything he said about Mohammed bin Zayed politically, and the loyal Turkish media insulted him, describing him with the worst epithets, it seems that he also forgot everything he personally said about Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and “Israel” in whole and in detail, which proves the success of the Emirati mediation on the path of Trump’s “deal of the century”, Bin Zayed declared himself its godfather.

As the betting continues on the results of the seventh round (and subsequent rounds) of the Iranian nuclear file negotiations in Vienna, the information talks about the recent visits of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to Cairo, Riyadh, Manama, and “Tel Aviv”. The visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog (with Azerbaijani and Ukrainian mediation as well) to Ankara may soon follow, at a time when ambiguity persists about Cairo’s position, which seems to not rush reconciliation with Ankara until it secures a practical and final position from President Erdogan against the Egyptian and Arab Muslim Brotherhood, it is a request that he may agree to the Egyptian part (and indeed the Israeli one with regard to the “Hamas” movement), and postpone the Arab part, especially the Libyan and the Syrian, with the continuation of regional and international bargaining in these two files, including the visit that President Emmanuel Macron will pay (4-3). (December) Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, yesterday’s enemies and today’s allies in the American play which still have Syria as its main target, along with Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

This explains the Saudi-Emirati escalation in Yemen, the continued Saudi conspiracy against Lebanon, the Moroccan persistence (the king and his entourage) in alliance with “Israel” against Algeria (to obstruct and thwart the Arab summit) and North Africa in general, and finally, the continuation of the Turkish and American position in Syria.

Washington prevents its Kurdish allies from any agreement with Damascus, to continue its covert and overt projects with various parties in Iraq, to ​​ensure its interests in the region in general, at a time when the Turkish position in Syria remains the most important and influential element in the overall developments of the latter, with its repercussions on all regional projects and plans. and international (the West’s provocations against Russia in Ukraine), which is the calculation that makes President Erdogan a key party in the “deal of the century” in its updated form, which Washington, along with Paris, London, and even Berlin, wants with its new government (the leader of the Green Party and Foreign Minister Annalina Birbock is a friend of “Israel” and an enemy of Russia and China), to succeed in arranging the affairs of the region, while guaranteeing the future of “Zionist” Israel forever.

This will require weakening the Arab position more than it is now, by blowing up the concept of resistance in all its forms and military, political, social, cultural, and humanitarian content, which has so far succeeded in obstructing all imperialist and colonial projects and schemes with its Arab and Islamist tools.

As usual, the bet remains on President Erdogan’s stance regarding all these facts and their future possibilities that he wants to support his position in Syria as long as the Arab and Western parties do not want a solution soon. Erdogan, who abandoned all his previous statements and policies, and reconciled with the Emirates, and declared his readiness to reconcile with the “archenemy” Egypt (Sisi) and “Israel”, everyone knows that he will not reconcile with President Assad as long as he knows that the Arab and Western regimes will never force him to do so.

He also knows that reconciliation with al-Assad will not be easy for him personally, as long as he believes that such reconciliation will mean the final defeat of his regional and international (Muslim) Brotherhood project, reconciliation with President al-Assad will require him to withdraw the Turkish forces and authorities from the areas they control (about 9% of the area of Syria) in northern Syria, and stop all kinds of military and financial support for tens of thousands of armed opposition factions (operating under the orders of the Turkish army) that are fighting the Syrian state, And to stop protecting Idlib and the “Al-Nusra” (Al Qaeda Levant) and its ilk in it, and finally to return the Syrian refugees from Turkey to their country, within the framework of a plan to be agreed upon with Damascus. This is, of course, with coordination and cooperation with it to address the situation east of the Euphrates, where the Kurdish militias that Ankara considers the Syrian branch of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party, which has been fighting the Turkish state for 40 years.

Such possibilities require more than a miracle for President Erdogan to call or meet with President Assad, who was his only friend when everyone was against him because of his former Brotherhood origins. The Turkish withdrawal from Syria, with all its secret and overt elements, would mean at the same time its withdrawal from Libya and Iraq, and its abandonment of its ideological projects, not only in the region but in the whole world as well.

This probability is very weak, at a ratio of 1 out of 10, if not 1 out of 100, given Ankara’s intertwined and complicated relationship externally and the most complex at home, especially after he became the absolute ruler of the country after the change of the constitution in April 2017. He sees in the details of his ideological and nationalist foreign policies important elements to influence his supporters and followers, to ensure the continuity of their support for him, despite the catastrophes of serious economic and financial crises, the most important of its causes are the costs of foreign policy. Otherwise, the issue does not need such tidal changes in Erdogan’s positions, who can return Turkey to pre-2011 with one phone call with President al-Assad, and without resorting to any Gulf, Russian or Iranian mediation. Who would reconcile with Sisi (he said that he is a criminal) And “Israel” (he described it more than once as a criminal gang), and seeking reconciliation with Ibn Salman after he said what he said about him (after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi), he can reconcile his former friend Assad simply, especially since Syria has not undertaken any hostile action against Turkey, despite all that Ankara has done to it over the past ten years.

This comes at a time when everyone knows that reconciliation with Syria will open the gates of the region to him again, as long as he will return to be a friend of “Israel” (to win the favor of the Jewish lobbies and to distance “Israel” from Cyprus, Greece, and France), and to ensure that the Gulf regimes support him financially, to help him achieve huge economic gains from development and reconstruction projects in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, and the rest of the countries in the region, and Turkey is the most fortunate in it, because of its capabilities and proximity to it, which requires a new stage of reconciliation and forgiveness between Erdogan and all the leaders of the region.

The return of coordination and cooperation between them will mean nothing unless it starts with President Assad. This is, of course, if the new coordination and cooperation are not aimed at another bloody spring targeting Syria, as was the case 10 years ago, otherwise, how can “Israel” turn into a friend of Erdogan, and Assad remains more than an enemy!

Donate

مصالحات إردوغان.. “إسرائيل” صديق والأسد يبقى عدواً!

الخميس 2 كانون الأول 2021

حسني محلي

يعرف إردوغان أنَّ المصالحة مع الأسد لن تكون سهلة بالنسبة إليه ما دام يعتقد أن مثل هذه المصالحة ستعني هزيمة مشروعه الإقليمي والدولي نهائياً.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turkey-erdogan-syria-president-bashar-assad.jpg
كيف تتحول “إسرائيل” إلى صديق لإردوغان، ويبقى الأسد أكثر من عدو!؟

بعد أسبوع من “المصالحة التركية مع الإمارات”، والتي تحققت بزيارة محمد بن زايد إلى أنقرة (24/11) بدعوة من الرئيس رجب طيب إردوغان، أعلن الأخير “مساعيه لتحقيق مصالحات مماثلة مع كل من مصر وإسرائيل والسعودية والبحرين”، متحدثاً عن زيارته القادمة لأبو ظبي في النصف الأول من شباط/فبراير المقبل بعد أن اتصل بابن زايد هاتفياً وهنأه بالعيد الوطني للإمارات (1 كانون الاول/ديسمبر).

