Yair Lapid Meets Mansour Abbas in Bid to Reach Coalition Agreement

March 29, 2021

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on Sunday met with Head of the Ra’am Party Mansour Abbas to discuss forming a coalition government, Israeli media reported.

Abbas, according to Ynet News, presented his movement’s demands to Lapid. The demands included scrapping the Nation-State Law, having the freedom to vote on pro-LGBT bills, freezing the Kaminitz Law, recognizing unrecognized Arab towns in the Negev, and fighting crime among the Arab community in Israel.

Both Abbas and Lapid issued brief statements following their meeting, stating that they had agreed to continue their communications.

Following Tuesday’s election, Ra’am has emerged as a kingmaker as both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Lapid’s Yesh Atid lacked enough seats in the Knesset to enable either party to form a coalition government.

Right-wing pro-Netanyahu hardliners, including Head of the Fascist Religious Zionism Party Bezalel Smotrich, have rejected joining a coalition including Arab MKs or reliant on an Arab party.

This also came following a Likud meeting with Abbas, during which they discussed prospects of the latter’s participation in a Likud-led government.

Ynet News reported that Abbas met with Lapid after realizing that joining a right-wing government may not be a viable option, pointing out that his meeting with Lapid came after several postponements.

The bloc consisting of Likud and its pro-right-wing parties have 59 seats out of 120. The left-wing, along with the anti-Netanyahu parties, has 57. Abbas, the current kingmaker, has five seats.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

NO TIME FOR ISRAEL TO CELEBRATE ELECTION “VICTORY”

South Front

Israel had no time to enjoy the successful election and Benjamin Netanyahu’s slim victory when Iran reportedly reminded Israel of itself.

On March 25th, while sailing from Tanzania to India, the Israeli-flagged ship “Lori” was allegedly struck by missiles in the Gulf of Oman.

Tehran was immediately accused, and the strike only caused material losses, but no casualties. Photographs of the damaged hull of the ship were shared on Twitter, but little else in the way of evidence.

This alleged incident is the third in a presumed exchange.It began on February 26th, when the Israeli-flagged MV HELIOS RAY suffered a number of explosions, in the Gulf of Oman. It was blamed on Iran.

Then, on March 11th, an explosion struck the Iranian-owned SHAHR E KORD off the coast of Syria. Tehran called it a terrorist attack, but not specifically blaming Tel Aviv.

On Syrian soil, approximately 15 unidentified gunmen attacked posts of the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Corps and Iranian-backed forces in southern Raqqa, according to the Eye of the Euphrates. They infiltrated the government-controlled area in southern Raqqa with three trucks. The unknown militants abandoned their vehicles and attacked the position near the village of Maksar. At least 9 Syrian and Iranian-backed fighters were killed, and 6 others were captured.

In northern Syria, the situation is becoming increasingly chaotic. Despite a Russian-Turkish agreement to open humanitarian crossings in Idlib, but no such luck.

Ankara immediately denied agreeing to anything of the sort, and even if it didn’t, militants blocked the crossings.

Syrian authorities reopened the Saraqib and Abu Zindain crossings on March 25th. However, both remained blocked by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Turkish Forces in the fashion of how they impose the ceasefire agreement in Greater Idlib undertook no action in assisting the opening of the crossings.

In Iraq, the situation is stacked even more against the U.S. and its allies. On March 25th, five US supply convoys were attacked in different parts of Iraq. Three of the attacks were carried out by pro-Iranian groups, while two are still unclaimed.

These attacks continue to be non-lethal and rather cause only material damage.

These groups, as well as all other Iranian allies are a part of the unofficial Axis of Resistance. Yemen’s Ansar Allah are as well a part of it.

In recent days, the Houthis (as Ansar Allah is more commonly known) were accused by Saudi Arabia of being cowards.

While that accusation was sinking in, Riyadh’s forces targeted al-Hudaydah with heavy artillery.

This is explicitly prohibited under a ceasefire agreement, and still violations take place almost hourly. The Saudi-led coalition continues its heavy airstrike activity, and is being steadily pushed back on the ground by the Houthis.

More retaliatory actions are likely expected by Israel, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in the coming days and weeks, since the Iranian-aligned bloc seems to be making progress.

Netanyahu May Reach End of His Political Life Soon: Israeli Opposition to Nominate Lapid for Premiership

 March 26, 2021

Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu

The Zionist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is facing a major challenge, which may lead him to the end of his political life, in light of the reslts of the public elections.

Netanyahu, whose coalition won 52 Knesset seats, is in need of allying with Yamina Party, represented by 7 MKs, and United Arab List (UAL), which includes 4 MKs. On the other hand, the opposition, which has secured 57 Knesset seats, is in need of allying with either Yamina Party or the Arab bloc.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, whose centrist Yesh Atid finishing as the second-largest party, is expected to be his coalition’s candidate for premiership.

Being the fourth public election, the Israeli vote indicates a major stalemate which is mainly attributed to the leadership crisis in the occupation entity.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Zionist Circles: Political Deadlock May Last for Years

Zionist Circles: Political Deadlock May Last for Years

 March 25, 2021

Political circles pointed to long-term stalemate in the Zionist entity as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rivals are away from securing majority in the Knesset elections.

As vote counting nears its end in the occupation regime, preliminary results show that neither Netanyahu nor his rivals managed to 61 seats in the 120-seat parliament, the number needed to form a new government.

Netanyahu’s bloc has reportedly secured 59 seats in the parliament, while his rivals secured 57 seats, media reports said, noting that Mansour Abbas, leader of the United Arab List (UAL), has secured 4 seats.

Commenting on the initial results, Zionist analysts expected that the deadlock may last for a long time in the Zionist entity.

“The only way to ensure stability is Netanyahu’s success to form a government after securing the 61-seat majority needed in the Knesset. The new government must have a clear vision, and this requires other players in the political scene who are in Netanyahu’s rival bloc,” Daphna Liel, Israeli Channel 12’s political reporter said in a talk show broadcast on the Israeli TV network on Wednesday.

“Elsewhere, we are likely to stay in politically unstable situation,” the Israeli reported added, as cited by Al-Manar’s reporter of Hebrew affairs Ahmad Ammar.

“I think that the question now is whether Netanyahu will manage to form a government with 61-seat majority,” Yaron Dekel political commentator told the Israeli talk show.

“And the most important question here: Will this government withstand? Netanyahu couldn’t hold out with such formation in the past,” he noted.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

US, Israel, EU election farces or ‘Allies of sovereignty’ – Iran, China, Russia?

Friday, 26 March 2021 2:02 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 26 March 2021 2:02 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US, Israel & EU election farces or the ‘Allies of Sovereignty’ – Iran, China & Russia?
(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)

By Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV.

Too bad the elections for European Parliament aren’t this year – we could have enjoyed all three tones of the chord of “liberal (aristocratic) democracy”.

The United States, the European Union and Israel – the triumvirate which dominates half the world and thinks it has the moral and intellectual right to rule the other half – obviously have incredibly flawed, domestically-denigrated and politically feckless elections. As time goes on the world can only be increasingly attracted to innovative alternative political models because this trio is so endemically dysfunctional.

In Israel voters just chose between the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu or those who claim to be the colonizers who are the “sane” alternative. This election sham will likely need to be repeated for the fifth time in two years, but only a few thick Westerners ever claimed Israel is a democracy, anyway.

Thirty years after the United States penned the structures of the European Union – in a rush of Cold War euphoria and arrogance – there may not be elections which are as meaningless and uninteresting to the actual voting public as those for EU Parliament.

The United States’ recent election was as bad as anyone could have expected, and Americans themselves expected the worst more often than anyone. So I don’t know why France-raised US Secretary of State Antony Blinken thought the last months and years of American carnage and discontent would go unnoticed abroad?

When Blinken assumed a Parisian pose of oblivious nonchalance at the first China-US summit and tried to shame China for not being Western enough, China was ready: his counterpart, Yang Jiechi, delivered an impromptu, blistering, 17-minute critique of America which was redolent of Mao’s era.

In short, Yang’s rebuttal contained well-known and totally accurate critiques of America’s capitalist-imperialist and liberal democratic structures. From “massacring the people of other countries” to the obvious “slaughtering” of African-Americans and beyond, Yang listed a poisonous cornucopia of the inevitable social evils which arise from such outdated social structures.

China’s standing up to the new administration in Washington – and at the very first opportunity – will mark a sea change in geopolitical affairs. China knew it was going to be targeted – as a welcoming gift Biden placed sanctions on two dozen Chinese officials just prior to the landing of their diplomats – and they eagerly responded with, “Let’s fight – ideologically – because it’s clear you don’t have a solid leg to stand on anymore.”

Out with the ‘Axis of Evil’ and in with the ‘Allies of Sovereignty’

Yang’s speech clearly ends the era of the “Axis of Evil”, declared by George W. Bush in his 2002 state of the union address, which put Iran, Iraq and North Korea at the top of the list for allegedly being sponsors of terrorism. However, the actual policy of America was: whoever was not “with us” was an evil entity for being “against us”, and thus Bush II essentially declared at the point of a spear that it was now a unipolar world.

In a new column titled “Welcome to shocked & awed 21st century geopolitics” indispensable global journalist Pepe Escobar agreed that China’s hour-long diplomatic give-and-take meant that “21st century geopolitics will never be the same again”. He also noted that the unified, unbowed response to Yang’s speech by Iran, China and Russia amounted to an open “triple slap on the (US) hegemon” with a dueling glove.

So what is it which unifies this Asian triumvirate?

It’s a group whose essential demand is something which resonates universally, and which was the only logical and inevitable retort to those (the US, EU & Israel) who insist on a unipolar world: it’s an “alliance of sovereignty”, i.e. the right to resist a unipolar world where domestic affairs cannot be decided locally. The fundamental basis of this stance is anti-imperialism.

Sovereignty is what France denies to Africa, what the Monroe Doctrine still denies to Latin America, what Israel denies to the Middle East and what – it’s often poorly understood – Brussels denies to the southern and eastern members of its own bloc. Sovereignty is an essential demand in a world full of nations but it’s an illegitimate demand and even seditious blasphemy to assert, as Yang did, that, “Neither the United States itself nor the Western world represent international public opinion.”

Let the US and Israel continue to wave the bloody flag of World War II and perhaps dub Iran, Russia and China the “Axis of Evil II” all they want: As the Yellow Vests, Brexit and Trump illustrate, many of their own subjects are already painfully aware that national sovereignty is a human right which has become unbearably stifled in favor of 1%-er capitalist globalization.

The roles of the ‘Allies of Sovereignty’ get more and more openly declared

Obviously, once China gets involved militarily then it’s all over – there will be a global victory for sovereignty.

Russia got involved militarily in Syria — the US lacked the diplomatic credibility for a repeat of the Iraq & Afghanistan invasions, and they lacked the military supremacy, and they also blinked because they have lost faith in their own cause — and they were able to assure the sovereignty of Syria.

Iran is the most involved militarily: they take the most risks and remain the most at risk of assaults – this is perhaps the price to be paid for earning the partnership of those two much larger regions, both of which are big enough to be continents. Revolutionary Iran has won many regional countries if not outright sovereignty then at least temporary reprieves, measures of peace and, that most essential ingredient, hope. Iran deranges the West the most: there is no logical reason for Iran to be included with these two much larger powers except for the fact that Iran obviously punches way above its weight solely via decades of advanced political modernity, social merit and intelligent redistribution of its natural economic resources.

China and Russia are in a conundrum which was made clear in both Yang’s remarks and by Russia’s official response, which said that Moscow’s relationship with the EU, “has been destroyed by unilateral decisions made from Brussels”: China and Russia are trying to uphold a rights-based system of international law with a triumvirate who has no respect for it.

The United Nations – the fulcrum of this system – is totally irrelevant to Americans. Given the “you’re either with us or against us” worldview they openly declared – with all the subsequent violations of international law via illegal sanctions, via Guantanamo Bay, via pulling out of treaties like the JCPOA, etc. – Moscow and Beijing should have realized that “only unilateral decisions” has been the Western worldview for many years. The West will never say what China and Russia apparently want to hear: “You’re either with the United Nations or against us.”

