France’s ‘robust’ ties with “Israel” keep Georges Abdallah in prison

April 25 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Ahmad Karakira 

The French government claims it respects human rights and condemns the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories, yet it shakes hands with “Israel”, turning a blind eye to all its crimes.

France’s ‘robust’ ties with “Israel” keep Georges Abdallah in prison

Incumbent President Emmanuel Macron is elected President for a second term, winning 58% of the voter turnout.

Macron and his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen had led the polls during the first round of the French presidential elections with a slight lead for Macron, who won 28.1-29.7%, around 5% more than Le Pen’s 23.3-24.7%.

The other candidates, Jean-Luc Melenchon, Eric Zemmour, Valerie Pecresse, and Yannick Jadot received 20.1%, 7.2%, 5%, and 4.4%, respectively.

The President has garnered support from several opponents, mainly left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who came in third place and called on his supporters and the French public to pivot away from the extremist.

“We know who we will never vote for… Not a single vote must go to Mrs. Le Pen,” Melenchon said at his party headquarters in Paris, though he did not explicitly ask his supporters to back the incumbent President.

Another boost for the President also came from his other opponents. Communist Party candidate Fabien Roussel, Socialist Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot of the Greens, and right-wing Republican candidate Valerie Pecresse said they would vote for him to prevent the far-right leader from coming to power.

Only fellow far-right candidate Eric Zemmour urged his supporters to vote for Marine Le Pen on April 24.

“I don’t make a mistake over who my opponents are. I call on my voters to vote for Marine Le Pen,” Zemmour told supporters following his elimination from the electoral race.

In parallel to the presidential election battle between Macron and Le Pen, the main question remains: What will the results hold for Palestine in light of the strong French-Israeli relations?

“Robust” relationship with “Israel”

France was one of the very first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the Israeli occupation on May 11, 1949.

The French Foreign Ministry brags on its website that Paris has established a “robust” relationship with “Israel”, “marked by constant commitment to its existence and security” and contribution to its military power.

Along with “Israel” and Britain, France attacked Egypt in October 1956 in what was called the Tripartite Aggression against Egypt after then-President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.

But following the Six-Day War on Egypt in 1967, which saw “Israel” occupying the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights, France adopted the United Nations Resolution 242 that calls on “Israel” to withdraw “from territories occupied.”

Ever since, France’s official policy is a combination of supporting the Israeli occupation’s so-called “right to exist and right to security,” supporting the two-state solution, and allegedly condemning “Israel’s” unlawful and illegal policy of settlement-building in occupied Palestinian territories.

The French Ministry of Foreign considers that “the annexation of Palestinian territories, whatever the scope, would be a violation of international law, and particularly the prohibition of acquisition of territories by force.”

According to the Ministry, the annexation of Palestinian territories “would aggravate tensions and seriously compromise the two-state solution, and would be contrary to the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as Europeans and the wider the international community.”

It also claimed that annexation “could not go unanswered or be without consequence for the EU’s relations with Israel.”

Despite France’s claims of respecting international law, during the May 2021 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, French Interior Minister, Gerald Darminin, announced a ban on protests in solidarity with Palestine.

The Paris police also issued a decree deeming such demonstrations illegal, claiming that they could lead to “risky elements aimed at provoking violent confrontations with the police.” 

In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed during a phone call on May 14 with then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his “unwavering attachment” to “Israel’s” security and condemned the Palestinian Resistance.

Economic collaboration

According to the French Ministry of Foreign, “The bilateral relationship between France and Israel is also supported by the presence in Israel of a large French community (150,000 people), while France is home to Europe’s largest Jewish community.”

France is “Israel’s” 12th largest supplier and 10th largest customer.

In 2017, approximately 100 French companies established themselves in “Israel”, creating 5,530 jobs and generating an estimated €534 million in revenue.

According to Bank of France data, the stock of French foreign direct investment (FDI) in “Israel” reached €2.9 billion at the end of 2017, representing a 6% annual increase since 2012.

Scientific & technical cooperation

France is “Israel’s” fifth-largest scientific and technological research partner. Academic collaboration, including the joint laboratory of INSERM Nice and the Technion-“Israel” Institute of Technology in Haifa, and the exchange of young researchers underpin this collaboration.

The French-Israeli High Council for Research and Scientific and Technological Cooperation has ensured this cooperation since 2003.

Secret military agreements

A research article called France and the Israeli occupation: talking the talk, but not walking the walk? revealed that “in the 1950s, France was the main supplier of military equipment to Israel through a number of secret deals that included aircraft, tanks, and ammunition.”

“It also played a crucial role in Israel’s acquisition of nuclear capabilities through the provision of know-how, material and technology,” the article added.

“In a secret agreement signed in 1956, France committed to helping Israel build a nuclear reactor and to providing uranium,” the research article mentioned.

In the same context, US military historian Warner Farr had highlighted that “cooperation was so close that Israel worked with France on the pre-production design of early Mirage jet aircraft, designed to be capable of delivering nuclear bombs.”

Farr revealed that “French experts secretly built the Israel reactor underground at Dimona, in the Negev (Naqab) desert… Hundreds of French engineers and technicians filled Beersheba (Beer Al-Sabe), the biggest town in the Negev (Naqab).”  

Longest-serving political prisoner in Europe

When mentioning the strong ties linking France with the Israeli occupation, we can’t but shed light on the just cause of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, former leader of the Marxist-Leninist Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions (LARF). Abdallah is accused of establishing the LARF.

Georges Abdallah at the heart of the French presidential elections

The LARF fought to stop the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and targeted several senior US and Israeli figures involved in the war. All the LARF members were released except for Abdallah.

The Factions have also claimed responsibility for the operations in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Abdallah has been imprisoned in southwestern France since 1984, despite completing the minimum term of his sentence in 1999.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for his alleged involvement in the 1982 killing of US military attaché Charles Ray and Israeli diplomat Yakov Barsimentov in Paris, as well as in an assassination attempt on Robert O. Homme, a US consul in Strasbourg. 