فإردوغان الذي نسي، ومعه وزراؤه، كل ما قاله عن محمد بن زايد سياسياً، وأهانه الإعلام التركي الموالي، واصفاً إياه بأسوأ النعوت، يبدو أنه نسي أيضاً كل ما قاله شخصياً عن عبدالفتاح السيسي و”إسرائيل” جملةً وتفصيلاً، وهو ما يثبت نجاح الوساطة الإماراتية على طريق “صفقة القرن” التي أطلقها ترامب، وأعلن ابن زايد نفسه عراباً لها.

ومع استمرار الرهان على نتائج الجولة السابعة (والجولات اللاحقة) من مفاوضات الملف النووي الإيراني في فيينا، تتحدث المعلومات عن زيارات قريبة لوزير الخارجية مولود جاويش أوغلو إلى القاهرة والرياض والمنامة و”تل أبيب”. وقد تلحق بها زيارة الرئيس الإسرائيلي إسحاق هرتسوغ (بوساطة أذربيجانية وأوكرانية أيضاً) إلى أنقرة قريباً، في الوقت الذي يستمر الغموض حول موقف القاهرة، التي يبدو أنها لن تستعجل المصالحة مع أنقرة حتى تضمن موقفاً عملياً ونهائياً من الرئيس إردوغان ضد الإخوان المسلمين مصرياً وعربياً، وهو الطلب الذي قد يوافق على شقه المصري (بل والإسرائيلي في ما يتعلق بحركة “حماس”)، ويؤجل شقه العربي، وخصوصاً الليبي والسوري، وذلك مع استمرار المساومات الإقليمية والدولية في هذين الملفين، ومنها الزيارة التي سيقوم بها الرئيس إيمانويل ماكرون (3-4 كانون الأول/ديسمبر) لكلٍّ من قطر والإمارات والسعودية، أعداء الأمس وحلفاء اليوم في المسرحية الأميركية التي ما زالت سوريا هدفها الرئيسي، ومعها إيران والعراق ولبنان واليمن.

ويفسّر ذلك التّصعيد السّعودي – الإماراتي في اليمن، واستمرار التآمر السعودي ضد لبنان، والتمادي المغربي (الملك وحاشيته) في التحالف مع “إسرائيل” ضد الجزائر (لعرقلة القمة العربية وإفشالها) والشمال الأفريقي عموماً، وأخيراً استمرار الموقف التركي والأميركي في سوريا.

وتمنع واشنطن حلفاءها الكرد من أيّ اتفاق مع دمشق، لتستمر في مشاريعها السرية والعلنية مع أطراف مختلفة في العراق، لضمان مصالحها في المنطقة عموماً، في الوقت الذي يبقى الموقف التركي في سوريا العنصر الأهم والأكثر تأثيراً في مجمل تطورات الأخيرة، بانعكاساتها على مجمل المشاريع والمخططات الإقليمية والدولية (استفزازات الغرب ضد روسيا في أوكرانيا)، وهو الحساب الذي يجعل الرئيس إردوغان طرفاً أساسياً في “صفقة القرن” بصيغتها المحدثة، التي تريد لها واشنطن، ومعها باريس ولندن، وحتى برلين، بحكومتها الجديدة (زعيمة حزب الخضر ووزيرة الخارجية أنالينا بيربوك صديقة لـ”إسرائيل” وعدوة لروسيا والصين)، أن تنجح في ترتيب أمور المنطقة، مع ضمان مستقبل “إسرائيل” الصهيونية إلى الأبد. 

وسيتطلَّب ذلك إضعاف الموقف العربي أكثر مما هو عليه الآن، من خلال نسف مفهوم المقاومة بكلِّ أشكالها ومضامينها العسكرية والسياسية والاجتماعية والثقافية والإنسانية، وهي التي نجحت حتى الآن في عرقلة كل المشاريع والمخططات الإمبريالية والاستعمارية بأدواتها العربية والإسلامية. 

وكالعادة، يبقى الرهان على موقف الرئيس إردوغان حيال كلّ هذه المعطيات واحتمالاتها المستقبلية التي يريد لها أن تدعم موقفه في سوريا ما دامت الأطراف العربية والغربية لا تريد لها حلاً قريباً، فإردوغان الّذي تخلّى عن كل مقولاته وسياسته السابقة، وصالح الإمارات، وأعلن استعداده للمصالحة مع “العدوين اللدودين” مصر (السيسي) و”إسرائيل”، يعرف الجميع أنه لن يصالح الرئيس الأسد ما دام يعرف أن الأنظمة العربية والغربية لن تجبره على ذلك أبداً.

كما أنه يعرف أنَّ المصالحة مع الأسد لن تكون سهلة بالنسبة إليه شخصياً، ما دام يعتقد أن مثل هذه المصالحة ستعني هزيمة مشروعه الإخواني الإقليمي والدولي نهائياً، فالمصالحة مع الرئيس الأسد ستتطلَّب منه سحب القوات والسلطات التركية من المناطق التي تسيطر عليها (حوالى 9% من مساحة سوريا) في الشمال السوري، وإيقاف كل أنواع الدعم العسكري والمالي لعشرات الآلاف من مسلحي الفصائل المعارضة (تأتمر بأوامر الجيش التركي) التي تقاتل الدولة السورية، والكفّ عن حماية إدلب ومن فيها من “النصرة” وأمثالها، وأخيراً إعادة اللاجئين السوريين من تركيا إلى بلادهم، في إطار خطة يتم الاتفاق عليها مع دمشق. هذا بالطبع مع التنسيق والتعاون معها لمعالجة الوضع شرق الفرات، حيث الميليشيات الكردية التي تعتبرها أنقرة الفرع السوري لحزب العمال الكردستاني التركي الذي يقاتل الدولة التركية منذ 40 عاماً. 

وتتطلّب مثل هذه الاحتمالات أكثر من معجزة بالنسبة إلى الرئيس إردوغان حتى يتصل بالرئيس الأسد أو يلتقيه، وهو الذي كان صديقه الوحيد عندما كان الجميع ضده بسبب أصوله الإخوانية السابقة، فالانسحاب التركي من سوريا بكل عناصره السرية والعلنية سيعني في الوقت نفسه انسحابه من ليبيا والعراق، وتخليه عن مشاريعه العقائدية، ليس في المنطقة فحسب، بل في العالم أجمع أيضاً.

