Palestinians Mobilize against Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

 January 28, 2020

Palestinians staged protests Tuesday against US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, hours before it was to be unveiled in Washington.

Thousands demonstrated in Gaza, burning pictures of Trump and the American flag, while further rallies were planned for tonight and the coming days.

Details of the initiative, also known as the “Deal of the Century”, remained under wraps, but leaked reports say it will heavily favor the Zionist entity, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to attend the White House unveiling.

Hamas Joins Fatah Meeting

In a rare event, rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah agreed to meet in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss a response to Trump.

“We invited the Hamas movement to attend the emergency meeting of the leadership and they will take part in the meeting,” senior Palestinian official Azzam al-Ahmed said.

Hamas official Nasser al-Din al-Shaar confirmed he would attend the meeting, which all Palestinian factions were invited to.

“The meeting will discuss the position that must be taken (against) Trump’s plan,” Shaar said.

Palestinian resistance factions also voiced firm rejection to the plan, with Resistance Committees issuing a statement calling for Palestinian unity and stressing that the resistance will manage to overthrow the so-called “Deal of the Century”.

Details on the Plan

Trump was due to release his plan, in preparation since 2017, at the White House together with his close ally Netanyahu, who is battling corruption charges which he denies and campaigning for March 2 elections.

The Palestinians, who accuse Trump of pro-Israel bias after his administration has unwaveringly backed Israeli objectives, were not taking part in the Washington event.

And Trump’s vision of the so-called “peace” is almost certainly a non-starter for most Palestinians, including those in the Jordan Valley, a strategically vital area that constitutes around 30 percent of the West Bank.

Trump’s plan may seek to give the Zionist entity the green light from Washington to annex the Jordan Valley, which is home to around 65,000 Palestinians, according to the Israeli anti-occupation NGO B’Tselem.

Source: AFP (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Trump Goes to Israel: Another Settler from the United States?

By Philip Giraldi

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President Donald Trump’s lack of any precision when he speaks or tweets sometimes means that multiple meanings can be construed from what he chooses to say or write. At a private gathering last week in which he was wooing potential Orthodox Jewish donors, he responded to a blessing from a rabbi with what he thought to be a joke. Fighting for his political life in the middle of an impeachment process, he observed that if things do no go well in the United States, he could always move to Israel and run for office, saying “if anything happens here, I’m taking a trip over to Israel. I’ll be prime minister.”

The fund-raiser at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan was arranged by the America First Super PAC. Trump’s son-in-law and principal adviser Jared Kushner and his special representative for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz, both Orthodox Jews, also were in attendance. Numerous Trump supporters were present in the ballroom and began shouting out “Four more years!” when the president rose to speak. Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson offered a blessing, saying “Blessed are you, our Lord, King of the universe, that you have shared of your glory and love and compassion with a human being who maintains the honor of every innocent person and Jew. Thank you, amen.”

The Trump joke appeared to be based on media reports that he enjoys an approval rating of 98% among Jewish voters in Israel, the only country in the world where he has a favorable rating. And he was also presumably referring to the fact that Israel has had two deadlocked elections and may be heading for a third due to the fact that neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor his opponent Benny Gantz seems able to pull  together a governing coalition. Trump quipped in his usual self-serving fashion, “What kind of a system is it over there, right, with Bibi? They’re all fighting and fighting. We have different kinds of fights, but at least we know who the boss is. They keep having elections, and nobody’s elected.”

The president also spent some time affirming his complete support for the Jewish state, citing how it was at that moment defending itself from missile attacks coming from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group and Hamas in Gaza. He also recalled for the potential donors his unilateral (and illegal) recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights and his decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program. As expected, the audience cheered.

Also, in a statement that should offend and serve as a wake-up call for all of America’s remaining Arab friends, Trump described how he was able to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He claimed that when he received calls from Arab leaders objecting to the proposed shift, he refused to speak to them, saying to his aides “Just tell them I’m very busy, I’ll call them back. And then I did it, we got it done, it’s done. And then I announced it, and then I went into the office, I made about 25 calls…. I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s done already; there’s nothing I could do about it.’ It’s much easier. I say, ‘I’m sorry, I wish I could have gotten back to you sooner.’”

So, on the surface it was a complete rah-rah evening among friends, saying wonderful things about Israel and dumb things about Arabs while also bringing in $4 million in donations from the Orthodox Jewish businessmen who made up most of the audience. But at the same time, the Trump remark about moving to Israel and being elected prime minister can be construed as having a darker meaning as Israel is, in fact, a settler state that illegally has dispossessed the original residents of the country and replaced them. Foreign Jews can move to Israel and become citizens automatically under the “law of return” but the people who used to live on that land cannot go to their homes. Trump, who joked about moving and becoming Israeli, described in his usual caustic, off-hand fashion the racist reality of the Jewish state.

Donald Trump might not have been in such a humorous mood if he had considered the fact that while he is wildly popular in Israel because he gives the Israeli Jews everything they want, he continues to be mistrusted and not very well received by American Jews, who continue to vote for and provide most of the funding for the Democratic Party. Some Israelis and many American Zionists have even come to the conclusion that Trump is not to be relied upon when he pledges total support for the Jewish state . They point to the recent White House decision to pull out of Syria, which was made in consultation with Turkey, which the Israelis regard as a hostile power, and without any input from Israel. The fact that Trump then reversed himself also has been noted as characteristic of his basic unreliability.

Some Israelis and their think tank associates in the United States have also expressed particular concern over the fact that Trump and Netanyahu, who still heads the interim government, have not even spoken over the phone in weeks. As Trump’s policy making style is best described as impulsive, there is concern that he will make bad decisions from the Israeli perspective. It is often noted that the Administration’s desire to confront Iran appears to have waned and will probably be even less evident as the 2020 election approaches. Some observers have also cited the example of the betrayal of the Kurds, suggesting that Trump might be inclined to abandon Israel and its other allies in the Middle East in the same fashion.

To be sure, Donald Trump has done everything possible to pander to American Zionists and to Israelis and it is clear that he considers Jews to be a group that has to be courted, if only due to their influence over the media and their willingness to donate large sums to political causes. Israeli concerns that he will pull the plug on them are overstated to put it mildly given their control over Congress and the media. As long as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson continues to be willing to donate $100 million to the GOP every two years, the status quo is guaranteed. But there remains a long-term problem due to the fact that American Jews are overwhelmingly politically liberal and they do not like Trump, no matter what he does for Israel. And Adelson is reported to be in poor health. If he dies and the cash flow dies  with him, Trump’s view of Israel just might change dramatically.

 

Old News? New News? With Israel, It’s all the Same

by J. Michael Springmann

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Zionist Noses.  According to the September 12, 2019  edition of the American political journal POLITICO, Israel “likely” placed cell phone surveillance devices around the White House and other “sensitive locations” in Washington, D.C.  The publication based its statement on three, unnamed, former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.  (The story, however, first broke in June 2018 in a variety of news outlets which noted that the devices, called “stingrays”, had been detected the previous year.)

Stingrays are not fish but are, as Politico described them, devices “which mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information. Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.”  American police departments use them and such use has occasioned a series of lawsuits alleging violations of the 1st and 4th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, regarding freedom of speech and warrantless searches.

Israeli officials, as is normally the case, denied any involvement.  Donald Trump also denigrated the “alleged” Israeli activities, saying “My relationship with Israel has been great…Anything is possible but I don’t believe it.”

Why?  Donald Triumph has long been known to be less than security-conscious.  “POLITICO reported in May 2018 that the president often used an insufficiently secured cell phone to communicate with friends and confidants. The New York Times subsequently reported in October 2018 that “Chinese spies are often listening” to Trump’s cell phone calls, prompting the president to slam the story as “so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it.”  According to its sources, Trump’s phone, POLITICO said, has been hardened against intrusion.

But Isn’t This Old News?  Israel has been spying on the United States government, American businesses, and public officials for decades.  In the 1950s, former ambassador Andrew Kilgore once noted, Israel had planted microphones in the American embassy in Tel Aviv.

“As Paul Pillar, the CIA’s former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, told Newsweek [in  May 2014], old habits are hard to break: Zionists were dispatching spies to America before there even was an Israel, to gather money and materials for the cause and later the fledgling state. Key components for Israel’s nuclear bombs were clandestinely obtained here. “They’ve found creative and inventive ways,” Pillar said, to get what they want.”

Then there was Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. Navy civilian employee.  He had been arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison for passing suitcases full of highly-classified documents to Israeli intelligence.  After much Zionist pressure, his life term was commuted to 30 years and he was released.

In the first half of 2001, “Israeli art students” attempting to sell their wares turned up at government offices in 40 U.S. cities.  They were attempting to penetrate the Drug Enforcement Administration and other U.S. government agencies, including those with addresses not known to the public.  Salon, a news and opinion website, wrote in May 2002:  “According to one account, some 140 Israeli nationals were detained or arrested between March 2001 and Sept. 11, 2001.  Many of them were deported. According to the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service], the deportations resulted from violations of student visas that forbade the Israelis from working in the United States… After the Sept. 11 attacks, many more young Israelis — 60, according to one AP dispatch and other reports — were detained and deported.”

The journalist Wayne Madsen has written extensively about the “art students” and this writer can attest that they are still operating.  A few years ago, he once visited the Pentagon City Mall (near the iconic military headquarters). A salesgirl, from a cart hawking perfume, approached him, asking if he had ever been to her country, Israel.

Yet, for obvious reasons, there has been little investigation of this by the Zionist-controlled U.S. media.

It Gets More Technical.  As Christopher Ketcham wrote in a September 2008 issue of CounterPunch, “Since the late 1990s, federal agents have reported systemic communications security breaches at the Department of Justice, FBI, DEA, the State Department, and the White House.  Several of the alleged breaches, these agents say, can be traced to two hi-tech [Israeli] communications companies, Verint Inc. (formerly Comverse Infosys), and Amdocs Ltd., that respectively provide major wiretap and phone billing/record-keeping software contracts for the U.S. government.  Together, Verint and Amdocs form part of the backbone of the government’s domestic intelligence surveillance technology.”

The article went on to quote Philip Giraldi, former CIA counterterrorism and counterintelligence officer.  He said “This is par for the course in the history of Israeli penetrations in the U.S.”   Quoting annual FBI reports called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage”, Giraldi noted Israel is second only to China in stealing U.S. business secrets.  One FBI account added “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.”  A key Israeli method, warns the FBI report, is computer intrusion.

And In The End?  Do we force Israel to divest itself of its spies and its companies deeply involved in espionage in the United States?  Do we block visas for Israelis to enter this country?  Do we end American financial support of Israel:  $10 million a day/365 days a year?  Plus tax-free purchase of Israeli bonds?  Plus sales of Israeli-controlled consumer goods like Tribe and Sabra Hummus or Ahava beauty products?

Would government officials with knowledge of Israeli espionage activities admit their failures and resign?  Would the American press cover this?  In a country that passes laws to condemn criticism of Israel?  Or of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS).  Not hardly.

The United States of America is completely under the control of Israel and its Zionists.  Things will not change until Israel does.

Feeding the Israel Lobby: Congress Gives the Jewish State Whatever It Wants

By Philip Giraldi

Source

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If you have been wondering when the twenty Democratic aspirants for the presidency will begin a serious discussion of American foreign policy in the Middle East, where Washington has been bogged down in both current and impending wars, you are not alone. With the honorable exception of Tulsi Gabbard, no one seems keen to touch that particular live wire.

Part of the problem is the journalists who are asking the questions in the debates. To be sure, the publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt back in 2007 opened the door to a frank discussion of why the United States is involved in unresolvable conflicts on behalf of a tiny client state. But unfortunately, while it is now possible to find in the mainstream media some honest analysis of Israel’s ability to corrupt policy formulation in Washington, in general the Jewish state continues to get a pass from both the press and politicians on all issues that matter.

And then there is the problem of Congress itself, which is precisely the institution that has been most corrupted by Israel and Jewish money. Almost thirty years ago, American politician Pat Buchanan described Congress as “Israeli occupied territory.” As a result, he was viciously attacked by the mainstream media and the political leadership of both parties, demonstrating beyond all doubt that he was correct in his observation. Today the Israel Lobby in the United States is far more powerful than it was in 1990, so much so that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu actually boasts to his voters that he directs U.S. policy.

The hypocrisy inherent in the Israel-philia of America’s political leadership is such that it sometimes produces comic results. The whiney head of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, was beside himself prior to the Robert Mueller testimony before Congress on July 24th, denouncing Russia and President Donald Trump, saying that the president’s actions amounted to “Disloyalty to country… Those are strong words… But disloyalty to country violates the very obligation of citizenship, our devotion to a core principle on which our nation was founded, that we, the people, not some foreign power that wishes us ill, we decide, who shall govern, us.”

Strong words indeed, but Adam Schiff knows perfectly well that Moscow’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election, which was relatively insignificant, had no measurable impact on the result. And both he and Mueller have been coy about presenting any real evidence that Russia is gearing up to do major damage in 2020, which is what they claim to be the case. By way of contrast, everyone in Washington knows very clearly but will never admit that Israel has seriously corrupted the United States government and its elected officials at all levels. But Schiff did not mention Israel, nor did he express concern that Israel’s clearly unsavory involvement with Trump transition team members General Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner was never thoroughly investigated or included in the final Mueller report. One might assume that a deliberate decision was made by some parties in power to avoid embarrassing Israel. Those parties almost certainly included Schiff.

Schiff, who is Jewish, frequently tells audiences about his love for Israel, sometimes complaining that it is treated unfairly. It might be suggested that if anyone in the government is partial to a foreign power it is Schiff, and that foreign power is Israel, not Russia.