Contrarily, Iran has far fewer expectations that the UN is an impartial body. Going back to the chemical weapons atrocities by Iraq more than three decades ago, Iran sees it is quite necessary to take risks because the “international community” – dominated by Western interests and democracy-gutting vetoes – so often don’t come to save the innocent until after the bullets have flown.

What is the “international community”? To many – like the US – it is nothing. To others – like China, Russia and France – it is worth saving and using, and largely because they can get enough of what they want. To many others – like Iran and countless other nations – it is not useful without major reforms first. But these analyses are all moot:

The concept of national “sovereignty” can and must exist before, during and after any discussion of how, what, who, where or when this “international community” is formally arranged – refusal to recognize this necessarily implies some sort of one-state/unipolar world. 

“Sovereignty” needs allies today, but the situation of “sovereignty” is not as dire as it was in 2002, (although a Yellow Vest will certainly disagree). In case the new Biden administration was wondering they now know: Beijing is not about to side with the Western triumvirate (or, more accurately, their 1% class) over their own sovereignty.

If pushed like Russia was in Syria, Beijing may even fight to protect the sovereignty of certain other nations, such as Iran. 

Geopolitics moves much slower than the average person may think, but for a plethora of enormous reasons which go far beyond a debate in Alaska – four years of the curtain-lifting outsider Donald Trump, the “no strings attached for bankers” fiscal policy disasters of QE and ZIRP, an unregulated private high finance sector, the disputed election of Joe Biden, the atrocious Great Lockdown decisions of the West, etc. – the unilateral world ordered by the West has wilted. What we now have is two camps which contain half the world.

What’s key to grasp is that what is truly “up for grabs” is the other half: Latin America and Africa. For centuries they have had no sovereignty – and the plunder of their wealth is what led to the West’s current success – and restoring it is the inevitable goal of the “Allies of Sovereignty”.

Were the Western triumvirate (and we can include a fourth note to that chord: many of the key members of the 54-nation English Commonwealth) not so bloody capitalist-imperialist they would be working to maintain the current status quo between China and the West which has been, ultimately, mutually-beneficial for both groups for several decades.

However, Beijing said the new administration of Joe Biden came to the first Sino-US summit to emit “a strong smell of gunpowder and drama” – China was clearly unimpressed, and they clearly know who their real allies are.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.


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Israel election: The triumph of Kahanism

As Netanyahu looks to cobble together his farthest-right coalition yet, western democratic governments and diaspora Jewish leaders need to take a stand

An Israeli man walks past an electoral billboard bearing portraits of Netanyahu flanked by extreme-right politicians, including Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, in Jerusalem in 2019 (AFP)
Richard Silverstein writes the Tikun Olam blog, devoted to exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. His work has appeared in Haaretz, the Forward, the Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Times. He contributed to the essay collection devoted to the 2006 Lebanon war, A Time to Speak Out (Verso) and has another essay in the collection, Israel and Palestine: Alternate Perspectives on Statehood (Rowman & Littlefield) Photo of RS by: (Erika Schultz/Seattle Times)

Richard Silverstein

24 March 2021 15:13 UTC |

The biggest winners in Tuesday’s Israeli election appear to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the little-known Religious Zionist Party. Behind the milquetoast name is an alliance of some of the most extreme Kahanist elements in Israeli politics.

According to the results announced so far, a race that had been predicted as a virtual tie between centrist and rightist parties may offer Netanyahu a narrow path to a renewed term as prime minister. Far-right and religious parties, likely coalition partners for Netanyahu, were victorious in the election.

At the time of publication, however, it remained unclear as to whether this coalition would be able to secure the needed 61-seat majority.

The question is: will the suspicion and hostility with which some of these party leaders, such as Gideon Saar and Naftali Bennett, view Netanyahu outweigh their desire for political power? If history is any judge, they will put aside their personal rancour and play the political game.

Collapse of Blue and White

Election turnout was 67 percent, down from the most recent election and the lowest percentage since 2013. The initial results would suggest that many of those who elected not to vote had previously supported the moderate parties that performed better in the last election.

There are two critical factors leading to this outcome. The first was the near-collapse of the centre-right Blue and White coalition, which won 33 seats in the last Knesset. The decision by its then-leader, Benny Gantz, to desert his partners and enter a coalition with Netanyahu led to a drastic decline in its vote share. With close to 90 percent of Tuesday’s vote counted, Blue and White picked up only eight seats, while Yesh Atid, which split from Blue and White last year, won 17. This fracture essentially destroyed the centre-right as a viable alternative to Netanyahu’s far-right Likud-led coalition.

Diaspora Jewish leaders could declare that Netanyahu has gone too far, and refuse to raise funds for Israel or to attend meetings with Israeli government officials

Voters who abandoned Gantz did not necessarily turn to his former partners in Yesh Atid, which represented a moderate option, nor to Likud, which lost several seats compared to the last election. They were likely disenchanted with Netanyahu and the multiple corruption charges he faces, so they turned to newly formed parties generally even farther to the right.

By fleeing to parties likely to join a governing coalition with Likud, however, they might have guaranteed an outcome they did not foresee. Postponed until after the election, Netanyahu’s corruption trial is scheduled to resume in early April, and Likud sources have pointed to legislative outcomes that could provide him immunity from conviction while in office, including passage of the “French Law”.

A more draconian and controversial method would be for a new justice minister to fire the current attorney general and appoint one who would dismiss the charges, eliminating the greatest threat to Netanyahu’s continuing on as leader.

Extreme nationalist views

Though there are regular protests against Netanyahu’s corruption, which would likely increase if charges were dropped, it is unlikely they would reach a tipping point and lead to Netanyahu stepping down. Even if he did, the rivals waiting in the wings are no less extreme in their nationalist views; the country would merely be swapping one Judeo-supremacist autocrat for another.

Voters who turned away from Blue and White appear to have favoured soft-right parties, such as Saar’s New Hope, and some even farther right than Likud, including Bennett’s Yamina and the Kahanist Religious Zionist Party, led by Bezalel Smotrich.   

Head of Israel's Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) party Itamar Ben Gvir (R) talks to supporters through Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, on 19 March (AFP)
Head of Israel’s Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) party Itamar Ben Gvir (R) talks to supporters through Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, on 19 March (AFP)

Smotrich was once apprehended by the Shin Bet for allegedly plotting a terror attack to protest Israel’s Gaza withdrawal, although charges were never laid. He once boldly claimed that Jews cannot be terrorists; in other words, one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

In 2006, to protest the Gay Pride parade, he organised a “parade of beasts”, in which goats and donkeys were marched through the streets of Jerusalem. He has called himself a “proud homophobe”. He has served as an MK with the Yamina alliance and as minister of transportation.

Smotrich is allied with Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose political evolution as a youth led him into the arms of far-right Rabbi Meir Kahane. According to a Haaretz report: “First, he joined the youth movement affiliated with Moledet, a right-wing political party that advocated ‘transferring’ Israeli Arabs out of the country. But that turned out to be too tame for him. So not long thereafter, he defected to Kach, the eventually outlawed racist party founded by the American-born Rabbi Kahane. ‘I found in this movement a lot of love for the Jewish people, a lot of truth, and a lot of justice,’ says Ben-Gvir.”

Breaking with precedent

As a teenager, Ben-Gvir gained notoriety in 1995, when he vandalised then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s vehicle and brandished its Cadillac hood ornament, boasting: “We got the car. We’ll get to Rabin too.” Rabin was murdered only weeks later by another Kahanist.

Ben-Gvir is now the go-to defence lawyer for settlers charged with terrorist attacks against Palestinians. He is the Israeli equivalent of US lawyer and politician Rudy Giuliani, except instead of representing sleazy crooks, he represents accused mass murderers. He lives in Hebron, among the most violent of settler enclaves, where Jews and Palestinians are separated by barbed wire, locked metal gates and thousands of Israeli soldiers, who protect the settlers from the wrath of the indigenous population.Israel election: Latest results show Netanyahu without clear path to power.

Despite several prior attempts, Ben-Gvir has never served in the Knesset. His alliance succeeded this time for one reason only: Netanyahu made clear to far-right voters that if they weren’t voting Likud, he preferred they vote for the Religious Zionists. He also said the party would be a coalition partner in his next government, a striking break with previous precedent.

In 1988, Kahane’s newly founded Kach Party was so far outside the mainstream that the government banned it, and both Israel and the US have declared Kach to be a terrorist organisation. No Israeli leader has ever promoted an explicitly Kahanist party, let alone agreed to include one in a governing coalition – meaning it’s likely the Religious Zionists will obtain at least one ministerial portfolio representing the interests of their settler constituency. This offers unprecedented access to Israeli protocols and power.

This should not be surprising to anyone aware of the history of the Zionist movement. At least two former Israeli prime ministers, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, were accused terrorists, linked to the King David Hotel bombing, the Deir Yassin massacre and the assassination of UN peace negotiator Count Folke Bernadotte, among other crimes.

Flirting with terrorists

There is one powerful way in which the world could respond to Netanyahu’s flirtation with supporters of Jewish terrorism: the US government, UN and EU could declare this government persona non grata, and refuse to have any dealings with it. It would be a diplomatic version of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

Israel is united in its determination to pursue racist, apartheid policies. The world is not united in opposing them

Diaspora Jewish leaders could declare that Netanyahu has gone too far, and refuse to raise funds for Israel or to attend meetings with Israeli government officials.

Contrary to what some believe, international pressure works. While Israel may complain grievously about bias towards it, when push comes to shove, such pressure works in modifying Israeli behaviour – though usually not in significant ways, as Israel does the bare minimum to avoid international censure.

Regardless, a united front of western democratic governments and diaspora Jewish leaders would offer a powerful statement, defining a red line that Israel has crossed. And yet, the likelihood of this happening is almost nil. Israel is united in its determination to pursue racist, apartheid policies. The world is not united in opposing them. It dithers while Rome burns.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Names of Army Generals No Longer Resounding in Israeli Elections due to Military Defeats: Report

March 10, 2021

A new factor has started to influence the Israeli Knesset elections as the occupation entity is set to hold on March 23 the fourth poll round within two years due to the political stalemate.

The army generals can no longer attract the Zionist voters for several considerations, according to Al-Manar TV report.

The report quoted the Israeli analysts as considering that the army generals do not possess the skills needed to succeed in the political domain and highlighting the failed experiences of Gabi Ashkenazi, Gadi Eizenkot, Ehud Barak and Moshe Yaalon.

The report indicated that the Israeli generals raise catchy slogans before the elections, but fall in the trap of the distribution of the political gains in the the aftermath.

Al-Manar report stressed that the name of the Israeli army generals can no more be game-changing due to their military defeats during their service years.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Related news

The Vaxi-Nation – People like no one else

 BY GILAD ATZMON

The Vaxi Nation.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

PM Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israel is set to “purchase or produce 36 million vaccines in the next year.”

If you wonder why a nation of 9 million people that already gave half of its population two doses of the Pfizer vaccines needs 36 million vaccines, the answer is devastating:  the mass vaccination campaign may help Netanyahu to secure his victory in the coming election but its long term impact on the nation’s health is ‘unknown,’ to say the least. To be slightly more realistic, it may be catastrophic. During the press conference Netanyahu admitted, “the vaccines we have, no one knows how long they last…We need to prepare for the worst scenario. The worst scenario is that we have to vaccinate (twice) every half year.” That would mean acquiring as many as 36 million vaccines, assuming that all 9 million Israelis require two doses every six months.  

For one reason or another, the Israeli regime has managed to reduce a particularly healthy nation that saw very little deaths in the first Covid-19 wave (about 30 people altogether in between 1st March and 1st June) into a ‘Vaxi-Nation’: people who are dependent on a constant supply of life-sustaining mRNA substances.  

Netanyahu also predicted that “the entire world will compete for those vaccines …I am again determined to bring Israel to the top of the list.”  He vowed to make the Jewish state into a “vaccine empire.

 The truth of the matter is that Covid-19 and the way it is being handled in Israel brings to light every problematic aspect in Jewish Diaspora life, culture and attitude which Early Zionism vowed to eradicate or at least to amend.

Zionism’s ideological forefathers promised to make Jews “people like all other people.” Zionism swore to bond the new Hebrews with nature. The early Zionist thinkers were repulsed by the Diaspora Jewish ghetto life and culture. They looked  to establish a harmonious relationship between the new Israelites and their environment. This is the mantra that led the early Zionists to seek redemption through Labour and in particular by means of agricultural life.