هذا الاحتمال ضعيف جداً بنسبة 1 على 10، إن لم نقل 1 على 100، نظراً إلى علاقة أنقرة المتشابكة والمعقدة خارجياً والأكثر تعقيداً في الداخل، وخصوصاً بعد أن أصبح الحاكم المطلق للبلاد بعد تغيير الدستور في نيسان/أبريل 2017، فهو يرى في تفاصيل سياساته العقائدية والقومية الخارجية عناصر مهمة للتأثير في أنصاره وأتباعه، لضمان استمرارية دعمهم له، على الرغم من كوارث الأزمات الاقتصادية والمالية الخطرة، وأهم أسبابها تكاليف السياسة الخارجية، وإلا فالموضوع لا يحتاج إلى مثل هذا المد والجزر في مواقف إردوغان الذي يستطيع أن يعود بتركيا إلى ما قبل العام 2011 باتصال هاتفي واحد مع الرئيس الأسد، ومن دون اللجوء إلى أي وساطة خليجية أو روسية أو إيرانية، فمن يصالح السيسي (قال عنه إنه مجرم)، و”إسرائيل” (وصفها أكثر من مرة بأنها عصابة إجرامية)، ويسعى للمصالحة مع ابن سلمان بعد أن قال عنه ما قال (بعد مقتل جمال خاشقجي)، يستطيع أن يصالح صديقه السابق الأسد بكل بساطة، وخصوصاً أنَّ سوريا لم تقم بأي عمل معادٍ ضد تركيا، على الرغم من كل ما فعلته أنقرة بها خلال السنوات العشر الماضية.

يأتي ذلك في الوقت الذي يعرف الجميع أن المصالحة مع سوريا ستفتح له أبواب المنطقة من جديد، ما دام سيعود صديقاً لـ”إسرائيل” (ليكسب ود اللوبيات اليهودية، ويبعد “إسرائيل” عن قبرص واليونان وفرنسا)، ويضمن دعم أنظمة الخليج له مادياً، ليساعده ذلك على تحقيق مكاسب اقتصادية ضخمة من مشاريع التنمية وإعادة الإعمار في سوريا والعراق وليبيا واليمن ولبنان وباقي دول المنطقة، وتركيا هي الأكثر حظاً فيها، بسبب إمكانياتها وقربها منها، وهو ما يحتاج إلى مرحلة جديدة من المصالحة والمسامحة بين إردوغان وكل زعماء المنطقة، وعودة التنسيق والتعاون في ما بينهم لن تعني أي شيء ما لم تبدأ بالرئيس الأسد. هذا بالطبع إن لم يكن التنسيق والتعاون الجديد لا يهدف إلى ربيع دموي آخر يستهدف سوريا، كما هو الحال منذ 10 سنوات، وإلا كيف تتحول “إسرائيل” إلى صديق لإردوغان، ويبقى الأسد أكثر من عدو!

Saudi-Iranian talks are an attempt to pre-empt the American return to nuclear deal, says sociologist

June 16, 2021 – 17:12

By M. A. Saki

TEHRAN – Head of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Lebanon says that the Saudi desire to negotiate with Iran is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal.

“The Saudi-Syrian normalization is a positive step and the Saudi-Iranian dialogue is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal,” Dr. Talal Atrissi tells the Tehran Times.

 “Saudi Arabia sees tangibly that all of its previous bets failed, and I assure that this step was by American encouragement and support, especially since Saudi Arabia failed in the war on Yemen and today it is trying to get out of the Yemeni quagmire at any cost,” Atrissi notes.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you evaluate the ongoing talks over revitalizing the Iran nuclear deal?

A: Most of the statements, whether from the Iranian side or the American side, confirm that the negotiations are heading to yield results. The statements are optimistic, and the announcement of the formation of committees to study how to lift the sanctions implies that all sides are nearing an agreement. 

The statements of the Russian, Chinese and even European delegates indicate progress and seriousness in the negotiations. But this does not mean that things will go quickly. The United States, for its part, will not lift the sanctions so easily, and even not all sanctions will be lifted. It will try to negotiate to lift only parts of the sanctions in exchange for Iran’s return to full commitment to the terms of the nuclear deal.

As for Iran, it has an interest in negotiating and has a direct interest in lifting the sanctions, which have caused great damage to the Iranian economy, and for this reason, Iran has returned to the negotiating table. But Iran has no interest in prolongation of the talks. I mean, you go back to the negotiation table again, as if we need a new agreement. With regard to Iran, this is unacceptable, as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution warned about prolonging the negotiations, while America wants to extract the largest number of concessions from Iran before lifting the sanctions.

This is what is happening today in the successive rounds of the Vienna talks. 

Q: How would the revival of the Iran nuclear pact affect the region?

A: If this agreement occurs, of course, it will reflect positively on the relations among the countries of the region. I believe that Saudi Arabia’s desire for dialogue with Iran began with America’s encouragement, not on a self-initiative, meaning that the new American administration wants some kind of stability in the Middle East (West Asia) and mitigating Persian Gulf-Iranian tension. 

The main tensions have been from the Israeli side while the Biden administration looks forward to a kind of stability and dialogue, and this is one of the reasons for thinking about reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The biggest strategic challenge for the Biden administration is China, and this means that the United States is reluctant to get involved in the Middle East (West Asia) again. It is also withdrawing from Afghanistan. Afghanistan was a major failure for America and its policies in the world and the region.

So, if the negotiations for an agreement succeeds, the allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia in the first place, will return to stable relations and understanding with Iran, and this could contribute to solving problems in Lebanon, Yemen and other countries of the region.

Q: What are Israel’s options to undermine the nuclear talks in Vienna? Do you think Israel will start a war to block the path for reviving the nuclear pact?

A: From the beginning, Israel and the U.S. administration have been at odds over the 2015 nuclear deal, and Netanyahu considered the agreement signed by Obama a “historical mistake” rather than a “historic achievement,” as Obama called it. Israel tried to obstruct the path of the agreement and worked with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prevent the conclusion of the pact, but the agreement was achieved in 2015.

 When Trump came to power in 2016, Israel considered it a great opportunity to push America to pull out of the nuclear deal.

As for the possibility of Israel carrying out some kind of operation or sabotaging Iran’s nuclear facilities to change the balance and impede a possible revival of the nuclear agreement between Iran and America, I rule out that this would happen.

First, Israel faces a domestic crisis, and Netanyahu is accused of having failed in the battle of “the sword of Jerusalem,” and therefore the victory that has been achieved by the Palestinian resistance is a victory for Iran. The resistance in Palestine expressed its thanks to Iran for its role in supporting Palestine.

For Israel, it is very difficult to contemplate such an option, especially since Netanyahu has moved to the ranks of the opposition and is no longer prime minister.

Q: How do you read Saudi-Syrian normalization, especially when we put this alongside the Iranian-Saudi talks? What caused the Saudi policy change in the region?

A: The Saudi-Syrian normalization is a positive step and the Saudi-Iranian dialogue is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal.
Saudi Arabia sees tangibly that all of its previous bets failed, and I am sure that this step was by American encouragement and support, especially since Saudi Arabia failed in the war on Yemen and today it is trying to get out of the Yemeni quagmire at any cost.

She believes that dialogue with Iran can help it get out of this war, and thus Saudi Arabia’s return to the negotiation table with Iran and Syria is an indirect acknowledgment of the failure of its previous policies.