Unfortunately, Schiff is far from unique. Perhaps he and a number of other Congressmen should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as required by law. Congressmen are not exempt when they work to benefit a foreign nation, though they frequently believe themselves to be not subject to the very laws that they pass. In May a letter was sent to the White House with the signatures of 400 congressmen, purely to express America’s legislature’s solidarity with Israel and to give it a green light to do whatever it wishes vis-à-vis its neighbors. The letter cites some questionable American interests relating to Syria, but it also mentions Israel no less than 13 times.

If that does not convince one that Congress has always been and continues to be Israeli occupied territory, check out some bills that have been working their way through the legislature. The House voted overwhelmingly on July 23rd to formally oppose the Palestinian-backed nonviolent movement to boycott Israel. The measure, H.Res.246 opposes “efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement [BDS] targeting Israel.” The bill had 349 co-sponsors and passed by a 398–17 vote. Sixteen Democrats and only one Republican opposed the bill. The bill is not a law but is rather intended to express the will of congress, which is perhaps the only good thing to say about it.

Other bills have not yet been voted on, presumably because friends of the Jewish state are looking for more goodies to add in. The pending legislative action includes the aid to Israel bill H.R.1837 the “United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act”, which has 279 cosponsors. When the bill is approved, which it will be, it will increase the amount of aid given to Israel over ten years to $38 billion, though this is now regarded as a minimum figure which will be supplemented to meet the Jewish state’s expressed needs. And the aid is now unconditional, meaning that Israel will receive the money no matter how it behaves, while the Jewish state will also be able to use the U.S. taxpayer-provided money to buy weapons from its own arms industry, cutting American defense contractors out of the loop and costing jobs in the United States.

Another bill to benefit Israel is also pending: H.R. 1850, the “Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2019,” a law that would authorize and encourage financially sanctioning any foreign organization or individual that provides “support” to any group, organization or individual considered to be part of the Palestinian resistance. Interestingly, the bill does not even pretend to be based on U.S. national security: it is all about and for Israel. It could mean that foreign supporters of BDS, which is now considered a hostile entity by “the will of” Congress, could be subject to sanctions even though they are non-violent and threaten no one.

One final bit of bipartisan legislation best described as a pander to both Israel and the Jewish community is a bill that has appeared recently in the Senate that will prioritize and pay for health care and nutrition services for those who claim to be holocaust survivors. The bill is entitled the “Trauma-Informed Modernization of Eldercare for Holocaust Survivors Act” or “TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act.” It is intended to “increase the chances that survivors could age in their own homes” and also “to ensure that Holocaust survivors have care and services tailored to their needs.”

Sponsor Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who is, of course, Jewish, elaborated: “Holocaust survivors came to the United States seeking refuge from unimaginable horrors. They have lived their lives here and enriched our nation. With an average age of 85, we have an obligation to provide Holocaust survivors the community support and special services they need to live out their final days,”

WE have an obligation? How about you and your co-religionists Ben as you seem to have a lot of money to spend on lobbying for Israel and corrupting our government? Special services? Why do they need help? Because, the bill states, “institutionalized settings, with confined spaces or restrictions on food, can induce panic, anxiety, and re-traumatization due to their holocaust experiences.”

What about other elderly American who have problems with “institutionalized settings” or “confined spaces” or “restrictions on food?” How the Senate will justify special benefits for a small group of self-described victims drawn from the wealthiest demographic in the U.S. remains to be seen. If there is anyone who actually needs help, it is the U.S. taxpayer, who has to bear the burden of this utter nonsense, which sets up Jews as a special privileged group within our social services network. So-called holocaust survivors are identified in the bill’s “Findings” as “(2) More than 200,000 Jews fleeing from Nazi-occupied territory found refuge in the United States from 1933 through 1945, and approximately 137,000 additional Jewish refugees settled in the United States from 1945 through 1952. (3) Hundreds of thousands of additional Jewish refugees continued to immigrate to the United States from Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union during the subsequent decades. (4) The number of Holocaust survivors living in the United States at the end of 2018 was approximately 80,000 individuals, down from an estimated 13 127,000 in 2010.”

Thus, Holocaust survivors who will benefit from the bill are inevitably and by intention only Jews – no Christians who went through 1933-1945 in Europe need apply. That one highly privileged group should deserve special benefits from government that other retirees cannot have is a disgrace. So, is the United States Congress Israeli and also, by extension, Jewish occupied territory? I think the question answers itself.

حزب الله وأنصار الله يضعان «إسرائيل» في ضائقة أمنية؟

يوليو 22, 2019

د. عصام نعمان

مَن يتابع وسائل الإعلام العبري يخرج بانطباع يراوح بين السخرية والشماتة مفاده انّ الله تعالى لا ينصر بني صهيون. لماذا؟ لأنّ حزب الله في لبنان وأنصار الله في اليمن وضعوا كيانها المأزوم في ضائقة أمنية واستراتيجية لا فكاك منها، أقلّه في المستقبل المنظور. كيف؟

صحيفة «هآرتس» 2019/7/17 قالت إنّ الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله أكّد في سياق مقابلة متلفزة لمناسبة ذكرى مرور 13 عاماً على حرب 2006 انّ «إسرائيل كلها باتت تحت مدى صواريخنا»، وانه كرّر تهديده بأنّ «حزب الله لا يحتاج الى سلاح نووي بل يكفي ان يطلق صاروخاً واحداً بإتجاه مخزن الأمونيا في حيفا كي يتسبّب بسقوط عشرات الآف القتلى والجرحى».

صحيفة «يديعوت احرونوت» 2019/7/18 كشفت انّ اعتزام الإمارات العربية المتحدة سحب قواتها المشاركة في الحرب على أنصار الله الحوثيين وحلفائهم في اليمن يشكّل هزيمة للسعودية وتالياً لـِ «إسرائيل» لأنه يُجهض مسار التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني الذي تقوده الرياض ويعطل إمكانية قيام حلف دفاعي بين «إسرائيل» وبعض دول الخليج.

ليس أدلّ على الضائقة الأمنية بل التحدي الاستراتيجي البالغ الخطورة الذي تكشّفت عنه تهديدات نصرالله الأخيرة من انّ قيادة الجبهة الداخلية في الجيش الإسرائيلي قرّرت، بحسب «هآرتس» وبإجازة لنشرها من الرقابة العسكرية، «تحصين 20 موقعاً في «إسرائيل» من الهجمات الصاروخية تحسّباً من إقدام حزب الله على استهدافها بصواريخ دقيقة في أيّ مواجهة عسكرية بينه وبين «إسرائيل» في المستقبل». وكشفت «هآرتس» انّ قائد قيادة الجبهة الداخلية أكد خلال نقاش داخلي جرى في الكنيست أنّ مليونين ونصف المليون مستوطن في «إسرائيل» لا يتمتعون بحماية مناسبة نظراً الى كون أكثر من 700,000 منزل غير محصّنين من الهجمات الصاروخية.

هواجس «إسرائيل»، ألى أين من هنا؟

ليست التحديات المشعّة من حزب الله، والتداعيات الناجمة عن تقدّم أنصار الله في اليمن هي وحدها ما يؤرق بنيامين نتنياهو في هذه الآونة. ثمة تحدٍّ أكبر تمثله إيران بما لها من ثقل عسكري قد يقترن بامتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً ونفوذاً سياسياً متزايداً من شأنه ان يلفّ منطقة غرب آسيا برمتها. الى ذلك، ثمة تحدٍّ آخر شديد الأهمية هو ما يمكن ان يقوم به، او لا يقوم به، حليفه دونالد ترامب حيال كلّ هذه التحديات.

ظاهرُ الحال يؤشّر الى انّ نتنياهو قرّر مواجهة هذه التحديات بما يؤمّن، في ظنّه، حماية «إسرائيل» ودعم مصالحه السياسية الشخصية وذلك بالتعاون مع ترامب في ثلاثة ميادين: تصنيف حزب الله تنظيماً إرهابياً، تطويق إيران بإبعادها ميدانياً عن سورية، وإعلان «حلف دفاعي» بين الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل» كخطوة رمزية تساعده على الفوز في الانتخابات البرلمانية في شهر أيلول/ سبتمبر المقبل، وتساعد ترامب على الفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية في العام القادم.

ففي مواجهة حزب الله الذي أضحى قوة إقليمية دعا نتنياهو، خلال لقاء عقده في القدس المحتلة مع نواب كبار في البرلمان الفرنسي، فرنسا والدول الأوروبية الأخرى إلى أنّ تقوم بما قامت به الأرجنتين وهو تصنيف حزب الله تنظيماً إرهابياً بدعوى

«أنه بات التنظيم الإرهابي الرئيس الذي يعمل في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وفي العالم، وهو يقوم بتوجيه الإرهابيين داخل الأراضي الأوروبية» صحيفة «يسرائيل هيوم» 2019/7/18 .

في مواجهة إيران، يتبنّى نتنياهو كلّ ما يقوم به حليفه ترامب ضدّ إيران من حصار وعقوبات اقتصادية، وضغوط دولية واستخباراتية لتعطيل قدرتها على إنتاج صواريخ بالستية بعيدة المدى بات مداها يصل الى «إسرائيل» وحتى الى أوروبا، وعمليات تخريبية بالتعاون مع جماعات إرهابية تستهدف مواقع ومرافق إيرانية على الحدود مع باكستان وأفغانستان. غير أنّ آخر وأخطر أنشطة نتنياهو على هذا الصعيد، لا سيما خلال اللقاء الأمني الثلاثي الذي عُقد في القدس المحتلة الشهر الماضي بين كلٍّ من مستشاري الأمن القومي الروسي نيكولاي بتروشيف، والأميركي جون بولتون، والإسرائيلي مئير بن شبات، قيامه بالتفاهم مع ترامب على مطالبة روسيا بضرورة ان يشمل ايّ اتفاق مستقبلي بشأن سورية انسحاباً عسكرياً إيرانياً منها كما من لبنان والعراق صحيفة «معاريف» 2019/7/18 .

في جهوده المحمومة للفوز في الانتخابات البرلمانية المقبلة، يتحادث نتنياهو وترامب بشأن إعلان «حلف دفاعي» هو عبارة عن تعهّد علني من جانب الولايات المتحدة بتقديم مساعدة محدّدة الى «إسرائيل» لمواجهة تهديدين أساسيين تتعرّض لهما: سلاح نووي وسلاح صاروخي، كما تنطوي على تبادل وثيق للمعلومات بصورة يومية، ومناورات مشتركة يقوم بها الجيشان، ومساعدة أميركية لاعتراض الصواريخ والقذائف، ودعم لوجستي عاجل في زمن الحرب. ويقول المحلل العسكري رون بن يشاي في موقع «Ynet» 2019/7/13 «إنّ التأثير الحقيقي لمثل هذا الإعلان سيكون تعزيز فرص إعادة انتخاب نتنياهو وتأكيد مواهبه كسياسي عالمي، كما تعزيز فرص ترامب في إعادة انتخابه رئيساً للولايات المتحدة بمساعدة من الإنجيليين من مؤيدي «إسرائيل» الذين يشكّلون مكوّناً مهماً في قاعدة الدعم السياسي له».

غير انّ جميع ما يسعى نتنياهو الى الحصول عليه من الولايات المتحدة لا يشكّل قفزة نوعية استراتيجية بالمقارنة مع ما حصلت وتحصل عليه «إسرائيل» من أمها الرؤوم. ذلك انّ أحدث وأفتك ما لدى أميركا من أسلحة برية وجوية وبحرية قد جرى تزويد «إسرائيل» به، هذا فضلاً عن مخزون أسلحة وعتاد وأجهزة تحتفظ به واشنطن في مستودعات خاصة في «إسرائيل» مع ترخيص دائم للقيادة الصهيونية العليا باستعماله اذا ما اقتضت الضرورة.

لا غلوّ في القول، والحالة هذه، إنّ «إسرائيل» عسكرياً هي أميركا الصغرى. ومع ذلك، يبقى ثمة سؤال: هل حمتها وتحميها هذه الأسلحة والترتيبات والتحالفات من المخاطر والتحديات التي واجهتها والأخرى التي تواجهها في قابل الأيام…؟

وزير سابق

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US Ambassador Quietly Delivers West Bank to Israel in NY Times Interview

By Miko Peled
Source

JERUSALEM, PALESTINE — In a highly provocative statement — one that was most likely well planned — United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in an interview this week to the New York Times that “Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”

Responses to this statement were quick to pop up, with the Israeli “Left” condemning and the Right expressing their agreement. Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gil’ad Erdan said:

The Trump administration’s view, which was expressed by Ambassador Friedman, is the only one that might bring about change and make the Palestinians understand that boycotting Israel and the United States and supporting terror and incitement won’t achieve anything.”

Erdan continued: “For years the Palestinians were told that time is in their favor and therefore (in addition to many other reasons) they refused.”

Bezalel Smutrich, chairman of the “National Unity” Party said that it seems the Americans finally understand that Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Smariah will “uproot the Arab desire for an independent state,” and that this desire is what is “fueling terrorism and the violent struggle for over one hundred years.”

It seems interestng that the Zionist perception is that more opression and more exclusion will convince the Palestinians to stop fighting for their rights.

On the Israeli Left the responses were quite strong. Ofer Cassif, of Hadash-Ta’al Party, tweeted“Neither the government of Israel nor the U.S. administration can hide the truth – the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are occupied Palestinian territories that will be released and lawfully returned to their owners as part of a just peace deal.”

Cassif went as far as publishing a letter he wrote to Ambassador Friedman, which was also turned into an ad saying, “We are not a US Protectorate.”