The revolutionary never responded to the list of accusations and considered that the French judicial system is “despicably” taking the resistance action out of context.

It had been possible to release Abdallah in 1999, but French authorities denied his nine parole requests.

In November 2003, the entity that grants parole in the city of Pau – where Abdallah is detained – gave the green light to one of Abdallah’s release requests. 

Why hasn’t he been released yet?

However, then-French Minister of Justice Dominique Perben appealed the decision, describing the case as “extremely serious”, which kept Abdallah in prison, and his file was transferred to another court.

Abdallah’s May 2009 request for release on parole was rejected by a Paris appeals court that claimed the prisoner was “a resolute and pitiless militant” who might resume his “combat” again in Lebanon, citing a 2008 French law.

A Paris judge approved Abdallah’s release on Thursday, January 10, 2013, and set the date of his extradition to Beirut on Monday, January 14.

However, the decision was delayed due to a government appeal. White House Spokesperson Victoria Nuland at the time, had declared that the US – “Israel’s” biggest ally – was still discussing with the French government how to stop the decision.

A Wikileaks document about former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s leaked emails revealed that between January 10-14, she sent an email to former French Minister of Foreign Laurent Fabius, saying that “although the French Government has no legal authority to overturn the Court of Appeal’s January 10 decision, we hope French officials might find another basis to challenge the decision’s legality.”

In other words, the US ordered the French government to stomp over its legal system and over the principle of separation of powers.

Hillary Clinton’s email to French Minister of Foreign Laurent Fabius regarding Georges Abdallah

Abdallah’s lawyer, Jean-Louis Chalanset, told French media that the Lebanese authorities have repeatedly said they were ready to receive Georges Abdallah in Lebanon, where he is perceived as a political prisoner.

Chalanset said a decision to release the defendant would be political before being judicial. He believes that keeping him incarcerated is a “lack of courage” and “subservience” from Paris.

Over the years, leftist MPs and human rights organizations such as the Human Rights League (LDH) and even the French intelligence chief called for Abdallah’s release.

Melenchon supports Georges Abdallah

In relation to the French presidential election, leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has expressed, on many occasions, his solidarity with Georges Abdallah’s cause.

According to the Collective for the Liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Mélenchon’s party – La France Insoumise (LFI) – regularly participates in the protests demanding the immediate release of the Lebanese revolutionary.

In parallel, Mélenchon’s campaign had said he is ready to back sanctions against the Israeli occupation over its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and its imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The leftist leader had pledged to cancel the so-called “Circulaire Alliot-Marie” French Ministry of Justice memorandum instructing prosecutors to crack down on BDS movement activists. On the other hand, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed in 2017 that “the French state condemns BDS and all boycotts.”

“I must be clear that this will continue if I am elected president,” he added during an interview with Beur FM radio.

How does Abdallah spend his time in detention?

In detention, Abdallah spends his time as a revolutionary political prisoner reading books and newspapers in five languages, writing political statements and analyses about imperialism, capitalism and colonialism, as well as replying to solidarity letters from across the world.

The Lebanese revolutionary exchanges letters with Palestinian prisoners and initiates hunger strikes in support of other prisoners, the latest of which was on April 16 in demand of the release of Sibel Balac and Gokhan Yildirim from Turkish prisons.

  • Georges Abdallah’s letter announcing a hunger strike in support of Sibel Balac and Gokhan Yildirim in Turkish prisons

His latest views

In France, Abdallah considers that popular revolts and movements of the popular masses like the Yellow Vests are partially challenging capitalism.

According to Tom Martin of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Solidarity Network, Samidoun, Abdallah sees with a good eye the unwavering resistance of the Palestinian people and the Lebanese people in the face of imperialism and Zionism. Nevertheless, he thinks that resistance organizations must intensify their actions and aim for a radical, clear anti-Zionism and anti-imperialist program.

In his only statement in regard to the war in Ukraine, Abdallah underlined the hypocrisy of the imperialist camp, notably by turning a blind eye to the presence of neo-Nazi Ukrainian battalions, while criminalizing pro-Palestinian movements.

He believes that the Ukrainian people are victims and that the solution to this crisis would only depend on their efforts that should be away from all imperialist forces.

French Muslims betrayed by ‘centrist’ Macron as Le Pen surges to a dead heat

April 10, 2022

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

In 2017 two out of three French voters were on the side of the nation’s Muslim citizens – for two weeks.

In between the first and second round presidential vote the incredible repression which Marine Le Pen was going to wage on Muslims was constantly cited as a reason to vote for Emmanuel Macron, who was presented as a “centrist”.

As the largest Muslim country in Europe the Muslim vote matters: In 2012 French Muslims decided the election. More than 2 million Muslim voters voted for Francois Hollande to the tune of 93% against Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande prevailed by just 1.1 million votes, or a 51.6% to 48.4% margin.

Hollande immediately sold out the Muslim vote by refusing to take a zero-tolerance approach to Sarkozy’s inauguration of France’s normalisation of Islamophobia.

The start of open attacks on Islam with Sarkozy has only backfired in every way, because since his election polls show that French Muslims have only gotten more devout in their practices. The reason is obvious: the constant accusations that Islam is bad pushes French Muslims to look more closely at their religion – they do, and they realise how wonderful Islam is, thus they become more devout.

For France’s non-Muslims it has tragically backfired as well. Many in France don’t realise that the insulting Islamophobia, which results in humiliating domestic oppression, comes on top of two centuries of colonial and neo-colonial domination, plus foreign wars in places like Mali, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Seemingly every Muslim attacker in France since 2008 who wasn’t clearly insane cited France’s wars in Mali and Syria, specifically, as justification for their attacks.

Hollande manipulated the attacks to gain approval for state-sponsored Islamophobia, which became his trusty “Islamo-diversion” tactic to deflect from his unpopular enforcing of far-right economic austerity. In his tenure some 4,000 warrantless raids on Muslim homes, mosques and properties only led to six suspicions of terrorism. The handful of the court cases were won, and I cannot unearth even one conviction from Hollande-era raids.