I mean, the policy of toppling the government in Syria has failed, and the policy of forming an Arab-(Persian) Gulf-Israeli axis against Iran has failed, as well as normalization with Israel and the deal of the century, after what happened recently in occupied Palestine.

So, this step on the part of Saudi Arabia is an affirmation that Iran and the axis of resistance are in a better position than before and that the past decade was a period of steadfastness and resistance in the face of all attempts to ruin the region, Syria, and Yemen in particular.

 Today, after the battle of Palestine, the axis of resistance is in a position of strength, and this is what prompts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage in dialogue with the parties to this axis.

Q: What is the significance of the Iran-China partnership for the region and the larger world?

A: The importance of the Iran-China partnership is that it opens up broad prospects for Iran at various levels of development in the areas of investment, oil and communications. On the other hand, this may be an alternative even to the nuclear agreement with the West. Even if the nuclear deal is not revived, Iran can be satisfied with the partnership with China.

 Even if Iran complies fully to the nuclear agreement and agrees with the United States, it will have balanced relations with East and West, with the preference of China, especially since China is not a colonial country and did not create problems in the region.

 So, the Chinese-Iranian partnership is an important strategic agreement that may block the way for the U.S. to put pressure on Iran.

In addition, the Iranian-Chinese partnership as an economic agreement is inseparable from China’s vision and its historical and strategic project to restore the Silk Road (One Road, One Belt). 

Iran will be a major station in this project. For this reason, China is counting on partnership with Iran and wants Iran to remain a strong and pivotal country in the face of the American hegemony, and this is not in the interest of the West and the United States in particular.

RELATED NEWS

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Can Strengthen Relations Between Palestine & Russia

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Can Strengthen Relations Between Palestine & Russia

According to experts, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum not only strengthens Russia’s mediation efforts to overcome the existing problems in Palestine, but can also serve as a basis for mobilizing Palestinian economic factions, turning them into a powerful instrument of international influence.

The International Economic Forum, scheduled for June 2-5, 2021 in St. Petersburg, contributes to the strengthening of relations between Russia and Palestine. Moscow would like to use the event to discuss joint projects with Palestinian colleagues and open a new page in the interaction of the two countries.

The current state of the Palestinian question allows us to make an unambiguous conclusion that Ramallah is on the verge of a fateful systemic change in the principles of cooperation. The organization of an inter-Arab dialogue and the foreign policy of Iran and Turkey allow Palestine to remain on the periphery of international attention. However, the reaction of most of the countries of the Arab world to the so-called “Deal of the Century” and the process of “Israelization” that has swept the Middle East serve as a certain signal for many countries that the Palestinian dossier is rapidly losing the interest of many regional players. This state of affairs is explained, first of all, by the protracted internal political crisis, the conflict between Hamas and Fatah, as well as the low economic attractiveness of Palestine for international investors. In this regard, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum may become a unique opportunity for Ramallah to enlist the support of big business, establish a dialogue with international partners and use Russian levers of influence on long-standing regional conflicts.

It is worth noting that the strengthening of Russian-Palestinian relations over the past 10 years has been due to Moscow’s particularly prominent foreign policy in the Middle East. Now Russia has a great interest in resolving Palestinian-Israeli conflicts and restoring the Palestinian economy, which has suffered not only from international sanctions, but also due to the global spread of COVID-19. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, to which Palestinian politicians and businessmen are invited, once again testifies that Moscow is ready to play a decisive role in resolving Palestinian problems and aims to restore the positions of Ramallah that were lost as a result of the “Deal of the Century”. At the same time, ensuring the economic independence of the Palestinians is a key point in this area of cooperation between the two countries.

The decision to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum may be an attempt to resolve the long-standing crisis between Fatah and Hamas and serve as a guarantee that the Palestinian people will forget about their political differences in order to achieve the sole goal of economic prosperity of their state.

Moscow is quite active in influencing the political and economic processes in Palestine and is especially actively helping to overcome the Palestinian crisis. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum can become a negotiating platform for Fatah, Hamas and their foreign partners.

According to experts, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum not only strengthens Russia’s mediation efforts to overcome the existing problems in Palestine, but can also serve as a basis for mobilizing Palestinian economic factions, turning them into a powerful instrument of international influence. In addition, given that Russia is ready for dialogue with all representatives of Palestine, it will be difficult enough to accuse Moscow of being biased or intending to express its sympathies to any one Palestinian group. In addition to Russia’s real support for the Palestinian dossier, the Kremlin, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, offers the prospect of significant economic investment. In particular, Moscow is ready to develop cooperation with Ramallah in the field of agriculture, as well as on projects for the construction of industrial facilities in Bethlehem, Jerekhon, Hebron and other Palestinian cities, which is a very tempting prospect, given that Palestine is now in dire need of economic assistance.

Ayatollah Khamenei: Balance tipped in Islam’s favor, Zionist enemy in decline

Friday, 07 May 2021 10:12 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 07 May 2021 10:58 AM ]1

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ayatollah Khamenei delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Leader.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has marked the International Quds Day, saying Israel is not a country but a terrorist base against the people of Palestine and other Muslim nations.

“Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations,” the Leader said on Friday.

“Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility,” Ayatollah Khamenei added. 

The Leader voiced confidence that the downward movement of the Zionist regime has already started and “it will never stop”.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively.

He said the policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism “have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.”

The following is the full text of Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his pure and immaculate household, upon his chosen companions and upon those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

Palestine is the most important issue for the Islamic Ummah

The issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.

The logic behind the establishment of the Zionist regime

Can one find a logic weaker and shakier than that of the establishment of the Zionist regime? On the basis of their claim, the Europeans oppressed the Jews during the Second World War, therefore they believe that the oppression against the Jews should be revenged by displacing a nation in West Asia and by committing a horrible massacre in that country!

This is the logic which western governments have relied on with their wholehearted and blind support for the Zionist regime, thereby disproving all their false claims about human rights and democracy. It has been 70 years now that they have been sticking with this laughable and at the same time tragic story and every now and then, they add a new chapter to it.

Fighting against the Zionist regime is a collective responsibility

Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility.

Weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah prepared the ground for the usurpation of Palestine

Another noteworthy point is that although that the usurping regime was established in 1948, the ground for occupying that sensitive Islamic region had been prepared years before that. Those specific years coincided with the active interference of westerners in Islamic countries with the purpose of establishing secularism and excessive and blind nationalism and also with the goal of installing despotic governments who were infatuated with or controlled by the West.

Studying those events in Iran, Turkey and Arab countries stretching from West Asia to North Africa reveals this bitter truth that weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah paved the way for the disastrous usurpation of Palestine, allowing the world of arrogance to deliver that blow to the Islamic Ummah.

Westerners and Easterners colluding with one another over the matter of usurping Palestine

It is instructive that at that time, the capitalism and communism camps colluded with the rich Zionists. It was the English who masterminded the plot and who persisted in it and then, Zionist capitalists executed it with their money and weapons. The Soviet Union too was one of the first governments that officially recognized the establishment of that illegitimate regime and later on dispatched a large number of Jews to that area.