In 2021 not much is left out of that precious search for an authentic bond with nature. The contemporary Israelites (or at least their leaders) do not trust nature or the ability of the Israeli people to bond harmoniously  with their own bodies. The contemporary Israelites are actually tormented by nature and especially the viruses that come with it. Instead of searching for peaceful terms with Covid, the Israelis are recruited as ‘a nation’ to join an all-out ‘war of annihilation’ against the little menace.

In its fight against Covid-19, Israel has repeated every mistake it made throughout its short history. Instead of seeking coexistence, it aims at annihilation. Israel doesn’t just protect its elders and the vulnerable while investing in natural herd immunity, it plans to vaccinate the entire population including children and pregnant women up to four times a year. And like in their war against countless enemies, Israel fights the little Corona monster ‘by way of deception’ a.k.a mRNA inoculation. They insist on tricking the little viral menace but so far, they have only managed to trick themselves on a colossal scale. In the last 8 weeks of Pfizer mass vaccination, Israel doubled the number of Covid-19 deaths it had accumulated throughout the previous 10 months of the pandemic. It is hard to imagine a bigger blunder. Although the Israeli experiment is presented to the world as a ‘success’ by the compromised media, in Israel mainstream outlets are not convinced by the success of the Pfizer experiment, especially considering that the ‘R number’ is back at 1 and likely to rise further. 

Zionist founding fathers (such as A.D Gordon, Dov Ber Borchov, Katznelson and even David Ben Gurion ) believed that transforming Diaspora Jews into authentic Israelites wasn’t just a possibility but an essential existential transition. Zionism offered the Jews a new beginning. Many Jews, including my European family and even myself, were excited by this spiritual offering. Many Jews left the Ghetto behind, they made Aliya and became agricultural workers in new collective societies known as Kibbutzim. At this stage, those Israelis who openly oppose the Pfizer/Netanyahu ‘experiment’ and are fighting authoritarian state interference with  their private and intimate health affairs are probably the last real Zionists. Unlike Netanyahu, who claims to be an ardent nationalist, those Israeli dissenters insist to reconcile with nature and be people ‘like all other people.’ 

Zionism as an ideological ethos didn’t survive for much time. It didn’t take too long before some Jewish dissidents were brave enough to admit that Zionism didn’t solve what it identified as the ‘Jewish problem,’ it instead just moved it to a new location. The first Israelis quickly developed animosity towards the indigenous people of the land who quickly became the new Goyim du Jour. This animosity evolved in less than two generations into a conflict with the entire region that is known as the “Israeli-Arab Conflict.” While Zionism was determined to crash the Ghetto walls, Israel has surrounded itself by walls higher than any ghetto’s in Jewish history.

Yet, the Israeli Arab conflict is not exactly a local or a regional battle between two remote foes; it has quickly morphed into global chaos. It’s no coincidence that America, Britain and France have found themselves more than once fighting Zionist imperialist wars in the region. It isn’t a secret that America is invested in the conflict and practically operates on behalf of Israel as a remote subservient colony. If Herzl had a dream to diminish the influence of Jews on world politics, AIPAC in the USA, the CFI in the UK, the CRIFF in France prove the opposite. As I am writing these words Israel and its lobby are invested in pulling the world into a conflict with Iran. It isn’t hard to see that Israel is also investing a huge effort in pulling the world to follow its suicidal path in its war against Covid by means of global mass vaccination and green passport policies.

Zionism promised to make the ‘timid Diaspora Jew’ into a fearless warrior. Israel’s early military victories (1948, 1956, 1967, and even 1973) conveyed the image that such a transformation was indeed possible.  But the Israeli army hasn’t won a single battle for decades. The Israelis aren’t the warriors they promised to become. On the contrary, the Israeli approach to Covid reveals that Israelis are once again as timid as their Diaspora ancestors. They are enthusiastically buying into the Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Pre-TSD) that made Jewish history into a chain of horrific disasters. The Israelis, like their Diaspora ancestors, are tormented by a phantasy of a future annihilation. They act upon it and actually make such an imaginary destructive scenario into the reality in which they live.   

As far as I can tell, the Israeli Pfizer “experiment” encapsulates the total defeat of the Zionist dream. The Israelis admit to the world and more importantly, to themselves, that this promised bond with nature, authenticity and the Biblical epic narrative didn’t happen after all.  If Zionism vowed to make Jews people like all other people, the Vaxi-Nation are actually people like no one else. All the rest of us must do at this stage is to make sure that this is how things stay. We must defy any attempt to make us join the ‘Vaxi-Nation’. We must invest  instead in learning how  to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours and more particularly with the universe.

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The Israeli Mutant, the IDF prophecy and the Reality on the Ground

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Israeli Mutant and Aman .jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

As of writing this article, 75.4% of Israel’s new Covid-19 cases are under 39. Only 5.5% were over 60. Only 59.9% of critical patients are over 60 years old. 40% are under 60. The country has also detected a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases amongst pregnant women. Many are in hospital, with 8 currently in critical condition.

In Israel, cases in new-born Covid-19 have seen a significant 1300% spike (from 400 cases in under two-year-olds on November 20 to 5,800 in February 2021).

Israel’s Covid-19 cases per capita spiked sharply and were amongst the highest in the world (if not the highest) during the first month of the ‘successful’ mass vaccination campaign. Within two months of intensive inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine, Israel managed to double the number of deaths it accumulated in the prior ten months of the pandemic. We are talking about 2, 700 Israeli citizens, a similar number to the amount of IDF soldiers who died in the Yom Kippur war, supposedly the most traumatizing event in modern Israeli history.

When I presented these numbers to UK Column’s David Scott just two days ago his reaction was direct and lucid: “what you describe here is, really, a new disease.”  I am afraid that Scott was correct. This is exactly what we see in Israel.

Yesterday I watched Ynet’s live discussion with Professor Nachman Ash, the Israeli ‘Covid-19 chief.’ During the online discussion, Prof. Ash attempted to address Israelis’ concerns regarding the Covid-19 situation and the impact of the Pfizer vaccine. Surprisingly (or not), Ash struggled to address most of the questions for obvious reasons. Nobody, including Prof. Ash, knows the answers to most of the crucial questions regarding Covid-19 and the so-called ‘vaccines’.

No one knows how effective the Pfizer substance is going to be in the long term. No one knows how Covid-19 may evolve in the near future. No one knows whether Israelis are about to face a mass ADE (Antibody-dependent enhancement) surge, though hopefully not. What we do know for certain is that the Israeli medical specialists who air such legitimate concerns are subject to some insane abuse and harassment. They can easily lose their medical license for life. Dr Avshalom Karmel, who was brave enough to warn his fellow citizens about the possible consequences of the vaccine, reported in a tweet yesterday: “The Ministry of Health is threatening me, the director of my hospital scolded me…” Is this how we supposed to treat medical professionals in a ‘free’ society?

 I listened to the live interview with Professor Ash even though he had really nothing to offer, but then came the question I was waiting for. One Israeli asked Prof. Ash “for how long are you going to hide the fact that we are dealing with an ‘Israeli Mutant’?” The Ynet presenter referred to the question as ‘conspiratorial,’ however Ash admitted that “we are detecting many mutants.” I couldn’t hear a categorical denial.

The truth of the matter is that a discussion about an “Israeli mutant” has been circulating for a while. Back in late January, the IDF’s Intelligence warned that an Israeli Covid-19 mutant is a likely possibility. On 24 January Times of Israel reported that “a military-led task force has warned of the potential emergence of a mutated Israeli variant of the coronavirus resistant to vaccines” and “mass rollout of vaccine amid ongoing outbreak may put ‘evolutionary pressure’ on the coronavirus…”

Examining current Israeli policy suggests the possibility that AMAN (IDF Intelligence) was spot on in its prediction. Judging by the unique and novel symptoms that are associated with Covid-19 in the Jewish State, we are dealing with a disease with novel characteristics. It attacks the young and the pregnant, it gave up on the elderly and vulnerable. The more Israel lowers the age of the vaccinated, the younger the cases, and those cases are growing exponentially. 

It is hard to ignore the possibility  that the success of the mass vaccination campaign is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election card. If the campaign proves to be a success by the eve of election day, Bibi is expected to win. Yet, if mass vaccination unveils itself as a disastrous, reckless and politically motivated adventure that has put the entire Israeli population at risk, not only would his political future be destroyed, he would probably see the criminal case against him expanding substantially, and not just in Israel.

I am not in any position to verify whether AMAN’s prophecy regarding the possible emergence of an Israeli mutant has fulfilled itself, but I can try to analyse Israel’s current policies in the light of such a concerning possible development.

1. Israel mounts incredible pressure on every Israeli to take the vaccine. By means of a ‘green passport’ it plans to dramatically limit the freedoms of the unvaccinated and their ability to earn a living. Netanyahu vowed on the 24th of February that, by the 10th of April, every Israeli would be vaccinated. This can obviously be interpreted by some as Bibi’s ‘genuine concern’ for the health of his people. A more cynical explanation is that Bibi now understands that, if there is an Israeli strain triggered by the mass vaccination campaign, the only way to fight it is to vaccinate every living Israeli hopping that the vaccine may reduce illness and death as various studies suggest.

2. Israel’s International airports, seaports and border crossings remain locked indefinitely. Some Israelis may be able to fly in, but nobody can leave the country. One may wonder why Israelis (or even just the vaccinated) aren’t allowed to leave. One possible explanation is that Israel insists on preventing the leak of a potentially unique Covid-19 strain out of the country. Why doesn’t Israel allow its large community of vaccinated to travel? One possibility is that Israel acknowledges that the vaccinated may be spreading the strain. You may even push it and wonder why Israel cares about spreading a mutant? I don’t know if Israel cares or not, but I know that they have an election in less than a month. Bibi will do whatever it takes to maintain the image of a ground-breaking success in the fight against Covid-19. The Israelis who have been the Guinea pigs in this experiment are asked to keep in line for at least one more month.  

3. We learn from different Israeli sources that some issues regarding Israeli Covid-19 policy, including discussions within the Governmental Corona Cabinet, are now subject to 30-year confidentiality laws. In Israel, only matters that are related to national security (such as IDF and Mossad secret operations) enjoy such ‘confidentiality’ status. What is it that the Israeli government and its Prime Minister insist on hiding from his people and the world and why? 

There is a growing number of studies that originating in Israel that refer to the vaccine as over 90% successful in preventing the disease and in reducing illness. Yesterday a new study ‘confirmed’ that Pfizer’s vaccine “performed as well in the real world as it did in the clinical trial that led to its use.”

I myself do not have any doubt that the vaccine could be successful in the short term in protecting those who are willing to take it. But I also can’t turn a blind eye to the scary correlation between mass vaccination and exponential rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths that can be detected in every country that engaged in mass vaccination. I cannot turn a blind eye to the undeniable fact that rapid mass vaccination in Israel correlates with a radical shift in the symptoms of Covid-19 to the point that it appears as a ‘new disease all together.’

I therefore ask every responsible person and government to look at the Israeli case with caution and to examine the shift in symptoms as a crucial hazardous event.

If IDF’s AMAN was correct in its warning and Israel is struggling with its own unique strain, then Israel should come clean and announce to the world that this is the case. This is what China and Britain did. This is what California has just done. This is exactly what we expect from a responsible nation, but Bibi may prefer to keep his cards close to his chest. If this is the case, he may have two paths to choose from.  One is to lock the country and to prevent the spread of the Israeli variant before the election. The other is to encourage other countries and reckless governments to follow the Israeli path so they eventually develop lethal mutants of their own. 

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Bibi, Pfizer and the Election

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Bibi Pfizer election.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Israel’s biggest news outlet Ynet reported a few hours ago  that in the country voluntarily making itself Pfizer’s testing ground,  “75.4% of those diagnosed yesterday were under 39.  Only 5.5% were over 60. “The number of critical patients dropped to 858 – the lowest since January 4. However, this number is more than double that in mid-December, just before Israel started its ‘pioneering’ experiment in mass vaccination.  Ynet reports today that “In Israel 59.9% of critical patients are over 60 years old. 18.2% are aged 50 to 59. In addition, 10.8% are aged 40 to 49 and 7.5% are in their 30s. As of today, more than a third of critical patients are between 30 to 59 years old.” 