France’s fake-left assumed they have the Muslim constituency in their back pocket in 2012. In 2017 the threat of the National Front forced them into Macron’s camp. 2022 is a changed place.

Many French Muslims have told me they will do what was unthinkable to them previously – vote for the National Front (now rebranded as the “National Rally) in the second round.

Why the change? The insidious deception that Macron is a “centrist” and not a willing manipulator of Islamophobia has been totally disproven – the lower class and the Muslim class have paid the price for five years.

Sarkozy brought French Islamophobia into the mainstream, Hollande got it approved, but Macron institutionalised it. Macron took Hollande’s multiyear state of emergency and legalised it, with Muslims the clear targets and practically the only victims. Only the Yellow Vests and a small number of leftist and environmental activists have ever been impacted.

From not apologising for various massacres and atrocities against Algerians, to keeping Europe’s oldest political prisoner and the “Arab Nelson Mandela” Georges Ibrahim Abdallah in prison, to falsely and shamefully enacting legislation which equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, to a “cyber-hate bill” which targets pro-Palestinians and Yellow Vests – Macron did very little in the past five years which did anything but hurt Muslims.

Have Islamophobic acts increased during the Macron era? We don’t know – Macron forced the closure of the French Collective Against Islamophobia, seemingly the only and certainly the best Muslim NGO committed to tracking this problem.

His so-called “anti-separatist law” of 2021 was the definite legalisation of Islamophobia, and was so heavy-handed even the United Nations and English-media widely criticised it. It tried to ban the hijab for minors and clearly violated constitutional protections for the freedom of association, worship and politics. In recent months nearly 100 mosques have recently been raided by the government, with at least two dozen shut down so far. (Who says Macron doesn’t care about far-right voters?)

Just this week a new report from Reuters came out: The mosque closures were based merely on “secretive evidence” which violate the right to fair trial and equality before the law. “Secretive” is simply another word for “false”, of course.

As his record clearly now proves, Macron is on the far-right economically (austerity and neoliberalism), politically (with his repression of the Yellow Vests), in his governance style (it’s a completely top-down style befitting a monarch and not an elected public servant who must listen to others and compromise) but also culturally – he’s Islamophobic.

The error is exactly as I wrote in 2017 – in agreeing with the Mainstream Media’s insistence that Macron was a “centrist”. The past five years proves he is authoritarian, pro-economic inequality, and Islamophobic.

Much like with the absolutely brutal repression of the Yellow Vests – Marine Le Pen would have never gotten away with half of the Islamophobia Macron did. People would have been on guard from the day she took office – similar to the response to Donald Trump’s election in the United States. A Le Pen victory would have sparked organised progressive resistance groups – something like a George Floyd response or #MeToo but à la française.

The handful of French media oligarchs who decided to give a political neophyte (he was previously a Rothschild banker) like Macron such glowing press coverage in the run-up to the 2017 election also decided to hand the 2022 election campaign agenda to convicted racist Eric Zemmour. The reason? Primarily this was done to spit the far-right vote for Sunday’s first round vote, but Zemmour also aids Macron by making Macron look more falsely “centrist”. Look at his record – Macron needs that assistance.

Making Islamophobia the 2022 election’s primary campaign issue will backfire – record abstention is widely predicted. It’s actually good news in this way: Islamophobia may still propel French politicians but the French people are bored by it – they wanted to go back to discussing real issues.

A very recent poll actually has Marine Le Pen beating Macron 50.5% to 49.5%. Other recent polls have her just 3 points down from Macron – that’s within the margin of error, and thus it’s a dead-heat. Her Hungarian “right-nationalist” counterpart just won a huge victory even though polls predicted a much tighter contest. French polling agencies are not just staffed by politicians – the biggest one is owned by a politician. Thus the odds of a 2nd round win by Le Pen seem much, much higher than many claimed in the previous months.

A Le Pen victory will be no picnic for France’s Muslims but at least everyone will be on guard against her. Macron, foolishly, was given a huge leash, and he went so far against Muslims that he broke the chain.

But mostly, France’s Muslims will do what a record number of French people will likely do: tune out the mainstream media hate factory and not vote. Abstention will hurt France’s left wing candidate – Jean-Luc Melenchon, who opposed the anti-separatism bill – but in France even the left wing is often as Islamophobic as the right wing.

One thing is certain: the alleged “centrist” Macron was no solution for France’s anti-Muslim problems.

********************************************************

List of articles covering the 2022 French elections.

Please check out my new book France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values, which is being published for free in chapter-by-chapter format.

Catastrophe since 2017: How to cover France’s presidential election? – November 22, 2021

Le Monde’s circus invite: ‘France is a leftist country which votes right’ – January 27, 2022

Le Pen now wants in the euro & no Frexit – should the Left want her in? – February 2, 2022

France’s conservatives cry out for National Socialism – Zemmour’s response? – February 10, 2022

Islamophobia didn’t interest French voters – war hysteria will? – March 14, 2022

France apathetic about politics? Has corona gutted voter energy, or Macron? – March 31, 2022

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. His new book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘ Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

No, Anees, the novel is still long لا يا أنيس.. الرواية ما تزال طويلة

No, Anees, the novel is still long

اختلفنا كثيراً، ولكننا اتفقنا على ما يخص فلسطين.
We disagreed a lot, but we agreed on what was going on with Palestine.
حياة الحويك عطية
حياة الحويك عطية

Source: Al-Mayadeen Net

I knew him 50 years ago when the whole nation was rising, and I last met him in Damascus.

No, Anis, the novel is still long, and we will all leave before it is over, and there are generations that have not yet been born.

I was in my third year of law school, in my second year in the Syrian National Social Party, and at the height of the enthusiasm to break all the sectarian, class and isolationist fences of any kind, when I read that the Islamic schools of “Makassed” ask for a part-time French language school, which I was doing in the school of Jisr al-Basha camp.

