The “Zionist Virus” and the Future of Palestine

New York Governor Cuomo, the Virus, the Nakba and Me

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, May 13, 2020

To me, an American-Palestinian, the world tainted by the corona virus is analogous to Israel tainted by the evil it contains.

Every day for the past few days, I have been listening to New York Governor Cuomo give his daily briefing on the virus. His words resonate with me eerily transforming themselves to advice on how to handle Israel’s cruel manifestation in Palestine as a Zionist Jewish apartheid colonial state. As talk of “re-opening” the New York increases in volume, so does my feverish imagination.

For those who don’t know, the Arabic word “Fateh” [فتح], the name of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which is the political bloc now dominating the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, means “opening”. It also carries the meaning of “conquering”. What’s more, “Fateh” and “key” [مفتاح], that profoundly indicative word of Palestinian longing for return, have the same linguistic root in Arabic. Hence, all these unbidden associations in my mind as I listen to Cuomo.

Every day, I wait for Cuomo’s briefing impatiently and watch while perched, tense and hyper-alert, at the edge of my seat, mesmerized by the shifting lines of his charts that, I swear, often morph into the outline of the map of Palestine.

My mind automatically sucks in Cuomo’s words and echoes them back at the TV in an altered form. I am Muslim, but the dynamic gripping me is one akin to the relationship between a pastor and his congregation at a black church. Cuomo calls and I respond, sometimes aloud. I hold back from hollering and shouting at his image, so as not to scare my family.

I take in every word of his sane, hopeful message — facts, not “facts on the ground”; science, not myths; let’s learn from our mistakes. Yes!

I translate his sentences into something else, like this: After decades of land theft, when will Palestinians be finally in control of their destiny and not subject to the whims of Israel and the international community? You tell me how Israel behaves today; I will tell you how Palestinians will be resisting a year from now.

The Zionist virus that is the Jewish state of Israel has yet to be stamped out. Hot-spot outbreaks have been with us since the Nakba of 1948. Currently, they are in the form of Israel’s horrifying annexation of parts of the West Bank, preying on the most vulnerable of peoples. We need to look for solutions that make things better for the Palestinian people. We need to reimagine the status quo and pose such a solution.

“In the first phase, we had to figure out what we are dealing with because we had no idea.” Yes, we had no idea — just intimations of unbelievable cruelty and diabolical greed! In 1947–48, we really had little idea. Remember, Palestine was 80% agrarian then — not the sophisticated community of Basle, Switzerland, where the plot for our dispossession was hatched at the First Zionist Conference in 1897.

“In the first phase, stabilize, control the damage,” says Cuomo. It turns out the key (here is that word again!) is information.

“I worked hard every day to make sure they knew the facts. ‘Trust the people’ — Lincoln, right? An informed public will keep this country safe. True, and that’s exactly what happened here,” Cuomo continues.

Funny Cuomo should say that, because, just the other day, a Palestinian friend on Facebook, Imad Jibawi, was saying something similar. He was commenting on a Zoom discussion I had posted titled “What do we do now?” conducted by Hani al-Masri, Director General of Masarat — The Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies (Masri is also a Policy Advisor for Al-Shabaka).

Imad Jibawi wondered:

“What is it that would drive the Palestinian people to the streets to protest by the thousands? Is it the annexation of Jerusalem? No; is it annexation of the Jordan Valley? No; is it Israel’s new settlements, then? No.

Why is that so?

I think the answer is in the question: Who is it mainly that we expect to take to the streets? They are those who are primarily under 30 — i.e., the Oslo generation.

These Palestinians were born and brought up in the reality of the Palestinian Authority, a government, ministries, VIPs, jobs, loans, etc.

[Preserving that] has been the national project for which our people sacrificed for years. People’s very livelihoods are now the red lines, holding them back. Their concerns are the teachers’ movement, the social security movement, the “we want to live” movement.

The question that concerns the political class as a whole is this: What next? What to do? The answer is: We start with our ABCs all over again. The first lesson is: Who are the Palestinians? What are the borders of the homeland of Palestine? The second lesson is: Who is our enemy? And what do we want?

Wanted: a new national awareness ….” [my translation from Arabic]

But then, as I continued to listen to Cuomo, I realized that, even though he and Jibawi are appealing to people to act collectively in their best interests by looking to themselves, rather than to their governments, there is a fundamental difference.

Cuomo is invoking security of health, family and livelihood as a raison d’etre for a certain set of collective behaviors, whereas what Jibawi is pushing for, necessarily given the Palestinian condition, is a revolutionary national consciousness that calls for a sacrifice of the very same things Cuomo is protecting for New Yorkers.

To Jibawi, the ideal of home and hearth (job security, health care, education, etc., as provided currently by the Palestinian Authority and the Oslo regime) must be superseded by the ideal of liberty, justice and equality for a people under occupation, who have escaped Israel’s genocide so far, but who continue to be dispossessed, brutally subjugated and oppressed by a vicious, powerful judeo-fascist entity and its allies.

Cuomo says,

“I don’t know when government became so political. It all became about rhetoric rather than actual competence, but it happened somewhere along the way that government could not handle the situation. People had to get engaged; people had to be informed and that’s the new thing I did. They got engaged because it mattered — this is not an abstract issue we are talking about people’s lives and people’s health and the health of their children.”

They’ll get engaged, because it matters. For both Palestinians and New Yorkers, these are not abstract issues. Far from it. In our case, all you have to do to realize the concreteness is to tune in to the daily news of thievery and savagery in their myriad forms the Israeli regime inflicts on the Palestinian people.

Many ask, if not the Palestinian Authority, if not the status quo of self-government for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, what then? My answer is this: First, hard as it is for many, we must find the will and steadfastness to effect an insurrection to continue the interrupted Palestinian revolution, returning to the political and community structures that sprang up to further the first intifada. We need a supreme manifestation of popular resistance against both the Palestinian Authority and Israel in all of occupied Palestine from the river to the sea with aid from Palestinians in exile.

Cuomo is right! “No government can impose any of these things … Stay in the house. Close every school. Close every bus. State government can’t enforce that. People had to understand the facts people had to engage in governing themselves in a way they hadn’t in decades … We are tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving” — even if our governments aren’t. We are samidoun.

Amen to that! Hallelujah!

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

All images in this article are from the authorThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2020

هَبّة الضفّة تفرمل خطط واشنطن وتل أبيب: تأجيل لقاء نتنياهو ـ ابن سلمان؟

فلسطين تقرير يحيى دبوق السبت 8 شباط 2020

تُقدّر إسرائيل أن سقوط قتلى وجرحى من الجانب الفلسطيني سيشكّل وقوداً لانتفاضة جديدة (أ ف ب )

تحمل التطورات الميدانية الأخيرة في الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، كلّاً من واشنطن وتل أبيب، على إعادة حساباتهما في ما يتّصل بتنفيذ بنود «صفقة القرن». وفيما يبدو أن قرار ضمّ المستوطنات قد أرجئ إلى أجل غير مسمّى ربما يكون طويلاً، يظهر أن «القمة» الإسرائيلية – السعودية التي أميط اللثام عن تحضيرات كانت جارية لها قد أرجئت هي الأخرى، بالنظر إلى ضعف المكاسب المرجوّة منها في هذا التوقيت بالذات.

تكاثرت في الفترة الأخيرة، تحديداً ما بعد الإعلان عن «صفقة القرن» الأميركية، التقارير عن لقاءات جرت وأخرى يُعدّ لإجرائها بين رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية بنيامين نتنياهو وكبار المسؤولين الإسرائيليين، ونظرائهم من ملوك وأمراء وقادة خليجيين وعرب. تكاثرٌ يبدو لافتاً جدّاً، في مرحلة يتداخل فيها الخاص والعام في الكيان الإسرائيلي، المصدر الأول وشبه الحصري للتسريبات عن تلك اللقاءات. «القناة 13» العبرية مثلاً كشفت، عبر سلسلة تقارير، عن زيارات سرية بين إسرائيل ودول خليجية وأفريقية خلال العامين الماضيين، بما في ذلك في الأشهر الأخيرة، مسلّطةً الضوء على المستوى الذي بلغته جهود التطبيع من قِبَل السعودية والإمارات والبحرين وسلطنة عُمان تجاه إسرائيل، وانضمام المملكة المغربية والسودان إلى هذا الركب.