The meaning of the above can hardly be denied or at least demands immediate attention. The country that leads the mass vaccination contest reports a radical shift in the nature of the pandemic. It doesn’t take a genius to suspect that there may be a correlation between the mass vaccination campaign and the growing vulnerability of younger age groups including new-born and pregnant women. The biology here is also far from being too complicated. The virus that initially preyed on the elderly and vulnerable has morphed by means of mutation and is now fit enough to attack other segments of society and particularly younger age groups. 

Up to the 20th of December, the day Israel launched its mass vaccination campaign the country had logged 3,074 deaths. In less than two months of ‘successful’ mass vaccination that number almost doubled. As of writing this article, it stands on 5,526. This spectacular rise in deaths (80% in less than two months) occurred when the country was in lockdown, hence it wasn’t exactly ‘social gathering’ that helped the virus spread. The only thing that was spreading in Israel in these two months was the Pfizer vaccines and the so-called British mutant that is apparently more popular in Bnei Brak than in Kent. The inevitable question here is whether there is a connection between vaccination and mutants, but this is the one question no one is allowed to ask in Israel.

In November 2020 Israeli Health Ministry data revealed that Israel detected 400 cases coronavirus under the age of two. By February 2021, that number grew to 5,800.  We are dealing with a clear rise of about 1300%, impressive indeed. Israeli Ynet reports that this kind of rise in numbers of new-born Covid-19 morbidity are reported around the world, I investigated it but didn’t manage to find any confirmation that this is indeed the case.  In Britain, for instance, all I find is reports on a ‘Covid-19 baby boom’ and some concerns regarding a rise in child obesity. In fact, nobody reports on a rise of 1300% in new-born Covid-19 except Israel. 

I am not in a position to determine what led Israelis to make themselves into guinea pigs for a pharma giant with a dubious safety and ethical record. The possibility must be considered that in Israel the success of a mass vaccination campaign could be Netanyahu and his party’s primary ploy ahead of the coming election. Netanyahu faces a serious legal battle, and winning the election extends far beyond politics for him. It is an existential survival battle. I believe Bibi had to choose between war with Iran and a Pfizer vaccine. He had good reason to assume that Pfizer is by far a better and more peaceful option.

Netanyahu probably gathered that a successful mass vaccination campaign would secure his victory. This was indeed a reasonable consideration on his part, and it may prove to be correct. It is worth mentioning that not one of Netanyahu’s political opponents on the evaporating Israeli Left or centre dare challenge Netanyahu’s vaccine policy. More so, not one Left-wing institution in Israel has stood up for the many Israelis reluctant to be vaccinated (currently more than 50%).  Not one politician took their side and stood for their elementary rights.

Meanwhile, the government is desperate to make sure that the entire nation is vaccinated. The government won’t hesitate to introduce totalitarian measures.   The Jerusalem post reported today that “a green passport will be required to enter certain places and to participate in certain activities. Only people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus will be eligible for one. As part of the program, registered gyms, theatres, hotels, concerts and synagogues will be able to operate starting next week.” Israel already signed agreements with countries that will open their gates solely to the Israelis who carry green passport.

One may wonder why the Israeli Government is so obsessed with vaccinating the entire population, including the youth, army and other segments that aren’t necessarily high-risk. One possibility is that the Israeli government knows by now the real implications of the vaccine. Israel can’t turn a blind eye to the 1300% rise of Covid-19 cases in new-borns. They also can’t ignore that the number of Covid-19 deaths since the vaccination campaign started equals that of IDF fatalities in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a war the country is still traumatized by.

It is possible that Israeli leadership now acknowledge the fatal mistake it has made distributing the vaccine widely. It may be plausible that the only solution they could come up with is vaccinating the entire population, hoping that this may provide at least temporary protection, which may last until the March election date.

If there is any validity in my dark depiction of the Israeli reality, it is reasonable to conclude that with Bibi at the helm and Pfizer with a needle, Israelis do not really need enemies. 

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Guinea Pigs United

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Guinea Pig.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Not many countries are brave or reckless enough to execute a vast medical experiment on their entire population and put vulnerable people at risk. Britain and Israel did.

On December 8, Britain was the first Western country to start “immunising its population.” Two weeks later, just a few days before Christmas, Britain grasped that it was in serious trouble. Covid-19, the virus that was supposed to disappear from our lives, mutated into something else. On December 19, PM Boris Johnson admitted that British scientists had identified a new Covid-19 mutant that is ‘70% more transmissible’ than its ancestors. Britain introduced tighter local restrictions, yet despite these, along with the vast vaccination campaign, the numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths kept rising. They are escalating exponentially on a daily basis.

 Israel launched its mass vaccination campaign a few days after Britain. Within the next two weeks, Israel managed to vaccinate nearly 20% of its population. Israel is by far the world winner when it comes to the mass vaccination contest, but the country is also in big trouble. Like Britain, Israel is facing a huge Covid-19 surge. Its national health system is on the brink of collapse and the inevitable question is if these similar (if not identical) health crises are related to them both pioneering vast covid-19 vaccination campaigns.

Today, In the biggest Israeli news outlet News12, Israeli computer scientists revealed that the British Mutation is about to become the dominant Covid-19 strain in Israel. You may wonder how the British mutant strain managed to make Aliya and settle so comfortably in the Jewish State. The News 12 article may answer the question. “Cases in Israel aren’t rising uniformly: there is a significant slowdown in the (Israeli) Arab sector, which in the past was the main area of concern. On the other hand, there is a major outbreak in the (Jewish) ultra-Orthodox sector. This week 1.3% of all ultra-Orthodox came out verified, and the rate of increase in cases of children (63%) this week was almost double that of adults. Among the ultra-Orthodox sector, there was a 16-fold increase in the number of verified people within four weeks: this is a doubling every week – from 100 verified people per day (per million people) to 1,600 verified people, and all within a month. Such a growth rate is not seen throughout the plague and is probably due at least in part to the British mutant. It is estimated that the British mutant is about 20% of all ultra-Orthodox verified.”

This must raise eyebrows. Why would the British mutant strain spread so vastly amongst orthodox Jews? Why doesn’t it spread as quickly in the Arab population?

We may be able to stumble upon a very crucial piece of information here. Israeli Arabs may be doing better on the Covid-19 front because many of them seem to be reluctant about the vaccine. The Israeli Marker’s headline on 27 December stated: “A cause for concern: (Israeli) Arabs do not come to get vaccinated.” The Marker pointed out that Jewish citizens from all over Israel travel to Arab villages and cities to receive the vaccines that were designated to Arabs. According to a duty manager of a vaccination centre in Nazareth, 70-80% of the those who come to receive the vaccine were Jewish. Some of them travel as much as 50 km to do so.

But the story doesn’t end here. On January 3, the Israeli news website Walla reported that  “the  ultra-Orthodox are leading the population vaccination campaign.”  Walla confirmed that ‘the percentage of people vaccinated against corona among ultra-Orthodox society is higher than the rest of the population of all ages.’

It is beyond me why the Israelis decided to become guinea pigs in this reckless unscientific experiment in human lives. One option that can’t be dismissed is that Israel is once again heading towards an election and it is more than likely that Israel’s leaders believed that a mass vaccination campaign may translate into an electoral success.

As things stand at the moment, it is hard to deny the possibility of a correlation between mass vaccination and a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in both Israel and Britain. It is hard to deny the fact that Israeli Arabs who at large avoid the vaccine are doing far better than the Jewish orthodox who seem to also believe in Pfizer. 

Alongside the revelations about the British strain, we also learned about a South African strain that is highly dangerous and possibly resistant to the current vaccines. It takes very little research to figure out that South Africa, together with Brazil and Britain, had been the testing ground for new vaccine trials since September. It is hardly a secret anymore that this was at roughly the same time that the new mutants were discovered in Britain at least.

I point here at the devastating possibility of a link between mass vaccinations and Covid-19 spikes. I am not qualified to support or explain the science that may cause this correlation. My facts are supported by data that is available to the wider public through mainstream news outlets. I am not an epidemiologist or a virologist and I really hope that people with the appropriate scientific training can refute the issues raised above. 

Sometimes I really wish to be wrong.   

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Ex-Qatari PM Talks About Prospective Agreement Between Arab States, «Israel»

Ex-Qatari PM Talks About Prospective Agreement Between Arab States, «Israel»

By Staff, Agencies 

The former Qatar Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, said that a non-aggression agreement will be signed between Arab countries and the “Israeli” entity, as a next step to the American announcement of the so-called “peace” plan in the Middle East region, known as the “Deal of the Century”.

In a series of tweets on Sunday evening, Bin Jassim said, that he had previously posted on December 14 of last year about the “deal of the century”, and he expected that the deal would announced at the beginning of this year.

Indeed, US President Donald Trump announced it at the end of last January, stressing that “now it will be followed by a non-aggression agreement between ‘Israel’ and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in addition to Egypt, Jordan and possibly Morocco.”

He continued: “Today, as the ‘deal of the century’ has been announced, as its enemies call it, I must first repeat, as I have always said, that I am not against a just ‘peace’, and then I am not against signing a non-aggression after reaching clear results in the ‘peace’ process.”

He added, “However, I followed up on the rejection of the deal in the Arab League, although there are Arab countries that promised the American side that they would take a positive position on the deal, but they did not, and justified it by saying that it was unable because of the media.”

Bin Jassim pointed out that “these countries want those promises to come closer to America, even though they know that the deal will be held up by the majority in the Arab League, and that they benefit when they appear as America wants, and they renounce, as they imagine, the burdens of opposing or rejecting the deal, and bear it to states. The other rejects, but this is a short-term policy that is open to the American side”.

The former Qatari prime minister stressed that “America and ‘Israel’ need what will result from the announcement of the deal from a beneficial electoral momentum for Trump and Netanyahu, which may add to both an external victory that would enhance the chances of winning the upcoming elections,” explaining that “the Arab side follows a policy based on short-term tactics. Meanwhile, the ‘Israeli’ side places its policies on long-term strategic foundations”.

He asked about the possibility of the Arab countries adopting, as well, an actual and deliberate policy and tactics that benefit from it by exploiting the need of “Israel” and the US for what they want the deal to achieve, “instead of being just tools that others use to achieve their goals.”

According to Trump and Netanyahu, the “deal of the century” will recognize the “Israeli” entity as a Jewish “state”, in addition to working on a “two-state” solution, considering al-Quds [Jerusalem] as an “indivisible” capital for the “Israeli” entity; and thus recognizing the entity’s “sovereignty” over the Jordan Valley, and making investments worth 50 billion dollars to the Palestinian state.

The new geopolitics: Cairo and Paris instead of Ankara and Riyadh الجغرافيا السياسيّة الجديدة القاهرة وباريس بدلاً من أنقرة والرياض

The new geopolitics: Cairo and Paris instead of Ankara and Riyadh

Written by Nasser Kandil,

     During the past ten years, the region as entitled by the Americans the Great Middle East has witnessed major transformations where wars were the decisive element in them. The wars on Syria and Yemen were the most important tests of the balances of power, because the American project which aims at imposing hegemony on the region through weakening the resistance axis especially Iran and distancing Russia and China away from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea puts into consideration after the failed wars of Afghanistan and Iraq and the failed wars of Israel on Lebanon and Gaza that the wars by proxy will made out of its allies partners in the new regional system. It was clear during the past years that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have supported America whether in cooperation or alternation or competition, but it was clear too that the Mediterranean was a Turkish mission while the Gulf and the Red Sea were Saudi-Emirati mission. This means that waging a war on Syria under Turkish leadership and a war on Yemen under Saudi leadership. Meanwhile America and Israel continue the military and political intervention and maneuvers when needed without getting involved in open confrontations.

     The early months of this year 2020 witnessed a number of developments, starting from the American assassination of the two commanders Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, followed by the announcement of the Deal of the Century, opening pending governmental issues in Lebanon and Iraq, and the American understanding with Taliban Movement which included an American commitment of withdrawal. The decisive battles in Syria and Yemen showed that this year is the year of reaping, the year of resolving and determining options. This is can be deduced by linking what is done by America itself not by proxy. Therefore, it becomes clear that the goal of assassination and the Deal of the Century is to prepare for the withdrawal by breaking the link between staying in the region and the requirements of the security of Israel, and between securing these requirements through the assassination and the legislation of the annexation of the Palestinian territories and Juduazition and settlement, and ensuring the flow of money and weapons from Washington to Tel Aviv without restrictions that were before the deal of the century. What has been illegal before has become now legal; furthermore, the Palestinian geography in the occupied territories in 67 has become the way for the Israeli security after its barter for peace was the way for security.