Mtanes Shehadeh, head of Balad Party, also tweeted, saying that permanent Israeli sovereignty of Palestinian territories would be a violation of International law.

The truth hurts

It is true everywhere that the truth hurts, but perhaps nowhere as much as in Palestine. In this particular case the truth is that if one accepts the legitimacy of Israel in the Galilee, the Naqab, Jerusalem or any other part of Palestine, then there is no room to draw an artificial line and say “this is as far as it goes and Israel has no right to Judea and Samaria.” Not to even mention the fact that the line that is used here — the “Green Line” that delineates the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — was drawn by Israel, based on Israeli interests when the Zionist state was established. And then — in 1967, when it no longer suited Israel’s needs — it was de factoeliminated by Israel.

When the cease fire lines were drawn in 1949, lines that defined the state of Israel and are known as the pre-1967 borders, it was Israel that decided what parts of Palestine would be included within the newly established Zionist state. It was clear to the Israeli military and politicians that these were not permanent boundaries. Israel’s first foreign minister, Moshe Sharet, mentions in his memoirs an occasion when important Jewish leaders came for a visit to Jerusalem. They were invited to a gathering where several speakers presented, one of whom was my father, then a young lieutenant colonel. Sharet notes with great pleasure how the young Peled made it clear that the eastern boundary of the State of Israel needed to be the Jordan River. He added that the military is prepared for the day when the government will give the order to complete that task.

It was about ten years later, and almost exactly 52 years ago, that my father was now one of the Israeli army’s generals and the job was completed. Israel’s eastern boundary was pushed all the way to the Jordan River and Judea and Samaria came within the boundaries of the state. Needless to recall here that Jewish settlements in these areas were built almost immediately and any talk of giving them up was considered treasonous.

Just as we either accept racism as legitimate or we reject it, we either accept the legitimacy of Zionism or we reject it. There is no room for a middle way. If any proof is still needed that as long as Zionists control Palestine Palestinians will enjoy no rights, the past seven decades supply ample proof. As long as there is an “Israel,” Palestinians will continue to suffer from forced exile, arbitrary detention, and ongoing killing of civilians.

Is David Friedman, the former Trump lawyer and major supporter of settlements, right? No! However, if one accepts the legitimacy of the Zionist state then one might as well accept Ambassador Friedman’s statement and Israeli sovereignty over all of Palestine. The Zionist state claims all of Palestine to be “The Land of Israel,” and has in fact taken over and settled all of Palestine.

Consecutive Zionist governments have made it clear that there is no West Bank, only an area of The Land of Israel called Judea and Samaria. Israel makes it clear that settling Jewish people anywhere in the Land of Israel is a right that is not negotiable. No single form of opression by Israel will end until the entire system of Zionist occupation and oppression is brought to an end. It is like trying to put out fires while allowing the arsonist to keep pouring fuel into them. The arsonist is the Zionist state.

Not a random statement

David Friedman’s statement was not random and was not made out of the clear blue sky — he does, after all, represent the United States government. The statement is well timed and goes along with policies we have seen enacted by the Israeli government and supported by the Trump administration: recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel; defunding UNRWA; closing the Palestinian mission in Washington, and in fact deporting the head of the mission along with his family; the recognition of Israeli sovreignty over the Syrian Golan Heights; and the proposed state of “New Palestine.”

All of these point to the inevitable recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and are part of the grand, so-called Deal of the Century.

New Evidence Proves Israel Attacked USS Liberty With Orders to Kill 294 Americans

Global Research, June 08, 2019

America is commemorating the 52nd anniversary of the Israeli attack on USS Liberty.

This article was first published on November 14, 2014

Fresh evidence presented in an exclusive Al Jazeera investigation into the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 Americans proves the incident was not a mistake. Since 1967 the ‘official story‘ has been that Israel simply misidentified the American ship as Egyptian for several hours. Israel apologized to the United States and for several decades we’ve been led to believe that this could be the only explanation for why Israeli jets and torpedo boats would launch rockets, missiles and torpedoes at an American target for more than two hours.

A new documentary called ‘The Day Israel Attacked America” airing on Al Jazeera was produced and directed by award winning British film maker Richard Belfield. Thanks to the audio evidence obtained by Belfield, it is finally possible to prove the survivors of the attack on the USS Liberty were right all along. The survivors have always been extremely confident that Israel’s intentions were to sink that ship and kill everyone on board so Egypt could be blamed for the tragedy. Why? To convince President Lyndon Johnson (and the American public) that we needed to declare war on Egypt. This is the definition of a ‘false flag‘. (can you say 9/11?)

It appears that once again, a conspiracy theory has turned out to be conspiracy fact. You can finally take off your tinfoil hats!

Earlier this year, I acquired a copy of the audiotape of the attack as it had unfolded, the real time conversations between Israeli Air Force pilots and their controllers back at base. It had never been broadcast before. I went to talk to Al Jazeera and after careful consideration, the network commissioned the film.” – Richard Belfield

Just sixteen minutes after Israel attacked America, the USS Liberty was confirmed by Israeli forces to be an American ship. These conversations can be heard in the documentary Al Jazeera has been airing on their station.

“To what state does she belong?” (Answer): “American”

Yet the attacks continued for an hour and a half!

Even five minutes before the first bombing you can hear Israeli Air Force pilots question whether the ship was American or not. You don’t have to be a genius to understand why these pilots would be extremely uncomfortable attacking a ship suspected to be American without being given direct orders to do so. I believe we can safely assume this attack wouldn’t have been carried out otherwise.

rsz_deathamerica“Is it an American ship?” “What do you mean American?” “No comment.”

Twenty minutes after a ground controller answered “American” when asked “to what state does she belong?” by Israeli Air Force pilots, the first torpedo hit the USS Liberty. A voice can clearly be heard which confirms that this target, thought to be American at that time, was to be destroyed.

“The torpedo is talking care of the ship now.”

As soon as the first torpedo hit the USS Liberty, Israeli torpedo boats circled the ship and started machine-gunning the American target for another 40 minutes. When the USS Liberty crew lowered their lifeboats into the water to evacuate their ship, the Israelis moved closer so they could gun down the Americans attempting to save their own lives.

More than ten years ago a journalist named Arieh O’Sullivan from the Jerusalem Post was allowed to listen to these same audiotapes. He published a transcript of the Israeli military transmissions he heard directing the attack on the USS Liberty. Sixteen minutes after the attack started, just as in the recording obtained by Al Jazeera, O’Sullivan’s transcript (translated from Hebrew to English) shows the same exchange.

“Kislev, what country?” (Answer): “Apparently American.”

That is where O’Sullivan’s transcript, published over ten years ago by the Jerusalem Post, ends. There is just one major problem with that… The attack continued for another hour and a half!

Navy Admiral Thomas Moorer, who has served this country as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations, once lead an independent commission to investigate what really happened to the USS Liberty. The commission’s findings were made public in 2003. Here are a few of the shocking conclusions.

  • The attack, by a U.S. ally, was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill its entire crew.
  • The attack included the machine-gunning of stretcher-bearers and life rafts .
  • The White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of the USS Liberty. This was the first time in naval history a rescue mission had been cancelled while an American ship was under attack.
  • Surviving crew members were later threatened with court-martial, imprisonment, or worse if they talked to anyone about what had happened to them; and were “abandoned by their own government 

John Crewdson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, published in 2007 what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has called the ‘most detailed and accurate account of the Israeli attack‘ for the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. You guessed it, Crewdson was fired by the Chicago Tribune just a year later after working there for 24 years. You should read his work.

Israeli messages intercepted on June 8, 1967, leave no doubt that sinking the USS Liberty was the mission assigned to the attacking Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats as the Six-Day War raged in the Middle East. Let me repeat: there is no doubt – none – that the mission of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was to destroy the USS Liberty and kill its entire crew.” – former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

 

The inadequacy of ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ label

By Agha Hussain
Source

To treat the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ as one in a long list of bilateral country disputes to be found in the modern age attaches to the real issue all the wrong dynamics, underlying realities and extremely ineffective ‘solutions’. The sheer inadequacy of looking at this particular ‘issue’ through the lens of Israel versus Palestine is striking and not as such something that requires a great effort and deep study to highlight prominently and forcefully enough to convince popular punditry to abandon it for the sake of strengthening and liberating the discourse.

The ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ label implies two coherent state entities with a balance between their ability to inflict harm upon each other – thus warranting the intention of multinational organizations and platforms for ‘conflict resolution’ – that isn’t completely one-sided. Demonstrating the inherent weakness of this framework is not difficult and does not even require a study of the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’ during the 70-odd years it has existed subject to awkward attempts to shoehorn it into a ‘state versus state’ format.

All it really takes is a look at the feats and displays of political strength the “Zionist” movement pulled off prior to Israel’s physical creation in May of 1948 and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine itself, as argued by Historian Ilan Pappé in his book The ethnic cleansing of Palestine. A prompt realization follows that a relatively powerless, less-than-wealthy, beleaguered Palestinian populace living under the Ottomans and then the British were never a rival, competitor, threat or even serious factor for the Zionists do consider while carrying forth their aggressive, expansionist movement.

The Balfour Declaration

With the World War I effort not going well for Britain in 1916, British Zionists formally approached the British with the offer of drawing the US into the war on Britain’s side. In exchange, the Zionist demanded the British promise them a Jewish national home in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire, after the war was over.

Integral to this scheme, of course, was not only the Zionists possessing great influence over the US government but also the British acknowledging this fact and thus being sure that the Zionists could secure US intervention for the Allies. The Balfour Declaration took the form of a letter written by British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour in 1917 to Lord Walter Rothschild, a prominent British Zionist, promising a Jewish national home in Palestine.

As documented in the book ‘Against Our Better Judgement: The Hidden History of How the US was used to Create Israel’ by Alison Weir, the letter had been crafted and deliberated upon by both British and American Zionists for two years prior to being finalized and dispatched by Lord Balfour.

Using an array historical sources close to the Zionist political movement of the time, Weir’s book documents in detail how well-placed Zionists in the US and Britain coordinated with each other their efforts to make such a British-Zionist pact possible.

As early as 1915, Horace Kallen, the head of the ‘Parushim’ secret society of Zionists in the US revealed decades later to have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, had suggested such a pact to the British. Kallen and especially Brandeis were on close personal terms with President Woodrow Wilson. Brandeis, appointed by Wilson to his prestigious judicial position in 1916, had considerably privileged access to the president as a close personal affiliate despite the obligation of judges to avoid politics.

Brandeis had also been named the honourary president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in 1918, as Weir’s seminal book also documents.

Chaim Weizmann, Russian-born Jewish chemist and leader of the British Zionist Federation, was in close contact with Brandeis as a means of reaching US President Wilson directly. In April 1917, a month before the US would enter the war, Weizmann contacted Brandeis and urged him to secure a supportive stance toward Zionist aspirations in Palestine from officials close to Wilson. This informal method of reaching Wilson’s ear was used in large part because the US State Department, staffed with officials familiar with socio-political dynamics in the Arab world, saw the catastrophe that backing the Zionist project would cause.

Reminiscent to this mode of interaction is also the modern day stove-piping at the White House, whereby President Donald Trump’s influential son-in-law Jared Kushner has often formulated foreign policy based on plans concocted with foreign heads of state through informal channels (even Whatsapp). The influence and ability of the Zionist lobby to bypass procedure, protocol and proper channels in the US government, evidently, has not changed in all the years since the likes of Brandeis acted as high profile messengers from Zionist lobbyists to the White House.

Weizzman had also been in touch with the British government, notably Lord Balfour, since over a decade prior to the issuing of the Balfour Declaration. As narrated in a 2005 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs articles, Lord Walter Rothschild’s niece mentioned in her book ‘Dear Lord Rothschild’ that Weizmann had met Balfour several times between 1905 and 1915. Weizman also maintained frequent audience with the British War Cabinet, which included Balfour and the then-Prime Minister Lloyd George (both Zionists for religious reasons), in the months leading up to the issuing of the Balfour Declaration.

After apparent stalling by Wilson upon British requests in September 2017 for a draft declaration, Weizmann again contacted Brandeis and impressed upon him the need for his and Wilson’s support for the text being prepared. In October, a draft sent by the British to Wilson was handed over by the President to Brandeis for his approval, with the latter then adding the key phrase ‘Jewish race’ instead of ‘Jewish people’. By October 13, Wilson had approved the text, prepared by British Zionists and with vital input from Brandeis.

The Balfour Declaration was issued by Britain on 2 November 1917 and signified immense Zionist political depth inside major Western powers as well as the recognition afforded to this fact by major Allied powers as they sought US entry into World War I.

Nominally stateless yet geopolitical active

Weizmann, rewarded with his role in procuring the Balfour Declaration for the Zionists with presidency of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and who would become the first president of Israel, attended along with David Ben Gurioun, who would become the first Prime Minister of Israel, the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 as a Zionist delegation. Demands were put forth for the Litani River to be included in the proposed borders for the Jewish state, albeit it was allotted to (French-controlled) Lebanon as per the terms of the 1915 Sykes-Picot treaty which had remained secret till then.

Sidon city and Mount Hermon in Lebanon along with huge chunks of land from Transjordan and a corridor across the Sinai from the port city of Aqaba to the Egyptian port city al Arish (thus extending the Jewish state’s access to the Mediterranean coastline) were also demanded by Weizmann at Paris in 1919.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine and creation of Israel: a one-sided affair

As the late veteran historian on the issue of Israel and Palestine, Donald Neff, narrated in a 1998 article, Palestine’s Arabs could not put up much of a resistance to the Jewish armed groups violently expelling them from their homes and turning two-thirds of Palestine’s 1.2 million Arabs into displaced refugees. By May 14 when David Ben Gurion announced Israel’s creation, 77.4 percent of Palestine had been captured by the Jews and largely cleansed of its Arab inhabitants.

Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ points out that the British dismantlement of Palestinian military capabilities via the suppression of the Arab Revolt (1936-39) had allowed the Zionists to begin actively planning the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in the early 1940s. The Arabs had turned into increasingly soft targets, and this was exploited by Zionist terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang which even plotted terrorist bombings in Europe and the famous Irgun Zvei Lumi, which had carried out bombings and massacres of Arabs since as early as 1938.

Future premiers of Israel such as Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin were among the ranks of such terror groups. These groups would also, despite political differences with the Jewish Agency, cooperate fully with the Haganah in its ethnic cleansing campaign in Palestine.

The Jewish Agency – Israel’s government in waiting – tasked academics to draw up extensive maps and detailed reports on the Arabs’ villages, towns and lifestyles which would later help the armed wing of the Zionists in Palestine, the Haganah, in the ethnic cleansing effort.

Unlike the hapless Palestinians, however, the Jews had ample weapon supplies for both the one-dimensional capture of much of Palestine and the brief skirmishes that would follow with neighbouring Arab states in 1948. The Jewish Agency had active arms smuggling networks in the US bringing explosives, munitions, combat aircraft and other supplies from the US War Assets Administration. This made the clashes between the Arabs and Jews a one-sided affair indeed and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine an easy task to accomplish.

Is there truly an ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’?

History and current affairs both testify to the fact that Palestinians act as merely the most physically proximate victims to Israel’s atrocities, oppression and occupation and that to treat and not as a competitor in any major way to Israel past stiff resistance offered by some armed factions to Israel in Gaza.

That a movement so powerful and influential would struggle or be constrained in its ambitions to any extent by the brave yet outmatched Palestinians has always been unlikely. Zionism’s power waxed and grew incrementally in the years leading up to the creation of Israel in May 1948 just as the power of the traditional colonialist states waned and the founding fathers of Israel evidently planned a lot further than just subjugating Palestinian self-determination.

The Joke of the Century

By Jeremy Salt
Source

Mike Pompeo speaks with Benjamin Netanyahu a29fb

With fresh elections called by Benyamin Netanyahu for September, it is possible that the ‘deal of the century’ may never see the light of day.  Condemned across the board by Palestinians, even supporters are backing away.  Mike Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State, said recently it was a deal “only the Israelis could love” and possible was “unexecutable.” Still, for what it reveals of the minds that could come up with such a scheme, the ‘deal of the century’ is still worth examining.

The ‘deal’ would be the joke of the century were it not so seriously intended.  Whether deal or joke, however, the bottom line is blackmail and even murder. If Hamas and Islamic Jihad don’t accept this deal, the US will allow Israel to “personally harm” their leaders, in other words, kill them.

The full package is to be unveiled in late June but these are some of the details, as leaked from the Foreign Ministry to Sheldon Adelson’s newspaper, Israel Hayom, a propaganda conduit for the Netanyahu government.  Adelson’s wife Miriam, Israel Hayom’s chief executive, is one of the richest women in the world, with an estimated personal fortune of $22 billion.  She and her husband have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into their pet causes, the Republican Party and the state of Israel.  Described in the US media as an ‘humanitarian’ and ‘philanthropist,’ this sponsor of Israel’s racist war on the Palestinians was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018, the highest US award that can be conferred on a civilian.

Some of the detail in the Jared Kushner ‘deal of the century’ may be kite-flying, to be modified before the formal release of the plan, so that it won’t look so bad after all, but the deadly intent, to erase Palestine forever and replace it with a strangulated state of ‘New Palestine,’ is not to be doubted.

As outlined in Israel Hayom, Israel would annex all the West Bank settlement blocs. Together with the isolated settlements to be brought within this land grab, Israel could be expected to seize most if not all of Area C of the West Bank, as assigned to full Israeli control in the long-moribund ‘peace process.’

This would give it up to 62 percent of the West Bank.  ‘New Palestine’ would consist of Area A (about three percent) and presumably most of Area B, consisting of 24 percent, to make statehood even remotely plausible. The territory taken by Israel would include the fertile and well-watered Jordan Valley.  Overall, the Palestinians would be left with about 12 percent of their stolen homeland.   In practice, there would be no real change from the present situation. The ‘deal’ would simply ratify Israeli settlement and land seizures in a new pseudo-legal arrangement.

The West Bank would be connected to Gaza by a highway, to be funded mainly by China but with smaller financial contributions from South Korea, Australia, Canada, the US, and the EU.   Egypt would lease land to ‘New Palestine’ for the construction of an airport and an industrial zone in Sinai. The Palestinians would also have a port.  This and other infrastructural and administrative costs would be covered by $30 billion paid by the oil-producing Gulf states (70 percent, the US (20 percent) and the EU (10 percent).

A time frame of five years would provide plenty of room for the freezing of grants if the Palestinians misbehave, in the event of rockets still being fired into Israel or through their perceived failure to comply with the terms imposed on them, as interpreted by Israel, of course.

Israel would continue to oversee the ‘security’ of ‘New Palestine’s’ land and sea borders, so no change here either except the semantic.  As the trump hand in negotiations would always be held by someone else – Israel, the US or Egypt or the donors to the various projects – the Palestinians would be perennially open to threat and intimidation and the withholding of financial grants.

‘New Palestine’ would have its capital in Jerusalem, most probably in the village of Abu Dis, which was brought within the municipal boundaries by Ehud Barak during the Camp David negotiations to create the fiction of a shared capital. In fact, Jerusalem would remain under the full control of the Israeli municipality and government. Palestinians would have no say at all in how the city is run.

East Jerusalem Palestinians would remain the citizens of ‘New Palestine’ but Israel would control their daily lives as before.  Restrictions would be formally applied to real estate deals, so that Israelis could not buy Palestinian houses and Palestinians could not buy properties sequestered by Jewish settlers.  In practice, given Israel’s determination to turn Jerusalem into a wholly Jewish city, except for Palestinian remnants, it is difficult to see this restriction being applied to the settlers, whom the occupier’s law allows to seize Palestinian property by the most dubious means.

Hamas would have to hand in all its weapons immediately.  New elections would be held in a year.  ‘New Palestine’ would have no army, only a lightly-armed police force.  Having spent more than seven decades destroying the old Palestine – the real Palestine – Israel would take responsibility for the defense of the new, but the Palestinians would have to bear the costs of their own protection as calculated by Israel.

The Palestinians would have to accept that they have no right of return and naturally there is no mention of the hundreds of billions of dollars that is their due from the theft of their land and the destruction of hundreds of their villages in 1948-9.  Hot on reparations from Germany, Israel has never shown any interest in paying back the Palestinians for what it has stolen and the lives it has destroyed.

If the Palestinians do not accept the ‘deal of the century’ the US will do everything in its power to make sure that no institution or country in the world gives them any financial support. If the PLO accepts the deal but Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not, the US would support any Israeli attempt in times of conflict to ‘’personally harm’’ their leaders.  In other words, the US government would openly support their assassination.

As the US has always tacitly supported the murder of Palestinian leaders, the only change here would be the move from implicit to open support but either way, this is gangsterism pure and simple, put down in writing by the smooth-faced son of a property developer from New Jersey.  Where is Tom Wolfe now that he is needed to put all of this into the only appropriate form, satire?

If Israel rejects the offer then it too would receive no more financial support from the US government. The notion that an Israeli government would reject an arrangement that gives it virtually everything it has ever wanted except the complete expulsion of the Palestinians is grotesque.

How astonishing it is that in the 102 dramatic years since the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, that after a century of massacres, murders and assassinations of Palestinians and other Arabs by the Zionists and their ‘western’ sponsors, after the resistance of young and old Palestinians generation after generation, and against the background of the complete illegality of Zionist actions, that this squalid deal is the best Jared Kushner could come up.

He clearly has no grasp of history.  No doubt he discussed this at length with Ivanka. That the fate of Palestine could come to rest in the hands of these spoilt American juveniles, these Ken and Barbie dolls, who could be stood next to their waxen simulacrums in Madame Tussaud’s without anyone noticing the difference, is the measure of the complete bankruptcy of the United States in the Middle East.

How equally astonishing it is that Jared, or Ivanka, or Trump or his settler-supporting ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, could be so ignorant of history, so unaware of the human spirit as demonstrated not just by the Palestinians but by every occupied and oppressed people through the entire course of history, that they could have even thought the Palestinians would buy into this cheap realtor’s stunt.  Buy now, because tomorrow it’s going to be twice as expensive. This is a bargain you Palestinians just can’t afford to miss. The vendor can’t hold off forever.

The racist, orientalist implications have been brought out by Haidar Eid and others.  Dignity, honor, pride, justice, moral, legal and historical entitlement are all missing from Jared Kushner’s calculations.  The money deal is on the table and the native better pick it up because this is the best he’s ever going to be offered and if he doesn’t he’s going to be whipped until he sees reason.

‘‘I’m not here to be trusted,’ Jared said of the Palestinians in an Axio-HBO interview. ‘They’re gonna judge it based on facts and then make a determination .. When I speak to the Palestinians what they want is the opportunity to live a better life …. They want the opportunity to pay the mortgage.’’ This is the Palestinian problem reduced to the cash worries of a suburban American household.

In the Bible, an Esau returning hungry from the fields is said to have sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a ‘mess of pottage,’ which seems to have been a plate of lentils. In a similar fashion, Jared is about to put his offer to the Palestinians on the kitchen table: they will have to forfeit their birthright, but do they want the lentils or not?

He is not even sure the Palestinians will prove capable of governing themselves.  That was the British line when they took Palestine from the Palestinians in 1920.  They said they would hold Palestine until the people are ready for self-government.  In fact, these liars were holding Palestine in limbo until the Zionists settlers had built up the numbers and were ready for self-government without the Palestinians.

Over decades the Zionist line was that ‘we have no negotiating partner.’  In fact, it was the Palestinians who never had a negotiating partner and do not have one now.  Israel has ignored, undermined or debauched every single peace offers ever made.  It has chosen all of Palestine over peace every time.  Now along comes the ‘deal of the century’ to close off all remaining options and deliver the Palestinians into a formally structured Babylonian life of bondage to the state of Israel.

Palestinians have already responded by signaling to Jared that he can put his ‘deal of the century’ in a place where the sun never shines.  This struggle will continue, fought within Palestine and from beyond its borders.

Making Prayer Safer: 94% of DHS Grants to Enhance Security Goes to Jewish Groups

By Philip Giraldi
Source

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There is an unfortunate tendency in the United States to throw money at a problem, particularly when the problem is related to powerful constituencies. The recent attacks on synagogues, churches, and mosques have included two attacks on synagogues in Pittsburgh and San Diego that killed 12 and a shooting at a Texas church in 2017 that killed 26. The recent massacre of 51 Muslims in New Zealand also resonated in the United States.

Attacks on religious sites are increasingly being seen as a national problem in the U.S., even though they are statistically speaking extremely rare, far less frequent than attacks on or inside public schools. The characteristic government response to the incidents has been to authorize and granting money to provide surveillance cameras, bulletproof glass and armed guards for those sites that are considered to be particularly vulnerable.

It also is happening at state and local levels. The New York city council is considering including funding for security at houses of worship in the next year’s budget, while Connecticut is proposing a grant of $5 million to pay for specific physical security upgrades.  Not to be left behind, a bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters to authorize $75 million in grants to protect religious sites as well as select nonprofit organizations. The nonprofits would include facilities that are considered vulnerable to violence, including abortion clinics.

As usual, however, the devil is in the details and, most particularly, in the process used to determine who gets the cash. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) already doles out considerable money, $1.7 billion in 2019, in grants to various organizations and both governmental and non-governmental entities. Included are grants to “nonprofit” groups that are considered to be particularly targeted by terrorists. This process is not particularly objective and it was reported in 2014 that fully 94% of all grants issued by DHS to enhance security had gone to Jewish groups and their associated facilities. Jewish groups also received nearly all of the grants since the inception of the program in 2005, totaling $151 million. This disparity, which was the case even before the two recent armed attacks on synagogues, is a tribute to the political power of Jewish organizations versus the lack of the same relating to small and relatively impecunious congregations of Christians and Muslims.

Indeed, many religious groups have taken steps on their own, without a government handout, to enhance their own security. They are to be commended for doing so. It is to be presumed that some other houses of worship have been hesitant about upgrading security, even if they can afford it, because they are waiting for the government to cover the costs. Other religious entities have eschewed overt security because it sends the wrong message about their accessibility to the public.

In theory, community policing means that law enforcement officers, paid for by the entire community, will be deployed at locations where their presence contributes to public safety. This is already the case in most towns and cities, where policemen are present and highly visible at the times of religious services to handle traffic and other security problems. This is all accomplished without any particular fuss and without any special federal government grants.

There is also the question of how the grants would be awarded. As noted above, the politically powerful who have access to the bureaucrats will inevitably be the principal beneficiaries. Sarah Levin, director of governmental affairs for the Secular Coalition for America, has observed that there is no particular reason why grants for security enhancement at religious sites should not be made available to anyone who believes him or herself targeted for any particular reason or even for no reason at all. She cites the example of non-religious nonprofits, to include abortion clinics, explaining that “Favoring the security of houses of worship over the security of other communities is not only violation of separation of church and state, it’s wrong.”

Levin is right but she is wrong about the broader acceptability of government issuing grants to specific communities or constituencies that are considered to be threatened. Government should be neutral, leaving it up to local police and the resources of the communities themselves to assess the security situation and provide appropriate protection against potential criminals.