I made my request, and everyone laughed at me: Can you believe that “Makassed” will choose Maronite to be the first Christian schoolteacher in its classes!? I was chosen. That was the decision of the late Shafiq Al Wazzan. I flew with joy, from breaking the regional barrier to breaking the sectarian barrier.

It was the days of the big dream, and we were young, living it with certainty.  Between “purposes” and their atmospheres, especially the “Union of Students of Purposes”, the faculty of law and its atmosphere, party work, and the association of all of this with Palestinian work.

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Najah Wakym

Our partisan nervousness existed and strong, reinforced by early youth, but our national and national compass was clear and stronger than all the nervousness.

Therefore, we were inspired by the elections of Najah Wakim, who defeated Naseem Majdalani in his constituency, the young Christian Jubaili who had just graduated from the Arab University of Beirut, who presented himself as the candidate of the party or the political current (Nasiriyah) and youth, and without any funding, defeated the traditional and sectarian leadership in its own backyard.

Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform - Zaher el Khatib
Zaher al-Khatib

Like him, Zaher al-Khatib’s breakthrough was in Al-Shuf. (The two became the only deputies to vote against the humiliating May 17 agreement with the Israeli enemy) . 

In this battle, I met Anis al-Naqash, and I did not know that it was Mazen. I knew that he was a fighter in the ranks of the Student Union and in Fatah, and that he was close to Abu Jihad. I felt interested when I was told in the party that he was the nephew of Dr. Zaki Al-Naqash, the man who was with Anton Saada in the founding phase, and then moved away to become a national Islamic destination distinguished by his seriousness and boldness.

He was a Fathawi par excellence, but his name was attached to the Popular Front at one point, specifically the two martyrs Kamal Khair Bek and Wadih Haddad, to come shock after 40 years in his confessions during a dialogue with his friend Sakher Abu Fakhr, and another television interview, that he did not go to Kamal, and to Wadih Haddad, except by order of Abu Jihad, to show him all that Haddad was planning, and then to prevent what Abu Jihad was rejecting.

Therefore, he recounted in detail his role in the thwarting of the Vienna Process Why? Because the front used to see that this kind of external operation was the one that shocked international public opinion, telling him that the Palestinian people exist, and Palestine is not a land without a people for a people without a land. Whereas, “Fatah”, which he is from, and Abu Jihad is its second man, she believed that some operations harm the security and image of the Palestinian resistance, and that assassinations, especially diplomacy, are not a useful method for a resistance that wants to gain Arab and international public opinion. Anis was risking himself to implement these visions. Compliance or conviction?

In both cases, he was a fighter, but on the ground, the choice of forming resistance cells was inevitable, and there is no dispute about it. Accordingly, Anis was the first to work on this in southern Lebanon after the secret organization in Beirut.

Who is Georges Abdallah | Freedom for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah
George Ibrahim Abdullah

I haven’t seen him since that time in Beirut until the late 1990s. I thought he wouldn’t be released from life imprisonment (in a break in Damascus, in 2015 he touted me how he put his strategy in prison so that no one would forget him, so that he would not be a victim of the improvement of Franco-Iranian relations in the days of Mitterrand). And he came out. Leaving the abandoned militant George Ibrahim Abdullah.

In 2002, we met on the plane from Beirut to Doha. We didn’t exchange a word. The besieged Iraq was a wall between us. Our meetings were repeated in Doha for Al-Jazeera programs, until we openly opened the discussion in a breakfast session. I was surprised by his acceptance of the harsh controversy. I did not deny that the Iran-Iraq war was a Western American fabrication. I had translated hundreds of documents proving this (especially the Elysee diaries during the era of Mitterrand, in which Western officials were arranging for the continuation of the war until the two sides were exhausted), but I did not accept leaving Iraq for its siege and for the obvious plot, it is the wall of the nation, and I, who covered, on the ground, presence, study, follow-up and translation, every stray and present around it from 1980 until two months before the occupation of 2003.

We disagreed a lot, but we agreed on the issue of Palestine. This man believed with strange optimism that Palestine is an issue that cannot be erased. One way or another, there will always be surprises that will return them to their rightfulness. What he did not say explicitly is that he considers that the tried methods have failed and must be renewed. I asked him sincerely: Is it the search for an alternative that led you and Munir Shafiq to the Islamic option? He smiled cunningly, and said, “Maybe yes, maybe not.

As a result of his relationships, it was once said that he was influenced by Anton Saadeh, and once by Mao Zedong, especially with his proximity to Munir Shafiq, and once by Marx and Lenin, and even by Michel Aflaq, until he admitted that he had read them all and learned from them all, but his real teachers were his responsible in the field resistance from the age of 15 to the gray. Let us say, the security resistance, because most of his tasks were in this area, whether it was dialogue diplomacy or the dangerous field. As he admitted, his first course was in Egypt, and we don’t know what’s next.

الكونفدرالية المشرقية
The Levantine Confederation – Conflict of Identities and Policies

In Damascus, we met repeatedly, and worked in a joint book. I confronted him with that, and he admitted to me that the events in Syria changed a lot for everyone and crystallized a lot. He told me about his project The Levantine Confederation , so I told him: In principle, the axis is a thing and the nation is something, and if it mixes, it ruins everything, then the problem does not lie only in geography. Unless sectarian and ethnic sub-identities dissolve, geography only expands the arena of conflict. He surprised me with approval. He considered Syria a matter of life or death. He told me: Palestine will end if Syria ends. I told him: I remember Jean-Pierre Schweinmann when he wrote in 1991 about an American plan to Lebanonize Iraq. Now, we must not allow Syria to be stirred. this is the most important. This alone is a bet for the survival or demise of Palestine.

Today, I cry heartily. I knew him while we were a young generation collecting from their pocket money for the resistance, and the generation of our young people today left between those who live as martyrs to prevent death and those who beg the NGOs and the embassies to enjoy the dollars and sell the homeland and the concerns of the citizens.

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I knew him as we delivered a young Christian to parliament for a Sunni constituency without the cost of a penny. A young man with whom we disagree ideologically and patricianly, but we support him and we are winning. We differ from dozens of trends, but we meet on the big goals. We know that the Communists and Charles de Gaulle fought together to liberate the country from Nazism, and they know that they will later disagree on the social program, without disbelieving each other.  I knew him as a young generation that succeeded in breaking sectarian walls, and we were appointed to Palestine. And here he is leaving with the walls rising, and the eye on the nation from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon to Palestine.   

I knew him 50 years ago when the whole nation was rising, and I last met him in Damascus. We couldn’t leave the hotel, because the shelling was coming out of Ghouta. We left only when It was liberated. Yesterday, friend Ahmed al-Darzi said that Anis wrote on a paper two days before his departure: I am finished, the novel isdead!!   

No, Anis, the novel is still long, and we will all leave before it ends, but there are generations that have not yet been born.  

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لا يا أنيس.. الرواية ما تزال طويلة


عرفته قبل 50 عاماً حين كانت الأمة كلها تنهض، والتقيته آخر مرة في دمشق. لا يا أنيس، الرواية ما تزال طويلة، وسنرحل كلّنا قبل أن تنتهي، وهناك أجيال لم تولد بعد.

اختلفنا كثيراً، ولكننا اتفقنا على ما يخص فلسطين.
اختلفنا كثيراً، ولكننا اتفقنا على ما يخص فلسطين

كنت في سنتي الجامعيّة الثالثة في كليّة الحقوق، وفي سنتي الثانية في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي، وفي عز مرحلة الحماس لتكسير كل الأسوار الطائفية والطبقية والانعزالية، من أي نوع كانت، حين قرأت أنّ مدارس “المقاصد” الإسلامية تطلب مدرّسة لغة فرنسية بدوام جزئي، وهو ما كنت أقوم به في مدرسة مخيم جسر الباشا.

قدمت طلبي، وضحك الجميع مني: هل تصدقين أن “المقاصد” ستختار مارونية لتكون أول مدرّسة مسيحية في صفوفها!؟ وتم اختياري. كان ذلك قرار المرحوم شفيق الوزان. وقد طرت فرحاً، من كسر الحاجز الإقليمي إلى كسر الحاجز الطائفي. 

كانت أيام الحلم الكبير، وكنا صغاراً نعيشه بيقين التحقّق.  بين “المقاصد” وأجوائها، وخصوصاً “اتحاد طلاب المقاصد”، وكلية الحقوق وأجوائها، والعمل الحزبي، وارتباط كل ذلك بالعمل الفلسطيني. كنت أسمع بـ “مازن”؛ النموذج النشط وصاحب القدرة التنظيمية الكبيرة. كنا نعرف أن معظم الأسماء حركية، ولكننا لم نكن نأبه بمعرفة من وراءها. المهم هو الأفق الذي يكمن أمامها. 

كانت عصبيّاتنا الحزبية موجودة وقوية، يعزّزها الشباب المبكر، ولكن بوصلتنا القومية والوطنية كانت واضحة وأقوى من كل العصبيات. لذلك، هلّلنا لانتخابات نجاح واكيم الّذي هزم نسيم مجدلاني في دائرته؛ الشاب الجبيلي المسيحي الذي كان قد تخرج للتو من جامعة بيروت العربية، والذي طرح نفسه مرشح الحزب أو التيار السياسي (الناصرية) والشباب، ومن دون أي تمويل، فهزم الزعامة التقليدية والطائفية في عقر دارها. ومثله كان اختراق زاهر الخطيب في الشوف. (أصبح الاثنان النائبين الوحيدين اللذين تجرّآ على التصويت ضد اتفاقية 17 أيار المذلّة مع العدو الإسرائيلي). 

في هذه المعركة، التقيت أنيس النقاش، ولم أعرف أنه مازن. عرفت أنه مناضل في صفوف الاتحاد وفي “فتح”، وأنه قريب من أبو جهاد. شعرت بالاهتمام عندما قيل لي في الحزب إنه ابن شقيق الدكتور زكي النقاش؛ الرجل الذي كان مع أنطون سعادة في مرحلة التأسيس، ثم ابتعد ليصبح مقاصدياً قومياً إسلامياً متميزاً بجديته وجرأته. 

بعدها، سمعنا الكثير عن أنيس. كان فتحاوياً بامتياز، ولكن اسمه التصق في فترة ما بالجبهة الشعبية، وتحديداً بالشهيدين كمال خير بيك ووديع حداد، لتأتي الصدمة بعد 40 سنة في اعترافاته خلال حوار مع صديقه صخر أبو فخر، وحوار تلفزيوني آخر، بأنه لم يذهب إلى الجبهة، وإلى كمال، وإلى وديع حداد، إلا بأمر من أبو جهاد، ليطلعه على كل ما كان يخطط له حداد، ومن ثم ليمنع ما كان يرفضه أبو جهاد.

وعليه، روى بالتفصيل دوره في إفشال عملية فيينا. لماذا؟ لأن الجبهة كانت ترى أنّ هذا النوع من العمليات الخارجية هو الذي يصدم الرأي العام الدولي، ويقول له إن الشعب الفلسطيني موجود، وفلسطين ليست أرضا بلا شعب لشعب بلا أرض. في حين أن “فتح”، وهو منها، وأبو جهاد رجلها الثاني، كانت تعتقد أن بعض العمليات يسيء إلى أمن المقاومة الفلسطينية وصورتها، وأن الاغتيالات، وخصوصاً الدبلوماسية، ليست أسلوباً مفيداً لمقاومة تريد كسب الرأي العام العربي والدولي. كان أنيس يخاطر بنفسه لتنفيذ هذه الرؤى. امتثالاً أم قناعة؟ 

في الحالين، كان مقاتلاً، أما على الأرض، فكان خيار تشكيل خلايا مقاومة هو المحتوم، والذي لا خلاف حوله. وعليه، كان أنيس أول من عمل على ذلك في جنوب لبنان بعد التنظيم السري في بيروت. 

لم أره منذ تلك الفترة في بيروت وحتى أواخر التسعينات. اعتقدت أنه لن يخرج من السجن المؤبد (وفي جلسة استراحة في دمشق، عام 2015 حكى لي بطرافة كيف وضع استراتيجيته في السجن كي لا ينساه أحد، وكي لا يكون ضحية تحسن العلاقات الفرنسية الإيرانية أيام ميتران). وخرج.. ليبقى المناضل المتروك جورج إبراهيم عبد الله. 

في عام 2002، التقينا في الطائرة من بيروت إلى الدوحة. لم نتبادل كلمة واحدة. كان العراق المحاصر جداراً بيننا. تكررت صدفة لقاءاتنا في الدوحة لبرامج “الجزيرة”، إلى أن افتتحنا النقاش بصراحة في جلسة فطور. فوجئت بتقبله الجدل القاسي. لم أنكر أن الحرب العراقية الإيرانية هي افتعال أميركي غربي. كنت قد ترجمت مئات الوثائق التي تثبت ذلك (وخصوصاً يوميات الإليزيه في عهد ميتران، وفيها كيف كان المسؤولون الغربيون يرتبون لاستمرار الحرب إلى أن ينهَك الطرفان)، ولكنني لم أتقبل أن يترك العراق لحصاره وللمؤامرة الواضحة، فهو الجدار الاستنادي للأمة، وأنا التي غطيت، حضوراً ميدانياً ودراسة ومتابعة وترجمة، كل شاردة وواردة حوله منذ 1980 وحتى شهرين قبل احتلال 2003. 

اختلفنا كثيراً، ولكننا اتفقنا على ما يخص فلسطين. كان هذا الرجل مؤمناً بتفاؤل غريب بأن فلسطين قضية لا يمكن أن تشطب. وبطريقة أو بأخرى، ستتفجر دائماً مفاجآت تعيدها إلى حقها. ما لم يقله بصراحة أنه يعتبر أن الأساليب المجربة فشلت ولا بدَّ من جديد. سألته بصدق: هل البحث عن البديل هو ما دفعك ومنير شفيق إلى الخيار الإسلامي؟ ابتسم بمكر، وقال: ربما نعم، وربما لا.

نتيجة علاقاته، كان يقال مرة إنه تأثر بأنطون سعادة، ومرة بماو تسي تونغ، وخصوصاً مع قربه من منير شفيق، ومرة بماركس ولينين، وحتى بميشال عفلق، إلى أن اعترف بأنه قرأهم جميعاً وتعلم منهم جميعاً، ولكن معلميه الحقيقيين هم مسؤولوه في المقاومة الميدانية مذ كان صبياً في الخامسة عشرة من عمره وحتى الشيب. ولنقل، المقاومة الأمنية، لأن معظم مهامه كانت في هذا المجال، سواء كانت دبلوماسية حوارية أو ميدانية خطرة. وكما اعترف، كانت أول دوراته في مصر، ولا ندري ما بعدها. 

في دمشق، التقينا مراراً، وعملنا في كتاب مشترك. واجهته بذلك، واعترف لي بأن أحداث سوريا غيرت الكثير لدى الجميع وبلورت الكثير. حدثني عن المشرقية، فقلت له: مبدئياً، المحور شيء والأمة شيء، وإذا اختلطا، خرب كل شيء، ثم إن المشكلة لا تكمن فقط في الجغرافيا. ما لم تذب الهويات الفرعية، الطائفية والعرقية، فالجغرافيا توسع ساحة الصراع فحسب. فاجأني بالموافقة. كان يعتبر سوريا قضية حياة أو موت، قال لي: ستنتهي فلسطين إن انتهت سوريا. قلت له: أتذكر جان بيير شفينمان عندما كتب في العام 1991 عن خطة أميركية للبننة العراق. الآن، يجب ألا نسمح بعرقنة سوريا. هذا هو الأهم. هذا وحده رهان بقاء أو زوال فلسطين.

اليوم، أبكي بحرقة. عرفته ونحن جيل شباب يجمع من مصروف جيبه للمقاومة، ورحل وجيل شبابنا اليوم بين من يثوي شهيداً لمنع الموت ومن يتسول الـ “أن جي أوز” والسفارات لينعم بالدولارات ويبيع الوطن وهموم المواطنين. عرفته ونحن نوصل شاباً منا مسيحياً إلى البرلمان عن دائرة سنية ومن دون كلفة قرش. شاب كنا نختلف معه عقائدياً وحزبياً، ولكننا ندعمه ونهلل لفوزه. نختلف بين عشرات الاتجاهات، ولكننا نلتقي على الأهداف الكبرى. نعرف أن الشيوعيين وشارل ديغول قاتلوا معاً لتحرير البلاد من النازية، وهم يعرفون أنهم سيختلفون في ما بعد على البرنامج الاجتماعي، من دون أن يكفّر أحدهما الآخر.  

عرفته ونحن جيل شباب ينجح في تكسير الأسوار الطائفيّة، وعيننا على فلسطين. وها هو يرحل والأسوار تعلو، والعين على الأمة من العراق إلى سوريا إلى لبنان إلى فلسطين.   

عرفته قبل 50 عاماً حين كانت الأمة كلها تنهض، والتقيته آخر مرة في دمشق. لم نستطع مغادرة الفندق، لأن القصف كان ينهمر من الغوطة. لم نغادر إلا وقد تحررت. يوم أمس، قال الصديق أحمد الدرزي إن أنيس كتب على ورقة قبل رحيله بيومين: أنا انتهيت، ماتت الرواية!!   

لا يا أنيس، الرواية لا تزال طويلة، وسنرحل كلّنا قبل أن تنتهي، لكن هناك أجيال لم تولد بعد.  

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Free Georges Abdallah: Lebanese confront Macron in Beirut

Source

The majority of the text below is republished from the original French at Collectif Palestine Vaincra. Collectif Palestine Vaincra is a member of the Samidoun Network based in Toulouse, France: 

Protest in Lannemezan, France, to free Georges Abdallah

amidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its deepest solidarity with the people of Beirut and all of Lebanon after the devastating explosion on Tuesday, 4 August, which has left at least 137 dead, dozens missing and 5,000 injured, as well as hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

It also struck a sharp economic blow, destroying critical resources such as Beirut’s grain silos and the Beirut port, critical to Lebanese trade. This comes atop the existing economic crisis, exacerbated and developed by U.S. imperialism and its sanctions and financial policies, leaving the most marginalized sectors, including Palestinian refugees, migrant workers, and the almost 50% of Lebanese living in poverty. Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation – which occupied Southern Lebanon until defeated in 2000 and has launched multiple, violent wars continues to threaten Lebanon, its people and its resistance with destruction while regularly violating Lebanese airspace with drones.

Meanwhile, imperialist powers, while continuing to impose sanctions on Lebanon, as well as neighboring Syria, that are contributing significantly to the financial crisis, have been eager to draw a potential profit from the devastation in Lebanon.

Visiting Beirut on Thursday, 6 August, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that he was present to bring humanitarian aid to Lebanon, already in the throes of an economic and social catastrophe. However, the arrival of the French president was not smooth. Many Lebanese journalists and activists denounced the neocolonial hypocrisy demonstrated by Macron, emphasizing that his objective is to impose “structural reforms” on the country according to the requirements of the International Monetary Fund.

Perhaps the clearest example of Macron’s duplicity is the continued imprisonment by France of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, imprisoned by the French state since 1984 and eligible for release since 1999. The Lebanese government has officially requested his release and repatriation, yet he continues to be held hostage while calls for his release mount, especially in France and Lebanon.

Lebanese intellectual Samah Idriss noted, “we want the release of Georges Abdallah before all of your ‘aid’ and promises!

برسم “الضيف” ماكرون، وبرسم كلّ مَن يلتقونه من اللبنانيين: نريد جورج إبراهيم عبد الله فورًا. قبل كلّ “مساعداتكم” ووعودكم

Indeed, Macron’s visits to the streets of Gemmayzeh in the devastated Lebanese capital was repeatedly greeted with calls of “Freedom for Georges Abdallah” by youth who refuse to be treated as colonial subjects once again by France, reject the complicity of many Lebanese politicians and see Georges Abdallah as a symbol of Arab and anti-imperialist dignity, resilience and resistance.

Mobilizations continue to demand the release of this Lebanese Arab resistance fighter for the Palestinian cause, and building solidarity with Georges Abdallah is critical! Beyond simply an individual case, Georges Abdallah embodies an alternative to French colonialism and corrupt politicians that serve imperialist interests, a truly free Lebanon.

If Only Georges Abdallah’s Freedom were Contagious

They have realized that keeping Georges hostage has become more costly than to release him. (Photo: Alia Haju)
 
Published Monday, January 28, 2013
 
The French government decided to submit to US and Israeli pressure and extended the imprisonment of Georges Abdallah.
 
Neither the French state nor the government have the slightest sense that they are committing a terrible injustice. They simply don’t feel that anyone can make them pay the price for their 28-year-old crime against Abdallah.
 
The French today are imposing additional conditions to releasing Georges, in addition to just buying time. They want to do it secretly, so that their dirty work will not see the light of day.
 
They want the occasion of his welcome in Lebanon to be under the cover of night, at an unannounced time of their choosing. They want him to celebrate alone with his family, so that his victory over his terrorist jailers will pass unnoticed. The even want the pathetic Lebanese state to guarantee that Abdallah’s release will take place according to their wishes.
 
More than that, the French are asking for all expressions of solidarity to end, such as dismantling the sit-in at the French embassy in Beirut.
 
They want the Lebanese to be thankful to them for having decided to release Georges. They want his family to write the French authorities letters of gratitude for setting their son free. They want us to be like them, to admit that we are terrorists too, without morals or a sense of humanity.
 
They have realized that keeping Georges hostage has become more costly than to release him, for they are bound to pay the price of their crime sooner or later. They also understand that persisting in their kidnapping of Georges will open the gates of hell on them, something they have experienced before with every place they colonized.
 
Their intelligence sources in Lebanon and the region are warning them that the dangers stemming from the continued detention of Georges are increasing by the day. The threat is not just coming from a small group of angry men, or a wronged family.
More than that, the French are asking for all expressions of solidarity to end, such as dismantling the sit-in at the French embassy in Beirut.

One source recently informed anyone who was willing to listen in Paris that there is a generation of young people – some who even lived and studied in France – who are angry enough to commit acts that will cause the government big problems both internally and abroad. But we have to ask our own government a few questions.
 
It is true that Rafik Hariri – whether in government or outside it – never raised the issue with his friend former president Jacques Chirac. It is also true that successive Lebanese presidents and prime ministers have also failed to raise the matter of Georges’ imprisonment, not out of fear of the French, but of Georges himself, who they considered to be a terrorist worthy of punishment.
 
But to be fair, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his government have dealt realistically with the issue, forcing Paris to take notice that high-level Lebanese officials are asking about their kidnapped citizen.
 
Despite this, there are those at the official level who “understand” the demands of the French government, which wants the release of Georges to resemble the return of a wanted criminal in Lebanon’s courts.
 
Others in the halls of power suggest that we must seriously take into account French and American concerns over the release, as they try to strike a deal behind the scenes that will put a limit to any public celebrations, or at least prevent the participation of any government officials in them.
There will also be those who will call for a dose of realism in dealing with this matter. They may even be members of Georges’ family or from among his close friends and supporters, who believe that we shouldn’t blow things out of proportion.
 
Some of them may not think it necessary, for example, that state officials be part of any welcoming ceremony. But the criminal behavior of the French state in dealing with the issue requires precisely the opposite.
 
Georges’ freedom should be celebrated by both citizens and the state – the way he is received in Lebanon is now as important as his release. The symbolism of the way he is welcomed here has one simple goal: the possibility that his freedom will infect those who have surrendered among us to imagine that they do love life.
 
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Hezbollah Calls for Widest Campaign of Solidarity with Struggler George Abdallah

georgesayed

Local Editor
 
Hezbollah criticized Monday the French authorities’ repeated tardiness in releasing Lebanese struggler George Ibrahim Abdallah, and considered it a result of “the American Administration’s blackmail campaign in this case”.

In a statement it issued, Hezbollah Media Relations indicated that “this new French measure is excessiveness in the series of oppression which this struggling hero is being exposed to, and which began with his arrest and continued with his detention without any legal document.”

Hezbollah further considered that “the French authorities’ constant surrender to the American Administration and the Zionist entity’s desires and considering them orders that must be implemented, show the meagerness of all these authorities’ claims of sovereignty and freedom of decision.”

The party stressed that the “French stance reassures the falsity of all claims about judiciary’s independence and the value of justice’s supremacy in western countries whose leaders lecture on law, values, and equality before justice.”

From here, Hezbollah welcomed talks about releasing Abdallah, and assured that “if this release took place, it would be a victory for right, and recognition to the abusiveness in his arrest and jail.”
Moreover, as the statement expressed Hezbollah’s concern that “the American Administration and Zionist entity’s intervention in this case would lead to further tardiness,” it emphasized that “this requires high levels of alertness from the Lebanese official authorities”.

It assured that the latter should follow up this topic and its developments, and take the right actions to confront the American and Zionist blatant absolutism, and the French droop.

Hezbollah also called for “the widest political and public campaign of solidarity with struggler Abdallah during the coming decisive period in his case.”

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FREEDOM FOR A MAN AND A NATION

 georgesayed

Lebanese Freedom Fighter George Ibrahim Abdallah was expected to be released today from his French prison and heading to his homeland Lebanon , but the French minister of Interior did not sign the decree of his release that was granted by the French court . French Ministers do not respect the authority of their own court let alone the rights of other people . The US administration exerted great efforts and great pressures over the French administration to prevent the release of Comrade Abdallah and one would wonder how US, with all its economical political problem, has found time to dedicate to a Freedom fighter who has been incarcerated for 29 years without evidence that he is implicated in any crimes he is accused of . This whole story is that of oppression and injustice , and what is meant is not George Abdallah since he was not guilty of anything he is accused of and did not commit any crime . What is meant is suppressing the Spirit of the Resistance that was manifest in George Abdallah which is the reason why he has not been released today .There is a message here that should be decoded and a lesson that we are supposed to learn as Lebanese, as Arabs , as freedom fighters , we should learn that this is an unforgivable crime to seek liberation and freedom and maybe George Abdallah is being punished for the so called crime committed by the Lebanese Resistance which is to have overcome Israel and its US and European allies and liberated the land and taught Israel and its allies an unforgettable lesson . Anything that represents Resistance and speaks in the name of such Resistance is to be suppressed, anything that is not recognition and normalization and surrender is to be punished. George Abdallah is one of the symbols of such an active Resistance that started with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and was resumed on the international scale trying to target the enemy wherever he is found .

Abdallah’s actual illegal detention against the court decision is another aspect of the war between Lebanon and the world order and France in this particular instance. This war has for core the independence and autonomy and integrity of our land and of our people and for goal the will of Lebanon in not leaving any Freedom fighters incarcerated and detained by the enemy. We want Lebanon to be up to the challenge again and we want freedom for George Abdallah .

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Lebanese egg French embassy for delaying prisoner’s release

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah was expected to arrive back in Lebanon Monday following a 28-year incarceration in French prison, but the interior minister refused to sign his release order. (Photo: Reuters – Robert Pratta)
Published Monday, January 14, 2013
 
Updated 5:48pm: Several hundred protesters gathered outside the French embassy in Beirut Monday to demonstrate against the postponed release of former Marxist rebel Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
Some demonstrators began hurling eggs and rocks at the embassy after shutting down traffic to demand the political prisoner’s immediate release following his 28-year imprisonment in France.
“O France, you son of a bitch! Georges Abdallah is in our hearts!” the crowd chanted in Arabic.
Graffiti sprayed on walls facing the embassy read: “France = American whore,” and “Freedom to Georges Abdallah.”

Georges’ brother, Joseph, urged the demonstrators not to resort to violence, and called for them to respect the law.

Lebanese security forces later barricaded the embassy and confined the protesters to a rectangular area inside metal barriers.

The protesters have also begun setting up tents, vowing to launch an open-ended sit-in.

Demonstrators outside the French embassy in Beirut Monday demanded Abdallah’s immediate release.
France’s interior minister refused to sign an expulsion order Monday to repatriate Abdallah to Lebanon where thousands of his supporters had expected to welcome him home.

French officials are now scheduled to meet on January 28 to formalize Abdallah’s parole, but his supporters fear the postponement is a first step to renew his detention.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati reportedly told the French ambassador in a telephone call Monday that the postponement was “unjustified.”

Lebanon’s foreign minister Adnan Mansour summoned French envoy Patrice Paoli for a Tuesday meeting over the issue.

Abdallah was granted parole on 21 November 2012. Prosecutors in December appealed the decision, but the ruling was upheld in court on Thursday despite US and Israeli pressure to keep him locked up.
He has remained in prison since 1984 over complicity in the killings two years earlier of an American military officer and an Israeli diplomat.

He was handed a life sentence in 1987 despite the absence of concrete evidence to implicate him in the murders.

Demonstrators condemned a statement earlier Monday by Samir al-Jisr, a senior official from the Western-backed Future Movement and former justice minister, describing Abdallah as a “criminal.”


Several hundred demonstrators stand outside the French embassy.

Security forces guard the embassy.


Demonstrators pitched tents and called for an open-ended sit in.

Abdallah was last granted parole in 2003, but a similar appeal struck down the decision.
The United States as recently as Friday renewed its calls for France to block the release, saying that Abdallah continues to pose a threat.
(Al-Akhbar)

Lebanese Rally at French Embassy to Protest Delay in Freeing Abdallah

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