     If the strategic axis of the American movement is the withdrawal as shown in the interconnected American steps, then the wars of proving eligibility from Syria to Yemen become necessary for each of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Therefore this grants the battles waged by Turkey and Saudi Arabia this year in Syria and Yemen a different meaning from those waged in previous battles, and this grants the victories of Syria and the resistance axis especially Hezbollah on one hand and Ansar Allah and the Yemeni army on the other hand different meaning from the previous ones. This is the meaning of reading differently the geography of battles. With regard to the Saudi security the Yemenis succeeded in having control on the strategic province of Al Jawf, as the Syrians along with the resistance forces succeeded in defeating the Turkish army in Saraqib the strategic security knot according to Syria and Turkey. Therefore, the upcoming settlements become projects of face-saving for each of Saudi Arabia and Turkey as an interpretation of the regional failure.

     In the axis of the alliance with Washington, and in the time of defeat those who were out of the range of war will have role as Egypt and France. Egypt which considers well the Saudi considerations did not accept to participate in the war on Yemen and it maintained its relationship with Syria especially in confronting the Turkish and Muslim Brotherhood danger. France which works under the American policies has shown a different approach towards Iran and Hezbollah in the main issues of the nuclear file and the dealing with the Lebanese government. At the time of the preparation for the American withdrawal, America becomes in more need of those who can deal with the opponents. So, this grants Egypt and France different advanced roles in the upcoming stage especially because Israel is living in a state of strategic confusion that goes beyond the inability to fight wars, to the extent of the inability of running politics which repeated its elections for the third time and still unable to form a government, and if it does so it will not be able to take the initiative due to the fragility of its political and military situation.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

الجغرافيا السياسيّة الجديدة: القاهرة وباريس بدلاً من أنقرة والرياض

ناصر قنديل

– خلال عشر سنوات عرفت المنطقة التي يسمّيها الأميركيون بالشرق الأوسط الكبير تحوّلات كبرى، كانت الحروب هي العنصر الفاصل فيها، وشكلت الحرب على سورية والحرب على اليمن الاختبارات الأهم لموازين القوى، حيث المشروع الأميركي الهادف لفرض الهيمنة على المنطقة، عبر إضعاف وترويض محور المقاومة وقاعدته إيران، وإبعاد روسيا والصين عن مياه البحر الأبيض المتوسط، يضع في حسابه بعد حربي أفغانستان والعراق الفاشلتين، وحروب «إسرائيل» الفاشلة على لبنان وغزة، أن حروب الوكالة التي سيتولاها حلفاؤه، هي التي ستصنع منهم شركاء في النظام الإقليمي الجديد، وكان واضحاً خلال السنوات التي مضت أن تركيا والسعودية قد شكلتا ميمنة الأميركيّ وميسرته، سواء بالتعاون أو بالتناوب أو بالتنافس، لكن كان واضحاً أيضاً أن البحر المتوسط مهمة تركية، والخليج والبحر الأحمر مهمة سعودية إماراتية. وهذا يعني خوض حرب سورية بقيادة تركية، وحرب اليمن بقيادة سعودية، فيما يواصل الأميركي والإسرائيلي التدخل والمناورة العسكرية والسياسية حسب الحاجة، لكن من دون التورط في مواجهات مفتوحة.

– شهدت الشهور الأولى من هذا العام 2020 جملة من التطورات، بدأت باغتيال الأميركيين للقائدين في محور المقاومة قاسم سليماني وأبي مهدي المهندس، وتلاها الإعلان عن صفقة القرن، وتلاهما فتح ملفات حكومية معلقة في لبنان والعراق، والتفاهم الأميركي مع حركة طالبان وما تضمنه من التزام أميركي بالانسحاب، وجاءت المعارك المفصلية في سورية واليمن، لتقول جميعها إن هذا العام هو عام الحصاد، وعام حسم الاتجاهات، وبلورة الخيارات، وهو ما يمكن استنتاجه من الربط بين ما فعلته واشنطن بأيديها وليس بواسطة الوكلاء، أي اغتيال القادة وصفقة القرن والانسحاب من أفغانستان، ليصير بائناً أن هدف الاغتيال وصفقة القرن هو التمهيد للانسحاب، عبر فك الارتباط بين البقاء في المنطقة ومقتضيات أمن “إسرائيل”، وتأمين هذه المقتضيات عبر الاغتيال وتشريع عمليات ضم الأراضي الفلسطينية وعمليات التهويد والاستيطان، وضمان تدفق المال والسلاح من واشنطن إلى تل أبيب، دون قيود كانت تترتب على هذه العمليات قبل صفقة القرن، بحيث بات شرعياً بعدها ما كان غير قانوني قبلها، وصارت الجغرافيا الفلسطينية في الأراضي المحتلة عام 67 أداة الأمن الإسرائيلي، بعدما كانت مقايضتها بالسلام هي الطريق للأمن.

– إذا كان المحور الاستراتيجي للحركة الأميركيّة هو الاتجاه للانسحاب، كما تقول الخطوات الأميركية المترابطة، تصير حروب إثبات الأهلية على نيل الوكالة، من سورية إلى اليمن، امتحانات العبور الضرورية لكل من تركيا والسعودية. وهذا ما يمنح المعارك التي خاضتها تركيا في سورية والسعودية في اليمن هذا العام، مضموناً مختلفاً عن معارك الأعوام السابقة، وما يمنح انتصارات سورية وقوى المقاومة وعلى رأسها حزب الله من جهة وأنصار الله والجيش اليمني من جهة مقابلة، معاني مختلفة عن الانتصارات السابقة. وهذا ما يفرض القراءة لجغرافيا المعارك بعيون مختلفة، فقد نجح اليمنيون بالسيطرة على محافظة الجوف الاستراتيجية بالنسبة للأمن السعودي، بمثل ما نجح السوريون وقوى المقاومة بكسر الجيش التركي في سراقب عقدة الأمن الاستراتيجي لسورية وتركيا معاً، بحيث باتت التسويات المقبلة مشاريع حفظ ماء الوجه لكل من السعوديّ والتركيّ، لكن على قاعدة الفشل الإقليميّ.

– في معسكر التحالف مع واشنطن، يتقدّم عند الهزيمة موقع الذين كانوا خارج الحرب. وهذا هو حال كل من مصر وفرنسا، فمصر التي تراعي الحسابات السعودية كثيراً، لم ترتضي المشاركة في حرب اليمن وحافظت على علاقاتها مع سورية بعناية، خصوصاً في مواجهة الخطر التركي والأخواني، وفرنسا التي تعمل تحت سقف السياسات الأميركية عموماً أظهرت مقاربة مختلفة تجاه إيران وحزب الله في الملفين الرئيسيين، الملف النووي والتعامل مع الحكومة اللبنانية، وفي زمن التمهيد للانسحاب الأميركي تزداد حاجة واشنطن لمن يمكنهم التحدث مع الخصوم، ويصعد دور الذين يملكون قدرة بناء الجسور لا الجدران. وهذا ما يمنح لمصر وفرنسا أدواراً مختلفة ومتقدّمة في المرحلة المقبلة، خصوصاً أن “إسرائيل” في غرفة العناية الفائقة، فهي تعيش مرحلة ارتباك استراتيجي يتخطى العجز عن خوض الحروب، إلى حد العجز عن تسيير الآلة السياسية للكيان الذي يقوم بإعادة انتخاباته لمرة ثالثة ولا يزال عاجزاً عن تشكيل حكومة، وإن فعل فلن يستطيع الانتقال إلى المبادرة بسبب هشاشة وضعه السياسي والعسكري.

ملفات تشغل المواطن الفلسطيني

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

ثلاثة ملفات هي شغل المواطن الفلسطيني الشاغل، يتراجع أحدها ليتقدّم آخر وهي مرتبطة ببعضها البعض ارتباطاً عضوياً، والملفات الثلاثة هي: صفقة ترامب (صفقة القرن)، نتائج انتخابات الكنيست وماهية الحكومة (الإسرائيلية) المقبلة، وأخيراً وباء كورونا وحاله الطوارئ التي أعلنتها الحكومة الفلسطينية اثر ظهور حالات إصابة بهذا الفيروس.

شملت حالة الطوارئ التي أعلنتها الحكومة الفلسطينية إغلاق الجامعات والمدارس الحكومية والخاصة ووقف إجازات الأجهزة الأمنية والشرطية والعسكرية ونشر قوات الأمن الوطني (الجيش) في شوارع المدن والقرى، ثم إغلاق مدينة بيت لحم إغلاقاً كاملاً يمنع الدخول إليها والخروج منها، ولاحقاً تمّ إغلاق المقاهي والمطاعم والنوادي في معظم المحافظات، وأخيراً إغلاق معبر الكرامة بوجه المسافرين من وإلى الأردن وهو المنفذ الوحيد الذي يصل أهالي الضفة الغربية بالعالم.

أسئلة تتردّد على ألسنة المواطن: هل نحتاج لمثل هذه الإجراءات الصارمة والطارئة والفورية قبل أيّ دولة في الجوار؟ وهل يتطلب ذلك نشر قوات الأمن الوطني في الشوارع أم نشر الأطباء والطواقم الطبية والصحية؟ وهل يبرّر حالة الاعتقال التي تعرّض لها النائب السابق حسام خضر وهو غير مصاب بفيروس كورونا وإنما بتهمة إطالة اللسان وإثارة النعرات، حيث من الجدير ذكره أنّ خضر كان من قادة الانتفاضتين الأولى والثانيه واعتقل في سجون الاحتلال ما يزيد عن 20 اعتقال إضافة الى النفي والاقامة الجبرية والإصابات بالرصاص، ولم يتمّ الإفراج عنه إلا بعد خمسة أيام وبسبب عناده وإضرابه عن الطعام والشراب والدواء والكلام، إضافة إلى أنّ اعتقاله أثار استياء أنصاره الذين قاموا بقطع الطرق وأعمال شغب. برغم انّ خطورة الوباء أمر يستحق الاهتمام والمعالجة، إلا أنّ المبالغة في إجراءات الطوارئ وخاصة إغلاق المدارس والجامعات من شأنها ان تجعل أيّ تحرك شعبي أمراً صعباً في حال طرأ ما يستدعي ذلك خاصة أنّ التهديدات بتقسيم المسجد الأقصى وقبة الصخرة أمر وارد، كذلك ما نسمعه على ألسنة السياسيين الاسرائيليين بخصوص ضمّ مناطق واسعة من الضفة الغربية.

الشاغل الثاني هو نتائج انتخابات الكنيست واحتمالات تشكيل حكومة (اسرائيلية)، فحتى اليوم لا زال بن يامين نتنياهو يرى نفسه الفائز في حين تتضاءل فرصه (وإنْ لم تنعدم) لتشكيل حكومة، في حين تتزايد فرص منافسه بني غانتس (وإنْ لم تكن مؤكدة)، ومنذ يومين رفضت المحكمة المركزية في تل أبيب طلباً تقدم به محامو نتنياهو لتأجيل جلسات محاكمته في قضايا فساد باعتبار انّ المبرّرات التي تقدّم بها هؤلاء غير كافية، وبالتالي فإنّ الجلسه الأولى ستكون يوم الثلاثاء المقبل، وفي حال أخذت المحاكمة ومجرياتها أشكالاً حادة وفضائحية، وهو الأمر الغالب، فلن يكون أمام نتنياهو إلا الانحناء أمام أحد خيارين الأول هو القبول بحكومة مشتركة مع خصمه وبشروط الخصم، والثاني هو عقد صفقة تقضي بإسقاط التهم المسندة إليه مقابل خروجه من الحياة السياسية.

في المقلب الآخر تراهن السلطة الفلسطينية في رام الله على فرص الجنرال المتقاعد بني غانتس، وبناء عليه فقد تمارس ضغوطاً على القائمة المشتركة (النواب العرب) لمنحه الثقة وذلك على قاعدة أنّ خروج نتنياهو هو المكسب وانْ لم تحصل القائمة المشتركة على أية مكاسب، قد يشاركها في الضغط الأردن ومصر وقطر وتركيا كلّ لأسبابه.