وإلى أبعد مما تقدّم ذهبت بعض التسريبات في الأيام القليلة الماضية، حيث تَحدّثت عن جهود أميركية وإسرائيلية لعقد لقاء علني بين نتنياهو وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان في الرياض، بعد أن يحلّ رئيس وزراء العدو ضيفاً على المملكة. وهو ما أكّدته مصادر سياسية إسرائيلية شدّدت على المصلحة المشتركة للأطراف كافة في هذا اللقاء، وتحديداً الجانبين الأميركي والإسرائيلي بعد الإعلان عن «صفقة القرن»، متحدثةً عن مشاركة وزير الخارجية الأميركي، مايك بومبيو، في الترتيب لـ«القمة» الإسرائيلية – السعودية. لكن، ما الذي يدفع إسرائيل إلى الحديث علناً عن تحضيرات تجري في الغرف المغلقة لجمع نتنياهو وبن سلمان، وهي تدرك أن الكشف المسبق من شأنه إفشال اللقاء وتأجيله، الأمر الذي يدفعها دائماً في حالات مشابهة إلى انتهاج استراتيجية الصمت إلى حين تحقّق المطلب؟ وفقاً للتسريبات، فإن التحضيرات لـ«القمة» بدأت قبل فترة، لكن تداعيات الإعلان عن «صفقة القرن» دفعت على ما يبدو إلى تأجيلها. كان نتنياهو يأمل الاجتماع بابن سلمان قبل انتخابات «الكنيست» الثالثة في الثاني من آذار/ مارس المقبل، لكن تأزّم الوضع في الأراضي المحتلّة شوّش على أجندته، وعطّل محاولته تحقيق فائدة شخصية من اللقاء، الأمر الذي دفعه – على ما يظهر – إلى تسريب معلومات في شأنه أملاً في حصد نتيجة ما. مع ذلك، فإن تجميد التحضيرات لـ«القمة» لا يلغي إمكانية حصولها، الذي لا يفترض أن يكون مفاجئاً لأيّ متابع لتطور العلاقة وتناميها بين الجانبين.

تضغط ردّة الفعل الفلسطينية، على القيادتين الأميركية والإسرائيلية في اتجاه تأجيل الضمّ

كذلك، تدفع التطورات التي أعقبت الإعلان عن «صفقة القرن»، واشنطن وتل أبيب، إلى إرجاء ضمّ المستوطنات وغور الأردن وأجزاء أخرى من الضفة الغربية إلى أجلٍ غير مسمّى، يبدو أنه سيطول أكثر مما كان متوقعاً. في الخلفية الأولى للقرار الأميركي منع نتنياهو إجراء الضمّ قبل الانتخابات الإسرائيلية، يكمن حرص الولايات المتحدة على عدم التسبّب بإحراج إضافي للحكام العرب ربما يضطرهم إلى اتخاذ مواقف حادّة، ومن هنا كان طلبها «فترة تبريد» تمتدّ لأسابيع. لكن أيضاً، والأهمّ، تضغط ردّة الفعل الفلسطينية، وتحديداً الشعبية والمتمثلة في تنفيذ عمليات فردية ضدّ الاحتلال، على القيادتين الأميركية والإسرائيلية في اتجاه تأجيل الضمّ، لما سيحمله تنفيذه من تأثيرات ميدانية سلبية على إسرائيل. وعلى هذه الخلفية، دعا السفير الأميركي في إسرائيل، ديفيد فريدمان، وهو أحد عرّابي «صفقة القرن» وأوّل الداعين إلى الإسراع في ضمّ المستوطنات، إلى التريّث قبل اتخاذ قرارات متسرّعة لا تصبّ في مصلحة إسرائيل والمستوطنين، مشدداً على ضرورة تأجيل الضمّ إلى ما بعد دراسة المنحى الإجرائي بشكل مناسب، حتى «تستطيع الولايات المتحدة الاعتراف بمثل هذه الوضعية» كما قال فريدمان لـ«جيروزاليم بوست»، معتبراً أن تلك العملية «لا تستغرق بالضرورة زمناً طويلاً، لكن يجب أن تكون متأنّية ومدروسة».

تهديدات «أبو مازن»… جوفاء

عزّز الجيش الإسرائيلي وحداته المنتشرة في الضفة الغربية بقوات إضافية، على خلفية تزايد الاحتجاجات الشعبية والعمليات الفردية من قِبَل الفلسطينيين ضدّ جنود الاحتلال في مناطق مختلفة من الضفة. وجاء قرار تعزيز القوات «بالمئات من الجنود» «بعد سلسلة جلسات تقويم للأوضاع»، وفق ما ذكرت مصادر عسكرية إسرائيلية لصحيفة «معاريف». لكن، هل تكفل هذه الإجراءات إنهاء الاحتجاجات، والأهمّ إنهاء العمليات الفردية التي يمكن أن تؤدي، في حال تواصلها وتصاعدها، إلى انتفاضة شاملة؟ يبدو أن الاحتلال، على رغم قلقه من انفلات الأمور، مطمئن إلى أن السلطة الفلسطينية بقيادة محمود عباس لن تسمح بتمادي التصعيد، وإن أبقت على مستويات محمولة منه. وما دام «التنسيق الأمني» متواصلاً مع الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية، فلا خشية حقيقية من انهيار الأوضاع مهما تأزّمت.
ووفقاً لمصادر عسكرية إسرائيلية تحدثت إلى «يديعوت أحرونوت»، فإن قيادتَي الجيش و«الشاباك» سارعتا إلى عقد جلسات تقدير للوضع، مباشرةً بعد الإعلان عن «صفقة القرن»، استعداداً لمواجهة التداعيات المتوقّعة ميدانياً، والتي لن تصل كما قدّرت القيادتان إلى حدّ الاحتجاج الشعبي الشامل. لكن كان واضحاً لكلّ من شارك في الجلسات، بحسب المصادر نفسها، أن سقوط قتلى وجرحى من الجانب الفلسطيني سيشكّل وقوداً لانتفاضة جديدة. ومن هنا، تَقرّر، إلى جانب تعزيز القوات، خفض الاحتكاك مع الفلسطينيين، والذي قدّر المشاركون أن السلطة الفلسطينية ستساهم فيه عن طريق إنشاء حواجز بوجه «المشاغبين».

هكذا، لا تتعامل إسرائيل بجدّية مع تهديدات «أبو مازن» بوقف «التنسيق الأمني». وفي هذا الإطار، تنقل «يديعوت أحرونوت» عن مصادر عسكرية قولها إن تهديداته سُمعت في الماضي ولم تؤدِّ إلى شيء، و«سبق لمؤسسات السلطة أن تلقّت قرارات بإنهاء التعاون الأمني والاقتصادي مع إسرائيل، وهو نفسه عمل على منع تطبيق هذه القرارات». وتلفت الصحيفة إلى أن ثمّة «تقديراً داخل الجيش الإسرائيلي بأن عباس غير قادر على إلقاء المفاتيح وقطع العلاقات، لأن لديه مصلحة عليا في إبقاء السلطة حيّة، بما في ذلك مصلحة اقتصادية شخصية له ولرجاله».

شهيد خامس في طولكرم

استشهد شاب فلسطيني وأصيب آخرون في مواجهات اندلعت، أمس، مع قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي في مدن الضفة المحتلة، وذلك في خلال الاحتجاجات المتجدّدة رفضاً لـ«صفقة القرن» الأميركية. وأفادت وزارة الصحة باستشهاد بدر نضال نافلة (19 عاماً) برصاص الاحتلال في قفين، شمالي طولكرم، شمال الضفة، بعد وقت قصير من إصابته بجروح حرجة. ولم تنجح الطواقم الطبية في إنقاذ حياة نافلة نتيجة انقطاع الشريان الرئيسي في رقبته بفعل الإصابة، بعدما أطلق جنود العدوّ الرصاص الحيّ باتجاه الشبان والفتية قرب جدار الفصل العنصري في البلدة. وكان الاحتلال قد عزّز قواته في الضفة تحسّباً لاندلاع مواجهات بعد صلاة الجمعة. واستشهد ثلاثة فلسطينيين، أول من أمس، خلال مواجهات وعمليات ضدّ جنود العدو في الضفة والقدس. وحمّل مستشار الرئيس الأميركي وصهره، جاريد كوشنر، رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس، مسؤولية ما سمّاها «أعمال العنف» الأخيرة، فيما خاطبه رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو بالقول: «أودّ أن أقول شيئاً لأبي مازن: هذا لن يساعدك، لا الطعنات ولا عمليات الدهس، ولا القنص ولا التحريض».