The usurping regime was actually an outcome of that situation in the world of Islam on the one hand, and of a European plot, invasion and transgression, on the other.

In the present time, the balance has been tipped in favor of the world of Islam

Today, the situation in the world is not like those days. We should keep this reality within sight. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the world of Islam. Various political and social incidents in Europe and in the United States have laid bare the weaknesses and the deep structural, managerial and moral conflicts among westerners. The electoral events in the US and the notoriously scandalous failures of the hubristic and arrogant managers in that country, the unsuccessful one-year fight against the pandemic in the US and Europe and the embarrassing incidents that ensued, and also the recent political and social instabilities in the most important European countries are all signs of the downward movement of the western camp.

On the other hand, the growth of the Resistance forces in the most sensitive Islamic regions, the development of their defensive and offensive capabilities, their growth of self-awareness, motivation and hope in Muslim nations, the increasing tendency to follow Islamic and Quranic slogans and the growth of independence and self-reliance in nations are auspicious signs of a better future.

The necessity for Muslim countries to cooperate with one another on the pivot of Palestine and Quds

In this auspicious future, cooperation between Muslim countries should be a main and fundamental goal and this does not seem unlikely. The pivot around which this cooperation turns is the issue of Palestine–the entirety of that country–and the fate of Holy Quds. This is the same truth that guided the enlightened heart of the great Imam Khomeini (may God bestow mercy upon him) towards the announcement of International Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Cooperation between Muslims around the pivot of Holy Quds is an absolute nightmare for the Zionists and for their American and European advocates. The failed project called “The Deal of the Century” and the effort to normalize the relations between a few weak Arab governments and the Zionist regime were desperate attempts to run away from that nightmare.

I tell you with confidence: These attempts will not get them anywhere. The downward movement of the Zionist enemy has started and it will not stop moving downward.

The decisive factors in the future: The continued activities of the Resistance in the occupied lands and Muslims’ support for the Palestinian mujahids

There are two determining factors in the future: First and foremost is the continued activities of resistance in the Palestinian lands and the strengthening of the line of jihad and martyrdom and second, global support, on the part of governments and Muslim nations throughout the world, for the Palestinian mujahids.

All of us–government officials, intellectuals, religious scholars, political parties and groups, the brave youths and people of various social backgrounds–should determine our position in this public movement and play our part.

This is what nullifies the enemy’s plots and it will be a millennial manifestation of this ayah: “Or do they intend a plot? But those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a plot” [The Holy Quran, 52: 42], and “And Allah has full power and control over His affairs, but most among mankind do not know” [The Holy Quran, 12: 21].

I also wish to address the Arab youth in their own language…

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon all liberated individuals in the Arab world, in particular Arab youth, and greetings be upon the resistant people of Palestine and Quds and the defenders in Masjid al-Aqsa.

Greetings be upon the martyrs of Resistance and the large number of the mujahids who laid down their lives on this path, in particular martyr Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, martyr Sayyid Abbas Musawi, martyr Fathi Shaqaqi, martyr Imad Moughniyah, martyr Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, martyr Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis and finally, the most prominent personality among the martyrs of Resistance, martyr Qassem Soleimani. Even after their fruitful and blessed life, with their martyrdom, each of these personalities exerted a deep impact on the Resistance.

The endeavors of Palestinians and the pure blood of the Resistance martyrs have managed to hold up this auspicious flag and to increase the internal power of Palestinian jihad by a hundred times. One day, the Palestinian youth used to defend themselves by throwing stones, but today, they respond to enemy attacks with precision missiles.

Palestine and Quds has been described in the Holy Quran as the “Holy Land”. It has been tens of years now that the most impure and malicious human beings have been occupying this pure land: they are devils who massacre honorable human beings and then they confess to it with complete shamelessness. They are racists who have been harassing, for more than 70 years, the main owners of the land by murdering, looting, imprisoning and torturing them, but, thank God, they have not been able to break their willpower.

Palestine is alive and it continues to resist and it will finally overcome the malicious enemy with God’s assistance. Holy Quds and the entire Palestine belongs to those people [the Palestinians] and they will regain its possession again: “Nor is that for Allah any great matter.” [The Holy Quran, 14:20].

All Muslim governments and nations are responsible towards Palestine, but the Palestinians themselves are the pivot of the jihad and their population reaches about 14 million people inside and outside the land. The unity and the unanimous willpower of those people will work wonders.

Today, unity is the biggest weapon for the Palestinians

The enemies of Palestinian unity are the Zionist regime, the US and some other political powers, but if unity is not shattered from inside the Palestinian society itself, the extrinsic enemies will not be able to do anything.

The pivot of this unity should be national jihad and lack of trust in the enemies. The main enemies of the Palestinians-the US, England and vicious Zionists-should not be used as a source of support for Palestinian politics.

All Palestinians–including the Palestinians in Gaza, in Quds, in the West Bank, in 1948 lands and even the ones living in refugee camps–form a single unit and they should adopt the strategy of coalescence. Every part should defend another part and when under pressure, they should utilize the tools at their disposal.

Today, hope of achieving victory is stronger than ever. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the Palestinians. The Zionist enemy has become weaker year after year while its army, which used to describe itself as “the army which will never be defeated”, has turned into “an army which will never taste victory” after its debacle in the 33-day war in Lebanon and its experiences in 22-day and 8-day wars. As for its political condition, it has been forced to hold four elections in the space of two years. In terms of security as well, it continuously tastes defeat. Moreover, the increasing desire among Jews to emigrate from that country has become a source of embarrassment for that overconfident regime. Its serious endeavor to normalize relations with a few Arab countries, with the assistance of the US, is another sign of the decline of that regime. Of course, this will not help that regime in any way either. Tens of years ago, it established relations with Egypt, but since then, it has become much weaker and much more vulnerable. Therefore, will the normalization of relations with a few weak and small countries be able to help that regime? Of course, those countries will not benefit from the relations either, as the Zionist regime will transgress against their properties and their land and it will promote corruption and insecurity in their countries.

Of course, these truths should not make others forget about their heavy duty. Muslim and Christian ulama should announce the act of normalization as haraam from a religious perspective and intellectuals and liberated individuals should explain to everyone the results of this treachery, which is a stab in the back of Palestine.

Contrary to the downward movement of the regime, an increase in the capabilities of the camp of Resistance is a sign of a bright future: An increase in defensive and military power, self-sufficiency in building effective weapons, the self-confidence of mujahids, the increasing awareness of youth, the extension of the Resistance circle to the entire country of Palestine and beyond, the recent uprising of youth in defending Masjid al-Aqsa and the simultaneous promotion of the Palestinian nation’s spirit of jihad and innocence among public opinion in many parts of the world.