الشاغل الثالث هو صفقة ترامب (القرن) وارتباطاً بما ذكر آنفاً فإنّ هناك فرضية ترى انّ الصفقة مرتبطة بنتنياهو لا بالسياسات اليمينية في كلّ من (إسرائيل) والولايات المتحدة ـ (الجمهورية الترامبية) وانّ المايسترو الأول لهذه الصفقة هو السفير الأميركي في القدس ديفيد فريدمان قبل أن يدخل على خطها لاحقاً كل من الصهر كوشنر والمستشار غرينبلات، فمشاريع كهذه ترتبط بسياسات ورؤى تمّ العمل عليها وزرع بذورها في «أوسلو» و «وادي عربة» و«وثيقة أبو مازن – بيلين» 2005، ثم انّ عقارب الساعة لا تعود إلى الوراء فالقرارات المرتبطة بالقدس أصبحت نهائية، والقرارات التي ستتخذ في القريب العاجل بضمّ مناطق من الضفة ستصبح بدورها نهائية، ولا يمكن لأيّ حكومة (إسرائيلية) مقبلة أن تعود عنها أو أن تضعها في مكانة تفاوضية، فالدولة – أيّ دولة لا تفاوض على أراض تعتبرها جزءاً من أرضها الوطنية.

الربط بين الشواغل الثلاثة واضح، وباء كورونا على جديته لا يستحق هذه الحالة الطارئة والعصبية في تنفيذها وإغلاق الجامعات والمدارس والتي هي بؤر التجمعات الشبابية وأدوات التحرك الشعبي الذي يمكن ان يحصل عند اتخاذ الحكومة المقبلة قراراتها، وحالة الجمود والسكون والهدوء السلبي وتقطيع الوقت قد أصبحت تقليداً سياسياً متبعاً لدى القيادة الفلسطينية، وانتظار ما لا يأتي أو ما لا يستحق الانتظار دون القيام بأيّ عمل جدي قد أصبح حرفة وعادة، فهل يغيّر التشكيل الحكومي في (إسرائيل) من نتائج السياسات اليمينية المتطرفة لدى كلّ من نتنياهو وغانتس؟ وهل سيكون هناك من تأثير حقيقي على جوهر الصفقة في حال فاز برئاسة الحكومة من يفوز؟ من هنا أرى انّ دخول القائمة المشتركة (النواب العرب) على خط التصويت لحكومة برئاسة غانتس ليس عملاً من أعمال السياسة العاقلة والمدركة والعارفة للواقع بقدر ما هو عمل من أعمال النكاية في نتنياهو وهي مسألة يبرع بها الشرقيون عامة ولو على حساب ما هو أهمّ وأجدى، فالأحزاب الاسرائيلية متطابقة في نظرتها للقدس والمستوطنات وترى وفق عقيدتها العسكرية في الأغوار عمقاً استراتيجياً لا غنى عنه.

على هذا المنوال تسير الأمور في ما تبقى من فلسطين، القيادة لا تفعل شيئاً باستثناء احتراف التفاوض إنْ أمكن باعتباره فلسفه حياة والانتظار، فيما يحترف المواطن الحزن وهو يرى هذا الواقع البائس.

*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم بالضفة الغربية.

فيديوات متعلقة

أخبار متعلقة

قانون حرمان نتنياهو من الحكم بيد الفلسطينيين…؟

د. عصام نعمان

لكي يفوز في الانتخابات احتاج بنيامين نتنياهو إلى أصوات أكثرية الناخبين اليهود. لكن ليبقى رئيساً للحكومة يحتاج الى موافقة أقلية من النواب الفلسطينيين. في انتخابات الكنيست الأخيرة نال نتنياهو من أصوات اليهود أكثر من منافسيه، لكنه لم يفز وحلفاءه بالأكثرية النيابية اللازمة لتأليف الحكومة. يلزمه لتكوين الأكثرية المطلوبة انشقاق نائبين أو ثلاثة من أحزاب منافسيه وانضمامهم الى تكتله البرلماني اليميني.

هذا الاحتمال ممكن، لكنه صعب التحقيق. لضمان حرمان نتنياهو من تأليف أوّل حكومة بعد الانتخابات، يسعى منافسوه لتكوين أكثرية مضادة وقادرة على سنّ قانون في الكنيست يقضي بمنع النائب الموضوع قيد التحقيق بتهم جنائية من تولي رئاسة الحكومة. لا سبيل الى تكوين هذه الأكثرية إلاّ بمشاركة النواب الفلسطينيين الـ 15 من أعضاء القائمة (العربية) المشتركة، فهل يشاركون؟

الفلسطينيون، جمهوراً ونواباً، يكرهون نتنياهو لأنه صهيونيّ عنصريّ متعصّب ويمارس وحزبه اليميني أبشع صنوف التمييز ضدّهم. لكن فريقاً من منافسيه اليهود الصهاينة لا يقلّ عنه تعصّباً وسوءاً. أبرز هؤلاء بني غانتس، زعيم تحالف «أزرق أبيض» (33 مقعداً) وأفيغدور ليبرمان، زعيم حزب «إسرائيل بيتنا» (7 مقاعد).

غانتس يدعو الى اعتماد «صفقة القرن» كما لضمّ أجزاء من الضفة الغربية إلى «إسرائيل». ليبرمان يصف القائمة المشتركة بأنها طابور خامس. رئيس القائمة المشتركة أيمن عوده ردّ على غانتس داعياً إياه إلى التراجع عن تصريحات كان أعرب فيها عن دعمه لتأليف حكومة ذات أغلبية يهودية، ولضمّ أجزاء من الضفة الغربية الى «إسرائيل». كما ردّ على ليبرمان بموقفٍ صارم: معارضة أيّ حكومة ائتلافية توافقية إذا كانت تضمّ هذا العنصري الفاقع.

تحالف أحزاب العمل و «جيشر» و»ميرتس» (7 مقاعد) أعلن بالتفاهم مع تحالف «أزرق أبيض» (33 مقعداً) اعتزامهما اتخاذ جميع الإجراءات اللازمة لمنع نتنياهو من مواصلة تولي رئاسة الحكومة بينما هو ملاحق بتهم جنائية وبالفساد. مع موافقة حزب «إسرائيل بيتنا» (7 مقاعد) على دعم مشروع قانون يقضي بمنع نتنياهو من شغل منصب رئيس الحكومة، فإنّ مجموع المقاعد التي يشغلها هؤلاء (47 مقعداً) تبقى قاصرة عن تكوين الأكثرية المطلوبة (61 مقعداً من مجموع مقاعد الكنيست الـ 120) لإقرار قانون إبعاد نتنياهو عن رئاسة الحكومة. لضمان ذلك يقتضي إقناع نواب القائمة المشتركة بالانضمام الى مؤيدي القانون المطلوب.

نواب القائمة المشتركة مستعدّون، بطبيعة الحال، لدعم أيّ إجراء يؤدّي الى إقصاء نتنياهو اليميني العنصري. فقد خاضوا الانتخابات الأخيرة تحت هذا الشعار وعبّأوا الجمهور العربي معتمدين على عدائه الغريزيّ لكلّ عنصرية وعنصري في المشهد الإسرائيلي الداخلي. لكن تعاونهم مع سائر خصوم نتنياهو في هذا السبيل يتطلّب الوفاء ببعض الشروط، وربما ببعض الضمانات ايضاً. ذلك أنّ بعضاً من هؤلاء الخصوم لا يتوانى عن ممارسة سلوكية عنصرية فاقعة ضدّ الفلسطينيين.

مترسملاً على اتحاد غير مسبوق بين مختلف أطياف المجتمع السياسي العربي ضدّ الأحزاب والتكتلات الصهيونية العنصرية، ومعلناً باسم كتلة نيابية بـِ 15 مقعداً أضحت في الواقع ثالث أكبر حزب في الكنيست، أكّد أيمن عوده انّ القائمة المشتركة لن تتنازل عن دورها كمجموعة شرعية فاعلة في ميدان السياسة الإسرائيلية. معنى ذلك أنّ القائمة العربية ستستخدم حجمها الوازن في الكنيست للحصول على تنازلات سياسية واجتماعية مهمة من سائر الأحزاب والتكتلات، ولا سيما الوسطية واليسارية منها.

لعلّ التنازلات المطلوبة ستتركز في الميدان الاجتماعي لا سيما حيال قضايا المساواة أمام القانون، ووقف التمييز ضدّ العرب عند تطبيق قانون مخالفات البناء، والتوظيف، وممارسة الحقوق السياسية. الى ذلك، قد يوفّق قادة القائمة المشتركة في حمل بعض أحزاب الوسط واليسار على تقليص الالتزام بمضمون «صفقة القرن»، لا سيما حيال مشاريع الاستيطان والضمّ وفرض «سيادة إسرائيلية» إضافية على بعض الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، وفي مقدّمها غور الأردن.

يبقى أنّ أهمّ ما يمكن أن ينتج عن تعاون القائمة المشتركة مع خصوم نتنياهو في الكنيست هو تمرير القانون الموضوع من أجل حرمانه من تولي منصب رئيس الحكومة طالما هو ملاحق بتهم جنائية. ذلك سيؤدي الى مفاعيل ثلاثة وازنة: إقالته فوراً من رئاسة الحكومة، وتعزيز مضابط الاتهام ضدّه لدى قضاة التحقيق ومن ثم لدى المحكمة، والدفع باتجاه إجراء انتخابات رابعة خلال سنة واحدة او ما يزيد عنها قليلاً. ولا شك في أنّ اجتماع هذه المفاعيل يتيح لمعارضي نتنياهو الفرصة والقدرة على إضعافه في أوساط الناخبين عموماً والحؤول، تالياً، دون سيطرة أحزاب اليمين العنصرية والمستوطنين على الكنيست أو على الحكومة. كما أنّ ذلك يُسهم في مشاغلة حكام الكيان الصهيوني، قليلاً أو كثيراً، عن شنّ حروبٍ صغيرة أو كبيرة على قطاع غزة وسورية ولبنان.

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Final Israeli Election Results Show Netanyahu Fails to Reach Parliamentary Majority

Sputnik

17:41 GMT 05.03.2020(updated 18:21 GMT 05.03.2020

The preliminary results in Monday’s elections showed that Likud won 35 seats in the Knesset, followed by the Blue and White coalition with 32. This is the third time in less than a year that neither party has managed to win a clear majority.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party appears to be the largest party, the country’s election results indicate, Haaretz reported.

However, the votes show that the Netanyahu-led bloc failed to secure a 61-seat majority to form a government and was closely followed by Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party, reports say.

The Likud party won 58 seats, followed by Benny Gantz’s Blue and White coalition with 55.

Monday’s election was the third in 11 months – the first two were in April and September 2019 – and was aimed at putting an end to the political deadlock that has been ongoing since the end of 2018. Likud pulled slightly ahead in both previous votes, but was each time unable to get enough coalition partners to secure the needed majority.

In the previous two rounds of voting, held last April and September, Netanyahu’s bloc similarly failed to secure a parliamentary majority and no coalition was formed.

Why does Netanyahu keep winning?

by Gilad Atzmon

A few days ahead of the previous Israeli election, Haaretz’s lead writer Anshel Pfeffer,  authored a spectacular analysis of Israel’s current political deadlock: Israelis are going to the polls to decide whether they are ‘Jews’ or ‘Israelis.’ 

The first to point out the political  rivalry between ‘the Jew’and ‘the Israeli’ was  Shimon Peres who, after his narrow 1996 defeat,  lamented in a Haaretz interview that “the Israelis lost the election.” When Peres asked who won, he answered, “The Jews won.” Peres, who was born in Poland, saw himself as the ‘Israeli’ candidate, Netanyahu, who was born in Israel and served as a commander in the IDF’s top unit, was in Peres’ eyes, the political choice of the ‘Jews.’  Peres’s observation was spot on.  Politically astute and well imbued in early Zionist thought, Peres identified the emerging Identitarian conflict that was destined to break up Israeli society.