The desire on the part of some in government to pander to some constituencies that are most vocal is understandable, but it is not acceptable to do so because that ultimately means that the state is enabling the activities of one group over another based on a subjective grant-giving process. And doing so also raises moral issues. Why should I as a Roman Catholic who does not believe acceptable some forms of abortion be required to pay taxes to protect the activity of abortion clinics?

The mentality of those in government that compels some legislators to seek to favor certain groups derives from the unfortunate tendency to regard some actions as more heinous than others. Is it really worse to shoot people in a synagogue rather than in an elementary school, requiring national level remedial action consisting of grants to upgrade security in the former rather than the latter?

The willingness of some in government to use taxpayer money to support constituencies near to their hearts rather than based on objective standards that apply to everyone all began with the popularization of the concept of the “hate crime.” For the first time killing, robbing or maiming someone was considered somehow to be worse if hatred for that individual or the group he or she represented was involved. Now we Americans will have religious groups and abortion clinics alike lining up for assistance to protect themselves against maniacs and the ones who shout the loudest will, as ever, get the lion’s share of the money.

Watch US spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard Kvetching* about Israel.

June 02, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In a rare interview with Israel’s Channel 12, Jonathan Pollard, the American who betrayed his country for the Jewish State  has spoken of his frustration with the Israeli government, which it claims has forgotten about him. Back in the 1980s Pollard was an intelligence analyst for the United States Navy. He was caught selling US government secrets to Israel and spent 30 years in prison. Throughout Pollard’s time in prison, the Israeli and Jewish pressure groups  Lobbied relentlessly  for his release, claiming that the spy did not harm American interests, but was simply trying to help Israel. Ever since his release, Pollard has been required to wear an ankle monitor at all times. His Internet browsing is strictly regulated by the US government and he is not permitted to leave his New York home after sunset. He is also not permitted to leave the US, and Washington has refused to allow him to move to Israel.

* Kvetch – an old Yiddish noun meaning “nagging complainer”, and in verb form “kvetching” means “to complain”.

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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التنبه لمناورة الزمن وروزنامة الاستحقاقات مع ساترفيلد

مايو 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– حتى الآن يبدو أن ما حمله معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد ساترفيلد إلى المسؤولين اللبنانيين حول التفاوض لترسيم الحدود البرية والبحرية إيجابياً ويبدو استجابة مفاجئة للرؤية اللبنانية التي تستطيع القول إنها حققت انتصاراً تكتيكياً مهماً بفعل التضامن السياسي والرئاسي من جهة وقوة لبنان الرادعة التي وفّرتها المقاومة وفق معادلة الغاز بالغاز. من جهة أخرى وبفعل الحاجة الإسرائيلية الماسّة لطمأنة أسواق الاستثمار العالمية في مجال النفط والغاز إلى مستقبل تعاملها في المنصات الإسرائيلية تحت سقف اتفاق يوفر الأمن للاستثمارات والأعمال من جهة موازية.

– المفاوضات لم تبدأ بعد وقبول التلازم بين المسارَيْن البرّي والبحري من جهة وقبول الرعاية الأمميّة من جهة أخرى موافقتان إسرائيليتان وأميركيتان تثيران الريبة ولا يجب وضعهما حصراً في دائرة النجاح اللبناني والحاجة الإسرائيلية والقلق من معادلات الردع. فأميركا و»إسرائيل» في قلب حربين متلازمتين واحدة بوجه إيران وثانية لتسويق صفقة القرن ويجب التنبه لحاجة واشنطن وتل أبيب لتحييد لبنان وقوة مقاومته، خصوصاً عن هاتين الحربين. فالمقاومة هي القيمة المضافة الرئيسية في جبهة المواجهة التي تنتصب خصوصاً بوجه مشروع صفقة القرن، وملف التوطين وتصفية حق عودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين قضية لبنانية لا تقل أهمية عن مفاوضات الترسيم، والموقف اللبناني الجامع مع المقاومة في مواجهة صفقة القرن سيُسهم في كشف حدود المناورة الأميركية الإسرائيلية، بينما الابتعاد عن المقاومة في هذه المواجهة ومطالبتها بالتهدئة فسيعني تشجيعاً لمناورة أميركية إسرائيلية تستثمر تضييع الوقت التفاوضي لتمرير العمليات التمهيدية في صفقة القرن، ومن ضمنها إنهاء حق العودة بغياب المقاومة، وتغييبها بشراكة لبنانية.

– التنبّه هنا يعني أن يضع اللبنانيون الواقفون في صف المسؤوليّة التفاوضيّة والذين لا يوافقون المقاومة في كل خياراتها في حساباتهم أن شلّ قدرة المقاومة على تظهير موقفها من الحربين الكبيرتين المتصلتين بمستقبل المنطقة يصب في خدمة «إسرائيل» لا المصلحة اللبنانية، وأن الزمن الذي ستستهلكه المفاوضات سيكون مؤشراً على حقيقة النيات الإسرائيلية الأميركية، حيث يفترض إذا صدقت التحليلات والقراءات عن تراجع إسرائيلي برعاية أميركية بخلفية الحسابات المصلحية التي يمليها الإسراع في استخراج النفط والغاز أن تسير المفاوضات بسرعة، وأن تفضح كل مماطلة في الشكليات والتفاصيل وروزنامة التفاوض ومواعيد جلساته وجود نية أخرى لها عنوان واحد، هو التفاوض لأجل التفاوض، كما كان حال المفاوضات الإسرائيلية مع السلطة الفلسطينية، ولذلك فإن أولى مهام الجانب اللبناني وضع روزنامة افتراضيّة لكل مرحلة من المفاوضات، ترسم خطاً أحمر عندما يكون الوقت المستغرق قد تخطّى التوقعات المفترضة، سواء لمرحلة المفاوضات التحضيريّة قبل الجلسة الأولى، أو مفاوضات الشكليّات والترتيبات، أو المفاوضات التقنية الجغرافية، والمفاوضات القانونية الاقتصادية، وصولاً إلى المفاوضات الختامية، وفي كل مرة يتم تخطي الزمن الافتراضي المتوقع يجب التساؤل حول الخلفية، والتدقيق بحجم قضايا الخلاف بقياس المصلحة النفطية الإسرائيلية وأضرارها، وما يستحق بالمقابل تحمل هذه الأضرار، ماذا عساه يكون؟

– على ضفة موازية يجب أن يضع لبنان أمامه ميزاني قياس ومراقبة، واحد يتصل بمسار التوتر الأميركي الإيراني في ظل تهديد إيران بالخروج من الاتفاق النووي خلال ستين يوماً تنتهي مطلع شهر تموز، والحديث الأميركي عن القلق من قدرة إيران على امتلاك ما يكفي لإنتاج قنبلة نووية خلال شهرين أو ستة شهور إذا عادت للتخصيب المرتفع لليورانيوم، ومراقبة إيقاع الحركة التفاوضية الأميركية الإسرائيلية مع هذه المواعيد. وبالمقابل مؤتمر البحرين الخاص بصفقة القرن وما سيليه من مواعيد ترتبط بها وبحلقاتها المتسلسلة، وجعل تقاطعات الروزنامتين مؤشراً للمفاوض اللبناني ومرجعيته السياسية والأمنية في قياس الجدية من المناورة في الحركة الأميركية والإسرائيلية.

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Trump Regime Demand for Palestinian Surrender

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” has nothing to do with peace, nothing to do with resolving irreconcilable Israeli/Palestinian differences — everything to do with serving Israeli interests at their expense.

Throughout his tenure, Trump waged war on Palestinian rights, one-sidedly benefitting Israel at their expense.

During a Wednesday Security Council session on the Middle East, Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia addressed the issue of Palestinian rights. 

He called for the “terminat(ion) (of) Israel’s occupation of Arab territories that began in 1967 and establish(ment) an independent, viable and integral Palestinian State that would peacefully exist side-by-side with Israel, have safe and acknowledged borders, and have a capital in Eastern Jerusalem. At the same time, Western Jerusalem would be the capital of the State of Israel,” adding:

“We see no alternative to the two-state solution. We believe it is the only realistic prospect to put an end to the confrontation and reciprocal claims of Palestine and Israel.” 

“Other concepts only mislead and obscure prospects to resume political process. We do not think that Palestinians will abandon their legitimate claims to obtain statehood, no matter what they might be promised in return.  Attempts to impose a ready-made solution on the sides will fail.”

Trump regime hardliners have other ideas, polar opposite the position of Russia and majority of world community nations.

The unacceptability of its no-peace/peace plan delayed its release. Its latest wrinkle is releasing it in stages, beginning with a so-called Peace to Prosperity conference in Manama, Bahrain on June 25 and 26. 

The country is a fascist dictatorship. The Saudis, UAE, and likely other officials from regional despotic regimes will attend the so-called “economic workshop” — a PR stunt to sell an unacceptable deal to Arab states and the world community. 

It’s unclear if representatives from Western nations are coming. Participation will show complicity with the US/Israeli plot against fundamental Palestinian rights.

The two-day session is by invitation only, Palestinian officials not invited. According to an Orwellian White House statement:

“ ‘Peace to Prosperity (sic)’ will facilitate discussions on an ambitious, achievable vision and framework for a prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region.”

The planned event is unrelated to the above statement. It’s all about unveiling part of the Trump regime’s sham proposal in segments, declared dead-before-arrival by Palestinian officials.

Its UN Riyad Mansour envoy called the plan a land grab scheme for Israel to steal all parts of Judea and Samaria not under its control, prelude to annexing its settlements and other Palestinian land it covets.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki categorically rejected what he called “not a peace plan, but rather conditions for surrender.”

PLO official Saeb Erekat said the Trump regime plan leaves core issues unaddressed, notably Palestinian statehood within pre-June 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as their exclusive capital, control over its borders, air, water and resources, the right of return for its diaspora population, and end of illegal Israeli occupation harshness.

Oslo left these and other major issues unresolved, delayed for later final status talks. Over a generation later, Palestinians are still waiting, betrayed time and again by US/Israeli complicity against them, the Trump regime taking Washington’s bad faith to an unprecedented level.

From inception decades earlier, the so-called peace process has been and remains a colossal hoax. Along with the US global war OF terror, not on it, it’s the greatest scam in modern times.

The Trump regime is perpetuating the deception, its scheme amounting to old wine in new bottles, pretending to offer Palestinians economic incentives, a neoliberal hoax similar to John Kerry’s no-peace/peace plan.

He proposed $4 billion in fantasy economic incentives. It was all about attracting exploitive private investments, benefitting Israeli and Western business interests exclusively, imposing greater neoliberal harshness on the Territories than already.

Reportedly, that’s a core element of Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century, its exploitive economic portion to be presented next month in Bahrain, a deceptive scheme no responsible leadership would accept.

According to Erekat, the Trump regime’s plan “is a non-starter for the Palestinians,” adding: “It should be for the rest of the world, as well.”

It’s all about demanding a Palestinian Versailles 2.0, a repeat of the Oslo sellout in Trump regime wrapping.

“There will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation,” said Erekat, adding: “Notably, the Palestinian leadership was not consulted by any party on this meeting.”

Trump regime hardliners aren’t “seeking…peace. (They want) a Palestinian declaration of surrender,” Zionist ideologues Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt co-maestros of the grand deception.

They don’t give a hoot about Palestinian prosperity and other rights, notably its millions of refugees by cutting off UNRWA funding and slashing it to the PLO. 

They support repressive Israeli apartheid, its illegal occupation and state terror, its militarized control over Palestinian lives and welfare, its slow-motion genocide against suffocating Gazans, its targeted assassinations and belligerence against Palestinians.

Trump’s self-styled “deal of the century” is a scheme only despotic regimes could love — one-sidedly serving Israeli interests, denying Palestinians their fundamental rights.

It bears repeating what I’ve stressed time and again. The US doesn’t negotiate. It demands other nations and people bend to its will — or face the force of its wrath.

 

Was that the Next Palestinian President You Just Banned, Mr Trump?

By Jeremy Salt
Source

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Grandma Ashrawi is more than a match for Israel’s stooges in the White House and whatever ‘deal of the century’ they have cooked up for the Holy Land

So the Trump administration will no longer allow Hanan Ashrawi into the US even though she’s a top diplomat, has family there and visits regularly. Why?

A US State Department spokesperson told Haaretz that “visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases”, adding that the law “does not authorize the refusal of visas based solely on political statements or views if those statements or views would be lawful in the United States.”

Ashrawi is reported as saying, in her forthright way, that refusal to let her in was a political act and full of “pettiness and vindictiveness.”

Ashrawi, a Palestinian Christian, is something of a hot potato. She was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Jerusalem in 1996 and again in 2006. She has been a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) for 20 years, becoming the first woman to hold a seat in the highest executive body in Palestine. It is recognised as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people by the 137 states with which it has diplomatic relations. Ashrawi’s father, a physician, was a founder of the PLO.

She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Literature from the Department of English at the American University of Beirut and completed her education with a PhD in Medieval and Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia. She is also an Honorary Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford.

Ashrawi has been an official spokes of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process starting with the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991. In 1996, she was appointed as the Palestinian Authority Minister of Higher Education and Research. Before that she was Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Birzeit University.

In 2003 Ashrawi received the Sydney Peace Prize, an award praised by, among others, Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State. Albright called Ashrawi “a brilliant spokeswoman for her cause”.

Ashrawi, now 72, is a grandmother, and several of her grandchildren live in the United States. So why is America hostile towards her?

Israeli occupation “a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession and denial”

In a recent article in Al Jazeera, Marwan Bishara reminds us that for the past year and a half Trump and his administration have been showering Benjamin Netanyahu and his apartheid regime with anti-Palestinian ‘gifts’…. like recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv, ending US assistance to UNRWA (the agency that supports millions of Palestinian refugees), quitting the UN Human Rights Council and shutting down the PLO’s office in Washington.

As if that wasn’t enough the Trump administration has stopped describing the West Bank and East Jerusalem (which are Palestinian) as “occupied” and instead calls them “Israeli-controlled”. This gives Netanyahu all the encouragement he needs for expanding Israel’s illegal settlements and pledging to annex them. To cap it all Trump then delivered Netanyahu a splendid election present in recognising Israel’s illegal annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights. Of course, whatever Trump says that territory is still Syria’s.

Western media, when providing ‘balance’ to news on the Israel/Palestine conflict, usually wheel in a Palestinian spokesperson who is unintelligible. Israeli spokespeople on the other hand are media trained and sound very British/American, giving them a huge advantage. Ashrawi has perfect English and is a highly articulate and persuasive woman – an unrivaled expert in Middle East affairs — and capable of reducing Trump and his entourage to mincemeat in any broadcast encounter. Therefore she poses a clear and present danger to their hopes of putting across and maintaining the false narrative that sustains Israel’s rogue dominance in the Middle East.

Haaretz reproduces some of Hanan Ashrawi’s recent tweets. In one she says:

I despise hypocrisy, misogyny, absolutist fundamentalism, populism, racism of all kinds, exclusivity, arrogance & condescension, power politics & militarism, cruelty in any form, & any sense of entitlement & exceptionalism…

In another:

Most of all, I have no tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations as a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession & denial; I have no respect for the enablers of this inhuman condition nor for its apologists…

She tells it straight. And in her tweets she adds:

I’ve met (and even negotiated with) every Sec. of State since Shultz, and every President since George H. W. Bush (present administration excluded); I’ve been a vocal critic of this administration and its underlings; I believe in freedom of speech.

This is one formidable lady! I have her down as the next Palestinian president, head and shoulders above any male candidates. But will the good people of Palestine have a say in the matter? The presidency of Mahmoud Abbas, the quisling loser, should have ended in 2009. But the corrupt system he presides over has allowed him to cling to power indefinitely, to his people’s great detriment.

Netanyahu Took Trump to New Heights of Global Tension and Dropped Him

By Elijah J. Magnier
Source

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Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed he personally convinced the US president Donald Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA agreement, and wished Iran to “disappear with the help of God”. Israel is much more experienced in dealing with the Middle East than the current US president and his entire team in this administration. Even if Israel itself was not convinced, they evidently managed to convince the Americans that a show of US “superior force with the will to use it” would compel Iran to back off and submit to the US 12 conditions dictated by Secretary Pompeo, as Israel’s former Ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon said would happen. Israel, the instigator of this strategy that has been refuted by two clear messages from Iran and its allies– is nonetheless coming out unharmed by this rhetorical escalation. Trump seems the only loser, waiting by the phone that is not expected to ring.

It is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerence which obliges Iran to take a strong stand; Netanyahu has boasted that his influence led Trump to give him the Syrian Golan Heights, move the US embassy to Jerusalem, give Jerusalem to Netanyahu, and to revoke the JCPOA deal with Iran. He is also very likely behind the 12 conditions Trump seeks to impose on Iran since, unlike the inept US administration, the Israelis know well that Iran cannot accept them. The US president has sabotaged the peace process and squandered the position of his country as a mediator between the Palestinians and Israel.

When Netanyahu asked Trump to give him all these gifts, the US president did not hesitate to save the Israeli prime minister from criminal prosecution for fraud and breach of trust to boost his re-election and give him what doesn’t belong to him!

And now it is Iran’s turn to be in the US frying pan. Nevertheless, it seems things haven’t turned out the way Trump planned. His own image has been damaged, but not that of Netanyahu, who has instructed his cabinet to keep silent and stay out of the Iran-US contention. The Israeli Prime Minister can wash his hands of the US non-act of war against Iran and watch in silence, keeping Israel out of the Iran-US tensions as though he were far from being involved. He is trying to pretend that the ongoing bras-de-fer between the US and Iran and Trump’s retreat after the al-Fujairah and Aramco attacks have nothing to do with him.

Netanyahu’s military officers are mistaken to believe “Iran has an unsettled account with the Israeli Army because it has delivered several hits (in Syria) to which Tehran has not had the chance to retaliate”. Here again, Israel is far from understanding the Iranian mode of action: In February 2018, Iran shot down an F-16 bombing Syria. Iran delivered to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad the most efficient Kornet, the anti-tank laser-guided missiles and the technology to fire destructive long-range missiles from Gaza. It is arming Hezbollah with the most sophisticated anti-ship, anti-air, surface-to-surface missiles for possible use against Israel oil platforms and harbors and is spending billions to maintain the strength of its allies: Hezbollah, Iraqi non-state actors, the Syrian government, and the Houthis in Yemen, to name but a few.

But from where does Hezbollah derive its legitimate presence and survival? The answer is simple: from Israel’s wars and its violation of Lebanon’s sea, territory, and airspace. Israel is still occupying the Shebaa farms and Kfarshouba, disputing Lebanon’s territorial waters, and it continues to assassinate Hezbollah leaders. Hezbollah would have nothing to do if Israel opted for peace.

In Syria, Moshe Yaalon (former Israel defense minister) says Israel would rather have ISIS on its borders than Assad and Iran. Trump has given Israel a gift, the Syrian Golan, that belongs to neither country. It has bombed the Syrian Army and its allies that were fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda. Assad was negotiating peace with Israel in exchange for land in 2010, as his father did before him. Netanyahu refuses peace, logically enough since the alternative is to manipulate Trump and collect gifts from him, including all of Jerusalem.

If Israel wanted to end the raison d’être of Hezbollah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and all the non-state actors around it, it could start by implementing the Oslo accords as a first step, recognizing a state of Palestine, as the Palestinians recognized a state of Israel. A next step would be to return the Lebanese and Syrian territories to their owners (President Hafez Assad and his son Bashar were both prepared to sign a peace deal with Israel in exchange for this land) and to refrain from bombing (Israel acknowledges it has bombed over 200 targets in Syria) and violating its neighbours’ sea and airspace (daily violation of Lebanese sovereignty). Then Iran would have no need to build up a necklace of states and non-state allies in the Middle East.

And last but not least, Israel seems to be behind the intelligence misinformation provided to the US, indicating that Iran “is moving missiles by boat”, speeding up the US sending of additional forces to the Middle East. Nevertheless, the US had to find a way out of this seemingly “false flag”, because it says now that “Iran has unloaded missiles from its small boat” to ease the tension.

Iran is unwilling to give Trump an easy escape from the climate of tension he and his team have created. Netanyahu is keeping quiet to avoid criticism from the US, since he is clearly the one who pushed Trump towards confrontation with Iran.

Tehran is aware of the Israeli sabotage and manipulation of the current US administration to its advantage. Trump’s lack of knowledge in foreign affairs and his eagerness to be re-elected in 2020 are allowing Netanyahu to pull him around by the nose. The Iranian leader of the revolution never trusted either the US or Europe to keep their commitments to the JCPOA.

“The US will never keep its promises and the EU is an acolyte of the US. You shall get nothing from them” Sayyed Khamenei told president Rouhani when he signed off the JCPOA deal with the Obama administration – according to a high Iranian official – who, after a few years, agreed with his “Rahbar” (the supreme leader of the revolution).

Israel’s Mossad provided the US with false intelligence that ballistic missiles were being carried on wooden boats, as though Iran doesn’t have enough deserts and places to hide its missiles. Incredibly enough, the Mossad was believed.

This is just one illustration of Israel’s power to manipulate the US government into a lose-lose scenario, while Israel can only win-win. The US will lose prestige from backing down, but will lose much more if it is backed into a senseless and catastrophic war. The 12 demands Netanyahu has persuaded the US to make on Iran are impossible for Iran to comply with, as Israel well knows. If Iran were to submit, it would be a victory for Israel. If not, the US will try to go to war or will impose more sanctions—both beneficial to Israel’s position. Israel can push the US to a confrontation and push Iran to its limits because Netanyahu has nothing to lose in a situation where the US military assumes the risks of his reckless strategy; Israel has no skin in the game. It is Trump confronting the Iranians not Netanyahu. Israel can sit back, eat popcorn, and watch events unfold. It will consider itself the winner whatever the consequences. Israel’s influence over Trump’s incompetent administration is the greatest threat to peace today.

Newly Released FBI Docs Shed Light on Apparent Mossad Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks

By  Whitney Webb
Source

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For nearly two decades, one of the most overlooked and little known arrestsmade in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks was that of the so-called “High Fivers,” or the “Dancing Israelis.” However, new information released by the FBI on May 7 has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the “Dancing Israelis,” at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Shortly after 8:46 a.m. on the day of the attacks, just minutes after the first plane struck the World Trade Center, five men — later revealed to be Israeli nationals — had positioned themselves in the parking lot of the Doric Apartment Complex in Union City, New Jersey, where they were seen taking pictures and filming the attacks while also celebrating the destruction of the towers and “high fiving” each other. At least one eyewitness interviewed by the FBI had seen the Israelis’ van in the parking lot as early as 8:00 a.m. that day, more than 40 minutes prior to the attack. The story received coverage in U.S. mainstream media at the time but has since been largely forgotten.

The men — Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Oded Ellner, Yaron Shimuel and Omar Marmari — were subsequently apprehended by law enforcement and claimed to be Israeli tourists on a “working holiday” in the United States where they were employed by a moving company, Urban Moving Systems. Upon his arrest, Sivan Kurzberg told the arresting officer, “We are Israeli; we are not your problem. Your problems are our problems, The Palestinians are the problem.”

For years, the official story has been that these individuals, while they had engaged in “immature” behavior by celebrating and being “visibly happy” in their documenting of the attacks, had no prior knowledge of the attack. However, newly released FBI copies of the photos taken by the five Israelis strongly suggest that these individuals had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The copies of the photos were obtained via a FOIA request made by a private citizen.

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According to a former high-ranking American intelligence official who spoke to the Jewish Daily Forward in 2002, the FBI concluded in its investigation that the five Israelis arrested “were conducting a Mossad surveillance mission and that their employer, Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, NJ, served as a front.” At least two of the men arrested were determined to have direct links to the Mossad after their names appeared in a CIA-FBI database of foreign intelligence operatives. According to one of their lawyers, one of the men, Paul Kurzberg, had previously worked for the Mossad in another country prior to arriving in the United States. Another of those arrested, Oded Ellner, subsequently stated on Israeli TV that the five Israelis had been in New York at the time “to document the event,” meaning the attack on the World Trade Center.

The FOIA release of the photos is notable because responses to prior FOIA requests to the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, had previously claimed that all of the photos taken by the Israeli nationals had been destroyed in January 2014. The photos themselves are heavily redacted, making it impossible to see the Israelis’ facial expressions. However, previously declassified yet heavily redacted FBI reports state that the Israelis are “visibly happy” in nearly every photo, even when the burning towers are in the background. The photos released are also not original copies and instead appear to be photocopies of photocopies of the original pictures. In addition, of the original 76 pictures developed by authorities from the camera in the Israelis’ possession, only 14 were released.

However, three of these photos — despite the heavy redaction and poor quality — are damning. Since 2001, even though the photos were never released until now, it had been known that one of the Israelis arrested — Sivan Kurzberg — was seen in a photo “holding a lighted lighter in the foreground, with the smoldering wreckage [of the twin towers] in the background,” according to Steven Noah Gordon, then-lawyer for the five Israelis, as cited in a New York Times reportfrom November 2001.

The picture of Kurzberg with the lit lighter appears to be photo #5 in the new FOIA release. Yet, the picture released includes a visible date of September 10, 2001, the day before the attacks, as do two other photos — images #7 and #8 in the collection — whereas all other photos with dates show only the month and the year (9 ‘01). The FOIA release did not provide any information as to the apparent discrepancy in dates.

While this could be explained away as the camera in question being programmed with a slightly inaccurate date, that doesn’t seem to be the case for two reasons. First, only two out of the 14 pictures carry that date and, second, previously declassified FBI reports report an eyewitness adamantly stating that Sivan Kurzberg had visited the Doric Apartments on September 10, 2001 at around 3 p.m. with at least one other man, with whom he was conversing in a foreign language, and had identified himself as a “construction worker” to a tenant (page 61 of declassified FBI report).

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In addition, the FBI report noted that a van from Urban Moving Systems, the company that employed the five Israelis at the time of their arrest, was present and was involved in moving a tenant out of the complex on September 10 and that the movers all had foreign accents. Thus, images 5, 7 and 8 strongly appear to have been taken at the same complex a day before the attacks. Kurzberg is seen in both images that display the visible date of September 10, 2001.

This raises two possibilities. First, that there are two images of Kurzberg with a lit lighter in front of the towers, one taken before the attack and one taken at the time of the attack, and that the FBI released only one of them. Second, that Kurzberg took the picture with the lighter only the day before the attack and his lawyer misrepresented the contents of the photo to the New York Times. Given that the background of the photo — particularly the state of the towers — is indiscernible in the recently released photo, it is difficult to determine which is the case.

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Yet, in either scenario, Kurzberg had simulated the burning of the World Trade Center the day before the attacks took place. That the FBI concluded that Kurzberg was party to a Mossad surveillance operation at the time of his arrest would then suggest that Israeli intelligence also had foreknowledge of the attacks.

Notably, the relevant section of the FBI report that asks “1. Did the Israeli nationals have foreknowledge of the events at WTC and were they filming the events prior to and in anticipation of the explosion?” is redacted in its entirety, suggesting that the FBI did not determine the answer to that question to be an emphatic “no.”