فلسطين سند طرمان

فلسطين مقالة وليد شرارة السبت 8 شباط 2020

سند طرمان، لِمَن لا يعرفه، هو الفدائي الفلسطيني الشابّ الذي قام بدهس 12 جندياً فجر الخميس في السادس من شباط/ فبراير الحالي. وقد ترك الفدائي، الذي بات أسيراً لدى الاحتلال، عبارة «وجدتُ أجوبتي»، وهي عنوان كتاب الشهيد باسل الأعرج وختام وصيّته، على صفحته في «فايسبوك» بضعَ ساعات قبل تنفيذ العملية. وسرعان ما تلت هذه الأخيرةً عمليتان في القدس ورام الله ضدّ جنود الاحتلال وعناصر شرطته. أبرز التعليقات، الفلسطينية والصهيونية على السواء، حول هذه العمليات، تقاطعت عند اعتبارها ردّاً على «صفقة القرن».

أبو حمزة، الناطق باسم «سرايا القدس»، الجناح العسكري لحركة «الجهاد الاسلامي»، رأى أنها «تأكيد بالدم والسلاح على رفض شعبنا لصفقة القرن وتهويد المقدّسات»، قبل أن يدعو «كلّ المقاومين الفلسطينيين لحمل السلاح، ومهاجمة الحواجز الإسرائيلية، وأن يباشروا حالة من الاشتباك الشامل والمباشر بما يتوفّر لهم من إمكانات». الطرفان، الصهيوني الرسمي، والفلسطيني المقاوِم، متّفقان على تحديد الوظيفة الفعلية لـ«صفقة القرن»: تسريع عملية استيطان وضمّ وتهويد الأرض الفلسطينية. المشروع الصهيوني، كما أثبتت التجربة التاريخية على مدى قرن كامل، هو مِن نمط مشاريع الاستعمار الاستيطاني الإحلالي، الذي يقوم على اقتلاع السكان الأصليين وإحلال المستوطنين في مكانهم، كما جرى في الولايات المتحدة وأستراليا ونيوزيلندا، مثلاً لا حصراً. وككلّ عمليات الاستعمار الاستيطاني الممتدّة زمنياً، عَرف المشروع الصهيوني فترات تتسارع فيها وتيرة التطهير العرقي للفلسطينيين والاستيلاء على أرضهم، كحربَي 1948 وبدرجة أقلّ 1967، وفترات تتراجع فيها هذه الوتيرة لكن من دون أن تتوقف أبداً، بحيث يستمرّ الاقتلاع والاستيطان والضمّ على «نار هادئة». صفقة ترامب تهدف إلى تسريع مسار الاقتلاع. هذا ما فهمه الشعب الفلسطيني وقواه المقاومة من جهة، وقطعان الصهاينة وقياداتهم من جهة أخرى، والنتيجة المباشرة هي تصاعد المواجهة في فلسطين، وفي سياق إقليمي ملتهب

صفقة ترامب تهدف إلى تسريع مسار اقتلاع الفلسطينيين

في مقابلة شهيرة مع «هآرتس» أجراها بعدما أصبح رئيساً للوزراء في شباط/ فبراير 2001، لخّص آرييل شارون، «آخر ملوك إسرائيل»، حسب أنصاره، بدقّة وصراحة شديدتَين، طبيعة المشروع الصهيوني عندما جزم، على رغم ما سمّي آنذاك بمسار التسوية، أن «حرب الاستقلال لم تنتهِ». وأكّد شارون أن المطلوب هو الاستمرار في الاستيلاء على الأرض الفلسطينية واستيطانها «متراً بعد متر وحجراً بعد حجر». أهمية هذه المقابلة تكمن في قطعها مع الخطاب التضليلي الذي اعتُمد خلال تسعينيات القرن الماضي مِن قِبَل «الحمائم» الصهاينة، كإسحاق رابين وشمعون بيريس، عن التسوية بين الشعبَين والتنازلات المتبادلة وبناء الثقة وغيرها من الترّهات. مرّ 19 عاماً على حديث شارون، ومن الواضح اليوم أن الحكومات الإسرائيلية المتعاقبة مضت بالسياسة نفسها. وقد أصبحنا أمام إدارة أميركية تُزايد بصهيونيتها على حكومة إسرائيلية تضمّ اليمين واليمين المتطرّف. انتهت أكذوبة التسوية وانكشفت حقيقة العرّاب الأميركي وحلفائه من «المعتدلين» العرب. حَشْرُ الفلسطينيين في أرخبيل المعازل الذي رسمت «صفقة القرن» حدوده التقريبية القابلة دائماً للتعديل وفقاً لرغبات إسرائيل، واستكمال الاستيلاء على ما بقي من أرضهم، هو عنوان المرحلة الراهنة مِن مسار الاقتلاع. الأهوال التي ستنجم عن هذه المرحلة لم تدفع السلطة الفلسطينية، إلى الآن، على رغم إعلان معارضتها صفقة ترامب ووقفها التعامل مع الحكومتين الأميركية والإسرائيلية، إلى إجراء مراجعة جدّية للنهج الذي تبنّته، واتّخاذ الخطوات التي تَفرض نفسها دفاعاً عن بقاء الشعب الفلسطيني في أرضه، وأولاها وقف التنسيق الأمني والسماح لجماهيره ولقواه المقاومة بمواجهة الاحتلال. لكن، بما أن الصراع في طريقه إلى الاحتدام نتيجةً لتسارع مسار الاقتلاع، لن تستطيع السلطة الاستمرار في النهج ذاته، وهي ستضطر إمّا للتحول إلى مجرّد قوة رديفة للاحتلال تحرس المعازل وتصطدم بشعبها، أو على الأقل أن تتركه ومقاوميه، أمثال سند طرمان، يتصدّون لهذا الاحتلال. إن انطلاق انتفاضة ثالثة، شعبية ومسلّحة، في ظلّ تحوّلات تدريجية في موازين القوى في الإقليم لمصلحة محور المقاومة، الحليف الوحيد للشعب الفلسطيني، كفيل بأن يفرض متغيّرات ميدانية وسياسية، محلية وإقليمية ودولية، تفتح آفاقاً جديدة أمام نضاله. وتستطيع شعوب الأمة وقواها الحية المشاركة في هذه المعركة، من خلال استهداف الوجود الأميركي، راعي سار الاقتلاع وداعمه، بجميع الوسائل الضرورية. وما يزيد من فرص الانتصار في هذه المعركة الوجودية، هو أن جبهة الأعداء الأميركية – الإسرائيلية أضعف مِن السابق، وهي ستُجبَر على التراجع وتقديم التنازلات عندما توقن أن المنطقة ستتحوّل إلى كتلة من لهب.

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Occupied Palestine: The Most Enduring Media Cover-up

Global Research, November 28, 2019

Clearing the FOG hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese interviewed Alison Weir, journalist and founder of If Americans Knew, a website that provides factual information about the Israeli State and Palestine. Weir describes how she learned firsthand that US media provide a false and one-sided narrative about Occupied Palestine and why she has dedicated the past twenty years to counter that. She also explains some of the most common myths and what she learned as she did research for her book, “Against Our Better Judgment.” Weir is a very clear thinker on the issue of Palestine-Israel and provides the data and language we need to speak to a propagandized population. You can listen to the entire interview and the week’s news analysis on Clearing the FOG.


Clearing the FOG (CtF): Alison, your website is a great source of information. Before we get into the site, why don’t you tell us about how you got involved in this issue.

Alison Weir (AW): People always wonder that because I don’t happen to be Jewish or Arab or Muslim or Palestinian and like most Americans 20 years ago, I knew very little about this issue. I had been active on other issues, anti-war during the Vietnam war, civil rights, that type of thing but I had never focused on Israel-Palestine until the Second Intifada began in the Fall of 2000. I’m sure you know intifada just means “Uprising,” a Palestinian Uprising. When that began, in Fall of 2000, I got curious about it.