Pfeffer pointed out that in the 1990s Netanyahu was influenced by his American campaign guru, Arthur Finkelstein, to accept that “Jewishness” is the primary unifier for Israelis. This clearly applies to religious Jews but it is also true of those who regard themselves as secular and/or leftist.

While early Zionism can be understood as an uncompromising attempt to divorce the Jews from Jewishness, the ghetto and tribalism to make them “people like all other people,” the Israeli Right/Religious political call is openly driven by a nostalgic adherence to the myths of the shtetl and its walls, segregation and every other aspect of Jewish tribalism, chauvinism included. As bizarre as it may sound, Netanyahu’s transformation of Israel into a Jewish ghetto surrounded by walls and defined by a ‘Jewish National Bill’  makes him, by early Zionist standards, into an ardent anti Zionist.

According to Pfeffer,  when Netanyahu returned to power in 2009 and formed a right-wing/ religious coalition,  “the Jews prevailed” and have done so ever since.

On Monday, Netanyahu won a significant political and personal victory. He earned the votes of the people despite his complicated legal situation and some would even say, because of his legal complications. In this rivalry between the ‘Israeli’ and the ‘Jew,’ the ‘Israeli’ is beaten time after time and the ‘Jew’ consistently prevails.

The ‘Jews,’ as Shimon Peres referred to them,  see in Netanyahu a clear path towards a true spiritual homecoming. Being Likudnics can be realised as a true celebration of who and what they truly are. The ‘Israelis,’ on the other hand, were hoping for Gantz and Kachol Lavan to revive the early Zionist promise to be emancipated from what they are and to finally become people like all other Goyim whether this means nationalist patriots or cosmopolitan pacifist.  

The demography of the ‘Jewish’  camp and its ‘Israeli’ rival is pretty much separated.  Netanyahu is largely supported by Mizrahi Jews and the Israeli Religious sectors (the orthodox and settlers). Gantz and Kachol Lavan have managed to ignite the imagination of the old elites: the Ashkenazi and educated Israelis. The ‘Jews,’ as Peres referred to them, love Bibi because he manipulates the Goyim. He reduced America into an Israeli colony and practically a ‘side in the conflict’ (as opposed to an impartial negotiator).  They are proud of their Bibi and his ability to puppeteer world leaders. He bonds with the Diaspora and the Lobby, he also manages to keep American taxpayers’ dollars flowing. Bibi, as far as they can tell, is the best thing that happened in modern Jewish history.  

The ‘Israelis’ vote Kachol Lavan because they don’t like Netanyahu, they can’t stand the idea that his voters and they are considered ‘one people.’ The ‘Israeli’ shares little with the religious sectors, the settlers and even less with the ‘Jews’ who live in the periphery.   The ‘Israeli’ would like Netanyahu to be locked up behind bars and subliminally hope that his voters will evaporate into thin air.  Kachol Lavan is not a centre party. Its vision of the conflict is actually to the right of the Likud party and its vision of social matters is vague to non-existent.  It is more likely that its leaders, veteran IDF Generals, evoke amongst the ‘Israelis’ nostalgic memories of 1967: an Ashkenazi ruled state, committed to the Zionist mantra of the rejection of Jewishness.

But the ‘Israeli’ was defeated again on Monday.  Nostalgia for the most heroic moment in Israeli history didn’t seem to mature into the necessary revolution and Gantz may have finished his political role. It is likely that Kachol Lavan will disintegrate into its elements in the coming weeks.  

The phantasy of becoming ‘people like all other people’ has collapsed for two obvious reasons: 1. no other people want to be like all other people.  2. The ‘Israeli’ is far more Jewish than he or she is willing to admit.  

Arthur Finkelstein figured it out in the 1990s and Netanyahu continues to follow his campaign mentor, refining his political agenda in line with Judeo-centrism. In the state that calls itself the ‘Jewish State,’ the ‘Israeli’ is gradually becoming  rare, he has been supplanted by ‘the Jew.’


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لا لـ «أسرلة» وعي الأجيال…لا لانتخابات الاستعمار

صابرين دياب

عندما يدور الحديث عن السكان الأصليّين – الفلسطينيين في فلسطين التاريخية – يتبادر الى الذهن القومي العربي الحقيقي، المنتصر الى فلسطين جذرياً، أنّ الفلسطينيين المتجذرين في الجليل والمثلث والنقب والساحل، هم جزء هامّ وأصيل من الحركة الوطنية التحررية الفلسطينية، ولا يتردّد في التعامل معهم على هذا الثابت والأساس المقدّس، بينما يسارع القومي العربي المائع، الى اعتبارهم «عرباً فلسطينيين داخل دولة إسرائيل»، مهما لمّعوا بعبارات بلاستيكية للتغطية على الكلمة البلاء «إسرائيل»! ايّ انّ واقع هؤلاء العرب السياسي، يحتم عليهم الانسجام مع هذا التعريف، وهو تعريف الأحزاب العربية المشاركة في انتخابات كنيست الاستعمار «الإسرائيلي»، والتي حوّلت الصراع مع المستعمر، من صراع على الوجود الى صراع من أجل حقوق مدنية بخسة، واستطاعت هذه الأحزاب أن تميّع النضال الوطني، وخفّضت سقفه الى مستوى لا يتناغم مع حجم الواقع والحقيقة الدامغة، أنّ الجليل والساحل وكلّ الداخل أرض محتلة، وليست أرضاً «إسرائيلية» قائمة الى جانب دولة فلسطين في الضفة وغزة! لولا بعض القوى الوطنية الثورية في الداخل التي تجتهد بكلّ إمكانياتها المحدودة، على حماية الوعي الوطني الفردي والجمعي للجماهير، بضرورة عدم الاستسلام لهذا النهج المتأسرل، الممارس من قبل الأحزاب العربية في الوطن المحتلّ، وذلك بالرغم من هجوم الفلسطينيّين المتأسرلين او المعترفين بالكيان، وبالرغم من تقصير وتآمر بعض الإعلام القومي عليها.

والسؤال الملحّ: ما الذي يدعو بعض الأوساط العربية والقومية، الى التصفيق والتسويق للأحزاب العربية الزاحفة واللاهثة الى شرعنة كنيست المحتلّ وشرعنة وجود دولة الاحتلال، واعتبار الجليل والساحل والنقب والمثلث «أراضي إسرائيلية»!؟

كيف يناهضون التطبيع مع المحتلّ بينما يتعاظم دعمهم المبتذل لتلك الأحزاب الزاحفة نحو «الأسرلة»!؟

كيف ينادون بعودة اللاجئين، وهم يعترفون أنّ أرض البروة، الرويس، الدامون، اقرث، برعم، الشجرة، ميعار، كويكات، خبيزة، اللجون، لوبيا، بيسان، الغابسية وأكثر من 450 قرية مهجّرة، تنتظر أهلها، فضلاً عمن هُجّروا من قراهم ومدنهم التي لم تدمّر في الداخل المحتلّ! هي أراض اسرائيلية! هل يجرؤ أيّ عضو كنيست عربي، أن يقول إنّ بيسان أو البروة هما قريتان فلسطينيتان محتلتان!؟ هل يجرؤ أحدهم على القول إن الجليل محتلّ، وإنّ يافا محتلة!

وما أقلّ هيبة الكاذب والمنافق، حين يتفنن بالتقاط مكبّرات الصوت، ليخطب في الناس عن مفهوم الوطنية، ويبيعهم أوهاماً، أو حين يملأ الشاشات تكاذباً وتحايلاً وميوعة وتهريجاً!

هذا التكاذب والتناقض بين خطابهم المعلن، وبرامجهم السياسية الفعلية، يتطلب وقفة جادة وحازمة، للجم ترسيخ سياستهم ونهجهم «المتأسرل»!

صاحب الأرض الفلسطيني في أراضي الـ 48، ليس مضطراً لأن يعترف بالمستعمر الإسرائيلي، ويشرعن احتلاله لأرضه، كي يحصل على «حقوق» مدنية بخسة!

فالاستعمار على طول مرّ التاريخ، كان ملزماً بتوفير احتياجات الشعوب المحتلة، من طبابة وتعليم وخدمات حياتية ضرورية، وتوفيرها حق وليس منّة من المستعمر أو إنجازاً من معترف به! بل أظهر التاريخ انّ كلّ من يتعاون مع المستعمر ويعترف باغتصابه لأرضه هو خائن!

انظروا الى أين أوصلنا العبث والفوضى الداعمة للمعترفين! يقسمون الولاء لدولة الاحتلال ويجالسون ويصافحون زعماء وجنرالات المحتلّ، ويزاملونهم في وكر «الشرعية الإسرائيلية»، ثم يُنظر اليهم كثوريين!

عندما زار أفيغدور ليبرمان الولايات المتحدة، قبل نحو عشرة أعوام، سألته صحافية أميركية السؤال التالي:

أنت متهم بأنك تمارس سياسة التمييز العنصري، ضدّ «الأقلية العربية في إسرائيل»، فأجابها مع ضحكته المبتذلة: «أدعوك لزيارة الكنيست ذات مرة، لتشاهدي جلسة لها، ستلاحظين بنفسك، أنّ الصوت العربي فيه، أعلى من الصوت اليهودي»، وأنا شخصياً تعرّضت لهجوم عنيف من قبلهم داخل الكنيست وخارجه»!

هذه هي بالضبط، وظيفة أعضاء الكنيست العرب، تجميل الوجه العنصريّ القميء لدولة الاحتلال، وإظهار الكنيست خاصتها «كبرلمان ديمقراطي غير عنصري»! والاحتلال لا يستطيع أن يقدّم الكنيست للعالم، بدون تمثيل لـ «الأقلية العربية» في الوطن المحتلّ، ذلك انّ العالم، يعلم انّ فيه نسبة من السكان الأصليين، تقدّر بمليون ونصف المليون فلسطيني!

وقد أظهرت السنوات الأخيرة، بشكل لا لبس فيه، انّ الحراك الشعبي في الوطن المحتلّ، كان له الفضل الأول والأكبر، بتحصيل الحقوق والمطالب – على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر – تجميد مشروع برافر، وإسقاط مشروع البوابات الالكترونية في المسجد الأقصى، ومواجهة مشاريع هدم المنازل العربية، التي لم تتمكّن صيحات وزعقات الأعضاء العرب في الكنيست من منع هدم بيت عربيّ واحد، والتصدّي الوحيد الفعّال هو الشارع والنضال الميداني.

إنّ مشروع «أسرلة» الجماهير العربية، وإخضاعها لسياسة ونهج «الأمر الواقع»، والعمل على تخفيض السقف النضالي لها، وحصره في عمل ميداني «قانوني مرخّص» من أجل حقوق مدنية، وزعيق في أروقة الكنيست الصهيوني، يتطلب تضافراً لجهود الحركة الوطنية الثورية في الداخل المحتلّ، لا سيما أنها تفتقر لكلّ أشكال الدعم، وعلى رأسها، الدعم الإعلامي، من أجل رفع منسوب الوعي الوطني، والعمل على انخراط السكان الفلسطينيين الأصليين، في عمل نضالي ثوري شامل، يتناسب مع كارثة استعمار الأرض والهوية! أما المدعومون «إسرائيلياً وخليجياً وأوسلوياً و»أنجزياً» (من ngo) وإعلامياً، فقد تمكّنوا من عرقلة المشروع الثوري التحرّري في الداخل المحتلّ.

إنّ أكثر ما تحتاجه الحركة الوطنية في الوطن المحتلّ عام 48، هو المساندة الفكرية والمعنوية والإعلامية، من قبل محيط فلسطين وكلّ الوطن العربي.

بات لزاماً على كلّ القوى القومية والثورية، التعامل مع الداخل المحتلّ، كجزء هامّ انْ لم يكن الجزء الأهمّ من فلسطين المحتلة، قولاً وفعلاً، وألا تجد جهة ما، ايّ مبرّر لدعمها لأيّ طرف في الداخل المحتلّ، يهرّج ويستخفّ بعقول الأجيال الناشئة، ويبيع الأجيال ديباجات من التكاذب والخداع في موسم انتخابات المستعمر، ولا يعتبر أراضي 48 انها أرض محتلة، ويكتفي بفلسطنة أراضي 67! وألا يتركوا هذا الجزء، تحت لواء مشروع «الأسرلة» وأربابه، الذي ابتدأ بالاستسلام لاحتلال واغتصاب الأرض، وصار التصويت للكنيست «الإسرائيلي» ومنحه الشرعية، عملاً وطنياً وثورياً!

