CHRIS HEDGES: NATO — THE MOST DANGEROUS MILITARY ALLIANCE ON THE PLANET

JULY 12TH, 2022

By Chris Hedges

Source

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the arms industry that depends on it for billions in profits, has become the most aggressive and dangerous military alliance on the planet. Created in 1949 to thwart Soviet expansion into Eastern and Central Europe, it has evolved into a global war machine in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

NATO expanded its footprint, violating promises to Moscow, once the Cold War ended, to incorporate 14 countries in Eastern and Central Europe into the alliance. It will soon add Finland and Sweden. It bombed Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo. It launched wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, resulting in close to a million deaths and some 38 million people driven from their homes. It is building a military footprint in Africa and Asia. It invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, the so-called “Asia Pacific Four,” to its recent summit in Madrid at the end of June. It has expanded its reach into the Southern Hemisphere, signing a military training partnership agreement with Colombia, in December 2021. It has backed Turkey, with NATO’s second largest military, which has illegally invaded and occupied parts of Syria as well as Iraq. Turkish-backed militias are engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds and other inhabitants of north and east Syria. The Turkish military has been accused of war crimes – including multiple airstrikes against a refugee camp andchemical weapons use – in northern Iraq. In exchange for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s permission for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, the two Nordic countries have agreed to expand their domestic terror laws making it easier to crack down on Kurdish and other activists, lift their restrictions on selling arms to Turkey and deny support to the Kurdish-led movement for democratic autonomy in Syria.

It is quite a record for a military alliance that with the collapse of the Soviet Union was rendered obsolete and should have been dismantled. NATO and the militarists had no intention of embracing the “peace dividend,” fostering a world based on diplomacy, a respect of spheres of influence and mutual cooperation. It was determined to stay in business. Its business is war. That meant expanding its war machine far beyond the border of Europe and engaging in ceaseless antagonism toward China and Russia.

NATO sees the future, as detailed in its “NATO 2030: Unified for a New Era,” as a battle for hegemony with rival states, especially China, and calls for the preparation of prolonged global conflict.

“China has an increasingly global strategic agenda, supported by its economic and military heft,” the NATO 2030 initiative warned. “It has proven its willingness to use force against its neighbors, as well as economic coercion and intimidatory diplomacy well beyond the Indo-Pacific region. Over the coming decade, China will likely also challenge NATO’s ability to build collective resilience, safeguard critical infrastructure, address new and emerging technologies such as 5G and protect sensitive sectors of the economy including supply chains. Longer term, China is increasingly likely to project military power globally, including potentially in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

The alliance has spurned the Cold War strategy that made sure Washington was closer to Moscow and Beijing than Moscow and Beijing were to each other. U.S. and NATO antagonism have turned Russia and China into close allies. Russia, rich in natural resources, including energy, minerals and grains, and China, a manufacturing and technological behemoth, are a potent combination. NATO no longer distinguishes between the two, announcing in its most recent mission statement that the “deepening strategic partnership” between Russian and China has resulted in “mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order that run counter to our values and interests.”

On July 6, Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, and Ken McCallum, director general of Britain’s MI5, held a joint news conference in London to announce that China was the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.” They accused China, like Russia, of interfering in U.S. and U.K. elections. Wray warned the business leaders they addressed that the Chinese government was “set on stealing your technology, whatever it is that makes your industry tick, and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market.”

This inflammatory rhetoric presages an ominous future.

One cannot talk about war without talking about markets. The political and social turmoil in the U.S., coupled with its diminishing economic power, has led it to embrace NATO and its war machine as the antidote to its decline.

Washington and its European allies are terrified of China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) meant to connect an economic bloc of roughly 70 nations outside U.S. control. The initiative includes the construction of rail lines, roads and gas pipelines that will be integrated with Russia. Beijing is expected to commit $1.3 trillion to the BRI by 2027. China, which is on track to become the world’s largest economy within a decade, has organized the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade pact of 15 East Asian and Pacific nations representing 30 percent of global trade. It already accounts for 28.7 percent of the Global Manufacturing Output, nearly double the 16.8 percent of the U.S.

China’s rate of growth last year was an impressive  8.1 percent, although slowing to around 5 percent this year.  By contrast, the U.S.’s growth rate in 2021 was 5.7 percent — its highest since 1984 — but is predicted to fall below 1 percent this year, by the New York Federal Reserve.

If China, Russia, Iran, India and other nations free themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network financial institutions use to send and receive information such as money transfer instructions, it will trigger a dramatic decline in the value of the dollar and a financial collapse in the U.S. The huge military expenditures, which have driven the U.S. debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the U.S.’s entire GDP, will become untenable. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military in 2021, $ 801 billion which amounted to 38 percent of total world expenditure on the military, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined. The loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will force the U.S. to slash spending, shutter many of its 800 military bases overseas and cope with the inevitable social and political upheavals triggered by economic collapse. It is darkly ironic that NATO has accelerated this possibility.

Russia, in the eyes of NATO and U.S. strategists, is the appetizer. Its military, NATO hopes, will get bogged down and degraded in Ukraine. Sanctions and diplomatic isolation, the plan goes, will thrust Vladimir Putin from power. A client regime that will do U.S. bidding will be installed in Moscow.

NATO has provided more than $8 billion in military aid to Ukraine, while the US has committed nearly $54 billion in military and humanitarian assistance to the country.

China, however, is the main course. Unable to compete economically, the U.S. and NATO have turned to the blunt instrument of war to cripple their global competitor.

The provocation of China replicates the NATO baiting of Russia.

NATO expansion and the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv led Russia to first occupy Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, with its large ethnic Russian population, and then to invade all of Ukraine to thwart the country’s efforts to join NATO.

The same dance of death is being played with China over Taiwan, which China considers part of Chinese territory, and with NATO expansion in the Asia Pacific. China flies warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone and the U.S. sends naval shipsthrough the Taiwan Strait which connects the South and East China seas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May called China the most serious long-term challenge to the international order, citing its claims to Taiwan and efforts to dominate the South China Sea. Taiwan’s president, in a Zelensky-like publicity stunt, recently posed with an anti-tank rocket launcher in a government handout photo.

The conflict in Ukraine has been a bonanza for the arms industry, which, given the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, needed a new conflict. Lockheed Martin’s stock prices are up 12 percent. Northrop Grumman is up 20 percent. The war is being used by NATO to increase its military presence in Eastern and Central Europe. The U.S. is building a permanent military base in Poland. The 40,000-strong NATO reaction force is being expanded to 300,000 troops. Billions of dollars in weapons are pouring into the region.

The conflict with Russia, however, is already backfiring. The ruble has soared to a seven-year high against the dollar. Europe is barreling towards a recession because of rising oil and gas prices and the fear that Russia could terminate supplies completely. The loss of Russian wheat, fertilizer, gas and oil, due to Western sanctions, is creating havoc in world markets and a humanitarian crisis in Africa and the Middle East. Soaring food and energy prices, along with shortages and crippling inflation, bring with them not only deprivation and hunger, but social upheaval and political instability. The climate emergency, the real existential threat, is being ignored to appease the gods of war.

The war makers are frighteningly cavalier about the threat of nuclear war. Putin warned NATO countries that they “will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history” if they intervened directly in Ukraine and ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on heightened alert status. The proximity to Russia of U.S. nuclear weapons based in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey mean that any nuclear conflict would obliterate much of Europe. Russia and the United States control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads, with around 4,000 warheads each in their military stockpiles, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

President Joe Biden warned that the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be “completely unacceptable” and “entail severe consequences,” without spelling out what those consequences would be. This is what U.S. strategists refer to as “deliberate ambiguity.”

The U.S. military, following its fiascos in the Middle East, has shifted its focus from fighting terrorism and asymmetrical warfare to confronting China and Russia. President Barack Obama’s national-security team in 2016 carried out a war game in which Russia invaded a NATO country in the Baltics and used a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon against NATO forces. Obama officials were split about how to respond.

“The National Security Council’s so-called Principals Committee—including Cabinet officers and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—decided that the United States had no choice but to retaliate with nuclear weapons,” Eric Schlosser writes in The Atlantic. “Any other type of response, the committee argued, would show a lack of resolve, damage American credibility, and weaken the NATO alliance. Choosing a suitable nuclear target proved difficult, however. Hitting Russia’s invading force would kill innocent civilians in a NATO country. Striking targets inside Russia might escalate the conflict to an all-out nuclear war. In the end, the NSC Principals Committee recommended a nuclear attack on Belarus—a nation that had played no role whatsoever in the invasion of the NATO ally but had the misfortune of being a Russian ally.”

The Biden administration has formed a Tiger Team of national security officials to run war games on what to do if Russia uses a nuclear weapon, according to The New York Times. The threat of nuclear war is minimized with discussions of “tactical nuclear weapons,” as if less powerful nuclear explosions are somehow more acceptable and won’t lead to the use of bigger bombs.

At no time, including the Cuban missile crisis, have we stood closer to the precipice of nuclear war.

“A simulation devised by experts at Princeton University starts with Moscow firing a nuclear warning shot; NATO responds with a small strike, and the ensuing war yieldsmore than 90 million casualties in its first few hours,” The New York Times reported.

The longer the war in Ukraine continues — and the U.S. and NATO seem determined to funnel billions of dollars of weapons into the conflict for months if not years — the more the unthinkable becomes thinkable. Flirting with Armageddon to profit the arms industry and carry out the futile quest to reclaim U.S. global hegemony is at best extremely reckless and at worst genocidal.

Interim Israeli PM to use pre-Nakba villa as official residence

The villa was built by wealthy Palestinian businessman Hanna Salameh in the 1930s, who was forced to leave Palestine after Israel was created

July 11 2022

(Photo credit: Times of Israel)

ByNews Desk-

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded this month that interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hand over a villa built prior to the Palestinian catastrophe, or Nakba, of 1948.

Shtayyeh gave the order when it was revealed that the Israeli caretaker prime minister was planning on living there temporarily.

The Villa Salameh, as engraved on one of the walls, was built in the 1930s by Palestinian businessman Hanna Salameh.

Salameh was expelled from Palestine in 1948 upon the formation of the state of Israel, and lived in exile in Lebanon.

The luxurious home is located in the Talbieh neighborhood of West Jerusalem, which was built a century ago and was home to several residences built by wealthy Palestinian elites.

After the formation of Israel and the resulting Nakba, the dispossessed residents of the Talbieh neighborhood were forced out of Palestine by Israeli forces.

Two years later, the villa, along with many Palestinian homes in the area, was seized by Tel Aviv under the Absentee Property Law.

The Absentee Property Law was passed by the Israeli government in 1950, allowing it to seize the homes of Palestinians who were forced to both abandon their properties and leave their country.

Reportedly, Lapid has temporarily occupied the villa, as the official prime ministerial residence on Balfour Street in occupied West Jerusalem, which is near the villa, undergoes renovation.

On 4 July, during a meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh strongly condemned Israel’s continued violation of homes left behind by refugees, and called for the right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland under UN Resolution 194.

The takeover by the Israeli prime minister of a historic Palestinian home aligns with Tel Aviv’s official policy of seizing or destroying Palestinian homes, and forcibly evicting their residents.

In March this year, the Jerusalem Municipality declared its intention to annex 800 Palestinian homes in the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber, in order to raze them and build a commercial center as well as 500 settlement units for Jewish residents.

On 12 June, a report by Land Research Center of the Arab Studies revealed that Israeli forces demolished at least 1,032 Palestinian buildings and homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2021.

The liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world

10 Jul 2020

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Politologist and Researcher; Columnist and Activist; Founder of the Canaán Association.

Susana Khalil 

We have a date with history and it is the liberation of Palestine today in the XXI century against the colonial yoke and anachronism called “Israel”.

Perhaps the end of hunger is the liberation of the world. Freedom is dignity and justice, there is no liberation with the injustice of hunger, hunger is savagery and slavery…The end of hunger is not in the universal human imaginary…It is a corpse theme and even laughable. There is an atheistic confession regarding the end of hunger in the world, anointed with alms, charity and philanthropy.     

The liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world

Zionism is a Eurocentric fascist movement and today it is the engine of imperial inhumanity and is the very normalization of fascism. Zionism is an enemy of humanity that with its despotic supra-power allows it to mock and subjugate the world as the untouchable bearer of Peace.

Zionism operates among rivals, i.e. there is American Zionism and there is Russian Zionism, and there is Chinese Zionism. There is Zionism in its fascist nature and there is also Zionism operating on the left wing. There is Nazi Christian Zionism as well as Islamo-fascist Zionism and at the same time, it operates in the illustrious temple of art, academia and intellectuality: in multiple cases in the scientific and technological plunder, always in the financial, commercial and media mafia. Its hyperrealistic power seems surrealistic.  

For decades Zionism has been one of the great articulators of the West in the macabre spilling of the blood of the peoples of Africa and Latin America for the plundering of their natural resources.

In 1948, the Euro-Zionist movement succeeded in imposing a colonial regime in Palestine called “Israel”. It was imposed on the basis of ethnic cleansing against the native Semitic Palestinian people. The wounded Arab world protested and the international Zionist power managed to conceal its barbarism, stating that they were Arab savages, anti-Semitic Muslims… Zionism is the perfect crime, the victim is guilty. Western egocentric gluttony ejaculates in its creative and illustrative ignorance: They found the land of love, sang Edith Piaf in tribute to the colonial regime of “Israel” that massacred the native Semitic Palestinian people. 

Note

“Israel” that was imposed in 1948 in Palestine is a classic colonialism, a colonial anachronism and its parallelism with the classic colonialism is that it does not come from a country but from a European movement (Zionism), which seeks to create a nation-state. In this case, they use the Jewish religious doctrine (Semitic heritage), they falsify history, they allege that it is about the ”return” to the ancestral land (Indo-Europeans, non-Semitic Jews). And this is why we are facing a colonialism in which it does not only colonize the land of the people but steals, appropriates the history of the native people, and this is because it is a colonialism that does not come from a country but from a movement that seeks to be a country. Therefore it takes the history of the native people. “Israelis” are not “Israelites”. This colonial particularity of usurping the native Palestinian history, culinary and cultural expression, is part of the equation of extermination of the Palestinian people. The native Palestinians are not only expelled from their homeland but the enemy  seeks to expel them from history.

End of the note

It is worrying to see today, how the tyrannies, neo-colonial Arab monarchies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, are investing colossal sums of money in the falsification of Islam, in school education, in large international Islamic forums, to present this colonialism as an Islamic principle. Be careful with this.

The liberation of Palestine, that is to say the end of the colonial regime of “Israel”, is the collapse of the Arab dictatorships, whether they are pro-imperialist Arab dictatorships or anti-imperialist Arab dictatorships.

Behind the cruel US imperial invasion of Iraq was the colonial regime of “Israel”, through the Zionist Lobby, as part of the colonial expansionist project: “Greater Israel”, from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Today, the colonial regime of “Israel” is in possession of at least 400 atomic bombs.

The humiliating Oslo Accords in which a Palestinian elite groveled and were forced to abandon the armed struggle. By abandoning the armed struggle, much of the Palestinian imaginary was lost, we no longer speak of the Fida’i. It used to be said: To be against “Israel” is not to be against the Jews. Now it is said: To criticize “Israel” does not mean to be against “Israel”. Without realizing it, we are becoming Zionists. It is criminally naïve to believe in the existence of this colonialism.

Former Palestinian leaders gave up the armed struggle for the peaceful struggle that already existed, but a peaceful struggle has not been achieved either, since Western repression does not allow us to express freely or to express the essence of the Palestinian Cause. We have not positioned our own lexicon, under the pretext that we must be intelligent, strategic, objective, subtle, tactical. Although the Palestinians have become more visible in the world, this has not stopped Zionism from advancing its ethnic cleansing in order to make the Palestinian people disappear.

Yes, war is perverse, but pacifism, in some cases of a petty bourgeois humanism, demagogic and in other honest cases, has proved not to be enough to fight the most powerful fascism of today; on the contrary, it has facilitated its advance. Zionism scoffs at all the great denunciations made by great institutions of the world including the UN. We are contemplating history instead of provoking history.

No one has the right to impose which is the way to resist, the peaceful or the armed struggle, both are valid. Another element is to impose on us to recognize Israeli colonialism as an alternative for Peace. That is a trap.  As a native Palestinian of the Diaspora, I do not recognize colonial despotism. The solution is Palestinian independence. Never expel any so-called Israeli, they were born there, that is their land, that is Palestine.

Israeli colonialism is not limited to Palestine but to the rest of the Arab-Persian and Kurdish countries.

The end of the Palestinian people would be the victory of fascist obscurantism, an attack against the rest of the peoples of the world. The peoples of the world will be weaker.  

We have a date with history and it is the liberation of Palestine today in the XXI century against the colonial yoke and anachronism called “Israel”. We have a debt to Humanity and that is to extirpate colonialism from our contemporary history and to extirpate the most powerful fascism of our time. It sounds lovely to say this, the challenge is immense, we must stop self-censorship, under the pretext that we must be strategic. We must kick the table, educating the world about the just Palestinian cause and the danger that Zionism poses to humanity. That embarks deep determination and steadfastness, therein lies the beauty of being Palestinian. From our Diaspora they will come for us to ruin our lives, but to liberate Palestine is the liberation of the world. A more dignified and noble world is mandatory.