My background is journalism. At that time, I was the editor of a very small weekly newspaper in Northern California. This wasn’t for my job, it was just my personal curiosity. I started to follow the news coverage on this uprising and I quickly noticed that it was very one-sided, that we were hearing from and about Israelis in great detail, but we got very little information from and about Palestinians.

I went on the internet and discovered a great deal of information from the region itself, from humanitarian agencies that were there, Israeli media in English, Palestinian media. And I discovered that Israeli forces were shooting Palestinians every day in large quantities, including many children and I noticed this reality was not being reported on the news sites that I usually looked at. The San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, especially NPR, seemed to be covering that up.

So the more I looked into it, the more I felt this was a truly significant cover-up. I felt and I do feel now that this was the longest-lasting and most enduring cover-up I had ever seen and that it was occurring across the political spectrum. After a few months of looking into that, I decided, it seemed so significant that I quit my job in Sausalito and traveled as a freelance reporter throughout Gaza and the West Bank. It was a very intense trip, I was not part of any delegation. There really weren’t any delegations at that time.

When I came back, I started the organization, If Americans Knew. The goal has been to be very factual, to show the sources of our information. It’s very transparent. It gives Americans without ideological slant the facts on Israel-Palestine and especially the American connection, the fact that we are in many ways responsible for what Israel does because our tax money goes to Israel. It’s now over 10 million dollars per day. We’ve given Israel far more than we’ve given anybody else.

Most Americans, I think, are the way I was. I felt I had no connection to this confusing issue on the other side of the world, but I learned I have a very direct connection to it and therefore it’s my responsibility to know about it and to act in ways that I feel are morally required. In a nutshell, that’s how I ended up 20 years later still working on this issue.

CtF: That was a very courageous thing to do. Of course, the US also provides cover for Israel in the United Nations or when the International Criminal Court wants to investigate Israel. How were you received by Palestinians when you went there to cover the Intifada?

AW: The perception was and is that you will be in great danger from Palestinians. But I discovered it was the opposite. I was welcomed. I was invited to stay in people’s homes, which I often did. People were very excited to learn that an American journalist was there. I told people I’m here to see what’s going on and people would smile at me in places like Gaza where there were really very few Americans at that time. I didn’t see any other journalists traveling around.

Crowds of people would come up to me and they wanted to show me their bullet-riddled homes and show me what was happening to them. So I found it then and on my other trips there since, people are very welcoming, very friendly. Often they’re very aware of how much money the US gives to Israel. Even though most Americans don’t know that, it is known in the region. Despite their knowledge of that and despite their knowledge of how the US has supported Israel in so many ways, they’re still very welcoming to Americans and very willing to not blame us for what our government is doing. So it’s really the opposite of what people have been led to believe it would be like.

CtF: We were just in Occupied Palestine recently and what you describe is very consistent with our experience as well. Your website focuses on correcting the misconceptions. What are some of the most important misconceptions that people in the United States have about the situation in Occupied Palestine?

AW: That’s at the heart of the problem because there are so many that it’s hard to make people realize it’s really as different as they expect. If there were only one or two, people can accept that. It’s harder for them to realize that almost everything they thought was true is not accurate. And that is what I am often telling them.

One of the main things is that we are directly related to the conflict. We give Israel massive amounts of money. This is per capita on average 7,000 times more than we give other people. One of the other things is that many people are unaware that Israel was established in my lifetime, that when I was born there was no Israel. There was a region called Palestine that had been there called Palestine for really millennia.

Many intelligent and knowledgeable people are not aware of what Israel Palestine is about, that basically Israel was established through warfare. It was not established by the United Nations, another misconception. It was established by a war of ethnic cleansing. That’s what we now term that type of war. It’s the title of an excellent book by an Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, so, the very foundation of Israel is very different than people realize.

This was an intentional dispossession of the indigenous population. It started with the beginning of the establishment of the modern state of Israel and continues through today. Constantly Israel is confiscating additional Palestinian land and taking it over for Jewish-only settlements, as they’re called. Many people are unaware that many Palestinians are Christians. This is where Christianity began. It’s rarely mentioned in the US media.

The other thing people are often unaware of these days is media coverage always focuses on “rockets from Gaza.” Every news report mentions rockets from Gaza. The fact is that I was there traveling around by myself as a reporter before any rockets had been fired and I saw already at that time in early 2001 extreme devastation. I saw neighborhoods in Gaza that were bullet-riddled, that looked like the pictures you see of World War II ruins. In the West Bank too shelling was going on. This was before any rockets had been fired.

People think Israel is defending itself from rockets, but the rockets were actually resistance groups in Gaza trying to fight back with really very ineffectual rockets. In the whole time they’ve been used, they’ve killed at most a few dozen Israelis. Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed many thousands of Gazans. The only statistic we get in the typical news report is thousands of rockets have been fired from Gaza. They never tell that the total number of Israelis who have been killed is perhaps by now, maybe 50, perhaps not even that high and they never tell that during that time about 5,000 Gazans have been killed. We don’t hear about the massive bombardment of Gaza that’s been going on for a very long time and that has killed thousands of Gazans. And of course, killed many people in the West Bank also.

CtF: When we were there, we saw fighter planes flying over Jerusalem on their way to bomb Gaza. Over 30 Gazans were killed, including a family. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their homes in the recent siege of Gaza. And these so-called rocket attacks, they’re like little pipsqueak rockets. These rockets were a response to an Israeli assassination in Gaza. It’s really amazing they use that as an excuse, but they do.

AW: They get away with it because the media only tell about the response and don’t tell about what came before. The American population is completely misled. Most of these are small homemade projectiles, but media will report them as missiles and people are imagining a Nike missile or something. That’s just not what’s going on.

There have been studies of the chronology of the violence in the conflict. There was one excellent study by an MIT professor who looked at periods of calm, at various truces through the years. Her study showed that it was something like 96% of the time in the shorter truces it was Israel that had first resumed violence against Palestinians and in the longer truces, it was 100% of the time that Israeli forces resumed the violence. This is just not known to the American public because it’s very filtered news coverage that people are getting.

Your point of hearing jets flying over to bomb Gaza is very significant. People don’t know that here we have one of the most powerful militaries on the planet, largely due to our tax money and often US weaponry, fighting against a population that has no Air Force, no Navy, no aircraft, no helicopter gunships. The disparity is astounding and the media try to call it a war. A war is between two military forces. That’s not what we have when we look at Gaza and Israeli forces.

CtF: It’s such an asymmetric situation. Palestinians have been forced from their homes, living in an apartheid state and have the right under international law to defend themselves. But the Palestinians we met with while we were there, activists, said we are nonviolent, we believe in using non-violence and talked about teaching their children not to hate other people, how giving in to that was destructive. One of the things that people push back in the United States is they say that there never really was a Palestine, that Palestinian nationality didn’t start until the 20th century. Can you comment on that?

AW: Yes. This is one of the Israeli talking points that many people have fallen for. You see this on Facebook and Twitter and various places. It’s a nonsensical argument. It’s true, there was not a state of Palestine. There was not a state of Israel. There was a region called Palestine. You can look at old maps.

Palestine was a region back in biblical times. It was talked about in more recent times. It was talked about in more recent centuries. It was under the Ottoman Empire. It was what we call multicultural. Around 1900, the population was about 80 percent Muslim, about 15 percent Christian and a little under five percent Jewish. This was a region. It was not a nation-state, as we know nation-states came relatively late to the world. Germany wasn’t a nation-state for many years. The United States did not used to be a nation-state. Palestine was a region. Palestinians have existed.

There was a book published some years ago by an Israel partisan who went by the name Joan Peters claiming the Palestinians did not exist, that they were just nomads that had come in because the Zionists’ wonderful entrepreneurial spirit had created jobs for these nomads to join them. This is the thesis of her book called “From Time Immemorial.” Many people read it. It was praised by pretty much every book review in the United States.

People like Barbara Tuchman, an Israel partisan, but known as a historian, praised it. It turned out to be a complete hoax.  Some very good historians and analysts including some Jewish Americans looked into the book and found out that these many footnotes were often fraudulent. They were actually coming from Zionist propaganda. In Israel itself, it was exposed as non-factual. In Britain, it was exposed as non-factual. In the United States, it eventually was, but I don’t think any of the people that gave it a positive review and that endorsed it then had the honesty or principle to retract their erroneous reviews.

Many people, especially many Jewish Americans, read that book and were taken in by it and then repeat the myth that there were no such thing as Palestinians. Even Golda Meir, the famous Israeli Prime Minister, said at one point that quote there were no Palestinians. That’s like Americans trying to say well there were no Native Americans here. Of course, there was.

CtF: Even in the country itself Israeli Jews seem oblivious to the reality in their own country. Home demolitions and the settlers putting settlements on Palestinian communities and on Palestinian lands. We drove on Jewish-only roads. If I Google “Jewish only roads,” I find an article about “Jewish only roads don’t exist.” One of the challenges we have in talking to people in the United States, and even in Israel, Occupied Palestine, is they don’t want to see reality. How do you communicate to people who just seem oblivious whether unintentionally or intentionally?

AW: Certainly, Israelis have been brought up to be just the way you’re describing. Nurit Peled, an academic, has done excellent work showing that Israeli textbooks are very propagandistic in the way that they depict Palestinians. They’re not even called Palestinians. They call them Israeli Arabs. So this is deeply embedded in many portions of the Israeli population.

Fortunately, there are many people in Israel that are dissenting from that and they’re trying to reach their fellow Israelis. There are Israelis Against Torture and Israelis Against Home Demolition. There are a number of Israeli groups within the society, a small fraction, but they’re doing really wonderful work in trying to expose what’s actually going on. There are some Israeli journalists, especially Gideon Levy, who write every week in the Israeli media about some of the latest atrocities being committed by Israel against Palestinians.

I would love to reach everybody. I’d love to reach every Israeli. I’d love to reach every American who’s taken in by Israeli talking points. What I focus on is the really fairly promising reality that about three-quarters of the American population, despite the pro-Israel media coverage that we’ve been getting for decades and despite Hollywood, really does not have a strong view on this issue. And general surveys will show that they say something like we shouldn’t take sides, which is sensible. If you don’t know much about an issue, you just don’t take sides.

That sounds like a fairly wimpy approach to those of us who know what’s going on there, but what that would mean if you don’t take sides is we would stop giving Israel 10 million dollars per day. We would stop vetoing UN resolutions to protect Israel from world condemnation of its violence. So it’s actually quite a good stand if we did what the majority of Americans already say we should do.

I try to focus on giving the general public the facts on this issue and the importance of making their wishes known to their elected representatives that it’s time to stop this massive aid to Israel. It prevents peace. Israeli militarists think they have a blank check from the most powerful nation on the planet, which they do right now. So my view is we give voters factual information on this. We show how extremely tragic the situation is because of what we’re funding and the fact that it hurts us as well and emphasize how important it is to tell our elected representatives that we want them to change these misguided destructive US policies of a blank check to Israel.

It’s time for us to vote and to work on the issue of Israel Palestine. Not only because of what it’s doing to Palestinians, not only because of what it then does to the US but because our support of Israel has led to our wars in the region. It has led to much of the violence in the region that has since spilled over elsewhere. It’s the core issue of the Middle East and it’s the time for us to focus on it and to address it.

CtF: I want to ask you about a topic that you’ve been writing about recently. And that is the criticism that people who question or criticize the Israeli state are anti-semitic. Can you talk about that?

AW: Yes, that’s used all the time and most of us are profoundly opposed to bigotry of all kinds. We don’t want to be splattered with such mudslinging. We don’t want to be called anti-Semitic. We don’t want to be anti-Semitic and we’re not being anti-Semitic when we speak out for justice as a principal, but that’s the attack that they try to use.

A member of the Israeli Parliament some years ago on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now said, and I’m paraphrasing, she said this is a trick. We always use it when somebody is critical of Israel, we call them anti-Semitic and that is exactly what going on. Nobody should be anti-Semitic. Nobody should be against any population, should be hostile and prejudiced against people. Bigotry is wrong. So that’s what they try to use.

What’s gotten worse is that not only do they try to claim somebody’s anti-Semitic when we’re talking about a nation-state and talking about injustice and trying to support principles of justice for all people, there is an effort to change the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticisms of Israel. This is extremely insidious.

It’s been going on for a number of years. There’s a new formulation in which certain criticisms of Israel, factual statements about Israel, will now be defined as anti-Semitism. Therefore it will be defined as hate speech, etc. This effort was begun by an Israeli Minister named Natan Sharansky. It has now been embedded in the US State Department and it’s being embedded elsewhere around the world. We need to learn about that and we need to oppose it. We need to stick with the traditional definition of anti-Semitism and we should oppose all anti-Semitism just as we oppose all racism, but we should not allow that incorrect epithet to be used to silence us or to prevent us from working for justice and human rights for all people including Palestinians.

CtF: One of the people we visited with when we were recently in Occupied Palestine was Rabbi Hirsh, who is with an ultra-orthodox Jew, and he makes a very strong case that Zionism is inconsistent with Judaism, that it violates the Torah. That makes the state of Israel really under his religious analysis to be against Judaism. A growing group of Jews in the United States is getting active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. A number of Jewish groups are actually beginning to criticize Zionism and Israel. It’s really is an absurd claim that people who criticize Israel or Zionism are anti-Semitic. It just shows the weakness of their arguments.

AW: It does and I’m glad you brought that up because when Zionism, political Zionism, began with Theodore Herzl and some conferences in Switzerland in the late 1800s, the majority of Jews around the world did not join that movement. They said we’re Americans, we’re British etcetera. Even a Jewish population in Palestine was opposed to it, especially observant Jews were opposed to it and considered it a heretical move. There are many Jews who for religious reasons oppose Zionism saying this is against the Bible. It’s against God’s will. That’s part of what people don’t know. And in my book, in the research I did, it was very interesting to see how Zionists were very upset that Jewish-Americans were not embracing Zionism in the early years. In fact, for a number of decades, there were groups such as the American Council on Judaism that actively and strenuously opposed Zionism.

CTF: Finally, how can people learn more about the work that you do?

AW: The first thing would be to go to our website: From there, you will also go to our blog, the If Americans Knew blog. Between those two resources, I believe there’s a lot of information that will be useful to people. My book is available on Amazon. The short title is “Against Our Better Judgment.” It can be read very quickly. It’s one of the selling points and it’s thoroughly cited. It turned out that the book is half citations. So every statement in it, you can find the source for that statement. It contains a great deal of information that many people, even experts on the issue, did not know about before because when I started researching it, I was starting from scratch. I read a huge number of books. We’re also working to encourage people to join the effort to work within their congressional district to inform the people in your community about what’s going on. You can email us at and help get this information off the internet and into the hands of people in your community. We also have a very active Facebook page, If Americans Knew Facebook page, where we post things every day. I especially encourage people to join our email list. We should not rely on Facebook for our communication. That is a private company and they could turn it off whenever they want to so, please join our email list also.

CtF: If you haven’t visited If Americans Knew, it’s a very deep website. If you ever want to understand a particular aspect of Israel or Occupied Palestine, you’ll find a lot of the facts right there. If you’re ever writing about it, debating it, trying to understand and discuss it with others, it’s a very fact-based and deep web site that serves a very useful purpose for engaging on this issue.

AW: We’ve certainly tried and the websites been live about 15 or 16 years. There’s really a depth of content there. We’re trying to upgrade it to a more modern look but there’s so much content, we just haven’t been able to do that yet. So it’s an old-school look but the content is there for people to find and it’s all sourced. We try to make sure that our material is factual and show people that that’s the case.


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Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese co-direct Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

Featured image is PressTV

بلا مداراة وبلا محاباة: اطردوا منتفعي النظام من صفوفكم

ابراهيم الأمين

الثلاثاء 12 تشرين الثاني 2019

لن تنفع المداراة في معالجة مشكلة، ولا تعالج المحاباة جروحاً عميقة، ولا المسايرة تبني وطناً أو علاقات وطيدة. وحدها الصراحة، مهما كانت قاسية، تفيد في اللحظات الحرجة، وتساعد الناس في لحظة تعقل كاملة، أو حتى في لحظة انفعال، على الاختيار بين الذل المغطّى بغيوم كثيفة من الكلام المعسول والأحلام، والحياة الحرة مهما كانت قصيرة.

الذين نزلوا الى الشارع غاضبين من هذا الحكم ليسوا هم الذين يرفعون الشعارات المنمّقة. من يحتاجون إلى دولة عادلة غير الذين يريدون الاستيلاء على الدولة كما يفعل الحاكمون اليوم. ومن يعانون الأمرّين من جرّاء الظلم المتنوّع غير الذين لا يعانون نقصاً في الأكل والطبابة والثياب والسكن. ولا يمكن أن يستوي تغيير جذري بهذه الآليات.

من لديه ذاكرة، فليراجع ما شهده لبنان خلال ربع قرن. احتجاجات سياسية وتحركات شعبية وانتفاضات أهلية ومواجهات وحروب باردة أو ساخنة. ومن لديه ذاكرة وعقل، وقلب حقيقي، فليعد الى أرشيف لم يندمل، وإلى مواقف وتصريحات وشعارات وتحركات غالبية من ينسبون الى أنفسهم النطق باسم آلام الناس، من سياسيين وإعلاميين وناشطين وأحزاب وتجار ورجال أعمال وأصحاب مهن حرة. ليرجع الجميع الى أرشيف طريّ، موجود حيث يريدون، وليعاودوا قراءة المواقف والمقالات والتصريحات، وليعاودوا مراجعة المفاوضات والتحالفات والتكتلات، وليعاودوا مراجعة التسويات والصفقات السياسية وغير السياسية، وليعاودوا قراءة لوائح المرشحين لتولي المناصب… ثم ليختموا بمراجعة أسماء المرشحين لتولي مناصب نيابية ووزارية، وكيف ترتفع أكثر أصوات من لم تشملهم الترشيحات.

من يفعل ذلك بصورة هادئة، سيكتشف أن هناك جيشاً من المنافقين الذين ينتشرون اليوم في الساحات والشوارع، ويحتلون الشاشات والمنابر على أنواعها، ويركضون ويهتفون ويصفقون ويغنون ويرقصون، بالطريقة نفسها واللغة نفسها والأسلوب نفسه، وإن خارت قوى بعضهم، أو احتال آخرون على أعمارهم وعلى الأجيال، لكن النتيجة هي ذاتها؛ من فشل الى فشل، ومن إحباط الى إحباط، ومن خيبة الى خيبة. وفي كل مرة نعود فيها الى لحظة الاختيار الهادئ، حيث يقف الإنسان الحر، بينه وبين نفسه، ولو لثوان أمام صندوقة اقتراع، ترى هذا المواطن الملدوغ يعود الى هواجس يعتقد أنها أصيلة، ويعود الى حسابات تبدو معبّرة عن حاله وتطلعاته وقدراته، ويختار من يختار.

في كل مرة، نكتشف أن التغيير بطيء للغاية. الأمر لا يتعلق بسلطة فاسدة وقاهرة ومحركة للعصبيات الطائفية والمذهبية فحسب، بل بنقص حاد في المحفزات عند الناس من أجل اختيار بديل غير واضح. ولأن الناس يشعرون بالخير وبالشر، كما يشعرون بالسكينة أو بالخطر، فهم لا يبالغون عندما يختارون هذا بدل ذاك، مهما كانت التعبئة قاسية، ومهما كانت اللحظات حساسة. ومن يفرح لغضب الناس وانتفاضتهم، يعرف أنهم هم أنفسهم من غضبوا وانتفضوا مرات ومرات، وهم أنفسهم الذين عبّروا عن سخطهم طوال السنوات الماضية، تارة باحتجاج على تلوّث، أو نقص في المياه، أو غياب لعدالة في الرتبة والراتب، أو بحثاً عن هوية وطنية وسيادة مغناة في القصائد فقط، أو نصرة لقائد أو شعار أو مظلوم، أو بحثا عن ملاذ بعيد عن الطائفية والذمية والقهر السياسي، أو رفضاً لسلطة أمنية أو سياسية أو اقتصادية. لقد خرج الناس مراراً وتكراراً خلال ربع قرن.

لكن، في كل مرة يعود فيها هؤلاء الى صندوقة الاقتراع اللعينة، تراهم يعيدون إنتاج البضاعة نفسها. ليس لأنهم يرغبون في هذا القدر المحتوم، بل لأنه لا بديل يجرّهم الى المكان الأفضل، ولا بديل يمنحهم الثقة الكافية لهدم الهيكل القائم. ولأن الناس على هذا المنوال، لا يمكن اليوم أن يخرج مجهول من بين الناس، يوزع شعارات ويضع خططاً ويقرر تحركات من هنا أو هناك. ولا يمكن لشاشات ملوثة، لا ملونة، أن تخترع قادة وصنّاع تاريخ. ولا يمكن لمرتزقة وسارقين أن يرفعوا لواء الدفاع عن مظلوم. ولا يمكن لثريّ لا يشرح لنا مصدر ثروته، أن يعدنا بالمنّ والسلوى إن فوّضنا إليه إدارة البلاد وخيراتها. ولا يمكن لمثقف يخفي جبنه خلف مؤسسات اخترعها الغرب المعادي، أن يعطي دروساً في الوطنية والاستقلالية والمدنية، وهو الذي لا يشرح سرّ الهبات الغربية التي تصله دون غيره. ولا يمكن لمناضلي الساعة العاشرة أن يخلعوا الثياب المنمّقة والياقات، وينزلوا الى الساحات كأنهم في فيلم هوليودي، ثم يعتقدون أننا سنفضّلهم على من بذل الدم من أجلنا ومن أجل مستقبل أولادنا…

لكل ذلك، لا مناص من قول ما لا يعجب كثيرين من الغاضبين، لكنه ما يغضب كثيرين من الكذابين، وهو قول واضح محدد:

إن ما يشهده لبنان اليوم لا يؤسّس لتغيير حقيقي وشامل، بل هو سيعيد ترميم النظام نفسه، من خلال استبدال وجوه بوجوه. وما نشهده اليوم لن يقود الى بلد جديد، بنظام حكم جديد، وبمؤسسات وسياسات جديدة، بل هو سيعيد إنتاج النظام نفسه، لكن بتعليب جديد وأسماء جديدة.

لم يشهد التاريخ انتفاضة تبقى طوال الوقت من دون قيادة أو إطار تنسيق واضح وفعلي

كل انتفاضة لا تصيب مقتلاً في أهل النظام القائم، وكل انتفاضة لا تدمر هيكل النظام القائم، وكل انتفاضة لا تطرد اللصوص من الساحات ولو بقيت قلة صادقة، وكل انتفاضة لا تبدع في اختيار قادة مستعدين للتضحية بكل شيء، لا نفع منها، ولا رجاء… وكل ثورة لا تسأل عن مصدر هذا الدعم أو ذاك لا أمل منها، وكل انتفاضة لا تسأل عن سبب وجود هذا أو ذاك من مستثمري النظام القائم لا جدوى منها. ومع الأسف، لن يتأخر الوقت حتى يتعرّف الناس، من جديد، على وجوه ستنضمّ الى نادي المستوزرين والساعين الى احتلال مواقع السلطة بحجة التغيير. وستعود وسائل الإعلام التي تطارد المنتفضين اليوم، الى استضافة من تعوّدت فتح منابرها لهم، وعقد الصفقات معهم، أفراداً وجماعات، ثم تركض وسائل الإعلام ذاتها الى حصر برامجها عند أي انتخابات بأصحاب الأموال من دون سؤالهم عن مصدرها. وهل يحتاج الجمهور والحقيقيون من الناشطين إلى دليل إضافي على نفاق هؤلاء الإعلاميين والسياسيين الذين صاروا مثل حواريي الإقطاع يدورون من حولنا؟

صحيح أن أيّ انتفاضة تنطلق بعفوية، ثم تستقطب الناس بعفوية أيضاً، لكن لم يشهد التاريخ انتفاضة تبقى طوال الوقت من دون قيادة أو إطار تنسيق واضح وفعلي، إلا إذا كانت هناك «كلمة سر» تشجع الناشطين على عدم تنظيم صفوفهم، وعلى عدم خلق إطار قيادي فعلي. ومن يقف خلف هذه الكلمة، هو نفسه من يقرر جدول الأعمال. وهو نفسه، من يُعدّ اللوائح بأسماء المرشحين لتولّي المناصب، وهو من تواكبه السيارات السوداء الى مقار كبار أهل السلطة للتفاوض.

أكثر من ذلك، ثمة ميل عند بعض الذين انتفخت رؤوسهم لتولّي إدارة محكمة أخلاقية تقرر من هو الثائر ومن هو الفاسد. وبسذاجة سبق أن جُرّبت سابقاً، يُصِرُّ هؤلاء على لعبِ الدورِ نفسِه الذي تعودناه منذ عام 2005. وهؤلاء لا يشكون من تعرّضهم للقمع، بل يمارسون أقذر أنواع الكراهية والترهيب بحق الآخرين. والمشكلة ليست مع هؤلاء الذين نعرف أين مآلهم بعد وقت غير طويل. لكن السؤال هو للناس: فهل بين الذين نزلوا الى الساحات، ولو ظنوا أنهم يمثلون نصف لبنان، من يعتقد أن من حقّهم إرغام الآخرين، أي نصف لبنان الآخر، على السير خلفهم. وإذا رفض طلبهم، فهل يمنحون أنفسهم الحق في إدارة الحياة على ذوقهم؟

لم يعد المشهد هو نفسه كما كان قبل نحو شهر. الناس أنفسهم باتوا يعرفون الكثير من الحقائق، ويجيدون التمييز بين الحقيقي والمفتعل. ولن يتأخر الوقت حتى نجد أنفسنا بين خيارين لا ثالث لهما: الفوضى التي تثبت انقساماً صار واضحاً ولن تحجبه أصوات أو غيوم مصطنعة، أو الذهاب نحو مرحلة انتقالية، تستوجب بقاء الناس الحقيقيين في الشوارع والساحات، وستلزم المناضلين الحقيقيين بأجندات وبرامج، قد لا تجد إعلاماً يروِّج لها!

“The Lost Lesson from the Arab-Israeli Struggle” by Dr. Rizk Elias…


Tuesday, 05 November 2019

==The October Liberation War confirmed the validity of the theory that the late President Hafez al-Assad adopted in preparing for the war…

==President Bashar al-Assad has placed the issue of the liberation of Golan at the forefront of the national priorities.

A 525 page long and eight chapter book titled “The Lost Lesson from the Arab-Israeli Struggle, written by Dr. Rizk Elias” has been recently published by the Syrian Ministry of Culture – the Syrian General Book Organization.

Through his field participation in the Arab-Israeli wars and his history as an army officer, the author tries to summarize the events of this struggle during the last century, using the wars that took place from 1948 to 1982 to explain lessons of both sides in each of these wars, as well as the reasons for the failure of the peace process which began in Madrid in 1991, stressing that the lesson of a just and comprehensive peace is still missing. For those reasons, Dr. Rizk Elias’ book could be considered as an important source to politicians and military men who are interested in the Arab-Israeli struggle from its inception to date. The writer dedicated his book to all those who have worked and still work to achieve a just and comprehensive peace and to find an end to the Arab-Israeli struggle, which has passed over a century.


Introducing his book which includes all about the Arab-Israeli wars and the negotiations between Syria and Israel, Dr. Rizk Elias said that he tries to show the influence of geography and politics in the decisions of wars and peace, the impact of the process of building power and the theory of its use, as well as the military balance between the two sides and the attempts of both  parties to evaluate the results of each round of  the conflict and to learn lessons from it in order to prepare for a coming war or to resort to a peaceful settlement. Therefore, “I resorted in the first chapter of the book to describe the  geographical and topographical characterizations of the theater of the war, while in the subsequent chapters, I tried to deal with  the successive wars which took place from 1948 to  1982” Dr. Elias added. In the last chapter, I talked about the peace process between Syria and Israel, which began at the Madrid conference in 1991 and the reasons for its failure, only to help the reader to form a comprehensive idea about the Arab-Israeli struggle which has not been ended yet, neither in war or peace. “My previous position as a staff officer in the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces, and then an adviser to the Minister of Defense as well as my participations in the Arab – Israeli wars from the 1967 war and my experience as a teacher of these subjects at the Higher Military Academy in Damascus, and my contribution as a member of the peace process between Syria and Syria have all helped me in the delicate job to write this book” he said.

Dr. Elias confirmed that the Zionist ideology which was based on immigration and settlement has begun to decline after the October war, the 1973 Lebanon war, the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the liberation of the Lebanese resistance to south Lebanon in 2000 and the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Israel was forced to dismantle its settlements in the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. It also was forced to withdraw its forces from Lebanon after its arrival to the outskirts of Beirut as well as that Its scheme to establish a Palestinian state in Jordan has finally fell. The Israelis have resorted during the past few years to the idea of strategic defense and to build fortified walls in Gaza, the West Bank, the Lebanese borders and the occupied Golan Heights.

According to the writer, «Israel» now believes that arming the forces of the resistance axis consisting of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Palestinian organizations poses an existential danger to its existence, because such an armament can cause precise injuries in all vital targets in the depth of Israel as it has the powers and the means that enable them to break in through the barriers and walls built by Israel along the borders.

Chapters of the book:

The first chapter deals with some of the geographical characteristics of the theater of war in Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights including the boundaries of the Mandate and the armistice lines, and the topographical landmarks in Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights.

The second chapter talks about the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, while the third talks about the tripartite aggression «British, French and Israeli» on Egypt in 1956.  In the fourth chapter, the writer explained all about the Israeli aggression against Egypt, Jordan and Syria in 1967. In the fifth chapter, the writer discussed the process that occurred in Syria to rebuild the Syrian armed forces before the liberation 1973 war and the first war of attrition (1968-1973).

In the sixth chapter, the writer talks about the October liberation war on the Syrian and Egyptian fronts, and the second war of attrition on the Syrian front (1973-1974), while Chapter seven deals with Syria’s approach to build a strategic balance with Israel and to confront the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The last chapter of the book deals with the peace process between Syria and Israel and the reasons for its failure.

The mission of liberation:

In the fifth chapter, the author talks about the features of the theory of the late President Hafez al-Assad to liberate the occupied Golan Heights and the rest of other occupied Arab territories.Image result for hafez assad

“Anyone who reads the speech of president Hafez al-Assad at the tenth extraordinary National Congress of the Arab Socialist Baath Party, which was held in early November 1970, touches the concern he had had to liberate the territories occupied by Israel in its aggression in 1967; a concern that remained his concern for a long time.” The writer said. People who were close to him knew that on the anniversary of the occupation of the Golan, which occurs on the tenth of June of each year, president Assad devoted all his day to evaluate what Syria had achieved on the road to liberate the Golan.

Also in his speech at the conference which was held several days before the establishment of the Corrective Movement in 1970, president Hafez al-Assad laid out his vision on how to liberate the Golan and the occupied Arab territories. He had worked according to this vision for thirty years until his death, that vision which is still valid to rationalize our steps in the struggle to liberate our territoriy.

The writer reviewed the clear and integrated vision of the late president Hafez al-Assad, explaining how it was interrelated in the domestic, Arab and international politics and also in the field of the battle for the accomplishment of the liberation mission.

The October War of Liberation

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After examining the details of the October liberation war, Dr. Rizk Elias listed in the sixth chapter the most important positive results of this war in 1973, including the moral victory not only of the fighters who participated in it, but also of the Arab Man who suffered frustration as a result of the June 1967 defeat. To liberate part of the occupied territories, this war showed the importance of Arab solidarity and its effectiveness and forced the enemy to treat the Palestinian issue as an issue of people rather than refugees. The October war also caused a major jolt in the psycho-political structure of the Israeli society, and strengthened the position of Arabs in the field of the international political action.

This war has also confirmed through practical experience the validity of the theory on which President Hafez al-Assad had based to prepare for the war and to conduct it.  It proved that Arab soldiers had appeared during the battle in their true image; brave and able to use modern war machines, love their nation and sacrifice for it, showing moral energy in the war. There was scientific evidence of unity of the Arab nation in the will, feelings, desires, hopes and goals, and its enormous military, human and economic energy capable of achieving victory if used correctly. There was great importance of incorporating the political and military battles. Late President Hafez al-Assad stressed that fact by saying: « we cannot, in any way, separate our political battle from our military battle, because the first came as a result of the second, and is associated with it. “We have achieved with our steadfastness in the military battle glorious results which shattered all the myths woven by the enemy around him” he concluded. “We are also able with steadfastness, self-confidence and strong cohesion at the home front, along with our solid cohesion with the Arab nation, to achieve success in the political battle either to achieve the goals for which we fought, or by saying a big “NO” if we were faced by manipulation or evasive or evasion of the implementation of the Security Council resolution as we understand. »

The Peace Process:

Image result for hafez assad

Dr. Rizk Elias revealed in Chapter eight which talks about the “peace process and the reasons for its failure”, the statement of late President Hafez al-Assad on 9 September 1992 in a meeting with a delegation of citizens of the Golan who came to visit Damascus: «In the past we have said that we want peace, and today we are saying that we want a comprehensive peace that preserves our dignity and is accepted by our people, and does not require any retreat from our national rights, and will in no way harm the dignity and pride of our nation. If others agree, this kind of peace can then be achieved.”

On August 1, 1993, on the occasion of the Syrian Arab Army Day, the late President al-Assad gave a clear indication of how serious Syria is in its attempts to achieve peace: “We are in the battle of peace and we are fighting it as seriously as we are in the military wars.

The book also reviewed President Bashar al-Assad’s position on the peace process. The president placed the question of the occupied land in the Golan Heights at the forefront of the national priorities. “Our main concern is to liberate our occupied land. “Land and sovereignty are an issue of dignity” he said. We have been clear in our positions since the beginning of the peace process in Madrid in 1991, contrary to the Israeli policy, which was characterized by fluctuation at times, and putting obstacles”, president Bashar al-Assad said in his Constitutional oath speech in front of the People’s Assembly (the parliament) on July, 17, 2000.

In the same speech, President al-Assad stressed that we must work as quickly as possible to liberate the Golan without compromising the land. “We are in a hurry for peace because it is our choice, and the Syrian Arab people a peace-loving people throughout history, but we are not ready, by any means, to abandon any part of our land, or to let our sovereignty to be touched » he said.

President al-Assad called on the United States of America to play a neutral, impartial and effective role to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy. In a later speech, President Bashar al-Assad called on Russia and the European Union to play a more active role.

In another speech, President al-Assad referred to the peace-loving nature of the Syrian people by saying: Peace is an ideology for the Syrian people and not just a political act. If you go back to the history of Syria for hundreds and thousands of years, you will find that it has no history of aggression. The real struggle between us and the Israelis is between those who start wars and those who prevent it ».

President al-Assad also explained the contrast between the terms “Syria’s conditions” and “Syria’s rights” by saying: “There is no such a thing as” Syria’s conditions” but there is something called” “Syria’s rights”. “There are international conditions that correspond to the Syrian and Arab rights in general. Israel stands in the face of restoration of the Syrian rights and, at the same time, in the face of the international conditions ».

Referring to Syria’s strategy of steadfastness and liberation and its ability to confront the Israeli aggression, President al-Assad said: «Syria does not seek to ignite the war, but if imposed a war on Syria, will defend itself, and is able to do so. It may be able for anyone to control the beginning of the war, but he will never be able to control its end or its results. The Arab side, and we are at the forefront of it, who possess the decision to end the war; how, where and what how it ends ».

The decisions of the tenth regional conference of the Arab Socialist Baath Party which was held between June 6 and 9, 2005, underlined the peaceful approach taken by the President in his official statements and positions. The first recommendation taken by that conference stressed the need of liberating the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of the fourth of June 1967».

Also, The Charter of the National Progressive Front issued on 12 October 2004 affirmed the commitment of the Front to a peaceful approach in its international policy according to the principles of the international legitimacy and the UN decisions relating to the Arab – Israeli struggle on the basis of justice, rights, international law and finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts.»


Adapted by Haifaa Mafalani

On Criticism of Palestinian Resistance


Palestinian Ghandi.jpg

by Eve Mykytyn*

The Oxford definition of ‘terrorism’  is: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”    Although the term could apply to the belligerents in many wars, the term ‘terrorism’ takes on its everyday meaning when violence is perpetuated by the weak in resistance to the powerful.

What other form of resistance is available to an oppressed people?  One does not have to search hard to find a Jewish source begging for the peaceful resistance of a Palestinian Gandhi or King.

The request itself is odd, it invites a comparison to the conditions Gandhi and King fought, and is an implicit, although perhaps unintended,  admission that Israel represents another oppressive racist regime.

It takes chutzpah to complain about the form of resistance employed by the people you are oppressing. Why are the Palestinians obliged to meet violence with nonviolence? Certainly  you have to take your victims as they are.

Gandhi wrote about the uses of nonviolent resistance and King referred to Gandhi’s writings. For Gandhi and King nonviolence was not an end in itself, it was a strategy, a means to achieve a goal. Despite later deifications, neither Gandhi nor King was a saint,  they were leaders who employed non violent resistance because it was effective under their circumstances.

Both men were vastly outpowered by the brutal regimes they opposed. Nonviolence did not allow them or their followers  to escape injury or death, their battles required at least as much physical bravery as for any soldiers.

Both Gandhi and King deliberately provoked their enemies and then refused either to back down or to physically fight back. The decision to meet violence with nonviolent resistance was a powerful tool used to expose the brutality of the regime. The march to Selma would have amounted to little without the press. What they ‘achieved’ was  an unforgettably painful display of violence. To the extent nonviolence succeeded for King, it was because the ‘soldiers’ on the other side gave Americans a clear picture of the savagery to which blacks were subjected. It became increasingly difficult for those who had long averted their eyes to claim ignorance.

One reason the Palestinians are portrayed as ‘failing’ to meet the standard set  by Gandhi or King is that their use of the tactic of nonviolence has not attracted sympathetic coverage, it has not been effective enough in exposing Israel’s brutality. There are, of course, numerous examples of peaceful Palestinian resistance. One example is commemorated on ‘Land Day’ remembering the day in 1976 that Israel killed peaceful Palestinian protesters. Another occurred during the first intifada, as Neve Gordon writes in 972, when the “Palestinians adopted massive civil disobedience strategies, including daily protests” against Israel’s occupation. Israel responded with violence and  mass incarcerations. While they could easily provoke violence through peaceful protest, the Palestinians could not win the media nor shame the Israelis into change.

This, of course, begs the question of control of the media. King  was extensively covered in the media.  Do the Palestinians have access to the same?  At best, Haaretz might decry the proportionality of Israel’s violence, but will it explore the true meaning of Palestinian protest, both the original and the ongoing taking of their property and destruction of their society? Would  the international press do any better?

As I was writing this I realized that Palestinian nonviolent protests in Gaza have had perhaps a small effect on public opinion. The mainstream media in the US is universally favorable to Israel, but although they tried, the media was not entirely successful in creating sympathy for the  Israeli snipers. For example, The Guardian, in reporting that one year into the protest, the Israelis had killed 190 and wounded 28,000, noted that, “Children, journalists and medics have been killed, even when they were standing far back from the fence.”  Spin that one. Here’s an attempt by Eric Yoffe,  a self-described ‘liberal’ American Jew,  to justify killing protestors who had not killed a single Israeli.  “If 100 Jewish bodies were strewn across southern Israel, would the American left more readily forgive Israel’s defensive actions against an angry mob of tens of thousands propelled by the murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists of Hamas?”  This is simply a variation on the “I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first” defense. Perhaps the need to resort to such a  feeble rationale helps explain why we finally have a tiny Congressional support group for the Palestinians. Seventeen were so daring as to vote against an anti BDS bill.

Further, Israel has shown little sign that it is willing to change its basic  oppressive policies in response to any actions or restraint by the Palestinians. This is an interesting video in which Israeli ‘settlers’ are asked if they would move if told to do so by their government and knowing the move would mean peace in the region.  Their responses are variations on “No, I would not, it is my land.” Perhaps they are merely following the lessons of their religion.

In the story of Exodus, recounted annually even by many secular Jews at Passover, Moses unsuccessfully begs the Pharaoh for his peoples’ freedom. The lesson to be learned: Jewish liberation comes only after Egyptian civilians are subjected to terrible brutality.

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