الطريق صعب، لكن يبقى الإيمان بانتصار هذا الدرب.. أقوى من كلّ الصعاب.

تحيا فلسطين حرة، من المي للمي…

إنْ لم نغيّر الواقع فسيأتي من يملأ الفراغ ويقوم بالعمل\

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

ما هي إلا أسابيع قد انقضت على الإعلان الأميركي –الإسرائيلي عن مشروعهم الذي أطلق عليه اسم “صفقه القرن” (صفقه ترامب)، إلا وقد تلاشى مفعول الردود الفلسطينية الرسمية الغاضبة والمندّدة بهذا المشروع والمهددة إسقاطه، حتى عادت الأمور إلى سابق رتابتها، فقد تراجعت تلك النبرة ولم تعد لازمة حديث كلّ مسؤول، بل بدأنا نسمع بعض الأصوات الرسمية الداعية إلى النظر إلى الجزء المليء من كأس صفقه ترامب (إنْ كان في قعر الكأس بقية)، ولم تغيّر السلطة جوهرياً أو شكلياً من أدائها المعتاد أو في خطابها الذي استعاد هدوءه، كما بدا أنها عصية على أن تتغيّر مهما واجهت من محن. التنسيق الأمني لا زال بوتائره السابقة (على مستويات رفيعة وفق ما يقول الأميركي والإسرائيلي) والعلاقة والاتصال مع الأميركان و”الإسرائيليين” من محبي السلام ومبغضيه على حالها، وأشكال التطبيع قد أخذت جرعة دعم جديدة منذ أيام، حيث زوّدهم الرئيس الفلسطيني بغطاء الشرعية، حين استقبل رئيس وأعضاء “لجنة التواصل مع المجتمع الإسرائيلي” والذين كان لهم نشاط تطبيعيّ مؤخراً جوبه بردود فعل شعبية حادة، وذلك في مقرّ الرئاسة وشدّ على أيديهم واعتبرهم أبطالاً وشجعاناً، اخترقوا خطوط الخصم وأوصلوا رسالة الشعب الفلسطيني المحبّ للسلام.

من جانب آخر أبدت الحكومة الفلسطينية مزيداً من الارتخاء والارتماء، حيث أوقفت العمل بقراراتها السابقة الداعية إلى وقف استيراد بعض السلع من الجانب “الإسرائيلي”.

في الثالث من آذار القريب ستجري الانتخابات البرلمانية في الداخل الفلسطيني، حيث تستعر المعركة الانتخابية بين نتنياهو وفريقه وبين غانتس وفريقه، تدور الدعاية الانتخابية للفريقين حول مَن منهم أكثر غلواً وتطرفاً، ومن منهم يفوق منافسه عدوانية وشراسة، ومن منهم أكثر رفضاً للقبول بحلّ الدولتين او بإقامة دولة فلسطينية حقيقية، كما يتنافسون في قدرة كلّ منهم على اختراق جدار المقاطعة العربية المتهاوي أصلاً والسير نحو مزيد من التطبيع مع العالم العربي وفي المزيد من التشدّد في الشأن الفلسطيني.

في الوقت ذاته تتسارع خطوات الحكومة “الاسرائيلية” نحو تنفيذ بنود “صفقه ترامب” على أرض الواقع من دون أن تجد لها أية معيقات لتفرض أمراً واقعاً يكون من الصعب تجاوزه تفاوضياً في المستقبل، فتهويد القدس لا يجد من يعيقه والتضييق على سكانها الأصليين يبلغ مراحل لا تحتمل وعمليات شراء العقارات في البلدة القديمة على قدم وساق، ولم نسمع شيئاً عن النتائج التي توصّلت لها لجان التحقيق في العقارات التي تسرّبت الصيف الماضي والتي شكلتها السلطة الفلسطينية، أما عمليات مصادرة الأراضي وإغلاقها في ما تبقّى من الضفة الغربيّة ففي حالة تسارع باتجاه المناطق التي تضمّها الصفقة لدولة الاحتلال، ومنذ أيام قام الجيش “الإسرائيلي” بتعليق لافتات على أبواب عديد من القرى الفلسطينية المحاذية للمناطق التي سيتمّ الإعلان عن ضمّها وذلك باللغات العبرية والعربية والإنجليزية تقول: أنت تدخل إلى منطقة الدولة الفلسطينية، هذه المنطقة هي جزء من الدولة الفلسطينية المستقبلية وفقاً لـ “صفقة القرن”.

هذه إذن هي الدولة الفلسطينية الموعودة وبما أنّ الكلام يطلق أحياناً على عواهنه وبلا مسؤولية، فمن الممكن إطلاق صفة دولة على هذا الكيان لا بل وما هو أكبر وأعظم من دولة، ولكن الحقيقة التي لا يغطيها غربال الباطل ترى أنّ هذه (الدولة) وفي مرحلتها الأولى التي تطلّ علينا بملامحها لا تمثل الحدّ الأدنى لمفهوم أو تعريف الدولة، فهي منزوعة من السلاح اللهم إلا الخفيف (الشرطيّ)، فاقدة للسيادة على أرضها، ممنوعة من الدفاع عن مواطنيها، محرومة من ثرواتها ومياهها، يتواجد جيش الاحتلال على حدودها فيما يسيطر موظفوه على معابرها ويملكون حق السماح والمنع في القدوم والمغادرة لمن يريدون ومتى رأوا ذلك، اقتصادها وماليتها مرهونان لنظم جباية الاحتلال وكرم المانحين، مناهجها التربوية مكرهة على تزييف حقائق التاريخ وثوابت الدين، وفوق ذلك كله مقطعة الأوصال فاقدة الاتصال بين فتات أجزائها، ناهيك عن الغموض الذي يحيط بمكان عاصمتها والتي وإنْ كان اسمها القدس إلا أنها لن تكون في القدس.

هذه الصورة لا تذهب بالتشاؤم إلى منتهاه وإنما تحذّر من حالة الارتخاء والجمود واللامبالاة غير الخلاقة التي يُبديها صنّاع السياسة في فلسطين في السلطة والمعارضة على حدّ سواء، فهؤلاء يجب دفعهم لشحذ أدمغتهم إنْ وجدت وأسلحتهم إنْ بقيت للتصدّي لهذا الواقع البائس، وإلا فإنهم سيكونون عبئاً على فلسطين وأهلها كما الاحتلال ودولته. فهذا الحال الجامد وإنْ بدا أمراً قائماً، فإنّ الواقع ليؤكد أيضاً أنّ الحركة سنة الحياة ولا يمكن لهذا الحال أن يستمرّ فإما أن نغيّره وإنْ لم نفعل فسيأتي من يملأ الفراغ ويقوم بالعمل.

*سياسيّ فلسطينيّ مقيم في الضفة الغربيّة.

Zarif to Al-Ahed: Martyr Soleimani’s Assassination to Boost the Resistance’s Determination

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – The Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates this year the 41st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. It has been more than four decades of resistance against the global arrogance. The sons of the blessed Islamic Revolution have foiled the US and Zionist schemes against peoples in the region, with Lieutenant General Martyr Qassem Soliemani being the most prominent symbol of this confrontation.

Zarif to Al-Ahed: Martyr Soleimani’s Assassination to Boost the Resistance’s Determination
Al-Ahed News Correspondent in Tehran Mokhtar Haddad while interviewing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – Sunday, February 9, 2020

Marking the occasion, which falls this year on the fortieth day on the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his comrades, al-Ahed News website conducted an exclusive interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif who elaborated on the latest developments in the region.

In a question regarding the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, whose architects are US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who insisted on announcing their plot, and specifically related to the Arab and Islamic official and popular reactions to announcing it, Zarif said he believes one dimension of what happened is related to both American and ‘Israeli’ elections.

“Both ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump are in dire need of an electoral victory to remain in their posts,” Zarif said, adding that “perhaps each of them needs the victory of one another.”

Zarif went on to explain that “Trump needs Netanyahu to win in the elections, and the latter needs Trump to remain in power. This is why it was a good opportunity for them to support one another to fulfill their personal ambitions on the one hand and preserve their supporters at home on the other hand, in addition to supporting their allied.”

This is only one reason behind announcing the ‘Deal of the Century’ at this specific time, Zarif stressed.

The top Iranian diplomat, meanwhile, noted that the weak reaction of some Arab leaders reveal that the Americans have been lately aware that those Arab leaders, who set their destiny at the hands of the US and the Zionist entity, won’t dare and could never show any serious reaction had this very ridiculous agreement been announced.

“It is not only unrealistic, but also totally unrelated to politics,” Zarif told al-Ahed, adding that “Those leaders have neglected a legal and political project about the rights of an entire nation by announcing this plot, which is in fact a mere business trade that emphasizes the occupation’s ownership.”

This, Zarif went on to say, indicates that some Arab head of states have dangerous calculations regarding their ties with the US and the Zionist entity, which must be mended.

According to the Iranian foreign minister, the Arab world’s reaction was very clear. It was full of range and anger towards the US’ announcement of this plot. On the other hand, Zarif explained, this reaction revealed public frustration from some Arab head of states who accepted the ‘deal’ and agreed that the US be a mediator in the Palestinian cause.

One of the biggest mistakes committed by the Arab World since 1990 and since accepting the Oslo and Madrid agreements, is agreeing that the US be a mediator, Zarif said.

“The US has been aligned to a certain party on the Palestinian issue and has never been a mediator in solving this cause.”

Zarif told al-Ahed that the Palestinians today have reached a fact that the US is not a mediator in the Palestinian cause and is clearly aligned with certain party; it is indeed aligned with it vey extremely.

In response to al-Ahed’s question whether the Islamic Republic has been weakened by the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, in which it has lost one of its cards of power, which made pressurizing it and negotiating with it easier than before, Zarif said martyr Soleimani has represented Iran’s stance in the entire region.

He explained that assassinating Hajj Qassem Soleimani in this coward manner by the Americans is a big loss to the entire region and all those calling for peace in the world. However, Zarif stressed, after the martyrdom, we’ve witnessed what is going on in the region, namely in Iraq, Iran and some other countries.

“All eyes now are on the US destructive policy in the region,” Zarif stated, noting that “this must be used in strengthening the axis of resistance as per the Leader of the Revolution has said.

His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei stressed that this martyrdom will boost the determination of the Palestinians and the axis of resistance against the hostile and dangerous steps taken by the US in the region.

This also indicated the extent of the people’s valuation of those who sacrifice their souls for their sake.

Relatively, Zarif commented on the role of martyr Soleimani and his comrades on the track of the axis of resistance, stressing that they have always been inspirers.

“Their martyrdom has made clear that the path of altruism and martyrdom is the right path to confront the hegemony of the global arrogance.”

Zarif concluded his interview with al-Ahed News as saying that the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his comrades was fruitful and that their blood is still alive. He also stressed that those who committed the crime of assassinating them will definitely be confined to the ash heap of history, which was clear in Trump’s misfire and tearing up the ‘Deal of the Century’ script by speakers of Islamic countries.

To read the Arabic version, click here

Netanyahu Asks Israeli Parliament for Immunity

January 2, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday asked parliament for immunity, weeks after the embattled premier was indicted on a range of corruption charges.

Netanyahu, the Zionist entity’s longest-serving premier, is fighting for his political survival on two fronts — the corruption allegations and stiff opposition from a new centrist party.

The immunity request is expected to delay the start of court proceedings for months, as lawmakers are not due to vote on the matter until after March 2 elections.

The request is “in line with the law… (and) with the goal of continuing to serve you, for the future of Israel,” Netanyahu told reporters in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

His spokesman Ofer Golan later confirmed the request had been submitted to the speaker of Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

Netanyahu was charged by the attorney general in November with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases.

The leader of the right-wing Likud party denies the allegations and accuses prosecutors and the media of a witch hunt.

Reacting to the premier’s announcement, his rival Benny Gantz, the leader of the centrist Blue and White party, said “Netanyahu knows that he is guilty.”

Gantz said his own party will do everything it can to “prevent immunity”.

“In Israel, nobody is above the law”.

A sitting prime minister is only required to step down once convicted and after all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.

Source: AFP

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