The logic behind the Palestinian cause, which has been registered in the United Nations documents, is a progressive and attractive logic. Palestinian warriors can bring up the idea of holding a referendum with the participation of the main inhabitants of Palestine. The referendum will determine the political system of the country and the main inhabitants, including the displaced Palestinians, no matter what their ethnicity and religion are, will participate in it. That political system will bring back the displaced [Palestinians] and will determine the fate of the foreigners inhabiting there.

This demand is based on the common democracy accepted in the whole world and no one can question its progressiveness.

The Palestinian fighters should continue their legitimate and moral fight against the usurping regime until it is forced to give in to this demand.

Move forward in the Name of God and know that: “Allah will certainly aid those who aid His cause” [The Holy Quran, 22: 40].

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Sayyed Nasrallah To the Saudis: Don’t Waste Your Time, Yemen is Victorious …The US is Declining

Sayyed Nasrallah To the Saudis: Don’t Waste Your Time, Yemen is Victorious …The US is Declining
Click here for Videos

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassasn Nasrallah delivered on Wednesday a speech on the memorial ceremony held by the Association of Muslim Scholars to honor its late Chairman of the Board of Trustees, judge Sheikh Ahmad Zein.

As His Eminence renewed Hezbollah’s condolences on the demise of the great Sheikh, dear resistance fighter, father and teacher Sheikh Ahmad Zein, His Eminence hailed “Sheikh Zein as a sublime model of faith, religiosity, knowledge and sincerity.”

“Sheikh Ahmad Zein resembles a model of ethics, humility, transparency, tenderness, friendliness, love and kindness,” Sayyed Nasrallah added, noting that “Sheikh Ahmad Zein is a model of the revolutionary resistant who was clear in his stances, vision, and bravery.”

In parallel, the resistance leader underscored that “Sheikh Ahmad Zein was stable and solid in the path of [Muslim] unity and resistance.”

“Unlike Sheikh Ahmad Zein, other people’s stances changed due to personal desperation, Petrodollars and authority,” he confirmed, praising “Sheikh Ahmad Zein, who walked a path of an intellectual, juristic, and religious basis on which he remained firm.”

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “Sheikh Ahmed placed before him the constants of Palestine, its people, Al-Quds and the occupied land from the sea to the river. He took upon himself the cause of confronting the ‘Israeli’-American scheme to dominate the region.”

“Sheikh Ahmed, from the beginning to the end, was with Palestine and against the liquidation of its cause and with everyone who stood with it,” His Eminence highlighted, recalling that “Sheikh Ahmad Zein stood from the beginning with the revolution in Iran, because it supported Palestine.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “Sheikh Zein backed and supported all resistance fighters and scholars. He offered all what he could for the sake of resistance.”

He further said that “The most difficult situation for Sheikh Ahmed Zein was in Syria, and he endured a lot for that stance.”

“The most important reason behind targeting Syria was because of Palestine and the resistance, which Sheikh Zein had been aware of,” His Eminence mentioned, reminding that “Sheikh Zein rejected the regime’s practices in Bahrain and the war on Yemen despite all the pressures, and he was one of the scholars who uncovered the fabrications and misleading regarding the talk of the so-called sectarian war in Yemen.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also hinted that “The most difficult level of Sheikh Zein’s and the resistance scholars’ political life was in this decade. Recently, stances made by Sheikh Zein and other scholars were of great importance.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “In the last stage, the position of Sheikh Zein and other scholars had great significance. One of the most dangerous and difficult problems was those who tried to turn the battles into a sectarian war.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the historic role of many scholars who buried the sectarian division long sought by conspiring states, noting that what happened in many countries was intended to be turned into a Sunni-Shia strife as in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, etc…

“Those who broke the strife in this war are the wonderful and distinguished Sunni elite,” he elaborated.

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “There is a new political and media war against the oppressed Yemeni people through showing that Saudi Arabia wants to end the war while Ansarullah refuses this.”

“What is proposed to the Yemenis is not an end to the war. It is just a ceasefire while all other forms of war continue such as blocking the airport, seaports, and borders,” he emphasized, noting that “What is proposed to Yemenis is a major deceit that neither Sayyed Abdul Malik Al-Houthi nor the Ansarullah movement or the Yemeni scholars will be deceived with, not even the Yemeni children will accept this.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed “The Yemeni people who are as great in politics as in resistance.”

He further advised the Saudis and the Americans not to waste time after they have touched the Yemenis could not be deceived. “Ceasing the fire without lifting the siege is misleading and reflects the desire to achieve what they were unable to score in the military field.”

To the Saudis, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a sounding message: “Don’t waste time as your game won’t deceive the Yemenis. Just stop the war and end the blockade.”

On the Palestinian front, His Eminence viewed that “Palestinian steadfastness is the reason behind ‘the deal of the century’s’ failure, particularly disappearance from circulation.”

“The axis of resistance passed and crossed the worst and most dangerous stage in its history, and it continues to meet threats with hard work and the accumulation of capabilities,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed, underlining that “Iran will not give today what it didn’t give during the harshest stage of sanctions and the daily threat with war.”

Moreover, he underlined that “Iran is on the threshold of overcoming the blockade and sanctions, and it has proven its strength and abilities.”

“Biden’s admin is seeking not to let Iran be part of an alliance that includes Russia and China. However, what Iran did not offer amid the harshest sanctions and daily threats of war it won’t offer now. It’s on its way to overcome the blockade and sanctions. It [Iran] proved strength.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah predicted that “The US is moving in decline, while the axis of resistance is moving in an upward progression.”

To the Lebanese, His Eminence sent the following advise:“Let us not wait for America, the world, and developments. Let us set internal and regional dialogues to solve our problems.”

“America’s allies should know that the current US administration’s priorities are not in our region anymore, and that the US is sinking,” he said, warning that “Everybody should learn that Lebanon has exhausted its time. And it is now that we must reach a solution.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT VT EDITORS

VT EditorsVeterans Today

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

The “New Shaam” and the Detonation of Jordan الشام الجديد» وتفجير الأردن

The “New Shaam” and the Detonation of Jordan

by Nasser Kandil

Egyptian, Iraqi, and Jordanian meetings are being held to reinforce a trilateral project with an economic title failing to mask political, and possibly, strategic dimensions. This project called “The New Shaam ” does not answer how a project bearing the name of Syria (Al Shaam) could be founded while excluding Syria from its consideration. Those involved in the project are incapable of denying the reality of the role of isolator between Syria and Iran that this trio is playing, in addition to isolating Iraq and Jordan from Syria which geographically falls in the middle between those two countries. Those involved also fail to deny the declared American paternity of this project in parallel to American declared paternity of the Gulf-Israeli normalization, with both projects being complimentary and a guarantee for each other’s success.