One of the 9/11 loose-ends coverups?

If images 5 and 7 were indeed taken the day prior to the attack, the question then becomes why the FBI officially concluded that the arrested Israelis had no prior knowledge of the attacks? One report from ABC News dated June 2002 suggests that the Bush administration intervened in the investigation. That report states that “Israeli and U.S. government officials worked out a deal — and after 71 days, the five Israelis were taken out of jail, put on a plane, and deported back home [to Israel].” If the Bush administration had cut a deal with Israel’s government to cover up the incident, it certainly would not have been the first time a U.S. presidential administration had done so on Israel’s behalf.

Further evidence that higher-ups in the administration intervened is the fact that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft personally signed off on the detainees’ release. Upon his entering the private sector as a lobbyist and consultant in 2005, the Israeli government became one of Ashcroft’s first clients.

A cover-up certainly seems to have happened to some extent, between the destruction of records of the investigation and the fact that official conclusions of the investigation do not add up. In the latter case, the FBI  — in a file dated September 24, 2001– officially stated that they “determined that none of the Israelis were actively engaged in clandestine intelligence activities in the United States.” However, that conclusion was directly contradicted by U.S. officials a year later and by the fact that Israel’s own government subsequently acknowledgedthat the five Israelis had indeed been involved in “clandestine intelligence activities in the United States.”

In addition, the new FOIA release of the photos suggests that another FBI conclusion — that “none of the pictures developed from the film found inside the 35-mm camera depicted the twin towers prior to the attack” — was inaccurate. This may explain why the images released via the recent FOIA request were heavily edited leaving details in the background greatly obscured, making it impossible to determine whether the photos were taken prior to or during the attacks based solely on the state of the towers.

“Tourists” with cash-stuffed socks, box cutters, and explosives?

Beyond the photos and observed activities of the so-called “Dancing Israelis,” it is worth revisiting several other suspicious circumstances linked to their arrest that clearly show that the men in question were hardly the “tourists” they had claimed to be. One often cited example is the fact that one of the men, Oded Ellner, had a “white sock-like sack filled with $4,700 in cash,” as well as maps of the city with certain places highlighted, and box cutters. In addition, the van in which the Israelis were arrested was “oddly” lacking “equipment typically used in a moving company’s daily duties,” according to the FBI, and residue of explosives was found in the van.

Of the explosive residue, the declassified FBI report states:

A search of the van and individuals was conducted at the time of the vehicle stop. The vehicle was also searched by a trained bomb-sniffing dog which yielded a positive result for the presence of explosive traces. Swabs of the vehicle’s interior were taken, and those samples were sent to the FBI laboratory for further analysis. Final results are still pending.”

In total, the FBI reported that four items related to explosives were found in the ban and are labeled in the report as “Fabric Sample (Explosive Residue),” “Control Swabs – SA [ – ] Gloves,” “Control Swabs – (Bomb Suits),” and “Blanket Samples For Explosive Residue.” In addition, a VHS tape and some still photographs found in the van “were sent to Laboratory Examiner [ redacted ] (Explosives Unit).”

In addition to the strange nature of some of the Israelis’ possessions in the van and on their person, the company that employed them — Urban Moving Systems — was of special interest to the FBI, which concluded that the company was likely a “fraudulent operation.” Upon a search of the company’s premises, the FBI noted that “little evidence of a legitimate business operation was found.” The FBI report also noted that there were an “unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business” and that “further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations.”

The FBI presence at the Urban Moving Systems search site drew the attention of the local media and was later reported on both television and in the local press. A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating that he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems as a result of the high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban’s employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, “Give us twenty years and we’ll take over your media and destroy your country” (page 37 of the FBI report).

The FBI returned to search the premises of Urban Moving Systems a month later, but by that time found:

The building and all of its contents had been abandoned by…the owner of Urban Moving Systems. This [was] apparently being done to avoid criminal prosecution after the 09/11/2001 arrest of five of his employees and subsequent seizure of his office computer systems by members of the FBI-NK on or around 09/13/2001.”

The company’s owner — Dominik Otto Suter, an Israeli citizen — had fled to Israel on September 14, 2001, two days after he had been questioned by the FBI. The FBI told ABC Newsthat “Urban Moving may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation.” Surprisingly, since at least 2016, Suter has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works for a contractor for major tech companies like Google and Microsoft. According to the public records database Intelius, in 2006 and 2007 Suter also worked for a telecommunications company — Granite Telecommunications — that works for the U.S. military and several other U.S. government agencies.

In addition to Urban Moving Systems, another moving company, Classic International Movers, became of interest in connection with the investigation into the “Dancing Israelis,” which led to the arrest and detention of four Israeli nationals who worked for this separate moving company. The FBI’s Miami Division had alerted the Newark Division that Classic International Movers was believed to have been used by one of the 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers before the attack, and one of the “Dancing Israelis” had the number for Classic International Movers written in a notebook that was seized at the time of his arrest. The report further states that one of the Israelis of Classic International Movers who was arrested “was visibly disturbed by the Agents’ questioning regarding his personal email account.”

A crowded dance floor

While the case of the “Dancing Israelis” has long been treated as an outlier in the aftermath of September 11, what is often overlooked is the fact that hundreds of Israeli nationals were arrested in the aftermath of the attacks.

According to a FOX News report from December 2001, 60 Israelis were apprehended or detained after September 11, with most deported, and a total of 140 Israelis were arrested and detained in all of 2001 by federal authorities. That report claimed that the arrests, ostensibly including the “Dancing Israelis,” were in relation to an investigation of “an organized [Israeli] intelligence gathering operation designed to ‘penetrate government facilities.’”

The report also added that most of those arrested, in addition to having served in the IDF, had “intelligence expertise” and worked for Israeli companies that specialized in wiretapping. Some of those detained were also active members of the Israeli military; and several detainees, including the “Dancing Israelis,” had failed polygraph tests when asked if they had been surveilling the U.S. government.

A key aspect of that report, compiled by journalist Carl Cameron, also states that federal investigators widely suspected that Israeli intelligence had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks. In the report, Cameron stated:

The Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are ‘tie-ins’ but when asked for details he flatly refused to describe them saying: ‘Evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about the evidence that has been gathered. It is classified information.’”

One exchange between Cameron and host Brit Hume included in the report is particularly telling:

HUME: “Carl, what about this question of advanced knowledge of what was going to happen on 9/11? How clear are investigators that some Israeli agents may have known something?”

CAMERON: “Well it’s very explosive information obviously and there is a great deal of evidence that they say they have collected. None of it necessarily conclusive. It’s more when they put it all together a big question they say is, ‘How could they have not known?’ — almost a direct quote, Brit.”

9/11 as a big — and acknowledged — Israeli win

If the “Dancing Israelis”, and more broadly the Mossad and the Israeli government, had foreknowledge of September 11, why would they remain silent and not attempt to warn the American government or public of the coming attacks? In the case of the “Dancing Israelis,” why would Israelis celebrate such an attack?

One of the detained “Dancing Israelis,” Omer Marmari, told police the following about why he viewed the September 11 attacks in a positive light:

Israel now has hope that the world will now understand us. Americans are naïve and America is easy to get inside. There are not a lot of checks in America. And now America will be tougher about who gets into their country.”

While Marmari’s statement may suggest one reason some of the “Dancing Israelis” were so “visibly happy” in their photographs, there are also other statements made by top Israeli politicians that suggest why the Israeli government and its intelligence agency declined to act on apparent foreknowledge of the attack.

When asked, on the day of the 9/11 attacks, how the attacks would affect American-Israeli relations, Benjamin Netanyahu — the current Israeli prime minister — told the New York Timesthat “It’s very good,” before quickly adding “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” He then predicted, much as Marmari had, that the attacks would “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.”

Netanyahu, in a candid conversation recorded in 2001, also echoed Marmari’s claim that Americans are naïve. In that recording, Netanyahu said:

I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction. … They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way… 80 percent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd.”

In addition, also on the day of the September 11 attacks, Netanyahu — who at the time was not in political office — held a press conference in which he claimed that he had predicted the attacks on the World Trade Center by “militant Islam” in his 1995 book, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism. In that book, Netanyahu had posited that Iranian-linked “militants” would set off a nuclear bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center.

During his press conference on the day of the attacks, Netanyahu also asserted that the 9/11 attacks would be a turning point for America and compared them to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Netanyahu’s statement echoes the infamous line from the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” document authored by the neoconservative think tank, the Project for a New Ameican Century (PNAC). That line reads. “Further, the process of transformation [towards a neo-Reaganite foreign policy and hyper-militarism], even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Then again, years later In 2008, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that Netanyahu had stated that the September 11 attacks had greatly benefited Israel. He was quoted as saying: “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.”

Indeed, it goes without saying that the aftermath of 9/11 — which involved the U.S. leading a destructive effort throughout the Middle East — has indeed benefited Israel. Many of the U.S.’ post-9/11 “nation-building” efforts have notably mirrored the policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which was authored by American neoconservatives — PNAC members among them — for Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister.

That document calls for the creation of a “New Middle East” by, among other things, “weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria” and “removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right.” As is known now, both of those main objectives have since come to pass, each with strong Israeli involvement.

Israel, Racism and Brutality

By Robert Fatina
Source

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The savagery of the racist, apartheid Israeli regime continues to shock people with any sensitivity, despite its long record of brutality. The recent attack on the Gaza Strip, coming as a precursor to United States’ President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘deal of the century’, was no exception.

For reasons that defy any logic other than ugly racism, Israeli terrorist bombers targeted a private home resided in by a young family. Killed in the bomb were a one-year-old girl and her pregnant mother; two other children were seriously injured. That this is by design cannot be disputed. After the 2014 carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, what Israel calls ‘mowing the lawn’, some IDF soldier-terrorists wore shirts with the outline of a pregnant, Muslim woman on the front, in the crosshairs of a gun. The caption was: ‘One bullet, two kills’.

The U.S. has never been a friend to human rights anywhere, least of all to those of the Palestinians, and this situation has worsened under the cruel administration of Trump. He has cut funding for Palestinians, renounced international law that recognizes Jerusalem as a future, shared capital, and, like all his predecessors from Harry Trump to Barack Obama, finances and supports all Israel’s brutal, repressive actions, even those considered to be crimes against humanity. He apparently hopes that this will force the Palestinians to accept a ‘deal’ that gives Israel everything and Palestine nothing. The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Riyad Mansour, commented on this on May 7 at United Nations headquarters, when he said this: “Some in the (Trump) administration, they think: ‘Yes, what will help peace is break the legs of the Palestinians, break one arm and five teeth, and when they are on the ground they will come crawling to you for anything you offer them’. Those who think that way don’t know the Palestinians.”

Some details of the ‘deal’ – which is no ‘deal’ at all, since one of the main parties to it had no input into it – have been leaked. It allows Israel to keep all of the land it has stolen since 1967; prevents Palestine from having any military, and requires Gaza to disarm. The West Bank disarmed several years ago, and the result has been constant, violent repression by Israel. Additionally, Israel will be responsible for ‘security’. If ever there was a case of the fox being given responsibility for the security of the henhouse, this is it.

According to other details ‘leaked’, if either party rejects the deal, it will lose all U.S. funding. Currently, under Trump’s brutal, racist administration, Palestine gets no U.S. funding, so it has nothing to lose. It is highly unlikely that Israel would reject the ‘deal’, since it gets everything it wants from it. So the U.S. administration is setting up Palestine for catastrophic disaster, by doing all in its power to destroy it, and then offering permanent, second-class human status to Palestinians. Whether or not they accept the ‘deal’, their repression will continue. Either way, they will lose a significant part of the West Bank. Additionally, the internationally-guaranteed right of return is not mentioned at all.

However, it must be remembered that the U.S. is not the world government. It can propose any ‘deals’ it wants to. When Trump announced the move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in violation of international law, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the move by an overwhelming margin. More recently, when the U.S. announced its support if Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric referred to the Security Council resolution of December, 1981, which called the Israeli annexation “null and void and without international legal effect”. He further said that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres adheres to all council resolutions, and that that position remains unchanged, despite any U.S. actions. The U.S. decreeing something doesn’t make it a fact.

The U.S. is, however, in a position to make things extremely difficult for the Palestinians, as it has thus far done. That will only worsen when this ‘deal’ is rejected by Palestine, as it is sure to be, if the information about it that has thus far been leaked is accurate. Israel will violently steal more land in the West Bank; it will react with brutal, deadly force to any resistance there or in Gaza, which often involves blatant violations of international law and crimes against humanity. The bombing of hospitals, homes, schools and United-Nations refugee centers, all crimes against humanity and all of which Israel routinely does, will continue and possibly increase. Israel will continue to withhold tax revenues that for some reason it is allowed to collect ‘on behalf’ of Palestine, causing the country to further cut the salaries of its employees.

There has been a major shift in the Democratic Party in the U.S. in the context of Palestine. Yes, Democratic Party officials still support Israel, proclaim it -bizarrely – to be a democracy, and talk about its right to exist. Yet they increasingly criticize its policies, something unheard of just a few short years ago. Two of the multitudinous candidates currently seeking to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2020 have actually called the brutal, murderous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a racist. One freshman member of the House of Representatives has decried U.S. support for Israel that is based on political donations. These are conversations that weren’t being held until very recently.

Unfortunately, Trump still has two more years in office. And even should he be removed for any number of reasons, his vice president, Mike Pence, would only continue the U.S.’s fawning support for apartheid Israel. And to say that Netanyahu has been emboldened by Trump’s moves is an understatement; during his recent re-election campaign, he vowed to annex the West Bank.

It is not from the United States that justice for Palestinians will ever be established; the U.S. has never cared about human rights. The rest of the international community must act, before it is everlasting too late.

How the West’s War in Libya Has Spurred Terrorism in 14 Countries

How the West’s War in Libya Has Spurred Terrorism in 14 Countries

By Mark Curtis,

The true extent of the fall-out from the Libya war is remarkable: it has spurred terrorism in Europe, Syria, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa

Eight years on from Nato’s war in Libya in 2011, as the country enters a new phase in its conflict, I have taken stock of the number of countries to which terrorism has spread as a direct product of that war.

The number is at least 14. The legacy of David Cameron’s, Nicolas Sarkozy’s and Barack Obama’s overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been gruesomely felt by Europeans and Africans.

Yet holding these leaders accountable for their decision to go to war is as distant as ever.

Ungoverned space

The 2011 conflict, in which Nato worked alongside Islamist forces on the ground to remove Gaddafi, produced an ungoverned space in Libya and a country awash with weapons, ideal for terrorist groups to thrive.

But it was Syria that suffered first.

After civil war broke out there in early 2011, at the same time as in Libya, the latter became a facilitation and training hub for around 3,000 fighters on their way to Syria, many of whom joined al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State-affiliated Katibat al-Battar al-Libi (KBL), which was founded by militants from Libya.

In Libya itself, a rebranding of existing al-Qaeda-linked groups in the north-eastern area of Derna produced Islamic State’s first official branch in the country in mid-2014, incorporating members of the KBL.

During 2015, IS Libya conducted car bombings and beheadings and established territorial control and governance over parts of Derna and Benghazi in the east and Sabratha in the west. It also became the sole governing body in the north-central city of Sirte, with as many as 5,000 fighters occupying the city.

By late 2016, IS in Libya was forced out of these areas, largely due to US air strikes, but withdrew to the desert areas south of Sirte, continuing low-level attacks.

Libya Map

In the last two years, the group has re-emerged as a formidable insurgent force and is again waging high-profile attacks on state institutions and conducting regular hit-and-run operations in the southwestern desert.

Last September, UN Special Representative to Libya Ghassan Salame told the UN Security Council that the IS “presence and operations in Libya are only spreading”.

Terror in Europe

After the fall of Gaddafi, IS Libya established training camps near Sabratha which are linked to a series of terrorist attacks and plots.

“Most of the blood spilled in Europe in the more spectacular attacks, using guns and bombs, really all began at the time when Katibat al-Battar went back to Libya,” Cameron Colquhoun, a former counterterrorism analyst for Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, told The New York Times.

“That is where the threat trajectory to Europe began – when these men returned to Libya and had breathing space.”

Salman Abedi, who blew up 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester in 2017, met with members of the Katibat al-Battar al-Libi, a faction of IS, several times in Sabratha, where he was probably trained.

Other members of the KBL were Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader of the 2015 Paris attacks on the Bataclan nightclub and sports stadium, which killed 130 people, and the militants involved in the Verviers plot to attack Belgium in 2015.

The perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin truck attack, which left 12 people dead, also had contacts with Libyans linked to IS.

So too in Italy, where terrorist activity has been linked to IS Libya, with several individuals based in Italy involved in the attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis in 2015, which killed 22 people.

Libya’s neighbours

Tunisia suffered its deadliest terrorist attack in 2015 when a 23-year-old Tunisian armed with a machine gun mowed down 38 tourists, mainly Britons, at a beach hotel in the resort of Port El Kantaoui.

The perpetrator was reportedly an adherent of IS and, like Salman Abedi, had been trained in the camp complex at Sabratha from where the attack was staged.

Libya’s eastern neighbour, Egypt, has also been struck by terrorism emanating from the country. IS officials in Libya have been linked to, and may have directed, the activities of Wilayat Sinai, the terrorist group formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has carried out several deadly attacks in Egypt.

After the fall of Gaddafi, the Western Desert became a corridor for the smuggling of weapons and operatives on their way to the Sinai.

Egypt conducted air strikes against militant camps in Libya in 2015, 2016 and again in 2017, the latter following the killing of 29 Coptic Christians near Cairo.

Into the Sahel

But Libya has also become a hub for jihadist networks stretching south into the Sahel. Libya’s 2011 uprising opened a flow of weapons into northern Mali, which helped revive an ethno-tribal conflict that had been brewing since the 1960s.

By 2012, local allies of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had taken control of day-to-day governance in the northern Mali towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

After France intervened in Mali, the ongoing lack of governance in Libya precipitated several groups to relocate their operational centres to Libya, including both AQIM and its offshoot, Al-Mourabitoun, from where these groups could acquire weapons more easily.

With Libya as its rear base, Al-Mourabitoun under its leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar was behind the attack on the Amenas hydrocarbon complex in eastern Algeria in January 2013, which left 40 foreign workers dead; the gun attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali in November 2015, which killed 22 people; and for the attack on Hotel Splendid in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which killed 20 people in January 2016.

Al-Mourabitoun has also attacked a military academy and French-owned uranium mine in Niger.

Disastrous foreign policy

The fall-out from Libya spreads even wider, however. By 2016, US officials reported signs that Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadists, responsible for numerous gruesome attacks and kidnappings, were sending fighters to join IS in Libya, and that there was increased cooperation between the two groups.

The International Crisis Group notes that it was the arrival of weapons and expertise from Libya and the Sahel that enabled Boko Haram to fashion the insurgency that plagues north-western Nigeria today.

There have even been claims that Boko Haram answers to IS commanders in Libya.

In addition to these 14 countries, fighters from several other states have joined IS militants in Libya in recent years. Indeed, it is estimated that almost 80 percent of IS membership in Libya is non-Libyan, including from countries such as Kenya, Chad, Senegal and Sudan.

These foreign fighters are potentially available to return to their own countries after receiving training.

The true extent of the fall-out from the Libya war is remarkable: it has spurred terrorism in Europe, Syria, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Islamic State, although now nearly defeated in Syria and Iraq, is far from dead.

Indeed, while Western leaders seek to defeat terrorism militarily in some places, their disastrous foreign policy choices have stimulated it in others.

Mark Curtis is a historian and analyst of UK foreign policy and international development and the author of six books, the latest being an updated edition of Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam.

What Strikes Bernie Sanders as “Extremely Unfair” Is a Catastrophe for Millions of Palestinians

By Miko Peled
Source

JERUSALEM — Palestinians are being treated extremely unfairly.” This quote by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came to mind as I was watching the documentary film 1948: Creation and Catastrophe. The terms “fair” and “unfair,” and even “extremely unfair,” come to mind when children quarrel on the playground, or maybe in a family feud when parents are treating one of the siblings in a way that is “extremely unfair.” Not so when discussing a national catastrophe.

When we view what Zionists have done to Palestine, when we understand the sheer magnitude of what was done to Palestinians, no term short of “catastrophic” seems appropriate. In the documentary itself, wonderfully directed by Andy Trimlett and Ahlam Muhtaseb, Dr. Farid Abdel-Nur of San Diego State University asks:

Was the establishment of the State of Israel so important, that no matter what price Palestinians had to pay for it, it was worth it? Or was there something fundamentally wrong with a project that can only be realized by displacing hundreds of thousands of people?”

He ends by saying, “If the establishment of the state of Israel was a historic wrong, then the question now arises, how does one redress this wrong.”

No expression of hope

Abu Ramzi was born and raised in Yaffa and he lived the 1948 catastrophe. He remembers Yaffa well. “What is missing in this film,” he said to me a few days after viewing it at in Washington, “it does not show how we used to live together.

Only the conflict and the bombing, but we used to live side by side, the Jews and the Muslims and Christians.” He was unhappy that the movie focused on the tragedy and left no room for hope.

Nakba Palestine | Israel

“People from the outside who will see this film,” Abu Ramzi continued, “will not understand that the only solution is one country, one state with all of us living together again without the strife.” This documentary shows us how — as the late Yoram Kaniyuk, a veteran Israeli writer and journalist who is interviewed in the film extensively, put it — “the whole tragedy was there in one moment.” He was describing what he saw as a young soldier who participated in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian cities of Lydda and Ramle: “Here are the Arabs who used to live there, and here are people who came from Auschwitz and Majdanek, and they won, they took the city.”

Kaniuk ends his description of this immense human drama by saying, “and it’s not that it was right or wrong; it’s just a fact.”

Displacing and replacing

Kaniuk was one of Israel’s leading writers and journalists. Though considered progressive by many, he could not bring himself to say that what was done in Palestine, and particularly in Lydda and Ramle, was categorically wrong. He described what he saw with his own eyes, how survivors of the Holocaust who were brought by the Zionists from Europe were promised a life and a future in a mythical, rather than a historic homeland.

Then these survivors were practically dropped off the trucks and told to move into the empty homes, their rightful owners having been evicted only hours before. The Jewish survivors were given homes of Palestinians who had just gone through an experience that, while perhaps not identical to their own, was similar in the intent of the perpetrators and is certainly tragic and traumatic. We saw over and over how, when the Jews came into the Palestinian homes, “the coffee was still sitting on the table, hot.”

No Remorse

Another Israeli voice in the movie is that of Mordechai Bar-On. Bar-On is a well known Israeli historian and former IDF Chief Education Officer. He is moderate, even progressive by Zionist political standards. He too participated as a young officer in the 1948 crime of ethnic cleansing of Palestine, yet he says clearly that he has no remorse. He recalls an instance where he shot and killed a Palestinian attempting to return to his land and he says, “I have no remorse; I had to do it.”

Bar-On also admits that the plight of the Palestinian refugees is a terrible tragedy but adds he does not want them to return because “Israel cannot afford it.” If the refugees return it will no longer be a country in which “I want to live.” Apparently, that in itself is a good enough reason to keep 5.5 million people in refugee camps — so that Israelis will have a country in which they want to live.

Most of the Israelis who participated in this documentary were on the left of the political scale in Israel. Almost all of them express empathy to the plight of the Palestinians. One even says it reminded him of what he experienced as a Jewish boy in Poland from the Germans during World War II. However, they stop short of condemnation. Israelis by and large — be they on the left, right or center of the political map — refrain from condemning the horrific crimes that began in 1948 and continue to this day.

My friend Abu Ramzi was right when he said the movie presents no hope. It is because under the current conditions, when the Israelis have all the rights and live at the expense of Palestinians, there is no hope.

Hope does exist, but only in a post-Zionist Palestine. When politicians like Bernie Sanders will have the courage to call the ethnic cleansing, genocide and apartheid — all crimes that Israel perpetrated and continues to perpetuate to this day — by their real name and not describe them as merely “extremely unfair.”

Abu Ramzi knows, as many do, that there is hope in a free Palestine, a Palestine where people are equal with one set of laws for all citizens, and where the right of the refugees to return is viewed as a blessing and an opportunity, not an inconvenience.

ARE THE US AND ISRAEL PREPARING FOR WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST? (1/2 IRAN)

Posted on

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Many analysts believe a US-Israeli war on Iran and Lebanon is likely despite the lack of evidence of preparations for such a war. Although forces could be quickly mobilised after a political decision to go to war, all indications point to a non-military war situation for the simple reason that the US “strangulation war” is not costly to the US establishment and fits perfectly with the objectives of its main Middle Eastern ally, Israel. Nevertheless, menacing letters are being exchanged among involved parties who are, nonetheless, prepared for the worst-case scenario.

As far as Iran goes, the “zero oil exports” – the US wants to impose on the 1stof May – may be impossible to achieve. It will not be easy for OPEC members to compensate the two million Iranian barrel of oil daily (out of 3.45 million of total daily production), as President Donald Trump would like. The US objective is to curb Iran’s will and force it to the negotiation table to dictate elements necessary for the security of Israel in the Middle East. A goal no US establishment has ever managed to achieve since the “Islamic Revolution” took power in Iran in 1979, notwithstanding the sanctions imposed over four decades.

Iran has land borders with Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. It is logistically easy to supply these countries with Iran’s high-quality light crude oil at a cheaper price than the market price. During the Bush and Obama eras, Iran never stopped exporting its oil and exchanging it for hard currency or gold, despite sanctions.

Moreover, China needs its 650,000 barrel per day. Several Chinese companies offer technology and industrial services and commerce their expertise and products with Iranian companies in exchange for oil, and these companies are not willing to stop this trade. This alone will be enough to cause the failure of the US establishment’s objective of “zero exports” without necessarily meaning that such a breakdown will lead to a military confrontation.

President Trump is not willing to engage his forces in a major war, even if he has the audacity to ask Saudi Arabia to pay for it. The US President may have to find another achievement in the Middle East to brag about and exploit during the campaign for his second mandate in 2020. This US administration, like previous ones, will likely fail to curb Iran’s will despite the severe sanctions it has imposed. Nor will it succeed in forcing Iran to stop support for its partners in the Middle East (i.e. Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen). The support of Iran to state and non-state actors in the region is a self-imposed obligation cited in many articles in the Iranian constitution.

Moreover, Iran will never agree to open its missile industry to inspection or to halt its missile production, as requested by the US establishment. Iran’s missiles represent its main efficient weapon to maintain a balance of forces sufficient to dissuade all its potential enemies. And last, Iran and its Middle Eastern partners will not abandon the Palestinian cause until the last Palestinian group decides to abandon its territory to Israel. Therefore, Trump should be content – as the achievement of his first mandate – with the “gifts” he has given to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The bras-de-fer between the US and Iran will likely not wind down as long as Trump is in power, so long as he is unwilling meet Iran’s two conditions for the resumption of negotiations with Tehran: lifting the heavy sanctions imposed on Iran, and honouring the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor Barak Obama. Trump seems unable to accept the end of unilateral US hegemony over the world.

Proof-read by:  C.G.B

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