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

Biden Forces Continue Trump Looting of Syrian Oil in Ethnic Cleansing

 

MIRI WOOD

Biden criminal forces in Syria continue looting Syria’s oil reserves launched by Trump. This supremacist theft is part of the neo Sykes-Picot plot to ethnically cleanse Syria of its indigenous population, by depriving the citizenry of its essential raw materials. The latest mass theft was stolen from the al Jazirah region of Hasakah governate, which happens to be in Syria, which is not part of the United States.

Biden imperial US again helping to destroy Syrian water supply.
Biden regime, like the Trump regime, can not read a map.

Syria News reminds its readers — particularly the minority of western colonialists who are so engrained with their entitlements as to almost be functioning at the level of deformed genetics — that when Trump stood outside the White House to announce how much he loves stealing from another people’s country, even those suffering Trump Derangement Syndrome were stricken deaf, dumb, and blind to this savage war crime.

Biden forces smuggle dozens of tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil into Iraq

We remind our readers — particularly those suffering the fantastic delusions that there is a difference between the war crimes of the Democrats and the war crimes of the Republicans, that Biden illegals in Syria have also continued the Trump legacy of stealing Syria’s essential foodstuffs.

On Thursday 16 June, the ‘Brandon’ regime military illegals in the Levantine Republic, exited the country with forty-two vehicles, most of which were tankers laden with stolen Syrian oil.

To further flaunt exceptional American right to invade, occupy, and steal, the Biden regime forces exited Syria via the illegal al Walid crossing into Iraq, another country that the US continues to criminally occupy, despite the Iraqi Parliament having convened to vote, and then subsequently voting for our supremacist yanquis to leave, more than two years ago (the vote was met by threats of illicit sanctions, by Trump, and the ongoing, squatting by the Biden forces).

Biden regime criminals brought massive weapons into Syria, via the al Walid illegal crossing.
Biden regime criminals continue to loot Syria’s oil, transporting the booty into Iraq, via illegal al Walid crossing,

In other Syria news, which continued to be ignored by NATO-affiliated media, NATO-supported terrorists bombed houses in Kasab, Latakia, on Wednesday, and two more children were injured in a landmine blast on Thursday,

The supremacist Biden regime forces will continue to loot Syria’s wealth, as the UN will continue to ignore it, and colonialist media will continue to normalize it as part of the new, undeclared Sykes-Picot balkanization and ethnic cleansing until Syria finds a way to destroy all terrorists occupying the homeland.

— Miri Wood


Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs on time; you can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.
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‘Israeli’ Entity Plans To Seize Big Tract of Palestinian Land in New Land Grab Bid

 June 16, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The ‘Israeli’ occupation entity is reportedly planning to illegally seize a large plot of land in the occupied West Bank to construct a huge park for the Zionist settlers, in what is viewed as one of the regime’s biggest land grab schemes.

The Tel Aviv regime set up a project which intends to seize a land area stretching 1,000 square kilometers from occupied al-Quds, all the way to the Dead Sea, the Palestinian Information Center reported on Wednesday.

In a separate development, the Zionist military razed a Palestinian man’s house to the ground in Wadi al-Hummus district in Sur Baher neighborhood on the southeastern outskirts of East al-Quds.

Mahmoud Robay’eh, the owner of the house said that the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces have raided his house, broke the door, and forced everyone out.

He said they have lived in the house for the past seven years and only last month, a Zionist court ordered the demolition of the house.

The Tel Aviv occupation regime routinely demolishes Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, unjustifiably claiming that the structures have been built without permits while such permits are almost impossible to obtain.

They sometimes order Palestinian owners to either demolish their own houses or they have to pay the demolition costs.

‘Israel’ has already occupied thousands of dunums of Palestinian agricultural lands to construct and expand new illegal settler units in various areas in the West Bank.

The Tel Aviv regime also plans to force out Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in an attempt to replace them with settlers. That plan sparked days of fighting between Hamas resistance movement and the Zionist military in May last year.

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy more than 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and al-Quds.

All ‘Israeli’ settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the Zionist regime’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

ISRAEL’S DANCE OF FLAGS IS A ZIONIST HATE PARADE AND, BY DEFINITION, AN ACT OF WAR

JUNE 7TH, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – It is sometimes easier to see things from a distance, especially when talking about Palestine, where tragedies follow each other with unbelievable speed. There is no time to recover from one tragedy before two or three more occur, all initiated by Israel with its all-powerful military and then justified or buried by various branches of Zionist groups around the world.

The Dance of Flags, sometimes called the Flags March, takes place in Jerusalem each year around the beginning of June. In 2022 it was preceded by the targeted killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the assault on her funeral procession, followed by the killing of several more young Palestinians. The decision to carry out the ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills took place around the same time, yet not a moment of thought is given to the fact that there is a war going on.

The March of Flags in Jerusalem was an act of war. Israeli assaults on Jenin are an act of war. The displacement of the residents of Masafer Yatta is an act of war. And this is counting only the events that took place in the last few weeks.

THE FLAGS MARCH

Anyone who has witnessed the Dance of Flags firsthand in Jerusalem can attest to the fact that this is, without a doubt, a parade of terror. The thousands of young Israelis get excited for the moment when they enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate so that they can pound on the doors of Palestinian businesses and terrorize the Palestinians who reside in the Old City.

Each year the organizers of this racist hate parade go through the formality of negotiating with the Jerusalem police regarding the specific route of the march. Every year the police and other government agencies charged with security say that the request to enter the Old City via Damascus Gate is a dangerous idea. And every year the March proceeds as planned through Damascus Gate. Being the masters of the land and wielding a great deal of political power, the organizers of the Dance of Flags always get their way.

DAMASCUS GATE

In Arabic, the Damascus Gate is called Bab el-Amoud, or the Gate of the Pillar. Apparently, in early times there was a large pillar in front of the gate on the inside. Generally, one can tell a great deal about a city just by paying attention to its gates. For example, when entering the Old City via Jaffa Gate and going down into the souk, one sees shops catering to tourists; and, in fact, most tourists and Israelis enter through there. It is considered a more “friendly” part of the Old City. The shops carry all sorts of Judaica, yarmulkes, menorahs and even IDF t-shirts.

When entering from Damascus Gate, one sees fewer tourists. Mostly Palestinians walk through it and the shops sell things that people actually need for their daily lives. Vegetables, bread, sweets, clothes and shoes. The shops that do carry items for tourists carry mostly kaffiyas and items like t-shirts that emphasize Palestine and show the Palestinian colors. The non-Palestinians walking the street down from Damascus Gate are usually hardcore Israeli settlers, who have taken over some of the homes along the road, and soldiers.

Israel Flags March
Palestanians defend against Jewish youth partaking in the Flags March, May 29, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP

TAKING OVER

It is a straight shot walking from Damascus Gate to the al-Aqsa Mosque, and to the Western Wall – or the Kotel – plaza. The plaza used to be the Mughrabi neighborhood of the Old City. Palestinians live and have businesses in that part of the city, but settlers are targeting and taking homes there at an alarming rate. The homes that have already been taken by settlers are clearly marked and easy to spot. First, a heavy door with a bolt is placed at the front of the home. You don’t see the Palestinian homes with doors like that. An intercom is put in place and very often an armed security guard stands regularly by the door.

A large Israeli flag is displayed on the building, usually hanging from the second story balcony. It is very often that these apartments are right above shops that are still owned and operated by Palestinian merchants who suffer greatly from the settlers’ presence. As one shopkeeper whose store I frequent often said to me once, “Ma fi awsakh minhum” – no one is worse than them.

AN ACT OF WAR

According to the “Law Insider” website, an act of war is defined as follows:

Act of war (whether declared or undeclared), invasion, armed conflict or act of foreign enemy, blockade, embargo, revolution, riot, insurrection, civil commotion, act of terrorism or sabotage.

Another example of a definition is:

Act of war means hostile or warlike action, whether declared or not, in a time of peace or war, whether initiated by a local governmentforeign government or foreign groupcivil unrestinsurrectionrebellion or civil war.

The Flags March held in Jerusalem each year falls under these definitions. It is an invasion of the Old City by a mob large enough to be a small army; it is a riot; it is civil commotion, and it is an act of terrorism that involves sabotage. Even though those who participate in this hate parade are civilians, there is always a heavy military presence that accompanies them. It was reported that in 2022 some three thousand officers were deployed in Jerusalem for the purpose of this march. That represents nearly the entire Jerusalem police force.

Israel Flags
Israeli police snatch a flag from an elderly woman amid the Flags Day march in the Old City, May 29, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Not to be mistaken with traffic police, or cops on a beat looking for criminals, the police force that is deployed in East Jerusalem is of a different kind. This is a militarized police force and the officers are referred to as “fighters,” not officers. They look like soldiers, the arms that they carry are like those of soldiers, but their mandate is to attack Palestinian civilians, something they do with cruelty and brutality.

Zionists always blame Palestinians who respond to Israeli acts of war with acts of armed resistance against civilians. They call it terrorism. There is no question that it is terrible when civilians are killed and injured. The problem is that throughout the entire war Israel has waged against Palestinians it has been targeting civilians. There is no Palestinian military – there never was such a thing – and Israel has consistently, and with planning, targeted and killed Palestinian civilians going as far back as one can remember.

Perhaps it is time to step back and instead of viewing each act of violence perpetrated by Israel separately, instead view them all together as individual acts of a larger war – a war waged against a nation that has never possessed an army.

Syrian Revolutionaries are Revolting against Turkey

 

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Steven Sahiounie
Hundreds of Syrians took to the streets in the city of Afrin on June 3 to protest against routine blackouts and a sharp hike in the prices of electricity provided by Turkey.  The electricity is available a mere 10 hours per day, while the summer temperatures are 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) in recent days.

Afrin, in the Aleppo province, has been under Turkish military occupation since 2018, after President Trump gave Turkish President Erdogan the green light to invade Syria.

The protesters stormed the main building of the local electricity company, “Turkish-Syrian Energy” or STE Enerji company, and set it on fire before Turkish-backed mercenaries opened fire on them.  The protesters also set fire to Afrin’s local council building.

The areas occupied by the Turkish military also have Syrian mercenaries in the employ of the Turkish government.  The mercenaries are from the now defunct ‘Free Syrian Army’ which was organized by President Obama and supported by US Senator John McCain.  The mercenaries follow a political ideology called Radical Islam, which is the same ideology as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  Erdogan and his ruling party, AKP, are followers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Local reports say at least one protester was killed and two others were injured. As the protests grew in size, demonstrators were seen chanting “Turks go out of Syria” and “Syria is free.”

Similar protests were reported in the cities of Jindires, Suran Marea, and Al-Bab, also in the Aleppo governorate. In Marea, protesters set the local headquarters of the Turkish-backed Local Council on fire.

Shortly after these protests swept through Aleppo, Turkish forces shelled a high voltage power line that supplies power to Tal Tamr and other villages in the countryside of Hasakah governorate, leaving the area in a black-out.

Afrin was occupied by Turkey and its mercenaries during the military offensive against the Kurdish fighters in 2018, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Since the invasion, the residents have suffered through violations of human rights, lack of basic services, and constant insecurity.

Similar protests were reported in other Syrian cities under Turkish occupation such as Azaz on Friday. Discontent has been brewing against the Turkish occupation, as mercenaries allied with Turkish forces have been accused of embezzling millions in humanitarian aid and of using the global fuel and wheat crisis to hike the price of daily necessities.

Turkey proposed attack

The demonstrations come as Erdogan has renewed his threats to carry out a fresh military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria. Recently he announced that his troops will proceed with the planned military invasion of Syria, starting with the cities of Tal Rifaat and Manbij.

The operation will resume efforts to establish a 30-kilometer long ‘safe zone’ along Turkey’s southern borders to curb threats from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which Ankara labels as terrorist organizations.

Turkey says US-backed SDF forces pose a threat to its borders, and in response, Turkish troops have occupied large swathes of northern Syria.

In northeastern Syria, US and Russian forces mobilized intending to stop Turkey from carrying out a new attack against SDF. While US forces moved on the ground, Russian warplanes scrambled in the air.

Fighters of the Syrian opposition factions loyal to Turkey

Residents of Manbij, in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, have documented the outcome of the attacks, warning that the Turkish operation will lead to the displacement of the indigenous population and the city’s religious, sectarian, and ethnic components.

Turkey informed the United States it is committed to taking necessary measures against “terrorist organizations” threatening its national security, and that it will not tolerate the escalation of attacks against Turkish territory from the areas controlled by the US-backed SDF in northern Syria.

Ankara reports that the risk of terrorist attacks from SDF-run areas in Syria against Turkey has increased recently, and emphasized that the PKK-affiliated terrorist organizations are an existential threat not only to Syria’s territorial integrity but also to Turkey’s national security.

Ankara considers the SDF, and its military backbone, the YPG, a terrorist organization and an extension of the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the US, and the EU.

The US position

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, visited the border between Turkey and Syria to assess a long-running UN operation delivering humanitarian aid into northwest Syria, near Hatay, Turkey on June 2, 2022.

UN trucks delivering food and aid into Syria from Turkey were observed and reported by Serena Shim, an American journalist. She saw they contained armed terrorists and weapons being delivered into northern Syria. Not long after her reporting, she was mysteriously killed in a car accident, after a cement truck hit her small car in Turkey.  The accident and the driver were never investigated, even though he fled the scene.

In 2017 President Trump shut down the CIA operations which funded, trained, and supported Radical Islamic terrorists in Turkey to fight in Syria for regime change.

Turkey informed the United States it is committed to taking necessary measures against “terrorist organizations” threatening its national security, and that it will not tolerate the escalation of attacks against Turkish territory from the areas controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria.

The US occupies areas in Syria, and the US military was tasked by Trump with stealing the oil produced in the largest oil field in Syria and allowing the US-backed SDF to sell the oil to fund their operation.

The Russian position

The Russian military was invited into Syria by the government in 2015. Russia has fought against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and all affiliated terrorist groups which follow Radical Islam.  The Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in Russia, Syria, Egypt, and the UAE. US Senator Ted Cruz has tried to pass legislation in the US Congress to designate the Muslim Brotherhood in the US as a terrorist group but came up against heavy opposition from both Democrats and Republicans who are influenced by the group.

Recently, the Russian army reinforced its ground and air forces at the airport of Qamishli, in Hasakah province.

The Turkish military and Radical Islamic mercenaries   

Turkey concluded two separate deals with both the United States and Russia during its Operation Peace Spring, which it launched in northern Syria on October 9, 2019.

According to the agreements, Russia and the US pledged to withdraw YPG units to a depth of 30 km to the south of the Turkish border, but Ankara says they did not fulfill their promises.

Washington says that Turkey did not abide by the understanding signed between them. Russia had a signed agreement with Turkey to secure the M4 highway from Latakia to Aleppo, by removing all Al Qaeda groups from Idlib.  However, Turkey has protected and reinforced the terrorist groups in Idlib, which is the last terrorist-occupied area in Syria.  Turkey established a network of military outposts which protect the Al Qaeda affiliated groups who occupy Idlib.  The highway remains closed to trucks and passengers for fear of attack.

SDF, YPG, PKK

During the chaos of the US-NATO attack on Syria, which began in 2011, some Kurds in Syria formed military units and got the backing of the US government, while advancing a separatist agenda in the region.  The SDF and YPG were partners with the US troops who invaded Syria to fight ISIS.  This US support of a terrorist group that has killed 40,000 people in Turkey over decades has driven a very big wedge between Ankara and Washington, DC.

Turkey’s proposed safe zone

Under Erdogan’s plan, he will rid the north of Syria of the terrorist group who plans to establish their own ‘homeland’ there, and he will convert the area into a safe zone to settle Syrian refugees now living in Turkey.  The Turkish people have decided the refugees must go home, and they blame all their economic woes on the Syrian refugees.

Pro-Turkey revolutionary

Zahran Alloush had been the leader of a Radical Islamic terrorist group, Islamic Army, backed by Saudi Arabia in East Ghouta, the suburbs of Damascus, along with his brother, Mohamed Alloush, who now lives in Turkey and owns a chain of restaurants there.

In 2016 he was an official with the Syrian National Coalition, which the US government recognizes as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people.  His position was the chief negotiator representing the US position in the Geneva talks to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict.  In 2017 he was chosen as the speaker of the delegation for the revolutionary movements at the Astana peace process talks for peace in Syria.

After he resigned, he was accused of stealing $ 47 million, which he embezzled from funds supplied to the terrorists in Syria to fight the US-sponsored regime change.

Recently, he bought a company in Turkey that mines chrome, Al Ghuraba, (The Strangers).


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

Robert Inlakesh: How Israel’s 1967 war paved the way for the turmoil in today’s Middle East

On the anniversary of the Six-Day War, RT looks at how the conflict shaped the region

5 Jun, 2022

Robert Inlakesh: How Israel’s 1967 war paved the way for the turmoil in today's Middle East
FILE PHOTO. Israeli Centurion tank corps prepare for battle during the Six-Day War. © Getty Images / Three Lions
Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. 

On the 5th of June, 1967, a conflict which lasted only six days would go on to re-shape the entire Middle East, overthrow secular Arab Nationalism and unite Tel Aviv with Washington. All of which would pave the way for Israel to be handed carte blanche by the world’s most powerful country and prompt a US policy that would go on to tear the entire region to pieces.

The Six-Day War of 1967 is often misconstrued in popular Western discourse as having represented a victory for liberal democracy.

Often presented as a battle between good and evil, the Jewish David and Arab Goliath, the real story of the third Arab-Israeli war was one of a shrewd, but brutal, political power play on the part of Israel.

One that for better, or for worse, caused a re-structuring of Middle Eastern resistance to the West, as well as of the US-led bloc’s policy in the region. 

Israel based its argument for what it deemed a necessary and “pre-emptive war” on Cairo’s decision to amass its military forces in the Sinai Peninsula, and Egyptian President Gamal Abdul-Nasser’s announcement that he would close the Gulf of Aqaba. These events were enough to convince many that Tel Aviv genuinely feared a military offensive coordinated by President Nasser, with the participation of Syria. Damascus had also re-enforced its military presence near the border, with Soviet backing.

The reality was, however, that Egypt was engaged in a grueling war in Yemen, deploying three quarters of its military into the country and had lost nearly 10,000 men in the process. It was so catastrophic for Nasser that the intervention there was later referred to by historians as “Egypt’s Vietnam.” The Egyptian president clearly wasn’t ready to confront Israel and had amassed his troops in the Sinai as a show of force, in order to save face at a time when he faced pushback over the other conflict. 

As for the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba, Nasser never properly followed through on blocking the Straits of Tiran and despite the rhetoric, they were never closed for much more than a day.

Come June 5, 1967, Israel launched ‘Operation Focus’, an aerial attack which wiped out the near entirety of Egypt’s air force in a matter of minutes, ensuring what would become an overwhelming victory for the Israelis. Prior to the war, the assessment previously offered to Israel, by US President Lyndon Johnson, was that US intelligence believed that the United Arab Republic (Egypt) would not attack, and that if it did, Israel would “whip the hell out of them.”

Leonid Brezhnev, then leader of the Soviet Union, had stated in a brief, prior to the Six-Day War of 1967, that Israel had received huge amounts of armaments from the West. Brezhnev went on to express his government’s fear that the weakening of Arab nations could lead to the collapse of the anti-Colonialist movement in the Middle East. Following the war, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Palestine had been decisively defeated. However, it didn’t stop the anti-Colonialist movement in the Middle East, but instead paved the way for its reformation.

The US was thrilled with Israel’s defeat of its Arab neighbors and considered the war to have served its own interests in putting Nasser in his place and weakening Soviet allies. Washington now valued Israel as an essential part of its Cold War strategy against the USSR. What ensued was the inevitable tightening of the Israel-US relationship, which paved the way for the alliance we see today. Israel had earned its place amongst Western Nations and would go on to aid in implementing the subsequent “Kissinger Doctrine” that the US would employ in the Middle East. 

The 1967 victory was a stunning one for Israel, cementing its place in the region, but it also represented a catastrophe for the Arabs, known as the “Naksa” (Setback). Over 300,000 Palestinians had been forced from their homeland, as Israel occupied the entirety of historic Palestine, in addition to the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Syrian Golan Heights. Furthermore, the war had largely defeated secular Arab Nationalism and represented a death blow to the Egyptian President’s brand of it, known as Nasserism. 

Up until that point, the most popular political ideologies in the Middle East had been Arab Nationalism, Socialist Pan-Arabism and Communism. The Egyptian President, who would die of a heart attack a few years later in 1970, was the primary influencer of Arab revolutionaries that existed in the region. With the perceived failure of Arab Nationalism, there would then emerge a number of competitor ideologies with which Arab movements and leaders would choose to fight their enemies. The most prominent of which would later become revolutionary Islamism, something that Nasser had actually helped to suppress, as it manifested itself in the form of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. 

As for Palestine, the future negotiations for Palestinian statehood would go on to be based upon reclaiming the 22 percent of the country – the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip – that Israel occupied during the 1967 war. Israel would emerge as major power that would primarily serve a US agenda in the region and could act at that point, seemingly, with impunity against its enemies. 

Today, over 1,000 Palestinians are being forced out of their homes, as Israeli forces bulldoze a collection of West Bank villages known as Masafer Yatta. This is the single largest act of ethnic cleansing, ordered by Tel Aviv against Palestinians, since the 1967 war. The position that the US began to take in 1967, unconditional support for Israel, hasn’t changed and the country’s utility for Washington’s agenda in the region, and its powerful lobby in America, means its human rights violations are ignored. 

Therefore, 55 years after the Six-Day War, there is no barrier to Tel Aviv’s behaviour, and it seems to have a free pass to deal with its enemies in whatever manner it chooses, even if that ends up contradicting US policy.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Related

The Nakba, administrative detention, Jenin and Shireen Abu Akleh

1 Jun 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Fra Hughes 

What do these four separate events have in common?

The Nakba, administrative detention, Jenin and Shireen Abu Akleh

The Nakba as many people are already aware refers to the mass expulsion of ethnic Palestinians from their homes towns and villages in 1948.

Over 750 000 old men, young women mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, fled for their lives, under the threat of annihilation and ethnic genocide from the forces of the newly created “Israel”.

“Israel” was born into the bloodied hands of Zionist terrorism, the Irgun, Stern gangs, and Haganah.

Terrorist groups murdered, maimed mutilated, and raped Palestinians as part of their campaign to create the colonial regime of “Israel” in the land depleted of its indigenous population.

Europeans who were not born in Palestine carried out a wave of ethnic cleansing and a campaign of murder to replace the indigenous population with a nonindigenous invasion of European Jewish and Zionist colonial carpet baggers, who stole farms, occupied homes and robbed the national wealth and resources of Palestine for their own selfish gain.

They not only stole the land, but they stole the lives, the future, the dreams and the aspirations of a nation and its people, forcing 8 million Palestinians to live in exile, many still surviving in refugee camps, and two open-air defacto prison camps, incarcerating the remaining Palestinians living under illegal military occupation.

The ‘Nakba’ is the name given to the Catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people in 1948.

That ongoing catastrophe continues today as illegal Israeli settlements are built on land stolen by the apartheid regime in the occupied territories.

The theft of homes in Al-Khalil and Sheik Jarrah, combined with the recent Israeli Court decision to expel 1000 Palestinians from their homes in order to plant trees on top of their land, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ethnic cleansing house by house,  dunum by dunum, continue apace and is indeed Israeli state policy 

The remodeling of Palestine into “Israel” continues.

Add to this the cultural appropriation of Palestinian culture and food, and we have nearly the complete expropriation of most things that are Palestinian into a hybrid “Israel” society.

Even the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is under constant assault by Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers, who wish to take and ultimately destroy the mosque, the third most holy site in Islam, in order to build the fabled Temple Mount on the site, of which “Israel” archaeologists have found no historical evidence.

All this violence, death, destruction, and regional conflict were delivered by the US, Britain, and the UN.

They gave away 52% of Palestine on the 14th of May, 1948.

They gave it to the armed militant Zionist gangs who were designated as terrorists at that time.

“Israel” was built on terrorism and continues to exist through its use of terrorism, illegal occupation, siege, bombings, warships, F16 aircraft, attack helicopters, nuclear submarines, extrajudicial murders, spies, and collaborators.

Palestinians have paid the ultimate price for European antisemitism from 19th-century Czarist Russia to Hitler’s 20th-century Germany.

Palestinian are paying the price for crimes they did not commit.

The riots in Al-Quds in 1926 prove Zionist intentions to colonize Palestine long before the second world war.

The primary resistance to this military occupation of Palestinian homes, towns, lands, and villages by Zionists was the use of armed resistance. 

Although Palestine had no army, navy, or airforce, with most of the civilian population having been disarmed by the British occupation prior to partition, the people tried valiantly to defend themselves.

As part of the occupation’s oppressive control of Palestinians today, the use of administrative detention, also known as internment without trial, used by the British during the British Mandate laws, has no legal basis in international law.

It is used to disrupt peaceful opposition to the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation as a blunt tool of repression.

No charges are brought against the plaintiff.

Secret evidence may be produced for the non-jury, trial judge to peruse.

This secret evidence, if it even exists, is not made available to the defense, and universally the victim of this miscarriage of justice is carted off to jail for periods of 6 months at a time. 

This can be extended at the whim of the court upon expiry.

Some Palestinians have served concurrent periods of administrative detention leading to between 10 and 15 years of incarceration.

No formal charges are presented, no trial by jury, no evidence provided in open court to be challenged by the defense, just a nod and a wink between the state enforcement branch of government and the state judiciary branch of government, and you’re locked up.

A whole society and government based on the continued exploitation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, in order to allow Zionists to steal their homes and their land.

This is all carried out under the protection of the IOF.

Palestinians are subject to military law and military courts while illegal Israeli settlers are subject to civil law and civil courts. 

Administrative detention, controlled movement, extrajudicial murder, house demolitions, live bullets rubber bullets, batons, tear gas, bombs, and missiles are the order of the day in the arsenal of the repressive apartheid regime to be used as necessary against the Palestinian people.

While the UN passed resolution 194 allowing Palestinians who fled the ethnic cleansing of 1948 to return to Palestine, “Israel” consistently refuses to comply.

Any Jew not born in Palestine can immigrate there from Russia, America, France, Ukraine, Britain, or indeed from any part of the globe and be given land or homes that have been stolen from the indigenous people?

Palestinians have the right under international law to resist the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by ‘ Any Means Necessary’ this includes the right to armed self-defense.

Jenin is one of the many refugee camps that are to be found in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and indeed all over West Asia.

Many of its inhabitants are refugees from the expulsions of 1948 and again in 1967 when the Israeli militarily occupied the West Bank and Gaza.

A refugee camp filled with the nightmares of occupation and the dreams of returning to their homes and land.

A place where the spirit of freedom shines bright amidst the darkness of oppression. 

The only response to the overwhelming and complete control of their society, and as a reaction to the continued Israeli military brutality and provocations, was to use their very bodies in an act of desperation to remind the world and Israeli society they refuse to be treated like this, they chose to resist 

Recently we have witnessed Israeli provocations at Al Aqsa,

The beatings and arrests inside the mosque combined with the firing of tear gas at peaceful worshippers, the brutality shown towards the old men, young women, and girls near Damascus Gate and the apparent shoot to kill policy being used by the IOF against unarmed civilians, has enraged Palestinian civil society and roused the resistance into action

Many children, young men, and even mothers have been murdered by the IOF.

A death sentence is a price for resisting the illegal occupation with a stone.

Jenin is not alone in continuing to resist the occupation, every Palestinian – except those who profit from the occupation or collaborate with it – demands peace, justice and dignity for Palestine.

Shireen Abu Akleh died as she lived exposing Israeli violations of international law, its war crimes, its brutality and its viciousness.

The hierarchy of victimhood, which is so well defined in the West, can also be found in Israeli coverage of the occupation.

Palestinians are “terrorists”.

Israelis are “peace-loving people who just want to live in safety.”

The reality is most likely the reverse of this narrative.

Why was Shireen assassinated?

Well, its quite simple really, from the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians during the Nakba which is commemorated every May 15, the day after “Israel” was created and the ethnic cleansing began in earnest, through Administrative detention, used to repress legitimate dissent and opposition to the occupation, to the abandonment of Palestinians to the refugee camps in order to control them, it is the broadcasters, journalists, photographers and eyewitnesses that the occupation also wants to control.

They want to control not only what Palestinians are allowed to do in their own country in their homes on their land and even in their mosques but they want to control what you and I outside of Palestine are allowed to see and hear.

Targeted assassination of journalists is as much a tool in the arsenal of the apartheid regime as ethnic cleansing house demolitions, Administrative detention, controlled movement, and murder.

Shireen was executed because she exposed the truth to the world of the brutality of “Israel”s continuing illegal occupation

She reported on house demolitions, peaceful protests, military house raids, and on the excesses of the Israeli Courts

She was a thorn in their side.

According to the Palestinian Union of Journalists 55 journalists have been murdered, executed by the IOF in Palestine from 2000 and many many more injured.

The press is regularly attacked, cameras are broken and journalists are assaulted.

There is no freedom in Palestine from the brutality of the repressive military occupation for any indigenous person.

Indeed international solidarity activists are also under threat, while walking children to school like the ecumenical accompaniers in Al-Khalil, to Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndell both International Solidarity members murdered by the Israeli regime.

There is a linear line that goes from 1901 through to 2022 that joins land, acquisition, ethnic cleansing, race riots, the partition of Palestine, the 1948 and 1967 Israeli wars of aggression, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh.

It’s called Zionism.

It is a cancer that has invaded the body politics and society of WestAsia if not treated it will destroy the host.

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

The Nakba Is Ongoing, It Didn’t End In 1948

19 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Robert Inlakesh 

For us to simply classify the Nakba as a single historical event, would be an incorrect framing, as the collection of atrocities visited on the Palestinian people by the Zionist regime represents an ongoing attempt to solidify the dominance of “Israel’s” settler-colonial project.

If “Israel” had already completed its project, it would have declared its borders, it has never done this and is still in the process of carving itself a State out of the Levant

By now most people familiar with the Palestinian cause know well of the horrific ethnic cleansing campaign that took place between 1947-9, during the creation of the regime that calls itself “Israel”. Little however, know much about the ethnic cleansing ongoing today, or perhaps their knowledge is limited to isolated cases.

The Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine, is often defined as a historical event in which over half of Palestine’s villages, towns, and cities were destroyed, and 450 towns and villages depopulated of their Palestinian inhabitants, amounting to the forced ethnic displacement of around 800,000 people. The word Nakba means “catastrophe”, which is what is used to refer to that time, but when we speak of al-Nakba in English, what we are doing is using a term with which we refer to a historical event often meaning the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 

Recently, Palestinian-American congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, introduced a House Resolution which would see the United States government recognise the Palestinian Nakba. “This Sunday [Nakba Day] was a day of solemn remembrance of all the lives lost, families displaced, and neighborhoods destroyed during the violence and horror of the Nakba. The scars bourn by the close to 800,000 Palestinians who were forced from their family homes and their communities, and those killed are burned into the souls of the people who lived through the Nakba,” said Tlaib. Although this would certainly be a major achievement to gain such recognition of Palestinian suffering, in essence meaning that the US government would be admitting the historic crime that the Zionist terrorist forces committed prior to declaring themselves a State, it is important that we not disconnect the past from the present.

The goal of today’s Israeli regime is very much the same as it was back in 1947, to occupy as much land as possible, with as few Palestinians on it as possible. In order to achieve such a goal, the settler-colonial project has taken different forms and used various tactics over the past 74 years, yet that same goal remains intact. 

The 1950’s saw large-scale incursions into the Gaza Strip and the further displacement of more refugees during this process, whilst those Palestinians who remained inside what would become “Israel”, were kept under military rule. Often known as the 1948 Palestinians, who today have Israeli citizenships, this portion of the Palestinian population consists of many who were considered to be “present absentees” by the Israeli regime, which translates to; the people who fled their villages and remained in what became “Israel” but were refused their right to return to their original villages. Israel quickly made use of laws implemented by the British occupation regime in Palestine, like ‘Article 125 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations’, which Israel used as a legal basis for making Palestinian villages “closed military zones”, hence preventing the displaced natives from returning to their houses. Israel also implemented the 1950 Absentee Property Law, which is broad in its definitive language and would be used to declare displaced Palestinians as “absentees” in order to steal their homes. Between 1948 and 1950, it is also believed that Israel ethnically cleansed a further 40,000 Bedouin Palestinians, whilst also destroying more Palestinian villages along the Lebanese border and expelling thousands more Palestinians until 1956.

In 1967, during what was called the ‘Naksa’ (setback), again the tactics slightly changed, Israel had decided to illegally occupy all of historic Palestine and even beyond, expelling 300,000 Palestinians from their homes in the process. In 1969, roughly 100,000 more were forced to flee villages around the Jordan Valley area after successive Israeli air raids and military assaults against both Palestinian and Jordanian villages. 

Without summing up all of the cases of ethnic cleansing throughout the 74 years of the Zionist regimes settler colonialist expansion, it suffices to say this, the very same tactics and laws are being used by “Israel” today to do the exact same thing they did in the past. 

In the Naqab, where the majority of Palestinian Bedouins live today, Israel is attempting to ghettoize the people there. This means forcing them into a small number of so-called “recognised villages” and ethnically cleansing some 40 unrecognized villages, this is a throwback to the suffering of the people of the Naqab during and after 1948, when Zionist forces rounded up the remaining 11,000 Bedouin’s – of a community that were 100,000 prior to 1948 – and forced them to live in an area called al-Siyaj, where they were under strict martial law rule until 1965. Israel is today using the Jewish National Fund to work on “agricultural projects”, similar to what occurred in 1948, in order to usurp the lands of Bedouins. 

In the West Bank, the largest portion of “Area C”, is considered to be where “closed military zones” are, meaning that Palestinians are forbidden from entering these areas. In Area C (60% of the West Bank) it is also near impossible for Palestinians to get a building permit to construct a new home. The plan to ethnically cleanse the 1,000 Palestinian residents of the village of Masafer Yatta is just the latest in a long line of plans to expel Palestinians from their villages in the West Bank. Nevertheless, Israeli illegal settlers are granted a near carte blanche to establish outposts and settlements wherever they please, despite the fact that even by Israeli law many of these outposts are illegal. Israel is also using the “Absentees Property Law” to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homes in East al-Quds today, as we see in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, in addition to areas in Haifa and Jaffa. 

I had the pleasure of working on producing a short documentary with Redfish, called ‘The Palestinian Nakba: In Memory and the Present’, in which we interviewed survivors of the 1948 Nakba, as well as Palestinians from the younger generations who are surviving it today. Unfortunately, this short documentary report has been censored in all corners of the internet. Due to Redfish – like many other platforms that report information from an alternative and critical perspective – having been booted off of Youtube and other social media platforms, the voices and stories of Palestinians are by proxy being silenced. It is this sort of content that attempts to portray the true story of the Nakba from a Palestinian perspective, yet the public are being robbed off this knowledge.

For us to simply classify the Nakba as a single historical event, would be an incorrect framing, as the collection of atrocities visited on the Palestinian people by the Zionist regime represents an ongoing attempt to solidify the dominance of “Israel’s” settler-colonial project. To say that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was simply taking place around the time of 1948 would be, in a way, bowing to the Zionist concept that their “State” model won and that the Palestinians have already been defeated. The Palestinian resistance is most certainly not defeated, this is an ongoing struggle and an ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign, which fits into “Israel’s” settler-colonial ambitions. Naming one single event as The Nakba is correct, but when isolating the concept of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to atrocities visited on Palestinians singularly during 1948, we begin to paint a different picture of what the true picture is.

Many of the same legal concepts, language, arguments, and tactics that were used to ethnically cleanse Palestine in 1947 are today being used to do the same thing and the examples of this are clear for all to see. This is an ongoing battle, one of a people – the Palestinians – who are fighting to expel an invading and occupying usurper entity – the Zionist regime. If “Israel” had already completed its project, it would have declared its borders, it has never done this and is still in the process of carving itself a State out of the Levant, therefore everything “Israel” is doing today is part of its expansionist mission and for it to stand as a ethno-supremacist “State” it must cement itself on all the land it illegally occupies. Israel has not achieved its goals and the Palestinians are not defeated, therefore the ethnic cleansing of Palestine only ends when one side wins.

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

74 Years of Historical Injustice: The Creation of “Israel”

18 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Hussam AbdelKareem 

The British colonialists viewed the Zionist movement as a tool for their imperial designs and hence the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917.

74 Years of Historical Injustice: The Creation of “Israel”

“Al-Nakba” is the Arabic term used to commemorate the creation of the “State of Israel” on May 15, 1948. “Al Nakba” literally means “catastrophe”, which best describes how Arab peoples feel about the creation of the Hebrew “state” in Palestine at the expense of its legitimate owners; the Palestinian Arabs.

In 1948, the principles of right and justice were, literally, butchered at the hands of the Zionist gangs and militias known as Haganah, which later turned into the “Israeli Army”. The Jewish Zionists in Palestine, who emigrated mainly from Eastern Europe, were preparing for this day for decades. The Zionists knew very well that they were not welcomed in Palestine and will never be accepted by Arab nations, so conquering the land by force was their sole path to achieving their goals in Palestine. War with the Arabs, in the Zionists’ eyes, was inevitable. Extensive military planning and preparations were undertaken by the Zionists in Palestine since their early arrivals at the beginning of the 20th century and particularly after Great Britain took over Palestine at the end of World War I.

The British colonialists viewed the Zionist movement as a tool for their imperial designs and hence the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, confirming Great Britain’s commitment to establishing a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. The Zionists were receiving full support from the colonial power, which was true to its pledge. Waves of Jewish immigrants arrived from Europe to strengthen the Zionist project in Palestine, and by 1947, when the Palestine partition plan was passed at the UN, the Zionists had a 75,000 semi-army force, which was further aided by another 20,000 Jewish militants in the following year when they waged their war on the Arabs in Palestine in 1948. When the British withdrew their forces from Palestine in 1948, they handed their military installations, camps, and equipment to the Haganah, thus leaving behind them a fully armed and well-trained Jewish army ready to fight the Arabs in Palestine who were practically deprived of weapons and even the slightest means of defense.

The Zionists, who were owning a mere 6% of the land in Palestine in 1948, launched their “war of independence” against the Arabs, which ended in declaring their Jewish “state of Israel” after conquering about 80% of historical Palestine by force and bloodshed. The war was brutal, and the Zionists exhibited utmost forms of savagery and cruelty. Many massacres against civilian Arabs were committed in several cities and villages in Palestine. In one of the most horrible massacres, 254 civilian villagers, including women and children, were killed in cold blood at the hands of Zionist terrorists in the town of Der Yassin, near Jerusalem. Other brutal crimes were also committed in Haifa, Tantura, and Lydd, and the Zionist terror campaign resulted in about 800,000 Palestinian Arabs fleeing their homes and lands and becoming refugees in neighboring Arab countries, namely Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. Total destruction was inflicted by the Haganah on 531 Arab villages all over Palestine. About 85% of the Arabs who lived within the borders of the to-be “State of Israel” were forcefully expelled. It was ethnic cleansing in its ugliest forms.  

The world was watching while these Zionist crimes were happening in Palestine and did practically nothing except some relief efforts and humanitarian aid. Even when “Israel” officially decided to confiscate the Palestinian refugees’ homes, lands, and properties in 1949, the UN did not bother to intervene. Actually, it was no surprise, as the UN was under the domination of the Great Powers of the post-World War II era, particularly the UK and USA, both supporting the new Jewish “state” which was planted in the heart of the Arab world.

After the 1948 war ended, “Israel’ firmly refused to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their country and demanded they be settled permanently in the other Arab countries. Furthermore, “Israel” refused to admit to the crimes committed by its troops and even declined to acknowledge its responsibility for uprooting the Palestinian Arabs and turning most of them into stateless refugees in miserable camps. The Israeli narrative about the Palestinian refugee problem is that they “voluntarily” left their homes and lands! And “Israel” refused to pay any financial compensation to the refugees whose properties were illegally confiscated and taken over by Jewish settlers. In 1967, another wave of displaced Palestinian refugees was added to the 1948 one to make the problem even worse. Again, the world did nothing apart from some expressions of sorrow for the humanitarian suffering of the refugees. With the help of its patron, the US, “Israel” escaped any accountability for its crimes and actions.

Seven decades have passed, with successive generations, and the status of the Palestinian refugees is still the same; not allowed to return to their historical homeland, not compensated, and not recognized as victims of historical injustice!

“Al-Nakba” will remain the term to be used to describe what happened on May 15, 1948, as long as the Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation continues. It’s a shame that the world allows such a tragedy to go on this long. It’s a shame that “Israel” is left without accountability.

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

The deeply buried roots of resistance

16 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Jeremy Salt 

Would they have attacked them had they been of a different ethno-religious background but were still occupiers?  Most certainly yes. These young men had no other motive to do what they did but they were Palestinian and that one word decided their fate.

Had Palestine been partitioned peacefully, even the ‘Jewish state’ would have had a population that was almost 50 percent non-Jewish against an ‘Arab state’ that was 100 per cent Palestinian

The  Palestinian village of Al Muzayri’a was located about 15 kilometers from Ramla.  The attraction was probably rich agricultural land close to a large market town with access to most of the facilities the villagers might need.  Roman and Byzantine ruins were the evidence of the site’s settled history before the long Muslim period of rule began in the 7th century.  Muslim rule was characterised by leaving things as they were as long as the  caliph’s or sultan’s subjects, Muslim, Christian or Jewish,  paid taxes and obeyed the law.  The comparison with the genocide and cultural destruction that followed European conquests is striking. Generally,  Christians and Jews flourished under Muslim rule with not even a remote parallel, in the case of the latter, with the murderous anti-semitism that has characterised European history since the adoption of Christianity.  Needless to say, as Europeans,  the zionist settler-colonists of Palestine used the same murderous tactics  against the indigenous people.  

In the 18th century, the Al Rumayh family from the Ramallah district moved to Al Muzayri’a. At the time it was a small village. Even by 1870 it only had 68 houses and a recorded population of 234 males,  although with women and children the entire population must have been considerably larger.  The census of 1922 showed a wholly Muslim population of 578, the census of 1931, 780, living in 186 houses.  In 1919 a school for boys had been opened, with a school for girls following some time later. 

In 1945, British records indicate,  Al Muzayri’a had a population of 1160,  most of whose food needs were met by the produce of its 10,822 dunums of land, including bananas,  citrus fruit, and cereal crops.  By 1948 the village had a population of 1346 living in 320 houses. Post-1945,  Zionist land acquisition, and settlement had resulted in the loss of 1450 dunums of land but the other 9042 remained the individual or collective property of Al Muzayri’a. The village was included in the territory allotted to the ‘Arab state’ in the UN’s 1947 partition plan. It violated the principle of self-determination and would never have passed but for White House threats to vulnerable African, Latin American, and even European governments.

In any case, partition was never more than a propaganda tool for the zionists. They had no intention of abiding by it. Had Palestine been partitioned peacefully, even the ‘Jewish state’ would have had a population that was almost 50 percent non-Jewish against an ‘Arab state’ that was 100 per cent Palestinian. The ‘Jewish state’ would have been a contradiction in terms and could only have been sustained by apartheid. The expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 and 1967 did not solve this fundamental zionist dilemma, as there are now at least as many Palestinians between the river and the sea as there are zionist colonists. The zionists are back to where they were in 1948,  except that the apartheid state has come into being and is recognised around the world for what it is.

The zionist “declaration of independence” of May 14, 1948,  was followed by a series of military operations aimed at seizing as much territory as possible irrespective of whether it had been allocated to the ‘Arab’ or the ‘Jewish’ state. Operation Dani, launched on July 9,  was largely directed against Ramla and Lydd,   but first surrounding villages had to be ‘cleared.’ On July 12,  Al Muzayri’a was stormed by zionist forces and its entire population was driven out. In The Edge of the Sword,  zionist ‘historian’ Netanel Lorch writes that mortar fire and aerial bombardment were alone sufficient on the first day of the operation to cause the ‘’flight’’ from many villages but those who did not flee were driven out anyway.  Throughout 1948  hundreds of towns, villages and hamlets were to share Al Musayri’a’s fate. The peak of Operation Dani was the ethnic cleansing of Lydd and Ramla, affected through terror, intimidation, and war crimes, including the massacre of 80-100 people taking shelter in the central Dahmash mosque. 

In 1949 two zionist settlements,  Nahalim and Mazor,  were built on Al Muzayri’a’s land.  Even by that time, only stone ruins were left of the village. In the 1990s the town of ‘Elad’ (‘’forever God’’) was built on the site and on May 5, 2022, as the zionists celebrated their ‘independence,’ two young Palestinians killed three people in a park.  

Since March 22, 19 people have been killed in this latest Palestinian ‘’wave of terror’’ as it was inevitably described in the zionist media. Israel has responded with threats to resume the murder of senior Hamas figures, along with hundreds of arrests and raids on the West Bank during which many  Palestinians have been killed. By May 9, 50 Palestinians had been killed so far in 2022, 49 on the West Bank or in the eastern part of occupied al-Quds and one in Gaza.  The dead included two men in their 80s,  two women aged 24 and 47, four boys aged 13,14, 16, and  17, four young men of 18, and two aged 19.  

On May 11, Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, born in Al Quds,  was murdered while covering Palestinian resistance in Jenin. The zionist army chief’s claim that she could have been killed by Palestinian gunmen was described by other journalists on the scene as a complete lie. There were no militants anywhere near them.  Shireen’s producer, Ali Samoudi, who was wounded, said zionist soldiers close to the journalists had fired three shots at them.  The first missed,  the second wounded him in the back and the third hit Shireen in the head. Another journalist reaching out to help her said the soldiers did not stop firing even though she was on the ground and mortally wounded.  

In the hunt for the ‘Elad’ assailants, zionist forces also rounded up many West Bank Palestinians described as being in “Israel” ‘’illegally.’’ Such a concept is derisory where the zionist settler state is concerned. It has lived outside any laws except its own for more than 70 years. Its justice system is actually an injustice system, insofar as the Palestinians are concerned. Real justice stands on the side of all Palestinians,  pre-1967, and post-1967 as well as Palestinians living far from their homeland.   

The other issue here is resistance. The right of resistance to occupation is upheld under international law: there is no ‘right’ of occupation, only responsibility as a temporary consequence of war, with the occupier prohibited from settling civilians in occupied territory. It is not just the West and Gaza Strip that are ‘’occupied territories”. This is a fiction that suits the governments that gave Palestine to the zionists in the first place. The tactics used by the zionists in 1948 and 1967 were the same and have been used ever since. ‘Israel’ lives off rights it never had and could never have been bestowed upon it by a third party. Morally, ethically and legally, no right to live can be based on the destruction of another right to live.  In such cases, brute force always dictates the outcome.  

Peace with justice is the preferred option of any reasonable person. but zionism is not a reasonable doctrine. Despite their suffering at the hands of the zionists, the majority of  Palestinians went along with the 1990 Oslo agreements in good faith, only to realise within a few years that the negotiations were being deliberately stretched out by the zionists to consolidate their occupation: in other words, the continuation of war by other means. The duplicity of the previous four decades was simply being dressed up in new clothing.  It was at this point that the Palestinians returned to armed resistance in the form of the second intifada (in fact arguably the third, if the 1936 uprising is to be regarded as the first).

Throughout history how the Palestinians have reacted since 1918 is normal in the lives of an occupied people. Occupation is followed by resistance as naturally as night follows day. The occupier is not just the soldier or the military administrator but the occupier’s civilian population. The occupation turns them into targets as well and who is ultimately responsible if not the government that settled them on someone else’s land? Armed struggle is included in the internationally acknowledged right to resist occupation. The position was summed up on December 3, 1982, when the UN General Assembly passed resolution 37/43 reaffirming ‘’the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means including armed struggle.’’  

Why did the two young Palestinians end the lives of three other human beings in ‘Elad,’ and why in the past few months have other Palestinians launched attacks on the settler population in Bir Saba, Al Quds, and other places? One mind cannot work out the tangled emotions in another mind but did Palestinians attack these settlers just because they were Jews, as the zionist media always claims,  or because they were seen as the occupiers of Palestinian land who happen to be Jewish?   

Would they have attacked them had they been of a different ethno-religious background but were still occupiers?  Most certainly yes. These young men had no other motive to do what they did but they were Palestinian and that one word decided their fate. They would have had the same normal interests, hopes, and aspirations of other young people around the world but the normality of their lives was occupation. Their capacity to do what they did was fuelled by the decades of  death and pain suffered  by every Palestinian family at the hands of the occupier. Al Muzayria and hundreds of other ethnically cleansed villages in 1948;  ‘Elad’, Bir Saba, and other places where settlers who have replaced the original inhabitants have been struck down in 2022;  cause and effect. 

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

The role of the US in Seif Al-Quds exposed

May 11, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Farah Hajj Hassan 

What role did the US play in the Israeli aggression against Gaza during the battle of Seif Al-Quds, and how can its relentless support for the occupation continue despite dissenting voices within its own government?

The role of the US in Seif Al-Quds exposed

The battle of Seif Al-Quds in Gaza was a turning point in the Palestinian-Israeli equation, with severe consequences for the occupation, even if it was touted as a victory for “Israel” by the west.  

“Israel” unleashed its aggression against the Palestinian people, killing 313 Palestinians, including 71 minors.

Like the latest Israeli occupation forces (IOF)’s assaults on worshippers in Al-Aqsa during the holy month of Ramadan, last year’s events were preceded by the main catalyst – the assaults on the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in East Al-Quds by settlers under the protection of the IOF.

Whereas in the past, the Israelis had a monopoly over the narrative concerning their actions within the occupied territories, in 2021 they suffered an unexpected blow on social media they did not expect. Pro-Palestinian content was being circulated and shared on social media platforms like never before.

#SaveSheikhJarrah became a trending hashtag and prominent Palestinian voices and pro-Palestinian supporters amplified their voices on platforms in a way that just could no longer be ignored or repressed by “Israel”.

Social media sites did attempt to limit pro-Palestinian content repeatedly but could not face off against the Chinese platform TikTok where live images and videos were shared, depicting the very ugly reality that Western media outlets were deliberately clouding. 

Read more: 7 months In… Is the TikTok Intifada still raging?

How does the US contribute to the aggression? In the same way, it currently contributes to Ukraine’s war due to its vested interest against Russia… with billions of dollars in arms.

As with Ukrainian troops, the US participates in funding and training initiatives with Israeli troops in order to continue its brutal aggression against the people of Palestine. 

In January, a US-based Breaking Defense military news outlet reported that the Israeli occupation has a list of weapons it planned to urge the US to add to its possible emergency stockpile to use against Iran and Lebanon.

In May of 2021, US President Joe Biden approved a deal to sell $735 million worth of precision-guided weapons to “Israel”.

Months after the battle of Seif Al-Quds, the US approved a bill that limits the security assistance of “Israel” to $3.3 billion annually, while it ensures a “series of programs aimed at furthering peace in the region.”

What part of giving an occupying force $3 billion annually for use against an oppressed and blockaded people is part of furthering peace? 

Not only does the US fund “Israel’s” largest-ever “defense” program, the Iron Dome, but it continuously pours billions into the Israeli security fund.

Read more: Iron Dome; “Israel’s” crushed pride

No better friend: The USA

When the US approved the Iron Dome funding, Yair Lapid, the Israeli Foreign Minister, declared that “Israel” has no better friend than the US. 

How can he be wrong, when during the Seif Al-Quds battle, Biden’s statements only mirrored those of Presidents before him, touting “Israel’s” right to “defend” itself, without a word of criticism directed at “Israel”?

Not only that, but the US blocked a UN Security Council motion that would have ended the Israeli violence.

In December, the US inked a deal with “Israel” worth $2 billion to purchase 12 CH-53K aircraft and two KC-46 refueling aircraft.

In February, in a speech to the Israeli Knesset, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed “ironclad” US support. She specifically voiced her hope that the US Senate will soon adopt legislation to support the replenishment of “Israel’s” Iron Dome.

The US has obsessively included funds for the program in its overall federal spending on several occasions despite the opposition of members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, who consider “Israel” an apartheid state guilty of war crimes.

She went on to promise “Israel” assistance in various security areas, including the fight against Iran. Furthermore, Pelosi called Iran’s nuclear program a “global threat”, despite Tehran’s repeated assurances to world leaders that it has no plans to produce nuclear weapons.

A shift in attitudes

In September 2021, the US signed a new deal to grant “Israel” a further $1 billion in funding. Biden, furthermore, “affirmed his unwavering support for ‘Israel’ and its defense needs, and welcomed the historic $1 billion allocations to replenish ‘Israel’s’ Iron Dome system.” 

However, the allocation did not go through Congress as seamlessly as the Israelis are used to. The reason behind that is growing America-first, anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian sentiment in the US.

The number of supporters of “Israel” within US politics is numerous, however, a new wave of dissenting voices is emerging. The most notorious is Ilhan Omar. Omar accused “Israel” of abusing human rights, saying, “We sold $175 billion in weapons last year—more than anyone in the world—to some of the worst human rights abusers in the world,” on Twitter.

“Here’s an idea: don’t sell arms to anyone who violates human rights,” she added. 

In agreement with Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib called “Israel” an “apartheid state” guilty of war crimes.

Read next: US war crime claim ‘staggeringly hypocritical’ – Ilhan Omar

At the time, Israeli media reported that the approval of US military aid to “Israel” was postponed in the wake of the opposition of a group of Democratic members of Congress. Democratic members announced that they will not vote in favor of the budget if it includes interceptor missiles for the Iron Dome.

This is a massive shift in US politics considering the amount of pro-“Israel” media coverage that US news outlets bombard viewers with. 

Not only did the US allocate the funds to “Israel” in 2021, but Biden also pledged an additional $1 billion to Bennett for the failures of the Iron Dome.

Only 8.1% of Democrats pinned the blame for the Gaza war on Palestinians, while an astounding 34.8% blamed “Israel”. Overall, Americans aged 18-34 blamed “Israel”; 30.1%, more than those who blamed Palestinians; 20.2%, and 45% of Democrats aged 18-34 blamed “Israel”, more than those who blamed Palestinians; 6.1%. 

Furthermore, 43.7% of Democrats and a quarter of Americans overall, want the US to “apply more pressure on “Israel,” including holding out on the funding. 

On July 29, 2021, the University of Maryland Critical Issues poll from June 22 to July 21 shows that the polarization within the US concerning the “Israel/Palestine debate” is only growing. 

Ukraine good, Palestine bad

Finally, what many pro-Palestinian activists have noticed is the stark difference in the support the US has been touting for Ukraine and how it massively differs from the media’s attitude toward the Palestinian struggle.

Not only was the US the main contributor and constant enabler of Israeli aggression against Palestine for years, but it also has the audacity to claim it views Palestinians and Israelis in the same light. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June tweeted that “Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity, and dignity.” 

To want equal measures of security for an oppressor and his victim is an oxymoron. The US knows that “Israel” is the settler and aggressor and knows very well that its constant financial and moral support is the reason “Israel” has become as emboldened as it is.  

The US loves playing the sanctions game, as we saw with Russia, Iran, and China

When it has a reason to declare a war on a nation, it usually does everything in its power to interfere. Why then does it enable “Israel” to continue its crimes? Because “Israel”, like Ukraine, is a pawn for US interest in the region.

As the military operation in Ukraine continues, millions of refugees flee to neighboring countries, and as massive encouragement is given to Ukrainians’ “popular resistance”, Palestinians around the world wonder why their cause has not been backed even remotely as close to Ukraine’s?

Read next: Palestine and Ukraine: Colossal difference in treatment and narrative

Could it be because they have been resisting for more than 70 years and not only a couple of weeks?

The reality is that the West and the US in particular only encourage resistance when it is in their favor.

Soon after the military operation was initiated, the West circulated gut-wrenching images of Ukrainian civilians with Molotov cocktails in an attempt to “resist” Russia. Meanwhile, Palestinians, who are internationally recognized as occupied people, are called “terrorists” by Western media, are accused of using human shields, are attacked in Western media for being “anti-semitic” due to BDS policies, and are widely told to give up their cause and agree to a two-state solution to “end the violence.”

According to Nour Odeh, a political analyst, what this crisis has done is reveal and expose the fact that powerful countries treat international law as a tool to serve their political goals and interests, and they are willing to bend the law − and to even undermine it − in order to protect an ally like “Israel”.

This is exactly what the US has done for decades. However, with the Resistance in Palestine achieving a remarkable victory, the US and “Israel” remain wary and have come to realize that a confrontation with Palestine now is nowhere close to previous confrontations.

Nakba Day Op.: Three “Israelis” Killed, 5 Wounded

 May 6, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Unknown assailants have killed at least three “Israelis” and wounded five others on the anniversary of the Nakba [Catastrophe] Day, which marks the “Israeli” regime’s claiming existence in 1948.

The operation, for which no person or group has claimed responsibility so far, took place in the city of Elad in the central part of the occupied territories on Thursday.

Among the wounded, three are in “a serious condition,” while the remaining two have received moderate or light injuries, the occupying regime’s Magen David Adom [MDA] emergency response service was cited by AFP as reporting.

An MDA staff described the situation, which was encountered by the service, as a “complex scene.”

The staffer said all of the dead were men in their early 40s, and described those wounded seriously as men aged between 35 and 60.

The regime’s police have initiated a manhunt, scrambling helicopters and setting up roadblocks throughout the occupied territories.

May 15, 1948 marks the day, when the “Israeli” regime proclaimed existence after a heavily-Western-backed war that expelled more than 700,000 people from their homes in the Palestinian territories.

The Thursday incident came only several days after Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of Ramadan.

The fasting month saw the “Israeli” regime scaling up its attacks on Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound in the holy occupied city of al-Quds.

Outraged by the barbarity, Palestinians intensified their attacks on “Israelis” throughout the Palestinian territories. Dozens of Palestinians and “Israelis” have been killed in the operations.

Resistance groups in the nearby Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip have described the Thursday operation as a token of Palestinians’ outrage at the occupying regime’s escalation targeting the compound of the mosque, which is Islam’s third-holiest site.

Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s leading resistance movement, called the attack “a heroic operation.” It noted how it had warned that the mosque was “a redline,” saying the operation was the “practical implementation” of the warning.

The Islamic Jihad, Hamas’ fellow resistance group in Gaza, called the operation “Victory for al-Aqsa.”

The group described violation of the mosque’s compound by the “Israeli” regime and illegal settlers was “a declaration of war against the Palestinian people,” vowing that “our people will continue to confront the occupation and its aggression.”

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Erdogan with Assad: There is no Reconciliation before the Arabs and “Israel” إردوغان و”إسرائيل”.. من المصالحة إلى التحالف العسكري؟

ARABI SOURI

Reconciliation with Damascus will mean for the Turkish President Erdogan to abandon his strategic calculations and projects.

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:

The news published by Hurriyet newspaper, loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on April 3, has received wide attention in most Arab media outlets, as the newspaper stated, “The Turkish authorities are conducting their discussions with the aim of dialogue with the Syrian government, in order to restore relations between the two countries to its nature.”

The media and those who wrote in it did not pay attention to what was stated in the news, as it was said that “Turkey, in all its contacts with the Syrian administration, affirms 3 basic things, namely, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, ensuring the lives of refugees returning to their country, and preventing the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party from any activity in Syria.

Contrary to what President Erdogan asserts on every occasion, Ankara controls about 10% of the Syrian territory, which contradicts the notion of sovereignty and the unity of the Syrian territory. It also provides all kinds of support to tens of thousands of militants of the so-called “National Army” established in Turkey, which it pays the salaries of all its personnel.

On top of that, Ankara’s objection to the Syrian army’s liberation of Idlib and its vicinity, without heeding the accusations leveled against it regarding the relationship with the terrorist of “Al-Nusra Front”, which includes thousands of foreign militants, and which obtains all its needs from Turkey, near Idlib.

As for the return of Syrian refugees to their homes, many, including the leaders of Turkish political parties, wrote and spoke about Ankara obstructing the return of Syrian refugees to their country, and it tells them that the living and security situation in Syria is very bad, and it meets the needs of all Syrians residing in the areas controlled by the Turkish army west and east of the Euphrates, as Defense Minister Hulusi Akar previously said that “Turkey meets the needs of 9 million Syrians, 3.5 million of whom are in Turkey, and the rest are inside Syria.”

Ankara believes that this Turkish position “contributes to the increase in Erdogan’s popularity in Syria in general.” As for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which means the “SDF” and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the Syrian arm of the PKK, everyone remembers how Ankara had a close relationship with Salih Muslim, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party, and sought to persuade him until the summer of 2015 “to rebel against the Syrian state in exchange for promises to meet his demands in the new Syria after the overthrow of the regime in Damascus.”

As everyone knows, Ankara, under the pretext of the aforementioned Kurdish militias, succeeded in persuading Washington and Moscow to allow it in October 2019 to penetrate east of the Euphrates and control a border strip of 110 km in length and 30 km in depth in some areas, which helped the Turkish forces to take control of strategic locations in the region, as is the case in the Afrin region after taking control of it in March 2018.

All of this explains Ankara’s failure to abide by its commitments in the Sochi and Moscow agreements on Idlib and the Turkish military presence in northern Syria in general, despite the possibilities of a heated confrontation with the Syrian and Russian armies in the region, as happened in February 2020.

It also explains President Erdogan’s constant talk about his rejection of any solution to the Syrian crisis, without recognizing the main Turkish role in this solution, which must meet the Turkish conditions in coordination and cooperation with the Syrian opposition, both political and armed, all of which are moving according to the Turkish agenda supported by Qatar, which is what President Erdogan exploits in his overall bargaining with all parties interested in the Syrian file regionally and internationally, especially with the continuation of their current positions, which can be summed up in not rushing to take any decisive decision to close this file.

President Erdogan sees this regional and international situation as a source of strength for him, as long as the Arab capitals are not encouraged to reconcile with President Assad, and he will not think of reconciling with him until after the leaders of the main Arab countries, led by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar, reconcile.

Reconciliation in President Erdogan’s concept is for these leaders and others to contact President Assad, exchange visits with him, and open their embassies in Damascus with Israeli consent, as they all did (Erdogan as well) with the putschist Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (of Sudan), and together they abandoned Imran Khan (of Pakistan) on American instructions!

In other words, President Erdogan will not take any initiative toward Damascus as long as he sees Assad as his “subordinate governor”, and sees himself as the “Ottoman Sultan”, this is what Assad said, which President Qais Saeed (of Tunisia) reminded last week when he responded to Erdogan’s statements, who described his decision to dissolve the parliament as a “coup,” so he said: “Tunisia is not a province, and we are not waiting for a firman (from the Ottoman Sultan).”

We do not ignore President Erdogan’s efforts to reconcile with Cairo, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi, which he personally accused of plotting against Turkey, at a time when President Assad and the Syrian state did not undertake any hostile action against Turkey, which proved, through its recent actions, that it favors “Israel” with its terrorist regime over neighboring Syria, which through it, it entered the Arab region after the first visit of Prime Minister Abdullah Gul to Damascus at the beginning of 2003.

Although Gul, and even Davutoglu, who was said at the time to be the architect of Turkish foreign policy, became in the trench against Erdogan, it became clear that the prospects for Turkish reconciliation with President Assad will never be easy for the Turkish president.

Erdogan sees such reconciliation as a recognition of the defeat of his (Muslim Brotherhood) ideological project, even if he abandoned it during his bargains with “Tel Aviv” (Hamas and the Palestinians in general), Cairo (Egypt’s Brotherhood), Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

In addition, reconciliation with Damascus will mean at the same time abandoning his calculations, projects, and strategic plans, especially after he established a network of complex military, intelligence, and political relations intertwined with very wide Syrian sectors and groups, and that abandoning it will not be easy for Ankara (what will it do with tens of thousands of militants?), which sees northern Syria as an extension of Turkish geography and a strategic depth for its national security, which Turkish officials have been repeating since the beginnings of the Syrian crisis, and its main player is Erdogan, it seems clear that he will not give up this role until his last breath, as long as no one asks him to do so, and President Assad will not surprise him by visiting Ankara!

Erdogan is waiting for the positions of the Arab capitals, and more importantly, “Tel Aviv”, because he thinks, rather he believes, that it will not initiate any reconciliation with Assad, of course, if he had not agreed with Herzog and Ibn Zayed on that, otherwise reconciliation with Syria must be a priority for Erdogan and the others, this is, of course, if they are not together at the disposal of “Tel Aviv”, the only beneficiary of the years of the bloody “Arab Spring”, during which they were all together in one trench against President al-Assad, and with the confessions of Hamad bin Jassem, who is still whining because “the prey escaped from them.” and catching it again needs more than a miracle!


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إردوغان و”إسرائيل”.. من المصالحة إلى التحالف العسكري؟

حسني محلي 

المصدر: الميادين نت

2022  الاثين 18 نيسان

ينتظر أن يزور خلوصي أكار “تل أبيب” خلال الأيام القليلة المقبلة، يليه زيارة رجب طيب إردوغان.

العلاقات التركية – الإسرائيلية يُتوقّع أن تشهد قفزة نوعية بعد الزيارة التي سيقوم بها إردوغان إلى تل أبيب.

بعيداً عن اهتمامات الإعلام التركي والعربي والدولي، تشهد العلاقات التركية مع الكيان الصهيوني تطورات مثيرة قد تجعل من تل أبيب حليفاً عسكرياً استراتيجياً لأنقرة التي يبدو واضحاً أنها تستعد لمثل هذه المرحلة الجديدة، داخلياً وخارجياً. فقد أعلن وزير الخارجية مولود جاويش أوغلو (14 نيسان/ أبريل) أنه سيزور تل أبيب قريباً جداً، ومعه وزير الدفاع خلوصي أكار، بدلاً من وزير الطاقة الذي كان عليه أن يبحث مع المسؤولين الإسرائيليين تفاصيل التنسيق والتعاون المشترك لنقل الغاز الإسرائيلي والقبرصي والمصري إلى تركيا، ومنها الى أوروبا، وهو الموضوع الذي قيل إنه يحظى بدعم أميركي، كما هي الحال بالنسبة إلى مشروع نقل غاز كردستان العراق إلى تركيا ومنها إلى أوروبا، بتنسيق تركي-إسرائيلي مشترك. ويفسّر ذلك الزيارات المتتالية التي قام بها رئيس إقليم كردستان العراق نيجيرفان برزاني ورئيس حكومة الإقليم مسرور برزاني إلى أنقرة خلال الشهرين الماضيين فقط، وتمّ خلالها أيضاً مناقشة الدور التركي في تأليف الحكومة العراقية الجديدة.  

وعودة إلى زيارة وزير الدفاع خلوصي أكار، والتي من المتوقع لها أن تكون خلال الأيام القليلة المقبلة، وستلحق بها زيارة الرئيس إردوغان إلى تل أبيب، فلا بد من التذكير بالاتفاقية التي سبق أن تمّ التوقيع عليها بين الطرفين في العام 1995-1996. وكان حينها الإسلامي نجم الدين أربكان رئيساً للحكومة، واتفق مع تل أبيب على تحديث طائرات أف-5 وأف-16 ومعها دبابات أم-60 التركية، مقابل المليارات من الدولارات. كما لا بد من التذكير بشراء تركيا (2005) لمجموعة من الطائرات المسيّرة الإسرائيلية، واستخدمتها ضد مسلحي حزب العمال الكردستاني جنوب شرق البلاد وفي شمال العراق. وجاءت موافقة أنقرة (أواسط 2011) على القاعدة الأميركية جنوب شرق البلاد قرب مدينة مالاطيا، في إطار المساعي التركية لتطوير علاقاتها مع تل أبيب. وكانت مهمة هذه القاعدة هي رصد التحركات العسكرية الإيرانية، وإبلاغ تل أبيب بأي صواريخ إيرانية قد تستهدفها حتى يتسنّى للقبة الحديدية التصدي لها قبل دخول الأجواء الإسرائيلية. 

الفتور والتوتر اللذين عانت منهما العلاقات التركية – الإسرائيلية خلال السنوات الأخيرة، لم يمنعا أنقرة من تطوير علاقاتها الاقتصادية والتجارية التي حققت أرقاماً قياسية لا تتناسب مع مقولات الرئيس إردوغان ضد “إسرائيل”. ولكنها تتفق مع الموقف التركي المتناقض، حيث لم تستخدم أنقرة حق الفيتو ضد انضمام “إسرائيل” إلى منظمة التعاون الاقتصادي والتنمية OECD (أيار/ مايو 2010) وانضمامها بصفة مراقب إلى الحلف الأطلسي (أيار/ مايو 2016). 

التناقضات التركية في العلاقة مع تل أبيب بما في ذلك إغلاق ملف سفينة مرمرة (كما هي الحال في إغلاق ملف خاشقجي) يشبّهها البعض بتناقضات السلطان عبد الحميد الذي قيل عنه إنه لم يتنازل عن فلسطين لليهود في الوقت الذي تثبت فيه الوثائق التاريخية عكس ذلك، حيث قدّم الكثير من التسهيلات لليهود للهجرة إلى فلسطين وشراء الأراضي وبناء المستوطنات فيها. 

مع التذكير أيضاً بتلاقي الأهداف التركية والإسرائيلية في سوريا، حيث دعمت أنقرة الفصائل المسلحة التي تقاتل ضد دمشق في الشمال، وكانت تل أبيب تفعل ذلك في الجنوب بدعم من الأردن ودول الخليج، كما هي الحال للوضع على الحدود مع تركيا، وباعتراف حمد بن جاسم. 

زيارة جاويش أوغلو وأكار التي تهدف إلى تحقيق التوازن في علاقات أنقرة مع تل أبيب ودول المنطقة الأخرى بعد المصالحة مع الرياض والقاهرة (سامح شكري سيزور تركيا قريباً) يريد لها الرئيس إردوغان أن تبعد تل أبيب عن نيقوسيا وأثينا، وسبق لهذه الدول الثلاث أن وقّعت على العديد من اتفاقيات التعاون العسكري والأمني والاستخباري، وكان ذلك تارة برضى ودعم مصريين وأخرى إماراتي وسعودي، في الوقت الذي ستسعى فيه أنقرة خلال الزيارة إلى إقناع تل أبيب بأن لا تعترض على بيع طائرات أف-35 الأميركية لتركيا، بعد اتفاق الطرفين التركي والأميركي حول قضية صواريخ أس-400 الروسية التي اشترتها أنقرة من موسكو قبل عامين، من دون أن تقوم بتفعيلها بعد ردّ الفعل الأميركي. 

العلاقات التركية – الإسرائيلية التي يُتوقّع لها أن تشهد قفزة نوعية بعد الزيارة التي سيقوم بها إردوغان إلى تل أبيب، يسعى الطرفان إلى دعمها في شتى المجالات، بما فيها تبادل الزيارات الاستخبارية والإعلامية والأكاديمية ورجال الأعمال، بل وحتى الوفود الدينية في إطار ما يُسمّى حوار الأديان والحضارات المدعوم أيضاً من الإمارات، الطرف الثالث في الحوار والتنسيق، ولاحقاً التحالف التركي – الإسرائيلي. 

ويفسّر ذلك وصف إردوغان لما قام به الشباب الفلسطيني بالعمل الإرهابي، ومن دون أن يقول ذلك بحق عمليات القتل والإجرام التي يقوم بها الجيش والأمن الإسرائيليّان يومياً ضدَّ الفلسطينيين داخل المسجد الأقصى. واعتبر ذلك إبراهيم كالين، المتحدث باسم إردوغان، “خطاً أحمر بالنسبة إلى تركيا”، ناسياً أن أنقرة قد نسيت وتناست كل خطوطها الحمر، عندما سلكت كل الطرق والوسائل من أجل مصالحة تل أبيب، بما في ذلك لقاء إردوغان مع حاخامات اليهود. والأغرب من كل ذلك، أن بعض الدول العربية التي تجرّأت وأصدرت بيانات “الاستنكار” لِما قامت به تل أبيب داخل المسجد الأقصى، رجّحت الحديث عن “استخدام مفرط للعنف بحق الفلسطينيين”، كما ورد ذلك في بيان الخارجية العراقية، وتتوقع لها تل أبيب أن تكون البلد العربي الجديد في مسلسل التطبيع، بعد تسلّم جماعة مقتدى الصدر وحلفائه السلطة في بغداد. وهو الاحتمال الذي يجعل من التنسيق والتعاون والتحالف المحتمل بين تل أبيب وأنقرة أكثر أهمية في حال فشل المساعي الإقليمية والدولية لإعادة ترتيب أمور المنطقة، قبل أو بعد الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، ولذلك علاقة بالتطورات المحتملة في الحرب الأوكرانية. فالدور الإسرائيلي في هذه الحرب لا يختلف كثيراً عن الدور التركي، ما دامت لأنقرة وتل أبيب علاقات وطيدة جداً بكييف في جميع المجالات، والأهم العسكرية والاستخبارية، وهو ما قد يتطلب حواراً وتنسيقاً تركيين -إسرائيليين ينعكسان بنتائجهما المستقبلية المحتملة على موازين القوى في المنطقة، وخاصة إذا فشلت المساعي الإقليمية والدولية في إبعاد إيران عن الحدود مع “إسرائيل” سواء كان ذلك في سوريا ولبنان أم عبر باب المندب الاستراتيجي بالنسبة إلى تل أبيب.

ويبدو أنها تستذكر مقولات مؤسّسها بن غوريون الذي قال: “إسرائيل بحاجة إلى ثلاث رئات تتنفس عبرها الأكسجين في محيطها العربي المعادي، وهي تركيا وإثيوبيا وإيران”.

وبخسارة الأخيرة ترى في كسب الأولى والثانية قضية وجودية، منذ أن اعترفتا بكيانها فور قيامه فوراً، واحتفظتا دائماً معه بعلاقات علنية وسرية، مهما كانت شعارات حكامها المتناقضة، كما هي الحال في علاقات أنقرة بحماس، وضَحّت بها بين ليلة وضحاها من أجل الحليف الجديد! 

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

Two Cheers for Realism

April 19, 2022

Source

By Francis Lee

One of the unstated and extant features of the contemporary age has been the demise of the Westphalian Treaty. This arrangement had in times past regulated the relationship and clashes of interest among the great powers. We should remind ourselves that the key precepts of the system were preceded by the carnage of the 30 years’ war in Europe circa 1618-1648, and eventually agreed upon at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 – an arrangement which brought an end to the wars of the Reformation and agreed upon and binding on all parties. These precepts were:

‘’The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight. It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other’s domestic affairs and checking each other’s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power. No single claim to truth or universal rule had prevailed in Europe’s contests. Instead, each state was assigned the attribute of sovereign power over its territory. Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religious vocations of its fellow states and refrain from challenging their existence. A recognition of the existence of sovereign states within their own clearly defined borders and sphere of influence.’’ * So argued Henry Kissenger (2014)

Alas this is no more, and the system had undergone a long decline throughout its inception for reasons which in time were to become obvious. It was earlier in the wake of World War I that the Westphalian system began to falter. US President Woodrow Wilson joined the war not so much to defend American territory as to “make the world safe for democracy”. If “democracy” was a religion, rather than an ideology or a system of government, then Wilson would not sound very different from the most zealous Crusaders of medieval Europe. Despite Wilson’s idea for a League of Nations failing to gain congressional approval at home, the leaders of Europe went ahead and formed the organization themselves. While the main purpose of the League was to make war obsolete, it utterly failed to do so.

The putative new world ‘order’ in the shape of the UN Charter was first established in 1945 and was an explicitly globalist organization. Whereas Westphalian nationalism held that each country was its own sovereign unit, post-war globalism instead held that certain concepts such as ‘liberal democracy’ and ‘civil rights’ were universal to all humanity, and therefore any nation that restricted such things lost the protections of sovereignty. All very noble but roughly translated this should read.

The two or three great powers had the ability and resolve to structure the world in their own image and in doing so maximise and extend the reach of their power. As for humanity and the subaltern classes and nations; they were to be subordinated to the interests of larger powers and serve those interests. End of.

The great powers would go through the motions in pursuit of their interests – they always do, but the outcome would be tailored to those interests. For example. In 1991, US President George H. W. Bush announced a war against Iraq, which had invaded and occupied the neighbouring nation of Kuwait. However, when push came to shove the great power(s) – in this instance the US – did not hesitate to use their formidable resources – including war, annexation and starvation – against the weaker smaller states who became the objects of war.

Cold War 1 lasted until the break-up of the USSR in 1991. This was manna from heaven for the imperial juggernaut who saw a game-changing opportunity to push ahead with its global hegemonic agenda whilst Russia was entering the Yeltsin disaster years. This was made perfectly clear in a ground breaking directive issued by the then US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy at that time (neo-conservative) Paul Wolfowitz. This was to become known as The Wolfowitz doctrine:  Not intended for initial public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992. It read:

‘’Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat of the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavour to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.’’(1)

In short: Me Tarzan, you Jane. The US and its satellites were top of the pile and would remain so. Other potentially hostile states will be surrounded, threatened, and intimidated into accepting their subaltern status. This was described by Senator Edward Kennedy as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.” (2) And just to rub salt into the wound the US and its vassal states expanded NATO to include former Soviet republics and ex Warsaw pact states and pushed right up to Russia’s western borders.

Suffice it to say this geo-political arrangement involved a complete rejection of Westphalian principles and has imposed global liberal practise of hegemony and interventionism under the command of the principal global hegemon, the United States. This pursuit of global hegemony represents the implementation of the belief in America’s so-called ‘Manifest Destiny’ – a divine providence to spread the liberal-democratic global order to the rest of the planet and usher in a global Shangri-La of peace, prosperity … and so on and so forth. Of course, this puts the world on a permanent war footing. This has been instanced by wars waged by the empire against Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia and Syria with more in the pipeline as well as a cyber-attack on Iran – the Stuxnet attack – and a number of colour revolutions paid for and organized by the US, Georgia and Ukraine being the most obvious and well-known. But the big prize is and always has been the Eurasian bloc. This of course may well involve a nuclear exchange, but hey, America’s intentions are noble and worth fighting for are they not? It should be understood that the United States is the indispensable, exceptional nation, the shining city on the hill. Blah, blah, blah.

What is particularly disturbing is that this absurd and dangerous doctrine has become akin to a religious orthodoxy. Comparable perhaps to the fanaticism of Wahhabist cults in parts of the Muslim world. It is suggestive of an infantile mindset which views international relations as a Manichean struggle between good and evil. Whether the non-adult proponents actually believe in this doctrine is a moot point. But the pervasiveness of this cult is all but total; this is a 21st century inquisition complete with heresy hunts and a fanatical priesthood of the media and their security handlers in the deep state, in their attempts to close down any other or any independent counter-narrative.

However, once the ideological stranglehold on policy has built up momentum it becomes very difficult to change course. In the language and ideology of neo-con exceptionalism, diplomacy is akin to appeasement, the West is threatened, Russia-Putin is on the rampage, proof (sic) of this was his ‘’invasion’’ of Ukraine. China also is becoming a threat to the western way of life; Carthage must be destroyed. Of course, every one of these assertions are extremely contentious and could/should be countered, but of course they are not; the dominant narrative shall not be profaned or challenged.

As the US and its vassals therefore prepare for war, its populations must be conditioned to believe and accept such an inevitable outcome. The propaganda machine has been stepped up to unprecedented levels. The message is simple. Our side = good, Their side = bad. Our side does good things, their side does bad things. Thus, the media – now an asset of the deep state – plays an essential role of propagating this political construction among the populations of the Anglo-Zionist heartlands.

All of which is very reminiscent of Orwell’s short novel Animal Farm. After the Animal Revolution and the eviction of Jones the Farmer, the sheep were instructed by the ruling group – the pigs – into reciting the goodness of the animals and the badness of humans. The short and endless bleat of the sheep went as follows: ‘’Four legs good, two legs bad,’’ repeated endlessly.

That is about the level of western foreign policy. Good guys, bad guys, white hats, black hats, no compromise, no surrender. Result war. The question we must now ask is has this menacing process gone too far to go into reverse? This of course remains an open question. But the thrust of neo-conservative foreign policy would suggest this war would be a logical outcome. Either that or the whole thing is a bluff. Up to this point the US performance in attacking recalcitrant weak states has not been a roaring success. The same goes for Israel. Bombing countries with no air defence or shooting Palestinian kids with sniper rifles is easy-peasy. Taking on Iran is a different matter entirely. The irresistible force seems to be meeting its immovable object.

From a realist as opposed to a neo-conservative foreign policy the idea of an American world empire is frankly deranged. Pursuit of this pipedream can only result in mutually assured destruction; yes, M.A.D. still applies. The United States and its minions might not like it, but it will have to learn to live with other great powers. Russia, China have legitimate spheres of influence and this should be respected. This will involve an end to the gross provocations in the South China Sea and in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics, not to mention the ongoing series of colour revolutions.

This is true in spades with regard to Israel – a country of a mere 8 million souls with an ambition to create a greater Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile. This objective, involving a ruthless ethnic cleansing has been unremittingly pursued since the British left Palestine in 1948. According to one David Ben-Gurion about how to deal with Palestinians in their midst: ‘’There is a need for strong and brutal reaction’’ (to Palestinian opposition) ‘’ … We need to be accurate about timing, place and those we hit. If we accuse a family, we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included, otherwise this is not an effective reaction … there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty.’’(3) This of course has been par for the course since the late 1940s. But Israel like its American sponsor, must learn to live within its own sphere of influence and not tempt fate by embarking on a Zionist crusade against its near neighbours. It would do well to remember that the Crusades were in their neck of the woods for nearly 200 years, but the invaders were finally driven out in 1291.

The liberal-imperialist Anglo-Zionist regime change ideology is supplemented by the appeal to ‘human rights’ and Responsibility to Protect – R2P. Human Rights apparently override national sovereignty. According to one Francis Fukuyama:

‘’Dictators and Human Rights abusers like Serbia’s Milosevic could not hide behind the principle of sovereignty to protect themselves as they committed crimes against humanity particularly in multi-ethnic states like Yugoslavia where the borders of the sovereign state in question were themselves contested. Under these circumstances outside powers, acting in the name of human rights and democratic legitimacy, had not just the right, but the obligation to intervene. (4)

There you have it. The ‘intervention’ a 78-day bombing offensive by NATO resulted in the deaths of in excess of 5000 civilians in Serbia and elsewhere. But of course, this was not a crime against humanity. Doublethink!? Of course, the glaring anomaly in the regime change R2P ideology lies in its inconsistency. But this is to be expected. It should always be borne in mind that the mission of the AZ-Empire is world domination, not coexistence or democracy. This, however, must never be openly admitted. The veneer of a crusade to make the world a Garden of Eden, is simply a cover for imperial aggrandisement.

‘’Liberal democracies have little difficulty in conducting diplomacy with illiberal states when they are acting according to realist dictates, which is most of the time. In those circumstances, liberal democracies do whatever is necessary to maximize their survival prospects, and that includes negotiating with authoritarian leaders. They sometimes even support or form alliances with murderous dictators as the US did in WW2 when it worked with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi Germany, or when it cooperated with Mao Zedong after 1972 to contain the Soviet Union. Occasionally they even overthrow democratic regimes (all over Latin America – FL) which they perceive as being hostile. Liberal democracies go to great lengths to disguise such behaviour with liberal rhetoric, but in fact they are acting contrary to their own – professed – principles.’’ (6)

However, this unstable combination of outward authoritarianism and domestic democracy has inbuilt destabilising forces. Long ago it was pointed out by the Greek historian Thucydides that Empire and Democracy cannot co-exist in the long-term. Moreover, the methods of empire would be brought home to deal with the destabilising effects of empire on the state. (5)

Nowhere is this more an ever-present fact than in the great hegemon, the United States itself. It would appear that the United States polity has, at every level, descended into a variety of collective insanity. Witness Rachel Maddow, I know it’s difficult, but bear with me, asserting with complete conviction and sang-froid, night after night, that Donald Trump was a Russian agent! What made this worse was that no-one challenged this idiocy? Ms Maddow’s rant can be compared to the ‘two minutes hate’ in 1984 (only unfortunately it lasted for more than 2 minutes) and of the level of a latent pathology in the media in particular and the body politic more generally.

Speaking of Orwell, his essay Notes on Nationalism nailed this particular political phenomenon. He firstly made it clear that what he meant by nationalism was a more general description of particular religious, or political outlooks.

‘’By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – But secondly – and this is much more important – I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests.’’

Thus Neo-Conservatism, Pacifism, Political Catholicism, Zionism, and curiously enough, Anti-Semitism, are all types of nationalism, broadly understood.

Of course, the unprepossessing Ms Maddow is a virulent specimen of this type of mental aberration. The nationalist has to perform the most intricate forms of mental gymnastics in order to believe that their particular beliefs are true and will not tolerate profanation. As Orwell writes:

‘’The nationalist does not only disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has the remarkable capacity of not even hearing about them …All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Conservative will defend self-determination in Europe but oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ’our’ side … Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest, which have no connexion with the physical world … ‘’

Not far from clinical schizophrenia! I would say well ahead.

And there’s the rub. Realist foreign policy was often cruel and callous but rational, cold and calculating and unlike neo-conservatism it was at least generally non-ideological, which is to say, sane. Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, were ideological projects and Western Imperialism, particularly of the white settler variety, the US, UK Israel, Australia, NZ, were openly racist and murderous in both practise and theory.

In the present geopolitical configuration, it is difficult to assess the outcome of the Anglo-Zionist crusade against the Eurasian bloc. Russia and China are reading from a Westphalian text, the US is reading from a neo-conservative playbook, with its European allies being reluctantly dragged along. In this situation it is difficult to know how this titanic struggle will eventually pan out and to whose benefit. One of the problems which besets any appraisal lies in the fact that the Westphalian system depended upon dialogue with rational actors. These have become as rare as hen’s teeth, if not extinct species in the western centres of power. The US and its reluctant allies will seemingly not give up on its strategic objective of world domination and Russia and China are going to defend themselves. Something has to give, but what?

NOTES

(1)  Defence Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992)

(2)   Orlando Caputo Leiva and Marlene Medrano- Latin American Perspectives Volume. 34, No. 1, The Crisis of U.S. Hegemony in the Twenty-First Century (January 2007), pp. 9-15

(3) Quoted in Pappe, – Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine – p.69. For background on Ben-Gurion’s comment, see Ibid, 61-72. Quoted in – The Israel Lobby – John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt p.99, fn.95

(4) Francis Fukuyama – State Building, Governance and World Order in the 21st Century – p.131.

Other US Realist Diplomats saw things somewhat differently. Commenting on the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe In 1996, the 92-year-old veteran US geopolitical realist, George Kennan, warned that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet territory was a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.” I think it is the beginning of a new cold war … ‘’I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. NATO expansion was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.” (5) John J Mearsheimer – The Great Delusion, Liberal Dreams and International Realities – p.157.

Syria: Landmine Murders, Kurdish SDF Starving Syrians in Hasakah

MIRI WOOD 

Syria news of atrocities and ethnic cleansing persist in the twelfth year of the NATO Spring and are so normalized as to receive no coverage in the western media. On 12 April, another two Syrian girls were killed in another landmine explosion. Syrian people are on their fourth day of being starved in the armed insurrectionist SDF ethnic cleansing campaign.

The two unnamed — and un-aged — girls were walking in the village of al-Meri’iyaeh in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, Syrian. They were murdered immediately upon stepping on a landmine buried by retreating ISIS terrorists.

In the southeastern countryside of Daraa governate, in the south of Syria, child Tariq Adham Mahamid was killed by a landmine explosion, local activists reported, adding one more very heavy coffin to the massive toll of innocent human lives ended by US hegemony in a country that only exported civilization, science, and the divine religions to the whole world.

Child Tariq Adham Mahamid killed by a landmine explosion in Daraa countryside

Tuesday’s atrocious murders were preceded by a terrorist IED bombing of a vehicle in the Finance Building parking lot which caused no casualties. Five days earlier, al Qaeda terrorists had detonated an IED in the vehicle of SAA Colonel Engineer Hussam Ghayyah, who succumbed to his injuries soon after arrival at the hospital.

Syria News reminds our readers that weapons — including NATO weapons — do not fall like manna from the heavens.

The engineering/sapper units of the Syrian Arab Army continue to clear landmines and IEDs from areas of Syria liberated from al Qaeda terrorist factions. The retreated savages continue to plant them in “residential neighborhoods, agricultural lands, and roads” where the greatest damage may be inflicted on the citizenry.

These engineering units continue the hazardous work without the assistance of the UN Mine Action Service, and to date, Syria has not imported the Giant African Pouched Rat, capable of sniffing out buried explosives without detonating them.

To date, the action of the Mine Action Service has been limited to Director Agnes Marcaillou signing the Memorandum of Understanding in Damascus, Syria, on 4 July 2018, and a subsequent report to the UNSC on death and dismemberment statistics in the Levantine republic.

UNMAS director keeping stats on death & dismemberment in Syria.
UNMAS Director Agnes Marcaillou used to keep death & dismemberment stats pristine enough for the Book of Numbers.
The Giant African Pouched Rat would be more useful than NATO’s UNMAS, & obviously more noble

While the US created al Qaeda in the south and the southeast continue to slaughter Syrians with landmines and IEDs, the US created Kurdish SDF terrorists continue to engage in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, in the northeast area — specifically, al Hasakah city and governate, which are part of Syria.

Monday was the fourth consecutive day of the Biden regime’s SDF terrorist siege of the downtown cities of Hasakah and Qamlishi. The armed insurrectionist Kurdish separatists have again cordoned off the city, preventing deliveries of basic goods such as flour and fuel. These killers have shut down the industrial al Baath bakery, depriving citizens of both bread and employment.

Last year, these terrorists held the two Syrian cities under siege for twenty consecutive days.

Kurdish SDF terrorists besieging Hasakah and Qamishli
Kurdish SDF terrorist blocking Syrians from access to food and water.

As NATO-affiliated media and the United Nations continue to avert their gaze, al Qaeda terrorists continue to blow up children, and SDF terrorists continue ethnic cleansing in Syria.

— Miri Wood


Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs on time; you can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.

Related

Russia and Serbia are projected to become the Empire’s white colonies

April 03, 2022

Source

by Prof. Slobodan Antonić – (Translated by Joran Velikonja)

In this article I will present the various plans that Germany had with the Serbs and Russians after the expected victory in World War II. Why do I fall back to history? We frequently perceive Hitler and Nazism as an aberration in Western history. But Hitler was, in fact, just openly announcing that in Europe he will do what the West has already done elsewhere. As we’ll see, Hitler took the extermination of the Native Americans as a model for the colonization of Slavic lands, Russia in particular.

“It would be best if Serbia just disappeared from the map” —as attested by Hermann Neubacher, that opinion was prevalent within the German leadership in 1941 (see here, p. 89). But we find the same opinion in The Manchester Guardian (as The Guardian was formerly called), in August 1914: “If it were physically possible for Servia to be towed out to sea and sunk there, the air of Europe would at once seem cleaner” (herehere, p. 53).

Actually, the only difference between Hitler and the English was Hitler’s brutally proclaiming to do—and he had done as much as he could—what others in the West were doing slower and more subtly, the things they didn’t yet dare to undertake or weren’t able to accomplish.

* * *

Unlike the Kaiser, who wanted territorial expansion towards the Middle East and a redistribution of African and Asian colonies, Hitler’s primary goal was to colonize Slavic lands, from the Baltic to the Black Sea for starters and then onward to the Urals.

In Mein Kampf he writes that the Kaiser was mistaken in pushing Germany southwards. “When in today’s Europe we speak of new soil and land”, he wrote, “we primarily mean only Russia and the peripheral countries subservient to her. It appears that destiny itself wants to show us the way. […] The giant Empire in the East is ripe for its downfall.” (here; 44th unabridged German edition, p. 742-3; compare here, p. 118)

By the way, Hitler had adopted many concepts from the West. As J. Q. Whitman revealed in Hitlerʼs American Model (2017), race laws in the United States were the legal inspiration for the race laws in the Third Reich. In his book Hitler: The Definitive Biography (2014), John Toland showed how impressed Hitler had been with the system of Indian Reservations, the extermination of the indigenous peoples, the epidemics and starvation policies. According to Toland, when speaking to the German leaders, the Führer frequently “extolled the efficacy of the American extermination of the ‘red savages’ by starvation and in unequal combat” (here, p. 802).

“As a passionate reader of Karl May’s novels”, writes John Pool in his book Hitler and His Secret Partners (1997), “he would frequently refer to the Russians as redskins. He saw a parallel between his own efforts to occupy and colonize Russia and the conquest of the American West” (p. 272). He used to say that in the European East the Germans “had one single purpose: Germanization by peopling with Germans and treating the locals as redskins”. He even encouraged military officers to read Karl May and learn about all kinds of combat with the natives.

How did the Germans imagine their colonization of Russia and Eastern Europe?

The Generalplan Ost (1942) anticipated three types of agricultural estates to accomplish the colonization of Slavic lands between the Baltic and the Black Sea: individual (25-29 hectares; approx. 60-70 acres), intermediate (40-100 ha; approx. 100-250 acres) and large ones (250 ha; approx. 620 acres). The colonization was supposed to be carried out by some 6 to 12 million Germans, settled in areas from which 31 million Slavs would be banished across the Urals. The displacement would include 65 percent of Ukrainians and 75 percent of Belorusians, leaving behind 14 million Slavs, primarily as servants and unskilled workers (here).

The Plan foresaw an initial establishment of three settler colonies: in the Baltic (Memel-Narew Gebiet), in the Leningrad Oblast (Ingermannland) and in Crimea (Gotengau; see map here). Their foundation would have been Germanic farmers-warriors, living on family or collective estates, as in some form of a Military Frontier. Regional centers would have consisted of settler towns, 36 of them, numbering 20,000 inhabitants each, interconnected by a network of highways and railroad lines. The colonies were supposed to spread gradually, until they would merge into a unified whole.

The Slavs would have been exiled from their towns, whereas in the villages they would have been retained as farm hands. Slavic education wouldn’t have gone further than reading and writing (while also switching over to the Latin alphabet; here, p. 122). Hitler even thought that the Slavs should not be taught anything beyond the “knowledge of traffic signs, to be able to stay out of our way” (ibid.).

“Hitler liked to reiterate that the words Russia and Russian should be forbidden. Allowed are only Muscovy and Muscovites. After the victory of the Reich, the Muscovites will be simply driven onto their reservations, like the Indians in the USA” (here, p. 285).

* * *

What would have happened to Serbia?

In his book The German New Order and South-East Europe (in Serbian: Nemački novi poredak i Jugoistočna Evropa), Milan Ristović describes the plans for Serbia. Generally, there were two plans in existence.

According to the first one, submitted to the Ministry of External Affairs in July 1941, two million ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) from Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia were to be amassed in the Danubian German state Prinz Eugen Stadt. [or Staat?] It would have stood sentry over communications along the Danube and, akin to the Military Frontier, barring access to the Lebensraum from the south and east (here, pp. 101-106; 362-363).

Pursuant to that plan, the Serbs would have been exiled from Belgrade, Smederevo and other places along the Danube. The Plan stipulates that the “Serbs have to be driven away from the Danube and out of Belgrade in order to stress their political insignificance and to prevent any new plots against Germany, the order in the Balkans and in Europe — a frequent historical occurrence” (ibid., p. 106).

Belgrade was chosen as the heart of the German Danubian state, as the strategic center of the river basins of the Tisa, Drava, Sava and Morava. It was to become the “fortress of the Reich” in the borderland (Reichsfestung Belgrad), with the specific task of safeguarding two economic resources of key importance for Grossdeutschland: the Djerdap Gorge (Iron Gates) and the mining complex in Bor (ibid., pp. 105-106).

The Djerdap Gorge was essential for navigation control on the Danube and as the place where the Germans intended to build the largest hydropower plant in Europe.

On 25 September 1941 Hitler proudly proclaimed that now the Germans had finally returned to “places which already witnessed the breakthrough of the Germanic-German race: we were standing at the Iron Gates, we had been in Belgrade, we had entered the Russian space” (276). Two weeks later he speaks enthusiastically of the Danube as the “river course of the future” (der Zukunftsstrom). It will connect Germany, via the Black Sea, with the boundless granaries of her future colonies around the Dnieper and Don, then with the oil wells around Baku (the pipeline reached ports on the Black Sea), as well as with coal mines in the Donbas (276) [[1]].

Exhilarated by the conquests of Belarus and the Ukraine, Hitler then presents his vision of the future, in which the Danube is the main traffic artery of the Grossraum (the German economic space): “As big as it may become, the Danube-Main Canal cannot be built sufficiently large; of course, the Danube-Oder Canal should be added to it; thus, we will be getting an economic bloodstream of unheard-of proportions; Europe will be the land of unlimited possibilities” (276).

The Germans also worked out a plan (Grossprojekt “Eisernes Tor”) which anticipated the construction of a hydropower plant at the Iron Gates, “producing as much electricity as one half of all German power plants” (282). From the Iron Gates, electricity would have been transmitted to Graz and Vienna. Also foreseen was the “creation of one of the largest aluminum production facilities in Europe” due to the proximity of Romanian bauxite (Bihor Mountains) (ibid.). The Iron Gates Dam would be built by Russian prisoners and all construction was to be completed by 1947 (282-283).

The other key resource belonging to Serbia, was the Bor Mining Complex. It was the largest copper ore deposit in Europe, making Yugoslavia the top producer of copper on the continent in 1941 (here, p. 103). In 1943 the Germans were extracting up to 50,000 tonnes of ore per month (here, p. 354). Other Serbian ore resources, too, were of interest to the Greater Germanic Reich, such as lead mines (Trepča, Kopaonik, Avala, Ajvalija, Janjevo, Lece, Novo brdo i Rudnik) or antimony (40 % of European production: Krupanj, Zajača, Lisa and Bujanovac; here, p. 105).

So, all that had to be placed under control through the establishment of the Danubian German state, from which, as stated, the Serbs would have been displaced. Reichsminister Krosigk announced in 1942 the possibility of a new “Migration Period” (Völkerwanderung), with mass displacement—as he explicitly specified—of the Czechs, Poles and Serbs (here, p. 91).

* * *

But Hitler himself was not thrilled with the idea of a Prinz Eugen Stadt [or Staat?]. He planned to recruit the required six to twelve million German colonists of the European East by including those same two million Danube Swabians (111-113; 363). He did not, in fact, consider the area of the Danube basin in the Balkans as part of the German “living space” (Lebensraum), but rather as merely a piece of the Germanic “economic sphere” (Wirtschaftsraum; 172-173).

Hitler actually perceived the Balkans as a “junkyard of small states” (Kleinstaatgerümpel), which only the Germans can rearrange and civilize (50-51). After the Reichʼs victory those staes, too, would be placed into a special vassal relationship of stepwise arranged semi-sovereign and pseudo-sovereign statelets, as was planned in Berlin (ibid.).

Europe outside the Reich was regarded as the German Grossraum (larger habitat), which—after the victory—would see the establishment of a “hierarchy of peoples/nations” (Rangordnung der Völker/der Nationen). Even Italians were aware that within that order only the Germans would be at the top. As early as 13 October 1941 Mussolini was saying that Italy, too, would be reduced to a colony and might be forced to cede to the Reich parts of her territory, such as Trieste (334).

The Balkan peoples, deemed anyway poorly suitable for assimilation (nichtumvolkbar; 83), would be at the bottom of the European hierarchy, whereas the Serbs, as the “sworn enemies of order” (361), would find themselves on the bottom rung—provided, of course, that they were not re-educated in the meantime (362) [[2]].

That’s why the Serbs were treated as one of those peoples, along with the Russians and Poles, who “would have to remain under German dominion in the long run” (65). Unlike the vassal states, such as Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria, which still had certain elements of independence, Serbia and Greece (the latter also perceived as a “problematic” country; 70), were occupied territories, where the administration was directly installed by the occupying power (360). Serbia was put under a particularly strict occupation regime (62,184 people were executed by firing squads; here, 116,264), while the Serbs across the border on the Drina were even worse off, having been mercilessly turned over to the Croatian genocide.

Still, even the “truncated Serbia” (Rumpfserbien; 285) probably would have become part of the European order in the end. But what would have been her fate?

The Germans didn’t really see the future European Völkerordnung as an order of states (Denken in Staaten), but rather as a system of commercial colonies (74-75; 161). The countries outside the Reich, especially those at the edge of the Grossraum, would be “advised” to “refrain” from developing their own “manufacturing of automobiles, electrical devices, locomotives, engines for transportation and industry, precision mechanics, chemicals, dyes…”, which would be under the exclusive authority of Germany. Others would have to stick to agriculture, mining and the coarsest processing of raw materials, “which do not require a particularly qualified workforce” (187). In order to absorb the agricultural labor surplus, industry would have to be developed in the Balkans, too, but it would be primarily linked with the exploitation of natural resources and only for the first phase of their processing (188).

As part of the de-industrialization idea, particularly with regard to the defense industry, 268 railway freight cars containing 4,488 pieces of machinery were hauled off to Germany from the Military Engineering Plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, in the course of 1941 alone! In March of 1943, 43 more freight cars were towed away, followed by another 37 in April. In the second half of 1943, 94 additional carriages with machinery were taken from Kragujevac, 96 freight cars with machinery from the Military Engineering Plant in Čačak, 88 freight cars from the factory in Obilić, 140 freight cars from the plant in Ravnjak close to Kruševac, 75 freight cars from the Military Engineering Plant in Lazarevac, 84 carriages from the “Vistad” factory, and so on. “This was the best organized looting of third-party property in recorded history” (here, p. 106).

The plan was to eliminate any competition to the Reich’s economy in all European vassal states, so as to ensure “absolute supremacy of German corporations” (here, p. 200). By way of example, the administration and use of the remaining industrial facilities in Serbia was handed over to the management of 29 major German companies with the entire production intended for the Reich, so that “almost nothing was left for the needs of Serbia and the Serbian public” (here, p. 108). Only the rail-road network enjoyed unlimited investment, but its primary role was to enable a more efficient exploitation of natural resources for the Grossdeutsches Reich (here, p. 188).

In addition to ores, large amounts of grain and lumber from Serbia were also hauled off to Grossdeutschland. As early as 19 June 1941 it was announced that farmers must cede for compulsory purchase all grain except 30 kilograms of wheat or 60 kilograms of corn per household member (here, p. 117). In 1942 Serbia was forced to deliver 320,000 tonnes of wheat, 600,000 tonnes of corn and 90,000 tonnes of oats, rye and barley (118). The “purchase” of all commodities was paid for with the money which Serbia had to remit as contribution for its own occupation (119-120), so that Germany was getting all goods from Serbia literally free of charge.

As a result of the export of lumber (but also due to insurgent activities), Serbia—although densely forested—was left with almost no firewood. In Belgrade they even contemplated “to log the Košutnjak park-forest and Mount Avala, in order to save the urban population from the approaching winter” (123).

But still, despite all that, it was assessed in Germany that, in fact, “the workforce from the South-East (of Europe) is the most valuable export commodity these countries can give us even now, but especially after the war” (here, p. 255). The Balkans was regarded as an “inexhaustible workforce pool” (257), able to provide to the Reich “more than three million workers”, of which number at least 1.5 million would be seasonal labor (up to ten months per year; 255). The war interfered with a more substantial export of manpower to the Reich and yet, from Serbia alone, 80,000 workers went (or were deported) to Germany (268).

Most interesting of all, this entire colonial order in Europe, designed for the unrestrained exploitation of markets, labor and natural resources, was supposed to be masked beneath the narrative of a “common European future” and a Europe “from Sweden to the Balkans” (352). In order to minimize the resistance of the vanquished peoples, it was recommended as early as 1940 to avoid the term “German large-area economy” (Grossraumwirtschaft) and to speak “always and only of Europe” (151). In the propaganda it was emphasized that “Germany does not seek to hold sway over countries”, the only ostensible goal being “an economically whole” Europe in which the peoples would “economically complement” each other (155). This “complementing” became reality after Germany tore down almost all intra-European (zwischeneuropäische) borders (288).

Hitler himself was actually a great European, except that he equated “European” with “pan-German” (31-32). The Germans, by the way, did not view the ongoing war in Europe as merely a war of conquest, but as a form of great economic restructuring. “This is not a war for throne and altar”, as Goebbels kept explaining (31 May 1942)—or rather it is not a war about who will govern over the peoples nor what their religion will be. According to the Reichsminister für Propaganda, this is “a war for raw materials” because we Germans “only want to cash in” (150).

It is clear that in such a system Serbia would have been but a marginal colony, no more than a German depot from which cheap labor, food and raw materials are taken as needed.

* * *

I am sure that the the above text was triggering parallels with contemporary circumstances in the reader’s mind, both in the geostrategic [[3][3] and economic sense. Russia got away (for the time being)—although the West hasn’t given up its pretensions to dismember her as a nation and subdue her as a culture (patterned after the Vatican’s current formula of “consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”). But today’s Serbia is clearly not too far from the position assigned to her by the Nazi Plan B.

Change of mindset, limited sovereignty, deindustrialization, a readily available source of auxiliary labor, cheap raw materials, a pliant market, unprotected workers, unpaid work of the “natives” (with subsidies to foreign investors)… All those things are of current significance even today and I have written about it all in my texts: To Understand What We AreThe Colonial Establishment in SerbiaColonial PolyarchyThe Subservient IntelligentsiaSerbia — the “Territory” Grappled Over by Germany and Croatia

Now, I would add to this only an insight into the current wave of mass exodus to Germany. The Germans, as they say, currently need 1.4 million workers and our people are in demand because they easily integrate and assimilate. But don’t you have the feeling that in today’s Serbia there appears to exist some hidden Ministry of Emigration and Propaganda to Depart for Germany?

Not only that the National Employment Service recruits workers and sends them to that country, but “employers from Germany and their local agents openly canvass pre-graduation highschoolers right in their classrooms, all with the consent of the education authorities”. By the way, who’s to blame that Serbia has as many as 17 medical school graduates annually for every 100,000 inhabitants whereas poor Germany has only 11.

Another story is the open propaganda to emigrate, cultivated by, say, the daily Danas, in its column charmingly titled “Our People around the World”. It was already pointed out by Zoran Ćirjaković that this column had been “converted into a campaign for turning oneʼs back on Serbia”. The captions from the column speak for themselves: “Leaving Serbia wasnʼt easy, but it was essential”; “Despite all changes, life in Dubai is incomparably better than in Serbia”; “I miss Serbia, but Austria has offered me security”; “Itʼs not our fault, our system is rotten”; “We Serbs know how to get by and to gain respect”; “People from Serbia are accustomed to being more resourceful than ‘normal folks’”; “I bid adieu to this Serbia, but the love for the country still remains”…

“Along with the columns of numerous haters of this country”, notes Ćirjaković, “those shamefully spun testimonies of the escapees paint an image of Serbia as a repugnant, hopeless gas chamber in which no progress is possible”.

Thus the young migrant A. Kosanović, a political scientist, says that “a normal person canʼt bear the amount of horror and barbarism by the people who run things around Serbia” and that therefore “the average Serb has an extraordinary poverty of mind (?!), is in moral crisis and wracked by the tough life”. His colleague M. Pantić even argues that “in Serbia, everything has to be built from scratch (?!), thereʼs nary a meter of room to mend anything” (?!). And a similar campaign is spearheaded by Radio Free Europe (e.g. here).

Danas brags about being the Croatian ambassadorʼs favorite morning reading. Maybe thatʼs one of the reasons this paper will never raise questions such as: why two hundred Croatian companies are doing business in Serbia, whereas the number of Serbian ones in Croatia is — eight? And whether it is really necessary that our children learn from schoolbooks by Croatian publishers, eat Croatian meat products, indulge in Croatian confectioneries, drink Croatian water… — while the opposite, of course, is beyond imagination.

But Danas is surely the favorite paper of the German ambassador, too. On its pages, denkverbot is any topic that could awaken an ever so slight awareness of the colonial status in which Serbia finds itself, but even more so of the possible ways out of that situation (about some of which I have written here and here).

“The greatest success of (neo)colonialism is to convince people that it does not exist”. That’s why the first step towards emancipation is for us to understand the nature of the Atlanticist spirit, then to recognize the strategic interests of the West and to vow to ourselves, but also to each other, that we won’t allow them to be ousted from the Danube (so they could settle here some other, more suitable people); and no, we won’t allow to be treated, or to treat ourselves, as if we were — redskins.

Himmler had suggested, in his time, that the “Serbian people has grown out of rebellions over the centuries” and that with us one has to be forever on guard. Because no matter how defeated he may appear, “a Serb is always a Serb” (here, p. 90).

We only have to remain Serbs. Is that so much of a problem?

  1. [] In other respects, too, the Danube was the main transportation route for bulk cargo (Massengüter) — oil, lumber, grain and ores, not only because back then the traffic network was less well developed, but also on account of the much cheaper fluvial transport as compared to road and railway traffic (here, p. 277; 286). For instance, all the oil from Ploeşti (Romania), the main European oilfield at that time (278), was transported to the Reich upstream the Danube. That’s why Hitler was saying that “to safeguard navigation, the Iron Gates have to be placed under the umbrella of the Wehrmacht and stay under it in perpetuity” (283). 
  2. [] It is a fact that the Germans held Serbs in high regard as warriors and on that account were seeing them as a dangerous disturbance factor of their New Order. Hitler lamented that he tried to win over the Serbs “by promising them Thessalonica” and “demanding nothing of them”, only to burst out that “never before in his life was he as outraged as on March 27”, when it became obvious that “the Serbs were just a gang of conspirators” (89).“The Serbs, as eternal instigators of unrest, have to be cornered and suppressed as much as possible” was the dominant view in the upper echelons of the Reich, as attested by Neubacher (89). When in 1943 he suggested to Hitler to annex Montenegro to Serbia, the latter responded that the “Serbs (historically) have demonstrated their state-building power and far-reaching goals, all the way to the Aegean Sea”, and that “a people with such a political sense of mission” should not be allowed “to become dominant in the Balkans” (90). 
  3. [] “A glance at the map of today’s European Union reveals its striking resemblance with the farthest reach of the German military forces during the First and Second World Wars, especially on the Eastern Fronts. The fact that some Eastern Orthodox countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania, already are in the European Union, doesn’t mean that there is room for other Eastern Orthodox nations, too. Their accession into the EU signifies the fulfilment of the old German strategic goal of exerting control over the Balkans. One also shouldn’t forget that these two countries, Serbia’s neighbors, were German allies in WW II, and Bulgaria even in the Great War”. 

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones

23 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Aya Youssef 

Despite their battles on the ground and in the virtual world, Palestinians are still able to go viral.

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

“You are stealing my house!” yelled the Palestinian woman facing the illegal Israeli settler in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood, in occupied Al-Quds. 

“If I don’t steal it someone else is gonna steal it,” the settler replied with no hesitation. 

Comment, retweet, share, like, repost, and download. The outcome?

 Palestine has gone viral. 

Starting from the inside

Raw video footage of Israeli occupation forces storming Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan in 2021 started to circulate all over social media platforms. The videos were showing Israeli soldiers storming through screaming crowds throwing grenades and shooting rubber bullets into them. 

European states, US lawmakers, and prominent figures started to condemn such brutal acts on their social media platforms, and it didn’t take months for this footage to become viral; it took seconds.

Israeli brutality has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones


Salhiyya family’s home

Mahmoud Salhiyya stood up against the Israeli forces and threatened to set himself on fire as a last resort to prevent them from taking his and his sister’s home. Palestinian activists held their phones and live-streamed, took photos, and published with the click of a button.

At dawn, Israeli occupation forces bulldozed Salhiyya family home, but Palestinians were wide awake to live stream, hashtag, take pictures, and tweet.

Israeli occupation authorities have been trying everything to uproot Sheikh Jarrah residents, from sending aleatory and unlawful court-mandated eviction orders to allowing settlers to attack Palestinians living in the neighborhood. 

But guess what? Israeli crimes have gone viral, too. 

Save Al-Naqab

The Israeli occupation forces arrested a 12-year-old Palestinian girl named Julian Al-Atrash. While she was being dragged and handcuffed, she didn’t hesitate to smile.

That smile made it through social media platforms. Pro-Palestine activists started to draw, illustrate, and post the moment that girl smiled. 

Occupation forces started to storm Al-Naqab villages to bulldoze the area as a part of a plan led by the “Jewish National Fund” to confiscate Palestinian lands. 

There are more than 30 villages in Al-Naqab dubbed as “unrecognized” villages under the Israeli occupation government, so there are no means of transportation, no roads, and no schools in the area. 

Despite all of this, during the Israeli storming, Al-Naqab was being recognized more than ever online, with people retweeting and sharing “#SaveNaqab”.

The greenwashing of Israeli crimes has gone viral.

What’s going on in Al-Naqab in Palestine?

Palestine is going viral from the outside

Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced from their lands have been facing the Israeli occupation every single day. They have been fighting battles on their own. 

Shahd Abusalma’s case

Shahd is a Palestinian refugee and a lecturer living in the UK. Sheffield Hallam University suspended her teaching duties due to anti-Semitic claims and decided to investigate her. Shahd has done nothing but retweeting, liking, and commenting on videos showing the Israeli occupation’s brutality.

Solidarity campaigns started to go viral, websites started to write about Shahd’s case, and “#InSupportOfShahd” started to circulate all over Twitter. 

How did all this start? As soon as Shahd announced that she was subject to these campaigns on her Twitter account, retweets skyrocketed. 

The university restrained Shahd’s teaching duties without dropping the investigations regarding her case. Shahd didn’t stop there because guess what? 

Shahd’s case has gone viral.

Shahd has walked her followers through her journey regarding any new update on her case. 

A few days later, the university dropped all of the investigations that were made against Shahd and offered her a more secure contract that will afford her employee status.

Rasmy Hassouna’s case

A Palestinian-American citizen who was about to renew his contract with the government before he noticed a legal clause that forbids him and his company A&R Engineering and Testing, Inc, from ever protesting “Israel” and its products.

Rasmy filed a lawsuit against the Texas state law, which bans government contractors from boycotting the Israeli occupation and won the case.

US District Court Judge blocked Texas from imposing its anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) law against Hassouna because boycotting, any kind of boycott, was protected by the First Amendment, which is the right to participate in economic boycotts as a form of protest.

“It’s great, isn’t it?” Rasmy said to Al Mayadeen English as he received the news.   

Determined as ever, Rasmy said “Stand up for your rights, as expatriates, I believe we can do a lot for Palestine.” 

His victory made it through websites and social media platforms. 

And guess what? Rasmy’s victory has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

Don’t let tech giants fool you: Al-Kurd siblings as an example 

23-year-old Palestinians had nothing to defend their land with except their phones. They had no idea that anyone would care enough to watch illegal Israeli settlers storming their house or brutally assaulting young Palestinians. They didn’t know that anyone would care enough about a neighborhood in occupied Palestine. 

With every video or live-streaming posted, their followers were piling up by day, people started to refer to their accounts for news or updates regarding Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood. 

And now? Muna Al Kurd has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram while her brother, Mohammad al Kurd, has +7K followers on the platform. 

“Instagram is preventing me from going live!” 

Mona Al-Kurd was one of many live-streaming the ongoing events in Sheikh Jarrah when her streaming cut off suddenly. Al Kurd explained that her live-streaming feature was blocked while she was documenting the moment Al Salhiyya’s family home was demolished.

This has exposed Instagram’s complicity and censorship of Palestinian content. 

Censorship of Palestinian content is not new to some of the giant tech companies. Toward the end of last year, activists and journalists have started a campaign against Meta’s policies, which have been targeting Palestinian content and the Palestinian narrative. 

It is important not to forget Human Rights Watch’s report that highlighted Facebook’s policy, and how the tech giant has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including content regarding human rights abuses committed by “Israel” against Palestinians during its 11 days aggression on Gaza in 2021.

Israeli extremist forms militia to patrol Palestinian Bedouin areas

The move comes amid growing tension between Jews and Palestinian Bedouins in the region, as the latter face displacement from their lands

March 21 2022

Recent image. Heavily armed Israeli police officers arresting a Bedouin child during a protest in Negev region against a tree planting exercise by a right-wing Jewish organization on 12 January 2022. (AFP).

ByNews Desk

On 20 March, Israeli media outlets reported that a group of far-right Israelis led by a former police officer had set up an armed vigilante group to patrol the Negev desert region, which is home to more than 300,000 Palestinian Bedouins.

According to the reports, the founder of the militia group, Almog Cohen, is also the regional coordinator of Otzma Yehudit, a political party that is infamous for its anti-Arab ideology.

Cohen claims that his decision to form the militia was necessitated by what he refers to as “a problematic absence of personal security.” He said the members of his militia will have the  “authority” to arrest and kill “if there is a life-threatening situation.”

The Israeli police force and municipality initially supported the formation of the militia, but withdrew at the last minute over what they claimed was a disagreement over Cohen’s decision to launch a crowdfunding campaign to buy arms for the militia group.

The formation of the right-wing militia is likely to inflame tensions in the region, which in the last three months has witnessed fierce clashes between Palestinian Bedouins and Israeli forces over a controversial tree-planting exercise in the area by the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

The Bedouin residents say the tree-planting exercise is an attempt by the JNF and the Israeli government to forcibly displace them from their land. While Bedouin communities have held several protests against the project, the protests have been violently repressed by the Israeli military and police.

The JNF has in the past been implicated in the theft of land and property from Arab citizens of Israel. The organization is also involved in the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

On 4 March, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced that the Israeli government will set up new settlements in the Negev region to host immigrants from Ukraine and Russia.

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