The economic return of this “New Shaam” project is not unrelated to its political role. Egyptian electricity to Iraq compensates Egypt for the loss of Suez Canal returns resulting from Gulf-Israeli normalization, while simultaneously acting as a substitute for electricity to Iraq from Iran. Similarly the exchange of Iraqi oil and Egyptian gas via Jordan detaches Iraq from need for Iranian gas, and provides additional compensation for anticipated Suez Canal revenue loss from the reliance of the Gulf trade on Israeli ports after normalization. As for what has been promised to Jordan from this project has been financing to compensate for the halting of goods from Syria in transit via Jordan to the Gulf, and becoming a compulsory junction for the goods arriving at the Occupation’s ports and destined for the Gulf.

The Gulf-Israeli normalization built on the foundation of granting the Occupation a pivotal economic role in the region, redraws the political-economic map of the countries in the region, and markets it using appealing names such as the “The New Shaam.” The new map imposes on Egypt accepting the loss of the role which the Suez Canal has played in exchange for the crumbs meted by the designated replacement role, and imposes on Iraq the role of separating Syria from Iran, encircling Syria with an Iraqi-Jordanian siege, accepting the loss of Iraq’s natural common interests with both Iran and Syria, and placing Iraq’s internal cohesion, unity, and stability in danger. Jordan, however, will be the most vulnerable to the influences and pressures resulting from this project, irrespective of the enticements Jordan is offered to accept this role.

Jordan lies at the intersection of two fault lines portending renewed crises, namely the closed door to a resolution for the Palestinian Cause, and the wide open door to the Gulf-Israeli normalization, along with the connection to a third fault line of high tension entitled separating Syria from Iran, and separating Jordan and Iraq from Syria and besieging her. The question becomes could the delicate situation in Jordan withstand such pressures, given the weight of the Palestinian Cause and its influence on Jordan especially in light of the Palestinian united opposition to the “Deal of the Century” and Jordan’s inability to isolate herself from such Palestinian transformation, and in view of the strong Jordanian-Syrian social and political intertwinement, and the popular climate in Jordan aspiring to speeding up the natural and cooperative relationships between Jordan and Syria? Given the popular demand in Jordan for the closure of the Israeli Embassy, can Jordanians tolerate scenarios of trucks crossing Jordan with goods loaded from the Port of Haifa in transit to the Gulf?

If “The New Shaam” project does not become quadrilateral, open to and inclusive of Syria, refusing the designated role of marketing normalization at the expense of the Palestinian People and Egyptian interests, and rejecting playing the role of isolating and besieging Syria, Iraq and Egypt will pay a political and economic toll from their stability. Jordan, on the other hand, will be facing fateful and possibly existential challenges, similar to what pushed Lebanon in the eve of Camp David.

«الشام الجديد» وتفجير الأردن

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-1087.png

ناصر قنديل

للمرة الثانية ينعقد لقاء مصري عراقي أردني تأكيداً على مشروع ثلاثي بعنوان اقتصادي لا يُخفى البعد السياسي وربما الاستراتيجي وراءه، فالمشروع المسمّى بالشام الجديد، لا يملك جواباً على كيفية قيام مشروع يحمل اسم الشام ويستثني الشام من حساباته؟ بل لا يستطيع القيّمون على المشروع إنكار حقيقة أن الثلاثي الجديد يلعب دور العازل بين إيران وسورية، عدا عن كونه يعزل الأردن والعراق عن سورية بينما هي تتوسّطهما معاً، كما لا يمكن لأصحاب المشروع إنكار ما قاله الأميركيون عن أبوتهم للمشروع بالتوازي مع أبوتهم للتطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، حيث يكمّل أحد المشروعين الآخر، ويضمن نجاحه.

العائد الاقتصادي للمشروع غير منفصل عن وظيفته السياسية، فالكهرباء المصرية للعراق هي من جهة تعويض لمصر عن خسائر قناة السويس الناتجة عن التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، ومن جهة مقابلة تأمين بديل كهربائي للعراق عن المصدر الإيراني، كما تبادل النفط العراقي والغاز المصري عبر الأردن فك للعراق عن حاجته للغاز الإيراني، وتأمين موارد إضافيّة بديلة عن خسائر ستحلق بقناة السويس من الاتجاه للاعتماد التجاري للخليج على موانئ كيان الاحتلال بعد التطبيع، أما العائدات الموعودة للأردن من هذا الربط فهي لتمويل يعوّض على الأردن ما سيُصيبه من خسائر توقف خط الترانزيت الى الخليج عبر سورية مقابل لعب دور المعبر الإلزامي للبضائع الواصلة إلى موانئ كيان الاحتلال والمتجهة نحو الخليج.

التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي المؤسس على ركيزة منح كيان الاحتلال دوراً اقتصادياً محورياً في المنطقة، يُعيد تشكيل الخريطة السياسية والاقتصادية لدول المنطقة، ويتم تسويق هذه الخريطة بأسماء جاذبة مثل الشام الجديد، فعلى مصر وفقاً للخريطة الجديدة أن تتلقى خسارة قناة السويس لدورها وتصمت لقاء فتات دور بديل، وعلى العراق الذي يكلف بمهمة فصل سورية عن أيران وتطويق سورية بحصار عراقي أردني، أن يرتضي خسارة مصالحه المشتركة الطبيعيّة مع كل من سورية وإيران، وأن يعرّض تماسكه الداخلي ووحدته واستقراره الأمني للخطر، لكن الأردن سيبقى الساحة الأشد عرضة للضغوط والتأثيرات الناجمة عن هذا المشروع رغم العروض التشجيعيّة التي يتلقاها لقبول الدور.

الأردن الذي يشكّل خط تقاطع فوالق الأزمات المستجدّة بفعل التوتر العالي لخطَّي إغلاق أبواب الحلول أمام القضيّة الفلسطينية، وفتح الباب الواسع للتطبيع الخليجيّ الإسرائيليّ، يتم ربطه بخط توتر عالٍ ثالث عنوانه فصل سورية عن إيران، وعزل العراق والأردن عن سورية بنية حصارها، ويصير السؤال هل الوضع الدقيق في الأردن يحتمل هذه الضغوط، في ظل حجم حضور القضية الفلسطينية وتأثيرها على الأردن، خصوصاً مع وحدة الموقف الفلسطيني بوجه صفقة القرن، وعجز الأردن عن تحييد نفسه عن هذه التحولات الفلسطينية، وفي ظل حجم التشابك الاجتماعي والسياسي الأردني السوري، وتنامي مناخ شعبيّ أردنيّ يتطلع لتسريع العلاقات الطبيعيّة والتعاونيّة بين سورية والأردن، وفي ظل مطالبات أردنية بإغلاق السفارة الإسرائيلية هل يمكن للأردنيين تحمل مشاهد الشاحنات العابرة من مرفأ حيفا نحو الخليج؟

ما لم يكن مشروع الشام الجديد رباعياً يضمّ سورية، وينفتح عليها، ويرفض الدور المرسوم لتسويق التطبيع على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني والمصالح المصرية، ويرفض لعب دور العزل والحصار بحق سورية، فإن العراق ومصر سيدفعان أثماناً سياسية واقتصادية، من استقرارهما، لكن الأردن سيكون أمام تحديات مصيرية وربما وجودية، تشبه تلك التي دُفع لبنان نحوها عشية كامب ديفيد.

Israel And The Emirates Sign The “Abraham Accords”

Written by Thierry MEYSSAN on 25/09/2020

The situation in the Middle East has been blocked since the Oslo Accords signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat in 1993. They were supplemented by the Jericho-Gaza Agreement, which recognizes certain prerogatives of the Palestinian Authority, and the Wadi Araba Agreements, which concluded peace between Israel and Jordan.

At the time, the Israeli government intended to separate definitively from the Palestinians. It was ready to do so by creating a Palestinian pseudo-state, devoid of several attributes of sovereignty, including an independent army and finances. Labour’s Yitzhak Rabin had previously experimented with Bantustans in South Africa, where Israel was advising the apartheid regime. Another experiment took place in Guatemala with a Mayan tribe under General Efraín Ríos Montt.

Yasser Arafat accepted the Oslo Accords to derail the process of the Madrid Conference (1991). Presidents George W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev had tried to impose peace on Israel by removing Arafat from the international scene with the support of Arab leaders.

Despite all this, many commentators believed that the Oslo Accords could bring peace.

In any case, 27 years later, nothing positive has limited the suffering of the Palestinian people, but the state of Israel has been gradually transformed from within. Today this country is divided into two antagonistic camps, as evidenced by its government, the only one in the world to have two Prime Ministers at the same time. On the one hand the partisans of British colonialism behind the first Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanhyahu, on the other hand the partisans of a normalization of the country and its relations with its neighbors, behind the second Prime Minister, Benny Gantz. This two-headed system reflects the incompatibility of these two projects. Each camp paralyzes its rival. Only time will come to end the colonial project of conquering Greater Israel from the banks of the Nile to those of the Euphrates, the comet tail of an outdated era.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has implemented the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy aimed at adapting the US army to the needs of a new form of capitalism based no longer on the production of goods and services, but on financial engineering. To do this, they began an “endless war” of destruction of state structures throughout the “broader Middle East” without taking into account their friends and enemies. In two decades, the region became cursed for its inhabitants. Afghanistan, then Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen are the theater of wars presented as lasting a few weeks, but which last indefinitely, without perspective.

When Donald Trump was elected president, he promised to put an end to the “endless wars” and to bring US soldiers home. In this spirit, he gave carte blanche to his special adviser and nevertheless son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The fact that President Trump is supported in his country by Zionist Christians and that Jared Kushner is an Orthodox Jew has led many commentators to portray them as friends of Israel. If they do indeed have an electoral interest in letting this be believed, it is not at all their approach to the Middle East. They intend to defend the interests of the American people, and not those of the Israelis, by substituting trade relations for war on the model of President Andrew Jackson (1829-37). Jackson managed to prevent the disappearance of the Indians he had fought as a general, although only the Cherokees signed the agreement he proposed. Today they have become the largest Native American tribe, despite the infamous episode of the “Trail of Tears”.

For three years, Jared Kushner travelled through the region. He was able to see for himself how much fear and hatred had developed there. For 75 years, Israel has persisted in violating all UN resolutions that concern it and continues its slow and inexorable nibbling of Arab territory. The negotiator reached only one conclusion: International Law is powerless because almost no one – with the notable exception of Bush Sr. and Gorbachev – has wanted to really apply it since the partition plan for Palestine in 1947. Because of the inaction of the international community, its application if it were to happen today would add injustice to injustice.

Kushner worked on many hypotheses, including the unification of the Palestinian people around Jordan and the linking of Gaza to Egypt. In June 2019, he presented proposals for the economic development of the Palestinian territories at a conference in Bahrain (the “deal of the century”). Rather than negotiating anything, the idea was to quantify what everyone would gain from peace. In the end, he managed, on September 13, 2020, to get a secret agreement signed in Washington between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The agreement was formalized two days later, on September 15, in a watered-down version.”

Press in the Emirates
The press in the Emirates does not have the same version of the events as that of Israel. None of them has an interest in expressing itself frankly.

As always, the most important thing is the secret part: Israel was forced to renounce in writing its plans for annexation (including the territories allegedly “offered” by Donald Trump in the “deal of the century” project) and to let Dubai Ports World (known as “DP World”) take over the port of Haifa, from which the Chinese have just been ejected.

This agreement is in line with the ideas of the second Israeli Prime Minister Benny Gantz, but represents a disaster for the camp of the first Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Not having read the secret part of the agreements myself, I do not know if it clearly indicates the renunciation of annexing the Syrian Golan Heights, occupied since 1967, and the Lebanese Shebaa Farms, occupied since 1982. Similarly, I do not know whether compensation is provided for the port of Beirut, since it is clear that its eventual reconstruction would be detrimental both to Israel and to the Emirates’ investments in Haifa. However, the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, has already publicly evoked a real estate construction project instead of the port of Beirut.

In order to make this treaty acceptable to all parties, it has been named “Abraham Accords”, after the common father of Judaism and Islam. The paternity was attributed, to the great joy of Benny Gantz, to the “outstretched hand” (sic) of Benjamin Netanyahu, his toughest opponent. Finally, Bahrain was associated with it.

This last point aims to mount the new regional role that Washington has granted to the Emirates in replacement of Saudi Arabia. As we announced, it is now Abu Dhabi and no longer Riyadh that represents US interests in the Arab world Other Arab states are invited to follow Bahrain’s example.

The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has not had harsh words against the Emirati “betrayal”. He was taken up both by those who remain hostile to peace (the Iranian ayatollahs) and by those who remain committed to the Oslo Accords and the two-state solution. Indeed, by formalizing diplomatic relations between Israel and the new Arab leader, the Emirates, the Abraham Accords turn the page on the Oslo Accords. The palm of hypocrisy goes to the European Union, which persists in defending international law in theory and violating it in practice.

If President Trump is re-elected and Jared Kushner continues his work, the Israeli-Emirati agreements will be remembered as the moment when Israelis and Arabs regained the right to speak to each other, just as the overthrow of the Berlin Wall marked the moment when East Germans regained the right to speak to their relatives in the West. On the contrary, if Joe Biden is elected, Israel’s nibbling of Arab territories and the “endless war” will resume throughout the region.

Relations between Israel and the Emirates had long since stabilized without a peace treaty since there was never a declared war between them. The Emirates have been secretly buying arms from the Jewish state for the past decade. Over time this trade has increased, especially in terms of telephone interceptions and internet surveillance. In addition, an Israeli embassy was already operating under cover of an intelligence agency.

In addition, an Israeli embassy was already operating under cover of a delegation to an obscure UN body in the Emirates. However, the “Abraham Accords” challenge the dominant Arab-Israeli discourse and shake up internal relations in the entire region.

Source: Voltaire Network

%d bloggers like this: